Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Leg, Or Seven, To Stand On

To the right is a picture of the implementation of a good idea from a friend of mine. We have a bar type table out by the pool and I noticed the legs were rusting. I was afraid that some day a leg would rust through and I would find the table crumpled over some day. So Robin, uh, our friend, suggested I cut a section of PVC pipe and slide it over the legs to add support. Brilliant! I had some old PVC pipe so I cut it to length for each of the table's seven legs, drilled out drain notches in the bottom, and painted them. Then Elliott slid them on over the existing legs like sleeves while I lifted the table. Now if the leg disintegrates, it will still rest on the PVC pipe and supports. Nice.

Speaking of nice, what a nice couple of days we have had here. Even Lucie got in the pool which is saying a lot! It was warm and clear out and the pool water is 84 degrees. This morning there was a baby, 10-inch snake in the pool so I took that out and turned it loose. Then a few hours later I encountered big mama! Jasmine was standing perfectly still at attention staring into the bushes by the pool. I knew something was up so I went and took a look and there was a good sized snake in the bush. I don't think it was Buttercup unless she has been eating well! It was big! I told Jasmine to back away (I am sure the snake isn't poisonous but it would bite and that could lead to a problem). As soon as Jasmine moved that snake took off! But it didn't slow us down from swimming - even the dogs took a lap today. We cooked chicken and hot dogs on the grill for dinner.

Recapping the week; Elliott's finger continues to heal and is looking good. Fingernail-less but good. Ashleigh had a field hockey game this week and scored and for the first time this season her team didn't lose (they tied!). Lucie and I visited the 10 year old son of a friend of ours at the local children's hospital. He had a tumor on his thyroid which he had removed and had some complications but he is doing well and should be home and fine soon. I played hoops Thursday and had my usual average night. Great workout though - only 10 guys out so I had to run all night. Someone also pointed out that if you look at the Hale Family Web Page on any other browser but Internet Explorer, the fonts get increasingly bigger until you cannot even see the page. I thought I saw that once on a hand-held browser I used to access my site once but didn't give it another thought. I was able to see my site via the Mozilla browser and saw what a mess it was. I am not very good compiling code but I found the problem and fixed it. The rest of the week was pretty quiet with me running around doing errands for Lucie as she gets ready for Vacation Bible School.

On a VERY positive note, I had a short telephone interview this week for a great job I applied for and I have an interview with them Tuesday morning at 10. Keep me in prayer about that. I am VERY excited about this and it could be a great opportunity. A lot of things are lining up just right and I am very optimistic. I will post more after the interview.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's The End Of The World As We Know It...

Nestle Toll House cookie dough has been recalled. Some lightweights somewhere couldn't handle a little E. coli in their raw cookies and ruined it for the rest of us. Fortunately I had made it through about 90% of our Costco sized tub before I threw the rest away. I keep a spoon handy and would occasionally take a dip in the tub for a little taste of happiness. I have never felt better. I guess by now I would have gotten sick if we had a bad batch but after seeing what Lucie went through with a bought of salmonella a few years ago, I won't take more chances.

Elliott is doing a lot better today. He pretty much slept all afternoon and night yesterday and is keeping up with the ibuprofen.

Another rainy day here! The yard is a jungle and one of my projects today was to extend one of the downspout drains to drain the water off better. Maybe I should work on it "live" during the rain.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Elliott's Nail Ripped Out

My last blog a week ago indicated that Elliott's finger was doing fine. Not so. The surgeon removed the old fingernail that the ER doc had sewed back on and we made an appointment to return in August. But Elliott noticed a couple of stitches that got left behind. So we went in today for what we thought was a quick suture removal. Not so fast. The surgeon said he had a little bit of an infection in the new nail area and it was not looking good. It was all deformed and bumpy. So he gave Elliott a couple of shots with a very long needle. And then a couple more shots when that didn't kill the pain enough. In the middle picture above you can see the shots made his finger discolor and swell. Well, the surgeon then went in and cut the sutures and then just yanked that new nail right out! I broke out in a sweat and couldn't look. Elliott held up fine though. For a while. The surgeon then came back after a few minutes and said he had to cut some of the nail bed out - which is the raw meat where the nail used to be. THAT was painful. Poor Elliott was really hurting but never pulled his hand away. The doc said he could stop but Elliott wanted it all over now so he let him finish. It was killing me! So he should be OK now. But we have to go back for more check ups.

The kids just got back from camp today (we went straight to the doctor's office from church when they got back) and they are napping now. They had a fun time but it rained the entire week so no pool for them. And it rained here too so no pool for me either! Lucie really got into VBS preparation and I did errands for her throughout the week. One night we did go out to a new pizza buffet place with some friends. That was OK.

Before they left Elliott wanted to see Saving Private Ryan. He is playing an XBox game from that era and he wanted to see how it really was. I had forgotten just how powerful that movie is. Should be required viewing for every American.

Buttercup the snake hasn't been spotted in a few days.

No real employment news. Rough week for me last week as I really thought something was going to happen. It didn't. I have an application in to another place and I am hoping to hear something from another. And on it goes... But friends have sent me some timely encouragements and some church and Bible messages have been exactly what I needed to hear. It is still tough but I know this will have a happy ending...

Friday, June 12, 2009


Yesterday was my 45th birthday. Pretty low key day. I ran errands all morning and then set up the church for basketball that night. We met some friends at Dave's Famous BBQ for dinner. That was really good. Always is. It was a rainy day with some loud thunder at night but relaxing and fun. I got a nice Life is Good shirt, a gift certificate to Barnes & Noble, and Lucie got me a desk fan. Which she is returning today! ha ha Nice idea because the computer room is pretty warm but the ceiling fan works fine and I really don't need. I appreciated the thought. I also got a new money clip. Not that I have anything to put in it...

Ashleigh and Elliott are both done with school for the summer. They are going to church camp next week.

Elliott's finger is coming along OK. The surgeon took a look at his old fingernail and promptly pulled it off and threw it away! ha ha Elliott was shocked but it didn't hurt. Now we see a stitch was left behind so I have to call today to see if they need to yank that out or just let it grow out. But his finger looks much better now with that old dead fingernail gone. The new nail is about half grown in.

Buttercup the snake has found a new spot to lounge in during the day - back by the pool pump. I think it likes the warmth it generates. It stays on one side of the fence - just out of reach of the dogs!

No plans for the weekend that I know of. I was really hoping to have some employment news by my birthday but I have none.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Buttercup Gets Around

What you see to the left is the common Buttercup. But we have a rather uncommon Buttercup. Remember the garter snake that Elliott and I caught a couple of weeks ago? It is still around and we see it every day. Elliott has named it Buttercup. It spends its days in the bushes in the front yard sunning itself. Yesterday, I saw Britni the beagle howling at something at the side garage door. Sure enough, there is Buttercup making its way along the edge of the house to the bushes by the pool gate. Tonight Lucie HAD to have hot dogs from the grill so when I was standing there cooking, I looked down and there was Buttercup right at my feet! Britni was about to go after it so we got her into the house and Buttercup made her way somewhere. It is about 2 feet long and almost as big around as a garden hose. I looked away for a second and it was gone! Of course Lucie is not too pleased with this situation but I don't mind.

Today I was pretty productive trimming and mowing and doing some pool maintenance. The pool got up to 79 degrees today. That is nice.

Over the weekend we went to Newark Night with some friends and ran into a lot more down there. They close down Main Street and a bunch of vendors set up shop. We love going there every year to roam around and eat funnel cake. And some people always bring their St. Bernards and Great Danes so those are nice to see. I was hoping we would have some people over for games afterward and we did. But we weren't home too long when a few more friends showed up. Come to find out, Lucie had arranged for a surprise birthday party for me! My birthday isn't until Thursday and I had no clue at all! She pulled off a good one. That was fun. Sunday night most of us got together again and played some more.

Today Ashleigh started a summer field hockey league. The field is quite a ways away in Wilmington so she is coordinating car pooling with some teammates. The games are not long and it will be a good tune up before the high school varsity season starts in the fall.

Tomorrow I have a free follow up visit to the root canal doc. And Elliott has another appointment with the finger surgeon. That means another round of x-rays.

Still working on the employment situation and am hoping to have an update tomorrow.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Hovering In The Hood

You may not be able to tell too well from the pictures, but the little black spot is actually a helicopter hovering in the neighborhood. There are big power lines running alongside the development and every once in a while they come out and hover over them taking readings or whatever. Pretty cool to see the helicopter so close (objects in the picture are closer than they appear).

Last night was Elliott's 8th grade graduation. Very nicely done with a state senator speaking. They are big on decorum so there was no hoopla or carrying on. We sat with a few friends from church whose kids were graduating too so that was nice. I took pictures with Lucie's old camera but they didn't come out too well. I will post them later. Ashleigh went too of course and it brought back memories of her time there. Afterward one of Elliott's friend's parents had a party for a lot of the kids and parents so we went to that. That was nice too.

The rain has finally stopped here and should clear out soon. Tonight is Newark Night where they close down the main street of Newark and all sorts of vendors and performers set up shop. We go every year and roam around and have a good time. We will go again tonight.

Things took an unexpected and potentially great turn in the employment search this week. I will update about that when I can.

I got a notice today that this month marks my 20th anniversary of being a MENSA member. Funny, I don't feel any wiser...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Who Needs A Talking Donkey?

It's been over a week since I updated the blog. Mostly because things have been slow. Good but slow. The pool is running fine and is beautiful. Right now it is only up to about 75ยบ but the air is cool too so it feels pretty good in it. A&E are wrapping up school. Ashleigh's friend got elected to the Student Body President - Ashleigh worked on her campaign. Elliott went to Hershey Park for the day yesterday with a school group and had a great time. He just got the results back for his state math scores and got the 2nd highest score in the school. Pretty good. We watched "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" about the guy who is born an old man and ages in reverse. Long but pretty good. We also went to a graduation party for a several of the church kids. That was a pretty good time and a beautiful day.

Now on to the good stuff. As you all know, I have been struggling with some employment issues. Just needing some direction and for God to open or close some doors. It is a challenge to try and figure out what I think I am supposed to do and what I am really supposed to do. So as I wrestled with different opportunities that came and went, I would ask God why in the world He doesn't speak to us like the old Bible days - when He talked on the mountain tops or through Balaam's donkey (Numbers 22:21). Elliott brought up a good point and said that God didn't speak audibly to every person back then and we shouldn't expect him too now. Very wise. So I started tuning in to how God could still communicate to me and give me direction. And He surely did. I had/have to be careful that I do not manipulate things to suit my expectations consciously or subconsciously. Lots of people have come to me with advice and told me what common knowledge would dictate. And there is value in that and we are encouraged to seek the counsel of wise people. But at the same time we have to follow our inner spirit and do what we know to be right. Common wisdom would say don't build an ark in the middle of the desert yet Noah did what he had to do. I know that God has plan - it is a matter of either being faithfully patient or stepping out in faith. It is not clear. But then as I tuned in, I began to notice that sermons at church seemed to directly address thoughts I was having, songs at church that we hadn't sung in a long time were sung that had specific and personal meaning to me, little devotions friends would send me or I would stumble upon had perfect words or phrases that I had been thinking or needed to hear, and Bible verses that couldn't have been more appropriate or timely came my way. Then to top it all off, "coincidentally" my daily Bible reading brought me to the book of Job. Whoo boy there is a book for ya. I cannot claim to be anything like Job or to have gone through what he did, but the lessons of that book are certainly relevant. All that to say that God is moving and I am encouraged. There are tough days for sure and I am looking forward to the day where I can re-tell this story with a final happy ending. But I want to give credit where it is due and acknowledge that God hasn't forgotten me and He doesn't need to send a burning bush to talk to me. He has surely provided miraculously and we are not wanting for anything. I just need to stay tuned in and not get distracted. So keep the prayers coming that I will know the right path to choose and will be patient when I need to be patient and step out when I need to step out.

Church is dismissed! ha ha