Friday, January 2, 2015


Maybe this year can be the Year of More Consistent Posting? I always start out thinking it will happen, but sadly it never seem to work out.

So, this can fill in for the Yearly Christmas Letter, which I gave up years ago. I still receive a few of those the old-fashioned way, and often plan to write back to those friends too, but those intentions don't always see action either. I'd be curious to see some sort of report about the Christmas card industry - I suspect things have dropped off there.

Once again, we had an interesting year. I got to experience the joy of frozen pipes when temperatures dipped severely in February (just about the time I was thinking we'd made it through the worst of winter). Because things had been (relatively) mild I forgot about turning a heater on in the garage to keep a temperamental pipe warm. It's one we've always had trouble with, so I should have known better! Unfortunately when I realized the pipe was frozen, I turned on the heater then left for a meeting, only to return home a few hours later to water pouring out of the garage ceiling! Luckily we have a wet-/dry vacuum and it got a workout. The plumber was able to repair the pipe, I was able to turn the water back on, the weather improved and all was good. Until the next month when I was out of town and another deep freeze occurred. This time I had, as I always do, shut off the pump before leaving town and set up a heater in the garage so I felt confident things would be OK. I don't know what happened, but the heater wasn't running when I got home - something happened with the circuit breaker - so when I got the heater running to warm up the area the pipe again broke. I caught this right away, and this time the plumber and I agreed to just cap off that pipe since it was just the bathtub faucet that wasn't being used anyway. Tom is working on installing a wall heater that will turn on automatically when the garage gets to a certain temperature but wasn't able to finish it for this winter. I think we're all set, though - while we were away in November temperatures got to -30F and we had no problems when we returned.

When Tom returned from his Philippine winter, we met in Portland to visit Jon-Erik. He spent a few weeks working on our Texas house then came back to Bozeman for the summer. He got the yard in shape, replaced the upstairs deck, and was able to get rid of 2 vehicles! That's as far as our downsizing efforts have gone but at least it's a start.

We also took a short camping trip to Glacier National Park with my brother and family (their "last family vacation" before Lindsey heads to college). We combined this with a celebration of our parents' 60th wedding anniversary; we got a hotel room for them and arranged a great dinner at Many Glacier Lodge. The rest of us decided to take a hike earlier that day to Hidden Lake up on Logan Pass, where it was still cold, snowy and icy. I decided it was too treacherous for me and, with Tom and nephew Cameron, turned back. I managed to slip on the icy slope and ended up with a broken wrist (which we didn't confirm until I saw my doctor the following day). All that ice was put to good use in an improvised ice pack, and along with an Ace bandage and Aleve the rest of the trip was fine. We were returning home the next day anyway and I was able to get an appointment later in the day where the x-ray showed the damage. We used a splint for a week, then saw an orthopedic surgeon and decided on surgery. My first broken bone! It's mended nicely, and some physical therapy helped but now seems to be just about as good as new (although I have a scar, and pins and a plate).

Since I was one-handed for the rest of the summer, that meant I could take it easy when we had other company! I tried not to milk the situation too much.

Tom and I took our November cruise we'd book 18 months ago - Istanbul to Dubai. We spent 2 days in Istanbul before sailing, and 3 days in Dubai after. Both were interesting places, and the cruise was enjoyable. Once we returned, Tom headed south to Mexico where he will spend his winter.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Adios 2013

It's been another fun year, more or less. Mom's 2 heart attacks were not so fun, but she keeps her sense of humor so they have provided us with some laughs. Our various trips were great, and having company (niece Lindsey, Jon-Erik) kept us entertained.

Tom shared his Cebu New Year's Eve fireworks displays with me via Skype - that was amazing! We marvel at the opportunities modern technology keeps offering. It was possible to view the Dubai fireworks show live online - incredible! We have a cruise planned in November that will end up there; I'm looking forward to seeing that city in person. Anyone we've talked to who has been there just raves about it.

Best wishes to everyone for a productive and enjoyable new year!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Obviously working from home hasn't increased my posting activity! The new job is coming along - it's been a long time since I've been the "newbie" anywhere, and it does take some time to get projects up and running. But I've done some great traveling already, and become familiar with a few issues so I can contribute to favorable resolutions. A challenging learning curve but I'm enjoying all the new opportunities.

Tom was in the Philippines when their recent typhoon arrived, but the hotel was well prepared and he didn't suffer problems reported on the news. He's decided to stay in the country; he and a friend leased a condo for the winter. This gives him the chance to travel around the island of Cebu from a home location. We visit on Skype frequently (except during brownouts, which seem to occur intermittently!) although the time difference causes a bit of confusion - he's already on tomorrow while I'm just finishing up today.

Jon-Erik has decided to start on a Master's in Public Administration at Portland State University, since his job search didn't result in any offers. A lack of experience was the biggest obstacle, I'd say. He's in Bozeman for Christmas, then begins class in January. Tom and I will visit him in March - we just happened upon a great hotel deal and jumped on it.

Pam's Mom experienced 2 heart attacks this fall but is doing fine: cardio rehab sessions a few times a week, and no housework, doctor's orders! Family got together and hired a cleaning service for them, which they are thrilled with! We're relieved she's doing so well.

Let's see if I can really improve the frequency of posts in the new year!

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Another six months have passed...I need to be a little more dedicated to this blog!

Tom and Pam took a cruise in May: New York to London on Oceania. It was a great trip, although the weather was decidedly spring-like: cool, rainy days in Nova Scotia and 3 days of thick fog while crossing the Atlantic. Cork and Dublin were fun, and we played trivia with some neat people. We added a few extra days in London, enjoying performances of Billy Elliott and Wicked.

After that cool weather trip, we took a trip to Las Vegas in July with Jon-Erik. We stayed at the Monte Carlo, and Jon-Erik scored a gorgeous corner suite at Paris. It was fun exploring the city with Jon-Erik, who has made several trips there and new some great places to see.

Pam has moved on to a new position: Statewide Consulting Librarian with the Montana State Library. It was sad to leave Bozeman Public after 16 years but this opportunity came along and couldn't be ignored. This will involve a lot of travel but also the chance to visit new places in the state.

Jamie is crocheting up a storm and selling her creations, mostly on Facebook. She has made beard hats and other cool items. We formed Triple H Crafters so Mom and I can also have a place to sell items.

Tom heads back to warmer climates soon, traveling to Thailand, Singapore and other Asian destinations before going to Mexico and Texas. He completed his new shower project so we have a great new shower downstairs! The rest of that new bathroom will be finished next year.

Now that I will be working from home maybe I'll have a chance to post updates a little more often!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

2013 - a quarter past?

I was informed recently that 6 months have passed since the Wedding (the newlyweds mentioned they'd realized it was their 6-month anniversary!). So why no posts? Have we been busy? Not really...Tom stayed in Montana until almost Thanksgiving. Jamie had her hip replacement surgery December 31 and is recovering nicely. Friends and I made 43 scarves (knitted or crocheted) for the local Special Olympics athletes in February.
     Now it's Spring! Daylight lasts longer, snow is disappearing - just waiting for a robin. We had a nest off the front porch last year, and I'm hoping someone will move back to that location this year. Turkeys pass through the yard on a regular basis (the cracked corn I toss out probably has something to do with this).
     Cruising is in our futures. Tom and I will cross the Atlantic, stopping in Canada and Ireland before landing in London. Jon-Erik and Tom will cruise New England - a graduation gift as Jon-Erik will be a new librarian by then! I'd like to see him find a job, but if he doesn't find something he'll begin another master's in the fall.
    Once Tom returns he'll get started on a few projects (new decks, a few windows, the yard, of course!). We'd like to get some little trips in too. I attended a conference in Butte and would like to go back for a weekend to explore more. So maybe we'll have a bit more news!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Almost Wedding Time!

Things are just about ready! We found a Certified Beverage Server (necessary now that there will be over 50 people at the reception). The Beall Park center has been paid for, both for rehearsal and wedding/reception. Pizza for the rehearsal "dinner" has been ordered (Jamie gets a discount so that's a great deal!). Out-of-town family will be arriving tomorrow. And I've scheduled a few days off! The weather should be wonderful, although we still have forest-fire smoke to deal with. I haven't spoken with J&J, but hope they aren't too stressed out.

It has been a hectic time, though. Jamie learned her ongoing hip problems are a result of being born with  hip dysplasia, which has now developed into osteoarthritis - disturbing news when you are only 27! Her mom spent the past week recovering from retina surgery. So the wedding will really be a nice time to forget all these problems and just have a little fun.

More trees have been planted along the driveway; since the 6 we (Tom!) planted last year all survived it seemed like we should try a few more! It does look nice, so I hope they do as well.

Hopefully some pictures can be posted soon...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Still summer

Almost Labor Day, but the weather doesn't seem to realize it: Bozeman just set a record yesterday with 98 degrees. We are also suffering from smoke due to fires everywhere in the surrounding areas. I hope it's all cleared up by Wedding Day!

Last Sunday we had a small party: a Get to Know My Future Daughter-in-law/Shower for Jamie. It was lots of fun, and since we all shopped her registry at Bed, Bath & Beyond she got lots of great things she really wanted! Kandi did the catering (which was fantastic!) and Jamie had a wonderful time.

She's scheduled an after-wedding brunch for family to come visit a bit more and watch them open their wedding gifts. I think this is a fun idea and am looking forward to that.

Tom has more remodeling ideas (the flooring and toilet projects are complete and turned out great!) involving a possible new downstairs bathroom. There is no "guest" bathroom on our first floor, so we'd add something along with a shower for us - we'd like to stop having to use our sunken tub as the shower facility. This will mean losing the "office" and relocating some furniture, but will be nice once complete.

I have a new work schedule that gives me Saturdays off too - 4 long days, but 2 evenings, which so far seem to be fairly quiet, and 3 days in a row off. I think this will be a nice change.

Hope to keep posting as the wedding gets closer!