Friday, October 22, 2010


Stan told me that last night he had a good dream, (the night before he said he didn’t sleep well, was having nightmares, holocaust nightmares) , he dreamt about his grandmother, Rose Roogow, who he refers to as Rachlea. He told me that his father did not like his mother-in-law. In the dream his parents were fighting about her, but Dad went to her and asked her if he could get her a tea or a coffee and grandma rachlea said, yes, Stan, I’ll have a tea. That was the whole dream. Grandma Rachlea was very welcoming to her grandson Stan. Dad went on to tell me that while he was in the army – when he was 19 – she lived with his parents and when he got home from the army he lived in their small apartment in Glen Oaks and he shared a room with his grandmother… He had this silly grin on his face as we sat in the living room telling me all this, this afternoon, as we were just relaxing waiting for the ball game to start.

Yesterday we went to town with Micah to get a few chores done. Dad got new shoes, slip on leather winter mocs, with good treads, new socks, and yak traks (snow chains for your shoes). He was trying them on today and he really likes them, got to get him ready for winter. He had a manicure and pedicure and Micah and I went to the mall and got Micah new basketball shoes, socks and a Hoodie with built in headphones, what will they think of next, or am I just old and out of it? Micah also got a copy of Rick Riordan’s newest book and he sat around the house today reading it, which is great. I love it when my kids read!

Yankees lost, Texas is going to the World Series. Tomorrow is another day.

I’m trying to think of something out of the ordinary, but really the last few days have been pretty uneventful, store is very slow, I’ve gotten through the work push, now just need to make some final decisions on ordering new logo t-shirts for the store, trying to come up with something clever that will help sell the shirts… went fishing with Micah today but we saw no fish whatsoever, well actually we did see a school of sculpin – very little one inch fish that the bigger fish might be eating… but we didn’t see any bigger fish, but at least Murray got a good walk in. Left Buddy back at the house with grandpa who told me when we got back that Buddy did a lot of whining when we left, cause he wanted to come with us, but he can’t. Won’t be any fishing for Buddy till next spring….

So I have the weekend off, Jackie and Andrew get back from Seattle late tomorrow night, probably will spend my morning cleaning the house. Micah is sleeping at Grandpa’s tonight so it’s just Howie and I and of course, the dogs. Very quiet, though Buddy was giving out these loud screechy barks every time Murray walked by, now Murray’s outside and Buddy looks sound asleep.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Marky Moose in the Middle


Today is my Dad’s sister and brother-in-law's 63rd wedding anniversary. My Aunt Joan married when she was 19 years old. She met Donald when they were about 15 years old. He was 20 when they got married and 63 years later they are still chugging along…. We will be visiting them next week!

Dad had a dream last night about this oil guy named Jimmy, in the dream he had just died, but dad says he really died a couple of years ago. Not sure what his dream was about, but he was talking about this guy as I drove him to our house to watch the Yankees Texas game tonight. He was trying to remember the guys name and was telling me he had a son named Jimmy and a daughter and another son who played football with Harold and that every time he came into the store he was always looking over his shoulder as if he thought he was being followed or was in danger.

Later in the evening he looked at me with a big smile on his face and said Jimmy Krueger. His name was Jimmy Kreuger and I said I can look him up on the internet and see if he died last week and Dad said, no he died a couple of years ago. On the car ride home he was saying there’s no one for me to ask about anybody, there’s no one left but me…

Stan at the Johnny Cash concert this summer... I need to take some recent pics of Dad, but this one was on Jackie's camera from this summer, plus on the bottom check out the video as he sings along!

Murray checks out the whitefish we caught...


This morning I was woken up by the alarm at 4:30 am, Jackie and Andrew were getting up to go to Seattle and do a college tour of Seattle and Bellingham. Somehow I slept while they were taking showers and getting ready to leave, but as they left at around 5:30, I was awake and restless. Buddy was in the bed with me, which made it hard for me to get comfortable, but even after he wanted down, sleep was not to be . My mind was all over the place. Somehow I was at Uncle Howie’s and Cousin Rachel’s grave site. I was watching Harold shovel dirt over their graves and Louis as well, and then I was and so was Ben and our wives were all standing next to each other watching us and we didn’t stop until they were completely covered. And Jackie telling me how proud she was to be a member of the Robin Family.

And then I remember my mother screaming outside her brother’s casket, “I want to see him! I want to see him!”

And then the writer and star of In the Heights telling Aunt Susan when they met (maybe at a Simon’s Rock event?) how troubled Rachel was – when is the movie coming out I wonder.

And the store, the employee evaluations, and refinancing our loans, and how and why does one thought connect to the next as I write this different thoughts come to mind and connect, but this morning, it was all anxiety, one thing after the other, tossing and turning, not wanting to get out of bed, though for me getting out of bed and doing something is usually the cure for any anxiety attack, thinking about my Dad, Andrew and Jackie and Micah and Howie, and the store, and my hike the other day and my epiphany about who I am, Marky in the Middle, and then finally at around 7 just getting out of bed and starting my day.

Getting the kids some breakfast, actually they got their own breakfast, I made Howie a lunch, I fussed on the computer, trying to clean up our e-mail accounts. Then after helping the boys get ready, remembering it was picture day, walking the dogs down to the bus stop, trying to get Buddy to put pressure on his back left leg, instead of hopping all over the place which is easier and quicker for him. Then back home, checked e-mails, did some stuff around the house, laundry, dishwasher, fed the dogs, gave Murray her pill, then off to work.

Work was fine, it was very quiet at the store. I am really trying to be Mr. Positive at the store these days. Buying lots of stuff for what we are hoping is going to be a busy winter. Somehow had time to start updating the wine inventory list for our website. I looked over this to do list I wrote up for myself to make sure I get my work done at the store, and without looking at it, I’ve got most of it done. Dad came over for coffee and I picked him up at his house around 2 pm – leaving work early so we could go home and watch the Yankees game. I needed to get home to the dogs – I was worried about leaving them too long,

Went down to the river around 4:30 pm after the Yankees looked like they had the game wrapped up so there will be another game tomorrow. Murray needed a walk and I needed some river time. I caught one huge whitefish – thought it was going to be an absolute huge measurement, but from the photo I’m guessing it was about 21 inches long… it even put up a little fight when it saw Murray trying to get her nose in there…

Then it was back home where the boys were snacking having just got home from basketball practice. My cell phone rang a few times, Jackie, my brother Lou, the bank, that was all during the game or my walk down to the river. Jackie called again while I was making dinner. Seattle is great, they are having an amazing time, saw an amazing Picasso exhibit in Seattle via Paris, a super cool chapel which is considered one of the seven wonders of the world by this woman they met at the chapel, going to a concert tonight, busy busy busy, a full exposure of college life in Seattle…

We ate dinner at the start of the Giants-Philly game and then Dad and I watched the game while Micah and Howie veged downstairs, I got them to come up for the exciting bottom of the ninth in which the Giants won the game…. then drove Grandpa home and then put the boys to bed after turning Howie’s night brace and making sure he had his rubber bands on. Tomorrow I am taking Stan to town to try to get a few things done off his chore list. I figure I should just stay up and blog tonight because I’m not sure how fast sleep will come to me. Though I am tired, I think I have sleep anxiety when I am alone…. I’m sure writing and then reading in bed will put me to sleep.

I have lots of pictures to load – we went on 2 amazing bike rides/hikes with Dan and Denise - one all day bike and hike up Bear Basin on Friday and then with the kids on Sunday we drove just past Old Faithful and biked to Lone Star Geyser – and hiked around the Firehole River which floats on by. Lone Star Geyser is a geyser that goes off every 3 hours and we somehow just hit it lucky – after hanging out and eating lunch and exploring the area, it went off big time…. My joke on Sunday was creating a tongue twister… How many geezer geyser gazers does it take….

This was a sink hole near the start of our hike up bear basin.

We were checking it out, wondering if a bear lived down there...

On Sunday we rode our bikes with the kids to Lone Star Geyser in Yellowstone, nearby we checked the temperatures of lots of small hot springs - temps ranged from 120 - 212 degrees!

The Lone Star Geyser is getting ready to blow...

There it goes! Check out the video at the bottom...

The view from our porch the next evening..

Lone Star Geyser Stan singing along

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Howie's Letter to Obama

Howie wrote this for his fifth grade class...

To: president Obama

From: Howard Robin

Dear president Obama,

As you know the American economy isn’t doing well. So I came up with an idea to help it and I thought that I should share it with you. In this letter you will find: who I am, what my idea is and why I think this idea will help the economy. I hope you will take this letter seriously.

My name is Howard Pearce Robin. I live in Big Sky Montana. I’m ten years old and go to Ophir school I’m in fifth grade and so far I’m an A student. I’m a thinker and when I came up with this idea I thought I might just share it with you. I’m also a good athlete but I don’t let that interfere with school. I would like to thank you for reading even this far into my letter.

Not so long ago my fifth grade teacher assigned us a project to come up with a way to solve the American economy. Yes a very big project for a ten year-old. At first I couldn’t think of anything then all of the sudden I figured it out; you could go to every company (especially the chains) and give them each ten thousand dollars and recommend that they should hire more employees.

If you do that each business will hire more employees. When people are looking for jobs more stores will have spots open. Less people will be jobless. More people will have homes. Families will have money so they can buy food pay rent and maybe even extra sports for their children. I know how much fun it is to be on a soccer baseball or basketball team and I want other kids to know to.

That is my opinion on what you should do about this failing economy. Who I am why my reason is reasonable and I thank you for reading this and I hope you took it seriously.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

10/10/10, Sunday morning.

Just hanging out, thinking about the last couple of days. We had Friday night dinner with our good friends and neighbors Jim and Margy. We lit the candles, and sang the prayers, and had a really nice meal which turned out to be a spontaneous birthday dinner for Jim. Saturday we spent hanging around the house. Dad came over to watch football and baseball. I took Murray down to the river where I caught 2 fish, a small rainbow that Murray tried to get into her mouth, and then a big ugly whitefish... it was beautiful yesterday, the sun out, the grass still golden as we slowly head to winter. Today is overcast and definitely a bit chillier. We will be heading to Bozeman for Howie's last weekend of fall soccer and who knows what else. Not sure Dad will be coming with us or not, I haven't spoken to him yet today, it has been a lazy morning of coffee, reading and phone calls...

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Thursday, 10/7/10

So, life is crazy, busy, baseball playoffs on the t.v., Buddy home in his new bed at my feet, Howie watching the game with me eating his ice cream, Grandpa stayed at his place tonight, Jackie on her way back from town, Andrew and Howie got back from town about half an hour ago, Howie had Shalom Kids, Andrew thought he had tennis lessons, Jackie went to high school back to school night. Howie is giving me his analysis of television advertisements.

Today was a crazy day of an interview, lots of phone calls, dealing with vendors, working hard with employees, working on upgrading the store in general, trying to get work done on the computer, e-mails. (Howie keeps talking to me – Butch Posey just hit a triple for the Giants, Howie is telling me how Tom Seaver said the Orioles didn’t take the Mets seriously and how when the Mets were up 3 games to 1 against the Orioles Tom Seaver wondered if they were taking the Mets seriously yet. Funny thing Tom Seaver was the only Met to lose a World Series game…)

A day of lots of phone calls from friends, three friends who I haven’t really spoken to in quite awhile, one in Venezuela on Skype, one in Hawaii on my cell, one in Colorado on my home phone. All in between business calls, and conversations with salesman and employees, trying to make things happen, working on orders for the holidays, working on the website, plus restocking the produce case, visiting Stan, being home with Micah and taking care of Buddy.

Buddy. Buddy is doing well, but it is going to be a long slow recovery. A test in love and patience. He’s able to walk, putting almost all his weight on his front legs, today we left him alone with Murray in the living room and somehow Buddy moved the barrier and ended up downstairs in the Micah and Howie’s bedroom. Not sure how he got down the stairs or what compelled him to go down there, but he seems O.K. I took him out when I got home, carrying him to a level spot on our lawn and letting him walk, and pee. Then I carry him back into the house and put him in his bed where I bring him some water which he laps up and a few snacks – he’s not really eating his dog food, but I bet if we let him get hungry enough he’ll eat…

(Howie keeps talking baseball – if you aren’t sure if it’s a ball or a strike you better swing… Has a rookie pitcher ever been a star? Grandpa Stan can't really see what's happening on the t.v. it's better for him if he watches it with someone so they can tell him what's going on...)

So Buddy – dislocated femur, dislocated hip, fractured hip socket, 4 hours of surgery on Monday. Home on Tuesday night, lots of road rash, today we ripped off his bandaids which were covering up all his staples after putting a muzzle on him otherwise he definitely would have bit us – So now he will need to wear a cone unless we are watching him, making sure he’s not licking. And he has always loved to lick. But bottom line, in the long haul, I think Buddy is going to be O.K. Which somehow means all of us will be O.K.

Back to Playoff Baseball and a bowl of ice cream and some rest…

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Long Weekend...

10/3/10 11:00 pm

Deep breaths. Lots of them. Great weekend that seems to be ending badly. Blogging is interesting as your daily events become important and unimportant all depending on what is happening now, as opposed to what happened a couple of days ago which one hasn’t had time to write about.

So what I’m trying to say is I am now going to write about what is happening now. In fact Jackie just called me to fill me in. While I was watching the Giants Bears football game with my Dad and Micah at our friends John and Laura’s house Jackie was talking to our neighbors Margy and Jim at their house and was in the middle of an intense conversation when our dog Buddy got hit by a car outside their house. There were a million little things that could have gone differently, that would have prevented this accident, but instead there were a million little things that came together to make it happen and there is no turning back the clock to make it not happen. It appears that he has a dislocated hip, a dislocated femur and lots of fractures and what will hopefully be a long recovery ahead of him.

I don’t really feel like writing about all this, but I also know that sleep is not coming very easily to me tonight. Jackie is in Bozeman as she had to rush him to the emergency vet who sedated him and did all the diagnostic x-rays. He’s definitely out of it, and we shall see how he does thru the night. Jackie called me on her way to Bozeman to let me know what happened. I was sitting watching the football game. Stan never heard me tell my friends about it so he still doesn’t know. I am really not telling this story very well, probably because I’m torn up inside. I’m sorry for Buddy and I’m sorry for Jackie who feels horrible. And I’m upset because I know how upset she is, but she’s in Bozeman staying at friends because she needs to be with Buddy first thing in the morning. So we’re apart. I know the kids are upset about it, but I think they’re asleep, at least Howie seems to be asleep. Bottom line it’s very upsetting.

It’s been a long week – we held most of our employee evaluation meetings this week, plus I’m working on all this refinancing so my head has been spinning. Dad has asked me to do a few things for him, he wants me to change his prescriptions so they get mailed to him, he wants a new cell phone, and he wants a Montana Identification card. He actually told someone at dinner last night that he used to live in New York.

We took Friday off from work to go on this awesome hike with our good friends, Dan, Denise and Leslie. It was our annual Dan’s birthday hike and it was as epic as last years. No animals this year, but beautiful spectacular, pristine, expansive, autumnal landscapes. A long and tiring hike – about 9 miles roundtrip, about 7 hours of being in the middle of nowhere, a thousand feet of elevation gain, great views with great friends. It is always such a healthy, mind-clearing event to walk in nature. There were lots of signs of bull elk scraping trees with their antlers, and grizzly tracks, and claw scratches on the trees. Dan wished that we could have camped out there for one night. And I thought, wow that would be a little scary, bugling elk rutting, grizzlies looking for food, I would definitely be a little nervous out there at night.

It was a very challenging hike. We summitted somewhere on Red Mountain, then bushwhacked down through some dry rocky ravines causing a few small rock slides, but thankfully no human slides. It was a little hard on the knees and at times I felt like I was skiing down terrain that was a bit difficult, but it was beautiful, and I stopped to breathe, sat on some big rocks or took pictures of wild flowers or what I thought might be a cave of some sort…

So Friday was a great day of hiking. We got back around 5:30, I drove over and picked up my Dad from his place and brought him home for dinner. A couple I know walked by who were “walking” their dog. Their dog was riding in a carriage/cage and I described it to Dad as he wasn’t able to see it when they walked by. He then told me this story. A bus pulls up in front of this house and a man comes out and goes to the bus and picks up his child and carries his child back to the house. His neighbor sees this and says to the man, I’m sorry your son can’t walk. “Oh, he can walk,” the man says, “but Thanks God he doesn’t have to.”

Later in the evening Dad told me this dream he had the night before:

He was at an ophthalmologist convention and he got on line and he was given an ophthalmologist. The doctor looked at him and said there is no reason why you can’t see. We’re going to fix you up right now, give you an implant and you will see 75% better.

After dinner I showed him all the pictures from the hike on the computer in a slideshow. I think he could make out some of the pictures so Stan got to go on the hike kind of sort of.

Saturday, Jackie and I held more meetings at work. It was another spectacular day weather wise and we sat outside on our patio for all our meetings. At around 4 pm we made our mad dash to get home in time to head to Dan and Denise’s house for Dan’s birthday party. We shopped, Jackie ran home to prepare some food, I went to Stan’s to pick him up so he would come with us. And then we were off to the big birthday lobster fest! It was another fun night of conversation and great food, Micah rolled sushi, Denise boiled up live lobsters, the kids put on a short birthday show for Dan, it was another very fun late evening.

Today, Sunday was soccer in Bozeman for Howie. Andrew met us at the soccer fields and we all watched Howie’s games. After the games we had lunch together and then Micah and I spent over an hour getting new cell phones, which turned out to be a long and tedious experience. But in the end Micah and I walked away with new cell phones.

Then it was the drive back home. After emptying out the car Micah and I went and picked up Grandpa Stan and headed over to John and Laura’s…


Just past the Bacon Rind Trail head

in the meadow
Dan has a tasty wolf shitskabob...
on our way up...
How did this happen?
one of many spectacular views
I forget what this is called, but if I remember right, a giant wind smacks down on one spot and devastates the trees like a golf ball landing on grass....

it's a grizzly paw print
It's the mark of a grizzly claw scratch next to the forest service trail marker...
heading up
mud from?
a clear mountain spring...

getting higher

at the top of our hike

starting down

getting steeper...
Jackie tells me to follow her, I say I've been following you for 24 years, why would I stop now?

who lives here?

I'm the last one down, they're waiting for me, but as soon as I get there they take off, no rest for the weary...

the home of a wolverine?
who placed these rocks here? is that a heart on the bottom right?

almost back
golden aspens growing in the rocks...