Azalea Stumps | Zach DotseyToday was not one of out usual Saturdays: we didn’t have BCT (Brucey Cuddle Time, and this was the first time I came up with that acronym for it) and we didn’t go out for breakfast. We got up at about a quarter past 8:00, took showers and, when Amanda’s dad, Phil Mercer, got here around 9:00, we got to work outside.

We put Bruce and Paddy, Amanda’s parents’ Jack Russell terrier, in the backyard. Paddy spent some time running back and forth along the back fence barking at a Doberman while Phil started chainsawing the azaleas, all but three of that that Amanda’s coworker Trish will be picking up. I hauled off the clippings and started the burn pile while Amanda and Phil dug up one of the azalea stumps and moved it to a spot next to the driveway.

Phil left shortly thereafter. The rest of the day, at least until about 3:00, consisted of me digging up two azalea stumps and replanting them in the back corner of the backyard then raking up the remaining leaves in both yards. It was mostly the non-driveway side of the front yard, and some of the piles had been there since December. The rake we bought from Sears about a year and a half ago broke, so I borrowed one from the neighbors to the left (facing the houses) of Bonnie. Amanda took a break in that to get some turkey and some chips for lunch. She wasn’t thrilled with the work when I was burning and she was digging. To be honest, I don’t think she could have done much. The azalea stumps I pulled up with so heavy and awkward that I had to turn the wheelbarrow on its side and roll them into it to move them. After we switched up and I put her in charge of burning leaves and azalea clippings, she said planting was much more fun. Personally I think burning leaves is kind of fun.

I called Andra. She didn’t answer when I called, but she did call back. She sounds like she’s doing okay. She told me that Josh wanted to get back together with her, but he’s got to prove he’s serious and that he’s changed. I told her I wouldn’t form an opinion one way or the other about the whole deal, since I’m not there to see what’s going on. I think she’s being smart. She’s not getting back together with Josh right now, and certainly won’t until she’s sure he’s made up his mind about what he wants and that he’s made the changes he needs to make. The fact that they’ve got a house and a child together complicates things, but my baby sister is just trying to do what will ultimately be best for everyone involved.

Hammock and Beer | Zach DotseyAfter I finished working around 3:00 I put up the hammock I got for my birthday. If you recall, I tried putting it up last week but that didn’t work out too well. I couldn’t get the eye rings into the trees well enough without drilling some lead holes, and the drill batteries weren’t charged enough. I tried lying on it last week and ended up on the ground. Well, I got it to stay this week. The only problem is that I think I need to stretch it out more, as I’m just about cocooned by the hammock when I get in it. Tomorrow I’ll probably stretch it out between two different trees (even though I don’t think I’ll like the positioning quite as much) but at least I got to sit in my hammock and drink a beer. And really, what more can any man ask for?

We had plans to go to a “small group huddle” tonight. It’s where we get together with our small group coaches, Dave and Polly Clawson along with the other leaders they’re coaching to discuss, ya know, small group stuff. Amanda and I planned on stopping by Pier One beforehand so Amanda could pick something up for Jan, the secretary (administrative professional) where she works for everybody for “Administrative Professional Day”. However, on the way there I couldn’t remember if we were supposed to meet at 5:00 or 5:30, and I’d told Polly we’d pick up a couple two liters, plus I don’t have the Clawson’s number in my cell for some reason, so we left Pier One before Amanda could find what she was looking for. She was annoyed, but she did a good job of holding back. You see, Amanda’s pet peeve is being late, and as a result she hates being late.

It turned out the get together was at 5:30, so we were twenty minutes early.

When we got there Dave was on his way out to take their son to get his foot looked at. He’d injured it playing soccer. When they came back later they announced that the foot was just severely bruised. The meeting was a good one. The biggest thing it did for me was to reinforce what we’re doing and let us know that while everyone goes through similar problems with their groups.

When we got home we just relaxed a little, would down by watching some TV. Amanda went to bed, I’m typing this while playing some Medieval 2: Total War. I started a campaign as the Moors. So far we’ve had some pretty heavy battles for control over the Iberian Peninsula with Spain and Portugal. I’ve just about got them kicked out of the Peninsula, plus I’ve got control of almost all of North Africa.