We had a good Thanksgiving yesterday

November 28, 2008 by Adam in Family

We had a good Thanksgiving yesterday. Sam woke up at 3:30 in the morning for some crazy reason, though he was mostly functional all day. Jamie went to see the Festival of Trees with the kids the day before, and they returned with a giant inflatable hammer and bat. Sure enough, the first thing they wanted to do in the morning was hit each other. As expected, it ended in tragedy.

After breakfast, we were all quite lazy. Sam and Emma played with Sam's new Brickarms Lego weaponry. I think there was a series of zombie attacks or something. Emma helped me make dough for dinner rolls while Sam played his new scary computer game. Eventually we wandered over to my mom's house to help cook and supervise the kids.

Emma and Jordan hit it off immediately, playing a variety of games together. I was occasionally pressed into service to deliver letters that she'd write to different people (and animals, in one case). At one point, they decided to bury Destin in the laundry chute. Ah, the joys of youth.

In any case, it was great to chat with Seraph before her grand New Mexico trip. The food was good and Sam had a second birthday party and cake. Eventually we returned home for movies and quiet time.

Now we get to do it all over again, this time with Jamie's family.

Sam and I both finished up Fallout 3

November 28, 2008 by Adam in Adam's Games

Sam and I both finished up Fallout 3. Towards the end it was a little on the easy side. Wandering around in powered armor with a plasma rifle means never having to say please. There were some issues, but in general it was a great game and loads of fun to play.

Sam and Emma both really got into an online game called Club Penguin. Emma in particular was trading chores for computer time, getting upset when she couldn't play, and so on. As far as I can tell, Club Penguin is a gateway game to tougher things like World of Warcraft, though clearly Club Penguin is geared towards kids and reassuring parents. I'm sure soon enough the kids will be camping mobs like the best of them.

Although I wasn't intending to do so, I gave Sam Dead Space for his birthday. I had another present lined up, but it broke and the game arrived at the same time. It's pretty darn creepy, though both of us are enjoying it. For some reason, things aren't as scary if I'm heavily armed and can blow them to pieces.

It's 7:30 Thanksgiving evening, and for a cha...

November 28, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

It's 7:30 Thanksgiving evening, and for a change, we had an early dinner, around 1:30 or 2:00. Thanks to Seraph, who arrived yesterday with her cookin' shirt on, we had an amazing variety of dishes, artfully presented. Thanks to Bob, who started the dishes, we did get the dishes done. Not, however, before bemoaning the fact that Yayoe and Hanni weren't here to shoulder the bulk of dish-doing!
Hope all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Happy White Thanksgiving Everyone! We had a w...

November 28, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

Happy White Thanksgiving Everyone! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with me, Isabell, my mom, dad, Carolyn, grandma, my aunt Teresa, and uncle John, cousin Cory, his girlfriend, and their little daughter. Like a dream come true, we had snow on Thanksgiving, and watched as it piled onto our cars and the road. As we left, the roads were a little slippery, so we drove cautiously home and made it safely. Isabell is sleeping over at the hotel with dad and Carolyn. She will have lots of fun. Tomorrow we are going back to town to celebrate my birthday.

Yesterday, I went out to the house in Chamisal with an architect and went over plans and ideas for the house. It seems like a daunting task to build the house, but she has great ideas, and will help us a lot.

Mom made it around 5:00, and didn't get lost too bad. Just a wrong turn in Truchas, but made it safely. I had tacos, and a warm fire waiting for her when she arrived. We had a great time catching up, and enjoyed a relaxing morning before heading up to Questa.

Sam turned 10 years old today

November 26, 2008 by Adam in Sam

Sam turned 10 years old today. "I'm a decade old," he informed us this morning. We're having a small family birthday party for him tonight, then a series of birthday parties during each of the Thanksgiving gatherings. Finally, he has a bunch of play dates this weekend where gifts will likely exchange hands.

I've been very proud of Sam lately. He's a smart, funny, responsible kid with lots of different interests.

His fencing is going well. I think he likes it a lot more than soccer, and he's improved immensely since he started. I think he'd be interested in going more often, though it's challenging to fit it all in. Perhaps when he's a little older we can both go to the Eugene Fencing Club together.

The other day he ran out of computer time and declared his boredom. I asked if he wanted to play Magic, so we broke out my old cards and gave it a go. As I played, I realized that there was a ton of math, reading, and logical thinking involved. We played a year or so ago and he needed a lot of help. Now he was able to build his own deck and really challenge me.

School is going well for him too. He's a voracious reader and is very good at spelling. Math is more of a challenge, but he typically understands everything. Mostly it's just that he hasn't memorized all the multiplication and division tables, so that slows him down. From a social aspect, he likes going to school and hanging out with friends. I'm glad he's so enthusiastic.

I wish I could be there, too! I'm afraid that...

November 26, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I wish I could be there, too! I'm afraid that I'll be spending my Thanksgiving writing papers.

Oooh, Sadie, your absence will be especially ...

November 25, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Oooh, Sadie, your absence will be especially noted, as will Anna's, Robbie's and Isa's. All the grown ups will be elsewhere for Thanksgiving Dinner (not that you guys aren't grown-ups) and it will be Aric, Adam and Jamie and kids,
Jenny and the boys, and Seraph. Many hugs to all, om

I had a very quick trip to Meadville, arrivin...

November 24, 2008 by Lohring in Lohring

I had a very quick trip to Meadville, arriving at Cleveland at 3:00 local time and driving to Meadville in the daylight. there's snow everywhere and it's really winter. I'll post pictures

This week was the first full week we've had i...

November 23, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

This week was the first full week we've had in a while, and it felt very long. Luckily it was uneventful, and the kids did a pretty good job of listening and playing. This week we are having a stone soup lunch on Tuesday with families bringing vegetables, herbs, and spices. It should be a fun day. Thank God that there are only two working days this week, and I'm looking forward to some down time with my mom and my dad in town.

We've had a beautiful and unusual warm weather the last few weeks with highs in the mid 60's. It's been welcome, but I'm in the mood for cooler weather and I believe it is approaching us soon. The forcast says snow is on its way on Friday, and early next week. The ski areas are hoping it will come soon so they can open full time. Today is overcast with cold breezy conditions sweeping down from the mountains. A good day to relax and sit around a blazing, crackling fire.

Christmas has come early here, with decorations appearing overnight in Taos. Friday night, Niamh slept over, and we drove to Taos the next morning to find Farolitos (lunch bags with sand and a candle) gracing rooftops of hotels and banks. It's so weird to see all of these decorations up already when Thanksgiving hasn't approached yet. I'm not sure if I agree with this or it's slowly welling up inside of me and I'm looking forward to the festive season.

On the same day, I drove Niamh and Isabell to Niamh's house where they had a sleep over. It was so nice to get out and walk around Taos without being loaded down. I went to the library, walked around the plaza, and went to see Quantum of Solace (sadly, it wasn't the best James Bond film, hopefully they've learned from their mistakes, and will do better next time). I went grocery shopping, finally went home, and watched another movie. Today, I went to church, and now I'm home writing, and reading a book.


It's Mocha Friday

November 21, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday. I said goodbye to my family, headed to work, and finished off my delicious beverage. I'm trying to fortify myself for Jamie and Emma going up to Portland, leaving Sam and I to fend for ourselves.

Last night I noticed the Wii blinking for attention, ran the system update, and decided to play a few songs in Guitar Hero. Soon enough, everyone was getting in on it. Sam had enough computer time left over to play Barracuda. I played a song by Superbus (in French), Paint it Black, and a couple others. There's something deeply satisfying with throwing up the horns and shouting "Rock and Roll" after the end of a particularly challenging song.

It's been a good, if uneventful week. Sam worked on fencing yesterday while I entertained Emma. He's gotten his technique down pretty well. Whenever I watch him, I get this burning desire to get back into fencing too. Maybe we can do the Eugene Fencing Club together one of these days.

Emma's really gotten into reading and writing. They teach spelling phonetically at her school, so she's always sounding out the syllables of things I say. She's also really gotten into having her own web site. I'm going to see if I can snap up Emmatopia while I can.

As for what Sam and I will be doing this weekend, I'm not sure. He's got a birthday party tonight, leaving me alone in the house for the first time in ages. If the weather is nice, I want to ride bikes and see Quantum of Solace. Swimming is always a plus too. Fun, fun.

Here I am, back in Eugene, watching an interv...

November 17, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Here I am, back in Eugene, watching an interview of President-Elect Obama on "Sixty Minutes". What a relief to hear someone intelligent at the helm of our rather shaky ship of state. I had a delightful week with Seraph in Portland. She had people touring her house nearly everyday, and two open houses, one for realators on Tuesday, and one scheduled today. Her house does look lovely, very shiny and
pretty. However, it's obvious that the bottom has fallen out of the market there. Some friends wanted to have their wedding at Seraph and Robbie's, so we scurried around like
Martha Stewart clones, liberally spreading flowers and candles hither and thither. I had a couple of "garlands"
(90% off, end of season sidewalk sale at Hiron's - where else?) which I beefed up with various other Hiron's goodies.
They looked quite artsy-fartsy on the railing at Seraph's house. I performed the wedding ceremony (nothing like an all-purpose wedding service!) my seventh. Everyone seemed to have a good time. As always, it was fun to spend time with Seraph.

The weekend is coming to a close

November 17, 2008 by Adam in Family

The weekend is coming to a close. The kids are playing, Jamie's out at a friend's for dinner, and I have a few minutes before I need to start cooking.

Yesterday was a very pleasant, with crepes and omelets for breakfast. I went off to the library and then took the kids swimming. The afternoon was a lazy affair followed by a quiet dinner.

This morning Sam finished Fallout 3. After breakfast we headed to the back yard to chop down the butterfly bush in preparation for the shed building tomorrow. Emma loved sawing and dragging limbs around. We got it all cleaned up and headed in for snacks.

Emma really wanted to learn how to ride her bike, so we went to the park. Jamie and I took turns holding on to her seat. Sam got in some practice as well. After a good long while, we went home where Emma watched Kung Fu Panda and Sam and I fiddled with the computer.

Some times I wake up or I'm driving and find ...

November 17, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

Some times I wake up or I'm driving and find myself thinking that I'm actually here...here in New Mexico. This is a dream that I thought wouldn't happen for a long time. Now that it has happened, I still can't believe how fast it all came to be. It all happened in a blink of an eye.

Though I loved Oregon and still do, my heart and soul pulled me to the huge and blue skies of New Mexico. The final straw was the awful rainy winter and spring that we experienced in Oregon. I just couldn't do that anymore, I needed release, and I needed a sign to move here. Thank goodness for Craigslist! A listing of a beautiful house in Vadito drew my attention and once I talked to Seraph the plan became reality, and I flew to NM to see the house, see family, and interview for a job. From there it was an avalache of activity; talking to Eric and Shaun, looking for jobs, and getting our house ready to put on the market. Before I knew it I was off with my mom without any job security. I had a few job leads, but no offers. In Utah, I received a call from one preschool in Los Alamos offering me a job, and waited for a second interview in Santa Fe.

Once there, we found our cute rental home, went to Santa Fe for my second interview, left for Los Alamos with out an answer from the school. I was enamored with the job, and the Los Alamos job didn't have the same spark. I told the woman in charge I was waiting for a job offer and that I would call her tomorrow. Biting fingernails, I waited, and finally Stephanie called and said that I had the job. With a breath of relief I was on my way to full filling my lifes dream.

I still can't get rid of the Pacfic Northwest. There's a direct pipeline from NM to PNW. I've met so many people who have lived in Porland, or Seattle. I meet at least one or two people a day who have connections with the PNW. When I lived in Portland, I had several friends who are from NM. One of my parents is from N. Portland, and has family that lives only a few blocks from our house. The afterschool teacher is from Seattle. I'm constantly in awe at how many brief encounters and coincidences that I've seen from the pipline.

Back to normal time. Thursday and Friday were conference days and we didn't have school. It was interesting meeting with the parents, learning about their children, and their behaviors at home. Now I know these kids secrets!

Saturday, we went to Questa to pick up my laundary from my grandma, and presented her with a rosary from Chimayo. She was so kind to do all of that laundary for me. Afterwards, we went back to Taos to go to the library, and to get our haircuts. After this, we went to Ojo Caliente where they have hot springs. This place is the only place in the world where there are four different springs; soda, arsenic, iron, and lithium. All of them reportedly have their own healing powers. It's an hour a way, so we drove over in the afternoon, and enjoyed the healing powers of these ancient springs. It feels and looks like Tuscon with it's red rocks, and pear cactus growing. We had a lot of fun, and Isabell was really the only kid there. I was worried that the adults would be offended having her there, however they loved seeing her youthful energy. After two hours, we left and had dinner at a mexican restaurant in the town. I met a woman who lived "off the grid" nearby. She lived part time here and in Los Angelos. Her name was Arianna Solare, and she is a singer who has recorded a couple of CDs. I had this feeling that I should of known her, but I had no clue who she was. She sings folk vintage music, and she gave me her website information. When I got home I looked her up and heard some of her music, and I was impressed by her. Maybe the napkin she wrote on, will be worth a fortune in the future.

At church today, I had my first taste of Thanksgiving. We had a Thanksgiving feast potluck and many people showed up for it. I stuffed myself with great food, and Isabell played with a lot of friends. I found the solution to many of the empty churches. Have potlucks every Sunday, and all of the people shall follow. Sounds like a nice solution to me! This Afternoon was lazy and little boring. We tried to rack our brains for something to do, but we couldn't come up with any grand ideas. Isabell played outside, and watched a movie, while I surfed the internet and made lasagna. I did go for a walk down the road and talked to Seraph. I miss her so much, and I can't wait for her to be down here with us.

Dad! You're becoming a community organizer! I...

November 15, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Dad! You're becoming a community organizer! I couldn't be happier.

I've spent the month so far in continuous mee...

November 15, 2008 by Lohring in Lohring

I've spent the month so far in continuous meetings. First I was in Washington, DC for a meeting on our grant, then in Dallas for the major dental public health meeting, and finally in Oregon for the dental public health coalition meeting Friday. I was a presenter at all three on our clinic model. Now I need to make it work. I think I need to become a politician in my old age and convince all the bureaucracies involved that they need to do more than preserve their organization. I developed a list of people to take to lunch for a start. Does anyone know some lobbying groups? I assume I have contacts in the HIV community, but Latinos, who pressured Lane County for the Riverstone medical clinic, and seniors would be other good groups to talk to.

I haven't yet mentioned the best thing about ...

November 14, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I haven't yet mentioned the best thing about Waltham. Russo's is where restaurants and regular folks go to buy the most beautiful produce in the greater Boston area. I go in for onions and come out with kohlrabi, local snap peas, and a lust for vegetables. In fact, seven percent of my total happiness can be attributed to Russo's, holding constant the weather, my workload, and how many parking tickets I have lodged in my windshield. The second best thing about Waltham, or more particularly, about going to Brandeis, is that you never have to cook for yourself on Fridays. Due to hachnasat orchim, I get to be the grateful recipient of Shabbat hospitality. As long as I can find street parking in Somerville.

It's Mocha Friday

November 14, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday. I'm sitting at my desk, having drained the last of that wonderful elixir. Already I feel my fingers typing with the strength of ten men.

It's been a quiet, uneventful week. Work hasn't been crazy for a change. The kids have been healthy. Yesterday I watched Sam fence while entertaining Emma. On Wednesday we had Josh, Dave, and Kirsten over for an elaborate asian-themed dinner. The only big thing was that Emma is now doing chores, excitedly part of the same check system that Sam has. Her chores are simpler, and I find myself helping her a lot, but it's great to see her wanting more responsibility.

Jamie's talking with the first of the builders as we embark on our grand backyard project. Basically we're replacing the rotting balcony, adding a shed, and extending the patio. I'm freaking out a little about the cost as we go into the recession, but I always freak out when I see the bill, so I'm getting used to it. Jamie's previous remodels have turned out well, so I keep telling her I trust her judgement.

I can't wait for the weekend. My favorite times each week are swimming with the kids, going to the library, and having a hearty breakfast.

Sam and I continue to play Fallout 3

November 11, 2008 by Adam in Adam's Games

Sam and I continue to play Fallout 3. It's loads of fun, bringing back memories of the original while also having vastly improved visuals. I just got trained in power armor and picked up some Enclave power armor. That plus my shiny new plasma rifle should make for easier fights ahead.

My favorite quest was a weird virtual reality area where everything was set in 50's suburbia. I was trapped in the body of a little girl and had to find my way to freedom. Good times.

I woke up this morning to my radio alarm goin...

November 10, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

I woke up this morning to my radio alarm going on saying that school was still on time. I jumped out of bed and what to my bewildering eyes do I see, snow. I expected in to be windy and rainy, but there was at least two inches of snow on the ground and it was still snowing. My gift to Seraph is snow.

I took a disappointed Isabell to school and headed to Taos to figure out all of the fun details for my car. I took it to the repair shop and waited for the results. A very nice older woman came in and her car was also hit, but the person "painted" her car with his. She was the friendliest person I've met in a while, and she said that she grew up in the Penasco area and her father owned a grocery store in Chamisal. When I told her that I was a preschool teacher, she laughed out loud for joy. It ended up that she was the director for headstart for 15 years at the Taos Pueblo Headstart. I told her that I might pursue a Masters in Early Childhood Education, and she told me a friend of hers got her masters on-line in a year. I gave her my name and number and she said that she would get in contact with me. I love these coincidences, especially in small towns and I also love knowing everyone. Here I worked at a really nice school in Portland, but I felt like I never saw any one around. Here I bump into people all of the time that I've met once.

The cost wasn't to bad considering the damage and said that they could fix it for me. The insurance agreed to pay it and that was a little relief. I took my time puttering around Taos; had lunch, went to the plaza, and to the library. I had an orthopedic appointment at 2:00 and what an experience. I've seen their sign before, and decided to stop by since mine are falling apart slowly. They fit me in, and asked all of these strange questions about pain. I told them all I needed to get were new prosthetics. First they took x-rays, and then finally gave me a perscription to a place in Santa Fe. All of that and I still have to go to Santa Fe! Anyway after that I went to the car rental place, and got a car and headed home to a winter wonderland!

I had a great time in Eugene this weekend

November 10, 2008 by Seraph in Cortez

I had a great time in Eugene this weekend. Yayoe & I kicked up our heels at the opera, and with her Ukulele group! It was fun to once again eat the 3+ cereal concoctions of my childhood. On Sunday we had a great lunch at Mom's house. It was so much fun to catch up with everyone.
Based on all sorts of circumstances - especially Robbie's accident, I decided to speed up the moving process. I put in my 2 weeks notice at work this morning, and am working with our realtor to sell our house asap. It's simply time to start moving forward, even if the finances are more difficult.

It's just me and the kids

November 09, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's just me and the kids. I've been feeling a little under the weather this weekend, so I haven't been up to my usual excitement. Last night we did a lot of reading. Sam read Ripley's Believe It Or Not to Emma. Later we picked our favorite animals out of Emma's library book.

Today I made crepes and sausages. We played in the basement until Sam wanted his computer time. Emma and I played Sorry. Eventually we headed to the library for books and bagels. Upon getting home, it was quiet time. The kids watched movies and I played Fallout 3. Later we all went outside to dig in the dirt. We managed to stick around through some of the rain, but eventually it drove us inside.

The kids played well together for awhile, but eventually things went downhill. Dinner was basic, not fancy like Jamie, but they finished it up. Emma made a birthday card for Seraph. Amazingly, she spelled some of the words all by herself.

Tomorrow we hope to swim and go to Seraph's birthday party. Everyone is looking forward to Jamie's return as well.

*Before I start on how much I love New Mexico...

November 08, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

*Before I start on how much I love New Mexico, I had an accident this morning in Taos. I was stopped at a red light heading to Questa, when I got rear ended by a huge truck. I had Isabell and her friend Niamh with me, luckily there were no injuries. The driver was a young girl, and she told me to follow her to the Katchina Lodge where she worked. The left drivers side back was smashed to bits, and my hatch door does not close all of the way. I find out that the girl is underage, and has no insurance. Her father was trying to be reasonable, and said that his daughter would pay for the damages. It looks like it's going to cost a lot of money. I had to deal with the insurance company, and file a claim. Not fun, luckily Niamh's mom picked Isabell up too and now they are having a sleep over. I love NM, however, nothing is opened on a Saturday. I was looking for an auto shop, but they aren't open on the weekends. Just now I feel like I'm a thousand miles from civilization. I'll have to take Monday off, and deal with the adjuster, and get a rental car.

Back to my love affair with New Mexico. On Wednesday we woke to a fresh dusting of snow. I was so excited that I turned on the radio to see if school was canceled or not. (SORRY...ARGGGH!!I CAN'T FIND THE CORK SCREW FOR A NICE GLASS OF WINE! Phew...I found it!) Anyway, no such luck. Isabell was disappointed, and tried to convince me that I wasn't listening properly. I dropped off Isabell, and was cautious driving fearing the higher I went I would find lots of snow. But my fears were not, as I was surprised to find no snow in Truchas, which is the highest town in New Mexico at over 8000 ft. I arrived in Santa Fe without seeing any snow at all. I had a little bit of snow on my car and brought it in for the kids to see. Around 10:30 we were ready to go outside, when out of the blue, the wind kicked up and it started to snow. I was the last one out and by the time I got down to the playground, it was a winter squal. The kids were crying and scared, so we rushed back upstairs. Once inside the kids were excited, and watched the storm from the windows. I thought I would have to drive home in this, however within fifteen minutes, the storm past as fast as it arrived. It was cold and windy, but the famous New Mexican sun arrived. We went back outside, where the snow was the driest and lightest I had ever seen.

On Thursday late afternoon as I was driving home, the Truchas Peaks were lit by a beautiful mauve (aspen glow)color. It was so breathtaking, that I wanted to be in a rustic lodge with picture windows, with a roaring fire, a glass of ruby red wine, soft jazz, and with the love of my life, and enjoying the dying dusk, as the mountains disappeared into the night sky. By the time I got home, I wanted to post, but my internet was down.

Friday, I stayed late to write up assessments for our kids, and I got a late start back up the mountains. I brought my camara to recreate that scene on Thursday, however the light didn't cooperate with me, so I rushed home to pick up Isabell. When I got there, I was bombarded by Isabell and Niamh wanting a sleep over. I reluctantly agreed, rented Hairspray for the girls, and I rented The Inconvenient Truth. I've been hesitent to watch this movie, but I decided to brave it out and watch this documentary. I was saddened to see the truth, however by the time it was over, I really want to build an enviromentally green house. The move ended with hope, and only hope Obama will help reduce carbon emmissions.

I finally figuered out how to regulate the heat in the woodstove, so I was toasting warm last night. I have my red wine, crackling fire, views of the mountains, but sadly no love of my life to settle down with. (Worlds smallest violin is playing right now.)

Generic Heading

November 07, 2008 by Betsy in Betsy

Sue, maybe the country finally grew up!

Hi, Fam, Seraph is down this weekend

November 07, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, Fam, Seraph is down this weekend. Since it's her birthday, I'm going to do an early dinner on Sunday for her.
I thought I'd aim for two or three, but can do a late brunch, now that I finally figured out how to do that puffy egg thing.
I'm still euphoric, though I feel as though the country went
to the brink of greed and almost to the brink of civil unrest. It feels as though some one gave us permission to speak out loud about Race and Race issues to each other;
Black people and racial minorities are full of joy, and White people feel as though some of our sins are washed away. United in good will, we can finally talk about the
griefs which separated us.

After a contentious election, there's nothing...

November 07, 2008 by Adam in Family

After a contentious election, there's nothing that brings the country together more than Mocha Friday. Republicans and Democrats can unite around that delicious caffeinated beverage, sagely discussing the finer points of ground coffee beans.

It's been a fairly typical week. I got to watch Sam fence yesterday while Josh watched Emma. He's getting quite good. Every time I watch him I have this urge to grab a foil and try it out myself. Maybe when he's older we can go to the Eugene Fencing Club together.

Jamie's going off to the coast today, with me watching the kids. I don't have anything particularly exciting planned. I'll try to go on a hike if the rain stops for awhile. I'd also love to go swimming and visit the library. Otherwise a lazy weekend sound perfect for me.

For the last few days, I've been spending my ...

November 07, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

For the last few days, I've been spending my time licking the dust off horse stalls in War Relocation Camps at the foot of the Sierra Nevadas and trying to interpret it into income data for Japanese Americans in the 1980s. It's been interesting research, but consuming and less than joyful. So tonight I was taken to a Decembrists concert to stand for hours with my boots stuck to dried beer. The band threw a full sized Barack Obama cut-out into the audience to lovingly crowd surf, and we chanted, in response to the lead singer's cry of "Yes We Can" with "Yes We Did!" There was a buoyancy to the event, a unity and hopefulness about the future. As we got up to leave, sweaty and happy, I realized that sometime during the concert, someone had unsnapped my jacket pocket and taken my wallet.

I have a presentation on crime and the prison system tomorrow. Life is funny that way.

This is in memory of your great-great uncle J...

November 06, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

This is in memory of your great-great uncle Joseph Stallsmith. He was an 18 year old soldier in the Union Army
when he was killed in the Battle of Bushy Run. That war was fought to take away the ability of wealthy people in the south to treat people like animals. The war has been long, but it's nice to see a victory.

I woke up to NPR using the words "president e...

November 05, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I woke up to NPR using the words "president elect Obama" this morning, and the world felt more hopeful. Particularly for my career in public policy.

I woke up to the news that Obama won, and it ...

November 05, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

I woke up to the news that Obama won, and it snowed last night! If we lived in Portland, we would have a two our delay or a cancelation, however here in the mountains it would have to take an avalanche to cancel school. Isabell was disappointed, but this is only the beginning.

Fallout 3 came yesterday

November 05, 2008 by Adam in Adam's Games

Fallout 3 came yesterday. I've fallen completely in love with it. Few games allow you to hunt mutant ants in your negligee, sporting a laser pistol and combat helmet. It's like a twisted version of the Sims.

I have fond memories of the previous versions of the game played in decades past. This latest version is much prettier, but still sports the same humor and themes of the originals.

So far I've left my vault, saved a town, and am exploring the ruined tunnels under Washington D.C.. Good times.

It's been a weird day

November 05, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's been a weird day.

Jamie was really sick last night, basically unable to do much more than lay around and feel miserable. I jumped into primary parent mode, making breakfast, getting the kids to and from school, and spending most of the day watching Emma.

That was combined with playing a new game called Fallout 3, where I roam around a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C., plus the elections. Tonight a tired Emma was sitting in the bath and turned to me saying, "I bet Obama's going to win." I could just smile back and sleepily nod.

October flew by like the leaves on the trees

November 05, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

October flew by like the leaves on the trees. We had a misadventure on Halloween, and I had one very disappointed little girl. We were suppose to go trick or treating with Isabell's friend Niemh, but Isabell didn't want to go to Dixon for Halloween. She wanted to stay nearby, but I didn't know the areas in Penasco and Vadito very well.

On Friday, I was exhausted from our own Halloween Party at school, and wanted to stay nearby. I picked Isabell from Trapeze, and went to a Halloween party at the local community center. They had a haunted house, in which Isabell was scared, and wanted to go out. Luckily it was short, and she was fine. It was fun for her to run around with friends, and I talked to several other parents. We were told that Taos plaza was very good for trick or treating, and Isabell wanted to to go desperately. It was only 6:30pm and we thought we would have plenty of time. We arrived in Taos at 6:55, and the plaza was deserted. Isabell began to cry, and I felt terrible about this. I rushed back to Vadito hoping there would be time to trick or treat, but all houses looked dark. I suggested that we'd go and see The Nightmare Before Christmas, Isabell brightened up, and we had a good time.

I was very anxious for the arrival of Seraph and my mom, and I knew they'd be here around 1:30am. I lit a candle in a plastic pumpkin, to show them the way around midnight and went to bed. At 2:45 the phone called, and was panicked to see how late it was, and envisioned a terrible accident. However, they were lost in Penasco, and couldn't find Vadito. They had been close, but thought they had gone to far and went back to Penasco. I guided them in from Penasco, and I was very happy to see them. Exhausted, they fell asleep right of way.

Saturday, we woke up early and headed to Taos for breakfast at Michaels, and headed back to the Penasco area to go and see the house in Chamisal. A contractor came out to see the house and to see if it was worth renovating it. At first glance he was little discouraging, but once inside he thought there were great possiblities and that gave us hope. Seraph was impressed by the house and the beauty of the area. We went home, and Seraph worked out possible designs, and exhaustion descended on us. We all took small naps, awoke, and made a delicious dinner.

Sunday, we all went to church where everyone was very happy to meet Seraph and my mom. They were probably happy to know that Seraph really did exist. Afterwards, we went up to Truchas to go to an art gallery. I bought Seraph a beautiful bracelet for an early birthday present. Afterwards, we drove to Dixon for their annual art and craft show. The streets were packed and we saw some exquisite art, however Isabell, who doesn't care for this was bored, and wanted to go. We took a quick trip to several galleries and went to Taos to do some grocery shopping. Once at home, we ate a small dinner and headed to bed.

Monday, we drove up to Questa for a quick visit with grandma, and headed back to Taos to see Elisabeth for Taos Lending Team, to calculate numbers for the purchase of the house. It's always above my head when it comes to these things, and I can only pray that it all works out. After our meeting, we had lunch on the plaza and hurried home to pick up Isabell from school.

Tuesday, We dropped Isabell at school, and then we all drove to Santa Fe, where I introduced Seraph and my mom to the staff at my school. They stayed for a while and headed to the plaza and the state capital to see the art inside.
They came back around 12:30 and we said a final goodbye. It was sad to say goodbye, and I can only hope that these final two months will fly bye so we can be together as a family again.

With the time change, night has approached as I drive home, and the evening sun has dipped into the horizon, leaving a fire in the sky. Low dark clouds are nearing, with a promise of snow in the air. We are expecting cold and blustery conditions tonight and we might wake to snow. We will have to wait and see.

I just got back from LA and will be off to Wa...

November 04, 2008 by Lohring in Lohring

I just got back from LA and will be off to Washington DC tomorrow. I'll try to keep in touch through the web site.

We had a so so weekend (for us) with one new record running my engine in Mike's boat. We put another engine in for a different class but got beat slightly by another well prepared team. We did go 10 mph faster than that engine has ever gone and its builder wants us to try again with a better engine. We'll be back!

There's this wacky little site called "Gender...

November 03, 2008 by Adam in Adam

There's this wacky little site called "Gender Analyzer" where you put in a URL and it decides if a blog was written by a man or a woman. I immediately had to try out this one and try it out.

Sure enough, it appears that I write like a girl. Jamie would probably nod sadly and agree.

The weekend has come to a close and I'm back ...

November 03, 2008 by Adam in Family

The weekend has come to a close and I'm back at work again, loving how the time change makes me feel like I'm lazy.

Saturday I did my usual library trip, and took Emma swimming afterwards. Jamie went off with Pat and Carlanne in the evening, so the kids and I watched a bunch of Pixar shorts.

Sunday morning we all went up to Mount Pisgah for a family hike. Sam was reluctant to go and reluctant to leave, as usual. The views were gorgeous, with the trees taking on all the colors of Fall. Eventually we headed back into town for lunch at 5th Street, then home for quiet time. I got Emma the new Pixie movie, which she adores. Sam watched the Korean monster movie The Host, which he said was good.

In the afternoon Sam had Sophia over and Emma went to a birthday party. Jamie made gnocchi (which I can never pronounce right), and it made for a tasty dinner.

All-in-all, it was a great start to November and I'm looking forward to a month filled with Seraph and Sam's birthdays, as well as Thanksgiving.

Happy All Saints Day

November 02, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Happy All Saints Day. Stay in touch with your ancestors. Vote! (Those two imprecautions are unrelated!) Seraph, Robbie, Hanni and Isa, have fun, fun, fun.

The kids had a lot of fun for Halloween last ...

November 01, 2008 by Adam in Family

The kids had a lot of fun for Halloween last night. Sam dressed up as a zombie, spending quite a bit of time getting ready. Emma was a great little kitty. Jamie and I were somewhat stressed out before I took the kids out. Emma didn't get much sleep that day and they were both bouncing off the walls. Once I got out on the streets, I relaxed considerably and had a good time. Sam's friend Chase and his mom came along. It was fun visiting all the neighbors and seeing the neighborhood kids wander about. This morning they went through all their candy, reminding me of Christmas after presents were opened. The kids traded various candy, and gave all the coconut flavored ones to Jamie.

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