Sunday, December 31, 2023

Happy New Year 2024 and a Look Back at Past Haverty NYE Celebrations

Carrie and John in Early 2000 New Years Eve Celebration
Carrie and I in NYE 2001

As we look toward 2024, I think back to past New Years Eve celebrations. The picture to the right is from 2001 with Shayne and Autumn. Carrie and I were dating at the time and went to celebrate the end of 2001 and the start of 2002 with Shayne and Autumn. I recall that Carrie was sick that night with a fever and not feeling well at all. She went to bed early leaving Autumn, Shayne, and I to ring in the New Year. Carrie reminds me that I kept going into the room we were staying and letting her know we were having fun, could smell some type of spirit on my breath, and then finally I went into let her know that the upstairs toilet would no longer work. I will leave it at that and note that Shayne and I had to go out and get a plunger to start the New Year of 2002. Good times!

While we lived in Lawrence, we had some epic New Years Eve celebrations where we had people sleeping on the floor in various rooms where ever they could find a spot to sleep. Unfortunately, we do not have a lot of pictures, if any, from those celebrations. A lot of good memories though from various parties one including Brenda taking around "shots" that was beer and laughing while she offered "shots" to the party goers. So much fun and good memories of those parties.

New Years Eve 2007 with Dad, Jerry, and John
New Years Eve 2007

On New Years Eve 2007, I have good memories of spending the end of 2007 with my family in Lawrence. We grilled steaks, drank a lot of wine, and even made Irish Coffee at some point during the evening. The picture to the left is Dad, Jerry, and I outside cooking, telling stories, and drinking wine while we cooked. 

Our game of choice was Rook which I had introduced Carrie to playing when we were dating. The whole family played and we have many good memories of staying late on work nights to finish up a game before heading home. 

Dad Trying on CPAP Machine on NYE 2007
Dad Trying CPAP NYE 2007

Carrie and I had recently moved to Topeka, so we made a trip into Lawrence to spend with Mom, Dad, and family to ring in the new year. I had recently been fitted with a CPAP machine and for some reason, we broke it out on New Years Eve 2007 for my Dad and Mom to try out. I recall my Dad was still questioning how it worked and how I would sleep with it on my head. Eventually, Dad would get one himself but never liked it and I am not sure really ever gave it a chance. Still, we all tried it on before we started playing games and drinking wine through the evening.

The next morning, as we do almost every year on New Years Day, we would have Hoppin' John that my Mom had told me about when I was little. We have had Hoppin' John just about every year Carrie and I have been together on New Years Day. The short of the meaning behind Hoppin' John is that it brings luck for the next year and then greens along with Hoppin' John can bring wealth for the upcoming year. A little hot sauce and it was excellent to eat on New Years Day and a few days after as it is always suggested to make a lot so you have leftovers.

New Years Eve 2011
NYE 2011

In 2011, we had a small party at our home with friends. Scott, Robin, Brenda, Carrie and I celebrated the end of 2011 and the new year of 2012. We watched movies in the living room, played games, and a few drinks to end the year and celebrate the new year of 2012.

Some of our New Years Eve celebrations have been Carrie and I spending a quiet evening at home, grilling, drinking wine, and hanging out with Oliver. We have had NYE celebrations where we are with small groups and large groups. I do not believe we have ever been out on the town for a big New Years Eve celebration with large groups of people. I prefer to be home or at a home to bring in the New Year. I am not sure why, but prefer to bring with a large group at some event space.

Taylor, Greg, and John NYE 2019
NYE 2019

New Years Eve 2019 we threw a big party at our home with family and friends. Little did we know it would be the last time we could all be together as COVID 2020 hit early in 2020. We had a good time celebrating the end of 2019 and 2020 starting the next day. It seems like so long ago as I look back and reflect on our fun that night. Games were played, drinks were had, and a lot of fun by all.

Last year, Carrie and I were in Houston, TX to ring in the New Year. We stayed a few days with Corrie and rang in the New Year at her home. I recall all the fireworks that went off in her neighborhood. It was impressive as I recall walking outside after midnight to smell gun powder in the air.

We look to 2023 coming to an end on Sunday, December 31, 2023. For 2024, I look forward to doing a whole lot more camping this year. I did a fair amount of traveling in 2023 which was good and I hope we can keep the traveling in 2024 at a high level too.

Happy New Year to you and your family.

Trip to Palm Springs, CA November 30 - December 4 Update... Note, we had a great time!

Mountains, Palm Trees, and Palm Springs, California
Mountains and Palm Trees

I did not have a chance to write up our trip to Palm Springs, California after we got back. We went to Palm Springs, CA November 30 - December 4. We met Javier and Corrie in Palm Springs. We got together a few weeks ahead of our trip to pick a place to go. We wanted to go some place that none of us had been before. This took a few messages back and forth and discussions before we finally landed on Palm Springs, California. Palm Springs did not disappoint! We had a great time! It was beautiful and we ate at some good places as well as had drinks at some good spots too.

Breakfast at Farm in Palm Springs, CA
Breakfast at Farm in Palm Springs
For breakfast the first day, we went to Farm in Palm Springs. A breakfast spot that was amazing. The set up of Farm was cool with indoor and outdoor sitting. The drinks were amazing! The Bloody Mary here was so good, I could have had a few of those. Breakfast was simple and delicious with some really good fried potatoes.

We wanted to get an early start to the day as we had plans to visit Joshua Tree National Park, do some bar hopping, and then have dinner at a fancy place that night. A lot planned for our first full day in Palm Springs, California.

Sun Behind Tree at Joshua Tree National Park
Tree Behind Joshua Tree
During the day, we drove out to Joshua Tree National Park to look around. Beautiful to see it and yes it was a bit chilly. We saw people climbing the rocks and on top of the high cliffs which was cool, but mainly, we enjoyed looking at the mountains against the sky with Joshua Trees mixed in and around the area. I am so glad that we decided to go out this day instead of waiting until the weekend to get out to see the sights.

Early evening found us at The Parker Palm Springs for drinks. We took an Uber to start our evening with drinks before heading to dinner. It was a cool spot where we later learned that movie stars would frequent for an after party for an event that takes place each year in Palm Springs. We only had drinks here and a lot of laughs. It was a fun spot and glad we were able to make it there before our evening of dinner.

Group Picture at Bar Cecil for Dinner
Group Picture at Bar Cecil
That night, we had reservations at Bar Cecil that Carrie had found and got up early a month earlier to get reservations. As I mentioned, Carrie had to get up early a month prior to get reservations. She had read some place that reservations were hard to get and they opened a month in advance, so she got up early one morning in October to get our reservations. I am so glad she did! We had a great time!

Palm Springs reminded me a lot of Albuquerque, NM that we have visited a number of times for vacation. The mountains, look of the homes in the area, and the weather made me think of Albuquerque. In the evening, it would get rather chilly and we especially felt the cold when we traveled up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway which took us to the top of a mountain to overlook Palm Springs. We had drinks at the top of the mountain while looking at the views before heading out to see the rest of Palm Springs.

To see all pictures from our trip, please use the viewer below to browser our pictures. Note, there a lot of selfies and silly pictures as we had a blast! The full album can be viewed on Flickr at

Palm Springs Trip

As you can see from our pictures and description, we had an excellent time. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, we plan to do this on an annual basis where we pick a location where none of us have been. We recognize this will become a tough task as it took us a while to land on Palm Springs that none of us had been to before, but it is a good challenge and I look forward to see where we go next year when we make the trip to the unknown.

Until next time, I hope you have wonderful travels and are able to visit some place new each year.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Merry Christmas 2023! Have a Happy and Safe Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve and Merry Christmas! I am using a post Carrie made on her Instagram page of our Christmas tree as I thought it was perfect for a Merry Christmas greeting. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. It is hard to believe that 2023 is coming to an end as it seems like the year just started, but here we are at the end of the year. 

Enjoy the day and be sure to reach out to your family and friends this holiday season.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Back Went Out Saturday Morning and Still Struggling with Back Pain Through Monday Evening

A short update for this week. I did not get this posted on Sunday per normal. My back went out Saturday morning and been battling the pain. I have never had back pain like this before. I was moving a cooler to clean it out Saturday morning and my back immediately started hurting. Carrie had to help me in and out of chairs. I actually spent the night in my recliner Sunday evening as it is so difficult to go up or down stairs.

I took off work today as I can barely walk around. I did make it to the doctor today, so I received a shot for pain and prescription medication to take over the next few days to help with pain. It is a waiting game at this point to let the swelling in my back go down. I can tell a different after the shot, but my doctor warned not to get too aggressive with things as it is helping with pain, but the pain will still be there when the shot wears off.

We had a fun weekend planned in Lawrence to do Christmas shopping. Although I went in with Carrie, I ended up staying in the car for most of the time we were in Lawrence. 

Ichabods Soccer Rally
Here I am on Monday evening writing up my post for last week. We did make it out to the rally Wednesday evening to welcome back our Ichabods Soccer team after finishing second in the NCAA Div II tournament. They had a great season and I am able to say I went to three or four of their home games thanks to my sister-in-law Erin who had a friend playing for the team.

That is all for now as I am going to rest some more and hopefully be back up walking around here soon. Until next time...

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Celebration for 90th Birthday for Our Mom... Happy 90th Birthday Nancy Haverty!

Celebration with Mom for 90th Birthday
Mom Celebrating 90 Birthday

Our family got together to celebrate my Mom's 90th birthday. She turned 90 on December 6. A few months ago, we started discussing and figuring out what we would do to celebrate her birthday. Mom did not want a huge party, so we knew we had to keep it small to our immediate family. However, Betsy had the idea of doing a card party for Mom. So, the announcement was sent out and people started sending in cards to Mom. I know Carrie and I sent nine cards and others also sent multiple cards. She loves it and getting cards daily for the past two weeks has been great. We read through some of them when we celebrated which was fun to do.

Group Photo
Group Family Photo
Betsy organized us into a group picture. We were missing a few family members that were not able to make the trip. This was the first time in a few years that this many of us were able to get together. We missed Spencer, Jack and Katie, Katy, and Donna.

I ended up taking the pictures with my phone as we had some technical issues with Betsy's Android phone to get it to do a timer countdown. I think we got some good pictures of the whole family.

See all the pictures from the celebration on Flickr.

Beautiful Sunset on Day of Celebration for Mom's 90th Birthday
Beautiful Sunset

Beautiful weather for the birthday celebration. Carrie snapped the picture to the right of the sunset. Amazing weather for December 9. Carrie and I took our fire pit and had it going most of the afternoon into the evening. It was nice to have a little heat to stand around while we were talking and enjoying one another's company. The forecast for earlier in the week was rain and snow, but that never happened and it was a great celebration.

A small group of us remained and kept Mom up late into the evening (midnight) talking and telling stories. Mom was sharing stories from when she was little which was interesting.  Tim started the question asking and then Carrie and I chimed in and started asking questions too. Questions such as how Dad proposed or favorite meals from her childhood. It was really interesting and some stories I had not heard before.

Oliver Had Enough Family Time and Went Off to Sleep
Oliver Went to Quiet Room

Oliver went off by himself at one point in the evening as he had enough of family time. He did well overall, but did not like having a one and half year old try to pet him. So, we had to keep Oliver separated from Hayes. It was so good to meet the little Haverty's that attended the gathering. 

So happy with how the celebration turned out. Mom had a great time and we kept it only to immediate family. I hope we are all able to get together again soon just to be together.

Until next time, have a great rest of your Sunday and a wonderful week...

Sunday, December 03, 2023

Share My Fantasy Football Career, Discuss Other Fantasy Sports I play, and Other Ramblings

Fantasy sports are fun... well, most of the time. It is amazing how quickly a "good" season can change. In one of my fantasy football leagues, I was leading the division and had won a series of games in a row. The past three weeks, I am on a losing skid. I dropped from leading the division to third place in my division. At this rate, I have a chance of barely getting into the playoffs with two weeks left in the regular season for fantasy football.

The Chiefs Kingdom league I have been an owner since 2016. It is a great time as we do a live draft in-person at the start of the season. I have not won this league yet, but I have had some good seasons. This year, I was progressing with a good team and suddenly the wheels fell off and I am not sure where I will end up. We have had different league owners win over the years and the past two years for the first time we had a repeat winner. This league is a lot of fun and banter is shared between owners.

The Beer Gut league, I have been a member since 2011. This league has shrunk and grown over the years from ten teams back up to twelve teams. There have been multi-owner winners in this league. I won the league in 2014 and 2017. We had our first three-time winner with the 2022 season with that league owner winning 2012, 2015, and 2022. The league has been around a while, so it is not surprising that we have multi-owner winners.

I also enjoy playing fantasy baseball, but I have really struggled through the years in fantasy baseball. I enjoy both but I have had better "luck" in fantasy football. I am hoping to get my first win in Chiefs Kingdom this year, but it does require luck to make it to the playoffs and win. The years I won in Beer Gut I did not think I had a chance those years and some how managed to the playoffs and win in the playoffs to win the league. It all takes a lot of luck no matter what and all we can do is hope we put the correct players in the game to be active to earn us points.

Football and baseball are the only fantasy sports that I play. Even when my team is not doing well, I enjoy the process. 

Have a great rest of your day and a wonderful weekend...