A Day at the Races

I’ve got a new ally when the Zombie Apocalypse hits!

Every weekend I get Sloane ranks somewhere between legendary and epic.  This weekend was no exception.  The bond she and Miss Madison have formed has my heart palpating like I just won the lottery.  There is no describing it in words (at least I’m not capable), but at approximately 7:00 p.m. in the area Madison, Indiana Walmart (my choices are slim in Madison for certain items unless I want to drive 45 minutes), I finally figured out the secret to the divorced dad life.

I thought I knew it, but hearing your eight-year-old girl lay out in precise detail how much she wishes she could stay with me on a full time basis based on a conversation over a container of gummy bears that damn near had me breaking down in tears.  I wish I had went on Facebook Live or recorded it by some other means, because she explained her case to live with me better than I have in almost two years of blogging!  She sounded like a damn lawyer pleading her case to a judge for crying out loud!

I’m doing it right!  I thought I was, but now I know I am.  Listening to Sloane lay out all the fun we had together before I met Miss Madison and then the double entertainment since I’ve met Miss Madison had me ducking behind a Frito-Lay stand so my favorite ladies wouldn’t see the profound effect it had on me.  When your daughter knows Indiana custody laws as well as her dad, I don’t know whether to be proud of her or wish she would quit growing up so fast.  Sloane has become an internet savant evidently; thankfully when she is on any device that I have access to, I can keep her limited to looking up the latest and greatest in Disney princesses and kid friendly apps.  The fact that she has an Ultimate Bullshit Translator and can’t wait to use it when needed (age 12) is beyond heartwarming!

O.K. done with the proud dad moment, let’s get on with another boffo (a word in the Skipah lexicon) weekend!  Saturday was actually uneventful, for the first time since The Great Depression, we had a dry weekend, and I didn’t have any prior commitments.  That meant Skipah had to finish his DIY project he promised Miss Madison many moons ago before southern Indiana turned into one giant rain gauge.  Since the former male tenant in these parts treated landscaping like the Bubonic Plague, Mr. Skipah has made it his mission to add a little “curb appeal” to his new surroundings.  Not wanting to break the bank (need I remind you Divorce/Custody Wars are expensive), I used the existing landscaping stones that looked like Ray Charles had placed them, gave them a fresh coat of rattle cans (spray paint), and voila Miss Madison is telling all her friends at the local bistro about her new landscaping wall.  This one was much easier than the last wall, throw in spreading a dozen bags of mulch, and this guy learned he needs to rehydrate on ninety plus degrees’ days with water instead of Diet Dr. Pepper.

Not pictured:  Me locking myself in the deep freezer and eating ibuprofen like M & M’s.

I’ve never suffered from heat exhaustion, but I was borderline close on Saturday.  Once I was able to clock out from my yard duties (I’m my own boss), it was a cold shower (non teenage version) and some rest to make sure I was up for the evening fire I had promised Sloane.  What had Sloane done this whole time you may be asking?  Only picking up every damn stick in a 25 block radius for our evening fire.  While lying in a bed of ice and channeling my inner Mr. Freeze, my lovely ladies were only making some of the finest in Italian cuisine and having a Just Dance 2016-Wii dance competition.  To say I was bummed to miss out on the dance competition would be a bold faced lie!  Sloane was grinning ear to ear though, and that is all that matters in my world!

Miss Madison threatened me with castration if I showed her image.

Sunday, since Miss Madison has connections with some exclusive Hanover College alumni, we got to be a part of their alumni celebration at Churchill Downs!  I tried to clean up the best I could in the off chance I would meet Woody Harrelson (Class of 1983), but instead my super awesome group included Sloane, Miss Madison, her parents and friends.  Air conditioning was just what the doctored ordered for me!

The last time I was wagering on the horses it turned out to be a mighty profitable day.  This time the food was good, the company was better, and we did turn a small tidy profit that was immediately gobbled up once we fueled up the buggy for the return trip home.  I’ll let the pictures take it from here on the magic that occurred while at the track.

In case you couldn’t tell Sloane had a good time.

That’s a winner winner chicken dinner!

About it for now, it’s a few more days of softball this week, and then after I get back from Door County, Wisconsin, I’ll be back to a more “regular” blogging schedule.  Since I’ve put up my Help Wanted ad on the bloggy classified section of our super-secret newspaper, I’ve received one participant.  Anybody that is still interested send me something by June 18th, and I promise to let you have the keys to the car for a day while I’m a way on vacation.

BJ’s wholesale website - DHGate.com
Send Skipah Sailing!


  1. That landscaping looks amazing! Me next!

  2. Pingback: Puppy Love! -

  3. Love Sloane’s new haircut! She looks adorable!

    Glad it was fun! All these races look so exciting! I’ll have to go one day!

  4. She cut her hair! I love it! It’s obvious how confident she is! Good daddy! P.S. what kind of car?

  5. Children learn REAL quick who really cares about them! Shouldn’t surprise you that she has brushed up on the legal restrictions in your divorce, since she wants to be living with both you and Miss Madison! Unfortunately, kids are not allowed to plead their own case at her age.

    How many more years until she gets to chose who she lives with? In my opinion, can not come soon enough!

  6. Aren’t children wonderful? You are so doing it right Gary. Sloane is so lucky to have you and you are just as lucky to have produced a beautiful and smart young lady. That’s the best part.

  7. First of all, it is my DREAM to go to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. I know a mint julep is in my future! Secondly, I have endured heat exhaustion several times (not as serious as heat stroke) but serious nonetheless! Glad you kept cool. Sloane is a smarty and reminds me of my oldest at that age!

  8. Heat exhaustion is no joke so glad you’re feeling better. And that Sloane is one smart cookie.

  9. Geez, the things we do for the ladies we love! Hope you’re over the heat, cause chances are it’s not the end of it. Really hate hearing that Sloane can’t just say what she wants now and that’s it. Stupid laws. Keep rocking fatherhood, you’re obviously doing things right. Although, I might suggest a few changes in the food and drink area. 😉

    • I cooked myself Saturday, it will be water from here on out on yard work days! As for Sloane everything will take care of itself eventually. Not as soon as I would like, but like you said “stupid laws!”

  10. I had a dry weekend too. It was kinda weird. (She says with her mojito in hand.) I got a lot of DIY done, too! I have earned this cocktail 😉
    I’m so glad Sloane is bright and logical enough to discuss things with you. There’s a time when things will be different. You just stay you, be honorable, loving, reliable, trustworthy, and time will take care of the rest 🙂

    • I know there will be a time when it all comes full circle, just hearing my eight year old ‘splain it (how’s that for a good reference to the Joey lexicon?) had me damn near in tears!

  11. I read through this terrified that when I got to the bit about horse racing, I’d find that you all had to undergo an epic trek back home again — the outcome you threatened in your post the other day. Of course, for a while it looked as if you might not even get that far but would have to spend a couple of weeks in an industrial refrigerator instead recovering from heatstroke. I’m glad everything worked out in the end.

    • The heat exhaustion experience was a tad bit surreal..bottom line is I’m not a kid anymore :(. As for the horse racing hitting that superfecta got me out of the hole and breathing easier the rest of the day.

      • I know how you feel, Gary, but only about the not being a kid any more. I’ve yet to win anything on a race! My grandmother did once, so that’s the proud record of winning in my family so far.

Tell Skipah all about it!