We made it to Bath

July 31, 2009 by Adam in Family

We made it to Bath. I woke up this morning, feeling pretty good with a full night's sleep under my belt. Sam and Isa hung out in the back and Robbie was my trusty navigator. We got to the ferry in time after a few wrong turns, then had an incredibly easy time getting to Bath. Unfortunately the place we're staying has no parking and it's nearly impossible to park anywhere. I just got back from trying to move the car and ended up getting lost while trying to go around the block. Fortunately I made it back to my original spot, which is theoretically only two hours long. Sigh.

I'm going to go exploring with Sam, seeing if we can find the Roman baths. My mom has generously offered to do laundry. Hopefully I can post in the morning before heading to Wales, where we'll likely be out of touch for a couple days.



Today I spent two really great hours in the t...

July 30, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Today I spent two really great hours in the town planning office, talking to the two town planners about the development realities of a small place in a big recession, still losing farm land to suburban encroachment but now juggling defaulted subdivisions. I can't wait to start.

Today is also the weekly farmer's market, where I got a massive, beautiful head of lettuce to cut our pound of CSA spinach. The bakery was absent, so I had to make my own bread. There is this picture of Irish soda bread on the cover of The New England Table by Lora Brody that convinced me to try my hand at it. It looks like a precious, lumpy little scone, begging to be smothered in cold butter. Unfortunately, the results reminded me of Peggy Bracken's description of soda bread from The I Hate to Cook Book: "This is a big easy crusty faintly sweet loaf, comforting as a turf fire in a thatched cottage. It is handy when you're out of bread." I managed to burn every surface, and it's still soft in the middle. The salad turned out pretty well, though, and I found retsina at that Greek grocery to wash down the burnt bits. The clerk thought I was a little nutty for buying it, but there's something so refreshing about its cool pine taste... like freshly mopped linoleum.



I realized the last posting was rather exciti...

July 30, 2009 by Adam in Family

I realized the last posting was rather exciting, made from one of those airport kiosks. Immediately after posting, we found Robbie. As expected, some miscommunication resulted in just missing each other several times in a row. Now we're at cousin Mary's house. Sam and Isa are having a wonderful time chasing cats in the backyard. Soon we'll go out for dinner.

Yesterday was a little more exciting than I wanted. We connected late and picked up the cars. It was clear we'd miss the first ferry, so we rescheduled tickets to 7 pm. We also ended up with two cars, almost immediately losing each other as we headed down. Driving was just as stressfull as I recall. According to Robbie, Seraph swore like a sailor. We also ended up missing several turns, but eventually mom pointed me in the right direction. Sam and Isa had a great time, playing in the back seat.

Even though the two cars got separated, we reconnected a half hour before the ferry left. I was just about ready to give up and stay in town, but fortunately it worked out at the last minute. I also couldn't back up the car, as I couldn't get it into reverse. I embarrasingly had to push it backwards. Eventually Seraph called the rental place and there's a funny ring you have to pull up before shifting into reverse.

We got into Ryde Castle fairly late, went to dinner at some pirate place, and headed to our rooms. They didn't have enough cots, so they ended up going out and buying inflatable mattresses for Robbie and Seraph. I slept pretty well last night, except for Seraph waking me at six in the morning, as she read her clock wrong.

Sam fortunately slept for a few hours more and we had a good breakfast. The sightseeing trip for the day involved heading to the Roman ruins, nearly a thousand years old. The mosaics were pretty incredible and even Sam thought it was fairly cool.

We went back to the hotel and I did some laundry in the sink, then took the kids to the beach. Sam dipped his toes in the English channel, Isa collected shells, and I simply enjoyed the warm and sunny weather. A hovercraft came blazing up to a nearby landing, which the kids enjoyed.

Later Sam and I wandered the streets, looking for a WiFi connection and snacks. We found a good bakery and enjoyed a tasty snack, and I found a cash machine and took out a hundred pounds for walking around money. No luck on the Internet connection until now, though.

Yet again we returned to the hotel where Sam and Isa watched British kids cartoons. Sam declared them "weird", possibly because of the part where the lion peed on some guy hiding in the bushes.

Once again we braved the roads and found our way to cousin Mary's town. Sam found a little toy to spend his pounds on in a nearby shop. Strangely enough, it reminds me of a "happy fun ball" toy that he had as a kid.

Tomorrow we return to the ferry and drive up to Bath. After that we go up to a Welsh farm. I think we're finally getting the hang of driving about.

So, all's well. I best check on Isa and Sam.



As I've mentioned in earlier posts, Massachus...

July 29, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, Massachusetts has seen some rain this month. Greg has done all of the laundry since we moved to Grafton, but I took on the task today, remembering grandma Edna as I pinned everything up on the line. But it started to rain this afternoon, so now all of our clothes are hung inside, amplifying the muggy air. I think we're going on a Mediterranean grocery run to escape the humidity. New England in late July is a stickier version of the Pacific Northwest in late January.

It's so much fun to hear your reports from the field! Such a treat.



This is a note for Seraph - we are at Heathro...

July 29, 2009 by Adam in Family

This is a note for Seraph - we are at Heathrow Airport in Terminal 3, next to the Avis desk (at the group meeting point). We will continue to wait there until we see you. Mom is going to look around other terminals in hopes she sees you. She has her cell phone.

And for everyone else - yes, we're having issues meeting Seraph, but hopefully everything will work out. I've dutifully fed Sam and taken him to the bathroom. It may be that I'll just ditch my mom and head to Portsmouth, though only as a last resort. With two cars and a second ferry at 7 pm (ours is at 4 pm), it gets a little tricky.

Ah, the joys of travel.



Two busy fun filled days in London! It was he...

July 29, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Two busy fun filled days in London! It was helpful to sort out what kids might enjoy most; for sure the Tower of London, and the British Museum, and with Sam, the Natural History Museum and the Lonndon Dungeon Tour. Sam thinks the Dungeon
Tour would be too scary for younger kids. He liked the Hop On, Hop Off tour better when we sat upstairs and had a live
guide, rather than the pre-recorded info (though the pre-recorded guide was available in several languages.)I think
I'm going to persuade Seraph and Robbie to go to the British Library and maybe Seraph and I can go shopping on Regent Street. Who was it who said, "He who tires of London tires of life."?
It's too bad that there has been so great a White Flight from London.



It's our last day in London

July 29, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's our last day in London. Sam's reading Harry Potter and we've just come down from breakfast. I think my mom is going to try to fit in one more visit to somewhere. After checking with Sam, I think he'd like to take it easy for a couple hours before we join up with Seraph, Robbie, and Isa. Sam didn't get quite as much sleep as the night before, and was up until close to midnight.

My mom is currently booking a second ferry ticket to the Isle of Wight now that we're taking two cars. Hopefully all of that will get sorted out and I'll manage to drive properly once we pick up the car. Once again, I'm not sure when I can post next. We'll see if somewhere near Ryde Castle has internet access.



There is a Wakefield Tower at the TOwer of Lo...

July 28, 2009 by Betsy in Betsy

There is a Wakefield Tower at the TOwer of London complex. Some long ago Wakefiled ancestor was a warden there. Have fun.



We're back in our room, resting up before hea...

July 28, 2009 by Adam in Family

We're back in our room, resting up before heading out to dinner. We had another exciting day, going off to the Tower of London, eating lunch there, and then we were off to the Natural History Museum.

The Tower had a Henry VIII exhibit, commemorating the 500th anniversary of his coronation. They had a pretty amazing collection of armor and weapons, including these crazy shield/gun combinations that seemed unwieldy at best. They also had a grand collection of cannons, some of which seemed truly gargantuan. Towards the end we saw some previously used crowns, the gems taken out and reused. It was a far shorter line than that for the crown jewels, which we passed on.

The Natural History Museum had a grand entrance and wonderful exhibits. The dinosaur bones were a sight to behold, especially housed in the incredible main hall. I kept ignoring the displays and admiring the architecture. We didn't manage to see it all, but it was time to head back and get some rest.

We just sorted out a couple bits of important business. We know now where and when to meet Seraph. As expected, the car we rented wouldn't fit all of us, so we'll end up taking two. I assured Sam that we could totally ditch the rest of our party if they become too unruly.

Update: It's right before bed and Sam and I have assembled another of our daily travelogues. I'm not sure if we'll have Internet connections after tomorrow, though maybe we can find a cafe somewhere. It's possible Ryde Castle has wireless Internet.

We went out to an Italian restaurant opposite the one we ate at a couple nights ago. Sam likely had his last pepperoni pizza for awhile. My mom thought our Italian waitress was flirting with me, but my guess is she was just being nice because she forgot my order. I assured my mom gravely that my heart belongs to another (that's you, Jamie).



Hi, I'm in Sam and Adam's room while Sam snoo...

July 28, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, I'm in Sam and Adam's room while Sam snoozes a bit longer. After an auspicious start in Portland, my plane out of ny was very late, and I got in after Sam and Adam. I forgot that "nine pm push" which Yayoe and I experienced in NY. The trip from Heathrow was grueling for Sam, but he's
quickly acclimated to the noise and the diversty of people.
He probably picked up more history from the Dungeon tour than the Hop-on, off bus tour. He's so fun and slightly eccentric.
He quickly turned people watching into a contest.



We have been watching, and note a distinct fa...

July 28, 2009 by Jamie in Family

We have been watching, and note a distinct fatigue...hope you catch up on sleep soon. We want to hear more from the cinematographer and less from the incoherent sidekick (or allow him to compose his thoughts in prose and post after some consideration) We miss you both.
It is 100 degrees here (literally) and will be all week. We are envious of the cloudy skies you all are enjoying.
From Emma:
"I miss you...a lot. I hope you have fun Dad and Sam. I love you once more. It's hard to sleep because of the monsters. I hope you get me a souvenir. Once more I say this: I love you. Back to mom...."
Take care, global travellers! BH and Emmy



What a whirlwind day

July 27, 2009 by Adam in Family

What a whirlwind day. We took the tube to Central London and spent the drizzly part of the morning on the tour bus. It was actually pretty good and we saw all the major sights of London. Sam picked the one place he wanted to spend more time at, the London Dungeon. We circled back to the tour bus company, bought tickets, and hopped on the bus again to ride over.

The second bus operator was pretty funny, telling of the amusing parts of London as we drove past. Eventually Sam and I got out for the London Dungeon while my mom wandered about for a couple hours. Sam had a pretty good time. The dungeon was a combination house of horrors and history lesson, telling of the more gruesome parts of London history. Sam and I kept discussing the mechanics of the ride, such as the mechanical seats that "cut your hair" for the Sweeney Todd room.

After wandering about for awhile, we ate at a pub by the river. Sam enjoyed his bangers and mash, while I stuck to the salad. We took the Queen's Walk along the Thames, passing by the Tate and crossing the Millennium Bridge to St. Paul's Cathedral. A quick tube ride to the bed and breakfast and now it's time for bed.



We're off to Denver late this morning!! We c...

July 27, 2009 by Seraph in Cortez

We're off to Denver late this morning!! We can't wait to catch up with Mom, Adam and Sam! And Sadie, don't worry, I have carefully written down all of the cool design shops in London, and have planned a day of shopping for you : )



Ah, sleep! Sam slept for eleven hours and I ...

July 27, 2009 by Adam in Family

Ah, sleep! Sam slept for eleven hours and I slept for about ten. The weather this morning made us feel quite at home, with rain turning to an overcast day. Since it's not cold, I think we'll be fine today. Sam's in great spirits today, wanting to get out and walk around. I'm so glad he's improved from yesterday.

We had an interesting breakfast this morning, chatting with the other travelers. First was a couple from Japan. The man was a student of English, and he cheerfully grilled Sam on his school and interests. Later we talked with an American living in Paris, visiting her sister. After downing a lot of toast and coffee, I finally got the courage to wake up my mother.

I think we'll soon head back to the tube and go to central London. The plan is to buy tickets for the bus tour and stop off at some of the various places we pass by.



We made it to London, safe and sound at the b...

July 26, 2009 by Adam in Family

We made it to London, safe and sound at the bed and breakfast. Though it's deep in London, it's surrounded by big trees and run by a very nice older couple. The upstairs bathroom has a submarine-like door, which Sam thought was very cool.

Getting here was fairly challenging. Sam couldn't sleep on the long trip, and he wasn't partial to the food. By the time we got to London, he'd been up until the equivalent of 3:30 in the morning, with very little to eat. I got water into him, but otherwise not much else. The plane itself was pretty cool and had a built-in movie player. I managed to sleep for four hours and got a cup of coffee in the morning, so I'm relatively okay.

Upon reaching London, my mom wasn't there to greet us. We looked around, found that there was a flight from New York coming nearly three hours later than expected. Sure enough, my mom arrived and we hopped on the Underground.

The Underground was a giant mess, with a track closed due to someone "under the tracks". Later we discovered the line we were supposed to take was closed for the day. After a lot of hiking around and stopping briefly because Sam got sick, we made it here.

Now we're off to find food for Sam, hopefully keeping him up another hour or two.


Update: It's nearly 7:30 GMT, something around noon back in the states. Jamie and Emma are probably heading back home after a weekend with grandma. We do miss them.

We went out to an Italian place recommended by the owners of the B&B. Sam had his pepperoni pizza. I ended up with an excellent spaghetti. Both of us felt much better after 24 hours of airplane food. Sam had a Coke as well, which is probably the reason he hasn't completely collapsed before now. At the moment he's taking a shower and getting ready for bed. I expect he'll fall asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow.



This is mostly a dry run for future video pos...

July 25, 2009 by Adam in Family

This is mostly a dry run for future video postings from abroad. At the moment we're sitting in the Portland airport waiting for our Calgary flight to arrive. Jamie dropped us off with kisses and we went in to get our tickets.

Unfortunately they printed wrong and it wasn't until the fourth try before they came out right. I think we're all good now. Sam's good at least, when I asked him just now.



Greg and I are back in Grafton, having recove...

July 25, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Greg and I are back in Grafton, having recovered from our long flight. Today we picked up our first share at a local CSA, the collaboration of three farms. It will be so much fun to get a fresh box of produce every week and figure out how to eat or preserve strange edibles. Unfortunately, all the heirloom tomatoes have an airborne blight brought in from box store tomatoes. The crop is a little sad looking this year, but it's nice to support family farms through hard times.

For such a little place, the Grafton public library has a generous cookbook section, which we've only started to dig through. The librarian seems like a big time foodie and personally selected the recipes from the last cookbook I checked out that I absolutely had to try. She promised that Ina Garten's french apple tart would change my life.

Both of us had a wonderful time in Eugene at Marshall and McKenna's wedding and playing with the family. Some of my highs include: trampoline jumping with Jordan, figure drawing and playing in the park with Sam and Emma, walking through the old neighborhood with Greg, and sneaking off to drink coffee with mom. The orchestrated recipe potluck was out of this world, too, and I think we were all surprised that we liked squid so much!

I hope you all have a great time in Olde England!



Happy Mocha Friday to all

July 25, 2009 by Adam in Family

Happy Mocha Friday to all. It's nearly the end of the day and we're safe and sound at Portland before we leave to England. I worked all morning, then came home to do a final packing. Most of all, I have my trip folder, which has everything from confirmation numbers to Google Map directions to everywhere we go.

Late tomorrow morning we fly out, stop by Calgary, and then take the long way to Heathrow. I'm going to try hard to sleep on the plane if I can, as we're showing up in London in the morning after a very long day. Hopefully I can post once we arrive.



Happy Birthday Mom!!! We can't wait to see y...

July 23, 2009 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy Birthday Mom!!! We can't wait to see you next week! I'm e-mailing you the last of the details I have. xxxooo from the Cortez clan.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUE

July 23, 2009 by Yayoe in Yayoe

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUE...it's another new year of you! I know you're too busy to do much celebrating before you leave so do it in England in grand style. Be wild and crazy...like we were in the airport in NY.



Generic Heading

July 23, 2009 by Betsy in Betsy

Happy Birthday Sister Sue!



Mom and I had our communal birthday party las...

July 22, 2009 by Adam in Family

Mom and I had our communal birthday party last night. It was full of family and food and the usual amount of chaos. I got a ton of presents. Since she wasn't there, I'd like to publicly thank Seraph for her awesome temporary tattoos and skull and crossbone ice tray. They're very cool.

I'm still in a daze thinking about the upcoming England trip, with only three days to go. Friday we're heading to Portland, and then Jamie's driving us to the airport to start our journey. Mom's been a madwoman this last week, getting places booked left and right. So far we're staying in two castles, a university dorm, and a farm house. Hopefully we can get a place in Oxford before we leave.

I still have stuff to get ready, but I'm feeling increasingly organized. My folder of driving directions, confirmation codes, and dates and times is coming together nicely. Hopefully by the time I leave I'll feel relatively content.



Oh, thank you all for cooking

July 22, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Oh, thank you all for cooking. We had an elegant Italian dinner, and everyone, including Dez, prepared a dish or drink. Pretty fancy. And thank you for my wonderful birthday presents. I felt like the little kid in Close Encounters, "presents!"



Happy 40th Birthday Adam! Enjoy another new y...

July 21, 2009 by Yayoe in Yayoe

Happy 40th Birthday Adam! Enjoy another new year of you....
Turning 40 means you can do anything that you wanna do...so go for the gusto man!



It's been a whirlwind last week

July 20, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's been a whirlwind last week. Mocha Friday came and went, as I was watching the kids while Jamie left to prepare for the wedding. In the morning we went blueberry picking with Sadie, Greg, Jenny, and the boys. In the afternoon I made jam and entertained the kids.

Saturday we made a quick library trip, and then we were off to Coulton for the wedding. As with most weddings, there were boring parts and exciting parts. Sam and I discussed why so many people cried at weddings. Eventually the kids and I went to bed while Jamie stayed up with the other grown ups.

Sunday was my birthday, and I got an impromptu singing at breakfast by a bunch of strangers. The kids and I explored the stream near our cabin, having a great time finding crawdads and jumping across rocks. The drive home seemed faster with Jamie driving, and we settled into an afternoon of unpacking and taking it easy.

I'm in my last week of preparation before our England trip next weekend. I'm feeling disorganized still and will likely spend the next couple days making reservations for places to stay and printing out directions, contact information, and the rest.



Yeah we're back on-line! Qwest got our servi...

July 14, 2009 by Seraph in Cortez

Yeah we're back on-line! Qwest got our service changed over yesterday so now I can check e-mail from our new temp house.
I've decided that the trailer reminds me of Grandma & Grandpa Steane's trailer in Florida, and am taking a nostalgic view of the cramped setup. Robbie won't let me redo the place in retro 50's pieces, but I'll see if I can sneak in some lime green and turquoise linins!
Last Thursday Isa came down with a bad case of the stomach flu. We ended up taking her up to urgent care in the middle of the night. They gave her some meds that stopped the vomiting, but she spent the weekend pretty weak, and not able to eat much. She's now doing better, but still hasn't regained much appetite.
Today I’m off to catch up on laundry and drink real coffee!!



The weekend has come and gone

July 13, 2009 by Adam in Family

The weekend has come and gone. I'm sneaking in a quick post before I have to rush off to work again.

I spent a big chunk of the weekend working on the shed. Saturday we took a family expedition to Jerry's and loaded up on supplies. I spent most of the day painting the interior, stopping only when dinner rolled around. Emma and I had made bread, and that coupled with Jamie's delicious dinner and work-induced appetite really hit the spot.

On Sunday Jamie was gone for most of the day hiking and eating dinner with Pat and Carlanne. I took the kids to a library before the thunderstorm arrived. Emma helped with the shed, puttying baseboard. Eventually the kids started collecting spiders in the back yard, creating a terrarium out of an old fish tank. I finished the baseboard and put up one of the window casements. Unfortunately the second will have to wait as I ran out of supplies.

In general I'm really happy with how the shed has turned out and eager to let Jamie furnish the insides.

It's a bit of an odd week for me. Wednesday I'm off to visit with Greg and Sadie. Friday I'm off to watch the kids as Jamie gets ready for Dave's wedding. Somewhere in there I need to get Sam and I packed for the trip the weekend after next.



It's starting to be a busy summer

July 13, 2009 by Lohring in Lohring

It's starting to be a busy summer. I'm slowly getting moved in but the last of my shop needs to be moved. Darren and I are planning to move it soon after I get back from the Nationals which are running all the next week. I just ran my first class and was 4th. I even won one of the four heats. No trophy, but I was happy since I just built the boat two weeks ago. I will be running three more classes, so we will see how it goes. I am a race official as well, running four classes and the pre race testing session that starts at 7:00 AM.

Three weekends ago I helped my friend, Mike Bontoft, race his full sized outboard at a "real" boat race. I was surprised how much it was like the model races. He promises to help me with my racing this week after his full sized boat race this weekend. I'm looking toward seeing Greg and Sadie as soon as I get home.



The shed continues to get increasingly awesom...

July 12, 2009 by Adam in Adam's Projects

The shed continues to get increasingly awesome, to the point where we've started to refer to it as the "garden cottage". We made a family run to Jerry's and picked up molding and painting supplies. The walls are now a lovely green, and the ceiling is a cheerful yellow. I think I've scraped most of the splatters off my body, but for awhile it was a useful discussion point when explaining what colors I'd painted it.

I'm slowly getting to the point where I'm going to declare myself finished. I replaced the single weirdly positioned light with halogens. They'll probably keep things nicely warm in the winter. I have the windows to frame and baseboards to put in, and then I turn the keys over to Jamie for furnishing.

To top it off, I ran through the remaining stain for the balcony. I have more to do, but Jamie should be able to start buying furniture for it.

Finally, our ten year-old television is dying, so we're buying an HDTV to replace it. Even though I consider myself a tech guy, I tend to use equipment until it disintegrates. The resolution is pretty good and I might hook up Emma's computer to it. The Fossil case is way too pretty to keep down in the nerd cave.



One of the thrills of living in the intersect...

July 11, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

One of the thrills of living in the intersection of compromise is creatively imagining a commute that will not kill me, my psyche, or the earth between here and Boston. Yesterday I took the train and subway to work, which took an hour and a half but was relaxing and productive. The Worcester line has tables on the second story of the train, so us early arrivals can work on our laptops and use the train's wireless. The driving/commuter rail option is less expensive, more stressful, and requires getting up early to avoid traffic. I might try back roads on Monday, although Google maps warns that the traffic isn't much better.

I doubt the phrase "it takes fifteen minutes to get anywhere in Eugene" is actually accurate anymore, but it was true when I lived there. I've felt superior since graduating college, when I had a ten-minute walk to Essentials for work, and haven't had more than a ten minute driving commute since. Now we have to play old-school board games, eat local food, and hide our TV to feel superior.

This is our last weekend before the big trip home. We're coming in on Tuesday, and Adam has already reserved Wednesday for birthday pre-partying. We're going to have a hike and picnic on Thursday afternoon with Yayoe, and then head off for Belnap on Friday afternoon! Greg is excited to go rafting on the McKenzie with Marshall and McKenna and listening to home-grown music at Sam Bond's Garage. I'm excited to see all of you!



I have a few more sips of my Mocha sitting on...

July 10, 2009 by Adam in Family

I have a few more sips of my Mocha sitting on my desk. My boss is out today and I'll likely hunker down and focus on one of my bigger projects for our work's new Internet site. It's always nice when people are out, as then I can finally get things done.

Jamie and I had a lovely anniversary. The kids went to Dave and Kirsten's house while we went out to dinner and watched old movies. I haven't eaten at Adam's Place since they switched from "super fancy" to "local, sustainable, and affordable". I really liked their food and want to get back soon.

The kids were a little wonky yesterday, probably due to lack of sleep from staying over at Dave's. Sam managed to hurt Emma a couple times, though by the end of the day they'd mostly calmed down. The kids and I finished the first episode of the latest Monkey Island game. As expected, it was wonderful and very reminicent of days gone by.

We're having tea with my mom, Anita, and her niece tonight. As for the weekend, I'm hoping to do some serious work on staining the balcony and painting the shed. I'm incredibly busy for the next four weekends, so it's now or never.

I also wanted to encourage people to play with the Robot, which I resurrected after being turned off for a month. At that rate, he'll never take over the world.



It's already well into the new week

July 07, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's already well into the new week. Already the pace of life seems to be picking up again. Tomorrow my lovely wife and I celebrate fourteen years of wedded bliss. Next week Sadie comes to town. I've got a birthday after that and Dave's getting married. Towards the end of the month, I'm off to England. Yee haw.

In terms of our 4th of July weekend, we had a pretty good time. Jamie and Sam went up to Salem with Pat to watch a Civil War reinactment. Sam said the cannons were very loud and Jamie picked up a period bonnet for Emma. That night the kids stayed up really late setting off and watching fireworks. This was Emma's first year getting excited about the event, as previous years she'd just run and hide inside.

I spent Sunday with the kids while Jamie went and hung out at Fall Creek with Angie. We had a long hike at Hendrik's Park, with Sam making several unexpected nature observations. He correctly identified a weird growth as something from the potato wasp. Later on we stopped by Humble Bagel and then worked on art for the afternoon. The day was capped off with Jamie and I watching the last Foyle's War, a bittersweet ending to the series.

Yesterday Sam worked away at my mom's house. Getting paid for chores was evidently highly motivating. I'll have to remember that the next time I need my car washed.



(Ahhh

July 07, 2009 by Seraph in Cortez

(Ahhh.... half way through my posting I lost it, so I'll try this again!)
Happy July to everyone! We had a nice 4th watching our neighbors massive firework display, and light a few sparklers ourselves. Alex & Carolyn were over for a visit, and Isa had a great time staying the night with them and swimming at the hotel pool.
The radiator on Robbie's car went out last week, so Isa and I drove him to S.F. 2 days in a row while his car was in the shop. We had fun wondering around the plaza and going to the children's museum.
Isa also started her summer term last week. They try to keep the learning fun and basic - this week they're studying butterflies. It's mostly a great way of keeping the kids from getting bored and mushy over the summer.
We're in the middle of moving from the casita to the trailer on Arlene's property. She doing some renovation on the old place, so this will keep us all from steping on each others toes.
In addition to all this, we're stuck changing lenders on the house we're buying. Our lender call the other day to let us know that their closing their office at the end of the month! I am now quite sure that this is all a test of my patience and cheerful nature!!
I'm also way behind on my part of the England trip planning - so I better go and catch up!



Skip to the present

July 07, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Skip to the present. Anita and granddaughter Krysta come in to Portland later today. Their plane had not yet left, as there was some mechanical problem. They will be here until the 14th, when we drop them off in Portland about the same time Sadie and Greg get in. Anna is fixing a French dinner this Thursday night, and Jamie is having us for tea on Friday. Aric and Krysta are going on a half day rafting trip on Saturday afternoon. Hugs to all, Mom



I'm getting the hang of Greg's birthday present

July 07, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I'm getting the hang of Greg's birthday present. This is my second successful latte. It makes the commute east much tastier. The house is slowly coming together, although there is so much torrential rain that all I do is cower inside looking at justseeds.org posters. Not much exploring central Mass lately.

I'll be in Oregon in a week! Yay!



Six days into our new life in Grafton, Greg a...

July 04, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Six days into our new life in Grafton, Greg and I decided to throw a Fourth of July party. All of Greg's family and friends came, and despite a handful of unexpected guests, we had way too much food and just enough sangria and beer to go around. Having been trained by the rigor of Russian Orthodox Easter, managing a potluck was nothing. But my guests were disconcerted by my refusal to leave the kitchen unless to fill drink orders and retrieve dirty dishes. You can take the girl out of the holiday kitchen death camp...

The new house is beautiful, with enough space for two and then some. Grafton is a larger, more suburban version of Williamstown, which makes me happy. The Baptist church chimes its bells every hour, on the hour (or half hour or quarter of an hour, depending on how they feel). The town is old as dirt, and I like the the Civil War memorial and ancient graveyard on our street. Finding community will be easier than in Waltham, which was a real life city that had a place for students. Hopefully, I'll get to integrate into ordinary town politics here.



It's Mocha Friday, though I've already downed...

July 03, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, though I've already downed the last of that delicious ambrosia. Most of the folks at work have taken the day off, hopefully leaving me to work on my backlog of projects that has built up while I was away.

I think Jamie and the kids have settled into their Summer routine a little better than earlier in the week. Sam and Emma are generally playing well together and Jamie is figuring out how to get things done while managing both kids.

I've been having way too much fun turning the shed into a little home in our backyard. These days I'm globbing on putty to texture the walls, something I should finish up soon. Maybe in a couple weeks it'll actually be ready to move into.

Jamie and Sam are going up to Salem with Pat to watch a Civil War reinactment. I'm not sure what Emma and I will do while they're away. Maybe we'll set off some fireworks, go swimming, or just work on art projects.



Sam has really started to get artistic this S...

July 03, 2009 by Adam in Sam

Sam has really started to get artistic this Summer. A few days ago, he asked me to show him Photoshop. Pretty soon he was whipping up modern art left and right. I found this shot on my camera, so it appears he's trying to document his work. One of his favorite pictures so far is "The Tooth", which I'll try to post.

He also got some acrylics yesterday and started into mixing paints. I think we have an artist in the family.



I've been slaving away at the shed these last...

July 02, 2009 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I've been slaving away at the shed these last few months. The exterior is mostly painted, but it's the interior that has really taken up my time.

We weren't quite sure what to do with it, but Jamie declared that it should have a real floor. Sam and I put down laminate wood floor and it looked so good, I decided to put in real walls.

That kicked off a major undertaking of insulating the walls and hanging gypsum board. Over the weekend I put up the last of it and have been busy with putty and tape. I think I have a texturing technique that I like and should be able to finish the walls relatively quickly. After that, it's priming and painting.

While I wish that were the end, there's still window casements to put up, and Jamie's wanting a desk and storage. Though it's been a ton of work, it's been quite fun watching it come together. It's a nice, manly contrast to my usual programming projects.



July already

July 01, 2009 by Adam in Family

July already. Weird.

It's been a fairly strange week, adjusting to work for me and Summer vacation for Jamie and the kids. I've been swamped with work and struggling to stay on top of things.

Jamie's been struggling with the kids. Emma didn't go to her camp today, as she was emphasizing her dislike through running around and sobbing. Sam kept saying he was bored so often that Jamie started charging him each time he said it. Last night I made a list of things he could do. He thought the coolest items were setting fire to things with a magnifying glass and installing a fire escape ladder for the balcony.



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