Monday, July 31, 2006

Music to Me

Back in 1993-94 I spent a lot of time in my Bronco II driving back and forth to Vermont. I had graduated from Military College and my closest friends had remained behind, in the valley of Waitsfield, Vermont. Waitsfield is home to the Sugarbush Ski Area and I loved to ski. I also loved all of the other activities that surround a ski town and I had ins at all the funnest bars.

What I surmised on those Friday night trips North was that Lenny Kravitz is a modern day profit. I am reminded of this epiphany now, Heidi had our home computer tuned up today and the guy showed her how to play cd's while she worked on the computer. To most of you I know this sounds trivial but to us it is tremendously cool!

Let Love Rule is the second album/record that I learned all the words to. The first was Paul Simon, I do not remember the name of the album but it had Me and Julio on it. If you have not guessed I do not pay to much attention to music. There are only a few that have ever touched me. There is a 'meme' going around in which people name their one hundred favorite albums, I can not come close. I read a lot of Books, and I never remember who wrote them or what they were titled. I often pick up a novel get two chapters in before I realize the story has already been read.

Some music that I remember, The Violent Femmes, New Order, Billy Idol, The Cure, The Cult, The Smiths and Morrisey when he left, I liked the Grateful Dead and saw them in concert a few times. My best memory of one particular song is American Pie, I got my license that morning and was off for my first solo drive, must of been 1986, I rocked American Pie at full blast and felt like the King of my own little world, I have remembered all the words ever since.

I had a huge crush on Sarah B. but did not go to a Bon Jovi concert with her because I thought they sucked and I much rather go Down River. I regret it to this day, one: because now I like those old Bon Jovi songs and two: I realize it was my chance at Sarah B. Bygones.

Another guy I think is great is James Taylor, his concert, prior to 1988, I was probably a Junior in high school. It was the first time I got drunk enough to puke. In the pouring rain I remember proclaiming "I don't know the words, but I am reciting them by divine intervention" Good Times! I could do back flips at the time and I remember throwing a couple in the parking lot for the girls fained amazement.

"I know a girl who gets off by sticking needles in her veins Oh Lord what a shame." sing it Lenny. Two glasses of wine in. Rock and Roll.

Jane's Addiction's, Perry Farrel is all of that, I put what's his name, the leader of the Foo Fighters and drummer for Nirvana in the same category, Dave Grohl. Can't forget about the lead singer of, well I forgot who he leads but I got up and got another glass of wine and I remember his name, Billy Corrigan, shit, it is on the tip of my tongue, Damn. Day later the bands name is Smashing Pumpkins.

If you can dance to it I like it. Madonna and Mariah Carey can carry a dancing note, along with all of the Motown artist led by the late, great Barry White and Marvin Gaye. Thriller and Billy Jean are also fun.

I really like Kid Rock, never bought one of his records, but I think he likes Rock'N Roll. I appreciate Southern Rock, out front are Leonard Skynard and The Band. Never really got the Bob Dylan thing.

I have to mention Metallica and System of a Down, sometimes I like to bang my head.

The original profit is Bob Marley, Redemption Song gives me shivers.

I have run out of steam, I am going to post what I have here, sleep on it and edit in the morning, Do not forget Joan Jet and "'I Love Rock 'N Roll' put another dime in the juke box baby" .

Urgh Blogger!

The pictures from Maine are in. Blogger will not publish them, the server has timed out, sheesh, I want to publish the pictures. Whenever I get a minute I make an attempt and each time it tells me that the server has logged out. By the end of the day we may have an updated Maine post or we may not.

I am so FRUSTERATED as Merry would say.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

What to Do?

Sunday morning, Mom is still in bed, Thomas is down for a nap, Merry and David are in front of the t.v. and I am here at the computer. The dogs are currently doing battle with the dog next door. Max and Jacks line up on our side of the fence with Brynn the neighbors dog on the other. They bark at each other like wild dogs, drives me crazy, the neighbor thinks its cute. Whatever.

Yesterday was spent Down River, it was uncomfortably warm even on the water. There was a strong westerly breeze that kept the greenies at bay but the sun was intense. I am feeling a little well done this morning and am not sure how we will spend the rest of today. The Old Blue House is warming up, the 'heat bugs' are buzzing and today promises to be another beautiful warm summer day. Another day in the full sun with no place to hide is probably not the best idea.

Luckily we have Grandparents, Heidi's dad's house or my parents house, both have pools, my parents house may have cousins. Grampy (Heidi's) dad had a cookout for his employees on Friday and there is lots of beer and food left over. We made a dent in it yesterday after the beach but there is more and it needs to be consumed or tossed. Grampy's house it is, we will lounge around here until Mommy and Thomas wake up, I will make some calls to see if I can get someone to help me drink the beer and eat the food and we will spend the afternoon at the Taj Mahal.

The exterior of my house is still a disaster area, it only seems to bother me on the weekends. The house has one wall left to be painted and the trim. The landscape is a mess and I don't know what to do. Yes I do, pack up the kids and head to the pool, I will forget all about it after the first cannonball, Kow-A-Bunga!

Friday, July 28, 2006


Didn't Think I Would Turn Out This Way spun me off on quite a tangent, with her talk of God or a lack of God and now that I have put my thoughts out there I feel better and able to move on with stories of family life.

Heidi's Arbonne experience is starting to take on some momentum, she has recruited two bright, capable women who are starting to sign up their own prospects. While she helps them she continues to work to fill the remaining spots below her. The game is to get four directly below you and then help each of those four find four and so on and so on. At the third level there should be 64 people working towards your financial freedom. It is a numbers game backed up by a quality product and a well thought business plan, when you add some hard work to this formula it will bear fruit.

Heidi was out with the girls putting Arbonne in motion, Merry, David, Thomas and I headed to Grampy and May May's for swimming and dinner. Merry had plans for her first sleep over and was very excited. Along with swim suits and pajamas we brought her pillow, the Dora sleeping bag and a story. Little David had expectations that he was going to be sleeping over as well. I avoided directly crushing his hopes until it was time to go, then the cruel reality set in that he was not staying.

When I say the weather has been a bit uncomfortable I am not telling you that it is 106 degrees, it is 90 degrees with 50% humidity. You sweat sitting, The Old Blue House is not equipped with central air, when home, we retreat to the upstairs bedrooms with their window A/C units. This hot, sticky weather combined with a day of speaking to people who want something but won't come out and say it makes for a fairly irritated Daddy.

When I got home Heidi was working on a presentation for her meeting and I was responsible for getting us together, out the door and off to the Grandparents. I was not aware when I walked in that I would have this responsibility and was a bit peeved. I channeled my frustration into the job at hand and we were out the door. Once we got there, I started to relax, a swim, a couple glasses of wine, some good food and fun kids released all of the tension. Until it was time to go.

David wanted to stay and he made everyone present very aware of his displeasure at leaving. I carried him like a suitcase to the car, strapped him in and the boys headed home sans Merry. Leaving Merry behind did not phase me, David's hollering took all of my attention. Once home up the stairs we went. Thomas was pooped and went straight to sleep. David wasn't having it, he cried and hollered and yelled.

I went into his room and asked if he wanted to sleep with me. This perked up his spirits he jumped in the big bed and fell right to sleep. It was 8:30 pm and we were both out. Heidi got home late put him in his bed and that was the end. Suprisingly we never heard from Merry. The last two times she tried to sleep at Grampy's the call came in around 11:30 pm to come and save her, not this time.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Religion Revisited

God is man's physical manifestation of the Force or Higher Power that fuels the conflict that rages in the soul of each of us. Religion is the story of this conflict and the path to negotiate it. Every society accepts this, where they differ is in its explanation.

The Soul or Spirit is the question that elicits these different answers. There is a place inside of each of us that recognizes the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, the force and the darkside. This conflict has been present since the dawn of man and we want answers. Try getting away with "Because" as an answer to a two year olds "Why?" Because is not enough, the details need to be filled in.

What "story" you believe has a lot to do with the "story" you have been told. They are all good and in western civilization mostly the same, different characters, same lessons. Where it goes wrong is when man decides his "story" is the only "story" and those that don't believe need to be taught. Zealots are powerful and dangerous, avoid them if you can.

The journey of the Spirit is what intrigues me. I have Faith in a Higher Power and I believe that each of us have a Soul that is working its way toward that Force. The Buddhist call it Nirvana, I think. When my physical body dies I do not believe that is the end of the Spirit inside of me. When I look at the people who surround me on this Planet it is obvious that some are operating on a higher plane than others. Like all man before me I ask the question "Why?"

As a Soul or Spirit matures it provides the person carrying it more and more contentment. In certain people I see maturity, good decision making and the sense to surround themselves with quality people. This type of person projects a self confidence and inner peace that leads to a successful life. How come one has it and the other doesn't? Why?

I have a lot of thoughts as to why and I am sure I will wake very early tomorrow, toss and turn for a couple of hours working the answers out in my head and then in frustration due to my inability to sleep get up at 5:00am and attempt to pass them along coherently. Or, maybe I will tell a story about my kids.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Emily got me thinking about religion and how it affects me and my family. Organized religion is not organized by God, it is organized by man and man is fallible. We have inherent foibles that corrupt everything we touch, even worship.

Worship of a God or gods has been the cornerstone of all civilization since the beginning of time. The men and woman who worshipped the most and the hardest have always risen to prominence in society. With the power that they obtain more often than not corruption follows, we all know the cliche about absolute power.

With power comes money and influence, this income and influence needs management so organizations are formed. It is the management of these organizations that break down not the Higher Power they were formed to worship. The reason, mankind fucks it up.

Accepting that man messes it up and that I accept my particular organizations flaws, why is that I remain a member of the Catholic Church? Why do I choose to raise my children as Catholics? My father is a Methodist, his father was a Methodist preacher. The Methodists have far fewer layers of bureaucracy and with less bureaucracy there is less of a chance to muck it up. My Dad did not see it that way, he saw how important Catholicism was to my Mom, he felt attending a service once a week was important, so he came with us. He never converted but he prayed. I am the same way really, who is holding the service worshipping God is less important to me than the opportunity to worship. I am comfortable at Catholic mass so that is where we go.

Attending a formalized service dedicated to the worship of God provides me with an opportunity to think and review my behaviour and actions. Each week there is a different theme that the leader, in my case the Priest, brings to the congregations attention. There is a little story and reading from the Bible and then the Priest gives you his thoughts on the subject. I am often reminded of a virtue or weakness in my character and made to think. I do not practice this exercise outside of Church.

Instead of viewing religion as the opiate of the masses we should look on it as a chance for self reflection and improvement. Organized religion offers a tried and true method of self reflection and personal development, it also provides its congregation with a community of like minded individuals, if you are able to look past the sins of man and focus on yourself and your individual development that is what is important and exactly what I get out of practicing my religion. I hope they don't ex-communicate me.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


We are back from Maine and we had a wonderful time. We went to Sangerville, a little town about 205 miles North of The Old Blue House. Merry and David are good for about two hours in the car, after that all bets are off. How do I handle the fussing and teasing that goes on back there? I turn up the radio and try to pretend that it isn't happening. We spent the final hour of the ride in each direction managing the age old battle of the backseat. Good times.

Auntie Shannon's parents live in a log cabin on 160 acres of land, there is a pond and trails through the woods. Snow shoe hares hop about in their yard and regular good old country living happens. We arrived around lunch time ate some hotdogs and mac'n cheese and then the boys and girls split up. The girls headed over to Moosehead Lake to do some shopping and us men went fishing.

Mr Arch bought David a fishing pole that might as well have been made of gold. The child loved it. We dug up some worms in their garden and headed over to the pond.
We had about seven worms and I bet we caught ten fish. Little sunfish that would attack the hook the moment it hit the water. David would reel them in, Mr. Arch would take the fish off the hook, throw it back and then I would hand him another worm, if the one that was there was gone. David was in heaven and I think Mr. Arch had a pretty good time as well.

When we ran out of worms we headed back to the log cabin. Mr Arch and I began drinking beer, we caught some snakes, we sat on the front porch and shot the breeze. The girls returned from saving money buying sweatshirts and clogs and t-shirts all at great deals. We ate dinner and sat out on the porch and drank beer.

The Arch's were wonderful, the kids loved them and I think they were generally impressed with the children. They made us feel like family. Sunday morning Mr. Arch made breakfast and then we went for a walk. When we got back from our walk Mr. Arch had his four wheeler fired up to take the children for a ride.
Once again the kids were very impressed. Then we began the long, long, long ride home.

Anything over two hours does not seem to be a good idea. We did make it home in one piece which at times was in doubt. When we got home that is when things really began to heat up. We cleaned the house and prepared for our Arbonne presentation Heidi was to host.

A very busy weekend.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Where am I?

I am at The Tutu Boutique, baby! How do you like the new digs? We have really spruced things up around here and one man made it possible. When I first moved in, it was just a back room, some boxes and old folding chairs. Not so nice, but good enough for the guys while the girls shopped out front. Now with a lot of help, I must say , it feels very comfortable.

The process started last week. I was blogging around as I am want to do, when I noticed the blog roll over at The Hygiene Chronicles. Instead of text links, the gentleman over there had banners. I have been coveting a banner for the Tutu Boutique for a year and had zero knowledge of how to go about it.

Being the shy fellow I am, I immediately sent an email off to Steve asking for his help. He replied that he would be happy to give me a hand, as soon as he got back from vacation. True to his word, once he got settled he sent me an email trying to clarify exactly what it was I was trying to accomplish. That email, a couple of phone calls, and here we are, all cleaned up and ready to accept visitors.

I was not sure what to expect when I reached out into the blogosphere for help. What I found was a person willing to help a relative stranger and I want to let him know that I really appreciate it.

Thanks Steve, and the rest of you head over and check him out. If you aren't familiar with his blog or his writing there is an interesting story playing out over there at The Hygiene Chronicles .

Friday, July 21, 2006


The first rainy weekend in a couple of weeks is on the doorstep. Perfect, because I think we are going to load up the family truckster and head north, Down Maine, as they say. Auntie Shannon's parents live somewhere up there and she really wants us to go. Auntie Shannon is Heidi's best friend from way back and the person who introduced me to Heidi.

I need to figure out what to do with the two dogs. They are fairly self sufficient, what I need is someone to stop by in the morning, before 8:00, let them out and make sure the water bowl is full. Return around 6:00pm let them in and feed them. Return Sunday morning and repeat, we should be home in time to get them their supper. I have a couple of hot prospects who will be receiving the call tonight. Answer your phone please Grampy.

I noticed some posts out there this week concerning women ruffling each others feathers. I attended an all boys Catholic High School followed up by military College. I am the oldest child in a family of three boys and one girl, my Mother is famous for saying "I raised a family of only children" and for the most part she is right. I had girlfriends all through high school and in college but they were not around much and I was not too involved with their everyday lives. Except for pretending to listen to them on the phone in the evening. These relationships were mostly one way. I am not saying that I did not become attached to these girls it is only that they did not demand too much from me and I was blissfully unaware of the way woman interact with other woman.

Then I got married and my education into the ways of the fairer sex began. The first thing I learned is that girls/woman are not necessarily fair. As I became aware of the backstabbing nastiness that girls get themselves involved with it shocked me. Luckily, most of it avoided Heidi but she always had the scoop on who was up to what and what this one said about that one.

My experience among men and boys has always been different, more confrontational, less he said, he said. If there is a problem we face it and attempt to solve it. In college the testosterone was so thick that fights would break out at any time. In most cases, once the battle was over the combatants could be seen having a drink together later in the evening.

Laura S. over at Partners in Parenting brought up an issue concerning biases and talking out our differences. One of her readers had her feelings hurt because it came out that her best friend thought that putting her child in daycare would "hurt" him in some way. The woman felt betrayed because she has her children in daycare and if her friend felt it was bad for her kids then she must think that the poster was hurting her child everyday. Did you follow that? I am not sure I did. Men handle this kind of thing differently in my experience. Instead of being hurt I would ask what the F&ck he was saying and give him a chance to get himself out of it. Just to bust his chops. That would be it. We don't mind if we have different beliefs as long as over all we get along. Do we laugh at the same jokes, do the kids play nice together, do we have a few things in common, if so lets hang out and it is fine that you don't feel the same as me.

I get the feeling girls would be offended if one stated peanut butter and jelly is better than tuna fish as far as sandwich fillings go. "How could she think that?" "She must feel that I am poisoning Tommy". What are you talking about? Move on with your life. How is that for a rant? Have a nice weekend and please do not get to cross with me. It is after only a blog called The Tutu Boutique.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bad Daddy

Heidi is off finalizing her plans of World Domination with the girls. I am home and in charge of getting the little sweeties to bed in one piece. The time is 7:30pm and instead of brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, saying prayers and singing good night songs I am busy trying to get my photo essay below formatted properly.

Young David has even tugged at my sleeve and asked for me to get moving. Imagine that, a two and a half year old asking to be put to bed. Why do I press my luck? I should have gone when the kid said he was ready but I didn't.

Thomas likes to climb, we find him on top of the toy box, we find him on top of the living room table, we find him on the stairs. He is fun to watch, he has learned to negotiate the downs relatively well and there is not a lot to be concerned about. Unless you do not heed your two year olds pleads for bedtime.

Thud! Wahhhhhh!

I hit the delete button erasing the mess that was the first attempt at Pictures from Sunday and race to the front hall. Thomas is lying on the floor as I expected, David is sitting on the first landing and Merry is bending down to hug Thomas.

"What Happenend?" I implore.

"David pushed Thomas down the stairs"

Hugging Thomas, I look at David and ask "What did you do!?"

David on the verge of tears:
"I pushed Thomas down the stairs."

I grab his arm and sit him down. In my sternness voice I command "TIME OUT!"

I take Thomas and his bloody nose into the kitchen, clean him up and settle him down. This takes all of three or four minutes. Then we return to the scene of the crime, David is still on the stair feeling shame. As is the custom, I get down on his level, still holding Thomas and ask him why he is having the Time Out. Usually he will try to avoid eye contact, not this time, he looked me straight in the eye and said:

"Because I pushed Thomas down the stairs."

I told him to say he was sorry and give his little brother a kiss, which he did and up the stairs we went. I continued to lecture him about how big brothers are supposed to help their little brothers and not hurt them and so on and so forth. He was really sorry and I think he was scared that he may have hurt his little brother.

For the first time in his life I think he experienced remorse. I am glad no one was seriously hurt. The next time my kids tell me it is time for bed, to bed we go.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pictures From Sunday

Heading Out

Uncle Brendan, my yougest brother driving and cousin Kevin sporting the Shaka!

Greenie Got Her! OUCH!

Brother and Sister settled in.

Mom and Thomas

Heidi at Conomo Point.

The view of Choate Island from the beach. My Great Grand Mother Agnes Choate sold it to Richard Crane in 1916, to pay the property taxes. Do I sound bitter?

A view up the beach.

A couple shots of Davey playing in the bunkers I talked about in Swimming?

Merry at the River's edge.

Victory! A smooshed Mean Greenie.

Did I mention Thomas likes to smile?


Thomas snacking with Auntie Shannon and then without.

Davey catching some Z's in Uncle Kevins arms on the ride home

The End.


At the beach on Sunday, Thomas, the one year old, nearly drowned about twenty times. He didn't seem to mind at all. The current, from the tide coming and going from the Essex river forms these bunkers in the sand that are two or three feet deep. These bunkers hold water and become perfect little "bathtubs" for the kids to play in. Merry and David run around until exhaustion jumping in and climbing out. Thomas follows, crawling as fast as he can, in and out of these pools of warm ocean water.

The trouble comes when the water at the bottom of the bunker is deeper than Thomas' arms are long. The kid keeps going, there he is under water, after saving him three or four times I started to let him go, longer and longer. Eventually, he started to turn himself around, under the water and crawl back out. Smiling and laughing, loving every minute of exploring and playing with his brother and sister. The child was practically swimming on his own.

At this point in my fathering career I have pulled my children out of the water five or six times. It has never really scared me, I have always been in a position to see it coming. Sunday night after dinner at Grampy's, Merry decided she wanted to do some swimming. Merry can swim, it is not pretty and reminds me of someone trying not to drown, but she always makes it. David can't swim, he does very well with a float of any sort but on his own, bottom here he comes.

David is playing in the water on the steps. There are three steps, the third being chest deep on the little boy. I am sitting close by and keeping a very close eye on him. David is having a swell time on the deepest step, when he steps off it and down he goes. I get up from my post and move toward him, his eyes are open and he looks scared, he starts to kick his feet and almost makes it back to the surface. I reach in and pull him out, he was scared but a big hug brings him right out of it.

When it is happening it does not phase me, recalling how fast and silently he slipped beneath the surface is troubling. We work hard teaching them to stay away from the water when an adult is not around and even harder at always being around when they are near the pool. Watching it happen reminds everyone involved how quickly and quietly they can slip below the surface. This scenario has played itself out a handful of times between Merry, David and their cousins. It is an excellent reminder of how vigilant we, as parents need to be around water.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I am not sure how to express this so I am just going to be blunt. There is a Whiff of Poop in my living room which I can not track down.

This Whiff of Poop has been around for a couple of weeks now, it comes and it goes and I have been unable to put my nose on it. I am not the only one, Heidi is aware of it and occasionally when a guest sits in a certain seat in our living room, I notice, that they notice. So far all have been too polite to mention it.

Part of my job is finding smells, bad smells, the odor of death and I am quite good at it. I have moved the couch, inspected the cushions, looked under the chair, cleaned the rugs and The Whiff persists. The only reason I have yet to burn down The Old Blue House is because The Whiff is faint and fleeting. Days will go by without any sign, then ewe! What is that? That is The Whiff of Poop.

It was back last night, The Whiff, after the children were tucked in their beds, it returned. I sat down in my chair to watch some Red Sox baseball and I caught a Whiff of Poop. I am not sure what to do at this point I believe I am going to have to grin and bear it. This odor does not rank as a stink, more of a mild fluff. We say fluff instead of fart, it is the way I was raised and I have always felt a bit silly but there it is The Whiff of Poop smells of fluff.

There are a couple of possible sources that The Whiff can be attributed too. The first is the two naked children that climb and jump on my couch. The weather in the Northeast has been warm and the children have not been wearing clothes. David is 33 months old and just recently potty trained. I believe he may have made a trip to the potty, dropped a duce and not informed any of the wipers (Heidi and I) at his disposal. Then, all hot and sweaty resumed his naked play on the couch. ICK!

Or, one of the dogs is to blame. They do not always drop the sharpest of turds, maybe a lingerer made it back into the house. The thing is, my nose has been over every inch and does not find the offensive area. The Whiff is not consistent and I am starting to wonder, maybe The Old Blue house is haunted, could it be that The Whiff is a lost soul of a bygone era? Maybe his/her last meal was a plate of Boston Baked Beans, I am at a loss.

If any of you get the chance to sit in my living room please do not hesitate to mention if you catch a Whiff of Poop. Something is there I just do not know what it is and I promise that I will not let it ruin your time with my family, plus it is, just a Whiff.
Blog Of The Day Awards Winner

Monday, July 17, 2006


This weeks Carnival of Family Life is up at the Pink Diary, Kailani over there really does a great job. If you read this blog and write one yourself why not stop by and submit an entry. It doesn't hurt and it gets you out there.

Mingle people, Mingle.

Weekend Update

Another tough weekend at the beach, it is tough being me. Saturday, David and I went without out Mommy, Merry and Thomas, there are these horrendous biting flies that are born of The
Great Salt Marsh.
Rumors were swirling that the flies had reached Defcon 5 and the entire Town was on alert. Heidi received a phone call from her friend minutes before heading out that even Dave, had aborted his day in the boat, due to the intensity of these foul creatures. "Dave never gives in to them" her friend reported.

Excuse me, Dave just gave in, it is Peter, who never gives in. Heidi protested and I relented, "Fine, you don't have to come, but we are going." Merry wanted to stay with Mom, and I was not ready to sacrifice Thomas, the one year old, to the flies, if the rumors were true. Davey and I set off, we stopped by my parents house and picked up my fathers roommate from college and his family and made our way out into the wilderness.

Turns out there was a nice breeze at the beach and the evil Greenies were not an issue. We had an awesome day that would have been even better if Mom, Merry and Thomas had come along.

It was easy talking Heidi into going on Sunday after hearing my stories about Saturday she was not willing to risk missing another beautiful day at the beach. Sunday's logistics were a little tricky, my brother Brendan wanted to use the boat. Our cousin Kevin, who has been living in Hawaii for the past year was in town for a wedding and the boys had plans at the beach.

So did The Monsters, Saturdays saving breeze had withered and the bugs were present and hungry, after being denied on Saturday. These flies are intense, when they bite there is the potential that you will bleed. Greenheads are not interested in sucking your blood, they want your flesh. I picture them sitting down with a knife and fork enjoying a nice, medium rare cut, of Peter Jr. Luckily, for those around me, I seem to be the dinner the insects are looking for they rarely attack the children and I have become very proficient at ending their lives without getting bit.

We survived and played hard, David fell asleep in his Uncle Kevins arms on the ride Up River just as he did the day before in Auntie Lauren's. We got home , rinsed off and headed to Grampy and Maymay's to feed on the left over seafood from their dinner the night before. A great ending to an eventful weekend.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


My office took a bolt of lightning and we were blown off the internet.

No email, no Pestpack (the program we run our business with) no bloglines, nothing. It has been a very long two days. We are not yet fully operational, random connections are fried but I am up.

There is a lot of work ahead especially reading all of the posts I have fallen behind on, not to mention the bug business I have to take care of.

This week may rank as one of the longest, I know they all consume the same amount of time,but it is the perception of time that I am concerned with. When I am having fun it fly's by, when it is not so fun it seems to slow down. Why is that? Metaphysics I think.

It is supposed to be another beautiful weekend, look out beach here we come.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Blog Lines

I subscribe to bloglines and it has changed the way I blog. If you do not subscribe to some sort of blog feed I believe you should. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through my blog role everyday and hoping to bump into some more material, now I log into bloglines to see if there is something to read.

There is one small problem, I have 41 blogs that I subscribe to and only, on average, five new posts appear everyday. Get posting people! This means you, Emily and Freezio

In conclusion, if you do not subscribe to bloglines click on the link and make it happen. You will be happy you did! I am.

My Boy David

Heidi is out, off to discuss tactics and strategy with her partners in World domination. I have the children in their beds, teeth brushed, prayers said, bodies tucked in. My Time!

I settle in to watch my Sunday night shows which I could not stay awake for Sunday night due to the families adventures Down River.

Deadwood, I love this show, I know it is a play off of some Shakespearian tragic comedy, I just don't know which. I am riveted to the television, the battle between not so good and worse always intrigues me. Imperfect people leading imperfect lives playing the cards that they are dealt to the best of their ability. When I listen closely I think they are even speaking in iambic pentameter, the soliloquies contain all types of insight into the characters and the course the action is going to follow. You need to pay attention to understand what is going on.

Upstairs there is commotion, sounds like crying coming from Merry's room, I pretend I can't hear, hoping it will pass. Then I hear David on the stairs, he calls to me:


I turn off the t.v. and head to the stairs.

"David, why are you out of your big boy bed?"

"Daddy, Merry needs help. She is stuck"

"Lets go see, that was nice you coming to get me and helping your sister. Now get in your bed."

"Okay Daddy."

When I get to Merry's room she is lying in her bed yelling at the top of her lungs that she is stuck in her room and wants her door open. I calm her down and tell her to close her eyes and think nice thoughts. I never tell Merry that she has to go to sleep, she just has to stay in her bed. If I tell her to go to sleep and she doesn't fall asleep within two minutes she starts whining, she can't whine about not being able to stay in her bed, well she can whine about it but she doesn't. I give Merry a kiss and tell her that I love her and head back into David's room to let him know how how proud I am that he helped his sister.

David made me feel proud, he took it upon himself to lookout for his sister. Where does that instinct come from? Did he pick it up watching his parents, is it something you are born with? He was well aware that getting out of his bed may have serious consequences and he did it anyway. When I came around the corner I could see in his eyes that he new he was taking a chance. I told him I was proud of him, his chance paid off. My kids looking out for each other wells me up inside. I never thought about this dynamic and the emotional response that it would wake inside of me.

Back to Deadwood I went and then Entourage and then bed, as a very proud Dad.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Oh Yeah

The Carnival of Family Life #9 is up over at The Pink Diary, Check it out!


Today is my boy Thomas's first birthday. One year ago our family was in an entirely different place than we are today. I was laid up with a knee operation, our house was going under construction, and The Tutu Boutique was only an idea attached to a very large credit card balance.

We were not sure what to expect, on this day Heidi and I became out numbered, more kids than parents. We were very nervous to say the least, Heidi was not sure what she would do if the new baby had the same disposition as David. David needed constant attention, it was possible because Merry was such a darling. Turns out Thomas was a darling too, Thank God.

He has been a joy, the boy has a terrific attitude and a take charge spirit. Just this weekend as David was insisting that Dad turn the boat off Thomas was sitting on the floor smiling and enjoying the wind in his hair. Did I mention he smiles, he is on the verge of walking and has recently realized he may be able to ride the dogs. Thomas loves to eat, swim, play, and chase. I love Thomas.

A Day at the Beach

Here we are Down River.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Heidi has reworked her Arbonne site and if you are interested in High Quality, All Natural, Swiss Formulated, Manufactured in America, skin care, health, and beauty products you need to go over there and check it out.

I know this is not the deep insightful post you are all use to finding here, however this is the exact reason I started this blog in the first place. I want to be able to drive web traffic. In a couple of days when people are surfing the net looking for Arbonne they will end up here and follow the links to the place where all their questions will be answered.

Monday I will post some photo's of the 4th of July, and maybe some of Thomas's first day Down River. He loved the boat and the beach and we had a great day as a family.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Down River

The weather this weekend is supposed to be beautiful, not too hot or humid and very sunny. Here is the chance I have been waiting for to get the painting done on the outside of The Old Blue House. NOT!!!

We are going out in the boat tomorrow, down river, as we say. I grew up in a small town at the end of a tidal river, at the mouth of the river is a barrier beach that my family has frequented every summer since, get this, 1671. You see my ancestors received a land grant from King George to settle this part of New England back in the very beginning. The Choate family has a long and storied past, anyway my Great Grandmother sold off the last of the land in 1916 to Richard Crane the toilet king of Chicago and eventually the world. She owed Uncle Sam a substantial piece of change in property taxes that the family was not prepared to pay.

She paid off the debt and built the house that I grew up in and that my parents live in today, some legacy. So we are headed to the backside of Cranes beach, it is a wonderful spot, only accessible by boat or a long, long walk, about three miles from the public portion of the beach. I have spent every summer of my life on this spit of sand, some years more than others. This will be the first trip this year, with the three little ones it is about ten times as much work getting down there. Before, a thirty pack of beer and a stop at the sub shop was all the prep involved, now it takes far more effort. It is easier to go to Grampy's pool and easier happens more than difficult around here.

We have an eighteen foot Lund Alaskan that the family keeps at the local marina, this boat has been a part of my life since 1986 when I got out of the twelve foot aluminum with 9.5hp Johnson. All kinds of adventures have taken place on this boat and it is time to introduce the next generation of my family to Down River.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Last Night

"Daddy, I want a big boy bed"
"You want a big boy bed, David?"

Just so happens that the crib David has been in for the last two and a half years has a removable side. While David looked on in amazement I removed the side of his crib.

"There you go Dave."
"Daddy, I got a big boy bed."

David then called his Mom and his sister Merry to come in and see. Merry had some advise for David. She warned him to be careful, "When I got my big girl bed I rolled over and fell on the floor, you have to be careful of that."

"I love my big boy bed, Daddy"
"I love you, sleep tight Davey"

David stayed in his bed and we did not here any thumps or cries, I guess he took his sisters advice.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Regimental P.T.

Right Face! Echoed through the window of our third floor room in Alumni Hall at Norwich University. I woke in a panic and dashed to the window, outside the entire Corps of Cadets were marching down to Disney field for some good old Regimental Physical Training.

The command got Paul and Chris's attention as well, we looked at each other and simultaneously gasped "Oh Shit!" Somehow we had slept through the India Company muster in our hallway and more remarkably our Cadre (Juniors with a chip on their shoulder) had not noticed our absence. With out hesitation we jumped into our P.T. gear (sweats) and headed for the stairs. When we reached the door our company was marching past, we waited for the last man to march by and slid into the rear of the formation unnoticed.

None of us had used the bathroom and my pants were on backwards, this does not seem to be a big deal now but then it was huge! Excusing yourself to pee was like waving a flag and begging to be noticed. Being noticed was bad and the three of us in room 311 were already on a list. Having your pants on backwards, asking to be excused, with a reputation was a recipe for disaster.

Somehow we avoided trouble that day and I am still not sure how, but we did. I don't see or hear much from Chris but Paul and I have remained very close and when we get together this story invariably comes up and we laugh at our good fortune. There were many times the ending was not nearly as sweet.

I have many more stories from this time in my life that I want to write down as I remember them now. It seems that with each year that passes the stories become richer and more embellished. I would hope that Paul, when he sees these stories, makes a point to fill me in on parts and pieces that I have missed or got wrong.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Carnival of Family Life

This weeks addition of the Carnival of Family Life is being hosted by the carnival's creator Kailani at The Pink Diary and somehow The Tutu Boutique came up the winner of another box of chocolates. Head on over and check it out.

Pay Off

What is the payback for throwing a big party? Saturday night sitting at the bar with my best friend I looked for the answer. It may have been the beer, wine and gin that I had consumed but I was left feeling less than satisfied. Resources were exhausted and I found myself wondering to what end?

The weekend was a whirlwind and I am not sure exactly what happened. Between the pool and the Bouncy House the children in attendance were spent early. Most of the guest were gone by 8:00pm worn out little kids in tow. Heidi and I stuck it out until 9:30 or 10:00 when our house guests children became so overtired that they needed a bed.

We left our party with five guests still there, they had ditched their children and returned. Grampy made them feel at home and I guess they stuck around for another hour or so. Meanwhile, back at the Old Blue House, six children were tucked in their beds, and asleep before their heads hit the pillow. The two Dads had not had enough. There is an establishment about a quarter mile down the road and we headed out, on foot, to finish off a long day with more booze. We closed the place down, drank all their gin, and returned home without any incident.

Thomas decided not to sleep all that well and I was up much of the night consoling the little fella. Sunday morning I was up by 8:00am with far less of a hangover than expected or deserved and off to Grampy's to pick up. We had done a rather thorough job on Saturday night and Sundays work went rather smoothly. I napped most of the afternoon, and again found myself wondering what was the point.

The point is fun and memories for little kids, parties used to be for the adults and I guess on some level they still are but the real focus is on the children. They had a great time and Merry is already looking forward to next year when the bouncy house returns. I haven't received much feedback but people seemed to have a good time and did express their gratitude on the way out.

You would think someone would invite us to a Fourth of July cookout. So far, nothing, looks like we are going to have to host another get together, on a smaller scale. What I want is fun and I will spare no expense in its pursuit. I had a great time on Saturday but I guess my problem is that it came very close to being work.