Tag Archives: scouting

Close Up

a coneflower and a bee - photo by O
a coneflower and a bee – photo by O

We are on the downside of summer break. We’re past the busy part of summer. We’ve been focused on the world up close and when I reflect on what we’ve done

  • I’ve finished two professional development classes. CHECK
  • O’s softball season is complete. CHECK
  • W is finished with summer football. CHECK
  • O is home from church camp. CHECK
  • W’s Eagle project is completed. CHECK
  • W is off to Philmont and hiking in the Sange de Christo Mountains of northeastern New Mexico. CHECK

The busy part of summer ended Wednesday afternoon when the train pulled out of the station; actually it ended when I finished loading the cars and pointed the car east, then north early Thursday afternoon. I could feel the muscles in my neck loosen and relax with each mile away from home.

Sure, we have work to do, there is always something to keep us busy, to keep us on our toes – we have two kids, a house, and a dog and that’s more than plenty.

B has plenty of gardening work and I have to begin thinking of the coming school year. Up close, the work is easy, it’s when I look at what I have to do from afar that it seems monumental and overwhelming. One step at a time. Continue reading Close Up

Paint and Storms

paintsignIt’s Tuesday morning and I have paint all over my hands. It’s white latex paint and I have speckles and splashes all over my fingers, fingernails, and ingrained in the lines of the heel of my right hand. I scrubbed in the sink and again, in the shower before falling asleep last night. No worries, I’ll have more paint on my hands this afternoon and maybe even tomorrow.

I’ve been painting the music room at W and O’s elementary school. We spent ten years in elementary school as a family. Our time at Wiesbrook School began in 2003 when W started kindergarten and ended in 2014 when O moved up to middle school in’14. My how time flies.

September 2004 - first a Tiger, then a Wolf, then Bear, and on to Webelo as a Cub Scout
September 2004 – first a Tiger, then a Wolf, then Bear, and on to Webelo as a Cub Scout

Actually, it’s we, not me, that’s doing the painting in the music room.

We’re back to paint the music room for W’s Eagle Scout Project. I remember the first Cub Scout meeting at the school when W joined as a first grader. He was so excited being a Cub Scout. My how he’s grown.

last Thursday at the doctor's office for his annual school physical - I saw this book and laughed!
last Thursday at the doctor’s office for his annual school physical – I saw this book and laughed!

Continue reading Paint and Storms

Memorial Day Parade

Every year we attend the Memorial Day parade as a family. Sometimes we go to the parade at home, and other times we go to the one in Versailles – our home away from home. We usually ride our bikes to the cemetery and find a spot to watch the parade as it winds to an end and the participants file into the cemetery for the official Memorial Day ceremony. This year I walked, the kids and B rode their bikes.

There are veterans, politicians, firemen, police, bands, scouts, and other community organizations that march in the parade. There are the old, middle-aged, and young. They are dressed in red, white, and blue. They carry flags, wave at the crowd, and smile. One year I marched with the cub scouts. Sometimes it’s hot, sometimes it’s cool, sometimes it’s just right, but Monday it was between too hot and just right; depending if you were in the shade or not. The parade route is a lot longer than you think, but it is nothing compared to the sacrifice our veterans have made for their country.

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

Marie Curie (1867-1934); Chemist, Physicist, Nobel Prize Winner
from Values.com – Daily Quote – May 19, 2014 Continue reading Memorial Day Parade

A New Morning

I didn’t sleep well last night. I woke at 3 and went back to sleep. A couple of hours later, Ivy was up and wanted to go outside and I stumbled to the door, clipped her tether, and opened the door. The full moon shone brightly over the lake and I could see ducks on the water in front of the cottage. I am sure it was more than the ducks that woke her but she silently inspected the yard and was at the door, wanting to come in, moments later. I went back to bed, but couldn’t get back to sleep. I grudgingly got up and took a few photos of the moon hanging over the lake. I took the photos below with my iPhone, couldn’t get the camera to take a snap, too little light. But the iPhone didn’t care.

I’ve been up ever since. Continue reading A New Morning

Midsummer’s Night Dream

canoeing with W and cousin John
canoeing with W and cousin John

Yesterday, Ivy greeted me at the bottom of the stairs when I came down. She had that look on her face that gave away where she’d been sleeping. I checked the living room chair, it was warm, and I looked at her, pointed to the chair, and looked again, sternly. She knew. I don’t think ‘my look’ is going to fix the issue, but I do believe she understood I was unhappy. I made coffee, let her out the backdoor and began the day. Yesterday morning it was sunny, warm, and muggy and Ivy and I could feel the air outside when we got the morning paper. This morning was a bit different, the weather had changed and it was cool enough to sleep with the windows open, significant benefit of living in the Midwest.  Instead of waiting for me to wake, she came upstairs to greet me at 3AM. I climbed out of bed and went downstairs with her. She wanted to go outside but at three in the morning and it being dark, very dark, I feared an encounter with a skunk – she stayed inside. I fell asleep on the couch and W woke me at 6.15 reminding me it was time to go to football camp. Ivy eagerly jumped in the backseat and rode along it’s sort of a summer tradition. She loves going for rides. When we returned the coffee was ready and it was quiet; time to read the newspaper, sip coffee, and listen to the birds call and chirp in the backyard. It is summer after all and the pace of life is slower, even at home. Last week we were up north at the cottage, where life’s pace is slow and peaceful. Continue reading Midsummer’s Night Dream

Oh, how did I get here?

daynineIt is Friday morning, almost a free day, and no camps, only quiet until everyone wakes. Sleeping in is a summer tradition, after all. Even Ivy joined in. Me, I slept until 6.30, then got up, made coffee, read the paper, and then got started on the computer. That was forty minutes ago.

I started ripping the paneling off the basement walls yesterday. It felt good, really good. We have cracks in the foundation, small ones, but small ones leak when it rains especially when it rains a lot. We learned that in April. We knew about one leaky crack, but we discovered others hidden behind the wall that soggy Thursday morning. I have a lot of work ahead, three and a half walls to go and then there is the re-build.

Between Tuesday and this morning, we’ve endured powerful storms Continue reading Oh, how did I get here?

Day 6: Chicken’s Roost


It is the sixth day of summer and it is off to a great start. I just have to keep it moving. I have 15 hours and 10 minutes of daylight today, but it’s light for a bit more. The past few days have been busy with stuff I said I would do when school was over. Now, the chickens have come home to roost.

Summer has its own schedule and as the kids have gotten older the more structured it has gotten. W is off scuba diving with the Boy Scouts at Sea Base in the Keys. I know he is having a good time, how could he not? O started basketball camp at the high school – eight days of basketball drills and instruction with the girls’ varsity team and the head coach. Next week there’s softball camp for four days and interspersed there are softball games – Wednesday, Thursday, and next Monday. Tonight I have a Boy Scout meeting and Word Press training. I’m not going to camp this year with the scouts. I will miss it. It’s a lot of fun Continue reading Day 6: Chicken’s Roost

A walk in the park

gratitude with my 'Superhero' pen
gratitude with my ‘Superhero’ pen

It rained Thursday morning, at least part of the day, when the rain ended, it left a beautiful afternoon. W and I made it to school and got all of my teacher stuff moved to my new rooms. It took only a couple of hours, having W move the boxes made it easier for me to work on the pitch, the pitch where I looked through stuff and tossed into the recycle bin. It felt good, but there is more to toss, but that will have to wait for another day.

Friday was beautiful, the kind of early summer morning when it is not quite summer and yet, still not quite spring, either – cool crisp air, bright sun, a sky so blue that it makes the green deeper and brighter. A perfect day for a walk in the park. Continue reading A walk in the park

Old toys

takeanumberI had been looking forward to last weekend for almost a month because I knew it would be a good opportunity to visit one of my favorite shopping haunts – a hobby shop. Unfortunately, circumstances foiled my scheme.

We have a railroad layout in the basement, not twenty feet from where I sit, dream, plan, write, grade, fume, and for the most part, avoid real work. I suppose I could be over at the table avoiding work instead of sitting here, but the layout has been gathering dust for the at least the past year, perhaps two, who knows, I’ve lost count. I have been lured away from my railroad by other activities – family, sports, scouts, school, and you can just about name it, whatever it was it had a higher number than railroading. Continue reading Old toys

T minus eight

Reds vs. Cubs @ 1.10, Sunday 8/12

It’s been a while, too long between my last post and today. Don’t worry, the days have counted and they are counting. Last week it was fifteen today it is eight, and counting.

W and I came home a week ago and we hit the ground running – school, errands, scouts, football, Continue reading T minus eight