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Showing posts from May, 2013

Summer 2013, days 5-7

Got a little behind, catching up now:

Day 5, Memorial Day

Our somewhat uneventful weekend (at least after the busy Friday) continued on a gorgeous Memorial Day. The boys, Popcorn and I went for a hike up Rattlesnake Gulch in Milcreek Canyon. Ben had a gift card for Toys 'r' Us he wanted to use, so we went there. I grilled burgers for dinner and drank a generic cream soda, because generic cream soda in a can always reminds me of summer.

Day 6, Tuesday

The first, second and third grades at the boys' school had a field trip to a rec center, where we'd play games outside and then swim inside as part of their sports curriculum, and as a Tuesday co-oper, I got to help. The weather didn't cooperate, so we got to swim inside the whole time (a couple hours). Everyone had fun. I was one of the few co-opers that actually swam with the kids, and by the afternoon, I felt exhausted. Rain came down in buckets the rest of the day, canceling Michael's baseball game. I made pork f…

Back to the days of Pooh

"I swear that old bear whispered 'boy, welcome home!' "

That lyric is from Kenny Loggins' "Return to Pooh Corner." My teddy bear growing up was a stuffed Winnie the Pooh without a shirt that I called Herman (I have no idea why).

Before Michael was born, I bought a small stuffed Winnie the Pooh that made a squeaking sound when you shook it. One day in the bedroom we had prepared for our soon-to-be arriving son, I held that bear in my hand and was overcome by the impending changes that were in store for me. I had a Winnie the Pooh growing up. Now, my child was about to have one, too.

"It's hard to explain how a few precious things seem to follow throughout all our lives ..."

Last week, I got so angry with Michael. I co-op all day at the boys' school on Tuesdays. Even though I try to get to bed early Monday night, something usually gets in the way, often a freelance project. I love co-oping, but it is draining when you are already tired. T…

Summer 2013, Day 4

The beautiful Memorial Day weekend continued, and we were content not to overdo it after so many hectic weeks this spring.

I did take Popcorn on another hike, this time with Michael. Lori and the boys installed some tomato and herb plants in the garden. I'm at work right now, wishing this night would end and I can get on with the last day of the weekend. The sun shone all day.

Would I classify today a recovery day? I didn't think we wasted it; after all, I did have to work tonight. So yes, it was a mild recovery day. We enjoyed the weather and the calm. The weather should last, the calm won't.

Summer 2013, Day 3

At the beginning of the year, a goal for 2013 was to be down to 200 pounds by Memorial Day. I was well on my way before I herniated a disk -- the injury sidetracked all the exercise I had been doing that had helped reduce the weight.

Well, I'm not going to make 200 by Monday. But I was happy to see 211 this morning when I stepped on the scale. That's two pounds less before I got injured and gained a few back, and 18 for the year. I still think 200 is doable this summer, and I think I look better (I was wearing a pair of swim trunks yesterday while tying water balloons for Ben's party, and they were actually a little loose). But I'm happy for this minor victory -- I got through the discouragement of the injury and am healthier for summer.

And I'm back exercising, though not running. I did take Popcorn for a 2-mile hike on her favorite off-leash trail. The rest of Saturday, with no sports or other commitments whatsoever, was nice, too. We went to the library and Trad…

Summer 2013, Day 2

I'm writing this a day late, but Day 2 was so great that it needed its own text rather than me combining it with today. Friday, we threw Ben his birthday party. The Salt Lake City School District didn't have classes yesterday, so the afternoon seemed the perfect time for the party that we didn't start planning until just a couple weeks ago.

Ben is really loving dolphins right now, so the theme was marine. Lori found some ocean decorations for the patio and made dolphin cupcakes, and his friends came ready for water play. We had a couple games planned, but the party soon descended into an endless water fight. I was worried the day wouldn't be warm enough, but it got into the high 70s with little wind and plenty of sunshine, so the kids didn't mind getting soaked or standing in the 20-inch kiddie pool that never seemed to warm up. Ben loved his presents, and his friends loved the party.

Later in the afternoon, we went to a park for a baby shower for a mom of one of t…

Summer 2013, Day 1

Yes, here it is, my first post of the summer. I'm happy to say, I was outside almost all day.

Our car was in the shop, and I took public transportation to get it (Salt Lake City's buses are so clean) followed by about a mile walk. When I got home, I got the backyard and patio ready for Ben's birthday party tomorrow and mowed the lawn. This took awhile simply because the patio gets overrun with stuff during the winter. Later on, I coached the boys' soccer practices. The wind picked up a little and it cooled off a bit, but the day was still nice. My outdoor adventures ended with a 1.5-mile walk with the dog.

I'm hoping the temperature gets a smidge warmer for Ben's water-themed birthday party tomorrow. Day 1 of my summer was good. Day 2 should be even better.

Spring, the finale

I'm calling it. Spring is over.

The weather is still springlike, with rain over the weekends but sun the last couple days. Baseball is still in full swing, with Michael's team winning again (the Cardinals are 9-1) and Ben's losing twice (the White Sox haven't won yet, but Ben made another nice pickup of a grounder tonight). School is winding down, and Memorial Day weekend looms.

And so, I'm declaring that after 64 days of non-astronomical Northern Hemisphere spring, summer has begun. I'm definitely blogging summer again, and hopefully will be more proficient than I was with the spring blogging effort. Between now and the first NFL game Sept. 5, 105 days of summer await. My goal for those 105 days is to not waste a minute of what could be the best summer ever.

Hey, spring was good. Insanely busy (today, for example, we unexpectedly had to get the Outback) into the shop to replace the starter, but good. The weather was agreeable, the boys had fun, and winter beca…

Spring, days 55-56

I'm back out on the front porch with my laptop for the first times this year.

It's good to be back.

After mowing the back lawn yesterday, I actually lounged in the sun on the lawn chair I bought last fall. The sun was warm (the temperature got to 91 degrees yesterday) and felt good, though I needed sunglasses (I b bought a new pair today). The boys were fortunate that it was so warm for their first outdoor swim practice.

The warmth continued today. Michael's baseball team won 9-8 in what seemed to be the slowest game ever (we only played 3 1/2 innings). I went to a physical medicine specialist for my herniated disk. He confirmed the diagnosis and gave me some guidance over the next two months (it's been feeling so much better the past three days -- I'm not sure what I did, but I'm not complaining). Embiggened by this news, I took the dog for a longer walk than I had the past month.

I'm looking forward to another wonderful day tomorrow and some more work in …

Spring, days 50-54

The temperature has climbed into the 80s in Salt Lake City and might hit 90 tomorrow. With that, I'm thinking of winding this spring blogging thing down.

Last year, I declared summer, in blogging terms, to begin about the third week of may, before Memorial Day. I might do the same this year. Honestly, the spring blogging has been sort of a bust, at least from my point of view. I was happy with some of the posts, but I've been so busy that I haven't made writing a priority. At least with summer blogging, I know I won't blow it off.

The past five days have been busy but fun. Michael's team won his baseball game Friday; Ben's team lost on Wednesday and Saturday. Today was Mother's Day, and the boys took Lori to The Leonardo museum and had a lot of fun. I'm at work on the balcony right now watching the sun set over Antelope Island.

My sciatic leg was killing me yesterday -- the worst it's felt after a week in which it was generally not bugging me much. …

Spring, Day 49

My sons are clearly not Midwesterners.

Thunderstorms rolled into the Salt Lake Valley late this afternoon, raining out Michael's baseball game. It wasn't certain the game would be called (the storms moved in right as we were getting ready to go), so we still had to go to the park The rain, which had subsided a little as we were leaving, turned up a notch on the way, and the puddles on the field and the occasional lightning confirmed the postponement.

What was funny was the boys' reaction to the first thunderstorms of the year. Michael asked a lot of questions, and Ben was a little freaked out by all the thunder -- he was even nervous as he went to bed, even though the storms had passed. Had they been Midwesterners instead of Utahns, they would be more used to thunderstorms. They would know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning (I don't think there's been one tornado watch in the 13 years we've lived here). They would mildly appreciate the…

Spring days 45-48

The one thing that drives me a little crazy about May is that you get to it, and suddenly, it's Mother's Day and I'm woefully unprepared. Otherwise, I'm happy that this month is in full swing. Though the multiple sports seasons are wearing on us, I'm in no hurry for May to go by quickly.

The lawn is taunting me. Between my herniated disc and just enough unfavorable weather, I haven't attended to it as much as I had hoped. My goal is new grass to grow where there are weeds now. Likely, sometime in the future, we'll tear up the sad lawn and replace it with new sod. But when we do that, we might as well add sprinklers. But to do that, we need to replace the main line to the house. So for now, it's me and some EZ-Seed, and my fingers crossed.

The days are getting longer -- sunset tonight was 8:30 p.m. Still a little cool to sit outside with the laptop and type. Soon though. Very soon.

The weekend was filled with baseball and soccer again. We're actually…

Spring days 43-44

Michael must have spent a lot of time in the sun today while at school. I noticed as he was walking into his swim workout that the back of his neck looked just a smidge sunburned. Yesterday was cloudy, so it didn't happen then. Lori thought maybe I didn't get sunblock on him for soccer practice, but that was after swim. He was outside at school -- his teacher will let his class have longer recesses on nice days -- and got some color on his fair skin.

Yes, that first tan/color/burn is proof spring has truly arrived. Break out the sunscreen.

Ben got his first hit of the season yesterday at his baseball game. The team is still struggling in the field. And it's not like we haven't been teaching them how to field -- it just doesn't seem to stick. Or it's just bad luck. A ball drops in front of the shortstop, and all he has to do is pick it up and touch second for the force out ... but he somehow can't pick the ball up. A ball gets hit to the second basemen, who …