Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Check out our pumpkin art:

As you can see, Jon opted for a blood-thirsty "roadkill" pumpkin that has a taste for cute teddy bears...I chose Charlie Brown in honor of Jon's favorite cartoonist, Charles Schulz. Here's Chuck's inspiration for my pumpkin (a little tough to see, but you get the idea):

We had a ball carving these up at our friend Lorrie's house for her annual October pumpkin carving. When Lorrie and I were roommates in Albuquerque many moons ago (about 12 years, to be exact) I was among the first inductees into this, her annual festival. Some of the same people who were there on that inaugural night joined us again at this 12th annual fest.
Here's the gorgeous invitation Lorrie created for this year's party (she's quite an artist):

Since we'll be spending Halloween sanding and priming walls in preparation of applying American Clay in our living room this weekend, we really appreciated the opportunity to spend time with friends for this annual Fall ritual. Thanks Lorrie!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Introducing Watson

This weekend we introduced a new addition to our home, Watson the cat. Watson persistently stalked my parents' house in Albuquerque for a couple days by clinging to their screen doors and wailing, etc., until they couldn't resist taking him in (and they are NOT cat people). Being a Maine Coon kitten (the most dog-like breed in the cat world), he was simply irresistable, and my dad even let him sleep next to his head (unheard of in the past--Dad was actually anti-cat until we moved back to New Mexico and he got to know Maximus and Alma, our original two cats).

While we had no intention of adopting another cat, my mom and dad simply couldn't take care of him in their older years (along with their dog, Beau), so we attempted to take him to a pet shelter but he charmed us into keeping him. We had him neutered and checked out at the vet Friday, and he's still full of piss and vinegar, as the saying goes.... He's definitely keeping our other cats busy and us continually amused (and bemused).

We named him Watson after Jon suggested the name for his love of Sherlock Holmes literature, and a neighbor who came to visit for coffee the next morning suggested the same name (random!). Seems the name was meant to be. It's nice having a kitten in the house to liven things up a bit--our two older cats had trained us into a quiet, slow routine, but Watson keeps us on our toes at all times.

Welcome kitty!

Friday, October 17, 2008

On the Road Again...

Today is the first day of my new position at work. I'll now be a senior manager in field marketing. What does that mean? I'm still not completely sure, but I know that last week was a mountain of work in preparation for the new, and closing out the old. I can tell I'm stressed by the knots in my shoulders...Calgon?

Apparently I will be traveling LESS in this new position; however, next week will be a long trip as I fly to San Francisco Wednesday morning to meet my new manager and team, then turn around and fly straight to NYC Saturday morning to meet clients before filming them in a "town hall" style webcast on Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the construction industry. Huh?!? If you want to learn more, watch a similar webcast I helped with a couple weeks ago in a Scottsdale, AZ, studio.

I'm looking forward to this new role: it will be a new challenge in a different area of marketing than I'm used to. For most of my 12-year marketing careeer, I've been involved in writing and creating messaging or "spin"; in this role, I'll be responsible for launching campaigns and measuring their performance by how much response they receive, or more specifically, how many deals we close with each campaign. I hope I'm up for the challenge!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Article #7: A Sustainable Farm Prepares for Winter

Read Jon's article on our winter plans for the farm:

Article #6: The Experimental Garden Tent

Jon's foray into building a tent to protect our first crop from the brutal New Mexico sunshine and fierce winds (and our initial squabble over the tent--which is black and very close to our house--not the most aesthetically pleasing structure!) is the feature of this Matter Network article.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Bunch of Hot Air

Our very good friends Natasha and Dario came to visit us last weekend from the Bay Area for the first days of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Although there was a tragic accident this year, the balloon fiesta is usually an exciting event featuring 700 balloons and hundreds of thousands of people, and has been an annual tradition since 1972 (starting with only 13 balloons).

While I (Val) have attended the balloon fiesta many years as a near-native, there's something about hosting newcomers and experiencing their awe as they watch the first balloons go aloft in the crisp, bright October morning air. And, the balloon fiesta has changed so much over the years--it's now in a relatively new location and there are more balloons than I ever remember from years past.

The special-shape balloons are always a treat. Among our favorites: the Lucasfilms, Ltd., Darth Vader balloon (complete with Storm Troopers and light sabers), the "castle in the sky" (a tribute to the Henry David Thoreau quote, we assume), the ladybug on a flower, and who can resist Nemo?

We had such a fun time with Natasha and Dario (or Natario, as we call them) and we thank them for coming to visit us and share a great weekend full of reconnecting, stories, great wine, a relaxing spa day, and amazing steak! We love you guys!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

And Now, a Word from our Sponsors...

Until we can get our act together to update the blog this week (an update on a visit from our friends Dario and Natasha and photos from the International Balloon Fiesta), please indulge in some old creepy ads while you wait to hear about our latest zany antics.