Kathryn took Eric, Stone and Dakota to Orlando FL for their Christmas gift. They had a fun trip, though it went fast with a lot of rushing around. Both Stone and Dakota had been sick the week before. Stone’s congestion was nasty sounding. They got to Orlando on Friday in time to catch the last shuttle from the hotel to Universal (11 AM). They did most of Universal on Friday, until they got too tired with half were hungry, half not; half wanted to take the shuttle to the hotel and half wanted to walk the 1.2 miles in the dark etc. Eric’s ankle hurt the first night but it didn’t seem to bother him after that though. However, it was a lot of fun. They got to do the Harry Potter ride twice. We did “Men in Black” several times. They went on some BIG roller coasters; the Kraken and the Hulk. We didn’t have to wait long for rides so got to do a lot.
For the past 18 months I have been lobbying for alternative wallpaper in our family great room. The existing dark red wallpaper, coupled with the knotty pine paneling, made the room too dark. Kathryn selected new wallpaper and while Eric was at the HP football game at the Carrier Dome we (mainly Kathryn) put up the new wallpaper.
While playing volleyball in the Empire Senior Games in June Kathryn was asked to join a 60+ volleyball team going to the Huntsman Senior Games in St George Utah. We were delighted to go as Kochans volunteered to host Eric while we were gone. We flew out of Syracuse after Kathryn’s classes on Thursday, landing in Las Vegas at midnight and driving two hour to St George where we were sharing a house with Kathryn’s volleyball acquaintance, Barb. We had a brief respite with a few hours sleep and then left for the 1st 9am game.
There were 27 60+ woman’s volleyball teams divided into 3 pools, with 9 teams in each pool. Each team played 3 matches / day with a match comprising of two games. Before each match the teams would meet at center court and exchange gifts, and after each game the two teams would combine for a group photo. There were teams from Colorado, California, Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, etc. While most of these teams had established rosters and had practiced together, the GREAT EXPECTATIONS team had never played together and found themselves making introductions prior to the match.
There were matches Friday & Saturday; Sunday was off and more games on Monday & Tuesday. They won a couple of games, had a couple of competitive matches and really only got overpowered by the Team Brazil. Overall, it was a great venue to play, Kathryn enjoyed playing vs age appropriate competition. Plans are being made for a 2019 Huntsman team.
Kathryn rigged tarps under the pear trees to catch those starting to ripen and fall.
Our friends Jim and Pam invited us to overnight camp with them and their horses (Max & Freck) at Otter Creek Horse Trails. The Otter Creek Horse Trails are a series of interlocking horse trails comprising about 65 miles located on both the Independence River Wild Forest Unit of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. The trail system uses a series of old, sandy roads and woods trails to traverse a beautiful diverse area with the trails winding their way along spirea flats and wooded areas, accessing picturesque Adirondack ponds and following or crossing Otter, Little Otter, Beaver Meadow, Chase, Burnt and Crooked Creeks and the Independence River.
Eric stayed at BillieJo’s and played video games with Stone, while Kathryn and I took our pop-up camper to Helmer’s property just outside the park. After lunch, Jim & Jim tacked up and went for a 90 minute trail ride, followed by Jim & Kathryn reversing the earlier ride. We cooked steaks on the grill and sweet corn on the campfire before turning in at night. The next morning Jim and Kathryn went out for a 2.5 hour ride while I fired up my chainsaw and cleared an area in the woods that expanded the horse corral and gave the horses better shade.
Eric spent the night at BillieJo’s playing video games with Stone while Kathryn, Skip, Matt, Nathan and I camped overnight at Moshier Reservoir. The fishing wasn’t quite as good, but the company and weather were superb. We heard lots of Barred Owls during the night and managed to sleep for almost 11 hours.
Kathryn and I celebrated our 42nd year of marriage. Things are beginning to look more like this cartoon.
It only took about 20 minutes of brushing to get this amount hair out of Cullen.
Eric had two regents tests to finish up his school year. He feels he aced the math. He says he thinks he “didn’t do too bad” on the science. The last week of school, we got emails from photography and English that he missed assignments so his grade was in the 50s for both. He says he rectified the situation – we are holding our breath.
Eric’s tonsillectomy is Tuesday, so he will be on injured-reserve for pretty much everything. Let’s hope the surgery goes as pleasantly. We were told there is a 2 week recovery period. Because they use lasers not scalpels, there is increased scabbing so for 2 weeks, he gets no real food. Broth, jello, popsicles, etc. They said he will probably drop 5-10 pounds. Then in July 23 Eric gets his wisdom teeth out. That is a 4 day recovery period.
We had all been sick with a nasty cold for a week. Jim’s fatigue never went away. He couldn’t do anything, barely walk down to the pond etc. After a while, he began to sense he was in atrial fib again, which a trip to the ER confirmed. He was very bummed. The doctors kept saying “People live with atrial fib!” and Jim kept saying “But I can’t do anything I want to do!” Jim had an ablation 12 years ago, and has been symptom free. It was a huge disappointment that it returned. The ER doctor said “With the human body, no cure is a forever cure.” Anyway, a week later, they did the cardioconversion, which worked right off and his heart has stayed in rhythm since. The cardiologist gives it a 50-50 chance of sticking for any length of time, but there are other treatments and they have come a long way with ablations. Meanwhile, in the testing the discovered a leak with his mitral valve, but it is something that only needs monitoring so that is sort of the silver lining, they found that.
Kathryn’s Empire State Senior Games were last weekend. She had a lot of fun, a whole building full of old women playing good volleyball. I think it was about as much fun as I have had in a long time. We (“Volleyball Chicks”) did great. We played 12 games over the course of the day. They took Gold in our age bracket (65+). The event organizers had us play in the 60+ bracket so we could get more games in and they won more games against the “youngsters” than they lost. Taking gold qualifies this iteration of “Volleyball Chicks” to participate in the national tournament in Albuquerque next June. Kathryn was introduced to another team who said to me “We aren’t very good. We don’t expect to win anything. We want to take 8 players, because some of our regulars have physical problems (knees) so you might not play the whole time. But we need a setter so would you come to Utah with us” so Kathryn said Sure!
Kathyrn joined a team of women from Syracuse and Rochester to compete in the 65+ Division at the Empire State Senior Games in Cortland. She had a fabulous time at the Empire State Senior Games and played some great volleyball. Their team won most of the games they played against the next-younger age bracket teams and took Gold in our own age bracket. After 12 games of volleyball, it was a long full day. Below are the “Volleyball Chicks” wearing their gold medals from the 2018 Empire State Senior Games.