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Snowshoeing January 2021

We finally got a snow base and a couple of inches of new powder made for near ideal snowshoeing conditions. Today Kathryn and I took the dogs and snowshoed a trail to the turn around log. Tripp ran around in the deep snow while Cullen followed along in the packed trail. We managed to get a good trail packed for about 1.5 miles of the lollipop loop.

December Lock Down Activities

We are hanging in, staying home and limiting our exposure.  Eric has been struggling doing remote learning and now HP is going 100% remote for the next 100 days.  He has been accepted at three colleges (Hilbert is his 1st choice (near Hamburg ), HCCC and Canton.)  He played on the HP soccer team a little bit which we supported as it was the only socialization he was doing. On Friday Eric finally had success passing his driver’s license test. A nearly perfect score and he nailed his parallel parking this time.  He is quite proud of himself. He took advantage of his new freedom and drove to an outdoor basketball court where he and 3 friends chatted and played basketball.  We did take out for dinner Friday night and he drove into Holland Patent to pick up our food.

Kathryn has been working with her new dog – a 6 month old, 79 lb, Newfoundland / Golden Retriever cross.  She has been taking Tripp to dog obedience school once a week and they are doing great.  Mainly Tripp gets distracted by people and events near him so Kathryn takes the dog out to socialize and experience new environments. At home, Tripp does the exercises perfectly, but puppy (and owner) struggle with the distractions of multiple dogs/owners in class.  Kathryn is trying to get him out into busy situations, to practice.  A couple classes ago, the dogs were given time to “socialize.”  The next thing , Tripp and two other dogs are tearing around the room and one is growling!  It is Tripp! Mortified, Kathryn separates him.  The instructor does his little assessment thing, bringing each dog to approach the other.  His conclusion: Jennie thinks she is alpha dog and was picking on Willow and Tripp decided to put Jennie in her place.  Tripp is not, he assures, an aggressive dog. 

Kathryn and I are still running every day – either outside or on the treadmill. We have been playing pickleball outdoors when the temperatures are above 45 degrees and it isn’t rainy or windy.  Out of our group of 12 seniors that play there are about 6 die-hards that will show up.

The picture below shows Eric and I cutting our tree, the decorated tree and a centerpiece that Kathryn’s brother sent us.

Walking the Burgine Disc Gold Course

Mark, Matt and some of their friends designed and established a disc golf course on land owned by the county. Mark invited us to visit and walk the newly established course. It was decent weather (for mid-November) and a good opportunity to visit with Mark, his daughters Molly and Kate and sister Jeanne.

Last Home Soccer Game

Shout out to varsity Boys Soccer Seniors (Thomas Breil, Josh Dzeikan, Colby Germond, Dean Kousouros, Eric Muller, Jack Schroth, and Jonathan Tolpa) on their final home game tonight! And what a game it was – HP boys varsity soccer advanced their season record to 7-2 with their 1-0 win against Herkimer. Dylan McQuire got the lone goal and HP senior goalie, Jonathon Tolpa, had six saves for the shut out. Boys Varsity soccer team has two more Away games. Unfortunately, they entered this pandemic season knowing they were not being permitted a championship game and yet – they still played their hearts out, simply for the love of the game!

What’s Going On?

Eric’s senior class had booked a bus to go to the inauguration, but last night they canceled it due to COVID-19 concerns.  After the zoom meeting, we agreed we would also be afraid of violence – especially if Trump loses – so am relieved it was canceled and we don’t have to make that decision.

We have 2.5 inches of snow on the ground which has warmed a bit and refrozen so it is pretty icy.  Eric’s soccer practice was canceled. It was difficult walking in the woods, though the puppy loved it.  He bounded through the woods like the deer he was trying to locate.  Tripp is 65 pounds already at 5 months.  He is fun.  Tripp and Kathryn are in dog obedience class and he is the star pupil.  Or, maybe she is the only handler who has ever done this before, and who knows the difference between a correcting tone of voice and a cajoling tone of voice (it is not rocket science, really!).  In any case, they don’t get much attention from the instructor other than a “Very Good!” every once in a while.

Kathryn had been getting up before sunrise and sitting out on the lawn with the dogs, which was lovely, but the snow stopped that although the weather should improve this week.

The town of Marcy took down the pickleball nets so our pickleball group members  are all in a quandary about what to do.  Many of us are not anxious to play inside.

We bought a treadmill to assist in the transition of our running program from cross country and road running to indoors.

Eric has been accepted to the three colleges he applied to:  Herkimer Community College, Hilbert College and SUNY Canton.  Of course, that is pending graduation, which for a moment makes for a shaky first marking period.  He says he has learned his lesson working remotely and pulled it together.  Hilbert College is his first choice.  Kathryn and Eric are going out there for a departmental event.  Even though he has already seen the campus, We are hoping he will meet some of the instructors in the department, and his enthusiasm will continue.  And  it won’t hurt us to get out of the house.   We will also meet with the financial aid counselor, though I doubt that will help much.  Small colleges and especially colleges like Hilbert are not having the trouble with covid that others are.  One article I read said it is because of the emphasis on community and being socially responsible.

Kathryn decided to renew her LCSW so she crammed 36 CEU’s into a couple weeks.  Fortunately the state waived the requirement that any CEUs be done in person so they could all be on-line.  The first course on neuroscience of trauma was very good.  The second course on mindfulness wasn’t well done, but provided enough hours and credits to satisfy the requirement.

We have cut a bunch of wood and should be good through the winter. 

Kathryn bought wallpaper to do the big bathroom and our bedroom but haven’t gotten there yet. We are probably not going to do anything for Thanksgiving. .

Last Of The Garden Produce

Today, October 26, I had the last tomato sandwich made from our garden tomatoes. This is about the latest I can remember ever having garden vegetables. This was a good year for the garden, despite the drought. We enjoyed tomatoes, green beans, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, egg plant and acorn squash. The peas, water melon and potatoes were disappointing.

Replacing Water Heater Elements

Kathryn and I tackled the replacement of the water heater elements.  We I got the water heater my brother had set me up with all the required items: replacement elements, user manual and wrench socket. We went the safe route and rather than try to “change on the fly” we completely drained the tank. It was tricky replacing the lower element as the element was heavy to get lined up correctly and finger thread.  The 1st time we had a small leak and had to re-drain the tub and re-seat the lower element. We finally used a vise grips to get the lower element aligned and inserted. Our water has had sediment issues – this year especially.  I suspect that was a major contributor to the demise of the original elements.  But we have probably had the water heater for nearly 30 years; hopefully we can get another 30 year run !

Eric and HP Soccer

About half way through the season HP Varsity Soccer is doing well, with 4 wins and 1 loss to Poland. Eric is playing as a striker and isn’t playing a lot; conditioning could be an issue. HP versus Poland is shown below; with HP @ Frankfort below that.