Monday, July 28, 2008

Computer Kid

Russell has come to visit and brought with him his computer, cell phone and IPod. I have my own computer, a desktop but Russell explains he has his own card that links to the web, I forget what it is called. He also has a web cam, whatever that is. I don't have an IPod and Hubby and I share a cell phone. When we were working we both had one but now that we are retired I never replaced mine when it died. The truth is when we go out we often forget to take the cell phone with us. Maybe it is a psychological thing. We feel free when we can go out without strings. More likely we are just forgetful.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Detroit Science Center

Hubby and I took Russell to the Detroit Science Center today. It is really a neat place and a big improvement from years ago. Russell said he enjoyed lunch the most. He also enjoyed playing the synthesizer drums, lifting the thousand pound weight, trying to pick up a coin using the robot and pushing lots of buttons and levers. My favorite was the hurricane chamber. The center had a neat electricity presentation with lots of sparks and explosions. The special show was about pirates and shipwrecks. The center is definitely worth a visit.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hubby and the Cats

This morning after breakfast Hubby made a trip to Lowes. However that is right next door to PetSmart. So he came home with new toys for the cats. He bought a remote controlled mouse, a yellow feathery boa on a string, and a fishing rod with a glittery fish or a sparkly mouse. We tried them out on Cleo who loved the boa and did some roll over maneuvers that belonged in the circus. Cleo is active in the morning. Arnold is a nighttime cat and seldom gets up before 1 in the afternoon. Fervor is active during any of the daytime hours. My grandson, Russell, is coming tonight to stay for a week. He is usually pretty good with the cat although he hasn't met our new ones yet. I listed Hubby's cat blog I think you will find it funny.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Diamond Crystal Salt

Hubby grew up in St. Clair, Michigan. While he was attending college he worked summers at the Diamond Crystal Salt company. He got the job because his father worked there. St. Clair is celebrating its sesquicentennial and one of the activities was a tour of the salt factory. We drove up for it. Well over 400 peoples also signed up for the tour. Fortunately we were in the first 100. Our tour guide remembered Hubby's father and went to school with Hubby's sister. It was a neat tour and they provided us with free salt and tons of salted snacks. I got a box of Kosher salt for Mary to use on her pickles. Because all of their salt is food grade we couldn't wear any jewelry, no shorts, skirts or open toed shoes. We had to wear safety glasses, ear protection, hard hats, hair nets and gloves. Hubby looked good with a hair net containing his curls.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just the Three of Us Again

Just the three of us again. It was fun having the grandchildren visit but just a little exhausting. Today was a quiet day. Hubby mowed the lawn and worked on the back window he is repairing. I thoroughly cleaned the family room and did a lot of laundry. Even the cats flaked out. Cleo found an open dresser drawer and slept in it with my T-shirts. Last night for no apparent reason a transformer blew on the power line so we had a two hour outage which meant we went to bed early.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mommy is Here

Amy arrives last night at about 3 AM. Young people do crazy things like that. Driving 10 hours by yourself and arriving at 3 in the morning. The kids are thrilled to see Mom again. We have had a good time with them. Amy will leave with the kids on Monday. Already today we have showed her all our pictures from the week and took a walk through our gardens. Now she and the kids are all taking a nap. (I think Papa is too). I am a very lucky stepmother as Amy is as close to me as my own daughters and considering that she was 20 when Hubby and I were married, I am very lucky. She has also bonded with my children and they are all very fond of her.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Christmas Exchange List

Because Hubby and I have seven children between us with six spouses and five grandchildren, Christmas gift giving can become cumbersome. We have a system where the children exchange names and give to all five grandchildren. I wrote a program in Python to choose names so that no one gets the same person in the last two years or their spouse to buy for. I had a bug in the program which I finally worked out today. When I was studying electrical engineering I had to take a class in Pascal and loved it. I mentioned that to the head of the department and he said "Programming is boring." Interestingly since working as an engineer I have done mostly programming and I still love it. Anyway my gift giving program is off and running.
Yesterday we took the grandkids to the Morely Chocolate Factory. It was fun and the free sample was delicious.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Keeping Up With the Grandchildren

Yesterday we took the grandchildren to the Henry Ford Museum because it was Macy's 2nd Monday. You would be surprised how fast kids can travel through a museum. After lunch at the Wienermobile Cafe we headed out to the petting farm at Domino Farms. That is the best petting farm ever. The kids fed carrots to the goats and cows. (but not pigs, donkeys, or horses, because they have teeth) They had a hay ride and saw baby horses, calves, goats,chickens and piglets. It was a great time.
Today we took them to the zoo. The animals were mostly out and visible. For the first time I actually saw a wolverine. The kids were puzzled as Hubby and I sang the Michigan fight song for it. A polar bear was laying on top of the glass tunnel so we were really up close and personal with it. After supper, Martha put a movie on for them but Kameren fell asleep. I will leave her in the armchair until it is time for Keegan to go to bed. Every night when I finish tucking them into bed and turn out their light I find Papa is already sound asleep in bed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Grandchildren and Cats

We were surprised to find that Cleo and Arnold, our cats, are nuts about the grandchildren. They follow the kids wherever they go. Keegan is trying to train Arnold for the animal planet show where animals compete for being able to do the best tricks. Arnold is not cooperating a whole lot on the training but just enough to keep Keegan hopeful. I turned around yesterday to see Cleo wearing an assortment of doll clothes and very happy with her new attire. You would think the cats had grown up with children but as far as I know they haven't. We also have not had any problems with Fervor as he is afraid of the kids so avoids them and therefor Cleo as well.

I did a walk around of my garden and here are a few shots of what I see.

The cattails are forming nicely.

The rose garden has everything in bloom, We have eight rose bushes,3 expensive delphiniums and one of the 99 cent kind (the light blue)and a lot of snap dragons around the edge. They seeded themseves in from last year.

I have a pot of geraniums on the front porch. I have had this pot for four years now. I just bring them in for the winter and take them out in the spring. I water them all winter but don't repot ever.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Our First Day With the Grandchildren

Today being our first day with the grand children, we drove up to Port Huron to see all the sailboats getting ready for the Mackinac race. We walked all over Port Huron and then went to a carnival. Kameren, the 5 year old, was fearless. She went on every ride several times. She went on the Ferris wheel with Papa and scared the living daylights out of him by rocking the car. He said he tried not to show it. Papa also went on the Tiltawhirl with the kids but one time was all he could handle. They went three more times. As we drove back, Keegan said the carnival was better than Blissfest. So it was a successful first day.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Greeting Cards

Last month on June 9th Gretel and the Tummy received their anniversary card and gift from me. The only problem is that their anniversary is today, July 9 th. They have been married three years.( boy does time fly) They are both very happy together and they love living in Brooklyn, New York. I seldom get cards out early. My usual rule is late. In fact I am not much of a card person. I usually remember the children and grand children's birthdays within a week and the same for their anniversaries. It was an unforgivable sin to forget my mother's birthday or anniversary.(as well as not cashing her checks quickly) I am also a dollar store card buyer. Two for a dollar is hard to beat and Mom and I go there regularly. Of course, they look nothing like the spectacular cards my sister-in-law buys. For years, (before she was married) Mary made all her Christmas cards and shopped for the funniest(and most insulting) birthday cards. I also like the homemade cards I get from Dante, my grandson.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cleaning the Craft Room

I buy a lot of cloth material and worse yet I save all the scraps. In my craft room I have shelves with 37 plastic shoe boxes of cotton scraps all filed according to color. Underneath the counter I have larger tote boxes for bigger pieces of material. Today I pulled out some pieces of polyester I have had since polyester was in and some linen that is in colors I really look bad in. I put them aside to send to the Salvation Army. I know I have seen some people still wearing polyester, maybe they also sew. I have much material that is still waiting for more granddaughters and some that is waiting for me to get thinner so I feel like sewing for myself. Whenever I clean the room I find things that I either forgot I had and even more likely forgot where I put them. I will probably forget again. The grandchildren will be here on Wednesday. We are all pretty excited.
Fervor and Cleo have been separated all day. I think Fervor is catching on that if he goes near Cleo she will scratch his nose and scream. Then we come running and lock Fervor behind his gate.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Today we went to the baptism of a friend of ours. It was at a small church with a black congregation. The sermon was very inspiring with lots of amens and hand clapping participation from the congregation. The choir was made of mostly young people and they were spectacular. The baptism was by immersion. They had a pool behind the dias with a mirror so that we could see the converts be submerged. It was a very happy occasion for at least a dozen people who were baptised. It was truly a joyful experience and very meaningful for us all.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Book Clubs

My two book clubs seem to be going strong. The ladies meet every 4th Thursday and everyone seems to enjoy the get together and lunch as much as reading the books. This month's book is "Winter Kill" by Box. I have even learned how to use the library and will be picking up the book soon. The kids book club has less than perfect attendance but the kids are younger and busier. Bill just bought a house so I am sure his reading time is cut dramatically. Martha chose the book for next month and it is "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden. It might be a little trickier for me to read with the grandchildren here.

Friday, July 4, 2008

A New Start

Every once in a while I go through a sort of crisis. Last night when I went to bed I was thinking that the cats have more control of my life than I do. So this morning I got up and put the flag outside for the fourth and took a mile and a half walk. Since hubby wasn't up yet( well he did get up and walked Cleo down to the litter box, she dosen't like to go downstairs alone, and then went back to bed.) I had locked myself out so I planted some snapdragons that I had thinned out of another section of the garden. I decided I had to get my weight under control too. For the next 2 or 3 weeks we will have the grand children so if I use that time to work on my weight and think out my further plans that should help out. To my surprise Martha came up to me today and said she wanted to lose weight as well, so I have a partner in this endeavor.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

More Thunderstorns

Well there is another thunderstorm heading this way so it won't be long and we will have to shut the computer down again. We have had so much rain lately that we certainly haven't had to do any watering in the garden. The cat tails are doing just fine and so are the mosquitoes. It just is too bad that mother nature can't even things out a little but that doesn't seem to be her style. Fires in the west drought in the southeast and floods in the middle.

Here is a picture of Fervor in detention. Quite pathetic.

Kitalong asked what was blooming in my garden. Here is a picture of some lillies that have been in the family for years.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Cat Problem

We have one problem with our new cats. Fervor, Martha's cat, and Cleo do not get along. Fervor looks for Cleo and she screams and hisses and both cats get some scratches although Fervor seams to get the worst of it. You would think he would stop going after her. He even looks for her when she is hiding under our bed. Hubby chases Fervor off but then Cleo takes off after Fervor. Cleo loves Hubby and the feeling is mutual, so he protects and defends her. Hubby built a door in our hallway to keep the two apart, but Fervor cries when he is confined. I take Fervor into my sewing room with me and close the door so he has company but cannot get at Cleo. Our life was so much simpler before. Hubby loves cats and I don't think it would be wise to ask him to choose between me and the cats.