April 2013

My oldest daughter got her ears pierced this weekend.  It is, of course, a big moment for her, but also for her mom and I.  She looks like such a big girl now!  I wasn’t there for the experience, so I don’t really have any stories to share but Sara took some photos.  What’s great is the photos tell the story completely…

Nervous anticipation (with some encouragement from little sister)

Nervous anticipation (with some encouragement from little sister)

Anxiety gives way to fear

Trying to look happy through the pain

Trying to look happy through the pain

Finished product

Finished product

Mission Complete!



Yes, my “procedure” was last week and it has preoccupied my thoughts for the past few days, so there is little else I can write about.  If you don’t know what my procedure was, you can look at the old postings… or figure it out with context clues.


In all honesty, it wasn’t that bad.  The two injections were pretty painful (it felt like the needle was going all the way up into my abdomen), but once the local anesthetic kicked in, I really didn’t feel anything.  This is a good thing because I could hear something that sounded like a wire cutter snipping through 12 gauge wires and occasionally saw a cloud of smoke rising up from a place no fire should ever approach.


The procedure itself was a breeze… I’ve had worse tooth cleanings.  I laid back on the table, the doctor got to work, and fifteen minutes later I was left alone in the room with smell of cauterized flesh and the coldest icepack known to mankind.  Ten minutes later, a nurse came in to check me and then asked me to look at it so she could nonchalantly carry on a conversation about post-op care for the parts of me that we were mutually inspecting. 


That was weird.


The office was on the way to the cabin, so we decided to head on up for the weekend.  I figured that if I had to be sitting around all day Saturday, I may as well be sitting around in the mountains.  The local anesthetic began to wear off on the way to the cabin, but the pain really wasn’t that bad.  Sara took good care of me and the girls made sure to give me plenty of hugs and kisses in hopes of making me feel better.  Fortunately, we didn’t even have to field any difficult questions.


I was a little sore the day after surgery, but not too bad… I didn’t even need to take my pain meds.  The sun came out and the temperature rose, so I went outside to read.  The combination of bright sunshine and pollen proceeded to send me into a series of eight consecutive violent sneezes. 


That was quite unpleasant.


All things considered, the worst thing I’ve endured so far is having to sit around and do nothing on a very nice weekend.  I’ve heard some horror stories from other men and am fortunate enough to say that my procedure really couldn’t have gone any better.  That’s one thing every man dreads checked off the list, now I can look forward to my prostate exam.



This will be a brief posting because my right hand is killing me.  I did some work over the weekend and noticed some pain in the back of my right hand when I went to bed Saturday night.  I tried my typical treatment – ignore it and hope it goes away.  It did not.  My WebMD diagnosis was a ganglion cyst.  My medically trained wife did not concur.  She thinks it is a tendon strain and she is probably right.

The pain isn’t terrible; maybe a four or five on a scale to ten, but it is constant.  I almost wish it hurt worse intermittently.  At least then the pain would go away and I could avoid activities that I know would irritate it.  Now, it’s just a persistent pain.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a coworker years ago.  This coworker was a veteran of three different conflicts in the US Army and he was having a hard time dealing with the stress of our workplace (previous employer with a lot of politics).  I thought this was odd and asked him how he could go through the life or death situation of war and be stressed out by work.

His answer was enlightening.  He said that while the stress of battle was severe, it came in very short blasts.  When you’re in battle, you don’t have time to think about it and become stressed by it.  Work, on the other hand, carries with it an unrelenting stress.  It is not as severe as a life or death situation, but it never really lets up. 

My response to him then was the same as the belief I have today.  Work doesn’t cause stress… our reaction to it does.  Worry, anxiety, fear… these are all responses that we choose.  Don’t get me wrong – I get stressed about work plenty, but I also have the gift of perception that comes from serving in a third world country.  Trust me – that will change your perspective.

I don’t know the source of your stress today, but do I know that there is a very good chance that you won’t remember it in five years.  You may not even be stressed by it next week.  So instead of worrying about it, do something.  I’ve found action to be the best cure for stress.


Last week was Spring Break for our school district so we took advantage of the time by going up to the cabin for a long weekend.  With a high of 44 degrees and rain all day Thursday, it didn’t feel much like spring break, but the weather soon turned and we had a great weekend.  Nana and Granddaddy met us at the cabin to spend some time with the girls and experience the cabin lifestyle.  Several people have asked, so here is an outline of a typical day at the cabin.

Wake up… drink coffee and wait two hours for Sara to wake up… eat breakfast… go into town or go for a hike… eat lunch… take the kids to the pool… find some mindless manual labor to perform (last week it was splitting firewood)… sit on the porch… eat dinner… clean up… go to bed.   It doesn’t sound like much, but somehow that always seems to occupy the entire day and we never really get bored.

In fact… I miss the cabin already.  Here are photos from last weekend… enjoy.

100_2450 100_2457

100_2453 100_2452


Here’s our performance from Sunday morning. There were actually two performances and this was the worst of the two, but it’s the only one we have video of. The middle was a little shaky because I couldn’t hear the guitar in the monitor, but the ending was pretty good…