Aspen leaves for her mommy's in Phoenix on Monday. She will spend the summer with her and her new sister (and new sister's daddy) until late August, right before school starts.
She will be back for a week or so at least once if not twice during the summer.
I have never spent more than 5 days away from my daughter before. I am looking forward to some relax time but I am pretty aware that I have no idea what I am getting myself into by allowing her to be gone for such a long period. I suspect I will be a complete wreck within 2 weeks and certifiably committable within 15 days.
For Sunday Aspen is making a list of all the things she wants us to do together before she leaves. On the list so far is reading together, snuggling, volunteering at the animal shelter in the AM, kayaking, feeding the turtles, riding bikes and swimming.
Sounds like a grande time to me!
After that... not so much.



BOAT OWNER'S BLUES (in f'd major)


You all know what this post is going to be about, right?

Why are you even going to make me say it?

Can't it just be understood that I have terrible luck and that to go into details isn't really necessary?

Fine... you all are busting my balls! You know that right?!

Three weeks ago I was out on Sea Weeder when I got her in too shalow of water. The prop hit a rock and the cupler in the driveshaft blew. That's $576 right there, along with being out of commision for 3 weeks. Oh yeah, I had to scrap the old prop itself too which runs $130!

So last night Miguel and I finally get her back in the water. I'm pulling her away from the dock and I swear it wasnt even 30 seconds later heading out of the cove do I run her into shallow water and bust up the brand new prop!

While it seems no damage was done to the driveshaft this time there is the minor cost of having to buy yet another prop. Not to mention not having been able to go skiing on what was a beautiful Memorial Day weekend evening on a miraculously empty lake. Instead we spent 3 hours anchored in the middle of the lake drinking, enjoying music, and bathing in gloriously warm water.




Have you ever given your child a bit of advice that you find you yourself needing to listen to?

The other day, Aspen was asking me what to do in a situation where a classmate likes her and always to play with her even though Aspen and her close group are not particularly fond of this girl. Aspen's main concern was that she did not want to hurt this classmate's feelings yet she didn't really want to interact with her either. Not because she was mean but just a little socially odd.

I told her that perhaps the reason her friend is strange is because her surroundings at home are different, maybe not as nice and comfortable and safe and supportive as what Aspen is used to.

I advised that if Aspen could try to imagine or even understand 'why' someone is the way they are then it can be easier to tolerate and even appreciate those idiosyncrocies. Maybe her friend is a bit easier to interact with once Aspen has spent some time thinking about what has caused her to be like that in the first place.

I found myself reviewing my words repeatedly over the proceeding days. Guess I needed to hear that myself.




Would you rather have the power to make your surroundings adapt to your desires and be 90% successful at it?


Would you have no desires, thus being able to adapt with your surroundings the way they naturally are and be 100% successful at it?




God Is Not Great is the book that I am currently working through these days. The author, Christopher Hitchens, is whom Al Sharpton was debating the other week when he made that bizarre comment about Mit Romney being a Mormon and not a 'true believer in God'.

Despite it's eyebrow raising title, it makes some compelling arguments by chapter 2 as to the damage that religion has caused throughout history. It's a fine line between letting your religion enhance your morality or mutate it. I'll post again on this after I've finished it and chewed it over. So far it's good reading if nothing else.

Anyone else out there reading this?



If you were to be marooned on a desert island alone, and you could have only one item from civilization with you, what would you choose to have?

You are already fully clothed and all laws of physics and the world as it currently exists apply (i.e. an ipod battery will not last forever... nor will batteries for other 'items' girls!)




Driving by a park today there was a red head girl, maybe 12 or so.

"Look Aspen, that girl looks just like you."

Aspen glances in the indicated direction then looks straight ahead again...

"I would never wear that shirt with those shorts."

...hmmm, hope she doesn't figure out i used a blue hairband next to a brown one when doing her hair this morning.



"Wow, I didn't think it would be so warm here!"

It would take a very small person to welcome the death of any individual...

...See Ya Jerry!




"Aspen, did you brush your teeth yet?"

"Um... yeah"

"Are you sure?"

"Uh huh"

"You wouldn't lie to me would you?"

"...Not about brushing my teeth."

at least she's honest




Thats right! Aspen is now a big sister.
What's that? Ha! Don't even try to congratulate me!
Her mom gave birth this morning to a baby girl. 8 lbs ?oz.
Want to know the funny thing? Okay, get your calculator out.
You ready? Look at this post. See the date on that? That was 9 months and 15 days ago.
Some of us sure work fast don't we? I mean, I sure envy someone who can look at a person and evaluate a relationship so quickly that they know within just a few short days that they want to have a child with someone. Afterall, this is the 5th time she has been absolutely positive that the man she is with is with whom she wants to start a family and spend the rest of her life.
I truly envy that. We should all be so blessed that we can just "know" right off the bat each and every time. Wouldn't that be nice? Plus she's lucky as all git out! How many of us have been looking high and low for a soulmate for ever and a day now? She's found five of them! FIVE!
And by age 37 too! No fair!



Tonight Aspen was "starving" and couldn't wait for dinner. I found a suitable snack for her in the meantime.

"Here Aspen, you can have a few cookies until dinner is ready."

"Oh boy... Oh... wait, these are Fig Newtons."

"Yeah... so?"

"I hate Fig Newtons."

"Okay, you don't have to eat them then." I say indifferently as I take them back and start leaving the room.

"Alright, I'll take them." She says begrudgingly.

As I walk out the door she calls after me:

"But I'm not going to enjoy them!"




For the last 10 months I have had Aspen full time. I get a good deal of help from her mother's ex husband (I guess I should refer to him as Aspen's step father - just because her mother and he aren't married anymore the title still stands, he's worthy of it) and her parents. They are available to watch her on the odd day when there is no school and I have work or the occasional night when I've made plans. Other than that, it's all me.
And I'm tired.
It takes alot for me to admit that. I don't want to come off as complaining. I'm not. I love every minute of being with my daughter. I love the cooking of dinner, the going over of spelling words and the subtraction flash cards, the chauffeuring to and from horse riding and karate lessons and girl scouts, the braiding of the hair and having to answer questions like "Daddy, what is a bra for?"
But doing the solo parent routine (as my mom did after my father died before my 1st b-day) is a tad draining. I have come to need every minute of alone time that I can collect these days. It was even the main cause of a recent failed relationship for me. I now relish that time of the evening when Aspen has been tucked in and drifted away whereupon I can retire to my library (a corner of the living room with a chair and full bookshelf) with a drink and a smoke. I will simply sit there for up to two hours letting my thoughts drift in and out of the pages of whatever book has ended up on my lap. The next thing I know my alarm clock is alerting me that it's time to take my morning shower and wake an eight year old girl who wants nothing but another 2 hours of sleep. There's little room for much else these days. Though I do need to brush up on what exactly a bra is for... other than to make me appear the bumbling fool at the most inopportune moments.

Aspen finally has new posts up at her site! (another facet i enjoy)


POSTING TIME (did anyone get that?)

I get the distinct impression that viewers have more interest in updates on my daughter than they do in me. That's perfectly understandable actually. So enjoy...

This is Aspen riding an Arabian Posting Horse, taken 2 days ago. She also has a new video clip on her blog (the first video ever of her on her site!)