We’re just over half way through Autumn now. Thanksgiving is around the corner and soon it’ll be Advent. Some of my trees are bare, some still have nice color, and oddly some are still green.

Veteran’s Day

This is Veteran’s Day weekend and I took the Thursday and Friday off to enjoy a long weekend. My wife’s younger sister came by to catch up with me and her nieces and nephews. Sadly we had some serious rains on Friday, but most of the rest of the days were fine. She got to see the Northeast Cafe in New Boston, Bagel Mill in Peterborough, Frontera in Nashua, Union Street Coffee in Milford, and Flight Coffee in Bedford. She also did some shopping locally at Haywards Trading Post here in Milford and the Merrimack Premium Outlets with Daniel.

I was happy this morning because Michael didn’t have a morning shift so he and Daniel came with my sister-in-law and me to Mass up at St. Marie’s in Manchester. Claire met up with us as well. I had to explain to the twins that there are churches, there are cathedrals, and then there are basilicas. Michael and Daniel had been to the Basilica in Montreal some years ago and I had to clarify that it wasn’t quite that big, but still pretty awesome. St. Marie’s is more like a cathedral.

After Mass Ryan and Abby met up with all of us for breakfast at Flight Coffee. They have delicious bagel sandwiches, donuts, coffee, tea, etc. Soon though I’ll have to drop my sister off at the airport so that she can head back to South Carolina.

Home Maintenance Adventures

I’ve had three home adventures this past month. First I’m excited that soon we’ll be having our roof replaced with a standing seam metal roof. 22 years on those asphalt shingles is a bit overdue. I’d been debating “going metal” for a few years now, but was reluctant because of the cost. My Dad and I have always admired the look of them and I’ve always appreciated their durability and low maintenance.

The irony is the second issue: I had our gutters professionally cleaned out a few weeks earlier. While Claire and I often work near their downspouts seasonally, there was years of accumulation that took more blasting to clean out. In the end it will be of little value because the gutters will come off when the metal roof is installed. Ordinary gutters can’t handle the weight and pressure of snow avalanche’ing off of a metal roof.

Lastly I had quite a plumbing adventure. We had noticed that the drains in the kids' bathroom, especially the tub, were slow. I had tried to do what I could with cleaner solutions and getting into the tub drain, but the clog was a little further down. Pros came and ‘snake’d the tub until it drained freely. As they were backing out the driveway, I walked back into the house and noticed the kitchen sinks were full to their near limit. I immediately called them to come right back.

It turns out that pushing out the clog from the tub just moved it to blocking another partial blockage further down the plumbing. They now had to bring in a bigger ‘snake’ and clean from the kitchen all the way to the septic. This time we checked every water source and drain before we called it complete. Hopefully now everything is good for another decade or two.

Kids

Kid-wise things keep moving forward. Claire’s office is almost ready to open its new addition. It’ll roughly triple the office space available for dental treatments. I was also a bit excited that she was recently trained in the use of lasers for dental scaling in certain extreme cases. As Austin Powers might say, “you get to use frickin’ lasers?!?!”

Abby and Ryan continue to grow their property management business. Daniel is taking on more roles at Market Basket. Michael is expanding his scope and hours at Grill 603. Timothy continues to make me proud at SD Mines. He recently got a nice monetary award for a presentation with their “Engineers to Entrepreneurs” group. I look forward to flying out to see him soon.

St. Joseph

Our parish had a special set of meetings in honor of Pope Francis declaring this church year (ending in a just couple more weeks) as a year dedicated to St. Joseph in a special way. We met every Saturday morning for several weeks in preparation for a consecration to his patronage on November 1st (All Saints Day). Our “homework” included daily prayers and readings about what the saints have written over the years about him. It was very enlightening to learn about the Church’s two millennia of reflections on this silent saint. I like to call him a Man of Action.