|Click on any of the
images below for a larger picture. Go ahead: you've already
loaded the larger image when you loaded this page.
Family in Julian for dinner
on Halloween Eve.
House building in Tijuana,
Doug works to cut off his
angle before the attacker can shoot.
Brad hits the ground on
defense to grab a loose ball.
Keith making use of wireless
router and working from home on the deck..
Dancer in front of
Brad before and after braces.
Doug and Keith on top of
Cowles Mountain with downtown San Diego somewhere in the back.
"Woof! Woof! Woof!" must
mean "Encore!" or "Bravo!" because that's all Dancer does when Doug
practices trombone around her.
Doug the old man with his
trophy wife, Rilena.
Keith and Kristi ARE Jerry
Garcia and Grace Slick for a costume Halloween party.
|Autumn has arrived.
There are those here that claim San Diego, blessed with a Mediterranean
climate, doesn’t have four seasons. Those people are either
uninformed or unobservant. They are most certainly from Someplace Else,
and will happily tell you in one breath that they enjoy San Diego’s
fantastic weather, while bemoaning in the next breath the lack of
seasons, as if seasons are not defined by their accompanying
weather. They love the sunshine but miss the snow. They
like the tropical scenery, but wish palm fronds would turn orange and
float to ground on the October breeze.
|You know these San
Diego-transplants: they’re the same ones who tell you how much more
they enjoy living here, in their adopted home town of San Diego, than
the rust belt city that they grew up in but couldn't wait to leave when
they graduated high school. But
then they go to Chargers and Padres games to root for the rust belt
visiting team (e.g. the Packers, the Cubs,
the Steelers) or some team from older days and colder climes (e.g. the
Dodgers, the Raiders).
|Keith will admit to
being guilty of the same crime during his youthful courtship of
Kristi. Since New Mexico’s
of professional sports teams begins and ends with the triple A baseball
club in Albuquerque, Keith had to satisfy himself with taking Kristi to
Diego State basketball games and cheering for the University of New
Mexico Lobos when they came to
town. I digress, but the point is he grew out of his lamentable
support for the visitors
(although he never out grew his love of Kristi). I say after five
years in a new
city, you’ve put down roots, and one of those roots is cheering for the
local home team.
|Fall is in the air. Here
then are Keith’s sure-fire signs that autumn has arrived in San Diego.
- The sand isn’t so hot that it burns your
feet on the volleyball court at lunchtime.
- Brad spends every Friday night at a high
school football game somewhere.
- Mom makes protesting boys wear
sweatshirts to school. (It’s a sign of winter when they wear them
- The ever-earlier encroachment of evening
is accompanied by the fragrance of wood burning fireplaces. Not
that any house in San Diego actually needs to be warmed by burning of
organic matter, but expatriates from colder climbs are eager to
recreate the olfactory component of their more hallowed autumnal
memories. (Recycle rant from above, now.)
|The church youth group
went on a Mexico house building trip on October first. Keith went
too, both to support the youth group and because it had been too long
since he last participated in this kind of service. Brad is older
and stronger and did a commensurately better job this time compared to when
we last went in November 2003. It’s good to have a kid who is
fired up and enjoys doing this kind of service when service starts to
count next year towards college applications.
|Beef fondue was a family
favorite growing up in the Sherwood household. As early as he can
remember Keith requested it for his birthday dinner meal. And he
still does today, although now we use chicken broth instead of oil, and
cook vegetables and other meat in addition to beef. Having been
exposed, the boys now really enjoy cooking their own food and dipping
it in a variety of sauces, and now often request it as their birthday
meal as well. So it was only right that for Keith’s birthday
dinner this year, it was a family affair at a fondue restaurant in La
Jolla. It was the boys’ first experience with both cheese fondue
and chocolate fondue, and everyone enjoyed the experience thoroughly.
|Since Keith started his
new position in March (which was really is old position with some new
responsibilities) he has been a satellite worker from his new boss and
team in Plano, Texas. Since he’s remote whether he’s at home or
in the office, he’s begun working one day a week from home.
Between his work laptop, high speed cable modem and wireless router,
and Virtual Private Network connection to Intuit, there is very little
he can do at work that he can’t do at home, except play volleyball at
|We have a very smart but
naughty dog. Dancer has learned how to open the back gate if it is not
fully secured. The fence gate has a spring on it to draw it
closed, but the latching hardware no long works. Dancer has
learned that if the gate isn’t latched, she can paw the gate open
against the tension of the spring wide enough to insert her nose.
From there she has more than enough leverage against the spring.
She only escapes when she is left home alone in the back yard.
Neighbors have had to bring her home multiple times the last couple of
months. We’ve resorted to blocking the gate with trash cans.
|The boys have settled
into school rather well. With Brad in eighth and Doug in fifth,
each boy is in the top class at their respective schools, with a
graduation to look forward to at the end of the school year. While Doug
will keep the Sherwood name in the Halls of Mesa Verde Middle School as
Brad moves on to Westview High School, this is our ninth and final year
at Deer Canyon Elementary. Every annual event there is tinged
with the melancholy knowledge that it is our last. Kristi has
been consciously disconnecting for the last two years (she stopped
doing the school directory last year), and is now amazed at how few
people she knows. On the other hand, people recognize her as a
font of knowledge and experience, and she is often asked questions by
other mothers of younger children.
|After a two year
reprieve, Brad started his second bout of braces this month. It
is hard to tell if he’s more upset over the initial discomfort (of
eating, playing trumpet, etc.) or the prospect of wearing them into
high school. In either case, he was pretty baleful for a week,
but it was a non-issue by the end of the month.
|Keith used to climb
mountains in his youth. He’s climbed 20 of Colorado’s 54 peaks
over 14,000 feet, called “fourteeners.” He’s climbed two in a
day, three in two days, and once even three in a single day. But
nothing compared to what he accomplished one weekend this month: two
fifteeners in two days. One Saturday he rode his bike up Black
Mountain, the 1551 foot tall mountain behind our house, then the next
day he and Doug hiked up 1591 ft. Cowles Mountain.
|Kristi completed her
work on the Mesa Verde Middle School directory, distributing 1000
copies this month. The directory is really three separate jobs over
three months: create the information form, get it approved and
distributed, then collected; collate the information and layout in a
pleasing format; then select vendor, review galleys and oversee print
run, and distribute. Kristi's organizational skills, knowledge of
the workings of the school administration, and most of all her work
experience as a marketing publications manager all make her a uniquely
qualified volunteer for the job.
|Kristi and Keith are
both re-engaging at Church. The fall Wednesday night program
started this month, and Kristi is again taken it upon herself to
provide the dinner for 30-40 people. Every Wednesday it’s off to
Costco and Vons to purchase the evenings’ food, then whatever
pre-preparations that can be done ahead of time in her own kitchen. And
Keith agreed when asked to serve on the bylaws committee.
|October ends, of course,
with Halloween. Both boys have transitioned to the point where
it's not about candy, but about going out with your friends. The
main difference is that in elementary school it is still cool to dress
up, sometimes elaborately, whereas in middle school it is obviously
uncool to put any thought or preparation into a costume. This
theory is easily confirmed by noting the "costumes" the older kids
appear in. This year Brad succumbed to this line of thought and
just put on the wig and beard from last year and nothing more.
Doug reprised his old man costume from two years ago because it is a
good one, and didn't get its due during the muted Halloween immediately
after the fire.
|The bigger change this
Halloween, however, was that Keith and Kristi abandoned 15 years of
Halloween abstinence and dressed up to go to a party. They took
great strides outside their comfort zone. And while Halloween
hasn't escaped their dog house of "least favorite holiday," they did
They read it
Brad: The Head Game, Kahn (adult
baseball book on the history of pitching)
Doug: Keys to the Kingdom series (Nix): Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, Drowned
They said it
explaining succinctly what parents have to learn about his teacher, Mr.
Bueker: “We had a substitute for Mr. Bueker today. She
taught a lot more, but we learned a lot less.”
and Keith, discussing next
summer’s vacation possibilities. Keith “There are some places there I
bet the boys would really enjoy seeing.” Kristi, downcast face,
mock tears. Keith, immediately understanding, “I know,
honey, only a
few more summers left of family vacations before the boys are grown
up.” Kristi, smiling, “Yeah, and then we can go where
"Why the sigh?"
wasn't a sigh, it was a yawn. Well, really it was a
sigh-yawn. (Pause) Was it good? Do I deserve the Sigh-Yawn
Doug, noticing the two rotisserie
chickens set out for dinner when usually one will suffice: "Two
chickens, mom?" Kristi: "Yes,
I was in a fowl mood." (To which Douglas
responded, "Was it something we did?")
Keith is asking Doug a question from
a book about historical baseball fields (Which is the only park to host
three different professional teams?), when Brad pipes in: “I read that book.” Keith: “How can you say you’ve read
the book when you can’t even answer a question from the first sentence
in the first chapter?” Brad,
“Well, I read the good parts.” Keith:
“By good parts, I suppose you mean the captions under the
pictures?” Brad, “Well,
You could have clicked it
Links above you may have missed:
All of this month's pictures
All of this months pictures may be
viewed at virtualsherwoods.shutterfly.com.
and condemnations may be forwarded
to VirtualSherwoods.com, preceded by 'Keith@'.
and pictures copyright 2005 by Keith Sherwood. All rights,
writes, and rites reserved.