Monday, September 5, 2011

End of Summer

 Well usually Labor Day weekend is the last time we go to the cottage for the summer. Here we see a nice sunrise. The sunrise on the lake is always something to see and admire. This was a great start to a great weekend.    We picked up Klaudia, our exchange student, from the airport on Wednesday. We didn't give her a whole lot of "soak in time" at home. We left for the lake on Thursday (Melissa's Birthday). Friday morning she took this picture.
  Friday morning we left Higgins Lake for Mackinac. The did some shopping. We left Mackinac about 1:30pm, then headed to Tahquamenon. Klaudia has been to the States for trips with her family. She has never seen The Mackinac Bridge. Of course we had high winds Friday and traffic was very slow. High winds make the trip across very interesting.
 Now this starts the adventure to the Falls. Most of the kids were sleeping along the way. I'm not sure why, there are so many trees to look at, how could a person not be excited. We were hearing reports of rain most of the way. We arrived in Paradise, Michigan and it started to rain hard. When you have driven that far,there is no turning back. By the time we arrived at the lower falls the sky opened up and the rain stopped. A true blessing. Melissa and I would have walked it no matter what. At least we were sparred from the grumbling from certain children.  The river looked very low compared to last October. They are beautiful none the less. When we were done at the lower falls,we went to the upper falls. It was the first time there for all the kids. As far as I can tell, the all enjoyed it. One of these times we will hike the whole thing. Here's a link if you want more information on Tahquamenon Falls: 

Friday, August 26, 2011

This Next Week

I usually blog about the 29th being the worst day of my life. I lost a dear friend and had to overcome my own injuries at the exact same time. I'm not going to go on and on about it being 7 sevens years and life is so hard during this week. Does that day suck? Yep. Does it get easier to handle? Nope. The day is drawing near where I will not let it bring me down. Not only did I lose a dear friend, but I had to overcome a lot. That often is forgotten. We eulogize my friend, and rightfully so. He was a great man and part of the reason I'm still here.
 It does me no good wishing I could go back in time. We can't. I can't take back a bad decision. I wish I could but I can't. So what good does it do to feel sorry for myself? Zero. I still have to work and raise a family, I still have to cut the grass. There will be times where its hard not to cry. I will not let it bring to the depths of despair.
 As much as I miss my friend, I have to be able to celebrate the things I had to overcome. Broken leg, pelvic fracture, scars on my hand, arm, forehead, the therapy, the grieving for a dear friend, dad, grandfather, all in the same year. With God, family and friends, I overcame ALL of it. I persevered. So I am going to try to celebrate that day by pouring my energy into my project. For me, Cole, Dad. Its what they would want.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

As I was in the pool....

Laying on a raft and looking up the sky yesterday, I started thinking. I remembered some years ago an great aunt, on our Dad's side, told Joe and I that "we would do great things." Now as far as I'm concerned, my brother has done a great job of filling that statement. He has done great things through his art, church and some other activities. As for myself, I have been searching for what that is. But back to the start....
 I was thinking, what is it that God has for me to be great at? Then it kind of smacked me on the head. Maybe the one thing I am supposed to be great at is right under my nose. Its my home, my life, my family. Its getting this marriage right, its being who I am and enjoying it. Its living with Crohn's and making the most of it,not letting it beat me. All the other interests, are all secondary. So what if I never find that special ability.Then again maybe I already found it and am now starting to understand.
 "There are no extraordinary men...just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with".~ Admiral William Fredrick Halsey Jr

Thursday, July 21, 2011

So you've been asking.....

What has Brian been up too. Well let me tell ya. Since baseball finally ended the second week in July, we've been busy. We have had a our exchange student. That has been a great experience. We have taken her to Higgins Lake, tubing on the Au Sable river, Cedar Point, to Lake Michigan and she has been to a concert. She leaves this Saturday and she will be missed, especially by Jacob. He's going to be heart broke for a few days.

 The house will be back to normal for August, then our other exchange student arrives at the end of the month. She will be here the entire school year.
 As for me, well I have been working on what I've been wanting to for a long time. I have finally convinced myself to do it and shut up. Yes I am learning......(wait for it).....guitar. Yes guitar. In three weeks I have learned E minor, D, A major, E major, Cadd9, G. Now I'm in the beginning stages of putting them together (the hard part).I'm going to say what song I am going to learn first.  To be continued.......

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers Day

What a good day. I woke up at 7am, had some great coffee and had some quite time. Melissa and the kids got up and had some gifts for me. There was a Detroit Tigers Wind Jacket, A U of M sweat shirt, a teddy bear from Jake and a Catcher's mit. I have been wanting a catchers mit for a while, especially Jeff is throwing harder. After that,Melissa made waffles for breakfast, YUM!                       
 We got a workout in. I got 10 miles in 40 minutes on the stationary bike. I decided I would like to go to Rockford for dinner at the Corner Bar, we ate down by the river.         
 When we got home, I went and grabbed the guitar. I spent well over an hour through lessons on an app I downloaded on the ipod. I have two chords I need to work on until perfected. Its going to be frustrating at times but it can be dealt with.  It was a great day!!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Horizons

Well ok maybe the title is pushing it a little. When I say "new horizons", I'm talking about putting some old things on the back burner and putting time into things I wish I would do or better yet, should do. My whole problem is, though it sounds good, I have a hard time executing. I think I get it from my Dad.
 So I am working on putting the computer games down and spending time else where!  Don't get me wrong games are like books you can play. They are fine in a lot of ways. Now I have to fill that time with something else.
 I am learning that I like to grill. I grilled brats the other day for my Mom and Rich. I boiled them in beer and water and they came out nice and juicy. I grilled burgers tonight , though they were good, I want to make a great burger. One that makes you go "WOW!"      

 Then of course, with help from a friend, I have renewed my love for music. I have had it in my mind for a long, long time to learn guitar. Seeing how drums aren't practical right now, guitar is the next best thing. I don't need to be a wailing axe man, but just a guy that plays the occasional acoustic song. Kind of like around the camp fire. Really the only thing holding me back is......ME!                  


Monday, June 6, 2011


So I talked a while back about smoothies being very beneficial for me. Obviously when you throw fruits or veggies in a blender it breaks them way down. In my situation with Crohn's it allows me to get nutrients that I may otherwise have trouble with. Here are some smoothies that I came up with the last few days
 Sunday: Strawberries, Banana, and Spinach with vanilla yogurt, a little milk and RAW protien. I don't really measure anything out.

Monday was: Raspberries, Kiwi and Spinach with vanilla yogurt, and a little milk. I also add ice to all smoothies.
                                                                                                          Of course at the center of it is......

This smoothie maker rocks!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Time to get Focused

Since vacation, we have been slacking in the fitness area. Now that sports schedule has slowed down some, Melissa and I can get refocused on our routines. For me, dealing with Crohn's is much easier when I am active and eating right. For her its about self esteem. As much as we enjoy taking walks together, we each have our own plans. Melissa mostly enjoys cardio, for me I need cardio and strength.
 Today I hit the weights. I need to be more aggressive in achieving muscle failure. I'm never going to be a bulging mass of muscle and don't really want to be. I am more for high reps and toning. As the weather stays nice, time outside is critical. I have wood to split so that will be a goal, plus it mixes up the same old same old. I may set up stations outside for an added twist. Putting the time into fitness helps keep stress low and I feel more productive.
 Everybody has their own ways of staying grounded and happy. Some its crafts and art, some its social media, some its church, some its music, some its a mixture of all of the above. Its all about living life to the fullest and enjoying it along the way. So what you enjoy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Well, before my recent vacation, I went to my doctor for the follow up to the E.R visit. He agreed with me that now is not the time for Prednisone. This makes me very happy. Vacation went well up through Friday before we came home. I wasn't having any problems. I had a half of a flank steak at our elegant inner .I believe this is what gave me some issues. We had steak again the first Tuesday we were home. That gave me same pain issues almost right away. It hung with me for a few days. I'm still having little pain issues but nothing major.

 I have not been working out or as active since being home. I also haven't been making smoothies as much. So bottom line, I need to get back to it. Doe exercise really help? Do smoothies really help? I believe that smoothies really do help. Everything is already broke down so it makes digestion that much easier. Also, it may be time to limit steak or try very lean cuts. If I have to become a fish and chicken man that's fine by me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Its War!

Last week Tuesday I went into the E.R for what I thought might be an appendix issue.Turned out it was a Crohn's flare, which I figured but wanted to be safe. At the end of the visit, the E.R doc with the help of a GI doc decided to prescribe Prednisone, I want no part of this steroid. I do not think I need it. So this made me very unhappy. Note: I have not gotten the prescription filled.
 Fast forward to Sunday. As I googled "how to cut an avocado". I ran across something in an article. The basic message was to prove out the need for vegan diets. There was a statement in there that got me to thinking. Generally it suggested that there had been an increase with Cancer, Crohn's, Ulceratvie Colitis in people that eat cooked high fat and high protein diets. I to some extent agree. I think it mostly comes from genetically engineered meats and things. That is just my feeling, I have no proof.
 This got my wheels turning big time. I have a friend at work the suggested sometime ago to try Raw Protein powder to give my body a more natural way to recover from my workouts. Raw Protein is completely organic with the protein coming from numerous sprouts and things.The one thing he said that stood out that it has probiotics. What are probiotics you ask, and am I glad you did. Probiotics are basically the good bacteria in your intestine that help support your digestive system. From what I have read Crohn's patients that have inreased their probiotic intake have had reduced symptoms. I did not say cure but reduced symptoms. This starts my mission and it is war!
 So far it has only been three consecutive days since committing to this self trial. Each day I have had the Raw Protein in smoothies, that have had included, strawberries, blueberries, black and raspberries, bannana, kiwi, apple or any combination, I also add yogurt and splenda. I have had reduced pain, more energy, less bathroom visits, just overall better feeling. Tuesday I had some pain after dinner but I think that was because of broccoli. It was fine Wednesday morning. I am taking my Imuran also. Again this is just three days of results, I will continue this mission. It is not my intent to give false hope. It is my intent to prove there is hope away from to many medications. I will post another update after vacation.