Friday, November 30, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Since I have a few days off from school and they are the last one's until Christmas Break, I decided to start making the house look festive.
I turned on the Christmas music, cranked up the stereo & got a rolling on cleaning & sprucing up!
Notice there are 6 stockings hung by the chimney?   We have 2 girls in the family now you know - so I need to include them too!
I'm so happy that my mom went through a phase of knitting stockings for a few years until she found the pattern she liked the best.  I have 2 sets of 4 stockings in my cedar chest & so that means everyone in the family has a home made stocking!
Poor Dream Boy has been in the garage all day doing this:
Son #2's heater core blew the other night & Dream Boy has to dismantle the whole dashboard to get to it to fix it.
Son #2 owes Papa a LOT of beer!
Now off to run a few errands before a Christmas Concert tonite!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Love That Man 'O Mine

Happy birthday Dream Boy!
You mean the world to me - everything we've ever been through, all that we've accomplished, who we've become together - it's taken two of us to make us  ---   US!
I love you with everything I have.

This week started out a little stressful.  Dream Boy was gone out of town for his last two days before his license officially expires.  Yesterday I received an email from our State Representative of the email he had received from the Secretary of State (SOS) in regards to Dream Boy's reassessment.
It basically was a whole bunch of bunk & pretty much told us that he wouldn't be meeting with anyone at least until the beginning of the year.
AAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!
So I immediately wrote back Mr. State Representative & said this was totally unacceptable.  Then after school I called the cardiologist & talked with his nurse.  I explained what was going on & she gladly called Mr. Department of Transportation in Lansing & said that the Dr. would gladly fax or ever CALL with the information needed to renew Dream Boy's license.  He is the doctor after all & had released DB to drive a week after his surgery!
Mr. DoT wouldn't listen & said it didn't matter what they wanted to do - it was "procedure" for DB to see the analyst at the SOS and he would have to wait for an appointment.
After talking to Dream Boy about it we decided together that I would email the Governor of Michigan.  
Yes, I said the Governor.
Rick Snyder - the "one tough nerd" we elected into office 2 years ago.
So I did.  I also cc'd Mr. State Representative, Mrs. Secretary of State, Mr. Department of Transportation and a reporter from our local news station.
Feeling pretty low all day I once again emailed our local news station with more detail in hopes of stirring the pot even more.
When I got home from school there was a message from Ms. Reassessment Analyst from the SOS and she has an appointment open for Dream Boy at 2:20pm tomorrow afternoon!
We're not sure who's chain we yanked the hardest - but somebody must have been pretty rattled to have a phone call that quickly!
I'm taking tomorrow afternoon off from school to go to the SOS with Dream Boy, after all, his license IS expired and he needs someone to chauffeur him around now.
Now - I am off to work on a Christmas gift I started last night.
Nighty night all - I'll be sure to update after our appointment tomorrow afternoon!

**UPDATE**
After 2 hours in the SOS office this afternoon - Dream Boy's license was renewed!!!!
Doing the happy dance!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

Hello!!!
Happy Monday morning to all of you!
So I had an extra looong Thanksgiving break from school.
I only had one day last week and I only have 3 days this week.
I got ALL of my photography sessions edited, printed and almost all are now distributed!
What a great feeling!
I also spent some time on Wednesday contacting our Secretary of State directly through email.  I also copied our State Representative to the email in regards To Dream Boy's license expiring tomorrow & him not being able to work because someone in Lansing says so.
It doesn't matter what his cardiologist says, they make the final decision as to whether or not he can renew his license.
We got a call within an hour after I sent the email from the Director of Transportation.  He has put Dream Boy at the top of the list with our local Secretary of State office for a reassessment sooner rather than later.  The holiday weekend has put it behind some, but at least we are now actually getting some results.  
Better than "I'm sorry if you'll lose your job, but 5 weeks or so is the best I can do" answer that Dream Boy was getting every.time.he.called.Lansing!
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my sister's and their families.  A restful, peaceful day.
Friday and Saturday I got all my pics finished - no Black Friday shopping for me.  I've never gotten into it & I'm not sure I ever can.
How about you?  Did you brave the crowds & find any good bargains?
Friday we go our 1st real snow - with a light dusting.  Dream Boy & I went to the annual lighting of the park in downtown.  We used to take the boys' when they were little, but it's been over 20 years since we last went.
Saturday night the boys' & girl came over for our annual family photo shoot.  We actually had fun, both boys' cooperated & even seemed to have fun.  Son #1 usually bucks my ideas & Son #2 plays along - but BOTH embraced my ideas & played along nicely.
Thank you very much!
So Dream Boy is out of town working today & tomorrow.  Pray we hear from the S.O.S. office real soon so he isn't off work too long.
We're talking about driving to Chi-town this Friday possibly to play for the day.  We shall see.
Hope you all have a wonderful Monday & an even better week!
Thanks for stopping by for coffee.
It was good chatting with you again.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Here we go - another round of the hunt.
Can you believe this year is almost done??
I can't believe I've made it every week except for maybe 3??
So here are my interpretations for this week.

Home/Thankful
My family was home for the weekend and we took advantage of that time do our yearly Christmas card shoot.
So thankful for each & every one of them!

In The Kitchen
Okay, this is the turkey that Dream Boy smoked for Thanksgiving that made it's way into the kitchen for dinner!

Couple
We've been a couple for many, many years now.  We went to the annual tree lighting ceremony on Friday night in downtown.

Bubble(s)
Since bubbles was done earlier this year - you get my speech "bubble".
That counts, right?

Trees
Like I said, Dream Boy & I went to the annual tree lighting ceremony.  Lots & lots of lights & I struggled with getting this shot.
So, I'm going to share 2 tree shots this week.
 I actually shared this a week or so ago on my blog from a recent walk Dream Boy & I took at the forest that is less than a mile from our home.

There ya have it!  
Now head over to Rambling & Photos to see all the other great shots taken by some pretty talented people!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tis The Season

According to retailers and most everybody - the day after Thanksgiving kicks off the official Christmas season.
I can't quite put up our tree yet - with Thanksgiving being a little earlier this year, but my heart has been getting in the mood.
I've been listening to my favorite Christmas Tune List on my iTunes all week & if the weather holds out, Dream Boy & I are going to head down to Bronson Park in Kalamazoo tonite for the lighting of the tress!
In 2009 Narada Michael Walden recorded this song about our park.....the sidewalks entering the park are lined with Candy Canes.
Merry Christmas Season to all of you - as you start your yearly traditions remember the true reason for this wonderful season - Jesus!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Four Years & Counting

Four years ago today.
One week after surgery #1 I went in for my post surgical doctor's appointment.
Four years ago today my world crashed....again.
I can still see my doctor standing there and reading a paper.
I can still hear him say, "your pathology report came back.  Apparently there was a tumor hidden inside the cyst we removed.  You have Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma.  I can't believe I didn't see it when I was in there, but it must have been growing inside the cyst."
BAM!
Papi....thryoid.......CARCINOMA.  That word I knew ---- a fancy, schmancy medical term for cancer.
BAM!
Dream Boy was on the other side of the state.  I have cancer.  Dream Boy isn't going to believe this.  I have cancer?  Okay, get a copy of the pathology report, Pam's going to want details.  I'll never remember them.......I.have.cancer!
BAM!
My doctor told me that if you're going to get cancer, this is one of "the best one's to have.  It's the most treatable."
My mind is spinning, he hands me the kleenex box.  He gently pats my back and says "it'll all be all right, more surgery, not sure if there's more, surgery sooner rather than later, remove the rest of your thyroid, are you alone?  Take your time in here, but we need to do some more blood work."
BAM!
Cancer.
Pulling myself together I ask if I need to make a decision immediately?  I need to talk to Dream Boy.  
Yes, you can talk this over with your husband, but we need to know sooner rather than later your decision.
I find my way to my car in the parking ramp & sit stunned.  I need to talk to Dream Boy but he's on the other side of the state.  I can't call him while he's driving, he'll be a total wreck.
Call my big sister.......yeah-----uh, no.  I.need.to.talk.to.Dream.Boy.
Dialing the phone.
Dream Boy's voice - "are you okay??"
"Um, no."
"What's wrong - what did they find?"
"I have cancer."
Praying.  Waiting.  Praying.
Dream Boy to the rescue..........he was home as soon as he could be.
We cried.  I explained.  We decided to have the surgery as soon as possible.
After calling the doctor the next morning, surgery was schedule for a week later, the day after Thanksgiving.
The rest of my thyroid was removed.  Five months later I went through a round of radiation and then a full body scan.
I have been cancer free ever since.
Praise God!
But every year on this day I replay that conversation & remember the feeling so I will never forget to be thankful for my life, my friends & my family.
Every single day I am thankful.
Four years, but I'll never forget.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

How is it another Monday is once again here?
You know there are only 6 Monday's left in 2012?
That means we've had coffee 46 Monday's this year alone.
That's a lot of coffee.
I'm so glad you share with me every week, I've enjoyed our time together.
So the hat in the pic??  I'm not really a hat person, but Dream Boy likes them on me for some reason.
Speaking of Dream Boy, he was released to go back to work this past week for "light duty" only. So his boss found something he can do for the final 3 weeks of his recovery time.  But this job has also meant that he is gone from home for an extended amount of time.
This past week he was gone Tuesday - Friday & then he left again early this morning & won't be home until Tuesday night.
So we had a fun, fun day on Saturday.  We didn't do anything special, just spent our whole day together!  We ran errands in the morning & then went to church & put together 30 Thanksgiving baskets for families in need.  Then we delivered them & everyone on our committee then met for lunch.  We laughed and laughed and laughed!  
Then Dream Boy & I went to World Market & did a little more shopping.  While in one store he got fixated on hats, but I refused to pay $26.00 for a little beanie!
We looked at a few other stores we stopped in, but I didn't end up buying anything.
After church on Sunday, I stopped at Walmart for a few things & found the above hat, for $7.  Bonus!
We are supposed to have a very warm week this week, with possible 60 degree weather on Thanksgiving day.  
I only have 1 day of school this week.  Seems a little silly to only go in for 1 day, but I'm gettin paid.  It will be interesting to see how many kids actually show up.  I know some of the teachers scheduled tests for today so that may make a few more show up than really want to.
So I'm going to spend my time this week finishing the editing on my last 2 senior sessions.
I've also got to finish a scrapbook I was hired to do too.  It's all on soccer & after a while the pages all start to look the same to me, so I set it aside for a little bit before moving on to the next set of pages.  
We're having Thanksgiving dinner at my big sister's home this week & both of my boys', along with my girl, will be home.  We're going to try & accomplish a family photo at some point.  
Thanks for stopping by today - gotta go refill my cup & head out the door!
Happy Monday!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

The hunters are in the woods hunting deer.
I'm out in the stores hunting pictures.
You should have seen the peculiar looks I got in World Market today.
Oh well, I enjoyed myself....

Vision
You had to "see" this one coming.......I mean really, I'm nothing without my glasses.

Strong
Stopped by Dream Boy's place of employment today, thankfully it's not Hostess, but close enough.
Anyways - this 10 Ton jack is a pretty strong piece of equipment in his garage.

Buttons
and this is where I started getting the peculiar looks in World Market.  You have to admit that these button bells are pretty darn cute!

Map
We delivered Thanksgiving Day Baskets today for church.   We wouldn't have been able to find the right homes without our trusty google maps!

Favorite Fruit
Seriously - who doesn't like grapes?
Especially when it's on sale!

There ya have it.  My warped sense of interpretations once again.
Dream Boy is off to work again bright & early this morning & won't be home until Tuesday night.  So glad this isn't his normal routine.

Be sure to head over to Ramblings & Photos for more great interpretations from some pretty talented people!

I hope all of you have a very joyous and happy Thanksgiving.
I know I for one, have much to be thankful for again this year!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Walk In The Woods

We have a beautiful forest about a mile from our home.
It is owned by Michigan State University & is used by their forestry students for their studies.
Over the years we have frequented sometimes more, sometimes less.
With Dream Boy's current limitations he has had to give up his bike riding for now, so he's trying to find a new form of staying active.
Walking.
So this past weekend we set out with Libbi the Wonder Dog & explored the trails on the other side of the road from where we usually hike around.
Come on - let's go for a walk.




Can you smell the fresh scent of those pine trees?
Did you see the hunter walking & hear the swoosh, swoosh of the leaves as you shuffled through?
Wasn't it a refreshing little walk?
Time now for some hot chocolate....and maybe a nap?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning!
How's everybody doing today?
Me?  Well, this is my last full week of school for the rest of this month & I am really looking forward to a few days off.
The natives get restless at school after not having any time off for 3 months.
Are you drinking tea or coffee today?
Me?  I'm having coffee - straight up - black.
Very rarely do I have creamer in mine.
What about you?
K, so what have you been up to lately?
Read any good books?  Seen any good movies?  How are your kiddo's doing?  What about your job?  Do you need a break too?
Dream Boy & I are counting the days until he can fully return to his normal routine.  I must say he's become quite the cook around here.  He has this new "crusty bread" recipe & he's made at least 5 loaves in the last week.  We haven't eaten it all, he's shared some with friends.
On Saturday he made a huge stock pot of homemade tomato soup for the church soup/salad luncheon on Sunday afternoon.  We had a crock pot full left, so it's at school today to share with everyone else.
It's really quite good - just more than we will ever eat at any given time.
We went to the cheap theatre Saturday night & "Trouble With The Curve".  Other than the lighting on the screen flickering (cheap movie theatre - remember?) it was a pretty good movie.
Dream Boy went last week to renew his driver's license as it expires at the end of this month.   He filled out the questionnaire & when it asked if he's passed out in the last 6 months, he honestly said yes.  It's medically documented after all & he needs his license for work - so why try to hide it?
Well, this has opened a whole new can of worms.  He's beside himself that he won't get approval to drive for 6 months!  You see, even if the doctor fills out the paper work stating he is perfectly healthy & his fainting issue is under control, there is one person - yes - one.single.person. - in Lansing that reviews all these cases & this one.single.person can decide whether or not to give him his license later rather than sooner.  This one.single.person is not a doctor as far as we know, has never met Dream Boy in person, has never spoken with Dream Boy or his doctor, yet this one.single.person has the final say as to whether or not he get's is license now ........or later.  This one.single.person decides this from the paperwork that is filled out at the DMV by Dream Boy.
Ugh.
Libbi the Wonder Dog is loving her time with Dream Boy at home.  They go on these major hikes around the world almost every day.  At least our little world here in the midst of our little village in the midst of the southwest corner of Michigan.  He even took her swimming yesterday - the ulterior motive was to get her in the lake & give her a bath.  She didn't care - her motive was to swim!
I have been literally chained to my computer for the last week determined to finish up ALL my photo shoot editing.  
I'm halfway there.
I delivered 2 packages this weekend to customers & have two more on my counter in my studio to put final touches on.  
I have 4 shoots left to edit.  One is over half done.
Well, it's time to head off to another day at school.
I hope you have a splendid Monday & an great week!
Let me know what you're up to, I love hearing from you too!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I struggled once again with this week's prompts.
I'm still not sure I pulled it off, but I tried.
I took a long nature walk up & down many hills with the Dream Boy & the Wonder Dog to capture a few.
But it was worth it to just get out & enjoy the beautiful late fall day we are having here in Michigan!
So here we go......

Nature

Up close and personal with this towering pine tree.

Vintage or Retro
 I couldn't decide which, so you got both vintage AND retro.  These are from my camera collection.  The vintage movie camera belonged to my grandpa.  The pink retro concord instamatic belonged to my sister.  Then I edited the shot with a bit of a vintage processing.

Whimsical
I got this shot by accident - kind of.  I was playing with the settings on my camera & didn't realize I was on manual focus, so it blurred.
But then when I looked at the shot, it really made me happy.
The definition of whimsical describes my Dream Boy & Libbi the Wonder Dog to a tee!  

Cooking
 With a soup & salad luncheon at church today, Dream Boy, who is now becoming quite the chef around here with his time off, has perfected home made tomato soup.  These are the "fruits" of his labor!

Week's Best
In a world of camouflage colors right now, all brown & green, it was quite refreshing to come across these brightly colored berries.  
I love how the color pops - this shot just makes me happy!

Thanks for stopping by.  I'd love to hear what you think - so feel free to leave me your happy thoughts!

If you want to see more interpretations, be sure to head over to Ramblings & Photos for some really fun stuff!



Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lately....

.....and as always, I am a very blessed girl.
I have been so busy this fall with photography sessions and so this past week I have been glued to my computer from the moment I get home from school til I go to bed!
Good thing Dream Boy is domestic & home on medical leave.  He's been doing all the cooking this week.  He's made some pretty awesome bread, might I add.
So here's a little sneak peek of some of the shots I've been working on all week:

A fireman retires 

A senior/sister shoot

A wedding

Another wedding....

and now to clear my head & get my eyes back into focus - I think Dream Boy, Libbi the Wonder Dog & I will go for a nature walk!
Toodles!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning!
It's a bit chilly here today, how 'bout where you are?
I'm thinking our summer is over & we need to prepare for winter.
I'm so not liking this daylight savings time already though - are you?
Can't handle this darkness so early in the day.
This is Libbi the Wonder Dog - up close & personal.
I didn't have a recent shot of me & since I'm wearing the same sweater I swear I'm wearing in ever other pic I've recently taken........can't help it - I love this sweater......you get LtWD & her big, wet, brown nose!
What a weekend!  I have to go back to school just to rest up from my weekend. 
Friday I had a half day of school - waste.of.time. if you ask me.
But no one did, so we had a half day.
I had a senior photo shoot in the afternoon and then Dream Boy & I met some friends for dinner.
We came home & rented Despicable Me.  We've never seen it & Son #2 is always talking about how funny it is.
We fell asleep & missed the ending.
Saturday we knew we had friends coming over with their 3 kids in the afternoon to help rake/blow our leaves.
We have a HUGE yard - we're talking enormous.
About an hour before they were supposed to arrive, Dream Boy & I decided to start up on our top lot & start blowing them down the hill into the back yard.
He is not able to use his left arm for the next 4 weeks still, so it was a challenge for him to rake with his right arm only.
Some other friends stopped by to check up on him & we visited for a while.  They soon left & we resumed our one armed raking routine.
A short time later, said friends came back with their leaf blower, rake & tarp.  They didn't say a word - just grabbed their gear & started working.
We were speechless------and touched.
Soon after that our friends showed up with their kids in tow & they started in with their blower & rakes & tarps.
Then Son #1 & his buddy, T, showed up.
What would normally take us a full day to do with the 2 of us, took 1 1/2 hours with 11 of us.
Oh.my.
Dream Boy & I were overwhelmed with emotion.  
We are so very thankful for the love & support of such caring friends & family.
Needless to say - Dream Boy & I were both a little stiff & sore on Sunday.
Sunday we headed off to church & then shopping for my niece's 14th birthday.
I found her a cute dress & leggins ------ & a cute dress for me too.
We came home, ate lunch & both promptly took a lovely Sunday afternoon nap.
I spent an hour or so scanning in pictures for a friend who is having a birthday party for her mom this coming weekend & wants a video montage made to be playing during the party.
Then we left for the 14 year old's birthday party.
Big sister came in and asked Dream Boy & I if we would do her a favor.  
She's desperate & wouldn't ask if she weren't.
Guess Dream Boy & I are going to be shepherds for their church's Christmas Live Nativity.
I think I'm going to rewrite some lines though.  
Heh, heh, heh.
So, what were you all up to this weekend?  Anything good?
Please share - I would love to hear more from all of you.
Oh ----- have a happy Monday!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Back at it for another week.
I must admit, a few of my shots this week were not taken by me, but they were taken with my camera.
So that counts, right?
If not - then I got nothin.......

Here we go for week 43 prompts!

Wild
Libbi the Wonder Dog had a wild time with a good friend!

Welcome
We have a HUGE yard.  With Dream Boy out of commission for another 4 weeks & winter looming, it was a WELCOMED sight when so many friend's showed up on Saturday to help blow our leaves.

 Adventure
Okay - this is one that was taken with MY camera.  Son #2 had quite an adventure in Washington DC last weekend.  He saw the sites in one night, worked his sales show & ended up renting a car to drive home on Monday to beat Hurricane Sandy, who had cancelled his flight.

Vibrant
 This girl is one VIBRANT soul.  She shines from deep within and loves that way too.

Classic
 Even though we had 2 back pack blowers going, we also had the "classic" way to remove leaves.

I'm off now to rest up & soak my sore muscles from all that raking, blowing, dragging tarps, & climbing hills.
Thank you to all our friends who so selflessly gave of their time on a Saturday afternoon to help us out.  We are truly blessed.

Oh - don't forget to head over the Ramblings & Photos for more SHS Interpretations.
I am always SO inspired by the photos from everyone else - I'm sure you would be too!