Feeling Humble

Feeling Humble

and feeling grateful:

1. for Food in my pantry

2.  My partner…RM (who remembered to ask me about my day)

3.  My workmates for their excitement about our work.  Sometimes we just get the ball rolling.

4.  Pizza..it is on the grill.

5.  My girls who motivate me to be the best Mom ever.  You are amazing.

6.  My girl cousins for helping realize what a great family we have.

7.  To my brothers for making me tough and loving me even when I was moving in or between on the sofa…

8. To my boss..who listens.

9.  To my friends who reach out and make connections and keep in touch.  Julia is born today!  Yeah…Theresa and Gregg and mother Carly.

10.  To life!  Happy Week-end and kiss your loved one.. Man, Woman, Between and Beast.

The Newton High School “Dream Team” of 1948

The Newton High School “Dream Team” of 1948

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Lindley Hall, Newton, Kansas, original location for Newton High School basketball games

Like my dad, most boys growing up in this railroad town of Newton, Kansas, had one goal: making the basketball team. From 1916 until about 1958 Newton was considered by many to be the premiere basketball city in Kansas. Newton won 13 championships in the 40-year span from 1916 and 1956 and was always considered a contender thanks to coaches Frank Lindley (1914-45) and John Ravenscroft (1945-1958). Coach Lindley was a coaching pioneer of his time. He started experimenting with zone defense in 1913 and introduced it to Newton in 1914, going on to win titles in 1916 and 1917 using the zone as a staple to be complemented by the fast break. His teams were known for being fundamentally sound. Turnovers were inexcusable and defensive lapses resulted in a sit on the bench. When Lindley retired from Newton in 1944, his record was 594-118. He’d established a winning state of mind in Newton and made basketball more of a necessity than a hobby or a pastime. Before he retired, Lindley wanted to make sure the tradition he’d helped establish at Newton would be carry on. Ravenscroft was a former player of Lindley’s, a trusted assistant coach and a military man. Both had the same values when it came to teaching basketball.  When Ravenscroft took over, most of the country was still shooting the ball with two hands. He taught his players the one-handed shot and won four Class AA championships. He integrated the Newton basketball team. Before he took over there were separate basketball teams for blacks and Hispanics.  All of these games were played in the historic Lindley Hall – seats were reservation only and passed on from generation to generation. My grandfather and grandmother, elegantly dressed,  attended nearly every one of Dad’s games in Lindley Hall; escorted to their seats by popular Newton high girls known as “usherettes” also adorned in their finest attire including long skirts, heels, hose AND white gloves.

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Harold Hauck, inductee into Newton High School Hall of Fame, 2013

My dad, John Harold Hauck, was the first three-year letterman for legendary Railroader basketball coach John Ravenscroft and he was an integral piece of the infamous 1948 “Dream Team”.  My dad, known for his aggressive rebounding skills, was inducted recently into the Newton High School Hall of Fame joining his fellow team mates, Bill Lienhard, Milt “Tiny” Gray, and Lanoy Loganbill.  Dad was a part of the golden era of Newton High School basketball, participating in three state tournaments.  The railers were champions in 1946, finished third in 1947 and lost a pivotal game in the finals in 1948 to the Topeka High Trojans.  You can imagine how hard it was for those boys on the bus ride back to Newton after failing to live up to the hype, romantic ideals and high expectations of the town sport enthusiasts as well as their families, friends and most importantly – their coach and teammates.   Over time, Dad embraced the big loss in the state championship as a “learning experience” and ironically went on to marry my mom (a Topeka high graduate). I guess he embraced the tenant..”if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” philosophy. 

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My aunt Myrna, and cousins Susan, Cecilia and Michelle (Shelly) at the football game half-time HoF plaque presentation.

At the reception following the Friday night football game, a solo photo of Dad in his Railroader uniform set on a table filled with team photos of the Dream Team.  Dad’s photo clearly outlined a gangling figure of a too-skinny-kid with banged up knees holding up a  6’4″ frame of an athlete with a set of distinctive ears and jet black hair punctuating a friendly face made even more familiar by his wide-set big blue eyes staring back at me from the photograph — I swear Dad winked at me from the photo and said in his loud commanding voice…”this is pretty cool, kid, isn’t it?” It was better than cool.

The reception was held at the Santa Fe School located in the shadows of the venerable Lindley Hall.  The table centerpieces were slats of old maple from the original Lindley Hall basketball court; the plank’s anchored bunches of black and gold balloons and gently reminded all of us of bygone years. The high school principal welcomed Dad’s family and we met many old friends that remembered Dad, my Uncle Wendall (Dad’s younger brother), and grandparents well.  Lanoy Loganbill, Dad’s team-mate, spoke at the induction service of his memories of Newton, basketball and his friendship with my dad.  It was wonderful affirmation about a man I knew so well.  It is easy to understand how his experience growing up in Newton gave him the self-confidence and yes, bravado, to live his entire life as if he was big man on campus including a life of leadership, service to others, fatherhood, Hauck patriarch to a gaggle of Hauck offspring including 4 Hauck kids, 10 grandchildren, three… soon-to-be… four great grandchildren, eight nieces, a wonderful sister-in-law, daughters- and son-in laws and dear friends and family who traveled from all over the states to Newton to celebrate his life. My dad would have loved the recognition and the celebration of yet another Newton High School victory.   HH, formed by his days playing basketball for Newton High School,  grew to embrace the center stage and each and every “tip off” in the biggest game of all… life.  Long live his legacy in each of us.

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Dad is second on the left, wearing number 70.  Lanoy Loganbill is sporting number 100.  Why did the numbering go so high? 

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The Hauck Gaggle, September 20, 2013, Newton High School Football Field

Must Read Before You Travel

Must Read Before You Travel

In recent years I have enhanced my travel experience and built up the excitement and anticipation about the trip by researching and then reading books written about the city, state or country.  I also read books written about the artist before I experience a particular new exhibit at an art museum.  Reading about the place or the person beforehand, just brings the entire travel experience to a new level.  Sometimes I read the book again after I get back home and generally, I take away different thoughts than I had when I read it before the trip.  Here are a couple of book recommendations, based on my experiences.

Maine – visited in July 2013

The Peninsula, written by Louise Dickinson Rich in 1958

Saltwater Farm, written by Luthera Burton Dawson in 1993

Falcon Guide to Best Easy Day Hikes, Acadia National Park, 2011

Moon Coastal Maine by Hillary Nangel, 2010

Our Point of View – Fourteen Years at a Maine Lighthouse, Tomas Mark Szelog and Lee Ann Szelog, 2007

Monhegan – The Artists’ Island, By Jane and Will Curtis and Frank Lieberman, 1995

New Orleans – travel plans are for Thanksgiving 2013, visited twice before.

The Accidental City – Improvising New Orleans, Lawrence N. Powell, 2012 – reading this now!

New Orleans, The Official Visitor’s Guide for 2013, from the New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

Frommer’s New Orleans, 2011 by Diana Schwam

A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams, 1948

The Awakening, Kate Chopin, 1899

London – visiting December 28-January 4 for the first time.

Travel as a Political Act, Rick Steves, 2009

Hidden Europe and Europe Through the Back Door, Rick Steves, 2012

Top 10 London, DK Eyewitness Travel, 2012

The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 2012

The Casual Vacancy, JK Rowling, 2012

Abbey Cooks Entertain, Pamela Foster, 2012

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, 2009

The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton, 2008

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Helen Simonson,

Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain,1869

Please let me know if you have travel book recommendations to add to the list.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Mark Twain from Innocents Abroad

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Why we miss them more when they are gone.

Why we miss them more when they are gone.

Renaissance Man is on a business trip this week to OKC.  Next week I travel for work to Atlanta for a workshop.  These times of separation from each other are sporadic and in many ways a nice break from the steady companionship we have enjoyed over the last (gulp) 30 years plus it is an opportunity for each of us to explore another city and community. I think I got the better deal this month (Atlanta? OKC?  No brainer).  But I do miss my partner in crime and here are some of the reasons:

1.  I woke up yesterday morning after a very vivid dream with RM as an accomplice in a murder involving a nail gun.   RM wasn’t here for me to tell the story line to and in just a few minutes it wasn’t nearly as funny/weird as it was when I first woke up.  Well…maybe still weird.  Thought about calling him but got busy getting ready for work and it slipped my mind.  RM and I don’t call and chat on the phone during the day unless we have a real reason.  Neither one of us are fans of long telephone conversations.  We text details like pick up milk, workout?, where are you?

2.  I had to remember to lock ALL the doors and turn out ALL of the lights.  I failed miserably.  I will try to do better tonight.  Do robbers read blogs?

3.  Worried about robbers.

4. There was a very unusual sound outside this morning.  I think it was raccoons on the roof again.   Usually I yell out, “Did you hear that?”  He responds and I move on to my next life event.  I know he will investigate and my mind is put to ease.  This time, I had to go around the house looking for the source of the sound and couldn’t find a thing that might have caused it.  Ghosts?

5.  I don’t believe in ghosts until RM leaves town.

6. CAT left a dead bird in the side yard.  Rolled the trash bin over it and it totally grossed me out when I realized what I had done.  If I didn’t have trash detail, I would never have seen the bird and added to its misery.

7.  I have to remember to set the alarm (no RM back-up) and make the coffee in the morning.  No cappuccino this week. That espresso machine requires even more technical expertise than the fourteen remotes residing in the living room.  Forgetaboutit.

8.  All of the chores are my chores this week.  No partner to split them up and conquer together.  No one to bitch to about all the chores.  And we have an awesome house cleaner…what am I bitching about?  There are only two of us.  Yes, I know I am totally spoiled.

9.  No one to greet me when I get home but CAT.  The solitude is nice for a few short days but I wouldn’t like this on a regular basis.  I would probably acquire more than one cat and that my friend, is a slippery slope.

10.  The house is very quiet.  No whistling, no excessively loud blowing of nose, no snoring, no laughing out loud at stupid TV shows, no pellet gun rounds, no slamming of doors, no loud footsteps across the hardwood floors, no cussing, no yelling, no banging, no power tool noise, no heavy breathing…no, RM!

Guess I will text him that I love him and tell him to bring back his big, clomping feet safely to our little house on Ashland.

Einstein: Pop Culture Icon

Einstein: Pop Culture Icon

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The reputation of a certain fuzzy-haired theoretical physicist has made him a pop culture icon of the current college generation as well as a wide host of fans from many age brackets.  He is known as the “most intriguing person of the century” in one popular news magazine.  In another he is called The Person of the Century.  His image is on coffee cups, on posters, and t-shirts.  We all want just a little bit of Einstein in our life.  We appreciate his wise words which seem to us so advanced for the time in which he lived as well as uncharacteristic of our stereotypes of a man of math and science.  Renaissance Man (RM) has always been a huge fan of Einstein starting way back in high school days.  He was ahead of the current craze.  Out of appreciation for Einstein and due to a birthday request from C3, RM recreated a piece of art that C3 had pinned from a Pinterest board. Here is RM’s take on the version she had shared with him. He made two…one from C3 and one for ME!  The background behind the inking is an old page from a dictionary.  I have no idea how he made the stamp — I think it involved the use of a high-powdered laser engraver.

Fall Pennant Banner for a Commemorative Design

Fall Pennant Banner for a Commemorative Design

I just had to join the new craze for burlap, cloth and paper pennant banners that I see everywhere I look in store fronts, at parties, and on Pinterest.  Here are the steps to my version (paper and muslin) which I recently finished to spice up my fireplace mantle and to accent the Halloween decorations I cheaply acquired at sales last year after the spooky holiday ended.

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First step is to assemble your supplies.  You will need large pieces of scrapbook paper in colors that speak to you of Fall.  You will also need scissors, heat-n-bond adhesive iron-on sheets, muslin fabric, a hot iron, and string.  I found a free template for a pennant shape on the internet, downloaded it and printed it on my home printer. I liked this template because it allows for the bend in the top.  Important to have in the template for a later step that I highly recommend incorporating into your design too.

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Here is sample of the paper pennants that I cut out for my banner.

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Use the same template to cut out the pennant shapes using the heat-n-bond.  This stuff is magic so check it out if you haven’t already.  See below for a picture of what I used.  I bought mine at Michaels for less than $3 bucks.

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When you get the adhesive iron-on sheets cut out in the same shape as the pennants then you repeat the step using muslin fabric in order to make a professional appearing backing and give needed strength to the paper for a finer finished product.

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This one template takes you all the way through the project.  I cut out two muslin pennants at a time to speed up the process.  I then ironed the adhesive sheets to the back of the paper (sticky side next to back of paper).  Then you peel off the sticky paper (heat-n-bond backing), lay the muslin pennant on top of the sticky side of the paper and iron the muslin to the back of the paper.  It sticks great.  Below is what it looks like when you finished this step.  I cut the muslin a little bit bigger than the paper because I am terrible at cutting out fabric.

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They don’t look very pretty at these stage but a little trimming helps a lot!

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I trimmed mine while I was sitting in my sun room praying for rain — it worked (you all can thank me and Mother Nature for the nice rainfall in the Fort this morning).

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I had some of those little gold hooks and inserted two into the bottom of my living room mantle to use to attach the pennant.  I strung some fine brown string between the two hooks.  Then I gently bent the pennant at the top to create a 1/4 inch fold to lay over the string.  It is important to select a template for the pennant that gives you the bend shape at the top.  This way if I want to change out pennants, I can do so without ruining the whole project.  They just lift off!  You can also move the individual pennants into a different order if you get tired of the original look of it.

Light the candles, find a good book and enjoy Labor Day in your own little adobe.

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