Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve Snow Storm

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Party @ Cheryl's Place

Tonight's party at Cheryl's place was much different than other parties at Cheryl's place for a few reasons:
- Different House
- Different Lake
- Different Attire (sweaters instead of bathing suits)

In fact, the only things recognizable about this party were the good friends and good time.


Seven Minutes of My Life I'll Never Get Back

After I sat through this video I wondered how in the heck I got to it.

It started as I was throwing away the now-empty nostalgia candy box that came with Bruce's Claw candy grabber Christmas gift.

I googled candy of the 1960s and came across a website with all sorts of toys from the 60s.

That reminded me of a stuffed Baba Looie I had as a small child so I googled Baba Looie.

That led me to a video of a girl who hates Baba Looie. After her short video played, this stick figure movie came on and since I wanted to procrastinate a bit more before I start putting away the Christmas decorations, I dedicated seven minutes of my life to watching it.

Friday, December 28, 2007

How Much Longer Until Summer?

We woke to a fresh layer of snow today.

It didn't start snowing until about 11am, but since we're on vacation this week, we slept in.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

One More Week of Christmas Lights

Living in the country was a lot easier than living in a subdivision.

In the country you don't have to rake your leaves. You simply let the wind carry them out into the fields.

In the country it doesn't matter how loud your dog barks.

In the country you can leave your Christmas lights up until the snow melts in the spring.

Here in suburbia, if you don't take your lights down by January 2, you become known as the hillbillies of the neighborhood.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Elkhart Farmers Market

Beautiful Christmas lights at the Elkhart Farmers Market. This incredible display caught my eye as I got off the bypass on our drive home from Indy tonight.

Family Christmas in Indy

This was our first Christmas spent in Indy at sister Laura's new home. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and visiting with family.

Spike's Road Trip

Cousin Dozer invited Spike to come down to Indianapolis for Christmas dinner with the whole family.

Spike was pretty excited because his normal road trips end at either the vet or the kennel.

We took a pit stop near Peru at the Grissom Air Museum where Spike and Bruce were able to check out this 1950s T-2C Buckeye Navy plane.

Spike also liked the YS-11.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Our Traditional Christmas Eve Dinner

This year, as we've done for the past several years, Bruce and I took Grandma to her favorite Chinese restaurant for Christmas Eve dinner.

After dinner, we drove through the Winding Brook subdivision to enjoy their display of Christmas lights.

Most homes in the neighborhood are decorated with bright and colorful light displays and blow-ups of Santa and Frosty.

This one stood out from the rest -- the actual sculpture in their yard is a bit out of focus in this photo, but check out the shadow it cast on their house.

We ended the evening with the candlelight Christmas service at the Osceola United Methodist church.

Perfect Christmas Gift

During our summer summit at Patoka Lake, Bruce spent about $30 in quarters winning nearly all of the stuffed animals in the Claw grab it machine.

For Christmas this year, friends David & Kelly from Evansville send him his own personal Claw grab it machine.

How perfect is that???

Merry Christmas D&K.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas dinner with Grandma, Gretchen, Jim and Kelly.

This is a rare moment when we were able to tear ourselves away from the food table and ham it up for the camera.

Happy Birthday David!

Click to play Happy+Birthday+David!
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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Frosty Lives in Elkhart

I didn't even realize we had children living in the neighborhood. Maybe this snowman just magically grew out of the neighbor's yard today.

You know... from the magic Christmas snow.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Lunch with Bruce Sr.

We had lunch with friends at Between the Buns in Osceola today and Mr. Buns, Phil, pointed out that our photos were still on the wall from their grand opening many years ago.
Bruce Jr. noticed a familiar face in one of the photo collages next to our table. It was his dad, Bruce Sr. What a wonderful coincidence... almost like he was joining us for a Christmas lunch.

Throwing Up Christmas

Every town has one... a house that is way overdecorated with the most hideous Christmas decorations.

I think it was my mother who coined the term "throwing up Christmas" as in, "Wow, looks like someone threw up Christmas on their front yard."

This beautiful display of Christmas vomit is on Mishawaka Road in Elkhart.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Cheer

It was nice to reconnect with Barb, my best friend from high school, over some frosty beverages at Hacienda.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Baking

This year's Christmas baking included:
  • 30 dozen monster cookies
  • peanut butter fudge
  • chocolate fudge
  • 60 pretzel rods dipped in white chocolate
  • haystacks (nuts/Chinese noodles/white chocolate)
  • 100 peanut butter-chocolate cups
  • 30 dozen white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies
  • Chex mix
  • three pans of morsels from heaven

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Facebook reunion

I received a Facebook friend hookup invite from a guy I went to kindergarten with.

Actually we went to the same high school, but I really don't remember him from high school. But, as soon as I saw his name, I remembered him as the cutest boy in my kindergarten class.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Spike Relaxes by the Fire

After playing in the snow, Spike needed to warm up his frozen paws by the fire.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Another Reason to Like Applebees

The Osceola Applebees now has waitress pagers on every table. Anytime you want your waitress to come to your table, you push the button and a watch-like-device on her wrist buzzes and displays a table number.

So, when your Brutis is running low and you need a refill.... just push the pager.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cheryl's New House

My friend, Cheryl, moved into her new lake house today. This is the view from her front porch.

Can't wait for summer.

Lion Excapes Zoo... News at 11

Okay, so maybe he's not a lion, but he kinda looked like one to me. He was waiting for the full-service fill up at the pump next to me at the Marathon on Western Avenue @ Mayflower.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Thermal Bruce and Sharon

If you woke up one day with thermal imaging vision and ran into us; this is what you'd see.

This is a photo of us through the thermal imaging camera at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Star Wars in Chicago

The Star Wars exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry was a geek's delight.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Chicago in Style

Most of the South Bend office staff traveled to the company Christmas party in Chicago in a limo. Not sure, but I think there were 11 people squeezed into the stretch limo for the two-hour trip.

Bruce and I drove into Chicago ourselves because we planned to go to the Star Wars exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry on Sunday.

But, our hotel was not within walking distance to the restaurant so after the limo driver dropped off everyone at the party, he came to our hotel to pick us up for a private limo ride. Cool! We felt like rock stars.

SantaCon Chicago

While we were waiting for the limo to pick us up from our hotel in Chicago for the company Christmas party, we were nearly stampeded by a pack of Santas.

Turns out it was the start of SantaCon Chicago. It's an annual pub crawl that requires all participants to dress in full Santa suits.

Club Quarters, Chicago

We got a great deal on a room at Club Quarters through Price Line. The room even came with this incredible view of the Chicago river.

Check-in at the hotel was a bit stressful for me. Bruce went to give our car keys to the valet while I checked in. He was gone for a loooonnnnnngggg time.

When he didn't come back right away, I imagined that someone posing as the valet had knocked him out and stolen our van.

I asked the front-desk clerk to call the valet to ask what he did with my husband. Turns out the valet couldn't park our van because it was too tall for their parking garage. So, Bruce had to self-park at an outdoor parking lot.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Crunch

I love the Cap'n and was tempted to purchase his Christmas Crunch cereal. After calculating about how long it might take the roof of my mouth to heal after enjoying a bowl of his festive barbed wire, I decided to pass.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Our Christmas Card Photo

Runner up for this year's Christmas Card

my pimped pic!

I hate chatty flyers

Dear Bose,
You probably remember me, the girl in Elkhart, Indiana who bought your Quite Comfort 3 headphones this summer. Well, I thought I'd write to let you know how they're working out.

I probably didn't tell you when I placed the order on your website, but I chose your headphones because my extensive research showed them to be the best in reducing noise. And, boy did I have some noise that needed reducing this summer.

My across-the-street neighbor (the one who sits in her front yard to keep an eye out on the comings and goings of the neighborhood), got a puppy. She'd sit in her lawn chair, in her front yard, getting that puppy all worked up playing ball and chasing sticks. Now, this woman has a huge back yard and if she'd taken the dog to the back yard, I probably wouldn't have been able to hear the yapping. But, since the barking was happening in the front yard, not only did I hear it as it was happening, but I got bonus echo barking as the sound bounced off of the house behind me and came back. I have a huge problem with repetitive noises and decided my options were:
1) start a neighborhood feud between those who think barking puppies are wonderful and those who can't stand the barking,
2) miss out on the summer by staying inside to avoid the noise,
3) spend $350 on noise reduction headphones.

Long story even longer... I chose option three. I wore the headphones outside quite a bit this summer, got a nice tan, a great garden, and remained on good terms with the neighbor.

Now, I'll get to the point of my letter. I flew to North Carolina Tuesday and took the Bose QC3's with me, along with my MP3 player loaded with a new Jeff Lindsay book. I noticed that the headphones cut out all of the airplane noise. They also allowed me to hear my book without using the volume booster I bought at Radio Shack which nearly popped my eardrums on a flight last year.

But, your darned headphones did absolutely nothing to block out the chatty guys behind me on my flight from Cincinnati to Charlotte. I turned up the volume on my MP3 player as high as it would go, but I still couldn't escape their hour-long conversation about football stadium grass. I so wanted to turn around and scream, "Man I don't care!"

Your QC3 headphones also didn't block out the conversation between the English guy and the American gal behind me on my trip back last night. I heard every detail about his past three weeks of sightseeing as well as all of her suggestions on must-see tourist attractions.

I sure wish you'd add a bullet point about this shortcoming in your product specs so others, with my same hatred of chatty flyers, will know that spending $350 on your headphones won't provide the peaceful salvation they desperately need after one canceled flight, two delayed flights, a crashed hard drive and crappy airport food.

Your pal,


Spike is not amused

Yesterday's snowfall was the first to stick and accumulate this season. Clearly, Spike is not amused.

I tried to get him to wear those doggie snow boots one winter. He did the high step for a while and then chewed them off.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Really Need the Eyeball Camera

Here's another example of the awesome beauty of nature butchered by my crappy photography skills.

This morning's sunrise was especially colorful. Unlike most mornings this time of year, we didn't have total cloud cover. So, the sun was actually able to squeeze some of its colorful rays through the crumbling ozone layer... especially for my enjoyment.

Maybe I would have been able to get a better photo if I had taken the time to stop my car, get out of it, and snap the shot. As it was, I wasn't expecting a beautiful sunrise so I didn't leave my house early enough to accommodate the pulling over diversion from my morning commute.

I really do hope that I am able to develop the eyeball camera before I am involved in a car accident.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Full Moon Rise

I can't remember if I took this photo over the weekend or earlier this week. Darned short term memory fails me again. Anyway... it was a beautiful full moon. But, as I expected even as I squeezed the camera's shutter, I just don't have the photography skills necessary to capture the essence of the view.

This does remind me that I need to put out some feelers in the scientific community to see if I can find someone who can help me develop my eyeball camera idea.

You know how you can see something, and wish you could capture it, but as with me and the full moon, you know that a photo just wouldn't do it justice.

Well, imagine there was a camera inserted into your brain and just by blinking your eyes while making a clicking sound with your mouth, you could capture the image you were focused on as you blinked. Then, you could download the image from your brain to your computer (or even to a kiosk at your nearby one-hour photo lab). And, the resulting print would be a perfect reproduction of the original object of your focus.

Beyond the ability to perfectly reproduce anything you lay your eyes on, this would have the added benefit of allowing you to take photos when whipping out your camera isn't convenient or safe (like when driving down the highway at 65mph).

I'm not really bothered by the thought of having a camera inserted into my brain because I saw my dog get a microchip inserted into his neck and it didn't bother him a bit. So, I'm sure after the initial pinprick of the insertion device, I wouldn't even notice the camera inside my head.

Let me know if you know any scientists you think would be interested in helping me out with this. It would be great if I could get it ready in time for Christmas.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Most Disturbing Video That I Can't Stop Watching

We first came across the Tron Guy this summer after friends from southern Indiana sent us a link to his website.

He looks disturbingly like hubby Bruce. Not really... but his glasses and mustache are quite similar to Bruce's.

This weekend we came across a video in support of Net Neutrality that features, among other Internet celebrities, the Tron Guy. If you watch the video with your eyes closed, you'd probably think the featured singer was quite talented. But, something about the visual negates the quality of her voice.

Enjoy the video. And, I hope the song doesn't get stuck in your head. I'm about ready for a lobotomy to try to remove it from mine. Tron Guy appears about a minute into it.

The internet "celebrities" include:

Mixed Up Seasons

Nature is a bit confused right now. There are still leaves on the trees because our first cold snap came quite late this year.

But, today we have about an inch of snow on the ground, and the branches.

We've dragged all of the Christmas decorations down out of the attic. Today would have been a good day to put up the outside lights, but we're holding out, hoping that tomorrow will be a bit warmer.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Dancing with the Stars

Thursday, November 22, 2007

First Snowfall of the Season

I guess I should feel sorry for mom-in-law Judy as she seeks refuge from the bright sunshine of south Florida while we're enjoying the first snowflakes of the season here in Elkhart, Indiana.

Happy Thanksgiving

Spike and Grandma take a nap, as we all did, after the Thanksgiving feast.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving at the Institution

It's the time of the year for wearing buffet-eating pants. You know, the kind of pants with a stretchy waist band that expands to accommodate an extra serving of mashed potatoes and gravy and pumpkin pie with whipped topping.

Today was my second Thanksgiving dinner of the season and next Thursday will be my third.

This one was especially enjoyable because we were Grandma Meyer's special guests at the Institution. The cooks were up all night preparing six 20-pound turkeys and all of the trimmings for the residents and their loved ones.
We were pretty amazed that the staff took care to match the flowers on each table to the residents' outfits. Wow... that's attention to detail.

There are many things to be thankful for this time of year, including the view out the cafeteria window. What a beautiful display of fall colors.

After dinner we were treated to a private piano recital. We are most thankful that we are able to celebrate the holidays with Grandma.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Climbing up on the roof to blow out the leaves from the gutter is one of the last chores of the fall.

It seems like the leaves are very reluctant to let go of the branches this year... many are still clinging to life.

Our burning bushes are the last in the neighborhood to turn red. It appears that someone took a swipe at one of the bushes with a chain saw.

The chimney sweep came out earlier today to scrape the creosote out of our fireplace. Now we just need to put away the lawn furniture and stack the firewood on the patio. Then, we'll be ready to settle in for a long winter's nap.