Sunday, July 27, 2008

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

I cannot lie, that statement is completely true! Diamonds are my best friend, so if you have some to share, send them my way! But, if you are a gal that owns her own house, a Troy-Built – 190cc –Self propelled lawn mower is a close second. This is especially true when the previous mower was bought at Montgomery Wards approximately 25 years ago. It was a good machine, but we had a love/hate relationship. So this weekend while my parents were up for a visit they bought me a new mower out of sympathy. It is shiny red and it goes really fast, I am gushing I know. I am just so happy to be able to efficiently mow my whole yard in less than 2 hours. Yea, me!

As if a brand new mower was not enough excitement for the weekend, my parents also helped me install a new mailbox post and box. My old mailbox was attached to the house and was rusty and ugly. It also leaked every time it rained and therefore a lot of letters were soaked. So the shiny new silver mailbox and bright white post is SUPER FUN and now I don’t have to lay my mail on the heater in order to read it.

So many things are going on with the house right now, new windows are being installed and soon siding will go up. I am taking pictures so I will be able to post those soon, you will be amazed at the progress. Soon I will not be the ugliest house on the block.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Fun

It is 80 degrees out, time for the pool! That is what we thought when Jessica, Jane and Rachel Carter beat the heat with me at my parent’s pool. We all had a great time and we were all very impressed with Jane’s swimming skills. A few swimming lessons this summer and Jane is able to go off the diving board and swim to the side of the pool all on her own. I am so proud of her! We then had snacks and played doll house with my mom, that was a hoot. Rachel enjoyed the little pets the most and fondly named the dog, Boy. Lunch was a pizza treat from the Cadet, YUM!

Recently, I also had the opportunity to visit Sara Rzepka at her beautiful home in Allen Park. The neighborhood she lives in is charming and full with the typical Detroit suburb brick bungalows, tree lined streets and cute little downtown areas. While visiting we braved the rain (which you can see from the picture) and made time to visit La Pita for some great Hummus and bread, Greenfield Village to visit Sara’s old employees and to walk around, the Boston Tea room for fun and IKEA to pick up some necessities for my house. It was a busy but, fun time! And she is already preparing for me to visit again, we still have lots on our list of things to do, a Tiger's game, more IKEA shopping and maybe even a day at the spa ....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Grad Girls In Traverse City

I am not sure who came up with the idea that Teri, Rachel and I would go on a vacation every year. I do know that the tradition started after we had so much fun when we went to New York City. Since then we have been to Chicago and now to Traverse City. This was a tough summer for all of us and finding the time to go took some maneuvering and some days off work for Teri and Rachel, but we made it happen.

We started our vacation with a long day of driving … first to Traverse City and then through many of the little towns in the area. We made sure to stop at the Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor to get some yummy snacks and to drive by some of my favorite places from vacations that I used to take the with Horosko family. Teri thoroughly enjoyed using her Mario driving skills that day and Rachel loved the opportunity to catch some sleep when possible. At the end of our long drive we had a great dinner at Scott’s Harbor Grill which is on the bay and has fantastic drinks and blue cheese dip. Following dinner we went to the hotel for a break, to Teri and I that meant checking e-mail and watching Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Catch and to Rachel that meant a little nap. When Rachel was rested and ready to go we headed to the casino to make some money. The highlight of the adventure was Rachel and the slot machine. After looking for three penny slots in a row, which is very hard to do. We all sat down threw in some money and got ready to win. Rachel turned to me and asked what buttons to hit, I reach over and hit a few buttons mumbling something about playing max bet to get the biggest payout. I then hit a few buttons on my machine and Rachel leans over and says, “What does it mean when it says $50 something dollars here at the top.” I think my exact words were, “Hello, that means you won.” I still attribute Rachel’s winning to her nap and will try that strategy myself the next time we are up there.

Monday, was quite the day … it started with a tour of the different wineries in the area. Followed by lunch and McDonalds, because we all know how good that grease tastes. Then off to the theater to see Sex in the City, boy that was a roller coaster of emotions. Reeling from the drama we did what any normal girls would do, we drove downtown and calmed ourselves with some good shopping. The night was capped off with drinks, dinner and more drinks at the Red Mesa grill, a great suggestion by Jessica Carter.

The last day we were there we took in the beach and made our way back to Grand Rapids to drop me off and then back to the South Side so Rachel and Teri could go home. Overall it was another great trip with my Grad Girls.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Basement Can Now Be Taken Off The Home Improvement List

I can’t believe that it is already July! In only 8 short weeks classes will be back in session and I will be overly busy once again. The countdown is now on, as I have a list a mile long of things that I want to get done around the house, along with another list for class prep and the most important one with things to do with friends. This past week, my mom came up to visit and we were able to check off many things on the around the house list. I was very lucky when I moved into this house, as the basement was already paneled with a dry wall ceiling. Now, I am not going to say it was in move in condition, as you will see from the pictures ( in the album off to the right), but at least half the hard work was done. The rest of the hard work was completed this last week. We painted the walls and ceiling bright white, laid new tan carpet and most importantly, set up 8 storage racks in the furnace room. The furnace room started to get a make-over this past Winter when Jessica, Chad and Rae came up to help me paint the walls and the floor. Now with the addition of the storage racks the room is complete. The completion has given me the opportunity to organize my things and put them in places where I can find them. I cannot even tell you how rewarding it is to be able to find things when I need them; I have been going crazy over the last 2 years of never being fully packed or unpacked. Along with the basement, we were able to take down a rusty wire fence in the backyard, install a new light fixture over the sink in the kitchen, paint the interior French door in the kitchen (which was installed this past Winter, but never was painted), and weed the yard. As always, if anyone wants to see all this work in progress or the finished projects, you are welcome to visit. I love to have company and Mrs. Whiskers finds it mildly enjoying as well.