Well, thanks to screw ups by the title compan...

February 27, 2009 by Lohring in Lohring

Well, thanks to screw ups by the title company and issues with the title search, we won't be moving this weekend. I hope to get the keys and start cleaning and construction next week. The big move by Jenny and me is now scheduled for next weekend. My second eye surgery is also scheduled for next Wednesday, complicating everything. Keep your fingers crossed.

It's yet another Mocha Friday and I have half...

February 27, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's yet another Mocha Friday and I have half a cup of that delicious beverage next to me. Work has been crazy busy, but hopefully today will be a little quieter. I have a few things to deal with in the queue, but I'm hoping they're not too overwhelmingly difficult.

The family decided to have a pizza and movie night tonight, but the problem immediately became which movie to watch. I eventually offered up Mythbusters, which everyone was enthusiastic about (you can't be explosions). I think we'll push the couch into my office and perhaps run the video on all three computers so that people can use their screen of choice.

Tomorrow morning I'm helping my dad move into the new house. I haven't seen it yet, so that should be exciting. I'm a little scared of his big t.v. as I haven't been hitting the weights for many months. I love running, but I'm not feeling quite like the burly man I used to be.

Otherwise, live has been simple and good. I constantly thank Jamie for fixing up assorted delicous soups and salads for me, doing my laundry, and keeping my cereal stash fully stocked.

Sam had a ton of math to do last night after fencing. While he sits in the tub, I try to grill him on his multiplication tables. Last night at dinner we were talking about the benefits of fiber and Sam exclaimed, "It's like nature's chimney sweep."

Emma's starting to read and do math. Yesterday she was showing me the difference between odd and even numbers by moving my fingers around. She's also keen on gymnastics and we're trying to get her into Karate somehow.

Life is busy, but fun, as always.

This afternoon a package appeared on my door...

February 26, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

This afternoon a package appeared on my door, a beautifully wrapped gift from mom. When I pulled it apart, my roommate exclaimed, "a jet pack!" It's actually a shiatsu massage pack with heat and vibration capabilities, which I plan to wear constantly. Thanks, mom!

Sam's really gotten into DnD lately

February 25, 2009 by Adam in Sam

Sam's really gotten into DnD lately. As soon as I get home, he'll ask if we can play. Emma's generally game as well, though she has a hard time lasting more than an hour.

He's playing a fairly brash fighter character, who has the bad habit of going off on his own. Emma tends to run back to the mayor of the town to get advice, leaving Sam to press onward. Each time he's done so, he's eventually run into trouble he can't handle. After being set ablaze by fire elementals, he dutifully sang "What's going to work, team work!", with Emma eventually coming to the rescue. Then it was being nearly drowned by a giant snake before Emma jumped on its head. The next day, though, he decided to go it alone again and was torn to shreds by skeletons.

Fortunately death is only a minor setback in the world of fantasy, and after a suitable loss of gold an experience, he was back at it again.

A bit of good news on the health front

February 25, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

A bit of good news on the health front. I went in for my annual cardio test, and they told me that my cardiomyopathy
seemed to be stable, and they were quite pleased. I explained that the problem for me was that I had no energy,
and that I was so dismayed that I couldn't garden, carry things, saw down trees, etc., that I'd like to try surgery in a couple more years. (After I get the remodeling done and the stupid family trees finished, and I wouldn't feel guilty if I didn't make it through the surgery. However, Sadie pointed out that the real estate market is in the toilet, and I also should wait until prices go up.) But they don't want to do surgery unless
my tests show lots of growth in the muscle, to the extent it
cuts off blood flow. He did cut back on the meds I take, since my blood pressure is now so low that gangarene is setting in, and I'm clinically dead. Hopefully I'll have more energy, and that faintly putrid smell about me will fade. Ah, boring, boring.

Good morning, mates

February 23, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Good morning, mates. Incidentally, I've had email from cousin John in New South Wales, which wasn't singed around the edges, so I think they've all escaped the fires. Bob and I are going up to Portland to run some big city errands, probably leaving sometime late tomorrow afternoon.
We'll come back on Thursday, or even early on Friday. Anna leaves for three months in France around the middle of March
and will be staying, for free, with a family who wants their two children, about Sam and Emma's ages. to practice their English. Pen pals, kids? I had fun going clothes shopping with Dez last week. Love to all, Mom, La Vieja

The weekend has come and gone

February 23, 2009 by Adam in Family

The weekend has come and gone. It was extremely lazy, fun, and pleasant. Mostly I hung out at the house with the kids, along with a birthday party for Dave with way too many desserts. Emma and Jamie continue to sniffle along with the cold, but I think they're both on the mend.

My friends Marshall and McKenna came to visit...

February 22, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

My friends Marshall and McKenna came to visit Boston from Brooklyn this weekend- an unbelievable treat! We saw a Shepard Fairey exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, which was phenomenal. Fairey is behind the Andre the Giant Obey street art and the Obama Hope portrait. We also caught "It Happened One Night" at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square. I laughed so hard I got a nose bleed. And now, back to my oatmeal and stupid, stupid homework.

I went in to Sam's bedroom this morning and t...

February 20, 2009 by Adam in Adam's Games

I went in to Sam's bedroom this morning and told him it was time to wake up and roll for initiative. Yes, we've started playing Dungeons and Dragons and he got the joke.

I have these old 3rd edition D&D books that I bought for my computer game activities, but never really used them for their intended purpose. Sam's had fun looking through them over the years, but last weekend he declared that he'd like to actually play.

Emma was willing as well, so she became Fawn the cleric and Sam became Samuel the fighter. Soon they were killing rats and saving the children of the town of Deep Pool. Now Sam negotiates with Emma that he'll play Lego Star Wars with her on the Wii for a half hour if she's willing to play D&D. Even Sam recognizes that he'd be a goner without his handy cleric nearby.

They've both had fun, and have strangely been picking up assorted planning and math skills. For some reason, Sam's quite good at doing math in his head if gold pieces are involved. It's fun as a parent as well, watching them feel like heroes in their own story. Good times.

It's another Mocha Friday

February 20, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's another Mocha Friday. The drive to work was beautiful, the sunrise making beautiful patterns in the fog. I passed by a house with a mold-covered limosine parked in their front yard. It seemed strangely poingnant.

It's been a hard week for Jamie and the kids. Emma has been sick all week and Sam was out yesterday. Somehow Jamie has kept her spirits up, and when I left this morning she and Emma were making rice pudding for Dave's birthday this weekend.

I'm hoping we get to do some fun, quiet things this weekend. Swimming and library trips are high on my list.

I have some economics theory to slug through,...

February 19, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I have some economics theory to slug through, so I'm settled back into bed, listening to music with my morning oatmeal. Noah and the Whale makes everything sound hopeful, even as I have to prove why we shouldn't have a minimum wage, welfare, or a social safety net for the sake of correct answers on my problem set. Sneaky economists. Unfortunately, it's the only class we've got with a straight man; that is, everyone else is problematizing and critiquing methods, not teaching them. Critique is for undergraduates; tools are for us jaded practitioners who went back to grad school when we realized that "deconstructionist" isn't a career path that includes dental.

Today was college awareness day in Dorchester

February 17, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Today was college awareness day in Dorchester. I made college bingo, which was a hit once the kids saw the awesome giant foam fingers BU had donated for the event. I had to borrow a college sweatshirt from my roommate. Despite my eight years of hanging out at colleges, I don't have a lick of branded gear. There's something magic about college paraphernalia. Slip on a navy hoodie and the instant co-ed spirit makes me want to mobilize a bar trivia team. Fortunately, I have a casserole and cookies to bake. Domesticity always keeps me out of trouble.

It was a very full and chaotic Valentine's Day

February 15, 2009 by Adam in Family

It was a very full and chaotic Valentine's Day. I think tomorrow I'm going to deliberately do as little as possible, with the exception of the Asian Celebration which we missed today.

We started with Jamie's Swedish pancakes that she left for us before the trip. They were delicious and the kids loved them. Next was a library trip, which they weren't always keen about. They had their moments of fun and we returned with a ton of goodies and some bagels on the way home.

My dad came over and hung out with everyone. I think the kids especially liked playing with Google Earth on his iPhone. Eventually we sent him along and the kids and I played outside. I tried to get some painting in, but everyone got too cold and we went in and had some quiet time. Later still, we all went off to my mom's for dinner.

At the moment, it's 10:30 pm and I'm waiting for Sam to return from Swan Lake. I think the ballet ended a few minutes ago, so he'll hopefully arrive soon. Then it's getting him into bed and collapsing myself.

Tomorrow Jamie returns. Hopefully early.

Another beautiful Saturday morning in Waltham

February 14, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Another beautiful Saturday morning in Waltham. I'm settling into bed (again), hoping to finish my sociological inquiry reading before noon. Tonight, I'm hosting a wine club meeting, the Valentine's Day equivalent of inviting orphans over for Thanksgiving dinner. While only two people have confirmed, I'd like to think that it's because people are too embarrassed to post on a Facebook Invite that they don't have a date. Oh yes, the people will come.

I just got a cool research position at the Center for Children Youth and Communities, studying summer of service programs for middle school students. I hope it will help me refocus on the things I came to Heller to study- transformative education and civic agency. And I get to hang out with a very cool veteran researcher in the service-learning field. I have so many different interests that intersect with his research projects that I walk into his office and am totally fixed to my chair, enthralled by his stories, for an hour. You know a subject is exciting when time quickens around it.

The end of a long lousy week

February 14, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

The end of a long lousy week. I was in bed with the flu for most of the week, with occasional fits of feeling good and bustling around. Today I ran around Eugene doing errands.
I have had great long conversations yesterday and this morning,with Seraph and Sadie, and with Jenny, late this afternoon. Everyone is sounding hard working and busy. We're
going to have Adam and the kids over for dinner tomorrow, and then Bob is taking Sam to Swan Lake. I originally suggested Bob because I thought Sam would think it was more manly to see the ballet if a guy took him, but it turns out that Sam is very cool, and likes ballet. The only bad new is that Tippy,one of Anna's kitties, who have been living with Aric and the boys, got a urinary tract obstruction,
and had to be put to sleep. Not a good year for kitties.

It was a Friday, and I made myself a Mocha in...

February 14, 2009 by Adam in Family

It was a Friday, and I made myself a Mocha in the morning as the kids got ready for the day. Jamie got ready for her trip, Emma and I made french bread, and then her friend Stella came over to play. Jamie left and I took both girls to school, where I stayed to help with her Valentine's Day party. It was fun and I got to assist 22 kids decorate their Valentine loot bags. Afterwards I took the kids home where we watched a little bit of a movie, played Kung Fu, and they're now playing on computers as I get ready to make dinner.

Sam got an award for Academic Excellence at the assembly, which I thought was pretty cool. Emma was very sweet in her class and was quite happy that I attended.

The weekend starts tomorrow, probably a mix of the usual events and a trip to the Asian Celebration.

Thanks to Adam (of course) I've exceeded all ...

February 13, 2009 by Lohring in Lohring

Thanks to Adam (of course) I've exceeded all my life goals. I'm now a card carrying (AARP and Medicare), dirty, old, BIONIC man! My right eye now is corrected to 20/20 without glasses. The only problem is that my left eye with glasses sees a smaller image so I'm learning how not to see double. Driving is a little unnerving.

We officially got the house! The exact closing date will be around February 25. Jenny and I are going shopping for a washer, dryer, and refrigerator this morning. We plan to stimulate the economy even more with remodeling (a new bathroom for me), furniture, and other household purchases. I'm applying for Federal bailout money as we speak.

It's Mocha Thursday for me

February 12, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Thursday for me. Tomorrow Jamie goes to the beach and I'm going to entertain the kids somehow. Last night we broke out Sam's magic kit and Emma and I showed him tricks while he lay in bed.

I'll probably do the usual swimming and library trips tomorrow. I'm hoping Saturday is warm and dry enough to take the kids on a hike. We'll see how it goes.

I just got back from taking dad to his eye su...

February 11, 2009 by Adam in Family

I just got back from taking dad to his eye surgery and dropping him off at his apartment. He was quite chipper afterwards, which is good since we'll go in to do the second eye in a few weeks. He'll probably still need to wear glasses, though the prescription should be lots less.

Sam's been sick all week, with a headache and sniffles. On Monday, he read all my old Dungeons and Dragons manuals, and yesterday he finished a book about dragons. I'm not sure how he'll pass the time today.

I haven't quite gotten mentally prepared for Jamie being gone this weekend. Hopefully everyone is feeling better and we can embark on a few adventures.

What the heck! It's snowing! I better put som...

February 10, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

What the heck! It's snowing! I better put some nice warm blankies on top of my daphne, which are (were?) about to bloom.

I'm going to be in Eugene from April 9-18th! ...

February 10, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I'm going to be in Eugene from April 9-18th! Dental tourism, yay!

David Bowie had some great insight into perso...

February 08, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

David Bowie had some great insight into persona and personal style, and I like his playful irreverence for our daily dress up. Hair color is fun to play around with and often an important exercise in humility. I guess that makes me type A!

I made some great bread yesterday! The oatmeal molasses loaf will be perfect with beer cheese soup and the challah is almost gone already- the perfect toast with the pear marmalade Adam and I made this summer. Mmm.

Sorry I haven't writen in a while

February 08, 2009 by Robbie in Cortez

Sorry I haven't writen in a while. Since Seraph is here, I end up telling her about my days and not enough energy to sit at the computer and retell the stories.

We have been quite busy at work, as we are preparing already for next year. Last Saturday we had an open house, where many new families were welcomed and had time to chat with the teachers. Since I get a long with most parents, I thought I did a great job selling our school to these new parents.

This week seemed long as our assistant was out sick for a few days, and it didn't seem the same without her. She's the one person I'm able to talk to about the vast improvements that this schools needs. I'm hoping things will turn for the better next year, as I am scheduled to take over the Pre-K program. The current teacher is venturing out and having an infant run program out of her house. I will be in a separate classroom and out of the following eyes of Stephanie. I might be able to do what I want to do. Yeah!

On Thursday, I was sitting with my kids during snack, when I felt pain on my left front side, and when I stood, the pain radiated to back. I could hardly stand, and the pain became excruciating. I tried to walk it off, but it didn't help, and so I talked to Stephanie and told her I had to go home. She suggested I should go to urgent care, since I didn't have insurance I said I'd rather go home. Somehow, I drove the hours trip home in extreme pain, and luckily Seraph was at home. I staggered into the house, calling for her, and she came racing into the living room helping me to Isabell's bed. I cried out and couldn't find a good resting position. The pain was so bad, I vomited several times. I took warm showers, rested a bit, until the pain returned, and took another shower. About nine hours later the back pain subsided, and the pain in the front slowly ebbed away. By Friday morning I felt a lot better, but I decided to stay home and rest. Seraph thought I probably pinched a nerve. I obviously have no tolerance to pain, and Seraph joked that I was lucky that I didn't have to deliver babies. She's probably right!

While I rested, I finished a fanstastic book called Merle's Door. About a man named Ted Kerasote who found and kept a dog named Merle. It was a story about him raising him and giving great insight on how dogs behave. It had great humor and also many tear jerking moments. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves dogs.

We have been doing careful research on dogs, since we will be getting a dog when we move into our new house. We have been fond of New Foundland dogs, and have researched them extensively. Finding that they are very family oriented and are very calm. We found a New Foundland mix in Albuquerque, and it has a friend that has Pit Bull mix. They are inseparatable and I have emailed them to see if they will hold them for us. I received an email from them and they said they could hold them for us. We will have to go down and check them out. We are all quite excited by this prospect!

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying there weekend! We are expecting another few inches of snow this weekend and this week! We have had a glorious January and early February weather wise with beautiful sunny warm days. A false spring, and now snow has come and descended upon us!

I've often wondered about the psychology of t...

February 07, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I've often wondered about the psychology of those who (A) have the self assurance to randomly and drastically change their hairstyle/color, a feature both prominent and often used as a descriptor...or (B) are vascillating between personae in an attempt to find comfort in one.

So, are you type A or Type B? ;-)

Ah, Mocha Friday

February 06, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Ah, Mocha Friday. I love reading those words. While I don't have classes on Friday, so Friday is the equivalent of Saturday, it's my only uninterrupted homework day. I spent the morning in bed, drinking coffee and finishing up my social theory reading. Getting to feel accomplished for staying in bed and reading is the best thing about graduate school.

I died my hair red this week, which looks remarkably unweird as measured against previous hair experiments. One of my classmates looked at me and said, "bringing henna back!," leading us to remember the good old 90s of covering our heads with green clay. Adam also reminded me of the year I had black hair, which was marginally less ugly than the month I was a platinum blonde, God help me.

It's another sweet Mocha Friday

February 06, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's another sweet Mocha Friday.

The week has been puttering along. I had a meeting blissfully cancelled yesterday, freeing me up to get caught up on most of my work. In the afternoon I went to watch Sam fence and Emma play with her friends. I think they've started a "sisters of fencers" support group. Later Sam hunkered down with his homework, which he unhappily finished with more property damage than I would have liked.

I'm very much looking forward to an ordinary weekend. Everyone will be at home, after Jamie and the kids being gone last weekend, and with Jamie gone next weekend. I'm hoping to do the usual library and swimming. Perhaps I can take Sam to Coraline, as I love Neil Gaiman and look forward to seeing the modern version of 3D movies. So far, all I can tell is that the new glasses are way more stylish than the red and blue paper ones.

Update: I had to post this picture of Emma. Sam decided she was "Sparkle Rambo."

Well, the butt-tag issue is resolved

February 05, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Well, the butt-tag issue is resolved. Everyone at Adam's house talked to Sadie on the web-cam. I'd called Sadie earlier and told her that, in lieu of incurring professional fees for a medical opinion from Meggie, or a vet's opinion from Wendy, Emma seemed to feel comfortable with Sadie reassuring her that Mr. Pletcher didn't have his butt-tag, and in fact hasn't had a butt-tag since about 1957, and he's still alive. So with the web cam, Sadie was able to demonstrate that Mr. Pletcher is still alive and
capable of doing bear tricks, even without a butt-tag, and Emma is a happy girl. I suspect Sam is unrepentant.
I had a no-good very-bad day, myself. We were taking the dang toilet to the rental, and I fell on the cement and banged up my knee. Then I came home and stabbed my hand with a knife while I was opening a container of almonds. And
this morning I scratched myself as I was sharpening scissors. Bob said he was going to make me wear soccer pads.
Adam suggested a helmet.

Good morning! Actually, it's noon, since Bob ...

February 04, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Good morning! Actually, it's noon, since Bob was up until 4 this morning doing plans for the sun room remodel. We'll go out to Costco today to try to get their on-sale dual flush toilet and Turbo Tax. I have to jump into taxes, as the guy at the bank needs them. I think I'm going to do a thirty year fixed rate mortgage while interest rates are low.
I took Sam and Emma to the Reptile Kingdom pet shop, where they spent nearly two hours. Emma has managed to charm Dave, the owner, and they fed a turtle and a tortoise (there's apparently a difference, which must be obvious to turtles and tortoise; otherwise there'd be a lot of tortles and turtoise) and looked at every creature in the shop. We then went to McDonald's, where Emma got two little Happy Meal poodles. Emma wanted to cut off their "butt-tags", those little tags that say, inevitably, Made in China. Sam,
with big brotherly glee, told her that her poodles would die if she cut off their butt-tags. Emma wasn't quite sure
whether he was telling the truth, and Meggie, we nearly called during your office hours for a medical opinion. Fortunately, I don't have you programmed into my new cell phone, so I persuaded Emma she needed to consult her Aunt Wendy, who is, after all, a vetrinarian. Ah, real life is way ahead of whatever is in second place.

The week has been going by so quickly, with w...

February 04, 2009 by Adam in Family

The week has been going by so quickly, with work dashing from one crisis to another. I'm hoping that I'll actually have some time today to be able to sit down and do planned work. Maybe.

It was great seeing everyone when they came back from their trip on Sunday. Jamie didn't get much sleep and was on kid overload, but I think every enjoyed going to the children's museum in Salem and the forestry center in Portland. After their return, I spent the afternoon at the park, digging up loads of clay from beneath the sand. So far, Jamie hasn't allowed them to fire clay pots in the oven.

It was good to get back into the school routine. Jamie finally got some sleep, and the kids are settling down. Sam's homework seems pretty steep these days, and even Emma is bringing home books to read to us. Life seems good and busy, as always.

It's been a pleasant and quirky day

February 01, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's been a pleasant and quirky day. Jamie and the kids are up in Portland and I've been knocking about the house for the last couple days.

I made myself blueberry pancakes and espresso this morning, as I wouldn't want to miss out on my favorite part of the weekend. Later I drove to True Value to get bark-o-mulch, visited the library for books and movies, and spend the rest of the morning weeding and spreading mulch around the plants.

I toyed with painting this afternoon, but it was just too cold. I instead did laundry and assorted chores. Hopefully Jamie will be gleeful that I finally cleaned and painted the rusty part on our oven.

I had dinner with my mom and Bob, escaping with only a few of the things she's been trying to get rid of. As my mom explained to me, the children of dentists get their teeth cleaned regularly. Children of probate lawyers get stuff divided up early.

I had a really fun time talking to Sadie over the webcam tonight. As for tomorrow, I'll probably do a few more chores and eagerly await my family's return.

I just had a really great time having a Skype...

February 01, 2009 by Adam in Adam

I just had a really great time having a Skype conversation with Sadie. We broke out the webcams and she gave me a tour of her house by carrying her laptop around. I can't believe I've been in the web business for all these years, but never actually used a webcam.

I'm going to try to do it again when I have the kids around. Sadie and I were predicting that Emma would spend the whole time kissing the camera.

This is great and easy vegetarian chili fro...

February 01, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

This is great and easy vegetarian chili from my friend Betsy:
-2 Tbl olive oil
-2 cups chopped scallions or onions
-1 red bell pepper, chopped
-1 green bell pepper, chopped
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-14 oz firm tofu, well drained and squeezed dry between paper towels
-2 Tbl flour
-2 Tbl chili powder
-2 tsp cocoa powder
-1/4 tsp ground red pepper
-28 oz can low sodium stewed tomatoes with juice
-4 Tbl red wine or balsamic vinegar
-2 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
-2 Tbl chopped fresh cilantro

1) In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the scallions, red peppers, green peppers, and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 min, or until tender.
2) Crumble the tofu and add to the pan. Cook, stirring often, for 5-7 min, or until golden.
3) Add the flour, chili powder, cocoa powder and ground pepper.
Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 min. Add the tomatoes (with the liquid), and the vinegar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 min or until slightly thick.
4) Stir in the beans and the cilantro. simmer for 5 min.

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