Saturday, December 18, 2010

2010 Christmas Newsletter

December 2010

Happy Holidays to our family and friends! This newsletter comes with our warmest wishes and we hope that you and your family have reasons to celebrate this season of love.

Our year started on a sad note with the passing of Jim’s Dad on January 15th. Many family members gathered in December 2009 for a great 93rd birthday celebration for George and we were grateful for our time together. His Memorial Service was a wonderful celebration of his life and we appreciate the efforts made by many family and friends to attend the service.

On a happier note, we look back on many good things in 2010. In mid-July we spent 6 days in the Upper Pennisula of Michigan with the Schaefer clan re-living the good times that Jim and his family had with his cousins, aunts and uncles.From there we joined friends on RABGRAI, the bike ride across Iowa, and we enjoyed the mostly gentle terrain of this year’s route and the kind temperatures provided by Mother Nature.

In early August we flew to Rome, Italy, where we did the tourist thing for a couple of days before embarking on a 7-day Mediterranean cruise. We saw many beautiful and interesting places during our cruise, but some of the highlights were biking for miles and miles in Mallorca, and exploring the market in Tunis, Tunisia. Rome is a beautiful city and we’d love to go back as we only scratched the surface of things to do. If you are planning a trip to Rome in the near future, we have a couple of B & B’s that we can highly recommend!

Jim continues to work at Johnson & Johnson and continues to run. Early in the year, he won an award at work that included an all expenses paid trip to the Grand Beach Resort in Naples, Florida. So for 5 days we enjoyed the luxuries that the resort had to offer as well as the opportunity to get lots of flat training miles on some rented bikes. It was a wonderful mid-May break.

Marji is still teaching Physical Education to kindergarten -2nd grade students, which provides an endless source of entertainment. Biking and knitting fill her spare time.

A quick update on the boys: Corey is in his senior year at Syracuse University and continues to love the academic challenge as well as the athletic challenge provided by the Cross-Country and Track teams. This fall we had a couple of opportunities to cheer for Corey and the rest of the SU cross-country team as they ran in the Big East Championships, just outside of Syracuse, and then in the NCAA Division I Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Tucker’s big news is that he is now a home and land-owner in Colorado. He recently purchased a house on 3.5 beautiful acres of land in the town of Dolores, CO. We hope to go to visit him during Marji's spring break from school next April.

We are looking forward to having both boys with us for Christmas and New Year’s. This year we will be traveling to Tennessee for Christmas with some of Jim’s family. We will then head to the Adirondacks for our annual New Year’s celebration with the hardiest of our friends.

Our wish for you this holiday season and the upcoming year is for times of stillness and peace as well as times of great joy and celebration.

Hope all is well.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Of Mice and Men

The hunt is on! A while back, while reading in bed at night, I heard a scratching noise in behind our bed in the attic. So Jim sprung into action.

He set the traps. The irresistible bait seems to be a piece of the wax covering from a hunk of fontina cheese, covered with peanut butter. So far, Jim has caught 4 mice!

I won't go into details, but it appears that there was one incident of mouse cannibalism. That's enough about that.

Stay tuned for more updates of the Great White Hunter!

Hope all is well.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Catch-Up Time

Wow! It's been a while since I posted. I guess this will be a quick catch-up.

We are all well here, just busy and doing other things. I realized that I have been knitting a lot in the evenings and when I am not knitting, if I am sitting at the computer, I am not doing my blog, but rather reading trail journals from people who hiked the Appalachian Trail. They are absolutely addicting to me and I cry every time a thru-hiker completes the trail on Mount Katahdin in Maine! So I have now put a few restrictions on my reading of trail journals and will attend to some other things that should be done around here.

We had a great Thanksgiving with a wonderful dinner at Gram and GrandDad's. Corey was home for the weekend and we enjoyed having him here!

We have been doing some hiking on the weekends as I try to break in my new hiking boots. Here is a photo of some swans in Durand Eastman Park.

Jim and I took a hike at Canal Ponds Park and marked our new hiking guide for the town of Greece. Wegmans and Greece worked together to promote some of the local trails, encouraging families to get out and go for a walk. The guide has places to mark which trails you have walked by doing a pencil rubbing at a trail marker. It is a nice idea, although some of the hiking info is a bit sketchy! I got our trail guide at my local Wegmans and I know that there are other guides for other local towns. Here is Jim putting our first rubbing in our guide.

We have had several dinners at the Villages which is always enjoyable. Grandma will be in Tennessee for 10 days at the end of this month so she has to use up her meal allowance before she leaves and she can do that by having us be her guests at dinner. I love it when I don't have to cook dinner!

Jim raced in North Carolina this weekend and will be home in a couple of hours. He had a frustrating race, not running as well as he wanted to.

I went to the Auditorium Theater on Friday night to see a Broadway production of Mamma Mia. We know the young man, Travis, who was playing the role of the male lead (Sky) that night and it was so exciting to see him on the big stage. He really is a talented guy and the show was wonderful!

Yesterday I went to the Holiday Brunch at the Villages with Grandma. The dining room was beautifully decorated and we enjoyed a wonderful brunch including mamosas!

After eating a plate-ful of delicious food, we visited the cookie table and had to choose from many yummy, homemade treats! It was a fun morning!

Today Gram came over at 8:30 AM and we got lots of Christmas cookies made and made some plans for the holidays when the boys are here. We had the Christmas music going so it was a very festive time. Thanks Mom!

Tucker is now a home owner!! He signed all the paperwork and moved in on Dec. 3rd! Congratulations Tuck! He was in his new home for about a week before he left for Costa Rica. He joining Alison and her family for a 10 day trip to that beautiful country. I can hardly wait to see him when he finally gets to Rochester on Dec. 21st. And then I get to meet Alison when she arrives for New Year's! Lots to look forward to !

How is your Christmas shopping coming? I got a bunch of errands done this afternoon so I am feeling better about what still needs to be done. I hope the Christmas cards I ordered get here soon, because that is one big job that still awaits. I think it is time to set up the wrapping table in the basement so I can work on that job when I have a few minutes.

Time to knit some more and wait for the call from Jim telling me that he has arrived at the airport.

Could be some interesting weather coming through in the next few days.

Hope all is well.