Saturday, December 31

End of Another Year

I just don't understand why we have to celebrate the start of a calendar year. Just an excuse to have another holiday a week after Christmas? Shrug. I can't figure it out. What is nice about it though, is one is not expected to spend a wad of cash on gifts to give to people. Though, the downside is, you are expected to spend an ENTIRE evening with friends/family, until the late hours. Sometimes, for some of us (I won't point out who, though I have suspicions) that is worse than just a dinner. Of course, I wouldn't be talking about my family..... (rolling eyes).

Today, the Wife and Daughter are going out and spending all the money they can, since it is the last day of the year. That's not true. Actually, they are doing some shopping, but it is to use up some $$ off coupons for groceries, and refill my prescription for my blood pressure meds. I think I really need them with one more week to go with the boys at home. She'll be picking up some sodas for us to take to lunch tomorrow when the family all gets together.

Otherwise, today is just being spent at home. I have no desire to be out and have to worry about the other drunks, or distracted drivers on the roads. PPD will have a fun time tonight I am sure. Actually would be interesting to hear in the next couple days, just how many stops, arrests, DUIs, etc were done tonight. We will be inside, probably watch a couple movies, and send the kids to bed shortly after midnight. Not even sure I will make it that late myself. I may end up in bed with my Kindle by 10'ish.

Otherwise, hope you all have a wonderful evening whatever you are doing. See ya next year!


Thursday, December 29

A-Parent-ly Bad

As a parent, there are a trillion and one things I do not understand about kids, even having been one myself. It seems I am finding more and more of them just plain outright irritate me to no end, and are being displayed/acted upon by my kids. The oldest son went with the Daughter back to Tucson for a few days, and will be returning for New Years. I would think that would make things easier managing the boys while they are on break. Heh. Teach me to think.

Yesterday was an okay day. They spent the better part of it watching YouTube videos and actually getting along. Today, as soon as they are both up, it is constant bickering at each other. Needless to say, my patience is worn thin.

They have a week plus yet to go before school starts back up. Sigh.

The Wife got off work early yesterday, and we took advantage of it to do some family activity together. We went out to eat at 5 & Diner ('50s style restaurant) followed by an early evening movie of 'The Adventures of Tin Tin" which the boys really enjoyed (they are 9 & 5). I completed the evening by heading to bed with my Kindle, and a crossword book.

I guess if you are like the seemingly mass population, you should be debating what sort of New Year resolutions you should make, then break during the first week. I guess a couple years ago, the family (meaning RM and Sis) started having us pen down those resolutions. Sis would save them for the year in sealed envelopes, and at the next NY lunch, would pass them out for everyone to see if they made it. I think mine last year was to not make any resolutions. Can't remember for sure. I just know I am not doing it this year. No since in deflating my hope at the beginning of next year. If there is a next year.

I am thinking of personal things I would like to accomplish over the next year, and I may even share some of them.... but not before the big day!


Monday, December 26

That 'After the Holiday' Glow

It was just short of 9am when I woke this morning. I was hoping to stay in bed until 10 or later, as the Wife is sleeping in as well. No such luck. After a long day of Christmas'ing, my ankle has yet to forgive me. It was throbbing this morning, and I could no longer put off getting some ibuprofen in me as fast as possible. Before I could just return to the bed though, the two younger boys were up and ....well, here I am.

Yesterday was a great Christmas. One of the better ones I recall for my family over the years. All four kids loved the big Santa gift they received and the the excitement they showed on opening them, plus the desire to use/play/whatever with the gifts.... just keeps bringing a smile to my face. We did good this year.

Spent the later morning with the In-Laws, and the early afternoon with RM. RM did some ham for sandwiches, which by that time we were hungry. Afterwards, we rambled on up to Sis', where everyone in my family meets up. Due to me being just plain tired by this point, we did not stay tremendously long, but was glad we came by for a bit. We will be back there next Sunday for New Year's lunch.

As today is sort of a recovery day, I am just relaxing at home. The Daughter is planning to head back to home before returning next weekend, and has asked about the oldest son going with her for the few days. I think we are going to let him.

That's it for now.


Saturday, December 24

Good Eve-ning

Welp, it's Christmas Eve and I know what we are doing at my house today: wrapping. I have not wrapped anything I picked up, and I know the Wife hasn't. I am hoping she has lots of the gift bags to use, as I suck at wrapping gifts. She'll be doing turns with each of the boys to have them pick a gift for their brothers, and have them wrap it of her Christmas traditions I guess you would say. My tradition is at 1am, when I ask why isn't she done yet, and hurry up because I want my bed back so I can sleep in it.

Tomorrow will be a busy day for us, so don't expect a post. If you get one, I am not sure how much sense it will make. I know it will probably be late, and I will be tired. We start our day usually here at home for our presents, then to the In-Laws, then to RM's.... and in most past years, headed up tot he north side of town to Sis'. This year I just don't know. Last year I was really wiped out, and though Sis was trying to get us to come up tonight, there is just no way. So, we are leaving it up to how we feel once we get that far along. Sis, if you're reading, I know you understand. After all, you don't go anywhere, and we have to.

Last minute thoughts: Did I get enough things for the Wife from the boys? Do we have enough wrapping paper? What about the gift bags? Have enough stocking stuffers, but where are the stockings? How early in the morning do we wake the kids? I am hoping not before 7am. Who is doing the dishes today, since I still can't stand up long enough to do them? Okay, that last one I have been thinking about the past couple days, as the dishes are starting to pile up.

I guess that is it for now. Hope all you readers have a wonderful Christmas!

PeacE (on Earth, Good Will to Men)

Thursday, December 22

Cement Boots

I went to the orthopedic specialist today to see about my ankle. He met with me less than a minute - seriously! He looked at my foot, asked me to move it up and down, and told me what they were going to do. No surgery, but have a cast with walking shoe for five weeks. Which means I am allowed to walk on it as needed/can which makes me happy. First thing I did when I got home was toss the crutches and tried walking around with just the cane. YES! My arms and chest were sore form the past 2-3 days of using the crutches. The maneuvering around on them was ridiculous. I will need the cane for probably most of the next week, as it is still sore, but afterwards look forward to being able to walk around without much trouble. I will be able to get back into the gym next week, and can continue upper body and ab workouts at least. I know I am going to need it through this holiday season.

Tonight, the Wife found a $50 gift certificate for Outback we received from somewhere so the family is going out to dinner tonight. Just waiting on them to get home. The Daughter took the boys over to her boyfriend's parents' house, to help them put up their tree. Seems his Mom has a bit of that whole 'empty nest' thing going on, and just adores my boys. Heck, everyone seems to adore my kids.

Boys are out of school now until January. Not looking forward to all that fighting/griping/bickering and whining that will be going on.

Time to go.... a blooming onion is calling me!


Wednesday, December 21

More Stir Crazy

I think I found the limit as to how much time a person can sit on Facebook and NOT go crazy. Or maybe I went over that line. The whole stir crazy business has doubled now that I have limited mobility, compared to just being at home most of the time before. I would spend more of my time in bed, napping and reading, except I don't want to be laying there awake half the night due to not being able to sleep. Though, I do admit the vicodine sure helped put me out last night.

I found out that sitting there, refreshing my screen on FB every few minutes, is a really creepy sort of thing to do. When a new update or comment comes up, and I respond right away, it's even worse waiting for the other party to respond... because half the time they don't.

There is only so much one can do in any given game, without having to wait for more "coins", energy, or whatever, short of bringing out the ol' credit card and paying for stuff on a free game.

I'm hungry, and I haven't figured out how I am going to maneuver around to do some breakfast for myself.

It's a good thing I didn't hurt something more, like my ribs, abdomen, etc. I know I am going to be doing some time reading my bathroom book today.

I know. That last one was a bit too much TMI for you.


Tuesday, December 20

Just Call Me a Wuss

I broke down yesterday. In a sense, sort of literally. By mid-afternoon, my ankle was hurting bad enough I let the Wife convince me to go to Urgent Care. If nothing else, to verify it was a sprain. So I made it through the rest of the afternoon, and then we proceeded to spend the evening at Urgent Care. Yeah. It was broke. Seems the fibula (smaller of the two lower leg bones) was fractured clear through, down near the ankle. Good part is that it had not displaced (become unconnected, or split apart) at the fracture point. A basic splint wrapped around it all, a 'script for vicodine, and a slap on the ass sent me on home after 9pm last night.

The MIL had a set of crutches we borrowed. The Wife went up and had my script filled last night. This morning, the Daughter is back in town, and was nice enough to drive me up to meet my buddy for breakfast. He had just gotten out of the hospital yesterday, and is having some health issues. It was good to see him and share some time together. Then the Daughter drove me back home. I made a comment at one time to the Wife about not being able to get to the gym now, and do my treadmill workouts. But after moving around on the crutches, I thin I will get more of a workout with them than I was doing at the gym! My arms and chest are already a bit sore...

Only five days until Christmas, and we can put all this holiday shit behind us. I talked the Daughter into going out and getting the Wife one more present, if we can figure one out. At least the stores have them motorized carts if I decide to go. I may just give her the money and say bring back my change.

Welp, not much to think about right now. Going to be off my feet for a couple days as the Ortho Doc isn't scheduled until Thurs. Then I find out how long I may be wearing the cast/boot/etc they decide to put on my ankle. Yee haw.


Monday, December 19

Fight Night Weekend

Oh my. What a Sunday I had yesterday. Spent most of the day at one of my watering holes with my friends. We had all met up for bloody marys early before the softball tournament games (which were canceled due to rain). So it ended up just hanging out, watching the football games. At one point, Aaron and I were outside, and Aaron was funning around, asking everyone out there (smoking area) what sound they thought a sea gull makes. One guy who had just came out the door, decided he thought Aaron was making fun of him, and sucker-punched my buddy. Needless to say, that brought out my need to jump in and break it up. This guy would just not quit swinging though, and so even though I was able to break them up, I caught a few blows. Aaron, now that I was between them, saw the guy land one on me, and proceeded to come back in to retaliate. At this point, I don't know what happened for sure. I know I got knocked back off balance where I rolled on my ankle, and the two guys went down to the ground. I grabbed up the guy in a full nelson to drag him off. Another patron there came wading in and grabbed the guy and pinned him up against the wall. I saw a phone on the ground, and wanted to make sure it wasn't Aaron,s then saw him with his phone in his hand, so just motioned for him to go back in the bar, and followed him in. Police were called, and I guess they ended up taking the guy away. Aaron said he didn't want to press charges, as no apparent damage was received.... though, my ankle was just starting to feel sore at this point.

I got home a bit later, and was feeling quite a bit of pain on the ankle. Had the Wife check it out, and she mentioned she thought it was possible to have fractured it, but I refused to go to the ER. She wanted me to think about going to urgent care today as well, but I think the pain is down enough now I won't go. Though I am reduced to moving slowly through the house, and using the cane like I never had before. I guess I will be confined to the house this week. Not a major issue, as Christmas is next weekend. I still need to get at least one more present for the Wife though. Maybe send the daughter out this week to pick something up.

Whew! I am just getting too old to be having so much fun.


Friday, December 16

Fricking Holidays Suck

I was in a funk the past few days. Just dealing with basic crap does that to me at times. Having one of the boys home with a high temp doesn't exactly improve my mood either. But he is okay now. Yesterday, it culminated into a headache I could not easily get rid of. After ibuprofen and a long nap, I was still hurting. Finally, some beers being consumed actually helped it go away. Or maybe it relaxed me enough it stopped hurting. Whatever, just know that it worked.

I've said it before.... that I really dislike these commercialized holidays; where it is 'required' to purchase things for gifts, or cards or candies or whatever. It's bad enough having to celebrate these, but when the bigger ones like Christmas comes around, OMG, the crowds! The rudeness of people! The increase in traffic, and EVERYONE loses any patience, kindheartedness, and all the good attributes that are supposed to abound this time of year. But the one that really pisses me off, are the people that pull stupid ass stunts for attention. Oh, yeah...they don't need a holiday to do this, but when one is around, they have to get that attention off everything else and on to them.

I know such a person that got that attention from me last night. I gave them that attention in the form of a phone call, and promptly gave them my opinion too. I was pissed off like I hadn't been in quite some time. I don't need their shit. And I am not getting involved in it anymore. I am done.

There, I feel only a little better. I should go throw some things around and scream all the swear words I can think of in random form, as loud as I can. Maybe that would make me feel even better....but probably not. Sometimes.... even family suck worse than the holidays.


Tuesday, December 13

I Ain't Part of the Walking Dead

The results so far were pretty good from my doctor appointment yesterday. My weight was down (though not where I wanted it), blood pressure was down, everything else was going good. Did a blood draw to have my HDL, cholesterol, and sugar counts down, but Doc said he expected them to be closer to the better range(s). Will find out probably the first of next week.

I'm drawing a blank. Just a few moments ago, I had plenty to write down today, and now it eludes me.

I watched 'Atlas Shrugged Part 1 yesterday. I am hoping they are working on a part 2 at this time. It seemed to be pretty well put together, and from what I recall from reading the book, followed the story line well. 

Breakfast with Preacher Tom this morning. Not sure where we are going yet, but my stomach keeps telling me it is ready. 


Monday, December 12

Check-Up Time!!

I need to leave here in a few minutes to head to my Dr. appointment. I am hoping to be released from taking the blood pressure pills I am on. I haven't weighed myself in a couple weeks now, so I also am trying to guess about where that will come in at. Either way, I still pretty much doubled what I had lost since I saw the Doc last in July.

Today is to play catch-up. I have a few things to do around the house that I blew off this weekend. Tomorrow Preacher Tom and I are meeting for breakfast. I still need to get out and get a few more things for RM and the Wife.

Ok, my thoughts are starting to mix-in to each other. I need to get going.


Saturday, December 10

Ugh! No More $3 You-Call-Its

I went out last night. A bit later, as the Wife had her Christmas party.... but I got there in time for the $3 you call its.... and had WAY too many. Didn't help my buddy was assisting by buying every other round I was drinking.

However, due to my aged experience (no old fart jokes please) I actually am okay this morning.

Daughter came into town last night, in order to see her brothers Christmas musical/play tonight at the church. She and the Wife will probably be going shopping today. I asked the Wife to help finish up by getting the RM something, or two. I need to get out as well, and pick up a scorebook for our softball team, so the oldest son gets a chance to 'oversee', maybe babysit, his brothers while we are all out. I wonder if anyone will be alive when one of us adults get back....


Friday, December 9

It's Beginning to Look Like I Need a Beer

One thing that seems to always happen with this time of year's holidays, is the Employees Christmas Party. I know some of you out there don't get to have them, or worse, the company doesn't put up any $$ to help with one. Tonight is the Wife's, and it starts pretty much right after work, so I get the honor of running kids to practice for the church musical, and figuring out dinner. Most Fridays I get to meet up with the buds and have a few, but the schedule is all messed up this week. Of course, you think, that may not be such a bad thing.

The Wife seemed pretty happy with the gifts us men gave her for her birthday yesterday. I even went out and got pizza so she wouldn't have to cook. Next week we will have the time to go out and have a nice dinner to celebrate. With the oldest having practices, it just wasn't practical to do it this week.

I have been extremely lazy the past two weeks, and have not been going to the gym. I like to blame it on the cool mornings - that I just don't feel like getting out in that weather to go get sweaty, and then get in it again. Of course, the more likely excuse is that I am just lazy. Monday is my Doctor appointment, so I figure I will have to eat sparingly this weekend, and hope that the weight is still down (in other words, not gained much in the past two weeks).

Thinking about getting my guitar out again, and start playing some. Yeah, just thinking about it.


Thursday, December 8

Heh, I Forgot

I just remembered it is the Wife's birthday today. I almost screwed up....


Oh Geez...

I have been sitting here staring at the screen for about 20 minutes now. Nothing comes to mind that I feel like sharing, or even trying to write about. I can't even get my mind to think of anything. I randomly glance around, hoping by seeing a random object, it will throw some kind of thought that will get things started....but it doesn't seem to be happening.

The Reverend Mother found the last item I needed to get for Christmas things. I rephrase that, the last item for the kids. I still need to find a couple more things for the Wife. I had searched several stores with no luck for this item, and somehow, she just happened to come across it while she was out yesterday.

I need to start checking the file size when I download/order books. I thought I had come across a couple newer ones from Stephen King a few days back, and so I downloaded hem to my Kindle. Turns out they  were both just novellas, so were very quick reads. I was happy at least I had not paid for them. But I need to check the file size, so in the future, I still don't make that mistake.


Tuesday, December 6

I Think it is Finally Here

After about a week of lower temperatures, I think that winter has finally arrived here in the Valley of the Sun. After an extended period of time with the warmer weather, things have finally dropped down to just the 50's during the day. It will probably remain this way with few fluctuations, until March. The quilted flannel shirt, and winter comforter on the bed are sure making things more comfortable - even for me!

Oldest son's concert last night was good. Being the only French horn player, he had a couple small solo parts in the handful of selections they played. Afterwards, I found out he has been selected to go to All-State Band. There were only two students selected from his whole school. Next week the middle son will be debuting his trumpet skills for the first time with the elementary school concert.

I am feeling pretty tired this morning. Sleepy-tired, to clarify. I know I slept good last night, and even had retired at a decent hour. It's taking me a bit to wake up and feel motivated today. I have plans to meet up with Reverend Mother in about an hour, and the two of us go out to do some shopping. Mom is good at helping see ideas for things that I would normally pass over. Even if I decide to not do that idea. Especially when it comes to getting things for the Wife. I hope to get her birthday and Christmas stuff done today, and a couple things for the kids. We might even have lunch together. Either way, I know RM will like just being able to hang out with me (even if I ain't much fun).

Monday is my doctor appointment, and I have not hit my goal for the total amount of weight I had wanted to lose. As of a week ago, I only had 9 pounds to reach it, but have not pushed myself. I will be getting back into the gym hopefully tomorrow morning, and find out how bad the damage is (weight-wise). Either way, what I have lost is always good, and I know the Doc will be happy to see that.

Welp, I think I am going to call RM and head over to her place a little early. If I don't get off the computer, I know I will end up later than the time we planned to meet up.


Monday, December 5

I'm Stumped

Welcome to another chilly morning in the Phoenix area. I know many of you are having MUCH colder weather, but I really don't care. All I know is I am glad I am indoors, have heating, and plenty of coffee. Though, I may regret all the coffee in about an hour - if you know what I mean!

Yesterday afternoon I spent working on cutting down the rest of the dead tree in the back yard. Got it down to a stump, and a majority of the branches cut down for firewood. My BIL was down and we loaded some into their small car for him to take back up north to Payson where it gets much colder (in the mountains - they get snow). The rest I should have finished cutting up before Christmas, and will send the rest with him then. I need to figure out the easiest way to remove the stump. I'm in town so a stick of dynamite won't be acceptable. My yard doesn't have vehicle access, so can't use a truck to help pull it out. I have a feeling I will have to dig down around it, then cut through the roots and try to get the stump cut off a bit below the ground surface. Not looking forward to the digging and all. I may wait til warmer weather - like April, before I try it.

The Wife's birthday is this week. I need to get out and do some shopping to find her a few items, and then a few more for Christmas. She had gone out this weekend and did some shopping for stuff for the kids and other family members. I guess from her opinion, the crowds weren't too bad at the stores yet, but still enough inconsiderate people that block aisles, and push in front of you. I am not looking forward to the experience.

Today I think I am just going to rest. My back and legs are sore from all the cutting, etc. I thought I was in better shape, but I guess my gym work-outs aren't quite the same as what I was doing yesterday. The muscle rub came in good this morning for the legs so I can walk with a little less aching.

Oldest son has his Christmas concert tonight. I am glad it is a 'come and go' event, where each of the performances are in a different area of the school. this way we don't have to sit on the wooden bleachers in the gym for multiple groups performing before we can leave. Just hear his group, and be done. The middle son has his next week.

Well, have a few other things to do. See ya next time.


Saturday, December 3

Tackling a Tree

We have a tree in our backyard that is dead. When we moved in, it seemed okay. If I remember right, it was an orange tree, and actually was producing fruit. Anyhow, over the years, it has just slowly stopped producing, and branches would go without leaves. This past year or more, it has just stayed bare year round. The Wife decided it needed to come down, so a few months ago (about 3-4) she purchased a chain saw.

It's just an small electric one. But it would suffice for the tree, and maybe very few smaller projects around our home that would require a chain saw. Since I had handled chain saw before, I said I would get around to getting the tree cut down. Of course, that was like the middle of the AZ summer, and it is just too hot to be doing yard work in the afternoon, and by the time evening came with a more comfortable temperature level, we were doing other things, etc. Needless to say, the tree remained.

Last night the Wife asked if I was ever going to get the chain saw oiled and ready to go. I shrugged and said what's the rush? It's waited this long. Seems her brother is going to be down this weekend, and the wood we cut from the tree, he is willing to take back up north and use for his fireplace. He lives in a town where one does not have to call to hear a recording say if it is a no-burn night or not. I finally relented, and said I would take care of it today, so the wood would be ready to pick up tomorrow, or Monday. I'm sitting here now, sipping on my coffee, waiting the morning to warm up to about 50-60 before I bother getting started. I hope it takes no more than say maybe an hour or so.

I talked the Wife into going shopping while I am tackling the tree. She and the oldest son are going out, trying to get the younger ones some things, and maybe other family members outside our household. I am trying to get her started and out the door now so maybe I can get out to the pub with my buddies this afternoon. We'll see if that happens....


Friday, December 2

Dead is Dead

I found out earlier today, that someone I knew had died. His name was Pat. I didn't know him like a best friend; but I had known him for a few years. He was part of 'Our Crew' when I started the Over the Line in San Diego back in '06, and was there still this past summer when I went again after a hiatus. And even those years I wasn't able to go, he was there, plus I saw him here locally at our regular drinking hole.

He died this morning.

People do that, don't they? I mean, he wasn't young and like 20-something. He was old enough to be retired and "working some" or whatever he wanted to do. Hell, in today's economy, that would be saying more...

His name was Pat. I have downed innumerable drinks with the man, and to my disgrace, I never even knew his last name. I never knew his family, wife, or anything else.

I remember, not every time I saw him, but most were the same: have a few drinks together (if at the pub) or at least toast who's house we were at for whatever party. And definitely not leave out the OTL trips in the summer to San Diego - though, those details, well, even *I* don't disclose all.

The word I heard, he was up in Northern AZ, hunting Elk. This morning, he was dropped off where he wanted to be. After a bit of time, he wasn't answering his cellphone, so they got back round to where he was, and found him propped up next to a tree. I heard he was smiling, though he had passed away.

I hope he went that easy. I think everyone hopes that anyone that dies goes easy.

I'm still a bit depressed about it. Pat was one of those people you just instantly love. I have never seen him sad, mad, depressed, or anything negative. And I feel worse, I think, that I didn't know him better than what I did. Pat was still one of those few, that if asked, I would drop everything, give everything, for, if he asked.

And I still didn't know him.

And already, the world is a sadder place without him.

Rest in PeacE

Pat is on the left in this pic from July 2011 at OTL

Thursday, December 1

Down With The Sickness

My youngest woke this morning, and started coughing. That bad, croupy-sounding kind of coughing. Obviously, he is not going to school today, and the Wife took him over to Grandma's (my MIL) as usual. I am headed over there in a few to sit with Dad so Mom can get out for some shopping. Depending on how the son feels, I may offer to bring him back home, and spend the day here with me. I just hope this is not the start of the  cough going round & round our household, where just as one is done with it, another starts. I know the Wife can't even think about going to work if she is even coughing a little bit. She is in the Healthcare field (PT) so can't be near patients when she is sick. We had been fortunate that seemingly most of this year, we weren't passing stuff around constantly.

It's actually a bit chilly today here int he valley of the sun. Taking the trash down tot he street, I actually had to put a T-shirt on, and debated sandals or something to keep my feet from the cold concrete. It actually is sort of cloudy...maybe some rain today?

Yeah, talking about the weather is about as much excitement as I can handle today.