In 2013, the Fedibblety organization has continued to grow, not in numbers, but in physical size and intellectual capacity. In particular, the subsidaries Meg and Spencer have shown great progress.
Our predictions for 2013 were somewhat accurate. The headquarters has been diaper-free since mid-summer, which is extremely nice. Our estimate that the Dibble organization would complete their relocation by the end of 2013 was a bit overzealous, though progress is being made. Clare still hasn’t quite figured out what to do with her career next, but has had many interesting experiences in the areas of aquaponics, non-profits, maker faires, authoring children’s books, and carbon dioxide production, to name a few.
The company acquired a key technology in December 2012 —a Nintendo Wii. Much of January was spent in training sessions for this remarkable device, which allows the entire family to race around tracks as Italian plumbers. Spencer also likes the feature to race monster trucks, and Rob enjoys the pursuit of saving princess Zelda.
February’s main highlight was an executive trip to Kauai for team building and relaxation. The Felty parent organization was able to enjoy Meg and Spencer for a whole week, culminating in one of two birthday parties, featuring Das Meyer cake at the Fedibblety headquarters. The Dibble parent company then joined us for a second celebration at Monkey Bizness. With birthdays also came changes at school. Spencer joined the Pre-Kindergarten classroom, and Meg moved into the toddler 2 classroom.
March highlights included several birthday parties of the kids’ friends. Rob missed Tao’s party for the second year in a row, because he was attending the annual Nuance research conference in Boston.
In April, the entire company spent a week in the San Francisco Bay area. Highlights included visiting Aunt Jean, seeing Uncle Drew and Aunt Geebi, a birthday party for April Buchheit, the Exploratium grand re-opening party, and Rob working with colleagues in person at Nuance in Sunnyvale. Rob’s hard work was finally released to the public in the form of DirecTv’s voice-controlled iPhone app.
Apparently the snow in Colorado was waiting for a formal invitation, which must have arrived in April, since we then had several heavy snow storms. Even on May 1st, we got several inches of snow. This delayed planting the garden until almost June.
Memorial day weekend marked the start of an epic journey in Ellen’s RV from Arvada, Colorado to Spencer, Indiana. The first stop was a campground at Scott State Park in Kansas. Clare, Rob, Ellen, Spencer, and Meg spent the weekend there. It was windy, but warm enough to splash around in the lake a bit, and we had lots of fun on the merry-go-round. Rob drove back to Denver for another week of work while the rest continued on to Indiana. At times the trip seemed insurmountable, like when the RV overheated, and Ellen and Clare accidentally locked the kids in the car (and themselves out) —Spencer saved the day by undoing his seatbelt and letting them back in. A notable stop along the way was in St. Louis, to visit the arch. Once everyone finally arrived in Spencer, the Fedibbletys and good friends of the Dibbles all pitched in to put on an excellent shindig to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Dibble merger.
The third quarter found the Fedibbletys enjoying the beautiful weather. We went camping in the RV with grandma several times, and also camped at a friends’ cabin north of Boulder on the St. Vrain. We also spent quite a bit of time at the “outdoor pool”, Splash, in Golden. We also got a membership to the Denver museum of Nature & Science, which has great exhibits about dinosaurs and outer space. The kids particularly like watching “the space guy”, a guy dressed up as an astronaut who answers questions about what it might be like to live on Mars.
In August, we remodeled one room in the basement, transforming it from a room full of boxes, bright red and yellow painted 2x4s, and a concrete red floor into a much more inviting room for guests. Shortly thereafter our friends Craig and Felicia came to visit to break it in.
The other big change in August was that Meg was declared potty-trained, and moved up into the Pre-school room at the Academy. She seems to enjoy school very much, and also likes to play teacher at home, instructing her parents how to do centers and sit criss-cross applesauce
We finished the third quarter with a brief trip to Michigan to visit the Felty parent organization. Activities included picking apples, exploring the previous turn of the century at Greenfield Village, and visiting Sean at his house on Long Lake near Kalamazoo. When we went to ride the carousel at Greenfield Village, Meg immediately shouted: “I want to ride the purple giraffe”, referring to her last carousel ride at the Denver zoo in April!
The final quarter of 2013 had its ups and downs. The downs were mostly losses of key friends and family. In late August, one of Clare’s former co-workers at NREL died suddenly from a heart attack. Our 11 year old cousin, Eli Dibble, was tragically struck by a car in early November. In December, Richard Dibble, Clare’s grandfather, passed after a long and fruitful life. We will miss them all.
Normally August-October includes a fair amount of canning stuff from the garden. In 2012, we had a bumper crop of apples, and many tomatoes, which we turned into apple butter and salsa, respectively. This year we had zero apples, and never enough tomatoes ripe at the same time to warrant canning. We also got an early snowfall in September, so we picked all the green tomatoes, and decided to try processing them green. We tried three different recipes, all of which turned out quite well —a green tomato salsa, a curried green tomato relish, and pickled green cherry tomatoes. We also got about a dozen butternut squash. Clare put together a wonderful squash, red pepper, and goat cheese soup, and we still have a couple more to eat.
For many weeks leading up to Halloween, Spencer wanted to be batman, and Meg wanted to be a blue princess. Then right before halloween, Spencer decided he wanted to be a butterfly like his cousin Sadie, and Meg wanted to be a fairy princess. We accomplished both with some sets of wings for each, some hair color for Spencer, and a wand for Meg.
On the home improvement front, we finally hung some closet doors, which Clare finished beautifully. We still have a couple more to go. Spencer helped Rob move new insulation into the “broken house”.
For Thanksgiving, we celebrated at the Adamses’ house around the block. We had 6 adults and 6 kids ages 1–5. Spencer summed up the successful evening thusly:
Rob: Spencer, did you have a good time?
Spencer: Yeah, I had a great time, but it didn’t seem like you did. The kids played toys a bunch, but the adults just sat around and talked!
Dave and Ellen came to visit the weekend before Rob’s birthday; they spent the weekend making gingerbread houses and ninjas with Spencer and Meg, while Clare and Rob enjoyed a romantic weekend relaxing and soaking in hot springs in Ridgway, Colorado. We helped decorate Aunt Betty and Uncle Phil’s Christmas tree in early December. The kids were very excited about Santa this year, which meant we got to remind them to be good, so they wouldn’t get on the naughty list. Rob’s cousin Jessie put on an excellent brunch on Christmas day in Boulder. After brunch we went to the park to try out our new toys in the sunny 50 degree weather.
There is some chance that we will relocate our headquarters a couple miles closer to the new Dibble headquarters in 2014. We are excited about the prospect of a first-floor bathroom, being able to see the kids’ elementary school playground from our living room, and having room for an even bigger garden, but we are not holding our breath that all the banks will agree to the short sale of that property.
We can definitively say that we will see the Dibble parent organization more frequently in 2014. We will be traveling to Arizona in January to see their current residence one last time. In August, we will officially welcome Geebi into the Fedibblety conglomerate, as she merges with Uncle Drew.
Spencer will be starting kindergarten in 2014, though which school he attends is dependent on relocation plans.
Meg will probably be writing her name by the end of 2014, and spelling out words will no longer confuse the children.
Rob will continue to improve voice recognition for your tv.
Clare will continue her pursuits in sustainability and entrepreneurship.
Wishing you an excellent 2014,
Rob, Clare, Spencer, and Meg