Friday, December 31, 2010

Yukon Do It

My running the past decade has consisted of fitness runs about twice a week, usually between four and six miles. A couple of weeks ago my teaching/running partner proposed the idea of running a half marathon. We are usually not tempted by such torture activities, but since it was in our own backyard, we decided to go for it – finish the year out in style. (or at least in shape!) The 'Yukon Do It half marathon' course started at Manchester Park and followed Beach Drive into Port Orchard and back. I did one practice long run of eleven miles last week and decided I wouldn’t die at thirteen. This morning’s run was very cold, but there were a couple hundred other crazy people, so it didn’t feel so foolish. Don and I started at the back of the pack, so we could slowly pass runners – a great motivating strategy. The run went well, though I could feel Don’s faster pace drag me the last six miles. We crossed the line together at 1 hour 50 minutes, not enough to win any prizes, but respectable for a couple of 50+ers. We finished the morning off at the pancake house with Esther and Don’s daughter Chelsea, who documented the momentous event with her new camera. I’ll be happy to go back to my fitness running. Maybe the full marathon next year. We’ll have to think about that for a while!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor
The past week has been filled with family celebrations; meals, gifts and more meals and gifts. Lynden once again was the host to both our extended family gatherings. Since the bulk of both our extended families are in Lynden, we are fortunate to have it all in the same town. My extended family all gathered at my nephew Aaron's house. Everyone was there except Jonathan who had to work in Illinois. A real treat was to meet Kate, Brian's fiance. It was strange not having Mom there and thinking of her alone at the Courtyard. The Eide family moved through the progression of traditional meals in a round robin on the compound. Bria was absent, but enjoying a Christmas in Norway. We all went to Bjorn and Jenny's church for a candlelight service. Back in Southworth, Bjorn, Jenny, Ada and Ellen are spending a few days with us.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

An early December climax

I'm breaking my December blog silence with a report of a grand event. For most, the climax of December is the 25th, and rightly so. But this year it almost feels like yesterday was the climax. For months we have been anticipating the return of our 'a-wayward son' Yesterday afternoon Calvin arrived back in Seattle. A small welcoming committee gathered to greet him at the terminal. However, the one surprised was not Calvin but the welcoming crowd. Unbeknown to the gathering welcomers, Calvin had taken an earlier flight from Vancouver. He patiently waited in the shadows as friends gathered with posters and anticipation. As Esther and I joined the group, Calvin surprised us from behind, fifteen minutes before his plane was to arrive. He helped unroll his welcome home posters for the terminal to enjoy. An hour later, we were able to turn the surprise back to the traveler as Josh deLacy arrived from Michigan. The unusual poster and poem caught the curiosity of all who passed by. Josh and Calvin's friend, Alicia is never short of ideas. Calvin was craving Mexican food so four cars followed one GPS on a goose chase to a nearby Archie's Mexican Food.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A White Thanksgiving in Greenwood

We spent an enjoyable Thanksgiving in Lynden with the Eides. Bjorn and Jenny weren't there as they went down to Oregon, though we were able to connect on the road as they made their way down and we made our way up with Markus. Kay's family from Tonasket came over the Cascades, so it was an Eide/Pridmore event. We awoke Thanksgiving to a thick blanket of snow which kept thickening as the day went on. I could not recall ever having a white Thanksgiving, though Esther vouches for such in her imaginary childhood:) We visited my Mom a couple of times which is always an emotional challenge as she responds less and less each time. We did not participate in the Black Friday frenzy, though we did do something uncharacteristic in that we watched seven hours of football in one day. Ending our weekend back in Southworth, we had the unexpected surprise of connecting and having dinner with Doug and Merri Monkemeier who pastored at Harper when we first came to Southworth. It was good catching up on one another's lives and families.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Southworth Storm

This week Kitsap County was blasted with ice and wind. For some reason Kitsap got the brunt of the wind Monday night. With over 50,000 customers out of power for over 24 hours, we were one of thousands of households coaxing the room temperature with gas and wood to ward off pipe freeze, let alone occupant freeze. In our midday walk through Southworth on Tuesday, Esther and I came across this unfortunate casualty of the storm. I had a hunch this cabin cruiser wouldn't hold its mooring off Olympiad Drive. This is the second cabin cruiser that 'bit the dust' or rather 'smashed the rocks' in Southworth this fall. While sailboats seem to weather the storms a little better, these tubs are not sleek enough to cut through wind and wave. My marine treasure is safely moored beside the house. Now that the power is back on, we will head to Lynden for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A new house for the Carlsons

This weekend I helped Frank and Sheri Carlson move into their new home. Frank and Sheri are in our small group and are long time Harperites, though recently married. The new house is built on Frank's family property overlooking Sinclair Inlet. HIs parents lived on the property in a small post war cottage. The new house has some unique 'small man' features including some short counters in the kitchen and a short commode. There are great views from the living, dining, kitchen and bedroom. This couple deserves to enjoy this great new house.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Blog site facelift

Having very little blogworthy news to share this week, I decided to give my blog site a long overdue facelift. Using blogger's new template designer, it was easy to add a little more pizzaz to the site. Esther has been enjoying the new MacBook Air while I have been dealing with some issues with my 'faithful' MacBook. One highlight of the past week was having missionaries Dan and Carrie Ritzman at our small group. They are missionaries in Belgium serving Iranian refugees. It was interesting to learn more about the Ritzman's ministry and this unique ethnic group with it's rich history and culture, as well as the people's great hunger for the gospel.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mom's MacBook Air

For months we have been debating about getting an iPad. I was excited about playing with the new hands-on device, but Esther wasn't sure about the lack of a keyboard and inconvenient lap use. Since the justification for a new technology device was a replacement for the ten year old iBook that Esther has been nursing along, I decided I should defer to her wishes. Well, the release of the new MacBook Air was just what I needed to get spousal consent. This weekend we took the plunge and purchased an 11" MacBook Air. It is amazingly light, compact and super fast. My MacBook suddenly feels like a clunker. On another note, it was conference week at school and for the first time since I have been teaching, all of the parents showed up! I always get a no show or two. This afternoon, we took an Halloween Day drive to enjoy the Fall colors and a little bit of sunshine. We drove out the Northshore Dr. on Hood Canal and kept going on the dirt road all the way to Dewatto. It is some pretty remote country but the woods were beautiful with the yellow alder leaves shouting out from among the deep green evergreen. Tonight we will have our traditional pigs-in-a-blanket and we will reminisce of Halloweens gone by. Such is the plight of the empty nester!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

mission accomplished

Every fall I have the nagging ambivalent feeling that I need to get my boat out of the water before winter storms come. 'Ambivalent' because I don't want my sailing to come to an end for the year. In former years, I recruited one of my sons to help me with the tasks of hauling up a 150 lb mushroom anchor from the sea floor and getting a sailboat on a trailer at the launch. Having no sons at home anymore, my friend Tim deLacy came to the rescue. He was rewarded for his kind labors with a mild breeze which allowed us a relaxing sail to the Manchester dock rather than the drone of the outboard. I can sleep a little sounder tonight with the boat safe in her dry dock for the winter.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Connecting on Columbus Day

Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor
A three day weekend afforded us the opportunity to visit Greenwood (a.k.a. Lynden) Saturday we went for lunch at the Everson Auction Sale Barn. Yes, it was hard to choke down the chiliburger with the aroma of manure wafting up from the floor; but it was a childhood memory that Esther needed to relive. Then it was across the street to the Stonyridge Pumpkin Patch with sights and sounds to delight Ada. The drizzly weather finally got to us and we headed back home down the Van Dyk Rd. Sunday was church at Oikos (Bjorn and Jenny's church) and lunch at Little Cheerful's in Bellingham and a visit with Mom. Monday the Greenwood clan took a hike at Lake Tenant in some welcome sunny weather before enjoying lunch at Boundary Bay Brewery.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

September sunset sail on the sound

It is evenings like today that justify leaving my boat at its mooring until late October. If I hurry home from work, I can be on the water by 5:00, which gives me a glorious hour or two soaking up the wind, sun and view from the middle of the sound. City, forest, mountain and sea all beam brightly in the setting sun. To top it off, I came home to some wonderful salmon chowder that Esther made from fresh salmon caught by a friend from school. A couple more of these and I'll be ready to put the boat away for another winter.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

2010 leaders hike

We couldn't have ordered better weather for our annual hike up Mt. Townsend. We had contingency plans in place, but they weren't necessary. Don and I took 12 students and several parents/grandparents up 6200 ft. Mt. Townsend. It was an eight mile round trip adventure. One parent and child decided to turn back, but the rest all made it to the top. The view from the top includes an interior look at the Olympics and a panorama of the Puget Sound and Cascade Range. The hike is offered to the leaders of our classroom of 56 kids. These dozen or so kids have proved themselves responsible and able to help guide their peers. We have another great group of leaders this year.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Victorian Anniversary

It has been six years since Esther and I have visited Victoria. This weekend being our anniversary, we made a weekend overnighter to the enchanted city. It never ceases to amaze me how ‘European’ Victoria feels so close to us. I love entering the city from the harbor. We took the 12:45 Coho from Port Angeles and jumped into an afternoon of strolling, shop browsing and dining before retiring to our ninth floor hotel room at the Coast Harbourside. The pounding rain in the middle of the night didn’t give us high hopes for Sunday’s weather, but we were pleasantly surprised by sunny skies by late morning. We enjoyed a delicious brunch buffet, which gave us the energy to walk the harbor perimeter, including the fisherman’s wharf which has had some upgrades since we visited last. Another change that we noticed this time was the prevalence of the cruise ships. During our 25 hours in the city, we saw five different large cruise ships drop off their teaming tourists to terrorize the town. We caught a 3:00 ferry back to PA where it was pouring down rain. Once again Victoria delivered on a romantic getaway.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

School Resumes for another year

table flags
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor
The school year is off to a good start. We have a nice group of students who are anxious to learn. As a community building activity, each table made a flag to represent themselves. Then we had our own Olympic games, complete with opening flag procession and rigorous competition. It's easy to fall into our familiar routines as teachers, so Don and I have to keep asking ourselves if our routines are effective or would they benefit from a change. I am looking forward to a good year.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Summer's Labor

On the eve of school starting, I take time to reflect on the summer of 2010. Amidst the excitement of vacations, sailing and preparing for Calvin to leave, I managed to complete a several year project for my neighbor. I built retaining walls and poured cement slabs around the remaining portion of his house. The second floor is completely surrounded by decks which I have built, and the bottom floor is surrounded by cement patio or driveway. I'm not sure what's in store for next summer, but he'll think of something! Tomorrow begins a new year in the classroom. I am ready!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Introducing 'Big Man Japan'

If you haven't already found Calvin's Japan blog, I would encourage you to check it out. He is having quite the adventure and is keeping up an active blog. After all the years of him dreaming of this adventure, it is rewarding to see him living it out. Big Man Japan

Monday, August 30, 2010

Calvin takes the plunge

The attached video is of Calvin bungee jumping this summer, but this morning he took the big plunge to Tokyo. We took him to the airport early this morning along with Jenny and Ada as they flew to South Dakota this morning. Calvin is embarking on three years of university study in Japan. He had a great send off on Sunday with his brothers and Mike, Marti and Marika over for a 'last supper' Calvin plans to spend his first night in Japan at a 'capsule hotel' in dowtown Tokyo. The next day he will check-in at International Christian University. We would love to have brought Calvin to his new academic adventure, but finances and schedules prohibit that. Instead, Esther and I sit at home and feel like we just took a bungee plunge!

Friday, August 27, 2010


Today I sold one of my sailboats. I have had this boat for about ten years. It's only been used for a couple of seasons. I haven't used it for three years. It is a nice boat for family cruising, but for my usual needs the Montgomery is just right.I like the boat but can't justify keeping it around. Boats take lots of upkeep - even fiberglass ones. I have wanted to get it ready for selling the last couple of years, finally did it! The buyer is a retired teacher from the Portland area who I am sure will give it a good home and fix it up a bit. The grounds should look a little more tidy with just one boat and trailer around.

Monday, August 16, 2010

family vacation Seabrook

Overheated on the Washington coast, we must have been be dreaming! When we booked our weekend reservations for a family getaway at Seabrook a few months ago, we anticipated the usual gray skies and drizzle. We were planning on enjoying the cozy accommodations and maybe getting a weather break here and there. Well, Saturday we hit the jackpot for coastal weather. Everything was warm except the Pacific Ocean. Seabrook is a newly constructed beach community near Pacific Beach, WA. We rented a house for three nights and enjoyed a long weekend of relaxing family activities – dining, biking, swimming, reading, beaching, gaming, sleeping, touring, picnicking, walking, swinging and pickling (pickle ball). Our house for the weekend was called ‘Ella’s Escape’, which for me was in honor of my Aunt Ella in Chicago. Sunday, the fog returned, so we took a short trip to Lake Quinault Lodge. The gathering was somewhat of a last hoorah before Calvin leaves for Japan.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Garden Celebrations

This past weekend Esther and I went north to attend a wedding in Vancouver BC. We also got to care for Ada as her parents rushed back and forth across the Canadian border, helping with the wedding preparation and entertaining out of town guests. Aaron Castle is a good friend of Bjorn's from college and Amy Neilson is good friend of Jenny's. Each couple claims that they are responsible for getting the other couple together. The wedding was at a stately mansion on the south side of Vancouver. The grounds and facilities made an elegant wedding setting. We also got to spend time with Esther's family and an evening with Doug, Pam and Ellen. Another highlight of the weekend was a progressive dinner at Marti and Mike's to celebrate Esther's birthday. Marti had five different tables set up around the property, each with a unique set of decorations. The six of us rotated around the tables enjoying the scrumptious courses. It started with clams and mussels in the shell, Italian soup, fresh garden salad next to the garden, salmon with cooked vegetables carefully selected from the garden by each guest, and topped with Martha Stewart's icebox cake by out door candle light. Needless to say, it's going to take a lot to top that meal.

Visit from Sis

My sister Ellen came to Washington for a short visit last week. She crammed in a quick trip before starting her school year of teaching in Sacramento. We were able to have Sheri Nelson over for dinner one night and Ellen and Sheri were able to swap China stories. On Wednesday we took an outing to Port Townsend. I enjoyed the new Wooden Boat Foundation complex and the ladies did a little shop browsing. Ellen also went up to Lynden to share some time with Doug and Pam and visit Mom a few times.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Climbing Mt. Baker

Calvin and his friend Josh have been hounding me to climb Mt. Baker this summer; so this week Markus joined us as we made the ascent. The 'partly cloudy' Thursday forecast turned to a light drizzle and dark clouds as we approached the trailhead. We contemplated postponing for a day but the forest service office encouraged us to go ahead since it would clear up in time for our morning ascent, We met a few climbers coming down who had horror stories of their morning summit - high winds and ice pellets. We continued on with the hopes of clear skies by midnight. We hiked through the fog to the high camp at Black Buttes. It was cold, cloudy and windy so we took care of dinner and essentials and then spent the evening in the tents, Unfortunately, I only slept for fifteen minutes before our two o'clock wake up. We woke to a clear blanket of stars and a towering summit. With head lamps and rope we headed up. As we made our way up we enjoyed stars, sunrise, views and a towering mountain. The final hour was extremely exhausting. We arrived on the summit at 8 am, the first party of the day. It was cold and windy but the views were amazing! The long hike back to the trailhead was agonizing, but we were glad we had the summit over as we met crowds of climbers heading up for the next day's summit. We are thankful for a safe trip and great weather. This was my third ascent of the mountain and my body is telling me it should be the last.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Guess who came for a visit?

Actually, it turned out to be a Bulthuis family event this weekend. Bjorn, Jenny and Ada were returning from Georgia where they spent time with Jenny's sister Jill and family. They decided to give us a couple of days before returning home. Markus came home for part of the weekend as well. We went to Belfair State Park to enjoy the sun and ate at the Blue Agave. Saturday, Bjorn and I went sailing while the girls went shopping. Brett came over for dinner and we got to reminisce. On Sunday we all went to Markus' church, Quest Church in Seattle. It is amazing how much Ada is changing. The mobility of walking has transformed her into quite the busybody. She has also become very verbal, at least in the departments of volume and chatter fluency. In all the babble there is the rudiments of Mama, Daddy, Please and ByeBye.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tokyo Housing for Calvin

One of the anxieties that we have had about Calvin attending International Christian University in Japan is his housing situation. They have very limited campus housing and there is no guarantee the international students will get on campus housing. The prospect of Calvin finding reasonable and accessible housing in Tokyo was a big concern of ours. Even though we had committed ourselves last month by sending the full year's tuition, we did not know if he had a spot in one of the dorms. Well, this week Calvin received notice from the school that he has a spot in an on campus dorm. Praise the Lord! His dorm is called 'Canada House' which was the one he most wanted to get in because it was more reasonable and had two students to a room. Calvin is not the only one excited about this as it takes a load of concern off our hearts as well. The thought of Calvin commuting 45 minutes to an hour across town, living with students from a variety of other Tokyo schools didn't set well with us. We are excited for Calvin. His dream is getting real close to coming true.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Utah Adventure - Day 8 and 9

Park City Utah
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor
Sunday and Monday were travel days getting back home from southeast Utah. We did take a few hours to visit Park City. We expected a resort town like Whistler, but Park City is much bigger. There was a big Fourth of July celebration going on with thousands of people. We found a restaurant out of the bustle and rode our bikes on the great bike paths into Main Street to walk around and see the shops and people. Then it was back on the road for the long haul. We enjoyed the nightly accommodations of Super Walmart in Mountain Home, Utah. Our final day found us grinding back home. We did take a slight excursion by driving Chinook Pass over the mountains. It had been many years since driving it and we enjoyed it over the familiar and crowded I 90. We made it home, having driven about 3400 miles, visiting five National Parks, staying four nights in motels and four nights in the van. We made it back to Washington just in time for summer weather to start.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Utah Adventure - Day 7

Mellowing in Moab Before our mad dash for home, we slowed the pace a little to enjoy the town and surroundings of Moab. Situated between Arches and Canyonlands NPs, as well as multiple off road venues, the town booms as a recreational hub, but has taken on the tourist destination feel with lots of motels, restaurants and shops. First, we switched motels from the rip off Motel 6 to a plush La Quinta, at a cheaper rate courtesy of a travel coupon. (Thanks for the tip Susan) In the midday, we explored Canyonlands National Park with short hikes to Mesa Arch and Grand View Point. In the afternoon, Esther went shopping while I checked out the world famous Slick Rock Trail. I intended to watch other bikers, but since there was no one there, and I couldn’t embarrass myself, I took my bike on the practice loop. I crawled through the course, stopping to get off once in a while. The trail is marked by white dashes painted on the rock. The scenery was amazing and I fortunately escaped injury. I think I’ll stick with commuting and bike paths for my biking! We enjoyed a late afternoon swim at the motel pool and a good dinner at the crowded Moab Brewery.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Utah Adventure - Day 6

The Red Canyon is just north of Bryce Canyon. There is a nice paved bike trail that winds up the canyon. We started our day off with an hour bike ride. We then pointed the Sienna towards Moab. On the way, we had some scenic surprises. Highway 12 from Bryce to Torrey has got to be one of the most scenic highways in the country. Much of it is in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. From red rock canyons to rolling hills of aspen groves; from grand vistas to Anasazi ruins, this highway covers it all, with very little traffic. We also stopped in Capital Reef National Park. This lesser known NP has a lot to offer, but is much less developed than its neighbors. We took the time to take a hike up the Grand Wash to the narrows. It was a little on the warm side because the elevation is lower, but we enjoyed the shade and breezes of the canyon. We made it to Moab on the late side, and unlike our usual habit, checked in to a Motel 6.

Utah Adventure - Day 5

a dutch hoodoo
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor
'Hoodoo City' - In the morning we drove through the rest of Zion Park, including the mile long tunnel built in 1930. We arrived at Bryce Canyon Park in the early afternoon and found a campsite. We were glad to feel the cooler temperature of the high altitude. After a buffet lunch and a park introduction at the visitors center, we plunged into the canyon for a three mile hike. Strolling through the canyons and pinnacles was definitely worth the hike. Looking over a canyon has one kind of grandeur, looking up at the columns of red rock provide a different one. We drove to the several lookouts and then watched the sunset while strolling the rim. We ended the evening enjoying the Lodge and stumbling across an astronomer's bash enjoying the pre-moonrise in a remote high altitude setting. We enjoyed the cool night in our 'hardshell camper'.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Utah Adventure - Day 4

We hung up the bicycles today and traded our wheels for tennis shoes. We got an early start and were able to get in two great hikes. Our first hike was up the Angels Landing trail. The trail rises from the canyon floor 1100 ft to the crest of one of the canyon walls. Fortunately, most of the trail was in the shade. The whole hike was a pleasure though the last one half to Angels Landing was too congested and precarious that we decided to turn around at Scouts Landing. From there we could see the valley and look over several cliffs. The second hike was up the Narrows at the head of the canyon. The canyon narrows to 20 to 50 feet, but the walls still rise 1000 ft. After a mile, the only way to proceed is walking through the river – another adventure. Wading in cold water in a cool canyon is the way to spend the heat of the day in Zion Park. We both thoroughly enjoyed our hiking and feel like we can move on to the next park.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Utah Adventure - Day 3

By morning the temp had cooled enough for comfortable sleeping. After much needed showers, we packed up and headed for St. George, our headquarters for Zion National Park adventures. It wasn’t hard to decide to check into a motel with 100 degrees. After a hearty lunch of pasta, we headed for Zion. It was a little cooler there and we rode our bikes canyon. It ended up being a great choice. Cars are not allowed, only shuttle buses from the visitors center. It made it really nice for biking. Only an occasional bus, otherwise we had the road and valley to ourselves. A small thundershower helped really cool things down. The scenery was amazing, a continual changing panorama of red walls and very green vegetation. Esther enjoyed checking out the Lodge. Though not as impressive a structure as many, the setting was amazing. We made it to the top of the canyon and back before dark. The king size bed and air conditioning at night was much appreciated.

Utah Adventure - Day 2

The morning was filled with the long boring drive through northern Nevada. The most interesting part was the Bonneville salt flats once we hit Utah. The place feels a little surreal. Our first destination in Utah was Provo. Based on some recommendations and reading, we decided to get a real campsite at Utah Lake State Park. There is a bike trail that starts there and follows the Provo River through town and up the Provo Canyon. The afternoon gave us enough time to ride through town and back. We didn’t have the energy to tackle the canyon. The trail was shaded almost the whole way, so it was pleasant riding despite the 90 degree heat. After supper at a local Mexican restaurant, we drove up the canyon to Bridal Veil Falls and Sundance resort. Sundance was very unique and not what we expected – small scale and rustic though still ritzy. It was fairly cool up at Sundance, compared to the heat and mosquitoes of our campsite.

Utah Adventure - Day 1

Having made the quick Interstate dash down I 90-84-80-15 last June; we decided to take a more ‘scenic route’ (at least different) through Eastern Oregon and northern Nevada. We went through towns like John Day, Burns and Winnemucca. I think those were the only towns over 100 population we saw for four hundred miles! The drive through the northeastern part of Oregon was very scenic with pine covered mountains and rocky canyons. The southeastern part of the state was even more desolate than I imagined. It was scenic, with rolling hills and livestock, but there was NOBODY there. For one stretch of one hundred miles we only met three cars on the highway. We pulled into the Winnemucca Walmart before midnight and found a restful corner of the parking lot.

Monday, June 21, 2010

North again

This past weekend we ventured to the north country again. Saturday morning we attended Steve and Renee Dole's wedding in Conway, near Mt. Vernon. The weather held for a beautiful wedding in a garden setting. The wedding was followed by a nice brunch reception. Then it was up to Lynden for a graduation party for nieces Bria and Marika. There were a lot of long time friends and family to connect with at the party. Sunday, we went to church with Bjorn and Jenny at Oikos, and then celebrated Father's Day at Olive Garden. A good start to the summer break as my last day was Friday.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Graduation Weekend on steroids

proud parents
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor
We spent the last weekend running back and forth up and down I-5 celebrating graduation ceremonies. Thursday night it was up to Lynden for Bria and Marika's Lynden Academy graduation. Friday morning it was down to Seattle for Markus' Ivy cutting ceremony in Tiffany Loop. Then it was back up to Lynden Friday night for Marika's Lynden High School graduation. Saturday was a lay low in the sun day in Lynden. Then on Sunday it was back down to Seattle and Safeco field for Markus' SPU graduation. If things weren't hectic enough, my dear wife locked the keys in the van on Capital Hill one hour before grad time at Safeco. Since Ada's car seat was in the van, Bjorn had to walk her down to Safeco. After the ceremony, we were able to get it open, thanks to Mikal and AAA. We topped the weekend off with a dinner at the Icon Grill. All of the ceremonies seem to melt together in my mind; but each one was special in its own way.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Neah Bay 2010

Neah Bay 2010
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor
Once again, God blessed our annual camping trip to Neah Bay with sunshine and safety. The past weekend had a 30 hour break in the weather - just the window that we had scheduled for the trip. The hike to Shi Shi Beach was very muddy, but the beach was great - sunshine and low tide. The Makah museum was great as usual and the camping at Hobuck Beach went well. (We even got compliments from the surfers) The only rain occurred as we completed our final activity, the hike to Cape Flattery. My birthday was acknowledge on the way home at the Port Angeles McDonald's with students getting the whole restaurant to sing to me.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

What did you do with your soggy weekend?

Memorial Day fun
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor
This Memorial Day weekend will certainly be 'memorable' for most folks, but it will be the lousy weather that we will remember. The forecast had been for a little break on Sunday, so Esther and I went out to the coast to check out Seabrook Resort for an August family gathering. It rained the entire day! We didn't even get on the beach. We did however, get a good feel for which house we want to rent. On Monday I was determined to do yard work, rain or shine. Well, I got the 'rain' in the morning and the 'shine' in the afternoon. The evening sun allowed us to at least have a barbecue.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

MSP - Measuement of Student Progress

As I finally post this blog, I realize that this month has been my most pathetic blog month in Southworth Sailor history. Maybe it is a reflection of the worst May weather I can ever remember. I have had several blog worthy happenings this month: Bjorn had an appendectomy and subsequent infection, I reconditioned the keel on my boat and gave it a new coat of black bottom paint. Our class went on a field trip to the Mariners game, my iPod Touch was stolen by one of my students and we finished the first year of MSP testing - Measurement of Student Progress instead of the WASL - Washington Assessment of Student Learning. These tests seem to be ever more consuming of our educational attention. There is certainly some good in them, as they have raised the level of accountability in the classroom; but there are many frustrating and inequitable dimensions to the process as well. One particularly frustrating test is the science test. There are some very nebulous 'standards' that the state publishes on which the test is based. As teachers, we are not allowed to read the test; but if one were to look over the students shoulders, he/she would notice different test questions for different students and very little testing of scientific content and lots of extended written responses for inconsequential scenarios. Our school has typically performed poorly on this test, and despite great effort to prepare the students this year, I have little confidence that there will be a significant improvement.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

tennis on Mother's Day

Markus joined us for Mother's Day. After church, we enjoyed a Kim's Teriyaki 'party tray,' then hustled off to enjoy the weather at the tennis courts. The old fogey's still have the swing as we beat the young boys in a tight match. We refreshed ourselves with Coldstone ice cream in Bremerton and then enjoyed the sunshine at Harborside Park and waterfront area. The Spring weather seems to have finally arrived.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bookend Birthdays

the party girl
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor
This past weekend we celebrated two birthdays; one at the beginning of life and the other in the closing years. Two special women in my life - my granddaughter and mother, neither one cognizant of the significance of the event. Mom did have momentary recognitions of her birthday, but they quickly faded away. But somehow in her emotions, I believe that she could feel the family celebration on her behalf. A highlight for her was signing hymns with her children. On the other end of things, Ada seemed to enjoy the all the attention given her. There was a big party with many of Bjorn and Jenny's friends. Ada seems to have grown up so much in just the past month. She is standing and walking with a cart, sleeping through the night, and making sounds that at least resemble language. While my Mom is quickly losing her ability to communicate, my granddaughter is quickly beginning her ability.

"One generation shall praise your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts." Ps. 145

Saturday, April 17, 2010

SPU Dad's Only Day

Go Sounders
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor
My final year as a dad of a SPU student and I got to go to the first annual Dad's Only Day at SPU. The day's events began with breakfast at SPU and then a trip to the Seattle Sounders game. Markus and I went with Jason and Jillian Shdo. I'm not sure why we let Jill get that obnoxious horn! The rain held off except for a few sprinkles, making for pleasant game conditions. The Sounder fans are great and the game was fun to watch as it was my first pro soccer game. Fortunately, the Sounders scored in the extended minutes of the game to win 1-0.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Break - Day 8 and 9

The weather in Sacramento started turning cooler. Jack and I did some shingle repair on Ellen's roof in the morning. We rode about 12 miles on the American River Trail. It is a great trail, and on a Spring Saturday well used by serious cyclers and casual bikers like ourselves. In the evening we had dinner in Old Sacramento before Esther and I headed for home at 8pm. We made it as far as Medford at 1am where we checked in at the local Walmart. Sunday we drove through Oregon and arrived home in time to unpack and rewind before hitting work tomorrow. It was a great trip and we really enjoyed vacationing with Jack and Sue and spending time with Ellen.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Spring Break - Day 7

Today was work day at Ellen’s. Jack and I did some fence, gutter and lawn mower repair while Esther and Susan did some landscape beautification. Ellen kept a Bulthuis tradition alive by bringing home a Friday night Papa Murphy’s pizza. We had an enjoyable evening as siblings reminiscing and sharing dreams.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Spring Break - Day 6

I woke early this morning for a bike ride along the coast before breakfast. Today was a travel day back to Sacramento. We did manage to take the scenic route through Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. The boardwalk was as busy as we have ever seen it. It was amazing how calm the weather was in Santa Cruz when Monterey and the most of the coast was very windy. For a few days we have been anticipating some fried artichokes since we are near the artichoke capital of the world. We got our chance at lunch in Half Moon Bay. We enjoyed dinner at Ellen’s and look forward to a day of work in the sun tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Spring Break - Day 5

Big Sur coast
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor
Another gorgeous day on the Monterey Peninsula. In the morning, we rode our bikes on the trail into Monterey and Pacific Grove. We found a nice cute motel in Pacific Grove that was reasonable via coupons. After a quick lunch on the wharf and a little more biking on the trail, we headed for Carmel by the Sea. We stopped at the historic mission and then poked around the shops in town. We ate at the Hogs Breath Inn of Clint Eastwood fame. It was a fun outdoor pub in a cool little courtyard. After dinner we drove down the Big Sur coast for a bit before returning to our motel and walking to the beach to enjoy the sunset.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Spring Break - Day 4

The California sun is here, and we are enjoying it! We drove down to Monterey this morning with Jack and Sue. After enjoying a sourdough bowl of clam chowder on Cannery Row, we headed for 17 Mile Drive. Vehicles pay $9.50 to drive this gorgeous stretch of coastline, but bicycles are free. The wind was pretty brisk off the water, so there was no problem of overheating. We took a few hours to soak in the sun and the magnificent views. We ended the day enjoying seafood and a view of Monterey Bay. It is fun sharing our adventure with Jack and Sue.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Spring Break - Day 3

Sonoma bike path
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor
The rain gods were gracious to us today. Though a little chilly, we had a dry day. A few hours in Petaluma browsing antique shops and we headed for Sonoma. Lunch was on the sidewalk at the Cheese Factory. Esther enjoyed some window shopping before we explored the short bike path that skirts the hillside wineries behind town. We enjoyed the chance to get a little exercise and sunshine. In the evening we went to Sacramento to join Jack and Sue at Ellen’s for supper and then to witness Butler U's heroic effort in the final dance. Tomorrow Ellen is back to work while the Washingtonians head for the Monterey Peninsula and sunshine.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Spring Break - Day 2

Today’s weather would have made the Russian emigrants homesick for their Alaskan roots. The wine country of the Russian River Valley felt more like the Ho Rain Forest. After an early Easter service at First Baptist Church in Ukiah and a grand slam breakfast at Denny’s, we were ready to take on the soggy vacation day. Being denied the pleasure of any outdoor activity or museum viewing (Easter!), we headed for the stormy coastal town of Bodega Bay to enjoy nature’s ferociousness. The surf and wind was even too much for the kite surfers as we watched them pack up their gear. We headed in early to our motel in Santa Rosa.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Spring Break - Day 1

After checking out of our Walmart parking lot accommodations we set the GPS for the closest Rest Area and Starbucks. After departing home after work the previous night, we made it as far as Cottage Grove in central Oregon before our eyelids could not handle the traffic and rain anymore. We began to wonder about a ‘spring vacation in California’ as we passed a blanket of snow from Ashland to almost Redding. The weather broke a little in Redding, so we pulled our bicycles out of the van and checked out the Sacramento River Trail. It was great! A paved trail follows the river on both sides, beginning at Sundial Bridge and continuing to the dam. It was a delight to enjoy a little sunshine and the budding trees along the river. Once out of the downtown area, the trail had little traffic and we cruised along the smooth pavement. After the bike ride we headed south and then west when we got to Williams. We crossed the coastal mountains and passed by Clear Lake to catch US 101. We found a ‘real motel’ in Ukiah and enjoyed a shower and clean bed.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

removing a rusty centerboard

The warm dry Saturday gave me an opportunity to do a major project on my sailboat. My boat has a shoal (shallow) keel with an iron centerboard that swings down when sailing. It looks like the 170 lbs. cast iron board has not been removed in 35 years. After putting the trailer up on wheel ramps, I chained the trailer to the truck and the boat to a tree. Then with a come along, I slid the boat back on the trailer to allow the centerboard to drop behind the axle. It worked like a charm, except that the boat wasn't high enough to allow the centerboard to drop all the way. Nothing that a quick hole in the ground couldn't solve. I was surprised to have the board out and ready to be sandblasted in one day. I still have a few more projects to complete before I am ready to put the boat in the drink.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Jenny's Birthday

Jenny's b'day
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor
This past weekend we got to see our granddaughter (oh yes, and her parents) Ada is changing so fast. She is still a tiny thing, but she is crawling, standing and feeding herself (with fingers of course) Saturday night we met Bjorn, Jenny and Ada, as well as Markus in Seattle and went to a 'fun Asian restaurant' - Wild Ginger, that Jenny found. Then Esther and I took Ada home while Bjorn and Jenny went to a concert. They came to Southworth late that night and went to church with us in the morning. We celebrated Jenny's birthday before they headed off to Lynden for another party. Well, at least we got our Ada fix.