Passing the time..

Life seems to have settled down during the last two weeks from the go – go -go last few months.  Vacation season for us is mostly over and the spring gardening season is trying it’s best to not arrive.  Last weekend it rained for three days with our northern neighbors getting snow. Maybe we can ship some of this excess water to California.  They have quite the drought going on out there.

I have been back to playing lacrosse on Monday and some Wednesday nights. Monday nights are far more competitive than Wednesday nights. The real attraction to playing on Wednesday is that DS1 also plays. Sometimes we are on the same team, some times not. Playing against him makes my game better.  This past Monday night I scored three goals in the last fifteen minutes of the game. I spent the first 45 minutes trying to catch the ball and not succeeding. Something clicked during the last fifteen minutes and I caught the ball and scored three times. The rest of the “older crowd” was excited for my success.

I have been visiting my deceased MIL’s house about once a week for the last few months.  I start her car, walk around the house making sure that the doors and windows are all intact.  So far so good.  Visiting there is like living through a post apocalyptic movie. By that I mean on December 23, the world stopped at her house. The calendars all say December. The towels in the bathroom are of the Christmas motif. The decorations, such that they are, Christmas. On her dresser is a birthday card for one of her grandsons. He would have received that card on Christmas.   Next to that card are several cards that the daughters would have received at Christmas.  The car sits in the driveway. It has not been off the street where she lived since at least December 3. The clocks are all on Eastern Standard time, Daylight Savings time never arrived.   The whole scene is just plain eerie.

This weekend we are on the road again. DS2 has his last Wind Ensemble concert as a Marywood University undergraduate.  Graduation is on Mothers Day. It is hard to believe how fast time passed since I took him to the university to audition for a spot at the school.

Pictures, I have a few.. (sung to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody)..

Namaste

 

Is the BS in heaven?

BS is that small, usually stupid, often nagging problem that really does not have to be a problem. Hopefully your days are not peppered with them like a piece of salami.  Set the hook, let it run, then reel like crazy until they are flopping on the deck.  Time to reel.. 

I have been absent from the blog world for the last month. When we last visited we had slogged through a snow storm where the plow drivers were seemingly off for the day to watch the NFL at Buffalo Wild Wings (or their favorite bar). About that time both of the college students were done with classes and heading either home or to visit LI and then head home. On December 14, my DW’s step father in law passed away. Nine days before Christmas. He had been suffering from “Old Man’s Disease” and had pretty much decided he was done and stopped eating. We all attended that wake, funeral and burial.

On December 23, my DW’s mother went in the emergency room since she had not been able to urinate for four days. Back in the fall she was diagnosed with cancer and had “parts” removed. You really don’t need the gory details and out of respect to her and the family, I will gloss over the details.  Suffice it to say, the cancer came back with a vengeance. We were in and out of the hospital between December 23 and January 3 when she died in the hospital. Monday and Tuesday this week were the wake and the burial.

To say we are in shock is an undersatement. I took DS2 back to school this morning. DS3 does not return for a few more weeks. Over their Christmas break, the kids lost their two remaining grandparents. That sucks.

Christmas and New Years?  A complete blur.  I took pictures at Christmas, I will share them when we can get back to that happy place.

We would like to thank the staff of Four East at Ocean Medical Center in Brick, NJ for their excellent care and compassion of our mother (in law)

And we may have found a reasonably local church to attend. The Visitation Church in Brick, NJ provided the priest that said the Last Rites and the deacon that said the prayers at the funeral home. We found a connection to the message that both of them shared with us.

So my parents are in heaven as are hers. I hope they meet up and swap some stories.

Namaste

 

 

Where are the snow plows?..

This is the question.  We spent Saturday night in Scranton visiting with DS2 and DS3. DS3 is in the choir at the University of Scranton and Saturday night was Noel Night. Noel Night (46 th. Annual) is the Christmas Concert for the choir and various musical groups. Various musical groups include a string group (violins and such), a flute choir and a low brass choir. Outside of the Houlihan Center they had a small band playing Christmas carols in the 20 degree temperatures.  As college students at a Jesuit university, I’m sure they found a way to stay warm.

Here are two videos from that night. This first is the choir singing the University of Scranton Alma Matter

And this video is of the last song of the night entitled “The Perfect Rose” The trumpet player is named Mark Gould

 

After the concert we went to Cooper’s Seafood Restaurant in Scranton. I had posted on Facebook that we would be there between 10 pm and midnight Saturday night and offered to buy a drink for anyone that stopped by. I was spared the expense by the cold and late night. Scranton rolls up the sidewalks early.  We had a nice visit with the boys and were out of there by midnight. And, if you remember a previous post where they promised to procure a favorite bottle of rum for me, they forgot or failed since it was not there Saturday night. Oh well.

Sunday morning was breakfast at the Bucktown Diner with the boys and then we headed home while they went to study for finals this week. Or that is what they told us. The ride was uneventful until we got to Ocean County on the Garden State Parkway. The promised “light dusting” of snow turned out to be about 6 – 8 inches and the Parkway authority was unprepared. A forty minute ride took almost three hours and we did not see one snow plow or police car during the entire trip. We did see several tow trucks making their money. I wonder if I can get my toll money refunded since the parkway did not provide the services (snow removal) that my tolls partially pay for. Typical New Jersey, over two or three years you double the tolls and reduce the services.  Not a peep in the local Gannet owned newspaper about the lack of plows or police. I guess they are all in it together.

Did I mention that I played lacrosse last night with DS1 and scored two goals! Yea baby!

Here are links to pictures from the weekend. This link are choir pictures, this link are family pictures and this link is of the winter weather on Sunday.

Namaste

Good and Evil Chocolate..

The holidays are coming. Maybe you want to get something for that foodie on your list. Odd, unusual, but still edible. No sense getting them something that they won’t ever eat. That would just be a waste of money.  My DW and I discovered the Anthony Bourdain show, Parts Unknown last season. The show airs on CNN on Sunday nights, 9 pm eastern. Do yourself a favor if you like travel shows, gaudy cinematography and an outspoken host, see this show. Set up the DVR and set aside an hour of your life.  Will it be the best hour of your life, maybe not, but it is always interesting.

Last season they did a show based in Peru. Part of the episode was spent with Anthony and several other men searching for the elusive Peruvian Pure Nacional cacao beans. These are the type of beans that chocolate is made from.  Watch the episode and learn about cacao farming in the Andes. The chocolate that is produced from these rare beans is available for purchase (not on Amazon, believe it or not) on the internet. The Eclat Chocolate website can be found here.

Expensive? Yes. Good, absolutely! We saw the episode and were intrigued by the people and process of the farming and the harvesting.  We got our bar via the brown truck today. At this point tonight, the bar is half gone. I think I will hide the second half so we have a treat for tomorrow night.  We we buy another bar? Probably not. We don’t have money like that.

Enough said.  Maybe you might find one of these chocolate bars under your Christmas (holiday) tree.

Namaste

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Good thing I don’t gamble on football..

The NFL wild card weekend is over. The games are in the book.  I picked all four losing teams this weekend.  Dam!  Does it really matter? Does life go on?  No and of course.  I watched most of the Bengals game. I watched a little of the Packers game. I watched no football today.  I was not boycotting after my two Saturday teams lost, I was just busy and it was nice and sunny out. 50 degrees on a Sunday in January is to be cherished. 

Walking, we (DW and I) continue to walk our mile a day.  Today is January 6, 2013. This means we have walked no less than 6 miles this year! Yesterday we walked in the park near our home. Today she did her mile doing  her walking tapes and I played lacrosse with DS1, DS3 and one of DS3’s friends for 90 minutes. That has to be better than 20 minutes of walking. Or at least equivalent.  I was playing catch with DS1 (ex-college lacrosse player) and we were throwing the ball pretty hard at each other and I was slow bringing my stick up and the ball hit the top of my stick head and broke the plastic. Heads cost between 60 and 100 dollars each. It still surprises me how sturdy and fragile they are at the same time.

Tonight we (the whole family) went out to eat to celebrate the last family dinner before DS2 goes back to college for his spring semester. We went to Makoto Japanese Restaurant here in Manahawkin.  The restaurant is known for its sushi and hibachi meals.  We have eaten here many times, usually to celebrate someone’s birthday. The food is good, the chef’s entertain and if it is your birthday, the entire restaurant will sing Happy Birthday to you! There are pictures below from tonight’s festivities. The entire folder of pictures from tonight can be found here.

Here are a few of tonight’s pictures.  Enjoy!

Namaste

PS At dinner a challenge was given to write a fictional first person account of the killing of the last Velociraptor that existed in North America. The challenge will be met and exceeded. Stay tuned..

 

 

 

 

My ears are burning..

No, nobody is talking about me. Maybe though, the annual report said nearly 10,000 hits in 65 countries last year! Yikes! But really, a hat would have solved this problem before it ever happened.  On New Years Day I wrote about my DW deciding to do the Leslie Sansone Walk a Mile a Day for a Year Challenge. We walked Tuesday around the block and I took pictures of Christmas trees by the curb. Wednesday, yesterday,  my DW did her in the house walk to a walking tape before I got up. I guess she was motivated.  I walked my mile at lunch time, outdoors. It was 32 degrees with a wind chill in the mid 20’s. Yuck.  If it was easy everyone would start and continue with something like this.

Tonight, neither of us had walked yet. After our steak on the grill and salt potato dinner with a glass or two of wine, it was time to walk. We walked the steak bones over to a neighbor’s house who has two dogs. Nobody was home so the bones went in his trash can. We waked our mile. The temperature was 28 degrees when we got home. We stopped and talked with the “old man walking”. This old guy (80 years old), has been walking around the block for the last ten years at least.  We always wave and honk when we go by. He walks 3 miles in the morning, 2 miles at night and does 700 crunches a day. Does not drink nor smoke.  He sure must be healthy. He commented on my lack of a hat tonight.  Maybe tomorrow I will wear the hat.

Other news..  I got in my van at lunch time to go and get a hot dog with my coupon.  Right after I started the van, the low voltage light came on. That’s a bad sign. I decided to drive home at lunch time since after work I would need the headlights. Headlight plus a low voltage problem equals getting stuck somewhere. I made it home fine. The battery terminals had quite the corrosion on them. I removed the cables from the terminals, cleaned them with a wire brush and hooked the battery back up. Problem solved, for now. I think my three-year battery might be more than three years old.

I signed up with several of the “deal” websites looking for deals for when we are in Florida later in the month. Tonight’s picture is of one of those deals.  My question is What board certifies a psychic?  See the picture..  Enjoy!

Namaste

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Kicked to the curb..

Not me, nor any of my children!  Nor my DW for that matter. The subject is the Christmas tree. Yesterday, New Years Eve, my next door neighbor had their tree out at the curb. The town will pick the Christmas tree’s up with a special truck and grind them for mulch.  Not this week, though. Our tree is still up. I think it is coming down this weekend. In two weeks we head to Florida for some time and the tree won’t last until we get back. My next door neighbors have four children and may have put their tree up closer to Thanksgiving than we did. I guess four or five weeks in the house might be the average lifespan of the tree.

My DW is participating in the Lesley Sansone’s Walk a Mile a Day for a Year Challenge.  Click here.  My DW found the walking videos on You Tube. She does them two or three times a week when the house is quiet and she has some free time. Today, to kick off the challenge, my DW and did our mile walking around the neighborhood. I, of course, brought my camera. The subject of the pictures was to be Christmas trees already kicked to the curb.  I also shot some pictures of the furry (and not) animals that were eating at the buffet in the backyard this morning.

Kids, DS2 is at home. He went to a New Years Eve party with some friends from high school. He had a good time. DS1 was in Hudson, Ohio with some WJU lacrosse buddies celebrating the new year.  We traded texts this evening, he is headed back to Pittsburgh tonight and is a little bit (a lot, maybe) hung over from last night. DS3 is still out on Long Island with a girl that he goes to university with. We spoke last night after midnight. He sounded like he was enjoying himself.

Last night, low-key for the parents. Veal for dinner, LSU (they lost) football on the tv. We had out midnight champagne toast and blew off some fireworks.  We were in bed by 1:30 am.

Here are some pictures from our walk around the block today.  The Drop Box of the pictures can be found here. Enjoy!

Namaste

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