Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The "Cat" Days Of Summer

It finally feels like summer – hot, humid and sunny. Personally I love the summer sun and the warmth that goes with it, but Mrs. Whiskers is not such a fan. I suppose I would feel the same way if I had to wear a long fur coat in the 80-degree heat. At first we thought we would beat the heat by giving her more frequent baths in cool water to help her stay cool. She is pretty used to baths and doesn’t mind them too much, but it didn’t seem to help her beat the heat for too long. Then we started putting her on her leash and taking her outside more often. That is lots of fun for her, but still didn’t help with the heat. In fact she usually got extra hot since she spends so much energy chasing the birds, while I get nervous she will run away and Matt runs after her. It is a circus to say the least. Anyway, to help her enjoy the summer we decided to give her a lion cut. A lion cut is such a funny look, long hair around her face, on her tail and on her feet – with her belly, back and sides shaved short. I shopped around to find a “spa/salon” that would give her a lion cut, but it was so costly. In disappointment, Erin and I had the idea to do it ourselves – I mean how hard can it be? Well, nine dollars and ninety nine cents and a new electric trimmer/razor later we were ready to start. At first it was a disaster, the razor didn’t seem to work, it removed an inch by inch patch in 20 minutes. We knew that something must be wrong, considering that the salon had said it was an hour process. After some trials and deliberations we decided to trim the fur with hair cutting scissors, which took her fur from about 4 inches long to about an inch long. That made a huge difference, the razor worked much better and we were able to take the inch fur down to centimeters. She got really used to the trimmer and laid on the bathroom floor or in the window sill and just let us do our work – she looked rather bored with the process. In the end the lion cut seems to be a success. It is not perfect, it could be a little shorter in some places and it would be nice to have the process done in an hour, but overall it is good enough and we save eighty dollars. And on the bright side now we have the opportunity to purr-fect our skills with the razor in future cuts. I mean – who doesn’t want that skill to add to their resume.

Monday, June 15, 2009

School Is Out For The Summer

It is finally here! Summer vacation! The past week has been a busy one – participating in a summer entrepreneurship academy for high school students, finishing up Spring semester classes, grading and posting final grades AND moving my office (again.) After that whirlwind of activity I am thoroughly ready for summer. And nothing says summer more than a baseball game. So to kick off my official break, Matt and I went to Chicago to see the Twins play the Cubs at Wrigley. I adore watching games there, the whole neighborhood is alive with excitement and partygoers and the old stadium is still charming. We could not have asked for better weather, it was mid-seventies and sunny the whole time - even better we were in the shade for the game, so we walked away with no bouts of heatstroke or sunburn. I am extremely happy about that, since usually I sit in the sun and end up miserable by the seventh inning stretch. Above and beyond the weather, the game was AWESOME! The Twins had won the first two games of the series, so the Cubs were ready to actually show up and play the game. The entire game the score was balanced one run to one run, then two to two. It wasn’t until an extremely exciting ninth inning that the cubs pulled ahead and won the game with one run. Final score – Twins 2, Cubs 3. Although, we were not excited with the win, since we had gone to the game to see the Twins play, it was still fun to be in the stadium when the Cubs won. I have been to Wrigley to see games about four times and they have never won before.

Another bright side to Game Day Sunday included Matt being able to see his high school friend Joe. Joe currently lives in Madison, Wis and made the drive down to Chicago to support the Twins. Amongst all the baseball talk and activity we didn’t get too much time to chat with Joe, but he plans to visit Michigan this summer so that should be fun!

To wrap up the exciting day, Matt and I went to Goose Island for dinner, caught the shuttle back to the parking lot passing many bulidings that we are sure we have seen on House Hunters and had a lot of fun sharing stories of past vacations and road trips on the drive home.

What a great way to officially start summer! To continue the fun of summer, this week with the help of my mom, I plan to plant some plants and create some flowerbeds in my yard. It should be a perfect week to get that started and a great time to see the colors of summer bloom for the rest of the season.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Festival Of The Arts

Always held the first full weekend in June in downtown Grand Rapids, festival of the arts is a community celebration featuring arts, entertainment, food and fun activities. I have gone the last couple of years, but each time it rained or it was uncomfortably hot so I didn’t think it was very much fun. This year the weather was perfect and my experience was completely different. Matt and I headed down there on Friday night to walk through the streets and find the best food and then to see River City Improv and The Mines. Both events were held at the Fountain Stage, which was perfect since it was conveniently located next to the Sweet & Sour Chicken booth and the Shawarma booth. Yum! While we were enjoying our ethic fare we ran into a ton of people we knew and almost all of them ended up staying for The Mines concert – which made it all the better, because who doesn’t like to have good food, listen to good music and be in the company of good friends.