July 11, 2022

milestones, fav book, a timeline that might make you laugh, or it might make you cry, & LOTS of photos

 Milestone:  I happened to notice that after this post, I'm six posts shy of 1,000. In some ways, it feels like I've already surpassed that, perhaps because I have a zillion partial posts in my drafts. At the same time, it feels like I just started blogging yesterday.

I'm now pondering what to do, if anything, to celebrate this upcoming milestone. I'm taking requests. You can suggest a topic that you'd like me to cover, or would you prefer I do one of those ASK ME (almost) ANYTHING posts? Or would you like to challenge me to keep under a certain word count (ha, good luck there)? Or shall I dig something out of my drafts? Or should I press onward, continue on my THIS IS WHAT'S HAPPENING stream of consciousness? Is there a story I promised to write and haven't done it yet? 

Please jump in and share your thoughts in the comments, even if your comment is unrelated to the 1,000th post suggestion request. I live for comments. I'd love to hear from you. 


New favorite book:  I don't usually mention books that I'm reading. I'm NOT a speed reader (speaking of speed readers, Hi, Nicole). I feel like by the time I finish a book, most people have already heard of it/read it, and it's old news. I read The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig for my book club last month and I loved it so much. The other women in my book club felt similarly. 

Think Little House on the Prairie meets Dennis the Menace. That comparison doesn't really due it justice. It is beautifully written and entertaining. The characters have a lot of depth and quirks. I often prefer non-fiction, but this fiction was still a big hit for me. If you decide to read it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 


So sweet:  Tank came home the other day and told me that he'd just gone to pick up payment from a woman who he did some landscaping work for. The total for planting bushes (maybe pulling out old bushes too) was like $220. 

Lady:  Tank, sit down.

Tank:  OK.

Lady:  I just wanna tell you something. My dad died when I was 11. My mom raised four kids on minimum wage jobs. I appreciate hard work. You are a very hard worker. I'm giving you an extra $50, plus a pass to get your car cleaned. I'm a member there and I get these cards, but I never need all of them. 

How nice is that? 



2010 - we took our 6 very young kids to Yellowstone. Our tent flooded in the rain because we were rookies who didn't know that the fly isn't supposed to touch the tent. It was late May and there were no crowds or heat. We saw lots of wildlife, but were most excited by many bears sightings. We became hooked on National Parks. 

The drive home from Yellowstone, after our
visit to Custer's Last Stand, thus the hats.

I feel you, Curly. It was a great, but exhausting trip.

Back when Great White, GW, was 12 years younger.
Oops, we forgot to pack the kitchen sink.


Tank, Curly, and Coach.


The girls picked wild flowers and then shared them with each other. Whose mother is always cold? Hey, it WAS cold in the mornings, but I do have a tendency to over dress them. I have tons of videos of soccer games when my kids are running up and down the field, the only ones in long pants and hats. It pays to be prepared. 

2018 - while in Scotland for World Championships with my dad and the girls, he suggests that we go to Yellowstone, and he'd like to accompany us. This is two years after he barely survived being thrown from his horse while visiting Yellowstone with my brother, Pat and Pat's kids. I shrugged and told him I'd get us reservations. He believed I wouldn't get a room for the upcoming summer. Did that sound like a dare to anyone else, or was that just me? I got home from Scotland and reserved a few Rough Rider (bathrooms down the path) cabins. The dates weren't ideal and my dad wasn't interested in roughing it. We scratched the plan and agreed to try again the next summer. Sounded easy enough. 

2019 - the reservations I made were perfect, except that they conflicted with the big golf tournament the kids caddy in and we decided taking the whole family to Vancouver for a week when Curly Irish danced there was a once in a lifetime experience. We couldn't do both trips back to back because hello work and obligations and our money tree had yet to bloom (will it ever?), so we said LET'S DO YELLOWSTONE NEXT SUMMER. Again, sounds like a no brainer. 

Curly snapping photos at Butchart Gardens
 in Victoria

Remember this is a few months after I gave Mini the world's worst haircut.

Watching a street performer. I know all 6 of those butts.

Spotting a whale on our whale watching ride.

Also at Butchart. I used this photo of Coach and
 all the boys in our Christmas card. I realized
 afterwards that Reg looks like a peg-leg. The
way he's standing 'in' the shrubs makes it look
 as if he's lost part of his appendage.

*BTW we really loved Vancouver and have no regrets about turning that Irish dancing trip into one the entire family would enjoy. 

2020 - SORRY FOLKS, THE PARK IS CLOSED. MOOSE SHOULD'A TOLD YA OUT FRONT . . . pandemic closes the park. Couldn't have seen that coming. 

2021 - Roosevelt, the part of the park where we had our Yellowstone reservations, wasn't going to open because of staffing shortages as a result of the pandemic. Again, minds blown. 

2022 - flooding, natural disaster. For real? 

Fortunately we are a people who can be disappointed, but who are also good at laughing at situations that are downright LAUGHABLE. 

Hit me with requests for my 1,000 post. An unrelated comment will also make my day. Have you read The Whistling Season? Used a photo on a Christmas card and realized after that someone looked as though they'd had an amputation, or some other issue? Do tell. 


Jeannie Bruce said...

I am adding the Whistling season to my TBR book list now! It sounds fantastic.

Post request - A family update. Where/what everyone is up to at the moment.

Nicole said...

Hi Ernie! I haven't read The Whistling, at least I don't think I have. I should check my spreadsheet. Butchart Gardens is so beautiful. I love Vancouver and Vancouver Island, and I've been lucky enough to visit several times. Such a gorgeous part of the world. My husband lived in Vancouver for a time! That story about Tank is so sweet, as are all those photos.

mbmom11 said...

An ask me anything post would be fun. What's going on for Reg and Curly schooling for next year?
I visited Vancouver once- March so it was cold but sunny. I loved the Capilano suspension bridge and the Cat Cafe. I was visiting my sister who lives there, so we did more family stuff and lots of walks.

Ernie said...

Jeannie - I am anxious to hear what you think of the book.

I will share what everyone is up to in a post soon, but I will refrain from updating you on anyone here in the comments today, because TODAY, MY PEOPLE ARE PUSHING MY BUTTONS AND TICKING ME OFF. It's like they planned it "Let's see how upset we can make her." Honestly.

Ernie said...

Nicole - I'm shocked that I've read a book that you have yet to read, as you are the most book savvy person that I know. I can only imagine how lengthy that spread sheet is. I wish I took better notes on what books I want to read that you recommend. I always think I will remember them, or I jot them down . . . but where did I jot them down?

Oh, Vancouver is so beautiful and with Stanley Park and city and water and mountains . . . I feel like it has it all. Irish dancing was not always my favorite thing to do, but I'm grateful that it took us there. Otherwise, I'm not sure we would've visited.

Oh how I love photos of days gone by.

Ernie said...

mbmom - If my sister lived in Vancouver, I might visit more often. Maybe I'd make more of an effort to put up with my sister too. Loved that place. So much to see.

I have been thinking about updating the school situation. I will work on a post to explain it. There are so many layers to the decision that it boggles the mind. We haven't decided one way or another yet. Um, and it's mid July. *going to try to start that post right now, before I take Curly to travel ball in the city.

Cheryl said...

Awesome pics! Thanks for sharing!

However, one in particular really jumped out at me. It was the one with Tank, Coach and Curly, walking down the trail and all you see, or at least all I saw, was an uber tall, lanky, curly haired, blonde woman with a backpack on her back, holding hands with a little boy. I was like "who the heck is that..Ernie with blonde curly hair...when was she blonde and curly?"
Than, I read your caption and almost peed myself laughing.

Kari said...

I'll have to add that book to my TBR list.

Those adorable kid photographs get to me. They've all grown up. While you're in it, time seems to move slowly, but now it seems to move quickly. Sigh.

Vancouver is on my bucket list.

Jenny in WV said...

It doesn't feel like I've read nearly 1,000 posts!

I'm looking forward to reading about your road trip to Georgia and car shopping.

For post 1,000 how about revisiting post #1? What's changed and what is still chugging along?

Do you miss Irish Dancing?

Suzanne said...

1,000 posts!!! Wow! That is awesome, Ernie! I have no ideas, but congrats!

Hooray for Tank! What a wonderful compliment!

And that photo of Curly asleep in the van is SO precious.

Busy Bee Suz said...

There are so many places I'd like to see in Canada...Vancouver is one.

I'm sorry, but I think Yellowstone doesn't want the Shenanigan family again. I don't know why, but take the hint when it's thrown at you. Multiple times. 😳
The photos of your kids when they were little are so darn precious. Don't you wish you could go back just for one day?

When you mentioned the book, I, too, wondered if Nicole had read it. I don't know another human who can read as much as she does; I'm pretty envious. I added that book to my amazon list; used it's under 2 bucks! I'll let you know when I finish reading it next year. (slow!!)

Congrats on 1k posts. What could you talk about? Hmmm.....I don't think I have any requests, but keep going with your stream of conciseness. I think that is your golden spot!

Ernie said...

Cheryl- I'm glad you enjoyed the pics. Laughing at the unintentional takeout.

Beth Cotell said...

Look at all the little Shenanigans! So cute!!!!

And I love that picture of peg leg. I think we've seen it before but that didn't stop me from laughing out loud again!

Waaaaaaaay back in 2008 (although in my head I just said ought eight as if I were 90 years old and it was 1840), I did a 100 Things About Me for my 100th post. Perhaps you could do a 1000 Things About Me? HAHAHAHAHA! Only kidding. But I find lists of random things about people very interesting so maybe you could just do 100 or even 50.

Ernie said...

Kari - I do love photos. Back when I carried a diaper bag, I kept my little camera in the pocket where I was supposed to keep a bottle. It was always handy. Going to Yellowstone was going to be so much work, but it would've been interesting to explore with kids who could hike up mountains without being carried on our backs.

Vancouver - SO MUCH TO SEE. Do it.

Ernie said...

Jenny - If you haven't read all 1,000 posts, I'm not about to urge you to go back to the beginning. Those early posts were WORDY. Plus not enough paragraph breaks.

I do like the idea of revisiting post #1.

I do NOT miss Irish dancing, was I supposed to write a whole post about that, because I feel like it's just a one word response kind of thing. ;)

I have a few deets to share about our GA road trip and car shopping, which wasn't a very lengthy process. We were too desperate to get a car.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - Thanks. It might not feel like 1,000 because I didn't have any readers back when I first started blogging - it was more of a practice thing I was doing to see if I could find the time to write once a week.

What is it about a baby sleeping? So cute.

Ernie said...

Suz - Oh Canada . . . Vancouver is a great spot. We also went to Waterton, which is the national park that is connected to Glacier, but it is over the border in Canada. No idea how we found it as our GPS was struggling, but once we were there it was beautiful.

Yellowstone def doesn't want us. Apparently I took enough photos of it back in the day for the kids to remember it by.

I am a slow reader too. No joke. I laughed at 'next year'.

My true stream of consciousness mode would be WAY wordy, but I will march on trying to keep everyone informed of the goings-on over here at House Shenanigan.

Ernie said...

Beth - I probably did show peg leg before, but I do think it is funny. It's what happens when you try to order your Christmas cards late at night so you can cross if off of your list.

I'm not sure I ever know 1,000 things about me. ;) You might be on to something with a smaller number though.

Charlie said...

Great photos Ernie, especially peg leg! And congratulations on your forthcoming milestone. I think you should give us some options and let us vote. Let us know the drafts or ideas you have and let your fans choose!

Pat Birnie said...

What an incredible milestone Ernie. You should be very proud. I love all your topics. Such a lovely gesture from that woman recognizing Tank’s hard work. Our library doesn’t have that book, and like Nicole I’d be broke if I bought all my books. But Sun gave the great suggestion of buying it used from Amazon. I did go back one time and look at a few of your earlier posts- they were good but it’s really apparent how your writing skills have developed.

Ernie said...

Charlie - Glad you enjoyed the photos. The peg leg photo was a hoot. I ended up writing a lot more notes in cards that year to explain that my son was still walking around on two legs.

If I get my thoughts organized enough, I will come up with some options.

Ernie said...

Pat - Thanks for the kind words, Pat. I'm cringing a bit, imagining you reading old posts. Thanks for continuing nonetheless.

It was very kind of that woman to recognize Tank in that way. The commercial landscaper he works for has lost her office help and hasn't been on top of paying him regularly. He is pretty frustrated because she loses timesheets, etc. I am urging him to stick with her and be understanding that she is spread thin trying to do the books. Tough lessons, but will ultimately serve him well.

We have a great used book store near us, and I check with them when I have a book that I want to purchase after I've returned it to the library. He didn't have this title, but I will have to keep looking. It's a keeper.

I'm thrilled that you like all of my topics. There was a time when I considered naming this blog NEVER DULL, life seems to provide me with material at every turn.