Saturday, October 5, 2013

Continuing Yard Care Woes?... or just Suspicious Yard Care Service?...

Just when I thought I'd finally whittled so many of my home ownership headaches down to a minimum... I took these beautiful pics of my yard to send to my girls last weekend (Saturday, September 28th to be exact...)

A pretty ok and decent looking yard, right? I thought they turned out really nice!

Then the very next Monday, (September 30th to be exact), my lawn service (who's name I won't disclose at the moment) dropped by to apply my early fall healthy lawncare application.

Here's a partial copy of the note they left on my door along with what they about my lawn diagnosis:

Sorry we missed you. Garage was locked so went through neighbors yard to get to your backyard. Liquid fertilizer was applied. Brownish areas in lawn due mainly to drought/stress.

(Huh? I don't remember seeing many brownish spots in my yard yesterday. I saw a ton of mushrooms *due to moisture* that I mowed over just on Saturday. Other than that I thought my lawn looked really, really great and healthy!)

Now is the best time for seeding. For best results keep seeded areas moist. Between rain and sprinklers lawn needs 1" to 1 1/2 inches per week. Use a tuna can or cat food can to measure...


Anyway this is what my yard looks like today. Just four days after my "healthy lawncare application"... Seriously, I've taken care of this yard for 20 years, been through PLENTY of "droughts" yet have never quite seen anything like THIS!

A lot of leaves have fallen in the past few days and it's kind of rainy out, but still.

This seriously doesn't look like a matter of "heat stress" to me.. More like a case of a BOTCHED healthy lawncare application.


It had better recover, that's all I have to say!

On a brighter note... Isn't this gorgeous?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fly-By Summer

It's impossible that Fall is only a week away!

Last time I blinked it was June and summer was just beginning. School was out, mornings were bright and sunny and my drive to work was stress free. Evenings were long with so much time after work to accomplish everything that needed to be done. But then on June 21st the days began getting shorter! I find that weird somehow. Because, I mean, afterall, on June 21st summer has just started...

But it's September now and school's back in session, along with darker mornings and a more stressful drive to work.

Can you tell that the seasons have alot to do with my driving state of mind?

Anyway, I feel like I did absolutely nothing this summer. When in actuality I guess I did a lot.

For starts... Does anyone remember those two horrid and dead pine trees on the east side of my house that I had cut down last fall and then had no idea what to do next?

It looks much better now.

And then there was that equally horrid planter in back of my house that never seemed to do what I wanted it to do. Probably because I always thought I'd remember exactly the way I wanted to split, move and transplant my plants once they were either dormant in the fall or little sprouts in the spring. That never works! So I got smart this year with some help from PhotoShop!

Let's see what else?

I had my first succesful garden. Hard to believe that two little raised beds could have produced all they did.

My first harvest!

And of course with all those pickles I had to learn how to do THIS...

And THIS...

Just kidding... However, I DID use my cucumbers in my California Rolls. Learning how to make sushi was definitely one of the highlights of my summer!!!

Let's see, what else?

Somewhere in there I got my hair cut (even though I really, really need Daryn to fix it now...)

Oh yes! Got the fence fixed! (the fence that has been precariously leaning into my neighbors yard for the past two years...)

And I can't forget about the two months it took me to nearly rid my woods of this culprit!

As for the grand finale, which is probably the main reason my summer flew by as quickly as it did...

I went through every single nook and cranny of my home in an effort to clean out and downsize. One closet or drawer a night, one room a week, all summer. It was the HARDEST THING EVER to part with so many things that have always just been part of my life. I made sure not to get rid of anything that my kids were passionate or sentimental about and sent them THIS LINK in order to choose. (So anything you said you wanted is still safe girls! The rest of it has either been sold or donated... :( But my house is now SO CLEAN AND ORGANIZED!!!)

That said... I will never do another garage sale EVER in my life again... WAY too much work! Garage, consider this your last party on my watch.

Even though it was very successful overall!

I even had some old friends drop by.

It would have been SO great if both my girls could have been here too!

Anyway, as difficult as this is to say... "Bye Bye Summer, you steamy beast!" I know I'll see you again before I know it.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Canstruction 2013

So we do this every single year at work.

It's called "Canstruction" which is a nationwide effort to help with hunger across America. Our specific efforts go towards helping the needs of many local food banks supported by Access of West Michigan... which every year around this time is supported by the WZZM 13 "Food For Families" food drive. Each department raises funds to purchase non-perishable food items and then decides how best to display those items in a unique and artistic way. And every year, Catherine Behrendt from WZZM comes out with a crew to not only tally and accept the donations but to judge and award the top trophies to our final creations as well. It's all in good fun for a great cause!

And every year each department comes up with some very creative ideas!

These were this year's entries and winners!...

Gold Trophy

Hunger Is Despicable... :)

Silver Trophy

Hunger Bugs Us...

Bronze Trophy

Operation Zap Hunger...

And there were so many other creative ones as well, such as:

Fishing for Food (Which included about a hundred cans of tuna fish.) ~ Wow!

I'm Grouchy When I'm Hungry ~ Cute!

Racing Against Hunger ~ (Channeling the Fifth Third River Bank Run and displaying structural integrity to the max!)

R2D2.. Forcing Out Hunger ~ Adorable!

And then there was ours... the I.T. Department's... or rather mine and Renee's, I mean. But after 8 years of doing this, we'd sort of run out of ideas... Still, that didn't stop us. Because there are ALWAYS ideas to be had...

Don't Let Hunger Get You Down... ~ haha

But then we got a little nervous that we might get marked down about not keeping within the spacial confines of the allotted blue taped border...

So we rearranged the border...

And even though we didn't win (heck we didn't even place!).. it's really all about the food donations that matter in the end, right?

Anyway, together we helped to raise nearly 7,500 lbs of food for the cause while enjoying a a ton of smiles in the meantime.

This link from WZZM may not last for long, so catch it while you can. While you CAN... Get it?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

From 0 to 86 in Three Days on ALOT of Wheels... (Aspen Grove)

Don't ask me to explain the title. It was really just the first thing I came up with...

Anyway, just returned from a fun filled weekend in Provo Canyon for the Salisbury reunion at Aspen Grove!... sadly minus the patriarch. :(

We've had several family reunions and attempted a ton of family pictures but this one was pretty amazing in that only two of our family members were missing and then (unfortunately) only three who had actully been there are missing from the photo...

But still, what a great photo!

We had a wonderful time and I had the opportunity to get a glimpse into just how incredibly awesome and FUN my parents' progenitors actually are!

Of course I've always KNOWN that about mine...

Me and My Girls

My Top 10 Memories...

  • Everyone arriving!
  • Calder calling me Jannet. Yes, just Jannet...
  • The view from my window!
  • Mini-golf and Shuffleboard.
  • Jade at 3:00am saying "Grandma I can't sleep! You're being too noisy!"
  • All the Dining Hall antics.
  • Rachel chasing the train... (pricless!)
  • The view from the pottery studio.
  • Apples To Apples, Pictionary and Rummikub
  • Zumba at 7:00am on the badminton court.

Not to negate at ALL all the hugs from my grandkids (and kids!) and watching the kids play while also seeing watching their parents enjoying a few rare moments of alone time...

And did I mention how great it was to be able to finally spend some good quality time with my mom? (Thanks for the help Aaron!)

I'm being completely serious here. She had SUCH a great time! And so thank you to everyone who helped make that possible! She'd been planning this reunion for such a long, long time! And overall, I think it turned out to be absolutely perfect! Everything she'd dreamed of. And I dare say that goes for the rest of us too...

You can see the rest of the reunion pics here

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Just Another Fun Day at Work...

Fifth Third Day 2013...

Each year we celebrate on 5/3 or May 3rd. How cute, right?

This year we chose a Cinco de Mayo theme and titled it "Cinco Tres de Mayo!" haha

We decorated the entire Bistro with Papel Picado banners which were created by each department in their own specific color, and then which were also the colors of the shirts each department was suppose to wear that day.

The delicious fare consisted of tacos, enchiladas, beans and rice, chips and black bean salsa and churros... as well as some pretty tasty non-alcholic margaritas. Yummy!

We had a photo booth set up where folks could dress up in traditional mexican costumes for their photo shoots... and also a couple of pinatas.

And then at some random time during lunchtime we did this...


I just love working at an awesome place!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April is a (funny) Month...

I remember many years ago my daughter asking me why it was that so many bad things happened every year right around her birthday, and though I felt really bad for her, I think I probably told her I thought she was just being pessimistic.

Because April has always been my very favorite month! Growing up, it always represented Spring Break and my first opportunity to start going to the beach to get an edge on that glorious summer tan! And those first Aprils in New York were some of the most beautiful times ever, those glorious days after all the snow had melted and before it got so ghastly hot and humid. For me April had always been tantamount to sunshine, new birth, cherry blossoms and tulips (depending on my location). And so when I learned that my first child would be born in April!... well, I just couldn't have been happier. What a perfect time to be born!

So now, years later, how do I explain all this to her in any way that makes sense?

* Start of the Civil War - 4/1/1861
* Lincoln's Assassination - 4/14/1865
* Hitler Born - 4/20/1889
* San Francisco Earthquake - 4/18/1906
* Titanic Sinks - 4/15/1912
* Failed Bay of Pigs Invasion - 4/20/1961
* Martin Luther King's Assassination - 4/4/1968
* Chernobyl - 4/26/1986
* Start of Bosnian War - 4/4/1992
* Waco - 4/19/1993
* Oklahoma City - 4/19/1995
* Columbine - 4/20/1999
* Virginia Tech - 4/16/2007
* BP Oil Spill - 4/20/2010
* Boston Marathon Bombing - 4/16/2013
* Texas Plant Explosion - 4/17/2013

Not to mention that 4/20 has long been declared the national underground celebratory day for weed smokers...

Ok, so maybe it's just me now who's being pessimistic. Because I'm pretty sure that plenty of horrific things have happened during every other month of history as well.

But seriously, what is it with April? Is it due to all those endless months of cabin fever when all of the crazies finally decide to come out of hiding? Or that one can't very effectively blow up a building or annialate a town during all those winter months when the roads are closed and most people are probably at home due to snowdays?

At any rate, for me, I still love and will ALWAYS love April. It was in April that my mother was born and without her there never would have been a me. And of course there's my Whitney, who's day of birth will always remain one of the most joyous of my life.

And let's not forget that April was also the month that Jesus died... and then arose from the grave once and forever to save us all, (even the very scummiest of us.) And so when I think of that I just can't help being completely overwhelmed and AMAZED.

Meanwhile, back to the present... here's a picture of my little town of Ada, Michigan on this fine April day...

The ballpark near the covered bridge

Ada Covered Bridge... The river usually runs about 20 feet under the walkway.

Updated: And it looks even worse today. There's virtually no pavement or roadway at all to be seen on the curve around the dam and the bridge. River should crest at it's maximum tonight 4/21 and after that should hopefully retreat.

So far I'm safe. High and dry as it were... I've never been more thankful that I live in this little less affulent but much higher grounded section of town...

Great Grandmas Are The Greatest!...

Happy Birthday to Mom/Lois/Grandma and Great Grandma!

Hope you have a GREAT Day!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter Bunnies!...

It's just so hard living this far away! I thought of sending candy... but then it's hard to know who's allowed candy these days. I thought of sending toys, but then they always just break and end up in the bottom of a closet, or in the middle of the living room floor.

So instead, I thought I'd just send a whole lot of love and a couple hours of my time...

I actually tried to morph those faces into the bunny faces, and I got really, REALLY close to making it work but in the end, to be honest, it all turned out looking sort of creepy... so I eventually gave up and settled for this. Hope you like it!

(Sorry about the older (younger?) pictures of the twins... )

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I Could Just Listen To These All Day!...

My children are so talented!

I wish there was a way I could share all of their talents with the world without everyone think I was like a "dance mom," or something. Because I never was and never will be, or at least to the extent that some "dance moms" I've known have been. And anyway, they're all grown up now and on their own, so it's pretty much a moot point. So all I can really do now is just be their biggest fan and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Sometimes I wish media sharing was easier because I seriously have enough material to encompass a full length documentary...

Thankfully Daryn made THIS "share" fairly easy for me!

I have no idea where that all came from because I was never a "piano mom" either. And I only served as a partial vocal coach for one evening in 1987, as far as I remember...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My "GoTo" Vacation Destination of Choice...

Who'd have ever thought?

There are folks at my workplace who travel the world. There are a few who somehow manage to take a cruise (or two) each year. Some regularly visit the historical sites of the East and South or take in the dazzling excitement and rhythm of say, New York, Las Vegas or Chicago. Others enjoy the many resplendent offerings of nature in the Northwest, Northeast... or at least the Michigan lakeshore.

For me? It's...

Because, you see, Idaho is HOME to all my little spuds. (Ok kids, I realize that I'm really stretching the humor a bit here.) But seriously? Right now there is nowhere else I would rather be. For reals!

Here's Rachel enjoying some of her mommy's homemade potato soup...

Is that a potato I spy on the 3rd plate from the left?

I'm pretty sure this is NOT a potato. Perhaps a very large fry???

But seriously (just as a side note) I have never, ever seen a potato field at any time during my travels there.

Anyway, I've just returned, haven't even finished unpacking but have already booked my next flight back! I just miss all of these little fries so much already! Both the small and the supersized...

*end of potato humor*

What a crew at the Boise Zoo!

They were pretty much every which way!

But I SO enjoyed being able to spend that time with them!

And SO glad Whitney's family was able to make the trip over to Boise!

I LOVED this evening!

Good job Jon! On both counts!

One of my favorite pictures of the week!


Also glad that Gramma was able to make the trip as well! It was great to see her... and I know it meant so much to her to hold these little ones!

The Old Idaho State Penetentiary was very, very interesting. And it seriously made me want to never, EVER do anything bad...

I'm sure these probably have to be some of the cutest picture ever taken inside of that place...

Talk about juxtaposition...

Yeah, I know I've already shared a ton of pictures but not nearly a fraction of what I wish I could share. Somehow my life has pretty much become defined now by a series of photos I'm able to share maybe twice a year. So just two more, ok?

Shaylee and Me

Me and Loch

I think I might just leave that old, dusty, beige, zippered suitcase on my bedroom floor where it is right now. Perhaps I won't even finish unpacking.

And maybe this will be my view the next time I visit... but hopefully without the snow.

See? Not a potato field in sight!

So anyway, yeah... I am just really missing all of my little tater tots right now! Hoping to be able to permanently peel myself away from GR and mash myself closer to you sometime in the not too distant future.

And in the meantime... BE PROUD!

Couldn't resist!