Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Kent and I are headed out of town today to Southern California to see USC play the Huskies. We don't have much hope of winning since USC is favored by over 40 points! But with the firing of Head coach Ty Willingham this past Monday, we are headed into this game with a new outlook so anything could happen.

We are going to the game with several friends from the Seattle area who are all headed south for the weekend for some sunshine! Once the game is over on Saturday we are heading to Palm Springs for a couple days - the Palm Springs pride parade is Sunday - should be a fun weekend. I'll post pictures when we return.

In the mean time I thought I would post a few pictures of dogs dressed for Halloween.
While not in costume - this is our dog Toby celebrating Halloween in his own way!

This is Kent's sister's dog Daisy dressed for Halloween last year! Hilarious!

The rest of these are random dogs sent to me by my friend Kim - I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Have a great Halloween and weekend!

Later -


Monday, October 27, 2008

Sarah Palin Pumpkin!

I'm pretty pleased with how the Sarah Palin pumpkin turned out! It took awhile but was worth the effort!

Happy Halloween!


Political Pumpkin and Harry Pumpkin!

Last night Kent and I started our pumpkin carving for this year! We usually do a couple each. We have several pumpkin patches just down the road from the house and always buy more than we carve just because we like going down there and supporting the local farmer. We have been buying our pumpkins from this same old couple for years now.
In the presidential election years I always do a political pumpkin. They are always my favorite! Tonight I'll do another one - trying to decide if it should be Sarah Palin or something easier. The Sarah pumpkin looks like it would take a long time.

Kent and I have the same tradition each year when we carve our pumpkins. We put on Sleepy Hollow with Johhny Depp and carve away! It's the perfect combination! Kent carves the classics each year. This one turned out great and I love how he placed it near the grass in a container to make it look like it has hair! More to come.

Unfortunately we will not be home for Halloween this year. We are headed to California to watch the Huskies get clobbered by USC and then headed to Palm Springs for a few days - It's pride weekend there this next weekend.

Have a good one -


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Correction and Very Brief Husky Update

First my apologies to my friend Nancy - I got her Birthday wrong! How embarrassing! It was actually on Saturday the 25th! Sorry Nancy - glad you had a great birthday and I've got it down right for next year!

I hate to write anything about the Dawgs - Saturdays game was so bad! The players have given up and are waiting for the UW to fire Willingham. I hope that it happens on Monday and we go to USC next weekend with big change in the air. Despite the loss we had a great time as usual but it sure would be nice to have a win.

Later -


Blog-a-Birthday wish to my friend Nancy!

Happy, Happy Birthday to my friend Nancy! I've recently posted to the blog about Nancy as she is the Mother to my Godchildren Emily and Will. Nancy and I are just over a month apart in age so each year she breaks the ground and blazes forward just ahead of me! Thanks Nancy!

This picture was taken last year at our annual Christmas party - Santa crashed the party! Nancy is one of my most photogenic friends - I've never seen a bad picture of her! In honor of Nancy - a little jiggle that I learned from her and her sister Susan -

Nancy - wonderful Nancy - glorious Nancy - marvelous Nancy - what a wonderful world it is because of Nancy!

Please join me in wising Nancy a wonderful Birthday!

Have a god one Nancy - I am so glad we are friends and that we will always be a part of each others life!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Slumber Party with the Girls!

Okay - I'm going to be 45 years old in a little over a month! Hard to believe! But not matter how old I get, I've discovered that one never gets to old for a good old fashioned slumber party. Activities change as you get older - there was no braiding of the hair (not that we wouldn't have braided his hair!)

or painting toenails (not that I wouldn't do it!) Okay - I admit, I've done that but it was for Pride weekend!

- only lots of laughter and great conversation!

Like I said in my earlier post - Matt left and took the boys back to Virgina and Kathy stayed on for an extra night with us before she went off to her conference. In the mean time my work wife Loretta flew in from Wenatchee and spent the night as well. She and I needed to attend a retirement party for the State Director of the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse. I call Loretta my work wife because for the last two years we have been co-chairing the statewide association for County Coordinators. I could not have done it without her! We have had a lot of fun traveling the state and chairing the meetings.
Advice from me - never get to old to have slumber parties with your friends! I am already planning my next one!
Have a good one -

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Visit from Our Friends Kathy and Matt and their boys!

We had a recent visit from our friends Kathy and Matt and their two boys Michael and Danial. It was great to see them. They are the kind of people that you may not see for ages and the second you are together it's like you've never been apart. Always makes me miss them more after a visit and makes me realize how lucky we are to have such great people in our lives!

This picture was taken at 5 a.m. as Matt and the boys were getting ready to go to the airport. Kathy stayed on for a few extra days to attend a conference.

It was a quick but nice visit. Kathy and I have a long history together - we first met in 1987 when we both worked at an adolescent inpatient drug and alcohol treatment program in Seattle. While we only worked together for a short while we have remained friends over the many years!

Kathy moved to Germany in the 90's and worked with military families. We had opportunity to visit her there a couple of times and have fond memories of bungee jumping off the highest railroad bridge in Austria - driving through Italy, skiing in Switzerland and drinking huge beers at the Hofbrauhause! The picture above was taken out side the Mozart Museum in Vienna, Austria. It's in Germany that she met and married Matt.

Kent and I went over to go skiing and boy did we have snow!

Matt is in the US Air Force and just got back from serving a year in Iraq. Thank you Matt for your service to our County. They now live in Virgina just outside of Washington DC. The good news is that they have a house here in Washington to retire to in a few years! I can't wait to have them all closer!

I've got a meeting to attend in DC next year and can't wait to see them again!

Have a good one -


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Obama/Biden vs McCain/Palin

This was sent to me by my friend Cheryl and I had to share it. Less than 2 weeks from election day!
What if things were switched around?.....

Think about it.

Would the country's collective point of view be different?

Ponder the following:

What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?

What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?

What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?

What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?
What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while he was still married?

What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?

What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five?(The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)

What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?

What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?

What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?

What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution?
You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

Educational Background:

Barack Obama: Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations. Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

Joseph Biden: University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science. Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)


John McCain: United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

Sarah Palin: Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study University of Idaho - 2 semesters -journalism Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism

Education isn't everything, but this is about the two highest offices in the land as well as our standing in the world.

You make the call.
Later - Jim

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kitchen Cabinet Remodel

Things have been pretty hectic and dusty around here for the last week or so. We just finished an update to our kitchen cabinets! We have been talking about this for awhile and over this past summer made final arrangements. We are pleased with the outcome. Check out these before and after shots.

This is the island in the kitchen. It had been a dark oak color that really did not fit with the contemporary style of the house. We had all the cabinets refaced as opposed to adding entirely new cabinets.

Essentially they come in and replace all the doors and hardware and then add a real wood veneer to the sides. It looks great! Notice in the original how the hinges show. The new design is cleaner with the hidden hardware and lighter colored wood.

This is the front of the island in the kitchen. The lighter wood looks great with the dark granite counter tops and I love the new stainless steel handles.

Finally - here is a shot of the kitchen from the dining room to give you an idea of the overall look. We are really pleased with how it all turned out! We had one of the barrooms also done and plan to do the other two next year. Come on over and take a look - we would love to see you!

Let us know what you think!

Later -


Sunday, October 19, 2008

How long will it before we see a Husky win?

It was an absolutely beautiful day at Husky Stadium yesterday. A crisp, sunny fall day - the kind we live for here in Seattle. The leaves are changing colors all around campus. It was a beautiful walk across campus to the stadium

Tons of boats were lined up on Lake Washington for some Husky style tailgating - we met our friends Vel and Mario before the game and it pretty much went downhill from there!

As gorgeous a day as it was, there's a dark cloud hanging over every game we attend and it's not going to go away until we get a win.

There was a good crowd of 65,000+ and we managed to lose to Oregon State 34-14. The Huskies are now 0-6 for the season and have lost 8 consecutive games.

Basically we've spent over $1000 in ticket's alone to see the Dawgs continuously lose! Every season ticket holder around us is getting frustrated and half way through game people are filing out.

Our only saving grace is WSU is worse than we are (although they have won one game). They got killed by USC 69 -0 yesterday!

Next week Notre Dame then we go to an away game to see us play USC. We got our season tickets to Basketball in the mail yesterday - I'm ready to move on!

Later -


Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's an International Blog-a-Postcard!

This Blog-a-postcard comes from my sister Rose who sent me this postcard from Africa!

Rose has become quite the world traveler! In addition to Africa, I know she's been to China, Australia, Italy, and I believe somewhere in South America. (Canada and Mexico are a given)!

Thanks for the postcard Rose - sounds like you had a great time - I can't wait to see your pictures. Africa is definitely on my list of places to visit!

Don't forget to continue sending me postcards from your travels and I'll continue to post them for all to see!

Have a good one -


Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Blog-a-Birthday Friday!

I’ve already told you that I’m terrible about getting birthday cards out in the mail which is one of the reasons that I like having the blog!

There are some people that touch your life in such a special way that regardless of how far they move away and how infrequent the conversation - you know will always be a part of your life.

Today’s Blog-a-Birthday goes out to one such person. My friend Cheryl! Happy, Happy Birthday Cheryl! I miss you! This picture was taken several years ago when Kent and I went for a visit while Cheryl and Bobby were still living in Indiana.

Cheryl and I first meet each other in 1989 when I went to work at St. Peter Hospital in Olympia. She’s been my co-worker and my boss at different times but she has always she’s been my friend!

Swimming in Puget Sound, Wholesale Heaven, the day after Thanksgiving shopping, talking endlessly on the phone (after we worked together all day), critiquing the gowns while watching beauty pageants – I could go on and on……

Cheryl has two sister – Lori and Gayle – I used to see them all more often than I do now. I miss them all terribly. One of these days they are going to be vacationing someplace and having a girls weekend and I am going to crash the party! I’ve been threatening this for years!

Cheryl and Bobby now live in Florida. I can't wait to visit!

Cheryl – I miss you, think of you all the time and am grateful that you are my friend!

Please join me in wishing Cheryl a wonderful Birthday!

Have a great day!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Are you a Fanalo?

Check out the retro song of the day - an all time favorite!

Copacabana - Barry Manilow. I've added a link to lyrics in case you have forgotten the words - not that I can imagine that! Click on the Copacabana song in the play list and then click on the link to the lyrics and sing along! Makes you feel good!

Have a good one - off to watch the final debate! Go Obama!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Craft Day with Jennifer

I recently spent the day with my friend Jennifer making fall cards. Check out Jennifer's blog - Simple Flourishes.

These are four of the cards we made that day.

Who knows you could be getting one in the mail soon!

Later -


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dawg Dash 10K

Kent and I started our Sunday off yesterday morning running in the Dawg Dash 10K! It's a lot of fun. The course starts in Husky stadium and then meanders through the campus. What a beautiful day for a run!

I signed up to run in the Seattle Marathon that happens the Sunday following Thanksgiving and began training for it two weeks ago. This morning I had a 12 mile training run to do so I went for a 6 mile run and timed it such that I ended the run at the start time of the Dawg Dash and then ran for another 6 miles to get my 12 miles in.

I am looking forward to the Seattle Marathon - hoping to do better than Lake Chelan. I'll keep you posted.

Have a great work week. P.S the retro song of the day from yesterday goes out to my friend Hollie who live on Maui - thanks for the suggestion! Doing aerobics to Mickey to in the early 80's was all the rage!

Later -


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Another Great Holiday Gift Idea

Here is what I consider another great Christmas gift idea! Illume Fruit Slice Candles. These are high quality candles that smell great, but the containers that these candles come in are the real sell to me!

Illume Fruit Slice Candles -Vibrant, juicy slices and pretty pastel jars surround these delicious, plucked-from-a-summer-salad scents.

  • Hinged lid

  • 35 hour burn time

  • Paraffin wax, paper wick, ceramic jar

  • 3"H, 3" diameter

They come in four different scents:

  • Pomegranate: exotic pomegranate with a touch of citrus and spice

  • Kiwi Lime: sweet kiwi and tart lime with a hint of warm vanilla

  • Valencia Orange: a fresh and tangy blend of orange blossom, mandarin and bergamot

  • Limon Petals: sunny lemon, sweetened with sugar and orange blossoms

These candles are on $20 each and can be purchased at Anthropology . Anthropology is a great store with many gift ideas. Check it out!

Later -


Retro Song of the day!

As you can see I've added a new feature to the blog - Music that I'm listening to right now. To keep it interesting I thought I would add a daily retro song of the day. So each time you visit the blog be sure to check out the retro song of the day!

Yesterday's retro hit was the 1980 hit from Divo - Whip It.

I was a sophomore in high school when this song came out. Sorry - it's already gone from the playlist and the new retro song of the day is in it's place. The retro song of the day will always be the first song on the playlist.

Today's retro song of the day is a bit more recent from 1992 - "I'm too Sexy" by Right Said Fred.

Let me know if there is a retro song you would love to hear!

Remember to check it out each time you visit. Just turn on the sound and be taken back - you'll feel years younger!

Have a good one and enjoy!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Court makes Conn. 3rd state to allow gay marriage!

Three down and 47 to go! See the full article below about Conn. becoming the 3rd state to allow gay marriages! It will happen yet in Washington!

Court makes Conn. 3rd state to allow gay marriage

Janet Peck left, embraces her partner, Carol Conklin, after Peck spoke at a news conference in Hartford, Conn., Friday, Oct. 10, 2008. Peck was commenting on ruling by the Connecticut Supreme Court making gay marriage. Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay couples have the right to marry, making the state the third behind Massachusetts and California to legalize such unions. (AP Photo/Bob Child)
HARTFORD, Conn. -- A sharply divided Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay couples have the right to get married, saying legislators did not go far enough when they approved same-sex civil unions that were identical to marriages in virtually every respect except the name.
The 4-3 ruling will make Connecticut the third state, behind Massachusetts and California, to allow same-sex marriages, decisions that in all cases were made by the highest state court. The decision marks the first time that a court rejected civil unions as an alternative to granting gay couples the right to marry.
Californians will vote next month on a ballot measure that would reinstate the gay-marriage ban, but Connecticut's governor and attorney general said there is little chance of a similar challenge to Friday's ruling.
"The Supreme Court has spoken," said Gov. M. Jodi Rell, a Republican who opposes same-sex marriage. "I do not believe their voice reflects the majority of the people of Connecticut. However, I am also firmly convinced that attempts to reverse this decision - either legislatively or by amending the state Constitution - will not meet with success."
Same-sex weddings are expected to begin in Connecticut in less than a month. Out-of-staters will be eligible, but few other states are likely to recognize the unions.
The ruling was thrilling for the plaintiffs, eight couples who sued in 2004 after they tried to get wedding licenses.
"I can't believe it. We're thrilled; we're absolutely overjoyed. We're finally going to be able, after 33 years, to get married," said plaintiff Janet Peck of Colchester.
Peck said that when the decision was announced, she and her partner, Carole Conklin, started crying and hugging while juggling excited phone calls from her brother and other relatives and friends.
"We've always dreamed of being married," she said. "Even though we were lesbians and didn't know if that would ever come true, we always dreamed of it."
A year after the suit was filed, Connecticut's General Assembly approved a civil union law that gave same-sex couples the same rights as married couples. At the time, no other state had granted so many rights to gay couples without being ordered to do so by a court, but the plaintiffs declined to drop their lawsuit and said they wanted full marriage rights.
In the majority opinion, Supreme Court Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote that denying marriage to same-sex couples would create separate standards.
"Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice," Palmer wrote.
Three justices issued separate dissenting opinions.
Justice Peter T. Zarella wrote that he believes there is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage, and that the court's majority failed to discuss the purpose of marriage laws, which he said is to "privilege and regulate procreative conduct."
Zarella added, "The ancient definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman has its basis in biology, not bigotry. If the state no longer has an interest in the regulation of procreation, then that is a decision for the legislature or the people of the state and not this court."
The ruling cannot be appealed to federal courts because it deals with state constitutional issues, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said.
The ruling overturns a decision from New Haven Superior Court. It becomes effective Oct. 28, and weddings are expected to begin within days after the lower court holds a hearing to implement the high court's ruling.
The White House reacted to the ruling by again raising the prospect of a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
"It's unfortunate that activist judges continue to seek to redefine marriage by court order without regard for the will of the people," Karl Zinsmeister, President Bush's domestic policy adviser, said in a written statement. "Today's decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court illustrates that a federal constitutional amendment may be needed if the people are to decide what marriage means."
The Family Institute of Connecticut, a political action group that opposes gay marriage, called the ruling outrageous.
"Even the legislature, as liberal as ours, decided that marriage is between a man and a woman," said executive director Peter Wolfgang. "This is about our right to govern ourselves. It is bigger than gay marriage."
Getting a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on Connecticut's ballot would require the approval of three-quarters of the General Assembly - a highly unlikely prospect, with both houses controlled by Democrats sympathetic to same-sex marriage.
A gay marriage ban also could be approved by a constitutional convention. Connecticut law requires a state referendum every 20 years asking whether it should hold a convention at which delegates would consider rewriting anything in the state's Constitution. The referendum happens to be scheduled for next month, but there is little, if any, appetite for such a move among state leaders, regardless of party.
State Sen. Michael Lawlor, chairman of the legislature's Judiciary Committee, said he expects the General Assembly to pass a gay marriage law next year codifying the Supreme Court ruling.
"It's important that both the legislature and the court weigh in," he said. "The court is saying that it's a constitutional requirement that marriage should be equally available to gays and straights and the legislature should weigh in saying whether or not it's constitutionally required, it's the right thing to do."
The couples who sued said the state's marriage law violated their constitutional rights to equal protection and due process, denying them the financial, social and emotional benefits of marriage enjoyed by heterosexual couples.
The vast majority of states do not allow gay marriage. Voters in 27 states have taken the extra step of approving constitutional amendments to reinforce that prohibition.
Civil unions and a similar arrangement, known as domestic partnerships, are offered to same-sex couples in Vermont, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Oregon, Hawaii, Maine, Washington and the District of Columbia.
Later -

Blog-a-Birthday Wish to Our Friend Diane Hettinger!

October is a busy month for birthdays! Today's Blog-a-Birthday wish goes out to our friend Diane! Happy, Happy Birthday Diane! Diane, her husband Buzz and daughter Barbara have become an extension of our family. I first met Diane in 1989 -when we first stated working together at St. Peter Hospital in Olympia. I still find it interesting how some people you meet touch your life and become a permanent part of it. I will be forever grateful that Diane, Buzz and Barbara are a part of our life.

The above picture was taken in Charlottesville VA. following Barb's graduation from Medical School.

Diane and Buzz have both since retired. Diane has become a Hospice volunteer since she retired. The picture below was taken at Diane's retirement party.

Here's to wishing Diane a wonderful Birthday - please join me by leaving a birthday wish to Diane on the blog! Have a great day Diane - you deserve it!

Here's an add on to this Blog-a-Birthday....Diane has to share.

This one goes out to my friend Nancy's friend and co-worker Jamie - Happy, Happy Birthday Jamie, have a great birthday!

Have a good one -


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Another Blog-a-Birthday to.... Mike Bordner

This is the second day in a row for a blog a birthday (and just so you know......there is another one tomorrow!)

This blog-a-birthday wish goes out to our friend Mike. Kent and Mike were friends long before Kent and I got together and oddly enough (and such a small world) I actually met Mike before I met Kent.

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday season, I thought it would be appropriate to share a picture of Mike from our last holiday party! Santa made a surprise visit! Mike is the guy on the far right of this picture. We will be taking a trip to southern California next month with Mike for a Husky football game and then a quick trip to Palm Springs.

Please join me in wishing Mike a very Happy Birthday!

Have a good one Mike!

Later -

Jim and Kent

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Blog-a-Birthday to Kay!

It's another blog-a-birthday wish! This one goes out to Kent's older sister Kay! Happy, Happy Birthday! This picture was taken at Kay's daughter Kara's graduation. Kay is the one on the left.

Kay is one of the most thoughtful people that I know - Please join me in wishing Kay a happy blog-a-birthday!

We hope you have a great birthday Kay - you deserve it!

Have a good one -

Jim and Kent

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Let me Introduce you to my Godchildren!

I'll start by introducing you to their Mom. I first met my friend Nancy in the early 90's. This is a recent picture of Nancy pictured here with their dog Bella. We worked in the same building - she for the School District and me for St. Peter Hospital, providing substance abuse treatment for kids. We quickly became great friends! I still remember the days in Olympia when we would go out for coffee and spend hours just visiting and hanging out! I miss those days!

Imagine how honored I was when she and her husband Paul asked me to be the Godfather to their two children Emily and Will along with their Aunt Susan. I have to say - that it has been one of the greatest honors of my life!

I spent the afternoon with them recently and wanted to share a few pictures. I know this sounds totally biased but they are the the greatest kids. I consider myself very lucky!

Emily is a freshmen in high school (totally hard to believe!) She is pictured here preforming a private piano recital in their living room! She is so talented!

Will just started middle school and is in the sixth grade this year. He recently started taking guitar lessons - he is a great guitar player!

Here - the two of them are hanging out in the fort that they built with their Dad outside Emily's room.

Here's to Emily and Will - two of the greatest Godchildren ever! Love you guys!

See you soon for another afternoon of hanging out -
Uncle Jim