Tag Archives: Lincoln

Bella, Huskers, and a Fire Pit

We’ve had some lovely fall weather over the past few days, allowing us to enjoy the great outdoors a bit before winter comes.

2021-11-05 12.56.11254093941_10158135558586021_832708738245468131_n

I was able to nab a free sandwich at Chick-Fil-A on Friday and pedaled it all the way to Memorial Park for a lovely lunch among the rosebushes — which are still in bloom even in November.

In other news, Grammy just adopted a little dog named Bella, who’s a poodle mix and seems very sweet, albeit nervous — especially around men. Hannah and Aaron got acquainted with her for a bit and also took her for a walk or two down Bellevue Boulevard.

2021-11-06 11.02.50IMG_7444

We had perfect weather Saturday for a Husker game down in Lincoln. I won a pair of free tickets at work and got to leave the kids with Grammy for a bit as Vivian and I headed down to watch the game. It seemed to be a good game — even though the Huskers lost, it wasn’t the blowout everyone was expecting. There was one particularly impressive interception in the first quarter that I managed to photograph, and it was particularly fun to watch the game live — especially with the crowd getting riled up after a few bad calls.

We had some Runzas for lunch and were able to spot a few of our friends in the crowd of 84,000+ (though I’m sure there were a few more). At the end of the game, I recorded an impression of Rob Schneider’s character from Waterboy, just to amuse my friend Richard, who uses the clip as a meme.

2021-11-06 17.43.07IMG_7614

Then that evening, we stopped by Grammy and Pop-Pop’s to have a little “porch party,” inaugurating their new front porch. They’d had work done replacing some beams, adding new concrete, and removing a line of massive hedges, so celebrated with burgers, barbecue potato chips, and egg nog — a menu entirely of Aaron’s invention.

2021-11-07 16.02.34-1IMG_7697

Then on Sunday, I spent some time with Aaron enjoying the autumn leaves at Halleck Park. The leaves are at their peak, so it was nice to get out of the house (where Aaron’s been obsessed with math problems) and walk among the fall colors for a while.

Then back at the house, we brought out the firepit to roast some hot dogs with the kids on the driveway (and even a s’more or two). Daylight saving time ended, so it was dark an hour sooner, so I brought out the laptop so we could watch Beauty and the Beast (the original animated version, of course) by the fire. We even got to roast some marshmallows together before heading back inside.

Walk for Life and a Sushi Anniversary

It feels a bit more like January now, as we had a record amount of snow and temperatures back below freezing once again. This may call for more sledding in the coming few days, but we’ve still been finding other things to do in the meantime.

IMG_2804-001IMG_3010

Last Saturday, I drove down to Lincoln to attend the Walk for Life, my first political outing since Election Day. It was a little below freezing, but apparently warmer than it had been the year before, as a thousand people gathered on the north side of the Capitol. I got to see a few familiar faces in the crowd as a handful of speakers, including Gov. Ricketts, Don Bacon, and Jeff Fortenberry (and his daughter) spoke to the crowd. A handful of newly-elected state legislators were in the crowd as well, including Brett Lindstrom, Julie Slama, and Rita Sanders. There was a launch of pink and blue balloons that sailed by the capitol once the speakers were done, and then the crowd made its way south on Centennial Mall to the University.

I hung around for a little while afterward, taking a brief tour of a nearly empty capitol building, saying hello to Abe, and then dropping by Pho Nguyenn for some Vietnamese food to bring home for lunch — steak pho, spring rolls, and avocado smoothies.

2021-01-19 19.13.28IMG_3046

The following Tuesday, I dropped by Wildewood for their Men of God dinner, where we had Italian food from Spaghetti Works and got to hear from a few men from Abide, a non-profit organization that buys house since in North Omaha to serve as “lighthouses” for the community there.

Then on Saturday, Hannah received her sash and certificate for her participation in Prims from Ms. Ruth. We used to attend every week at BCC before Covid came along, and I hope we’ll be able to start attending again soon.

IMG_20210127_231811575IMG_20210125_144609762

In other news, also finally replaced our old dishwasher, which broke way back in September, and we’d been handwashing them ever since. We got some Christmas money from both sets of grandparents that helped to pay for the cost of a new one, a top-rated Bosch model I’d found on Consumer Reports that was only around $500. I even got one in what that matches our cabinets. It took us a while to get it installed, first because the first set of installers claimed we’d have to have our floor torn out to remove the old one, which we didn’t — it just needed a little extra wrestling to pull out, which I did myself. Then we got a record amount of snow, which kept them from coming back until several days later.

That record amount of snow came on Monday — nearly 12 inches and more than we’d seen in a single day since 1975. I had to shovel the driveway three separate times just to keep up, and then I shoveled Donna’s for good measure (including unburying their car). Vivian made some homemade olive garlic bread to keep warm in the meantime. Hopefully we’ll still have enough to go sledding later.

IMG_3083IMG_3071

In the midst of all this, Vivian and I had a Sushi Anniversary! It was initially on Tuesday, and I wore a sushi tie and brought home some “Lover’s Rolls” from Beijing Tokyo to celebrate. I was so busy shoveling snow and also attending the last of my Screwtape Letters bible study (via Zoom), that we put off our proper celebration for the following day.

Vivian’s idea us for both of us to gather sushi from four separate restaurants — combing our take-out orders into a massive sushi feast! I went to Sakura Bana for sushi and maki rolls (also miso soup and salad) and then swung by Umami in Bellevue for a few more. Vivian went by Golden Dragon and Hutong. I even got some shrimp tempura from Aldi, which was as good as any restaurant’s that I’ve had. We both had our fill of sushi and then some, and I had enough to take with me to work the following day for my lunch.

Happy Sushi anniversary, sweetie!

Big Red

We’re approaching the end of September, but it feels more like summer now than the beginning of fall. That’s all right with me, though, as I hope to have more time to finish some work on the house and go on early morning treasure hunts with Hannah in the yard (and to Costco with Grammy).

IMG_20180914_121805105IMG_9406

It’s also an election year, so that means meeting and greeting politicians ahead of the mid-terms, of course. On Friday, Senator Deb Fischer paid a visit to the Business and Professional People for Life luncheon down at the Garden Cafe. I got to attend with a number of my colleagues from the Pope Paul VI Institute and even got to share a table with Hal Daub and Mike Foley. There was something uniquely fun hearing Hal talking about free speech issues on UNL’s campus (as he’s a member of the board of regents) and watching the Lt. Gov. pass around photos of his new grand-baby on his cell phone.

Sen. Fischer also took several questions from the group on issues related to Planned Parenthood funding, bipartisanship in the Senate, and theatrics over the Cavanaugh hearings. Fischer said she’s driven 100-150k miles around the state during her term, and I think I believe it considering how often I seem to bump into her just in Omaha (unlike that other Senator we have).

IMG_20180915_110013445IMG_9523

Fall also means it’s time for Husker Football, and for the first time in my 23 years of living in Nebraska, I actually got to attend a home game! I won a pair of tickets (generously donated by my boss) at a weekly drawing a work and got to take Vivian to see the Huskers play Troy at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. We arrived just in time to follow a sea of red into the stands as the mascots goofed around before the National Anthem played, and then we baked in the sun for a couple hours as the Huskers lost 24-19. I’d watched plenty of these games on TV, but there’s nothing quite like watching it with the passionate fans in the stands (even when they’re clearly unhappy with the outcome). I even got to bring my DSLR with a telephoto lens to get some closer-up pictures of the action (and the crowd). I even got us a Runza to share for lunch, making for the most Nebraska picture in the world that doesn’t involve corn.

The only downer of our trip was getting a flat tire on the way out of the stadium, which meant spending an hour or two inflating it at a gas station down the street and then getting it patched up. I’ve never been so grateful for Walmart, as they fixed the tire when every other place in Lincoln was either booked solid or closed for the day. We finished off the day with dinner at Pho Nguyenn before a long ride home.

IMG_20180916_133650525IMG_20180916_140532065

Fall also means the Fall Festival at Gifford Farm. We hadn’t been there since 2016, so it was good to get back and let the kids slide down into piles of hay once again. We said hello to the horses, chickens, cows, goats, and other animals. Hannah and Aaron also got to decorate cookies, ride a hay rack, and look inside their favorite hollow tree.

The kids played some more in the children’s area (making a “house” out of the various instruments, gourds, and utensils they gathered up), and then we finished our day buying some pumpkins and having some flavored ice before heading home (where we said hello to a woodpecker and bumblebees in our own yard).

IMG_9688IMG_9719

Temperatures stayed in the 90s throughout the week, which made for a steamy experience at meet-and-greet with local candidates hosted by the Sarpy County GOP. My friend Phil came (with an appropriate shirt) to meet folks like Congressman Don Bacon, who suggested throwing me in the pool, which would have been great if someone got it on video. Bob Evnen, Rusty Hike, and a handful of others also showed up, along with Gov. Ricketts. He actually came dressed in a tie and jacket and somehow didn’t even break a sweat until after his stump speech.

There was time afterward for selfies, of course, but no swimming actually took place. Between this event and the one on Thursday, I was repeatedly impressed with how easy it is for someone who’s not even a donor to the Republican party to have access to people running for office. (I don’t mind chatting with Democrats either, of course, but most of those events on my radar come with a price tag, and that’s a hurdle I generally won’t jump.)


Visit to Gifford Farm