Here is some recent news --
from the coast of South Carolina!
2/4/07 (J) Here's the latest
update. Our beautiful Rowan can now crawl, although I call it
"scooting" and she does it backwards. Also, note that we have
updated pictures to show you from Nov. and Dec. of 2006. See
them on the Picture Page!
1/31/07 (J) Just returned
from the ASHRAE Show in Dallas Texas. Had a good time and made
some quality business contacts. Most importantly,
I met William "The
Refrigerator" Perry. (I think he was hungry in this
1/8/07 (J) Hello to all of you.
Nothing changed here. I just wanted to include our Christmas
Letter for all of you who surfed in and for our friends who have
been remiss updating their addresses with us. (Where the heck
ARE YOU, Neeral?) In any case, enjoy
12/31/06 (J) Merry Christmas and
a happy New Year. Heather and I are now settled in SC, Rowan
is a healthy (and beautiful) 5-month-old girl and the boys are doing
very well in their new home. Rowan's hair is changing color
from a beautiful brown to a gorgeous blond. We'll have to see
as it grows in. The boys are also doing well. Harrison
is happy in Kindergarten at
Kensington Elementary and Alexander is enjoying preschool at
Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church Preschool. (Quite a
mouthful, isn't it?)
Heather is also enjoying herself, as
much as the 3 children allow. She is once again teaching
aerobics (as a sub right now) at
HealthPoint Fitness Center and has just gotten hired as a
Magazine Reporter for a new South Carolina Magazine. (I'll
give you the link and the name as soon as I know it.)
8/21/06 (J) Well, the word is
out. Jeff and Heather (and family) are heading back to
Georgetown, SC. While we are all looking forward to it, we
will also miss our friends in Syracuse.
8/3/06 (J) I'm sure you guessed
from the home page changes, but ROWAN ELIZABETH was born today at
1:14 PM. She was 8 lbs, 13.6 ounces at birth and is looking
delightful. We don't have her official length yet, but should
have it soon.
The birth went as wonderful as could
be expected. (You couldn't have scripted a better birth.)
Both are doing wonderfully; many pictures will be here soon.
8/1/06 7 AM (J) Still no
daughter. She's due any day now. (Perhaps you've heard
So Heather was out weeding the garden
at 6:30 AM this morning. (I guess she wanted to get this done
before it was hot.) Unfortunately, the hornets that live in
the nest right above the garden didn't approve of her endeavors --
unfortunately for THEM. Never &#@% with a pregnant woman.
(They won't make that mistake again.)
7/26/06 (J) Still no daughter.
She's due any day now. Although I'm a little anxious, I know
Heather is even more so. Soon.
7/12/06 (J) Sad day today.
Had to put Gussy to sleep. It's amazing how attached you can
get to a cat, even though the cat didn't like me at all. All
it takes is 12 years. His brother Alphonzo is still with us.
6/29/06 (J) What is up with this
wacky weather. It is currently hailing here in New York.
I blame George Bush.
We are heading to the
Tyler Place next week.
It should be a hoot. We'll get to see all the relatives and
maybe catch up on our sleep.
6/10/06 (J) Howdy to everyone.
Although this web site may not look much different, it has just
completed a full revamping. (It was mainly a purge of dead,
behind the scenes files.) One of the new additions is the
section called "my family" for all those who have the last name of
Pelham, Smith, Clemens or McNaught. I plan on doing my best to
update this. Enjoy.
Since I am writing, I might as well
tell you that all is well here in Syracuse. Summer has come
(and gone). We had temperatures near 90 on Memorial day
weekend and now it is back in the 40's and 50's (today's high may
Heather and I are working hard at our
summer cleaning, getting everything straight here in our house.
That's about all we've done.
About three weeks ago,
we had quite a surprise. It was Saturday before Mother's day
and I was outside cleaning my car. Harrison was also playing
outside and he came up to me and said: "We have baby
chickens." I just about finished the sentence, "No we
don't." when I decided I better go look in the barn. Sure
enough, we had 10 new baby chickens running around. I brought
Heather out for her "Mother's Day Present" (from Miss Domo, the
mother/ surrogate mother.)
Of course, not all was well for long.
It was a sad day, one week later when five of the baby chickens got
out of the barn and ended up as "cat food" for the local Coon Cat.
12/26/05 (J) Merry Christmas
everyone (or Happy Hanukah, Kwanza or even Ramadan Mubarak, if you will).
We had a blast over in Rochester, visiting Heather's family. They were all
well, with one new engagement and one new pregnancy announced (two counting ours --
you didn't know that? well now you do!). The boys were all-in-all
well behaved and we survived. I got a good night sleep up in Heather's old
bed room - thanks to Ann and Steve for buying a new set of bunk beds.
Also, thanks to all of you who gave
Heather, the boys and/or me gifts. They are much appreciated.
(Individual thanks will be coming.) I think the best gift I gave was an
IPOD to Heather. I don't know anyone who will enjoy it more than her.
She's going to be crazy with it, I just know it. Of course with all the
aerobics she teaches, it's not a big surprise. (I'm working on finding a
way for that to work out well!)
Nothing else much to report. My
company (Suez) is generous with the days off, so I've had Thursday, Friday
and today (Monday) off. Of course, I had to come in 2 of those 3 days, but
who's counting. I'll take some extra off next week! Bye!
12/19/05 (J) Well, it's almost
Christmas time and all is well in Syracuse NY; hectic but well. Work is
crazy with a final push to the end of the year. I have more projects going
on then I can count, all which need my full time and attention. Hello
craziness. And, of course, home time is suffering. I spend some peak
shopping hours at work this weekend, this being the last weekend before
I did manage to find time to pick up
the snowmobile I bought. Yes, that's right, I bought a snowmobile.
Nothing big, just a 700cc Skidoo. So far, I've determined that it will
pull the boys around the yard on a sled. Of course I have big plans to do
more than that but that will come with time. I am fortunate enough to have
the trails pass behind my house; I have to use the neighbor's yard to get there,
but the trails are there. It should be fun exploring.
So far the boys see the snowmobile as
a fun way to be pulled on a sled around the yard. Harrison is particularly
excited about it. He doesn't yet realize the true use of this machine.
I'm have a feeling that once he does, he'll be VERY excited. We'll see.
I did buy an extra helmet for him to ride along in front of me; we'll have to
see how that works out.
Well that's it for now. I hope
all of you and yours are having a good holiday season. Try to avoid the
craziness and enjoy the little moments.
11/24/05 (J) Hello everyone and
Happy Thanksgiving. All is well here in the Northern Tundra. We have
gotten another great snowfall here. I wish I could say it was the first of
the year, but it's more like the fifth. (It's been a solid one, though.)
Heather and I are hosting the
Connecticut Pelhams for Thanksgiving. For those of you uninformed, that
means that we have 5 little boys running around acting crazy. It's quite a
Tomorrow we have great plans.
First we are going Geocaching.
This is best described as a "global treasure hunt". Here's the 411.
For years now, there have been global positioning satellites circling our
country. Historically, these have not been very accurate, instead they
have been made purposely "off" by our government (due to worries of terrorism).
In about 1998, then President Clinton realized how silly that was and got rid of
the intentional inaccuracy. This allowed individuals like you and me to
use a handheld GPS to get within 20 feet of the actual location.
Someone (I believe they were in
Washington State) realized how cool that was and hid a container filled with
trinkets, putting the latitude and longitude onto their web site.
Geocaching was born. Since this time, gazillions of containers have been
hidden across the country. Geocachers (like myself) feel it is our
obligation to find them.
The reason that I really like
geocaching is because it lets me find places that I would otherwise never find.
Often these are places right by my house they include great vistas or sites of
historic value. Along with this, when I visit new places, I can quickly
find the places that only the locals know about.
4/9/05 (J) First, let me assure
you that we got the four chickens out from under the porch. It was quite a
process. Heather and I finally figured out that one of the Orpingtons had
kidnapped the other three chickens -- that's right, we had a terrorist in our
midst. She insisted on freedom for all her brother and sister chickens in
prisons throughout the world, or she would blow up the porch, killing all three
of the other chickens. After a 15 day standoff, including a hunger strike,
we negotiated it down: She gets to run around the yard once a week and I'm
never to say "McNugget" in her presence. At least they are all back in the
I just returned from a trip to
Washington State, visiting our sister plant in Chehalis. Someday I'm going
to work at a new plant, where everything is clean, new and shiny. We
haven't had anything shiny since 1962.
I managed to visit Mount St. Helens
while I was out there. It started to puff again around October of last
year so the Government isn't allowing people to get too close. Something
about us dying. What do they know.
I haven't managed to get any pictures
back onto the site recently, but I have updated the guestbook. Feel free
to visit it by clicking on Guestbook Results on the left (or add to it by
clicking guestbook entry.)
2/26/05 (J) Wow. It's been
(like nearly forever...) We are still living up in Syracuse, NY,
with 2 kids, 3 cats and 25 chickens. You can read a lot more about it by
reading Heather's Christmas letter.
event revolves around the chickens... About a week-and-a-half ago, we had a few
days of beautiful weather. It was bright, sunny, just incredible.
Temperatures reached into the 40's (if you can imagine that!) So Heather
and I let the chickens out to roam. All went well the first day we did
this, but we pushed our luck. I let them out on the second day and at
about 11 AM, the weather turned back to winter and snow began to come down.
Most of our chickens were smart enough to go to the barn but a few weren't so
swift. They decided to wait out the storm under the porch. Well,
that was 10 days ago and they're still waiting. Heather managed to catch
all but four; those last four just won't come out. We've been feeding them
and have seen them, but just can't catch them. If I only had saved my
Happy New Year (and Merry Christmas, happy holidays, etc., etc.) I just
added the last four months of pictures (all thanks to our new digital camera.)
As I write this, we have five boys running around. No, we didn't have
triplets, my brother and his wife are up from CT with their trio. 5 boys
all under the age of six. Wow. Needless to say, I don't have much
time to write here. I just wanted to drop a note and tell you all that I
added about three more pages of pictures. Enjoy.
Well, Heather just returned from SC and she misses it more than just a little
bit. It's amazing how deep roots sink in the Carolina soil when you're
there for five years. I wish I could tell her that we'd be returning
there, but I just don't see it happening. Who knows what the future will
The boys are doing fine.
Harrison just hit his big 3 birthday and Alexander is coming up on completing
his first year! Wow. (Don't know what else to say for that.)
Winter is about to start; I think
both Heather and I are better set for winter this year. We know more
people, know more what to do, etc, etc. I think it also helps having the
boys a year older -- three may not seem like much more than two, but I know
Harrison will be able to do much more with me than he could a year ago. I
just wish that it wasn't so dark here in the evenings. The darkness is
probably worse than the cold.
Work is going well. I'm
completing a big training class. We busy trying to get everyone some
serious power plant training. Some of the people are saying that we
shouldn't be spending all this money on new guys, guys who may leave soon, but
I've got different ideas as to the importance of training. I hope everyone
is getting all they can out of this.
5/16/03 (J) Wow.
It's been forever since I've written here; I don't know where to start.
I'll just update you with the most recent. Alexander is 6 months old
today! He measured in at 31" and an incredible 18 lbs, 3 ozs. He
is cutting his first tooth and is generally a drooling mess. Heather has
worked hard to fatten him up (with good success).
Harrison is doing well for a 2 and
1/2 year old. He's excited about this beautiful spring (summer?) weather
we're having. His maturity and activity levels make him a handful, or a
lot of fun, depending on the mood he's in.
We are due to get in 26 chickens any
day now. This was originally Heather's idea, but I've really run with
it. I've converted the back garage into the world's most overbuilt chicken
coop. Even so, I'm deathly afraid that I'm going to end up causing the
death of 25 living creatures. I really have no idea what I'm doing.
I was glad to see that Heather picked up the necessary food, feeder and
waterer. It looks like she's got a handle on this. If you
really want to know, we're getting the following female chicks: 2 White
Japanese, 4 Birchen Cochen, 4 Golden Sebrights, 4 Silver-laced Wyandottes (plus
one male), 4 Buff Orpingtons (plus one male), 4 Red Leghorns (plus one male)
plus one "free rare chick". The last one is free with any 25
chick purchase! (Are we lucky, or what?) The first 3 types are bantam
chickens while the others are full size. Needless to say, with Heather's
vegetarianism, we didn't purchase any meat chickens.
Back to Alexander: He's got his
baptism in about a month (on Father's day.) Click here to see the
invitation. Sorry. It's 8 pages and when you view it it's set up for
printing. The pages are therefore 8 and 1, 2 and 7, 6 and 3 and 4 and
5. Print it out if you want to truly enjoy it.
2/28/02 (H) Chez
Pelham echoes these days with the laughter and random shrieks of one active
little guy. Our blood pressure has never been lower – job stress seems to melt
away when Harrison does his crayon-up-the-nose trick or he hugs you and lays his
head on your shoulder with a little “ahhh.”
course, the jobs themselves are great stress busters – Heather teaches
aerobics several days a week and is editing video documentaries featuring
delightful older Southern ladies. She still writes for the newspaper as well,
but stories without the daily deadline are pure fun.
is working as a foreman at International Paper now, and has some horrible hours,
but he gets his hands dirty, which he likes. He came home recently covered with
“black liquor” (some by-product of making paper. Search me.)
It seems he was climbing up a ladder outside of a tower when the whole
thing blew like a newly discovered oil well. Despite smelling like creosote, he
seemed invigorated – I think it’s vital to have an adventure every day.
adventures recently mostly involve new words and hair-pulling. He says “night
night,” “shoe,” and “what’s that?” and can make a grown man cry in
three seconds flat by grabbing his nostril hairs. He changes shoe sizes every
two days and adores waffles with lots of syrup (who doesn’t?)
The Ahrns clan has nicknamed him “Hurricane Harrison,” and given his
ever-increasing energy supplies, I think the moniker is going to stick.
2/28/02 (J) Hello
everybody. Yes, I begin again to work on this web site. (There's no
sense in having it if it isn't updated and looked at.) I'll do my share;
by reading this, you're doing yours.
So what have we been up to?
Well, Heather's now been away from Time Warner Cable for a year but that hasn't
slowed her down a bit. She now teaches aerobics 3 to 5 times per
week. She also writes a few articles for the newspaper each month as well
as compiling their historic "A View From The Past" column. Her
main job right now is a video project for the library. She is responsible
for interviewing ten local women about their life in South Carolina and creating
seven videos with this footage. Each video has a different theme such as
family life, careers, religion and spirituality, etc. Needless to say,
they are keeping her hopping.
A few weeks ago, I was able to go on
a ski trip with our church youth group (PYF). (They are a bunch of high
school kids that Heather and I work with.) We went up to Snowshoe in West
Virginia and had a blast. You can see pictures of the trip here.
I have two shutdowns coming up.
The first is for 10 days in March (yes, that's next week!) and the second is the
first half of April. I'll be working 12 hour shifts through most of
that. I hope to do mostly day work. I really don't mind working the
nights, but Harrison isn't able to understand "Daddy's sleeping"
7/10/01 (H) Happy
Independence Day! Admittedly, I’m a little late, because we were too busy
having big fun on the actual date.
First, there was the arrogantly
shabby midmorning parade on Pawleys Island, where Harrison clapped and waved at
red, white and blue floats full of bathing-suited beauties and bubbas. [Click
here for pictures]
Then we cast off for Sandy Island,
where families anchored in the soft sands to barbecue and scare away alligators
with firecrackers. Harrison swam for hours, wearing a very large white cowboy
hat. I’m proud to say he didn’t get any sunburn at all (unlike his mother,
from whom he borrowed aforementioned cowboy hat.)
It was a lovely day.
Back in the work world, I’ve been
offered an exciting part in a SC Humanities Grant titled something like
"Southern Women in the 20th Century." I would videotape and
edit interviews with a dozen local women who can remember personal experiences
and family tales dating back to 1900.
This is especially exciting, because
I could do this with our new digital camera and nonlinear editing system. We don’t
actually have the camera yet (we’re still drooling over the catalogues – it’ll
be a hard decision!) We do have the software, however, and have already imported
some video into the digital format. From there, our new editing system is
delightfully similar to the one I used at Time Warner Cable. Shouldn’t be too
hard to muddle through… (I know, famous last words.)
New topic: the little man has uttered
his first intentional word. We had trouble believing it, but he has uttered it
nearly 100 times, and always at the right time. The big, exciting first word:
He says it every time his
furry friend Alphonzo saunters into the room. I think this word won because
Harrison wants so deeply to grab that cat. Harrison smiles at Alphonzo, coos at
him, chases him as fast as his fat knees can fly. He learned to stand by
grabbing the couch and pulling himself toward the disdainfully perching puss.
He loves this cat like Tibetan monks
love Mt. Kilimanjaro. He aspires to be the cat, or at least to maul it.
Kitty. Good gravy.
Nothing else terribly fresh on the
home front. Harrison had his first stomach flu. I found it strangely touching
that he should want to throw up on me, and only me. Not the damn cat. Enough
6/27/01 (J) Hi
everyone! All is well here in South Carolina. I am furiously working
on projects at work. I'm supposed to have all sorts of write-ups done by
the end of the month. I'll get there.
On the home front, I've bought a new
computer. More accurately, I've bought some new parts and am assembling
them into a new computer. I made great strides last night. I got the
system up and running and was able to tweak most of the software into
place. All I have to do now is hook up some final connectors and I will be
able to put it back upstairs and give the eating area back to Heather. (By
the looks of that area, I should have red danger tape keeping all people,
babies, cats, etc. out of it.) I need to make one more call to tech
support to get this finished.
Of course, for all the work I've
done, I haven't really accomplished what I wanted to do. My great plan is
to create a computer system that Heather and I can use to edit home
videos. Since Heather has the talent and the price of the equipment has
come down, it became too tempting to resist. Now all I need to do is buy
an input/output video card and I'll be good to go. Of course, as soon as I
do, I'll want to buy a digital video camera... That will have to wait until next
I have a get-together to go to
tonight. One of my friends is going back to school (UNC Chapel
Hill). Next Monday is his last day. It's kinda funny... Not only has
he been a pretty good friend, going up to Myrtle Beach, out on my boat, etc.,
but I was his sponsor when he arrived from NC State! I got to meet him,
take him out to dinner and convince him to come to this wonderful place.
Oh well, they come, they go... C'est la vie.
6/4/01 (H) We’ve just
returned from a lovely trip to Connecticut and Fishers Island, where we attended
the wedding of Jeff’s cousin David. In a word, lovely.
Harrison, who is now a bustling seven
and a half months old, had a blast with his own cousins. None of them will be
getting married anytime soon, since their median age is two.
About our little critter: he is now a
master at sitting up and cutting teeth. He has six choppers and prefers steak to
anything with the word Gerber in it. He crawls, after a fashion, using both arms
and one leg. The "commando crawl" is sort of cute but you can almost
hear the shells exploding and smell the blood.
Jeff’s still working for THE MAN at
that mill of his. I forget THE MAN’S NAME. Anyway, the world still needs
paper, so that’s good.
I’m still not working for Time
Warner Cable. THE MAN (Ted Turner) hasn’t personally asked me back yet, so
In the meantime, I’m helping to
design music programs for little kids and doing publicity for an eclectic mix of
festivals and performers, politicians and lobstermen. I think I don’t charge
Harrison works for no one. He doesn’t
even do tricks for a biter biscuit. He’s like a cat, very independent. We love
We’re looking forward to our next
trip, to New York. Big family reunion in the making, lots of Ahrnses running
around and getting drunk. I can’t wait! Harrison would like to impress
everyone by walking, but I don’t think he’ll make it in time. It would help
if he’d stop watching Oprah and lolling around on the couch. Kids.
3/17/01 (J) Yeeaahhh! It's over for another year!
That's right, the annual mill outage is complete for another year. It's
3:10 AM and I'm just getting sleepy. I will get my days and nights
switched around soon. I'll write again when I get my act together.
2/25/01 (J) Hello again everyone. Just a quick hello. I've begun the dreaded
shutdown on the boilers at work. Today I started 13+ hour days which will
continue for the next 3 weeks. (Will the fun never end?) See
you in mid-March!
2/25/01 (J) To read Heather's latest article in the Georgetown Times (about the
Georgetown Presbyterian Church's Preschool), CLICK
2/16/01 (J) Howdy Everyone,
Just a quick note to let everyone
know what’s going on in my life.
At home, all is going well. Harrison
is growing like a weed, getting more attentive by the day and starting to get a
personality. Although he looks like me, Heather is hoping he’ll act more like
her. (I can’t imagine why…) Personally I agree although I seem to remember
my Mom saying to me as a kid, "Someday, you’re going to have a kid that
acts just like you…."
Heather and I don’t have any real
plans for the next while. I’ve got a shutdown coming up on the 24th
of February. I’ll be on 12-hour days, then 12-hour nights for a total of about
3 weeks. (With no days off.) It’s nothing I can’t handle or haven’t done
before, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
After the shutdowns, we’ll be
having some visitors. My mom will be coming up near the end of March, Doug,
Teresa and the kids will be here for April 6th through the 10th
and my Dad will be here on the 5th of April and again on the 13th
to the 16th. Remember, all are welcome, but beds are assigned on a
first-come, first-served basis. (The air mattress in the shed is usually free….)
I’m looking forward again to the
summer. I haven’t gotten the wetsuit yet, but I already have one friend who
wants to go water skiing. He says the water is up to 55F and as long as we pick
a 70F day, we should be golden.
Come April, I’ll start trotline
fishing for catfish. I asked a friend when the best time was to go. He said he
only does it between April and June. I asked about the summer months. "Too
hot." I know you can catch some in the fall, so I asked him about the fall.
He looked at me like I had two heads! "Don’t waste your time fishin’
then… That’s hunting season!" Well, at least I know it should be good
in the spring….
Well, I’m going to run along now. Y’all
2/10/01 (H) Wow, okay, we’ve been horrible
at keeping up the website. Not surprising, considering, even now, I’m trying
to type while Harrison hits the space key every nanosecond. He’s wildly
interested in a reporting career.
For the moment, this career consists
of gumming red pens and screaming what are obviously penetrating questions at
He’s so cute.
What’s new in our life, you ask?
Heather is switching jobs, leaving
the challenging, high-tech world of television production at Time Warner Cable.
The new job is a fun grant position with the local library system, dreaming up
themes for "Tunes for Tots," music programs for the little guys.
Other than the fact that my new job
is only one step removed from play, it also lets me stay home with Harrison
more, and completely obviates the two-hour daily commute. Jeff just rolls his
eyes and declares I must be the luckiest job hunter in the world.
Jeff and I have also been hard at
work on creating an annual newsletter for the Historic Ricefields Association. I’ve
written stories for them before, but this time, we’re doing the layout and
printing. It’s been quite - illuminating, and the time the three of us have
spent around the glowing computer has been sweet.
Anyway, the topics we covered are
interesting, and I’m sure Jeff will provide a link to the newsletter. See it?
No? Well, maybe later.
Jeff recently completed fire training
(I know because he smelled like a bonfire for a week.) It’s fabulous to know
he could scale our house and rescue burning squirrels on the roof, but I’m a
little tired of sighing "my hero" every time he comes in the door.
But enough about the grownups. Back
to my favorite topic…
Harrison is now about 322 pounds, and
extremely tall. The other day we were sauntering through Hagley, pushing the boy
in his Baby Jogger, when we stopped to view some sassy swans. Harrison actually
chuckled. It was his first chuckle, and Jeff was delighted, while I started
crying and eventually some kids drove by in a golf cart and told me to move
Jeff Jr. is a delight – he doesn’t
even like to cry. He just shouts when he wants something, like his daddy. His
little persimmon eyes and toothless grin mean more to me than life, Ranch Wheat
Thins and a good night’s sleep.
Speaking of that last, I’ve been
bouncing the boy on my knee while I write one-handed, and he’s fallen fast
asleep. Before the gathering drool gets any more impressive, I’ll bid you,