Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fair 2017 Observations

It was another great year working the front gate at the Allegan County Fair.

This year was extra great for a few reasons: 1) the weather was outstanding!  A tiny bit of rain (not enough to keep anyone away) in the middle of the week but otherwise - all 9 days were pleasant as all get-out. 2) no computer problems.  Not one. Compared to last year (every frigging day - several times a day which caused all the gate "keepers" high anxiety), it was a walk in the park. 3) Our tech support people - Kim and Misha - were ever-present and so, so helpful. And last but not least 4) no buttheads came through my gate.

I will confess to taking an attitude adjustment break about an hour and a half before my last shift ended because . . . . it was my last shift.  I was tired, my feet and back hurt and my usual smart-ass good humor was waning. 

I observed something interesting on "Senior Day."  The majority of people that came through my gate on this day knew how much $$$ they had to hand me and had it ready - in the right amount.  Didn't need change.  What does that tell you?

"Veterans Day" was and always has been my favorite day.  I loved looking into the eyes of the young and older, the men and the women and telling them I appreciated their service.

So, one corn dog and 2 Gibby's fries later I'm back to my daily routine.  

Friday, September 8, 2017

Pride in property

Peter and I moved to Allegan 39 years ago.  We bought a house that had been vacant for 5 years and hadn't had a thing done to it for many years prior.

We worked like little doggies to spruce the joint up.  Scraped and painted the outside and started stripping wallpaper off the inside.  It didn't cost a fortune for the transformation - just a lot of elbow grease and a fair amount of swearing.

This memory brings me to the topic of this particular blog.

I was chatting with a friend this morning - a life long Alleganite who loves this town like I do.  A person who takes pride in her home, business and surroundings.

We share a sadness for un-cared-for properties.

We started naming off houses around town that had once been beautiful and now look very, very unloved.

Don't get me wrong - I'm thrilled to see the opposite happen as well. It's been great watching some wonderful transformations happen around town.  Empty houses and old businesses getting a new life brings a smile to my face as I drive/walk around town.

The frowny face happens when I walk/drive past a house that I remember from my youth or simply 20 years ago that had been a beauty and now looks like a neglected soul.

Where does the responsibility lie (I have issues with the lie/lay thing so ignore it if I'm wrong)?  Well, the home owner is responsible, of course.

Am I asking the new owners to start popping thousands upon thousands of dollars to breath new life into a structure right away? No.  But do something!  

Am I asking the landlords to step up?  HELL, YES!!!

We have hundreds of rental properties in this small town and many, many, many of them look horrid.

Those are the people I want to take responsibility.

I think I'm done.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Hanging out with the Oldies

The 50th reunion was a huge success.  The setting was great and the food was tasty.

There were a lot of smiles and plenty of laughter.

I didn't get the chance to speak with every single classmate.  There were waves and "OMGs, you look fabulous" but simply not enough time to squeeze in chatting with everyone.

The group photo was pretty funny.  It was like herding cats.  Guys in the back weren't paying attention so we didn't catch every face. There was a hat here and a left eye there but . . . .  the ladies in the front row, sitting down on the ground, stole the show.  And they didn't even need assistance getting up.  Go, girls! 

The committee did a great job.  I know the time commitment reunions require having served on several in the past so THANKS!

Funny thing happened - I found myself at the "smart" table when we all sat down to eat.  That was never the case in high school.  When I looked around at my table-mates I almost got up (knowing someone would find me there and make me move) but decided to stay and learn a thing or two.  I did.  I learned that those smart kids were still smart and pretty damn fun.

I was also hoping, since it was our 50th, that they would do that "cutest couple, most likely to succeed" thing and I had my fingers crossed that I would be voted as "prettiest girl" again.

And then I remembered I was never voted prettiest girl but I WAS voted "best dancer" and I still have some righteous moves. 

No voting went on, though, which was probably a good thing.

As we left, contacts were exchanged as well as hugs and waves.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Has it really been 50 years?

I graduated from high school in 1967 so this must be our 50th reunion coming up, eh?

The worst part is it's next Saturday and I haven't lost the 17 pounds I wanted to lose before stepping into a room full of old classmates.

Maybe there will be a few there in the same fix.  There will, won't there???

1967:  right at the end of the innocent 60s.  The shit hit the fan pretty hard right after we left those hallowed halls.

The kids today hear "the sixties" and they think we were all hippies, flower children and protest marches.

No, we were wearing below-the-knee skirts to school.  With knee socks and penny loafers.  Peter Pan collars and cardigan sweaters. I don't know what the boys wore.

Squaresville, man.

I'm looking forward to this reunion but it will be bittersweet.  So many of our classmates have died; even since the 45th.  Others are too ill to come.

I'm thinking we'll need to stand in a corner and sing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand."

Watch for an update on the reunion.  Tell me I look thin in the pictures, please.  I'm begging you.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

This is my friend, Linda Kauppi.  She posted this pic today on FB so I'm guessing it's free game to do what I want with it, right?

The very first thing I thought when I saw it this morning was how darned cute she was.  I envied the hat.  I couldn't figure out the emblem on her jumper/dress/vest but I bet it signified something very cool.

The other thing it brought to mind was the old Roy Rogers TV series.  Remember that?  You don't?  Get out and off this blog.  It will mean nothing to you!  Just kidding.  Stick around.

So, back to Roy and his wife, Dale.  That's who Linda put me in mind of - a young Dale . . . then I realized I couldn't remember her last name.  When I said Dale Rogers out loud it didn't seem right.

But she was married to Roy so her name must have been Rogers, right?  It took me an embarrassingly long time to come up with Evans and that brought up another question.

Why didn't Dale take Roy's last name?  I mean, this happened a really, really long time ago.  Was Dale way ahead of her time?  Was there something fishy going on?

Then Petey stepped in and did a little research.

Did you guys know that Dale was Roy's third wife???  OMG!!!
Roy, you dog, you.  Was he a player?

I didn't ask Petey to continue on with the research because I was afraid he'd find a plausible explanation for the "third wife" thing and I'd have to drop the fantasy of Roy being a hound.  

Now that I think back on it, he did have a sneaky kind of smile on his face most of the time, didn't he?

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Falling in love . . . again

We've been in our house for 39 years.  I remember seeing her for the first time.  I was with my best friend, Sue Lange.  We were here visiting from PA where we were living at the time.  She told me there was a house downtown that was for sale and we should look at it.

This old girl had been vacant for 5 years and I can't even imagine how long she stood still (no updating or renovation whatsoever) before we walked through the front door.

Sue had an eye.  I couldn't see what she was seeing even if I squinted.  Really, really hard.  

We ended up buying this old house and have repainted, re-papered, repainted, re-papered, etc. many, many times.

Recently Petey and I have started talking about moving to another home.  One with two bathrooms and an attached garage.  Only one story.  You get the idea.  We're older now - thinking old.

However.  Petey has been chomping at the bit to make some changes.

First he painted the inside of our enclosed back porch.  We rearranged the furniture back there and added a small table and chairs.  It's lovely.  We sit back there and look out on our little yard. Peaceful.

Then he decided to rip up the carpeting in our living room.  Wow! The hard wood floors look great. We moved a few things around in there and replaced a few pieces.  Digging the new feel and look.

Many years ago we brought the washer and dryer up from the basement and moved our bedroom down from upstairs.

We've fallen in love with the old girl.  Again.  

Guess we'll stay . . . for a while, anyway.

Monday, July 3, 2017

So . . . . the tick thing.

Petey and I were coming back from Kazoo yesterday and I scratched what I thought was . . . I'm really not sure what I thought it was - but it was a bump at the back of my neck at the hairline.
I performed fingernail surgery without giving it a second thought.

That was until I saw a damn tick wedged underneath said fingernail.

I did not shriek.  I did not swear (very unusual for me) nor did I cry out in any way.  I'm pretty sure I didn't - time kind of stopped for me.

I kept that bad boy pinched between my thumb and forefinger until we could pull into a parking lot whereupon Petey squished it in a piece of paper.  We went into the market and I got a zip bag from the deli and dropped Mr.Tick into it for safe keeping.

I don't panic about that kind of thing but the stories on the news and some personal experience with friends and family had me worried about Lyme disease.

I called the health department today and spoke to a wonderful nurse who told me to email a picture of the little bugger.

I put him in my hillbilly light booth and snapped away.  Guess what, the damn thing was still alive!  And I thought roaches and palmetto bugs were hard to kill.

The nurse (Erin) got back to me right away and said it looked like the common "dog" or "wood" tick (is there supposed to be a "k" there or not?  Never mind, I don't really care) and they don't carry Lyme but she'd be sending the picture along to MSU for confirmation anyway.

I wouldn't have known to call the health department if my Jazz buddy, Kendra, hadn't told me to so, THANKS, KENDRA!!!

All this before a holiday.  Whew.