urbpan: (dandelion)
The grief is very fresh as we said goodbye to Maggie yesterday. She had a mast cell tumor and it spread to her central nervous system. We eased her to final sleep outside on the grass on a beautiful fall day. If you've been following this blog for a long time you know how important she was to us, if not, here's a little gallery of memories.

Read more... )
urbpan: (dandelion)
This is from a letter from my father, which he sent to several dozen people, so I don't think he'll mind me excerpting it here. He gets one date wrong--I moved to Boston in 1987 not 1986, but that doesn't affect the meaning of this piece.

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urbpan: (dandelion)
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Three generations.

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urbpan: (dandelion)
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Kids' sleepy couch time in Vermont.

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urbpan: (dandelion)
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It's good to get some pics of the three of us together, since it doesn't happen all that often.

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And then one last pic of something that normal people would think was not worth taking a picture of: an almost perfect disc of moss on a palm stump.
urbpan: (dandelion)
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Alexis and I went to brunch with Rebecca and Adam on Sunday.

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urbpan: (dandelion)
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On my way back from the airport, after dropping my brother and father off for their trip together. I am at a stoplight. I will not die for my snapshot project. Sorry purists.

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urbpan: (dandelion)
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On Saturday my dad and I headed up to Maine to see some relatives that I hadn't seen in a long time. My Aunt and Uncle I hadn't seen since my mom's memorial, my cousin I hadn't seen since his sister's wedding (31 years ago this week), and his wife I'd never met before! Note to UK/Aussie readers: my dad is probably not flipping everyone off here, he's telling a story that involves counting to two. I think.

more plus bonus bugs and stuff )
urbpan: (dandelion)
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On Wednesday I drove to Kiki's house in Hopkinton, then we drove to my dad's house in Suffield, then we drove up to Kiki's sister's house in Northampton. We enjoyed some lunch and a stroll around town, then back to Suffield to drop off my dad, back to Hopkinton to say goodbye to Kiki, then home again. Kiki's house is full of amazing beautiful things. Wanna see?

sure you do )
urbpan: (dandelion)
My Father, my brother and my brother's kids are in Vancouver (the big city in Canada, not the island nor the city in Washington). I looked at my old posts from me and my dad's trip there, (to recommend stuff to my non-vacation-planning family) and discovered that I had friends-locked most of them. I think I was shy about posting vacation pics at that time, possibly because I'd just been put in the LJ Spotlight. Whatever; My vacation pics from the most urban naturey of urban places are totally relevant to anyone who is reading this now.

If you'd like to relive my vacation from 7 years ago, Please do: Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver.

In other news, the Canadian border authorities allowed my dad into Canada with an expired passport, the fun will come when they try to pass back into the United States!
urbpan: (dandelion)
Hoo yeah I don't know the settings on my underwater camera yet!

Cut to spare the disinterested )
urbpan: (dandelion)
I didn't take as many pics on the 20th, so I can share all the good ones, even though they are exceptionally random. Here's a big green tree lizard--another species of anole Anolis leachii.

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urbpan: (dandelion)
Fort Barrington is an Antigua and Barbuda National Park, but there is no interpretation, signage, park rangers, or even a paved road. It's not hard to get to, however, and is a fun hike.
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urbpan: (dandelion)
Well after posting on the second day of my vacation I've utterly failed to keep up with it. Hopefully when I get back I won't be so totally overwhelmed that I get completely behind on it. We went to one of the Channel Islands (Atacapa--not Jersey this time) and the Zoo, so I've taken a few million photos.

I've been playing message tag with my new friend who is a secret lurker here on my journal, and she has been exceptionally giving and generous. It will be a real treat to meet her in person tonight, as we will see her singing with a group at a show we're going to.

It's a tremendous relief to be on the other side of the cold I've had for the past week. I still cough up minor demons a couple times a day, but the fever and fatigue are gone. Those symptoms were helping to make me a very unpleasant travelling companion, as my sense of humor and patience had been reduced to nothing at at all. My poor brother and father, trying to placate me while being their goofy jovial selves.

Then tomorrow First Friday at the Natural History Museum--I miss my friend Lila so much! We became very close over a very short time in 2006, and my heart aches to know that she is nearby but I can't see her. It will be a miracle if I don't burst into tears when we finally hug.

And as great as it is to get away, it will be so much greater to fall into the arms of Alexis again. The weather and landscape are beautiful here, but I yearn to be back at Contentment Cottage with my Beloved Wife. Only a matter of hours now.
urbpan: (dandelion)

Today I made an impromptu visit to an LJ friend [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume! Little Springtime was there as well as other family members, and it was magical for my brain to make real people out of the characters I'd read about. Everyone there was so laid back and smart, I wanted to stay and chat forever. Luckily they live in a part of Massachusetts that's about an hour and half drive from everywhere else in Massachusetts, so I can return some day.

Charlie had a good time too, and was not shy with his affection.

Earlier that day I was with my dad. It's always nice to see him, and he is really enjoying his retirement. (Also Charlie loves him). He showed me his new bookshelves and I showed him how to minimize documents on his desktop.
urbpan: (dandelion)

On Saturday we drove to Vermont to see Alexis' side of the family for holiday type stuff. My dad was going to come but decided the weather forecast was making him nervous and opted to stay home instead. There was some thought that this was overcautiousness, but in retrospect I'm completely in agreement with it. There were four hours of slippy slidey snowy driving, on tires that had been officially condemned by my garage (get them replaced before winter, they said in the middle of December). On the last paved road before the dirt mountain path at the end of our journey the car spun a full 90 degrees so I continued the motion with the wheel and pointed us in the opposite direction, then brought us to a hotel parking lot where we left the car. My wonderful sister in law came down and got us in a more appropriate Vermonter vehicle, and we decompressed in their lovely home.

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urbpan: (dandelion)
I don't know that I have a specific project for this journal for 2013. I've tried to do that for the past 6 years with varying success, but I think I'll leave it alone for now. I do have several goals for my life in 2013, and checking in with those and doing the snapshots ought to fill up this journal nicely.

Goals for 2013:
  • Lead an Urban Nature Walk each month (there's one planned for this Sunday--how that goes will determine whether I follow through on this goal).
  • Make a batch of beer (I don't even own the equipment yet--this was one of my goals for immediately after moving to the Dedham House, and I chickened out of it) (Chickened out is a funny way of putting it because I chickened out of keeping hens for eggs until Alexis got involved and made things happen. Too bad she doensn't drink beer.)
  • Learn to play one song on an instrument and sing and play it somewhere. (I've been pretending to do this with plastic electronic instruments for 5 years. If I had been playing a real drumkit/guitar/whatever I'd have at least one song down by now.)
  • Expand our vegetable garden.
  • Resume podcasting.
  • Begin visiting livejournal friends in real life space.

Those are pretty personal and selfish but I'm at work on my lunchbreak so I can't think of the Good Works and Family goals at the moment. I appear to be going to serve another term as president of AAZK, and we may get a little more involved with our pit bull rescue agency (our current foster needs heart surgery and it's going to cost the rescue a pretty penny--more on that later when I post the next snapshot). My dad is going to start his first full year of retirement, and I'd like to hang out with him whenever I can. I haven't seen my in-laws in a long time, and it looks like dog issues are going to make it happen later rather than sooner. Also car troubles.
urbpan: (Default)

Alexis on a business call. For some reason we can't get good cell phone reception in our house, so to make or receive important calls we go out in the yard--sometimes I'll hop in the car and drive to CVS and make an errand of it.

also my dad and I went to Purgatory Cove! )
urbpan: (Get Your War On)
I dislike conflict and argument, so I try to avoid discussions of politics.

Facebook is the worst, because while 99.3 percent of your facebook friends will ignore your politics post or "like" it and move on, that one relative or friend from high school (or friend of a friend--how is he even seeing my post?, that's creepy!) will jump in and you will have the some discussion over and over again.

Part of the problem is that the "sides" are fully entrenched, and every talking point is preapproved and predigested by our pundits and proxies. I've never seen a political disagreement move one side or the other a single inch. The point seems to be to shut the other person up, to make your point louder or funnier, or with more help with friends, until exhaustion or awkwardness takes over.

And I'm still doing it, even though I keep vowing to stop. The current argument is about voter disenfranchisement. I somehow managed to stay out of the recent flaps about Marriage Equality and Chicken Sandwiches.

I believe Soundgarden said some good things that pertain to all disagreements, but that now seem particularly pertinent to the "Christianity versus Marriage Equality" disagreement:
Pray, if you want to pray
If you like to kneel
If you like to lay
Hate, if you want to hate
If it keeps you safe
If it makes you brave
Don't come over here
And piss on my gate
Save it just keep it
Off my wave


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