Elementary Career Moves

Basking in the sunlight at one of the oldest cemeteries in the country, we parked our bikes and began to consume our lunch.  Biloxi, Mississippi’s weather was cool and crisp and bustling with activity coming back from the disaster of Hurricane Katrina.  Amidst the toppled gravestone markers, the oldest we saw being 1784, Tess and I began a discussion about resumes.  Random, yes?  I described what one was and what it was for.

Learning about this seemed the perfect opportunity for a life education moment. She kept asking questions, so we kept a dialogue going.  I then created a game similar to the hiring process.  Let me paint the picture:  We were parked out front of the Hard Rock Casino after our bike ride.  I found a simple resume template online that she filled out.  Then I set the scene to “interview” her for a fictitious position I had created for a children’s magazine.  She responded to my ad and called my cell a couple of times to discuss the topic and set a time to meet.  We then dressed up in a professional manner and sauntered over to the Hard Rock’s Starbucks.  She came prepared with sample writing and resume in hand in her fancy folder.

We proceeded to have a great conversation not of mother and daughter but as employer and employee.  I offered her the position and her love of writing has continued to flourish.  Life is all about learning and what better ways than to learn by doing, better yet, learn by being interested and passionate.  This journey has turned out to be much more than a long vacation, but a journey that pushes us in ways we did not expect.

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Moonlight Poem, By: Tess Lynn

Some days I sit under the moonlight, just before it fades out.
And when I feel the wind go by, the acorns drop one by one.
Then I go inside and think how much more lovely it is outside, and say, ” Moon oh moon, I love you.

By: Tess Lynn

Adorable Blubber

Dear “Jack” (our RV),

We went to see manatees today.  I was with my mommy, daddy, sister, and a friend.  All of us were on a dock and we could see the manatees from there.  I named one Whipey, because it had a “white stripe”.

Manatees live in areas that have warm, natural water.  Usually they stay in lakes or rivers for quite a long time.  Fresh water is where they prefer to be, but you can find them in salty water.  We saw them near the ocean, so it was salty.  Manatees are being endangered by getting scars from propellers and getting tangled in fishing nets.

Manatees are sometimes called “sea cows” because they are big like cows.  Their paddle like tails are strong let them swim up to 15 miles per hour.  Manatees can hold their breath for up to twenty minutes, but only when they are staying still.  While swimming, they can hold their breath for about 4-5 minutes before needing to come up for air.

Manatees are big and blubbery, though they are herbivores.  They manage to eat sea plants and sea grass.  Can you believe it?  They can eat a tenth of they’re own body weight in just 24 hours!

After all that, my sister and I went in a windy, small room meant to be like a hurricane.  It’s called a hurricane simulator.

We had a lot of fun with those manatees!

So now that you know a little about manatees, you can call yourself a marine biologist.

By:  Tess Lynn  (age 8)

Holidaze

It was getting cold and windy in the Gulf as you can see by the attire we are wearing on Dauphin Beach:

We took this time to enjoy more beach walks, geek out,

and look at the history surrounding the area including the USS Alabama.

Then we headed to Memphis as Brian was scheduled to fly out on a quick trip to Germany.  Here you can call me a “Bad Blogger” as I have no good pictures (only vids) of our cool time in Memphis.  We were hosted like royalty by one of Brian’s high school buddy’s in Alameda, Tommy Gardner.  Our time was spent at a beautiful nutcracker presentation, the Brooks Museum, watching the Peabody duck promenade at the Peabody Hotel, Children’s Museum and great restaurants.  It was so lovely to be like a local and get the real deal.

Brian was off to Germany and I was getting nervous about how cold it was and having to drive to Nashville to meet him where it was even colder.  So I made an executive decision to go early to Atlanta to see my Mom.  Good decision.

We pretty much just moved into her empty house that is for sale and wa-la:  instant neighborhood filled with two girls right next door that were just the ages of Ava and Tess.  I love this trip for many reasons but one is that we will have new friends from across the country with different ways of living and being. The ability our girls have gleaned to make fast friends ceases to amaze me. Just another tidbit that I learn from them as my teachers.

The big surprise was that we were welcomed with falling snow on CHRISTMAS DAY about noontime and by nightfall, the girls were out making a snowman.


We filled our days with the joy of my Mom’s company and the reprieve of constant travel.

Have you ever had an ice cream shake out of a Bitburger glass? You MUST try it!

Cheers!

New Orleans and Mississippi

Happy New Year to YOU!


Looking back on the time since my last post, a great deal has happened in our nomadic life since Thanksgiving. We shared a fabulous meal with my Portland friend, Heidi and her parents and family.  Very welcoming and devoted Saints fans, we chowed down on a traditional meal with spirited conversations all around.  Then we shook off all of the calories at Rock n Bowl.  We bowled, hooped and listened to some killer zydako music.

We spent a few days exploring the haunts of New Orleans including the French Quarter.  I love the architecture of the old-time buildings and there was much activity and people out and about.  Cafe Du Monde was our treat following a meal at the french market.

Next stop was Biloxi.  A cool town as Casino towns go and they were fully rebuilt and rockin’.  We explored an awesome HardRock with a cool new interactive computer system in which you could locate any artifact in the HR system and where it is displayed.  Ava had a blast with that one.  Elton John’s cotoure really surprised the girls who thought Elton John was a girl!

The beaches were clean and tidy and weather was pleasant:

The bummer was that dogs were not allowed on the beaches so Fina and Tito were sad.  We went on a bike ride to a dive but delish mexican haunt and saw the town that way.

The wood art sculptures created out of the tree stumps after Katrina’s bite were throughout the main street at the beach:

I think the weirdest adventure so far was like stepping into a timezone was our stay at a Gator Ranch in MS.

The caretaker carried a gun on his hip to prevent poachers from stealing his baby gators that he raises.  He was shot at a couple of times.  This story was disclosed just after the one about a wild bear biting off his dog’s leg the night before.  To top it off, in the lobby was an old electric chair displayed to scare the customers.  He had a light hooked up and was getting ready to attach an old vacuum motor for proper vibration when one took a seat.  Here is Tess trying it out and not looking happy:

We celebrated Christmas the way the locals do by attending two parades, one in the daylight with the townspeople and business’ parading, and one at night where boats were covered in lights and we all gathered around in good spirit to cheer them by.  It was here that my Christmas spirit came into full swing.  It prompted us to decorate “Jack” on the inside and out with lights and ornaments.

The art here was fully created out of everyday items and recycled in some way–my kind of decorations.  Here is an upside down vase painted silver:

Ava is exploring a Wizard of Oz scene made of tin cans:

Thanks for sharing our adventure with us.  Stay tuned for more updates soon as I have some catching up to do.

Merry Christmas Letter

This has been a full year for the Creasy family!  But first, let me begin by saying that we hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Although communication may be slim throughout the year we think of our family and friends often and value these relationships, despite the distance between us. Our hope is that we will see each of you shortly and that our reunion will be a time to celebrate.

2010 started off well with the family together for the holidays; Brian stayed home for a few weeks and there was no rush back work. In general, we are all healthy and happy that life is treating us well.   Early in the year Brian took a 6-week job with a partner company in Wollongong, Australia, just south of Sydney. While there, he saw some old friends and had a great time; it was upon his return that spawned a series of conversations with Janet resulting in significant impact.  Wondering how to spend more time with the family, and be able to travel, we decided that we could travel by RV around North America and Brian could consult from the road, but only if we could sell Coulee Concrete Designs and rent the house. Well, it is amazing what happens when you focus – 5 months later with CCD sold and the house rented we found ourselves living in our rolling house dubbed Jack and buzzing about the country; one lap, one year, counterclockwise. The sprouts are growing quickly, learning so much so fast! The maturation process is simply amazing to watch and more importantly to be apart of as we explore and learn together travelling the country searching for more intimate relationships and 72 degrees and sunshine.

Tess turned 8 this year; she continues with her love for animals, especially horses.  By selling lemonade and saving a portion of her allowance Tess raised $42.93, which she donated to the Portland Humane Society, a goal she set and attained on her own.  Horse vaulting is her sport of choice; she consistently excels and placed very well in competitions.  Also, she finds immense joy as a writer and is looking to have her first chapter book published.  Enthusiastically, she also writes on Facebook, for the school paper and our blog.  Her creativity is surpassed only by her eloquence and insight.

With 10 years of age and experience, Ava Marie developed into a magnificent girl. As long as the lessons arrive through her recently purchased iTouch, she is enthusiastic about learning.  When asked about topics she would like me to write about, Ava said “things stick in my brain better and I’m better at learning”.  At one point she stated that she remembers more of what she learns with us, as opposed to a classroom.  It is wonderful to encounter the world through a child’s eyes and we just suck up our time together. While shedding much of her shyness Ava’s eyes are wide open to world around her; we now have an outgoing young girl who is easily making friends and learning to appreciate how fortunate we are, often through seeing the misfortune of others.

What to say about Janet? Not enough organic food or time for yoga but ample time to reflect upon the things most important to her; learning, food and community. Her gentle demeanor and firm grip on life are punctuated by her desire to be a part of a progressive freethinking community in which she can be a contributor.  Janet is always seeking knowledge for herself and to share with the kids in their learning; she is a great teacher and facilitator in life. She misses our 650 sq. foot garden that we put in our front yard, much to the dismay of some of the neighbors, where she can ensure we have quality, happy veggies  (not the norm here in the south) and enjoy a social scene that took us by surprise.

Brian provides business management and engineering consulting services to manufacturing companies through his recently formed company TinFish Consulting Group Inc., which partners with other service providers.  Brian also enjoys some travel outside of the US teaching engineering courses. He is thankful to have sold CCD, completing the process of going from startup through sale, and for valuable lessons learned through the process.  More so, he is appreciative of the journey we’re on and the time we spend together, learning and experiencing with our family; un-schooling the kids and un-jobbing for him.  While enjoying our journey, returning home will provide a newfound appreciation for our home.

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you.  We hope you have a healthy and prosperous 2011, and that life treats you will all that you and your family deserve.  To track our journey, simply Google the three words ‘Creasy Clan Adventure’ and you will come to our blog www.wordpress.creasyclan.com where you can track us, or link to our Facebook accounts.

Passions and Pigeons

There has been a great deal of talk in this rolling house about passions. I am looking into my next work venture and want to make sure that it is tied to what I love. Brian is trying to infuse some of his passions into his work as well.  This led to the entire family to making a list of passions. Once we got started it was hard to stop as there is a lot of passion in these Creasy bones!

Speaking of passions, there is one event that occurred recently that really proves the point.  It was the day before Halloween and we were galavanting around Santa Fe portrayed as the Ingall’s family. It had been a stellar day and it was drawing near the end when we decided to have a fancy drink at one of the hotels that some consider haunted. Sitting on the patio out front, Tess notices an injured bird in the street, a pigeon to be specific. His wing looks damaged and he could only fly a few feet at a time.

She promptly asks me for my phone in order to call a local animal rescue. My battery was dead.  Then she convinces me to go inside the hotel and ask for assistance which led to a bell boy who did not seem to care or offer any help.

All the while, the bird is drawing attention to passers by while Tess keeps a strong eye out for him. Next, the same bell boy comes out with a shovel. I ask him what he is doing and he tells me (in front of Tess mind you) that other customers had alerted him to this bird and that he was going to kill him.

Tess starts crying and screaming “No!, No! No!” right to his face over and over. She looks to me for comfort but stayed ever strong in her effort. She then ran over to the bird and did not let anyone  come near, protecting.

In the meantime, one of the couples who had passed by, comes back with a box. They gently describe that they were going to take the bird, try to heal it and let it go in a park when healed.
I reassured Tess that this was the best option and that her friend would not be hurt.  She agreed.

I am so amazed at her conviction and it brought me back to my childhood passions and how things change with age.  How we were all once so brazen and full of passion!  Her message should be to all of us:  be strong and do not become jaded in life. Do not let others persuade you and if someone says “no” you try, try again.

Thank you, Tess for being a passionate being.  I just hope that I can be just like you when I grow up.