December 2000


Dear Family and Friends,

Happy Holidays!  I hope this Fall / Winter Holiday Season is treating you all well.  I've been pretty happy so far since the weather up here has managed to be mostly sunny [though fairly cold,] plus I've been able to get out of town several times and have more plans for Christmas and New Year's.

Most people I know start their holiday letters at the beginning of the year and work their way forward chronologically, but I'm going to be a good little non-conformist and do just the opposite.  Plus, I'm even going to start with next year.  J

See the bottom of the page for details about some of the groups I participate in that are mentioned in the letter.



Mom and I are planning to try and take a 2-week trip to Hawaii.  Should be fun - we may go on a 1 week cruise and then have most of a second week to check out whatever we want to spend more time at.


Easter weekend as usual I will be attending NorWesCon, a fairly large Science-Fiction / Fantasy genre convention in the Pacific Northwest.



This February Mom is hosting the Koester Cousins family reunion in Arizona.  I'm hoping to go to that since my brother Don is planning to go and I haven't been to one yet.



I will bring in the real new Millennium hanging out with some other SCA folks after attending an SCA bookbinding class.

Later in January my Pathfinders group from church will be going on a Ski Trip / Winter Retreat to White Pass, which is up in the mountains a few hours east of here.  I don't ski, but I do enjoy taking the time to be out of the city, to spend time with existing friends and make new friends, to make snowballs, and just generally relax.


I will be going back to Arizona for a nice 2 week vacation this year.  The first few days Mom and I will head down to Rocky Point, Mexico.  Hopefully we will have warmth and sunshine and can go swimming in the Gulf of California.  I'm looking forward to fresh shrimp basted with garlic butter and grilled on the barbecue, shopping for ironwood carvings, and watching sunsets over the ocean.

After we get back I will have a few days to get together with friends for shopping and lunches, and of course an evening or two playing Bridge and board games with Helen & Jim.  Christmas Eve brings the late night candlelight service at Church, followed by a good night's sleep and an early morning for opening stockings and presents.  Christmas Day there'll be a nice holiday dinner at Mom's house, then...

Dad and I take off for a road trip to Las Vegas for the final few days of my vacation.  We'll stay at the Excalibur, take in some shows, play the game where you line up your quarter so it will push others into the winnings bin, and see what's new in the last 7 yrs.


I went on several different trips in November.  For Thanks Giving I flew back to Nebraska and had a great long weekend and Thanks Giving dinner with family.  Mom flew back too and she and I both stayed with my brother Don.  Mom and I did a little Christmas shopping Friday morning.  Dad was also in town, so Saturday afternoon the four of us hung out and played games all afternoon.  I was in heaven!

In mid-November I attended OryCon, a Sci-Fi convention held in Portland, Oregon.  I always enjoy OryCon because the hotel is right on the Columbia River, plus I usually get a chance to visit briefly with my friend Mike (who lives in Portland) or my cousin Jenna and her family (who live in Vancouver, WA just across the border) or both.  This trip Mike and I hung out at Denny's for a couple of hours which was nice since it's been ages since we talked and we were able to catch up.  I also got a chance to do some volunteering at the convention, which is part of the reason I go, so that was good too.

At the beginning of November I flew out to Houston, Texas to visit Charm [a friend from church who had moved out there a few months before.]  One day while I was there we drove out to Galveston which is on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  While there we visited Moody Mansion, the Strand [a shopping area big in the 30s or so] and on the way home stopped by a cowboy outfitting store and I picked up a new pair of boots!

I actually flew into Arizona the day before leaving for Texas, which just happened to be Election Day.  [Don't worry, I made it to the polls to vote that afternoon.]  Got to see snippets of election coverage while waiting for the plane.  It was interesting to watch states change colors back and forth and see that some states were undecided.



October was similarly eventful.  At the end of October I changed groups to HIP.Net. I'm still at Microsoft but no longer with International Encarta Encyclopedia [IEE].   Like IEE the ship cycle for this group will have it's busiest time starting in early summer [sorry, no big BBQ for 4th of July] but hopefully I should be able to relax a little more in late summer / early fall [so maybe I can host something for Labor Day weekend next year.]

Dad visited for much of October [until we both flew back to Phx on Election Day.]  It was a good visit - one afternoon we played Settlers of Catan and other games at Devin & Stephanie's [I try to visit them regularly to keep current with my adorable God-Children:  Treanna, 4, and Alaric, 2.]   We also got together with my brother Greg for dinner &/or movies a couple of nights.  [One night coming home we were in a fender bender but luckily we had the Ford (not my Volvo) & damage was minor.]  Dad also helped me get my old office cleaned out, plus projects at my house.  Thanks Dad!

Earlier in October I went to TerraCon
, which was relaxing but not well attended. =(


September through mid-October I was mostly still shipping IEE SKUs, but the one thing of significance is that I picked up a second bunny rabbit named Nickle.  [She was originally Bunnicula but I couldn't bring myself to call her that.  She's a little hyper and Parrie's not too sure yet what to make of this newcomer.]

In August I flew down to Arizona for my 10 year high-school reunion.  I can't believe it's been 10 years already!  It was really good to see people - most of whom I hadn't seen since graduation or before.  The bizarre thing was that I remembered most people better from grade school than from high school.  Hopefully I'll include some of those folks in this mailing and manage to keep in touch with them over the next 10 years.
July:  Shipping began, and continued through to Oct.  [Basically, very busy at work.]

Earlier this year I got an e-mail out of the blue from my 2nd friend ever, Audrey.  Now, I hadn't heard from her in months or even years though she had received my annual mass mailings so knew all about what was up with me, so getting this forwarded joke or story was great but a bit confusing.  Well, a few e-mail conversations later she announced that she was getting married in June, so I took the opportunity to fly out to Colorado, and get back in touch with another old friend.  Congratulations Audrey!

Dec - May:

Feb. through May were mostly packed with work, more conventions, events, etc.  In January I got a tooth pulled, and in December of 99 I had my first crown ever put in.


Well, that's my life and I'm about out of room.
Happy Holidays one and all!


Mickie Wehr.

OSC:  I attend Science Fiction conventions with the Order of St. Chiros, a Christian con-going group I belong to who are helping spread the word to fellow Sci-Fi fans that Christians are people too.  We provide sanctuary at conventions for people who need to get away from a bad situation, hold services at the conventions [as one of our  members is a minister,] volunteer, fellowship, etc.



SCA = Society for Creative Anachronism, a Medieval / Renaissance historical society that holds feasts and tournaments and classes on "Period" [~ 650 AD - 1650 AD] crafts, costuming, music, sports, etc.  [I sing and do archery with the SCA.] http://www.SCA.org/


Pathfinders: 20s & 30s.  This year I am a Co-Coordinator of my church's 20s & 30s group.  We meet about once a month for a pot-luck dinner [usually at my place] and then go out to a comedy club, bowling, stay in and play board games, etc.  We also have major events such as the Ski Trip / Winter Retreat to White Pass in January and sometimes a rafting trip in August.




HIP.Net = Home Imaging and Publishing.  There are some pretty cool things in this group - the products I work on now [Picture-It! & PI Publishing] contain digital photo enhancement, project templates for creating flyers and web albums, etc. plus designs for creating personalized photo greeting cards.  The new Picture-It! web site even allows people to order postcards or T-shirts or mugs, etc from their own photos!  http://pictureit.msn.com

Click here to see my other letters.