Monday, September 1, 2014

This is the night...

The hub and I felt like Lady and the Tramp tonight. The children decided that they wanted to fix us dinner tonight and, really, who were we to tell them no? We lounged and watched Yard Crashers and wished we would run into someone at Lowe's or Home Depot who was willing to redo our backyard for free. The children rattled pots and yelled at the dog for eating perfectly folded napkins off the table. The boy came in to take our drink orders. Our options? Milk, tea, water, diet Coke and leftover baby shower fruit punch. We chose water because we felt it was a safe pairing for whatever the entree happened to be. The table was beautifully and uniquely set. We were served bowtie pasta with tomato sauce that our chef G added her own special spices to make very unique. It definitely had a bite to it and was truly very good. When asked what it had in it, we were told it contained red and black pepper, garlic powder and "miced" onion. I got tickled thinking of little onions with ears and long tails getting caught in traps. Sorry. I'm weird like that. Anyhoo, the garlic bread was perfectly baked and our waters were perfectly iced. The kids each had glasses of baby shower punch which made me feel a little ill. All the Tagamet and Tums in the world couldn't neutralize the acid that would be violently swirling in my stomach. Good for their cast iron tummies for sure. They even cleaned up their mess. It was a lovely dinner. "And they call it Bella Notte...".



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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fun idea!

I went to a family baby shower today. I'm going to be an aunt again. The mom to be is originally from Romania and we got to sample some yummy Romanian pastries and hang around with some of her relatives. When the gift opening began, we saw the neatest thing. Her family gave her a baby carriage and baby made entirely from layette items. I have seen lots of different diaper cakes and that kind of thing, but never one of these:



The wheels and bed of the stroller were diapers rolled up and covered by blankets and ribbons. The baby was a blanket swaddled around onesies and pacifiers and washcloths with a hat on top. Pretty neato. There were also cake pop rattles:



Another life is coming into this world...another ray of hope for our future. That is always a reason to celebrate.
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Oh to have the days of old...

In my day, things were much simpler. Our music was played on a turntable or an 8 track tape or a cassette tape or, at our house, on a reel to reel player:



When we went on car trips, there were no ipods or MP3 players. We plugged our tape player into the cigarette lighter in the car and played our favorite tape:



Our teenage years blossomed with the freedom of taking your music with you...powered by the force of 4-6 AA batteries and a whole lot of awesome:



I looked like a boss mowing the lawn whilst jamming to the sweet sounds of the Talking Heads. Probably why I have hearing loss in my left ear now, but it was great then. Don't even get me started about the Discman. Off the charts in terms of excitement.

Yes, my brother got in trouble when my mom found his Led Zeppelin album collection and yes, my father made me read the lyrics to Men At Work songs at the dinner table just to hear my 14 year old self try to explain why they spoke to me. But never did any of us imagine that we would be having a discussion about YouTube videos and how, yes taste test videos are funny, but when someone uses profanity to express their dislike of the food...that is not okay. And yes, lots of the current music has a great beat and a catchy tune, but the lyrics would make Quentin Tarrantino blush...maybe. I am a proud parent and trust my children, but I was also a kid once and I know that curiosity is much easier satisfy in this day and age. We checked one child's ipad tonight and caused a great stir of worry. "If you haven't looked at anything inappropriate, you don't have anything to worry about." That was good enough for them. It is a hard thing to tell a child that there could be a horrible and disturbing link hidden in that funny puppy video, but they need to know. The hub is an IT wizard, so they'll be locked down until they leave for college, but he has no jurisdiction at school or in the public library. We just have to arm them with the right information.

Technology is amazing, but I will always pine for a simpler day, when I grooved to these dulcet tunes:



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Friday, August 29, 2014

Exciting evening

It was an exciting evening in our family. Our oldest played with the marching band in her first football game. She was so nervous, she kept saying she might throw up. Her mother felt the same way. The hub dropped her off at school and sent her on a school bus with a bunch of high schoolers. Blurg. B took the two youngers to soccer practice and I drove, along with my brother, sister in law and friend(and percussionist) to Jefferson County to watch them march. We found friends and basically followed them since it was our first time at a high school football game in cough cough, grumble...years. Even though we sat in enemy school territory, we were on the best side to see the band. Everybody has a first performance, I know I did, and they are never all the way perfect. I have been in singing groups and bands and various and sundry entertainment type groups...and we all sounded a bit different from our first gig to our last. It didn't matter. They could have accidently turned their music upside down and played the notes that way with their mallets and horns up their noses and I would have wanted to stand up, point my finger and say, "THAT"S MY BABY!!! RIGHT THERE!!!".  My seating companions would have probably scooted away from me in fear of what might come next. So I cheered inside for that blonde little sprite down there playing things like a champ.  I know it sounds overly dramatic, but it was a pretty emotionally moving thing to see your first born participating in something that brings her such joy and brings back such joyful memories for me. Band was the way I knew I would be okay. The place I found MY people. We all found ourselves walking in step with each other...we had our own inside jokes...we found refuge in the music and crowd and the cheers and the pride we felt from working as hard as the football players to keep the fans entertained. It was a sweet time that I treasure still today. Now my oldest gets it. She really gets it...and my heart swells with that knowledge.


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Thursday, August 28, 2014

March and barf

G's keeper training got cancelled this afternoon, so after an anniversary cake delivery, we went to the high school to watch S's marching band practice. It was pretty miserable out there in the parking lot. When we got there, we saw one woodwind being walked off to the shade while dry heaving. Others were dropping like flies. I'm not complaining. I remember standing on the football field my freshman year and watching my friend throw up into his trombone. Such great memories. Tomorrow will be S's first football game experience. She is terribly nervous...so am I, but she'll get over it. Or maybe she'll learn how to deal with it. I'm super proud of all those kids I saw out in the parking lot today. Marching and working like champs. So very proud.


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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The tiler is coming!

One of the last steps to our remodel is happening tomorrow. The tiler, one of our favorite guys, is coming to do the backsplash in the kitchen. Yay! I am so very thankful that we are almost to the end of this journey. It has been a roller coaster. Old homes are always a surprise waiting to happen and ours has been no exception. But no matter what, I am grateful to have a home. I worked with a lady this evening who has several children and is on the verge of losing her place to live. I worry for and about her. Our house may have had wads of newspaper from 1983 wadded up and stuffed in the walls for filler when the kitchen had its first remodel, but at least it has a kitchen and it is ours. We are blessed and I pray this sweet little family finds their own home sweet home and piece of mind very soon.


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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Update from the Back Patient

Hey there Neighbor! I thought I would give you an update since my back surgery on 7/21. I am doing very well.

Pros:
- I walked 1.2 miles today in under 21 minutes tonight.
- I am off pain medicines.
- I can stand without the leg or back that plagued me before surgery.
- I am still building up stamina.
- I have a supportive wife and family through my back pain.

Cons/Complaints
-Nothing really. I wish I was full speed, but this is a healing process that takes time.

Here is the XRay image of my back. There are four Pedicle Screws and 2 rods made from a Titatium alloy. The pedicle is part of the vertabrae. The metal provides a support scaffolding while the 2 vertabrae fuse together.



I am anxious to get back to a normal routine and go back to work full-time. I am very blessed with decent insurance and wonder medical leave plan.

Special thanks to my wife for supporting me through my walk through purgatory with back pain.

Please remember to "Be kind; each of us is fighting their own tough battle." That battle could be back pain, school difficulties, family issues, cancer, alcoholism, depression, work issues, etc. I have gained a lot of empathy for people who suffer. I am a firm believer that pain does make your stronger, and grows your perseverance.

I found this a few days ago and found it made several key points about perseverence, uncertainty, darkness, and fairness.

http://www.utexas.edu/news/2014/05/16/admiral-mcraven-commencement-speech/


Hope you enjoyed the musings of the back patient!