Tag Archives: birthday

You’re how old? No, really…

I’m getting old. I don’t feel like it, but the calendar and the date on my driver’s license don’t lie. I turned 60 last Friday.

Holy Metamucil, Batman! Where did that come from? It seems like it was only yesterday that I was in high school, spent nearly every evening throwing a football in the front street with my brother and didn’t know how to talk to girls. WTF?

Actually, I had a very nice birthday. As difficult as it may sound, coming from someone who writes a blog, I really don’t enjoy being the center of attention. Last year, the kids and I threw Mrs. Poolman a pretty nice party for her 60th.  I really didn’t want that. It makes me feel uncomfortable. Perhaps it’s my natural social insecurity. I never know which good will-wishes are sincere and which are just for show.

In any case, Mrs. P made sure I had a very nice weekend. I had some work issues that had to be handled on Friday morning, but then I took the rest of the day off. Mrs. P and I had a nice lunch out. Then she had made an appointment for me to have my first professional massage. Very nice! On Saturday night, Poolboy, Girlfriend, Writer Princess and Son-in-Law joined us for dinner at a nice tapas restaurant in downtown Savannah.

I guess if you have to age, that was a pretty good way to celebrate a milestone. Thanks, guys!

A two-year old birthday party, a great burger and a pretty good movie

Mrs. Poolman and I had a very nice weekend, at least so far. It’s only Sunday afternoon.

Five Guys stock photo

After a busy week, I slept late on Saturday and then took care of the weekend yard and pool chores. Mrs. P had to run some errands. We went to “Five Guys” for lunch. If you are not familiar, you should know this is a great hamburger place. Giant burgers and tons of fantastic fries. I could eat there every day, but if I did I wouldn’t live long.

Later in the afternoon, we went over to our friends, Lynn and Sam for their twin daughters’  (Helen and Brittany) second birthday party. Fortunately, both Mrs. P and I like little kids, because there were a bunch of them. I don’t think we have been around that many small children since our children were that age. It was fun, and Liz had laid out a great spread of food. Unfortunately, Mrs. P and I had just stuffed ourselves at Five Guys a couple of hours earlier, so we weren’t hungry at all.

The girls enjoyed their cake.

Yum!

We didn’t stay too long. We came home and watched a movie we had rented earlier.

We weren’t quite sure what to expect out of “Mirror, Mirror” starring Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Nathan Lane. It simply is the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs done a little tongue-in-cheek. It wasn’t Academy Award-winning great, but it was definitely cute. Julia Roberts did a nice job as the evil stepmother and Lily Collins shined as “Snow” (although someone really needed to trim that girl’s eye brows.) Even the dwarfs were pretty cool. The movie didn’t take itself too seriously. On the other hand, it wasn’t so over-the-top farcical that it became stupid. See my account of the latest Three Musketeers movie as an example of a farce that got out of hand.

In summary, it was a light, fun movie that was fun and enjoyable to watch.

Right now it’s Sunday afternoon, and the plan for the rest of the day is to simply “chill out.” We’re doing beer-butt chicken on the grill with various veggies. Mrs. P is planning to make a dessert we saw in the newspaper – grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream and topped with a sweet bourbon glaze. Sounds yummy!

I’m back

It has been a busy three weeks and I sort-of dropped out of the blogosphere for a while. I’m back after the break and, hopefully, have some new wind.

We had a house full of family company over the Labor Day weekend. Then we capped it off with a 60thbirthday party for Mrs. Poolman with roughly 60 guests.

Mrs. Poolman opening some gifts

Actually, we called it a second 40th birthday party since Mrs. P decided when she turned 50 that she would start counting backwards. She is looking forward to her experiencing her 30s once again. We had small children the first time around. In any case, a good time was had by all and, most importantly, Mrs. P was happy with the celebration.

Last weekend, the whole family, less Girlfriend, traveled to Delaware for a family (nephew’s) wedding. The wedding was in Lewes, Delaware, an historic town on the shore of Delaware Bay – most well known as the southern terminus of the Cape May – Lewes Ferry.

The waterfront on the canal in Lewes

We rented a five bedroom house about a block from the beach and shared it with two of my sisters and their families.

"Whaler Cottage" in Lewes

It was great to get most of the family together. However, our children are all now of the age when it is nearly impossible to get everyone in one place at the same time. School schedules and jobs always seem to get in the way. We enjoyed those who did make it to Lewes. Actually, with the number of nieces and nephews on my side of the family, I suspect weddings will be the reason for quite a few family gatherings over the next decade.

The drive to Lewes was a bit longer (Mrs. P would say “a lot longer.”) than we originally anticipated. It was roughly 12 hours door-to-door. The surprising part is that when traveling north, you would think “We’re almost there!” when you got off of I-95 near Norfolk. Heck no! You’re actually just past the half-way point. Mrs. P held off getting antsy until we were well into Maryland on the Delmarva Peninsula. At that point I could honestly say, “We’re almost there!”

We ran into a major traffic jam in the booming metropolis of Millsboro, Delaware. There must be a local ordinance that at 5:20 on every weekday afternoon, everyone must get in their car and drive around town. How a town with less than 4,000 residents and, maybe, three traffic lights could experience that kind of gridlock is beyond me.

Overall, we had a very enjoyable time. The family of the bride did a great job. The best part was being able to get together with all of our widely-spread family and reconnect with each other.

The bride’s uncle hosted brunch on Sunday morning. He has an old and large house in Lewes’s historic section with a lighthouse attached to the back. The bought it and had it transported from somewhere else in Delaware. Now that is different.

CCD classes started up again earlier this month. I’m teaching 5th grade for the seventh year. Our first session was a Mass, followed by a quick “meet the parents” session. Last week’s class was mostly organizational. So last night we had our first real lesson. My friend, Sherry, is helping me again this year. We have a large class – 22 students at full attendance. We are in a classroom with only 15 desks, so we are using every stool, chair, table, etc. that is available.

At first glance, this class looks to be significantly easier to work with than last year’s group.  Actually, one of the more rambunctious kids in the class is Sherry’s son, which totally mortifies Sherry. It will work out.

A busy weekend!

Our weekend got an early start when the power went out at my work. Without electrical power, I am useless. No power? Friday afternoon in the summer? Time to hit the bricks.

We had a mini-party going on at our house when I arrived home. Several of Mrs. Poolman’s friends had the afternoon free and decided to start the weekend part early by floating in our pool and working out with some weight lifting — 12-ounce curls in sets of six. Fortunately, one of the “girls” was able to walk home, and one of the others brought her daughter as the DD.

You know what they say, “no pain, no gain.” Neither  pain nor gain were present here Friday afternoon.

On Saturday, we cleaned up around the house and yard and took care of some errands, like a run to the recycling center (See paragraph above.)

I read at 5:30 mass on Saturday evening and that was a busy experience We had a visiting priest who wasn’t totally up to speed on the local protocol. Also, my reading partner was brand new – a recent graduate of the 8th grade who needed a little guidance and support. Really, just a little. She did great. I also had two additional readings thrown my way, without any time to prepare. It was a busy time.

That evening, we went to see “Midnight in Paris,” the Woody Allen movie starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams. Ever since my trip to Europe earlier this spring, I have been intrigued (Mrs. Poolman would say “obsessed.”) with anything having to do with Paris. So I really wanted to see this movie, even though it was playing in just one theater, all the way across town.

I enjoyed the movie a lot. Mrs. P and our friends enjoyed it also, just not as much as I did. It makes abundant use of the Paris scenery. Mrs. P became a little annoyed because I kept poking her in the arm and saying “There is another place I was!”

Even without the scene-spotting, it is a good movie. Owen Wilson does a great job portraying a very likeable character. You can see the plot synopsis here.

Today is Poolboy’s birthday, but yesterday was his “beach day.” We headed out to Tybee with Writer Princess around 11 am, early enough to get a parking spot. The rest of our group didn’t show up for several hours. It was actually about the time I was starting to feel like toast. We stuck it out a couple more hours and had a good time. One of Poolboy’s old friends is married and has two small children – a girl who is almost one and a four-year old boy. We had a fun-time playing with the kids.

The little girl did enjoy eating sand, however.

"That sand is salty. Yum, yum!"

We have had no reports on the status of diaper changes later in the evening.

They all should be over here shortly. We are taking them out to dinner for the b-day. Should be fun.

Roast oysters and petrified doggie poop!

Oh man! It’s been a little busy around here which is why I haven’t had much time to write.

Several weeks ago, our son in law called to ask if he could throw an birthday party / oyster roast at our house for his wife, aka Writer Princess – our daughter. Since it was going to be a family celebration, Mrs. Poolman invited her two sisters and various adult children, spouses, significant others, etc. The end result was that in addition to hosting a labor-intensive party, we also had a house full of company all weekend. We had seven additional adults and one rather large and hyper-active boxer (dog). One couple slept down the street at Poolboy’s apartment, but they were still her for meals, etc.

I wish I had pictures to share, but to be honest, I was so darn busy before, during and after the party that I didn’t even think to pull out my camera. In addition to the oysters, we also had a good spread of chili and other party foods.

To be fair,  SIL provided the oysters and helped out a lot.  But when the event is at your house, there is a ton of prep and, later, clean up.

During the yard clean-up, I discovered something that makes sense, but I hadn’t thought of before. Dog droppings do not decompose as quickly during the colder winter than they do during the summer. I must have spent an hour scooping up petrified dog poop from the back yard.

It was a lot of effort, but everyone seemed to have a good time. Or at least they faked it well. The guest-of-honor was very pleased.

When they were growing up, she was always very jealous of her brother who had a summer birthday. He just seemed to have “cooler” parties.

Well, darlin’, let me tell ya. A pool party with roasted hot dogs is a lot less trouble than an oyster roast with a house full of out-of-town company. You’re welcome to a summer party anytime you want.

Is it over yet?

There hasn’t been a whole lot to talk about this week, which explains the gap in my posts.

My Gators were pretty-much humiliated by arch-rival Florida State in the season finale last weekend. All the various Florida football Web sites are abuzz over the problems with the program. I never thought I would say it, but I’m really happy the season is over. We’ll go a bowl, which will be announced this evening. The only good thing about the bowl is it will give the coaches an additional 15 practice days to start working on next season. The off-season should be interesting.

Last Tuesday was by birthday. Mrs. Poolman cooked a wonderful dinner of beef tenderloin, twice baked potatoes, etc. Both the kids, Poolboy, Writer Princess and Poolboy’s GF joined us. Son-in-law had to work. Too bad. No birthday cake. Instead, we had fudge brownie sundaes with Kahlua and chocolate sauce. That’s about as close to heaven as you can get without having to die first.

I did finish the updated version of my beginner cookbook. I went to Staples and had 15 copies printed. It’s around 34 pages. I had one big surprise. Nearly half the cost of the printing was for the spiral binding. Who ‘da thought?

It is actually stretching the truth to call it a “cookbook.” Actually, what it is intended to be is a “starter manual” for a young adult just learning to fend for his- or herself in the kitchen. It does have a few more-elaborate dishes, but nothing very difficult. I think the next step is to take it to the Web. I’ll probably start something under the blog format and see how it goes.

Mrs. P and I are about to go over to some friends and play with their new twin babies. They also want us to bring Sammy with us so their dog can have a doggie play-date.  Should be fun.

Monday thoughts

It’s summer.  It’s hot and humid. We love it. Thank God, Mr. Carrier invented AC. I cannot imagine what this part of the country must have been like before it. That probably explains the short life spans.

Mrs. Poolman and I did the minimum amount of routine maintenance and spent the rest of the weekend socializing.

A big congratulations to my SIL, who got a big promotion to manage one of his company’s busiest stores in town. Until this promotion, he has been driving over an hour each way to his store in another town. Based on my experience with a long commute, I know this move will save them about $300 a month in gas alone.

We got a call from daughter, Writer Princess, Friday night around 8 o’clock. It seems they were up at their favorite watering hole with their group of friends to celebrate the promotion, and asked us to join them. We were tired and already settled into “kick back mode” so we passed on the invite.

We watched a movie on the Lifetime Network instead. (I know. Lifetime? You can just take away my membership card to the male gender now. However, I did watch some of the Band of Brothers on Spike TV Sunday night to make up for it.)

In any case, the movie was Rumor Has It with Jennifer Anniston, Kevin Costner and Shirley MacLaine. It wasn’t a great movie, but it was amusing. It was mostly a vehicle for Jennifer Anniston to be cute, and Kevin Costner to be cool. The basic plot is that Jennifer discovers the book and movie The Graduate was not entirely fiction and the family involved was actually hers.

The best part of the movie was Shirley MacLaine. When she first came on the screen, Mrs. P and I both looked at each other and said, “Oh my God, that is our friend Dana in 20 years!” The look, the mannerisms and the “kiss my a__” attitude added up to a near perfect portrait of our friend. It was hysterical!

After running some errands in the first half of the day, we had a float-in-the-pool day on Saturday.

On Sunday we were back to the beach. It was Poolboy’s 30th birthday. His GF planned his second, third and fourth favorite activities for him, the three Bs — beach, beer and bocce. Lots of his friends showed up and a good time was had by all.

My cousin-in-law and her two children are driving down from Atlanta today to spend the week with us. Her husband, my cousin, will be flying in on Friday to spend the weekend, and then they will all drive back on Monday. We’re looking forward to it. We like the adults, but we also really like the kids, a boy and girl, ages 9 and 7. Their parents have done a great job with them. They are a pleasure to have around.

Should be a fun week!

Final home game of 09

Mrs. Poolman and I took off Friday afternoon for the last Gator home football game weekend of the season. We stayed Friday and Saturday night with Mrs. P’s younger sister. When we arrived, we picked her up and went to Outback Steakhouse where we met up with other sister in law, brother in law, a nephew and a friend of his. Nice dinner. We beat the dinner rush crowd. Monday is my b-day. I don’t usually like any kind of fuss, but the sisters in law brought a couple of thoughtful presents and a tiramisu dessert, so all was very good.

We were off early Saturday morning with nephew Billy for the final tailgating session of the year. We had no trouble finding a spot in our usual area, but others did. I witnessed one minor altercation that brought up an interesting question.

In the section of campus where we tailgate, there is no organization or supervision. People park wherever they want, on a “first come-first served” basis. There is a group who fairly frequently tailgates very near us. They send a couple of people to “set up camp” fairly early. These “scouts” take yellow caution tape and tape off an area to park an additional six to eight cars. This is in a section of campus where tailgating is very popular, and parking spaces are at a premium.  Later in the morning or afternoon, depending on the game time, the rest of their group wanders in and parks in their “reserved” spots. Saturday morning, another couple of tailgaters were looking for a parking space. One passenger got out of their car and lifted the caution tape to park in the “reserved space.” One of the guys who was already there started yelling at them and told them they couldn’t park there because he was saving it for his family. They exchanged some words, and eventually the “interlopers” drove off to find a spot elsewhere.

I just watched the whole thing. The guy who was saving the spaces, “Dave”, came over to talk to me, and made a “Imagine the nerve of that guy,” kind of comment. He was surprised when I politely said, “To be honest, I think the other guy was right and you are wrong.” Surprisingly, he didn’t get angry. We had a very nice conversation, but I explained that I thought he was being very greedy to rope off that many parking spaces when there are so many people who are trying to find places to park. I told him that I didn’t think anyone would object to saving one or two spaces for later arrivals, but they had cordoned off an extremely generous section. If I had not found another space nearby, I would also have just lifted the tape and backed into one of his spaces.

You see this kind of thing a lot, at theaters, graduations, Christmas religious services, etc. You see a row or block of empty seats, but when you try to sit down, one person sitting in the row says that they have “reserved” that whole section for their family. My opinion is that it is a matter of degree. Saving one or two extra seats or parking spaces isn’t a big deal, but having one “early arrival” staking out a claim to a large section of seating or parking at what is expected to be a crowded event, is unreasonable. It annoys the heck out of me, when I’m the one looking for a seat, parking space, etc. What do you think?

In any case, the game went well.

The Gator Band

On our walk to the stadium we were joined by a couple hundred musicians, which was pretty cool. The introduction of the senior players before the game was actually quite emotional. Florida State didn’t put up much of a fight.

Tim Tebow's second-to-last snap in The Swamp

We left with about 5 minutes left in the game, so we could beat the traffic and get back to Jacksonville. However, I understand from listening to the radio in the car, that the post-game celebration was extensive, with a full stadium staying around to applaud Tim Tebow and the rest of the team. Sorry we missed it, but by leaving five minutes early, it actually put us back in Jax more than an hour earlier than we would have been otherwise.

Back to work tomorrow. It’s been a nice five-day break.