Change a Car Battery

Learning opportunities and teachable moments were plenty for us recently. Slick’s car was out of commission. We weren’t sure what the problem was, but it wouldn’t start. Based on my limited past experiences with my own cars, I was thinking battery, starter, or alternator. For Slick’s sake, I was hoping battery.

An old car battery. Don’t ask
where the screw came from.

We tested the battery. Dead as a doornail. I thank the automotive deities for the easier and cheaper of the problems. My experiences have also taught me the battery could still be good, it just needs a little tightening. Call me crazy, but I like to make sure I don’t need to spend extra money before I spend extra money.

Slick and I give everything a once-over and, unfortunately, we need to buy a new battery. At this point, a friend of ours was walking past. He dabbles in cars and comes over to see what we’re doing and how it’s going. We explain what’s going on. At this point, everyone is inside the house. We’re still discussing the situation with Wife, who has since come down to the kitchen to say hello.

I decide for Slick we should call Triple AAA. It’s night. It’s cold, in the teens and I’m delicate. I need to put children to bed, which includes reading stories. I really don’t want to be out there messing with the business of going to a store, going back, loosening a corroded car battery in frigid weather, replacing, tightening, and securing a battery when I can be in my warm house safe from the elements and letting someone else, someone who does this for their job, do their job and earn their money so they can buy their wife and children nice things.

Friend tells me it’s wrong and crazy to get a marked-up battery from Triple AAA. Go to Wal-Mart. It’s cheaper and it’s not difficult to replace a battery. These reasons are true and valid, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s cold and late. I get out-voted and Slick and I are off to Wal-Mart for a car battery.

Buying a Car Battery

We climb into my car. The engine turns. I’m waiting for things to warm up as I stew over my democratic defeat and the sudden need to leave my cozy home. I’m delicate.

We get to Wal-Mart and make our way to the automotive section. Batteries galore, just not the battery we need. We go up and down the aisle hoping to find our battery. Alas, the Wal-Mart gods are not with us, and we need to seek our battery elsewhere. My Triple AAA idea is looking better.

We head back in the direction of home, keeping an open eye for an auto parts shop. It pleases the gods that we should come across one. We enter. There’s a man behind a counter eating a sandwich. Another is behind the counter looking at his phone. We explain to the nice men that we are looking for a battery. We’re looking for the size. Sandwich gets up from the counter and leads us to where the batteries are. Praise be, they have our battery in stock. I turn around with the prize, and Sandwich is already back at his seat.

Installing a Car Battery

New car battery installed.

We get back in the car with the newly procured power source. It’s late. It’s still cold, but we need to put the new battery in so Slick can do what he needs to do.

We pull into the driveway. There’s not much as far as light goes. We only have so many lights outside. It reminds me of a time in high school when someone needed to change a tire, but that’s another story for another time.

Hood popped. We stand over the situation with our cell phones trying to illuminate what’s under the hood. Slick looks a little closer.

“Is that a screwdriver?” he asks.

It is a screwdriver!

I look closer with my own phone. Sure enough, there is a screwdriver handle sticking out from all of the parts, wires, bells, and whistles. Slick removes the screwdriver. I’m glad it just comes out, and it wasn’t something used to hold parts together or fill a gap that shouldn’t be there. We work over the car; one person loosening connectors and another illuminating. We remove the old battery and install the new one. Car starts, hood closes, and we both hustle up the steps and into the house. It’s cold and I’m delicate.

Daddy’s Christmas Carol Part 5

Stave 5: Christmas at Last!

It was a blanket, and I had it wrapped tight around me as I lay next to Wife. I could tell it was cold outside, baby; but thanks to the blanket, Wife’s love, and Kitty sleeping and purring by our feet, I had plenty of love to keep me warm.

I opened my eyes just a little to check on Kitty, who had lifted its head and started to look around. We both heard footsteps heading in our direction. They got louder as they got closer to our fortress of slumber. Kitty got up on all fours and leapt off the bed. Just in time as The Boy made his appearance. He had a smile on his face and air underneath his body before crashing down on the bed between us. I think Kitty still has PTSD.

Wife jolted awake. She was ready to kill him, but the boy gave her a big, tight hug and said, “Merry Christmas!” This festive greeting reminded us that we needed to be extra vigilant in controlling our homicidal urges in the spirit of the season.

“Merry Christmas,” I said as I rolled over to give The Boy a hug. He pushed me away and resumed hugging my wife. The Oppressed came into our room with a smile. Wife saw her.

“Merry Christmas,” Wife said to her.

“Merry Christmas,” she said back as she ran to our bed and hugged me.

“Merry Christmas, Daddy,” she said.

“Merry Christmas,” I replied. I asked The Boy if I could have a hug, reminding him it was Christmas. I saw the back of his head shake, indicating, “No,” and continued hugging his mother.

Lovie then entered our room. She had an even bigger smile than The Oppressed.

“Merry Christmas,” Wife said to her.

“Merry Christmas,” she said. “Can we open presents?”

“Can the adults have coffee, first?” I asked.

“How about we make coffee first?” I suggested “Then, we can open presents while it finishes, and we can drink coffee while you kids open presents?”

“How about we open presents and then you can make coffee?” Lovie suggested, ever the humanitarian.

Wife told her to wake her other brothers. I took this opportunity to go downstairs and let Doggie out of her crate. As Doggie raced to the door to answer the call of nature, I heard what sounded like a drug raid taking place upstairs. Lovie flew the door open to the boys’ room unannounced. I heard yelling from the room.

“Wake up! It’s time to open presents!”

“Oh my God, what time is it?”

“It’s time to open presents. Stop sleeping!”

“Shut up! I’m tired.”

“Sleep tomorrow!”

I was in the kitchen at this point making coffee. After a few minutes, I answered the scratching on the door, signifying that Doggie had finished what she needed to do outside. The love and spirit of Christmas continued down the stairs as Lovie led the charge into the living room to see the loot Santa Claus had left for everyone.

“I want to give my presents to everyone first,” Lovie announced to everyone. The rest of the children stumbled into the living room, including The Gaggle, who was staying with us for the week. Wife was the last to come downstairs, barely able to keep her eyes open. We hugged each other and wished each other a Merry Christmas. The pot of coffee had just finished brewing, and I poured her and myself a cup before entering the madness that was unfolding in the living room.

Lovie was arguing with Slugger, who, apparently, had taken her seat. Lovie wanted the seat closest to the tree so she could supervise the handing out of Christmas presents. Of course, presents from her had to be opened first, and if anyone else was handing out presents, there was a chance hers wouldn’t be opened first.

Slick made his appearance and took a seat on the couch. He didn’t care whose presents got opened first. All he cared about was someone rudely woke him from his slumber, and it was Christmas Vacation.

The Gaggle took a seat next to Slick. Lovie was able to muscle Slugger away from the tree and assumed her role of gift-giver. The Boy sat next to Wife and The Oppressed sat with me. Presents were exchanged and opened. It was a nice Christmas morning filled with secrets that had been protected for weeks. Packages that had been smuggled into the house and locked away from prying eyes were finally allowed to see the light of day. Children were excited to try their new presents. Wife and I thanked each other for our presents. I got some nice clothes and, after a shower, I was eager to put on my new clothes and continue the celebration of Christmas.

After a few hours at home, we rounded up the cohort, packed the car with more gifts, and drove to my in-laws. There we handed out presents to relatives and shared in the joy of the Holidays. Dinner was then served, another fantastic spread put out by my mother-in-law, who is always cooking incredible food, especially during holidays.

Dinner. Dessert. My diet went off the rails again and it was going to be back to carrots and protein shakes soon enough. But for today, I partook in the feasting and festivities.

We went home that night. Children resumed playing with new gadgets and toys. Occasionally, one child proudly approached us to show us a gadget and what they learned to do with it. It got later into the night, and one-by-one, children started to go to bed. It was Christmas, but I still had my Daddy Duties. I read to The Boy and hung out with The Oppressed, who briefed me on the joy she felt on this most wonderful time of the year. She fell asleep, and I left her room. I made my way through the rooms of the house, shutting off lights as I made my way into the living room to turn off the Christmas tree. I surveyed the mass of Christmas goods strewn about the floor. More things around to test my agility as I try to negotiate my way from one room to another.

I made my way to the Christmas tree. Something caught my eye before I made it. It was a bottle of beer, much like one of the bottles I saw when The Ghost of Daddy Present haun- I mean – visited me. It had a nice red ribbon tied to it and a tag tied around the neck of the bottle. The tag read “The Christmas Spirit” and I smiled. I wasn’t going to drink it tonight. It was late and Daddy needs his beauty sleep. I would put it in the refrigerator and chill it proper for the following evening. After all, we should all keep the Christmas spirit year-round, right?

It’s time to open presents. Stop sleeping!

Lovie

A car slowly made its way past my house. It looked like Mr. Farley’s car. A horn sounded as it drove by. I smiled and waved just before the car disappeared from my sight. The Christmas tree went dark as the car disappeared.

I went upstairs, turning lights off as I made my way to my room. Wife was already fast asleep, as were the rest of my children. I head Doggie snoring in her crate. Kitty was curled up at the foot of my bed. It was just Wife in our bed until I climbed in to join her. I wondered how long this would last before another child decided to join us. It didn’t matter. I was tired and I was going to fall asleep fast. I would know someone else was in the bed when I wake up and try to look over at Wife.

And just like that, another Christmas came to an end. Mr. Farley didn’t visit me again, which I thought was rude. None of the spirits visited me again, but between the love my family has for each other, there’s plenty of the Christmas spirit to go around. And between all of my children, there’s enough haunting without ghosts.

Oh, well. That’s the life of a parent. You understand, I’m sure. Thanks for reading this irrefutably true story of the Christmas I shared with ghosts and spirits. I hope this story found you well and kept you company as you made your way through your own madness of preparing for Christmas at your home.

Oh, yeah… And God Bless Us, Everyone!

My Child’s Version of the Day they were Born

With all of the debate at my house, my child wanted to set the record straight about the day they were born.

My child saw what I had written about the day they were born and they felt the need to straighten some things out when it came to that day. I didn’t think that was necessary, but they insisted on lending their opinion on the events of that magical day.

So, first I already know my dad is lying because I know I was born the day after Thanksgiving and my mom was in labor for 50 hours, so they would have been in the hospital since 1 a.m. that morning and MY MOM seems to have a different story and they don’t go to my aunt and uncles for Thanksgiving.

Brave Daddy here. We did go to my brother’s and his wife’s for Thanksgiving until they moved.

Plus, I have relatives to back my story up and I have asked my dad if am adopted and he says no.

My children seem to think I can be a little different when it comes to things I say and do. I don’t know where they get this. Seems unfounded to me. Anyways, there always seems to be some different recollections when it comes to that magical Thanksgiving and for some reason, they always seem to come up around Thanksgiving.

He was in the room, so he knows I wasn’t adopted. Well I disagree. (Being adopted is not a bad thing)

My child didn’t want any of their adopted siblings to thing Wife and I loved them any less because they were adopted, so they put that last part in there.

The point is, some people in this house seem to remember the day differently. Whatever happened, and we all know who told the REAL version here, Wife and I were happy to be parents. In fact, you could say we were thankful (see what I did there?) What ever you’re thankful for, enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving.

A Very Special Thanksgiving 🦃

There are some disagreements as to exactly what and when things happened, but you, a loyal reader are very, VERY well aware of the truthfulness and accuracy of the stories and events recorded and shared.

This week is an exciting time for my family and I’m sure it is for your family as well. This is the time we all come together to visit loved ones or loved ones come to visit us. This is the time we all come together to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is an especially memorable time for me and Wife because it is the first time we became parents. There was one particular Thanksgiving that will always have a special place in our hearts. There are some disagreements as to exactly what and when things happened, but you, a loyal reader, are very, VERY well aware of the truthfulness and accuracy of the stories and events recorded and shared. Because of this, you know of the historical accuracy of the tale I am about to impart.

It was a quiet Thursday morning for me and Wife. We were planning to go to my brother’s house that day. The DVR was set up to record a football game. Wife and I were seated in the living room sipping our coffees. My coffee had a little something tasty in it. A little Amaretto or Bailey’s for flavor on this leisurely morning where no one needed to go to work and it would be hours before we would need to be at my brother’s.

There was one particular Thanksgiving that will always have a special place in our hearts.

The time finally came to hit the road. We drove to my brother and his wife’s house. There we saw relatives and loved ones. We chatted and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres. Some rooms had people sitting around talking. One room had the television on where people were getting ready to watch the football game. Wife and I made our rounds and said hello to our hosts and their various guests. Everyone knew Wife was pregnant and, if they didn’t, I think they figured it out when they saw her. Wife found a seat and rested herself. People made their way to where she was sitting and wished her a Happy Thanksgiving. Everyone wanted to know how she was doing. Would she like anything? Could they get anything for her?

People continued to talk. I divided my time and attention between the game and conversation. Then, not long after we began talking, we were called into the dining room. It was a beautiful room, elegantly decorated. The table was beautifully set with various side dishes: stuffing, vegetables, cranberry sauce, a variety of potato dishes. In one area of the table was a large bare spot. Very large.

Everything was in place. Everyone was in place. We were all ready to eat. But first, we had to give thanks for the bounty we were about to receive. After all, it was Thanksgiving.

After giving thanks, we passed sides to and fro. The turkey was carved. Wife and I passed sides to those next to us and around us. People passed sides to us. I was fortunate enough to get a drumstick, my favorite part of the turkey.

My plate was made. I was ready to go. I’ll never forget that drumstick. It was next to the mashed potatoes, which had gravy on it. The gravy was running down the potatoes and ran towards the drumstick. The tip of the drumstick had a little gravy on it. Just a little. Just enough to add a little more flavor.

I took the drumstick in my hands and brought it to my mouth. I was about to take a bite of the crispy drumstick with just a little gravy on it. I could smell the delicious aroma of the bird. I was about to take a bite when I felt something on my arm. It was Wife tapping me and saying, “I think we need to go to the hospital.”

And so we did. We said goodbye to our hosts and our fellow guests and we drove to the hospital, where we later said hello to our first child. This is the true, irrefutable story of how Wife and I first became parents. It happened on Thanksgiving. It was an exciting time, and it all happened just as you read it.

This week is an exciting time for my family,

and I’m sure it is for your family.

… and we were thankful.
Continue reading “A Very Special Thanksgiving 🦃”

Coaching Flag Football

Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels.com

Alas, nothing lasts forever. Seasons change. We had a nice extended summer in these parts, but now it seems like things are returning to normal. November is bringing colder temperatures. I’ve had to scrape my windshield before taking The Oppresses and The Boy to school.

There are other seasons, of course. Sports seasons. As you may already know, are a part of our family’s schedule and routine. If I’m lucky, I will coach a team. This gives me a chance to spend some more time with my children and try to teach them something and help them out.

This season gave me another chance to be on the field with The Boy and a few other children. I was an assistant coach for the flag football season. We had a lot of raw talent on our team. We had kids who wanted to play, kids who wanted the ball. We had kids who didn’t understand there were five players on the field and just one ball to go around.

A football on the ground during a sunny day.
Another flag
football season

In addition to our needing to explain to the gridiron greats how to share the football, we also needed to temper some of the players’ enthusiasm. For instance, if we were about to throw the ball, some of our own players would shout, “Pass!” as the play started. We loved the enthusiasm, but the head coach and I thought it would be a good idea to “surprise” the other team when it came to what play we were going to run.

Of course, there was no evidence to support this, but don’t question a kid’s gut.

Luckily, we were able to convince players to surprise our opponents. Other challenges for us included kids who wanted the ball. Again, rules called for only one ball per team and there were five players on the field. The head coach did a great job of spreading the ball around. Some players were more patient than others. Some waited their turn. Some players wanted to know how much longer they had to wait before their turn to run or pass the ball. Some players were certain that others were getting more turns than they were. Of course, there was no evidence to support this, but don’t question a kid’s gut.

Practice was fun. We had to remind some kids we were playing flag football and not tackle football. Some kids thought it was fun and cool to maybe tackle or physically block (totally against the rules). This was fun until they were the ones getting tackled or blocked, then it was mean and people were breaking the rules.

Sometimes there was a little confusion when a play was being run. Sometimes kids would run into each other, or trip over someone or something. Again, some were convinced people were trying to sabotage them. Balls were thrown or spiked. I jump in with my coaching experience and expertise and ask what’s wrong. Does it hurt and have a temperature? Kids are absolutely belligerent as they fill me in on the unwarranted attack on their person. It’s wrong and people should be punished. Our innocent victims demand satisfaction. I ask if we should hand out an equally harsh punishment for the accident that occurred when the victim ran into someone on the previous play. They try to hid their smile as they are reminded of what happened earlier, but they can’t and they go back to the huddle.

We try to make sure everyone has a chance to play every position. One assistant coach spent the entire game tallying plays and making sure everyone got in and got ample rest. My job was to make sure those who were on the sidelines were ready to play when their turn came. Some were ready. Sometimes someone was at the concession stand or going to their parents for a drink. The water bottles were on the sidelines, but they were convinced the parents had better drinks.

It was a good season overall for everyone. The players hopefully learned a few things about playing as a team. The coaches hopefully learned something about patience and working with kids. The Boy and I spent some time together driving to and from practices and games. He got a chance to see his friends again outside of school. I got to talk to some more adults. Everyone played and everyone had fun. My head coach gave a gift card to me and the other assistant at the end of the season, so some retail therapy to Dick’s Sporting Goods will be in order very soon. We all get to recover in time for a new season and new challenges.

Kids adjusting their uniforms and getting ready for a flag football game.
Ready for action.

When did this Life Begin (for parents)?

Six o’clock the usual morning lineup
Try to find a coffee cup that’s clean
Answer adoring messages fans write up
Put some dishes away, then it’s like 7:15

Music from “Tangled” to help with your day

Sung to the tune of “When will my Life Begin?” from “Tangled”.

Rapunzel from Disney's "Tangled" leaning out a window and looking up while singing.
Photo: Disney

Six o’clock the usual morning lineup
Try to find a coffee cup that’s clean
Answer adoring messages fans write up
Put some dishes away, then it’s like 7:15

And so, I’ll knock on doors
Or maybe two or three
It’s time to get up, kids
Now, days are ruined, see?
I’ll make their breakfast
And they won’t eat what they see
Just wonder when did this life begin?

After drop-offs it’s laundry and cleaning
Take out the trash. Some music for the stress
Grocery shopping and more music streaming

Then I’ll take clean clothes to rooms.
Oh my God! What a mess!

A boy's room with clothes and toys all over the floor and on the bed.
Oh my God! What a mess!

And then I’ll write some words
If I have time to spare
Bring dirty dishes down
I’m sure there’s room somewhere
Bring dirty laundry down
And clean clothes up the stair
On their beds where they’ve always been.
And I’ll keep washin’, foldin’,
Luggin’, and wonderin’
When did this life begin?

And then tonight
The kids will disappear
Just like they do every night each year
And it is nice
That time when they go
Now that It’s quiet
I might just
Thought you’d know

A girl dressed up as Rapunzel from Disney's "Frozen".
Rapunzel

Adventures at the Emergency Room

There’s never a dull moment with our family. I’m back at the hospital. I’m not the patient this time. This time I’m with one of my children, who has been complaining of some aches and pains. The pains have become unbearable and gotten to the point they can barely move some joints.

We don’t know what’s wrong. We just know the child is in pain. We had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for the next day but it became clear they couldn’t wait that long. I packed up the child and drove to the hospital.

Loyal readers remember my day at the hospital with poison ivy. That was a fun day. Things here haven’t been as exciting or eventful. There was one belligerent person who was tired of waiting. Staff was able to calm him down.

My view

We’ve been here for over four hours. one person near us says they’ve been here for eight hours. I think someone else has been here for 10 hours. Maybe I should have packed a toothbrush.

It’s 1:30 in the morning. One of the children at home recently texted me. I asked what they were doing up. They didn’t have an answer, but they assured me they were going to bed.

Someone is arguing on their telephone. I’m not sure what’s going in but I thought I heard, “Get me out of here!”

Someone is sitting next to us. They’re offering their opinion on how things are being run here. The employee is listening and being very nice and attentive. I wonder if we’re going to see a suggestion box in the waiting area soon.

It’s 3:30 and my child has finally fallen asleep. I want them to sleep but I also want them to be seen. I guess they can wake up and then fall asleep in their bay.

I got myself a blanket at 6:00 and fell asleep. I woke up at 7:00. One hour of sleep. I should be ready to face the day with that. Who needs coffee when you have adrenaline?

Wife came by at 8:00 with breakfast and coffee. Forget what I said about who needs coffee.

We’ve now been waiting 10 hours. At least we have sustenance. Eating is nice, but it only takes up so much time. I leave the waiting area to find a gift shop. Maybe I can find a game for me and my child to play. I find someone who works at the hospital and ask where the gift shop is. There is no gift shop. I’m a little puzzled by this. A gift shop would provide gifts for patients, games for visitors and people looking to pass the time. This brings in money to the hospital and keeps prices in check. I just controlled the cost of healthcare. Is anyone from the hospital reading this? Are they hiring? Are they going to let this talent go to waste? Do you realize what you have here in front of you? 💡 💰

We gave up after waiting 14 hours. We decided to cut bait and try another hospital. We stopped at home to pack clean clothes, some video games, and see Wife. We tell her about the fun sleepover we had. After preparing for Hospital part 2, we stop for lunch. We drive around looking for parking. This place is busy. The last hospital was a 14-hour wait. This should be fun.

New hospital

The Boy was called up. They took his vitals and checked him in. A nurse looked at me and warned me there was already a line of people in front of us and they see people based in severity. Who knows what could come in while we’re here. We’re looking at a wait of one or two hours. He thought we should know what the wait could be. Did we think that was alright? If only he knew about our wild night.

The Boy got examined. They asked him some questions while they examined him. He asked them some questions. I asked some questions. They took some blood. They have him something for the pain. They wanted to wheel him to the X-ray wing. I asked if I could jump on the bed and ride with him. They said, “No.” I said please. They said, “No,” again. 👎

Souvenirs from the hospital visit.

He gets back from the X-ray. We wait for the results. His hospital gown has little tigers on it. I tell him it looks like Kitty. He disagrees. The Boy plays video games. I read. We continue to wait for the results. I thing about the hospital mini-tour we’ve done. The nurse returns. They can’t find anything wrong. I’m mildly disappointed.

“I’m the one they call Dr. Feelgood.”

I text wife and the kids to let them know what’s happened. There’s nothing else the hospital can do and nothing else we can do. We get ready to head home. Before we go, I take the hospital down and snap a picture for Kitty. I want to see if she gets déjà vu or thinks she’s looking in a mirror. We head home. Neighbors brought us Chinese food. I eat a couple of plates. The diet during this journey killed me and ruined the figure I’ve worked so hard on lately. I go to bead early. The next day, I’m calling The Boy‘s doctor to brief them and see what more needs to be done. After that, I’m going to see what needs to be done around the house. I was gone and Wife’s working. I can’t wait to see what crises are waiting for me.

On to the next crisis.

Local New England Beers 🍻

All of us have been busy. Every week seems to be another episode of dividing and conquering. This fall has us dealing with one cross-country schedule and two different football schedules. One for a flag-football player and another for a cheerleader.

I had The Oppressed one weekend for a football game near the Rhode Island state line. We needed to make the drive back home but I, being the wise parent, thought we should stop somewhere first to get something to eat. The Oppressed agreed and we decided to stop in a nearby place for breakfast. This place was in Rhode Island and, as a personal rule, if I am in a different state, I have to stop somewhere for some local beer. I feel this is the best way to familiarize myself with the ways and customs of the people in the state I am visiting.

Derivative Pale Ale from Rhode Island.

My selection was the single-hopped pale ale (6% abv) from Derivative, a creation of the Proclamation Ale Company of Warwick, RI. I liked this beer. Usually I like IPA’s to be a little stronger, but this one did the trick. Derivative delivers a nice IPA that’s not too hoppy. If you like IPA’s but sometimes feel a little overpowered by it hoppiness, this is for you.

There was another time the open road called me. This time it was to Maine to visit family. While in the Pine Tree State, I grabbed some of the locally brewed offerings. My selection was another IPA, not because it’s may favorite, but because this seemed to be all the store was offering that day. I walked out with a Pulp Truck IPA (6% abv) from Marsh Island Brewing.

Marsh Island’s
Pulp Truck

This was a well-balanced beer. In other words, you’re not overpowered by the hops. It’s also not too strong. You can have a couple of these while sitting down with friends at lunch and still be able to drive home.

I was hoping to sample just one IPA and maybe something different from the second brewer, but this was what these nice people had to offer. Small brewers can only make so much, and I’m sure it’s difficult to brew many kinds simultaneously.

Mr Giggles from Foulmouthed

Pulp Truck wasn’t the only beer I grabbed while I was in Maine. I also came home with a Mr. Giggles Golden Strong (10%) made by FoulMouthed Brewing. I like strong beers, but not beers so strong all you taste is alcohol. This was not one of those beers. In fact, It didn’t taste like a 10% abv beer at all. I’m not saying it wasn’t strong, it was. But if you’re someone who doesn’t like a beer because it may be too strong for you, this is one you might be able to drink. It’s a smooth golden ale, not bitter. It’s not too carbonated and it smells like an ale. Some strong beers will overpower you when you bring it up to your nose. Again, this isn’t one of those beers. Another great thing about this beer is that money from your purchase will support the National Alliance on Mental Illness Maine (NAMIMAINE).

If you like beer, you should try a new brewer, especially a small one. These people live nearby, your helping the local economy and helping people in the area support their families. You’re drinking good beer and supporting the town. Good for you. 🍻

Adoption

Our children posing with the judge.

It was a very exciting week for us. It usually is, but this exciting week was a special one for Wife and me. Last week, we officially became parents of The Gaggle. It was a long process. It usually is when you’re dealing with the state, but in all honesty, the wait wasn’t as long as it could have been.

So, what changes? Not much, really. The children have been with us for a long time now. They’ve been with us for over a year and we’ve got our routines down. In addition to school, we also have sports practice, doctor’s appointments, and visits with friends.

We’re going to trip over dirty clothes and find dirty dishes in random places. We’re going to stare in disbelief at the answers we receive to what we thought were simple questions.

We’re still going to have our vacations and our day trips. There will still be our weekend trips to Cape Cod. We’re going to trip over dirty clothes and find dirty dishes in random places. We’re going to stare in disbelief at the answers we receive to what we thought were simple questions. We’re going to shake our heads and facepalm when we see things that happen in our house.

We will continue to team children up when it comes to the chores around the house. We will continue to walk from room to room and wonder why things don’t get done around the house. We’ll hear about school and practice being, “great.” We’ll continue to deal with the challenges faced by us and other parents around the globe.

Children banging the gavel to make the adoption official.

We arrived at court on the day of the festivities. We met with the judge before the proceedings officially began to get the rundown. We then went to the courtroom where things were officially declared. The judge officially named us parents to the Gaggle, now officially known as Slick, Slugger, and Lovie, and children were given a gavel to pound and declare our parenthood official.

One of the children, who had turned 18 before the adoption could become official, was not “adopted” in an official sense. The Oppressed realizing this, promptly drew up a decree of adoption and had Wife and I sign it. It hangs in our kitchen.

A homemade adoption certificate.

From there, we went to lunch to celebrate the day and our accomplishment. We then went home to rest from the excitement.

Friends came by over the weekend for dinner to celebrate and congratulated us on the good news. Our social media has been flooded with likes and comments congratulating us and wishing us the best as we continue our adventures in parenting. It’s always going to be exciting, maybe more exciting than we’d like. There’s going to be a problem, a practice to go to, a game to attend. There will be the hiccups that accompany the days in the life, but that’s okay. We love our children.

brave-daddy

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The Scarlet Letter Day (with apologies to Nathaniel Hawthorne)

It’s an old car with a lot of mileage. Some cars need more work than others and, as a previous owner of high-mileage cars, I know some inspections can be iffy at best.

As parents, we do a lot for our children. Loyal daddies and mommies are aware of the things Wife and I do for our miracles of Christ. Sometimes the things we do take a little longer than others.

One child needed their car fixed. It’s hard to do when they’re at school all day. I got the car after taking The Oppressed and The Boy to their school. After dropping them off, I stretch my legs for a nice morning walk to pick up the car. From there, it’s off to another garage for a sticker.

It’s an old car with a lot of mileage. Some cars need more work than others and, as a previous owner of high mileage cars, I know some inspections can be iffy at best.

This car fails inspection. Emissions. There’s a leak out of the exhaust. A neighbor who knows cars looks underneath and assures me the problem isn’t a big one and there’s a great place nearby that can get it fixed for us. My neighbors selling point? It’s a garage with a bunch of guys smoking and talking cars. Well, I quit smoking over 10 years ago, but if a car place is good enough for my car-savvy neighbor, by jump-start it’s good enough for me.

A rejection sticker on a car that failed inspection.
The Scarlet Letter

I take the car to get repaired. Job is done and I am on my way back to get the sticker… and it fails again.

No problem I tell myself. They offered me two options and I took the cheaper one. Maybe I should have taken the option that required more work and time. Shame on me. I go back to the garage that did the work and ask if I need a new part. They look at the car. People are visibly upset. There’s nothing wrong with the parts. They’re trying to get me to have work done at their garage so they can overcharge me. Stay there, they tell me. Have a seat. People are going to get to the bottom of this. One guy grabs the phone and asks for the phone number. He knows the place. Everyone knows the place. He just needs the phone number so he can talk to “them”. What’s he going to say? Should I follow him? Should I go live? Fight! Fight! Fight!

I don’t know what happened I just know I take a seat and wait for the saga to unfold. I also know they have donuts because the guy behind the desk takes me to the garage and presents a box of donuts. He offers me one. I accept because it’s been a long, harrowing morning and I’m worth it.

A white car sitting in the driveway in the morning of early autumn.
Off the bench and ready for action.

They look at the car. There’s some more work that needs to be done but they don’t see anything that would make the car fail inspection. Oh well. Hopefully, it’s something that we’re fixing now and won’t have to worry about for even longer now that we’re addressing it. And, did I mention they have donuts?

Nothing happened between the two garages. I thought there would be some drama. There was no drama. People just wanted to know where this place was that failed the car. I’m a little disappointed. I thought there would be a little something to spice up my morning.

I’m there for a little longer. Maybe an hour. The car comes back out. I pay for the work and return to the first garage for another attempt to pass muster. The car goes in. I hold my breath. Do I dare to peek inside? I do. I see the scarlet sticker removed and replaced with a sticker that passes inspection. Good boys and girls get stickers in school. This car was good and got a sticker. I feel like I’m standing on the podium as the National Anthem is playing while the medal – I mean sticker – goes on and the car is backed out. I thank the nice men for their time and drive home to tell Wife about my donut.