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Friday, April 29, 2011

still cold

Good morning from a cold (currently 36 out) Lansing.
Our colder and wetter than normal spring continues. :-(
But from watching the news, it could be a lot worst!
The Salon has been slow this week, except for me. :-)
I've been pretty much booked all week, but it looks to be a shorter day today and tomorrow. Which could be good since we are due for a couple of days with no rain. Maybe I can get some more yard work done.
And unless you live under a rock, today is the big wedding day for Britain's royal family. It's been the talk of the Salon all week. Personally I'm not much interested in the actual wedding, but I have learned a lot of interesting things about the preparations and history of the British royal family. Did you get up at the crack of dawn to watch it?
Oh, and gas around here jumped to $4.19 yesterday. Not looking good for our camping season. We may have to rethink some of our destinations. But we won't let gas prices stop us. We may not go as far, but we will go. :-)
So, I'm off for a shower and work.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

3 dead mice

Good morning.
We're continuing our spring like weather. :-)
But as you can see in these pics,
we are still in early spring.
The grass is green, and daffodils
and hyacinths are blooming,
but there are no bushes
or trees leafing out yet.
And I haven't even done a first mowing yet, though it looks like I might need to next weekend.
We've had sooo much rain, every river in the tri-county area is under a flood advisory.
But it's not near as bad here as in other places. It seems most of the storm systems are going south of us.
The rain did end early in the day,
but because it was too wet to wet
to weed, I decided to thin out the
pond plants. As you can see in
this pic from last year, the tall plants at the
upper left called Pickerel Rush have filled
the entire corner and the water lilies are
filling up the front half.
So I got out my wading boots, took of my shoes, and put my foot in and I felt something that wasn't normal. I about fell down trying to get that boot back off!
This is what I found inside that boot....
A mouse had tried to build a nest in the bottom of the boot!
I had the boots hanging in the shed! All that blue granular stuff is mouse bait. I put bait in the shed in the fall to get rid of any mice, and it does the job. But I about freaked out when my toes touched something that didn't feel like the bottom of the boot!
There was enough bait in the boot to fill 2 bait boxes.
Anyway, after I made damn sure there was nothing else in the boots, I got the pond plants thinned out. Then I decided to clean out the shed. Found 2 more mice nests in side some coiled hoses, and a total of 3 dead, dried up mice.
And it looks like more rain moving in for the next few days. We seem to be stuck in a very wet cycle. But at least the temps have returned to normal.
Now time for my shower and another work week!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

free is good!

Good morning.
We've had a couple of good days temp wise. Sunday, sunny near 60, and Monday, rain and 63.
With Sunday being such a nice day, I cleaned/weeded another flower bed. I also helped Craig install the new locking mailbox and repaired some landscape lighting. Craig has numerous 18 watt landscape lights all around the back yard. With the 2 porch lights on day/night sensors and 2 sodium lights, our yard is lit up like a freakin ballpark! But Craig likes to look out at night and be able to see if anything is going on. The lights make him feel more secure. It's just another one of his OCD issues. :-)
Anyway, a section of lights were out and replacing bulbs didn't help. So he bought a new light and it didn't work either. So it had to be the wiring, so I traced the problem back to a connector. Replaced that, and now they all work. :-)
And of course, being Easter, Craig made a delicious Ham for dinner. Had plenty for leftovers, and froze the bone for making broth later.
Monday morning, while Craig slept in, I went online to place our free lunch order. Then I went to the doctor for my annual physical.
Looks like I'm going to live another year. ;-)
But I swear, every year, there's at least one thing that's off. This year, it was my LDL or bad cholesterol. They want it under 130. Mine was 133. Last year it was 124. the year before that, 114. Before that, 134.
Last year, it was Glucose. It's suppose to be under 99, mine was 101. This year, 97.
3 and 4 years ago, it was Neutrophils, or white blood cells. They want them between 48 and 81. I was a bit low at 47.9 one year, and 48.8 the other. This year, 55.1.
I'm beginning to think some things just tend to fluctuate. :-\
After my physical, I came home to find Craig had gotten up all by himself, showered and was ready to go. :-)
We did our usual banking and shopping, getting the stuff home in time to go pick up the Salons free lunch from Chipotle Grill. They had everything ready when I got there, and it was indeed all free. It would have cost $61.47 had we had to pay for it. Got to the Salon, and only half the staff was there. Called and got various excuses. One completely forgot, 2 others were on their way, running late. You'd think people could remember a free meal wouldn't you? Anyway, we ate our free lunch, and decided it was pretty good, but kinda expensive for fast food. Had we payed for it, we probably wouldn't go there again. So if they hoped to get new customers, it didn't work for our group. :-)
Back home, since it was raining, I decided to tackle the riding lawn mower. It was in the garage, so I'd be dry. After some work, I managed to remove the mower deck, and with Craig's help, got the blades sharpened. It was actually easier to get the mower deck back on. :-)
Then, since the rain had stopped and the sun was trying to come out, I suggested to Craig we should change Cruiser's tires. So we took off the snow tires, and put on the summer tires.
So, it's been a productive weekend, and now it's time for my shower. Not sure what's on the schedule for today, it's raining again, and looks like it will all day. I might have to take a day off and just play. :-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

spring, finally, I hope.....

Good morning, and Happy Easter!
Spring seems to have finally arrived!
For now anyway. :-)
It got up to 63 yesterday,
and today should be similar.
I had a fairly short day at the salon yesterday.
I started at 7:30 and was done by 1:30.
I came home, changed my clothes,
and went outside.
I picked up sticks, surveyed springs progress,
and cleaned/weeded a couple of flower beds.
I've got sooo much to do and I'm sooo behind.
It's a good thing I decided not to
have a plant sale this year.
Craig informed me at this time last year
I had 264 plants divided and potted up already.
This year, being such a cold spring,
most of my perennials,
are barely up enough to see,
much less divide.
After Craig got home, we relaxed on the deck
with cocktails and soaked in the spring weather.
I've already cleaned the Salon this morning,
and took these pics so I
could add them to this post.
Today, I plan on changing the tires on PT Cruiser
from winter tires to summer,
and I hope to get
the deck off the riding lawn mower
so I can sharpen or replace the
blades depending on their condition.
And of course, Craig will make a ham for dinner.
Semi-boneless is the only way he claims.
More flavor.
And deviled eggs, augratin potatoes,
and cauliflower.
So it looks to be a good weekend. :-)

Friday, April 22, 2011

busy week and free food

Good morning.
It's currently raining, again, and 41 out. A high of only 53 is forecast. Not only has it been a very cold spring, it's been a very wet one. We are under a flood advisory. Not to worry about our house or Salon, we're on high ground. :-)
It also appears we'll be getting a little break. They are forecasting 60's to near 70 for the mid week before plunging back below normal next weekend. So, if the rain ever lets up, I'll be out working in the yard this weekend, as I'm way behind my spring yard work.
The salon has been very busy this week, and looks to end that way also.
Monday I have my yearly physical, and then for lunch, our Salon staff is getting a free lunch from Chipolte Grill. Last week I received a call from the manager, and they are doing a month long promotion to get more exposure for them. This month they are targeting Salons and Monday is our day. I went on-line and printed out a bunch of order forms and been having the staff fill them out. I'll go on-line Monday morning and place our orders, and pick up the food at 11:30 and deliver it to the Salon. Only one person on our staff has ever eaten there, and she said the food was 'okay'. But hey, free food is free food, right?
And that's all I got for today.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

wed. post

Good morning.
We are continuing our colder than normal spring with temps yesterday reaching a high of only 40. Our normal high should be near 60. :-(
But things are looking up. The forecast is calling for near normal temps by the weekend, and possibly, dare I say, slightly above normal temps by the middle of next week.
And despite the temps, mother nature is 'springing' forth. The grass is greening up, and the spring flowers are slowly emerging.
Monday, after we returned home, I cleaned out the mo-ho, while Craig did laundry and bookwork. I then got the cleaning bug and cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed. Tuesday, after we shopped for the weeks groceries, we came home and I did absolutely nothing all day. It was cold and windy out, so no yard work, and I couldn't find an ounce of ambition to do anything. So I played on the puter all day.
Craig got 2 letters in the mail saying our tax returns were in error. No one ever likes getting a letter from the IRS! But we had already gotten our automatic deposit refund, that didn't match our figures. The letters informed us that we miscalculated our self employment tax, and we were due a bigger refund than we had figured. Apparently last fall, as part of the stimulus package, they changed the way self-employment tax was figured and Craig must have missed that. It was a one time deal, so it won't happen again next year.
And this week in the Salon looks to be quite busy, and busy is good. -)

Monday, April 18, 2011

it's still not over.....

Good afternoon. We're back! Yep! We've just returned from our first mo-ho trip of the season. It was a short 100 mile trip over to Lake Michigan and Holland State Park. And I must say, it was some of the worst weather we've had for our first trip in the 6 years we've been doing this. Friday afternoon, we left with gusty winds. Fortunately, the wind was at our back, so it wasn't a big deal. Saturday, we had wind and a cold rain, all day long. Sunday, was cold, windy, reaching a high of only 46, but at least the sun came our and it looked nice from inside. And here's a pic from the inside. :-) Monday, we awoke to 2 inches of snow on the ground. It's very unusual to get snow this late, though it has happened. It's been a very cold spring here in Michigan. But, we arrived there safe, and returned home safe. Everything functioned properly, and we still enjoyed getting away and using the mo-ho. Friday after we arrived and got set up, we ran back into town for our traditional first trip meal, KFC, original recipe. Damn that chicken's good! We relaxed in the mo-ho with cocktails and DVD's. A total of 8 brave souls camped here that weekend. Of course, none were tents. :-) Saturday, with crappy cold wind and rain, we ventured over to Michigan's newest casino, the Gun Lake Casino. We spent a few hours leaving our contribution for their continued prosperity. We then stopped at a local bar and grill for lunch. Back at the mo-ho, was computer games, and DVD time with chicken kielbasa's stuffed with spinach and mozzarella cheese. We re-watched battle L.A. Sunday, we met my brother Bruce with his son Ben and friend Tammy, and another brother Brian and his wife Ruth for breakfast in downtown Holland. I don't see my brothers very often, and we had a nice visit. From there, we drove a short 12 miles south to Saugatuck, where we did a little shopping, stocking up on various cooking marinades. Back at the campsite, we decided with the snowy forecast, we'd hook up the car caddy and load the car. Our site was just long enough to do it. We also managed to take a nice walk around the campground, as the dunes helped to diffuse the cold wind. For dinner, we pan fried some pork cutlets, as it wasn't very pleasant out side to grill, and we used a marinade we bought in Saugatuck called Wasabi ginger sauce. It was very tasty. And we watched 10,000 B.C. And it's a good thing we loaded up the car Sunday, because this morning.........

2 inches of that nasty stuff!
I typed this this morning at our campsite while Craig got his beauty rest. With iffy roads this morning, we didn't want to leave to early and be in any rush hour traffic. fortunately, all the roads were just wet and we got home just fine.

So despite the crappy weather, we managed to enjoy ourselves as we usually do. :-)

Friday, April 15, 2011

spring has sprung

Good morning. Work has been crazy busy this week. That's the one thing I don't like about this type of business. When you deal with a clientele, you never know how busy you'll be until that day is done. Wednesday, I had a lite leisurely work day, yesterday, the phone rang off the hook. Today, I'm nearly booked solid, so I hope the phone doesn't ring for today. :-) And I'm not complaining about being busy, busy is good. :-) Weather wise, it looks to be another weekend of below normal temps. But the next couple of weeks look to get back to normal. And even with a cold spring, it is still slowly arriving. And here's proof.....

Yes, spring has sprung in Mid-Michigan. Finally. :-)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

do I feel more secure?

Good morning. Yesterday was windy and cool, so not a lot done. We did however, go out and buy a new mailbox. When ever we go on a trip, we have someone pic up the mail, even if we're gone just a few days. And sometimes it's difficult to find someone who's in town that weekend, and available. And with gas prices the way they are, he doesn't want to put anyone out. Sooooo, he's decided a locking mailbox would do the trick. Since we're usually gone only Friday to Monday, and we get the mail Friday before we leave, it would be just Saturday's mail sitting there. I don't think that would be a problem, but Craig's positve someone will stop, see mail, and know we're out of town, and break in to the house. Now anyone who know's Craig knows he tends to be just a tiny bit paronoid about security. I mean, we have an alarm system, a sodium light in the front yard and one in the back yard, dead bolts on all the doors, and timers on several lights. We even leave 2 cars in the driveway when we're gone. But he's convinced, as soon as we pull the mo-ho out of the driveway and head down the street, a giant sign goes up on the roof screaming, THE MOTOR HOME IS GONE! AND SO ARE THEY! Seriously, he drives me crazy sometimes. :-) I tell him there's lots of times the mo-ho is gone for a few days for service. I tell him we live on a very busy street with a speed limit of 55. No one but people who knows us even notices at our house as they wizz by. But anyway, now I have another project to do. And this will be involved because I'll have to move the post too. This thing is wider, longer and higher than the existing one and there's a standard height and setback required of the post office. Oh, and I'm not going to tell him you can look in the slot and still be able to see if there's mail in there. Nope, not going to say a word.......

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The mo-ho is ready!

Good morning.

It's currently 38 out, going for a high of 55 which is slightly below the normal high of 60. Yesterday morning, we still had a bit of the warm front left as it was 67 when I got up and the rain had quit. I decided to take advantage of it and when it was light enough, I went out and drained the water/bleach mixture from the mo-ho, and filled the holding take with fresh water. Flushed all the lines and filled the water heater. I then polished the remaining 2 wheels.

After my shower, I woke up Craig, and fixed us coffee. We went out and did our usual Monday routine, P.O. bank, and shopping which was a challenge. They have closed a large section Of Saginaw Street, reducing it to 2 lanes in one direction. Saginaw is the main thoroughfare through the west side. Nearly everything is on this main road. The street is undergoing a complete redo that will last all summer. Fortunately, Our Salon is on a main side street, so our customers shouldn't have too much trouble getting to us.

Returning home, I fired up the mo-ho water heater. After confirming the propane burner worked, I turned that off and turned on the electric heater. Since it would take an hour to heat, we worked on the car caddy. One of the mud flaps had ripped off, and needed to be replaced. We had searched all over, and no one carries them, soooo we stumbled on what were called rubber belts at TSC. They had them in widths of 5, 7, and 12, sold by the foot. Our old ones were 6 1/2 by 10 1/2 so we bought 2 ft of the 7 inch. Of course, I could only get 1 of the 2 nuts off that held each of the old ones on. But I did manage to cut the old ones off and we mounted the new ones just underneath where the old ones were.

After that project, Craig went in to do the estimated taxes that are due on the 15th as any self employed person knows, and I went in the mo-ho. Checked the water, it ran hot. Good. Then ran a quick cycle on the washer/dryer/ and then a cycle on the dishwasher.

I'm happy to say, at least right now, everything has been checked and is functioning properly with the mo-ho and it's ready for it's first trip! :-)

With us having such a cold spring, I haven't been able to clean up the flower beds much since very little has come up yet. But that has given me more time to work on the mo-ho, so all in all, it's okay. We only have 2 trips scheduled for all of April and May, so I'll have plenty of time in the yard, once it finally decides to warm up and stay warm. But I do have a few things in bloom..... I'm not sure what the top pic is. They're cute little flowers only about 3 inches tall. The bottom pic is a large Hellebore. So spring is slowly coming along. :-)

Monday, April 11, 2011

A fine day

Good morning.

Yesterday got all the way up to 83! It was wonderful! It felt soo good to be outside without a coat! Today, it's raining with slowly falling temps back to seasonal highs of near 60, but we took full advantage of the day we had.

And to answer a couple of questions from my last post about my 'dump battery'. We use a macerator pump to empty the grey and black holding tanks instead of those nasty accordion hoses. It is permanently attached to the dump outlet. It needs power to run. We didn't want to pay someone to hard wire it, so we use a 12 volt battery. After sitting all winter, I fully charge it up to use for the season. Hope this explains it for you. :-)

Now back to our day.....

After cleaning the Salon, I came home and drained the antifreeze from the mo-ho's water lines. Then I mixed a bleach solution, sucked it into the fresh water tank, and filled it with water. Ran all the water lines to fill them with the solution, and let it sit for 24 hours to sanitize the water system. I also put in a new whole house water filter for the new season.
I then went out back and removed all the 2x2 wood slats that ran across the top of the arbor by the pond. They weren't wolmanized wood, just regular wood, stained, and after many years, they are starting to rot and disintegrate. And this pic is just for visual. It's an archive pic. We don't have those flowers blooming yet. :-)

I then washed the front and back and one side of the mo-ho.

By then, it was time for a shower, and wake up lazy bones.

I fixed us coffee and we read the paper.

Then, while Craig did his usual paperwork and laundry, I washed the other side of the mo-ho, and trimmed up a few more bushes.

Then it was time for a late lunch. Leftover pizza. I think it's as good as fresh. :-)

Then Craig went to burn the 2x2's and a large pile of branches, while I cleaned and sealed the rubber roof of the mo-ho and polished 2 of the tire rims.

Finally, I turned over the 5 birdbaths we have and filled them with water.

It was now time to call it a day, and we relaxed on the deck with cocktails and soaked up the first warm day of the season.
For dinner, Craig made his tasty Turkey Rice Casserole, with a side of asparagus.
It was a perfect day.......

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Almost RVing time!

Good morning.

With Friday and Saturday being fairly short days at the Salon, I was able to get out side and do a few things. It's been near 60, so not too bad.

We appear to be done with the night time below freezing temps, so I restocked the mo-ho with the rest of it's liquid stuff. Shampoo, shaving cream, toothpaste, cleaning supplies, etc. I also managed to trim back a few bushes, and I also got the bikes off the garage ceiling hooks and filled the tires. While I was at that, I also filled the tires on the riding mower. And if I find the time, I need to pull the deck from the mower and sharpen the blades.

I also put the portable gas grill back in a mo-ho bay and charged the dump battery and put that back in.

And with one day of summer like temps, (it's suppose to hit near 80 today!) I plan on un-winterizing the mo-ho and sanitizing the system, and hopefully give it a good washing. Then, just a couple of more things to buy, and we'll be ready to hit the road! :-)

And now I'm off to clean the Salon....

Friday, April 08, 2011

spring has arrived!

Good morning. I believe spring has arrived here in mid-Michigan! I took this pic of a clump of Dwarf Dutch Iris just starting to open, yesterday morning. We've had a fairly cold spring, but a gradual one. We may even hit the upper 70's on Sunday, before returning to our normal high of 60 on Monday. But even 60 will be nice after being stuck in the 40's-50's. :-) The salon has been steady this week, and steady is good. Craig got a call from his doctor telling him both polyps were benign, and he can go 5 years before his next colonoscopy. He was a happy camper. :-) Not much else to report, so have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

just 2 means good for 5

Good afternoon. Craig had his colonoscopy this afternoon, and he had 2 polyps removed. They were very small, and the doctor said if the labs come back good, as he expects them to, Craig can go 5 years before the next one. He was sure glad to hear that! This one had been only 3 years because he had 5 polyps the first time. And he has not had a good experience with the prep. Both times now after the initial prep, he's clear when he goes to bed, and gets up in the morning, not at all clear, and had to do another 1/2 prep to get where he needed to be. That's why he made this appointment in the afternoon, just in case it happened again, so he'd have time to 'redo', and it did! But now it's over, and we can get life back to normal. On the way home from the hospital, we stopped at Finlay's for a late lunch. Craig had an American cheeseburger, and I had their really good ribs.

Monday, after we returned home from all our running around, While he finished some bookwork waiting for the prep to start working, I went on a cleaning binge. I cleaned out several kitchen cabinets. You know, the ones with deep shelves you never see what's back there? Well, I found a bunch of stuff to add to my spring yard sale.

One particular item, a few of you might remember, a hot air popcorn popper! We got this way back in the late 70's I think. Haven't used it in years! It's even got a little butter melting cup on top!

It still works, but with Craig's hundreds of fillings, (okay, maybe not quite that many) he doesn't eat popcorn anymore. So with this gradual house cleaning I've been doing, I'm filling up a space in the living room for a pretty decent size yard sale. I'll post more of these little treasures later. And if anyone wants any of the stuff, if your willing to pay shipping, you can have it!

Soooo it's back to work tomorrow.

Oh, ps, I was going to take a bunch of pics in the hospital, and even post the polyp pics, but Craig didn't seem to think it was a good idea. So, since he went through so much the last couple of days, I thought I'd humor him and be good. :-)

Monday, April 04, 2011

slow spring continues

Good morning. Spring continues it's very slow march. As you can see in the pic, March ended colder than normal, and April is running near normal. And it appears we're stuck in a wet pattern.
And from the long term forecast, it looks to stay that way with this month running in the mid 50's.

Anyway, I cleaned the Salon yesterday morning, and after Craig got up, we did our usual Sunday routine.

We also turned around the mo-ho and got it backed into the driveway. That was between the rain and snow mix we had off and on yesterday. At least the snow didn't stick as it did reach a high of 47.

I also started to get stuff put back in the mo-ho, such as making the bed, towels, paper towels and tp, and put batteries back into the smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, safe, clock, and the various remotes. With temps still falling below freezing, I'll wait until next weekend to put the liquids back in such as dish soap, shower soap and conditioner, and the various other toiletries.

Every thing so far is in working order. Just the water pump and water heater to check and that will wait until it's warmer, when I can un-winterize it.

Craig also made a tasty meatloaf for dinner.

Today, we saved for shopping, banking, and other running around. I want to keep Craig busy today because he is on a clear liquid diet in preparation for his colonoscopy tomorrow afternoon. That way he won't have time to think about eating, and once he starts his prep later this afternoon, he'll be to 'busy' to eat. :-) It's sooo much fun getting older.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

a slow spring

Good morning. Work has been nice and steady this week, with today booked from 8am -3pm. Weather has been slightly below normal in the mid 40's. I did get out of work early enough yesterday to do a little more work in the yard. I trimmed more bushes, picked up more twigs, and deadheaded the rest of the perennials. Craig got home a little early also and helped me lay our mobile deck. Here's a couple of pics from last year.... Scrolling through last March's posts to find it, I realized I had a lot more done last year by April 1'st than this year. But I stated last year we had warmer than normal temps, and this March has been below normal temps. So I'm a good 2-3 weeks behind last year. Low 40's to upper 50's make a big difference. But I'll catch up with the yard eventually. And for dinner last night, Craig made spaghetti, and tonight he's making nachos. Yum!