Wednesday, April 30, 2008

So, yesterday I tried

to do my best Brian Merklein imitation. Child in a pack on my back, trying to do some yard clean up. I've seen Brian cut new trails with one of his kids in that position. Brian back and forth, bending, cutting, raking, his son bouncing back and forth smiling. Yup, Sam and I are a long way from that at this point. At least we got to talk to some neighbors and clean up the numerous land mines that our two canines leave behind. Went well for about 35 minutes or so before the fussing started. Went about five minutes more before I went back in the house. A little bit more each time and I figure we'll be ready for short family hikes soon.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sweet taters are a hit.
Peas are a hit.
Squash tonight.
Can't feed the veggies to Sam swiftly enough.

Had 30+ people in the house on Sunday to celebrate Sam's dedication to the church. Was a great day with all the family and friends. I'm not really one to enjoy that many people over, I much prefer smaller, intimate groups, but I have no complaints.

Want better weather to get here so we can spend more time outside. Oh well, this is Whiskey-onsin, we'll get out hot and humid weather at some point and before we know it we'll be ready to welcome the cool weather.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Rice cereal - check.
Oatmeal cereal - check.
Mixed grains cereal - check.
Carrots - check.
Green beans - check.
Sweet potatoes? We'll see tomorrow.

The little man loves his veggies. May help that Julie has taken on the task of making Sam's food... except for the ones that absorb too many nitrates from the soil. Those will come from the baby food factory. We know exactly what will be in his foods. Gives a good feeling.

Oh yeah, back has been out for about a month. At this rate I'll be lucky if I can even pit for CB & JB for the 24/9. I'll find a way to make that happen. It may require an all-terrain wheelchair, but I'll find a way.

Friday, April 18, 2008

News from da yoo-pee

Was in Upper Michigan for a long weekend. Highs in the mid 30s, lows in the mid 20s. Received nearly 12" of snow while up there. There's still close to 3 feet of the white stuff in the woods. That measurement was taken by a person in our party who stepped off the hard-pack logging road to relieve himself. Snow was too deep to unzip, he re-thought his plan.

Wheelin' is much different in teh snow than the mud and rocks. Slippery, cold, heavy, hard to judge. Found some in our party getting so much snowpack under the vehicle that their wheels would just spin. Very glad I made the choice to perform some labor and ride higher. And, as an added bonus, the Toy even rides better now.

There was plenty of stupid talk. Food was great as always. We're thinking about pushing the trip back a month next year - my 40th maybe? Eleven in an almost 20'x30' cabin can get pretty tight, and noisy, and smelly, and... well, you get the picture. Later in the year leaves plenty of space to pitch a few tents. Bears and wolves beware.

I swear Sam changed during the four days I was gone. Little dude is growing so fast. I'm still amazed when I watch him figure out things. Simple things, like how his hands work, how to switch things from one hand to another, how to balance while sitting, how to work a cup. But, mostly, I just smile when I'm near him. His feelings and actions are so pure, so innocent. A smile is a true smile. A laugh is a true laugh. He hides nothing and has no other motives. He's still not turning over or crawling. I look forward to his mobility as a next step for him, but, I know that means a whole new slew of issues for Julie and me. One day at a time, enjoy every moment. Live - Laugh - Love.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

After about 16 hours of hard labor, the Toy has been enhanced. Trail report to follow after the weekend. I'm going back to "nature" for a few days. Stay well all.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Six Days...

until the annual pilgrimage to Iron River. Ten or eleven guys this year. Will tie or break the record. That's many people in a two-room, no running water, no electricity cabin. Good thing we're away from any civilization as no one would want us near them by the end of the weekend. The first time I went was nine years ago. I've only missed one year since as there was something pretty major going on and funds just weren't there as they were basically gone or frozen. The weekend could be classified as male bonding, but for me, it's more of an escape from everyday life. We're all very different on views and/or opinions, but it works and there's never been anything that couldn't be settled around the campfire. We ride the trails in the woods, have a clay pigeon shooting contest for bragging rights, hike and catch up with each other. Home states represented are NC, WI, MI, MN, KY and AK. The first year, meals were: B-fast - Fruity Dyno-bites, milk, juice and coffee; Lunch - bologna on white, granola bars and beer; Dinner - beans from a can and anything you could put on a sharp, pointy stick and roast over the fire. Here's Saturday's Dinner menu:

Pan Seared Loin of Venison
Wild Rice Buckwheat Blini
Low Bush Compote
Char Ratatouille
Rocket Couscous
Gateau Chocolate, Maytag Blue, Port and Espresso

One of the guys that goes with now is a professional chef. We can all very much hold our own in the kitchen, but he has certainly moved the bar up a few notches. We've come a long way, but now it's almost more of an eating fest as opposed to an outdoor, back to nature gathering. My brother-in-law and I are taking care of Friday night's dinner. Trust me, it will be good, but it will be a very simple, midwest-style camp meal. It's at the request of the host who now lives in NC and doesn't get the finer things that he grew up with. The Toy gets the wrenches put to it tomorrow as it needs some enhancements before I flog on it next weekend. Hopefully all will go well.

That's all. I know it's been some time since the last post as someone was kind enough to point out to me.

Oh yeah, Julie is great, Sam is great.