Sunday, October 26, 2008


Every so often my folks will come up for a few days and camp in our yard. They do it often enough that they now have a makeshift fire circle so that they can have their campfire.
It doesn't matter what time of year it is, or whether it is warm/cold or dry/wet. I think it's one of the things dad likes best about visiting. It lets out his inner pyromaniac. Mom enjoys the flames, but Dad is the real firebug. He stayed up rather late the other night enjoying the "country quiet" and alone time. It kind of gives them both a little break. Dad doesn't have to feel like he needs to watch over Mom every minute, and Mom can relax and not be under watch. It also gives Alana and I a bit of a chance to visit without the craziness of the holidays or other things going on. So, as long as the RV is still rolling (and it's 18 years old) my folks plan to do a little camping out in our woods.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Soxtober is done

I love my Red Sox. No doubt about it. Having them lose in the seventh game of a best of seven series is almost painful. It's a little less painful because I didn't spend a boatload of money to see them go down in flames. So, I give myself one day of mourning and then face the fact that summer is gone, the season is over, and wait for spring training.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Corn Maze

There is a local farm that does a corn maze every year. This is the first time that we've managed to get to do it before they closed it and mow it down. What a great day. A little on the cool side, but that was good because we started to warm up once we got going.
The maze is so large that even though there were a lot of people there, you did not feel crowded. There is a map that leads you to hidden clues in the maze. Can't say that the map was all that helpful, but we didn't use it all the time. You can go fast or slow. There is no time limit.
We went with our friend, Jason. He's one of our buddies from Tae Kwon Do who is usually up for a last minute adventure. Each of us took turns leading the group. I think the best technique is just to run around like a crazy person. You are assigned a number and a flag so that they can keep track of who is in the maze. They also built an observation post so that you can stand up there and look out over the maze. Such a perfect New England fall day.
Alana is already making plans to go again next year. The theme of the maze changes every year.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Big and Little

This is Alana's second year participating in the local Big Brother-Big Sister program. She has been blessed by being matched with the best "big" on earth. Ji is from Korea and will be graduating this spring. The girls have plans to have visits at college after Ji settles in. What an amazing role model she is. She is in the honors program, on swim team, on crew, speaks three languages fluently, plays the flute, is a red belt in Tae Kwon Do, and is an amazingly caring young lady. Can you tell that I've really taken a shine to her? Her mom is here for a few days for Parents' Weekend. Can you imagine, flying in from Korea for only a few days? Today we spent the day together shopping and eating out. What a lovely lady. So here's a picture of the three of them when we dropped Ji and her mom off.

Music in the air

Alana has started taking flute lessons at school. So far she is being pretty good about practicing. Sometimes I think she enjoys cleaning it the most. I took the flute for years as a kid and remember hardly anything. My role is to be the audience and applaud.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Can you hear me now

AT&T and I are just not having a good relationship right now. Sure their stores are more than willing to sell their phones but if anything goes wrong with them you have to deal with a tech on an 800 number. You begin by having to go through their security checks. Sorry, the contract is not under my name but this is my phone. A couple of "checking with my supervisor" later and they finally realize that a) this really is my phone and b) I am hearing impaired and this is the phone I need to speak to you on. This leads to c) no, I do not have another phone right here that I can call you back on so that you can system check the one I am one. Plan goes to I will get the information from inside my phone and the tech will call me back on that phone. Sounds easy enough. No return phone call. My screen is totally black except for a few vertical white lines and some white smudges on the lower right corner. Can't read my address book. Can't read or send text. Okay, I'm done venting. I'll let them deal with the man with a really bad attitude who owns the contract.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pumpkin Time

Alana and her dad did the traditional picking of the pumpkin together. It has to be of a somewhat decent size and the perfect shape. Next on the agenda is to pick the design from the cheat book for making jack-o-lanterns. Actually it's a kind of cool system. You pick out the design, pin it on the pumpkin, and cut it out with the little saws. Hopefully it will survive the somewhat warmer weather that we have been having.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Life Changing

There aren't a lot of things that come along that I would describe as having unexpectedly really changed my life. Sure, there's the whole getting married, having a kid, getting a career thing, but I guess I am referring to changing how you interact with life.
Having been seriously hearing impaired my entire life and never treated correctly until I was an adult, I have a deep appreciation of what hearing aides can do for you on a daily basis. My audiologist will always laugh when I upgrade because I have such enthusiasm for the new quality of sound. That level of enthusiasm took a giant leap this year when I was fitted for the new digital Blue Tooth compatible hearing aides. People with normal hearing can never understand what it is like to only hear out of slices on each side of your head. These babies synchronize so that it is like having surround sound inside your head. So amazing. Having never been able to hear well on any phone, these now stream my cell phone directly into my hearing aides. So totally amazing! Being so profoundly hearing impaired, I have never had any kind of sound system. Kind of a waste if you know what I mean. Now I have an Ipod that I can connect to the streamer. Just so amazing!
I know, all you people with normal hearing just don't get it, but I do!
Hmmm, maybe I should get off my butt and scrap it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008 problem!

Another long day. An over-tired kid. Finally everything has settled down and check in on Alana before I head off to bed.

What you can't see is the cat at the bottom of the bed. One more will probably sneak in during the night. How no one gets crushed is beyond me. They all love the kid because she is a heat generator.

Closing the camp

Last weekend we did the seasonal closing of my parents' camp. I always seem to want to put this off because it is the reality slap that summer is totally gone. Along with the loss of summer is the wake up call that I didn't get everything done that I was supposed paint. It seems like whenever I was out there, painting just was not on my list of things to do.
That's my dad on the roof. He usually tries to get out there before me to get most of the work done. This year I actually got to clear the roof before he did.
Draining all the pipes is the cold and wet part that I have usually gotten to wimp out of.
Our friend, Travis came with us and helped my dad out (as much as anyone can help Dad). Travis has an edge because he is studying plumbing and my dad has taken a shine to him.
So, another summer is gone. The camp is closed up. All that is left to do is a couple of trips out there to rake the laves and keep the gutters cleared. All too soon I will be making the trip to rake the roof after the snow.

So I begin

So I begin the challenge of being a blogger. See, it all began with a visit to Patti's. She innocently introduced me to the world of blogging. I casually started following a few blogs. That progressed to linking to other blogs. lately I have been feeling rather left out. Help me out here, people with some advice as to how to be a creative, interesting, fun blogger.