Monday, January 24, 2011

out of the ordinary...

Well, a little out of the ordinary...

As of this morning, I have passed the $2200 mark with things that I've sold on Craigslist with the sale of a humidifier.  Yeah, it's been 2 whole years of selling, but still I think it's kind of an accomplishment.  A perpetual rummage sale.  All that stuff is out of the house!  YAY!  I've given away lots of stuff too.

The big draws this weekend were Jim Beam bottles.  I only have 12 more.  In the past year, I've sold 23, given away I don't know how many and have kept 3 for myself.

I still have a lot of stuff hanging around.  I guess it will get there.  I may have to break down and have an actual rummage sale in the Spring.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

movie review...

Soraya before being buried halfway...
Jerome and I watched a very disturbing movie last night; The Stoning of Soraya M.  It's one of those movies that just sticks with you - always a sign of a good movie.

I won't get into the plot because you can read about it here and here. Also here is a really good review of it from a Muslim woman's perspective.  I will say that it brought up a lot of anger in me regarding religion and the "man and woman" relationship/role in most religions.

My husband is not a religious man and in the middle of the stoning sequence he exclaimed something about man creating God to justify their own selfish ways.

While driving into work this morning, hubby and I were discussing the movie and how it made us feel. The part that stunned both of us was the ritual that goes along with stoning; from the women of the village preparing the accused adulteress, to the male children of the village collecting the stones as if it were a game, to the line drawn in the sand and chalked out in the village center (a circle around where she will be set in the middle), to the burying of the accused halfway up their bodies (I assume so they can't run), to the indignity of the accused father throwing the first stone(s) and making her young sons throw stones at her as well and not being allowed to bury her body and leaving it for the dogs to eat.

Head scarf language; she sort of points it at the person she is intending to speak to -or- similar to when you were in school taking a test and you hid your paper from the other students watchful eyes...
Something that was interesting to me was the way the head scarf or covering (burka) was used as a communication tool as well.  Soraya's aunt Zahra was using it to signify that she was only speaking to a certain person, she used it as a screen to make it so a husband could not see his dead wife (different husband and wife, not the one that was stoned), she used it almost like a bird of prey; as a scare tactic, spreading it out like the wings of a bird to keep the men at bay.  Very interesting.  However, after reading some reviews, I'm not certain that was an "authentic" way they use the covering.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

we bring you a special report...

Some interesting things have happened since this little trip out east...in the photo of the kayaks, you'll notice the two up front that are orange...?  Well, those WERE my sister's families kayaks.  The sea TOOK them a little over a month ago, along with other things, like BIL Bill's little wooden sailboat from his childhood (the blue boat behind the orange kayaks).  Also, the wooden staircase that took you down to the beach was washed away during the Christmas holiday.  My sister said that it was just built within the last year.  The sea must have been very angry that day...

Other than that, I wanted to report that also during the Christmas break my sister FINALLY delivered our piece of art that I purchased from the Plymouth MA Art Center while on this trip.  She was able to enjoy it in her home for 3 months!

Last evening, Jerome and I finally hung it!  Which meant that I needed to find new homes for the photographs of Ireland that had adorned that wall.


I think this sculpture is pretty unique and cool and goes well with the old photos of my parents and grandparents wedding.

Friday, January 14, 2011

out of the ordinary...

This could be a theme for some of my blog posts - just a little something that was out of the ordinary for the day...

While Jerome and I drove to work this morning, we were narrowly missed by a running deer.  She was really booking across the street.  I was in the passenger seat and saw her first.  I gasped loudly which gave Jerome enough time to brake and make a slight veer.  I know, "Don't veer for deer", but when you're on a dirt road and you're the only one on that road, I say veer-away.  I would say that if Jerome hadn't braked and veered, we would have had miss deery-poo on our laps.
That concludes today's episode of "out of the ordinary...".

Sunday, January 9, 2011

last time seeing Miss Peyton for a while...

 Today was my last opportunity to see my little granddaughter...at least for a few months. 
 
Today Justin and Sam and a couple of their friends came by to pick up a dresser, Peyton's playpen and any other items that Justin had here.  Tomorrow morning (at 0 dark 30, as they all like to say) they head out to North Carolina to begin their new married and new family life!
Grandpa Jerome dancing with Peyton.
 I hope they have a smooth trip.  They will be driving a large Budget Rental Truck while towing his VW Passat!  Then Sam will be in her car with Peyton.  If you see them, HONK! :D

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

a great start to the new year, my son got married!...

Justin and Sam tied the knot on Sunday, January 2nd at 3pm in Waterford, MI.

It was a small ceremony held at the Victoria Wedding Chapel that sits on the shores of Silver Lake.

In attendance for the nuptials were the parents - Bill & Kathy Risse (for Sam) and Danny Bruce, Jerome & Yvonne Bosch (for Justin), the siblings - Derek Risse and his girlfriend Elizabeth Zielinski (for Sam) and Trevor Bruce (for Justin), the grandparents - Mr. & Mrs. Risse (for Sam) and Markus & Pat Bruce and Eugene & Josephine DeYonker (for Justin).  Of course our beautiful granddaughter was present and Sam's Aunt Laura was Peyton's babysitter for the afternoon/evening.

It was a very nice looking chapel and after seeing it for myself, I would recommend it for a small wedding.  They really decorate the chapel in a nice way and make your day feel special, even if it is only for 30-45 minutes.  If I had done my research, I think Jerome and I would have chosen to use this chapel for our wedding rather than the Clinton Township Courthouse.

A limo picked them up and drove them to the restaurant; Filippa's in Utica, where we enjoyed some tasty appetizers, then salad and then a very filling dinner; your choice of chicken, fish or steak.
After dinner was the wedding cake which was very classy with chocolate covered strawberries.  The top cake was made with banana nut bread and the bottom was vanilla.

They headed out to Motor City Casino for the night via the limo.  She stayed in her wedding gown the whole evening while they did a little gambling.  His father and I sent Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and Jerome and I sent a bouquet of flowers to the room.

All in all the quickly planned event turned out quite nicely.  And now, my son is all grown up.  I even told him that I am handing over the responsibility of his finances and to change his passwords so that I won't be curious and check on the balances.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

a synopsis of 2010...

2010 started off not very pleasantly with Jerome breaking a rib in January and some strange feelings regarding certain friends.  I think we both spent a lot of our time this past year trying to sort out our emotions about the whole "friend" thing and what it really means to be a friend. Things are still up in the air about all of that, we are definitely still gun-shy.

Jerome's job continues to interest him.  There are some fun things happening there and the future could be bright.  We'll see as time goes on.  And I still have a job, which is always a good thing (knock-knock), in fact I've been asked to work an additional day a week, which is good for the pocket book, but bad for my 4 day weekends.

We had some visitors in 2010; starting and ending the year with my sister Terry and her family doing their (now annual) holiday trip from Massachusetts to Michigan.  Jerome's parents from France.  My son Justin (from NC & Afghanistan) and my sister D (from NYC) at different times throughout the year.  On his trip home in April, he asked his girlfriend to marry him.

We had several people in our lives turn 50 this year; our friend from Italy - Roberto, my brother Ray and my BIL Bill!  Lot's of partying.

We also hosted several parties at the house - kind of to commemorate the new deck.  We hosted my brother Ray's 50th birthday party, we had a going away party for our Italian friends Roberto and Agata, and we held our annual (anniversary) pot-luck - only a month earlier than normal because our lovely granddaughter's due date was scheduled for the date when our picnic is usually held.  And just last week, we had the family New Year's Eve "Bash"!

We also traveled a lot this year.  We went on a trip to visit Louisiana with Jerome's parents, went to Washington state to visit my niece and her husband, we traveled out east to pick up my son's car from my sister's partner's house in New Jersey; stopping in Sagamore Beach, MA and Brooklyn NY along the way.  We did some MINI Cooper trips to Traverse City and  Port Austin Michigan and then headed down to Fayetteville, North Carolina to welcome my son home safely from Afghanistan.

We did our share of home improvements this year, but not to a "burned out" status.  The driveway was the biggest project and we didn't really have much to do with it other than paying the guy :)  We also spent hours and hours painting the rafters above the deck that is above the garage.

We Feather-bowled and Curled!
Jerome awaiting instructions as to how to use the broom.
But yes, the biggest news for the year 2010 was the birth of our first grandchild at the end of August; Peyton Isabella.  She is the best baby that I've had the pleasure of holding and is completely beautiful!

merry new year!...

It was a bummer that we didn't get to go to Florida this year, but our friends were very thoughtful and remembered us by sending a box of tangerines and oranges!!!

Bill receiving a "Crepe Facial"
I was really looking forward to the holidays this year because we were going to have a full house; my sisters, their families, my son and his family and then all of the activities that center around them.

Justin arrived on the 19th after being delayed a day out of Fayetteville, NC.  I was at my very first ever Cookie Exchange at my friend and co-worker Diana's place when his plane landed.  Sam was itching to pick him up on her own anyway, so it ended up working out for both of us.

Back to the Cookie Exchange...it was really cool to hang out for a while and then be able to take all these cookies home with you.  Several of the ladies put their cookies in really nice packaging and tins.  I used Ziplock bags...

I do have a suggestion for next year (are newbies allowed to give suggestions???), have a list of all the types of cookies there are and make the ladies choose one type; otherwise you end up with several of the same...sugar cookies, which are not my favorite.  Most of the cookies were the same color and from what I learned in High School cooking class, it is not esthetically pleasing to have all the same color on a plate.

Still had to work a couple of days, but they were pretty easy going.  One day we were taken out by our Chrysler co-worker to the Moose Preserve and the next day we had our Penske Holiday Dessert which featured Coldstone Creamery and a $50 gift card to Meijer!  All very nice.

We've gotten to see Miss Peyton a lot during this time.  She even spent the night a couple of nights, but then had a really bad evening where she cried horribly so I guess the consensus was that she was afraid and didn't know where she was, so she hasn't slept here since.  Makes me sad but it's not my call.  They still visit.

We spent some time visiting friends during the break.  We went to Sara & Shane's for dinner and an evening of looking at their Africa photos.  They had missed out on Thanksgiving because they were in Africa for their honeymoon.  Shane is a fantastic photographer and the pictures were amazing.  They did a lot of fun things and stayed in some very nice accommodations.  Justin and Sam came with us to their place and enjoyed dinner with us, but left before we got to see the photos.

Christmas Eve, my sister D and her partner Linda arrived at my parents house after driving from NYC/NJ.  We gathered there and visited with them, my oldest brother Marty and his family and my cousin Martine from Belgium.  Had a nice night with appetizers and gave our niece and nephew their gifts, which they promptly ripped open.
Which makes me ponder the question, How do you handle gift exchange, gift opening and what day do you get together with your family?  It used to be the tradition in our family to draw names on Thanksgiving and buy a $40 gift for the adult you picked and then buy for all the kids, until they turned 18.  Everyone would sit around the living room and individually open up their gifts, sometimes starting with the youngest or sometimes the opposite way.  It would take a long time, but it was felt that if you are spending that kind of money, you'd like to see the reaction when your gift is opened.  The only one that disapproved of this is my brother Marty.  A few years back, he and his wife put the kibosh on the drawing of names, since they figured that most people were just exchanging gift cards in the same dollar amount anyway.  Also they don't "do" Christmas with the rest of us.  They do it on Christmas Eve and then head up north to her families cottage, which means that is the only time you can give their kids their gifts AND the kids just rip open the present/envelope without any organization.  Plus the rest of the cousins haven't seen their kids in years.  Can you tell I'm not a fan of these "new" traditions? Anyway, I digress...
Miss Peyton on Christmas morn

Christmas day, D and Linda arrived at our house just in time to watch the gift exchange with Justin, Sam and Peyton.
I know you can't see him, but this is Justin showing off his Camouflage Snuggie

D with the Chinese Food

They stayed for a while and we ordered Chinese from the take-out in town.  We laughed that we were just like all my sisters Jewish friends back in NYC - and of course "A Christmas Story" :D

The next day my sister Terry and her family arrived.  I had organized the house a little so they would be comfortable.  My niece Erin picked "tails" and had to sleep on the air mattress in the basement along with the dogs.  At one point during the holiday, we had the following people staying at the house: Me and Jerome (of course), Terry & Bill, Nick, Erin, her boyfriend Chris, Justin, 2 dogs and 2 cats.
Almost all of the cars; missing Sam's and D & Linda's

A FULL house.  This required 2 air mattresses and the use of a couch, but it worked.  I'm trying to think if that was the most amount of people that we've housed...NOPE!  We had 10 people when Jerome's siblings came in 2008.  So, this was a piece of cake :D
Most of the cousins; missing Sammy Paducha and Jake & Jordan DeYonker
Monday the 27th was our Family Christmas at our parents house.  Talk about a full house!  We had 19 people (including the baby) + 3 dogs!  This was the year of appetizers and we all filled up on them!  Everyone had to hold the baby, we had a nice evening of opening presents and then playing games.  No big drama which was excellent!!!  There were chances that drama could happen, but they were squelched pretty quickly.
In front of The Bavarian Inn Restaurant
D and Linda headed back east the next day and my sister Terry and her family, Jerome and I headed to Frankenmuth for the day.  We ate at the Bavarian Inn...yes, chicken dinner :D  We had other German types of food as well.  We walked around Main Street and I made them stand there and watch the WHOLE ordeal of making fudge.  My niece and nephew who only lived in Michigan for a short while when they were small commented that Michigan seems like a place that is trying to recreate places that never naturally existed there.  Bring Germany to you, bring Greece to you (referring to Greektown).  A little German town in the middle of farmland.  After walking into too many gift shops, my BIL Bill remarked that Kitsch is a German word!

We visited with another set of friends the next day; Lou & Dee.  They live in St. Clair near the Canadian border.  We ate our weight in appetizers and dinner.  They opened us up to Chocolate Wine - YUM!  Exchanged stories of our very similar sons and just had a nice visit.  When they called to invite us Dee asked if there was anything that we couldn't/wouldn't eat - I told her that Jerome doesn't like cold/hard cheese, pickles or spongy white bread (Wonder Bread), so as a joke they made some hors d'oeuvres out of those three ingredients!  Jerome actually took a bite before we couldn't keep it a secret any more.  Good times.

The day after Christmas I had received a message from my niece Erin's boyfriend Chris.  They had plans on meeting in Chicago during this time but it seems as though that fell through.  As a surprise to Erin, Chris asked if he could come to our house and stay for a few days between Christmas and New Year.  Absolutely!  I was the only one to know that he was coming until my sister and fam arrived.  I promptly told my sister and learned that she's got about a 5 minute rule when it comes to secrets.  She told her husband Bill and her son Nick...which was all fine and dandy, but then told my mother.  The next day (the day Chris was to arrive), Terry and Erin went to my our mother's house and my mom asked Erin when her beau was coming.  And when she denied he was coming, my mother persisted.  So, the jig was up, but not completely, we were still going to try to keep the if, when and where a secret.
Greek Town - Monroe Street

Opa!
So, we headed to Greektown and Mr. Chris met us at Pegasus!  Even though the cat was out of the bag, she was still very surprised and even made a lady in the restaurant cry from the touching scene.
Reunited!
Took a little tour riding the People Mover and then from there we drove to Rochester to view the light show and have some Sander's Ice Cream.  It's a good day when somewhere within it lies ice cream :)

New Year's Eve.  More family stuff at our house.  We made...appetizers!  We had wine and we all stayed up until 1:30am!  Brought in the New Year right!
Nick showing us a few things on his computerized drawing tool.
Most everyone left on Sunday morning, but my sister (and her goggies) remain until this weekend. Actually so does Justin, Sam and Peyton; who will be moving to NC at the end of the week.  However, I can almost wager a guess that they won't stay at our house during the remaining time.  Sad :(

My sister helped me with my Meals on Wheels route yesterday and today I'm back to work.  I am starting to work 4 days a week beginning this week - they believe they have enough work for me to constitute an additional day...we'll see.  I told my boss that if I find myself to be without much to do, I would rather stay home.  So, I'd say this is a trial.

Anyway, Happy New Year everyone - I wish you all (and myself!) only the best for this year.