The Last Mocha of 2009

December 31, 2009 by Adam in Family

I just finished my mocha on this rainy winter day.  I left the house when all was quiet.  Emma had woken up in the middle of the night, afraid to go to sleep.  After trying to comfort her for awhile, she asked for mom and I took her downstairs.  It's strange to think that in a few weeks, it'll just be me.

It's the last day of 2009, traditionally a day of reflecting on the past and looking to the future.  It's been a year of ups and downs, taking Sam to England, Emma beginning 1st grade, and Jamie and I starting the process of getting divorced.  I had a couple of really lousy months in there, but find myself surprisingly happy lately, grateful for all the wonderful things in my life.

Jamie and I continue to be cordial to each other.  Though there's certainly tension at times, we're focused on the kids and making sure they're doing well.  She's been quite reasonable with many things and I hope she makes a good ex-wife.

The kids are a little nervous, with Emma being the most vocal.  I think Sam will have a hard time at first, as he's never been fond of changes.  Emma will miss whichever parent isn't around.  Still, they're smart and resilient kids and I think in time they'll adjust.

As for me, the future continues to be increasingly clear.  There are still challenging transitions to move through, but I know where I'm heading and excited to get there.

Short term, a surprising number of things are going on.  I'm hanging out with the kids tonight, Jamie leaves for the coast tomorrow, Sadie and Greg arrive tomorrow at noon, and we're having a dinner party Saturday night.  In a week or so, Sadie, Joanna, and I plan on getting tattoos.  In a couple weeks I'm taking Sam in to get contacts.  Towards the end of next month, Jamie moves out, the kids go between houses, and I likely have a new work schedule.  Life's busy, but good.

2010 is going to be a great year.

Mattress Fun

December 30, 2009 by Adam in Sam

One of the presents I got the kids was an inflatable mattress.  It was spontaneous, something I found on sale at Fred Meyer's.  They'd had a previous one, which they destroyed after some extreme play sessions.  The same might happen with this one, but at least they'll have gotten quite a bit of joy out of it.

Sam also decided to start an exercise routine last night.  He was doing push-ups, jumping jacks, and did the stair-stepper while watching Lost for 20 minutes.  I'm really proud of him.

Presents presents presents!

December 29, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

We had a stupendous Christmas/Boxing Day, and are still rolling in bounty. I think Greg's family is trying to keep us on the East coast through the sheer force of Christmas loot. We had a very quiet Christmas morning at Oak Street, where Greg made apple turnovers from scratch and got me everything I wanted (A Year of Mornings, a Year of Evenings, the new Grizzly Bear album, and even scrimshaw earings made of 10,000 year old mammoth). The next few days are devoted to packing for Eugene and preparing myself for staying up three hours later every night.



Notes to Daddy

December 29, 2009 by Adam in Family

The kids are back home, filling the house with chaos and happiness.  I bought them an air mattress for Christmas, and they spent an hour giggling and jumping on the thing.

As I was putting the kids to bed, Sam asked if I'd seen the note Emma wrote me.  "She really missed you."

Back to the Daily Grind

December 28, 2009 by Adam in Family

I'm back at work, writing code and generally staying out of trouble.  I'm hoping the assorted crises get resolved, but it has meant that I'm working more than I want this week.

The post-Christmas weekend was busier than I thought it would be.  I had a few hours on Sunday night to myself but otherwise stayed busy.  Saturday the new mattress arrived, I made banana bread and gnocchi, and hung out at the house.  Sunday morning I spent working on house projects and running errands.  In the afternoon I met Anna, dad's new girlfriend.  Towards the end of the day I actually got to play on the computer for a couple hours and enjoyed a luxurious bath in the quiet of the house.

One of my projects was to drill holes in the living room floor and move a network cable around.  The livingroom TV can now stream Mythbusters from the caverns below via the netbook, which will hopefully entertain the kids.

Jamie called to let me know that the kids are coming back today.  I haven't talked to them since they left and have been missing them.  It'll be nice to have them scurrying about.  A house filled with constant conversation reminds me of my childhood.

Next day

December 27, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Bob and I are watching a lackluster bowl game between USC and Boston College after a beautiful sunny day. I slept until 11 this morning! I had both my H1N1 and seasonal flu shot on Wednesday morning, and felt real subdued yesterday, so I think I needed a bit of rest. Christmas was just delightful.

It started by giving Richard a day off on Thursday. He's put in a brick walkway down the side of the house - a dirty muddy job, with dirt and mud in the house, no matter how careful he is. Bob and I took Sam and Emma to breakfast, cleaned house and ran around, visiting Bob's 99 year old Aunt Thaye, a favorite of both of us, stopping by to leave a present with the Moons - Rick is Bob's fishing/tennis partner in crime, taking presents to Jenny's, and cruising Holiday Market. I got to have a nice long phone call with Sadie.

Thursday also brought a nice box of baked goodies from sister Betsy, including cinnamon rolls. Friday morning I made a couple of loaves of quick bread, and finally got Bob out the door by 11:30. Adam and the kids were there, and everyone was in good spirits. The boys disappeared to play with computers and Christmas presents, and Emma and Adam painted her fingernails with Jenny's present to her, a fingernail decorating kit. We got to talk with Seraph and the New Mexico gang. Courtney and their troops came, and John and Yayoe were there later.Jenny had a wonderful dinner, ham with mashed potatoes and all the goodies. A good time was had by all.

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2009 by Adam in Family

I'm at home by myself, tidying up after the chaos of the last couple days.  Christmas Eve went relatively well.  I came home early and the kids opened their one present.  Emma got a Barbie guitar and Sam got the Settlers of Catan.  Sam and I tried to go to Avatar, but it was sold out.  Instead we invited the neighbors over to play Sam's new game.  We had a great time, playing until dinner time.  Sam declared it the best game ever, which seemed like a good sign.

I cooked ham for dinner, which went over well.  My neighbor Todd joked that I should write a book called The Vegetarian's Guide to Cooking Meat.  Jamie was out all night, so it turned into a pretty typical evening.  There was a funny moment with the bar of soap Sam got me, which read "Face" on one side and "Butt" on the other.  Emma later took a bath, sung Jingle Bells, and used the soap according to the instructions.  Sam also took out his loose tooth later that night, which ended up a mixture of gross and funny.

This morning I woke up with the kids, opened stockings, and made crepes and sausages for breakfast.  Jamie arrived and we opened the rest of our presents.  It's always interesting the things that end up being popular.  I bought an air mattress on a whim, the last one played with the death, and they seem to like this one equally well.  I also got Far Cry 2 for Sam, which he declared, "This is the best game ever.  I shall treasure it always."  Emma also liked her Flitter Fairy, which ended up being technically tricky, but fun.

Jamie went off afterward and I took the kids to my dad and Jenny's house.  It was pretty low key, with food, movies, and present opening.  Jenny put on The Polar Express and then gave out bells to all the kids.  It was pretty neat.

I'm going to continue to clean and tidy a little more, and then head back.  It'll be a treat to talk to everyone without kids, though I admit to missing them already.  Emma was asking why I wasn't going with them to Portland and my explanations seemed to fall short.  It's a strange Christmas, an odd mix of joy and sorrow, but I have faith that everyone will be okay.

The Dangers of Cough Syrup

December 25, 2009 by Adam in Sam

Sam's had a loose tooth for awhile now, and has had a pretty bad cough for a couple days now.  Last I gave him a bunch of cough syrup and sent him off to bed.  A few minutes later, he came down, wiggling his tooth and making odd noises.  For nearly a half an hour he fiddled with the thing, moving it this way and that.  I threatened to send him to bed, but he got it out with powerful sucking and claimed victory.

This morning when Emma woke up, I told her about it.  She seemed more excited about the loose tooth than opening her Christmas stocking.  We wrote a note from the tooth fairy together and I gave him a dollar.  When Sam woke up, his first words were, "Well, at least it's not a quarter."

Happy Christmas!

December 25, 2009 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy Christmas everyone!!

Hanni made it in safely on Wednesday, just before we got a small blanket of snow for Christmas Eve.  Last night we had our church services, and Isa did a wonderful job on her reading, and I made a passable job of Silent Night on the viola.  We came by the Lodge for green chili pesole and cookie decorating, before heading home to open presents.  A huge thank you to everyone!! (and Sadie... OMG, OMG, OMG!!)

When I came down to the store this morning, Robbie was still in bed, and Isa and Hanni were opening stockings.  I have cookies to deliver around the Lodge (Robbie and Isa made Biscochitos), and then home to open my stocking.  I'm off of laundry today, so I forsee a lot of sitting around, snacking and watching movies (again, Sadie... OMG).

I'll try to give everyone a phone call sometime today.  I love and miss you all!

Mocha Christmas Eve

December 24, 2009 by Adam in Family

I'm working today, my traditional mocha resting before me.  Work has been nutty lately.  I suppose I should be flattered to have our VP tell me to drop everything and work on this project so that the doctors can get paid.  It does put me in a weird place, as I have other projects due by the 1st, which aren't getting done.  Thus, I'm working today and all of next week.

I'm going to leave work after gym, take Sam to see Avatar, and then whip up a ham and potato dinner with baklava for dessert.  The kids get to open a single present and the last Lego Advent calendar afterward.  Jamie's off tonight, but will be here in the morning for breakfast and a mass opening of presents.  Next I take the kids to my dad's, returning home after noon so they can head up to Portland until Tuesday.

As for me, I'll be hanging out with friends and family and maybe having a few moments to myself.  Last night I bought a new mattress, so I'll get that properly set up.  My list of house projects is endless, and it would be nice to work on one or two.

Life's still occasionally bumpy.  Jamie and I have some heated discussions at times, and I know I'm getting increasingly impatient with the sometimes slow pace of transitions.  I also very much appreciate her being reasonable about many things.  It's strange to consider, but I think she'll make a good ex-wife.

I'm thankful for the support of all our friends and family during these challenging transitions.  Emma especially likes it when I list all the people who love her, which seems to reassure her deeply.  Dave, Josh, and Kirsten came over to watch the kids earlier this week and they had a great time.  My hope for the future is that this continues, our odd extended family helping raise two great kids.

Best wishes to everyone this Christmas. 

Staycation in Paradise

December 23, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Have I mentioned that it snows in Massachusetts? It snows big, fluffy cold snow that sticks for weeks. The air just got nose-bleed dry, and I'm sitting in our kitchen, drinking tea and watching our neighbor pack her car for the vacation. She locks her car every time she goes inside for another load, and I wonder if people raised in New Hampshire actually believe North Grafton, MA is a dangerous place. These are the things I have time to think about during our long staycation.

I've read a pile of books (in case you're looking for a happy YA romance for your favorite gay boy, tuck Boy Meets Boy under the tree), watched a pile of movies (looking for a happy teen movie? Go for Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist), and did a whole pile of nothing with a very sweet companion. Being in my home the day before Christmas Eve is awesome. And for all the joys of being a perpetual kid in someone else's house, being a grown up in my own house on Christmas has a romantic kind of magic. 

Happy Solstice

December 21, 2009 by Adam in Adam

Today marks the beginning of winter solstice, with days growing longer and spring on its way.  We snuck off to the meditation room at 9:47 to mark the occasion and listen to the rain pouring down.  It's been so warm these last few weeks that it already seems spring is right around the corner.

I think I'm ready for Christmas, with all but one present wrapped and under the tree.  The only thing that worries me is that my present for Isa seems to have completely vanished.  It was wrapped, addressed, and ready to go to the post office.  I'm hoping maybe my mom found it and sent it on its way.  Otherwise she might get a New Year's gift or equinox gift if spring cleaning turns it up.

The holidays this year may be a little odd, especially with Jamie and the kids going to Portland on Christmas Day and not returning until Tuesday.  I've grown fond of Jamie's side of the family over the years and it's a little sad that we won't spend much time together.  Dave came over this morning to watch the kids while Jamie's at the beach and I'm at work.  Emma was so excited to see him and I was reminded again at how nice a guy he is.

It will be nice to have a few days to hang out with my own family, work on projects, and spend time with new friends.  Free time is a rare luxury, and I'm mulling over how to spend it.

A bit sleepy in Seattle

December 21, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Good morning from Seattle! Aric's game finished late yesterday afternoon, after double overtime, and by the time we scooped him up to visit Uncle Jim, it was late and nearly dark. We decided to wait and drive down today. Josh reassured us that all was well at home, and I didn't hear the sound of crashing plates, female laughter, or loud music in the background, so I suspect he was telling the truth. It's just as well we waited, since Aric didn't feel well and at 10:45 is still sound asleep.

It's been a nice weekend. Bob's brother-in-law definitely has lots of healing time and rehab with his leg, but the rest of him - his innards and remaining body parts, are fine. Sherrill looked a little tired, but his good care and progress have been heartening.

So we'll wander back to Eugene at a slow pace, probably not getting in until this evening sometime. Love to all, Mom

Another Weekend, Come and Gone

December 21, 2009 by Adam in Family

The weekend is coming to a close, with the kids finishing up dinner as I wait for the chocolate sponge pudding to finish baking.  I'm getting on a cooking kick, something I haven't done much of in years as Jamie always preferred I watched the kids.  It's been fun, and I continue to try new things.  So far I have Sam eating radishes and green beans, so I'm enjoying the small victories.

Jamie and I continue to divide up kid time, and everyone is slowly adjusting to the new schedule.  I went out Saturday night, returning this morning.  Jamie left for the coast today, coming back Tuesday sometime.  It's nice to have the opportunity to do my own thing, figuring out how to be a person in addition to a dad.

Today I took the kids to Hendrick's park and we roamed the back trails for a couple hours.  Sam reverted to his Mighty Hunter role, whacking things with sticks and talking caveman talk.  Emma went along and thought it a most excellent game.


December 20, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Here is a picture of Dorothy from my venture to Rochester.

Karma came Back and Bit ME!

December 18, 2009 by Betsy in Betsy

A few months ago sister Meg told me that Sue had lost her address book while in England.  I made the unfortunate comment that Sister Sue knew most everyone in America and at least half the population of the countries she had visited.  Well that comment has come back to bite me as before Thanksgiving I "misplaced" my 20 year old planner, affectionately known by all as "Pat's Black Book".  I still have not found it and have become extremely depressed by the possibility that it is gone for good.  Could everyone be polite to me and email me addresses, birthdates, and phone numbers so I can begin the labor of reconstruction.  My email is  Thank you one and all, and Merry Christmas,  Betsy and the boys

Last Mocha Friday Before Christmas

December 18, 2009 by Adam in Family

I'm still at home, but will soon be on the road to work, stopping by to pick up that delicious nectar of the gods along the way.  It's also pizza and Mythbusters tonight, something that hasn't quite worked out with the kids for a couple weeks now.  Sam will be estatic.

Life continues to move along.  Jamie's working through the details of getting a loan and negotiating repairs on her new house.  I'm getting a little antsy about getting the house to myself, and at the same time I appreciate how easy it's been to have her help with the kids.  Once we have two households, I expect to drive around a lot more.

Emma's had a bit of a rough week, crying a lot for Jamie when she's not around and she woke up one night with nightmares.  Part of it may be that she's getting sick, as she woke up this morning with a cold.  I suspect it's all the talk about moving out, which is making it all feel more real to her.

Sam continues to be his usual self.  Our nightly routine is that he'll read until Emma goes to bed, and then watch Lost next to me.  Last night he made up a game involving sliding down the stairs in a sleeping bag, which he greatly enjoyed.

Sadie called from Danica's last night.  We didn't do our usual game night, as Emma was painting pottery with my mom, but Sadie and Sam discussed young adult finction.  She gave a hysterically obtuse speech about one book with some "mature intimacy" that Sam and I couldn't stop giggling about.

I rarely visit this page! When I get on the i...

December 18, 2009 by Robbie in Cortez

I rarely visit this page! When I get on the internet, I usually check my email, and then go to my college website. I passed my classes with A's and I passed a basic elementary test, that included algebra, Yuck! I got a 300 out of 300 on reading comprehension. I was excited that I did as well on my math. I hate math!

My foot is finally healing though I have the occasional ache across the top of my foot. I can now where my shoe and I don't have to walk around with a hiking boot and a slipper. Right now, I am helping out at Isabell's school where they are preparing for their Christmas show.  It's fun to hang out with Isabell's teacher and decorate the gym.

Good Morning

December 17, 2009 by Dick in Wielesek

Getting ready to drive to Seattle tomorrow for the weekend. Aric has a basketball tournament in Bellevue; he's back playing basketball for LCC, and really seems to being settled in and enjoying school. He has a lovely girlfriend, Charlotte, and I think that's made a big difference in his life. She's just back from visiting grandparents in Miami; she says her grandma is a Polish Jewish grandma, and her funny little vignettes did bring back warm memories of Baba. We'll stay with Bob's sister, and will have a chance to visit her husband Jim, who seems to be recovering from his motorcycle accident injuries. I am missing those of you far away very much. Love, Mom

Winter Program

December 17, 2009 by Adam in Family

I went to Sam and Emma's winter program today.  They've been practicing for weeks and the house has been filled with holiday songs of various kinds.  The video is a little short, as I ran out of batteries, but you can tell they have spirit.  I was especially proud of Emma, who was nervous about today.  She did great.

Into Each Generation, A Hero Is Born

December 15, 2009 by Adam in Sam

I try hard to find ways to connect with Sam.  Emma's pretty easy, giving love and kisses and letting her help in the kitchen.  With Sam, we have episodes of Lost, computer games, and D&D.

Last night I came home from work late, fed the kids, and broke out the previously promised D&D books and paper.  Emma wasn't horribly into it, but Sam was mesmerized.  The village they adopted was suffering through a cold winter and they needed supplies.  They had gone to a nearby town to trade, but found only zombies and a few surviving children that they rescued.  The warehouse was guarded by an automaton, which Sam cleverly lured out to defeat the last of the zombies, using the distraction to haul off the last of the food.

He was so excited that he came up with the idea on his own, and rolled a 20 on a 20 sided die for the last-minute leap out of the way.  He immediately told Emma the whole story, who had wandered off to do art.  After returning to his home village, he liked the part where hope was restored and they were hailed as returning heroes.

One of the things I've found when making computer games is that while I get a lot of "thanks for the fun game" e-mails, the ones from people in dire straights are the most touching.  I'll never forget the woman dying of cancer, and how playing my game with her husband made him laugh out loud for the first time in ages.  With Sam, I like how I can give him that sense of hope and purpose, that his actions can determine the fate of countless souls.  I remember not feeling very in control of my life when my parents divorced, so I like seeing him create these small moments of victory.

Graceling: totally bitchin'

December 15, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I recently finished Kristin Cashore's fantastic book, Graceling, and am now wading through a really horrible book that doesn't deserve being mentioned by name (you know who you are). Graceling has had enough critical praise for me to simply direct you to much more articulate reveiws ( It's hard to read this book without wanting everyone you know to read it immediately. Not read, inhale. While it is cool to finally have a female character that can make her own decisions (glaring your way, Ms. Myer), it is the dialogue that make the book so real and whole. So much YA fiction is shaped around two people who are talking at each other, either to convey information to move the plot along or to convey their innermost feelings that are unaltered by the other person's response. Cashore's characters come into a conversation with one idea and negotiate a third way, so the plot, while action-packed and riveting, doesn't seem to move the characters along without their will. Which is how some books (oh, yes, Stephanie, I'm still talking to you) make their female characters into slaves, to other characters or outside forces. This is only one of many refreshing, progressive, fantastic things about the book, like the hero cycle and the rich development of characters as they grow as people and together. So, if you haven't read it already, grab it up, make a cup of tea, and take the phone off the hook. 

Oh, and my Christmas list is:

Good Earth Original Sweet and Spicy Tea (I can't find it in any of my local grocery stores, but maybe they haven't pulled it on the west coast)

The beautiful photo book, A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart

Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief

Eleven days to Christmas

December 14, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

and a day of odds and ends. Congratulations to Jamie, too, on finding such a nice place. The house looks lovely! Adam, thanks for including me in the Christmas tree foray and decorating. Thanks to Jenny and Sadie for the nice long phone calls. Sadie and Seraph, I'm going to send an email with this manual I had to write for the League. Those guys have all been members for so long they know how to everything, and I surely was at loose ends this summer planning a luncheon for 100 folks. Thanks, mom

holiday break

December 14, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

The house is still, challah french toast is soaking, and I'm preparing to finish another big book from my wonderful neighbor, Lydia. This week, the priority is to remember how to talk to other people without mentioning bureaucracy, national data sets, or even those wacky students from my wealth and poverty class. I'm just talking about feminist speculative fiction.

Our Hanukkah dinner was really fun, and we had way too much food. My menorah seemed to work pretty well, too.


December 14, 2009 by Adam in Family

We put lights on the Christmas tree, my mom coming over to help.  Emma was excited to move the presents over and behold them in all their glory.

Jamie's offer on her house was accepted.  In roughly a month, she'll be moving out and we'll figure out a new kid schedule.

I realize this is not my usual wordy post, but I'm exhausted and going to bed.

Fully Operational

December 13, 2009 by Adam in Adam's Projects

It seems like I've been working on the compost tumbler all Fall.  As of a few minutes ago, it's now installed in the backyard and everything works.  I tossed in some dead leaves, gave it a spin, and so begins the miracle of dirt creation. 

The spray painting has finished, I stained the wood, and tightly put on all the brass fittings.  The door seems to be plenty strong, though it takes some effort to open and close.  I may fiddle with it some more should I want to put the kids to work composting.

We've been collecting food scraps in Nancy's Yogurt tubs in preparation for this day.  They have this neat area that reads "I'm reusing this for:" into which I've written "Baby Compost".  People seem to like the double entendre.

This is only the start of many garden projects.  The next big one is putting in raised beds, with the prerequisite of hiring someone to rearrange the watering system.  The first harvest of vegetables is going to taste so good, if only because of the amount of work I've put into the things.

Christmas Tree Hunt

December 13, 2009 by Adam in Family

It was a busy Saturday, full of kids, laundry, cooking, and chores.  Hanging out with Sam and Emma was pretty fun.  My mom and Emma went out to cut down a Christmas Tree, which we plan on decorating tomorrow.

Dollar Bill

December 12, 2009 by Adam in Emma

It seems that Emma will do just about anything for a dollar bill, including staying in a desk on a bet from Sam.

Mocha Thursday?

December 10, 2009 by Adam in Family

I'm giving myself the luxury of a day off tomorrow, with Jamie politely vacating the house to let me do whatever crazy antics I might think of.  As is the way of my people, that also means I can partake of my Mocha a day early.  It's been a little frantic at work, with lots of projects due at the end of the year.  The end result may be that I'm busier than I'd like around Christmas, but maybe I'll get lucky and some of the deadlines will get pushed out.

Sam continues to be a little sick, though I think I'll send him off to school tomorrow despite his protests of illness.  Jamie called today and reported he was in the basement, likely playing computer games until his eyeballs pop out.  He kept reporting how bored he was, so perhaps going to school will be a welcome relief.

Emma's cute as a button, as usual.  We practice our spelling each night and she helps me make dinner most days.  Tonight is hamburgers and oven-baked homefries, coupled with game night with Sadie.  I have a counseling session after work, but hopefully we can fit it all in.

Jamie made an offer on a house just a couple hours ago, near where Yayoe lives.  I've been getting a little anxious to move things along lately.  It'll be nice to get the inevitable transition moving forward, including moving my clothes out of the basement and into the main bedroom.

As for me, I'm doing quite well.  I have great kids, a satisfying job, a comfortable home, and the future looks bright.  Swing dancing last night was tremendous fun.  I'm looking forward to the weekend, getting a tree and setting up the Christmas decorations.  Life's good.

Oh Christmas tree

December 10, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I got my first farm-raised tree last week (not counting trees from mom's farm, obviously). Greg did quick work of it, and we dragged it back home without much of a struggle. It's so nice to have our own real Christmas tree to sit next to and read while it snows and hails outside.

We're celebrating the first night of Hanukkah with friends tomorrow. I made my own menorah out of antler and wire, and am going to try to make traditional kugel and latkes. Lots of oil to celebrate the festival of lights- yum!


Still Here

December 09, 2009 by Seraph in Cortez

We are surviving a recent winter blast that is now heading out east.  We had frozen pipes a couple of mornings, and 7" of snow that blew around in large drifts.  I swept (yes the snow is dry enough to sweep) the porch 3x yesterday, and it kept blowing back!

My dryer is out, so laundry is building up until the new part comes in.  So, instead of the usual washing I do, I channeled all my ancient grandmother's and spent 2 hours at the washboard, scrubbing 4 loads of the muddiest towels.  I now have blisters and red hands, and firmly believe that people are the most disgusting creatures!

Now, I'm off to the evening part of my job, and the pot of curry bubbling on the stove. 

Two Days Without Morning Showers

December 09, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's been cold, really cold.  When it gets this cold, the external heating unit starts having parts that freeze and the end result is that I don't get my morning shower.  I've been falling back to my pioneer roots, filling up a Pyrex container with cold water and microwaving it until I could bathe with a washcloth.

Life continues, with the usual ups and downs.  Sam's sick with a cold.  Jamie's looking for houses still.  I'm going out swing dancing tonight and trying to take some time off on Friday.  My assorted projects are falling behind a little, with my compost tumbler half-painted and waiting for a little love.  Maybe I can sneak in some spraying before I go out tonight.

Christmas plans are starting to come together.  On Christmas Eve, we're planning on being together at home, then celebrating Christmas together in the morning.  I'll try to take the kids to Jenny's house for a family gathering and then Jamie will take the kids up to Portland.  It's a little strange, but Jamie and I are working well to get the details sorted out.

The kids continue to be great and funny.  Emma and I made pork chops and rice pudding.  She told me while eating the pudding, "This is so good!  It makes me wiggle my butt!"

A bit under the weather

December 08, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Adam, I hope I didn't dish up a nice big cold for you, Sam and Emma last night, as it seems to have burrowed in today. I'm sitting here in bed in a long red Union suit (more on that topic later) reeking of Vicks VapoRub and trying to reestablish breathing as part of my life.

First, I talked with Jenny. They got in about nine last night, and Jenny was sputtering disgustedly about the 17 degree weather. But it sounded as though they had a wonderful time; there was a teen club on the ship, and Destin was kept very busy. Jenny said it was especially nice to be there with her Dad and her kids and not have to dress up.

Next, would it work for you, Adam and Jamie, for me to take Jordan and Emma onThursday afternoon to Brushfire? Thursday is fine with Jenny. I'll check in with Jamie by phone. I was able to get into the doctor tomorrow afternoon.

The long underwear came about because when we went to Bi-Mart to pick up long underwear bottoms for the Oregon-Oregon State game, they only had women's (ie. tops and bottoms) in size Huge and Very Huge.  So I had to get men's small, which are not engineered to meet the special needs of us gals. But the game was fun.

Last, if anyone feels as though they need to get me a token present for Christmas, make it a pair of lightweight underpants. No bikini, thongs or French cut. I'm looking for easy to dry comfy trou to travel in. Medium, which I think is size 6. Colors are just fine.

Finally, a story about how nice my kids are to me. I brought holly from the office for gifts. I washed and trimmed it, discarding the scraps and small pieces into an old red plastic basket so no one would get jabbed on the leaves, which are really sharp. I had a nice "peck" basket, which I spray painted dark green, filled ever artistically with lots of holly and berries, put a plaid ribbon on the handle and put it by the trunk in the hall for Adam to take home. As I scurried around cooking, I told him to take the basket home with him. He was very politely grateful, and later, as he left, I saw him dragging along the old basket with the discarded leaves. After I finally righted all errors, he said, "This one is way cooler." Next time I'll bet I can give him the leftover  garbage and he'll take it home for the composter, thinking it's a really great gift and he has the perfect mom.


Another Fading Weekend

December 07, 2009 by Adam in Family

The weekend is nearly over, and I'm off to my mom's shortly, so I'll keep this brief.  Jamie's been house sitting for Victoria, so the kids and I did a lot of puttering around.  Saturday Sam went to John's to play while Emma and I went shopping at Fred Meyer's and Holiday Market.  She was very fun to run around with, and picked out a fairy crown as a prize for herself for being so good.  Later that night the neighbors returned a borrowed VGA cable, empty applesauce jar, and a movie for us to watch.  The neighborhood trade balance was thus maintained.

Sunday morning I ran errands, worked on the shed, and went food shopping.

There were other things, which were lots of fun, but Emma's crawling on me and it's time to go.

It's quiet and snowing.

December 06, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I'm making bread and my holiday cards this afternoon, watching the snow melt off of the trees outside.

Sweet Mocha Friday

December 04, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's my favorite day of the week, which has felt like a strange and wacky one.  It feels like winter finally arrived, with frosty weather and putting on thicker clothes.  At work, I went to a two-day Renewal Experience that had been recommended to me.  It was good, going over communication skills and things I've come across over the years.  I did like the phrase "Remember to remember."  I find it's easy to fall into old habits unless I consciously try otherwise.

The kids have been good.  Last night Josh came over and the kids played frantically while Sadie and I Skyped each other.  We didn't quite make it to playing a game, as we usually do on Thursdays.  I don't think Emma trying to get Sadie to guess a bad word that starts with "sh" really counted.

Jamie's house sitting for Victoria until Monday, so I'm feeling like I'm getting a preview of the months to come.  So far, everything's fine.  I've managed to cook reasonably healthy meals and convince Sam he couldn't watch a second episode of Lost before going to bed.

She also made an offer on a house, though it was fairly low and it's hard to know if it'll happen.  They're still negotiating.  What's interesting is that the house is at 25th and Van Buren, which is where I lived when growing up.  It's a 1930's bungalow style house in a good neighborhood and close to Roosevelt, all good features.

As for me, I'm hopping in the shower, getting the kids ready for school, and enjoying a delicious mocha as my reward.

Ornaments from the Bay State

December 03, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

After deciding between a submarine theme and Martha Stewart Christmas Explosion, Greg and I compromised on a nautical Christmas, very appropriate for a little town whose ancient graveyard is full of captains. I began ornament making by rifting on an Anthropologie design. All I can say about the child labor they must use to construct the ornaments is that those little fingers are magic. Each boat took an hour! Greg suggested that I take pictures of the two I've already made and hang a dozen facimilies on the tree instead. Next project- the octopus tree topper.


Birthday Ouch!

December 02, 2009 by Seraph in Cortez

I will pass on all of the birthday wishes to Robbie - Thank You!

He is unfortunately stuck on the couch with a busted up foot - a bad sprain and some cut-up toes.  Nurse Seraph will not let him do much right now - good thing he finished up this weeks homework just in time!  We spent the day decorating for Christmas - lights, Dicken's Village and all!  We still have more to do, but Robbie did well directing from the couch.

Isa's doing well at school.  She has a field trip down to ABQ tomorrow to see Nutcracker on the Rocks.  Her teacher seems to think she's fairly brilliant - sigh... there go my hopes of a boring normal child. 

As for me, opening week at the resort blasted past last years records.  I don't think that says the economy is improving though.  I just think the word has gotten out that we're dirt cheep and give away a lot for free.  What it does mean, is that I have a small mountian of laundry to wash today.

I miss the OR crew a lot these days!  Thanksgiving was fun down here, but I really missed you all - craziness and all.  Hopefully we can all make up for it at Easter!  I suggest you all start fasting now.

Happy Happy Birthday Robbie!

December 02, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I hope you have a wonderful birthday. 

Happy Birthday, Robbie!

December 01, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, Emma and I tried to call last night to wish you a happy happy. Hope school is going well and you're getting ready for the holiday season.

Love, Mom

Happy Birthday Robbie

December 01, 2009 by Adam in Family

I wanted to wish Robbie a hearty happy birthday today.  Cheerio, old man!

Barbie Madness

December 01, 2009 by Adam in Emma

Emma's been doing fairly well these days, with countless little stories about her life.

Jamie and the kids went to Target over the weekend, Emma returning with footie pajamas and a new Barbie.  She wanders around combing the doll's hair, but when mixed with sword fighting with Sam, it can get pretty comical.

Last night in the bath, Emma was singing a somewhat inappropriate version of Jingle Bells, though familiar from my youth.  She then wanted me to pretend to be the teacher and send her to the principal's office.

I bought a Lego advent calendar for the kids. Emma not only remembered it from last year, but she remembered the rules about when they could open it.  Tonight after their chores, they'll open the first one.

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