Category Archives: family

ill spent days


Like many of the approximately 100 million viewers of the super bowl last night, The Deistette and I had plans for the game.  We’re not real big sports people but we were really looking forward to a kid friendly, grown up party. I mean it’s the first time in the almost five years we’ve been married we actually had a super bowl party to attend… probably because we’re not big sports people. I honestly can’t remember the last time I went to a super bowl gathering though it’s been that long.  I think it was when da Bearsss had that horrific super bowl shuffle song and The Fridge helped them to a super bowl win.

So… yeah. It’s been a while.  We were both looking forward to it.  I mean, The Deistette even made a HUGE batch of really tasty buffalo chicken potstickers. All four of us got in on the assembly of putting dollups of meat into 100 wonton wrappers that were specifically for the party our friends had invited us to.

But as The Fates would have it, there was a different plan.

Sunday morning about 4:30am, Continue reading

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2011 milestones at Casa Deist


the cake was still rather warm.So yesterday was my birthday. (Jan 23 for overseas friends who are already on the 25th) My lovely wife, The Deistette baked a pretty tasty (although not professionally decorated if you ask me) cake. My mother in-law gave me a five dollar gift certificate to a wonderful frozen yogurt place. I got a long hug from the Little Man in the morning when he woke up. All were simple and genuine. My birthday was perfect.

It’s sort of a milestone I guess… 45.

You ever been on a running trail where little mile markers have been placed along the route. There are of course the 1, 2 and 3 mile markers but usually there are 1/2 mile markers.

That’s what 45 is. So there’s that.

Other milestones:
I meant to post this a while back but another milestone achieved was our Little Man (for new readers that’s my stepson) was able to conquer his fear of the water as well as figure out how to propel himself in the water during the summer of 2011. So that was pretty cool. In my book, that’s a pretty big milestone. What was even more cool is I was able to grab a short clip of him doing it for the first time — this of course was done without realizing you’re not supposed to take pictures or video in the pool at the local YMCA.

I'm pretty crappy at taking stealth picturesAnother big milestone was Little Fawn (my 17 yr old daughter’s nickname) got her driver’s license in October of 2011. Pretty big deal. Huge. It represents freedom, responsibility, mobility and a new stage in her life. She turns 18 in May, graduates in June and most likely will be going away to college about two hours away. My every other weekend and every Wednesday visits will cease and I am quite sad about that.

Although, not really a milestone as much as a HUGE change in dynamic at Casa Deist is that my other stepson (i refer to him on here as Tank) has come to live with us. It was a weird custody arrangement i thought, but the reasons The Deistette and her ex husband decided to split the boys at the time of their divorce were logical and valid. Things have changed and perhaps I’ll get into that in my next post as to why or how this happened but Tank is with us and our home is kinda like a frat house now only without all the girls or kegs of beer. Never a dull moment.

my cat likes to lick my beer bottleAnd so with more than half my life behind me, I find myself with two young boys in my charge, a wife who loves me, a daughter who is embarking on her journey and some lovely pets. Could be better. I mean I could have a nicer house, better job, more money, better knees. : )

but life ain’t too bad right now. Not bad at all.

The obligatory Christmas songs concert


So here we are with only eleven days until Christmas and (believe it or not) I only heard my first Christmas song just about a week ago.  It came from inside my house when my stepson was practicing his songs for the big 1st grade Christmas concert.

His first Christmas concert.

So yeah…  I had not heard a single note of Christmas carol music (unless of course you count the song by Robert Earl Keene that my band is covering) except for him busting out a few jams while washing his hands, sitting on the potty or cleaning his room before bedtime during the past week or so.

I hadn’t really thought about it but either I haven’t really paid attention or I really don’t get out much. I’m thinking it’s the latter.  I mean we all know every store in the U.S. now begins playing Christmas music the day after Halloween. The Deistette gets our grocery shopping done during the afternoon when we need things (oh, did I mention that Corporate America job she had that sucked her soul is now gone.  Eight weeks ago. I’m in freak out mode right now).

Anyway, so I don’t get out much.

Well, last week I heard quite a few Christmas tunes… tiny little voices, slightly off key and off tempo singing out the standards of this season.  It was pretty damn cool.

The experience has spurred the Little Man to proclaim that he wants to be in a choir and sing all the time.  Admittedly the boy has a pretty keen sense of pitch.  Actually I’m pretty damn amazed at his sense of pitch and rhythm.  I’m curious to know what he’ll do with music as he grows up.

But for now… Merry Christmas everyone.  He’s the one kinda in the center with the Marine-ish type haircut. Hey… what can I say.  It’s the only kind of haircut I know how to give. : )

One shot… one kill


It’s a saying we used to have in the Marine Corps that was first learned when we were being taught marksmanship skills.  The drill instructors used it to instill the idea that every round sent down range HAD to count or you could be a dead Marine.

Later in a young Marine’s career it could be applied to a metaphorical “do or die” situation where a Marine made one attempt at something and was successful in his endeavor.  For example, Marine is playing basketball and it’s the end of the game. His team is down by two points.  Marine buries a long three point shot. Game won!  Boom! One shot… one kill!

So you get the idea.

Well, I just heard of someone who did that recently in their own do or die situation that so many people in this country have not been able to do.  It’s almost miraculous.  It seems so beyond the realm of reason that it if I weren’t a deist I might say IS miraculous.

This person is a friend of my dad’s from church and has been caring for my step-mom during the day while he is at work.  My step-mom has been a quadraplegic for a little more than a year and needs someone with her all the time now.

Anyway… Angela, her caretaker, told my dad she needed to find another job because her husband’s company said everyone would be receiving a 5% cut in pay to keep the company afloat after having taken a 20% cut three months earlier.

Shortly after (like days) Angela got a tip/recommendation from a friend, went on the interview and got the job!

If I had been in Vegas I would have put every penny I had on her NOT getting the job.  My wife told me of someone she read about who had sent her resume to 700+ job openings in about a year, got about 50 interviews and STILL had nothing.  College educated person with a master’s degree!

My wife actually found herself in a room last year at an interview where the person hiring said they had received about 700 or so resumes in just one day.  Thirty people were interviewed.  One got the job.  It wasn’t Emmie.

A few weeks later and I’m still in shock that Angela got the job.  Well, she is  a church-going girl… maybe God really does give people a hand now and again.

😐     blink, blink, blink.

whoah!… sorry about that.  I had a momentary lapse of reason.  Almost slipped off the ol’ deist bandwagon. : )

Congrats Angela.  I know your family really needed it.

A life changed in 30 days


I’ve been meaning to write about this for awhile but kept feeling like I needed more time to grasp any meaning or to analyze what happened but I don’t know if there really is enough time to comprehend entirely the how and the why.  So a little more than a year later here’s my take on what happened to my dad and his wife and how their lives were upended.

You know… it can happen so quickly.   Your life as you know it completely changed; unmistakenly different from it was just the day before.  In the case of my dad and stepmother… 30 days.  It took  exactly 30 days for the transformation of their lives to be different to a point that it will never be what it was before.

In December of 2008, my dad’s wife of 30 years went to visit her brother near Dallas.  An important fact I should note is she has a disease that suppresses her immune system.  As a result she needs to be as careful she can about getting near any one who is sick or should cut herself.

Well she wasn’t as careful as she usually is and something got hold of her in December of ’08 that made her very sick.   The bacteria that attacked her body was strong and Continue reading

Getting into the holiday spirit


Feels like forever since I’ve posted anything. It’s been about two weeks but it feels like more. Of course with The Deistette constantly going to my blog and saying, “WHAT! nothing new! What do you do all day at work?”  : )

I don’t really have an explanation for not dropping a post here or there.  Nothing drastic going on like what happened last year. No… just kinda busy and not really inspired to write.  Speaking of… NaNoWriMo was a complete failure for me.  I kinda had a story but I just wasn’t feelin’ it.  Sorry Am and LB.  Feel like I let you down a little.

Anyway… so today I stayed home with The Little Man again.  He’s got a nasty dry cough going on along with fever.   I’m worried that we’re all gonna get it.  Actually, I can tell I’ve got it.  Kinda feels like strep.  What sucks is that we can’t afford for The Deistette not to go to work but more than likely it’ll spread through the house and she’ll have to take time off and lose a couple two or three days of pay.

Anyway, as I was trying to keep him entertained throughout the afternoon, he and I put this together with the help of JibJab.com.  We decided it was time to help people (and ourselves) get into the holiday spirit.

Happy Holidays everyone from my familia to yours!!!!

Oh, and so you know who’s who….
(l to r) The Little Man, me, The Deistette, Tank and Little Fawn

Vodpod videos no longer available.

new fangled machinery


So a few months ago, The Deistette and I had the AC die at the house. What a nightmare. I don’t know how people lived here in Houston before air conditioning.

Well, we had a guy come out and he said the fan motor was dead. I was really hoping it would be something easy because I barely had the 60 bucks for the service call.

He said he could replace it for 750 bucks. 😐 I felt my butt pucker.

But…
(of course there’s a but)
But… although the fan motor would be new, more than likely as old as the entire unit was (26 years old) it was just a matter of time (a short amount of time) before other stuff on the unit would die. A relay here, a switch there, a thinga-ma-bob here, a whutzit there. He said when stuff started breaking down it would probably cost another good 700 or 800 bucks. Again my butt puckered. Had I been in prison I’d be the belle of the ball!

He said for just a little more money I could get a brand new unit. Well, like I said I barely had the 60 bucks for the service call so I told him I’d have to wait.

My mom got wind of my predicament (thanks to my brother) and so she came to the rescue. She doesn’t really have the money but she said she’d get by.

Mumma is awesome! Thanks be to Mumma!, she who is most awesome!  A pic of Mumma from a post last year.

We got our AC replaced, did a happy dance, sent her thank you card and let her know The Little Man would be happy not have heat rash anymore.

So fast forward to last night.

The service tech from the AC company came by unexpectedly and said he came by to replace a vent on the unit. I asked him about the heater and where the pilot light was on the new unit. We had wanted to turn on the heater once or twice lately but hadn’t been able to.

The nights and mornings have been unusually cool down here on the Gulf Coast Plains for those of us who grew up here and have thinned-out blood. For me 50 degrees was feeling pretty cold.

The guy looked at me like I was some kind of moron and said you don’t have a pilot light. He could see the look of confusion quite easily that I was trying to hide. He said, “well, you see this is a brand new unit. It has electronic ignition that fires up the gas for the heat exchanger.”

I felt like those old timers who say stuff like, “What! Whatdya mean you can put a card in this machine and get money out. It’s called a what?… an ATM?”

Or…

“What? Put paper in this machine and it will send a copy all the way across town? What’s this thing called?… a Fax machine?”

Yeah… in my head I was actually thinking, “What the hell are you talking about! It doesn’t have a pilot light?!? Electronic ignition!”

What the hell will they think of next.

[Deist heads out to lunch and thinks to himself, the next thing you know they’ll be talking about cars that run on water or engines that run on perpetual motion and magnets. ]

what kinda place are we running here


I’m taking a quick break from paying unemployment taxes for the clients we serve to tap this out. As I sit here at my desk I hear the cries of a baby…. little Naomi.

Little Naomi is the four month old daughter of one our accounting clerks, (new mommy) Naomi. And little Naomi is not really crying as much as she is just kinda “talking.”

I walked over to Naomi’s desk, grabbed little Naomi’s toe and said, “hey. There’s a little too much talking and not enough working.” Momma Naomi said she thought she was trying to let people know she needs her diaper changed. I let go of her toe and said, “I don’t think she needs to talk to let us know.” Giggles and laughter ensue.

~~~

Back at my desk I hear giggles come from behind me. The Little Man is with me at the office as he is everyday. He’s sitting behind me Continue reading

some relaxation for a change


The Deistette has been hounding me for the longest time to go to the arboretum here in town and I finally conceded. She loves doing things like this and I was constantly resisting.

Turns out I should have done this a long time ago. For one, it makes her happy. And secondly, it was pretty nice to just get away from the house and our part of town for a little walk about.

deistette-photo-bug Here are some pics from the hour or so that we spent there.

This is one of Emmie using my camera. Sorry it’s a little dark but I didn’t change the settings on my little point and shoot before taking this one. It’s the first time she’s held a camera that wasn’t a point and shoot in her hands. She doesn’t know much about the basics of photography but she got a couple of pretty cool shots.

Here are two she got that were really nice. Continue reading

who should stay home with the sick kiddo


ok, I’d like a little help with a question.

But before the question, the scenario.

The Deistette’s Little Man is sick. He caught some kind of sniffle/cough from daycare and it hit it’s peak last night. Despite giving him medicine that we thought would work, he coughed all night long. Well not all night long… there was a stretch for about three hours where he quieted down.

So we decide we can’t send him to daycare and we’ve got to take him to the doc.

Well, I draw the short straw. Actually it’s a no-brainer. We’re like millions of households out there in that our household needs two incomes to survive. Emilie just found a job a few weeks ago (thank God!) through a temp agency and is still on the probationary period so we can’t afford to risk her losing this job. So I’m the one whose gonna take him to the doctor.

So when I call in to work to say I’m not comin’ in because I have to take the boy to the doc my boss says, “why can’t Emilie take him. She’s a female, her company will understand.”

Archaic thinking?… yes. But do you feel the same stress though.

In other words although it seems stupid to think that naturally the mom should be the one to stay home to take care of a sick child do you and your spouse feel like you have no choice in the matter.