A Visit to Squire’s Castle


A couple dozen men and women in formal wear, blasting loud, bass-thumping music, while smoking cigarettes and loudly cavorting and merrymaking—that was our visit to Squire’s Castle.

Friends of ours had been through the Cleveland, OH area not too long before, and when they knew we would be traveling through there, too, recommended including this Willoughby Hills park one of our stop-and-stretch breaks. We found it was close to our route, and it sounded really neat, so we were glad to make the small effort to include it in our day.

What we weren’t expecting was the giant wedding party photo shoot! 🙂


The Castle is just a couple miles off of I-271, that being the highway that goes around the southeast side of Cleveland. We exited the highway and found our destination, and quickly thereafter found the bathrooms! It was our first stop for a couple hours, so bathrooms were the first priority.

As we were ready to head on to the original primary destination—the really cool-looking castle in the near distance—we heard some loud, muffled music booming from an approaching vehicle.

This was no ordinary vehicle. It was a tall, shiny bus. But it was no ordinary bus, either. It was a limousine bus. Clearly this was either a celebrity, or some kind of group heading to a prom? There was another vehicle close behind the lead celebrity vehicle, but I’m not sure they were actually with the “celebrities”, it just added to the entourage appearance.

And this entourage was headed straight for our destination! A destination we previously imagined to be our private playground, if only for a few short minutes.

We froze as we observed the events unfolding before us. Watching from a distance we saw several ladies in blue gowns exit the bus, and then some men in formal attire as well. Eventually there were a dozen or so couples slowly making their way toward the castle, talking loudly as they went. (Clearly they were enjoying their visit to Squire’s Castle!)

julia-in-a-windowThe next thing we noticed was about a quarter (or maybe a half?) of the group were smoking cigarettes. There’s nothing definitely wrong with smoking cigarettes, but it just looked kind of funny with all of the formal wear and fancy-looking people. And, as we got closer to them, it smelled pretty bad, too. So, we kept our distance from the raucous crowd.

There is an enormous, rolling lawn that spreads out in front of the Castle, and since Alex had a football, it made sense to make use of this large green space! We played for a few minutes, wondering what to do next since the wedding party photo shoot would probably not be quick.

After a short bit of grassy pigskin fun, we boldly approached the Castle’s gates, hoping to avoid the cameras’ lenses.

It worked for the most part. We explored the castle while the photographers arranged their subjects, and the subjects continued to smoke and enjoy their own visit to Squire’s Castle. We managed to mostly steer clear. (Even with six youngsters excitedly exploring the innards of a “real castle!”)


The Castle was built by a rich landowner in this area back in the late 1800s, for his gatekeeper. It’s relatively small, but it looks like a real castle. Tall ceilings (and no ceiling in one room!) and stone walls, a couple big fire places, and definitely a neat, castle-y feel! We explored room to room, excepting the ones occupied by the noisy wedding party, and took a few photos of our own—albeit only iPhone photos… we were wishing we had remembered to bring our real camera!

Finally we headed back to our van, recalling the very strange timing of our visit, being simultaneous to that of this rather large, boisterous, smokey wedding party!

It’s always the strange stories that make the best memories, isn’t it?


If you’d like more information on this little park, here are a couple links:
Squire’s Castle, Cleveland Metro Parks
Squire’s Castle – Wikipedia

The Case of the Missing iPhone

iPhone 3GsThe phone rang Sunday afternoon. As soon as it did, I remembered that I had left the handset somewhere other than where it was supposed to be. After a brief search, I located it and saw the call was from my parents home, so I clicked the TALK button.

“Hello!” I said with sing-songy happiness.

“Do you know where your phone is?” asked the voice of my mother.

Taken aback, wondering how in the world she knew that I didn’t answer earlier because I couldn’t find the phone, I stumbled through saying, “Well, yeah… I had just left it… but… yes. I found it.”

“Oh really?” said she, knowingly.

At this point, I’m very confused. I had been watching a very intense Buffalo Sabres game, very much engrossed in that tight contest. Now my Mom is somehow slightly clairvoyant and even challenging my response?

“What do you mean?” I finally managed.

“I just got a call from a man named Wade… from your iPhone.” She let that hang for a minute, expecting a surprised response from me. She got it.

“Uh… what??” That was about it. 🙂

She explained that she had just received a call—from our iPhone—from a stranger named Wade, who explained to her that he had “found” this iPhone, and decided to scroll through the recent call list and try to ascertain to whom the phone belonged, and how to get it to them. She was wary of this very odd set of circumstances, and so got his name (which she later reported was an equally odd name) and said she would call me at home, which she then did.

The rest of the story follows…

Early Sunday morning, Jen informed me that she’d like to let me have a nice, quiet, non-work day at home, so she would take all six kids out for some shopping errands (including a stop at their favorite thrift store) while I stayed home and wrote or read until watching the Sabres game in peace, not needing to tend to many children’s needs every couple minutes. That was so nice and thoughtful! I knew it was really not something she enjoys doing, too, so it was clearly a gift she wanted to give to me. And so, I accepted.

They enjoyed a lunch together at Cici’s Pizza (ever been there? it’s fun!) and then found and purchased the hockey and skating equipment they were hoping to acquire, and then ended their excursion at the aforementioned favorite thrift store.

It was here that the adventure began.

Cam was tired by this point, and so was somewhat cantankerous. Biggest brother, Ian, offered to take him out to the van whilst the other shopped. He asked Mom if he could take the iPhone out with him, so he could listen to the Sabres game out there. Mom approved, and handed him the phone.

Here’s where the details get fuzzy. Ian does not recall where he put the phone down, nor for what reason he might have. Perhaps it even just slipped out of his pocket? Regardless, he somehow made it out to the van sans iPhone; and thus entered Wade into our family’s life.

At some point shortly after the misplacement of the iPhone, Wade and his girlfriend and her daughter, shopping at this very same favorite thrift store, came across this iPhone. (He did not tell me where it was discovered: floor, shelf, etc.) He decided to have a look at the recent calls list, rather than just hand it over to the store employees. (He and the two others with him were reticent to trust the employees, thinking they might decide to abscond with such a nice lost-and-found discovery.)

He told me later that while perusing the recent calls he saw ‘Grammy & Grandpa’ and figured, “Well they should know how to get this phone to its owner, if anyone does!”

He was right! (But it did freak out the Grammy a little bit…)

So he calls Mom, gives her the information, and she calls me. I called him back on his cell phone and assured him that the best option would be to just give it to the store employees, and Jen would get back there eventually, even if she didn’t know the phone was missing until they returned home.

Two important pieces here: one, I couldn’t contact Jen, since she didn’t have the phone, and two, we live about 35-40 minutes from this store. Ouch.

I need to back up once more. I’m not sure of the timing, but either before or after he called Grammy & Grandpa, Wade did alert the store employees that he was “looking for” Greg Campbell. So, at some point while they were shopping, Jen and kids heard a page for “Greg Campbell”. Jen told me later that she responded, but the store employees only told her that someone was “looking for” me, and nothing more. Nothing about the phone, and I don’t think they connected her with this man, Wade, either! Too funny…

So, after asking Wade to leave it with the store, I decided to use the Find My Phone feature to lock the phone remotely, mostly just because I could. It turned out to be very unnecessary, as probably less than ten minutes later, Jen was calling me from our iPhone.

That was the last interesting piece of the story as, Jen later recalled, “When I got the phone back, it said on the screen, ‘This phone has been lost.’ How did it know that?!” Ha! She realized it was something I had done, but it was a funny moment for them all, thinking that the iPhone was a very smart smart phone!

I called Wade back and thanked him for his help in getting the phone back to us. And relayed some of the details of the very interesting day to him as well, which made him chuckle.

All in all, we were reunited with our iPhone, and I believe Ian might now think twice before asking to be responsible for that device. 🙂

Life Is In The Moments

emmas-lettersIt’s not uncommon to see some very cute things happening here in the Campbell household. There are, after all, several cute people, who often think of cute things to do. And so, there are many chances for cuteness!

Last night during dinner clean up, I happened to spot one.

Most times I might have corrected this, but somehow this time—lucky for me—I was able to see through the duty-shirking to the cuteness of the moment.

Emma is a “go-getter”. No way around that. She’s the one tugging on Mom to get her to practice reading with her. She picks up the pen, or the crayon—or the Sharpee® marker!—to practice writing her name. (And, being left-handed, as well as being three or four years old, she often has an interesting way of doing so. See below…)


She had volunteered to help the “Clean Up Team” for the night, but shortly thereafter, a purple dry erase marker—her favorite color—caught her eye, and she knew just what she had to do.

I spotted her about half-way through the alphabet. Some letters were very well drawn, others were perfectly written—but backwards. (Commonplace for our little four-year-old beauty.) But there they were, painstakingly created with the greatest care for each stroke…

Upon the clean-up check list. 🙂


These are the fun moments, especially when I have the eyes of a Father more than a Task Master, when joy is free to be. The kitchen was still cleaned. Perhaps it was a tad slower minus the help of Emma’s tiny hands, but the task was still accomplished.

emmas-doodlesAnd Emma’s heart smiled at her accomplishment, and the joy of living in the moment.

And my heart was gladdened by it, too.

I hope that by posting it here, yours is also.

Look for these moments in your life. Whether you’re the one who spots the grand opportunity of a dry erase marker in your favorite color—and the perfect spot to put it to use—or you’re the one who gets to watch the joy of the moment unfold. (Or, maybe you’re the one who tells the tale to share the joy with others?)

Life is in the moments.

I’m so glad I didn’t miss this one last night.

The Adventures of Zamboni® and Policeman

Zamboni® Ice Cleaning Machine

We love to read around here. There are books everywhere, and lots of hands, minds, and eyes to devour them. Mom and Dad both love books, love to read… more than we have time in our days to actually accomplish.

Ian, the oldest child, is a ravenous book reader. (And now, he’s becoming a writer of books as well.) Alex is more picky; the books he enjoys, though, are read multiple times—even in the same week. Kirstie is learning to love reading, but does love books (being read to), as do her three younger siblings. Julia is not a confident reader yet, but her four-year-old sister, Emma, was brashly sounding out each letter and word she could locate on the large pages of her over-sized book with Mom last night.

Cameron, not being one content to be left out, and possessing as vivid an imagination as a three year old person could hope to have, decided to “read” his own book. (He picked up a blank date book, showing me the “words” on the empty pages before he began reading.)

The following is, nearly verbatim, the story that he “read” on those pages…


The Adventures of Zamboni® & Policeman

by Cameron J. Campbell

Zamboni® was cleaning the ice.
But then he ran out of water!
He had lots of water, but just didn’t know it.
Then he had a dream about having enough water and cleaning the ice.
Policeman shot Zamboni®.
Zamboni® ate policeman.
The End!

That was too fantastic not to share! I sure hope there will be more “Adventures of Zamboni® and Policeman!”


Note: Cam adores Zamboni® ice cleaning machines. We go early and stay late for Ian’s hockey games, just so Cam can watch the entire ice cleaning process by the Zamboni®. I’m pretty sure he knows most of the drivers at each rink, and someday aspires to attain to their lofty position. 🙂 He also often fancies himself a police man, so the subjects of his book were certainly no surprise to his family.

Cameron’s Hat (and Pockets)

Pweeceman Cam

I’m really not sure when it started. Somewhere in the recent past—perhaps a couple weeks, perhaps a month or more—Cam found, and immediately treasured three specific items. What were previously general possession toys became the sole, well-cared-for property of Cameron James Campbell.

(Officer Campbell to you.)

Upon donning the plastic cowboy hat, Cam assumed the role of “Pweece Offser”, and took very seriously his job of (1) protecting the Campbell home citizenry from “bad guys”, and not any less seriously (2) the task of carrying the tools of his trade with him everywhere he went—every waking moment.

His hat, his keys (an old set from our previous family vehicle) and his glasses (which he saved from his first movie theater experience, in 3D no less!) are usually on his person, or he knows where they are if not. He has a special drawer for his glasses and his keys at sleeping times, and a place for his hat, too, of course.

He just LOVES to have things in his pockets!

All of this is obviously very cute, and quite fun for our family. Brings a smile to my face as I type this! But the funny part is, his hat never fails to draw at least a smile, but usually a comment from nearly everyone who sees him wearing it somewhere in public. 🙂 The photo above was taken by a friend at a birthday party to which Cam wore his new “uniform”.

The uniform has since expanded to include: a tape measure, a plastic hammer, several pieces of “money” (which are anything from Monopoly money to random game cards), and various other tools he might need for his job.

He’s a worker man!

Actually, it may have started there. We had a plumber come over one day to fix various (slightly major) plumbing issues in our home. Cam followed him around for a while (in his gear, so I guess it didn’t start then…) and then he came up to my office with a “briefcase” and proceeded to start his “worker man” work day. (I set him up on our old Performa that still has a home in my office.)

Since then, he’s often referring to himself as either a “pweeceman”, or just a “worker man”.

He’s so fun, funny, cute… great!

It’s so amazing as a parent to see the different personalities in each of our kids. Each one is definitely unique. Cam is definitely the first of the six to keep such careful track of his prized possessions. Everyone else would have either lost interest by now, or lost the treasured items… or both!

Cam, as careful and responsible as he is, still has the mind of a three-year-old. Once before going to the bathroom, instead of setting his keys down gently (or putting them in his pocket), he threw them over into a pile of toys and other things, nearly shooting them down the stairs (right next to this pile). I was stunned he would do that, knowing how very much he cared for these keys. As soon as he was done, he headed straight over to the mess of toys and other things, and proceeded to look for his keys—”where he left them”. Ha!

So, I’m not sure how long this will last, but for now, we are definitely enjoying it. Just enjoying Cam.

The Defeat of the Vile Black Sludge Monster!

The battle was fierce, lasting a few days, culminating with a full day of intense action. The Monster would win one battle, and then another. (And then another…) But I was resilient. I persisted, pushing through adversity after adversity.

At one point, after several humiliating defeats in the protracted fray, I began to feel my will to fight slipping away. It was then that I reached out to a fellow soldier who had passed through many such battles before me. He gave me just the tactics and inspiration that I needed for the final push.

In the end, through sheer power of will, I was victorious over the evil, vile, Black Sludge Monster and he was banished to that horrid place from whence he came; disintegrated into eternal oblivion!


I had a really bad drain clog in my bathroom sink. I finally decided to have a go at unclogging it. I fished a wire hook down the drain, only to come up empty. So I removed the trap under the sink… gross!! Bad smelling, cloudy water with flaky black stuff in it dumped out into the bucket I had there to catch whatever came out. I cleaned all that out and replaced the trap.

When I ran the water, it was still clogged. And, now, thanks to me moving the trap, the seals no longer held. Very bad leaking!! Ugh. Now I had two things to fix!!

It was too late to get to the store before bed time, so I just left the sink undone and instructed my fellow cohabitants to desist from any sink usage until further notice.

Then this happened.

So, after a brief health emergency break, I finally got to a hardware store for a new trap. I replaced the trap and… voila! Oh wait… It’s STILL LEAKING!!!

Frustrated, I decided that I had to get some office work done, so I left the still-clogged, leaking drain and reminded everyone to use it as little as possible. (At least it was leaking less?)

As I complained to my friend and co-worker over instant messages about my predicament, he suggested I try to focus on the clog first instead of the leak. Perhaps the leak was simply because the clog wasn’t letting the water go where it is supposed to go. Good thoughts.

So, properly inspired, I headed back for a final push.

I had read a blog post by his wife (she’s a famous blogger!) about drain care not more than a few days earlier, so what he was describing was familiar, and I had intended to do that after fixing the leak. As she describes in her post, I boiled a large pot of water, poured it down the drain (it SLOWLY drained down) then I dropped a good amount of baking soda down and poured vinegar in after it.

FUN! Do you remember making tiny volcanoes this way when you were younger?? I forgot how much fun this was! 🙂 And it sure did seem like it could eat/clean away anything in its path.

Sadly… our problem was a tad bigger than a one-trick fix.

A second pot of boiling water did not show any progress. (In fact, I think it was slower.) So I tried again. Baking soda/vinegar/boiling water. Still slow. Painfully slow. A third time… a fourth…


Finally, slightly exasperated, but still properly inspired, I filled the sink with regularly hot water and grabbed my plunger. I covered the air flow hole with my left index finger and began to plunge…

Three quick pulls later I heard a marvelous, wondrous sound! A loosing of the terrible drain demon and a pleasant sucking sound…


Oh, joy! Oh wondrous, fabulous joy!!!

Then I looked in the tub.


It seems that the Black Sludge Monster can not be defeated quite so easily! This horrible, awful (copious) abundunce of dark, thick, black sludge was sitting in my tub around the drain. Lots of it.

I ran the water in the sink to see if the clog was really gone, and the water disappeared down the drain immediately. That was good; one great victory one. Glancing again at the tub, though, I discovered that the water was being directly routed toward the tub drain. As the water entered the sink drain, it came up the tub drain. (Really! As fast as it went down it came up!)

Oh boy…

So, after sucking up the gross stuff with my wet/dry vac, I went to work with what remained of my baking soda and vinegar supplies on the tub drain. Boiling water (ridiculously slow drain—though the tub drain had been free flowing before I plunged the sink drain), followed by baking soda, vinegar (fun!) … short wait, then more boiling water.

Nothing. VERY slow drain.

OK… I’m done with this, Black Sludge Monster! BACK to where you CAME FROM!!!!, I screamed.

Grabbing my weapon (plunger), I filled the tub with a little more water, plugged the air flow with a wet rag and went to work. Slightly more stubborn than the sink, it took a few more aggressive plunges but…


That lovely sucking sound, followed by watching the stopped water flow quickly down a beautiful swirling spiral, through the newly sparkling clean drains (thanks to the massive amounts of baking soda and vinegar used on them!) and out of my house!

I tested both the tub and sink drains and they both performed marvelously.

The Black Sludge Monster put up a dastardly valiant fight, but… I was victorious!

Thanks to perseverance, good (smart, inspirational) friends, and …

My plunger!



It’s been an interesting few days here in the Campbell home.

(I know… when isn’t it, right?)

You see, it all began with a phone call from Grandma. (Well, sort of.)

Last Wednesday, Julia and Dad (that’s me) went out for an OK Night. Just Julia and Dad out on the town. McDonald’s for french fries, games, and play place. Then we hit a couple more places before the night was through. It was a blast!

And the best was still to come!

The next afternoon, Mom drove Julia, her two sisters, and their baby brother, Cam, over to meet Grandma who would take all four youngest kiddos back home with her for three days! They were so excited!

The first night was just wonderful. They love being at Grandma and Grandpa’s house! They even enjoyed a big buffet for dinner. Nice!

(We four back home were having good fun of our own, too!)

But then came Friday.

Now, whether it was the food she ate at the buffet… or the PlayPlace the day before that… or just something else entirely, we still don’t know. What we do know is that that afternoon Julia began throwing up.

(Yes, I said “began”.)

It was probably only a few times, but it was quite unexpected (and messy, according to Julia) so it just caught everyone off guard. Grandma even called us asking, “What do I do??”

“Keep her hydrated and plenty of rest,” was our best advice, not ones to jump to the medicine route. So sad, but Julia wanted to stick it out, and Grandma did, too.

Well, a day of rest on Friday seemed to do the trick. Fever had subsided, throwing up had ceased (though she was still battling the “other end”…) and she even perked up a bit, becoming her regular chatty self.

Whew! Glad that’s over…


Saturday morning they went to a park. Julia played. And played. When they got back, she was completely spent, hurting, tired, and “out for the count”. She slept on the ride over, and looked pretty bad when she got out to come inside our house. Still had a fever, too.

She went right to the couch and laid down.

We ate dinner (she ate something else… I think?) and made it through the rest of the evening till bedtime.

At this point, as I’m getting everyone ready for bed, Jen comes and tells me that she thinks it might be something more serious than just a little bug, so she wanted to call the doctor and see what they thought. I figured they’d probably just tell us to call them Monday, but it couldn’t hurt. Well, to my surprise (maybe Jen’s, too?) they suggested we bring her to the nearest emergency room to have her checked out, based on what Jen had described to them over the phone.

Interesting. But, they were just thinking it might be some sort of infection thing that could need antibiotics. They just wanted to be sure.

Sure would have been a welcome thing in the hours that followed.

(Yes, hours.)

I’m sure that you, the reader, are aware that late at night on weekends, hospital emergency rooms can have long wait times. Well, as Jen tells it, they actually got in pretty quickly. But, once they did a quick once-over of Julia, they decided (thanks to her not having been “immunized”) that they needed to run every possible blood test. Fun!

No. Not fun.

Jen and Julia left our house at around nine o’clock pm. The hospital is 10-15 minutes drive from our home. They got in rather quickly… but then waited HOURS for the follow up tests.

(Meanwhile, back at home… I have put the other five to bed, enjoyed some quiet reading time, and at this point, started to wonder why I hadn’t heard from the hospital-bound duo. It was 11:45pm and I still hadn’t heard anything! I decided to call and get an update… voicemail! By about 12:10, still having heard nothing, I tried the phone again… and again, voicemail! Worried something had gone wrong, I remembered that I can “Find My Phone” thanks to Apple’s clever technology! I just hoped they weren’t in a ditch somewhere, or worse!! I was relieved to see the phone located in the parking lot of the hospital. 🙂 Jen had left the phone in the van … so a quick call to the hospital and the nurse filled me in.)


(I know… how does it always go like this? Can’t it ever just be simple, and go exactly according to plan??? Guess not…)

Around 2:00am, they are still waiting for blood tests, filling Julia with an IV, and now there is some concern that perhaps what she has is appendicitis! In fact, it was such a concern that they ordered a CAT scan for her. That meant, in her very tired, very sick condition, she had to down a large cup of bad-tasting liquid, then wait two hours… and then they would scan her to see if the appendix was inflamed/infected, or whatever it might be.

Two HOURS!? That’s 4am, folks. For my poor, sweet, sick, tired six-year-old Julia!!

At this point, I finally grabbed a few fitful naps… only half-sleeping in case I received a call from Jen, updating me on their progress. I awoke every thirty minutes or so, praying each time I did that Julia could rest, and that God would help the doctors find whatever might be causing this.

At seven o’clock, I awoke again, and found no van, no call.

Time to check in, I thought. So I called our cell phone and talked with Jen, who informed me that they were pretty sure it is appendicitis, and they have scheduled an operation for about an hour from now when the surgeon was to arrive.


SO, we went from a stomach bug, to a possible minor infection requiring anti-biotics to… emergency surgery???!

It seemed that was the consensus, so I jumped to action.

I definitely wanted to be there—before the surgery—but our van was already at the hospital. And, well, I had the other five kids here! They were all sleeping still, of course, but I couldn’t just leave them, even if I did have a ride!

The wheels were quickly turning in my head. I called Grandma & Grandpa to let them know how the adventure that had begun at their place had escalated. Then I talked with our neighbor about getting a ride to the hospital. Then, deciding to leave the kids in the care of our oldest, Ian, I woke up Alex so that he could stay with Mom while I came back to get everyone else (once Julia was in surgery).

All was going mostly according to plan. We were getting pretty close to eight o’clock. I was hoping that they were running later rather than early.

Alex and I got out and thanked our neighbor for her kindness, bringing us to the hospital so early on a Sunday morning. We rushed inside and asked where to find Julia and her Mom. They said she wasn’t on their list, so that probably meant she was already in the operating room. (No!!) But, they weren’t certain of that, and pointed us in the direction we needed to go.

A brief elevator ride later, we were at the Operating Room area. But… where was everyone? The OR was dark, and there was literally no one in sight?


We went down a hall that we knew was not the correct direction or location, but we finally found someone who could perhaps get us to where we needed to go. She tried. She really did. But we kept coming up empty. No Julia anywhere!!

I was really sad that I didn’t get to see Julia before they operated on her! But I just wanted to find Jen at this point, and find out what was going on.

Finally we were sent back downstairs to the ER, where another nurse recognized Julia’s name and took us to the room she had been in that night.

To our surprise—good, happy surprise—there sat Mom, with Julia beside her on a hospital bed. (Looking really, really tired, weak, and sick!)

“Well, hi!” said I. “What is the meaning of all this!?”

I didn’t really say that. But it sounded more fun that way, didn’t it?

Jen explained that the surgeon took a look at the CAT scan results, did his own examination, and he said he was pretty sure it wasn’t appendicitis!

While quite confused, I was certainly relieved. No one wants their six year old daughter to go “under the knife” … do they?

As Jen was explaining, the surgeon returned and explained a bit more that, from everything he observed, and after consulting with another pediatrician that morning, he was fairly certain it was not appendicitis, and that Julia would be able to go home, take a little Tylenol for her fever, and just stay hydrated. “She should be fine.”

Stomach bug… infection… appendicitis/emergency surgery… she’ll be fine.

Hmm. 🙂

And so, we went home. Julia (and Mom!) slept nearly all of the day. As the day went on, she perked up more and more. We finished the day with a movie, and all went to bed feeling very, VERY relieved.

This morning, Julia went back to the doctor to make sure things were progressing as the surgeon had hoped. After her Sunday night experience, Julia was very apprehensive. She really didn’t want to go through all that again!! We assured her (as far as we could tell) it wouldn’t be like that again, and thankfully… it wasn’t. The current diagnosis is some sort of bacterial thing in her intestines.

What will it be tomorrow?!

For now, our little girl had a much better day, was smiling and playing through much of it, and is now peacefully sleeping.

Which is where I plan to be soon…

What a wild, crazy series of events! And all thanks to a handful of well-intentioned misdiagnoses.

“Who Does Dad Love?”

Putting Cam in bed is usually a job for Dad. It’s great fun, actually. Cam and I definitely “bond” at these regular meetings. We’ve come up with plenty of fun regular rituals: which blanket goes where, which book is read first, and so many more entertaining—and important!—routines that perhaps I’ll elaborate in a future post.

As we were wrapping up another fun bed time, I asked him, “Cam, who does Dad love?”

I expected a big smile and a jocund, “Caaaam!” but instead Cam’s first thought was, “Warrmart.”

Walmart?? 🙂

I asked, “Walmart?”

“Yeah… Warrmart.”

Pause. Gathering thoughts. “OK, but, who else does Dad love?” (It was hard to stifle my laughter at this point.)

“Mommmmm!” Cam offered with a smile.

“Yes! Who else does Dad love??” I was determined to get to the supposedly easy answer I initially sought. Apparently, Cam thinks I’m pretty good at loving lots of people!

And Warrmart.

“Adex,” was Cam’s next suggestion.

“Yep! And who else does Dad love???”

“CAM!” At this point both our faces lit up and we enjoyed a big “squeeze hug” and, actually, continued the game. 🙂 Cam came up a few more times, as did Mom, and then the rest of the kids.

Jen suggested that Walmart probably came up because it had been mentioned as part of the plans for the day, but that activity never materialized. The kids have $10 gift cards to spend at Walmart … from Christmas! Guess we should get to that some day…

So I may not love “Warrmart”, but I unabashedly love that beautiful little boy you see above: Cameron James Campbell!

Strange Things People Search For

Google Search Terms from Google AnalyticsIt’s always fascinating to me to see the various ways people find this website.

First, of course, are direct visits: people using bookmarks or typing in “gregshead.net” into their browser’s address bar. Then, I know that the main referrer of visitors to GregsHead.net is Facebook.com. Some of that is from links shared by others, some shared by me directly, and probably the majority of it is from the automated daily syndication to the GregsHead.net Facebook page (facebook.com/gregsheaddotnet) of the content originally published here.

Then of course you have the search engines. That’s where it gets interesting! There are of course the standard search terms like, my name, “greg campbell blog”, even just “greg’s head”, and other obvious search phrases. But the best ones are (in the case of this website) the most curious, and, oddly, most common ones clicked through.

Nowadays, these sorts of things can be tracked using fancy do-hickeys and other such thingamajigs. (Otherwise known as Google Analytics, among others.)

Here’s a brief list of the Top 8 Search Phrases and the Posts They Link To from the past three months.

8. “Clean Your Bombilla”

You might not even know what a “bombilla” is, but apparently someone does! And, somehow this person must have had the same problem as me. Unfortunately, I’m not sure they got much help from my post about cleaning your bombilla… I just realized that it’s a good idea to do it! Good to know other yerba mate drinkers are stopping by for a cyber visit, though!

GH Post: Clean Your Bombilla

7. “Why Does Everyone Hate Glenn Beck?”

I have been a Glenn Beck listener and fan for well over a decade… which is well before most people decided to hate him. I think there were plenty of people who hated him, just not an entire segment of the population. 🙂 Well, it really did fascinate me back in 2010 (when the hatred was really ramping up) just how vile and personal many of the attacks on him were becoming. The article actually becomes much less about Mr. Beck, and more about how we (especially Americans) treat each other, and even more, how much—or little—we listen to each other.

GH Post: Why Does Everyone Hate Glenn Beck?

6. “Types of Sucker Fish”

Now this one is interesting, because it was the subject of a recent “From The Archive” post. Apparently, the way people get to this website from that search phrase is not really much of anything from the story (the word “type” is used once), rather, somehow the photo of our beautifully little sucker fishy is the third result out of about 214,000 results for that search phrase. Fascinating! Well, the curious Knowledge Seeker may not learn much about the various types of sucker fish, but they got an entertaining story about how indestructible those little “suckers” are! 🙂

GH Post: Super Sucker Fish!

5. “Hiccough Etymology”

My favorite part about this one is not that the article I wrote and posted is, at this point, becoming quite dated (though, with this subject, I suppose that is rather irrelevant) … it’s that the search term is “hiccough” not “hiccup”! Who spells it “hiccough”??? I guess I did… Click the link and learn what many (apparently) are yearning to know…

GH Post: The Etymology of The Word “Hiccough”

4. (Tie) “Spiral Illusion” and “Focus On The Dot”

Technically, these are #4 and #7, respectively. And interestingly enough, the lower one on the list (“focus on the dot”) maintains the Search Visitor’s interest the most of any other search phrase. (That means, those who click through to GregsHead.net after searching for those words, click through most often to more pages on this website. Crazy what they can track, huh?) This particular post (below) is discovered, like the Sucker Fish post, by a Google Images search. And the best part of all, the post was originally “inspired” by an email forward from my Dad! Nice!

GH Post: Illusions, and maybe also Optical Illusions


(Are you excited? On the edge of your seat??)

3. “Random Bible Verse Generator”

Really??? #3 is in reference to a very short post from 2008 where I offer a link to a small widget I discovered that displays a random verse from the Bible upon every page load. (You can see it near the bottom of the first of the two sidebars to your right, if you are on the main website…) It would seem that others, even to this day, are in dire need of a random Bible verse generator. Thankfully, they have this 4-year-old post below to guide their way! 🙂

UPDATE, MAY 2012: The creators of this widget emailed me this week and they are discontinuing the service. This post has been removed from GregsHead.net… where are people going to find their random bible verse generator??! 🙂

2. “Thomas Jefferson Rules To Live By”

My favorite part about number two on the list is that this post wasn’t even (mostly) something I wrote! I saw it on a friend’s blog and really liked it (was also reading a bunch of Thomas Jefferson’s writing at the time) and so I shared it on my blog. AND, apparently, it is needed information! (They really are quite interesting, and helpful… click below and read/re-read for yourself.)

GH Post: Ten Rules To Live By — Thomas Jefferson


1. “Steve Burns”

Yes! The Steve Burns, aka Steve from Blue’s Clues! Having young kids in the house, we of course have seen our share of the animated blue puppy and her friendly owner, Steve. But, we, like apparently many other folks on the interwebs, were uncertain as to why he so quickly left the fame and fortune of this quite popular preschooler’s TV show, and needed to find out. After a bit of incredibly investigative journalism, Steve Burns current location was discovered and shared! And search after search keeps bringing people to this site to discover the truth: Steve is alive and well! 🙂 You know you’re curious, too …

GH Post: What Ever [sic] Happened To Steve?

And there you have it! The most recently popular search terms bringing people to the pages of this site.

What is the number one overall search term? By far it’s #3 above. But curiously, the #2 overall search phrase (since I began tracking with Google Analytics in 2007) is “fundamental transformation of america” which links people (most likely) to a post I am particularly fond of, actually, titled, The (True) Fundamental Transformation of America.

Now that you have enough reading for the week… better bookmark this post!


[From The Archive] Super Sucker Fish

Highlighting Articles from the GregsHead.net Archives!It’s time for another trip to the Archive! This time, it’s the quite recent past—June of 2010.

One very hot night during that summer, after returning to our home after a few very hot days away visiting friends, we discovered a sight—and smell—that will stick with us for quite some time!

Super Sucker Fish! is the chronicle of the events of that fateful day (or two), and though in some ways it’s quite sad, it’s also full of some moments that will make you laugh, and, quite honestly, might astonish you! (They did me!)

Of course, if you own “sucker fish”, then you might already know their incredible powers of survival? After what we saw (retold in this story), they will definitely outlast all other life on this planet!

Enjoy, Super Sucker Fish!