Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My day off.

Wednesday is my day off. Not from my "day job" (which I actually work in the evening), but from the other one. I love the fact that, even though I have a 40 hour a week, Monday through Friday job, I still get to act like a stay-at-home-dad until 2:30 p.m. But Wednesday is my break from the go go go of stay-at-home-dadding followed immediately by airport info desking. I drive Ben down to Quarryville, drop him off at school at 9:00, and then I get the rest of the day (until work) to myself. He likes it because he gets to spend the morning at school, and the rest of the day at Grammie and Poppie's house, and I like it because it is my one chance to do what I want/need to do for longer than the hour and a half that nap time affords me. Today, I spent two hours of my me-time taking a desperately needed nap. Still, it means not seeing him for a 22 hour stretch, and by midway through my shift at the airport, I miss him something fierce.

So I look forward to Thursday morning, when I will swing open his bedroom door, say "ta-da!" and he will ask me, "Did I take a good nappy?"

Monday, October 3, 2011

I Hate September

And since it apparently did not suck enough already, a week and a half ago we had to put down one of our cats.
Algernon Bunbury Rezendes would have been 5 in November.


Algernon in a BasketAlgernon

Dibs!
Algernon in a Pocket

But it's October now. The weather is cooling off, our anniversary is on Saturday, and if the sun ever manages to come out for more than one day at a time, things should be looking up.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Each of the Five Points is a finger. When I close my hand it becomes a fist.

Total Depravity—Ben Carr
Unconditional Election—Timothy Rezendes
Limited Atonement—Daniel Klotz
Irresistible Grace—Mark Tebben
Perseverance of the Saints—Dave Gettel nĂ© Shiffer

We'll never have a complete fist again.
Four of the Five Points raise a litre.
10/1/2005

We miss you, Ben.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day One

So today was The Day: Ben's first day of school. Sure, it's not actual school; he's only going for two and a half hours a week, but still, this is a milestone. And it is, thankfully, a milestone that went off without a hitch.

Last week, when we went for orientation, construction along the route stretched what should have been a 30 or so minute drive into a 60 minute drive. Today I left plenty of extra time and we had exactly zero trouble along the way. I'm not complaining, but we did arrive about 20 minutes early, which meant a boy who was very excited to go to school had to wait outside for the doors to be unlocked. Of course, we have an in, so we only had to wait until Grammie noticed us outside her office window and let us in (I swear we weren't angling to get in early, the floor-to-ceiling window just happens to be right next to the front doors). So we waited in Grammie's office for a few minutes until, finally, it was time to go to the classroom.

He bounded up the steps, ran down the hall and looked eagerly for his "shoe" on the wall. There is a line of hooks on the wall outside the classroom and they are marked with little shoe-shaped name tags. So eager was Ben to hang up his backpack and get to class that by the time the bag hit the ground after he missed the hook with it, he was already across the hall and into the classroom. He started class by cooking some breakfast, then sat down to do some puzzles. When I left, he was investigating the doll house.

As I walked back toward the front door, I could hear several crying children. Ben was not one of them. He had hardly had time for a goodbye kiss. He was too busy rolling out play dough with a rolling pin. Since he knew Grammie was in the building, I figured the worst-case scenario would involve him wanting to spend the whole day in her office. There were no such troubles. From what I hear, the most upset he got was when he got indignant because someone pushed him while playing and did not say "I'm sorry." He also reprimanded another student who did not want to sit in the circle for story time: "Sit down. It is time to read!"

I had no trouble leaving him. I usually drop him off at Grammie and Poppie's on Wednesday morning, so, procedurally, it's a very small change for me. Still, it's a big step, and I think Karin had a harder time with it. I just hope that every Wednesday morning goes as smoothly.

New pictures from this morning have been added to the Preschool set on Flickr.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Orientation

Wednesday was preschool orientation for Ben. School? Already?! Good grief, he's only two! Still, though, this is  important for him. Sure, he knows his colors and alphabet and can count to 16 (sometimes), but he's not around other kids much, so having a chance to interact with children will be good for him. It's only one day a week, and Karin's mother is the director of the school, so we should be able to count on not having any traumas (since Grammie's always right down the hall if she's needed). It's hard for me though. Not too hard, I hope, for the same reasons I hope it won't be too hard for Ben. But where did the time go?

His first real day is this coming Wednesday. I'll let you know how it goes. For now, take a look at the pictures from this week.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Vacation Post

So, here we are, nearly four weeks since we returned from vacation. Sorry it's taken me so long to get around to this entry. I wanted to wait until I had our vacation photos online before posting again, and getting those adjusted, culled, and uploaded took until yesterday. Also, I wanted to leave some time to gain a little perspective.

Remember my last post? We were looking forward to so much rest, so much relaxation. And there was some, but not nearly so much as we had hoped. Part of the problem, no doubt, was the expectation. Last year we went into our vacation hoping for the best, but fully aware that it could be a disaster. It went so much better than we had even hoped that we went into this year's with high expectations. Don't get me wrong, it was not a disaster; we did have a very good time. The thing is, two and a half year olds are very big on routine, and Ben did not react well to being taken out of his. One and a half year olds aren't too happy about being removed from their routines either, but last year Ben was a little easier to just pick up and drag along to the next stop. He wasn't even talking yet. I had so looked forward, this time, to hearing his reaction to the fun things we were doing. Trouble was, his reaction was largely negative. He knows what he likes to do, and he isn't real big on trying new things, even if we know that he will probably enjoy them. For instance, we got him to the beach exactly once. He wouldn't even go near the water. Last year he loved it, but this year he was grumpy when we went the first time and so had no desire to try again. Thankfully, he did like the pool. He didn't swim in the ocean at all this year, but he was in the pool at least once a day, every day (well, except for the day we went to Nantucket, but I'll get to that). Of course, once he decided he liked the pool, that was all he wanted to do. That, and watch TV.

And then there was that day we went to Nantucket. I hadn't seen my grandma in a year, my grandpa in two years, and I don't even remember for sure how long it had been since I'd been to their house, so I was very happy we were making the trip. I was also excited to see how Ben would react to his very first boat ride. He enjoyed it, mostly, though he would have preferred to have free run of the place. And we all would have enjoyed it more if it hadn't been so windy and so choppy. As I said, it had been a long time since I'd been to Nantucket; I didn't used to get seasick. I do now. We all had a very good time that day, Ben included, but we were even further removed from any sort of routine, so Ben did not nap, and he got to bed late, and by the end of the day we were all exhausted (and a little grumpy).

Though I think Ben napped every day except the Nantucket day, he went to bed late on several occasions, and so he got progressively less accommodating throughout the week. It didn't help that the week had started with him practically staying up all night. The whole idea of leaving in the middle of the night was that he would only barely wake up between crib and car seat and so sleep for most of the trip. But he did not sleep. He didn't fuss, which was a blessing, but he didn't sleep. He just sat and stared out the window. About a half hour before sunrise he finally did nod off, but that ended as soon as the sun came up. So, right off the bat, he was over tired (as were Karin and I, since we didn't really sleep at all either).

Three paragraphs of negative reactions would probably lead you to believe we had a terrible time, but you'd be wrong. And that's the big reason this post is so long in coming. Upon arriving home, we were all very tired, possibly more so than when we left. So the memory of the week was colored by the exhaustion. Looking back now, it's easier to remember all the fun we did have, even if it wasn't especially relaxing fun.

This year's photoset comes in at just over half the size of last year's (43 vs. 83), and of those, 17 are of Ben in the pool. It may have superseded some of the (theoretically more interesting) activities that we had planned, but watching Ben fall in love with the water was wonderful.  I've been a swimmer my entire life, and am ashamed of how little chance I have given Ben to be in the pool so far. So seeing him take to the water like a fish was a lot of fun for me. With his fancy little floaty on, he was fearless (which is a little worrying; I might prefer a little healthy fear of water, since he can't actually swim yet). By the end of the week he was kicking from place to place on his own and jumping off the lower rungs of the ladder.

Seeing my family was wonderful, too. The day we went to Nantucket we had four generations of of Rezendeses in the same room. As far as I know, that's only the second time this generation that that has happened (in name; all of my cousins that have kids are girls, so have changed their names). The last time it would have happened before my dad's wedding two years ago was when his paternal grandfather was alive and I was but an infant. And Ben just absolutely loves his Uncle Casey, "Ape Ape," Nana and Papa, Mimi and GumJoe and Shan, and "Kiss and Hawy." Plus, having all those people around meant that Karin and I did get some quality time to ourselves. We took a walk on Nantucket, spent a morning at the beach, had a romantic dinner, and went to see Harry Potter and Captain America (not back to back).

So all in all, we did have a great time. The problem, really, is that coming home from vacation is always hard, but you hope to be refreshed and ready to deal with the transition back to real life; we came home tired, so that transition was doubly hard. Not to mention the fact that Karin and I spent pretty much a solid week in each other's company. With my job now, the best we usually do during the week is to get an hour or so in passing. After three and a half months, we'd started to get used to the schedule, but being thrust back into it after having the joy of spending almost 24 hours a day together, for nine days, made it that much harder again. But we're coping, and we're looking forward to next year, because we're sincerely hoping that two and a half will be the hardest age to go on vacation with. Right?

After all that, I almost forgot the link to the pictures. The two photos you see above and 41 others are on Flickr: Vacation 2011.

Friday, July 15, 2011

In Anticipation

Vacation shouldn't cause stress. It always does, though, doesn't it? I think I've gotten past the stress today, caused by being afraid of not being ready. Now I'm back to where I was last night: full of nervous energy. We are all so very ready for this vacation, and to have been waiting on it eagerly for 51 weeks fills these last few days (now hours) with an impatient excitement.

We are leaving tonight (technically, tomorrow morning), after I get home from work. I really do believe this strategy is going to work, but there is some doubt, which brings along its own low-level stress. And, of course, if it doesn't work, if Ben doesn't sleep till the sun is up (which is the hope), then the stress level will not be low.

But then, tomorrow morning, we will arrive in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, we will deliver Ben to my family, and then we will nap. And then we will go out to eat, or go to the beach, or sit and read a book, and just let stress fade away. More will come, no doubt, when it's time to leave, and more when we're back to work. But all of that is a week away. So for now I am going to try to relax (though my day's caffeine intake is probably going to make that difficult) and just hang on until I can relax.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Powerful

This morning, before work, I dropped Ben off at Grammie and Poppie's house. I got him out of his car seat and let him run up the driveway toward the house. Grammie came down the drive to get the diaper bag from me so I could get right back on the road. While I was making the hand-off, we heard Ben start to cry. When I looked over, he was picking himself up off the ground. Instead of his usual, "I'm OK," he continued to cry even after standing up. I swooped in and picked him up, and through his tears he demanded, "You have to kiss it!" I looked down to his knees and found them scraped and bleeding. So I put one arm behind his knees to lift them. Then I kissed them and carried him, cradled in my arms, into the house. I laid him on the couch and kissed his knees again. He was still crying, but calming down now. He was in good hands, so I left the house and got back in the car. As I drove away, I had this thought: I am Daddy, and I am powerful.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Speaking of Excited

My mom and Rosie are currently on their way south. Their goal is to arrive at our house at about the same time I get home from work. They're staying till Monday morning. Everybody involved is very excited about this visit. It's been two months since I last saw them, and for Ben and Karin it's been even longer. I love them and am always glad to see them, and, I'll admit, I'm looking forward to having two extra adults around the house. Probably the biggest joy in a visit from any of my family, though, is watching how excited they are to see Ben, and how excited he is to see them. Whenever we've mentioned that Mimi and Gum are coming to visit soon, he demands, "Want Mimi Gum come my house now!" If you do not follow Ben on Twitter, you haven't seen the list he made of all the things he wants to do with my mom and Rosie while they are here; Karin transcribed it on Monday night:
Things Ben wants to do with Mimi & Gum
  • Go to fish store
  • Play hide & seek with orange teddy bear
  • Go to playground by our house
  • Play outside in our backyard in crab pool
  • Go get donuts
  • Spell cars' names
  • The last one, I suppose, needs a little explanation. Ben is learning his letters, and can recognize all the capital letters. He knows how to spell his name, and, if presented with the letters, can pick out B, E, and N in order. One of his favorite pastimes is spelling out the names of people he knows or characters from stories. He needs to ask about the spelling, of course, and he can't write, so he either spells them with preexisting letters, or helps to hold a pencil while someone else writes out the letters. And, like seemingly every other little boy on the planet, he loves Pixar's "Cars."

    The thing is, as excited as we all are for these next few days, the much more exciting occasion will be when Mimi and Gum come to Lancaster County for good. After much stress and toil and expenditure, their house is finally in ready-to-sell condition, and they hope to put it on the market soon. They have been planning to move for years now, but it is only since they have reached this latest stage that I have allowed myself to consider all the profound and wonderful ways their moving down here will change my life. I could expound, I could gush, I could predict, but instead I will leave you with only this thought: by the time Mom and Rosie move here, it will have been more than ten years since the last time I was able to consistently see my mother more than once every few months. And isn't that enough?

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    33 Days

    That is how much time remains until we cast off the shackles of Lancaster and head north for the Cape. I mean, the shackles here are lovely, they really are, but I cannot wait for a week at the beach. Last year's trip was so laid back, so relaxing, so much fun. Upon our return last year, Karin and I were already looking forward to this year's trip; "only 12 months to go," we said. As that interval has grown shorter and shorter, we have grown more and more excited. It's only in the last couple of days, though, that we've actually begun preparations. It's got me excited enough that I couldn't even wait for a round number of days (1 month, 4 weeks, etc.) before to post. 33 days remain, and I will be counting each one. Of course, it's bound to be the longest 33 days of the year, but isn't that always the way?

    Normally, before any long trip with Ben, I would have my reservations, my worries that all would not proceed as planned, and I suppose that those reservations are present. But after last year's unbelievably smooth trip, I am optimistic. Of course, not everything went perfectly last year: Ben got his first black eye (on my watch; it didn't seem to bother him much, though), and, if I remember correctly, the drive up was fairly miserable, Ben screaming a significant percentage of the way. The drive up is one aspect of this year's trip that we haven't quite nailed down yet. We have made the drive from Lancaster to New England and back three times since Ben was born. Every time we have begun the journey at approximately Ben's bedtime, planning for him to sleep most of the way. Of the six legs we have driven, only two have worked out anything like planned. Every other time has been a threat to our sanity. Also, I work until midnight now, so there will be no leaving at 7 pm unless we wait till Saturday night. Sacrifice an entire day of getaway? No way. So the drive will probably begin Saturday morning. The way I see it , I get home from work around 12:45, pack everything into the car, wake Karin, place Ben, still sleeping, into his car seat, and head north. I have yet to fully evaluate the rationality of this scheme.

    I am so excited not only because we are repeating a vacation that ranked as one of the best I have ever taken, and as almost certainly the best week of last year, but because this year there promises to be even more to enjoy. Ben had a blast last year, but he wasn't even talking yet. A year older, he'll be that much more able to enjoy the beach and the adventure. And he'll be able to tell us about it. The trip this year will bring together family from five states. Both my siblings will be in attendance (an always dangerous, but always awesome occasion), as will (presumably) both my step-siblings, at least for part of the week. That's even more for Ben to love, as Auntie April and Uncle Casey are two of his very favorite people in all the world (this is a tangent, but a worthy one–if Ben picks up a toy telephone and you ask him who he is calling, the answer is almost always Auntie April, if not, it's Uncle Casey). Also new this year, a trip to Nantucket. We'll take the ferry over one morning (Ben's first boat ride), and spend the day. My grandparents live on the Island, as do an aunt and uncle and some cousins (and maybe some more family members; I'm not good at keeping track of this stuff).

    So there's all of that, and much much more, but I'm only going to bore you if I continue. Thank you for allowing this outlet for my enthusiasm. And, if you care about such things, there are many more photos (82 more, in fact) where that one above came from: Vacation 2010 on Flickr.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Fountains

    Ben has taken a shine to fountains recently. There are three fountains along Queen Street in Lancaster that we pass regularly on our walks through town. When we leave the house headed for market, he now specifically requests that we stop and see each of them. In the order that we usually pass them, the first fountain is the one at Penn Square, outside Citizens Bank. You can tell when Ben is talking about this fountain because the ground beneath the fountain isn't level, so around one side there are a few steps, and he will ask to "go up stairs, see fount."

    Fountain number two is in the 000 block, out front of Isaac's. This, according to Ben, is the "fount with bubs." The smaller fountain isn't as violently agitated as the first one, so small bubbles tend to meander across its surface. And then there's the third fountain. If you follow me on Twitter or Flickr, you've seen this fountain before. It is the dancing fountain in Binns Park. Before Ben was born I would often find myself transfixed by the fountain, sitting for long stretches of time, just watching it. Even last year, Ben was mostly content to stand and watch the water play; it is mesmerizing.

    Now that he's a little older, though, he wants to play too. The Binns Park fountain is a popular spot for little kids on hot days. We did let Ben play in the fountain one day last summer (pictures here), but this year it looks like it's going to become a regular occurrence. A week ago Saturday, he and I walked by on our way home from market, and he asked to get down out of the back pack. I let him, and I got this video out of it.


    Ben and the Fountain

    This past Saturday, despite the fact that it was mobbed, we stopped again and I got these photos (and more).

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Like a Weed

    On Friday, Ben will be 29 months old. Yesterday I measured his height: 37 inches. So in 29 months he has grown 15 inches. It's a wonder we can't see him getting taller as we watch. It's no surprise, though; both Karin and I are nearly 6 feet tall (My driver's license says 6' and Karin's says 5'10"; we fudge in opposite directions). Various online height predictors seem to agree that his adult height will be in the neighborhood of 6'2". Some day I'm going to have to turn my head up to look my Little Nugget in the eye.





    For years now we have been trying to turn the dirty, rocky mess that was our back yard when we moved in into something we can actually spend time in and enjoy. Two years ago we carted out hundreds of pounds of gravel  and a couple superfluous trees. Last year we edged a flower bed and planted grass. This year we're planting a small container garden and replanting grass to fill in all the spots where it didn't take last year. The ridiculous amount of rain we've gotten recently has been a big help. On Saturday, one of the only sunny days in the last few weeks, Ben was playing outside in the backyard. He loves watering plants with his little watering can. I watched as he filled it from a large, unused planter that had been filled by the rain, then walked  over to pour it out over some dandelions. He repeated this task several times, picking a different set of weeds each time.

    "What are you doing, Buddy?"

    "Watering the flowers."

    And it hit me, I think a lot can be known about a person by whether they see dandelions as weeds to be poisoned, dug up, destroyed, or as flowers. I remember wondering, as a child, what was so bad about dandelions. What differentiated them from the flowers that we were growing intentionally? Now, of course, I just want them to die so I can grow grass. And that's it: before concerns like owning a home and maintaining a lawn take over our lives, we are free to enjoy dandelions as both flowers AND toys, sending their seeds scattering through the air with a playful breath.

    I have no doubt that there are adults who can still enjoy dandelions in that way. I am sorry to say that I am not one of them. At least I can watch Ben water the flowers and hope that it is a long long time before he sees them as weeds.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    OK, Here's The Plan

    It's sort of a ritual, especially since I'm always home in the morning now. I call Ben over, have him sit down on my lap, and I start out, "OK, here's The Plan." Then I go through our day step by step, usually ending on whatever event I know he will most look forward to. Then we execute The Plan. Once we get to the part of the day where The Plan ended, I sit Ben down and lay out a new Plan.

    It works great for both of us. Days where there is no Plan usually go off the rails. Chances are, if there's no Plan, we don't leave the house. Laying out a Plan helps Ben to understand that even if we aren't going to the playground right now, we will get there. And it helps me make sure I get done what needs to be done. 

    I don't remember exactly when I started laying out a Plan for each day, but I'm pretty sure it was before Ben had any idea what I was talking about, or at least before he had any way to articulate that he understood. Now though, he gets it. At first I was surprised by how detailed his memory was. Once I've given him The Plan, he will repeat it back step by step if asked. I've mostly stopped being surprised, but I am still constantly amazed. He even knows our most basic Plan by heart. If I have cash and don't need to stop at the bank before going to market, he gets upset.

    Laying out The Plan doesn't always assuage Ben's frustration over not getting to do what he wants to do right away, but it works better than it used to. Sometimes The Plan merely gives him a way to more accurately articulate what he doesn't want to do. Take for instance one evening when Ben wanted to play outside at dinner time. Karin laid out The Plan: "We are going to put on our shoes, get in the car, go to McDonald's, get you chicken and french fries, come home, eat dinner, and then we can play outside." His response?
    "Not want put on shoes, get in car, go McDon's, get kick and sench sighs, come home, eat din. Just want play outside."

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Robopocalypse

    For months now (actually, I'm pretty sure that at this point it's been more than a year), Karin and I have been talking about starting a review blog for young adult literature. Now that I've picked this blog up and dusted it off, I feel like we might actually make it happen. Of course, if we're going to write a review blog, I need to figure out how to write book reviews. As a librarian, Karin reads lots of book reviews. As someone who is so spoiler-averse that I won't read the jacket copy before I've read the book, I do not. I do, however, read a lot of reviews of television shows thanks to the A.V. Club's excellent TV Club. I figure it's pretty much the same thing. Still, before we try to get that blog off the ground, I want to do a couple of test runs. So here's my first attempt.

    ~~~

    When I saw the cover, I knew it was either going to be awesome or terrible. With “ROBOPOCALYPSE” written across the entire width of the book in shiny red embossed lettering, there was going to be no middle ground. I am pleased to report that this book, by Popular Mechanics’ Resident Roboticist Daniel H. Wilson, falls firmly on the side of awesome.

    The book delivers what its title promises. Although we begin at the end, when we get to chapter 1 and the beginning, we witness the Singularity, the moment machines become aware and able to self-propagate. From there, it’s a short road, about one year in the story’s timeline, to the end of the world as we know it.

    The best part about Robopocalypse is that it all feels so plausible. And it’s not just because we’re all aware of the furious pace at which our technology is advancing in real life. All of the robots in the book, from the self driving cars that terrorize city streets immediately after Zero Hour, to the far more intricate, deadly, and grotesque machine-built machines that emerge near the end of the war, come across as realistic, if sometimes distant, threats. Wilson has degrees in computer science, machine learning, and robotics, and his knowledge of his subject shows. Or, more accurately I suppose, it doesn’t show. The technical details of the story’s robotic systems are never distracting. When necessary to the story, those details are presented as fact, often without explanation, and they make such transparent sense that the machines are lent a terrifying reality.

    My one real complaint about the story is that I wish it were longer. And not just in that way that you don’t want to finish a great book because you don’t want it to be over. The story’s central conceit is that the human survivors of the war’s final battle find a record of encounters with humans that the robots considered heroes, and the book is a retelling of that record. It’s a good framing device, but it means that between the individual stories there are often gaps of months. I think the book could have been even better if it had a less discrete narrative.

    The short version of this review is, if the title of this book sounds awesome to you, you will like this book. It comes out on June 7th, one month from tomorrow.  Keep your eye out for the movie adaptation too. Steven Spielberg is directing, and it’s due out in 2013.
    ~~~

    Just one final quick note. I am not going to put ads on this blog. Blogger makes it nice and easy, but even AdSense text ads on a personal blog just seems crass. However, whenever I link to Amazon, you can assume the link has my associates ID in it. It's entirely unobtrusive and if I can make a few extra cents because someone decided to buy something from Amazon after clicking a link here, yay.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Welcome Back

    Hey look, rezendes.info points to a real, current, functioning website again. How nifty is that?

    I'm not even sure how long it has been since our blog went offline. It was whenever I decided to stop paying for MobileMe, because that's where the blog used to be hosted. Now that I've had a chance to play around with Blogger a bit, I realize I should have started up again here ages ago.

    The impetus for getting the blog going again now was twofold. Fold one was Cap'n and Lissa's excellent family blog "...with two cats in the yard." I had imagined that I had been keeping up with that blog, but when I went and looked at it a few days ago, I realized I hadn't actually read it for about eight months. So I went back and read all the entries I hadn't. Reading through such a great chronicle of friends' lives reinforced the value of keeping such a record. That reminder lead to fold two: rereading all of my old Life in Lancaster posts. I'd written more than I remembered, and right now, none of those posts are online. It's not that I'm such a great writer that withholding those gems from the world is wrong, but merely that those posts chronicle the days leading up to and immediately following the arrival of Ben. That was a very special time in our lives, and I'd like to have that record online.

    So, here's the plan:
    Sometime in the next few days (hopefully) I am going to upload all those old posts into this new blog. Blogger will let me backdate posts, so they will all be posted with there original date stamps.
    Then, going forward, I will try to make, if not regular, then at least semi-frequent posts. There was a time when I blogged regularly, back on my good old Xanga, but those days are long gone by. I really do intend to make good on this attempt, but I've said that before. Maybe you can help keep me honest.
    I also want to try to get Karin posting here, so hopefully between the two of us this will be a blog worth keeping up with. Stay tuned.