Wednesday, August 31, 2011

blogging too late

Just a few minutes ago, while I was still washing the dishes, I asked Bill is he would blog for me. He laughed and said no! My feelings are hurt.

Just kidding, they're not, but I can't let him off too easy. He's been a big help. He always has been, but I want to give him internet-blog props (and knowing this is his love language won't hurt).

Tomorrow my mom is coming to visit. My aunts Barb and Marilyn are bringing her. Grandma will also be along for the ride.

Bill has helped me cook dinner (not just help, he's cooked dinner) every night this week and tonight he helped me clean. I just made a pasta salad and crumb cake for tomorrow. Between painting, working (you know, my real job), laundry and dishes, I haven't had much time to do anything else.

Thanks goodness for my fabulous husband (even if he won't write a blog for me).

The funny thing is that I've given him so much kudos that it may end up sounding like he actually wrote this (he didn't, I promise).

Tomorrow, I hope it's not this late when I get to write my blog. I get more creative at night (isn't that how it always goes?) but I'm a morning person. So the creative juices either have to wait it out until morning, or... well wait until morning. Tonight was not a typical scenario. But the creative juices are happy. And possibly delirious. Good night.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

turn it down

My laptop has a handy icon on the screen so whenever I turn the volume up or down, I can see it adjust. I didn't realize how much I relied on that icon until it just disappeared.

This happens to me. I accidentally hit a key and something on my screen disappears. It happened in my work program. I lost my levels display. When I called tech support, the nice man suggested I look down at the bottom of my screen to make sure I hadn't reduced it. I felt like telling him I am smarter than the average bear, but I refrained. Especially because I realized how foolish I sounded telling him that I had no idea what I had done, but now that tool box was completely and utterly gone. Vanished.

Like my sound icon. I tried to find it on my own. I looked in the control panel. That didn't help. Of course I don't know what I'm looking for. I don't know what to call the little speaker icon thingy. It's always just been there. And not knowing how loud I was turning up or down my speakers was starting to annoy me.

Before I could throw the laptop, Bill took it from me and did what everyone should try and restarted it (by the way, I did do this with my work program, it didn't help).

That did it. Some "glitch" that got straightened out. Forgive me as I roll my eyes. I, of all people, should have tried that first. Too bad it didn't work with my Microstation.

Monday, August 29, 2011


I just noticed that you can't spell painting without "pain". I'm only slightly amused.

Bill and I are painting. It's a side job that we picked up. Which I don't mind because the extra money will be nice and I've always found painting to be somewhat meditative, even if it does make me a little sore.

While I've painted I've reminisced on all the rooms I've painted. I thought it would be fun to list them here (I know, you're just so excited to read this list!):

I helped a friend in college paint his new apartment
I've painted numerous Habitat houses
I painted two of three Boat U.S.'s when Bill worked for them (one with Robin, one by myself)
I've painted three murals
I painted Marty's living room (with Jenny)
I painted Ann & Enoch's kitchen and the closet which because the dark room (with Ann)
Bill and I painted the house on Dewey in Toms River (inside and out, every single room)
I painted the bathroom at my parents house (sorry! it's still pink)
I helped paint the upstairs room at D.d.'s (we covered orange, think jumpsuit, with a nice blue)
And we painted the living room here

There has to be more. If I ever helped you paint, will you please remind me? I'll think on it as I keep painting away.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

football frenzy

I like football. It's not so much of an admission. Having been a marching band geek, I caught the gist of the game. Eventually I realized I actually like it. Bill would apologize for having a game on, and I would have to tell him, "No really. I don't mind!" After a few years, he finally realized I meant it. Then, when he worked at Barnes & Noble, I watched more football than he did!

I'm super happy to be back in the Midwest, the East Coast showed their schools and when you grow up in the Big Ten territory why would you ever care about those schools?

It's time. August is winding down. Baseball season is nearing the end. Autumn is near. Which means one thing. It's time for football. I miss high school football games, but we watch a lot of college games here as well as NFL. I like their commercials, welcoming the football season that almost didn't happen.

If you're reading my blog and you don't know what almost didn't happen, chances are you don't care about football. Because if you're reading my blog and do know, you're a fan. Or you at least pay attention.

My apologies to all of you who don't like sports or football. But I do. I won't go all crazy and only blog about that for the next few months. I just wanted to share that I am excited it's football season.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Metro Cruise

If you live in Grand Rapids (or Detroit for that matter), you know what people mean when they talk about the 28th Street Metro Cruise or the Woodward Dream Cruise (we did the Woodward Dream Cruise in '07).

If you live in Grand Rapids today and plan on going anywhere, avoid 28th Street.

If you live in Grand Rapids and want to see some cool or "classic" cars, head to 28th Street.

My definition of "classic" is: any car that is older than twenty years, because that's how long the 'Vette has been in the Uebbing family.

If you don't live in Michigan, the Cruises are a throwback to the old days when drivers would gather with their cars (at the time, they weren't classic or historic) and show them off, drive them, and probably race. Woodward is the oldest Cruise, because it was the first paved highway. It is also the longest (although I didn't fact check that, you can read more here which has a lot of history I didn't even know about).

We were down there last night. I don't know if I can describe it. It's not about driving anywhere. It's about head-turning, pointing, and pure classic/cool car spotting. Bill said he wanted to take 28th street because there would surely be "a few cars out". A few, as in a few miles of backed up traffic. We couldn't even begin to count how many classic cars were out. And the people! I don't remember there being this many people out to watch. Of course, the last time we were in town and went out, it was raining. But the cruise isn't even officially until today. There were hundreds of people out last night. Because they knew that the cars would be out too.

After a morning, and early afternoon of painting, we'll head back out. I'll take the camera and see if I can get some good photos. It really is fun, for the people in the "classic" cars and the spectators lining the street.

If you see us out there, wave and holler!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Here's to eleven years

I can't say it any better than Bill did over at his blog. Other than, Happy Anniversary Bill.

Is that a cop-out? Maybe. But as he says, we are so similar that, could I put it into words (and not waited until the end of the day to blog about it), that is what I would have come up with (well, minus the part about his parents renewing their vows, I didn't know them on their 25th anniversary).

Besides, it's just our eleventh anniversary. When was the last time you heard anyone get excited about the number eleven? Their eleventh birthday (nope, ten was the big one, that was moving from single digits to double digits)? Eleventh anniversary? Um, I believe Hallmark says the traditional gift is steel (new pans from Mom and Dad fit the bill) and the modern gift is fashion jewelry. Um, when was the last time you saw Bill wearing any jewelry?

You get the picture. Eleven is not exactly exciting. Every year is a milestone. Ten was big, here's what we did in case you missed it. Fifteen will be big and so on.

And if you ever forget how long we've been married, we made it easy for you, we got married in 2000. Ta da! Simple math. You're welcome.

So here's to eleventy-eleven more. Whatever that means.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

another obsession

Because yesterday's announcement wasn't enough to make me pee my pants, I had two emails this morning about the release of Needtobreathe's new album, The Reckoning. In case you haven't gone far enough back in my blog, I "heart" Needtobreathe.

First, I talked about them here (actually, I wrote about them when Heather and I saw Jars of Clay in March of 2007, but I'm not linking to that post because I basically talk about Needtobreathe in one sentence). Then we saw them at the Big Ticket Festival. Then, for some bizarre reason, I did not mention the next time I saw them. But I did here. And the last time I saw them, I wrote about it here.

I have gone all of 2011 without seeing them. They opened for Taylor Swift. And the one night they were in Grand Rapids, I was in Bay City with the youth group. I survived. No, really I did. I know Dave and Bill will find that hard to believe, but I'm not in the corner rocking myself. In fact, the night of the concert, I didn't even remember it. But Sarah (who rocks) bought Chandra and me a Needtobreathe bracelet. Um, bracelet is not the right term... but it's one of those plastic bands with their name on it. Whatever. It totally rocks and is super special because Sarah got them for us.

I could go on and on. I can't help it. I really like their music. So as I wait for the new Muppet Movie to come out in November, I will probably survive with the newest album from Needtobreathe. It's set to release September 20th. That's in 26 days.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Muppets strike back

Oh. My. Gosh. I am beyond excited. (You should ignore the date on the movie poster, it's wrong.)

I'm like a kid in a candy store with birthday money.

I feel like it's Christmas morning and Santa brought me all the things I asked for.

Check out the trailers for the new Muppet Movie.

This has made my day. I'm now counting down until November 23rd.

I really really like the Muppets (in case you didn't know).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

the deep freeze

No, it's not that cold here in Michigan. Yet. It's still August and while our Junes may be colder than we'd like, July and August tend to be the hotter months.

No, I'm talking about a deep freezer. Bill and I discussed purchasing a freezer when we bought our side-by-side fridge. The freezer is more than adequate for our needs. However, after giving it some thought, I realized that I could "put up" a lot more summer veggies and fruits if I had a deep freezer.

My parents have one. My sister has one. My friend Shannon has one. I know they all get tons of use out of them. I know I would too. They're actually not even that expensive. But when it comes to the "wants vs. needs" list, a deep freezer gets pushed to the "wants" list.

In the meantime I dream of all the things I could freeze. Remind me of those things when we do actually purchase a freezer because I'll forget. The minute we bring it home I'll say, "Now what did I want to put in here?" Here's my short list: corn, strawberries, corn, blueberries, corn, meat of all kinds, corn, peas, and corn. I could also start making extra dishes and freezing them. There would be room in the other freezer for things like whipped topping, the ice cream bowl, and whatever else we need.

In the meantime, I'll just keep my summer produce to a minimum and pack the freezer [too] full.

Monday, August 22, 2011

time to enjoy

Finally the tomato plants have one ready that is ripe! I took pictures to have a time lapse sort of post. This is the same tomato starting on the 16th until today (with the exception of the weekend because we were gone). I did take it from different angles depending on the sun, spider web and background.
Yum! This may have to go in a salad tomorrow! I'll let you know how it tastes.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Here was our home away from home for the weekend.

We watched the sun set Friday night. This is, after all, Michigan's sunset coast.

Here are Jenna and Trisha's hands making a heart.
Trisha and I pose for a sunset photo op.

Before we watched the sunset, we went into town with the Walker's. We went to their favorite ice cream joint, House of Flavors. They had peppermint. I was excited!

It did rain Saturday morning first thing, and then again around lunch time. We played some games to pass the time. Once the sun started to peak out, we put away the games and headed to the beach.

Bill and I tried kayaking with Brent, Katrina and Trisha, but we both tipped over. It was just a little too rough, and it was more effort than we wanted to put into it. I know kayaking is work, but we had hoped to be able to talk a little while we were on the water. That wasn't going to happen.

We did a lot of walking and relaxing. Dinner was delicious (cooked by our own church members); steaks, potatoes, corn and a big salad. Today was sunny. Big puffy clouds were building inland. Breakfast was cooked by the men. We had a nice, short, very informal service.

It was very relaxing and I'm glad we went. I can't wait to go back next year!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


We are camping. We actually left yesterday (Friday). I wrote this ahead of time and set it to publish. I'm unplugged until we get back tomorrow. While there is electricity at the campgrounds, I'm not going to worry about the internet. It will be exhilarating. We're going to a UMC campground. Lake Michigan Camp, where I was a counselor in 2008 (if you scroll back through my archives you can find the week in a post). Our church reserves a weekend and all we had to do was sign up. As first-timers, we bought one night and got one free.

We're looking forward to kayaking, biking, hiking, eating hot dogs over an open fire and lots of fellowship. It's not that primitive, there are nice showers, and the craft hall has electricity. I'll share more tomorrow!! In the meantime, why don't you join me, go turn off all your electronics and enjoy nature for awhile.

Friday, August 19, 2011

ready for the country club

I should have taken a picture.

Last night I had a Quota meeting. We are meeting in a new location (actually we used to meet there years ago, but then we moved, and now we're moving back), Centennial Country Club.

I like to get a little dressed up, since I have "business casual" clothes but rarely get to wear them. They're a little too formal for church, but perfect for Quota meetings. I chose my outfit: a powder blue, short sleeved cashmere top with a black, knee length skirt.

I laughed to myself as I looked in the mirror. I fit "country club" to a tee (ha, pardon the pun), except for my raspberry hair. Parts of it had started to fade. It was interesting. I wondered if anyone would say anything to me. The restaurant is open to the public, so I'm sure they see a well-rounded group of patrons.

Needless to say, no one said anything, except for Quotarians who couldn't believe I still had pink in my hair. Today however, that has changed. I'm back to brunette. Pink was fun for the summer. But I'm happy to be back to my regular hair color.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

for Alex

Alex and Jason have three lovely children. I have been there within weeks after each of their births. And, for whatever reason, I've had my camera. Not many of our friends have this privilege (lucky them)!

When we were there a few weeks ago to meet their newest addition, I sort of laughed about these photos. Alex couldn't believe that I had met all of the kiddos that early (but then remembered as we went down memory lane).

This is for you Alex. Three pictures of me with each of your lovely children!

Courtney (taken July 25th, 2008)

Cameron (taken April 3rd, 2010)

Claire (taken August 6th, 2011)

(I've had a lot of different hair styles and I should take pictures of the other two, since they've grown a little...oh well. Something for another blog entry.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I considered taking a picture every day as my tomatoes ripen and blogging about it each day. But that would probably be as exciting for you as watching water boil, so I will refrain from that (however, I will try to take a picture every day so that in the end I can put together a photo montage of sorts).

Instead I will blog about my "new" position on facebook. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner... My official job, according to fb, is CFO and VP of Uebbing Inc.


Bill needs to change his to CEO and Board of Directors.

It's okay, I'll let him have the title.

I wrote a description too. For those of you who don't have fb (hi Mom and Dad!) the description reads as follows: "I handle all the finances and purchasing." It's simple, straightforward. No messing around. That sums it up.

Hmm, maybe I should add Head Chef, Laundress, Head Dish Washer, Head Gardener, Photographer, Record-Keeper, Secretary and Administrative Assistant, Trainer, Yoga Instructor, and Maid. But that may be going a bit overboard...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

summer fresh Roma tomatoes

From our own backyard. Well, technically the back deck. But that's in the backyard, so it still counts. They're just not in the backyard ground... anyway, tomatoes!

They're turning red and they don't have blossom-end rot on them!! I was very afraid that it had gotten to cold for them at night. Yet each day I've watched two of them grow more and more red starting at the bottom of the tomato, working its way to the top. Slowly. Very, very slowly.

Next year I think I'm going to try a variety of tomato plants. Maybe an Heirloom tomato, a Roma, and Grape or something small. But at least I know they'll grow. And they need calcium in the soil (eggshells).

Now I just have to wait until they're ripe enough to pick!

Monday, August 15, 2011

is there an app for that?

I like the personal touch. I go out of my way to avoid the self-checkout lanes at the store. We still have a stereo (and a record player, hey we even have an 8-track player in the 'Vette!) and we often listen to our cd's (instead of digital music). We sit at the dining room table to eat dinner. We go out on dates. So in the case of technology taking over, there are some things computers can't do.

One of them is massage (I don't know about you, but I've seen that Simpson's Tree House of Horrors episode where the house takes over). I will not let a computer massage me. I want a person (preferably a woman, I find it a little creepy to have a man other than my husband touch me in any way).

I am very sore today. I thought it was because I sat around all day yesterday reading. But then I realized that was part of it. The other part was that I cleaned for someone on Thursday, for three hours. Then I cleaned our house on Saturday. Between that and sleeping wrong (and knowing that I should have done yoga to stretch out), and then reading all day, my shoulders and neck hurt.

I'm drinking water and I'm taking ibuprofen. I hope it helps. If only they had an app for that. An app that calls up "Marco" (okay, in my fantasy app, it can't be a chic, I know it doesn't make any sense, just go with it) and ten minutes later Marco is standing at my door ready to give me my massage.

Is there an app for that?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday reading

Right before I went to bed, I realized I hadn't blogged.

No. I spent the entire afternoon reading a book. I started the Percy Jackson series, loaned to me by Chandra. She loves to read and one night when I was over there, we were looking at her books. She suggested this series to me, because I love series books, Harry Potter has ended, I enjoy fiction and I needed something new to read.

I started and finished the first book today and I'm half-way through the second one. They are easy reads, but they are also full of action. Yes, they are between a children's book and a young adult book, which is in part why they're quick page-turners. I can't say the books are too young for me, because I did, after all, love H.P. And these are based on mythology. I also really liked Disney's "Hercules". So in general I figured I would like the series and I do.

That's why the late blog. I couldn't tear myself away from the books.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday and cleaning house

Cleaning the house. Not cleaning house. Although we'll be getting rid of GrandMa Marjorie Rubenstein, aka Large Marge the Barge soon, the only cleaning I'm doing is the regular housework.

Before I got started this morning I enjoyed a chat with Nancy, our neighbor across the street. We talked for over an hour and a half. I'm not a procrastinator. But the sun was shining in a small circle of blue sky right over us. It had already rained this morning and was going to rain this afternoon (they were right! It's raining as I type this), so I had to enjoy the sun while it was out.

Eventually I did come back inside. I cleaned the bathroom and then deliberately looked at the clock before starting the vacuuming. I had mentioned to Nancy that it takes me an hour to vacuum. She called me ocd, so I had to figure out where I got that number from.

I did the upstairs in fifteen minutes.

When I came downstairs, I realized I needed to dust first. I got everything dusted in ten minutes (thanks to Bill's 2003 Knick-Knack Reduction Act - you can look for that story in the future on the Blah, Blah, Blog). I had started to vacuum and had gotten as far as the entry when the skies opened up. While I wait for the lightning and thunder to pass, I thought I'd write a post on cleaning.

I shared with Nancy something I learned from Martha; before you have company (specifically a party) you shouldn't waste time doing your floors. A quick sweep will suffice. Focus more on the bathroom. Your company will likely track in dirt so you'll just have to vacuum the floors after they leave. It's justifiable. I mean, yeah vacuum them. But don't go scrubbing your floors and polishing them, and making them all purr-ty. They're just going to get dirty. And I'm not pointing fingers, but someone always drops food when they're here. That's fine. Please don't pick it up and eat it. That's reserved for those who live here and can weigh the last time the floors were cleaned vs. the amount of cat hair floating around.

I digress. So I try to clean once a week. The bathroom(s) get done and Bill has always helped with the vacuuming. Which is nice since he's not a proponent of owning two vacuums; one for upstairs, one for downstairs. Even with my propensity to fall going up and down the stairs. So, until we own two vacuums, he'll just have to keep on helping me with the cleaning.

The dusting gets done when we feel like it, you can see the layer of dust and I'm embarrassed, when the windows have been open and the layer of pollen is thick, or when the sneezing gets to be too much. So, not often. But again, because of the 2003 Knick-Knack Reduction Act and our super powered filter on the air-handler, it's not too bad.

Once a year, I do manage a spring-cleaning ritual. Curtains get aired out, rugs get moved and floors get mopped. I do a lot. I have a list for each room. That way I can be sure it gets done.

I don't think it's ocd, because I knew someone who cleaned her house every single day. She scrubbed her kitchen counters and ran the vacuum every morning before she came to work, and then would go home and do the rest. Ugh. That's too much. It's not necessary for me to be that clean. I mean, if I'm going to be honest (and I will be), today was the first day I've cleaned the house in a month. A month. Four weeks. Thirty days. It was past my "level", but we haven't been home. I haven't had the time...

And now it's stopped raining, so I'm going to go finish the vacuuming.

Friday, August 12, 2011

the marks of summer


Those are the marks of summer. If you don't know what I'm talking about, did you grow up living under a rock (in which case, how did you not get the first three)? These are probably the marks of childhood too, but in my case as an adult, these are still the marks of summer.

Bruises. I get a lot of bruises. I bump into things constantly. Bruises are common. Last week, at Michigan's Adventure with Skylar, the first roller coaster we rode was the Corkscrew. Getting into it I immediately slammed my leg into the "door" of the car. It was my shin. Instant pain, followed by a bruise. The bruise wasn't too bad, since it was my bone and not muscle. But boy, did it hurt.

Bites. As in mosquito bites. If you read my blog from last night, you'll know I spent time out in my garden. I sprayed the bug repellent on my legs and arms. Those pesky buggers still got me. Then, this morning when I woke up, I scratched my back. Oops. That's a bug bite. Thankfully, taking an allergy pill helps!

Cuts. Yup. I've had my share of those this summer too. Here's a picture I took of one of my cuts (it's not gross).

I took the picture because it looks like the Gilda's Club logo for Laugh-Fest. If you aren't from GR and have no idea what I'm talking about, go to the link. It has the logo right there. And, no my cut isn't exactly like it, but it's close enough. And I have no idea what caused this cut. My guess is a cat, but I really have no idea. Which leads to...

Scrapes. I don't scrape myself as much as I used to. Largely in part because I no longer own a bicycle or roller blades. Occasionally I still scrape a knuckle or two and that has definitely happened this summer.

Sunburns. My most frequent offense. This summer I have carried a bottle of sunblock with me. The only day I didn't use it was at Michigan's Adventure because it was mostly cloudy. The clouds opened up during our long wait in the line for Shivering Timbers and Wolverine Wildcat. So I got a little bit of sun, but not a burn.

I shouldn't forget grass stains either. Read Bill's blog post (the very end). So he mowed in his bare feet. After we had taken our walk and passed a man who was doing the exact same thing and Bill had a minor rant about mowing the lawn in bare feet. But, to Bill's credit, he went and washed his feet before tracking grass through the house. I had to laugh later when I was brushing my teeth and saw the evidence of the foot washing on his towel. The nice white towel had grass stains.

Those are the marks of summer.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

the "secret" garden

Behind our falling down garage, er glorified potting shed, is a garden. Many of our friends who have visited our house have never seen it, or even realized its existence. The weeds, however, have found it and seem to be trying to take over the world starting back there.

I just spent an hour or so pulling ginormous stalks of something. Not corn. If it were corn, at least I would know what it is. I don't think it's poison ivy either, as it has big singular leaves, not groups of three. I did come across something back there that has five leaves... and it wasn't that kind of weed either.

The trees are pretty intent on reproducing too. We'd have a forest if I weren't ferociously pulling them out by the roots. I've pulled Red Buds, Maples and on rare occasion Walnut.

I would enjoy it more if I could actually see it to enjoy it. I've started transplanting the flowers I want to keep, to new spots in the other flower beds. The Aster has been moved to two spots out front and seems to be thriving. I've moved some Phlox, Black-eyed Susans, and Coneflowers. That leaves Daisies, Lavendar, the Bleeding Heart and the False Indigo. You see, some day (sooner, not later) we will tear down the "potting shed" and rebuild a brand new two-car garage. A garage where we will be able to park two cars inside, at the same time. It will be further back in the yard, as far back as we can go, and that will reduce the garden to nothing.

And I'm okay with that. I want to be able to see the garden and enjoy it. Not wander back there only to find it has been taken over by nature. It'll be better, I promise.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

pink hair thoughts

Back in April, I had my hair dyed cotton candy pink.

Before the Jr. High left for workcamp a few weeks ago, I went back and had it redyed.


For fun. Because the pink was gone and I was left with super light, almost white highlights.

Now here's what I find interesting; the first time when I had the cotton candy pink hair, I had a lot of people who stared at me. Just plain, out-right stared. Only while standing in line at Meijer did I have a few people ask me about it.

Now that it's bright pink, really more raspberry (and I'm less happy with it than the original color), I've had more people compliment it or have a positive comment about it. Many more people have commented and less people have stared.

Oh, and somewhere on those Wal*Mart shopper photos is probably a photo of me with this hair. Only I'm with Chandra, who was 7 1/2 months pregnant, and our girls from youth group. They include: three white girls, a black girl and an Asian girl. We made up quite the group tromping through the Wal*Mart of Bay City to buy a cot for Chandra. Talk about stares. We were amused. So if you ever spot that photo, you'll know.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

don't eat lunch at your desk

For those of you regularly following my blog, you'll have read yesterday's post where I gave very wise advice.

I have more to give today:

Don't eat lunch at your desk.

But if you're like me, you don't heed this advice. I can easily work while eating. Drawing on cad (or in my case the unheard of Microstation) is a one-handed gig. Unless I have to type in numbers. But even that I can do without looking at the keyboard and one handed. So eating lunch at my desk gets me out of the office faster at the end of the day. Why waste a half hour sitting downstairs when I could be working? It's not like I have cubicle mates vying for my attention.

But if you are going to eat at your desk be prepared for crumbs. The crumbs that fall and suddenly become extra periods in your checkbook. Or extra dots on your drawings. Imagine my confusion as I stared at something on my drawing, trying to figure out what exactly it was supposed to be (a piece of furniture? the line of a cabinet?) only to discover it was a bread crumb.

Maybe I shouldn't eat lunch at my desk.

I won't even mention what my keyboard looks like... (I do clean it out. Every once in awhile.) Don't be like me. Take a break and eat lunch somewhere else. For your desk's sake. And do it for me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

don't wash a name tag

It is important to always remove a sticker name tag from your clothing before washing.

Good advice, right?

Advice is usually given because the giver usually has experienced said advice.

In this case, that is true.

The first night of workcamp we all wore name tags. You know the kind. The ones that you write your own name, peel it off, and stick it wherever you want people to stare as they try to remember your name (I aim for my shoulder).

Perfectly acceptable. We learned many names, plus it was painless, cheap and simple.

Painless, cheap and simple unless you were like me and you threw your shirt in your dirty laundry bag, forgetting to remove the name tag (forgetting due to extreme heat - that's my story and I'm sticking to it). And if you're like me, you turn your dirty clothes inside out so you know that they're dirty. Then when you get home you make piles of laundry. Then you start the laundry. Only when you go to fold the laundry do you realize the remnants of the name tag on the shirt.

What a sticky mess.

I picked. I peeled. I washed and dried it again. By this point not much remains of the sticker. Just a few globs of sticker "glue" clinging to the shirt for all it's worth. What gets sticky off better than sticky? (A trick we learned in band to clean our flute pads; a dirty dollar bill would remove the dirt, dirt sticks to dirt.) I pulled out the lint roller, peeled off the old sheet, revealing a new sheet and went to town rolling off the old glue.

It worked. Finally.

Because I needed another t-shirt. I don't have enough.

(I'm being sarcastic. I have enough t-shirts to fill two dresser drawers full and half of a shelf in the closet. I still have a t-shirt I got at Busch Gardens when we went there in 1991. It still fits! Or rather, it fits again!)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

quiet Sundays

We left Cicero this morning and after taking a spoon back to the Hall residence, we were on our way home. Just U.B. and Aunt Em. Only this time it was just Bill and Em. It was a mostly quiet ride. I was not highly caffeinated, therefore I wasn't too chatty. Typical car rides usually have deep and lengthy conversations between the two of us. Due to our early dating beginnings, we're used to conversation. We have always communicated, albeit sometimes through shouts and not always in a quiet, calm manner. But we've always communicated.

Today was just a quieter day. Two weeks of being highly extroverted finally took a toll on me. I found my introvert and just say quietly. I'm sure Bill was either concerned or super happy. I probably talk too much, but our car trips are always fun.

I had my sixth of ten bible studies for the high school girls tonight. They are chatty. I find myself trying hard to listen closely to what each of them says. They are all very wise and very faithful. There are no wrong answers. I encourage each of them to share what's on their mind. They are a close-knit group of young women. I wish more of them would come, they could all benefit immensely from each other. In the meantime, I'll take the girls I get and we'll keep on teaching and learning from each other.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

steamy Saturdays, Triathlons and cook-outs

Dad walked with me over to Red Bridge park and we watched Alisha run across the finish line at the Triathlon. She did amazing!!! She only trained for this Triathlon for six weeks and has a four month old. Seriously, she's crazy, but amazing!

Then Bill and I headed over to the Hall Family bi-annual cook-out. There was lots of food. Thankfully there was plenty of shade too. While it pours in Grand Rapids, it's hot and humid (because of the heat and humidity -thanks Teri Deboer for that line) here. No rain, just some clouds and the threat of rain. We took a boat ride and Lizzie fell asleep on my lap. Bill started feeling the allergies kick in, so we left shortly after that.

Dad's is getting ready to start the grill and we're having chicken and corn on the cob for dinner. It's just an exciting time here!!! I'd take photos, but I don't want to bore you. It's bad enough you're reading my blog. My apologies for whatever it is I've been typing. I've been busy and am still a little sleep deprived. Thank you for your continued support and for coming back to read this day after day!! Without you, I wouldn't be here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Asparagus Friday, broken window motors and driving

We let Skylar sleep in and when she finally woke up, U.B. (as she has started calling him) made her eggs and asparagus. Plate-fulls of asparagus. I couldn't resist taking a few pictures of the pure joy they shared.

We got the car packed up, and as Bill's ocd kicked in and he started cleaning his door, he put his window down. That wouldn't be out of the ordinary if someone hadn't broken into his car two years ago. Ever since then his window controls have been slowly failing. The door lock has broken too. And it squeaks like it's about to fall off its hinges.

Today, the window wouldn't go back up. No matter what he did, it wasn't happening. So we switched cars and were on our slightly less than merry way.

We made dinner when we got to mom and dad's. Rollatini. That's rolled pasta, filled with spinach, ricotta, and prosciutto. It makes two rolls, so one was covered in marinara and the other in alfredo. I made more of "the bread" too and we had salads. It was delicious and even though "the bread" started smoking, it was the "flavor". Everyone enjoyed it and there are no leftovers.

Alisha is on her way, so that I can french braid her hair for the triathlon tomorrow.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Adventures in Michigan... America's other roller coast

We went to Michigan's Adventure!!!

That was the big surprise. Skylar was thrilled.

The park did not allow photos to be taken on rides and in certain areas, so I just left the camera in the car. I tried taking a picture with my phone to send to Cyndi, but then the phone promptly died. At least I got this one.

We rode every roller coaster the park has to offer. And we even rode the typical amusement park rides (the Scrambler and the Tilt-A-Whirl). We hung out in the water park and went down the lazy river three times. We rode the three water slides that used the single tube. We went to check out the Cyclone of death or whatever it was called, but the line was super long. So we skipped that. Skylar went down one of the slides, that doesn't require a tube, by herself. Then we ate the most expensive dinner known to man. Well, it was inside an amusement park, so it shouldn't have surprised me.

Skylar's favorite rides were the Mad Mouse, Shivering Timbers and the Thunder Hawk. It was a fun day... now it's time for bed.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday gelato, gardens and a good summer meal

Skylar and I went to Meijer Gardens this morning.We learned what thicket is:
a dense growth of shrubbery or small trees

Here are a few pictures (speaking of which, I do have the rest of pictures from workcamp on my computer, they will get posted next week when things are quiet and boring and I have nothing else to share, or look at them on facebook).

Skylar is looking at the water sculpture in the Volunteer Garden

The daisies were beautiful!

so were the Cosmos

posing for some pictures

holding up the arch

in the field of wildflowers

while at the waterfall, the sun decided to come out to play

one last photo before heading to Robinette's for peaches. Then we went to Russo's. We were there yesterday and while at the checkout I noticed a gelato case. They are selling fresh made gelato! Yum!! We went there today specifically for the gelato. It did not disappoint.

Then we came home and had lunch. We shucked corn and I made corn dip while Skylar watched "Jaws". I had my HPC meeting. It lasted less than an hour. I came home and we got dinner going; hamburgers (on the grill by Bill), corn on the cob and homemade onion rings. Yum!!! Are you hungry yet? Our fall schedule is wide open if you'd like to visit.

Tomorrow is a big surprise. We aren't telling Skylar where we're taking her, but I don't think she'll be disappointed. Hopefully we'll be home early enough for me to blog about it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

can't figure out what day it is Tuesday

I'm still playing catch-up on my sleep. It's just how it is after a week with Jr. High youth.

Skylar and I had a busy morning. We got up and headed out for a morning of shopping. Errands, not the fun clothes kind. We started at the Farmer's Market. I'm sorry to say I got jipped by the guy who sold us our cherries. We only bought a pint and his sign clearly said $3.00/pint. Just for clarification, the other sign said $5.00/quart. We bought the pint, I paid with my $20 and he gave me back $15.00. I stared at both signs for a minute. Waiting. Waiting to see if he would catch his error. He didn't, so we walked away. I decided he needed it more. For as much as we bought there, I don't feel too bad. We only spent $20.00 total and got: a baker's dozen of corn, carrots, green beans, 2 lbs of blueberries, four tomatoes and the cherries. I find that fantastic.

Then we headed to Target, Meijer and Russo's. It was exactly noon when we walked through the door. We unloaded the groceries and had lunch.

Then it was time to bake! First we made the chocolate blueberry cake for dessert tonight (more on that in a minute). Then we made fresh squeezed lemonade. Then we made the pesto for the main dish for dinner.

We invited the Red Shirts from last week to dinner. Why? You may ask. They are here in Grand Rapids helping out with this week's Week of Hope. They are bringing the two Red Shirts from here. Jason and Chandra are joining us too. It's a dinner party! We're having the bread, salad and the fresh pesto pasta with tomato. Then for dessert we have chocolate!! Yum.

That reminds me, I have to go get Pioneer Woman's recipe for the bread. (I share because I love. Seriously, check out that recipe and the story behind it. My stomach is growling!)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday's adventures

Today we ran to Meijer for some food and we bought food for Pablo (crickets, he's a tree frog. it's what they eat). Lunch was nothing spectacular. But dinner was...

Fried Corn Cakes with Cheese and BLT's. Yum!! Of course we took a trip to Jersey Junction. The picture turned out okay, it was taken with my phone. I'm actually impressed!

We made some friendship bracelets too. Nothing special, a more relaxing sort of day.