White noise from The White House

Archive for the category “Tim”


I hear your call my fans. The masses are clamoring and I am here to deliver.

In other words – I can’t sleep. Don’t know why. I probably could sleep if I tried but my mind is active and I know I will lay there for 30+ minutes trying to make out the time on our new wall-projecting alarm clock. If you haven’t noticed, I wear Coke bottle bottoms for glasses. I assumed when I bought that alarm clock that it would alleviate my need to put my glasses on to view the alarm clock that was 2.5 feet from my face. It has not. The numbers are 1.5 feet tall, half a foot wide. 12:47 looks like 8:39 and you get the drift.

Avery is so funny. Like the rest of the Johnson clan, she loves her bacon. I jokingly called her the baconator after one episode where she literally asked me ‘Dad, can I have some bacon?’ (I think I had made her bacon and pancakes for breakfast the previous day). Well…although she loves her some bacon…she has a pancake addiction… I told her this morning – “Avery, you’re a pancakeanotor” to which she replied…”Nooooo, I’m the baconator!” Love it.

We have been doing “dream feeds” with Micah. Since I”m the night owl – I try to take it. After feeding him – I usually go check on Avery only to find her in some odd bodily contortion, usually diagonal across her bed on top of the covers. No different last night. So I gently picked her up and moved her to parallel to the long axis of her bed with head on pillow. She happened to open her eyes and look at me in disbelief. I gave her a kiss on the forehead and said “I love you Avery, good night.” In the sweetest, most innocent voice she said “Too. Good night Daddy.” “Too” is her shorthand for “love you too…”

Contrast this to Jaymie. I bound down the steps all proud and happy. My angelic daughter just said the sweetest thing to me. Laying down in bed, typically Jaym will rustle and at times we’ll have a brief coherant conversation typically along the lines of:

“Did you feed Woody*?”

“Ya, fed him 7 oz. Man he had a wet diaper”

“You think he’ll sleep through the night.”

“Hope so. But I made another bottle – it’s up there for later.”


However sometimes Jaymie is not all that interested in talking.

This was the case last night…

Me: “Avery said the coolest thing to me”

Jaym: Grunt. Grimace. Sigh.

Me: “She said good night Daddy.”

Jaym: Nothing

Me: “You awake? You hear me?”

Jaym: Indiscernible noise that seemed to indicate “Yes”

* Woody: Micah’s new nickname. If he doesn’t have an aptitude for wood carving as an adult I’ll be shocked. The inside of his crib is his art. He’s trying to make his mark on the coffee tables, TV stand, rocking chair, and kitchen chairs if he can. Woody as in Woodchuck.



Funniest thing I’ve seen in awhile


Fun on a Friday

Last night we treated ou’self with a little taste of heaven called Chik Fil A. We loaded up in our bad animal mini van and made our way there. Not abnormal for us…but we went a little wild and decided to go inside and sit down for our mmm mmm delicious meal.

A bit tongue and cheek here…life has changed a bit…and when Jaym and I decided we all needed to get out of the house…and we’d treat ourselves to a sit down meal at CFA…we looked at each other and realized we live a fun yet lame life.

Monument to Explorers…Pictures and Thoughts

So I went to an area of Lisbon called Belem tonight. Three notable things there:

This statue (Monument to Explorers):


Obviously Portugal had a big role in exploring the new world…and are proud of it.

View from the top:


The thought that struck me here and elsewhere is the Christian themes. If a monument like this was put up in the US in last 5 yrs all sorts of grief would be heard. Seems like the secular in the US are hypersensitive…while in Europe they hardly care.

Tower of Belem was the second:


Finally, a place called Pastries De Belem. I was heading home on the trolley as we drove by…disobeying the front desk guys urging that I must go there (his forceful encouragement made me uncomfortable…was he thinking and indirectly saying I look like a guy that loves his pastries?). Seems like a popular place given that the line went out the door and around the block. No picture of that though.

Going to try to blog my way through Europe…

Where am I?

Looks like the Golden Gate, doesn’t it?

Lisbon, Portugal. City is similar in geography, climate, and style to SF too.


Oh Canada

So I went to the end of the world.

Here’s a rundown of the trip:
1) Drove the family to Iowa, including a stay over at Ben and Angela’s where Micah met his lady friend Jocelyn. She is not an angry raptor baby.
2) We moseyed onto Des Moines.
3) I boarded a 6 am flight to Winnipeg. Met brother Mike (“Shooter”) at O’Hare.
4) Made it to Winnipeg, met up with the rest of the family. Quickly loaded up and headed to Wal Mart and Cabelas.
5) Eventually headed north.
6) We were all excited.
7) Rolled into the Super 8 at The Pas, where we found out that I booked the Super 8 in Portage La Prairie Mb…a out 9 hrs south of The Pas. Whoops. It worked out. Ate at the worlds busiest Tim Hortons.
8) Woke up and rolled onto Cranberry Portage. Mike and Steve in near fetal position at prospect of no internet or phone service. Visited the hardware store to get Elbow Lake maps. Cranberry Portage was never the nicest place in the world but it is a bit depressed. A drunk first nation person welcomed us. Mary felt at home (due to previous encounters with similar people in CP)
9) Met Todd the lodge owner at the dock. Super nice guy. He and his wife ran a great operation.
10) Nearly sank Todds boat with clothes, gear, beer, and food…
11) Made the 36 mile trek through First, Second, and Third Cranberry Lakes. This is where the trip really began. We were mesmerized by the scenery. Memories flooded back of the journey to Elbow Lake which we had taken many years ago. Todd drove the boat like an F1 driver.
12) Arrived at the wilderness camp. Unpacked and got fishing gear assembled. Eventually put our lines in the water. Dad and I fished together day 1. My first time captaining a boat. We didn’t do all that well. Jim, Steve, and I went out for some late night fishing.
13) Day 2 – I went with Mike. He drove. We fished Jim’s Walleye spot (outlet of Tee Lake) to no success. Eventually headed back to camp, where we ate lunch. Dad stayed and napped. Mike and I joined Jim in his boat and we headed off to Chinamen Island, where we have caught Big Pike in the past. Eventually Mike caught a 36 in Pike. Meanwhile Mary caught a big Pike with Steve near the mine on Webb Island. We came home and enjoyed a bittersweet birthday bash for Dads 70th. We toasted Mom with Baby Duck, a sparkling wine shed get in Canada.
14) Up and at it again on Thursday. I headed out with Steve…on a mission for my big fish…as I hadn’t caught much by then. We headed over to Moen Bay where Todd had marked some N’s on the map. Steve came onto some big Walleye and I did the netting…6 times :). See below. Back to the cabin for lunch. Dad and Mary opted to stick around the cabins. Jim and Mike stayed out as they were on some fish. They eventually made their way back to Chinamen Island where Mike caught the fish of the trip…a 42 in Northern Pike. He was the fisherman of the week. Steve and I found some nice cabbage off Poplar Island and fished it. Steve predicted a big boy would be there…and caught him on his first cast. We eventually made our way to Smith Island…another N on the map from Todd. On our first float I finally caught my big fish…a 38 in Pike! Was using a pink Mepps Giant Killer that I stole from Dads box. After this we headed back. We went out as a family that evening to Jim’s Walleye spot but not much luck.
15) Finally on Friday I went with Jim. Dad went with Steve, in search of a big Pike. The three boats stayed together. Dad and Steve took the “good” spots while Jim and I explored nearby. We found some fish to say the least, catching more than 60 together throughout the day. I caught two Walleye, one in the morning at Jim’s spot…then between two islands near Poplar Island. Jim caught his big Pike, a 35 in fatboy. Jim and I fished hard that day. I finally lost my trusty pink Mepps.
16) We came back to camp, had one final fish fry, told some stories about what Dad has meant to us, and then were lucky to watch the most brilliant Northern Lights that we’ve ever seen.
17) We packed up Saturday morning before loading down the boat, traversing the 36 mi with Stan the former lodge owner, and making our way back to our cars in Cranberry Portage. Drove back to Winnipeg…and caught our flights the next morning to disperse to our homes across the country!

Hopefully will have time to add more anecdotes in future blog posts…





Pressure to blog

Can’t tell you how many emails I have gotten saying – when’s the next blog? That’s because there haven’t been any.

My absence has been reflective of my lethargy lately. I have been quite worn out and my brain is mush. Life has been reactionary – moving from one thing to the next. Hoping that changes soon…but upcoming Canada trip may complicate matters by condensing required things to do into the time before we leave or shortly after.

Home away from home…

As you are all aware given recent link to YouTube video of a kid rapping the benefits of Princeton, technically my ‘hometown’ is Princeton. I grew up there – attending 4th-HS as well as coming home throughout college. For whatever reason, Princeton never really felt like home. Maybe because we picked up from Dad and Mom that it was temporary locale for our family…a stepping stone of sorts that ended up being a semi-permanent destination begrudgingly? Regardless, although until very recently no one in our family ever officially lived here at the Cottage…it has always been the nucleus of our family, that which we orbit around and gather to. It has always been our home away from home.

This place has been a regular weekend getaway for us in our childhood. Mary and I out in the yard exploring and playing. Dad working on some project. Mom working on landscaping or mowing. Basically in perpetual year round preparation for this coming weekend – the 4th – where impromptu family reunions occur each and every year. I know no better place…at least until they moved the fireworks to Hubbard Park…to watch fireworks. Big people v. little people wiffle ball. Croquet. An annual golf outing composed of the White brothers.

Dad has done an incredible job in the transformation of this place. Although museum like…it archives the history of the place…starting from the Englert clan and through my grandparents lee and Mary chopek…and into our family. Coming here, especially around the 4th, brings a wealth of feelings, a flood of childhood memories, and anticipation for future memories.

I can tell time by the size of the oak I planted there in 3rd grade. Seemingly just five years ago it wasn’t all that big. However years have gone by since that seedling was planted and now it is becoming monstrous. Avery no doubt will not remember the size of that tree that she played with this weekend. But I hope the Cottage continues to perpetually be a place in her and Micahs life for many years to come. And someday they can keep time and years by watching the wonderful place change as decades flip by.

Laughing Our Way Through

As you may or may not know (although I think the only people who read this are family, so you do know), I’ve been in the hospital a few times in the last month since Micah’s been born.  Tim and I tend to have a lighthearted approach toward life in general…we like to laugh at ourselves and at each other.  Its also how we deal with conflict (sometimes inappropriately) or any uncomfortable feelings (also sometime inappropriate), but it generally works for us.   But sometimes it backfires…

So, during our first trip to the ER right before Memorial Day, let me walk you through a scenario and brief conversation.

Scene:  At the ER.  Jaymie is basically bleeding to death.  Jaymie is tense, as she is bleeding to death and no one seems to care.  Jaymie is laying on the ER bed with an IV, bleeding, as doctors talk about whether to send  her home or to a bigger hosptial via ambulance.  Tim, loving husband, is by her side.

Jaymie: basically just taking lots of deep breaths and hoping not to bleed to death before the doctors figure out if she can go home and bleed to death or if they should help her.

Tim: takes Jaymie’s hand and lovingly says, “Let’s just laugh our way through this.”

Jaymie (glaring at the Hubs):  “Yeah, we’re in the ER and I’m bleeding profusely.  This is hilarious.”

This was clearly one of those times Tim was trying to use humor, but it just came out as inappropriate…BOM.  Major.  At least we can laugh about it now. 

ps.  I’m still alive.

pps.  This post *might* be a little overdramatic.


Well…the publicity is cool, but the facts are incorrect…


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