August 27, 2023

A Moment on Cocoa Beach


A Moment on Cocoa Beach
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for August 27, 2023

I was in Orlando for about 36 hours this week.  I had dinner with one client and lunch with another.  I also stayed on Cocoa Beach so I had to sneak down to the beach to see the ocean.  I only could stay down there about 15 minutes, but it was beautiful none the less.

I tried to go down to the beach the previous evening, but it was pretty scary navigating through this path in the pitch black of night.  I psyched myself up to do it, and when I was about halfway down, a bunny jumped out of the bushes and nearly pushed my heart over the edge.  At least I'm pretty sure it was a bunny.  I did get down to the beach for a few minutes, but the pictures at night turned out lousy.

On Thursday night we went to the Mall of America for a belated celebration of Miss Sheri's birthday.  

We took her to the black light mini golf course which was pretty unique.  They have all sorts of brightly colored holes and play various music genres organized by decade throughout the course.  We had a bunch of fun.  Even if we did have orange skin for most of the evening.

On Friday night, we headed to our Fantasy Football draft hosted by the awesome commissioner, Steven "Cuds" Cuddihy and our fantastic auctioneer, Curtis Schmillen.  They run a first class operation all the way.

Luke was able to join the league a couple of years ago and Avery is still on the waiting list.  We had a player not able to attend and Avery was able to fill-in and do his draft for him.  It was a pretty crazy evening and a lot of shenanigans took place.  Plus, I'm happy with my team for a change so I'm definitely ready for some football!!

We have a very fun group who take this way more seriously than we probably should.  Regardless I still think it's going to be my year to win the Super Bowl!!

On Saturday night, we went to Mystic Lake Casino to watch an event called In Conversation with the Sopranos.   It was a unique event where cast members Steve Schirripa (Bobby Bacala), Vincent Pastore (Salvatore Bonpensiero) and Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) took the stage to share stories, memories and slides of their favorite Sopranos moments.  I was a huge Sopranos fan so jumped at the chance to go.  My buddy Orlando is Italian so I figured he may want to join me.  Turns out he was also a big fan so it worked out great for us to go together.

Unfortunately they had a silly rule about no pictures during the show which makes about zero sense to me.  I did sneak a couple at the end, though.  Pretty fun experience!

August 20, 2023

A Shocking Way to Spend a Friday

A Shocking Way to Spend a Friday

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for August 20, 2023

We spent Thursday & Friday of this week at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  I'd been on blood thinners for four weeks so it was time to address my atrial flutter irregular heartbeat by shocking it back into rhythm.

I had a CT scan on my heart and a pulmonary test to gather data on my lungs.  I've never blown so hard in my life.  I wish I could say all my results came back as AOK, but it appears our fears were realized and I do have a congenital heart defect.  It has led to me having something called an aortic root aneurism.  Apparently it can be corrected via open heart surgery where they'll either put a graft over my aorta or replace the valve entirely.  When I discussed it with the nurse who assisted in my cardioversion, he said to me that I'll really want to get that fixed.  He then said to me if it were to rupture it would be excruciatingly painful for a few minutes before I eventually die from internal bleeding.  So I've got that going for me.

On Friday, I had the Cardioversion and I'm very pleased to say it was successful.  They put me to sleep, attached the defibrillator to my chest, yelled "Clear" and then proceeded to run about 1,000 volts of electricity through my body.  Then for good measure they did it again.  Apparently it worked because they said my heart was running about 33% more efficiently than it was before.  I was hoping this would be the only thing I have to do to get better, but it looks like I'll be dealing with heart stuff for awhile.  Luckily I get to go to one of the best hospitals in the world.  It also sounds like they've successfully helped many people before me with similar issues that I'm facing.  We'll just add this to the list of challenges we need to tackle in life and go back to living each day to the fullest.  This ain't my family's first rodeo when it comes to scary medical issues.

After we were released from the hospital, we headed down to Iowa for Miss Sheri's family reunion.  Blue was ecstatic for the chance to go hunting for kitties.  He didn't find any this trip, but it was kind of funny right before I took this picture.  He was running around looking for them when a black cat ran across the yard right behind him.  He never even saw it.  Silly puppy.

The family reunion was in Rock Rapids, Iowa which is a fun town with an awesome park that brings back a lot of fond memories.  It was 97 degrees while we were there so most of our cruising down memory lane was done from the comfort of our air conditioned automobile.

We haven't been down to see Miss Sheri's family for quite some time, so it was great to get to spend the day with them on Saturday.  It was also Sheri's birthday, so it was an extra special celebration.

This was the first family reunion we've been able to attend since before Covid, so we were very pleased with the turn-out.  There was a total of 22 members of the Timmerman family in attendance.  We had a lot of laughs sharing updates on all of our lives since we've last seen each other.  It's so great that we can all get together again.

On Saturday night, we joined Miss Sheri's cousin Mary and her family for a trip to Thunder Road in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  We played games, rode go-karts, and had a quite competitive game of MiniGolf.  Miss Sheri ended up being the big winner of course.  After all it was her birthday....we had to let her win, right?  That's my story and I'm sticking with it!

August 13, 2023

13th Annual Savanah Bradshaw Memorial Golf Tournament


13th Annual Savanah Bradshaw Memorial Golf Tournament
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for August 13, 2023

We were awoken at 6:15am on Wednesday to a loud crack.  Our fears were realized when we looked out the window to see one of our old basswood trees had snapped and came crashing down.  We've lived in this house for 22 years, always worried about this tree falling and it finally did.  The really sad thing is we had already contracted a tree service to remove it which was scheduled for late August.  

Unlike a tree that fell on us two years ago, this time we sustained no property damage.  I wish the same could be said for our neighbor's house.

On Saturday, we drove down to Clear Lake, Iowa for the 13th annual Savanah Bradshaw Memorial Golf Tournament at Oak Hills Golf Course.

Savanah was the daughter of our good friends, Jason & Julie Bradshaw.  This is the 13th time they've hosted this tournament in the last 14 years with one missed due to Covid.  They put in countless hours staging an amazing day of golf, a silent auction, and other fun activities.  They also raise a lot of money for charity in the process.  

They had a record number of entrants this year.  120 golfers competed in 30 different foursomes which kept the course very busy.

Miss Sheri and I hosted a booth at Hole#5.  She sold jello shots and I dealt blackjack for a 50/50 drawing.  We were quite popular and kept busy for the entire day.

We love getting back to Clear Lake and running into old friends.

Some people accused us of slowing down the rate of play, but there's no way I'm going to see all of these fun people and not get pictures with them!

I went to high school with all of these fellows.  Most of us still act like we're still there.

We can't take a picture of the boys without getting one of the ladies.

We didn't get to spend any time with our boys this weekend, but my good friend Jen sent me this picture of Luke hanging out with some friends.

Avery and Abby spent the weekend in Panama City, Florida.  I thought this was a pretty fun picture so I stole it from them.

August 6, 2023

Staying Cool is a Summer Rule


Staying Cool is a Summer Rule 

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for August 6, 2023

It's been a hot, muggy summer.  In Minnesota we don't ever want to complain about the heat because it feels like winter is always a day away, so instead we try to find ways to stay cool.  One of my favorites is going out in the boat and jumping in the lake.  On Monday night, Karl & Tina were happy to join us for the adventure.

We always like to pay homage to Bird Island when we get out on Prior Lake.  I kind of felt they may have moved on already since I believe mating and baby season is pretty much over.  To my surprise though, the nests were still quite full with a wide mix of cormorants and egrets.  Maybe they're going for a sequel to mating season this year.  That's probably what I'd be doing if I were them.

Speaking of birds, I'm always amazed by the number of wild turkeys we see out and about.  When I was a kid, I don't remember seeing a wild turkey ever.  Now it's almost a daily occurrence.  There's flocks of them all over!  We might need to start having a second Thanksgiving around these parts to thin them out.

We made our third journey to Mayo Clinic in Rochester in the past two weeks on Thursday.  This time it was Luke's turn for his 6 month check-up with his cardiologist and hepatologist.  It was really good to see both of their faces without masks for the first time in about 3 years.  I'm so pleased to report that Luke is doing as good as possible and everything is stable for him.  Which is always an answered prayer for our family!

Avery also had a big week when he moved out of his house where he was living with Luke and friends and into a new apartment in Eagan with his girlfriend, Abby.  She had to work on Friday night so we went over to help him set-up some of his furniture.

We're really impressed with their new place.  Not only is the apartment beautiful, it also has some incredible amenities to entertain guests.  I'm hoping that includes his father sometime real soon.

Friends in Prior Lake, I'd like to recommend visiting Whisky Inferno after 9pm to take advantage of their half price steak and whiskey specials.  They're SOOO good.  Maybe we'll even see you there some night!
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