Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve with Friends and Family

We are not big New Years Eve party people and so we planned for an early celebration with Gail, the Crafts, Matt and the grands at Roaring Rapids Pizza.

I forgot to bring my camera but Gail was kind enough to let me snap a few pictures with her new camera. The first was one of a pizza so I decided I'd delete that one and go for this one of Gail and Sharyn.

Sierra and Matt took to the game room and some air hockey...

... where Sierra was a pro

I'm not sure who won but as you can see the score was very close.

Back at the table Gail was praying her camera would survive my skills.

Then she looked worried.

She took over the camera duties with a nice picture of Charlie and Sharon.

Then I got the camera back for this shot of two smiling cuties.

Gail took this really nice shot of the family by the antique Merry-go-round.

I was really pleased our dear friend allowed me to take these pictures of my last blog of 2008, she is a dear.

Happy New Year! to everyone.

No Scrabble

Quote of the Day

"This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!"
~ William Arthur Ward (American dedicated scholar, author, editor, pastor and teacher)

Friday, December 26, 2008

From Football to Putters Entertainment Center

Having lived through the drive to Seattle and after getting some rest we had a recreation day today.


... and Ansley practiced their football moves in front of the house.

Their technique looked good as they kicked the ball around.

After several minutes it was time to go to Putters Family Entertainment Center in Eugene.

The center was on highway 99 next to one of the first places we came to when we moved here. It was the storage facility where our belongings were kept until we found our home. Of course Putters had an Oregon Duck and the reflection or the mini-musemobile.

We were hungry by now and Matt ordered us pizza and drinks.

Ansley was happy to be at the entertainment center and gave us a broad smile.

Sierra looked more serious but you could see a smile as well.

Matthew was happy with the pizza and so was I it was one of the best I've had here in Eugene.

Sharyn took over the camera when we played mini-golf and took this nice picture of Matt, Sierra and I watching Ansley making a great shot and getting a 2 on the first hole.

Sierra was deep in concentration as she putted here.

Matt and the girls took off to play laser tag after we bowled on the mini bowling alley as Sharyn and I cooled our heels waiting. Their laser tag team won big time (over 20,000 points) and back we drove to rest at home, have a nice dinner and watch a "Call of the Wild" DVD.

No Scrabble

Quote of the Day
"Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning." ~ Thomas Jefferson (American 3rd US President (1801-09). Author of the Declaration of Independence. 1762-1826)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas 2008 is Here

You may ask why anyone in their right mind would be driving in this mess.

Having to chain-up on the side of the road in the cold and icy snow just to be able to drive 25 miles an hour or less.

Cross an icy bridge where only the brave dare to tread.

Weaving through wreck after wreck to go about 300 miles and back another 300 in one day?

Well Sharyn and I took off at five AM to drive to the Seattle airport to pick up Matt, Sierra and Ansley and it was worth the eight hours getting there.

We finally made it to the Airport and since airlines no longer feed you on the plane we stopped at a Red Robin in Tacoma before trudging home.

Needless to say outdoor seating was not available.

Ansley was very happy to be back on the ground and getting a good meal.

Sierra posed for me in front of the statue of liberty.

Day 2 back at home

The girls made a gingerbread house while Isaac took Matt to the doctor to have a severe ear ache checked.

When Isaac returned he teased the girls like any good uncle will tend to do.

The Gingerbread house did turn out great.

Meanwhile Matt caught up on the business of rescheduling the trim back to Belgium after all the delays he had getting here and having to reschedule after three delays coming to the west coast.
It is great having them here.

Day 3 - Exploring

I took Sharyn, Matt and the girls to the movies and decided to drive over to Maude Kerns Art Center to see if anyone was there and pick up my two prints that did not sell. The Center was closed for the holidays but I met Bob who was working at Club Mud (ceramic studio behind the Art Center's main building. Bob invites me in and I brought my camera. Bob was working on a beautiful large piece.

Don was another ceramics artist who by odd coincidence was listening to "Songbird" sung by Eva Cassidy from a CD, the same CD I had been listening to in the car when I drove up... Wild!

Did I ever say that I love the art of an artists studio. It's the organization of tools...

... and tests...

...and notes and items near completion ...

... and items in storage but most of all ...

... you can see artists at work. This is a small part of a much larger piece Don was working on today.

I had a few minutes left and drove up to Hendricks Park and passed by Pre's Rock a spot on the training trail Steve Prefontaine ran on the way to a great but shortened track career.

It's been a rough week due to the weather Matt and the girls flight(s) were terribly stressful on us all but none more than our bear son Matt, who had to stay at hotels three nights while trying to get a flight to the west coast from the D.C. area. First they were flying Continental to Portland then after a cancellation it was Delta to San Francisco. That was also cancelled twice and finally from Baltimore to Seattle. I have to say the drive up to Seattle was very dangerous so I had to drive very slowly and carefully in the Mini-Musemobile. With Sharyn as my co-pilot it made all the difference and all the shots in the snow were taken by her. It's great to have some of our dear family physically here but we also have so many of our family and friends that will be with us in spirit.

No Scrabble Today

Quote of the Day ~
"It's no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase 'As pretty as an airport' appear" ~ Douglas Adams quotes (British comic Writer, 1952-2001)

Friday, December 19, 2008

A second snow day

I'm excited - we are all excited today Matt and the grands arrive late at night in Portland so driving will be dicey but it's a beautiful and cold day.

I was up very early and took a few pictures of the house.

The "Peace" sign was smattered with snow...

Everything was splattered as a matter of fact.

We got a beautiful Christmas wreath from our dear relatives back east Jo & Jolene. It went right up in the living room.

A little more Christmas cheer and a lovely thoughtful gift from two very lovely relatives.

Despite the economy we do have a few things under the tree

Speaking of trees the Cottonwood tree looks rather stark in the field having shed it's leaves.

The trees lining the field next to us looked great with the bluish white snow and a purple/orange/yellow sunrise.

We got some birdseed the other day to keep the birds fed and they are now populating the tree in our neighbor's back yard.

The mimosa in our back yard has a few leaves left but from their hang-dog look I'd say not for long,

We do have a star to the east hanging above the field.

One of the three sheep next door was even out foraging and trying to find the green grass that disappeared.

And the stockings are hung by the chimney with care...

... and one of our Nativity sets is out on the table - we love Nativity sets. This one is from New Mexico and from one of our visits there.

I liked the warm colors of our lamp shade contrasting with the blue cold outside.

I took one more shot from the upstairs window - brrrr, it is cold.

Scrabble Score ~ Scrabble Queen didn't say who won but I suspect she pulled it out in the end because she kept telling me I was ahead but did not say I won after her last play. What a sandbagger!

Quote of the Day
"And finally Winter, with its bitin', whinin' wind, and all the land will be mantled with snow." ~ Roy Bean (c. 1825 – March 16, 1903) was an eccentric U.S. saloon-keeper and Justice of the Peace who called himself "The Law West of the Pecos". According to legend, Judge Roy Bean held court in his saloon along the Rio Grande in a desolate stretch of the Chihuahuan Desert of west Texas.


©Paul Viel