Further from Young

I helped a new friend the other day with some plumbing work. I will go back and help him finish soon. It was nothing too strenuous- crawling around under his house; cutting pipes; crawling back out. Now- it was a LITTLE more than just that, but not too much more. And my body is aching like I just finished the first wrestling practice of the season. My back, arms, and legs are sore. Maybe, just maybe, I was getting a little more out of Army Physical training than I originally thought. We'll join the gym this week.

On a hopefully completely unrelated note- I received a pair of sweatpants for Christmas. Wow- I mean- those things are as comfortable as can be and have LOTS of room to grow! I may wear sweatpants every weekend day for now on! I epitomize sex appeal!

A Favorite

Definitely a favorite video of my boys. They are trying to eat lunch while singing about how they don't do anything!

Good Idea- Poor Execution

I love coffee. Seriously. Some people drink coffee out of necessity. I drink it because it is wonderful. I am getting better and better at differentiating beans and roasts. I can taste the subtle flavors in certain beans. I LOVE coffee. I didn't always love it. In fact, until around January of 2003, I hated coffee. I liked the smell, but couldn't stomach the taste. Then I discovered coffee the way it was intended to be consumed. Black. No sugar and no cream. I have had that beautiful dark princess warming my hand, body and disposition ever since.

Dillano's Coffee is probably the best coffee I have had the pleasure of drinking. Just wonderful. Call me and I will gladly send you a pound or so. When I returned from Iraq, I and some of the gentlemen I worked with went to thank the very kind and giving people of Dillano's for the very gracious gift of about 100 lbs of coffee they sent us while we were deployed. We ended up taking an impromptu tour of their roasting facility and found out why they are so much better than the McDonalds of coffee.

I have not had a hobby since... wow- besides reading, I have no hobbies. JA tells me I need to find SOMETHING I like to do and do it. Drinking beer and smoking cigars does not count as a hobby. I would love to find something that interests me and I enjoy doing. I think that I may have found it. This afternoon I walked into a small organic coffee and tea shop and discovered the beauty of an unroasted green coffee bean. Apparently, you can buy green coffee beans there and roast them yourself in your home. What is the startup expense of this? Just the cost of the beans (about 3-5 bucks a pound instead of the 8-11 bucks a pound that you would pay for some premium (and overcooked) coffee beans.

Before I finish the coffee thoughts and happenings- let me tell you about JA's day. She started the day with our six year old coming into our room because he was thirsty at 1 AM. Then she fed Elsie. Then she slept for 2 or so hours and fed Elsie again at 4. Then our Six year old was back because he had a dream about snakes that froze people. He crawled into bed and sleep was done. Then I went to the store to get a few things that we needed for dinner tonight. While I was there, I picked her up a latte from Starbucks. Since she is breastfeeding, she has been trying to cut out all milk from her diet because it causes incredible gas pains for Elsie. Instead of her normal (tall gingerbread latte) I got her a tall soy gingerbread latte. JA hates soy. Good morning honey- here is your coffee that you think you are going to love, but you are really going to hate. Sorta like wrapping up a present of poop for someone. "Oh, a present for me? Wow- you shouldn't have. Seriously. I'll just open it... ewww. what the?!?!? Gross. You REALLY shouldn't have!" That was at 7:15 and it went downhill from there. On the way home I picked up some children's Tylenol to try to combat the 104.7 degree fever David developed throughout the day.

Tonight, after Jonathan and Thomas went to bed; David was laid out on the couch sweating, and Elsie was barely sleeping in the swing, I decided that it was definitely time to start my very first batch of coffee. Did you know that all of the smoke alarms in my house are wired together? Did you know that as hard as I try, I cannot reach the smoke alarm nearest the stove because it is on a nine foot ceiling? Did you FURTHER know that roasting coffee beans in an iron skillet on the stove (a recommended method, by the way) produces an ENORMOUS amount of smoke?

How did the beans turn out? I don't know. I used the garbage disposal to grind them as they were on their way down to the sewer. Maybe I'll do the next batch in the garage. Or maybe while no one in the house is sleeping.

You have to worry about all of 'em!

Trying to cleanly paraphrase my younger and much funnier brother, I will relay his sentiments about having a girl like this: "When you have a boy, you only have to worry about 1 boy. When you have a girl, you have to worry about ALL of 'em!" He also explained to me shortly after his daughter was born that outdoor plumbing is MUCH easier to take care of than indoor plumbing. After Elsie's birth, I almost immediatly began to think about the future- say 14-18 years in the future. I understand the deep feelings when a dad says that his daughter can start dating when she is 34 years old. He says it to be funny, but beneath the humor is angst and fear. I walked into a store a few weeks ago and saw two boys (about 18 years old or so) standing around. They both had exceptionally long hair and several unnatural holes in their faces that could not heal because of the hardware placed in them. Their clothes were grungy and they both smoked. I thought, "That could be any of my boys one day" and said a prayer for both of them as I walked in. Oh- and prayed that my boys would not turn out like them. Then as I walked out later the same two boys were standing there with a little doe-eyed girl who looked about 15 staring up at one of them like he hung the moon. My thoughts towards those boys suddenly had nothing to do with prayers, but more of paralysis; the kind you get when a dad hits you in the back of your skull with a 16 pound sledge hammer. The thoughts of "that could be my son one day" turned to "that could be my daughter"! I immediatly began judging her parents: don't they know what kind of slimy guy their daughter is hanging out with?; don't they care about her?; do they know where she is? I have no idea how this blog entry ends. I want to trust my kids, but I want them to do everything right. I will update this in about 15 years.

It's (finally) beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

I shopped today. December 23rd, and I finally shopped. I did almost all of my shopping in one day. Between working a new job, having a new baby, living in a new town, buying a new house and still deciding which church we want to attend, Christmas has been a hassle that I have not welcomed this year. I was feeling very Jehovah's Witnessy in my desire not to celebrate this year. Since we killed Santa Clause I was just feeling ready for it to be over. Today, I finally turned the corner. I believe it was a combination of being mostly (at that point) done with my shopping and seeing something. As I was driving up to one of the last two stores I had to shop at a homeless guy was standing on the corner. A guy (about my age give or take a few years) was walking up to him and taking off his coat. It being a cold a rainy (more misty) day, the homeless guy could not have been warm. Coat Guy said a few words to Homeless Guy and handed him his coat. Then Coatless Guy walked off and went about his business. Homeless guy and his dog walked back under the bridge. Kindness is heartwarming. On second thought, I don't think my joy was at all related to being done shopping.