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May 29, 2009


I have a gut feeling my husband is planning or is in on a surprise 30th birthday party for me on June 6th. I only know this because I manipulated him and some other people into indirectly telling me it is true.

June 6th has been listed as "Kari's Birthday Day" on our calendar for months. Probably since there was still snow on the ground. Recently I asked my husband if we could change the day. He assured me we could not. I was convinced he had something big planned, or bought tickets to a concert or something, because why else would he not be able to change the date.

After some pressing I got an email from him that included our itinerary for the day. He was very disappointed he let out our surprise day plans, but assured me this is what we were doing. There was one item on the list that required an appointment, but I could easily see that everything else could be changed and rescheduled. Again, this confirmed my thought that he had something up his sleeve. At this point, I am 90% sure he has something planned or is in on something.

One day I decided to start asking people what was going on. I called my friend Dawn and assured her she didn't have to get me a present for my real 30th birthday because she got me something for my 29.5 birthday. Again, I was just stirring the pot a bit. She left me a message and through her smiles and laughs, I knew she was bluffing when she told me she knew nothing about a party! Now I am 92% sure there is something going on.

I shot out a couple of emails to a few friends and in casual conversation I told them I would see them on June 6th at my surprise party, and the common response was "I don't know what you are talking about." That was usually followed by "We have plans to do this or that on that date." Some people ignored the question completely! My hunch is now up to 94%

I then nabbed some people at the gym and started asking them if they were coming. The combined response is usually "I didn't get invited." My response was "I'll get you on the list." The small smile on Cassie's face made me 1% closer to thinking something was going on, but it was Trena who did an excellent job of giving me a hint.

Trena looked at me weird, and asked why she would come to my surprise birthday party. She then pulled out the "I didn't get invited" card and I saw her whispering to Katie, another girl at the gym. Shortly after I questioned Trena. Katie then asked me how I knew. I told Katie, I just "Had a hunch." Trena asked me if I was sneaking into my husband's email account! Suspicion up to about 99%.

I will give Amy at the gym some credit for looking at me and saying, I don't know about any party, I have the spin-a-thon that day. She did an excellent job keeping her face straight and promptly coming up with an answer!

Although I cannot officially confirm, and I feel somewhat guilty for manipulating people into giving me clues about a possible party, I'm only 99% sure something is going on...and if it is, I hope to see you all on June 6th!


May 26, 2009

Disposable Lifestyle

Why are things in our life so disposable? Lawn mowers, vacuums, marriages?

It seems as though today people don't think twice about throwing away a lawn mower or vacuum and buying a new one when they aren't even sure what is wrong with the one they have! Sure, the vacuum doesn't "suck" like it used to, but doesn't anyone want to call the vacuum store and get a tune up? Are we just so excited to buy and purchase new items that we are willing to let good products end up in our landfill? I purchased an expensive commercial vacuum about 6 years ago and just had a tune up done on it a year ago. It still works like a charm! I wouldn't trade my Royal Vacuum for any Dyson on the market today. (I'm still wondering why so many people are buying the Dyson...Are we just in awe at the bright plastic color and the way it moves? Have you talked to anyone at a vacuum store prior to purchasing a Dyson vacuum? They are the experts and will steer you away from a Dyson in a heartbeat. I speak from experience on this one!)

My husband picked up a lawn mower about a month or two ago on the side of the road. it's a small push mower, and I'm not sure what we're going to do with it since my brother-in-law cuts out grass, but it's in perfect shape. It needs a new part and will be working in no time. I'm sure it's not an expensive mower, but even at $100-200 bucks, it seems to be much cheaper to call a small engine repair shop to find out what is wrong with it than to buy a new one.

This brings me to my third an final rant and rave, marriages. People seem to be treating a marriage like a disposable piece of property. They don't like the husband they have, so they go out and find a new man, and in no time, their marriage is broken up and they are getting re-married! I get annoyed at women who say, "he'll never do this or that, oh, that's not James, he won't go for that." I find that extrememly hard to believe especially since I feel a marriage is built on compromise as one of the foundations. You would be surprised what your spouse would do for you if you ask, and asking (communicaiton) is another foundation I think a lot of couples overlook and ignore.

May 22, 2009

Around the Corner

I often ask my in-laws and husband if have ever been to various local places and festivals that pop up in the area - balloon fest, melon festival, art in the park, etc. Sadly, they say, "No." Well, this summer my ultimate goal is to visit local places to plan day trips or even weekend vacations (of course this is all in between the race schedule/season so it may be difficult.)

One place my husband and I did go to was the Howell Conference & Nature Center last October to climb the climbing wall and take a few zips down the zip line. It was a lot of fun and literally around the corner from where I drive to work every day! My husband has never been to the nature center and he has lived in this area all his life!

I have the pleasure of seeing the Howell Nature Center newlsetter come across my desk a few times a year when my company is hired to print it. This is how I learned of the events and activities they offer and what prompted me to try the climbing wall and zip line. It was a fun experience. Dan made it to the top of the climbing wall which I think was 60 feet tall. I only made it half way because my hands were so cold I couldn't make them work anymore. We each took a zip across the 500 foot zip line.

I encourage everyone to check out all of the local events in their area this summer!



May 18, 2009

First Anniversary Gifts

My husband and I are corny and that is what I love about us! We love to rip on things like "what's the gift for the first anniversary?" and then try to find cheesy gifts to give each other for the special event. The traditional first anniversary gift is paper. I was determined to somehow find a way to get my husband some sort of paper gift.

I began with an online search, for 1st anniversary gifts, paper anniversary gifts, and found nothing I was really interested in. Concert tickets were a nice but obvious gift, but to what concert and when, I wasn't sure. Then I stumbled across the idea to get him opening day tickets at Comerica Park! I was set on this gift and amazingly found some tickets reasonably priced on Craigs List. I only bought him one ticket, because I didn't want to spend a few hundred on two tickets, so I got him a single seat. He's corny like that, he'll go to a game alone!

My next task was to figure out how on earth I was going to give him an anniversary gift one month early (opening day is on April 10th and our anniversary is on May 7th) and make him work hard for it. So I rattled my brain and asked some friends and came up with an idea: a paper scavenger hunt and a paper poem to present him with his paper opening day ticket.

For the scavenger hunt, he had 24 different close up photos of paper that was in our house and garage: paper towel, newspapers, magazines, computer paper, etc. He had to find one set of paper, that revealed a clue and lead him onward to more paper. He was not at all thrilled about this scavenger hunt. He sighed a lot and asked me how many clues there were. He actually completed the hunt rather quickly. I kept reassuring him it would be worth it in the end. The last clue directed him to me, and I had this lovely paper poem that I read to him:

A Paper Poem
by Kari

You can use paper
for a silly hat
for rain cover
a chair mat
to get the news
to write love letters
for grocery lists and
to blot your lipstick.
You can use paper to
blow your nose
wipe a tear
clean a spill
make spit wads
buy a motorcycle
carry groceries
make airplanes
design a home
leave a note
make a payment
send a message
wipe your butt
dust a table
buy a car
clean a window
light a fire
make a pinata
rock paper scissors
stuff your bra
make a funnel
win a game
buy a home
travel abroad
business cards
origami birds
unwrap gum
squish a bug
hold a six pack
scrapbook memories
suicide notes and
to wipe your face.
You can use paper
to color
filter coffee
decorate a tree
send a letter
blot a cut
roll cigarettes
get a parking ticket
mark a trail
say I love you
say I’m sorry
litter the floor
stuff a bag
print a picture
ask questions
get answers
pay a check
call for help
carry lunch
hold vomit
show your support
decode puzzles
give a compliment
keep your place
send mail
voice your complaints
become a citizen
say thank you
have a yard sale
mark a page
save the date
renew subscriptions
connect the dots
send packages
seal envelopes
wrap food
understand instructions
to congratulate
say farewell
wrap a gift
your first anniversary
with a paper ticket
to opening day at
Comerica Park.

While reading the poem he seemed half interested, he was petting Rockwell and talking to him. Not sure if he realized what the gift was at the end or just looked up at me when I was finished reading it. He did say he loved the ticket and went to Opening Day with other friends that were at the game as well.

The highlight: he took a photo of the seat I got for him. It was really a single seat. The seats him and I always make fun of when we are at the park.


May 14, 2009


I've always loved mushrooms and growing up in Michigan I have heard of Morel Mushroom "season" but have never gone morel hunting or even seen a morel. My coworker talks about them every spring. He doesn't eat mushroom but his wife and daughter love them, so he goes hunting every spring in the woods next door to our office.

A week or so ago, I saw some unique mushrooms in a bowl of water in the refrigerator at work. I questioned my coworker about them and he said they were morels. I was amazed. Just two weeks ago, I found some "cool looking" mushrooms while raking my front yard. I thought these mushrooms were so cool, I showed my husband, then tossed them into the wheelbarrow with all of the other sticks, leaves and lawn rubbish and then into the fire pit to burn them. These "cool looking" mushrooms were exactly the same as the ones in my work refrigerator...they were morels! I have morels growing in my yard!

My coworker was in awe. He told me to pick them and put them in a bowl of water and bring them into work. I told him it was doubtful I would be able to get any more morels from my yard because the grass I found them in gets cut every week, and I figured the mushrooms would get cut as well. Our lawn guys decided to skip cutting our grass last week, and I completely forgot all about the morels until I came home yesterday. Our grass had not been cut again (maybe they are behind because of the rain?) so I was able to take a stroll in my yard after getting my mail and I found these two beauties. My coworker was extatic when I brought them into work today.


May 11, 2009

Oh, Your Ring is Beautiful!

I have to brag a little. My marriage has made it one year! Yup, my husband and I celebrated one year of being married on May 7th!

I remember when I first got engaged. People would congratulate me, and then ask to see my ring. Everyone said it was beautiful. Then I realized, no one would ever tell a woman they didn't like her engagement ring. I had this conversation with a friend, and she agreed. I told her no matter how much you disliked the ring, you would always say it was beautiful, but if you really did like the ring, you would elaborate, and tell the woman, you really like it or you love it! I was convinced that my ring was "no big deal" especially with all of the fancy cuts and mega bling diamond sets available. But, one year later, I am still getting lots of compliments on my ring.

Most of the complements are from strangers. The woman at the bank, the girls at the dentist and eye doctor. Some are from "new friends" I meet at candle parties and am introduced to when we go out. It's made me realize people (especially women) really do pay attention to wedding rings! Honestly, this hasn't made me more aware of other peoples rings at all! It just seems to blend in with the rest of them! I'm hoping that I get compliments for the next 65 years! That's right, I want to be married for at least 65 years!

If you haven't seen my ring, you can check it out at the end of this post.

May 07, 2009

One Year Ago Today...

One Year Ago Today in a gazebo in Negril, Jamaica, my husband and I exchanged these words:

I, Dan, take you, Kari, to be my wedded wife. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and health, if the Tigers win or lose and even on race day, to love and to cherish til death do us part I give you my word, my word is my bond, this is truly the best day of my life and you are absolutely the best thing to happen to me.

I, Kari, take you, Dan, to be my husband. I promise to love you and be your faithful partner, for better or worse, for richer for poorer, when the Tigers are winning and when they are losing, in sickness and in health, in Tiger-induced sickness.

I will be true to you as a drag racer's wife and a loyal fan when you win, continue to support you when you lose and encourage you to practice when you red light. I promise to learn to drive a stick shift and remain open minded about putting the bug to the quarter-mile test.

I will try to be understanding and share in your dreams and goals as we face life's challenges together.

But most importantly, I promise to make you the happiest man ever.

One down, 64 to go! 


May 01, 2009

You have a delivery from a Mister Mop.

Some early morning or late evening I caught an infomercial about the Shark Steam Mop. Instantly I was fascinated with this mop and had to have one. (Effective infomercial!) I held on and waited to see how much it was. I don't think I saw the price and my husband wanted me to change the channel. I was convinced I had to have this mop so one day I did some searching online.

I checked Bed Bath and Beyond because I always have a 20% off coupon from the store. The mops were about $99 and I thought that seemed terribly overpriced. I already had a mop, and mine as working fine, I really wasn't in the market to get a mop I needed but wanted. Then I began to review the mop and read all the pros and cons about it, thanks to the internet.

I posted something on my Facebook page asking my friends if they had one and what they thought about it. Every comment was very positive, so I was almost certain I had to have one of these mops. 

On a whim, I was at Costco, picking up a bag of dog food and friend that works there directed me to the mop aisle where I found the Shark Steam Mop for $69. I snatched one up and went home to try it out.

When I got home, I was in no mood to thoroughly clean. So I just put my steam mop together and poured in some water (yes, a touch of tap water, not the distilled water like the instructions recommended) and started mopping a small section of my floor. My floor was nasty, covered with dog hair and dried dog drool, and it came clean very quickly.

This past weekend I was able to pick up a gallon of distilled water and thoroughly clean my floors and this is what I have to say about my new Shark Steam Mop:

- Almost every review I read on the internet seems true.

- Some people say it is hard to push. I agree. It was hard to push with a dry mat, but I wet the mat first, and the mop was much easier to push. A wet mat was a suggestion I read on a forum.

- The handle is very flimsy and lots of people complained about it breaking the first time they used it. I can see this being possible, you just have to be careful about how hard you push it. I found straight, back and forth motions worked best for me, plus, the mat was wet, so it is much easier to push. 

- The lack of an on/off switch on the body of the mop stinks. You always have to unplug the mop in order for it to shutoff. 

- As for getting things clean, it seemed to take a little longer to get heavily soiled areas clean (dry dog drool sticks to a floor like gum!) I had to pass over the area several times and apply some pressure. 

- The floor didn't look any cleaner than when I used my Swiffer Wet Jet. But it felt cleaner when you walked on it with bare feet. Even my husband thought this was true.

Overall, I'm in love with my new mop! The pads are machine washable, and I haven't washed them yet, but I have five different pads to wash and dry and change as I mop. And I never have to buy cleaning products, just distilled water to keep my mop running its best!