June 28, 2009

graduation "gift"

WAY TO GO ANDREW! I am so honored to have been included in YOUR big day!

June 25, 2009

michael jackson

This is the Michael Jackson that I don't want to think of as gone...even though he's been "gone" for a long time.

The story of his childhood is pretty disturbing. Sad that he went from this little cutie to the strange character that he was in his last years. I am sad tonight because my memories of middle school certainly included MJ. I used to have to take a nap when I got home from school in order to stay up to watch the American Music Awards and they always saved him for last. Despite personal opinions, he was quite an entertainer. Like Elvis, you either loved him or hated him. For me, Michael Jackson music will always transport me to the "tween" years. And like the Thriller album and the Bad album..... those years were really good.

June 17, 2009

Blue Mountain

Work has been busy, life with the kids has been busy and it has been tough finding time to hike. My cousin is visiting from Maryland as she has done for the past couple of years. She too fell in love with hiking and usually reminds me several times as her trip is approaching that I need to figure out which mountains we will hike when she arrives. Well, it was nearing her last few days here and she had only done Hadley Mountain (again) with my mother early in her trip. Good time to mention that she is my mother's first cousin and actually the cousin that my grandfather dubbed his 3rd daughter. Therefore, she could (and should) be considered my aunt. So....my mother was supposed to come with us but wasn't feeling well so I had a rare day alone with my "aunt" jane. Turns out that it was not only the hiking that brought peace and serenity and but the great talk we had too. Lots of serious stuff but in all that seriousness was also the chance to talk about our important people. I will treasure our day together for a long time.

The choice to climb Blue Mountain was an easy one. Except that it is another firetower that I have now climbed without my father. He was at work. But, I would be willing to climb it again. Maybe in the fall. Driving up route 28 I was excited to see what Blue would have in store for us. I have to say that the guide books are quite accurate. Steep middle section...yup...a lot of smooth rock slab that was wet and slippery in some places. That smooth steep rock coupled with the several stream crossings, boardwalk planks to walk on while avoiding mud and the rocky sections very seriously mimic a high peak. After all Blue Mtn is only about 400 feet shy of 4,000. The four mile RT took us just under 4 hours with more than 20 minutes spent at the summit. We climbed the fire tower...all the way to the cabin of the tower and enjoyed 360 degree views. Colden, Algonquin and Marcy were distinguishable to the North. I especially enjoyed the scenery that included many bodies of water to the southwest. Blue Mtn Lake, Raquette Lake and the Fulton Chain of Lakes that are actually below Bald Mountain. Wakely fire tower is also visible. The black flies were in swarms most of the way up the trail but didn't cause any huge distress. At the summit while trying to sit and eat they posed a bit of an annoyance. Just standing up took care of that problem as there was a slight breeze. I applied deet in an attempt to avoid a street and nye experience. We made our way over to a southern facing cliff (near the cell tower). There was a nice view on that side. The observer's cabin is still standing, locked and barred, but possible to sit on it's porch and enjoy the view to the south that I just described. We met about 15 people either at the summit or on the trail. Still it was quiet and the people were pleasant. The journey back down was a bit anxiety provoking. We sought out some herdpath routes through the forest to avoid sliding down the rock slabs out of control. This is the cousin that turned her ankle on Mt. Jo. But she was a champ climbing this (almost) high peak. No camera on this hike...I know, CRAZY. I can't believe it either. I jacked a photo from flickr just to give her folks back home an idea of what their mother is "up" to......

June 16, 2009

Reagan's Recital

Reagan danced in her 8th recital this past weekend. She did a ballet dance and a jazz dance as well as the jazz finale production number that included the whole dance school. Fancy Hairstyle and application of the stage makeup.....

On stage....

This is the one night that belongs to Reagan. The little sister who goes to all her brother's baseball games is somewhat repaid by his attendance at this one sole night of dancing. He gave her a dozen yellow roses and a big hug. Reluctantly yes, but it was a hug nonetheless.

The professional photographer's photo......

She caught him off guard with another hug the next day at his game.

June 7, 2009

grooming for greg and hudson.

Greg broke his second tooth from the front clean off today during his baseball game. He had already been hit in the hand while catching and his wrist has been sore for about a week now. So in order to compensate for his hand and wrist, he got up to bat in the 3rd inning and decided he would be most comfortable bunting. Well, he doesn't usually bunt and it turns out that the ball came straight up and back at him catching him in the face. In addition to his tooth now being about an 1/8 of an inch long and very sensitive to hot and cold....there is a good size laceration inside his bottom lip. Luckily it didn't require stitches. Both the upper and lower lip are swollen. Tomorrow we'll find out how quick the dentist can get him in. His last question to the ER doctor was, "do I have to miss any playing time?" After a quick glance my way, the doctor told him no, there were no limitations on his activity. I am thankful he didn't break a limb, but I am not looking forward to the co payments of rebuilding his tooth. I am sure our share will be upwards of $1,000.
This little munchkin is going for his first haircut tomorrow. More so to get him used to standing still and behaving for the groomer because his coat is still coming back in after the skin problems he had a few months ago. She will trim him up a bit and do his toenails for us; hopefully his bangs won't be so out of control. It is the only part on him that really needs trimming.

June 2, 2009

celebrating his win

Sharing your Best Shot is popular with this gal. Here are mine from Sunday travel baseball.

gatorade and a glove. tools of the trade.

June 1, 2009

peace out.

Dan made the very difficult decision to leave the fire department that he has been member of for the last 21 years. He moved through the ranks and leaves the department having held the position of 1st assistance chief. As you might imagine, being part of an organization such as a fire department has its definite downfalls. The portrayal of them being a tight brotherhood of men is often exaggerated. Most of the time Dan's department could be defined as one big dysfunctional family. Greg has seen enough power and control exerted by the "higher ups" that he has vowed never to join. I believe that the fire department fills a void for certain types of people. It is a rare breed that will put their life on the line and on hold for the often thankless job of volunteer fireman. Unfortunately, the thanklessness sometimes comes from your own men forgetting that you are a volunteer. I just wish that the job could somehow, somewhat, come close to the idealized version. Nonetheless, our lives have also been positively affected by his involvement. Greg has enjoyed the camaraderie of the junior members. Dan was always so good to this up and coming group of young members. He made them feel important and useful. These young guys would help Dan with yard work at our own home in exchange for lunch at the nearby pizza place. No matter what, this was nice bonding time. Something that the older, more jaded members should have taken a lesson from. I recall the night that Dan joined the fire department. It was his 18th birthday, he was finally old enough to join. They voted him in immediately. I remember the first call he responded to. He just about broke his neck getting out of his house. I can proudly say that he answered most of the next 3,000 calls in the same enthusiastic manner. Even with all of us telling him from the dinner table to skip some of them. Reagan has responded to many a fire call in her day too. She has seen a lot from her position in the passenger seat of car 210. Of the two kids, she has the best memories of the fire department. She spent her whole 4th year of life hanging at the firehouse and lunching with different members. She could write her own version of Little Critter's Just me and my Dad. One year Dan checked a carbon monoxide detector on Christmas for people who were too embarrassed to have the whole company toned out. I have watched him come upon a fatal motorcycle accident scene and completely take over until the ambulance arrived. I know the department will have another 1st assistant chief in no time, but the commitment of that person will undoubtedly fall short as they have some big boots to fill. We are going to be on the move with baseball of course, but Dan has also had a rekindling (no pun intended) of his interest in hiking with me and being healthier. For sure, the fire department supplied our lives with a lot of stress. It was time to end the chapter and I am glad he recognized it. For the entire 15 years we have been married, there has not been a night that the fire scanner was not calling out to us every emergency in two counties. Tonight, it was quiet. And I have to say it was nice.....and maybe, just maybe, a tad bittersweet.