Monday, July 30, 2012

English, the language no one knows...

Okay first off; I was going through my email contacts, never mind why, and found that I don't have a clue as to who many of these people are! Some are contacts from New Jersey, many are from Quota and a lot are from church.

I clearly have a bad habit of only saving/using first names.

Last names are helpful. Especially when you don't have a clue as to who this person is, or can't remember.

Some names are memorable. Shruti. She was our host in Nashville. I probably won't forget who she was. But then there's Pete. Which Pete? I know two Pete's. This email address could belong to either one.

I realized I have done the same thing in my phone.

Maybe that's why we need "smart phones". Are they smart enough to know first and last names?

Second; I am not a writer, or an English teacher but I do recognize the written (English) language (actually I do okay with French too. Yes, I did translate this post without a translator). I never won a spelling bee but I am a pretty good speller.

What is wrong with people that they are putting together proposals, formal letters, emails and other important documents that they don't edit/proof-read???

From my perspective; if I am reading a proposal that is supposed to impress me and in the first paragraph there are five (FIVE!) spelling errors, what makes me want to first, keep reading and second, hire your firm? You couldn't even go back through and catch these very obvious mistakes? What are you going to do to our project??? Or "prjoect" because that was one of the words you spelled incorrectly.

HIRE ME! I will proof your documents, letters, emails, proposals and anything else that you need.

I don't know why I'm like this. Maybe I should have studied English. I'd still be unemployed...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

our garden

Have I mentioned that I have a community garden plot with D.d.?

I can't remember.

Anyway, we've been enjoying the fruits, or rather vegetables, of our labor. I took pictures so Heather W. could see. But then I don't think I ever posted them (or sent them to her)!

This is a picture of the lettuce.
This was also taken over a month ago. It looks completely different now. The sunflowers are all much taller, the lettuce is much browner (we did enjoy a lot of it before it got too hot), the tomatoes are growing, the red peppers are ripening and the eggplant is eggplanting (I ran out of adjectives).

It's been bountiful. I just have forgotten to go over and check on things (thankfully it is watered for us).

I have a picture of the first tomatoes. I'll get that posted, and I'll try to get back over there this week to check on things.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

my review...

It really wasn't going to take me all that long before I posted about the Olympics. We have an app on the iPad and as long as I've been on my own, I've stayed up to watch ALL of the opening ceremonies. I even remember making an Olympic flag out of construction paper (in 1992) and taping it up in my bedroom window.

So for tonight, er today's post, I'm going to share my favorite parts of the opening ceremony. Spoiler alert!

I enjoyed watching and listening to the deaf & hard of hearing children sign and sing Great Britain's national anthem.

I liked that JK Rowling read.

I like Chariots of Fire and laughed at Rowan Atkinson.

I also liked the different parts of the children singing from all the isles.

The fireworks were superb.

And the lighting of the torch was very cool.

Well done London. Cheerio.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Christmas in July

Merry Christmas in July!

You know, I never understood the whole "Christmas in July" concept. We tend to do things like have half birthdays (oh, so important to a kid). Which means June 25th is the half birthday, not July.

On top of that, we don't have a birth certificate from mother Mary. We really don't know the exact date Jesus was born. Perhaps "Christmas in July" is more accurate than we give it credit.

At any rate, I decided to post the picture of our Christmas tree today because I need to print off a few pictures to scrapbook. A picture of our tree is one of them. So I thought it would be fitting to have my own little "Christmas in July" post.

And because I listen to Christmas music all year long. Yup, I'm that person.

Merry Christmas! And happy end-of-July!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summertime events

We save things on the DVR to watch during the summer months when our favorite shows are on reruns. A side note: there will come a day when kids don't even know what that's like. There will be new shows on constantly plus the addition of streaming everything online is changing how we view tv.

So we've saved some shows. As I told you last week, I saved the end of the Desperate Housewives series. But instead of watching those shows, we're watching baseball. This, of course, will change tomorrow with the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics. Neither will last forever, so we feel that we must watch them now. We feel it necessary to enjoy these sports as they happen.

We should be sitting outside enjoying the summer. Bill predicted it would be the wettest summer on record because we purchased the new patio furniture. Instead it has been too hot.

We will continue to be couch potatoes. Maybe next year will be the year we watch less tv...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

We'll see how this goes...

My laptop is officially out of commission. My tech guru has advised me there is little he can do for it. In other words; I must use the iPad if I don't want to go upstairs, turn on my desktop computer, get frustrated with it, restart it, and then write a blog post.

That is a lot of work for five minutes of typing. Therefore I will continue to use the iPad to write my posts. Unless I'm conveniently sitting at my desk.

I'm sitting in front of the tv; having arrived home just in time to leave for a church meeting. Now that I'm home from the meeting, it's nice to sit and relax.
I enjoyed spending time scrap booking with Jenny. After her travels, it's nice to hang out and catch up. Plus, we both got a lot of pages done for our various scrap books. That is a good feeling of accomplishment. We even took a two mile walk this morning! Good for us.

We were in Detroit for a strategic planning meeting for Bill (I can't figure out how to say that, for his job? That he had to attend? Nothing sounds correct... I'm a little tired...)

Yes, after Bill got home from workcamp, he spent two nights in his own bed before having to get back in the car and drive over to Detroit.

Don't worry, he claims he was a truck driver in a former life and the driving doesn't get to him.

I will not say anymore because I reached my limit with the iPad and the blogger interface. Bill prefers we keep the iPad, in order to do that I will end my post because I can only see part of what I'm typing due to the lack of incompetent interface.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Missing you, missing me

What happened? No post from me yesterday... Nope. I didn't get one written.

I was in the car and then we had dinner. We were with Jenny and John.

Before that I had a very busy morning.

I will spare you the details.

Today was a productive scrap booking day.

I'll leave it at that and maybe catch up more tomorrow.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

where computers go to die

You can send them my way. That will ensure a quick death.

It just took me two tries and fifteen minutes to get my dinosaur of a computer up and running and it's still giving me grief.

I'm pretty sure your blood-pressure shouldn't go up just starting up your computer.

I miss Mac.

This one will be replaced with a Mac.

I don't know how or when. But it may be sooner than we (or it) thinks.

I have to walk away now, before I chuck it out the window.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Welcome back, what's that smell?

My one hour meeting this morning lasted three and a half. That set me back for the day. I will not be watching HP 7 parts 1&2 today. I did get the house cleaned before going and taking care of a friend's cat. And before going to the church to pick up/welcome home Bill and the youth group.

They only hit one traffic backup just outside of Lansing (which was the same spot they had traffic on the way).

The first thing we did was unload the car. Bill chose to shower while I took care of his clothes.

Oh! The smell.

Not only is West Virginia a southern state (where, you know, it's warmer) but it's also wetter. This means nothing dries out. They spend all day sweating and whether they attempt to hang up their clothes or not, it's to no avail. The clothes will remain damp (in other words; will start to create a science experiment) until they are brought home and unwrapped by loving spouses or parents and either burned or immediately thrown into the washing machine with enough detergent to clean the Statue of Liberty.

I chose the latter. Currently, I have one load done and folded, one in the dryer and one in the washer. One is still spread out on the basement floor in hopes that the cooler basement air will dry them out and rid them of the awful stench that is not body odor, but is the smell of wet.

Think wet dog. After a week. That hasn't dried out.

Yeah, it's that bad.

On top of which the homeowners, where Bill's crew worked all week, were smokers. They smoked inside their house.

I'm glad I just bought a new bottle of Febreeze. I also grabbed the can of Lysol.

I'm sure the smell will disappear eventually...

Friday, July 20, 2012

things I made as a workcamp widow

I made homemade ranch dressing, yum!

I made vanilla ice cream and then made milkshakes.

I made "Alice Spring Chicken" only I used ranch instead of honey mustard. It's better that way, trust me.

I made Madagascar-shaped (the movie, not the country) mac and cheese with whole milk.

I also made the Mini-Italian club sandwiches. These are delicious and they're even good the next day.

This was a lot of food for me. I still have leftovers in the fridge! Partly because I stick to my yogurt/granola for lunch every day and partly because I had a Quota gathering last night. I met Molly for ice cream first. By the time I got home it was too late to eat dinner. I made popcorn and did indeed watch "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". I'm hoping to watch the sixth movie tonight. Perhaps tomorrow afternoon I'll watch the Deathly Hollows Parts 1 & 2 as the grand finale.

Tonight's dinner is a steak and corn on the cob (steaks are a second favorite with corn in the summer). I may make a small batch of fries just because that sounds really good with a milkshake. And I worked hard. I did scrape the windows this morning and I'm heading out now for my walk.

I deserve the milkshake!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

things I've done to keep me busy

Since I'm a "workcamp widow" this week (and I already mentioned I had saved the last six episodes of "Desperate Housewives" which I have already watched), I decided to have a Harry Potter marathon.

I hadn't mentioned this before because up until yesterday I had only watched the first one. That doesn't make it much of a marathon. Of course using the term "marathon" implies that I would be watching them non-stop.

Instead I use the term loosely. I'm watching them as I can, all while hoping to get all eight movies in by the end of the week.

I'm halfway through, having just finished 4 this afternoon. I will likely watch 5 this evening.

I had thought about having a "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie marathon, but I have spent more time talking on the phone (a minimum of five hours split between two nights to Alex), so that is probably not going to happen.

I've also been scrapbooking. Finally. It had been quite awhile. I'm caught up on the scrapbook of Bill and me (I ran out of pages, so I either need to buy more or buy a new album and make one of our first five years and the other the next five; it currently ends in the middle of 2009), I'm working on the scrapbook of friends and I'm saving the Halloween scrapbook to work on next week.

I was not able to work on the windows because it was too hot and then today, it finally rained! I will try to work on them tomorrow and Saturday.

Tomorrow I will post the food that I've made and enjoyed as a "workcamp widow".

I just like using that term and wonder how many times I can use it this week.

Is it creepy?

I'm not trying to be creepy. I don't make it a habit of being creepy. I'm just trying to be funny. Because I'm lonely.

Okay, I'm going to stop now. It's time to go have ice cream with Molly. Of all the days we are going to have ice cream, it's the coldest and wettest it's been since June 18th. But I don't care, because I scream for ice cream!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

the crying man

Do you remember the tv commercial (actually it was a P.S.A.) with the Native American who shed a tear at the thought of littering (or something like that, I barely remember it and am too frustrated with my slow internet to go look it up) from the early 1980's?

My point is simple. Don't litter.

On my walks, I am noticing more and more trash.

Do you walk around your yard picking up trash that others have thrown out their car windows?

I occasionally find trash in the yard. I pick it up and dispose of it properly.

I am very tempted to take a trash bag and walk my route; picking up all the trash that is out there.

Actually, that is a very good idea. Don't be surprised if you come back tomorrow and read a post about me doing just that.

My point is, why aren't the homeowners doing this?

I just do not understand how anyone thinks that trash belongs on the street/sidewalk/yard as opposed to a trash can...

Did you know this was out there?

Please find a trash can.

As the saying goes, this is the only planet we have...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

slow to blame

The internet has been running slow.

Is anyone else noticing that?

I don't know if it's our internet... or if it's the service... or if it's the heat.

I blame the heat.

I went to the store and the girl mentioned how slow the computers were running because of the heat.

If she can blame the heat, I can blame the heat.

Tomorrow it's only supposed to be 85.

Remember this.

This winter when it's twenty below.

Remember the 100 heat index.

Remember sitting in shorts and being warm.

Remember walking outside, standing in the shade, sweating.

I'm looking forward to sitting under that blanket, remembering.

Monday, July 16, 2012

workcamp widow part 2

People are very concerned for me. They keep asking me how I'm doing with Bill being gone. Everyone from neighbors to friends at church.

I think they don't realize (or remember) that for two years Bill and I lived in different places. He was traveling to Detroit every week and even had an apartment over there for awhile.

This week is no different than it was back then.

Well, there is a difference. I'm not working.

Which means I have time to get all the projects done around the house.

Or have a Harry Potter movie marathon while scrapbooking.

"I'm so sorry Bill. It was just too hot outside (note: all projects to be completed immediately are outside, ie the windows). I had to stay inside..."

Maybe the windows will get done this fall.

In the meantime, stay tuned for an update on all the fun things I make this week!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A day of rest

I am taking a day of rest. We should all do this more often than we do, so today I am going to be completely lazy. I'm going to watch tv (both of my baseball teams are being televised, I'm very excited about this!) and do a whole lot of nothin'.

And I'm okay with that.

I hope you find some time to rest. It's summer. We should all slow down and enjoy it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

"Workcamp widow"

While Bill is gone at workcamp, I am going to enjoy some "me" time.

First, I saved the last six episodes of "Desperate Housewives".

Next, I pulled out my scrapbook stuff and I plan on catching up... Or at least working on them.

Hopefully it will stay cool so that I can work on scraping the windows. I also hope to paint them, but won't hold my breathe because it is supposed to stay hot.

I'm sure there are other things I plan on doing. One of them is getting up to go to church, so I'm going to bed now.

If there are no new paragraphs, it's because I used the iPad. I apologize and will fix the post later.

Friday, July 13, 2012

What is that, falling from the sky???

It is actually raining.

While I know it won't last, and it certainly won't be enough to turn the grass back green from this shade of death, it is still welcome.

This is why I don't want to live in southern California, and why I didn't enjoy Savannah.

There was too much sun.

Yes. I know what I just said.

My friend Leah's mom pointed it out when she lived in San Diego. It never storms there.

It's not storming here right now, but the mid-west thunder and lightning are spectacular. It rarely stormed in Savannah. Sure, there might be the occasional lightning strike or thunder off in the distance, but it never compared to our electric storms that come rolling off the plains (or lake in my current case).

In fact, now the rain has passed. I better get out there and get my walk in before anymore rain falls...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

beach day!

Today I'm going to the beach.

Beach day!

I'm taking a few of the high school girls who are in the summer Bible study with me.

It's going to be fun! It's the perfect day for the beach.

When I get home I have to finish baking.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

tying the apron strings...

I set about baking nine dozen cookies today, with eight or nine more to make tomorrow. I made three desserts for our neighborhood good-by party for Glenn and Nancy (that's tonight).

That was a lot of baking. And it will still be more.

I was going to create a new poem, but the one Sami wrote stuck in my head.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

my favorite summer meal

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

My favorite meal in the summer is a blt and corn on the cob.

That was dinner tonight. It was delicious. The corn cobs are smaller in size, but the kernels are nice and big.

We've been buying them from Ken's Fruit Market.

We love Ken's.

We can walk there.

I don't recommend walking there on a 90 degree plus day.

It makes one cranky.

I'm just sayin'.

I've found that Ken's (now you'll know who I'm talking about when I mention "his" name again) has competitive prices.

But don't go there to buy your Mayo.

You'll pay a lot more than at the other grocery store.

But sugar is reasonable.

And the produce is all local.

The meat is amazing (but it's from California), they make their own sausages!

We are so happy that Ken's is there. They just opened up a location on the north side of town. They must be doing well and we are happy to support them.

Sometimes even twice a day, like today!

But that's another story.

Monday, July 9, 2012

quiet in a different way

I forgot how quiet the house is when the air-conditioning isn't running constantly.

I realized at lunch time how quiet the house was. Then I realized why it was so quiet.

It is still hot outside, which is nice because it's still summer.

I would still be happy for some rain.

For now, I'll take the peace and quiet that is the absence of the constant hum of the a/c.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

those "young kids"...

I like baseball. I've blogged about it here. Bill blogged about it here. Really you can't find more differing opinions but you should read his post.

The sad thing is I've started to realize how much younger most of the players are. Now, as I come to grips with this fact and the fact that Bill is starting to get into the game, I find myself calling the players, "kids".

I think this means I am officially old.

But I'm not calling myself old. I'm just going to sound old.

"Hey Kid!"

"Why'd you drop that?"

"How come you didn't catch that?

I'm a good fan, yelling at the tv and all.

The Olympics are coming up soon, not all of those athletes are "young kids" so I'll enjoy watching the older folks compete.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

our day is full of "mojo"

Today was a busy day.

Bill and I started with a trip to the home improvement store. This was so we could purchase the items needed to finish the kitchen. We also bought the paint so I can continue working on the windows.

When we got back home Bill started working on the drywall.

He stopped so I could make stuff for dinner. We took food over to the church this evening for the Family Promise (formerly IHN) group that was staying at there this week.

I made potato salad (the recipe I found on PW's website), Bill grilled chicken breasts and we had chocolate cake for dessert (the one with blueberries, so it was healthy). There were leftover green beans and mashed potatoes so Bill reheated those to serve.

Sadly, the mashed potatoes were a bigger hit than my potato salad.

And now, since it's summer and there's nothing on tv, we're watching an Austin Powers (2 if you're wondering).

Friday, July 6, 2012

one hot day

It must be the heat.

That's all we can mutter.

We just had the sliding glass door replaced in the kitchen. I have pictures, but it's not finished yet, I'll post them at the end.

Yesterday they removed the door and left a 6 ft. x 8 ft. hole in the kitchen.

It was lunchtime.

They got the new door put in place after lunch. By which point the entire house had heated up nicely to 83 degrees.

I had managed to keep the hot air in the kitchen by closing the door from the living room to the kitchen and by aiming the stick fan at the kitchen from the dining room.

It actually worked.

You could feel the difference in temperature as you walked from the "open-air" kitchen into the dining room.

But once the door was in place, it didn't matter much.

I think the house has finally cooled off after a record setting 104 degree day today.

I would go and drink an nice large glass of ice water, but an ice cube got stuck which prevented any ice from being made over night, so our ice content is low.

It'll be full tomorrow.

Instead I'm just going to go sit in front of the fan.

Stay cool.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A"salt"ting the kitchen

We use a pepper grinder.

Last year it broke, so for Christmas Bill replaced it. The pepper grinder he bought came with a salt grinder too.

Apparently the manufacturer's want you to buy a new salt grinder each time you use all the salt, because finding extra coarse salt to fill the grinder proved difficult.

After shopping at several stores with failed attempts, we finally tried the spice shop a friend had recommended (which by the way, you can purchase sea salt, and coarse sea salt at any grocery store, but neither of these are really designed for salt grinders). I had already given up and purchased regular sea salt.

We found exactly what we were looking for at this spice shop. I didn't think it was all that expensive considering I couldn't find "salt for grinding" anywhere else.

When we got home I immediately filled the salt grinder with the new salt. The "old" salt that was in there was relegated to a little screw top container that was a party favor from a wedding.

I think it held M&M's.

It doesn't matter because now it holds sea salt that is too small for grinding but it still perfectly usable as garnish.

I told Bill to use this salt when he could.

Then, Tuesday night, I was making a dry rub for a rib-eye that we were having for dinner. I pulled out the screw-top container because this sea salt would be perfect for this application.

As I was putting the container back into the cupboard, the little screw-top lid wasn't on all the way and as I went to slide it onto the shelf, it fell off backwards landing upside down, lid off, on the edge of the counter, caught between my hand and my hip.

Before I could register what had happened, I picked it up to move it thus sending a cascade of salt pretty much everywhere.

From the counter to the floor was salt. It looked like I was trying to make a little snow scene.

Somehow there was still salt left in the container, although I really don't know how because it certainly looked like a large amount of salt all over the kitchen.
From the other room, Bill asked what happened. I simply said, "go get the vacuum, the dustbuster isn't going to get the job done". He peeked his head through the door, then turned and walked away to grant my request.

In case you are wondering, I threw that salt away.

And that is how you pepper the kitchen with salt.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Okay, I'll stop now.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

touring Michigan

Yesterday, Monday, I went to visit my friend Nancy in Kalamazoo.

No, it wasn't Friday the 13th because she'll be on vacation that day. We had to settle for a different day. That was okay because it's always fun to hang out with friends, no matter the day.

When we discussed what to do for our "outing", we decided that we should start finding fun and unusual places here in Michigan.

We began with Marshall. The city is known for its architecture and history.

First, we took a walk along the river. The boardwalk was shaded so even though
it was heating up we weren't baking in the sun. The length of the river walk is 1.2 miles. We made it all the way to the dam.
From there we went to lunch at Schuler's. They are known for their cheese, hence the "cheesy" picture!

We walked over to the fountain...

and then toured the Honolulu House.

Then we drove around checking out the architecture. We eventually found an ice cream shop so we stopped in to cool off. It was a fun day!

They say this one is Italian Villa, but I think it's a little more Italianate.

Here's a great example of Queen Anne

This is the octagon house.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hot haiku or blogging on the iPad

It is very hot. Will it ever end with rain? Dreams filled with winter. Blogging on the pad, Is not easy to make sense. This is my haiku.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

out of the ashes...

 As Bill stated, as we walked away, a church is just a building. Thank God no one was hurt.
But it's still devastating to see a church burned.
This is St. Mary Magdalen, the church Bill grew up in.

At 1am, the firemen responded to the call.
It was a very serious fire.

 Not much remains except for the steal beams and the exterior brick.
The interior is gone.
Nothing but charred wood and ash.
People were milling about in a dazed state.
 There is no determination to the cause of fire yet.
It was a calm scene by the time we arrived at 11am.

The smell lingered.
Only two firetrucks remained.
I heard someone say it was still smoking, but I did not see any smoke.
We walked around the building, as much as we could.
Even though it was not my church, it still saddened me.
There is something about seeing the destruction of this magnitude...
I won't even pretend to know what the people in Colorado are going through.
 This lily was close to the building. Yet it remained unharmed from the fire. 

A strong symbol of faith.

The message board out front of the church said, "Behold! I am with you always."
While we mourn the loss of a building, we must remember the congregation still remains. Out of the ashes will come a new building.