Thanksgiving 2013..

Happy Thanksgiving 2013 to all. Yes, I am a little late posting.  We spent Thanksgiving Day at my wife’s mothers house again this year. Dinner was homemade manicotti, deep-fried turkey and many desserts. There also was the usual stuffing, sweat potatoes, salad and such.  I fried two turkeys Thanksgiving week.  One at the MIL’s house and one at work.

Wednesday at work my job was to cook the turkey. I did a little actual work related work, but cooking the turkey was certainly job one. I will add a few pictures of the finished turkey at the bottom of this page.  All three of the boys were in attendance at dinner. Saturday DS1 went back to his apartment and DS3 drove out to LI to visit his girlfriend. DS2 went back to Scranton Sunday morning.

The college boys have about two more weeks and then the fall semester is over.

We did reach a milestone this past weekend. I wrote my second of three (possible) graduation expense checks. DS1 did not attend graduation, but we had to pay the fee in order for him to get his diploma. DS2 is scheduled to graduate on Mother Day 2014.   There is one more possible graduation fee check to written next December. How the time flies!



Funeral Saturday..

That title should discourage just about everyone from reading.  Saturday morning was the funeral for the Wheeling Jesuit University lacrosse player that was murdered in a fight after a night at the local bar near the college campus. Some of the details were discussed in the prior blog posting entitled Death of a Lacrosse Player.  As simple Google search will provide more information.

To say the morning was emotional would be an understatement. I took away a few lasting memories from the funeral and the repast. The president of the university said the funeral mass. He knew the player that had died and had spent most of the previous week with the family. He was very distressed by the events of the last week. Not as an educator and the president of the university, but as a human being that had lived through the tragedy.

The lacrosse community is a family. A small family with egos and such. Saturday was about celebrating the life of one of our own.  I hope to never be the parent at one of these services. 

The night before (Friday night) four of DS1’s college teammates came to our house for the night. They traveled from Ohio, Pittsburgh and Boston. These young men enjoyed an evening of a roaring fire, some beer and whisky and fellowship.  Saturday morning they were all up, showered and dressed and at the funeral (two hours away) on time. 

One picture tonight. This was sent to me by DS1. It was taken towards the end to the repast.



Death of a lacrosse player..

Saturday morning, like the 1:30 am last call from Friday night, Saturday morning, one of the player’s from DS1 college lacrosse team was attacked and killed. As the weekend and now this week have passed, reading the news reports, that local police along with other law enforcement officers arrested two young men and have charged them with the murder. The current newspaper story says that the suspects admitted to the fight and kicking one of the players while he was on the ground.  It would appear from reading the news accounts that words were exchanged and alcohol was involved.

What a shame. We (my DW and I) know the player’s parents. We will be traveling to the wake and funeral on Saturday.

Here are some links to the story in the local media. I can say that my oldest child (DS1) made that walk home from the bar many a night. We feel quite fortunate that we never got that late night phone call..

Click here for newspaper story


Click here of funeral notice and information


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!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2012 in review or Happy New Years!

First off, to those that have read and visited my blog, THANK YOU!  Yes, I’m shouting. 

Below is the end of the year report that detail where you are all from, how many times you visited, or if you have been naughty or nice.


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 10,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 17 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Two posts in one day, what’s with that..

Today in the mail DS1 got his official diploma from Wheeling Jesuit University. WOW!

There you go.  We were wondering if they were ever going to send his diploma. He played four years of DII lacrosse starting all four years. He went back for a fifth year, one semester to take care of a few classes he missed during the four years. Then in November of 2011 they discovered another class that needed to be passed so he could graduate. He took that class at the local community college this spring. He passed the course and sent his transcript to WJU.  Today, they sent the diploma.


In 24 hours we sat in the rain listening to steel drums, drove through a huge thunderstorm to rescue DS3 who beat up his car, rescued the car from the impound lot unscathed, DS3 started a new job this morning and DS1 is officially a college graduate. Me, I’m emotionally exhausted. We are going out to celebrate! And we have lots to celebrate. Tomorrow is another day.

Here are pictures of DS1 with his diploma.  Enjoy! Really enjoy!


Day 315, Four days until..

Family note: Boys (even though your are men), Mother’s Day is in four days. Don’t be a slacker and wait for the last-minute.  Enough said.

We finally had a decent day of rain here in New Jersey. Maybe knowing that the rain was coming is why I slept in until my DW woke me at 7 am. Some days I am up early on my own. Not this morning. The past few mornings I have been getting up early to water the garden and the new grass that we are trying to grow. So far, so good. As you can imagine the GSP was a mess in Brick today because of the rain. 

The following rant may be familiar if you are a consistent reader. Each day while driving to work I turn the radio from Sirius to a local station for news, weather and traffic at 8 am. After a healthy dose of commercials and the news, I go back to Sirius for the rest of the drive.  The traffic follows the weather which follows the state/local news. The traffic is the real reason that I listen. Why,I keep asking myself?  The traffic person talks about Rote 9 being heavy and some other minor stuff. Advising us to “slow down” due to the rain. Aren’t we smart enough to figure that out? And will I slow down because some faceless person on the radio suggested that I should? Obviously the answer to both questions is NO.  We are not smart enough and I won’t slow down if you suggest it.

After the traffic report the morning DJ’s go back to quacking, I go back to Radio Margarittaville. In no more than two minutes I am stopped in traffic. This phantom traffic jam lasts for nearly ten miles and takes 45 minutes to traverse. In the end I am 30 minutes late for work, but no one really cares. How could the traffic people at that radio station not know about the ten-mile long traffic jam? Maybe they need better sources. Something. So, the traffic reports on WOBM FM in Ocean County, NJ are a waste of time. Will I listen again tomorrow? For sure.  I’m crazy!  End rant..

I obviously worked from the office today. I ate at my desk due to the rainy weather. My morning was busy, the afternoon, not so much. The company is working towards completing a software re-write so I started working on training documentation today.  When I get tasked with upgrading people from one version to another the first question is what has changed? In this case, quite a bit. And the company I work for is notoriously bad at documenting things.  My DW was in charge again today. Her manager is on vacation so the nurses are sharing (right) the responsibility of managing the unit. They get extra pay for taking the job.  She was home again at a decent time. She unfortunately is on call all day on Mother’s Day.

DS1 went to work today. It appears that classes are over at the community college. I guess once the grades are in and he sends the transcript to WJU, he will be a college graduate. He told his current boss that classes run for another week. Hmm, must not need the money. Oh, he has rich parents, so he doesn’t.  DS2 sent a quick text about his amazing internet speeds now that most of the students have gone home for the summer. He will be home Sunday evening.  DS3, must be getting close to finals week. He was quiet again today.

Tonight’s pictures are of my office. This was today’s lunch time view.  Also an older picture for DS3.  Enjoy!




Day 241, A Sports Center Morning..

Not for me or my DW. It was a Sports Center morning for DS1. I guess some history is in order to understand the title. STORY ALERT!   Our oldest son is finishing up his college degree as you probably have figured out from following this blog. He attended Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virgina for four and a half years.  He started for the men’s lacrosse team for all four of those years.  The jury is still out whether this was the right school for him or not. I guess at this point with 20/20 hindsight we should be able to form an opinion. But in the end, the deed is done, so just get on with your life, already.

The trail to playing lacrosse in college took my son and I through most of the states from Maryland to Massachusetts.. He played on a tournament team for two summers. Each weekend from late June until mid August for those two years he and I would be somewhere in the North East. The idea was that he would play in 3 to 5 games a weekend before college coaches in the hopes of being recruited and receiving a scholarship to play at their school. The long and the short of scholarships is that the schools give out more money for good grades than they ever give out for sports. Encourage your children to get good grades. The colleges will chase them.

When we traveled DS1 and I would share a hotel room. We certainly did not have the money to provide each of us with our own room. I would get up and shower, maybe go the lobby for breakfast and he would still be in bed. Looking at the time, knowing when his next game was,  gave me a clue as to when to turn on Sports Center. When I needed him up and out of bed I would put Sports Center on and he would open his eyes and pay attention. Then maybe 15 or 20 minutes later he would get up and shower and the day would start. This was the pattern for those two years. It still is an inside joke between my DW and I.

Last night he worked until 8 pm. He came in after we returned from our date night dinner. He went out with a few of the girls that he graduated with. Our constant admonishment is “Don’t drink and drive!”. We went to bed around 11 and he was not home. For DS1 and his friends, the night had probably just started. I got up at 4:30 and looked out and did not see his truck. I figured that he slept over at a friend’s house. I checked my cell, no text. Not the best sign. At 7:30 this morning I hear him moving around. I looked out, the truck was still not there. Ok, someone drove him home. Around 10 :30 am he got up, got a bottle of water and stumbled into the tv room to watch, Sports Center. I looked at my DW and said “It’s a Sports Center morning”. She just smiled.

That was just a peek into the life of a 23-year-old child. I hope you enjoyed. Today’s pictures comes from DS1’s lacrosse days.  This game was played in the rain, March 28, 2010 against Mercy College in Wheeling Island Stadium, Wheeling, WV. Enjoy



Candles and holiday 168 lights..

Writing every night is a funny thing. From the reader’s point of view, the delivery is relatively seamless. The email or the Facebook/Twitter post alerts you that there is something new to read. Then if the title and the first sentences catch you, you might read further.  Or, at least this is how I approach reading somebody else’s blog. I might even scan the length of the blog to determine if I have the patience to read it. Pretty crazy criteria. It’s any wonder that this blog ever gets read. But then I always critique my own blog for readability. I probably have lost 90 % of the potential readers at this point.  Sometimes the opening drags (today) or other days like yesterday, they seem to write themselves.

Last night was a late night for me. I sat down to watch tv and got sucked into a movie on HBO. By the time the movie ended it was 11:30. I went to bed and could not sleep. I was listening for DS2 who was working off the anesthesia from his surgery earlier in the day. Every noise had me listening, hoping for the best. We had to get up early due to a 7:20 am post operative appointment at the doctor’s office. It is an hour each way to the doctor’s office. We use this doctor because the insurance will accept him. And, he wrote a manual for other doctors while he worked at Wills Eye in Philadelphia. If you need special eye work done, Wills is the best in the world. If he was good enough to write a manual for them, he is good enough for my son. Needless to say, I am both tried and stressed tonight.

The doctor was pleased with the surgery this morning. He said that DS2 needs to lie on his left side and keep his head lower than his shoulders for the next six days.  The more compliant his is with these instructions, the better his chances for a full recovery are. We will be back there Saturday for another appointment. My DW returns to work tomorrow. I will work from home for the rest of the week.

DS1 arrived home this afternoon. As written previously, he has completed his course work at Wheeling Jesuit University. He is one 200 level economics course short (don’t ask) for his degree. The university has agreed to allow him to take this course at the local community college.  He will be traveling to Scranton Saturday morning to get DS3. DS3 had two finals today. He said they both went well.

I cleaned the filters in the hot tub this afternoon and may try to convince my DW to join me for a dip. DS1 is out with his friends. DS2 is in his room, resting on his inclined bed. DS3, not sure, goofing off tonight I guess. He has nothing going on until his last final on Saturday morning.

Tonight’s picture coms from DS2’s Winter Concert this past Saturday night at Marywood. Enjoy!


DS2 in concert attire


Route 166 post ..

If you are a christian, chances are that you decorate your home for Christmas. I guess the non – christians decorate differently for different “holidays” during this time of year. And most of us will celebrate New Years on December 31.  As you drive through your neighborhood you will see various decorating efforts. Some as you probably already know will be  elaborate and are a destination during the Christmas season. Our house is more on the some lights side than the jumbo lights side.

Indoors the tree is not up yet. Tonight my DW and DS2 put together the “Christmas Village”. My wife likes the miniature buildings. Each year she gets one or two new ones. Here is a picture

Christmas Village

of the current collection.

Another neat tradition in our home is the Christmas calendar. This one has animals on it. What happens is that the animals start out in pockets and for each day a different animal gets moved from the pocket that has the number of that day. When all the animals are out on the calendar, it is Christmas. Or, you could have them all start out on the field and then add them to the pockets for each day. For years DS2 has been one of the first people up in the morning. He has a method to where each animal goes.  Here is a picture 

Christmas decorations

of the calendar. It hangs below the stockings on the closet door in the livingroom.

My siblings will recognise the stockings. When we were children my mother knew a women in Scranton that knitted these stockings. Each of the children had a stocking with their name on it. When our children were born, my mother had this women make stockings for all three boys. Sadly I heard that she died several years ago.

Tomorrow is surgery day for DS2. He will have his right eye worked on again. Hopefully this will solve the problem permanently. He is home from school for the year. DS1 is done at his school probably forever. He called to say that he took his final exam at Wheeling Jesuit University. He headed east around 7 pm this evening. He texted a few minutes ago that he had made it to Allentown, PA where is girlfriend lives.  DS3, finals start for him tomorrow. Tonight was/is a big study night.  I am heading off to bed, tomorrow will be a stressful day.



Previous Older Entries