Sunday, February 25, 2007

Proof that my mother saves EVERYTHING.

Something in the attic.
Aren't these just charming.

(Molds of my teeth before braces--on the right, circa 1991--and after--on the left, circa 1993.)

These were in my ears.  Then, in the attic.
In the first grade (1985ish), I had these in my ears. Fun!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Picture pages.

I've been scanning in some old family photos over the past week or's some favorites so far.

Rosie on the couch.
Grandma Rosie behind the newspaper, in the living room out at the Lajcak's farm. (1960s?)

Vera and Fannie, 1977.
Grandma Vera and Great-Grandma Fannie, 1977. Fannie was about 96 years old when this was taken--she lived to be 100. (Asbach house on Beaser in Ashland.)

Dog chases deer chases cow.
Dog chases deer chases calf. (Lajcak farm, 1960s?)

He's like a mighty cougar.
Toivo perched atop his kill, 2004. (Rancho del Asbach)

Dewey's baptism, November 1975.
The Dennis & The Jane with Dewey after his baptism, November 1975. (I think this was taken out at the Lajcak's farm, judging by the wall & curtains.)

Grandpa Skip with Jill out at the farm.
Grandpa Skip and my cousin Jill (from the Asbach side) visiting the Lajcak farm. (Late 1960s?)

I love the looks on our faces.
Shiny happy Asbachs at MacDonald Pass just outside of Helena, 2003.

Wedding again.
I'm a little concerned about the amount of skin my mother was daring to show in the church. I think I can make out some wrist there, watch out!! (November 1971, Moquah Church.)

Betsy with Daisy the deer.
My aunt Betsy with Daisy the deer. In the kitchen. (At the farm...late 1960s? Early 1970s?)

Jane, lakeside.
The Jane by the lake. (Late 1960s...)

Tracy & Betsy with foxes.
Betsy & Tracy, front yard at the farm, with foxes. (Early 1960s)

Great Aunt Mary.
One of the Great Aunt Marys I was named after. (Mary Lajcak)

Betsy and Tracy, 1968.
My aunts Betsy (left) and Tracy (right). (Late 60s/Early 70s, out at the farm.)

Dewey, five weeks old.
Dewey, five weeks old. (October 1975.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"They didn't have Lord Huggington!?"

Happy Love Day, everybody.

Teddy: I am Sir Love-A-Lot, the bear who loves to love!
Homer: They didn't have Lord Huggington!?
Marge: It's the same basic bear, Homey.
Homer: Oh, I guess...

Bart: What the hell is this!?
Marge: It's a 'Kisses Make Me Boogie-O-Lantern', kiss it and make it boogie!
Homer: Kiss iiit!
Bart: Ah, maybe later.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Full moon fever.

Full moon the other night. Pictures lightened up only ever-so-slightly--it was wicked bright out there.

Front yard.
Especially weird when you're not used to streetlights anymore.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Now he can carry mace by choice, not by necessity.

Retirement party.

Last Thursday, my dad retired from the power company where he'd worked for the past 34 years.

He started out as an accountant there in the 1970s, not too long after he married my mom, but when that company was bought out in the mid-1980s and his department was eliminated in the Ashland branch he had two options: move the family to Eau Claire to take another accounting job with the company...or stay here and become a meter reader.

I recall he wasn't thrilled with either option. Nevertheless, because of a myriad of reasons, he and my mom chose to stay here. And he's spent twenty years since then trudging through rain, sleet & snow, taking treacherous ferry rides across the bay to Madeline Island (he has some horror stories about waves splashing over the top of his truck on there), getting chased by dogs and (for the last five years or so) getting irritated as hell with how the company's current incarnation (Xcel Energy) treats its employees and its customers.

(Also, he's amassed a mammoth collection of outdated office supplies the company was going to throw away over the years. "Blue cards"--check-sized pieces of blue card stock used in computers in the 80s--are the most omnipresent in the Asbach household: if you get a note on "blue card," you know he means business. haha)

That's not to say there weren't fun times, too. I know the job was a
tiring one, but my dad always had a good sense of camaraderie with the other folks he worked with, and while he tends to take things pretty seriously and by-the-book he's also got a good sense of humor.

He told a story at his party about how out on the route one day, one of the other meter readers got asked by an old timer how he could get his reader to under-read...the meter reader told the guy to put a brick on his meter, and that would slow it down, but that this was "top secret information" and he "wasn't to tell anybody else about it, so word wouldn't get out."

My dad went out the following month, and along that old timer's stretch of the route he found at least eight or nine meters with bricks on them. (And no, that doesn't work.)

Anyway, I think he was ready to retire--he's been off 2/3 of the past year what with the prostate cancer surgery & recuperation, plus burning off as much vacation and sick time as he could before he retired, so it's not like it'll be unusual to see him around the house a lot. Now, as my mother says, he just needs to find some hobbies other than following her around, critiquing hers.

Nick & Dewey.


Dennis with fellow meter reader, Brandon.