Thursday, December 29, 2011

Norwegian kjøttkaker

Yesterday we enjoyed Norwegian holiday dinning with Esther's cousins from Tacoma and Norway. Anna and Touren put on a scandinavian feast with kjøttkaker (meat cakes) as the main dish. Uncle George and Aunt Kirstin were also there along with Mike and Marti's family. It was good to catch up with the Norwegian family news. Esther has two uncles and an aunt still living in Norway, all in their nineties. (and with sharp minds :)) Anna gave me some tips and encouragement for my upcoming marathon as she ran the Seattle Rock-n-Roll this summer.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

After listening to Esther lament the school district's schedule for this year's late vacation dismissal, the holiday burst upon us with Bjorn. Jenny and the girls coming to Southworth Wednesday night. We enjoyed a couple of days with our granddaughters (and their parents) until Markus and Steph joined us for a gift exchange Friday night. Ada loved helping everyone open their gifts. Bjorn and Jenny left Saturday morning for Oregon and we enjoyed a relatively quiet Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with Markus and Steph. A couple of trips to the church helped give the sacred feel. We ate at a Thai restaurant in Gig Harbor on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, Ellen joined us and we made the trek up to Lynden. We met Jack, Sue and Rebecca at the Courtyard to visit Mom. It was a bit shocking as we had not seen her since she started her violent coughing. Whenever she tries to talk, she explodes with a forced cough. It is very hard to watch, but it was good to be there with my sisters as we sang carols to her. Christmas dinner was excellent as usual at Mike and Marti's. On Monday we enjoyed the reception for Brian and Kate and the Bulthuis gathering at Aaron and Jenn's. We are back in Southworth for a few days with Ellen before another trip to Lynden for the New Year.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Calvinistic Christmas Lights?

Over the years I have taken a lot of teasing about my roofline Christmas lights. Some have dubbed my straight white lights, ‘the Dutchman lights.’ But this week I heard a new one. A friend came over for our weekly small group, and called them ‘the Calvinistic Lights.’ He proceeded to say they were straight and predictable. You can analyze them any way you want, but that’s the way I like them. And since I am the one bundled up battling the freezing north breeze, pounding in my reused galvanized nails, I’ll put them up the way I like them.
Speaking of Calvinistic, we have been making a big deal about our Jesse Tree tradition this year. Bjorn and Jenny took up the practice using our family set of ornaments. This past week Esther shared the tradition at a ladies meeting, and we indulged a little Jesse sprouting in small group. For those of you unfamiliar with the Jesse Tree, it is much the same as an Advent calendar. Daily Bible readings trace the promise and foreshadowing of the coming of Christ. An ornament corresponds to the daily reading and it is added to the branch each day. We find that it is a wonderful way to remind ourselves of the amazing plan that God has to save the world, and how it all culminates with the coming Messiah. If you are interested in more resources about the Jesse Tree, Ann Voskamp has a nice download on her blog. Another site that has good children devotionals and provocative parent devotions is here.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Eides in SK for Thangsgiving

It has been a long time since I posted on Southworth Sailor. It just seemed like there was nothing to report. I did preach a couple of weeks at our church's new Sunday evening service geared for the twenties crowd. Thanksgiving brought Greenwood down to Lynden. Bjorn, Jenny and the girls left for Chicago early the next day so as long as they needed to be here, we decided to celebrate it with the Eide family down here. It had been a while since we had a Thanksgiving here. We of course missed Calvin and Bria, but the rest of the family was here. Steph went down to Trout Lake, so we missed her as well. A new addition to the Thanksgiving dinner was oyster stuffing. Only the hearty norsks indulged and I think that they only pretended to enjoy it. It was fun having the house full after the two of us have rattled around in it for a long time. On Friday the weather was great, so we went to Esther's park (Bremerton Harborside) and enjoyed a little sun. Then we drove up to Poulsbo to check out an art school that Bria is interested in. Today I ran fifteen miles in preparation for the Yukon Do It race at the end of the year. I still have not decided whether to do the half or full marathon. We shall see how the next few weeks of training go.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Grandparenting the Greenwood Girls

Babysitting granddaughters is one of life's simple pleasures. Since Bjorn and Jenny were at a conference Friday night and Saturday, we were able to have the girls to ourselves for several hours. Ada is becoming quite the big sister and Ruby is developing her own endearing personality. We were able to connect with most of the Eide compound and had Seattle visitors on Sunday afternoon. Markus, Steph and Andy came up to visit Emily, so we got to share a meal them as well. A Skype with Calvin made the weekend feel like one happy family weekend.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lutefisk Lovers

Lutefisk Lovers by Southworth Sailor
Lutefisk Lovers, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

A large contingent of our small group made the pilgrimage to Poulsbo on Saturday for the annual Lutefisk feed. There were several Lutefisk 'virgins' that got their first encounter. We stuffed ourselves with Lutefisk, meatballs, potatoes, Lefsa and KrumKake. Next year will be the 100th year of the annual feast at First Lutheran. We'll have to bring the Eides over to the Peninsula for the big occasion.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

NYC day 4

IMG_3938.JPG by Southworth Sailor
IMG_3938.JPG, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

For our final day in NYC we headed downtown. We stopped first at Grand Central Station and walked to the Chrysler Building and the United Nations. Next, we had lunch near City Hall and then walked the Brooklyn Bridge with thousands of other tourist. It was in the mid-eighties by then so the vendors were selling lots of drinks. Back on the subway we headed for Battery Park to view the Statue of Liberty and the water traffic. We walked up Broadway through a street fair to Trinity Church and Wall St. Wall St. was closed except for a narrow walkway, presumably to deter the protesters. The protesters were confined to a park a few blocks away with plenty of police and media presence. We didn’t stop to watch the protesters, but made our way to ground zero and St. Paul’s Chapel, site of so much of the recovery effort. Since the memorial museum is not complete, this site offers a glimpse of the days following 9/11. We met Doug and Pam at the memorial site and found a sidewalk cafe for supper before our scheduled 7pm visit to the memorial pools. Unfortunately, the extra tickets did not work for Doug and Pam, so we had to say good-bye before entering the grounds. Even though the memorial is free, reserved tickets are necessary and the security procedures make airports look lax. The memorial pools are very impressive. The waterfalls drown out the noise of the city and the etched names of the victims around the perimeter convey the enormity of the tragedy. The visit to the memorial made a nice climactic ending to our weekend of touring. We headed back to the Hephzibah House for our 4 am taxi ride back to the airport.

NYC day 3

IMG_3788.JPG by Southworth Sailor
IMG_3788.JPG, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

The day started with another elegant breakfast at the mansion. Our bus ride back to the city turned into a train ride as the bus had a flat tire. The Amtrak ride along the Hudson was scenic and I was surprised to see so many sailboats in the marinas that we past. Once in the city again, we checked into the Hephzibah House with its antique decor and convenient location next to Central Park. We had time to do some sightseeing so we headed for the Rockefeller Center and went to the ‘Top of the Rock’ Having been to the Empire State Building on a previous visit, the Rock, we enjoyed a little different perspective of the city. We visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral before taking the subway down to Greenwich Village and Union Square to check out some NY nightlife. Our day ended with a stop at a sidewalk cafe for dessert.

NYC day 2

IMG_3704.JPG by Southworth Sailor
IMG_3704.JPG, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

The Belvedere Mansion is an expansive historic estate overlooking the Hudson River valley and Catskill Mountains in the distance. The morning sun revealed a hint of autumn color in the valley. After breakfast we spent the day exploring the nearby towns of Rhinebeck and Hyde Park, visiting the landmarks: Beekman Arms Inn, the Vanderbilt Mansion and the FDR library and family grounds. Then it was back to the mansion for the weekend’s main event: Brain and Kate’s wedding ceremony. The beautiful outdoor wedding had may unique touches. Roses were placed on empty chairs for the missing grandmothers, all alive but unable to attend. A candle lighting was replaced with tree planting using soil from New York and Lynden. Pashminas were draped over every other chair and were gifts to the women guests. The reception was outstanding as well with incredible service and a well paced program. Our table was definitely the elderly crowd. Kate and Brian did so much to make every guest feel welcomed and appreciated, everything from special gifts to personal interaction revealed their appreciation for each person who attended.

NYC day 1

IMG_3597.JPG by Southworth Sailor
IMG_3597.JPG, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Arriving at JFK airport at 6 am after a five hour flight from LA with just winks of sleep was hardly a way to start a day of sightseeing. The NY morning broke into a bright October summer day. We had traveled from Seattle with Jack and Sue, and we met Ellen at the airport before riding the subway to Midtown and Hephzibah House where we stored our luggage for the day. Jack had a handle on the NYC public transit system having been here a couple of times; which turned out to be very helpful. We purchased unlimited weekly passes, which paid for themselves by the visit’s end. We spent the afternoon walking around Central Park and getting used to being in the city. I had anticipated some beautiful Fall colors in the park but everything was still green. We ate a diner before catching the subway to Time Square area where we explored a little and then caught the chartered bus for our trip up the Hudson Valley to Belvedere Mansion. For some reason the bus driver drove up Broadway and straight through Uptown rather than crossing over to Jersey and catching the freeway north. The two hour ride turned into a three hour ride, but we got to experience the traffic mess of NYC exiting town for a long weekend. We arrived at Belvedere Mansion to pizza and pumpkin carving. It was great to see everyone, and the soft bed felt really good after 36 hours.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

back on dry land

back on dry land by Southworth Sailor
back on dry land, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

This weekend I received help from Markus and Steph as I hauled out my boat and retrieved my mooring anchor for the winter. It is a relief to have the boat out, but sad to see another sailing season finish. For some reason the anchor line had snagged a water-logged buoy and Markus and I had a hard time freeing the 150 lb. mushroom anchor from the sea bottom. No wind meant that we motored over to Manchester under pleasant skies. We decided to postpone the actual haul out until after the Seahawks game which put us in the rain back at the ramp. Now, I can sleep easier let the winter storms roll in.

Yesterday, Markus and Steph joined us as we attended Karen Miner's memorial service. It was a very meaningful service with a packed house. It was good to talk at length with Javan. Afterward, we went to Gateway to India in Gig Harbor for some great food. Steph guided us to some great choices to indulge our palate.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mt. Townsend with leaders

2011-12 Leaders by Southworth Sailor
2011-12 Leaders, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

We had another successful climb up Mt. Townsend with our classroom leaders. The eight mile round trip hike to the 6200 ft. peak is a real challenge for some of the fifth grade students, but they always appreciate it when they make it to the top. Every year Don and I take turns cattle prodding the stragglers to the summit. The weather was fantastic and the wind at the ridge kept the bugs away. The views are of the neighboring Olympic peaks, the Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the cascades from Mt. Baker to Mt. Rainier. September is the perfect time for hiking some of the high trails.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

nuptials nostalgia

Lake Chelan by Southworth Sailor
Lake Chelan, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

So far we have escaped Alzheimer's, so we don't have to worry about one of us taking Pat Robertson's advice! We celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary with a weekend in Leavenworth and Lake Chelan. Part of our agenda this weekend was to scout out a good getaway spot for our family summer outing next year. We stopped at Suncadia near Roslyn and checked out the resort facilities. Then it was off to familiar Leavenworth for shopping, dining and relaxing in our room with a view. Esther found a new home decor item and I found a pair of hiking boots on sale. (My twenty year old boots from Goodwill are going in the dump!) I also found a good book about cycling. On Sunday we went up to Lake Chelan to explore a couple of resorts and enjoy the town. We found a couple of possible spots that would suit the family. We'll have to see about availability. We escaped the rain, and Chelan was sunny, though quite windy.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wooden Boat festival 2011

Every couple of years I like to attend the annual Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend. This weekend provided a great opportunity, so Esther and I went up to PT on Saturday. She got to take her time shopping in town while I soaked in the festival. I admire the warmth and beauty of wooden boats and sometimes consider building one, but I doubt whether I have the patience and time to pull it off. Many boats are started, but few are finished. Several of my favorites were there and it was fun talking to the owner/builders who obviously had a lot of pride in their craft. I was fortunate to talk to a world famous sailing adventurer about a new boat called a 'Scamp' and listen to one of my favorite boat designers from New Zealand. The weather of course made the experience additionally enjoyable. All that looking at boats yesterday gave me the sailing itch, so I took my boat out this afternoon. The wind died on me, but I was treated by a pair of of orca whales that passed by me at about 150 yards from my boat. FortunateIy no motorboats were following them and they disappeared after a few minutes. I checked the internet when I got home to see if others had reported sightings and it was confirmed by other reports from ferries and sightings from land.

Monday, September 05, 2011

dinghies, oysters and sunshine

An oyster BBQ has become a Labor Day tradition in the Eide clan. Because Mike and Marti needed to leave for Oregon, the party was on Saturday. It usually involves a trip to Taylor Shellfish Co. on Chuckanut Bay and a meal back at the Cain Lake cabin. This year we decided to have the BBQ down at the Shellfish Co. as they provide picnic tables and cookers for their customers. The weather was great except for the strong wind off the water. After adjusting tables and coals in a sheltered position, the party was on. Oysters were pried open and crabs were cracked apart as the Norwegians attacked their treasure. Then it was back to the cabin for blackberry pie and nanaimo bars, ending a great day of swimming, sailing and eating. I brought my dinghy along to the lake to join Bjorn with his dinghy. Not a lot of wind, but still had fun. Sunday we visited Bjorn and Jenny's church in the new downtown location and then enjoyed the sun at the nearby Maritime Park along Whatcom Creek and lunch at Old Town Cafe. We spent the remainder of the weekend in Greenwood enjoying the weather and family. On the way home we stopped and saw my mom who was all smiles.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

summer work projects

Every summer I like to include one blog post that chronicles my summer work activities. It was great to have Calvin's help this summer as we painted the exterior of the rental including the deck railings. It needed it very badly. We pressure washed, scraped, primed and hand painted the entire exterior. I even hit some spots that were never covered when it was built. In addition, I tore out aluminum windows and installed vinyl windows in a neighbor's house. I did a small deck repair for another neighbor. One of my final projects was one of our own bedroom windows right above our bed. Ever since our first night in the house with a howling November north wind, I have wanted to replace that sliding window. I finally did it and am ready for this winter's storms. Now that school is starting, I get to hang up my tool belt for another year.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saying good bye again

This morning we said good bye to Calvin again. He is off to Japan for another year of study at International Christian University. It was great having him home for July and August. He was a great help in getting the rental house painted and we were able to share lots of family time. Calvin will quickly adjust to life back in Japan. This year he will be starting with a working knowledge of the language. It is a little easier saying good bye this year, though not a lot. Markus eased our emotions by spending the day with us. He joined us on a 30 mile bike ride on the Foothills Trail near Orting. What great weather for a bike ride! The trail has so much variety: farmland, suburbia, small town, glacial river, and mountain prairie. The enjoyment of the time with Markus helped the loneliness of missing Calvin.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Seabrook family vacation No. 2

This year's summer family vacation saw us back at Seabrook resort on the Washington coast. We added a new Bulthuis to the ranks with Ruby , and Markus' girlfriend Stephanie Rubesh joined us for the four day adventure. Unfortunately, a nasty bug was passed around as one after the other fell victim to its debilitating effects. Only Markus, Stephanie and I were spared. (so far :) We stayed at a nice rental house with a strong beach feel. The weather was better than forecasted and we had no rain or fog and a fair amount of sun. There was lots of reading, biking, beaching, gaming and eating (for those not sick) We do treasure the time together that we can share as a family.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Bria's Fremont Birthday Party

My niece Bria wanted to have a birthday party in Fremont with the family before going off to Hawaii again. So the gang converged from around the Sound to the streets of Fremont. The first venue was the Fremont Coffee Company after realizing ETG was may too small to accommodate the gang. Then a scavenger hunt took us up to the troll and down along the ship canal. Next, we loaded up and went to Gasworks Park for a picnic on the steps overlooking Lake Union and the Seattle skyline. The overcast sky came in handy for the night as it trapped the heat and gave us mild temperatures to enjoy the surroundings until late in the evening.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

sailing overnighter

overnight mooring by Southworth Sailor
overnight mooring, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Esther and I spent our first night in the Montgomery 17. The weather this week was too inviting to pass up a short sailing cruise. The overnight mooring selection was pretty close to home. For twenty-five years we have watched boaters flock to the westside buoys on Blake Island. They are filled every weekend of the summer and many weekdays as well. We decided that we needed to experience the excitement ourselves. It was a little odd seeing our house from our mooring, but it felt like a whole different world. We headed over at noon on Wednesday, and even at that got the last buoy for the evening. After a hike around the island, we settled in for a relaxing evening of reading and soaking in the sunset and stars. The night went great and we got lots of sleep. On Thursday morning we set sail across the sound on a light breeze. After entering Elliot Bay we decided to go across the sound again and find something to eat in Winslow. I had never sailed into Eagle Harbor but watched the ferry wind its way through the channel. With no charts with me, I figured that I would just stay well out of the ferry's track. Bad idea! We were feeling pretty smug, sailing into the harbor when we suddenly ran aground. I quickly doused the sails, started the motor, pulled up the rudder and center board, and motored out of a potentially embarrassing situation. We found a mexican restaurant in Winslow and bought some much needed sunscreen. Then it was back to the boat for a leisurely downwind evening sail to Southworth. Needless to say, I motored through the entrance to Eagle Harbor. The trip was a great success, and I am pleased with how both the sailboat and dinghy handled, not to mention the crew.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Birthdays and Babysitting

The end of July is birthday time for Calvin and Esther. It was also our chance to play grandparents for three days while Bjorn and Jenny took an anniversary getaway to Victoria. I was worried that we might have a statistical oddity with bad weather on Esther and Calvin's birthday, but at the last hour the warm weather came through. Esther and I had a great time with Ada and Ruby, exploring the Southworth neighborhood with the beach and 'candy store', swimming in the front yard pool and visiting SK park. Calvin was working at Miracle Ranch until the afternoon of his birthday, so Alicia, Megan and Tyler spent the previous night putting post it notes over every inch of Calvin's room (except the floor and ceiling) They finally finished the 6000 post its as dawn broke the next morning. If that wasn't enough, Alicia made a kitty litter birthday cake complete with tootsie roll poop. We hope that Ada doesn't get any ideas for future 'yummies.' Markus helped celebrate the birthdays and Bjorn and Jenny came back from the getaway to help celebrate Esther's birthday. Papa and Farmor are back to just themselves in Southworth as summer weather seems to finally be setting in.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lavender Ladies

Lavender Ladies by Southworth Sailor
Lavender Ladies, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

The lavender season is extremely late this year and although the annual pilgrimage to Sequim was late, it still preceded the height of the bloom. After picking up Marika from the airport and her Florida internship, the Lynden crowd came to Southworth to join Esther for the weekend. I escaped to Lynden and left Calvin to fend for himself amongst the females. The ladies had a wonderful day in Sequim, taking pictures, picking lavender and strolling the farms. Ada insisted on bare feet and stole the photogenic show. While the ladies were lavendering, Bjorn and I installed their new dishwasher and sailed our dinghies on the light breezes of Wiser Lake. Much to my chagrin, Bjorn's boat sailed circles around my boat. However, mine is more stable and handles the strong winds better.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

31 years of Bulthuis service

Good bye Datsun by Southworth Sailor
Good bye Datsun, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

I felt somewhat like a traitor today as I signed away the title to the Datsun 200sx. My father bought this car new in 1980 and it was the envy of all the students at the high school where he taught. When Dad went on to bigger and better several years later, it passed to my nephew in Olympia and then in time to two nieces. My brother-in-law Jack kept it in top working condition, even having the engine rebuilt by the mechanic students at the Shelton prison. Seven years ago Jack gave the car to Markus shortly after he got his license. Then it passed to Calvin. I suppose that I could have continued to repair it, but for two months of use each year and an eye sore to the neighbor, I decided it was time to let it go. At 247,000 miles, I am sure that it still has some life. That's less than our 98 Sienna with 251,000.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trail of the Coeur d'alenes

We just returned from a three day getaway exploring some of the North Idaho bicycle trails. We spent two days on the Trail of the Coeur d'alenes. The trail begins up on the palouse, descends to the lake, then meanders along several lakes and the Coeur d'alenes River up to the town of Mulan near the Montana border (72 miles). Our time was spent on the lower portion from Plummer to Cataldo. Our longest day was 54 miles from Harrison to Cataldo and back. There is only one town on this lower portion, the lakeside hamlet of Harrison. It became our launch site and destination for daily rides. The trail is built on an old rail grade so it is relatively flat. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery of lakes, rivers, mountains and fields as we pedaled side by side talking and listening to the abundance of birds and occasional river traffic. The temperature was a very comfortable 80 degrees for most of the time. Our lodging for the two nights was a bed and breakfast in St. Maries. It was an unique experience in which we interacted significantly with the host family and other guests. It wasn't the most private of accommodations, but it sure gave us a strong feel for the local culture. Our last day was spent in and around Coeur d'alene, exploring the bustling town and checking out the east end of the Centennial bike trail (with sore bottoms).

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Family Fourth

BBQ on the fourth by Southworth Sailor
BBQ on the fourth, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

This past weekend we had the chance to spend some great time with family. On Sunday, the Bulthuis clan, including my siblings and their children converged on a downtown Seattle condo for Brian Bulthuis' fiance Kate's bridal shower. Brian and Kate live in New York, but came out for the weekend. Kate's sister owns a spectacular condo on 2nd Ave. between Pine and Pike. The ladies stayed at the condo on the 38th floor overlooking the city while the men walked down to Safeco Field to watch a Mariner game. After the game we spent a couple of hours back at the condo visiting and enjoying the view. Then on the Fourth, Ellen, Jenny, Ada, Ruby, Markus and Steph joined us in Southworth for a great day. We enjoyed the great weather and went to Harborside Park and watched Ada enjoy the fountains. Ada and Papa took a couple walks to the beach and the 'gummywormer store' All have gone home and it is painting weather in Southworth.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Home for the summer

I am almost a week late in posting something about Calvin's return, but in the interest of my blog providing a journal of our doings, I better record the event. Calvin returned last Saturday. Josh and Alicia joined us, as well as Camille who drove up from Vancouver, WA to welcome Calvin. He spent a lot of time with friends on the weekend before we put him to work Monday morning on pressure washing and painting prep on the rental. True to form, Calvin has his summer planned out already. It is nice to have him home for a couple of months before he goes back to Japan for ten months. We will try to make the most of our times together. Esther finished the last bit of work obligations and is off until the latter part of August. We look forward to a lot of family time this coming weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another boat - you've got to be kidding!

Montgomery Dinghy by Southworth Sailor
Montgomery Dinghy, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

It seems that I had just recently rid myself of all unwanted boats and I was going to be content with my Montgomery 17. Actually there are many reasons for my recent purchase. I have often wanted a rowboat for those calm evenings when the water beckons, but there is no wind. I would also like a little sailing dinghy for winter sails or distant lakes. In addition, when cruising with my M17, it would be nice to tow a dinghy. I have been keeping my eye open for a reasonably priced Minto dinghy which is rich in local history. Last week I came across this dinghy for sale in Port Townsend. It was made by Montgomery just like my 'big' boat and was also designed by the same legendary designer, Lyle Hess. I had never seen one of these available, so I had to at least check it out. A deal was negotiated, and I find myself in possession of another classic Monty. I am anxious to test it out.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

back on the hook for another season

My Montgomery 17 is back on her summer mooring, ready for play at her captain's call. It is an annual milestone for me to get her on the mooring -- first comes the sprucing her up with wax, varnish and paint -- then making sure all rigging and gear are functioning and on board -- followed by remaking the mooring with the necessary new chain, swivels and shackles. The final day involves dropping the mooring, using canoe and rubber raft; then off to the launch to rig the boat and drop her in the water. The weekend weather was cooperative and I was able to get her in the water on Saturday and then do some sailing with Tim on Sunday. Another sailing season has begun!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Sri Lanka meets Southworth

Yesterday we had the opportunity to meet Stephanie's parents who live in Sri Lanka. They are here in the Northwest for a couple of weeks to celebrate Stephanie's graduation from SPU. We had heard lots about them from Stephanie, so it was great to meet them in person. Ted and Renate are missionaries in Sri Lanka where they are involved in leadership training of local pastors. While enjoying a delicious salmon dinner from Esther, we soaked up story after story of elephants and monsoons. It was a great evening and we are thankful for the opportunity to visit. Today's somewhat uneventful birthday was placated by the enjoyment of yesterday.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A laid back Memorial weekend

After a busy Spring, we were ready for a quiet weekend in Southworth. Esther and I were able to get some much needed yard work accomplished and I pulled the boat out of storage and tinkered with it some. On Sunday night Mike and Marti came down for a visit on their way to pick up Marika from Canyonview in Oregon. Monday afternoon we went to Bremerton waterfront area and took a long walk. We ate outside at the new Bremerton Bar and Grill which we enjoyed. We were fortunate to have a dry Memorial weekend this year.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dodging the bullet

As I drove to the coast through the steady rain early Saturday, I resigned myself to an inevitable wet camping experience with our fifth graders. We have been fortunate over the last ten or so years of Neah Bay trips to only have one or two wet experiences, and they were not fun. However, my fears were unwarranted as we evaded the rain once again and had a great trip to Shi Shi Beach and an evening camping at Makah Bay. My pessimism once again returned at 5 am Sunday as rain pelted the tent. But we dodged the bullet as it stopped raining and we enjoyed a great breakfast and hike to Cape Flattery. The students were great and the parents a great help. Another successful Neah Bay trip for the books.

Monday, May 16, 2011


MSP 2011 by Southworth Sailor
MSP 2011, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Another year of MSP testing was completed today. This year was marked by the great pencil fiasco. On the first day of testing, all students in the school were given special pencils for the tests. Somewhere in the ordering process #2 1/2 pencils were shipped to the school and no one caught it until the students had started testing. Some of my students commented, but I figured that the testing coordinator would not have given them out if they weren't kosher. Anyway, once the mistake was discovered, it was school wide panic. Calls were made to the state testing office and we were told to have the students erase their answers and remark them with #2 pencils. District personnel scurried to the building, combing over each test to make sure the correct pencil lead was used on every question. We hope that the incident does not invalidate the tests. Most likely not, but it made the first day exciting to say the least. I have high hopes for our fifth graders who took math, reading and science tests. My collaborative 5th grade teaching buddies put meal wagers on whose class will have a higher percent of passage. It's a bit of a can't lose because winner buys the meal; but I hope I'm buying!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ready for new tenants

The last couple of months have been consumed with fixing up our former residence for new renters. Seven years of negligent renters and pets left the place in sad shape. We totally resurfaced the inside of the house. All walls and ceilings were painted. All sills, trim, wood floors, baseboards and some cabinets were refinished. All the carpet and vinyl was replaced. It feels like a new house and looks inviting to move back into. Needless to say, all spare time not at work was spent working on the house. It is finally complete! The new renter moved in today with the help of her church small group. We are excited to have Tracey Robinson and her children, Ryan and Emily in our house. Tracey comes with several strong recommendations from friends that we trust. We are optimistic that it will be a good situation. The only thing that made it easy to work at the rental and miss out on spring boat preparations was the lousy weather that we have had the past two months. Now that I can enjoy it, I hope the weather finally turns.!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Discovery Park - Mother's Day

After working hard at the rental house on Friday and Saturday, Esther and I needed a break from Southworth for Mother's Day. We went over to Seattle and picked up Markus and Steph. We ate at an Indian restaurant in Ballard and then went on a hike at Discovery Park. The weather was just nice enough for a walk along the top of Magnolia Bluff and to the lighthouse below. We ended the afternoon at a Starbucks in Magnolia. Markus begins a new job this week downtown at a law firm transcribing claims. Steph is looking forward to graduation next month and seeing her parents.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Birthdays and Easter

Ada egg hunting by Southworth Sailor
Ada egg hunting, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Saturday's sunshine greeted the birthday celebrations of mom and Ada. Combined, their ages are 90, Ada 2 and mom 88. We celebrated with Mom at the Courtyard. Balloons were definitely a hit with the young and old alike. Mom really enjoyed batting the balloon back and forth. My sister Ellen was up for spring break so all of Mom's children were there as well as several grandchildren and great grandchildren. Ada's party was later in the afternoon and featured the color blue and pizza. Both sets of grandparents and various friends joined the Greenwood Gang to help celebrate. The next day was Easter and after a worship service at Oikos and a big dinner, Ada enjoyed her first egg hunt. She had a lot of help both finding the eggs and eating the treats.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach by Southworth Sailor
Cannon Beach, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

We couldn't pass our spring break without a little getaway, so Friday morning we headed for the Oregon Coast. We were fortunate to have great weather on Friday and Saturday. We always take the 'backroad' to the Oregon Coast, avoiding I-5. For years we made it a point to make a meal stop in South Bend at the Boondocks Cafe where Esther would get her beloved hang town fry. Unfortunately, the place shut down last year, so we are searching for another spot. On the recommendation of friends, we tried the Rusty Tractor in Elma. It was OK if you're into Yak burgers, but I think we'll keep looking. Friday we spent the afternoon in 'sunny Seaside' (at least one day of sun). We soaked in as much sun as we could, walking the beach, promenade and streets. Since the building of the Trendwest resort, the town has really been transformed in the last ten years. The streets were filled with vacationing Washingtonians. Friday night was the thrifty night - dinner at Mo's and a stiff bed at Motel 6. Saturday was Cannon Beach day with an excursion to the small village of Manzanita. The clouds started rolling in during the afternoon, but the rain held off until dark. We enjoyed our room at the Waves Motel in town, walking to beach, shops and a dinner at the new LumberYard Grille. The patter of rain woke us up Sunday morning with the cold reality of life in the northwest and the end of another spring break.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Paint Party

the paint crew by Southworth Sailor
the paint crew, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

This year we are spending our Spring break a little different from our usual travel frenzy. A couple of factors played into this break from tradition. One factor is that our rental home is vacant and in need of a make over. The other is that Calvin is home from Japan for part of the week. With much reluctance, we will put him on the airplane back to Tokyo until late June. His final term of the year starts next week and he does not want to interrupt his course of study. It was a relief to have him home for two weeks. We trust he will be safe. He was able to join the paint party with Markus, Kay and Marti who came down to Southworth to help for a couple of days. We were able to paint the entire inside of the house (all ceilings and walls) in just a few days. A big thanks to Kay and Marti for their help. The rest of the break will see more work at the rental and maybe a couple of days to get away.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Home for now

After much emotional turmoil and anxiety, we decided to fly Calvin home from Japan while things stabilize after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation. Calvin was not anxious to leave his friends and adopted country, but we pulled the parent trump card. His trip went smoothly even though we insisted that he leave for the Tokyo airport 24 hours early, necessitating a night on the airport's tile floor. Oh for the bones of a 20 year old! He arrived Saturday morning to a rare sunny day. The entire family, as well as friends made his first 24 hours in the US exhausting. This week, Calvin is enjoying time with friends who are on college break, as well as visiting friends at Trinity and family in Lynden. He has a scheduled flight to return to Tokyo on April 6 for his next term, but that is contingent on conditions and his parent's comfort level. We are relieved that he is safe for now, but still very anxious for the people of Japan and Calvin's plans.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Safe Sons

The last couple of days have been somewhat anxious for us with the disasters in Japan. We are thankful that our boys are safe, but have sorrow for the many that are suffering. Calvin has an extended Spring Break (six weeks), so Markus decided to take a two week visit to Japan this month. Calvin planned a Bulthuis style tour of southern Japan, complete with youth hostels and internet cafes; little knowing how providential that would become. They visited Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka among other things. They were in Hiroshima when the earthquake hit and didn't even find out about it until several hours later. Their train trip back to Tokyo was blocked and they had to take a bullet train to avoid a two day delay. Safe back at the university, they will spend a couple of laid back days before Markus flies back home on Tuesday. For more details of the trip see the link to Markus' blog on the right.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Coeur d'Alene with Dan and Judy Mulder

This weekend we met up with long time friends, Dan and Judy Mulder from Townsend, Montana. We met in Post Falls, ID for a couple of nights. It was great catching up with each other's lives. We were particularly interested in their recent trip to China where they witnessed the wedding of daughter Emily and David. They flew to the northeast corner of the country to be with David's family who are Uyghur, an ethnic minority speaking a Turkish dialect. It was quite an adventure for them as one can well imagine. We were able to watch a video of the wedding which included a Mulder rendition of Uyghur dancing! Our constant conversation took many settings as we soaked up the sun on walks from Coeur d'Alene to Riverside Park in Spokane. It was a great weekend of renewing friendship and anticipating the next phase of our lives.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Ruby Jean Bulthuis

I think that I have been waiting for this monumental event to post a blog entry. She has arrived: Granddaughter #2, Ruby Jean Bulthuis. Early Wednesday morning (2:00) Jenny awoke to four minute contractions. She and Bjorn rushed to the hospital, leaving Ada under the care of Guncle John. Ruby made her entry at 4:38 am, 7 lbs. 9 ounces, 20 inches of dutch/scandinavian gemstone. Mother and baby are healthy and were home the next day. Ada is quite thrilled with her new sister. She serenades her with as much noise as possible. Jenny picked the name much to Bjorn's pleasure as he now has two daughters with computer language names. She is also endeared to the extended Bulthuis family as my grandmother's name was Ruby Elenbaas. 'Jean' comes from Jenny's father. Esther, Markus and I are spending the weekend get acquainted to the new Bulthuis girl.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Southern Peninsula

It is our practice to celebrate MLK Day with an excursion to a local destination. It was time for a outing, as the rain and darkness was making us feel claustrophobic. Since we needed to run an errand to Gig Harbor we decided to explore the southern extremities of the Kitsap Peninsula: Point Fosdick, Wollochet and Fox Island. It is my ambition to someday circumnavigate the entire Peninsula in my sailboat. Today it was just our comfy Toyota Sienna on dead end roads. The rain held off, but it was very windy. Esther got motion sick from the winding roads and we needed to stop. We found what seems like the only public property on Fox Island: Toy Point. We walked down to the path to enjoy the pier. My teaching partner, Don lives on the island. I was reminded of the determination and effort he puts forth as he commutes to Port Orchard on his motorcycle everyday, rain or shine or wind, but thankfully not ice or snow.

Friday, January 07, 2011

A Norwegian New Year

Things have finally slowed down enough to post a blog. The first week back to work was a busy one, at least in terms of evening activities. We were able to see Calvin off to Japan for six months and spend an evening with Jenny and Ada. On New Years Day we went to Esther's cousin Anna's house in Tacoma. Her parents were there from Norway as well as Esther's brothers and families. It was great to see niece Bria back from England. Anna and her husband Sovann have a wonderful classic home in North Tacoma overlooking Commencement Bay. They recently raised it up to put a garage underneath and add a huge great room that soaks in the view. We were treated to a Norwegian tradition of lamb and cabbage, along with some scandinavian desserts- a great way to start the New Year.