Friday, January 30, 2015

If The Shoe Fits Wear It

With the last of the offspring sent to their part of the world, I'm finally getting into the rhythm of the semi-retired lifestyle.  And I have to say I'm liking it a lot.

I'm working effectively half-time.  That's around 25 to 30 hours a week.  I'm making sure that I hike twice a week and I'm trying to always do the hikes during the week so I have my solitude though sometimes schedule or weather forces me to a weekend day.

I've found that I'm actually doing more actual client work than I was doing recently which is good because it is what I really enjoy and I get paid which I enjoy as well.  I'm doing lots of work on our projected trips which I love to.

Unfortunately I've got jury duty for two straight weeks next month.  So that will screw up the hiking schedule for sure.

But I'm looking forward to more doing what I'm enjoying.

Friday, January 23, 2015


The final whirlwind of family activity ended this morning as we were caught in the Pulandic Vortex that accompanies the physical moving of Pulandia from continent to continent.

#2 Pu and the Visigoths came in late Wednesday night, spent Thursday getting everything together for their move to Hong Kong.  Of course all the kids were wound up.  Everyone in their group was a combination of anxious and excited.  It took every cubic inch of auto storage space to get all the bags and all the people in and to the airport.

Even though they were here for just over a day, it was amazing how the home went from its pristine, Elder Fleet Command inspection ready status, to the Pulandia in exile look. Immediately upon getting home, Wife was throwing herself into  returning things here to here to Elder Fleet Command standards

I was very happy to have had this last bit of time with them even if it was stressful because they're going to be out of the country for two and half years.  The time with the grandkids was especially sweet.  And this brings up the whole topic of having family that is so far away.

Every visit is an event.   Whether we travel to them or they travel to us, it's not just a 'hey we were in the neighborhood so we stopped by' or 'are you free Saturday for dinner' moment.  It is a lot of valuable time and travel on all the parties to make the visit happen.  And you're very, very happy to be seeing each other but it is never in a normal setting or living pattern.  That brings a certain amount of stress.  Then all too soon it's over and either you or they are on the way again. 

So while we love the fact that our children have all pursued there dreams and have found great places pursue their lives, we miss having a more regular day-to-day relationship.  I will say that Skype has made things much better because you can see everyone. And I think as a family we make a real commitment to communicating consistently and regularly.  And to be perfectly honest, I don't think where we live would really be a great place for them to be pursuing their careers. 

Yet it is all a bit bittersweet.

Then again isn't that the nature of life in general?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Snow, Silence, Solitude

We had two small snow storms yesterday and the day before.  And it was supposed to get warm again today.  The last storm was kind of slushy.  I hoped to get some snow hiking in this morning.  Got going early so that it wouldn't be in slush and mud.

At 8:10 AM I was at the trail head.  It was 17 degrees.  No worry about melting here.  There were no cars in the parking lot.  There were only a few tracks in the snow heading up the trail.  After 3/4 of a mile of hiking the tracks went in a different direction than I was going.  I was hiking in fresh snow.

It was a bright, sunny day that was warming up quickly.  I was shedding various layers that I had on in the beginning to keep warm.  The sun shining on the snow made it look like a blanket of diamonds.  These pictures do not do it justice.

Alone on the mountain with my thoughts and my mantra reveling in the quiet and solitude.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Not Opening A B & B

The amount of cleaning and rearranging that was necessary in the aftermath of the mass family holiday/family reunion was incredible.  And with Wife having the Flu for the first week of it, it meant that I was on the battle lines.

I honestly can't remember when I've done so many loads of laundry not to mention trying to clean out excess food.  That one was the worse.  There was terrible amount of over buying for the reunion (as we've not done that before) and there was no way to give away a lot of the stuff as it had already been heated/served etc.  So I while I did a pretty good job of trying to utilize things there was still a lot of waste.

The first full week of January saw me going to Santa Fe for business.  It was like going on a holiday!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Big Tip Of The Hat To My Numbers!

That would be my very lovely, hard working daughters numbers 1, 2 & 3.  Each of them through dint of hard work and focus have come a long way and have really taken charge of their destinies.  Life is supposed to be a challenge and they continue to address each challenge that comes up.  2014 marked some real accomplishments for each that I feel deserve to be recognized.

Daughter #1 (along with son-in-law 1A) were forced to become entrepreneurs after the economic collapse in 2009.  Now in the third year of their business, they are getting serious traction and are showing that they have an excellent future ahead of them.  There will be more challenges ahead because that's part of being an entrepreneur, but they've conquered some of the harder things that can be thrown at them and I know that they have what it takes to get the success they want in life.

Daughter #2 has had so many twists and turns in her saga that it could read like a soap opera.  But in December she found out that she got tenure in the State Department Foreign Service that ensures that she has this career path through her retirement if she wants.  What a blessing.  Bravo Pu!

And Daughter #3, she decided a year and half ago that to make the money she wanted for her family she needed to change for an operations position into sales.  This is a girl whose not shown any predilection toward selling in her life!  2014 was her start.  She had no pipeline or book of business to work from plus gave birth and took 4 months of family leave.  In spite of all that she nearly hit her full sales target for the year.  Well done.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Eldership Casualty Report

The Eldership de-I is limping back to ElderFleet Command after successfully surviving Family-adeddon...but not without serious casualties.  50% of our crew is out of commission with diseases brought by various family members.

Of course with a crew of only two, that means that Wife has come down with the influenza and is seriously miserable.  Hopefully she will start to feel better before too long.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Family-ageddon In Pictures

It's really incredible the amount of work that's necessary to maintain a household of 16 - cleaning ,cooking, shopping, etc.  Even with all the help (and everyone chipped in their fair share), it's still your house and you have the ultimate responsibility.  As a result it seemed that we were going from sun up to sun down and that didn't leave much time for picture taking.  Nonetheless even with that I ended up with scads.

3.1 "Hmm, I like having Thomas the Train here"

"And I like doing stuff with Grandma too!"

Cousins Bounding over Devices

3.1 and 2.2

1.2 and 2.3

The project of each child making their own stocking proved to be to difficult for them so reinforcements were called in.

2.1, 3A and Wife

Decorating Cookies - One of Many Traditions

"We Like Goodies Too!"
(#2 and #1)

Christmas Day

Tree and presents ready

Mass unwrapping

Grandpa de-I coaching newest addition 3.2 on the fine art of present unwrapping

Making our Christmas brunch

#1 and #2 taking charge


Nothing like battle to work off some of that holiday energy!

Christmas Dinner is always homemade pizza

#1, pizza dough forming queen

Grandpa de-I and 1.2 show how its done

Pizza in the oven

Finished product

On To The Reunion

Home organized to accommodate event
(Thanks awesome sons-in-law)

Celebrating two upcoming weddings
It's going to be hard for all of us to go to the two weddings coming up this year so we had a cake for my Niece X and D and my Brother A.
You can't see the cake put I had outlines of their two states (Hawaii and Maryland) on the cake.

The Reunion Banquet

Uncle D, my older brother, teaching the grandchildren the fine art of Blackjack