the last couple of weeks…

after finishing

my book, i took

a little time away

from my computer.

i needed it.

but i haven’t

just been sitting

on the couch…

we were in mn

for a week,

during which i joined

brooke and her

family for a saturday

afternoon at a beer

festival in chetek, wisconsin.

(maddy stayed back with the grandparents).

it was july.

it was july.

rick, me.

awesome.

it was a beautiful day,

sky.

with an

awesome band

rockin' out.

whose music made

brooke do this:

dancin' with herself.

(the beer may have had a bit to do with that as well).

after the beer fest,

we drove through town

wisconsin.

gun shop.

under a big fish.

and i made some

new friends.

with some townies.

then we were back

on the road,

stopping for photos

with things i

don’t ever see in

los angeles.

bingo.

tank.

on a tractor.

the next morning

we were back in

minnesota, helping

tom and candee

set up for maddy’s

pool party.

actually, brooke

did most of the

helping while i took

a nap, but that’s

beside the point.

we had a great

turnout, and a ton

of fun.

especially maddy, who

spent almost the

entire party in the water,

in the pool with uncle adam and cousin ava.

cousins.

walking, not running.

playing at the pool.

even eating

her dinner in the pool.

pizza in the pool.

pizza in the pool.

pizza in the pool.

while brooke worked,

maddy and i

spent some time

with aj, sonja, and emilila

at the splash pad,

the park and

the pool,

and some time

with the grandparents

and her newest

cousin, isla.

maddy with her new cousin isla.

helping maddy hold her cousin.

playing with isla.

the day before

we left we

went to her uncle

adam’s baseball game

adam pitching.

minneapolis.

where she played

with ava

playing in the stands.

playing on the bleachers.

sharing.

eating raspberries.

playing on the blanket.

that blanket is walking away.

maddy! catch it!

it was just your cousin ava...

these two are

going to be

trouble together

someday, as evidenced

by this photo of the

two of them

trying to get the

attention of some

of the opposing team’s players:

watching the dudes.

during the game

we took a little

walk to

a spot i’ve always

wanted to visit,

but for some reason,

never found the

time to.

looking at the giant cherry.

at the sculpture garden.

in the greenhouse.

looking for some fish.

playing.

on a giant swing.

on a giant swing.

ava and holly.

happy...

about to run to me.

running.

the next day we

were back on

a flight to los angeles

so we could be

home in time

for my friend

jasmine’s wedding.

maddy spent the

night with elizabeth

and family,

while we went to

the wedding.

had a lovely night,

and finally got to meet

aislinn and matt’s

new baby.

sunday we had our

friend andrea

and her kids over

for some fun in

the pool that brooke

bought for maddy

shaking her head.

sliding.

down the slide...

people keep asking

me what i’m doing

with my time

now that the

book is done…

well, with it

out of the way

it’s time to

get to work

on some stuff around

the house.

i spent all of

last week cleaning

and organizing my house.

this has been sort

of an ongoing

process the past few

weeks, but there’s

a lot more to do.

i hadn’t seen the

surface of my

desk in forever,

but i can happily

say that

after an entire day

of work,

i now can.

the living room has

been decluttered and

the folks at goodwill

now have close to 50

of my old books.

the kitchen cupboards

have been reorganized

and lots of

food well past

its expiration date

has been tossed.

but i can’t clean

this house forever,

so as soon as

all of the necessary

reorganization is done

i’m going to take

advantage of this

lull in activity to

do some things

that i haven’t

done nearly enough of

in the past few months.

since brooke

works every day

and maddy is playing

with her friends

at daycare,

my plan is to have a

routine that includes

hiking in the morning

and reading in

the afternoons.

sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

i can’t wait.

last friday brooke’s

mom, aunt and cousin

came out to los angeles

for a visit, but i

think it was

mostly to escape

the humidity of

the midwest.

we had a great time

showing them

around town,

los angeles.

standing.

dancing.

and even more fun

hitting up disneyland

brooke and family.

watching.

maddy was amazed.

sugared up.

excited.

so much fun.

us.

happy.

amazed.

through the window.

looking up.

and the next day

taking brooke’s

cousin to travel town

at griffith park

(the kid fucking loves trains…and so does maddy).

running.

playing on the train

looking.

playing on the train.

walking.

crossing.

it was lunch time

and maddy really

wanted a tootsie pop,

but i wasn’t

willing to let

her have it until

after lunch,

so she sat

down in the middle

of the sidewalk

and threw one

of the most awesome

two-year old

shit fits ever.

freaking out because i wouldn't let her have a sucker before lunch.

(i should have turned the video camera on, but i figured i’d spare everyone).

with a little disciplinary

help from brooke,

we got her

calmed down and

she ate her lunch.

of course she

was then rewarded

with a very

sticky cherry lollipop.

that night we

had the great pleasure

of hosting the spohr

family for dinner

and a lot

of laughter.

maddy went to

sleep early

after staring in

amazement at annie,

and more than once

saying,

“daddy! hold her!”

it hit 10:00

and the jobless among

us could have

partied all night

if not for our

working-stiff partners.

jerks.

now it’s tuesday

and as much as

i want to lay on

my couch and read,

i actually have

a meeting with some

folks on the other

side of town later

this afternoon.

(don’t forget the liz logelin foundation is still looking for sponsor, donations and attendees for the celebration of hope gala and the
5k).

(also, i’ll be speaking at camp widow 2010. click the image below for more information).

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