Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vacation! Vacation!

Our vacation week started with 2 days of VBS. We do an evening VBS for families, with classes for everyone from babies to adults. The evening starts with a dinner and fellowship before moving to the opening ceremony and classes. Tim and I made the dinner for the first 2 nights and then another woman and her daughter made them for the last 2 nights. Everyone loves it when Tim cooks and he did a great job this year. It's a tough job to estimate the food and cook for 100+ people, while keeping costs down. We fed everyone for about $2.00 per person, per meal -- and there was food left over that went to Ministry with Community (local group that cooks for the homeless).

Right after we were done we went home and started getting ready for our camping/kayaking/mountain biking trip. We were only gone for 4 days, but it was fabulous to get away. We kayaked the Au Sable river on the east side of the state. It took us 6 hours to get there (MI is a BIG state). We camped at an awesome rustic campground the first night -- we were the only people there. The stars were amazing and it was so relaxing to sit around the fire pit with no other lights.

Our kayak trip was about 5 hours long on the river and we paddled approximately 15-17 miles. A portion of the trip went through national forest land and it was completely undeveloped. We saw a mink (looks kinda like a ferret -- only wild), 2 bald eagles (one that was immature and didn't have it's white head yet) and lots of blue herons and fish galore. We wished we'd worn our bathing suits because the water was clear and the bottom rocky. It would have been great for swimming. After that we camped at a State Forest campground that had nice hot showers and clean bathrooms. It was great to get clean, but I like the atmosphere at the rustic sites better.

The next day we mountain biked trails that were challenging work out for Tim and a challenge for my bike handling skills. I still can't quite get the hang of running into sand -- I tend to lose control and have to stop. I had a great time and felt amazing at the end of the 10 mile bike ride. I may have found an activity that gives me the runner's high I so dearly miss without messing up my knee. We ended that day by finding another rustic site on the map that was on the way home. This one was on a dammed up portion of the Muskegon River. Tim fished while I got the fire going and we had another beautiful night under the stars.

Sigh . . . . . . . . . it was lovely and so much fun, but way too short!

Finally, a few updates from Sarah & Tim!

Apparently we've been having so much fun, I didn't have time to post our adventures. So what have we been doing?

Well, I've been traveling for work. In August I traveled for two solid weeks back to back -- with a stop at home in between. First I went to Ohio and did a test at a bakery. Wow, it is hot next to those ovens! Then I went to NJ and did a test at a 3rd party blender. They will make a raw material for my new cereal for us. Then I went to Lancaster, PA where Kellogg has a cereal plant and worked on a new Organic shredded wheat project for Kashi. If you live near me or come to visit, I'll try to have a box for you to try -- but the rest of you might have to wait a bit before I can let you in on the secret! The sales samples (samples of the food the sales force takes out to it's customers to pitch the new product) are typically made 4 months before the launch. This new cereal will be shipped to stores in January 2009. It's surprising to most people that new products are complete so far in advance of getting them to the consumer.

This new cereal has been the craziest project I've ever been on. The biz decided in June they needed the new product and we've developed it and gotten it to launchable state in about 10 weeks. This is amazing because we should have started this project in January -- 6 months earlier! I had such great support from other team members and from our suppliers, but it was (and continues to be) crazy. More stuff to do, of course, but we managed to get it done and to meet (most) of the cost hurdles.

The only real fly in the ointment was that coming back from the NJ trip, I had some really scary side affects from the D&C. I was so sick by the time I got back to the Detroit airport, I couldn't drive myself home. I ended up getting a car service to drive me the 2 hours back to Portage. Thank goodness this was a work trip -- the ride cost $370!

Tim finished his second summer session class in mid August. Yeah! The summer sessions were hard, as anyone who's taken them knows. They are intense and condensed with very little down time. These past 2 weeks with no classes have been wonderful because he has time for some fun stuff and projects around the house. School starts again right after Labor Day, so the break didn't last long.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Henry is microchiped X2

Henry has been with us almost a year! I took him to our awesome vets last week for his shots and check-up. While there, we had him microchipped. Only problem, he was already chipped! When they scanned to check the chip placement, they found a second chip. The new one is on the right side and the old one is on the left, or vice versa. None of the adoption info talked about a chip, nor was there any transfer info for us to use to change his chip registration. All we can figure is that the first adopter chipped him and didn't tell the SPCA when she returned him. Why they didn't check, I'll never know. They have to have a chip reader for their dogs . . . All their dogs are now chipped when adopted, but that is new for this year. The vet's office will make sure that both numbers are registered under our name for Henry -- if he's ever lost they will only scan until they hit the first number and we need both of them to link to us. The vet said she'd never encountered this and was a bit embarrassed that they didn't think to scan him before chipping. I'm sure they'll do that for all the dogs they do now, no matter what!

We've been talking with the SPCA about another dog and have even visited to talk to foster parents of other dogs. Some time later in August we'll foster another for a week to see if she gets along better with Henry and doesn't cause such a mess in the house. This one is crate trained, very low key and seems to be very nice.

I'm excited about getting a second dog, but glad we're giving ourselves time to recover from the last fiasco!