July 4th Extravaganza

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Redneck in a fireworks store!!

It all started with a “quick” stop at the Pro Fireworks store in Williamsburg. Knowing that he and my dad would need supplies for their annual explosives display, Yooper Stewart came home with $25 worth of artillery shells and Black Cats. He also cruised the store, checking out supplies and prices. Having purchased fireworks with my father before, he knew right away that he could get twice as many supplies at Pro Fireworks for the price they usually paid at the fireworks tents. That led to another stop at the store.

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I literally couldn’t fit all of the fireworks in one photo.

Watching YS in a fireworks store is like watching my seven year-old niece cruise the doll aisle at Toys R Us set to the theme song of The Lego Movie: “Everything is AWESOME!” At one point we were looking at another fireworks box (they all looked the same to me) when we heard an employee in the next aisle say, “loudest one in the store!” Yooper Stewart ran around the corner to find out what it was. Thirty minutes (and $75) later, we had quite the supply (which, of course, doesn’t mean he and my dad didn’t still go to a fireworks tent to buy just a few more things).

Set-up started at about 8 p.m. on July 4. The past method has been setting all of the fireworks on a piece of plywood on top of two saw horses. After last year’s excitement (a Roman candle accidentally setting off some of the stand-by fireworks), they decided to upgrade: active fireworks on the plywood, back-ups in a wheel barrow (we’re very high tech).

fireworks

Almost ready…

The first firework went off around 8:06 p.m., with additional “test runs” happening until 9:30 p.m. That’s when the big show started! And kept going…and going…and going. Yooper Stewart, my dad, and my  second-cousin Mike blew things up until 11 p.m. Some of the fuses were loose, but they lit ‘em anyway. They didn’t know how loud, big, or bright some would be, so they lit ‘em to find out. Not sure if you can light that cake within 3″ of another cake? Why don’t we light it and see what happens?

They had a BLAST! (I spent much of the night ducking behind patio chairs). I’d love to say that I can’t wait until next year, but honestly, I could have bought a really nice pair of shoes with that money. Yooper Stewart, however, is already looking forward to bigger and better explosions (the neighbor’s show was louder – he and my dad need to top that).

The Next Generation

Yooper Stewart isn’t really a kid person. It’s not that he doesn’t like them, he just doesn’t have much experience and they can sense it. His #1 goal when dealing with kids: prevent tears. It doesn’t take tykes long to figure that out and use it to their advantage. YS recognizes this weakness, so he usually tries to avoid being alone with kids, but they love him. They seek him out and follow him, loving his easy spirit, kindness, and willingness to blow up firecrackers at any moment.

Legos and the outdoors - perfect!

Legos and the outdoors – perfect!

One of his biggest fans is JT. Yooper Stewart is one of her favorite snuggle buddies.

Recently JT spent the weekend with us. It wasn’t entirely planned, so YS and I had some work we needed to accomplish. Since the weather had finally warmed up, we decided to work outside so JT could play in the yard and burn off some energy. As soon as she saw YS sorting Legos, however, she wanted in. Because YS was sorting and organizing, it didn’t really work to have her playing with those particular bricks, but that wasn’t a problem. When it comes to Legos and outdoor work space, we can always find a way.

DSC02758JT – the next generation.

 

Missing: Yooper Stewart

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Last seen May 7, 2014, approximately 4 p.m. near the bathroom. After 30 minutes of  buzzing and rushing water, he has not been seen.

Wanted for questioning: handsome man with deep dimples.

DSC02754Originally suspected to be Yooper Stewart in disguise, that theory was immediately dismissed when strange man was seen loading the dishwasher, a skill as yet unmastered by Yooper Stewart.

DSC02751If you’ve seen Yooper Stewart, please feed him, then send him home.

 

 

Always Ready, Always Prepared

Sam’s Club was made for Yooper Stewart. The man loves to be prepared for any situation. He’s doesn’t always know what he’ll need (or how much he’ll need) for possible future scenarios, so having lots of everything works well for him. His garage is a shrine to his desire to be ready.

DSC02668I’m not really sure what these are (I think they’re the glass tops of old power lines, but don’t quote me on that). I don’t know what he’s going to do with them, but he has six, just in case.

DSC02669 Why use one garbage tote when you can use three? Strange bit of info: we don’t actually have trash service at our house. As part of our village taxes, we take our garbage to the compactor station for disposal. I think YS puts the garbage bags in these until he’s ready to make a trip to the station (which I can’t imagine smells nice during the summer).DSC02670

If you’re going to have one grill, you might as well have two. These are different, though. We’re a fully equipped BBQ stop, with gas and charcoal options available.DSC02671

YS and I have been married for eight years. He’s been selling tires ever since we’ve been married. I don’t know where they come from. I don’t know how we always have them (they’re rarely from old vehicles), but these are only eight of the 12+ tires we currently own (that number doesn’t include the summer and winter tires we actually use on our cars).DSC02672Old salad containers make the BEST Lego holders (you can seal them, stack them, and still see inside to quickly find what you need). These have yet to be put to work, but I’m sure their day is coming.

As I took these photos, it occurred to me that my honey may have learned these habits from someone.

Me: Were you ever a boy scout?

YS: For a while, but I didn’t like it. You always did everything as a group, and there weren’t any girls.

So much for that idea.

Auxiliary Assistance

Ocassionally Yooper Stewart lends a hand around the house. I enjoy doing laundry, but he likes playing with the HE, large-capacity washer and dryer, so every now and then he washes a load. Though nothing about laundry is particularly news worthy, everything with Yooper Stewart has the potential to be.

On my way to bed last night, I found a few randomly placed articles of clothing. I had a pretty good idea of what was going on, but I couldn’t help asking.

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Note the unconventional hook-through-the-belt-loop hanging technique.

Me: So, what’s up with the pants?

Yooper Stewart: That’s my auxiliary drying rack.

Of course it.

Yooper Stewart’s Grocery Games

Grocery shopping: a constant test of discipline and concentration.

Yooper Stewart and I don’t have a good history of grocery shopping. One day we walked into Meijer with a list of 8-9 items. We left with a cart full of food and a $180 bill. After that I decided we shouldn’t shop together anymore. The Meijer is, unfortunately, not very close to my house, and I don’t like to drive. YS works a couple of miles from the store, so it’s tempting to send him there after work. We’ve tried this route a few times, but we still have a few kinks to work out.

1. Coupons: I’m not sure how he does it, but Yooper Stewart can’t keep track of coupons. He’s prone to leave them in his car or, my personal favorite, see a coupon for one brand of coffee creamer, but come home with the other.

2. Tired wandering: Yooper Stewart has a physical job. After work, he’s tired. Meijer doesn’t just sell food; they have garden supplies, camping gear, and Legos. It can sometimes take him over an hour to buy a dozen items.

3. Four pears, three people: YS isn’t the greatest buyer of produce. We now have three adults in our home, but he doesn’t think about that when buying fruit. He buys just enough to fill the produce bag. That often means four pears for three people, which translates into another trip to the store, which usually means another night of cruising the Lego aisle.

4. Sales: YS loves a sale. He can’t pass them up. I once asked for a bottle of antacids. He came home with five bottles (and thousands of tablets). We haven’t bought Tums in years. More recently I wanted some cream cheese. Instead of 4-5 8 oz. blocks of cheese, I ended up with 10+ 7 oz. tubs of plain and flavored cream cheese. I didn’t really need it (or want it), but at least it didn’t cost much.

We still haven’t figured out a fool-proof shopping technique, but we make it work (even if it means using honey cream cheese in the lasagna). At least it keeps dinners interesting!

The Organic Influence of Yooper Stewart

Meet my nephew, Butter Bean. He lives on the other side of the country. His dad is a city boy from Long Island. His uncle, however, is Yooper Stewart. Notice the influence:

Yooper Hipster

Camouflage – check

Something Lego – check

Something Star Wars – check

Scruffy beard – give it a few years

Butter Bean has tapped into his city-boy roots, though, and loves to wear some stylish headgear. For that reason he has earned himself a new nickname. You may now call him Yooper Hipster.

“All Men Are Babies,” but Are All Women Jerks?

I had great plans for my next Yooper Stewart post, but a week with the flu has thrown off

This picture has nothing to do with the post, I just like to show pictures of Yooper Stewart.

This picture has nothing to do with the post, I just like to show pictures of Yooper Stewart.

my schedule. It’s also opened my eyes to yet another difference between my husband and me – how we deal with sickness.

Yooper Stewart is your stereotypical whiny-guy. He’s pretty sure his bout of the stomach flu is a life-ender and we should get the prayer chain started. Every ache is the worst, fever is the highest, and nose is the most congested of all time.

On top of his difficulty coping, he doesn’t know the difference between decongestants, anti-inflamatories, or cough suppressants. If I can convince him to take meds, I have to harass him to keep taking them (two Tylenol on Monday morning should be enough to battle his fever for the week, right?). It’s not that he doesn’t want to get better, it’s just that illnesses have an immaturing effect on him. It makes me crazy.

I wish I could say I handled my flu like a champ, but the truth is I was a b!%$#.

I’ve spent my time researching supplements, herbs, and medicines, so as soon as I felt the flu coming I started a daily routine of elderberry, vitamin C, oregano, raw honey, and acetaminophen. It made my three days on the couch bearable for me, but not so much for Yooper Stewart.

As a work-from-home wife, I am in charge of the day-to-day operations of our house, so when I’m down, house hold functions cease. YS tries to help out, but it’s hard during the winter. He spends eight hours at work moving tons of salt (literally) and removing snow. That leaves him pretty exhausted when he comes home, and now he has to do all of the snow removal at our house, plus the cooking and cleaning.

Normally I’m relatively understanding, but not when I’m sick. When there’s a virus roaming through my blood stream, nothing’s good enough – the floor is too dirty, presents aren’t wrapped nicely enough, and you can be sure none of it gets done fast enough. When I should be resting and drinking orange juice, I turn into Attila the Hun, storming around the house destroying those who oppose me. It’s not a pretty sight. When I start to mend, it’s a celebration for everyone.

I may give Yooper Stewart a hard time for his inability to care for himself, but I really should be more gracious. At least he’s never made anyone cry when he was sick.