Sunday, November 12, 2017

Dragon Con 2017 - Thursday

For the first time in several years, we opted to take Emily out of school for Thursday. Todd really wanted to go to Dragon Con Wrestling because they were having some big name wrestlers as guests. I was fine with that because going on Thursday gives me a chance to give blood without any other con stuff really going on.

We drove down that morning and spent a little bit at my aunt and uncle's house before I put on my American McGee Alice costume and we headed on down to the con. After a short MARTA trip and a shorter line to get our badges we had several hours to kill.

A couple of people stopped me to get my picture, including the Atlanta Fashion Police which was shiny. I love it when people want to take pictures of me cosplaying!

I decided that I wanted to give blood. This was right after the hurricane had hit Texas and right before Irma was going to storm on up. The blood drive was in the basement of the Hyatt and the line to even get registered was super long.

Todd left me to get blood and I waited and waited. It was moving from line to line. First to get registered, next to do the tests / forms with the nurses so see if I could give blood and then finally to a chair for the actual blood letting.

They were giving away 1st edition copies of Battlefield Earth to everyone who was in line to donate. I opted not to take one because they were massive and I didn't want to haul it around. I did take the snacky food they kept offering since I knew I needed it. I had eaten lunch before I went to give blood but extra snacks are good.

Finally after nearly 4 hours of waiting, I was in a chair and the nurse / blood collector person couldn't find a good vein. This is pretty typical for me because my veins suck. A supervisor had to come over and she found one, but ended up having another person come over and she got me hooked up really fast.

In total, it took me less than 10 minutes to actually give the blood. One of the fastest times for me, usually my blood doesn't flow as well as it did that day. I got more snacks after plus my t-shirt and pin.

Since it took so long, Dragon Con Wrestling had already started and the room was full. I tried to get Todd to answer his phone to come to the door and get me but in the end I just wanted until they let more people in.

We watched a little more of the wrestling and then decided to head back to my aunt and uncle's house.

Up Next - Dragon Con 2017 Friday!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Michigan Trip - The Long Journey Home

This is the last post in my Michigan trip report! To start from the beginning, click here!

Todd and I got up bright and early to pack up the car. My mother in law was a bit afraid that Emily would have a hard time with us leaving. I snuggled her a little before we left but honestly it was probably harder for me than it was with her. She knew her cousins would be over to play later and of course, cousins are more fun than mom and dad.

After we said our good-byes, we got in the car. Todd started driving because he knows the fastest ways to get out of the Thumb. We stopped at the mall in Bay City. They had an FYE that was having a really great sale on geeky stuff. We got a few things and then headed back on the road.

Todd took the back way into Saginaw and we stopped by 7-11 to get slurpees. Because I was still very tired and because usually Coke in slurpee form didn't bother me as much, I got a Coke slurpee. This ended up being a very bad idea.

It was my turn to drive and I drove aways before the pain levels got super high again. I managed to drive a while longer until it got too bad and I had to have Todd take over. I felt bad but he said he felt fine and preferred to drive anyway.

I slept a little and then I stayed awake the rest of the way home. The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful and we were both very happy to get home.

It was a good trip to Michigan to see family even though it was utterly exhausting. Hopefully next year, it won't be so tiring!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Michigan Trip - Independence Day!

This is the 4th post in my Michigan trip report! To start from the beginning, click here!

After sleeping in, we plied into my in-laws's truck because it was big enough to hold us all. We had Todd, Emily and I, my mother in law and father in law, plus Todd's brother, Scott, and his son, Austin.

Our first stop was an ice cream shop. Now, the thumb of Michigan is a strange place. There can be nothing but farms and wind machines for miles. Every once in a while, you'll come across a place like this ice cream shop which has nothing around it.

But when we got there, it was packed. This place specialized giant scoops of ice cream. I made the mistake of getting two scoops (like I usually do at our local ice cream shop) and I couldn't finish it. Emily couldn't finish her one scoop. But it was yummy!

After we finished our ice cream we got back in the truck and headed off to Caseville.  Emily and Austin had a couple of activities to choose from, and they picked mini golf. We all got balls and clubs and started playing.

We kept score for a while, but because there was so many of  us we just stopped. Emily and Austin
had a blast and Emily even got one hole in one. After we were done, we let the kids play a little in the arcade.

At this point, I was starting to not feel so well. I had been drinking a ton of caffeine in the form of Coke all week and it hit me like a ton of bricks. By the time we got back to my in-laws house, I had a raging migraine. I went directly into the guest room and took a long nap.

By the time I woke up, it was dinner time. Todd's brother had made steaks on the grill. I was feeling a little better and was able to eat dinner. Afterwards, Todd and I got our things mostly packed up and Emily's stuff into her suitcase since she was staying for another week.

I headed to bed because my head was still hurting and I needed to drive some on the way home the next day.

Up Next - The Long Journey Home

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Girl Scouts Vs. Boy Scouts

The Womanly Art of Leatherworking
Some of you may have heard the news that the Boy Scouts are now letting girls join. I really don't have an issue with this, it's up to the girl what organization she wants to join, since Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts aren't the only options.

What I have an issue with is the bad rap Girl Scouts gets from some people. I made the mistake of reading the comments on the post about this that was on the Boy Scouts Facebook page. Apparently, according to some people, Girl Scouts is about arts, crafts, learning how to be a housewife, and nothing outdoors. Which is so not true, at least for the troop that I'm a part of.

Emily has been a Girl Scout for three years now. We've gone camping every year (sometimes several times a year), we learn outdoor activities, hiking is a big thing in our troop and we are gearing up to do some awesome STEM stuff. In fact, our Juniors were making little robots last meeting.

Admittedly, our troop is awesome and yes, as a leader, I'm biased. But Girl Scouts is all about being girl led. Our girls have a say in what we do each year and what badges they want to earn. Our Brownies are working on their First Aid badge right now.

Yes, some troops may be more arts and crafts than outdoors. And if you don't like your local troop, join Boy Scouts or Campfire, or any other similar organization. And you can also start your own troop. Ours is only 4 years old.

Scouting is fun for both boys and girls. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts both have advantages and flaws, but if you find a good troop it can be life changing!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Michigan Trip - The Trek Across Michigan

This is the 3rd post in my Michigan trip report! To start from the beginning, click here!

We got up early and finished packing up. We got on the road after getting some breakfast and made a trek that I made dozens of times when I lived in Holland.

Our route took us right through Mount Pleasant, the home of my alma mater, Central Michigan University. We stopped and went into the bookstore so I could get an alumni sticker. We also wen to the big seal that is in front of Warriner Hall to take pictures.

We stopped in Bay City to see my great aunt Jackie for a little bit. Going to her house is like stepping through a time warp. It hasn't changed much since I was a child. Aunt Jackie herself is the same as she always is and was quite happy to see us.

We got back on the road and after several more hours of driving we got to Todd's parent's house. All told it was a five hour drive, so we were a bit tired. But once we got unpacked, we got changed because we were going to do family pictures.

Todd's brother, his wife and their kids, Amber and Austin, came over. Emily hit it off with her
cousins, who she hasn't seen since they were all toddlers. Austin had brought Pokemon cards so he and Emily played Pokemon.

The photographer came to the house and we did family pictures both inside and out. The outside pictures were the best, but they all were really good. After we finished with that, we had some dinner and then got changed to head to Scott and Lisa's house.

We gathered out in the front yard, sitting in chairs while we waited for it to get dark. The kids ran around the yard playing with a toy that launched in the air then the kids would try and catch it. They also did sparklers and we had smores!

Once it was dark Scott set off a bunch of fireworks. It was a very good show and the kids oohed and aahed and cheered for the fireworks. It was quite late by the time we were done, so we headed back to my inlaw's house to go to sleep.

Up Next - Independence Day!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

My Ghost Adventures - Whispers

To start at the beginning of this series, click here!

It's been a while since we had any ghostly activity in our house, but the ghost scared the crap out of me the other day. 

It was a very windy and rainy day, we were getting the remnants of Hurricane Irma. It was after I had put Emily to bed and I was sitting on the toilet doing my business. All of a sudden I hear a voice! 

I couldn't make out what she said, but it was definitely a female's voice. She said several words, and then I booked it out of the bathroom and turned on the hall light.

It freaked me out so badly that I didn't go back into the bathroom until Todd got home from work. Both Todd and I think that the storms gave the ghost enough energy to speak. I hope she wasn't saying "Die, Mandy, Die," though I doubt that.

This does confirm what Todd and I have thought for years. The ghost in the bathroom is a woman. Sometimes, I wonder what her story is, being stuck in our crappy bathroom. But I'm not going to research our house until we don't live here anymore - which may be a very long time!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Michigan Trip - Beach Day!

This is the 2nd post in my Michigan trip report! To start from the beginning, click here!

After sleeping for a good long time, we got up and headed to the beach. Emily was so small last time we were in Michigan, she didn't remember going to the beach. She was especially excited to play in the sand.

We headed to Tunnel Park in Holland, and I swear it was like stepping back in time to my childhood. Since it was before noon, the beach wasn't too crowded. Todd went into the water first but declared it was way too cold to swim in. Emily waded in with him a bit but then played in the sand.

I finally went into the water, and Emily came with me. It was cold at first but it warmed up for me. We swam for quite a bit, with Emily bouncing in the waves. After we played in the sand for a while longer, we went to the other side of park to have a cookout.

My dad and Todd cooked us hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. While they were grilling, I took
Emily to the playground. She played and then rolled down the big sand hill a couple of times just like I did as a child. She was covered in sand from head to toe.

We ate our food, packed up and headed back to my dad's house. Right away, Emily was tossed into the shower. She shed so much sand in the bathroom, I had to sweep it up. After the rest of us got showers too, we just relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.

Our plan had been to go to dinner and then go to Captain Sundae for ice cream. We went to Bob Evans for supper and while we were eating, the skies opened up and it started to pour. We were trying to decide how we would fit in Captain Sundae the next day, but the rain stopped as we were finishing up.

We decided to go anyway, and it was pretty dry while we had our ice cream. Emily was thrilled, with the ice cream and the play area that was a ship! After we finished, we headed back to my dad's house. We watched some tv and I got as packed up as I could.

Up Next - The Trek Across Michigan