Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Forty Eight Years

Well--I'm another year older. Forty-eight years old now. After spending the weekend up in Puyallup, I had to go back to work on my birthday. My friends were nice to me though. I got several cards, some Avon products, an entertainment coupon book and a birthday cupcake from them. I decided I wanted to go to Mexico Lindo for my birthday dinner. We don't go there as often as we used to so it was a nice treat. And there is something to be said about a nice big margarita. Yum!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Do the Puyallup

Chris and I went to Puyallup over the weekend to attend the Western Washington State Fair. He qualified to go for fitting and showing at the Clark County Fair. Eleven kids from our county went to participate. Chris got a blue ribbon so he was happy. The other kids did really well too with most getting blue ribbons and some getting call backs. One even made it to the finals table. One of Chris' club members got Best of Breed for her Holland Lop. In the judging competition, the middle school team got second place. One of the high school members, got 4th place as an individual. It was a successful competition for our club.

I went to explore other parts of the fair besides the rabbit competitions. It is always fun to go to the other barns to see the animals. I really enjoy the cow barn in particular. I was so fascinated by the families of pigs that I saw there last year. I wasn't disappointed this year either with those big litters of pigs. I enjoyed the draft horse show last year as well and went again this year. I watched the dressage competition for the first time this year. I have no idea what to look for in the competition but it was fun to see what it was like. I took in a few shows--a Beattles tribute concert, a country music band, a high school show choir and a bluegrass band. The bluegrass band was fantastic and not only did they do traditional bluegrass music but they played a lot of classical music on their instruments as well and injected a lot of humor into their routine. It was a fun hour to watch.

Sunday afternoon, we went to visit with my friend, Suzi, who lives in Puyallup. We haven't seen her and her family since last state fair time so it was good catching up with her again too. Chris and Timothy enjoyed playing a new video game. So it was a nice diversion away from the fair for awhile too.

Chris could go next year but he isn't sure he wants to again. We'll see how he feels when it comes time to make the decision. It certainly is an interesting experience to go there. We were glad to get home again though.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dancing with the Local Stars

Bill and I went to the Fifth Annual Dancing with the Local Stars at the Pearson Air Museum last night. We have been to all five events and they are always a good time. Bill had been involved in the Pearson Air Museum on the board and was the last president before turning it over to the Trust so we have a special fondness for the museum and supporting it. The dance is a fundraising event to raise money for the children's programs at the museum as well as other programs of the Fort Vancouver National Trust. It is a huge time commitment for these busy community members to prepare for this event. They literally spend months taking dancing lessons and have a minimum level of fundraising that they each have to achieve. Some even hold additional events ahead of time to to try to raise more funds. It is truly a labor of love to participate in this event. This year's event raised over $68,000 for the trust.

The 2010 participants were Susanne Cox-a vice president with Vesta Hospitality, K.C. Fuller-a commercial real estate broker, Carol Curtis-a real estate agent and commissioner for Clark Public Utilities, Lisa Dow-a banker with West Coast Bank, Nelson Holmberg-executive director of the Port of Woodland, and Larry Smith-retired Army colonel whose last duty station was Vancouver Barracks, real estate agent and city council member.

There are always some fun moments trying to outdo each other making their entrances or trying to bribe the judges. This year, Carol Curtis jumped off a platform with a parachute to reenact her parachute jump into Pearson on her wedding day in 1994. Larry Smith did a lot of different things as part of his presentation. He and his partner arrived at the hangar doors in antique military vehicles, he had an Army band member play reveille, had a script for asking his partner to dance and thanking her afterward and had several men in military uniforms from all the eras in which soldiers have been stationed at Vancouver Barracks and explain who they were representing and what they were involved in to help promote the establishment of a new military museum on the reserve grounds.

Our support was going to Larry. He is in Rotary with Bill and asked Bill to help him by making some videos to post on YouTube to help advertise the event and him in particular. We were so pleased that he won. Here is the video Bill worked on. We recorded the dance last night so there may be another video in the making at some point. Dancing with the Stars-Larry Smith Video.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

First Home Game of the Season

Love this time of the year with both high school and pro football seasons starting. Last night was the first home game for Mountain View. Tom is still home and decided to go with me last night although both boys were skeptical that the Thunder would be able to beat the Camas Papermakers. A pretty safe bet since the Papermakers were ranked third in the state. Sure enough--the Thunder lost 27-14. I had fun despite the loss. It did seem strange though. For all these years that I have been going to Thunder football games, Mountain View has been a 4A division school. This year they are a 3A school so all the teams that they are playing are very different than who they have played in the past--at least for regular season games. So it should be interesting how the season turns out. I am just so happy fall and football season are finally here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Hike

Bill decided that he wanted to hike Hamilton Mountain this weekend. Chris and I went along today. It is the first time that he and I have gone although Bill and Tom have hike this trail several times in the past. I'm not much on hiking elevations although I did want to see the waterfalls. So I took my time getting up to that point on the trail and let Bill and Chris go ahead. There are actually two waterfalls--Hardy Falls and Rodney Falls. Below Rodney Falls is Pool of the Winds. It is hard to get any pictures of Hardy Falls because there are so many trees in the way but Rodney Falls is right next to the trail. Bill and Chris hiked the whole 8 miles of trails to the summit and back. I did some reading in the picnic area while I waited for them to come back. And then we went to have a late lunch in Stevenson at the Big River Grill. It was a pleasant day and fun to see at least a part of this trail that Bill and Tom love so much.

Bill actually took these pictures in the spring when he went there. But there is another picture of Rodney Falls and pictures of Beacon Rock and Bonneville Dam from the summit.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chris is now an adult

Yesterday was Chris' 18th birthday. It was also the first day of school for him. Since school has always started after Labor Day up until this year, he has never had to go to school on his birthday before. So there was a little bit of grumbling about that but he seemed to have a pretty good day. Tom stuck around long enough to help him celebrate his big day before leaving to go up North on his trip. We had a nice meal of pizza and cake with Grandma.

Chris senior portraits were ready to pick up today. I was really pleased with how they turned out. It is hard to believe that he is going to be a senior this year.

Back from Field Training

Tom survived Field Training down in Alabama and Mississippi. It was really hot and humid. It was hard but he made it through and graduated. He is happy that he is past that hurdle. These are a few pictures that the chaplain took of him and his group.

Tom was only home a few days. Today he left for a trip to Seattle/Kirkland/Winthrop to spend time with Maddy and her family and to finish painting her parent's picket fence that he started in July.

He also got good news yesterday that he got a job with the Housing office at school. So he has to move back to school next Sunday--several days sooner than we had planned but great news.

Port Townsend-Washington's Victorian Seaport

Port Townsend is a beautiful place. I've been there several times over the past 25 years although not recently. I never get tired of its charm. It has a great downtown with neat shops.

One of the highlights of the trip was spending two nights on Fort Worden's Officer's Row. "An Officer and a Gentleman" was one of my favorite movies and it was filmed at Fort Worden. I love going there and looking at the places that they filmed the movie. I've also always wondered what the Officer's Row housing was like. Before going, I joked with Sherrill that it probably was going to be like staying with her at her home at Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne which was built during the same time period--around 1904. Imagine my surprise when I found that the house we stayed in was the exact same layout as Sherrill's house was--down to the fireplaces, steam registers with pie warmers, and cabinets. The army must have had a standard blueprint for building these houses during that time. It was like deja vu staying there.

Bill and I ended up going to different museums there. Bill went to the Coast Artillery museum. I had been there before a couple times so I didn't necessarily feel the need to go plus we didn't have much time before they closed. I went to the commanding officer's quarters museum which was set up like it would have been in 1904 when it was built. We also took walks around the post to see the cemetery, Alexander's Castle and the batteries that used to have the guns to protect Puget Sound from any attacks by sea.

One of the activities that our flight leaders planned was an airplane contest to see how far we could fly little airplanes. It was fun watching the guys. They were like little kids flying their airplanes--even long after the contest was over.

Some of the other things we did in Port Townsend were go to an air museum in which all the aircraft were restored by teenagers, tour a creamery that makes cheese, and go on a dinner cruise. Unfortunately we didn't see any orca whales but we did see a whole bunch of seals on a beach.

It was a fun couple of days.

Bremerton--A Navy Town

We flew up to Bremerton last Friday morning. Bremerton is the home of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. They repair and decommission ships there. We saw four aircraft carriers including the Kitty Hawk that was just decommissioned on this trip. Since we had been there last, they had moved the Naval Museum to a new building so we went to see it. There have been parks built along the shipyard and sound with wonderful water fountains and sculptures to look at. The ones in the picture are really cool--they reminded me of submarines and would have huge gushes of water as if the sub was breaching. We also went on a tour of the USS Turner Joy which is a frigate that was involved in the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The tour was conducted by five former naval chiefs and officers which took two hours and was excellent. Our tour guide was a 1961 Naval Academy graduate that served on the Turner Joy's sister ship so he knew a lot about this particular type of ship. We learned so much about various aspects of running the ship, protocols, and living conditions. The next morning we drove up to Keyport to see the Naval Undersea Museum there. I had been there with the boys several years ago. It is also a very nice museum. I found the life of a submariner's family to be very interesting--all the secrecy and limited amounts of communication were especially surprising. I didn't realize how restrictive their lives actually are. After we saw the museum, it was time to head back to the Bremerton Airport and make our flight up to Port Townsend. An interesting side note--when we were flying home, we saw a submarine making its way out to sea. That was really cool.

Anniversary Celebration

It has been really busy here these past couple weeks. After our trip to Wisconsin, Bill made a huge decision to move his office back into our home. We've been making lots of trips to the dump, Goodwill and back and forth between home and the office. We had to get rid of stuff at home to make room for a new office upstairs. We had to find more storage spots for some of the things that he doesn't need right now. Needless to say, it has been a bit stressful for all involved. So I was really looking forward to getting away for a few days to celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary.

We signed up for a mystery flyout back in January. We weren't to find out where we were going until just before the trip. So a week before we left, we found out that we would be going to Bremerton and Port Townsend for a military history themed flyout. It has been a really long time since we have been to Bremerton or Port Townsend so it was great fun. I'll share the pictures and stories in other posts.