Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

We of course will be home tonight - we leave the roads to the partiers. But we probably will go for a drive today to enjoy the heat wave we are expecting today!

I just sent my brother, Larry an email because we heard they had snow in Phoenix yesterday! This weather is crazy all over this year.

Larry told me about an app called Evernote - I love it. Using Trip Advisor and Evernote I have been planning our tripto Florida. It has been so much fun reading the reviews on Trip Advisor to find things to do and places to eat and stay.

Hope your evening is filled with friends and good sense - do not forget to designate a driver.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


When I came home from work I expected a nice clean house because today was the day Stephanie cleans our house. But when I opened the door there was a wrapped gift from her. I opened it and it was a beautiful painting she painted for our bedroom. It is a fabulous beach scene. She knows how much I love paintings and this one will fit right in.

Then I walked in the living room and found that Pat had put the Christmas decorations away. Yeah! Can I say how happy that made me?

What a great day.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Last Christmas Celebration for 2010

It was a full house last night. It was fun to have everyone here - even Crystal stopped by for a minute - making it the first time in two years we were all together.

I have to say it is time to get back to "normal" - whatever normal is it better start. Too much food and drink lately!

I finally made an appointment to get a haircut - I always wait too long and go crazy the last few weeks because it is usually a holiday week and I won't call last minute and then my hair REALLY drives me crazy.

Just a dozen workdays left until I RETIRE!
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ayva Stole the Show

We had Pat's family over for Christmas - Ayva stole the show! Being the only child she got to help everyone open their present. She had such fun. She found the stuffed animal dogs and Sweet William doll and then Great Great Grandma and Grandpa got her a set of horses she can brush their tales - she was so fun.

She kept going upstairs and peeking through the shelves on the way up - she kept calling Caroline NuNu and Robbie Bee and Sheala Gee it was a great night.

It was nice to have everyone here - we usually go to Pat's sisters so it was nice to have them all here.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Delightful Christmas Morning

Pat and I went to Detroit to have breakfast with my sister, Kathy and her son, Brandon. We drove to their house and sat and chatted a bit -we even Skyped to Egypt to talk with Bryant's family. Then we went downtown to the Westin and ate at the Boulevard Room. It was very enjoyable. Then Brandon took us on a tour of his production company - Star Factory -it has a recording studio and a dance studio. We got to hear music he has written, recorded and produced. He has several artists he is working with that have great talent.

We were so happy to see his work and hear his recordings.

It was such a nice Christmas Morning.

Merry Christmas

Good morning and Merry Christmas to everyone. We went visiting yesterday and got to see all the Conklins. It was such a nice visit. We went to church last evening and it was very beautiful - everything gold and white - even though we helped decorate we were so focused on getting our job done that I never noticed how beautiful everything looked together. The music was niceand the people were overjoyed to see each other.

I hope you have a wonderful day filled with family and friends.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Begins!

I love beginning our Christmas celebrations. I even like the light dusting of snow - it makes everything look fresh and clean. Tonight we are going to help decorate church. Pat went over yesterday to use a lift we borrowed from St. Helen's and he put up hooks in the ceiling to hang stars from that church bought last year at Pier 1for 75% off. I can't wait to see it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Taco Night mmmmmm. . .

Jesse and Caroline invited us over for taco night -it was delicious food. Rice, beans, tacos and the most yummy salsa. And we got to play with the kiddos! What a nice night.

Caroline, Sheala and Robbie and I went shopping earlier in the day. We had a nice time.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Swan Creek Road Lightshow

We went out to Swan Creek Road to see the lightshow. Homeowners put music to Christmas lights and we decided to stop by tonight to see it. Our friends, BIll and Amy told us about it -but they had not seen it yet. It was so much fun they did a great job. You can park in Boehler.'s parking lot, too.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Nice evening

Such a nice evening – Our nephew, Michael was in town and we went out to dinner at Outback with him and his parents. We had such a nice time chatting – he will be on his way to spend time with his wife in Budapest – they are both looking forward to a beautiful Christmas together.

We actually got most of our Christmas shopping done yesterday – YEAH! A few things haven’t made it by mail yet, however, Amazon said it would be here before Christmas – and I love Amazon.

We have a very busy week next week – decorating at church, eye appointment, dentist appointment, Pat’s choir party, baking, – lots going on – but then I think it will quiet down for the rest of the holiday season.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Team Ra-Ras Kicks Breast Cancer - Susan G. Komen for the Cure Philadelph...

Every time someone views this video United Healthcare donates money to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to fight breast cancer. Thanks for sharing Elise - even though it took me forever to find time to look at this.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Weather

Wow – Winter hit with a slam dunk! We didn’t get it as bad as some places but 9 inches with blowing and drifting. The wind chill is -10 this morning and Pat went out and cleared the drive, scraped the windows and then drove me to work – what a nice guy!

Robbie called to say his JV Bowling Team took first place on Sunday in the playoffs. He bowled 177 – we are so proud of him.

It was really nice being snowed in yesterday. We went to church on Saturday so we never left the house. We got the Christmas decorations up and vegged out watching Hallmark and Lifetime schmooze all day – then CSI reruns – if that isn’t the opposite end of the spectrum.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


So some of the people at the craft show were buying for NEXT year. I have not even thought about Christmas! I think I will have to get serious this week!

Our lives are so busy we haven't been able to even find a time to celebrate Christmas with our own families. I think we all have to slow down a bit.

OK Maybe this week won't be crazy while we BEGIN shopping with all the other last minute shoppers. Maybe a prayer to Mom and Patsy - Master Shoppers of all times (you should have seen the buys they would come home with after the George Washington Day sales in downtown Saginaw back in the day where everything was. 22¢ or $2.22): I'm sure with the households filled with family they both did there share of last minute shopping!

So I'll whisper a prayer and get going today.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


The show was done at 3 today. I hope no one came after we were done! We had a very successful day and Robbie earned a good bit towards camp this summer.

I want to thank everyone for such a great craft show year. We met so many nice people - both buyers and sellers. We will start selling again in September. Thanks again.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Saturday Fundraiser

Do stop by at the Horizon Center on Saturday from 9 - 4. Robbie is helping me sell dishes with knives (a great Christmas gift). He is hoping to go to Cival Air Patrol camp this summer and this
will help fund that. Remember last year we raised money for Sheala to go to Boston -and as an update to that trip - - SHE LOVED IT.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dinner with Olympia

At the last minute we invited Olympia over for dinner last night. It was Vince's birthday and we were so happy she could come over. I think it was the first time I cooked in ages. When I asked Pat to go to the store for potato soup and panini ingredients and then saw Olympia's email about stopping over for a minute I knew it was an impromptu dinner opportunity. We are so happy to have spent a quiet night talking at the kitchen table. Good friends, good soup, and a bottle of wine - is there anything better?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Altered Fingerprints

Well - I think I officially changed my thumbprint last night! I wrapped so many knives there is an indent in my thumb!

We sold so many dishes and knives in Clarkston that I had to wrap, wrap, wrap last night - I will be out of Christmas dishes by the 4:00 if I sell like I did yesterday. And I have one more show next weekend at Horizon!

I was praying to St. Anthony last night to find more dishes and we did - thank you, thank you, thank you. Now I have to start praying again to buy more for next weekend!

We are next to some really nice people - they sell metal fish bones! They are so cool - you hang them and they spin in the wind - some of them have chimes - some can go on the wall. They have lobsters and crabs and turtles - they even make their own sea glass and put those on the chimes - we really enjoyed talking with them yesterday - getting tips for our trip to Florida, too.

Gotta go - have to put those knives with the plates and pack them up to go back to Clarkston - don't forget that Grandy is still open today!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Grandy and Clarkston

Well - I worked at the Grandy Farm yesterday - it was a fun day - remember you have two more days to shop. One of my favorite items is still there - a woman named Tracy paints snowmen on different items - screens, chairs, buckets... The one I love is an old chair with a bucket on the seat with a snowman face painted on it - the bucket is filled with greens and it lights up and it all is wrapped in grapevines - $42!!!!! It is so precious - if I thought I could put it on my porch and it would be there the next day I would buy it - but instead I'm telling you about it - so go to Grandy's and tell them Mary Ellen sent you to buy Tracy's chair! (Peggy - I was thinking of you when I saw it!!!)

Also - Rene is there - I bought 8 jars of her Blackberry BBQ sauce - YUMMMM! I bought one last year and I just about cried when I realized I only bought one. She makes a delicious bacon wrapped chestnuts in that BBQ sauce and it is to die for.

Today we are on our way to Clarkston for a two day show at the High School - I can't wait to see everyone - hope to see you there!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Big Weekend is Almost Here

I have two shows this weekend - a three day show at Grandy's and a two day show at Clarkston. I only have to work one day at the Grandy Farm which is at 12750 Frost Road in Hemlock, Michigan - so I will be there on Friday.

On Saturday and Sunday I will be in Clarkston at the High School on 6093 Flemings Lake Road. I'll be in booth 11 down the hallway this year.

We'll see how having two shows in one weekend works! YIKES! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can......

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Catching up with friends

Pat and I went to the Outback for dinner - remember when the bar was first come first serve? Well, it's not! I found a booth and slipped right in - then Pat went back to give our notifier thingy to the hostess and when he did - he found our friends Pat and Bill from Midland. We haven't seen them in ages. So he invited them back to "our" booth!

Then the manager came over and told us we couldn't just take a booth - I protested enough to let us stay (can you imagine that?) So then we proceeded to have a wonderful night.

Our kids had gone together to Blessed Sacrament when they were in elementary school. Lynn and Sarah came over to our house to play and they were with them at their house a lot, too. It was so fun to hear all about the family and what they are doing and of course they wanted to hear all about Caroline and Joanna, too.

Oh my - good friends are a blessing - when you see them - even after years of being apart it is like you never were apart at all. Isn't friendship wonderful?

Estate Sale Where I Didn't Care if I Got Anything!

OH MY GOODNESS, on our way home from the Waterford Craft Show we were looking for an estate sale sign I saw on our way to the show. Sure enough it was still up - so we followed it. It was a $2.5 Million home!!!! The entrance was grand - we parked up at the top of a hill, took beautiful stone steps down to a magnificent leaded glass door.

When we entered there was a circular teak staircase and rooms off the entry. We were instructed to put on surgical booties - the floors were marble. Then we walked around - I am sure with my mouth hanging open.

There were Remington sculptures, a Picasso, a Matisse, and many more artists. The cut glass bowls were fabulous. I told the man I just wanted to cook in the kitchen! He laughed and told me the stove was awful to try to keep clean - HAH - you can't fool me - he didn't do any cleaning on that stove!!!

There was a pool out back overlooking the lake with a beautiful portico all around the back. Oh my goodness, it was just so much fun walking through the mansion. I wish I could have gone upstairs!

So - even though I didn't find anything to buy - I certainly enjoyed the estate sale!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ann Arbor Quick Trip

So we made a quick trip to Ann Arbor to buy plates. We found some really cute ones. Then we stopped for a sandwich at Zingermans. Now we are on our way home to wrap more knives.

I am loving this Galaxy Tablet. So far the navigation is great. It took us around some wierd curves today without a hitch.

Monday, November 15, 2010

mad dash for more dishes

It seems as if I spend all my free time looking for more dishes. I found 15 this afternoon. I will have to go on a road trip after the Waterford show this weekend.

I do love finding just the right beads to match the dishes.

I took a little catnap after dinner and now I am wide awake. I already wrapped 30 knives more than enough for the night.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Great Day

We had a great day in Mt. Pleasant. This was the best one day show yet. It really is amazing that most of our sales happen before Noon then hardly anymore. So for 3 hours we never sit down. I am not complaining it just seems funny that it happens at every show.

We sold so much that I have been wrapping knives since 3 am. I can see the rest of the week wrap wrap wrap wrap.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

new toy

Well matt at best buy sold me on the galaxy tablet and i got it last night. I have been going back and forth trying to decide what to buy and this is so much fun. It is just the right size and the keyboard is just right for my finger. When i told him i wanted to be able to blog he said hands down this is what to buy.

IT WAS FUN HAVING HIM SET IT UP. They just got these in yesterday and he had been researching it and he was so having fun that i was too.

It also has a great camera and i cannot wait to start using it.

Today is the mt. Pleasant show. Hope to see you there.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fun Day Off

We stopped to see our friends, Noreen and Tom, yesterday – we have been invited to visit their home in Florida this winter and so we started planning our trip. We had such a relaxing fun visit. They have a lovely home on the Rifle River – we watched the birds at the feeders, the chipmunks under the feeders – the kayakers going down the river – it was a very nice day.

When we left there we decided to drive to Tawas and go home that way – of course – part of the way home I mentioned we could stop in Standish to gamble a bit. So we did. That was fun too. And for once we won! I played the Wizard of Oz penny slots and turned my 20 into 70, then on to the Gate one next to Zeus which I can never remember the name of – went down to 50. Then on to the Hot Hot Penny and went up to 103; cashed that one out. Then on to Blackjack with Pat, played that for awhile and then we decided to leave – we couldn’t find a cashout machine that was working so I took the lowest slip, for 2.65 and started playing a random machine I don’t think I could find again and pretty soon I was up to 28.00. We decided to get out of Dodge while the going was good! We haven’t left there a winner in a long time – so that was really fun.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

Saying thank you just doesn't seem to be enough - serving our country - making our lives safe - going into the desert under harsh conditions - leaving your home and your family and loved ones - for us - it is too much to even imagine. Thank you.

To the Veteran's of old - thank you for all you did for us - going off to fight was such a patriotic thing to do - you were supported for all you did by all Americans. Thank you.

I remember when my best friend, Janet and I were volunteers at the Red Cross - we were on the youth board - and one of the things that we were asked to do was to say goodbye to the draftees at the bus station. It was a very difficult thing to do - this was 1969 - a different war - a different time. Some of the young men knew that serving their country was an honor - others didn't feel that way.

But no matter how they felt - I know that our being there comforted all of them as they began their travels to training then on to war. I always felt nervous going to the bus station - but coming home - I knew I had made a difference.

On this Veteran's Day - I want to thank those men that were drafted - they didn't have a choice but they went on to serve our country anyway - and then they came home to the same country that did not appreciate what they had done. I pray that they are at peace with that now - that they forgive the citizens that thought they were doing what was right but who gravely hurt them.

On this day - remember that you were chosen and that you are appreciated by many -thank you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Show

Visit my booth and 80 others, this Saturday, at the Keepsake Collection Folk Art& Craft Show, Mt. Pleasant West Intermediate, 440 S. Bradley St.
Show hours are 9:00-3:30. You'll love it!

I added another show - Waterford High School on November 20 and 21. I have found so many great Christmas plates that I have enough for one more show - I am so happy to be going to different cities to sell my plates.

Come to the shows and say HI - I love meeting my blog readers!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Burning Leaves and a Bright Day with Friends

We had our annual trek up to our friends house in AuGres - every Fall we rake and burn leaves. Since you can no longer burn leaves in the city this is our one opportunity to satisfy that burning (pun intended) desire to see the leaves turn into a pile of ash.

I have to say this was the fastest one ever - the leaves were very dry and after just an hour or so the only things left smoldering were the acorns. Those squirrels must have had a great time eating roasted acorns all night!

The best part of the day is spending time talking with friends. Oh and a close second is the wonderful dinner - lasagna, garlic bread, zucchini a delicious dry red wine, salad and for dessert peach and cherry pie - yumola!

I slept most of the way home! It was a beautiful Fall Michigan day - we watched a ship slip by on Lake Huron and the sun even came out for a relaxing wonderful visit.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Paco is Home

Pat was in the U.P. without me all week - it was a miserable week without him - I am so glad he is home. He worked on a house for a friend and he had to drive over 75 miles to get parts! There aren't many home building stores around Manistique - he had to go to Escanaba.

It sure is nice having him home again.

I looked into buying a few months of my retirement time (even though I would have had to fight tooth and nail to get it and I probably would have lost anyway.) I don't think it is worth it - it would take me over 15 years to make it up and I would only get $50 more a month out of it - I crunched the numbers and it looks as if I keep it in my deferred comp for those 15 years I will come out ahead.

Career Builder had an article "10 Signs Its Time to Quit" - 8 out of 10 were reasons I am leaving work!!!!! Such validation!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

We miss you guys!

AAAWWW - this was so unexpected - what a great time at the ballpark for all of you - We really miss you guys - this was so much fun going through your pictures on facebook. Love ya - Aunt ME

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fun with Ayva Schmayva

Ayva and Caroline came over to go to the Junction for dinner with me - Ayva ate mostly popcorn! We sure had fun counting the popcorn in English and Spanish - looking out the windows - dancing in our seats - we had a nice time - of course Caroline has to go home and feed her something good for her!

Long day at work today - It was a struggle to not lose my temper - but I did it - and I'm glad Heather was working and answered her phone when I really needed her help - thank you Heather.

Monday, November 1, 2010

One of My Favorite Things!

I LOVE the new Dove commercial with Lea Michele and clips from the movie Sound of Music.

I remember going down to the Franklin Theater in downtown Saginaw waiting in the longest line I had ever been in for anything to see Sound of Music - it was worth the wait. I still love the movie and when I saw this commercial on Oprah the other day when the whole cast was reunited I fell in love with it, too.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Javier says we had a Halloween Dinner!

I had to steal this from Caroline's post on facebook! Aren't they darling?

Well - maybe - it was Turkey and dressing and potatoes and Kale salad and sweet potatoes - so maybe we'll call that Halloween dinner from now on.

Really the turkey we bought last week finally thawed in the refrigerator and we promised Robin a turkey dinner for his birthday dinner - so he and Robbie and Joanna and Sheala and Caroline and Ayva and Javier came for dinner. Jesse had to work - we missed him.

We had a great time - the kids got ready to go trick or treating so we got to see them sort of in their costumes. Javier was Darth Vader and he looked great - Ayva decided she only wanted her antennae on for her lady bug costume - she looked darling too.

It was a fun afternoon - looking at toy magazines from the Sunday paper and the Hammacher Schlemmer catalogs with the $65,000 robot listed! Sheala and Robbie still like to go through those catalogs and put their initials on anything that catches their fancy - usually several things on each page - we certainly know how to dream in this household!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Retirement Paperwork

I turned it in today! It is now official - I am going to be all done working on January 14, 2011! I cannot believe that it is almost here.

5 more payrolls

8 more Fridays

8 Holidays

80 Days all together


Sunday, October 24, 2010


Proud Grandparents! Sheala was inducted into the National Honor Society - we are so proud of her accomplishments - she works very hard to keep her grades up along with church and sports and lots of volunteer activities. We are so proud of all she does - this was such a good affirmation to her of her hard work.

There is a down side here - Carrollton Schools have changed their grading system - only test scores count - so even though Sheala does extra credit and homework it doesn't count. I am very angry with the school board - they are not teaching these students how to work at college or to go on in life to a job.

But I believe with Sheala that if continues to work hard good things will come to her - I am a believer in my friend Jan's favorite saying "What goes around comes around" - I know it will work here with Sheala.

Again - we are so proud of her!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday at Home!!!!!

Yes - this is a first - I'm home alone. Pat is working for a friend so I am at my computer entering sales slips into Excel to get a headstart on tax information! It's fun remembering the trips we've been on by seeing what we spent.

My goodness the amount of garage sales, estate sales and thrift shops is amazing - I've been entering for two hours and I still have 1/4 of the slips left.

We've been so busy lately that this is a good day for me - when I'm done here I'll be wrapping beads for the rest of the day.

Everyone should have to stay home once in awhile, right?

And a BIG THANK YOU to my friend, Robyn - she was going to visit her friend and offered to pick up the glasses Pat forgot at the hotel last weekend. This saved us a trip (thank goodness since Pat ended up working today). It was very nice of her to do this for us.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wine Country

After scouring thrift shops, retail stores and estate sales, we found lots of dishes for the next couple of shows - so the trip was a success. Then before we left Pat suggested we stop at the Peninsula Grill out on the East Peninsula. (I've blogged before about how much we like the spot!)
It was a beautiful trip out there with lots of blue sky - big puffy clouds - pretty colors. We at the window with the sun streaming in and enjoyed a leisurely lunch. I had a glass of the local Chardonnay - it was really different - it was from Chateau Chantal a winery just a short ways down the road so we decided to go over there. WELL - if we thought the wineries were busy a couple of weeks ago this time the parking was unbelievable and we decided to skip it. But.... we got some great pictures.

There were so many people taking pictures of the beautiful trees and the landscape that it was fun watching them take the pictures. My favorite one was when we stopped at a house on a side road to take a picture and a young woman jumped out of her car and started taking pictures - it was so much fun watching her that I had to take her picture. I wish I would have asked her for her email so I could send this one to her.

We really enjoyed our short trip - I have said this a million times - but again - we love Michigan.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Trip to Traverse City

Well - we are in Traverse City for the weekend - we stopped at the Sleep Inn in Acme and Lewis the person at the desk suggested we go to TraVino Traverse Wine and Grill - in Williamsburg - just down the road - it was FABULOUS.

The most surreal moment happened - we started out in the bar because there was a half hour wait and the people next to us, Ray and Nancy were from Saginaw and she recognized me from this blog! She knew when I was retiring and all about me! It was so much fun.

I have to say the trip from Bellaire to Torch Lake to Rapid City to Acme was the most beautiful trip ever - the sun was setting behind golden trees with the lakes in the background - it was really and truly the best trip ever - I'll post pictures tomorrow.

We had the BEST salmon dishes ever at the restaraunt - Pat had the salmon off the menu and I had the special. Mine was the Pumpkin seed crusted salmon with curried squash, Risotto hot apple cider reduction and sauteed spinach. I would have had pictures but we both wouldn't leave our food to go to the car for the camera!

I asked the waitress to give me the Chef's name - The head chef is Kevin Paveglio - it has to be an art to get the crust so crispy and the salmon perfectly cooked! I will NEVER eat anywhere else when we get to the Traverse City area. We would have had a half hour wait but we ended up staying in the bar - the bartenders were the nicest and the best anywhere.

Can I say how happy we are!!!!!!!!?????!!!!!!

New Delhi!

This is what I love about the Internet – I wanted to see how to use a wildcard with an if statement in Excel. I typed in the Google search:

wildcard if statement excel

The very first listing gave me the answer from someone in New Delhi. I love finding the answers so easily – right at my fingertips. This is what I will miss when I retire – finding solutions to spreadsheets!

1. Wildcard in an If statement - MrExcel Message Board
Wildcard in an If statement Excel Questions. ... work around using the left function - but still think the if statement should have worked. ...

Search and Find in an if statement

Find Search
Big ___________________ OK OK
RED ___________________ No OK
red ___________________ No OK
Next___________________ OK OK
next___________________ No OK
big ___________________ No OK


so if I want to find something exactly as it is typed I'll use find - if I want to find something that is not case sensitive I'll use search. AMAZING!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

UP or bust

Well it was a bust - we didn't buy anything - I was sure that we would find some Christmas plates in St. Ignace but they weren't out yet! But we sure had a good time. We stayed at the Quality Inn in St. Ignace and had such a beautiful sunrise this morning. I love our remote control for the camera - we had to put a chair on the table inside the room to get the picture but it is fun trying to get one!

Then we drove to the Cut River and took the old detour that we had to take when the road was closed. It was so beautiful. This was the ONLY red tree we saw on our whole trip. Pat thought that the old detour would be the best viewing and he was right.

As we left the Cut River detour I saw this old truck - I asked Pat to back up and I loved the history - it screamed art to me!

Friday, October 8, 2010


Our good friend has gone to Heaven and I just want to mention how much we love him. He was a devoted husband and a wonderful father to eight great grown children. He died peacefully at home surrounded by a loving family.

A couple of weeks ago when they put out the "no more visitors" I just had to run in for one more kiss. I only stayed 2 minutes but I am so glad I went. I got to tell him again how much we love him and how much he and Olympia's love meant to all of his friends - to be friends with such a loving couple made such a huge impact on all of our lives.

I sent him an email after the visit telling him how much it meant to me to be friends with a man who would have been peers with my father. I wanted him to know how important strong, loving fathers were in my life. Along with him and Leo Novak, Mr. Slaggert, Mr. Quinnan, Mr. Witchger and Leo Lynch - they all meant so much to me as I grew up without a father - and then to be so blessed to have Olympia and him as our friends for so many years. I like to think that I would have been friends with my Dad if he had lived into my adult life and being friends with Vince affirmed that to me.

I just stopped over to their house for a minute - there is so much love all around that house - in and out - we all know this was the way we all want to go to Heaven - quietly with courage and determination with family and friends and all the love in the world pushing us right to Heaven.

Until we meet again our dear friend, Vince thank you for being such a good friend.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Weekend Travels

Well – St. Anthony came through – you all must have been saying prayers! We had such a great time on our shopping spree. We went to Traverse City, Charlevoix, Petoskey, Mackinaw City and all the little places on our way. We found lots of Christmas dishes so I’m set for the next show. Now I have two weeks to find enough for the December shows!

The colors are so beautiful in Northern Michigan. Lots of gold colors and a few bright reds spattered in between. Driving through the hills the sky looked so big – it was bright sky blue with tons of fluffy clouds – it looked crisp and clean. I love Michigan – but especially in the fall. I remember whenever we used to take my Mom out for a color ride every few miles she would say, “OOOOHHH look at that tree it is the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen!” Now I do it – the apple didn’t fall very far from that tree, did it?

We stopped at a few of the wineries but there were so many people we only tasted at one stop. There was about a 45 minute wait to taste at Chateau Grand Traverse so we decided just to buy a couple bottles of wine and leave – we were so happy when we looked and found out that just that morning they had just put out their first bottles of the "Barrel Fermented" Chardonnay for the year. We didn’t even care that we hadn’t tasted it – we were positive we wanted some – and of course when we got to the register he mentioned we would get a discount if we bought a few more and I didn’t even wait for him to finish saying it before I went over and got them off the shelf. This is the only Chardonnay that I drink that is served at room temperature. It is YUMMMMM.

And we stopped at Turtle Creek Casino, too. I found two Wizard of Oz penny machines and I gotta say – I had fun losing my money! Since we got our hotel room for free with our Choice Privileges (we always try to stay at Choice Privileges hotels to get enough points to stay for free for a night) I didn’t feel so bad losing my money and having fun, too!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Going Shopping

Okay - say your prayers to St. Anthony - I'm going out on a shopping spree to buy Christmas plates - I just have to find them. I need LOTS - I have a list of estate sales and garage sales and several stores to visit. It's raining right now so it would be nice if the weather cleared a bit!

We had a very nice time with Bill and Amy last night - lots of renewed friendship and great food - the cards sucked - even Bill admitted that Amy and I got crappy cards!

I made my first apple crisp of the year - I bought a bag of cortland apples - our favorite. YUM. I put a batch in the freezer because I promised to bring a treat to my training day at City Hall. I also got bamboozled into bringing ice cream - sometimes you just got to bribe those people into learning!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Colds, yuk

We did so well at the show last Saturday - but we both had colds and our back hall is still filled with containers that need to be reassembled and put away for another month until the next show.

We don't often get sick but this cold has wiped us both out. Everyone at work has it so I didn't use up any of my PTO time at work - I figured they gave it to me I wasn't going to waste my days off being sick!!!

The weather here is perfect Michigan weather. In the 60's with blue sky and lots of clouds - it is so pretty. We are going to have our Maple tree cut down - I am so sad - it was the prettiest tree on the block. They said it might have been stressed by so much cement around it but just recently the two trees across the street are starting to look like ours did a few years back so maybe it was just sick. I know I have always killed my plants in the house but never a tree!

I've been trying to get so much done at work - I know they will never hire someone in time for me to train that person so I'm making a tickler file that has worksheets about anything I am doing. I would ideally like to spend two pay periods with the person but who knows what will happen.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Well - I wrapped and matched knives to plates all week long - I'm ready for the show at Saginaw Valley State Univeristy at the Ryder Center tomorrow morning. I expect this to be a good show - can't wait to see so many of you.

I had lunch with Peggy and Shelly today - it was so nice to catch up with them. We stayed longer than we should have and we laughed louder than we should have and we ate more than we should have (or at least Peggy did after she went back to work and munched all afternoon!) It was so nice.

Joanna came over for a bit this afternoon - Sheala dropped her off when she was coming into town - then Robin came to pick her up. Robbie and Robin are going hunting this weekend - I hope Robbie gets a deer. Then Caroline came over later on and FORCED us to take her to dinner - just kidding - we had a nice visit too.

So - see you tomorrow at Ryder Center!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Frankenmuth Weekend

We sold over 100 plates this weekend - it was really a good show. Even though it rained and was really cold for most of Saturday we had great customers. We usually do not sell well on Sunday in Frankenmuth but this time we did - I think everyone was so happy to see the sun that they felt like shopping!

I met so many really great people - sisters outs shopping together - families having fun teasing each other - lots of dogs in strollers, just when you look in one to see a cute baby there is a little dog panting away looking up with big brown eyes at you - we had fun people around us selling, always a bonus!

I kept praying to St. Anthony for people to find my booth if they were looking for something small to buy for Christmas gifts. He keeps coming through no matter what I'm looking for (someday God will tell me I could have asked to find salvation and I spent all my prayers on finding stupid things around the house and selling plates!)

So this week I have to wrap until my fingers bleed in order to have enough knives for next weekend at Ryder Center at SVSU. So I better quit writing in here and go downstairs and wrap, wrap, wrap.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting Ready for Frankenmuth

This weekend Friday through Sunday I will be selling at the Frankenmuth show at Zehnder Park on Main Street.

We had Caroline and Javier and Joanna and Robin and Sheala and Robbie over for dinner last night and they were a big help bringing up the tables and dishes for the show this weekend. Now everything is a mess upstairs! But I wanted to get two more containers done by tonight so I wanted to get started on them.

I love it when I unwrap dishes I bought months ago - it's like a fall day when my Mom used to say all excited, "oooohh look at that tree!" and two minutes later, "oooohh look at that tree!" Same thing last night, "Oh look at this dish!" What fun it is. I forgot about buying a watermelon bowl - it is so cute. There are several Asian dishes on pedestals that are so cute - they would be great all together on a table with different dips in them. Some reindeer plates and lots of snowmen plates - I know, I know - it isn't even Halloween!!!!

We had a fun time last night with Javier - he talks and talks and talks - he went outside with Papa with the chalk and came back in for dinner - afterwards Robbie found a box of wind up monsters and superheros in the basement and he and Javier played with them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yummy Salad

We went to Harvey's the other night and I had the new Anti-oxidant salad - it was so good I decided to make a version of it tonight for our dinner. I used Spinach for mine and romaine for Pat's then I topped it with:

Dried Cherries
Red Peppers
Green Peppers
English Cucumbers
Turkey Hot Italian Sausages - hot off the grill cut in slices

The dressing was pomegranate juice, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper

IT WAS REALLY GOOD! Pat loved it too.

I went to my doctor appointment and found out my bad cholesterol is down the good is up and my blood pressure was fabulous. I guess starting back walking is working! Really the first of September was such a turn around from the knee surgery - I can walk without feeling awful afterwards - no more leg cramps either - so maybe I'm on the mend for good!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

We just got back from Huron House for our 38th anniversary weekend - we had such a nice time - the sunrises were spectacular - the room was warm and cozy and newly redecorated and we had two trips out to Tuttle Marsh with Eagles close by each time!

There was also a triathlon in Tawas that we got to see and that was fun, too.

The sunrise this morning was through the clouds - so instead of one line coming at us from the sun there were several - it was too cool.

We had the best time ever - we love Huron House in Oscoda, Michigan!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Last Day at Pier 23

We drove to Tawas on Sunday to have lunch on the deck for the last day of the summer for Pier 23. We love going there - the day was a little cool but with sweatshirts on we had the deck all to ourselves. It is our favorite pastime - watching sailboats skim on top of the waves in front of the lighthouse. We always feel sad when they close and go back to Florida for the school year.

I bought some beautiful beads Cloisonne Beads in Tawas - there were red beads, white beads and blue beads all with flowers on them. Round, oval and heart-shaped. I wrapped about 50 knives for the upcoming shows. I also set aside some of the heart-shaped ones to go on the forks and cake server that will go with a beautiful cake plate I bought for the Children's Museum annual auction in February.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sheala and Robbie to the Rescue

We invited friends over for dinner but there was one problem - we wanted to have a chicken on the rotisserie but we had to go to church during the time it had to roast and it had to be basted every 15 minutes - thankfully Sheala and Robbie came over to chickensit.

While their parents went out for a romantic anniversary dinner they came over and basted that chicken to perfection. Then they set out our humus and cheese and crackers and everything was ready when we came home! What sweethearts! Thank you.

I made the salad that was on the first "Aarti Party" show on Food Network. She is the winner of this year's Next Food Network Star. It was fabulous - everyone liked it. I had never heard of it before. It was kale and mangoes that had to be massaged for two minutes - she said it would start smelling like bananas, and it did! Then added mangoes and (she had pumpkin seeds but I used sunflower seeds). The link to her recipe is below. You can see her make it On Demand if you have it.

Aarti's Massaged Kale Salad

Then I stole a recipe from Steve, the chef at Fandangles in Flushing, Michigan,
but I added to it - he grilled peaches and put them with Mango/Coconut Ice Cream - yum - but then I added a little stream of Apple Jack that our friend Jack made. Some concoction that has hard apple cider and rum - oh my goodness that was a great dessert.

We had a great time!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dinner with Friends

We had dinner with Jan and Rod last night - it was so nice to catch up and hear all about their grandchildren. An extra bonus was Jamie joining us for dinner, too. It was a fun night - the food was spectacular from Rod's main course - chicken and roasted vegetables - to Jan's Aunt Maimee's pound cake in a delicious sauce with strawberries and cream! YUM - GOOD.

Jamie - I think he talked me into a Droid - we'll see what goes on sale before Christmas - I can't wait to buy one - my friend at work, Jim, has one and he really likes it - so I'm going to start looking around so I will be ready for a sale.

The weather has turned to Michigan Fall - I love it - I wish we were camping!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mary's Show

Pat and I went to Lapeer to Gallery 194 to see my cousin's art show - it was fabulous - the quilts, the glass - the way it was so thoughtfully displayed - I could have sworn that David Hilty blew the glass to go with Mary's quilts or she started sewing after looking at his glass - it belongs together! It was an amazing show.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

YEAH! 1st 12 let in!

I forgot that I wanted to be at the Forester Estate sale this morning by 8:30 am - at 8:26 I yelled to Pat that we had to get moving - I said this in my nightie at the computer!!!!

Yesterday we went through a beautiful condo and I found several pieces that I would want to sell - and I almost bought a few items but decided I had to wait until they were half off. I look all year for an item to donate to the Children's Museum of Saginaw's auction every February and there was a beautiful cake stand that I wanted - but I was determined to get it half off.

We made it by 8:45 - hair combed, teeth brushed, lipstick on (substitute contacts in for Patrick on that last one)------ and there was a lot of people standing around waiting before us. I went up to sign in and found out we were number 12 - YIKES.

They decided to let in the first 12 - YEAH - so even though we were the last to enter we were the first to go to the glass dishes and I got every piece I wanted to buy. We were the first to check out and leave while several people were still waiting to go in - I love it when a day starts out like this!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Shows Coming Up and Changes, too

Well - I have to pull out the beads - the fall season begins in just a couple of weeks in September - Frankenmuth the weekend of the 18th and SVSU the weekend of the 25th. I told Pat we have to go through our purchases from the summer and see what I have for Christmas! Can you believe it? And yes, I already saw an advertisement for Christmas in a magazine so I'm not the first to say the dreaded words that "It's time to start Christmas Shopping!!!!!"

I will no longer have my First Serving available at Finders Keepers in Tawas - I was so sad to hear that Julie has decided to retire and will no longer have her booth there - so - I'm picking up the rest of my inventory and will sell it at the shows this season. I so loved taking things to Julie to sell - she loved the pieces and I had fun showing them to her. I hope she enjoys her retirement and stays in good health for a long, long time.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Camping in Atlanta

Pat and I went to Atlanta, Michigan to Clear Lake State Park for the weekend - we had such a good time. The weather was great - a big storm on Friday night blew through and that is always fun getting a storm in the trailer. Saturday was a beautiful day and Sunday was too. We didn't see much wildlife and actually we were commenting that we didn't see any ground squirrels and didn't hear any Kirtland Warblers - which is very surprising. We did hear and see lots of Loons and saw a few deer. No Elk - No Bears - but still a nice weekend camping in the old Holiday Rambler.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

40th Class Reunion SMC

We had such a great time last night - even though there was a small turn out for our reunion it was so nice to have time to talk to everyone. Tom and Steve were our hosts at FANDANGLES in Flushing, Michigan and it was the most beautiful setting we could have imagined.

Clarence was invited to bring his artwork and Tom set it up so it was a perfect backdrop to the evening. The table settings were all done in red and white - our school colors - and the food was fabulous.

Some things never change - Jon and John had different stories about how they remembered the same events. Clarence explained why he didn't begin to dabble in art until way after 7th grade. We heard about taking tests in high school - we took a test that Mary Beth put together which was fun to remember teachers that changed our lives and activities that we enjoyed participating in all through our grade school and high school years. Mary Beth reminded us that we all will have a 60th birthday soon! Where did the years go?

We were happy to have so many people come from so far away to be with us for such an enjoyable evening. I was the official picture taker and my classmates are going to kill me - the camera settings were screwed up - but even with that I did get some good pictures - I'll post a few here and on the


Even though I have been to Tom and Steve's restaurant before it just shimmered and glimmered last night. I must say the ambiance and the food and the classy decorating from chandeliers to the ever-changing beautiful art on the walls. They have been long-standing supporters of the arts by always having new artists featured in their restaurant. The pictures do not even come close to the brilliance cast from so many sources of light.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Surprise Soldier Homecomings

GET READY TO CRY - my classmate, Rosemary shared this on my facebook and it is just too beautiful not to share here - I cannot believe the difference this makes in our lives - the love - the sacrifice - the peace upon them when they are hugging - thank you to all of them for the service to our country.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mary Lynn Does it Again

Mary Lynn has a new show with David Hilty at Gallery194 in Lapeer. Her Chihuly-inspired quilts are paired with beautiful glass pieces in an extraordinary exhibit in Lapeer. This display is my favorite from the pictures I blatantly stole from her friend Robbie's blog.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Breakfast, Balloons and a trip Up North

By 6 am we were on our way to Kochville Township to see the balloons - we had pancakes and sausage that they were selling for a fundraiser and then we watched as they put together the gondolas and attached the balloons and blew them up. It was very fun - saw friends from Hoyt Street and St. Mary's and had a nice morning.

On our way up to Tawas we saw a balloon that was not a part of the Kochville celebration come down in a sugar beet field - they lost their power and it was sort of scary watching them come close to wires. The balloon chaser came to help almost immediately and he pulled the balloon away from the wires with a long cord.

Then we went to Tuttle Marsh and saw more wildlife than we have in ages on our visits there. A snake, deer, ospreys, egrets, kingfishers, and tons of small birds. It was fun. Then off to Pier 23 for lunch where we watched about 30 sailboats out on Lake Huron. We had a very enjoyable day.


Finally, the weather has turned and it actually cooled off last night. We sat outside with our neighbor talking and laughing. We watched the boys next door run around, ride bikes, and just having fun. It made me remember how much I loved going bike riding with Sue, my neighbor on Hoyt Street.

Many times we would ride with me on the handlebars but then we got a tandem and we were off all through the City. We would ride our bike past "boyfriends" houses, to sneak a cigarette (yes I smoked when I was young and stupid!), or just to get away from home and feel like we were free.

Our lives expanded when we went off on the bike. We actually rode across the bridge and started to explore the west side of Saginaw. This was a brand new horizon - one we thought of as the rich side of town. The houses were newer, the yards were bigger, but I noticed that our houses had more character and there were lots more kids playing outside in our neighborhood.

It wasn't very much later that our family moved about 6 blocks away into a neighborhood with no kids at all. So many times I would ride over to the old neighborhood and pick up Sue and we would be off again on our bikes - but moving changed things - it seemed we didn't go as often as before. It took a few years until I got my license that we again began to go off riding past "boyfriends" houses again, sneaking cigarettes and again just to feel like we were free. Isn't amazing how things don't change very much as you are growing up?

I enjoyed growing up in Saginaw - we had a great time!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Nursery School Moms

Our children are now older than we were when we took them to co-op preschools! We had a dedicated group of women working to promote cooperative preschools in Michigan. We became good friends in the process with other women throughout the State of Michigan. Some of us still get together as often as we can - sometimes once a year - sometimes we have to miss a year. Jan is the one who organizes us - she sends out an email that she is coming to visit and as many of us that can get together do.

We catch up on our children, their children - and of course now, my great grandchildren. We see who is working, who is retiring, who has moved and just what is going on in our lives.

Friends from long ago - they are so much fun to be with because we know so much about our families and it is fun to watch the families change throughout the years. We missed Jackie and Robbin - maybe next year!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More Chihuly

The bowls are so spectacular (I am running out of adjectives!) These were in the tropical exhibit and they did seem to belong there.

Flowers at the Gardens

The flowers were so beautiful - the colors vibrant - the landscaping fabulous - there were orchids and hibiscus and flowers that looked like a Chihuly!