Holiday Letters

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I figured that I can post my holiday letters for those who haven’t supply me an address for the holiday cards. =)

Our  Holiday Newsletter 2010!


Happy Holidays Everyone!

I totally meant to write this like last year and write this as the year progressed.  But next thing I know it is the end of the October!  Where did the year go?  Wow, this year just flew by.

Now I need to look back at my blog to see what we did through the year, the good thing is that it may make for a shorter newsletter…lol Plus we really didn’t do much other then work and go to the gym.  J

First Part of the Year

Last holiday, we had our first fresh cut tree.  In Dec 2008, Drew
and Sakura were climbing all over my artificial one, bending the heck out of the wires and just tearing it up.

So, I picked out a thick douglas fir and boy did the house smell so good and the wonder twins couldn’t destroy it. =)  I can’t wait to pick out another tree this year.  I want to try all different types in the upcoming years.

We actually had a mild winter to the point that come March we were able to drive through the mountains down to Smith Rock Park, without needing chains, for a hike.

We ended up having a stunning day for the 4mile hike.  The landscape was totally different in Central Oregon then what we are use to in the valley on the east side of Mt Hood.  It was more rocky, plain like…..something you see out of a western.  It was very neat to see.

For our anniversary in May, we finally finished driving up the last 100miles of the Oregon coast that we haven’t seen. And in the process finally got to see one our Oregon lighthouses.  =)

After having a mild winter, we got nothing but rain…through June, more then usual.  Where the tomato plants we planted were starving since the rain was washing away all the soil nutrients.

Barely had much of summer, weather wise….felt like we were robbed…lol  Didn’t have many days in the 80s and only a couple in the 90s…more rainy and chilly.

Alexis

August was not a good month.

At the beginning of the month we found a lump under Alexis’ chin.  We were hoping that it was just an infected tooth.  But barely a week after being given antibiotics, we knew that it was a tumor. L

Alexis went through a lot last year health wise, dealt with the lost of Reggie, and tolerated Drew and Sakura messing with her when she tried to sleep.

She is no longer in a pain and at peace.  We still look for her and hope that she knew how much she meant to us over the 16years.

Crater Lake National Park

We did actually get around to doing something this year.  We waited until after Labor Day and finally went down to Crater Lake Nat’l Park.

It was a 6hr drive so we were going to be camping.  We had a short window for the weather.  It was to be overcast, rainy and down to the 30s overnight.  We got lucky and got some sunshine and blue skies peaking out to get some beautiful shots.  We got our campsite set up before we it started to sprinkles.  And we were even able to see the Milky Way as the clouds parted at night.

We originally planned on two nights, so we would have a day of hitting some of the small trails.  But the weather didn’t cooperate the second day.

While driving around Crater Lake and site seeing, we encounter windy, cold conditions.  Depending on what side of the rim, we had some rain and then some snow and white out conditions from the clouds…..lol We were at 4000ft level, so it wasn’t too surprising.  It just wasn’t what we called good conditions for hiking if we couldn’t see.

The trip was still so worth the drive and the weather.  =)

Rocky Mt. National Park

We took a business trip out to Denver for week, filled with a ton of work. But we did take a day off to drive up to Rocky Mt National Park with our friends, Brett & Brook.

It was a stunning fall day; brisk chilly winds but so beautiful.  The road got up to 12,090ft level, the highest we have ever been while on land, much thinner air and mountain tundra.

Family

We did get in few visits with our family out here in the Pacific Northwest in Nov, didn’t realize how much we missed them until the visit.  We are really hoping to see them more and our family from the Midwest next year….those are our goals.  =)

Here is to hoping for a better year for travel and hiking.

Best Wishes,
Pauline & Harold


Happy Holidays 2009!

Harold suggested that for the Holiday letter that I should do a small summary every month to give a better idea of what has been happening with us. So I’m going to give it a shot, don’t know how well I will do but why not?

When Harold suggested that I write this as the year went by, I didn’t think this would end up so long….wow. So here is your heads up and read it at your own risk of possible boredom……..grin…but I hope you enjoy it.

Dec 2008

Wow, this has been a heck of month for weather. Our part of the Oregon normally only gets a dusting of snow….well, we ended up beating a 40yr old record of 15inches with 19inches of snow. Ironically, when we moved to Florida, we got hit with 2 direct hurricanes within 3 weeks and the state got hit with a total of 4 for the year. Since we have lived in the Midwest, it really didn’t seem like much of storm except Portland and the surrounding areas are no way near prepared for it.

It was some of the worst roads we have seen, even a week later….wow. Unless you live in the mountains where they measure snow fall in feet and not inches, Portland doesn’t have the resources for handling it. And our road in our little town is on a very deep hill, so no mail for week and no garage pick up for 3 weeks, we were totally snowed in. It was interesting.

Jan 2009

Our 15yr old cat Alexis had been diagnosed with a hyperthyroid in Dec., which explained her weight loss since we moved here. We chose to get her radioactive iodine treatment, which is pricey upfront, but saves money in the long run, cures her and lets her live longer once cured. It was interesting for the 2 weeks after treatment because she was radioactive and with 4 cats…..makes it every interesting. The good news is that she seems to be gaining weight but won’t know for sure that she is cured until after we get the follow up test in Feb.

The kittens, Drew & Sakura, are getting bigger……round, hard bellies…..lol Sakura looks fatter then Drew but that is only because she isn’t as long as he is. Their weight is pretty close to each other. They are so cute and I’m so happy that Harold brought both of them home.

Feb 2009

For a short month, Feb packed a punch.

My Great-Aunt Evelyne Radzwill passed away Feb 6th at the age of 92. L She was one of my favorite personalities and I will miss her greatly. I know that she is finally at peace. She hated not being able to move around like she use to and hated her failing memory. I flew out to Indiana for the funeral and took heart in the memories that my cousins shared of their mom and grandma. There will never be another one like her.

On Feb 25th we lost Reggie Miller, our 14yr old cat. He had a nasal tumor for the last few years and there was nothing that could be done. So we just spoiled him completely, he got away with human food that he normally didn’t get and pretty much got his way on everything. He went downhill quickly that last week and as soon as he quite eating, we knew it was time. We still have a hole in our heart where he belongs.

Mar 2009

I reworked my site/blog. Instead of having a site and then linking the blog I decided to utilize the blog program to make my site. I did that for couple of reasons, everything is in one area and it flows better. I made “pages” on the blog to the different categories of pictures and linked the galleries on those.

The main reason why I did it is that I’m horrible at designing…..horrible. The blog program (word press) has hundreds of free “skins” (designs) that I can play with and easily switch out when I feel like it. It makes my site look more professional.

I also now have twitter updating on my blog so you can see my random babbles through the day. Those I can update from my iphone where ever I have connection, which is great when traveling.

Apr 2009

The weather started getting much better and we got some work done in the small patch in front of our townhouse. Planted some flowers, laid some pebbles and laid some flat stones for a walking path. It came out pretty good. Something about springtime and being outside, it just gets the blood pumping and makes you want to grow things. J
We did get one small hike in at some of the falls on the Historic Colombia Highway that we hadn’t stopped at yet. We even drove all the way to the Dallas since I’ve never been there. It wasn’t really much to look at off of 84, but we got an excellent view of the east side of Mt Hood.

Sakura gave us a heck of scare on our first nice weekend weather wise. She got out of the house when I was coming in with the sun tea…..took off like a streak. L We printed up flyers, called animal control, knocked on doors and walked the neighborhood at all hours and barely sleep. It was one of the longest 24hrs we ever experienced. If we didn’t have all these roads near us, if we were in the country, we wouldn’t have stressed nearly as much.

After one of my walks I was in the back yard and I found her hunched down in one of the vents. She looked so scared and timid. We were so happy to see her that we couldn’t be mad. She was so scared and would hide behind the bedroom door. Took her a few days to get back to being confident in the house, but she is lot more skittish and runs when the doorbell rings.

We drove up to Canada to visit with Harold’s brother Diesel and his family. Unfortunately Diesel was in the hospital since his meds weren’t reacting correctly. It was great to see him and Eliza and the boys, just not the under the best circumstances.

We finally got rid of sprint. Harold really wanted to get the iphone so we were going to have to switch anyway for that, but they annoyed us so much that we left them a month or so earlier than planned. We have thoroughly enjoyed our iphones and love playing with all the bells and whistles.

May 2009

We spent May working, planting more flowers and getting ready for our trip to the Redwood National Park in California, for us Star Wars geeks, it is where they filmed Endor.

Our anniversary is on May 31st….which means it usually around a holiday and crowds…yuck. We didn’t think about that when we set the date, just didn’t want to pay June/July wedding prices…….lol So when we normally plan something for our anniversary, it is usually early.We decided to go camping in the Redwoods and drove down on the 25th, Memorial Day because everyone would be leaving. We totally lucked out and had perfect weather; we were preparing for rain and cold. We had beautiful, sunny days, not too hot, not too cold and it got chilly and clear at night. It smelled so clean and fresh, with hints of camp fires.

We stayed at Prairie Creek, which has one the last herd of Roosevelt Elk that you got to see every day in the meadow. We went hiking to the Tall Tree Groove and made it in better time than we thought we would. But what we still don’t get is after going to the gym for almost 2 years a hike can make us feel even more out of shape!It was really neat to see the flow from the sandy beaches, smell of the sea air to the forests of the Red Woods. It made for some stunning scenery.

For the trip back we decided to drive up the Oregon coast. We ended up not going all the way, by that time we just wanted to get home, but the scenery……WOW! If you ever get the chance, you have to make that drive it is so worth it. We ended it by stopping at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. We were really impressed with it, we’ve been to a lot of aquariums and that had to be one of the best set ups and displays. And just because I’m such a Harry Potter geek, I got a shirt in the gift shop that says Harry Otter with a cartoon of an otter wearing Gryffindor wizard robes…..I love that shirt so I had to share.

Since we already did our anniversary stuff early for the day of, just to mark it, we got some piecing, for me I got my nose pierced and Harold got his other nipple pierced so they match.  I knew it was going to hurt, but dang did it make my eyes water like crazy……lol Harold handled his much better than me and laughed at me…….grin

Harold lost his Aunt Bert.

June 2009

We lost my Great-Aunt Marie Pauline Kopfer on June 15th. =(  She was another strong personality that I have very fond childhood memories of. We use to drive down to visit her and Uncle Al in Florida when we were stationed in Maryland. I spent my 1st warm Christmas there in ’84 swimming in the Gulf of Mexico and had my 1st ice cream cake on my 11th birthday there (day after Christmas). To this day, my favorite ice cream cake is the one they got me, mint chocolate chip with chocolate cake covered in fudge…..I love it.

As I write this, I finally make the connection that both of my grandmothers’ sisters were lost this year.

Poor Alexis had to go to the vet again….she is not having much luck this year. We found that her teeth were bad and had to have 7 of them removed! Icks…our poor baby had been suffering with bad teeth for so long and we didn’t know. We never had the issue with any of our other cats, so never even thought of it. She is now doing much better after the drugs finally wore off….which was a sight to see, she kept running into walls and falling down…ouch

We received news this month that there is nothing more they can do for Diesel and he may have 30days left. We made one last visit up there to see him. We were happy with the last memory we got of him trying to pull a joke on us and laughing.

July 2009

We lost Harold’s brother Diesel on July 9th. We knew it was coming, we are glad he is finally at peace, but still is not easy. We just wished that we moved here a few years earlier. Words do not do justice to the hole that was left in our hearts due to his passing. Our thoughts are frequently with his wife Eliza and his young sons, Jonathon and Dylan.

For those who are familiar with the Pacific Northwest, most living quarters do not have central air….you rarely, rarely need it. Well, this month we needed it….icks We set a record of 10days over 90 degrees and 3-4 of them over 100! Last year we brought a portable ac, which we use in the bedroom and try to get some of that air moved to other parts of the upstairs. It made it bearable, but not the best. It even got too hot that we didn’t get our normal cool night temperatures….which are normally in the 60s. Of course, once that broke we had a few chilly days before we got our normal beautiful summer days………lol Only in the Pacific Northwest.

Aug 2009

This month was actually quiet compared to the previous ones. We’ve just been doing our daily routines, the gym, and work and playing with our cats. Actually, if it wasn’t for Drew and Sakura’s playfulness we would’ve lost it over the last few months with everything that has been going on. Drew and Sakura have given us a lot of laughter and stress release…..they are unlike any of the cats we have had before.

Sept 2009

My friend Jessie from my Fannie May Candies years came out from Indiana. We showed her some of the local sites and we all went to see Purdue play at Oregon. The Duck fans we encountered were very nice and a few of them stopped to make sure that we were being treated well from other fans. Purdue lost, due to our turnovers, but we went down fighting. I will say if you ever go to a Oregon Duck home game, take ear plugs….it is the loudest stadium we’ve ever been in.

We finally switched to Macbook pro, got so tired of all the issues with window ran pcs. It took a hard stressful week of learning the new set up and the mac version of programs, but we are very happy with the switch and don’t ever see us going back to windows.

We finally went on a hike to Mt Hood. Two different maps list it hike we took from 9.3 mile – 9.7 mile…..according to my pedometer we did 12miles….which is what it felt like. It ended up taking us 8hrs & 10min….our 12mile hike last year took us 8hr & 20min. So I was totally not happy with our time considering it was 2+miles shorter.

But as we look back on it, we didn’t take into the fact that we were starting at 4400ft so the air was thinner. Our total elevation increase was only 1400ft, compared to the 2900ft last time….but unlike last time, this wasn’t just straight up and straight down. We went up and up…..but then went back down a couple hundred feet so we can cross a muddy glacier river and then back up and up….lol Luckily hubby thought ahead and we brought our beach shoes that we got in FL. That came in handy, the water was very, very cold and went just below my knees.

The most frustrating part hike was the when the trail went through the ski slopes. The trail was barely wide enough for single file and it was so deep, like it was cut out that you keep tripping on it and had to keep yourself from falling on your face. That really slowed us down. So that was the logistics of the hike. =)

Taken from the parking lot of a different trail head. We were looking for ours.

It really was a beautiful hike, it felt like more adventure then a hike. We hiked through the forest, on the side of ravines, down “gravel” pit (for lack of a better word), had to cross the 1st glacier river we ever crossed and lost count of how many streams and falls we had to figure out how to cross.

I didn’t think my camera got this! This is from one of the ski slopes we crossed.

I will say, no more 10+mile hikes. We are thinking of more like 5-8miles. Because by the end our feet/toes and other parts are hurting from the extreme up and downs. Of course, it doesn’t help that we were carrying over 20# pack wise. 90% of the stuff we had in our packs we didn’t need, it was all emergency stuff…like extra clothes and food, in case we were stuck on the mountain over night and first aid stuff. But it is much better to be safe then sorry. =)

Umbrella Falls, about 2-3 miles before the end of the trail.

Oct 2009
This month we flew out to Minnesota to visit Harold’s parents, Kathy and Dale. We were there for 3 days and just had a nice time taking it easy and visiting. Got to see some of beautiful fall colors as they were moving in. And left the day before they got snow. Perfect timing.

We did get another hike in. We headed down to Silver Falls Creek State Park, right outside of Salem. We had the normal Oregon drizzle rain that dried up towards the end of the hike, with great cool hiking temps and beautiful fall colors. They have a trail that covers 10 water falls….1 main loop with 7 of the falls and 2nd loop with 3 of the falls. We did the main loop which was almost 6miles. After all of our other hikes where 10miles took 8hrs it was weird that it almost 6miles took only about 2 & half hours. Amazing how fast it we did it without a lot of elevation changes….it was nice. =)

Nov 2009
This month was just a quiet month of work, gym and everyday life.

We hope everyone had a good year in spite of all the economic turmoil and has a great holiday. May the New Year bring what you are looking for.

Happy Holidays!

Peace,
Pauline & Harold
Reminder you can always keep up with me online : www.paulineantoinette.com
www.facebook.com/pcurtisbookwalter
www.myspace.com/pauline_curtis_bookwalter
twitter.com/PA_CBookwalter (those are private unless you contact me with your account, but they update on all my other pages)

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Holiday 2008
Hello Everyone,

Well, I did give a heads up in the last holiday letter that we may have moved this year. We did move, just not into Portland. A lot of the houses that we looked into didn’t have the things that we were looking for. But we found a great place here in Troutdale, right off of I-84, and at the beginning of the Historic Colombia Highway and the Colombia Gorge. It is stunning and sometimes windy as heck (up to 50mile wind gusts). There isn’t a day that goes by that we aren’t grateful that we have moved to this stunning state…even when it is cold and rainy…………grin

We don’t get to see Mt Hood from our new location, but we are surrounded by hilly range of the gorge, barely a mile from the Sandy River and on a clear day, we can see the tip of Mt Adams from our bedroom patio. But we don’t have far to drive to get a stunning view of Mt Hood, even when we taking one of our many trips to Home Depot. We never get tired of that.

We now have a straight and quick shot into PDX, only 15min from the airport, and live right in a small down town, 2 blocks from the police station. We have the little shops that we can now walk to, while in the summer the trees give our place a very private feeling. Fingers crossed, that we will be here for the next few years, since we actually feel very much at home and the owner is looking for long time leasers. ☺ We’ve even unpacked things that haven’t seen the light of day in 4years.

We started the year with joining a gym, so we can actually do outdoor Oregonian things without it killing us….lol With joining the gym we have both have lost over 30# each. I even had a trainer for the first 6 months of our membership to kick start it.

At Multnomah Falls Oregon

We finally did our first actual hike and it ended up being a 12mile loop that went up 2900ft in elevation and took us 8hr and 12mins to do. We bit off more than we should have, but we survived. ☺ The hike started at the beautiful Multnomah Falls and took us past even more falls that were stunning. This is the hike path we took : http://www.nwhiker.com/CGNSAHike13.html

Seeing Mt Hood from Powell Butte in Gresham Oregon

In May we headed to Minnesota to visit Harold’s parents. It was a strange May, it didn’t feel like spring, we even got snow while we were there and we have never counted so many deer by the side of the road in our past trips. It was a good trip and it was great to see all the changes that Dale & Kathy have made to their place.

In August we took a trip to Curacao, a small island off of South America and finally got our passports stamped. We had a blast snorkeling and site seeing, even in the heat.

We have added two new members to our family. A brother and sister kitten from the local shelter. I named the brother Drew Brees, after one of my favorite QBs and Purdue Alumni, and Harold named the sister Sakura, Japanese for cherry blossom. Our oldest two (14yr old Alexis and 13yr old Reggie Miller) have slowly gotten use their playfulness….grudgingly…lol Here is the link to our first posting of pictures of them all : http://www.paulineantoinette.com/Blog/2008/10/16/new-family-members/

Sakura & Drew Brees

Reggie Miller & Alexis

I will be heading to Indiana to visit my parents and family Dec 3-12th. Don’t forget that you can keep track of me and Harold on my blog : www.paulineantoinette.com For those who have myspace : http://www.myspace.com/pauline_curtis_bookwalter

Love,
Pauline & Harold

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Holiday 2007

Hello Everyone!

This is my first attempt (and probably my only attempt ☺ ) of a holiday letter. I’m not sure what I’m going to say. I guess I can start for the main reason behind is to let everyone know that we have moved to Oregon, right outside of Portland. We are looking to moving into the City of Portland next fall so the address will not be the same, I know annoying. ☺

We moved to Florida in 2004 to get out of Indiana and for something different and had originally planned on being there for just about 3-5 years. We just needed to decide were we wanted to end up. We spent our vacation on 2006 in the Pacific Northwest and Portland won our hearts.

We were looking at the Pacific Northwest for lush greenery, mountains, friends and the proximity to Alaska. Portland had the laid back feeling that we enjoy. It may be big, but doesn’t have the “big overcrowded city” feeling of Indy or Chicago.

We’ve enjoyed Florida for the difference in the climate but did not enjoy the hurricanes, and we learned a lot about the directions we want to take with next chapter of our lives. It was a change that we had needed to take at time, but now it is time for something different.

Our trip out here was something different. Harold 1st made the trip with all of our stuff in August, he then flew back and we rented a RV and took about 2 weeks to get here. It was great to see parts of the country that we have never been, but it long trip and we’ve learned to do things in small parts. ☺ Our cats, Reggie Miller and Alexis, did well on the trip (another reason for the RV).

We really enjoyed the fall weather that we missed while in Florida. We’ve been enjoying the colors and the richness of the vegetation and flowers. Of course, getting to see Mt. Hood on the skyline……..you never get tired of that. We are slowly adapting to the earlier nights and the colder weather, but give us another year or two and we will be set.

For everyone who has internet, you can email me and you can read my blog at www.paulineantoinette.com You can also see the 6000+ pictures that we took on our move out here on this page of my site : http://www.paulineantoinette.com/PNH/travel/index.htm

I will be heading to Indiana Dec 5th-15th, so I hope to get a hold of the pictures mom has been taking of the family.

Once I get the opportunity, I will have them posted on my site www.paulineantoinette.com
We hope everyone has a great holiday!

Love,
Pauline & Harold