Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Great Weekend

Thanksgiving week 2008.
This has been a pretty good weekend. We had Thanksgiving weekend with Marla's mom. She cooked a great dinner. We had Jared and Thea with us for dinner. I had'nt seen Jared since he went back to Reno in August. He seems happy in what he is doing in school and doing well studying horticulture and Arbors. He has a job working for the Rail City Garden Center in Sparks. This could lead him into an Arborist position that he is working towards. He is pretty excited to be playing drums for a band in Reno. The Darlings. It is discribed as a "Rockabilly" band. They have a CD out that he brought for us to listen to. The closest I can describe it is like Johnny Cash. Who would have thought that after all of the music lessons, it would be Jared actually being paid as a professional musician. After dinner we went to see the latest movie with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman called Austrailia. It was a pretty good movie. I was a little sad for the day. I was missing Jesse and Sara. After so many holidays together it always seems something is missing if we are not all together.

Saturday was near perfect. It started at Three AM. Up and ready to drive Marla to the airport for a 6:00 AM flight to Michigan to spend time watching grandbabies while Jesse and Cori go house hunting in Illinois. Then I had breakfast at Denny's ( French toast) while waiting for the airport hanger to open. I preflighted the Musketeer and with 22 degree tempuratures and just me in the cockpit, I was up to 11,500 over Lake Tahoe in no time. I started to get moderate turbulance and took her down over Hope, Faith and Charity Valleys and back into the Carson Valley. A squeaker landing and one more just for practice and put the Musketeer back in the hanger. Then back home for some left over Thanksgiving pie with a Sherlock Holmes movie. A few chores and some grocery shopping for me and Thea while Marla is gone. Then lunch to a John Wayne movie (Comancheros). Then some time with the horses, a little lunge work. Next prepared some turkey enchiladas that Thea and I enjoyed for dinner and a James Bond Movie.

Other than being up at 3:00 AM and having to say good bye to Marla for a week it was a great day.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jeff and Thea's Trip to Brooks Institute Santa Barbara

The college search for Thea continues this week. We drove to Santa Barbara to tour and check out Brooks Institute, one of the premiere photography schools in the country. We were very impressed by the program and facilities. Brooks is all the business of photography. Very business like. They seem a little pushy to get Thea signed up. I don't know why it is so hard for them to understand that we plan on seeing the school before committing to the program. Santa Barbara seems like a great college town. Very nice weather and a beautiful atmosphere. Now Thea has to decide between Brooks and Academy of Art University.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jeff and Thea's road trip.

It's college search time for Thea. The older girls were easy. BYU Utah for Jesse and BYU Hawaii for Sara. Marla and I are BYU Alumni so we knew exactly what they were in for. Jared is at UNR and TMCC both familiar entities. The world of art schools is completely foriegn to me and a little scary. After recommendations and internet searches, Thea has narrowed the search down to three. California College of the Arts in Oakland, Academy of Art University in San Francisco and Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara. This past week end we went to the Bay area to check out CA and AAU.

We first visited California College of Art (CA) in Oakland. The campus was a hodgepodge of old big houses and other buildings. It seemed like a hippy camp to me. My test of any organization's attention to detail is how clean the bathrooms are. Theirs were smelly, dirty and covered in graffiti. For thirty thousand a year you'd think they could clean the bathrooms. I didn't say anything to Thea at the time but was very relieved when she said she didn't think CA was for her.

Academy of Art University in San Francisco was a completely different story. Eight thousand student enrollment and a very organized professional operation. They have 30 buildings in down town San Francisco. The housing is in old converted hotel buildings. It is half the cost of CA and yes the bathrooms are clean. They have their own bus system that shuttles students between the classroom buildings and housing buildings. Thea is very excited about the school and the photography program they have. Next weekend we go to check out Brooks in Santa Barbara. She has been accepted into both schools.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Train to Potevka

Saturday was one of those "got all the yard work done" (but not really), "I'm exhausted and discouaged from work" "feeling sorry for my self and don't really want to do anything days". It was rainy and windy outside , too early for skiing, too nasty outside for yardwork or horse work kind of days. I did three miles on the treadmill, prepared the Sunday School lesson on the gathering of Israel and then found my self with nothing I wanted to do. (there is always something that should be done.)

So I did something I haven't done in a long time. I pulled a book off the shelf and started reading. I have had two people give me this book "A Train to Poevka" by Mike Ramsdell and I can't remember who they were. The book has sat on the shelf for a couple of years. It is about a spy in Russia on a ailed clandestine mission to extract nasty mafia types to stand international trail. I was expecting a James Bond type of read but it is turning out be a more introspective work on the blessing of America, family, simple pleasures of food and friends. I've been reminded of the horrible oppression of the Soviet Empire and the hopelessness of people under that system of government. It has been a surprising and touching good read. My problems seem small and insignificant and blessing we enjoy in this country are tremendous.