Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

This year, I’m thankful for where I am and where life has taken me. Is there room for improvement? Yes. Are there some regrets and mistakes to be corrected? Of course. Stay tuned for those. This could get interesting!

In general blog news, I’m going to try to be less of a frustrated perfectionist and just publish something here from time to time. I mean, if I’m going to take the time to keep the blog software up-to-date and managed, I should at least use it for the intended purpose and actually publish some content.

Some Random Stuff

Yeah, this might be a placeholder post, I’m still avoiding just buckling down and posting the five or six half-finished posts I’ve started.  Sorry, Amy. I’ll get on that real soon.

Random thoughts:

  1. Perhaps twitter has fried my brain and I can’t write more than 140 characters at a time?
  2. This is a weekend of some historical significance–
  3. Three years ago, The Shaner died.  RIP, my brother.  I haven’t been on a motorcycle since.
  4. Two years ago, I was at Norwich University graduating from my Master’s program.
  5. One year ago, I was at my brother’s graduation in Houston, obsessively checking the iPhone for updates on the Stanley Cup Game Seven, and texting my favorite hockey fan about it.  The next day, I drove one of my brother’s  cars home from Houston to Kentucky solo.  That was a LONG trip.
  6. Tonight, Dad and I met the guy who builds covered docks down at the lake.  I hope this covered dock thing actually happens.  You have no idea how much easier it would make life down at the lake to not have to struggle with that messy, nasty “canvas.”
  7. Nashville once again reminds me it is a fun town…I had a great time on Monday at the NHL Tweetup and flood relief fundraiser.  There might have even been some photos. Shortly after that photo of me was taken (you did look, right?), the ladies confiscated my belt clip for my iPhone.  Katie called it “Chick Repellent.”  Ok, so looking at the photo…she might have a point.
  8. Mike is here tonight, we continued our tradition of watching non-family-safe movies while he’s away and has the chance to do so.  Tonight’s selection: Shutter Island. Freaky.
  9. I got the Jetta back!  More testing is needed, but we think it was all due to a faulty crank sensor. Time will tell.  For the first time in my life, I now have a backup vehicle.  It’s about time!
  10. I’ve managed to spend time in Nashville the last 2-3 weekends (I think), it’s all a blur.  It’s true what they say about time seeming to go faster as we age…is it really June already?  I never thought summer would get here, now it’s flying by WAY too fast.
  11. I’m still hoping to make it to Wisconsin for a summer visit, but I don’t know if my [lack of] “vacation” schedule will allow for it.
  12. I’ve been slacking on the running due to injury and illness.  Time to get back on the horse.  Also:  Strength training.  Time to push through the soreness and pain.  Ouch.
  13. I discovered there will be a Field Day operation here in Hopkinsville.  I think I’ll offer to help out as an operator rather than try to set up my own single-op station.
  14. Clark Milam is the best dog ever.
  15. Oh, and I hope to cross a couple of “bucket list” items off this weekend.

Finally…I’ve been staring at this quote from a text I sent a while back for too long and I need to just drop it here and get it over with because I’m sick of seeing it in my drafts folder:

“I just wonder if anyone in the old Nashville crew ever wonders what happened to that Chuck guy from Kentucky.”

When I wrote that, I was kind of maudlin.  Now, after some recent events…I’m cool.  The old reliable Nashville crew never forgot me…and there’s some new members that are all kinds of awesome.  With that, I’m out…time for bed.  Friday tomorrow!  Oh, that reminds me:  Fridays used to be party nights…now it seems they’re for rest, packing and preparation for the weekend, and it’s not just me doing it.  We must be getting old.  Heh.

It’s Officially Spring

Last night, we took the carryall and the loader off the Kubota tractor and put the finishing mower deck on. Despite my best efforts, I still got covered in grease. It’s officially spring on the farm when we convert from “deer hauler” to “lawn mower” mode. I even took my first cuts with the mower before it got dark. I’m guessing I’ll be doing my fair share of the mowing this year. Last year Dad got stuck with a lot of it simply because I wasn’t around. Sorry, Dad.

Also: I tried a new recipe for Irish Whiskey BBQ Glaze on some ribs. The recipe calls for Jameson and Baileys. It was delicious, but I was painfully reminded by one batch how sugar-containing sauces can burn quickly over direct heat. It’s great to get to cook and grill again. Life’s little pleasures make it all worth it.

Going From MJ’s Death to a Life Lesson

This morning, I read an early movie review that needed to establish when it was written, because the review was on an unfinished rough cut of the final film. The author chose to establish his time frame in a somewhat novel fashion by using a “where were you when you heard about” time reference.  In this case, the occasion was Michael Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009.  That got me thinking about last summer and just where I was and what I was doing at that time, because I remember it being somewhat of a blur.  I do remember I learned of MJ’s death on twitter first (thanks, iPhone!), then listened to the car radio on the way home from work that afternoon.  Then, I remembered some other things, and I had to look back at my calendar to figure it all out.

Wow.  Simply put:  June 2009 was a crazy month.   No wonder I remember it as nothing but a blur.

My relationship with the cute hockey fan girl was just a month old, and we had gone from zero to serious in no time flat.  I was spending a lot of time in Nashville already, and for the most part was loving every bit of it—even if I was still a little conflicted about being away from the farm so much right as the chore season started ramping up.

Early in the month, I flew to Houston for my brothers “graduation” from his fellowship.  I ended up driving one of his cars back home for him, the next day, which was a LONG day trip to make in the Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi sun.  I remember hitting Birmingham and feeling drowsy around 11pm, so some caffeine was in order.  When I got to Nashville, I stopped for the night—and then couldn’t sleep until after 2am.  Thanks, caffeine.

I think I did father’s day with Dad at the lake.  I know I skipped ARRL Field Day Weekend in favor of hanging in Nashville with the girl.  In fact, I figured out I skipped a lot of things last year, which I kind of regret now.  That’s not a dig at our relationship.  It’s a dig at myself for sacrificing things when I really didn’t need to.  I understand why I did:  New girl, honeymoon phase…totally understandable, but my advice to self for next time is:  Enjoy the things you love, especially those things that only happen once a year.  Know the difference between compromise and sacrifice.  One is good, the other not so much, if done to excess.

Ok, sorry.  I know this rehashing the past makes for boring blog reading—and frankly, it makes for boring blog writing, too.  I guess the whole point of this post was to describe how my thought process went from “Where was I when MJ died?” to a little life lesson and reminder that it’s good to love, but not OK to lose yourself in the process.

Well, That Wasn’t Much of a Snowstorm At All

So, we woke up this morning to discover:  Not much.  Sure, there was snow on the ground, and it had drifted up against the house and the doors, but there was nothing near the 7 to 10 inches they were predicting.  I’m guessing somewhere between two and three inches.  The grass is still visible in patches.

Dad used my snowblower to clear the paved portion of their driveway off, which had drifted in some places to maybe 10 to 12 inches high.  Honestly, that was probably more of a fun nostalgic activity for him rather than a necessity.  It’s good to know the snowblower that I stubbornly insisted on keeping from my Wisconsin house still gets the job done.

So was all the preparation wasted?  Of course not.  The fuel treatment and hauling, the generator maintenance, the evaluating and arranging of the extension cords, all that needed to be done anyway.  It’s better to be prepared and then not have to make use of  all those preparations rather than the reverse.  On the plus side, my generator is ready for the inevitable power outages that will come with the spring storm season, which is only really four to six weeks away.  I can’t believe January is over already.  Seems like New Year’s was just yesterday, but that story is for another time, another post, and probably isn’t worth telling at all.

…And The Snow Keeps On Coming…

There is a serious snowstorm raging outside. Clark is hunkered down in front of the fire here in the living room.  With the cold and swirling winds, the temperature in here is just barely reaching 68 degrees. Normally, the fireplace can get the temperature up to almost 80 in the living room and near 70 in the adjoining master bedroom.  I guess I could turn on the heat pump, but it would likely just hammer away all night and not raise much but my electric bill.  Sometimes I miss having a real basement with a real furnace like the houses I grew up in.  Then again, it’s really only about six weeks out of the year here that it gets cold enough to consider any winterizing effort.

Tomorrow, we will have to see what we wake up to in terms of snow accumulation.  They were predicting 7 to 10 inches here in Hopkinsville, but so far, it looks like we’re going to be on the light side.  Daylight will reveal the truth.