Friday, August 31, 2018


I hate this time of the year...
Not because of the season...
Not because of the weather...

I hate these particular memories...
I am on robot mode having to take the same steps and reliving the pain...
I hate that I get so emotional that **GASP, I am human** I make mistakes...
I get really down when others don't take ownership of their contributions and I'm not strong enough to defend myself right now...
I am wallowing in the feeling of helplessness...

In reality - New Orleans is a great place:  There is good food and wonderful people.
I have only ever ate my favorite fish here: the Black Drum Fish.
I would love to visit - some other time of the year!

The airplane ride in and out - brutal.
Sitting in the airport by myself looking at the Cheesecake Stoop - It's like it was two years ago.

Thankfully, I have a direct flight to Detroit.
I don't think I could handle the Atlanta memory on this one.

I have been trying to keep this blog lighter and not "dump" on whoever happens to stumble by...
But this is the occasion that I need a release by getting my thoughts out there...
I'm hoping the $15 drink helps too...


#FridayFinds - San Marcos

Another Toledo-based Mexican Restaurant was recommended by a few local friends...
Found out later, it was recommended specifically for their tacos...Which we don't usually order.

It probably isn't a repeat for us as there was only one burrito on the menu and it wasn't very good.
Our second dish was different (pictured below), more of a fajita - but I couldn't pronounce it, let alone remember how to type it. I tried to look up the menu, but it isn't listed on the on-line versions.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Traveling the United States

An item on my bucket list is to travel to all of the USA.
If I have this documented somewhere else, I have "misplaced" it...
I'll have to repost as I explore more or realize that I forgot a trip (my steel trap has cracks)...

As of now, I am 66% of the way done, but there are patches of the states that I have holes.

50 States:
  • Alabama (AL) - Done (work).
  • Alaska (AK) - Done (Unity Cruise).
  • Arizona (AZ) - Done (work).
  • Arkansas (AR)
  • California (CA) - Done (work).
  • Colorado (CO)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • Delaware (DE)
  • Florida (FL) - Done.  Multiple trips - including Disney World.
  • Georgia (GA) - Done.
  • Hawaii (HI)
  • Idaho (ID)
  • Illinois (IL) - Done. Tailgating in Chicago!
  • Indiana (IN) - Done.
  • Iowa (IA)
  • Kansas (KS) - Done (Unity).
  • Kentucky (KY) - Done. Lived there.
  • Louisiana (LA) - Done (work).
  • Maine (ME) - Done (fall foliage trip).
  • Maryland (MD) - Done (work)
  • Massachusetts (MA) - Done (fall foliage trip).
  • Michigan (MI) - Done. Lived there.
  • Minnesota (MN) - Done - if you count the airport lay-overs (I am!).
  • Mississippi (MS)
  • Missouri (MO) - Done.
  • Montana (MT)
  • Nebraska (NE)
  • Nevada (NV) - Done.
  • New Hampshire (NH) - Done (fall foliage trip).
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New Mexico (NM)
  • New York (NY) - Done.
  • North Carolina (NC) - Done.
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Ohio (OH) - Done. Lived there.
  • Oklahoma (OK) - Done (high school family trip).
  • Oregon (OR) - Maybe?
  • Pennsylvania (PA) - Done (Hershey's!  Gettysburg!!).
  • Rhode Island (RI) - Done (work).
  • South Carolina (SC) - Done.
  • South Dakota (SD)
  • Tennessee (TN) - Done.
  • Texas (TX) - Done.
  • Utah (UT)
  • Vermont (VT) - Done (fall foliage trip).
  • Virginia (VA) - Done.
  • Washington (WA) - Done (Unity Cruise).
  • West Virginia (WV) - Done.
  • Wisconsin (WI) - Done.
  • Wyoming (WY)
Other Jurisdictions (these aren't part of the bucket list, just tracking):
  • American Samoa
  • District of Columbia (AKA Washington DC) - Done (high school trip).
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Puerto Rico - Done (cruise).
  • Virgin Islands - Done (cruise).


Friday, August 24, 2018

#FridayFinds - Indian Creek Zoo

We finally made our way to a small, local zoo in Lambertville, Michigan: Indian Creek Zoo.
I had heard good things about it... but was waiting on a chance to take the grand babies as they all love animals.

Overall - well worth the money!
Definitely a good way to get your animal fix without the huge crowds.

There were a few monkeys who were hiding in their houses and the alligator was no where to be found (to the dismay of our alligator lover!)...

And no, the giraffe did not eat the alligator!  Gotta love little imaginations!

You can purchase carrots to feed some of the animals and it was well worth the money!
The boys had fun feeding the deer, llamas, goats, etc....
Keep the cup and you can get future refills...

(Yes, I did blacken out little faces... 
If we are friends outside of technology, hollar and I'll share the non-edited pic...)


Sunday, August 19, 2018


I go to a lot of events for my job which means that I hear a lot of speakers.
Some give me time to get caught up on my email.
Some make me note their words.
Some make me think.
Some inspire with their story and how they overcame.
Some blow it out of the water.

And then, there was Amy Purdy.
Between overcoming almost dying at 19, she now has a successful non-profit company that helps others (Adaptive Action Sports), won three Olympic medals and figured out what feet were needed for what dance (harder than you think) to get second place on Dancing with the Stars...

I truly enjoyed hearing her story.
And I will think twice before I say that I can't do something...


Friday, August 17, 2018

#FridayFinds - Avon Donuts

A coworker "heard" that one of the Top 5 donuts in the USA was located in SE Michigan.
(Don't ask me where or who or how...)

I wouldn't really say that it is close as he drove an hour ONE WAY to get them for work...

They were so good that they were gone before I could get a picture of actual donuts...
I had a glazed donut with apple topping (FYI: I normally don't care for glazed).
But I did grab a pic of the box.

I don't know that I am willing to drive 1.5 hours from my house to get them...
But if you are anywhere near Pontiac, I would say that it would be worth the stop!


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Our Forest

I absolutely love our land.
I love the trees...
I love the privacy...
I love the peacefulness...

The leaves have a lot to be desired...
The clean-up after a big storm - yep, picture worthy...

Definitely from one of our walnut trees...
How do I know, you ask?
We found about a hundred walnuts when we moved the branch...


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Fun Popsicles

We bought some molds awhile back, but hadn't had a chance to try them...
Until now.

Meet the dinosaur pudding popsicles.
Turned out pretty good, though the T-Rex's picture (the second one) has a lot to be desired!

I think that I am going to try juice in them on the next visit and see how the boys like those.


Friday, August 10, 2018

#FridayFinds - Mr. G's Take 2

If you missed it - I have mentioned Mr. G's Barn before:

I wanted to add a few more specialty sundaes that we have tried...

Hot Fudge Cake:

P.B. Cup Treat:
 Apple Dumpling (this time with the nuts):


I will admit that we frequent Mr. G's Barn so much, that it is now known as "G's" in our house...
We have also moved from the large sundaes to the small ones...


Thursday, August 09, 2018

Bucket List Item

I decided that it would be kewl to see all five of the Great Lakes.

A little information for those who may be interested (and my reference):
The "Great Lakes of North America" are a series of freshwater lakes that connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Saint Lawrence River. They are primarily on the Canada-United States Border (all except Lake Michigan - which is entirely in the USA).
They are the largest group of freshwater lakes by total area (94,250 square miles) and second largest by total volume (21% of the world's surface fresh water). 
Want to know more?  Click here...

I have been to Lake Erie a few times, but last month we took the grand babies for their first trip.
Since we found a beach that is only 20 minutes from our house, I expect that I'll be seeing this particular Great Lake often.

I have plans to see Lake Michigan and Lake Huron / the bottom tip of Lake Superior... 
Just not sure which one will come first and when.
Lake Ontario is going to be the tricky one!

(I didn't create the picture above, just "borrowed" it for the visual..)


Monday, August 06, 2018

Outdoor Remodeling

We have been in Michigan now for about a year...
Home-owners since the end of July and residents since the end of August...

We have been SLOWLY working on the yard to get it where we want.

It's been a lot of work (OB came up a week to help us get some of it done) and we still have a lot to go!

But - there are bushes/low hanging limbs that are no more...

A deck is a much lighter gray than we realized...

 A lily flower bed that makes me very happy...

 A new fire pit that is still a work in progress (I'll post about it again when it's done!)...

And so much more to do...
Hoping that OB might find his way back up north to help a bit more as I am about 60% on the road this month...
I really don't want to wait until next spring to get more done!


Sunday, August 05, 2018

Beauty in Nature

I must admit that I can't do all nighters like I used to...
It takes a lot more to do it and even more to recover...

Recently, we found ourselves having to do one for a pool tournament...
I figured, if I was going to be up all night - at least, I could enjoy the sunrise.

This is how my Galaxy took the picture. 
I did not filter/alter it (if I did - I didn't realize that I was doing it!).


Friday, August 03, 2018

#Friday Finds - Takoi (Downtown Detroit)

I have been slacking a bit with some #FridayFinds...
But now that I have figured out how to get my pictures off of my phone (long story and a recent issue), I am trying to get caught up.

Granted, caught up is just a few weeks as we are hitting a rut going to the same places over and over - but never fear, there is a plan to explore in the near future!

This find is technically "Around Town" as it is about an hour from us...
But, I was in Detroit for a work event, so I was technically "Travel"ing...

A group of us went to Takoi for dinner.

It is "family style", as in you order a lot of plates and share everything...
Warning - there are a lot of pictures...
And as this was over a month ago, I don't remember any of the names.
I can tell you that due .to food restrictions of the group: we didn't order anything with pork or mushrooms in any of the dishes.

Some type of tea:


Some type of lettuce wrap (a little spicy, but bearable):

Fried Rice (I think):

Forgot to grab pictures before we dug in on a few:

Lamb (I think):


Ice Cream Dessert (Full disclosure - I didn't try as it had coconut on it):

Overall, I loved the food!
There was one dish that, even though we ordered everything mild (for whimps like me) - it was too spicey.  In fact, no one took seconds on it (I think it was the first food picture, but not 100% sure).

Definitely worth googling and visiting if you are in the area.


Thursday, August 02, 2018

I Blinked...

I blinked and July was gone.
Not sure what happened or where the time went.

We did have a lot of visitors...
OB came up for a week and helped us get some yard work done.
My mom and stepdad came up for a weekend.
The grand babies came for a long weekend (and didn't want to leave)...

OK - that may be where July went!
August won't be much better as I'll be on the road A LOT...
Luckily, I am getting caught up on posts about things that happened in July to publish throughout the August...