OK, first let's come clean, I'm post-dating - it's not December 1999 right now, it's March 2000. I was so busy getting VB HyperDocs out that really important things like the GWFPP got neglected. Once VBHD was out, I realized that WhippleWare's main product (VB Compress Pro) was starting to look a little long in the tooth, and immediately began work on the next version. It's not done yet, but enough's enough. I can't sleep nights while depriving the world wide web of family pictures just because I need to make a living. So here comes GWFPP for late November 1999 through February 2000.
The Gladstone-Whipple family (GWF) ended the last millenium and began the new one with a lot of celebrations, from Thanksgiving to the 3 Guys party to Liz's birthday to Christmas to Channukah to Nan's birthday. (For those of you tempted to point out that the millenium doesn't really end until next year, thank you in advance for keeping your calendar correctness to yourself). For Thanksgiving, we traveled to Cohasset, Mass, where my folks still live in the big old house where I grew up. Carol helped Grandma Jackie (that's my mom, Jacqueline Conant Whipple) cook in the kitchen
but also found time to look sultry and help Grandpa Dave drink wine in the dining room.
In fact, Dad seems to be pretty good at getting his daughters-in-law to relax - here he is with Nancy Whipple, my brother ("Chainsaw Roger")'s wife:
And here's my sister Nancy Grinnell with her oldest daughter Lucy
Lucy is just about to graduate from Sarah Lawrence and spends a lot of her time fighting for social justice in Nicaragua, but found time over the holidays to join her siblings Geoffrey and Lydia and throw beanbags (historical note: their target is a clown that yours truly aimed at circa 1960)
Before moving on to Channukah (that's "honica" for those of you not familiar with Jewish holidays), time for the obligatory home improvements. I pretty much stopped working on outdoor house projects when the temp dropped into the 20's, but one day wild man Gary showed up with our chimney caps:
Why "wild man?" Well, first, the wind-chill was about 15 degrees below zero when I took these pics of him running around on the roof with no gloves, hat or coat (just a sweatshirt). Second, while I was contemplating how he was ever going to get these big 50 lb awkward hunks of metal up our very steep roof, he grabbed them and sprinted up the slate. A truly amazing performance. If you live near Boston and need chimney work, by all means call Gary at American Chimney Pros. Hey Gary, when are you going to come back and clean the smoke shelf?
Time for more holidays and finally pictures of the kids. Here's Liz with her first Channukah present (Liz likes markers!)
And speaking of Liz, here's her impression of the Flying Nun
With Liz's 4th birthday coming, Carol started thinking about party activities. She decided to experiment with having kids bake and then decorate cookies. Here Carol, Mimi, and Liz do a test run
By the way, did you happen to read about the "heating oil crisis in the Northeast"? We're living in our first oil-heated house (with no insulation and lots of rotten windows), and I certainly noticed when the price of heating oil went from 75 cents/gallon to $1.12 to $1.49 to $1.75 to $2.10! I mention this just in case you're wondering why Carol is wearing a scarf in the kitchen. "Get away from the thermostat!" I screamed. "Of course you're cold -- you're only wearing one coat!"
Anyway, making cookies (and cleaning up) became a favorite activity
Liz turned 4 on Dec 20. At the "Pretty Pink Princess" party, the kids had to walk the plank
before they could eat the cake
or wack the pink flamingo pinăta
This is Liz's friend Anna Lin, one of my favorite little girls in the whole world. I think she's going to be president some day.
For Christmas we went back to Cohasset, where David got some cool spy binoculars
David woke up one December morning and announced that it was time to unpack the "red pipey stuff" and build a new tower. Red pipey stuff is a very neat construction system from Germany called Quadro. It probably costs a gazillion $, but Carol spotted a ton of it in the basement of a friend with grown children, and asked if they were done with it. They were, and we've had endless fun with it ever since. David and Joseph and I built the new tower, then Mimi and Liz helped check it out.
Another December day I heard chain saws and looked out my office window to see a crew taking down a magnificent birch tree in a neighbor's yard. I made a note to go down and ask what they were going to do with the wood (we have those newly capped chimneys, after all!). A few minutes later I got my answer when I heard an enormous roar and looked out again to see them feeding 12" diameter branches into the biggest chipper I've ever seen. I went running down and hollered that they should just throw it all over the hedge into the yard. I was too late for everything except the very large bole, which shook the ground when they dropped it with their crane. I asked my brother Roger a) did he have a chainsaw, and b) could I borrow it. Yes he did, and No I couldn't, he said (I'm sure he remembers just how much of his stuff I ruined as his little brother), but he remarked further that cutting up trees was one of his favorite things to do, and he made house calls. So he did:
leaving the yard full of 20-30" diameter logs in need of splitting. As an ex-carpenter, I take great pride in David's developing skills with a hammer
though once in a while he seems to forget a trick or two (Ouch!)
I'd better stop adding pictures to this already-too-large page. Happy New Year!
Next Month (coming soon)