It's Mocha Friday and Halloween, a winning co...

October 31, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday and Halloween, a winning combination. Yesterday an e-mail went out at work, saying that the manager had to approve all costumes. I asked Glen if I could wear my sexy nurse outfit, but alas he never responded.

The kids are getting their costumes ready to go. Emma is cute as a little kitty, as always. Sam's going as a zombie, deciding to take a pair of scissors to some clothes of his. As for me, I think I'm going with Klaus, which mostly involves the right accent and goggles.

Hopefully we can have a quiet weekend. Library and swimming are high on my list of fun. With the new James Bond movie opening up, I'm thinking about seeing it with Sam. Maybe we can get outside and enjoy the weather before it gets too cold.

The week has been moving along at a good clip

October 29, 2008 by Adam in Family

The week has been moving along at a good clip. Poor Sam was sick yesterday and today, sniffling away.

We're still trying to nail down our Halloween costumes. I think Sam and I are going Steampunk, but we haven't really invested much time into getting things we need. Perhaps we can go shopping for vests and pocket watches.

Emma's at fun age

October 28, 2008 by Adam in Emma

Emma's at fun age. She's still a little kid in many respects, enjoying playing pretend and having me carry her around the house. At the same time, I see her as being on the cusp of turning into a big kid.

Lately she's been working hard at reading and writing, voluntarily practicing her skills when she has a few minutes. Last night I was giving her a bath, and we broke out the foam letters. I'd put up a word and see if she could read it. Eventually it degenerated into her randomly arranging the letters and making me pronounce the bizarre outcome.

We had a great weekend

October 27, 2008 by Adam in Family

We had a great weekend. After so much travel, just hanging around with everyone was blissful.

Saturday morning was filled with Dutch babies and coffee, a personal favorite. Afterward we walked down to the library and then over to Saturday market. It took awhile, but we returned loaded down with books and fresh vegetables. After our return, Emma and I worked on her pumpkin, and Jamie printed out skeleton parts to assemble for our front window.

Saturday evening Jamie went off to Angie's house. I called my dad and we went out to dinner and hung out. We got the kids in bed before they got too wacky.

Sunday had crepes, omelettes, and coffee once again. Jamie and Sam walked to get Halloween supplies while Emma and I played assorted games. I took the kids swimming and then we returned home for an afternoon of movies and relaxing. Good times.

This week seemed very long

October 26, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

This week seemed very long. We had a field trip to one of our children's home where they had pumpkins for all of the children. It was really fun to go out there, and pick pumpkins, feed chickens, and have our lunches under the portal. It was very relaxing, and I didn't really want to go back to school. Isabell was able to go with us, since she didn't have school that day, so it was nice for her to go and pick her pumpkin. After school, we tried to go to Goodwill and Salvation Army, boy, do I miss Goodwill, and St. Vinny's in Portland. These places here do not compare! It was a very busy area, with lots of congestion and I felt claustophobic with all of these cars encroaching on me. Once on the highway home, and I saw the mountians beckoning me home, I felt the tension lift from within me. I'm now decitified and I have no desire to return to that hectic life style.

By Thursday, I was tired and the kids were wired from the day before. Going on field trips in the middle of the week really throws off the schedule. I was already for the weekend, but still had two working days left. On Thursday evening was Isabell's parent-teacher conference, and I rushed to her school, and waited for twenty minutes to see her teacher. I was pleasantly surprised to see such a huge turnout for the conferences, all possible parking was full. After twenty minutes, Mrs. Esquibel told me that Isabell is great student, is getting mostly all A's, and loves having her in her class. I felt so proud and guilty at the same time. Since I'm working full time, I feel that I'm not giving Isabell my full attention, sure, I try to make sure she has all of her homework done, but I feel disconnected with her school. When I lived in Portland, I had all of the time in the world to help at school, but here I don't. Isabell is an amazing kid, and I'm so proud of her as she adjusts to life here.

On Friday, Isabell had her friend Niamh, pronounced Nieve, over for a sleep over. They are friends from trapeze class, though they go to different schools. She's a very sweet girl, and they had lots of fun. I rented a movie, made pizza, and popcorn for them. Both stated that they were going to stay up all night playing Littlest Pet Shop, and watching movies. By ten o'clock they were both out cold. In the morning, we made gingerbread, and then headed to Taos, where they went to a mask making party. They both made cat masks and gave them to me. Very sweet! We went to the library, and then I took some money out and went back to a garage sell where they both bought costumes. I was suppose to sign papers for the house in Chamisal, but no one was at the office, so we went to Walmart to buy me a costume. Then we went to go swimming, however they were closed, so we went to a children's Halloween party downtown, where they got bags of candy, played games, and had a great time. I was ready to go home, when our realtor called and said that someone would be at the office, and that I could go over and sign papers. Went back, finally signed the papers and headed home. I talked to Niamh's mom, and I suggested that she could sleep over one more night. Isabell and Niamh got along famously, and her mom agreed! We went home, had more pizza, and they played and watched more movies. Again they said they were going to play all night, but eventually they fell asleep around ten o'clock. I was so happy Isabell made friends with Niamh, since I don't know any of her other friends. Hopefully we can get together often, since they get along so well.

Today, we dropped off Niamh, went to church, and now we are resting a bit. A hike might be possible this afternoon. Will have to see.

I haven't really been doing much gaming, othe...

October 24, 2008 by Adam in Adam's Games

I haven't really been doing much gaming, other than dabbling with World of Goo. Sam and Emma have been fighting over playing Sims 2 as their Spore addiction faded. For awhile, Sam would cheerfully declare that so-and-so had a baby, or the dad set himself on fire while trying to cook. I'd greet him in the morning and wish his Sims a happy birthday, as he'd keep me up to date on their various milestones. My favorite quote was, "Having a baby isn't that hard."

Last night I showed off World of Goo. It's based on an experimental game I played years ago, basically a physics puzzler where you make towers out of gooey balls. They've turned the idea into a full game, which is fairly brilliant. The kids played the demo last night and are itching to get the full game. We'll see how it goes.

It's mocha Friday

October 24, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's mocha Friday. I was listening to the economic news and wondering if it was time to tighten my belt, but decided that espresso could be one of the luxuries I continue to occasionally indulge in.

The kids are out of school today. Jamie had parent/teacher conferences this week. As expected, both our kids are smart and nice. Sam's teacher recommended Stanford for Sam. When I heard the news at dinner, I loudly declared that Sam was going to be a Yale man.

I'm slowly catching up at work, with yesterday not being quite as frantic as the first of the week. Hopefully I can get caught up today. I also got my flu shot yesterday. I can't tell if I'm being a big wimp, but I was really sore afterwards. I woke up early this morning and had to take some more Advil before I could get back to sleep.

Ah, class with macs

October 24, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Ah, class with macs.

I thought that I was just busy because of mid-terms, but I think "mid-terms" was a way for me to believe that the pace of school would eventually slacken. That just isn't the case; mid-terms have opened up into group projects and final research papers. I'm writing an interesting paper on the affects of U.S. public policy on Japanese American asset accumulation and facilitating a class on prison policy. If you have any suggestions for a history paper, I'm fishing for a topic.

Oh, Seraph, I'm so sorry

October 23, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Oh, Seraph, I'm so sorry. Ripley was a nice kitty, a real
Jellicoe cat (From TS Eliot Book of Cats- that's not quite the right name, though.)

It's been very busy these last few days

October 22, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's been very busy these last few days. Sunday was wonderful, hanging out with the family again. The kids were pretty worn out by the end, getting a little cranky. Sam went to a birthday party where they had laser tag, and he thought that was the best thing ever.

The rest of the week has slowly things move back to normal. Sam was sick on Monday with a cold. I've been digging through piles of work, still not quite caught up. Jamie's been trying to work and watch kids as they have a lot of half days and Friday off entirely.

Last night the kids and I had lots of fun in the basement. We made up a game that involved them getting on their hands and knees, then seeing how much stuff we could pile on their backs. I stacked assorted pillows and cushions all the way to the ceiling with Sam, which was entertaining for all.

Sad news to report from Portland - last night...

October 21, 2008 by Seraph in Cortez

Sad news to report from Portland - last night my old cat Ripley died. She was 14, and has been aging quickly over the last few months. She's moved with me 10 times, in 5 cities, and would always be waiting form me at the front gate when I got home. Good cats are hard to find.

Yeah, kinda looks like a severed robot thumb

October 21, 2008 by Jamie in Adam's Projects

Yeah, kinda looks like a severed robot thumb....kinky ;-)

I had some gold foil left, and a bland lookin...

October 21, 2008 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I had some gold foil left, and a bland looking USB key. When I had the kids on Sunday, I decided to work on it while they were drawing and such. It went pretty quickly and Sam helped put the foil on. I did a couple layers of gold, then vinegar to get the patina right. Next it was sprayed-on polyurethane and a thick layer of harder plastic. By this afternoon it was dry enough to reassemble and glue.

I'm pretty happy how it turned out. I occasionally need some portable storage when I forget my big drive, so it's nice to just keep around. Plus it looks cool.

What a nice Sunday! It didn't include a hike ...

October 20, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

What a nice Sunday! It didn't include a hike in the woods, but it was lots of fun visiting with family. I'd missed Hanni's birthday lunch earlier this month, so it seemed like a good day for a birthday brunch. Jenny and the boys cancelled at the last minute; she called to say that she still had one kid in his underwear and the other totally nekkid, and she was already late. (We just watched Tampa Bay
clinch the pennant, and I'll bet Greg and the other nor'East Coasters are mourning...) Seraph had come down to spend a weekend with Hanni, and Yayoe was able to carve out some time from her duties at Uketoberfest to come by, and Jamie and Emma came by, bearing home made cinnamon rolls. Seraph and Hanni stayed on for the afternoon, and we looked up the house Robbie and Seraph made an offer on. It's an amazing house - built in 1900, it looks like an adobe house from a western movie.
I'm hoping that it's not been too much remodeled, because the basic log beam/plaster roof is lovely, as are the thick walls. Lots of work, but hopefully much of it could be done
prior to move-in. Having redone two late 1800's houses, I know it can be done, with lots of elbow grease.
Bob and I had fun at the Uketoberfest. Yayoe had an active part in planning the festival, and we missed her group's "gig" at Cosmic Pizza on Friday night; Bob had an
Elder Ombudsman conference on Friday and Saturday, with a
banquet on Friday evening. We did make the ukelele concert on Saturday night, and it was very trippy. My notion of ukelele playing is based on Arthur Godfrey in the 50's, and
this was from a different galaxy. What a great town to live in!

It was wonderful having three days off last w...

October 19, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

It was wonderful having three days off last week, it made the week shorter, but we had a lot going on at school . We had two birthday circles; each child brings in his or her parents and we sit in a circle with a candle lit in the middle. The candle represents the sun, and the child walks around the circle with the parents and teachers narrating the childs life. It's very new age, but I think it's neat for the parents to witness the growth of their child.

On Thursday, we went on a beautiful hike up near Santa Fe Ski Basin. The Aspens were still in glory, and the weather was heavenly. We stopped at a place called Hyde State Park, and the small lodge was built during the WPA era, which happens to be my favorite period of time. The children did really well, as we set off on our hike. I had a little boy named Samka with me, who refused to walk, so I had to give him a piggy back ride. We passed several artists painting the golden aspens, and wanted to stop and see their painting, but alas that was not to be, as we kept on trooping up the path. We passed several evergreen trees decorated with aspen leaves for Christmas.

After school on Friday, I went to pick up Isabell from trapeze, and had pizza afterwards. Isabell's friend Neve from trapeze and her family ate pizza too. The kids wanted to watch The Great Debators, but I told Isabell that she wouldn't enjoy it, but insisted on watching it. We all watched the movie, with only Neve's mom and I enjoying the movie while the kids ran and danced around the theator. Luckily there was only a few other people there, and it was fun for Isabell to have someone to play with.

Our valley is in a middle of a gold rush right now. Not a monetary gold one, but a golden cottonwood tree rush that takes your breath away. The cottonwoods snake their way along the Rio Pueblo river which stretches up to the high mountain peaks. We witnessed this spectacular sight on our way to Taos, where we went for breakfast at Michaels, and then went to Questa to visit my grandma. We stayed for a while and headed back to Taos to go to the library. Afterwards we went to Prudential Real Estate, met with Dawn, where we made a bid on a small old adobe house in Chamisal! Seraph and I are realizing that buying the house in Vadito, would tie us down for a long time, and we couldn't really enjoy our lives. The house in Chamisal is very cute, very run down, but with love we could make it into our own beautiful casa. We will find out this Wednesday if our bid was accepted. The other good news, is that our house in Portland is hopefully going to be bought by some good friends of Seraph, and then we can go ahead with the buying process of the house in Chamisal.

Today, after church we went back to Santa Barbara Camp Ground to hike some more. I'm currently reading a book called Last Child in the Woods, a book I highly recommend for parents. The author directly links the absence of nature in the lives of today's wired generation to some of the most disturbing childhood trends: The rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Children are being discouraged from playing outside, and are too dependant on todays technology and are losing touch with nature. I feel so lucky that Isabell loves the outdoors, and that we have this great "backyard" where we can go hiking and exploring. Parents told me about this incredible hike that we had missed last Sunday. We hiked up further, and discovered beautiful groves of leafless aspens with branches weaving themselves upto into the indigo sky. It literally took my breath away, as I laid down amongst the carpet of aspen leaves. Isabell joined me for awhile, but soon tired of this and wanted to continue. Around another bend, was another joyous spectacle of aspens. It was a Cathedral of Aspens as their towering trunks soared up to the heavens. I always said that if I were to die, I want my ashes to be spread amongst aspen trees, and I have now found my resting spot. Looking up amid these towering bare trees, one could imagine snow flurries fluttering around you as you gaped at these lofty trees. We hiked down again, and could feel the cool soft breeze as it penetrated your clothing, and you could hear the soft whistle as it whirled around you. We saw one little aspen with one yellow leaf hanging on for dear life, and it reminded me of a Peanuts cartoon that I saw a long time ago; in it Snoopy, Woodstock, and a few other birds, where holding up a blanket, waiting for the last leaf to fall off of a tree. I have searched unsuccesfully for years trying to locate this cartoon again.

We hiked down, went home for forty five minutes, and went to seet the Princess Bride. I love this movie, and Isabell who hadn't seen this movie in years, like it a lot.

We've had a pleasant cool weekend, and I have loved every minute of this beautiful weather.

It feels so good to be home

October 19, 2008 by Adam in Family

It feels so good to be home.

While I'm still a little busy to give you any...

October 18, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

While I'm still a little busy to give you anything close to Robbie's full, beautiful prose about our anniversary in the Pioneer Valley, I can give you a schedule of our weekend, which near saved my life. It was three weeks ago and I'm still living on the memory of the Smith greenhouse and perfect fall weather.

5:30-6:00 visited Amherst Essentials and bought a big blue poster with a stylized guillotine on it that says "Paris 1789" in flowery letters.
7:00 Dinner at Judy's

7:30 dutch baby baked pancakes
9-10 Top of Mt. Holyoke
10-11 Apple picking
11-12:30 Eric Carle Picture Book Museum
12:30-3:20 Montague Book Mill
3:30 Procured free Schwinn bike by the side of the road
3:40-5:30 Walked the Northampton strip
5:30-9:30 Dinner and Erin McKeown at the Iron Horse

Frittata breakfast
Smith College greenhouse
Country drive home

The rusty Schwinn is still in my trunk and backseat, waiting for new tires and a coat of paint, but I'm hopeful that I'll get to it before the first snow.

Jamie and the kids are probably waking up rig...

October 18, 2008 by Adam in Adam

Jamie and the kids are probably waking up right about now, eating a hearty breakfast. As for me, I just got back from the fitness center, took a shower, and I'm getting ready for my last meal before heading off to the airport. I'm pretty beat, having stayed up talking until midnight. I'm getting too old for life in the fast lane.

Hopefully things will go smoothly and I'll be greeted by my smiling family at the end of the day.

Another busy day, not quite over

October 18, 2008 by Adam in Adam

Another busy day, not quite over. I think I only got six hours of sleep last night. I eventually gave up and went for a run in the fitness center, then drowned my sorrows in a cafe mocha. I think the only record of my trip will be that single Visa charge.

I'm very much looking forward to the trip home tomorrow, though I'm not thrilled about the plane rides. I'll try hard to remember the sourdough bread in San Francisco, but I think I have plenty of goodies to bring home for the kids.

I'm worn out

October 17, 2008 by Adam in Adam

I'm worn out.

I managed a run this morning and had a whirlwind day of activity. I just came back from dinner, braving the crisp Edmonton air. Though it's a bit of a challenge, I've managed to find something for my vegetarian tastes every place we've gone.

The fortunate part about being busy is that I find myself missing my family whenever I get a little free time. This very much has to be my last trip for awhile.

The Bioware folks left a nice bag of swag in ...

October 16, 2008 by Adam in Adam

The Bioware folks left a nice bag of swag in my hotel room before I arrived. The good news is that I'll have adequate goodies for the kids when I return home.

Dinner was fun, chatting over dinner. I'm still having a hard time putting names to faces, as all I know these folks by is what they've written online.

I had a hard time sleeping last night. I had a dream where we were taken over to the Bioware offices. The lobby was Western-themed, with log fences and stuffed prarie dogs. They were going to show us the game behind an elaborate metal door with an electronic lock. For the demonstration itself, they handed out assorted toys and maps, along with some greeting cards that inspired their art direction.

I did my morning run in the fitness room and am heading down for breakfast shortly to meet everyone. We'll see if my vision was prophetic or not.

UKEtoberfest is happening this weekend! This ...

October 16, 2008 by Yayoe in Yayoe

UKEtoberfest is happening this weekend! This Friday there will be a uke concerts at Cosmic Pizza at 7:30 and on Saturday, all kinds of uke classes including Insta-uke for $5(we provide the the ukes) and another fabulous 7:30 PM concert at Agate Hall (the old Condon School). If interested in what's happening go to to see the schedule.

It should be fun...I'll be working there, taking classes during the day and participating in a group singing gig with the Marmalukes at Cosmic Pizza. Come on are welcome!

I'm in Canada, successfully checking into the...

October 16, 2008 by Adam in Family

I'm in Canada, successfully checking into the Delta hotel in Edmonton. It's been a long day, with the San Francisco flight being delayed somewhat, though I was still able to eat a lunch of corn chowder and sourdough bread before I left for Canada.

The immigration folks were very interested in the fact that I was born in Canada, asking a whole bunch of questions about my trip. They eventually told me I should apply for Canadian citizenship and decided not to stamp my passport. Very odd.

Now I'm off to dinner. I already miss my family terribly.

I'm headed off to Canada today, still fiddlin...

October 15, 2008 by Adam in Family

I'm headed off to Canada today, still fiddling with my packing and trying to decide what to take. Maybe I can just wear all my clothes at once.

Everyone in the family has been very nice to me before I leave. I marked the times I'm leaving and coming back on the calendar next to Emma's bed. We've been counting the days and seeing just how long I'll be gone.

The kids' school went to the Hult Center to watch ballet yesterday. Emma really didn't want to go, but Sam though it was pretty cool. When they got home from school, they played this incredibly long and complicated game involving magnets on the refrigerator. It involved Emma building up a great empire by mining ore and defending her village.

I ran across this weird web site that's about...

October 14, 2008 by Adam in Adam

I ran across this weird web site that's about web sites. Sure enough, we were on it. The funniest part was the web site description:

I got deathly ill Saturday morning. I woke up in the middle of the night and rolled around in the basement floor, popping Advil like candy. I was still in amazing pain by morning, scaring away the kids with my horrific grimaces. I kept telling myself that it would pass and after a nap I felt vaguely normal. Here at the end of Sunday, I feel just fine again.

That pretty much sums up the entire website. I guess I'll stop posting now.

I was also fond of the snapshot of our site, which I'm going to post here as well.

It's my last day in Eugene

October 14, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's my last day in Eugene. Tomorrow I'm headed off to Canada for my all-expense-paid trip to visit Bioware. Hopefully I can survive the harsh northern winter weather and don't have to eat my cohorts when the food runs out.

Emma's been visiting with me at work today while Jamie goes off to a doctor's appointment. My coworkers have been very entertaining, taking pictures and offering up their cubicle toy collections. She's been very charming to everyone and thankful to all. I'm glad we had this chance to visit before I go off for four days.

Even though it's a Tuesday, I decided to make it a Mocha Tuesday in honor of my upcoming trip. I'll run extra hard at lunch today.

Cheers, dad! More to come (once midterms h...

October 13, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Cheers, dad!

More to come (once midterms have passed).

We did it! We averaged over 98 mph in two se...

October 13, 2008 by Lohring in Lohring

We did it! We averaged over 98 mph in two separate pairs of runs, one for the US record and one for the world record. The current world record is 50.8 mph and the US record is 70 mph. It is the first time anyone can remember that existing records have been broken by that great a margin.

(Adam's note: There's an extensive pre-race article here).

There are some pictures (requires log in) here .

Video is posted here).

My steampunking continues

October 12, 2008 by Adam in Adam's Projects

My steampunking continues.

Yesterday I took off the front of my monitor and applied a layer of gold foil. It's impossible to work with, easily tearing and blowing away at the slightest breath. Somehow I managed to apply a layer everywhere, along with a second round of patching the holes.

I wanted to go with the aged patina look, so instead of the expensive stuff you could buy, I dripped vinegar all over. I figure artists don't know their acid/base chemistry, so I managed to save some bucks. Today I sprayed on multiple coats of polyurethane and reassembled everything.

It looks pretty good, though now I feel like I should do something with my mouse and keyboard. Hmm . . .

It's been a very full and exciting weekend

October 12, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's been a very full and exciting weekend. Saturday Jamie went to a wedding and Sam went to see the City of Ember movie with a friend. Emma and I went swimming and went to Humble Bagel. Eventually Sam returned and we all got into a pillow fight. Around evening time Jamie returned and Emma and I went to the park. She had a great time walking over with her lantern held high, collecting chestnuts, and playing in the sand.

Today Seraph came over for breakfast and playing with the kids. She and Jamie went to King Estate Winery and I took the kids hiking Spencer's Butte. They both kept asking to turn around, but once we got to the rocky peak, the excitedly rushed to the top.

Everyone was pretty beat afterwards. Sam and I finally played and finished his zombie game. Jamie took Emma out for ice cream. Seraph headed home and Jamie left for dinner at Pat's house.

Only a few more days until I head off to Canada. It should be very fun, though I'm going to be happy when my travel is over for the year.

"I live for autumn

October 12, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

"I live for autumn. All year long I have reveries of those cool beautiful days to come, and memories of Octobers past. It is the most alive, the most heartbreakingly real season in my bones..." quoted by John Nichols from his book The Last Beautiful Days of Autumn.

No truer statement could be said about autumn in New Mexico. We are in the middle of a glorious Indian Summer and the aspen leaves are fading into the cool fall breeze. A few trees are bare, and leaves are clinging on bravely, afraid to glide through cool autumn air. Not only are the aspens beautiful but the autumn sunlight reveals deep shadows on the rust red rocks as I drive home through Chimayo. Isolation is a word that comes to me as I drive through these hills, as shadows and light dance from rapid cloud shadows as they scuttle across the rocks. Once in the mountains, the trees sway to and fro, as leaves blow gently across my windshield.

My heart becomes full, as I take in these wonderful sights, and inside I want to become an artist. Not only a painter, sculptor, but a fly fishermen, and guitar player. New Mexico is an art thrives to be an artist, and not only as a hobbiest. Driving through the mountains today, I watched a man in his fishing vestiges wade into the rushing stream, casting his rod. His motions were smooth as he swung his rod back and forth, and it was an art form.

I bought a guitar yesterday, and want deperately to play spanish music, and feel frustrated that I can't pick it up and play skillfully. I look through the beginners book and strum diligently, but far from playing beautiful notes. This too, is an art form, and hopefully one day I will be able to sit by a fire, or sit outside and play smooth music.

Today, we took a drive in "our backyard", a half an hour from our house we drove to Santa Barbara Camp Ground, and hiked through the dazzling aspens, and other fall trees. A breeze whipped around us, as we hiked along the river. We stopped here and there to look at pebbles that glistened in the water. We'd find one that looked spectacular among the rocks, and I would pluck it out, only to be disappointed. It belonged with the other rocks as they framed the beautiful pebble. I collected stray aspen leaves, and with the help of Isabell she found a red aspen leaf. It was so beautiful and looked so out of place, that it came home with us. My senses here are so acute here, that I notice small things around my feet. I found an aspen leaf with a small dew drop on it; we found a honeycomb among the grass, and spotted beautiful bluebirds hopping in and aroud the brushes and trees. I took many beautiful photos, and when I figuere out how to post them, I will share with you the beautiful images of Northern New Mexico.

Friday morning, as I came out to defrost my windows, the haunting sound of coyotes echoed throughout the valley. Though chilling, it was beautiful hearing them communicate with each other. A few times I see them trotting throughout the woods, and I have seen a pair saunter through the red rocks near Nambe. Misunderstood creatures, whom farmers hate, and enviromentalists love. I think they are exquist animals with cunning skills. In lore they are tricksters, and collaborators, and I believe they are beautiful animals who help stablize the ecosystem.

I thought I'd give a bried story of my love affair with New Mexico, instead of an everyday account of what I do each week. This is as close to poetic as I come.

Quick update on my weekend plans! I'm headin...

October 10, 2008 by Seraph in Cortez

Quick update on my weekend plans! I'm heading off to Lincoln city after work today. Jenny & I have a room at the same hotel as Dad, so hopefully we can meet up for dinner or breakfast. Tomorrow are the boat races, and I find my self extremely excited about it! Saturday evening Jenny & I are driving back to Eugene, and I'll be staying at Mom's house.
Sunday morning will be breakfast with Adam, Jamie, and the kidos, and Jamie & I are sneaking off to King Estate in the afternoon. Yeah!
Other exciting news is that we may have buyers for our house! My friend Michael - a former Ai professor - and his fiance are working out the financing, but want to buy our place. As happy as I am about the sale, the part that makes it even better is that they have decided to get married in November, and I have offered to have the wedding at the house! I'm nearly giddy with the thought of adding a wedding to the history of the house.

It's another mocha Friday, though I've been d...

October 10, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's another mocha Friday, though I've been drinking Mochas nearly every day this week. Yesterday was pretty strange - I'd get a caffiene-fueled burst of energy, then crash and want to sleep. Somewhere in there I managed to run outside for five miles. Work kept paging me even though I wasn't planning on working. I eventually gave up and put in a bit of time.

I was surprised to see Sam's hand in a bandage when I arrived. He fell on the road when running to Sophia's house. Unfortunately it kept him out of fencing yesterday, though hopefully he'll be better soon.

Jamie's off a bunch this weekend, so it looks like I'll be spending time with the kids again. I'm looking forward to breakfast with Seraph and hopefully I can get the kids to the pool sometime.

Again, I remind you that there are four seaso...

October 09, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Again, I remind you that there are four seasons in Eugene -
Winter, Spring, Summer, and the season Before the Rain Comes. We're taking a quick break because this is one of the days on which the rain already came. I got to spend a lot of time with Dez and Jordan over the last three weeks, helping Jenny get the house ready to put on the market. We really should paint the benches and work table on the back porch, but really, everything is in pretty good shape. I'm not sure if I mentioned that her new house deal finally went through, after lots of waiting, and finally, setting a deadline for the Sellers.
Seraph will be spending Saturday with Lohring in Lincoln City, for his boating speed record and then will be down to spend some time with Adam and Jamie on Sunday.
I got to spend some time puttering with Emma yesterday while Jamie and Grandma Judy had a quick lunch at King Estate. It turned out that Sam had cut his hand in a fall, and fortunately Grandma Judy hadn't lost any of her nurse's skill during those years of hospital administering, and soon she had him bandaged up to his comeplete satisfaction.
Happy belated birthday to Hanni. Seraph and I are going to
try hosting a Belated Birthday Brunch on October 18th for Hanni combined with a General Celebration of the Ukelele for Yayoe, possibly with a lecture on its Place in History and (perhaps) a Sing-A-Long. (You can always tell when I've been reading Winnie the Pooh or a Victorian Novel.)
For my Trashy Jokesters, I'm sending on a funny Hallowe'en video.

I'm back home again after my long work trip t...

October 09, 2008 by Adam in Family

I'm back home again after my long work trip to Bellingham. I flew in at 11:55 pm last night and blearily drove home to crawl into bed next to Jamie. The kids were happy to see me at breakfast. I gave them both tv trays, which is a bit of a joke as every time I cook for them, I put the food in our one set of green tv trays. Sam got the pirate-themed one, and Emma got one with ballerinas.

As for today, I may try and work a bit. Emma wants to play with me and Jamie wants to go to Costco. I'm still pretty tired out from not much sleep. The coffee in me says I should go run around, but my brain tells me to lie down and snooze.

I'm in the midst of mid-terms: writing a pape...

October 08, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I'm in the midst of mid-terms: writing a paper on William Jennings Bryan (known by one of his biographies as "A Godly Hero," but better known as the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz) for history, slogging through a Social Frameworks take home that is more a test of will than intellect, and preparing for a presentation in Assets.

I have found myself coordinating the re-surveying of a low-income neighborhood in Waltham (of which I am a resident) to procure federal funds for affordable housing. While I swore that I wouldn't ever labor without pay again, I foolishly replied to an email from a professor desperate to get the project off her plate. I may also be helping form the new MPP student association's community service committee because I opened my big mouth during a meeting and said, "I think we should call it the 'Community Partnerships for Social Justice Committee,' so our mission is explicit in the name." As I've found working at colleges, anyone with that much opinion in a meeting is quickly co-opted into leadership. Sigh.

Due to some of these stresses, among others, I can just barely sleep- this from a woman who has, like every good Miller, fallen asleep at 10:30 pm every night no matter the circumstances. I'm sure I'll snap out of it in a month or two.

The autumn is beautiful here; I'm going to Northampton this weekend and Williamstown at the end of the month to leaf peep a bit. Hopefully, I'll do some apple picking and canning soon.

I'm sitting in a hotel in Bellingham, waiting...

October 07, 2008 by Adam in Adam

I'm sitting in a hotel in Bellingham, waiting for seven o'clock to roll around so I can head off with my team for breakfast. Everyone was groaning about the hour, but I was up at my usual five thirty, got in a four mile run, and am all ready to go.

I had a lot of fun yesterday, mostly hanging out with Emma and getting ready for the trip. Emma and I painted our little Sculpey gnomes, recorded her voice on my computer, and she played a little Spore. I went to school with her and Jamie, where Emma introduced me to all the grown ups. It was very cute.

When we got home, Jamie and I managed to catch an hour of Mad Men. They were talking about how airline travel was so unusual, when now we take it for granted. As usual, it was an excellent episode. Before I left, I set up a treasure hunt for the kids, with various clues leading to chocolate and a game. Hopefully that'll entertain them for at least ten minutes.

My plane ride was uneventful, landing in a soggy Seattle. It took Darin and I longer than expected to drive into Bellingham. The first hour getting out of the city took forever. We slid by Fred Meyer's for food, I ran for four hours, and then ate cereal and went to bed.

We are now the proud owners of a 1997 Lincoln...

October 06, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

We are now the proud owners of a 1997 Lincoln Town Car. No joke. Ron was buying a new or newer car, and could only get $1,000 as a trade-in, so he just gave it to Bob. Our vehicle fleet is now a 1965 BMW motorcycle, a 1969 Oldsmobile, a 1973 Isuzu, a 1997 Lincoln, and a 2002 Honda. The 1972 pickup finally bit the dust. Bob's State Farm agent loves him.

It has been a nice and relaxing weekend, and ...

October 06, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

It has been a nice and relaxing weekend, and wish it would last a bit longer. We had a great harvest festival at my school on Friday night. My Aunt Teresa was really nice and brought Isabell down from school, so she could come and join the festivities. I was hoping that Teresa and my grandma would stay, but they left right afterwards. In the evening, there was a band playing, great potluck food, and lots of families enjoying the relaxing atmosphere. Several teachers, including myself hung around, listening to the music, and watched the parents playing with their own kids. It was so nice just hanging out and not watching the kids.

Saturday, we took our time waking up, and eventually went out to the post office. I don't get to the post office until Saturdays, because it opens when I leave, and closes when I return. Waiting for us at the post office, were four packages. It felt like Christmas, as we returned home and opened them. One was from Grandma Hanni, a Kit Kittridge costume that was fantastic looking, and a few Halloween decorations; A package from Grandma Susie, with more clothes of Isabell's, and a few goodies; A book of South African animal stories from Grandma Carolyn; and finally a book I ordered from England. It was a book about New Mexico printed in 1936, but was only published in Great Britain, how crazy is that!

Once the presents were unwrapped, we went to Taos to the Library, to Michaels for breakfast, and off to Grandma's house to do laundry and catch up with the family. We stayed until 6:00 and went back to Taos to watch Beverly Hills Chihuahua. It was a very cute movie, and afterwards, Isabell talked all the way back about wanting a Chihuahua too. I really don't want one that looks like it had to much caffine, and one that I can loose under the stove. When we left, it was a down pour, and a welcome reminder of Oregon. By the time we got home, it had let up a bit, and we went to bed.

On Sunday, we went to church, and decided to go to Taos once more to buy a few things at Walmart and at Smith Groceries. When we left the house, we looked up into the top of the mountains, and there was a good dusting of snow on top of the peaks. I was so excited, and wanted to take a picture, but the clouds were moving fast and it wouldn't clear up enough for me to take one.

We walked around the plaza for a while, bought some presents for my mom and Seraph, and went home to relax. When we arrived it was hailing and very cold, and soon we started the first fire of the season. I was expecting Elisabeth from Taos Lending Team to come over to discuss finacial matters, but she called and said that her car broke down, and she couldn't make it. So I made enchiladas, watched Fools Rush In, and enjoyed the fire. Arlene called me, and told me there was a double rainbow, and I ran outside with my camara and took several pictures of this glorious sight. I'd post them, bought the pictures are really big and would take a long time to down load. I'll have to figure it out later. It was a nice relaxing evening, and now I'm ready for bed.

I just wanted to add to this thread on educat...

October 06, 2008 by Meg in Lytton

I just wanted to add to this thread on education, as it was the subject of the Query in our Quaker Meeting this morning and an incidental discussion in the Care and Counsel Committee meeting before Meeting for Worship. At C&C meeting, I mentioned that I attended my high school reunion last weekend. Most of my classmates had stayed in the area and continued in their parents footsteps in a fairly poor area of SW Pennsylvania. Another Committee member, Tippy, a retired professor from UC Davis, commented that she had attended her high school reunion in a blue collar town where most of the men had gone into the Army for WWII and then took advantage of the GI Bill and then purchased low cost, often government-subsidized homes. This led to the US middle class (something we rebellious anti-Viet Nam war students railed against!) and the educated work force that fueled a creative economy for 40-50 yrs!

Another aside-Dick and I are swapping MacCullough's biography of John Adams back and forth, with 2 bookmarks. We started it on vacation in August in Boston, when we were embarrassed that we were the only people on the T that weren't reading! All Bostonians seem to have their noses in some written material all the time! Anyhow, when he wrote the draft of the constitution of the State of Massachusetts, John Adams included an impassioned section in the preamble about the responsibility of the government to foster and facilitate education for all the people. He expected the legislature to edit that section out, but they left it in, unchanged! Do you think this is may be why Massachusetts and Boston continue to be the intellectual powerhouses they still are? How do we inculcate the love of learning that not only makes life richer but helps to make our lives more comfortable? I think the difficulties of the Depression and WWII may have contributed to the motivation to learn, which may even have been a distraction from the nightmares of life outside the ivy tower.

On that note, we're all fine. Callie is working incredibly hard at Duke and has been selected to do some other extra-curricular projects that she is pleased about. Will is happy with his program and his parents just visited them.

Julie is dissecting her way through their cadaver, the low point being dissecting the penis. She seems very happy, despite the long hours of study. They finish Anatomy this month and move on to Biochemistry. She is in NYC this weekend visiting Alex.

Kayla is happy and working hard on her classwork and her job at Oberlin. She is having a little trouble re-adapting to the social life of a small town after her time in Belgium this summer.

Not much more news of import.No exciting adventures planned.

It's been a very full and busy weekend

October 05, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's been a very full and busy weekend. I didn't have any particular plans going in, but every moment quickly filled up. Jamie went off Friday at noon. The kids and I played until it was time to send Sam to John's house. Emma dutifully went to get a hair cut with me, and I treated her to ice cream afterward. Swimming was next, with Emma spending most of her time with her friend Erikya. When we got back, Emma was so tired that I barely got her dinner before she fell asleep.

Saturday morning we had a quick pancake breakfast, got Sam, and then my dad came over. We had a long outing to the art supply store, Humble Bagel for lunch, and the gaming store. My dad spoiled the kids, getting a zombie game for Sam and a memory game for Emma. We returned home and played our various games until it was time for me to take Sam to Zach's birthday party. Emma and my dad played the Sims while I was off buying groceries. I returned home to manage them both, eventually sending him off and getting Sam from his birthday party.

As usual, it was quite the affair, with a Lord of the Rings theme. Dwarves, elves, and humans dressed in medieval clothes were everywhere. We hung out for a little, then eventually returned home with assorted plastic weaponry. Next it was dinner, bath, and bedtime for all. I was pretty beat.

As for today, we're going off to breakfast with my mom shortly. After that, my dad wants to race electric boats. I'm not quite sure when Jamie returns today, but we'll likely return home around lunchtime and hang out until she returns. Busy, but fun.

Seraph, try Greece, where university educatio...

October 03, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Seraph, try Greece, where university education is free if you score well on a national test. Or try Botswana, where
university education is free to all citizens. But not here in the richest country in the world.

Or stay in the US and potentially have to listen to Sarah
talk and smile at the same time forever and ever...

It was a Mocha Thursday for me, as I'm off wo...

October 02, 2008 by Adam in Family

It was a Mocha Thursday for me, as I'm off work tomorrow watching the kids who are out of school. Jamie's going to the beach with Pat and his family for the weekend, so I've got to come up with interesting things to do with the kids. Fortunately Sam has a sleepover and birthday party to attend to, plus my dad has promised to do something with us on Friday. Hopefully I can make it through to Sunday.

I ended up getting another Nerf gun related injury last night. Sam and I were having a duel in the basement, and of course Sam wanted the lights off. Sure enough, we crashed into each other, Sam fell, and I stubbed my toe fairly badly on his gun. I may end up skipping running today as it's still fairly sore. The level of Nerf gun violence in the Miller household can certainly be shocking.

The next couple weeks are non-stop travel for me. Next week I fly to Bellingham to do a team meeting. I'm not especially thrilled, but there's a running track near the hotel. The week after I fly to Canada. The always-amusing Bioware folks informed me that I should bring a warm jacket, along with a rifle for the snow wolves that savage the countryside. Should be fun.

The house in Vadito has been the catylist for...

October 02, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

The house in Vadito has been the catylist for our move to Vadtio, NM. When we were heads over heals for the house, we thought we could make it on my salary, and what ever money Seraph would make. We now have serious thoughts about the place. Do we really want to have such high monthly payments? If they lower the price for us, we still would love to buy the house. However, I have been looking around and want to stay in the area, so Isabell still can attend Penasco Elementary School. On the other side of Penasco, is a village called Chamisal. It's a very cute town, and there is an old parish house for sale. It was builit between the late 1880's and 1900. It's only 65,000, and it's definitely a fixer upper. It has a lot of charm, with flag stone floors in the living and dining area, scroll work around the doors, and walls. The kitchen and bedroom need complete updating, and we thought it would be great to add a couple of rooms, another bathroom, and a couple of kiva fireplaces. It's on decent size lot, and there would be plenty of room to grow. It's an option that we are thinking of doing.

Today, I learned a new aspect of fall in New Mexico; the roasted smell of green and red chili. When we were on the playground at my school, someone nearby was roasting chili, and what a heavenly scent as it drifted toward us. I became ravenously hungry for chili, and have decided to buy some this weekend.

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