Friday, April 20, 2012

Lady Spartan Football Clinic 2012!

Every year, the Spartan coaches and their wives put together what has turned into a really fantastic fundraiser clinic for women. This was our 4th year I believe in running this clinic with the current staff and I don't know how they do it but it gets better and better every year! We have ladies who come back every single year and this year the clinic was sold out in less than 5 days! It can only accommodate 220 people so keep on the lookout next year if this looks like something you would like to do! It's a great day of visiting the football facilities, meeting the coaches, running through drills with some of the football players as well as coaches and a fun cocktail and hors d'oeuvres hour with a fantastic silent auction at the end with great items to bid on! A few of those items included the Nike pro combat football helmet worn for the MSU/UM game this year, a trip traveling with the team to the Michigan game this year, sideline passes for some of the games...the list goes on. Every year Coach and Becky Dantonio choose a different charity and we present the check to that charity at the Children's Miracle Network telethon.

Here are a few highlights from this years clinic (photos by Matt Mitchell MSU photographer extraordinaire!)

At the end of the clinic everyone gets together for a photo of the group. Can you find me??? ;-)

The ladies start out watching some film and getting to know the plays. Becky introduces the clinic

one of the great silent auction items

Time to run some drills in the indoor facility aka "The Weave"

love this photo of one of the ladies chasing down Taiwan Jones!

my beloved Coach Hoke yelling at one of the ladies during the weight room rotation to "KEEP GOING!! DID I TELL YOU TO STOP?!!"

demonstrating the rope looked brutal!

no matter what your age you are assured a GREAT TIME at this clinic!

and a chance to hobnob with everyone!

and at the end we get a team chant by Fou and Will that they taught to all of the ladies

A great day for a great cause this year, the MSU and Greater Lansing foodbanks. 

Be sure to watch out this time next year for the date on the MSU Spartans website! It fills fast!



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Zen and the art of spring pond cleaning!

Well it's that time of year again...the dreaded day of the "pond overhaul". As my hubby stated, his most dreaded and despised day of working in the yard all year. It really is a nasty job cleaning that pond out and added to it the fear of fish loss as well. It's a nasty and tedious job and you have to be very diligent and careful about removing the fish and keeping them in a safe environment. Nothing worse than having those little guys hang in there under the ice all winter long to happily greet you in the spring only to ultimately meet their death due to carelessness in pond cleaning. It happened to us last year with our large koi and we were really distraught. And it just happened to my neighbor who actually had "professionals" come out to clean her pond. But I think after lots of reading and trial and error we finally have it down to a science. Well Tommy does anyway, I just hang around to help where I can which usually translates into making sure there is always a cold beer nearby for him.

This year we got a wonderfully early start due to the unseasonably warm weather and went to work Easter weekend. It was in the mid 60's and fabulous!

So here is where we start... lots of nasty green algae as you can see. Fish are swimming happily about without a clue as to what their day is about to turn into

it's a big job and entails using a sump pump to drain the pond, power washer to clean and a lot of other stuff

Gotta go fishing

We have 3 large koi, 3 medium koi/goldfish and last year out of the blue we got 11 assorted babies from a few different parents in the pond I think! We farmed one out to my neighbor and we only had 5 greet us this spring. I'm guessing racoons may have had lunch out of the rest. :-(

Once we get all of the fish out of the pond (which is no easy feat with the little babies hiding in every nook and rock they could find) we put them in a giant trash can filled with yucky pond water and 2 air bubblers. That was our mistake last year, we didn't aerate the water and as a result lost our big koi. You can see 3 babies tooting around on top! This is their first spring clean and they are trying to figure out what just happened...

Tommy dons his waders and Mango lends a helping paw

Time for power washing as Buddha looks on supervising...keeping it "Zen" although I don't think Tommy was feeling much Zen during this ordeal

almost drained out and you can see the muck

the dogs find it all very exhausting...

part of the process is power washing and then sucking out the water again from the power washer. You can see how happy Tommy is doing this job

the end result... a beautifully clean pond, crystal clear water and no fish fatalities this year!!

Buddha approves...

the reward at the end of a miserable day in fish muck... well deserved!

We are crystal clean for another year and all is well in The Hoke Zen Garden. Now we get to enjoy the outdoor, backyard life!