Getting life in perspective by focusing on the positives

| September 27, 2017

Brenda’s dad lectured her sister Ann a decade or so ago about constantly having a “woe is me” moment. To be fair, she has a needier personality than Brenda that has a tendency to share one negative thing after another. I remember listening to him on the phone in frustration asking, “Do you have your […]

Extra work that makes little sense – salt and pepper shakers

| June 28, 2017

Did you ever find yourself spending way too much time on something where it makes no logical sense? Well this is the case for a set of my wife Brenda’s salt and pepper shakers … of which she has many. Her grandmother had a collection that was split between her grandchildren and daughter-in-law (Brenda’s mom), […]

A final goodbye to a grandmother and mom – Frances Howard

| January 25, 2017

Memorials, funerals and burials can be emotionally draining and it is hard to know just how they impact each of us … but “to the person,” those that knew mom – grandma – Frances Ann Louise Howard (Holmstrom), were without question happy and celebrating. Fran and Christians who have placed their faith in Jesus, and […]

Music: Who was Kent LaVoie? Look at that hair!

| July 9, 2016

While I’m on what has become a habitual weekly music "trip" posting music that goes back a few decades, here one from 1971.  Beside the unique hair style back in the 70’s, his top ten song was a bit on the peculiar side too: "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo" by  Kent LaVoie […]

Scanned a couple favorite old photos from a frame for #TBT

| September 10, 2015

When my daughter Katelyn was home a few weeks ago, she wanted Brenda to try painting a few things with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It happens to be a fairly popular crafty decorating “thing” and a creative way to reuse old furniture. This started the process of looking for items around our house to paint. […]

Follow up: Finished painting and reassembly of the lawn trailer

| July 26, 2015

How old is this utility lawn and garden trailer? If you haven't been reading along, it's 40 years old. Of course close inspection would indicated that their was rust, but all in all, my father-in-law's old trailer came back to life nicely … and the green is much more in keeping with our old John […]

Dad Howard would be pleased – reviving his old lawn trailer

| July 26, 2015

One of the projects coming together this past weekend was the disassembly, wire-brushing the rust (a lot), and painting of my late father-in-law’s old red Jackson lawn trailer. As mentioned previously, it was about 40 years old, well used, and had quite a bit of rust. Nevertheless, it was well made with quality steel – […]

Black Miracle Paint does not clean up like printing ink

| July 25, 2015

After spending a lifetime working on cars and 30 years dealing with printing press wash-up chemicals and hand scrubs, one would think I would know a little bit about cleaning my hands? Well I do know a “little bit” but still haven’t figured out how to clean dried paint off my hands (in particular Miracle […]

Clearing everything out of the Farmhouse prior to selling

| July 24, 2015

Brenda and her sister Chris spent last weekend together at the family Farmhouse in western New York. They sorted through what was left from their mom and dad’s lifetime of “stuff” separating into garage sale, trash pick-up, donations and items they might still want. The later “group” grew far too large, in my opinion.  Some […]

Archive: A few almost final Farmhouse photos

| July 6, 2015

I’m archiving a couple final (or nearly final) photos from my mother and father-in-law’s Farmhouse in Western New York. I spent the last few days as “busy as a beaver” finalizing a few things so that a home inspection would be as painless as possible … that is for a home built in the 1800s! […]

Dad Howard, his tiller and the dozer-house a few years ago #TBT

| April 30, 2015

Since I’ve been negotiating these past couple of weeks in selling my mother-in-law’s farmhouse and property, it seemed appropriate to post a Throw Back Thursday (#TBT) photo of Dad Howard in his gardening attire.   We are close to having a signed contract and are entering the inspections phase along with financing approval and wondering […]

Archive: The much-loved western NY Farmhouse – SOLD

| June 23, 2014

Chris (my “hard working” sister-in-law) and I spent a few more days in Jamestown, New York and stretched out a weekend to work on my in-law’s beloved “Farmhouse.” It looks like we are finally making headway in getting it ready to show … ready or not it will be on the market. I hope whoever […]

Clamps on a wall

| October 27, 2013

After teasing my sister-in-law about her wanting “just one” of the clamps her dad willed to me so she could hang it on her wall … I ended up hanging the rest on the wall too (although in my workshop).😉

Cleaning out the family farmhouse and barn in New York

| October 16, 2013

  EDIT: I’ve added a small recording “app” to the iMac called eXtra Voice Recorder. In the old Mac days we would call these small apps “DAs”(Desk Accessories). If you’re a pre-X Mac user, do you remember them? Below is the audio test.   Reading Cleaning out the family farmhouse and barn in New York […]

Closing up life on two fronts and Grandpa’s workshop

| September 16, 2013

We are in countdown mode on a couple of fronts: 1) Taylor is wrapping things up for his move to North Dakota in a few days and 2) our family is working to close out Brenda’s mom’s “life in Jamestown, New York.” I am sad on both counts, but know that both changes are for […]

Well done, good and faithful servant – Matthew 25:23

| June 7, 2013

Life returning to “normal” doesn’t feel right after being with family and friends for the funeral and burial of Dr. Frederick Howard, Brenda’s father – I’m not sure when I will realize that he is gone. We remembered dad’s life through stories and humor this past week and as Christians, knowing he is now truly […]

Quite the legacy my father-in-law left behind

| June 2, 2013

Some of us are fortunate to have wise men in our lives … someone that mentors and shapes us … someone who is an example for patterning our day to day lives. I was fortunate to have one of these wise men, that being my wife’s father, Dr. Frederick A. Howard – August 24, 1925 […]

Bringing Mom and Dad Howard back from New York

| November 14, 2012

I tuned out for a couple days since wifi is scarce at my in-laws farmhouse in western New York. Brenda and I made our annual pilgrimage to pack up her mom and dad and are bringing them to Cincinnati for Thanksgiving and then on their way to Florida for winter. They take the a slow […]

Nobody wants to grow old and become dependent on others

| September 17, 2010

We are all getting older and inevitably our human bodies give way to age. Some are blessed with good health for 70 or 80 years, but eventually become dependent on others. Learning to adjust is not something most are quick to accept. The days of our years are three score years and ten; and if […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.