News From The North

The HP Varsity Basketball Team finished 1st in their league with a record of 11-9 and besting: Clinton, Sherburne-Earlville, Canastota, and Adirondack. As the 12th seed in the 25 team Center State Conference they ended up vs #5 ranked Marcellus (14-6) in the sectionals. Marcellus previously trounced HP by 37 during the regular season. HP played its best defense and the game was close throughout, ending each quarter within one point of another. The scales were tipped in the 4th quarter as HP players fouled out and Marcellus exploited a height advantage to capture several offense rebounds. The last few minutes dissolved into a free throw contest and Marcellus stretched their 4-point lead to 6 points at the closing buzzer.
Eric has now transitioned to playing AAU basketball – which he actually likes better. He says it is more intense with better players and better competition. They practice 2x week and usually play in one tournament a month.
Eric is pulling good grades and maintains a position on HP’s High Honor Roll. Eric wants to have “a real job” this summer and has several ideas, but I told him he needs to pass his driver’s test because I am not chauffeuring him to/from a job. He failed his test twice – mainly on parallel parking and is very hesitant about trying again.
Kathryn notified Utica College of her May retirement. Now she started notifying private practice clients. She says it is an emotional process. Now that she will no longer be teaching it has enabled us to throw out a lot of paperwork.
Over the next few weeks Kathryn is playing in several Senior’s Volleyball Tournaments. In Oswego this Saturday. Then Slippery Rock PA and Connecticut in April. Empire State Games in Cortland in June. She got asked to play on a team from Chicago in Utah in October and being asked makes her happy.
Kathryn is still swimming mornings. After taking a few months off she has resumed doing her cross fit classes. She is playing pickup volleyball Wed & Thursday nights. She XC skis when the conditions and schedule permit.
Our Ski Trails. We developed a snowshoe / ski trail through our woods and our neighbor’s woods that totals 3.8 miles round trip. We call it the Lollipop Loop as it is in the shape of a lollipop with our house being at the bottom of the handle. One can just do a 2 mile up & back down the handle (there is about 300’ elevation gain) or do the whole loop, which takes roughly 2 hours depending on trail conditions and whether one is XC skiing (Kathryn) or snowshoeing (Jim). It’s good exercise for both human and canine. But as soon as we get a nice trail, Mother Nature brings us a day of rain and/or several inches of new snow. So, we are back in the mode of re-establishing our trails and then seeing them melt away.
Finally, my heart situation seems to be becoming manageable. It took me a couple months to stop Atrial Fib after the surgery. I got permission to cut back on the amount of Beta-Blocker I am taking. The beta-blocker would make me light-headed, cause poor circulation in my hands, and most of all it impacted any strenuous activities. If I did vigorous exercise after about 40 minutes would feel like I wasn’t getting enough oxygen. My doctor let me cut the amount in half and that has made a big difference. Of course, I am still dealing with the issue of lost conditioning from not doing much from August until recently. Eric and I have joined a local gym. Him to gain strength and explosion to improve his basketball. Me to re-gain toning and balance. It isn’t easy is it?
I am still working, usually Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays. I have a lot of independence; they pay well, and it is nice to have the health insurance. I will re-assess the situation in May.
Painting Eric’s Room: Eric is using the bedroom upstairs- last painted when Billie Jo was still at HP. We have a few repairs to accomplish and Eric wants it painted in the colors of his favorite basketball team – the Phoenix Suns. Purple and orange!! Only a teenage boy, eh? So, we have compromised such that one wall is light grey and has a big team logo, one wall with a window will be purple and the other two walls will be this diagonal orange/purple.

Eric had his 1st AAU practice Tuesday night 7-8:30pm. It was dark, rainy, very foggy and very windy. On our way home we hit a downed tree in the road damaging the front fender, leaving a couple of dents and scratches along the side door panels. We were fine, lucky that the windshield didn’t break or anything worse. Eric and I couldn’t budge the tree out of the road. Shortly after we left the scene and emergency truck passed us headed to the incident. The next morning, I called State Farm insurance to understand the process. They said we had a $500 deductible and to get an estimate to see if it would be more than $500 to warrant submitting a claim. I called my regular mechanic who recommended a local body shop and I took my car there for him to take a look. During conversation, he asked if I had comprehensive insurance and I let it slip that I had a $500 deductible. So, he looked up cost of a new fender, estimated the number of hours, shrugged his shoulders a couple of times, held his hands out with the palms up and CAME UP WITH AN ESTIMATE OF $450 !! AMAZINGLY JUST A LITTLE BELOW MY THRESHOLD. So, I got played…. Oh well. I guess it is good that I still work and earn a paycheck so I can cover my other mistakes.