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Recent milestones

This past week was busy

She finished 8th grade and is on to H.S.  He’s done with 6th and on to Jr. High

I suppose I think of it as more of a milestone rather than an accomplishment though.  I’m super proud of her as always, him too, but making it through 8th grade is sort of a given.  Graduating H.S. is going to happen too, eventually, but graduating H.S. with straight A’s or getting into the school of their choice, those are accomplishments.  I’m certainly not trying to downplay this week because these are important events 🙂

He’s had a really good few days of baseball too.  I might be more excited about that than the end of school.  He caught the game ending line drive Wednesday and then today caught another pop fly in the 6th for the first out and then tossed a grounder to 1st to end the game.  IMO he should always be in the infield, but I’m not the coach 😐  Plus he’s getting hits too!

Wednesday I organized an EOY class party where we had a water balloon fight, made tie dye t-shirts (where he and I ironed on PJHS and the kids names over the weekend) and played some kickball.  Thursday they had their EOY 6th grade breakfast, although modified, where they watched the 30+ minute slideshow I created.  In the afternoon he and his whole 6th grade class celebrated with a party at the park where we went through maybe 1500 water balloons in mere minutes.  And then Thursday night she graduated 🙂  It was a short but a very memorable event.

After a covid-modified year it was nice to end things with days like these.

Thursday night she had a sleepover with friends.  They decided to go for a late night walk and lets just say they experienced a start to the summer they never imagined.  Let’s just hope they learned a little lesson because of it.

We received lots of messages for her graduation but one message in particular sort of irks me, I suppose that’s the right word. “You have exceeded everyone’s expectations”.  The rest of the message is nice and complementary, but this part raises my eyebrows.  Who is “everyone” and what sort of expectations are they referring to?  It sort of comes off rude, to me anyways.  I’m not trying to lesson the other things that were said but I probably could have gone without that sentence.  Maybe that’s another reason why texting anything where emotion can’t be easily expressed should simply not be sent.

Well I digress …

It’s hardly rained in the past few months.  Temps are in the 80’s / 90’s to start June.  Our schedule is super busy in the weeks to come.  I’m still trying to figure out my next regular employment opportunity (ever since I dropped my primary client recently for numerous things I choose not to mention here).  When do we get to go to the lake.  When will my boat finder website become a real thing?  What are all the things we’ll do this summer?

Well, it’s midnight so maybe I’ll try to go to bed?


some little things

captain fantastic, an odd but strangely moving movie I got sucked into tonight

while inappropriate at times I question whether or not it’s something the kids should watch

in time I suppose

but what emotions will it raise in them?

for me, well certainly not to the extremes of the father in the movie, I can relate

raising them as I see fit, challenges around every corner, friction with some who think they know best …

and so I decided to write

i wish I could capture every moment

to write it down on a piece of paper, stick it in a bottle, in hopes of finding and reliving the moment at a distant point in time

today we went to pick up a new bike for her

we ordered it online but I could tell she wasn’t impressed when she saw it in person

she can be shy at times, who knew, and didn’t want to explain that to the salesperson

we ended up returning it and ordering a new, more expensive one 😐

with 15 minutes before soccer practice I remind him to get his stuff ready

he points to a bunch of things and says he’s good to go

on his way out I suggest a hoodie

he ran back in, apparently couldn’t find one, and let without

he was frozen at practice

i tried

each day is like that

all these little things, most of which we will end up forgetting

like her up in her room today singing away to songs of the 80’s

and him calling me in the morning telling me his lungs are too weak to play the band recording I’ve reminded him over and over to do

Winter 2021 Covid Edition

Birthdays were a little different this year.


A few family members visited. Others sent gifts via Amazon.  Still, some we didn’t see at Christmas time and still haven’t seen since.

I think everyone here has concerns.  It would certainly help if temperatures weren’t freezing and we could do something outside.

We do our best to stay healthy but especially since some family already had covid, an older family member actually died, others are exposed often due to where they work, and social distancing with certain families is limited, we have kept our distance.

The kids have small groups of friends but it still isn’t like times should be.

They are missing out on normal activities some of which may be more obvious to me while some more so to them.

8th grade graduation will be different.  6th grade end of year activities too.  Although I’m hopeful that by May things will be so near normal that they will be able to experience most of these things.

School is half day in, half day at home.  PE, Art, Music, things like those are not the same.  The basics like Math & Science though are the in school classes.

There’s a lot of push lately by a large majority of the parents but there’s a minority that is not in support of going back to school.

I’m sure the logistics of getting back into class won’t be easy.

I’d like the kids to be back full day but I don’t want them to be more stressed.  How will activities like lunch work out?  What if a group gets sick?  What if we get sick because of that?

Nevertheless we continue as best we can …

She’s taking weekly softball lessons and he and I practice baseball.  Dance for her is of less interest.  Summer camp at Loras is on the calendar.  She’s signed up for a spring softball season.  He’s scheduled for baseball and softball.  We’re missing out on floor hockey, big bummer.

We just picked High School classes and signed up for high school summer school … YIKES!  Four more short years and we’ll be planning for graduation.

It has snowed so much recently.  Some of the most I’ve seen locally in my lifetime.  I remember 2011 though, we had a lot then too.  But this is different.  12″ a couple weeks ago and at least another 12″ on top of that this past weekend.  There’s a ton out there.  It’s crazy though, we haven’t went sleddingt ice fishing, shot a pistol & shotgun, went snowshoeing and played some pond hockey.  He enjoyed it a ton, she, well, not as much.  But it was a fun weekend of new experiences.

That’s about it for now I think 🙂

Christmas Eve 2020

Today (well prior to 11 minutes ago) is Christmas eve.

Seven months into this pandemic.

Christmas is a love hate relationship for me.

I thoroughly enjoy doing everything for the kids.

But it is exhausting.

I’m literally stressed and sweating wrapping presents.

And it’s particularly difficult to do when the kids hardly leave the house.

At around 9:30 tonight my eyes started to get heavy.

Eventually the anxiety kicked in because I definitely cannot fall asleep early on this night

So now I’m fully awake.

At least everything is done.  Probably in record time.

And despite having a teenage who decided to make her way downstairs at 11pm on the dot … tragedy fortunately avoided.

Most of my work was done before school got out.

I realized during the course of that work that there was an uneven distribution and I had to scramble last minute to fix that.

But now all is done and I’m sure they’ll have an amazing day.


Summer 2020

Some things have remained normal while other things are, well, different.  The “pandemic” (I can only imagine how crazy things would be if this were something like Ebola or major natural disaster or war) and all the rioting and a president who continues to divide this country … things are nuts 🙁

School started a week late in August.  It’s not normal school.  We had the choice between full day remote or half day in / half day remote.  At first he was going to do all remote but we switch to the “hybrid” option.  It seems to be going okay.  They have to wear masks the entire time in school but do get outside breaks where they can take off their mask.  Still the lack of total social contact is concerning, like not being able to see the teachers face or visa versa


Still we made it through the first day, picture day, and all the days of mask-wearing thus far.  We now have a rack of masks which used to hold our keys but now has a dozen or so hanging on it.  We also have a container of hand sanitizer next to the door.  And a stock pile of those things in the car as well.

The summer was not all too different from usual for us despite cancelled camps and sports which were a total disappointment at the time to the kids.  Still we spent a ton of time at the lake and even had some small groups of friends & family visit with us.

Both of them learned how to kneeboard and then kneeboard standing up as well (Brett on the right in this picture wasn’t as successful)



We created a makeshift slip & slide and surpassed the mandated 2 people per boat pandemic restriction multiple times 😐


We watched fireworks on the lake (amazing) and numerous sunsets


Once we had a butterfly visit and ride around the entire lake on the boat with us


The kids actually took a 10-mile bike ride with me.  Success!


I learned how to catch crappy.  I caught a giant walleye too this summer (unfortunately no picture though) and numerous bass, one perch and some bluegill.  One morning maybe hundreds of gnats died and landed on the water.  There was no wind in the portion of the lake I normally fish and the gnats piled up near the docks.  The bass were literally jumping out of the water to get the gnats.  I’ve never caught fish so easily in my life before.


I even somehow snagged this little thing


We found a local butcher and I swear I’ll never buy meat anywhere else if I don’t have to (these are country ribs, yum!)


This giant yellow garden spider spun a web next to the front door.


And Grandpa gave him some advice on how to repair decking (FYI I did nearly all the work on my own)


Sports were abbreviated this year.  Softball & Baseball began in early August and just wrapped up this week.  Unfortunately she missed out on what likely would have been a solid District team and hopeful state qualifier.  She has turned into one of the leagues best pitchers 🙂  His team just won their league’s championship game.  He struggled a bit at the plate early on but after borrowing Grandpa’s wooden bat and working on his swing he hit the ball multiple times in nearly every game after that.  Fortunately both kids were picked for the Gold Sox in their respective league, hence the matching jerseys (I coached her team)


Grandpa came to all of his games and wasn’t afraid to give him regular advice


For me I spent most of my free time (and some time when I should have been working) in our attic.  Nearly done … 4 (almost 5) months later


This was my birthday present to myself this year (a dumpster rental), lol


The garden wasn’t much of a success this year.  Totally bummed about that.  It produced one pumpkin, zero potatoes, zero orange peppers (although some are still growing), zero jalapenos (although some of those “may” still be growing too), 2 cucumbers, a couple green onions, a few michiana peppers, a few green peppers, lots of red/yellow cherry tomatoes.  Broccoli, cabbage and brussel sprouts as well as some peppers are still growing but it’s nearly October 🙁  I was however successful with basil, oregano, thyme and dill.  Spring can’t come soon enough.  I think a lack of sun because a tree grew over the garden this year caused some or maybe all of the issues.  Or maybe it was the weird May weather we had.


Some of the flowers I planted as seeds did really well though


Personally, I don’t mind the pandemic.  I don’t need the big parties or social events.  Concerts, sporting events and dining out are fun but I don’t miss them.  If I could have anything I’d be happy on the lake fishing every single day.

Things are way better for the kids than in the spring.  The social isolation for them really affected their personalities.  They’ve both found small groups of friends to hang out with.  Sports helped too.  As did spending time at the lake.  I’m worried about the winter though and how things will play out.  When it’s warm it’s easier to socialize outside but once it’s freezing cold out I’m not yet sure how things will work.

Everything else in the world though seems out of control.  I’m worried how this isolation and social unrest will affect groups of people.  The news and social media cause most of the problems.  People are using social media platforms to create chaos.  And the news focuses on it.  Looking back at the news before all this they’d focus on terrorism around the world but now they hardly talk about it.  Why?  Did it disappear?  Is it no longer important?  I don’t get it…  And the president is simply a fool elected by fools.  I don’t care if you’re democrat or republican this idiot doesn’t belong leading our country.  He’s no good for anyone.  Sigh

I’m hoping for a better 2021 but the upcoming election period is sure to be a mess …

In the meantime I’ll spend time in the attic, at the lake, catering to the needs of my kids, and working occasionally (assuming my client has work for me to do).