Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blue Light


Put a blue light in your window
for those officers in blue
who were gunned down having coffee.
It's the least that we can do.

It's a way of showing honor
to their families who are left
who must face the coming season
feeling lost, alone, bereft.

On these silent nights of sorrow
as we take time to be still
that blue light in the window
will recall those who were killed.

Each with uniform allegiance
to the force they proudly served
died committed to our safety
and the laws they helped preserve.

So... to the green and red of Christmas
let us add the color blue.
It will say to those now fallen
we will never forget you!

by Pastor Greg Asimakoupoulos
Mercer Island Covenant Church

May God bless and keep the families of fallen officers.
To those in uniform, THANK YOU for serving our community!





Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Humor ~ Updated!


Q:  Why can't the witch and the warlock have a baby?


A:  Because the warlock has a hallow-weenie!  :o)


Anonymous got it right!  I wish I new who anonymous is.  I only know about 3 people that read this blog and none of them are very anonymous.  :o)  Thanks for playing!


Happy Halloween Everyone!!!



Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Ryan!!!


Happy Birthday to my
wonderful husband and friend!

I am so thankful to be a part of your life. 
I look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you.

Have a great day sleeping with the puppy and feel better soon!

I love you!

:o)   Tiffany

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Toy in Box!

video

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Camp Colfax


Picture this:

3 guys, 3 dogs, and one little Caitlyn baby all smashed into an SUV for a trip across the state. That was the scene last weekend for a little time away from the city. Or, rather, time all of our wives (Jen, Tiffany, and Kate) could enjoy doing what they wanted without husbands grumbling. When we arrived in Colfax we pretty much exploded out of the vehicle.

Fast forward 3 days. The following pictures are of our dog after running full blast for 2 days, playing in the creek, chasing the 4-wheeler around the farm, and missing her customary 6 hour daily nap. Yes, this was her day on Monday. No, she didn't do anything else that day. NOT A THING.

7am (she's been here since 11pm the night before)


12 noon (love the paw over the nose!)


3:30pm (she didn't make it back to her bed after going outside to pee)






Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hot Dog!

GOSH! It's hot today. But mom spoils me and she brought me to her office today. Now I just need to find a cool place to rest.
Maybe under mom's desk. Oh yeah, that feels better.


On second thought . . . maybe I'll just sprawl out on the floor!
Stay cool everyone! Woof!
-Sydney

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wonderful Husband!

Yeah, so I never came back "this weekend" to blog about our life. I'll catch up, someday. But life doesn't seem to stop long enough for me to blog about it!

So, last Wednesday Ryan had to go down south somewhere for work. On his way home he stopped in Seattle and picked up these!!!


Does my husband know me or what?!?! There is no faster way to my heart than with a cupcake! These ones happen to be from my fave cupcake shop, Trophy Cupcakes. The one in the lower left is Snickerdoodle! I had never had that one before. It was delicious!!!

Boy do I love him!

Then I came home yesterday to this . . .

How domestic is it of me to get excited about a new sink?!?!

Ryan's plan when I left yesterday morning was to replace the faucet. The old one was leaky and falling apart. Well, the old sink was just about as bad as the old faucet so he just replaced them both. I love them! The new sink is way deeper than the old sink which is really nice for washing big pots and pans. And the nozzle on the new faucet detaches to rinse and spray in all directions.

Cupcakes and a new sink! What more could a girl want! :o)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Post-It Love!

Happy Friday!
(via A CUP OF JO, via Le Love)
I love this! It kinda reminds me of my own office romance! :o) Sorta. Kinda.
I'll be back this weekend with a few posts on our lives lately.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Power is good!


Since buying this house in 2005 I have had many "happy homeowner" moments.  Some not so happy.  The electrical panel and wiring are a bit suspect thanks to the previous owner.  Every electrical project I've done has turned into an ordeal and way more work than anticipated.  As much as I would love to rewire the entire house, I don't think it's on the current list Tiffany so often refers to. The cost is just too much at this time.

Well, we were able to do part of the job this week.  Today the service panel was replaced along with changing the meter and mast location.  This is a good starting point because now this house is upgraded to 200 amp service, has a good panel with new breakers, has organized wiring inside the panel and not the pile of spaghetti that was there before, and the work has been done by a professional - something the old panel obviously lacked.  From here we can rewire the house as we can afford it since we have fixed the main hub of the system.

Behold the nastiness of the old panel.  Tiffany commented that today the electrician could be heard numerous times wondering aloud "what's going on here?" and "why is that going there?" along with "what is that doing there?".  Those are all terms I don't really care to hear a guy say as he's fiddling with the wiring on my house.

And here's the shiny new panel install.  You can see the big conduit at the bottom of the box heading off to the left towards the outside.  That's where the new meter location is, about 3 feet from the panel as opposed to the 30 or so feet away where the meter used to be.

This is the work that was done outside.  The meter used to be on the opposite side of the house from this spot.

And this is a picture of our super ferocious watchdog as the strangers were here working on things.  Clearly she's on high alert.  I sure am glad our house is safe!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

One cool old Volvo

It's not often you hear the words "cool" and "Volvo" uttered in the same sentence.  But here's the tale of a particularly quirky, old, white, 1983 Volvo sedan that managed to win me over.

The car was given to me by Tiffany's dad for use as a commuter car.  It sat unused out front of his house for years and I was always a bit curious about it because it looked kinda neat.  It was also a Turbo - the first such car I'd ever owned.  Well, driving it home the first time I quickly learned that "turbo" can be misleading, especially for a 26 year old car.  This thing had difficulty getting out of its own way!  I think the turbo bumps the power to what a riding lawnmower might have these days.  Part of the problem may have been the massive smoke screen I was laying down as I drove from Seattle to Everett.  James Bond would have been proud.  I, on the other hand, was freaking out thinking the car was going to catch fire so what'd I do?  Drove faster of course!  My thinking was that the poor folks behind me getting a windshield full of oil and smoke couldn't catch me to complain.  Ya right....remember what I'm driving?  Grandma's Buick could catch me.

After spending some time, cash, more time, and more cash, I had a working car that didn't leak out all the transmission fluid in 10 miles.  From that day on the old white car was the best.  I received more compliments on that old brick of a car than anything else I've ever owned!  One kid in the QFC parking lot stopped me to ask about it because he'd just bought one and wanted it to look more like the one I had.  A guy at the gas station commented to me "sure is cool seeing old iron like that still on the road" and even the UPS delivery guy at my door step told me "ya sure don't see many of those anymore!"  Then I laughed and informed him that he was delivering parts for said car so I could get it running.  Sure, it had it's moments.  Like the fact that in the winter I had to wear my rain coat when I drove it.  Didn't matter if it had been dry for 3 days, if it had rained in the not-so-distant past I wore the rain coat.  Why you ask?  Well, because the sunroof leaked and when I slowed down I got a waterfall of water running down my shoulder and if I was unlucky enough to have to stop fast that waterfall fell farther forward, right between my legs making it look like I peed my pants.  Lovely way to start the work day...

It was also particularly temperamental when trying to start the engine.  If it was stone cold, no problem. Drive it for a bit and then turn it off to, say, run an errand and you had an adventure on your hands.  It might start, it might not.  If it didn't, get out a book 'cuz you might be there a while.  After some time I found a work-around for this "feature" of the car.  I'd just grind on the starter as I told it how much I "loved" it with various levels of colorful adjectives depending on how late I was running.

Know what though?  Through it all that car never left me stranded.  Not once.  Yeah, I might have been late a time or 2 thanks to it protesting it's duty but it always got me to point B.  Even on the night it went to car heaven it came through in a big way.  Tiffany and I were on I-5 heading south to meet some friends for dinner.  As I was cruising along at 70 mph the car suddenly revved way high as if it downshifted a couple gears.  Well, it did downshift a couple gears.  We got off the freeway since that would have blown it up in record time and as we pulled away from a light I counted 2 shifts and that was it.  The transmission had just went out, dropping 4th gear and the overdrive. Even then, the car still drove fine so we continued on back roads to our event.  After our event we headed home in the crippled old car, again on back roads.  I was grumbling about how expensive the repair bill was going to be.

It's noted that most accidents happen within 5 miles of home.  Seems that's true.  Almost home we were driving through downtown Everett and came upon the intersection of Rucker and Hewitt.  I had a long green light and didn't even slow down.  As I entered the intersection I barely noticed headlights approaching from my left.  Thing was, they were coming, and FAST.  Whoa, he's not stopping!!!  I looked up as I stomped on the brakes harder than ever before - yup, I indeed was staring at a green light.  BOOM!!!  The red light runner had broadsided us on my side of the car.  Poor Tiffany was sound asleep and woke up to the sudden panic braking followed by the loud bang of cars crunching.  She screamed.  I would have too if that would have been my wake up call.  Good thing I managed to stomp the brakes because the other car hit the front fender, totally caving it in and bending the front wheel up and in.  There's lots of heavy structure on a car right there so it was a hard hit to do the damage it did.  Had I not managed to mash the brakes that hit would have been right into the driver's door where there is far less structure.

After we said our "you OK?" back and forth and Tiffany was able to breath again, we both noted that when we kill a car, we really kill a car.  The transmission going out totaled it from a repair cost standpoint but nooooo, that's not good enough for us!

R.I.P. white Volvo.  You were a cool old car.










CakeSpy takes the cake!

I LOVE CUPCAKES!

I think all of you already knew that. And it probably won't shock you at all that my love for cupcakes and my love for blogs have merged. There are so many SWEET blogs out there and one of my favorites is CakeSpy. This awesome blog pairs sweet info about cupcake shops and bakeries with the adorable art work of Jessie Oleson! The star of the show is Cuppie the Cupcake! (Seen above) Isn't Cuppie cute!!! Well, this morning I got an email from Jessie O herself! She emailed to tell me that I was randomly selected as the winner of a cupcake prize pack! I entered the contest as part of a cupcake poll she ran last week. I don't win these things very often so I thought I would share it with the world, or at least the 4 people that read this blog! (See I'm not kidding) You should definitely check CakeSpy out sometime.

And if you are anywhere near the Wallingford area you should check out Trophy Cupcakes. Now through the end of the Month Trophy is hosting a CakeSpy art show and they even have CakeSpy cupcakes!

Trophy Cupcake Photos c/o Alana via CakeSpy

HAVE A SWEET TUESDAY!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Office

I love my office! Mainly because of the location and my proximity to a giant window. With just a small glance above my monitor I can see all kinds of things! The office building where I work is situated right on the slough that runs through Woodinville. The slough is an appealing place of birds and animals of all kinds. Almost on a daily basis in the spring I can see Blue Heron, Osprey, Geese and Bald Eagles.
Today these two wonderful birds of prey have been hanging out in my window!

They hung out on this power poll multiple times today. They would take off for a while and circle around the bright blue sky. Then they would disappear out of my window for a little while only to reappear later!

It is such a wonderful break from my computer work to stare out the window!

Two interesting things I thought of while typing this post.

#1 - I may be the only accountant that has a bird book on her shelf, and that bird book is the one that gets the most use!

#2 - I definitely get my love of birds from my mom! Oh no, I'm turning into my MOM!!! I guess it isn't that bad being like my mom!

I HEART BRAD!!!

I have a major crush! And it's not my husband!
But don't worry he knows all about it!

I MAJOR-LEAGUE HEART BRAD PAISLEY!!!
I love his music! I love his songs! I love his lyrics
I love his music videos! I love his cute little family!
All around he just seems like a really amazing guy!
And on February 28th I got to see him live and in person!
When the tickets to his show when on sale months ago Kate and I were waiting and we bought them right away. It took few tries but we were able to score 4 pretty good seats for Brad's show at the T-Dome. I'm not sure the boys were as excited about the show as we were but they came anyway! We decided to go down early, get a good parking spot and grab a bite to eat before the show. We parked near the stadium and rode the Link Light Rail into town!We ate dinner at the Harmon Brewery! It was good food and good beer. The perfect way to start off our evening. Kate and I had fun noticing all the cowboys that were out and about before the concert! I guess we wouldn't have been so out of place if we wore our cowboy hats to dinner. After dinner we had enough time for dessert so we stopped at Hello, Cupcake!

Can you believe it there just happened to be a cupcake shop right down the street from where we had dinner?!?!?! FYI ~ I HEART CUPCAKES!!! Maybe even more that I heart Brad. We picked out some very yummy vittles and then walked to Starbucks for a little pick me up. The old people the group thought they might need a little caffeine to make it through the whole show! Then it was back to the car to pick up our hats and head to the show. Kate and I were so excited!!! We could not contain ourselves. The first stop once inside was the t-shirt stand where be both bought Ts, then a stop at the lou and finally to our seats to wait for the show to start!

The show was AWESOME!!! We had so much fun! Crystal Shawanda, a country newcomer, opened the show. She was followed by another one of my favorite country stars, Dierks Bentley! The both rocked but the party really started when Brad hit the stage!

Brad was amazing! He puts on a great show. One of the things that surprised me was how multifaceted his show was. There was so much going on with lights, sound and video. The best part of his show is that it truly is HIS show. He had a hand in creating every aspect. During one of his instrumental (read: rocking guitar) songs there was a animated show that played on the big screen at the back of the stage. At the end of the show the credits said "Animated by Brad Paisley!" See I told you he is amazing!

It was a great night of good food, good beer, great cupcakes, and AWESOME show and an even AWESOMER time hanging out with AWESOME friends!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sofie Leann

I would like everyone to meet the reason Megan had to leave PACLAND.

Isn't she the cutest reason!!!

Sofie Leann was born on February 16th. (I'm sorry I don't remember her birth information)

I love this photo of the new family. Sofie is screaming yet Megan (and probably Dan too) has a big smile on her face. It was pretty much love at first sight!


Heidi and I went to visit Sofie, Megan and Dan the day after she was born. We just happened to be there at the same time as Aunt Barb and Grandma. Here is beautiful little Sofie with her Aunt Heidi and her Great Aunt Barb.

Congratulations again Megan & Dan!!!


Caitlyn Alexa

On Sunday, February 15th, we got a very happy call from Cortez to say . . .
IT'S A GIRL!!!!

Meet Caitlyn Alexa.
Upon her arrival she weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces
and was 19 inches long.
Excuse me while I gloat a little bit . . .
IT'S A GIRL!
IT'S A GIRL!
IT'S A GIRL!
I knew all along that it would be a girl.
Now I just hope the red hair comes back in!
After Cortez called we headed straight to Seattle to meet Caitlyn and see her proud parents. Newborns are so precious! Jen and Cortez were definitely very proud parents although I think Jen was still a little bit out of it!
Congratulations again you two!

Valentine's Day

Our first valentine's day as a married couple started off with a wonderful breakfast. We made heart-shaped eggs in a basket. Too bad the eggs don't keep the heart shape when you cook them up. As we ate breakfast we opened a few little presents. Ryan's card from me was a puzzle with invisible ink. It was fun to watch him put it together.
After a lazy morning we decided to drive up to Mount Vernon for a little afternoon look around. We ate lunch at the Calico Cupboard Cafe, wondered around an antique mall and the rest of town. The town closed down and the sun started to set, so we decided to head home.
It was a wonderful day!

February Friend & Finally Fixed

In early February Sydney had a friend come for a visit.

Annabell and Sydney spent hours playing while Ryan and I finally finished our laundry room re-do! The project started a LONG time ago when one evening after work Ryan decided to replace the overhead light in the kitchen. The light was old, ugly and flickered a bit. Well, if you have an older home like we do you probably know that a simple project is never a simple project. The first project usually leads to about a hundred more projects. That was certainly the case with our kitchen light. The simple light replacement turned into . . . cutting a hole in the kitchen ceiling, removing the wall board in the laundry room, rewiring the kitchen light, rewiring the laundry room outlet, putting up new sheet rock on the wall in the laundry room, patching the hole in the kitchen ceiling, painting the kitchen ceiling, putting up a new light in the kitchen, patching holes in the laundry room ceiling, painting the laundry room, rewiring the dryer outlet, buying a new cabinet, and hanging the new cabinet.

Here is the laundry room mid re-do. Man that wood panelling is ugly.
Doesn't it look great now!

Monday, April 20, 2009

One sad day in February

After my last February post a really sad thing happened. Megan left me! :o( Well me and PACLAND. She left for a very good reason (more on that in a bit), but it was still very sad to see her go.

It was such an amazing blessing to get to work along side my wonderful cousin and friend. It is definitely not the same at work without her! I'm asked almost everyday, "When is Megan coming back?" I'm still trying desperately to fill the very large shoes she left behind.

Here are a few pics of Megan's time at PACALND.


Thank you Megan for being an amazing co-worker and an even better friend! I love you!


It's been how long!!!

Oh my! It's the middle of April, Ryan's blogged twice and I haven't blogged since the beginning of February!!!


Bare with me for a bit, there are so many wonderful things that have happened since February
I'm going to take a few steps back in time and try to cover them all!



Friday, April 17, 2009

Old Machinery

1974 kind of old.

Older than I am kind of old.

I'm talking about a particular motorcycle that everyone I know has seen or heard of at one time or another.  It's the Honda CL350 Scrambler that Pop bought new off the showroom floor for $800 back in 1974.  The bike itself was made late 1973 and that's the model year for parts so tack another year of old on there.

This machine is special to me.  When clean and running it's in as pristine a condition as a 36 year old machine can be, it's complete and all stock, in a way it's still with it's original owner, it has only 6,139 miles on it, the license plate is the long gone blue Oregon plate, and it's now deemed 'vintage'.  Does this mean I qualify for 'vintage' status?  

I remember riding around on it as a young kid with Pop at the controls.  I was small enough that I had to ride IN FRONT of him, holding the handlebar crossbar that was just above the gauges.  Safe it was not...but times were much simpler back then.

Through the years this motorcycle has been used, not used, stored, brought back to life, put back to rest, and on and on.  When I was home from college one summer, Pop brought up the idea of passing the bike to me for use around the college campus.  Sounded good to me!  Ever since then the motorcycle has been in my care and I've pretty much failed it.  When I graduated college I took the motorcycle back home and parked it because I didn't have a secure or covered place to store it.  That was 10 years ago.

Tired of seeing this cool old bike slowly rot, I finally took action.  2 months ago Pop and I loaded it up and I hauled it home to Everett so I can try to bring it back to life once again.  This is the first of probably many posts about refurbishing the old machine.  The hope is to fire up the engine and give Pop the chance to ride it again, just as he did back when it was brand new.

The real problem areas for bringing this thing back from the grave are the carburetors and gas tank.  The tank rusted inside and the carburetors are filled with varnish and gunk from gas turning bad and evaporating inside them. This is what I'm up against:


The fuel bowl on the left is the one I cleaned.  On the right is the untouched one as it came off the carburetor.  These are just the bowls that sit below the carburetors.  The insides of both carbs are gummed up with varnish, completely locking in place all moving parts.  It could have been much worse so I was happy to see that time had not done too much damage. 

The gas tank looks great on the outside after a wash, polish, and a coat of good wax....




...but the inside is another story.  I'm holding a new gas cap for comparison.  The old cap is rusted pretty good.  On a positive note, the gas tank still had a half tank of 10 year old fuel in it so there are no holes to deal with.  Let me just say...fuel that old STINKS!



I've only just started this project so more, much more, will be happening.  Wait until I post pictures of the REST of the bike.  I was sad as we heaved and pushed it into my pickup - knowing how good it once looked and then seeing it in the current, sorry state that it is.

It'll live on, that's my goal.

-Leigh

Friday, April 3, 2009

When bored, build something!

The last time (and ONLY time so far) I posted on here was for the project of ripping apart the front steps of the house to make way for new ones.  I've been roundly criticized for never following up on that post so here is a picture of the tear down and how everything turned out.

Now, on to the new!  The steps happened last July, 8 months ago.  Not one to idle for very long, I was feeling the itch to build again.  Usually that involves a call to Pop to see if he wants to help. This time was no different and neither was the result.  He promptly declared "name a weekend and I'll be up."  I think he enjoys these projects as much as I do.

The project list around THIS old house is long and seems to have new things added faster than I can pick off listed jobs.  Tiffany will be the first to say that's because I don't actually FOLLOW the list, instead adding what I want at any given time.  Umm...she's right.  So, following my 'm.o.' this build wasn't really on the list but we need more room in the house and we need a freezer so that means stuff in the shop has to get moved somewhere else.  Where else?  How about...to the new yard shed!

My first thought was to go small, just big enough to store yard tools, getting them out of the shop to make room for a freezer and shelves.  I built a decent floor structure and had it all ready in the yard but thought it looked kinda dinky and weak.  I also began to realize it would be nice to store this, and that, and oh yeah what about that too in there.  I stopped at that point to reconsider my options.  I think it was a case of my inner man reminding me "go big or go home."  Well, I was already home so that left me only one option right?  Go big.


Try #1 was a shed footprint of 5 feet wide by 2 feet deep.  Sad, I know.  Try #2 after Pop chimed in and said "needs to be bigger!" was a decided shed footprint of 8 feet wide by 6 feet deep.  His inner man is clearly much more seasoned than mine.

I like having Pop around.  In my efforts to keep costs at a minimum, I wanted small.  He insisted larger.  I didn't want to bother with, or pay for, a window.  Notice the window opening?Another Pop win.  

Here's how it stands at the moment.  Yep, to the left of the blue barrel you can see the corner of my pathetic first attempt at a shed floor. 


Progress has slowed considerably since Pop left.  I work on it when I can, excited about the next project which will be building shelves and racks inside the new shed.  Hmm...I can hear Tiffany's voice saying "that is NOT on the list!"