January 2012


   Happy New Year from the Rosner family!

This was the year of digging in the dirt, as we renovated a large portion of the back yard that hadn’t had much attention since we moved in 28 years ago.  The need for a new side fence precipitated the remodel of planting beds, lawn and patio – and displaced seven yards of dirt that was hauled away.  Six aged trees came out and four new little Japanese maples went in.  Runaway vines were removed and replaced with rhododendrons, gardenias and groundcovers.  We decided to use several limestone blocks in a serpentine row along the fence as an architectural feature (1906 quake rubble from Stanford campus we’d unearthed in a previous front porch project).  Some of the completed project is shown below.  As for the veggie garden, it was again hard to keep up with the beans, but not so difficult to consume all the beautiful heirloom tomatoes and Japanese eggplant.  Our winter garden is in full swing right now, with beets, snow peas, kale, chard, bok choy and lettuce.

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Ari continues to live in Northeast Portland and work for Hollywood Farmers Market, which in July took over management of a second farmers market. He also remains involved in a number of grassroots efforts relating to food in the city. Urban Farm Collective had a terrific year, growing substantially; they now have ten gardens, all collectively-managed, doing educational work and growing tons (literally) of vegetables!  In February he joined the board of Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust (OSALT), a non-profit that holds agricultural land in trust for research and education on sustainable agriculture. With all that going on, he doesn't have as much time for karaoke, but still enjoys relaxing, cooking and eating with his friends and girlfriend Gabbi.  

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This is Sonia’s third year as a doctoral student in biology at Harvard.  She completed her qualifying exam in May and is now officially a Ph.D. candidate. Her thesis work is focused on asthma and (tentatively) entitled: "Airway Dynamics and the Role of Zyxin." Sonia is still a member of the Harvard Taekwondo Team, where she is now a red stripe (only 2 more color belts to go!). She and her boyfriend, Kyle, a fellow doctoral student, moved in together this July. They were able to find a bit more time for fun this fall after completing their qualifying exams: they went apple picking, visited a Renaissance Fair, hiked in the White Mountains, and spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with Aunt Marj in Chevy Chase.

All four of us joined Jeff’s family to celebrate our niece Lily’s Bat Mitzvah in Madison, Wisconsin last March.  In July we met in Portland to hang with Ari and friends and enjoyed great food and brews.  Ari and Sonia came to Palo Alto for the winter holidays – see our “around the table” picture below.    


Not much vacationing in 2011 overall – the landscaping project took most of our free time.  See Jeff and Ronda’s latest work-related news via LinkedIn – yes, we’re both still working... 

Ronda’s 2011 media favorites:  Movies – “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” and “Midnight in Paris”, Books – “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, “Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford, “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake”  by Aimee Bender and “True Grit” by Charles Portis.  Songs – “The Walk” by Mayer Hawthorne, “Summer Day” by Sheryl Crow and “Paradise” by Coldplay.

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

Much Love,  Ronda, Jeff, Ari, and Sonia