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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This is crazy

Good morning.
It's been a crazy couple of days.
I told you a couple of weeks ago, we have yet another stylist joining our Salon. That makes 9 stylists in a 7 chair salon. 4 stylist share 2 chairs and split their hours.
Well,  I find out that the new stylist that's coming over, owns her own 14 chair salon and has decided to close it after not being able to sell it. She has become 'over it' and no long wants all the hassle. The funny thing is, Craig and I were in that same position way back 15 years ago. If fact, we owned that same Salon but with a different name. We had 15 stylists back then and they were all employees.  We also got tired of all the headaches associated with a large staff. It's a lot of work running a large salon. And there were 2 of us. Fortunately, we were able to sell it to one of our staff. We then rented a chair from him. Things were great! Just shy of 3 years, he goes and commits suicide. The Salon was eventually sold to 2 women who thought owning a Salon would be 'fun'. They barely lasted 5 years before they sold it to the current owner who's had if for 10 years and has decided it isn't 'fun' either. We left that salon shortly after it was first sold.
Anyway, for years this side of town was over stocked with salons. We had gone 15 years without a full staff. Every salon had empty chairs. There were more chairs available than stylist to fill them. Over the last few years, there's been a 'correction' in salons. A 6 chair salon  closed 2 years ago and a 16 chair salon downsized during a move to just 6 chairs. Now with a 14 chair salon closing, there is an over supply of stylists. A good problem to have if you own a salon.  :-)
So now, I'm having to turn a way good stylists I would love to have in our Salon. I mentioned to Craig we could expand into the empty space next to us. He said the cost of redoing that space would not be recouped in the amount of time we have before retirement. And there's no guarantee we'll have someone to buy the Salon when were ready to retire.
So anyway, I'm just happy to be fully staffed.
And now another work week looms and  I'll leave you with a pic of one of my prettiest tree peonies.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

trip #3

Good morning.
We spent the holiday weekend at Maumee Bay State Park. This park is located about 15 miles east of Toledo Ohio, and sits on the shore of Lake Erie.
We left after work on Friday, leaving around noon and arriving at the campground just before 3pm. Would have gotten there a bit earlier, but road construction slowed us down a bit.
Here's a few pics of the campground....

Sunrise from our site. Maumee Bay has the most spacious camp sites of just about any park we've been in. The 8 loops are even space far from each other.

We arrived during a heat wave of 93 out. Had to take many breaks during set-up. For dinner, we had turkey cheddar kielbasas on the grill.
Saturday morning, while Craig slept, I took a bike ride around several loops in the campground. Came back, took a shower, woke Craig up, fixed us coffee, and went for a morning walk. Then we left the park for downtown Toledo, where they have a very nice farmers market. The holiday weekend also meant they were also having a massive plant sale too, so it was very crowded. But me managed to find some nice zucchini, asparagus, potatoes and even some banana nut bread.
Dropped the veggies off at the car, then walked over to the Libby Glass Outlet store nearby. By time we were done there, it was time for lunch. We walked the 4 blocks to Tony Packo's.
This is the place to get the famous Hungarian Hot Dogs. We have ours topped with their famous chili sauce and cheese. Delicious!
Then it was back to the campground where we took an afternoon bike tour of all the campground loops. It's always fun to see what types of rvs there are.And we saw every type and age possible from tents, super old motor homes and trailers, to brand new including a monster 45 ft Monaco Dynasty that barely fit into it's site.
 The temps were much better with mid 70's and a few lightly scattered showers.
That evening we had pork steaks, asparagus and potatoes on the grill.
Sunday morning, I took another bike ride. This time I took what's called the beach loop.

The beach is actually about a mile from the campground. Either by trail, or a rd. The beach loop is a trail that heads to the beach, and then back through another area of the park.  It was a pleasant ride with temps in the 60's.
Back at the campsite, I showered, got Craig up, fixed coffee, and we went for a morning walk. Are you seeing a routine here/  :-)
Then we headed out for breakfast. I didn't pack any supplies for breakfast so we hit McDonald's. The sausage mcmuffin with egg and  hash brown potato hit the spot. The we went to the Toledo Botanical Gardens. There were acres and acres of trees, shrubs, perennials and flowers. I couldn't believe I forgot my camera. Afterwards, we stopped for the Sunday paper, and headed back to the campground.
After relaxing and reading the paper, we went for another bike ride. Then we headed over to the beach to soak up a little sun and people watch.
Back at the campground, we started breaking camp in anticipation of an early departure in the morning. The campground was completely booked, and there would be a mass exodus on Monday. Dinner was chicken, zucchini, and baked potatoes on the grill.
Monday morning, I awoke Craig at 6am. to beat the  departing rush. It turned out to be plenty early enough. With out a pull trough site, we had to wait until we pulled the mo-ho out of it's site to hook up the car caddy and load the car. It only takes about 15-20 minutes, but we have to do that out in the rd. We made it to the dump site around 7am with only 1 other person in front of us. By the time we dumped and was ready to go, there were several waiting. We planned our departure just about right.  :-)
It was a nice drive back to Lansing, with minimal traffic early on Memorial Day, arriving at Flying J to gas up and do a final dump around 10am. Yes, we dump our tanks twice. Once at the campground, then put a bag of ice down the toilet to agitate while we drive home, then another dump and flush at Flying J. Keeps the black tank operating smoothly.  :-)
We arrived home by 11am.
As I always say, we got there safe, arrived home safe, everything worked properly. It was a good trip.
There was however, one incident......
When we got into the mo-ho to start our trip, there was a funny smell. Like maybe a drain had dried out and we were getting some odor into the mo-ho. So I ran water down the drains and after driving with the air on, the odor dissipated. Once we got to the campground and got set up, I could smell the odor again, but this time it was in the back bedroom area, I sniffed and sniffed trying to locate where it was originating and soon found it was coming from the back corner closet. It smelled of something dead. I thought something, maybe a mouse got up the electrical cord in the bay below the closet and died, so I went out, opened the back bays and started to remove everything looking for the cause of the odor. I found nothing.
Now we do have mouse bait in the bays, just in case. All I could figure, was maybe it possibly crawled I to the wall where electrical cords go. There was a hole certainly large enough. And the smell in the closet was certainly strong. So, we spent the weekend leaving the bay doors open during the day to help air out, and spraying febreze in the closet. It kept the smell away so was not a problem sleeping. Back home, I researched the issue, and if it indeed died inside the wall, it may take several weeks for full decomposition, where the smell will go away by itself. In the meantime, it recommends coffee grounds to absorb any odor. I'll be buying some cheap coffee today.
And once the odor is completely gone, I'm plugging every hole in that bay I can find.  :-)
So overall, it was a very good trip.  :-)

Monday, May 28, 2012

We're back

Yep! We've just returned from our Memorial day trip. Details to follow.  :-)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy weekend

Good morning, and a happy Memorial Day weekend.
It's a great holiday weekend so far, and here's a couple pics.....

This is my largest of my Tree Peonies. A beautiful pale pink. The petals look sooo delicate. And as you can see, each flower is larger than my hand. Tree Peonies are very slow growing. This one has 3 flowers on it for the first time. Sadly, they last barely a week, so I took this pic to remind me how much I like them.  :-)
Hope your having a nice weekend, we are.  :-)

Friday, May 25, 2012

it's almost a holiday weekend!

Good morning.
It's been a crazy busy 2 days in the Salon. I've done as much business in 2 days as I usually do in 4.  :-)
But just a shorter day today, and then a nice l-o-n-g holiday weekend.  :-)
The weather has been great with highs in the upper 70's to low 80's. Looking to be a very nice weekend.
Our big Sycamore tree is finally leafing out, but the Japanese Maples are just sitting there. Other than that, the yard has recovered nicely from that last hard freeze. Nature tends to do that.  :-)
Now it's time to get ready for my last work day.  :-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday post

Good morning.
Monday didn't turn out to be any where near as productive as Sunday was. I tried to do some waxing early, while Craig slept, but it was too cool and damp. The wax just wouldn't dry, So instead, I weeded. Got another four 5 gallon buckets full. They seem to appear out of nowhere.  :-)
We had drizzly rain for a good part of the day, so spent most of it inside. Did a little cleaning, but mostly playing.  :-)
Tuesday was much better. A little on the cold side with temps hovering in the 60's, but I got out and cleaned the bird baths, did some weeding, mowed the yard, and took some more pics.
Gas plant and Dianthus.
Yellow Swamp Iris, and purple Siberian Iris.
Don't remember the name for this one.  :-)
And the Beauty Bush starting to bloom in the upper right.
And it's going to be a crazy busy week in the Salon. We're closed Saturday for the holiday weekend, I'm already pretty much booked, so I expect to work long hours the few days I am there.
And with that, I'm off to get ready for work.

Monday, May 21, 2012

busy busy

Good morning.
Yes, yesterday turned out to be very productive.
First off, I cleaned the salon, then came home and washed the mo-ho. Then I washed the Kia. Then I waxed the roof, hood and front of Kia. Then I took a shower, woke Craig up, made coffee, and read the Sunday paper. Then I had a piece of left over pizza for breakfast.
Then I waxed the rest of Kia. Then I polished the mo-ho wheels. Then I relaxed a bit on the deck with a cocktail and another piece of left over pizza.
Then I weeded. Filled five 5 gallon buckets.
Then I took a break and had another cocktail. Then I mixed up a gallon of weed and grass killer and sprayed the gravel parking area, gravel paths and paved paths. The I trimmed back creeping phlox that had grown too far into a path.  Then I trimmed a few bushes that were getting to big.
I called it a day.
I relaxed on the deck soaking up the sun and enjoying the beauty of the yard.
Here's a pic of the poor Japanese Maple that got burnt by that last hard freeze a few weeks ago.
It's lost about 3/4 of it's leaves. I don't see any regrowth yet. Not sure if it will.
But most of the yard is doing just fine...

And now I'm off to do some waxing on the mo-ho.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

what was that?

Good morning.
It ended up being a busy Friday and Saturday in the Salon. I did get out early enough Friday to do a little weeding in the gardens, and Saturday, I came home, got a cocktail, and relaxed on the deck. The weather has been wonderful this week, with temps near 80.
I also discovered this one morning while watering the pots...

Scattered white fir and smashed daffodil in the top pic, and about 3 ft from that is a smashed hosta. It looked like a case for CSI. (Craig scene investigation)
After some careful sleuthing, Craig determined the fir was from a possum, and most likely an owl pounced on it on the daffodils, didn't get a good enough hold and dropped it on the hosta, and it probably scurried into the nearby arborvitaes.  The hosta should re-leaf. Time will tell.
And with that, I'm off to clean the Salon. It's going to be a beautiful day, and I plan to be very productive. I'll let you know how I do.  :-)

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Friday post

Good morning.
Why a pic of my toilet? I'll get to that in a minute.  :-)
It's been a slow week at the Salon, but turned out, that has been good. During some of the down time, I was able to run to Sam's Club for Salon supplies and to another Salon supply place for other salon supplies.
And out of the blue, I received a call form a stylist, looking to rent a chair. Now you know, I just rented our last chair 3 weeks ago. It's the first time in 15 years, we've had all the chairs filled. 15 years!  And now, I get another person who wants to rent a chair. Fortunately, Craig and I had already talked about such a possibility. So I met her at a bar in our plaza to discuss it. She didn't want to come to the Salon, as she doesn't want anyone else to know. Not yet anyway. And after talking with her, I understood why. And I'll have to wait to tell you because I know I have customers who read this blog. Anyway, I think she'd be a good addition to our Salon, so we've decided to move Craig one chair over and he'll share a chair with another stylist. She's part time, and works just Mon-Wed, 8-3. Craig normally works Wed-Sat. So he'll need to adjust his hours on Wed to start at 3 instead of 11. So that will give us 9 stylists and a nice boost in Salon profits. And since we only have storage cabinets in the back room for 8 stylist to keep their supplies, I took some of the other gaps in my schedule to do some good sorting and cleaning out of stuff that's accumulated over the last 15 years and was able to open up a storage cabinet previously used for Salon supplies for the new stylist to use. It felt very cleansing to throw out all that 'stuff'.  :-)
Okay, back to the toilet.
I discovered one morning, that one of the brackets that hook the seat to the base broke. So during one of my breaks at work, I ran out and bought a new seat. I installed it this morning, and I too often don't have a pic for my post, so there it is.  :-)
And now I'm off to work for what looks to be a fairly busy last 2 days.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Trip #2

Good morning.
We spent the weekend in Muskegon.
We left Saturday after work, arriving at Muskegon State park around 4:30. Had a pull-through site that was difficult to get in because it was curved and there were a couple of very close trees, but we maneuvered it it in.
It rained nearly the entire way, but stopped a bit before we arrived and was pleasant the rest of the weekend.
We got set up, and Craig fixed turkey kielbasas for dinner.
Sunday morning, I went out for the paper, got Craig up, fixed coffee, and read the paper. We then went over to my Mom's. Cut her hair, chatted and around 11:30, left for lunch.
My brother Bruce had invited her and and any other family to Whitlow's for lunch at noon. Whitlow's is a Muskegon institution. Been in the city for Years. My parents use to go there when we were kids. They specialize in perch dinners.
We arrived a bit early, and I checked to see if anyone was there yet. I knew he had invited my brothers  Louie and Brian and their wives, but I wasn't sure how many total were going to be there. I asked the hostess if there was a reservation for us. She couldn't find any. Then shortly, Brian and Ruth showed up and so did Louie and Bonnie. Louie said his son was coming and Ruth said her daughter and boyfriend were coming. So I asked the hostess to set up a table for 10. When Bruce finally showed up, he said he made a reservation under 'Bruce' because our last name is always difficult for people to spell.
Anyway, all said, there ended up being 14 total. More family than I've seen in years.
I had the smelt platter, Craig had a patty melt and Mom had the perch dinner. Craig couldn't eat all of his sandwich, so I finished it for him, and Mom couldn't eat all her perch, so I had some of that also. I know, I'm a pig.  :-)
After lunch, Mom wanted to go to the 'club', so we said our goodbyes to those that were going back home, and we joined Brian and his wife at the VFW. Had no luck with pull tabs, but a nice visit. later, said our goodbyes, stopped at the store for Mom's supplies, and got her settled back in her apartment. Got back to the campground in time to have a nice campfire.
Here's a couple pics of some of the parks residents I saw Sunday morning....

 Wild turkeys.
There were 2 males and 6 females. The males were all puffed out trying to impress the ladies, but the females appeared to ignore them and peck around for food. It was quite a sight.
Got up Monday morning, got the mo-ho road ready, and arrived back in Lansing around noon. Spent the afternoon working in the yard.
This morning, I've just finished giving the mo-ho a good interior cleaning and restocking. It's ready for another trip. Today I plan on cleaning the out side. It's suppose to be near 80 today.  :-)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday post

Good morning.
It's been a steady week at the Salon. The new stylist that joined our staff seems to be fitting in well with the rest of us. I did get out early enough yesterday, and managed to get some more weeding done. The weather has been pleasant, with highs near 70. Looks to be a pretty good weekend.
The Japanese Maples that were burnt by that last freeze are dropping their leaves. Looks like I may have bare trees for the summer. Time will tell.
And with a busy day today at the salon, time to get going.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

an update

Good morning.
It appears the bitter cold is finally over. Long term forecast is keeping us above freezing. Finally.
 Sunday, I did a fairly extensive cleaning of the Salon. Much more thorough than usual. It needed it.  :-)
Back home, it was a cool dry day, and I spent a good part of it burning up a large pile of branches and the remains of the large Arborvitae that broke in a winter storm.
I also managed to do some weeding. I'm way behind in that department due to the very cold, wet April.
Monday, with off and on rain, we spent a good part of the day doing errands. I finally had my physical, and even with all the changes in my eating habits, my blood tests were nearly identical to last year. wtf?  Oh well, one good thing came from that, I was down 14 lbs from my last physical.  :-)
We also stopped and picked up some annuals for the 4 pots I plant. Managed to get them planted in the late afternoon. Today is suppose to be dry, so I hope to get a good handle on the weeding.
And despite the damage from that last hard freeze, it didn't hurt everything. As shown in the following pics....

It's now 6:30, and I'm heading out to get some yard work done while I let Craig sleep a little longer....

Saturday, May 05, 2012

freeze damage worst than I thought

Good morning.
Just a quickie this morning.
It was a very busy day at the Salon yesterday, and another one today, but after I got home yesterday, while I was walking around the yard, I discovered further freeze damage.
My weeping fern leaf Japanese Maple and 2 of my Bloodgood Japanese Maples are badly burned.

Not sure what will become of them. Trees don't re-leaf like perennials do. I did read that a tree can be completely defoliated one year, and still re-leaf the next year. I may end up with bare trees for the rest of this year.  :-(   Time will tell.
And yet another blue leaf hosta burned. The blue hosta's seem to have been hit more that the variegated ones. But the long term forecast looks like the extreme cold weather is over. That is good.
Now time to get ready for my last work day of the week.

Friday, May 04, 2012

a hard freeze

Good morning.
Sorry for my lack of posts. Nothing much to say. Life, for the most part is uneventfully  routine.
But to catch you up on my week.....
Tuesday was cold and windy, although I did manage to bundle up and do some weeding. Wednesday was very busy at work. Thursday was steady, but I got out early, so did my weekend shopping then instead of today, because I'm booked today, and even working later than normal. I also got home early enough to mow the yard. With rain on Monday and cloudy Tuesday, the grass was to wet to mow. We've had a mini heat wave Wed. Thur. and today. And as soon as I was done mowing yesterday evening, it started raining and is still raining this morning. They've put the entire area under a flood watch. Fortunately, we sit high enough not to worry.  :-)
While we were on our little RV trip last weekend, we experienced what they call a hard freeze. A frost is when the temps go below 32. A hard freeze is when they go below 32 and stay there for several hours. Last Saturday, Lansing got down to 26. Thanks to a ridiculously warm March, and a much colder than normal April, Michigan has lost nearly it entire juice grape crop and over half of it's tart cherry crop. Not to mention the extensive damage to other fruit trees and bushes. Just one more thing to drive up prices.  :-(
Anyway, here's some of the damage done to our yard.
One of my giant hosta's, Blue Angel. All the leaves should be a solid power blue. All the yellow areas will soon turn brown. I'll need to cut all of them out this weekend. The plant should send up new leaves to replace them.
Emerging Toad Lillies all burnt on the tops. They should continue to grow from the crown, eventually hiding the brown leaves.
More hosta's all shriveled. They should re-leaf also. There was other scattered damage, but everything should recover.
In all of the 27 years we've lived here, I've never seen so much freeze damage. But we've never had such crazy weather either.
And like I said earlier, I'm booked today and tomorrow, So time to get going.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Trip #1

Good morning.
As I said in my last post, we've just returned from our first RV trip of the season.  :-)
We arrived safe, returned home safe, and everything functioned properly. It was, as I like to say, a good trip.  :-)
Here's a few pics of our site and view....

We left Friday after a very busy work day, arriving at Yankee Springs Recreation Area campground, around 4:30. Since we left work later than usual for our trips, I'm glad our first trip was just over an hour away. The campground was busier than we expected for so early in the season. Lot's of families and fishermen. The campground sits on Gun lake. A nice size lake, good for boating and fishing. Of course, we do neither.  :-)
We stopped at a KFC in Hastings, a small town on the way to the campground, to pick up Chicken for dinner.  I missed their chicken, and enjoyed it immensely.  Original recipe of course.  :-)
The weekend started out very cold and rainy, so Saturday morning, we headed over to the Gun Lake Casino, just about 3 miles from the campground. It's a small casino, but wasn't overly busy that morning. Played a few hours, losing almost half of what we brought to play with. Not bad. Then it was a short drive north to Grand Rapids, MI for lunch. We found a place called Chubbys. Nothing exceptional in decor, but we each had a tasty wrap. Then we went shopping for a few mo-ho things. Even though I cleaned out our Cappuccino machine last fall, it took forever to brew a cup, and steam was leaking out everywhere. I think the seals had finally worn out. So we hit a nearby Target, and found a nice new one. I also picked up a new clock for the bedroom because as I went to set the old one, the minute button wouldn't work.
It was then back to the campground to relax, have a few drinks, and watch a Happily Divorced marathon.
Sunday looked to be the nicest day of the weekend, and so we first hit the casino again, where Craig hit a nice little jackpot, so we left up about $30 more than when we arrived.  :-) Then it was back to GR for lunch at an Outback so I could use a gift card from Christmas. We each had soup, and split a tasty tenderloin sandwich. Then we headed over to the Meijer Sculpture Gardens.We arrived to find the parking lot packed. It probably wasn't the best idea to go on a nice Sunday, and being the last day of the butterfly exhibit. We decide not to fight the crowds, and instead headed back to the campground to relax by a nice campfire.
Monday morning, I made us coffee, we broke camp, and arrived back in Lansing, where Craig did his paper work, and I cleaned up and restocked the mo-ho for the next trip.
This morning, I've already cleaned the Salon, and placed an online supply order for work, and now it's time to get Craig up and get our running around done.