Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011!

You see what I did here?  A gratuitous Halloween post today brings my post count this month to 7, the least I have ever posted in a month, now for 3 months running.  I've thought about maybe taking a break but I really don't want to, I just need more motivation and a sunnier outlook.  Until I feel I'm forcing it or posting becomes a chore, I shall continue....

My office is encouraging people to wear costumes today.  I plan to dress normally, but where I have my usual water bottles instead I will be sipping blue Gatorade out of a Windex bottle.  We'll see what kind of reactions I get!  I will post this automatically in the morning and maybe I'll edit it if I get a funny story I can share.

Update:  Overall it went over well, the Gatorade looked exactly like Windex in the spray bottle.  I got a lot of funny looks and comments.  Many people were shocked to see me drink 'Windex' and others knew right away it had to be something else.  Btw, no, I did not carve this pumpkin, it's just a picture I found on the internet.  Good luck with trick-or-treaters tonight!

Update #2: It's almost 8:00pm and we have turned out the light.  We had maybe 25 trick-or treaters.  The first group of the night looked like three brothers.  The first one was young enough, the second I thought was borderline.  I was surprised when the third stepped up (without a costume) and said boldly, "Trick or treat!"  I laughed, "No," I replied. "You have a beard - you're too old!"

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Very Grand Sunday

My sister, Kelly, with our Grandma W, 85yo.
James and Lindsey with Grandma L, 91yo or so, their other great-grandmother!
Today was a lot of driving but well worth it.  I got to my sister's house a little after 10:00am to start herding them toward the car.  They were mostly ready already, I just wanted to get going so I could be home again before dark.  The kids are bigger every time I see them.  Lindsey had on cute new glasses and sported a leg brace from a skateboarding accident, and James showed me how he flied his real neat remote control helicopter I got for him last Christmas.

We arrived at Grandma W's house about the same time as she returned from church.  It was a very nice visit, the kids got some early Halloween candy and brownies.  Before the conversation started to lag too much we excused ourselves and were on our way to Grandma L's house.  The kids were again fed sweets, cookies and soda, while we had a nice visit.  Again, after maybe almost an hour and a half I had us on our way again.  On the way back to my sister's house we stopped for a late lunch, and a short drive later I was home again, and before 5:00pm!  It was tiring keeping up conversations and with all that highway time so I am glad I'm home to get a few things done before I have to go back to that place I work tomorrow.  Sorry for the lack of detail but I have things to do!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Garden Work and A Grand Road Trip

I'm a bit upset about the Badgers' second loss in a row earlier tonight, but I'm not surprised.  They may be a victim of their hype and soft schedule this first half of the season.  All is not lost, onward and upward, yadda yadda...

Today was a productive day in that we were able to clean up the garden for the winter.  I had hoped to do a bit of water sealing today but it was very dewy out this morning, enough to not fully evaporate until past midday.  I just posted about our gardening part of the day over at the garden blog, so you can read about it with more detail and pics there, but suffice it to say that my wife did all of the heavy lifting on this one and now it is done.  It is a full month before we did it last year, but with more frosts like last night coming I think the time is right.  Kate harvested the last of the usable peppers on Friday.  We still had many small peppers growing that I would have liked to see grow up, but starting with last night's frost their end was soon near.

Tomorrow morning I will be driving down to pick up my sister and her kids, then we will be making a trip to see both of our Grandmas, the kids great grandmothers, for a nice Sunday visit.  If you know me, you know I'm a homebody - I am hoping to be home by dark at the very latest so I can relax a little before having to go back to that place I work the next morning.  Wish me luck!  If I have time tomorrow evening I may even post some pics of my beloved grandmothers!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Badgers, House, Yard and Family

Happy weekend, everyone.  Last night was more than a bit of a downer as the Badgers lost to the Spartans on a replay review on the final play of the game.  It was quite a big letdown, Wisconsin is now out of the BCS Championship hunt.  I don't expect the Packers to win all of their games, yet I do hope they make a good run to the Superbowl again.  The Badgers, on the other hand, could only hope to go undefeated and then still they may not have been considered for the national championship.  I would much prefer a playoff format, but you can read about and discuss that on other sites.

At the crack of dawn, Chuck was here to finish washing our house.  It's taken him a bit longer to finish than I would have thought, but I knew he was busy.  Yesterday my wife and I got a lot of things done in the yard and cleaned up the garden a bit, garden blog post coming soon.  I got the bushes in front of the house trimmed, mowed to mulch leaves again and pruned the lilac bush some more to encourage new growth in Spring.  My wife did some replanting and cleaned up the garden in addition to everything else she does on the weekends.  Later today I will have to run out to get some garden soil and manure to add some nutrients to the soil before we plant the garlic bulbs.

My grandma called me yesterday, she likes to check in every few weeks.  She was happy to hear that I was talking to my sister about coming down for a visit before the snow starts falling this winter.  Scheduling is the only difficult thing with football and my Sis working weekends right now, but I'm sure we will figure something out.  Sunday after Thanksgiving might be feasible, but hopefully we can get down there before then.  I know you read this, Sis, so let's get on the ball and figure something out!  Also, congratulations to my niece and nephew on their first Tae Kwon Do tournament!  It sounds like they had a lot of fun and it looks like they did very well!  Love you J & L!

The sun is shining though the weather is seasonably cool. Still, it's a nice day to get some more little outside projects done before the Packer game this afternoon.  My wife just got home from a late breakfast out with her dad and Chuck just finished up with the house so I best get going.  Have a great day, all!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wisconsin Featured on ESPN's Depth Chart

In an hour and a half or so, the Wisconsin Badgers(6-0) will be featured on ESPN's Depth Chart. Here's a preview:

And while I'm at it, here's a preview of Saturday night's game:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Updates And Thoughts For October

I did think about posting, especially Friday, but I guess I really didn't know what to write.  I still don't really know, but let me start typing and we'll find out together, shall we?

A week and a half ago I hired a guy to wash our house for a reasonable price.  He's the same handyman guy that my neighbor hires to clean up her yard in the fall and that I hired last year to do the same, since I was still just barely on crutches at the time.  Interesting guy.  I negotiated the price with him for less than what he originally wanted, but so far I have tipped him a bit and bought him lunch once, the check won't be made out until the job is completed, though.  The first day, a week ago Saturday, he got almost the whole house done but for a bit in the front.  A couple days later he came back after work and got the front of the garage.  So there is 3/4 of the garage and a bit in the front of the house yet to be done.  I'm hoping it will be done by the weekend, and he expressed the same last I talked to him.  I've told him that I'm in no rush, but I know he has other things coming up.  It was surprising to my wife and I just how dirty the house had become, who knew you had to wash your house?  We didn't.  You can bet we will spend a little more time on it in the future so it doesn't get this bad again.

Our friends Z&B had their housewarming party on Saturday afternoon and evening.  We went late in the day, it was planned ahead with other friends and my wife made a cake for another"s birthday.  There were still many people, and it was nice to see and meet their parents, as well!  There was plenty of food, drink, and much to my dismay a whole room of desserts.  Guess where I hung out!  I did eat terribly all of this past weekend.  I have to change my mindset if I want to stop maintaining and start losing pounds again.

I managed to update my garden blog, listed on the right (I'm too lazy to link right now).  I only try to do that at least twice a month and I managed to miss the beginning of this month, sorry.  The weather is fall-like again.  After that first wave of leaves I mowed to mulch a week ago today and now the yard looks like the pic on the right in the last post again.  There are still many trees that are holding on to their green for now, including our own.  Eventually gravity will win.  I have to stop worrying about it until it gets here, though.  Maybe it's because I had to sit last fall out, or maybe it's because I am not as mobile and agile as I was 2 years ago, but I tend to worry about things on my list to get done before winter.  Most things it just isn't time for yet, others any time or plenty of time, but it's all on my mind.  Maybe that's another reason I haven't been sleeping well the last few weeks..... G'Nite.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What Difference Does A Week Make?

In some ways, not a lot.  In other ways, quite a bit - weatherwise here, anyway.
One week ago, a few leaves.
Now more leaf litter, and not ours.

I could point the camera up, but you've all seen trees turn in fall.  All these leaves so far have blown in from the surrounding area, which was mostly green one week ago.  Now the neighborhood trees look more yellow, yet our own Silver Maple tree is still hanging on to its green - for now.  I do have a new toy, an electric blower/vac-mulcher, to use this fall.  When I tested it out though, it was pretty loud.  It's not something I want to have to use often and I think I should still buy some hearing protection for when I do have to use it.  For the most part I will still use the old fashioned rake, I just liked the vac-mulcher part for using the leaf mulch in the flowerbeds and garden.  Probably with the leaves from the front and side of the house.  We get a lot of the leaves in the back from the Black Walnut trees next door and I'm not so sure I want to use those leaves as any kind of mulch.

On a different note, I have been thinking a lot lately of why I haven't been posting much recently as much as the few times a week I usually have in the past.  Well, far as I can figure, my rehab really was uneventful and since I've been back to work, well, my last post says how I have been feeling about that, and I think that has a lot to do with it.  I just haven't been quite as happy lately.  I could argue about how right now is a great time to be a sports fan in Wisconsin.  The Packers are 4-0 and looked upon as almost unstoppable, the Badgers are 5-0 and looked upon much the same, and the Brewers just won their opening playoff series about an hour ago and will start play in the National League Championship Series on Sunday (Opponent TBD).  While I can - and do - enjoy the hell out of all that, I still have to get comfortable with my position in life again (read: get used to drone mode again) after sitting out half of it over the last year.  I gotta remember to get a lottery ticket now and again.  I can't win if I don't play, right?