Brothers in the Band

Love them and love their mama!

From NBC News

Autistic Brothers Excel in Southern University Marching Band

The Southern University Marching Band, known throughout the land as the “Human Jukebox”, is a 230 member powerhouse.

There have been siblings in the band before, but none quite like Josiah and Micah Frank.

Music has been the key that opened the world to these young men.

Turkey Day 5K: Stroll + Run

Melissa, Richie, and I participated in the Turkey Day 5K on Thanksgiving morning in downtown Boise.


Melissa has done it since it started six years ago. The rest of our family has done it a couple of times.

It’s a great community event with other 4000 participants, some strolling like in a parade and some speeding like a a lion’s prey…

Lots of people get dressed up in costumes. Check out the piece of pumpkin pie and the turkey.

There’s always a Boise State Football fan proudly wearing blue and orange wherever he/she can.


Many families dress in similar head gear so that they can easily find one another at the end of the race.



Lots of dogs run the race as well. This dog won the cutest puppy award!


Here we are at the start of the race in the 20 degree chill.


Richie is a gazelle and ran the 3.1 miles in just over 21 minutes.

Melissa and I were very pleased with our under 50 minutes time. We chatted the whole time we quickly strolled, and she took oodles of pictures for this post. 🙂


Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving with a great herbed turkey dinner which was followed by some of Melissa’s fabulous cupcakes.

Today we celebrated Christmas with a fantastic sweet bread breakfast at Melissa’a house.

Later we opened presents.

Tonight we had sausages and vegetables on ciabatta rolls.

Followed by a chocolate cherry dump cake.

And now we are “Blutoed”–which is our way of saying that we are STUFFED!

Bluto comes from John Belushi’s character in Animal House…

One of the great things about Thanks for Christmas is that we only get Blutoed once, not twice. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!


We are celebrating our “Thanks for Christmas” combination holiday.

Richie came down from Seattle. Melissa’s close by in Boise. We’re in Meridian.

Good times, a few gifts, and lots of love.

Lots to be thankful for…



For the first  time in  almost two years, we had snow!

It was ever so lovely…


It snowed virtually all day and while only about a inch stuck, it was perfect!


I didn’t take any pictures, but Sophie and I had a blast shoveling.


Home Depot vs Lowe’s

Until recently, we favored Home Depot over Lowe’s.


While we were building houses, we spent $90 out of every $100 at Home Depot and $10 at Lowe’s.

Lowe’s prices were about 5% higher, but that’s not the only reason we preferred Home Depot.


It was easier to get assistance from employees at Home Depot, we liked their selections better, and special orders were much easier to execute.

But that was nearly 10 years ago.

Now we shop at Lowe’s 90% of the time and Home Depot the rest of the time.


  • We’ve noticed that the prices at both stores are pretty evenly matched.
  • We aren’t building houses so a huge selection of fixtures, tile flooring, etc… is not important any more.
  • We never have need to special order anything.


But the main reason we shop at Lowe’s most of the time?

It’s less than a mile and a half from our house! Home Depot is over six miles. 🙂

Yep, the people who used to commute nearly 30 miles to do anything are now so spoiled that we don’t want to drive any more than necessary!

However, there is one thing that’s better at Home Depot…

Rich has to use a walker for another six weeks, and he’s tried the motorized carts at both Home Depot and Lowe’s.


The Home Depot carts are much higher geared so he can go much faster in them.

Guess where we go hardware shopping now? 🙂

Goal Oriented vs Process Oriented

Joel, one of my pickleball buddies, is, in my mind, a zen master.


He’s a thinker and a studier while he plays, and yet he’s very physical as well.

I got to talking with Joel about my journey to become more competitive when I play. Unless I’m in a tournament, I could care less whether I win or not. I just want to sweat, learn something, and have fun.

I explained that I don’t think I’m focused enough on the outcome of the game. So I’m working on increasing my competitiveness–beating my opponents being my goal.


He asked, “Why in the world would you want to do that?”

I said that I thought it would improve my game.

He disagreed and quickly began to explain to me how wrong I was. (Joel is very good at that! 🙂 )

Joel played competitive tennis in high school and  college, so much of his musings start with tennis and then finish in pickleball.

Tennis players are taught to be ‘process oriented’ which means that they work on the mechanics of the game, perfecting the process.


By focusing on winning in my pursuit to be more competitive, I am ‘goal or results oriented’.

As much as I wanted to disagree with him, the more Joel talked, the more sense he made.

If I switch my focus to being process oriented, I will play more in the moment. I will work on EACH shot so that it’s the best shot.

Instead of focusing on beating my least favorite opponent (Herb), for example, I will focus on the process of training and the process of mastering pickleball.

While waiting for our next turn to  play, I asked him for some specific exercises to do. He mentioned one to start with.

And as I played, I focused on using his ‘process’ while playing.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much my play improved and how ‘in the moment’ my play became. I chose which shot to try based on the situation,–trying to achieve the best placement, speed, and timing.


I’m hoping to become more process oriented in other areas of my life, not only on the pickleball court.

Here’s a good definition of process orientation (in regards to human resources, but I think it will help me) :

Process Orientation places a priority on “how” things are done. It is a willingness to remain open and follow in new directions. It means setting aside mainstream ways of achieving results and instead following culturally respectful processes that also produce results. It is letting go of agendas or the need to control, and trusting that the appropriate outcome will emerge from a good journey together. It means accepting that both the use of process orientation and a “good relationship” are concrete deliverables.

Un-Go-Fike-Tay, Bud?

Because my uncle passed away, I’ve been reminiscing a lot about my dad and his brother, Bud.

Although my dad is very smart, Bud was always the cerebral brother.


He was moved up two grades in school. And that made it hard for him to feel like he belonged with his peers. He was always the smallest of all the boys in his new grade levels.

My dad was, and continues to be, very active. He LOVES to exercise and has always enjoyed being in the outdoors.


Dad was always in a hurry to do things as a kid growing up in Berkeley, California. And that speed even accompanied his speech.

He used to constantly ask Bud, “Un-go-fike-tay, Bud?”

That translated into, “Do you want to go on a hike today, Bud?”


So as I was growing up, whenever one of us talked too fast, Dad’s comeback was often, “Un-go-fike-tay, Bud?”

Never ceased to make me giggle and to slow down and repeat what I had just said. 🙂

Living to 100

When I was younger, I wanted to live until I was 100.

lt1Now, I don’t. 🙂

But that’s not what this post is about.

My 98 year old paternal uncle died yesterday. Bud lived a long life and a great life. He’d been ready to go for a while, so while his death is sad our sadness is softened…

My dad is a remarkably healthy 95 year old and works very hard at staying healthy.  Bud lived 98 years and didn’t work very hard at staying healthy. Their sister, Lois, at 93, is most likely somewhere in between her brothers as far as focus on health is concerned.

Obviously, longevity lies in their genes.

And that got me wondering, what does it take to live to 100?


Google, of course, provided an answer!

Take the Living To 100 Life Expectancy test and find out your chances.


PS I took the test, and I’m supposed to live until I’m 92.  🙁

I’ve got to start eating more cheesecake!