Sunday, December 20, 2015

Home for the Holidays

Thanksgiving weekend at Yachats
Happy Holidays!  No, we haven’t died or gone off the grid.  We’ve been busy and didn’t have much to share in photos or words.  So that’s why we haven’t posted anything in over two months.  It’s been pedal to the metal since we got home in early October, and it feels good. 

Kathy is still working (in her words) too many hours a day to hold the website developers’ feet to the fire get the new national Assistance League website functional.  But at least it is launched and almost merged with their donor management system. I think it’s cool! Click here to see it.  We’re both so glad we stayed home this Christmas, as any trip would have been very stressful without good bandwidth and the time to enjoy a warm sunny place.  
The Share "Shark" Tank 

My favorite shark
Kathy was one of five "sharks," (including the retired justice of the Oregon Supreme Court) on the Swim with the Sharks Share Tank to raise money for area non profits.  She was a nice & generous shark, but with good questions, and she drew some applause here and there  You can  see her in action here

Brenna Baucum CFP, newly minted CFP
Yes, I’m still ‘working,’ at the Salem office of The H Group, Inc., but it doesn’t seem like work to me.  When the weather is bad, I’d just as soon be productive among fun co-workers and clients.  I’ll be there for three more years part-time, maybe more at my option.  Brenna Baucum, who joined us 2013, makes it possible for me to do this.  She just earned her CFP certification, and we're really proud of her.  

We hired another advisor, and there is no room for me at the office until one of our other associates retires next year at this time, so I'll be working from home, right next to Kathy (and not too many steps from the refrigerator). Not bad, huh?   Well, we'll see.  We married each other for better or worse, but not for lunch every day.

Capital Manor towers
Meanwhile, other opportunities are finding things for me to do.  I was invited onto the board of Capital Manor, a 400+ resident continuing care retirement community, complete with a 10-story building, numerous villas, a memory care unit, and more complexity than I could have possibly imagined.  It’s fascinating learning opportunity, and perhaps a glimpse into our future years from now.

I'm official!
The newly-sworn in CASAs
Most of all, I’m excited to have finally completed my training and been sworn in as a CASA (court appointed special advocate) for abused and neglected children.  I should have the 200-page file on my first case in a few days. I am so pumped, and I hope this enthusiasm can carry me through the frustrations and emotions I will surely encounter.  
At a Christmas ships party

Wine tasting in late October

In between all of this, we’re trying to stay in shape and have managed to squeeze in a couple of camping trips and lots of cultural events and social gatherings.  

DNA kits
Kathy’s almost 91-year-old mother is spending Christmas with us.  She’s doing relatively well, all things considered. We got each other DNA kits as gifts, not for paternity or forensics, but for ancestry and health curiosity.  

Our Christmas Doorman
The girls won’t be here, but expecting them to travel from London, Boston, and New York at this time of year is a bit much.  They’re all happy, gainfully employed--with benefits--and have serious boyfriends.  In fact, we just learned today that Feruza, our Uzbek high school exchange daughter living in New York just got engaged today. Maybe we'll be going to Tashkent this summer!
Feruza & Ali

We’re going to Bend over New Years weekend, and I’m hoping to snowboard—my aching back and weather conditions permitting (I no longer do ice, crowds, really deep powder, and poor visibility on the slopes). 

While things aren’t going well for others here and abroad, we continue to be unbelievably  blessed with good health, family, friends, travels, abundance, and each other.  We hope all of you are similarly blessed.  Best wishes to for 2016!