Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Border Crossings

Going up to B.C. yesterday was a lot of fun. We had the pleasure of taking Glory's sister and niece back across the border so they could fly back to their home today. Our visit, though a short 24 hours, was refreshing. I like being in their presence as they encourage me in my walk with the Lord. I find that I am too serious and regimented. Where's the sweetness of the Lord? In them, I see it, and I want it, too.

Crossing into B.C. was uneventful. The border guard was professional and nice, too.

Coming back into the U.S., well, that's another matter.

I have long thought that my countrymen at the U.S./Canadian border are just a little too serious. The young border enforcement agent who greeted us at the crossing was all business. No smiles. No laughing. Nothing. Not even when he determined that, yes, we were who we said we were, and, yes, these were, in fact, our children, he asked if we were bringing anything into the U.S. The only things we bought were from Tim Hortons, so I responded accordingly.

"Just some Timbits and a cup of coffee," I told him matter-of-factly.

He paused and told us to go on our way.

When we were safely away from the guard, Glory burst out laughing, and suspected that he, despite his demeanor, was laughing, too.

Well, I answered his question, I responded.

That's not what he meant, Glory explained.

We're going back there in a couple of months when Glory heads to Saskatchewan for a week. Perhaps I can bring enough Tim Hortons to even share with the guard when he asks me what I bought in Canada.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Renovations Part II

So we had a conversation with the neighbors yesterday after returning home from church. They filled us in on the goings-on at our humble abode before it was our humble abode. It so happens that the people that were there before the people that were there before us owned not only our house but our neighbors' house, as well. Over time, our neighbors told us, they have had to shell out about $20,000 to get the house up to code. Great. As if money isn't tight enough.

One event that was not entirely welcome for our neighbors was the fate of their doorbell. When using it one day, the wiring caught fire. I'm sure that kind of greeting would be quite traumatizing for a friend coming over for a friendly chat and a shared supper.

"I-I don't know, o-o-officer," Bob stammered to the cop on scene, with the charred ruins behind him. "I just brought over some barbeque for them and rang the doorbell. The house just burst into flames."

"Really? That's what happened?" the cop asked.

"Yeah," Bob replied. "Now what am I going to with these ribs?"

Our neighbors warned us about lots of things, most of which we already knew. The foundation in the king and queen room (old garage) probably isn't up to snuff because it was poured without permits. The wiring is going to have to totally be replaced. They weren't surprised to learn of our need to replace the flooring (with which we are about done replacing in the kitchen.)

It's good to have neighbors that are in the know about things that affect us. Knowing that these neighbors who have seen the inside of our house know the history of how it got that way gives us comfort that if something goes wrong, they likely will be able to let those who handle such things know what happened to us and why.

Now, where's that doorbell?


To add to the original post: the whole conversation started when they asked us if we knew anything about the fence. We didn't but we had noticed how odd and piecemeal it seems to have been built. Turns out they had a deal with the owners of our house that they would split the cost of the fence and build it together. Our neighbor went out and purchased lattice, posts and other fencing supplies and had it sitting in their yeard ready to go. Lo, our neighbors came home one day to find that part of the fence had been built, and badly so. No money was offered, much less given, for the materials used and it was too late to start over. So, we've given our neighbor the green light to tear down, rebuild, put up, or whatever he wants to do to the fence. Just as long as their dog does her business in her owners' yard and not ours, I'm happy!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007


So we had a bunch of friends over last Sunday after church for an open house. It was fun showing the 97-year-old new-to-us house around to explain what we would like to do in the coming years.

And years it will take, too. There's the kitchen floor that needs to be retiled. There's hardwood floor underneath the carpet that Glory and I want to expose and varnish. There's painting, painting, and more painting that needs to be done. There's a stairwell that should be replaced. The list goes on.

We already have started on the kitchen floor by removing the ancient original tile. That job possibly could get done by week's end if we can stay with it. I nearly slit my left wrist last night with the putty scraper I was using to peel the tile off the floor. Fortunately it wasn't that deep but a scar will likely remain.

So all this renovation reminds me of the work God does in our lives. There are layers to peel away exposing a bare foundation that only He can refinish to make beautiful again. Our walls that need spackle and paint remind me that there are dings, scratches and scrapes we get in our lives that He smoothes over with a refreshing whitewash. An old air conditioner awkwardly placed into a hole in an old door remind me that there are glaring things that God gently points out to me that they obviously don't fit and need to be removed. The original windows in our house let out a ton of heat in the winter time, much like a life that's not insulated with the Word when times get tough. And that ugly homemade not-up-to-code electrical job in the garage reminds me that some things in our lives better be removed, and quick, lest we burn the entire house down.

Now if we can just figure out what to do with sap-dripping trees over our driveway. That's getting to be quite nasty and our Volvo is sure to be encased in it before too long.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Feelin' hot, hot, hot!!!

The heat that most of the west has been experiencing the last couple of weeks finally hit us yesterday. Today was the hottest day of the summer with a high of 97 or so. That's really cookin' for this part of the country. Glory and the kids tried their best to keep cool during the day by staying indoors with the curtains and shades drawn.

I hae tried my best playing Superamazing hubby and dad when I got home from work by loading up the family and heading out to somewhere cool. Yesterday it was the land of the never-ending stuff: Costco. Glory and I finally bought a membership to that place and yesterday was payday. What a crazy place: a dumping ground of mostly junk most people don't need, but we managed to find things that we use. Now we will have those things to use until 2013. Murron called Costco "California." Seems to her that the store looked a lot like a Target store Murron and I visited in Sacramento last month. Some memory Murron has!

Today we trekked on over to Target. Funny that despite the heat there were very few people there. Usually the place is packed. Then we headed to Sears. Glory looked for a bug zapper. We were notified by our local department of health that our neighborhood is experiencing a high volume of mosquitoes and that if we're not careful, we're going to die tomorrow from West Nile Virus. We can't have that, so we needed to buy something to protect ourselves. We finally found a good zapper at Fred Meyer. While there, though, Glory and I noticed people buying up air conditioners. We both shook our heads. Glory noticed the same thing at Sears. What a waste of money. Sure, it's been hot the last two days and tomorrow we'll experience the final day of this, but come the weekend and beyond, it will cool down. Beginning next Tuesday we're supposed to start a week of rain. So, in other words, normal Washington weather. Those AC buyers should have put their money to good use buying bug zappers. They're more likely to die from Yellow Fever than from heat stroke. Around here, anyway.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

From Colorado, to California, through Oregon and home to Washington

Bill took Elizabeth on a hike up on Mount Garfield. They ran out of time before getting to the top...just imagine if they made it even higher than this!

Bill and Glory stepped out for this shot in the Rockies...grin.

Murron loved the smell of this gorgeous orange blossom.Another photo of Bill and Glory to add to the Capitol building series!A near sunset view in front of Mount Shasta. The whole gang of six at Crater Lake! Ulie was thrilled to play around on the shoreline and then MacAulay finally got his chance to enjoy the sound of the surf in the safety of Glory's arms.