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Monday, December 30, 2013

the clean-up begins

Good morning.
Friday and Saturday, we had a mini heat wave with temps soaring into the mid to upper 30's. That melted all the ice on the trees.
I had planned on letting all the fallen branches lay until we found someone to remove them, but with so many people with fallen limbs and branches, all the tree services are charging premium prices.
So, I decided I'll just take my time and clean up the mess the best I can.
I came home Saturday after work, and with the temps around 40, started to work on the front yard.

I managed to put a dent on the massive piles of branches. I hauled them to the far back of the back yard where, when weather permits, I'll start to burn them up.
For the moment, the rest will have to stay put, as temps today and the rest of the week are forecast to hover around 16 for highs. That's too damn cold for me to work outside. Besides, I have a-l-l winter to work on this mess.
Sunday, we went to Muskegon to see my Mom for a delayed Christmas. Her apartment is pretty much redone, and it looks very nice. She has a new kitchen, including cupboards, counters and floor. A new bathroom sink and toilet. New furnace and air-conditioner, new carpet throughout, and fresh paint.
Took her to Red Lobster for lunch where she had Tilapia, I had the New Orleans Salmon, and Craig had the Sirloin with Blue Cheese sauce. Everything was very good. Then we went to the VFW for drinks and pull-tabs. Later, we got her some groceries and got her back to her apartment.
Made it back to Lansing, just as freezing rain started to fall.
Today is our usual banking, and shopping.
That's all for now.....

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A slow recovery

Good morning.
The salon has been fairly busy, although we've had a few cancellations as people without power have moved into friends and relatives homes out of the area.
The area is slowly recovering from the worst ice storm for mid-Michigan in 126 years.
Nearly 600,000 people were affected, and as of this morning, a full week later, there are still nearly 25,000 still without power.
The following pics that I got from local news websites shows the reason....

These scenes were repeated all over the area. Nearly every neighborhood street was affected, especially the areas with older larger trees.

This is a map of the hardest hit areas. Lansing was right smack in the middle.  :-(
But as of yesterday, all the traffic lights were back on and life was starting to return to some normalcy.
Now, the task of cleaning up mountains of fallen branches and trees. We've yet to call and get an estimate for our yard. Probably will do that next week. We were going to let the debris lay until spring, But I can't stand looking at it any more. A lot of the branches are to large for me to handle, and Craig, in his current condition, I won't let help at all.
So anyway, time to get to work for another vary busy day.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

like a billion lights

Good morning.
As of this morning, there is still 48,000 people in the greater Lansing area without power. Not a very Merry Christmas for them.
Consumers energy has brought in over 1000 workers from other states to help. As I went out this morning to buy a paper, I passed several areas still without power including a major intersection.
The area hotels are full, and they've opened numerous warming centers as temps have fallen into the low teens at night.
Last evening, while we were watching TV, the sun came out and lit up the ice covered trees.

The pics don't do a good job, showing what looked like a billion little lights twinkling in the trees.
Even with all the destruction caused by the ice, it can also look very beautiful.
So this Christmas, besides being thankful for so many things, I'm thankful for a roof over my head and heat.   :-)
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

a winter wonderland, sort of...

Good afternoon.
The ice storm that came through Saturday night, has left, but even through Monday, more branches were breaking under the weight of the ice. Greater Lansing started out with 48,000 without power Sunday morning. That grew to 85,000 by Monday afternoon. As of this posting, Tuesday afternoon, they've restored about 30,000.  It's being called the worst ice storm in 126 years.  I believe it. In the 28 years we've been in this house, I've never seen anything close to this.
Here's a pic I took today, approaching our house. As you can see, the entire top of the front tree is completely destroyed. The large branch on the left only looks okay, but the end is broke but not completely, and hasn't fallen yet,  And two other large branches are 'caught' on the trunk and haven't fallen to the ground yet.  I imagine if I left the tree, it would sprout new branches, but they would be even less sturdy than what was there originally.  So really, this big old tree will need to come down. ($$$$$)
There is nothing to save. And that goes with the back tree also. They are Chinese Elms. They have a large open branched shape. We should have cut them down 20 years ago, but even though they aren't nice looking shade trees, and the are constantly dropping branches, I liked the light dappled shade they had and the small leaves kind of disappeared in the fall.
Soooo, all this mess will sit until I call someone to clean it up. We decided to wait and let the mess lie since with so much area damage, I'm sure every type of tree business will be bombarded with customers. I've got the driveway clear, so the rest of the branches can just stay were they're at. It isn't pretty, but if we get enough snow, I won't see much of that either.  :-)
Anyway, driving around today, I took a few pics of what this type of ice can make for a pretty scene.

It really does look like a winter wonderland, as long as you don't drive through neighborhoods and see yard after yard with damage.
And on the way to and from work, we go by this tree we've been watching since last year. It started leaning after a heavy snowfall last year, and we keep thinking it should come down with any type of weather. But even after all the ice, it's still standing, although it seems to be leaning a little bit more.
I try and not stop in front of it when the light is red.   :-)
Work was short today, and afterwards, we had a nice lunch at Reno's Sports Bar.
Later this afternoon, we are going to watch a Christmas movie marathon. I downloaded a couple of Christmas themed movies that looked entertaining. If not, we can always watch some of our older classics.
And with that, a very Merry Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

more damage pics

Good afternoon.
Well, instead of going to Muskegon to see my Mom for Christmas today, I spent the day cleaning up some of the mess from the ice storm.

As you saw in the previous post, my main shade tree in the front yard and back yard were destroyed. It looked like a bomb went off in the top of them and blew them to pieces.
Amazingly, Craig's car was not damaged at all.

I was finally able to get all the branches from the driveway over into the lawn and after salting and waiting, shoveled all the frozen ice/snow off the driveway.

At least the driveway is clear now since it is expected to get much colder over the next few days.
We've continued to have branches break and fall during the day. With much colder weather coming, the ice already on the trees won't be going anywhere, so we may continue to see more breakage.
We were fortunate that we didn't lose power. I ventured out to check on the Salon, and there were 6 out 0f 7 traffic lights out on the way there, along with numerous businesses. I also saw yard after yard that looked similar to ours. Trees broken all over.
And our trees are so damaged, I think we'll need to have them cut down. That will be just one more expense to top off our expensive year.  :-(
But, like I told Craig, at least the house wasn't damaged, the car wasn't damaged, we didn't lose power, we are working and can afford to pay for the clean-up.
But really.......can this year hurry up and end?

they're destroyed

Ice storm last night. Destroyed both of my Chinese Elm trees.   :-(
At least we didn't lose power.   :-)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

not looking good!

Good morning.
It's been a busy week in the Salon.
Our temps have finally returned to normal for this time of year, which is in the low to mid 30's.
Unfortunately,  a weather system is coming along with it.
As we hover right around freezing, we've been getting occasional freezing rain. My driveway was an ice skating rink yesterday morning, as was the Salons parking lot. They've been doing a pretty good job keeping the main roads salted, so the drive to and from work has been fine, though we had quite a few cancellations as neighborhood roads were slick.
Today, we're under an ice storm warning for tonight and tomorrow morning. Fortunately, the work day should be okay, although, my car has another thin layer of ice on it this morning. So I'll probably go into work early in case I need to salt.
I've worked in a number of people today that cancelled yesterday, so I'll be very busy.
And Craig's probably tired of me constantly telling him to be careful so he doesn't slip on any ice. I can't imagine his ribs liking a jerky slip on the ice.  But there's nothing wrong with being overly cautious, right?   :-)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

one week until Christmas

Good morning.
It's was  a cold snowy weekend. I cleared the driveway nearly each day and went in to the Salon to damp-mop the floors. We've got about 6-7 inches on the ground.
Craig was a wreck all weekend. He normally gets our health insurance bill around the 7-8th of the month. As of Saturday the 14th, he still hadn't received it. So he fretted all weekend that we were probably cancelled like so many others have been. I told him that was nonsense  because we hadn't received any cancellation notice.  And his hospital stay and related bills would still be covered from the current policy. But he fretted anyway. That's what Craig does. So first thing Monday morning, I called Michigan Retailers, where we get our policies through, and sure enough, they were being sent out late, due some end of year issue. We weren't cancelled. Craig was relieved.
So far, he's received statements from Blue Cross that they have been billed for nearly $34,000.00.
For just 4 days in the hospital! $34,000.00!
And because we do have insurance, the providers accepted payments totaling  about $17,000.00. Out of that, Craig owes his deductible and co-pay of $4000.00. But that's better than $17,000.00!
It just goes to show how one supposedly little accident,  could put you in the poor house if you don't have insurance.
Anyway, we still have health insurance, and the next job will be finding a different insurer for our cars and home. When we got our current policies from Auto Owners, we ended up saving quite a bit if Craig also got a life insurance policy. It cost $100 a year, but we more than made up the savings with multiple discounts. So, here it is, 5 years later, and the life insurance policy is jumping to $500 a year. I think it's time to look around.  Between 3 cars, a mo-ho, house, and umbrella policy, it's quite a chunk of change. I think we can do better. Especially, since it'll be 3 years Jan 4th, since my at-fault accident. Most insurers only go back 3 years, so as long as we have it start in Feb. we should be good.
Now, time for another busy week in the Salon. It's only one week until Christmas!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

much to early

Good morning
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon, and stopping at Meijer's for a few things.
Our early winter has settled in for an extended stay.   :-(
It has snowed non-stop since Friday night, and continues as I write this post. Not a lot of accumulation, about 4 inches so far. But enough to keep the roads a mess.
This is about the earliest I've ever used the snow-blower. We usually don't have snow that 'sticks' until after the new year, since our 'normal' high should be in the mid 30's right now. But we haven't seen those temps for more than a couple of weeks, and they're not expected for the foreseeable future.  :-(
Anyway, we didn't stop for lunch after work yesterday, as the roads were so bad, we decided to just get home. And today, except for my early outing, we will be staying put.
And that's all I've got for now.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

no global warming here

Good morning.
This has become an early cold winter.  :-(
We should be in the mid 30's. We've averaged about 10 degrees below normal since early Nov.
Work has been busy. I've had to go in early every day to damp mop the floors, thanks to the bitter cold and snow.
Nothing more to say......

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas time

Good morning.
It was a nice, albeit, cold weekend. We did receive about an inch of snow, and it looks to stay around as temps are forecast to stay below freezing.   :-(
I did get some Christmas decorating done. Not as much as some years, but more than other.   :-)

Monday, I picked up some vinyl, to make a cushion for the top of the new shoe rack I bought.
I wanted it extra thick, just in case Craig decides to tip over again.   :-)
Tuesday, I went online an ordered 2, 12 column account books for Craig when he's ready to set up the books for next year.
I love how easy it is to go online and find what you need instead of running around town.   :-)
While we were out Tuesday, we stopped for lunch at Logan' Roadhouse. I had a half rack of ribs, and Craig had the 6oz. sirloin. Both were good. And with a coupon for buy one get one free, a reasonably priced meal.   :-)
If you like to eat out often, you really should register on the restaurants websites you tend to go to. They are always sending me coupons for discounts.
Groupon is another website one to keep an eye on.
Now it's time for another busy work week.

Monday, December 09, 2013


Good morning.
It's another nasty cold day. We got our first snow of the season.   :-(
We've gone from a colder than normal fall, right into an early winter. It's going to be a long one.   :-(
But, It did get me in a Christmas mood, and I pulled out the decorations and am working on cheering up the house.   :-)
And I've decided some of my 20+ year old ornaments are looking pretty bad, so I'm out today to get some new ones.
Stay warm!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

They're going to the Rose Bowl!

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon, as usual.
Our frigid  cold weather continues.   :-(
It's currently 12 out. brrrrr! Going for a high of only 24.
At least, the last storm went to our south, so all we got was cold.
But Craig is feeling fuzzy warm as he stayed up late and watched his Michigan State Spartans beat Ohio State for the Big Ten Championship and earning them a trip to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 26 years. Unfortunately, we won't be able to go.  :-(

The football coach Mark Dantonio and the quarterback Connor Cook accepting the trophy.
It was a very good game!
Work was busy this week, and when we got out Saturday, we went over to Houlihan's inside the Lansing Mall, where we had a couple of drinks and split a couple of appetizers. Afterwards, we walked around the mall, checking out some of the new stores that were added for the holidays. The mall was the busiest I've seen it. But then, we don't usually go to the mall on the weekend.  :-)
Now time to get Craig up and on with the day.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Internet back, yummy food, and a Craig update

Good morning.
Yesterday was nasty! Cold, wet and windy. Thankfully, I got most of the outdoor stuff done Sunday and Monday. Monday, I changed the oil in the mowers, flushed the gutters, turned off the outside faucets, and put away the hoses.
We are ready for winter.  :-\
Yesterday, with the nasty weather, I turned the furnace on in the mo-ho, and gave it a final good cleaning.
I also spread mothballs around the mo-ho tires, supposedly to keep the mice away. It didn't work last year as we got mice in the mo-ho twice, but Craig wanted me to, so it's just easier to do it instead of arguing.  :-)
This time of year, we start making comfort food, and Monday was Ravioli Lasagna.
Yesterday, Craig made Mexican Pizza. Yummy, yummy stuff!
And I have internet again! The tech came out and discovered there was a problem in the line, soooo it ended up being in their equipment, not my modem.
It's probably good he had to come back out. When he checked the line Friday, it was fine. But over the weekend, my connection got progressively worst. And I got lucky in that while he was here, my connection went out and he was able to see it was the line, not my modem. It's like when you take a car in for a 'noise'. Unless it does it in the shop, they can't tell what's wrong. It was like that with my internet connection. At first, I only lost the connection once in a while. But by Monday, it was out more than on. So it was easier to diagnose the problem. Anyway, now everything is working just as it should.   :-)
A Craig update.....
It's now been 5 weeks since the accident, and Craig continues the very slow healing. He's getting around very well, and his range of motion slowly improves. We put most of the home back to it's former set-up as he is maneuvering much better. He's back to work full time, but is keeping some space between customers to rest. And he's also completely off all pain medication, taking aspirin on occasion when needed.
Now it's time for another work week.

Monday, December 02, 2013

busy busy

Good morning.
I did manage to get quite a bit done yesterday. It hovered near 40, so not to bad.
I did a final mowing of the leaves and the yard looks good for winter. I also did a final cleaning on the portable gas grill, and stored it in the garage for winter.
We parked the mo-ho in it's winter parking space between the garage and the lot line.  It takes a bit of maneuvering, but fits like a glove.

I did get winter tires on Craig's Hyundai, so it's ready for bad roads. And I put away deck furniture.
Today, I hope to change the oil in the mowers and add stabilizer, so they are ready for the winter.
And I'm finishing this post while I currently have Internet, which my connection is getting less and less stable. The tech is suppose to be here between 8-12. I'm thinking it's the modem. I'll let you know.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

lights back on

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon, and I'll try and get this post done before my dsl goes out again. No, It's not fixed yet. Yes, they did come out Friday, but I was at work. I had scheduled the time for 3-5pm, after work, but they showed up at 11:30. So I call, and the person says there was no specific time set up. I explained there was, but at that point what did it matter. Sooo, I rescheduled for Monday morning. At least the internet works some of the time.   :-\
And I found fuses for the lights.   :-)
I thought of trying Menard's since they have such a huge Christmas dept. And sure enough, they had them.   So the trees lit now.  :-)
Saturday, I got home from work early enough, and the temps weren't too bad, almost 40. So, I got the leaf blower out and cleaned up the rest of the mo-ho parking area. Now we can park him in his winter spot this weekend.
And this morning isn't terrible either, 38, so while Craig slept in, I cleaned the eves also.
Now I just need to get his snow tires on, hopefully later today, and we'll be about ready for winter.

Friday, November 29, 2013

no lights

Good morning.
Happy post Thanksgiving!
I'll try and get this  post done before my dsl goes out again.
Been having issues with either the modem or the service. I'll have internet, then all of a sudden a page won't load, and I look to see the dsl and internet light out. At first I thought it was the connection, so I'd re-power the modem. I have since found out that it'll go out, and come back at some point all by itself. Sometimes I'm off line 10 minutes, sometimes over an hour.  Anyway, I've got a tech coming out this afternoon after work. Yes we are working today and tomorrow. And I'm booked both days.
Now back to Thanksgiving....
We had a nice quiet day at home with a usual delicious turkey dinner. Watched some of the parades, and some football. I did most of the dinner myself, as I'm trying to let Craig take it easy as much as possible.
I went in to the Salon, as usual, Thanksgiving morning to decorate the Salon for Christmas.
 Blew 2 fuses on the lights putting them on the tree. Soon found out, I had no fuses left.  :-(
I ran over to Meijer, and they didn't have the ones I needed so I ran over to Walmart, and the same there. Being Thanksgiving and no other stores open, I went back to the Salon and finished decorating the tree. I went online when I got home and bought a 12 pack of fuses on E-Bay, but they won't arrive until Tuesday. I'll stop at an auto parts store on the way to work this morning, hoping they might have a fuse that fits. If not, the tree will have to go light less for a few days.   :-\
Better the tree than my house, right?  :-)
 Does anyone know where to get a 125v 5a fuse? It's 3/4 on an inch long.

So now, I'm off to work!
And for those lucky enough to have a long weekend,
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

mo-ho update and computer repair

Good morning.
The unseasonably cold weather continues with the temp this morning only 19 and a high projected to be 26. We should be 40 this time of year.  :-\
We did pick up the mo-ho yesterday after they changed the oil and serviced the generator and drove it out to Flying J to top off the gas and propane. Like to keep them full in case we need it during the winter like we did last week.
We used 8lbs of propane and about 9 gallons of gas while we used the mo-ho when our home had no electricity. That translates into about $18 a day to stay in the mo-ho until our power was restored. A lot cheaper than staying in a hotel, and a lot less gas and propane than I thought we would use given how cold it was and how much we ran the generator.
In other news......

On Monday, I went out to a customers house to see if I could help with a puter issue. I've had no puter training myself, but people think I'm some sort of expert. I think I've just been damn lucky. And this time I was again. He was having problems loading windows. I tried to turn on the puter, and got no farther than the starting windows screen. There it just froze. So I did a hard shutdown, and restarted it in safe mode. There, I was able to determine the computer had lost the hard drive.
I was able to run a diagnostic, and it appeared to fix the problem. I restarted the puter, and it went all the way to the desktop. But there, things went really crazy. Little windows started popping up from the task bar saying all these different files were lost. There were dozens of them. I thought, "this doesn't look good at all!" So I did another hard shutdown. I thought I'd take the cover off the tower and check inside. Sometimes, if the insides get to dusty, it can over heat and cause odd issues. I took off the cover to find it not too bad. Probably wasn't that. I checked all the different connections and discovered the one from the motherboard to the hard drive was loose. I pushed it back on tight and restarted the puter. That was it! It came on and loaded perfectly normal. I ran a couple of diagnostics and everything was running smooth. I asked him how often he backs up.

He didn't even know what I meant. Sooo, I showed him how to easily and quickly he can back up all his important docs and pics, and told him to do this twice a year, so if his puter ever crashes and is lost for good, he'll have all his stuff to put on a new one.
So, I got lucky again with computer repair.   :-)
Back to Tuesday, with the bitter cold, I stayed indoors, cleaned, did laundry, and finished repacking all the mo-ho stuff away.
Trying to keep Craig relaxing, I fixed us a tasty dinner.
Yes, I really can cook if I need to.   :-)
Spicy-sweet pork cutlets with honey glazed carrots, steamed broccoli and wild rice. Made enough for leftovers for Wed.
And with that, time to get ready for a very busy day at the Salon, as we are closed tomorrow for Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 25, 2013

weekend update

Good morning.
It's been bitter cold out the last couple of days.
It's currently only 20 out this morning. Going for a high of just 33.  :-\
I did managed to get the mo-ho winterized, again, Friday after work. It was cold, but near 40. I bundled up, got it done.  :-)
I also managed to get the snow tires on the Kia. 
I'm taking the mo-ho in this morning for an oil change and generator service like I do at the end of every year.
And it's been a productive weekend so far. I got the Salon cleaned, all the laundry caught up, all the mo-ho stuff repacked away, and Craig got caught up on his bookkeeping.  With the windy cold crappy weather, I stayed inside and cleaned and took out screens. With the long dreary winter we have, we need as much light coming in as possible.  :-)
 Craig continues his very slow recovery. Because they can't 'set' the ribs like they do for other broken bones, they just have to heal on their own. I think that would mean taking longer to heal. And I think Craig is trying to do to much to soon. I'm constantly telling him to take it easy, or let me do it.
He's just impatient.  :-)
And so, time to go.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Home sweet home

Good morning.
And a good one it is because we are back in the house.   :-)
They got the power back on Thursday, and after work, I brought all our stuff back into the house.
I'm hoping to get the mo-ho re-winterized after work today, as the temps are expected to plummet this weekend into the teens. Today is suppose to be 44 with scattered showers. Tomorrow, just a high of 26.
I'm happy we had the mo-ho to use while the power was out. We managed just fine. Although we discovered living in the mo-ho is a lot different than taking weekend trips in it. You need a lot more 'stuff' when your living and working than when 'camping'.   :-)
This weekend will be catching up. Craig has 2 weeks of laundry, and I have to repack all the mo-ho stuff.
Work had also been busy, and today and tomorrow are booked.
Craig continues to improve. He's now sleeping all night in bed instead of part bed and part recliner. He's also off his prescription meds, taking just aspirin when needed.
And with that, time to get going.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

No power for a week?

Good morning.
I write this in the comfort of our motor home.
We've decided to use it one more time this year. But not by choice.
Sunday, we headed over to Muskegon to see my Mom.
Cut her hair, emptied the trash, and took her to lunch and then the club. (the VFW)
While we were there, the sports channel that was on was interrupted by a weather advisory. Strong storms were heading into Michigan and the entire state was under a thunderstorm watch and a tornado watch. Mom thought we should cut our stay and head back to Lansing before the bad weather arrived. On the way back to her apartment, we stopped at the store for some supplies for Mom, and got her home. Hit the highway back to Lansing, and arrived safely ahead of the storms. I called Mom to let her know we arrived safe, and sat down in our TV room to watch the storm as it blew though. At one point the wind got incredible and the noise was deafening. Then the power went out. I called to report the outage, and we spent the evening playing on our tablets. Went to bed, still without power, and awoke with still no power. It was a cool 63 in the house when we awoke. Fortunately, the water in the water heater was still nice and warm for our showers. I checked outside to see numerous branches down, but nothing very large. I went over to the pole that the power line was on to see piles of sheet metal and 2x4s scattered around. Found out, they were from a shed behind our neighbor. The wind tore it off and blew it over the roof of their building and hit the power pole. There was damage and that was why we lost power. I called to get the automated time for restoring our power, and it said it should be restored by Sat. 11pm. SATURDAY?????
That's what happens when your just one home without power, you get pushed way down the list of repair priorities. 
So, with that, I went out to the Mo-ho, and turned the fridge on to transfer food.
I spent a good part of Monday un-winterizing the mo-ho and getting it ready to live in again.
Putting out the slides, I noticed that they seemed to be straining. Checked, and the house batteries were really low. I tried to start the generator, but not enough juice to get it going. So I started the mo-ho. That gave me enough juice to start the generator. I let it run an hour or so to charge the house batteries. After I turned it off, I ran the furnace and saw that the blower fan was draining the batteries way to fast. Those 11 year old batteries must be going bad. So.....I had to take them out, and find a place to get new ones. Told Craig to to run the engine to stay warm until I returned. It was only 41 out. Got back, got them installed, and we were good to go.
I did managed to run a phone line from the house to the mo-ho. And brought out the wireless modem, so I can get internet, but only while running the generator since the modem has to be plugged in, and all the plugs only have power if the mo-ho is plugged in or the gen is running. Soooo, I won't be online much this week until we're back in the house.
Oh, and Craig is doing pretty good. Still moving slow, and still quite sore. but he's slowly progressing.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Is there something in that pan?

Good morning.
It's been a busy week in the Salon so far. Craig is doing pretty good. He did 2 haircuts on Wed. and  2 cut/color and a haircut on Thursday. He's been taking his Norco just in the morning when he gets up, and just aspirin during the day.  He's trying to ween himself off the hard stuff.   :-)
Last Tues. when we made a spaghetti casserole, the pan he uses to boil the noodles started to act possessed! Like there was something in it trying to get out!
Pretty funny huh?
 Apparently the pan is bulging on the bottom when it starts to get hot. When it's cool, it's perfectly flat on the bottom.
Anyway, time for another workday.....

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Good morning.
This is what I awoke to this morning......
Yuk! Too early!
But at least I did manage to get all the leaves up Sunday like I wanted to.
I took Craig out Sunday also, and he did very well. Walked with me to both stores I went to. Took him out Monday also, and he did very well. He seems to be making faster progress as time goes on. It might also be that he's now on Norco, instead of the powerful Oxycontin. But he says he's feeling so good, that he plans to return to work later this week on an extremely limited basis. One customer on Wed., 2 on Thur., 3 on Friday and Sat., with extra time between customers so he can rest.
He's also driving today when we go out to make sure he feels comfortable with that.
It's good to see him doing so well, since it's been just 2 weeks since he broke those ribs.
We also need to get another shoe rack to replace the one he broke when falling.  Do they make Nerf shoe racks?   :-)
Also, Monday morning, while Craig slept, I went in and got my first crown. No, not on my head, in my mouth. :-)
Back on our last RV trip, I broke a tooth. I went to the dentist when I returned, and he prepped it for a crown and put in a temporary one.  It had been on a watch for a possible future crown because the filling it had, had been replaced a couple times. But the install went smoothly, and today, it feels just like the rest of my teeth.
Anyway, time to get on with the day.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ahhhh, a weekend

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon.
It was a busy week in the Salon, partly due to spreading Craig's customers amongst the rest of the staff.
Craig continues to improve. S-l-o-w-l-y. Bones don't heal fast.
He wants to go out with me today. He's getting tired of being shut up indoors.
I have to get laundry detergent for the Salon at Menard's, tp, paper towels, and coffee supplies for the Salon at Gordon's, and what ever he decides he wants for dinner at Meijer's. He can sit in the car, or walk in with me. We'll see how he feels.
He has been able to do bookwork this week during the day when he feels good.  It helps to keep him busy during the day. I'm happy I don't have to try and deal with it, and I'm sure he's happy I'm not  touching it.   ;-)
During the week, the rest of the leaves from my 2 large Maples came down, and hopefully, I'll get them up this afternoon. We're in for some bitter cold weather starting tomorrow with temps only in the 30's for highs this week. Nearly 20 degrees below normal.
I may have to finish cutting down the rest of the perennials in the spring if the weather stays like this.
And now, time for my shower and to get on with the day.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

termite update....and a Craig one too

Good morning.
Rose Pest Solutions came out yesterday to check the bait traps again, and this time found just 2 with termite activity.  We had 4 last time. He said most likely, the termite nest has shrunk due to the feeding, and there's probably not as many foragers available to feed. The other unusual thing I noticed, was one of the active bait stations was on the west side of the house below a bedroom window where we had indoor active termite activity earlier. The other bait station was near the south east side of the house. That's got to be nearly 40 feet from the other and there is 3 other bait stations in between. He said, "that's termites".  They will travel up to 350 ft looking for food. And that's why they couldn't guarantee  when they would find the bait stations. The termites randomly forage for food, and they 'stumble' on the bait stations. That's why, even though we only had visible activity on one side of the house, they put stations all the way around it.
In Craig news......
He continues his slow healing. He is able to get in and out of his chair easier, and the same with the bed. he also has been able to tend for himself, so I'm not as anxious going to work and leaving him. He still sleeps a lot, but that's probably a combination of the body trying to heal, and the side effects of the Oxycontin he's on for a couple more days. On Saturday, he's being switched to Norco. It's very similar to Vicodin, but contains less Acetaminophen than Vicodin. Still a strong pain reliever. He'll have a 2 week supply, and by the end of that, should be able to get by on over the counter stuff if needed.
And with that, time for me to get to work.
Someone needs to make some money.   :-)

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

a Craig update.

Good morning.
I write this as Craig is sleeping. He's been sleeping about 12 hours a day since he came home. Probably good, as he didn't get much in the hospital for 4 days, and with less movement, the ribs can heal quicker, hopefully.
I've made a few adjustments to our home. First off was a riser for the toilet. Second, a bigger table by his recliner to hold his water, cell phone, tablet, TV remote, booster meds, and a towel for when I'm out and about. He needs the towel as the Oxycontin he's on for pain has a possible side effect that causes sweating, and he's got that. I'm washing sheets and mattress pad every day.  :-\
The last adjustment is by the bed. To help him in and out, I took a shirt and pant rack he had in the corner of the room, and wedged it under the bed and night stand. He can now grab the bar to pull him into an upright position to get out of bed.
So just a few little things to make it easier on him.
As of yesterday, he can get in and out of bed by himself. Go to the bathroom by his self, get in and out of his recliner, and take a shower.
He still needs help drying and getting dressed, as he is unable to bend enough to do that. I've moved my morning appointments at the Salon later, so I can help him with that before I go.
Today, I'm concentrating on making sure he will be able to be by himself for the day, as I'm completely booked Wed. and will be gone about 9 hours.We'll be doing a run through today.
He'll have oatmeal and a banana for breakfast, and I put the milk on a lower shelf in the fridge, and the oatmeal on the counter. For lunch, I'll make him a sandwich  before I go to work and stick that in the fridge with some yogurt . Dinner will be left over casseroles I made from Sunday and Monday and ready and in the fridge and he'll just need to microwave them. I told him to put the dishes in the sink so he won't have to bend to get them in the dishwasher. I'll also have plates on the counter so he won't have to reach for those either.
I'm so glad he came home Saturday, so we have these few days to work out any issues. I think he'll do okay.
He also has a doctors appointment this afternoon with his primary care doctor. The hospital doctor gave him Oxycontin to take for 7 days. After that, he'll probably still need something, and his family doctor will prescribe that. I know it won't be more Oxycontin as they want you off that as soon as possible. But pain level has been managed well so far, with him not taking many of the booster pain meds they also gave him. Besides the Oxycontin 20mg he takes twice a day, they gave him Oxycodone 5mg he can take every 4 hours and 3-6 pills. He only took 3 pills yesterday morning. So hopefully by Saturday, he'll be able to switch to something not as powerful.
And thanks for the comments, flowers, cards, phone calls and e-mail well wishes. Craig appreciates them all.
Now time for me to go.....

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Craig's ordeal

Good afternoon.
Whew! It's been a week!
Let me fill you in on the details........
Last Tuesday night, I went to bed and Craig stayed up to watch some TV. He said he fell asleep in the Chair. He awoke later, got up to go to bed, and blacked out. The reason he blacked out was most likely due to his blood pressure medication. His new doctor had changed the type he was taking, and the new stuff wasn't keeping it down low enough so the doc said to double up. He did, and everything looked good, most of the time. He was still occasionally getting too high a reading. So at times, he took a third. The day he fell, he had taken 3. And when he awoke from sleep to get up and go to bed, his blood pressure was probably too low, and he stood up too fast. Anyway, down he went.
This is what broke his fall, and his 3 ribs....He must have gone down sideways when he hit.
Of course, the noise woke me up, and I came out to see him on the floor withering in pain. He didn't at the time tell me he blacked out, and I thought he just tripped himself and fell. I helped him up and to bed, not even thinking how serious it might be.
He wakes me up around 2am and says he thinks he needs to go to the hospital. I get up and get dressed, but he's still in bed. He says he can't move, it hurts too bad. I call an ambulance, and they transport him to Sparrow Hospital, St Lawrence emergency. I take a quick shower, and arrived shortly after them.
They do a ct scan and discover 3 fractured, and displaced ribs. That throws up a red flag and he was to be transported to the main campus and the trauma unit. From what I know now, 1-2 ribs is one thing, but when you have 3, the pain level is tremendous. Craig said his was a 10 on a scale of 1-10. They put him on an iv drip of morphine, and it barely touched his pain, They gave him a shot of Dilaudid before transporting him to the main campus. It's supposedly 10 times stronger than morphine and that helped a bit more.
The trauma team evaluated him and admitted  him for pain control and respiratory monitoring. They said his level of pain could not be controlled with oral meds at home and he would have to stay until his level of pain subsided to the point where oral meds would work. There was also the risk of pneumonia, since with such a large area of ribs damaged, deep breathing is next to impossible. So breathing exercises where to be done also to keep the lungs clear.
They got him into a room around 8am, and I stayed with him until about 10, cancelling my morning appointments at the Salon. When I decided they had him settled in with a plan for treatment. I then went into work and and was there until around 5pm. I had cancelled my evening appointments so I could get back up to the hospital and sit awhile with Craig. I arrived to find they had put in an  epidural for the pain. It wasn't helping as much as it should. They had to mix several different blends of medications before finally  they had him down to a 2-3 pain level by Thursday morning. I left Wed. night around 7pm, going home and crashing since I'd been up since 2:30 am the night before. I awoke Thursday morning and called the nurses station for an update to find they had gotten his pain under control. I went to work at 8am until 11am and then up to the hospital for a couple of hours. Then back to work until 6pm and back to the hospital. Friday morning was very busy at the Salon and I didn't get to the hospital until 3 pm. I happened to walk into the room when the doctor was there. He explained with this type of injury, the pain is severe for the first 2-3 days, then slowly subsides. They had switched him from an epidural to intravenous pain medication. After a couple of days, they would switch him to oral medication for a couple of days and then he could go home.
I worked again Saturday morning and got a call from Craig saying they were thinking of letting him go home that evening. They had already switched him to oral meds since he was doing so well. I went up after work around 3pm taking clothes for him to wear home.
They released him at 6pm, and I brought a happy, tired, weak Craig home.
First thing he wanted to do was take a shower and shave. He needed a lot of help, but he got it done.
I got him a little dinner and to bed he went. He was suppose to sleep in the recliner, since trying to lay down in a flat bed is very hard on his ribs at this point, but he really wanted to sleep in the bed, so with my help, we got him in. He slept 13 hours!
Today, has been a busy day for me as besides cleaning the salon, I've had to do shopping, laundry, yard leaves and dinner. But it's worth it to have Craig home.   :-)
I've got to serve dinner now. I'll try to find time to update.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

And now this.....

Just a quick note to say I won't be online much.
Craig fell and broke 3 ribs Tuesday night.
He was taken first to emergency, and then the trauma center. He's having some respiratory issues besides the intense pain. May be in a week or more.
Spending all my time between hospital, work, and trying to get some sleep.
Well report when I can.

Monday, October 28, 2013

this was not the way it was suppose to end

Good afternoon.
As I said earlier, we returned today from our last RV trip of the season.   :-(
This was a short trip, just 45 minutes away to a place called Turkeyville, down by Battle Creek. They now have a fairly new RV park, and since we've never been there before, thought it would be a good time. It's quite an interesting place, with a gift shop, ice cream shop, restaurant, and a dinner theater. They even have a train, and live turkeys roaming around. We arrived on Friday afternoon, and got settled into our site. It was a miserable cold, wet weekend. At least 10 degrees below normal. But that didn't stop us. We have a nice heater in the mo-ho.   ;-)
Saturday, we had scheduled lunch at noon, followed by the show at 2pm. Turkeyville serves nothing but turkey. The restaurant has numerous choices of turkey meals, including a traditional turkey dinner, turkey stir-fry, turkey tacos and several different turkey sandwiches.
The dinner theater menu was a traditional turkey dinner. It was edible and forgettable. Craig makes much better turkey. The show was entertaining, but too heavy on musical numbers, and not enough on the plot. All and all, I'd give it a 3 star rating.
Sunday, we headed over to the Firekeepers Casino, where we had a much better time, even though we left 3 hours later down a combined $32.00. Not bad.  :-)
Back at the mo-ho, it was actually pleasant outside, and we took a walk. We had snacks that evening, since we had lunch at the casino.
This is where it goes terribly bad.........
Snacking on my favorite food, chicken wings, I felt like something was caught between my back teeth. I went to floss, and discovered I was missing part of a tooth!
Long story short, When we returned to Lansing, I called my dentist, and fortunately, he was able to get me in this morning for an exam. He concluded I had a stress fracture. Lost part of the tooth second from the back on the right side, and needed a crown. Even better, he had an afternoon cancellation, and could do it then.
I now have a temporary crown, while I await the final one in 2 weeks.
This afternoon was suppose to be a semi shutdown of the mo-ho, but now it'll have to wait a bit.
Between the mo-ho transmission, brakes, termites, and now this, it's been an expensive year.

we're back one last time

Good morning.
By the time  most of you read this, we will be on our way home from our last RV weekend of the season.   :-(
Will fill you in when we return.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

blast from the past

Good morning.
It's been 37 years. Yesterday. Forgot to post. Bad me.
Here's a few pics from the w-a-y distant past, when I really had some hair!   :-)
1981 when we bought our first Salon
83 in Hawaii with the guys we bought the Salon from
A staff pic from 81
At a party shortly after we first met w-a-y back in 1976
 37 years seem like a long time, but it's gone by in a flash! Hoping for another 37.......maybe?