happy father’s day

For Father’s Day this year I told Brendan that we could go to Gettysburg and I wouldn’t complain. The Civil War has never been interesting to me in anyway. I understand the historical significance, but it seems that people who are into the Civil War are really into it. It’s all about tactics and troop movements and so forth. Brendan at least has a family connection — his Great Great Grandfather fought with the Pennsylvania infantry. He’s researched it pretty well, so we had some specific markers to see. I can appreciate that. For me, it was an opportunity to practice taking some photos.

We didn’t leave here until about 10:30, so we only ran into rain in the car. Bridget did really well. The new Visitor’s Center is pretty impressive, and she made it through the 20 minute film (her first!) pretty well. She was a little antsy at the beginning and the end. She and I did not make it through the Cyclorama.

Brendan liked it, but it was just a little much for her.

A trip to the gift shop later (audio tour, lolipop, and book) it was off to the battlefield.

It was pretty windy, but that helped it not seem so hot. We hit more than half of the auto tour on the first afternoon. Admittedly, I was getting a little tired of it near the end and got pretty close to complaining (according to some people), but since it was getting close to dinner time, things all worked out.

We made sure to get photos of the markers for Brendan’s Great Great Grandfather’s unit the first day since the light was cooperating. The GPS really came in handy at this point. Bren looked up the data on the internet before we left home and uploaded it onto the Garmin. We were able to know exactly where they were instead of having just a vague idea and not really knowing exactly what we were looking for.

Bren scored us a great deal on a room at the Wyndham. We ended up in the handicapped room which had its plusses and minues. On the plus side there was plenty of room. Even with two queen beds, there was a ton of space to walk around. On the minus side, the bathroom was a little problematic. The shower didn’t have any division from the rest of the bathroom so water just went everywhere. There were two drains, but the water never really made it into them. It was possible to get to the toilet without stepping in the puddles.

For Bridget, the best part of the whole trip was the hotel pool. She was pumped about it the whole day. So after dinner we got her dressed in her little floaty-suit and headed to the pool. She did a pretty good job understanding what Bren was telling her when it came to sort of learning how to swim. Our plan to just wear her out so she’d fall asleep easily worked pretty well. As she was settling in she said, "This is a good hotel, Mom." However, she didn’t sleep in as we had hoped. She was still up at 6:15 the next day.

On Sunday, we started out at the Devil’s Den since it was really crowded on Saturday afternoon. We knew Bridget would have a good time on the rocks, and it was another good spot to practice photos.

At the Pennsylvania monument, we discovered that the names of all those who served with Pennsylvania have their names on the monument. Since Brendan had done his research, we knew just where to look.

Bridget found the stairs that lead all the way to the top immediately. She got to go up twice — once with me and half-way down we ran into her dad so up she went again. I think it’s safe to say that the girl is not afraid of heights.

All in all, it was a much better trip for me than I was expecting. I thought I’d be bored out of my mind, but I wasn’t for the most part. There was generally something to keep me interested. Bridget behaved pretty well. She understood that we’d be getting in and out of the car a lot and the out was enough for her to run around and there were things that were interesting to her. And it also helps that she can get herself up into her seat. I think Brendan had a good time too and really, that’s what this trip was about.

[All photos are in the gallery]

ho ho ho!


We had a pretty Merry Christmas around these parts. Brendan and I are both a little bit sick, so we didn’t do the full Irish breakfast as we have done the past two years. We meant to this morning, but still haven’t done it. The bacon will have to be cooked soon. Perhaps tomorrow.


We spent Christmas Eve with my family and just hung out here yesterday (we’re still hanging out here today and for the forseeable future). It’s been pretty relaxing. 

All the photos are in the gallery, and Brendan even posted 10 minutes of Bridget opening presents on you tube. (It’s really not that exciting.)

We’re gearing up to do some household re-arranging (which I love) over the next few days, and 2/3 of the other Muskoxen are coming to visit for New Years. Excitement abounds! That’s just how we roll.


I went to my aunt’s house today and scanned some of my grandparent’s old photographs. Now, I just need to organize them.

 There were several of these small, two images to a print, photographs. The images were probably 2×2 making the whole print about 4×2. Apart, the images are just pictures, but together they seem much more interesting. I believe all of the following are from the same day.

My grandfather and a flag:

my Grandmother and her best friend a little off-center:

and my favorite:


Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

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