Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Happy Anniversary to Carrie on 19 Years of Marriage to this Guy #Anniversary #19years #wedding #celebration

Carrie and John Engagement Picture

Nineteen years ago today Carrie and I were married. It feels like only yesterday. We have so many memories from our nineteen years together. For today, I will post what we had on our wedding site 19 years ago today as we led up to our big day.

The Meeting

Carrie and I Dancing at our Wedding
Carrie's Remembers: We only live 30 minutes from each other, but Fate decided a Caribbean cruise would be the best route to true love. A big group of us (about 150) were all going on the same cruise booked from a travel agency in Topeka. It took some coaxing from Brenda to get me to go. After all, this would mean missing the King Biscuit Blues Festival with my Dad! But we saved our money and couldn't wait for our vacation. I had heard through the grapevine that an acquaintance of mine was rooming with some guy named John. Who was John, we all wanted to know. Was Joell dating? Turns out they had mutual friends who convinced them to room together to save money. 

We met at the hotel the night before our plane departed. He seemed to be sitting at the edge of our group and I thought I'd be nice and strike up a conversation. Although, neither of us seemed to sense the chemistry between us till halfway through our trip.

We flirted on the high seas and knew by the end of the cruise that something very special had just begun.

John on Wedding Day Ready to Meet his Bride
John Remembers: True love could have happened anywhere between Carrie and I. We had met once before a year ago in a bar we both happened to be at. I remembered, but Carrie did not recall the encounter until later.

It is also interesting to note that both Carrie and I are Neil Diamond fans. After we started dating, we realized that we had been to his concert at Kemper Arena during the 80's. So again, our paths crossed, plus we have a mutual interest that we discovered during the cruise.

Our first introduction a year before did not lead to either one of us falling in love with the other. Instead, it took a week long cruise to bring us together.

It was not until Wednesday on the cruise that there was a mutual interest. I asked her to dance, we went on walks. We were becoming more and more interested as the week continued.

About the time the cruise ended, I did not want it to end. I was having so much fun with Carrie and spending time with her on the boat. Neither one of us were sure what would happen after the cruise.

After returning from the cruise, I called Carrie two days later to ask her out on a date. Two years later and we are going strong!

The Proposal

Carrie and John Engagement Pictures
Carrie's Version: John was taking me out to dinner in Topeka to celebrate our 11 month anniversary. It was Friday, Sept. 21, 2001. 

After dinner we went to his apartment in Lawrence. I was not in the best of moods and thought I might watch television. 

John took my arm and stopped me in my tracks. He turned a chair around and sat me down. I was confused as I watched him walk to his room and back. 

In his hands was a small gift. He handed it to me. As I started to unwrap it he could tell I was getting excited and whispered "It's not what you think." 

I settled down and opened the gift. It was a beautiful pink tourmaline ring set in white gold! He told me he had been talking to my friend Sharon at the jewelry store where she worked. He wished me a happy anniversary and I thanked him. 

He stood up and told me he had talked to Sharon some more, then disappeared from the room. Tears welled up in my eyes as he returned with a dozen red roses and another ring box. 

He handed me the flowers and began the most wonderful speech I have ever heard. John got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. Crying, I said yes at least half a dozen times. I could barely see the ring through my tears. 

He placed the most beautiful diamond ring on my finger and we hugged. Not ten minutes later, we called his parents and mine. They had all known he was planning on proposing. Then we called everyone else! 

We knew right away that we would have to marry on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2002. Exactly one year from the date he proposed.

John Kissing Carrie for Engagement Picture Set
John's Version: I had planned how I would ask Carrie to marry me for a few weeks. I did not know how I was going to say it, but I had a good idea of how I was going to go about it. I did not want her to have any idea what I was doing or when I was going to do it.

I took her out to Olive Garden and we had a nice dinner. We had stayed a little later than expected over at her parents before leaving to go eat. While this was not a problem, I wanted to do the proposal before it got too late. I knew that Carrie would want to call her parents (they knew I was going to do it that night) and I wanted to be able to call my parents too.

I drove back to Lawrence as fast as I possibly could. Carrie asked me why we were going so fast and I think she thought I was upset about something. Not in the least! I wanted to get home to get things set up to ask her to marry me.

I had purchased flowers and champagne the night before in preparation. I had all of these hidden away so she would not see them when we entered my apartment.

Carrie, still thinking that I am upset about something since I drove home so quickly, entered the apartment. Still not suspecting anything... I took her arm and asked her to sit in a chair in the middle of the room that I turned around for her to face me facing towards the kitchen. I told her to wait one second.

At this point, Carrie looked confused but very curious as I went into the laundry room and brought out something. It was a small box!

She started to cry as I gave it to her to open. She had just started to open the lid of the ring case as the tears streamed down her face. I told her this was not what she thought it was... However, I had spoken to her friend and had something else for her.

I went back into the laundry room and came out with a bottle of champagne and the roses. I put the champagne and roses down and looked into her eyes. I started telling Carrie how much I care about her. How perfect we are for one another. It seemed as though I talked for an hour, but I know it was only a couple of minutes. I then knelt down on one knee, took her hand and asked her to marry me. I could see the tears streaming down her face and she whispered out "yes". 


Carrie and John Leaving for Reception in Style
We were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lawrence, KS. The reception took place at the time was called Shawnee Country Club. We were married at 5 pm and the reception started at at 7 pm in Topeka. So many great memories from this day 19 years ago today.


Carrie and I are looking forward to our twentieth wedding anniversary next year. We are beginning to discuss where we will go and what we will do to celebrate. I look forward to twenty years with Carrie being married but also to the next twenty years and whether it will still seem like just yesterday that we were married.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Fun Filled Weekend with Thursday Night Washburn Football, Larry Carlton Friday, and Chiefs Sunday

Thursday Night Home Washburn Football Game
Washburn Home Football

I had some fun this past weekend with football, good food, drinks, and fun with family and friends. It started Thursday night with the first home Washburn football game. We played Central Missouri for the second game of the season for Washburn where we won 29 - 10 improving on the year to 2 - 0.

It felt good to be out for a tailgate again after a year of being away. A good turn out for the first home football game. I saw a lot of familiar faces and camped out in our corner by the flag pole. Our long-time tailgate friend Jon was set up next to our spot. It was good to see him talk to him for a bit after the game started and of course as he started breaking down his spot, we had a good conversation and looking forward to the rest of the home games.

Selfie Watching the Washburn Home Game
Washburn did not look great, but we did what was needed and won the game. I enjoyed being in our corner to watch the games. Yes, in case you are wondering, we have season tickets, but I cannot recall the last time I went into the game. Javier and I were trying to remember when we started going to Washburn games to tailgate and we think it might be around 15 years at this point. I called him from our spot as he was down in Texas and always brings back good memories of being in our spot enjoying a football game. 

Sunrise on Friday Morning in Topeka
Bright and early Friday morning, I took Oliver over to Brenda to watch while we were going to be gone for a concert. Oliver always has a good time over at Brenda’s house. We have to be careful when we say he is going over there to see Emma and Toby because he will start running around the house ready to leave. He is so funny though as he is so excited to get over there and then they really do not do anything together. When they go outside, Toby and Oliver will run around a little, but no real playing. Oliver just likes being around them to be around something different than just Carrie and I all the time. 

When I left, the sunrise was low in the eastern sky and looked like a fireball coming up over the horizon. The picture does not do it justice as it was impressive as I was driving down 21st Street to head to work. It was a good way to start the day although sad to be leaving Oliver behind, but I knew he would have a good time.

I worked a half day on Friday so that we could get to Hutchinson, KS that afternoon. Eddie had bought the family concert tickets to Larry Carlton who was playing at Fox Theatre. We had a great time eating dinner Friday night at Polo Bar and Grill. We had a good time eating before the concert and turned out to be a really nice spot to eat. Popular with locals, from what we could tell, and the food was really good! We were going to eat after the concert, but decided it would be too late and not sure if places like Polo Bar and Grill would have their kitchen open. We did not want to eat at a chain, so it worked out nicely for us.

The Fox Theatre was fun to see. I think I had heard about it when Uncle JR and Aunt Marcia would talk about Hutch, but I do not think I had ever been there. For COVID, it was not capacity seating, so everyone was spaced out and we ended up spacing out even further as there were lots of seats/rows open around us as they were taking the precautions about being masked and not close to one another seriously.

Greg, Erin, Joan, Eddie, Carrie, and I at the Larry Carlton Concert in Hutchinson, KS

Seeing Larry Carlton in concert was so fun! The first note he played on his guitar and I knew it was going to be good. I had listened to some of his songs prior to going to the concert, and I knew about Steely Dan, although seeing Larry Carlton in-person was so much better. I know through many of the songs Friday night, my head was bobbing up and down, or my foot/leg were bouncing up and down in rhythm to the music. 

Sometimes there are evenings, or days, that I wish would not end and this was one of those trips. I felt sad as we packed up and left to head back to Topeka on Saturday. We did have lunch at Pizza Ranch before we left for Topeka, but then I was sad and full, so Eddie offered to drive and I slept the whole way home. What a great weekend and so good to be out and about.

Today is Sunday and ready to watch the Kansas City Chiefs today at 3:25 to start their season. Have a great rest of your Sunday and a great week!

Monday, September 06, 2021

Happy Labor Day

American Flag on Labor Day

Labor Day is a day for us as a nation to acknowledge the hard work of Americans who have contributed to our country and our future with continued prosperity. The determined and unwavering work ethic rooted in our country since its birth continues to be interlaced within every one of us. 

While Labor Day is a day to celebrate the working people of  the United States, the day also serves as the end of summer for many. Pools close, school is in full effect, and the temperatures begin to get cooler across the nation. We see the transition from baseball to football with the end of baseball season approaching quickly. Our lawns begin to change as they head to the dormant months of no lawn mowing.

Yet, we still have a lot that will happen in the remaining four months of 2021. I trust you can enjoy your Labor Day weekend celebrating with family and friends. Possibly taking in a movie or enjoying a glass of wine on a pleasant day and remembering why we have Labor Day as a celebration.

Have a happy and safe Labor Day!

Sunday, September 05, 2021

Changed Email Subscription Service for Email Delivery of The Dog House Blog Site

The previous service I used for email subscription expired. Although it was still working, it is going to end from Feedburner (i.e. Google). I imported all email subscriptions previously subscribed to the new service called Follow.it. You will start receiving email notices of new posts from this new site. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thank you to those that follow my blog via email, social media, or stumble across my page when browsing the internet. Those that have not subscribed via email, you can do so on the front page at https://www.haverty.net/.

Thank you!

Various September Sunday Ramblings on a Holiday Weekend About Saturdays, Fun, Routines, Sports, and Anything Else that Comes to Mind

Oliver and Carrie on a Lazy Sunday Morning Not Camping
We made an effort to try and make this a camping weekend. We (i.e. Carrie) searched for camp sites and while we found them, the weather was the issue with not going. She checked camp sites all over the state, but everywhere had rain Friday and Saturday, so we decided not to go camping. We will try again later this month and we have already selected dates in October to go camping. Of course, today being Sunday, the weather is beautiful at 74 degrees with sunshine and cool breeze. Makes us want for being by a lake camping with our dog.

That’s how it goes sometimes and we are still early in our camping experience, so I am sure we will have many more like this in the years to come. We feel the pull of nice weather and wanting to camp but as the time approaches, we have to adjust schedule to another weekend or possibly camp in the rain. As you may recall, our first camping experience (see Camping Eisenhower State Park) where we did camp in the rain and cold, it was not bad but not something we want to plan on doing if we can help it. If it it happens when we are camping where weather comes up, that is fine, but if we can avoid camping in rain/cold, that will be our choice to pick a clear weekend… as you would expect. Still, the pull from wanting to camp when it is nice is heavy. I can relate it to when I was playing golf when the weather would be nice and I would want to go golfing so bad I could not focus on anything else; the feeling of good weather and wanting to camp is similar for me.

Greg, Erin, Carrie, and I Enjoying Drinks on Saturday
Instead of a camping weekend, we met Greg and Erin for breakfast, ran some errands, and then had a late lunch at Boomers’ Steakhouse, Grill and Catering on Saturday. We have been having fun the past few Saturdays as we have met up just about every Saturday to have fun. Our weekend get together Saturday have included Topeka Farmer’s Market, visiting a winery, various lunches or dinner locations, and enjoying some beers at local establishments.

Next weekend, we will be going to a concert which will be fun. Eddie bought the tickets and we are making an evening of it. More on this next week. It will be fun to go to a concert as I do not recall the last one I attended… I am thinking it would have been in 2019, but I am not positive. Regardless, it will be fun to be out with others, listen to live music, and have a good time. We will be safe and cautious while we are out and keeping an eye on the venue for requirements for masks. We have all been vaccinated, but still have to be careful just as I am at work where masks are required.

This next week kicks off the NFL season. It is hard to believe as it seems like we just watched the Super Bowl. Not a game we want to remember, so maybe that’s why it seems like it was just yesterday. The Chiefs start their season on Sunday, September 12. I have two fantasy football leagues I am playing this year and I finished my last draft this past Friday. Ready for another season and ready to cheer the Chiefs to another fun season. 

Speaking of football, Washburn Ichabod football team won their first game of the season Thursday night 76 - 12 over Lincoln University of Missouri. The Kansas Jayhawks football team won their first game of the season with a new coach 17 - 14 over South Dakota. A positive start for local college sports and then we look forward to watching professional sports start up this week.

That is all for now, so have a wonderful holiday weekend and watch for a holiday post on here tomorrow. Until next week, have a great week!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Camping Discussion for September and October plus Future Camping and Taking Our Dog in Cooler Temperatures

Carrie and I have not been camping in a few months, so we are thinking about going here soon before it gets cold. We are debating on whether to go camping for our anniversary or wait until October. We are looking at options and trying to figure out when we could do a long weekend for another camping adventure.

We learned this week that the annual festival I attend each year, King Biscuit Blues Festival, has been canceled for the second time in a row. Sad to hear we will not be at the festival this year and not able to see our friends that travel from all over the country to attend. Although it makes sense with the rise of COVID cases across the country, it is sad to not be going again this year. So, instead of going to a blues festival, Carrie and I might take a long weekend and go camping instead. Although no dates are set and we do not have anything reserved at this time.

If possible, we would love to be able to do two or three more camping trips before it gets cold. I am not sure how that will work out though. As we see August come to an end, we move into September and if the first few weeks of September are anything like the last few weeks of August, it would be very warm to go camping. Granted, the weather should start cooling down where it will be nice to camp, but it would be cool during the evening and just the day to deal with the heat.

Sleepy Oliver Whether at Home or Camping
We did learn from our camping adventure back in June (see Camping in Hot Temperatures at lake Milford Near Junction City) that we can go camping in extreme temperatures, but it would be nice to be able to take our dog and not have him overheat in the weather. So, hopefully late September we can get a camping visit done and then two more in October.

I am not sure how much Oliver likes to camp as we have only taken him two times so far in our adventures, but he seems to like the experience. He sleeps throughout the day, enjoys going on walks as we do much more walking when we are camping than at home, and he likes watching the people at the other camp sites. The weather might be too warm to take him in September, but hopefully we can take him at least once in October if we can get a date set.

We did book a camp site for the future (2022) in Big Bend National Park and we cannot wait for that trip. The dates are tentatively set as Carrie could see the dates disappearing, but we do have that to look forward to in 2022.

What trips do you have planned for future camping sites? Do you have a favorite you would recommend that Carrie and I visit? We would love to hear from you in the comments. Until next week, have a great week!

Sunday, August 22, 2021

New Sidewalk and Update on Other Repairs for Our Home

Walk Replaced from Drive to Front Door

We were finally able to have our front walk replaced. We had started the process back in February and because of various issues, we finally had the sidewalk replaced. This goes back to a post I made back in January 2021 regarding Repairs Needed, so it took a while, but we have done the window replacement and now the walk replacement.

For the walk, we went with Perez General Contractor. He did a great job for us and the delays were with weather as each time we had a target date set, it would pour down rain and delay us further. The new walk looks great! I have wanted to replace the walk ever since we moved in back in 2006 as it basically fell apart that first winter we were in the house.

Sidewalk from Street to Front Door
Next, I have a tree trimmer lined up to trim the two trees in the front and then possibly also take out a tree next to our drive that has been slowly dying the past few years. Once we have the two trees in the front trimmed up, I will hopefully be able to reach out to our lawn care company to discuss about overseeing and trying to get grass to grow again under the two front trees. Last attempt at this one as I have done overseeing in the past, but the 2019 into 2020 season was the worst and our front lawn turned into dirt under both large trees and up by the evergreen by the front door.

Future repairs include window replacement, work in our family room, and other odds and ends. It feels good to have at least two items that needed to be done now done and move on to the next steps.

Until next Sunday, have a great week!