Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Labor of Love?

Chalupa is decorating a Birthday Bone Cake for Duckie the Dog. If you look closely you can see a pink duck in the corner of the bone. You can see a picture of a completed cake on the Woofables website.

This about sums things up. We continue our frenetic pace. School, work, play and Woofables consumes our time. Meanwhile the many usual chores around the house are tackled on an "as needed" basis. We're not sure how this will work once the weather warms.

On our list of things to do includes a new fence around the garden, and tilling the garden... oh, and planting the garden. The garage needs a good spring purge and cleaning. It always amazes me how quickly it fills up with junk. The holiday lights are piled in a corner, and the snow blower needs to be swapped out for the lawn mower.

Speaking of lawns, I'm debating whether or not to fertilize. God knows there's plenty of fertilizer from the dogs, but it's rather unevenly spread. And I confess being in denial about the weeds.

The running streak continues with no events on the calendar except the next two miles (tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, etc...). And so it goes....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Turning the Corner

Hot summer nights are not too, too far away, right? Travels abroad are done for another year. It was a good trip, and I was surprised by how much more comfortable I've become in a foriegn country. This will, I'm sure, be put to the test next year when we take two groups to China over a three week period of time. If I was home sick this year, I'm certain I'll suffer terminally next time around.

Travels now will be regular trips to Des Moines as we put the final students into seats for an Exec MBA Program to begin in May. Our numbers are a bit lower than expected, but should be enough to be worth our while.

Meanwhile back in IC, the kids are ramping up for a range of spring activities to include HS Tennis (Beaner), HS Soccer (Peanut), Competitive Soccer (Chalupa and Big Dawg) and competitve baseball (Big Dawg). This on top of a regular battery of music lessons and youth group activities. Crazy business.

Woofables experienced a ribbon cutting last week, under our (new) ownership. This went well. This tiny little business continues to be tiny, but growing incrementally. We couldn't do it without the help of Julie and JoAnn. Julie is our sole (non-family) employee, and JoAnn is our business Matriarch. It's all good.

This year's running streak has begun. I am dubious as to how long I'll be able to keep it going. Last year I managed 214 days (January 1 - Aug. 2), so far... 9 and counting. This year's streak began on the news that The Mankato Rookie has surpased 1000 days for his streak... quite amazing. He say's he's addicted. Poor kid. Dane's Ice Cream (pictured above) is my motivation. As many wise men say, "There's alway's room for ice cream", and I'm running to get my share. Ciao!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

On The Road ... again

"On The Road" by Jack Kerouac is one of my favorite books. And here I am, on the road again to Sao Paulo, Brazil (4th from right) with a few of our Exec MBA students. In total, there will be 39 of us touring businesses, organizations and the University to learn more about conducting business internationally. It was a nine hour flight from the states (give or take for some). Only one group got way laid and will arrive a day or two late.

One of our students was #1 for take off from Tokyo, when the earthquake hit. They would have been in the air had one passenger not get sick just prior to lift off. As Mr. Badding tells it, the plane was rocked and rolled. Eventually they were evacuated only to reboard a few hours later... Last thing Tokyo would need is more people to take care of. Mr. Badding arrived safe and sound Stateside, before hopping a plane down to Brazil to join us. What an adventure, huh?
This (below) is China Town market in Sao Paulo. It was bustling with activity today. Food, people, trinkets, trash, garments, and all sorts of flea market type items. Enough to take up an afternoon for shopping if we had that sort of time.
After the market we stepped into the 8th largest Cathedral in the world. Mass was going on and the place was SRO (standing room only). It was a spectacular sight. It was a spiritual moment to be sure.

Meanwhile, back Stateside, Sidetrack took the crew to Wisco to stop in a visit our former neighbors. Tomorrow, Beaner goes to Carthidge College (?) for a visit. We'll see. After that, they will all be Malled at Guerney Mills before heading back to the mother-land. So I guess we're all on the road... and we're not going to worry about roads not taken. Instead, we'll forge on to blaze trails and memories to last a lifetime. More for Brazil in a day or two.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

BD Big Dawg - Just Hanging

Here we see Big Dawg hanging out with Dad. He's coloring and I'm stuffing Tulip Biscuits into packaging for one of our Woofables customers. This particular customer orders 500 individually wrapped biscuits per week. so this is becoming somewhat of a nightly routine. As we scale the business, I'm confident we'll find an appropriate alternative to this time intensive work. In the interim, it's good to hang out with the Little Man.

In other news, Chalupa got the "All Clear" from her surgeon. She can now participate in all sports activities accept wrestling. They say that taking a break from sports is rejuvenating for many athletes. We thought this break might diminish her enthusiasm, but Chalupa is ready and raring to go. It will be interesting to see how sore she is after the first few days of practice!

As for sports. Peanut is ramping up for HS soccer, and Ellie tries out for the Tennis Team. Big Dawg is all in for his soccer activities so our house is in constant motion as the weather warms up.

There will be an up-tick in posts these next two weeks with a few upcoming events (Spring Break and related travel). So keep your eyes out for some varied input and updates. Ciao!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

40 years and counting

Little did we know, when we met more than 40 years ago, we'd still be hanging out together many years later. Our travels have included NYC, London, Fla, CO. There'll be more to come I'm sure. I was in Manhattan last weekend to celebrate Robert Dorfman's Bar Mizvah. It seems like yesterday (almost) when I attended Dorf's Bar Mizvah in Iowa City. Where does it all go?

Anyway, it was a magnificent event and beyond the nostalgia, it was fun to be back in Manhattan for a day. It was all too brief.

Next up, Des Moines, Omaha, Des Moines ... then 10 days in Brazil. It's quite the whirlwind.

Meanwhile, Woofables continues to grow it's reach to places such as Tennessee and Texas. We've added Pizza Biscuits and Pup Tarts. Our customers are gobbling them up.