Sunday, July 8, 2018

Homecoming


Chris made the decision to move home a couple of months ago.  Because he had a lease until the end of August, he was hoping to stay in Bellingham as long as possible.  This weekend he moved home.  He has been enjoying cooking in my new kitchen.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Blog Catch Up

Time has really gotten away from me.  I haven't been keeping up with my posts and we have been busy so going to do one post and catch everyone up with what we have been up to.

Bill flew a wedding couple from Camas Airport to the Pearson Air Museum where their reception was being held.  It was fun to be a part of their special day.

Chris came home for Memorial Day and we went hiking in the Gorge.  The guys hiked Hamilton Mountain and I hiked up Beacon Rock.

I went to the Brigade Encampment at Fort Vancouver.  I was taken with this baby.  I never did find out who the mother was.  Everyone that I saw holding her said that they were just babysitting.

Bill and I went to a fun fundraiser at Summit Grove Lodge.  It was a Hollywood red carpet theme so we got gussied up.  Loved the music by the Juleps.  I have heard them once before and their Andrews Sister style music is so fun to listen to.

Christopher is moving home after being in Bellingham the past five years.  Bill and I had a weekend free to travel up, rent a UHaul and move his bed and a few other things home.  We took Amtrak as far as Seattle.  The closest moving truck available was in Concrete so it was a bit of an adventure the day before trying to rearrange our travel and pickup point to Lynnwood so that we could get that accomplished.  I love the portion of the train trip between Olympia and Tacoma to see Puget Sound and our old stomping grounds. So beautiful and fun to reminisce. 

We took a load to Goodwill and then loaded the truck with what was coming home with us.  Had our last meal in Bellingham for some time and an early Father's Day celebration at our favorite sushi place there.  Bill and I had to move furniture out to accommodate Christopher's bed so that took some time as well as trying to get rid of the pieces of furniture we moved out.  Father's Day started out with a hike (Bill ran) along Lacamas Lake.  Then we went to his office to video some commercials for his website.  After work was completed we went out to lunch to celebrate his day.  So it was a good, productive, busy weekend.
Our first flyout for the year was to Sisters.  We had a couple great days to fly there with wonderful views of the Oregon peaks. 
 I never get tired of seeing the mountains.  And the view from our final destination was fabulous.
Our flyout co-hosts picked us up at the airport and we went out to lunch with them.  After lunch, Bill and I wandered the downtown area while we waited for our room to be ready.  We stopped in a few cute shops and went vodka tasting for the first time.  I didn't partake in the six sampler flight as I thought that might be a little too much alcohol for me but I had a mini cocktail with the cranberry infused vodka and fresh squeezed orange juice.  It was wonderful.  We rented a fabulous suite at the Five Pine Lodge.  It was well appointed with rustic lodge decor, a gas fireplace and a huge bathroom.  The only downside is there wasn't much soundproofing.  It was so noisy when staff would open the doors to their spaces next to our room and we could hear every footfall and conversation from the room above us.  Loved the room but wasn't too happy about the noise.

Our other co-hosts own a home in Sisters and they invited us to their house in the evening for a fabulous BBQ and to another fabulous brunch the next morning.  The highlight of the trip for me was seeing the deer on their property.  They were around us during both the evening and morning.  I stalked them trying to get decent pictures.  I got a few goods ones.

Since Bill has last nearly 100 pounds, he wanted a new head shot for his business website and promotion.  He actually got his a few months ago.

With Christopher in job hunting mode, he needed a head shot for his LinkedIn account so we took him to the photographer one afternoon after he had an interview to get that done.  So handsome!

I've been working as a guest creative team member at Designer Digitals for the past month or so.  My "pay" is having access to all the new products which is great fun.  So I have been doing a lot of layouts that I won't necessarily have printed but it has been fun creating some art with the new goodies to help advertise their products.  Loved this layout I did for the hydrangea photo.
I went searching for red, white and blue flowers to do a patriotic layout for the 4th.  

So those are the highlights anyway.  Probably more that could be told but this is what has been keeping me occupied the past several weeks.  Hope you are all enjoying your summer as much as we have been so far.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Run to Remember


Bill signed up to run a half marathon in the Run to Remember in Washougal.  He convinced me to sign up for the 5K.  I have not run more than a block or two in nearly 30 years so I had no intention of even trying to run.  I got caught up in the moment and actually did try to run.  I maybe ran half the distance--on and off.  It was the first time Bill had run a half marathon.  He has walked in one before but not run.  He actually made it the whole distance without needing to walk.  We did 22 pushups for every veteran who commits suicide every day.  It was sobering to run past all the signs and flags showing those who were killed in action or died as a result of PTSD after returning home. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Royal Wedding


I love watching royal weddings.  I have been watching them since Princess Anne got married in 1973.  Mom let us get up at at three in the morning to watch the television coverage.   I have gotten up early to watch every single one since then.  I love all the pageantry and traditions.  I had actually not intended to get up at two in the morning to watch the coverage.  Now that we have a DVR, I taped it and was going to watch it at a more civilized hour but I couldn't sleep so I got up to watch it live after all.  I wasn't disappointed.  It was beautiful.  It was a blend of African American culture with the traditional Anglican royal wedding.  In some ways, it was great even if it seemed a little out of place.  The homily definitely put me off.  While talking about love is great for a wedding, bringing the pastor's social agenda into the context of a royal wedding didn't seem appropriate.  It wasn't that I didn't think it was a good sermon.  Definitely wouldn't have been put off if I heard it in church on a Sunday.  Just seemed wrong for the wedding--any wedding.  Happy to have gotten my royal wedding fix.  Best wishes to Prince Harry and Meghan.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Mother's Day


It was just me and Bill last year for Mother's Day.  This year I was in Florida but made it home at 0400 in the morning from taking a red eye flight to celebrate Mother's Day.  Chris came home so that made it special for me.  I missed having Tom with me but we got to talk on Saturday afternoon (it was already Mother's Day in Qatar).  He wasn't sure if he was going to have to work so he made sure he called me when he was able to.  I was also shocked to get a huge bouquet of flowers delivered.  No one was home at the time they were delivered so the florist called me.  She was just as surprised to learn that I was in Florida.  I assured her my husband would get them and I would be home soon to enjoy them.  I was thinking they were probably from Bill but they were from Tom.  Such a nice surprise and they have brightened my day for two weeks now.

Friday, May 25, 2018

A Disney Experience


My friend, Krystal, has been wanting me to come down to Orlando for years to visit her.  I kept thinking there would eventually be a conference for me to go to there for me to combine business and pleasure.  That time finally came when ANIA (American Nursing Informatics Association) had it's conference at the Lake Buena Vista Hilton Palace Hotel.  I flew down on a Tuesday and was able to spend a lovely evening with her at a favorite Asian/Mexican fusion place for tacos and drink sangria by her pool.  So good to see her and catch up.  The next day was all about Disney.


Krystal gave me my choice of parks to go to on our one full day together.  I hadn't been to either Disney World or Disneyland since I was dating and first got married so it has been over 30 years.  Bill and I went to Epcot before we got married and we went to Disneyland with my sister when we were newlyweds.  Given that I had already been to Epcot which was fabulous and probably worth revisiting, had been to Disneyland which in my eyes is probably akin to the Magic Kingdom, and had recently been to an African safari type experience in California last year, I chose Hollywood Studios.  It was a great day.  I think my only regret is that it wasn't more about the "Mouse".  We had a great day going to all kinds of shows including Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Frozen Singalong, and the final nighttime show, Fantasma.  We tried to get into the Toy Story show but the wait was longer than we wanted to endure.  We only went on one ride-Tower of Terror.  I'm not into rides so that was enough for me.  Lots of screaming on all those drops.


I think my favorite show of them all was the Beauty and the Beast one.  I love the music and the show, costuming and choreography were fabulous.


Indiana Jones was a close second.  The stunts, fires and explosions that they had on the set to show us how it is all done in the movies were pretty amazing.


There were Star Wars parades and shows all day long as well as a big exhibit that you could go get your photo take with various characters.  We didn't purchase the photos but I got a big hug and photos taken with Chewbacca.


Thursday morning, Krystal took me back to Disney to my hotel for the conference.  I got three days of continuing education in the process and got to meet Dr. Mickey and Nurse Minnie to have my picture taken with the "mice".  Totally made up for not going to Magic Kingdom.  Every night I went to Disney Springs to eat dinner or just walk around and people watch.  Lots going on there even though it isn't an official park.

All in all-it was a great five days to spend some girl time with one of my best friends and do some networking and get educated.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Family Time


Tom was able to wrangle a week and a half of leave to come home for a visit.  He was recently in Tacoma for two weeks working, went back to Wichita for a few days and then flew here.  It is our first time seeing him since the divorce.  It is bittersweet.  Love having my time with him these days but know that if it wasn't for the fact that he is divorced, I wouldn't be seeing him.  He would be with his wife instead.  He has missed Washington so he has been grateful to have spent the last four weeks here between work and vacation.

I was on call and worked the first few days he was home but took a week off so that I could spend time with him.  We drove up to Bellingham the first weekend so that we could spend time with Chris.  While we waited for Chris to get off work, Tom and I wandered about town going to the WWU campus and Whatcom Falls.  He has been there a couple times before but only for brief visits and those were two spots we hadn't taken him to before.   After Chris got off work, we went out for sushi and went to see "Ready Player One" at the theater.  It was so good to have our whole family together for an evening of fun.


Bill had recently come across a website article about a kangaroo farm about an hour from Bellingham.  He and I had seen kangaroos in a similar setting on our honeymoon so it was something I was really looking forward to doing and Christopher was pretty excited about it too.  Unfortunately, it was pouring down rain when we went Sunday morning on the way home but we decided to go ahead with it anyway.  It was pretty darn cold, wet and muddy there.  Bill and I had such a good experience in Australia.  Our host took us to buy sticky buns before we went to the nursery where the kangaroos and wallabies were located.  They flocked to us wanting the food.  One fella kept clawing at me after I ran out because he wanted more.  The ones at the Outback Kangaroo Farm in Arlington are a little more skittish.  Most of them ran off if we tried to get close.  Tom and Chris were able to pet a couple of them though.


Monday was the only nice day we had while I was on vacation.  Tom and I headed to some trails near us that he had never been on.  I love it there but don't go very often.  We saw all three waterfalls at the Round Lake Park trails and lots of wildflowers.  Unfortunately it was a little too early to see the camas lily field in bloom but we saw a couple of early bloomers.


The only other day we did much of anything during the week was on Thursday.  The original plan was to go hiking at Silver Falls but we saw that snow was predicted so we nixed that and stayed in our backyard to hike in north Clark County at Moulton Falls and Lucia Falls Parks.  I'm a fair weather hiker so I had my umbrella with me--not that I hardly ever carry on any other time- but I was glad to have it when it started pouring down rain.

The rest of the week Tom just wanted to rest, play games, watch TV and movies, etc. He also connected with a couple of his friends here which was nice.  He was pretty exhausted from the exercise he just finished in Tacoma. 

Our last hurrah was to go see my friends in Puyallup.  Tom was up for going with me and seemed to enjoy visiting with them.  We had wanted to go to Northwest Trek with them but it was pouring down rain again/still.  We thought it would be pretty miserable to go so we just went bowling at the McChord AFB which was fun.  I hadn't done that in a long time.  I'm not a good bowler--in fact none of us are--but we had a good time anyway.

Always hard to say goodbye but hoping we can see each other again this summer.