Disgusting Behavior…

On Monday night our city's third grade girls’ softball team played a neighboring city's team.  The Mother of Five took #4 of 5 (a player on the team), along with #5 of 5 and #3 of 5.  I was running errands, and was headed to the softball game after picking up #2 of 5 from a Boy Scout meeting.

Once I arrived at the field and as I approached the diamond, it was (audibly) evident that there were a couple of spectators present who were being very enthusiastic.

While I myself am not one, I become accustomed to, and have no issue with this phenomenon (to a certain degree).  If you want to shout out to your daughter or your team, who am I to say you should not.  Personally, I am one of the "silently proud" parents.

As I took my seat in the bleachers next to my wife I noticed she happened to be seated (along with #5 of 5) next to the “enthusiastic” male and female.  I settled in for a “loud” game (as I frequently have to – enthusiastic parents are pretty common). After numerous unusually loud cheers for their team, I turned to my wife, and gave her the “What’s up with that” look.

The Mother of Five then leaned over and whispered to me that on several instances - the male counterpart of this couple took his “enthusiasm” beyond what I would expect to or want to hear from spectators at a third grade girls softball game.

Remember folks… This is a game intended to be fun for third grade girls.

I was told that the male half (hereafter referred to as a “man-child”) was overheard calling our coach a “b---h” (i'll let you fill in the missing i, t, and c) on more than one occasion,  and that when the woman he was with (hereafter referred to as the “crazed-female”) told him to “Shush” - he made it clear that he did not care who heard.

Had I been present at the time, I would have politely asked him to refrain from such behavior, and to try and exhibit a little more maturity and decorum for the sake of the young children present - which I fully expect would have induced a profanity laden tantrum of epic proportions - followed with me contacting the local authorities to have him removed - thus solving the problem...

While he may not care - I on the other hand do.  I take exception to having my six year old daughter (sitting less than five feet from this "man-child")  have his little tantrum.  I also care about nine year old girls (players from BOTH teams) who have to hear spectators at their softball game yell disrespectful, profane and truly offensive language directed toward one of the coaches and / or (in this case) their own parent (since two of the girls on the team are twin daughters of the coach and their older sister is helping mom out with the caching).

After being advised of this unacceptable behavior, I became acutely aware, and was focusing more on was these two were saying rather than the game.  Throughout the rest of the game I did not witness any additional (profane or disrespectful) behaviors myself, so I put the matter behind me. 

Above video was taken after being made aware, and while watching for any additional problematic behaviors.  As you can plainly see – they were being very enthusiastic… Nothing more.

After the game, our team's coach was told by her children (who heard this man-child call their mother a “b---h” from their seat on the  bench) of what they had heard during the game.

Surprised by this, as the couple walked to their car, our team's coach (stress - politely)asked to talk to the both of them.  The man-child and the crazed-female immediately became defensive, and instantly escalated the discussion by shouting and  use of boisterous profanities - including numerous occasions of the use of “b---h”, various versions of “f—k” (I’ll let you fill in the missing “u” and “c”), and as icing on the cake…  “c--t rag” (I’ll let you fill in the missing “u” and “n”) as well as comments directed towards her husband (who was not even present).

I stood by observing the exchange, fearful that the agitated man-child (and maybe even the crazed-female) would take this exchange to an assaultive level. I was worried for the (lone female) coach’s personal safety.

Some of you may second guess this decision... To "stand by observing" rather than jumping in and defending the coach.  First off, she was already taking the high road.  Her point needed no defending.  It was obvious from the dialog which side was dealing with rational thinking and behaviors and which was not.  I believe that my "tapping in" to this foray would have only lead to further escalation. 

My "line in the sand" was if it was to became physical.

During the exchange, the man-child and crazed-female spoke of screamed about an unspecific incident in which they claim our coach had spoken “disrespectfully” towards their team's coach. Our coach asked the couple (on numerous occasions) to share what they felt she had done or had said.  She also reminded them that if they had issue with something that occurred in the game, that she would have been happy to discuss it like rational adults.  Despite her numerous requests for this info, our coach was never given an answer. Instead, she was attacked with a continual barrage of ongoing and highly inappropriate name calling - laden with profanities.

It soon became evident that this exchange was becoming unproductive and going nowhere.  Our team's coach started walking away, yet even as she did, the couple continued to try and bait her into further confrontation.  Once she chose not to participate in this exchange, the couple finally gave up.  They could be heard screaming several final instances of profane beratement through the windows of their car as they drove out of the lot.

From my perspective as a witness to the parking lot portion of what happened tonight, the man-child and crazed-female were both the instigators and perpetrators of this evening’s events.

I choose to enroll my children in the Youth Sports programs because of the positive aspects of the program.  These are things like good sportsmanship, being a team player, challenging oneself, learning how to work (play) with a variety of different players from different backgrounds, conflict management, the basic rules of the game, and to have fun.

Our team's coach has been an outstanding role model for our daughter!  She has demonstrated (and I have personally observed) several instances of her being a patient, and positive role model by practicing the qualities I mentioned above.

While the coach’s roll for these young girls is obvious, the parents and spectators at these games also have responsibilities to the girls - not only to their own daughters, but to the daughters and family members of those around them.  Spectators (as much as the coaches and players) represent not only themselves and their families - but they also represent their respective Park and Recreation / Youth Sports programs, and the team’s city of origin.

I have had children in Youth Sports Programs since 1993.  In all those years (with multiple children in multiple sports from multiple cities) I have never seen such disturbing behavior from anyone involved (coaches, players or spectators).


No, not the Song Butterfly – By Crazy Town (although – I do like that song!)

One of my earlier (more vivid) memories is of a caterpillar.  I was about 5 or maybe 6 years old.  I had found a caterpillar and wanted to watch it turn into a butterfly.  I had put it in a jar, punched holes in the lid, and watched it grow.  Soon, it became a chrysalis, and I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of a butterfly – when all of a sudden – the jar just disappeared.  I remember looking all over the place for it, and becoming quite upset…  But like anything with 5 year olds – it did not stay on my radar long, and I was quickly outside playing with the neighborhood kids. 

I may have never given that caterpillar another thought – but about two days later (while playing with one of my neighbors) that I found the jar.  In his yard.  Behind some bushes.  Empty.

I later discovered that he was “jealous” of my caterpillar / chrysalis / soon to be butterfly – so he snuck it outside, hid in the bushes, and stomped on it…  

My relationship with that neighborhood kid was never the same.  I could not get that image out of my head – even to this day – when I think caterpillars / chrysalis / butterflies – I am still reminded of that incident. 

Our kids school has a WONDERFUL Second Grade Teacher (Mrs. Warden) who has been teaching at St. John the Baptist School… Well, for generations now.  Her WHOLE teaching career to be exact.  40+ years now.  She was the recipient of the 2009 Fox 9 Teacher of the Year Award – (LINK (video too!) and the local paper’s coverage HERE)  Her granddaughter and our #5 of 5 are in the same class, and hang in the same group of friends. 

She is truly an amazing teacher whom we have been fortunate enough to have taught three of the five (so far… Still hoping for Mrs. Warden to hold out long enough for #5 of 5 to be in her classroom). 

Mrs. Warden has a theme for her classroom.  Her classroom is known as “The Butterfly Room”.  Every child in her classroom receives a caterpillar and raises it into a monarch butterfly – and the unit culminates in a mass release of monarch butterflies by the entire class.  It really does leave a lasting impression – one of our Scout Troop’s recent Eagle Scout Project was to build Mrs. Warden’s classroom a Butterfly Garden for the education and use by the entire school! 

#4 of 5 did this two years ago. 

A few weeks ago, #4 of 5 came running into the house the other day with a caterpillar.  She said she wanted to repeat the lessons she learned in Mrs. Warden’s class! 

I quickly thought about my bad experience from the past – but determined to not let that interfere with #4 of 5’s experience, and maybe take a proactive approach at CHANGING my own bad memory into something positive – we got an ice cream bucket, punched holes in it – grabbed some branches, and found a grove of milkweed plants to feed it.

We did care for it, and watched it grow into a BIG caterpillar (compared to how small it was when she brought it home).  Next thing we knew, the caterpillar was hanging from the lid of the container, and curled into the distinctive “J” that means a chrysalis will soon follow – which it did.

IMG_0304_640x480Then, during an unusually busy week (and on day three of getting 3 or less hours sleep a night) my very excited daughter and her friend (who was spending the night) came running out to meet me at the car when I pulled in the garage.


Lost tooth?  Broken Bone?  Someone cut their own hair???

Too tired to really even try – I gave up immediately.  I was informed that the caterpillar has fully transformed into a beautiful butterfly, and the kids were all waiting for me to come home to release it! 






Well worth postponing going to bed, we grabbed the camera – and shot a few photos of “Tres” (Spanish for “three” – and the name she gave her caterpillar.  I later determined there was no reason behind the name besides “I liked that as a name”)









Tres was then released into the wild where “She” (and yes, she is a “she” – there is a way to tell the sex of a monarch by the dots (or lack there of) on their wings) quickly took shelter in our front tree for quite some time.











Using the zoom on the camera
I took a last couple of pics of Tres before we wished her good luck on her journey to Mexico.


I think it worked!! 
When I think of caterpillars / chrysalis / Monarch butterflies
I am now seeing images of a happy #4 of 5 in my mind!! 

A Wonderful Whirlwind Weekend

After picking up #2 of 5 from C.I.T. training earlier week, I was staring down the barrel of what looked like one of our hectic, crazy, over-scheduled (i.e. - "typical") weekends.  It quickly turned out to be a WONDERFUL (crazy, hectic, over-scheduled) weekend!

Here is the whirlwind tour!

About a week ago, Best Bud Ed called me and gave me a heads up that he and his whole family was going to be in town celebrating his nephew's graduation, and asked about my availability for getting together.  I checked my Palm Pilot - and noticed a couple of significant entries that would prohibit a lot of time together.  "Work", "Father's Day", and "Boy Scout Hot Dog Booth". 


The Boy Scout Hot Dog Booth was being held at a local Cub Foods.  There are a total of six shifts per day, for three days.  Each family is asked to sign up for one shift (if they choose) to help of-set the costs of camping at Tomahawk Scout Reservation.  Then, after the list goes around once, it's sent again, and again, and again - until all the slots are filled up.  The profits from the Booth are split among the shifts - and used to help pay for camp.  Having two scouts (and a father who likes to go for part of the week) can add up - so the FOF's name was on that list many times!

Last year - we took four shifts.  This year?  Six shifts.  Yup, SIX SHIFTS!

Thursday - One shift with #3 of 5.

Friday - One shift with #2 of 5.

Saturday - Two (back to back) shifts with #3 of 5

Sunday - Two (back to back) shifts with #2 of 5.


Despite my not having a lot of free time, we welcomed Best Bud Ed and family to stay with us at our house.  If nothing else, we could have a couple of back yard campfires - and do some catching up...

As Thursday afternoon approached, I was sitting at work talking to (frequent comment-er) "Co-worker".  As I was lamenting the business of my weekend with him, he reminded me that I had scheduled vacation days on Saturday and Sunday.  I told him he was wrong.  I actually argued with him.  I took out my Palm Pilot - and pulled up my schedule.  "Co-Worker" quickly logged in to our computerized schedule here at work (the "official" schedule) and showed me that I did indeed have two vacation days requested (and approved).


I contacted the Mother of Five - discussed the changes, and followed up with Best Bud Ed.  Plans were adjusted to allow them to arrive a day earlier, providing us a day for some GeoCaching!

06-19-10_2337_600x480 Best Bud Ed and his family arrived on Friday night, and we started off with a back yard rec fire (and some beer, and some cigars!).  After staying out "way too late" on Friday night, Saturday morning rolled around "way to quickly".  The Mother of Five made breakfast for everyone before having to leave to work the hot dog stand with #3 of 5, and then to work.  After breakfast, and getting the older kids settled into some activities, Best Bud Ed and I left the kids in the very capable hands of his wife, and we headed out to Belle Plaine to nab a few morning caches.  (Link Video of my #3 of 5 and Ed’s Youngest)

Best Bud Ed had to "demonstrate" his new cellular telephone.  He is set up with one of those "Fancy Pants" Motorola Droid phones with all the bells and whistles!  His phone has a GeoCachinig Application that offers paperless caching, a live GeoCaching map, and instant logging!  I think that dang phone even has it's own toilet paper dispenser! (Well, ok - it has ALMOST all the bells and whistles you could ask for...  I made up that thing about having a toilet paper dispenser...  I think.)

After a GREAT morning of caching - we headed home to relieve his wife of her child-watching duties - get lunch ready - and even squeezed in a game of Cribbage (inaugurating my new EJHWoodworking Cribbage Board - with a "last minute victory" after trailing behind the entire game!) before I had to head out to the Hot Dog Stand and pick up #3 of 5.

Once I returned, we loaded up both families - nabbed some Mickey-Dee's - and headed to the park.  After a quick "dinner", the youngest kids ran to the playground, #2 of 5 took off with his skateboard to do some "sk8ter" stuff, while Best Bud Ed, #3 of 5, and I set off on another GeoCaching run.

We had a GREAT time caching!  It was wonderful to casually walk some trails with Ed while we "shot the breeze" and got caught up.  It has also been a while since I had one of the kids with me while caching, and #3 of 5's presence proved to be a TREMENDOUS asset to us on a couple of the caches!  At least one cache would not have been found if it had not been for #3 of 5!

HERE is a list of our caches for the day.

06-19-10_2034_600x480After we tired the kids out, it was back to our house for another late night of backyard fire, beer, wine coolers, schnapps, and cigars.

Sunday morning found us at the early (8am) Mass so that #2 of 5 and I could fulfill our final (fifth and sixth) hot dog stand shifts of the weekend.  With the Mother of Five at work again today, dinner was up to me.  I barbequed up some chicken, and we got out the potato salad that the Mother of Five had made for us previously.

With dinner done, we were going to have one more fire pit (or at least start one) before Best Bud Ed and his family had to head out for home.  As Ed and I prepped the fire area - I asked him if it would be easier for him to spend the night - and just head out first thing in the morning.  He checked with his wife - and we all agreed - one more night would be easier (and give us one more full night at the campfire!).   (Link – Video of last campfire)

As the evening progressed, we added a few more bottles to the table, finished off our second package of cigars, and somehow, the cap for the schnapps bottle ended up in the fire pit.

The background behind that is a long story, and involves a wintertime birthday party at Ed's cabin, a large bottle of Blackberry Brandy, a night of vomiting over the deck railing, and a day of "someone" wishing that they had died the night before...

Let's suffice it to say that when the cap goes in the fire - there is no way to close off the bottle anymore.  Not having a way to close the bottle requires the consumers of the bottle's contents to have to empty the bottle.  Thankfully, this bottle was mostly empty - and the vanilla schnapps that was left inside went down easily - without any difficulty, and without any significant "consequences" in the morning.

Speaking of morning... It was 5am the next morning when my alarm went off... Signaling the end of my "Whirlwind" weekend, and the beginning of a LONG workweek (not so long as in the number of days - but extraordinarily long in the number of hours worked each day).

Overall, despite the almost constant activity of the weekend, having Best Bud Ed and his family out to visit - made the very busy weekend a wonderful weekend full of fun and friends!

Back Home after C.I.T. Staff Training

#2 of 5 successfully completed his week of C.I.T. Staff Training.

In addition to a bundle of dirty stinky clothing, and being completely exhausted, he came home with a new name!  Summer Staff are all given a Camp Nickname.   Noodles, for example, is the name of the staff person overseeing all the C.I.T.’s.  A few of the names that stuck out to me in addition to Noodles included Moose, #2 (and I do not mean my #2 of 5 – although that would have been “fitting”), Splash, Twix, Boone, etc, etc, etc…

#2 of 5’s camp name?  Kahoots.    (As in.. “Cahoots - A collusion or collaboration to nefarious ends”.  Whoever gave him that name knocked one outta the park!  It suits him to a “T”.)

At the culmination of their week of training, all parents and family of the Staff members were invited to camp for a Barbeque dinner.  Dinner consisted of Barbequed chicken drumsticks, corn on the cob, potato salad, canned peaches, fresh cut watermelon, a brownie, and milk or lemonade. 

Actually – dinner turned out surprisingly well!



After dinner – and an introduction to the primary staff members (sort of like the “managers” of the different areas of the camp) all family / friends of the staff were invited to the fire ring for a viewing of this year’s campfire extravaganza (thus providing the new staff a chance to perform the show as a practice run).



Left:  Off to the campfire ring. 

Right:  Arriving at the campfire ring


Left:  #2 of 5, with fellow troop member and C.I.T. “Twix” 

Right:  Scouts as “candles”  Its the 100th birthday of Scouting this year!


Left:  Singing the wild and crazy “Longa Chabonga” song.

Right":  Staff intermingling with the visitors to get them up and singing with the staff!


Then, once they finished the campfire routine, they wrapped up the night with the customary “Vespers

After Vespers, it was time to head back to the staff campsites to gather their ”stuff” and break camp – then back to the Gwinn center (the Staff Lounge – with a recreation center, and a kitchen) for final check out.

 06-16-10_2031 IMG_0293_640x480IMG_0297_640x480 IMG_0295_640x480 IMG_0296_640x480 IMG_0294_640x480



He may not realize it yet, but he is becoming a true roll model within his troop, and beyond! 

I am so proud of the young man that #2 of 5 is becoming. IMG_0274_640x480

Prayer Request

Not that long ago, I wrote about a visit here on FOF from someone searching out a different Father of Five

Since then, I have been following his progress…  Daily…

I have been AMAZED by the progress he has made, and the optimistic view and extraordinary fortitude his family has.  Over the past several weeks, I have looked forward to seeing what “NO BAD NEWS” meant for Lewis each day. 

Today’s post on Father of Five may not be considered the best possible news, (but with all things considered) still falls under “no bad news” category.

In today’s post – they have asked for as many prayers as anyone can muster up for this other Father of Five.

I would be forever grateful for anyone that considers themselves a reader or friend of THIS Father of Five to please – take just a moment of your day – to send a prayer, a good thought, best wishes, positive karma, uplifting ju-ju or whatever you got to give – his way.

Let’s keep the “No Bad News” rolling for Lewis and his family.

Thank you.

A C.I.T. Update

Tonight, we are making the one hour trek to drop #2 of 5 off for his introductory week-long staff training at the Phillipo Scout Reservation

Prior to departure, a doctor's visit for his "camp physical" was required.  Many phone calls and e-mails were sent (and received) sharing tips and suggestions for both this week of training, and the subsequent three weeks of C.I.T.'ing.  (Councilor In Training)

06-11-10_1925 Since he has been SQUEEZING himself into his original Boy Scout Uniform (and because the camp suggests two complete uniforms for staff) we needed to go out and purchase a new uniform.  The uniform requirement for camp is listed as a FULL uniform.  A full uniform includes the official BSA shirt, the official BSA pants / shorts / or "switchbacks" (pants legs that unzip into shorts), the official BSA belt, and the official BSA socks.  (What??  No requirement for BSA undies?? - Snicker, snicker.)

For the first time since... um... well, for the first time EVER, one of our Scouts will be dressed in a FULL BSA uniform!

Pushing it out to the last possible minute, the Mother of Five and I sat up last night and got the new uniform ready for it's debut.  While The Mother of Five hemmed the pants, I sewed the required patches on the shirt.  I have to say, we did a pretty good job of tag-teaming this task!

Here is a photo of #2 of 5 heading out to the field to meet the rest of the staff, councilors, and fellow C.I.T.’ers.

Ahhh... A little reprieve!  Our numbers are down...  Only three out of our five home for the next week...

In the “Why Didn’t I Think of That” Category.

My sister sent me an email, with this photo attached.



It seems that my twin nephews “N” & “J” received a birthday gift from their great aunt. 

The birthday gift was a monster sized box of candy, with a couple of other “items” mixed in with the candy….

Can you think of anything better than twin eight year old boys, hopped up on a candy / sugar high, running around the house armed with a couple of these things??

Now, how can I top / surpass this??

Front Patio – Step 4

I have come to the end of another set of days off, and head back to work tomorrow.  I had set myself a goal for these days off…  The fence.  I had wanted to get the fence completed, so we could move on to the next phase of the front patio project – but alas, it was not to be.  Mother Nature and Fate were both working against me.

Yet, despite their best attempts at HALTING my progress, I did get some noticeable work put into the project.

campview First off, I wanted needed to get work done on this fence to help me feel better.  You see, Best Bud Ed and former neighbor and good friend of his - “Good Neighbor Jim” were going on a camping trip.  They were headed up to the Hogback Lake Trail in the Superior National Forest. 

I too was invited and would have LOVED to have gone – but my fatherly duties, my failing front wheel bearing, and the incomplete (and untouched) fence project that was staring me in the face for the past three weeks were all making a camping trip impossible to fit into my schedule. 

Seeing as I was going to have to turn down the opportunity to do some camping with Best Bud Ed and Good Neighbor Jim – I told myself that the next best thing I could hope for (and believe me, it was a DISTANT next best thing) was to complete the fence project…  If I could not go camping, I could at least cross on project off my list…

As if adding salt to a wound, I was treated to frequent emails detailing me to their current location while enroute, and periodically, some photos of their trip would arrive.  The photo above is one that Best Bud Ed sent me in an email he titled…  “View From Camp”  As you can see, I missed a GEORGOUS trip. 

Enough of that… I’m getting depressed.

Weekend – Day 1

I was STOKED to get out and get working on the fence.  I was (secretly) hoping I could have it done by Sunday,  and have Monday and Tuesday to get some additional work accomplished (above and beyond the fence).  Instead, I got to watch the rain splatter upon my project from the view from the window – while we spent the day cleaning, sorting and organizing our bedroom. 

Weekend – Day 2

GEORGOUS day!  I got a lot accomplished.  The fence was looking AWESOME (See Front Patio – Step 3) – or, so I thought…

Weekend – Day 3

Started with a telephone call the night before.  That phone call resulted in the following facebook update.

What did you say? Your car is falling apart?? You want me to do what? Oh, yeah, I had nothing better planned this morning than to go out and look at the worn CV joint, broken ball joint (and what I suspect is a worn bearing)... Oh, and let me find you a mechanic while I'm at it.. Huh? You also need a loan to get it fixed?? -- Ahhh, kids... Ya gotta love 'em (snicker)

#1 of 5 had a vehicular fever a-brewin’ – and the only remedy was – Dad to the rescue…  Then, there was the whole discussion that occurred after The Mother of Five evaluated the work I had done during Day 2…   Another commentary in the form of a Facebook update.

Now that #1's car is being looked at, and he is back home to get some sleep (works overnights) and I am back home, it's time to get back out to the patio. Didn't I tell you? Michele wants the fence 3" lower. So now I have to take the whole thing apart, dig the holes another 3" deeper, and level the posts all over again... Gosh, what a "good husband" wont do to make his loving wife happy!?!?! (rolling my eyes)

Two and a half hours later, another Facebook update

About 1/2 the way done getting the posts all dropped, and leveled! Thankfully, things have been going rather smoothly - so I'll cross my fingers (for the rest of the posts), quit my whining, and head back out.

And finally, two hours after that update, one last fence update…

WOO~HOO!!! I have final approval from the boss!!!

All in all, I’d call it a “Halfway productive day”.  I got a good solid 4-5 hours of work in before the evening routine of Boy Scouts, Softball, and Picking #1 of 5 up to take him to work started.  By the time I got home, I was exhausted and had to head off to bed early, because…

Weekend – Day 4

…because Day 4 started at 5am – when the alarm clock woke me.  What's that you ask?  5am alarm clock on my day off?  Yes.  Yes, that is correct.  You see, I also had to run out and get #1 of 5 at the end of his work shift.  I had to pick him up at 6am – then (as a favor, because it was raining, and he walks to work) I drove one of #1 of 5’s managers home so he did not have to hoof it in the rain.

06-08-10_1413After getting both of them to their respective homes, I headed out to the Lumber yard for some last minute fence parts, then to the bank (for #1 of 5’s “loan” (and I use that term loosely)).  After sitting in the parking lot for 30 minutes while waiting for the back to open – I had money in hand, headed out to pay the mechanic for the work on #1 of 5’s car.

I arrived home (for a whopping 30 minutes) and headed back out to take #2 of 5 to his orthodontist appointment. 

(Good news!  Braces come off at the next visit!!)

After the Orthodontist appointment, #2 of 5 had a quick lunch in the car, and I headed out to bring him back to school.

After #2 of 5 made it to school – I had two hours to get something done.  It had stopped raining, so I got all my power tools out, set up, and started measuring – when the skies opened up (again) and dumped rain upon my parade.

I worked (as best I could) through the rain until the kids came home from school.  #2 of 5 had a “Summer Camp Checkup” scheduled – so as The Mother of Five arrived home, I headed out with #2 of 5 to the clinic.

While at the clinic, I called Best Bud Ed and caught up with his camping adventures. 

#2 of 5 came out of the office with a clean bill of health, and the Doctor’s A.O.K. for summer camp and CIT’ing, so it was time to get back home.

We arrived just in time for dinner (which I skipped to finish my last two rails, and to clean up my mess). 

Believe it or not, I got the fence in!!  It still needs to be plumbed and the posts cemented in, but you can stand back and actually SEE the fence.

Now, with all that done, I quick whipped out this post (sorry for the low quality post) and it’s off to get #1 of 5 for another ride to work.  I hope to be home by 10:30 pm – so I can go to bed, and get up at 5am for the much more relaxed pace of a 911 center!



The Life of a Father of Five.

Front Patio – Step 3

With time being at a premium as the school year / baseball season / golf season / dance class / sewing class all wind down for the year, the front patio project has crept along at a turtle’s pace.

Yesterday being a day off from work, I was actually pretty motivated to get some progress made.  Alas, it rained (steadily) all day long.  Instead, the Mother of Five and I did a thorough cleaning of our room.

Today, on the other hand, turned out to be an “almost” perfect day for working out in the yard! 

After Church and a little sustenance (in the form of a toasted PB & J and a Mountain Dew), I changed into some grubby clothing, lathered myself with SPF30, and loaded a MP3 player up the with several hours of Old Time Radio’s Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar (to help distract me from the tedious task of hole digging).  With these tasks complete, I had run out of excuses – I had no choice but to head out and get started

The day’s plan consisted of digging holes for the fence posts, and leveling off the fence posts.

Surprisingly (for me) the morning and early afternoon went VERY well (usually something runs amuck and causes me significant delays).  The holes were dug pretty easily, and leveled out with little or no problems.  I did not even hit the underground natural gas line!! 

In fact, it went SO well, that not only did I get the post holes dug, but I even got a few of the rails temporarily placed (some tied up with string – and some that had not yet been cut to size) so I could get a feel for how everything was looking.







As the afternoon progressed, an isolated thunderstorm rolled through causing me to clean everything up and head in. 

You can see the clouds rolling in from the west over the top of the house in the photo to the left.

Once the thunderstorm stopped and the rain has held itself at bay long enough to convince me to make a triumphant return to the front patio project – I broke down, and headed back out getting all my tools out again.


The extra work time I got after my triumphant return was spent cutting down a few of the rails that needed to be cut – specifically the rails that surrounded the patio. 

As I was making the last couple of cuts, my Father in law returned with #2 and #3 of 5 from their “Roofing Extravaganza”!  (Link #1, Link #2).  I got the boys back in the house, visited with my (exhausted) Father in Law for a few minutes before he headed home.  Once he left, I finished up the last couple of cuts that comprised the fence rails around the patio area, cleaned up for the night, and headed in.

 IMG_0237_640x480 IMG_0238_640x480 IMG_0239_640x480 IMG_0240_640x480  IMG_0242_640x480 IMG_0243_640x480  IMG_0245_640x480 IMG_0246_640x480

What’s on tomorrow's dance card??  An inventory of the posts I still need, a trip to the lumber yard to exchange the wrong posts for the correct posts (corner, pass through, and end posts) and snag a few other miscellaneous supplies I need, to return home and complete the portion of the fence (both posts and rails) around the sidewalk portion of the project. 

Finally, on Tuesday – Once I have the posts and rails all plumbed, leveled, and looking satisfactory – it will be time to fill the post holes with cement – making their placement permanent. 

So, check out the photos, and share your comments, because it’s a matter of “speaking now, or forever holding your peace” 

An Update from the Roofers

With the wonder of modern technology (camera cellular telephones#2 of 5 has been keeping us up to date with the progress that has been going on while they are pretending to be “roofers”.






First photo from the first day… Looks like they started off taking on the easy parts of the roof.


Hey, Uncle B… Nice view from here!








#2 of 5 texted me to say he was miserable…  Apparently, he had some sort of allergic reaction to something that was in the air.  It attacked him in the eyes, as you can see..

This is strange, because #2 of 5 does not normally deal with allergies.  He’s never experienced these “delights” before.

#3 of 5 is our allergy sufferer.  Surprisingly, he was doing just fine!






Today (after five days of working on the roof) I received text (and photo) messages #2 of 5 sent me.  The text read…

He is afraid of heights and he is on TOP of the roof…


The, the photo to the left showed up.

See, the thing is #3 of 5 (in the red shirt) has been deathly afraid of heights… We did not think he would actually get up on the roof during this process.  (I thought he would be a ground “go-fer”) for the roof crew…

There he is at the peak of the roof!  I’m so very proud of him!!


Keep up the good work guys!  Wish I was there to help you.

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