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Friday, August 31, 2012


Good morning.
So far, it's been a busy week in the Salon. The weather also has been nice, though I've been stuck inside.  :-(
My sister, who lives in central Louisiana, says they're doing okay. No damage. Isaac went east of them.
And it's looking to be a nice weekend. The remnants of Isaac should turn east before getting this far north. So I'm looking to get this work week finished and enjoy the weekend.
 In other news.....
We have square lighting fixtures in the Salon as you can see in the above pic.
Well, in our current electric bill, they state that the u-shaped light bulb that fit them are to be discontinued due to their poor energy rating. But they will give us a credit of $25 per fixture to help with replacement. That's just a bunch of bull!
I'm instead, going out and stocking up on the light bulbs. They cost $9 a piece, but they last years. We've been here 15 years now, and just now starting to replace them for the second time. At that rate, we'll be long retired before they run out.
Anyway, it's always something, right?
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

update and back to work

Good afternoon.
Another gorgeous day here in Michigan. Sunny, temps in the low 80's.
Our walk this morning took us on to a new sidewalk.
One of the secondary east west roads was being extended. It's almost done. No car traffic yet, but the sidewalk was open. It was approximately a little over a mile and a half.
I never realized this part of the township was so wooded.
Back home, we mowed the yard, and I went to the salon to pick up a couple of deliveries. We had ordered seat covers for the mo-ho, and Craig ordered snow tires for his new Hyundai.

 Yes, he ordered tires and wheels. A lot more expensive, but so much easier to install.
The reason for snow tires is obvious in these pics. The lower pic, his 2 month old Hyundai with tires that look worn to the nub. That's because they came with very little tread. All the newer cars have low resistance tires meaning they glide along the road with little resistance. That's to help increase the mpg a little more. The problem with that, as I found with my KIA, is they're absolutely no good in the snow and ice. Since we bought snow tires for the KIA, and they work great, it makes sense to get them for the Hyundai.

And it looks like I'm going to need to reseed the lawn. Even though it's greened up nicely, there are many bare spots that I don't think will recover.
From afar, it looks pretty good.
And the pots are doing remarkably well. The new potting soil with water retentive granules is working amazingly. I only water the pots every 3 days. Even during the drought!
In other news................
We got the new seat covers for the mo-ho, and I was anxious to get them installed.
Never mind. They stink!
They don't fit the back good, the arms look cheap, and they look like cheap chair covers. Now, I haven't had seat covers in years, but I thought they'd have improved them by now.......NOPE!
They're going back! Garret, I hope you didn't order them. Sorry.
And, we finished the day on the deck with cocktails.  :-)
Right now, Craig is fixing dinner which is a diced sauteed chicken, with broccoli, carrots, onions, mushrooms in a lemon pepper sauce.
Sounds tasty. And the work week is looking to be quite busy.
And that's the news for now.......

a busy day

Good morning.
Another beautiful day yesterday, with a little bit of rain during the night, and nice and sunny during the day.
We did our usual running around, and also stopped at OfficeMax. I had an internet coupon for 20% of everything. I needed ink for my printer, a memory card for my new phone and a data cable so I can transfer any pics I take on the phone to my puter. And Craig got 2, 12 column books for next years record keeping.
Back home, I made good use of the nice weather. I had washed the mo-ho in the early morning. And I wanted to give the back of the mo-ho another coat of wax. Then, I washed the windows, inside and out.  I also checked the tire pressure. Back in the house, I cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed. I have totally neglected the yard except mowing because it looks so bad. I'm seriously thinking of downsizing the flower beds. It's become just too much work maintaining them.
We spent a good part of the afternoon on the deck with cocktails discussing everything from politics to cars. Most of which I won't repeat here.  :-)
Dinner was another night with pork cutlets and skewered marinated veggies on the grill.

Yes, as usual, we made enough for leftovers. It was very good.  :-)
Have I mentioned I love grilled veggies?
And with that, time to go.  We have a nice walk planned for this morning.

Monday, August 27, 2012

ridiculously expensive floor mats

Good morning.
Yesterday was another beautiful day. A bit warm, (90) but very nice.
After I got Craig up, we went for a nice long walk on a newer trail not far from work.  Then, we did a bit of shopping, and back home. It actually turned out to be a rather lazy day. The only thing I got accomplished, besides cleaning the Salon and walking, was installing new floor-mats in the KIA.  Craig hates how store bought floor mats never fit very good, and so we end up with salt stains and such on the carpeted areas. So......he decided to order ridiculously, expensive, made to fit floor mats.

I will admit, they are nice now that I have them installed.
They are molded to fit the space perfectly, and they do! With raised sides so no water, salt, or anything else can get to the carpet underneath.With our long winters with snowy, slushy, muddy roads and walks, these are a must!
Here's the passenger side. You can see the raised edge. Of course, I had to vacuum and clean the floor before I installed them.
The rest of the day was pretty much relaxing on the deck, or surfing on the puter, checking out stuff for our next RV weekend.
And now I'm heading out to wash the mo-ho while Craig gets his beauty sleep.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

a fungus among us

Good morning.
I've just returned home from cleaning the Salon.
It was a good busy week,but Saturday was short. It was nice to get out early for a change.  :-)
And because I got out early, we did some running around we'd normally do on our days off. We went to Lowe's and got light bulbs and air filters for the Salon, then over to Sam's Club for coffee. Sam's has by far the best price on coffee, and we go through quite a bit in the Salon.
This Sam's Club is part of a large shopping center with stores in an open setting. So we decided this would be a good place to get some walking in.
This shopping center has a theater and many stores and restaurants. And they are already filling the back section with more restaurants, shopping, a hotel, and apartments and condo's It's a really large development, and was a good choice for some exercise.
Back home, we found this in the back yard....

It's growing at the edge of a path and about the size of a head. I thought it was hollow, but it's starting to split in the back, so it must be solid. An unusual type of fungus I presume.  :-)
Also, thanks for the many suggestions to help Craig get more active. And with it being our weekend, we're starting off this morning, as soon as I get him up, for a nice long walk.
We're also taking the Kia in to have a hitch installed for hauling our bikes. We don't bike where we live because the speed limit is 55 and the edge of the road is gravel. Not the safest place to bike. But there are many nice bike trails in the city. We just need a way to get the bikes there. So that should also help with our activity level.
And with that, tome to get going.  ;-)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday update

Good morning.
It's been a steady busy last 2 days at the Salon, with today and tomorrow looking the same.  :-)
As I said before, they've leased the empty space next to our Salon. I discovered our new neighbor is going to be a Nutrition Club. It's an offshoot of Herbalife. It should be a nice addition to our mall. I personally don't use Herbalife. I think it's way to expensive, but they do seem to have a following.
I also received my new phone. I'll activated it later this afternoon, after work, and spend a good part of the weekend, transferring my contacts and checking out all it has to offer.  I think I'm going to like it.  :-)
And, it looks like we're in for some lifestyle changes. Craig had his yearly physical, and his sugar has gotten a bit to high. The last few years, he's been borderline high. So, that means some dietary changes, and more physical activity. Now Craig will admit, he's not very active. He spends pretty much all day on Sunday, doing bookwork and laundry, and a good chunk of Monday, driving around to banks, Post office, and stores.  Because of his carpel tunnel syndrome, he doesn't wash or wax any of the vehicles, use the push mower, and since he's not the gardener, no yard work. So I'm the one who gets all the physical activity around the house. And we don't seem to find time to walk or bike unless we're on a RV trip.  But we're going to try and figure what he can do to get more active. We've got a number of customers who are diabetic, and he doesn't want this to develop into that, so we'll see if that will give him the motivation to make some changes. We'll see.
And now, time to get ready for the work day.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

the weekend update

Good morning.
It's been a beautiful last couple of days. Sunny, low 70's. Between the earlier heat and drought, my gardens are looking very ragged. So I haven't done much outside. Just no energy to deal with it. We mowed again yesterday, but that was about it outside. So, I spent to much time on the puter, which you'll see farther down.  :-)
Anyway, I did get the mole that was causing havoc.
I used the Victor Mole Trap. It works perfect! I was lucky to find a run it was actively using. You tamp down a section of the run, push the 2 large prongs into the ground on either side of the run, and set the spring loaded paddle. When it tries to go through the run, it pushes up on the paddle, and BAM! Skewered mole!
Also, I ordered a new phone. TracFone finally has a touch screen smartphone in it's offerings.
It's a LG800. I know, it's an older phone compared to the newer ones, but I just can't justify the cost of other smartphone plans. After purchasing this phone, It will cost me less than $10 a month to use. TracFone has no monthly fees of any kind. You buy the phone, and buy minutes.This is a good phone for people who don't use a phone a lot like me.  :-)
And this phone comes with triple minutes, so, a one year plan costs $99, and comes with 400 minutes and 250 bonus minutes, so that will be a total of 1450 minutes, or units as they call them. I've used my phone so little over the last years that I've now got 3800 minutes on my old phone that will transfer over to the new one. The minutes just roll over if you don't use them.
And I want this phone for the few times we are camping with no wi-fi, so I can use it to check the weather or find a place. And it uses only .5 units a minute surfing the web.
Okay, in other news....
We ordered new seat covers for the 2 captain chair in the mo-ho.
The fake leather on the chairs is cracking and flaking. Looking pretty bad, and these covers are a nylon mesh and get pretty good reviews, and are way lot cheaper than new chairs.  :-)
Also, I ended up just putting a clear coat on the wood in the mo-ho. It appears the original cabinets are birch with a light maple stain. I used Pine for my rebuild that looks real close to the finished cabinets without anything on them. I tried a couple of different things, and they made the wood to different, so sanded it back down and just went with a clear coat. Looks good.
For dinner yesterday, it was pork cutlets and grilled veggies.

It was tasty and you can see we made enough for leftovers.
And now, time for another work week. Looking pretty busy again this week.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

a visit with Mom

Good afternoon.
Sorry for my late post, but we've just returned from a visit to my Mom in Muskegon. Her birthday is coming up, so this was my birthday visit.  :-)  She will be 79.
I cleaned the Salon this morning, and by the time I got home, I had to shower, wake up Craig, and hit the road. It was a nice visit. I cut her hair, did a few chores, and took her to Applebee's for lunch. We met my brother Brian and his wife Ruth at the restaurant,  and they followed us to the VFW afterwards. It was nice to see them again, and we had a nice afternoon chatting, having a couple of drinks, and playing some pull-tabs. Which we did miserably with at.  :-)
Said our goodbyes, and as we left the building, noticed an ambulance outside. Then we saw paramedics wheeling an elderly woman on a stretcher, out of the rental hall next door. They had oxygen on her so hopefully she'll be okay. We got Mom back to her apartment, and arrived safely back in Lansing.
It was a good week in the Salon. After work Friday, we came home and mowed the yard. I then cleaned the birdbaths and refilled them. We fnished up with cocktails on the deck.  :-)
Saturday, I had a 2 hour color cancel right in the middle of the day, so I unpacked an order that came in the day before, and placed another order for other supplies.
Back home, I put a coat of the Satin varnish on the wood in the mo-ho. We decided it wasn't the right shade, so will look tomorrow to see if we can find a closer match.
I also noticed this in the yard before we mowed Friday.

Mushrooms coming up all over the back yard a week after all that rain we got. And there's not a tree near them. You can also see that the grass doesn't look like it's coming back to good as there are a lot of bare spots. Will wait a few weeks to see if it gets any better before I try to reseed.
And at some point, a set of keys for the Kia have come up missing. I've looked everywhere I can think of, and can not find them. I can't imagine where they could be. I'll wait a week or so before I get a replacement to see if it turns up.
And with that, time to wrap this up and get a bite to eat.

Friday, August 17, 2012

busy week and tenant news

Good morning.
Well, it's been a busy week in the Salon. Not crazy busy like last week, but nice and busy.  :-)
Weather wise, it's been mild, mid 70's. A little rain last night, but otherwise sunny. Our weather has been more like June instead of August, but why not? The entire year has been weird  weather wise.
Good news. The empty space next to our salon has been rented. Don't know what type of business is going in yet, but pretty much anything will be welcome.  Bad news. Our largest tenant, Jo-Ann Fabrics is moving out, so that will leave a large hole in the mall. With one new tenant coming and one going, we will have just 8 spaces filled out of 22, with most of the larger ones vacant. I've been seeing new business opening in many other malls on this side of town. I don't know why our mall is so empty. I can only figure, they are asking too much rent. Fortunately, none of that affects my business.  And with fewer tenants, more parking for our customers.  :-)
With that, it's time to get ready for another work day.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New, flat panel, Tv tech tip

Good morning.
After 3 days of thinking, measuring, contemplating, sawing, sanding, screwing, and assembling, I finally have finished the build out of the new mo-ho TV.  :-)
The mo-ho came with a huge 27 inch TV mounted in a cabinet at the roof, between the front seats.

I've always disliked having to look up to watch TV. So after 5 years, I finally decided to do something.
And this is the new configuration. I didn't want to take everything out, and build a whole new cabinet, because I didn't want the new TV up at the roof. I wanted it at a better viewing angle. But I did want it to look like it belonged there. So, first off, After removing the old heavy monster, I attached a telescoping wall mount.
Normally a wall mount would allow you to pull the TV out and swivel it, so I attached it sideways to the base of the cabinet, so it could come out and lower, or lift.
Then I attached the mounting arms for the new TV.
With that done,I mounted the TV. But it didn't work the way I planned. With the mounting bracket able to swivel, the weight of the TV caused it to tilt toward the floor. To correct that issue, I attached a bungee cord across the bottom of the cabinet, hooked 2 s-hooks to the cord, stretched the cord and hooked the s-hook to the arms of the mounting bracket.
Then I added 2 more bungee cords to the bracket and secured them to the back of the cabinet floor for added stability.
I made folding doors for the middle of the cabinet. One, for access to the cabinet, and 2, I need space for the bracket to rise when I lifted the TV to put it in it's stored position for traveling.
To help secure it when it is up, I attached another bungee cord across the top of the cabinet and added 2 s-hooks to help hold the TV in place during travel. That's the other purpose of the black panel at the top. It flips up giving me access to the bungee cord.
One more level of support, If you look closely at the bottom of the TV I put 2 straight brackets out form the bottom of the cabinet, covered them with foam, and black vinyl. They hold the TV up, and the bungee cords hold the TV in place. So it's now easy to use, and very secure. I just unhook the bungee cord from the top, pull the TV out and down, and hook the bottom bungee cord.
And even with  the mounting bracket and cords, there's still room in the back of the cabinet for a couple of shelved, but that will be another, much later project.  ;-)
First, I still have to put on a few coats of satin varnish to match the rest of the cabinets.
And for dinner Craig made a meatless meal. Mushroom filled ravioli topped with a sauce made with spaghetti sauce, with  fried onions peppers,  mushrooms, and chopped up Morningstar Farms Grillers. The Grillers have the closest taste to real meat and are great in sauces.

Now, it's time for another work week, which is looking to be quite busy.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A great Sunday

Good morning.
It was a beautiful day yesterday. Sunny and kinda cool. And it was a productive day. After cleaning the Salon as usual, I came home, got Craig up, made us coffee, and off we went. First to Walmart, for a roll-around cart for work, then to Staples for a new office chair for my puter.
My cheap old on, the back broke off, so I got a nicer one this time.
Then to Meijer's for more salon supplies, Stamps, paper towels, equal, and salt.
What do we use salt at the Salon for? To clean the tint bottles. Salt acts like little scouring beads that remove the color residue from the sides of the bottles.
Anyway, back at home, I washed and finished waxing the mo-ho, while Craig did laundry, bookwork, and even mowed the yard.
I spent part of the time measuring and thinking about how I'm going to finish off the opening behind the new mo-ho TV. I'll be going to Home depot this morning to get the necessary supplies. If the project turns out decent, I'll take some pics.  :-)
 And for dinner, Craig cooked a ham steak and home made mashed potatoes, and Acorn Squash with honey and bacon bits.
Now, it's shower time and another day to get going.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

week in review

Good afternoon.
Well, my crazy busy week is finally over.  :-)
 Not only did I do as much business, money wise, in 3 days compared to my normal 4 days, I did about 20% over that!
So an excellent week and now much needed 3 days off.
And with my Traverse City posting done, time for the week in review.....
It's been raining here almost non stop since Thursday morning. As of this afternoon, we've gotten just over 3 1/4 inches of rain.

A very welcome event for us. This should do a lot to alleviate the drought conditions we've had. It rained all day Thursday, Friday and a good part of today.  Of course, now I'll need to mow the grass for a change.
In other news.....
Someone drove a vehicle into one of the store fronts.
It's assumed it was someone from the bar that's at the end of the mall in this pic. The damage was discovered in the morning.
Buckled the wall pretty good. I'm surprised the window didn't break.
Fortunately, it's an empty unit so no business was impacted by it.
Our salon is down near the other end of this pic near the corner.
In other news..........
My manicurist came to me on Thursday to state she had a flat tire on her manicure station. I said how does a plastic wheel go flat? She showed me.
Apparently, so much hair had gotten twisted up inside the wheel, that it stopped turning and she was sliding it across the floor, and literately  rubbing the plastic off the bottom until it was 'flat'.
Since Thursday was her last day for the week, I said I'd work on it over the weekend.  Well, I had a color cancel today, so during that break,  I ran over to Harbor Freight Tools, which is only a block away, and bought new wheels.
These should last her quite a while.  :-) They are much sturdier than the cheap plastic ones. And thanks to that cancellation, I won't have to spend part of my weekend, besides cleaning, in the salon.
Okay, that's about it. Craig's making home made pizza for dinner, and I'm already on my 3rd cocktail.   :-)
Looking forward to some relaxation and I think I'm already well on my way.   :-)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Traverse City, last day.

Good evening.
Yes, a quick post this evening as I have to be at work at 7:15 tomorrow morning.
It's been a crazy busy 2 days in the salon. I've just returned home from a 10 hour day. Yesterday was 11 1/2.
 Fortunately, it's just an 8 hour day tomorrow, I hope.  :-)
Now, to finally finish our last trip........
And to end our stay at Traverse City,  we spent Monday mostly hanging out at the park. We did our morning walk, I fixed eggs, bacon and toast on the grill for breakfast, then we headed out for ato pick up a few supplies.
back at the campground, we decided to go hang at the beach. I told you, traverse City State Park is a 'city' park. Situated right in the city. Not more than a dozen blocks from downtown. That said, it's on a very busy road. The park has a beach across the road form the campground.
The main road going into Traverse city with the campground on the left.
And the beach on the right.
There's a elevated walkway from the campground to the beach.

Here's another pic of the packed campground.
So, after sunning and people watching, we came back to the campground, took another bike ride, and proceeded to break camp for an early departure.
Tuesday morning, we finished up, dumped our tanks, loaded our car, and hit the highway home, where we arrived safe and sound.
It was another good trip!
And now, it's time for dinner, and most likely an early to bed.
I'm getting to frikkin old for this type of work schedule..  :-)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Traverse City, day 2

Good morning.
Day 2 of our trip took us to Sleeping bear Dunes National Lakeshore. 
This was a short hour trip from traverse City west to lake Michigan.
This is one of only 2 national parks in Michigan.
On the way, we went by Glen lake.
We'll be circling around later for lunch at the city of Glen Lake.  :-)
There's a 9 mile drive through the park with various hiking trails. We arrived at the main lake Michigan overlook.

These dunes rise 450 ft above the lake!
And steep! These pics don't show it nearly well enough.
If you click on the above pic, scroll  down the center of the pic to the waters edge, you'll see a person walking the beach. That's the best reference to how far down the water was. 

Here's Craig on the overlook hanging over the edge of the dune.
It was pretty awesome the way the wind has built these dunes.
After touring the dunes, we drove a little farther north to the town of Glen Lake, where we had lunch at a nice place with an outdoor patio, called Boone docks.
Then we took a winding drive down some back roads back to traverse City, enjoying the beauty of northern Michigan.
Back at the campground, we went for a bike ride, then fixed dinner. Seasoned potatoes, marinated zucchini, and pork steak on the grill.
It was a great day! Beautiful weather, and great scenery.