If I seem bit obsessive lately with the whole train thing, lately…. well, you don’t know me very well, do you? At any rate, I figured it was time to talk about something else, even if only for a post. So what’s been going on?

Well, there is a lot as of late. My son is back in scouts again… I think it’s his 5th year, but to be honest, I’ve had a hard time keeping track. I think it was 2 years in Cub Scouts, 2 years in Scouts, so this would be 5. I’m quite proud of that because it demonstrates a commitment I’m happy to see in that young man. He’s worked hard and I believe in him continuing to work hard in the future. Caidi is actually trying to join the program by being one of the first females in his troop. It’s been a bit rocky a start because so far they only have 3 solid members, and they need 5 to officially be commissioned as a girl’s troop.

Now I know there have been a lot of people complaining that they think the Girl Scouts is going to be forgotten, or they’re angry at the Boy Scout’s for doing this. I understand some of the arguments or frustration, and I do get that there are some who have concerns that the “inclusive nature” that is being established isn’t real, and there’s still sexism involved. Perhaps. It might be that at some of the higher levels. I don’t see that in my son’s and daughter’s troop. The other boys have been welcoming to my daughter and the other two female applicants, and a few have even asked how soon they’ll be officially forming the girl’s unit. Soon, we hope. That 5 girl minimum is to make sure they can get a continuous group going and get proper support.

So keep your fingers crossed that they can officially launch by January. And for the record, if you’re out there and have a daughter in Girl Scouts – the troop leader of BSA Troop 60 likes to point out regularly – you can be a member of both Girl Scouts and Scouts BSA and they don’t consider that a problem. This group thinks there are skills to learn in both, and they encourage that girls don’t give up one for the other. They cover some different topics, so staying in both just means more diverse experiences.

Other news: both kids are once again in orchestra or band this year. Caidi is doing her second year of violin, and Eli is in his 4th year with saxophone. It’s been great to see them develop here, too. Frankly, the more these kids do, the more I am excited to brag about how they break the preconceived notion that kids these days don’t do anything except play video games and sit on their phones.

And to make that point even more, Caidence is trying out for the swim team this year at her school. Whether she makes it or not, I don’t care – which is to say, I hope she makes it. But even if not, it’ll be a wonderful effort on her part, and I want her to keep working for things like that; I have faith in these kids doing so much, and the only two things that I feel upset about is that time is going by so fast… and that their biological father isn’t here to see what amazing children he helped bring into this world.

I wish he could. He is missing so much, and I don’t think there will ever be a day when I don’t wish he could know these kids (almost young adults now) the way I do.

Kelly is slowly but surely working on her next art piece, alternating with doing some ghost hunting. We went to Gettysburg, PA for our anniversary this year (it was a week after, but it still counts). I was more of her equipment support than a ghost hunter. She’s the one who’s better at this and tends to pick up on stuff more than I do. Hopefully in the near future she’ll be able to process some of the audio she captured and perhaps be sharing it on-line.

As for the art, when she has the energy and time, she’s been working on another great piece, and I am looking forward to her getting it completed before the holidays this year. I’m trying to push her gently to get at least a piece done every two months; she has too much talent to waste, but given how much she has to do with the kids, with her health and to manage this household, it’s understandable why she has to go at a slower pace.

Meanwhile, we all soldier on. For me, the hardest thing this year was my own health. Most of you probably know I have my own health challenges to deal with, but in spite of that (or maybe because of it) I am trying to make some big changes in my lifestyle. It hasn’t been easy, and there’s still a long way to go; but I have had a LOT of support from the family in doing it and I can’t express my thanks enough at how much they help.

At any rate, this is the update for the time being. There will probably be more to report soon, and I imagine you’ll keep seeing the train posts, but I also have a LOT of work I need to wrap up before year’s end with consulting. So check back regularly to see what’s happening.