It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted here.
But as the Memorial Day holiday and the end of the month approach it's time to look back at some of the most memorable "Factors" in May 2016.
Now I could write a long post about what happened to me personally but instead I'm going to tell you about the things that happened with my family.
The month began with Paula and I being blessed with being able to witness the revelation of the sex of our new grandchild. You can read about the whole experience in my May 5 blog post. It was a wonderful revelation.
Just 5 days later, we were with James and Brandi again.
This time we were at SKYPAC for James' graduation ceremony. He received his associates degree in Applied Science and Electrical Technology from the SOKY Community & Technical College .
We are all very proud of him and his accomplishment. It was no small feat. For over 2 1/2 years he went to school while holding a full time job and helping to raise his daughter.
The night of the ceremony, Aria wore her appreciation for her daddy's efforts on her shirt.
I can't imagine a better week for him. Congrats James.
My oldest son, Michael, had a pretty good week mid-month as well.
On the Saturday before his birthday, Paula and I had all our family members to the house for a cookout to celebrate his 35th birthday.
To me, this was a milestone birthday because it means he's halfway through his 30s. I thought he deserved an extra special gift.
About a month before his birthday I got an idea for a gift for him that I knew he would really like. He'd been talking about wanting it for a while.
You see, Michael is like me in that he is a really big Walt Disney World fan. He enjoys going to Orlando so much, over the last couple of years, he's been trying to convince Heather to buy into the Disney Vacation Club.
On their last trip to "The World" in April 2015 they made jump to staying at a the Animal Kingdom Lodge, a deluxe resort. With room rates starting at more than $350. Only a real Disney fan would do that.
So about 6 weeks before his birthday, I got online and ordered a gift that I am certain will keep on giving for years to come.
Now back to our house on the evening of May 7. With everyone in the family contributing we got Michael a very special gift that every Disney fan would love to have. It's not all that unique but it is exclusive. Here's a video of him opening his present.
Two days after we celebrated his birthday, Michael gave Paula a very special Mother's Day present. He spent the afternoon helping her put her home office desk together.
It was a very nice thing for him to do. As an added bonus, I'm sure Paula enjoyed spending the time with him and now she has her desk in place. I'd call that a win/win. Thanks Michael.
A second family member had a birthday in May as well. My daughter-in-law, Brandi, celebrated during the 3rd week of the month.
To get her gift I needed to go to a place called "Heart Strings" which is a store on the 31W by pass in Bowling Green.
I'll tell you what, this eclectic shop has to be seen to believed. It is essentially a large boutique crowded with merchandise.
But most of it is stuff that would only interest women. But there are some things guys might like too.
Believe it or not it was an item from the Yeti product line (pictured above) that I needed for Brandi's birthday.
I got a pleasant surprise when, after I purchased the item the clerk offered to gift wrap it for me. Of course I took advantage of that perk. I'm glad I did It was wrapped much better than I could ever have done.
A couple of days before her birthday, as a friendly tease, I sent a text message to Brandi with a picture of her gift.
She recognized the gift wrap and got excited because she knew it was from Heart Strings. So a little of the surprise was gone. The joke backfired on me a bit.
Unfortunately, on her birthday Brandi was still feeling the ill effects of her pregnancy. In fact, from what she told us it was especially intense on her birthday.
We didn't get to see her on Sunday but we went out to lunch with her this past Tuesday. That's when we gave her the present. It was a 20 oz Yeti tumbler and a gift card for Motherhood Maternity. She wanted the cup and we thought giving her the chance to go shopping for some new clothes might be good for her.
After our lunch we gave her a little bit of a break by taking Aria to our house to spend the afternoon with us.
Happy Birthday Brandi, you've had a rough go of it lately. I hope your gifts help you feel better in the near future.
Michael & Brandi's birthdays, were our May celebrations.
If finding out more about our 2nd grandchild is the #1 memorable thing to happen this month, this last thing is second.
It happened the second week of May in at a local hospital. Paula had an operation to repair her left rotator cuff. Five years ago she had the same surgery on her right arm.
It was an done in the ambulatory surgery department of the Medical Center in Bowling Green. She went into the OR about 7AM that morning and we left the hospital about 1PM that afternoon.
The picture shows her wearing a special sling that keeps her shoulder immobile.
Also on her shoulder is a special pad that connects to this Vascutherm Cryo Therapy machine.
It provides a steady stream of cold water through the bladder in the underside of the pad. This gives her some relief when the pain gets to be too much. It also helps her sleep at night.
In the two weeks since surgery she has been working on pain management, physical therapy, trying to rest in one of our living room couch recliners and just generally get used to living life the use of one and a half arms.
I have been doing whatever she needs me to do to make her feel better and more comfortable.
Her recovery has us a bit out of our routine but she is doing very well. It will take her until at least the middle of June to be healed enough to go back to work.
So there you have the events that have happened to others in my life and have made the month of May what it's been so far.
A revelation, graduation, celebrations, and an operation. Yes, it's been a busy month.