Sherwood Family
May 2004

Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Click on images to expand.
Doug and Brad and their cousins Kelsy and Quinn Rafferty.

Linda, Betty, Susan join Keith and the rest of the Sherwoods for the first invitation dinner since the kitchen was completed.

Brad (the catcher pumping his fist) throws out the runner at third.  During this one game, this was one of three outs Brad and Win combined on to throw runners out: in other innings Brad threw to Win playing shortstop and Win, playing catcher, threw to Brad playing shortstop.

I know I'm the proud father (and impartial photographer), but is this not the perfect form Doug is exhibiting on this hit? Head down, arms fully extended: it's got double written all over it.

That's Doug behind the plate catching, and Brad behind the pitcher's mound umpiring.

Doug (right) and Josh playing chess at Camp Marston.

Hike just outside of Camp Marston that wanders through fire-scoured hillsides.

Class model of Rancho Penasquitos with Doug behind his model of the historic adobe.

Brad running a relay in the Sixth Grade Olympics.

No time to dilly-dally with an introduction; let's just jump right in!
Kristi got field trip duty this month, taking one with each boy.  Doug's class went to another elementary school and met another class of third grader's that they had been writing pen pal letters to all year.  Although they had pizza and played games, as far as outstanding field trips, this does not rank up there with the floating lab (I mean, the school was even in the same district!)  Kristi also chaparoned Brad's class on a sixth grade field trip to Seaworld.  School field trips are a good exercise of Seaworld's dual roles of educator (exhibits) and entertainer (rides).
Betty’s excellent caregiver of the last few months, Linda, is retiring from the profession and going to live in Guadalajara, Mexico.  We had her, Betty, and Susan down for dinner one night, both as a thank you to Linda and to show everybody the progress on the remodel.  The kitchen was just back together enough that we could entertain, casually.  The last time Susan was here (to do Betty’s taxes with Keith in April) we could only offer her microwaved tacquitos on a paper plate.  We transported the computer downstairs to show our photos from January’s trip to Cabo.  Linda was a rarity in live-in caregiver terms: she was American and had her own car.
So if Linda stays with Betty 24 hours a day, 5 days a week (she's spelled by another caregiver from the agency for 2 days off), what do Susan and Keith do? Susan handles the finances and is first line of contact to the caregivers.  She lives closer to Betty than Keith does, and finds it a bit easier to get over to her house.  Keith handles the doctor appointments.  He makes the appointments. Because his job is more flexible than Susan's, he leaves work in the middle of the day and meets Betty and her caregiver at the doctor for the appointment.   He takes notes, helps answer questions (Betty is not always able to differentiate between reality and replayed memories), and tries to keep track of prescriptions and next appointments.
May is the highwater mark in the baseball season.  By the third month of the season you really should be playing well by now, and there is only a week or two of games in June.  So this is it.  Let it all hang out.  Neither of the boys' teams are going to win divisions and therefore make it to the playoffs, but they're both having fun.
Doug continues to do well at baseball.  He is known mostly for his hitting, but honestly fields and throws well too.  And he continues to do the occasional couple innings pitching on the mound.  His coaches are known around the league as being particularly aggressive, sending baserunners on any excuse and daring other teams to make a throw and a catch to get them out.  I don't know that they are very popular among other coaches and parents of the 9 year olds division.
Brad continues to have the baseball world on a string, enjoying every game and doing very well.  He's cooled down a bit from March, but he's still batting over .600.  He continues to play 3 innings at catcher then three innings at short stop, and he continues to gun down runners from either position.  As catcher he frames pitches very nicely for the perhaps under experienced umpires, getting his pitchers extra strikes.  He claims now that he's an umpire, he knows all the tricks of the trade.
Brad umped one of Doug’s games.  He wasn’t scheduled to; in fact, we had agreed as a family that he would turn down any game of Doug’s offered to him.  But when no umpire materialized one Saturday afternoon, he volunteered and the coaches accepted. (Coaches on the other side knew Doug from soccer and Y guides, so they figured his older brother was probably all right).  Early on (in March), Bradley had made a habit of taking his umpire tools with him to Doug’s games, fantasizing about answering the call when it was discovered the umpire didn’t show up.  But he stopped because it never happened.  Until May 1. As the game began, Kristi was in the snack bar and Keith raced home to get Brad’s gear.  Brad umped 6 innings from behind the pitcher’s mound.  Both Brad and Doug did an excellent job ignoring one another and going about their separate tasks, even the inning when Doug was catcher while Brad called balls and strikes (Doug didn't ever pitch that game).
Doug and Keith went to Camp Marston in the mountains near Julian.  Camp Marston has already received the “dedicated web page” treatment in 2002, so it won’t get its own photo album page this year.  The last two years the camp has been scheduled the same weekend as the church musical.  Last year we didn’t go so that Doug could participate in the musical.  This year, Doug decided he would rather go to Camp Marston than be in the musical.  This being Doug's last year in Y-Guides (and therefore the last time to visit Camp Marston), we respected his wishes. This made Wednesday nights at church difficult all spring as he saw no point in participating in the only children’s program offered, rehearsing for the musical.
The only changes at Marston from two years ago were the lake was drained down even farther now, so there was no boating at all, and of course the fire.  That camp Marston survived the fire was nothing short of miraculous.  The fire burned all around it, in fact within 20 feet of the very cabin we slept in, yet not one structure was lost.  They attributed the Camp’s survival to the fact that just the previous summer (three months before the October 2003 fire) they had undertaken a great deforestation project, cutting out and removing the dead pine trees and other dry combustibles all around the camp.  Doug and Keith left camp immediately after breakfast Sunday morning to get home, shower, and get to church for the second service and the final showing of the musical.
The Spring Musical at Church this year was Once Upon A Parable.  Brad is once again the oldest boy willing to commit to the musical, and so by default picks up some prime roles.  The situation this year was solved by having multiple people, mostly high school girls, rotate through the Jesus role, and having Brad play the two roles of Judas and the Chief Pharisee.  Our son, Judas.  Actually, the roles called for acting smug, self-righteous, wounded and sulking, so Brad was a natural: heck, he needn't act at all.
May means school is winding down for both boys, and it’s time for Open House at the schools.  Doug’s class made a model of the town.  Each student was to pick one building in Penasquitos (other than the school or their house) and make a model of it.  Doug was considering Golden Bagel or Blockbuster (logical choices as they are important community buildings to him) but Keith was able to get him interested in the one historic building in all of Penasquitos: the adobe ranch house from 1860 in the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. We visited it, took some pictures, then modeled it in styrofoam, cardboard and sandpaper.  At open house, a not-to-scale model of town covered half the floor, with the YMCA, post office and library laid out on construction paper street map of Penasquitos.
Brad's open house model wasn't quite as successful. His project was a report and a model on a volcano or caldera.  He was almost as excited as Keith was to report on the Valles Grande Caldera in the Jemez Mountains behind Los Alamos.  His report was excellent, but his modest clay model was out-glitzed by some other volcano productions in class.
The last big fun thing Brad's school did as the year wound down was the Sixth Grade Olympics.  Each of the 15 six grade classes named themselves after an ancient civilization (Brad's class was the Han Dynasty) and competed all day long in sporting events.  It turns out Brad has quite a penchant for running, a completely unsurprising genetic gift from his grandfather Art.
Finally, May concluded with Memorial Day, which this year was spent on another Gail Bigelow camp out.  Now I know you're thinking.  Aren't these big multi-family campouts over Labor Day?  Yes, they are, but this year Gail is organizing two: one on Labor Day and one on Memorial Day.  Picking a spot was a little more difficult this year with most of the mountain campsites burned or closed or both.  So this time out we picked a more urban campsite, a private park operated by the water district built around 5 lakes (well, ponds) of reclaimed water.  It had all the advantages of being freeway close and yet deceptively quiet and in the country.  It had water for boating and fishing, and was generally pretty flat for good biking.  It was the jewel in the crown of the Padre Water District, it was camping at Santee Lakes!

The Remodel:
Stages of a remodel:
In the beginning, if the dog can't find her displaced water bowl and starts drinking from the toilet, it's "Dancer, no! I'll get you some clean water."  And you go into the backyard and search all around until you find where her water bowl has gotten to, then retrieve it and fill it and set it back where the dog expects it.
But by now, after your energy has been depleted through the months, and there are no more working faucets either outside or even downstairs, when the dog starts drinking from the toilet, it's "Dancer, no!  I'll get you some clean water." Flush.

Outside, the backyard gets finished up, with sprinkler system, new grass, and a new patio cover (made from the old patio cover).  Inside, tile is installed throughout the family room and kitchen.  Downstairs bathroom (all 12 square feet of it) is first room to be declared finished.  There is less and less to take pictures of, as the jobs become smaller and smaller.

Links Mentioned on this Page:
You may have missed these links within the text above.
Church Musical
Memorial Day Campout at Santee Lakes
Camp Marston, 2002
This month's remodel progress

They Said It:
Douglas, upon viewing the construction/destruction photos on the web site: "Boy, I'm glad we don't live there."

Keith, remarking upon the fact that the dust from the remodel has prevaded the house, even the master bedroom closet: "I think I'll wear my gray shoes."  (They were black.)
<April Top of Page     

Pictures and text copyright 2004 by Keith Sherwood
He may be contacted at Keith followed by