I feel like we've forgotten something. Whoops, a holiday
note. Looking at our website it seems we forgot last year
too as it hasn't been touched since 2004. I don't have a
good excuse; just a case of the cobbler's shoes. I'll have to
fix that right now.
Friends and family, we wish you season's greetings. I'll
keep this brief, so let's get down to the business in hand and
I'll give you an executive summary of Patrin's (Patti
- a little too cute?) 2006:
Family: In April, Martin's Mum and Dad visited
us from the UK. This was pre-empted by some work on the house
and garden. We tore up all the carpet in the house to find reasonably
well preserved hardwood floors hiding under there. They'd probably
been buried since the 80's judging by the carpets - we didn't
have them carbon-dated but when was the last time purple carpet
in the bedroom was fashionable? Once the dust from refinishing
the floors had settled and the roof had been patched we got some
new paint put on the walls and the place looked goof enough for
an inspection by Mum.
Simultaneously, we started
work on the yard. I say 'we' but actually Patti did all the
design and project management and the gardener did all the hard
work - all I did was run the electricity outside during which
I only electrocuted myself once which is a pretty good result.
I know we've been threatening to do the back yard since we moved
in 6 years ago but we finally did it. The huge, sloping concrete
slab fenced in by a low cinder block wall is finally gone, replaced
by a little courtyard oasis. Unfortunately, April was very wet
and progress was pretty slow that month so Mum and Dad only got
to see the demolition and excavation. For most of the their visit
the back yard was a muddy, building site and no-go area. I guess
they'll have to come back so to see the finished project. Patti
became a garden and plant expert frighteningly quickly; one day
she was as ignorant as I am about plant names and requirements,
the next she was talking to me in Latin and quizzing me on the
names of the many plants she had chosen to plant. It looks beautiful
and is filling in quickly. The backyard is actually somewhere
we sit and relax rather than a place smoking guests are banished
In June we went to the first Hanley
family reunion where Patti got to meet many members of her
extended family. Thanksgiving saw us on a road trip to Arizona
to see Patti's parents. It seemed further than we remembered though
but it was worth the effort. Not only did we get to see Connie
and Ernie but we got to hang out with Patti's brother, Dennis,
and sister-in-law, Cammie, and Patti's wonderful nice and nephew,
Dylan and Connor. In less than a week Connie and Ernie will be
returning the favor and visiting us for Christmas.
This being the web 2.0 age both our dogs have their own webpages
Being our fur-babies they are both spoiled rotten. The
only fly in the ointment was Babalu having knee surgery twice! The
convalescence was hard; have you ever tried to persuade a young,
energetic dog to just lie still and take it easy for a couple
of months? We were all bouncing off the walls until he finally
got the 'all clear' to resume normal activities.
Desi is now a little over a year old and already semi-retired
from his show-dog career. Why? Have you seen the movie Best
in Show? I used to think it was a comic exaggeration. Enough
Work - It's too boring
to say that Martin is about to start his 13th year with Oracle.
Instead, let's just say that we survived the tech-market's
boom and bust and that I still have a job that pays the mortgage
and doesn't involve any heavy lifting.
Hobbies - we are now
a two photographer family. Patti finally got bitten by the
shutterbug after suffering years of Martin twittering on about
exposure, f-stops and composition. She has become something of
a PhotoShop expert and has
her own Photoblog which she posts to religiously. We have
both asked Father Christmas for new cameras this year.
With which, I'll sign off. We hope that Santa brings you all
that you asked for and that you and yours have a happy, peaceful
and safe holiday and New Year.