Oxymoron: City Forest

So we finally were able to get out.  We stopped at Salvation Army for some ski poles (it’s our new budget thing).  They only had one pair.  Then we headed up to the Bangor City Forest for some snowshoeing.  We’d been to the Bog Walk a long time ago (four years ago?), but we weren’t familiar with the trail system.

We strapped the shoes on and I took a quick look at the trail map and off we went.  It was only about twelve degrees out so we kept things moving.  I selected a two mile loop and we watched the foot marker signs go flying by (every 500′ there is a marker).  Nathan had some trouble with his snowshoes, he’s had them since he was four?  He ended up booting it for about half the walk.

It was good to get out, we’ll aim a little higher next time.  Something with some incline.

Cold, brisk walk in the woods.

Cold, brisk walk in the woods.

Blue Light Special

..at mile marker 127.  Wasn’t me this time.

Jess had a Dr. appointment in Yarmouth so we all went with.  I had to drop the Jeep off at the garage on the way, so we’d have to test the car’s snow skills.  After Newport, the roads were fine.  We dropped down to Portland for lunch, strolled around the mall for a bit, then headed to Yarmouth.  While Jess had her appointment, Nate and I went up to the Delorme store to pass the time.  Google/online mapping must be killing their software sales.  They used to have nearly a dozen PC’s running various software packages, now they have two or three.

They’re putting a lot more emphasis on the paper product (again).  The store served our purposes, bathroom and time killer.  We headed back to the Doctor’s office and spent the rest of the time waiting for Jess by playing a game Nathan brought along (he won).

Home through Augusta.  That town always kills us in the purse.  We never leave Augusta without a stop at Red Robins and seldom without a stop at Barnes and Noble.  To stretch the night out a bit longer, we stopped and bought groceries in Newport.  We tripped through the door by 8:00p I guess, all beat and ready for bed.

Keep it under 80mph buddy!

Keep it under 80mph buddy!

All I want for New Years…

..is my two back teeth?  Not mine, but Nathan’s.

Nathan had been having some signs of an abscessed tooth, so we set up a dentist appointment over break.  Today was it.  We thought we were just headed up for a consult, but the Dr. didn’t mind popping out some teeth on the spot.  Nathan didn’t handle it quite as well as his younger cousin.  But they had a fix for that. Drugs.  A little elixir to chill him out a bit and then a bit of the ol’ NOS to lighten the mood.

I wished I had taken the video camera.  Oh well, he seemed half lucid to what was going on around him, maybe he’ll remember some of it.  They gave him some headphones and some tunes, turned up the gas and filled three cavities and pulled two teeth.  As you’ll see, we already spent enough money on one of these teeth, to have it pulled added another expense.  No tooth fairy is getting that for a quarter!

K and S... Nathan's old Pirate Tooth has served its days

K and S... Nathan's old Pirate Tooth has served its days

Fat Burner

So it’s been like, what, maybe twenty years since I ate this snack.  Jess cut a grapefruit in half and wanted to know if I wanted the other half.  She’s been eating about a half of one a day.  The sugar jar was handy, so I thought I’d try out the new spoons I got her for Christmas.

Pow!  It was a bit of work to get the “pockets” clean, but I managed to get most of the “flesh” out and felt the “cleansing” taking place.  Have you enjoyed a fat burning grapefruit lately? And does anyone else “abuse” the use of quotes like I do? Sheesh!

Topped with sugar, it's a doable snack.

Topped with sugar, it's a doable snack.

Circuit Benders

We’re starting to get into a few of the gifts we received for Christmas (it’s been a busy few days).  I had an hour or so today to play with the Arduino I got, but that will be another post.  I was all stoked from playing with that, that I wanted to use the kit I bought for Nathan and I to do together.

It’s the DIY Design Electronics Kit from Sparkle Labs.  Resistors, capacitors, regulators, LEDs, dip switches, speaker, photo sensors, switches and a breadboard.  Over 130 pieces!  It’s something I would have been nuts for in my youth.  I was hoping Nathan would take to it as much (OK, at least half) as I did.

It comes with a booklet of projects and the first one was a bit intimidating to say the least.  But it’s well laid out and we located the 1.0uF capacitor and had our “Power Source” project complete just in time for bed.  I think he’s hooked.  He did great learning about the anode and cathodes on an LED and is looking forward to the noise maker.

Powered Breadboard

Powered Breadboard

Saddleknee

So I was invited to go skiing from a guy from work.  He picked the 26th, 27th or 28th for choices.  We looked at the weather and decided on the 26th.  A bit harder to walk away from my gifts that I wanted to play with and away from the family so soon after Christmas, but Jess blessed the decision.

I invited Nick and then asked Dave if he would fit.  Dave had invited his younger neighbor also, so there were two of us that were skiing and two that were snowboarding.  We made the long drive to Rangeley (126mi) to ski Saddleback Mtn. I sat in the middle back seat beside the snowboards that sat by the door.

We arrived at 10a and was wisked to the summit of the 4100′ mountain to greet the -8F air on top.  It was cold but beautiful.  We were able to get in about eight to ten runs in before lunch. On our first run after lunch we were headed for the Quad lift when Nick didn’t show.  We thought he may have missed the turn to the lift so I headed down hill to the next lift.  He wasn’t there, nor did he show up for the next twenty minutes.

I decided to head into the lodge to get my cell so I could check on him when I was greeted near the entrance by a hobbling skier.  He had made an awkward move and torqued his knee in the process. He was thirty mintues butt sliding down the mountain to get to the lodge.  He was done for the day, so we hung out until the others finished.  Hopefully he’ll be OK and it won’t be anything serious.  Click on the Photo to view a short one minute video clip.

Nick preps for the day

Nick preps for the day

There’s a tooth in my plate

Poor Ryan (three year old nephew).  On Christmas Eve he collided with his older brother and took a beating.  He had a Recorder Flute in his mouth at the time and yes, it’s as bad as it sounds.  Tony rushed him to the ER with two dangling front teeth.  They yanked one and was hoping the other would “firm up” and stay put.

Tonight while waiting to eat supper, his floppy second tooth popped out and landed in his plate.  He looked a bit puzzled but handled it quite well.  So he now has a big ol’ smile and doesn’t have to be so careful about biting into food now!

Moments after a lost tooth.

Moments after a lost tooth.

The Fourth Christmas

That’s it.  The last one is behind us.  We just came through the door and are finally back home from being gone most of the day.

It was a rough start after The Thrid Christmas.  We loaded the Jeep, drove out of the slushy/icy driveway that felt odd. We made it over to Rt 11 when I realized that odd feeling was a flat tire.  Ugh.  As bad as it was to drive it another 100 yards on the rim, I still did it.  Too much work to change a tire when the the extension cord and air compressor would almost reach!  Besides, I need new tires anyway.  We swapped with the car and headed out again.. for our long six mile journey.

Stockings at the Libbys, lunch at Ma Harris’, then back to the Libby’s for a tree picking.  We finished over there with supper and loaded the vehicles and came home. Another “Christmas” past.

Another tree picking complete.

Another tree picking complete.

The Third Christmas

Well, morning came like it usually does.  Fast and hard.  Nathan bounced in at about 5:45a, but was up several times, so we all slept fitful.  We started the morning with the Christmas Story in Luke 2, and then we read some from Matthew 2.

We were under way in short time and one by one we took turns opening gifts.  We tagged them a bit different this year.  We used sort of trivia hints instead of names.  Some were obvious and lame, and even though they were wrapped just days ago, we forgot what some were and who the riddle belonged to! An hour later the tree was picked clean and we were all head long into something we received.

God has been good to us this year (better than I deserve) and we were able to have a material Christmas even with the way things are economically. It was a Cash Christmas too, no credit!

It looks to be a Yankee Doodle Dandy of a Christmas this year!

It looks to be a Yankee Doodle Dandy of a Christmas this year!

Christmas Eve

As tradition has always been for me, we opened our stockings tonight.  We finished with supper and enjoyed a little couch time pulling items from the socks.

Seldom does a year pass that we don’t watch The Gritch That Stole Christmas.  We recorded it several days ago and saved it for this evening.  After that, to help focus on the real reason of Christmas, we all sat down and passed the evening with The Nativity Story.  A fairly recent movie about Mary and Josephs days’ before the birth of Christ.  We even caught a bit of It’s A Wonderful Life, while we waited for Nathan to fall asleep.  No, we don’t do that so he thinks some fat guy came in the night and gave him gifts, but we still want the “full tree” surprise effect in the morning when he comes out to see the tree.

The classic cartoon... poor Max.

The classic cartoon... poor Max.