Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Husbandly Duty

Okay, so I have done my husbandly duty. No, get your mind out of the gutter. I finally took my wife to see "New Moon." All in all, it was decent. I don't think that Kristen and Robert can act very well (but in all fairness, they do a better job than I would). And of course, both "Edward" and "Jacob" spent half of the movie with their shirts off, which was good for the women at the movie. Besides the bad acting of Kristen/Bella, where she spent almost all of the movie crying over her "one true love," I did get to see "Alice" who is just adorable.

Which brings me to the following. I was one of 5 guys in the theater. No problem. The problem was behind us. We had to deal with three girls talking through the first half of the movie. Also, a girl almost directly behind us was coughing and all other things associated with a bad cold directly behind me. And all I could think about was "go home - you are going to make us healthy ones sick." Oh, and Merry Christmas.

Kellie did take the babysitter home and I was cleaning up. There was a chair from the playroom in the living room. I picked up the blanket and out fell handcuffs. And there was rope tied around the chair. I am not sure exactly what happened but everyone seemed happy so I am not going to ask.

The beagles are getting new collars for Christmas. And, they got rawhide chews, of which they are already working on. Homer eats his right away. Kyra hides it. This time, we thought it was under the Christmas tree but no, she hid it in our bed under the pillows. Alrighty then.

Tomorrow, Christmas Eve, 2009, the Senate votes on health care reform. All I can say is 1) everyone agrees that it needs to happen and 2) hopefully the government hasn't screwed it up too bad.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


It seems like my life has been on hold for the past four months. Well, a little bit longer, but really just this past semester. Yes, I work full time, I go the kids events, I am involved with my family (which I am eternally grateful for - I know several fathers/mothers that are not involved and while that is bad for the child, it is also bad for the parent. How does that old song go, Cats in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy blue and the man on the moon. When you coming home dad/son, I don't know when, but we'll get together then). I have turned in my senior project, ready to turn in my last writing class assignment and I have one final left before I have a month off. I can't help but hear my wife in my head, from the beginning of the semester, "are you sure you should take three classes and not just two?" She was right. I should have taken two. But, I am almost through it. All I need are C's in the classes but I should do better. Who knows, maybe I will be taking more than one class next semester....

So, I am starting to feel normal now. Yes, a relative term as what is normal for me is not normal for anyone else. I have a mess on my desk that I need to clean up. I put up my white tree with purple lights and ornaments in the front window for all to see as they drive up the street. We went minimalism on the lights this year outside. Just three strands of C9's on the eave of the house. I will start soon on finishing up the Christmas gift I started making several years ago for my family. They are getting it this year and I hope they like it.

All this leads me to the fact that I popped in on my Sister-In-Law's blog this evening. I can't believe that they have been married 29 years. And although I lived through it, I thoroughly enjoyed their story that she posted. I suggest to all that you jump over and read it. Maybe I am pretty sappy but I love stories about how married people met. And you know, I have never heard my brother's side of the story. Maybe I will ask when I am at their house this Christmas. He is a man a few words.

She also posted on what was probably her annual review and it gave me pause. After dinner this evening (french onion tartlets and celery with pimento cheese), Kellie and I spoke about how our lives have changed, specifically in relation to my work. Her exact comment - "I am so glad you didn't go to work for ......" and I had to agree. Had I gone to work for them, I never would have grown like I did. I never would have gone back to school to get my degree. I also would never have become more technically proficient. I also would not have grown as a person as I have in the past several years. And I never would have met the wonderful people that I have in the past 36 months. My life is much fuller now than it was several years ago and for that, I am grateful.

You see, I am one of these people that believe that things happen for a reason. We just don't always happen to know what the reason is at the time. Eventually, we will find out. "In due time" as they say. As my dermatologist was cutting a chunk of flesh out of my face, we were discussing Captain Chesley Sullenberger who spent his entire life preparing for that one fateful flight that did not end as it was scheduled to but did end as it was supposed to (with no loss of life). I would have to say that I believe he changed everyone's life that day.

There are few hero's in life and as you get older, realize that there are fewer still. Although I cannot say that I am glad about what the Wood's family is currently going through, I would like to take the opportunity to point out that nobody is perfect, no matter what the appearance happens to be.

One think I have come to know is that I hate doing nothing. I consistently need to feel challenged, whether I look like it or not. Now don't get me wrong and don't take it personal. Should I have the winning lottery numbers dump in my lap I will take it and then follow thru on my promise to my boss twice a week that I am retiring on Monday/Thursday. Just don't ever feel that I will stop doing something.

With that, I am off to watch the news and prepare for yet another week of challenges.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Turkey day is over

Well, turkey day is over. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you took the time to think about all that you are thankful for. I have discussed it before so I am not going to belabor the part. I will try to bring everyone up to date currently though. We did indeed go to Disneyland last weekend. We had a wonderful time as a family. I would also like to thank our friends that watched our kids so we could ride California Screamin'. Kellie and I really enjoy our roller coasters and this one was pretty good.

Come to find out, we almost didn't make it back. We had no instrumentation but we did have lights, brake lights, turn signal and a speedometer. So, I made the decision to make the drive back. We even stopped in Blythe for gas. We all thought it was a fuse but that was not the case. Apparently, the ignition switch needed to be replaced and some spilt battery acid ate through some wires. So, there you go. God must have been with us for sure.

This past Wednesday, our 12 year old fridge decided to stop working, for a few hours. It started back up but that was enough for me. You see, the light hasn't worked in the fridge for years and for longer than that, it was making a clunking noise when it turns off (compressor in sealed unit sits on springs and when the springs go out......). Anyway, black Friday fridge got delivered yesterday. And for everyone that is following one of us on Facebook, it has been 24 hours now and Homer has not figured out how to get the fridge open, like he does with the upstairs fridge.

As far as school and the remaining assignments: 1 final in Business Law, 2 assignments for technical writing and just finish my final paper and bound it for senior project. Hoping to knock out all except for the Business Law final (I have to wait on the teacher for that).

If I don't speak to you, for whatever reason, I hope that this holiday season finds you well. T

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Random Disneyland Pictures

As we get ready planning our next trip to Disneyland in November, I thought I would post more of the August pictures. Yes, Disneyland in 3.5 months. We LOVED our last visit and Isabelle's dance class performs in Disney California Adventure, so how can we not go? We could say "no" but come on....And we get to celebrate two of our friends birthdays while there too! Bonus!
Looking forward to more fun in November!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Things I will not miss after May 13th

A real brief post tonight about things that I have experienced since going back to school that I will not miss. In no particular order:
  • people who talk all the way through class disrupting and annoying those of us that are there to actively participate in class (seriously, it took everything bit of will power I had to not turn around and tell him to shut up)
  • people who do participate in class but talk to hear themselves talk (okay, this one just isn't school)
  • the person who chooses to sit next to me every class that this is his first semester in the United States and thus, I need to explain American Business Law, all the while missing what the professor is talking about
  • people who show up to class in pajamas
  • people who show up to class in see through dresses (falls under the category of TMI, along with the next observation)
  • I don't want to know what your choice of undergarments happen to be. Enough said.
  • just because you choose to not come to class, don't e-mail me right before the exam asking for my notes
  • don't surf the internet during the middle of class. Truly, it is a waste of your time to be in class and you may be disrupting others.
  • most professors are so easy that it is almost criminal. With that in mind, if the professor gets up in front of class right before the exam and tells you everything that you could possibly need to know to pass the exam (including "you don't need to know that"), don't go up to him/her after the exam and argue the essay question when you didn't answer the question. As my professor says, "I ask the questions. Your job is to answer them - not change the question for your answer."
I am guessing that times have not changed that much and while I probably would have tolerated it 15 years ago, I choose not to now.

Two interesting things I learned this week. My son's female friend (side note - we were taking her home the other night and he made his sister move so he could sit next to her) has already had banana creme brulee (I am just going to have to try that one) and my son's teacher that is 30 (complete guess) has never had creme brulee before (she was going to eat it before class this morning - I told her that was not a good idea).

And with that, it has already been a long week, I am tired and going to bed.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

200 days, 100 degrees and fried squirrel

I am going to start off my post with 200 days. We all know that Christmas is only a few short weeks away (about 9 or so) so I must be referencing graduation. Two years ago, I started back on my quest to finally get my degree. I should have done it a long time ago but, I didn't. So, in 200 days, I finally graduate. Of course, only if I pass my current classes. So much to do, so little time to do it in.

I am not sure how many of you readers out there are in touch with people from other parts of the country. I talk to people in all time zones every day of the week (and no, I am not a telemarketer). We all know that it is the middle of October and it is 100 degrees here in Arizona. The lovely wife and I actually started our Christmas shopping yesterday. For the record, we are now half way done. But while we were doing the mad dash last night, going from store to store, we noticed that at 7 pm it was still 99 degrees outside. Has anyone besides me noticed that while we have been pretty warm right now, the rest of the country has had a terrible time with it? I have had several customers tell me what a short summer they had - their weather was so bad this summer. So, while we had warm weather and they have bad weather - is it just me and my aging process that I am noticing it now? I will not go so far as to say that global warming etc. but I am just pondering.

The kids survived this past week. Kind of touch and go late this week. It seems everyone went somewhere except us so my kids were kind of bored. Ryan had two teeth pulled and Isabelle has two teeth that are ready to fall out - they just don't want to. Grandpa is just dying to help her out with the process.

Tried a new recipe this evening from Rachel Ray. Gorgonzola stuffed meat. I say meat since the recipe called for pork but since my wife doesn't care for pork roast, I used a thin cut sirloin steak. It was really good if I say so myself. Do a google search on Rachel Ray Gorgonzola Stuffed Pork.

I have a paper to revise this evening so I am going to go soon but I want to leave you with this one thought. It seems that my wife was a little trouble for the nuns growing up in school. I don't ask and just accept it. Some things are better off not knowing. Anyway, the nuns were old country/farm girls and so my father-in-law would go out and shoot squirrels and fry them up for the nuns. Pretty much bribery as I understand it. Well, school progress evaluations are this Tuesday. Isabelle and I are making white chocolate creme brulees Monday evening. I plan to take them with for the parent-teacher conferences. I am not sure that they need it as I am sure that they are angels but you never know when you will need that little extra - know what I mean?

As always, I hope this finds everyone in good health.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

What a mess

So my brother-in-law decided to do some lawn maintenance. Sounds like a good idea. I have never aerated this lawn and we have been here 6 years. So, he rented the aerator, was here at 7 am with it. Of course, I did not soak my lawn yesterday and should have. I will remember for next time. I also don't have a big lawn but did my best to chunk it up. Of course, Homer Jay spent a good time following me barking at the machine as it chunked up the yard. Kyra enjoyed digging her nose in the dirt looking for some sort of bugs.

We then took it to my brother-in-law's house and made quick work of that yard. So far, so good. Once the aerator was returned, I went to get some grass seed (yes, we plant grass out here in Arizona - doesn't that say something?) and steer manure. About half way home, Ryan figured out what steer manure is.

Still, so far, so good. Went to throw out the grass seed and both Homer Jay and Kyra Sue (beagles should all have two names) decided to help. They were helping by letting me throw it on them while they walked around the lawn. Much like how bees pollinate. Still, so far, so good. Now it comes time to do the manure ($1 per bag, 10 bags please).

Once I started throwing out the manure, then the fun started. As it seems, dogs have a tendency to like things that smell. I have seen theories why but truly, does it matter? So, just as they helped out with the grass seed, they helped out with the manure. In addition, they decided it might be pretty tasty. And then, they started rolling in it. This is where the mess comes in. Of course, I watered just after I threw down the grass seed. Now, with the manure, it was a pretty sight.

The kids went to get the leashes and to put in the dog door. Of course, they thought they were going for a walk, which got them very excited. They were not too excited when I started hosing them down outside, with the leash on so they wouldn't go anywhere.

Now, I just have to get a shower and do the floors as there are dirty paw prints everywhere.

Hope this finds everyone in good health.