Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

Oh my gosh! I haven't been on here for two weeks!  Have your missed me, truly?

Dream Boy did - he asked me last week Monday night why I didn't have coffee that morning with everyone.

You know what? I really didn't have an answer other than, "I don't know, guess I just need a break?"

And that's how it goes sometimes, just a little break from the every day norm to feel a little refreshed & revitalized.  Not sure I'm there yet, but let's go with that.
Well I guess we need to do a little catching up now, don't we?  

Let's start with the recent weather in the Mitten. Whoa boy has it been HOT & humid around these parts this last week.  I spent a few afternoons close to the water or in my kayak to keep cool. It was so hot that my computer overheated Saturday morning & freaked Dream Boy out because it wouldn't boot up & it was making this really weird noise.

I was at my sister's when he called & told him to try & shut it down. He said he couldn't, so he just unplugged it & propped it up to try & cool it down.  When I got home I checked it out & was able to shut it down and the "weird noise" was the fan blowing to try & cool it down. I left it alone for a while & soon enough, she started back up.

But it may be time to start looking seriously at a new replacement in the near future. It's been running slower & slower with each & every passing day.

Life in the House of G has been just great! We are thoroughly enjoying our summer, and thankfully, knock on wood, we have NOT had major issues with a certain little pesky, flying creature outside, so we've been able to sit out on our patio every night for dinner and most nights until the sun sets, just talking and enjoying our time!

But - we had major rain yesterday, I mean MAJOR rain, so I'm really hoping that this before mentioned insect does not hatch out now & make up for lost time.

Last week I was treated by a friend to dinner and the theatre. We dined at a local Inn in my little village, the chef changes the menu every day and does her best to utilize local produce and farms for her dishes. I've never had a bad meal there, just such yummy stuff!

After dinner we headed down the road to the Barn Theatre! This is a small summer stock theatre in a barn! It's been there 70 years and is THEE place for all want to be actors to get their equity card. Every year they have amazing shows from the end of May to the beginning of September. We had the pleasure of seeing The Little Mermaid.

What a great performance!  The owner's live down the road from our high school & I had their 2 oldest in my classes before they graduated. Both of them happened to be working that night, so I had the opportunity to talk with them both and catch up on their life after high school. So fun!

Their mom, Penelope, played Ursula, the Sea Witch. Oh my gosh - she is SO absolutely made for these type of roles. She did an amazing job, but then again, she always has in any role I've ever seen her in.

So I'm into my 2nd week of session 2 of summer school.  This crew is a little bit more chatty than the 1st, but I am happy to say that the drama is not evident in this group either. They were a fun group to be with last week and I just hope that this will continue for the remaining 3 weeks!

My nephew is getting married in October, so I spent this past Saturday morning with the bride to be, her mom, my sister and my sister's friend assembling wedding invitations. Thankfully my sis had done the intricate work ahead of time and we just had to do the main assembly portion. Once again she's outdone herself with the invitations, they are absolutely beautiful.

Son #2 flew into Chicago on Friday night and spent time with a college buddy and his wife, and then caught a ride back to the Mitten with another college buddy on Sunday. We met them halfway and brought him home the rest of the way.  He's in town for a few days on business, pray that these meetings have a great outcome for him. 

Saturday afternoon was beastly, so Dream Boy & I loaded up the kayaks and headed over to the lake to paddle around. We were treated to 2 amazing sightings, one was a Bald Eagle flying overhead and then the lake's resident Loon. It's a young one that has seemed to establish it's residency on Sherman Lake this summer. We ended up talking to a lady who was on her pontoon watching him as well. She's been following his progress all summer and filled us in. Hopefully this guy will continue to return and bring back a mate in the next few years and start a new family.

We then paddled over to our friends dock, secured the kayaks and went for a swim to cool off. It was crazy hot! We haven't had a summer like this in about 4 years, so we take shelter from the heat in whatever way we can find. While the lake was warm, it was still a great way to wash off the sweat and cool down the body a bit.

Dream Boy fixed a delightful dinner for us when we got home, complete with shrimp, rice & quinoa. It was delicious!

Last night, we had all the fixings for a family dinner and were getting ready to prepare it, when S1 called and asked if we wanted to bring it all over to their house as they have central air, and we don't. It didn't take any convincing on our part to load everything up and head over there - and it was wonderful spending time together. We were just missing D2, but we face timed with her a little later, which is not the same as having her there - but better than nothing at all, right?

So today I'm back in school and heading to an orthopedic this afternoon. I've been having major issues all summer with my hip going out of joint. My x-rays were "normal", so I've been referred to an ortho in the hopes that PT will help resolve whatever issue I seem to be having.

I hope you have a great week - stay cool wherever you may be!


Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee!

Good morning everyone!  

It's my last week of session 1 in summer school!!  That means this week + 4 more & I'll be done for the summer. 

Dream Boy & I had a great weekend, once again, doing a little of this & a little of that, but enjoying our time together.

Friday night he didn't get out of work until 6, so he picked up a pizza & salad for dinner & we just laid low, watching one of our favorite binge watches for the night & relaxed.

Saturday dawned really overcast & a bit cool, compared to the sweltering 90s & humidity we had most of the week. I headed into town to run some errands and he headed out on his bike with his buddies for his coffee shop ride that they do every Saturday.  He has a 100 mile ride this coming Saturday, so he's been pounding the miles out to help prepare for this event.

Saturday afternoon, I made up a salad & we headed north to meet up with our friends at Holland State Park for dinner. There's something about a potluck around a campsite that just adds more flavor to the food.

After we finished eating & cleaning up, we all headed towards the beach to watch the boats coming in & out of the channel. The lake had been pretty rough all day due to high winds and it was a little chilly, so most of the boats headed out to the lake & turned around and came right back in.

Big Red, as it is known, is one of the most famous landmarks in western Michigan.
Don't you just love it when your friends photo bomb your shot?  Especially when your Dream Boy told her too!!

Sunday dawned sunny and warm once again, so I picked up my daughter-in-law & we headed to church. Dream Boy met us there, we had driven separately because us girls had a wedding shower to attend!

My oldest nephew is getting married in October to this little cutie sitting in the pretty white chair. 
We ended up having one giant shower for her, to include family, friends & bridesmaids. We feasted on a giant salad bar and scrumptious desserts.  She received so many fun gifts - there are some clever people out there!

After the shower, DIL & I headed to our homes and took naps, but she soon joined us, along with S#1 for a birthday dinner celebration!  DIL had a birthday on Saturday, so we cooked out on Sunday night for her. 

I have this recipe for a Southwestern Meat Loaf and suggested to Dream Boy to make this up, but make hamburger patties out of it. Oh.my.Delish! They were a hit, we all gobbled them up & what's great about this recipe is that it makes so much up - we had enough left over to make more burgers, so we sent half home with them & kept the other half for us.

After dinner, we pulled out the last Chinese Lantern that we had bought for the 4th and unsuccessfully launched from the boat. Apparently wind & operator malfunction, heh heh, was the cause of so many failed launches.
It was a beautiful weekend and every moment creative a new memory.

Thanks for stopping by - I hope you have a great week!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Coffee Time - Happy Birthday America!

What a weekend it has been so far! 

The weather? You couldn't ask for better weather if you were in charge of it yourself! 

The company? Oh I am such a blessed mama, with a man who I love so much, and kids who make me laugh and love me for my crazy self. It could only be better if all my kids were closer to home. 

The adventure? Well, I've had my share this weekend. Where to start?

Friday night was a chilly one, seriously. It got down into the low 50s, if not colder. Crazy for July, but it was a snuggle in kind of night - so we did just that around a bonfire in the back yard! We were soon joined by the eldest child and his beautiful bride and a long time childhood friend of theirs. We made s'mores, of course, and just spent the night together laughing & reminiscing of life when the kids were all younger.

Saturday morning I woke up and joined Dream Boy & his buddy half way through their ride and rode the rest of the way with them into downtown Kalamazoo for their weekly coffee ride. We ended up at the Bagel Beanery for coffee & a bagel before getting back on the bike to ride 
t
I do not recommend trying to take a selfie looking directly into the sun. It just doesn't work on any level.

Saturday afternoon, Dream Boy & I headed out to pick up some Chinese Lanterns for the eldest child, as he asked several times during the bonfire if I had anymore of them left from their wedding almost 3 years ago.  No, we sent off 40 of them that night, which was all of them.

Then we headed to the local sporting goods store & Dream Boy ended up buying his own kayak! So excited! We've talked about it a few times, it would be something we could enjoy together and I truly think he would love the peace & serenity that comes with just being on the water, away from traffic, noise, people, etc.

Saturday night we snuggled in after doing some grocery shopping - thrill of thrills, and then cooking out on the grill. We do that a lot in the summer, my oven is rarely used during this time of year.

Sunday morning we headed into church and then out for our weekly breakfast. We found a new favorite restaurant a few months back.  Good thing, as our old favorite restaurant closed up for good last week. She sold the building & business. We had our breakfast there last week Sunday so we could say goodbye and wish Marlene well.

We soon headed home with full bellies and ideas on how we were going to transport TWO kayak's out to the local lake on my little Honda Civic. We became creative, stacking the two on top of the car & driving the short 2 mile trek without incident.

Soon we were paddling the lake with many others, enjoying the perfect Sunday afternoon.
Dream Boy had bought the same brand and model number kayak as I had last year, but his is molded completely different than mine. The bottom is more flat, so his is not as tippy as mine. We paddled for about an hour & a half, switching boats about halfway through, and then scouting the shoreline and shallows for wildlife. 

We soon returned home and I made up a quick pasta salad to chill down in time for a cook out with the kids and our sunset cruise on the lake to watch the fireworks.  A nap kind of took place in that time frame too.  

We headed out on the lake with S1's Chinese Lanterns, blankets, fleece pull overs & found our place to drift. 

Let me just tell you, the Chinese Lanterns provided some hilarious entertainment for my D2 and myself, as the guys tried to launch a lantern successfully. They lit 4 of them and every.single.one ended up in the lake.
The winds would shift, then pick up, then die down, but they were never in their favor and the last one Dream Boy managed to rip a hole in it, so it didn't help the launch process any more.

They decided they all had to be faulty as all around us people were sending them up effortlessly, at least from our vantage point they seemed to be doing so. 

The sunset on the lake last night did not disappoint either.
We were surrounded by oranges, yellows, the most gorgeous tones of blue and pink painted across the sky while the day slipped away.

The fireworks show did not disappoint and we headed home and were tucked into bed around midnight. 

Then some crazy neighbor decided it was time for his own personal fireworks show and started setting off mortars - like BIG BOOM fireworks - until almost 1:30am.  We would just start to drift off to sleep and then BOOM - BOOM - BOOM, they would start again. 

Hence the reason for coffee being so late today - this mama slept in and is having a hard time getting up & going. I had every intention of driving up to the local 4th of July parade, but nope - not gonna happen as it starts in 25 minutes & I am still in my p-jammies.

So - today is a day that we will enjoy together again, as neither of us has to work. I intend to finish the last few pages of my book, "A 1,000 Mile Walk on the Beach", that I've been trying to finish for the last 3 days. 

After that - who knows what adventure awaits us? 

I hope you are enjoying your Monday wherever and whatever you are doing!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

How was your weekend everyone?

It was a hot, muggy, slow paced weekend for us - a wonderful way to spend a summer weekend.  The muggy, not so much, but it was tolerable.

Friday I had a full day off from school - a very much needed day to spend at the speed I like. Slow and relaxed. 

The Wonder Dog & I rolled out of bed around 8am and spent time sipping a cup of joe, reading blogs & writing a new post on my own, doing some banking and then heading to the dock. A whole lot of down time after a week that wound me up pretty tight.

And today I head off to my 2nd week of summer school with the hopes that things will settle down and the students will work harder towards succeeding and completion of their courses.

But in the meantime, I will hold these memories close at heart to get me through anything that may come my way this week.
This girl LOVES her dock time. I took Lucy along with me as well and spent time documenting our afternoon. I laid low, literally, sneaking shots of her from underneath the chair, so she would remain as natural as possible. She hates the camera for the most part. She will turn away from me, go off & pout and shun it almost every time. There are only certain times she will cooperate and it's always on her terms.

I spent some time trying to capture some different angles, including me in the shot - but timing isn't everything. Libbi stood by my side waiting to see what I was trying to do, and then just standing there staring into the water waiting for me to resurface.
As you can see - I jumped a little too soon. I was trying to capture myself jumping, fully expressing my joy for the lazy days of summer. But.....I need to work on that angle a little more.  

No problem.

Friday night was spent relaxing on the patio before finally heading in to scrounge up some dinner. I had just completed a big salad for dinner when our friend texted us that he & his wife were home. She had her 1st round of chemo that day and they were just enjoying some time out on their deck watching the lake.  These are the friends who so graciously let LtWD & I invade their dock all summer long. 

So Dream Boy picked up the phone & asked if they had eaten dinner yet, to which they replied no, so we packed up the salad and a bottle of wine & headed over to eat together. Our friend is being very positive about her 18 weeks of treatment and we are praying constantly for both of them and their family as this journey has just begun and will be a long, tough road. 

Saturday morning I woke up & packed up my camera gear, heading out for a mini session with a lovely little family of 3. The mom was one of my former students and I was honored to be at the birth of their little boy last October, capturing the event for them. 

Well, the little guy is now 8 months old and completely stole my heart all over again.
How stinking cute is this little man??

He was fantastic during our whole session and played along with every little scenario we put him in ...... and it didn't hurt that I bought a giant balloon to capture his attention either!
That balloon was best thing ever. I would clip it to my back so when I took shots of the whole family, this little man would be totally absorbed with watching the balloon floating behind my head.

Just a great way to spend a Saturday morning. My heart was full after spending time with this little family, they just amaze me at all the life they are building together.

After leaving them, I headed off to run some errands and then returned home. I downloaded the pics from the morning shoot and am having the best time working through all of them. The hard part is going to be when they have to choose their 10 digital images that come with a mini session. Not gonna be easy, even if I say so myself.

Sunday was a cloudy, overcast kind of day. We were in line for some possible rough storms in the afternoon, but they never materialized. We got some rain as we were leaving church, but by the time we got out of breakfast, it had stopped. It was very humid for most of the afternoon, but thankfully there was a beautiful breeze blowing. So I spent some time outside reading, a favorite past time that I am enjoying to its fullest this summer!

And now here we are, back to Monday. I'm not sure what adventures this week holds, but I plan on enjoying each day to its fullest and just fully living in the moment of each adventure.

Have a great day - thanks for spending a bit of your day with me.