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

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 . . .

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 . . .
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.


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 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!"