June 30, 2023

Friday Night Photos #122

Usually, I try to write some sort of intro to these posts, but I'm not sure what to write today! So I'll just jump right in.

Ever since Eli's car accident, we've had to change things up around here. Basically, we gave Eli the Edge that was Jerry's car, I gave Jerry the Renegade, which was mine, and Noah has his own car that he bought. We weren't able to sue the woman who caused the accident (I talked to attorneys, and they said that is exactly the reason that Michigan switched to the "no fault" state--so that people can't sue for damages).

Whenever I needed to get away, whether from chaos in the house or anxiety in general, or whatever the reason, I used to go for a drive. A few days ago was one of those times, but then I remembered that I didn't have a car. So, despite the fact that it was pouring buckets of rain, I decided to go out for a run. It's a healthy habit that I should get into whether I have a car or not.

I actually really love running in the rain (when I'm not freezing). I wear a visor and that keeps the rain out of my face. I definitely wore the wrong pants for this (they are a thin nylon material that just made them cling like static to my legs (only it was from the rain instead of static).

In the pictures, I was trying to show just how drenched I was, but because there wasn't a dry spot on me, there really was no reference! You can definitely see how red my face is, though--for some reason, I always love to see a red face after a run. It makes me feel like I did something good for my body.

That same day, with the rainy weather, Jerry and decided to bust out the Wii, hook it up in our bedroom, and play some old school games. We played Dr. Mario (I used to LOVE playing that game with my older brother when I was a kid) and Toe Jam & Earl (from Sega). Jerry had never played Dr. Mario before and I felt bad kicking his ass when I was on level 15 at medium speed--so we started at the very easiest level on low speed; and if/when I let him win he managed to beat me, we'd move up a level. Well, we played for a few hours and only made it up to level five or so. Hahaha!

Dr. Mario (Nintendo) and Toe Jam & Earl (Sega)

As for Toe Jam & Earl, well... it's just awesome. This was another favorite when I was a kid. (I was the only kid in my friend group that had a Sega when we were young, which made me feel cool. Everyone loved to play Sonic the Hedgehog--that's an awesome game, too!) I wish it was possible to continue to download games to the Wii, but I guess they disabled that feature.

Yesterday, I was scheduled for a run and I really was procrastinating. It was super humid and the air felt thick. But I wanted to stick to the schedule so that I don't quit, and I headed out for a run-walk of 30 minutes. Actually, I had Jerry drop me off 2.5 miles from home on his way to work--that way I could just run home and not have to do a loop or out-and-back. (I ended up having to circle my block though, so I guess I'm getting a little faster.)

The whole way, it felt SO HARD. The air was so thick and I just wasn't feeling very good. I *almost* called Noah to come pick me up, but I knew I could finish. I took this picture as I was running past a long stretch of crop fields, and I kind of liked how the pic turned out. (By the way, do you think can I pull off a ring in my nose rather than the stud I've always had? I am thinking about getting a second one just behind the first as a "reward" when I get back into my happy weight range.

THEN... when I later looked through my camera roll, I found a picture that I absolutely did not intend to take. It must have happened when I was fumbling with my phone to either take a picture or skip to a podcast or something. It's such a mortifying photo that I almost didn't post it, but Jerry talked me into it. SO flattering, no? BAHAHA. Pretty sure you can see my brain through my nostrils if you zoom in closely enough.

Let's just forget that photo ever existed. (It is funny, though.)

When I got back from my run, I uploaded the running data to Garmin Connect. While I was at it, I looked at AccuWeather because I was curious what the humidity was after breathing in that thick air. Well, I was a little stunned to see this:

The air quality is "Very Unhealthy"--even healthy individuals are likely to experience difficulty breathing and throat irritation. Well, no wonder the air felt so thick! I should have checked the weather before I left. (I very rarely look at the weather app.)

The wildfires in Canada have caused really poor air quality in Detroit and a lot of the midwest. The air looks really hazy. We closed all the windows and turned on the air conditioning, which is a bummer--I love having all the windows open! Of course, this is trivial to even mention when you think of all of the Canadians being affected by the fires.

I know I posted this picture earlier this week, but I was so excited to get to play with my nieces and nephews all on the same day! (Hunter isn't pictured--he really didn't want anything to do with me! Hahaha, Laura (Jerry's sister) said that he'd just started teething so he was in a bad mood.)

When Jerry comes home, he usually finds Duck lying on me like this. And every time, I ask him to take a picture. Because who doesn't need 10,000 pictures of a cat sleeping on your neck?

By the way, you know how I mentioned that I'm not freezing cold anymore since starting the new iron supplement? Well, I don't even need to sleep under the regular comforter anymore. I sleep on top of the bed with an airy muslin blanket. It blows my mind.

I actually got out some real cards and played solitaire one evening (I played Grandma's Game--here is a link to my game tutorial from ages ago.) I've still ever only won the game one time. I'm not a fan of digital card games yet--maybe someday--but I'm still old school when it comes to playing cards.

Before Jeanie drove up north with the dogs, she asked if I could sew together a rip in one of the dog beds. The cats were SO CURIOUS about the bed, but none of them would go on it. I tossed one of the cat beds on there, and suddenly it was the happening place to hang out.

Since I gave Jerry the Renegade, I took my "Squirrel Whisperer" decal off the back window (it was a sad moment). I was going to replace it with the same Star Wars decal he had on his Edge, but I decided to surprise him with something a little different. I think he'll like it! (He hates that I gave him the Renegade, but it made the most sense, since we can't afford to buy another car right now.) It will be paid off in two months, and the house should be paid off in 14 months. When that happens, I really want Jerry to get his dream truck--and then I can have the Renegade back :)

I finally... FINALLY painted my nails (fingers and toes!). It's been, oh, maybe a year? Or maybe not that long, but probably at least nine months. I hate using gel polish like this because it pretty much destroys my nails, but it works so good--and it lasts forever. Regular polish chips off my nails within the first day because I use my hands so much. (And naturally, I forgot to take an after picture--but they're just black, which is what I usually paint them.)

Jerry was at Kroger a few days ago and he found some frozen vegan pot pies. They were on "manager's special". He bought a couple of them for us to try, and when I opened the freezer, I happened to notice the expiration date... "sell by 3/13/21". Yes, 2021! I haven't taken them back yet, but I'm definitely going to. How could they not notice that, especially when marking them down?

Jeanie sent me this picture of the dogs, who were all completely wiped out from playing. She said Walter (her special needs basset) slept from 3:30 PM to 5:30 AM without moving a muscle--haha! I'm so glad they're having fun together.

Again, I posted this earlier this week--my older brother gave Noah a "one chip challenge" and he split the chip into thirds so he, my dad, and Eli could all do it together. I wrote a commentary about it here. It was entertaining, to say the least.

This was so funny! When I started Duolingo a couple of months ago, I added the Spanish keyboard to my phone. Well, you all know how slow I am at texting, so I started using your suggestions--either voice-to-text or the sliding-typing feature (both have helped a lot!). Well on this day, Eli texted me to ask about a car that he found on Facebook Marketplace. I was putting away laundry, so I just tapped the microphone and replied. I had no idea my phone was even capable of this kind of issue, but my entire voice text was done while the Spanish keyboard was active, and it ended up looking like this! (The bottom picture is the gist of what I'd said.)

So funny! And that's all I've got for this week. Have a great weekend! xo

June 29, 2023

Three Things Thursday: Jaw Droppers!

I had this idea for Three Things Thursday in my mind for a long time, but I had a hard time coming up with a third item. I wanted to write about three things that just blew my mind when I saw them--in a good way--but not things that were very obvious or things that are recent enough that they are still on people's minds. Today, I thought of a great third one--just to be sure, I watched the YouTube video of it and naturally, got goosebumps and then the tears ;)

So, here goes... three things that gave me all the feels (the one that hit me today, the one to complete the trio, is actually listed as number two here. I did them in order of favorites (the third being my very favorite). 

1. A surprise flash mob for Oprah.

[First, I have to preface this by saying that one of my secret pipe dreams is to be involved in a flash mob--I don't care whether I'm a participant or I just witness it, I think it would be SO COOL to see.]

When the Black Eyed Peas were performing on stage outside in Chicago in 2011, there was a huge audience (over 10,000 people) there watching. So, when I watched this episode of Oprah back in the day (I loved The Oprah Winfrey Show!), each time more people got involved in the flash mob song, I got more and more goosebumps. My jaw hit the floor toward the end.

It was the most amazing sight to see over 10,000 people involved in a flash mob to surprise Oprah. I cannot even imagine the choreography and planning that went into this event. It was STUNNING and I still think about it every so often. Here is the video:

2. Watching the livestream as Eliud Kipchoge ran a sub-2:00 hour marathon.

Running a marathon in two hours would mean running under 4:34 minutes/mile for 26.2 MILES! (2:50 per km). (I've never been able to run that fast for even 10 seconds). There is a long story surrounding this event, and *technically* it didn't even count for the world record. Kipchoge does hold the world record for the marathon, but the official time is 2:01:09; his 2019 sub-2:00 was not done on a "record-eligible course", which is why it technically didn't count. He ran the "official" record-breaking 2:01:09 marathon just this past September 2022 in Berlin.

Aside from that controversy over his official time, the point is--HE RAN 26.2 MILES IN 1:59:40. Read that again. Essentially, he strategically had ALL the variables on his side that day in October 2019 in order to break 2:00 hours.

Watching the race was awesome--but the final couple of minutes, I had a big lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, waiting for them to pour down my face. The final stretch before he crossed the finish line in 1:59:40 was one of the most exciting moments I've ever witnessed. Here is the video (obviously not the entire marathon--just the final stretch):

3. When Susan Boyle auditioned for Britain's Got Talent.

I saved my most favorite for last. I've watched this countless times, and every time, it makes me ugly-cry. Susan's performance was SO unexpectedly mind-blowing--and you could tell that the entire audience, as well as the judges, were preparing for an uber-cringy disaster. It almost seemed like they were making fun of her when they asked her some questions before her audition, and I felt bad for her.

So when she finally opened her mouth and started to sing, the chills I felt *cannot be described*. I've never seen talent show judge Simon Cowell so speechless and stunned, which says a lot right there.

There really isn't more to say about this except that you have to watch it to truly understand. If it doesn't blow your mind, I'm pretty sure nothing will. With 262 MILLION views on YouTube, you know it has to be something special...

And there we go. I hope you got all the feels I did--goosebumps, tears, the throat lump, full body chills--while watching them! :)

June 28, 2023

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 109

I am absolutely obsessed with these pants (in the photo). I bought them from Goodwill a while ago, but for some reason, I thought I had to hem them so they sat in my closet. But when I tried them on a few days ago to hem them, the length was perfect. And they were SO cozy!

I think the vertical lines make them flattering, probably for most people (Jerry says my butt looks great in them, haha.) I love them so much that I looked up the company online yesterday and saw that it's actually a pretty common brand called Windsor. 

These are the Boho High-Rise Flare Pants and they have at least a dozen different prints (and some solids, but I don't think those are flattering at all, even on the models). I couldn't help but other another pair (in a different print)--I had such a hard time deciding! Anyway, the fabric is super cozy and soft. These are a size medium, for reference, but they are stretchy. (I'm not an ambassador, nor do I get anything for recommending them--I just really love them!)

Today was one of those Wednesday Weigh-Ins that I was looking forward to. When I get in a good groove with eating and exercising, even if my weight doesn't change, I feel so much better about myself. That kind of contradicts the previous sentence, but my weight almost always goes down when I know I'm eating well. Exercise helps--mentally, if nothing else.

And I actually did exercise this week! I've been sticking to my plan of the run-walk method while using my "Base Building for Beginners" running plan. The plan is all about time spent running (or walking) rather than speed. It starts with three days a week, moves on to four days, and eventually goes to five days. I'm not sure I'll do it all the way through--if I get bored and want to do speed work, I can certainly change things around.

Jerry was talking today about doing a race together, and I just don't know if I want to do one. If I do, I'll have to sign up last-minute so that I don't skip out on it. Jeanie said there is a race up north when I am going to be visiting, and it's super relaxed, so I may do that with her (no time goals or anything--just a run through a new-to-me course)

Anyway, let's get to the weigh-in...

I was at 141.6 this morning, so I'm down a pound from last week--I'm good with that! I had lost just under a pound last week, too. Thankfully, I'm heading in the right direction again. I got nervous when my weight went up six or so pounds pretty quickly recently.

I managed to change a couple of habits this week, which I think was super helpful in staying on track. First, I ate dinner at the dining room table every day, even if I was by myself. I'm not sure why I feel that's important; I think it just makes me focus more on what's going on real time (i.e. eating) rather than eating with distractions.

Secondly, I didn't snack after dinner. This is HUGE for me! I started eating a late dinner (I cook dinner at around 4:00 so Jerry can take it to work with him, but then I put mine in the fridge to eat at around 8:00 or so.) Eating dinner that late makes me full enough that I don't want to eat anymore before bed. 

And finally, I didn't eat any sweets (OR peanut butter)--which is great because now I don't crave them anymore. When I eat something sweet, it takes me DAYS to stop craving more. I absolutely love dessert, but it's way too hard to eat one small dessert and then not continue to want more and more.

Noah's birthday is in a couple of weeks and I plan to make him a cake. He requested that AH-MAZING vegan chocolate cake. That cake is definitely worth every calorie (and there are a lot!) but I know if I eat even one piece, it's going to consume my mind until it's gone. And when it's gone, I'll want more desserts!

But I'm going to take this one day at a time and hopefully I'll develop a nice long streak of good habits. This week felt great! (Physically, anyway--still dealing with mental stuff, but hopefully the new habits will help.)

June 27, 2023

Deep Thoughts With Jerry #20

What movies deserve a sequel?

Wow. This is a difficult one. There are a lot of movies out there that probably deserve sequels. People tend to hate sequels; they're notoriously considered less entertaining and not up to par with the original. Some directors have reconned some aspects of the original or even things that have happened in a series.

For example, in the new Star Trek movies J.J. Abrams created a new Star Trek universe with Chris Pine as James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock by having the original Spock (portrayed by Leonard Nimoy) travel back in time through a worm hole and then dying in the second movie. Confusing, I know.

Other directors completely disregard a movie in a franchise to sort of reboot the series. Look at the comedic, cinematic gem of Ghostbusters. The second movie, Ghostbusters 2, is widely regarded as a terrible movie and a horrible sequel. Then comes Ghostbusters: Afterlife, another gem which is now considered the sequel to the original.

The great thing about this movie is that they base the story around the family of one of the original characters and have them continue the story. I love that dynamic, family continues the story or adds onto it. It's perfect.

With that said, I think the Goonies deserves a sequel. The children of the characters embark on an adventure to save something and look for some long lost treasure. Sounds awesome. If I remember correctly, it sounds like it might actually happen. For the record, my favorite sequel of all time is Top Gun: Maverick. Chef's kiss. 

What are your biggest pet peeves?

How much time you got? LOL. I have so many. Probably the biggest one, and one that has been on my mind a lot lately, is people's impatience. More specifically, drivers' impatience. People who are impatient behind the wheel are probably the most dangerous. They're the ones who pull out in front of you when there is no one behind you. That's what happened to Eli in his accident and I think it'll forever be my biggest pet peeve from now on.

What was your first screen name or email address?

Before the internet started blowing up I had nothing. My friend's brother had multiple screen names. He used AOL and ICQ messengers (remember those?). He let me have one of his dormant usernames and it's slightly embarrassing, totally cringy, but was so me at the time. Pimpdaddyj691. I know, right? Terrible. Katie still has the little piece of paper that I wrote it down on for her to look me up later (that was in 1999).

What is your favorite useless fact?

Ha! Cap'n Crunch's real name is Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch. Use that in your next trivia night!

If you had to go without drinking coffee or tea for the rest of your life which one would you do without? 

This is easy because I really don't like tea at all. For that matter, I really don't like coffee that much either. I drink 2 cups a day of Chockful o Nuts. Everyday. It's more out of habit than anything. There have been times that I really haven't gotten a pick me up from it or anything and I question why I drink it to begin with. If I miss a day I don't get those headaches like some people do. What I do get is a feeling of forgetting to do something, if that makes any sense. It's part of a routine with me and my day just seems out of sorts when I miss something in that routine. I really should consider laying off it for a bit and seeing what side effects pop up. As it stands right now, it just makes me poop. That's it. LOL

If you danced in a flash mob what song would you want to dance to?

Easy--Party Rock Anthem from LMAFO (that's the song linked to on YouTube). If you need to move and just feel a beat that's the song to get you there. It never fails. 

Would you rather be a cat or a dog?

Cat. For sure. I'm a total cat guy. I love watching Duck run all over the house and I wish I was a cat just so I could play with him. (The other cats are cool too, obviously, but Duck is this whole other breed not literally, but you know what I mean.) His routine, the way he's so attached to Katie and gets all the love from her... Duck makes me want to be a cat. Plus, cats don't sell out the way dogs do.

What is something you think is totally overrated?

Honestly, beer hunting. It's a thing. There are people I know, and people all over the country, that pay a crapton of money for 'one-off' beers. They wait in lines, pay for tickets, travel across the country for these beers. I've had beers like this before and I don't get the hype because, if you want to get down to it, I've had better.

There were a couple of breweries in Michigan that had these sort of beers. Founders Brewing had KBS which is a bourbon barrel aged breakfast stout and Hopslam from Bells Brewing which is a double IPA. People used to wait in line for hours for these beers and pay over $20 for a 4 pack. I've had better. Way better. And there comes a point in time where an IPA starts to taste like every other IPA, even though they don't really, it just seems like it. I mean there isn't a beer out there that is worth waiting in line for and paying an outrageous price for. Well, maybe one...

I was lucky enough to be gifted Samuel Adams Utopias on two different occasions. That is worth something! It is expensive but they only bottle 30,000 of these every two years and the flavor is out of this world as well as unique. Because of the alcohol content, it drinks like a bourbon. I like to bring it out when we have friends over so everyone can try it.

You have to put your name on a list to get the beer, so you don't have to wait in line. Katie's good friend lives in Boston, home of Samuel Adams, and when Katie went to visit her, they toured the brewery. That's where they learned about Utopias. The next time her friend came to visit, she brought me a bottle! One of the best, most thoughtful gifts I've ever gotten. After I tried it and loved it, Katie put her name on the waiting list for a bottle two years in advance and surprised me with it.

Bad screenshot of a video, but this is when Katie's friend surprised me with the Utopias

Describe the most memorable meal you've eaten.

It was right after Katie broke her jaw. I had spent a couple days in the hospital with her and I didn't come home. Katie's mom had insisted that I go home, take a shower, eat, and get some rest. At that point I hadn't really thought about how much time had passed since getting a good night's sleep or even eating anything. 

Broken jaw, pre-surgery. And looking high AF on the pain meds.

Katie's mom had made pork chops and stuffing for me. It was amazing. It was apple pie filling topped with stuffing and thick pork chops. It was heaven. Before going to a plant based diet, Katie and I had tried numerous times to recreate the meal but it was never as good as it was that day. You know how sometimes the whole situation and atmosphere can make a meal taste better than ever? Yeah, that.

June 26, 2023

Noah's Brunch (and One Chip Challenge!)

Yesterday was the brunch at my parents' house to celebrate Noah's graduation. We only invited close family (per his request) and it ended up being the perfect size. Noah really enjoyed himself and he's glad he decided to let my mom have a small party for him.

I was so surprised when I got there and walked in--Luke and Riley were there! I hadn't seen them since March, when they moved to Minnesota. I was SO happy to see them, and I was glad that they weren't shy with me (I don't know why I would expect that after only a few months, but I just don't want them to forget about me!).

I'd made a few poster boards of photos of Noah... LOTS of photos.

My mom bought some little blocks that you put a photo in (kindergarten through grade 12). I used the pictures that I'd taken on the first day of school every year. (Which is kind of interesting to think that almost ALL OF THEM are on my blog! I started Runs for Cookies when Noah was only seven years old and Eli was six.)

Luke was curious about what I was doing, when setting them up, so I asked if he wanted to help me. He totally took over and put them all in order (I wrote the grade on the back of each one, because even *I* couldn't remember just by looking at them.) Luke seems so grown up, and he loved to help set up the pictures.

The picture of Noah in the yellow shirt on the bottom on the table was from preschool! It makes my heart melt. (Actually, about 90% of the photos did.)

Brian (my older brother), being Brian, bought Noah a "one chip challenge"--if you've never heard of it, it's literally ONE potato chip that comes in a box that looks like a coffin:

It's EXTREMELY hot and it's considered a "challenge" because it's not for the faint of heart (figuratively and literally). Noah wanted to split it three ways with Eli and my dad. I was kind of worried about my dad doing it, considering his health issues, but my dad has always LOVED hot peppers and I've never seen him eat one that even fazed him.

So, Eli got some milk and Noah got orange juice (he doesn't drink milk) ready to drink before they started. My dad wasn't worried about all the remedies to take away the heat, but he swears by a can of pork and beans (BAHAHAHA).

Anyway, I took a video, but it's pretty long, so I'll just post a couple of pictures.

Noah's explaining the challenge for the video, and they each have their chip ready to eat. The chips are a deep brown/purple color, and the boys later said the flavor itself was terrible.

Down the hatch it goes!

I burst out laughing here because my dad actually licked his fingers after eating it, hahaha.

Honestly, things didn't get *really* bad until about 5-10 minutes after they ate them (so the video isn't super exciting, because I stopped it at 2:30 minutes). Eli had it especially rough--he was sweating pretty badly after about two minutes and started chugging milk. Noah kept drinking orange juice--more and more and more--saying that if he just keeps drinking, he'll cool off. He finished off the carton of OJ.

Meanwhile, my dad continued to eat his brunch, hahaha...

Noah and Eli going for their drinks. Noah even tried the milk because his mouth was so hot, but he couldn't drink it (it grosses him out). Eli gulped his down and then gulped down Noah's other glass.

Next thing I knew, he was in the kitchen chugging milk from the gallon container--which he finished.

I am willing to do a LOT of things just for a challenge, but this one doesn't even appeal to me in the slightest. Having your eyes pouring tears and snot running down your face while you chug a drink only to have a bad stomachache later just doesn't sound fun. It was a little entertaining to watch them do it, though! The guys thought it was "fun".

Remember when I bought that rock/gem collection thing for Luke at a garage sale? (Maybe I didn't post about it, I can't remember.) Anyway, I grabbed it from the car to bring to him and when I got in the house, I dropped it. They went all over the place! I had NO IDEA which one belonged where. I googled and found this picture below--but I couldn't identify them. Maybe Luke will ;)

I gave Riley the Mr. Potato Head stuff that I'd gotten for her (at a garage sale as well) and we played with that for a while--she was so excited that you can make a cat, a dog, and a rabbit with little potato heads.

And for an even funner surprise, guess who else showed up? My other niece and nephew, Shelby and Hunter! I had no idea they were coming, either. Riley and Shelby are about a year and a half apart in age, and they'd never met before (Shelby and Hunter--Jerry's sister's kids--live a lot farther away, which is why we don't see them much). Riley and Shelby got along so well--it was adorable.

When I first saw Shelby, I exclaimed, "Shelby! I'm so excited you're here!" and she said, "It's ELSA." (She was wearing an Elsa dress, so naturally, I had to call her Elsa, haha). The girls played together like they'd been best friends for decades.

At one point, Riley told Shelby to cover her eyes (I don't know what they were playing) and Riley had to "lead" Shelby around the house. I was cracking up! Imagine letting a four-year old walk you around MANY obstacles while your eyes are covered. Shelby walked into several pieces of furniture, but just kept going because Riley told her to!

Luke and Riley brought out some dessert on the back deck, and when I saw the three kids sitting together, I wanted to get a picture. (I'm not sure where Hunter was, but he didn't want anything to do with me! I don't know if it was just me, or maybe his age, but hopefully it's just a phase). Brian said we should definitely make a play date for the girls again because Luke and Riley will be in Michigan a lot this summer.

When I asked if I could take their picture, Riley smiled right away...

...then immediately said, "Wait!! Let me pretend like I'm taking a bite!" She seriously couldn't be any cuter.

Luke wanted to play a game with me, so he picked out Trouble. Of course, the girls wanted to play when they saw us, so I played Trouble with the three of them. Shelby couldn't quite understand the concept of the game, but it was cute to watch her push the button. For a three-year old, the button is hard to push! She used two hands and put all of her weight into it to get the die to pop. And then she kept insisting it was a 5--regardless of what number was on there, haha. 

I spent most of the time there playing with the kiddos, but I got to see a couple of aunts and uncles that I haven't seen in a long time. Jeanie and Shawn also came into town (along with their basset hounds)! I spent some time catching up with Shawn, which was nice, and finally got to talk to Jeanie one-on-one for a little while yesterday when she had to bring some laundry over (my mom's machine happened to stop working just before the spin cycle).

Jeanie asked if Joey wanted to go back home with her and Shawn--not permanently; just a vacation with his basset cousins like he did last summer. Jeanie and Shawn sold their house in Illinois and now they live permanently on their property in northern Michigan. (It's about as far west as you can get in the upper peninsula). Joey LOVES going up there (we've taken him when we've gone as a family; and last summer, Jeanie let him stay "on vacation" with her for a couple of months. Joey gets to play with his two "cousins" on two fenced-in acres. Dog heaven!

As much as we are going to miss Joey, we decided to let him go up north (again--not permanently! Just another vacation). Jerry, the kids, and I are going up there next month, so we'll either bring him home with us then, or Jeanie said he can stay longer if we/he wants. It's hard to let him go for so long, but I know he's already having a BLAST--Jeanie said that he was super calm the whole long ride in the car, slept the whole way, but as soon as they turned onto her road, he kept trying to jump into the front seat because he was so excited. I can picture the big smile on his face.

Jeanie sent me this picture, which made me laugh. He'd barely arrived and already, he got a bully stick (I don't buy them because they smell so bad!). Thankfully, that is what dog-aunts are for ;)

June 23, 2023

Friday Night Photos #121

There are weeks where I only take one or two pictures and then there are weeks where I take what seems like six week's worth in a seven-day period. Today, I happen to have a lot of pictures! So I'll get right to it...

Joey sheds REALLY badly about twice a year, and this is one of those times. This was after using the FURminator brush. The pile of fur is almost as big as he is!

This is just when I was working on the puzzle in the garage. I have a lot more of it done now. I really like going out there and putting the puzzle together, so I may do another when this one is done. 

These next two pictures were taken on two separate occasions--Chick LOVES Joey and he does his best to hang out with Joey all the time. Chick likes to cuddle with him and lick his face. It's so sweet!

When I got back from my most recent run, I found this on the front stoop waiting for me. I miss this! Jerry used to do it all the time when I was running regularly, particularly in the summer.

I was putting away laundry in my bedroom when I glanced up and happened to see this deer directly across the street on the dike. We see a lot of wildlife, and it's not a first to see a deer in front of the house, but it's very rare!

On Mondays, Jerry has started playing softball (he's SO excited). His team needed one more player on Monday, so Jerry asked Eli. I was surprised Eli wanted to, because he didn't know anyone, but he agreed. He had NEVER thrown or hit a softball in his life, hahaha. He's a fantastic baseball player, but I was a little worried about how he'd feel playing softball. Thankfully, the guys Jerry plays with are super fun and aren't the slightest bit competitive.

Jerry wanted Eli to practice hitting for a few minutes before the game, so Jerry pitched to him (it's slow-pitch softball). Eli missed the first 10 or so pitches! I explained to him that softball is different--you have to time the arch in the pitch and he's not used to that. Once he hit it a couple of times, though, he didn't miss any of them. He'd gotten the hang of it, thankfully!

Eli did great at the game and the guys wanted to make him a regular player--so they ordered him a shirt and now he'll be playing on Mondays, too!

Some of the guys Jerry works with (not the "cool" ones) argue with him that mental illness doesn't exist. They tell him that if you feel depressed, you just have to "be happy". He knows how passionate I am about mental health, and he's told them I'm bipolar, but they just don't really believe it's a thing. So, I wore my Bipolar AF shirt--which I guess would be passive-aggressive, haha. It just really bothers when people say that mental illness doesn't exist. 

I'm still on a sewing kick. I just made a pair of bell bottoms with several denim patches and I LOVE how they turned out! I like the color of the jeans, especially with the contrast of the gussets (there is a gusset in the front and in the back to make the "bell" bigger at the bottom. I think I like them with the gusset in the front of the leg more than when I've done it in the side.

My patchy jeans--hand sewing the patches is perfect to do before bed while watching mindless TV.

I didn't buy this, but it caught my eye at Goodwill--I couldn't figure out what the pattern on the shirt was. It was a handmade shirt (made really well, actually). Once I took the close-up photo, I finally could see that they are cyclists! I think so, anyway.

We're celebrating Noah's graduation tomorrow at my parents' house and I planned to put together a picture board or two. I had no idea how many pictures I would need, so I started going through photos of Noah on my computer and favoriting several per calendar year since he was born 18 years ago. Those several added up to MANY more than I thought--305 to be exact.

Since the photos have to be 4x6 size to avoid getting cropped when printing, I had to go through and manually crop them down to a 4x6 ratio. The only problem was that I couldn't crop a lot of "extra" space out when editing on the computer (it would mess up the ratio). So, I ordered all the 4x6 pictures after digitally cropping them--I figured that once I got them, I could crop out the useless edges with scissors. Then the pictures would be much smaller and I'd be able to fit more than I thought on the poster board. (Obviously I wouldn't be able to fit anywhere near 305, but I'd rather have too many than too few to work with.) This is what 305 photos looks like:

I narrowed them down, cropped the "for sures", then started narrowing THOSE down. I asked Noah to go through them and take out any he didn't want and to add any from my "reject" pile. Then, I Tetris'ed the pictures the best I could in order to fit the most "yes" pictures on each board. I don't know how many I wound up with, but you can see there are quite a few. 

Jerry and I played a couple of new games recently. I absolutely love this one called Decipher (I found it at a garage sale). For anyone that enjoys the Wordle, you will probably like this game. (It's old, though--released in 1972!) It's kind of like a combination of Wordle and Battleship... which sounds weird, but you have to guess the other persons word by process of elimination while they are trying to guess yours. I wanted to link to the game on Amazon, but it's not there--bummer. I don't know where you can you buy it now.

This is Jerry making fun of me when I try to get a picture of our game. I lean back in my seat as far as I can, and push my head back as far as possible to try to get more in the picture. And apparently, my face looks like this, haha. We were playing a card version of Life, here. (It was okay, but not as fun as Decipher.)

And finally, here is one more sewing project. I liked the shirt on the left, but wasn't crazy about the bottom--I like shirts that have some sort of elastic or band on the bottom. As for the hoodie, I loved the fabric but I didn't like that it said ALOHA on the front. Sooooo...

I decided to combine the two! I removed the hood and the bottom band from the hoodie, and then sewed them onto the other shirt. I really love "new" shirt and it fits great!

Okay, and that's all I've got. Have a great weekend! xo

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