October 2016

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It’s finally here: All Hallows Eve or Halloween, for short. The one night we tell our kids it’s okay to take candy from strangers. Anyway, this year the boys presented a couple of unique challenges with regard to their costumes. Alex wanted to be Ant Man, which seems simple enough. After all, the movie just came out last year, right? WRONG! We couldn’t find an Ant Man costume anywhere! We’ll that’s not entirely true because obviously we DID find one, but it wasn’t easy! And Adam wanted to be a Zombie, which required makeup. You’re thinking, “that’s not so bad,” except Adam had to go look in the mirror every two minutes to inspect my progress. So, finally, after all our efforts, Ant Man meets The Zombie…

Ant Man meets the Zombie

And they we’re having fun…although Adam doesn’t look like he’s having fun, he explains that “Zombies never look happy”.

Adam Zombie Alex Antman Adam Zombie Alex Antman

Meanwhile…

Our grandkids are ready for a great night of “Tricks or Treats,” too. We’ve always talked about how Oliver looks like Spot from the movie, The Good Dinosaur, well, Jess outdid herself with this one! Meet Spot and Arlo (a.k.a Carter John). Oliver even has leaves in his hair!

Spot and Arlo

And Kameran was “Deadpool Chick” from the movie Deadpool. Now, I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t know if she’s “a” Deadpool Chick or “the” Deadpool Chick, all I know is that she’s too cute! From all the pictures of Deadpool I’ve seen online, a/the Deadpool Chick would need to have a couple of swords on her back, but not this one! Instead of breaking heads, it looks like Kam is going to be breaking hearts…

Deadpool Chick

Happy Halloween

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wherein we learn you may be “just a shark”.

So, Alex holds up his stuffed shark and…

Alex: Is this a megalodon?

Me: Sure, if you want it to be.

Alex: No, it’s just a shark.

Shark

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Today, the Scout Master and I took some of the Den 1 boys (our kids) out on the river to work on one of their Tiger elective adventures: Floats and Boats. This is a great way for Tigers to learn about different types of boats and how to stay safe on the water.

And they were PUMPED!

Scouts

We headed-up Julington Creek and docked the boat at a friendly dock for our “scout time”…

Scouts

We had several items we wanted to check-off today and the boys were pretty well engaged. It’s fun to be outside with the boys doing something new. As part of today’s adventure, the boys…

  • Demonstrated they could correctly put on and fasten a life jacket;
  • Identified five different types of boats;
  • Learned the S-C-O-U-T water safety chant;
  • Showed how to safely help someone who needs assistance in the water, without having to enter the water; and
  • Built a boat from recycled materials to float on the water.

And with our work done, we just enjoyed the rest of the morning on the water…

Scouts

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wherein we learn that ambivalence is synonymous with immunity…

Mom: Boys, you need to stay in the house, the mosquitoes are so bad outside.

Adam: How do you know they are bad?

Mom: Because I’ve seen them, especially in the front, and I’ve been bit a couple of times!!

Adam: I’m immune! I was looking at a mosquito sucking my blood on my leg, and I didn’t even care!

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At tonight’s Pack Meeting, A2 and the rest of the Den 1 crew were awarded their “Bobcat” badge! This is the first step in their Cub Scout journey. If you look closely, you’ll see Cindy is the Den Leader for this group of boys. They looked like they’re lined-up very nicely, but don’t be fooled, it was really much like herding cats! 😉

Bobcat Award

Nice work, boys!

Bobcat Badge

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You can always tell what holiday is approaching by looking at the front of our house! Cindy pulled the boxes off the shelves in the garage this weekend and there you go! BTW…the inside of the house doesn’t look much different than the outside 😉

Halloween House

Yeah, our house always has a theme.

Halloween windows Halloween windows

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Florida is known for it’s sunshine and beaches, but’s it’s also known for bugs and lizards. The nice thing about lizards is they eat the bugs, so we let them move freely in-and-out of the house. When I was a kid, we’d catch-and-release these little guys all the time. Now, so is Adam…

Gecko Gecko

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wherein we discover a little known half-time rule in Madden Football…

Me: Where are you guys going?

Adam: Outside.

Me: Okay, but you need to turn-off your video game, first.

Alex: No! We can’t turn off the game.

Adam: Yeah, it’s half-time! That means we can go outside to play.

Me: uh, okay.

Rules

The boys’ first hurricane has come and gone…well technically, I guess it’s their THIRD hurricane, as we had to evacuate for Gustav in 2008 (they were still in utero) and we were in Pennsylvania for Irene in 2011. So, this was the first hurricane of which they were AWARE.

Anyway, I inspected the grounds this morning and it’s pretty much what I expected…

The neighbor’s fence is down.

Fence Down

My fence is leaning pretty badly.

Fence Leaning

The pool is FULL of leaves.

Pool Trash

But, HEY, the boys bird feeders made it through unscathed! 🙂

Bird Feeder Bird Feeder

Pretty much the only thing for me (and Pop) to do today was to repair my section of fence and clean the pool. And of course, move everything out of the garage and storage shed that we had stowed-away for the storm.

Fence fix

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Hurricane season is in full swing in NE Florida. Hurricane Matthew is expected to skirt the coast and bring a lot of wind and rain. In the last 24-hours the projection has changed between a Cat-2, Cat-3, and Cat-4 as it moves past/through Jax. Now, with less than 24-hours to go, it’s projected to be a Cat-3 with the eye just offshore…

Hurricane Matthew

There’s a mandatory evacuation for the coastal areas, but we’re not in an evacuation zone, so we’re going to stay put and ride-out the storm. Nana and Pop, who arrived Monday, are probably asking themselves, “now, why exactly did we come here?” 😉

LATER. October 7, 2016. 5:38 a.m.

In the latest hurricane projection Matthew looks to be just off the east coast of Melbourne. It’s still projected to be a Cat-3 as it passes Jax, but it’s no expected to make landfall. The boys and Nana and Pop, are still in bed sleeping. It’s raining and the wind is picking-up, but otherwise, it’s still pretty calm. More to come.

Hurricane Matthew

The calm before the storm…

Hurricane Matthew

LATER. October 7, 2016. 11:24 a.m.

So, the NOAA has updated the hurricane track and it looks like Matthew is still a Cat-3, but is definitely going to stay offshore as it passes Jax…

Hurricane Matthew

Right now, we’re getting some strong gusts, but it’s still pretty calm. The power is still on and the boys are watching “I Am Legend” with Will Smith.

Hurricane Matthew

In the backyard, with all the rain we’ve gotten the last couple of days, it’s looking like my pool will soon overflow…

Hurricane Matthew

LATER. October 7, 2016. 1:15 p.m.

The wind is really picking-up and the rain is falling horizontally in fits and starts. The hurricane is close now. The boys don’t seem to notice…

Hurricane Matthew

LATER. October 7, 2016. 2:00 p.m.

Well, the hurricane should be passing parallel to the Jax coast for the next 2-3 hours…

Hurricane Matthew

The wind is blowing harder in more sustained bursts, but everyone is holding up well. We lost power for less than a minute, but other than that everything is working fine for now. Except, it looks like I’m going to lose a section of my fence…

Hurricane Matthew

Yep, that section and a little more…

LATER. October 7, 2016. 4:15 p.m.

The eye of the hurricane is now parallel to our home. It’s about 30-miles off the coast at this point and still moving in a NNW direction. The worst of the storm will soon be past and the wind will die down significantly in the next hour. So far, we haven’t lost power and the only visible damage has been to our fence. When things die down a bit, I’ll take a walk outside.

Hurricane Matthew

LATER. October 7, 2016. 5:00 p.m.

Matthew has passed us and is moving north just off the Jacksonville coastline. It’s been downgraded to a Cat-2 hurricane now and there’s been a noticeable decrease in wind and rain. It looks like it’s just about over. Fortunately, it looks to be a non-event.

Hurricane Matthew

LATER. October 7, 2016. 6:30 p.m.

We’re still getting some pretty good wind gusts, but nothing like earlier in the day. It’s time for dinner now, and what better comfort food is there than breakfast? How about some biscuits and sausage gravy? Mmmm. 🙂

Hurricane Matthew

LATER. October 7, 2016. 8:00 p.m.

Well, Hurricane Matthew is on it’s way out. We finished dinner and cleaned the dishes, now we’re watching “Captain America: Civil War.” There’s still some wind and rain, but it’ll soon be gone. Tomorrow is a new day…and I gotta fix my fence.

Hurricane Matthew

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