Saturday, December 14, 2002

Christmas 2002

Some of you have noticed that we have been out of touch for a while. We
are going quarterly with our "Updates" -- it gives us more to write

Since this is our Christmas letter, we thought we should briefly recap
the year. Last year at this time, our house was not much more than a
few cinder blocks on a concrete footing. We moved in at the end of June
and had our first visitor in September. Duane came to see us over a
very wet Labour Day weekend, and Steve played his first round of golf.
Then we had Halloween. This year we had a record eight
trick-or-treaters, including the two shown on the web. That's eight
more than last year, if the escalation continues, there won't be any
chocolate left for Lisa.


Soon after Halloween, we were able to take our first vacation since
moving to North Carolina as Lisa finally found a dog-sitter. We went to
Bald Head Island for the night to test him out. We had a great time.
Bald Head Island is a small island about 40 miles from here. You have
to go by ferry and, once you get there, all transportation is by golf
cart. Naturally, there is a golf course (of course!) The island also
has a little harbor, a number of small hotels and B&Bs, plenty of
beach, a couple of restaurants and even a professional croquet court at
the country club. Coastal Living magazine was sponsoring a couple of
"Idea Houses" so we took a look around them, too. One had been bought
by a couple from San Francisco. The dog-sitter did fine so we are
planning a two night trip to Charleston just after Christmas.

Our neighbours, Art and Eloise, invited us to share Thanksgiving dinner
with them. Eloise is a great cook (she's going to start giving Lisa
lessons this week) and she baked four pies for 7 of us. Each person got
their favourite, so Steve had pumpkin and Lisa got lemon meringue. The
dogs got lots of turkey leftovers, since none of the crowd liked the
dark meat.

One of the things that you notice more here in rural North Carolina, is
the wildlife. You already saw photographs of alligators and very large
spiders. A couple of months ago we had another guest, our first snake.
Steve found him on our front doorstep and immediately called for the
camera. After taking all his video, Lisa suggested getting rid of the
snake. Steve approached it with a broom -- it hissed at him -- so he
brushed it aside and let it go. We have no idea where it is now.

Steve has travelled back to California nine times this year and has
enjoyed visiting with friends and family. He would like to thank
everyone for feeding him so well. Lisa would like to thank Lee Boyd in
particular, because he sent a delicious Cornish Pasty all the way to
North Carolina for her via Steve Air Express.

We would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas, and a happy and
prosperous 2003.

PS: Steve will be back the first week in January if anyone has food
they would like him to eat.

Sunday, June 2, 2002

June 2002


May has been a very busy and very long month. Steve spent the first
week in
San Jose attending the Apple World Wide Developers Conference. He got
just in time for Lisa's birthday and we went to one of our favourite
for a fried shrimp sandwich to celebrate. Since it was Mother's Day, we
postponed dinner for a couple of days to avoid the crowds. We tried a
restaurant for dinner, the Parson's Table, and were very favourably
impressed. It is situated in an old church, the food was excellent and
owner sang for us. What more could you ask?

Other social events included the Full Moon Beach Party and a Plantation
Picnic. That was a lot of fun, we got to meet more of our new
neighbours and
embarrass ourselves with an indoor golf game. We definitely need more
lessons! We are signing up for a golf membership so when we are ready to
play, they will have to let us on the course. Fortunately, our windows
set a long way back from the fairway.

Memorial Day Holiday was very busy at the sales office but we did
manage to
get a day off together and spent it furniture hunting. Things are slowly
falling into place and we still hope to move in June. We are guessing
around the third week, although our builder is still saying the middle
June. Most of the work on the outside is done except the concrete and
landscaping. On the inside we still need some paint, but most of the
cabinets are in and the trim work is all complete. We have started
all our boxes again in preparation for the move.

Next time we write, it should be from our new home. We can't wait!

Lisa and Steve

Friday, May 3, 2002

May 2002


Hot on the heels of the April update, May is coming to you early because
Steve is travelling early this month. He is going to be in San Jose for
whole week to attend the Apple Worldwide Developers' Conference. Lots of
fun, but hard work too so not much time to play.

The house is moving along. They have finished most of the trim work,
and crown moldings, and the kitchen and bar cabinets are in place. The
guys started yesterday and hopefully we will get some paint soon. We
the garage ourselves, a humongous task with ceilings at around 13 feet.
the contractors are all using it as a workshop and it is going to need
painting again!

We went to Maya's first birthday party on Sunday and had a great time
watching her eat cake and unwrap presents. We also went to Sunset Beach
yesterday and walked down to the end of the pier for the first time. It
is a
real fishing pier with lots of equipment and stations for serious
- not us!

Lisa is hoping to close on a couple of lots this month - the paperwork
is in
progress but you never know until the checks arrive! Looks like it is
to be another month at least before we can move in. Steve will be
again early in June so that he can be here when the house is ready.

Thursday, April 25, 2002

April 2002

Sorry this is late - we have been very busy. The house is moving right
but most of the work is on the inside so not much to show.

This is going to be a short one - Steve is leaving for California in
May so we will send more information then.

In the meantime, we did spend a day at Brookgreen Gardens in South
and we have pictures on the web of some of what we saw.

Steve turned 40 yesterday and today is our day to celebrate. There's a
moon beach party tonight at Sunset Beach and we are going to
(the one in Myrtle Beach, not San Francisco) this afternoon for a Golden
Gate Banana Split.

Thursday, January 3, 2002

January 2002

Happy New Year!

It seems like a very short time since we were writing our Christmas update and yet now it is 2002 and time for Steve to visit California again. Actually, his visit is a week earlier this month because he is going to attend the Macworld conference in San Francisco. He will also be able to celebrate his Mom’s birthday with her.

The big news this month has been the weather. It turned cold after Christmas and on January 3rd. it snowed. Real snow. We had between 1 and 2 inches but it was cold and the snow stayed around for a day or so. Bertie and Heidi had never seen snow before and were a little unsure of it. They preferred to walk on the icy paths rather than sticking their toes in the snow. Heidi finally figured out that you could eat it. Well, now it is all gone, but Atlanta is still having severe weather. We are hoping that Steve’s travel plans do not get cancelled.

So… Christmas was quiet but fun. Steve had vacation between Christmas and New Year so we had a very relaxing time. We found a Ghirardelli soda fountain about 20 miles away and went and had a banana split. It was even better than the San Francisco one becuaes there was no queue. The soda fountain was one of our favourite stops in San Francisco so we are very excited to have found another one. We also went to see Lord of the Rings. Steve has been re-reading the trilogy whilst travelling and we both really enjoyed the movie.

Now for the house building. Well, it does not seem like a lot of progress has been made. Things came to a halt over Christmas and then the snow did not help. But we do have a foundation, footings and cinder block, and the lot has been graded. On Tuesday the floor trusses will arrive. We are hoping for walls before Steve gets back again. We have put some pictures on the web which show our progress.

I have finally started work. On January 2nd., I signed up with the real estate broker at Brunswick Plantation and am now training to be a salesman. It feels strange (and a little sad) that I no longer have control over my days, but so far the training has been fun. Things are very quiet in the sales office after Christmas so it has been a gently introduction. I will be accompanying the sales manager when he has clients to show around – so far we have had one tour – and he is showing me the ropes around the office, too. I hope to be going solo by the end of hte month. So if anyone has any friends or acquaintances who would like to take a tour, please ask them to contact me. We offer great accomodation and golf packages so that people can stay here for a few days and get to experience the place. The prices are very low and include a few rounds of golf. Combine a few days here with a couple of nights in Charleston and Savannah and you have a great vacation. Anyone who is interested can send me e-mail or call me.

Enough of the sales talk. We would like to wish everyone a safe and prosperous 2002.