Thursday, July 31, 2008

Overhead View

If you weren't tired already of my vacation posts, here is another. Above is a picture of where we were in New Castle, NH. The water is the Piscataqua River that separates New Hampshire from Maine. "A" is the place we stayed at which is called the Piscataqua Cafe (though it is not a working cafe now). It is built on pilings on the water. Across the street, at "B" is where my aunt and uncle live. They now own the Cafe. Early in our marriage, Lucie and I lived in "B" and it was from there that we actually witnessed the "storm of the century" (later made into a movie). "C" is the point where we fished from and where Elliott caught his big striper.

The vet called this morning and Jasmine is 100% healthy. He ran a big battery of blood tests on her and she came back perfect in every category! I scrubbed her with the new shampoo and she is smelling better. A couple more baths and she will be good.

Lucie is off today so we are heading out to do errands. Basketball tonight. Lucie made scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon in them. I told her she needed to stay home and do that every day but I guess someone has to work...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vet Day

This morning I took the golden retriever (Jasmine) to the vet for a checkup and to get some overdue shots. She was within her weight limits and the doc said she was in great shape for being 9 years old. She has been smelling bad lately - especially after getting out of the pool. And not just a wet dog smell either. I bought some special shampoo there and as part of her blood work he will check her thyroid activity. Either way, it is nothing major. He recommended some over the counter joint medicine to help with her stiffness. I may pop a few myself...

I had a phone interview with a major local employer this afternoon. That went well. Nothing specific being offered - more of an exploratory questioning and discussion. A guy I play basketball with set me up and I am thankful for that. I have to keep networking and plugging away - that is how something will develop.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Toe Job

You know it is a slow day when the highlight is Elliott getting his ingrown toenail fixed. He had the same problem on his other foot and the same procedure done - basically a section of nail is cut out and an acid applied to keep it from growing back. It was a genetic thing - nothing he did wrong. 4 shots in the toe, then some jabbing and poking (made me think of some torture techniques) and we were out of there. No pain and he watched it all. I, on the other hand, looked away.

Ashleigh has gone off to Alabama for a missions trip with a church group. They left at 4:15 this morning. Thank God for friends... they let her spend the night and took her over with their kids who were going too. I am on duty to bring them all home next week when they get back. Lucie is depressed and missing her so I made grilled scallops and chicken kabobs for supper. I think a couple of ice cream doses and she will be fine. For today...

Tomorrow I have a phone interview that I am pretty excited about. Before that I have to take the golden retriever to the vet for some shots and a checkup. Lately she has been smelling really bad and no amount of bathing and shampooing is helping. She loves to sit on the top step of the pool in her private Jacuzzi but when she gets wet, she smells even worse. We will get to the bottom of that tomorrow.

But for tonight, it is back to Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Always something entertaining there.

Monday, July 28, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

What you see above is real New Hampshire lobster roll, made fresh at the dock, and non-greasy onion rings. The best!

Today is laundry and cleanup day. And picture filing and blogging day too.

I posted some vacation pictures on the website (see the link to the left of this) - scroll down below the Christian Joke of the Day and click the link to a photo show of the vacation.

I also posted a video of Elliott landing his fish. On the website also, but you have to scroll further down the page.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Never Underestimate God

Sunday morning we got all of our stuff packed and set by the car for Lucie to work her magic and fit it all in as only she can. So while she went to work on that, Elliott grabbed the fishing pole and we headed out to the point for one last chance. I was praying that God would let him catch a fish - even a little one. He had been so diligent all week fishing every chance he could, casting like a pro, doing all the right things. Just no bites. Well, on his third cast, he hooks up a 25 inch, 8 pound striper! It was bigger than the one I and my brother caught put together! Ain't that just like God to give us more than we asked for or could imagine! He reeled it in and we wrestled it around to get some pictures. We had to release it as the minimum keeper length is 28 inches. It swam away to grow a little by the time we come back and catch him again.

Ashleigh found a message in a bottle detailing a party but it didn't say exactly when or where.

We got underway around 11 and got home at about 6:15. It rained around New York City and we ran into some traffic there but overall we made great time and really didn't have any problems.

It was really, really nice to come to a home that we knew was in good shape. Thanks to James and Katie for keeping an eye on the place and dogs while we were gone. Great peace of mind knowing everything was OK.

Here is a video of Elliott landing his fish:

Lighthouse Visit

On Saturday morning we met my younger brother and his wife at a country store in NH. Lots of authentic country things there including candies and deli stuff. Very interesting and fun. We went back to where we were staying and cooked up some lunch on the grill. We then walked down to the island lighthouse - it was open house that day so we got to go up inside of it. That was pretty interesting and provided a great view.

On the walk back, we stopped at a lobster business and picked up a lobster roll for dinner.

My brother cooked up some more great meat for dinner and my mother came with her unique and excellent cookies. We spent the night talking and eating and watching the kids play Guitar Hero (kids including my younger brother!). Earlier in the evening my brother caught a striper off the point we fish from - about a foot long like the one I caught. It was a nice evening.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


If you look real close, you can see Elliott on the raft on the far right. This was at a private campground that I went to a lot as a kid in Alton, NH. Fairly small but on a Christian camping area so it is pretty nice and secluded. The water was too cold for me so we sat out in the chairs and people watched for a while. To get here, we had to travel through where the tornado touched down. Just a narrow area but the trees were ripped out or broken off. We stopped at my brother's house first and toured that. He and his wife are building a place on 3.5 acres way out in a real quiet area. That was very nice but a work in progress. They are enjoying it. Afterward we came back and went to our Maine friends' house for a cookout and to visit before they left for vacation on Saturday.

Today we are going to a country store up in NH and meeting my brother and his wife there. They will follow us back to where we are staying and we will go through the New Castle lighthouse. They are opening it today so that should be good. It is around the corner from where we are staying. It is on the site of a Revolutionary War skirmish where the locals stole gunpowder from the British that was later used in the Battle of Bunker Hill and other of battles. Another cookout with family here afterward. Here is a picture of the lighthouse at Fort Constitution.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Where We Be

Here is a foggy morning shot of where we are staying. As you can see, it is right on the water! It was built in 1898 and used to have a long dock that went way out into the water. But a storm took that away. My aunt and uncle live across the street in a "regular" house. This place has a lot of bedrooms and family come all summer and stay for a while. It is really a great place with a lot of memories and good times. All night you can hear the waves underneath. This picture is at low tide. When the tide is high, the water is just below the bottom. As you can tell, Elliott and I don't have far to walk to go fishing!

Sunny out now and we are headed inland to the lake.

Here is a picture of Elliott at the Kittery Trading Post (think 'LL Bean.')

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dodging Tornados

Elliott and I did a little fishing this morning. Didn't catch anything but it is a good time.

Unfortunately, due to security reasons, my brother could not get us on to the navy yard for a tour and to bowl at the lanes there. So we went to our favorite sandwich shop downtown and got some sandwiches and parked along the river and had lunch. I told stories of growing up in the area and the kids seemed genuinely interested. Halfway through lunch, the alert warning tone came over the radio advising there was severe weather in the area. Later on we found that north of us a possible tornado touched down and there were many houses damaged and at least one person killed. My younger brother wound up heading home early to see if his place was OK.

We went to a candlepin bowling place and bowled there. For those of you who do not know what candlepin bowling is, I have included a picture below. Similar to "regular" bowling but you get three ball rolls per turn. My brother was ahead of me in the last frame by 10 pins so I just needed 10 to tie. For the first time of the day, I rolled a spare! I stepped up to the line, looking to knock over just one pin for sweet victory, and I gutter-balled it!! I couldn't believe it! So we ended up tied. When we got to the bowling alley, an old guy was backing out of a parking space and was making all sorts of gestures to me which I thought he meant he was trying to indicate that I could have his space. It was a handicapped space though so I just waited for him to complete his five point turn. He finally did, then proceeded to drive right up to the front of me and double flipped me off! I wasn't doing anything! So I actually had to drive around him to get by! I think he got in my head and messed up my game...

We went to the mall and got some pizzas and went back to where we are staying for supper. Just hung out and watched TV. It was windy and rainy and a good night to just stay inside.

Tomorrow looks like a nice day so we are going to go to my brother's new place and then to the lake. Probably back to our Maine friends' house for dinner.

Here is the promised bowling picture:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Maine Day

This is Nubble lighthouse in York, Maine. We spent yesterday along the Maine beaches showing the kids were Lucie and I honeymooned and walking along the shops. Beautiful day. First thing Elliott and I did was go fishing outside of where we are staying. No bites but you know the saying about a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work...

After York, we came back to Portsmouth and shopped some more. Not buying much - just looking around and seeing the unique stores. We went to our friends' house in Maine last night and talked about cruise things and made lobster rolls. Those are so good. Elliott stayed the night with them and camped out in a tent on their porch.

Today we are going to breakfast with my aunt but not sure what we are doing from there. The new sunglasses I bought from the Kittery Trading Post broke (the ear piece just snapped off) so I am going to try and shame them into matching LL Bean's return policy and exchange them. I think tonight we will have family over and all eat together.

The weather looks good for today but rainy tonight and tomorrow. Highs in the 80s and cool at night.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vacation Success

Day One of vacation and I caught a little striper. Too small to legally keep but my vacation is now complete. Well, maybe after lobster dinner tomorrow night...

The drive up was fine with no traffic. We made good time but it was pouring when we got here. Wicked lightning too. Made for a good night's sleep.

I found a weak wifi signal so I can get online. Which is a good thing. I got a call from a friend today about a possible job lead that I needed to take some online action for. I sure appreciated the call and was able to post my resume.

Cloudy and cool today so we did some outlet shopping and out for seafood dinner tonight. Bought some supplies for the week. And of course Lucie found an AC Moore to scrap shop at!

All is well. Here are a couple of cell phone pictures from the view from our room where we are staying (house literally built on posts on the water on the river separating Maine from New Hampshire.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I am no Batman geek, but last night we and some friends of the kids went to the 10:50 PM showing of Batman. Fantastic. Every bit as good as the hype. Riveting performances. You can't take your eyes off the screen. Whew! Good one.

Speaking of movies, we had a weird thing happen. In both of the movies that Elliott and I rented, they each had a secondary character named Elliott and in both movies he was killed off! ha ha But that was kind of weird.

Here is a website where you can enter your name to be on the next spacecraft to the moon. Kind of fun and you get a little certificate once you do:

We are busy today cleaning and getting packed to go to NH for a week. We have two friends staying here (each for half a week) so that will be good. Gives us great peace of mind and we are happy knowing the house and dogs are in good hands. Speaking of dogs, here is a picture of Jasmine in her usual outside spot:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wrench Retirement

Well, she don't look like much, but this KMart 3/8" socket wrench has served me well for over 25 years. It finally seized up and will no longer switch to the loosening mode so it is time to retire it (although I guess I could keep it just for tightening...). This thing has seen a lot of cars, a lot of breakdowns along the highway, and a lot home projects. It was more than a wrench - sometimes it was a hammer and sometimes it was a jack handle and sometimes a lever and more than once an Olympic javelin. I think people see me now as the non-mechanical type and they are absolutely correct. But that didn't slow me down in my younger years from working on brakes and fuel and oil pumps, changing out alternators and exhaust systems, replacing carburetors and rear ends... I used to do it all. Not very well probably but I had my Chilton's book out and my older brother around to get me through. And of course trial and error. Maybe I will bronze it and put it up with the other family pictures...

Lucie and Ashleigh are doing well at camp and seem to be in good spirits. They come home tomorrow and had me get tickets to the 10:50 PM (yes PM!) showing of the new Batman movie. I expect they will sleep all afternoon to get ready for that. (Ashleigh has church youth group till 10:30 that is why they picked the later time.)

A friend of ours borrowed Lucie's car for a few days while he got his fixed. He did a super job of cleaning that out. Remnants of many on-the-way-to-school-breakfasts throughout. Next time I am loaning him my car...

Meanwhile, Elliott and I continue to struggle through the week... Last night we sat down to watch the critically acclaimed "Diary of the Living Dead." Hard to believe that even with a great title like that, it really wasn't very good...! Tonight is basketball night but we have another potentially stellar movie lined up.

Yesterday I taught Elliott how to trim and mow the yard. Our yard is pretty small and flat without a lot of navigation required to mow it. He did a good job and got the hang of it pretty quick. I had to tell him how when I was his age I was employed by the Town of New Castle to mow all of the town cemetaries. And it really was uphill both ways! And with all of those headstones... Now that is mowing job!

Here is one more picture of what life alone with Dad is like. This is the result of playing Halo online with friends literally all night...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rack 'em Up

As you can see from the photo, Elliott and I got the closet racks re-bulit. Quite a job but I think we did it better and stronger than the original. At least I hope so. I made some engineering flaws but basically I got a stronger support system and used screws to attach it to the studs behind the sheetrock. We put up a second shelf and a sliding clothes rack for the hangers too. The picture shows my half of the closet. I started to put Lucie's stuff back but I don't think it is humanly possible. It is a wonder the entire house didn't fall off its foundation when the rack broke... So I hung what I could and piled her stuff as neatly as possible.

I was soundly beaten in every game at racquetball by the Revell clan yesterday morning. Not my best showing but a lot of fun.

Last night Elliott and I went to the local Class A baseball game (Wilmington Blue Rocks). We got great seats 2 rows behind the home team dugout. We were among the first 1000 to show up so we got free baseballs and later on got free Chick Fil A sandwich coupons. We almost got a free hot dog and soda but we were the 11th person to claim a trivia prize answer and they only had 10 prizes. It was a good night with some good plays, a few home runs, and the Blue Rocks won 9-3.

Tomorrow I will teach the boy to mow. Leaving me one less thing to do around here...

Monday, July 14, 2008

And The Racks Came Tumbling Down

Just before 5 this morning, while still in bed, Lucie reaches out with her left hand, grabs my chest, and screams at the top of her lungs. The giant crashing sound just before that I barely heard but the scream that then came from me I heard loud and clear. We bolted out of bed and Lucie was going wild wondering what had happened. The dogs were just standing there. I knew the sound came from our closet doors but I thought the golden retriever rolled into it in her sleep or something. Boy was I wrong. As you can see from the picture, the entire clothes rack collapsed. And I mean collapsed. If you look closely, you see the holes in the wall where it pulled out. The picture shows just Lucie's half but it extends all the way to my side. It looks like a bomb went off in there. The rack is all twisted now. Lucie was packing and cleaning up to go away today and apparently overloaded it.

So now I know two things - what I am going to be doing the next few days, and what my final sound will be just before I die...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lucie Gets Slimed

This past week, Lucie was in charge of the Vacation Bible School program at church. There were record numbers this year (about 130 kids each day!) and they had a goal of raising $3000 for missionaries. If the goal was reached, Lucie would get slimed. Well, you can see that they hit the goal!!

Lucie and Ashleigh go to camp next week as counselors. Elliott and I have some plans to cash in free mini-golf coupons we have (from getting final hole-in-ones) and going to a Blue Rocks baseball game. Oh, we have a list of scary movies too...

Tonight is the church pool party at the University pool. 100 tickets have been sold so that should be fun. My plan for the day is to be in my pool all afternoon, get out, and go to the UD pool... Another tough day...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

That's Gonna Leave a Mark

I played racquetball with a friend this morning. That is such a great game. We were doing really well not getting hit by the ball and before the last game, we joked about it. Sure enough, about five points in I caught one on the back of the arm. Youch! Like getting hit by a paintball! He wound up beating me 3 games to 2. The last game was 15-14 and was really good. One game I was ahead 12-5 and managed to lose.

Lucie is hosting a small pool party here tonight but of course it looks like rain. They will move it inside and watch a movie I guess.

Lucie hosting a pool party means I get to spend the day cleaning the house...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

SH Phone Home

I know it has been awhile since I have made an entry here but things have been not too blog-worthy. Of course that never slowed me down in the past... We have been to the beach a couple of times in the past week with friends. Stopping at the new Sonic at the midway point on the way home is quickly becoming a beach tradition for us. The beach was nice. Not too hot with nice breezes. The water is still too cold for me (I am spoiled by the 88ยบ backyard pool water temp!).

We went to friend's house for a cookout on the 4th. It was raining at the time we were going to go to the fireworks so we stood under the eaves and watched their neighbors shoot off some pretty big ones. It turned out that at the park where they shot of the town fireworks, it was just misting and we could have gone but we had a good time anyway.

I played racquetball last week with a friend and his son. I needed the workout since we didn't play basketball last week. This family has been on vacation and we went with them to the big mall in PA about an hour from here on Saturday. It seems like their vacation is our vacation!

I also got a free upgrade to my phone through Verizon (see above). I had reached the point where I could upgrade it per my contract. I had been looking at one model but the price kept going up and up on it. This one was free at Best Buy. Usually it is at least $69-$99. Elliott has the same one and it has been fine for him for a year or so. I like how it opens both ways and has the sideways, full keyboard.

Lucie has been real busy with Vacation Bible School this week (and prepping for it last week). So far she is having record numbers. A&E have been helping her as leaders too. Elliott finally got a haircut today so he is presentable.

A few little developments on the work front with opportunities going and coming. Still believing and looking and doing all I can do.