January 2010

   Holiday greetings from the Rosner family!

Despite the prolonged economic downturn of 2009, we all thrived in our own ways…

Last spring Jeff installed eight 4’x4’  garden boxes (12” high raised beds) along the driveway to grow a wider variety of vegetables than the traditional tomatoes, peppers and eggplants planted in past years.  So we had an entire bed of assorted lettuce greens plus carrots, beets, kale and herbs in the other beds.  Ronda became ‘weeder extraordinaire’ and found great comfort in cutting the nightly salad greens from June through August.  The winter veggies are now growing strong – kale, broccoli, rapini, fava beans, beets and bok choy.  We’ve become avid gardeners this year!

In July Ronda, Jeff and Sonia visited Ari in Portland, Oregon – then all four of us spent a couple of days in Seattle.  He lives in the historic Mississippi district of Portland.  We explored his locale mostly by walking, biking and riding public transport to the Rose Garden, Mount Tabor, the Esplanade, and Ladd’s Addition.  Of course we spent the requisite afternoon perusing books at Powell’s.  Sampling brews at the Portland International Beer Fest and hiking to several awesome Columbia River Gorge waterfalls were high points (literally) of the visit.  Multnomah Falls, at 620 feet tall, was spectacular.  The fresh berries, peaches and hazelnuts available at the Hollywood farmer’s market (where Ari continues to volunteer) were scrumptious, as was the food at his favorite Cuban and Ethiopian restaurants.

2009 was a year of great change for Sonia.  This past winter she was courted by graduate programs at several of the nation’s top universities before choosing to pursue a PhD in Biological Sciences in Public Health at Harvard University.  So, after graduating magna cum laude from UC San Diego, she moved 3000 miles across the country to Cambridge, MA to begin her studies.  The program's focus is basic biomedical research on the causes of human disease, and Sonia is spending this first year choosing the focus of her thesis work.  In addition to her classes and research, Sonia has taken up Taekwondo and joined the Harvard club team.  In just a few months, she has already graduated to a yellow belt.  Hiyah!

Jeff continues his ferment through a sixth decade...mellow to the occasional point of rotting (thanx, Woody).  This year, having reached her 20-year mark with HP/Agilent, Ronda accepted the controllership of the Life Sciences Software division at Agilent.  She’s looking forward to the challenges and contributions to be made in her new position.  On a sad note, two friends passed in 2009 who are very much missed:  Mary Ellen and Suzanne.  Ronda’s 2009 media favorites:  Movies – “Star Trek” and “Julie & Julia”, Book – “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by Muriel Barbery, CD – “River: the joni letters” by Herbie Hancock.  She’s also gotten hooked on the Commissario Brunetti mysteries by Donna Leon, having read ten of them so far!

Enjoy health, peace, and love during the coming year.