Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Lovely Husband

Today is my husband's 45th birthday. Now that I've known him for almost 23 years, I think I can tell you a few things about him. Perhaps, 45?
  1. He is the kind of guy that will pull over on the highway and help a stranded motorist.
  2. He is the kind of dad that will hold you accountable AND hold you tight for a hug.
  3. He is the kind of husband that will bring you a latte, flowers AND jelly donuts on Saturday mornings (even though you should not be eating donuts).
  4. He is a kind and caring friend who is a good listener AND always has sound and steady advice.
  5. He doesn't dislike anyone.
  6. He is very traditional and sentimental.
  7. He likes to play Angry Birds.
  8. He loves a great hike and a great view.
  9. He is an adventurous traveler.
  10. He is an excellent photographer, painter and artist.
  11. He is a fun date.
  12. He can read with the kind of concentration and retention that would put anyone to shame.
  13. He loves his dog, and she loves him.
  14. He has an excellent sense of humor.
  15. He likes the thrill of the Indiana Jones last minute, roll under the garage door entrances and exits.
  16. He is graceful under pressure.
  17. He loves Michigan football.
  18. Actually, he loves anything Michigan.
  19. His favorite place in the world is the cottage.
  20. He secretly likes shopping, once you drag him out there to the mall, once a year, at Christmas.
  21. Christmas is his favorite holiday, and he is the best Christmas decorator you will ever find.
  22. He is an excellent cook.
  23. He is totally fine with staying in his pajamas and watching TV all day on a Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, get the idea.
  24. He is super smart.
  25. He is so super smart that he can talk like he knows everything and anything.
  26. His family loves him like crazy and he loves his family like crazy.
  27. He is the guy you want in your cheering section--he cheers very loudly and enthusiastically.
  28. He is an awesome dad that always has time for his kids.
  29. As Ruth says, "He is a good cuddler."
  30. He holds the door for everyone.
  31. He has kind words for all and is very friendly.
  32. He does NOT like horror films.
  33. He is an extremely hard worker.
  34. He plans to clean the garage every Saturday, but it rarely ever happens.
  35. He is a total softy.
  36. He loves lemon meringue pie and would trade me in for our friend, Deborah, who is queen of the lemon meringue.
  37. He loves the water. Boats, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, or just gazing at the view.
  38. His secret favorite color is dark green. Oops, not a secret anymore, I guess.
  39. He has two shelves of ball caps in his closet.
  40. He loves to go to brunch and read the paper.
  41. Supertramp is one of his favorite bands.
  42. The hammock is his favorite chilling spot.
  43. He also is very romantic and loves a good, cozy fire.
  44. He tolerates Halloween.
  45. He is the best husband ever and I'm very thankful to be lucky enough to hang out with him and be his wife.
Yes, happy birthday to my handsome, wonderful husband. I can not imagine my life without you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hello from California January 2012

Dear Friends,

We are back into the swing of things. Our biggest news is that our renovation is finally over. Actually, all of our renovations are finally over, as far as I know. Now we are at the last bit of the hard part, reorganizing and getting things functioning in some kind of functional state.

High school applications are in. Winter activities have started. Sounds kind of boring doesn't it? Well, it is run of the mill and not very exciting, but after so much excitement, it feels kind of nice to be boring.

It won't last for long. There are tons of trips and activities on the horizon. It makes me tired just to think about them. I am still determined to take a sleeping vacation some day.

You can always drop me a line and let me know about your excitement. Now that we are so calm, someone has to spice things up around here!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Glass Half Empty or Half Full: The "Honor Bar" in the Fairmont Gold Lounge

Flashback: three weeks ago to my last lounge experience in the closing KLM lounge at DTW. The hostess threw her hands in the air and declared to her co worker that the last costumers had opened two water bottles, dumped them into a plant, then filled them completely full of Grey Goose Vodka. The co worker shrugged and walked off.

Meanwhile, in the present, I was pouring myself a glass of red wine, and realized, this wasn't an open bar, it was a no host bar. The lady next to me filled her wine glass to the brim. Seriously, she had to sip before she walked away in order not to spill. I have been schooled well in the art of the pour, and you never fill more than half way.

I looked at my little ticket. I had to tick off my wine brand and initial my 5 oz. pour.

5 ounces? How much is 5 ounces? Maybe it is a whole wine glass, but somehow, I doubt it.

So, am I stupid to be pouring half a glass? Should I be filling it up, because I can and no one is watching?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cat Pee

A while back, we had to replace a mattress. While on vacation, one of our two cats decided that it made a really, comfy cozy litter box. If you know the smell of cat pee, you know that there was no saving that mattress. Of course, we pointed the finger at our grouchy, territorial older cat Patch:

She is not a cuddly cat. She is thin and wiry. She hunts and wanders the great outdoors. She is also a very vocal cat--she will let you know.

Years ago, when we first brought home a new kitten, Sara, Patch was having nothing to do with it. We followed all of the directions. Put the new cat in one room and blah blah blah. We tried everything. Nothing worked. 3 years later, we still have the warring kitties.

They openly stalk each other, and it is no game. Sara wants to be friends, Patch wants to get the heck away from her. After a while, when Sara had given up the idea of friendship, Sara was just trying to drive Patch crazy.

Yes, this is Sara. You can carry her around by her tail, dress her in all kinds of crazy clothing and she will be purring in your arms. But, like all super nice people, Sara has a dark side...

Her dark side is peeing all over the place now that we are done with the renovation. I unrolled a brand new wool carpet, and Sara walked right over, looked me in the eye and peed on it. If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I would not have believed it.

The next day, she peed on the next new carpet. I freaked out, but didn't let her know it. But, I freaked out. The next thing I was on serious carpet inspection. There is a cat pee spot on every new carpet in the house. The spots I saw right away, seem to be doing fine, but the pee that has sat there for I don't know how long, is not going away.

I've scrubbed and sprayed and tried all of the internet advice on cat urine. Two carpets I'm pretty sure are completely ruined. Now I'm just terrified about what I haven't found yet, and I have one more carpet yet to come. Ugh!

We are all experiencing Post Traumatic Remodel Syndrome. I understand where Sara is coming from, but I can't afford to replace one more thing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A New Favorite Spot For The Dog

Since our renovation, Kiki has found a new place to hang out!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The More You Change, The Longer It Takes: Ending The Remodel

Things are looking pretty good around here. Our house is truly transformed. Even though we live in a cool, landscaped place, I still wouldn't recommend the remodeling process to anyone.

People keep asking me when it will finally be done. I tell them, when the check bounces. I think these guys will keep finding things to do until we are completely bled dry.

Of course, we were the stereotypical home owners during a remodel. "Wow, wouldn't that doorway look better over there? It seems like this window could be better if it was bigger. Why don't we paint the living room puce. Oh, wait, paint over that puce color and make it green again, please???"

We keep finding things to "change order." A couple of years ago, I didn't know what a change order was.

Yes, I did say a couple of years. We have been in flux for two years now. We've been quite flex with the flux. Now, we need to put the last boxes away and settle back into real life.

We can't afford food, furniture or utilities anymore, but we have a lawn and a fountain and a non-leaking roof over our heads.