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Friday, December 30, 2011

steady as she goes

Good morning.
It's been a steady week at work. Kinda nice not being so busy.  :-)
We've had fairly mild weather this week, so mostly rain. Should hold through the holiday weekend.
Liking the new fridge. It's so nice and clean inside!
I'm also liking the new comforter. It's really light weight, but very warm. I think I'm even sleeping better.  :-)
I've got another steady day today and tomorrow, though tomorrow we close at 1pm for New Years Eve. Looking forward to a long, hopefully uneventful, weekend.  :-)
Have a fun, safe holiday!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

to answer a couple of questions....

Good morning.
Our mild temps have left, it snowed yesterday, just enough to coat the ground, and it's back in the 20's.
Glad it waited until after we got our new fridge delivered.  ;-)
It was a pretty mundane day yesterday with us doing our usual Monday running around. back home, I got the new fridge stocked back up and the mo-ho fridge turned off. I like the new fridge. We seem to have most of the extra space in the freezer, which is good since we stock up on things when they're on sale.
The ice cube are larger too. Don't melt as fast in our drinks.  :-)
To answer a couple of comments from previous posts.....
Garret said in my post about me having customers on Christmas Eve and Craig none, "So people don't like Craig as much as you?"
It's not that Garret,  :-) It's mainly because I have a much larger clientele than Craig. I'm very good at multitasking, so I may have anywhere from 1 yo 4 customers going at a time, which means I may have a customer under the dryer drying, one with color processing while I'm cutting another. Craig will only work on one customer at a time. He's not good under pressure.  :-) I do usually at least twice the number of customers during the day than him. And yes, that means I bring in twice the money he does. But that's okay, he does all the bookkeeping. I think I'm still ahead on that one.  :-)
Arch guy commented, "so who runs the Salon when neither of you are there?"
No one needs to 'run' the Salon. Our staff is a group of independent stylists. Which means each stylist is a separate business. They each rent a station from us, the owners. We are not their bosses, just landlords. They each have a key to the salon. They set their own hours, prices, and have their own phone extension, and make they're own appointments. They use their own products and supplies. Their customers pay them for their services and the stylists are responsible for their own taxes and such. We basically have 7 individual businesses sharing common areas to make it more profitable for each person. Their rent includes common area supplies such as magazines, coffee, and such. It has worked well for 14 years now. Each stylist knows what to do to 'open' and 'close' the Salon.
Okay, I hope that clarifies a couple of things.  :-) If you have more questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them.
Now, it's time for another work week. Not sure if it'll be busy or not. Can never tell about the week between Christmas and New Years. Right now, it's looking so-so. But that's okay, I have year end inventory to do.  :-\

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It fits like a glove

Good morning.
Well, we survived our Christmas without a fridge, at least in the house.  :-) And fortunately, the weather was quite mild for Christmas, no snow and mid 30's, so trekking back and forth to the mo-ho was no big deal. 
Monday morning, I prepared to receive our new fridge. I cleaned out the old one, disconnected the water line, and put down floor covers to protect the carpet. Then I needed to move the Honda out of the garage. The door to the garage is 3 ft wide, wider than the entry door, and a straight shot to the kitchen. Well, it was dead. It's only been sitting for a month. I didn't think the battery would go that soon. But called Northside towing, and sure enough, just a dead battery. He jumped it and I was good to go. After of course, a $50 fee.
I had Craig take it out on the highway to charge up the battery. The delivery guy said they'd be here between 1 and 3. I got the dolly, and with Craig's help, got the old fridge out to the garage. I figured the more I got done, the quicker the delivery would be. To our surprise, they arrived right at 1pm.
Now this fridge was 2 inches higher, and 2 inches wider than the old one, but I measured and figured it'd be tight, but would fit. They got the fridge in the kitchen, hooked up the water line and made sure it worked, and proceeded to put the fridge in place. It wouldn't go in. I hadn't realized, the upper cabinets apparently were a fraction of an inch farther right, than the lower cabinets. The delivery guy said removing the quarter round from the baseboard should do the trick. I got some tools, removed the quarter round, and sure enough, it slid right in. Fits like a glove as you can see in these pics.

Craig dug out the old paper work, and the old fridge was 21 cu ft. and the new one is 25 cu ft. Didn't really need more room, but this one was cheaper than the 21 cu ft they had at the store by over $150, so we went with the larger one. At least it fits.  :-)  Interestingly, Craig had in the old papers, the first fridge was bought in 2000, and cost more than this fridge. We also bought that one from Lowe's, and back then, they charged for delivery, and removal of the old one. This time, it was all included.  :-)
I spent the rest of the afternoon, getting everything back to the way it was. 
By dinner time, the freezer was already at 0 and making ice, but the fridge section was only at 55.
This morning, the fridge is at 40, so I can move the stuff from the mo-ho back. It'll be nice to have some order again.  :-)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Good morning, and Merry Christmas!
I've just returned from cleaning the salon. I know, it's Christmas, and I shouldn't be working, but Sunday is the best day to clean.  :-)
Saturday ended on a light note with me getting out of the Salon early. We spent part of the afternoon appliance shopping, and the rest of the afternoon relaxing, and watching movies. We saw Chipwrecked with Alvin and the chipmunks, which Craig thought was good, I thought it was stupid boring. And we watched Aurthur Christmas, which we both liked. Had a light dinner of roast beef sandwiches and guacamole and chips. Wanted to make sure we're good and hungry for our turkey dinner on Christmas.
Normally, Craig and I don't exchange presents on Christmas. Haven't done that in quite a few years. But this year is different. This is what we got.....
Yep. A new refrigerator. Not because we wanted one, but because we had to get one. Craig had noticed a few days ago, the ice cubes weren't freezing solid. I figured the ice maker was going bad. Then we noticed some items in the freezer weren't frozen solid. I got the thermometers out of the mo-ho and discovered the freezer was only at about 33, and the fridge was at 55. Just a bit higher than the recommended 5 and 40.
  I pulled out the fridge and vacuumed the back and underneath, hoping it was just dust clogging up the condenser. I went out and turned on the mo-ho fridge, and transferred the thawing turkey and and as much stuff as I could get into the small mo-ho fridge. I took out all the semi-frozen stuff and put it in our chest freezer. I waited overnight, and still no improvement.  Soooo, on Christmas eve, we went out to Lowe's, who was having an appliance sale, lucky us, and bought another fridge. They have next day delivery, except, of course, on Christmas day, so it'll be delivered on Monday.
So today, we'll have to run back and forth to the mo-ho to fix our turkey dinner. At least we have the mo-ho here to help out.  :-)
Now it's time to wake up Craig and get our Christmas day going!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve

Good morning. And a merry Christmas Eve.
It was another busy day in the Salon. Ended up working 2 hours longer than expected due to a few more phone calls. Don't want to turn a way customers near Christmas.  :-)
After work, I went over to Meijer's for a few groceries for the weekend. Where did all these people come from? The place was packed! The store is never this busy the rest of the year! Don't these people eat the rest of the year! But I managed to work through the crowds, get what I needed, and to the check-outs. They had every one of there 30 + registers open, and they were 4-5 people deep. It took longer in the check-out lanes than shopping. But made it through, and made it home.
Now just one more short day today. With Christmas Eve on a Saturday, we never know how busy it might be, and this year, it's not busy at all. I've got just 2 customers this morning, so unless the phone starts ringing early, which I doubt it will, I'll be out of there by 10am.  :-) Craig has no customers, so he'll probably still be sleeping when I get home.  :-)
And with the very busy past 3 days, it'll still be a very good week money wise.
And with that, I'm off to get ready for work.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Good morning.
Just a quickie this morning as I'm just about to run off to work.
Yesterday was just about the busiest day of the year for me. I started at 7:30am an and left work a 6:45pm. Just over 11 hours and 17 customers. I was exhausted when I got home, But a couple of glasses of sherry, and I slept like a rock. The holiday season has been generous to us this year. Lot's of Christmas tips/gifts. Looks like the best year in a while. The economy must be looking up.  :-)
Today is another busy day, but a lot shorter. I start at 7:30 again, but have just 12 customer over a period of about 6 hours. It's feel like a half day compared to yesterday.  :-)
And now, I've got to go.....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I don't know what got into me!

Good morning.
Our temps have been mild for this time of year. Highs in the upper 30's to near 40. That means no snow.  :-) They are expecting rain for the next couple of days. Remnants of the massive snow storm from the lower plains. Monday was a lazy day. Played on the puter, surfed and read blogs. Tuesday was another story. After grocery shopping for the week, I had printed out a 25% off coupon for Dennis Trailer Center that they e-mailed me. They were having an inventory reduction sale. I thought it would be a good time to stock up on lap sealant. With a couple of leaks this past year, I want to do a real good job of resealing the roof next spring. We stopped there on the way home.
Back home, I went on a cleaning frenzy! I  Don't know what got into me, but I acted like I was on some mission. I spent hours going through the house. Cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom, cabinets, the toaster oven, microwave oven, stove, floors, moved to the living room, dusted, vacuumed, picked up and put away a ton of stuff. Things sure get cluttered  easily around here. Then the laundry room, TV room, put away piles of DVDs that were laying on the floor and TV stand.  I just kept going and going! Maybe Craig slipped something into my coffee.  :-)
After all that, I relaxed with a cocktail, admiring how nice the house looked. To bad it won't stay this way. I do tend to be more lazy than motivated.  :-)
Craig made our spicy pork cutlets for dinner, with a slew of roasted veggies, that included potatoes, carrots, summer squash, onions, and peppers. It was good.
And now, it's time for another work week, although a shorter one. We work just a half day on Christmas Eve.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas with Mom

Good morning.
Yesterday after I got Craig up, I made us coffee, and we were off to Muskegon to see my Mom. This was to be my Christmas with her, as on Christmas day, she'll be spending it with one of my brothers in Holland. We arrived there a little before 10am. Did a few chores for her, cut her hair, and then it was to Braunn's for lunch. We haven't been to a Braunn's before and thought we'd try it.  It's quite a large restaurant with a bar/lounge area and a dining area. All the walls have video screens along the top. Must of been a hundred screens. Well, maybe not a hundred, but a lot! There were even small screens at every table, although they were for lotto games like keno. We didn't play any. We all ordered their signature dish, the sizzling steaks. Mom had a 6 oz. sirloin, and Craig and I had the 8oz.  I had steamed broccoli and a baked potato, Craig had his with fires and broccoli cheddar soup, and Mom had just a baked potato with hers. The steaks were moist and tender with just the right amount of seasonings.
After lunch, it was off to the club. (the VFW) It was fairly busy and we got a table for 5 as my brother Brian and his wife Ruth were to meet us there. They arrived shortly after us, and we had a nice afternoon visit. Then it was time to take Mom back to her apartment, with a stop first at the store to pick up a list of things she needed.
Back at the apartment, we said our goodbyes and headed back to Lansing. We arrived safe as the roads were nice and dry.
Today of course, is our usual running to the bank, P.O. and groceries. And right now, I've got to put in an internet order for Salon supplies, so see ya!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday post

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon, again.  :-)
Our daytime temps are hovering around the mid 30's, so even though we've had a little snow, the streets are staying fairly clear.
And after 2 days in the Salon, the reviews are in. 90% of the customers like the new dryer chairs.  :-)
The main downside is the seats are a couple of inches higher than the old ones, so customers with short legs end up dangling from the seats.  And with the seats higher, the hood of the dryer isn't high enough for taller customers. I can fix both those issues with a small stool for the short customers, and I'll put wood 'lifts' under 2 of the hood units,  so they'll be higher. All in all, happy with them.  :-)
Saturday ended up my busiest day of the week, so when I got home, I relaxed and played on the puter. The comforter I'd been watching had come down in price some more. It was now down to $54 for a king. I had cashed in points from one of my credit cards for a Kohl's gift card. It was $50. So the final charge for the comforter, $7.42. I think that's a good buy.  :-)
I couldn't figure out how to copy the pic of the comforter, so here's a link to it.
 And Craig made tasty barbecue turkey sandwiches for dinner, and we watched the first 2 episodes of this seasons Hot in Cleveland I got off the net.
Now time for my shower and to get Craig up.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

our new dryers

Good evening.
I got out of work a bit earlier than usual, so I had some extra time to do a post.  :-)
We didn't get our new dryer chairs on Wednesday as promised. The scheduled time for delivery came and went. I didn't think to take the freight companies number to work, so I couldn't call them to find out what was going on. I dug out the invoice from the company I ordered it form 5 weeks ago, to find my contact info was only my home phone #, so if they had trouble finding us, they couldn't get a hold of us.  When i arrived home, sure enough, there was a message on my answering machine from them stating they couldn't find our address and to call them. I'm thinking, with bing maps on the Internet, and GPS devices, how can a shipping company not be able to locate an address?
So I called them back and fortunately they was someone still in the office. I gave them my business phone and simple directions to find the Salon.  They said I'd receive the chairs today.
And they did arrive around noon. This big truck pulls up, a guy comes in and asks where we wanted them. I said right in the reception area would be fine. He said there was an indoor delivery fee. I just stood there looking at him thinking he's joking. He wasn't. I said put them outside the door. I didn't even ask him how much the fee was. I wasn't paying a dime since I already paid $140.00 for shipping to begin with. It ended out working fine. During my breaks, I opened each one and brought them inside, swapped the dryers out of the old chairs, and put the new chairs in place. Here's the before and after .....

The new dryer chairs are a bit larger, and more comfy. We're very happy with them. The rounded base sits farther under the seat, so they should get kicked less from peoples heels.
And to answer John's comment. We did look into having the swapped dryers reupholstered, but each quote came in nearly as high as new chairs. That was because of the extra labor involved. The old dryer chairs had separate pads on the arms, a separate back, the seat, and the base, which was getting scuffed and ripped and needed to be recovered also. It's a shame, because structurally, they were in good shape.
Anyway, that's done and behind us now.
And we gave the Salon staff a little Christmas happiness. Beside their weekly rent, (yes, our stylists are self employed, and rent their stations from us) there's a $4 a week fee that goes into a Salon fund. The money from there goes to pay for things everyone uses such as coffee supplies, magazines, shampoo for the back bar, laundry detergent, etc. This year, as the year comes to a close, we have to zero out the fund. We had enough surplus to let everyone get a weeks rent free.
And with that, I'm off to get me some dinner. Nothing fancy tonight. No leftovers from last weekend. So it's frozen dinners, which I actually like.  :-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

and back to work I go

Good morning.
Well, yesterday was another day off, and another day I accomplished little.  :-)
Mailed out a few Christmas cards, and spent a good part of the day loafing.  :-)
I received a call from the freight company, stating our new dryer chairs are to be delivered today. They were supposed to be delivered next Monday. That would have been better, since we only have 2 people working on Mondays. But today, there will be 5, maybe 6 of us there. I'll have to figure out where to put them so it doesn't disrupt the Salon too much until I have time to work on them.
You see, we have 7 styling chairs and 4 dryer chairs. We have 2 styling chairs where the seats are cracking and need to be replaced. They don't make this style of chair anymore. 4 dryer chairs are cheaper to buy than 7 styling chairs. The dryer chairs have the same 'seat' that the styling chairs have. So I need to have time to 'swap' the seats from the dryer chairs to the styling chairs.
There's 4 bolts that hold the styling chair to it's base, and 2 bolts that hold the foot rest.
I'll figure it out somehow.  :-)
I wanted to wait until after the busy holiday season, but Craig said we need to have them purchased before the end of the year for bookkeeping and tax purposes.
It'll work out. Somehow.
And that's all I've got for now. It's looking to be another busy week, so time to go...

Monday, December 12, 2011

a short post

Good evening.
I know, an unusual evening post.  :-)
I just finished a game on the puter, and dinner isn't ready yet, so I thought I'd do a quickie post.  :-)
Sunday was an easy lazy day. I managed to clean the bathroom, but not much else. Craig did his usual bookwork and laundry. We ate ham steaks with boxed potatoes and butternut squash for dinner, while watching the movie Critters. I got the DVD from a customer who likes sci-fi. He knows we like sci-fi also, so he occasionally brings in movies for us. This was definitely a b movie if not a c movie. It was that bad. Right up there with attack of the killer tomatoes.  But mildly entertaining.
There are 4 sequels altogether on the DVD's. Craig said watching the first one was enough.  :-)
Today, I did a little more. I turned off the water to the outside faucets, put the Styrofoam thingies over the outside faucets, put the hose cart in the shed, spread moth balls around the tires of the mo-ho, and did a little more dusting. Craig thinks the moth balls help keep varmints away from the mo-ho. I don't argue, just do it.  :-)
And Craig just called me for dinner, red beans and rice with chicken sausage and mushrooms and onions, so I gotta go!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

another post

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon, as per my usual Sunday morning routine.
Winter like weather has settled over mid Michigan. We had a dusting of snow a couple of nights ago, and the temps have been low 30's.
I ended my work week as one of this years busiest. The phone rang and rang, and I ended up working late Friday and Saturday. That's good because Craig just got the winter taxes, and he had not budgeted for them. That's not like Craig. He's always so good at having everything planned for. Must be he's slipping in his old age.  :-) He will be 61 in a few weeks.
For dinner, he made home made wet burritos. They were yummy!
And while Craig gets his beauty rest, I'm off to read blogs and surf.  :-)

Friday, December 09, 2011


Good morning.
I awoke to a fresh coating of snow on the ground. Should make for a fun drive to work this morning.  :-\
The Salon has been very busy this week. The phones been ringing, I ended up completely booked, and I'm also working later than normal today.
I've also been sleeping real good. Not sure if I'm just completely tuckered from work, or it's the nice new flannel sheets.  :-)
Not much else to report, and besides, it's time to get ready for work.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

another weekend over

Good morning.
Yesterday was a fluff day for us. Pretty much stayed inside form the cloudy, windy, cold day.
I did manage to decorate our  artificial Christmas tree.
I also did my yearly back-up of my bookmarks, pics, and other assorted stuff I didn't want to lose if my puter dies. That really saved my butt the last time my puter died. I had all my favorites saved to disc, so I didn't lose any of my sites or blogs.  :-) It was soo easy setting up the new puter and just transferring my stuff back on.
If you don't back up, you should.  :-)
And the weekend is over all ready! And I get a 3 day weekend! I don't know how you people survive on just 2.  :-)
It looks to be another busy week in the Salon. That's good money wise, and makes the days go by faster also.
And since we only work 4 days, it doesn't make sense to take a 'lunch hour', so instead, I take snacks for us to munch on during the day between customers.
This week, we have bananas, celery, oranges, cottage cheese separated, canned salmon separated, and canned chicken. I know it looks like a lot, but it's for all 4 days.  :-)
And speaking of work, it's time to get going!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

sneaky stores and yard damage

Good morning.
Yesterday was a busy day.
We did our usual banking, P.O. and groceries, but also stopped at Kohl's. If you remember a few posts back, I ordered these sheets from Kohl' They were on sale for 60% off and they sent me an e-mail for an additional 20% off plus free shipping. Well, yesterday, I had another e-mail for another 20% off, plus they had mailed me a card for $10 cash on anything in the store. I had my eye on a comforter, so we stopped in to take advantage of the good deal. Well, in the store, they were $89. I told Craig I was pretty sure they were only $69 online. So we decided to skip the comforter, and looked to see what to spend the $10 on. After much looking, I settled on some cozy 'wear around the house' socks for $10.80. Which of course ended up costing me zip with 20% off and the $10 card. A good buy.  :-)
When we returned home, I checked online and indeed, they were $89. Now when I checked again this morning, they were $69. The 20% off sale ended Monday. So they jacked the price up for the sale. You really got to watch the prices! I remember many years ago when I was a kid working at Kmart, they would do the same thing. About 2 weeks before a sale, a price increase went into effect, so the 'sale' price ended up the old regular price. Sneaky stores!
Back home, with the snow gone for the time being, I went out to check on the yard. This is what I found....
A section in 2 different arborvitaes broke from the weight of that heavy snow storm we got last week.

Each one was a good 15 ft long, with this one also taking out a large Rose of Sharon bush.
So, I spent a good part of the afternoon, cleaning up the mess. Good thing we burned a couple of weeks ago because I've got another big pile now. Surprisingly, there was little other damage in the yard.
I spent the late afternoon on the puter, while Craig made a tasty beef stew for dinner.
Our short mild streak of weather is gone with the temp this morning of 30 and a high forecast of only 32. The rest of the week looks the same, but at least, no snow forecast.  :-)
And while Craig sleeps this early morning, I'll exercise and surf.   :-)

Sunday, December 04, 2011

poor Craig

Good morning.
I"ve just returned from cleaning the Salon.
The last 2 days have been very mild. Low 40's. It's rained all night and into this morning, and almost all of the snow we got Tuesday night, is gone.  :-)
We ended the salon week on a busy note, and the books for the next few weeks look to be busy also. It is the holiday season. ho ho ho.
For dinner, we had a delicious taco salad, and watched the movie, Our Idiot Brother. Not as good as I thought it would be. 
I'm letting Craig sleep in  today. He had a rough evening. His Spartans lost the big Ten Championship game. It was a heart breaker. They were so close to winning.
So while Craig sleeps in, I'll go to Sam,s Club for Salon supplies, and to another beauty supply business  that's running a 20% off sale today only. Sam's opens at 10, the other place, 11. Craig should be up when I return. We'll see.  :-)
Oh, and in response to more comments about the beautiful snow pic. I see most of the 'isn't it beautiful' comments are from you southern folk which probably almost never see the stuff. And yes, wet clingy snow does make for a beautiful winter wonder land picture. Only if you can just sit and look at it. For me, it's more work in the morning clearing the drive before I go to regular work, it's scary driving amongst people who don't respect the snow, and it's more work at the Salon having to clean the floors more often. And this will go on for the better part of 4 months. So no, I don't really care for the stuff.   :-)

Thursday, December 01, 2011

in response....

Good morning.
This is what the back yard looked like when it finally got daylight yesterday before I left for work.
Lansing officially got 8 inches. Many trees were down, and 2 of our stylists and several customers lost power.
And in response to a few of the many comments I got......
Mike, yes, it is pretty, until you have to look at it for 4+ months.
Randy, I wish I could send this all down to you, we'll get plenty more.
Mark, I'd pack up and come, but there's this thing called bills. And to pay the bills, there this thing called work. So I'm kinda stuck here right now. But keep that invite open.  :-)
Garret, yes, ick!

And now it's time for work. The phone's been ringing, and I'm pretty much booked the rest of the week.  :-)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

They were right, damn it!

Good morning.
Well, it's finally here.  :-(
I spent 1 1/2 hours this morning clearing the driveway. Looks like we got the 6 inches they forecast.
We watched yesterday afternoon as it went from a day long rain, to sleet, and finally, snow. It'll take half an hour to thaw Craig's car before he goes to work.
I should be happy we got everything done outside before this happened, but snow starting in November makes for a long winter.
But we'll survive, we always seem to.
Now I'm off to work......

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

post #1190

Good morning.
Sunday was a total washout. Drizzly rain all day. So, I stayed inside and played.  :-)
I did do a little cyber Monday shopping on Sunday. Kohl's was having a 2 day cyber Monday sale. They also sent me an e-mail for an additional 20% off everything, and free shipping, no minimum. I've been wanting to get new flannel sheets, and they had them 60% off. Regularly $128.00 on sale for $52.00. With my additional 20%, that brought them down to $41.60. Now I think Kohl's regular prices are ridiculous. $128.00 for sheets? But $41.00 I think was very decent. And free shipping!
Monday, which was cool but at least dry, after our usual banking, P.O. and groceries, we came home and burned. No, not the house, brush and branches.  :-)   I'm constantly picking up branches that come out of our 2 very old Chinese Elms, and we've collected quite a pile since early summer. I also cut down a good size Mock orange bush that was getting crowded out by a Little Leaf Linden tree, and a Crab Apple tree. I've also been wanting to cut down a couple of very large Juniper bushes.
I planted them many years ago on either side of a gate that leads to a storage area. 
I trained them to grow together at the top, and they looked like an arbor over the gate, which you can see in this several year old pic I found.  But over the years, as my Maple and a Sycamore tree have gotten larger, it's become too shady, and the bottoms of the junipers are dying off and looking bad. So, while we were burning up the other stuff, I cut down these too. I want to get a couple of large pots to put in their place, and plant inpatients in them next year.
And this morning, it's raining again, and is expected to rain all day, turning to snow this evening with an expected accumulation of nearly 6 inches. YUK! It's too early for snow! I hope they're wrong.
But, at least, I'm ready for it. Everything's done outside that we needed to do. I even powered up the snow blower to make sure it's ready.
Now I'm off to catch up on some blogs. It's a little too early to get Craig up yet.  :-)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

we're ready. bring it on!

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the usual....   :-)
I also stopped at Meijer for a few groceries and the Sunday paper.
Craig's cooking his quick ravioli lasagna today, so I picked up a few of the ingredients we didn't already have.
Yesterday, I got out of work at noon, came home, and changed the oil in the two mowers. We then maneuvered the mo-ho into his winter parking space between the garage and the fence.
We are now ready for when ever the snow comes.  :-\
And since we were still stuffed from the thanksgiving dinners, we had a light dinner of roast beef sandwiches and watched the movie Harold and Kumar, escape from Guantanamo. It was very entertaining.
It is now 8am, and Craig wanted to sleep in a little, so I'm off to read blogs and do a little surfing......

Saturday, November 26, 2011

thanksgiving meal #2

Good morning.
I had a busy, short day in the Salon yesterday. Started at 8am, and worked non-stop until 1pm.
With the mild sunny day, (temps in the upper 50's) I went home, changed clothes, and got to work outside. I cleaned and flushed the eaves-troughs, blew the rest of the leaves/debris out from along the garage, and did a final mowing. The yard is now ready for winter, and we can now move the mo-ho from the driveway, and into it's winter parking place along side of the garage.
I have another busy/short day today also, unless the phone starts ringing, and I should be done around noon. If so, I hope to take advantage of our last decent day, and change the oil in the mowers. Starting tomorrow, our daytime temps are forecast to plummet down into the 30's for the next week.
Also yesterday, we had another turkey dinner from leftovers, and it was every bit as good as the frist one.  :-)
I then took the rest of the meat off the carcass, froze that for casseroles later and froze the carcass to be added to the one for Christmas and made into broth.
Now, time to get ready for my last workday this week..  :-)

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's just another work day for me.

Good morning.
And happy Black Friday,
to those that partake in such nonsense.  :-)
We had a very nice relaxing day,
even though our Detroit Lions sucked.
Our Turkey dinner turned out wonderful as usual. 
I've had a couple of people ask how
we cook our turkey.
It's really simple.
Craig rinses the turkey, takes the giblets and
neck out of the cavity, rinses out the cavity,
cuts off the butt thingy,
folds the wings under, and lays it in a roasting pan.
We stuff the turkey with stuffing, using a stuffing bag.
It's a cheese cloth bag you put in the cavity first,
then the stuffing goes in the bag.
When the turkey's done,
you just pull out the
bag and mix it with the rest
of the stuffing we cooked on the side.
I then lightly spray the skin with

butter spray followed by seasonings.
I usually use garlic powder,
Mrs Dash onion and herb, and cumin.
Since we'll cook 4 turkeys this winter,
I'll do different spices each time.
The real secret to a moist turkey is
the foil tent.
I take 2 sheets of foil,
(we use the 18 in wide Reynolds wrap)
just about 6inches longer than the roasting pan.
Lay the sheets on top of each other
and fold 1/2 inch down along the entire length.
I do this 3 times. This gives you a super sheet.
Then fold the corners in.
Go in about 8 inches and down about 3.
Do that to both ends.
When you open the sheets up,
you'll have a dome.
Place that over the turkey and
seal the edges all the way around,
making sure the foil doesn't touch the skin.
Craig cooks his turkey an hour longer than
recommended. He likes his turkey
falling off the bone.  :-)
I forgot to get a pic when we took it
out of the oven, but here's a pic of my dish.
And yes, I did have seconds!  :-)
Craig also did a couple of new things this year.
His scalloped corn had crushed
wheat thin crackers and spinach.
It was real tasty.
He also added light cream cheese
to the mashed potatoes.
They were yummy also.
And today, we'll have leftover turkey dinner.
But now, it's time to get ready for work.
Yes, the salon is open today and tomorrow.
And I've got a fairly busy day today.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Good morning.
I've just returned from decorating the Salon for Christmas. I refuse to put out anything until after Thanksgiving. It took just under 2 hours. And since I was just a block from a Meijer store, I ran over there before heading home. They were running a Thanksgiving Day sale. I noticed in their ad, they had a 100 pack of blank DVD+R for $19.95, a very good deal. I use them to burn movies that I download from the net. I also picked up 4  two liter Coke for $.79, and of course the Sunday paper. Going by Best Buy, I noticed a whole row of tents along the front of the building. The paper said people started lining up on Wednesday to be the first in the door at 12am Friday. I like a good deal, but that's just crazy! Don't they know you can go online today and get the same deals?
I came home, diced up onions and celery for the stuffing, and had a few extra minutes to do this post before I shower and get Craig up.
Hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving. We're going to eat, relax, watch football, and maybe, just maybe, do some work outside. We'll see!  :-)
Well, it's almost 8:30. Time to shower and wake up lazy bones. He wants the Turkey in by 9:30. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

and the winner is...

Good morning.
We finally settled on a new dryer chair. Here's a pic with an actual dryer inserted in it....
I know most of you liked the ones with the chrome arms, but we decided on this one because the plastic arms won't tear like the vinyl covered chrome ones that we have right now. And the ribbed pattern matches our shampoo chairs.
We even got a good deal on the chairs. With shipping to the Salon, 4 chairs, $1071.00. That's with out the dryers. Those would be another $200.00 each, and we can swap them from the old dryer chairs to the new ones.
In other news......
I got virtual nothing accomplished outside this past weekend. Spent Sunday in Muskegon, and Monday and Tuesday was cold, windy, and I just haven't acclimated to the cold yet. So I stayed inside, and was pretty much a slug. I did get the dryers ordered, and I did do some cleaning, but it wasn't much.  :-)
I've got an extremely busy day today at the Salon, since we are closed tomorow. But I'll get through thinking about the tasty turkey, and the day off.  :-)
Hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

a visit with Mom

Good morning.
Sorry for my lack of a Sunday post. I cleaned the Salon in the morning, came home, showered, woke up Craig, fixed us coffee, and off to Muskegon we went to see my Mom. Spent the day with her. Took her to lunch at Applebee's, and the club for drinks and pull tabs. Didn't do to well with the pull tabs, but the place was busy, and Mom got to visit with people she doesn't see very often. She had a nice day, Stopped at a store for groceries on our way back to her apartment. Arrived back in Lansing in the early evening.
We had a good work week last week, and it will be nice to have a short week this week. I'm already looking forward to turkey and fixings.  :-)
It's been windy and cold for a week now, but a slight, short warm-up is forecast for Thanksgiving Day. I may need to take advantage of it and finish up outside, as the average day time temps are quickly dropping. It is forecast for 53 on Thursday, where our 'normal' high should be 43. Our normal lows are already below freezing.
And that's all I got for now......

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday quicky

Good morning.
It looks like the cold weather is here to stay.  :-(
25 out this morning, with a high forecast of only 43.
The Salon has been nice and steady this week, with me working a little later today than usual, and tomorrow looks solid too.
Tonight is Lansing's Silver Bells in the City, where they have an electric light parade, singing groups scattered around the downtown venues, the tree lighting in front of the capitol, and fireworks. Too bad it's going to be so cold. I'll come home from work, and stay warm inside. I'll watch highlights on the news.  :-)
That's my quickie post for today, now time to get ready for work.....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

mo-ho update

Good morning.
We picked up the mo-ho yesterday afternoon. I also got a more thorough explanation of the problem. What exactly was wrong is this. Every time I run the motor home, the engine gets hot. When we stop, it cools down. The metal expands when hot, contracts when cools. Both Ford and Chevy used small bolts for the manifolds. They discovered over the years, that from the constant expansion and contraction, the bolts weren't strong enough and would begin to snap. When enough bolts snapped, the manifold cover would begin to warp, creating more stress, and popping more bolts. They then started to put larger bolts in the engines. Since it took years for the problem to surface, they never did a recall.
We had a total of 16 snapped bolts out of 20 between the 2 manifold covers. Took a total of 15 hours labor. To keep the cost near the estimate, they charged me cost on the materials and reduced the hourly fee from $79 to $65. Final bill, $2,110.90. He said he'd never seen so many broken bolts on one engine. I didn't tell him we'd been hearing that noise for the last 5 or 6 trips. We didn't take it in earlier, since it didn't seem to affect the driving. The noise wasn't much at first, but got more noticeable as time went on.We probably made a bad situation worse by continuing to drive it. I think we're lucky we didn't cause other issues.
He said, with the larger bolts, we shouldn't have an issue with it again. I hope he's right. Driving the mo-ho home, it sounded so smooth and quiet!
In other news, it was a fairly decent day, temp wise, so I got out and worked in the yard. Put up fencing around evergreens along the creek to try and protect them from hungry deer this winter. I also got on the roof, and brushed off the valleys. We have a very low roof line and the 2 north facing valleys fill up with leaves in the fall.
We also got our 4 turkeys. They went on sale this week. We'll have one for Thanksgiving, Christmas, early Feb. and mid March. I love the smell of turkey cooking all day.  :-)
And now, it's back to work for what's looking to be a fairly busy week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Alan Harper, Really?

Good morning.
It was a real nice day yesterday. Cloudy, but mild. Got all the way up to 62. Made the most of it. Cut down the rest of the grasses, and got all the leaves blown/vacuumed/mowed.  I also took up the portable deck and stored it in the garage.
We should only have one mowing left to be ready for winter.
In other news....
I've had at least 3 customers over the last several weeks, saying I look, and act, like Jon Cryer's Alan Harper in Two and a half Men. I don't see it, do you?

Then again, years ago, when I actually had a nice head of hair, I had many people who thought I looked like Jerry Seinfeld.
I didn't see that either.

Anyway, While I toiled in the yard, Craig did his usual laundry and bookwork, but also made a huge pot of delicious chili for dinner. :-)
It was a perfect day, as the rain held off until evening. Today, it's a lot of running around. Bank, Kohl's, Post office, and Meijer's. Turkey's went on sale this week, and we usually buy four. One for Thanksgiving, one for Christmas, and the other 2 during the long winter. And for those poor souls that don't know what a Meijer is, they are just the best store for groceries, and everything else. Before there was Super Walmart, Walmart sent people to study Meijer, and they copied them. But they don't have the quality produce or products Meijer has.
Anyway, I've rambled on far to long today. Time to get Craig up.  :-)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

post #1180

Good morning.
I've just returned form cleaning the Salon. The weather is very mild this morning. 53. I hope to get more leaves up today before afternoon rain sets in.
It was another busy week in the Salon, and it was good to come home a little early yesterday and relax. I had planned on doing a little work in the yard, but it never happened.  :-)
We finished the day with home made nachos, and a movie.
Now, while Craig sleeps in, I'm going out and cutting down the rest of the grasses.

Friday, November 11, 2011

answers to your questions

Good morning.
It's been a cold, cloudy, rainy, snowy, week. That's right, I said snow. Yuk!
At least, it was just a few flurries that didn't stick. But I had to scrap the frozen rain off my car before I came home last night.
And in response to a number of questions from my last post.....
Linda....."Does this mean repairs or a new engine?" 
A new engine would cost way more than $2000.00. No, just repairs. 2 new manifolds.
Garret... "What's on the asparagus?"
Butter and Parmesan Cheese. It was yummy!
Mark..... "How many miles on the engine? It's a Ford V-10 right?"
We've got just over 40,000 miles. And yes, it's a Ford V-10. I've been reading the forums too, and apparently cracked manifolds are a fairly common issue. I'll talk to the tech about that.
Dean left a voice mail about possibly using an after market product.
I had already authorized the repairs. But now that I think about it. I probably should have just put the Banks system on it and not only solved the manifold issue, but also possibly increased the mpg and performance. I just don't think fast enough sometimes.  :-)
I've got a long day today. Working later than usual. And a busy day Saturday.
So time to go......  :-)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

an expensive weekend

Good morning.
It's been a dreary wet couple of days.
We did take the motor home in for an oil change and generator service. We also wanted them to check out an odd noise. When in park, the engine sounds fine, but in gear, there's an odd sound I can't quite describe. Well, they found out it was cracked manifolds. And apparently some of the bolts were broken. He said it was fairly common on RV's. He went on to say something about heat, blah, blah, blah, and twisting, blah, blah, blah, possible 6 hours labor for drilling, blah, blah, blah, and a bunch of other stuff I couldn't begin to understand. I know absolutely nothing about engines.
So, anyway, it'll be just under $2000.00.  :-(
We almost made it through the entire season without a major repair. Almost.  :-(
In other news, the weather broke long enough to find time to change the tires on Kia and Cruiser to their winter tires.
Here's a pic of the winter and summer tires. Can you tell which one is which?
Yep! the winter tire is on the left. See how much smoother looking the right tire is. That's to make them have less road resistance for better gas millage. But it makes them horrible in snow. No traction what-so-ever.
And here's a pic with the winter wheel on the front, and the summer wheel on the back. We got the winter tires with wheels so it's an easy change. And they're very similar to the other wheels.
And the rain brought down most of the leaves from the Maples. Now we just need the rest to come down from the Sycamore and Elms and we can do our final mowing. Maybe next weekend.
And for dinner, grilled chicken, potatoes and asparagus. Yum!

Now, it's another work week. Hope it's busy. I need money for the mo-ho repairs!

Monday, November 07, 2011

a productive day

Good morning.
It was another beautiful day yesterday, and I took full advantage of it.
I blew/vacuumed/shredded a mess of leaves, then did a quick mowing of the lawn.
I took out the mo-ho dump battery, and trickle charged it. Then I ran the generator to get the gas stabilizer through the lines. Then I emptied the rest of the stuff out of the mo-ho for indoor storage. I also took out the portable gas grill, cleaned it and put it in the garage.
I also cut down most of the grasses and most of the fall perennials.
So it was a busy productive day.  :-)
And to top it off, Craig made a tasty meatloaf.  :-)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

another weekend

Good morning.
We finished another fairly busy week in the Salon. The weather has been very mild. Today it should hit 58.
I, of course, just returned from cleaning the Salon.
The yard is covered with leaves again. Looks to be about another week or so before they're all down. Taking the mo-ho in for an oil change and generator service tomorrow, so today, I'll finish getting the rest of the stuff out.
And I've got all the clocks here, and at work turned back.
And while I let Craig sleep in a little and take advantage of the extra hour of sleep, I'll do some surfing and blog reading.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

tech tip # 453

Good morning.
Well, it was a beautiful day yesterday. Got up to 58. May not see many more of those. :-(
So I took advantage of it. After our running around, I blew leaves off the driveway, patio and deck. While Craig mowed up the leaves, (We don't rake. We have a mulching mower) I winterized the water system in the mo-ho.
First thing, open the low point drains to empty the lines of water. Then open the fresh water tank drains. Then drain the water heater. Open the panel, and take out the plug in the lower middle. Then go inside and turn off the in and our water lines to the water heater and open the bypass. Don't want to fill the water heater with antifreeze. :-)
Newmar adds a nice inlet tube for winterizing in one of the bays. Just close off the fresh water tanks, stick the tube in your gallon of antifreeze, and your ready to suck it into the water lines.
I use 4 gallons. I could probably get away with 3, but I want to make sure there's enough in the drains to fill the macerator pump.
Then it was as simple as going inside and opening each faucet to let the antifreeze fill all the lines and drain traps, including the kitchen bath, shower, toilet, and washing machine. And don't forget the outside shower.
After I finished that, I went up on the roof to find and fix a water leak in the shower. We had a leak earlier this year, but on the other side of the skylight. I thought I'd checked everything out then, but apparently not. I discovered, instead of doing just a visual check for cracks, I needed to do a physical check on the sealant. I found an edge of the sealant had a gap under the edge and I was able to pull it back to expose the edge of the skylight.
I actually found 3 areas like this. I removed the old caulk, cleaned and dried the areas, and reapplied new Dicor lap sealant. While I was up there, I checked the rest of the roof and found one other possible spot I also fixed.
And with that all done, we relaxed with cocktails and enjoyed our last day off.
And now, time to get ready for another work week.....

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

trip #13

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon, as usual....
As I said yesterday, we've returned from our 13th, and last trip of the season. :-(
We went a short, just over an hour away, to Yankee Springs State Recreation area.
The campground sits on the edge of Gun lake.

We had a nice pull-through site, over-looking the lake, since the campground was fairly empty.
There were maybe 20 campers there in just under 200 sites. There were even 3 tenters, even though the nights got down around freezing. Now there's some dedicated campers! :-)
They had even closed the bath houses for the season, although they did bring in a couple of porta-potties. I'm assuming the tenters didn't bath then? ewww!
I'm wondering why they left the campground open without bath houses. Indiana Dunes State park is open all year, and they keep one bathhouse open all winter. hmm.
Anyway, we got there safe, and back home safe, so it was a good trip. :-) And we made it through the year, with only very minor issues. :-)
We arrived late Friday afternoon. We worked later than usual, since it was such a short drive. We arrived to find the water fill station closed for the season. They said water was available at the pump house behind site 34. We got to site 34 , and fortunately, it was empty so I backed the mo-ho into the site, as our 2 hoses weren't long enough from the road. Filled our tank, and drove around looking for the 'perfect' site. Settled into a nice pull-through with a view of the lake. Cooked kielbasas on the grill for dinner, and watched TV. Saturday morning, we drove just 6 miles to the Gun Lake casino. a fairly small one. Spent a few hours there and left about 20 up. :-) Then headed up the highway to Grand Rapids for lunch. Stopped at Tommy Brauns and had tasty burgers and watched our Sparty's get whipped. :-(
Then it was over to Midway Motor Homes. The dealer we bought our motor home from, had a new 2012 Thor Challenger with an interesting floor plan I wanted to check out. And no, we're not buying a new mo-ho. Unless one of my readers wants to get us an early Christmas present. ;-)
So, here's a link if you want to check it out. 2012 Thor Challenger.
It's a gas, 37ft. 3 slides. It actually was quite nice, other than the too busy graphics on the outside. It is different from most motor homes in that it has actual 'rooms'. Not a big open space. I liked it. It felt like a cozy cottage. And with a king bed too!
Then it was back to the campground, and a roaring campfire, watching the sun set.
Sunday, we awoke to rain, so no hiking/biking that day. So since we were ahead, we went back to the casino. Spent a good part of the day there, breaking for a tasty lunch , at one of their restaurants. Left down about 25. Not bad for the time we spent. :-)
Got back to the campground to find only 4 of us left there. 1 tenter, 1 travel trailer, 1 fifth-wheel, and us. The rain had stopped, so we took a walk around and took these pics. Fixed chicken on the grill, and pared that with potato salad we'd bought earlier.
Monday morning, packed up and made the short drive back to Lansing. Did a good final dump, with repeated rinsing, filled the propane tank, and filled the gas tank and added treatment for winter storage. We went through 14 gallons of propane for the season. Not bad for as much as we ran the furnace in the spring and fall. :-)
Back home, I spent the afternoon taking stuff out of the mo-ho. Food, water, toiletries, anything that might freeze. I also removed batteries from everything. Will put new ones in , in the spring.
And now, time to wake up Craig. We have a lot of running around to do today......

Monday, October 31, 2011

we're back! again

Good afternoon.
We've just returned from our last mo-ho trip of the season. :-(
But we did 13 weekend trips this year, and except for a few very minor things, it was a very good season!
More to come, but right now, it's time to unpack and unload the motor home in preparation for winterizing and winter storage.
More to come....

Friday, October 28, 2011

a short post

Good morning.
It's a cold dreary Friday. 32 out this morning, and dark. The days are getting rapidly shorter. I now go to work in the dark, and go home in the dark on my 2 long days. It's looking to be only about 50 for the next several days and a chance of rain, so not sure what I'll do this weekend. We'll see.
It has been a busy week at the Salon. And other than that, not much to say.
Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

post #1174

Good morning.
Yesterday was mostly a wash-out. Drizzly rain, off and on all day.
Sooo, I spent a good part of it cleaning out the garage. That seems to be the accumulating point for everything. But I got it cleaned and straightened, and a car full of stuff I'm dropping off at Goodwill. Now Craig has room to park the Kia when the snow starts flying.
Craig did pick up his new glasses. And of course, balked at letting me take his pick for the blog. :-)
Today, I'm calling our electrical guy to replace a couple of sodium lights on the outside of the Salon. I think the sensors have fogged over too bad and the lights stay on most of the time., except one that keeps going on and off. I've tried cleaning them, but they're just too bad. And I know, "isn't that the landlord's job?" But anyone who's rented commercial space knows it's like pulling teeth to get any money out of them. And by the time they did get around to it, it would be spring, and the days are rapidly getting shorter, and the girls need dependable lighting at night.
Sooo, with that, its time to get ready for another work week. Looking pretty decent so far.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

it's not quite over, and what do you think

Good morning.
The weather has been cool, but sunny. It rained all night Sunday night, but quit by morning. I've accomplished a lot during the last 2 days. I now have about 85% of the yard cut back. All that's left is some late blooming perennials and all the grasses.
Here's whats still blooming.....
A pretty l\plant called Toad Lilly. Above a closer view of the tiny flowers.

Above, Monkshood. Because each individual flower resembels the hoon on a monks robe. Below. Japanese anemones.
So even though most of the yard is tired looking and mostly done for the season, there's still a few spots of color. :-)
And for our anniversary, we went out to lunch yesterday. We decided on Finlay's. I had their famous ribs, and Craig had their American Cheeseburger. Both were very good.
And we're in the process of deciding on new dryer chairs for the Salon.
We have a couple of styling chairs that have cracks in the vinyl seats. The seats are the same ones we have on the dryer chairs. Soooo, I want to swap the dryer chair seats for the cracked styling chairs. Styling chairs are about twice the cost of dryer chairs, so it makes sense to get new dryer chairs instead. Her's are 3 choices......

And C....
I like C with the chrome handles, Craig likes A with the ribbed back. What do you think?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

a special day

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the usual....
I ended up getting out of work fairly early Saturday, so I came home and worked on the leaves. Every few days, there's more. Should be another 2 weeks before they're all down.
And today is a special day. 35 years ago today, Craig and I decided to move in together. Of course, back then, who knew how long that would last. I was 23, him 25. I was in beauty school, he was teaching at MSU. But apparently, it was meant to be. And now, 35 years later, I can't imagine life without him.
So, today, even though it's a milestone, we'll be doing our usual Sunday routine. Oh, we'll have an anniversary lunch, but that will wait until tomorrow. Restaurants are too busy on Sunday. That also will make our anniversary last longer. :-)
Gifts? No. We haven't exchanged gifts in years. We have everything we need, and can't afford every thing we want. :-)
I'll let Craig sleep in as long as he wants today, and I'll look through my digital photo albums thinking of everything we've been through over the years, and wondering what direction our future may lead us. Because today is a special day.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A saturday post

Good morning.
I got out of work early yesterday, so I went shopping for the weekends meals. We were having a new dish Friday, Beef Broccoli. Today will be home made pizza, and Sunday, Ham steaks, mashed potatoes and butternut squash.
When I got home, I tackled the bathroom. I hate cleaning, and always let it go until it's nasty. So I dove in and spent a good 2 hours on it. And it's not even very big. A very small bathroom that was typical of the 50's when this house was built. We've remodeled it twice in the 26 years we've been here.

We now have all the fixtures in bone which I really like. Not as sterile as white, but looks clean and neutral. And not only do I need to scrub the tub and shower, But it also needs to be 'waxed'. When we last remodeled the bath, we replaced the tub with a whirlpool tub. They make them to fit where a standard size tub fits. The sides are just a few inches higher. But it's fiberglass, and looks best if it's 'waxed'. I use a product called Gel-Gloss.
Oh, and in the first pic, the louvered door is only like that from the front. Once closed, the back looks like a 2 panel door. One need a little privacy in the potty. :-)
And here's a pic of our new dinner dish.
It was yummy! I'll post the recipe when I have a little more time, as for now, I need to get ready for work. My first customer is at 8am.