Sunday, December 23, 2007

Perseverance, through it, we reach higher ground

It was busy at work these last two weeks. But I tried to stay consistent through it. As more of my time was taken by Speedee, some things were squeezed out. Sorry to my readers, but this report was one. Our home and family continued along, just a little less leisure time. We've started to catch up already.

Friday night we had an informal Christmas party as the drivers returned in the evening. Saturday afternoon I took Jamie, Kayla, and the VonOepen kids to National Treasure - Book of Secrets. And last night Shelly and I went to Nero's, a contemporary Italian cuisine restaurant in Eagle River, for her birthday.

With the Packers and homemade cookies, we're relaxing indoors today, as the snow falls (10-14 inches expected).

So we made it through the hard work to enjoy the rewards. It was a fairly controlled procedure, and I am thankful for that. It may have been difficult, but there was no fear, pain, or death. On this side of my simple, measured hardship, I can see, from my relaxed vantage point, that I am quite lucky. I will take pride in my accomplishments, I will rejoice in my healthy, learning, growing, continually changing (and that is a difficult, yet beautiful thing - the essence of life) family. But I will remember that I am one soul in this community, society, world. I will enjoy my life, but I will know that there are greater hardships than mine. I am in a stable position, and I can reach down and help someone else up. We are teaching our children to be strong, and hopefully they will remain on firm ground, and someday, they will be able to help others up. My contributions may not be large, but I am trying to give more than I take.

A child was once born into hardship. He lived a humble life. And He gave what He could.

Well, after all that, all I planned on doing was posting this article about Koren Robinson. Reading this story about him inspired me.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cooker men

Wednesday I texted home to Shelly and let her know I would cook supper, and if the kids had their homework done, and rooms clean, they could help me make cookies afterward. I had a hankerin' for some comfort food.
Shelly doesn't like celery, and I don't care much either way, so we hardly ever have it. But the other day at work, I smelled something good cooking at a home I was delivering to. I deduced that the ingredient that stood-out in my memory-emotion association was a pan-fried hamburger/onion/celery combination. So that night I bought celery.
Wednesday I only had to work about eleven hours, so I would have time to try and imitate Mom's cooking. She used to cook hamburger/onion/celery with probably garlic salt and cream of mushroom soup, I figured. I made box-mashed potatoes to compliment it. It turned out similar, but you can never truly cook like Mom.
After dinner, Jamie and I made Heath candy bar-chip cookies. Kayla had too much homework.

Last night Kayla had a dance, then stayed at Kathryn's. I made venison stir-fry, and after dinner, Jamie and I played cribbage, Jamie's first time. He did pretty good. Then this morning, he and I made bacon and French toast. We need some energy to work and play outside today.

Big weekend (last) in Green Bay

It's been busy at work, as you can imagine, but our shop has matured. By that I mean business-wise, we're still young turks. The number of employees and types of packages have reached a good balance where, as the influx of freight increases, the structure of our operation swells to handle the demand, but doesn't stress. We work longer hours, but we aren't overflowing like past years. The owner was up to Rhinelander a couple of weeks ago, and he told us our company had a good year, so that tells me we have similar freight-flow, we're just flowing with it better.

I suppose that's to be expected, with maturity.

The top picture is Dan & Brenda Hogan's new house in Green Bay, about a mile, as the crow flies, from Dave & Nicky's. After our tour, Jamie, Logan and I went with Dan and his son's Conner and Dylan to the Tilted Kilt for lunch. Brenda, Dave and Nicky had to work, and the other women were shopping.

Saturday night Dave & Nicky, Mary, Shelly and I went to a Sushi place. I was hesistant to answer the text-message invitation I received on Friday. But I talked to Dave, and he reassured me that they could order something we'd like.

He was right. There were different flavors, but we enjoyed it. I forgot to pack dinner clothes, so I had to wear my nicest tailgating flannel shirt.

Sunday we tailgated. We rode over to Lambeau with Dave's Dad and brother Gary and Gary's friend Derek (he was Billy Schroeder's roommate in college, and he went to high school with a couple of guys I went to college with.) We hung out there for awhile (Garron's making Absolut bloody mary's in the picture, that's Gary setting stuff up next to his new tailgate grill.) I had brought some venison to grill with the SpeeDee guys at our second tailgate, so we grilled some cutlets at the Gibson's. Their other guests enjoyed it, also.

By the time we walked over to the SpeeDee tailgate (behind Brett Favre's Steakhouse), they had eaten their fill of the other offerings, so Phil Cook took the venison with him until we have our Christmas party. When they headed into the game, Dave and I moved on to The Bar on Holmgren Way. As soon as we walked in, Dave spied and snagged two stools at the bar. We were set.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

All-Around American Girl

We went to Antigo on Sunday for Michaela's gymnastics club meet. They postponed it two hours, and the Marshfield team didn't even make it because of the snow overnight. She took first in floor exercise and all-around, as well as other medals.

She started practice with the junior high team yesterday.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Holy Smokes

'Tis been awhile.
Hunted opening weekend with Dad, Don & Doug at the shack. Good times, no deer.

A few days of work, then hunted Thanksgiving (Dad got an eight-pointer on that Wednesday).

Watched the Packers game on Mom & Dad's new 42" HDTV.

Hunted Saturday & Sunday.

Returned to the truck to head home Sunday afternoon. First one back. As I waited for the close of the season, and Dad & Doug to return, a deer appeared. I bagged it. A moderate-sized nubbin' buck. Venison.

Phil & I and our sons and dogs went into the woods today, to get a load of firewood before the expected foot of snow falls.

Kayla and Jamie are making Christmas cookies as we decorate the Christmas tree. (Our Plum Creek permit is for harvested tree tops and wind-downs. The lumbermen had knocked over a lot of spruce and balsam this fall. I found a nice spruce, checked to see that the needles held, and sure enough, another way to procure a Christmas tree.)