Sunday, October 2, 2011

Good Night Marie

Bloggers always seem to start, stop, start up again with an apology for being gone only to stop again. We burn out, we stop writing, we shelve our blogs and then, we come back.

When I began posting, I never set out to "blog" per se'. I wrote without any intention of having a following. It was just a diary or brain dump or therapy (less the $125.00 per hour fee.)

Over time, my writing became less verbiage and more so a photo journal. That's when I lost my desire to write and really just wanted to catalog my adventure. It's time to write again.

I'm going to stop writing at this blog. "Marie Millard" was a fluke, never anything I thought would be read by anyone but me, or my sisters. I have several blogger friends *that I adore* who have stopped writing on their site and started up on a new one. At the time, I never really understood why. I get it now. A clean slate. A fresh start.

I'm FaceBook burnt out and I dislike Twitter *it makes me neurotic* and now Google has a social network. Acccckkkk!!!

I'm going to be kickin' it old school. I'm going to start a new site and go back to blogging like I used to ... writing for me.

Marie is my middle name.  Millard is the street I grew up on. 

Marie Millard is calling it a day.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I Should Have Worn Ruby Slippers

Beniteau, Maple, Simpson, Millard, Chatsworth, Ferris, Farnum, Bedford Sq., Woodingham, Mildred, Stellma, Woodelm, Ravine Terrace.

Those are the names of every street I have lived on.

Thirteen houses, and I'm not quite home.

When I was growing up, my father "flipped houses" before the idea or term was ever coined. Although he made money doing so, his purpose was more for therapy. He enjoyed buying homes that needed fixing up and remodeling. Once the project was done and my mother was just beginning to decorate, off we'd go again.

I remember him telling me it wasn't good to ever pay a house off because at the end of the term, the price paid was way more than it was ever worth. "The real estate investment should be a stepping stone onto the next house, building equity as you go." I wish I didn't listen to him.

I've flipped a few homes in the past ten years but not because of my father's philosophy, my reason is a whole separate post in itself! I did pretty well with each new house.

My current house is what it is, a house I was going to sell as soon as my youngest graduated from high school. It would grow to have a pretty good nest egg in equity.

Screeeeeeeeeeetch, not so fast. The year I was to sell, the bubble burst. So now, here I sit. Still, it's not bad, it's just not where I wanted to be.

This final house was going to be a "quick sell", a nice little starter home for a young couple. Although it now has 4 bedrooms and three full baths, if I count the finished basement, it's still smaller than a few of my previous homes. It definitely lacks character and charm. With the idea to sell in a short time, I saw no reason to put much into personalizing it.

Hindsight ....

Thanks to FaceBook, I've reconnected with many old friends. As I look at their photos and see how their lives unfolded and how their families grew throughout the years, I realize the importance of a "home".

The "homes" I created were for the moment. As I flip through my old photos, the great memories have been captured, but in reality, they aren't relived day to day as I walk through my current house.

If I had raised my children in one house, I would now be able to go room by room and experience the giggles and laughter that a photograph can't quite possess. I'd have nicks on the woodwork that told stories only a mom could recall. I'd have the kids bedrooms to sit in and remember their little faces and the mischief they created.

I know home is where the heart it, or where you hang your hat, but anyone can own a house, only love and memories make it a home.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

End of a Three 3 Day Binge

Sandi & I ended our three day 4th of July weekend with more trail bike riding and a final neighborhood "pool crash".

We started our 14 mile ride on Macomb Orchard Trail at this point ... yes a framed piece of art! 

The trail is an old rail road track that has been asphalt and mile marked for bikes, walkers, or rollerblading.  Beautiful scenic route.  The grade is pretty level and we found it waaaaay easier than yesterdays ride.

Our pool of choice was #1, the first pool we crashed Saturday night.  Thanks for going up north again neighbor!

This had to be in the top of best times ever.  Perfect weather all weekend, time spent with both of my sisters, cocktails, laughs, and fun adventures.

Thanks Sandi & Margie, I love you goofy chicks!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Triathlon *With Adjusted Rules*

Day 2 of girls day in/out with sister(s) *we missed you Margie!

We decided to do a triathlon yesterday ... in a way only Sandi and I would do.

Starting out at Stoney Creek Metro Park, we rented kayaks. Off we went for an hour of intense hard core paddling around the lake. Trust me, it was grueling.

We weren't going to stop after the first leg. We whipped off our flip-flips gear, got into our riding gear and on our bikes in forty-five minutes record time to begin our cycling. We did the whole bike trail at Stoney and I didn't fall once! (see yesterdays post)

 Sandi in her starting position.

 Beginning of the trail.

Over the hump, it was time for the swimming competition. We put on our swimming gear (no pictures please) and oops .... where's the water? While we contemplated on which pool to crash the amount of laps we'd do, we prepared our cocktails hydrating supplements.

So on to the water *thank you neighbor #2 for going up north this weekend.

 Sandi, lap #1

On the walk back to Sandi's this sweet face followed us. Sandi brought out a bowl of food for him/her? and it ate like it hadn't in days. I think Sandi may have a new pet.

Today? We'll be doing a loooooong bike trail ... to be continued.

Happy 4th of July ... Let Freedom Ring!

*No pics of me, face-plant is looking just as you'd expect on day #2 ... pretty bad!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I *Heart* my Sisters ... nuk, nuk,nuk

If there were female "Three Stooges", my sisters and I would certainly fit the role.

Instead of trying to go out this crazy weekend, we decided to have a girls day at my sister Sandi's house.

Margie and I brought our bikes, some things to make cocktails, and plans to make a nice dinner.

When we got there, it was so hot and humid outside, we decided to postpone the bike ride until dusk.

We made a couple cocktails munched a little and decided to go for a walk. Since the temperature was in the 90's, we really didn't get far. Sandi lives in a secluded area with just a couple homes on a private road. Her neighbor was away for the weekend but we decided to see if the gate on the fenced in pool was locked.

It wasn't ... pool crashing is way more fun than wedding crashing!

After we dried off, we decided to try a bike ride. I forgot my shoes and hat, and the edamme and lemons and battery to my camera and just had flip-flops on.

Flip-flops aren't called that on a fluke! I got on the bike, started down her gravel driveway and my flip flopped on the pedal and I was going down!

Oh no problem, my face will break the fall. I felt like I had a microabrasion on  the left side of my face with a sandblaster!

I was covered in mud, my lip started bleeding, my head hurt, and I could feel the stinging of freshly scraped skin.

Both sisters in hysterics helped me up and to the shower to wash all the mud and the embedded bits of gravel off so I could see the damage. Thankfully Sandi had neosporin to slather on right away. I should heal before work on Tuesday except for the cuts on my forehead and bridge of my nose. That's when having eyeglasses and bangs come in handy ... camouflage.

* Last post no make-up, this post, face-plant, I'm baring it all baby *

We had a trip to the Dairy Queen,  we played with sparklers outside, *I was VERY careful* then a few games of Blockus before we called it a night.

I'm heading back to Sandi's today to show that gravel driveway who's boss.  I may just have to wear a catchers mask.  (I also plan on bringing a bathing suit.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Girls Night Out In

Contrary to popular belief, girl's night out isn't all about bars, eating, drinking, laughing, being silly, and recalling funny "ya had to be there" stories about co-workers, ex-boyfriends, and family.

No ... it doesn't have to take place in a bar.

Last night Margie and I went to Karen's house for our GNO.

And, all of the above went on.

Karen had prepared a lavish array of hor' dourve's. Just take a peek and know everything was as delicious as it looks.


Margie's interfusion of Mikes Lemonade with a shot *or 3* of Raspberry Smirnoff is my new drink of choice.

Just one drink on Karen's patio, in her lovely manicured yard, and the laughter began. Of course the stories began to flow and quite frankly "you had to be there."

Karen is an artistically creative person.  She is a crafter *in the most exquisite way, not a glue gun and glitter gal*.  Her decor is peppered with her talents from photography, to beautifully sewn draperies and decorative pillows. On display are her hand made candles and a hand made kitchen rug that I promise I'll "borrow" if I think I can get away with it. There are  many beautiful pieces accenting her lovely home made by her.

As we are sitting there enjoying the laughter, she whips out a bag of modeling clay. Like Edward Scissorhands she begins breaking off and rolling tiny pieces of clay.  Within minutes she created a turtle for Margie and this kitty for me.

Thanks girls ... it was a great night in.

** Best part make-up necessary **

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Conversation Hearts: Welcome (?) Home Puma

Just before Caitlin moved out of our house, Puma captured her heart.  I posted about it here.


At the time, Caitlin was convinced Puma was the ONLY kitten available in the whole county. She HAD to adopt him because we all know there is a shortage of kittens and why wait a couple weeks when her apartment would be ready to move into?

When Caitlin, Ray, and Mariah moved in with me *temporarily,  I told her she'd have to find new or *temporary homes for Puma and her Chihuahua Lola.

 Lola and Puma

Ray's sister took Puma and Caitlin's father took Lola ... *temporarily.

Puma moved into Ray's sisters apartment, but there is another cat living there.  It's been 2.5 months (11 weeks, 8 3/4 hours to be exact, but who's really counting) and it wasn't  working out.

So ... last night ... Puma came full cycle and is back, living in my house *temporarily.

Am I crazy, a softy, or just a mom?

The upside? Bill & Amy love Lola and will keep her until Cait, Ray, Mariah AND PUMA, get a place of their own.


I know I used subliminally *temporarily multiple times.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Can I pass this off as a science project?

When did I become such a dust collector?

I used to always have a lady come in once a week to clean.  A couple years ago, I had to end that luxury.  

When my children were younger, my yea, I know I always refer to this OCD thing  OCD was always on overload.   After their bath and bedtime, I kicked into high gear.  It wasn't an oddity for me to begin major housework at 11:00 PM and working until 2 or 3 in the morning. Saturdays were always a cleaning day ... all day.

*Julie, I remember you and Janet sipping drinks on the deck watching your kids swim and laughing at me for being inside cleaning the window tracks in Caitlin's room with Q-tips*

Once they were older, I began having someone come in and clean.  I totally forgot what a cleaning routine was all about.

It's been a couple years since I quit having someone come it. In those couple years, I've let the cleaning part of my OCD cliff dive slip and I've become more of a lick-and-a-promise cleaner.

Sure, at first glance things look okay, just don't move anything, the layer of dust will be revealed.  My kitchen cupboards still suffer from my compulsion to have things neat and in order ... but those perfectly aligned items on all the top shelves? ..... loaded with dust!

I blame it on my failing eye sight. *And by eye, I mean one eye, remember, I only have vision in one eye ... and it's showing it's age!

The other day, I had my mega magnifying reading glasses on as I was walking through the house.  YIKES !!

Do NOT ever wear your reading glasses while walking through your house.

I'd like to hire a cleaning lady again, but now I'd have to clean before I'd even let someone come in to clean! Seriously, I think it would be easier to move.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Crime Sammich

Published today, the 10 most dangerous cities in America:

*I had to remove the link, copyright infringement, they reported me*

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger

# 1 ... Flint Michigan
# 2 ... Detroit Michigan

Map of Michigan 

I'm in the center of a crime sandwich.
 I've lived here way too long all my life.

Nancy has her CPL and isn't afraid to protect her melons.

Hold the mayo, no ketchup please ... looks to gory!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

At Four Months ...

She lights up the room.
She warms our hearts.
She is truly a blessing.

♥ Mariah ♥

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bentley, Rockin' the LV's

Yes these are  $700 LV's - the real deal.
Yes, this is Bentley.

Not much more to say, picture says it all!

*nooooooo, not my sunglasses!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Back nine Five

I'm not much of a golfer ... in fact I'm terrible at it.  "Girls night out" golfing is less competitive and all about the fun. Oh, the golf clubs ... how shall I say it ... unique!

The weather prediction for last Saturday night was perfect. Just what spring time in Michigan needs. My sister Margie, our friend Karen, and I decided we needed to kick off the season with a golf night.  Social sister Sandi had an earlier dinner party, so she planned on joining us later.

We "golfed" downtown Royal Oak, a fab course! Here's our game in pictures:

Margie & Karen each "shot" a lemon drop.
Since I was "driving the cart", I passed on this hole.

Hole # 2 Town Tavern
Again, Margie & Karen each shot a lemon drop.

My turn to give it a "shot" ... all three of us shot lemon drops.

Hole #4 Blackfinn
All three again, PAR ... shot those lemon drops!

Here's where Sandi caught up with us ... 
after the three amigos shot our lemon drops.

Just in time for a "7th inning stretch" with none other than 
The Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland and 3rd base coach Gene Lemont.

Jim Leyland *Karens floating head*

 Gene Lamont 3rd Base Coach

We decided to stay at the 5th hole.  I'm sure it won't be long before we play the last 4 and start another "round" again soon!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Conversation Hearts: 12:30 am

I was sound asleep when the phone rang ... I saw it was Caitlin, 12:30 am

This can't be good.  Now that she and Ray are parents, they are in bed early so this can't be a call looking for a designated driver ;)

They live 5 miles from me but their apartment complex is known for having issues.  Issues meaning it's morphed into a playground for trouble.  They had planned to move as soon as the weather broke, hoping to rent a house now that Mariah arrived.

The typical petty crimes go on there and they hear about trouble spots constantly. Caitlin had called me a few times last month, during the day, saying a nasty looking guy was knocking on her door. We'd talk until he left. 

More and more people are moving out and each building has several vacancy's.  Her building has 12 apartments, only 3 rented out.  Soooooo, after the fact, the local police think on this particular night, her apartment building was used as part of a set up because less occupancy, lesser chance of a witness.

A pizza was ordered, the poor delivery guy was badly beaten, robbed of his money and car.  Her and Ray's apartment address had been used to order the pizza, so the police knocked on their door.  Clearly they could see *bed-head and formula stained t-shirt* Ray and Caitlin were not waiting up to participate in a pizza sting.

Ray was called back to work this week and the thought of her being there all day with the baby and into the early evening when he was working overtime, freaked us all out.

Soooooo ... in ONE NIGHT they moved in with me.  Fortunately Mariah already had a nursery set up at my house.  I cleared out the extra bedroom that had become my Barbie room for Caitlin and Ray.

I repeat ONE NIGHT. Most went straight into the garage, the rest?  Well, a camera crew could use my house for the next taping of "Hoarders".

I'm sure by this weekend we'll have everything in it's place.  The best part, I get to wake up to this every morning:

P.S. A HUGE THANK YOU to her father for taking in Lola and to Rays sister for taking Puma ... two more animals in the house and I'd evict myself!

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Social Calendar:

I’ve received so many invitations lately.  I truly need more days in a month!

Mind you these have all come by way of email.  Some accidentally ended up in my spam filter but thankfully I was able to retrieve them before they were deleted!

I’ve been invited to meet young Asians

I’ve been invited to try Viagra
(ahhh, ummm, uh, *gasp*)

I’ve been invited to enter into a business deal where by I will be the recipient of over a MILLION dollars!
(with a slight investment on my part)

I’ve been invited to meet fun loving Latin Singles
(I guess if my Asians don’t pan out)

*Okay ... a choice  Young Asians or Fun Latins*

Bra shopping! An invite to go bra shopping on line
(do I just send in a pic of my boobs?)

An invitation to learn 10 new languages
(I hope Asian & Latin dialects are included)

I have an invitation for to try free sample laser hair removal.
(do they only do one arm pit?)

I can learn how a mom makes $8,900 a month at HOME.
(I wonder if 1-900 numbers are involved)

And the invitations continue to come in dailyImagine that!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Margie

Today is my baby sisters 49th birthday.


Yesterday, we were talking about it and I forgot how old she was. I began to say "It's your 39th right?" and quickly I remembered it couldn't be her 39th because I remembered her 40th!

Then I burst out laughing. So did she.

Although today is her FORTY-NINTH birthday,  I'm going to share a bit of her 40th.

Margie had been recently divorced and was just beginning to dip her toe in the dating pool. Since she and I weren't looking for any serious relationships, we began to hang out together, gathering with a fun group of like minded single men and women that would plan and meet on weekends at different venues for dancing, pool, music and socializing. 

When someone in our group was having a birthday, we'd consider it a great reason to party!  I decided to plan a party for Margie's 40th and sent out e-mails.  Margie and I arrived at  the venue and shortly after, a couple guys showed up.  Then a couple more guys walked in.  A few more ... and by guys , I really mean guys, men ... no women.  Within the first hour there were 11 men, Margie and I.  The men had questionable half smiles on their face as Margie asked if I had only invited men.  I was laughing my azz off because of course I did invite women too.

As the numbers continued to grow, and the guys began to get a little nervous, the drinks were flowing.  Margie's birthday drink of choice was *Purple Rain, oh boy!

About an hour and a half into this party women finally began to show up. Margie was having a blast.  She was showered with Purple Rain all night long. Margie was the life of the party ... she WAS the party, and it continued on until closing. I think that was a cross-over for her, single mama had arrived!  After a night of table top dancing and celebrating life, I took her home.  I tucked her in her bed, still in her clothes, and knew she'd freak when she woke-up in the morning!

At her 40th *2002*

I assure you still Margie, you were fine.  All your clothes remained on, you never fell, and you had fun ... even though you don't remember a thing.

So this year, Sandi and I asked her what she wanted to do for her special day.  What ever she wanted to do, we're in. Drinking? Dancing? Partying? Casino? Wicked wildness?

Bowling ... she wants to go bowling.  So that's what we're doing!

Maybe a little rain afterward???

  *Purple Rain*
1.5 oz  Premium vodka
1.5 oz  Premium rum
   2 oz  Premium 1800 Tequila
1.5 oz  Premium gin
1.5 oz  Cointreau orange liqueur
1.5 oz  Triple sec
1.5 oz  Chambord raspberry liqueur
   2 oz  Sweet and sour mix

   Shake and serve over ice.