Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Before I retire to bed for the last time in 2014, I want to take a moment to wish everyone reading my blog a happy and healthy 2015, full of love and laughter. We're going to do our best to make this a special year. If you keep visiting our site, you'll be able to find out how we made out.

2014 went fairly well for us, but there's always room for improvement.

No waiting for the ball to drop for me tonight; Karen has to get up in the morning. So, I'll see you somewhere on the other side of midnight. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Getting a Warm Feeling

I should be singing I'm Dreaming Of a Wet Christmas, or maybe It Might As Well Be Spring. It was raining when we woke up, and the snow we've gotten so far has mostly melted. It's really very much like a New Hampshire Spring.

But although Christmas wasn't white, it was very nice. Despite having to replace the washer/dryer, we managed to take advantage of some deals and upgrade some of our electronics. William, by virtue of big improvements at school, earned a special kind of laptop called a Chromebook to use in class. Daniel got his first computer, and I got a Kindle, which I am using to write this post.

Karen and I will also be getting something called  a Chromebox, which is the non-laptop version of William's Chromebook that will replace a lot of the various boxes we now use to watch TV.

It wasn't all about electronics, though. As its usual for the Brooks Bunch food was a major there this holiday. Not only did we all pitch in and prepare some wonderful grub, but we gave food-oriented gifts as well. Tom got a sushi kit from William, and William got an icing spatula and a family cookbook by the Cake Boss. I got a copy of Tim Ferris' book The Four-Hour Chef, which isn't really as much about cooking as it is about learning.

So the good eating is unlikely to end with the holidays. But it seems the warm weather will; predictions show a return to temperatures more in keeping with the season toward the end of the boys' vacation.

But that's probably good timing for me; once the boys are back in school, I can hunker down and write. And if my office gets too cold, I can grab my Kindle and park myself close to the heater, and still get my work done.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


We finally are coming to grips with our appliances. For reasons that would take too long to explain (and would be somewhat embarrassing for the household electrician), we've been without our upstairs stove for several months. I just resolved that problem Friday night.

But before I fixed the stove, which we could wait on because we have another one downstairs (the basement was set up as a separate living space), we had to deal with a broken washer and dryer (a laundry center, all one unit). That was harder to do without; there was the local laundromat, of course, but that is expensive, and frankly where we live nothing is truly close by. I tried to fix the unit—I've done it before—but the part I needed would have cost a couple hundred dollars, and the inside of the washer was very rusty, and the springs were weak, so we had to give up on repairing and go straight to buying.

It was a hard decision, especially because I replaced the heating element in the dryer section less than a year ago. But the old laundry center wouldn’t have held up much longer. So we have a new one. Not what we wanted for Christmas, exactly, but it does work well, and now we can catch up on all the laundry we’ve been putting off.

Now I just have to get started on the dishwasher. Don’t even ask.

Saturday, December 06, 2014


Danny is twelve years old today. I can hardly believe it myself. Our family celebration of the day will be simple: dinner, decorations, presents, and homemade (by William) cupcakes at home. Tomorrow we’ll be off to the movies with a friend of Danny’s. We were going to do that today, but weather and logistics didn’t cooperate.

Our little preemie is now impossibly tall, the second tallest student in his grade (and the tallest in his basketball team). He started out as a tiny, withered, delicate wisp; twelve years later he’s strong and healthy, rough and tumble.

It will be about six and a half years until Danny graduates high school. Then, we hope, he’ll strike out on his own. And then it will be just Karen and me.

Here, in case you haven’t heard it yet, are my musical thoughts on that subject: