Sunday, March 31, 2013

Snowed Again

I realize how silly it sounds to be surprised to get snow in March, but it sure took me by surprise. Maybe it’s based more on my readiness for some warmer weather, not so much hot, but I wouldn’t mind for it to be at least drier. I’m already tired of the mud, and mud season hasn’t even started yet. We get these short bursts (2-3 days) of warm weather, and the mud really starts to rear its ugly head, then it freezes again. Maybe this is not such a bad thing.

Either way, we got a pretty big storm this week, with at least 4-5 inches, maybe more. Normally I’d be thrilled, but I guess I’m ready for spring. Besides, our plow guy charges us an arm and a leg to clear our driveway ($45 a pop, the going rate). During the busy winter season it really hurts, and then he’ll sometimes come when it’s not really critical, or he’ll come long after the fact. Once he came a couple of days after the storm, after we’d been in and out of our driveway a number of times. I called him and said it wasn’t necessary, and he said he wouldn’t charge me, but I paid him nonetheless. I just mentioned that unless it’s a big storm, we’re probably fine. Our driveway is pretty flat.

This past storm it was heavy, but manageable, and I figured we didn’t need a plow. I should have called him to say, but figured by that evening that he wasn’t coming since the snow had abated. Well, I went out for my game and came home to see part of the driveway had been plowed, but not all of it. Apparently he came to plow and R went out to meet him and tell him it wasn’t necessary, and I agree. Plus, if he was going to plow, why no do it during the day, when we’d really need it. Finally, it’s been warm during the day so the snow all melts.

Either way, I’m guessing our plow guy hates us and thinks we’re a bunch of cheap losers, but hey, when money’s tight, you gotta fight for every penny. There are principles to abide by, as well.

I have this fantasy of obtaining an old junky truck with a plow and clearing our driveway myself. The truck wouldn’t have to be street legal since all I would do is plow. I wouldn’t take it on the road. That, or a small tractor. Something to aspire to. It would make me more of a Vermonter, that’s for sure, not to mention make for good content.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to tomas aravena for the pic.

Falling Apart

As I mentioned, I’ve been trying to workout more and prepare for the eventual black belt test somewhere down the line. I am paying the price for my actions, or rather, inactions, mainly due to the fact that my body is falling apart. Not only am I sore as heck, but I got injured in my hockey game, as well.

Hmm, let see... what else can I whine about? My Mentor is shaking his head and thinking, “Stop being such a sissy, city-boy.” I went running the other day and did a bunch of strengthening exercises because I’ve been feeling like a bit of a slug, or was it sloth? Probably both. It went fairly well considering how inactive I’ve been, but over the past few days, reality set in. My legs hurt so badly, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to skate in my hockey game, but it wasn’t a problem.

During the game, I took two shots to the body, one on my foot, and one in my thigh. Both hurt and continue to hurt to this day. The worst is the soreness in my legs from running, it hurts just to walk. The foot injury was reminiscent of what N experienced, though luckily for both of us, no long term damage was done. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt like heck.

We’re surviving through all this, which means R and the kids are surviving my whining. How, I can’t say, but hopefully it will soon be over. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Quasimime for the pic.

The Writing Life, continued

I’m going to have to pick up the pace on writing if we’re going to support our incredibly lavish lifestyles over here. That means not just in terms of output, but also in terms of opportunities, for which I’ll have to do some searching. There was a time when I could churn out an article a day, sometimes two, and make upwards of several hundred dollars, which is a lot of work, but it’s a nice way to make some bucks while being at home. The income would be comparable to a part time minimum wage job, without having to punch a timecard or show up at work.

The added advantage is that if I could get my act together, the employment prospects could grow. There are opportunities out there, it just takes some initiative, which I struggle with, and legwork, which I can do okay at. Nobody said the writing life would be easy, but easy isn’t what we’re looking for, is it?

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

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Candle Makers

Talk about a cool indoor activity. The kids have been on this kick lately making candles, and it’s really cool. The candles turn out so nicely, and they have fun, to boot. It’s invaluable to find a fun, creative activity that the kids enjoy in lieu of TV and video games. It’s not easy in today’s climate of constant screen time, we have our backs against the wall, but so far we’ve stood our ground. It doesn’t make us popular with kids all the time, but I am so fundamentally opposed to things like Wii and Xbox, I don’t even know where to begin. Talk about wasting your life and making your brain go soft.

Anyway, as usual, I digress. We have tons of spent candles that are not really useable because the wicks are inaccessible. Thick, decorative candles burn in a funny way. The kids found a way to recycle the wax, pour it into jars with wicks, and essentially create new candles. Since we have a variety of old ones, they can make them in the colors they want. It’s pretty cool, and they can do it for hours. I love to see it. They’d done this in the past, but now they’re really getting into it, and putting some serious thought into designs.

They may even become entrepreneurs, you just never know. Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to fxdx for the pic.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Exercise Mania

I think any stay at home parent experiences this, but with all the demands on my time, not only do I have very little of it, but I’m tired a lot. Usually after lunch I’ll go and lay down for a few minutes and catch a 10-15 minute nap, then I’m a new man. The other day I woke up and felt terrible. I felt like such a slug. It dawned on me that I haven’t been very active. I don’t go to karate anymore, I’m done coaching so I’m not skating as much, and I have one game a week.

I decided to get off my bum and do some exercise, and it went pretty well. First off, I did a strength workout, which means 4X50 pushups, with crunches in between. I also did a karate practice, which means reviewing the katas and sparring techniques, then to get really crazy, I went for a 2 mile run. It felt good to break a sweat, but by the end of the day, I was so tired. My body was aching for rest, which has been a little choppy because I’m still not 100% in terms of my health (maybe that’s why I feel so crappy).

If that weren’t enough, the next day we went and played pickup hockey for about 1.5 hours, then I had a game that evening. Wow, I probably sweat a gallon of fluid, and definitely earned that cheeseburger at 5 Guys. The only problem is, today my body is so sore, I can barely move.

Hey, it’s the price you pay for good health, right? The only question is, why does it have to be so painful?

Maybe I’ll go for a run to take my mind off the pain. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to CMarino for the pic.

Job Search On Hold

I had a lengthy (dare I say, spirited?) discussion with R about my income, or lack thereof, and I decided that I had to go out and get a job. They say the biggest reason families break apart is because of money, and I can see why. The unfortunate reality is that when you stay at home and raise the kids, it’s seen as worthless in society’s eyes because you don’t make any money, and let’s face it - money makes the world go around. This is a shame because not only is being a homemaker really hard work, but raising kids is the most important job out there. Don’t get me started.

I’m learning that there are jobs out there, and I’m willing to flip burgers if need be to make ends meet. The biggest problem is at what point is it not worth it? I can get a job making $8/hour and be away from home for 8 hours a day, but it would break my heart to be away from the kids, and would it be worth it. I contacted a few businesses and had interviews within a few days. One place over in Woodstock was prepared to take my application to the next level and I believe hire me, but I ran into complications with our son getting injured.

One thing to consider is that I get about $20-25 for the blog articles I write, and with bonuses I can probably make a comparable income to a part time minimum wage job. Add in the fact that I can stay at home and practice my Martha Stewart routine, and I think it makes more sense to try and work at home. This is my first choice, because who wants to dedicate themselves to a job that only values you for what you can do for it? Most people, actually.

The biggest stumbling block is me. The impetus to make this plan work falls on my shoulders, so I have to make it work. It’s not always easy with making meals, shopping for food, cleaning, chauffeuring the kids around, and training to be a real man. I think most people, men and women alike, would find it challenging, to say the least, but with greater challenge comes greater reward, right? Nobody likes a whiner, except the whiner themselves.

This should be good. The next few months will be telling, so stay tuned for more. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Sam Howzit for the pic.

Dropping Off the Karate Planet

I’ve pretty much dropped out of karate, I haven’t been to class for several months, and they are planning a big black belt test which I am supposed to attend. I won’t be testing, however, because I’ve just missed too much. It is feasible for me to make up for lost time in the next month and be ready, but let’s be realistic. I haven’t been diligent in my studies, and I won’t be able to make it for the next several weeks.

I know Master H will be disappointed, but the other black belt candidates have been attending class and preparing, so it’s also not fair for me to just show up and take the test. Also, I’m required to run 5 miles for the exam, and I’m nowhere near ready for that.

I will probably attend the test to help out, however, because they will need people to spar with. There are some young guns in the class who are great students and will probably test for their black belts in the near future, so I’ll try to test with them.

I’m definitely not in karate for the belt. It’s not a means to an end, I’m just glad to be in class learning about karate, so I’m in no hurry to get my black belt. Plus, I don’t feel like a black belt, at least not yet,

We’ll see what happens next. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to cnflikt for the pic.

Hockey for Fun

Playing hockey for fun, what a concept. We have been doing spring hockey outside of the usual team context, and though the level of intensity and expectations are lower, it’s much more relaxed and as a consequence, loads of fun. Don’t get me wrong, it was an invaluable learning hockey from the best, and the skills obtained and work ethic developed are huge, but it sure was stressful.  Not just for the kids, but for the adults helping out, as well, i.e., me.

I really enjoy just sitting in the stands and watching for a change, and I don’t feel any stress about screwing things up, which got me to thinking how crazy it all is. Why feel so much pressure in a game for 9 year old kids? It makes no sense, but lots of things in life don’t make sense.

Either way, it’s fun just playing hockey for fun. I realize that in order to become a better hockey player, it requires some level of dedication and maybe a little stress, like many things in life. However, we have to keep in mind the age of the kids, and at some point you just stop enjoying it. How do you instill that level of diligence and passion without putting them through the ringer?

That’s something I’ll have to ponder for next season. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Bobolink for the pic.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Warms My Heart

We were doing school work the other day and it’s a touchy issue with N, he really resists, though he’s gotten much better. A just does it, even if she doesn’t want to, whereas N puts up a fight. In all fairness, A was resistant to the whole idea of doing school work at first, as well, though over time she came to enjoy learning and that magic “light bulb” moment when things make sense and learning clicks. Who doesn’t love that?

I usually have to wrestle with N, and it just makes the entire process less enjoyable. Who wants to fight with their kids? Life would be easier to just let them watch TV all day and play video games. Then again, I see the consequences of this approach all around me, and I just don’t feel like it’s an option in our house. I feel like we would be letting our kids down, regardless of how much they want it.

Anyway, don’t get me started down that path. The point of this story is that the other day I felt bad because N was being so well behaved and it seemed like he had a lot of work to do on a certain day, so I decided to cut him some slack and let him skip one of his pages of math. His response? He said no, he wanted to do it because he liked it.

How cool is that? I love when that happens. You have to celebrate these moments when they come, because they don’t come all the time. I will say, however, that they are coming more frequently, and ya gotta love that.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Phillip Worsnop for the pic.

Happy Belated St. Patrick’s Day

Sunday was St. Patrick’s Day, Happy belated St. Patty’s day to all. We got to engorge ourselves with corned beef and cabbage, which is saying a lot in light of the fact that we have been making huge strides in reducing our meat consumption. I wasn’t quite sure how the idea of eating all that red meat might go over, but we got a big thumbs up, so I went for it.

I got the nitrate-free corned beef, the “gray,” as they call it because it apparently turns gray, though I don’t think it was that bad. I’m still not sure what the verdict is on nitrates, but I figure until I know for sure, I’m going to avoid them if I can. Why eat industrial chemicals if you don’t have to?

We had a busy day, actually, with hockey, if you can believe that. The season is over and we are enjoying the respite from the madness (sort of), but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy hockey in a more relaxed atmosphere. A&N both had hockey, though spread far apart. I took N to his game, and R brought A with her later. R had to do some work, so N and I met them at work and had lunch at the cafeteria. Afterward, I took A and N back to the ice rink and A had her game. Then we came home and the corned beef was waiting for us, thanks to our Crock Pot. Since the meat takes up a lot of space, I had to remove it to cook the veggies, since it’s critical to cook them in the broth.

The meal was amazing, we stuffed ourselves, and then we had hot fudge sundaes for desert. Talk about decadence. I don’t think I’m going to eat ever again, or at least not until lunchtime.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to RIC for the pic.

New Direction

My glorious writing career is taking a bit of a new direction, at least according to the powers that be. I write for a health website called Healthcare Hacks describing science news and assorted alternative medicine research. There used to be two sites, including Healthy Theory, as well as Parenting Squad.

I moved away from Healthy Theory but continued with HH, but recently they decided to change directions and do more medical tourism stuff. They mentioned this and asked if I was interested, and I said I was, even though it’s an area that I don’t have much experience in. I’ll have to do some investigative work.

This, of course, places me in the familiar position of working on something new and having no clue where to begin. My standard MO in these situations is to sit idly by and fret over my level of inaction, mainly because I feel overwhelmed when I look at a blank slate. Being the fearful, conformist individual who, like most of the population, finds it easier to either go with the crowd or be told what to do, I’m not always adept at charting my own course. It is, however, a great experience in operating outside of my comfort zone and realizing that it’s not a life or death thing. Furthermore, I can grow as an individual, especially where creative endeavors are involved, which is something I may have to become more adept at as I navigate the turbulent waters of making income to support our fabulously opulent lifestyles.

Like many things in our lives, this should be interesting. Stay tuned for more. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to CubaGallery for the pic.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Here’s the Beef

We don’t eat huge quantities of beef these days, but we do eat some. I’ll put a little ground beef in spaghetti sauce or make some chili, and there’s the family favorite: tacos. Whatever be the case, we buy it sparingly, and when we do, I try to get the grass-fed stuff. When we did the market, we bought grass fed beef because that was part of our whole marketing gestalt (local, et al), but it just so happened that the local grass fed beef we got was fairly economical. It was at least half the price of store bought grass fed beef, and en par with regular store bought ground beef that wasn’t on sale.

The only problem was that it was about a 45 minute drive to get the meat, and it was on a lonely dirt road into the heart of Pomfret. What a hassle. Once we stopped doing the market, we stopped getting their beef. I would just get a pound now and then at the Coop at the painful price of nearly $8/lb. Ouch, but I figured once every other month wasn’t so bad.

Well, now I’ve found a new beef supplier, and you can’t beat him for convenience and price. I love when that happens. Our good friend is a beef farmer, and he also helps coach at the arena, so during the hockey season I see him all the time. Plus, our kids are friends, and we go to their house now and then. Finally, he spends a lot of time in Woodstock, so I can always meet him there. His son will be on N’s lacrosse team, as well. He raises his own grass fed beef and you can’t beat the price. It ends up being very competitive to what you’ll pay at Price Chopper or Shaws.

Now we have a great source of beef, so we may have to start eating more of it. That might, however, meet with some resistance in this household.

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

Change of Scenery

Normally I’d be heartbroken at the end of hockey, but not so this time around. It has been a long and grueling season, and I acknowledge that a lot of the pain and suffering stem are of my own doing, but sometimes you have to endure a little misery to make things happen. Yes, I volunteered my time to help out, but what’s a parent supposed to do? Sit back and do nothing while the program slowly sinks?

Truth be told, I like being involved in what my kids are doing, and I love hockey, so it’s a win-win situation. Either way, the season is over and the kids are doing some end of season fun/skills stuff, and I don’t have to do anything other than just get them there and watch. I love it. The skills camp that N is doing is run by top-notch coaches who are pretty hardcore, so the last thing they want is some weekend warrior dad getting in the way. The program over in the big city of Hanover is first rate, those guys put together amazingly strong teams that consistently win state championships. It’s pretty incredible, but I think it comes at a cost. I’ll leave it at that.

A&N are also doing a spring hockey session, and again, the coaching is all taken care of. This is one of my favorite things to watch for the kids because it really is all about fun. No stress, no scores, it’s like pond hockey, without the pond. The winters have been strange, anyway, and good skating ponds are hard to come by. The kids love it, and it gives them a chance to let loose and get crazy.

All this while, N’s old team has been playing under a different moniker. The coach, Mr. Hockey, puts together a special team to extend the season, and they end up at Lake Placid. In the past it has been described as a “select” team, but this year he opened it up to the entire team, and I think with the exception of three players (N being one of them), they all jumped in. I was watching the practice and it dawned on me that perhaps the reason it allowed the entire team to join, thereby compromising the “select” quality of it, was because he didn’t get a huge response from players in the other programs. I deduced this from the fact that it was basically N’s old team, sans N and a couple other kids. This included some kids that clearly did not necessarily qualify for a select team.

Whatever be the case, this time around, we felt a need to have a break and get away. A chance of scenery, as they say. I think the experience with Mr. Hockey was invaluable, he is a great coach, and N really grew as a player under his tutelage, and I learned a lot as a reluctantly aspiring coach. It was, however, stressful, not to mention demanding, and I think we all wanted to just be free from pressure and just have fun.

I figure that if N can just have fun in a carefree environment, but also get some training from top notch coaches while playing with some outstanding talent, he’ll get the best of both worlds, right? At least that’s how it goes in theory, but as we all know, theory rarely translates into reality.

It should be interesting, we’ll see where it all goes. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to useitinfo for the pic.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Searching for Employment

We may be moving into a new realm of domestic life in our neck of the woods where I may have to go out and seek employment. In other words, I may have to get my act together and find a job. Yikes!

Being the uber-stay at home dad, I haven’t really been in the full time work force in ages, much less looked for a job. Science jobs are all about staying in the pipeline, you just move from department to another. Now I have to get a resume together, go on interviews, and fill out applications. What is that all about?

Truth be told, I’d rather stay at home, but in the interest of sound economics, I may need to generate income, so into the workforce I may venture. I’ve actually looked into two jobs, both labor intensive. I contacted the local hotel in WRJ to be a housecleaner, and if you can believe this, they were fairly rigorous in their scrutiny of my application. Part of it might be over qualification since I’m not sure how many college grads apply for the job. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to support our fabulously opulent lifestyles. I spoke with them, but I could tell they had some reservations.

I also applied to a big hotel in the neighboring town, who had positions galore. I have to confess, I’d rather work a job that didn’t involve customer service, though I could work with customers if need be. I prefer to be part of the inner workings, behind the scenes.

Anyway, I had to tell them I couldn’t start right away because I was convinced that N had broken his leg. Even though it turns out that his injury was not as serious as we first thought, I think it wise to keep an eye on it. They were interested in hiring me, but I requested that my application be kept open until a month or two when things became clearer. They were fine with that, though the proof will be in the pudding if and when I contact them again. We shall see.

All in all, the beginning of this process has been interesting and informative. I think there are ways to make more money and I will explore each and every one of them until it all works out.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Tomas Campos01 for the pic.

Injury Report

We have been putting off the end of hockey for as long as we can, and it’s been working out so far, though we got an injury the other day. The kids are playing hockey over at the neighboring rink and they are both doing a great job and having a blast. Since it’s all for fun, N played with A’s team, which is PW/Bantam level (N is a Squirt). He played with them last year and it was a great experience, he had fun and he really shined.

This time around, A’s coach welcomed him aboard again, but when they played, the other team was sort of big. They were also taking hard slap shots, and N took one on his ankle that literally took his feet out from under him. He immediately skated off the ice and said it hurt. I took him into the locker room and he said it really hurt, so we decided he was done. After the game, the coach said he wasn’t going to allow slapshots anymore, but I don’t know how you’re going to enforce that. In the end, I regret letting N play with the big kids, he really got hurt.

That night N couldn’t sleep because the pain was so bad. We gave him Tylenol but it didn’t help, so first thing in the morning we took him to the doctor. I was really concerned that it might be broken because the pain was constant and it was pretty swollen, though having broken all my limbs, I can see some of the telltale signs of breakage, and he did not seem to be exhibiting them.

Good fortune shined on us, however, because the X-rays came back negative. It was mainly a bad bruise, and they gave N a pair of crutches let us go. We got him some children’s ibuprofen, which I think works better than Tylenol, and over the course of the past few days, he’s recovered nicely. We may even do some skating today, but we shall see.

Whatever be the case, I’m grateful that he didn’t break his ankle, we were really concerned. Thanks again, and until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to hardran3 for the pic.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Man With a Plan

As I mentioned, we had a crazy hockey weekend last week, and it involved a ton of driving, but I’m glad I was able to pull it off, at least on some level. Some of the kid’s games had to be missed, which is a bummer, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. Factor in the shuttling of kids to friends houses and various sleepover, plus the fact that I was flying solo, and you have the makings of a fun filled weekend, to say the least.

It all began on Friday, where N had two games, one in the early afternoon, and one in the late evening. Now since A had nothing going on, she had to sit through N’s first game, but it wasn’t so bad because her buddies were there since they have siblings on N’s team. The plan was for A to spend Friday night at a friend/teammates house so that she could catch a ride to her early Saturday morning game, which was not only at 8:00AM, but was all the way in Middlebury. N had an early Saturday morning game, as well, but this one was close to home.

I arranged for A to spend the night at RD’s house. The original plan was for RD’s mom to pick A up at the arena since RD was skiing that day nearby. It would have been easy enough to just meet her at the ski hill, but then RD’s mom, AB, couldn’t make it. RD was going to have to catch the bus home, and then AB would come to our house to get A. Since N had a game that evening, he needed to stay with his team and have some supper, coaches orders.

I left N with the team and took A home, where I wolfed down some food and waited for AB. She showed up around 5:30, we chatted for a bit while A gave RD the tour of the house, and then they were off and running. This where things are a little nutty, like the rest of our lives. A had another 8:00AM game on Sunday (whose bird brained idea was that?) in Middlebury. I was planning on missing N’s game on Sunday to make it to A’s game in Middlebury. However, I figured it would be more fun for her to ride up with a friend, which would mean another sleepover.

For the record, there was no shortage of offers to help, and I am grateful to all the parents who came forward and offered assistance. It was really cool. Not wanting to take advantage of AB’s hospitality, I asked another family to help, the C’s, and they said yes. They offered to take A for the entire weekend, but I had already arranged things with AB. AB also offered to take A for another day, but I told her I had already arranged things with the CGs. Is any of this making sense?

Either way, once A was all squared away, I headed back to the arena for N’s second game, which was at 8:00PM. It was going to be a late night, exacerbated by an early morning game the next day. Anyway, N’s team got worked over, coach DF was livid, and I think he lost a bit of control. Not a good example, and some of us were a bit incensed and disappointed.

On Saturday, N and I woke up early and went to the arena early for this game, and then they were done for the day, at least in terms of playing hockey. The day was filled with activities, however. After N’s game, I jumped in the car and drove to Middlebury to watch A’s second game. I arranged for N to sleep over at the Gs house. This was because I was going to A’s early Sunday game, and the Gs would take N to his early Sunday game. To make it easier and more fun for N, I asked J&GG if he could sleep over, and they were very enthusiastic about helping. They had another teammate, TB, over, so N could join the party. He was thrilled, and I was grateful, especially since it was a long day. N was going to their house after his 9:00AM game, then spending the entire day over there, sleeping over, and then going to his game on Sunday, which I couldn’t attend since I was going to A’s game.

I could have easily taken A up to her game since that was the plan, but I figured she would have more fun on the 2 hour drive with her friend. As I mentioned, I arranged a second sleepover for Saturday night with the CGs. That meant that at some point after A’s Saturday games, she would have to get all of her sleepover stuff and hockey gear to the CGs. The girls team was coming back to the arena to see their championship banner raised, so I would see A at that time.

Saturday was also the day of the Boston Bruins Alumni game, where they were playing the coaches, which would include me. That meant that I would have to drive back to UA after A’s second Saturday game, put on my gear, and play in the game. Talk about crazy, I don’t think I stopped moving all weekend. A&N would both be at the game, so I could check in with them and make sure things were okay, which they were. After the Bruin’s game, the Bruins and N’s team were going to Bentley’s for supper, including all the families. I had decided to skip the dinner and go home to get some rest, though people were encouraging me to attend.

The Alumni game was a blast, though somewhat unnerving having all these people you know watching you play hockey. The place was packed! It was so much fun, though. Hockey, need I say more? Everyone filed out and went to dinner after the game, and I got cajoled into helping the arena run the games, which was fine, I was in no hurry. I sat in the penalty box and chatted with GG, who kept prodding me to go to Bentley’s and be with the team. I left the arena around 6:00 and headed straight home. I was toying with the idea of going to Hanover to watch the Dartmouth game, but in the end, I went home and watched a movie, and by 10:00, I was in bed.

Then on Sunday, I woke up around 5:00AM and drove up to Middlebury again to watch A’s morning game, skipping N’s morning game. It was fun to see her play, and they lost but played well, and then I jumped back in the car and headed back to UA to catch the final minutes of N’s game. This game was a thriller, they won the rematch in regulation and should have gone to the championship, but because of some crazy rule, they had to play a 10 minute tie breaker, which they lost on a cheap goal, thus denying them a chance to play in the final.

It was heartbreaking and disappointing once again, but maybe that’s a good lesson to learn in life. I think the rule was silly, but rules are rules, what are you going to do?

Now for one final complication, I arranged for A to get a ride home with CP, since the CGs live far away, and CP lives much closer. When they got back, I piled N into the car and we went and picked her up. Then it was back home and return to normalcy, whatever that means.

Okay, I’ve said too much. Time to go. Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to all of our friends for their help. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks also to Dan Moynihan for the pic.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Brutal Two Weeks

I know always say this, but my apologies for my absence. It has been a brutal two weeks, for a number of reasons. First off, R was away for most of that time, so I was riding solo over here. Secondly, I have been sick, and couldn’t seem to shake this bad cough, which lasted about 6 weeks. I’m still coughing, but feeling much better. N is still coughing, though I think he’s on the mend, as well. I sure hope so. Finally, there was a mad rush of hockey during this time, and I when I say mad rush, I mean exactly that.

We had our usual practices during the week, but then A had her big championship game on Sunday. N’s team should have been in it, and they had a good chance to win it all, but I won’t dwell on that. Suffice it to say that they beat the champions twice during the playoffs, but because of the crazy scoring system, N’s team was denied the trip. Oh well, it’s just hockey, right?

A’s team, on the other hand, went all the way. It was pretty cool, and we were all excited. Then, the next week, we had assorted hockey practices, A had her school musical and world music concert, and both the kids had other assorted activities. It was crazy driving them around, then making meals and keeping the house clean. Last weekend was a the culmination of it all.

The kids were playing in two tournaments in different towns. A was up in Middlebury, and N was at home. The problem was, on both days, A had 8:00AM games. N had 9:00AM games, so there was no way I was going to be able to make both. That meant I had to ask for help.

Fortunately, the hockey community is a close knit, user-friendly one, and many people stepped up and offered to help. I was extremely grateful. It all worked out in the end, the kids had an exhausting weekend, and I even ended up having a night all to myself.

I sort of felt lonely, but what are you going to do? Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Cherely96 for the pic.