Snakes on the Trail

Munger2Late August and early September have be absolutely spectacular here.  This is good because the rest of the summer was miserable – cool, wet, and climate changed.

To celebrate, Maia, our friend Andy, and I biked down to Moose Lake State Park on the Willard Munger State Trail.  Actually, Andy left us for another woman at TJ’s Country Corner in Mahtowa, but Sherry, Kylie, and Maritha met Maia and I at the park and we had our first and last camp of the summer.  A good time was had by all.

Round trip, we biked just under 100 miles in two days.  Here’s proof that I was there.


Here’s Maia in front ot Ske’s in Moose Lake (ask Kylie).


And here’s the crew in Andy’s front yard.  We look fresh, don’t we?


Snakes were sunning themselves on the trail – must be the season.  Other highlights were singing “Redemption Song” in the TJ’s parking lot with Towa from Mahtowa (random Belizian guy with a drum just jammin’), perfectly cooked hobo dinners on the fire, and a moonlit canoe paddle with my woman.  Nice.  Nice.  Very nice.


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Sometimes they break down, and it’s not all bad

I’m talking about my children, of course.

Last Saturday night Sherry and I were awakened about about 4:00 a.m. by our sobbing 19-year-old.  Recently returned from a year in college in Mexico, she’s back living at home.

Anyway, she collapsed on the bed with us beside herself (on top of Sherry beside me, to be more accurate), and I think it took a good three minutes (trust me; that’s a long time in that context) before she could control herself enough to tell us what was going on.

It turned out to be a bad dream about me dying.  I wasn’t expecting that.  The three of us lay there together like the last three pieces of flatware on the planet as her sob spasms spent themselves, and as weird as it may sound, I felt pretty happy.  I haven’t cuddled with my daughter until she went back to sleep since kindergarten.  I didn’t know I missed it, but it’s clear to me now that I do.

I told a lie.  She didn’t go back to sleep.  Adults unaccustomed to sleeping together can’t cuddle and go back to sleep.  Dang.  It was still nice, though.

The next day I watched her as a bride’s maid in her best friend’s wedding.  I could make parallels to the kindergarten Christmas program, but I’ll just count my blessings and move on.


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How Well Do You Know Me?

From 1986-90 I was an assistant football coach for the Shiprock Chieftians at Shiprock High School in New Mexico.  As JV and 9th grade coach, I was 3-25.  There was a two game winning streak in there.

In 1986, I tried out for the Balitmore Colts (before they moved to Indianapolis).  I was a defensive back.  I made it through the second week of the season before I was cut, and then my teaching career began.


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Mexican Resolution

I’ve been a negligent blogger, and for that I’m sorry.   The long and short if it is as follows.  Kylie returned from Mexico May 10 in good health.  Her original itinerary was for May 20.  She is working bussing tables at the Duluth Grill for the summer, and plans to live at home and attend UMD here in the fall.


Instead of a boyfriend, she has also aquired a kitten named Caramela (Mela for short).  She just booked tickets to return to Puebla in August for two weeks.

We’re not sure who will clean the litter box while she’s gone, but Mela is slowly winning even Sherry over.


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Update on situation H1N1: Offspring south of the border

I’m mostly impressed by my sensitivity to the pork industry.  I’ve made the complete conversion to the H1N1 moniker.

Regarding daughter x, though, who has been re-enacting the whole Romero cannon and its sequels with her friend cuacho at an undiscolsed location (stiff-limbed H1N1 victims roam the streets, moaning and pawing at the cuacho family casa where la familia brava waits behind sofa and table barracade with heavy artillery – daughter x with the Derringer), I’m unable to give too many details due to facts that I’m not at liberty to discuss.  I will, however, share what I can:

  • There is a plan to get daughter x out alive
  • It’s a good plan
  • It’s a secret plan
  • By the time the plan unfolds, it will be obsolete
  • All parties are agreeable to the plan
  • Kiefer Sutherland is not part of the plan
  • Lobo is not part of the plan

Hopefully this satisfies all curiosities.  Sorry to rhap so mysteriously enigmatic, but one must sometimes abide by codes of conduct that can only be explained by a Federal Commission after the fact.


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Swine from a father’s point-of-flu

Aaargh!  My daughter has spent the whole year studying at the UDLA in Cholula, Mexico.  She’s got three weeks to go, and now this swine flu breaks out!  My first reaction was that Mexico’s a big country, and she’s not in Mexico City where the epidemic is concentrated.  We should just have her sit tight.  Then our friend Barb, a nurse at the UMD student health clinic, told us, “It’s time to bring her home.”  Her position was that Mexico was no place to be sick.  Finishing her semester through would work out somehow.

Less than six hours later, Kylie called to say that Mexico City has closed its airport and UDLA has closed its campus.  As of this moment, she’s literally stuck there, washing her hands frequently and not kissing anyone.  That’s all I know.

I don’t know much.  Aargh!


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Digestive Digest

I’ve been a pretty poor poster recently, and for that I’m sorry.  And what I have posted has mostly been about my digestion.  For that, I’m sorry as well.  It just dawned on my, faithful reader, that I’ve left you hanging in this digestive dirge without resolution.  For all you know, I’m dead.

I’m not.

Here’s an update.  My digestive specialists et al can’t seem to identify my problem.  To review, I feel a regular bloating sensation regardless of what and when I eat.  It starts out slowly each morning, gets worse as the day progresses, and dissipates over night.  Repeat.  It’s been going on now for hearly a year.  I’ve been CAT Scanned, scoped from both ends, tried wheat free and then fructose free diets, and nothing has alleviated the symptoms or revealed any serious problems (good news).  I don’t have cancer or an ulcer, anyway.

Dr. Mother has now recommended acidophilus, which is a bacteria that supposed to aid digestion and decrease vaginal yeast infection, among other things.  I’ve been taking it for four days and think I might be experiencing some mild relief.  It might be in my head, or it might be in my abdomen.  I’m going to keep it up for awhile, anyway.

Ironically, the doctors have me scheduled to take a breath test for an over-production of bacteria, but I won’t have that for over a month (scheduling challenges).

One final note: Gax-X also seems to give me slight, but not total relief.  I hope you can sleep better now.


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Maia’s Duluth Central Jazz Band Wins Eau Claire Festival

My daughter Maia plays tenor sax in the Duluth Central Jazz Band.  They’ve really come together this year, and for the first time since forever, have one the festival.  Here’s their performance from the Saturday evening concert featuring Chris Caine on trombone.  Maia is right behind him.  Enjoy all 7:12.



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Show Couch 2009

Here’s 2 minutes of pure joy. 


In some parts of Canada, they’d call this a snow chesterfield.

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I’ll spare you the pictures of my pyloris

Last week happened.  Typical.

Monday started with the miraculous birth of my 12th niece/nephew, Lila Kay.  She was 7 lbs. 6 oz. of perfection, born to my brother, Nate, and Darcie at 7:38 a.m. via C-Section.  Her older sisters, Marryn and Ani, are thrilled with her.  Her 20 month old brother, Alec, is devastated.  Said Nate, “When he figured it out, the look on his face was the same was mine would be if I found out I was going to the Big House.”  The line between absolute joy and total devastation is fine.

Case in point, my friend Karen Runnoe died that same day at 1:30 p.m. in the afternoon.  She died at home, surrounded by family and friends, after a four year battle with cancer of a lot of things.  She and I were mentors together at church for our teenage kids and their friends.  She was a second mother to most, un-self conscious about her bald, chemo-ravaged head, courageous to the end.  She will be missed by many, but I can’t help but feel relief for her that she can take it easy now.  She leaves behind three sons – ages 15 to 22 – for whom it won’t be so easy to feel relief.  Hang in there, guys.

That brings me to my pyloris, which is fine.  I had the pleasure of being scoped from both ends, and everything checks out just fine.  I have beautiful pictures, but I’ll spare you the scanning of them and go with this cartoon.  I’ve never felt so clean both inside and out.  I’m still trying to figure out why I start every day feeling fine, but feel progressively more bloated as the day proceeds, but for the moment, I have the guts of Lila Kay and I feel pretty good about that.

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