Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Adding On Update

Since my last house addition update, 

we got kitchen cabinets.


So many boxes.

Laying them all out.

Nigel helping.
We had open, floating shelves built instead of installing upper cabinets.

I’ve always had open shelves,
even in our first house in Atlanta.

It saves you money,
 makes unloading the dishwasher a snap
and it makes guests feel comfortable
grabbing a glass for water
or a plate for a meal.

Because they are all right there out in the open.

And when your husband brings home those huge ugly plastic cups
from his gas station ice tea,
you just throw them
in one of the lower cabinets.

Or you throw them in the trash can
and tell him it melted in the dishwasher.



I made our builder, Paul, nervous when I asked him if he was POSITIVE the fridge would fit into its new cabinet home.

That would not even be funny if the fridge that started 
this whole project still didn’t fit into the kitchen.

Lots of measuring later, 
yes, he is POSITIVE it will fit.

Whew!

Our fridge’s future new home.

I can’t even express the excitement I have about this pantry!

They reconfigured the shelves and widened the doorway.

To the right of the shelves, I have an area to hang my broom, mop, Swiffer and aprons.

Yay!!


In our original plan, we were going to keep the brick archway that enclosed the stove area and also hid the ventilation hood.

I can’t believe I wanted to keep it.

Since Julie opened our eyes to the concept of getting rid of it,
(thank you, thank you, thank you, that you did, Julie!!)

we had to come up with a plan to cover the ventilation pipe. 

I did not want one of those stainless steel exposed hoods. 

And not just because they were super expensive.


I looked at pictures on Houzz and Pinterest and printed out a few and gave them to our crew.

They really ran with it and even helped me find the wooden corbels on eBay.

Monte negotiated hard and saved  a
whopping $4.00 on the corbels,
which he still considers a victory.

It turned out awesome!!


 Next, everything got a coat of primer.




Our counters were installed.

When I went to the fabricators to pick out what pieces to put where, they avoided every vein in the stone.

The veining was my favorite part and I had them 
make sure to include every last bit of it!



Some places call this granite, River White, others call it Typhoon White.

We wanted something that looked like marble without the fuss and staining issues of marble.




A one bowl sink! I really couldn’t decide if I wanted to go to stainless steel or stick with the porcelain cast iron I’ve always had.

In the end, I decided stainless steel might hold up better. My white sink was really showing some wear and tear.


While all the above was happening in the kitchen,

our fireplace and cabinets were shaping up in the family room.

The over 100-year-old barn beam mantle my Dad brought from Indiana.
The walls above the cabinets are painted black because one of the workers, Jeremy, suggested putting barn wood behind the open shelves. The black paint would make any cracks in the wood less noticeable.
 Jeremy wrapped the column in the kitchen with barn wood too.

I used to not like this ill-placed column.

Now it’s one of my favorite things in the room.


I really like how it looks with a toilet in front of it.


The barn wood in place.

The red pieces of wood clashed with the stone in the fireplace, 
so Paul brought me a wire brush so I could rub some of the paint off.

I sneezed red dust for two days.



Next came picking a paint color.

At this point, I was in what Monte later diagnosed as 
full-on Decision Paralysis. 

I could not pick a color.

I handed the paint fan that Sumita loaned me to the painter and told him to pick.

I gave him some parameters and he gave me choices and we narrowed things down pretty quick.


We went with Repose Grey by Sherwin Williams.

I like how sometimes it looks beige and sometimes it looks grey.




Next came the tile backsplash.

I decided on a simple white subway tile. 

I made sure the guys saved as many of my decorative tiles as possible 
from the old kitchen so they could be reused. 

That required some work on my part to get all the adhesive and old grout off. 
More on that later.

I decided on a dark grout called Winter Grey.


Yesterday, our kitchen lights were installed.


I bought those cool Edison light bulbs for the pendants and over the sink light we found on sale online at Pottery Barn around the holidays.



And our cabinet hardware was installed!!!

Oil rubbed bronze handles and knobs.
Have you fallen asleep yet? 

I feel like I’ve just shown you our vacation pictures from out West and it bored you into slumber!

That actually happened to us. 

Our neighbor nodded off during our slideshow.

We still like to bring it up at neighborhood parties.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

That Time We Called the Fire Department About the Weird Noise Coming from Our Fireplace

That’s exactly what happened.

The title pretty much sums it up.

We were in the living room watching TV Sunday night,

when a loud humming-like noise 
started coming from the fireplace.

Monte swears he heard the wood in the fire 
pop first, but I did not.

The noise sounded like a revving-up-for-an-explosion kind of noise.

To me, anyway.

We looked outside at the chimney to make sure it wasn’t a fire.

But there wasn’t any smoke inside 
and we’d had a fire going for about an hour.

We looked in the basement at the washer and dryer that had been on for hours as the girls decided earlier in the day that ALL THEIR CLOTHES WERE DIRTY.

No humming noise there.

Monte had me turn off the heat so he could check the furnace. He had changed the filter earlier in the day and he thought maybe it was loose or something.

This is what happens to your air filter when your
house is under construction. Yum!


Nope.
The noise was definitely not
coming from the basement.

The girls were upstairs and could hear the noise but it wasn’t coming from up there either.

We decided that we really needed to call our builder, Paul, 

but he was golfing in Florida.

We determined the noise was definitely coming from the fireplace

and it definitely sounded like it could explode at any minute.

I told Monte that I thought we should call the fire department.

There was some tense discussion about what exactly should be said on that call to the fire department to which we determined there was really no way to downplay or sugar coat the facts.

And that was that we had a loud noise coming from our fireplace that could possibly explode 
into a fiery ball at any moment.

And they should come over now.

Right now.

So they did.

They were gracious enough not to have the sirens blaring or lights on when they pulled up.


Just a blinding spotlight.

Four or five fire fighters walked around our house with beeping meter/sensor devices testing for any hot spots.

One listened to our walls with a stethoscope.
(I’m not making this up.)

I had to fight the urge not to photograph that because, 
well, you know,
kablooey was still a distinct possibility.

We had to explain why there was a stove, dishwasher and bathroom sink in our living room.

And a refrigerator in our dining room.

And construction dust everywhere else.

One fire fighter opened the oven door to listen for the noise.

Really?!

They went over every dusty, cluttered, dirty laundry-filled square inch of our house.

I heard another fire call come in on one of their radios.

“We really need to go.”

To which another guy said,

“I’m committed. I need to see where this noise is coming from!”

To which, I wanted to give him a high five,
But I didn’t.
I just tried to stay out of the way.

Monte didn’t. He was right in the middle of them telling them where the noise was loudest and where it started to dim. 

It always seemed to lead right by the fireplace.

Finally, they started moving chairs and baskets and books frantically.

“It’s coming from down here!”

Then out of the beautifully hand carved wooden basket we got from Savannah several years ago,
that had been pushed under a chair that sat right by the fireplace,

the firefighters pulled out a little auto tuner microphone toy 

that had inadvertently turned on with the 
microphone directly on the speaker causing a 
very loud feedback/humming/ready-to-explode sound.

I had to shove my thumbs right up my nose to keep from laughing until I cried.

I didn’t want to offend AT ALL the firefighter’s 
very serious, stethoscope and beeping sensors work.

The guys handed the microphone to the girls and asked which one of them it belonged to.


They both pointed at me.

Which is correct. 

Monte got it for me for my birthday a few years ago. 

It’s a lot of fun. 

When it isn’t scaring you into thinking 
it’s a fiery explosive ball in your fireplace.

And makes you call the fire department.

One of the firefighters pulled out a little notebook, the kind my grandmother always kept in her purse, and asked for Monte’s name.

He said he’d try to keep it off the front page of the newspaper.

Monte gave the name of the OSU football coach,

“Urban Meyer.”

The firefighters all had a good laugh and really took it all in stride.

We so appreciated their grace.

As we waved good-bye, I told them I hoped this was the most eventful thing that happened to them all night.

Monte still hopes we don’t get sent a bill.

I am so glad that Paul, our builder, was golfing in Florida and not finding out that our possible chimney fire/explosion-waiting-to-happen was an auto tuner microphone toy.

After all, it was just last week I had to ask for his help loosening a bolt on our sink pipes in my attempt to fix a clog all by myself while Monte was out of town.

Paul turned the bolt with little problem. 
I had been turning it the wrong way. 
With all my strength. 

For hours.

“Righty tighty and lefty loosey” was completely lost on me.

I didn’t need Paul to have anymore evidence 
on just how crazy we can be.

 NONE of our neighbors called or texted us about why there was a firetruck in front of our house.

Now we have very loving, caring people as neighbors.

I just think they are on to us.

Kind of like that time after Easter when the girls stood in the back yard and Monte and I stood in the front yard and we threw all our left over dyed hard boiled eggs back and forth to each other OVER  TOP of the 2-story roof until they all exploded into tiny bits.

No one stopped to ask what we were doing 
and EVERYONE was out because it was a gorgeous day.

Finally, Monte stopped a neighbor walking by and asked if he wanted to know what we were doing.

He said something like,

“Oh, why bother? You guys do crazy stuff all the time!”

I hope the fire department doesn’t feel the same way
…yet.



Monday, February 23, 2015

Not Buying a Couch in a Snowstorm and the Arm Wrestling Old Man at Chick-fil-A

Last Saturday, we decided to go start looking for a new couch to go into our new family room. We brought the girls with us since the painters mentioned swinging by and painting all the trim around our new doors (that have been hung with knobs attached, thank you very much).

We love having doors again!

It was very cold and windy and snowing lightly when we left our house.

We had no idea how bad the weather was supposed to get. 
[Cue dramatic music]

In the short walk from our car to the furniture store, we were covered with snow and our hair was practically blown right off our heads.

But let’s back it up just a bit…

On the car ride to the furniture store, we told the girls that based on the dimensions of the new family room, we would not be looking at sectionals.

Probably a couch and a love seat or a couch and two chairs.

Of course, they wanted a sectional.

We let them know that we wanted pet friendly leather, not fabric, so we’d not have to fuss over stains.

Within seconds of walking into the furniture store, 
the girls found a sectional to lay on.


While I talked with a salesperson and shared our interests, Monte checked out the price of the sectional that the girls claimed as their own.

It was a good price.
Like, crazy good.

But it was a sectional and covered in fabric.

The salesperson shared that there was a tiny cut in the fabric so this huge, custom-ordered, down-filled sectional was returned.

I think it can be fixed.


It looked way too big for our space.

You can’t even see the slash in the fabric from here.


WAY. TOO. BIG.

So as Monte and the salesperson measured and measured again,

I found the girls in the recliners with remotes that helped them right into a standing position. 

They were amazed.

McDaniel found one that didn’t even have a remote but with the slightest bit of a lean, anticipated her needs and changed positions.

Magic.

Monte decided the sectional would indeed fit but made a contingency plan with the salesperson in case it didn’t.

So just like that, our no-sectional, no-fabric plans evaporated.

We were buying the fabric sectional 
before I had unbuttoned my coat.

Which is a bit different than the 

The weather had taken a HUGE turn for the worse in the 8 minutes it took us to buy a couch.

It was snowing hard and sideways and the wind was creating white out conditions.

Sitting at the traffic light, we could not see the turning lane that we intended to turn into.

After a few seconds on the road, we decided to pull off and find a place to wait out the storm.

We couldn’t see any of the buildings just off the street!

Monte pulled off anyway and turned into the first parking lot which we guessed from memory of the area to be a Red Lobster and a Chick-fil-A.

We ran into Chick-fil-A.

As we stomped all the snow off our boots and brushed the snow out of our hair,

we noticed how loud the music was.

In the corner was a woman with a microphone and a guitar and a man on a keyboard singing love songs for Valentine’s Day.



The woman had a beautiful voice and sang everything from James Taylor to "The Old Rugged Cross".

We ordered our food and Monte received a personalized Valentine’s Day card with a gift card for breakfast chicken biscuits.

Nice touch!


Then we realized coffee was free the month of February.

With the music and food and FREE being Monte’s love language,

we knew we were going to be just fine
waiting out the storm at Chick-fil-A.

As we were taking off our coats at our table, an old man sitting alone right behind us asked us if it was snowing.

He had a twinkle in his eye to let us know he was joking and not having a “moment” that would make us call 9-1-1.

He also said that his car used to be red and pointed to the parking lot where all the cars were sporting snowy white exteriors.



As the gentleman was getting ready to leave, he came over to our table and asked the girls if they’d clean off his car.

He was joking.

Because it still looked like this:


He told us he was going to Naples, Florida on Monday and asked how many pairs of shorts he should bring.

He was looking to buy a place.

He used to live there, he explained, for 8 years until his wife got sick and they moved back to Ohio.

He told us, with great pain in his eyes,

 and his wife’s wedding band on a chain around his neck,

that he watched her die in August.

He struggled to remember the word of what she died of

but we all knew it was cancer

and there was no reason to remind him.

They were married 66 years and had known each other since elementary school.

He talked about his athletic son who played varsity tennis and baseball but could never roller-skate or “lay my arm down” as the man put it.

Arm wrestling.

He told us that word got around with his son’s friends and people he worked out with at the gym that no one could “put his father’s arm down”.

So one by one they gave it a shot.

And one by one they were all beaten.

There was one guy, a college baseball teammate of his son’s,

who had 25 inch arms.

Think about that for a second.

25 inch arms!

That’s the size of some women’s waist.

He told us he never lies because he never wants to ever have to think about what he said.

So this large-armed guy decided to challenge our elderly friend in arm wrestling one day.

It ended in a draw. 

Their strength was so equally matched 
that one couldn’t budge the other.

It was later found out that the young guy was on steroids 
and he was kicked off the baseball team.

The old man taught Monte the proper way to shake a man’s hand to show them you could mean business if you had to.

Monte’s face got red and he told us later that his grip was so tight that it HURT.

He also shared how relieved he was that he wasn’t asked 
to see if he could put the old man’s “arm down”.

I would’ve LOVED THAT SO MUCH!

We all sat at the edge of our seats listening to this man tell story after story.

After he left we realized we’d never asked his name.

McDaniel, 

worried to death he’d fall or get blown over in the snowy conditions, 

watched him like a hawk as he walked to his car, 
brushed off the snow and drove away.

We all missed him after he left.

This sweet, lonely, dear man, who was missing his wife on Valentine’s Day. 

Who gave us a wonderful glimpse at not only what enduring love looks like,
but an adventurous spirit.

What Joy Is Mine

Friday, February 20, 2015

What Mary Poppins Taught Me About Compassion



It’s easy for me to think compassion is just for the desperately third world poor.

Like our sweet Vivian that we sponsor in Uganda through an organization called Compassion.




But it’s revealed over and over to me that compassion opportunities are all around me,

here in this advanced Western culture,
here in my comfortable Midwestern town. 

And it is the poor in spirit that need my attention.

You know, the foul-mouthed and critical worker in my house.

The lonely old man sitting by himself at Chick-fil-A.

The harsh, severe cashier with shockingly mean things to say.

It’s them that need our compassion. 

When it would be so easy to reprimand them.

Ignore them.

Make them feel guilty for the ugly things they’ve said.

They are the ones that need compassion.

It’s harder than you think because it is always easier to sympathize with the one fetching water two miles from their hut every single day

than the man in your house telling dirty jokes 
and criticizing your choice in counter tops.

I’m embarrassed how much I let that bother me.

The scripture doesn’t say to love the loving. It says to love our enemies. It says that it doesn’t really even count to love the loving but to stretch ourselves to love those that seem the hardest to.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Luke 6:32-36

It was easy to love the lonely old guy sitting by himself at Chick-fil-A,

yet it was him that came up to us,
not the other way around as it should’ve been, 

for compassion’s sake.

It was the severity of the words of the cashier at the pet store yesterday morning that shocked me into compassion.

I was too dumbfounded for judgement.

“Some people don’t belong in our society anymore,”

she said harshly pointing to the elderly woman with dementia who just walked out of the store.

Then she went on hatefully bashing the kids that will run through the store with little supervision later in the day because there was no school due to the cold.

She was unhappy they weren’t staffed well enough.

Unhappy with the cold.

Unhappy with life.

A big group of us went to see our town’s high school’s performance of “Mary Poppins” last night. A dear friend of McDaniel’s, Charlotte,  that we’ve known since she was 3 or 4 and watched sing in church when she still had the most adorable lisp, was Mary Poppins.

No, she didn’t PLAY Mary Poppins. 



She WAS Mary Poppins. 

Practically perfect in every way.

McDaniel and Charlotte, I mean, Mary Poppins.

Mary Poppins had this great line in the show when one of the kids she was nanny to was passing harsh judgement on the “Bird Lady" selling bags of bread to feed the birds for tuppence.

The song, “Feed the Birds” in the movie 
used to always make me cry .

Mary Poppins said somewhat exasperatedly to the child,

“Oh, when will you look past what you see?!

It was an AHA! moment for me.

That is compassion.

Looking past what we see.

Looking past the set jaw of the crude worker and asking him about his weekend. 45 minutes later, I knew a lot more about him. He’s a loving father who restores old cars and collects coins.

He smiles at me now.

Looking past the hurriedness of our day to see the twinkle in the old man’s eyes sitting right by us, alone. Because he had some fantastic tales to tell. We just needed to invite him to tell us.

(More on him later).

Looking past the severe asymmetrical hair cut and multiple facial piercings of the hateful cashier at the pet store to hear that she was just overwhelmed, overworked and needed a break.

She thanked me for listening. 

It is hard work, this compassion.

 It goes against what we feel 
instinctively, 
defensively, 
in our gut.

But when we extend it, 

something loosens inside our gut where all that 
harsh judgement 
and exasperation 
and dumbfoundedness once was.

And we are free to look past what we see.

And it’s never what we originally thought.

And it never seems unwelcome.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I Miss Doors

We are getting all the interior doors replaced in our house.

The old doors were hollow and stained a orangey color that hasn’t been popular since the Rat Pack was alive and well.

The knobs were old and didn’t function anymore and had a little flip lock that was so easy to accidentally flip and lock yourself out of a room.

Or lock yourself into your room if you are Ellie and 2 years old

or 12 (happened 2 weeks ago).

To get all the interior doors replaced in our house they first took out all the old doors.

Then painted the new doors.

Which left us with no doors in between coats.

Bathroom included.

No doors.


Our only bathroom upstairs sits at the top of the landing which makes one VERY vulnerable and visible to anyone standing at the front door.

Especially when your front door has windows.

And when said bathroom’s toilet sits just on 
the other side of where a door used to be.

I had to “spot” McDaniel take a shower in a bathroom with no door and painters still in the house. And by “spot” I mean, let her know if the painters were coming up the stairs and let them know they could not come up the stairs.

And she had to “spot” me use the restroom holding up a too narrow beach towel in the doorway that she shook around too much because she was laughing.

We’ve been without doors for 3 days now.

I think if we were Girl Scouts, we would’ve earned 
the “No Doors” patch by now.

I miss doors!

It’s odd not to be able to close your bedroom door to change

or watch TV after the girls have gone to sleep.

I feel extremely exposed.

And loud.

We begged and got the bathroom door rehung while the paint was a teence still wet.

We did not care one bit.

Because we’ve learned that we love doors around here.

I’ve had to keep the dog on a leash more because I can’t keep him away from the workers without doors.

I feel like there isn’t a room in this house that I can hide in during the day to read or write.

Why?

No doors.

The extreme conditions of the girls’ rooms cannot be hidden from me right now and I’m about ready to throw a fit about it.

Why?

Apparently I have extremely messy daughters.

And no doors.

I have such a new appreciation for the phrase, “Shut the front door!”

And for those people that live in one room huts with no doors at all.

But for lots of reasons, 
not just because they don’t have doors.

I am discovering just how private a person I am.

And how not private Monte is.

He does not seem that bothered by the no doors thing.

I keep telling him that even Outhouses have doors.

But for a guy that once went to the bathroom by the dumpster behind a McDonald’s because the men’s room was closed for cleaning, the whole concept was lost on him.

I’ve been very patient

(wait…have I?) 

with this whole construction process.

My friend Carol did tell me to accept that my life was going to feel like camping

but tents have doors!

Or flaps, 
whatever, 
they still zip shut.

But I will learn to accept this 

(said with fist in the air)

just like I’ve learned to live without 

filtered water, 
ice, 
a kitchen, 
a bathroom on the first floor, 
real plates and glasses and utensils, 
the ability to keep anything clean 
and getting to choose what radio station the workers listen to at high volume…



It’s going to be great in the end.
It’s going to be great in the end.
It’s going to be great in the end.







Monday, February 09, 2015

A Peek

Today is Monte’s birthday.

I never know if he is going to want a “big deal” made for his special day.

Or just a low key family celebration.

His reaction is different every year.

This year, he texted me earlier in the week that he wanted a “smallish group” to gather and go to a place he had researched called 16-Bit Arcade.

Yes, you read that right. 

An arcade.

This arcade has all the old standards from our 80s childhood.

Pac Man, Frogger, Centipede, Galaga, Asteroids. 

And several I had never heard of.

While I enjoyed a good arcade game from time to time in the 80s,

I was never a high-score-get-to-put-my-name-in-the-machine type of player.

Monte was.

He worked at Chuck E. Cheese’s in high school.


Just let that sink in for a minute. 
Don’t rush it.

He made pizza, steam cleaned the carpets EVERY NIGHT and even had to wear the Chuck E. costume to entertain the kids once.

Just once.

Because the costume was too short for Monte’s 
over 6-foot body and the amount of skin that 
was exposed from the ill-fitting getup, 
scared the kids.


Clearly this is not Monte in the costume. No skin exposure
while Chuck E. is holding the birthday kid in a head lock.
And all the kids are smiling.

Dear word.
It’s a wonder Monte is only afraid of clowns.
And dolls.
And leprechauns…
Ok, now things are making more sense.
I can still hear the loud mechanical clicks and whirs of every eye lid shutting and opening and every head and hand gesture. The mouth movements never did sync up with the words or music. Wasn’t that duck a cheerleader?

When the managers of the Chuck E. Cheese’s went into their office after closing,

(it was south Florida so Monte now feels that they weren’t just “counting the receipts of the day” back in the office but maybe several other things that were plot points in episodes of “Miami Vice"),

Monte and his co-workers would get a stack of tokens for the arcade.

Monte had lots of “after hours” time to perfect his technique on the simple joy stick and one button push games as well as the roller ball games that came out later.

He was quite often the high score on ALL the games.

Which is kind of mean when you think about it, 
what was the average age of the kids playing 
arcade games at Chuck E. Cheese’s? 
8?

Back to Monte’s birthday.

When I shot out a quick, last minute text to the “smallish group” about Monte’s birthday arcade idea, it was very apparent who was just as excited as Monte and who was not.

We were surprised at the crowd at this arcade.

We were BY FAR the oldest people there.

I thought there would be more of “our generation” there.

They were selling candy cigarettes in the vending machine. 
Were we they only ones who’d remember getting 
these Trick or Treating?

There were a lot of people there, just not a lot of people that would’ve been alive when these games first came out.

How is it that the people of the generation that play games that involve slashing out someone’s intestines be satisfied with a game called “Dig Doug”?

I kind of wanted this to be a place “just for us”. 

The people unspoiled by the horrifying realistic graphics of today’s games.

The people that remembered what it was like to be weighed down by the quarters in their pockets and actually saw the faces of their opponents (because they were standing right next to them).

We were the generation entertained for hours by a game called Pong that involved the stimulating imagery of 2 moving lines and a bit-mapped dot.

And somehow I still managed to get beat by the machine.
Every time.

Hipsters aside,

Monte was in his element in this arcade.

I watched him fall back into some sort of video game rhythm as he played his favorite games.

There was a stance he assumed.




Hand techniques that came back to him as naturally 
as if he was riding his old bike from childhood, 
the one with the banana seat.

It was like a peek at the exposed skin in Monte’s Chuck E. Cheese costume.

Ew.

Let me try that again.

It was a peek at Monte as a teenager.

I wish I had a picture,

but there was a moment with Monte and his friends standing by a video game 
laughing and cheering each other on that was as if, 

Mark in his own world. 

the little boys in each of them snuck right out 
like an untucked shirt tail. 

We laughed that their geek was showing.

But they didn’t care.

They were in their element.

Yesterday, Monte kept complaining that his hand hurt. He thought maybe he did something to it at the gym.

Lifting weights.

It was late in the day when Monte finally realized his hand hurt from playing video games. Hitting that roller ball over and over again with the palm of his hand, bruised him.

He’s out of arcade shape.

Plans have been made to go back and remedy that.

Happy Birthday, Monte! I love you!