It feels like this has been a hard or tiring ...

September 29, 2012 by Seraph in Cortez

It feels like this has been a hard or tiring week for everyone I've encountered.  Here's a little inspiration.











Mocha Friday

September 28, 2012 by Adam in Family

It's a busy day, my mocha long gone.  Everyone wants me to fix something or do something, which today seems a little more exhausting than flattering.


I took Sam and Emma to fencing last night.  For Sam, it was his last time.  I'll get him on the treadmill for a half hour when Emma and I go in.  I threatened to make Sam go until he could beat me, but I settled for a casual bout after practice.  Emma seems to be enjoying herself still, though she was complaining about being sore this morning.  I completely understood - I woke up in the middle of the night to take pain killers and eat two bowls of cereal.  It's exhausting.


I took the younger kids to school, lauching them out the door at their respective places of learning.  Emma had to run the gauntlet of hugs before escaping.  She has a run at school today to raise money and I plan on going over to show support.


Tonight we're celebrating Colette's birthday with a dinner at Mazzi's.  Tomorrow we're doing brunch with some friends (parents of kids' Duncan goes to school with).  Sam has homework.  I want to try to put together the upstairs office/workshop area, as last weekend I frantically rearranged to create some space. 











Broke ground

September 26, 2012 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, we don't have a mountain behind our house any more!


And I got through the League of Women Voters Luncheon at the Hilton with many compliments. I'm grooming two people to take over my job as Lunch Lady.


I talked to Yayoe and it sounds as though she had quite a fall. She says she's feeling better.


And Anita had major surgery to remove a malignant tumor; the prognosis is pretty good, but it was very sudden.


I'm missing everyone.



Belated Weekend Update

September 25, 2012 by Adam in Family

This is a little late, as I was home with two sick kids yesterday.  Emma was a little draggy over the weekend, and Sam started getting a little sick Sunday night.  Fortunately Sam perked up last night and we went for a walk to the reservoir to watch the sun set.  I think Emma's on the mend too.  Berry was a little cranky yesterday, but I think she's doing okay today.


 


The weekend was relatively uneventful.  Saturday involved a library trip with Duncan and Emma.  After lunch, I took the two to the Level Up arcade and Emma played her first old-fashioned video game (Joust).  It was very nostalgic and the kids both had a good time.


Later in the day I went food shopping and picked up pizza for dinner.  Sam arrived relatively early, so we all watched Bang Goes the Theory and had a good time. 


Sunday was very low-key, with the only outing being Duncan and I going to the used book store.  He loaded up on Pokemon books, sweetly getting one for Emma.  I got a couple books for Sam.  It was nice to be a little lazy for a change.



Zombies, Spaceships, and Wastelands

September 21, 2012 by Adam in Adam's Games

As usual, I have more games than time these days.  Sam's been playing Lost Souls constantly, badgering me to play.  I've seen the many hours he's put into the game, and sadly realize that those days are behind me.


FTL arrived last weekend, a cute indie game that's all about spaceships in trouble.  As you jump across the galaxy being chased by the rebel fleet, you run into pirates, aliens, and other odd things.  Ships get upgraded.  Your crew becomes more skilled or eaten by space spiders.  It's incredibly hard, even on easy, and I've yet to win the game.



The Walking Dead is a mostly adventure game based on the comic book series of the same name.  You end up surviving a zombie apocalypse and taking care of a little girl.  Mostly the gameplay involves making really hard decisions, along with building empathy for all the characters.  Some of the choices are really hard, and I occasionally need a break after making them.


Borderlands 2 came out a few days ago, a cartoonish shooter that doesn't take itself too seriously.  I'm waiting for Sam, Matt, and Josh to get it so we can all play together.  In the meantime, I'm building up a character so I can be vaugely helpful.


 



Mocha Friday

September 21, 2012 by Adam in Family

I'm sore today - fencing yesterday was pretty grueling.  I need to work on more subtle, precise movements.  Emma got to gear up and have some practice fights with an opponent, which she really enjoyed.  Sam learned how to judge a bout.  I'm not sure how long I'll keep Sam, but I'm forcing him to go for a month before he can switch to another activity.


Joanna and I finally caught the cold that the kids have had.  I've come in to work, though Joanna is at home today.  Mostly it's the dry throat that's annoying at night - otherwise I'm mostly okay.


It's been a typical week of homework, school events, and managing kids.  Duncan really enjoys Coyote Kids and wants to go around our yard gathering nature things and taping it into his notebook.  Berry wants to take chess.  The three younger kids were so sweet to each other last night and this morning.  I foresee lots of good play time over the weekend.



Back to Work

September 17, 2012 by Adam in Family

We had a great weekend - low key, beautiful, and pleasant.


Friday night Joanna went to church and I got the kids to bed.  They conked right out and I obsessively played FTL, the new game Sam and I picked up.  Eventually Joanna returned, and I sadly stopped my epic journey of a little ship facing incredible odds.


Saturday morning I picked up Sam and Emma and helped change Jamie's flat tire.  It was a little busy with food shopping, laundry, homework, gardening, dishes, and the like.  We ended up watching a BBC show called Bang Goes the Theory which people really liked.  It's very Mythbusters-like, with a bit more actual science (though with flame tornadoes and a vortex cannon).


Sam and I got around to playing Elder Sign, a dice-based Lovecraftian game that we saw on Tabletop.  It's co-op, and Sam and I barely managed to beat back the elder god and save the world.  I did manage to drive four of my investigators insane, so Sam ended up doing most of the work.  I think we'll try it again, depending on the homework load.


The kids were generally sweet and pleasant all weekend.  I took everyone down to the park last night after dinner and they loudly enjoyed themselves, laughing hysterically all the way.  Joanna continues to mend away, reducing her painkillers to the point where she's splitting pills in half.  Life's good.



waiting for my new Dell computer

September 17, 2012 by Yayoe in Yayoe

Hi family...my computer died over a week ago so I've been out of it for awhile but currently borrowing my friend's laptop so I can connect with the world again. Hope all is well with everyone. Sorry to hear about your accident Sue. Adam I hope your reapplication to work goes well. Joanna..get well soon..glad your pain is resolving. Sadie...great photo of you in Scotland. Lohring...super photos of your trip too! Sound like the kids are settled in with a new nanny and fun activities.


Several days ago I took a long tumble from the top of my garden to the bottom and felt lucky that I wasn't head injured from the fall which was caused from wearing inappropriate shoes to work in the garden.. I paid my stupid tax in full and learned a good lesson. It's amazing how quickly a body can roll down a hill over rocks and dirt in a nano second. That's my mischief for the summer. Take care.



Fencing Mocha Friday

September 14, 2012 by Adam in Family

I took Sam and Emma down to Roosevelt last night to attend the Eugene Fencers Club.  It's still run by the same person I had 27 years ago.  He's still a funny, kind man, albeit with much less hair.  Emma had a great time, as her friend Kate could be there.  I took Sam kicking and screaming, but he actually had a pretty good time once we got there.  He stuck with me and was brought into the adults' fencing group, which was quite informal.  Both of us got individual lessons from the more experienced folks.  I had a couple bouts with others in the club, winning both.  Admittedly one hadn't fenced for longer than I and the other was a woman in her sixties.  Still, a good time was had by all.


Joanna continues to be on the mend.  She's down to a single pain pill, mostly to taper off slowly.  It's pretty amazing, considering the amount of pain she was in before the surgery.  She's still healing, and cautious about moving around, but is doing so much better.


Work is being crazy, and I get to reapply for my current job along with everyone else.  I'm fairly certain all will be fine, though I may get my salary changed through this whole process.  The amount of fury at the worker level is pretty amazing, and I think a number of well qualified people are going to go elsewhere.  My plan is to hunker down and focus on the work and my customers.


Joanna's doing things with church tonight, and Sam and Emma are at their mom's.  My plan is to get the little kids in bed and then hunker down with some video games that are coming out today - a remake of Half Life 1 and an "explore the galaxy" game called FTL.  Fun times.



Scottish Sweets

September 14, 2012 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

My favorite Scotland experience in one of the magical sweets shops:


 


It rained so much in Edinburgh, people would do anything to keep dry: 




Helpful Dez

September 13, 2012 by Sue in Wielesek

Thanks to Dez, I'm the equivalent of a first grader, rather than totally inept, with the computer. He showed me the magic two finger enlarger on my "mouse pad"


and Adam's page has gone from a minute page, nearly indecipherable, to something which fillsthe entire space nicely, and legibly.


My accident bad luck continues. First the car accident and foot damage, then the fall and the twisted knee, and I was rearended by a motorcycle on my way  to the farm yesterday. Not bad, and I think I'll ask if the insurance company will spring for a couple of massages right away.


The contractor is ready to start on the house, and we're busily cleaning up the back so they have room to work. We having Rich Slayton do the work, and I think it will be really great. Don't hesitate to go out and see the farm; our tenants like company, and we've done a lot of work.


In the meantime, have fun tonight fencing.



New Nanny and Level Up

September 13, 2012 by Adam in Family

We met our new nanny in person yesterday.  Haylee seems a smart, enthusiastic person.  Berry and Duncan took to her immediately.  Today Sam and Emma meet her, which I assume will be just fine.


Joanna and I went out to Japanese food and then stopped by the Level Up arcade.  It was fun playing ancient games that I enjoyed as a kid.  Joanna's rusty at Pac Man, but way better than I.  I ended up getting 3rd on the high score board for Missle Command.  Good times.


Tonight Emma and I go fencing.  I'm going to drag Sam along, assuming he'll let me.  I think he weighs as much as me, so it may be challenging to haul him along.  We have a good time sword fighting in the basement, so hopefully it'll be enjoyable for all.



Mid-Week Update

September 12, 2012 by Adam in Family

Sadly I don't have any pretty pictures like my other family members.  The school week is moving along.  This morning I took Duncan and Berry to school and they cheerfully jumped out of the pull-up lane, with Duncan sweetly offering to walk Berry to her class.


Last night both Sam and I forgot about that pesky homework thing, so we realized at ten o'clock that he still had math to do.  Fortunately we moved through it pretty quickly, despite our sleepiness.


Sadly Kate can't do fencing with Emma, at least for a couple months.  It'll just be the two of us, and hopefully Sam.  He's of a size where I can't haul him physically places, but perhaps I can cajole him to go with us.


Joanna and I are going on a hot date tonight.  No idea where.



Victoria harbor

September 12, 2012 by Lohring in Lohring


The harbor and Empress Hotel.  I think I stayed there as a child in the 1950s.



Craigdarroch Castle

September 12, 2012 by Lohring in Lohring

Craigdarroch Castle, an amazing 1890s home designed by an Oregon architect




Fort Rodd

September 12, 2012 by Lohring in Lohring

Defending the realm in WW II




Fisgard Lighthouse

September 12, 2012 by Lohring in Lohring

Tall Lighthouse




Italian Guarden

September 12, 2012 by Lohring in Lohring

More Gardens




Sunken Guarden

September 12, 2012 by Lohring in Lohring

The beautiful Butchart Guardens




BC Parliment Grounds

September 12, 2012 by Lohring in Lohring

Ana, Queen Victoria, and the BC Parliment building




Victoria Trip

September 12, 2012 by Lohring in Lohring

Ana and I just got back from Victoria, BC.  The weather was perfect and it was a great break for Ana.  Some pictures:




How did we get to September?

September 12, 2012 by Seraph in Cortez

What happened??  I think there was a major time warp.  I have managed to miss wishing Jordan a happy birthday, Sadie and Greg a happy anniversary, and will probably forget to wish Bob a happy birthday too, if I don't do it now.  Happy birthday Bob!!!!!!!


We miss everyone like craziness!!!




First Week Blur

September 10, 2012 by Adam in Family

The first week of school has been a bit of a blur.  Everyone seems to be doing remarkably well.  Berry tromped cheerfully off to school this morning, Duncan dutifully stood in line with the rest of his class, and Emma gave a kiss and leaped out of the van.  Even Sam reports his classes seem good.  Over the weekend I picked up some Soviet-era science fiction for his chosen book.  Interesting and quirky.


The new kid schedule is here.  Sam was at Jamie's over the weekend, so I hung out with the younger kids all day.  First we went to the library and returned with huge volumes of books.  After lunch we went to Hendrick's park at Emma's urging and had a great time exploring nature. 


My Saturday was amazing as I got a full night's sleep.  Duncan has been getting up in the middle of the night and wanting someone to put him back to bed.  Our innate compassion has waned a bit, and now we're trying to encourage him to get back to sleep himself.  Saturday Joanna went down, and I blissfully slept away.  This morning it was my turn.


Fencing starts up this week, which excites Emma immensely.  Our new nanny is appearing this Thursday.  Jessica's work switched back to mornings, so she's semi-available, though she might get a full time teaching job relatively soon.  It's all very complicated - hopefully we can sort it out.


This week at work I continue to work on this provider compensation system.  It's crazy that it'll move around millions of dollars every week.  I'm trying hard not to screw up.



Mocha First Day of School

September 05, 2012 by Adam in Family

I'm pretty wiped out, having consistently gotten less than enough sleep for the last week.  Duncan has been waking up in the middle of the night, calling out to have someone get him back to sleep.  After the first couple nights, I've been increasingly firm that he needs to be able to get back to sleep by himself, though that hasn't quite sunk in yet.  Last night Duncan was up twice, Berry once, and I got up with a headache somewhere in the middle.  I opted for a mocha when I got to work to keep myself semi-functional.


It's the first day of school for everyone but Sam.  I dropped Berry, Duncan, and Joanna off at Charlemagne.  Berry was great, cheerfully heading in for her first day in the public school system.  Duncan needed a little more settling.  I drove over to see Emma at her first day of school - she seemed quite cheerful.


Now I'm at work, chugging away at getting providers paid.  The work is a little grueling at times.


Joanna continues to heal.  Her hip is hurting today and she feels tired.  Fortunately her back feels pretty good. 



Last Weekend of Summer

September 04, 2012 by Adam in Family

Tomorrow is the first day of school, and I'm feeling vaguely prepared.  I still have some fees to pay at Roosevelt and I need to get Sam's stuff together.  My mom took Emma clothes shopping yesterday, so she's looking spiffy.  Duncan and Berry are good to go, I think.


We picked a nanny - Haylee, who seemed enthusiastic and had great references.  The only catch is that she's temporary, going for a "semester at sea," whatever that means. 


The weekend was relatively uneventful.  We hung out with kids and Joanna recovered.  We filled the pool and had a couple fun days playing.  At one point everyone but Joanna was in there, laughing maniacally.


The irrigation guys are here, fixing the sprinkler system after two broken years.  I was feeling too poor to get it fixed, so perhaps it's a sign of personal economic recovery.



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