A Year and a Half in Review

February 1st, 2009

Quick year and a half review

May 07 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greensburg,_Kansas
Never thought my home town would have a wiki page.

July 07 – Kerry came and visited while attending a class in Denver – we played sand volleyball in Boulder, CO together.
Kerry's visit in Jul 07

Aug 07 – Boulder (our cat) caught a mouse in the house. The picture says it all – she was super sweet with it.
Boulder Mouse kiss

Sept 07 – Helped my Mom and Dad with prep work for moving into their temporary place. This is the last time I’ve been back to Greensburg – need to figure out if I can go to the class reunion in May 2009.

Oct 07 – visited Dave’s family in Montreal.

Jan 08 – visited Las Vegas and Death Valley – Death Valley in the winter is amazing.
Dave and Cassie in Death Valley

Feb 08 – Dave called and said he booked me a plane ticket to Paris, and we departed the next week. I hope to go back someday in the spring/summer to see the flowers.
in Paris

May 08 – My Girl Scout Troop went to Magic Sky for their first “real” camping experience. The day after we got back they bridged to Juniors.
Magic Sky

Mar 08 – played in the CG Volleyball Tournament and caught up with a bunch of friends in CT. Will schedule more time if I’m invited back this coming year because I missed seeing a lot of folks that I would’ve like to have caught up with.

Summer/Fall 08 – played in 3 different grass tournaments with 3 of the women volleyball players I’ve met here in Boulder. My partner and I broke pool play at Steamboat.

Aug 08 – had a houseful with Dave’s family (6 relatives) and then my parents’ joined the crowd at the end of the visit.
Janssen's walk around Long Lake at Brainard Lake
Kabal family

Sept 08 – Dave became a US Citizen!
dave-with-dhs-logo

Fall/Winter 08 – playing with the “Flintstones” again this fall and winter season as well as a co-ed team. They are my hard court volleyball teams – we are playing D1 and holding our own. I have the opportunity to run the offense for the team as part of the 6-2. It is a lot of fun to set at a competitive level, and I’m starting to get asked to sub as a setter which is pretty cool.

Nov 08 – I went to see my cousin Andrew’s band competition. It was one of the last performances of his senior year.

Dec 08 – went to see The Fray at Vail Snow Daze. 3 inches of snow fell during the concert.
The Fray concert

Jan 09 – saw a Jonathan Coulton concert at the Soiled Dove in Denver. re: Your Brains is a great song and because I work with a bunch of engineers Code Monkey has a warm place in my heart as well. Great concert!

Jan 09 also included a wildfire in our district that missed our house literally by a mile. The way folks pulled together and helped out to keep the damage to an absolute minimum was amazing considering that the winds were pushing the fire at 50-80 mph. Both Dave and I were on call, so the cats spent the evening in their carrier and we had a friend who would take them out if our housing area was evacuated since we could not come pick them up.

My mom and I have taken one 4 day cooking class and one 1 day cooking class together with Chef Cheyne Keith. He is amazing and we have had a wonderful time learning about small sauces and how to use our food processor.

Dave and I have become Rally Cross fans – he is getting quite good considering the car we drive.

Dave became First Responder certified so he is now qualified to respond to medical calls in our fire district.

I have been very blessed to share the last 7 years with Dave, and he has shown time and time again his love and support for me, our families and the community.

This is my attempt to catch-up anyone who actually comes to my blog on the last year and a half. I will try to do a better job of keeping it up to date. Hope to hear from folks who do visit my blog soon – I now have a facebook page.

FaceBook page

February 1st, 2009

Dave just helped me set-up a facebook page.  Hopefully I’ll do a better job keeping it up to date.  Please come visit.

Home from Greensburg – Safe and very blessed

May 24th, 2007

Thank you to everyone who has kept Greensburg in their thoughts and prayers, and I ask that you continue to do so.

My family and I are so blessed and in a very unique situation by Greensburg standards. My parents were luckily out of town when the tornado hit, and we still had a roof on the house (still can’t figure out how since the garage attached to the house was ripped apart). We drove through town approximately 4 hours after sunrise the day after the tornado hit, and I had problems identifying where Main Street was in a town I had been for 18 years of my life while growing up. My husband stayed in town and helped firefighters search for survivors while my childhood friend and I drove to a neighboring town to meet our parents. We spent the next 2 days waiting while emergency response crews went house to house and clean-up crews were getting the street clear so residents could actually make it to their houses without getting flat tires. 120 tornadoes passed through the Midwest in those two days making the weather channel the station of terror.

We were so blessed to have support from every direction possible, and we can never repay all of the generosity, love and caring that we experienced over the next week as families reentered Greensburg and started to pickup the pieces and determine how to go on. The pictures do not do justice to the devastation, and it was a time when the outside support structure had to come in because the residents were in shock and not able to help themselves for many days. Dave had to leave Sunday, but luckily he was able to come back with a friend and fellow member of our fire department Thursday.  My brother was a rock when we needed him, and I could not have asked for anything better. We were only allowed into town 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but everyday was emotionally draining and sleep at night was fitful. The Red Cross, Salvation Army, law enforcement and Fire Departments from all over the country, National Guard, Army, FEMA and many other organizations and volunteer agencies were working at light speed to keep the town fed and get things cleaned up. It was amazing how quickly clean-up efforts were underway. We had a FEMA contracted truck driver and her family come by and help folks in the neighborhood pack on Wednesday – what a blessing they were on a day when everyone was completely drained.

By Thursday evening I saw the glaze leave my folks’ eyes and I knew we could head out on Sunday safely. When the moving truck pulled away Friday (yes, we had that much stuff left), I felt a sense of relief. I drove around town Saturday afternoon one last time with my mom, and I was in awe in the transformation that had occurred in just this first week. I look forward to going back when my parents are ready to move into their temporary house while they rebuild in Greensburg. I always told my parents that things never change in Greensburg, and though the physical town is gone the spirit and strength I knew growing up is still there.

Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

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For additional pictures and some neat before and after photos please see Dave’s blog.

Thank you and God bless.

BMFPD Third Arm moving forward

April 29th, 2007

The BMFPD (Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District) Third Arm is up and running. We conducted our first round of traffic/evacuation training, and now we are working on adjusting that curriculum and preparing for the next round on May 31st. The Third Arm has 2 other mission areas that we are trying to get off the ground as well – Animal Rescue and a group called the Helpers who from what I can see right now form the glue to keep the other two pieces stuck together. We are always looking for volunteers and guidance because so far we have not found a group similar to ours and we would love to “borrow” ideas from a group if they do exist… This group is a lot of fun, and I’m very lucky to be a part of it.

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Rocky Mountain National Park with Dave’s folks

October 5th, 2006

We went to Rocky Mountain National Park with Dave’s parents.  On the way we took the scenic route and went by the Catholic Church that I have always just been in awe of.  It is one of the few buildings that "blends" yet at the same time you are in awe of it.

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We once again had to see how high we could go (Dave’s parents had been in Colorado less than 24 hours), and we drove up to the continental divide which is around 14,000 feet.  It was quite cold and windy up there, but we hiked up a trail anyway.  The tundra around the trail was just amazing.

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When we came back down we went searching for elk.  There are signs posted around the park saying that there is elk viewing from 5 p.m. to sunset.  We were joking on our drive down that the elk should be getting staged by the time we got down for the 5 p.m. show.  After you watch them you really feel like they know that they have a 5 p.m. showSmile  This was the first one we saw, and he was the biggest we had ever seen size wise in our limited elk encounters.  He was calling to his herd who soon joined him from an area uphill from him.

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We watched a lot of elk that day.  On our way out of town we had a special treat – a bachelor herd.  Dave’s father had mentioned that he thought elk probably had them, and we were able to see one first hand.  There were a few male deer hanging out with these elk, and I found the size difference amazing.  This photo has an elk in the front and in top left a good size male deer grazing.  These photos were taken in residents’ yards in Estes Park…I cannot imagine having this going on outside our front window but I would love it if it ever did happen.

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Rocky Mountain National Park

September 23rd, 2006

We had a "random" trip to Rocky Mountain National Park.  Dave bought a new camera which I’m sure you can see his review of on his blog page.  We went for a hike at Heil Ranch and he took a bunch of pictures there, then we decided at 3 p.m. that we would go to Rocky Mountain National Park.  We arrived a little bit before sunset and headed up as high as we could go.  We took this photo with his new camera when we were at the highest point they would allow us. 

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We also found A LOT of elk.  One was so close to the car that Dave was wondering what our insurance company would think if an elk decided to attack our car.  Our first reaction was the roll up the windows to protect ourselves, but then we realized we couldn’t take pictures of the elk if we had the windows up.  This picture is blurry, but I think you can really see how close he came to our vehicle.  In the bottom left is the front corner of our car.

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Trip to Canada

August 27th, 2006

We had a quick trip to Canada to visit family and attend a wedding.  Dave was just returning from his second back-to-back 2 week trip (this time in Europe) so I joined him in Montreal.  He did win the prize for traveling the furthest to the wedding.  We made an attempt to get a family photo, and this was my favorite.  Sam (the dog) couldn’t be left out…

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Hail storm on June 24th

June 24th, 2006

Absolutely amazing storm!  The hail storm rolled in on Saturday evening around 6 p.m.  We knew we were going to get "weather" but had not expected 3/4 inch hail splatting like a snowball when it hit the ground for 15 minutes.  It looked like it had snowed except my outdoor plants among other things were a little worse for the wear.  Below I’ve included pictures from our front door, out the window just after the storm and the back steps post storm.

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Pack test done!!!

April 20th, 2006

The pack test is done, and Dave and I both passedSealed  I didn’t set a record time wise, but when you are walking around a track for 3 miles with 45 pounds of kitty litter on your back I can’t say I felt a need to rush either.  I really enjoyed chatting with some of the members of the department, and their goal was to finish with an even pace throughout that brought them in under the time limit but not by a whole lot.  I’m a little sore today, and I must say I felt very bouncy when my pack came off.  I have completed all of the requirements for my red card so I am certified to fight wildfires.

Flowers still alive

April 16th, 2006

The super secret mixture seems to be working – my plants are still alive and show no signs of being munched on by deer though I know the deer have been through the front yard on a daily basis.  I bought Dave a ficus tree this past week as well, and he is quite excited to have one again.  There were 55 mph straight winds with gusts into the 60s for a few hours yesterday.  I think most of my plants made it through this okay.  I brought in my geraniums from the deck to avoid them getting blown over.