Haircuts & Jeran

Yes, I’m still here, taking sustenance, and using my allotted portion of oxygen. I haven’t made any posts for a while because I haven’t injured myself one time during this break. My last injury was before Diane had her 3-fer injury marathon on December 29th. Apparently she used up our family quota for a specific period of time which makes me immune during that time. Not knowing how long I have before I puncture myself is a little unnerving, but I can handle it. Although I know something is going to happen eventually, I think I can act surprised when it does. Just like I always do.

During this hiatus Diane and I cut each other’s hair. We did that to save a few bucks and I learned something during the process. I’ve cut Diane’s hair previously, so it’s not a new skill set for me. I’m not saying I’m a skilled hair cutter, but rather I’m just not afraid to do it. There have been times, more than once, when she returned from her barber and made me fix it. I guess that says something about her confidence in my efforts, or my willingness to just do it equals her willingness to let me. So, I do.

What I’ve learned during my previous stints as a fill in barber is:

  • Never say “Oops!” Doing so generally ignites a contentious conversation. Barbers (and doctors) never say “Oops”.
  • When taking turns cutting each others’ hair, always get yours first. You do this so you can judge the quality expected on the reciprocal haircut. If you get a bad one you don’t have to be nearly as picky with your efforts as you might normally be. However, I preach that no matter what you’re doing, do it well. With that in mind, if you get a bad one, do your best but know that you are not working under pressure. Relax and just let the scissors do their work.
  • There may be other lessons learned, but I can’t remember them now.

Jeran received his acceptance letter from Corban University and is a pretty happy kid. He’s also on the St. Helens High swim team which also makes him very happy.

Jennifer worked the home meets as one of the time-keepers so she was involved and able to capture moments like that last photo.

Now it’s time to eat supper.

Various & Sundry Thoughts

Today was a pretty good. First, we both were able to attain a vertical position with minimal effort and help, we succeeded in retaining sustenance, and we had a nice long visit with both minor and major relatives. The minor relatives were Maryssa and her significant other, Matt. Technically, Matt isn’t a relative, yet, but he fits in nicely so we include him. Maryssa is Diane’s brother-in-law’s wife’s Grandson’s Sister. She’s currently in her senior year at Eastern Oregon University where she’s on schedule to graduate on June 16th. After that she will be seeking employment as a teacher of young, pliable people in a school district with leadership smart enough to put her education to good use. Another minor relative who visited is Tyler, the Maryssa’s brother who recently moved from Nampa to Oregon City for gainful employment. It was great to have them honor us by visiting and talking with us. Major relatives in the group were Lydia and Cedric. They are major relatives because they are related to both Diane and me. Minor relatives are those who are related to one side or the other, not both. I’ve probably covered all that previously, but that’s OK. It’s always good to clarify.

Regardless of what level of relatives visitors are, it’s always good to see them. They all bless us with their presence and the time spent to get here. We appreciate it.

Cedric, as you may already know, is currently home on leave and will be returning to his ship, the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) on January 12th. Then he’ll be back at work not knowing when he’ll get time for another trip home. We treasure any time we get to visit with him.

Lydia, as previously reported, is employed full-time here in town so we get to see her quite often. Many of those times are when we see her driving by, while we’re traveling around town, or when she’s visiting for a scheduled social event with her parents. Jeran would have been with the crowd today if he hadn’t been with his swim team in, oddly enough, La Grande, I think. I say “oddly enough” because that’s where Maryssa attends EOU.

Jeran is a St. Helens High School senior at this time and has plans to attend Corban University in Salem, Oregon after graduation. His goal is to become a youth minister. There will be more about that as the situation evolves.

Yesterday I went to work as a plumber to fix a leaking pipe for my First Wife’s Mother, Jean. She’s 90-years-old and try as she might, couldn’t fix it herself. I determined that the cutoff valve was faulty so bought a new one at ACE. Long story short, I failed to recognize the acronyms that identified the various thread types for valves, faucets, and pipes, so the combination I purchased failed to work. But, I had the leak diminished to a livable level and called it a day. By livable, I mean it wasn’t going to overflow the drip pan if left over night. This morning I got up with success on my mind and did some searching in my plumbing supplies in the basement. Turned out I had exactly what was needed to fix the problem and it didn’t require a trip to ACE. That’s because I obtained them at a previous trip to ACE at some point in the past. Anyway, the leak has been repaired and Jean is a happy camper. It was a close call, however, because she was just seconds from calling a plumber after yesterday’s failure.

I’d complain about our weather, and all the cold weather and rain, but compared to the vast majority of the USA to our East, our weather is great. Though it’s chilly and wet here, life is good. So, no complaints from me.

From a sports perspective, the Portland Trailblazers beat Atlanta, The Tennessee Titans beat Kansas City, and there’s a chance the Los Angeles Rams might beat Atlanta. The last one is nip and tuck at the moment, but momentum is with the Rams.

Now I must snack.

Hello 2018 !!

Happy New Year to everyone. I sincerely hope that those of you who celebrated last night did so safely and find yourselves fully functional this morning.

In our neighborhood, the last day of 2017 was sunny and beautiful. This first day of 2018 continues that trend while most of the remaining states are blanketed with terrible freezing weather. Especially hard hit are towns, villages, and cities on the eastern shores of the Great Lakes area. Lake effect snow is how they refer to the over abundance of snow created in this matter. Simply put, that’s when very cold air floats across the lake and sucks moisture from the water as it passes, and converts it to snow during the remainder of the transit across the water. Upon reaching land, the ground is significantly cooler than the water and the upward rush of air ceases allowing the newly formed snow to fall in massive quantities. It’s kinda like the clouds gorge on the water vapor which turns to snow during the digestive process and makes the clouds simply miserable as they inflate beyond comfortable limits. When they reach landfall, and the water vapor source ceases, the clouds promptly purge themselves of massive amounts of unwanted snow on unsuspecting areas in their path. It’s a vicious cycle and you’d think those who reside in the line of fire during these predictable events would find a reason to visit, say, Phoenix during those times. But, they don’t. They’re tough people up there and they all have snow blowers. Life is good.

We don’t have snow at our house. It was 29 degrees when I got up this morning, but the sky is clear and it actually looks like a good day to go golfing. We really did go golfing on January 1st a few years ago, when our bodies could tolerate cold weather in a more manly like manner. Those days are gone, however.

Today I take down the Christmas lights and our faithful snowman and Diane will also take down the tree. The tree is going to be really easy this year because it’s fake, only 4 feet tall, and already has lights attached. She’s planning to just drop a large garbage bag over it then have me traverse those 15 stairs to the basement with all the ornaments still attached. I’m pretty sure I can make that happen without medical intervention.

Now it’s time to continue the tradition of starting the year off with a clean slate. In order to do that I must scrub off the 2017 residue with a celebratory shower in the back yard with the dogs. They aren’t willing participants during this cold weather tradition but they need to be clean, too. Actually, they aren’t willing participants during warm weather, either. I, however, relish the feeling of icy water flowing down my back, soaking my speedo, and continuing on down my skinny legs to my feet where it runs off and melts the ice that’s still on the lawn. The first order of business is to get the dogs clean which is no small task. There’s a lot of commotion and Diane isn’t allowed to take photos. The neighbors, however, have no restrictions and line the lower fence hoping for a good shot worthy of YouTube. I’d share, but have never found one that I liked.

OK – that’s all a lie. No way am I wearing a speedo in the back yard even though the sun is shining brightly. And, once the dogs are out back, there’s no way I can catch them once they see the hose and realize what’s in their immediate future. So, that’s not going to happen either. Instead, I’ll begin the year as I always do by taking my January shower in a warm house with warm water. The dogs will get by for another year with an occasional squirt of Fabreeze.

Now it’s time for some football.

Diane and I wish all of you peace, happiness, and prosperity as we begin this new year. Be kind to others and help make the world a better place, no matter where you live.