My Trip To Sassy Cat Hill

I can hardly believe that a  week ago yesterday I completed my 8th year of BSF and was taken to the airport by my friend Joni. Just before I had left the house that morning, Honey surprised me with a going away treat:

I think he loves me.

After the plane landed and we started all of the eating and the shopping, we finally arrived at Sassy Cat Hill:

Aptly named. The Schmenkmans have 8. And they are sassy.

Here is my haul. It’s hard to believe it all fit in one fifty pound bag and a carry-on. I didn’t buy as much as usual, cause I really can’t shop for the kids too much anymore. They need to try things on. Or they might not like it. So they have to shop here. I seemed to be able to find things to purchase. For me. I seemed to have great luck finding tops!  But NO shoes, and that is very strange indeed. Also a few things for Honey. And some house type things.

 I also had to leave my big honking suitcase at Schmenky’s. I will never fly with it again. It weighs 15 lbs all by itself!! Can you imagine? And inside it is a few things that were too heavy to bring home at this time. So they will bring the whole thing to me in August when they come up for a family wedding. I can wait for those things.

We had a great time doing everything we did. From the morning lounging, that I do not get to do at home, to the bargain hunting, to the beading, listening to Cyndi Lauper and The B52’s while doing our hair, to enjoying smoothies. That’s the beauty of old friends. Everything is fun cause you are just glad to be together doing it!

Here are some pictures of things around Mrs. Schmenkmans house:

With her favorite rooster, Mr Kowalski. I actually touched him! I was a little a-feared that he would peck me. She assured me that he wouldn’t. He didn’t. At this time her husband was with us. They were petting all of the stuff under his beak, the red and white stuff. And commenting on how soft it was. I did NOT touch those parts. I touched his back. Behind the beak part.

Miss Poppet getting a spanking. She is one of those rare spanking kitties. She likes it. And enjoys nothing better than napping in the trough of your legs.

The hill going down the back of her yard to the chicken coop. She made it all perty-ful. She gave me grief for taking this picture of her backside, but you know , personally, I think she looks right skinny!

She had a lot of helpers  when she was getting the toy “mousies” out from under the book case. And those sassy cats came out of the woodwork for that!

She made this pond. Did I mention she can do almost anything? She is a Wonder-Dog!

Capri Kel and Capri Lis. Met working at a salon. Friends for 20 years. Priceless.

The Lion King, himself. AKA Kismet.

Schnenky’s most favorite purchase. This is on the wall going down her stairs. $ 59.00 from Homegoods. She made a happy sound every time she walked by.

Poppet, Kibbles and Kubota getting their “mousies”. Evidently Bitsy turned her nose up and walked away.

Some of her pretty yard.

Another of my buddy Poppet. I am her once a year best friend. Until the next visitor comes along. This looks like a “Where I stand Sunday” post, doesn’t it Deb?

I love me some Schmenky!

It’s good to be home, but as usual, I hit the ground running. And for some reason I have a horrific headache that is keeping my eyes at half mast. I suppose its possible that it could be weather related. Or sugar withdrawal. Thanks again Capri L for an awesome, scrum-tru-lescent time!


Back to Life, Back to Reality…

Well, this was FUN! Five and 1/2 days of shopping, eating, having my hair professionally  colored and having no responsibilities? I highly  recommend it. For a short time, it is ever so pleasant.

But then, something always happens. And always about the last day. I start to really miss my People.

 I had a conversation with 3 out of 4 of them this afternoon when Schmenky and I were trying out the new Panera’s in the neighboring town. We talked on the cell about nothing much, but I realized that I liked  talking to them about nothing much. Soon we will be face to face, talking about nothing much. AND I will get to hug their necks!

I had big plans to post while I was here, but my camera didn’t load on her computer. I’m sure it is something anyone else would know how to fix. But that someone else would not be me. So I will just wait until I get home to show you all the spoils. And the other things.

Mrs. Schmenkman and I have had a splendiferous time, as we always do. And in her honor, I will now post only 10 of her finer qualities:

1. She has one of the greenest thumbs I know

2. She has a heart for ALL of God’s creatures, great and small. Even the ICKY things. I have only heard her complain about one. She doesn’t understand why He made the Japanese Beetle. She thinks that may have been a mistake,

3. She has the world famous  Kolar-Packing Gene. They can pack anything  in anything.

4. We saw on TV tonight that they were discussing Big Brown’s cracked hoof, and proceeded to talk to his hoof expert . Oh Yes, she is also a hoof expert , who knew?

5. Best smoothie maker.

6. Can do almost anything  she attempts.

7. If you tell her you are looking for something while shopping, she can usually  find it for you. Except this year when I asked her what she  was looking for, she said kitchen chairs and a new mirror for the guest bath. Of which she found neither. Puzzling.

8. Her extreme wisdom in her choice of husbands. Mr Schmenkman is a keeper! We both did very well in that area, October 1985 was a good year to marry, don’t ya think?

9. She LOVES her kitty-witty-boolie woolies!!!!!!! All EIGHT of them.

10. She makes me feel  like a sister, even though she is a sister-hog and doesn’t even need me. And that just makes me love her all the more.

Tomorrow Mrs. Schmenkman will take me to the airport. With all of my purchases and memories of another wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. And my People magazine.

It will not be quite  as hard as usual to say goodbye, because I know she will be coming to Michigan in August for her nieces wedding. And we Capri’s are talking about a Capri Weekend Extravaganza sometime before winter rolls around. That certainly makes the parting easier. Not easy, but easier.

Thanks so much for having me Schmenk !

I’m Out of Here

After all the sharing today at BSF, I am going to the airport. And in a few short hours the plane will land in Virginia, and the fun will begin.

 I have my ride coming to pick me up, my luggage, my CHAI, my ticket and my people magazine. It is the perfect length for the flight. So I will be well educated on all of the ins and outs of Jenna Bush’s wedding and will be able to speak authoritatively.

I’ll post I’ll if I’m able. Probably to show you all the great bargains Schmenky and I will be finding. And all her pretties around her house.

And off I go! Come get me Mrs. Schmenkman!

Honey at 51

Last year Honey hit the BIG 50. It hardly seems possible that I could be married to such an old person. He doesn’t seem  old, unless you count his inability to actually remember  what it was like to be a teenager. Something I remind  him of when dealing with our teenagers. And at times  he has a little bit of the impatient/cranky/grouchy old man thing going on. He, of course, vehemently disagrees with me that he has changed at all.  So maybe he has always had that going on. But a lot of the time he is an old softie. Especially where his girls are concerned. Just a big old hunk-o-Honey.

Honey and I met when I was 19 (that’s what he tells me anyway), so he would have been 24. The first time I remember meeting him he was wearing a bunny suit, so I am assuming it was at Easter time. I was with Suzanne Suzanna Danna and she’s the one who told me we had met him before. He gave us jelly beans. The next time I met him, it was always, “Oh yeah, it’s Honey, the one who wore the bunny suit”. So he definitely made an impression on me. 

We were friends for several years. Suzie and I, and Honey and his friend Peter. We ate out together, danced together, went to Cedar Pointe together and laughed together. A lot. They were very entertaining guys!  When he told me he liked me, I was a little afraid it would ruin things. After all, we had so much fun! But it all worked out for the best. At least that’s my side of the story, who knows what he would say!

When I think back over our years together, I realize one thing with a certainty. I know  I married the right guy. If I ever made one wise decision in my entire life, it was him. And I am so thankful that God gave him to us to love. Cause I could not imagine  living this life without him.

So Happy Birthday to Honey!

Due To Be Parolled

We just got the good news today. The Grandma will be released from Rehab jail on Thursday. Its a good thing too, cause they are wearing her out with all the activities. Between the movies, petting all the dogs, playing Bingo, chair dancing and salsa making, she really just needs a break. And then she has the ice cream social tomorrow. I don’t know how she will fit it all in. She will be glad to get home so she can catch a nap.

Loving (and Despising) the Short Haired Dog

There will be no more shots of Katie Katherine’s new do after this. I promise. But isn’t she so cute?  She is never happier than when she is in her Mama’s lap.

But she is at the moment, my LEAST favorite pet. I just let her out to tinkle and I found her eating a dead rabbit.  I dumped her in the laundry tub so Ab could give her a bath. I think she was pulling out fur and disinfecting her mouth in there too. As if that wasn’t gross enough, I had to dispose of the carcass pieces so she wouldn’t get into it again. So I picked it up (with a bag, of course!) and carried it back to the field, which was one of the nastiest things I’ve had to do in a long time. It stunk. I hope she doesn’t get sick from eating it. Dumb Dog.


Busted Out of Rehab

It wasn’t like the “Shawshank Redemption” kind of escape, but she DID escape. For the day. Til 9:30 at night!!!!!!!

The Grandma decided on Saturday that she could handle an outing from the Rehab Health facility where she has been for the past week, so I nabbed her at around 11:30. I felt bad leaving her cellmate in the slammer. I think she totally would have joined us. But it wasn’t protocol.

We casually sauntered out the front door, where I left her innocently sitting at a wrought iron table. I then pulled the get-away vehicle up to the circle drive, pushed her into the van, and threw the walker in the back and we sped off down the road. Cackling at our cleverness.

That sounds so much more dangerous than; I signed her out at the desk and then we left. Don’t ya think?

She had a full day over here. I don’t think she napped at all. She began her “sprung” day with a manicure from The Mousey. It included a hand massage. I would like to be next please!

After this, I had The Saint coming over for a haircut and highlight. So we set her in front of the computer so she could play her favorite computer game. Bookworm. She played for an hour and when the free download clicked off, she couldn’t believe it was over! Just when she and Mouse we going to get the bonus word too.

She then joined The Saint and I for a cup of tea in the kitchen. When we went back to finish off the hairdo, The Grandma went to lay on the couch and watch one of her favorite things, “The Hallmark Channel”.

After The Saint was sufficiently beautified, it was The Grandma’s turn. She needed a haircut when she returned from Florida 3 weeks ago. She is now ready to go to Little Goomba’s baby dedication next Saturday.

We cut her in the laundry room, cause we weren’t sure if she could get back up the stairs.

Then I slaved and toiled over a hot stove to whip up dinner. It was spaghetti. With jar sauce. Cause Honey wasn’t there. He would NEVER eat jar sauce. But the kids and I had it for the first time last year when Honey was in Japan. Did I ever mention he was gone for the entire  month of June?  And every time I make it, the kids say it is one of their favorite dinners. Works for me.

After dinner we had a scrum-tru-lescent  strawberry sundae.

The Guy’s were home by then, so they joined us. They had been down to Detroit to see the Red Wings lose at Joe Louis Arena. If they had won, they would have won the Campbell Cup. Don’t I sound like I know what I am talking about? I totally don’t. I don’t even know who they played. And when The Boy showed me the shirt he bought, I asked who that guy was, as I had never heard of him. He said only one of their best players ! He said I was pathetic.

I told him to get that shirt away from me cause it stunk. I don’t even know that smell. I think the cats could smell it too.

He then offered me $5 bucks if I could name 5 Red Wings. I thought maybe I could, but then he screwed me up by saying they had to be on the team right now.  So I was eliminated. But guess who rattled them off??? THE GRANDMA! I could tell The Boy was impressed.  She then really impressed him by saying when she was 14 or so, she lived across the street from hockey players. And one of them was Terry Sawchuck. That obviously was impressive to my Guys, as they actually knew who this was. Cause that was  around 60 years ago.

She also regaled the Guys with stories from her youth about how they lived down the street from the old Olympia Arena, and her brother, Ummel Bob, would hang around down there to see if anyone would offer him free tickets. Which, I guess, happened a lot. So, then he would run home and get her and off they would go. She also confessed that they liked it best when the Wings played a Canadian team. Because they were “scrappier” and they knew there would probably be a fight. She said they really liked the fighting. Well, you can imagine how this caused The Boy to see his Grandma in a whole new light. Kind of like a golden haze , with occasional glints of sunlight off her halo. He was IMPRESSED.

We then all sat around preparing for next weekends release of “Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull” by watching a marathon of old Indi movies. The one we caught was “The Temple of Doom”. When it was over, The Grandma guessed she ought to go back to the pokey.

She was given a  most enthusiastic goodbye from Katie, who adores The Grandma.

And then we took her back to finish her time. We are hoping she will be paroled this week. It she isn’t, she’s gonna start being a rebellious inmate.  We hope she enjoyed her stay as much as we enjoyed having her!


The Shearing of the Pup

I think I have mentioned that Katie, the dog, gets her haircut when we can no longer stand looking at her. She has been at that stage for over a month now. The Ab-Cat and I  agreed that this was the skankiest she has been in a  l-o-n-g time. And she stunk. So, all in all, she was a pitiful pup.

I wish I would have thought to have taken a before shot . I had already started on her back and neck when an idea  came to me. This was my great idea; start in areas that don’t freak her out.

I believe I also may have mentioned that it is a chore to clip her. That would be the understatement of the year. When those clippers get near her head and paws she turns in to a 100 pound beast. And then she fights me tooth ( really, she only has about 1 tooth) and nail, until she wears herself out, and then I can finish the job. I have started on the paws, note the under-my-arm choke hold below.

I had decided to do it outside on the patio. And it was warmer out there than I thought. But that actually worked in my favor. Cause all the heat and panting and choking wore her out quicker. It still took forever. I think I even got sunburned.

This is my favorite. She is getting a little wild looking at this point.

Her tongue was huge!

And the final insult to her horrid day?  She got her nails cut. She was worn out by this time. It was the easiest time I have ever done it.

I was totally covered in stinky dog fur and her spit.

After the shearing, Ab took her in for a bath and a blow dry. She was bushed for the rest of the day.

NOW she can sit next to us on the couch. We have all decided that we like her SO much better shorn.

Special thanks to The Ab-Cat for her most excellent pictures!

The Excitement, It Is A Rising

In 6 days I will get on a plane and do something very FUN.

Thirteen years ago, for Mother’s Day, Honey decided to surprise me with a trip to visit Mrs. Schmenkman. She lived in North Carolina at the time. And I have done this every Memorial Day Weekend ever since. Several times over the years, Honey has questioned me as to HOW his thoughtful gift turned into an annual occurrence. I always just assume he is joking me, and laugh it off. Cause there is no turning back now. It is a MHH. That would be Mental Health Holiday. Complete with Dietary and Retail Therapy. So write that off on your taxes! It is now written into my contract .

The first two years I went, he made me take Muggins Q. Mouse. She was 9 months old the first time, and he wanted to go somewhere fun with The Girl and The Boy. And evidentally that fun didn’t involve diaper changes. And she was also in the throes of a 4 month bout of constant ear infections that was finally resolved when they put tubes in her ears. The third year, he was confident enough in his three child wrangling-parenting skills to allow me to leave her behind. She was also potty trained by then. I just now made that connection. Since then, I have been on my own.

Mrs. Schmenkman has now lived in Virginia for many years. She lives with her husband, Mr. Schmenkman,  5 cats, 2 turtles, some neighborhood dog and many chickens and a few roosters. She has a beautiful home and gardens exquisitely. And did I mention that I would be there in 6 days?? For 5 glorious days?? I’m telling you, the excitement is starting to bubble over!

Schmenky will pick me up at the airport, and we will go for lunch at this yummy restaurant she and her Honey discovered. And they have pecan pie there. The talking has begun by then, followed in quick succession by the shopping. Because in the very same strip mall as the restaurant, there is a Tuesday Morning, a Marshall’s and a Ross Dress for Less.  Let the good times ROLL.

I am ever so thankful to Honey for continuing this extravaganza for all these years. He is gracious to me like that. I also know that he enjoys it in a completely different way. He gets to spend the entire weekend doing fun things with the kids without me there mucking up the works by adding my two cents. They already have big plans that involve seeing the new Indiana Jones movie, making pizza and having an ice cream making contest.  Of course they will also open the pool, which is not really fun, but he has convinced them that this one big chore will be just a blip on the screen compared to the oceans of fun they will have. They look forward to the weekend as well. And they are all SO glad to see me when I return, as I am to see them. So really, it is a win-win situation all around.

But the real unsung  HERO in all of this is Mr. Schmenkman. Because all he gets out of the deal is no dinners (unless you count our leftover restaurant food), no quiet discussions with his bride, having to talk to me in the morning, his entire Holiday weekend left to his own devices, having to watch his sporting events upstairs and us descending on his home every evening like locusts. Carrying scores of shopping bags. He is a big old Hunk-o-Honey. A moment of silent respect for the Cam-ster.

I am not packed. I have not even brought the suitcase upstairs. I usually pack one suitcase inside the other in anticipation of all the bargains I will be purchasing. And this year I have the added bonus  of knowing that Schmenky will be travelling up here this summer. And you know what that means! I could actually buy something that wouldn’t fit into my suitcase!

Oh, I am excited indeed. Look out Virginia retailers, we are a coming!


Beading a Story

Last Friday my friend, Jip the Farm Dog, asked if I could help her out with a little project. She wanted to make bracelets with her group of 11 year old Pioneer Girls. I have been hearing about these girls all year. I hear they are quite a handful.

We went all over  the Metro Detroit area, at least 4 places, looking for fish. They were crucial to the project. The rest of it came together nicely. Our first stop had been to Chilli’s to look at our friend Diana’s bracelet. She didn’t have it on that day. So she wrote out the story and told us EXACTLY what to get. Once we got back to the house, we had an assembly line going.

That’s Jip’s paw.


Here was the finished result. Sorry it is blurry. I’ll bet if I had the Canon Rebel X Something, it wouldn’t be.

 It starts with the star, because that is how Jesus’ story starts. Then 3 purple beads for the 3 Wise Men. Purple for royalty. Next is a crown, because they brought gifts for a King. Then 3 wooden beads because Jesus was a carpenter. Then the FISH, as He was a fisher of men! I told you it was crucial. Followed by 12 green Disciples, 3 black for our sin, 3 red for His shed blood, 3 white for our sins washed white as snow, 3 pearl for the pearly gates, 3 blue, The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Add a heart for His love, and a cross for the way He took our punishment, ask for and receive, forgiveness.

And I know that Jip would say that if just one of those girls got that message, than the whole year would have been MORE than worth it.

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