Sunday, November 30, 2014

Merry Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving went well for us.  Vanessa hosted this year, since she has moved to Covington and has the big farm house.  So Vanessa was the one that had to stay up late and get up early to get the meal prepared.  Becky made a pumpkin pie and a cherry pie – so she still did some cooking. Chelsea and Dan could not make it, they were both sick with some sort of bug. We did pick up Annabelle so that she could see her cousins and Chelsea did look pretty rough.

Chelsea has some time off this weekend and she gets sick – go figure the luck. She said that she is supposed to go to 2nd shift.  Which I prefer since there are too many stories about people falling asleep at the wheel on the way home from work and wrecking from working 3rd shift.  Chad and Sarah had to leave early as they were going up to Michigan for the rest of the weekend to see Sarah’s relatives that live around Ann Arbor.  I am watching their critters for them.  Their outside dog does not like me one bit.  Fortunately he is chained – but I wear thick clothing that he can’t bite through in case he decides to make a go of it when I feed him.

On the plus side I get to keep the eggs when I feed the chickens.  11 of ‘em the first day. So that is an extra dividend that I wasn’t expecting.  I did not realize that they had so many chickens.  Talked with Vanessa after everyone had gone.  She said that even though she makes less money right now, that they are ahead of where they were at in Louisville.  Childcare is a lot cheaper for one.  And the house they rent is still cheaper than the apartment. So it sounds like the move was a positive.  Oh, and she says she now knows more about combines that she ever thought that she would.

Apparently you never want your combine to get rocked – that is it picks up a rock and it tries to go thru the combine – tearing up everything along the way.  They had one repair bill that was for over $28k.  An expensive rock that one. Both Vanessa and Eric worked on black Friday, so we watched the kids for them since the sitter was not available.  The girls helped me with some of my chores.  A good time all in all. Oh and Thanksgiving must not have been traumatic. Vanessa is thinking of hosting Christmas.

Covered the North and South girls basketball teams last night at Northridge.  They were in a tip off tournament.  North looked better than South.  But I don’t see either team doing very well this season.  I guess that North was down 2 starters due to illness and injury, so that might have been a factor – but from what I can see they will have a long season.  And South has more players this season, but still not much experience.  Their road will be even longer.  Next week the boys start up. South has no height this year, but good guards.  North does not return much. We cover Dixie and they are in the same boat as North – not returning much talent. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

cute kids 1999 edition

Attached is cute kids 1999 a summary of the kids antics for the year.

Y2K project is going OK so far.  One minor glitch, a subsystem is stamping
documents with MM/DD/1920   Looks like someone is trying to cram a
4 digit date into a 2 digit date field that has '19' prepended onto
it.  Anyway, that is the only 'gotcha' so far.

Vanessa got to start against Stivers.  They are a pretty poor team,
that we beat handily 43 to 20.  Vanessa has yet to score a point.
Her hip is giving her problems again.  X-rays show that her growth
plates on the top of her hips haven't fused yet.  She hasn't hardly
grown in the last year.  Doctors say it is just a manner of time
until they fuse.  They play Tri-County North on Thursday.  Tom Steck,
a former classmate of mine, is coaching their team.  Vanessa's boyfriend,
Mark, broke up with her so she was in a grouchy mood this weekend.

Car that Chad worked 2 jobs to pay off.

Chelsea has 2 games this weekend.  One against an undefeated
Brookville - should be a barnburner.

Joe said that it was his best christmas ever.  He is really enjoying the
Rollercoaster Tycoon pc game we got for him.  It was a good investment.
We have been playing Starcraft head to head on our 2 pc's.

Chad is putting another engine in his pickup truck.  Still has a ways
to go.  Has a new girl that he is seeing, she is 16.  She called several
times this weekend, so she is serious anyway.

Becky and I will be celebrating our anniversary this weekend.  21 years...

Jan 6  Children are on an extended winter break.  10 inches of snow over the weekend.  All the schools
       have been closed since Monday.  Christmas was good this year.  Joe got a hotwheels volcano
       race set, XV racers, numerous hotwheels tool set..  Chelsea got clothing, porcelein doll.  Chad and
       Vanessa got mainly clothing.  Got a used street fighter game for the super ninintendo.  It
       has got the most use of any of the gifts.  That was $10 well spent.

Jan.7  Still no school.  Chad got tractor running and scraped away some of the snow.  Called in sick to
       work, but still found time to go running around this pm.  Vanessa's ankle is still giving her
       problems.  It was injured like the first game and still isn't completely healed.  We are worried
       about track season.  Chelsea has practice tonight & a game on Friday.  Joe has practice on Sat.
       It keeps them busy. Chelsea and Joe helped me get a pickup truck load of hay yesterday.  They
       were able to slide on the crust of ice on top of the snow and Chelsea was able to scoot some of
       the hay across the ice.  

Jan. 12  School is still out.  Chad helped me get some firewood and hay over the weekend.  Chelsea went
         to Desma's today for girl scouts - time to sell cookies.  Vanessa's ankle is still in bad shape
         so we may take her to a sports medicine clinic to be checked out.  Saw Alien III last night on
         video tape & Joe said that he never wanted to go into space - he covered his eyes during the
         scary parts.

Feb.  2  The telephone situation is only going to get worse.  The phone rang and we had the usual mad
         scramble for the phone.  Joe was by the computer and answered.  Chad was tapping his foot
         impatiently, "Well who's it for, Joe?"   "It's for me", answered Joe smugly and he proceeded
         to talk to a girl from down the road, Jessica. Joe played some good defense last Saturday
         at the YMCA,  got a couple of good rebounds and made some good bounce passes.  Vanessa
         now has a weight bench to use to stay in shape.  She is still playing great defense, so-so
         offense.  Chelsea is getting some points, but is also playing great defense.  Chad is going
         to be measured for a cap and gown in a few weeks.  He is thinking about looking for another
         job at another dealership.  Slemkers isn't willing to participate in the GM program at
         Sinclair + they are still paying him minimum wage...

Feb. 17  Had a good surprise for Joe's birthday.  We told him we were going to McDonalds.  Then after
         we left, we headed to Hara Arena for a Monster Truck Show & Bad Boys of Wrestling.  Joe
         really had a good time.  Vanessa is on the tourney team - next week is the state tourney.
         Chad had his stomach scoped - no obvious problems found.  Chelsea scored 8 points at her
         last game.  Vanessa and Steve are on the rocks.   Oh, Vanessa is doing interesting experiments
         in Chemistry class.  Apparently they dropped a substance on the floor and it ate a hole in it.
         So far she hasn't lost any fingers.
Feb. 24  Vanessa got to play with the Varsity in the last two minutes of the tournament game against Jackson
         Center.  She did OK, got off a shot, but it wouldn't drop.  They lost the game, but it was nice
         to see Vanessa get to play.  Chelsea had a good game against Carlisle last week.  She had 10
         points, 5 rebounds, and 6 steals.  Joe got frustrated at his last game.  He missed two foul shots.
         Told him to wait until next year when he is bigger, then he will do better.  Chad coaxed me into
         taking him and Joe to the Monster Truck show at the Nutter Center this Saturday - better buy
         some ear plugs.

Feb. 28  Vanessa went to a 'tune up' meet in Cincinnati.  She ran a 2:34 800m - not bad for not doing any
         distance work.  Vanessa also got a '87 Dodge Dynasty.  It is a very clean car with a transmission
         problem.  Chad thinks that he can fix it, if so it will be a real bargain.

Mar. 8   Vanessa ran at an indoor meet at Cedarville College.  She ran 1600 meters in 6:09.
         Put down a downpayment on a tuxedo for the prom for Chad.  It is going to cost around $80.
         Chelsea has AAU basketball tryouts tonight, she is looking forward to them. Joe made an
         interesting paper airplane.  It has a fusilage, nose, wings, and rudder.  He says it is
         the space shuttle.  Hey and it flys fairly well too.  

Mar. 30  Vanessa ran at the preble county kickoff.  They did not score the meet,it was a warmup meet.
         She was first in the mile, first in her heat in the hurdles, and the 4 X 400m relay got 1st.
         Chelsea's AAU has started.  Practice is going full bore this week.  Everyone is home on
         spring break.  Vanessa is taking her drivers ed class this week. Soon we will have 2
         teenagers driving.  Chad is getting ready to junk out some old vehicles.

Mar. 31  Chad is going to a state competition.  He and a friend were one of the top 15 teams in
         Ohio for automobile troubleshooting.  They are headed up to Cleveland for a state competition.
         MVCTC is receiving a brand new Ford motor for the school to use.  Good luck to the gearheads!

Apr.  6  Vanessa ran a 17.65 in the 100m hurdles.  A 2:34 split in the 800m X 4 relay.

Apr. 12  Chad had a rough go of it at the MVCTC prom.  Melissa was upset because she had broken up
         with her boyfriend.  Chad finally got fed up with her being so glum - left her at the prom
         and took off with Matt.  Vanessa did OK at the Anna Invitational.  She hurt her knee on the
         hurdles and got no points.  But managed a 3rd in the mile (5:53) & a 5th in the 800m 2:40 -
         a bit slow in the 800, but her knee was getting sore at that point.  Chelsea played paintball
         with us this weekend, she is improving as a player.

Apr. 26  Chelsea had a good weekend at basketball, got at least 6 points that I remember.  Vanessa got
         a 1st in the the 800m run(2:32) and 2nd in the mile (5:45) at the Eaton Invitational.  

Apr. 28  Vanessa had a great performance at the county meet.  She got 5th in hurdles, 1st in 800m & 1600m,
         and most importantly got 3rd in the 2 mile run, which helped score enough points to win the
         Preble County for South!

May  03  Chad got 11th place at the state competition for Automotive trouble shooting.  When he got back,
         he went to the South prom and had a good time.  Chelsea went to COSI in Columbus.  Vanessa
         had a so-so performance at West Milton.  2:32 or so in the 800m; 5:45 in the 1600m.  Joe got
         a card from his girlfriend, Jessica.

May  10  Vanessa went to her first prom with Mark.  She looked sharp.  Vanessa had to drive and on the
         way home, they got lost.  Stopped at a gas station and about 15 minutes later they ended back
         at the same station.  Finally found their way home and it was a good time all in all.  Chelsea's
         team was 1-3 over the weekend.  She played fairly well overall.  Chad mowed grass at grandpa
         Jack's house.  We ordered graduation announcements for him today.  Joe made a nice Mother's
         day present at school - a key chain with his picture.

May 23   Vanessa has a had an injury to the growth plate of her hip.  It was painful enough that it
         slowed her down for track.  So this season is ending early.  Hopefully, it will heal OK over
         the summer.

June  7  Chad graduated last week.  Smoked his first cigar at Jason Hora's graduation party.
         Seemed to be in good spirits last weekend.  Today he starts work at a Buick Dealership
         in Middletown.  Chelsea's basketball season is over.  She played pretty well over all.
         I think that her shot is starting to come around.  Vanessa is playing softball. Her team
         won 19-13 in their first game.

June 13  Chelsea had a slumber party over the weekend.  Things got a little of hand when the adults
         went to sleep.  The girls got back up and Jessica decided to get the fire going again to
         make smore's.  She used rubbing alcohol, motor oil, etc. in the fire.  It will be a long
         time before Jessica is invited back over. I wonder what the smore's tasted like. Joe stayed
         over at Bradleys house + got to see a demolition derby.  He had fun at the demolition derby,
         but did not have fun at Bradley's.
June 22  Chad took his Dodge to the drag strip in Hamilton.  He made two runs and after the second run,
         he tore up his rearend - what an expensive hobby.  Vanessa's softball team had a good first game,
         but have really gone south since then.  They have lost 3 in a row and got run ruled at least once.
         Chelsea is having a blast at basketball camp.  She has gone thru all her spending money and tried to
         coerce me to send more.  The other day Chelsea and Vanessa were standing in their sock feet and
         Chelsea is only an inch or so shorter...   Joe has been building small forts and a homemade bow and arrow.
         He is tired of watching TV and playing video games, we are not even out of June yet - Summer vacation
         is just getting started.        

July 8   Vanessa is getting fitted for a dress.  She is going to be Maid of Honor at Jeanies wedding.
         Went to Juniors for the 4th of July.  Nice fireworks display, the youngsters had fun riding
         4 wheelers.  No one lost any fingers so it was a successful 4th. Vanessa's softball team is
         doing better, they are around .500 right now.  She goes to Cross Country camp next week, hopefully
         the softball has not aggrevated her hip injury.  Joe had fun at the YMCA basketball camp.

July 12  Dropped off Vanessa at Cross Country camp.  She is excited about attending.  Chelsea won two
         trophies at basketball camp.  She shot a ground hog with a pellet gun and it took several shots
         but she was able to kill it.  Another Annie Oakley I guess.

Aug  23  Had a good time at vacation.  Broke down just once this year - Chad had to put a fan belt on.
         Chelsea and Joe went with me to visit the aircraft carrier in Charleston.  We all had fun riding
         the waves.  Vanessa was in Jeanies wedding.  It went very nicely.

Aug. 30  The family went to Amber Skiles Wedding.  Had a good time at the reception.  Joe fell down
         and chipped a tooth.  He didn't want to leave, so we stayed and danced the night away.
         Vanessa is doing physical therapy for her hip still.  Her first meet is this week.
         Had to put a new radiator & also fix the heater in Vanessa's car.

Sep. 13  Vanessa had a good run on Saturday.  Still having problems with her hip, but is getting decent times.
         Chelsea stayed overnight with Allison Johnson.  They did each others hair at her mothers beauty shop.
         Chad is getting ready for Sinclair - job one is getting a working alarm clock.  Joe is signed up
         for NFL ultimate football at the YMCA, he is anxious to play.  

Sep. 16  Joe got a note sent home from the principal -  he popped a kid in the eye.  They were scuffling over who
         was in line first. Discussed this with Joe on the way to cub scouts.  Toward the end of our conversation
         Joe told me that when he has kids - he hopes that they do not get in as much trouble as he does...
         Vanessa ran well at Preble Shawnee.

Sep. 22  Vanessa got 4th at league meet & 4th at National Trail Invitational

Sep. 29  Becky had an interesting situation in Miamisburg.  She was pulled over in the van by the police.
         Seems that someone called on their cell phone and reported that someone was throwing stuff
         out of her van.  Further investigation found that Joe was the culprit.  He had been throwing
         buckeyes out of the side window.  The cop gave Joe a good talking to, and sent them on their way.
         Chelsea is pushing to play the saxophone for band.  The transmission on Vanessa's car is shot,
         am going to buy her another one.  

Oct. 28  Grandpa Freedman died earlier in the month.  At the memorial service some balloons from a celebration
         earlier in the morning descended from the ceiling.  One landed in front of Uncle Vaughn and one
         landed in front of Joe.  One Joe saying goodbye to another. Vanessa had another poor finish at the
         district meet. She got the dry heaves during the final mile and finished 21st.  Basketball
         conditioning has started. Bought Chelsea a saxophone.  She has been practicing - much to the
         chagrin of the rest of the household.  Joe has been playing ultimate football and doing OK.
         Chad finished first session at Sinclair, he is back to working full time.  So he will have some
         extra cash now.  He is really getting into the internet - because a girl that he met at
         Burger King is...   May have to get another phone line if this keeps up.  Bought Vanessa a

Nov. 5  Joe has been sent to the principals office 4 times this year.  One more time and he will not be
        able to go to camp Kern.  Joe's Ultimate football season ended.  He did OK, did a fine job of passing and throwing.  Vanessa was honored by getting first team all county and first team all conference for Cross Country. Chelsea is working hard at basketball.  Games start next month.  The Country Cafe has
        been calling in Chelsea the last few Sundays to help with dishes. Somehow I think that they are
        violating child labor laws, but Chelsea enjoys the extra cash.  Last Sunday she cleared more than
        Vanessa.  Chad is working 2 jobs to pay off the '57 Buick he is buying.  Don't know how he is going  to keep it up.  He wants me to co-sign a loan for him.  I am reluctant to do so, but I don't want
        him to fall asleep at the wheel either.  

Nov. 23 Chad had all 4 of his wisdom teeth pulled at the same time.  He was still a woozy from all the medication.
        He was saying how he was going to stop taking the pain killers, he was forgetting where he put things,  felt like he was in a fog, and couldn't concentrate.  Chelsea said, "Now you see how it's like in my shoes!"
        Anyway Chad seems to be recovering faster than what we thought he would, maybe he won't have to eat his  turkey thru a straw after all.  Vanessa's team has had 3 scrimmages.  They did not look as sharp as they should, it may be a long season.  Took Chelsea and Joe to see Pokey Mon, the movie.  They had a good time.

Dec. 10 The Varsity girls have gotten off to a so-so start.  They are 1-2.  Vanessa has gotten some playing time, but hasn't scored a point.  Chelsea's team is 1-0, she scored about 10 points.  Joe is having fun with cub scouts.  They practiced for the Klondike Derby that is coming up.  One contest was to use a huge  rubber sling to shoot water balloons at a wheel barrow about 100 feet away. He hit it once on the bounce and another time it landed close and sprayed it.  Not bad when some of the other fellows couldn't pull it back far enough to get the water balloon out that far.  Joe's boat didn't do too well at the raingutter regatta, he was mad about it.          

Dec.15  Joe helped make a dirt cake last night for the cub scouts charity auction.  He was excited about making his first 'cake'.  He wanted to know when we were going to add eggs and put it in the oven - had to  explain that it wasn't that kind of cake.  Chelsea has scored 26 points in her first 3 games.  The  team is 2-1, the one loss was by 2 points.  Vanessa' hip is giving her some pain - hope we don't have to go thru all the physical therapy again.  Chad took Joe to his first practice at the YMCA.  The boys had some time to kill so they played some arcade games, then Chad took him out to eat at the Jug in Middletown. They had a good time together - despite the difference in ages (19 and 7).

Dec. 20 Chelsea won a drawing that the DARE program had.  She won a $125 shopping spree at Kmart in Eaton.
        She got some stuff for herself, but was nice enough to get presents for her sister and brothers.
        Varsity girls are 3-3 going into the Holiday Tournament.  Chad got an engine from Slemckers for the
        pickup truck. Vanessa has an appointment with a doctor in Cincinnati about her hip.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

prep for holidaze

Getting ready for the holidays.  Vanessa is hosting thanksgiving and I am making a table for her.  Part of the wood is from one of our Maple trees from the front yard.  It died when we had drought the summer before this one and I had a local guy saw it up for me.  The plan is to have it done this week and deliver it this weekend.

Joe’s wife, Samantha has had a lot of work done with her teeth.  She had some infection and they figure that the pressure from the air travel caused it to spread.  So she has been spending time in the dentist chair. And with the swelling the anesthetic wasn’t working as good as should have so that first visit she had a lot of pain.  Anyway they are doing several root canals. So she is having some misery too.  But she needed dental work anyway so they are just speeding it up.

Chelsea is still working tons of overtime.  She is getting some extra time off later in November and I am glad – she needs some time off to decompress.  Dan is not much help.  I don’t quite understand the whole story but this is what I was told by Becky.  Apparently he went to Sinclair like 2 years ago and flunked out.  He was put on academic probation (suspension??) at that time.  He started taking the latest round of classes  – but I guess he wasn’t supposed to be allowed to take them.  Now he can finish up this latest term but can’t take any more classes until next  fall.   Confused?  Yeah, so am I – it doesn’t make any sense.  But I guess that he is hoping to get a job in the meantime.  And Chelsea is mad because she won’t be able to back to school this fall like she planned.  I tried to tell her to finish her school first…

Went with Chad’s kids to a toy train show at National Trail last weekend.  There were some impressive layouts.   Cash and Serenity both got to operate a train and have it switch tracks and so forth.  So they had a good time.  Sarah is back to substitute teaching again.  She has been getting some gigs here and there.  Chad has been working some overtime to get all the snow plows ready to go for this winter.

We bottled some raspberry and white grape wine from what we grew here on the farm.  Both turned out fairly good.  The raspberry we have been doing for years and so we have that figured out, this is  the first year we had enough grapes to do a batch.  My work is keeping me busy.  Big project that is due next spring.  Getting my deliverables done on time, so things are on track.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Vanessa has been the job less than a month and she is already earning her pay.  So happy that the move back to Ohio is going the right direction.  Eric has a job with Coke and Elaina is happy with her school - Covington.

Joe is back in Japan, and his wife Samantha is making a stop in California now on the way back to Japan herself.  She is staying with uncle Richard for a few days while she waits for the next military flight back.  So Joe won’t be able to enjoy the bachelor life for much longer – he will need to get the dirty dishes done and won’t be able to spend his off time playing computer games.   And who knows maybe she will grow to like California and will want Joe to get stationed at Sacramento AFB!

Chelsea is working third shift for the foreseeable future.  She would like get back on first, but it doesn’t look like it will happen anytime soon.  She said that she would like to give the company an ultimatium, but I told her not to make any moves unless she has another job available.  The old don’t burn your bridges deal.  She is working all kinds of overtime, but no time off to enjoy it.  I think that she has only had 4 days off the last 2 months.

Chad’s wife Sarah did not enjoy the teaching job at the Dayton public schools at all.  She turned in her resignation.  I guess that she is going to go back to substitute teaching in the short term.  Too bad that she couldn’t get anything locally.   Oh with Vanessa back in the area, the cousins are seeing each other more often.  Cash, Serenity, Elaina, and Violet all went bowling in Richmond last weekend.