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Pictures & Words

Brennan Smiley—Live from our Living Room?

So, I’m still a bit unclear how this all came together, but Noah and Grace are big fans of a relatively new band called the Technicolor’s. Alt/Indie rock style—they’ve got some very cool songs. Anyhow, the lead singer, Brennan Smiley felt that he had some time on his hands. The band had just finished up an album (still not released), and he figured he’d get out of Phoenix and tour some cooler parts of the US. At small venues. 'But how small,’ you ask?

Houses. People’s houses!

Noah signed up early on, and apparently Wisconsin is on the route—so we got an email a few weeks ago confirming the date and shoring up the financials. Brennan was due over on the 24th! That gave me time to vacuum and vacuum and vacuum (and vacuum some more). I also had an opportunity to smoke a couple pork shoulders for pulled pork for the event. Noah invited about 10 of his friends, and I did the same. So we had teens to nearly 60 there…

It was a complete blast! Brennan (right) is set up in the great room just jamming on an acoustical guitar.


He probably did a 90 minute set. I want to just say ‘wow!’ Mike K and I like to go to Shank Hall in Milwaukee for live music—it’s a small venue that is pretty cool to see live music at. But this was another level up, and Brennan really brought it. He’s a very talented guitarist (at least that I can judge), and an incredibly gifted vocalist (that I CAN judge). The nuances of the performance—just wow! And he’s a gifted songwriter as well. We enjoyed a wide variety of his catalog, including some stuff off the yet-unreleased album. The management group asked that there be no recording devices, and it was shocking to see a bunch of people without cell phones in their hands! I admit I was the only one—I called Jen so she could hear some of the music.


It was both a privilege and a delight to host Brennan. He was a super nice, very chill person with a great sense of humor. I’m really impressed that he can do a tour like this—never knowing what you’re going to get night after night. All I know is that all the kids who were already fans completely loved the show. My friends, who had no real idea what they were getting into, loved it as well. He’s got a new following in this area, and if he ever does another one of these tours—we’re absolutely going to do this again!

Brennan—awesome job!!!

No puppies for Christmas!

It’s so sad!!! Of course, we still have Coco and Quinn around (last years litter), and Hannibal is showing in the southeastern US, so it’s not exactly like we’re dog free.

Puppies at Four Weeks

OK—I’m a slacker. No puppy pictures for a few weeks! The bottom line is that over the years  I’ve gone from obsessively photographing puppies to obsessively playing with them. I know that many of you look for the photos, but it’s just a heck of a lot more fun to dive into a box full of fourteen puppies.

They were without Jen this weekend. Surprisingly, everyone survived! They’re big, beautiful, bold, and a lot of fun to play with. Teeth—fully in. They’re working on solid kibble as well as the wonderful kibble/goats milk mash that we make (Indy should be happy he’s a boy and not getting milked twice a day). Monroe is nearly done with nursing (I think). She’ll go into the box for a few minutes and stand nurse, but it’s got to be getting tough on her.









Puppies at Christmas Part II

It’s been a while since I’ve written. Not because there’s not been plenty of interesting things to write about, but life has just gotten really busy. Work is nuts (#Abbvie!), but in a really great way. Kids are almost all grown up, which makes me wonder where the hell my life has gone. And then, there is the wonderful grounding constant—puppies!

Monroe (out of Cami x Spike) was bred to Stewie a couple months ago. She was due today, but she decided to have a litter last Friday instead. And no wonder—there were 14 big, beautiful puppies inside. Weights ranged from 13+ oz to nearly 18 oz. 8 liver, 6 black. 9 females, 5 males. Everyone is doing fantastic (well, at least the canine contingent). We’d love to say that we’re all ready for Christmas, but that would not be entirely factual. What we are very happy about is the pups are beautiful, healthy, and mom is doing a fantastic job taking care of them.

Here are some quick snaps. Enjoy!


Just a couple photos from a big lightning storm from a few days ago. This rolled through just as the sun was setting.



Where does the time go?

You’re holding your babies rocking in hammocks, playing legos—and suddenly, you’re taking them out for drinks on their 21st birthday (Grace) or getting reading to celebrate a quarter century (Max). 

Grace and Noah at Shakou for dinner on Thursday. We had a blast—missing Mom a bit, but she’s having a (semi-fridgid) blast in Brisbane.

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On Wisconsin

Bo Ryan and the Badgers. Wow. What a terrific game against Kentucky. Or so I was told—Easter Vigil was scheduled right against the second semifinal game featuring Kentucky and Wisconsin. Come on people: who does this to a bunch of basketball starved Badger fans? Thankfully, the crew survived their game against Kentucky, and we finished the service with about 30 seconds left in the game, so that we streamed that last half minute to an anxious congregation who loves Jesus MORE than Wisconsin basketball. I tease about that last part.

So now, the team is on to play Duke for the championship. I believe that Wisconsin has already set a record in the modern-day tourney in that they’ve gone to the finals playing the top seed that they possibly could meet (in essence, their path has held true to the bracket with no upsets). I love this for Wisconsin and coach Ryan. These kids are mainly local talent, coached by a guy who has four national titles in his resume (Div III UW-Platteville) as well as two undefeated seasons. Coached in a way that’s much different then Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, and many of the top programs work. Working hard in a system for three, four, or five years. Learning how to play defense. Learning how to handle the ball regardless of size (I could have used that in high school…). Ditto on the ability to shoot threes. With players that have a great time with one another, who crush on stenographers, and who are just great athletes and better teammates. With a hall of fame coach who will get there eventually. And hey—who looks like the mascot of the team he coaches.

On Wisconsin. Regardless of the outcome tonight, you’ve made a state (and one could argue a country) very proud. Seal the deal tonight.

Copyright 2014, Jim Kofron. All rights reserved.