Thoughts and assorted philosophical musing about: Family, Friends, Fun, Hobbies, & other everyday things.
My continuing efforts to serve as a First Sergeant (Top) in the Army of God.
My latest interest is in Letterboxing.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cat got your tongue?

When I would sit a spell with nothing to say my Uncle Hal could always be expected to quip "What's a matta? - Cat got your tongue?" Well it has been nearly two weeks since I have done any whining here. Wow - so much has gone on! Fathers Day was great as nearby family members came by and fixed up a nice meal on Sunday. Plus my eldest son arranged for the delivery of two huge prime beef porterhouse steaks from a local gourmet butchers shop which we had on Saturday. A few nice shirts were thrown in as well. My youngest son gave me a certificate for a meal at a downtown steakhouse. I made out pretty well.

Last week was spent going several directions at once. We are trying to finish up remodeling our family room which has turned into a real project. My wife and kids planted my vegetable garden and her flowers. But the big project was Donna's retirement party.

The vast majority of the planning and preparation was done by our daughter Ellisa. After a date which was satisfactory for the whole family was selected and agreed upon, I was tasked with finding a place. It was difficult with such short notice this time of year. But I got luck as our neighboring town just finished renovating their old town hall to use as a party center. It was available, inexpensive, and nice. Then Ellisa took over like a professional event planner. She designed the invitations, worked up the mailing list, did the mailings, took RSVPs, planned the activities, and assembled everything needed. She coordinated with her brother Loren, who is a Chef and Dining Service Consultant, to select the menu items and to have them prepared.









The food trays (vegees, fruit, sandwichs, and cheeses) were catered by Kendal of Oberlin and the cake was a fantastic Casada creation by Fragapane Bakeries. I set up a Chocolate fountain, Ellisa made a tortilla dip, and we prepared cocktail weenies in a spicy hot sauce using an old recipe Donna's sister gave us years ago. The perfect organizer Ellisa put her three brothers, as well as anyone arriving early, to work getting all things ready. All of our four children and their families were able to get here. It was a great party.

We have been so busy that many normal tasks have gone undone recently. This week we are trying to catch up on things like doctors appointments and long postponed household tasks before we leave Friday on a seven day vacation.

I have had a letterbox reported as missing. That is really very disappointing to me. I do have two more in various stages of production which I will hopefully be able to put out soon. Also there are several new boxes nearby which I need to collect. While on vacation I hope to locate some of the 30 plus boxes that are listed within 10 mile of the Hocking Hills area that we will be visiting.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Letterbox A-comin'

I was reflecting on our season here on Ohio's North coast. School is already out for the summer, but the uncertain and often cool weather keeps us from getting launched into the full summer mode? This 'tween period, past spring but not yet summer, is pleasant and hopeful. Our summers revolve around warm weather activities, and it is not yet reliable warm. Back yard pools are still too cool for more than a quick dip. So what did we do when the kids were growing up. Things that come to mind are bike rides, trips to the zoo, ball games, planting flowers and a vegetable garden, playing in the sandbox, and a good standby was always going to the library. I am sure that I have missed something that my offspring will remind me of.

Oh my gosh! I feel a letterbox a-comin'. I still have "Dixie", a Mother's Day letterbox, out in my seasonal cache, but I think that reflecting on this has given me inspiration to get a new mid-season box out. I also have another Berea box to complete and plant. I guess I better stop playing here and get to work.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Trees, Water, and Bugs

We have had some unusually cold nights recently. Upon awaking on one cold morning the view out the window looked something like this. My first thought was that it had snowed overnight. Then I realized the it was not snow, rather that the cottonwood trees were releasing there seed into the world. It is remarkable how these tall and stately water loving trees grow from such tiny delicate powdery seeds. There has not been as much of this "snow" floating around this year as we are accustom to seeing. Perhaps the late frost we had reduced the production. It seems that this offering of fluff tends to occur at about the time that the water in backyard pools is warming up to the point that folks are trying to get them ready to use. I recall that during the many years we maintained one it was a routine nuisance cleaning it out of the filters and skimmers.

That pool was the center of our summertime activities as our four children were growing up. We took great pleasure in the time we had with them each summer and playing in that pool as a family was one of our favorite activities. They would often invite there friends over for a swim at the drop of a hat. We seldom had to wonder where they were or who there friends were. Much of our summer fun was centered around water. Of course there was playing in the sprinkler or in the rain, going to the beach, fishing, squirt guns, and yes even watching the rain run down the windows or even just laying on the grass and looking up at the clouds.

I have also noticed that the fireflies are out now, a sure sign that summer is beginning in the Midwest. Your children are missing an integral part of life unless they have gone to bed at night with a firefly lantern shining in the corner of their room. We always used a jar, and a lid with some holes poked into it, threw in a few small sticks for them to climb on, then went out a caught them and put them in the jar. If you plan to use these lanterns often you can now buy them or they can be made from screen wire. The June bugs are also out, and I expect to be seeing ladybugs soon.

I am making an extra effort to really enjoy this summer more than any other in the recent past.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Humpty Dumpty fell in the Hall

Wow yesterday was NOT a good day. Around 4 Sunday Morning I woke up feeling chilled, then decided to get up and close the window. That done a quick visit to the WC seemed in order. I was about ten steps into the trip when suddenly my legs collapsed from underneath me, leaving me to fall face first, kissing the floor, and feeling like Humpty Dumpty. That is not a good way to start the day. I had a similar episode a few months ago. Fortunately It could have been worse, the thud when I hit the floor shook the whole house. Soon family gathered around to show concern and no serious damage was done either time.

Now of course I wonder when it will happen again. The scariest part for me is that I do not remember any dizziness or any other warning signs. I talked to the doctor, but we really do not have enough information to come to any conclusion. When I go out I have tried to preserve what is left of my ability to get around on me own by not using a mobility scooter for shorter trips. However, I do not want to find myself falling on my face while doing something like walking in the woods letterboxing. I am afraid that I have now become even more reliant on my little scooter. I am not yet ready to use a walker every place that I go.

Every cloud has a silver lining. I guess that I will have to become more skilled at popping wheelies on my little scooter. There is a certain perverse pleasure which can be derived from terrorizing pedestrians at the market that way.

Another plus is that while riding one you always have a place to sit. I guess that I will be planting more letterboxes along multipurpose trails in the local parks. Do you think that all of those letterboxing mom's pushing their strollers will find an old man on a scooter hot?