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Okay, I've posted hardly anything personal at all for weeks now, so here's what's going on in my life:

Emily and I are getting along just fine since she's come up here. There hasn't been as much time as I'd thought to give her the tourist view of northeast Indiana, especially with the weather being so lousy, but little by little I'm introducing her to my home town and the wierd and wonderful people who zoom in and out of my life. We've spent a great deal of time arranging the home, surfing the internet, reading Buffy and Sandman comics, and basically being two geeks in love.

Here's even bigger news: I'm going to be a grandfather. My oldest daughter, Charis, is pregnant and expecting sometime in late July. On the bad side, due to shenanigans on the part of his family, Charis' boyfriend Vinny has lost his home. In her condition I'm kind of happy to have them living with me, where I can do the concerned dad thing and not worry about them so much. On the bad side, I've lost my office again!

I haven't written anything about this because I haven't really been able to deal with it. Vinny lost his job, they lost their house, and they're having a baby -- we're not starting well from the gate, are we? More to the point, I am so not ready to start dealing with babies again, especially when this one is living proof that I'm old enough for my babies to have babies.

This is the largest amount of warm bodies that has inhabited my home since I bought it in 1988: Five humans (on days when my youngest is here), a chocolate lab dog, and four cats. Sadly, I'm allergic to cats, but I'm not about to kick them out when their owners have lost their home. So far it hasn't been too bad -- not as much nose blowing as I expected, but the cough is bugging the heck out of me.
There's also the hamster, but he's very sick and by the time you read this will probably no longer be one of the warm bodies. It's okay -- he lived a long and wheel-filled life.

The other thing of interest going on is that in a few weeks I'm going to be teaching an instructor's course to 7 members of my fire department. I'm the only certified instructor on the Albion Fire Department, and frankly, I'm way too busy and want to step away from it a bit. So I'm going to certify a bunch of the guys as Instructor I (basic teaching), then follow it up with Instructor II/III, making them advanced instructors who can create their own lesson plans and then certify others.

The idea is that when that's done, someone else can do the training officer gig and spread the work out a bit. I will remain a volunteer firefighter and our department's safety officer, but time's a'wasting and if I'm going to ever publish a novel, I need to put more time into it. Besides, I miss reading! I haven't touched a fanfic in weeks, it seems, and I have a stack of books waiting for me. After 27 years on the AFD, I feel I've earned the right to slow down a bit.

So if you're not hearing as much from me as you used to -- I'm teaching, loving, and doing the family thing. But as I've said before, even if I don't comment as much on my flist, I'll always be following your posts! Meanwhile, wish me luck getting through all these challenges ... have I mentioned I'm terrified of public speaking? (i.e., teaching!)


( 64 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 20th, 2008 06:37 am (UTC)
I love love stories!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 19th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the impending grandchild, circumstance may not be ideal but grandchildren are a delight

Awwww the ongoing love story is sweet

And you'll enjoy the teaching

I recently started teaching again after a long break from it and the first few sessions I was nervous as hell . But teaching is acting, you're putting on a performance, once you get into role you'll be fine :)
Jan. 20th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
Well, I've done a lot of instructing with both firefighters and civilians (fire prevention). I can't honestly say I ever really liked it, but I did get used to it after awhile. Teaching someone how to teach puts a new twist on it.

Which I suppose is the way I'll eventually feel about the concept of being a grandfather ...
Jan. 19th, 2008 12:32 pm (UTC)
wow - a lot on your plate! Well God Bless... and Be Well.
Jan. 20th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
Thanks! It is a lot on my plate, but we'll muddle through as we always do.
Jan. 19th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC)
Seems like your life is pretty eventful... :P
Congrats on the soon-to-be-born grandchild! Family is wonderful, and you're right in putting them first. :)
Jan. 20th, 2008 06:42 am (UTC)
There was a time when I liked eventful ... not so much anymore. :-)

Anyway, thanks, and you're right -- family comes first.
Jan. 19th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad about the happy things in your life. Grandbaby in teh house will be disturbing in a variety of ways - the very best of luck with that.

As for teaching, you have a small group of interested and committed people who you know already, so look on it as sharing skills rather than addressing them as a class. I'm sure it will go fine.

Jan. 20th, 2008 06:59 am (UTC)
I don't have a thing against babies, of course ... although I don't believe mamma or pappa yet realize just how disrupted and changed their lives are about to become. There's also the question of whether they'll have new housing by the time the baby comes, considering there's not even a spare corner for a crib here, let alone a room for the baby. These things will work themselves out.

Looking at the class as infomrally sharing skills would be the way to go, except that Indiana fire classes are required to be state certified -- which means the students have to take a state prepared written test, proctored by someone besides the instructor. Because of that rigid requirement, they have to intently study every part of the curriculum, even if it doesn't apply to what they want to do with their certification or to how we'd apply the position here in Albion.

To give an example of what I mean, when I teach basic firefighting I have to cover high rise fire tactics, because it might appear on the test -- even though the nearest high rise is 40 miles from here. So that makes it a bit more formal than most of us would like.
Jan. 19th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
Congrats on becoming a grand-pappy.

Oh and public speaking? preperation is the key.
Jan. 20th, 2008 07:17 am (UTC)
Thanks -- I'd have preferred to wait awhile longer, but she is 23, after all ... plenty old enough to start a family by today's standards.

Yes, preparation is absolutely the key, and I'll probably be disappearing some in the next few weeks while I get things ready. I think I may have led people to believe in my post that I'm not very experienced in teaching; I've actually been a certified instructor for over 15 years, and I've taught all sorts of fire related classes -- I've just never taught an instructor's course before. Teaching how to teach, that's a bit different.

Anyway, I'll never be comfortable with public speaking, but I've gotten good reviews on a presentation I've done on the history of our local fire service. It's good to step out of our comfort zone from time to time. Even though I'd rather not.
Jan. 19th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
Congrats on Emily being wonderful, and on getting a grandbaby! They're fun to have around, babies. Sounds like you're starting a new chapter in your life all around, with a lot of good things happening. The loss of housing sucks for the kids, but they're very lucky to have you to help out, and I'm sure they'll be back on their feet in no time. And, baby!
Jan. 20th, 2008 07:18 am (UTC)
I guess this really does qualify as a new chapter in my life -- that's a whole lot of major life changes, going on! Besides, babies are best when you can cuddle them, play with them -- and then hand them back over to their parents. :-)
Jan. 19th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
I am glad that things are going well for you and Emily - half these congratulations are for you two.

It is sad that Charis and Vinny haven't got a home of their own at the moment but, even in those circumstances, a baby is reason for congratulations - I wish her the very best of health throughout the next six months, and much love.

Also - I wonder if anyone makes 'Condolences on the loss of your hamster' cards yet? If not, I guess it's only a matter of time!
Jan. 20th, 2008 07:21 am (UTC)
Surely someone, somewhere, makes a hamster condolence card .....

Anyway, thanks for the congrats ... I'm approaching the grandfather thing with decided mixed feelings, but they say babies are God's proof that life must go on -- I'd say that's a good way to look at it.
Jan. 19th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the impending grandchild and a happy relationship.

No advice to give on the public speaking. I'm too terrified of it ever to do it but I wish you the best of luck!
Jan. 20th, 2008 07:23 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm hoping we all make it through the bumps with our sanity intact. :-)

I feel the same way about public speaking now as I always have -- and yet I keep letting myself be talked into doing it, anyway.
Jan. 19th, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
Is that you and Emily? Neither of you look like I was expecting! She's very, very pretty. I don't know you wore glasses, either, or had any sort of facial hair. Wasn't expecting either. *sighs* Me and my assumptions . . . if everyone looked like their personality . . . well . . . actually, I guess it'd be a pretty ugly world.

*squeals!* A baby! Congratulations to her! Don't worry about the rough beginning. It builds a lot of character for the relationship! It's a bit like people trying to make New Year's Eve perfect in order to have a perfect year; it doesn't work like that. This is going to be a very small portion of their relationship, and at least they have you!

Well, at least in the process of slowing down, you're still taking care of your responsibilities. Good luck with the teaching . . . it could be worse . . . you could be teaching at a high school :P
Jan. 20th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
(no subject) - ozma914 - Jan. 20th, 2008 07:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - feya_catori - Jan. 21st, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
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firefighters with moustaches - ozma914 - Jan. 21st, 2008 07:26 am (UTC) - Expand
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Shallow Hal was more than a *little* silly! - ozma914 - Jan. 23rd, 2008 01:19 am (UTC) - Expand
IndyIrish - ozma914 - Jan. 24th, 2008 07:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 20th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)

I'm sure you'll do just fine on your class, babe - that is, if you'll start reading your instruction books instead of my graphic novels! ;p
Jan. 20th, 2008 07:32 am (UTC)
Well, who brought Sandman with them and got me hooked on it? Huh? :-)
(no subject) - strangexgirl - Jan. 21st, 2008 07:04 am (UTC) - Expand
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Jan. 20th, 2008 03:34 am (UTC)
You're going to be a grandpa? Way cool!! You're going to love being one, I assure you! YAY! Sounds like the happy couple have a few challenges but, they have you and I am sure you'll sort them out.

It's nice to see you so happy and in love. Way to go, Mark!
Jan. 20th, 2008 07:35 am (UTC)
I'm sure I will love being a grandpa -- it's just acknowledging the possibility that I'm old enough to be a grandpa, that's what's bothering me! Anyway, we all have challenges ... rumor has it life is like that. :-)
Re: thanks! - strangexgirl - Jan. 21st, 2008 07:03 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: thanks! - ozma914 - Jan. 21st, 2008 07:29 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: thanks! - strangexgirl - Jan. 21st, 2008 07:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: thanks! - ozma914 - Jan. 21st, 2008 08:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: thanks! - strangexgirl - Jan. 21st, 2008 08:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 20th, 2008 03:52 am (UTC)
Glad it's working out well for you guys. If that is indeed a pic of you both, what are those tall plants behind you?

Congrats on teh baby,although gotta say better you than me. :-)

Did your hamster have one of those clear rolling balls? My son brought home the class hamster for the weekend once and it spent most of its visit rolling all over the house(almost all of our floors are polished terrazzo, made it really easy for it get up some real speed) with our cat following along behind it. Could never figure out if the cat had it scared and trying to run away, or if the cat was actually just trailing it around.
Jan. 20th, 2008 07:43 am (UTC)
Yep, that's us. I'm not 100% sure what that is behind us; the pic was taken in a cemetery in southeast Missouri. There was lots of poke there, which is a red vine-like plant, and also some very nasty spiked burrs falling off a plant I couldn't identify. I'll ask Emi, maybe she can clarify what that is in the picture.

Thanks for the congrats -- but I must say, I'm not ready to call myself a grandpa! I just feel way too young for that.

We did indeed have one of those rolling balls! We're mostly carpeted, but even then the hamster was able to get around pretty well. Ranger was getting too old for that, which is probably for the best -- the cats would have fallen over each other following it around. They do like to sit and stare at the cage, but the first time one of them got too close, Ranger took a bite out of its nose -- as near as I can tell, he was never scared of them at all!
(no subject) - strangexgirl - Jan. 21st, 2008 04:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ozma914 - Jan. 21st, 2008 05:57 am (UTC) - Expand
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Jan. 20th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
Hooray for dating a geek! It's the only way to go, IMHO.

Good luck getting a few things off your plate. It sounds like you need the breathing space, and I completely understand that.
Jan. 21st, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)
Yes, geek girls are the only way to go -- geek is sexy! :-)
(no subject) - strangexgirl - Jan. 21st, 2008 07:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ozma914 - Jan. 21st, 2008 07:29 am (UTC) - Expand
( 64 comments — Leave a comment )

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