Friday, December 19, 2008

Full Nest

The nest is full once again and all is right in our little corner of the world. Tucker made it home with only a slight delay in his travel plans. He was originally scheduled to arrive in Rochester at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, but Tuesday night the airline cancelled all his flights and re-scheduled his itinerary to get him into Rochester at 10:30 PM on Wednesday. He actually arrived just before midnight, so he got home on the day he was supposed to!

Corey has been sick with a fever and sore throat, but seems to be on the upswing tonight.  

Rochester was not spared from the big winter storm that swept through the midwest earlier this week. This morning the weather guys were predicting big snows and winds starting later in the morning. Many schools in the out-lying areas cancelled school just on the word of the weather guys and they made the right decision. The snow started about 9 AM and didn't let up until about 6 PM. My school district let the high schoolers out an hour early so that the buses could be sure to be ready for the elementary dismissal time. Our principal requested that all extra teachers go outside and help the kids get to their buses because our sidewalks were quite icy, the wind was howling and the snow was coming down pretty good. It was quite an adventure!

My little Beetle was buried up to its bumpers in the parking lot and it took me two tries to back out of my parking space, but the power of the Bug prevailed and I was on my way home at 15 mph! Once I pulled (slid) into our driveway, I closed the garage door and planned to stay home the rest of the evening. Jim arrived home shortly after I did, having walked the 2.5 miles from his office. 

Tucker made us a delicious dinner of Green Chili Stew and corn bread with jalapenos! Corey has made dinner for us a couple of nights and that is such a treat for me.

After our dinner, Jim revved up the snowblower and cleaned out the driveway while Tucker and I went for a wintery walk around the block. It was wonderfully invigorating and surprisingly enough, we were the only walkers out!
Jim cleared out between 8 and 14 inches of snow in our driveway and it has continued to snow so we'll end up with a foot of snow once this system moves on. More snow is forecasted for Sunday. A white Christmas seems to be a good bet at this point.

Here is a photo of my latest knitting project-a Fair Isle hat. Fair Isle is knitting with 2 colors of yarn at the same time. I am quite happy with the results and am now making a matching scarf with the extra yarn. I wore the hat on our walk tonight and it was quite warm.

We spent the evening watching the Grinch movie, a holiday tradition in our house. We'll complete our movie tradition closer to Christmas when we view White Christmas.

We are looking forward to some weekend plans, including dinner with friends on Saturday night and going to Geva theater on Sunday afternoon. 

Hope all is well. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Hello to our family and friends! Once again we will do a "green" Christmas letter and save a tree. 

This will be the highly condensed overview of our year. If you want more details, you can navigate your way around this family blog and probably learn more than you really want to know!

We brought in 2008 in our usual way, with Bob, Sally, and Liz at Jenny Lake. We ran in a race on New Year's Eve and then returned to camp for some snow tubing as 2007 became 2008.

Tucker then returned to Utah and Corey to Syracuse and Jim and I were once again Empty Nesters. 

Instead of our usual trip to Ottawa in February, we four all met up in San Diego where Corey and Jim were running in a race. Sunny, southern California in February is not too hard to take. Corey had to go back to SU after his race, but not before he and some of his teammates came to our rented beach house for a chilly ocean swim and some beach volleyball.  Jim, Tucker and I stayed for a few more days and did lots of touristy things. 

In April, during the spring break from school, Jim and I went to the eastern shore of Maryland for a week of biking. We got to visit some friends and do lots of flat bike riding. We put 200 miles on our bikes, stayed in a couple of nice B&B's, and enjoyed the scenery along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Corey's freshman year at Syracuse wrapped in early May and he quickly departed to take a course to become a certified kayak instructor. He spent the rest of the summer running and teaching the young and old to kayak. It was a great summer job!

I spent a lot of time on my bike during the summer. I rode in RABBRAI, the bike ride across Iowa with Bob and Sally. This was our 10th time on the ride and it was another wonderful event. We did about 500 miles in 7 days and by the time we dipped our front tires in the mighty Mississippi River we were feeling fit and proud of our accomplishment. 

I continued training because in mid-August I set off by myself for a 5 day ride along the Hudson River, from Albany to New York City. I joined up with a tour of about 150 people and made lots of new friends. Some highlights of that ride were a sunset boat tour on the river, riding across 5 different bridges on our way to NYC and touring West Point. 

Shortly after getting home from NYC, Jim and I boarded the Amtrac train and returned to NYC, where we boarded a Carnival Cruise ship for a 5 day cruise to Canada.

We had stops in Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John, New Brunswick. We came away from both places wanting to return someday in our car so we could explore that area more thoroughly. Taking the train to and from NYC was a delightful way to travel and at at time when gas was $4-plus a gallon, it was the most economical. 

Shortly after my school year started in September, Jim flew out west to go backpacking with Tucker for 5 days. They hiked the beautiful Paria Canyon. 

In October Jim's nephew, Michal, got married in Memphis to a lovely young lady named, Elizabeth. We had a mini family reunion in Memphis and enjoyed all the festivities that go with a wedding. 

Tucker continues to do his archaeology work in southeastern Utah and enjoys his work. If you ever find yourself in that part of the country, get in touch with him. You could not find a better guide! 

Corey is in his second year at Syracuse University and loves his life at SU. He continues to run for the school in all three sports' seasons. As SU fans we are so happy that the football season has mercifully come to an end, and now have reason to be excited about the basketball season. 

Jim and I continue in our jobs and have stopped dreaming about retirement and wonder if we will ever be able to retire with the economy in its current state. We take a weekly yoga class together as we try to hold onto whatever flexibility we may have! Jim travels for both work and pleasure, as his running takes him all around the country.

I have enjoyed traveling to several Sheep and Wool festivals, especially since I learned to spin yarn this year. I bought a spinning wheel and have enjoyed the physical and intellectual challenge that spinning has provided. 

Both boys will be home for the holidays. I can hardly wait to turn over the dinner duties to those two~they are both such good cooks! 

If you find yourself in western New York, we'd love to have you visit. Do you have something to share about your life? Leave us a comment or give us a call.

In these uncertain times, when the news is full of stories of hardship and unrest, our wish for you is peace. Peace in your life, peace in your house and peace in our world. 

Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2009. 

Hope all is well.

Monday, December 15, 2008

One Elf Home, One to Go!

Here is our Elf Yourself presentation! If you have a slow internet connection, it may not be worth your time to try to watch it. Enjoy!

Send your own ElfYourself eCard

It was a busy weekend. First off, the running news. Jim travelled to wintery Spokane, WA for the 10K National Masters Cross-Country Race. He took 2nd place in his age-group and his Veteran's team took 4th place out of 8 teams. Jim was not real happy with his race, realizing just how sick he was the week before the race. I'm sure he was still glad he went to Spokane.
I went to two holiday parties over the weekend. The Friday night party was for the school staff and it was at a staff member's house. It was fun to have the time to stand around and just talk to colleagues about non-school stuff. Saturday evening I went to a party for one of the social groups at church. Again, it was fun to chat with people and find some common interests or learn something new about someone. 

Gram and I baked Christmas Cookies. That has become a tradition that I look forward to. I will make some fudge and peanut brittle later this week. 

I got started on decorating my Gingerbread House. I will assemble it this week.

Corey and I decorated the Christmas tree last night and we are quite pleased with the results. The tree has some natural decorations~pinecones near the top of the tree.

We are now looking forward to Tucker's arrival on Wednesday. Of course, the weather forecast is sketchy, so we will keep our fingers crossed for uneventful flights for him. 

Hope all is well.