What could be better to do on your 15th birthday than to play the sport you love? Every Tuesday in spring and summer, there’s a local handicap mini disc golf tournament that the Mister and our #2 son usually compete in. Today’s was special, because it’s #2′s birthday. Unfortunately, the 18-hole tourney was at the course he likes the least; fortunately, it was better than studying for his Spanish 2 final. Neither #2 or the Mister cashed, but #2 did win a prize for being closest to the basket on the CTP hole.
Because my #2 son didn’t get to have his birthday dinner at his favorite Chinese restaurant yesterday, he, his older brother, and I ate lunch there. I happened to have my Olympus point and shoot camera, so I thought I’d see what it was like to take a self-portrait in my Honda Pilot’s side view mirror. Not bad!
Remember how my #2 son won $300 from our friend Neal after he beat the pro master in disc golf last month? Neal paid off the bet in full and presented his young conquerer with a blank check . . . that really was a big blank sheet of paper. He plans to make it look like a “real” check in Photoshop. #2 is just glad to have the real cash!
Nothing was more important today than my #1 son’s high school graduation. After the ceremony, we went out into the hot, humid air of downtown Houston to snap a few photos. The Mister’s brother Mike, sister Carol, and sister-in-law Paula joined us at the Toyota Center and posed with the boys—including our “third son” Chase—for photos. Then we went to Fuddrucker’s for dinner.
Around 1 a.m., my #1 son was having a great time playing blackjack along with his best friend Chase and his college roommate-to-be Ben at his high school’s ProGrad (overnight lock-in). He was trying hard to get $10,000 in chips for the chance to win a couple prizes. But every time he got to $9,000, he lost. Finally, he decided $5,000 was enough, so he quit before he went broke. And then his lonely raffle ticket didn’t get picked, so he left empty-handed.
A year ago I was disappointed when I showed up at a triathlon in our neighborhood much too late to take photos of the athletes swimming in the lake. This time I was determined not to have the same thing happen again. Success! The early bird does indeed catch the swimmers!
Our day started very early with an important milestone for my #2 son: He’s off on a 9- or 10-day journey with our disc golf friends Kelly and Glen, as they make their way to and from the U.S. Amateur Disc Golf Championships in Michigan (Glen will be playing in the tournament). This will be the longest #2 has been away from home, and it was his big gift for his recent 15th birthday. The three of them will stop and play different disc golf courses in several states; hopefully, that will help #2 prepare for the amateur world championships at the end of this month. #2 will have fun . . . and I will miss my baby boy!
Road trip time! My #1 son and I joined my friend Sue and her daughter Jessika for the three-hour drive to the University of Texas at San Antonio for a three-day orientation. We left at 6:15 a.m., which was too early for #1 to pop in his contact lenses. We went through a short patch of bad weather and arrived in time to check in at the dorm (the same one #1 will live in when he starts at UTSA in late August) before separating for the day’s meetings.
Day two of orientation. After hours of meetings, my #1 son came to my dorm room (the students and parents were in separate buildings) to use my MacBook. He had to prop it up on the bed, because the ethernet connection (no wifi yet) was under the bed. Whoever was using that room during the school year had put the desk on the wrong side of the room!
The final day of UTSA orientation. My #1 son met with his honors college advisor and registered for classes. Once he was done, UTSA considered him to be officially enrolled in school. He’s going to take 15 hours, including one honors class (history). In a little more than two months, we’ll return to that same dorm to move him in for the fall semester. I hope the time goes by very slowly . . . but I know that it won’t.
My #1 son definitely had the right idea: It’s best to be on the computer while watching a stupid movie like “The Hangover,” which the Mister rented for us to watch. Such terrible language! If I had 50 thumbs, that’s how many thumbs down I would give it. By the way, #1 was using our venerable Apple PowerBook, an old laptop that still gets the job done despite running the “ancient” Tiger operating system.
The window in our master bathroom provides a wonderful frame to watch the trees and sky outside. Right now the white crape myrtles are abundant in the trees beyond our fence. They’re pretty to look at, but, unfortunately, too many of them fall into our backyard pool and clog up the skimmer baskets.
I’m not a big fan of pro basketball, especially when the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls don’t do well. But I couldn’t help but watch the end of the fifth game of the NBA finals so I could root on the Boston Celtics in their quest to beat the hated Lakers. The Celts won; one more victory, and they’ll be the champs. Too bad the final two games are in Los Angeles.
When my #1 son graduated from high school, he received several handshakes and a snazzy diploma cover as he walked across the stage in Houston’s Toyota Center. But one thing he was missing . . . was his actual diploma. His high school had them ready to be picked up, so he went back to his school one last time. They even spelled his name correctly!
A couple of our lovely agapanthus have lost their blooms. That wonderful sea of purple? Washed away leaving only white-tipped green stubs. I’ll be sad when all the agas look like this.
Remember June 7th’s photo of the day (please scroll up)? Look who’s back home, safe and sound, from his whirlwind disc golf-playing trip with Kelly and Glen. This is the longest either of my sons have been away from the nest, and I really missed my picture frame-breaking, laundry basket-filling, multiple PB&J-eating baby boy. And it’s so much better for the POTDs: This month also has featured the most photos ever of my #1 son! Of course, I love showing off pics of #1, but now #2 can get some equal time.
Time for the boys’ annual well-check visits, as well as my #2 son’s physical for high school sports, with Dr. Dave. Dave coached #2 in Little League baseball, and he’s a great guy who really cares about my guys. We found out that #2 is about a half-inch taller and two pounds heavier than his older brother . . . who no longer is his “big” brother.
When my Honda Pilot wouldn’t start, I called AAA Texas to see if the battery was to blame. Sam came and said the battery was fine; he thought it had to do with the key, which is coded to work with my car. Which meant my car had to be towed to the dealer. Leaving me without my car and ruining my day.
My college roommate Jan was visiting the Houston area to see her brother and her new grandniece, so she stopped by today. We hadn’t seen each other in 30 years! Fortunately, we do stay in touch via Facebook. We only were University of Illinois roomies freshman year, because she wanted to be a nurse. The Champaign campus, however, didn’t have a nursing program; the Chicago one did, so she switched sophomore year. Our lives really have taken divergent paths, but when we got together it almost was like we were 18 year olds again—18 with 39 years of experience!
I’m not sure what’s up with the weird hand signals, but I love how my two sons light up when they take a photo with their dad. Very heart-warming. This year they made a card and bought the Mister a gift card to one of his favorite Mexican restaurants. He was very pleased!
Do I have a car kick-me sign on my back? Once again AAA Texas had to come to my rescue; this time the problem was with our third car (which our #1 son drives), our 1999 Mercury Villager. The battery died while I was in the Kroger parking lot. There’s nothing quite like waiting for service in a hot car for 20 minutes; fortunately, there was a breeze blowing through the Villager’s open windows. After determining that the alternator was fine, Henry put in a new battery, and I was on my way once again.
By the way, I was driving the Villager, because I still don’t have my Honda Pilot back!
Looking at my #1 son’s smile made one thing very clear: The boy desperately needed to have his teeth cleaned. So off to the hygienist to polish those pearly whites and then for a final check with our favorite dentist, Dr. Tyson. The only problem? #1 needs to have one tooth checked out at a root canal specialist. Do I hear a cash register ka-chinging in the background?
Even though it looks like my #2 son is having a reflective moment, he actually was acting in one of his older brother’s videos in front of our house. Could this be an Academy Award moment?
A boy and his first iPhone! What could be a more-important moment? Even though the iPhone 4 is a wonderful smartphone and was well worth the three hours that it took to procure it at our local Apple store, my #1 son was just happy to have a cellphone that works! As you can see from the May Photos of the Day (check out the May 21st entry), #1 only was able to text with his old Samsung phone. It was on the very threshold of death when we scored his new iPhone in the nick of time.
I decided to buy a new bluetooth headset to pair with my new iPhone 4, but which model would be best? I checked out the selection at Fry’s and was almost overwhelmed by the possibilities. That’s where the iPhone comes in very handy! I like to use Safari (its internet browser) to go online and check out reviews of products I’d like to buy when I’m out and about; it makes it so much easier to pick and choose. I finally decided that the price and reviews were right for the Blue Ant Z9i.
USA! USA! It seems like everyone has World Cup fever. I don’t usually watch soccer on TV, but this game had me glued to the set. Like all Americans, I had high hopes that the U.S. would beat Ghana in the round of 16, but it wasn’t to be—we lost 2-1 in overtime.
It’s time for a new adventure for my #2 son: He and the Mister are off to Marion, Ohio, and his second Amateur World Disc Golf Championship! I was going to drop both of them at Houston’s Intercontinental Airport . . . with the Mister driving there (he prefers to be behind the wheel). When I approached the passenger side of my car in the driveway, I could see that #2 already was in my spot. He claimed it was because he forgot I was going. I climbed in the back with my camera and was glad that I did—I was able to take unique photos of #2′s reflection in the side mirror. If you look closely, you can see that I even got a little bit of a self-portrait in the pic, too!
While taking a break from Photoshopping photos, I went outside and sat on one of our lounge chairs. Surveying my backyard domain, I couldn’t help but be drawn to one thing. Or rather several large red things on my left foot. Those are fire ant bites from our recent fishing excursion. I hate those fire ants—they’re literally the scourge of the earth.
My “third son,” Chase, has a girlfriend! Today was the first time I got to meet her; they both came over to play Kirby’s Air Ride with my #1 son. They look like they’re having much more fun than #1!
Here in the Houston area we worry about hurricanes. When one is near, like Alex, I scour the paper, TV, and internet for news. Right now it looks like Alex will turn into Mexico, but the Houston area probably will get battered by heavy rain bands from the storm.