Even when I could read this site at work, I c...

August 31, 2008 by Seraph in Cortez

Even when I could read this site at work, I could never watch any of the You Tube links (another blocked site at work). Just now I was able to watch Adam's Lute Hero video. I nearly laughed my ass off in this little coffee shop. Adam - you have to send me your clothing sizes, so I can start working on the complete Steampunk look! Thanks for the morning chuckle!!

I live in two worlds, two worlds that often c...

August 31, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

I live in two worlds, two worlds that often collide within one another. Living in New Mexico one can experience both of these worlds. Here you have poverty and wealth, living right next to each other. In Vadito, their are neighbors who have to work very hard everyday to make a living, but down the road, there is a brand new beautiful house, going for $425,000, that some well to do family will buy. It is evident in that Vadito, like any other village in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, it is a different world than Santa Fe/Taos. These villages compromise 65% hispanic, 35% Native American, and 5% white. On any given day, you can go into Santa Fe and Taos and see hispanic and Native culture, but there is a more pronounced white influence. An example of this, is when I went to see my relatives in Questa. No, they aren't poor by any means. The live comfortably, but it's definitely not the life style I would prefer. However I do enjoy their relaxed life style and sitting around and talking. After spending the afternoon with them, we were invited to a friends art gallery opening. Five of Taos top art talent were exhibiting their art; so there were many well to do people attending the opening. Isabell and I explored the art, and the people who attended. I found it more interesting watching these people as they were as flamboyant as the art; young hip couples, older influential couples, and nouveau young single people eyeing the art. I casually glanced over the price guide to the art, and stared in disbelief at some of the outrageous prices: $45,000 for an oil portrait of a woman with tatooes. (Not in my life would I hang this picture in my house.) This is an area that I can thrive in too. I love being in this atmosphere, and I can feel the money in the air. If there was only a way I can tap into this wealth, like one tapping for syrup in a maple tree. I drank smooth red wine, snacked on goat cheese, crackers, and strawberries, and mingled with the people. What can I say, I love this type of environment.

I have also lived both life styles, too. I grew up living the wealthy life style, traveling to Germany, Mexico, and South America. Staying in nice hotels, and eating out at five star restaurants. Traveling with my dad, is like living on Fantasy Island, and you never want to go back. I've also lived the life of eating macaroni and cheese in every creative way possible.
Either way, I can be happy. I've had wonderful times with Seraph eating noodles, watching tv, and enjoying each other. I can also be happy living the high life, and schmoozing with the wealthy. I don't need a million dollars to live this life, but a life where one can live modestly, and have friends come over for dinner parties, and enjoy delicious wines, would be very comforting.

This life continued, as Isabell and I left to go home and a beautiful sunet illuminated the darkening sky. Here in New Mexico a sunset can't be described in one word. They are breathtaking, gorgeous, awe inspiring, etc. These sunsets reminded me of nights in Mexico watching the sun vanish behind the Pacific. The difference being that the sun vanished behind waves of mountains. A life worth living.

Once in Vadito, Isabell wanted to watch a movie, and I tried in vain to get Isabell to come out and see the spectacular night show outside. The stars were in full glory tonight, and one could see the Milky Way! The Milky Way! I can't remember the last time I saw the Milky Way. Now I know why I moved out here! The only other way to see the stars like this, is to a planetarium. Here I feel alive watching the stars. Feeling small is not a horrible thing, it makes all the big worries seem so small. When I lived in Ashland, I would drive up to the top of Mt. Ashland in the night, sit there while I viewed the city lights, and realize that my problems were minisculed compared to others. Life would go on, and everything was going to be okay. That's how I feel here; the sky is huge, the mountains are beautiful, and all I can do is smile and enjoy my new found life.

Quick note from Portland! I'm a bit out of t...

August 30, 2008 by Seraph in Cortez

Quick note from Portland! I'm a bit out of touch, as FM has classified this site as a gaming site, and it's now blocked from our network. Sigh... big brother is watching. Anyways, not having a computer at home, I am now at an internet cafe nearby catching up on Robbie's posts. It's starting to get far too quiet here, and I go between lathargic, and high speed house work. During the slow times I've been doing small projects like sorting the CD collection and organizing financial records. Durning peak times I'm pressure washing, sanding, and painting! The house will be officially on the market in a few weeks, and I hope you're all ready for me to be down on weekends! I've told my realtor I can be out whenever she needs me to be.
Love to all!

When I awake in the morning, the sky is a bri...

August 30, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

When I awake in the morning, the sky is a brilliant royal blue, and I enjoy watching the sunrise, as it washes the mountain in bright sunlight. Though, it's a long drive, I love driving in silence, and thanking God for this opportunity to live in such a beautiful place. By the late afternoon, dark clouds have formed over the mountains, and lightning and thunder illuminate the skies. Over certain areas, long dark finger like rain can be seen over the hills, while long beams of sunlight stretch from the clouds down to the hills. From Santa Fe towards Truchas, the hills are light rust red, with stunted junipers, and they are contrasted beautifully by the dark clouds that have formed behind it.

For the most part, I was able to finish my room, while others still had a lot to finish up by Tuesday, the first day of school. I was late picking up Isabell on Friday, so we went to the bistro, and ate really good pizza. Afterwards, we decided to watch Walk the Line, about Johnny Cash. Even Isabell thought it was a good movie. I forgot my cell phone at home, and I was worried that someone would try to call, and I wanted to go home before the movie to get it, but Isabell didn't want to go, so I chanced it, and enjoyed the movie. When we left the movie, a thunderstorm had settled over Penasco, and a gentle rain fell over the land. It was quite a show watching the lightning appear over the mountains. They were not contained in a certain area, but flashed everywhere.

Today, we are planning to go to Questa and see my grandma, and my uncle and aunt, and do some clothes washing. We'll head back to Taos, go to the library and hopefully get our library cards. I need to do some grocery shopping, and then we were invited to Shaun and Eric's (owners of the house we want to buy)for an art opening. Shaun said that Eric's nephews are in town, and Isabell might like playing with them.

I have two days off, and on Sunday we will go to church, and then watch Babe at the theater. On Monday, I hope to go up to Sipapu Ski area, where they have free frisbee golf. I've never played before, and I thought it would be fun for Isabell and I to play. It's suppose to be a championship frisbee golf course, so this might be very special.

My body is here, but my soul is still in the ...

August 29, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

My body is here, but my soul is still in the warm clear water of Crete. When it gets back to Eugene, we'll post. Love, the not-quite-as-ancient-as-the-buildings-we-saw Old

It's Friday, but strangely not a Mocha Friday

August 29, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's Friday, but strangely not a Mocha Friday. I'm instead sipping tea and eating almonds and raisins. I decided the ultra-sugary mocha wasn't what I wanted today. We'll see if it's just a fad.

Instead of showing off a picture of the kids as usual, I thought I'd give people a sense of what I put my family through. Jamie gets these big Nancy's Yogurt containers with a place on the side for writing what you're putting in it if you reuse it. Jamie prefers the clear containers, of which we have plenty, so I've been writing silly things on them for my own amusement. Last week it was "Body Parts" and this week it's the "Souls of the Damned." Such fun.

The last week of Summer vacation is coming to a close, something that Jamie has been looking forward to greatly. The kids waiver between playing together nicely and trying to kill each other. Hopefully once they're back in school, they'll lean more towards peaceful coexistence.

The week has been fairly uneventful. I bought a couple rockets and assembled them with the kids. Perhaps on Monday we'll try to fire them off. Unfortunately I've thrown out the igniter, launch pad, and parachute wadding, so I may need to send Jamie out to get some today (I'm guessing the store is closed on Monday). The last time we launched rockets, Emma was scared. Now she seems pretty gung-ho, which seems to go along with her new Kung Fu persona.

We head to the beach this afternoon, one last hurrah before school starts. I'm hoping to spend a lot of time building sand castles and swimming at the pool, hopefully giving Jamie some time to relax.

Since I stayed up until 11:45pm and woke up a...

August 28, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

Since I stayed up until 11:45pm and woke up at 6:15, I was especially tired. I woke up Isabell, got her ready for the bus, and followed her out on my way to Santa Fe. I arrived at 9:00, and proceeded to empty out a room that I am going to use as the class library. Someone had donated hundreds of elementary age books, so there were 10 heavy boxes of books. Reminded me of all of the books that are in storage. The room was quite dusty, and that really effected me. I did manage to find a whole collection of American Girl books, that were not in use, and liberated them for Isabell. Anyway, I managed to get rid of the books, and set up my room, though I didn't have a lot to set up on my shelves. Every summer, they have to empty the rooms, because they share the space with 200 elementary age children and at end of the summer they have to rearrange all of the classes. So the supplies are scattered everywhere, and I had to search for these supplies.

By the end of the day, my head started to pound from lack of sleep and all of the dust I stirred up. I left work and the sides of the my head felt like it was in vise grip, and it took all of my concentration to get back to Penasco to pick Isabell up at Boys and Girls Club. Only Devine Intervention guided me safely over the mountains and curves. I picked up Isabell, went home, and went to sleep for a hour and a half. Isabell was so so good to me, and felt bad leaving her on her own. She woke me up around 6:30, and I wobbled to the kitchen and stuck a pizza in the oven, and watched Millions on the bed until Isabell's bed time. My headache subsided gradually, and went to bed at 10:30.

The next day, I woke up at 6:30, washed dishes, and tried waking Isabell up at 6:55, but she was dead to the world. I finished cleaning the kitchen, waved the bus driver on, and had breakfast. Finally at 7:35, I woke Isabell up, and made her rush around the house to get dressed, and have a bite to eat. She was a little late for school, so I went in with her, and got an excused tardy slip and walked her to class. I was about ten minutes late for work, but no one noticed, and I started filling my shelves with art supplies, and chatting with my co-workers. It's a great group of women, as usual I'm the only male, which I don't mind. One, I'm use to this, and second, I don't mind!

I met Dee, the owner of the school, who also runs the after school program. A nice lady from Texas, who has her own rules for the after school children. There are several of our children who are in the after school program, so we had to go over the rules. It's funny, because Stephanie my supervisor has different ideas then I am use to. She lets the children play with sticks, and use them as weapons. I totally don't agree with this, but it's one of those new fangled ideas that children need to learn how to play with them appropriately. Which is a good idea, but all I can hear in my mind is, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" They also let the children wrestle, supervised. The rules are, that they have to stop when they say stop and not to rough. It's whole new philosophy. Dee, is a very conservative person, and I tend to agree with her on these type of rules. But since we are our own separate school from hers, we can decide what is best for our children.

After our meeting, I decorated one corner of my wall with a large tree, owl and squirrel. I left work around 3:30, and it began to rain. By the time I arrived in Penasco, the sun was out, with the only evidence that it rained earlier here were small puddles of water.

The one exciting thing that happened tonight was that Arlene's cat came in our house. She's big, fluffy, and calico colored, and she came running into our house. I forgot about her, and right after Isabell fell a sleep the fireworks began. Skippy spotted Arlene's cat, hissed and pounced on her. A huge raucaus from both cats occured, and I tried to head them off by going around to the other side, and trying to catch the cat. When I approched it, it hissed at me, and right then Skippy bolted for her, and it came racing out through the living room. (Since this is a one room house, Isabell sleeps in the living room on a bed.) Both were hissing and growling, and they both could of woken up the dead. I was afraid Isabell would wake up, but I was shocked when I looked over and saw that she was tight asleep. I have no idea how she slept through the whole thing. Again I tried to help the cat get out of the house, however she was traumatized, and started hissing and pawing at me. I tried throwing a rug on her and grabbing her, but she didn't like this and raced by onto the breakfast nook and onto the window sill. I tried throwing the rug on her once again, but everytime I did this, she jumped up in the air and ran to the otherside. I was getting anxious and scared that this cat would turn psycho on me and turn Cujo on me (Stephen King book). I grabbed the cat carrier and tried coaxing the cat into it with out success. If Arlene looked out her window, she would have seen me in my underwear chasing a cat with a wooden spoon trying to get her into the cage. Eventually, I opened both doors to the outside, and the damn cat finally took the hint and bolted outside. Good ridance! Finally I get some sleep!


Robbie; I need to point out the obvious obser...

August 27, 2008 by Jamie in Cortez

Robbie; I need to point out the obvious observation that geeze, dude, you apparently NEEDED to move to New Mexico. I am almost convinced that I need to move there myself!!!! Save a guest room for me, I feel a soul searching coming on ;-)

If you want to know more about my life in New...

August 26, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

If you want to know more about my life in New Mexico, I recommend that you either read or watch the movie The Milagaro Beanfield War. An Introduction to the hispanic life, and its beauty. Another book I recommend is called, The River of Traps, by William DeBuys, that describes the area around here. The story takes place only about 20 miles away. He also has a book called Enchantment and Exploitation: The Life and Hard Times of a New Mexico Mountain Range. A great book that tells the history and environment of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. You can find all of these and more at your local libary.

Living in the mountains, has many advantages, but there are few disadvantages that have developed. Number uno is that cell phone reception is a nuisance. Since the adobe walls are three feet thick, there is NO reception what so ever. The cell phone keeps searching for service, and eventually you loose phone power. Outside, I walk up and down the fields searching for bars. I hold it North, East, South, and West as if I'm praying to the gods, but no luck. One day, I went to the post office on the main road, stopped on the side of the road and finally called Seraph. I thought this was ridiculous that I had to go to the main road and call anyone. Another day, I stepped outside the gates on to the road near our house, pulled out the cell phone, proceeded to my cell phone ritual, and miracles of miracles, I found service. I had to stand in one spot in the middle of the road to receive it. The spot is know known as the sacred milagro spot. To make things weirder, is that I have better reception in the morning than in the evening. I constantly have to walk around a bit, and say, "Can you hear me Now!"

On Tuessday, Isabell proudly went on the bus, and she headed for her second day of school. Seraph packed up her bags and we went to Taos, and explored the plaza. (Most of these towns such as Taos and Santa Fe, have these square plazas, that use to be the original forts. Santa Fe's plaza contains the Palace of Governors, which is four hundred years old.) We explored all of the little shops and entered narrow little pathways that led to other boutiques. We ate at nice little restaurant, outside and listened to the touristas as they rambled by. This is a little self-centered, but my senior year in high school, we lived in Sunriver. My friends and I use to sit around and spot all of the tourists. It felt great knowing they were visiting and we actually lived there. The same feeling came back as we sat there eating, knowing I'm not the tourist anymore. I live in this great state, that everyone is visiting. Sorry, hate to brag! Anyways, after a delicious lunch, we strolled around, and said our last goodbyes, as Seraph headed back to Denver to fly out. It was terrible to see her go as she will be in Portland for four more months. I know she'll be back in September or October, but she won't be there when I need a pep talk, or to share sunsets, or to enjoy Isabell as we go hiking or go to the markets.

Arlene's parents are here visiting for the week, and they are quite a kick. Boni and Carmen, her parents are in there mid 80's and are still very active. He had a stroke not to long ago, but he still helps Arlene around the house. They are so warm and generous. Seraph and I met them on Monday morning. I had forgotten that they were here, and I wanted Seraph to meet Arlene, we went over and this small hispanic man welcomed us in to her house. It finally connected that he was Arlene's father. It was kind of weird walking in and talking to them, but they were so friendly that we didn't dare refuse. Carmen came out and offered us coffee, and raisin bread. Seraph and I looked at each other, and smiled. We accepted graciously and talked to them for a while. Arlene finally had a break and slept in. Over the week, I helped Boni weed the garden. I'm use to my little electric weeder, that buzzes merrily around the yard. Arlene had the big manly man gas powered weeder. A Tim Allen special power tool. MORE POWER!! She bought a new one, and I felt like a city kid with this big powerful tool. She showed me how to use it, and I was ready, decked with goggles, and pads to protect my city jeans, and shoes. I took it out reved the engine, and suddenly it died on me. I tried pulling the chord several times and it didn't turn over. I thought I ruined it, but Arlene came out and tried it herself, and she couldn't do it either. I felt better. She took out the manuel, and she thought is was the carborator. I shook my head not knowing what she was talking about and agreed. While she called the shop where she bought it, I flipped through the manuel and saw an illustration of the carborator. I took out a screw driver, and turned the screws like it said in the manuel. Tried it again and it started but died. It also said to check the spark plug, so I took it, cleaned it, replaced it, and it started right up! I was so proud of myself, I felt like a manly man!

Arlene's garden is not a regular size garden, it's thirty feet, by 10 feet. Boni started on one side and I on the other. I started and I thought I did a lot, until we sat down for a delicious lunch of tortilla, beans, and chile. I looked at where I weeded, and saw a ten foot clearing. I sighed in disgust. Everyone took a break, so Isabell and I went bike riding, and rested. I thought I was done for the day, but there was Boni weeding again. This man has more energy then the energizer bunny. I couldn't let him make me look bad, so I had to go out there and weed some more. Two days later, I finally finished the garden.

The beautiful thing about this area, is that you wake up to beautiful blue skies, and by the afternoon, dark clouds come in and you'll have awe inspiring thunderstorms. From under the porch, we sit and watch them slowly cross the sky. Absolutely beautiful! Here the clouds aren't flat gray like in Oregon. Here the clouds billow out in different shades of whites and grays. Huge clouds that looks like fortress surround us, making us feel so small. All of Northern New Mexico has different micro climates. It could cloudy, windy, and rainy in Taos, but in Vadito it's partly cloudy and sunny. WHere in Oregon, you can drive from Portland to Eugene and never seen the sun. I can know understand artists when they say the love the light in New Mexico.

Since we don't have dishwasher, I tend to fill up the sink with soapy water, and place the dishes in there to soak. In the evening I started to clean the dishes in the sink and put them in the dish rack, when I grabbed something wet and soft. I shrieked, dropped the thing, and look down at it again. It was a mouse that obviously had fell into the sink, after the cats chased it around. Half of me was disgusted, and the other felt sorry for it. I used a cup, swoopt it up and threw it outside. Now I see why Arlene was encouraging when she said it was great to bring our cats the mousers. I don't know if I'm aware now, but I swear I hear the little padder of feet scurrying through the night. The cats are always playing at night, so I'm not sure if they are chasing mice, or chasing each other.

On Saturday, Isabell and I drove down to Santa Fe for the annual Indian Market. Hundreds of vendors, were selling jewelry, pottery, statues, and paintings. Thousands of people strolled through the booths, buying or viewing the art. I love watching the different people; you can spot the obvious sunburnt tourist, and you can see the wealthy Santa Fean people with their turquoise jewelry, and urban cowboy wear. I want to be just like them! I love the older women here, as they were broom skirts, blouses, turquoise jewelry and their hair tied in a bow. No need to worry, Seraph knows my obsession with older women. We wondered up and down the booths, with Isabell wanting to buy a bow and arrow. I dragged her around looking at turquoise rings. Finally found one, that wasn't to expensive, bought it,and a

Hi, I posted from Athens, but I now realize t...

August 25, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, I posted from Athens, but I now realize that it didn't actually get through cyberspace to the site. We're about to take the ferry from Crete back to Athens. Sam and Dez, this is the next trip after England. We saw lots of the things we studied about,all of which are more amazing in real life. The water really is crystal clear aquamarine, too. Love to all, Mom

I'm back at work, after a very quiet weekend

August 25, 2008 by Adam in Family

I'm back at work, after a very quiet weekend. Having Sam out of the house was very odd, and the lack of kid squabbling created a peaceful atmosphere about the house. Emma was sweet in the mornings (though she'd often turn to the dark side in the evenings).

Jamie helped me assemble the bench, after having it sit in the driveway for a month. Her help was invaluable. Saturday night dad came over and we hung out together. Jamie also made this wonderful peach pie that I can't resist.

Sunday Emma and I went shopping, where I picked up some running shorts and decorative hooks for my room (Steampunky ones for the WWII headphones and a candle lamp). Later we tried to go to the pool, but they were having dogs swim in it before they did their annual cleaning. I tried to get Emma to bark like a dog, but they weren't buying it.

I had to go back and edit some of the stories...

August 24, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

I had to go back and edit some of the stories, because I forgot to some stories about the cats.

When you move to a sparsely populated state, you find out that people not relatives of yours, or they are your relatives. When I was checking into the hotel in Chama, I started talking to the woman at the front desk. I was telling her that my last name was Cortez, and I had relatives in Questa/Cerro. She mentioned that she new a woman in Cerro by the last name, and she had blond hair, and freckles. It didn't ring a bell until she said that her name was Ella. It struck a chord, I told her that she was my great aunt of my grandpa's side. Small World!

One on the road, I was so happy to that we didn't try driving in the dark to Taos. The road was curvy going over the backside of the mountains. It was truly beautiful with evergreens, aspens trees, and open meadows, with little streams winding in and out. But my poor car struggled through the curves. Once on the otherside, made good time, and finally crossed the Rio Grande Bridge. It was looked so impressive in movies, but was disappointed when I finally crossed it. It wasn't as long as I thought. The sheer depth of the Gorge was impressive, but that was all.

We finally reached Taos around noon, had a great breakfast and my favorite Restaurant called Michaels. The first lesson for you non southwesterners, is that there is chile and there is CHILE. They usually ask you if you want red or green, they have both styles of chile, and both are great. Green chile is a little milder then the red, and both taste great going down. Later you'll be reminded why you don't eat to much of it. When you choose both, its called Christmas style.

After engulfing two breakfast enchiladas, we went to Walmart, gathered all essentials, and went to Vadito, which is thirty minutes southeast of Taos. My next adventure started when I couldn't find Arlene's place down a narrow dusty paved road. I went by it once, had found myself stuck trying to turn the trailer. Once again, my mom was out yelling for me to turn the wheel the other way. By this time all of the two hundred residence of Vadito knew we were here. Finally I got it back on track and proceeded to miss it again, I tried calling Arlene, but she was not there. I tried again, and missed it, and was stuck again. This time I had a hell of time turning it around, as the neighbors watched and rolled on the ground laughing. By this time my mom telling me she was ready to have a heart attack. Finally I motioned to the neighbors and they let me go through their yard and turn around. After I swallowed my humiliation, I finally found Arlene's house. She told me I needed to back in, and in turn, I hopped out and Arlene backed it in for me. The house is very cute and it was built in the 1830's, where it was once a saloon and dancehall. The most interesting aspect, is that Billy the Kid use to dance here. Isabell and I were very excited about this history. I let her watch Young Guns, before we knew this, and she thought that was very cool. They history around here is quite interesting. A group called the Penitente, religious group from the 16th century, taught and preached to the local people. They didn't have any formal training, since many of church clergy were driven out by the Pueblo Revolt of the 17th century. Without the priests, the Penitentes kept alive the yearly cycle of feasts and festivals with improvised observances of their own, many of which featured flagellation and other physical penances. The Catholic church didn't recognize this group for many years, and it was one of the reasons why New Mexico didn't become state until the 20 century. Now, they are recognized, and have gone away from many of their old traditions. Their churches are called Moradas. They are still around, the Brotherhood (not the Penitente anymore. They are still affluent in their villages, helping people in need.
On the hill behind Vadito there is a cross that has been there since the 17th century. Of course over the years, it has been replaced with a new one.

I went outside and enjoyed the tranquil setting. Arlene's fields extend down to the cottonwood lined Embudo River. There is an old stag tree that has been there for four hundred years. The tree is inhabited by an owl, which I haven't seen yet, but hope I will. She has sheep, llama's and four dogs, that Isabell loves to play with. One of the sheep is named Toots, whom Arlene rescued from a frozen ditch. She brought him home, dethawed him, and raised the sheep in her house. Now he is accustomed to the dogs and thinks he is one of them. We have our own compost...Toots. Mountains, and fields surround me, and I can't help but think this was the right move.

Once unpacked, my mom and I drove to Santa Fe for second interview with the preschool I've been wanting to work for. I was hoping to get an answer for them that day, because I was offered a preschool job in Los Alamos. (The next day, I was offered the job in Santa Fe, and I was thrilled.) The job is an hour away, but the pay is great.

On Friday, I took my mom to the airport in Denver. Here I moved from the rain, only to drive all the way to Denver in pouring rain. I haven't seen rain that much in years., even in Oregon. I thought we had all of the time in the world, but like I said before a mile in Oregon is a Manana mile here. Through the pouring rain, I raced to get my mom on the plane. When we got to the south of Denver, there were toll roads to the airport. I had to stop three times, to pay, but it was much faster then taking the normal rout. The airport in Denver is thirty two miles away, and I didn't think I'm make it, but we did make it at the last minute. We arrived at 8:55, and mom made it on at 9:27. Whew!

I stayed the night since Seraph and Isabell arrived the next day. Again it was pouring, and I thought this was ridiculous. They arrived safely, and I welcomed them to Portland...I mean Denver. Couldn't tell the difference with all of the rain. Luckily they got their luggage, because it started to lightning, and they canceled luggage service until it stopped. We got a quick bite to eat and headed out in the down pour. Seraph's back was aching, so we stopped here and there for rest. I looked at the map and saw a shorter way to Vadito, I thought. Again Manana miles came into play. We drove into Raton, and kept driving down. I was planning to cut through the mountains, take a scenic drive, but the weather played havoic. We stopped got gas, and was informed that the direction I wanted to go was very stormy with hail and sleet. We went south to Las Vegas, NM not Nevada and stopped for dinner. To make this story short, by the time we made it home, we had been driving for 9 hours. It took my mom and I 4 plus hours to Denver. My short cut was a long cut!

The next morning Seraph awoke to a beautiful blue sky, and Isabell was introduced to the country. We went up to Questa to visit my grandma, and my aunt Teresa and my uncle John. John took Isabell on a ride to his four-wheeler, and Isabell had a huge smile across her face. I think she'll be okay out here. A freak hail storm arrived and drove us inside.

On Monday, we drove Isabell to school worrying how she would do. We walked her to her class, and met her new teacher. A very sweet woman, and Isabell seemed to be fine. We left with heavy hearts, and drove to Taos, bought some more necessities at Wal*mart, went to the college to register for my 45 hour credited class for my Early Childhood certificate. Then we went and met with the Center for Performing Arts for Seraph, to see if there were any job opportunities. We were informed that it would only be for volunteer jobs, but were told to check out Santa Fe's TV & movie headquarters. We will do that next time Seraph is in town. We came back had lunch, and delivered shoes for Isabell for PE. Watched Milagro Beanfield, and then we went and picked up Isabell. Are worr

Back on the road again, we carefully dragged ...

August 23, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

Back on the road again, we carefully dragged the cat carrie back to the car, headed south and we saw the most awe inspiring scenery. It wasn't beautiful as it was wide open country, with little vegetation, and mountains on either side far in the distance. It leaves a lasting impression, and makes one ponder how big the United States really is. My mom and I both love Geology, and we both appreciated it, and discussed how all of this was formed. Which means we need to find a book on how this was formed.

Before Isabell was born, Seraph and I went camping through the Steen Mountains, Arches National Park, and Zion National Park. It was trip that we will alway cherish, as it was absolutely spectacular. Seeing these beautiful red rocks that were sculpted by wind and water was an amazing sight. It was also special, because we hiked The Narrows in Zion. We hiked through a stream between these towering red cliffs, where I was recently diagnosed with CMT (A degenerative muscle disease in my feet) which means I don't have upward movement with my feet. To be able to walk through the water and hike was an incredible accomplishment.

Anyway, my mom and I drove through Arches National Park, and I got gas near the campground that Seraph and I stayed. In the far distance you could see some of the arches. If we had time, I would have loved to seen them again. We drove on to Moab, stopped for some food, and headed off. I noticed that the temperature gauge was heating up, so I decided to turn around and go to the nearest oil change place. While we waited, my mom took the cats out, since it was really hot there. He informed me that my temperature guage was malfunctioning and that I could by the part cheaply at Chuck's automotive store. I went there bought the part, and was informed that there was a Auto Shop around the corner. We went there to see if we could get it done fast. The man was really nice, but said he couldn't get it done for a while, and said there was another place down the road that might be able to help me. In an hour we were off again, thanks to a nice family owned business that helped me out, and it didn't cost to much. Again we had to take the cats out so we wouldn't have any fried pussy cats.

Our next stop was in Monticello, UT where I stopped for gas. It happened before, where I had to get my American Express card cleared for security reasons. I understand that when you are spending money all over the country, the company wants to make sure that some one hasn't stolen your card. This time, they said that I couldn't use my card. They feared that I might dash into the Canyonlands and disappear with my mom, cats and a hot American Express card. I called the company, was informed that Seraph had to call them. I promptly called my dear Seraph, and she straightened up the situation, and I was off again.

We crossed into Southern Colorado, went through Cortez and thought we would make it Taos the same day. I believe that when you make to the Southwest, the mile hear becomes a manana mile. It takes for ever to get anywhere out here. We drove and drove, and didn't seem to make it any further. I called my landlord Arlene, and told her we'd make it around 8:00pm. Finally we made it to Chama, NM. I thought it would be a hop, skip and a jump, but found out I was wrong. It was 7:00pm and there was no way that we were going to make it, since we still had two more hours to Taos. I called Arlene, said we'd make it tomorrow, got a room, went out to eat, failed miserably at turning the trailer around, had a wonderful dinner, and went to bed.

We move forward to 8/10/08 and it's time for ...

August 23, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

We move forward to 8/10/08 and it's time for our big move. For most of the weekend, Seraph and I pack up boxes, dividing the ones she needs and the one I'll need down in New Mexico. We keep joking that this looks like we are separating and we have divide our belongings.

On Sunday, our adventure starts by my mom, Isabell, and I going to pick up the U-haul trailer. Everything was just fine, the guy hooked us up and off to home we go, but a mile down the road the trailer hitch pulls out of the its socket, leaving only the chains to hold to the car. I looked in my review mirror and the trailer is weaving in and out, and luckily I pulled over, only to see it coming closer to the car. I was freaking out, my mom was freaking out and Isabell was freaking out. Thank God, there was no damage. Once I got my senses back in order, I put the hitch back in, and drove straight back to U-haul with Isabell crying that she wants mom to pick her up. When we got there, the guy obviously did not put the hitch together right, which he apologized and assured us that it would be alright. My eyes were glued to the review mirror all the way home.

Before I go on, I should explain that my mom have a great relationship, but when we are both hysterical, we are total wrecks, and easily get on each others nerves.

Starting again; if you have ever driven with a trailer, you'll know what I've gone through. I drive it home and I try to park along the right side of the road, and I can't for the life of me go in reverse and park the trailer, without hitting the sidewalk. My mom is yelling at me to turn the wheel the other way, which I am by the way, and I can't. By this time I told my, very nicely, to get out of the car. I tried again, gave up, and parked on the other side of the stree. My stress level is up, we have a painter friend over to quote me a price (which was ridiculous), pulled Seraph to side, and cried. How in the hell was I suppose to drive to NM with this freaken thing behind me. Seraph is my guardian angel, for she knows how to sooth my soul, and I begin to feel better about all of this.

On Monday morning we were off and flying, I felt great knowing I was only two days from NM. The drive through the Gorge was beautiful, and I said my silent good-byes knowing it would be a while before I saw them again. Once in the Blue Mountains, my brave Subaru, barely made 40 miles an hour. I'm not use to driving with such a heavy load, and seeing VW buses passing me. Boy, I thought, I hope we don't have many passes to go through. We actually made good time, and saw the famous windmills that they are setting up all through Eastern Oregon, Idaho, and Utah. Seeing them up close is really amazing. They are so big and powerful. Everything at this point was good, and we wanted to go as far as we could, and by the time we were near the Idaho/Utah boarder, we were getting tired (Oh did I mention that we had the cats too. They did great) and were looking for a place to stay. We saw sign that said Snowyville twenty miles, and decided to stay there. We saw another mileage sign, only to find that Snowyville disappeared. We drove and drove, but no Snowyville. We weren't even sure if we even crossed into Utah, since there was no welcome sign. We were ready to give up, I called my grandma in NM saying we were going to the next town, when out of the blue Snowyville showed up again. By this time we were so tired, that we laughed out loud. We stopped took one look at the motel, and decided, it was just not what we were looking for. Six rooms, five guys smoking and drinking; get the picture. We drove Brigham City, all of the hotels were booked. I told my mom that everything would be okay. She's beginning to panic, saying we should of booked something ahead of time and she began to worry about the cats. They had been the carrier for over thirteen hours, and she was afraid they would die. We go to Ogden, everything is booked. Now I'm starting to panic a bit. I borrow a phone book, and call the Best Western operations. First they tell me everything is booked, but he finds one room for us in Southern Salt Lake. By this time it's 11:00pm and both mom and I are frazzled. We finally made it. Most of the hotels did not take animails, so we had to stealth like, carry a huge carrier up the back stairs and into the room. Skippy who does not like the car (thinks she going to the vet) immediately went under the bed. Nightwalker on the other hand began exploring by jumping on the bed, under the bed, on top tables and chairs. We had to literally drag Skippy from under the bed just so she could eat.

More tomorrow!

Jumping forward, Seraph and I decided it was ...

August 22, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

Jumping forward, Seraph and I decided it was time for a change, as we needed a change in pace. We were so stressed out with city life; rushing Isabell to school, taking her to dance classes, rushing to work, and not relaxing. I was stressed at the point of being sick, and not sleeping. Oh did I forget to mention the rain? This last winter and spring was so depressing. That was the final staw.

Here was our chance, to leave all of this behind, and start fresh again. 90% of me wanted to be back in New Mexico, and 10% said what the hell are we doing! I have all of these great friends, a nice house, and lots of beautiful Portland to explore. Then it rained, and the decision was made.

It's hard to explain why I love New Mexico, but I can only say that it's in my blood, and it's my spiritual home. Some say, that once you visit Northern New Mexico, you'll leave part of your soul here, and you'll always want to return.

My biggest concerns were that Seraph was born and raised in Oregon, and that Isabell was finally adapted to her house, school and friends. But Isabell impresses me more and more, and she responded by saying that she can always make new friends. What a wonderful child! Seraph alway has and will always have an adventurous spirit. The most important thing about us, we always be together, and home is where we all are. Plus it helps that there is a lot of sun here.

Moving on, my fantasy mode was in full swing, dreamng of eating apples and swinging in a hammock, and enjoying life to its fullest. We'd sell our house for big money and buy this house in Vadito. But I fell out of the hammock and reality came rushing back. Our house is on the corner, and there are businesses next door, and a busy street. None of this bothers us, but our realator said this might bug other people. To make this short, she said we would have to lower our price. This meant that our down payment on the house in Vadito would be smaller, and I thought our dreams would be smashed to bits. I talked to Eric and Shaun, the owners, and told them our situation. They fully understood and emailed me later on, saying that they really liked us, and they would figure something out to solve the problem. I love them! We decided to rent a house in Vadito. With the help of Eric and Shaun, they knew someone who had a rental in Vadito, fully furnitured. Thank goodness for small towns!

Reality struck again, as we prepared to move. Seraph is one of those gung ho type of people; pack everything, paint the whole house inside and out. Did I say that I live in a fantasy world? Not all of the time, but most. So I helped as much as I can, while preparing for this trip. We managed to paint Isabell's room, the family room, and the sunroom, but poor Seraph had to finish the rest, as my mom and I left for New Mexico.

I will continue with the journey later on!

It's Mocha Friday, with me foregoing Starbuck...

August 22, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, with me foregoing Starbucks as Jamie lured me to the kitchen nook with homemade mochas. Sam headed to the coast with Josh, Jim, and Judy last night. I did projects and drawing with Emma while Jamie drove Sam and Josh up to Corvallis to meet everyone. Tonight I'm planning on taking Emma swimming.

Last night the kids practiced their Kung Fu, with me as the photographer. Emma's adoration of Kung Fu Panda continues, though we're trying to make sure she doesn't end up injuring everyone with her wild kicks.

It's great hearing from Robbie on his grand adventure. I can't wait to see pictures!

This wasn't suppose to happen for another two...

August 22, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

This wasn't suppose to happen for another two to three years, but thank god for craigslist. I love to stroll through the list of houses, and I was only looking for houses in our price range. However, a listing caught my eye,and I couldn't help but clicked on the listing. But what to my wondering should I see! A beautiful territorial adobe house with apple trees, three acres, and a gallery to boot! It was absolutely beautiful, and I called Seraph right of way! I told her not to look at the price, as she would've fainted of sticker schock. After regaining consciousness, she told me if could make this work, we could possibly move to NM. My Loyal Craigslist, came up with a preschool job in Santa Fe. I called them, and they seemed pretty interested in me.
After talking to Seraph, I decided it was best to fly down to NM, and see the house myself, and go and see the preschool. So in May, I flew down, drove up from Albuquerque. I stopped in Santa Fe at the Walgreens. When I came out, a beautiful sunset awaited me. The dark clouds had turned a beautiful apricot color. Feeling like a fool, I secretively took out my camera and snapped a few pictures. Unfortunately, a few people spotted me, but they agreed that it was a beautiful sight. I believe that sunset was a sign and a warm welcome to New Mexico.
I drove to Questa to stay with my Grandma, and the next day, I drove to Vadito with my Grandma to see this "fantasy house". All I can say, It was more beautiful in person, than in pictures. Shaun, the wife, showed me around the house, as I took photos and filmed a majority of the house. Every corner and nook gave me something to smile. Above the property is a water irrigation ditch called an acequia. This water is what feeds the fields. In my fantasies, no not those ones, I could see Seraph, Isabell and I growing pumpkins, vineyards, corn, a variety of vegetables.
They also raised chickens, the coop was made of adobe as well. I was in love, and trying to figure out how to afford the house, was making my mind spin.
After viewing the house, I dragged poor grandma to Chimayo, a very spiritual church, were many people claim to have been healed. In fact every Easter, thousands of people pilgrimage to this holy site. We prayed, (me for the house) bought some souvigners, departed, had some delicious New Mexican food in Espanola, and headed back to Questa. With a quick stop in Taos to find a bookstore. People who know me, know I can resist a bookstore.
I spent a wonderful two days with family exploring ski towns, the Rio Grande, and lazing around. When the day came to leave, I was sure that I would return sooner than my family thought.
I will stop here and continue tomorrow.

INTERNET!!! I'm finally connected, it only to...

August 21, 2008 by Robbie in Cortez

INTERNET!!! I'm finally connected, it only took five days to finally get it. I'm here in beautiful Vadito, NM. I've decided from now on, I'll be writing in journal form, so family and friends can follow my adventures. I'm afraid that friends will have to wait until I have e-mail. It takes a few days to process, then it will work. I'll post more in a while.

Well, I'm back grudgingly from the Land of En...

August 21, 2008 by Seraph in Cortez

Well, I'm back grudgingly from the Land of Enchantment.
It was a wonderful few days, though sad to leave Isa and Robbie behind. They are settled in on a beautiful piece of property down the road from the house we want to buy. The landlady keeps sheep & lamas, and has several dogs. Needless to say, Isa was in heaven.
Isa was off to school on Monday. We were a little nervous for her, but she ended the day with friends, and was ready to start taking the school bus each day (it stops right in front of the house).
Robbie doesn't start his new job until next Monday, so he has been helping out around the farm, getting signed up for a class at the University, and generally getting his feet on the ground.
While there, we had dinner with the couple with the house & gallery we are looking at. They were wonderful, and full of great stories and helpful advise.
I've been working away on the last of the house projects. Weather depending - I should get the outside pressure washed & painted this weekend.

The week has been slowly moving along, the la...

August 20, 2008 by Adam in Family

The week has been slowly moving along, the last of the lazy Summer days slowly coming to an end. Sunday night the thunderstorms rolled in. I spent Monday morning laying next to Emma (who often calls out for Mom or Dad), listening to the hail plink against the roof.

The kids were tired when I got home yesterday, probably from running around with John and Natalie during the day. We finally settled on a "Master Thief" game involving webcams, and later a bunch of freeze tag. Eventually Emma was so tuckered out that all she wanted to do was play on the Kung Fu Panda site.

For the last couple months, Sam and I have be...

August 20, 2008 by Adam in Adam's Projects

For the last couple months, Sam and I have been working away at a Steampunk keyboard mod. At this point, it's fully operational, though there are still endless little tweaks we could do. It's a little far to get to the Enter key, and the Shift keys seem to require an extra stretch for my fingers. Still, I can touch type without problem and Sam was able to play Unreal Tournament 3 without any issue.

My office area continues to get that high-tech Victorian look. Sam and I painted and added "rivets" to his computer case. Jamie bought me a neat candle holder for my birthday and promptly forgot about it, bringing it to me last night while I gave Emma a bath (she sang Happy Birthday to me when I opened it).

Fun, fun.

We made it back, safe and sound

August 16, 2008 by Adam in Family

We made it back, safe and sound.

It started off well enough, packing up and chatting away for the two hours it took to get to the trailhead. Immediately upon leaving the car, mosquitoes began swarming. I broke out the bug spray, but it basically did nothing. By the time we hiked the half hour to the camp site, I was swearing away and threatening to head back home. Sam wanted to stay, so we stayed.

We set up the tent quickly, leaped inside, and killed whatever mosquitoes had followed us in. Dinner was tasty, as we were exhausted and hungry. Afterward Sam got on his swimming suit and jumped into the lake for awhile. The bugs feasted upon us, so we hid in the tent reading until it was time for bed.

We slept horribly, uncomfortable and continually woken up by the wind blowing the tent around. When dawn came, there was no discussion, just a plan to pack up as quickly as possible and head back to the car. I carried both packs to maximize speed, swatting and mosquitoes that landed on my bare arms. Sam ended up falling and skinning his knee. We finally made it to the car, threw our gear inside, and killed any that came in with us. We were safe.

A couple hours later we were back at home, with Jamie handing me a coffee as I went into the door. We showered, cleaned the car, and reveled in civilization. It was good to be home.

It's Mocha Friday, though I'm at home today (...

August 15, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, though I'm at home today (and drinking drip coffee since Jamie prefers it). We're headed up to Indigo Lake, south of Oakridge, for an overnight camping adventure. Sam and I have lists of items, our gear mostly laid out, and a trip to REI planned for this morning. Jamie was planning on taking Emma "camping" in the basement tonight, if only to escape the heat. Jamie and I were fighting over the bed in the craft room, which is the only air conditioned room in the house.

This last work week has been great, and the hospital move went really well. Now it's time to gear up for all the projects we put on hold.

One of the nice things about vacationing loca...

August 15, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

One of the nice things about vacationing locally is that one doesn't feel the pressure to do everything that only exists here in paradise, and conversely, to abandon everything that smacks of home. Greg's family is sitting in the living room of a condo in Provincetown, reading political blogs and mystery books (Jane has recently discovered that her angsty novel involves a literal skeleton in the closet, and Greg is reading the Anatomy of Fascism, which is a mystery to me). The weather is overcast, so I'm agitating for swimming (the beach to yourself and no worries of burning!). That's not yet the household consensus. Chances are better that I can drag everyone down to the dozens of galleries a block down from this place. The condo itself is a kind of gallery, tasteful in every way, each wall hung with paintings that inspire but couldn't possibly overwhelm the well-composed decor. Once I can afford this kind of place myself, I'm only going to rent from gayplaces2rent.com.

I also have some work to do, which I may have a crack at... right after a second cup of coffee.

I took Emma to the fair last night, along wit...

August 14, 2008 by Adam in Emma

I took Emma to the fair last night, along with my coworker Summer who's been down to help with the hospital move. Emma was completely excited, as she's become enamored of Summer. I think Summer was less maternal to Emma and more wanting to be a five year-old again. The entire time I felt like I was chaperoning a play date between the two.

We started by looking at the animals. The mama pigs are always fun, and Emma liked the baby pigmy goats. I personall liked the chickens that were giant puff-balls, with no eyes visible. I decided they moved about purely with their sense of smell.

Later on we went out into the junk food, carnie games, and monster trike rides. It was all fairly overwhelming, and we finally wandered over to the kid ride section. We very quickly blew through twenty bucks for three rides. Emma went on the balloon ride all by herself, looking occasionally nervous but proud of her bravery afterwards. There was also a pig race and someone juggling with fire. Summer spoiled her the entire time. Eventually I declared it was time to go home and we wandered back, Emma often holding Summer's hand.

While Sam's been going on play dates non-stop this Summer, poor Emma has only had a handful. I'm glad she was able to finally have one, even if it was with someone a couple decades older.

Hi, Sweeties all, a quick check in from the b...

August 14, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, Sweeties all, a quick check in from the blissful land of
Isa Visiting. We got in Tuesday afternoon, and she spent yesterday morning hangin' with Yayoe. Then we did a bit of shopping in the afternoon, picking out an ice cream cake for Jordan. Jenny had a lovely family birthday party for Jordan, and we put on a dress rehearsal of the Oregon Trail play. Much love to all, Mom

Work was blissfully quiet today

August 12, 2008 by Adam in Family

Work was blissfully quiet today. We have hordes of staff on hand to support anything that went wrong with the new hospital, but fortunately most of the issues were pretty routine. Most of the problems people are reporting aren't computer related, but instead seem to have to do with construction or the phone system.

I took the kids off to Toys-R-Us when I got home from work. Sam wanted to use up some of his chore-acquired checks, and he went out specifically looking for another Nerf gun. He's really excited about this one, as it disassembles into assorted pieces. I let Emma indulge her Kung-Fu Panda obsession and got her a Po doll. It says things like "Ouch!" when you hit it, so it's like the opposite of Tickle-Me Elmo.

Later we went swimming and got completely exhausted before bedtime. Jamie had a few hours to herself, which I think made her quite happy.

Last night Sam had his hair cut slightly, the first time in years. I think he likes it.

Hi, a quick note about our plans

August 11, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, a quick note about our plans. Bob and I are driving to Portland late in the day today and staying overnight with Seraph. We're going to bring Isa down, hopefully for a day at the fair and to have a little birthday dinner with Jordan and
some play time with Sam and Emma. We'll go back up on Thursday. Margie will be in this weekend, and I'll hope to see her. We leave for Greece on Monday.

I'm hanging out at the old Sacred Heart Hospi...

August 10, 2008 by Adam in Adam

I'm hanging out at the old Sacred Heart Hospital (now called "Sacred Heart Medical Center, University District". Fortunately it's been very quiet, literally and figuratively. Everything is going smoothly, I've mostly been helping out the trackers when they go on breaks and such.

I'm going to try to sneak home and hang out with my family pretty soon.

Today was my one real weekend day, as yesterd...

August 10, 2008 by Adam in Family

Today was my one real weekend day, as yesterday I'm working pretty much all day long. I tried to fit as much as possible into every moment, as well as yesterday evening.

Friday night the kids wanted to go swimming, so I ditched the baseball game with my coworkers and we hopped into the car. The pool was nearly empty, so we broke out the huge floaters and played a game involving sea monsters. Mostly Sam recreated scenes from Jaws, with Emma alternating between shooting Sam with flare guns and lassoing him with imaginary rope.

This morning Jamie made another wonderful breakfast and we walked to the library. Everyone returned with interesting tidbits, and we headed to Saturday Market to meet up with Summer and Debbie, a couple of out-of-town coworkers. Emma and Summer immediately bonded and Summer spoiled Emma horribly. They ended up getting their faces painted and Emma ended up with a new dreamcatcher for her room.

We headed home, unloaded Sam and Jamie, then I took Emma for a picnic at Hendrick's Park with Debbie and Summer again. Mostly I chatted with Debbie while Emma and Summer chased wild turkeys.

As the day wore down, Sam and I had some Nerf gun fights. We finished painting and reassembling his computer, which now matches his monitor and other equipment. Jamie made yet another great dinner and dessert. A very tired Emma was tucked into bed early while Sam and I played Unreal Tournament 3, gleefully making things explode until bedtime.

I just finished up my pre-move go-lives. Tomorrow I'll wake up at the crack of dawn and experience the madness of the hospital move.

Fun, fun.

It's Mocha Friday, that sweet conclusion to t...

August 08, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, that sweet conclusion to the end of the work week. Of course, the work week doesn't really end today as we're moving the hospital this Sunday. Tomorrow evening I have a bit of work to do, and then Sunday I'm starting at the crack of dawn and working until they let me free. I really want to take the kids to a birthday party at Amazon pool that night. We had a great time the year before.

Sam's been a social butterfly lately, playing with Sebastian in the morning and Sophia in the afternoon. When I got home, Jamie went off to work and Emma and I played while Sam and Sophia played with Nerf guns. Eventually we walked Sophia home and threw dinner together as Jamie came in the door.

It's hard to think that in only three weeks, school starts up again and the kids will go to the same place.

For the first time in five years, I have a we...

August 07, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

For the first time in five years, I have a week off at home. In fact, I have three weeks. I feel like the joyful newlyweds in Beetlejuice, pre tragic death, cleaning up and doing projects, happy for full stretches of days to get my affairs in order and set up job, home, and school details. I'm avoiding quaint bridges, just in case.

Things are not all fun and games; I have health insurance, tuition, a broken exhaust pipe, internets, and two graduate jobs to think about before orientation on the 25th. But I did squeeze in a Princess Bride Quote Along at the Coolidge Corner Theatre last night. Awesome.

This morning I was awoken by a naked Emma and...

August 06, 2008 by Adam in Family

This morning I was awoken by a naked Emma and clothed Sam, coming down to the basement to greet me before I went to work. Emma had horrible nightmares a couple nights ago, keeping Jamie and I awake much of the night (admittedly it was mostly Jamie). Last night she slept great. She had a dream where another kid was trying to drown her in the pool, but she was saved by Tigress from Kung-Fu Panda.

I was slightly injured in a shoot out last night. The incident took place in the basement, as Sam and I went at it with Nerf guns. My feet was a little sweaty and Sam got me in the leg. For the sake of realism, I hopped on one foot and ended up landing hard on the rug. Fortunately only my pride was seriously hurt.

The work madness is starting to begin. I'm trying hard to not do anything too exciting this week and spend lots of time with my family. This weekend I'm going to see if Saturday can be mostly normal. Sunday I'll be working starting very early, but I'm hoping to sneak out to take the kids to a birthday party that evening.

Isa and I are safe home from our Chicago trip...

August 05, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Isa and I are safe home from our Chicago trip - Buckingham Fountain, Millenium Park, fireworks on Navy Pier, the Chicago Art Museum, and the ultimate, the American Doll Museum. Lots of good time with cousins, especially with Derek, almost exactly Isa's age, and a good intellectual match. John and Anita the perfect hosts, as always. As Adam says, Good Times.

Everyone's home again

August 04, 2008 by Adam in Family

Everyone's home again. The kids are in the back yard, with Emma spraying Sam repeatedly at the hose. Jamie's watching them, periodically yelling "Not at the house!" Yes, things are back to normal.

We didn't do any grand events in Bend. On Saturday I took the kids on a long bike ride. Sam had this weird three-wheeler. Emma and I rode a tandem bike, which she happily helped me ride around. Later in the afternoon we went swimming and returned to the hotel for a dinner in honor of Dave and Kirsten's engagement.

Today we watched Mythbusters in the morning, swam around lunchtime, ate, and came on home. Jamie's exhausted, the kids are rambunctious, and I'm thinking that maybe moping around an empty house wasn't all that bad.

It's Mocha Friday, though I just finished the...

August 01, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, though I just finished the last drop a few minutes ago, furiously working some reported problem that turned out not to be my fault. As we get closer to the big hospital move, I find the number of last minute issues and weird problems continues to grow exponentially. I find my sense of humor is slipping up into the "inappropriate" zone in response to stress. I've been wondering lately if claiming my director was trying to kill me was such a keen idea. It was pretty funny at the time, though.

It's been a weird week all around. I had coffee with Dad yesterday, chatting away about his upcoming international speed record for electric boats. As for me, the house has been incredibly quiet. Last night I got the bench nearly finished. I painted the metal, though some touch-up is probably needed. The wood is all sanded and stained. I started to do the final assembly, but got frustrated that things weren't lining up quite right. I finally gave up and ate dinner.

I'm very excited to head over to Bend tonight. I've been missing Jamie quite a bit, and not just because I've eaten sandwiches and smoothies every day this week. I miss our evening chats after the kids have gone to bed and am looking forward to seeing her tonight. In terms of the kids, life seems vaguely pointless without them. I've been planning hiking trips and rocket launches for the weeks ahead.

For now, I'm going to use my caffiene-fueled super powers to try and get ready for the RiverBend opening. The e-mails continue to pour in.

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