Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Hibiscus

It has been a great day so far. My hibiscus bush in the front of the house has two big red blooms, and I included a shot of the plant in the backyard that is covered in white blooms the size of dinner plates. Along with that, tennis this morning did not result in the usual butt kickin'. We only managed to get in two sets. In the first my partner, Tuck, and I fought valiently before succumbing 6-7 in a tie breaker. The tie break score was 8-10. We were up 5-2 at one point, but then things went downhill. In the second set I was partnered with Jake, and we won that one 6-1. WooHoo!
Once I got to church I rearranged the chairs and table in the garage after yesterday's semi-outdoor services, and then had a very nice conversation with a gentleman that wandered over from the neighborhood on the other side of the little golf course. I have been trading e-mails with him for a couple of months. He is interested in what is going on with our building process, and just what it is that the church believes. I am hoping that we get the chance to talk again...I think that we will. Now its time to start planning the service for next Sunday.


Another week is off to a rousing start. Actually, it is pretty quiet. There are clouds in the sky, but they won't last long. A small patch is drifting overhead and as the drift away it will turn into a sunny day. Warm too, with tempatures reaching the mid to upper 80s this afternoon. It will be this way through about Wednesday, then start to cool down toward the weekend. The football season kicks in this weekend, high school and college, so we should have some cooler weather to establish the proper mood. Football season...the best season of the year! I am looking forward to Thursday evening's Boise State-Oregon game. I told my neighbors, Jason and Sharelynn Moore, that I have now become a Boise State fan due to our stop in Boise last week, visiting Jason's parents. Both being Idaho Vandal alums, they just about puked on my porch. Their black lab Lucy wasn't too thrilled either, so she left a little deposit of her own. Speaking of Jason's parents...its Larry Moore's birthday today. Happy birthday buddy...we'll hoist a cold one in your honor later this afternoon.

I talked to Beth last night, and we chatted on Facebook this morning. She wants us to change our cellphone plan to include unlimited texting for her. Right now she gets 1,500 a month, and in her first week at school she blasted through 500. Thats over 70 a day. Is there time to go to class? I have never sent a text message, and hope that I never have to. That is where I draw the line on this technology thing! After some intense negotiations, Kay and I caved, so Beth can text away.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hot Stuff!

The spring rolls were really good, the Phad Thai even better! I would say it was a 4 star on the heat scale, just the way I like it. Maybe a little too hot for Kay.

Good night.

The End Of A Great Day!

Sunday is winding down. Everything at church this morning couldn't have gone much better. The music provided by the Haas Family was absolutely tremendous! The Williamson family, who are going off to France to be missionaries, gave a terrific presentation in the Sunday School hour, and we had very good attendance for all of it. I don't even think that I offended anyone with the message today. It was all about not compromising on the truth that God gives to us, the words of the Bible, and that Jesus is the only way to eternal life, but at the same time we MUST be flexible in our worship style and how we present that message of the Gospel. After the services people just hung around and talked forever. We have a small, but very close-knit congregation. Again today we had a number of visitors, and people came back that we hadn't seen in awhile. The weather this morning was just about perfect too.

Kay is cooking dinner...we are having spring rolls and Phad Thai...yum. She says that this blog is taking over my life. I think that she wants me to help with the preparation! No...I don't think so...I know so!

I'll be back in the morning.

Oh What A Beautiful Morning...

Oh what a beautiful day. Yes it is nice, a cool and sunny start to the day. It should be sunny through the rest of the day too, and the temperatures will reach into the 80s. Sunny and very warm weather will be with us into the middle of the upcoming week to, as temperatures bounce around the upper 80s to near 90 each afternoon.

At church this morning we are worshipping outdoors, at least semi-outdoors. All is ready and I hope and pray that it all goes well.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Promised You Pictures...Here Are The Pictures!

Here are a few of pictures of the new church and school building at St John's Lutheran of Spokane. You can see that it is really coming along! The ones on the right are looking up at the inside back wall of the sanctuary. Can you see the cross? It is the result of light that is coming through the opening for a trap door that will lead up into the steeple. Pretty cool...huh? On the one to the left you can see the school building at the back right, with the church section on the left. They will be finishing the roof on the church section next week, and then completing the tower and placing the old steeple on top.

I think that I am pretty well ready for tomorrow morning. We are having a more contemporary worship service in the garage at 8:30 and 11:00am, with a special presentation from a friend of mine who is moving his family to France, maybe permanently, to be missionary church planters. That will be from 9:45 to 10:45am in the house that we have been holding services in up to now. Come on down and check us out! The weather should be nice and cool in the morning, but not too cold.

Wet Start To Saturday

A very narrow band of rainshowers, remnants of last night's thunderstorms to our south and west, are moving over the Spokane area this morning. This band is only about 10 miles wide so it won't be in any one particular place very long. As the morning progresses drier air will move in behind these showers and the sun will be popping out. That should push temperatures to the upper 70s this afternoon, about 80 in downtown Spokane. A pool of cold air drifting over the Inland Northwest aloft will set the stage for showers and a few thunderstorms to be popping up again this afternoon and evening. Quieter and mostly sunny weather is expected through most of Sunday, but I can see a shower or two erupting over the mountains of northeastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle which may drift southward over the metro area in the afternoon. Temperatures on Sunday will start in the 50s, and rise to the lower 80s. From there it will be sunny and warmer into next week, with highs back to the mid to upper 80s Monday and Tuesday. Summer just doesn't want to give in, and that is alright with me.

I want you to check out the list of followers of this blog. I am now up to 12...a dozen...who'd a thunk it! The latest addition are my neighbors, the Moores. The picture that they put on the site is that of 3 year old Brady Moore. Brady and I are buddies. He comes across the cul-de-sac most evenings to chat. I think that our friendship has grown out of the fact that we speak the same language, most gibberish. Brady likes to talk a mile a minute, and about every 2 out of 5 words or so are clearly distinguishable, which is just enough to be able to understand what he is saying. We have had some great conversations about snakes, his motorcycle (scooter), really big fish, and who the pilot is of every airplane that flies over. The answer to that question is Andy. I'll explain that one at some future date.

I am now the proud owner of a new, old, digital camera. It is the first one that Beth got, which was quickly retired for a much slimmer and nicer looking model. The bottom line is that I promise to take some pictures and post them on this blog. I will get some of the church building site today, and put them up this permitting (I just like to say that). So it is time to clean up and get ready to head down to the church. There is lots to do today, and of course, the Pot Luck lunch.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Its Bloggin' Time!

Friday is winding down. Its just about Miller time. Do I have any Miller? I might have to go to the store. Anyway, a lot has been accomplished today, although the pile on the plate was bigger than expected due to some of the goings on around the church office earlier in the week. The service for Sunday has been planned and written, and the first draft of the sermon is in the bag. It is titled "Flexibly Rigid". Tomorrow will be set up day for a semi-outdoor contemporary worship on Sunday morning, and a special missionary presentation in the church basement during the Bible study hour. I can't really set up until after 1:00pm though, as the regular Saturday Pot Luck Lunch will be taking place in the garage. MMM...Pot might consider adding that to your Saturday plans if it isn't already. Just come on down to where the new church is under construction here at St. John's Lutheran along US Highway 195. You can't miss it as the building just keeps getting bigger, and the smell of all sorts of good food will be filling the air.

I talked very briefly to Beth late this afternoon. She said that she was eating dinner, and couldn't talk much. The allure of brussel sprouts must have been too much to pass up. She told Kay that there was no way that she could be homesick because college life is fantastic. That is after just 2 days of classes, so we will have to see if that feeling lasts. Kay started shoveling out Beth's room this morning, while I was getting my backside whipped at tennis. She didn't find too much gross stuff "stuffed" into drawers and chests, and under the bed, just a few undergarments and remnants of what might have been last Thanksgiving dinner.

As I look out the window the sky has become very cloudy. The official high temperature today was 96 degrees, with Spokane Valley hitting 99. Late tonight there will very likely be a band of showers and a few thunderstorms coming our way, with much cooler temperatures and scattered showers tomorrow. Instead of dealing with mid to upper 90s, like today, we will probably see temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s. There will be some sun at times, but the clouds will probably be building in the late afternoon into a few thunderstorms again. Sunday should be another cool day, we may not make it to 80 again, with a clouds and a few showers still in the area.

"I don't wanna' work...I only wanna' bang on the drum all day!" Its the weekend...WhooHoo!

Back At It

The road trip is over, it is now back to the routine. That routine will include another butt-whoopin' in tennis in a few minutes, and then off to church to try to get done all of the things that I haven't gotten done in the past week and a half. There is probably a stack of mail a mile high. I have been told that there has been quite a bit of progress on the new church building since we left. One of these days I will post a picture or two. I know how to do it, it is just that there are 10,000 pictures on the camera's memory card right now and I don't have the gumption to wade through them all. On the trip home yesterday I received my inspiration for Sunday morning's sermon. I will divulge more details over the weekend, but suffice it to say some of our experiences from the road will be included.

On to the is going to be a hot one over eastern Washington and northern Idaho. Temperatures will rise to the mid to upper 90s this afternoon. Yesterday it hit 92 degrees, and in Lewiston, Idaho, at about the time we were passing through, it was 102. High clouds will start to drift in this afternoon portending a change in the weather for the weekend. An upper level low will be moving into the Pacific Northwest from the west, and that will probably bring a few thunderstorms into the area late tonight. Over the weekend there will be more clouds, along with isolated showers and a couple of thunderstorms. High temperatures will drop back to the 80s. Beth, you are in for a cool weekend in St Paul. There may be a brief shower this afternoon, and then dry weather through Sunday. Skies will be partly cloudy with highs in the mid to upper 60s, and lows in the 40s.

Gotta run!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


We made it! We are finally back home. I have chicken and corn roasting on the grill, and potatoes baking in the oven. The trip was fun, but very long. Now it is time to get back to work. There are services to get ready for on Sunday morning.

It is great to see family and friends when you travel, but it is also great to be home.

More in the morning...Good Night

Homeward Bound

Today is the day. Today we return home from our journey, 9 days and over 4,000 miles from where we began. We are about to leave Boise, and the Moores, after enjoying another of Boise's Best...Paul's Donuts. These things put Krispy Kreme to shame (I have never been that much of a fan of Krispy Kreme). We will be heading north on the scenic route, Idaho Highway 55 to US 95 through Lewiston, and then 195 past Pullman to Spokane. The weather along our route will be bright and sunny. Some high clouds over the Spokane area early this morning will be pushed to the north by a strengthening ridge of high pressure yielding a mosty sunny day with temperatures in the low 90s this afternoon for the Lilac City. Boise will end up near 100 degrees later today, and in St Paul the sunshine will be abundant too, and the high will be near 80.

As we head into the weekend it will start to cool off in the Inland Northwest, and by Friday night into the weekend we will be seeing a few showers and thunderstorms scattered around. Weekend highs will be in the 80s.

Time to fly!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Moore The Merrier!

We are in Boise, Idaho, and have been the guests of Larry & Darlene Moore since late this afternoon. They have shown us a wonderful time with great food, conversation and a tour of the town. I have heard many good things about the city of Boise in recent years and from what I saw this evening they are all well deserved. It is a happenin' town! Downtown is modern and clean, and the streets were alive with lots of people, mainly young people, enjoying the end of a hot summer day. It was 96 degrees as we rolled into town earlier today, but it cooled of nicely through the evening. Boise State University is situated adjacent to the downtown area and helps to add energy to the nightlife. The success of their football program is evident in the stadium complex, complete with huge new luxury boxes in and athletic center building that was built over on side of the field. It is obvious that this success has also helped to expand the entire university campus.

Tomorrow we head for home. You may be wondering about how it feels to have left our baby behind in St. Paul, Minnesota? The answer to that question is still pending, as we have been traveling by car the past 3 days, and the reality of Beth not being there won't really sink in until we get home. I called her this evening and she couldn't take time to talk with me because her dorm floor (all girls) was having an event with their "brother dorm floor" (all guys). She seems to be adapting quite well to college life...hopefully not TOO well. She has her first official day of classes tomorrow.

As I mentioned, it was hot in Boise today, and will be hotter tomorrow, near 100 degrees. That heat will be spreading to Spokane on Thursday as the high clouds move to the north and the sun pushes temperatures into the 90s in the afternoon. St. Paul is looking more comfy with sunny skies and a high in the low 80s.

Thanks again to Larry and Darlene Moore of Boise, parents of my neighbor Jason Moore, for their hospitality!

Ready To Hit The Road Again

Good Morning! It is a beautiful morning here in Rock Springs, Wyoming. At breakfast we ran across a German couple. All that I could think of was, what are they doing here? I'm sure they have a good reason, but I didn't ask. Anyway, we will be leaving shortly (the only thing on TV this morning is about the passing of Ted Kennedy), heading to Boise. We will be dropping in on Larry and Darlene Moore, the parents of our great neighbor Jason Moore. Larry has promised us burgers on the grill and sweet corn which will be a welcome change from sandwiches, tacos and delivery pizza.

Weather today will be no problem, not here, not in Boise, not in Spokane or St. Paul. Everyone will be enjoying the sunshine, and the temperatures will be comfortably warm. For the Spokane area it will be heating up from here. Yesterday's high was 82 degrees. Today will be about 85 or 86, and then it will be into the low to mid 90s for Thursday and Friday. Things should be slightly cooler for the weekend. That is good because we are planning outdoor services at St John's on Sunday morning.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hello, From The Middle Of Nowhere!

Actually, we are somewhere now, Rock Springs, Wyoming. Earlier today we were definitely in a place that no man has gone before. We started out in Fort Morgan, CO, but you already knew that. We headed into Rocky Mountain National Park, which is one of the coolest places that I have ever been. The air is clean and refreshing and the vistas are absolutely incredible! If you have never been there you need to make plans to go. The Trail Ridge Road takes you up to over 12,000 feet, way above the tree line. If you are faint of heart you better do the driving because the drop offs from the passenger side are a little hair raising. We headed from Granby to Steamboat Springs, which used to be a quaint little town, but now is a tourist trap with condos, pricey bars and stores for people that have too much money. We decided to keep on truckin' through Craig and then out onto the dark side of the moon. The road from Craig, Co to Vernal, Utah shows no sign of anyone ever traveling it before. It is rather pretty, but desolate. From Vernal we turned north off of US 40 onto US 191. The scenery instantly changed to incredible again. It was about a 100 mile trip to Rock Springs. The main source of entertainment here is the Wal-Mart. Oh, there is a Dominos here, and our pizza just arrived.

Time to to you in the morning!

Up And At 'Em!

We are readying ourselves for today's adventure. It is going to be chilly in them there hills! Weather for Spokane will run just as I said last night, nice today and tomorrow, and then hot into the weekend. Beth wants to know about the weather in St. Paul...see the comment under the last post. That will cost you extra my dear! 50% more than the regular price, which of course, is nothing. Showers and thunderstorms are moving out of the area, and drier air is coming in, so any rain will be gone long before noon. It will be breezy the rest of the day with temperatures in the 70s. Tomorrow looks like a bedautiful day with sun and a high near 80.

Gotta run!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Deed Is Done

Hey...I missed you this morning! Sorry, we spent last night in the small town of Mountian Lake, in southwest Minnesota, and there wasn't a wi-fi connection to be found. Tonight finds us in lovely Fort Morgan, Colorado, about 80 miles northeast of Denver. As I look out from our hotel window I see Arby's McDonalds and Taco Johns, a veritable diner's paradise!

There are only two of us in the hotel room tonight, just Kay and I. Late yesterday afternoon the two of us hopped in our borrowed SUV and drove away from Concordia University-St. Paul leaving Beth behind. She, and we, finally got to meet her roommate, Amanda. She often goes by the name of Amy, and her dad says she is quite stubborn. That is a pretty good description of Beth too, so they should get along very well. Moving Beth into the dorm was quite and adventure. The whole time that we were there Kay and Beth were at each other's throats about how the room should be put together, and what needed to be done and when. I tried to stay out of the fray as much as possible. Just about everything did find a place in the end, but no doubt that place will be very different very soon.

The drive to Mountain Lake took about 3 hours. We spent the evening and the night in the home of Kay's Uncle Bob and Aunt Diane. Bob is the Pastor of the Lutheran Church in Mountain Lake, where he has been for 15 year. It was nice to catch up on things with them, and after a nice breakfast of homemade blueberry muffins and fresh fruit we hit the road at about 9:30 this morning. We dodged road construction again for most of the day, and rolled into Fort Morgan about 7:00pm Mountain Time, gaining an hour along the way. Tomorrow we will head up into the Rockies, with our sights set on Rocky Mountain National Park, and Steamboat Springs, and who knows what else from there. We will park the Pathfinder wherever the spirit moves us. Our weather was fairly uneventful. A strong south wind, a head wind for a good part of the day, put a dent in the gas mileage, and a little rain fell on the last hour or so in northeast Colorado, otherwise it was a pretty average day. In Spokane it was beautiful, but you already know that. The official high was 81 degrees, and the sky was sunny. Tuesday will be more of the same, just about the same. Wednesday should be sunny and a bit warmer, with a high in the mid 80s. From there it gets hot again, with highs in the 90s Thursday and Friday, and near 90 over the weekend. The daily weather will be mostly sunny, and the nights clear and rather warm.

It is time for a beer after a long day on the road...see you in the morning!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This Is It!

Today is the day, the reason that we have made this journey to the Fatherland, or at least the land of my father and mother. Today is the day that we dump our little bundle of joy off at college, along with a large bundle of our life's savings. We will be leaving lovely lively La Crosse in just a few minutes bound for the big city, or rather cities, of St. Paul and Minneapolis. For those who aren't up on midwest geography these cities are in the state of East Dakota. Today Beth will finally meet her new roommate face to face. She has been "chatting" with her on Facebook for quite sometime. Tomorrow brings her first freshman class, with the real classes starting Thursday. It is difficult to know what the range of emotions will be as we drive away this evening.

As for the weather, all is well. It will be beautiful in Washington and North Idaho, as well as in East Dakota (Minnesota if you haven't figurede it out yet). Sunny skies will be stretched over both areas, and today's high will be in the vicinity of 80 degrees. For Spokane the week ahead still looks very nice. Sunny days and highs in the 80s are on tap through the week.

For the next day or two I will post when a wi-fi network is available. Who knows when and where that will be?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Grease For Breakfast

We are heading out for one of the Albrecht traditions here in La Crosse, Wisconsin...breakfast at Rosie's Diner. I don't know if the term has been applied to such places in the northwest, but around here, we call them "greasy spoons". Everything is cooked in vats of butter, and last years bacon grease still clings to the appliances, walls, tables, coffee cups and regular patrons of the counter seats. There is one main thing about these places though, the food is great!

It is a bright, sunny and cool morning here in the land of beer and cheese. We will probably see afternoon temperatures reach into the mid 70s with the sun hanging around all day long. A sunny day is coming up for Spokane and the Inland Northwest too. After temperatures began backing off yesterday (the high at the airport was 86 and at Felts Field in Spokane Valley 89) today will be a little cooler still. A refreshing low this morning of 53 degrees will be followed by a high in the vicinity of 83. Sunday will be much the same, and it still looks like it will be this way through at least the middle of next week. No problem from the weather for awhile.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Night...Its Time Too Party!

Party? maybe that is an overstatement. We just finished dinner and it is time to settle down to a rousing game of canasta. We have been watching Brett Favre's debut with the Minnesota, we haven't done that either...just as the Vikings were taking the field for their first offensive series it was time to sit down to eat. In my mind dinner always trumps the TV, unless of course, there are TV trays available.

We spent the day going back and forth to Reedsburg, WI to visit Kay's mom. She lives in the country about 5 miles out of town, and there are two ponds on the property. The smaller of the two is covered over with algae, but the bigger is mostly clear of scum and weeds, and is full of bluegills, crappie and largemouth bass. It was a cool and windy afternoon, so the fishing wasn't great. Between myself and Kay's brother John, who came up from Milwaukee, we managed to to catch about 20 fish, with 15 or so being worthy of consumption, mostly fat bluegills.

I was writing a longer post earlier this morning, and just as I finished, I lost connection with the local wireless network. I can't complain because we are pirating the network from someone else in the neighborhood, but I did have to scramble to get the facts out before we hit the road to Reedsburg. As my luck would have it, most of that road was under construction. In any event, I had to leave out the part about my brother Larry and his wife Cindy coming in yesterday to visit from Fennimore, WI. It is always nice to see them since we don't get to very often. They offered to have Beth come to their house for Thanksgiving. Their daugther Kristin lives and works in the Twin Cities so she can haul Beth back and forth. Beth's social schedule is filling up! She is going to my brother Dave's cottage in northern Wisconsin for Labor Day weekend, flying back to Spokane in early October, and going to Larry and Cindy's for Thanksgiving. There is one more brother, Rich who lives about an hour away from St. Paul, and my parents here in La Crosse, which is two and a half hours away, so Beth should have plenty to do.

I am being called to the table for canasta, so it is so long for now.

A Wet Start

We have risen to a rainy day here in the land of the badger. It appears as if it will remain that way for awhile. Maybe we can outrun it as we are driving to Reedsburg, WI to visit Kay's mom. If all goes well I'll be fishing for crappie in the pond by early afternoon. We will also will be stopping at the Carr Valley Cheese Factory for some fresh cheese curds (the best things in this whole world!) and various other cheese products that we just gotta' have.

Bam...Bang...Boom! Overnight thunderstorms rumbled through the Spokane area on the leading edge of cooler Pacific air that is trying to blow in from the west. Those storms have now passed to the east, and the day should be mostly sunny and breezier. It won't be as hot as yesterday when the official high hit 95 degrees. Today we will see the upper 80s to near 90. The weekend is looking good with sunshine and highs in the low to mid 80s. As a matter of fact, that pretty much sums up the forecast through the middle of next week.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gray And Damp

We are having a cool an wet start to the day here in Wisconsin, while the heat will be on again over eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle. Today looks like the hottest day of the week for the Spokane area, reaching about 96 degrees at the airport, to near 100 downtown and through Spokane Valley. Skies will be mostly sunny. Tomorrow will be nearly as hot, temperatures drop back into the 80s over the weekend.

An update on that accident on Interstate 90, that we passed yesterday. It happened about an hour before we drove through the area, 2:30pm CDT. 4 people were indeed killed. An eastbound Toyota sedan crossed the center divider, through the row of temporary posts, and collided with the westbound semi. The truck then went over into the eastbound lane hitting a Honda minivan. The driver of the Toyota, the only person in that car, was killed, along with three people in the minivan. The truck driver was not seriously injured. It had been raining prior to the accident, but the Minnesota State Patrol said that weather was probably not a contributing cause. Our prayers go out to the families of all those involved.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We Made It!

We are here in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The trip was uneventful for the most part, but the part that was eventful was VERY eventful. South Dakota rivals Wyoming in regards to road destruction, while Minnesota was quite tame. There was one construction zone in Minnesota that made the greatest impact upon the day. In the course of about and hour we saw what may be the best, and the very worst, that this world has to offer.

I'll start with the worst. We were about to the end of a road construction zone of about 15 miles, just west of Albert Lea, Minnesota. Traffic was diverted from our lane over to the other side of the interstate, so it was one lane in each direction. I spotted a sign that said "traffic emergency ahead". I was wondering what that might mean, until the traffic slowed to a crawl and the flashing red and blue lights of emergency vehicles became visible. When we got to the scene there was a big rig that had gone over into the lane of the interstate that was under construction, with the front end very badly damaged. Mud was everywhere! Just beyond that was a car sitting in the median strip, or should I say what little was left of the car. Only about half of it was recognizable as a car, and it was covered with an olive green tarp. From the looks of the vehicle there was no chance that the driver could survive, and very little chance that anyone else could either. I didn't see it, but both Beth and Kay said that they saw a football lying next to the car, which probably meant that a child was involved. Just beyond that car was another one that was badly damaged, and serious injuries, at the least, were very probable with that one too. It had been raining there previous to our arrival, and that might have contributed to the accident. It was also right where an on-ramp merged into the traffic lane which could have been a cause as well. This was one of those events that just makes you feel sick, and it is very hard to figure out just what to pray for at the time!

About an hour later, and after passing through a brief, but very heavy, rain shower we were treated to one of the most spectacular rainbows that I have ever seen. The very heavy rain returned for the last 20 miles of our trip, and traffic slowed to 20 to 30 miles per hour. We did make it though, and the reward was dinner at Schmitty's Bar & Restaurant. One of the establishments that makes Wisconsin the wonderful place that it is. The bar was full, and so was the restaurant. It was made great by spending quality time with my dad and mom. The food can best be described as comfort food, and there is plenty of it. It was a nice end to a day that had some extreme ups and downs.

Talk to you in the morning.

A Hop, Skip And A Jump?

after 940 miles yesterday, we only have about 700 to do today. Oh boy! The weather along our route today will include some rain, and probably a few thunderstorms. That will give us a little something interesting to look at as we pass through the wilds of South Dakota.

In the Spokane area it will be sunny and hot! Yesterday the official high was 90 degrees, today should bring the mid 90s. As usual, it will be a couple of degrees hotter in the middle of the city. Tomorrow and Friday are looking equally as hot, and sunny. It still looks like it will be a little cooler on the weekend.

Gotta hit the road!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Too Many Orange Signs

It was a day of 940 miles in 13 and a half hours, and I must say that I really hate the sight of diamond shaped orange road signs. For those who have never done any long distance driving, that is the international signal of frustration...ROAD WORK AHEAD! The day actually was going along pretty well. We got through Montana pretty much unscathed. On our last trip through Big Sky Country, in June, that was certainly not the case. This time it was Wyoming that rose up and bit us in the rear. Between Buffalo, WY and the South Dakota line there was not one, not two, but THREE long stretches of road destruction, all of which was happily trumpeted by orange signs siting economic stimulus money at work, creating jobs. The only problem was that Traffic was restricted to one lane, for thousands of miles, and there wasn't a construction worker anywhere to be found. In spite of that, the speed limit was 3 1/2 miles per hour through these zones.

Even with the delays, we managed to make it to Rapid City, SD by 7:15pm MDT. We are housed at the EconoLodge, which is right next to the Outback Steak House. I knew that when we made the reservation, as I searched the Outback web site for locations because we had a bunch of gift cards. Boy did we score! Not only does Outback have $9.95 steak specials, but they were featuring a two for one happy hour, all evening long. SWEET! I ordered two figure out just how many I ended up with. After drive every mile of the 940 that we covered today it was very tasty.

We are now settling in for the night, and will be back on the road by 8:00am local time. No 4:00am wake up calls tomorrow. That should get us into La Crosse, WI by early evening, CDT.

See you in the morning!

On The Road Again!

On the road again, I just can't wait to get on the road again...Yes, that's right, we hit the road this morning. It is 4:15am, ouch! Even the dog just stood there and looked at me wondering, "are you some kind of idiot?" Don't answer that! She wouldn't even go out.

The goal is to be "on the road" by 5:00am. I'll wake Beth up when I am done here. She has been packing for about a year and a half now. We are heading to Rapid City, SD today, and then La Crosse, WI, the home of the patriarch of the Albrecht Clan, tomorrow. Beth moves into her dorm at Concordia University-St. Paul on Sunday.

The weather along the route looks pretty good, sunny and dry. It will be a mostly sunny and warmer day around here, as temperatures climb to the mid and upper 80s later this afternoon. From there on it is still looking like a hot time in the old town until the end of the week. Highs will be in the low to mid 90s Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It will be getting cooler again on the weekend.

See Ya!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Here We Go Again

Just another manic Monday? It just may be. There is a lot to do today, prior to taking off very early tomorrow morning, eastbound. Fear not, for I will be continuing this blog as we travel, making every effort to post each morning and evening, with the usual drivel, plus observations and impressions from the road. I might even post a picture or two! The only thing that may hinder my regularity will be the availability, or rather lack of availability, of wi-fi networks along the way.

After my time on the tennis court this morning, receiving my Monday butt-woopin', today will be a day of tying up loose ends, of getting done those things that can't wait another week and a half for my atttention. There will be a lot happening at church on the Sunday after we get back, August 30th, including an outdoor contemporary style worship service that morning, and a special presentation from a family that will be moving to France as missionaries during the Bible study hour. I have to coordinate with the musician and our guest speakers to make sure that it will all come off as scheduled. I'm not too worried!

As for the weather today, there is a nip in the air this early morn, with the official temperature dropping to 51 degrees, and many of the rural areas down into the 40s. Deer Park has been down to 44, and the station just south of Cheney, in the wildlife refuge, hitting 38. It is going to be a bright and sunny day, with just a few high thin clouds. "Cirrus near us and stratus comin' at us!" Why I threw that in there...I don't really know, but since this is my blog I can throw in whatever I want. Anyway, it is going to be getting warmer, and then hotter. After reaching the mid 70s yesterday, today will get to about 80, maybe just above in town. Tomorrow will be sunny and warmer, up into the mid to upper 80s in the afternoon. From there it is into the 90s for Wednesday, Thursday and probably Friday, before it gets a little cooler on the weekend. All of this under sunny skies by day, and starry skies by night. Later!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

One Down, One To Go

Beth and I got through our song in this morning's first service quite well, at least, I didn't embarrass myself, and I don't think that I embarrassed her. Whenever I do this they only thing that goes through my mind is that I must look like an idiot. I don't know what to do with my hands...where, or who, should I be looking at? I standing up straight? Oh well, the house was packed and they all clapped. We'll see what happens in the second service!

The sky has cleared and it is a beautiful shade of blue. The air is has a crisp and fresh feel to it. Football season can't be too far away! When I wrote earlier I didn't say anything about the weather for the upcoming week. It still looks like it is going to be getting a lot warmer, some will say hotter, again. Sunshine will be abundant through the week and by Wednesday and Thursday the afternoon temperatures will be back into the 90s again.

All Is Quiet, For Now

I'm up early, enjoying the quiet house. Even the dog, Dixie, went right back to bed after I let her out. The only sounds are the perking of the coffee maker and the clatter of the keyboard as I do the two finger-two thumb hunt and peck. Actually, I am up to two fingers and a thumb on the left hand. Every once in awhile I have to stop typing to let the keyboard cool off!

The ground is wet, but the weather is dry. A look a the water vapor satellite loop this morning shows a little upper level wave dropping down over the Idaho Panhandle, sliding down the back side of a cold low pressure system over eastern Montana and the Dakotas. As that wave moves away we should see some clearing, and sunshine today, although the upper air is still cool giving rise to numerous cumulus clouds this afternoon. Temperatures are in the 50s right now, and will rise comfortably to the mid to upper 70s later today. Yesterday's high was 71 degrees, and this morning we have been down to 55. We picked up .18 inches of rain yesterday afternoon and evening.

As I mentioned yesterday, church will be busy this morning, and we are having a brat and kraut blowout late this afternoon. The occasion is to honor the Laborers For Christ, those fine folks who are here building are new church, (I'll post pictures soon, I promise) and to send Beth off properly on her journey into higher education, or whatever else you do in college these days. I expect that we will have about 75 people crammed into the house and yard, friends from church and the neighborhood.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


That is what Gomer Pyle, anybody remember him? would say in a situation like this. heavy rain showers popped up this afternoon, and have been moving southeastward across the Spokane area, and much of northeast Washington and the Idaho Panhandle. These guys will persist, on an isolated basis, into the evening, and then go away. Fortunately, I had just finished mowing the yard before the fun began.

Pot Luck Update

The lunch at church was great success. Believe it or not, there was not one macaroni and hamburger dish. What's this world coming too? We had beef, ham, and chicken, lasagna, chimichanga and enchilada, along with zuchini, pasta salad with fried and scalloped potatoes. Did I mention the desserts? WOW! I was particularly impressed by the carrot pecan pie. We had lots of ice cream, so of course the pie came a la mode!

We are gearing up for services tomorrow morning. My daughter Beth and I will be singing a duet at the beginning of each service. This may be the final act of our singing career together (we did this once before, last winter) as she will be going off to college next week, and taking her beautiful voice with her. Fortunately, the song that we are doing tomorrow, "Sing Alleluia" is mostly done by the female voice. That is good because Beth has all of the talent, and I sing like a toad. Also happening tomorrow is a "Stud Signing Celebration" on the church and school construction site. Members and guests are invited to write their names and favorite Bible verses on the 2 by 4 studs in the building, before the dry wall covers them up. There will be free coffee and baked goods, so make sure that you come by in the morning. Services are at 8:30 and 11:00am, with The Celebration, refreshments and Bible study at 9:45.

Finally, I would like to give a special shout out to my follower in Genesee, ID, Elaine. I hope that you are having a good day, and your friend Linda Wilke says hello! How's the weather down there?

Sleepin' In?

It is Saturday, and that means starting the day at a leisurely pace, right? Well...maybe. I was awake at about 7:30am, while Kay was up and going about 5! She said that she just couldn't sleep, so she got up, ordered prints of some pictures for Beth to take to school, cleaned up pots and dishes from last night's dinner, started cooking for a gathering of church friends and neighbors tomorrow, and made coffee. I, on the other hand, after rising up and getting a cup of coffee, have done nothing! For the rest of the day I will be making a hospital visit to a church member who has complications from knee surgery, eating a pot luck lunch (for those who have never experienced the thrill of 78 different combinations of hamburger and macaroni just visit your nearest Lutheran church and there is probably one of these events going on right now!), mowing my lawn and grilling about 125 bratwurst for tomorrow. They will be bathed in a vat of sauerkraut tomorrow and gently warmed back to a mouth watering perfection.

It was cold this morning. The low temperature at Spokane International was 48 degrees, while at the Deer Park Airport, just east of town, it got down to 36 degrees! The sun has been pretty abundant this morning, although there were a few patches of fog earlier. Some clouds will form into the afternoon as the air aloft is still quite chilly. It will be a partly sunny afternoon with the high temperature around 72 or 73 degrees. Tonight will be another nippy one with a sunny and warmer day tomorrow. Sunday will start down in the 40s again, and yes, there will be 30s in the usual cold pockets. You folks that live in them know what I am talking about. The afternoon temperatures will climb to the mid and upper 70s, with a few places touching 80. Summer is not over yet though, as a high pressure ridge builds over us next week the heat will be on again. We should be back into the 90s by Wednesday, and pretty close to it on Tuesday.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Finally Friday

Here it is Friday morning, and I still have no funerals on the schedule! I off to another busy start to the day. I got up at 6:40am to take Beth down to the church construction site so that she could volunteer. Hey! The Laborers For Christ are always looking for additional help, so if you want to relieve some stress by swinging a hammer, just show up any Tuesday through Satuday between 7am and 4pm and they will put you to work. Then every time you pass by the church, or better yet, go in!!! you can say that you helped build it. Come on down to the Latah Valley next to the Eagle Ridge Golf Course and join the fun. Don'r forget to bring your hard hat (if you don't have a hard hat, one can be provided). After dropping Beth off I came home to find Kay working on the computer so that is why my post is a little late today. Yeah...always blame the Mrs...that's a good idea!

Tennis this morning was a mixed bag, some good, some not so good. At least I didn't hurt anybody. As for the weather it was a chilly morning, but the sun has been shining. Numerous showers will be erupting this afternoon along with a few thunderstorms that will be producing gusty winds and small hail. Today's temperatures will have to fight to get to 70 degrees. Showers will last into the night, and tomorrow the rain showers should be confined to the mountains. It will still be mainly cloudy until late afternoon, with temperatures getting only a bit above 70. Sunday is still looking sunnier and warmer in the afternoon.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Rough Start!

When I came into the church office today I found that we have no phone service and our wireless internet was down. Since then, the internet service is back, but the phone is still a no go. Excavation yesterday down on the construction site cut through a bunch of phone cables. Qwest came out and thought that it was fixed last evening, but obviously not. They can't promise that they can get back out here today!

It is a cool and damp start to the day, but the bulk of the rain is well to the east and south of Spokane. A few more showers and isolated thunderstorms will be popping up again later today, with more widespread rain later tonight into tomorrow. Temperatures will remain cool into the weekend. Today's high will be in the mid 70s. We'll only be around 70 tomorrow. Saturday looks mostly cloudy and continued cool, while Sunday should be much sunnier and warmer. On Sunday afternoon we will be back near 80 again. Heavy rain over the mountains of Idaho and the Blues of southeast Washington certainly is helping to take a bite out of the fire danger there. That is a good thing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

School Supplies

This was supposed to be part of the last post, but just as I finished it I accidentally hit the backspace key and the whole paragraph magically dissappeared, exiting to somewhere out in "blogland". I hate it when that happens!!! So, here we go with round 2. Sandwiched around the tennis this morning was a hunt for school supplies. These are not for Beth, but rather for the pre-school and pre-kindergarten that Meadowlane Christian School will be opening in early January. Meadowlane Christian is a very important outreach ministry of St. John's Lutheran Church in the Latah Valley. If you know of anyone that has pre-school aged kiddies and lives in the south Spokane area send them to our web site at, or have them call 327-4441. Anyway, back to the shopping, we bought roughly 453,271 boxes of crayons, colored pencils and washable markers. With all of the sales going on, now is definitely time to buy. If you visit the South Hill Shopko, or Valley Wal-Mart, and they happen to be out of the school supplies that you desperately need, you may curse us under your breath. Remember...under your breath please!

Better Late Than Never?

I have had some problems being able to post today, but apparently is back in business. We had a nice rain earlier this morning into midday, with a tenth of an inch reported at the airport and almost 2 tenths at Felts Field in Spokane Valley. For most of us the rest of the day will be dry, but there will be a few very isolated showers into the evening. Tomorrow doesn't look as wet as today, but again, there will be some showers that pop up, and a few isolated thunderstorms will be rumbling around by evening. Thursday should be a little warmer than today, reaching the mid to upper 70s. A wave of low pressure will swing through later Thursday night into Friday. That will bring another batch of widespread showers to the area into Friday, and keep the weather mostly cloudy and cool. It still looks like dry weather returns for the weekend. Saturday should be partly sunny and cool for mid-August, highs in the low to mid 70s, and then Sunday mainly sunny and back to about 80 degrees.

This morning I played tennis with my regular Wednesday morning group, my wife Kay, daughter Beth, and our friend Les. Les is quite a bit better than the rest of us, but a couple of days ago he fell off of the roof of the shed that he has been building, so his play today may have been hindered. Always one to exploit any advantage that I can, Kay and I beat Les and Beth for the first time ever! It was a bittersweet victory though, as this is the last time for a long time, and maybe forever, that this group will play together. That is because Beth is going off to college, along with most of our life's savings, next week.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I was out in the backyard late last evening, looking for some of those showering meteors. I did manage to see a few streaking brightly across the sky from east to west. What I also saw was a bright moon rising in the east between 10 and 11pm, and that moon will be rising again later this evening. The bottom line is that the light of the moon makes it much more difficult to see all but the brightest of the meteors as they enter the upper atmosphere and are incinerated. If you are up late tonight...take a might be surprised.

Today is a great day, one of the best of my life (probably an exageration!). My hibiscus bush that is currently out on the front porch has not one, or two, but THREE big red blooms on it! In Florida hibiscus grow like weeds and are covered in blooms almost year-round. Here in the Inland Northwest, in our high desert climate, these guys don't thrive and it is a major accomplishment to get one or two blooms per year. They like the humidity that is indiginous to Florida, and that most of us are thankful that we don't have here in Washington and Idaho. Unfortunately the flowers are only in full bloom for a day or so.

As for the weather...the forecast holds as before. Today and tomorrow will be partly sunny and breezy. Afternoon temperatures should reach just over 80 today, and around 80 tomorrow. It still looks like the best bet to get wet will come Thursday and Friday with scattered showers and a few thunderstorms. Looking ahead to the weekend, Saturday looks partly sunny and cool with highs in the mid 70s. Sunday should be generally sunny and back up around 80 degrees.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Who's Hungry?

If anyone would like a loaf of Wonder Bread, please let me know. I have one left over from yesterday morning's church services. I used it as a prop for the message. Those who I have talked to today don't seem too interested.

That nice southwest breeze that came up today will pick up again tomorrow. Today's high at the airport was 84 degrees. Tomorrow will be a couple degrees cooler under a partly sunny sky. Over the next couple of days there will be a few showers over the mountains to the north and east of Spokane. By Thursday and Friday those showers, and a few isolated thunderstorms, will start to show up in the lower elevations, including the Spokane and Coeur d'Alene area. It will be cooling off quite a bit too, with high temperatures in the low to mid 70s by the end of the week.

Oh, by the way, the Perseid Meteor Shower is getting underway. The peak will be tomorrow night into Wednesday early morning. Around and after midnight look into the eastern sky and you should see one or two every minute or so. It is best if you can find a very dark place away from the lights of the city.
I'm back from my tennis outing. Bill is in California, so Jake was playing with us today. Things started out poorly but slowly improved. By the final set Jake and I won in a tie-breaker. I hope that I am coming out of my slump! Maybe if I played smarter I would play better.

I am not sure what the rest of the day will bring, but I would like to go and wander around in the gardens at Manito Park.

Monday Morning

Its Monday...its supposed to be my day off! We'll see how that goes!

Yesterday was just as nice as expected, with sunshine and an official high temperature of 80 degrees, and this morning it has been as cool as 57. There will be some high clouds today and tomorrow, so partly sunny should describe the sky conditions. It will remain very nice and comfortable with the temperatures reaching around or slightly above 80 later this afternoon. Later in the week, Thursday and Friday we will probably see a few shower and thinderstorms in the area.

This morning at 8, I will be meeting my regular group of guys to play tennis. We are all about the same age. I'm 51. John is 78. Bill is 80, and Tuck is 81. These "gentlemen" have been playing tennis all their lives, and me only about 2 years, so I receive a schooling every Monday and Friday morning. I'll let you know how it went a little later today.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Good Morning

It is early Sunday morning, very early Sunday morning. I will be leading the worship services at St. John's this morning, and giving the message. Come on down and visit. We are along US Highway 195 in the Latah Valley, right next to the Eagle Ridge golf course. We meet in the house just behind where our new church is being built. The sermon title today is "Wonder Bread".

As expected, it is a crisp and cool morning. Out at Deer Park and near Cheney temperatures are in the mid 40s. In the city of Spokane most areas are in the low to mid 50s. It will be a beautiful day of sunshine and a top temperature near 80 this afternoon. With the next few days still looking nice.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Weather For Sunday Through Tuesday

The low clouds that have hung around today over eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle will be clearing tonight, and it will get quite chilly. By morning many low lying spots will be well down into the 40s.

Tomorrow will be a sunnier and warmer day, reaching the upper 70s in the afternoon.

A fairly strong upper air flow from the southwest, off the Pacific, will set up by Monday and Tuesday. That will keep nature's air conditioner going, so we should stay with comfortable temperatures. Daily highs will be in the upper 70s to around 80, and nightly lows in the 50s. A few patches of high clouds will blow through from time to time. There will probably be a few isolated showers over the mountains near the Canadian border.

Inaugural Post

Since I have had many people asking why they are no longer seeing me doing the weather on KHQ-TV, and wondering what I am up to now, I am starting this blog. It is my intent to provide weather information and forecasts to anyone that wants them, both on a regular daily basis and for any special events that you might let me know about. I will also give information and updates about my new life as Ministry Director for St John's Lutheran Church of Spokane, Washington. All that plus comments and opinions on what ever I feel like giving comments and opinions on.

For all who have not heard, on April 20th of this year the management of KHQ-TV in Spokane informed me that my services were no longer wanted, at that they would not be offering me a new contract. All that meant that as of June 1st I would be out of a job. Almost immediately I was offered the job of leading the ministry of my church, St John's, and after much thought, prayer and advice, decided to take it. Of course, my fantastic wife Kay was right there with me in the decision process. On my last day with the station, May 29th, I was given the opportunity to say good-bye on all of the newscasts. That in itself is a miracle...that just never happens! On the following Monday I started my new position at St John's, so unemployment checks were not a part of the deal. As part of this new course in life I am also in the process of beginning an on-line seminary education with the intent of becoming the Pastor of St John's Lutheran Church. These are exciting times at St John's. Our new church building is under construction in the Latah Valley. You can't miss it if you are driving through on US Highway 195. We will be opening the doors of our pre-school and pre-kindergarten classes on January 4th of 2010 (thats less than 5 months from now), and I hope to start classes in the Specific Ministry Pastor program in late September.

As I sit here on a cloudy and very cool Saturday afternoon, when the forecast from all of the TV outets was calling for mostly sunny skies and temperatures near 80 degrees, I am reminded of another reason for starting this blog, as a source of reliable weather forecasting and information. To my knowledge, there are no TV weathercasters in the Spokane area who hold an actual university degree in Meteorology. Not Tom Sherry, not Kris Crocker, not Bill Kelly, not Jason Kadah, not Julia Sandstrom, and certainly not George Maupin or Mark Peterson. I hold two degrees in meteorology, Bachelors and Masters, and am the only American Meteorological Society "Certified Broadcast Meteorologist" in eastern Washington and North Idaho. None of the others has the education to even apply to be certified! What does all of that mean? It means that I know what I am talking, or writing about!

So...tune in from time to time. Send in requests for "Personal Forecasts", and see what is going on at St John's Lutheran Church. I'll try very hard to make it interesting.