children gawk, women swoon and men envy

…my mad home improvement skills!!

It’s finally finished. It was supposed to be finished by Christmas, but it’s like a Nowack Christmas card – late, but oh so worth it! Here’s a peek at what’s been occupying my free time:

BEFORE

reading-room-001

AFTER

reading-room-020

reading-room

reading-room-017

reading-room-011

I just wish I enjoyed the process as much as the end result. This one:

reading-room-018

I LOVE to make her smile!!!

7 things about me

OK, Tammi. I’ll play along this time. I’ve had a hard time coming up with 7 things that aren’t commonly known about me… that I will share publicly. Anyway, here goes…

  1. I have a birthmark, but it’s different than most. It’s a scar under my… um, which one is it… wait while I go check… left eye caused by the forceps that the doc HAD to used to pull me out. I came into this world being difficult and haven’t changed much since!
  2. I watch the needle when I get a shot or give blood. I don’t know why, but I do. It even freaks me out a little that I do that. **shiver**
  3. Green is my favorite color. Even before green was the “cool” color. Could be related to the fact that I was born on St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t know. Whatever it is, I like green.
  4. I have some interesting ancestors. Rumor is that my great, great grandfather was a wizard. And from what I understand, he wouldn’t have been in the Order of the Phoenix… definitely more of the Death Eater type. OK, pay attention here – My dad was told by his grandmother that when her father died his books (containing spells, curses and other types of black magic) were burned. She also claimed that he once drew a man’s silhouette with a heart in it on a tree, wrote a name in the silhouette and then shot the heart with a pistol. The man whose name was written in the silhouette died of a heart attack. CREEPY, huh?
  5. I LOVE to go fast!! I know the top speed of all 3 cars sitting in my driveway. When things are getting to me and I need to escape, I find a long straight road and go just as fast as I can. I love the feeling of being on the edge of control, not sure how things are going to turn out… flirting with disaster. It makes me feel alive… in the moment… the world is on hold… nothing else matters except right now. Like I said, I LOVE IT!!! Maybe that’s why racing in the Baja 1000 is on my bucket list.
  6. I HATE baseball. I’m not really much of a sports guy… team sports anyway. I’ve been known to say, “If it involves a round ball, I’m not interested.” But baseball is one of the worst in my book. A bunch of guys standing around for hours waiting for another guy to hit a ball just doesn’t do much for me. The fact that I suck at it has nothing to do with my disdain, by the way. 😛
  7. I regret not serving in the military… sometimes. Not because of some deep seated unfulfilled patriotic duty – they just have the coolest toys. They get to ride around in big trucks and tanks blowing things up. HOW FREAKING COOL IS THAT?!?! Plus, read why I love to go fast in #5 again. Not to mention that sometimes I wish it were OK to shoot a few people, not many, just one or 2 here and there… damn moral convictions!!

Well there it is. Do you still love me?

I’m supposed to tag a few people, but anyone that I would tag has been already. Guess I’m done.

Lucky Us

So far this weekend we have –

crowned a Queen…

won our first soccer game of the year…

and found this in our pool!

I’m sure I’ve heard some Native American proverb about it being lucky to find an armadillo in your pool, so we’re headed out to buy a lottery ticket. It seems to be our weekend.

opportunity missed

Crap!! This would have been a great way to spend an evening. Like, you know, a date night or something.

I missed the deadline to apply, and now the season is almost over.

I particularly like this part:

LEGAL METHODS: Hunters may use hand-held ropes or snares, snatch hooks, harpoons, gigs or arrows with a restraining line attached. Legal alligators must be dispatched immediately upon capture by using a handgun or bangstick, or by severing the spinal cord with a sharp implement.

Sounds so primeval. Who wouldn’t enjoy that?

Plus, it would have been great to walk into the next Iron Chef party and say…

Here’s y’all some fresh gator tail with a swamp gravy dipping sauce. First, I used a harpoon to get him to the boat, and then I used a hatchet (sharp implement) to hack (severe) through it’s spinal cord just before cooking it up for ya tonight.

*sigh* Another great opportunity missed.

#1

She has mad texting skills…

just look at that concentration and balance!

She’s quite possibly the BEST big sister EVER

well, almost always.

And she has a **H U G E** heart overflowing with love…

that never seems to run out.

Today she’s *gasp*… 17.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY #1!!!!!

P.S. Remember, next year you can be tried as an adult. =)

Why I Go

The reasons are many and somewhat profound. If I tried to explain it, I don’t think I could find the right words… they may not even exist. There are those who just get it and need no explanation, and there are those who don’t and never will, even if I could create all the right words.

Honestly, I’m not even sure that I completely understand it. But today I stumbled across this quote that put words to just one of the many reasons that I go.

The soul is healed by being with children.

– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Especially since children host an extremely contagious, quick to appear, symptom rich condition: JOY!

And then there’s this picture…

Again, there are no words.

Peruvian Bus Ride

[I never got the opportunity to post this while in Peru so I’ll do it now. Couple of updates about this post: We learned that the bus line that we rode to Huaraz, Cavassa Tours, was considered to be a little shady even by the locals. Lots of, “Oh… really, so you rode Cavassa?” with sympathetic glances flashed around. Total trip was 10 hrs instead of the expected 7 1/2 – 8. I did end up having an upset stomach for a few days. Probably not related to the restaurant stop, but maybe. There’s so many other things that it could have been. And the bus line that we rode back to Lima, Movil Tours, had a new, very nice depot in Huaraz. Not seedy at all. The one in Lima… well, that’s a different story.]

I’m writing from my bus seat… the one I’ve been riding in since 10:30 this morning. It’s now about 3;00 in the afternoon on 06/02/08, and we’ve still got about 4 hrs. to go before we arrive in Huaraz. I don’t think this ride will ever end!! We’re just now hitting the mountains, so the rest of the ride is super CuRzY.

Even though we’ve spent most of the day on a bus, we’ve still managed to have a couple of adventures.

Is it a universal truth that a bus station has to be in the seediest part of town? That was the 3rd one I’ve been to here in Peru, and they’ve been very consistent – I’ve felt nervous at everyone. Lots of eyes watching the gringos.Funny thing though, a couple of the Spanish speakers with us struck up a conversation with a couple there and it turned out that he was an engineer and she was a teacher. They are very well off and offered their home for future groups to stay in. Went so far as to give their address and contact info.I guess you can’t judge a book by it’s cover… place still seems a little seedy to me though!

Lunch was our next adventure. The bus stopped at a “restaurant” on the side of the road and gave us 30 mins. to eat. We were all wishy-washy about whether or not to eat except the group leader, Jason. He was OUT! No way for him! But the food actually looked and smelled pretty good, so Joseph and I agreed to try it if the other one would. Years of sizing me up probably played into his decision, and I definitely wasn’t going to be one up-ed. Before it was all said and done, Ethan had joined us. We enjoyed the meal of chicken and rice, especially the rice… remains to be seen if will feel the same way in a few hours. Not to worry. After last year, I know all the symptoms of intestinal parasites. I won’t hesitate to call a doctor for a round of anti-biotics.

Finally, there’s the ever present adventure of using the bathroom on a tossing, turning, stopping and starting bus… glad I’m a guy!! What a ride – Peruvian style.

Continue reading