Monday, December 14, 2009

One of my favorite things about close friends

I love when you can read an email from a friend and hear their voice saying the words to you. (That is for your Laura!)

Sorry I've been radio silent. There's a lot going on but much of it isn't internet ready until the end of the year.

I DID do 55 pushups on the pushup challenge. And I had the highest score of all the girls. Well I was the only girl who followed through but still.

I went to Austin with Erin for my Birthday last month. I was able to have two hours with Jenny, Jodi, Kristen and Sarah in MN too. It was wonderful to have some girl time and get away admist what has been some serious madness.

I spent Thanksgiving split between my parents' house and Adrienne's in Colorado Springs. We made an absolute feast for the two of us (her boyfriend Chris was too sick to eat poor guy). I'm sure she's still eating the leftovers. :) She gets to Seattle for Christmas break on Saturday. I can't wait to see her again.

Erin got here last Friday. We cruised up to Arlington where we've gotten trees together since we were kids and hunted down a nice Christmas tree in the snow yesterday. We couldn't be gone long because Moxie was spayed last week and is acting a little needy but it was still a great time. One of those things I'm trying to slow down and enjoy as they come along.

Those of you who don't know all that is going on are going to be quite surprised I do believe. Hang in there. The news is coming on New Years Day.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Push Up Challenge - end of week "four"

This was the end of week "four". Technically it was the end of week five but week four was tough so I took an extra week to finish. I have until the end of the month with only two weeks of the program left so I have a little breathing room.

At the end of week four you do another exhaustion test. I'm up to 45 consecutive push ups now! Almost half way there!!! I think I might actually be able to do 100 push ups by Halloween!!!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Does Anyone See a Pattern Here?


Moxie and I (and Kirstin) have done some hiking the past couple weeks. It started with a hike to Twin Falls on a chilly but beautiful day. Moxie gets better and better at the whole hiking thing. When I first went out with her she had to stop and "talk" to everybody who passed and generally she took more time to smell the roses than I would have. Probably not bad all in all but sometimes it's hard to be patient. By the end of the Twin Falls hike we were passing people she wasn't even really acknowledging. She is starting to show her maturity. For the most part.





The following weekend just Moxie and I headed over to Whidbey Island for a hike in Fort Ebey. Again, it was a beautiful day. Going over to Whidbey is great because you get a ferry ride and on a day like last Saturday that was well worth it. I ended up in the ferry line next to a client so we chatted while we waited - it's a small world I tell you.

The hike we were doing was a loop. I had a book with the path spelled out and I figured it would be a good easy trek. Not a lot of elevation and not really all that long. It was only supposed to take 2 hours according to the book so I figured we would be able to do this other short one on another part of the island as well since we were over there. We left the car around 3 and started out on the "Bluff Trail". It was beautiful! Walking along the Straight of Juan de Fuca with the sun shinning off the water can not be beat. I found myself thinking - umm I live here. It was nice. We stopped to take some pictures and that's where the first problem started. First of all Moxie kept almost walking off the edge of the cliff where I was taking the pictures. I was so focused on keeping her away from the edge that at one point I bent over and her water bottle fell out of my pack, over the cliff, and into the ocean. I had to tell myself it was like the Jack Handy quote: "If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava let them go, cause man, they're gone." I figured what the heck - we were already thirty minutes or so into the hike and she would be fine for another hour. I had water in my pack but it was in a bladder for my hydration system so not easily accessible for her but I figured in a pinch I could make something work. And eventually I had to.







Moxie was wearing her own pack for the first time. It was empty but she didn't know. She was very proud.


As we traveled down the trail I suddenly realized we were doing the hike the opposite way of the description in the book. I figured we could just follow the directions backward and we would be fine. Wrong. This is what ensued. (Yes, this really is a sign I found while we were lost on the hike)


Eventually I found our way back but the two hour hike turned into a four hour hike. Moxie had to be convinced to continue forward rather than retrace our steps a few times - she evidently has more sense than I do and we had to run from a low growl in the woods on one occasion. I know this should have been a fun adventure, especially since I knew we could always retrace our steps if we needed to, but really it was pretty stressful. Next time I'm going back to just stay on the bluff trail even if it is an out and back and not particularly long. I'll take a picnic and we'll enjoy the scenery at the gun stands (for those of you who have been there you know what I'm talking about) or there are some great looking campsites there. We'll stay and enjoy those.

We made it back to the car around 7 and in time to watch the sun go mostly down. I was cold because I was dressed for afternoon hiking not night hiking and Moxie was begging to get in the car so she could sleep so we didn't stay until the sun went down but we sat on the beach long enough to enjoy a bit of the sunset and to spot a nuclear submarine. It is a diverse place we live.




Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Confusion

So I'm confused - how is it possible to go over a month clearly ignoring or at least failing to respond in any way shape or form to attempts at communication with a supposed friend to then suddenly thinking that friend (or what one person thought had been a friend) who had been ignored for over a month is going to give in to attempts at communication? HELLO JERK FACE - A LITTLE COMMON DECENCY PLEASE.

A little tip - if you decide to ignore someone completely it's probably best to at least contact them directly the first time you try to make contact again so you can at least explain why you are such a jerk in the first place.

Oh and an apology would be nice.

Oh and there's going to be no reciprocated communication until there is an explanation in an appropriate forum.

MAN UP ASSHOLE.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Neighbors

I'm pretty sure my next door neighbor has Tourettes. I'm not even kidding. You should hear her. Then again it might also have something to do with the smell of liquor that is so frequent from their home's general direction.

Sometimes I wish I had Tourettes. Then I could just randomly yell profanities and explain them away - oops, sorry my Tourettes again. It would at least give me an excuse. I used the F word with my coworker the other day (sorry mom) and he asked me to begin randomly coming into his office and swearing at him. I guess it didn't come across as rudely as I expected it do. Damn it. Oops sorry.

Tourettes.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Push Up Challenge - end of week 2

I had to do an "exhaustion test" the end of this week to reevaluate where I am in my abilities. After two weeks of following the program, I'm happy to report that I can now do 30 consecutive push ups. Yup - I'm ripped. hahaha

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blowing My Top

Confession time: I literally lost it last night. The last week and a half has been emotional for me personally and work has suddenly turned it on. I feel like I'm sitting in front of a fire hose. So last night when I was trying to be nice and spend some time with Tessie since I think she gets left out on occasion and she decided to bite me on my eyebrow while also clawing me I sort of went out of control. I already have another sore on my left cheek from some unknown source, I'm not sleeping well because of Tessie being all over me in the night and it pushed me past my breaking point. I started screaming at her and (I'm sad to admit) spanking her and then I carried her upstairs and pushed her into her bed in a not gentle manner. About ten seconds later I found a spot where she had decided to pee on Moxie's blanket. Again. For the second time in five days. And I lost it again. I have NOT felt that angry in a really long time.

I actually kind of scared myself because I took it out on Tessie and even scolded Moxie for getting in the way while I was cleaning things up. I knew it wasn't the right way to respond but at that moment I thought I might have a stroke and I had to somehow release the tension. It was a horrible feeling. I also know it really wasn't the fact that Tessie had bit me or that Moxie was in my way. It was a culmination of factors that were making me want to crawl into a hole.

I haven't felt that angry since I learned to control my temper. When I was in elementary school I used to lose it like that. I remember the feeling where I would almost get light headed from anger. It was the same feeling last night and it has carried into today. It's sort of scary. Somehow I've learned overtime how to chill out and not let things get to me like they used to but I've clearly reached my breaking point this week.

There - now you all know I'm a bad person. Tessie wasn't harmed. She and Moxie were both a bit afraid of me for the rest of the night but all seemed to be normal this afternoon. Actually - Tessie took a swipe at my bracelet and thought twice of it. I keep thinking maybe she will eventually stop biting me and generally being a bad cat at times but I don't know.

I told her last night I was going to send her back to the pound but I can't really do that. So does anyone have good stress relieving tips for me? I don't see work letting up anytime soon and my personal life will be somewhat stressful too for some time. Running doesn't really help. Drinking heavily for the rest of my life is one option (just kidding - mostly). Any other thoughts?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Sweet Dreams

Moxie was sick last night. I’ve been very fortunate with her because really other than the first couple of nights she hasn’t needed to go out at night to go to the bathroom. Last night she woke me up a couple times desperate to get out and she very clearly had an upset stomach. (no details necessary poor thing) So I was obviously concerned about her and it made me have a very funny dream that I had to share.

I had a dream that she was really good friends with Ted Kennedy and after he died she was supposed to play golf with Ethel Kennedy but I didn’t want her to because they were democrats. Of course the logical thing was for her to be really mad about it so we were having a fight about it on Facebook. Yes – I did say it was Moxie. A dog. On Facebook. Playing golf with a Kennedy.

Sometimes I even scare myself.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Push-up Challenge

My gym (Anytime Fitness) is one of those gyms where I know the owner really well and chat with her on a regular basis. I'm not the only one either - she seems to know each of us members and is involved in our lives. Shoot, she's even given me advice on men before. She does what she can to give inspiration to her gym members to keep them motivated and to make things fun. Recently she announced the beginning on the Anytime Fitness Push-up Challenge. I'm not sure if it is a franchise wide event or if she is only doing it at her clubs but when my trainer Shaune found out about it she told all of us that we have to participate. The challenge is this - go from wherever you are in your push-up abilities to doing 100 push-ups by October 31st. I was out of town when the program was released to the members and didn't run into Jen to get it until toward the end of the week last week so I'm starting the program today. I can fairly easily do 15 push-ups now. I probably could do 20 if I really tried. It's not a bad start but I still have a ways to go in only 2 months.

I'll keep you posted on my progress. If your interested in doing the program along with me let me know and I'll send you the weekly workouts. It's three days a week so nothing that isn't totally "doable".

Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Friday

Moving on from the dreary posts of yesterday (ick - get OUTTA that funk):

Juli and I were at the baseball game together last night and we got to talking about why sports are so fun. We realized there is nowhere else in life when you get to just outright cheer for something or someone.

I decided this ought to change. Today I have cheered for myself for:

1) Excellent laundry folding
2) A quick and efficient shower
3) A beyond stellar parking job
4) A well written email

Yes - that strange cheering you hear from Mill Creek is just me enjoying my own greatness.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pain

I’m not really a “heady” person. I’m not a brooding artist – although music makes a big impact on me as you know if you’ve read my blog long enough. I don’t sit around all day and contemplate the meaning of life.

I like sports. I like mindless romantic comedies. I like laughing at the stupid stuff. I’m a glass is half full kind of girl.

But when I get hurt by people in whatever capacity they are in my life I get stuck. I don’t know why. I think it’s because I don’t expect it. I always go into relationships expecting the best. Expecting joy not pain. I was severely disappointed by a friend yesterday and I’ve been pouting about it since then. I say pouting because I realize disappointment is part of life and I’m being childish but my heart hurts. (stomps foot) I had let down my guard as far as beginning to trust this person and it turns out my trust was placed inaccurately. They hurt me anyway.

I've been feeling a bit (a lot) invisible lately and this situation with my friend hasn’t helped that matter. It seems that the people I really want to SEE me and KNOW me frankly don’t. It leaves me feeling a bit insignificant. That feeling really hit me last night when four cars in about a 15 mile distance almost pulled into me merging into lanes on the highway. It was like people I love didn’t see me, strangers didn’t see me – I felt insignificant and invisible.

As I was driving to Rotary this afternoon I was thinking about the situation and the hurt I was feeling. I was praying about it but feeling like that wasn’t really helping – sort of the “falling on deaf ears” scenario – when the song I Know You’re There by Casting Crowns came on the CD I was listening to. Without thinking about it I started singing along.

The chorus went through once and caught my attention. When it came through again I stopped singing and realized God really was listening and that I needed to place my trust in him because he would never prove to be unworthy. The chorus of the song goes like this:

'cause I, I know You're there, I know You see me
You're the air I breathe
You are the ground beneath me
I know You're there, I know You hear me
I can find You anywhere

It was of some solace that while my pain wasn’t gone, and my sadness didn’t immediately dissipate, I knew God heard and that he had gone through far worse than what I was going through and all for my benefit. My situation doesn’t benefit God at all, other than the fact I think my being happy makes God happy, and yet I realized he was there for me, loving me, listening to me.

The pain eventually subsides again. Eventually. I continue to hope the amount of times this sort of situation arises in my life won’t be enough to make me lose faith and trust in mankind completely. Through it all though I’m lucky to have a personal relationship with a creator who loves me, even in my weak and doubting, pain filled moments. He hears my crying.

From Rick Warren's Daily Devotional

“But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Habakkuk 2:3 LB).

Even as you make a decision to follow the dream God places in your heart, you can expect a delay. God will not fulfill your dream immediately because this is another step toward building your faith.

In Habakkuk 2, God says, “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.”

In this step of faith-building you will most likely start asking the question, “When, Lord? When are You going to answer my prayer?”

And we hate to wait. We don’t like to wait in a doctor’s office, or in traffic jams, or at restaurants, or for Christmas presents, or for anything else. But what we hate worst of all is waiting on God.

Have you ever been in a hurry when God wasn’t? It’s so irritating! You’re ready, but God isn’t. God wants to work on you before He works on the project. Every believer must go through the University of Learning to Wait (ULW). Some of us are still working on our degrees from ULW!

• Noah waited 120 years from the time he started building the ark until it began to rain.
• Abraham was told he would be the father of a great nation and didn’t have a child until he was 99.
• God told Moses he would be the leader to lead his people out of 400 years of slavery, but then made him wait in the desert 40 years.
• Joseph spent years in prison before God raised him up and he became the ruler God wanted him to be.
• God had David anointed as king, but then David waited for years until he actually got to be king.

We all have to go through these waiting periods. Even Jesus waited for 30 years in the carpenter’s shop before setting out on his public ministry.

Why do we wait? It teaches us to trust in God. We learn that His timing is perfect. One of the facts we have to learn is this: God’s delay never destroys His purpose.

A delay is not a denial. Children must learn the difference between “no” and “not yet,” and so must we. Many times we think God is saying, “No,” but He is saying, “Not yet.”

Monday, August 24, 2009

Me on vacation

Vacation and I sometimes fight. It started three years ago when Adrienne, Erica and I went to Maui. I threw up all over the island for the first 24 hours. Then in Hawaii last year I picked up some bacteria. We won't go into details on that one. I threw up in both Colorado and California earlier this year. I'm not usually someone who pukes so I don't really know where that has come from. It seems that my body rejects the idea of relaxation or something - at least that's the theory. So heading into my week off at the lake (pictures and more details to come) I figured I would have at least some type of physical reaction to the whole thing. Thankfully I didn't but it is funny to look back and see what it took to unwind.

Saturday: Get up early. Work out with Shaune. Run around like a chicken with no head. Drive six hours to Hayden, ID.
Sunday: Get up early. Go for a long hilly run before breakfast. Think about reading a book. Sit long enough to read two chapters. Check my cell phone about 60 times. Spend some time in the lake. Fish. Watch a movie but jiggle leg as I do so.
Monday: Get up a little later. Lay in bed and read for a while. Sit in the sun for a while. Swim. Take Keith into town. Go to the gym. Come back. Play with Kelly. Crack a beer. Drink it at the beach. Crack a second beer. Drink it. Stay up too late watching a movie.
Tuesday: Sleep in a bit later. Go fishing. Spend the rest of the day in the water. Read 4 magazines. Consider running during the day but decide to wait until after dinner. Go for a run too soon after dinner. Almost vomit on the road. Come back. Go to bed at 8:30. Sleep more than twelve hours.
Wednesday: Sleep in. Spend the day in the lake. Decide to swim instead of run. Finish book 1.
Thursday: Sleep in. Decide running is for the birds. Take the dog for a walk instead. Finish book 2.
Friday: Sleep in. Make breakfast for the family. Hardly move from the sun all day.
Saturday: Sleep in. Mope about having to leave the lake. Decide to go to the gym in town. Decide not to go to the gym in town. Shop with Jessy instead.
Sunday: Plan to leave mom and dad's at 8:00 am. Get out of bed at 8:00am instead. Leave around noon. Decide to go to church. Decide not to go to church. Decide to work in the garage for a while. Decide not to work in the garage for a while. Finish book 3.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Soundtrack for my life (today)

A year ago I created a "playlist" that fit my life at that time. I thought maybe I should do it again and see where I am now in comparison to then. Here goes:

1. The More Boys I Meet - Carrie Underwood
2. Ooh Oh - Keri Noble
3. Everything Glorious - David Crowder Band
4. I'm Alive - Kenny Chesney
5. Single - Natasha Bedingfield
6. White Horse - Taylor Swift
7. Facedown - Matt Redman
8. Oh Love - Brad Paisley
9. You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift
10. Silent Movie - Natasha Bedingfield
11. Life #9 - Keri Noble
12. Shake Me Like a Monkey - Dave Matthews Band

Interesting - it's a bit conflicted.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A weekend that is good for your soul

I had a tough week last week. Coming back to reality after Grandpa's funeral and realizing that reality didn't include him anymore was far more difficult than I expected. I tend to be a bit of an avoider when it comes to unpleasant things. I think I've taught myself overtime how to ignore sadness around me. A perfect example of that was with the 9/11 NYC attacks. I was one of very few people who didn't sit by the TV and watch and stay tuned to the radio at all times for the next however many weeks after it happened. Instead, I turned off the radio, gathered newspaper articles for a time when I might want to read them and went about my life. I'm not saying this is the right way to deal with sadness but it is my coping mechanism and is what it is for me. It was the same way with Grandpa. I didn't think about losing him until I had to. It's easy to get stuck in grief and I did a pretty good job of doing that last week so this past weekend I decided it was time to shake of the cobwebs and enjoy my weekend celebrating life instead which is what grandpa would have wanted anyway.

I went to Brian and Suzannah's house for a house warming/bday party on Friday. It was great to see so many good friends. Brian and Suzannah's house is great. They have an INCREDIBLE yard that Moxie and Cinnamon went crazy running around in and have officially moved into my "neighborhood". I look forward to many warm evenings at their house.

On Saturday morning I got up and loaded the Volvo with my camping gear (not an easy feat for someone used to using an SUV for camping trips - but Babe is broken) and the dog and we headed over to Moxee, WA. Moxee is a small town only a few miles south east of Yakima. I had never been to Yakima which is a bit silly and I wanted to take Moxie to Moxee. Everyone talks about Yakima not being a nice town but I thought it was really nice. I did a lot of driving around and looking at places and I found numerous hidden spots that I found myself thinking I could frequent.


In researching Moxee, WA when I decided to name Moxie after it I learned it is one of the top Hops producing towns in the world. They hold a Hops Festival the first Friday and Saturday of August every year so I thought it would be a good excuse to head over and check it out. The Hops plants were amazing to see. The town itself is hemmed in by the plants that are about the height of a two story home. At first I couldn't figure out what they were which is a bit silly but they are sort of surprising to see.



After spending a few hours at the festival we went and set up camp at the State Park in Moxee. It was the first time I had ever camped by myself but I had some planning to do for Bible study this week because I was leading and it seemed like some good quiet time to spend with God. I thought it might be a bit scary but it was a crowded campground with very friendly people and a very attentive Park Ranger so I didn't worry about it. Turns out the Park Ranger wasn't actually a nice protective Park Ranger but instead a creepy stalker I'm asking you out for drinks Park Ranger but I didn't know that until the next day so it was all good.



I got to spend my quiet time with God focused on waiting on his timing/call and Moxie and I had fun hiking along the dyke next to the Yakima River and avoiding the skunks that kept coming through our campsite. After the incident with the park ranger on Sunday morning I quickly packed up camp and headed home.

I got home early enough that I was able to go watch a friend play baseball. It's something I've done a few times this summer and each time it has been a highlight of that day or weekend or even week sometimes. He's a good guy, someone I'm happy to have in my life, and I enjoy being able to cheer him on at something he loves to do. It's sort of like how I enjoy doing that for Pete and Steve too. There is something in my nature that gets joy out of supporting the people around me. After the game we went to Dairy Queen with his parents and another friend of his and were there for a few hours. It was nice to have the social time after a day of solitary time. God clearly made us for fellowship.

On Monday (which isn't really the weekend obviously but I have to document this) I met up with a friend of mine that I have known since grade school days. We met at summer camp and would renew our friendship every summer. We both worked the whole summer at camp in 2000 and our friendship has been a comfortable one since then. We see each other about once a year, despite our best efforts, but each time I see him I go away with joy in my heart. He is a FUNNY guy and because of that I'm funny as well which makes me feel good. We went to a Mariner's game. My seats are great seats thanks to Uncle Kit. I never complain about them. This time however, Chris had some friends who were sitting in the second row in the same section as us. Second row vs. seventeenth row is quite a difference. About the 6th inning the guys made two seats open up and had us come down to join them. I never in a million years would have thought I would sit second row at Safeco field. It was sort of like I was in this weird dream. I know it seems silly but you have to remember - I started going to games in the Kingdome with my great grandpa when I was a kid. We always sat upper deck and I would pray that I would get picked to go down on the field when everyone else got injured. As long as I can remember I've loved the Mariners. It's as much a part of me as anything else. It's definitely how I've held on to the special relationship I had with Grandpa James since he passed away. I think about him every time I walk into Safeco Field and think about how much he would have loved to have seen a game there.

I remember cheering for Ken Griffey Jr with Grandpa when he first started playing with the Mariners. When Chris and I first sat down in the second row Griffey was at the top of the dug out steps and he turned around and looked in our direction. I've always told myself if I was in a situation where I could meet the players again I would act "cool". When I met Dan Wilson I couldn't talk and when I met Freddy Garcia I was a smarta**. I had determined with myself that I would be somewhere in between those extremes if I ever had an opportunity again. So when Griffey and I made eye contact I put my hand up and waved to him - not really what I would have planned but whatever - and he nodded at me. I turned to Chris and must have had the funniest expression on my face because he started laughing and asked what was going on. I told him and the other guys that Griffey had nodded at me and they all started cheering and high-fiving me. Then of course I freaked out, took Chris by the shoulders and shook him telling him - KEN GRIFFEY JR NODDED AT ME!!!!!! I became the lame fan again but you know what, I'm ok with that. We got to hear Ichiro talk, in perfect English mind you, to Mark Lowe about his performance and I was "this close" to Russel Branyon who doesn't know it but is going to marry me someday. It is a night I won't forget.



After a week where I was mired down in mourning my weekend gave me a quick jolt into the reality of joy and hope. I'm looking forward to a week at Hayden Lake with my family next week and coming back rested and ready to finish up the summer strong. Isn't life remarkable?

Friday, August 07, 2009

Dr. Jack Fowler January 31, 1922 - July 27, 2009


My grandfather passed away a little over a week ago. It didn't really hit me until I was in Spokane for the funeral earlier this week. My cousin Joe and I kept saying that we expected him to come out of the living room from taking a nap on the couch to bark at us "kids". Deb and I both agreed the best term for him was feisty. (both his bark and his feistyness were good things) He was my dad's step dad. He and my grandma got married when my dad was in high school and were married for 43 years. I will always remember him for his habit of eating his napkin at the end of a meal and the time in high school when my friend Kristen and I went to visit him and grandma and we were eating spaghetti. I looked over at grandpa and he had a mouth full of noodles hanging out of his mouth. I started to giggle and grandma, who is ever so proper, gave him the stink eye. He immediately put the noodles in his hand and ate them from there - with his hand over his mouth. He had a dry sense of humor that was right up my alley and I think tried to act more gruff than he ever was. He had three biological kids and three step kids, twelve grand kids and twelve great grand kids.

I didn't realize how much I would miss him until this week.

From the Spokesman Review:

Jack Fowler put inspiration to work
Flying dentist who envisioned ski area dies at 87

Where some might have seen a long commute to work, Fowler saw a chance to fly one of his beloved classic biplanes. Where some might have seen hazard, flying into the Guatemalan jungle, Fowler saw a chance to help people with no dental care.

And in 1960, where many people had seen a mountain basin above Sandpoint, Fowler saw the perfect spot for a ski resort. Almost half a century later, the little ski area he helped establish – Schweitzer Mountain Resort – has become a regional landmark and one of the country’s top ski destinations.

“He just always had a new thought,” said Debbie Huestis, Fowler’s stepdaughter. “He was such a visionary, and he would apply the passions of his life – whether it was skiing or flying or dentistry – to make that happen.”

Fowler, 87, died early Monday, surrounded by family and loved ones at his home near Marshall. He died two weeks after being diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer that had spread through his body, Huestis said.

His family remembered him as a man with a hunger for adventure and a desire to help others, a practical man who worked constantly and deflected attention.

“He had absolutely no ego,” said his wife, Dorothy Fowler, 83. “He would be the first one to correct you if you started bragging about him.”

The story of Fowler’s inspiration to create Schweitzer has become a part of the ski hill’s lore and was recounted in the book, “Looking Back on Schweitzer.”

Driving back with his family from a miserable ski trip to Montana one day in 1960, Fowler stopped in Hope, Idaho, for a break. There, rising above Sandpoint, was a snow-packed mountain basin – the ideal place, he thought, for a ski hill a little closer to home.

For three years, he worked with others to promote the idea and raise money. The hill opened in 1963, with a single chairlift and a rope tow. He later sold his stock in the ski hill, though he returned with his family often – most recently in January.

Schweitzer is now owned by Harbor Properties Inc., and it includes a lodge village, 2,900 acres of terrain and 10 lifts, and is regularly included on lists of the best destination resorts.

“He just couldn’t believe it; he never envisioned it being that huge,” Dorothy Fowler said. “He’d just scratch his head. … The thing that amazed him is people building million-dollar homes up there.”

Born on a farm south of Spokane in 1922, Fowler went to military dental school, served in the Air Force and opened a dentistry practice in the Spokane Valley in 1949. He became a pilot in 1960, and flying – along with building and restoring airplanes – became one of his life’s passions.

He frequently flew between his office near Felts Field and the family home near Marshall. “They ended up calling him the flying dentist,” Huestis said.

He rebuilt nine planes and built one for his wife, who became a pilot the year after they married in 1966. During the 1970s, they flew to Guatemala frequently to perform dentistry for people without access to medical care.

Fowler encouraged and supported his wife’s sculpture – and she’s become widely known for her work in bronze. Her sculpture of Spokane native Michael Anderson, who died in the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia, stands near the Spokane Convention Center.

“They were such an inseparable team with every single aspect of their life,” Huestis said. “It was never just one person accomplishing something. It was always both of them.”

Jack and Dorothy Fowler had six children, 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

“He always loved a challenge,” his wife said. “He’d get things done. There was no ‘no’ in anything.”

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My City of Ruins

This song hit me today. Springsteen wrote it for 9/11 but really I think it fits our world. What have you done about it today?

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As a side note - whenever I hear Springsteen I think of being 10 years old, mirrored sunglasses on, standing on a chair in the kitchen on Lord Hill with a fake microphone in hand singing Born in the USA at the top of my lungs. I should find that picture.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oh those Summer Nights

One of the best things about having a dog has been the excuse to get out and walk. I've always liked walking but have felt I should run rather than walk when I have the opportunity. I don't enjoy running (but do it because I feel like I should) so my runs generally are not that long. OK - I've run for over an hour before but that's pretty rare.

Anyway, now with Moxie I walk twice a day every day. We take a quick 20 minute walk in the morning and walk for 45 minutes to an hour in the evening when I am home for that long. Last night I got home and had to leave again for dinner with Adrienne, Molly, Erin and Adrienne's mom Linda so I didn't take Moxie for a walk. It was 90 degrees here in Seattle yesterday so it was too hot for her to enjoy a walk anyway so I didn't feel my usually large amounts of guilt putting her back in her cool dark kennel.

It was nice to have dinner with A. She leaves today and I'm very sad to see her go. Even though I didn't really see her in the last week it has been nice just knowing she was hanging out somewhere in the same state. I desperately miss her when she is gone. So it was with sadness that I headed home after dinner last night, having said goodbye until November at the soonest.

When I got home Moxie was anxious as always to greet me. I grabbed her leash and we headed out. It was after 9:00 pm so it was getting darkish but it was still in the upper 70s so everyone around had their windows open. My neighborhood is pretty nice. We all live very close to each other but compared to what it could be, it's pretty quiet and people are pretty nice to be around. I would ideally choose 5 acres with a couple head of Black Angus Cattle but for where I am in life right now this will do. I didn't know any of my neighbors at all until Moxie came on the scene. Now I know far more and we get stopped often on our walks because people want to say hi. I know it's more Moxie's popularity than mine but it is nice to know people.

I don't ever take my Ipod and I try not to talk on the phone too often during Moxie and my walks. I figure this is her time with me and it isn't fair to get distracted but it also has greatly increased my ability to observe and take in what we are seeing which I have enjoyed. Last night with everyone's windows and doors open it was a pretty neat walk. It's interesting how everyone does different things in their homes - there were radios playing, kids laughing and crying, TVs on, dinner dishes being washed and conversations being had. There was something intimate about the falling darkness and the quiet murmurings and other sounds from the homes around us.

Obviously, in all of this I was an outsider but strangely it didn't feel like it. It felt like during the moment I passed each house I was brought into that family's day. Like we truly were neighbors.

It stilled my sadness and made me feel like I was home.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Waiting on God

I'm leading Bible study on August 8th and I'm supposed to talk about finding God's will in my life. I've decided I want to talk about waiting on God - those times we all have that can be scary, frustrating and growth giving as we try to discern God's will for our lives.

I have some initial thoughts but would love some anecdotes to share from others lives. So those of you not part of Acts 2:42 Fellowship (formerly known as YAG) do you have any insight? Any gems I should share to start conversation? Those of you in A2:42 now is your time to start thinking. I expect you all to be well prepared for me on the 8th!

Thanks for the insights.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dating Tips

Anyone who knows me very well knows I love Rachel Ray. (One time someone told me I remind them of her - talk about a well landed complement!) I found this on her website today and it cracked me up. Good tips but still funny what she thinks is important to remind guys. Are they really this inept?

date night rules

Dos
• Take down photos of old girlfriends. Turn off your computer and the ringer on your cell phone. (Internet chat partners and your buddies can wait a few hours.)
• Always serve her first. If you burned the food, serve yourself the portion that is the most "well done."
• Fill the wineglasses half full (or half empty, depending on how you feel the dinner is going).
• Walk her out at the end of the evening—provided, of course, she does walk out at the end of the evening.

Don'ts
• Don't talk with your mouth full of food. Don't chew with your mouth open. And, most importantly, don't talk with your mouth closed.
• Don't do the dishes while she's there. You can take care of them next week.
• Don't let her do the dishes, even if she insists. Unless, of course, she's stronger than you are. And don't ask her to do the dishes. Especially if she's stronger than you are.
• If she excuses herself to go to the restroom, don't offer her a magazine.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Reality Check and what I SHOULD have done about it

I complain sometimes (not ALL the time I hope since I like to think of myself as a glass is half full kind of girl) that my work is hard. Emotionally it's difficult. Mentally it's difficult. After last week which was one of the worst work weeks I have had for a while I started asking myself (again) the question of "can I fight with people for a living for the rest of my working life"? I'm not certain I will. The alternative however, is not as clear.

It was only a four day week and I got to spend the three day weekend in one of my favorite places in Washington State - Chelan.


I came back tired but recharged and felt as though I could take on what I figured would be another tough week. Monday and Tuesday were about what I expected but Wednesday was a lot easier than I had planned. As I was leaving the courthouse after my hearing (where opposing counsel didn't yell profanities at me like he did last week - that's moving in the right direction) I heard a commotion near one of the entrances. A woman was in hysterics and was crying and out of control with what I figured out eventually was panic. She had a small child and a service dog with her and the Marshalls and security personnel were assisting her in calming down in a friendly and helpful if not compassionate manner. It made me slow my step a bit to see what was going on because compassion (unless it is protection of me. THANK YOU SNOHOMISH COUNTY MARSHALLS!!!) isn't normally something you see from courthouse personnel.

What I pieced together was this woman had been on the bus and she had $300 cash on her somewhere and the cash disappeared. I don't know what the money was for but it very clearly was enough to send her into a serious spiral so it evidently was important. My heart totally broke for her. Her daughter was watching her and was clearly scared. People around her didn't know how to help her. I didn't either so I walked by.

It made me realize that my life is pretty cushy. Sure, I work hard and I worked hard to get to where I am and misplacing $300 would be very upsetting, but I also know this woman's difficulties were far greater than anything I can really imagine for myself at this point in my life. I looked at the rest of my day in a far different way.

In hindsight I wish I would have stopped and given her the money. It would have been a sacrifice for me to do it but it would have put the woman's world back upright. Who knows what that act would have meant to her. I feel really bad now that it was only in reflecting on her desperation that the idea crosses my mind. I wish I could turn back the clock and fix the problem for her.

Today I'm on the lookout for a way to correct my miscue. Jesus told us that when we ignored the poor and the hungry we basically were ignoring him. I did that yesterday and I know better. Clearly I need to focus on remembering what we have been commissioned to do for our fellow man.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Small Blessings

Today I experienced one of those small blessings that you have to appreciate because of the help they give you in your life. On my way home for lunch I had to stop suddenly to avoid a construction vehicle that figured it could cut in front of me even though it was driving at about 1/3 of my speed (grumble grumble). I didn’t think anything of it except that it was annoying.

When I got back into my car after lunch it smelled like I had left a piece of fruit in my car which had heated up from the sun during the 45 minutes or so that I was home. I couldn’t figure it out because I had taken my mango into work with me this morning which was the only fruit I remembered having in my car but Moxie’s hammock was in the backseat so I just figured it must have had something to do with it.

As I pulled into the parking lot at work it suddenly hit me that it smelled like fermented grapes – aka wine. Then it hit me even harder that I had four magnum sized bottles of wine in my trunk that I was returning to Rotary this evening. Suddenly, panic ensued and I began to sweat. Anyone who knows me knows my vehicles are sort of my babies. I still own and protect my first vehicle – a 1989 Jeep Cherokee with over 200,000 miles on it named Babe, and I love my Volvo, Lucy Lou, just because I do. It’s my dad in me and it will never change.

Anyway, I quickly did inventory in my mind of what kinds of wine were in the box and I realized there were three reds and one white. I began praying frantically that it was a white that broke. It would still take some cleaning but at least it wouldn’t cause a stain. I knew it wasn’t likely given the odds but I asked God to have had a hand in it. It seems like a minor thing but when your life is a little on the edge (as an example I just got rid of a 5 day headache which I’m pretty sure was at least partially stress induced) having a huge red wine stain in the trunk is not something you need. I opened the trunk with one eye open and thank you Lord – it was the white!!!

Just writing this here makes me breathe a sigh of relief.

We are so lucky to have a God who blesses us – even in the little stuff.

Monday, June 15, 2009

For My Love

I’ve loved Bethany Dillon for a number of years now. I was surprised to be reminded that her first album came out in 2004 but reflecting back on my life that makes sense with what was going on at the time I fell in love with it. She was 15 at the time but yet still seemed to hit a spot in my heart that caused me to relate to her music in a profound way.

Lately, a lot of my single women friends and I have been talking about our desires to be pursued by a man who could or has fallen in love with us. For some reason, God has placed a desire in our heart for that pursuit – and I think if men where to truly listen to the longings of their hearts they would realize they wish to be the pursuers.

It’s frustrating when time and time again we see that pursuit fail. So many men in this world are afraid to be men and to take the risk that is involved to pursue something or someone who they admire. It is a source of utmost frustration for many (frankly all) single women in my life. Where are the men who are able to truly be the men God has created them to be? Why are we stuck on the side wishing they would step up? Call us old fashioned, call us backward – maybe we are in this world. But my Christian women friends don’t want to live as though we are part of this world. We want to live in a way that we reflect what God has created us to be, and part of that is a submissive wife. I know many people reading this cringe at the word “submissive” and to be honest, it’s a mite bit hard for me to type. But submission doesn’t mean insignificant or inferior. It means treasured, honored and honoring. I want to respect my husband more than anything else and I want him to love me more than anything else. That’s all any of us are looking for – but to get there one must be pursued.

The song For My Love by Bethany Dillon came on while my dad and I were working around my house yesterday and I was reminded of something I read about the song when it first came out. Thankfully I was able to find it again. I had this taped to my mirror for a long time and I think it’s time to put it back up there again as a reminder of what I truly long for. I love that she not only says she longs to be pursued but that she longs to be RECKLESSLY pursued. That is the sign of a true man. Someday, I know God will bless me with a man who will see the value in me and will not be able to pass it up. I pray the same for all of my single women friends as we struggle through this time of questioning and frustration.

I love each of you and know God has the best planned for you. I can’t wait to see what exactly that is.

For My Love From an Interview with Bethany Dillon - It’s deeply rooted in every woman- the question; do I stand out in a crowd? The vision of someone walking across a room and asking me to dance plays over and over in my mind; out of the whole room, I was chosen. I’ll be honest, I’m fifteen, I have crushes. But more than whimsical feelings and fickle emotion, I really do want to be fought for. I long to be recklessly pursued. I’m looking for true love, something honest and untainted, with no hidden agenda but that it wants to chase after me.

I love Psalm 45: Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say. Forget your people and your homeland far away. For your royal husband delights in your beauty.

That’s it! That’s what every chick flick revolves around, that’s what every romance novel is written about, those are the exact words that made me want to be a princess when I was younger. The sad reality is, though, that women often aren’t validated and reassured that they’re worth that kind of affection. It scars us in the deepest places and causes us to cover our mouths when we smile and hide who we truly are. But, that’s what I love about Jesus. He’s a husband to the widow, the freer of a captive heart.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Seattle spring mornings

Everyone is asked a time or two in their lives about their favorite time of year. I always unequivocally say it is Spring - in Seattle. In MN it was Fall. But in Seattle, despite the rain, it doesn't get any better in my mind. The trees and flowers blooming are out of this world. You actually get to see everything around you wake up. Yesterday was a crazy weather day here. We had beautiful weather for the four days or so before but then a storm blew in. It was a storm that isn't typical in the Pacific Northwest in that it included thunder and lightening. It was nothing like a Midwest thunder and lightening show (yes, it is more of a show than a storm back there) but it was fun anyway. I had a day at home and was happy for the deluge because it gave me an excuse to be in the house getting stuff done and taking care of my mental state. This morning when I walked out the door to take Moxie out I was hit by the beauty of the morning. The storm had passed, the sun was out, the air was cool, not cold, and so clean. It made me want to grab my cup of coffee and sit on the porch for an hour or two.

It's sort of an interesting metaphor for life really and that's why I like Spring so much I think. You go through the storms of winter where you are whipped around and jumping at loud and unnerving sounds but then the storm blows through and what you are left with is a crisp, beautiful, new day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Moxie's First Hike


I have a Minnesota trip to write about but I had to share my last weekend because it can be quick and MN won't be. Jon, Jeanette, Theresa and I took Moxie on her first hike. I figured she would go maybe half an hour and then be tired but she made it a full three miles (with very minimal carrying from me)!! I was SUPER impressed and relieved since I was beginning to wonder if she would be a hiker like I hoped she would be. I know she is only 15 weeks but I'm impatient! :) The hike was flat and shaded, two very important factors, but we are heading in the right direction. She is a total trooper.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Colorado March 2009

I had never been to Colorado but thought it was a state I could really like so I was excited to go visit Adrienne for more reasons than just missing her to death. I got to Denver on Saturday afternoon and we headed up to Estes Park. It was a beautiful drive up there with a ton of bikers. I was amazed at the numbers. I kept asking Adrienne – where are they all going? I guess they were probably headed up to Rocky National Park or just enjoying the gorgeous drive up to Estes Park. Either way, I was definitely jealous of them. The weather was perfect for cycling and the scenery, though quite brown, was beautiful.



Estes Park is a very interesting town. It isn’t very big but it is on the edge of the Rocky National Park where I would love to go back and camp with Adrienne sometime. We had lunch at the famous Stanley Hotel which was the inspiration for the hotel in The Shining and used in Dumb and Dumber. Adrienne really likes salad with seven lemons.



After lunch we shopped a little downtown and then headed back to Denver where we met up with Dana, Brady and the cutest little twins you’ve ever seen, Frannie and Wenona. We stole Dana away and the three of us went out and got some drinks in downtown Denver. I really enjoyed seeing Denver and we went to some great places but I mostly enjoyed getting to know Dana. She is someone who is really close to Adrienne and has been for a long time and to not know her has seemed weird. I was very glad we had the chance to spend some time together, laugh and also have a chance to get a feel for Denver itself. Dana and Adrienne found their new favorite club and I’m pretty sure they have been regulars there since I left. What was the name of it again? The 316 Club or something? From the looks of the bouncers and the people going in and out they would most definitely fit in.

On Sunday morning Adrienne and I went to her church and then went to Garden of the Gods. It was a BEAUTIFUL day and my pasty white skin was so excited to see the sunshine. Garden of the Gods is an amazingly beautiful park which was given to the city of Colorado Springs. The rock formations are incredible and Adrienne and I enjoyed the opportunity to be outside in the sunshine enjoying the beautiful place she lives. Thank goodness we did too because there were a few rocks that were about to topple over. Don’t worry, we got them set back upright.









After Garden of the Gods we decided we hadn’t hiked quite enough so we went to Palmer Park and walked around where we got great views of Colorado Springs and surrounding areas. There were these weird plants that were growing up there that are supposed to bloom sometime in the near future. I’m super curious what they are going to look like so Adrienne, this is a reminder to go back up there and take some pictures for me!



After our walk at Palmer Park we went downtown Colorado Springs and had happy hour at a local brewery. Darn I forget the name of it. Anyway, we sat outside and people watched and listened to these crazy people behind us who insisted on talking to me when Adrienne went to the bathroom. While there of course Santa Claus drove by in his red VW Beetle. Oh don’t worry, Mrs. Claus was in the passenger seat brushing his beard. That wasn’t weird or anything.

On Monday we woke up to far different weather. We had reservations to go to the top of Pike’s Peak on the COG so we headed over to Old Colorado Springs where the COG is located but when we got there they informed us that due to blizzard conditions at the top of Pike’s Peak we couldn’t go all the way to the top. We went up anyway to about 13,000 feet, instead of 14,000, and still had amazing views and learned some interesting things about the history of the area. I really enjoyed getting more of a bird’s eye view of the valley. I want to go back at a time when they have the crazy car race to the top. I think that would really be something to see.







After we came down the mountain we shopped in Old Colorado Springs. From there we went to on a short hike up near these falls (Helen Hunt Falls) because we were hoping to find the super sneaky backway into Seven Falls. We didn't find it but we got to see some pretty waterfalls.



Then we went to the Broadmore which is this georgous hotel where Adriemme is going to get married to her Sugar Daddy someday. We walked through the grounds, around the lake, looked at the swans, shopped for Adrienne's wedding dress, you know - all the normal stuff. :) They were putting out spring flowers and it was beautiful.



From there we went to the Air Force Academy to see the chapel. The chapel is amazing. It’s size alone is overwhelming but the stained glass throughout makes it a beautiful piece of architecture. The school was on spring break so there were no cute military guys around but I guess that’s ok since I would be almost 10 years older than even the oldest now. I’m getting old.






Oh, one more thing – remember how I mentioned the beautiful day on Sunday. It was in the 70s and sunny I think. When we came out of the chapel it was snowing. Less than 24 hours later – snowing. I guess that’s Colorado for you.

That night we had the best ribs I’ve ever had and enjoyed watching this dad with his adorable daughter. She had Down’s Syndrome and to watch them together as he helped her eat copious amounts of chili was great. We had done so much we were both tired so we went to a movie and then called it a day. Phew.

My last day was of course full of fun as well. We went and looked at some townhomes one of which Adrienne actually ended up purchasing (YAY!!!) and then we went to the Olympic Training Facility and took a tour. I always forget just how long an Olympic length pool is. Being there made me wish I had the drive and skill to be an Olympic athlete. Their lives are pretty incredible.

Oh course our adventure and activity packed weekend would not have been complete without some airport drama. I arrived at the airport at 3:50 thinking my flight was at 4:45. Nope – 4:15. So I started running. I figured there was no way I was going to get through security, ride a train and make it to my gate in half an hour. Let me tell you, running at altitude was not the easiest thing I have ever done – although I didn’t even notice until I got on the plane and had to gasp for air. It was a new experience to be running through a gigantic airport with my name being paged as a “last call”. Thankfully, I knew there was another flight or two that night, although I didn’t know seat availability, so I wasn’t TOO worried but I still wanted to make it. I slid to a stop in the plane, they closed the doors and off we went.

I told you I was missing Adrienne. Subconsciously, I wanted every moment I could get with her!