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!

Namaste

 

The revolving kitchen or front door…

Revolving doors, it seems like this past week we had quite a few visitors at home.  Friday I had two visits from DS1. His job sent him towards LBI first thing and then back again around lunch time. He stopped by for “the best breakfast” in the past week. We had pork roll and eggs. If you have been following along, I work from home on Fridays. He was back for lunch as well. It was nice to see him and share two meals. Half way through lunch he mentioned that he was still full from breakfast. Five minutes later he was up getting some more lunch. The cheese noodles were a hit (along with the leftover Coney Island hot dogs).

Friday night DS3 came home for the weekend. He wanted to visit with some of his high school friends for the weekend. We (DW and I) saw him for part of Friday evening and for a few hours on Saturday. He and his friends came by the house and had a fire in the backyard Saturday night. Sunday morning he  went back to school.  One walks out the door and the next walks in the door. A slightly empty nest last week. This week, no visitors so far.

DS2 and I are going to Chicago on October 26 for a graduate open house at the Columbia College of Chicago. They have a Masters program in music composition for tv, film and theatre. I have never been to Chicago.  Well, that is not true, we once stopped in Chicago flying from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. Yep, think about that trip.  I have been doing some research on the school. If anyone reading this knows about the school, drop me line. I am also looking for suggestions for breakfast, dinner and a hotel either near the school (South Loop) or near Midway Airport.

At home, yoga rules the roost. Monday is hot yoga, Tuesday is adult school yoga, Wednesday is gentle yoga and Thursday is restorative yoga. Friday we drink beer.  Weekends we avoid working on the hot tub and watch some football.

Sunday I rode my bike for the first time since the beginning of August. This coming weekend we (the Weatherman and I) are scheduled to ride in Pa. I needed to work out some of the rust (in my legs). The ride went well.  We also picked late season tomatoes from the garden and made four cups of salsa, yum!

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Namaste

DS1's 25 th birthday back in July

DS1’s 25 th birthday back in July

Gone and never forgotten..

Yes, a bit melodramatic. The reality is the DS1 moved out on Saturday, September 14, 2013. He is sharing an apartment 45 minutes closer to work with some high school friends.  He will be back this weekend and next weekend since he has things going on in town that are good excuses for sleeping in his old bedroom.  When I asked him why he was moving out (several weeks ago when the move was announced), his response was that it was time. He pointed out that I was out on my own at age 18 or 19. I think he has a romantic idea of what it is like to be booted out of the house when you are 18 years old. Time and beer has softened the experience, but I would not wish those years on anyone. I survived as will he.

If you follow along with this blog, you will have figured out that we (DW and I) are again, empty nesters! The oldest has moved out, the younger two are away at college probably until Thanksgiving (at the earliest) and more likely until the end of the semester. We will see the college kids off and on during the fall. I unplugged the big screen, the cable box, the surround sound and the X-Box in the cellar since there is nobody in the house to use the electronics. Maybe I can save some money on my electric bill this fall.

Speaking of electric bills, the power in our neighborhood has been sketchy for the last month or so. The power has gone out four or five times since the beginning of August. The most recent power outage may have prompted the power company to solve the problem once and for all. Sunday morning at 2:45 am the power went out and the smoke detector in the house started beeping every few minutes. I contacted the power company via an app on my smart phone. They called the house 15 minutes to inquire if the power was out. Fortunately one of our phones is old school and works when the power is out.  After walking me through the stupid customer questions, they promised to dispatch a truck to investigate. At this point I was the only person to have reported the outage.

Looking up the street and down the street, I could see lights. Not in the middle of the street. That was odd since when we loose the power, most of our devolvement goes dark. The truck showed up at 4:30 am and drove around with a spotlight looking a the wires and the poles. After about 20 minutes the truck left. The app on my phone said the approximate restoration time was 6 am. Then 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, 10 am..  You get the point. At 9:30 two trucks showed up and they replaced the transformer on the pole across the street. Then like magic, the power came back on. Yea!

Here is a link to pictures I shot during the transformer replacement.  The pictures below are from the move on Saturday.

Enjoy!

Namaste

2013-09-14 15.44.48 2013-09-14 15.44.37

Back to school specials..

Did you participate in the back to school madness this year or have you escaped the back to school grind?  Here is Manahawkin, the grind appears to be over.  This past Sunday both of the college students packed their cars and drove back to Scranton. DS2 returned to Marywood University for his senior year. DS3 returned to the University of Scranton for his junior year. Right after they left we (DW and I) went food shopping.  As we are getting ready to leave, I glanced at her shopping list, it was still quite extensive. I asked, “If both of the boys went back to school, why is our list so long?” Her reply, “Well, they took everything with them!” Good point.

Our back to school shopping does not/did not include the Wal-Mart or Target. We were shopping in both stores over the last week and watched the families with children in tow choosing paper, pens, notebooks, backpacks.. The list goes on. In our world, back to school starts in July with student loan paperwork. Then the parents and students have to survive August. We had a car accident with DS2’s car. The damage was minor, the other party lives locally and were ok.  DS3 had the passenger window on his Mustang come off the track and fall apart. After 250 dollars and at least 8 hours of my life, the window goes up and down (more than once).

Oil changes, windshield wipers, brakes and headlights… The list goes on and on. Our shopping for back to school is just a bit more expensive than the Wal-Mart or Target families.

We are heading back to Scranton Sunday to see them. Yes, it has only been a week. And no, we are not in withdrawal.  Sunday is the Italian Festival in downtown Scranton. There are supposed to be fireworks Sunday night. I need to figure out where the fireworks will be. We are planning on dinner at Doc Magrogan’s Seafood House.  This Sunday and Monday they have their Buck A Shuck oyster sale.  Shucked oysters will be a dollar a piece. I’m looking forward to that.

Buried deep in tonight’s blog is a sidenote about the LimeGuy being diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation. I’m not sure if this is the proper forum for this sidenote. This entry into the A Fib club has curtailed my lacrosse playing for the time being.  I did attend yoga for the first time in three weeks tonight. It was nice to do something active (yes, yoga is active) again. My knees have healed from the fall I took while playing lacrosse in Lake Placid three weeks ago. All I need is the all clear from the cardiologist and I will be back to playing. Further medical details can be shared by you the reader, emailing, texting or calling me directly.

Here are a few pictures from the back to school weekend with the boys.  Here is a Drop Box link to the entire group of pictures.

Thanks for reading,

Namaste

A distinct dislike for August..

Seems like the past few years, this being the third year in a row, that things and I just don’t get along on August. They break, get lost, break again and so on. Here are a few examples from this August.

  • My knees at the Lake Placid Tournament
  • DS3’s driver’s side window. It was a misbehaving. One child put the window down and then up. It has not worked correctly since. DS3 and I have replaced the window motor and parts. Today we replaced the window. Still the window will not stay on the track. This week before he goes back to college (hopefully) the car will go to the mechanic and see what he can do.
  • Last Tuesday was an election day here in New Jersey. We also had a tornado in our town. This is quite unheard of. My DW drove her van though a large puddle and the fan belt came off. The van got towed though the tornado zone and the fan belt replaced.
  • Saturday, DS2 re-ended a SUV on his way to work. The bumper, hood and other front end stuff are messed up The radiator was not punctured. The mechanic says that the problems are cosmetic and the car is driveable. They got the hood to close correctly.
  • Tuesday, while eating my Election Day lunch I chipped a tooth. I will be visiting the dentist soon.
  • Tonight, DS1 came out of the bathroom and asked why there is no hot water in the house. I guess I will be making that call tomorrow.
  • Friday, my laptop battery would not charge, I ordered a new battery from Amazon with Saturday delivery. By the end of the day it became apparent that the laptop was plugged into the wrong laptop cord. I now have an extra, new battery.
  • On the plus side, the student loans appear to be complete so the two younger children can go back to school.
  • The garden is between harvests. That is to say the cucumbers are about done and there are a few green tomatoes waiting for the sun.

Overwhelmed, I am. But, I will carry on. Due to my knees being bad from the tournament, yoga, lacrosse and bike riding are currently out of the question. Time for a new hobby, perhaps?

Here is a video from the storm that spawned the tornado in town. I was working the poll and went outside for some fresh air.  The person running across the parking lot was my DW. The siren in the background is the lightning siren at the ball fields adjacent to the polling place.

Enjoy!

Namaste

 

Hiding in plain sight..

Summer time and the living is easy.. Isn’t that a line from a song?  A quick Google search turns up that the song is called Summer Time by George Gershwin.  It is actually listed in Wikipedia as an   aria composed by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. The lyrics are by DuBose Heyward, the author of the novel Porgy on which the opera was based, although the song is also co-credited to Ira Gershwin by ASCAP.  Thank you to the good people at Wikipedia for the copy and paste! 

Easy? Maybe not. With the heat over the last week or so here on the East Coast of North America we have been hiding in plain sight. Indoors with the a/c running. Watering the plants and hiding from the mosquitos. I have continued my Map My Ride Tour De France challenge, riding my bike each day. I am certainly missing that hour of sleep between 5:50 am and 7:05 am that has been sacrificed to the challenge.  Five or so more days to the tour and the challenge. After that? I will probably skip a day here and there but hopefully continue to ride.

Other notable goings on here in NJ..

  • DS1 has joined the Dark Side trading in his Black Berry Curve for an iPhone 4S. The Black Berry was pretty beat up.
  • DS2 is going on vacation to the Outer Banks with his GF and her family. They are stopping here for dinner Friday night.
  • DS3 continues to work, his finger is getting better. In another week he should be able to carry on without a bandage
  • Student loans are in the works for another school year, I won’t miss the mid-July student loan stress once they are all done with college.
  • Next weekend I will be traveling to Millerton, NY for the Harlem Valley Bike Ride.  40 miles on the valley floor with “no significant elevation changes” We’ll see how that works out.
  • Looking to go to Annapolis for the Bayhawks professional lacrosse game on August 3.
  • DW took a hot yoga class Monday night. When I got home from lacrosse her face was ruby-red. I thought she had been crying, not the case. Just overheated.
  • I scored on goal during Monday night lacrosse.

We went to a car show at a local watering hole after dinner tonight. Here are a few pictures from that visit.  Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Namaste

 

Common sense?..

Gone out the window for sure.  In my best Rod Serling voice..

Consider this, you are in a restaurant. Your meal is late coming to the table and you have had a few adult beverages (maybe more than a few). You are laughing and having fun with your table companions. Suddenly, your dinner shows up! Starving , you grab your fork and start to shovel the food into your mouth without even tasting or cutting your food.

You start to choke, the food that you would not cut has gone down your wind pipe. Suddenly you are seeing stars and your face gets red and then starts to turn blue. You bang you fist on the table and try to cough, no luck. You turn to the person closest to you and you grab your neck with both hands, the international symbol for “I’m choking to death”.

Quickly your companion gets behind you, makes a fist and does the Heimlich Maneuver on you. The food becomes dislodged and your life has been saved. You immediately attempt to swallow the same piece of food without cutting it up. Results? Now the food is stuck in your esophagus and you are going to the hospital in the middle of the night to have a doctor remove (for the last time) this piece of dinner.

The moral of the story?

If you choke on your dinner and someone has to save your life, do them a favor and spit the piece of food out and try another piece. That piece of food won the battle.

Common sense?

Namaste

 PS. A true story (did not happen to me, thankfully!)

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