wander project the wadding (and the petting zoo)

The journey that ended up at the “wadding” last Sunday began 26 years ago. The family was able to come and be with us, and that was even better. There were a couple of people missing (my aunt in Texas, and my Uncle in Wisconsin) couldn’t make it. There were a few folks that are no longer with us that couldn’t be with us either (my wife’s parents, and grandparents, my father and my grandparents) but they were there in spirit I am sure. The pictures that I am sharing today of the petting zoo. The Ceremony was in the Hay Mow, after the Ceremony we did pictures. Some of them right at the Hay Mow, next to the stone wall. The rest of the pictures were done in front of the tractor barn.


(wadding instead of wedding comes from the Steve Martin movie “father of the bride.”)

Finally, we wandered down to the petting zoo. The choice of locations was so that we could wander the petting zoo. My daughter and my son-in-law love animals. That came through I suspect in seeing their dogs, plus the family dogs in the wedding service and pictures. They love animals, and my daughter currently works in a veterinary clinic. She is heading down the path of someday managing a Vet clinic. At least that is her goal today. My son-in-law walked into our house and the hardest dog in our family, Tamsyn loved him right away. The second hardest dog, who is most likely to be aloof towards you until he trusts you are my dog. Dylan liked my son-in-law almost right away.

They are great kids. I’ve talked about the service and the pictures (a little). I wanted to end today with I am proud of both of them. I remember the struggles that my wife and I had.  I know that they will have struggles as well. It is not easy to be married. More than ½ of marriages in the US end in less than five years. It can be a very scary thing overall. But, I am proud of them for starting this journey.  I am not even bringing up grandchildren (yet). I am happy with grand puppies for now. I love the pictures of the two of them in the petting zoo. It was a great addition, after the ceremony, after the pictures, and before the reception. The guests all mentioned that the petting zoo was awesome!


wander project walking down the aisle!

I want to start by saying thank you. Thank you o my daughter and wife for putting all of this together. Thank you to my son-in-law’s father for making the rehearsal dinner, and helping so much with the service. My son-in-law’s mother also helped so much and made a huge contribution, so I want to thank her as well. My mother, sisters and the rest of my family chipped in and helped so much. My wife’s brother came a day early, and helped us from minute one! We could not have pulled this event together without the village (my family, my wife’s family, my son-in-law’s family) pitching in and helping us. My favorite picture today is the last one, me walking my daughter down the aisle.


There was no trepidation because they were already married and had been for a while. But, I have to say I got a bit choked up when we walked down the aisle. That, however, is not why I am looking down in the picture. Honestly, I have two left feet attached to two right legs. I am not particularly good at walking in the right manner for a wedding. We (my daughter and I) agree left foot, together, left foot. She did that because I think she was afraid I was going to trip over my own feet! Because we were in a bar, my daughter had the wedding party wear Vans and the other people in the service wearing Converse tennis shoes. At least my feet didn’t hurt!

There was a moment, as my daughter and I hugged, that I felt a twinge.

It was also a moment afterward, as we were standing by the barn taking the first pictures hugging my son-in-law and a bunch of new family members. It was a little daunting to consider. But that is a story for another post. The service didn’t have a person leading the service. The two of them read their vows to each other than then, and they called for the Ring Bear to bring the rings. The Ring Bear was so excited he pulled the twin leading him down the aisle. I guess he knew that what was happening was a big deal.  It was fun having the ceremony in the Hay Mow. The smell of hay was all around us as they read their vows!


Wander project the Wedding

Sunday, was the wedding of the century, well at least for my wife and I. The first wedding in our Nuclear family and the second in our family overall (my niece was married last September). My sister is planning another wedding now, although my other niece wasn’t aware of the planning that was being done until my sisters notified her of her September nuptials, 2020! I didn’t have much time for family at the event, lots of moving pieces and as the MC, I spent a lot of time focused on telling people what was next. I did get to meet quite a few of our new extended family members, and that was delightful. We ended up with nearly 80 people at the event overall.


The pictures today are of the stuff leading up to the actual ceremony. It is of the dogs. My daughter and my son-in-law both love animals. We had the actual wedding and the reception at a petting zoo for the two of them! But their dogs are really important to them. Their two girls attended the wedding. Our former neighbor’s dog was the flower girl, and my dog was the Ringer Bearer. Since my dog’s nickname is Bear, we called him the Ring Bear for the ceremony. He was wearing a tux! Well it was a mini-tux that fits gently around his collar. Raven also was invited to the ceremony. My brother’s daughter (our niece) was responsible for helping Raven during the ceremony.

The twins walked the flower girl and the ring bear down the aisle for the service. The rings were in a bag around the Ring Bear’s neck (gently tied). The dogs were amazing during the ceremony, but for this initial part we are talking about getting ready. The dogs, other than Dylan all wore Tutus. Don’t ask me why that was something my wife and daughter decided on a long time ago. The flower girl’s escort was a twin, who threw the flowers for the flower girl. The processional was fun. We had an injured father (the groom’s father had broken his foot) and an injured mother (the groom’s mother had hurt her arm). The processional was also short one bridesmaid who was in a car wreck on the way to the event on Saturday.


Wandering the days that were, the people that were, the faces that were. Remembering the days of childhood…


Family holidays are always fun. July 4th was always a big one when the kids were little. We for many years would sit on the porch of the place where my sister worked (actually on the sidewalk in front of the building) and watch the parade go by. Here we have the girls relaxing and waiting for the festival to start. It was an expedition for us when we lived in Cincinnati, and we have only been back one year around July 4th since moving to Maryland. We didn’t go tot he parade in 2014 when we came back. But those years are stored in our digital picture archive. It is fun to watch the kids when they were that little. They aren’t that little anymore. But they were that little once. It brings back nice memories of them.


Beanie, braces and bunnies. The three B’s of Easter. This taken at our house in Indiana (Greenwood). In the kitchen looking out over the back deck. This picture from 10 years ago. Jakki (Beanie) was 13 at the time of the picture. She still has that beautiful smile. Jakki loved stuffed animals for many years, so I got her a lot of them. Barb got her a lot of them. Luckily as she got older she got easier to buy presents for. She is really good about saying this is what I want. It is fun as kids get older and are able to share and guide you. You don’t have to worry if they will like the present. When kids are young you know what they want. Sure every commercial on TV is something they react to, but the things that mean the most to them are the ones they come alive for. They see them in the store and make a bee line directly to them. That’s what you watch for when they are little. As they get older it gets harder to remain connected to what they love. So when they stop and tell you, its easier!


I’ve shared this picture before but I love it so much. This is Halloween 1998. The boys are seven months old. Jakki is dressed as Blue of Blue’s Clue’s. Even as a small child she loved dogs. Now she is a professional dog walker and is extremely exceptional at her job. The boys are dressed as thing 1 and thing 2. Barb is dressed as the cat in the hat. Barb was a theater person growing up and love dressing up at Halloween. Me not so much. I like going as a software architect to most Halloween parties. I used to love dressing up for Halloween but like many things over the years grew out of it. The last time I dressed up in earnest was while working in a pre-school many years ago. My best friend Sean dressed up as Day Care Man and I dressed up as his loyal assistant Diaper Boy.


Not a Halloween Fan boy

From me to the world…


Dad and mom took a lot of pictures of little Scott. A lot of pictures.

My oldest memory that I know is real (there are a few that you wonder if they are real) is of wearing dad’s Army Uniform while mom ironed. She was standing next to a window in a fairly small apartment I’ve held onto that single slice in time for many years.

Memory is a funny thing. We can digitize all the wonderful old pictures. But in the end the memories that wrap around the pictures and make them real aren’t always there.

I know at some point in my life I was small and tiny. But thankfully the memories of that time disappear. Mom and dad as well as my grandparents have told me stories. I took my first step at Lake Ripley and promptly hit the ground right after that first step. I don’t remember that moment but my grandparents and parents did. I remember Jakki’s first step like it was yesterday. I was out of the country when the boys took their first steps. But when I got home they stepped towards me and that was magical.

Memories are such a fragile thing in the end.


There is me with my mother. Goodness knows what we were doing. Don’t they say first children are the throw always anyway? That you make most of your mistakes with the first kid anyway? I am not sure I believe that old adage. I think each child is unique. Each has something to give and needs something from you. There is a sense of love that supersedes the rest in the end.

The first child in my life (Becca) is off pursuing her Doctorate. My second child (Jakki) is a wonderful human being and is considering a career as a college professor. I wish dad were still alive to hear that. I think that would have resonated with him. The last children so far for me are the boys (Luke and Nick). They continue to grow into wonderful human beings and I cannot say how proud I am of all four enough. They are amazing people all of them.

As a parent you wrap tightly around the good memories. Those are the stories of your kids you tell at work. The bad stories slip away. The stuff you forget or place in the memory reset bin of your mind. Lost and gone forever eventually holding onto the good memories.

So four happy memories to follow:

  • Becca: watching her in dress rehearsals at the School for Creative and Preforming Arts in Cincinnati Ohio. She was a gifted and talented actress.
  • Jakki: watching her, barely bigger than they were pick up and manage her twin brothers. She just hopped right in and started feeding and taking care of them from the first day they came to our family.
  • Nick: Being told that you were going to have physical developmental problems by the therapist as you climbed up the outside of the stairs at Eagle Valley Court. The therapist looking up and realizing you weren’t going to have physical issues. It isn’t in the end the size of the dog is it Nick? It is the size of the fight in the dog. You sir have plenty of fight in you!
  • Luke: I remember when Luke learned to talk. Not more than 6 months after he was talking he started using huge words. Huge at least for him. The thing that amazed me wasn’t the words he tried to use it was that he conveyed them correctly and most of the time he used them correctly.

Go change the world my four superstars!


A trip, a joy and a surprised face…


I had a meeting in Paris France about 10 or so years ago. It just so happened that my folks were retired at that time and they were able to come up to Greenwood (from Bloomington) and watch the kids so Barb went with me. She wandered Paris for three days while I was in the meetings. We then spent the weekend in Paris returning the following Monday.

This image is from that trip.

The River Seine with the various house boats and a tourist boat floating by us on the river.  The trip was a blast. We walked from the Arc de Triumph to the Eiffel tower and the along the Seine to the Latin District of Paris. We stopped in little café’s along the way and had coffee.

We did the tourist thing and had a blast. We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel by the new Arc De Triumph (the something arch I don’t recall the actual name) unsorted687it’s a wonderful hotel and we were sad to pack up and leave Paris.

The second picture is of Francine Marshmutt Andersen. She joined our family as Jakki’s dog in 2001. Here she is exhibiting the traditional Labrador rule of if I want it its mine. Fran was without a doubt the perfect dog for our family. She established a relationship with everyone in the house. Gwen was initially the alpha dog when Fran arrived but that soon changed. At the time of this picture Fran was about Gwen’s size. She ended up getting a lot bigger than she was in this picture – you can tell from the huge size paws that are where they are not or were not supposed to be.

Fran passed away in 2014. She was a dog of infinite mirth and without a doubt Jakki’s dog.


Barb did a series of picture with Jakki where she shows various emotions. One was titled “No Cheese” one of titled “happy” and it was written in the base of the picture in blue ink.

This one was titled surprise.

All of the pictures are from 1997 the year before the boys appeared. This one was taken most likely before Barb was pregnant with the boys. Once she was pregnant (after the 10th week) she was on bed rest. So the surprise face was probably coming again.

Surprise you have to get mom everything she needs as she is not allowed to get up except to pee. Oh yeah and mom drinks a lot of tea (as Jakki said way back then “dad, mom drinks tea all day. 100,000,000,000,.000 cups every day. How come she doesn’t explode?”).

That one made me laugh for the longest time. She was so earnest when she said it. That her mother drank too much tea. Mostly I think it was because when I was at work she had to get all the tea’s that were consumed.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Today one direction who knows what tomorrow will bring…

My Amazon author page!!!!

I normally take notes the day before and then from those notes write my serious blog. Hence its tendency to run along specific blog arcs like the current Law of Innovation arc. This blog I tend towards more Virginia Wolfe style stream of consciousness writing. I let the words fall from my fingers where they may. That is why on this blog you see poems and sometimes disconnected sections of text. Long connected stories I push over to my other blog in the tradition of the great English writers of the 18th and 19th centuries (serial novels).

There are times when this blog is devoted to the things around me. Yesterday I dived into the vast and deep ocean that is family. All of the things that swirl around me like fireflies on a summers eve. I miss a summer’s eve with fireflies. Although I have to say that the firefly population in Indiana has gone down from my childhood or as is often the case my idealized memory isn’t the same as reality.

Then again I devote this blog to the technology reviews that are a piece of me. I started doing technology reviews when I was running “Kindle The Flame” many years ago. That was a dream of mine to start a journal devoted to improving teaching. Kindle had a good run. I wrote reviews for a startup newspaper in Bloomington Indiana, it didn’t make it but I did restaurant reviews for them. I used to host a web site and post reviews there as well under the moniker “The Savvy Tech Guy” but that as well faded. Mostly the last one faded because I started doing Shameless Reviews here on this blog. It should be noted that I only do blogs about things I really like. It has to do with the fact that I cull blogs about things I am interested in. I review them and find out the what and why of the overall solution. I tend to only buy the things I think will work for me. That means I only review things I knew I would like before I bought them. The goal of the review being to help other people along the path of what they are looking for.

Random Thoughts and Deep Thoughts come from the old Saturday Night Live character Jack Handy. They used to have a segment called Deep Thoughts and I’ve modeled both my infrequent Deep Thoughts and my more frequent Random Thoughts after that segment from the early 80’s I believe.

I try as much as I can to keep politics out of my blog. I do on occasion post political views on the blog but I do try to denote that they are my opinion and that a rant is coming. One of the things I used to do on the DTS-L listserv (when it had thousands of members) was post difficult questions. I still post the questions just on this blog as DTS-l is now lost and gone forever. DTS-L was the listserv of the Society of Dead Teachers.

Finally I post a piece of myself here. The great milestones in the life I live. Messages left for my children to read after I am gone (If they are still around by then). Moments in my children’s lives, milestones that shouldn’t be forgotten. My daughter turning 18 and then 21, graduating from High School, starting college, getting her driver’s licenses. The boys starting high school, learning to swim, going off for their first week of camp. There are so many moments in our lives that we should share more. I share those here.

Today my stream actually pretty much flowed in one direction.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.