Friday, May 29, 2009

42 Days.....42 Excruciating Days......until vacation.....

Kate has been counting the days until school is out, Mom (Anne), I'm sure, has been doing the same, it will reach 92F here this weekend, baseball is in full swing, and the bermuda grass seems to grow 3" daily here in can only mean one thing:


In Texas this is not entirely a good thing.....that is, unless you are headed to the Gulf Coast at some point between June and September. For example, living in Texas means you can book a trip to the beach and actually have it be 15 degrees cooler when July and August days in the Metroplex run 107F.

I think the beach holds a special memory for Stacey and I for several reasons. For me, we grew up going to the rough surf, sand dune beaches south of Wilmington NC (Holden Beach). And in my teens we started going to the Redneck Riveria-ish beaches of Destin-Ft. Walton. Stacey would rather be at the beach (not including the so-called beaches of Texas....think, muddy brown lake sand) than anywhere on earth.......anywhere! However, when I was in High School, one of my classmate's parents invited 4 of us to Captiva Island Florida southwest of Ft. Myers. In my opinion, this may truly be one of the last pieces of Florida that hasn't been invaded by 40 story glass high rises and strip malls. So, since the early '90's we've made roughly 6 trips back to Captiva......last year celebrating Stacey's parents 60th birthdays for a week in July.

So, in 42 agonizingly long days....we get to go back to the beach (Captiva) with Tom & Stacey, Anne & Bob (celebrating thier 60th), and Mary & Derek. Kate and Preston might explode with excitement before then. In my mind you always need something to look forward to, and Stacey would tell you it's because I'm too anal retentive and just enjoy the planning of a vacation. But where else in the world can you cast a line for snook, find some of the most interesting shells you'll ever see, swim in your own private pool, snap a photo of a manatee at 2 ft, and finish the day watching the sunset at the world famous Mucky Duck.

It's just too bad I haven't found that mega-millions lotto ticket yet, or that view from the Mucky Duck webcam would be our view from the beach house deck!

42 days, 18 hours, 35 minutes......

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reluctant Blogger---Memorial Day 2009

Good Morning Web!

After some careful consideration and reluctance (and in a desperate attempt to cling to my dwindling youth), I've decided to sheepishly enter the Blog world. In a world where cell phones, texting, instantaneous information and media overkill bombard us daily, I've been keeping tabs on the most important people in my life---family & friends----via an occasional view of their blogs......and decided it's time for me to do the same----launch a blog.

As patterned by my youngest siblings (Mary & Tom), I can't promise that the posting will be entirely current and/or compelling reading, but I'll certainly try to make it entertaining.
A brief description of us: The 4 of us Blackfords live in Frisco, TX (a scary version of suburban Dallas utopia) where everyone seems to have 2.5 kids, an SUV, a Starbucks addiction and is always running 15 min late to soccer/baseball/church/whatever. Stacey & I are blessed with a 7 year old daughter Kate and a 3 year old son Preston. This June 10th we will have been married 14 years (but Stacey will swear it feels like 20). Our posts may contain relevance to any/all of the following: OUTDOORS!!!, family, kids, scrapbooking, soccer, Arkansas Razorbacks, food, fishing, finance (our careers), and other mindless rambling. keep up with my two other siblings----check these 2 links:

Memorial Day 2009

I can't swear to this and have no proof, but I honestly believe that most Americans have forgotten the reason we have Memorial Day. Don't get me wrong---I look forward to Memorial Day & Labor Day for the extra time off.....but think we should all stop and give thanks to the men and women in the Armed Forces for their ultimate sacrifice. I think the most sobering time for me this weekend was this Sunday. We attended a good old fashioned AA minor league baseball game in Frisco.......picture this. A family of 4, baseball gloves in hand, sitting behind the dugout of the Frisco Roughriders and watching all the spectacle of small town baseball. Cotton candy, hey batta batta swing and the 7th inning stretch....which is where we witnessed 4 young Americans take their oath to defend our constitution and enlist in the Army. Pretty cool.

Now-----onto the R&R.

Friday we thoroughly stuffed ourselves with Tex-Mex and margaritas with some friends at Mattito's .....a great place to get your Mexican food fix. (Back at ya Mary & Derek!!!)

Saturday---Preston and I headed to my favorite place in the world........THE HUNTING LEASE. 10 of my closest friends and I founded JN Creek Hunting Club in 2004 for the specific purpose of waterfowling. Turns out these 1,300 acres in Bryan Co. OK are loaded with wildlife and there is nothing better to do (in my opinion) than introduce the next generation to the outdoors. There is always something to do at the lease. We worked on our RV (a source of continued frustration----seriously-----are these things made our of paper mache?), mowed the grass, rode our ATV, looked at the cows & horses and fished for bass. Preston wore his cowboy boots and declared that the lease was pretty cool. Look for JN Creek Hunting Club to be a regular in the blog. The night ended with Kate, Preston and I giving Mom (Stacey) a night of peace as we attended a 1-1 draw of the FC Dallas vs LA Galaxy (minus D Beckham) game in a mostly rainy match. New discovery----am I the last person in the world to discover that Red Stripe makes a 40oz?
Sunday----Church. We are members of a newer Episcopal Church, St. Philip's in Frisco. Small-town feel but experiencing growing pains. We like it a lot.
Baseball game-----awesome! The hometown pitcher was rocked in the 1st. 3 batters, 3 men reached base, end of the 1st----Frisco RoughRiders 0, San Antonio Missions looked grim. By the 7th the good guys were winning 4-3. Then the rain came. We jumped in the jeep and ran home.

Monday------Kate, Scott Cummings and I launched my boat at 6:45am on Lake Ray Roberts and by 2:30pm we had loaded the boat with 72 channel catfish. Kate had a blast and caught 4 all by herself. She's truly my little duckhunter/fishing buddy.

More to come later.....