Day 286, Back out in the sunshine..

I was back in the office for the first time since last Wednesday. I worked from home Thursday and Friday.  If you read yesterday’s blog you will know that I was off yesterday to drive the youngest back to school. I went out at lunch time and went for my first walk in three weeks. About three weeks ago I was walking three miles a day for three days a week at lunch time and my left leg developed quite painful shin splints. Benign neglect and good fortune and my leg is feeling better today. I only walked one mile since the consensus was that I overdid the distance the first time.   Tomorrow I probably won’t get out of the office at all.

My 2000 Chrysler mini van turned 240,000 miles last night coming home from lacrosse. It still (knock on wood) continues to get the job done. I am hoping to keep it running through the end of the year.  My DW went to a continuing education seminar in Cherry Hill today.  She enjoyed the lecture and fulfilled some of her required continuing education requirements. Next week she has two days of ACLS training and re-certification to go through. Since her hospital merged with a larger group of hospitals, the process has become more “corporate”. Hopefully the process won’t be too painful.

Children.. DS1 worked today delivering pizzas. He also went to the gym in the morning. Not our morning, like am. His morning, like early pm. DS2 has struggled this year with his guitar playing. The university was supposed to provide guitar lessons to the Sophomore music therapy students and canceled the class due to under enrollment. Due to his lack of guitar skills, the three eye surgeries, and other reasons, the chair of his department has pushed him out of the music therapy program. He is in the process of declaring a General Psychology major with a music minor. His plan is to continue working on his guitar, piano and voice skills and get his Masters degree in Music Therapy.  It is just a fork in the road, he is committed to being a music therapist, but his spot at Marywood in the program is gone.  DS3, quiet so far today. I’m sure 6:30 am pt was tough after he slept in  during Easter break.

Tonight’s picture is of my DW and DS1. The file has a date of December 2007. I’m sure that is not accurate. The background looks like the pavilion in front of the stands at Robert Morris near Pittsburgh, Pa.


DW and DS1


Day 272, Made fudge brownies..

Duck egg brownies to be precise. My brother and sister-in-law shared some more information about duck eggs. They wrote about the benefits of duck eggs and how they are prized in the baking world.  So tonight we made fudge brownies using those eggs. The brownies taste like… umm, brownies.  What would you expect them to taste like?  I’m still weirded out by them, but I guess disguised in baked goods they are all the same.  Thank you for helping me spread my horizons.

Work was slow. I have a project scheduled for the morning so that should give my day some structure. At lunch time I am going to visit with a co-worker who fell at her home is will be out for a few months recuperating. I don’t have many details about her fall. I guess I will have a better understanding tomorrow afternoon. We are going to the Windmill for two for one hot dogs!  My favorite. She will get to ride in my van which has 239,000 ish miles on it. The car is getting a little rough (ok, a lot rough), but it still starts and stops. When you have three kids in college at the same time, something has to give.

My DW had a busy day. She was on the early shift so she got home at a decent hour. DS1 worked part of the day and then went to the gym. DS2 continues to shop for guitars. He sent me this possible choice today (in red). He posted something on Facebook about playing a song on the recorder today. He enjoyed the experience. By the time he graduates he will have experienced playing quite the variety of musical instruments.  DS3 has a paper due soon and seems to be procrastinating. Dude, just get it done!  There you go, my parenting advice for the night.  My brother the weather man said that my shin splints were probably either from too much to soon or the wrong/bad pair of shoes. I would agree with the too much to soon thought. 

Short and sweet tonight. Here is a picture of the brownies.  Enjoy!


Day 271, Eggs are what is for breakfast..

Maybe, maybe not. As I wrote last week my brother in Oregon and his wife sent us a dozen duck eggs. Due to the ducks not paying attention to the order sheet, there was over production.  I made a cheese omelet with two of them Friday morning. Here are my thoughts.. The yolks were huge!  The omelet seemed “yellower” (is that a word that means more yellow?). I ate the omelet. It was not as light and fluffy as a chicken egg omelet. 

I have to admit I am irrationally weirded out by the eggs.  Why? I don’t know. I guess it is a good thing that I don’t live on a farm.  Even though I pretend to live on one. At the bottom of this blog will be pictures of the ducks and their eggs. Are you interested in farm fresh duck eggs shipped to you home? I’m not sending mine. but my brother and his wife would be happy to send some your way. Go here for their website. While I did not immediately find the eggs listed for sale, I’m sure using the contact form will solve your problem.

Tonight was lacrosse night. DS1 came out and played with the old people tonight. Actually the median age is quite younger than it was when we first started. I had mixed success. I did score one goal. I had a shot that the goalie stopped with his feet.  I missed the goal a few times. I caught some, I missed some. I am happy with the way the night went. Last week while walking my shins started hurting. They have not hurt like that since I started running track back in high school. They feel like shin splints. Tonight the left leg really started hurting towards the end. I may take a few days off from walking at work. I did not walk today due to the cool temperatures and the very brisk wind.

My DW was busy at work today. She got her evaluation for the year today. She did quite well. She will find out in April how much the merit raise will be. She went to yoga tonight while I played lacrosse. Tomorrow night we have adult school yoga. That will make three nights in a row doing yoga for her.  DS1 had class today. He is looking forward to finishing up his class. DS3 texted me for a few minutes this afternoon. I guess he was reading in the blog that he had not been communicating with his parents enough.  He took care of that today. Nothing real special or hard-hitting, just a check in.  DS2 (or his friends) continue to post pictures on Facebook from their trip to Baltimore. I will add them to the bottom.

Tonight’s pictures (as advertised) are below. The captions should tell the story.  Enjoy!


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 269, Painting worked on..

Not a picture. I am painting ceilings in the house. This is an ongoing project that was supposed to be completed last month. The schedule was set by me, so I can procrastinate (to some extent) all that I want. Two weeks ago I put two coats on all the ceilings on the first floor except for the room that DS1 sleeps in. Today I went back and put one more, final coat on those ceilings. I have to go around with a brush and do the edges. At some point when we get his room straightened out, I need to paint in there as well. 

DS1 spent the night in Philadelphus with a high school friend. He went to see his old college team play Chestnut Hill in lacrosse.  His old team lost 10 to 9.  He said that the team had a bad second quarter but played well the rest of the game.  DS2 arrived back at school after his music therapy conference. He had a great time.  We are looking forward to maybe talking to him tomorrow night to hear more about his adventures. DS3 was quiet today. I saw some silliness on Facebook, that is it.  My DW and I were off from work, this being a Saturday in March.  The weather was sunny in the morning, grey in the afternoon.  We enjoyed the empty nest for a day while DS1 was at his friends.

Dinner tonight was Veal Francese. My DW makes a good kitchen assistant. She loads the dishwasher and can read and follow the recipe. She helps gather the ingredients and put them together. There are leftovers that will be really good for lunch if DS1 does not see them. He is not a big leftover eater unless he is broke and hungry.. Go figure.  Today I planted six brussel sprout plants. I like them, but have never grown them (not recently at least). My mom used to grow them.  My DW has decided that pan-fried with some bacon chips is a way that she will eat them. We will see.

Tonight’s picture keeps with the theme of food. DS2 sent this picture on Thursday of his lunch. The focus on the picture is fair. I asked what he was having, he replied “Sashimi”  Enjoy!



Day 268, Work from home Friday..

I had a rough commute this morning.  Really, I had to get out of bed, stumble into the kitchen. I put the laptop on the kitchen table and logged into work. I was working. Heck, my eyes weren’t even focusing correctly that is how short the commute was. I made a nice hot latte and I started to get on an even keel.  My extension at work had three messages on it first thing this morning. Who invited these people to call so early?  Two were from the same person that decided at 5:30 last night to reload his computer and wanted to know if I was still in the office. Not likely. I am a ghost at 5:01 pm if at all possible.

Last night’s fire, Heineken and pistachio nuts took their toll this morning. It was nice to spend some “mano e mano” time with my oldest. I needed that cup of coffee this morning. I have been treating Thursday night like a Friday night since I don’t drive to the office on Friday. Maybe next week a little more restraint might be in order. But, I “improvised, adapted and overcame”. Thank you DS3 for that quote.

This week DS2 has been outside of Baltimore at a Music Therapy conference. Yesterday he was part of a group that traveled to Washington, DC to meet with lawmakers about Music Therapy. He said the experience was great. My DW spoke with him the night before and discussed political action with him. She has done some of that “stuff” as a nurse working with their union.  He sent a few pictures that I will add to the bottom. I asked for a picture of the group or of him. I got neither, so far.

DS1 is off the Philadelphia this evening. His college lacrosse team is playing outside of Philadelphia tomorrow morning. One of his college teammates is coaching another college team that is playing later in the day nearby the first game. He plans on attending both of them. We (DW and I) are staying home. I have painting chores to work on. She has to write her conclusion and put her paper to bed. Tonight we went to the Olive Garden in Manahawkin for dinner. The food was good and they swapped the pasta for rice to accommodate her desire to stay as gluten-free as possible. 

DS3 wrapped up his school week. Last night he and most of the university went to the midnight opening of Hunger Games. He said the movie was incredible.  DS2 texted today that he and some of his music therapy cohorts went to the midnight showing of the movie near their hotel. He also enjoyed the movie. DS3 loaned me the book while he was home on break. I could not get past the second chapter. I may have to either try again of just see the movie.

Tonight’s pictures are from DS2’s trip to Washington, DC. Enjoy!


Day 267, More about ducks than you may want to know..

I got in the mail today a dozen duck eggs from my brother and his wife in Oregon.  No, this is not a common occurrence. For me, eggs are delivered by the milk man on Tuesday mornings, not the mailman on Thursday afternoon.  The eggs had a “19” written on them.  Three days ago I got an email from my brother suggesting that the package he shipped on Monday (3/19) should be put in the refrigerator. Since we don’t usually send each other stuff except on the holidays, this was an odd email. I naturally asked if the package was ticking..

Today I came home and found the package on the coffee table. I was concerned since my guess about his “gift” was that he sent us some snow since they are getting the snow and we are not.  My  DW opened the box and found two magazines and two six packs of eggs. They are quite large, in the chicken world they might be extra-large. I looked at a few of the eggs with the setting sun behind them, kind of candling them. I asked my DW if we were supposed to hatch them.

I sent me brother a few texts, thanking him for the eggs and asking for a little more background.  He called me and we talked for a while and I learned more about ducks than I may have wanted to.  These eggs are from Saxony ducks. These are good ducks to own since they are too fat to fly and keeping them local is an easier project.  My brother and his wife sell the eggs for hatching. I asked, What does that mean?  The short story of it is that people buy eggs from them to hatch Saxony ducks on their property. Since the ducks lay an egg a day and don’t care about orders or backlog of inventory, I got a dozen fresh duck eggs from Oregon in my refrigerator.

You know, reading my horoscope this morning I had not clue this was going to happen.  Friday is a work from home day for me. I will be having duck egg omelets for breakfast. My brother says that the egg whites cn be tough but if you scramble the eggs or make an omelet they should be fine.  He has not purchased many chicken eggs since they got the ducks.

What is really funny to me is that I intended to write about DS2 and his day as a lobbyist in Washington, DC.  Instead, I wrote about  ducks in Oregon.  I hope to be able write about eating duck eggs and/or Music Therapy tomorrow.

Tonight’s picture is of the fire (tonight  in out backyard).  DS1 and I shared a few beers and the fire.  Enjoy.


Nice, not a bonfire

Day 266, Turnabout isn’t always fun..

The focus of yesterday’s blog was the nice weather here in the New Jersey and how I have been fortunate to get out and walk during my lunch hour (sometimes a little more than an hour).  I had planned to walk again today. But, the work bear bit me in the butt instead. I started with one customer at 9 am and finished up with them (for today) at 3:30 pm. I ate my lunch while I was working. Needless to say, I missed my chance to walk today. I did however, leave work at 4 pm and take my lunch hour at the end of the day.

The weather at work (as best I can tell) never got very nice. Each morning we have had dense fog. Most days this fog burns off by 11 am or so. The few times I left my office and was able to look out the window, it was still cloudy. When I left at 4 pm is was chilly and overcast. By the time I got home it was warm and sunny. What a difference 35 miles makes.  I will try to get outside again tomorrow. I have my fingers crossed. 

 One of the people I follow on Twitter is called stthomasblog  They are a couple from the Boston area that moved to St. Thomas. They make their living doing website development, advertising on their blog and bartending. They Tweeted tonight that they had a conversation with a family member today who lives on Cape Cod. The temperature on Cape Cod was 78 degrees. The temperature on the north side of St. Thomas was 75 degrees. How’s that for a switch? I bet the overnight lows are quite different.

This week DS2 is at a National Music Therapy convention outside of Baltimore, MD. He called this evening to tell me about his trip down and what is going on with the convention. He said that tomorrow he and some of the other students and music therapy professionals are going to Washington, DC to meet with various members of congress. He told us that he is going to attend meetings with the NJ senators and congressmen. They will be presenting their case for music therapy and asking the congressmen to keep music therapy in their minds when doing their legislative duties. That is pretty cool.  Hopefully he will share some stories tomorrow or Friday.

DS3 has been quiet. DS1 is working all day today. He has class and a job interview tomorrow with the company that one of my lacrosse mates works for. (Lacrosse mates? I guess, you understand.)  It is a real job for a real company. That is a huge start.  My DW worked a full day. She was surprised to see me home before her. I got to cook dinner tonight since I was the first one home.  I enjoy cooking.

Tonight’s pictures come from February 2011. In these two pictures DS2 is singing with the Marywood chorus. He is in the back row, left side with the full beard. 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!


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