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Spring is in the air from the house of Walsh, Oregon.

Dear Friends and Family on
both sides of the Pacific Ocean,

I can't believe it's been over a year since I started to update our website, I've got no idea where the time has gone. I do know that time seems to speed up more and more, proportional to the requirements that daily life sends our way.

This update will start with the end of 2009, go through 2010 and up to mid April 2011. The reason for this time frame is because that's when I started working full time and the period for which I haven't really done anything with our website.

To be working again was more than good financially, although it started to help us start the long road back to trying to establish some sort of financial security, I found not working really is hard to deal with, especially after working so many jobs that had such long hours.

The financial crisis that still effects Oregon in 2011, and still casts a shadow over our future with potential for more difficulties in the future that we will face when the time comes.

The end of 2009 saw the printing and release of my first novel, Personal Greed: The true enemy. During the time I was unemployed I was able to start a project that I had wanted to for many years but never had the time.

Rolling over my shameless plug opposite, will show you trying to claim I'm starving wouldn't be too successful. I don't really want anyone to buy a book because I don't have many in stock and I'm saving my money to try and get my next book that is being edited at present printed.

There are practical reasons why I write under the name "Auster Railer" although at first it was because of a sense of devilment. For more on my writing, you can go to:

Our Hobbies

Or my website using the link opposite.

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Visit my author's website site:

The year, 2010 started out with promise, as I had got into the swing of my fulltime job with the State of Oregon I had started in late 2009.

Employed as a "Hard Copy Data and Information Delivery Engineer!" sounds impressive but the true title of the position is really "Inter Agency Mail Delivery Driver".

The trucks I drive, shown opposite are like driving a small metal garden shed, they are hot in summer, cold in winter and rattle year round but it's great to be working and I enjoy going to work.

January 4, Colby and Rachel, in Alaska became the parents of twin girls, Addie and JJ, while Kellan also became a "big brother"!

Conda was over the moon to have two new healthy grand daughters even if they were so far away!

March nineteen, last year was a furlough day that we both had the day off without pay.

The use of furloughs, is one of Oregon's ways of dealing with the revenue short fall caused by the financial crisis. Conda planned a mystery weekend away for us to use the three day weekend we had.

The destination for our weekend was less than sixty miles north of Salem at the Red Lion Hotel on Hayden Island. The hotel is located on the Columbia River, the border between Oregon and Washington State.

This was the first time we had really had the opportunity to get away for some time and we enjoyed it tremendously.

Saturday morning I went out for a walk, while Conda read in the room. I took in the views including Mt. Hood in the distance. The air temperature was cool but pleasant.

The chance to sit back and do nothing was fantastic and I argument it by taking a number of walks, writing and watching a stupid cable TV program!

Our room very comfortable, on the second floor, facing the river and gave great views.

The weather was sunny and pleasant, although much cooler than the equitant for the same time of year in Australia, but that didn't matter.

Saturday was quite sunny and we watched the wide variety of boats on the river ranging from small fishing boats to larger pleasure boats, and tugs pushing barges down the river.

The small relative size of the tugs pushing the barges down the river was interesting to me.

The visibility for the tug crew didn't seem too good, but I guess they know what they are doing!


I enjoy watching ships, and aircraft. The hotel was under the flight path for aircraft landing at Portland International Airport, (PDX) the same airport Conda and I arrived, just over four years previously.

The noise of landing aircraft could be a problem, but as soon as we closed the windows, the sound stayed outside and we were able to enjoy the comfort of our room. I did make the mistake of turning on the TV, something we rarely do at home.

If I hadn't turned on the TV we couldn't have wasted time watching a stupid reality program that we did. I have to ask, which is worse, watching a stupid program, or not turning it off?

Sunday morning, we were on the move and heading north across the bridge over the Columbia River that is the also border between Oregon and Washington State.

Looking back across the river into Oregon, we could see our hotel. The weather had turned for the worst as clouds had hidden the blue sky and sunshine from the day before.

Our destination in the city of Vancouver, was to be Joe’s Crab Shack, our mission was seafood. Joe’s Crab Shack was a place that I heard of before and was looking forward to investigating their menu.

Misty rain was starting to fall as went inside, but who cares!

Initially we had a problem with the volume of the music, but after that was resolved we enjoyed a fabulous seafood dinner of crab, prawns, corn and potatoes. After an enjoyable meal we headed home to Salem and our two pussy cats, who were happy to see they weren’t going to be abandoned for another night!

June 6, 1945 was "D Day", June 4, 2010 was "Lilly Wolfer Day" when Conda became a Grandma again, as Corey and Shelly became proud parents of a special little lady.

Shelly's Mom was there to hold Lilly, but I'm willing to wait and hold her hand when she goes to school when she is five!

After the excitement of Lilly's arrival, not a lot happened in the later months of the year.

Sophie got sick and had to be put down and our car gave us some trouble but luckily, Garry and Toni allowed us the use of their "spare car"!

Sophie and Tiger never really got along when they were they shared the house, but Tiger became very lonely. His solitude was made more miserable by long days alone caused by both Conda and I working.

Conda and I had vacation time in November and the difference in Tiger was very apparent with us home during the day.

We were concerned that when we went back to work he would become miserable again so we began to ponder the problem and seek a solution. We decided to recruit a new family member. Cassie a small black one year old from "The Salem friends of felines", a local cat rescue organization became Tiger's new companion. We were a little concerned as to how they would get along, but they became very close, very quickly.

The toys on the floor and top of the TV cabinet may give the impression of children in the house, but the ones on the floor belong to "Sassy Cassie"! The ones on top are there, to try and keep them from Sassy Cassie! The approach of the Christmas/New Year holidays caused my usual devotion to Christmas decorating.

I hope you didn't miss the splendidly decorated tree on top of the TV cabinet! I'd say I was diligent getting it put up in time for the season but the truth may be closer to not putting it away last year. To be fair, I did turn the lights on, now and then and even play the odd Christmas season CD on as well!

The holiday season did bring Colby, Rachel, Kellan and the girls down from Alaska to Oregon to visit. Colby and Rachel know who is who, but I could use bar codes or labels!

The arrival of the Alaskans, did allow and emotional grandmother to meet two more little ladies that were now nearly a year old!

This night out for dinner was the first time all grand children were together!

We think that Lilly was worried she was seeing double, as her cousins met their grandma for the first time!

For New Year's we spent the weekend over at the coast. Colby and Corey, their wives Rachel and Shelly and the four grand children got to spend time with a happy grandma and me for good measure.

The house that Colby rented for the week was very comfortable and well equipped. Three spacious bedrooms upstairs with king sized beds, that for Conda and I, were even more spacious without two cats wrestling!

Grammy and Lilly!

A twin with cousin Lilly!

Kellan, sisters JJ and Addie and cousin Lilly pose for a family photo!

The squirming was just beginning as Kellan seemed to be starting to realize how difficult it will be to hold on to these three girls!

Well, that's it for now - 04/11/2011, 16:00

With the calendar showing mid April, almost a third of this year has already gone. With the continuing budgetary problems facing Oregon, both Conda and I face an uncertain future.

With work I'm currently doing a leadership course that yields quite a bit of home work. I do this homework more diligently than I did when I was in school. I'm not sure if it's because I'm more mature than I was in school or because I've developed a love of reading and research for my writing. In any case it can only help.

Conda and I have both become active with the union and that alone takes quite a bit of time. I didn't have time to do all I need to, and then got involved with the union, what was I thinking?

Every time I've updated this website, I've announced plans to do it more regularly, and that's my intention at the time of writing this piece, only time will tell if I'm successful with it this time!

We are expecting Ken to visit Kansas Oregon and Kansas in the later part of the year as he has threatened to do for many years. There are some, maybe in who have doubts as to whether he will make the trip. But I'm confident and hopeful. With the Australian dollar worth more than the U.S. dollar at present, now would be the smart time to visit.

When I visited Oregon the first time in 2000, the Aussie dollar was only worth 49 cents American! They waited until I got back to start it's eventual climb to it's current historic high!

Take care everybody and say "Hi" when you get the chance!

Conda & Steve Walsh