Monday, December 22, 2014

Bulthuises at Benaroya

I need a Messiah fix every few years, so it was off to Benaroya Hall and the Seattle Symphony with our children yesterday.  I seem to forget how long the full performance takes (2 1/2 hours).   With the exception of some of the less familiar solos of Part 2, I enjoyed the entire concert.  I appreciated the choir and the orchestra more than the soloists.  After the concert, we went to an Indian restaurant near Pikes Place Market for some excellent food and conversation.  We rounded the evening off watching the Seahawks trounce the Cardinals to secure a playoff berth.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Cold Turkey

Well, the turkey wasn't cold, but the northeast wind was brutal.  Actually, Thanksgiving day in Greenwood was stormy and wet.  It wasn't until Friday night that the cold hit.  We did have a warm time of family togetherness as Markus, Steph and Calvin joined us in converging on Bjorn and Jenny and the girls.  In addition, Steph's brother Nick spent the weekend with us.  Thanksgiving Dinner and a Seahawks game was shared with the Mike Eide family.  The food was superb as always and the Seahawks victory over the 49ers was whipped cream on the pie.  Friday included a trip to the local tree farm, sanding and refinishing the dining table, and visiting with Doug and Nancy while the younger ones went to the movies.  Saturday saw some more table refinishing and a trip to a cold expensive pizza parlor.  A late night trip home set us up for a relaxing Sunday in Southworth before it was back to work.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Long Needed Kitchen Lights

Ever since purchasing this house ten years ago we have put up with the annoying buzz of the florescent  lights in our kitchen.  Our procrastination for not doing anything about it was our future plans to remodel the kitchen and living room. (A project which continually gets put off because of $$)  We decided that we couldn't stand it any longer and purchased some track lighting.  I pulled all the florescent lights and false celling out, did a little sheetrock repair and hung the new lights.  We are enjoying the quiet of soundless lighting even though the kitchen is not as bright.

Windy Wetlands

This Veterans Day Esther and I took advantage of the sunny weather by taking a drive and a hike.  We wanted to catch some roads and places that were not too familiar to us.   We started by taking the backroads to Steilacoom and Dupont, then down to the Nisqually Delta to the National Wildlife refuge.  Though passing the area constantly on I-5, we have never stopped to visit.  We took the four mile round trip walk to the end of the trail and back.  The trail includes a mile long elevated boardwalk above the muddy tidelands.  The wind was strong and freezing.  We were a little underdressed, but we gritted it out.  After our hike, we took a drive through the towns of Yelm, Rainier and Tenino before heading for Olympia and a dinner at the Oyster House.

Back to School

This fall I dusted off my student hat and enrolled in a class at The School for Teaching English as a Second Language.  The school is under the umbrella of SPU, but is located in North Seattle near the North Seattle Community College.  I joined eleven other students in a class about teaching grammar to English Language learners.  This was my first class of four in my attempt to complete the requirements for a certificate in Teaching ESL.  I'm not sure where this will take me, but I decided to start the process and see where it leads.  The class met for three hours on Thursday nights, which made for Thursday marathons: rushing from school to catch a ferry and driving through Seattle evening rush hour to catch a 5:30 class which went until 9:00.  The hour drive home brought me back at 10pm.  I enjoyed the class and I am starting to get a feel for what teaching ESL is all about.

Friday, September 26, 2014

September Catch Up

     Lest the month pass without record, I must present a telling of some highlights.  We had the chance to see Ingvar and Swanhil two times while they were visiting from Norway.  Once was at Dan and Jan Eide's where several of the extended Eide family were in attendance.  The next weekend we had them over to Southworth with George and Kirsten.  We enjoyed both visits and really appreciated our time with Ingvar and Swanhil.  They are such a nice couple and it is interesting to hear of the Norwegian Eide history.
     We also took an annual anniversary getaway.  Because the weather was so great on the west side, we held off on reservations and at the last minute stumbled on a great little place in the community of Dungenness by Sequim.   It is an old homestead barn that has been converted to a bed and breakfast.  We arrived early afternoon and had the place to ourselves.  The property sets on a bluff overlooking the Dungenness spit and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Esther spent a little time shopping and I poked around the marina.  Dinner was at the Dockside Grill and breakfast at the 'inn' was very good.  An advantage to being so close to home was that we made it home for the Seahawk/Bronco game.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Labor Day weekend in Cle Elem

Rather than our usual trip up north to the Cain Lake cabin for the Labor Day weekend, we joined John and Mike at their newly rented cabin near Cle Elum.  Eide Homes started building a house in Suncadia with the hopes of building more, so John and Mike needed a home away from home.  They were fortunate to stumble on a furnished cabin with lots of character.  The cabin has a lot of wood surfaces; walls, ceiling and floor are all wood in addition to log furniture.  The 'old folks' spent Saturday and Sunday enjoying  the cozy cabin and exploring the CleElum and Rosalyn surroundings.  I think Marti and Kay will be joining their husbands on weekends, rather than the other way around.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mr. and Mrs. Markus and Stephanie Bulthuis

It's been a week since the wonderful wedding, and we are still basking in the warm shadow that it has caste on our summer.  The wedding weekend was filled with activities.  The rehearsal dinner was Thursday night at Lombardi's in Everett.  A highlight for me was Jenny and Ted's top ten warnings.  We rented a large house in Muklteo Friday through Monday nights.  We were able to fit Bulthuis' and Eides together which helped when Marti put the reception dinner together.  The wedding was spectacular and Swans Trail Farm turned out to be a great venue.  Markus and Steph planned a great ceremony complete with communion led by brother Bjorn.  Marti's Indian menu was a hit, and the toasting and dancing capped the joyous occasion.  That night we had twenty-five people sleeping on the rented premises and Monday brunch was close to fifty.  The newlyweds joined us for the occasion and spent most the day with us.  The weekend was definitely the highlight of the summer.  It's all down hill from now.  Esther begins work the middle of this weekend and I need to finish several summer projects.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

An Olympic Adventure

While we have been anticipating the coming wedding, we have also been enjoying the week with Calvin and Sassa.  Sassa arrived from Japan last weekend and Calvin took the week off from work.  On Tuesday, we did an Olympic Peninsula circumnavigation.  We started the day with a quick stop in Sequim to see the lavendar; then we went to Hurricane Ridge and took a short hike.  After a lunch in Port Angeles it was off to Forks and the Ho Rainforest and a hike through the mossy giants.  Then it was off to Ruby Beach to enjoy the Pacific.  At that point it was a toss up for the return trip, so we went south through Aberdeen and stopped for supper.  It was a real pleasure to share the experience with Sassa and see the Northwest beauty through her eyes.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mad Hatter Shower

     It was a busy weekend in Southworth.  The Bulthuis, Bishop, Eide and Rubesh clans converged on our home to enjoy Steph’s Wedding Shower for the women and a boating adventure for the men.  The women had an Alice in Wonderland Mad Hat Tea Party, complete with crazy prompts and unique delicacies.  The men got in the kayaks and canoes, and because of the heavy wind headed for Harper Launch and Park rather than Blake Island; which would have presented an impossible challenge on return to Southworth.  The short route provided enough excitement and helped work up an appetite for a BBQ back home.  Most folks left Saturday evening, but a few stayed over Sunday to help make 400 samosas (Indian appetizers) for the upcoming wedding.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Remembering Mom

Our goodbye to Mom was a slow ten year process that culminated in her passing away last week.  Shortly after my dad passed away in 2004 Mom started to show signs of dementia.  She moved from her apartment to Meadow Green to Silverado Memory Care facility.  We had a good week as a family remembering and honoring Mom.  We even had the opportunity to go to Mt. Baker together and spend some time in Mom's favorite setting.  The graveside ceremony and memorial service at Bethel Church went well, followed by some extended family time at Aaron and Jen's.  The following link made by Aaron and Sue was played at the memorial service.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Mechanic and Mountains

"Let's wait for that repair until I get back from vacation," I suggested.
"Where are you going?" my mechanic inquired.
"Just some exploring in Idaho, to places we have never been in the south central area."
"You should go to Stanley.  It's the greatest place at the base of the Sawtooths.  We go there a lot to snowmobile."
Little did we know that this lead would pay off with so much enjoyment for Esther and I.  We headed out at the beginning of the week, traveling across the northern swath of Washington on Highway 20: North Cascades Highway, Winthrop, Republic, Kettle Falls.  Then we started dropping down the length of Idaho: Sandpoint, Coeur D Alene, Moscow and the surprising tourist trap of McCall.  We had been reading about Stanley for most of the trip and anticipated it as the highlight of the week.  It did not disappoint; in fact it exceeded our expectations.  We stayed two nights, which as you know is an exception for this rambling couple.  We were fortunate to find accommodations given the week of the Fourth.  The best way to describe Stanley Valley is the Teton Valley without the crowds.  The majestic Sawtooth peaks dominate the horizon.  The scenic Salmon River meanders through green meadows.  Redfish Lake is similar to Jenny Lake in the Tetons and Lake Louise in Banff.  The highlight of our time was an eleven mile hike up to Alpine and Sawtooth Lakes.  The Sawtooth peaks towered over the pristine mountain lakes.  The 'popular' trail had a few other hikers, but we felt alone in the vast wilderness. Stanley and the Sawtooths definitely earned a place Bulthuis vacation lore.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Long Beach Biking

This past weekend we joined Tim and Karen deLacy for couple of nights in Long Beach.  We took our bicycles and planned to enjoy the 8.5 mile bike trail that winds through the grassy dunes along the beach.  We were quite skeptical about the weather but hoped for the best.  We were fortunate to get a window between rain showers.  We made one way on the trail before eating our lunch under a shelter during a downpour.  Then it cleared up just long enough for us to return to the car.  We enjoyed the cozy cabin and were entertained by Maxer's (deLacy's dog) silly antics.  We ended the weekend by jetting up to Lynden to see my mom as she has taken a turn for the worse.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Begins

My summer began with special guests in Southworth.  A good friend of Jenny's got married last weekend on the westside of the Sound so Jenny spent the week helping her friend and entertaining out of town guests.   Our house became part of the hosting and Ada and Ruby got to spend a lot of time with Papa as Farmor was still working hard at school.  Bjorn came down midweek as well and spent time with out of town college friends.  The girls and I made trips to the beach, to local parks and out for a canoe ride.  I was grateful for the nice weather.  The week ended with a trip to Cain Lake with Markus. Steph and Nick to test some Wedding dishes that Marti had made.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Camp Colman

The school year ended with a bang.   I accompanied my sixth graders to three days of outdoor education at Camp Colman.  It was the first year in many that we took the sixth grade to camp.  It turned out well and I am sure it is the start of a new tradition.  We weren't sure about scheduling it the last week of school, but it turned out to be a nice closure to their elementary school experience.  The camp staff led the students through classes as a varied as squid dissection to a vertical playpen (climbing challenge)  I was fortunate enough to sleep in command central and leave the boys cabins to the parent chaperones.  Camp Colman is a great facility on Case Inlet with a private lagoon for boating and swimming.  The week ended with a celebration (graduation).  Another school year in the books.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Week With Granddaughters

     This long neglected blog will finally get a new post.  Several factors have contributed to a gradual lack of activity.  For one thing, life has been fairly routine in Southworth the last couple of months.  In addition, I have found that the presence of Facebook has slowly taken away my sense of purpose in maintaining a personal website.  And my last excuse is that my blog host site (blogger) no longer cooperates with my photo website (Flickr) making it more difficult to post pictures with my entries.  But despite these feeble reasons, I will plod on for personal journalling purposes.
     Well the last week has been anything but routine as we took care of Ada and Ruby for the entire week.  Jenny was in Georgia visiting her sister and Bjorn had work all week.  Esther and I decided to each use our two personal days for the year which neither one of us had conveniently spent.  We alternated days and covered the short week.  Fortunately, the week was somewhat pleasant weather wise and many hours were spent playing on the beach, going to parks and hanging out in the yard.  Ada and Ruby got to meet our small group and go to an elder's and wives potluck as well.  We enjoyed our time with our granddaughters very much.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Full Circle

Ironically, we end our mission sojourn at the first mission we visited several years ago.  Sonoma is a favorite destination for us.  The surrounding countryside and the historic town square next to the mission seem to draw us in.  Several years ago we visited the Solano mission and first caught the ambition to visit all 21 of them.  So it is fitting that we should end here.  It was also the last of the Spanish missions to be built.  We stayed at a favorite motel that has very nice garden grounds and a nice facility.  The past few days we have driven through windy winery laden roads and enjoyed shopping and strolling in Healdsburg, Windsor, Geyserville, Calistoga and Sonoma.  Oddly, we don't stop at the wineries, though we do enjoy driving through the vineyard laden hills.  Our final days of Spring break will find us enjoying some time with Ellen in Sacramento.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

'Mission Completed'

Well, as of today we have visited all 21 Spanish Missions.  Our last two were Mission Delores in San Francisco and San Rafael Arcangel.  The San Francisco mission is adjacent to a huge basilica (which is impressive in itself) It features the twenty-one missions in stained glass windows.  The San Rafael Mission is a recently reconstructed replica.  We will still visit the Sonoma Mission again on our way back to Sacramento of Friday.   But having finished our mission hunting by noon, we headed to the Sonoma Coast to enjoy the newly exposed sunshine.  We had a nice drive along Tomales Bay and up to Bodega Bay.  The sun roof on the Scion was open the whole time and we soaked it in.  We are spending the night in Santa Rosa and will explore the area some more tomorrow.  We found a great hike on a nearby 'mountain' to end the day.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Soggy Sight Seeing

"It never rains in California; it pours, man it pours."  Those lyrics never rang truer than today for these tourists that are no strangers to precipitation.  We managed to squeeze in three missions between some pretty serious downpours.  We visited the missions in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and San Jose (which is actually in Freemont).  The Santa Cruz mission is a minimal presentation of the original, with a small chapel and gift shop.  The Santa Clara mission has been absorbed into the campus of Santa Clara University and tastefully presented.  The Mission San Jose is more typical of the rest with an impressive restored chapel and adjoining museum.  The highlight of the day was actually the food.  For lunch we had unbelievable sandwiches on a toasted 'Dutch crunch' roll at Ike's Sandwich.  Then for dinner, we stumbled upon an authentic Japanese sushi and ramen bar near our SF airport hotel.  The ramen was outstanding, second only to Calvin's ramen bar in Tokyo.  Tomorrow promises to be a drier day, but I'm sure we will not be as impressed with our meals.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Mission Hunting Resumed

After a two year hiatus, we are back on the trail of the historic Spanish Missions of California.  We had completed visits to 13 of the 21 missions and today we visited numbers 14 and 15.  After spending the weekend with Ellen in Sacramento, we drove down to the Monterey Peninsula to pick up where we left off.  San Juan Bautista is the only mission that adjoins a section of the original El Camino Real.  They old trail by the rest of them has been replaced by paved road or plowed up into fields.  This mission sits in a quaint small town in an agricultural valley.  Many old buildings still comprise the town's streets, but it hasn't sold its soul to tourism.  The other mission we visited was one we have often peaked at but never gone in.  San Carlos Borromeo Carmelo sits on the outskirts of the swanky town of Carmel by the Sea.  This mission is beautifully restored and is a functioning parish church.  We unfortunately had to deal with rain and cold weather which put a damper on the enjoyment of the mission gardens.  We are spending the night at a cozy motel in Pacific Grove just blocks from lighthouse point.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bishops, Boykins and Bulthuis

image by Southworth Sailor
image, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Henry and Rebecca Boykin will be moving to South Carolina next month. Henry was fortunate to receive a new military assignment twenty minutes from his childhood home. We took the opportunity to invite the newlyweds and Jack and Sue to a Southworth salmon bake. Henry needed a Puget Sound ferry ride before heading east. We had an enjoyable afternoon of conversing and outdoor strolling. We will miss having Henry and Rebecca around, but it is wonderful that they can live near Henry's family.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Calvin's 'new' car

Calvin's 'new' car by Southworth Sailor
Calvin's 'new' car, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Evidently I instilled a proclivity for old cars in my sons. Since Calvin is on his own with a job on the other side of the 'pond' (Puget Sound, not Pacific Ocean) it was time for him to buy his own car. As I helped him hunt for one, it became obvious that he wanted an older car in good condition and low miles rather than a not so old car with a lot of miles. He was a little particular on color as well. After about a month of scouring craigslist and checking leads, he zeroed in on a 1990 (his birth year) Toyota Corolla with 122k miles in amazing condition. So I guess we have to chalk up one more Toyota on the Bulthuis fleet list. I only hope that this one will be as reliable as the others.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

New Job at Nintendo

Calvin gets a job by Southworth Sailor
Calvin gets a job, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

There are many transitions and milestones in life. Some pass without notice, while others are celebrated with much fanfare. At the end of January, Calvin was hired at Nintendo in his first full time job after college. It is not only a milestone for him; as parents we are celebrating all three sons graduating from college and gainfully employed. Calvin was looking for a job in the Seattle area that utilized his knowledge of Japanese. He is hired as a game tester with translation responsibilities as testers of the English version communicate with Japanese programmers in Japan. He is adjusting to work life; and after a week of commuting from Southworth to Redmond, he was offered weekday lodging at cousin Sarah and Mike Hauer's until he can arrange more permanent housing. We are excited for him and look forward to watching his career develop wherever that may bring him.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Congratulations Markus and Steph

Engagement Party by Southworth Sailor
Engagement Party, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Sunday was not only the occasion to cheer the Seahawks into the Super Bowl; it was also the family's opportunity for an engagement party for Markus and Steph. While the Bronco's were taking care of the Patriots, the Bulthuis' and Eides were honoring the newly engaged couple. Though the engagement took place in December, Markus and Steph were in Sri Lanka visiting Steph's parents for the holidays. The Greenwood gang put on a great salmon dinner to toast the couple. For dessert, we donned our Seahawk attire and moved to a different house to cheer on the Hawks.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Celebration at Seabrook

big dinning room by Southworth Sailor
big dinning room, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Ever since our first Seabrook experience several years ago, we have been anxious to share the experience with the Eides. We anticipated the appreciation that Eide Homes might have for the unique housing development. We rented one of the larger houses which facilitated our group very nicely. After a night in Southworth with everyone, the accommodations felt very spacious. A real bonus was the large dining room; and since food is at the center of many of our traditions, it was important. The weather was exceptionally nice. We spent three days and two nights in the seaside getaway, walking the beach, riding or strolling through the 'town,' and playing games. We missed having Kelsea, Markus and Steph in our company and thought of them often. We started the new year off with a big bang.