Category Archives: family

An Exciting Week


If we were having coffee…

This morning you would arrive to find me floating on cloud nine. The smile plastered on my face has been there all week!

So come on in and sit a spell. There’s a pot of fresh coffee waiting, and oh boy do I have something to tell you!

If we were having coffee…

OK, so I can’t hold my excitement any longer.  Both of our daughters shared terrific, life changing news this week.

The first exciting tidbit came from our third oldest. A sophomore now at a large university, she had applied for a work program at Disney through the college.

She bolted in the door screaming, jumping, and flailing about with a piece of paper in her hand.

“I’m going to Disney!” She bellowed over and over.

The air was electrified with excitement and even the dogs bounced around as if they knew what was going on.

Our little bookworm that has always worked so hard to keep her 4.0 GPA is now seeing the fruit of her efforts.

Her acceptance into the program has now been confirmed! As I understand it, career wise, it’s a huge opportunity for her future. Many of the students who enter the program wind up staying put and building their career right there in Orlando.

The squeals and hopping of Mama and both our girls filled the house. Combined with what my ears would have to call girlish babbling.

Consider it a cross between listening to the chipmunks, and the voice you always heard when Charlie Brown spoke on the phone with his teacher.

Occasionally a specific word could be heard clearly. Words like packing, nine months, resume, shoes, car.

So the gist of the situation when translated:

She has already started packing for nine months in Orlando, beginning in January, which will be a big shot in the arm to her resume. She’s driving her own car down. And finally, she has no idea which (or how many) pairs of shoes should go along for the ride.

While both my pride and excitement for her are flying high, I feel a pang of remorse and concern.

Bookworm will be the first to travel so far away, and nine months… Wow… I’m going to miss her.

Just to ease my own mind about her trip, I have already began to pack too. I am slowly starting to compile every tool I think might be necessary to repair a car on the side of the road. By the time she leaves, my Jeep will be loaded and ready just in case…

It’s not that her car won’t make it, it’s just the way I think. Chance favors the prepared mind you know!

If We Were Having Coffee…

I would have to apologize for my long windedness today. Oh, and in my excitement I forgot to offer up some fresh chocolate cake to go with our coffee! Just where are my manners anyway?!

Ok, so now on to daughter number two and her news…

Just a couple nights ago, my most dedicated ice fishing buddy, being our oldest daughter came in holding an envelope with her husband in tow. A strange look filled her face.

I milled about the kitchen finishing up dinner while Mama settled in after another late shift at work.

“So, I have something the two of you need to read, but you have to read it together.”

With that she opened the envelope and handed a single piece of folded paper to each of us.

It had been folded twice to fit inside the envelope. As my fingers flipped open the first fold, I eyed her husband seeking any sort of clue I could find on his face.

And then the shrieking began… Followed by girlish babbling…

Mama bounced up and down waving her arms as she collided with our daughter for a hug.

I had stalled too long and for a millisecond was behind the times with regards to the exciting news.

Then my eyes landed on the word Positive just after my brain recognized her doctor’s letterhead.

Yep, that’s right the Alan Clan is about to have another member!

If We Were Having Coffee…

I would finally settle enough to ask how life was in your world. This day finds you well and smiling I hope.

If We Were Having Coffee…

By now I’d be ready for a refill, how about you?

I’ve got a lot to do, but to be honest I don’t want to do any of it today. Even the weather seems to agree with me, its cloudy and wet with an occasional rumble of thunder.

Seems to be a good day to sketch out and plan the baby crib Little Mama ask me to build.

Thanks ever so much for stopping by and listening to me chatter!

And by the way should you stumble across an avid ice fisherman looking for a buddy to wander across frozen lakes, send them my way. The ice is no place for a pregnant woman, so my dear partner is benched for the coming season!

If We Were Having Coffee…

About now  I would be ready to head out the door and over to Part Time Monster’s Linky to see  some old friends, and find some new ones.  Care to tag along?


If We Were Having Coffee


If we were having coffee…

This morning I would have asked if we could meet down the road at my favorite little diner for our cup of Joe. I’ll gladly buy, and if you like they have wonderful breakfasts too.

According to Mama (and I must agree) our house is in a state of chaos. The renovation project is in full swing now. Single bulb light fixtures hang from wires just below where the ceiling used to be in both the kitchen and dining rooms. Tools, boards of all sizes, trim and even ceiling tiles are stacked where ever we could find room.

Cabinets and walls have been removed leaving  odd shapes in the carpet, and the drawers are stacked on the table so we can still cook when needed. Yep it’s chaos alright!

If we were having coffee…

You’d be walking past mountains of snow. While Michigan didn’t get pounded quite as hard as some of the east coast, we did add another 24″ or so to our totals this past week.

Just from shoveling our walk, the piles of snow are  chest high to my six foot frame.

Oh and I would have to tell you about our youngest pup. She’s a Saint Bernard just over a year old. I laughed as I watched her explore the most snow she has seen in her lifetime.

With springs still in her feet she bounded through snow drifts bigger than she is! She romped through the yard, snorting as she emerged from another drift. And bit the air in an attempt to crush the still falling snow between her teeth.

If we were having coffee…

I’d ask how you faired this past week. Did you get lots of snow where you are?

There’s a flu bug going around, and I do hope it missed your house.

The bug the struck the Alan household was not one that struck the human race, but rather the fleet of cars that get us around. So my week has been spent shoveling, working on the house and poking my head under the hoods of cars.

Even Mama’s comfort cruiser decided it needed attention. The new ways they have of building cars now days, well, they make me want to slap the snot out of the engineers who designed them!

“Hey Frank, lets design the water pump on this one to be inside the motor.”

“I love the idea Jerry, and the weep hole that tells you when it is going out should drain into the oil pan.”

“Ha perfect man, every back yard do it yourselfer will find antifreeze in their oil and think the motor blew a head gasket.”

So it’s off to the shop with her car. The ole Jeep is still rumbling through the snow happily though. It gets Mama to work and home everyday while the comfort cruiser pretends to be a lawn ornament.

If we were having coffee…

About now I would have to wave off the waitress who stopped by to refill my cup. You can feel free to have another, but I must get back to work on the house.

I’ve got about two weeks left before I return to work, and mountains of renovation work to finished before then.

Next week the house should be together enough for our coffee time. And hopefully I will have cake too! Since the tax season is just winding up, Mama is gone for long hours so it is up to me to cook for the clan.

What I am not though is a baker. But the cake pan is empty, and Mama is too busy to bake.

One of our girls volunteered to stop by and give dear ole dad a baking lesson. This should be interesting to say the least! I don’t get along very well with Mama’s oven.

Till next week, may the sun shine on your world, the breeze be at your back, and I hope all the stars align to give you the best week yet of 2015.

And don’t forget to stop by Part Time Monster’s link site for more coffee. Honestly, can you ever have too much coffee?

If We Were Having Coffee


If we were having coffee…

I’d have to apologize for my absence last week. If you recall, I had mentioned heading out of town to spend some much needed time with my parents.

Well, the week was chocked full of wonderful times. For the first time in a few years Dad and I shared some time on the ice. The fishing was lousy, but I could not have asked for a better chance to get some one on one time with him.

And no, I did not leave out Mom. We meandered around the mall, bounced in and out of a few craft stores (she’s a quilter), and even enjoyed a chilly winter day exploring Shipshewana Indiana.

For those unfamiliar, Shipshewana is in the heart of Amish country. It’s a throw back in time to handcrafted furniture, horse drawn buggy rides, antique malls and even a flea market.

If we were having coffee…

I’d ask how 2015 is treating you so far. I truly hope all is going smooth.

For me, this new year is already filled with to the brim with more to be done than I can find time for! Most of it is good, but I am really wondering how to get my missions accomplished before returning to work in a few short weeks.

If we were having coffee…

You’d notice some walls missing in the house. The idea originated as a modest kitchen remodel, and before we knew it Mama and myself had sketched out a new floor plan for the entire front rooms. Living room, kitchen and dining room are now becoming an open concept floor plan.

The goal of course is that I complete the remodel before returning to my job.

It is a much needed reno. Our home built in 1970 remained original until now so it’s time to bring some modern spark into it. But just a little. We  love the old wood trim and character that comes with it.

If we were having coffee…

About now I would have to excuse myself. While I enjoy our coffee time, if I am to keep on schedule I really need to slip my tool pouches on and get to work.

Please understand I have a lot on my plate so my writing and sharing time has suffered. But I will be sure to have a fresh pot of coffee ready next Saturday morning.

Until next Saturday then. I hope you have a stellar week!



If we were having coffee…

You’d notice a bright twinkle in my eye this morning as I met you at the door. Our recently married daughter came to me with a request that I just have to share.

The newly weds are ready to begin a family of their own, and she has asked me to build a baby crib. While that alone is more than enough to get me excited, her words put the idea way over the top.

“Dad I want something special built by you that will become a family heirloom.”

I find it a great honor to be asked to build something that will be passed through the family long after I am gone.

My mind is racing through ideas, and I can hardly focus on projects I already have going.

Such exciting news!

If we were having coffee…

I’d ask how your past week went. Terrific I hope, but please do share.

If we were having coffee…

I’d have to apologize for the chaos in our dining room. I am packing for a week long trip, and have turned our table into my staging area.

I am traveling back to my childhood home for a week of fishing with my dad and wandering around town with mom.

It’s not often I have the opportunity anymore to spend a week with them, and I am looking forward to it.

Ice fishing gear and tackle temporarily rest at the base of a mountain of clothes. No, I don’t need matching outfits and accessories, but rather extra’s of sweat shirts, gloves and cold weather gear.

My laptop and writing notes are going as well, just in case I have a bit of down time to write.

Not to worry, there’s still plenty of room to sit and chat!

If we were having coffee…

I’d show you pictures of a most gorgeous sunrise.


The Michigan winter wonderland is finally in full swing. That means our frozen lakes are safe enough to travel across in the dark.


One of our daughters and I made it out to take in this spectacular sky as the sun rose over ice as far as we could see.


We both stood in a silent reverence as the scene unfold before our eyes.


As the colors of the sky dissolved into day light, the time to turn our attention to fishing was at hand. This was our home for the day.


We were warm and toasty as we watched the underwater world through a small port hole drilled into the ice.

One of these days, I’ll share some pictures of the what we see looking down into the lake, but for now I must excuse myself.

I still have final preparations to make, gear to pack, and a few hours of driving lay ahead of me.

May your week be stellar and full of good things.

Next week if my jeep is not yet back in it’s place next to Mama’s comfort cruiser when you stop by for coffee, please excuse me.

I plan to make the most of my trip out of town and just might not make it back in time for our weekly coffee. This time of year, even the weather plays a big part in travels around the beautiful state of Michigan.

It would not be the first time I asked my beloved Jeep to eat snow drifts for breakfast! She’s always more than willing to take up the task, but it does slow my roll a bit.

If We Were Having Coffee


Thanks to a fellow blogger I like to follow, I am taking my first adventure into “If we were having coffee” posts. So thanks 20/20 hindsight. I love coffee and the wonderful conversations that come with it.

If we were having coffee…

It’s more than likely babble a bit over the weather. It has been frigid here lately, with wind chills deep into negative numbers. Although it might have been my imagination, even the thermometer shivered yesterday morning.

Today is much better, a balmy twenty nine degrees. Time to get back out the door and stop driving Mama crazy.

If we were having coffee…

I’d ask how your holidays were,  if Santa brought you everything you wanted, and share some of the joy of our holidays here. I believe Mama still has one French silk pie she made from scratch in the freezer we could enjoy with our coffee.

If we were having coffee…

I would ask some get to know you questions:

What are your hobbies?

What in life are you passionate about?

What’s your dream vacation spot?

And of course the one question that always brings a look of shock to those unfamiliar with central Michigan- Have you ever been to Hell?

It really is a small town just a few miles from here as the crow flies. Most folks stutter and stammer unsure of what to say.

Roadside America even has a write up on that little wide spot in the road.

I did meet one young lady who quickly responded “Yes, lived there for a few years before I finally divorced Satan.” Admittedly her response threw me off!

If we were having coffee… I’d watch with a smile as your eyes floated across the walls of our dining room. The walls are covered with my passions in life, from pictures of the family on boats, at the beach, and in the woods to fishing lures neatly hung around the tops of the walls.

Even a couple old hand tools can be spotted if you know what you are looking at. Everything your gaze takes in has a deep meaning to me.

Some call me a sentimental fool, but there is a warmth I feel in remembering where each item came from and what it means.

That board of old handmade and hand painted lures near the window, they were handed to me by the son of a fishing mentor (after his sudden passing several years ago). He spent countless hours with me on the St. Clair river and taught me how to fish it.

The one that gets the most questions asked about, an old rifle that quietly sits on it’s perch above the windows. It is the most treasured piece in the room to me.

Decades ago now, even before my age hit double digits, one of the greatest influences in my life pulled that old girl off his wall to teach me to shoot.

In honor of my Grandpa, that well used artifact from simpler times will forever remain just above the windows and serve as a reminder of the great man that I still miss a quarter of a century after his passing.

If we were having coffee…

By now both of our four legged family members would have warmed to the new comer in the house. They can be a bit intrusive for non dog lovers.

They must feel you are okay since they want to nuzzle up next to your chair for a scratch behind the ears. The trouble with that, both of them are over a hundred pounds and are tall enough that if your not paying attention, they will try to share your pie.

Maybe it’s time to bid farewell, before their desire to love on you exceeds what you are willing to receive.

If your interested, I have another pot of coffee that should be just about finished out in the shop atop my wood burner. Feel free to come on out and get an idea of what really goes on inside my head. Or take a read at my post “Uh Dad, What Are You Doing?”

Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to have a look around. My blog is a place of family, outdoor adventures and crazy redneck insights on little things in the world.

Friends are always welcome here, and the shop door is unlocked if you’d like to stop by for a visit. Coffee is always on, and it’s no trouble to grab another mug.

Don’t wait up!

gone fishing

Time for some Dad and Daughter time on the ice!


Well, have a nice day son

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First!.”

You have to love daughters. Warm and cuddly little girls that say the cutest things and know that daddy is wrapped around their little tiny finger.

But then they begin to grow… Mature… And discover… BOYS!

It must be instinct in a man not to like the very first (or several after that)  boy that seemingly shows up on the hand of a daughter.

That first time our oldest brought a boy home, every ounce of me began to plot his demise.

Before that young man spoke a word, my mind already settled on the weapon and his final resting place. All the while savoring the panic in his eyes.

It was a tough choice to smile and shake his hand. But the words nice to meet you simply would not come out.

I fired questions and glares at him from every direction as I paced. Circling him like a piece of wounded prey.

I fumed with smoke rolling out my ears while my daughter sighed and rolled her eyes.

His eyes darted about but always seemed to land on one specific spot. My old rifle that hangs on the wall in plain sight.

Oddly enough their courtship only lasted a few days.

For you younger men out there think about us over protective dads from our view point:

It is our job as a Dad to protect the girls from guys like we remember being in our late teen years.

I have fond and wonderful memories of those years, and I know full well the kind of guy I need to protect her from.

One wrong move and the mental scenario of your demise… Well, have a nice day son but I don’t advise you stop by again anytime soon!