Friday, March 30, 2007


Kids love popcorn and mine are no exception. One of the many benefits of Grampy's house is the never ending bags of microwave popcorn. A few months ago we actually had some in the pantry of the Old Blue house.

Merry, David and Thomas were in the other room chomping away, the children were very happy. We do not have microwave popcorn around all that often, not for any other reason than we forget to buy it. It was a treat and they were treating it as such.

I was in the kitchen, reading the paper, washing dishes, or drinking beer, I do not remember which when Merry and David marched in. I assumed they were there to get another bag of the good and buttery stuff. I was wrong.

Merry looked up at me and said "Daddy, I have a popcorn seed stuck up my nose."

I went and got my flashlight, lifted her up onto the kitchen counter and peaked in. She was right, she did have a popcorn seed up her nose. I asked her how it got there and she told me that she put it there. Go figure.

What is the solution when presented with a kernel of popcorn stuck in your little ones nose? I saw two options, the first was a trip to the hospital and a wait at the emergency room. This did not seem like the best answer. The second, was to get it out myself. This one I liked, but how?

As I considered ways to remove the foreign object from my princesses button nose, Thomas walked in sipping milk through the straw of his sippy cup. Ha Hah! Urecka! and all that. I went to the cabinet, got a straw from the straw box, laid a very calm, cool and collected four year old out on the kitchen counter, inserted the straw and applied suction.

Out of her nose came the kernel, into the microwave went the next bag of popcorn and life proceeded as usual at The Old Blue House.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Gift

My mom gave me a laminated copy of the following, to place in my kitchen , in the window, behind the sink.

No one will ever get out of this world alive. Resolve therefore to maintain a reasonable sense of values. Take care of yourself.

Good health is everyone's major source of wealth. Without it, happiness is almost impossible. Resolve to be cheerful and helpful. People will repay you in kind.

Avoid angry, abrasive persons. They are generally humorless.
Resolve to listen more and talk less. No one ever learned anything by talking.

Be wary of giving advice. Wise men don't need it and a fool won't heed it. Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.

Do not equate money with success. There are many successful money-makers who are miserable failures as human beings. What counts most about success is how a person achieves it.

I am not sure about the rules of putting this on my blog but just in case any of the readers here think that something this universal came from my brain it did not. Somebody else thought it up, I just don't know who.

Thanks mom.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Trap

I find myself getting caught in the same trap over and over. My children set this trap by simply being. Mostly it is Merry and David, I am sure Thomas will be an accomplice when he learns to talk. When they can talk they simply become another member of the pack. They are still individuals, but my expectations of behavior change, my expectations are for everyone to be as good as the best. It doesn't happen.

I get complacent, I forget that the children are different ages and I expect them all to behave as six or seven year olds. Merry is five, David is three, I get fooled into thinking that because they can talk they should behave as adults.

Merry is very good, as is David, however, David is still prone to a temper tantrum every now and again. It is difficult to handle David's temper tantrums when the expectation is for him to act like a big kid.

A deep breath, a big hug and some reassuring words always win the day. The hard part is remembering the deep breath and not getting sucked into the negative energy of a three year olds tantrum.

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Friday, March 23, 2007


As much as I want to avoid it, I think it may be time for some spring cleaning around The Old Blue House.

Now here is something completely different.

The weather was beautiful yesterday afternoon and I attempted to jog after work. Jogging after lunch did not work out. Maxwell and I got about two miles out and the onions on the chicken wrap I had consumed four hours prior made me so uncomfortable that we walked the rest of the way home.

Sad really, having to walk after only two miles, it was a gorgeous day and it was nice to be outside and I learned a lesson. Run in the morning on an empty stomach or eat a very light lunch. So I got that going for me.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007


Today, at high noon, I will be attending my first parent teacher conference. The objects of this conference are two of the dearest people in my world. I wonder if their teachers hold them in as high regard as I do. I doubt it.

I have no idea how these things go. Heidi attended Merry's last year and there wasn't a lot to talk about. I think the only instance where these conferences make a difference is when the child needs some sort of help. If that is the case, that one of the children needs some sort of help, I would hope that it would have already been brought to my attention.

I do not have any particular questions prepared, should I? This is a new experience for me and I am excited for it. Good or bad I will have a new perspective on how the outside world perceives what is going on inside The Old Blue House.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Two Signs

In recent months there have been a couple of developments that lead me to believe that The Tutu Boutique is becoming a force in the world of retail tutus.

The first sign revealed itself a couple of months back, an ebay store pays for clicks on the search term Tutu Boutique. The title of their campaign is The Tutu Boutique for less. Just between you and me, I have run up some clicks on their account, the Jack Asses.

The second sign are the sites popping up that are doing the exact same thing that we do. Promoting tutus, I do not mind, the site that promotes them best will win. What gets under my skin is the fact that the people behind this site spend so much time on our site and even here reading the blog.

Hi! and good luck with your new venture. You are a terrific supplier and working with you is a dream, you take terrific care in fulfilling your orders and I know about your new site. I see you combing the pages of The Tutu Boutique and reading the blog. They say "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" whoever "they" are.

You do not need to sneak around, if you have any questions that need a direct answer please do not hesitate to ask.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dog Jog

Jogging with Maxwell has been great, the dog is in worse shape than me and gives me a good excuse to slow down and even walk at times. We started the day we put down Jackson and have been going strong since. When Maxwell hears the tearing of velcro associated with me putting on my knee brace his tail starts to wag and he heads towards the front door.

In the past Maxwell was a giant pain in the butt when he walked on the leash. He would pull to the point of distraction. After watching a few episodes of the Dog Whisperer I got him under control and he is easy and well behaved. I used to let him charge out over the electric fence, now I make him sit and walk out under my leadership. We are a team on the march, focused and traveling, it feels good being part of a team and I think the dog enjoys it as well.

It will be even more fun when the snow banks melt and the sidewalks clear. Fewer obstacles and less danger mean more focus on moving down the road. I think our performance and Maxwell's stamina will improve over time. I can not emphasize enough how nice it is having a partner who slows me down. The jogging has been easy and my ego has been bolstered.

Here is to future miles and fun.

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Monday, March 19, 2007


Just like the rest of the eastern seaboard we had one heck of a snow storm Friday night into Saturday. This Nor'Easter made for some prime sledding conditions and we took advantage of them on Sunday.

There is one stump on the sledding hill, it is located about half way down the slope and it is off to the sledders right. The plan was to send Merry and David down in the first sled with Thomas and I chasing close behind.

I got them set and sent them off with a big push away from the stump. Like a long, arching putt they went out and curved back around. It was almost as if the stump was a magnet and Merry's nose was steel. They crashed into the stump with enough force to launch David over Merry's head and the stump. Merry was not so lucky, instead of going over she went into.

My heart stopped, I could see it coming, I could not believe it but I knew from the way the sled was coming around back towards the stump that it was going to be close. I put Thomas down and started running towards the impact zone. Merry was shaken up but a "blood check" revealed nothing. She complained about her nose and lip, neither of which swelled up. David ended up 100 feet down the hill with out a scratch.

Thankfully everyone was alright. We sledded for the rest of the morning without incident. That first run scared the hell out of me though, and Merry and David too!

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Friday, March 16, 2007

I am a Lemming

Crouton Boy jumped! that is why I jumped too. Something about thirty thousand bloggers, I do not even know. I just followed his lead. You can't blame me.

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Handling Loss

We sat down for dinner Monday night, after grace I told Merry and David that tonight is the last night Jackson will be with us because tomorrow morning he is going to doggie Heaven.

David immediately stated that it was OK because Jackson would come home after that. I informed him that he would not be coming back from Dog Heaven and David began to weep. He said he would miss him and that he loved him. At this point Heidi and I were weeping as well.

Merry's response was very different, she looked around the table at all of the sad faces and declared "We should watch tv, watching tv makes me happy." Merry did not shed a tear, she did not acknowledge the loss. Merry got in trouble at pre-school this week for the first time ever. Her teacher reported that Merry was not acting as herself and that she was being terribly bossy. I think her sadness manifested itself in her poor behavior at school.

The children have moved on, life has returned to normal at The Old Blue House. The adults are keeping it together and as long as we do not bring the children down I think we have suffered threw the worst of this sadness.

Here's to happier days.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sunday Skiing

On a happier note here are some photos from our family ski adventure. I do not know why this first picture is so small. It represents how I spent most of the day.
I tried to move them to the lifts this way, they couldn't hang onto the poles and I had to resort to the bum push.
This is an example of the bum push and it works terrific.

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Waves of Sadness

The tears roll in from I don't know where and engulf me, I let them flow threw, I do not attempt to hold them back and they pass on to where they came. I hope the storm passes quickly, I think that it will, today feels better than yesterday and I suppose it will get better every day.
Maxwell spent the last year keeping Jackson company, Maxwell is a bit messed up waiting for Jackson to come home. I have decided that it is time for Maxwell to get in shape. He came jogging with me yesterday and this morning. I figure if he is tired he won't have the energy to be sad.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Good Bye

Good Bye Jackson, we loved you and will miss you. You meant more to me than you ever realized.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Tomorrow Will Tell

The ski trip was a trip, a lot of work and well worth it. Merry and David have been exposed to their fathers favorite past time and both came away feeling good about it. This is not the subject of this post however. When we returned home it became evident that my friend Jackson had taken a severe turn for the worse.

His hips have been bothering him and something happened over the weekend that has left his rear left leg dead. It was a year ago when I first started to think about ending Jackson's life. It sounds so cruel but that was the time when his blindness and anxiety got the best of him. He adapted and has lead a sedentary life since. Confined to the yard and the areas of the house where he feels comfortable.

I have a feeling that the Vet is going to try to talk me into fixing his leg, digging out the tumor in his rib cage and maybe even a little experimental eye surgery. All at a discounted rate because they understand what an integral part of our family he is.

The fact is that this dogs life has been on hold for over a year and I feel like a heel for keeping him around. It is a very difficult decision to make and I do not come to it lightly, in fact the odds are, that the Vet will attempt to, and may be successful at, talking me out of it. I hope for Jackson's sake that I remain strong.

He was and remains one of my best and only friends. I have had more private heart felt conversations with him than with any person except my wife. He loves me unconditionally and he is very tired and very sick.

The Vet asks if he is eating and does he make it outside to go to the bathroom? The answer to these questions is yes, but just barely. When I mentioned this to Heidi she asked me if the Vet wants us to wait until he doesn't eat and can't make it out. Would the time be better if he was crapping on the floor and starving?

I feel like God and the weight of this decision is almost to heavy for me to bear. Our appointment is set for tomorrow morning at 8:45.

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Give Me a Break

I saw this one at Steve's blog and decided to give it a whirl. I think I have an inflated opinion of myself, because I know of a few people who would disagree with this assessment.

Your results:
You are Superman

The Flash
Iron Man
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...


Thursday, March 08, 2007


I sit here on the eve of our first family ski trip filled with anxiety and anticipation. Our friends have a condo at SundayRiver ski resort in Maine, they have been last minute asking us to join them every weekend all season long. A month ago instead of not accepting another wonderful invitation we planned for this weekend.

A month ago this seemed like a great idea, today I am feeling a bit anxious. I am sitting at my desk and nothing has been done to prepare for the adventure. I, we, Heidi, needs to pack up winter clothes for three children, we need food. What about the dogs? I forgot about the dogs. Grampy!

I want everybody to have a good time, I do not want the kids to be scared off skiing, I do not want to argue with Heidi. Heidi and I will argue because I feel stressed and when I feel stressed and have expectation of Heidi she tells me to handle my business and get off her back.

My anxiety engulfs everyone in its sphere, everyone involved seems to be uncomfortable. Conversely, when I am relaxed and confident things go smoother. I am going to stop with the worrying and resign myself to the fact that it is going to be GREAT!

I need to move away from the time line and focus on the activities that need to be accomplished. When one task is complete I will move on to the next, simple really.

I got nothing to worry about we are going to have a blast!

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

If you are Pregnant or Know Someone Who Is

If you are pregnant and you are having trouble keeping your pants up, one of my blogging buddies has come up with a solution. Actually he did not come up with it, his wife did.

Plumbers crack is not just for plumbers, pregnant woman fight the battle of the peeking crack every day. Maternity pants and the drastic change in the mom's to be dimensions leave the little crack in the back exposed.

Are you an expectant father? Have you noticed the woman in your life struggling to keep her pants up and her butt crack contained? You can help!

It is a very exciting time in the history of man! When there is a problem that needs to be addressed no longer do we need to look to corporate America to solve it. With a little determination, elbow grease and the internet even Cheeky's mom can make a difference.

Head over to Bottoms Up and help yourself to a pair of invisible suspenders for the pregnant woman.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Number 37

Wish me Happy Birthday.

Thirty seven feels much older than thirty six. It is going to take some getting used to, you know, being a day older today than I was yesterday.

My hope is to just keep piling on the years as long as I can carry them.

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We're Back

The Tutu Boutique has weathered another storm. I do not know what happened or why it disappeared, but it is back and I am thankful.

When I called the hosting company yesterday the girl who answered the phone apologized and said there really wasn't much she could tell me because her system was down as well. She said they were aware of the situation, were working to fix it and would send me an email when things were back up.

This morning I had a couple of emails, one from a guy who reads the blog, somehow he was aware of the company we use to host the site, he uses the same company and he gave me all types of good information. He also informed a representative from the company about the situation and he also reached out.

Before I got to speak to anybody, the site returned to normal operation. I do look forward to building a relationship with this contact and learning more about these things that I know nothing about.

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Monday, March 05, 2007


The Tutu Boutique is down, we are not receiving emails or visitors. The company that hosts the site is working feverishly to solve the problem. Everything they do is down, the girl who answered the phone when I called almost cried, I was not the first to call.

We have a nice little business here on the world wide web and we are hostage to our host. Seems there is a catastrophe at least one time a year. The site went down between 10:30 and 11:30 this morning, this inconvenience has dropped our traffic from 3,000 page loads to 600, from 500 unique visitors to 100. There is nothing I can do about it. I am a hostage to my web host.

The work involved to move the site is HUGE! Other companies crash too I suppose. So patience is the key, but at what price? Is there any recompense for such a slight? We just paid our web hosting fee for the month, is that due back? Should they cut me check for the average amount of money that the site generates everyday? What should or can be expected when the people who you pay to provide you a money making service leave you out in the cold?

This is turning into a whine session and I don't want it to be. I just want my web site back.

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Merry's Fifth

March 2, 2002

March 2, 2007

Happy Birthday Merry!


Thursday, March 01, 2007


Had dinner at Grampy and Maymay's last night which was terrific. It afforded me the opportunity to watch American Idol. I do not see this show much and last night I was reminded why. Because I don't care, that's why.

That bass playing fellow with his "Your pitch was off, Dog" was more irritating than Paula "Baby do you Love me?" Abdul. It was like a bad record, repeating itself over and over.

I felt bad for Ryan Seacrest, having to stand next to those tall, good looking, talented woman. Him being so petite and with that obvious lack of any type of talent.

Some of the girls could sing, were cute and provided a nice back drop to Merry's dancing.

Peter Out, Dog.

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