Busy living, not writing..

That is my excuse.  We have been busy living our lives, and have not had much time to document the journey.   Writers block is too strong a term or phrase for the current situation.  I am going to resort to bullet points tonight. And they are in no particular order:

  • Sunday, was supposed to be a quiet day. Stay home, 6 pm gentle yoga, dinner and bed.  While watching football my DW called me into the kitchen where the back door was open (45 degrees out) and the kitchen smelled like natural gas. I said, hmmm. Seems the stove did not want to light even though the gas wanted to flow. The stove was about 15 years old. We bought it when they brought natural gas to our street.  Instead of fixing it again, we decided to replace it. So, at 3 pm Sunday afternoon we did some online shopping at Home Depot and Lowes and then went to Lowes and bought a new stove. I put it in the van, removed the old one and installed the new one. We were not late for yoga. Nor were we early.  The stove works great and by 5 pm the next day the old stove had been trash picked from the curb.
  • Saturday, we decided to buy a new table to put the 55 in tv in the tv room on. It had been sitting on a chest from the bedroom for months. The cable box, surround sound and DVD player were all sitting on the floor. We had shopped for something to put them on but had balked at the cost. We found a reasonable piece of furniture at Kohl’s that would do what we want.  We put the table together, disconnected all the wires and re-wired the connections with the cable hidden and the outward appearance looking really nice.  I mean adults live here, shouldn’t things look nice?
  • Saturday night we visited DS1 at his new apartment. He moved out back in September and for the first four weeks we had a general idea of where the apartment was. Then we actually got a mailing address.  After we visited and dropped off some goodies for his apartment we traveled to Philadelphia to eat dinner at Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House. The restaurant is on Samson Street near Penn and Drexel Universities. Dinner was excellent!  I had oysters and fish and chips. My DW had the lobster mac-n-cheese and DS1 had the lobster raviolis. We also shared a lobster dip. This month lobsters are the focus of their menu. We have eaten at another of the Doc Magrogan’s in Scranton several times. Not cheap, but really good food.
  • Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were days that we celebrated my DW’s birthday. The actual day was Wednesday. On Wednesday we had dinner at home and went to yoga. Thursday night we had a birthday dinner at one of the local BYOB Italian restaurants. The food was good. Friday we went to our local watering hole for a burger and soup. Another birthday celebration toast was shared that night.
  • Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were yoga nights. Work has been really busy for me. It is not like I tote that barge and lift that bale kind of work. But the details, stress and sheer volume have left me pretty burned out when I get home.  My DW has had a few crazy weeks at work as well. Some days she works overtime and then the next day she is flexed because there are no cases. Same old story where she works.
  • Today I went to see my cardiologist. It has been two months since my procedure in the hospital. It was decided at the visit that I can stop the blood thinners but continue the beta blocker. Upside? Yup, I can go back to playing lacrosse in a week. I hope to play with DS1 next Wednesday night. 
  • Tonight my DW attended a retirement party for one of her co-workers. I had dinner alone (boo hoo) and went to yoga alone. The ladies were asking where my DW was. We almost always attend together so when one of us is missing they always ask why. The class was full. There may have been room for one more student tonight.
  • Children – DS2 is working on his graduate school admissions stuff. He has a concert Saturday afternoon at 4 pm. DS3 is going to Long Island this weekend to visit his girlfriend. He will miss seeing his parents in Scranton.

Pictures, yup – there are a few.  Enjoy and thanks for reading!



Day 270, Naps are always nice..

Aren’t they? A nap is a guilty pleasure stolen from the people that promote productivity in the world.  Today is Sunday, March 25, 2012 here in New Jersey. I guess adding the date to this blog now and then will make it easier to figure out where and what was historically going on when this blog was written. Who knows, some civilization far in the future might be studying the ancients (us) and this blog could provide a glimpse into the life in 2012. Or not.

We (DW and I) just got off the phone with DS2. He called and told us about his trip to Baltimore and  Washington, DC this week. He really had a great time. I think this was his first convention.  He was very impressed and interested in a presentation given about the use of the iPad in Music Therapy. There are apparently many apps available for the iPad that can be used in the clinical settings. It would seem from talking to DS2 that an iPad is fast becoming a useful tool for his profession. He will talk to his grandmother over Easter and maybe she will take care of that for his 21 st birthday in May. Dude, you are going to be 21 in a few months!  Wow!

Dinner tonight was fresh Halibut steaks from the Shop Rite. I guess that the Halibut are in season (as it were) or the Shop Rite would not have it and they would not look as good as they did. I found a recipe Googling “fresh Halibut Steaks”. The first one was for barbecue (we skipped this one), the second recipe was for zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, basil and feta cheese, baked in the oven. It was delicious. The topping is adaptable to almost any kind of fish. While the Halibut was expensive, it tasted good. My DW wanted lobster tonight but they are just too expensive this time a year without a sale.

My DW finished up her first Master’s of Nursing course through Drexel University online. Her final grade was an 88. She is very excited. She is unsure about the  next step because this course with difficult since there are no classes. You read, write papers, comment on a discussion board. She grew up (as did I) in a time where college was in a classroom with teachers and other students. She is going to take this eight week period off to give the experience some thought. I am very proud of the hard work and the hours she devoted to this endeavor.

Me, made breakfast, went grocery shopping.  I took a nap this afternoooooon.  We went to a new yoga place tonight. They had a free yoga session if you donated to the Barnegat Food Bank. The session was interesting. This makes the fifth different yoga instructor that I have studied with. Again, 2 males and 15 females.  My DW and I were comfortable with the session. This teacher at the end put a tissue and a scented “eye pillow” on your eyes while in the final meditation. That was interesting, but I had to wash my face when I got home.

Tonight’s pictures are a mixture from the weekend.  The captions will hopefully explain. Enjoy!


Day 260, Man, I have a million stories..

But not tonight. I have a few more special moments to share. Some of them are planned to be shared, others are just like spontaneous combustion.  I enjoyed last nights story. Looking through the picture archives from 2007 I realised we had a really good year (traveling wise) that year. We went to St. Pete’s Beach in February, Jamaica in June, Vail in late June, college lacrosse in the fall. Numerous football and band competitions. And rec lacrosse for the youngest.  We had a senior prom, high school graduation,redid some of the kitchen and had the youngest start high school. Just looking at the picture collection from that year makes me dizzy.

Back to modern times, things are about the same. Yesterday I walked at  Allaire Park once again. I walked 9 miles this week at lunch. Three miles each day. Today the weather was crappy, so I went to the bank and played wall ball for 20 minutes. I wore the wrong jacket to work this morning. The jacket I wore was too light for the breeze, the grey skies and the temperatures.  Last night it was warm enough that DS3 and I went down to the lacrosse fields to throw around after dinner. We played until it got dark. The local rec teams were practicing so they had the lights on. Without a helmet, I was reluctant to continue throwing and catching once it got dark. My eyes just don’t see as well as they used to. If I had brought my helmet, then what the heck, keep on going.

My DW worked both days. She has wrapped up most of her first college course work. She has to submit the class evaluation next week. It is already written. I guess next week she will see the grade from her second term paper.  She has been sharing her car with DS3 this week.  He got up a few mornings to drive to work with her and then bring the car home. He is then on call to bring her home later in the day. Tomorrow he is going up to Brick to visit his grandmother. We encourage the boys to go and have lunch with their grandmother when they are home on break. I’m sure she enjoys their company.

DS1 had the day off. He had some take home test in his college course to work on today.  DS2 has again been very active on Twitter. He said that they had another day of sun and warmth. As I was writing this I got a call from.. DS2. We talked for about 30 minutes about his fall schedule. He told my DW and I what classes he is interested in for this fall. He had sent an email earlier today that the music therapy students may be going to Norway over spring break 2013.  I imagine it will be cold. My DW asked if the sun would come up or would they be in total darkness that time of year. At this pont, we don’t have a clue. Maybe this means that the Christmas break trip to India is off.

Pictures, pictures. Tonight’s pictures come again from 2007. This was the year that DS1 graduated from high school. He and I went out to Vail, Colorado for a national lacrosse tournament. He played, I was the sherpa.  In these pictures we rented ATV’s and dove up a mountain. We walked the last 1500 feet to the summit. We were at almost 12,000 feet in these pictures. Notice the snow, the date? July 2, 2007. Enjoy!


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Day 256, A little yard work is nice..

DS2 returned to Marywood this morning. He was up, showered, packed and rumbling the suitcases through the living room at 7 am this morning. Oh, wait, it was 8 am due to the start of Daylight Savings Time earlier this morning. I took a picture of him as he was about to leave. That picture will be at the bottom.  He had a reasonable ride back to school. He said that there was a lot of traffic at the Delaware Water Gap. I guess with the nice weather a lot of people were visiting the Poconos for the day.  We gave him a hug and watched him drive away. He will be home again around Easter.

DS1 spent most of the day goofing off. His school (the one class that he is taking) is on Spring Break this week. He went up to visit his (she is not my girlfriend) girlfriend for a few days. He called looking for some ideas about cooking steak on the stove. His steak cooking experience is limited to a grill or a George Forman grill. I guess I will find out on Tuesday how he made out. He, DS3 and I went down to the lacrosse field today to shoot around. It was nice to be able to throw the ball around and run some with my two lacrosse playing children.

DS3 helped me in the garden today.  Before we got to working in the garden he helped me put the new carpet on the deck. Then we put the canopy frame back up. Finely the grill went back on the deck. Then we  (DW, DS3 and I) worked on clearing the winter mess and getting ready for the spring planting season. I think we are a month too early, but when it is 60 degrees in March, it is a crime to sit indoors.

My DW submitted her paper today. She has a one page opinion paper due next week. Half the class will write about health care being a right, the other half of the class will write about health care be a responsibility. She has to write from the view-point of health care being a right. The students did not get to choose which side of the debate they wanted to be on. The teacher split the class alphabetically.

Me, I got participate in all of these activities, one way or the other. Breakfast was eggs and pork roll. Lunch was a sandwich from Bruno’s Italian Deli. The sandwich was on an entire loaf of italian bread. Fried chicken cutlet, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers and balsamic vinegar. This sandwich was the definition of over stuffed. It was delicious.  Dinner was Tile fish, cut into bite sized portions, covered in caesar salad dressing and broiled. It was very good as well.

Tonight we have two pictures. One is of DS2 getting ready to leave for school. The other is of Ashley. Ashley is one of my sister who lives in Washington State dogs. I guess they got the snow we did not get this year.  Enjoy!


Day 255, Anything but painting..

I continued my painting procrastination today. If you remember, last Saturday and Sunday I put two coats of primer on the ceiling of most of the rooms on the first floor of our house.  The plan for this weekend was to either go around and paint the edges with two coasts so that everything matched or put a final finish coat on all the rooms. Or, I still have one bedroom that I have not done anything to. I taped the walls, but that is it.

Today, I did none of the above. Instead, I removed the gazebo from the back deck. I put the grill and the table on the ground and pulled up the green all-weather fake grass carpet that has been down for the last five years.  We originally put the carpet down on the deck since the deck needed some work and covering it with the carpet was a quick and reasonably cost-effective way of dealing with the problem. And, you would not get splinters in your bare feet. Fast forward though five years of weather and use, the carpet was a bit rough here and there. It certainly could have lasted another year.

I was afraid the wood under the carpet would be really nasty after being covered for all that time. I was quite surprised with the condition of the deck. It really did not look any worse than it did five years ago. Maybe the carpet protected the deck. I decided to power was the deck and buy a new carpet. As an aside, while it was sunny today, the outside temperature never got above 45 degrees. Not exactly my idea of ideal power washing weather. I rented a power washer from Home Depot and got busy. DS3 spread out a mixture of water, bleach and soap on the deck and the various parts of the house’s exterior where there was green mold. I ran the power washer.

My plan was to wash the deck surface and the bad spots on the house. Three hours later I was finished. I had done the entire back deck, the railing, the steps, everything. I did the entire house. I did the entire front porch. All this effort to avoid painting. Granted, all the work I did today needed to be done, but anytime this spring would have sufficed. It was good to have all the kids home to help move things off the deck. Tomorrow we will put the new carpet down and return all the things we moved back onto the deck.

DS1 went to work around 4 pm today. He watch college lacrosse on tv for the rest of the day. DS2 went out to lunch with the girl who he went to the senior prom with. He also visited with a friend from high school for a few hours. Last night he went to the movies with another friend from hight school. DS3 helped around the house today. He has always been a good helper. He smiles, is not afraid to tote that barge and lift that bale.  My DW did some household chores and worked on the final touches for her paper. It is due tomorrow at midnight.

Tonight’s picture come from July 2009 when DS1 turned 21 years old. Enjoy!


DS1 turns 21, July 2009

Day 253, Kickin’ up the sand..

I am done working for the week. I will be driving to Scranton tomorrow morning to pick up DS3 and bring him home for spring break.  With any luck, we will have everybody home for dinner tomorrow night. It might be a good night for a fire and some beer in the backyard. I guess I will have to see how I feel after driving my 400 miles. DS1 is off from work. DS2 and DS3 will be home from college. I am off for the night and my DW is also off for the night. Some sort of craziness should happen. Isn’t tonight a full moon? That is enough reason to celebrate.

Today the temperature in NJ got up to around 70 degrees except near the ocean. The ocean water is around 50 degrees, so the closer you got to the water, the colder is gets this time of year. I went out for lunch. No brown bag today. I had a cheese steak that was mostly bread for lunch. The part of the sandwich where there was meat was good, but the bread end was disappointing. After I had my sandwich I got to play wall ball for 25 minutes. Needless to say (or maybe not) I was late getting back to work after my lunch.

DS2 went to Brick to visit DW’s mom. He brought the bass ukulele that he borrowed from school. He played a few songs for them. He said that DW’s grandma played a few cords that she learned in a different time. He had meatball sandwiches for lunch. He failed to bring home any sandwich leftovers. He did bring home some homemade chicken soup. Maybe that will be lunch on Saturday. DS1 was off today. NEWS FLASH! He paid his cell phone bill for the month of March, 2012. This is a historic event. Hopefully this event is not a one-off type of deal.

DS3 continued to study and take his mid-terms. I will see him tomorrow afternoon. We had a slight text discussion about hot dogs and Friday’s during Lent. I guess I am more old school than I would pretend to be.  My DW had another busy day. She may be flexed for some part of tomorrow. This will allow her to complete most of the paper that is due on Sunday.

Tonight’s picture comes from October 2000 when we took the kids to Discovery Cove.  Enjoy!


Discovery Cove October 2000


Day 250, Could not catch a cold..

I am trying not to be the king of excuses tonight. Tonight, being a Monday night, was men’s lacrosse night. As you may remember I have been trying to learn to play attack after being a defender for the last 8 years. I have struggled with catching the ball. If I can catch it, I have a very good chance of scoring a goal, or at least making the goalie work for the save.  I am (as are most of us) my own worst critic. Tonight I could not catch a cold. The last ball thrown at me hit me in the chest. It would not have hit me if I had caught it. My goal for the next week, before playing next Monday night, is to get my oldest son outside on the field and working with me on my fundamentals. A plan has been hatched.

Work from was busy. I walked into work ten minutes early and found five messages on my phone from the weekend. One guy called twice. It astounds me that people would call on the weekend and leave multiple messages asking for help. My answering message tells you that “You have called after our normal business hours. All messages will be returned when we return to work on the next business day” (or something like that). Does that infer, in any way, that I will be checking messages all the time during non-business hours looking for people to help? Yikes! The main message tells the caller how to receive support from the after hours (emergency) support person.

My DW was flexed from work today. She asked to be flexed since she worked the entire day on Saturday and was not able to work on her research paper. She got to spend most of today writing and researching. This paper is due by the stroke on midnight on Sunday night. She appears to be almost half done with the writing portion. Then the dreaded APA formating nonsense will be applied so that she does not get points off for poor formatting.

Tonight’s picture comes from the Royal Warriors Battalion Military Ball. This is another picture that was posted on Facebook. Enjoy!





Day 238, A new age in clothes washing..

Really? Not! As I wrote about previously our old washing machine made a puddle/stopped working/was temperamental for the last time on Saturday. We purchased a new one at Home Depot. Today was the scheduled delivery day. I was going to have DS1 take care of watching for the delivery guys this morning, but I felt if there were any “issues” I would not be happy with how he handled them. No matter the outcome.  Maybe I am a little type A despite my efforts to ramp it down.

The delivery came at 9:10 this morning. They called about 8:45 to say they would be here shortly. The lead delivery person came in and went down to the basement to see where the machine was going. He was pleasantly surprised that the old machine was gone. Come to think of it, he was not the least bit disappointed that they did not have to carry it out from the cellar. They strapped on their carrying apparatus and carried the new machine down the stairs and placed it where the old one had been. He hooked it up, tested the functionality and they were gone on their way in less than 15 minutes.

After the delivery I went to the office to work for the rest of the day. I had not planned yesterday to stay home this morning so I was not prepared to work from home.  Work for me was slow. I spent some time setting up next week’s work.  My DW had a decent day. It was less crazy than the last two days have been. Tonight after dinner she went to the basement to work on her masters class homework. She spent the entire evening down there. I don’t think she could have done this class while the kids were in high school. There always was just too much going on every day here for her to get the quiet time that she needs.

The kids were quiet today. DS1 is working. I have not seen him yet today. He slept through the washing machine delivery. DS2 and DS3 have been doing their college thing. I will try to schedule some time Friday afternoon to talk to them. They both are done with classes on Friday by noon.  Hint, hint!

Tomorrow the temperatures are forecast for around 60 degrees again. I will definitely find something to do at lunch time outside. Tonight’s pictures comes from July 2006 when my DS2 was in France. I think the pictures were shot near Paris. Maybe he will read the blog and text me where the pictures were taken.


Day 225, Rockin’ to the Tuna..

Tonight’s blog is brought you courtesy of a fine Dominican Rum and the music provided by the video feed from the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon in Key West, Fl.  Speaking of smoking, did you have lottery tickets for the drawing last night? The prize was over 250 million. Nobody won so Saturday night’s price is over 310 million. The cash prize for Saturday night is 195 million (before taxes). I am not shilling for the lottery, just adding the historical setting for the future when I look back on this blog. And, for last night’s lottery I had five tickets.  I checked my numbers at work today. I had no numbers, not one. What does that guy say in the tv commercial when his ticket is a looser, frank!

On the list of things that aren’t right and annoy me, the company that makes the Tom Tom GPS have been added. Early in January I bought a GPS from Amazon which was delivered while I was in Florida. When I came home I opened the box and plugged the brand new unit into my computer to update the map. The unit comes with lifetime maps. The unit wanted to update the software first. The process was fraught with errors. After three hours of web searching and trying everything I could find on the web, I put the unit down for the night. The next day I called their customer support and the bottom line was that the unit was defective, right, out of the box.

I sent the unit back to them for replacement. I asked the person on the phone if they were going to replace with a refurbished unit or a new one. A new one was promised since mine was new out of the box. Well, the replacement unit came in the mail today. Two guesses, new or refurbished? Refurbished.  Do I send it back, do I complain or do I just get on with my life. At this point I am on the just get on with your life. I could have returned it to Amazon, but what assurance did I have that a replacement from them would work any better? Why would I think that? I read on one of the Tom Tom forums that Tom Tom shipped a batch of bad units to Amazon around Christmas time. There was a problem with the image written to the units.    This the fourth Tom Tom GPS that I have owned, but the first one to be a problem.

Enough ranting for one evening.  I was busy at work today. For a few hours (3 or 4) the company phones were down, again. I have said it before and it is still true, I am glad I am not responsible for the company phone system.  My DW worked some of the day. She finished early and had some time to relax this afternoon. Tonight she continued doing homework after dinner. DS1 is helping a friend move in Philadelphia. DS2 was sick today. Hopefully he will be back to class tomorrow. DS3, he has escaped detection today. I will make an effort to catch up with him on Friday.  Tomorrow my DW and I are going for massages after work. We bought Groupons that were about 70 % off the cost of a massage.  Tomorrow we are redeeming them. We are both looking forward to our massage.

Tonight’s picture is of the three Pete’s. When I was in Florida playing lacrosse there were three defensive players named Pete. My DW thought it would be a cute to get a picture of the three of us. Enjoy!


Three Pete's



Day 224, Tunes for the looney..

Or in the early English translation, music for the crazy. Have you listened to Pandora yet? I have been listening on and off for about four months. It cost 36 dollars a year for a subscription. I bought one for DS2 since he was using the free version and had used up his 40 hours that month. I tried creating my own channel along the lines of Radio Margaritaville. I failed twice. My latest effort was to take the Springsteen channel and add one Bob Marley and one Jimmy Buffett song.  This has worked ok except for what seems to be a reggae top-heavy song line up. But I enjoy most of it. I know that DS2 has been exposed to lots of music that he never would have encountered listening to his Pandora channels.

It snowed here this evening. The snow started around 4 pm in South Jersey. There is about a .25 of an inch (Dude, how many cm’s is that?) on the back porch. The roads are wet, the front yard has slightly less accumulation. The ride home was ok which is hard to belive with anything falling out of the sky. I’m sure the payback commute is coming up soon.  I will post a few pictures of the snow at the bottom.  This silly amount of snow would have gone unnoticed last year with all the snow that fell last winter. This year snow has been hard to come by. And that is how I like it. Snow belongs on the tv while I am wearing shorts and flip-flops.

Family doings for this day are not much. Me, I was busy in the morning and mid afternoon. The late afternoon was quiet. My DW had hospital cases in the morning, in the afternoon she attended her hospital committee meeting. Employees are encouraged to be on various committees, This one meets every two weeks for about four hours on Wednesdays. She gets paid to attended and has work on a day when often times she would be flexed.  After dinner she worked on her homework. DS1 worked this evening. DS2 tweeted that he had a busy day today. He texted later that he was not feeling good and might be taking a few classes off tomorrow. I suggested student health or speaking with his mom, the nurse. DS3 had a great day yesterday with his girlfriend according to his Facebook post. I sent him a link to a company that makes cases for the iPhone. In the video they put a protective case on an iPhone and use it like a hockey puck. Pretty crazy stuff.

On the upside of life, yoga starts on February 28.  I can’t wait, it has been too long between classes for me. Tonight’s pictures are of the snow falling at my office and the snow on the back deck. Enjoy!



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