With the nice weather I’ve had a chance to spend a lot of time outside. We’ve either walked around the neighborhood or played the with kids in the yard. The last couple times we’ve walked, I couldn’t help but think that something was missing.
I hear the usual sounds on our walks:
Kids at recess
Woodpeckers knocking on trees
These are sounds I have heard all my life in the spring and summer. The thing that was missing goes to show the progress of technology I suppose.
Growing up, weekends were spent mostly outside. I recall vividly that Saturday afternoons, my dad would pull out a big bucket, huge sponge, and the garden hose and wash the car.
It was also the day that he’d pull out the lawnmower and cut the grass. All the yardwork was done on the weekends.
Toward the end of the day, dinner was prepared on the grill. Burgers, hot dogs, or grilled chicken would be typical weekend menu items.
These things all still happen today, but in most cases, something is missing – Music.
When dad washed the car – we’d listen to Casey Kasem and American Top 40. When dad mowed the lawn or did work out in the yard, the radio would be sitting on the cement by the garage blaring music. The music would continue as dad flipped burgers on the grill. Sometimes it was music, sometimes it was a Detroit Tiger game. The radio was always on and the sounds from it interspersed with the other sounds I mentioned earlier.
There was a guy outside on our walk yesterday who was waxing his freshly washed car with no music whatsoever. The guy we saw grilling was just standing there staring off into space. He took a second to say hello as we passed, but then went right back to staring. Then there was the guy shoveling some dirt and working in the yard. He had ear buds in, so there was music, but only he could hear it.
I guess one of the things I loved about music being everywhere as we grew up was the discovery of new music. Everyone’s radios were tuned to whatever they wanted to hear. The sounds of pop music, oldies music, rock music, country music and more all screamed from the speakers of boom boxes, car speakers, and cabinet speakers from a stereo system. As I’d pass a house, it was often possible to hear a song I had never heard before. This would lead to a trip to the local record store to find it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to hear the songs of the birds and children playing, but that sound from a distant speaker is one I miss. To be fair, I still get my fair share of music on walks, because my daughter is often singing “The Wheels on the Bus” or “Mary Had a Little Lamb” at the top of her lungs. Come to think of it, that may be the only music I need …
Despite the few blogs I had scheduled to be published, I really only got to jump on here to blog a couple times over the past few weeks because of Covid. So I figured I would fill you in on what’s been happening …
Daddy Daughter Pirate Adventure
Prior to my Covid diagnosis, I was planning on taking Ella to a Daddy/Daughter Pirate adventure. I took the Tuesday off and worked Monday night instead. The Sunday before, I didn’t really feel great. I felt like I was getting a cold. Ella was diagnosed that Friday with a double ear infection. I was worried we wouldn’t be able to go because she was sick.
Monday I felt a bit worse and took a home Covid test. It was negative and I went to work. While at work, I just felt stuffed up. I was coughing a bit, and just achy. I went home and slept. When I woke up, I was still hoping to get to go to the Pirate adventure, however, I just felt like crap. My wife talked me into going to Urgent Care, where they swabbed me and gave me the Covid and Flu diagnosis.
It rained Monday and they called Tuesday to tell me that they had moved the pirate adventure to the next day. It didn’t matter, I wasn’t going to be able to go.
I’m glad that I planned ahead this year. So often, I wait until a couple days before to go out and get cards and presents. This year, I ordered Sam something online and had hoped to get her a few other things, but thanks to Covid, I was only able to give her the gift I ordered.
I saw this Facebook and thought it was perfect. It was a framed sign, printed on burlap that said, “My greatest blessings call me Mommy.” Under that I was able to put the kids names and birthdays. It came out better than I thought.
Because we both were in quarantine, we had to place our grocery order online and have it delivered. Because I couldn’t get her a cake, Sam ordered one and we had it after dinner. We were able to spend a little bit of time outside in the sun, hoping the extra vitamin D would help with the Covid.
Thank goodness the sun has been out a lot this week. The kids have been loving being outside on the swings, playing in the yard or taking brief walks around the neighborhood.
Nana stopped by with some clothes she got for the kids on day and found Ella some “Princess Dresses.” She puts one on and then takes it off so she can put the other one on. I’m not sure what she was doing when I snapped this picture, but I love it. I can’t wait to be able to dress up for a daddy daughter dance!
Earlier this week, Ella was outside with Sam and heard a bird. She told Sam it was a “Nutpecker!” Sam did a double take and asked her again what kind of bird it was. Again, the answer came back, “Nutpecker!” I’ll just add that to the list of wonderfully funny things my daughter says. Nutpecker = Woodpecker.
Andrew turned 7 months old this week. He’s been crawling all over the place and is doing everything he can to stand up. He will pull himself up with the help of couch cushions, toys, pillows, you name it. He is able to stand for 30 seconds at a time, but then usually falls. It drives us crazy. Case in point:
Ella got a Doc McStuffins doctor kit. It comes with the typical doctor toys – stethoscope, otoscope, fake shot, thermometer, bandage and bag. Take a look at the shot, which is the second from the right in the picture below.
See how it is flat? Ok, good. Andrew was standing up next to me on the floor. I was sitting and he had pulled himself up and was standing. He quickly turned and fell and faceplanted right on the corner of that shot. Almost immediately, under his eye (at the top of his cheek bone) began to bruise. Then it began to swell. There was a huge bump under it. At first I thought he broke his cheek.
With 30 minutes before the Urgent Care closed, Sam ran him up to get checked out. He had a hematoma under his eye. Basically, it was bleeding under the skin. So he got his first shiner.
We were told to call his doc and follow up. The doc stated that she didn’t need to see him, but we should have him looked at by an eye doctor to be sure nothing was wrong on the inside of the eye. So he also had his first visit to the eye doc this week.
The good news is that the eye looks great and he will be fine.
He followed up with the Orthotics folks today about his helmet and they said he is progressing so well that he probably will be able to get the helmet off in a couple weeks. This is fantastic news, since we were planning on him having it on through July.
My Crazy Co-Workers
I was cleared to return to work today. The afternoon tech was off, so when I walked in I was the only one in the building. When I walked into the tech room, I was greeted with a masterpiece created by my co-workers.
They basically went through my Facebook page and found every ridiculous picture of me and created a “Covid Keith” board. It certainly made me laugh. I also realize that I make a lot of silly faces. There is a story behind the Alfalfa picture that I will share another time.
I suppose things are sort of getting back to normal-ish.
Saturday morning, I came home from work and went right to bed. Sam and I had plans to celebrate our anniversary this weekend. Originally, I was going to take her to an amazing Italian place in Troy (about and hour and 15 minutes from our house). After some discussion, we decided that since it was really the only day we had together, and I was going to sleep for part of it, that we should grab dinner somewhere closer. We decided on Outback Steakhouse. Now, Outback was the ONLY chain restaurant we ate at in Florida when we got married. We picked Outback for that reason, and because it was close to a few places we wanted to go to while we were out.
This was the first time we have been out to eat in a restaurant since all the Covid stuff. They did a good job of spreading everyone out. It has been so long since we were out, it was almost awkward. It was nice to have dinner together. It’s really amazing how something so trivial can mean so much. I will never take those little moments for granted….
After we ate, we decided to walk through Barnes and Noble. Ella loves books, so we looked through the various kid books and picked up a new book for her. She loves the Jimmy Fallon books (Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada, and Everything is Mama), and Sam found one called “This Is Baby” (which she loves just as much!). I picked up a book for me, too. It was my anniversary present from Sam. She had asked what I wanted and I told her to just get me a gift card. Instead, she went with me and I got to pick out what I wanted (More on that in a few).
With baby #2 on the way, we wanted to stop at Target to see what the double strollers looked like. I never in a million years would have guessed that I would be looking at double strollers! Anyway, they only had one there to look at, which I thought was odd. Sam is all about online shopping, but she’d like to at least see the thing before we buy it. Since they didn’t really have any, we decided to look in the toy aisle for a few things. We bumped into one of our sleep teachers, Angie, and her husband there. It’s been forever since I saw her, and we were just talking about finding a day to get together for coffee. They were out getting presents for grandbabies.
The world had changed. Normally, when I run into someone I know I offer a handshake or hug them. Here we were, all wearing masks, and kind of standing our 6 feet apart. We chatted for a while and then we had to get going because we needed to go pick up Ella from Nana’s house. This is where is was crazy awkward for me … I wanted to reach out and shake Dave’s hand and give Angie a hug, but instead it was kind of a “well….ok…..good to see you …. take care…..so long…” thing. It just didn’t seem right walking away like that. I dislike the new “normal!”
Sunday was extra busy! We all got up and had chocolate chip pancakes. Afterward, Sam and I compiled the grocery list and I ventured out to Meijer. I always seem to have to go back to an aisle because I either walked right by something OR I didn’t see it on the list until almost the end of the trip. Ella napped while I was shopping and woke up as I was bringing in the groceries.
The weather was just beautiful. I think it was like 65 degrees. We had bought Ella one of those Cozy Coupe cars with the intention of giving it to her for Easter, but decided that the weather was so nice, we should give it to her Sunday. I’m not sure why, but I thought that it literally just snapped together…..it doesn’t. I had to go get my drill, a screwdriver, and a hammer to put it together. At any rate, She really loved it and I got to push her around the neighborhood in it.
We spent the afternoon outside in her car, in the stroller, going down the slide, and running on the trampoline. Eventually, she started to yawn and I knew it was nap time. Once I laid her down, the real work began for me.
Despite my best attempt to tell Sam that the lights on the house were “Easter Lights,” I took down all the Christmas lights. I can’t complain, and I’m glad I finally had good weather to do it. This year I had strung some up high on the front porch, so I had to drag out the ladder to get to them.
Once I had the lights down, I took the totes back to the basement. While down there, like a typical guy, I noticed this huge plastic house that Sam had in the basement so our nieces could play in it. We had talked about bringing it outside and cleaning it up for Ella. So, while Sam slept for work, and Ella napped, I took it partially apart and brought it upstairs. I had measured it and figured I could get it outside no problem. I got it up the stairs, through the basement door and once at the side door – it had to really yank it out! It was SO snug! I was able to get it outside and get it washed and back together!
After I got it back together, I was back inside making dinner, so Sam had something to take to work.
Needless to say, I was in bed early that night!
My phone sent me a notification that night that said my “panoramic” photo was ready to view. I didn’t take any panoramic pictures while we were outside Sunday. However, my camera took two separate pictures and combined the two and put Ella in the picture twice! At first I thought it was weird, but after looking at it, I think it’s pretty cool!
Another beautiful day, this time 70 degrees. It was windy, but that didn’t stop us from playing outside. More trips around the neighborhood in her car and in her stroller. Then we played in her house. I’m thinking we need to get a chair or something for her to put in there, because she walks in and really doesn’t know what to do in there.
A Good Read
The book I got for my anniversary is called “100 Bible Verses That Made America.” So far I am enjoying it. It is really amazing to see how people of the past used the Bible and the principles to help shape this country. The only issue I have with the book is that every time it quotes a Bible verse, it quotes it from the NIV version. The NIV version wasn’t even around until the 1970’s. To me, it would seem that they would have used the KJV to quote from. Whenever it quotes a verse, I just grab my KJV and read it from there. Still a very interesting and enlightening read.
A Real Pain in the … Back!
About two weeks ago, I was getting out of bed and kind of felt like my back was tight. Over the next few days, I started to feel like it was even in my hip. I’m really not sure what I did to it. It’s been bugging me and kind of annoying. I’ve taken ibuprofen and such, but it has been getting worse. Monday, I pushed Ella in that car around the neighborhood (which meant I was leaning a bit forward to push her). Then I walked another mile or so with her in the stroller. It felt good to get out and walk! I love walking, but by the time I got closer to home, I could feel like my hip was hurting more. Later, I was feeling pain when I sat on the floor to change diapers. When I got up from bed, I could hardly move and the pain was excruciating.
I had to make an appointment with my doc for a refill on my prescriptions, and I plan on asking her about it when I go in. In the meantime, I have to wait until Thursday morning and these are my friend ….
They don’t help a lot, but they do bring some relief. This morning, when I got up, I was tearing up from the pain. I was trying to load the dishwasher and could hardly bend down. Trying to get pants, socks and shoes on only brought about more pain. I’m gonna try to get in to the chiropractor, too. I’m really hoping it is nothing, but I tend to always think the worst.
Michigan weather has been just beautiful the past week or so. It looks like we’ll have one more nice day and the temps will drop. Saturday, while the baby was napping and my son was doing homework, I went out and cleaned up the leaves from the driveway. Later that afternoon, my kids and I got to get out and take a walk around the neighborhood. He enjoys pushing his sister in the stroller. It is a good time for us to just catch up.
I decided to take advantage of the weather and get the Christmas lights up. The more I thought about what I wrote in a recent blog, the more I was convinced that putting up the lights early would bring about some happiness in a year that has really sucked. My son and I strung all the lights out on the side porch. The nice temps made it easy to do and with him helping, it only took me half the time.
I got some of the decorations up out front, but I have a few bad strands that I need to check fuses on before I string them up. I am thinking of adding the strands of white LED lights that I had strung along the fence for our 4th of July party. I usually only put the lights along the rails on the porch, so it should be pretty easy.
After I dropped my son off and the baby woke up from her nap, we spent most of the day outside. We took our stroll through the neighborhood and walked a bit longer than normal. I had to laugh because when we got back home, she totally kicked her foot up like she was relaxing!
After our walk, we played in the leaves (until she tried to start eating them), played on the slide, sat on the trampoline, and then just sat in the grass. She was standing next to me in on the back lawn and I looked up and saw our shadows. For some reason, looking at them it hit me how fast she is growing up. I can’t believe she will be 9 months old tomorrow! The shadow was a reminder to enjoy every little moment like this…
I have never read a bad thing about Alex Trebek. Every interview I watched of him, he always seemed like a wonderful man. With his passing, there has been an outpouring of wonderful tributes to him by celebrities all over the country. A friend pointed out that Trebek and the great Sean Connery passed away within a week of each other.
One of my favorite sketches on SNL was Celebrity Jeopardy. Will Ferrell played Alex Trebek and Darrell Hammond played Sean Connery. In the sketch, Connery has this unreal hatred for Trebek and always made countless jabs about Trebek’s mother. It was always a treat to see Norm MacDonald playing Burt Reynolds in these sketches.
I always waited to see how Connery would take a category and make it dirty – for example:
Real Category: Let It Snow. Connery asks for: Le Tits Now
Real Category: The Pen Is Mighter Connery asks about: The Penis Mightier
I truly hope that SNL doesn’t miss the opportunity to do some kind of tribute to Connery and Trebek this week. I can see a Heavenly round of Celebrity Jeopardy with Ferrell, Hammond, and MacDonald being very funny!
Same Old Lions
Sunday, I got to see bits and pieces of the Detroit Lions game. It was awful, as usual. I saw this on Facebook today, and had to share. I know that this is totally supposed to be more of a political jab, and I am not posting it to be political, I just thing it is pretty funny!
It was certainly great to hear that voter turnout was so good. Whether your candidate won or lost, if you voted, you did your part! Over the past couple decades, we’ve seen a lot of division. We’ve seen a lot of lost trust in the system and the government. With every election, I hope and pray that the elected officials will do something to bring us together. I may have posted this picture before, but I thought it was one of the most powerful that I had seen this year:
In 2016, after the election, I wrote something on Facebook. It came up in my Facebook Memories today. It is worth sharing:
“Maybe we are family. Maybe we went to high school together. Maybe I went to college with you. Maybe we worked together. Maybe we bowled together. Maybe you and I like the same movies or music. Maybe we met at a conference.
However we met, however we know each other, you are here because you are my friend. You and I are Americans. We are citizens of the greatest country in the world. One of the great things about being an American is that we have the freedoms to believe what we want and vote for who we want. We don’t always have to agree. I say this because no matter where you stand as a Republican, Democrat, or Independent…..as a Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran nondenominationalist or Dispensationalist….. heterosexual or homosexual …..male or female…..employed or unemployed….union or nonunion…..I don’t care!!! You are my friend and I am glad you are my friend. You have the right and the freedom to believe what you want and voice your opinion. Knowing that we may not agree is ok with me. There are other things we have in common that led us to be friends. I haven’t deleted any friend or family member because of their vote, because of their faith, because of their sexual preference, or because of their job or financial status. Thank you for being my friend.
Life would be pretty boring if we were all the same! A quote from Andy Hargreaves came across my timeline today and I want to share: “If we were all on the same page, no one’s reading the whole book”!
So what if your candidate lost? So what? One of the first thing I learned as a kid was there are winners and losers in games and elections. So what do we do now? You take the words of a pastor friend of mine who reminded me that “The guy you voted for may not have won, but you should still pray for him.”
So that’s what I am going to do. Here are the Bible verses to back that up:
I Timothy 2: 1-3
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;