Friday, August 01, 2014
It has been a while since I blogged. My time has been full of family, work at home and insanity at work.
Last week I took vacation Monday-Wednesday to spend with Mike’s son, DIL and two grandsons (ages 1 & 3), who were visiting from Illinois. We had a wonderful, although way to short, time together. The boys are so adorable and once again brought some of my heart back home with them. They informed us that Mike will be a grandpa for the third time in January. Sure wish we lived closer, and could see that new bundle of joy when he/she comes along.
I was able to attend my great-nephew’s last baseball game Tuesday night. His team lost, but he did hit a home run and a triple. Was nice spending time with other family members during the game.
My roof is getting closer to being completed and that has helped get me into the mood for other projects that need to be done. The yard and deck are looking good and I finished painting a few items that were looking a bit rough. I think I have finally settled on the color to paint the kitchen – many paint samples taped on the walls over the past few months. Hopefully work on the new entry way closet will begin soon and I can organize all our jackets, shoes, boots and accessories.
After taking three days off, catching up at work took a while. I had to design, print, laminate and cut over 400 flower tags, and over 300 other plant tags; help put on a staff BBQ; arrange food for a two-day retreat, make parking permits for all staff members; and am helping to train in our new accountant (I am thrilled that she is here). Monday I have to start on purchased card transaction reconciliations – 129 this month and do a couple expense reports. Our annual Horticulture Day is at the end of the month, so there are flyers, posters and maps to make, news articles to write and doing whatever else the committee requests of me.
Surely won’t be bored!
Have an awesome weekend my fellow Sparklers!
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Several times over the past few days I have come across the following story online.
'Plus-sized' model Robyn Lawley posts unedited, makeup-free bikini selfies
My question is: "How the heck is she considered 'plus sized'? It's no wonder girls and women are starving themselves.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
I am finding hard to believe that summer is about half over (according to my son’s school schedule anyway). It feels like only yesterday we were still shivering in the cold temperatures. But wait a minute – it did get down into the lower 40F degrees the other night. And, no I did not turn on the furnace!
Catching up with friends and family is common this time of the year. My hometown always holds a big 4th of July celebration, and reunions are typically planned around it. A cousin, his wife traveled from Arizona for their reunions, and brought their grandson along for the trip; my late best friend’s family was together, in front of the house they grew up in, for the 4th of July parade and we watched with them (had a couple moments close to tears, missing her so much); ran into many old friends and classmates walking around town after the parade; a former employee was visiting from Washington State and we were able to get together with three other former employees (from my days as a newspaper publisher) for a very long lunch; and next week Mike’s son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons (ages 1 & 3) will be staying with us for three days on their way back from Canada to Illinois. I am so looking forward to seeing those two little boys – their mom and dad too – and getting a chance to spoil them.
Me and the newspaper ladies. miss working with them - we had the best crew.
We are at our busiest time of the year at work. With so much of our research centered around “winter-hardiness” and what will survive in our zone as far as vegetables, fruit, wild rice and forestry, now is the time for planting. Our Animal Science program has welcomed 150 new Black Angus calves since early spring, and the agronomy department continues research on grasses and hay that benefit the health of the cattle. I am responsible for ordering supplies – anything from seeds up to a new John Deere tractor; updating our website and promotional material – including taking photos and design; doing accounting duties until the new accountant starts and is fully trained (which should be in early October); running the office; helping all departments in whatever they may need; and keeping the office up and running; planning staff social events; and helping to organize our annual Horticulture Day, which is an open house for the public to tour our gardens and learn more about our research in Horticulture; and many misc. duties. I love the variety and am happiest when busy. Last month my boss put in a request for a one-time (yearly) bonus and it was approved. Now he, my supervisor and I are filling out paper work to possible move me up in job classification, which would mean a raise. Not sure yet how big the raise would be. Keeping my fingers crossed!
Caught this cow trying to get into one of the research buildings. I wonder if she thought she could sneak in unnoticed!
Mamas taking care of their babies.
Flowers growing in our horticulture department.
What hasn’t kept me a happy camper is my roof situation. Last summer I agreed to let a co-worker replace the one-story portion of my roof. The two-story section of the house had a metal roof when I bought the house while the one-story was shingled and soon became apparent had been given a “band-aid” job in order to sell the house. In July, 2013 he finally made it over to measure, and I ordered the supplies he said I needed. Work didn’t start until November, and shortly after he rebuilt the roof eight feet back (due to rotting and the roof not being done right before) winter hit with a vengeance. He came over a few times throughout the winter and had it ready to install the metal and replace the fascia. We experienced water leaking in the entry way, hallway and bathroom when the snow melted, and then whenever rain fell. In late April and early May he finally installed most of metal, stopping most of the leaks. However, when we get a bad storm, water comes down the side of the chimney into my clothes closet. He hasn’t been over since mid-May and we have had many perfect roofing days. I had also asked him to finish a spot above the door that is open above the entry way ceiling (back in May) because I have had problems with hornets in the past. It wasn’t done and yesterday Mike called to inform me that a nest has been built somewhere above the ceiling. He and my youngest son took over the work and finished the installing the metal. When they got to the porch area, they noticed the hornets and couldn’t proceed there. They also discovered that he had me purchase over $400 in supplies that were not needed (special order sizes so they cannot be returned). To say that I am stressed over this would be quite the understatement. I anticipate a battle when he comes asking for money, making an uncomfortable working relationship. When asked over the last year why I have put up with all of this, I would answer “I have to work with him.” Now I am seeing things differently and saying that “he has to work with me.” Fortunately, we work together very little, but it still bothers me a lot.
I will be so happy when it is completed and we can move on to projects that needed to wait until the roof was done. My co-worker WILL NOT being doing any of that work!
Monday, June 23, 2014
The weather didn’t cooperate as well as I had hoped this past weekend, but it sure didn’t dampen the wonderful time I had. In fact, my youngest son and I embraced it and had a fun experience yesterday.
Mike, my son Troy and I spent a quiet Friday evening at home – light, easy dinner after work followed by a movie and early bedtime.
Mike had a meeting and then mowing at his mom’s, and Troy had to work until 3 p.m. on Saturday. I caught up with some friends via the phone, walked to the local antique mall to look around (amazingly didn’t buy anything), planted some newly purchased flowers and plants and re-painted the arbor that goes over my front sidewalk. Saturday evening we went to my sister’s house for a family gathering/birthday party. We had such a fun evening.
Yesterday Mike wanted to go visit his mom, who is recovering from surgery at a nursing facility in Duluth, so Troy and I went along. We dropped him off and spent a few hours by a chilly and foggy Lake Superior. Had we checked the weather, we would have known to dress warmer than we had to at home – 80 miles made a big difference in temperatures. The weather conditions didn’t keep us from enjoying our time. Troy skipped rocks on the lake – something he has done for most of his 16 years, while my trusty camera and me did our thing. We visited with Mike’s mom and a sister, went out for dinner and then headed back home.
Of course you know that pictures are coming next. Hope you enjoy them.
My great-niece, niece and two great-nephews (nephew's sons).
Most of the girls in my family (missing a nephew's girlfriend and my SIL). Niece, nephew's GF, sister, great-niece, my mom and me.
Troy skipping rocks at Lester River, where it enters into Lake Superior.
Me taking a picture of my reflection by the lake shore.
Seagulls resting on the rocky Lake Superior shore.
Aerial Lift Bridge barely visible through the fog.
Gulls along the Aerial Bridge canal.
"American Integrity" heading out to the lake.
A foggy Canal Park.
A tulip in Leif Erickson Park.
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