End of the Year Trifecta!


We celebrated at home this year and it was very enjoyable. A couple days after Thanksgiving we decided to put the rest of our rain gutters back on the house. We took them all down when we had the house painted. We were working in the front of the house (me, Roxie and our son Aaron). I went to the back yard to get up on the roof to get some leaves off the roof. I setup the ladder and started up to the roof. When I reached the top rung the ladder slipped out from under me. Down I came, hard!

Roxie heard a crash and me moaning and rushed to the back yard. I was on top of the ladder and writhing in pain. I was checking arms and legs for any major injuries and wanted to stand up. She didn’t want me to but I was able to. We knew the next stop was the ER.

After about 3 hours in the ER I was found to have 2 displaced broken ribs (not fracture but completely broken), a very sore tailbone, two gashes in my elbow (even though I had a coat on) requiring 10 stitches. The rib pain was manageable but I developed a cough shortly after which was pretty painful.

Here is the ladder that I landed on:

A couple of days later I realized that we had a surveillance camera right where it happened. Here is the video:



This is the first Christmas with Atlas. We knew we wanted to celebrate with him, Hannah and Lukas. However, we are not the only set of Grandparents. He has Lukas’ side that lives in Auburn. Luckily we were able to spend Christmas with the Prassinos family.

This turned out as an opportunity to tow the trailer on the truck’s maiden tow. It did very well and I had a heck of a spot to get the trailer in there. It was down their driveway and a hard 90° into their spot. It was pouring rain and there were people watch so it was a double hex. I was able to get it on the third try and just chewed up a small portion of their ‘lawn’.

It was really cold and we had both of Aaron’s dogs in the trailer but we did just fine. There were 10 people and 7 dogs to make a grand old time! We were able to spend Christmas with both of our kids and both of our grandkids. Win!


I started working at the Tulare County Office of Education on August 26, 1985, as a Programmer Analyst programming on the HP3000 minicomputer in COBOL. 4 positions and 31 years later, it was time to retire. I was planning on going a year earlier at 55 but we were in the throes of building a new building and were given a 4.5% COLA. That was enough to push it back. It worked out well. It gave me a chance to prepare for the afterlife a bit more.

It was a bit surreal to retire at 56 but you never know how much time you have. It also felt like the right time to do it.

As I write this entry it has been over 1 month of retirement and I don’t regret it at all. I have achieved a milestone of sorts, I don’t really remember what day of the week it is now.

Retirement allows us now to move off to our travel plans, but we have to finish our shower in the house first. <sigh>

And back again!

Right after we got back from visiting Hannah, Roxie had left shoulder surgery. She had had her right shoulder done in April when they removed some bone that was impinging her tendons and causing a lot of pain. Right after the April surgery the surgeon wanted her to start using her shoulder the day after, no sling. Fast forward to this surgery.

There was some bone removed on this one also, her left shoulder. Additionally, she had her biceps tendon cut and relocated! Ouch! This required extensive use of a sling since she was not allowed to lift ANYTHING with her left arm. Physical therapy was focused on mobility, not strength. She was also given a chair (Kinetec Centura shoulder CPM) to passively move her arm:


Just under one week after her surgery, we got a phone call from Hannah. Her water had broke and she was in labor! Well, this is a bit too early. Her due date was 11/18 and this is 8/30. Time to go back. Made hasty reservations at the same location to take the trailer. We left 8/31 in the AM but had to go to Fresno for Roxie’s one-week follow-up. The baby was born that morning around 6:15am. He was under 28 weeks.

Here is one of our stops at Casa de Fruta:


We made it to the bay area and up to the hospital in the early evening. We were able to see our first grandson and he was very tiny! Hannah and Lukas were doing as good as we could expect.

Here is a picture of Grandma with the baby:


We went to see them every day of the week we were there. We learned a lot about premature babies and how amazing the treatments and the hospital (Kaiser) is.

When we would get back to the trailer in the evening, Roxie would do her chair exercises (we took it with us). However, it was cold in the evening so this is all I saw:


I was able to move the chair into the trailer for the next nights to make it more comfortable for her.

We were happy to come over and be able to see Atlas Fox (yes, that is his first and middle name). We are very happy that he has come into this world, but he could have waited a bit more for his benefit.

As a small aside I was able to see a new 2017 F250 in person, remember I have one on order?


Obviously this post was not written during the time we were there so I will give an Atlas update as of today (11/15/16). There is a strong possibility that Atlas will be going home tomorrow, just 2 days before his actual due date and he is around 7lb. We are heading over there for an office related meeting but will be able to see them all!


Atlas Fox