Sunday, July 26, 2009

First Fruits

This weekend we've finally got a chance to sample the produce from our garden. We planted tomatoes, lettuce, green peppers, and squash. Some of the squash were ready so we picked it and just saute'd it. It was heavenly! We used a little more the next day to make a pasta primavera with shimp dish for dinner. Yummy!

We've got a lot of rain this season but on the plus side all of our plants (vegetable and landscaping) are doing great. As a matter of fact, one plant is doing especially well. Last year we bought a sunflower to plant since Grasshopper really likes them. It was a shitty little plant that barely got 18" tall and had like one flower. Well, apparently, this thing dropped a few seeds. Because, this year, the below is what came up out of the ground all by itself:


There are even more flowers on those plants now than when the picture was taken. It's going gangbusters.

Also, despite the rain, we're managing to get some family bike rides in. We went out today and biked next to the Erie Canal and got a good 12 miles in. Of course, we got poured on right at the end of the ride but it was still nice.

Not a lot going on around the Casa de Franco, just the usual. Next weekend I'll be going white water rafting with the boys and their scout troop. The Wife would go but thinks the rapids will be a little to adventurous for her. But give the woman credit, she got the family into biking and kayaking, so she is turning us into outdoors people.



Sunday, July 19, 2009

Get Back to Where You Once Belong

We're back!

Holy cow what a week. There was rain, there was sun, there was lots of walking! I could tell you all about the things that happened but it would take hours and this post would be incredibly long! So here are some of the big highlights.

Weather was cold (like in the 50's) with rain the first couple of days. Put a little damper on things but we perservered. By Wednesday it warmed up into the 70's. Still some rain, but Wednesday was clear and rain free all day!

The boys were busy with merit badge classes, but I still got to do some great things with them. We went boating. Christopher and I did kayaking and I took Grasshopper out in a rowboat since he was not qualified as a full swimmer to go in canoe's or kayaks. I took a 50 minute bike ride with Christopher through the dirt roads and woods and we had a total blast! I gave him a run for his money let me tell you! The three of us did some fishing. Didn't catch anything, though. I climbed the 30 foot climbing wall along with Christopher. I also made it more than 3/4 away across the sky walk, which was monkey swings spaced far apart about 30 feet above the ground. Yes, I was doing crazy stuff and having a hell of a time doing it. We had campfires, great food, stomping on tables and generally being loud. There were a few downers on the week, but nothing that doesn't make me want to go back next year. It felt like a real vacation not to have to worry about anything in the real world for 7 days.

Here's a couple of pictures of our adventures. We can't wait to go back next year.




Grasshopper fishing.



Christopher on the climbing wall.



Me on the Sky Walk (of Death!)



The boys!


Saturday, July 11, 2009

I'm Outta Here

Tomorrow the boys and I are off to Boy Scout camp. We're getting up a 0 dark 30 (about 5 am) to be on the road by 6. I'll be back next Saturday and completely out of touch with the digital world until then. I'll get pictures and stories up when I get back.

In the meantime, you guys be good and play nice while I'm gone. Don't make me pull the internet off to the side of the road!


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Small Victories

Today's a day for little things. Like my boss backing me up on a personnel matter with HR (not related to me directly, of course), having one of my guys go off on my about a change at work as if we've got no plan and not following process and then showing him that indeed, I have all the bases covered (shame on those of little faith), getting the lawn mowed before leaving for boy scout camp, getting started on the packing for summer camp, seeing the Wife go for a ride on her new bike (and really enjoying it).

You gotta take those good moments when you can get them and just enjoy them. So let's all raise a glass of our favorite beverage of choice and toast those rare blissful moments.

Cheers.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Beat Goes on

Last night was the band's second practice since our singer "officially" moved on. The first one was last week. I don't know how it was for the rest of the band, but that first practice without her sucked. I was not feeling it at all, played like shit, and couldn't care less what we were doing. Perhaps the loss sank in. Perhaps I was just having a bad day. Either way I don't think practice went well.

Last night was a lot better. I was feeling it again with the band. It's different, are arrangements are changing, but it's ok. Our bass player actually sang some parts in a song and she sounded really good! It's amazing the difference having 4 voices makes. And I heard the stirrings of some really good vocals. Like if we work on it, there could be songs where the hairs stand up on end when we play them.

As in everything in life, change is constant. Sometimes you need to accept and move on. But I still miss having her there.


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Happy 4th Weekend

Hope everyone had a great weekend. We did lots of stuff and had a relaxing time. Friday was, as the Wife put it "get some shit done day". We had a new storm door put on our front door. We didn't have one before so now we can get lots of light and keep the front door open! Buddy thinks it's great to be able to look out on the world. We also got Grasshopper a new set of frames for his glasses and picked up some additional gear for scout camp next week.

Yesterday we got strawberries for canning. Ellen makes jam every year and this year we ran out of time and the weather was too rainy to pick them like we normally do so we just got some from the farmer's market. We also spent the day at her niece's place. It's on a creek in the sticks so we had a great time. The boys did some fishing and we basically hung out with family. Her niece's husband and her nephew both are in the bicycling industry and she's in the market for a nice bike to ride the trails on the canal in this area. So we got some good advice. We capped off the evening with local fireworks which was nice, although by then I was getting a little pooped and just wanted to go to bed. I know, I'm getting old.

Today we went to the bike shop where her niece's husband works and she tried out some bikes. The shop is right on the canal so we brought our bikes and she tried one out and we took about a 4 mile spin on the canal to get a feel for it. So we're going to go ahead and get her a bike. We're turning into a biking family it seems so we're going to try and get out and bike the path's more on the weekends through the summer. We're enjoying getting out of the house and doing things more, especially when the weather cooperates as it did today. We finished off the day by canning the strawberries and making jam and then after dinner sitting on our porch enjoying the cool evening. It got pretty hot in that kitchen, and not just because Ellen was in it!

Basically this weekend has been all family related stuff and no (or little) stress. Just the right kind. Hope everyone out there had as fun a weekend as we did.