Dodgecars, Racecars, & License to BS

  Let’s see how we might cram several months worth of life into a several paragraph blog. Let’s see - since Disney…. Well, it was a pretty busy summer. We’ll start with the fun stuff.
  Jackson is really into snakes and cars. Cars before bedtime. Snakes at bedtime. “Playing cars” takes a lot of creative license in name. This game should be played with pads & helmet. It consists of Jackson at one end of the entryway and his playmate on the other end. Then, the “full contact” car game ensues: from a straight lineup, in order of increasing coolness - excuse me - “awesomeness”, the cars are hurled top speed across the floor so they can either crash into something, or, if you’re really lucky, it’ll hit the baseboard where the carpet stops and will then take a 5-30 foot airborne path until it hits its next obstacle. Each (and every) car that is launched requires proper validation that it was, indeed, “awesome.” “Was that awesome Daddy?” has but one correct answer: “That was totally awesome Jackson.” Do not deviate from the script, or you will be reprimanded. Consider yourself educated on the matter.
  Celeste has started back to second grade. Her teacher is Ms. Frost, and Celeste isn’t particularly amused by questions pertaining to whether or not Ms. Frost is related to “Jack Frost” - who is a character in her fairy books she is reading. Evidently the parent dorkiness starts getting called out in second grade. We’re not fully dorky yet, but situationally - for sure. She has also started karate, and has earned her first red stripe. She’s pretty proud of the fact that she can take down boys about 50% bigger than she is. Most of this power is attributable to her talents as a fairy - as is any given natural circumstance that we may be commenting on, such as presence or absence of rain, wind, sun, or the temperature. Her current favorite pastime is pushing Jackson’s buttons and playing the martyr when she is called out for her heinous crimes against humanity. Oh, woe is me!
  As for me, this was one of the busiest summers I’ve had in a long time. I completed a quality improvement course for the hospital, was awarded a grant from the AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), went to Germany and drove a racecar (I didn’t wreck, but Sunny - the guy who invited me to Germany and had spent months practicing the Nurburgring racetrack on the Xbox… can’t say the same for him. Sorry Sunny.) I also got to experience Oktoberfest in Munich - very cool. Finally, the crowning achievement of the summer is that after 10 long years, I have finally fulfilled the requirements for a PhD in Health Informatics!!! Yeah!
  As November approaches, we’re looking forward to the annual hayride and to some holiday peace & quiet, and football - even though the Longhorns aren’t all that “awesome” at the moment.
  –Curt

Disney & Stuff

  So, we took the kids to Disney World. That’s the short version. For interesting anecdotes, read further. Otherwise, skip to the next paragraph. If you’ve been to Disney World, then you probably have stories of your own. If not… well, Disney World is basically a “business trip” for parents and consists of twice daily episodes of what could reasonably be described as child abuse: wake up the kids, get ‘em really really excited about the whole “Disney” thing, then stimulate the hell out of ‘em for about 4 hours: sights, sounds, smells, taste & probably touch too. Run ‘em all over the park, and COMPLETELY exhaust their batteries. By this time (noon to the rest of the world), the children have been metamorphosed into cranky, whiny, utterly dehydrated and malnourished remnants of what used to be your children. It’s nap time. So, you haul ‘em back to the hotel, charge their batteries for a couple of hours, and repeat. This is done daily for 5 days. Given that none of us died on the trip, I’ll assume it made us stronger.
  In all seriousness though, we really did have a great time. Before leaving, I was convinced that Trlica was crazy for two reasons: 1) We spent 5 days… she never volunteers to vacation for more than 4, and 5 was her idea: crazy; & 2) She memorized a book that’s about twice as big as the Bible before we left. She understands the process of getting a dinner with a Princess… all 4 pages of the process, including the part where you cut off the operator you dial very first thing in the morning and tell her the “phrase that pays” in order to get the dinner booked before someone else does. The kids loved it thoroughly (except for the whining times of course). Princesses, Fairies, Rides, Snacks, Characters, Music, Shows, Food, Souvenirs - there’s just SO MUCH TO DO!!!! Celeste’s favorite parts: Meeting the Fairies and Princesses, and riding the “Big Rides” that Jackson couldn’t ride. Jackson’s favorite parts: Spaceship Earth at Epcot (they both loved this ride way beyond what we would have ever dreamed they would… mostly because it had a touchscreen monitor you could interact with and they got a kick out of seeing themselves on it at the end of the ride), and (finally towards the end) seeing the characters like Winnie the Pooh and Pluto… got his hat signed by Pluto! Jackson’s least favorite part: The “fresh” smell of the Polynesian hotel where we stayed. I quote: “It smells H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E!!!!
  From the adult perspective - even though you “do it” for the kids… deep down you have a great time too. Watching the kids get jazzed about it all is a ride of its own. Plus, a lot of the rides are really pretty cool. Trlica saved us loads of time by being the organizer - learned all about fast passes, crowd psychology, and even had a computer application that mapped out the itinerary minute-by-minute for each day we were there. (We didn’t really follow it “strictly” per se, but it was a good reference for us all the same.) It’s overwhelming to think that one man was responsible for dreaming that place up. Really awe inspiring.
  Personally, though, the crowning touch of the trip was our visit to “The Land” at Epcot. They have the most outrageous greenhouse that is hydroponics based. The size and health of the vegetation they had in this thing was nothing less than phenomenal. Standard papayas the size of Mexican papayas; a tomato “tree” that was basically a really really healthy tomato plant that was able to produce hundreds of pounds of tomatoes because of the way they had it set up; and lots of “vine fruits” that were suspended from trellises several feet above the ground. I was so impressed by this setup that I have built my own test-bed aeroponic system in the house (aeroponics is like hydroponics, except that the roots are sprayed with nutrient rather than drenched). We’re starting easy with some greens, but man… I want one of those tomato trees bad! It was really cool.
  Before I close, I’ll go ahead and update on the garden here at home: GREAT YEAR so far! We had close to 5 gallons of blackberries come off this first year of production. Next year will probably be closer to 25 gallons… we’ll need a deep freezer. The berries were luscious and sweet, and about the size of my thumb. We also got a quart or two of blueberries. I was hoping for a little more, but I was happy to have any after the awful winter we had. The plants themselves are thriving, so I’m happy. We also tilled an area by the blackberries to plant corn, onion, sweet potato, cantaloupes, and watermelons — it worked out fantastically. We had about 6 ears of corn tonight for dinner, and there’s another dozen or two ears ready to pick. We’ve got about 10 cantaloupes and 5 watermelons that are coming along - and maybe a few more on the way. Not sure how the onions and sweet potatoes are doing, but the plant part looks good. Rest of the trees at the property are doing fine - we did lose one of the banana trees for sure, but the other two are coming back strong.
  All in all - having a great summer so far. Hope you are too. ….CK

Singing Prayers

    Spring is upon us and isn’t it wonderful!?! A lot has happened since our last post. First, we spent Spring Break in Park City with my parents. It was the first “big vacation” we’ve taken with my folks, and it was awesome. The kids did the ski school thing: Celeste went on the big mountain and “hot-dogged” it to the point that I was getting nervous that she was going to have a major wipe out. She maintains that she was in control, but I’m not so sure…. We were nervous about Jackson being mature enough to separate from us and participate in lessons. Puh-lease. Littleman put his skis on and went straight to work. Mastered the magic carpet on day 1 and ended up skiing the “big” mountain on his second day. I was just a little proud of the boy… just a little.
    Tra celebrated her 40th birthday. Wayne & Lanette (her folks) came in from Grand Prairie for the event, so it was pretty special to have them here. Plus, they were great babysitters while we went out and had sushi and champagne! (Tasted better than it sounds… or maybe we just had enough so we thought it tasted OK?) So, she may be an old fart now, but I’m still kinda into her. *wink*
    Jackson turned 4. Superfriends theme party at Incredible Pizza (think “Chucky Cheese” meets “Putt Putt”). Favorite ride: crashing into things on the driving simulators - without daddy providing any directional support.
    My research has been going quite well… generating some models for cardiac arrest prediction in the pediatric intensive care unit. For those of you that care… area under the ROC curve is 98+%. Way better than I expected. I presented a lecture on it for the research symposium at The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences. They webcasted it, so I guess I’m famous now! (If you have an hour to blow, check it out: http://webcast.shis.uth.tmc.edu/20100414-114436-1/msh.htm) I have loads of publications queued up at this point and should have a very productive year! Also, I’m expecting to finish my PhD in informatics this summer. (Yeah, it’s about time… been working towards it for over a decade!)
    Gardening: good & bad. Bad: lost all the citrus on the property, save one branch of satsuma that may be able to turn into a tree, but it’s too early to tell. Two other satsumas and a huge lemon tree (bush really) bit the dust. Probably just as painful is that the freeze took three beautiful trees that one of my friends from work gave me (orchid tree and 2 jacaranda trees). The papaya trees died. Also lost one of the bananas, but I’m OK with that since the other two decided to survive (wasn’t expecting that). Good: we’ve got blackberries coming out of our ears - 5 gallons easily. We also prepared about 600 square feet of gardening bed on the property and have about 40 feet of corn, 30 feet of onion, 15 feet of sweet potato, and 50 feet of melons planted. We moved our home garden to a potted garden with a rock bed underneath… that was an awesome move.
    The car: it’s been in Austin for over a month now. Always remember: “the enemy of good is better.” I had the guys rework the accelerator circuit because it was only sending about 65% throttle signal to the controller at full throttle. Well - fixing that has turned into an adventure that has taken the car for another trip back to Austin. Hopefully it will be back in awesome working order sometime this year. (Yes, that’s sarcasm… but only a little.)
    To close - prayers. Celeste & Jackson both have taken to “singing” their prayers good night rather than merely reciting them. It’s amazing how the power of prayer can overcome such a strong genetic tone-deafness: it’s beautiful to hear them singing. Precious, precious stuff.

CK

10 Stitches

No blogging for months, and now plenty to blog about!

So, I’m coming home from work yesterday, and as I approach the door, I hear some really loud screaming coming from inside the house. As I prepare for the verbal-”tongue-lashing”-discipline I’m fixing to have to lay down, I open the door.

Trlica is sitting in the floor at the bottom of the stairs with Jackson in her lap. Eyes as big as tennis balls. She commands I come to her RIGHT NOW. Suddenly, my tongue-lashing plan starts to waver. I walk to her, and as I approach, I see her hand, covered in blood, and Jackson’s head, covered in blood.

I freaked. (But don’t tell my family that.)

Visions of skull fractures and brain damage are racing through my mind as I ask what happened. Thankfully, he hadn’t fallen off the stairs. Instead, he was jacking around with Celeste, and (probably) ran into a table and filleted open his right ear. Musta hit an artery for all the blood that was there. When I see that it’s his ear lobe and not coming from the ear canal, my coronaries opened up again and let my heart have some oxygen.

After talking it over with Mike D (who is now more than ever our good ER friend, since we see him more than our pediatrician these days), we take Jackson in to TCH for an evaluation.

10 stitches. Crying about the injury: 10/10. Crying about the concept of going to the emergency room: 6/10. Crying about the IV they placed for his sedation: 1/10. Crying about the prospect of taking off his shirt so it doesn’t get dirty when they start to fix his ear: 8/10. Crying about the pulse oximeter probe on his finger and the stickers on his chest so he can be monitored during his ketamine trip: 7/10. (By the way, he was sutured up in Room 17 - the very first room I ever used ketamine in… that’s kinda cool.) Number of times he asked to have the pulse oximeter and IV taken out after it was all said & done: between 150 and 900.

I’ve posted some pictures of the ear for you sickos who like the gore. Thanks to my wonderful wife Trlica, who recommended WD-40 to remove the sticky residue from his chest and hand (recommended as a joke). …it worked great! (NOTE: This is not a professional recommendation - attempt at your own risk.)

CK

Scratch my back & rub it

Forgot to post in the last note… Jackson has picked up a genetic (from his mom) addiction to his back being scratched. Whenever he’s sleepy or in need of affection, he comes over, raises his shirt, turns around, and commands: “scratch my back and rub it.” His mom has been doing this for years. Next, he’ll develop the ability to not hear anything that’s being said to him (a genetic trait from his father)… oh, no, wait… he already has that too!

Checked the trees on the property last weekend, and it’s not good. Pretty sure ALL of our citrus is dead. That really blows chunks. We’re gonna get some big pots and baby some citrus trees at this point. Very frustrating. :(

Short note today. CK

Free Time

  It’s been a few months since the last post and I figured I’d drop a note in here to keep the story rolling. Our last post being in October, I guess we have a little bit to report here.
  First off, we had our annual hay ride in the first week of November. This was the best one so far, since everyone was out at the property rather than basing out of the house. We set up a couple of 4×6′ plywood tables and had a buffet of barbecue & pot-luck for everyone to enjoy. Worked out really well. The hayride itself was plus/minus… the plus was that we had a new piece of land to drive on, which made the ride a little bit more fun. The minus was that Jackson decided to stand up on the front of the trailer and took a header (quite literally) onto the tongue of the trailer. Quite the bruise, but fortunately, he’s got a skull that’s about a foot thick so he ended up being OK.
  We had Thanksgiving and Christmas with our extended families, which was nice as always. We even had a fairly big snow storm in there, and the kids got to build a snowman… perfect snow for doing that! While the snowman was fun to make, it did require a little cosmetic adjustment after building, because evidently, dog poop rolls right up into a snowball. Yup. Awesome. Still, a little fresh snow on the outside, and nobody was the wiser.
  Celeste is doing well in school. She has achieved “independent reader” status and is reading 10-15 pages per night with plenty of big words. She is also enjoying the Zoo Tycoon game that she got for Christmas on her new notebook. Her favorite activity in Zoo Tycoon: releasing the lions from their cage and letting them feast on the park guests. I’m thinking that her next game will be Lawsuit Tycoon. Either that, or Second Life… she’s in “Love” with a boy named Johnathan right now… ever since they kissed during a dinner party we hosted back in November. We’re getting questions like “When we get married, do I have to buy a ring?”… not really the kind of talk a dad wants to hear from his daughter. Ever. Especially at 6. Gimme a break girl!
  Jackson is on again/off again with his behavior. He’s super sweet when he’s rested, full, and happy. Whenever he gets tired, hungry, or “set off” though… watch out. We’re still struggling with the right way to handle him. In all though, he’s still a good kid. We have lots of fun, and he breaks lots of stuff. We’re keeping an eye on him too in the “ladies” department, since Trlica busted him looking a girl up & down at a birthday party recently. So far, it looks like an isolated incident. We’ll keep the fingers crossed. Our favorite thing he’s been doing lately is part of the night time ritual, giving out “little sugars, medium sugars, and ‘BEAR’ Sugars” & the same for hugs. Fun times.
  The electric car finally got the last of the major bugs worked out (seemingly) in early January. I’ve been driving it pretty routinely for a little over a month with little trouble. The items left pending right now are an update to the battery management system so that it doesn’t cripple the car immediately when the battery warning light goes off, and to get a new throttle circuit that will allow me to give it ‘full throttle’… I’m working on about 65% right now. It works, but it’s not really ‘zippy.’
  Finally, the garden… we spent all this time ripping out the gardening bed this fall and transitioning to a potted garden. Then it froze. A lot. We have plenty of dead stuff now. We’re not sure what trees survived the ordeal out at the property. Anxiously awaiting spring to see what will come back. Thanks Mother Nature - b(^@h.
  Finally, the fish: Finny the 6th (or whatever version we were on) died. We’ve decided that gourami are no longer welcome in our tank. Chloe (angel fish) is the only surviving cast member. Go Chloe!
  Enough. Thanks for reading. CK

Back in the swing of things

   Before going into the specifics of our recent past, I want to let several of our friends and family know that we are praying for them. David, Doug, & Carol… we care the world for all of you and keep you in our daily prayers hoping that God will be with you in your struggles.
   School started back in August. Celeste’s teacher is Mrs. Chance. Celeste seems to be doing well in school - we’re certainly impressed with how fast she has learned to read. She dropped out of gymnastics back in September, probably because it went to two times a week. When we asked her what she wanted to do instead… she told us she wanted to do “science” - if anyone has a line on extracurricular science clubs, let us know. She’s into sudoku and seems to have a predilection for “the maths”… yeah Celeste (or as we call her: Number Sense Jr.)
   Jackson is doing well in his school work too. Learning about vertebrates and invertebrates. (Because THAT’S more important than your ABC’s, eh?) He’s into scary things and monsters - trolls that go “trip trap - trip trap” are up there among his favorites. The kids watched Wizard of Oz this week, and now witches and creepy monkeys seem to be newest fascination. We’re calling him Mini McConaughey now because he favors stripping down to the bare essentials when he goes in for the evening. Eating with a shirtless midget in the cold of fall is kinda weird, but hey… it’s easier than trying to force him to wear a shirt. He’s finally reached the milestone of standing on his portable potty and turning his light on and off. Clever boy. Both of the kids are lots of fun these days. We’re looking forward to a camping trip in the middle of November with a group of folks from church.
   We spent this weekend taking up the garden in our backyard. We laid down some pond liner and have bordered it with sandstone bricks. We’re going to spend next weekend filling the garden with gravel and will be transitioning our garden to a potted garden. (The weeds are just too much.) Stuff on the property is doing well. We have 3 papaya trees that sprouted this year. The biggest one is about 3 feet high at this point. We’re hoping they survive the winter and can bear fruit next year. We lost the pomegranate and avocado tree this summer, but we’ll probably replace them when we go to the Urban Harvest Festival this winter. We also planted some Texas Mountain Laurel seeds this summer, and I think that at least one is finally sprouting… I hope so - it’s such a wonderful tree!
   The electric car was delivered to me in early September. I had it for a couple of weeks and let the guys from Revolt borrow it “for the weekend” when they wanted to show it at the renewable energy roundup in Fredericksburg at the end of September. I also asked them to make a few modifications on it that related to the battery management system. As they were troubleshooting the reason I wanted them to make the modifications, they discovered some faulty hardware, and after fixing that problem, the modifications no longer seem to be necessary. I’m hoping I’ll have it back “kinda for good” this week. They still have some stuff they need to do, but I don’t think they’ll need to drop the batteries out from the belly anymore, so it should be tweaks here and there hereafter. (…it’s fun to drive, by the way!)
   Trlica and I are doing fine. Watching our babies grow too fast and trying to keep on top of “the essentials” that have to get done by way of house chores. We’re looking forward to the annual hayride on the first Saturday in November - have invited a lot of people this year and are hoping that doesn’t backfire on us. Should be fun.
   I’ll close with that. Hope all is well with you.
CK

“Summer” 2009

Well, I figure the blog ain’t gonna update itself, so I guess I’ll get off my duff since I’ve got a couple of hours to kill as we drive to Grapevine for a weekend full of Grammy & G-Dad, and lots & lots of water!
Let’s see - our last update was in May. Quite a bit has happened since then. Celeste graduated kindergarten and had her 6th birthday. I helped her engineer an egg-protector for an egg-drop contest. Please don’t come to me to engineer stuff like this… you’ll be disappointed. The egg… “died” in the event.
Celeste and Jackson have also been in swim lessons at Montessori this summer. They have both learned a lot in the month that they have taken the lessons: Celeste “can” swim indefinitely, but prefers short breath-holding spurts. Jackson… well, he thinks he can swim indefinitely, but only because he doesn’t realize that “breath-holding spurts” are actually dependent on “breathing” - which he can’t quite manage yet. To illustrate: We went to the lake last weekend and let the kids play with their (effective) cousins Katie & Kameron. While throwing the kids around the pool, there were several instances where a body floated into me… it was my son Jackson assuming I knew he was en-route from the steps of the pool. Fortunately, his aim was true and he never realized the danger he posed to himself. (Don’t be calling CPS - he was being watched - sort of. I would have definitely figured out he was drowning within 60 seconds, so it would have all been good.)
Trlica and I also celebrated our 13th anniversary in June at a place in the Florida keys called Little Palm Island. For anyone looking to truly pamper themselves, we highly recommend it. It’s the kind of place where you tell ‘em your name once, and they never ask again. No tickets to sign - just order, eat, and leave. The SCUBA was excellent - 2nd best dive site I’ve been to (better than the Great Barrier Reef site I went to, but not quite as good as one of the remote islands out of Belize). Sharks, schools and schools of beautiful fish, eagle rays, turtles, and even little baby squid about 2 inches long… I got some good video of the stuff too - it should be on the website before long (currently under production).
We spent the 4th of July helping out the new church being launched by FUMC Pearland - One Church. Trlica worked - I wrangled kids. After the sun went down, we sat back and watched a great fireworks display (say this: Fi-Er-Works… kids favorite instructions to one another for the following 2 weeks). Jackson’s thought regarding the fireworks: “Say Yee-Ha Daddy! Louder!” Celeste: “This is the best day of my life.” We thought that might be stretching it a little, but she really did have a good time.
Redid the flowerbed with the blackberry bushes in the backyard - took out all the weeds and dirt and laid down a pond liner and covered it with gravel / bordered it with rock. We’re doing a potted garden for a while and see how that goes… so far: less maintenance! Woo hoo! I now have to do the “big” bed… not looking forward to that.
Our property is doing pretty good - we have bananas growing fine, and a couple of papaya trees have popped up (planted in March - took ‘em long enough). Killed the pomegranate tree and probably have killed the avocado tree. You gotta be tough to hang with me as a gardener. On the upside - we may be getting electricity out there soon, so that I don’t have to run a generator to water the plants. We solved our “road” problem relating to “formal subdivision” of our property by buying the lot in question off our neighbors (they found a different lot they were happy with). So - now we own 4 acres! This year’s hay ride promises to be ’spooky’. Muhahaha!
Electric car: nothing to report. They’re still working on battery stuff. Touchy subject with me these days, but God willing, it will be in the next few weeks. Will definitely keep you posted on that front.

What’s going on

Howdy. It’s been awhile since we’ve updated the blog. Bad us. So, what’s been up? I’ll tell you now….
First, Jackson had his 3 year old birthday party in early April. It was a Thomas the Train theme at Jumpin’ Jungle. Small turnout because we were a little late giving people notice of the party, but we had a good time all the same. Jackson didn’t seem to mind that it was a relatively small group of us that were there. It being a “boy” birthday party, there was the obligatory “trauma” that happened to just about every attendee - nothing hospital worthy though - they’ll all heal before they marry. It did give me some insight into a great idea: get dual certification in orthopedics and neurosurgery and then open up a “free” Jumpin’ Jungle right next to your office… you’d get rich off the referral business. (If you use this, I want some kickback eh.)
We took delivery of our electric car (in an unfinished state) in late March as well. We drove it for a couple of weeks, but experienced some problems with the batteries (due to it being in an unfinished state). The team in Austin that is building it came and took the batteries back and have been working on the controller system that will monitor charging / discharging. They think they are close, but we’re still waiting on a firm delivery date…. We’re (and by we’re, I mean I’m) pretty frustrated about the timing of everything. We’re 16 months into this project and have yet to run it in a “final” fashion. I’m seriously ready for this project to be over so that I can use the damn thing. Right now, I’ve got a pricey brick sitting in my garage holding the concrete down. It’s giving me dyspepsia….Anyway, I’ll let y’all know when it’s all done. Hopefully that will be sometime this summer.
On an up-note, the plants on the property are doing quite well. Fertilizer is cool stuff - makes plants grow! I’ve never been much of a big “fertilizer-er” - trusting that God & rain will do the job. It works that way, but fertilizer makes it work even better. We did plant some new stuff this spring that I’m very excited about. The edibles we planted are some kiwi vines (that I got to make a really nice trellis for - and of course, said trellis needed some new power tools so that I could cut metal… ooh ooh aah aah) and three species of banana plants. When we first transplated them, I was pretty sure I killed ‘em all by not watering frequently enough. They were kind to me and have come back though (although I’m not totally convinced the female kiwi vines are gonna make it through the long haul). The garden also has three new “big” additions that were graciously donated by one of my colleagues - Fernando Stein. Fernando asked me if I would be so kind as to provide foster care for an orchid tree and two jacaranda trees. The trees are beautiful additions to the garden area. Of course, the Jabitacoba tree that “was” the pride and joy of the garden area lost its position in the center of the garden because I thought it was dead. As I got ready to uproot it and plant the orchid tree in its place, it decided to sprout new growth, telling me “I’m not dead yet! I’m getting better! I don’t want to go on the cart!” I’ve put it in a newly designated “time out” part of the garden to see what it can do this year. We’ll see.
Back on a down note - I had to tear down the shed that housed our water well and tank. Seems the pump died and in order to replace it, they needed access from above. The roof wasn’t removable, so I had to tear the whole thing down… with my tractor… in dress slacks, dress shirt, and a tie. That’s something my dad would do as well, so I come by it honest. Of course, now I have to have a new shed built. Yeah! By the way - if any of you are on the market for a generator, I have a second one that I don’t need now that I figured out it was the pump and not the generator. It’s uh-very-niiiice & almost free today!
Finally, we’re enjoying the spring weather. We’ve been out in the back yard quite a bit these past few weeks, and we’re going to have a cover put over the patio so that we can enjoy it even more as the summer gets hotter and hotter. It’s fun watching the kids monkey around and make themselves busy with nothing in particular. Ahhh - to have their imagination! We’re also planning on re-doing the gardening beds that we put in shortly after we moved in. The borders are decaying and becoming hazardous, and weeds have been a problem from day one. We’re planning on putting in a lined bed with rocks on the bottom (above an impermeable mat) and having all our plants in pots of varying sizes. We’re hoping to make it more of a visual attraction that way, but mostly we’re tired of pulling weeds. Yeah - we’re lazy - you got a problem with that?
That’s probably more than you cared to read. (I’m probably writing this to myself for 20 years from now when the kids are out of the house.) Tune in next time (hopefully not 6 weeks from now), when we will discuss The Electric Car!!!! (God willing, of course.)

Do they have drinks there?

Do they have drinks there?

So, almost every time we decide to go out to eat, Jackson asks “Do they have drinks there?”
A strange concern from a boy who rarely finishes his drinks with dinner at home.