Card from LR :)

My 28th birthday is on Friday.  I don't tend to make a fuss about my birthday - financial issues in the family keep us from having any sort of big celebration, but I do get a nice dinner with family Friday evening after work.

I haven't really spoken about my birthday date with my pen-pals, save for a couple.  I don't really know why, but I just haven't.  Partly because I have been incredibly busy the past few weeks and have barely gotten a letter out this month.  Mostly because I don't want anyone to feel obligated to send me a card or note for my birthday.  (I know, I'm weird... )

I have a week of vacation time after my birthday.  Nine days in a row of not a single ounce of work that I have to do.  I shall spend the entire time getting caught up with my letters, as there are quite a few of them eagerly waiting for a reply.  I have lots of stories to tell!

I probably won't blog much during my vacation, but I will take photos of all my outgoing mail and post about it when I return to the world of the internet connected.  I hope you all are well!

Its almost back to school *sniff sniff*

Sadly can't remember where I got this. Somewhere on the internet. If its yours, thanks! Brought a tear to my eye and I don't even have a child.

Soleil Jerry by César Segarra for The Fashionisto

next up: first grade!

today was one of those days where parenting came effortlessly. 

these days are hard to come by. it had to have been something in the air. the last-day-of-summer-vacation-air. our last day of sleep-ins and lazy play. the last day of come-and-go-as-we-please. tomorrow is rise and shine! tomorrow is first grade. 

my feelings tonight are completely different than how i felt last year - on the first day of kinder. i am confident that lucas will be just fine. i know what kind of boy he is. and i know how eager he is to learn. we will miss him during the day - but the summer days were becoming sooooo long for him and i know he is anxious to get back to having a daily routine. 
daily routine = not my parenting strong point.

tonight we walked down to the school to meet his new teacher and find his desk. real desk cubbies this year! no baby tables. and no baby toys. we found our after school meeting spot and pinky swore not to forgot (or be late). we talked about first day butterflies/jitters and how to be on the look-out for someone who may need a new friend.

tonight we said, CHEERS! over ice cream sundaes. topped with the back-to-school usual - kindness, happiness, bravery, obedience and extra love. 

i love lucas jude. love, love, looooove him.

Good Bye Argentina...Hello Chile!

What an amazing trip to Bariloche. Beautiful people, sick terrain,  and Powder!

Josh had a blast in the Red Bull event. All the athletes skied great and put on a epic show for the spectators. The way this event is set up, there are jumps built on a big mountain face. Riders get to be creative throwing tricks off the jumps and shredding big lines. All the athletes were fluid and giving it there all.

Even though I was only spectating at the event. I had a blast. Hanging with all my new friends that I have met and shredding plenty of my own lines.

 Josh and I head to Santiago today, for another chapter of the trip. Not sure which mountains we will be riding for sure yet, so stayed tuned for more fun!

Enjoy the pics!

Red Bull Beyond the Line

Rock jibb from Red Bull event

Endless amazing views


Residue under division

The Monster's Paw

She hid beneath my box of climbing gear.  I worried that the weight of the cams and dozen shoes would fall on her but she seemed happy in her little hole.  I shouldered a back pack and grabbed the box.
“Good bye Monster,” I told Annie. I thought about taking a picture of Annie to send to Kim but I hurried out the door to go climbing.  Annie didn’t budge from her uncovered nest.  It was the last time I saw her. 
Annie and Gus hanging tough in the apartment
Kim received Annie for Christmas.  Kim was 19 and Annie was a few months old, she was born on October 18th.  Before Kim had Annie spayed, she slept in Kim’s room. When Annie was 2 years old and in heat, she purred maniacally.  She didn’t meow, instead she cried out in short barks.  Kim let her out of  the bedroom.  Annie escaped and 9 weeks later gave birth to 4 kittens.  One of the four lives with Kim still.  Gus, the California street lion, meows often. 

Annie never introduced herself but I never introduced myself either.   The grey Persian first noticed the smell of bacon filling Kim’s apartment.  She jumped from her window perch and waddled over to the kitchen. 
“Hello Monster,” I said. She stared at me and then lifted a paw in the air, pointing it first at me and then at the cast iron skillet.  Her flat face and her matted grey fur made me suspicious but I lowered a piece of Applewood bacon to her.  This was how she trained me.
Over time I learned of a thing called Tortitude.  Annie's coloring, a dilute tortoise shell grey with spots of peach, means she's a Tortie.  In an article titled "Tortitude- the Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats", the author of the ConciousCat article says, "In addition to their distinctive coloring, torties also have a reputation for unique personalities, sometimes reffered to as 'tortitude'."
When there was ice cream, bacon wrapped scallops, even wet cat food, the paw came out and pointed in the air.   It was the tortitude and this was her signature move.     

 “Did you notice anything wrong with Annie this morning?” Kim asked me as I walked to the crag on August 13, 2012.
“I grabbed my stuff and headed out the door.  She was hiding on the stairs.  I don’t think she’d been feeling well the past few days,” I said into the phone. 
“I’m at the vet.  I picked her up.  She was foaming at the mouth and wasn’t doing well.”  Kim’s voice sounded strong. “I’m gonna see what the vet has to say.  I’ll call you back in a little bit.”

Annie was born with a fused back.  She walked with a limp.  Her handicaps made her vulnerable they also made her endearing. This year, she turned 12.  Her health detoriated.  Over Thanksgiving, Kim called me and told me that Annie was sick.  She needed someone to watch her. I wasn’t entirely happy about it but Kim needed me.  I drove from Smith rocks in a snow storm to Kim’s apartment.

When I arrived in Berkeley from Smith, I could not find Annie.  She was not on her cushion by the window or on the back of the couch.  I rummaged through the house for an hour, worried that she’d escaped somehow.  I found the little monster hiding under the bed.  She limped down the stairs at a near run when I vacuumed and pawed the air when I fried eggs for breakfast.  I watched Annie for a week while Kim was in New Orleans.  When Kim returned, Annie was better.  When Kim was gone, I would wink at Annie, thanking her for bringing me back to Berkeley.

“It’s easier to watch people die than pets,” Derek Powell told me that August afternoon at Tahoe's Snowshed Wall.  Derek’s father worked as a zookeeper and than later ran a pet shop when Derek was young.  He spent much of his adolescence taking care of animals.  Kim had called me again, telling me that she was going to put Annie down the next day.
“My friend asked me to put his cat down.”  He said at the base of Little Feat.  He did not elaborate. 
“I had to spoon feed a parott before it died.” He added a few minutes later.
Derek works as a paramedic for the San Francisco fire department.  He’s seen hundreds of people die.  He’s never mentioned them but he did talk about the parrot and the cat.

Ernest Hemingway, in a letter to his friend, wrote of his cat Miss Uncle Willie, who was hit by a car.  The accident caused compound fractures and the cat was very hurt.  “It was a multiple compound fracture with much dirt in the wound and fragments protruding.  But he purred and seemed sure that I could fix it.”  Hemingway gave the cat some milk and than shot it in the head.   The stoic Hemingway cried.  “Certainly missed you.  Miss Uncle Willie,” wrote Hemingway.  “Have had to shoot people but never anyone I knew and loved for eleven years.  Nor anyone that purred with two broken legs.”  The death of a pet is a heavy thing.  They are part family.  

While I stayed in Tahoe, Annie slept on the bed with Kim that night.  She’d stared at the ice cream and raw chicken that Kim had placed in front of her. She did not wave her paw when it came by.  She did not purr.  “Annie just died.” Kim texted me at 4 a.m.

I keep looking for Annie. Though she didn’t leave her perch often, Kim’s apartment is a little quieter these days.  I’ll miss The Monster’s paw.

The Monster rules the apartment

From Harpers Vol. 325 No. 1946

From a February 22, 1953, letter from Ernest Hemingway to his close friend Gianfranco Ivancich.  The letter was purchased last year by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library for its Hemingway Collection and made available to scholars this March. The first volume of  The letters of Ernest Hemingway, a joint project of Cambridge University Press and the Ernest Hemingway Foundation, was published last year.
Dear Gianfranco,
            Just after I finished writing you and was putting the letter in the envelope Mary came down from the Torre and said, “Something terrible has happened to Willie.”  I went out and found Willie with both his right legs broken: one at the hip, the other below the knee.  A car must have run over him or somebody hit him with a club.  He had come all the way home on the two feet of one side.  It was a multiple compound fracture with much dirt in the wound and fragments protruding.  But he purred and seemed sure that I could fix it. 
            I had Rene get a bowl of Milk for him and Rene held him and caressed him and Willie was drinking the milk while I shot him through the head.  I don’t think he could have suffered and the nerves had been crushed so his legs had not begun to really hurt.  Monstruo wished to shoot him for me, but I could not delegate the responsibility or leave a chance of Will knowing anybody was killing him.
            Afyerwards I was crying when a Cadillac came to the door with a worse psyche than that big one I had to hit.  With him was his keeper.  I still had the rifle and I explained to them they had come at a bad time and to please understand and go away.  But the rich Cadillac pyscho said, “We have come at a most interesting time.  Just in time to see the great Hemingway cry because he has to kill a cat.”
            They were inside the house and so I locked both the doors and sent their chauffeur away.  The one said, “You have a gun.  There is always someone with a gun.”
            So I gave him the gun (cocked) and then he started to make compliments. So I took his horned-rim spectacles off and took the gun away from him and put it away in Mary’s room.  Then I humiliated him as he should be humiliated, omit details, and then the awful thing happened.  He thanked me and his keeper thanked me and said that was what he needed and what he came for. What sort of people are these?
            He was a rich boy, officer in 11th Airborne Div., which never jumped in combat (not their fault0; they would have made the assault in Japan if we had not used the atomic bomb and I suppose they never got over it.

            Certainly missed you.  Miss Uncle Willie.  Have had to shoot people but never anyone I knew and loved for eleven years.  Nor anyone that purred with two broken legs.

Interior book illustration

Illustration for a horror rpg book

Book cover

Wraparound book cover
Commission to http://judygoodwin.deviantart.com/
Available at http://www.amazon.com/Heart-of-the-Witch-ebook/dp/B00AR5HMZO/

South American Adventure! Blog 1: Travel to Bariloche

Sorry, it took so long to start blogging about the South American adventure. We had an insane amount of travel to get here. From start to finish it began in Reno to San Francisco, Texas, Panama, Santiago, Buenos Aires, then finally Bariloche. Through this epic travel we rushed like crazy, almost missed flights, enjoyed many beers, and experienced little sleep.

We are three days in now. We are staying at a lodge right at the base of the Catedral Alta Patagonia. This place is amazing! The culture is beautiful. Very loving and most importantly patient. My lack of spanish has made me very shy and timid. Which for those of you that know me, that's probably hard to believe. Josh has been trying a lot more and starting to learn the basics. 

The terrain is beautiful. Spires of rock everywhere. Plenty of rocks to jump off and for the biggest obstacle of all, beginner snowboarders and skiers. They are everywhere! This resort is know for sick terrain, yet they seem to market towards beginners.Which leaves a lot of nice terrain untouched. We are both jonesing to get into so back country. You will see why when you check out the pics!

The snow is not great mid mountain, but up high the snow has been pretty good. Looking for new snow in the forecast, which I hope means powder!

We have had surprise after surprise when it comes to people. The snow industry seems to get smaller and smaller, the more you travel. Between the two of us we have ran into around a dozen people we have met traveling or home, in the States.

Excited about the rest of the adventures to come. Please keep checking out up dates. It's great to share our adventure!

More to come.... Red Bull Beyond the Line! Check it out online at

Chris, Nati, Casey, and Josh enjoying a beer at Jackson's after a fun day of shredding.

The village at Catedral Alta Patagonia
They dress trees up here!
I will never forget this yellow lab stealing a ski pole from this woman, and running around with it! 

Phase 2 fundraising underway

Now that the necessary funds to construct a new playground in Lucas Park have been raised, Friends of Lucas Parks is launching phase 2 of our fundraising campaign. These funds will be directed towards the improvements inside the rest of Lucas Park including a revamped irrigation system, new grass, extensive landscaping, and other improvements. The cash that we need to raise in the next month to fully fund these phase 2 improvements is $30,000. We are off to a great start as Emerson has issued a letter offering to match $15,000 in donations from Downtown stakeholders dollar for dollar. Therefore, if we can raise $15,000 from Downtown stakeholders, Emerson will donate the remaining $15,000, completing our phase 2 fundraising. You are hereby challenged to help us achieve this match. We appreciate your generosity to date and truly believe that with your help raising these additional funds we will be able to fully achieve the neighborhood’s vision for Lucas Park.



$5,000 donation from St. Louis Composting

Friends of Lucas Park is thrilled to announce that St. Louis Composting  has agreed to donate 100 cubic yards of topsoil and compost to our efforts. These materials typically cost about $50 per cubic yard, so this incredible donation is worth $5,000 to our efforts. Jim Fetterman with DTLS Architects (the landscape architects who developed our site plan on a pro-bono basis) was a crucial partner in securing this donation. This donation will supply essentially all of the organic soil materials necessary to support our incredibly extensive landscaping plans. Thank you St. Louis Composting and DTLS Architects. This is a huge win for our project. Please consider patronizing these wonderful partners who regularly invest time and money in rebuilding our community.

Park Clean-up #2

Lucas Park clean up #2 will be held this Saturday Aug. 18th starting at 8:00am. Our focus this week will be site prep for the new playground. Equipment and water will be provided. 
Hope to see you there!

Nossas riquezas

Este é o tema da edição da Semana Farroupilha, que acontecerá de 13 a 20 de setembro. A nossa congregação, mais uma vez, estará celebrando este momento junto aos irmãos em nosso galpão crioulo. A programação seguirá o exemplo das outras duas edições: sempre à noite, teremos jantares típicos, devocionais e rodas de chimarrão com violeiros e gaiteiros.  Veja aqui a programação do evento.

A 3a edição da Semana Farroupilha da CEL São Lucas é mais um momento de integração e confraternização dos irmãos em Cristo. E o tema desta edição, “Nossas Riquezas”, nos leva a refletir não só sobre o nosso Estado e nosso amor e orgulho por ele, mas também sobre o Patrono celestial. Afinal, tudo o que somos e temos é obra de Deus. E o que temos feito para retribuir Suas dádivas? A começar por lembrar de agradecer a Ele por todas as bênçãos que nos tem concedido.

O povo gaúcho é muito orgulhoso de seus costumes. Das bombachas, ponchos, botas e vestidos de prenda, hoje o que restou com mais força foram o velho chimarrão e o sotaque. E como o gaúcho gosta de empunhar a cuia e trotear por aí falando pelos cotovelos, sem dar bola se alguém não entender o que é bah, barbaridade, tchê, tri, guri, baia, baita, lagartear, cusco, cacetinho, lomba, sinaleira e mais um monte de gírias gauchescas que já foram exportadas de tanto que se fala por esses rincões.

O Rio Grande do Sul também é berço da IELB, fundada em 1904, em São Pedro do Sul. Mas quando se trata de “vestir a camiseta” da Igreja, sobretudo de Deus, poucos o fazem verdadeiramente. Quero dizer que não saem por aí carregando a Bíblia como a cuia, nem proferindo o Evangelho como as gírias gauchescas. É diferente exibir o orgulho de ser Cristão como o de ser gaúcho. É difícil falar de algo que apenas se sente, agradecer e retribuir a alguém que não se vê, a esperar por promessas desconhecidas. Mas Jesus mesmo disse a seu discípulo Tomé, quando ressuscitou: “Você creu porque me viu? Felizes são os que não viram, mas assim mesmo creram!” (Jo 20.29). E como nos sentimos bem quando conversamos com Deus, como nos sentimos aliviados quando retribuímos a alguém com um simples gesto de amor, solidariedade, auxílio. Enchermo-nos de sentimentos bons traz paz e alegria a mente e coração. São as maravilhas do amor de Deus, as nossas riquezas celestiais.

Que todos sejam gratos e saibam retribuir e levar a palavra de Deus por todos os rincões afora.

Um quebra-costela e uma abençoada semana a todos!

Luana Lemke Guterres

...hello, wonder.

just checking in.

Lower Lewis Falls

Well a week or so back myself Olin and Brendon Wells decided to head to Lower Lewis falls for a little huck. The falls is around 35ft and really good to go at the right level.

The falls looking good to go stoked we had a good level.There is a little bit of a gnarly factor about the falls there is a really shitty pocket on hard river left what you wouldn't want to end up in pretty easy to stay well clear of just boof that shit!!!!

Olin scouting.The move is to boof the little weir right of centre which should set you up nicely for the falls

Olin lining her up!!

Showing nice form at the lip of the falls

Looking nice and steezy
Myself lining her up

About to air a fat boof

I decided that I didn't really want to mess with the cave so just just boofed the shit out of it ,got a little stomp.The hit was nice and soft happy days!!!

A really sweet shot at the pool below the falls (image Olin Wimberg)

Well stoked to tick of another sweet stout. Last year I was lucky enough to run the Upper Falls twice,the Upper Falls flows with high water and the Lower Falls you want low water!!!

Also big ups towards Brendon Wells who free wheeled the stout and styled it !!! (don't have any images)

Well stay posted for more updates

Heading back to BC in a week, cant wait!!!!


Park Clean-up #1

Today's park clean up was a big success.  Thanks to all the volunteers who came out to lend a hand.  The existing playground has been scrubbed down and the park has been cleared of all liter.  We will be back next week to do more playground site prep work.