Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Winner, Winner...Chicken Dinner!

I LOVE Frankenmuth!  Maybe it's the quaintness of the little town.  Maybe it's the cleanliness of the little town.  Maybe it's the charming shops lining the streets of the little town.  But, much more likely, it's probably the smell of fried chicken that keeps me coming back year after year after year.  We met my family in Frankenmuth over the weekend for a quick visit...and to enjoy some fried chicken.  It was definitely a short visit and I was disappointed not to have time to visit Bronner's and check out Christmas decorations or walk through the town and do some shopping.  But, having a dog at home really puts us on a leash and limits our time we can be away from home.  Still, it was nice to see the family, watch the Glockenspiel story, and eat!  (Thanks for dinner, Dad!!)

The story of the  Pied Piper of Hamelin told from the Glockenspiel. 
(I've heard it so many times that I just about have it memorized!)

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Boys of Summer

After ten years together, they still cuddle on the couch...and watch the Tigers together.  That makes me happy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sir Cyrus

Cyrus doesn't know he's a dog.  When I turn the bed down for the night, he follows me and then oversees my task...like I'm his servant and am getting the bed ready especially for him.  Last night, after I turned down the bed, I came back into the bedroom to find him cuddled up with my pillow.  When I told him to scooch, he just sighed and plopped down at the foot of the bed...slightly irritated that he had to move.  We're just thankful he'll share his bed with us.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Another Scorcher

It's 8:45 a.m. and it's already 86 outside.  That's hot.  No, make that Hot with a capital H.  No, make that HOT!!!  They're predicting another day of temps over 100 in our area of Michigan.  I've never run my central air as much as I have this summer.  And summer isn't even half-over yet.  Yikes!  Global warming is a fact of life now.  So, all of you non-eco-friendly folks, stop mowing your lawns, filling your gas tanks, and firing up your gas grills on ozone-action days!  (At least wait until the evening when it's a little cooler.)  You're making it hotter and causing my mascara to run. 

We've been able to keep cool in the pool a lot this summer.  (Well, kind of...after we added cold water to it.  The pool actually got up to 90 one day and I was sweating in it.  Seriously.  How can you even sweat in the water?)  Sunday was a lazy day of playing in the pool in between time spent doing some household chores and napping.  I love those days.  The only thing that could have made it better was some take-out for dinner.  Oh well...there's always next Sunday.

This is the neighbor's dead lawn in the background...not ours.  Matt faithfully waters ours so it looks really pretty...and so Sir Cyrus has soft, fluffy grass to walk on.

This is the inflatable target they were using.  It's looking pretty sad and no-so-inflated anymore...but they still had fun with it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"New" House

I can't stand a project left unfinished.  I'm impatient and I'm an immediate gratification kind of girl.  I like to admire the fruits of my labor...preferably the same day.  Last Sunday, we (meaning I) decided it was time to update the outside of the house and repaint the shutters and front door.  After a thorough washing of the shutters, it was time to start washing the house.  We were a great team and washed the back of the house...Matt washed the high parts on the ladder and I washed the low parts I could reach.  Then, once the sun headed over the house, we moved to the front to begin washing.  That's when the power washer quit working.  Ugh!  Matt tinkered with it, researched it online, and ended up having to take it to a shop for repairs.  It wasn't ready for this weekend's desperately-needed cleaning.  We did get the shutters and front door painted, though.  I'm loving the new color...and no, it's not pink!  I'll post the pictures just as soon as we can finally wash the rest of the house and re-hang the shutters.  The waiting is driving me crazy!!

A 'before' picture of the shutters.  I'm so tired of blue and am so happy with the new paint color...but you'll have to wait for the 'after' picture!

The house doesn't look too dirty...until you spot the shutter shadows.  It's hard to believe we've been in this house for 15 years! 

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I decided to keep my status as Keaton's Favorite Mother and make a S'mores Pie.  I saw the recipe online and thought he'd really like it.  First, I made a graham cracker crust and baked it.  Then, I melted chocolate chips and added some heavy cream to make the filling and chilled it for a few hours.  Lastly, I threw on the marshmallows and broiled them 'til toasty brown.  Matt and Keaton really liked it, but it was way too chocolaty for me. I'm not a S'mores girl.  I'd much rather just eat the marshmallows...lightly toasted to a golden brown.  Oh, and then hand-fed to me so my fingers don't get sticky. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Coaster Calendar

I thought I'd share one of my scrapbooking creations:  a photo coaster calendar.  It's so darn cute and a fun addition to a desk or table.  I made it from a kit and then included some pictures for Matt to clip on each coaster.  He now has it on his desk and hopefully it brings a smile to his face...when he's not working on TPS reports.  (I know he doesn't do TPS reports, but we LOVE Office Space and I couldn't resist!)  I sent these pictures to the fandamily and asked if anyone wanted me to make them some.  Absolutely no takers.  Not even one single comment about them.  I'm beginning to believe again that I'm adopted and nobody likes me and/or my taste.  I was planning to give these as Christmas gifts.  Oh well...I guess that now I have more time to enjoy the pool and scrapbooking. 

It's hard to believe that Keaton used to be chunky (or that he used to let us call him Honey Bunny)!

The kit I used included this handy, dandy book to hold all the coasters. I decorated it myself though! 
(I can't ever have anything plain...unless it's toast.  Seriously.  I don't put butter or jelly on my toast...I eat it plain.  Weird, I know, but it's what I do.)

I made envelope pockets for the back of each coaster to store pics so Matt could change his view a few times each month. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Red Feet

I've been tracing our family history and have been told I'm a descendant of the Blackfoot Indian tribe.  But, I'm thinking it should be more like the Redfoot tribe.  Yesterday morning was FINALLY cool enough for us to sit outside and enjoy the morning on the deck.  Since I can't ever sit and relax unless everything is clean, I rinsed off the deck first and then enjoyed breakfast and the Sunday paper outside.  Before coming into the house, I wiped my wet feet on the rug and discovered the dye from the rug was now on my feet.  Before I crawled into the shower...literally, so the dye wouldn't get on the carpet...I had Matt take a picture of my feet.  I'm still researching my family roots and will now be checking for any long-lost relatives of the Redfoot people.

Friday, July 6, 2012


This is Chubs.  He's our friendly little squirrel that eats and eats and eats most of the bird food from our bird feeder...hence, the name "Chubs".  He's a friendly little guy who doesn't seem afraid of me.  We met a couple of months ago when I was sitting at the dining room table and he walked right up to the patio screen door and put his little paw on the screen, as if to see if he could come inside.  I was in the middle of painting and just told him no and he just turned around and walked away.  I'm not sure, but he may have even shrugged at me as he turned and walked away.  He's come up to the door a few times since then to check and see what's going on inside the house.  (I think he's hot and wants to come inside to enjoy the air conditioning.)  I say hi to Chubs and talk to him while I'm doing the dishes.  He comes a little closer to me each time I'm outside.  If I sit at the patio table, he'll venture up to the pond for a drink...about five feet from where I'm sitting.  I talk to him and he actually just sits and looks at me, like he's trying to figure out what I'm saying.  He's so cute!  Matt and Keaton think I'm crazy to have named him, to talk to him...and especially to take pictures of him.  Just wait until they come home from work one day and find Chubs wearing a collar and leash.  ;-) 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chicken Boy

Cyrus has many names:  Sir Cyrus, Cy, Puppy Boy, Cy-Cy, Shmoopie, Pookie...and Chicken Boy.  Last night's fireworks definitely made for a long night with Chicken Boy.  The shaking, digging, and panting began about 5 p.m. when people started lighting fireworks.  Cyrus hid in our bedroom for a while and we were able to coax him out a few times...until there was another explosion and he ran right back to hide in the bedroom.  I went outside to collect the towels and bathing suits from the deck and came back inside to find Cyrus hiding in Matt's shower.  He was pretty darn cute with just his little face peeking out.  Poor little guy.  He did a little better in the basement last night with the TV blaring.  He still shook and panted, but he finally just crawled into a corner to curl up and fall into an exhausted sleep...so we all could thankfully sleep.  Well, at least until the next thunderstorm.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July, America! Here are some interesting facts about the good ol' U.S.A. I found on PRLog that I thought would be fun to read...and to help me on Jeopardy.

Waving US Flag 179x99

Each of the colors on the America Flag is said to represent something: White: signifies Purity and Innocence; Red: Hardiness and Valour; Blue: Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.

The state of Ohio was the birthplace of 8 American presidents, more than any other state.

The state of Louisiana has almost 2,500 islands!

The USA has a number of towns which have an official population of just 1. These are Hibberts Gore, Maine; Ervings, New Hampshire; Lost Springs, Wyoming; and New Amsterdam, Indiana.

The USA is the world's 3rd largest country. Both Russia and Canada are larger though it is a close run race for 3rd between the USA and China. China is bigger if you include some of its disputed territories but is smaller when these are discounted

Although English is the most commonly spoken language used in the U.S. and is the language used in government, the country has no official language.

The world's tallest roller coaster is in New Jersey. At 45 stories, Kingda Ka, at Six Flags Great Adventure in N.J., is the tallest roller coaster in the world, plummeting 456 feet and reaching speeds up to 126 mph. The highest roller coaster recently opened in Colorado at an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet.

The retail price for the iPad would be $1,140 if it were built by American workers instead of Chinese.

The average American spends a third of their overall time online playing games and using social networks.

Each year, around 24,000 Americans are bitten by rats!

According to some estimates, Americans are sitting on $30 billion worth of unredeemed gift cards.

The first U.S. capital was New York City.

Montana has three times as many cows as it does people.

Jimmy Carter was the first U.S. president to have been born in a hospital.

Today, 66 percent of all Americans are considered to be overweight.

If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.

87.5% ($2.8 million) of imported U.S. flags are from China.

The Founding Fathers actually signed the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776.

Every 4th of July the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped (not actually rung) thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies.

Two U.S. presidents died on July 4th – Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

25 Random Facts About Me

While visiting with family over the weekend, I came to the realization that nobody takes pictures of me...unless I specifically ask them to take a picture of me.  I may be lucky enough to be in one shot, but that's pretty much it.  As a scrapbooker, I know the importance of pictures and storytelling.  So, here's a little list of some random facts about me that I'll put in my scrapbook one day...once I have Keaton's scrapbooks all caught up.  Uh...make that IF I ever have Keaton's scrapbooks all caught up.

This picture of me was snapped at the Grand Canyon by Matt...after I told him to take a picture of me.
I wish my hair would have looked better, though. 
This is what happened to it after riding in the Jeep with the windows down. 
Oh well...it's still better to have a picture with bad hair than no picture at all.
  1. I'm not afraid of spiders and never kill them.  I always relocate them somewhere outside.  (I'm also not afraid of mice or snakes either.  But earwigs and June bugs freak me out.)
  2. I'm totally a mustard person. The spicier, the better. (I dip my fries in it and even put it on my mac and cheese.)
  3. I love high heels - the higher the better. (With Matt being 6'6", I can get them pretty darn high!!)
  4. I'm very bossy. (It's the oldest child syndrome and I can't help it.)
  5. My favorite candy bar is a frozen Snickers. (But, I don't like the Snickers ice cream bars. Yuck.)
  6. I LOVE Seinfeld!  My favorite episode is a tie between "The Contest (Master of Your Domain)" and "The Soup Nazi".  (Cyrus is often called "shmoopie".)
  7. I never step on manhole covers or grates.  Ever.
  8. I love to read and even read while I blow-dry my hair in the morning.
  9. I love Mexican food and could eat it every day.  (I'm not a huge fan of Italian food, though.)
  10. I'd love to have a pet monkey. But I won't because I know they're wild animals. So, maybe I'll just rescue them and have my own personal monkey island some day.
  11. I hate the sight, smell, color, and taste of peas.  (I gagged now just thinking about them.)
  12. I'm afraid of heights.
  13. I'd have a dozen dogs if Matt would let me (and the allergies would allow it).  But, they'd have to be small dogs...big dogs scare me.  (I've been known to jump on Matt's back if a big dog gets too close.  I even climbed on his shoulders once...Matt's shoulders, not the dog's.)
  14. I can't sleep at night unless my closet door is closed.  And my bathroom door.
  15. I prefer caramel over chocolate. (Which makes it easier for Matt and Keaton to battle for the last piece of chocolate cake.)
  16. I have my clothes arranged in my closet by the order of the color spectrum.  My socks, too.
  17. I believe in ghosts, but not Bigfoot. (That's just silly.)
  18. I love fountain Coke from McDonald's, but I don't like Coke from a can or bottle. I'm totally a Pepsi person...and not that nasty diet stuff.
  19. My toenails are always painted between Easter and Christmas.  Usually in a shade of pink. 
  20. I eat leftovers for breakfast...not breakfast food.  (Cold pizza is the best.)
  21. I haven't slept an entire night through since I had Keaton.   
  22. I love girlie, fruity drinks...especially when they have whipped cream on them and come with an umbrella.  I don't like the smell or taste of beer.  (It wouldn't be too awful if only it didn't taste  or smell like beer.)
  23. I hate the smell of crayons.
  24. I won't ever go into the ocean any deeper than my waist.  (I may have seen Jaws one time too many.)
  25. I have to have the toilet paper dispense OVER the roll and have been known to change it at other people's houses.

Monday, July 2, 2012

South Haven

Most of Matt's people stayed at a beach house in South Haven last week.  We headed over for a visit on Friday night.  It was nice to see the tanned people and visit for a bit.  A handful of us headed down to the beach and some more adventurous ones went for a boat ride on Matt's brother's boat.  After a few hours, it was time to head over to Clementine's...a landmark restaurant.  They have the best onion rings and Keaton declared it his new favorite restaurant (after his yummy steak with seafood on top). 

Beautiful Lake Michigan

Matt found a rock with an 'A' on it...or it could be a little android guy.

The stairs to get back up to the beach house. 
Climbing all these (without stopping to rest) allowed me to have a strawberry daiquiri at dinner!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rude & Inconsiderate People Rage

I think I have a serious case of road rage.  Well...I'm not sure it's exactly road rage.  I don't drive like a maniac and try to beat people to my destination.  I don't change lanes excessively.  I don't lay on my horn if someone cuts me off or doesn't floor it when the light turns green.  What I have is more like rude, inconsiderate people rage.  I don't like rude and inconsiderate people.  I have no patience for them.  None at all.  I can get pretty creative with the names I call them.  All I ask is that people are kind and considerate.  It's the simple things that make a huge difference and could possibly stop me from wanting to shake some sense into you and/or denting your vehicle (not enough to hurt, just enough to scare).  Here are a few simple rules to follow when I'm out on the road:
  1. Use your turn signal.
  2. Do not drive in the passing lane.  Pass and then get back over in the right lane. 
  3. Do not pull out in front of me and then turn...especially when there's absolutely nobody behind me.
  4. Turn down your radio in the neighborhood...especially at night.
  5. Don't lock/unlock your vehicle with your remote key chain (if it honks) at night...or early in the morning.
  6. If your car alarm goes off in the middle of the night for no reason whatsoever and the next night and the next night and the next night, disconnect it.  Seriously.  Or I just may have to come over and disconnect it myself...with a baseball bat. 
  7. And my personal favorite:  don't wait until the last possible second to merge when there were signs about the lane closure 5 miles ago...and every single mile since.  
So, I may have a slight rage issue to work on.  In my pink and fluffy world, I just want people to use a little common sense and have a little consideration for others on the road.  So, I either need some therapy or I may just have to get an old junky car and start teaching people a lesson.