26. October 2014 · Comments Off on Love Locks wall in the Old Port section of Portland, Maine · Categories: Instagram, Maine

New Instagram Photo: http://bit.ly/1sphhx7
30. March 2014 · Comments Off on A long distance trip to the ER · Categories: hotel, kids, Maine

My youngest child has been fighting what we thought was the flu or mono this week. She has visited the health center on her campus on Wednesday where they did a test for the flu and a test for mono. Both came back negative. She was feeling somewhat better on Thursday a evening and on Friday during the day (her birthday). But overnight Friday, things turned worse. She was nauseous and had a spiking fever. She had symptoms of appendicitis (he lower pain) and hadn’t been able to keep anything down since early Friday morning.

Early Saturday morning, she called me and was texting her mom – both of us convinced her to head to a walk-in clinic and not wait any longer. They ran another flu test (again negative), and said that any further tests needed her to visit the ER. So I packed an overnight bag and headed the 3 1/2 hours north to meet her at the ER.

After a fairly short wait, they hooked her up to a saline drip and had the doc run through the initial questions to form an opinion. His opinion was that it was Mesenteric lymphadenitis – basically a viral infection causing the lymph nodes to swell. I wasn’t overly impressed with the care she received and probably should have been more vocal. It’s a fine line to cross, although I did ask a ton of questions via her mom who was consulting with doctors at her conference.

2 liters of fluid later and she headed home. We went out to get some food since she was starving and to the grocery store to get Gatorade and water for her. Then, off to an early bedtime in the hotel. There was no way she wanted to head back to the dorm.

This morning, she was still feeling like crap, her eyes are swollen, and nauseous. So we checked out of the hotel and headed back to the ER where we are currently. The initial diagnosis is mono, so they are running that and a few more tests to rule out anything serious. At least she’s in good hands now.

After leaving here, we will head back to her dorm room and get a couple of things before heading back home. It’ll be up to her mom or brother to bring her back up after recuperation for a few days.

There are times like this that make me very glad that she goes to school only a few hours away from home!

Yesterday, I went to our Boston office to work and meet with a few of my project colleagues. After leaving the house at 5am and riding the commuter rail, I pulled into the office before 8 with a large container of Dunkin’ in hand per my normal routine. Around 11:30, I took off for a small sandwich shop near the office and got what I think is my last BLT of the year and walked back by the waterfront to sit and enjoy a quick bite and take in the beautiful day. A short 15 minutes later, I was back in the office to finish up. I love the fact that you can get pretty much anything you want to eat within a 10 minute walk from that office. It’s in the financial district, so lots of high rise buildings which make for a busy lunch crowd. Service is necessarily quick almost everywhere – at least at the busy places.

After meetings and other work was done, I took off to walk to North Station to meet my youngest child. Kaite is in college in Maine so she took the Downeaster train from Saco to Boston. The station is about a mile from our Boston office; it’s an easy walk on a beautiful day like yesterday. Once I found where her train was arriving, I found my beautiful daughter and got the best hug I could have hoped for. Being away from her for a month always makes that first hug so much sweeter.

Her food allergies have driven down the number of places we can eat, but there are no complaints on my part. We walked around for a bit, then headed to Cheer’s at Faneuil Hall (the replica bar from the TV show of the same name). We sat on the patio where the heaters were turned on, making it a very nice afternoon to sit outside. A couple of quick burgers later we headed to Mike’s Pastry to get some treats for Kaite to take back to school. Two cannoli and six macaroon cookies headed back to Maine in a box to satisfy one daughter and three roommates. We said a quick goodbye and she headed north and I went off to navigate the T system to make my way south to barely make the 5:55 commuter rail back to Worcester. As I pulled into the house just before 9pm, I was one tired man but very happy that I got to see my girl, if only for a couple of hours. She looks great and, unlike last year, she seems quite happy with her life. And as her Dad, that is the most I could hope for.

Today, we got to watch three young seals be released back to the Atlantic. The three seals were rescue seals, nurtured back to health by the University of New England Marine Sciences college. Each was significantly underweight and each gained 50 – almost 70 pounds over the past few months so were each ready to be sent back into the ocean before the winter sets in. So this afternoon, the three crates were brought to a private beach and the three crates opened. They waddled down the sand and quickly started swimming within a few minutes. It was quite a site to see. My daughter simply stated that it was another one off her bucket list.

We are currently in Maine visiting with our youngest child for Parent’s Weekend. Since they don’t have these at a community college, and since my parents never came to mine when I was in college, this is my first experience with such a weekend. We got in town too late for the President’s reception, so just dropped off the items we brought for Kaite, then took her and her roommate to dinner at a local favorite restaurant, Run of the Mill. My fish and chips was excellent, the micro brew tasty, and the company perfect!

Today, we’re doing a few things on campus, then heading to Portland for the day because it’s apparently time to start Christmas shopping.

It’s been a while since I last posted, but wanted to try and catch up before the summer slips by and it’s fall. I have several other blogs that have also slipped without updates as well, so here’s my reasons / excuses.

This spring took the family on a few excursions including several trips to my daughter’s college, one anniversary trip to Cape Cod, and a trip to Las Vegas for work for me. This is minor compared to my wife’s travel schedule which has been nuts. When she travels, my life is turned on it’s ear keeping everything running here, feeding everyone, and still putting in my 60 – 70 hour weeks. My exercise has gone to pot for the most part as well, difficult to keep a consistent routine going with all of that going on.

Our 25th anniversary took place at the end of February with little fanfare. We went out to dinner at a nice restaurant, then headed back to work the next day. Our big celebration consisted of a 2-night, 3-day trip to Cape Cod. We stayed at a Bed & Breakfast in Brewster, Maine. When we arrived on Friday, we just relaxed by walking on the beach, then heading to an early dinner at a very fancy restaurant. The package we purchased included a dinner at one of a couple of really nice places, a bottle of wine, and the two nights. The hosts at the B&B were lovely and I’d stay there again in a heartbeat. The second day, we spent just wandering around the Cape with no particular plans on where to go or when to be there. We saw several lighthouses and over 30 whales from the shoreline. We ate at a local bar close to the B&B and had fantastic food and relaxing conversation. The next day, we went south towards Woods Hole and Falmouth to see even more lighthouses check out the southern coast. It was very relaxing.

In May, I headed to Las Vegas for a 2-day information security forum. It was very professionally done, and gave me the chance to network with others in my industry. We stayed at the Cosmopolitan, one of the newest properties on the strip. When we finished on Friday, I walked the strip for a while. It didn’t take long to find a host of strange people. I walked through the MGM Grand for the first time since 1994 or 1995. It has gone so far downhill from what I remember, but other properties were simply over the top gorgeous.

Finally, this week took me on Wednesday (and my wife again on Friday) to drop (pick up) our daughter at college for her orientation. It was a bit strange leaving her there, even if I returned 15 minutes later to give her important items she had left in the car (wallet, ID, money). She may be grown up but she’s still our little girl at times!

We are finally on vacation in Maine. Last summer, we spent a week only about 12 miles from where we did last year. Those 12 miles are by boat – about 45 miles by car. We are on the opposite side of the bay, significantly closer to Acadia National Park. The town of Castine is a sleepy little town. The house we are renting was built in 1803 and occupied by the British from 1814 to 1815. The owner’s great, great Grandfather built the house, so it has been in the family for over 200 years, although currently on the market for sale. I took a look in the basement and the original support beams are clearly visible – logs that were hand trimmed and notched to provide the support. Several of the logs still have some bark attached. When you look at the structure, you know it was a slow process, and carefully pieced together by hand.

This year’s vacation is with friends from Richmond, VA. We’re so glad to be able to reconnect with this family after 3+ years of not being with them multiple times per week, all year round. Heather is my daughter’s second mother and my “church wife.” She remains my non-family emergency contact since there is no one else I’d rather have contacted in an emergency. Dave and I became much closer in the final few years we were in Richmond – one of the most level headed guys in the group of friends. He can laugh with the best of them, loves music even more than me, and provides a very safe haven for his family and close friends.

Sue and I are both hoping to relax, reboot, and reconnect with friends in this week. We have both been strung tight, and are in need of a solid week of downtime before hitting the fall hard once again.

This weekend, we headed to visit my Mom and husband in Maine. They were up there for two weeks, we got to visit for three short days. Fortunately, it was a quick, less than 4 hour drive with places to stop on the way.

We stopped in New Hampshire, in South Portland on the way up. We found a great restaurant (a dive, but with really great burgers), then headed out to Bug Light, a local lighthouse. We walked around, took a few pictures, and then headed up to Crystal Lake where my Mom was staying. It was a great house, with one bedroom upstairs and 2 – 3 downstairs. We slept downstairs (Kaite in one room, us in another, and Jake on the downstairs living room futon in his sleeping bag. We had a great weekend, and did a bit of kayaking, driving, and eating some great food! That and family, what more could you ask for.