Memorial Day Weekend

Ballgame Benny2 Bennypool Jeep Lightswitch Selfie Top Down

Had a fabulous weekend of beautiful weather in Pittsburgh. My friends came out and paid a visit, we watched the Pirates destroy the Mets. After the game, the guys and I went about town creating a ruckus. I took a picture of a light switch in a grimy bar called Jack’s, which was occupied by people with multiple piercings and tattoos. The next morning I snapped a selfie as I sat on a purple chair. We took the top off the Jeep on Sunday and Monday and drove around to hardware stores and I made 3 trips to Field & Stream picking up items for my Backpack of Excellence (I picked up a flint, knife, and mini first-aid kit). Still need a compass.

I have gained commitment from Jaclyn to schedule a camping trip. She said the camp site must have access to flushing toilets and showers, she also requested that this trip takes place after school ends (she is just buying time because she leaves town with the kids when school ends, she hopes this phase will pass and I’ll forget, but I am very dedicated to making this happen!). As of now, I am leaning towards Morraine State Park or Pymatuning State Park, both have camping sites right on a lake which features great fishing. Summer is here, the scheming has begun!

I am now considered eligible for kidney donor evaluation (they now will consider considering me!) because I lost a decent amount of weight (over 30 lbs). People think this is a good thing I’m doing, but it is a part of being in this family. Like any family, we have our share of goofy tendencies, strengths and weaknesses, but if you could boil it down to one thing, it is a family that you can count on. If I asked my sister’s help, there is no doubt that she would come through for me, I am just reciprocating (hopefully). Plus, I am hoping that I can finagle a handicap parking pass through the ordeal.

State of the Union


Benny has been a funny addition to the Deem household. He waddles instead of walking, he is opinionated, and leisurely in all he does. He is obsessed with drinking, he will drink more in one sitting than an adult might drink in a day, he will pee just seconds later, and then drink some more. He has a drinking problem, we have begun to provide him with more conservative quantities of water. We have a water fountain in the backyard, he drinks from it when unsupervised. He has a baby pool to cool down in, you are more apt to see him drinking in it vs. swimming in it. He does not care to sleep in, 4:30AM and he is ready to go. In general though, we are thrilled to have him in our family and he doubles in size every two weeks…we hope that also holds true for his bladder.


Jaclyn had a birthday this weekend, I know she appreciated all the cards, calls, and birthday wishes via Facebook. She loved hearing from Grandmom Riddle & Pop-Pop. For a present, I bought us a membership to the Phipps Conservatory, which is just an enormous Mansion/Greenhouse/Museum in Pittsburgh filled to the brim with exotic plants, flowers, trees, and jungles. It was beautiful and educational, we saw all kinds of things growing that we never saw before other than on a grocery shelf, for example, saw pineapple plants, banana trees, chocolate pods growing on a tree, coffee beans growing, mangoes, and grapefruit among others. They also had jungle rooms, desert rooms, orchid rooms, and carnivorous plants.


After the trip to the conservatory, we walked the Strip and enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Luke Wholey’s Seafood. The kids like it here because they make chicken tenders and have enormous aquariums, we love it here because the food is incredible and the kids stay occupied looking at the aquariums. We walked the Strip and Dalia came away with a little dress and both kids replenished their inventories of candy.

Benny & I took a stroll around the lake and we heard tons of splashing, it sounds like kids were doing cannonballs in the lake. We got closer and saw carp all over, must be spawning, acting crazy. We snuck up on them and investigated in the video above.

In my spare time, I am assembling a “Backpack of Excellence”. It is a combination of tackle box and survival gear. I have a summer goal of doing an overnight camping trip with my kayak and this backpack will have it all:

  • Fire
  • Knife
  • Pliers
  • Water
  • Bug Spray
  • First Aid

Let me know if anything else should be added. I also purchased a 5 foot cast net that can be used in Lake Author with my Cast Net permit. In the coming weeks, I shall try to use all of this stuff in conjunction. We’ve gone fishing several times already, Jaclyn also scouted several places to secure live minnows, we are on track for a very productive summer!

Hint of Summer

IMG_0360 Molly

Summer is blooming along with everything else, it is a wonderful time of year.

Benny is less like a puppy and more like a good ol’ Lab, we took him to the lake in our neighborhood and he trudges along the trail, tumbles into the water, and stares longingly at ducks who come crashing into the water. He has gotten better with his potty training, but yesterday he went to bed around 9PM and just crashed, didn’t wake up until 3AM when I heard the sound of water pouring down on the floor, it was too late to stop it, so I just decided to remain in my bed for the leakage to complete. I swear this deluge went on for a solid 45 seconds and it took half a roll of Bounty paper towels to absorb it all.

We have a couple fun things planned in the next couple of weeks. Tonight, we have free tix to a Pirates game through work. Tomorrow, I plan on taking Winston and Dalia to the lake for some fishing. My friends are coming out on Memorial Day weekend to visit me & attend a Pirates game. We received free tix to Kennywood (a local amusement park adored by Pittsburghians) on June 6, and then school lets out for the children.

I am down 30lbs today, which feels really good, but it is still alarmingly only 66% to my goal of 45 lbs. Regardless, I remain on track to be at the target weight by August 22, hopefully sooner.

My lawnmower has 4 hours of work against it, they said I need to change the oil at 5 hours. This will be the most ambitious mechanical activity that I have ever undertaken. I have watched multiple YouTube videos to prepare myself for the occasion. Keep your fingers crossed!