Friday, February 28, 2014

still abiding

What a long year it has been thus far! Still struggling with military computer learning, cept know it appears that my new computer is too advanced for the required courses. There was also an unexpected expenditure as my truck blew it's engine a few days before New Years Eve. I was allowed to borrow my Pastor's Suburban while all sorts of funds were poured into my poor Silverado. We decided it needed a new engine, and we also decided we needed a backup car(note by we I mean wife!) I pulled money from my retirement and allocated it toward truck repair and a new for us car. I spent 2k for a nice no rust Lesabre which also had very low miles for it's age( I also rued how at one point an older car cost about $500!). Three days into the new car, I pushed snow with it in a massive oddessy that had me outside for 6 hours attempting to go to work in minus wow degrees of cold, a blinding snowstorm, and no plow trucks in sight. I called in to work as I couldn't make it and spent my time limping home and rescuing other motorists. Turns out that snow impacted under the radiator and caused the transmission to overheat and die. So a truck with no engine, a car with no transmission, a too kind Pastor with an again loaned Suburban, and more money pulled from my retirement.
Lot's of frivolity, words unable to be taken back, and more vehicular adventures and mishaps with snow, ice, animals. I could write a book on the painful escapades! We now have both car and truck in the driveway running perfect( Pastor also has his truck back in his driveway)My wife and I survived it and we may laugh about it in a few years! ;) The kid's were mostly non-plussed, but during all of the excitement we acquired another dog. I'm not sure how I was circumvented, but I am still pained over the loss of my big St Bernard-Black Lab shadow, companion, and foot warmer. My wife's Chocolate Lab-Cocker spaniel has adopted me as she has been outgunned by my wife's new Yellow Lab- German SHEDDER, and the newest member of the posse which is a male Black Lab-Beagle. So This is a positive that I wasn't looking for. My tribe is bigger!
The Chocolate Lab "Brownie" sulking.

Teaching the new Black Lab that the outside is his bathroom...He hasn't quite mastered the lesson yet.

Queen Sheba aka "Stella" the Golden Lab-German shedder. She is a very warm footwarmer with very soft fur!

"Nova" and the dogs enjoying the Michigan weather.

Teaching my middle daughter how to CrossCountry ski.  She actually did pretty good and enjoys it more than running with the old man in the snow.

She also taught me how to take a selfie. I'm hoping she or her siblings will fix my computer next!
Everybody has been talking about this game, and as a Sith Lord it was reprehensible that I didn't own it. Thankfully my wife fixed it for valentines day!

she even got me my favorite Imperial craft, The Interceptor!

Lot's of goodies!


All this and a tie bomber too!

 For a wargame this is an elegant game and I almost feel guilty that I am not assembling and painting forces for it. The rules were very easily grasped by my kids and they have successfully beaten me and my my Luke Skywalker X-wing 4 times out of 5!
That is it for miniatures, as Nova has teethed on the zombie bases. My poor Brits have been knocked about by my daughter's cat as he evades the trio of Labs. The paint and models are even now buried by mail and broken bits from my family that need repair. so my lofty goal of completing my Peninsular War troops during the Analog Painting contest, didn't get very far. But I am satisfied with another set of lace type troops.

My wife and I have been married for 15 years now. She knew I liked toy soldiers and she bought a nutcracker that became the start of this still growing collection. Each one is a gift from family and friends and not a Christmas has passed where at least one has not been given to me as a gift.

The Highland drummer my kid's bought from Bronner's Christmas store in Frankenmuth Michigan.
Most of the smaller ones are table place markers and gifted by my kids, friends and co-workers over the years. I rather like the bearskin grenadiers!

My two favorites are the taller two in the picture. The fellow in yellow has a really smart looking uniform and the bearskin hat. the green troop was my gift from my mother this Christmas just past.

Wonderful color on the troop and the wood grain is clearly visible.

The modern soldier was a gift from my Dad and Step-mother when my unit was deployed.

The small  little king was the very first one my wife bought me and the leopard Cossack was also a gift from her.

I think we may need a larger mantle as the company will gather more brothers-in-arms as the years go by.
My kids say there is an unofficial contest to get the coolest nutcracker yet for me next year. Thankfully this means that I may avoid gifts of neck ties and ugly holiday sweaters for awhile yet!
Lot's of pics, but It has been a busy few months. I am still going to press on with my Peninsular troops.
I hope to get them completed before Spring has come. I do have some new scifi troops that need painting, but I have to wait till late spring to primer them. My wife hates Krylon being used in the home. If further recruits are going to arrive at the house( minis and nutcrackers), I better keep her happy.
I wonder if anyone will find an AmerInd next year...that would be a truly neat one to have!
The keen eyed among you may have noted the black and white photo on the mantle. That would be a little Potawatomi boy who would grow up to be a real Indian Scout. He didn't know then that family and kids are way cooler than anything you can do on a battlefield...except when your young children can creep up and give a surprise makeover on a sleeping daddy. I could do without living with so many cheerleaders under my roof! ;)



  1. I've not played X-Wing yet, but 2 pals have, they both said its an excellent game. Its nice to put a face to the name as well. Some of them Nutcrackers figures are bloody creepy looking!

    1. The X-wing game is very fun and fast to play. Probably why we fit in 5 games in our busy schedule. The nutcrackers do have some creepy companions! You should see the highlanders knobby legs! I'm hoping they keep with the ones for the mantle and avoid the 4'-8' statues! ;)

  2. That is quite a predicament. It's rather woeful that you weren't able to make the most out of your truck at that time because of a ruined engine. I guess you'll just have to get a new one, and you'll be all set. Hopefully of a better material, this time.

    G Parts Inc.

    1. Both truck and car are doing very well now, thanks to my mechanic. I had to dip into my retirement to speed them along, I lack the "guy" genes for mechanical workings!