Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Have you ever noticed that sometimes you get more done when you are busy?  I have come to realize that that is so true.  I can only tell you about my experiences, but this is what I have been up to.  NOTHING!!
Let me explain.

Over the last several months, things at work have not been good for me.  There had been a shift in the direction that the company was heading and though nothing had been made public, there was a 'feeling' in the air that things were changing.   The attrition rate rose, people were feeling unsettled and unhappy, and there was a general distaste for the management.  I felt it the most immediately after a new VP was brought on board, then another VP and another, etc.  While the company was being squeezed by the effects of sequestration and the rank and file was being told we had to conserve $$ and valuable people were being laid off, VP's were being hired into new positions at an alarming rate.  Anyway, to make a long story short, I was laid off.  So, I am now among the ranks of the unemployed.

Although not terribly unhappy to be leaving a job that I had come to hate, I'm wasn't sure that I was ready to jump into the job search immediately.  So, I decided that I would take a little time to decide what I would do next and in the meantime, I could catch up on some projects that I had put on the back burner.  Sounds great, right?!

Well, it has now been almost two weeks and what have I gotten done? NOTHING!  Nothing that I thought I would be able to get done anyway.  What I have been able to do is to get some of those doctors' appointments that I had been putting off taken care of.  Which in turn leaded to some tests and other appointments, but it had to be done.

I have been able to take Bella to school and  pick her up afterwards.  Help her with her homework and take her to her dance classes.  I have been able to be here for my daughter, who is having a very difficult pregnancy.  it makes me feel good to be able to help her out by making her a meal, or picking her up at work or running an errand for her.
 And, I have gotten to spend a bit more time with my hubby.

It's good to be home.  Catching up with these guys:

Michelle and Tim

Shawn, Michelle, Bella, Tim and Esther
Shawn, Michelle, Bella, Tim and Esther

                                                                  And this little guy.
My Little Buddy.
He is proving to be a good little guy, but it has been a long time since we have had a puppy!
And let's just say that he has been making a few more projects for me to work on! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I have been trying for weeks to post, but something has been going on with my computer or blog site that has not allowed my to type anything! Anyway, it seems to have corrected itself for now, so I am taking this opportunity to catch up on all the goings on. And there has been a LOT going on! First up, Annapolis. Several weeks ago Jim and I went
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to Annapolis and took our sweet Bella with us. It didn't look like it was going to be a very nice day, but we had planned to go and our time off was running low so we headed out. Our first stop was the visitors center and it was surrounded by our state flower-the Blackeye Susan.
Next, we went on a boat cruise of the area, it was beautiful! Although overcast, it was a very hot day and being on the boat there was a beautiful breeze from the movement and the water. I have been to Annapolis only one other time and that was with Timmy's fourth grade class on a field trip. (He's 27 now, so it's been a while!) We walked around the area and shopped a bit and then went to lunch at a place that Jim & Bella had found on one of their previous adventures to our State Capitol. We had planned on taking a bus tour after that, but as we got to the place to buy the tickets we heard about a more private tour that was done via 6 passenger golf carts and we jumped on that. The driver/guide was a long time resident of the area and knew a lot of background and history that he was able to share with us. It was a fabulous tour!
One of the things that we learned was that the window below is an original Tiffany window depicting Mary and Jesus. The entire church was surrounded by stained glass windows and the windows above the pulpit were designed to cast a golden glow on that area of the church in the morning as the sun rises.

It was a really great day and we just loved spending that special time together with Isabella! Next we were able to take another day trip, this time to Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh area is where my hubby grew up and where some of his family still resides. One of our nieces had gone to a lot of work to schedule a day where we could all meet and go to a Pirates game together. Jim's two sisters and his brother were all there, our nieces and nephews and Tim and Esther. Michelle & Shawn were the only ones unable to make it and that is due to the difficulty that Michelle is having with this pregnancy. We missed them, but it was a great day for a baseball game and we had a blast! The stadium is just beautiful and all the seats are great, with a beautiful view of both the river and the downtown area behind it.

It really was a beautiful day and really, nothing says summer like a visit with the Boys of Summer! Ha! Next for me was a trip up to my sisters' house in Vermont. Jenn is the youngerst of the family. She is a harworking, single parent of two and she has not had the best of summers. She flew to Califormia for a wedding and from there she and the kids flew down to Florida to spend some time with our parents. That stay turned into more than she ever imagined when she woke up one morning with a bit of a stomach ache. By that evening she was in the ER being admitted with a suspected intestinal blockage. She wound up having a bowel resection a couple of days later and was in the hospital for eight days! She was finally able to go home and a mere two days later found herself back in the hospital for another stay that would turn out to be more than two weeks long!! Infection and other post-surgical problems kept her there and when she was finally released, it was with a home health care nurse and a PIC line for IV antibiotics. Needless to say, she needed some assistance and we all chipped in! Laura and Susan were with her in the hospital and my mom flew up to take over for Laura after a week. I was to go up when my Mom had left, but because she was not doing as well as expected, mom stayed on an extra week. It turned out for the best as we girls were able to have some quite time to visit and also help both Jenn and Susan run the kids to their various activities and committments, take Jenn to the dr., and assist with household chores. I was even able to squeeze in a couple of photo shoots of 3 of the 4 kids.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Five For Friday

I am taking this idea from several other blogs where you post about five things that you are particularly enjoying, so here goes.
I am loving this latest book by Dan Brown!  I have read all of his books and I really enjoy them.  I love that the mystery or adventure is combined with historical references, art and far away places.  Often when he references something I find myself looking up that piece of art or church or whatever.  I am just savoring this book.  Can't wait to finish it but I don't want it to end!

Oh. My.  Goodness!!  Have you tried these frozen fruit bars?  If not I highly recommend it, they are delicious!  They taste like freshly blended fruit and milk-just what the package says.  I love the banana and coconut flavors.  They also have Peach and Strawberry I think, but I haven't tried those flavors yet.  Such a nice treat on a hot summer night.

Best Flip Flops-EVER!!!
These are Fit Flops and they are oh sooooo comfortable!  They come in lots of different colors and styles and they even make shoes.  They are designed to be comfortable and they'r made with something called a multi-density Microwobbleboard midsole, whatever that is, and they feel so good!  I would get a pair in every color and style (that I liked), but they are a little pricey.  This style runs about $65.00 , but they are on sale at a lot of different places right now.  I've had mine for two years and the honeymoon is not over yet.
Fresh, ripe summer vegetables-can't get enough of them right now. 

This little guy!
He sure is a rascal.  He gets into everything (including our backyard water garden!), chews on anything he can, including my feet, uses the kitchen floor as a bathroom on occasion, and has to have all of his toys littering up the entire family room and kitchen!  But, he is so sweet and lovable, and that puppy smell-all I can say is he had me at that first wag of his little tail! 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

It's a Girl! And a Boy!

I was reminded yesterday that it has been a long time since I have posted-June 25th to be exact.  There is no excuse other than to say that life has been getting in the way.  I have the best of intentions and really mean to update the blog, but then something happens that will distract me and once I get distracted, well let's just say sometimes it takes a long time to get back on track, though it helps a lot if someone reminds me!  My mind is just swimming with all kinds of different thoughts, concerns, worries and prayers and to be honest, I sometimes think that I can't handle it all.  Somehow though, it all gets done or taken care of and the bottom line for me is to remind myself of life's abundant blessings and to be grateful for how much has been bestowed on me.  I am grateful, truly.

So, when last we left off I announced the news that my darling daughter and son in law were expecting and making me a Grandma for the second time.  What's new on that front?  A LOT actually!  Michelle has been having a difficult pregnancy, although she might beg to differ-it has been taking its' toll on her.  I had mentioned earlier that she has been quite ill and that her doctor had recommended a cerclage.  Fast forward several weeks and the cerclage did in fact take place and went relatively smoothly.  But because of all of her 'morning' sickness she was in the hospital for much of the day instead of the few hours that they had predicted.  She needed to be able to hold down food and go to the bathroom before being discharged and true to form as soon as she began to take in food or drink, she began to send it back out again.  Eventually she was discharged and went home to take it easy as directed.  After beginning her second trimester, her stomach seems to have settled a bit and as long as she eats every 2 hours she is holding down food, but if she diverts from that schedule at all-her body revolts against her and the morning sickness begins again. 
Because of her multiple doctors' appointments though, we have gotten to see quite a few pictures of this little one and we have learned that it is a she!  We are all very excited about the prospect of another Granddaughter, but perhaps none more than Isabella.  Though she had said on numerous occasions that she was hoping for a brother, when her parents told her that she would be having a sister-she screamed with joy!  She has not come down off cloud 9 yet and has even re-named one of her dolls Carissa, the  name that Michelle and Shawn have choosen for their new daughter. 
Since we now know the sex of the baby, it is much easier to make plans and we have been doing just that!  It is such an exciting time for Michelle and Shawn and really, for all of us! 
 Our Fourth was pretty uneventful.  It was HOT!!!!  Too hot to be outside, especially with a pregnant woman who has been ordered by her doctor to stay out of the heat.  So, we stayed home.   Michelle, Shawn, Bella and Holly, our friend, came over and we had a little indoor, air-conditioned picnic.  Tim and Esther were hoping to join us, but Tim's restaurant decided to open and they were slammed!  We were all disappointed, but understand.  Bella couldn't wait until dark so that we could do the fireworks that Grandaddy and Shawn had picked up earlier in the day.

This was Bella doing the 'Sprinkler' with a sparkler!

I've been super busy at work and come home and collapse on the couch if Bella doesn't convince me to take her to the pool first!  Because I've been so tired, the crafting has been  pushed to the side for a while.  Sad, but sometimes I just run out of gas.
So, on to the other announcement.  Last Thursday before going to bed, our dog Chester began to have difficulty walking.  During the night he got up and then collapsed.  He didn't move for hours and as I was getting ready to go to work to get my laptop and work from home, he came over to me and as I scratched his ear he nuzzled my neck and kissed my face before dropping to the floor again.  A short while later, our dear friend and companion was gone.  My family was just devastated!  Bella asked when we were going to get a puppy and we had thought that maybe in the fall when Jim was home more.  As fate would have it, on Sunday Jim read of an 11 week old lab who needed a home.  He called the number and spoke to an elderly gentleman who had realized that a puppy was just too much for  him to handle.  We went to see the pup and, well, a short time later Buddy came home with us.  He is a sweet, adorable, feisty little guy and I am in love!
He doesn't replace my Chester, no dog ever could, but he sure makes it hurt a bit less.

Buddy had never been inside a  house before, but he sure warmed up to it fast!  He has discovered the refrigerator and loves the smells he finds there.  He has also learned to climb the stairs pretty easily, but it took a few days to master going down.  When I get up in the morning I bring him downstairs (he sleeps in his crate in our room) and the first few mornings he backed up when he saw the stairs.  I coaxed him on and he tentatively went down slowly, step by step.  Then yesterday he cracked me up when we got to the steps and he went down two steps, looked back at me and then lifted his  paws up and slid down the remaining steps on his tummy!  Funny  boy!
So, that's the news for now.  I am really hoping for a quiet, stay home weekend where I can clean the house and maybe even get to a craft or two. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Behind Our Garden Gate

Did you all have a great weekend?  The weather here was spectacular on Saturday and then it heated up again on Sunday, but we were glad for what we got. 
Bella has been asking to get her nails done, but during dance season she is not allowed to wear polish on her fingers or toes.  So we celebrated the end of the dance season by going in for a mani and pedi.  She loved it and I'm not going to lie-I did too!
Sunday it was girls day.  My cousin Kathy has a daughter who is the same age as Bella and though they seldom get to spend time together, Tory always makes it to Bella's  birthday party.  Yesterday, Tory had her party at a Skate Fun Park.  My aunt and uncle were in town from Colorado for Tory's recital, and though her birthday isn't until September, Tory wanted her grandparents there so she had her party early.  The girls get along so well and really have fun together, it is so nice to see!
They just love each other!
                                             This little girl sure loves her Grandma!

In other news, I'd like to take you on a tour of our yard to show you what we/ve been up to. (And by we, I mean that I go to the nusreries with Mr. W, show him what I like, bring it home and he does all the work!)\

I really love to garden and have always been an active participant in our garden, but lately I just haven't been able to do it. It is just to taxing on my body.

That orange bench that you see is one we have had for years.  It was built with extra lumber from our deck and has been moved all over the yard and never made an impact at all.  This year I was thinking I would paint it when the Mr. suggested the same thing.  We wanted something bright and eye catching, so I got the orange.  It took about 5 cans to cover.  (I should have primed it first!)
We love the look.

The string that is around the pond is there to keep the Herons' out, they love to swoop down and snack on our fish!

This garden has a little asian feel. I'd like to get a Budda or something for this area.
The fountain had not been used for several years, but the one that we had down here died so the one you see was brought back out. 

This is another view of the same garden.  What you can't see is that this garden is kind of a kidney shape and starts at about the middle edge of our patio and wraps around the corner of it.  That lattice screen I designed and our neighbor built for us many years ago.  It mirrors the corner of the patio and creates a screen from the neighbors behind us.
Again the same garden, this is where it begins.  In the Spring we have bright blue windflowers that pop up all around the bottom of that tree.  One of my favorite pieces of statuary is in the tree-a monk on a swing!

This is under the deck.  Jim loaded it up with hostas as it gets full shade and added the stepping stones to creat a path to the spicket.
The gnome (barely visible in the back there) was Bella's idea.  She love him!

This is right inside our gate.  It used to be a sun/shade garden, but now is complete shade. 
I think that we have a total of 5 birdbaths and all of them are frequented by our birds as well as the stream bed in the pond area.

I love our backyard!  It is a peaceful oasis in the middle of a subdivision.  When you are back there you forget the location as it is very quiet and peaceful.  There are frogs in the pond that make themselves known in the evenings and mornings, lots of birds and dragonflies, and butterflies, so relaxing.

So there you have it.  While these are not all of the gardens in our back yard, they are a good representation.  I'll try and take an overall picture to show you that we still have plenty of green yard space available for playing!  What kind of gardening do you do?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Whiney Wednesday! (Sorry, that's the best I can do today)

Have you ever had one of those days when you feel like you should have just stayed in bed and pulled the covers over your head and shut the world out?  Yeah, me too.  As a matter of fact, that day started for me on Monday.  I'll let you know when it's over. 

So, I am little lot cranky and whiney.  I will apologize in advance-sorry.

Let me tell you about it.  Monday came too fast, as per usual.  I went to work and was just slammed!  I had to take care of a few issues that I should not have had to address, but did. After a long day, I left and went to the doctor for my first of three injections-in my NECK!!  This is how it went.  He says to look down with my chin on my chest, dr. swabbed the area and then gave me an injection of lidocain.  Not an all together great feeling, but not horrible.  Next he says he is going to give me the injection if he can get the it in right because my neck is such a wreck that he wasn't sure he could get the right spot.  He warned me that I might hear a 'pop' and not to worry as it was normal.  Just the needle going into the tendon.  Ummm, ewwww!  Sure enough, POP! goes the tendon and then some pressure as the medication is plunged into my unsuspecting body.  I left and went home with just a small bandage covered by a piece of gauze and tape so as not to mess up my clothes.  After I got home I was doing a few things to help the hubs (who was at work) get ready for his trip with Isabella and Tim to Breezy Point, when suddenly and much to my dismay, the lidocain wore off and it well, hurt!  Not just the regular hurt of say a broken bone or a root canal hurt.  This was more like, OMG!  Rip my head off so I won't feel this, kinda pain. Suffice it to say it was a long night ending with me sleeping in the recliner only to have to get up and go to work the next day.

After a busy day at work I came home to hubs having just gotten home and beginnng to unload the car.  I dropped my stuff and  helped unload the stuff. Now here is where things begin to get ugly.  Mr. Wonderful's idea of unloading the car is to take everything out of it and dump it in the kitchen!  My idea of unloading the car is to take everything from the car and put it away. So while he did who knows what?  I rinsed the sand off everything, emptied the cooler, put the unused towels away, and unloaded the dishwasher before I could load it again because he didn't have time to do it before leaving for the beach. When we, and by  that I mean I finally sat down, he took the remote and turned on one of his shows and promptly fell asleep.  Really?  Then when he woke up had the nerve to tell me how tired he was from spending the day at the beach and went on to elaborate with details of all they had done. Like it wasn't good enough to just plunge the knife in he had to twist it too.  Meanwhile I had taken the med that the dr had given me and instead of making me tired, it made me wired and I was up until midnight.  When that alarm went off at 4:45 am I wasn't feeling very rested at all.

An hour later I get in my car to go to work and notice after I turn the car on that all the lights on the dashboard light up - again.  (Same thing had happened the week before.)  Grrrr!  I get to work and call the dealership telling them that I don't want to stay, I want to drop the car off and get a loaner because I really don't want to stay and wait for it. I made an appointment and after yet another squirrley day at work I headed to the dealership.  When I arrive they check me in and I'm told that it will only take a moment to diagnose the problem, so why don't I have a seat in the waiting room-that was at 4:30.  At six o'clock my car wHeas done and I was good to go!  Why did I have to make an appointment to wait?  The worst part of waiting was that I had forgotten my book in the car, the waiting room television was showing amatuer boxing (really!) and did I mention the waiting area had no air conditioning?
All I wanted to do was go home and get something to eat since I had neglected to have lunch and put my head down. 
As you can tell, I was none too happy and then on the drive home everything irritated me.  I live in a small town that has a great radio station that I listen to.  Unfortunately, the local businesses in town choose to make their own radio commercials and they stink.  I mean, really BAD!!  Let me just say that if you are making a commercial that is going to be played on the radio and said radio is listened to people who are driving in cars, it is NOT a good idea to have police sirens in your ad!  I think I'm getting pulled over or am supposed to pull over for the emergency vehicles or something.  Not a good idea. 
And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I see this guy running down the side of the road.  He was about 5' 9 or 10" and about 120 pounds, yeah his bones were showing!  He was about as pale as vampire in Miami and he was wearing the shortest, ugliest shorts I have ever seen.  Do I really have to bear witness to this?  It was just wrong on so many levels I couldn't stand it.

Then, I get home.  And here is the part where Mr. Wonderful looses his moniker.  From now on he will be referred to as just-him or he.  Why?  HE had left the toaster on the counter right where he left it after he used it.  I have to assume that he must have broken his arm taking it out of the cabinet which is why he wasn't able to get it back in the cabinet.  He failed to put any of the dishes or glasses that he had used into the dishwasher, that arm must have really been killing him. Then I went upstairs to grab a quick shower and put my pj's  only to discover that not only did He not make the bed but, He practically ripped the sheets off the bed in his sleep and left it that way.  I don't know about you, but I can't get into an unmade bed.  I HATE it.  And since He was sooo tired and went to bed early, HE took all the pillows off the bed and threw them on the floor.  In a mess!  Isn't is just so much nicer to put them in an nice, neat pile before putting them down on the chair-or the floor if you must.  UGH!  I so  hate to have to get into an unmade bed that on the day I was to be released from the hospital, Michelle ran over to the house before work or on her break or something and made my bed.

All I can say is: Thank God I had the forsight to raise that child right!

G' Night!
I'll be better tomorrow, promise.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A New Post!?!

I know that it has been too long since i have posted, but I have a good excuse.  Sort of, maybe, I guess it really depends.  My excuse is that I have simply been too tired to write. 
Doesn't sound like much of an excuse, does it?  It is however, the truth. 
So, let's review what I have been up to, shall we?
First up is Isabella's Birthday Party.  Each year I typically let her invite five girls so that it would be six including her.  For the last couple of years, they haven't all been able to come and we wind up with 3-4 girls.  This year I told her she could invite 11.  Her first question to me was "Did you ask my Mom if that's okay?"  Ha!  She's such a good kid.  After convincing her that mom was okay with it, she went ahead and made her guest list.  So this year all but one showed up! My Dad and Marlena arrived first at about noon and there was a certain amount of excitement as they saw her outfit.  Bella was wearing a shirt that said "Big Sister".  That's right, Isabella is going to be a big sister sometime around the middle of December.  (If the baby stays put.)  More on that later.
Then one of the guests arrived with her mom and dad and dade wanted a tour of our backyard.  I was happy to oblige but while giving him the grand tour, the rest of the guests arrived.  It wouldn't have been a problem, except taht I had not had a chance to take any pictures yet of my decorations.  Consequently, I have just a few as compared to normal.  The theme was Hollywood Red Carpet and our girl just loved her party!  

Bella and the girls just loved these little Oscar statues!

I was pleased with this film strip banner that I created.  Each of her nine birthdays are represented on the banner and it is fun to see how she has changed!

The wreath is made from popcorn and unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it until after the birds had started to nibble on it! 
It was super hot that day, so although the party was primarily outside, we choose activities to help cool them off.  They had a water balloon fight, a shoot for the stars competition (gold stars hung from a tree and the girls had to sh oot them with a water gun.), a pinata and of course, all the girls had the opportunity to walk the red carpet.  They were so funny!

Don't know why they won't stay rotated?

After the girls all left my Dad & Marlena, my cousin Cathy and her daughter Victoria (pictured above in the red), Sean's parents and Vinnie & Sabina (our grandparents from next door) all stayed for dinner.  It was a very busy, but very nice day.
Sunday we had breakfast with Dad & Marlena before they hit the road.
After they had left, Jim and I headed down to Tyson's Corner to shop for Bella's Birthday at the American Girl Store.  She just love's those dolls and every single accessory!

On to the news of our newest grandbaby.  Michelle had a lot of sickness during her pregnancy with Isabella and she ultimately delivered 6 1/2 weeks early. Although Bella weighed in at 6 pounds 12 ounces, she would have been huge had Michelle carried to term.  True to form, Michelle has again been very ill.  She can't seem to hold anything down.  This came to a head on Tuesday when she began to feel lightheaded and generally poor after not holding anything in her stomach for 2 1/2 days.  She went to the doctor who sent her directly to the ER.  She had lost 4 pounds in 2 weeks and they needed to get nutrients in her right away.  She ws diagnosed with Hypermesis Gravidarum, the same condition that Princess Kate suffered with in the beginning of her pregnancy.  Wednesday she saw the Perinatologist for the first time who recomended a cerclage, stitching of the cervix to keep it closed.  It was scheduled for yesterday at 6:30 am.  We were to keep Bella so she wouldn't have to get up so early. 
Now, last weekend Bella and I went to Ohio to celebrate my nieces graduation from High School.  While we were there I noticed that her cheeks were quite red the whole time.  Bella said that she felt fine and it was probably just sun, but I had a different feeling.  Tuesday she was sent home from school with a rash and when Michelle called the dr. she was told that it was a rash and reallly, there was nothing to do about it but let it run its course.  All well and good, but she couldn't go back to school without a doctor's note, so Michelle called back and set up an appointment.  For 9:00 Thursday morning.  I took her and Fifth's Disease was confirmed.  Nothing to do for Bella, but the dr. cautioned me not to have her around pregnant women!  It can cause some complications in unborn babies.  I got Bella back in school and headed over to the hospital to spell Shawn so that he wouldn't have to take another day off work.  I thought we'd be there an hour or two, but no, not with Michelle.  She couldn't hold anything down and could not pass the final test needed to ensure release-going to the bathroom on her own.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Not so much, especially given that she had a spinal block for the procedure. 
Anyway, she was still at the hospital when she reminded me that I needed to head out for my scheduled MRI of my neck.  So I ran over to the imaging center, had the MRI and then was about to head back to the hospital when Shawn texted me to let me know that he was taking her home!  It was now about 3:00.
I went home by myself and walked in to Jim telling me that it was time to go get Bella from school.  I let him do that run alone as I hadn't eaten or taken a break all day!
Then it was time for Bellas makeup and hair to be done for her dress rehearsal.  After doing that I dropped her off with her Dad who was taking her to the rehearsal.  Michelle realized that today was the last day of school and she had neglected to get the teacher a gift, so I ran out to do that. While I was there, Shawn called and asked if I could pick up her Rx from the pharmacy.  Sure.  I went to CVS only to f ind that the dr. had not called it in!  Ran back to Michelle's to drop off the gift and told her.  Shaw called the doctor and at 9:00 he called back to say we could pick it up.  He was STILL at dance.  Problem is, the pharmacy was closing in 30 seconds.  I was able to reach the pharmacist who transferred the prescription to a 24 hour store and Mr. W ran over to pick it up. 
Whew!  I'm tired again jnst from typing that out!

Tomorrow is Bella's recital, so we will be busy with that.  Good news is we have nothing scheduled for Sunday.  Oh wait!  It's Father's Day!  Better figure out a gift for the hubs.  Any ideas?