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!