Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It’s Cold Up Here

We spent the night in Burlington and then after N’s game we headed up to Quebec for a new year celebration, which is a bit unusual for us because we usually don’t make a big deal out of New Year’s Eve. It’s hard to get too crazy with young kids, and we usually end up spending a quiet night at home. Not this year.

Since we are not swimming in money these days, we haven’t really done any extravagant or ambitious vacations, so a few days in Canada represents a nice way to get away without breaking the bank. Getting into French Canada is like being in another country (because you are) without the cost or rigmarole of traveling overseas.

We ended up departing out of Burlington maybe a bit later than was optimal, because it was dusk when we crossed the border, and dark by the time we were deep into Quebec. Normally this would not be a big deal, but there was some sort of storm front moving in and the winds were brutal. Visibility wasn’t great, and the roads were frozen and somewhat precarious. It was a little rough, and I felt stressed. It didn’t help that the locals drive like maniacs in dangerous conditions. There were times when I couldn’t see the road because so much snow was blowing around.

When we finally did arrive, it was dark, but not that late. We are pretty high up in latitude, so I’m guessing the days might be shorter. Is this possible? Getting around Quebec City was daunting and an adventure in itself. First off, as I mentioned, the conditions were terrible. Not only was the wind howling, but there was so much snow and visibility was not good. Factor in the locals driving way too fast and it’s a recipe for disaster. There were accidents all over the city, with cars on top of snow banks, and even in light of this, people were driving way too fast. We got lost a few times and ended up driving all over the place, including crossing the big bridge into town several times. It was frustrating and a little scary driving over this huge bridge (it spans the St. Lawrence River) that is covered in slippery snow. I was not amused.

It reminded me in a way of driving in San Francisco, where I always seem to end up at the Golden Gate Bridge, and there’s no turning back. Anyway, we found our hotel, checked in, and decided to explore a little. We were staying in a Holiday Inn just outside the old section, and again, the conditions were brutal. The snow and wind were amazing, and it was a little precarious. I thought Vermont was cold, this made it look like California.

We headed into the old section and parked the car, and walking into town was when we really got to taste the cold of Quebec. I couldn’t believe it. I hate to sound like such a wimp, but the wind chill was below zero, and it was blowing hard. They had done the town up beautifully for the Festival of Lights, and you could tell that there was some big party being planned for New Year’s Eve, but it was hard to enjoy it when you’re freezing your YKW off.

We ducked into a cafe for a quick bite to eat, and then it was the long brutal walk back to the car. We hopped in, got back to the hotel, and resolved to be more prepared for the cold the next time. We went out in jeans, shoes, and jackets, which is completely inadequate. You really have to wear snow clothes with lots of insulation, because the cold will kill you otherwise.

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

Hockey and a Road Trip

Playing hockey and hitting the road, how can you beat that? N had a game up in Burlington this weekend and afterward we planned to have a little family vacation up in Canada. Hockey the way it was meant to be, in Canada. The plan was to drive up to Burlington the night before and spend the night at a hotel, which would make getting to the early morning game much easier since it’s a 2 hour drive and N doesn’t do well with early morning appointments. We’ll have to work on that one.

I have to confess, I like the idea of having a couple of days off, it’s been a slightly rough holiday with all that’s happening on the economic front, and not to sound like a Scrooge (too late?), but it’s good to have Christmas behind us and to look forward to the rest of our lives.

With that in mind, we are off to the Great White North to enjoy the new year. We’ve never really traveled as a family for the new year, so this should be fun, and it’ll be nice to get some time away from domestic obligations, including hockey, even if you’re never really too far away from hockey, are you? Especially when you travel to where hockey originated, which for the record, is my kind of place.

They are predicting record cold temperatures and icy conditions, so this should be interesting.

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

Solstice Party

The solstice came this past weekend, and not a moment too soon, because now the days are getting longer, and at this point, I need all the positive energy I can find. Long periods of darkness don’t do much for one’s psyche, do they?

We had a nice day of hockey and then the annual solstice party at our neighbors, which is always a great soiree with incredible food. I had decided to eat a snack at lunch so I’d be primed and ready to feast at the party, but things don’t always work out the way you plan them, do they?

That day the kids both had hockey games at home, so I helped first with N’s game, then with A’s. N wanted to hang out and watch because his buddies are usually around, so it was fun for him. Afterward, one of A’s teammates was having a birthday at Ramunto’s, which meant I’d tag along as transportation. I wasn’t sure if N wanted to hang with the ladies, but the lure of free pizza was too strong, so he went, too. A got a ride with her buddies and N and I rode together. It was fun, the girls had a blast, N sat with me and we watched football on the big screen. How often do I get to do that?

They had cupcakes and they played games, and even N jumped in with the girls. As I mentioned, I had planned on eating a light lunch in anticipation of the solstice party, but I, too, succumbed to all that free pizza and ate my fair share. I couldn’t resist.

Of course, that evening at the solstice party, I wasn’t that hungry, and as usual, the food was incredible. I tried to force myself to eat but between being sated and having to be social, I didn’t eat much. Oh well, you can’t win them all. The party was nice, we got to see old friends and meet some new ones. Later that evening they had a big bonfire and the kids had fun building snow forts and getting into snowball fights. Even some of the adults (ahem) got into the act.

The evening didn’t go to late so we got home at a reasonable time, even though the kids could have stayed all night. It was a nice way to celebrate the solstice, something you just don’t do growing up on LA.

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

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Theft at the Arena and GG to the Rescue

I don’t know what I’d do without GG, the guy saves me on a regular basis. I dropped A off at practice the other day and had to pick up N, so I left my skates and stick at the arena. When I returned, my stick was gone. I left it clearly by my bag, so there little chance that someone thought it belonged to them. I was a bit incensed, but realized that sometimes people don’t have a stick and just grab an extra off the lost and found rack, though for the record, my stick was not in the rack.

I figured by the end of A’s practice the stick would be returned, no harm, no foul, but that was not the case. Whoever “borrowed” it took it home, and I was left without a stick. I sent out an email to the entire association indicating what had happened and figured it would be returned. Anyone who knows me will vouch for the fact that I’m not one to buy the best equipment, so my stick was not an expensive or fancy thing. It didn’t make sense to steal it.

Either way, I had an old stick that I could have used, but enter GG. He said I could borrow his son’s stick and brought it to me. Now GG is a real hockey player, and his son’s are all good players, and he doesn’t mess around with equipment. They get the good stuff, so while I lost a budget stick, GG replaced it with a quality one. Since his son wasn’t really playing hockey anymore, he said no hurry in getting it back. Wow, did I luck out, or what?

I’m not a believer in the notion that expensive equipment makes a player better, but I scored two goals at my next game. I was feeling pretty good about myself, and then guess what happened? My stick showed up at the arena. Whoever took it must have realized their mistake and brought it back. I was happy to get it back, but it also meant giving up the pro-quality stick, which I knew had to happen at some point.

So with tears in my eyes, I returned GG’s stick and thanked him profusely. What a great guy. Now I have my old stick back, and it just feels more “right.” I won’t have a game until the new year, so we’ll see if I can retain that magic touch. This should be interesting.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Mykl Roventine for the pic.

Happy Holidays

I have to say, I’m feeling brighter than I did a few days ago. I think several things have contributed to this. First off, I’ve been getting more sleep, and the funny thing about this is that it takes a little effort to pull this off. I tend to wake up early for reasons I can’t explain, and I usually just get up, but I’m finding that if I lie still for a bit, I can actually fall back asleep, and being well rested can make all the difference in terms of your POV.

Also, the weather has been more seasonal, and we even got a load of snow, which always makes the landscape more cheerful, though for practical reasons I had mixed feelings about the snow. Overall, however, it makes it nicer outside.

Finally, I realize that feeling sorry for yourself not only gets you nowhere in life, but it really gets on everyone’s nerves, including your kids, though they are not aware of this quite yet.

With that in mind, I’d like wish everyone a happy holiday and new year.

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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Scoring a Bike

Over the summer we visited Killington to hike down the hill and couldn’t help but notice the throngs of mountain bikers flying down the hill with reckless abandon. It sure looked like fun, not to mention cool, which is much more important. As you can guess, the excitement did not escape N’s attention, and from the point on he had mountain biking on the brain.

I looked into renting the bikes and equipment, and when you factor in the cost of the lift tix, it comes out to close to $100, which is outrageous. I noticed that some people had their own equipment and bikes, and not all of it was high tech and expensive looking. The equipment that they rent is I believe high end and very cool looking. Naturally N took to it and wanted to give it a try. Also, he was feeling that his own bike would be inadequate.

Now he happens to have several bikes, so he’s not for want of a vehicle, sort of. We just got him his BMX bike, and he has a smaller Trek Mountain bike that he used for a short period before he decided he wanted to ride a big boys bike. The bike in question I got at a yard sale figuring it would be fine for just riding to the rec center and getting around. It’s no frills but decent quality, but for the record, it does not have a suspension, which is what serious moutain bikers all ahve. Even not-so serious riders have them, not to mention people who have never taken their bikes on a trail and have no intentions to. It’s just part of the gear, you get shocks and wear cool gear to look like Lance Armstrong even if you never actually ride your bike. Marketers are smart, they know how to get into our heads.

Either way, once N saw these guys riding their fancy bikes with suspensions, he felt like his bike wasn’t up to speed, and to some degree, he’s right. Riding down trails gets a little bumpy and can be a little hairy. I know from firsthand experience. My bike, which was pretty decent when I got it 20 years ago, doesn’t have a suspension because they didn’t exist when I got it, and I’m sure it makes a huge difference.

The question was, how were we going to address this situation. Buying him a new bike meant a pretty hefty sum, and the practical argument could be made that he already has a bike, but that’s ignoring the absence of the cool factor, which is important to kids. On the other hand, I didn’t want to go out and spend a load of cash on a bike because not only am I broke, but it’s just not the right approach, at least not now while he’s still growing. Plus, he’s never really tried off-road riding. It looks cool, but the realities can be much different.

Anyway, I was over at GG’s house and I was talking to JG when I noticed that they had a plethora of vehicles. I inquired if they needed all of them and if not, if they’d be interested in selling us one of them. She said that one of them was not being used at all and that they were going to get rid of it, so we could just take it. I was floored, but this sort of generosity is not unheard of at the G household.

We loaded the bike into the car, I couldn’t thank them enough, and now N has a cool mountain bike with a suspension. All it needs is pedals, but that shouldn’t be too hard to find. We are all so stoked, none of us more than N, but I’m a close second. We are both looking forward to spring, when we just may have found a new outdoor interest.

Thanks a load to G&JG, I love those guys. Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to John O'Nolan for the pic.

Blue Christmas?

I have to confess, my current situation does not make for the most festive of holiday seasons. I know tend to be a whiner, and this blog is a forum for me to indulge in that behavior, but sometimes you just gotta whine, right? I have the song “Blue Christmas,” by Elvis running through my head constantly, which for the record, is a great song. Christmas also seems to have come out of nowhere. I realize there are several days until the big day, but again, I think because I’m not feeling the spirit of the season, it really taking me by surprise.

On that note, I’m not sending out Christmas cards, either, because the postage kills me. While I’m not a fan of digital holiday greetings, it’s better than nothing, right? Plus, you can’t beat the price, and there’s something to be said about creating less paper waste. I love when I find justification for things.

Now in my younger days, at times like these, I would wallow around my apartment in a pool of self-pity, but who’s got time for that? Not me, that’s for sure. There are too many things to do and places to be. It’s good, actually, to have a purpose in life, even if you don’t make any money doing it.

I can understand people’s desire to get out of the house and go to their jobs, it gives you a sense of purpose and even if you hate your job, and thereby hate your very existence, at least you’re making money, and in our society, that’s what it’s all about. You don’t make much in the way of money being a stay at home parent, but the work is hard and the hours are long. You have to find value in the process, because let’s face it, as much as people say it’s important to be a parent to your kids, spending time doing something that doesn’t make money is just not that valuable. Boy, talk about being cynical.

In the end, I could easily find a job if I gave up on being a stay at home dad. I know this because I went looking for a job and found opportunities within a week of trying, and they weren’t even in the field that I am most qualified in, i.e., science. I could find a lab job in a heart beat, but that’s not the direcition that we want to go in, at least for now. When that time comes, believe me, you’ll know it.

In the meantime, we’ll stay the course. I’ll keep looking for writing work, which I’ve found to some degree but not enough to make a living. Not yet, at least, but I’m confident it will happen. Then we can get on with our gloriously fabulous lifestyles.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Brenda Price for the pic.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Night Hockey

As if we didn’t have enough hockey in our lives, this past weekend proved to be a brutal hockey marathon. We had to drive up to Middlebury on Saturday both A and N’s games, and then to Burlington on Sunday for A’s game. To add to the fun, A had a Friday night game with a team that came all the way up from Albany. Talk about hard core. They made a 2.5 hour trip to play us at 7:30, then drove all the way back home. They must have gotten home at midnight. Plus, they were a dominating team that controlled the game, so I don’t think it was much of a challenge for them.

I felt bad, that’s a long way to travel for a hockey game, but apparently they are used to it and didn’t blink an eye. Now it’s our turn to reciprocate, and even then, they agreed to meet us halfway in order to play. Personally I would rather skip the whole ordeal, but we have to honor our end of the agreement, so we’re traveling 2 hours to play them. They’ll probably dominate us again, but such is the life of youth hockey. The kids love it, so I’ll stop complaining, sort of.

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

Circus Show

I took the kids to a show at the Hop the other day, and it was quite the show. We arranged with other families and friends to meet beforehand, and the kids went along with their buddy NP and I followed alone because afterward the group had planned on getting lunch but we had to be elsewhere, probably hockey.

It was a Cirque du Soleil influenced program, and I’m not sure if they are affiliated with said program, but you could see the resemblance. The performers were all French Canadian and were from Montreal, so there is a good possibility that this was the case.

The show was called Timber, and it celebrated the logging history of Canada. It had all the humor and acrobatics of a circus show, as well as the music and dance of the region. It was a lot of fun, everyone loved it, and being the real-man in training that I am, could relate to the whole logging theme.

Afterward they had a question and answer session and we learned that the performers are either related or good friends since childhood. I thought it was interesting when they answered the question of why they got into performing with, “Because it is the greatest life anyone could live.” I’ve heard that circus performers are generational, and the work is hard and the pay isn’t that great, but they love it and do it for life. I would imagine it would be a tough life but that it would be interesting, really interesting, but I tend to romanticize things.

I wanted to ask them if they heated their homes with wood, but didn’t get the chance because the kids had too many questions, but I’m guessing the answer to that question would be, “Yes!”

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

You Are What You Eat

Something interesting happened to us recently, and I’m not completely sure what to make of it. One of us developed a rash on our extremities, which eventually appeared on our face. It’s a bummer to have a rash of any sort, even if it doesn’t itch (this one apparently did). We are not above feeling a bit self-conscious in this house, but who isn’t?

Either way, after a bit of research, we learned that these rashes are for the most part harmless, and can be linked to a vitamin A deficiency. I was told increasing consumption of orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes) might help, so that very day we started consuming them in mass quantities. We had sweet potato pancakes for lunch, cabbage with carrots for supper, sweet potato soup the next day. It helps that everyone loves sweet potatoes, and you want to know what? Within a day or two the rash went away, I couldn’t believe it.

Is there a causal relationship, or just a fateful coincidence? In the end it doesn’t make any difference, because I’m all for including orange veggies on a regular basis. It may be time to look for new recipes.

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

Keep Those Feet Moving

Okay, there’s no denying the fact that I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself recently, and it’s not the best thing for productivity or peace of mind. Unfortunately, it also clouds my feelings about the things I enjoy, including hockey and writing. Maybe it clouds everything in general, it makes sense.

My feelings of self-pity are no doubt rooted in my lack of income, and I’ve found the only way to overcome depression is to take action. With that in mind, I’ve been furiously looking for writing work. I’ve mentioned in the past that I could fine a lab job in a heartbeat, but that would mean working in a lab and not being at home. R and I have decided that we want to preserve our home life as much as possible. I’m certain I could find a night job, but again, quality of life comes into play.

We are not in dire straits, not yet, at least, and for now if I can just make a little here and there, it should suffice, at least until I fall back into my pit of ultimate despair. Just kidding.

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

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hockey Update

We are about 1/3 through the season, and the kids are having fun on their respective teams. Neither team is a powerhouse, and N’s team has yet to win a game, but they have tied several times, which is better than losing all the time, right? I wrestle a lot with the win and have fun dilemma, and the more I learn about what the governing body of hockey (USA Hockey) aspires to, the more I’m learning to just lighten up and let it be.

The underlying tenet of USA Hockey is to teach kids the game and let them have fun. Do not focus on specialization and especially winning. In fact they say the biggest detriment to youth hockey today are the parents, who want to win and put pressure on their kids to play hard and succeed. Apparently, the long term consequence of this is that the kids burn out and lose interest in playing.

I have yet to see this play out, but I am new to this game, and according to USA Hockey, this fact is being seen at the pro level, where American hockey players are dropping off and other countries are taking the lead, especially in Europe, where they don’t even play games until they are 12 and over.

This is a difficult concept to embrace in our success driven world, and we live in a rural setting, far away from a really big metropolitan center, where I’m sure competition and drive to be the best are huge. We do, however, live near an Ivy League college, and I’ve found that this breeds a hyper-competitive environment. I saw it in Providence, and I see it in Hanover. The parents are wound way too tight, and they really push their kids.

As a consequence, their hockey program is amazing, but their kids are playing all the time. They have the resources and will to accomplish this, and again, they have a winning program. The reason I bring this up is because we have a smaller, weaker program that can’t compete with them, but in many ways, that’s not the point. We are really more about having fun and not pushing the kids, but even then, we are constantly reminded of the other programs success, which we are continually reminded of by the other families as well as the local newspaper. Plus, they need ice, so they use our arena to have practices and even games, so we get to see our beloved neighbors in the flesh every week. What are you going to do?

We’ll stay the course and stress fun and learning basics. It helps that their respective teams are not powerhouses and for that matter, overly ambitious. The kids really just want to have fun, so we’ll go with it and not worry too much about beating up on our opponents. My feeling is, as long as A&N are enjoying the game and developing as players, that’s all that matters. Who cares about scores and winning? Not me, that’s for sure... at least until I read about the other team in the local paper.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Hockey Players For Kids for the pic.

Return to Drums

I was speaking with JG the other day, which for the record I thoroughly enjoy because she’s just an enjoyable person to be around, and she mentioned that her kids take part in a drumming class at their school, and that maybe N would be interested in joining in the fun. My first thought was yes, by all means, but then I figured I should check with him, first.

The problem with this approach is that he tends to say no to almost everything at first, even things he likes to do. I understand on some level because I, too, am hesitant to do anything that requires overcoming inertia. The only solution to this dilemma is to force the issue, sort of. We have taken an approach to trying something, no matter what, and then if it’s really horrible and he really hates it, then we can revisit the issue and, if need be, reconsider things. This almost never happens because he ends up enjoying the activity.

Besides, he needs some more activities, especially ones with his buddies. His social interactions are in fact expanding because of fun activities like rock climbing and hockey, but as far as I’m concerned, the more the better. This one takes place at the school, so he is around his friends from hockey and lacrosse, especially his best friend, CG. With this in mind, he readily agreed to give it a try, not that he had a choice in the matter. This should be fun, and it gives him some artistic release, which everyone needs, don’t you think? I believe there is marching involved, as well, so he gets to move around, making it a win-win situation, though the idea of marching in a parade I’m sure does not appeal to him.

Oh well, sometimes you just can’t have it all. Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Scott Fillmer for the pic.

Still Hope for the Woodpile

About two weeks back I figured there was still hope to get some of the woodpile done, so with that in mind, I set about with one goal in mind - move enough wood blocks to the splitting area so that over the course of the winter I can split and stack them. I wanted to do move 10 loads in the morning and 10 loads in the evening, but of course that was being too ambitious, and I only managed 10 a day, but that seemed to be enough. I now have about 3-4 cords of wood where I want it to be.

My big concern was that once the snow arrived, I couldn’t really move the stuff with a wheelbarrow, it’s just too slippery. Plus, the wood freezes into one big mound and I can’t really deal with it until Spring. This is no longer a concern, and I’m now all set up to start splitting. Now if I could just find the time.

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

Moving Things Inside

Now that winter has officially arrived, I can’t really do too many projects in the great outdoors, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t take my operation indoors and get things done. In fact, if I’m really feeling like a real man, I could even continue working on the trim of the barn. How cool would that be to get the trim done over the brutal cold months of winter? I think that would earn me points from my Mentor and maybe even the Amazing PR Man. In fact, I’m sure of it.

I actually have several of the boards already painted, and some of them would need minimal processing before I nailed them in. Granted, I have zero free time, and it’s cold and snowy outside, but such is the life of a real man in training, right?

We’ll see where this one goes. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Bahman Farzad for the pic.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Riding Solo

Last week I actually had to run a practice with the Squirts all by myself. Can you even believe that? Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel to find a coach. Since it was Thanksgiving week, the times were all over the map, and DF, the rink manager, gave us these awful practice times, why I don’t know. Since the times were crazy, working parents couldn’t make them, including most of the coaches. TG said he could be there and help, but then at the last minute he couldn’t make it because his son was in a tournament. That left your truly to run the show. Great.

I have to confess, I am getting a better sense of what to teach the kids because going into my second season, I am learning a thing or two. It’s been known to happen. Plus, coaching is really about re-iterating things that I am being taught, either by other coaches with lots of experience (GG being one of them), or by the pros at USA Hockey. Since the kids are pretty young, they still need to learn a lot of skills, so that’s where I could begin.

A came out to help me, which I think was fun for her, and we also had the full ice sheet, so nobody was out there to infringe on our space or scrutinize my practice plan. I have to say, it didn’t turn out so badly. They’re young kids, after all, and I’m not even sure what their expectations are. We did a bunch of skating drills, then game plan drills, and ended it with a scrimmage, which is not only a lot of fun, but a great way to use up 15-20 minutes. Plus, it gets them in shape in a way that’s fun doesn’t feel like torture. There are mixed messages about conditioning at this age, with the professional opinion being it’s not a good idea. I have mixed feelings, but do feel the get in shape by virtue of playing the game.

After practice, the kids were tired but had fun, and I asked A and N what they thought and they both said they thought I did a good job. They were probably just trying to spare my feelings, but I’ll for now, I’ll take it.

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

Friends When You Need Them

Boy, talk about friends when you need them. Our circumstances are not life threatening, but more along the lines of quality of life, so I don’t feel like I can whine about them. That won’t stop me, thought.

Due to the holidays, hockey practice and school are all out of whack. Our ice times are crazy so it’s hard for parents to make it, mainly coaches. The kids, on the other hand, have all the time in the world. N had morning practice and A was going to hang with one of her best friend, ES, and see a movie. That meant N had the rest of the day to hang out with his boring parents, which isn’t the end of the world, but comes in a close second. I made some inquiries and our saviors, the Gs came through. It actually worked out beautifully, because after his practice, N got to go home with CG, his best friend on the team, and then I could go home and get some work done. R took A and ES to the movie, and then we all reconvened later. Perfect. That way, N didn’t feel left out of the movie (it was too rough for him, anyway, and he can’t really hang out with teenage girls), and A got to go and do pre-teen things.

Much thanks to the Gs, I hate to impose on them, but it seems to work out pretty well, and I like to think it’s not too bad for them because N and CG are such buddies (plus, there’s kettle corn in the equation). At least, that’s what I like to think, because they helped us out again on Saturday. That, however, is a story for another time.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Dan Lookabaugh for the pic.

Life of a Pre-Teen

As A approaches her teen years (she’s pretty much already there), it’s interesting to see her grow up and mature. Part of this process of becoming a big girl is finding her parents, mostly her dad, intolerably embarrassing, but also finding her own fashion sense. It’s nice to see, the first steps to becoming a woman, and we like to see her develop her own “look,” as the saying goes. I can offer the male perspective, but mostly she and mom deal with the fashion needs.

I, however, can contribute on the practical side, and this includes storage of all these fashionable accessories. This usually takes the form of shelves and hooks, which for a weekend warrior like myself, are a breeze. It’s a bit more challenging with the winter weather, but I can operate a saw or drill in the cold, and minor painting jobs can be done in the basement. It actually works out nicely, especially if I’m even the least bit organized. Case in point, A needed hooks to hang various scarves, coats, and hats. I have plenty of wood to make trim on the barn, so I cut some boards, painted them white to match the trim in her room, and got some hooks at Home Depot. I put them in the wall and voila, more storage space. Piece of cake.

I love when that happens. Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Too Much To Chew?

Talk about a brutal weekend, we were swamped a week or two back, and I was waiting to get yelled at for taking on too much, but we seemed to have weathered the storm. A has been babysitting for the local church, though for the record, we are not members. The father of one of her best friends is the pastor, and since they hang out so much, her parents asked if she was interested in babysitting during the service.

A said yes, and it’s worked out fine. A is often asked to baby-sit because people seem to gravitate to her. They see her as a mature and reliable person, and the reality of the matter is, she is. She is very good with younger kids and is responsible and takes the job seriously. She’s a good kid.

The first couple of months went by without a hitch, but once hockey season started, it all fell to pieces. I feel bad, but I mentioned to KS that once hockey season started, this was going to be challenging, and sure enough, it is. This weekend in question, both A and N had two games, and A had a guitar recital. Since her game was early, she slept over at her buddy HC’s house and went to her Sunday morning game. By the time we finally got her home, she was exhausted, and still had a performance. She didn’t want to go, but decided she should since she committed to it, and it worked out fine. We did notice that there were several kids who performed, so if she couldn’t make it in the future, her absence would not be an impediment to the show. Unless, of course, she had a solo, which has usually been the case in the past.

We made it through in one piece, but suffice it to say that hockey makes our live crazy, but in a good way. It’s all the other stuff that seems to get in the way.

That said, thanks for reading, and thanks to Kelly J for the pic.