Normal routine upended by son’s viral infection. Dad and I taking turns being the at-home parent during this week’s fever. Discombobulated.

Rusty Rail

Rusty Rail
[Taken 19 Jan 2017]

From the Rollei 35 test roll, taken in downtown Toledo this past January. More to come… including an unusual interaction with a stranger, and proof that the Rollei 35 is not a “selfie” camera.

Tooth Pillow

Tooth Pillow

My son has had a rough few days, with his Very Loose Tooth and his ongoing fever. This morning, his tooth finally came out, so I scraped together a few minutes over my work-at-home lunch break to whip up a tooth pillow for this second tooth.

Of course, I look at this and think, God, this looks horrible. So very first draft, so proof-of-concept. My son thinks it’s awesome, though, and I guess that’s all that matters.

(He did tell me I should write a note for the Tooth Fairy to say that he wants to keep his tooth for his tooth collection. I’m afraid the Tooth Fairy is going to tell him what she tells everyone: you want the cash, you gotta surrender the tooth.)

I tried to get him to pose with his second tooth like he did with his first… but he hasn’t been feeling well, like I mentioned, so my attempts to get him to show his new and bigger tooth gap look like tortured grimaces.

Gap toothed grimaces

We’re going to the pediatrician tomorrow, so hopefully that plus a visit from the Tooth Fairy will make him feel better.

Spring Weeding

Weeds before and after

I only spent two hours weeding and cleaning up today, but I could easily have spent all day, if I’d had the time.

My main goal was to clean up the “tulip bed,” above. I call it the tulip bed because I planted some couple dozen Angelique peony-flowering tulips in the border a couple autumns ago. Last spring, deer ate the tops off of two-thirds of them. Earlier this spring, deer and other wildlife just straight up ate the bulbs right out of the ground. I have about six left, and I intend to use this photo as a reference for where I should plant some more bulbs come this fall.


I spent some quality time weeding here, then pulling up last year’s stems of Solomon’s Seal in the next border over, along with pulling the most egregious of the weeds there. I also swung through the front garden (what I pompously call the Cottage Garden, although it really looks nothing like one yet) and did some spring triage: pulling up skeletons of last year’s annuals, making sure weeds don’t choke out new growth from peonies and yarrow, that sort of thing.

I’m planning a gardening morning off of work in a couple of weeks, but I’m chomping at the bit to get out there and tackle some more tasks: plants I’d like to move, more weeding, some pruning, etc.

When we moved into this house four years ago, I didn’t exactly go from zero to gardener in a season. It took me a year or two to ramp up and grow into it. Now, though… this is a full-fledged hobby of mine, disguised as yardwork.

Unintended Irony

Water... Toledo's greatest natural resource

This mural can be found in the Citiwalk tunnel connecting the TARTA stop with One Seagate and Imagination Station downtown.

I know the Maumee River wasn’t always spic-and-span, so maybe this was more of an ideal than a reality even back when the mural was painted. Now, though, the focus of the public is less on the Maumee and more on Lake Erie itself.


Some evenings, all I want is to kick back and watch some Good Eats.

Sure, I had other stuff planned, like uploading some photos and packing up some shoes to return, but none of it was urgent.

My son didn’t get up after lights out (for the second night in a row! w00t w00t!), and I enjoyed a carefully planned after-dinner snack and a decaf with two episodes of my favorite TV show.

(Well, I mean, not my ALL-TIME favorite… I can’t diss Next Gen like that… but it’s my favorite at the moment… even though it’s been off the air for years. Hooray for Amazon Video.)

Anywho, tonight just felt like one of those nights where I wanted to chill instead of being productive. And I’m OK with that.

Digital Clutter

I have years and years of documents, projects, photos, and music stored on my two external hard drives.

I probably haven’t opened 75% of these files in the past two years.

Nowadays, when I have a few minutes to an hour to sit at my home PC and do some “work” — post-processing photos, mostly, either for uploading to Flickr and the blog or to print for my photo album — sometimes I find that I can’t find what I’m looking for.

All I wanted to do was to print a couple of collages I’d put together a few months back. (I’m printing multiple photos on one page, as an experiment, laid out like you’d see on Flickr with the photos resized so they fit nicely in even rows.)

I couldn’t find my damn Photoshop files.

Had I saved them in their own Project folder? Did I put them on the Desktop, since I knew I’d be accessing them soon? How about just in the folder with the other photos from the fair?

I finally did find them, and got them uploaded to print. In the process, I discovered how hopelessly behind I am in printing individual photos for the family photo album.

I need a new process. We live in this highly mobile era where I can (and sometimes do) order prints straight from my iPhone, yet I also want to print film photos and photos from my Nikon, and keep them all in chronological order in the photo album (mostly).

I can’t make myself prioritize clearing digital clutter over clearing physical clutter, though. I’m bad with both, honestly, and it comes from not putting things in their place as soon as possible — or not having a place designated for the thing, and just putting it somewhere for now.

All I know is that clutter is frustrating, whether it be physical or digital, and it keeps me from being efficient at whatever I’m trying to accomplish. I’m seriously going to just have to carve out some time to deal with the clutter.

All of it.

12 Things That Are Always In My Refrigerator

In my fridge

Our favorite supermarket stopped carrying Philadelphia Fat Free Cream Cheese a couple weeks ago. It’s such a staple in our fridge that we looked at a different store for it this past week, to no avail — Aaron had to buy that store’s brand of fat-free cream cheese, instead.

It got me to thinking about the things we always keep in our fridge. I think this probably went around as some sort of meme years ago, but now I present to you, just for shits and giggles and in no particular order, twelve things we always have in our fridge (at least, right after grocery shopping).  (more…)