Friday, December 26, 2014

So…Merry Day After Christmas!

Sunny Clear Skies We survived the holidays!  No minor feat, by the way.   After much lamentation over the weather,  Clear Dry Roads! Michigan  did not fail to disappoint to disappoint.  Yep!   Totally Clear Roads!   Sunshine!   Warm weather.  Now You might be wondering, “How is this bad?”   How!?   It makes ME look bad after all that muttering about the Michigan Weather.   No nothing I will ever say about it will be taken seriously.   And Michigan KNEW this!  Conspired with Indiana, Chicago, and the weather channel to ruin my bid for political office one day.  A Vast North Wing Conspiracy!


Cheryl Behind the wheel! That being said,  I was pleased with the results of their campaign of defamation.   The results being Clear roads, Sunshine, and Warm Weather.  In the end,  we were able to make perhaps the best time ever to the Families house.   All without fear of Physical pain, deformity,  Totally Smooth Sailing!  Death!  And, Most importantly! the marring of the Subaru! It helped that Cheryl drove for part of the leg.   That helped make it smooth sailing!

Dinner's over.  But the Chatting Continues We ate too much!  Well, I ate too much.   It is the Holidays after all!   My goal now is to reign my self in and try to get back on track.   Hopefully back to Pre-Holiday levels. 

Rob having too much Christmas Julie and Mike had their cats over!   Quite the celebrities!   Rob is the grey and white one.    We is probably the most friendly, but does not like to be held.   But he loves posing and receiving pets!


Stanly hiding under the tableStanly is a rescue cat that looks like a giant long hair gerbil.  He has no tail!   Adding to the cosplay! He is smaller ( under all that fur) and slightly more shy.   However,  ( I’m bragging here) I was able to get him to come and let me pet him.   He liked to play with the toys…..Cats love it when you play with them….


celebrity cat? Rob "working it" for Andy. Andy was fascinated with Rob!  And took about a million pics of him,  convinced he could be the next “Grumpy Cat”.  

In the end,  I was caught up as well, want tried to take pictures of Rob….But he refused to sit still for me.  


Cheryl makes sure the trunk is loaded "properly"So on the return trip,  As mentioned before,  This is PROOF she is the BEST WIFE EVER!I was going to make this an expedition for gather Honey Brown Beer!   In that case:   The Mission was a success!

 See!  Totally Organized with Room to spare   I told the people at Honey Brown that I was going to feel like a frat boy purchasing a year’s supply of beer at once so i can bring it back to Iowa.   Room for EVEN MORE BEER! From Michigan. Well…..I did!   I could have bought more…and Cheryl even urged me to!  ( What a GREAT WIFE!) But I left at least three cases on the shelves.   Luckily, no one bothered me with my “unusual” purchase…..Maybe it is not as unusual as I think there in Michigan.  But it WAS unusual for me.

 Perhaps if MIchigan could have started with Alcohol, they would have survived that recession better. big-three-auto-manufacturersWe also Purchased a Michigan Beer and Michigan Wine….to perhaps blog about later.   I guess Michigan has Swapped the Auto Industry for the Micro-Beer industry.   Not exactly what Granholm wanted, I’m sure.   She Probably wanted more “techie” industry, because that was “cleaner, and cooler” that the Big Three, But ended Up a state filled with what looks like unemployed alcoholics!  With Michigan looking  for ways to survive the harsh economic climate.  Ah well,   It’s not really my worries anymore…..But the Beer, I’m sure, Will taste Great!

Return trip, Clear skies again! The Return trip was uneventful as well,  We stopped by IKEA briefly, and safely arrived home about 2 hours ago.  Iowa Border!  Almost there!  Temp:  54 Degrees! I’m not sure what we have planned for tomorrow….most likely we have plans for “no plans” !

 keep-calm-youre-finally-homeI feel like I can finally relax and the hustle andDoggies say: Merry Christmas! bustle of Christmas is finally over.    I hope everyone else was able to survive the holidays intact.   And ultimately,   Had a good one with friends and family!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Coffee Unlike Any You Have Experienced Before!

Ooohhh!  So Sleek and Shiny! Or so the reviews say.   Today, My Christmas Present arrived!  Cheryl ordered me one of the best, most modern looking coffee makers the Internet had to offer.   ( That was still within our price range) Yep,   This happens with good Old MR. Coffee! It is probably true that the existing coffee maker was just fine, but it was cheap and would  most likely have had to be replaced anyway in a few years.  Not to mention it had a few flaws that irritated me.  Bubble Bubble! One flaw is that it was difficult to see all of the parts….and thus,  If you left out something,    Say….the POT or the FILTER!  There was no way to tell until the coffee was spilling out over your counter.   The Same goes for the “drip stopper”   It never worked and every time I pulled the pot out of the holder,   It would leave a lovely pool of coffee on the warmer plate.  So….I will not miss that coffee maker.

Behold!   Cheryl’s Idea of Modern Looking Coffee Makers!Modern?   Compared to the Prohibiton Days?   




Coffee, The Chemistry Style It looks more like one of those condenser apparatus distillation-setupmodules that we got to play around with in Chemistry 210. 

( Remember?   Where you created Banana and peppermint smells with nothing more than alcohol?) I guess the set up allows the water to stay at a constant temp as it drips down through the coffee grounds.    You can also adjust the filtration speed to allow for the “most flavor” to be pulled out of the grounds.  

This, Along with my new coffee grinder allows me to have the freshest ground coffee to create the most perfect cup of coffee. 

 Coffee at the Perfect temp? Well,  I’m not really a coinsurer.  Coffee at the Perfect Taste?However,  I do like coffee that tastes good.  Hmmm,  Give the notes a chance to settle.It helps a bit that the Caffeine doubles when you have  finely ground coffee in a coffee maker that squeezes the most out of it.    I’m sure I will be wired the rest of the night!With the added Cafeine...ME Likey!

Cheryl also added a set of European coffee mugs.   I guess they care called “Irish Cream Coffee mugs.”   I have yet to give them a try with some Baileys. Baileys...the Alchol kind. I still have all of my flavors at the ready for so many combinations. Yum!

New Grinder with New Irish Cream Cups! In the mean time,  We are setting out for Michigan.  I still do not trust the weather. Party Mix fixin's   I would be amazed if the Christmas was a green one this year.   Cheryl loves shiny things! Cheryl is ready for some last minute backing and party mix assembly.   Nothing makes her as happy as when she is making treats.

So Merry Christmas!  I hope everyone has a wonderful one, and if you are traveling, as we are, Good Luck!  And I hope you can return the favor…as I’m sure we will need it.  

Oh Michigan,   Why Must I continue to visit you? As I write this,  Cheryl has informed me that INDEED!   Michigan is cranking out the winter storm warning and it is meant to last all through the night!   YEAH Michigan!   You Couldn’t POSSIBLY wait two days, Could you?   See,   I don’t feel bad for hating Michigan,  It hates me back just fine. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Ebola! The Perfect Gift for the Holidays?

 zp_centers_for_disease_control_ll_120613_wg That may be correct!   To the Right Person, or coarse.   And that “Right Person”  happens to be our sister-in-law.   Now wait!   I know what you are thinking…( or Probably are thinking) “What kind of person wants Ebola ( the virus) for Christmas?” 

Let me explain:   You see,   our sister-in-law happens to be in the health care business.   thQ63S2NN5 And she is a little weird.  But in a good way, I assure you.   Personally, I think EVERY one who is a health care professional is a little weird as a starting out point!   Seriously!   Who wants to see and treat a bunch of Hypochondriacs on a daily basis?   Well,   to each their own.    We all have our preferred career choice.

But our sister-in-law (I’ll avoid her real name to protect her..and myself….in the event she ever reads this…)  Is not bothered by blood, brains, broken bones, or any other “faint worthy” items that the human body can produce.   ( See!   Weird!) center_disease_control_epidemic_1135875  Except, vomit and human excrement…..Ok,   I can understand that.   One of my BIGGEST arguments against babies is the “Bibs and Diapers” argument.

In addition to blood ( Eww,  Cringe! ) She also is enchanted with viruses and bacterial infections.   You would think that this is the perfect person to work for the Center for Disease Control.   But alas,  she works at a simple clinic somewhere in Grand Rapids.   And although it is her dream to see an actual case of an actual media celebrity virus….she is usually resigned to see all the people who “think” they have the latest disease they heard about on the evening news.  ebolaplushtoyproductpicture_featured

Ok,  With that elaborate back story,    Hopefully you will understand that this person is particularly difficult to shop for for the holidays.  BEHOLD!   The Ebola Virus Plushie!  

calamitiesdolls5 This is great!  Not only is it harmless, but it is also much cuter than the real thing!  ( And much less deadly)   I guess there are an entire group of viruses and bacteria plush toys out there for this kind of person.   My favorite is the E. coli.  510BL7O91JL They look like little jellyfish! ( Awwww…)  And besides,  E.coli gets a bad rap because it actually resides within us all and usually does it’s job without harming anyone.  

microbios_gigantes So there is it!  Next time you want to give the gift that keeps on giving….but has fewer trips to pharmacy.   Give the gift of Giant Microbes!  ( not the little ones mind you!)   I just know you can’t wait to find out what disease each of this guys represent.  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

It’s A Wrap!

its a wrap sign And that is all she wrote!   Packing up the last stockingThe Stocking season officially comes to a close tonight as   Cheryl has turned off the Etsy shop and will refuse to take anymore orders.   If that sounds a little….mmm hostile…..Then blame the exhaustion and the fact that we had to remake a custom order of three cats and are planning on overnight ship them to the person who is getting “nervous” because her items have not arrived yet.   This happens every year….It should be expected.   But for some reason,   this year has played out slightly different and Cheryl is ready to be done with it.

Working long hours…and then working for diminished returns…and then ultimately working for FREE….tends to zap your energy.Printing the last label 

That being said…and my limited means of vented frustration….This was probably a typical year.  putting it all together in a blue envelope We will,   after a brief rest and recovery segment, evaluate the final numbers and what, if any, changes need to be made.   Usually we are “happy” at this time and can sit back and look at our bank account as the testement to our hard work.  This year….well it is not that simple. 


Perhaps it was all those custom dogs and cats.   Dogs and Cats....a No No! We were not planning on doing custom ANYTHING!   But somehow the word got out that we would do anything anyone wanted and have it all done before Christmas.   We are not sure how that happened, but we will need to fix ( or HIGHLY DISCOURAGE)No New Ideas! that in the future.

In the mean time, Meanwhile-In-Michigan   We are planning a trip to Michigan for family reason.   Hopefully the weather will cooperate this time and not mess with my last remaining nerve.WorldAccordingToMichigan   Michigan loves to remind me that I’m no longer welcome there.   The feeling is mutual…but there are third parties that do not understand…and, try as I must,  I am unable to explain the relationship between myself and a place where I have previously lived for may years. 

20-Tips-To-Survive-The-Holiday-Season Actually the weather is similar to most places I have lived.   Sometimes random,  Sometimes colder than cold, hotter than hot.   But that Lake Effect snow is irritating at best.   It always manages to do the opposite of what you would like.

So that is it….Stockings done,   Christmas on the Horizon,  Michigan snow storm is inevitable.  Surviving the holidays has never been so exciting!


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