Friday, July 31, 2009

rainbows and kittens...i swear!

Good morning!!!! Thanks for checking in today.....

Have I told you that I think you're wonderful?
I'm not trying to suck up....really....I think you are!
Have a great day! Here's rainbow that was in my backyard yesterday!

I thought I'd give you something sweet and lovely to look at.....cuz this morning I just want to complain......just for a minute.....I promise.

Ughhhh! I can't sleep!
Blast! this getting old stuff!
I got about 3 hours last night.....!

The worst part is I have a big night planned tonight.....taking the train into the city with a girlfriend....lots of show....more food....planning on closing the place down....well at least staying as late as the last Metra.

And I'm exhausted already.....

Every night it's the same thing.
I crawl into bed dog tired, tuckered out, outta gas, bushed, get the idea....and then I lay there....wide awake for at least an hour.

Then I wake up in the middle of the night because of something.....may be a train....or one of my cats jumping on my head....or Hubby's dream where he is falling and suddenly jerks awake (Dog gone it! I hate that!...then he falls immediately back to sleep while I lay there!)....

And I lay there.....and I lay there....and it takes me over an hour to fall asleep again!

I've tried all sorts of things.
relaxation techniques.....sitting in the hot tub.....reading.....not reading....emptying my mind (ha! that's a good one for someone with ADD!) ....drugs.....

Nothing works.

So I've just resigned myself to this is the way it is....for however long....

Thanks for's a cute kitty picture (I don't have any puppy pictures)
Ahhhh....look how cute he is sleeping (I'm just a little jealous)......
Have a super terrific day!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

living happily in the now

I was out with my 15 y/o daughter, Mac, shopping the other day. She was looking for a gift for one of her friends back in kzoo....that would be Joe....who, btw, still owes me for the window he broke at our condo because he was trying to get in to our home by throwing "pebbles"....teenage boys....not real "thinkers".

Mac was dying to show me this really cool store in our little town.

Kind of a hippie kinda place.....a vinyl record store mainly (I'm surprised Mac even knows what a record is) could buy 33's, 45's, or LP's (and others I'm sure)....they had a nice selection of t-shirts, posters (fuzzy ones too....?), incense (hmmm), jewelry, lighters (just for the incense I'm sure!), ect....and they also had lots of CD's, DVD's too.

I had a great time looking through their selection of music and was surprised they had such variety. I'm an alternative kinda gal and saw they had lots of my favorite groups. I was also shocked by some of the prices for the collector albums....probably because I know nothing about this area....but hundreds of dollars for a Pink Floyd album?....which I swear I have at home! (excuse me while I dig thru some boxes)....

Mac made her selection....a Bob Marley poster....which the guy behind the counter seemed impressed that a young blonde proper looking girl would choose to buy. Imagine "Chong" of "Cheech and Chong"....that was the guy behind the counter....same type of voice and mannerisms. "you redecorating your room or something, sweetheart?" he asked.....Mac not wanting to get into the whole story cuz I think she's a little creeped out, says "um...yeah" as she's counting out her money. "Cool man!!" he says he's just witnessed another innocent being sucked into the "Bob Marley vortex". "What college do you go to?" he asks her. I watch as Mac's face lights up a little....and she smiles....."I'm still in high school". "Ah...right... man...." he says bobbing his head and looks at me "so hard to tell now-a-days with these youngster!". "Yeah" I agree.

On the drive home, Mac happily says "I can't believe he thought I was in college!" And I say "Yeah, I remember when that used to happen to me". And I think back to those days.....when a waitress gave me the wine list when a boyfriend took me out to a fancy dinner in 10th grade.....or how I could always fool those Cedar Point workers in their red and blue outfits, at the "guess my age booth". I was so happy to be thought of as older.

But when did that change? Exactly what age was I....22?....25? When did I start wanting looking younger for my age? When did I start getting that urge to kiss the waitress when she asked for my ID? Or hug that stranger who says "I can't believe you have a daughter in college" ?

I can distinctively remember a 3rd grader making a comment on me being old when I was in my early 30's. I was helping in a Sunday school class and had a group of about 6 little girls. "you think I'm old?" I asked her....this was the first time in my life anyone ever called me old....and I was a little shocked. "How old do you think I am?" I asked while looking at all their cute little faces. The first one shouts out "53" and they all take turns shattering my ego....the youngest anyone guessed was "45" and one little snot nosed brat thought I was "70"....oh sorry!

Why is it that when we're young we want to be old and when we get older we want to be younger? Was there ever an age where I was just happy in the "now"? I'm sure it was somewhere in the 20's. I had a nice conversation with my 20 year old daughter, Nae, this morning (who told me that some of her coworkers are reading this blog.....Hello out there in Colorado Springs!!!!.....if you want some dirt on Nae....I take bribes....just don't tell her I said that....she never reads this so I'm safe). Anyways....I'm hoping she is happily living in the "now" at her age. It goes by way too fast.

and one more thing before you go......"peace man"...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

that Dewey guy...

Today is hot in our little town....

my favorite thing to do on a hot day?

no, it's not go to the beach....I hate laying out in the sun....yeah, yeah, I know, whenever I say that I just cringe a little and wait for the onslaught of ridicule! It happens every time....

this is what I like to do....

I like to follow these signs.....except today I thought I'd get all gutsy and fancy and try to take some back roads to downtown....and I got all turned around.....couldn't find one of these signs to save my life.

but then I saw this....
I did really!
funny how I couldn't find the actual building or see the writing on the side of the building but I could see this trash can out front.

I drove past the actual building but it didn't look like a library to me....

and I didn't see the writing on the side of the you?.....or should I say would you?--if you were lost and you had your head sticking out the window and you had some impatient dude right on your butt....

I know I've said this before but I LOVE libraries! It has been like that for me as long as I can remember. It doesn't matter where I am or what is going on in my life....the minute I walk thru the door and calm settles over me.

It's comforting knowing that every library is the same. Thanks to that Dewey Decimal had I been alive in the 1870's....I would have been a Dewey groupie.....posters of the guy on my wall (they had posters back then--they were all sepia colored and burnt around the edges--right?)....and I'm pretty sure he looked like Shawn Cassidy or Rick

When I drove my oldest daughter, Nae, out to Colorado for her summer internship one of the first things we did was find her local library.....she was as excited as I was......well, maybe not, she just need Internet access.....but I was super excited!!

I took this picture of her library.....and then Nae said "what the heck are you doing? You are so embarrassing! Put that camera away!".....

But anyway....the inside of this library was super cool! It was huge and the whole back wall was windows that faced the mountains....I grabbed a book off the shelf that a friend recommended, and read to my hearts content....sigh!.....or actually till Nae was finished....but it was still wonderful!

So here's my selections for today....I always get one thing off my reading list--it's about 3 pages long. And if you're still reading this blog at this point.....I just want to say thank you! I don't how many people would take the time to listen to me ramble on about libraries and guys are swell!

Steel-toed boots

My 18 y/o son, Bud, started working for Hubby at his company yesterday.

Bud is working in the warehouse cutting apart armoires. It seems that no one wants to buy an armoire anymore. With flat screen TV's becoming so popular people want more of a cabinet that they can store the video equipment in and mount the TV above. One type of armoire that Hubby sells can be cut in half and refinished to make more of a TV cabinet. That's Bud's job.

So I guess they have like hundreds or thousands or something. And they've been trying really hard to sell them. But they can't even seem to give them away. They buy a get a free thanks. You buy a end get a free armoire.....uh uh. You buy a lamp....take one of those armoires over there on your way out, they're free!.....nope.

I just don't get it. It's FREE for goodness sake! I'd take em for that reason alone. Good thing Hubby is here to restrain me or we'd have a whole house packed with em (just like my cupboard full of free coffee mugs).

So I sent Bud off to work yesterday morning. He looked so cute (don't tell him I said that) he had on his little steel-toed boots and was caring his lunch that I packed in a cooler for him. He was so excited....I think he is just glad to be getting out of the house.....making some money for his 3 week trip to Canada with some buddies in a couple weeks.

Hubby called me about an hour later. Said he was looking out his office window on the second floor waiting to see Bud pull in. When he saw Bud's truck he headed down stairs to make sure Bud knew where to go.

Hubby said when he came out of the building he almost did a double take. Here was this man walking toward took a second to realize it was Bud....sunglasses on, tall (taller than Hubby now), shoulders back (yes, it so nice to see him without his back brace for the kyphosis), with a purposeful stride (not dragging his feet like usual), and a big smile on his face.

Hubby said he felt so proud right at that moment. His son was a man, a big, confident, happy man.

Hubby went on to say "And I'm so happy to see that he has been listening to me. I'm always telling him to stand up straight, put his shoulders back, pick up his feet when he walks. At least he is doing it when he's in public."

I just listened to Hubby and agreed with him, telling him he's a good dad.

I didn't tell him about how Bud has trouble walking in those steel-toed boots. If he drags his feet he will fall flat on his face.
Bud, a little slouchy, but ah well.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm a super cool mom...yeah I am

Yesterday, while I was sitting in church, besides being distracted by the overall hugeness of the church.....and the ridiculously good looking people on stage.....and the tot kicking the back of my chair to some unknown rhythm.....and the funny light that showed up on the video screen on the right but not the one on the left.....and the guy in front of me with the really cool corn rows......I noticed the little girl sitting next to me (yeah! welcome to my ADD world).

She made my ADD mind come to a whirling, screeching, grinding stop.

Actually she was sitting on the other side of her mother, who was sitting beside me. She was so gosh darn cute, but that wasn't what drew me to watch her and tune out the pastor (sorry Jesus.)

It was the loving way she looked at her mother. I think you mom's out there know what I mean. It was that look like "My mom is super woman....she's the coolest....she can do it all.....I want to be just like her when I grow up...."

Little girls look at their moms like this for a VERY short period of time. I can't remember the exact age but I do remember Nae and Mac looking at me like this (Note to Nae and/or Mac if you are reading this and you think "OMGosh I NEVER looked/thought of you that way! You are crazy! What were you smoking?----Please don't tell me. Let me have my sweet memories---even if I was hallucinating. thank you.)

Seeing that look on her face brought back a couple memories of my girls.....they had that same loving, adoring, "you rock mom!" look on their faces. I realize now how I didn't appreciate those looks. They were gone in the blink of an eye.

Now these are the kind of looks I get....especially when I break out my camera

Moooommmm! do you have to do that?

I usually tell them that if they don't smile nice then I'm putting this one on the Christmas card.

Then I get this half baked smile.....

But now I can say "if you don't humor me....I'll blog about you and post this picture!!!" Yeah, that should work from now on.....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

church shopping....definately not in kzoo anymore!!

I've had quite a few Chicago burb experiences so far that have made me think "Wow! I'm definitely not in Kalamazoo anymore!" (some that I can't even blog about). But this mornings church service was probably the most dramatic of those experiences.

The fam and I went to one of those "mega churches" for the first time. I know they have mega churches all over the place, and maybe this will be a boring blog post for some of you, but we've never been to one.

Why did we pick that church out of all the hundreds around here?

*we didn't know it was a mega church....from the road it didn't seem that big.....
*we were members at the biggest church in Kalamazoo before we moved (some even teased us that it was a mega church--NOT)....we kinda like big churches.....
*a friend of ours, who used to live in a burb nearby (and worked for FCA hint-hint) recommended it...
*and they gave me a FREE coffee mug a while back (I'm a sucker for free stuff!--I still can't decide which dentist to choose cuz I got a free toothbrush from 2 different dentists in my Welcome Wagon Lady pack--oh the dilemma!)....

so why not?

We knew the minute we pulled into the parking lot that we weren't in Kansas....I mean Kalamazoo anymore! Back in kzoo we had one parking lot attendant (just for exiting)....this place reminded me of Cedar Point parking. There were people in bright orange vests with orange light sabers all over the place. They just kept waving you on to drive deeper into the depths of the parking lot where you see another attendant and another and another until they directed you into a spot. Mac says "I hope they have letters on the light posts like Meijer so we can find our car!" (they didn't)

The inside reminded me of the center of a know, kinda by the food court or something. There was a big round info desk at the center. To the right was a bookstore (kinda weird if you ask me). Moving counter-clockwise, the entrance to the auditorium was next to that. A coffee/food shop next to that....It seemed that some people just skip breakfast and come in early and eat and drink coffee and hang out....hmmm.....could be fun. Next to that was the youth center which was like nothing I've ever seen before. Another cafeteria area (much larger) was in there with separate areas for lounging, pool tables, Foosball, upright video games, TVs everywhere....that's all I could take in with the couple of minutes we stood there trying to look like we weren't was HUGE. We didn't even go into the childcare building....

The auditorium was big and dark with two big screens on either side of the stage and it was packed!
Funny how we sat where we always sit when we are at our church in the left of the center section....maybe some kind of subconscious comfort thing?
The music was a little more "rock concert" than our old church, but nothing too stunning. I will say something here though.....everyone on stage was extremely good looking.
**disclaimer alert** the author of this blog is in no way saying that the people on stage in our kzoo church were not attractive! They are some "fine" looking people up there too.....I'm just was a little freakish how good looking these people were....Abbey, Mike and I discussed it afterward (I had to make sure I wasn't crazy). Here's an Mac quote "I don't like to mix God and people that good looking together" Hubby and I looked at each other "huh?" Mac continues "It's too distracting! DUHHHH!"
The preaching was Biblical and straight forward by an associate pastor (we'll have to go back to check out the senior pastor). They have a big community outreach program that we liked and could picture ourselves being part of.

We visited the welcome center on our way out and talked to a very friendly guy and got another free coffee mug (Score!---have I mentioned that I unpacked about 50 thousand coffee mugs and mutter to myself the entire time "who in their right mind has this many coffee mugs?"---I don't know what is wrong with me!)

The kids aren't too sure this church is the place for us. The guy at the welcome center gave us the name of another church to visit....but it's an offshoot of another mega church....He said there are a lot of them around here. Apparently, a lot of these offshoot churches don't have pastors preaching....they watch a DVD or a live simulcast of the pastor at the mega church on the big screens....I can't imagine that....I must have lived a pretty sheltered life there in kzoo.

I guess we'll just keep shopping.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

my need for more flowers

I would love for this blog to be about flowers and gardening.....

I'm not an expert.....but I'm sure I could get some help from "Pete" if I needed it.

I think that if I started writing a blog about gardening....the gardening police would come and arrest gardens are pathetic right now.

I ripped out a bunch of stuff with all these dreams of the plants I'd lovingly place there.
Plants I've always wanted....

But my hubbie tells me we have to "prioritize"....

New ventilation fans in bathrooms or some Echinacea?
Electrical wiring and chemicals for the hot tub or a few Peonies?
New living room furniture or a nice pot of Delphinium? (ohhh that's a hard one!)
Paint for all the white rooms (and there are a lot of them) or Buddleia?

I do have a few plants on my deck to enjoy.....this little beauty is a Datura or Moon's an annual...I don't usually buy too many annuals....cuz I'm so cheap. I figure if I'm gonna pay the money it should last.
But I couldn't resist this one....I've always loved Moon Flowers but never have had one because they are extremely poisonous (all parts of the plant)....and I always worried about my kids or my cats getting into them....but now that they are older (the kids, not the cats...well cats too but you know what I mean) I splurged (and it was on sale).
I read a little about the plant being poisonous....on some sites I found they call it hallucinogenic...some say it was used in "love potions"
Maybe I can give some to my hubbie in his sweet tea....then I can talk him into buying all the plants that I want....

Friday, July 24, 2009

my kids are soooo embarrassing

This morning I woke Tony up using my best"cheerfully animated" voice. "Time to wake up sweetie and pee in a cup!!"

Oh wait....I kids made me promise to change their names if I blogged on this subject....

This morning I woke up a child, who is not my child, we'll call him Bert, using my best"cheerfully animated" voice. "Time to wake up sweetie and pee in a cup!!". "Oh....happy day...." said Bert as he rolled over pulling his pillow over his head.

And I'm not supposed to say anything about hernia exams, puberty, or menstruation either. the kids got their physicals so we can enroll them in school. I should have known better than to scheduled them for the same wasn't fair to the nurse or the doctor....when you put Tony and Mac together.....I mean Bert and Ernie....they can act pretty juvenile....and whoever heard of kids acting juvenile in a pediatric office!

Here's a few examples of their tomfoolery....

Nurse: "Bert, what sports will you be playing?"

Bert: "Basketball and soccer"

Nurse: "Do you smoke?"

Bert: "No"

Nurse: "Do you drink alcohol?"

Bert: "No"

Nurse: "Do you use steroids?"

Bert: "Depends on my game..."

the nurse looks at me...I roll my eyes.....soooo embarrassing!

here's another.....

the nurse asked if we wanted separate rooms so they could get undressed. Ernie says "you are telling us we have to get naked and then you ask if we want separate rooms!....what kinda family do you think we are?!"

geez! I hope I never grow up to be like her!

and another....

Ernie is sent into a separate room while Bert has his physical. When Bert's physical is finished, the doctor and I head into Ernie's room. We find her sitting on the examination table in her gown but she has "spruced" it up a little. Tying bows out of the paper gown and making it look pretty. The doctor pauses and looks at me....."she's not my child" I want to say....
No, I don't know how she did it.....but she has one of those "mirror shots" of it on her cell phone. And no, I will not be posting it.

Ernie and Bert.....can't take em anywhere!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

adjusting alex

Yesterday I took another 2 hour drive toward Kalamazoo. It was nice to not have to go all the way (even though I missed the best part of the drive....when you just get into Michigan and the speed limit changes to 70....which means you can drive least....and the highway goes to 3 lanes....and there's no construction for a while....and no photo radar).
The reason for my drive? I was returning Luke to his parents. Luke is a friend of my oldest son, Bud, and has been staying with us for a little over a week.
Hubby and I are trying to make the adjustment on Bud (and all the kids) as easy as possible....if you call staying up all night playing computer games on laptops and sleeping till 2 pm and having to kick them out the door kicking and screaming just so they'll "go explore" or "do something".....adjusting.

I probably could have let Bud and Luke drive by themselves....Bud is 18 after all. But 'Chicago traffic' and 'my kids driving' are two things I'm not ready to mix...yet. It's not that I don't trust's dangerous....and scary....and there's all those crazy drivers.
I did debate about it for a couple days. I asked Hubby what he thought....he's no help really "whatever you want" is what he says. Bud suggested that he could go himself, and we discussed it. Bud ended up saying "Mom you've got to let go sometime".
Maybe it is one of those areas that I'm just holding on to. Maybe it's my only way of protecting them still. I don't know.....but I will provide this as evidence to plead my case.....

I know it happened over a year ago....but I'm still not ready! I AM letting him drive the crazy busy streets of our little town....I'm not that over protective!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

teen parenting presumption #1

Two of my kids are now in the "adult" category....18 and 20....I feel like I've successfully "parented" them up to this point.

Then why, oh why, do I forget the simple presumptions in parenting of teenagers?
This morning I was reminded of one of them and I still get that shocked...."oh! that's not true" response....and then I take a minute to remember....I am the parent of a teenager!.....truth to a teenage comes from a totally different slant.

Am I confusing you? I feel like I am. What I'm trying to say is according to my teens, EVERYTHING is my fault. It doesn't matter if I'm not within a 10 mile radius, never even had any idea of what was happening....It's still my fault!

My dad and step mom, Ann are visiting this week and they graciously volunteered to go where no sane person would go....Mac's room. They decided that they would like to help her organize and arrange her room. See, as her mother, and a slightly compulsive organizer (just slightly), I have attempted this feat before (multiple times, actually) and just may loose my mind if I try's so sad when you give up hope for your offspring in an area you hold close to your heart...

My dad is going to build Mac some shelves to hold all her lovely shoes, but Mac is very specific in her design idea of these shelves. So today a trip is planned to Lowe's. My dad hasn't parented a teen for many years and I think he may have forgot that they tend to sleep in just a tad. He's been up since the crack of early.....waiting....and waiting....and waiting.

10:00 am and I can see he's going stir crazy....I go in a "stir" Mac.
Let's just say that scenes from the "Exorcists" come to mind....her head spun around....there was an evil look on her face....and the voice that came out of my sweet baby telling me to get out was
deep and scary.
Ok I'm exaggerating....but she was not happy.

10:30 am my dad announces that he's gonna get her out of bed....Ann and I start begging "please don't do it!" "it's not a good idea" "we can go later and work on it tomorrow".....he didn't even acknowledge us as he went upstairs.....I wanted to hide under the kitchen table.

I listened for screaming and crashing furniture or doors slamming or projectile vomiting but didn't hear anything. My dad comes down smiling. "What did she say?" I ask. "She said "ok she'd get up" he says. I'm shocked. "how did you do it?" He smiles and says " I told her it was 12 o'clock and time to go to Lowe's"

Mac comes down stairs 2 minutes later and if you think she was scary while trying to wake her....let me tell you....the look she gave me when she came around that corner sent shivers up my spine. "What?" I ask (this is where I forgot parenting presumption #1) "It's not 12! It's only 10:30!" she hissed. "Tonight I'm coming in your room at 2 am and telling you it 8am and time to get up" she continued. "I told him not to do it" I plead...."didn't I, Ann...tell her" Ann starts trying to defend does no good.....the evil look continues. Then I surrender and's not gonna do any good. Just let it amount of arguing will help......someday they will have she owns teens and that gives me a small feeling of vindication.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

bloggers block

I'm having blogger block today...
maybe it's due to the fact that Mac read my blog yesterday and got really mad at's okay...I'm gonna figure out how to block her....then I can say whatever I want....
maybe it's because it's my anniversary today and my husband has been golfing the ENTIRE day....don't worry....I'll make him pay! ;)
so I have nothing to say but I thought I'd share with you a link to one of my favorite blogs....cuz I'm a weather freak and LOVE a good storm and I know some of you out there do too... :)
so here's a great site. mostly just pics but they are awesome!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

the directionally challenged

I had my first "ahh haa directional moment" here in our new town the other day.

If you've ever moved to a new city, you know what I mean....where suddenly all those crazy twisty streets make sense and you finally figure out where you are....and how it all connects (and you feel a little proud of yourself).

Or maybe not everyone has those....maybe it's just me and my directionally challenged self....

...anyways! ahh haa moment occurred because of my not so directionally challenged son, Tony. Actually, if someone could be considered "gifted" in the area, that would be Tony. Tony is 13 and has been showing off his abilities since he started talking. He would be sitting in his little car seat and say in his little baby voice "why you goin this way mom? If you take 12th street it will be much faster". I'm not was a little freakish....if a mom is allowed to call her kid a freak.

Last week, I went to Battle Creek to pick Tony up from a friends mom's house (Tony has been there maybe 4 times). Tony texted me the address and I map quested it. I ended up getting lost and called Tony (the mom was out grocery shopping). I hate getting lost and now I'm kicking myself for not talking to an adult before I left. I'm also on a time schedule so now I'm gonna be late to an appointment....another huge pet peeve! "You must have given me the wrong address" I accuse him. I decide right then and there that I've put too much trust in my little "directional Einstein".....I will never trust him again! Then Tony starts asking where I am....I tell him which highway I just got off.....he asks if I'm going east or west.....EAST OR WEST? how am I supposed to know? I'm lost, it's high noon, I don't even know which way the highway runs that I just got off and my 13 year old is talking in stinking east/west terms? I'm getting ready to hang up on his little directionally superior self when he asks me "do you see a Meijer"..."yes" then you need to turn around and go west" he says in a sweet little patient voice. He ended up getting me there.

Back to my ahh haa moment.....Tony figured out our new town completely in the first few days he was here. So when we go out somewhere, Tony will start in on his "why you goin that way mom?" routine again....which I've gotten really good at ignoring....I'm concentrating for goodness sakes!! I don't need distractions! I just wanna get where I'm going, the way I know, I'm not ready for anything fancy yet!!! But lately he's been more persistent "If you'd just listen to will be a lot faster...I won't let you get lost....just try it for me....please" and then he gets that cute little "I'm the baby of the family and I know I have you wrapped around my finger" look on his face and gosh! he's so darn cute!

So I take "his way" and wa-la! there we are...... just where he said we'd be..... and suddenly.... it all makes sense! ahh haa!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

snooty guests

I'm having a great time at the Casa Del Maraville Spa and Resort.....aka "Pam's house" the views here are spectacular!!!
the service is, love, love the foo foo soaps in my bathroom....and the specially roasted "Maravilla Blend" coffee is to die for!

but I've noticed that some of the other guests are a little....well.....snooty.

This one here would hardly give me the time of day....She just kept showing off her beautiful mane of hair "Oh look how pretty I am!!"....when she saw me taking pictures she kept flashing me her "best side"....I hate that!

Then there were these guys.....they were always "hanging" together, too good for everyone know the type....always looking for an opportunity to "strike a pose".....then the breeze started blowing....Oh brother! give me a break!

And don't even get me started on this guy!...he's the "groupie" type....always following everyone around....dying to be everyone's "best friend"......kissin everyone's butt.....sometimes literally!

Then this babe showed up....wobbly legs and all.....pure sweetness!!!

Not a snooty bone in her body!

One more thing I just HAVE to show you....

Baby fuzzy ears!!! So adorable!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

shiny side up

I'm off to O'Hare this morning to pick up my daughter, Nae.

She is flying in to be a bridesmaid in a wedding on Friday.

So as soon as I pick her up it's off to Kalamazoo again......

but no complaints this time......she's been living in Colorado Springs all summer....and went on an amazing mission trip to Sudan.....and then to London.
She's like me....doesn't like to talk on the phone much.....we communicate mostly by texting....

and I'm dying to hear all her stories from her travels.....she is really good at telling stories.....and I'm sure she has a ton....
So I'm sure this time....the 3+ hour drive will not be long enough.....

I talked to my dad last night about picking Nae up....and the drive....again....and he said "remember, shiny side up, rubber side down".....His way of saying drive carefully.....but it always makes me smile.....he's got lots of little sayings like that.
Btw, I'm having issues placing my photos today. And I gotta go so thanks for reading and have a great weekend....if I don't talk to ya!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Perennial Pete "part four"

Sorry to leave you all hanging yesterday....but I'm having lots of computer issues.....the Internet service down here in "Pete's" basement....where I'm locked not so good......

If you're just joining us for the first time please read this post first, then part two, and then part three and you'll be all caught up.....thanks!

So "Pete" began his tour. He lead us through some over grown paths to a couple different ponds with waterfalls and fountains. I could see that they were once very beautiful but they definitely needed some attention.

He continued to quiz me on plant names which sometimes I knew but most times I didn't. Lori and I asked lots of questions and he seemed pleased to share his knowledge.
There was a point where he lead us around the back of his house. Lori and I both felt a little uneasy (she confirmed later)....but he only wanted to show us his shade gardens filled with so many different Hosta varieties that I lost track....he also had some beautiful Japanese Woodland Peonies that I had never seen before. This is also when he compassionately put his old dog in the house....he had been wheezing behind us and trying to keep up but was struggling.....I could see how much "Pete" loved that dog.

"Perennial Pete test part three" began when he asked if I "cooked". He broke off a piece of plant and told me to smell it. Thank goodness it was an easy one...."Thyme!" I said and he got a big smile on his face.....I seemed to pass onto the next level of acceptance to "Pete" because this is the point where he began to grab my hand to show me things with even more excitement. And this is where I tell you another one of my "quirky personality traits".... I don't like to be touched....pretty much everyone that knows me figures that out....but I found it kinda sweet that he was so excited to show me the next flower or garden or whatever....
He lead us to a couple more ponds with hand made bridges, waterfalls and loaded with big Koi....and then he stopped and broke off another plant leaf..."chew on this one"....he handed a piece to Lori too. I hesitated for a moment....I have no idea what "Pete" is feeding me....he could poison me for all I know....bury us in his backyard....or put me in the compost pile, use me as a fertilizer....or lock us in the shed....or....Oh what the heck!! I popped the leaf in my mouth and chewed....horseradish!!! (yuck btw)....and he smiled and we moved on.
"Pete" continued to "feed" (or test) me. I think I had a 50% average (not so good). He also had a large area of berries which he proudly had us sample and compare varieties.
He then lead us to the back of his property when he had an enormous vegetable garden. He talked about his soil that he composted himself. It was dark and fluffy and rich. Lori and I noticed that he sank to his ankles as he stepped into it. "you don't expect me to go in there do you?" I asked and we both looked at my flip flop clad feet...."Pete" smiles and says "Yes, I know you will. I knew you would when you ate my herbs back there"....then he turned around and lead the way. I kicked off my flip flops and stepped in....and it was actually very nice.
"Pete" ended up giving me some onions to take home. He did spend sometime trying to talk about the land development...he has his side of the story of course....and I can understand his frustrations....but I tried to steer the conversation away from all that.
Flowers and gardens are more fun to focus on....and I think maybe "Pete" and I could be friends. I have a lot to learn and he has a lot of knowledge.....and I'm not just talking about flowers and gardens here....

Monday, July 13, 2009

Perennial Pete "part three"

For those of you who don't know who "Perennial Pete" is, you should read schizophrenic gardening and Perennial Pete "part two" first....just so you know....

Yesterday, my BFF Lori announced just an hour before we were to leave that she was taking me across the street to "Perennial Pete's".

"No Way!" I said..."I'm not going over there!"

"Come on" she said..."'Pete's' outside, the gates is open, it will be good for you! Let's go make friends."

"Nope! Not interested. Not ready yet" I've told you before....if I can procrastinate on something...I will.

"It will give you something to blog about....." she teased in a sing-songie voice.

That made me reconsider....for about 2 seconds....."no thanks" was my reply.

"Then I'll drag you over there kicking and screaming!"

and so she did.....well, not really but almost.

I pouted....stuck out my bottom lip....and stomped my feet as we crossed the street.

"If he yells at me and makes me cry (I cry so easy, This IS a weakness of mine, as opposed to one of my "quirky personality traits"---I hate it!) then I'll.....I'll....(I was at a loss for a coming up with a punishment for her that would match my humiliation)....I'll...oh I don't even know what I'll do, but it will be big!" I lamely threatened.

So we walked thru the gate into his gardens. The first part is layed out like a nursery, a little run down, kinda old, little over grown, slightly neglected, nursery. Rows of potted plants, a small covered area with more potted plants on long tables.

And there was "Pete" behind the covered area, with a huge rototiller, struggling to keep it running. Every couple of minutes the engine would gasp and "Pete" would grab an aerosol can and squirt it at it and the engine would roar back to life.

Lori and I browsed while he repeated this process about a dozen times. He didn't seem to notice us there and I was thinking....maybe he'll keep ignoring us, we can sneak back home and I will get off easy....I "tried" I could report.....

No such luck. "Pete" cut the engine....and my heart started beating a little faster.....and I continued to browse. It seemed like an eternity and then I hear this strange wheezing noise. I was already a little creeped out....the whole place was a little scary to me in a "Freddie Cruger/ Friday The Thirteenth/ meets Martha Stewart" kinda way (oh come on!!! you know she's not human!)

anyways....the creepy wheezing noise....I turned around and there was a really old dog lumbering towards me. He was very dirty, and missing half his fur, and limping with arthritis. But he seemed to be greeting me with a wheezie smile.

"Pete" was following the dog. If I had to guess, I'd say "Pete" is in his early 70's and he was dressed in a grubby pair of coveralls.

I paused and waited for him to take the lead, but he made some comment on the beautiful day (I think) so I thrust out my hand and said "I'm Tori, I just moved in across the street a couple weeks ago". He paused and looked at my hand just long enough for me to have that thought "he's not gonna shake my hand and now what am I supposed to do with my hand hanging out there" kinda thought. But then he pulled his hand out of his coveralls and looked at it and said "It's covered with gasoline...." and gave me a questioning look. I grabbed his hand and said "Oh! I don't mind at all!" and gave him my best "I'm not the dainty little girl that I might look like--don't you ever mess with my kids again--or I'll kick your butt" firm handshake that I could muster.

Right there, and then, I think I passed some kind of "Perennial Pete" test "part one".....I don't know how to explain it....I could see it in his eyes.

On to "part two"....we walked up to some of the tables and he nonchalantly quizzed me on plant knowledge. Again, I could tell something was going on...but I seemed to pass.

Then "Pete" suddenly turns his back and mumbles something that I think I hear about a tour (darn deaf ear!) and he's off walking. Lori and I look at each other and give a quick shrug of the shoulders and then start to follow him.

To be continued....

Friday, July 10, 2009

stupid drivers and a little experiment

Today I drove back to Kalamazoo for the second time this week. It's a 3+ hour trip one way and I will be making this trip 3 more times next week. Doesn't really matter why....I just gotta do it.

The traffic is killin me! Or should I say stupid drivers are killin me!!

Hubby said I would probably have to start taking Valium when we moved here to deal with Illinois drivers....they are a different to describe it???? It's so hard.

I did notice yesterday that while driving that 3+ hour drive, that my jaw was starting to hurt....I realized then that I was clenching my teeth....hmmmm.

So in honor of all my trips back and forth to Kalamazoo over a 10 day period, I'd like to do something different today....

I'm gonna tell you my biggest driving pet peeve and I'd like to hear see, I've been messing with my blog settings hoping to make it easier for you to comment on my posts--if you wish to do so....(I soooo love to hear your comments!!!!)--and not have to go through a bunch of rigamaroll...signing up for blogger...typing in silly fuzzy a urine sample....promising your first born child...

So here's mine...people who drive slow in the fast lane. It happens a lot here in Chicago. They seem to have no concern about anyone else on the road and just drive along.....lalalalla....ughhh!!
Your turn. Just click on comments.....hopefully.....and follow the steps
I'd love to hear from you.
Please...don't leave me hangin...

soccer practice and the good year blimp

Tony had his first soccer practice last evening for his new travel soccer team that he will be playing on here in IL. It wasn't really practice, it was "conditioning" run by some random guy who works for the soccer organization. The only reason I make the distinction here is because if it was practice then I'm sure the coach would have introduced him to the other players and poor Tony would have had a lot less anxiety.

You could see the pain and tension on his face as he tried to "juggle" his ball and edge closer to the other kids. It was painful for me to watch! What's a mom to do?

Grab my camera and take some pictures of his pain....

It didn't work too well....

I'm not gonna blame it all on my camera this time either (but I really, really, really want a new camera)

See, I was also trying to "fit in" there at soccer.

There was a group of soccer moms to my a circle looking amazing similar to this picture....talking and laughing. And there's me nonchalantly trying to edge closer, hoping to just blend into their circle.

I didn't want them to see me taking pictures of soccer conditioning....Who in their right mind takes a picture of their kid at soccer conditioning? picture me hiding my little pocket my pocket....looking over at the group of soccer moms to make sure no one was watching.....and quickly raising it to snap a quick pic before anyone would see me. Yep, that's how sad I am.

But then the most amazing thing happened....well, I thought it was amazing. There above us is the Good Year Blimp! It just circled over the soccer field for about 40 minutes. I was mesmerized....forget fitting in....forget my child's pain and's the Good Year Blimp! I sat for about 10 minutes trying to decide how to describe the sound it made. See the only time I've ever seen a blimp is at The Big House and there always happens to be 107,501+ screaming fans. I've never actually heard one before. I decided big push lawn mower is the best description.

After my initially wonder and amazement wore off....maybe 20 minutes later....hey what can I say? I realized that none of the other soccer moms were even looking at the Good Year Blimp. So I began to wonder, is it normal for the Good Year Blimp to circle the soccer fields in Chicago? Are they so used to it that it's no big deal?
So I had to do the same "hide the camera in the pocket, make sure no one is looking, quick snap a picture" routine again....hey! I may be spending a lot of time with these women....I don't want them to know how weird I am right off the bat!
So after watching the Good Year Blimp circle, dip, descend, and rise over and over I came to the conclusion that they must be practicing landing. I imagined the new pilot....I'll call her 'Tori'....hey it's my imagination...get your own Good Year Blimp!.....nervously gliding the blimp toward the ground....and the more experience pilot....I'll call him 'Mr Yang' (he was my driver's training teacher in H.S. and he had the most calm voice)....saying "that's right, just bring it down slowly, good job Tori! ok now lets go up again"....excuse my lack of technical blimp terms....I was just daydreaming....
Anyways, I never did get any closer to that group of soccer mom's. Tony did just fine even though I'm not sure he really talked to anyone either. I'll try harder next time, when I'm not so distracted by blimps.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Meijer and Captain Cash Register

I wasn't gonna do it....
but I'm there almost everyday.
The temptation is too strong....
I'm sure I'll get used to it.

but it's driving me crazy so I'm just gonna say it
I hate my new Meijer!!!

sound silly? I'm thinking that right now. But I don't really have anything else to write about today, so why not....

I grew up with Meijer. Meijer is a comforting place for me (now you're really getting concerned about my sanity right?). Some of my earliest childhood memories are in Meijer...
shopping there with my mom....riding "Penny" the brown horse....that dutch guy stretching the dollar on the front of the store (if you're from Holland, you know what I'm talking about).

I remember getting lost in Meijer once when I was really little. My mom had this pink coat with a belt and I would hang onto to that belt while I looked at things in the store (see, boxes were distracting for me even as a little kid....) anyways....somehow we got separated. I was still holding the belt but she was gone. Someone found me crying an took me to the customer service desk. I recognized the lady at the customer service desk as someone my dad would say 'Hi' to when I was with him in the store....My dad worked for NCR and worked on the cash registers in the Meijer store....I remember being so proud of the fact that my dad could fix those complicated machines and he knew everyone there by name....kinda like a super hero....really! that's what I used to think back then....Captain Cash Register to the rescue!!! (hee hee sorry dad).
Anyways, by the time my mom came to get me, I was arguing with that service desk lady. I insisted that she knew my dad, cuz EVERYONE knew MY dad! Meijer was a safe place....I wouldn't even have to worry about getting lost in there....cuz my super hero dad would rescue me.

When we moved to South Carolina I went through Meijer withdrawls. I tried really hard to fit in down at the "Piggly Wiggly".....oh but it was tourture!! (Piggly Wiggly!!! come on! who in their right mind would name a store Piggly Wiggly!!!!). And the language barrier....oh my! My first time shopping there, I walked in the store, acting all casual (didn't want anyone knowing it's my first time) and the greeter lady stops me.....(use your imagination and think of the worst southern drawl you've ever heard and apply it here)"Hi Daaarrllinn....You want a Buuuugggie?" She could have been speaking Japanese....I didn't understand a word she said. But you know how awkward it is when you can't understand someone, you don't want to offend them by saying "I can't understand you!!" So I used the casual "I'm sorry?" and pretended I just didn't hear her (see how handy that deaf ear comes in?). She says it again, increasing the volume and slowing each word.....making the southern drawl even worse "" Ok, so this time I deciphered most of it but what the heck is a "bhhhhuuuugggiiiieeee?" Now confusion has uncontrollably spread across my face....there's no hiding it now....I'm new here, a foreigner. She smiles a compassionate smile and says "Darlin, where are you from?" "Michigan" I say apologetically (later I think why do I feel like I need to apologize?) She pulls a shopping cart out of the rack and pushes it towards me and says "Don't you worry Daaarlllinn....You live here for a couple months and you'll lose that horrible Michigan accent!"

Anyways, I loved my old Meijer in Kalamazoo. I knew where everything was. I knew lots of the workers by name....which my kids find completely embarrassing....but my best friend, Lori, works there and when I join her for lunches and breaks and stuff, you meet like I said...I'm there almost everyday.

I was comforted knowing that I was moving to a place that had Meijer. I wouldn't have to learn a whole new store like in the south. But Lori warned me, she said Chicago area Meijers are different. She said they function different, are set up different....don't have to follow the Michigan rules, I guess. And she was right. Nothing is in the "right" place. It's layed out all funny (why is the pop in the same isle as the butter? and so far away from the chips?) It's just WRONG! So that's why Tony and I ventured out to a new market the other day (See "Perennial Pete Part Two"). And I actually felt like I was cheating on my Meijer....I've been so loyal in the past....avoiding Walmart and Sam's Club like they are evil (which they kinda are....I told runs deep).

I guess I'll give it some more time. I'm sure I'll adapt.....eventually. Sigh...I wish my super hero dad was here to help me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Perennial Pete "part two"

Yesterday, Tony and I took a quick trip to one of our local food markets to pick up a few things. I didn't realize it until we were in the store, buts it's one of those places that you have to have a membership card in order to get their "special prices".

One of the check out ladies was standing outside her lane and waved me over to check me out.

I was a little preoccupied with getting my card that I didn't notice much about this woman. She gave me the form and chatted with me while I filled it out. She asked if I was new to the area. I said yes. She asked where we live and I told her the name of our neighborhood. She said she lived in that neighborhood too. "my husband owns the perennial business on that street" she said.

Yes, it was "Perennial Pete's" wife....again, for the purpose of protecting the innocent and protecting this blog.....names have been changed....I'll call her "Petunia".

The blood was pounding in my mama bears claws instinctively came out (come on moms out there, you know how it is when someone hurts or scares your kids).....

"I live right across the street from you " I said as I looked up from my half completed form and looked "Petunia" right in the eye.
"Do you know what your husband did?" I asked. Then I reached across the little scanner thingie and put her in a choke hold. The teenage bagger person had to pry my hands off "Petunia's" neck!

Calm down Dad....I'm kidding....of course! Just a little poke at my dad, who e-mailed me after my schizophrenic gardening post and told me to go across the street and "kill him with kindness"

Here's how it really went....
after "Petunia" said her husband owned the perennial business....
I paused from filling out my form and said "I live right across the street" and I looked directly into her eyes....and gave her one of those "you know that I know that we both know what I'm thinking" looks.....
and then the teenager bagger person interrupted the too long stare. And said in a chirpy little voice "hee hee, well I guess you know where to buy your flowers from! hee hee"

I smiled at "Petunia" and said "I guess so" and left the store.

Today I spent the day in Kalamazoo, tying up some loose ends. I went to my favorite flowershop ever....River Street Flowerland...which is it's real name. Go there if you live in kzoo. There is no other place like it and never will be! I spent 2 glorious hours there and had to finally leave before I went over my flower spending limit and the Hubs would kill me.

But don't worry....I will head over to "Pete and Petunia's" place and buy a little soon as I can get my mama bear claws to retract.

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of july relaxation

We had our first visitors to our new home this weekend, and I was a little worried (but I worry about everything...another one of my "quirky" personality traits....yeah, we'll call it that...)

My reason for worrying? I'm almost embarrassed to tell you....
You probably all think I'm a weirdo as it is....with my obsessive orderliness, cleanliness, ADD, procrastination...ect. ect.
Ahhhh, but what the heck, I'm sure you have your issue too....right? come on fess up....

So anyways, I was worried that my new home wasn't "homie" enough.
Stop laughing (or shaking your head or whatever you're doing to judge me) It's true! There are all these boxes still, and we are waiting for our new furniture to arrive so we don't have a lot of seating, and the white walls....they are everywhere! Oh, I could go on and on.

But for Bret and Kaitlyn it didn't seem to bother them....

Or Bret and Nick.....

A couple more photos to share of our weekend.

My man and a nail gun....nothing is better than this.

except maybe "shelves in the garage! oh happy days!" (a little Jane Austen reference for you this morning in case you didn't know (except its closet not garage but who cares!))

Sunday, July 5, 2009

coyote snacks

I finally had my first coyote sighting last night. Most people wouldn't get too excited. It was just running across the road. But I was pretty excited....

We've been hearing all about the coyotes since we moved in. I guess they have quite a problem with them here in the burbs. They use our neighborhood as hunting grounds. Most people don't mind the hunting of bunnies, raccoons, and squirrels but I guess they have a "special appetite" for little dogs. A dozen or so little dogs have been eaten by them in the last year. The coyotes have been known to jump fences as high as four feet to snatch a dog from a yard. One of my neighbors complained that she was "stalked" by a coyote while walking her dog at dusk. It terrified her by its brazenness. It got so close to her that she actually felt she had to pick up her little dog and carry it or the coyote would have tried to eat it right off the leash.

Who would of thought that moving to a big city burb would bring us more encounters with "wild life"? We have seen multiple deer in our backyard. I could watch the hundreds of beautiful birds all day long. Two of my neighbors were telling me the other day about a tree they had in their backyard. It was in the "wetland" area almost perfectly between their two yards (so no one could really say who it belonged to). It was a beautiful tree with a family of birds living in it that both families enjoyed watching. One day they both noticed the tree was gone. Parts of it were lying in the yard. Both husbands and wives complained to each other blaming the other neighbor of cutting it down. "I can't believe they would cut that big tree down without asking us!" "Why would they do that?!" They were actually mad at each other for a couple of weeks, until another neighbor came over and said "I see the beavers got one of your trees too". Now we know why there are all those little fences are around the trees.

Back to the coyotes....
We've also heard stories of their hunting sounds that they make. At the neighborhood party that we went to last week, I was fascinated by everyone's descriptions. So every night (since the temps have been so cool) I have been sleeping with the windows open, hoping to hear the coyotes. So far all I hear are trains....

But Tony has hear them. He was out jumping on the trampoline in the dark the other night. He came in saying that he heard the coyotes and it was "freaking him out".

I wonder if they might ever have a "special appetite" for little boys....

Saturday, July 4, 2009

sleeping standing up

Just a quick post today since it's a holiday and we have company....

I just wanted to tell you a quick Mac story....
I have a lot of Mac stories....I could fill a whole blog just with Mac stories.

For those of you who don't know, Mac is my 15 y/o daughter....who is going on 30

she has been going on 30 since she was 2....

She is full of life, very quick witted, and a joy to be around...most of the time (she is a teenager after all)

She is the only person I know who can go to a baseball game one night knowing only one person, and by the end of the evening meet a bunch of people and have one couple (my age) decide that their teenage son just HAS to marry her (it happened a couple days ago....really)

Mac is very girlie, girl (so unlike me). She loves make up, clothes, shopping, and these....
Mac got these little hotties for a going away present.

Mac loves shoes! She would spent every penny she earns on shoes. I feel so sorry for her future hubby....

remember, you can click on the pictures to make em bigger....I know you're dying to see the shoes up close!

She has decided that she just has to wear her new purple heals on a shopping trip that she is going to take in Chicago in a few weeks. I think she is delusional....there is NO way she will be able to walk for miles and miles in those shoes!

So Mac has decided she is going to "break them in". She has been wearing them around the house constantly the past couple of days. Yesterday, while I was working in the kitchen, she came in and started chatting with me while I's a portion of our conversation....

Mac: "My shoes aren't breaking in fast enough"
Me: "Maybe it's because they cost $7 and they aren't meant to be worn shopping in Chicago"
Mac: "I'll break em in. I'm gonna start sleeping in them"
Me: "I don't think it works that way"
Mac: "Then I'll sleep standing up"

I'm sure she will figure out a way. She is already influencing our company for the weekend....a future generation of shoe lovers....

Friday, July 3, 2009

What? I can't hear you over the train...

When Dear Hubby and I first started looking at houses we found one we really liked that was on this beautiful golf course. We loved the neighborhood, the yard was pretty, it seemed to have everything we wanted...the only problem was the train tracks running along the back side of the lot.

When we looked at the house, Hubby asked the realtor, "what about the train noise?"

The realtor chuckled and said "You'll be living in a Chicago suburb, you will have train noise no matter where you live."

When I was in high school, my mom sold our house and we moved into an apartment that backed up to train tracks. The tracks were really "don't stick your head out the window when the train goes by or you may be decapitated" close. I can remember the whole apartment shaking when the train went by. But I don't remember ever having any trouble sleeping because of it.

Hubby and I didn't end up buying that house because we did feel that train was just a little too close. You can see the train when you step outside the house we did purchase. Here's a picture of what I can see when I'm on my back deck. This is the Metra. I know, it's kinda hard to see...I need a better camera....hopefully for my anniversary? Oh, and just to let you can click on the pics so you can get a bigger view...that may help.

I took a closer one of this train a few minutes later. I asked Hubby how far that is cuz I'm not good with those distance thingies. He says maybe 1/2 mile.

All I know is that I hear that train EVERY time it goes by. And it goes by a lot. Not only the Metra but all kinds of trains hauling things. It's rattles, and blares its "train horn" (whistle is just too soft and sweet of a sounding word...whoever came up with that word to describe it...I'd like to just take away his, his, his, word using license! so there!) Even Tony exclaimed yesterday morning "Jeez! how many times does that thing go by?". I tried to count, but my ADD got in the way...I only got to 9 trains yesterday morning....then something distracted me....I think it was a box...

So I haven't been sleeping real well here in our new house.
Maybe it's because I'm getting older...I'm not a teen that can sleep through anything anymore...
maybe it's my new mattress...or just sleeping next to Dear Hubby every has been 6 months...

Even my one deaf ear isn't helping....yes, I'm almost deaf in my left ear. It's something I could get fixed with surgery...but it comes in handy at times...I can lay on my right side and not hear Hubby snore (that's a BIG benefit)...I can use the "I'm sorry I didn't hear you" excuse when I forget to do something (just don't tell my family that)...I only need one ear bud when I listen to my i pod (so I don't have to listen to my kids horrible music)....Nahh! I'm not ready to fix it yet.

There are benefits of living so close to the train. When Hubby starts commuting into the city, it's only a minute down the road (and they have this cute little area labeled "kiss and drop" so a spouse (or significant other) can just pull up to the station and kiss and drop off their loved one).

And I am looking forward to hoping on that train into the city with some girlfriends some time soon....wanna come for a train ride anyone (bring your ear plugs!)?