Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Heading North

Yes, I will join millions of Americans on I-75 North, in a trek up north for the Memorial Day weekend.

My dad and I are taking a road trip up to Lake Leelanu to my mom's place. It used to be my grandpa's house, but after he died, my mom bought the house.

I've been going up to the area for 30 plus years, and in some ways, it feels more like home than the place I grew up in Milford.

I know the roads. I always eat at the Happy Hour. I've acquired my grandparents disdain for Traverse City. Not that it's a bad place. It's just crowded, and usually when I'm there, I'd rather lay on the deck or sunbathe, or go to a winery. If I wanted to go shopping in a crowded store, well, I'd stay home.

I'm looking forward to catching up on some sleep and all my magazine reading.

There's a rumor that even my brother will join us. How fun. Mom has a sailboat, so maybe we'll do some boating, Kennedy style.

Minus the drunken encounters and lying about it after the fact. I will probably have a drink or two. Maybe I'll make sangria. I did that last year, and it was tasty.

Maybe we won't be too crowded...we're leaving Saturday morning, and returning on Tuesday night.

Either way, at least I'll have company this time. My dad is fun to travel with. He goes into vacation mode, and it's fairly easy going.

Look out, Leland!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Hunting For Hoffa

Spring is here in Michigan. Do you know how I know?

Sure, it's been raining a lot, and the grass is green, but the reason I know that spring is here, is because the hunt for Jimmy Hoffa was started again.

Every spring it seems some tipster comes out of the background to tell us where Hoffa is after 30 plus years. This summer, he could be in Milford on a horse farm. Milford is where I grew up. Milford is a surburb that was pretty and quaint you might say.

We had a dime store, The D &C that sold everything from costume jewelry to ceramic swans to wax lips, and all for under $3.00. It was the kind of town growing up, where I could walk around at night without the fear of being abducted.

Nightlife? Not really. High school was spent in fields on the weekends, with kegs of beer and if things were good a bonfire. Or if we stayed in town, we'd go to the Kroger parking lot, and stand around. No kidding. At the time, we only had one fast food restaurant, McDonalds, and one small movie theater that only charged $3 to get in.

In later years, after I turned 21, my brother and our friends would hang out at the Red Dog Salon, a great local dive bar. I spent many Friday nights drinking, sitting and watching others play pool. Sometimes, I'd shoot a crooked game of darts.

It's odd to think that my little hometown could possibly be the final resting place of the Teamsters leader, but who knows?

All I know is that Milford has a lot of good memories for me, and in retrospect it wasn't a cool place to be, but it was safe and secure, for everyone who lived there.

Maybe I'll venture back this summer for the annual Milford Memories summer festival.

Lots of crafts, and beer outside. What more could you ask for?

And to Jimmy, wherever you are, I hope you're at peace.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Quinlan's Gather

The weekend with all my aunts and cousins turned out to be a smashing hit, I'd say.

We didn't drink very much this time, but I think I ate my weight in snack food and choclate which is a part of those weekends too. I'm glad that we're going to continue on our tradition.

Carol would be happy to know that the weekends she started and loved so much, will carry on. We welcome, Lacy and Nancy, and look forward to the arrival of Kathleen's daughter, Karly.

Tonight, I've got a hot date with the grocery store, and the season finale of Scrubs.

Don't be jealous of my exciting life. I'm actually just tired, and still a little sick with the cough that won't leave.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Weekends Like These

This weekend, I'll be gathering with my cousins for our weekend adventure we used to call Mother Daughter Weekend.

And before you start making fun of us as if were the Gilmore Girls, we are not. It was a tradition that started a few years ago, where my cousins, Kathleen, Colleen, and me, would get together with my mom, Susie, Carol, and another Carol.

The first year we didn't know how it would work, so 5 of the 6 of us, are gambling lovers, (not me), so we spent the weekend at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

It was a beautiful resort, but I was the only one that cared. I spent a lot of hours in the pool, and the hot tub. The next year, we talked a bit more, and had our weekend at Kathleen's house in Roscommon. We talked more, and ate more snack food.

Another year, we were in Cleveland, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

And our last one, was at my mom's house in Lake Leelanau, and we never got off the deck. Not the whole weekend. I think the thing that we figured out, is that we're our own best entertainment. Just give us some drinks and lots of snack foods, and we're good to go.

One too many Jello shots, and a good time was had by all.

That was our last Mother Daughter weekend, in the true sense of the word. Our last weekend was Labor Day weekend in 2004, and then things changed.

My aunt Carol, Kathleen's mom, had a stroke and passed away. How could this happen? How could we lose our Carol? Who else was going to help us complain about the Quinlan's?

Who'd be our own cheerleader? And tell us each how great we were in her own way, always loving but never smothering.

We thought those weekends were just to be bitter-sweet memories. But, my cousin Kathleen is pregnant now with her own child, and it was decided that we'd spend this weekend, honoring Kathleen, and the growing life that is inside of her.

This year, we've invited some new aunts, and a new cousin or two, and I'm sure it will be a great time.

But my heart will always be on that deck with a beer, a bag of chips, and hours of bonding with my family, who feels more like friends.

I'm sure Carol is watching, and enjoying our visits in her own way. She will be missed, and loved forever. The street savvy Aunt, (Sorry Mom and Carol), the quiet leader who said little, but saw everything.

We love you Carol.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Sun is Out

Hooray to sun!

It's Monday, and I'm at work, which usually isn't that fun, but today I was in a really good mood on my way in, and I think it has something to do with the fact that the sun is out.

Bring it on. I was sick yesterday, but I still forced myself off the sofa so that I could walk outside in the sun. It was awesome. Who needs a dog, if you've got an ipod?

I went shopping on Saturday, and got an awesome new rug for my living room. IT's so pretty that everytime I look at it, I have to smile. And new throw pillows for the couch.

A few months back, I was sitting on plastic lawn chairs. This is a huge improvement.

Onward and upward. Now, if I could just get my throat to stop scratching me.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Can't Explain It

What the hell is wrong with me? I don't know.

I woke up feeling out of sorts and tired. So, I went to the gym, and now I'm at work and I still feel out of whack.

Maybe it's because I'd love to be on vacation, someplace sunny and warm with a drink in my hand and nothing to do all day, but soak up lesiure time.

I can't say for sure. Last night, I got Tonya to come over and go sit on the patio with me at Memphis Smoke, and that was fun. Then I returned my bargin shoes at Payless, as it turns out, they weren't such a bargin after all.

At least my dad is home and I can go visit him this weekend, and for that I'm very glad.

I guess I like those days that maybe you feel sad or out of it, but you know why, so you can deal with it and move on. It's more difficult when you don't know why, but it's there just the same.

Maybe I can leave early today. Maybe all I need is a nap.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Home Coming

No, not the over-priced dress and teased hair of my youth sort of homecoming.

My dad is coming home from the hospital today. He's been in there just over a month, so there is much reason to be happy. As I've mentioned in earlier blogs, he was recovering from an infection, that was caused by a bad reaction to his chemo.

So, a small victory. He still has a blood clot and will be giving himself shots twice daily, but still I can come visit him at home instead of the hospital now.

Monday, May 01, 2006

What this Woman Wants

Last week, as I was getting ready for work, the Today Show had a segment on what Women find Sexy/ Appealing in a Man.

Well, I missed the segment, but it got me thinking about what I'm looking for, or not ever trying to catch, so I've complied my own list.

1. A man who is witty and quick. A little bit of goofy funny is ok too. Somebody who is willing to make fun of himself once in a while.

2. Kindness. Especially when no one is looking.

3. Manners. Very sexy, when a man opens a door. For me, it doesn't have to be the car door, but any other kind is awesome. It is nice when a man treats you with a little extra care, simply because you're a woman.

4. Smart. There is a difference between education and intelligence. A lot of stupid people go to college. A man should be able to carry on an intelligent conversation.

5. Attraction. Obviously, physical attraction is important. It's the one thing that seperates dating from being buddies. I want to be friends with my significant other, but I'd also like to be secretly thinking about ripping off their clothes. I'd like them to do the same.

6. Quirky. Have a unique sensibility. Or an innate understanding of my strange socks.

7. Sense of fun. Be willing to try new things. I'm of the mind, you should try anything once, and he should be the same.

8. Open-Minded. I don't want a lap dog to agree with everything I say, but I'd like a worthy debate partner who is willing to see other points of view. We don't need to agree, but we need to respect each other's opinions.

9. Good Job: My definition of a good job is not related to money. Honest. I want a guy who is happy with his M-F, simply because it makes for a happier person.

10. Family. Meaning he loves his family, enjoys seeing them, but doesn't have his mom on speed-dial.

And if he happens to love Johnny Cash, well, all the better.