Sunday, September 18, 2016

Only one ass at the gate

Gotcha, didn't I.  You're like "what the heck is this one going to be about?"

As many of you know, I work at the main gate of our county fair. This is my 11th year and I really enjoy it.  When it's not crazy busy I take the time to have fun with the fair-goers.  There's a lot of razzing that goes on - both ways.

When it's slow - usually in the early mornings - I entertain myself watching the black squirrels cross the street in front of me.  So far I have never had to witness a squirrel death.

This year I wondered if I was seeing the same squirrel cross back and forth out there or if it was several from the same squirrel camp. And my other question was - what the hell are they doing?  They're not transporting nuts.  I never saw a one.  Then it occurred to me that it might just be their form of morning exercise.  
Squirrel Jazzercise.

Back to the title.  There are a lot of animals at our county fair but this blog isn't about them.  Surprised?  Of course you're not.

Over the years I have encountered some rotten apples at the gate.  Over all I would venture to say that 99% of the people that I see are great but, you know, there's always a few.  I try to not let them ruin my day and I've gotten pretty good at that.

This year I only had one ass come through.  The fact that it was only one amazes me and left me pretty darned contented when the 9 days came to a close yesterday.

The "ass" experience was countered by darling children - one blew kisses to me - wonderful old vets on Veterans Day, vendors who considered themselves stand-up comedians and my co-workers.

All and all, it was a great fair.  Oh, yeah, you'll be proud to know that I only got my favorite Gibby fries twice and I shared them (not a quality I'm known for) both times.

'til next year.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

An epiphany

Actually I had two today but I wasn't sure how to pluralize that word so I'll just explain both of them . . . one at a time.

The first epiphany happened this morning at Jazzercise.  I was chatting with some of my sweaty friends (Nancy, Diane and my sister, Lisa) about fans.  The floor ones and the ceiling ones and our combined experiences with them over the years.

I was describing what an idiot I look like when I go to bed at night with my blue ear plugs stuffed into the appropriate orifices and my sleep mask over my eyes but shoved slightly up onto my forehead to keep the wind from the ceiling fan from blowing across it.

It gives me a headache, ok?  That's why I do it.

Stand by for the epiphany:  Nancy said, "why don't you just reverse the direction of the fan blades."

What???  You can do that???

I'm trying it out tonight.  Stay tuned.

Epiphany #2:  After Jazzercise I was giving Lisa a lift downtown and we started gabbing.  I was still in my car and she was standing outside with the passenger door open.  

She said something about how low my seats were compared to hers. We both drive Subaru Imprezas so shouldn't they be the same?  She said, "why don't you just pump yours up with that lever thing on the side of the seat?"

What lever thing???  This lever thing?  Pump, pump, pump.

Holy crap - it's an entirely different view from up here.  Who knew!

I feel so enlightened.  Thank you to my friends and family.

Good night.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Funny techy stuff

I was walking Augie today and trying to send an email at the same time.  I know the young ones hold their phones with one hand and use the thumb on that same hand to tap out their messages.

I was feeling quite proud of myself because I was mastering the same thing while holding a leash in the other hand.

I was tapping along when my thumb swept across the little microphone icon in the lower right corner (didn't even know it was there) and the screen went blank.

I didn't, at first, notice that there were those squiggly lines at the bottom indicating voice mode when I said a bad word.  

It printed out loud and clear.  Thankfully I rectified the error before hitting send.

Then I realized I could send an email via voice.  I already knew I could do that with a text - see what a smarty-pants I am - but didn't realize the same option goes for emails.

Boy howdy, I'm in business now!!!

On the other side of the block I saw three young boys riding their bikes up the one way street - in the middle of the street - while, obviously, playing Pokemon Go.

Think that's dangerous?

The first time we saw the Pokemon rage in play we were in downtown Holland and saw a group of young people walking down the sidewalk all holding their cell phones in front of their faces.

What the hell was going on?  

I still don't understand what it's all about.  I need to find a 10 year old for a one-on-one tutorial. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Hats, hats, hats

Allegan hosts a huge fiber fest every year and I usually go with my sister, Lisa, the knitter.  I do not knit.  I tried it once and the results were horrid.

This year my cousin, Barb, also a knitter, came down from Newaygo for it so, once again, I tagged along.

I like the colors.  

I decided to focus on hats this year.  So here ya go.

I'm not one for hats but if I was going to a very, very fancy party, I might don this baby.  It would look ok with jeans, right?

Definitely for an evening out.

Somewhere that has something to do with France, I'm thinkin'.

This one and the two below scream "fall" don't they?

Is this just for people with pony tails?

I see a college kid walking across campus in this one.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

As long as my ears are warm, I'm good.

Didn't want to leave the guys out - cool, eh?

The female spin on the one above.

I know my friend, Donna Nowak, would love this one.

I love the added color here.




I really like the slouchy style.


I know a few people that could really rock this hat.

I'll be wearing this one when I graduate from wizard school.

I'm always amazed at the craftsmanship.  They spin, they felt, they knit.  Even if you don't do anything with fiber, check it out next year.  You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The tale of two shorts

So I started the summer with two pair (pairs?) of shorts.
I've always been more of a capri kinda gal but I kept seeing "larger" women walking around in them and also wearing sleeveless shirts so I jumped right on that band wagon.

Back to the shorts:  one pair fit me perfecting in early June.  I looked stunning, believe me.  Darn it, I don't have a picture - you'll just have to take my word.

The other pair was loose around the middle but no biggie because I stopped tucking shirts in a decade or two ago.  A little extra breathing room is always a good thing, right?

Long about the end of July I started to notice a change.

The perfectly fitting shorts must have shrunk in the dryer - damn machine - because they were still rather comfy if I was standing but sitting was a different story.  hmmmm

Then the second phenomenon occurred. 

You guessed it - those loose babies fit like a dream now. hmmmm

So unless I'm going to an event where you stand the whole damn time I'm down to one pair of shorts.

Good thing they wash well . . . and summer's almost over.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The annual trip up north

We hadn't driven Pierce Stocking Drive in several years.  Now it has new pavement which made it even better.

One of the many look-out stops.

Aren't we cute?  It was a little humid while we were making this part of our journey.  That's my excuse, anyway.

Holy exposed roots!

There is no picture that can adequately capture how steep this sand dune is - you'd have to be insane to give it a go.  We saw a handful of crazy people doing just that.

This might help put the dune in perspective.

Hey, how'd he get in there???  This is Ryder, one of our son's best buds.  He's the general manager of our favorite place to eat in Traverse City, Northpeak Brewery.  After our dune drive we were famished.  Thanks for a great lunch, Ryder!

Full moon from Mackinaw City.

Doesn't this remind you of creepy stories told around a camp fire when you were a kid?  The narrator would put a flash light under their chin and scare the crap out of you?  Scared??? 

The light as we took the ferry from Mac City to the island.

This is opposite of the light - a range light?  Petey - is that right?

This is Orville and Wilbur.  They pulled us around the island.  Nice job, boys.

Arch rock where Michael proposed to Rena.  We reenacted the scene.  Not really - too many people around.

The light in Mac City.

The "Mighty Mac" at night.  Handsome, eh?
Just so ya know - I showed uncharacteristic restraint when it came to fudge consumption.  I kept it to a half pound.  You'd be surprised how fast that stuff goes down.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Quiet Man

If you've been reading along you know Petey and I just returned from a trip out east.

The trip had been planned for a while and the dates firmed up, finally, about a month or so ago.

Besides the lighthouses and the PA Grand Canyon, we were going to be spending some quality time with Peter's side of the family which we were both looking forward to.

Our last visit was two years ago and our brother-in-law, Lee, was in the hospital with a leg injury which limited our time with him.

Since Peter's sister, Patty's, death five years ago we've stayed in pretty close contact with Lee via phone calls so having some face time with him was important.

As we were leaving our house, bags packed, our nephew, Mike, called to tell us that his father, our brother-in-law, had died suddenly.

The funeral was going to be in four days and we were encouraged to go ahead with our travel plans so we did with heavy hearts.

Lee Kichline was a quiet man.  A man from humble beginnings.  He was an honest, hard working man with a professional work ethic that was never surpassed by anyone.

He was a very generous man who opened his home to Peter's parents without a backward glance.

He catered, sometimes grudgingly (the guy was a saint), to Patty's every request.

He loved his grandchildren and was very, very proud of his two children, Mike and Stephanie.

The man loved to cook and we were the grateful recipients of many of his meals.

He will be missed by many.