Happy Birthday, Billie Jo

Eric’s Ankle Surgery

It was a long day.  Eric was in surgery for 3 hours and ten minutes.  Ed had two screws installed that will dissolve in 2 years.  The screws anchored stitches which secure his ligaments to his ankle bones.  The orthopedist thinks she took care of all the issues in that ankle. 3-4 weeks on crutches and 4 months of physical therapy/ rehab.

Trail Riding at Otter Creek

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.


Kathryn has been monitoring the elderberry bushes and picking berries for her tonic.

Return to Moshier

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.

Volley Llamas Playoffs 2018

Our Volley Llamas 2018 team finished the regular season solidly in 2nd place in the ten team league.  Dig Pink finished in 1st place with only 3 losses (2 imposed by Volley Llamas) and Scrappers finished in 3rd place.

The Volley Llamas summer season ended after reaching the finals after playoff wins 2-0 over Balls Deep and Scrappers before a 2-1 loss to Dig Pink in the finals.

Thanks to  BillieJo Davis, Joshua Darrow, Kathryn Skelly Muller, Tim Reed, Chris Poore and Ron Haier for their play. Thanks go to Isabelle Moo, Sara Mierek, Andy Haier, Matt Kochan, and Connor Ludwin for contributing during the summer. The league at Adirondack Lanes always manages to pull off the tricky combination of competition and fun.

Fishing From Kayaks

Friday we went fishing at Moshier Reservoir – just off of Stillwater.  It was wicked hot (high 80s). K & I fished from a canoe.  Eric & his buddy Austin fished from borrowed kayaks.  We used worms and caught mainly small bass.  Austin caught 17, K got 15, Eric ‘only’ got 5 but one of them was this nice smallmouth bass.

The boys really enjoyed fishing from the kayaks and being able to poke around on their own terms.

Anniversary 42

Kathryn and I celebrated our 42nd year of marriage. Things are beginning to look more like this cartoon.

RIP – 1991 Volvo 240 Sedan

I bought this 1991 Volvo 240 Sedan upon the recommendation of my mechanic, Larry.  A retired Herkimer school teacher wanted to have a ‘sportier’ car (i.e. BMW) as ‘her last car’.  The car had only 58,378 miles on it; mint condition; with extra snow tires.  The previous owners kept a little booklet recording everything ever done to the car; including every tank of gas.  The trunk was pristine and lined with plastic; the back seat looked like no one had ever sat there.  I bought the car for $5,000 and relished the thought of driving a 5-speed stick shift again.

I have had the car for 12 years.  There are many people who know me by the car.  People wave to the vehicle; I am convinced the security gate guards treat the car as a form of ID. I have had people pull over in the Adirondacks because they said “I saw the car and a canoe on it – who else could it be?”

My plan was for Eric to learn to drive on it when he turned 16, only 6 months from now.  It would be a safe vehicle, distinctive and he could learn to drive a standard shift. In the past having a distinctive car was a parental assist as friends, neighbors and co-workers would often report seeing “your Volvo” somewhere piloted by one of my kids – a pre-GPS tracking capability.

Occasionally, I had visions of squeezing three more years out of the car – making it to 2021 and a total of 30 years on the road. But our plans and reality rarely merge.  Parts for this 37 year old car became difficult to locate – I had to acquire hub caps and a gas in-take from Oklahoma. Our trusted Volvo mechanic, Larry, retired, un-retired and then retired for good; selling off his considerable horde of slightly used Volvo parts.  For the past two years the Volvo has been serviced like any other car.

Recently this car turned 171,653 miles.  It has been reliable low cost transportation.  It still has the original clutch and doesn’t burn oil.  A little body rust has shown up but nothing too obscene.

The Volvo finally succumbed to a rusted control arm – which is a suspension link that connects the wheel hub and steering knuckles to the car’s chassis.  This repair would be more expensive than the value of the vehicle.  So the decision was made to move on from the car.  I called around for scrap metal prices and that will seem to be it’s fate.

The little guy shown in the 1st picture is now a 5’10” high school sophomore and he turns 16 in 5 months.

RIP. You served us well.

Eric, Summer Basketball and the Recurring Ankle

Eric recovered from his tonsil surgery hoping to join in the HP soccer and basketball teams for the remainder of the summer.  Unfortunately, he has continued to experience issues with his right ankle.  In the past year Eric has had 5 or 6 ankle sprains to the same joint and undergone two sessions of physical therapy – not counting the fractured right foot over a year ago.  After a few weeks of inactivity he sprained it again playing basketball after successfully playing soccer on Monday night. Today we went to a physical therapy assessment and x-rays with the orthopedic surgeon; to be followed up with an MRI in the near future.