Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday Service

Today we spent the day with four other families volunteering at Community Warehouse in downtown Milwaukee. They are focused on providing donated building materials to low income homeowners for low cost. It is a great cause and the space fills what was one of the old tanneries on the south side of Milwaukee.

I am so proud of how hard my kids work that I can barely express it. They busted their tails and didn't complain at all. Donna and I agree that it is so important that the kids see us volunteering in a number of different ways. Neither of us was much raised in that environment, but we want to instill that love for service in our kids. There is so much need out there that if everyone would do a small amount, the world would be a much better place to live in.

Needless to say we are all whipped. As I type, my lids are heavy. So, I think I'll try and write more tomorrow, when I'm fresh.

Blogging off...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Neglect and Reason

It's been a while since my last post, for which I am truly sorry. Time passes quickly during these short November days, where it's dark by 4:45. It's tough to get much done after work at all because it's so stinkin' dark. That and that phenomenon I've come to love and hate, Facebook. It should be called "Time Suck", because that's what it does. To what end, is the question

Last night I was Kid-Chauffeur ("home, James") for both Ben and Sarah. I get home to find out Ben needed a ride home from a friend's house. Then, an hour later, I had to take Sarah and a friend to Skateland for roller skating. It was eye-opening how far I've come since my younger days, when I would run wild on Friday nights. Now I'm relegated to driving a gender neutering white mini-van around town, while the youth that I once was runs wild. Sigh. Getting older is a strange, strange deal. On the upside, I feel great this morning, so there's that at least.

Got a new phone about a week ago. The thing does more than my old windows 3.1 PC, I swear. You can take pictures, record video or audio, and then send them to another phone. Surf the web, sure. Download software and ring tones, absolutely. Oh yeah, and you can make calls too. I can e-mail, text, and IM. I can do stuff I haven't discovered yet. I can do stuff I'll never discover. Oh and stuff that I could do, but cannot figure out.

Like the other day, when I inadvertently deleted the Camera function from "My Menu". I didn't mean to, really. It just happened. Now, I can't seem to figure out how to get it back. Now, like all computers, there's at least two other ways to get to the camera function, but...I need three! Must have three! I did figure out how to replace the empty spot with the "Messaging" function, but that's not what I want there. CAMERA, must have CAMERA. I haven't given up yet, but things don't look good. I'll let you know how I do.

We managed to corral the dog and clip his facial hair. Now he looks like he has a tiny skull. It's hard to look at him with a straight face. I'm sure it's humiliating for him, but we'll both get used to it, in time.

I've really missed my writing workshop the past couple weeks. The instructor is in Arizona, and returns this week. It will be good to get back into the submit/critique mode again. I feel like an athlete that's been sitting on the bench for 2 games now, muscles atrophying.

My BWCA memoir is taking a weird turn, now that I'm blending in a trip that I took with friends and not family. I was encouraged to include it by the folks in my workshop, and I'm not sure where it's taking the whole story. The jury's still out. It's strange though trying to follow the evolution of this whole story. It went from a short summary of the years me and my brothers went up to the BWCA, to a three generational story where I work in my kids and Dad, to now a summary of many of my trips up there, including friends and family. I'm not sure where it's going, but will sure make my editing job tougher. Stay tuned.

Well, its a gorgeous Saturday, and I've got a ton of stuff I want to get done, so I'll be blogging off...

Sunday, November 1, 2009


So another holiday season has begun. It seems as though I just got the lights down and the last of the needles vacuumed up. Where DOES the time go? It won't be long and I'll be firing up the new snow blower I bought from a friend. Yes, it's true, I sold out. I've gone over to the dark side. I think the last very snowy winters did it to me. I don't mind the 4-5 inch snowfalls, but those 8-10 or greater ones are horrible.

Halloween was a great time spent with friends last night. Lots of food, desert, Abbie's birthday party. scary costumes and of course, candy! Not my favorite holiday, but over the years, we've learned to try and make the best of it. Ben was dressed as a soldier and Sarah had a T-Shirt with "IDK" on it for I Don't Know. It was original anyway.

I also saw a couple of great 8th grade football games this weekend. They played at Carroll college in what is known as the Waukesha Classic. It brought back great memories of my days as a middle school player. I can't wait till next year when Ben will play for the South Junior Blackshirts. Most of his friends are on it, so it should be good for him. I plan on doing my job as a vicarious parent.

I had my first, and likely my last, Karaoke experience the other night. It was actually the Video Game Rock Band. I ended up as lead vocals for "More than a Feeling", Renegade and Flirtin' with disaster. It was about as awful as I had figured it would be, though there was a smattering of applause after I ad-libbed a bit on the end of More than a Feeling. "Marianne, she's walkin' away". I think I'll keep my day job. If I don't, I'm pretty sure we'd starve in a month if I was relying on my artistic pursuits.

Gotta go. Blogging off...