Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017 and Review of 2016

Celebrating the New Year Picture from 2011
Happy New Year Picture from 2011
Happy New Year 2017! Hard to believe that 2016 is over. This year flew!

As I look back at 2016 and think of what happened, I am left feeling  satisfied with my year. I look forward to 2017.

I had strived this year to post more on my blog. I did in part for a few solid months and then completely stopped posting for a period of time as other projects and work took the focus. I am back to trying to post on a regular basis.

I thought I would take this time to mention some of my favorite blog posts from 2016. Maybe some that were missed and also to refresh my memory of the past year.

January 2016

I found the post I made after finding pictures from when the Royals won the world series -- Videos from Game 1 of 2015 World Series.

I enrolled in my first class at Washburn in years... Beginning Piano... I loved it! I kept a blog of all my studying and even my final project. I recall the initial post Studying Piano Lessons and Remembering Childhood Piano Practicing as I started the process. Unfortunately, I have not been back to continue to play the piano. I still have plans to get back to it though. See all posts involving piano.

I started following YouTube channels involving giving up all your possessions to sail the world. Still a fascinating group of channels that follow a year later. New Found Addition Are YouTube Channels were the first group of channels that I started following toward the end of 2015 and continue to follow today.

February 2016

I recall the day I went on a swing in a park in central Topeka. It really freaked me out and I realized I am getting older in the post Freakout Control Diminishes as I Get Older... My Experience on a Swing.

The day the Kansas City Royals trophy came to Washburn University Brief Update on Royals World Series Trophy at Washburn University.

March 2016

The start of baseball with rings and banners -- Royals Opening Day is this Sunday

April 2016

I started running again. I have since stopped. I hope to get back into it though. Reading past posts on running helps to inspire for future runs. I started the process again on April 2 with Start Running Process Tomorrow and Get Run Bug Again.

May 2016

I wrote my first paper in years for piano class. I was almost done with practicing my piece and ready to perform. Read the paper and where I was at in the process in Paper on Johannes Brahms Done and Preparing for Final.

June 2016

By June, I only posted two times that month. More running and Father's Day.

July and August 2016

No posts at all from me during the month of July. We went on a vacation and it was a busy month. However, in August, I did post about our vacation from July down to Texas -- Our Summer Vacation in Texas from July.

September, October, and November 2016

So, essentially, no posts September or October with one post in August that was about a vacation we took in July. I was slacking a bit on posts. Although in November, I did post Catching up from August Post and New Stuff that detailed what had happened during those few months of no posts.

December 2016

Thanksgiving and reflecting on the year. It was a great year!

Happy New Year in 2017!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Remember Dad Two Years Later

Dad and I... Love this Picture!

I am not sure why it seems like it has been more years than it actually has been, but this is only the second year since my Dad passed (see Remembering December 30, 2014 -- A Year Later -- My Dad's Passing). When I say more years, it feels like it has been three years. I think it is because he passed just before a New Year started.

Thinking of you Dad two years after you left us. I still like to go back and look at pictures and listen  to his voice. Two years later and it still feels like he was going to walk into the room on Christmas Day to see what everyone wanted to drink or that on Christmas Eve that he was going to go to bed.

Miss and love you always!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Netflix Documentary: Minimalism -- and Other Thoughts

While waiting for a recall on a SRS bag for our Honda Accord, I decided to watch the Netflix show Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. I had read others friends posts about this documentary and decided to check it out. Interesting concept and something that Carrie and I have discussed in the past. Not sure we could ever go to the extreme that they do in this documentary, but certainly an interesting idea.

The idea being that we can be happier with less. We do not need all the things we have or large amounts of money in order to be happy. Instead, doing with less, focusing on real connections with family and friends, that's how we can be happy.

The idea seems daunting as I think about it and what these two guys in the documentary have done. They said at one point that it was not an easy process to begin throwing their personal items out and get down to only those items that they use.

This concept of minimalism makes me think of those YouTube channels I follow which gave up everything to sail around the world. It has been over a year and I am still following those same YouTube channels (see New Found Addition are YouTube Channels of Sailors). It is intriguing how those individuals gave up everything they own and got on a boat to sail the world. They keep only those things on the boat and in their possession for which they use regularly or have a purpose for on their boat.

To live in a small house, or tiny house, as has been a hot topic been lately and also mentioned in the documentary, I am not sure I could do that either. Granted, Carrie and I really only use three or four rooms in our house and not sure I could go down to one tiny house/room. Something we have half joked about before as we look those other rooms we do not frequent. The other rooms are simply areas that have to be cleaned and if we were in a smaller house, we would not have to worry about those areas.

All of this to say it is a good documentary and highly recommend watching. I hope Carrie and I can take the idea and use it in our home and our lifestyle. Possibly think twice before purchasing something either of us think we need. Think about items in our home that we can donate to others and do without.

Seems like a good way to finish out 2016 and look to 2017 to think about living with less or the goal of how we want that to look.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas to All!

Picture of Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Everyone have a happy and safe Christmas! I hope Santa was good to everyone. Enjoy this Christmas Day 2016! Hard to believe 2016 is almost over.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve with a Christmas Sweater

Picture Carrie took of me last year in a Christmas Sweater

It is Christmas Eve and I decided to bring out a picture from last year that Carrie took. Carrie made this very special Christmas Sweater. It is certainly festive, don't you think?

I wanted to take a quick moment to say Merry Christmas Eve. Safe travels! Enjoy being with family  and friends. I know I cannot wait to be with my family tonight and tomorrow.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Leaves, Leaves, and More Leaves

Picture of Leaves

First part of December is always a fun time of year. Fall is in full swing with college football wrapping up the regular season. College basketball has been going a few weeks and getting closer to league play. Finally, at this point in the season, those of us with large trees in our yards have already picked up leaves a few times. The way trees look, I will have a few more times to pick up leaves before the end of the year.

The worst part about leaves is that some how they manage to make their way into our house. When we let our dog out or simply coming back from the store, leaves are in our kitchen and family room. They cling to the bottom of our shoes or simply blow in the back door as we go out or into the house.

The act of cleaning them up is not so bad. The large trees though means we get to do this a lot of times throughout the season. One tree in our front yard, a gum ball maple, keeps the leaves until about January or February. Or, if we have a large snow fall, then it will drop all of the leaves on top of the freshly laid snow. That always looks really nice!

This year, I am trying to do much more mulching than years past. Yesterday, I did the front and back for leaves and only ended up with three bags. The rest was mulched into the yard. The majority of the yard cannot tell that leaves were picked up, but some of the heavier areas because the leaves were mulched, I could not pick up the leaves in those spots. Still, I think it will be good for the yard in the long run. Plus, I know I will have a few more times to pick up leaves before the season is over.

Picture of Carrie in the leavesThe best part of leaves is being able to play in them. The picture to the right was taken a few years ago as we were leaving for a Washburn home football game. Carrie used some leaves I had not gotten to that seem to collect in the middle of our driveway to get that perfect picture.

Our dog on the other hand, he is not a fan of the leaves. If there is a pile in the back yard, he will walk around it to go to or from the back door. He seems to be happiest following the back yard being cleaned up. He is so pampered!

Hard to believe Christmas will be here in a few short weeks. I hope I am done picking up leaves by then.