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This is 2020

These past few months have been a whirlwind.

The year seemed to start out (somewhat) normal but then things went awry.

Our presidency is a mess.  I hope my kids generation can look back on this and are aware that their votes do matter.

The economy is in shambles over a worldwide concern of a flu-like virus which closed down businesses everywhere, the result of which we are still dealing with today and probably for years to come.

Schools were shut down and kids forced to learn from home with parents required to act as a teacher while still attempting to work full time.

While the virus is serious to a degree I can only imagine how things would be if this were an extremely deadly disease like ebola or a major natural disaster of some kind.  If the world is in turmoil over this then we’re in trouble if something more significant were to ever happen.

Nevertheless we continue on …

E-Learning was a challenge but we made it through.

Sports were cancelled including her last Major’s season in softball (fortunately they are going to begin a modified season in a month or so).  Baseball, Floor Hockey, Dance, Volleyball, Scouts, Soccer … everything was cancelled.

Summer camps were canceled.  Their week at Loras, her trip with wyldlife.

We spent 4 weeks straight at the lake.  Plus numerous weekends.  All those times where we would have been at home playing sports we were instead able to be at the lake.  So there is a plus side.

I hope the impact to them is minimal in the long run.  I’m not so worried about these two but way more concerned about those kids who were already dealing with challenges in life.  Those kids with some sort of pre-existing issue.  The kids whose guardian(s) weren’t able to manage e-learning, who cannot handle dealing with them 24/7.  The kids who are given unlimited access to video games and the internet … I’m not too optimistic that this period of chaos won’t result in some major social issues in the future.

On top of all that we have protests going on in the world over racial inequality.  I am not blind.  It’s there.  But all races have endured over the centuries.  Slavery in the early years of America is inexcusable & horrific & appalling.  The massacre of Native Americans is inexcusable & horrific & appalling.  The treatment of all sorts of immigrants over the years … Across the world all races & religions, yes even white races, have been tortured, killed, and treated in ways that are completely unacceptable.  I’m afraid the current uprising is simply just noise that will eventually fade away without much change.  Personally, I see good people and I see bad people.  I don’t see the color of your skin.  There are a whole lot of white people who are bad (and good) just as there are for any other race or ethnicity.  I don’t believe treatment based on skin color will ever develop into long term change, people need to change, people need to make their community and those around them better and then continue to build off that in order to make real difference in the world.  Besides, there are bigger threats to us than how we are treated … pollution, homelessness, disease, violence, corruption … it’s sort of sickening to think about.  Like those ever growing garbage dumps that’re out of site out of mind?  Or that island of plastic garbage floating in the ocean?  Or the pollution spewing out of thousands of factories?  Or the number of trees being cut down to make way for farmland or other industry?  Well guess what, it’s that shit that’s going to matter in the years to come.  Not how you feel you’re being treated but whether you are able to survive in a world that pollutes and ruins our ONLY world.

I digress …





Death Sucks!

I don’t like death


And when it affects us directly … @#$%

I can talk to the kids about it and am able to explain it in a way that hopefully helps

But this week we lost an uncle

I hadn’t seen him in a number of years

This past Thanksgiving I invited him

When he said he couldn’t come I tried again

And a third time …

Unfortunately that didn’t happen

And now he’s gone

Today was the funeral

Unfortunately one of the kids is sick so we couldn’t go to the wake

We did try though

This is day 4 of the being sick

He really tried to get ready to go

He was willing and took a shower but became dizzy and nauseous so we didn’t make it


Today I took the kids out of school to attend the funeral

There were a LOT of tears

I told them later that I don’t want sad sappy music at my funeral

How about some lizzo or billie eilish?

Death is exhausting

I wonder what goes through my dad’s head or anyone’s head when they get closer to death

If your older brother passes do you think to yourself, how much time do I have left?

Or maybe it’s best not to think that way

It’s not, I know that

We need to live each day like it’s the last

Because we simply never know when it will happen to us …

We ski!

We just wrapped up our 3rd major ski trip in as many years.

With them having zero previous skiing experience, that first year I was prepared to have driven nearly 7 hours just to swim in the resort pool.

Fortunately, and despite quite literally sub zero temperatures (-20+ no joke), they took lessons and thrived.

This year I would consider them more or less advanced beginners…mastering the greens but still skittish when it comes to blues.

I remember taking my first ski trip maybe in junior high with the local park district … failing to have much success using the pull rope to get up the hill but quickly finding my way and flying down any hill on skis.

Skis didn’t last long though, I’ve been snowboarding now for decades.

This trip she went mostly on her own with her friend. I would run into her here and there and take a lift together every so often.

I stayed with him most of the trip although he had a friend as well.

He moved to snowboarding on day two but he finds skiing much easier so boarding didn’t last long (maybe next time, hopefully)

She took one big spill, face-planting she said (I wasn’t witness).

We brought most of our food with, cooking tacos, soup, chicken, sandwiches and ramen for lunch, potatoes, pancakes and cereal for breakfast with snacks, hot chocolate, coffee and other things throughout the day.

This particular resort has a waffle stand. Yum. Sugar and chocolate covered belgium waffles … the kids had seconds and thirds.

Day 1 was warm and slushy. Day 2 they made snow and the slushy stuff froze. Day 3 it snowed about 4-5 inches. We night skied on Day 1 & 2. Unfortunately we weren’t early risers and never made it out for a first run.

I’m super proud of these kids. I created a couple skiers 🙂 I cannot wait for a trip west or up to Canada in the not-to-distant future.


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Fall 2019

I feel like we’re busier than usual in the fall with softball, dance, piano, basketball, cheerleading, cub scouts, indian guides, after school activities, volleyball, tumbling, holidays and everything else but our pictures didn’t capture it all.  Here are just a few.

Christmas is over and the decorations are down.  This weekend it will be 60+ degrees.  February will probably be brutal.  We leave for skiing in less than a week (I’m ready to leave today).  The kids are on break and attempting work while they’re around is grueling.

By the way my favorite time to grocery shop is the 8am hour during the week.  Hardly anyone is in the store.   Being excited about shopping on a Friday morning with plenty of parking and hardly anyone in the store … the highlight of my day 🙂 … that’s my life :/

Their most recent piano recital 🙂

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Sadly that was the last day we saw our piano teacher as he may have had a heart attack the same day and passed away less than 2 weeks later 🙁

Off-road’ing at the Badlands!


Spreading reindeer food Christmas Eve.  The lights were up for more than a month and it didn’t snow once the entire time 🙁


He can play multiple instruments!


She’s busy with her activities too!


He’s always well dressed for school pictures.  He insists.  Every other day it’s comfy pants and a t-shirt though.





Christmas Eve 2019

It’s 11:53pm and everything is done

As per the norm it’s been a relatively stressful few hours

This year she didn’t feel 100% so she’s in bed around 8

When I finally dragged him upstairs just after 10ish I found that she wasn’t fully asleep

She’s laying in my bed

He might have finally fallen asleep at 10:40 but wouldn’t even consider laying in bed unless I was there with him

It was hard for me not to fall asleep


This year Grandma wanted to go to be with the other grand kids Christmas morning but he insisted that she be here instead

It took some convincing but eventually she decided to be with us

Thankfully she’s here, for numerous reasons

Had I fallen asleep I’m not sure what she would have done

She’s now attempting to fall asleep in one of our recliners

It’s 45 degrees here right now

The kind of in between weather where a little indoor heat is necessary but your furnace keeps on running so everyone is a bit too warm

Fans are running, a window or two is cracked, but then it gets too cold … and so the furnace starts up again

Tonight I was in shorts grabbing things from the garage

Just this past Halloween it was snowing … crazy

I really like this holiday but struggle with it as well

I don’t dwell too much on what we are missing

Not that I don’t miss her just as much as every other year, I do, SHE should be here with US!

I just try to do enough that these two enjoy and appreciate all that we do have

Each year just presents different challenges

As they get older they’re more emotional, more aware

It’s sort of hard to keep up with them in that sense

When they were younger things were a bit simpler

I digress …

It’s now Christmas Day 🙂