Saturday, December 31, 2011

Closing thoughts on 2011

Figured I should get this in under the wire....

Geogal and I don't mail out Christmas letters any more.  We still get a few and some are downright laughable.  No doubt Facebook and the like have made these types of manifestos a bit meaningless.  This entry isn't meant to sound like one of those end-of-the-year-pump-ourselves-up mailings but I thought some musing wouldn't hurt. 

Upgraded the house just a bit, mostly by adding an egress window to one of the basement rooms.  Now we officially have three bedrooms.  And an office.  And a large basement catch-all that tends to be the center of social activities for little Geoana.  Also replaced the garage door and cut down a couple of black walnut trees resulting in more sunlight and less mowing mess during the summer. 

Upgraded our technology, too.  Since the beginning of 2011 we have replaced two run-of-the-mill cellphones with iPhones.  Also got an iPad mainly for Geogal's schoolwork but during semester breaks the tablet sees a never-ending Angry Birds tournament. 

Cut back on the summer getaways.  Made only one journey, to Rocky Mountain National Park.  This coming summer, likely no trip.  Between limited funds (thanks to Geogal's schooling and not working full time as a result) and a lack of destinations within reasonable driving distance we might just do the "staycation" thing. 

Expect more hunting ventures, trap shooting Saturdays, and basketball games thanks to the interests of little Geoana.  Who will not be referred to as "little" after this entry due to regular readers not likely confusing her with Geogal.  The child is also not that little anymore. 

Interesting, how did this entry go from being a look back at 2011 to a look forward at 2012?  That's my style of writing for you. 

Happy new year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

You Know It's Good When....

For yesterday's Christmas meal I prepared a rib roast (not prime rib mind you, prime grade is just a bit out of our budget and almost impossible to find in these parts).  The rib roast for Christmas day is fast becoming a tradition at our house given I've made it at least three years in a row.  Right now I just can't recall if I cooked one for our first Christmas here in 2008.

Before cooking the weight was 3 and a half pounds.  Next year I'm getting a bigger one as I keep forgetting some fat renders off in the oven.  Yet it still yielded sufficient red meat to satisfy all three of us during yesterday's Big Meal.  Didn't have as much left over as I would have liked.  And then later in the evening Geogal gets hungry and pulls the rib roast meat from the fridge and nuked it together with a dinner roll.  I look at her plate and said: "Would be nice if there was just a little left over for me to enjoy."

Her response?  "I promise I won't have any tomorrow.......morning."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What's been going on? Read on

No entries since December 4?  There’s a reason. 

Numerous reasons, actually.  The last month of the year seemed to be a non-stop sequence of commitments. 

Such as going to the minister’s open house on the first Sunday of December; Little Geoana having church Christmas musical practice thrice weekly until their performance on the 11th; Little Geoana’s traveling girl’s basketball team continuing their practices and Saturday schedule of games topped off with a day-long tourney last Sat. in which her team won the first game but was then defeated by Hoxie yet the child’s team did win the consolation bracket which netted them third place overall; Geogal hollering at the officials in the Hoxie game in which I am still surprised our team didn’t get hit with a technical foul; yes there were tears after the loss to Hoxie but that’s a great opportunity for all of us parents to teach the girls how to deal with defeat and also the importance of demonstrating good sportsmanship; Geogal getting sick with some sort of a cold during the better part of the month and since she had already completed her schoolwork for the semester she spent nearly every day at the elementary school subbing in one area or another and we all know how much germs and bacteria thrive in the schoolhouse given the number of kids therein; Geogal finally going to see the medical practitioner and being diagnosed with bronchitis, she is now on a slew of medications which prevent her from enjoying dairy and alcohol for the present; by the way the obligations continue such as the elementary kids’ Christmas musical performance last Monday night in which Little Geoana sang her heart out even if she didn’t get seated near any of her friends (but then again maybe that was a positive thing); during the time Geogal was down with the crud I had the task of shuttling the kiddo to her practices/rehearsals/events and me saying how time-consuming it is and Geogal giving me a look that could wither the most hardy cactus and saying: “Welcome to my world;” the ongoing Sunday night small group Bible study which culminated with a party a few nights ago in which we found out who’s good at games and who steers clear of such things and Little Geoana was the life of the party despite being the only child there (all of the other couples have grown children) and we also heard of folks who always equate egg nog with ingesting alcohol (not me, I just remember it being a delicious drink and didn’t know grownups put adult beverage in theirs until I was a teenager); the normal ongoing events including Little Geoana’s BB gun practice, AWANA, and American Heritage Girls; me learning at the last minute that we had a commitment this past Wednesday evening which the child I and fulfilled given Geogal was too run-down to participate in such a thing; despite all of the goings-on that I’ve just detailed I actually did something smart and got on the computer a couple of Wednesdays ago, hit a few web sites and did all of my big Christmas gift shopping from the comfort of my downstairs study; took a vacation day yesterday and Geogal and I traipsed to Kearney and in doing so I knocked out the stocking stuffers so by 12:30 yesterday afternoon I was OFFICIALLY DONE with the shopping (like most men I dread any sort of retail experience that doesn’t involve something related to home improvement or sporting goods); last night I also got smart and decided to do the wrapping since neither Geogal nor Geoana seemed inclined to leave the comfort of the Laz-E-Boy recliners and what a wonderful feeling it is to have all of the gift-work out of the way unlike other members of my family of origin who shall remain nameless but who were known to wait until coming home AFTER midnight mass and then take care of the gift-wrapping and yet their gifts were still wrapped more pristinely than the ones I did since I wrap presents as most guys do but I’ve also noticed no one ever rejected or returned one of my gifts just because the wrapping was below acceptable standards. 

And there you have it in excess of 700 words why I haven’t exactly found time to sit down and blog. 

Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Return of Old Man Winter

Friday:  Dry and cool. 

Saturday:  Colder, snow, then sleet, then more snow. 

Little Geoana is in a traveling girls basketball league.  On Saturday her team was scheduled for a contest in Grinnell.  By the time I headed home from work on Friday I was aware of the winter weather advisory.  Already was planning out what to do in case of blowing snow.  Figuring out what gear I needed to stow in the truck. 

Fortunately smarter heads did prevail.  The decision-makers for the league agreed to cancel Saturday's contests due to the inclement weather. 

Right move.  I woke up Saturday morning to just a little dusting (barely an inch) but about 8 a.m. the clouds started to plop down more of the white stuff.  By the time it was all over we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 inches.  That's just enough to collect on the roadways and snarl the careless drivers. 

Little girl didn't get her energy expended on the basketball court but instead did burn off calories sledding, tubing, and overall sliding down the hillside at our main city park.  Several of her friends were there as well and everyone had a blast.  I even took a couple of trips down the hill myself. 

For the benefit of my family and friends in Texas, Arizona, and California I snapped these pictures on the way home from church this morning. 

Friday, December 02, 2011

The only thing lacking is the punch line

Let me get this straight....

Texas A&M University, after decades of being denigrated, minimized, and humiliated at the hands of UT and its associated strata, makes the move to leave the Big 12 and join the SEC. 

This was a move initiated and consummated by the university's ruling Powers That Be. 

Now they can their football coach before the Aggies play even one down of football as official members of the SEC?  

Now they have to find not only a new head coach, but one that is also expected to be competitive in the brutal, sub-NFL college conference that has taken home the national championship for the last several years?  A league that includes such powerhouses as Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, and Florida? 

And they expect immediate results?  Even though their annual matchup with Arkansas at Cowboys Stadium has had the Aggies walking out of there as losers since the series began? 

And you blame the head coach for dropped passes, drive-killing penalties, and a questionable personal foul call that gave UT 15 yards in their final drive of the final Texas/Texas A&M matchup? 

I just know there's an Aggie joke in here somewhere.  If only I could put all the elements together....