Sunday, December 24, 2006

aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh another Christmas Eve






This year has been like none other. Our first Christmas on Thames Drive. The yard is covered with snow, no make that a few leaves. But Rachael was here with her Brandon, and Josh is moved into the spare bedroom which will be his to live in while he attends IPFW instead of Rose H. This is the first time he has lived in Fort Wayne, a very interesting situation. See here I am living back in the town I spent most of my youth in, and I was not planning on staying here when I came back in 98. Only until my kids were out of high school and off on their own.

But then life happened. I met and and fell in love with a lady named Kathy. And she showed me my home town in a way I never paid attention to before. So I became a step-daddy to Abby and Ian. Ian was already out on his own, but Abby still had another 5 1/2 years before she would be off to college. So this was a full life changing event. And now it continues with another "snowflake christmas" 10 days of Christmas for Kathy filled with a cd a day including Kareoke, which produced a wild sing-a-long and rap tonight. Plus the snowflake making contest and the Christmas Trivia Quiz. Of course there was the opening of gifts, the smoke filled florida room and the spiked peppermint ice cream. Just kidding. Maybe.

Anyway, in an hour I'll be sitting in church at a candlelight service as we celebrate the real reason for Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Another Elf!

Rach made this one for her guy!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Elf Time

First, Here's Josh

Then Tiff

How about Kathy?

And Rachael...

Abby!

And then you know who

Go Elf yourself!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Politics?



Please do not forget the individuals when talking politics. Here in Fort Wayne, there is talk about a bigger smoking ban, there is talk about who should be our next mayor, our next president, and what to do about the war. This picture should remind us that no matter what the issue, remember the people that are affected.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Past, Present and Future


As the years go by, perspectives change. Thanksgiving this year was full of memories of the past, enjoying the memories created today, and looking forward to the future.

Imagine seeing your Grandfather who died in 1936, Grandmother who died in 1986, Dad who died in 1998, and Mom who died 5 years ago on Thanksgiving eve in 2001. All on the same day as talking to your eldest daughter who is now 23, seeing my 22 year old college student son, and the "baby" now 20 and married with her husband. And there is more. Their was a phone call from son Ian, and a family dinner that included daughter Abby, Kathy, myself and Kathy's first husband Dwight, yep the 4 of us enjoying turkey and all the goodies. Brother Mike stopped by with his gal Sue, and the evening ended like a typical Thursday, Abby with her boyfriend Chris, Kathy and I waiting for Grey's Anatomy on TV. Throw in a card game, euchre of course, and talk of the future careers of Josh and Abby, and you find a very blessed family.

P.S. The visions of people who are no longer living are due to the magic of photography, and there were lot's more pictures of family that are still around, just more grown up. The picture above is of the "Baby" Tiffany. Her husband Jon said he really liked that picture.

Thank you one and all for being a part of my very blessed life.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Penn and Teller


Beware of the f word, but otherwise They are a couple of my favorites.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Veterans, one and all

As the weekend winds down, I sit in the backroom with a laptop in my, er, lap and finally take time to write.

A little while ago I was mowing by the light of the street lamps, after my wife took care of a whole lot of leaves.

Before that I was looking for some clamps to secure a tarp that Chris and Abby put over the out door porch thing that Rachael assembled for us earlier this year.

Before that I was talking to Mojo at the radio station about a music promoter that thinks we don't treat him fair, but we do.

Before that I was sorting thru papers on my desk that I had left Friday.

Before that I was sorting thru papers and files in a cubical of a former employee of mine that didn't have the ....looking for a kind word here, but there isn't any... anyway, she quit by just not showing up for work and finally after a few phone calls, she called me back to tell me, it wasn't working out. By the way, I wish her well, and I have a couple of her personal items in a box that she can have in exchange for the files on clients that she has.

Before that, I stopped by the downtown Starbucks to say Hi to my wife Kathy and her friend Kathy. I recognized the car because it used to be mine and there is a very distinct couple of words on it, "Dime on", that are there so I could slyly find my car in a big parking lot.


Before that, I was sitting at the downtown Higher Grounds Coffee shop, observing the lack of business on a Sunday afternoon, so I could compare it with the busyiness of the downtown Starbucks.

Before that, well lots of stuff, but let's go to yesterday:

Kathy and I saw the movie Flags of our Fathers. Everyone should see it. Not that everyone will like it, but you should see it anyway. A very appropiate film to see on Veterans Day. We also got a call from Rachael, the daugther that assembled the outdoor thing that I mentioned already that got covered with a tarp today for winter.

Rachael and her Brandon were at our house, wondering where we were, and we were at the downtown Starbucks, the same one Kathy and her friend Kathy were at today. So they came down to SB and joined us for a lively conversation ranging from physics to politics, to a few other things. We had a good time and I got a hug from my Rachael before we all went our own ways.

Veterans Day was designed to pay honor to our military veterans, and there is a lot more to how it came into being which you can check out here.

Without meaning to be disrespectful in anyway, I urge all of us to take stock of what we have experienced on a regular basis, to see what we are veterans of, and to use that in a positive manner as each day moves forward.

You see, as I started this entry, there are lots of things that go on in our lives that we take for granted, yet we should stop and observe and reflect. If not now, when?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Just a reminder

that this particular blog is for my personal ramblings. Go here for another one, and here for yet another one that are devoted to the other parts of my life.


Or just do whatever. But beware of the jellofreak.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saturday night

Dinner with wife and friend at Henry's and then stumbling across the internet and came across this:

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Favorite places for Joe

Try this with a good friend. Make a list of your 10 favorite coffee shops. Be prepared to explain why.

We did this a couple of days ago. I listed 19 different shops I had been to in the past 3 weeks. Some were do to taste, others due to the people, but I was surprised to see how convenience was a strong determining factor. My number one overall.
Which is where I sit right now, Yes, that is me in the second picture!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

'jever notice...

That all the shows on TV this week seem to have a scary or Halloween twist? For those of you who want something a little less scary, enjoy this cartoon...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday Night

A new week is ready to begin, are you ready?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Time for some fun!

This first one is for Kathy, my favorite (but worst) backseat driver.

Now here's one for my friend Dave, whose love of Bud is only exceeded by his music collection.

Okay here's one that I saw a long time ago, but saw it again last week in a sales seminar

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The End


I got an e-mail from my cousin Brenda that her Dad was not invincible, that he passed away at 6:15 Sunday morning. So Long Uncle Carl, we will see you again in the future!

The End


I got an e-mail from my cousin Brenda that her Dad was not invincible, that he passed away at 6:15 Sunday morning. So Long Uncle Carl, we will see you again in the future!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Another Trip to Wacky Ohio





Came to Columbus for a Lions Convention. Was looking for a cup of coffee. Found lots and lots of "drive in liquor stores". Yeah, here in the buckeye state, you don't have to be sober enough to get out of your car to buy another 6 pack, you just have to be able to maneuver your car into the drive in liquor store then off you go!

Oh yeah, the coffee. Finally did what I and Kathy did 2 weeks ago: Found a Kroger store in a nice neighborhood and sure 'nuff, there was a Starbucks next to the produce section.

And I used to think convention people were weird. Not any more so than the natives!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Monday, September 04, 2006

Now I know where I am

I glanced at the title of the last entry, and that's how I decided what to title this one.

I am sitting in our green room, also known as the Florida room. About 90 minute ago Kathy and I arrived home to a bit of activity that ended and then the house was quiet.
Seconds ago I looked in on her and she was sitting in the other room with her laptop and we both said, "Home again, home again, jiggity jig".

This Labor Day weekend was a vacation weekend for us. A lot has occurred in our lives this year, and about 5 days ago we talked about doing something special this long weekend. Finally Friday night we started planning our get away with the idea of a trip to Ohio this time. After searching on line at B and B's, I was a bit concerned due to the holiday weekend, if we would find ANYTHING!

Well Friday night we packed up some things, and Saturday I made about 3 phone calls and found a place called the Bay Haven Inn in Port Clinton, Ohio that had an opening for 2 nights! Exactly what I was looking for. Overlooking the south shore of Lake Erie, and near a few tourist destinations, and less than 3 hours away.

We finished packing and off we went with rain clouds above us all the way there and it was very windy too when we arrived. Since we had no agenda, but to relax, it could have rained the entire time and we would have been fine. Then the search began for a coffee shop. Up and down the highway we traveled, finally heading about 20 miles south to a Starbucks Kiosk sitting in the produce section of Kroger’s!

Saturday night we went to a restaurant called THE GARDEN, just about 2 blocks away and lingered 2 hours over dinner.

Sunday morning, we awoke to a cloudy sky, headed downstairs to meet the other guests at the B & B for breakfast and discovered an energetic man of 41 with his wife, 2 sons and mother were occupying the other two guest rooms. They also were from out of town, near Columbus Ohio, and they had a boat docked near by. They gave us a couple pointers on how to get to an island known as Put-in-Bay, Ohio; and after breakfast, off we went!

The weather broke (that means changed) and the Sunshine took over. With the coolness of the season and the warmth of the sun, it was a perfect day. After taking the Miller ferry to the Island, we rented a golf cart which is the most common form of transportation besides bikes and busses. We headed downtown where Kathy shopped, and ate at a great little restaurant with a lake view. We moved the table around to sit side by side and the waitress made some comment like, “well, that’s different”. Maybe we will start a new trend.



We took a walk down one of the peers where there was a young boy fishing. He was there from Michigan with his grandparents. Later we drove our golf cart to a place called the Butterfly House, where they have over 7000 butterflies flying around and they tell you how to get a butterfly to land on your finger.


Next we crossed the street to see the Crystal Cave. This is a part of a winery and it turns out you have to go on a Winery tour first, and then they take you on the Crystal Cave tour, and give you a sample of their wine. My dad would have had something to say about the whole racket they had going on, and as Kathy and I were driving home today, I came up with a way to make it a much more pleasant experience for everyone, but they’re going to have to pay me for this marketing idea!

Finally Kathy challenged me to a game of miniature golf and was ahead for the first several holes. At her suggestion, I then took my jacket off and proceeded to come back from behind and beat her. Uh, let me clarify, I won the game; I did not beat my wife, although she threatened to club me near the end.

After a trip back to the mainland from the island, we stopped and dined for a couple hours at a place called Mon Ami, and then headed back to the B and B.

Today was a relaxing drive home after breakfast and now I sit here relaxed and refreshed, thankful for the many blessings including my wife Kathy.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Do you know where you are?

I recently discovered that this blog was being linked to by another blog. This particluar blog you are reading focuses on the more personal side of my life and there is another one that is updated regularly that is focused on what I spend a majority of my waking hours doing. Here it is and feel free to comment on either one.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bike rides and family

Well, Kathy and I, (or is it me and Kathy? Don't know and don't care) along with her brother Mike took a bike ride today. I knew it was going to be a long one, but not sure how long exactly. We went to New Haven, along a new section of the river greenway that just opened up this year I believe, connecting New Haven with Fort Wayne. There is a bit of maneuvering to get to the greenway. We are about 2 1/2 miles further away than last year. When I first met Kathy she lived about 3 blocks from the greenway.

It was a fun enjoyable adventure. Nobody would admit to being tired at first. Fortunately we had a plan in mind as to where to go and have lunch so we were all on the same page the whole trip.

The trip home, we went our separate ways. But got back within 15 minutes of each other.

The memory that I had just before coming home was of my Dad and I riding in "Bike-a-thons" each year. When he was my age of 46, I was 17, so I had flashbacks of thinking, "so, this is what it must have been like for my Dad to keep up with his only son."

The other memory came to me while we were eating lunch, and thinking about the latest e-mail I got about my Uncle Carl. He had a heart attack this week and with all the other health problems he has had in the past 12 or so months, this is finally going to be the end. My Aunt's last e-mail on Thursday night:

Dear all,
Late last night Carl had a very serious heart attack. I talked to the cardiac doctors this morning. They were very honest in telling me that Carl has almost nothing left to keep his heart going. They do not know any more than I do how long it can last. He is very weak and can hardly talk at times and is in a lot of pain. We are trying to decide what our next plan should be. Carl is not going to recover and we need to concentrate on keeping him comfortable and pain free. He is still in the hospital but out of I.C.U..Since there is little they can do, it seems they are already treating him as a hospice patient. My heart is breaking and this is very difficult to write.
Love, Lorraine


I remember the last days and weeks of Carl's brother's life, my Dad and sadness comes over me. When I made it home after the bike ride I dreaded looking at e-mail, but as of right now at 4pm on Saturday, there is nothing. And at this point hearing nothing about Uncle Carl is good news.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Yesterday....






Would have been the birthday of two people who are no longer around.

Steve Howard. He was my cousin, older by a few years, the only son of Uncle Carl. I'm not really sure what year it was that he died, except it was too young. Traffic accident. He was back from college for Christmas break and as he was returning to the neighborhood that his parents and sister lived in his car slid off the road. They lived in Carmel Indiana at the time, about 2 hours from us. I was a teen at the time and this was the first funeral of someone that I remember going to. I could hardly stay awake, not from tiredness, but it was my bodys way of dealing with grief.

Now the reason I know when Steve's birthday was is due to something my Mom shared with me a few years ago: She and Steve were born on the same day (many years apart). So she would send a note, I believe to my Aunt and Uncle in rememberence of Steve on her birthday which was August 15, 1933. She stopped having birthdays on Thanksgiving 2001, but that's another story. In the meantime, remember it is always someones birthday, send a card!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Finally!

The first and last house I thought I would buy is now sold! (yes we have a new place, been here since Easter) In 30 days our Blackhawk days will be but a memory, like the many other places I have been in the past.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Not really anything to say, but

just needed a break from work.

So here is some randomnesssssss:

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy takes out his phone and calls the emergency services.

He gasps: "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says: "Calm down, I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a gunshot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: "OK, now what?"



Wednesday, June 21, 2006

GOING WITH THE FLOW


Sometimes it seems like there have been so many changes involving Rachael, Josh, Tiff (and now Jon!) Kathy, Michael, and myself, that I have to remind myself that this IS Life, full of change, not stagnant, but of changes, ever flowing.

It is the difference between the Dead Sea which dried up due to a lack of flow, and a rushing river that has sparkling water, yes my life has changed a lot in the past 4 years, and that’s what makes it exciting to be alive.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Friday, June 09, 2006

Monday, May 29, 2006

Always, yes always have sparklers available


'cause you never know when you'll need to celebrate.

This week we lit them to celebrate Rachael's new job... but please remember, safety first...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Just in case you were wondering


No, I don't have a cat carrier like this for my cats......yet



hmmmmm

Sunday, May 21, 2006

How Much Junk Can A 46 Year Old Accumulate?

Quick answer?

As much as there is room for. and NO, that is not my pile...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Word's found on the web today

An Old Farmer's Advice:
>
> Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
>
> Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
>
> Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
>
> A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
>
> Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.
>
> Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
>
> Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
>
> Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
>
> It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
>
> You cannot unsay a cruel word.
>
> Every path has a few puddles.
>
> When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
>
> The best sermons are lived, not preached.
>
> Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway.
>
> Don't judge folks by their relatives.
>
> Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
>
> Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
>
> Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none.
>
> Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
>
> If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
>
> Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
>
> The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.
>
> Always drink upstream from the herd.
>
> Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
>
> Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
>
> If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
>
> Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
this is an audio post - click to play