HELLO! I hope this message finds everyone well and ready for crazy holidays! I’ve been in Iowa about a month now; Gruper’s been here a few weeks. We’ve been busy getting some long-overdue projects done in the house and some seasonal projects done outside. We finally pained and organized our house office. I’ve gained quite a lot of closet space. I also needed to go through my spice and baking cabinets–I’m embarrassed to say how long that project had gone unattended–and have removed some silly sources of frustration. Gruper and I raked black walnuts for an entire day, estimating about 50 bushels in all. That tree has since been cut down. Our yard is in ship-shape order, the gutters are clear and ready for new sludge, and we think we are ready for winter.
I’ll begin a full-time teaching positive tomorrow. I will work through February with 4th and 5th graders as a learning strategist. I love this assignment and am familiar with the staff and students from a long-term position two years ago. Gruper has been doing some fill-in work in construction/concrete, so we’re both back at it! I hope there’s time for a vacation before or between sports shows.
FIRST AND FOREMOST: 2013 newsletters will be going out before Thanksgiving. E-mailed letters will be sent no later than Nov. 25. If you haven’t received one by then, please check your spam or trash folder just in case. If there’s not one there, please e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll reply with the attached letter. U.S. Mail letters will be sent no later than Nov. 22.
One of my first orders of business upon arriving home was to meet latest great-niece Emma. She is a doll. Here are a few shots of oldest nephew Dan, his wife Vanessa, big sister Mya and baby Emma:
You don’t think I missed a chance to hold that baby did you???
Gruper has decided to become a trapper again. Only at my house–at least it feels that way–will you come home to this:
We have acquired a new family member, Freya. We’ve had some issues–some of which are not resolved–but she’s very pretty:
She meows constantly, often in the middle of the night. I toss her into the garage where we can’t hear her. She prefers being outside and is about to get her way. I think I’ll try for a guinea pig next…after I make sure we can cross the border with one.
Mackayla and I have just finished a two-part gingerbread house class. It was very fun and sugarful!
We were only a couple of miles from the class site when the house collapsed. Mackayla said she would pose and look sad; however, her plan from the get-go was to eat this house. She figures it will taste good no matter what condition it’s in:
This is a spruce grouse. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in person. It sure is pretty:
Jim and Greg brought their dads for the first time this year. Greg has a super camera. I’ve not been able to open all of his photos but here are a few:
This is my favorite of this batch. I’ll close with it and try to open and shrink the rest:) Have safe and happy holidays if you don’t hear from me before then!