Twas the Night before Christmas and Robin and Will are writing their holiday letter. Time just flies by these days.

2002 was a year of readjustment. The recent years have thrown so much at us, that we needed to take the time to re-center and re-establish our lives. We firmly believe that life is to be lived, not just drifted through, so we took the time to rebuild our foundations.

Will has been on a major project at work as the technical lead. It will go live in January and they are already starting on the next big project. His unit is now down to 5 people. The kicker is that at any time, 2 of them must carry the production support pagers and be available to respond. Will had Thanksgiving off and we are staying home for Christmas as a result. Our first Christmas at home!

Will is still going to school part time at SF State to finish his Bachelors in Computer Science. He is on the home stretch and if he gets the classes he needs he should finish Dec 2003 or latest June 2004.

I am still doing some arbitration and mediation. The new laws in California tried to gut the consumer arbitration programs, but I am still getting some business. I am also still doing a fair amount of mediation and facilitation as a volunteer with Peninsula Conflict Resolution.

There are several family related projects that I decided to take on. The first is working on the family genealogy. Because both sides of my family played a role in jewish life in the mid-1800';s west, they are part of history. There are several history projects underway and of course I want to make sure that the family is given the proper due for their contributions. Someone once said, that true immortality is being remembered. So this is a gift I can give. The second is finishing Grandma' Rytha';s book. Jeannie and Grandma had begun the editing process. I';m having the book converted from typed pages to the computer and then I can do a polish, add pictures, and footnotes. Then I';d like to take the bits I';ve collected on the rest of the family for some vignettes. Lastly, I have ended up with Grandpa Joe';s recipe collection and some family recipes that are quite old. It would be fun to put out a cookbook of family recipes. Think this line up of projects will keep me busy for a few years.

Our spare time has been spent in the Society for Creative Anachronism – that medieval organization we have both been involved with for a number of years. I continue to do needlework and run their Needlework Guild for the West Kingdom. I also took on coordinating their Arts and Sciences for the Bay Area region and will soon change over to doing the coordination for the whole West Kingdom. It is work, but really rewarding. Will has been qualified as a fighter and enjoys going to wars in particular. The group differs from Civil War re-enactment, in that the scenarios are not scripted as to who wins or how. Much more challenging. You can see pictures of the Great Western War, including one of Will (shield back showing).

My needlework is improving thanks in large part to the mentoring and friendship of a world class teacher Linn Skinner . I am also teaching needlework both within the SCA and for various local Embroiderers Guild of America chapters. This also means I have been designing both classes and projects. Now if I can only find the time to stitch and do some of those unfinished projects <grin>.

Our vacation this year, included keeping our promise to our selves to go back to Europe at least once every 5 year. Our 15 day trip consisted of flying to Venice - 2 days to enjoy the romance of the city, 10 day cruise on the Golden Princess landing in Barcelona where we took another couple days before returning. The ship stopped in Athens (Parthanon, antiquities museum and shopping), Malta (Medina and Valetta - the new city founded in the 1500';s), Naples (Pompeii) , Livorno (Florence), Nice (supposed to have been Monte Carlo, but the storms prevented us from stopping), and then Barcelona. It was WONDERFUL, very romantic, and the perfect present to ourselves for our 5th anniversary.

With all the happenings, we haven';t kept our website ( up to date. Hope to do that in the new year. The initial revisions have been made, but need to redo the content. So do check in periodically and hopefully we will have some new stuff up soon.

Musings on our life would not be complete without mentioning Pete our very loving cat. He works very hard at keeping us in line. He is Mr. Personality and definitely has completed his Ph.D. in cuteness.

In 2004 we hope to be doing more with our other organizations and get back to doing some dancing. We also hope to see more of our friends and family.

May 2004 bring you much happiness and good health.