Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Fridge Arrives

Today Lowes delivered our new fridge. A Samsung 20CUFT. French doors, bottom slide out Freezer. Wilma and I both notice the difference in size from our old Amana 22CUFT that was taken away today.
We have been, as the saying goes, holding our breath for almost a month now. The reason is that it was a month ago that I noticed that our Amana never shut off! It always seemed to be running no matter when you walked by it.
So a few weeks ago I mentioned to Wilma that we had to go buy a new fridge. Off we went fridge shopping, first stopping at Sargent’s, a small local appliance store. The prices seemed much higher than we really wanted to pay, and when the salesman came around to help us, he confirmed that we needed to shop elsewhere. He had both Wilma and I ready to leave within 10 minutes because of his attitude. So we did!
Off to Lowes we went. Within about an hour we signed for our new Samsung Fridge. It’s one of the “Energy Star” fridges so I will be able to claim it on our taxes this year for a write off. Won’t get much back I don’t expect, but anything is better than nothing.

imageTomorrow morning when the alarm wakes me up at 4:40am, it will be the LAST time it will have to do that. As tomorrow is the very last day I am scheduled to be at work. Even though the company celebrated my retirement last Thursday, this past week has been a “holiday work week” at premium pay, which I just couldn’t pass up. So as I pull out of the parking lot of the plant tomorrow at the end of my shift, I will be stopping at the guard shack to hand over my ID Badge. That will make it complete. I’ll Be Free!

Until next time, be safe and God Bless

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas with the “Kids”

Our daughters, Angel and Tina, our Grand kids, Haley, Dakota, Rebecca, Brooke, and Savannah, along with Wilma’s brother Eddie and his wife Beth, spent Christmas morning at our home.
It has become the custom that the family has a great breakfast before opening any gifts.

Eddie prepares his famous home made biscuits. They can’t be beat! Along with his milk gravy, mmm good!
While Eddie is making the biscuits, Wilma is busy making the sausage patties from fresh ground pork sausage that Eddie brought from home. After we ate those patties, I doubt that we will ever really enjoy “store bought” sausage patties again! Man O Man were they good.


After everyone was done with breakfast, we all headed for the living room where the gifts were under the tree.
The Grand kids were as excited as ever.
To me, I get the most joy from watching them open their gifts, and the excitement and joy on their faces when they see what they have received.

Savannah, our youngest Grand daughter, took on the roll of Santa’s helper by handing out the gifts to everyone. For Na-Na and myself this was very welcomed.
Rebecca also joined in as Santa’s helper
Our baby daughter “Tina” kissing her baby daughter “Savannah”

I’m so proud of my Grand kids. Even gifts of clothes were well accepted. I remember as a kid that I didn’t really like clothes, only wanting toys. Bad me!
And for our two “artists” in the family, Haley and her brother Dakota, a large sketching pad with pencils were well appreciated!  Na-Na..I mean Santa, did a great job this year.

After the gift un-wrapping was completed, Na-Na had a very special announcement to the Grand Kids. A special gift from special Christmas Angels was sent just for them. As you can see it came in a small package, but was a gift of tremendous size! Thank you again Special Angels.

From our family to all of our readers, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed Happy New Year!
Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Retirement ! Finally.

Today was a special day in my life. After 38 years, I finally retired.
The Department head made a very special speech in front of not only my fellow co-workers, but the CEO of General Dynamics and 3 other “very high” ranking company executives. It really made me feel quite proud of all that was said in my behalf.
Then I was presented with a Plaque in recognition for my service to the company, and a folder with a dozen assorted items which I could pick out one to be delivered at a later date.

The company actually presented me with 2 of these plaques. My supervisor stated that the company must have thought I did “double the work” hence the double plaque! This got quite a few laughs and applause from those present.


This picture was taken with my phone camera. Sorry for not getting the entire cake but you can make it out.
The cake was presented by the UAW, along with a 30 Plus year membership lapel pin. I just couldn’t hold back the comment I made about the pin being made of pure 18 carat gold because of all the years of paying union dues. Of course everyone had another chuckle with that one. All in all it was all in fun, we all had a very enjoyable lunch furnished by the company and everyone came to shake my hand and send their well wishes.

I arrived back home around 1:30pm, Wilma was relaxing after getting the house in order. Her brother Eddie and his wife Beth were to arrive around 6pm this evening from Kentucky. Plus being Thursday, my weekly day to have dinner with my Dad, he was invited over to our home for a home made meat loaf dinner. Wilma ranks a medal for the delicious dinner she prepared.
After dinner Eddie and Beth arrived and we stayed up talking until around 11pm before I had to call it a day and go to bed.
Looking forward to all the Grandkids opening their gifts Christmas morning.
Wilma and I wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In Just 2 Weeks!

I arose out of bed this morning at my usual “built in” alarm setting of around 5am. Being Saturday, I brought the laptop downstairs to read my email and the bloggers that I follow. Sitting here with my first cup of coffee, I realized that in just 2 weeks from today I will be officially Retired! After 39 years of employment, I imagine there’s going to be a little change in my life.
The guys at work, including my department boss have been kidding with me for several weeks now by asking me every time they see me, “How many days Fred?” .  They all get a laugh when I answer with the amount of days before I’m gone. But who’s counting? Smile
The coming weeks are going to be extremely busy for us. With the Christmas Holiday season upon us, Wilma has been very busy wrapping gifts, making sure no one is forgotten. We are counting the days before her brother Eddie and his wife Beth arrive from Kentucky to spend the holiday with us. There are plans already made between Wilma’s side of the family and mine, so we are both looking forward to a busy holiday season.
With the weather being so cold for the past week, even the TV weather men are guaranteeing a white Christmas. It hasn’t been above freezing in over a week, with several nights going down into the single digits. We only have a couple inches of snow, but with it being so cold it won’t be melting anytime soon. This is also when I make sure the bird feeder is always full. Wilma said the other day we had 6 squirrels along with the birds.
Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Work After Work Than At Work!

I just realized that the boss is finally not giving me any jobs to do at work. I go into work, do my daily checks of the equipment and wait for his calling giving me additional jobs. But none has been coming for the last several weeks. Do you think he doesn’t want me to hurt myself just before retirement? I just don’t know, but I’m actually enjoying it!

The days go by pretty slow, with not having much to keep me busy, but that isn’t the case when I leave work. That’s when I make up for all the work I didn’t do all day! That’s where the title of this blog comes from, “More work after work than at work”.

Yesterday I left work and headed to Dad’s home. I called him in the night before and gave him a heads up that I was going to arrive there around 4pm. There were the last of the leaves that needed to be removed from the gutters on the garage before the winter weather sets in. Actually it didn’t take but a few minutes, getting on the roof with his gas powered leaf blower and blowing them out of the gutters. The drawback is that now they are all over the lawn. He didn’t want me to worry about them on the lawn saying that he would use the tractor tomorrow and pick them up. I just couldn’t leave a mess like that so I insisted on using the tractor to pick them up. Within a half hour I had all the leaves picked up through out the back yard, and put into his receptacles for yard waste, and had the tractor back in the garage. It’s so easy using the tractor with it’s twin clipping bags hanging on the rear. I just know, even though he really doesn’t show it, that he will be thankful the next morning when he looks out the window and it’s raining and all the leaves are already picked up. Which it did start raining Tuesday afternoon around 3pm.

Today after work and arriving home I mentioned to Wilma that I was going to take the 4 foot florescent light over to Angels and install it over her washer and dryer. I phoned Angel prior to leaving home and asked if there was a 3 prong plug on her light receptacle by the washer. She looked and said no just the light bulb. I told her I was going to Lowes to pick up the proper receptacle that would be needed to install the florescent light. Within an hour after leaving my home the light was hung and Angel was thrilled with the amount of light it puts out compared to the standard light bulbs. Another job well done!

I head home for the night and enjoy some left over pork roast that Wilma prepared last night. Mmm good!

Now, lets see…..I wonder if I’m going to have more work after work than at work tomorrow?! Be right back


The count down until retirement---30 days and counting!


Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Very Sad Day For Angel And Brooke

Wilma and I started our morning going to Meijer's to see what was left over from the Black Friday sales. To our surprise the store was pretty empty for a Saturday morning. I guess all those who were planning on going shopping did it on Friday. Not Wilma and I as she has first hand at how hectic it is on Black Friday.

We did manage to buy a few strings of LED lights for the tree. I figure they should probably outlast me!

When we arrived back home, I started working on putting up the outdoor lights. Wilma got a phone call from Angel telling her what a bad night they had in their new Condo.

HPIM0510Cooter, Angel and Brooke’s pet dog, kept them up most of the night whimpering and howling.  He usually sleeps in bed with Angel and the pain from the tumors was to great for him to  go up the stairs to the bedroom. At 1:00AM Angel decided to head for the couch to be with him. Even then he kept whimpering. Angel knew it was getting to the point that she would have to have Cooter put down, but was dreading the pain that she and Brooke would have of loosing their best buddy Cooter.

During the morning, Angel and Brooke made a Wal-Mart run. Upon returning, her neighbor spoke to Angel telling her that she would not be turning her in, but Cooter howled all the while she was gone. Angel knew it wasn’t just a “new home scared” howl, but an added pain howl. Buy the early afternoon Cooter was having trouble standing on his hind feet, Angel made a phone call to Wilma and I asking what Vet we dealt with. I mentioned that Vet’s are too expensive to have an animal put down and that she should try calling the Humane Society. She contacted them while we were on our way over to help her with Cooter. By the time we arrived, Angel had finished speaking with them and making the arrangements to have Cooter put down. I knew I would be the one to take him, as Wilma tried to console both Angel and Brooke.

Cooter made the trip there laying on the back seat of the Buick, whimpering all the way there. I kept talking to him, trying to calm him down as I drove. All in all he did ok, considering the pain he was in.

Arriving at the Humane Society, I filled out the paperwork. Had to phone Angel for her drivers license number for their records, as one of the ladies put a leash on Cooter. I asked if we could have his collar and leash as my grand daughter wanted it. Of course was their answer.

Cooter then tried to stand with the ladies help, he walked over and sat next to where I was, looked up at me and whimpered again. I petted his head, told him to have a good trip and that it would be ok. Upon saying that, it was like he understood every word I said, which I know he couldn’t, he struggled to his feet and followed the lady to another room in full co-operation.

What a great dog he was, right to the end.  Good Bye Cooter, you are so missed already!


Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Angel’s Final Moving Day and New Tires for Wilma’s Buick

For the past week, every evening Angel has been filling up her vehicle with her household items and moving them to her new Condo. Today was the day she rented the U-Haul truck and lined up a few guys to help her move the heavy items.


The guys were quite pleased with what little there was to move, and figured it would be only one truck load.







They really struggled with the couch.







Having to take a breather when it was out on the deck.

They said it wasn’t all that heavy, just awkward and no good place to get a grip.

I just know I wouldn’t be able to do it, with these ageing bones and weak back!





Angel thinks it looks much better in  her new Condo. I do too.







One last look at her Mobil Home. It served her well the few years she lived there, but I just know she is so much better off in the Condo.






After all the moving was done, I asked everyone to meet me at Dee-Dee’s Restaurant. Brunch was on me, as my way of thanking them for all their help.  Job well done and Angel is so happy to be finally moved into her new Condo.

Driving our Buick home from the restaurant, I commented to Wilma that the belts were separating in the front tires. She looked in the glove box and pulled out the bill of sale of the tires. They were purchased 5 years ago and just exceeded the warranty by 2,ooo miles. Now how the heck can Good Year do that? How can they build a tire and know exactly when they will fail? Pretty efficient company I would say. So I mentioned to her that I was going to take the car in and at least have them rotated to the rear of the car.

After dropping her off at home, I headed for Discount Tire, where I had purchased the tires five years ago. I was amazed at how busy they were, the parking lot was full except for 2 spaces, one of which I took. Upon entering the store, every seat was taken and there had to be a dozen guys just standing around waiting for their cars.

I proceeded to do an about face, got back in the car and left, heading just a half mile to Belle Tire.

Walking in I noticed that there were only 4 customers ahead of me. Talking to the salesman, wondering why they weren’t as busy as Discount. I was told that every employee was told that it was mandatory that they work 12 hours today as the company was expecting it to be a very busy day. Which it was, but with everyone working they could take care of all customers without a long wait. I ended up buying 4 new Kelly tires at a very reasonable price that I was pleased with. He told me it would be about an hour and a half wait, which turned out to be just 45 minutes!

As I pulled out of Belle Tire with a brand new set of tires and headed home, I passed Discount tire. A smile came onto my face as I just knew those guys were still in there waiting for their cars and probably would be for another couple hours! Plus I remembered Belle Tire’s advertisements as beating everyone’s best deal! Which made me feel even better, especially since I just spent less today than I did 5 years ago at Discount Tire for the same rated tires!


Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hockey Night with daughter Angel

Yesterday evening, Angel and I went to a Detroit Red Wings hockey game. They were playing the Calgary Flames.

What made this special is Angel won 2 tickets to this game. She called her mom and wanted to give them to us so we could go, but we talked her into keeping them and going with me!

So yesterday evening I picked her up around 3:30pm, stopped at a restaurant for a bite to eat and proceeded from there to the Joe Louis Arena .  We arrived about 4:30 and headed to the information stand where Angel had a voucher for a free gift.


Here she is showing off her free gift. An official Detroit Red Wing hockey puck in it’s own case! She told me that’s perfect because her daughter Brooke asked her to buy her a hockey puck. That’s my Angel, always thinking of others before herself!







I guess I should not put this picture on as it’s not one of our best shots. But I was using a Kodak point & shoot camera and as I held it out in front of us I pushed the shutter. Flash!







This shows how close we were. Just between the net and corner about 10 rows up from ice level. Perfect seats. Angel not understanding the rules of hockey really got excited when the game started. She was in awe at how fast they skate and how hard the shots are. A few pucks were deflected over the goalie and hit the glass just in front of us, making her flinch and yell.







It’s amazing how different it is watching it live, compared to watching it on TV!  You get to see so much more being there. I didn’t realize there was so much “extra activity” between players, like elbows to the face, slashes that the ref’s didn’t see, and just plain rough housing that makes hockey such a great sport.







Here is the scoreboard between periods, after the second period. Calgary 3 Detroit 1. It seemed like the Red Wings just ran out of steam during the second period. But during the third period the Wings came out like a team that wanted win. But with only 2 minutes to play and the score 4 to 2, I figured we had lost and we left so we could beat the traffic out of Detroit.


We just exited out of the 9 floor parking garage, which we were on the top, when Angel called her mom and let her know we were on our way. Wilma commented it must have been really exciting the last couple minutes because Detroit won the game 5 to 4! We couldn’t believe it! We had actually missed Detroit getting 3 goals in the last 2 minutes of the game. The final goal was gotten with just 3 seconds remaining in the game! I can only imagine the crowd going crazy with excitement after we left. Oh well, we both had a wonderful time and it was a great game. Oh yea, the actual price on the tickets were $90.00 per ticket! That’s why I just don’t go to pro games unless someone has free tickets. Call me cheapo but I think that’s just plain nuts to spend $180.00 for 3 hours of hockey.

Anyway we had a great time, one that I’m sure Angel and I will remember for the rest of our lives!


Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gary’s Surprise 60th. Birthday Party

We did it! Wilma and I pulled off a Surprise Birthday Party for my close friend of 50 years!
The plan as it unfolded started on Tuesday, the 2nd. of November. I was at work and had the idea of having a surprise birthday party for Gary. But knowing that I alone could not encounter such a task alone, I phoned Wilma asking what she thought of the idea, well I guess I kind of said “we are going to have a surprise birthday party and I wanted to tell you before I called Cheryl”.
Wilma being the perfect wife as she is, went along with me 100% and we started making the phone calls.
I called Cheryl, she said Gary was out cutting wood. Great, we can talk about the plan, and I commenced to tell her of our plan to through a surprise party. Of course Cheryl knows Gary does not like surprise party’s, and she reminded me that when we were camping a few weeks ago he mentioned that he did not her to throw a party. I said I realize he said that she wasn’t supposed to give him a party, but nothing was said about Wilma and I giving him a party! Devil
I told her that I would call on Thursday, the 11th and ask him if he had any plans for his birthday. Of course no one in his family made plans with him, so I knew what the answer would be. I then proceeded to invite him and Cheryl over to our home to play cards, but before we play cards Wilma and I would take him out to dinner for his birthday.  He called to Cheryl asking her if it would be ok to come over to our home on Saturday evening. Cheryl knew the plan and said “Yes, I’ve been wanting to  get together for some cards”. So the plan was now in motion!
Everyone was instructed to arrive between 5pm and 5:30pm. Gary should arrive a little after 6pm.
Saturday evening came, everyone started arriving at 5:30 as planned.
Wilma said we would never get Gary into the basement without him knowing something was up. So she suggested everyone wait in the front living room, as Gary usually comes to the back door.
DSC_1343 Gary and Cheryl arrive around 6:15. I make small talk about where he would like to go to dinner. Wilma takes this picture and wishes Gary a happy birthday. At this moment he still has no clue that just down the hall about 10 feet away there are 20 people waiting for my cue. I make it look like I’m heading for the bathroom which you can see partly through the hallway.


I gave the cue and the surprise went perfect! Gary never had a clue. What a great surprise. After he shook hands and gave hugs we all went to the basement where the party began.


Of course the “Birthday Boy” was required to wear the official head gear!

After seeing his Birthday cake, with the ONE candle, he struggled but was able to blow out the candle! Open-mouthed smile


Everyone watched as Gary opened his gifts. Most of the time we were laughing with Gary at the cards and gifts. He did receive some very special gifts from several family members.

Jeff (Gary’s son) is quite skilled at creating DVD’s and singing. We all wanted to see it, so we headed for the living room where the big screen Sony is. He made a special tribute to his dad with pictures going back to when his dad was a little boy to present. In a special section he added a song he made up reflecting on his life as the son of his father, along with more pictures of himself with his dad. I have to say he did a great job and at times it was very moving. A true treasure Gary will savor for the rest of his life! (That’s Jeff in the white hat).


We did manage to get the “brothers” to line up for a picture. You wouldn’t believe how hard that is with the way they all joke around with each other! From the left: Paul, Don, Al and Gary.
Everyone had a great time celebrating Gary’s 60th. Birthday.
Gary and Cheryl were the last to leave around 1:30am. Another wonderful time with wonderful memories.

I noticed I have a new follower. Welcome Judy and John, I hope you won't get too bored with my postings.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Done, Retirement Notification Tomorrow

Our daughters bring all the grandkids over to our neighborhood for the annual Trick Or Treat night every year. This year Wilma decided to stay at the house with me and hand out the goodies. So as the Grandkids faded out into the dark on their venture of filling up their candy bags, we sat on the porch and enjoyed the little ones in all types of costumes.

Actually we really enjoyed ourselves on the porch. Thinking that we might be doing that from now on. Below is a few of the pictures that Wilma was able to get prior to the kids taking off in their excitement.



Haley is getting ready to put a Black Star on Brooks face.





The Star looks pretty good.





Final picture before they were off to Trick Or Treat. Dakota decided to stay at the house. I guess being 13 now he feels that he is getting too old. Of course our Haley, at age 18 sure can fool the crowd! That’s her on the far right.


After about 2 hours, they returned with their mom’s. All of them were pretty tired and were ready to call it a night. I think the cold wind had something to do with it also. It was around 50 when they left with the low’s expecting to hit in the mid 30’s. (Which it did).

Tomorrow morning I’m going to meet with our Union Benefit Rep. to guide me through the web site to apply for retirement. As he was in the recent negotiations, he is up on all the changes. I just want to make sure that all goes well and I don’t make no mistakes. Still planning on a December 31st. retirement date, and getting a little excited now. I mentioned to Wilma a few days ago that I feel like the little 5 year old on the night before Christmas! Remember how excited you were, knowing that when you wake up in the morning, Santa would have arrived with presents under the tree? Well, I guess I’m going through the “adult” style of this kind of excitement. I actually go into work with a smile on my face!

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.