Friday, July 31, 2009

Library Gigs and Seeing Old Friends

We went to the Howe Library's live animal show and got to see a neat assortment of critters, all from the tropical rain forests of Costa Rica. And, of course, we got to encounter the usual assortment of intense suburban parents, who are critters in and of themselves. Interesting to see them in a large group of themselves, they really kick into character with their sense of social enlightenment and propriety. Ironically, the higher up the social ladder they climb, the less they seem to have control of their kids. There are a few exceptions where they really have a handle on their children's behavior, but I notice a lot of them seem to bark out commands with no results, and respond by simply repeating said command with lessening effect. The situation simply feeds on itself.

Anyway, what are you going to do? We did get to see the Mack's and the kids always have fun together. That's one thing about going to big events in the Big City, you always run into people you know, and you can count on the fact that if an opportunity to socially enlighten their kids or educate them in worldly facts comes along, then wild horses won't keep them away. So the usual suspects show up in droves, and luckily a town like the Big City, with the university and all, there are a countless number of cultural events, so why go to Boston?

Speaking of friends, we also met up with our long lost buddies, M&M, and their kids N&P. It's been a couple of years, and I think they were surprised to see us. We used to work with M at the VA and he was embroiled in the whole soap opera of infidelity and deceit, and now they seem to working things out over the pond in the UK. The cool thing is their kids now have British accents. Good seeing them, if not a little awkward.

On the subject of AM, I think we've found a good equilibrium in interacting with them and it goes something like this - do nothing, make no effort at trying to get together, and when we see each other, act like nothing is unusual. It works great because she is too busy to set up playdates, and I've given up trying. But, when we do run into each other, the kids have fun, and AM and I can act like we'd just seen each other the day before. I do think she's a bit overwhelmed, and my sense is that they are dealing with some financial issues, which make life stressful, but that's their business. I do think they are getting a new car, however, and I'm envious and wary at the same time. Envious because we sure could use another car, and wary because I know their purchase of a new car will only exacerbate an already difficult situation, i.e., more money and debt. Best of luck to everyone involved.

We went to the pediatrician yesterday and the kids got a glowing review, thankfully. Not there was looming doom, but going to the doc is always a bit stressful. They both shred their ear test, and N shred his eye test, and the doc did some wonderful things cleaning out some ears, so that was a relieft. I think I need it done on mine. Kids are growing nicely, and they both are moving it the right directions in regards to their rankings in the weight and BMI indexes (a good thing), meaning that they are growing at good clip, but their weight is leveling off relative to what docs feel is healthy. They are both good eaters and love sweets, and we are conscious of how much we feed them. Did I mention that we love our pediatrician, Dr. Tansky? She is so warm and friendly, we feel lucky.

Today we restart our beloved guitar lessons, and I've decided to go back on the ice cream wagon. My jeans are getting snug, and as I look around me and see the girth of the American public, I can hear the brakes screaching in my head. No more ice cream, for a number of reasons. Oh well, more for the kids, right?

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Chris Harris for the pic.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Feeling Like a Wet Dog

I woke up this morning to the sound of pouring rain, and after having a cup of joe and working the computer, realized that I was supposed to go to work today. This, mind you, entailed riding my bike to the bus stop, in the pouring rain, no less. R came down and said to forget it, the weather is too lousy, but I knew she'd be disappointed, and this all might come back to haunt me, so I called AG, of the K&A Vegan Standard fame, for a ride, but he wasn't feeling well. I was going to have to ride. I looked outside and it didn't look bad, the rain had subsided, so I decided to go for it.

Of course, the minute I started to ride the deluge came. It started to rain in sheets, and I was getting drenched as I made my way to the bus stop. I kept thinking that I should get RW's phone number and hitch a ride, but it was too late to whine. By the time I got to the bus stop, I was soaked like a wet dog, and then I had to wait for the bus in the rain. It's times like this I want to whine and feel self-righteous that every loser on the planet has to drive every place on the planet, but what does that really accomplish?

Instead, I sucked it up and took it like a man. Besides, what's a little rain to a Vermonter. We have a busy day ahead, and I'm not really looking forward to it, but regardless of how I feel, it's coming my way.

We also had a rough night last night. We keep nursing the naive belief that we can have our cats in the bedroom with us, and then they wreck havoc and keep us awake. Consequently, we're all running on fumes over here. AND, we're supposed to meet with our mentor about the house, but I'm going to try to reschedule. He must think we're crazy.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Manuella Nejaim for the pic.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Staying the Course

I started off the day kicking myself over getting in over my head with responsibilities, and spent the better part of last night trying to come up with an idea as to how I could get out of some of them. In the end, I stayed the course, helped my friend load his moving truck, then went to see GK&T and it all turned out just fine. In fact, we had a great day. Jake and his wife and friends commented on what great kids A&N are, but being the parent and all, I shouldn't really comment on that.

The rain has come on with a vengeance, it was sunny and hot for the past two days, so we got to see some sun, but now it's a deluge. Strange.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Creating Stress

What the heck was I thinking?

I don't know how I get myself into these things, but I've gotten good at it. I offered to help a friend move, and of course it's creating scheduling conflicts, all of which, mind you, are rooted in the fact that we only have one car.

My good friend Jake is leaving Vermont-boo-hoo, and he's moving today. I told him way back when that I'd help him load the truck, and then the guy asks me to if I can help today. Normally this would be no problem, I want to help, but we only have one car, and I'm with the kids. So I told him I'd be happy to help, but I have to bring them along, and I need a ride. He gladly agreed on both counts.

Now for more complications-today is normally the day we go to GK&Ts, but they have plans in the afternoon, so it's going to be earlier. My initial plan was to drop R off at work, take the kids swimming (it's going to be a scorcher today), then go to GK&Ts, but then I can't help Jake. So scratch the swimming, let R take the car to work, Jake will pick us up and take us over to his place, and then take us home where R will be back from work and we can take the car to GK&Ts. Sound crazy enough?

This wouldn't be a problem if we had another car, a growing sore point between R and I, but I won't get into it. That's between her and I.

How will the kids fare? Not sure, they are good and well behaved, and having a big empty house could be fun. To be on the safe side, I'll rent a move and take my laptop, but I'm hoping things go smoothly. You never know.

Why is life so complicated? Because I make it so, but c'est la vie! Sometimes you can't think too much about it and you just have to go for it.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Sigurd Decroos for the pic.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Plan with the Kids, Guitar Vibes, More Rejection

I have this new plan with our kids, and it boils down to not just being a caretaker, but more of a partner in crime. The root of this lies in the face that some days I feel like I'm only here as a support person, feeding and clothing the kids, when in fact I'd like to be more involved in the things that really mean the most to them. I know this sounds a little hoakie, but there are times I feel really bad that I don't have time to spend more time with the kids, and end up putting them off when they request my presence. Then, at the end of the day, I sort of kick myself that I didn't make more time to spend quality time with them, besides in a supporting role.

The reason I feel this way is because it doesn't take much, even an hour out of the day, to sit and really focus on what they have to say or how they are feeling. It could entail reading them a story or playing guitar with A or playing catch with N. Simple stuff, but showing them that they are important enough to put aside whatever I'm doing to be with them.

Our kids are good at spending time alone and entertaining themselves, so it would be easy enough to tell them to go outside and play and leave me alone, but I feel that this flies in the face of why we became parents in the first place. Thankfully we don't watch TV, because that would be the end of it all. As I mentioned before, homeschooling actually makes time for us to be together doing a quiet activity, and I value these moments, but it's school work, so not as fun.

Don't get me wrong, it's not as if I need more to do, but when you really get down to it, having kids is the greatest gift of them all, and to ignore this fact and let precious time with them slip through your fingers is really a shame. R and I don't want to fall prey to letting our inflated sense of self replace our time with our family, because when you really get down it, there is always time, and often when we stress over schedules and out time, it is often misguided and unnecessary. Of course, our kids suffer accordingly. The sad part is, I think they eventually become accustomed to it and grow to have no expectations of our time. How sad is that?

Anyway, I think it's a good plan, we'll see where it takes us.

On other fronts, I tried pitching our family camping trip to Coleman and they gave me the big fat rejection, but I'm glad I at least tried. And, they were nice enough about it to reply right away, so I'm not complaining.

We also heard from KR, our guitar teacher, and A's lessons will resume, which is cool. We love the fact that A loves the guitar, and feel really fortunate to have such a wonderful teacher in KR. Deep down we think she likes A, and they get along so well. Music is the universal language that connects them.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Marko Malca for the pic.

The Return of YKW

So I don't know what to make of this one, but YKW called yesterday, and I thought it showed a lot of balls on her part. What kind of nerve is that to blow our kid off for months and then suddenly call out of the blue for a playdate? Our theory is that she was bored and had nothing better to do, so why not call on your fallback plan? Her other half must have been away or unavailable, so for lack of anything better to do, call us.

I don't think so.

Again, leaves a bit of bad taste in my mouth, especially when she was so mean to A when they encountered each other, every single time. It was actually very surprising given the callous nature of her previous interactions, and in a way, I found the whole thing odd.

Unfortunately, I was outside when the call came in, and of course A answered the phone. She asked about a playdate and I said NO WAY! What kills me is that now the embers have been fanned and interest in YKW has been rekindled. What a drag.

We'll see where this one goes, but I'd like to see it go nowhere. Suffice it to say that that chapter in our lives is done and over.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Rose Ann for the pic.

Farewell to our Praying Mantis Friends

Well, we finally took the plunge and released our praying mantis (PM) friends, and not a moment too soon. Not only are they probably happier to be out in the great outdoors, in their natural element, mind you, but it's one less thing for us to have to deal with. Kind of like having another pet that you have feed and care for. Now they get to eat a greater variety of bugs, probably ones more to their liking. We were feeding them fruit flies, which are easy to find in our compost bins, but as a consequence, our house has become fruit fly hell. They are everywhere. Besides, when I put the flies in the PM habitat, it almost freaked the PMs out, there were just too many, and it made them a little crazy. R and the kids released them in the garden, so hopefully they'll get plenty to eat and thrive. We shall see, best of luck to them.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Danny Stoecker for the pic.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Making Martha Proud

Not to be too embarrassingly dorky, but we got a new sauce pan, and we needed it. We've found that glass tops are the way to go, and having at least two, preferably three, makes life easier. The reason for this is when you cook pasta. If any sauce involved, then along with the noodles and the steamed veggies, you have three pots going at once. We have several pots, but once has been ruined by cooking popcorn and is now used solely for that purpose, once doesn't have a handle and is perfectly usable (and we use it) but can't be maneuvered, and one is killer but is two small-one quart. So, we basically have one good functional pot for cooking dinner, so naturally we had to get another one. I wonder if my wife is beginning to wonder about me...

Planning Our Vacation and Playing the Game

I've learned an interesting thing about the whole game of blogging-to get more traffic, you have to give a little and take a little. There are a few people who actually visit my blog and if you can believe it, even comment! Some of them are like me, aspiring bloggers, and ask if we can be friends, i.e., link to each other's blog. I'm all for it, but I've found that when sometimes it's a case of "what have you done for me lately?" In other words, I link to them and never hear from them again. Oh well, you have to stick with what you think is right.

On that note, it's sort of fun. You build up a community of friends who are in the same boat as you, and you love to hear from them. Even just tiny, quick comments can make a blogger's day.

We are in the process of planning, or rather not planning, our trip out west. We have a rough outline of where we'll go and what we'll do, but there will be an element of surprise in it all, much like all of our vacations. Keeping it open ended allows for maximum value in the adventure department. As long as the important issues are covered - food, transportation, shelter - then everything else is all a part of the ride. It gives me anxiety to no end, but that's the beauty of travel. It takes you out of your comfort zone and you grow from the experience.

One awesome aspect of it is that the kids are thrilled to pieces. I'm glad they love to travel, and I think it all comes from just doing it. Once they experience it and realize that problems occur but are rarely insurmountable, they become citizens of the world and embrace it. I love that fact. They can choose whatever they want when they get older, I just abhor the idea that they close a door of opportunity because they are too afraid to try, which up until I became father, was the story of my life.

And, we can incorporate all sorts of homeschool opportunities in the trip, including a bunch of stuff on the Westward migration. Can you submit a blog to the homeschool state office?

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Mike Johnson for the pic.

Lazy, Reflecting and Looking Forward

So begins the first week after camp. It was a brutal week last week for a number of reasons, and I've found that this weekend, when I finally had some time to get things done, I just wanted to lie around the house all day like the lazy slob that I am. Life sure is simpler when you give into your base instincts, which I did.

What made the week hard was that it was a full day of being away from the house, which made it difficult to finish, and for that matter, even begin things that needed to get done. I wanted to cut the grass (our lawnmower is having issues-like me), finish cutting the wood to tap out my chainsaw, paint the back of the house (in my defense, it's half done), and begin a whole slew of hardcore DYI projects. I also wanted to practice my karate (failed!), start exercising more frequently (failed!), and spend more quality time with the kids rather than simply being a support crew (moving forward).

On this subject, it dawned on me that I'd like to sit and do more with the kids. I've found my wife is much better and spending quiet quality time with them, doing crafts or projects, while I tend to more physical activities with them like biking, sports, working in the yard. While this gives them some balance, I'd like to do more cerebral things, but that's up to me, right? You want to know the beautiful irony in all this? The one time we do sit quietly and share our thoughts is when we do homeschool lessons. How crazy is that? I was thinking reading a story or playing musical instruments with them, or even teaching them karate. We'll see.

On the subject of homeschooling... ugh, don't get me started. I need to get that curriculum in. I've also found a friend who is certified to evaluate kids and we're going to give it a try. The whole portfolio thing, besides being a mountain of a task, seems to fall short.

Okay, so I didn't get a lot done last week, but I did manage to send out some queries regarding our trip, and got some nibbles. Not bad for a two-bit wannabe. I have other queries I'd like to send, but am prepared for the big fat rejection letter. It's worth a try, and every little bit counts.

This week we will try to return to our regular routines, which will only be disrupted in a few weeks when we go away, but such is life. It'll be nice seeing GT&K again, and we'll get back to riding and tennis. Did I mention that we've become tennis mongers? The kids are really trying hard, and you begin to realize that it's not easy hitting a ball over the net, especially when it's coming at you quickly. My thinking is practice, practice, practice, at least when we get the chance. The fact that it's fun helps.

I'll try to get the curriculum done, which I think is imperative before we go away, and try putting together our information to be ready for our big evaluation. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Daniel Deak Bardos for the pic.


Boy, in the aftermath of a hellish week of camp, I found myself sitting around the house unable to do anything and at a loss of any sort of rhythm. Life really is a delicate balancing act, don't you think? One simple disruption and the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

Either way, it was a wonderful week for the kids, even if it put mom and dad through the ringer. I don't know how parents do it, and I still think the busy schedules that we make for ourselves and our kids has the profound effect of eroding the structure of the nuclear family. I see it in practice when our lives get crazy. Not only is quality family time spent together completely disrupted, if not elminated altogether, but many of the important aspects of lives is compromised. This includes quiet time for reflection and the ever-so important family meal. In fact, I understand why the whole convenience food market is so strong-when you've got a full schedule and are busy earning your paycheck and shuttling your kids to assorted camps and activities, who has time to cook, much less sit down to a meal together.

While parents (at least every parent I know) may feel justified in sacrificing good, healthy eating together as a family because of their busy schedules, I really don't think this makes it right. The whole over-scheduling thing is completely voluntary, and while you may not think it has no consequences, think again. The whole stability of the nuclear family has gone out the window, and we no longer value the basic and simple qualities of our lives. It has become all wrapped up in two activities-the process of making money and the process of spending it. One begets the other.

It's interesting how our values have evolved to the point where we no longer place time with our families ahead of working for the man and making him rich. When you really get down to it, your job values you only for what you can give to it, and once that is compromised, forget about loyalty. Your time for them is done. Simple cold and callous economics involved here.

The love of your family, on the other hand, is unconditional. With this in mind, are we giving it the attention (our attention!) that it deserves?

Hardly, but don't get me started (too late?). Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Kostya Kisleyko for the pic.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Please Bear With Me

Sorry for the identity crisis regarding this blog. I keep tweaking and changing it, and then I change it some more. I'm trying to make it look cool and somehow it always seems to leave me flat. Either way, I'm leaning towards the white background. I just seem to like it best, and my wife made this wonderful icon for my website and I decided to use it for my blog, as well. She's such a good artist and yet refuses to acknowledge this. She sings beautifully, to boot, but more on this at another time.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks to Nicole N for the pic.

Last Day of Camp and the Crazy World We Live In

I've just found out that my good friend DW is running for congress, though I'm ashamed to admit that I'm not sure who our congressmen or senators are. I know Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy and Peter Welch are all involved, but who the senators and who are the congressmen? And aren't senators and representatives all members of congress? It's all a bunch of crazy semantics.

Okay, I did a Google search and found that Bernie and Pat are senators, and Pete is our rep. Glad I got that out of the way.

Anyway, my friend's goal is to unseat Peter Welch, and he's running a bit of a radical platform. It might help him to tone things down a bit because he's really smart and understands the problems of the world, but does himself a disservice by being so extreme. Then again, you gotta give him credit for standing by what he believes in. Best of luck to you DW.

It's funny, because I've been seeing him all over the place recently, and now this.

Today is the last day of camp and I have to admit, even though the kids loved it, I'll be glad to a return to normalcy. Too much driving and running around, I think it'll be easier next year when N has camp all day. This time around we had to find activities for him while A was in camp from 9-1. Then I had two hours off to write this blog and then get A, and then we had to pass one hour until he was finished with camp. Talk about crazy. The hardest thing was the three hours in the AM, and we usually went bowling or miniature golfing or something. It's a fairly big chunk of time.

Tonight we'll celebrate with a crazy night out at Boloco. I can't wait.

Personally, I'm looking forward to just having some time at home being a domestic daddy. Ah, the good life.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Michael Slonecker for the pic.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Some Shopping and My Website

I think I've held up some of my end on the website, probably more than RR wanted and he's probably now cursing my name for inundating him with my crap, but I figure if it's not too painful for him, I might as well try to offer as much feedback regarding what I want on my website as I can. AND, he said in the end to keep it coming, so I'm willing to oblige.

I'm in the process of writing my bio, which ain't easy. I don't want to be a pretentious dork (something I'm guilty of with regularity), but I also don't want to it to be dull and lifeless. There's a fine line I'm walking here. Either way, as I've mentioned, it's kind of fun, and I'm kind of excited about the whole thing.

This morning we were once again scrambling to get to camp, and I for one don't know how people manage to live their lives as they do. We are getting a firsthand glimpse into the lives of most Americans who send their kids to school-up in the early AM, scramble to feed and clothes the kids, then out the door by 8:30. If anything , we have it easy, we only have to do this for one week, and it starts at 9:00. Most kids go to school for nine months, and it begins at 8:00. It's torture, really, and somehow it must fry children.

Anyway, after dropping off A, N and I went to get some fruit at Stern's. With our new chest freezer, we'll need to freeze a significant amount of berries to make smoothies over the winter. I'm beginning to realize that to make it over the nine months of winter will take a heck of a lot of fruit, and I don't think our little freezer (described by my mentor as "adorable") is big enough. Then again, can't think the American Way that bigger is better. We'll make do with what we have.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Good Camp Vibes, Killing Time

Camp has been going well, as you might have expected. In typical fashion I'd found a way to be anxious about something fun. I worried about kids being mean, especially in light of the circumstance for our daughter's camp-she was the only girl with all those boys, but it's turned out well so far. She's having a blast and all the counselors are women, so she has some girls behind her. Also, the boys are on the cerebral side, so they probably jive with the girl who can hang. I'm glad for that.

With our son, he's having fun, too. We worry about him because he's on the shy side, but as long as there are fun things to do, he's good to go, and that's been the case. We've lucked out with the weather because it hasn't been too hot.

There is a three hour block of time that we have to pass when A is in camp, and N and I usually cruise around and look for things to do. Not always so easy, but we manage just fine. We went bowling yesterday, and usually run errands and do research for the barn project. It's fun hanging out with him. He's such a real man.

It's also nice to have time to get things done. Once he's in camp I have time to myself, though only a couple of hours, but I've found I can actually get things done. The best progression is when I start something in the morning and then finish it in the afternoon. Being in the library to do this helps because when I'm at home I can't seem to focus.

Saw the Mack's yesterday for the first time in weeks and it was nice. Great kids. I'm getting better at just keeping my mouth shut and being supportive, because I've found in the past that AM can bring out the worst of my insecurities and make me say things I regret (trying to impress her or compensate for my shortcomings). My solution? Just keep my mouth shut and nod my head and offer encouragement. That works best with her.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Surviving Day One, YKW Sighting

Talk about weird. I went to karate yesterday (for the record, it took everything I had to get there because I was so exhausted) and was the first one there, so I hung out in the parking lot until people arrived. There was a soccer camp going on but I didn't give it much thought until I heard someone call out my name, and it was YKW's (you know whose) dad. We chatted for awhile and he was very cool, but it sure was weird. I didn't realize YKW was playing, and for the first time in months she actually waved at me. It made me realize they don't hate me, but also that that door has closed. I'm not sure we can ever go back there. He said that they'd been trying to call and if we were away, and I couldn't quite get a handle on where he was going with this one.

After weeks of not returning A's calls, and suddenly they're trying to get ahold of us? Strange, but that's fine. Life goes on, and we're moving on with our lives. Fortunately it was just YKW and not her ET.

We survived our first day of camp, and it was quite the juggling act. It started with taking A to her morning gig, then taking mom to work, then off to LL Bean with N to find him a new backpack and lunch box. We had hours to kill, so we went to Stern's, but the selection was terrible, no berries. Word to the wise, Tue and Fri evenings, or maybe Wed morning. We'll wait and see.

Also got both the kids new water bottles. I had been a fan of the Kleen Kanteen because the Sigg's have some sort of secret, proprietory lining which always makes me suspicious. In the end, I'd found out that the Kleen Kanteens, at least the LL Bean ones, had some issues with the plastic caps and now were being redesigned. Bummer. So we went with Sigg, which have much cooler designs, anyway, but again, that darn secret lining...

The kids like their bottles, that's all that matters, and at some point you have to give in and go with it. I did, however, drive around to Stateline Sports and Omer and Bob's to see if they had cooler designs. They did not.

N was itching for pizza for lunch, so we went to the Brick and Brew, had some pizza, then off to pick up mom for her lunchtime meeting at Tuck. We dropped her off, I took N to his camp, then back to the library to replenish our book supply. From there I was to meet mom at the bookstore, she took the car to get A and N at camp while I walked back to the library to hang out until they were done. This way she got to spend some quality time with A.

Around 4:30 they showed up at the library and we hung out until around 5:30, where we came home, I went to karate while the kids hung, and then bedtime. I would've imagined that they were exhausted. I know I was.

We're going to have to rethink the whole dinner gig, it appears that it's not going to work out. They are hungry after camp, and the long drive home might be a good time to chow. Either that or eat at our favorite place, Boloco's.

Today begins a new day and I hope we smooth out the drill a bit, no pun intended. Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Monday, July 20, 2009

First Day of Camp, Tennis Anyone?

Today is the first day of the annual summer rite of passage for kids and parents-summer camp. Sure, it's not overnight camp, but it's still a source of anxiety for me, mainly because when you spend so much time with your kids, it's tough letting go. Oh well, it's good for everyone involved. We've lucked out with the weather because it is not slated to be too hot, so we'll see how that goes. Hoping the kids won't be too mean and that they both will make some new friends. Most importantly, hope they get a lot out of the experience. One good thing is that I'm pretty sure A won't have the YKW twins in her camp. It's been nice not seeing them around.

The way the scheduling worked out, I'm not going to have too much free time to myself since we couldn't get into the morning session for N, so there will be a four hour period where we'll be hanging out and then he'll go for the afternooon. Such is life. It would have been preferable to have them beginning at the same time, giving me a four hour chunk of time in the morning to myself, but it'll be fun hanging out with him and doing things he likes to do before his gig. Long days for both of them, however, as well as mom and dad.

Have to get a backpack for him and a new water bottle for her. This morning I'll have to make their lunches and then at some point in the afternoon go to the store and get lunch stuff.

We've been tennis mongers lately, and it's been a lot of fun. You really see the interest and desire to play in the kids, and it's a fun way for all of us to get out and play. Saw a bunch of our neighbors at the court, too, though demand for playing time can be high at times. Gotta keep hitting.

More updates on how camp goes later. Just as a side note, it's amazing to me how much people send their kids to camp. Besides the cost, what a brutal day. I know the kids have fun, but eight hours of fun must be exhausting.

Thanks to Ben Earwicker and Ruth Livingstone for the pic, and thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Getting Too Into It, Barbecue, and a Great Day

We had a great day yesterday, and it all stemmed from an unexpected change in plans. We've been rather into tennis lately, with the kids and mom showing a real interest. It's a lot of fun for all of us to hit the courts and just practice hitting the balls back and forth, though at this point it's nice just to get the ball over the net. The kids really try hard and I think with more practice we'll actually be able to have games. It's fun to see.

We went to play yesterday and the courts were occupied by none other than our friends, RJ, JM, A and some kid names I. They were good. Before their fourth person showed I up I rallied with them and they could really hit the ball. I found myself challenged, to say the least.

Since we couldn't play tennis, we went to the local stream, instead, and it was awesome. It's so nice back there, the kids got into their skivvies and played in the water while R and I sat on the shore and contemplated life. It helped that the weather was beautiful, not too hot but sunny, and that there was plenty of sand and mud for the kids to play in. Plus, there was the occasional fish or two, and lots of bugs. Always makes for a good time.

We came home and had a major BBQ with our organic hot dogs and John Madden beef. It was a load of meat, though, and we need purge our systems, not to mention our colons. Going vegan for the next few days.

Camp is on the horizon, and then our big vacation. Lots to think about. I've got my website blurb together and am working on the icon and bio. I hope RR doesn't want to strangle me for changing things so drastically. Being so ignorant, I'm not sure how much actually goes into making these changes, but at the very least, I'm much more engaged.

Until the next time, thanks to Ali Taylor for the pic, and thanks for reading.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Who Are You?

I've been trying to come up with a homepage blurb, something that describes who I am and what my site is all about, and of course being the pretentious writer that I am, I can't make it simple and easy, so it's been a bit of a chore. All this work on the site takes enormous amounts of time and really sidetracks me from the bread and butter blogging that pays me peanuts, and as a consequence, I need to collect lots of peanuts to make a dent in my cash flow.

BUT, I have to admit, I rather enjoy working on it and it's exciting thinking about it.

More later. Until then, thanks for reading.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Homeschool Hauntings, the Pool, and Website Responsibilities

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that I've got to deal with our homeschool issues, i.e., answering to the state. I've got to work on the curriculum and enrollment for next year, it's already late and I need to move that up the priority list. I've found an evaluator and need to get that together, as well. Okay, now that I've decided that, I feel much better can put it all off until tomorrow...

We went to the fabled Aquatic Center pool yesterday, and it was all that it was hyped up to be-a wanna be Disneyland on water. First off, I have issues with indoor pools, and can't imagine why anyone would swim indoors during the summer. Second, there's too much crazy stuff going on, much in line with the screwed up world that we raise our kids in. Too much external and artificial stimulation where it's just not necessary. Give kids a pool of water and they will naturally have fun, but instead, in the artificial world we've created, we have to replace the natural progression of things with ersatz entertainment. Whatever be the case, it struck me as aqua-daycare, where parents need a place to unload their kids but want proper stimulation.

Also, the place is expensive, and I'm not sure how they justify the cost. It's like a country club, lots of stuff for the kids to do so mom and dad can sit around and sip lattes. Personally, the cynic in me found it all boring at some point, though A&I were thrilled to pieces about it.

Finally, it can't be good to surround yourself with chlorine all day, with no fresh air in sight. This is ironic when you really get down to it because parents today are so hyper aware of health issues and exposure to toxins, and yet they don't even blink an eye at dumping their kids in an environment saturated with chlorine (a chemical weapon, no less) in that they are drinking, absorbing through their skin, and breathing. Thankfully we live in an time where kids wear eye protection. If it were up to me, I personally wouldn't go back, but I know that idea will be vetoed by the kids. It's funny how you talk to parents and they just rave about the place, as if it were the greatest thing since sliced bread, while I didn't even like it. Just goes to show you that I'm the weak link in all this.

I found a website I liked, the King Arther Bakery site (great company, BTW). I was turned onto it by our kid's dentist, no less, whom I've become chums with lately. We talk cooking. Get him started and he become impassioned, indeed. His wife runs the site and it's beautifully done. In fact, it made me want to lean towards a lighter color scheme, without being too dorky. Gotta find the right balance here. I'm getting closer to my slogan, my icon, and intro. Just have to come up with a bio and things will start to fall into place, and RR won't want to strangle me.

Until the next time, thank to Miguel Prado the pic, and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Making Contact, No Position To Be Picky, and then some

We are planning a vacation next month and I had the balls to query some rental car companies to see if we could get a car in exchange for promoting their name. I actually did get one response from Enterprise Rental and they said they'd give me a 10% discount for writing about them. Not exactly what I had hoped for, but not being in a position to be picky, I'll take what I can get. We'll see where this one goes.

I finally met with BS (unfortunate initials) from World Partners and we spoke at length for a piece he'd like for his trip to Manye, Ghana. The nice thing is he's looking for something short, not that I need more stuff on my plate, but I'd like to help.

Until then, thanks for reading.

Looking In All The Wrong Places

R and I have been talking a lot about my neurotic quest to secure lasting friendships for our kids, and her take on it was like this-you simply cannot force friendships, kids will gravitate to whom they click with, so with this in mind, rather than go crazy dealing with irritating situations where people feel like they're always doing me a favor (and as a consequence, never get back to you), it's best to let your kids naturally and organically find their own friends. The best way to do this, of course, is to give them plenty of enriching experiences and they'll make friends on their own. At the very least they'll have plenty of enriching experiences.

The root of all this is how the door to a supposed friendship has been closed, and unfortunately it was a case of putting all of our eggs in one basket. Live and learn. I'm still not sure what is at the root of it all, but my best guess is that the other end just got bored and tired of our end. That's what kids do, but it still stings a little, and I think the whole situation has not been dealt with in the best manner.

One clue that it wasn't the parents (meaning R and I) is that they are at least talking to us, and at 4th of July celebration even offered to help me, unsolicited. My thinking is that if it was something we the parents did, they would either never acknowledge us or even try to kick my ass. He's a real man.

So with that out as a possibility, it boils down to the kids. I know every parent sees their kids with rose colored glasses, but I really don't think ours did anything mean to the other side. Again, I just think the other side lost interest and didn't want to play anymore. It all started with our phone calls not being returned, and then the awkward reality that we now live in.

What I find the least tolerable is that when the kids encounter each other, A is still thrilled to pieces but C won't even look at her. Ouch! What did she do to deserve that?

Anyway, we have to live with this, and we can't take it too personally because kids will be kids. So we'll move on.

And seek out lots of enriching experiences. Boy, this is not unlike breaking up from a relationship. Maybe it's good practice for the teen years.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Way Life Should Be

Sometimes you gotta wonder about the state of the world and how work seems to dominate our lives. We spent a great day yesterday just hanging out together, and it seems wrong that these sort of times are so rare by necessity of making an income. Family time, real quality family time, is so hard to come by these days. What's the answer? We're still searching, but get glimpses of the answers now and then.

Got lucky with the weather, it was sunny and warm, though rain was threatening later in the day. I spent the morning getting food and stocked up on berries and JM beef. Need to get a chest freezer, which I think we'll do today. Then N and I rode our bikes to the Rec center and R&A walked, and we played tennis. It was a lot of fun, and the kids have taken a liking to the game. They seem determined to get it together, and want to play every day, for better or worse.

Then we stopped at BG's to get hot dogs for the grill and have fudge-sicles. Takes me back to being a kid. Saw HD and wanted to meet her new tenant since we learned she's a music teacher who teaches drums. How fortuitous. Then back to home to BBQ, which we've been doing almost every night since we got our killer grill (see Green In the Green Mountain State). Makes summer a little more fun.

As we head into July, lots of things planned, so much going on, it's a little crazy, but you have to keep moving forward. The stuff I wrote for World Partners was apparently well received to the point that they want another piece. I'm fine with that and am happy to help, though I could live to regret that.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Feeling Regret

I regret my little outburst the other day and apologize to anyone I may have offended. Then again, I guess the whole purpose was to offend, so excuse me. That doesn't change, however, the state of the world and the need for some change. Change, after all, can be a really good thing.

On that note, it boiled down to simply feeling the need to whine and feel sorry for myself. The weather isn't helping. And for all it's worth, I acknowledge that I'm a huge part of the problem.

There, now I can get on with my life... sort of.

Strange but Nice Coincidence

Just a quick bright note-after all my whining and complaining, I received a serendipitous phone call from GS asking how I was doing and if I wanted to get together. Coincidence, perhaps? Either way, it was nice hearing from him. Hopefully we'll get together soon and maybe even go out and have a beer. Then again, it's hard being social when you feel kind of pathetic.

Doesn't change how I feel, however. I think I came on too strong the other day and apologize and edited accordingly, but I still think something's gotta change on my part. You can't necessarily change the world, but you can change how you live in it. Otherwise, you're simply maintaining the same annoying status quo, and that's no way to go through life, is it?

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

A Nice Day and Working on

I've been trying to be more diligent about working on my website so RR won't kill me, but it ain't easy. Trying to get something as simple as the right picture for the homepage is causing me to lose sleep. What is the perfect image that conveys all that I want to say? Hmm, it may not exist, and maybe my fatal flaw is even looking for it. Oh well, it's kind of fun in a challenging sort of way, and I am learning the bare bone basics of using Photoshop. My goal is to have something for RR by the end of this week, and that time has come. Gotta get it together.

We had a great day yesterday, though there is still that cloud of discontent that I alluded to yesterday and I really do feel that I need to chill out and take it easy. Things will happen as they may, even if I resent the hell out of it. Boy, when it rains, it sure does poor. First the disappearance of CB from our lives, then all of my current neurotic struggles.

Anyway, R worked from home and we had a nice lunch over at Stella's. We chowed down and were glad we were able to walk it off on the way home. I took A to horses and then over to the Rec Center to play some tennis. I think the kids are coming along in their game, and N is enthusiastic and shows potential. He wants to play, so we'll keep practicing.

We saw A&I at the Rec, and once again she seemed a bit distant, not as warm and fuzzy as she usually is, and again, maybe that's just the way things are going to be. I'm not going to intervene or try to make things happen. It dawned on me that maybe they were peeved about how the 4th panned out, but I don't know what else to say. The new me is not going to fret over it... yeah right.

R brought up a good point about the whole situation and it boiled down to this-you can't control how people will respond, and whether or not they will do the right thing (or what you perceive as the right thing), so the only thing you can account for is yourselves. We can't force the friendship issue on our kids, they will develop their own bonds with the people of their choice, so the best thing we can do is offer them the chance to have as many experiences as possible, find the things they love, and they will meet kids with similar interests and personalities.

That will still entail a lot of legwork on my part, but I'm more than happy to do it. Besides, I've found the friendships that I've tried to encourage end falling flat on their faces, not unlike the totally obnoxious and annoying parents (boy, I sure hope I don't become this) who are continually trying to set their adult kids up with potential mates. Time for me to reassess.

Until that time, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Too Desperate, Why Are Kids So Mean, and Bringing Out the Worst in Me

Just a quick thought about Old Home Day. We were in parade which excluded us from getting candy thrown at us when you're on the sidelines. N wanted some candy so we went and stood on the sidelines, where we saw a boy who was on his t-ball team. I encouraged him to stand with the group of boys because one was supposedly his friend and also they tend to throw candy at groups of kids rather than just one standing solo. So he went over and tried to say hi to this boy and this boy couldn't have been more cold and mean. He just gave him a dirty look and ignored N. It was heartbreaking, and I couldn't understand where that kind of behavior comes from. To top it off, when they did throw candy, these boys, being bigger and more aggressive, grabbed it all up. N managed to get one piece, but he looked at me in frustration and I personally wanted to go over and say something, but what are you going to do? This kid's parents were standing right next to him, too, and didn't have the wherewithal to encourage their son to share in light of the fact that he had more than enough candy and should share the wealth.

Either way, that image of N looking up at me in angst will haunt me for awhile. Parenthood can be hell sometimes.

I've also decided that I'm like a desperate person looking for a mate when it comes to my kid's friends. I've been bending over backwards trying to get playdates for them, and I can't seem to get anyone to throw me a bone. It can be frustrating because sometimes I don't even get a response, and I realized I'm just trying to hard. Things will happen as they may, I can't force the issue.

With this in mind, I'm going to take a step back (yeah, right) and simply let go. This won't be easy because I feel that for our kids to have a social life will requires legwork on my part, but I do feel that I'm just trying too hard. In fact, there are times I get the impression that I'm asking this huge favor in just getting a playdate. I don't like that and acknowledge that a lot of is my doing, but even still, there is only so much you can take. Again, I feel like a desperate lover waiting and pining for just a moment of the other person's time, only at their convenience.

Clearly this is only a one-way road, and we don't want to go through life feeling like a substitute or an alternate. I'm sure the other side has no concept of what I'm talking about because a lot of this in only in my head.

So on the preceding downer notes, I feel it's time to shift gears and take a different approach. Stop being so darn desperate, it really turns people off, and give things a rest. Besides, I'm tired of scrambling to just to get an appointment, talk to me when you have the time.

All of this is sort of "karma-ish" because last summer I was so cocky because we had so much going on and felt on top of the world, and now things have changed so much. Then again, once you've hit the bottom, there's nowhere to go but up. And furthermore, sometimes you have to shake things up and get out of your comfort zone to grow.

I think I'm ready to grow, but we'll see. Things start out with the best of intentions but then end up back in my face. Such is the life of a neurotic dad.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Serendipitous Moment

In the wake of all the craziness that was to be Old Home Day, there was a nice moment that came out of nowhere and yet made me feel good. We had spent a considerable amount of time and money preparing for the 4th, not to mention the time spent on the actual day promoting the message of T-town and selling the bike-blended milkshakes, which again we had to modify on the fly. This, of course, led to more craziness, but it worked out in the end. You find your groove and things start to flow.

Anyway, we ended up making about $60-70, which was just a fraction of what was actually spent when you think about the milk, yogurt, fruit, t-shirts, etc., that we had bought. Now don't get me wrong, nobody forced us to do this, we did it on our own volition out a desire to make a difference, but at the end of the day when the money was counted, I felt like we were entitled to at least a few dollars. We were not, however, going to make an issue of it, and just let the money all go to the person in charge, HD. Such is life.

Well, later that day, she called and let it be known that she was aware of how much we'd spent and felt that we were entitled to some of the dough, and that we could work something out. Fair enough, the money was trivial, but the fact that she acknowledged our expense and efforts was enough for me. In the end, it's not about the money, and it felt good to get that call. It made it all worthwhile.

Serendipitous moment if there ever was one. Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Further Reflections and What a Day

Wow, we had a stellar day yesterday, couldn't have been nicer. Sunny, windy, and not too hot. Normally I'm not a fan of windy days, but it sure was nice to dry things out. Got things done around the house, but there's still so much more.

I'd say I'm almost finished with the woodpile, and I need to start fixing the house. Not enough time in the day, but one thing at a time. I need to stay focused and not try to do everything at once.

Just wanted to mention that we watched our first family fireworks show on the 4th, and was it ever exciting for the kids. I also have to admit it was a really good show. Not bad for a small town.

Now as we plan our summer, we have the ever-present worry about seeing the dyslexic duo. They seem to crop up everywhere and remind us of how hard being a kid can be. Special events would be so much nicer if we just didn't see them, because not only are they jerks to A, but they rekindle all these affections in her. Maybe it's a good thing, but she is oblivious to the signals being sent her way. She sees them, gets excited, and they proceed to completely ignore her. It just strikes me as so cruel, especially in light of how much they used to do together. Heartbreaking, but such are the hard lessons of life.

It ain't easy, but if it we didn't have to work hard and suffer, we'd just get soft, weak and lazy.

One last note, finally heard from Ben of World Partners and he seems to have liked what I wrote. I'm glad for that. Now if I can only get my act together for my website, life would be good.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

The Need To Deal

There is a whole slew of things that I need to deal with, preferably this week, but we can't get too ambitious, can we? We still need to brew over the whole camp thing, we have many options and they all seem a bit expensive, but we shall see. R is in full swing mode in planning our vacation, and it should be an exciting trip, not to mention enriching, but more on that later.

I ran into AM's friend, M at the library, and though AM is somewhat disparaging of her, I thought she was nice person. Sure, her son's might not be as stellar as AM's, but not everyone can be. Also, I really think AM is setting herself up by being such a braggart. Sure, she's earned some pride, but she's a bit shameless and dare I say arrogant about the whole thing. A bit of a chip on that shoulder, but we shall see. Not that we ever see those guys, and I've almost given up on trying, but we run into them enough to make it work.

We are slated to see G&T this week, but I don't want to be so darn overbearing about the whole thing. I feel like I'm falling over myself trying to get this to work, and it's been nice, but feel a little awkward. I can overwhelm people, but sometimes that's the only way things get done. I'm going to sit back and see how things transpire.

Found out about potential drum lessons for N, and we'll look into it. Could be fortuitous if it works out. Also need to get A a guitar strap. We were at Blue Mountain Guitar and got N a strap, but not for A since she has one. I figured they were the same size, even though she voiced objections at not getting one. As you might have guessed, the thing was smaller, and hers really is too big, so now I've got to go back and get her one, which is a good thing because now she can have a properly sized strap.

We also might have found a viable alternative to Storr's Pond, and it's in Lebanon. There's a pool there, though I'm not sure where, and it's over DHMC way, so we can do the drop off mom thing and then swim and pick her up. So far it really hasn't been sweltering, but those days will come, mark my word.

I still need to get tix to the Hop and LOH shows, so I'll get on that. We received our Bamboo tablet and are all set to start drawing, but have some issues I need to resolve, so have to contact tech service on that end.

Many birthdays this month, and need to contact someone about a potential bike for A.

Until that time, thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Looking Ahead

Now that the 4th is behind us, we can focus on other important issues. Have to keep in mind answering to the state, that will always haunt me. We have a double riding session this week, since we got rained out last week, and our guitar is on hold. We did, by some crazy twist of fate, find a drumming teacher for N, and she's local. How cool is that?

Some things to keep in mind-robotics for the kids, electric guitar for A, bikes for next Spring, skis for next Winter, and homeschooling always on my mind. I'm hoping the worst of the rains are behind us and we can start thinking of swimming pools. We might have to check out the Lebanon pool since Storr's Pond will kill us if we imbibe. $30, forget about it.

I got some stuff for the kids to do on the computer, and we're hoping that will pan out. We'll see, have to keep those minds moving. I think the Tunbridge Fair is approaching, and we usually go with G&T, but I know they'll hook up with her buddies and leave A&N in the cold, which is a total bummer. Might be able to coax the Mack's out of their shells, but we'll see.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Taking Things in Stride and Positive Signs

Have to look at the bright side of things, not that I'm depressed. I'm just always searching for the answers, often in places where the answers simply don't exist. So, first off, I'm happy about the following:

1. We had a nice day overall yesterday, with lots of good friends, old and new, and regardless of my neurosis and the drama I create, the kids had a blast. In the end, who cares about the you know who, aka YKW?

2. Today, Sunday, is a beautiful day after weeks, and I'm talking weeks of rain. The sun is out and I think it should hold all day. Time to break out the lawnmower.

3. I saw several deer walk through our backyard and one of them was a tiny little fawn.

4. All of our butterflies emerged. We have painted ladies in a habitat, and four of five came out. I personally figured the 5th had died, but yesterday when we came home, it was out of the cocoon. Go figure.

6. Did I mention the sun is out?

7. No matter what the circumstances, I am grateful when our cats come over and let our kids know they love them. The beauty of pets, they really help make home feel like a home.

8. After all is said and done, HD was grateful for our help, and we were involved in our community. Not a trivial thing for introverted neurotics like us.

9. Saw RR and SD and he doesn't hate me for flaking on the website. In fact, he's inspired me to get off my butt and just do it.

10. N is making connections with kids his age, though they are girls. It's cute.

9. The darn sun is out and there is no rain. Enough said.

Okay, time to get outside and make vitamin D. Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Old Home Day

We had a great day yesterday, the 4th of July, even though it was a bit of a frenzy down to the last minute. We went to the rec center around 9:00 and things were still in a bit of disarray. The stand was set up and things were moving, but there were still things we needed for that darn bike blender. Sometimes that thing is just a thorn in our sides. The banner was finished, we had t-shirts, and the blenders were ready, but supplies were still missing. The girl who was in charge was a last minute preparer, and had flaked on many things and let us know at the last minute that she wasn't going to pull it off. I found this irresponsible, but everyone involved shrugged it off as teen flakiness and no big deal, so we should have felt the same. But of course we stressed.

The original plan was to make healthy smoothies with fruit, milk, and yogurt, but they came out awful and too healthy tasting. The teens had bought ice cream which we initially decided was too rich for our healthy eating plan, but turned out to be prescient in light of our unpalatable yogurt smoothies. So we ended up selling milkshakes, but the real draw was the bike blender, and they were fairly popular, thanks in a large part to the efforts of CF. What a natural, the guy was out there fighting the good fight for transition towns and did a stand up job. Kudos to him.

The day was fun, AG showed with A&I and we all had our shirts and rode in the parade. I felt self conscious, but the kids had fun, and it was exciting. The weather was incredible in that it finally stopped raining. I couldn't believe it, the sun came out and the crowds were out in full force. I think the kids enjoyed being in the mix, though they missed out on the candy. We went out later to get some but N wasn't very aggressive and the selfish bigger kids scooped them up, kind of irked me. Also, his t-ball buddy totally blew him off, which seemed mean but not surprising, that's just the way kids are. It broke my heart, nonetheless. Why are kids so tactless?

We spent most of the day selling smoothies and just like Farm Fest, most of it seemed to fall on our shoulders. We spent the money to buy shirts, yogurt, milk and fruit, but again, it's all about why you're doing it, you have to keep things in perspective, otherwise you'll go crazy. It's clear that T-town is still trying to find itself, but given the circumstances, I would have done it the same because sometimes you just have to make sacrifices to make a difference.

Besides, we had fun, and it is a nice way to attend these events when you're involved. Otherwise we'd just be wandering around looking for things to do. Also, it was a way to keep our minds off the evil twins.

R said it best, we'd just like to go and enjoy an event where the two of them weren't there blatantly blowing off A. I don't know if it's just me, but it's shocking to me how you can be such a good friend with someone and then literally want nothing to do with them. What kind of friend is that? Upon reflection that's not the kind of friend anyone would want, but it's so hurtful and again, breaks our heart. What aggravates the situation is that we seem them everywhere, and I mean everywhere, just to rub salt in the wound. A seems oblivious to it all, and still seems to think she's her buddy, even though C wants nothing to do with A. When will she see the light?

Personally I feel done with the whole situation as I'm sure they do, as well. Parenthood is such a nightmare, sometimes, but what are you going to do? What's really awkward is that the old folks are clearly aware of the situation and want nothing to do with each other. In fact, as if to torture us just a little more, the B's were stationed right next to us at Old Home Day, and we refused to acknowledge each other. This, of course, only made the situation worse because A was constantly making gestures to CB, who totally blew her off. Also, AB might as well have been miles away because I don't think she even looked in our direction, which also makes me wonder if all of this drama has something to do with what we, the parents, had done, though I can't figure out what.

Have to admit, the meanness and insensitivity of CB irked me. It's fine to choose friends and best friends, but how do you go from red hot to ice cold overnight? You could at least say hi, but it's just not meant to be.

What's funny is that at some point me and KB made eye contact and were forced to say hi, and we actually even talked. I'm not sure about this, but I get a sense that he's not completely sure what's going on, either, and at some point he even offered to help me at the end of the day, so at least he (AB and CB I can't say) doesn't completely hate us. I think.

All of this makes me depressed. It wouldn't be so bad if we didn't see these guys at every event, ignoring A. What a downer. It also wouldn't be so bad if A would just move on, but she clings to the idea that CB is still her buddy, even though she won't even give her the time of day. Oh well, enough obsessing over this... yeah, right.

The day was nice but long, we enjoy making the shakes, though it gets frenzied and crazy at times. What helps is not doing it alone, because even though HD bails out and does the social thing, having CF there to do the sales pitch made all the difference. I felt that at Farm Fest we were left holding the ball, though we did pull it off. The teens are too busy doing teen stuff to dedicate themselves to this, and that's understandable.

Anyway, we got the fair early, I bought some food at the rec table, who BTW were selling hot dogs and hamburgers for a great deal, and at least we had food. We saw CH with his buddy, though they seemed like oil and water. Still think he's a better fit with A. AB and A&I didn't seem to go to the fair, they might have been there but I didn't see them, and they might have left. Saw many of our friends, old and new, even sensei Chip, who I think drove his car in the parade.

Small town life at it's best, you can't beat it. We went home and ate a healthy supper, salad and veggie burgers, and back for fireworks. Got to see CH again, and we ate junk food, though it was sure tasty. Before the fireworks they had these fire spinners which were cool, the kids loved it, and we managed to score good seats with some astute maneuvering. Then the fireworks began.

It was a great show, and the kids were thrilled. It really made you happy and proud and lucky to live in a town like this. Good people, good community, and good times. I can't say enough good things.

We got home late, and are looking forward to some quiet time at home. The sun is currently shining brightly on this Sunday afternoon.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Reflecting on Last Week of June

It's hard to believe that we're into July and have yet to have a stretch of days where we see the sun. June just seems to be a gray, rainy month, and it's pretty much been that way since landed here in Vermont. Then again, that's why it's so green around here. Then also again, it's been so wet and chilly that I actually burned wood for two days in July. Crazy.

Because of the rain we have had a lot of breaks in our horse riding, so it's been quiet on that front, and guitar has been going great except that KR is away for most of the month, so the impetus lies with us to practice. We found N some drum sticks, and a strap for him though I stupidly forgot one for her, not realizing of course that the one we bought was smaller than the one we have. Oh well, back to the store.

We are currently under siege with summer camp options, and it's a little crazy. I'd love for A&N to go to them all, but it's a little ridiculous, and they are long days during the peak of summer heat. I'm sure they'd love them, but would be overwhelmed with so much scheduling. We'll see, though the survival camp sounds cool.

I've been feeling a little blue (what the heck else is new?) over the realization that we still haven't found the friend-answer for A. T is a good friend, but again, they are not a perfect fit. They have fun and enjoy each other's company, but somehow I think they are operating on different planes. I can see it when they play, and I know I'm reading too much into it, just let things be as they are, but it's just not so easy for me.

Old Home Day is a day or two away and people are flaking out but nobody seems to be stressing over it, which is very informative because in the end, is it such a big deal? I'm struck by how fly by the seat of your pants everything is, and will say that things really won't get done this way, but it makes it more relaxed, and maybe that's the way it should be.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Fourth of July and Old Home Day

Sometimes the weather is so crazy that it actually throws you a bone now and then, whether you want it or not. It has been raining endlessly for the past month, this is not an exaggeration, and the whole world seems sodden and gray. The house is damp and sticky, the yard is soaked to the core, the garden is suffering from lack of sun (as are we), and the overall mood is just a bit of a downer. When we check the weather, it's just more of the same bad news, with the ten day forecast calling for thunderstorms for the entire time. Crazy weather, I tell you.

Anyway, yesterday we finally caught a break, the sun broke out and the day was actually quite nice. Of course I managed to whine a little about the heat, but what do you expect from a whiner? I'm working on it. Either way, the day was nice, it was great to see the sun, and we were able to enjoy the day. The forecast called for rain and thunder on the 4th, and we could only wait and see. Well, this morning, wouldn't you know it, but the weather looks beautiful. At the very least it's not raining, and we'll take it. It rains every 4th because I always wonder if there'll be fireworks, but at least it's not raining now. Then again, this means we'll have to do the parade, which the kids are thrilled about, but I'm perhaps not as enthused about. Of course, I'd never let on to that, and I'll just deal with it like an adult, which means I'll bitch and whine.

Either way, it seems like many of the people responsible for getting things done actually weren't getting things done, for assorted reasons, I'm sure, and we ended up tying up some loose ends. Then again, it ain't over til it's over. We scrambled yesterday to make tied-dye shirts and it was actually a lot of fun and a lot easier than I'd imagined, though we have to perfect our craft. It turned out well, nonetheless, and we made a bundle of them. It could be cool if things work out.

Needless to say, there's a lot going on and we'll be pretty busy today. I'm going to put on my best face and not be negative, because the reality is, it's going to a long day, but in a beautiful way. How's that for optimism? I'm still not sure how the whole T-town thing will pan out, but I really enjoy cavorting with the T-town crowd and meeting the community. I also feel somehow more integrated with the community and like all the people. So I shouldn't be such a baby.

The kids were great yesterday, and really had fun helping out. We ran all around town assembling supplies to make the shirts and get ready for Old Home Day. Hope the weather holds up and stays beautiful. Note more of the optimism, I'm on fire here.

We need to get ready this AM and prep for the day, then it's off to the parade. I'll give you an update on how things went, should see a lot of familiar faces, the list gets long every year, which is a beautiful thing.

Happy 4th to all, and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Crazy Days

Is it me, or does it seem like celebrities are dropping like flies? They say they die in threes, but it sure seems like more to me.

We are going on what seems like our 100th day of rain, and no end in sight. The forecast calls for thundershowers for the next year, and everything feels wet. It really brings me down. To top if all off, the search continues for the perfect playdate, though I'm beginning to wonder if it even exists. Parenthood is hell, but a self-imposed one.

We are in the aftermath of a playdate with T or G&T fame, and for some reason I feel down. Didn't quite plan it all so well, was going to make dinner for them because I feel bad that they make dinner for us whenever we go over there, but the offer simply complicated things, and I sensed G dancing around the desire to simply get home. The guy had a busy day, and his kid was over her for a long day, so I don't blame him one bit. It just sort of made the whole thing a bit awkward, and then I felt bad for even suggesting the thing, and then I got neurotic about the whole thing and now I'm down. Parenthood is hell.

We're supposed to have horses tomorrow, and I hope the weather holds up. The 4th is coming up, as well, and we are supposed to fulfill assorted obligations and the thought of it sort of brings me down, but what else is new? I'd love to just sit at home and get things done over here, especially when there's so much that needs to be done.

On a bright note, I'm finding a groove on the paid blogging stuff, and though it's peanuts, I figure I can make a dent by simply eating more peanuts. R's planning a big trip out west, and personally I it will be a great trip, but again, so much more planning.

Parenthood is hell.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.