It seems these days with Facebook, work, home and Jack that I don't really have a whole lot of time for blogging... I did say "it seems". That's a bunch of crap though. I totally have plenty of time. It's all a matter of time management and laziness. My office chair at home, and my recliner are worlds apart in the "comfortable" department. Plus, the remote doesn't have as many buttons or require as much input as the computer does.
Okay, so now that we've established that I'm a couch potato, lets move on to what's been going on since I last posted.
First, the bad. I am once again a smoker. Well... kind of. I fell off the wagon when drinking on several occasions over the past two months or so. I finally admitted it to myself a week or so ago and bought a pack of cigarettes. To date though, I have only smoked a few and it's only been when I was drinking with friends on the weekends. I know, that's how it starts and I am as disappointed as I'm sure some of you are. But hey, life will go on... until I die a horrible death from lung cancer or other smoking related issues. On the other hand, to date I really haven't wanted to smoke during the week. So maybe I'll just stop drinking on the weekends and... ah who am I kidding. :-)
The new puppy... err MOOSE is doing great. He still chews things up occasionally if you leave them down. Oh and you can add the satellite remote to the list of casualties. Although it still works, it's missing some of my favorite buttons. :-) He joins me at work a few times a week which is giving him a change of scenery and some much needed exercise as we go for a walk on my lunch break. It's also getting me off my lazy and expanding rear end for some much needed exercise. The other people in my office love him and he is quickly becoming a loved member of the office staff. When I don't bring him (if I have errands to run on my lunch break or something) everyone stops by my area of the office to see where he's at. Here's a photo of him at Christmas. He's so agreeable he would have kept the bow on all day if it would have stuck.
He's up to around 75 pounds and he is very curious about everything that moves. That being said, it was Solo that was sprayed by the skunk last night. Our house is still filled with the fragrant reminder of Solo's curiosity... or stupidity since it's the 4th or 5th time. Good thing he has such short thin single coated hair.
Ok, so Jack is great.... what else has been taking up time? Oh, we went wheeling again. Went up to our friends cabin for New Years.
In town as we were leaving a freezing rain storm was blowing in. A few miles up the mountain where this picture was taken, the wind was blowing to beat hell, drifts were growing, our tracks were filling before the tires had left them and it was snowing. As you can see by the look on my face it was a little chilly. We stopped here to loaf (let air out) our tires to get better traction. That trusty old Jeep from last year made it all the way to the property without incedent... then I drove it. In a little more than 400 yards with me behind the wheel, the slave cylinder for the clutch exploded in the bell housing. For those of you that don't know much about mechanics, that's bad. Basically it means that when you push the clutch pedal, there is nothing. Driving down the next day was even more interesting. Put it in 1st, and turn the key. The Jeep crawls forward as the engine turns over and then it fires up and you lurch forward. To go faster you time it just right and shift. If you miss a gear, turn the engine off, put it in first and try again.
Other than that minor little issue, the trip was fun. We hung out with some great friends and were surrounded by nothing but trees, 4x4's and a seemingly endless supply of food and drink. Needless to say I wasn't feeling so great the next morning. I didn't have a rig to drive around the mountain so I compensated with a beer can. Oh, and I recently began making Liquid Apple Pie. If you've never had it, you're missing out. Tastes just like Apple Pie only it's made with 190 proof Everclear. We had some of that up there that night too. :-)
Shortly after my last post, Dena and I went to Seattle for the funeral service for my Grandma Stephens. I've been to... too many funerals over the years. They are usually somber, quiet and rightfully depressing. Most of the funerals I've been to have also been on my mothers side of the family and to put things mildly, there is a lot of depression on that side of the family anyway. So with that expectation in mind, I was not really looking forward to this type of family reunion.
Thankfully, I underestimated the Stephens family. I would like to extend a very warm thank you to all of you who attended. Especially Kim, Aaron, Andy and Doug who traveled quite a distance to be there. It was not depressing, or sad, or... a funeral really. Sure, there was a church, but Bob was swearing in it and didn't burst into flames or get struck by lightning... so it's all good. I love my family a great deal. One of my Grandma's fears is that once she died, we wouldn't all get together like we have for as far back as I can remember. If her funeral was any indication of whats to come... I'd have to say the opposite will happen. I think it brought the family closer together. I was happy to see family I hadn't seen in a long time, and more happy to see family I'm not sure I ever had seen. If everyone had a family like mine, the world would be a better place. Left to right: Adam, Doug, Kim, Me, Chris, Andy, Michele, Aaron. There were several cousins missing from this picture, but we did get to see most of them at the funeral service. We need to do a once a year cousin get together... I'll even host if anyone is interested. I live in northeast Oregon just south of Walla Walla, WA. Between local hotels, our house, our property, Chris' house... we'd easily be able to accomodate everyone. If anyone is interested let me know and I'll take charge and get something planned.
Until next time loyal followers, I bid you farewell. Stay healthy, stay happy, and enjoy every minute life gives you. I love you all.