Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Silver Lining - Week of Mar. 23rd

John Milton coined the phrase 'silver lining' in his poem Comus: A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634: "Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud Turn forth her silver lining on the night?

Having our whole family in the house each and every day is a new experience.  Chris is now working full-time from home as well due to the governor's announcement for a stay at home order for Michigan.
When Jane was taking a quick break from work, she and Cam decided to check out the guest rooms.  Jane noticed the alarm clock hadn't been changed and went to work setting the time on the desk device.  Cam started shouting, "Mom, look!  Look up!" She turned around and saw what her son was looking at- water dripping from the ceiling and a completely soaked guest bed.  They went to get Chris from his office and he went to work opening the ceiling.  Sure enough, a pipe was leaking.  It was a big mess but would have been an even bigger debacle had mom and son not decided to venture around downstairs!  Thanks to Cam, repairs are in process.

Stretching is on the daily agenda and a part of Chris' office is our workout room.  Cam happily spent 30 minutes stretching on floor.
This helps his muscles not feel so tight and hopefully he can convince his parents to do a little exercising during this time as well.
A sunny day signaled a stroll outside while walking inside remains a key part of Cam's day.  Fortunately for us, our sixth grader enjoys homework and has actually asked for more!
He continues to tell his parents how much he misses school, his routine, his teachers and friends.  It seems when we are all told we cannot do something, the need feels greater.

As the weather continues to inch towards a warmer spring, we were able to get outside again over the weekend.  Chris and Cam used the powered leaf blower in an attempt to move the leaves out of the backyard.  Even though Cam's dad is hopeful for a very strong breeze to push them over the embankment, in the meantime, father and son made a nice dent in the clean up effort.  There was one casualty during the task...Cam's chair found some muddy patches in the yard and it was completely caked on.  As our positive son noted, "at least my chair will be extra clean now!"

Always, each and every day, find the silver lining!

Camology Quotes:
It is still a bit odd to not be rushing around every week day morning helping Cam get ready for school.  Typically, our son is consistently reminding his parents certain things need to be done.  As he left the kitchen one morning, Jane reminded him he needed his vitamins.
Cam- I can't believe I remembered and you did not?
"That's a first!" (said with genuine surprise and not sarcasm)

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Prep, Plan, Prepare - Week of Mar. 16th

Some say that a cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has passed. When you see one, it means they are visiting you. They usually show up when you most need them or miss them. They also make an appearance during times of celebration as well as sadness to let you know they will always be with you.

It was our first full week of Cam home from school, adjusting to staying in and keeping busy.  Homework reigns supreme, but there is "free choice" time and Guess Who is definitely Cam's top pick for a game.

We quickly realized that many others in our community were in the process or prepping and planning by visiting stores and stocking up.  What we did not expect was the sheer emptiness of shelves with various items completely and utterly missing.

On a quick trip with Cam to the grocery in a less busy hour, he exclaimed "Whoa, you have got to see this!"
Even though we weren't able to find everything on our list, Jane was able to grab bread and toilet paper at our Walgreen's and with a freezer full of meat, we felt much more prepared to remain home as much as possible.
On Thursday, Cam was able to take a
road trip with his dad to Lansing where they needed to drop off equipment at a satellite office.  Father and son were gone all morning and returned at lunchtime, thankful for a change of scenery.

With zero activities on our weekend family agenda, we all pitched in to make one of our favorite pasta dishes first made by cousin Coco.  It's called Pasta Panache, but we call it Coco's Premiere Pasta since she first introduced us to it.  The recipe is a delicious combination of garlic, prosciutto, asparagus, cream cheese, and light cream.
Once all sauteed and combined, you put Jarlsberg and fresh Parmesan cheese at the bottom of a bowl, pour in the other ingredients and combine.  A cup of pistachio nuts on top and mixed together make this recipe one our all-time favorites!

Over the weekend, Chris needed to test out a new monitor for videoconferencing from his home office.  Luckily, he has the best technical assistant available.
Cam practiced muting and switching views and checking himself out in the monitor.  Jane and Auntie Karen were both a part of the conference too, accessing from other devices.
We had quite a few laughs and enjoyed our virtual time together.
Cam awaits your meeting request- his calendar is fairly open these days!

Camology Quotes:
Cam has been listening to some of the news regarding the health crisis.  He has asked many questions and absorbed the information.  When his parents went to check on him in his bathroom one evening, he immediately announced:
"Mom and Dad, Back up"
"Keep backing up.... more"
Cam- is there a super stinker in there?
"No, I am practicing social distancing!"

Sunday, March 15, 2020

In the Blink of an Eye - Week of Mar. 9th

"What a Difference A Day Makes" ... Or "a month," "a season," "a half" -- just pick your time period. It's meant to convey how things have changed dramatically for a team or individual, usually in a positive manner, but not necessarily. This is one of those cliches that has been so pounded into the ground that the source has been lost to obscurity. It's from the song "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes," a hit for Dinah Washington in 1959 and then again for Esther Phillips in 1975. 
What a difference a day makes 
Twenty-four little hours 
Brought the sun and the flowers 
Where there used to be rain

On Tuesday, March 10, Jane was scheduled to fly to New York City for a work conference.  At 12pm on Monday, March 9, the conference was canceled as well as company travel due to the growing concern over the coronavirus, Covid-19.  Thursday evening right before midnight, Cam's parents received a district-wide message that schools would be closed from Friday, March 13 until at least April 6 due to our Michigan governor wisely ordering closure.  Yes, what a difference a day makes.
Cam has had many questions and a cough or sneeze follow with his immediate inquiry, "Do I have the corona?"
We are constantly reassuring, but also being honest in that we do not have all of the answers, because this is unknown for everyone.
Like our son has shown us consistently in so many ways, we are choosing to remain positive.  Because of his outlook, we enjoyed a weekend of practicing walking, cleaning the house and fulfilling chores.
On Saturday, Cam arrived at his scheduled haircut at Jude's Barbershop in Cascade.  His stylist, Heather, was wearing a mask and gloves as a protective precaution due to her pregnancy.
When Cam saw himself in the mirror upon completion, he exclaimed "Wow, this is awesome.  Look how awesome I look!  Thank you Ms. Heather!"  She genuinely told him that he absolutely made her day and she certainly wished all of her clients would be so ecstatic!
Stay positive, all, and please, make someone's day brighter 😀

Camology Quotes:
Chris has worked to adapt so many different things for Cam.  After a few attempts in the past, a system was devised for our son to be able to take the garbage down the long driveway to the curb.
When asked to assist or help with these types of projects, he is eagerly asserting his independence...
"I'm on it, mister!"

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner - Week of Mar. 2nd

It's funny how you can say a phrase over and over and not realize its source or beginning...

The exact origin of the phrase winner winner chicken dinner is disputed, but it may have come from gamblers. The most popular origin story of the term is that a chicken dinner at a Las Vegas casino used to cost $2, the same amount as a standard bet. So, if you won a bet, you won a chicken dinner!
Deep discussion about chicken dinner
On Saturday evening or should we say early afternoon, Cam attended his very first chicken dinner in Hubbardston, Michigan for the cost of $10/person and $5/kid.  We arrived promptly at 4:30p to meet "Uncle" Bill and "Aunt" Pat (Jane's cousins).  We rode there with Coco and Libby (Bill's nieces) and Coco's fiance, Max.  Jane and her son had never attended the famous chicken dinner so they weren't quite sure what to expect.  Let's just say it was beyond Cam's expectations.
Upon being seated, fresh rolls and butter were provided.  After being asked what we wanted to drink, a hot plate of fried chicken, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, baked beans and coleslaw all seemed to arrive simultaneously.  Directly following our meal, an entire dessert cart (not tray) appeared at our table with three levels of a multitude of pie and brownie choices.  Cam was impressed by the sheer speed of the entire event.  He's very accustomed to waiting quite awhile in restaurants and this chicken dinner was clearly a five star review for him.

Back at home that evening, Coco and Max asked Cam if he would accept the honor of ringing the church bells for them at their May wedding.  He was super excited and quickly yelled "Yes, yes, for sure yes!"

Chris and his son added a new piece of equipment to their garage workshop- a Carbide 3D machine.  It took them awhile to get it set up, but they produced their first output over the weekend.  The wooden sign proudly says "Cam Weatherford thanks for helping with our first project."
As with most family activities, we know this first design will be one of many more to come!

Camology Quotes:
Chris and Jane have decided that Cam's days at school far outrank their work days as it relates to fun and creativity.  
This week their class all helped out with a rice krispie treat recipe.
"I made rice krispie treats at school today, Mom!"
Awesome!  Did you bring any home?
"No.  They can only be eaten at school."

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Cafe Cronies - Week of Feb. 24th

"I have no special talent.  I am only passionately curious." ~Albert Einstein

"No Smile" Passport Pic
We assume a lot as adults.  When a kid asks a question, there are times when we don't know the answer, we kind of bluff our way through it.  With Cam, we have found it is better to plead ignorance and check the information to be certain.  So, when he started asking multiple questions about passports, it was best to ask someone at the post office versus us trying to respond.
It turns out when you apply for a passport, your application is sent to Philadelphia or Texas.  From there, it is sent to any number of states for processing and creation.  It is a state department responsibility and not a homeland security one, as some might assume.
Friday morning, Jane and Cam were off to turn in Cam's passport application and picture for an upcoming trip to Canada.  Fortunately for us, a very patient postal worker answered all questions to Cam's satisfaction.

Brody had made plans with his buddies to meet at the coffee shop on Saturday late morning.  Cam and Liam were more than happy to comply with his request and their respective parents looked forward to the visit as well.  Cam and Brody have known each other since kindergarten and Cam and Liam were in preschool together.
We all met at Brody's be Cafe to hang out for a bit.  The boys wanted to play Uno and the card game filled with skips, draw twos, wilds and color changes ensued.  The cafe buddies filled the coffee shop with laughter!

Ms. Ann has been providing tutoring for Cam two days a week after school.  In addition to that, she's been able to stay other times as well.

Sunday was a day of projects for Cam and his dad, while Jane attended a bridal shower for Ms. Amanda.  In the early evening, Ms. Ann arrived to spend time with Cam and teach him all about a skein holder for yarn.  None of us had ever seen this contraption so it was a lesson for everyone!
While the yarn spinning class was underway, Chris and Jane headed out for dinner and a concert downtown, a Christmas present for the two of them.
Cam woke up soon after we arrived home, making certain we were there.  He asked what time we came in and we responded, "much too late for a school night!"

Camology Quotes:
At a school meeting, Cam's teacher noted how kind and empathetic our son is towards others.  At home we are often taken aback by the sudden burst of sweet words.  You would think they would be followed by a request for something, but surprisingly, they never are.
"Mom and Dad, you are the best parents for me.  I am so happy you are my parents!"