1, 2008 - HAPPY NEW YEAR
it's been quite a while since we've posted a newsletter for friends
and family. We've been busy as usual but that's no excuse. Nevertheless,
please let us catch you up on what's been happening in our lives. Here's
hoping that you had a wonderful
holiday season and
2007 was good
to you. Outside of concern about the rapidly degrading environment
and all the war and nastiness around the world (much of which is the
by our country's idiotic and criminal administration), the past year
brought good fortune and considerable joy to our little family.
note that the pix on this page are optimized for the web but not
really suitable for high quality printing. If there are any you might
to make prints of, please let me know and I'll email you higher
best news of all is that we welcomed Lucy to the family on November
3rd. She came 5 weeks early but still tipped the scales at 6
pounds, 6 ounces and was 21" long. Imagine if she had stayed
in there until her due date - would have been one very big little
girl. This was taken when she was one week old and still
in the NICU. She got out soon thereafter and is now doing great
and eating almost constantly.
day at Reed and Lisa's house - Lucy, of course, the star of the event.
Her parents and big brother Zac are, naturally, totally devoted
and oozing love for Lucy (who wouldn't be?). Of course the proud
grandparents are no slouches in the goo goo department either,
nor are our new machatenim, Lisa's mom and stepdad Turid and
Phil. Lisa is doing fine despite incessant nursing that
the tyke demands.
backwards through the year, the next big event was our wonderful
grandson Zac's upgrade into double digits. And on December 9th
we threw him a party out here at the Pedernales Palace.
Annie made a custom monogrammed bag for each kid and we set
them loose on the beach to hunt rocks. The boys found bones much
the one girl in the group, took the rock hunting seriously. The
boys, on the other hand, soon started chucking rocks into the
river (some skipped, some just lobbed). After the rocks were
gathered, we played croquet on the beach - not actually the best
surface for croquet but we made a "house" rule that you could
smooth out a path for your ball.
a path while Preston plans his strategy.
may be a bit confused about the game's objective.
a goofy birthday tradition that is Zac's and Zac's alone (I hope).
He likes to smash a pie in his own face. Go figure. Annie provided
cream pie. Quel mess!
this is grampa's raison d'etre - being with his two favorite kids
in the whole world (once they are sans whipped cream, of course).
Check out Lucy's snappy salute.
his birthday, we gave Zac a kayak of his own. We hid it carefully,
in the woods and then gave the kids a series of clues to get them
from place to place, and finally to the kayak. Of course I had
to videotape the hunt. Above is the
family watching the video for the first time after our Xmas pig
out (a yummy and opulent Mexican feast made by chef Reedo). The
edit runs around 17 minutes. If you want to see it, you can hit
of the DVD, or you can watch
it on-line here.
Thanksgiving, Annie and I actually made it to N.Y. and had a great
sisters Rebecca and Faith and their families. Becca is
pictured above during a quiet moment in the Maybloom domicile -
moment when those two cute but very shrill
doggies are outside.
brother-in-law Nate in a characteristic pose - in the kitchen.
He was a terrific host and cooked up a variety of delectable dishes
for our Thanksgiving dinner. What's with the men in this family?
We all like to cook. (Now I'm hungry.)
great to see cousin Laura who came all the way from New Jersey
to have breakfast with us before we left for Kennedy airport. (What
getting to the terminal was, but
don't get me started on that.)
right: Becca, Nate, Niece Olivia, Nephew Matt (being kissed), Ric
(kissing), Annie and Laura. Faith Morty & Kat couldn't be there
(but were for Thanksgiving dinner). On the Friday after Thanksgiving,
Annie and I took the subway into Manhattan and spent some time
in the new (to us) MOMA, where we were blown away by the lavish
exhibition of Martin Puryear's incredible, sometimes huge, mostly wooden
sculpture. Then on Saturday, Bec, Nate, Matt, Annie and
I crammed into
drove out to Long
Island for a nice visit and dinner with Aunt Ruth and Unk
Justin at their favorite Chinese restaurant.
in July, we had a nice visit from our nephew, Ray and neice in
law, Souhir. Ray is Annie's sister Tanya's oldest of 3 sons. They
in the States briefly from Singapore, where Ray had been working
(for Microsoft). We are happy to report that they are now living
a lot closer (well, Seattle) and Souhir is very near delivery of
our grand-neice. This is a recent pic that Souhir sent us - looking
pretty good for seven months pregnant, eh?
past May, Annie and I had an enchanting vacation in France. We
soaked up the scenery, ate fabulous food and met wonderful people.
Cirq Lapopie was just one of the many spectacular,
ancient places we visited. The entire country is incredibly photogenic
and, naturally, we took about 1,000 pictures. Maybe someday I'll
post some and send out the link. Meanwhile,
you'll have to settle for these two.
one's Beynac where, among other unforgettable activities, we had
a little canoing
the Dordogne River.
we stayed in was more charming than the last as we hopped from
town to town in the southern part of the country. Some of the stops
were in Arles and other places of Van Gogh fame. Every place was
artistically inspirational, not the least of which was our last
week which was spent in Paris, which we adored and enjoyed the
came home from France so inspired that she has started painting
again after a 29 year hiatus.
she is doing that painting brings us to another significant activity
of the past year.
the "Treehouse". It's not really up in a tree but is situated on
the side of a hill down in the woods below our house and it feels
like it is in the treetops. Annie and I shlepped all the materials
(including 65 bags of concrete) down a treacherous path and built
this little building ourselves, pretty much just the two of us.
We did get a little help from Reed, who helped us bring the plywood
and roofing materials down, and from our friends Jim and Cindy,
who spent a day with us framing the first wall. Oh yeah, cousin
Billy Feitelson helped with the outdoor sink you see on the right.
We finished the construction in November of '06 (just before Reed
and Lisa's wedding) and now Annie is happily painting away down
there (and doing some very
would be complete without garden pix (you know how I love our gardens).
Both upper and lower veggie gardens are doing beautifully.
flower beds are still doing well, despite the 25 degree nights
we've been having frequently. In fact, these still get a number
of butterfly visits on sunny afternoons.
the lower garden of greens - yum!
what it takes to keep these gardens alive. Just about every night
for a while now we've had freezes, some down into the low 20s,
but the row covers seem to be enough to keep most of the plants
alive. Here's hoping...
you start to think that maybe Annie and I have retired, you've
got another think coming.
is busily and happily teaching at ACC - generally two classes
per semester. The courses have to
do with 3D modeling, rendering, lighting and surfacing - all
using 3D Studio Max software. She has been quite pleased lately
the great students she has had and the excellent work they
have turned out.
always involved in some video project or another and have frequent
web work to do for my favorite client - Century Management (www.centman.com).
I have been producing their meeting
videos for some time and this year added an additional client
update event in November. There, for the first time, we did
a live webcast which I am directing in the adjacent photo (taken
by my sound engineer, David Barrow). Should you be curious, the
webcast is archived here.
(not insignificant) story: Annie and I, along with several activist
neighbors, great press coverage, the attention of a couple
of legislators and a member lawsuit, helped to shine light on our
very secretive, corrupt and entrenched Pedernales Electric Coop,
the largest in the nation. We are proud to report that the top
2 officials are resigning and much needed reforms are in the works.
As Margaret Mead once said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed individuals can change the world..." It may not be the
world, but we've had an effect on a little piece of it. The organization
we started, PEC4U has a website which you can check out if you'd
like to learn more (and read some of our press clippings).
one victory under our belts, we are now gathering neighbors'
signatures to protest a plan to build an unwanted, unnecessary,
higher bridge over our river. Such a bridge would not only open
us up to development and traffic, it would also destroy and take
some of our fragile land.
also working to stop the Capitol Area Regional Planning Organization's
sick plan to make our beautiful country road into a 4-lane, divided
highway. Arghhh! To find out more about both these campaigns,
go to www.neighborsinparadise.org.
projects around the homestead this past year have included a new,
ferrocement cistern which we had our friend Peter Loehmann build.
Friend and neighbor Terry Henry finished the outside of the tank. That's
him on the right.
finished pond by the back porch awaits our attention. And out behind
the compost bin a slab has been poured which will be something more
some day. Watch future editions of this publication for pix and further
to say, with all the buzzing around here, we don't get out much.
We are still in awe of this place by the river and grateful that
we get to live here. And we feel most fortunate in having you, our
friends and family.
regret is that we don't get to see you nearly enough. So we send
our love and wishes for a joyful, productive and peaceful 2008.
Ric & Annie
if you are interested in previous postings, you'll find links to
just about everything I have up on the web at our
Index of Sites.
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