Sunday, June 26, 2022

Christine, Party of One

Doug took Geoff with him to visit the aunt. 

The goal today is to (hopefully) organize/consolidate the 2 storage units into just one. Doug's cousin told him that the units were full, and Doug thinks that's not possible. The floor may be covered but... stack some shit up. There is no way these 2 units are "full." I pointed out that if she would relinquish some of the things that can just be done away with, there would be half a storage unit of stuff worth keeping. I'm tired of arguing.

The county is re-upping the efforts to get her stuff cleaned out. They were there last week. They'll be back this week. If my dog could be fine alone and not have a total hairy conniption, I would have gone to work at the house to help (still, still not there) get in compliance.

She's stubborn and thinks everyone is just picking on her. 

The fire department said she can't have things piled higher than 3 feet up, or, the top of the dining table. She's got stuff piled up beyond that AND piled on the dining table. She said "well where's stuff supposed to go if not on the dining table!" 

The answer is "somewhere else." 

The fire chief and inspector explained that when things are piled up that high they can fall over on someone and trap them. This is a safety issue. 

Her reply is "That's never going to happen!" They told her that it happens all the time. And if she's trapped, with a broken hip or leg or arm, she can't get out from under the pile. I mean, it happened to Principal Skinner. Luckily he had a basketball to dribble and keep himself entertained! Also, firefighters can't get into a building to rescue someone if they can't get into the building. If you can get into the living room but not up the stairs where the trapped person is, there's no way to get up there by the stairs, and carrying an incapacitated/unconscious person down the ladder if they get up that way is unrealistic. She has an argument for everything. 

For weeks I was working towards the kitchen and dining area, to work on it, and every time I'd show up, the area I just cleaned was full again. 

I want to help, I really do. But lady. You gotta help yourself too. 

Everything not yet done, there's an excuse for.  Painful. 

Anyway, the boys are over there and I've had the house to myself since noon so it was time to clean. My sister refers to it as Linda, Party of One when she has the place to herself for cleaning. So I have my Christine, Party of One time. So far, let's see what I have done. I have: 

  • Made some chicken salad for lunch with some of the leftover grilled chicken from last night. It was intensely good. The temptation was to eat it all but I saved some for Doug
  • Vacuumed the living room rug, the rug under the dining table, and the rug on the floor on my side of the bed
  • Cleaned the top of the stove and the kitchen countertop
  • Swept all the hardwood areas, contemplating mopping but. meh
  • Brewed some coffee for iced for next week
  • Placed some dining chairs we bought from a coworker at the dining table to see if I like them there
  • Stripped the beds and washed the sheets. They are in the dryer
  • Folded several baskets of laundry. 
  • Talked to my sister to take a break from my party of one 
  • Cleaned the floor on my side of the bed to peer pressure Doug into doing his 
  • My bedside table is clean and dusted and organized instead of lots of tissues and medicine bottles and empty cups of water and stuff
  • Cleaned the shower and bathroom sink
  • Cleaned the top of the living room table
  • Sorting through the mail and junk mail now

I find that if I have some wine, some good tunes, and aloneness I can get a lot accomplished. I still have things to do. I really should record myself doing the training I need to do for work (see previous post about not doing something that needs done... But it's Christine, Party of One time here and I'm living for it. 

The boys will be home within the hour, I think. Hope they bring something good home for dinner. I think I'll get a shower now and check the bedsheets so I can remake the beds. 

All told, a good day so far. It is brutally hot out, I was thinking of watering the garden but I think there may be some weather coming from the west between now and 7pm. Unless it totally falls apart on the way here, and then I'll water. Big decisions. 

Digits below.

Exercise: Lots of around the house busy steps and moving things. 

Blood Glucose: 
10am: 186
5pm: 154
10pm: 153

chicken salad
2 chicken legs & big salad 
no sugar added Klondike bar (has 26 grams of carbs and the regular klondike bar with normal sugar whatever is 29 grams. What a rip off!)

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Wasting the Solstice Sun

I had the chance to be Farmer Chris today, if I went outside before say 10am. 

After that it was a lot of no. A big fat lotta no. 

Doug went out this afternoon and did a bunch of things in the yard. The only thing I really wanted to do was water. Doug said we don't need to water - we got so much rain the other night that everything is good and wet.  I do want to see how he staked up the tomatoes and check on our purple peppers. 

But overall, outside isn't a place I want to be.

I have no regrets.

I do feel a little bit like I'm wasting the height of the light of summer! Doug's out for a walk right now, and he goes far and fast, I can't keep up with him, and I get bored beyond belief. I live for this time of year: early light mornings and lingering late light. 

But I just cannot muster the energy to go out there.  

Still pondering the things that happened yesterday. Doug and I had a disagreement about things. He doesn't understand why people in NY, Chicago, Boston are protesting. He doesn't understand why people are so mad about the overturning of the decision. He thinks people are "stupidly" thinking that this will end abortions everywhere. 

So I went and took a nap. It felt the safest. I don't want to have a fight with him. I shared some of my thoughts via email with C. But don't really want to get into it. 


I went out and played Farmer Chris for a little while tonight. 

Since Doug did a ton of work with the tomatoes I felt I should do at least something. And it was a beautiful night. 

I had planted morning glories on the fence again, but it turns out, I didn't have to. 

We have volunteers, and boy do we have volunteers. The seeds I planted are just starting to come up but last year's friends are going bananas. I went out and reroute them, they were growing across the gate, and into the mailbox. I want them moving away from the gate, so the gate can open easily. And our mailman can open the mailbox.

They are pouring into the grass on the street side of the fence - and I thought about cutting them all back, but I think I'm going to allow them to grow along the ground. Maybe it'll be really pretty. I hope.

Oh. And we may be back at Doug's aunt's tomorrow. Doug suggested maybe he and Geoff can go because they may be headed into the storage units to reorganize them and make them more tidy and fit more stuff in. Not sure. His suggestion is merciful and kind. I don't know how much she's done, and what the urgency is at this point compared to when we first started going to help here in February

And as usual, my curiosity about what the situation over there exists but my desire to deal with it is minimal.

Pictures are the morning glory volunteers before I started to fuss with them.

Exercise: none

Blood Glucose:
10am: 163
5pm: 144
xpm: 194

ramekin of frito chips
bowl of yogurt & blueberries
2 bowls of chili with beef & chicken (2 beast chili) no beans, cheese & fritos and sour cream
another ramekin of frito chips (weakness!)
several vodka tonics (diet tonic)

Friday, June 24, 2022

Donut but not for eating


At my office, we have a slack integration we call "Donut." To the right here, this is the emoji in slack for the platform. It is very friendly. 

Interested parties sign up to be paired with fellow coworkers to just have a chat. 

In the Before Times we'd get the chance to meet in person. Now it's on Zoom or Slack video. It can be 15 minutes or a half hour. I enjoy it because I've gotten to chat with coworkers from a lot of different departments. 

It usually runs every other week, but sometimes we cheat if schedules are booked up. This week I had four of them, because last week we pushed some things back. 

I often get paired with interns, which is alright, but I feel like an old when I talk with them. They are younger than my kids most of the time.  One particular girl that I chatted with recently was so in love with her internship and what she was doing, and fascinated with my job. She had so many questions and was filled with such joy when I told her how my job works and what I do. 

Her enthusiasm and excitement was so delightful. 

Sometimes I wish I had that level of thrill. Not just about my job but anything. Well, I do. Guster. But you know that. Everything else is just okay. 

 It's nice to know such excitement is out there. And it made me appreciate what I'm doing because it made her so happy.

Not much else to talk about really today. There was big news out of the SCOTUS that I don't even want to talk about. I have feelings but will not post. 

We may be going to Doug's aunt's tomorrow. I'm still not sure. She has not let us know if she needs us. Part of me wants a big pass on it. Another part of me is nosy. And I am of course, epically lazy and will only go if we stop at the irish pub and get wings on the way home. 

 I'm super proud of my avoidance of mac and cheese (this time with hamburger) and the Oreos that Geoff brought home from the market yesterday. He also bought Pretzel M&Ms which I don't enjoy very much so they are safe from me. 

He must have read my Gorbage thoughts from my Gorbage brain.

Here is a picture of chicken salad I made for lunch. I make a really nice chicken salad. I usually mix mayo and cream cheese together with a hand mixer and set it aside. I boil 2-4 chicken breasts for 10-15 min, depending on their size. I like to grill them too but doug prefers them this way. 

Once they are cool, I dice the chicken into little squares and mix with the mayo/cream cheese. then, I will use either red seedless grapes cut in half or apples diced in small squares, and toasted almonds or chopped walnuts. Salt and pepper to taste.

A lot of people have different feelings about throwing fruit in things where "it doesn't belong," like raisins in coleslaw. To be honest, I'll eat just about fucking anything and you know it. I learned this recipe from catering man back in the day and I totally dig it. Forever. 

Digits below.

Exercise: anger and rage pretty much is all i can muster today

Blood Glucose:
9am: 195
5:30pm 174
10:30pm 174

iced coffee
chicken salad (chicken, mayo, walnuts, grapes)
couple handfuls of grapes
chicken parm (chicken, mozz, sauce)
wine + fresca

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Gimme Da Gorbage

 We are low on food supplies here, post vacation we knew we'd be coming back to a minimal larder. I'm happy we made it to Thursday and we have something for dinner tonight.

I wasn't feeling super great this morning, didn't sleep well, so I slacked my team and said I'd be online late. I made it to our team meeting at 10:30 and then an IT department meeting at 11. Geoff was in the kitchen cheffing things up for himself. After the 11am meeting was over, I walked in to get more coffee and there it was. 

A pot of Mac & Cheese with bacon mixed in. 

Damn you. Damn you to hell, delicious Mac & Cheese.

I saw this meme on a friend's facebook page and had to laugh. There are times I'm super good and proud of how I'm doing, and it gets to be 8pm and I'm on full rampage what can I eat mode. Last night it turned out to be celery and peanut butter, which is much better than the Taco Bell drive through at 11pm. But... Gorbage. 

Also, how cute is that raccoon. 

Once I get myself to sleep, I'm fine for the night. I don't wake up at 2 am and want food. I drink water. I go back to sleep. But getting through from post-dinner to bed is a challenge for me. 


We have not been keeping any Gorbage in the house. Thankfully. Geoff does most of our grocery shopping, so I always tell him he can buy whatever he wants. In my heart of hearts, I want him to come back with boxes of Triscuits (cause I'm on Team Triscuit, yo), oreos, doritos. All the bad things. He comes back with kiwis and bananas. I gotta admit I'm proud of him for making his food choices but. Where's the Gorbage. 

I stood in the kitchen eyeballing the pot. He'd gone downstairs, and he always leaves enough for me or me and Doug when he makes food. There was plenty. I was hungry. I got a small ramekin from the cabinet and dropped a lump in. Still hot. Bacony goodness. I ate it and felt dumb and bad. But hey, bacon brings protein, right? 

For lunch I used the last of the bacon we had (about 6 strips) for a BLT salad. It was a giant bowl, and I left 2 strips of bacon out for Doug if he wanted eggs and bacon, and ate half the bowl of salad. Doug came up and finished the mac and cheese, the salad, and ate the bacon I left for him. 

Digits below.  

But look, the bowl is very very small. Very small. 


Blood Glucose
10am: 163 
5:30pm 145
10pm 166

iced coffee
small ramekin of mac & cheese
large bowl of BLT salad
one cheeseburger, no bun, 3 pickle slices
ramekin of Mixed nuts
fresca + wine
several cherry tomatoes

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

118 is a nice number

We are enjoying a long, thunderous, wonderful storm right now. It is delightful because we just had some drama with Doug's aunt, which luckily Doug has the patience of a saint to deal with. Folks, my advice to you: pay your water bill. That's all I'm going to say.

And I was not going to have any alcohol, haven't had any for a couple days, but after this drama, plus the storm, I am in unwinding mode. Hope it doesn't mess things up but I'll know when I test before bed. 

This morning when I took my fasting blood glucose I was in for a surprise, and a good one. The reading was 118, which is the lowest I've seen since I started monitoring this a month or so ago. The very first reading I took was around 135 I think.  So this was smashing. 

For those who don't know, the goal for all of our readings is 110 or lower. But not too low. Like, 70 is super bad. 55 is right out. There's a sweet spot in the math. 

I'm supposed to go get my A1c rechecked soon, and I've been nervous because the daily numbers can be reflected in the A1c but I could have a low A1c with daily numbers that are "bad" or a high A1c with numbers that are on a downward trend. I found this article extremely helpful especially with the analogy of the baseball player's stats. We'll see when I go get tested at the end of the month.

I've actually gotten very bored with food. Very. I feel hungry but just don't care to eat anything I have. 

This happens when I'm avoiding carbs or on a diet. A lifelong issue. I'm also exceptionally anxious lately about stuff at work. My desire to snack grows when I'm anxious, and my annoyance with myself makes me want to snack and then I feel guilty. And I'm bored with food and recipes and just don't want to eat. But I want to snack. It's a vicious cycle. 

Oh and there's a nice flash and boom!

Last night for dinner, I diced up chicken breasts and made a yogurt/lemon/garlic marinade and that was nice. Very nice. I would have loved it on a bed of couscous with extra yogurt sauce and some sauteed spinach. mmmmmm. 

Today I made an improvised tuna melt. I'd been wanting one for a while, but am avoiding the bread. For this, I made myself (and Doug) a basic tuna salad. The basicness of it all bored me. I placed 2 lumps on a cooking tray, and melted cheddar cheese on top of it with some bacon.   I will say it was tasty, not exactly what I wanted. Should have diced the bacon up and mixed it in the salad. The tuna was better than basic, it was great. I make a good tuna salad. Also look at how beautiful that cheese melted there. gorgeous. 

Digits after the image.


Blood Glucose:
8:30am 118
5pm 129
10pm 124
(best day ever!!!)

Pepitas (I think I'm addicted)
Improvised Tuna Melt
cheesesteak meat/veg/cheese without the bun
2 vodka tonics
smoked almonds
3 celery sticks with peanut butter

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Put off until today what I should have done yesterday

I'm doing that thing again where I have something I need to do, but I can't. I just can't bring myself to commit to doing it. It isn't a bad thing or a hard thing. It involves me going downstairs and using the dual screen setup. And I just don't want to. 

Before I went on vacation I was supposed to do this, and Doug and Geoff were both constantly in my way. Geoff kept parading through, even though I asked him to either stay in his room or stay upstairs. Doug was in a lot of meetings, and I wanted more than a half hour to do this, in case I had to do multiple things associated with the thing. 

We're right back to where we were. Doug is in a meeting at 2. I have meetings from 3-4:30. I kind of feel like I should just go to the office and do this. 

Oh my gosh did I just say I'd rather do this at the office? Oh man. 

It must be bad for me to feel like that. 

I've got to admit, it would force me to do this, to sit in a quiet room with absolutely no distractions, no interruptions. No dog barking at the neighbors because someone let him out and left him there. No loud discussions happening upstairs or downstairs around me, which can distract and also end up being heard in the recording I need to make. 

When I feel this way, I just want to lay my head down, and go to sleep. I really can't focus, and my brain doesn't work. And then I start to get anxious, panic, and then I really can't work. 

But once I do it, I'm fine, everything is fine. I never used to be this way. It isn't a work from home thing, it is honestly something in the last 5 years that I've sort of been doing and I hate it. 

no photo today, I didn't go outside.

Exercise: hmmmmm no.

Blood Glucose:
9am 203
5:30pm 148
10pm 166

bowl of yogurt with blueberries and splenda
handful(s .... several) of pepitas 
salad with romaine, tomato, red onion, kalamata olives, feta, cucumber
grilled chicken strips marinated in yogurt, olive oil, garlic, dill, parsley and chives from our garden.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Of Mice And Plants

It was a relief to come home, and discover the half gallon of milk purchased before we left is still good.

It's always a huge fear of mine to wake up in the morning after travel, tired and needing a cuppa, and find that things are not okay with what was left in the fridge. We planned well when we shopped and five days away is not quite long enough for a foodpocalypse to happen in our absence.

I was gearing up to make some lunch, cook some bacon and make a salad but felt totally unmotivated. I  noted an open of a container of greek yogurt, and the bag of blueberries I took on the trip with us in the wee cooler for snack so opted for a nice bowl (and made room in the fridge). I'm still feeling road hangover from yesterday. I got plenty of sleep on Saturday night but couldn't stay awake in the car, falling asleep repeatedly over the 9 hours. 

Looking at Google Maps, even with going up and around the city it should only take us about 7.5 hours to get to my parents. 9 wasn't too bad yesterday. I just wish it wasn't so far. This drains me. Am I old? I used to do Boston to Beaver Valley Pennsylvania standing on my head and that was 12 hours with tons of road construction. I used to laugh at Doug's parents when they'd come visit or go home for stopping in Matamoras, PA and breaking the trip in half. Now I'm pretty sure it's the best idea. 

Luckily, this time of year (hello Solstice!) is the longest light, so even leaving later than intended you may still get home in the light. And we did. We had enough time to walk around the yard, assess the plants, note the invasion of the morning glories (oh boy) and still have light to do that with. Very nice.

This morning I slept in to 9. Doug was already at work downstairs and is in meetings and (I think) a training but it sounds very dramatic so I don't want to go downstairs and check on the happenings. I started unpacking and getting re-organized up here. I noted that there was mouse poop on our couch and on our side table. Mother fuckers. I found a little between the stove and the pantry. Doug had thought he heard a mouse nibbling in the wall recently, and so we'll be going on full offensive. 

I guess they came in here because there was no dog food to steal from the dog dish. Harumph. How dare you. 

We've lived in houses with lots of mice. I remember when we moved out of the brown house, Linda opened a closet to find a mountain of dog food and mouse poop, and a clear mouse superhighway from the closet to points everywhere. We will be shoring up things and taking care before this turns into an all out infestation. Doug is very cautious with anything that could be poison lest the dog discover it or discover a sick mouse and try to chomp it. 

It's a hard world for small things, as H.I. McDonough says in "Raising Arizona," but I'll be honest .... you get my mercy as long as you stay out of my house. 

Before we left, I watered the plants but a few of them are looking super drab. My carnivorous plants are just about dead. I should give up on them. There have not been any ants to feed them lately, and I'm reluctant to put them outside since birds already wrecked them. 



Blood Glucose: 

9:30am: 163
5pm: 163
10pm: 239


about 3/4 cup of almonds
bowl of yogurt with blueberries and splenda
grilled chicken thighs, sour cream, salsa, avocado, salad
wine & fresca

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Home is where I want to be


We made it home at about 8:30pm, I am pretty sure we left my parents' at 11am. We really should break this trip into two stages and stay somewhere near Nyack NY or Fort Lee NJ. It's exhausting.

Connecticut is so long and in the way. I hated every minute of that stupid state.

We actually had a breeze of a time from the Cuomo Tappan Zee bridge all the way through to just south of Baltimore. Never before has that been so good. 

We ate at a diner in Hightstown NJ, which was great and Phin was welcome on the patio. 

Doug and Geoff crossed the street to a brewery that happened to be right there. We thought we'd take a little extra beer home with us since we crushed all the local beers I bought to bring home. Monsters. 

They got fussed at while standing, waiting to order. Doug got royally pissed off that he was obeying the sign to stand here to order beer. So they turned around and left. 

A few Doug rules in life: 

  • Don't post a sign and then give the customer shit that they're obeying your rule AND then not wait on the customer. What kind of bullshit is that? 
  • Don't cut in front of him in a buffet line. 
  • Doug does not wait in line to be seated at a restaurant. 50 minutes for a table for four at Outback? With nowhere to sit and wait with the starving kids? Nope. Goodbye. There's other stuff. And he finds it, and it always works out. 
Anyway, I am hot and sweaty because our AC was off for six days and it is taking forever to cool the place down. I'm going to shower and go to bed. 

Pictured is my Dad for Father's Day. He weighs about 125 pounds, having a hard time keeping weight on, so it is worrisome but he says he feels well after his most recent trip to the hospital. This is good. 

anyway, the digits are below, and I don't have a photo jump so ... it is what it is. 

Exercise: Car sitting forever.

Blood Glucose:
9am: 241
4pm: 173
9:45pm 164

iced tea
more coffee
3 dunkin munchkins
approx 12 pepperoni slices 
Southwestern Salad, which consisted of grilled chicken, grilled chorizo, iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion, shredded cheeses, kidney beans, and the best avocado I've had in forever.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

From North To South

Friday morning we enjoyed our last moments at the cabin fully. We drank leisurely coffee while I stripped beds and futzed in the kitchen. We drove dirt roads down to the river. 

Goodbye Cabin. See you soon. You beautiful, lovely thing.

For lunch, C recommended a brewery nearby. So we headed there while tooling about on roads we had not touched for years. We sat out on the patio with the dog, praying that the gentle spritzes of rain would not turn into a full blown storm riot. We joked with the waiter that we would hold out hope, and our hope paid off. Lunch was amazing, and they had pickled pineapple which blew our minds so now Doug wants to try his hand at pickling pineapple. 

We'll be sure to let you know how that goes. And a writeup on the brewery will be in the shenanigans blog.

The hotel that we usually would have stayed at was 300 bucks a night, and we weren't going to pay that to stay somewhere where we just sleep

Also, you pay that kinda money when you want to walk to anything worth seeing, like a downtown or a pub or something. Give me a break, 300 bucks for a highway hotel with no restaurant. 

So I ended up booking a room at this other spot. Closer to Jess, near a couple decent restaurants, a liquor & beer store, McDonalds for quick brekkie. For a lot less than 300 a night. But... Meh. 

When you check into your hotel and it has a smelly tree on the light fixture near the beds, this isn't a good sign. 

The smelly tree was helpful, to be honest. The room was old. Ancient. In need of a complete rehab. The front desk guy explained to me at check in that they were building a whole new facility right behind this building, to be completed within 2 years. This building was going to be torn down after the new hotel was built, so there would be a huge parking lot for all the rooms. 

Back in the day you could tell it was a destination. Conference rooms, banquet hall, the signs were all still there. But no good updates for cleaning had been done for some time. Like everything was on hold for years before the pandemic, and then the pandemic happened. 

Opening the patio door let a lot of fresh air in, but it was hot. Luckily the air conditioner was powerful, and took the mustiness out of the room. 

Have to admit though, best shower head and hot shower I'd had in a hotel in a long time. It had faults, but positives. 

Lord Knows, I've stayed in a lot worse!

We took naps, and because we had a giant lunch at 2pm, we weren't hungry for dinner at 7 when we woke up. We took a nice walk through a park we love. A mile and a half flat tromp round trip, with mosquito motivation on the way back out. The walk around the whole pond would have been 3 miles , or more, if my memory serves. It would be pitch dark half way round, so we didn't want to deal with that. 

Jess and their friend Sara met us for ice cream after, and we sat outside chatting until after 10pm. Mosquitoes be damned. 

This morning, we packed up. I let the guy at the front desk know (same from check in) about the smelly tree and he was aghast. Room service really should have caught that. He was one of these guys you can tell is invested in where he works. And it was a comfortable night's sleep, even if the room was weird. I was not going to drag him on the internet. I'm interested in what the new facility is going to look like when it is all set. We'll see what the nature of things is cost-wise between the hotels up in that area will be and how it all shakes out. 

We got to my parents in time to take them out for late lunch/early dinner. I have been finding my mom very stressful. And they are both very fragile and old. 

We are now at a hotel near their house, a much better hotel. Very much. Tomorrow we hit the road to head south, but I wish we had another day. Driving from here to our house is going to take like 12 hours I just know it. 



Being back here, and having a Sam Summer beer in a Patriots glass was just right. Felt like home, yo.

Numbers after the image. 


exercise: mile and a half walk, futzing around the woods, loving being at the camp in the right amount of lazy and active 

Blood Glucose:

10am 154
6pm 210
11pm 251

2 beers
charcuterie with cheese! meat! pickled things! 
cauliflower shawarma w/ piece of fried chicken
sugar free black raspberry ice cream


exercise: not much, but local walkings and futzings. Fitbit is dead.

blood glucose:

9am: 209
2pm: 212
10pm: 206

beer with lunch
giant salad with buffalo chicken (way too giant)
3 beers
3 slices of pizza sausage & onion
(apologies for bad food decisions today but that's what's here)

Friday, June 17, 2022

Remember, it's only one hour a week

Last night we got to see so many friends. It was delightful. 

Stan has helped so many Scouts through the program, and our son benefitted so much from his leadership.

Sometimes you can't hear mom and dad when they are giving you sound advice, or mom and dad are getting a little emotional about your lack of getting the point to get things done. Stan is a calming influence, an excellent advisor, asks the right questions, can correct behavior that needs correcting without coming off like a jerk or monster. Kids have had an amazing leader. What a gift he's been to the troop. 

And the Scoutmaster said there is no official "retirement" ceremony in Scouting but they made one up for him and it was great.

One of the big sayings we used to always chuckle about is that when you volunteer for Scouting it is "only one hour a week." It is not. It's a lot more, especially for the committee and the scoutmasters. But when you get shoulder to shoulder in planning, and there is a good team that clicks, the possibilities are endless. I truly am happy I got to walk through that process with this group of people. Scouting benefitted Geoff, but it also benefited me.

Stan's wife Kathy and I are good friends, and we've thrown down some big cookouts and Eagle parties together. Also there was Debbie and Pattie, two other moms that I was always very close to. Pattie's daughter and Kathy & Stan's son got married last summer, that's how family this troop is. There were a few people missing that I would have loved to have seen there but it's okay. We're still all in touch (thank you Facebook!) and I know there have been babies and weddings and engagements and life happening. Some of these "boys" are 30 or pushing 30 at this point. And I love them all dearly.

We got the full Troop treatment - an amazing BBQ, with moms and dads running the show and Scouts serving. There's one boy that I was convinced about 6 years ago wouldn't make it past his first year and it is so good to see him still involved and his mom all up in it. Get him to Eagle, momma. You can do it.  

The Scoutmaster of the troop is a drop dead riot. He brings a sort of silly campiness combined with a seriousness about life, the universe, and everything to the picture. 

There are 45 boys in the troop. It is huge right now. And they are doing so much. And doing it so well. I thought during our tenure with the troop through 2017 we were doing an amazing job, but really, it is so wonderful to see how great they're doing. 

We had fun with the mingling and chatting and the "ceremony" began. 

They did rank advancement on the big board that Stan built many years ago.  I noticed a huge gap in between the first year Scouts and the Eagle section. I guess the new tradition is to wheel this out once a year instead of at every advancement ceremony, which I kind of didn't like. I think wheeling it out once a quarter and having the boys move up incrementally instead of 5 ranks or something at the end of the year is their new thing. 

Everyone gets to create a new thing. 

Another thing that happened is two Scouts who achieved Eagle during the pandemic were given their Eagle pins, but they didn't do a whole be ceremony like Geoff had (and many others). They looped it into this  advancement event. These two Scouts are in college now, so they were excited to come back, get their missing recognition, and have this moment of recognition. 

I will say that when Geoff was a very young Scout we went to a full blown Eagle Ceremony, and he said to me right then he wanted to be an Eagle. I actually laughed at him and said "oh, okay buddy." And then he did it. So. The kind of inspiration that a small Scout can get from seeing an Eagle ceremony is pretty big. The younger Scouts in the troop didn't seem to care or pay attention to this. I think that I understand why Troops don't do it, but, I mean, it's big. Really big. 

They also didn't do something that our Troop did for years. We had all the Eagles in attendance come up and stand with the new Eagle, and introduce themselves and what year they got their Eagle. 

Sometimes there were uncles, family friends, old folks, and freshly minted Eagles and seeing an such an array of people who achieved  this too makes the Eagle feel like they're part of that unique community. 

There's always an "Eagle Charge" where the Scout gets to pick someone to give them their orders for going forward in life, and usually the Scout picks who gives them that charge.This was just one of the Scoutmasters in the Troop. Not their pastor or a recent Eagle from the Troop. I'm sure he's a great guy, but it didn't feel special to me. So I felt that was missing.  Or at least, I missed it.

At the end of that, it was Stan's time. He was given his plaque for his "years of service" which was a riot because he couldn't remember when he started with Scouting. His oldest, Jason, was probably in first grade when Stan started volunteering, and Jason is now 31. Rather than do math, they went with the acknowledgement that it was years. 

We had more fun mingling, and I got a picture of the Eagles in attendance and Stan. I didn't realize until after that Tom, the Scoutmaster who got Geoff through his final years of Scouting, was not in the picture. He was there, but somehow I missed out on asking him to join. 

In addition to getting his Eagle rank yesterday, Shane, the one in uniform, also was celebrating his birthday. Everyone sang to him because his 3 sisters goaded him to stand up there with everyone surrounding. Shane is such a loving, dear heart. So I was happy to be here for this. 

Who knew? I thought we were just going up to celebrate Stan and there we were, doing the whole Scouting thing again. And I do miss it. I miss the friends, I miss the projects and the work. I miss the boys (and girls) involved. I miss them all.