Saturday, December 30, 2006

one year bible blog

one year bible blog
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
I have probably read through the entire Bible several times in my life, but I had never read it systematically in one year - until tomorrow. Not that I haven't tried before. With the help of a blog and it's link to an online Bible, I was able to faithfully keep up on daily bible readings for one year. I have been wondering if the fact that I could do my reading on my Mac laptop encouraged the discipline. :) Even though it's internet based, you can save previously loaded windows, and read them on vacation days, even when you can't fing a wireless internet link - i.e. camping in the Grand Tetons. I enjoy using this blog because each day the author of the blog posts some background comments on the reading and lots of pictures that go along with the readings. I really appreciate the pictures, particularly if they are some old paintings of a biblical scene. There are also daily comments from other readers who have read the same thing that day. I usually didn't read all the material availble, but it was nice to have it there, if I wanted a little more background or discussion. I have looked for other internet daily bible reading sites for next year, but I haven't found anything I like better, so I'll go with this one again this year. If you are thinking of using an aide like this, I recommend it. Check it out at

Thursday, December 28, 2006

the bulthuis gathering

My nephew Aaron and wife Jen played host to the Bulthuis Christmas gathering on Wednesday. Aaron and Jen, along with their two sons recently moved to Lynden as Aaron is now principal of Lynden Christian Middle School. It was great to get together with my siblings and their families. Karen and Brian are home for a few days from New York. Ellen has been staying with mom in her new home in Meadow Greens, but will come home with us for a few days before flying home to Sacramento.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Eve with Eides

Celebration of Christmas this year was shared with the Eide family (Esther's two brothers and families.) The weekend was filled with eating, talking and playing the Wii. All of the adults took their turn at flinging the Wii remote back and forth through the air. Meals included among other goodies: oyster stew, clam chowder, sausage egg balls, peppermint jellow and pork tenderloin. We appreciate our large house with fourteen bodies spending the three days together.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A shopping day in Seattle

Gorditos on Queen Anne
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Jenny has been staying with us for a few days, and was able to join us on our pre-Christmas Seattle shopping day. Little did she realize what she was in for. After shopping stops at Capital hill, Queen Anne, Greenwood, Northgate, Universtiy Village, Southcenter and Tacoma Mall, she learned how serious Bulthuis pre-Christmas shopping can be. Jenny and Bjorn enjoyed American Apparel and Urban Outfitter on Broadway. Calvin relished a stop at Gary's Games and Hobbies in Greenwood. Markus was able to pre-order his WOW game at Northgate. Esther's enjoyment of Universtiy Village was cut short by a power outage, but rescued by an unexpected find at World Market in Tacoma. And we all enjoyed a hefty burrito at Gorditos. With Santa's bags now almost full, we need a recoup day in sleepy Southworth!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

the nativity story

the nativity story
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Last night our family went to the theater to see 'the nativity story'. We all enjoyed the experience. I particularly appreciated the 'earthiness' of the sets. Though Nazareth and Bethlehem may not have been as primitive as the movie depicts, I am sure that they were simpler and dirtier than my common perception of them. I was disturbed by Mary's melancholic spirit and the lack of any romance in the betrothal. I have always envisioned a more cheerful madonna. Joseph seemed more in keeping with my perceptions. In any case, it was a good experience and I recommend it to your holiday agenda. The sacred events surrounding our Savior's advent never cease to capture my amazement and emotion. We wrapped up the evening with a trip to Starbucks. It's great to have Bjorn home this week.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

babysitting greegio

babysitting greegio
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
The sounds of my childhood are haunting me these days. Our neighbors are enjoying a week in Mexico, leaving us the opportunity to look after their pets. With the power off, we thought it best to bring 'Greegio' home to some heat. My entire childhood was shared with an African Grey parrot. These tropical fowl have a pecular habit of piercing the quiet with shrills and human sounding whistles. Greegio doesn't seem to be the talker that our 'Aku' was, but he would give him a whistling challenge. We have altered his diet of pizza and muffins to fruit and nuts, but he seems to be surviving. Well, we are back in the land of the 'powerful' today and enjoying anew the conveniences of electrons.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

powerless in Southworth

powerless in Southworth
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Yes, we are one of the many victims of the windstorm that hit western Washington Thursday night. Most of Kitsap County was knocked powerless by the storm; and school was cancelled (our last half-day before the break) We have been staying somewhat warm with a gas stove and fireplace. The deck has become our new kitchen. It is frustrating to see the ferry parking lot all lit up with their backup generator, and us with no power day after day; though we did benefit a little this morning. I went down to the expresso stand with my coffee grinder and used their power to grind my coffee. And like a good Dutchman, I didn't even buy a latte. Last night, we all went to Tacoma to escape the endless candlelit evening. (I know, we aren't very hard core!) This afternoon, I stopped at the library to get my internet fix. Markus and Calvin are spending the evening at 'powerful' friend's homes. Esther and I will enjoy a candlelit night with Oscar, Bowser and the neighbor's African Grey parrot (another blog)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

end of finals celebration

terrain park Whistler
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Markus is the first of the family to savor this year's snowpack. He and some SPU friends celebrated the completion of finals with a trip to Whistler. They had two for one coupons and spent two days carving up the slopes. Many of the higher runs were closed due to high winds, but there was plenty of powder to plow through. Esther, Calvin and I are sliding through the last few days of school before the break. The wild weather with power outages at home and at school are making this week interesting. We are looking forward to Bjorn being home next week.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

getting ready for the season

The last couple of weekends have been filled with domestic holiday preparation. Last weekend it was outside lights and a christmas tree. This weekend I have been painting the basement and the main bath. Esther has been busy both weekends decorating the inside of the house with christmas cheer. Friday night we picked Markus up from finishing his finals at SPU. He took off again Sunday night for a couple of days of snowboarding at Whistler with college friends. Bjorn still needs to finish up finals at Trinity, but should be home next Sunday.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Fleeing Fundamentalism

Fleeing Fundamentalism
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
A couple of weeks ago I came across this title in a bookstore. After browsing through the contents, I discovered that it was a story of a minister's wife of an evangelical church in the northwest, whose husband’s hypocritical lifestyle of control, pornography and strip clubs pushed her to a divorce and a rejection of the Christian faith. I was curious enough to order the book later and begin reading. The more I read, the more identification I made with people and places. Imagine my surprise as I slowly realized that the church which provided the setting for this tragic narrative was the very church that I pastored in Everett in the early 90’s! A preceding pastor and his wife were the characters of this sad chronicle. The parsonage that we lived in was the backdrop of the deceit and heartbreak. The parishioners who we served were the characters in the sordid plot. Of course, the names of everyone were changed, but their identity is undeniable. I recalled stories of this very strong pulpiteer that preceded me. His preaching was well respected by everyone. There were allusions to their troubled marriage, and there were a couple of bizarre incidences; but I never suspected what had happened. The sad thing is that the author has ‘thrown the baby out with the bathwater,’ and rejected the Bible completely. She is currently a producer for KCTS and her ex is a popular speaker in Unity churches. I am still processing the implications of this shocking story.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mike, Sarah and Annika get a new house

Saturday was a busy day: dropping off Ellen at the airport, going to a family wedding and helping my niece and her young family move into their new house. Mike and Sarah purchased their first home. Mike works at the REI headquarters in Renton, and Sarah is an occupational therapist in Bellevue. They have been renting in the Kennydale area for a year and like the vicinity. After a lot of searching, they came upon a great house in the neighbohood and snatched it up. The previous owner did many upgrades inside and it is very comfortable. It has a great fenced in back yard for their daughter Annika; and the house is on a dead end street. In the evening, we went to Esther's cousin's son's wedding in Tacoma. It was good to spend some time with some of the Eide relatives that we don't see that often.

Friday, November 24, 2006

have turkey, will travel

My siblings and their children battled the Puget Sound traffic to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. The delay of bridge traffic for my siblings was matched by a power outage in Southworth. The power went out at about 11, so we started hauling the turkey and other dishes up to the church kitchen. By the time that all the dishes were settled in the ovens, the power came back on at home, and it was time to haul all the food back home. Now Esther has a Turkey story to share. Dinner was a little late, but very delicious. Jon, Angie and baby West arrived midway through the meal. It was great to see everyone. Mike, Sarah and Annika interrupted their house moving to join us for the day as well. We introduced everyone to the joys of Wii sports. Ellen will stay a couple of days with us before heading back to Sacramento.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

what do Wii have here?

Calvin has been anticipating this weekend for many months. In July, he forewent his birthday gift for a contribution towards this day. He spent about 16 hours waiting in line at the local Fred Meyer for his Wii. His only regret is not being able to share it with his brothers this weekend. The next best thing is dad. So I played a little Wii tennis. It's great! Now I don't need to find an opponent and drive eight miles to enjoy some racquet action! For those of you not familiar with the system, it has a sensor in the wireless handheld wand that interacts with the game. It can distinguish between forehand and backhand. At least kids will be moving a little more playing with this system.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

a long overdue project

After three years in this house, I finally put a shower over the soaking tub on the main floor. The main reason it took me so long was that I couldn't get myself to rip out the unique tub and put in a basic tub/shower unit. It would have just look out of place in the big room. The next problem I had to solve was how to make a shower over the existing tub without putting up a bunch of walls. After searching the internet, I finally pieced together an oval curtain rod and sliding bar hand shower that should work. All the material is good quality, so it will hold up well. I couldn't resist trying my new creation out, even without the curtain, which will come this week. It worked great; just need that curtain. Now the boys and guests won't have to use the master bath.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

armchair traveling

Instead of our usual sit at home fall evening, Esther and I went to a travelogue. A local dentist from Manchester and his wife took seven years to sail around the world after retirement. Shortly after they departed, their son was killed in a flash flood in Nepal. After much consideration, they decided to continue the trip, which took them through the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, India, the Mediteranean, the Caribbean, Panama Canal and Mexico. The presentation focused more on the land adventures than the sailing experience, which was to be expected. I have not read the book yet, but plan to add it to my library of circumnavigation chronicles.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

bavarian break

Front St. Leavenworth
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
This weekend was a getaway weekend for the Bulthuis family. Calvin went to a church retreat; Markus went to a college dorm retreat; and Esther and I took a belated anniversary trip to Leavenworth. The forecast for the passes was a little iffy, but we decided to go for it. We have spent at least half a dozen anniversaries in Leavenworth; usually, the last of September. We have always stayed at B and B's, but we stayed at the Enzian this time. It was nice to be able to walk to town, and the brunch was great. I had never been in their fourth floor dining room and was surprised by its great view of the valley. Esther enjoyed several hours of shopping while I found the bookstore. Dinner was at Visconti's. A great weekend - refreshed for a new week.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

northwest payback

It appears as though the northwest 'weather gods' have decided that it is payback time for all that nice weather we had this summer. We are in for the long haul of a wet winter. There was a bright surprise for us today as Markus unexpectedly dropped by. He was with some friends visiting at WWU last night and came home with them for the day. He is doing great at SPU, acing tests and making friends. He and Calvin joined some friends this afternoon for a sloppy game of Ultimate frisbee.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

what to make of halloween

halloween guest
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
One of my students asked me today: "What are you going to dress up as tonight?" "A grumpy old man passing out candy." was my reply. Esther was out for the night listening to author Gregg Olsen speak at the public library, and Calvin was helping at the church carnival. That left me to handle the 'treating' of guests. I have such mixed feelings about this holiday. On the one hand, it is a celebration of 'demonic' beings such as witches, goblins and vampires, to which, as a christian, I am repulsed. On the other hand, it is one of the most neighborly and community oriented practices that we have in our society. Parents assist their children with intricate costumes. Families get out of the house and mingle together on streets, bringing their children to share in the generosity of their neighbors. They teach their children to be polite and say 'thank you" and "Happy Halloween." Homeowners spend hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to invite young adventurers to their yards and share candy with them. Somehow it is hard to dismiss all this goodwill, creativity and family festivity as a 'worthless pagan holiday.'

Saturday, October 28, 2006

canoe chronicle

canoe at the ready
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
If you can't enjoy sailing because your boats are in hibernation, you might as well do the next best thing - grab anything that floats! I could not pass up this gorgeous fall Saturday without getting on the water. My canoe has a year round berth in my neighbor's beachfront yard, so it's easy to launch at the impulse of an itch. Because there was a mild south breeze, and because I rarely venture south, I decided to head down Colvos Passage. It didn't take me long to realize that this struggle against wind and current was going to be a slow go. It occured to me that while my progress was slow, I was sharing the elements of Puget Sound mariners of centuries past. For hundreds or thousands of years, the only vessels to ply these waters were dugout canoes. While my plastic Coleman pales in comparison to the dignity and stabilty of the carved cedar craft of the Salish, I share something of the timeless interplay between human motion and this inland sea. After an hour of inching my way down the passage, I turned the bow back north and enjoyed a quick relaxing ride back home. The vivid colors of the autumn afternoon were a sharp contrast to the colorless marine fog of the morning.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

the fulness of fall

fall colors at school
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Autumn is probably my least favorite of the seasons, (no snowboarding or sailing) but enjoying the colors is one special treat that we only get for a few short weeks. The grounds at my school are ablaze with reds, oranges and yellows right now, and I couldn't pass up a chance to grab a couple of pics. The children are mostly oblivious to the beauty around them as they scamper around at recess, but everytime I step out of doors to pick them up from their recess lines, I marvel at the magnificent display of color.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

half a century!

Ed and Tanya
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
This is the fateful year that my high school classmates and I hit the half century mark. This weekend the first of the mighty fell. Ed Heutink was a childhood and teenage buddy of mine. Saturday night he was surrounded by friends and family who ushered him into old age. Esther and I went up to Ferndale to join them. I regret that Ed and I have not stayed in closer contact over the years, but it was great to catch up on eachother's lives and recount old memories. I was especially blessed to hear of Ed's strong faith in the Lord and the miraculous work of God in his and Tanya's life. Our weekend was full as we also attended Marti's dad's memorial service before scooting up to Whatcom county; and then visiting Bjorn and Jenny in Fort Langley on Sunday. Bjorn's new housing situation is very nice - a newly remodeled basement apartment in Fort Langley that he shares with two other guys. Bjorn and Jenny's apartments are within walking distance of eachother.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

a father 'goes home'

Marti and Esther
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Sister-in-law Marti spent the weekend with us as her daughter Marika and a friend were at a weekend horsemanship camp nearby. We had a great visit, talking sons, colleges and church. Sunday morning she received a call that her father died this morning! He has been at Lynden Manor for several years, slowly experiencing immobility and a decline in communucation ability. Late last week he had a fall and was hospitalized. Fortunately, Mike was still in town and could help with transitions to the hospital and then to a nearby care center. Evidently, the trauma was too much for Ray's fragile body and he passed away this morning. Marti expressed that the news was bitter/sweet as the last several conversations with her father included his expressing a desire to 'go home' and leave this struggling life. Pray for Marti and Mike this week as they greive this loss and connect with family scattered around the northwest.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

literature circles

literature circles
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Our curriculum in the multiage classroom takes on little changes each year, hopefully for the better. This year part of our reading program will include literature circles. While this format has been popular in the last few years, we had not incorporated it in our classroom. So far we have trained the class in the different roles that they bring to the circles, using an all class novel. This week the students selected their own novels and have begun their discussion circles. It is definitely an adjustment for the students to facilitate their own discussion for any length of time, but they are learning.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

update on Tom

Tom was admitted to the U. of W. hospital for the purpose of rotoring out the build up in one of his coronary arteries. Because of a tear in the wall of the artery, due to the earlier procedure on Monday, the doctors felt it would be better to wait a month to let it heal before attempting this next evasion. He gets to go home and back to work, though he needs to take things easy. He's basically on hold. I assume that blogging will not be to strenuous and we can expect some wisdom from Creative Concepts.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

pray for Tom

Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Our good friend Tom Gillard of Creative Concepts fame will be having some delicate angioplasty surgery in Seattle tomorrow. On Monday, he went in to Harrison Hospital for an original attempt at getting rid of some blockage in his coronary artery, but they were unsuccessful. He was transported to Seattle today, and tomorrow morning they will attempt a more delicate procedure. Please pray that it will be successful and that he and Peggy will experience the closeness of God in these days.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

made it to mars hill

church with Markus
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
After three years of hearing about Mars Hill Church, browsing their website and listening to their podcasts, I finally made it to a service. We picked up Markus and went to the 5:00 pm service. It was packed (750-1000) We weren't disappointed. Mark Driscoll had a good sermon on 'Is Jesus God?" and the worship band was good, even though it was a more grungee sound than I'm used to. The crowd is definitely generation X with a few families and old fogeys mixed in. Mars Hill is an amazing work of God, especially considering it's setting in Seattle. Markus then took us to Gorditos on Queen Anne hill where we got our fill of great burritos.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Calvin's first solo

the new driver
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Calvin passed his driving test today and is the proud possessor of a Washington State driver's license. Parking has proved his biggest challenge, but with persistence he has mastered it. After passing the test, we had to wait for another aggravating hour, listening to numbers before they would take our twenty-five dollars and Calvin's picture. All this while three windows sat empty. The Kitsap County DMV office is the epitome of customer disservice. Another accomplishment of the day was to take the boat out of the water for the winter. Calvin met me at the launch and helped me take down the mast. Both boats are safely in the upper parking area, creating a eye sore for the neighborhood. In a week or so, I'll have them cleaned up and tucked away beside the house for the winter.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

fox island facial

My teaching partner, Don, and wife Julie made some major upgrades to their Fox Island home this summer. The deck is the last major project, so I helped Don for a little while this weekend putting down his trex decking. They had a new roof, siding, windows and doors installed. Don put in all new pine flooring himself, as well as the new deck. The kitchen has new appliances and countertops, and new paint inside and out. It looks great! Funny how it's often the empty nest that gets the spiffing up. We have a few years before we get to spif up our empty nest.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

a new chapter in life

Today Esther and I took Markus to Seattle Pacific University to begin his college adventure. It was an emotional day with a lot of apprehension about what the future holds. We got to meet his roomate and parents who are also from Port Orchard. His roomate is a junior and can help Markus with all the initial details of life at SPU. One of Bjorn's friends, Boone, who works in financial services helped us clear up some paperwork. After getting Markus settled and going to the invocation ceremony and courtyard barbecue, we left him to tackle the orientation weekend by himself. While it is rewarding to see Markus step out into adulthood, it is sad to say goodbye to his childhood and feel the vacancy of his absence.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

29 years and counting

Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Today was our anniversary and this evening we went to Anthony's Homeport at Pt. Defiance. We hope to take a getaway weekend within the next couple of weeks. When you're twenty, it's hard to even vaguely imagine what life will bring. We are very thankful for the life God has given us together and the wonderful family He has blessed us with. We look forward to more exciting things in the future.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Chillin' on Mt. Townsend

Summit of Mt. Townsend
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Today Don and I took our classroom leaders on a hike to the summit of Mt. Townsend. On a clear day you can see from Victoria, BC to Mt. Rainier. On a cloudy day, you can't see twenty yards. We did get short glimpses of the valley, but we froze on the ridge. There was evidence of snow last night, and ice pellets would occasionally bombard us. The students did great, hiking the 3000 ft. in four miles to the 6200 ft. summit. These student leaders help us with the classroom management of our fifty plus students. They are each responsible for three or four other students, keeping them focused and on task. It's fun to honor them by taking them on a special event.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A bear in Southworth?

bear in Southworth?
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Looks like we didn't need to drive a thousand miles and hike four miles in the Tetons to see bear this summer. Ursus americanus made a showing last week on our street. A neighbor shared this photo that he took from the safety? of his fenced-in yard. I wonder how Bowser would enjoy a sniffing party with this guy! My guess is that he wandered up the beach trail picking blackberries and found himself in the friendly Southworth neighborhood.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

september sunday sailing in southworth

The 2006 Southworth sailing season will soon be over, so I grabbed the opportunity this lovely afternoon to hoist the sails. It was sort of a consolation for not going to Pt. Townsend today for the annual Wooden Boat Festival. I was a little more cautious today as we witnessed two capsizes yesterday evening: a sailboat and a kayak, within thiry minutes of eachother. I called 911 on the sailboat. He eventually drifted to shore where the paramedics met him. The kayaker never did get back in her boat, but was escorted to shore by another kayaker. This afternoon was not nearly as windy as yesterday, but I was still a little spooked. The wind did pick up for a time and I became a little nervous when I discovered that my outboard died (first time in ten years of faithful service from the old secondhand Merc) I dropped some sail and had to rely on my sailing prowess to inch up and grab the mooring bouy. I'll leave her in for another month, before hauling her out to the winter berth.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Back to School

Back to School
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
The first week of school is often a positive experience. Kids are on their best behavior. New curriculum ideas are ready to be explored. The weather is nice. This year was no exception, as we are off to a good start with what looks like a great bunch of kids in our class. Calvin started high school this fall and Esther gets to adjust to a new administration team. It is a tradition in our family to go out to eat at a Teriyaki restaurant the first day of school and debrief everyone's day. Markus joined us for the meal of course, but his first first day will be later this month.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

seafood weekend with the Eides

oyster lover's table
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
If it wasn't for salmon, I think that I would have gone hungry this past weekend. The Eide family pride themselves on their love of the culinary bounty of the sea. Labor Day weekend was a seafood indulgence extravaganza: oysters, crab, mussels, clams, shrimp and salmon. For a couple of old Norwegian siblings, it was oysters for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Now, I love the sea as a setting for recreation (sailing), but my tastes for it's produce ends with salmon and maybe a little crab and clam. We spent the weekend at the Cain Lake cabin. Saturday night we got grimey at the Skagit Speedway; a different experience for an old salt like me. It was a lot of fun, especially the final race which went through several restarts because of endless crashes. Bjorn and Jenny joined us for much of the weekend, and Anna and the girls came by on Sunday. We wrapped up our weekend with a visit with my mom and a trip to the outlet mall for back to school shopping.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Calvin makes a trip to Ikea

Most teenagers spend their summer earnings on video games and electronics; but Calvin poured over the Ikea catalogue to find just the right furniture to purchase. So this week, on our way to pick up Jenny from the airport, Calvin and I stopped at the Renton store. Calvin likes a tidy Spartan looking room, so he went for the bare bones decor.
Jenny had a great time on a Mexico mission trip to Ensenada, where she and other leaders took 12 Native Canadian teenagers from downtown Vancouver to help build a house for a Mexican family. It sounds like it was a fantastic experience for the kids as most had never been out of Canada. Hopefully, she'll tell more about it on her blog - Bjorn headed back to school after flying to Juneau to help his friend Aaron drive his car down to Vancouver. This week will be back to school for Esther and I, while Calvin waits another week. Markus is recovering from wisdom tooth surgery and 'looking forward' to SPU at the end of September.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Vacation - Day Nine

After a lazy breakfast at Mulders, we went to Helena to see Dan’s recent houses. Before leaving town, we stopped by to see my cousin Dan Elenbaas and his wife who own a Christian bookstore. It was great acquainting ourselves to one another after twenty years. They convinced us to stop and see my uncle John and Aunt Mabelle who live in a senior housing facility. They were very surprised to see us as we found them in the dining hall. They both looked very healthy and were sharp minded. I only wish my mom would have been with us. We didn’t leave Helena until 1:30pm with home as our night’s destination. We arrived home by 1:00am to a howling Bowser and purring Oscar.

Vacation - Day Eight

It always amazes me how quickly relationships with old friends can be rekindled. Today we went to Townsend, MT to visit long time friends, Dan and Judy Mulder. Dan and I went to high school together, roomed in college together and built houses together. In our first three years of marriage Esther and I were close friends with Dan and Judy. Ten years ago, they moved from Bellingham to Montana. They relish the slower pace of life and open space. They have a great cabin type house on property bordering the Missouri River. We had a great time sharing the last ten years of our lives and enjoying the company of long time friends. Markus and Calvin had the opportunity to handle some real firearms, shooting tin cans in the desert with Bill. Hopefully, we will see more of each other as we both become empty nesters.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Vacation - Day Seven

A disc golf day. In the morning, the boys and I went disc golfing at a nice private course near Bridger Bowl Ski area. (Esther prefered shopping in Bozeman) The setting was a mountain valley. In the winter, it is a cross-country ski area, but in the summer it is a disc golf course. The fairways were kept mowed and there was some interesting terrain. In the afternoon, we drove to Big Sky Ski Resort and found another course on the ski slopes. This one was really rough. I don't think we could have handled more than nine holes. We enjoyed the pool back at the motel.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Vacation - Day Six

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is a very beautiful place. We took a morning trip to the Canyon before heading out of the park. Mammoth Springs were a disappointment as most of the springs are dormant right now. We decided to go to Bozeman and spend a few nights in a motel. After three nights of camping, we are ready for a little pampering.

Vacation - Day Five

guess what?
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
This is national park week; from Tetons to Yellowstone. One of our first stops was Old Faithful. Esther particularly enjoy the lodge. It is very cool and Esther's great uncle worked on its original construction in 1903. We visited several more geysers and pools before finding a campsite at Canyon village. Canyon Village is one of the few spots in both parks with showers. After three days without, those showers felt great! Markus made a good campfire, which helped take the chill out of the evening. At 8000 ft. even though it's in the 70s during the day, it is in the 30s at night!

Vacation - Day Four

Amphitheater Lake
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Any lack of exercise this vacation was made up today. After a quick trip to Jenny Lake, we headed for a trailhead and a ten mile hike on the flanks of the Grand Teton. It turned out to be the approach trail for climbers who were summitting. We hiked to two alpine lakes which were beautiful. Hiking in the Tetons was something I had been looking forward to, and I wasn’t disappointed. We saw a lot of wildlife including some close-up observation of a mother bear and two cubs. They seemed to ignore us hikers and we got within twenty feet. We also saw grouse, marmot, elk and another bear 30 feet up in a tree. A little more teton sightseeing ended a great day.

Vacation - Day Three

After a beautiful morning drive east of Idaho Falls, we arrived at Jackson and the Tetons. Jenny Lake campground was full, so we found a lakeside site at Signal Mountain. It is a nice campground and we signed up for a couple of nights. After a picnic lunch at the site, we went back to Jackson and on to Teton Village, where we disc golfed nine holes on the slopes of the ski area. We felt fortunate to catch the buffet at Pizza Hut for supper.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Vacation - Day two

Calvin driving 80 mph!
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Got up for a lakeside breakfast of maple and brown sugar oatmeal and Starbucks drip coffee. The drive down to Boise started out beautiful following racing rivers through canyons, but after five hours of road construction and endless corners we were actually looking forward to the interstate. Calvin took the wheel once we were on I-84 and he drove all the way to Idaho Falls. We found a motel with advertised wireless and a HOT breakfast. The internet did not work so we had to hit the Best Western parking lot in the morning. Breakfast was hot and free!

Vacation - Day one

Winchester Lake ID
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
We got a late start with some errands and shopping to do, so we didn’t leave Tacoma until 12:30pm. We made a dash for Pullman, since we wanted to take a different route through Idaho, and we hadn’t seen WSU in a long time; and the boys had never seen it. We got to Pullman about 5:00 and drove around. Well, it didn’t take too long before we thought we had seen most of it! So off to Moscow and Lewiston. We found camping at Winchester Lake State Park on the Nez Perce Reservation. Idaho State Parks are not as cushy as WA. Pit toilets and no sinks in the restroom. Esther didn’t like that very well. We read at the picnic table until the bugs drove us into the tent. The ground must be very hard in Idaho or else I’m getting older!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Summer deck work

Olander's front steps
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
For much of the last month, I have been building decks for a few neighbors. Two of the decks are Trex decks, and one is a solid plywood deck which will be sealed with rubberized coating. I have been fortunate to have had wonderful weather the whole time. Markus helped with the cement pouring and Trex fastening. My flickr postings show more pictures of the work. I am now looking forward to a little vacation time with the family. We plan to visit the Tetons and Yellowstone. Stay tuned for details.

Friday, August 04, 2006

the long anticipated cruise

moored for the evening
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
For almost two years now I have had the intention of circumnavigating Vashon Island. Priorities push the activity to the side and it never happens. Well, yesterday and today I rewarded myself for two finished deck projects by taking the long awaitied sailing trip. It took me two days and I sailed about half the time and motored the other half. My overnight stay was at Dockton Park on Vashon Island. I wasn't sure how well solo sailing would go in the larger boat. I found out that it is a lot easier with a crew (raising the mainsail alone while underway in a strong breeze was a challenge) My stay at Dockton Park was relaxing and a little weird by myself. The 'scare' of the trip was while leaving Dockton this morning. I snagged a mooring line with my keel and could not seem to get free of it. After half an hour of motoring reverse and forward, putting the swing keel up and down, I finally worked it free. Big sigh of relief on that. I thought I was going to spend the day stuck on that line! The trip up Colvos Passage was great. Sunshine and a south wind that pushed me gently back home. Well, I guess I can start dreaming of my next cruise!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Sixteen years ago

Sixteen years ago
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Sixteen years ago Esther was frantically trying to deliver her last born son before her birthday. She didn't want her son to have to share the same day with his mother. Well she succeeded with fifteen minutes to spare! Yesterday we celebrated Calvin's birthday and today Esther's. Calvin's is a milestone year at sixteen, but Esther has to wait a year for her really big milestone year!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Port Townsend surprise

I took the day off from deck-building and Esther and I went to Port Townsend (a favorite get away for us) Esther checks out the shops and I check out the marinas. Well it just happened as I was walking through Point Hudson marina, that I recognized Lin and Larry Pardey. They don't know me from Adam, but I have read many of their books about world cruising. They have basically spent their entire adult lives cruising the world in a small sailboat. They currently live in New Zealand and just happened to be in PT visiting old friends. I pulled one of my father's moves and introduced myself and asked for a picture. They right away asked about my sailing and were ready to engage me in a long conversation, but I felt like I had intruded on their visit with a friend, and so politely thanked them for pandering to a long time fan. Esther and I ended the day with a thorough drive of Marrowstone Island and dinner at a very funky restaurant in Port Hadlock called the Ajax Cafe.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Quiet house in Southworth

Off to Arizona
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
After a couple of weeks with five boys in the house plus me, Esther, Bjorn and I are experiencing a quieter setting. Markus and Calvin went to Arizona for the week to spend some more time with Corbin. On Sunday we went to Seaside Church in Bremerton (Luke and Amy attend) Tonight I launched the larger sailboat with Bjorn's help. I have been working full time on neighborhood decks. One of these days I'll post the finished products. We are gearing up for birthday weekend.

Blogger catch-up

Dinner with Moores
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
It's been over a week since I updated. I am not sure if it's a reflection of my busyness or lazyness. Last week, we had a delicious dinner at Don and Julie Moore's (I teach with Don). Daughter Cheslea was also there to share the evening. Don is planning some major remodeling of their house, and wanted a few ideas. I am anxious to see all of the work complete. On Friday of last week I went with Markus to Seattle Pacific University for a parent and student orientation. Markus registered for his fall classes, and I got the parent talk.