Tag Archives: gin

She’s Amazing

Believe it or not, I do not like to write about my wife very often.  It’s not that I don’t love her or think the world of her.  I certainly understand more than most husbands the imbalance between myself and her.  My dad didn’t dispense marriage advice to me often.  He just lived the life of a dutiful husband.  He placed my mom on a pedestal, adoring his “child bride” for the 60 years of their life together.  The way he treated her – loving, honoring, and truly cherishing her – was more than enough for us to see what being a husband and father meant.  But he was fond of saying, whenever the subject came up, that “all women marry beneath themselves.  They marry men.”  And it’s certainly not that he thought ill of his sons, simply that he recognized the inherent beauty, dignity, and grace of woman.  Let’s face it.  Men are brutish, boorish, and hairy until a woman graces us with her presence.  Even then, we’re still pretty hairy.  But it is in the instant that a young man discovers a woman who’s taken an interest in his potential that he radically alters his life to become the “man” God always wanted him to be – a strong, providential, gentle, patient, and loving man capable of raising a family.

No, I don’t write often about my beloved for the same reason that I never mention students by name and I use my own photos rather than images grabbed from the internet.  The people and places involved in the re-telling of my life never asked to be the subject of a blog!  While it is true that I can talk about my life all I want, I am always mindful of crossing the line and exposing someone who might enjoy some of the privacy the entire human race enjoyed before the online world took over our lives.

That being said, I have to relay something the wonderful Mrs. Harvey did for me today.  A month and a half ago I resigned from my job as a school administrator.  I had worked so hard and long for this opportunity.  But when the moment came, not too long into this job, and I realized it wasn’t working out, I decided it was time to move on.  The past few weeks leading up to my last day have been strange for me.  I’ve had very little to do but show up.  When I wasn’t at work I was starting to get depressed.  You see, I’ve never been in this position of having no prospect or idea of where I’m going to wind up.  I’ve been reflecting on lack of marketable skills other than teaching which I think is impressive but most people think of as a joke.  In fact, I think I want to go back to teaching but it’s mid-year and there aren’t too many teaching jobs available.  I’ve struggled with self-doubt, lack of confidence, and a feeling that I had failed – not just myself which would be tolerable enough but also the woman I vowed to give my life to and the children she’s given me.  And through it all she’s been so gracious to me, encouraging me, helping me to see the situation for what it is, and doing it all without losing her mind.

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Don’t laugh at the diet tonic.  I like my gin and I don’t want all the extra carbs.

So today I finished up at work and drove home.  When I walked in the door my wife and kids were out running errands.  As I opened the door from the garage I noticed a large gift basket on the counter in the kitchen.  This basket was filled with, well to put it gently, booze.  Knowing my wife’s tendency to purchase such baskets at gala auctions I almost walked right past it.  But then I stopped and read the card.  It read something to the effect of “I’m so excited to start this next chapter of our life together and I love you.  Now drink up.  You’re on vacation!”

I’d like to think that I could ever be as amazing as she is but I know that’s not likely.  I will spend the rest of my life searching for a way to make her as happy as she makes me.  In the meantime, I’d better do as the lady says…

Cheers everyone!

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A Debt of Gratitude

Miss me? Don’t answer that. Instead, say a prayer or two for me. I could use them right now. But enough about me…

A few weeks back a friend of mine was going out of town for a week. He posed a request to me. 

“Could you pet sit for us?”

I didn’t even honestly know he had a pet.

He doesn’t.

His little girl has a bunny rabbit. My motto is, if it doesn’t jump into your lap showing the affection of a hyper caffeinated child, it ain’t a pet. Also, if the slightest noise can cause it to have a heart attack and die, you might want to consider a dog. 

But we had a bunny when I was a kid. OK, we had about ten bunnies over the years. After Mom accidentally cooked Thumper I would have thought we’d learned our lesson. More on that later. 

Lepus: Latin for messed up.

Maybe it was the way he asked. He seemed genuinely embarrassed. He’s a pretty manly guy – the kind who exudes confidence that he could take on anybody in a brawl he’s that well built. To observe  this jacked dude lower his head and almost whisper the question “Think you could, um, take care of my daughter’s rabbit while we’re gone?” was quite comical. If it were up to him and he had zero regard for his little girl’s blatant admiration of her old man I think he’d let the critter starve. 

But I have a little girl too. More to the point I have a friend and here he was asking me a favor. 

Of course I said yes. And I meant it. The fact that I’m only writing about it now indicates how it truly was nothing to me because I was just helping a friend and fellow dad. 

And Fluffy and I had some good times. For a week straight I’d drive over, let myself in, watch some Cinemax, toss some hay at the rabbit, drink their wine, and leave. After five days I realized they don’t have cable and don’t drink. Once we got that straightened out I stated going next door where I encountered an emmaciated bunny. Also Cinemax has some weird titles. Fluffy and I frolicked together in the yard. I read him a few bedtime stories. Wilt Chamberlain: My Story seems to be a favorite. Every night without fail as I was putting the book down Fluffy would roll his eyes and say “Eh, I’ve got better numbers” before crawling into my lap and saying “I love you Daddy! and drifting off to sleep in my arms. 

Tonight I stopped by my friend’s house for a few minutes. It’s nice to catch up. We live a few minutes apart but see each other very sporadically. As I was on my way out the door he handed me a paper bag. “Just a little thank you for taking care of the furry little guy.” How did my brother Paul enter into this?

It was a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin, and a big one at that! It was totally unnecessary but I accepted with great delight. He then added the compliment that he could tell I’ve been working out. Before you get all “that’s weird” on me, know that this man has borne the brunt of my insane desire to get in as good shape as he is for years. That compliment was very much appreciated. 

So, children, learn this lesson. When a friend asks a favor always say yes. Who knows? There might just be gin in it. And if you’re lucky you might just have a good friend who knows you like gin (and who understands how insecure you are about your body compared to his). 

Family Picture

You knew I couldn’t let that Love Your Gin Challenge go…

And I believe that now I have officially carried this too far.

Love Your Gin Challenge: Day 7

It is upon us…  The final day of the Love Your Gin Challenge!

I nominate all people who love gin and fun to keep this going!  I challenge you!  You can do it!

Here now, day 7:

Sapphire, I love you.  We’ve been through ups and downs.  We’ve shared a lot of memories and thanks to you I’ve lost a lot of those memories.  Every day is bright when you’re waiting for me at home.  You’re my friend, my partner.  Thanks for being there for me and for being so awesome!

Thanks to my kids for helping me film this.

Once again, I can tell that there will be people out there who’ll read this post and say: “Wow…  He carried this just a bit too far.”

But that’s me.

Whatever challenge awaits me in the future, Sapphire will be there by my side.

The Love Your… Challenge

There’s a trend going around Facebook right now rather like a fungal infection.  It’s called the “Love Your Spouse Challenge”.

On the surface it seems harmless, playful, even romantic.

The user accepts the challenge, then goes on a murderous rampage.  By rampage I mean that he or she (usually she) commits to posting photos of that person with his or her (usually her) spouse for the next seven days.  Each photo is captioned as “Day 1 of the Love Your Spouse Challenge…” followed by a nauseating wonderfully lovely description of how or why she loves her spouse.  She then challenges another woman (or man) to do the same and the cycle continues.

By murderous I mean it kills a little bit of the soul of each person who lays eyes on it.

Being the self-proclaimed king of social media (and a dude, to boot), I was dumbfounded when this trend first appeared and, after two days, I had not been challenged to participate.  Oh the pictures and descriptions I could come up with!

Maybe it’s the fact that all of my lady friends knew I’d turn it into a joke.  Maybe it’s the chest hair.  Who can say.  All I know is that I was left out.  Boo.

What I did find out was that my wife had been invited to participate and declined.

“I don’t need to post pictures of us to prove my love for you,” she said in the most practical of tones.

When you put it that way…

The thing is, she has a point and she’s always right.  I love that woman.  Again, proof that I could have been all over this thing.

So having been ignored by the women of Facebook and shut out by my own wife I decided to take matters into my own hands.

No one’s gonna’ tell me I can’t Love My Spouse in pictures for seven straight days!

…except my spouse.

Welcome to Day 1 of the Love Your Gin Challenge!

I remember when Sapphire and I first met.  I was in my early twenties.  Not much of a drinker back then.  I had this friend who would always order a gin and tonic when we were at a bar and one day I worked up the courage to ask for myself.  As the bartender turned to me I boldly proclaimed: “I’ll have a Sapphire and tonic, please!”  I must have sounded desperate but there was no going back.  That night, our lips locked, and by lips I mean mine with the glass.  The botanicals, the aroma, it was divine.  I knew I’d never go back to water again.  And I never have.

Christmas Cookies

Ho, ho, ho!

Just saw a headline in my feed.  It was a poll question about which type of cookies kids are most likely to leave out for Santa.

Mine!!!

Remember what I posted a few days ago about the three stages of a man’s life?  The third stage is, of course, that the man IS Santa Claus.

Dear good children of the Harvey household,

Santa, too, has been very good this year.  I am accepting your offering on behalf of all dads everywhere who go out of their way to make your Christmas Eve and Christmas morning memorable experiences so you can share them with your children.  Your own poor dad is currently passed out on the floor, a mere foot from the base of the tree he so lovingly decorated for your sake.  It seems that large playset with a  million pieces my elves forgot to assemble for you has come to his attention.  In fact he walked into the room so fast I had to hide behind a potted fern in order not to be seen.  Poor guy…  He’s got bits of scotch tape under his fingernails and a sheet of instructions stuck to his forehead.  For him and the millions of others like him who make my job so much easier I will eat your cookies.

Blue...

Now then, a word about those baked goods.  I know it is commonly thought that I live for cookies.  However, Santa (at least when he visits your house) is more partial to beef.  Perhaps consider leaving a Baconator Triple from Wendy’s out for your old man, I mean, for me.  And those seasoned fries?  Oh, they are so good.  Oh!  Also, any of the following in no particular order:

  • smoked gouda
  • duck liver pate
  • iTunes gift cards
  • Fritos Scoops and onion dip
  • chocolate covered peanuts
  • gin (for the reindeer, they get thirsty and they’re drunks)

Ho, ho, ho!,

Jolly Old St. Nick

I knew there was something funny about that Blitzen...

Whaddya’ Mean You Don’t Know This Dance?: Potty Training Day 2

Last night I went to bed wondering if gin would be half-bad straight.

Overnight I was awakened a couple of times.  First, my wife woke me as she got out of bed to go tend to our daughter who had woken up.  A moment later she was waking me up to tend to our son who also had woken up.  She informed me that he was soaked.  This was not entirely unexpected as he was wearing a Pull-up and they aren’t designed to hold as much as a diaper.  I fumbled down the stairs to find his diapers and wipes, changed him, and put him into bed with me.  Thank God for king sized beds.  Some time later I woke up hearing horrific pounding on my windows.  It sounded like someone was standing outside throwing buckets full of rocks.  It was still somewhat dark.  And then the room lit up.  I know the correct past tense is “lighted” but that sounds dumb.  Clearly, there was a storm marching loudly through the NOVA area.  It is Spring Break for me.  I thought about evacuating to another part of the house.  The first floor bathroom has no windows.  It really sounded like I imagine the beginnings of a tornado might sound.  But since I didn’t have to be up for anything I put my arm around my son, said a prayer, and went back to sleep.  When I did wake up and was on my way out to physical therapy I noticed what looked like piles of snow on the lawn.  Son of a gun, it was hail!  That must have been some storm.

Upon returning from the therapist I thought of all the things I was going to do with him today in terms of potty training.  I almost cried realizing the enormity of it all.  I’m a teacher.  I ought to be able to teach this.  I don’t get it.  This is the second time since I’ve been a father where I really felt like I was in over my head.  The first was the very first time my wife left me alone with him when he was about four weeks old.  She went about two blocks away to the A&P (supermarket) and was gone for about thirty minutes.  She left me with clear instructions to give him his bottle when he woke from his nap and then just hold him.  My heart rate rose from the moment the door shut until she came back.  Everything was fine.  I don’t know why I was so worried.  In fact I don’t know why I thought she should be any better a parent than I was since it was new to both of us.  I was just scared because I had not been solely responsible for him thus far.  Today I was just as scared thinking I would fail, he would feel like a failure, and this would drag on and on.  Then I began to wonder how it is that even my most knuckle-dragging friends have kids who seem to know how to use a toilet.  I tried to keep it in perspective.

Throughout the course of the morning things did not go well by my standards.  He missed telling me that he had to go twice.  I comforted him both times and told him it was no big deal.  The fact that he couldn’t hear me because he was too immersed in an episode of Veggie Tales indicated that it really wasn’t a big deal.  I know it sounds ridiculous but I was about to give up.  I called one of my sisters.  She has three boys and has successfully trained all of them and, as I recall, in rapid time.  Well, she clued me into the “Potty Training 1-2-3” method.  “It’s all in the book”, she said.  “There’s an f-ing book?!  Where the hell was I when you guys were reading this thing?”  I quickly looked up the book and found a video which I am linking here.  It actually all sounds pretty straight forward.  It would, however, require me to abandon all that I was doing and start over.  So, I put my son back in a diaper.  Tonight I went out and expanded my treat jar, bought a new potty chair, and engaged in the teaching aspect by putting a pair of underwear on a teddy bear.  Actually, it was a stuffed cat.  Before he went off to bed I had a great discussion with him and he seemed to get very excited about the thought of the two of us doing this thing tomorrow.  We’ll see how it all goes and as always I’ll keep both of you posted.  In the meantime, some pictures of the set-up.

Some of the snacks involved as an enticement. They also serve to produce thirst...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drinks... Creating a greater opportunity for training. Smart, huh?

This is Kitty. He is dry. He will be rewarded for staying dry in the morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Damn Weebles always ruining things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank the Lord, Clement the Wonder Cow is lumbering across the counter to give that Weeble a stern word.

 

Unfortunately, old Clement has a problem with the sauce.