Here We Go Again!


John Walter Greenwood was born March 18, 2010 at 08:05. He weighed 11 pounds 2 ounces and was 21.5 inches long at birth. You can see the birth announcement on the “Mercy Online Nursery”:

Family and friends can see more pictures on Flickr here, but you’ll have to log in to see them all: “”:

We are not really registered anywhere, since we have so much stuff from Richard. If you really want to get us something, wait until we get a house, then you can get something for the kids room.

House Hunting

We have been looking to buy a house for many months now. The place we currently live is: 1. Too small, 2. A rental, 3. On a steep hill. We’ve wanted to buy a house for some time, but it hasn’t been the right time, until now. With the money we’ve saved up, the depressed housing market, and the second kid on the way, we decided now is the time. After six months of looking, and figuring out exactly what we wanted and could afford (and which of the things we want we could live without), we’ve finally started finding houses we want to buy. Unfortunately so far, so have other people. People with more money…and better timing. Each property we’ve liked that has been in our price range has had an offer accepted on it before we could make one. The first house we actually submitted an offer for had been on the market for two months, but someone else submitted an offer on the the same day we did, and for more money. We just submitted an offer on another property, and are waiting to hear back. It was put on the market Friday afternoon and it already had an offer on it Friday night. We saw it on Saturday, and immediately submitted an offer. They will probably accept offers through the end of today (Monday) and make a decision in the next couple of days, so now we wait.

A Year on Hiatus

OK, so it’s been a while since I posted anything. There are many reasons (or excuses) for this, but none of them are very good. Mostly, I’ve just been lazy. What follows is a quick overview of the last year, which included more weekends away from home than at home. I may expand on some of these things in future posts, and I will hopefully post more in the future.

My last post heralded the arrival of my son, Richard Michael. Two weeks after that, I took part in the first of five, wait, make that six weddings, plus several associated events. For some reason, all of my friends decided they had to get married last year. Fortunately, many of them got married to each other, so the number of weddings wasn’t as bad as it could have been. We went to weddings in San Francisco, Hayfork, Lake Tahoe, Sausalito, Folsom, then Weaverville. The last one wasn’t announced until after the rest were over, so we were only planning on five, but ended up going to six, though the sixth was close enough to home that we could sleep in our own bed. Most of the weddings we just had to show up to, but I was a groomsman in my brother’s and best man in Rob’s. It could have been worse though, one of the couples went to seven weddings, one of which was their own, and two of which were during their honeymoon.

Most years, I end up spending several weekends at various triathlons (and one marathon) throughout the state. Not competing, mind you, but working in various support roles. I missed Wildflower because of my brother’s wedding, but I made it to See Jane Run in Oakland, the Escape from Alcatraz Traithlon (San Francisco), the San Luis Obispo Triathlon, the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island, and the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. See Jane Run was a new event for me this year, but my role was mostly limited to driving a truck around while people loaded or unloaded stuff. Normally, Molly stays home for these events, but since she was out on maternity leave, she came with me to this one and we got to see some family and friends while we were there. The San Luis Obispo Triathlon is always fun, since a bunch of us who normally have lots of responsibility at triathlons go to just hand out water at an aid stations. Our goal is to show people how an aid station should be run, including a theme, lots of shade, hot meals for breakfast and lunch, and this year, I even brought my RV. I didn’t get much rest the night before, though, since I spend most of the night before cleaning up after and trapping the family of mice that had taken up residence while it was in storage.

Our travel wasn’t all work and weddings, we took a couple of mini vacations too. In May, we went to the “West Coast Brew Fest”: with several friends that live in the Sacramento area, and one that flew in from southern California.. It was a lot of fun, the price of admission includes unlimited beer tasting. Well, sort of unlimited, since all of the good booths had lines that were longer than it took to finish the little cup they served in. It was still lots of fun, and we drank lots of beer, a little “cider”: , and not enough water.

We spend labor day weekend on the northern California coast. One of the things I like most about owning an RV is we can just hook up and go without much planning (assuming we don’t have to first evict any rodents). We didn’t call ahead and make any reservations, we didn’t even know where we wanted to stay. I just printed out a bunch of search results for RV parks between Eureka and the Oregon border and we drove over to Eureka. After hanging around Eureka and having dinner at a great little sushi place called “Samurai”:,+eureka,+ca&sll=40.802164,-124.16467&sspn=0.010168,0.022745&gl=us&ie=UTF8&ll=40.802375,-124.164648&spn=0.040672,0.090981&t=h&z=14&iwloc=A we called down the list until we found a place to stay. It only took two tries, and the first number had been disconnected. We ended up at the “Mystic Forest RV Park”: in Klamath. It was a great location, and we took day trips from there to Crescent City and other surrounding areas. The RV park office gave us a great, hand-drawn map of local places to see, including a scenic drive through the redwoods that was mostly unpaved and a lot of fun.

Those weekends we were at home during the summer, we mostly stayed inside, since the whole area was surrounded by wildfires. The smoke was so thick in the valley we live in that we couldn’t even see across the street clearly. We couldn’t go hiking, or even do yard work. They even canceled our county fair because of the fires, not because of the smoke or any danger, but because the fairgrounds made more money housing the fire crews than from the fair. It’s a shame, too, because they finally added a Beer category and I was going to enter.

This time around, we spent Thanksgiving with my family in southern California, where Richard Michael got to spend some quality time with his great grandmother, though I doubt he’ll remember. While we were there, we had dinner with some of my friends from high school. Since everyone there had young kids, we spend most of the time in their playroom, watching the kids. It was a great opportunity to share tips and see what toys were being actually used. Other than that, we spent most of the time hanging out at my parents house or my grandma’s house enjoying the air conditioning and the company.

Christmas brought some sad news. Just a few days before Christmas, my dad called to tell me that my grandma had passed away. It was unexpected, but not surprising. Her health had been failing for many years, but when we saw her at Thanksgiving, she was doing better than usual. I think having all the family home helped raise her spirits more than anything, and I’m glad we got to spend as much time as we did with her. As a family, we decided to postpone the memorial service until all the holiday madness was over, and things calmed down a bit. We ended up having the services in February. The memorial was great, there were people we hadn’t seen in years and stories we hadn’t heard in years, if ever. The day after, we drove down to San Diego for the interment at the Rosecrans National Cemetery, where my grandpa is also buried. There was a nice short ceremony, then we went to visit the grave site and say our goodbyes. We spent the rest of the day driving around San Diego, visiting places we used to know when my grandparents lived there. We ended up stayed with my parents for the whole week afterward to help go through her house and pack some things away.

He’s Here!


Richard Michael Greenwood was born April 15, 2008 at 08:58. He weighed 8 pounds 10 ounces and was 20 inches long at birth. You can see the birth announcement on the “Mercy Online Nursery”:

Family and friends can see more pictures on Flickr here, but you’ll have to log in to see them all: “”:

We are registered at “Babies’R’Us”:
Many of the things we’re registered for are also available at Target if there isn’t a Babies’R’Us near you. (There isn’t one near us either.)

Baby on the way

Well only a month to go, and then we will have some pictures of our little one. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you on the 29th of March for the Baby Shower. If you have some pictures of me with the baby in the oven that you think I should post please e-mail them to me, I seem to not have any myself.

Yep, we are still waiting to find out if it is a girl or boy, though I’m thinking of starting a pool as so many people are sure they know what we’re having.


!/images/5.jpg (Maggie)!

Maggie’s story began around 14 years ago in or around San Luis Obispo, CA. The details are a little fuzzy, as they are for most adopted dogs, but by the time I met her, she had already had a long, hard life. Maggie’ story intersected mine in December of 1999, when I moved into the house on Branch Street in SLO. She was the quieter of two dogs living in the back yard. The other, Bacchus, belonged to the couple living in the back house and he and Lilly (my other dog) made quick work of the fence separating the yards so they could play. The couple also cared for Maggie, but she belonged to the house. She was old, she had rough skin and thinning fur, she spent a lot of time sleeping, but she would occasionally bring you a tennis ball to throw. When the couple in back would go out of town, I would feed Bacchus and Maggie, and give Maggie her medication in some peanut butter.

Some time in 2000 or 2001, the couple in back moved out to Cayucos, but they only took Bacchus. Maggie was left in my care. My dogs have always been allowed in the house, so I decided to let Maggie in too. It took the better part of a week before she felt comfortable enough to come through the door, she had been outside her whole life, but she finally came into my house, and my family. After a while, her skin softened and her fur filled in, and her energy level rose, and she started bringing the ball more often. I still gave her medication in peanut butter, but I was able to lower the dose. After a while, I got tired of saying the landlords last name when I called the vet, so when her license was due, I switched all her records to my name.

After this point, I began to take her with me whenever I travelled, as I had always done with Lilly. She was always ready to get in the truck and go, and always happy to get home. In addition to bringing another dog with me, I always had to remember to bring one more thing…the ball. She travelled with me whenever I went to visit my parents, and when I started driving to Hayfork to visit Molly’s parents, she came too. The first time I drove to Hayfork, it was straight from Christmas at my parents with all my stuff and two dogs crammed in Molly’s Geo, then home to SLO with Molly, all our stuff, all our presents, and two dogs sitting on top of everything crammed in Molly’s Geo. I think we were all happy to get home.

It was around that time that Maggie’s age started to show. Since I had started taking care of her, she had become full of life and energy, like she was having a second puppyhood, but age catches up to everything. Her eyesight and hearing started to fail. She could no longer see well enough to find the ball, so we bought her one that flashed, and she was happy again. As her eyes and ears continued to fail, she began to rely more and more on her favorite sense, her sense of smell. We had to keep a closer eye on her when we let her out, she would pick up a scent, lock on to it, and follow it wherever it led her. She couldn’t hear us calling her back (or she used her hearing as a convenient excuse to ignore us) and we had to walk over and touch her to bring her out of her scent trance. The biggest blow was in the fall of 2005, when she tore a tendon in her back leg. It wouldn’t heal on it’s own, and she developed a painful limp. Worst of all, it was seriously aggravated by the thing she loved doing the most, chasing the ball. This was most distressing to all of us, so I got everything set up with the vet to surgically repair her hind leg, but when she went in for pre-surgery blood work, it came back with problems. She wasn’t healthy enough to have surgery. That holiday season, she went with us to visit our families for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but she wasn’t herself. I started to fear she wasn’t going to be around much longer.

After all the holiday stress and travelling, she rebounded. She got her energy back, and was able to compensate for her leg, though we still kept an eye on it and stopped throwing the ball when she started limping. I was worried she would have problems when we moved to Hayfork in the fall of 2006, but she had spent enough time on the ranch during holiday visits and the wedding that she didn’t seem to mind. Shortly after that, we moved over the hill to Weaverville, were we both work, and she moved right in with us. Maggie seemed to take all the stress and changes 2006 presented in stride, and I think she welcomed the move, since she would finally have a nice lawn to chase the ball across, instead of concrete.

As the four of us (Me, Molly, Maggie, and Lilly) entered 2007, we looked forward to the new year, but as we relaxed on the couch watching a late night movie, things took a turn for the worse. We heard a thump in the bedroom that didn’t sound right. When I went to investigate, I found Maggie lying on the floor having a seizure. After a while, it passed, and a few minutes later she was up and around again, if only a little wobbly. We snuggled with her on the couch for a while, and it wasn’t long before she found her ball and brought it to us to throw. We though the worst had passed. About half an hour later, we realized the worst had yet to come when we found her on the bathroom floor seizing again. This one was worse. When it was over, it took her a long time to regain control of her body, and even longer to stand up. Once she was walking again, it was clear that something wasn’t right. She was walking, but she couldn’t see. I put the leash on her and acted as her seeing-eye-human as we walked around the house. Molly and I decided to take her to the emergency vet in Redding, so we loaded her up (and Lilly) and drove 45 minutes through the fog. On the way, I drove, Lilly sat up front, and Molly sat in back with Maggie, who continued have siezures. By the time we got to the vet, she was seizing most of the time. We loaded her onto a stretcher and carried her in. When she wasn’t having a seizure, it was clear that she wasn’t healthy. She was unresponsive and her eyes were vacant. The vet sedated her to stop the seizures, and we talked about what to do next. We decided to try some anti-seizure medications and left her with the vet to see if there was any improvement. That evening, we called, but the news wasn’t any better. The vet was keeping here comfortable, and wanted to try one more drug. The next day we went back out to Redding to see her and talk to the vet. The seizures had mostly stopped, but Maggie wasn’t happy. After several hours without sedation, she still didn’t have much control over her muscles, and she was still unresponsive. It was clear that she was scared and confused because she didn’t know what was going on and her muscles weren’t doing what she told them to do. It was then that we made the hardest decision we have had to make. Maggies story ended the evening of January 4th, 2007, but she will always be remembered by those who threw the ball.

If you have a favorite Maggie story or picture, please add a comment to this post. If you feel the need to send us money or gifts, please donate to your local animal shelter in her name or adopt a lonely dog from one and make your own story.