Seven Cars

Today, I sold my mother’s car to a good friend of my daughter.  It is a mid 1990s  Buick that has only been driven 66,000 miles.   She only paid $600 for it and the car is in as perfect condition as possible, both physically (no dents or scratches) and in its preventative maintenance.

I would have had no worries if my daughter had wanted to drive, alone, the car across the country, so it should be great car for its new owner.

The car was certainly worth more money than $600, but the car didn’t cost me anything, I wanted to get rid of it and I didn’t mind giving a friend a good deal on a car.

I now own “only” seven cars, including the one my daughter drives.  My goal is to sell one more car. The next one I want to sell has been driven almost 300,000 miles and really needs a complete drive train overhaul before I would want to drive it across the country.  So, it will most likely be sold to a scrap yard.

Then I will be at 6 cars–3 antique ones and 3 modern ones.


Banana Bread — from my red notebook.

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There were some bananas on the counter that were getting too soft to eat, so I made a loaf of banana bread.  It wasn’t even cool before my wife cut off a slice.  She sent a text message of this picture to our daughter and we got an almost instant response, “Can you save some for me?  PLEASE!!!!



Something Not So Dreary

Yesterday our daughter came home from college.  It’s not a huge thing as it’s only about 45 minutes (2 hours during rush hour) driving time to get home.  But still, it’s nice seeing her.

I did the stereotypical guy thing yesterday; cook meat on a grill.  Perhaps not so stereotypical, I also made up a fruit salad, a pasta salad and twice baked potatoes.

Our daughter is not a huge meat eater.  She likes a good steak, but like me, she wouldn’t want to eat that every day.  She loves the fruit and pasta salads, but the twice baked potatoes are special.  This morning, I got a text message from her,   “Dad.  I really wouldn’t mind if you made more twice baked potatoes.  I’d come home to get them.”

I have a red 3 ring binder that is full of my favorite recipes that I’ve found, created , heard about, or adapted to my own use.  I’d guess there are 50 pages in the book and they date back to my college days.  The twice baked potatoes recipe is among them.

I will need to make copies for her.


Our daughter seems to be adjusting to dorm life very nicely.  The arrangement is 2 girls in one room and two girls in the adjacent room with common bathroom for both rooms.  So far the only issue has been one girl in the adjoining room that is running a bit wild and annoying the other three girls.  When everyone was moving in, I met “wild child” and her parents.  My guess is that it’s a case of her never being allowed any freedom at home and now she’s not sure how to live without a parent keeping things under control.  Everyone is hoping she settles down.  I think she will settle down once she realizes the hangovers and people making fun of her drunkenness are not as fun as it seemed a few weeks ago.

This summer was the final year of a lady’s 27 years of driving the school bus.  Since then, the school has been looking, without success, for a new driver.  Until they find a regular driver, I’m driving the bus every morning.

This means the alarm clock rings at 4:45am instead of 5:30am and the day ends, as usual, with me getting home around 7pm.

They have someone that has stepped up to the challenge and is studying for their class B commercial driver license with the P and S endorsements.   While driving the bus is a lot of fun, I will be glad to get the extra 45 minutes “sack time” each morning.

The old Volvo I drive to work had a slight oil leak that I fixed.  The oil from the leak contaminated the insulators on the spark plugs and that was causing a misfire–the engine was running rough and getting worse than normal gas mileage.  After cleaning things, the engine is now running perfectly.  This isn’t bad for a car with close to 400,000 miles on it.


Today is the Day.

In about 2 hours, we will be leaving with our daughter to move her into the college dorm.

It’s hard to believe the time has gone by so quickly.

I can remember lots of things.  The evening before our daughter was born, we stopped by a grilled chicken place and had a light dinner.  It was  the last time we ate out as a couple.  At midnight, labor started.  Just before 5:30am we left for the hospital.  Seven hours later, we were a family.

I remember the feeling of awe looking at her in the little plastic basket on the scale.  I remember looking at her tiny fingers, toes, nose, eyes and ears.  I remember her cry sounding like a tiny kitten.  I remember the excitement of all four brand new grandparents.

We have a picture of our daughter getting on  the bus for the first day of kindergarten.  The last day of 8th grade, we have a picture of her getting off of the same bus.  This time, my wife was driving the bus.

Driving lessons. Driving test.  First car crash..thankfully a very minor one.  Prom. boyfriend.   High school graduation.

And now, a bit more than 18-1/2 years after it started, college.  We raised her to be a hard worker, unafraid of showing her intelligence, capabilities and confidence and I hope it carries her far .  While we will still be offering “life lessons”, we will no longer be center stage.

This is how it always has been and how it should be.


Sourdough Waffles

Today was one of the sourdough feeding days.  Instead of drying the starter out to save it, I keep it in the refrigerator and feed (or use and replenish) the starter a couple of times a week.  But before I can feed it, I have to let it warm up on the kitchen counter for a couple of hours.

Our daughter noticed the starter out on the counter and asked if I could make sourdough waffles tomorrow.  She had even picked out a recipe at  King Arthur Flour sourdough waffle   for me and got the strawberries at the store.  It is not possible for me to say no to sourdough waffles (or pancakes).

The sourdough sponge is in a bowl–waiting until tomorrow morning and so is the old Griswold cast iron waffle iron.

High School Graduate

It was about now in 1997 when my wife’s pregnancy test showed the two lines (pregnant).  I was excited.  My wife was not quite so excited at first, but as time went on, and she could feel baby’s movements, her excitement level went *WAY* up.

Our daughter was born in early January, 1998.   We left for the hospital around 5am and she was born at 12:30pm.  She weighed 6-1/2 pounds and was just over 20 inches long.  I still remember the feeling of amazement and awe as I looked at her laying in the little plastic bin on the weight scale.  These memories are so strong that it seems that this happened just a few days ago.

Rolling over, crawling, solid food, first words, first steps, planting sunflower seeds, helping me in the garden, reading, first day of kindergarten, school dances, 8th grade graduation, driving license, prom and yesterday, high school graduation.

It’s going so quickly.


Daughter. Home on the Range

pistolYesterday I left work early and when I got home, my daughter asked if we could go to the shooting range.  Normally I get home too late to do this.  I happily agreed.  She usually shoots a .22LR rifle, but tonight she wanted to try the pistol out.

The pistol is a Ruger Mark 3 .22LR caliber pistol.  It’s one of my favorite pistols to shoot and it’s a perfect for someone (like her) just learning how to shoot a pistol.

If you look closely at the target, you can see a thick yellow line at the top center of the target.  Those are where the bullets struck the target. I took the picture just after she fired her 8th shot.  When we pulled the target in to check the target,  all 10 shots had hit “right there”.

You are correct, she is not hitting the “bull’s eye”.  Learning to shoot well enough to get the bullet strikes clustered together is the difficult part.  A simple adjustment of the pistol will move the cluster to the bulls eye.

Since it’s my pistol, and it’s adjusted for me, she had to be content with “clusters”.  When she turns 21, if she wants a pistol, I’ll get her one.  I will also buy a *strong* lock box for the pistol…it’s the gun owner’s equivalent of a pool owner’s fence.


Memories of University

Yesterday our daughter, my wife and I attended the “desert university” campus tour.  This university is my alma mater.

The whole time I was there, I was remembering how it was when I was there from late 1979 to the mid 1980s.  The character of the school felt the same and the students reminded me of my young self.  The only difference is that most of the open areas I remembered have been replaced with new buildings.  It was, for a little while, a bit difficult for me to  fit my old mental map to the new reality of the place.

During the guided part of the tour, we walked right by where I first met met my girlfriend/fiancee and I stopped and looked around for just a brief moment.  In this area of campus, about the only thing that has changed since that February in 1980 was the style of bike racks.  The “1980 style” bike racks put the bikes side by side and mere inches apart.   This made it easy to accidentally put a lock through two bikes at one time.  This is not possible with the new bike racks.

My bike being immobilized by her bike lock was how I met her.  Had the new bike racks been in use in 1980, this would not have happened and I likely would have never met her. And, had I not met her, I would be a different person.  It’s amazing how the little things can have such an impact on a life.


Oh, I think our daughter has decided to go to my alma mater. Not because it’s my alma mater or because the other school is “lacking”, but because this school has the business program that exactly fits her dreams.  Like me at that age, she has dreams.  Her dream is to work in the business office of a professional sports team.

College Visits

We have been, with our daughter, visiting several college campuses.   So far she has narrowed the field of choices to two.  One is in the mountains.  The other is in the desert.

While the school in the desert is my alma mater, I (secretly) hope she chooses the mountain school.  I know her choice will be a sound one and I will not interfere in her choice.

Classes were in session during our visit and it was quite interesting for me.  I could close my eyes and be “back there” again.  It was an eerie feeling, but one I greatly enjoyed.

What I appreciated most was the energy and hope radiating from the “kids”.  I was like that more than 30 years ago.  I need to be that way again.  I do not want to be an old curmudgeon.