Dude. Check out these “top shelf selfies”!

Hey, guys. It’s Ben. Sorry we haven’t posted in a while, but it’s been crazy around here.
Last Thursday morning during breakfast, Chad called me to say he wasn’t coming to school. He said he’d been up all night with nausea and vomiting… had been having stomach cramps… and was running a temp. He said Raef wanted to take him to the emergency room but he said he was “feeling a little better now and the cramps have stopped… so I’m just going to rest and take it easy today.”
After the call, I told David and Dub what was going on and Dub said “I bet it’s appendicitis, we’ve got to get him to the hospital. I called Chad back and told him to get dressed, we were taking him to the ER. So, within about 15 minutes we were at Chad and Raef’s house. David stayed there with Dub, Matty and Alyssa while Raef and I loaded Chad into my car and I broke just about every traffic law on the books getting him to Cox Medical Center in Branson. When we got there, they loaded him onto a gurney and took him back for tests. Sure enough, it was a ruptured appendix and they rushed him into surgery. The operation took about 2 1/2 hours and he was a really sick dude but but the doctors performed their magic and saved his life. They said if we’d gotten him there 30 minutes later they probably wouldn’t have been able to save him.
So, with Chad in the hospital and the gang taking turns staying there with him, I was going to be handling school by myself. David said “I’m not a teacher, but I can help out.” So David has been helping me at school all this week. Chad’s doing fine now and came home from the hospital yesterday. He says he’ll be back in school with me on Monday. He’s a dear friend and we’re just so happy that he’s recovered and going to be fine.
With Chad in the hospital, we cancelled our planned gang get-together last weekend and are planning to do it next weekend. We’ve invited Dante and Silas so everyone will have a chance to meet them.
So that’s what’s been happening here. Sometimes our laid-back life here at the lake gets pretty crazy. xoxo Ben and David


We’re all really “pumped” because WE VOTED today. This year, any registered Missouri voter can vote by mail – due to the Covid threat. We sent in our “Mail-in ballot requests” on August 25th and our ballots arrived by mail yesterday. Of course, Missouri wanted to make voting by mail as difficult as possible so they require that ballot signatures be notarized. Our attorneys have a young lawyer in the office who is a notary, so he came over this morning (wearing mask, gloves and shoe coverings). We all (sort-of) ignored how CUTE he is while he notarized our ballot signatures. Then David took the ballots to the Kimberling City post office and mailed them. Now we won’t have to burst our “covid bubble” here at the lake by going to the polls on Nov. 3rd. It’s a wonderful feeling!
On an unrelated subject, we surprised the kids last Friday when “Patricia” came over to begin teaching them about pottery. Dub and Austin figured out that “throw a pot” is “jeter un pot” in French or “tiara uno olli” in Spanish, which was news to Chad, Patricia and me. It was just an introductory session but he kids had a blast (there’s nothing kids like more than playing in mud and potting clay is a lot like that). Bella and Tra took the work very seriously and probably made the best pots of the day. Patricia helped each of them work out a potters signature and date their work. We’ll continue with the training for at least the current quarter – and probably much longer. xoxo Ben

Dude. Check out these “gay art selfies”!

Of course, any guy – gay or straight – can take off his clothes and snap a pic of himself… and apparently most do. Some of the pics end up on-line… and some of them (whether head-on, top-shelf, belly flop or butt selfies) are absolutely stunning. These may be “selfies” but damn – they sure look like “art” to us!

Ben and I had a wonderful extended weekend at the Lake. We left home Thursday on our bikes and rode straight to the cabin. We had told Jim and Carol we’d be coming for our anniversary weekend and when we got there we found some surprises on the kitchen counter. There were two tupperware containers full of cupcakes that were individually decorated with “H, A, P, P, Y, A, N, N, I, V, E, R, S, A, R, Y, B, E, N, A, N, D, D, A, V, I, D.” Yup, 27 cupcakes (with instructions to share them with “our family up North” when we got back home). There was also a gift bag with a hand-carved teak pipe and a bag of what turned out to be some of the most excellent smoke we’d ever encountered. Talk about amazing friends!
For a long time, Ben and I had been wanting to go see Table Rock lake from the “shore.” We’ve seen the entire lake from the water but had never toured it from land. So, on Friday morning we headed out. Over the next two days we visited Lampe, Dogwood Canyon, Shell Knob, Cape Fair, Forsythe, Big Cedar Lodge, Lake Taneycomo, Branson Landing and many other places – even including the fishing camp Chad and Raef stay at when they’re at the lake. We biked everywhere and it was awesome. The bikes drew a lot of attention and I’m sure everyone who saw us assumed we were “straight”… (except for those folks that saw Ben grab me and kiss me at a scenic overlook above the dam) 🙂
With Winter coming, this was the last time Ben and I would have a chance to get out for an extended bike ride and it was great fun. The cupcakes got a bit “smushed” on the ride home but everyone shared them with us and thought they were great.
We’ll for sure get the rest of the exterior Holiday lights up early next week so they’ll be ready to go for our neighborhood lighting unveil Thanksgiving evening. It really is “the MOST wonderful time of the year”!