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......
A...

B....
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 Salon.....as 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.

Friday, October 21, 2011

this and that

Good morning.
It's been a wet, cold, windy week. Everyday. But the weekend looks dryer.
Work has been steady this week, but not without issues.
I got to work Wednesday morning, and was straightening things up when I noticed we needed more coffee cups on our coffee stand in the reception area. As I got out more cups, I noticed quite a bit of water on the counter around the cups, and sugar and creamer container. I realized right away, the coffee machine was leaking. It's happened before. This coffee maker keeps a pot of water inside heated and ready whenever you want to make another pot of coffee. Because of that, the heating element eventually 'cooks' through the bottom of the water chamber, and it starts to leak. In our 14 years here, it's happened twice. So over to the store I went for another one.
I got the new one set up and the old one out in the trash. I then went out to get the mail. Our mail is delivered to a central location in the mall. It's not delivered to the individual stores. On the way back, I notice our open/closed sign was missing the lower half of it's P. It now looked like a small D instead of a P.
That's the problem with LED's. I've seen it on cars too. One section of lights go out, and the entire thing is ruined. So now we need to put that on our shopping list.
And it was time to order our pocket calendars that we hand out for Christmas.
We've done this for more years than I can remember. We don't give out near as many as we use to, with all the smart phones and such, but we still have a good size core of customers who look forward to them every year. So after our staff agreed to the style and number needed, I went online when I got home last night and place an order.
And now with that, it's time to get ready for another work day....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

weather, water heater, and business

Good morning.
Yesterday was a typical fall day in Michigan. Cool and cloudy.
Craig got the yard mowed while I blew the leaves off the deck and vacuumed the leaves off the driveway and along the garage. The windy weekend blew a lot of the color away. Fall can be so pretty, but we often get wind and rain to spoil it.

Craig mowing the front yard.

Before and after.
Of course, this will be repeated time and again until all the leaves are down. Usually around thanksgiving.
And it appears we'll be getting a closed system water heater. The furnace guy said there's no venting problem with the vent he put on the chimney. He says it's more likely a faulty water heater. With the 6 in tube he put into the attic, there's plenty of make-up air and no reason air should be coming down the water heater exhaust. So we're kinda stuck between the furnace guy saying one thing, and the plumbing people saying another. Craig says he's just tired of it all and wants an end to it, and a closed system will do that.
So since we haven't had any venting issues since it's gotten colder, I've got time to get a couple more estimates, since it looks like it'll run a couple thousand dollars. :-(
In better news....
Craig has done the totals for the third quarter at the salon, and we are currently a little ahead of last year.
Business has picked up a little more. We've also seen a few new businesses opening up in the area. So some people must think the worst is behind us. We don't see much new hiring, but at least it appears to be no more layoffs. But with the economy so stagnate, I'm not sure it can get a whole lot better. Time will tell.
And with that, time to get ready for another work week. It's looking pretty good so far.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

trip # 12

Good morning.
Recapping the previous week.....
The work week ended very busy, with us leaving early on Friday for one of our last weekend trips of the season.
This trip took us back to Indiana Dunes State Park. On Lake Michigan, about 10 miles south of Michigan City Indiana.
The weather wasn't the best. We drove down with gusty winds, and it was windy all weekend, including the drive back. But, we got there safe, arrived home safe, and without incidence.
The weather wasn't a big issue, since this was our casino weekend. From the park, we are with-in a 30 minute drive to 4 casinos. And over the weekend, we hit them all. When all was said and done, we came home with over 3/4th of our gambling budget. Not bad, a good value for the entertainment.
We started out Friday afternoon, after arriving at the campground, we headed a short drive into Michigan City, and the Blue Chip Casino. Here, we spent a couple of hours playing the slots. Left with Craig up a tiny bit, and me down a little. Headed to the truck stop by the highway and got Popeye's chicken for dinner. Was delish! After a cozy night in the mo-ho, we headed over to Gary Indiana, where 2 casinos sit with-in a few blocks of each other, the Majestic Star, and Ameristar. We did one, had lunch, and then the other, taking a break to watch some football, where our Sparty's beat Michigan. Left for the campground with me up quite a bit, and Craig down some.
Had turkey kielbasas for dinner.
Sunday, we awoke to more wind and this time rain also. We headed out toward the Four Winds Casino, about 25 miles north, just across the Michigan border. This is one of the largest, nicest casino's in the area, and it was busy. They must be doing good, as they are adding a large hotel expansion. It's probably form all the money they're wringing out of customers, as we both did poorly there. So it was lunch at the Stray Dog in New Buffalo, and back to the Blue Chip Casino.
There, I got lucky and hit a couple of small jackpots, while Craig's bad luck continued. But like I said, when all was said and done, we didn't do too bad over all. :-)
Back at the campground, we relaxed with cocktails and the Sunday paper. Dinner was delicious sirloin steaks on the grill with potatoes and grilled carrots.
Monday morning, we packed up, dumped, and arrived home early afternoon.
It was another good trip. :-)

Monday, October 17, 2011

sorry

Good afternoon.
Sorry for my long absence, I was lazy Friday, and we were gone for the weekend on another weekend trip.
Details to follow. :-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

the water heater saga continues.

Good morning.
Our beautiful summer like weather is slowing coming to an end. High today in the low 70's, but by Saturday, only mid 50's. It was nice while we had it. :-)
Now on to the water heater. Michigan Plumbing came out in the morning, studied the situation, and decided since it's not venting into the house every time the air is running, there must be another factor at play here. He suggested wind might occasionally be blowing into the vent cover creating a negative pressure keeping the water heater from venting normally. He said to contact the furnace installer and ask if another type of vent cap is available. If the furnace guy doesn't think that's an issue, they'd be happy to replace our water heater. But for the expense, we should try all other possible ideas. I thanked them, and they left. In the afternoon, Moore plumbing came over. He also checked everything out, thought it was possible air could be sucked down the exhaust and said a self contained water heater would eliminated the issue. The cost? $2200.00.
I thanked him for coming out, and said I'd think about it.
Sooo, I think I'll call the furnace guy first and see if there's any chance the wind might be causing problems with the vent. I'm sure he'll say it couldn't, but it never hurts to ask. :-)
The rest of the day, I blew and vacuumed leaves. They're coming down pretty fast, and the trees haven't even completely turned yet. Very odd.
Craig returned home from the eye doctor. His overall vision hadn't changed much, but his reading did. So new lenses are in order. He also decided on the new frames. With the discounts he got, the exam, frames and lenses ended up costing $550.00. Not bad, really, since we don't have vision insurance.
And now, another work week. Looks to be fairly busy. That's good, we have glasses and possibly a new water heater to pay for. :-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

and it was good.

Good morning.
Thanks for all the birthday wishes here, on Facebook and e-mails. :-)
It was really a nice relaxing day. Let Craig sleep in while I washed the mo-ho and cars. Then we went out for the weeks grocery shopping. For lunch, I had a gift card to Red Robin. Never been there before. One of our stylist from the Salon who retired a year ago joined us. It was nice catching up. I had the Avocado, bacon burger, and Craig had the patty melt. Both were very tasty, but they were rather small for the $10 price. I guess they think the bottomless fries make up for it, but I'm not crazy about steak fries. To much soft potato and not enough crunch. Would not go back without another gift card. :-)
Back home we relaxed, read the paper, and I puttered in the yard.
For dinner, we cooked Craig's tasty wings! I must have ate over 2lbs by myself! Yummy!
Today will be filled with waiting. While Craig goes for an eye exam, I have Michigan Plumbing coming between 10 and 12 for an estimate on a new water heater, and Moore Plumbing coming at 1:30 for another estimate. Will be a good reason to clean . :-) I'll let you know where the estimates run....

Monday, October 10, 2011

oh no, not again!

Good morning.
Yep, it's that time of year again. The annual birthday. 58 years. Time sure does fly. And they seem to go faster every year.
No big plans today. I washed the mo-ho this morning. Did quite a bit of cutting back perennials yesterday while Craig mowed. The weather has been awesome!
Today, for my birthday, we'll go to lunch. I have a Red Robin gift card to use. Dinner will be one of my favorite dishes. A big plate of wings! Craig made up the marinade yesterday, and this afternoon he'll bake them up. He also got me a card and some smoked salmon. He's a good guy. :-)
If the mood strikes, I should do more yard work, but we'll see. :-)

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sunday

Good morning.
I've just returned home from cleaning the Salon, as usual...
The work week ended in a flurry. Despite the slow Wednesday, it ended as a very good week. And I got my hair cut also. :-)
Arrived home late for a Saturday, and we relaxed on the deck with cocktails.
I was planning on washing the mo-ho before I got Craig up, but at 7:30, it's still not daylight yet.
I think that's what I dislike most about winter, going to work in the dark, and coming home in the dark.
Anyway, Craig wants me to wake him up early so he can get a beef pot roast going in the crock-pot. It has to cook 10 hours on low. I will enjoy the smells all day. :-)
And our week of Indian summer is still here for a couple of more days, so I hope to get a lot of yard work done.
And that's all i've got for now....

Friday, October 07, 2011

Friday

Good morning.
After a slow start on Wednesday, (at least I got my hair cut and highlighted and cut Craig's) the phone started ringing, and I became completely booked Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And actually working later Saturday than usual. The weather has been great, though I've been inside. :-( But it looks like it'll extend through the weekend. :-)
That will be good because I need to get out and start cutting back the perennials. A lot of them are way past their prime and the cold weather will soon be upon us.
The trees are turning quickly. We should be in peak color in another week or so.
And we've got a couple of companies coming out early next week for estimates on a closed system water heater. Even with the make-up air the furnace guy installed, we are still occasionally getting the water heater exhausting into the house. It isn't happening very often now since the air conditioning season is done, but when it does, the carbon monoxide detector goes off, and we get dull headaches. Can't be good for us long term.
Well anyway, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

back to work, again

Good morning.
Yesterday was a beautiful day. Sunny and near 70. Gorgeous! And of course, just as we get back to work, it's going to warm up. Mid 70's for the rest of the week. :-\
We did our usual Monday running around, bank, PO with a stop at Lenscrafters to get Craig's eyeglass nose piece fixed. One side came off during the weekend. He also made an appointment for an exam, since it's been a few years since he has had one. We then checked out new frames.
Here's what we picked out....
Back home, I spent most of the day, cleaning the mo-ho, cleaning bird baths, and yard work. Craig did book-work, laundry and vacuumed. I cooked chicken on the grill with skewered vegetables and served them with long grain wild rice.
We've got just 2 more weekend trips planned for the season as fall is quickly moving along. The trees have started changing, and we should be reaching peak color here in a couple of weeks.
I usually winterize the mo-ho by November 1st, as by then, the night-time temps are averaging around 32. We could use the mo-ho later than that, but there are very few campgrounds open after Oct. 31st, and we'd have to leave the furnace on to keep the pipes from freezing. All and all, it'll be time to but him in storage. :-(
And now, another work week is upon us. Not real busy looking so far. Maybe I'll be able to get a haircut. :-)

Monday, October 03, 2011

Our Ft Wayne trip

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon, since I wasn't in town Sunday. :-)
After finishing an incredibly busy week on Friday afternoon, we headed out with the mo-ho down I-69 south about 2 1/2 hours to the city of Ft Wayne, In.
Here we stayed at the Johnny Appleseed campground.
This campground is run by the city parks dept. and is located right in the city on the St Mary's River. The site had 50 amp electric and water at the site for only $18 a night.
We had a spacious pull thru site. We arrived near dinner time, set up, and decided to have an easy dinner. Since we were right in the city, we drove a few blocks to KFC for some tasty chicken. There was to be no campfire that evening due to too much wind. It was also a very cold weekend with highs in the mid 50's to near 6o.
Saturday we awoke to 44 out, but were nice and warm in our mo-ho. The campground was mostly rv's, but there were 3 tenters. Now they are true campers. :-)
We headed out with our coffee's to the South side Farmers Market, where we picked up some taters, peppers, and carrots to go with one of our meals, and we also found in their flea market section a carafe to replace one we had broken. When we travel, we like to support the local economy. :-)
Then we headed downtown to the Headwaters Park for the Ft Wayne Chilifest.


For $5 we got to try numerous chili's as much as we wanted. We received 5 tickets to use to vote for our favorites. After trying all the different chili's we went back an retryed some of our favorites. We settled on 2 that we liked and did our voting.

Back at the campground, with the sun out, we took a walk along the river across from the campground.
With so much chili in our bellies, we opted for a lighter dinner of turkey kielbasa's.
Sunday morning greeted us to 41 out, but with the sun, it quickly rose to 58. :-\
The event of the day, was Brickworld. A Lego extravaganza!



I'm not into Lego's, but there are people very passionate about them and theses displays showed that. It was a very interesting day, looking at all the different Lego creations.


They even did portraits with Lego's!

They did an amazing job recreating the worlds famous skyscrapers.
All of these things were made with those tiny little Lego blocks. For the rest of the 30 some pics if your interested, see my webshots album here.
Then it was lunch time and we went to a place called Granite city Food and Brewery. I had a tasty Buffalo Chalupa, and Craig had the Prosciutto Olive Flatbread Pizza. They were very good!
Then on the way back to the campground, we took a stop at the historic Ft Wayne.
This was a replica of the fort that stood here. Glad I didn't live back during those times. :-)
Then back at the campground, we took a short hike over to the namesake of the park, Johnny Appleseed's grave site.

It sits on a hill that now overlooks the Ft Wayne Coliseum.

And if you look closely, on the right, behind the solid fence is the campground, and next to it, some of the parking lot for the Coliseum which is off to the distance on the right. So our campground was truely in the city. Made for an easy drive to everything.
For dinner, we had pork cutlets on the grill with grilled tater's, carrots and peppers. Delish!
Monday morning, we broke camp, and arrived back in Lansing just after noon. We got there safe, we arrived home safe, and no incidences. It was a very good trip. :-)

I'm back!

Good afternoon.
As usual, my absence from posting meant we've just returned from another trip.
Details coming when I get more time.....
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