Saturday, July 19, 2008

The bachelor life....?

Well, I've almost made it.

Michele and the boys have been in Myrtle Beach this past week with our friends, the Demains. Marlene invited Michele, Ian, & Nathan to the beach, after her husband (Andy) and daughter (Naomi) had to back out of the trip. That left me living the bachelor life for the past week.

Michele asked if I would be upset if she went without me...I told her that I would be envious, but not upset. I believe that there was some hesitation on her part to leave the house and pets in my hands. After a week, I can proudly say that the animals were almost fed on time, the plants and flowers were watered, and I was able to make a few meals for myself. Yet, as proud as I am of those facts, I would have much rather been on the beach....for the second time in a month. I hope they all had a great time. Seriously!

They'll be back later this evening. Therefore, I'm spending some time doing a little more cleaning and yard work, so it doesn't look like I've just spent all my time eating junk food and watching tv in my underwear.... although I don't deny having done a little of that this week.

Tomorrow morning, Ian and I will travel to Cleveland for a 5v5 soccer tournament at Brad Friedel's Premier Soccer Academy.
Here we go again...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Baseball, Hot Dogs, (Cherry) Pie, & Soccer

It's a little late, but HAPPY 4th of JULY !!

On July 3rd, Michele, Ian, and I watched the Columbus Clippers play the Toledo Mud Hens. Michele's Mom & Stepdad have great seats...third row, directly behind home plate. The game was a good one. Tied 4 to 4 in the eighth inning, the Clippers scored 6 runs to end the game 10 to 4. After the game, there were fireworks. We could also see a little bit of Red, White, & Boom. This is the BIG fireworks show in Columbus, with over 300,00 people attending. As the fireworks launched, many of the players either carried their kids out onto the field, or jumped into the stands to sit with their wives and children to watch. The whole night was such a very "American" experience. Happy 232nd Birthday USA!

Next year, the Clippers will be playing in a new downtown stadium - called Huntington Park.

Columbus' Arena District is really becoming a great spot.

Nathan was one of the 300,000 people at Red, White, & Boom. He went with his friend Logan, and watched the fireworks near the launch site at Veteran's Memorial. He said the show was great...but his stories indicate that the people watching was even better. At age 12, he has already learned that there are a lot of "weirdos" out there...and most of them are just plain comical.

On July 4th, Nathan and I went to see the Dublin fireworks. It was a good show, but was just a warm-up for the annual fireworks extravaganza that our neighbors (Spence & Lori) put on each year. This is what I was really looking forward to this Independence Day weekend.

We invited a small group of friends over to the house to watch the big show next door. Ian & Nathan invited a larger group of their friends. The kids played soccer in the front yard, and volleyball & corn-hole in the back yard. They roasted hot dogs & s'mores over the fire, and drank more sugary, carbonated drinks than they needed. Michele made a tremendous amount of snacks and drinks for the adults, which we shared on the patio. She even made a couple of cherry pies with the cherries we picked from our little dwarf cherry trees.
The weather cooperated to make it a great night. Of course, the fireworks were awesome. The neighbors take 2-3 days preparing the launch pads for the fireworks...and the results were unbelievable. Everyone seemed to be having a good time.

After the weekend, we discovered that Ian's soccer team was accepted into the Midwest Regional League (MRL). This is one of the top leagues in the nation. The other teams in the league are from Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin and Kentucky. Needless to say, we'll be doing some weekend traveling this year. He will also be playing in tournaments in St. Louis, MO and Raleigh, NC this fall. Maybe with all of this travel we'll be able to drop in to say "hi" to out-of-state friends and family!

Friday, July 4, 2008


After day one of the great chipmunk hunt, it's Michele 1, Chipmunks 0.

She caught this little bugger with a live trap and some "Purina Squirrel Chow." As cute as they may be, the chipmunks have done some damage to the walks and patio. Last year, we relocated 7 or 8 of them.

After they have been caught, we take them down the road to a little thicket we call Chipmunk Woods. We allow ourselves to believe that they are having quite the party in there. However, life is probably not as easy as it was in our backyard, where food (bird seed) and shelter were readily available. Good luck, little buddy.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

I'm married to Snow White...

Michele has done a lot of work in the back yard this summer. The result of the new plants, flowers, and bushes is wildlife. The back patio is now a fun place to hang out - especially for the birds, deer, chipmunks, frogs, squirrels, raccoons and snakes.

Michele is such a regimented person. Each morning she wakes up, makes a pot of coffee, and sits outside while the dog [who is also regimented] does her business. Since animals [including me] have always been attracted to Michele, she has some very up-close and personal relationships with many of our back yard guests.

I get excited every time I see a hummingbird at the feeder. When I tell Michele that I saw one, she'll ask: "was it the green male with the red throat, or the white one? Was it the female with the grey wings, or the brown wings?" She has caught a bunch of frogs this week, including a really cool gold, metallic-looking tree frog. She carries them around to show to me, the boys, the neighbors, and anyone else whom she feels needs to see a frog. Anyway, I think she may soon resort to giving them all names. Kinda reminded me of this image of Snow White...

However, there is trouble in the magical forest. The chipmunks have caused some damage to the patio, and are therefore on the naughty list. So too are the racoons, who have nearly destroyed the bird feeder. The snakes, while a necessary evil, are just not welcome anywhere near the house. So this morning, Michele set a live trap for some of the "problem" animals. I can't wait to see what she'll catch....