Friday, December 19, 2008

Sydney Stories!

Story #1
The Scary Snowman

The other night, after the first winter blast hit our neighborhood, we decided to go for a walk. You know, get out and enjoy the freshly fallen snow. So we did! Ryan and I bundled up for the winter weather, hooked up the dog to her leash and headed out.  It was a great walk.  I love to see our neighborhood covered in snow and the Christmas lights look especially beautiful.  On the way home we walked past a cute house.  No Christmas lights but it must have been the home of children (or at least kids at heart), because there was a snowman in the front yard.  As we approached the yard Sydney moved to the other side of me and slowed down.  We got closer to the snowman and she slowed way down.  Holy Cow!  My dog is afraid of a snowman!!!  So I did what any good dog owner would do, we walked right up to the snow man.  :o)  Sydney stayed at the end of her leash.  As we got to the scary snowman her head went down and she barked at it!  In her defense it was a pretty ugly snowman!

Story #2
The Yummy Cookies

A few weeks ago I attempted to back some yummy cookie press cookies to give away.  They didn't turn out so good.  They tasted okay but every single cookie broke when I tried to take them off of the cookie sheet.  So the cookie pieces went into a bowl and onto a plate for us to eat, instead of into pretty packages.  A day or so later Ryan and I took a trip to the outlet stores.  When we got home, we noticed something funny on the kitchen floor.  It was the bowl and plate.  They had been sitting on the kitchen table full of cookies.  Now they were sitting on the floor completely empty.  Our sweet little puppy dog some how pulled the dishes off the table and ate every single cookie!!!  I'm still not sure how she got them down without breaking them.  :o)

Winter Day #2

The snow has stopped falling here in Puget Sound but with temperatures in the twenties it's not going anywhere anytime soon! In fact there is more winter weather in the forecast for this weekend! This is quite crazy for our neck of the woods.
I stayed home from work yesterday so I got to enjoy the view of snow falling outside of our office window. Here are a few photos from around our house yesterday.
the backyard
our crazy mutt trying to pick up her very frozen flying squirrel
"mom, I don't want to pose for a picture,"
our snow covered little house
the volvo is under there somewhere
the internet connection went down at work so Ryan got to come home a little early.
He caught Syd and I outside playing in the snow!
"mom, can we go out and play again?"
I can't resist those puppy dog eyes so we went out to make a snowman. The snow is surprisingly dry and would not stick together at all. So here is the little tiny iceman I made instead.
play, play, play
then inside for a yummy cup of peppermint hot chocolate!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wonderful Winter Evening

It's been a long time since our last post in July!!!  I thought about posting all of our life events in cronological order but that may take me more than a year.  So I'll just start with the most recent and go on from there!

It's snowing like crazy here in Everett!  Last night my husband :) and I did our best to enjoy this rare showing of winter!  

We sat in front of our Christmas tree with warm cups of peppermint hot chocolate.

Sydney got a little treat too!
(that's whip-cream on her paws!)

Then we went for a walk around our neighborhood.  
The world is amazingly beautiful and quiet when it is covered in snow.  

I made a snow angel.
(Please note the paws prints around the angel's head. 
I got attacked by Syd's tongue!)

Lucky dog!  We found a ball in the school field and played for awhile.  She loves the snow!  And that ball was just flat enough for her to retrieve!  Sydney will fetch anything, even a snowball!

I hope you are enjoying winter wherever you are!
Stay safe and warm!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Who needs Bob Vila?

Well, I might.

So, this past Friday I had the afternoon off.  Tiffany asked me what I had planned for my free time to which I replied:
"I'm sure I can find something to do."  And that I did.

To the right is the "before".  Drab, boring, and poorly installed concrete steps.  I wanted them gone, replaced with a new cedar deck entry that is both larger and more in-tune with the style of the house.

After renting a jackhammer on my way home Friday, as well as a quick check of the health insurance status and location of the nearest ER, I got to work.  Rat-tat-tat-tat...the neighbors must really love me by now.  Tiffany may NOT since I called her later that afternoon asking "do you have my camera?"
Her response:  "yeah, why?"
Me:  "oh, I just wanted to take an 'in progress' photo"
Tiffany:  "of what?"
Me:  "of the changes"
Tiffany:  "WHAT changes?......oh no, you don't have any front steps anymore do you.  I'm not sure I like it when you have afternoons off."

Smart girl.  

This is the earliest 'in progress' photo I have, taken shortly after Tiffany came rolling into the driveway - earlier than usual.  I think she was in a hurry to come see the damage (ahem) progress.

Well, what I suspected would be the case indeed was.  Not only had water found its way between the concrete and cedar siding, causing it to rot, but whoever installed the steps piled dirt up higher than the concrete foundation so bugs and moisture rotted out the wood under the floor joists.  Wood which was so old it was not pressure treated and welcomed the invasion.

This job just went from somewhat routine to something worthy of a segment on the 'This Old House' television program.

Nice eh?

I stood scratching my head for a bit, wondering how I was going to proceed.  Then I placed a call to Tiffany's dad Richard who does this type of work.  A short time later he was standing in the yard telling me "all we need to do is this, that, check this, jack that up, cut this out, pound that in."  OK Richard...what are you up to Saturday? Lucky for me he wasn't busy so we agreed to set off on the demo and rebuild.

I was a bit nervous.  Seems every project on this house ends up being more involved than anticipated and this particular project is more than I've ever taken on in terms of home improvement.  Plus, when I start cutting stuff apart on this place it usually reveals additional problems which then forces the debate of "well, if I'm into it this far is it better to just fix it all correctly and not shortcut it?"  I always cave, wanting to fix everything which makes the job even more complex and time consuming.

I'm happy to say that thanks to Rich's help and knowledge, this time the repair was free of surprises and problems.  First, we jacked the house up to take the pressure off the area we were going to cut out and replace.  

Yeah, I was the lucky one who ventured into the crawl space to do this work.  It's not fun laying on your side, jacking a house up right above your nose, and hearing it creak.

Once that was done we systematically cut out the old and rotted wood and built everything back up with pressure treated lumber that should be good for another 100 years.  We were even able to lift the corner of the house up about 1/2" to make the front door level.  Of course, now the door frame has some funky gaps but that's a project for another day.

This is how things looked before we covered it all up with felt paper, marking the end of the rebuild.  All that's left now is to source a few pieces of 1/2"x 8" beveled cedar siding and get them primed, painted, and installed.

Oh, and to build the entry deck which was the target project when I started.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rachel & Terry's Wedding

A few weeks ago Ryan and I traveled down to Portland to celebrate the marriage Rachel and Terry! It was a wonderfully personal backyard ceremony. Rachel and Terry were accompanied by thier children, MarLeigh and Adam. Bowman and Taylor were beautiful bridesmaids. Bev made delicious chocolate rum cakes with real whipping cream.
Everyone had a wonderful time!!!

pic1...Rachel & Terry......pic2...Bowman, Rachel & Taylor

pic3..."The Leigh Grin" Bowman, Ryan, Rachel & Taylor...pic4...Bowman, Me & Taylor

pic1...Rachel, Terry, MarLeigh & Adam......pic2...Bev & Tim

pic3...Yummy Rum Cake......pic4...Colorful Flowers......pic5...Nancy, Dennis & Donna

If you would like, you can check out a few more pictures here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The US Open

Even if you aren't a big fan of golf I'm sure you remember hearing about this shot. Tiger Woods chips in on the 17th hole at the 2008 US Open Golf Championship at Torrey Pines. It was an amazing shot! And, believe it or not, Ryan and his step-dad, Dennis, were there to witness it!!!

Take a look at the clip below. At about 1:27 you will see Ryan in the upper right hand corner of the frame. He is standing up in the back row of the bleachers wearing a light blue shirt and a hat. Dennis is standing just to the right of Ryan but up a little higher.

Pretty cool, huh?

by Tiffany for Leigh (Maybe Ryan will post his own thoughts later!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Group Game Night

Who: Lothbrights, Hoyts, Burleighs and Becky
What: good food, good friends and good board game fun!
When: Last Saturday night
Where: The Lothbrights home in West Seattle
Why: just for fun (see What)

Jen and Tez hosted a great evening!  We ate a wonderful dinner of BBQ'd pork, corn-on-the-cob and fruit salad.  Dinner was followed by a game of Risk.  If you've never played Risk before you should.  It is a little confusing at first but once you get the hang of it you can battle your way around the world, increasing your number of armies and the territories you control. 

As we set up, Cortez plots his path total world domination.
Ryan sets up the ultimate army in the South Pacific.
black=Ryan&Mike :: yellow=Kate :: green=Becky
red=Cortez :: blue=Jen :: pink=me
Eventually those little red blocks started to take over more and more of the board.  Had we continued to play, it is almost certain that Cortez would have picked us of one by one.  However, it was getting late and the old fogies among us needed to go to bed.  I had a lot of fun but I don't think I'm ruthless global dominating type.  :o)  

Oh I almost forgot . . . for dessert Ryan and I made a blackberry crisp from my mom's recipe.  I said I would post it so here goes.

Mom's Crisp

fill the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with fruit.
you can use apples, blackberries, cherries, peaches 
or whatever is on hand and sounds good!

in a separate bowl mix the following ingredients together with a fork 
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 c. sugar
3/4 t. salt
1 egg (unbeaten)
mix until crumbly

sprinkle flour mixture over the fruit
sprinkle on cinnamon (if desired)
pour 1/4 c. of vegetable oil over the fruit

bake for 30-40 minutes @ 350 degrees
until golden brown and bubbly

Thanks everyone we had a great time!  I can't wait until the next GGN.

Monday, March 31, 2008


hug o' war
by shel silverstein

i will not play at tug o' war
i'd rather play at hug o' war,
where everyone hugs
instead of tugs,
where everyone giggles
and rolls on the rug,
where everyone kisses,
and everyone grins,
and everyone cuddles,
and everyone wins.

I don't think these two have read this poem.  :o)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

February Fun! Part #2

Our second little vacation was to Bend, OR with our friends Jack and Anastasia.  
We spent four days enjoying the sun and snow.  
We drove down on a beautiful Thursday morning. 
On Friday we decided to hit the trail and we spent the day snow shoeing up Tumalo Mountain.
After a long day of snowshoeing Anastasia cooked up a really delicious tortellini soup!
On Friday Jack, Ryan and I hit the slopes while Anastasia had a relaxing day at the condo.
We came back to the condo to another delicious dinner by our favorite chef!
J&A - Thank you so much for the good food and good fun!
Check out our photo album for more pictures!

Monday, March 3, 2008

February Fun!

February was a great month for Ryan and I.
Two little vacations brought us some much needed rest and relaxation.
For our first vacation we hoped on a plane, flew to Palm Springs, and we met up with Ryan's mom and Dennis. We left a cold and rainy Seattle and arrived in a very sunny Palm Springs. The sun was a very welcome site for Ryan,

but a little less welcome for me and my pale skin. While in Palm Springs we golfed, hiked, shopped and ate very well!

We hiked up Tahquitz Canyon. It was a beautiful hike on a warm sunny day. The American Southwest is unlike anything we see in the Pacific Northwest. The desert and rock formations are amazing and it is very interesting to think about the people that used to live in this area.

After our hike in the canyon, and a delicous lunch at a local fish market, we took a ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tram. On this amazing feat of engineering you climb two and a half miles, in the World's Largest Rotating Tramcar, to the pristine wilderness of Mount San Jacinto State Park. It is a beautiful place where you can hike, camp, crosscountry ski and snowshoe. I was prepared for hiking but I was not prepared for the amount of snow at the top of the mountain.
Who goes to Palm Springs and thinks snow!?!? Dispite the fact that I could not feel my toes we hiked through the snow and to the top of a huge rock to get a view of the valley.

Our last big adventure while we were in Palm Springs was a tour through Joshua Tree National Park. This park is the most amazing colision of climates. It is a very unique place where the high desert meets the low desert and creates a fascinating collection of plants, animals and geological features. Here is just a glimpse of the park.

A big huge THANK YOU to Nancy and Dennis for hosting us in Palm Springs!

Oh, and check out our photo album for more pictures.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

We're one of the them . . .

. . . a little different

I'm sure you've seen or heard the new PEMCO adds that are on the radio and TV now.  We'll a few of them hit pretty close to home. 


Profile #23 ~ Marymoor Off-leash Dog Lady also fits me pretty well, but I can't figure out how to get the radio add to post here.  

Check out the PEMCO site and let me know what NW Profile you most identify with!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Welcome . . .

. . . to the Burleigh's blog!

Just a little spot where we can keep the world informed about what we're up to.