Halloween in rainy upstate NY

Will is okay wearing his costume, except for the flappy ears

Our town has 2 particularly interesting holidays, in which the town seems to double in size and people come out in droves.  Memorial Day is one, in which the Clinton Canoe Regatta ends in our town with festivities and a full fair in the park.  The other is Halloween, whereby we get close to 200 trick or treaters in 2 hours.  This year, we ran out of candy.

I think we probably have about 1200 people in our little village, so you can imagine how full our street is with that many people and kids out on doorsteps.  I’m not sure where they come from or where they all go, either, as I can only see 2 other homes with lights on our street.  However, I do know that we have enjoyed our 4th fall sitting on our porch in blankets and sweaters handing out candy.  Most kids have homemade costumes, and I love it.  I just want to give them handfuls of candy, but since a bag of 50 pieces costs $15.00 or so, you can do the math.  I suggested that we hand out prizes last year and Bill nixed the idea suggesting that anything less than candy was a torment to the children.  So, we attribute to local dental issues.

Our friends from Astoria, Kris and Esther!

This year, we were pleased to have Will understand what it means to give away candy.  He was greatly stressed when kids kept coming and going.  He wanted to play with everyone and even followed a few kids down the sidewalk.  So, we encouraged him to put boxes of lemonheads in people’s bags and he felt better.  His leftover costume from last year kept him a bit warmer, too.  We were thrilled to have company on Halloween.  Our Astoria friends, Kris and Esthercame up for a few days and were able to dole out candy with us and sip on hard cider.  How fun for us to have great visitors.  Thank you so much for coming Kris and Esther!

Heidi does not like her costume. If you cannot tell, she is a bat, wearing a t-shirt. 🙂

Merry Christmas

Getting ready for the family portrait

Last year at this time we were planning on the arrival of our son and frantically getting our bedroom in place so that we would have some semblance of sanity and a “nursery”.  I can’t believe that the year has rolled around this quickly and we have completed our bedroom, the formal nursery and now the living room.  It has flown by in so many ways.  With William August’s arrival on February 22nd, our lives changed drastically for the better albeit with a lot less sleep.  We are a happy thriving family of four now and look forward to sharing 2012 with all of you.

Whatever holiday you celebrate, wherever and whenever… here’s wishing you and yours a very happy, very merry, very peaceful and rich Holiday and New Year from Bill, Karyn and Will… and Heidi too!

Finally. . . our Victorian Living Room!

Bill repainting the living room

Whew, it has been a big and busy year for the Berthels.  We moved back into the living room this weekend, after putting on the sixth and final coat of ceiling paint.  Yeah, six.  Well, you heard about it being too glossy.  Then, we needed to put on 3 coats of matte to get it just right.  I can’t say I’m completely pleased, as I am a precise and finicky painter, but it is livable.  We cleaned the woodwork, scoured the floor, touched up the walls and moved back in.  I still need to oil the woodwork and Bill is finishing the mantel detail, but we moved in.  And, we need to hang the light.  I think we’re both worn out, though, frankly.

To recap 2011, we opened the year with a full pregnancy on my part and Bill hurriedly moving through the floor in the master bedroom so that we could have a place to settle the baby.  We spent the first four months living in the guest room and downstairs because the smell of those floors was so strong.  The newborn took all of our energy and time, and yet, we began putting up sheetrock.  AND while we were living in the rest of the house, we began re-plastering the nursery, in anticipation that our little one would be moving in there by late spring.  Well, as most things go, that took us a while and it was late summer before Will lived in his room.  SO, while that room became livable, we tore apart the living room, in hopes that we could plaster and paint and be done by the holidays.  It is the holidays, so we had to move in.

We decided to fore go refinishing the rest of the floors, until we could find the product we liked and the time opened up for us to do the work without sacrificing Will’s lungs or our sanity.  As of yet, we don’t know when that process will be complete, but I can say that we’re feeling the need to rest and work on the details.  With so many tidbits to finish up, I don’t know when we’ll begin the next big project.  Right now, we have two bedrooms to refinish, one bath to redo, one laundry room, a garage to paint, floors all over to refinish and all of the hallways to rework.  There is a lot left to do. . . but a lot more time to do it.

Moved in finally

Right now, we are going to enjoy our little guy and complete the little things we have going on.  I have lots of painting to keep me busy and Bill will share his woodworking as it progresses.

In the meantime, enjoy your holidays.  And write when you get a chance, we love hearing from you.

Merry Christmas from Bill & Karyn

About us. . . a break from the housework. . . reflections on the year:

Another year has flown by, and it has been a whirlwind for us here on 60 West Main. We have gotten so much work done on the house, and it is really beginning to feel like a home.  But, the house is just a small part of our news.

Winter and spring were a busy time for us, as Bill started back to school and I had a lot of traveling with work. Bill’s job in HR at Golden Artist Colors is  gaining momentum as he is learning the manager ropes.  Currently, he is the HR Generalist, assisting in manager duties. Celebrating his 21st year at Golden, he has really accomplished quite a bit professionally.

On my end, work headed the other way. After producing some DVDs for my company and a busy winter building new products, I was let go due to restructuring. With a few national presentations to do in June, I was hopeful that doors would open for consulting or part-time work. After six months, I’m still unemployed with no prospects. I have had more time to paint, however which I am loving, and you can see my artwork at www.karynmeyer.com.

But, the timing for my unemployment hasn’t been bad, due to the fact that Bill and I are expecting. “Evening” sickness has stuck close by, but the baby is healthy and will arrive in early March if all is on schedule. We were happy to find out it is a boy, and he is quite active already. Our nursery project is far behind, but it will happen in good time.  You’ll be able to see all those details here on our blog.

Well, that is our full and busy year, and the next, I’m sure will hold more surprises.

May the season be a wonderful time of reflection and joy for you, and your New Year be blessed.

Love, Bill & Karyn (Heidi & Baby Boy)