booslog

A blog for the extended Boosman family

28 December 2002

Where Does the Time Go?

My sister recently sent me a graduation photo of my niece, Kayla. I can not believe that she is a senior this year. I remember when she was born. Frank and I had just started dating. Where does the time go?

Isn't she beautiful?


She's smart, too! I'm waiting to hear which college she gets accepted at. Originally, she wanted to be a doctor of oncology. This came about after my father died of cancer when he was 56 years old. Even though she was only 2 1/2 when he died, she has always remembered her "Papa" and wanted to help other people like him. I'm not sure if that is still her career path, but I know she will be successful in anything she does. Her mom (and her stepdad, Rob) have done a wonderful job in raising her. And she likes forensics (like me), too!

The Gauntlet Has Been Thrown!

I recently received an email from a long-time friend, Robi Zocher. In my Christmas newsletter I had mention the address to this blog and she had checked it out and commented (positively) on it. In her words, " We love the blog! Being competitive and icky, we will now have to create a Zocher Family Blog".

So, now the ball is in your court, Robi (and Eric). I can't wait to see your blog and read about your two beautiful daughters. Maybe this blog idea actually has merit. When Frank first mentioned it, I didn't think much of it. Honestly, it seemed like another way to goof off on the computer. And yet, once I got my digital camera and could post pictures of *my children* on the net I was off and running!

Ironic, eh?

It's Christmas Time in the City....

Happy Holidays to everyone! Christmas in North Carolina was a little odd this year. It really wasn't that cold (probably in the high 40s) and we saw nothing like snow. And, it was the first time since Frank and I separated that we actually "shared" the holiday. Overall, it went very well but for me, there always seems to be a "missing place at the table" at my house.

Because Thanksgiving came so late in the month and then we had the ice storm, I found myself running out of time to get the inside decorations up. (I had actually gotten the outside ones up right before the ice storm). I finally got the tree up on December 22:


I warned the kids that Christmas would be a little tight this year, but I still managed to get them most of what they wanted. Actually, our kids don't *need* much of anything, so I tended to go with more practical items (like books and mittens) and only get them a few "toys". Surprisingly enough, the boy's favorite gifts were two old Super Ninetendo games that I got on eBay for very little money. Who knew?

Kelsey and Cameron opening gifts (notice Daffodil in the midst of things):


Cameron at Christmas.

We asked the kids how they wanted to handle the holiday and they voted for spending Christmas Eve at my house and waking up at my house for Christmas morning. They insisted on watching "Muppet Family Christmas" on Christmas Eve. That had been a family traditon since Duncan was a year old. It was sweet to watch my almost 16 year old son's face light up when Ernie and Bert came onscreen. Ah...Ernie and Bert! I spent many an afternoon on Sesame Street in the early days of my children's childhood. After we watched the video, I asked the kids if they wanted to go out and look at Christmas lights...something that I remember from my childhood. So, we all got in the car and put the dogs in with us and off we went. While in the car, Duncan had this conversation with me:

Duncan: I can hardly wait until I'm a dad and have my own kids so I can go out and do this without guilt.

Mom: What do you mean? Don't you enjoy this?

Duncan: Mom, it's not cool to enjoy this! I'm a teenager!

Of course, I knew that even if it wasn't cool...he was enjoying himself.

After the kids opened their presents, we went over to their dad's house for Christmas Dinner. In my family, we always had the family get-together on Christmas Eve so during most of our marriage Frank and I never really had Christmas dinner. Apparently that always bothered him, so he wanted to make a Christmas dinner this year. For those of you who follow his editorial blog (www.boosman.com/blog) he wrote about how the dinner turned out. For me...if someone else is cooking it, I'm more than happy to eat it! Frank was gracious enough to invite me to share Christmas dinner with he and the kids and I really enjoyed most of the food. I thought the chicken and the pureed fennel was wonderful!

After dinner, I left the kids with their dad to spend the rest of the day and the next day (since I had to work on the 26th and 27th). I was going to go to the movies as I wanted to see "The Two Towers" again, but decided it might look pathetic to be all alone at the movies on Christmas Day. (During our marriage we had all gone to the movies together, usually with friends in tow, on Christmas). So, I decided it was less pathetic to come home and be alone! I actually like having some alone time on occasion and I enjoyed the rest of the evening surrounded by dogs and kitty cats (and watching DVDs of "Star Trek: The Next Generation").

And so our Christmas season has passed here. Overall, it worked out very well as the kids got to spend time with both parents. We are still working out this co-parenting thing but it seems to be working, at least for the kids. I will be honest...the holiday was hard on me. But, life goes on and I'm trying to keep up!

Lest you think we forgot the animals in all the celebration, besides getting to go with us to look at lights, they also got gifts on Christmas morning:


The kitties got little fake mouses and enjoyed them but then Whisper chewed them all up. Typical.

Season's Greetings!

21 December 2002

What a Week!

Well, I just ended one of the most intense weeks that I have ever had as a parent. It seemed that we had things to do every night. After the kids came back on Sunday night from their week with their dad, we did Christmas shopping on Monday night, Girl Scouts and Color Guard on Tuesday night, "The Two Towers" movie on Wednesday night, the Christmas Concert on Thursday and on Friday the kids had a holiday party to go to. Here are some pictures from our busy week:

Here is Kelsey doing Color Guard at Apex Middle School's Holiday band concert on Tuesday night.


Here is Kelsey doing a Swing Dance performance at the Chorus/Dance Recital on Thursday night:


During the Chorus part of the recital, Kelsey had a solo at the beginning of "Do You Hear What I Hear":



Yes...that child keeps both myself and her father busy with driving her hither and yon. Yet, I'm glad that she has the opportunities to pursue her interests and to try out new and interesting things. But....I will admit to being pretty overwhelmed at times trying to keep up with her!

12 December 2002

With joe holt and Family

This past weekend, I stayed with my friend joe holt and his kids (or three of them, anyway). I've known joe since 1984, when we were both part of the San Diego PMS/P.dBMS community. (You can read about one of the community's adventures in this essay by Dan Gookin -- sadly, this event took place a few months before I became part of the crowd.)

I describe joe (who has always written his name without capital letters) as one of the most amazing programmers I've ever known. We once worked together over an evening to create a satirical version of the PMS system as it might appear in the Soviet Union (with the jokes being fairly obvious). joe wrote the code while I sat next to him and wrote the content. On a good day, I'm a 60 word-per-minute typist, and joe was entering 6502 assembler code as fast as I was entering text. Years later, I helped lure joe to Adobe Systems, where he stayed for quite a while working on all sorts of interesting projects. After a stint as a teacher, he came back to the industry and has been working at Apple for a few years now.

joe now lives in a big old house in Santa Cruz, a 20-minute walk from either the ocean or the redwoods. He has five kids -- the two boys are living with their mom in San Diego, while the three girls live with him. Here are joe and his daughters in the back of their van, ready to head out for the day:



Soley (Icelandic for "island of the sun") and Kate are in the back. They're identical twins who were part of triplets along with a brother -- I can only tell them apart because Soley was wearing paisley while I was there. joe and his oldest, Hannah, are in the front. Here's a closer view:



It was great to have the chance to spend some time with joe and his kids. joe is easily one of the nicest people I've ever known, not to mention one of the smartest. We used to have discussions about technological ideas that would last far into the night. We lost touch for a while, but seem to be rebuilding our friendship, which is a delight for me.

08 December 2002

I Love a Parade....

On Saturday, December 7 the Town of Apex had its annual Christmas Parade. Kelsey had participated in years gone by with the Girl Scouts but this year she was marching with the Color Guard as part of Apex Middle School's Marching Band.

Here she is waiting for the parade to start:



Here is a picture of her actually marching. Of course, my battery was failing just as she passed me so in my haste to get a picture, I ended up with one where her flag is covering her face. But, you get the idea:



At the end of the parade, I got a picture of her with her best friend, Jamie. They met last year in Girl Scouts and have been inseparable every since:



I admit to getting emotional when I see the kids participating in things like this. It was always my dream to be able to raise my children in a small town atmosphere...with the annual Christmas parade, neighbors that you actually know and the ability to put down roots. Growing up in a military family, I never really felt like I had that and when Frank and I married, we both said that putting down roots was important to us. As it turned out, we ended up moving around quite a bit during the marriage, but we did discover this little town. It took me awhile to get back here, but I'm so glad that I did come back. The kids love it here and so do I. I finally feel like I am putting down some roots and I think the children now consider this "home". I miss my family back in California, but I've never found a town setting that was comparable in California to Apex. This is a wonderful place to raise children.

Happy Holidays!

06 December 2002

Winter Wonderland...Not!

As I mentioned in my previous entry, Autumn is usually the longest season here in North Carolina. Well, on December 4 we received our first snow/ice storm of the season, effectively ending Autumn for us. By 2 pm on Wednesday we had snow falling. The flakes were the size of half-dollars. While it looked beautiful, it started wrecking havoc on the traffic. The kids were released an hour early from school (fortunately they had a ride home on the bus) and I got to leave work at 3:30 when my company closed. Normally, my commute takes 25 minutes (it's about 16 miles). However, on Wednesday it took me 1 hour and 45 minutes to get home. It took me over 30 minutes to get the last 2 miles. I was seriously thinking about parking the car and walking the last few miles.

The snow turned to freezing rain which turned to ice on the streets and more importantly, the trees. About 3:30 am on Thursday we lost power which was not restored for over 24 hours. (I got power back about 8:30 this morning, though we've lost it twice more for short periods of time). During the night you could hear the trees falling as the ice got so heavy that the trees could not stand upright any longer. My next door neighbor lost 3 trees. Fortunately, none hit his house (or mine!). Here is a picture of my back yard with the pines trees bent over:



Fortunately, the trees closest to the house in the back are all small pines. The larger trees are back on the lot more. However, I have one very large tree in the front that leans towards the house. If it fell, it would take out my bedroom. So...I slept in the downstairs living room with the kids, dogs and cats last night. Also, that's where the fireplace was. When we woke up this morning, it was 48 degrees in the house! I ended up putting most of the stuff from the refrigerator out on the back porch yesterday because it was 30 degrees outside and it would keep the stuff cold. The kids thought it was fun to go out to the deck and grab a can of soda from the ice!

Overall, it looks like my neighbors lost a few trees but nothing hit anyone's house. Here is a tree up the street that is so overloaded with ice that it is now touching the street:



Playing "Abraham Lincoln" or "Little House on the Prairie" soon lost its allure as the sun went down, though. It's pretty hard to read by candlelight or firelight and we were so bundled up that we couldn't do much. Kelsey and Cameron played Boggle and once I remembered that we had booklights for everyone, we all read for awhile and went to sleep. Today, we are looking forward to hot food and a warm bed. It's funny how just one day of no electricity can really make you grateful for all that you have. Personally, I think we need to "go without" once in awhile to help us realize how lucky we are!

Here is the Suzuki with ice all over it:



Locally, we had 4 people die and hundreds of thousands were without power. Even today, there are quite a few thousand people that still haven't had power restored. My work has been closed for these two days so I have been able to be home with the kids. Frank "lucked" out and ended up being in California through all of this. Apparently this is going to be a brutal winter and this may just be the start of it. Well, at least next time I will know to be better prepared for going without power. This is the longest we have ever been without power...even through Hurricane Fran in 1996 and the big Ice Storm of 1995.

Keep warm!