Saturday, October 31, 2009

Some Pictures Are Worth A Million Words

Another Halloween has come and gone and great fun was had by all, at least all that I talked to. You can see how I presented myself through the evening, and you also have a picture of my neighbors Brady and Jillian. It has been quite a day, and I am quite pooped out, but I wouldn't trade a minute of it. I was out "reverse Trick-or-Treating this evening with good friends from the church. When people saw my elephant head they just couldn't stop laughing, especially when the elephant was nearly 8 feet tall! In spite of the head gear, I was shocked how many people instantly identified me as "the weatherman". We had a great time and made some good contacts in the neighborhood for the church. The weather couldn't have been much better. It was quite mild, a bit breezy, but for late October it was great.
Earlier today things went pretty well too. I managed to get through 2 basketball games without much abuse from coaches, parents and fans, and the Wisconsin Badgers squashed the Purdue Boilermakers. As is usually the case when Wisconsin is on national TV I had the opportunity to see none of it. I'll trade that for a win any time. Tonight we turn the clocks back an hour, and I am looking forward to the extra hour of rest. I just wonder who will show up at church an hour early tomorrow?

Good Morning Pumpkinheads

It is finally here, Halloween. When I was a kid this day rivaled Christmas! Not so much anymore. Think of it, a bunch of kids dress in silly outfits and go out to beg for food. Oh well, maybe age is creeping up on me. We had a little rain overnight, but it is gone now. The sun will actually pop out for the afternoon today and the temperatures will get up into the mid 50s. The evening will be cool and dry with mainly 40s through the early evening.

It is going to be a busy day today, but fun. I have a short meeting at church this morning, then I will be officiating two basketball games. We are going to try to stop by at a Halloween open house of a former co-worker, and wrap things up with some "reverse" Trick-or-Treating in the neighborhoods around the new church. Come on and join us!

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Quick Note

Its getting late and I'm pooped. Quite a day today. My morning tennis outing was an abject disaster. From there things got better though, and I must say it was a successful day. I visited the Whitworth University library to get information from a book that I need to use for my seminary class. It was written by the president of the seminary so I do believe that it will be valuable to site it as a reference for the paper that i am working on. The library at Whitworth is quite impressive. They have a ton of theological works that are not available anywhere else in the general area. I must say "THANK YOU WHITWORTH!" I spent the afternoon and evening working up the notes from all of my sources, and have successfully completed all of this week's homework. I guess I should wait to comment on success until I see my grade.

Today's weather turned out to be fairly nice. It wasn't sunny, but it wasn't snowing. There will be more rain coming in tonight into tomorrow morning, but it should be long gone before evening. That's certainly a good thing as we have 16 people from our church signed up to go Trick-or-Treating in the neighborhoods around the church. we will be giving out treats and information about our church and school, and getting information from those that we talk to so that we can follow up with an e-mail or visit at a later date. I spent a good amount of time earlier today looking at the forecast for all of next week. I am happy to report that the weather will be rather mild for November and no major rain or snowstorms are headed this way.

Confident Approach

As I walk out onto the tennis court this morning I will do so with great confidence. I am highly confident that I will receive my usual Friday morning butt whoopin'! Actually, I might employ the strategy that I used on Wednesday morning, with some degree of success, of throwing my racket and cursing like a drunken sailor at random times. This was supposed to surprise and upset my opponents, the posse, and throw them off of there game. I might take it a step further today and actually come up with a random time at which to launch my secret weapon. Boy, won't they be surprised!

I haven't had breakfast yet, but there is plenty of soup outside. A thick blanket of fog is covering the Spokane area this morning, and will only slowly lift into mostly cloudy skies today. It as actually warmer now than at any time yesterday, as the temperature has slowly risen overnight to 41 degrees. We should be into the lower 50s this afternoon. More rain will be coming along tonight into early tomorrow morning, and then the rest of the day on Halloween and the evening will be dry. Again we should make the low 50s, and maybe even the mid 50s in the afternoon. Trick-or-Treat time still looks a-okay with temperatures in the 40s and dry weather.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Successful Pumpkin Hunt

For many years we have had a family tradition of going off to Green Bluff is search of the perfect pumpkins. I would find what I thought was perfect. Kay would find what she thought was perfect, and Beth would do the same. When Lena was here, our exchange student from Germany, she joined in the fun as well. Now that we are empty nesters, does that mean that the fun has to stop? Absolutely not! Today Kay went off to Michael's fabric and craft store and purchased two perfect pumpkins. The beauty of it is that these guys will last a lifetime since they are made not out of real pumpkin, but some sort of acrylic stuff. We can still carve faces into them, but I won't have to scoop out 3 and a half tons of pumpkin goo to do it. Once Halloween is over we just bring them in, store them away, and next year they go right back into service. What a concept!
Another rather pleasant aspect of procuring pumpkins in this manner is that you don't need to tromp around in the mud to do it. There was plenty of mud today and our morning snizzle turned into rain and drizzle keeping things soggy all day. Tomorrow is looking better, warmer and drier, with temperatures getting back up into the 50s again and a few fleeting glances at the sun. Today we never got out of the 30s. Saturday is still looking pretty decent for the end of October. Any rain will be limited to an isolated shower or two during the day, and the evening will be cloudy and rather mild. Trick-or-Treat temperatures should be in the 40s. Sunday will be a little cooler, but still not bad for the first day of November. This weekend is my favorite weekend of the year, since it is the longest weekend of the year. Daylight Saving Time ends early Sunday morning meaning that we "fall back" an hour. As a result, this weekend is an hour longer than all of the other weekends, with the exception of the first weekend in Daylight Savings Time, which is two hours shorter.


As I look out my window this morning there are very fine little snowflakes cascading down, kind of like a hybrid of snow and drizzle, which I will call drizzle. This is all fine with me since it is nice and warm inside of the office, and I don't have to go out for a few hours. As the day wears on the snizzle will change over to drizzle and light rain as we get a little bit warmer. It will be a slow process so we will see the light snow for a good part of the morning. All of this is the result of warmer trying to push in from the west and getting shoved up over a more dense layer of cold air near the ground that will be slow to move out. By tomorrow the warmer air will be taking over and that should push us back up into the 50s again. Halloween still looks mild. There may be a shower or two during the day, but the evening should turn out to be dry with temperatures in the 40s. That's not bad!

I need to get physically ready for the basketball season to begin again. That happens this weekend with the Halloween weekend AAU tournament. I will be officiating 2 games on Saturday, and two more Sunday afternoon. My preparation up to now has been a strict regimen of carbo loading, while conserving energy by refraining from anything strenuous or physically taxing. This workout routine seems to be going quite well. I will see the results this weekend.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Finished Product

I promised pictures of the completed fence that one of the neighbors of our church built down the middle of the driveway, and here they are. I am sure that you will want to spend countless hours gazing at this marvel of architecture and engineering. This drive has been used by several of the residents around us for 30 years or more, so it is a prescriptive right of way. That means that the neighbor cannot legally put the fence where he did. It really doesn't matter to us since we won't need to use it to access the new church. Basically, by putting up the fence he is abandoning his right to use our side, so again he seems to be shooting himself in the foot.
Remember how this morning got off to a rather bad start, and great sense of foreboding hung over my head? Well, my tennis outing was not a disaster, and as a matter of fact, I helped to administer a butt kicking to one or two of the members of my posse. I won't mention any names but John came out in the losing end twice. Actually, John and I were partners in the first set. As usual, we found ourselves down 5 to 2. We battled back and actually took a lead of 6 to 5, but lost in a tie-breaker. That set took almost an hour. From there it was Bill and I against John and Tuck. we got out to a 5 to 0 lead, and ended up winning 5 to 3. The rest of the day was rather nondescript.
The weather today was nondescript as well. Tomorrow may bring a few snowflakes, but mainly cold rain. he weather looks damp right into the weekend, but the Halloween forecast still looks decent. We should be near 50 on Saturday with just a few showers in the area, and evening temperatures may just hold up in the 40s.

Could Be A Long Day

The alarm went off at 7:00 this morning, but my brain has yet to respond. I came downstairs and started to make coffee. All was going well, the water went into the coffee maker, the beans were ground and the filter was out. The problem is that I dumped the coffee out of the grinder and into the coffee maker a little before I put the filter in. Undaunted, I then put the ground coffee into the filter and washed out the container that the two rest in to make a perfect brew. When I went to place the filter, now with coffee grounds, into that container the coffee left the filter and again slid directly into the container. Uff Dah!!! I'll spare you the details, but at this time I think that I finally have gotten things right.

If this is a harbinger of what the rest of the day will be I am in trouble. I might as well go back to bed. That is definitely a temptation. I guess the optimist in me says things will get better. They have to, it can't get much worse.

It is clear and chilly right now...27 degrees. There is talk of snow tomorrow in the area, just a little in the city and a lot more to our north. To me it looks like the precipitation will be slow to materialize, and might not come until noon or after. At this time of the year that will lessen the chance for any snow in the lower elevations, and mostly rain will fall. For the mountains its a different story. I'll have more on (moron? who's a moron? That would be me!) that later today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Midweek Report

My how time flies. Tuesday is pretty much history and Wednesday morning is on the way. There is not much exciting to report. Today was a good day, with a good deal being accomplished, but nothing earth shattering. I got some more of my course work done, and had a good day teaching. As a matter of fact, one of my students brought his girlfriend to class today so that she could see the "former Q-6 weatherman" in action. The best part about it was that for the entire hour she was nodding her head as a way of saying that what I was talking about made sense. The rest of the class had their usual puzzled or bored look on their faces. I hope that she comes back again tomorrow. Her name is Toni (I don't know if that is the proper spelling) and to be fair, her boyfriend Frank asks a lot of questions which tells me that he is interested in the material that I am trying to teach them. The bottom line is that this might be the best class that I have had in the 5 years that I have been teaching. All but one of them show up almost every day, and are putting in the effort to do well. For that I am truly thankful.

These are rather sad times at the church. Over the next two days all but one of the Laborers For Christ couples are going to be leaving us. The amount of work has diminished to the point that there isn't enough to keep them busy. Tomorrow Bob and Sue Madsen will be heading back to the Portland area, and on Thursday Tony and Evelyn Belendez will be heading out along with Dave and Judy Schreibeis. It is really hard to see them go since they have all become good friends, and members of our church family at St. John's. I ask all of you to pray for safe travels home for our brothers and sisters. They all have a special place in our hearts. Left behind will be Willie and Ellanour, our Project Managers. They are probably going to be around for awhile. They are truly a special couple, and we would never been able to accomplish what has been done without them.

Off And Going Again

The sun is shining this morning and it looks like it will be a pretty good day. We are waiting on the word that the street out front of our church building site is going to be paved. We still don't know for sure when that will happen because the city hasn't approved the blacktop mix that the paving company plans to use. The city is using the same mix to pave a parking lot across the highway at a city owned golf course, but they can't seem to approve our use of the same stuff. Go figure! Once this all gets straightened out it means that we won't be able to drive in or out of the property on the day that the paving actually takes place, and that's a good thing to know in advance.

Today's weather should stay dry. It will be cool with a few clouds forming later this morning through the afternoon. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy and then more rain will be coming in for Thursday and Friday. If that rain starts late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning there certainly could be a little snow at the beginning. If that is the case it won't take long before it turns over to rain. We usually see out first snowflakes in late October, in a similar situation, at the beginning of a rain event. Temperatures will be in the mid to upper 40s this afternoon, and again tomorrow. It will be a bit chillier on Thursday, with the precipitation, and then in the mid 40s for Friday and Saturday. Halloween still looks cool, cloudy and mainly dry, nit much change in that forecast from the past few days.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Almost Drowned Today

Monday...glad that it is just about over. I often talk about getting my butt kicked in tennis, and today nothing could have been more true. Ouch, my play was abysmal! I will say that the other guys played very well today, but when you play three sets, with three different partners, and my side always lost by a set score of 6-2 or worse it can only be the result of one person's play. That would be me. After we were done Kay came to the club and we practiced for an hour. I could sure use more of that. After my class I spent a good part of the day doing my own homework. I am writing my first book report since about 7th grade. It is supposed to be no more than 5 pages and I am already there while still only being a little more than half done. I think I'm going to need to do a lot of editing. A church council meeting rounded out the day.

While all of this was going on the rain kept coming down. We ended up with another 3 quarters of an inch. It has finally stopped and then next couple of days are looking dry, chilly, but dry. later in the week there will be more rain again so the soggy stuff is far from over.

Rain On The Roof

I was awakened by the pitter patter of rain drops above my head. Fortunately there is a roof between my head and all of those raindrops so I did not start the day off wet behind the ears. The rain will be a constant theme of the day, which is alright since one usually doesn't schedule a lot of outdoor activities this late in October, especially on a Monday. Tennis will be played indoors, my class will be conducted indoors, and then I plan to hunker down in a spare room upstairs to start scaling the mountain of homework that I have to do for my seminary class. I hope to get most of it done this week. One thing that is rain sensitive is the paving of the road out in front of our new church and school building. Once that road is paved we will have very little contact with our "friendly" neighbor. Did I tell you about our neighbor? Yes, I believe that I did. Anyway, I am posting one picture of his incomplete handiwork today. What his project ended up to be is much more impressive, a true gem of architecture and engineering. I'll have some shots of the finished product sometime this week. The paving crew is supposed to do the job today, but with the wet weather it may not happen until tomorrow.
Okay, back to the weather. It is going to be rather cool all week long. DUH! its late October. Most of the rain will fall today, and again Friday. Another large low pressure system is going to be dropping in at the end of the week. After today a few showers will linger on Tuesday. Wednesday should be dry with a few breaks in the clouds, so a little sunshine is there to look forward to. Clouds will rule on Thursday and then the rain again by Friday. Throughout the week daily high temperatures will be in the 40s. It still looks the same for Halloween, cool and cloudy with a few drips and dribbles

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More Rain In The Way

What a day...busy...busy...busy! Two church services this morning, a special Sunday School hour presentation in between, I was up on a ladder lopping limbs off of a birch tree that bangs against the house in good wind, then raking leaves and finally a joint reformation service at one the other Lutheran Churches in the area was just about enough to do me in. Our choir sang at the joint service and if we hadn't shown up there would have been very few in the joint!
Just after I arrived at church this morning the fog dropped in and hung around until about noon, after that it was mostly cloudy. What started as a frosty morning turned into a chilly afternoon as the temperature never got above 45 degrees. There is more rain that will be moving in tonight, and tomorrow is shaping up to be a wet one. Looking all the way down the road at Halloween, next Saturday, it still looks like it will be a cloudy and chilly day. There may be a sprinkle or two, or a bit of mist and drizzle, but that should be about it. Temperatures will fall from the mid 40s in the afternoon into the 30s in the evening.
I have posted a few church pictures from yesterday, when it was nice and sunny. The sun shining through the art glass windows made for a very nice effect.

White As Snow

This morning as I came down off of the South Hill into the Latah Valley, heading for the church, the scene was a winter wonderland. The frost was heavier than I think that I have ever seen before, so much that it looked like snow. The temperature in the valley at 7:30am was 25, according to the car thermometer, while at the airport it was 29 degrees. I know that it didn't snow as the sky was clear all night. Clouds will be spreading over the area today, and rain comes in tonight. The temperatures again today will be well up into the 50s so it should be another nice late October day. Yesterday I was noticing how beautiful the trees looked with the colored leaves and the sun lighting them up.

Today we celebrate the Lutheran Reformation, when Martin Luther told the Pope where he could stick it. Well, not really, but he did try to get the Pope's attention concerning the movement of the church away from the true Word of God. The result was the Pope throwing Martin out of the club, giving rise to the Lutheran Church. It was at this time that the "Pot Luck" dinner was born.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

How Old Is Old?

Old is just a state of mind. Do you know anyone that has lived on this earth for 80 years? 90? how about 100? I know someone who has now been around for 100 years, and I dare not call her old!

Meet Gladys we celebrated her 100th birthday. The usual perception of someone who is 100 years old is that the person will be pretty much housebound, or in a nursing home, and just living out their final days. That is not Gladys! She is active and out there. She still lives on her own. She still drives better than those of us that are half her age, and certainly better than those who are a quarter of her age. She is still active in the church and takes care of those who are much know the 80 and 90 year olds. Her party was a great time. I got to see some people that I haven't seen for a long time and got to meet some people that I have never met before. Gladys had a lot of family in from all over the country, and I really enjoyed getting to talk to them. They promised that I would see them again in church tomorrow.
I also got some pictures of the new church building today, some good shots of the interior. I will post them here tomorrow because I don't want to have Gladys share the pictorial hot spot. It was a beautiful sunny day today, with mild temperatures. I couldn't help thinking that God made it turn out that way in honor of the 100th birthday of one of His best servants.

Sunshine On My Shoulders

Yeah...the sun is shining on my shoulders today, and one my head, and hands and neck and nose. It is not shining on my belly though, as it is still a little too cold for that, and besides, I am not one of those guys that feel it necessary to share my girth with the world. Anyway, it sure is nice to have a sunny day. Temperatures are already heading into the 50s, and we should end up comfortably in the mid to upper 50s this afternoon. Halloween is a week away, and it would be great to have weather like this! Right now it looks cool and cloudy. There may be a bit of mist or a few sprinkles, but it doesn't look all that wet, at least that is the way things look from this vantage point. Temperatures will be in the 40s during the day dropping into the 30s in the evening. I'll keep watching that forecast and keep you posted over the next week.

Today is the big day...Gladys is officially 100 years old! We'll get the party started in a couple of hours. There is something else going on here at the church that I could spend the next 6 weeks writing about. It all boils down to a neighbor of our church property that is a few bricks shy of a full load. He has issues, boy does he have issues, with our presence here, and thinks that we owe him to improve the access to his property so that he can subdivide it and and develop home sites. Making him wealthy is not part of our mission so we haven't given him the quarter million dollars or more that he thinks he needs to get the job done. The problem is that we share a driveway with him. We own half and he owns half. He is doing everything that he can do, today he is putting a fence down the middle of it, to keep our people off of HIS property. We are having the road improved out at the end of the driveway, so a little bit of gravel was scraped up onto his side of the drive yesterday, and that set him off on the latest tirade. This tirade included assaulting the vehicle of a church member, denting it, and screaming threats at her as she drove out last evening. He claims she ran over his foot as she was trying to very slowly navigate our right of way so as to stay off his property. He seems none worse for the wear this morning. Like I said...I could go on forever. The bottom line is that Monday the new road will be paved and we will never need to go anywhere near his side of the driveway again, so he will have a driveway with a fence running down the middle of it. The fire department ought to love that.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Posse

I have written a lot about my Monday and Friday morning ritual of being humbled on the tennis court. True to form, earlier this morning, I got my butt kicked again. It is high time that I shared with you those who administer my morning thrashings. Here they are. That's Tuck to the right in the blue shirt, Bill above with the always neatly trimmed beard, and John in the bright white shirt. John usually wears something of a more striped nature, but today he wanted to distract my attention by wearing something that would distract my attention. It worked like a charm! These guys have such a great time humiliating me that they have decided that we need to play on Wednesday mornings too. I must admit, I have a wonderful time getting soundly beaten twice, now three times a week. These three guys are the best!
It is a good thing that we can play tennis indoors. If we couldn't we would never play. During the summer its too hot for the guys to play outside, and in the fall and winter it is too cold. I keep trying to get them to go outside, thinking it might be to my advantage, but I am not getting any takers. Today it would have been too wet. It started to rain at about the time we got things going this morning, 8:00am, and it rain for the rest of the day. Boy did it ever rain the rest of the day. We picked up 61 hundredths of an inch and it is still dripping out there this evening. The rain should leave us alone through the weekend. Tomorrow will be a partly sunny day with an afternoon high temperature in the low 50s, and Sunday should be mostly cloudy with temperatures about the same. More rain will be rolling in Sunday night.
I believe that I mentioned before that tomorrow marks the 100th birthday of Gladys Kumnick, one of our members at St. John's Lutheran Church. She is an amazing lady, and if you met her you wouldn't think that she is a day over 70! She is the epitome of the Energizer Bunny, she keeps going and going and going. I am firmly convinced that in a few years she will be on all of the network TV newscasts as the oldest person in the world, and she will definitely have a lot to say! Gladys shows no signs of slowing down, and that is the way we all like it! I'll have much more to say about Gladys, and her birthday party included.

Its Friday!

Hallelujah...Friday has has more rain. I don't mind the rain at all though, its better than snow, so I say "bring it on!" That's the way it is going to be today. I just peeked at the radar and there is a whole bunch of it heading in this direction. Wet, cool and gray, that's what we'll get all day. Tomorrow is looking brighter. Behind this wet weather system there should be a pretty good breeze from the west and southwest tomorrow. That should keep things stirred up enough to prevent the fog from forming so I am optimistic that the sun will shine. Highs today will only be near 50 degrees, and tomorrow in the low 50s. Sunday should be a mostly cloudy day with a few light rain showers in the area. Temperatures will stay about the same.

This morning at tennis I am going to smuggle my camera in so I can get pictures of the guys, Tuck, John and Bill, to post them here tonight. That way you can see who these guys are that are regularly giving me a butt whoopin'. Today is lab day in my meteorology class so I get to just sit there while the group works on the torture...I mean assignment...that I put together for them. I am hoping that the rain gets out of here by evening affording me the opportunity to take in a high school football game. I want to go, but I am not going to sit in a cold rain. I have done that too many times before.

Okay cruel world...give me your best shot!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sticky Buns

We had a real adventure tonight, making barbecue buns, Chinese style for dinner. Last Sunday night I grilled a pork shoulder roast and Kay decided to get creative tonight with the leftovers. One of her favorite things to do when we go to Seattle is visit a Chinese restaurant at about noon on Sunday for "dim sum". Basically you eat appetizers, which are served table to table on carts. When each cart comes by you pick what you want and how many, and you just keep ordering until you are totally stuffed. One of the staples is a homemade biscuit with barbecued pork in the the center. Kay found a recipe on line and the result would very likely be able to bring Chairman Mao back from the grave. It was absolutely fantastic.

Here it is, Thursday night, and the weekend is rapidly approaching. This is going to be a busy weekend, but then again they all seem to be, with Gladys' 100th birthday party on Saturday, followed by Sunday morning church services and a Reformation service on Sunday afternoon at 4:00pm. I am going to be the emcee at the birthday party, so I have to come up with a bunch of 100 year old jokes. I have only lived about half that long so a 50 year old joke just won't do! I am sure that I will come up with something, but any input from you would be most appreciated.

There is more rain coming in late tonight and tomorrow. I would like to be able to go to a high school football game tomorrow evening. Gonzaga Prep, Beth's alma mater, is playing at Central Valley. It should be a good game but if it looks like I will have to sit in the rain I will sit it out. I really like high school football, but I don't like it so much that I am willing to drown in a cold rain.

Mild And Misty

It is another dark and gloomy morning with low clouds and fog covering the Inland Northwest. In some areas, mainly north and west of the city, the fog is very dense, in other spots its lurking about a hundred feet above the ground forming a thick blanket over the entire region. This stuff will be slow to go away. We should have some sunshine this afternoon, so hang in there. Rain is still on the way for tomorrow.

It is going to be another very busy day. We have a Thursday morning Bible study that starts in a few minutes. I have a meeting at 10:00, class at 11:30, then a couple of hours to think about a sermon for Sunday, a dentist appointment at 3:00pm, and then back to the office for more prep for Sunday. I enjoy it all, except the dentist, but I just wish the day could be a couple of hours longer!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

There Goes The Rain

We ended up with some wet weather, mainly this evening, but now it is all gone. A band of rain deposited 7 hundredths of an inch earlier, but it has all moved east into northern Idaho. We should be in the soup again early tomorrow morning as fog settles in. Speaking of soup, Kay is making a crab bisque even as I sit here and blog away. It is quite late in the evening, but the soup must go on. We had church choir practice earlier which resulted in an evening schedule that is rather higgledy piggledy. The laundry just got started and we really haven't had dinner yet. As a look at the clock it is about to strike 10.

we did have a very nice lunch though. We met David and Jenn Williamson at a restaurant called Chaps. The Williamsons are just about to embark on a missionary journey to France, along with their two teenage boys, and this mission trip will last several years. Talk about your life changing experiences! I can't imagine uprooting and moving indefinitely to a foreign country with a different language, but that is what they hear God calling them to do. I have known Dave for several years, as he was the person that got me involved in teaching meteorology to aviation students. We have just gotten to know Jenn, and we are blessed to know both of them. They have been raising money to fund their work in France, and still have a ways to go. If anyone would like information about how you can help support them leave a comment or drop me an e-mail and I can fill you in.

Here Comes The Rain

The radar this morning shows a large area of rain to the west of us that is heading this way. There are a few showers scattered over the mountains to our north and east, but the bulk of the precipitation is yet to come. As I had expected last night, the thick fog that had formed has dissipated under the increasing clouds above. Today looks cloudy, wet and cool, with a high in the low 50s. The rain moves out by late this evening, and clearing skies will lead to another foggy start tomorrow. A little afternoon sun will burn through, and temperatures Thursday will be about the same as today. A few more showers will be coming through on Friday, and there is the chance for more wet weather on Sunday. In between, Saturday should be dry, although mostly cloudy.

On thing to look forward to on Saturday will be a birthday party for one of our church members. This is not just any birthday party, not at all! Gladys Kumnick will be 100 years old on Saturday. Born on October 24, 1909 she is throwing her own party at the Sons of Norway hall in north Spokane. Gladys is an amazing women. She is still totally self-sufficient, lives alone, drives wherever she needs to go, is still active in the church and shows no signs of slowing down.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Done For the Day

The day started in a fog, in more ways than one, and the fog is settling in once again. In between a lot was accomplished today, and there is plenty more to do tomorrow. Kay managed to survive the food show. She was serving garlic fries for most of the day, of which she sampled absolutely none. The biggest thing that came out of the show was all of the food that she brought home. At these shows when the day ends there is an incredible amount of stuff, mostly good stuff, that is destined for the dumpster if no one takes it. Kay came home with 5 bags of various shredded cheeses with weights varying from 2.5 to 5 pounds each. She snagged all sorts of different types of sauces and spices, along with huge cloves of fresh garlic and onions. There was also a big package of crab meat, and a bag of monsterous sea scallops. We had those for dinner tonight and they were DELICIOUS!!!

The fog that is forming right now will be quite dense for the overnight hours, but as more clouds roll in above it will probably thin out some toward morning. There is rain on the way for tomorrow afternoon, and the day will be generally cloudy. Today's high temperature was only 50 degrees as the fog never did burn off until early afternoon. Tomorrow may actually be a couple of degrees warmer than today. Things will be drier and sunnier again on Thursday, with more rain likely to move through on Friday. Highs will remain mostly in the low 50s, with lows in the 30s.

I have to head to bed now as my Monday and Friday tennis guys decided that they want to play on Wednesday too. We'll see how they all hold up playing an extra day. It gives me another opportunity to have my butt kicked to look forward to.

An Early Morning Bowl Of Soup

We were up and about early this morning, before the light of day peeked over the eastern horizon, and were greeted with a lot of murky misty fog. It is pretty widespread, but only thick in a few spots. We got going early this morning so that Kay could get to her institutional food show. She was up most of the night with a small plate of dog food, walking around the house saying, " this". Today will be a full day with lots to do, calls to make, class to teach and meetings to attend. The grand-daddy of them all will be a school board meeting this evening in which we get to tackle a number of simple items such as budget, constitution and governance. Throw in purchasing of new school furniture, supplies and curriculum and you can see why I fear that this meeting could last into next week. Since I am the Board Chair it is my job to keep things moving. Your earnest prayers are requested.

I mentioned the fog already. It will take just about all morning for it to burn away. There will be a little sun this afternoon, and we should still reach the mid to upper 50s. Tomorrow the rain returns, probably in the afternoon, and then again on Friday. All of this is pretty much the norm for mid to late October, but it is not necessarily pretty.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Fog On The Way

The longer nights of October and the moisture that never seems to completely dry up from the ground this time of year will lend itself to another bout of widespread fog late tonight and early Tuesday around the Inland Northwest. Like today, the fog will give way to a partly sunny sky by tomorrow afternoon and the temperatures will top off in the mid to upper 50s. We are still on schedule for rain by Wednesday afternoon, and some more showers on Friday. Otherwise the weather will be dry for Thursday and the weekend, with near normal temperatures. That will put highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s.

Let see, what was accomplished today. I participated in a couple of meetings, but we must not have gotten much settled since I have two more tomorrow. Earlier this morning my regular Monday morning tennis extravaganza went pretty much according to the pattern. That pattern has John Happy, Mr. Happy to me, winning every set. Whoever happens to be partnered with John enjoys the fruits of his labor, those who are on the other side of the net endure a crushing defeat. I firmly believe that the only way to beat him will be by crushing his tibia, or fibula...whatever it takes. The guys have now decided that we should play on Wednesday mornings as well. I see it as another opportunity to remain very humble. Kay is going to be working at an institutional food service show tomorrow at the Spokane Convention Center. We have a friend who works in sales of commercial food service products, and they have these shows about 4 times a year. I have never been to one, but I believe that it entails people trying to convince the servers of institutional food to purchase things that nobody would ever want to eat unless it was the last thing left on earth with which to survive on. I may be wrong on that, but I have had the opportunity to consume institutional food in the past, so this is the basis of my opinion. Kay will spend the day saying " this" to ladies in white dresses and hair nets. I will spend the day tomorrow preparing for a school board meeting that very well could last into next week.

Here We Go Again

Another Monday has rolled around. Where does the weekend go to so fast? This promises to be a typical Monday, stating with my typical morning butt whoopin' in tennis, followed by a typical midday in the meteorology class, a couple of your typical church meetings, all filled in with whatever else the comes along, which is pretty typical. Who knows? Something amazing might happen today to shake things up. Maybe it is just the fog that is hanging around outside that is squashing my excitement.

That fog shouldn't be around for long, and the day actually looks pretty decent. We will have some sun and the afternoon temperatures will reach into the mid to upper 50s. This morning's low has been 36 degrees. More clouds will show up again tomorrow, and the expected rain is still on the docket for Wednesday. Later in the week there may be a few showers again Friday, then the weather looks good again, sunny and comfortably cool, for next weekend. Come weekend!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Smells Like Thanksgiving

Today turned out to be a very enjoyable day, topped off by a very enjoyable Sunday dinner. The weather is still nice enough to use the grill, charcoal of course (gas grills are just inherently wrong) for the main dish, while the oven was employed for the sides. The entree' was a pork shoulder roast, grilled to perfection, with scalloped corn and pumpkin casserole to fill out the plate. The pumpkin casserole has the flavor of pumpkin pie due the spices that are in the recipe, namely cinnamon, cloves and ginger. We usually make it with yams, but a can of pumpkin was available which yielded similar results...DELICIOUS! You can never get enough pumpkin pie, and when you can eat it with the main meal it is just that much better.

The day started with the Sunday morning church services. I am happy to report that no one got hurt. We had a few more visitors today, which is always nice. One "young" lady reported that she was a retired Lutheran school teacher that has recently moved to the area from Arizona, and wanted to know how she could help out. I definitely think that we can find a way to oblige her! This afternoon I joined my softball team for the final tournament of the fall season. The games were delayed due to wet grounds from all of the rain that fell last night, so I got there just after my team's first game of the day began. We were playing a team that was winless for the entire season. They now have at least one win. We went out in style, extending the game to 7 innings without the humiliation of having the game end early due to the mercy rule, which is usually the case. After that it was home again for a short nap and then production of the evening's cuisine. Tomorrow is a day off, but there is school and a couple of meetings on the schedule so we will see what else gets done.

Weather-wise it was decent today. The temperature was near 60 and a mostly cloudy sky did manage to yield some sun at times. We are still on schedule for dry weather tomorrow and Tuesday, with some sunshine and highs in the upper 50s. Rain will return by Wednesday afternoon and evening, and cooler temperatures will also be taking over. It doesn't look like there is any cold weather coming our way through the week, just your typical October conditions.

Looks Like A Pretty Nice Day

The rain has left, the sky has cleared some and the current temperature is in the mid 40s again this morning. The day ahead should be dry, partly sunny and mild for the middle of October. We should be back up in the low 60s again later this afternoon. That's good softball weather. It is just too bad that the team that I play on is incapable of good softball. One way or another, our last game of the fall season will be played today.

Looking to the week ahead, it is going to be a half and half proposition. The first half of the week looks good and the second half cool and wet. Monday and Tuesday should turn out to be mostly sunny with high temperatures in the upper 50s to near 60. The rain returns for Wednesday, and a few showers will linger in the area Thursday and Friday. Later in the week it won't get a whole lot warmer that 50 degrees during the day.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Time For Some Pictures

It has been a great day! The church continues to head toward completion and the people of the congregation continue to be united in the the mission of reaching out to the community in the Latah Valley. Let me introduce you to some of the people that you are seeing in the pictures. Willie Eichmann (in the cowboy hat) is our Project manager, Marlow Shaefer (using the table saw) is one of the Laborer For Christ, and Stan DuPree and Jim Smith are pillars of the congregation and regular volunteers. The small person dressed in red in front of the education wing of the building is Kay, as she was headed into the building to talk to Willie about the outlets in the Pre-school rooms.
We've had some pretty good rain this evening, which is now moving off to the east. There may be a few showers that pass through overnight, but tomorrow now looks dry. Earlier today the high temperature was 69 degrees, so I took the opportunity to go out into the yard in shorts and a t-shirt and get some fall clean-up work done. Things are pretty much set for winter now, and a little hard work set the stage for a beer or two this evening. Sunday will be a little cooler, we will be closer to 60 than 70, but that's not bad. If my softball team wins their first game of the season ending tournament tomorrow I will be participating in the second game at 1:00pm. The way that our team performs I am not too concerned at getting out of church and to the game on time since it is highly unlikely that our team will emerge victorious in the initial contest of the day. Of course, if I am not there they have a better chance of winning!

More Rain On The Way

We are off to a cloudy start to Saturday, and the temperatures are pretty nice for mid October. Right now we are stuck at 46 degrees, where we have been for several hours. Later today we will be up around 65...Not bad, huh? Rain will be coming later this afternoon into the evening, and then tomorrow there should only be a shower or two in the general area, so most of the weekend should be dry. We will be a little cooler tomorrow, topping off in the upper 50s rather than 60s, but that is a lot better than last weekend's 40 degree highs with wind. Early next week will bring dry weather for Monday and Tuesday, with afternoon high temperatures in the mid to upper 50s, and lows in the 30s. The rain will then return next Wednesday with showers for Thursday and Friday. It will be on the cool side, not cold, through the end of next week.

Kay returned safely from Seaside, Oregon last evening. Her physical health is excellent, but her sanity may have taken a hit. Too many days were spent around too many pre-school and early elementary school teachers who talk to everyone as if they are 3 and a half years old and in the finishing stages of toilet training. Today we are looking forward to another of our church's regular Saturday pot luck lunches. The days on these events are numbered though, as the Laborers For Christ are gradually trickling out and going home since the project is drawing closer to completion. There is still a long way to go in finishing the interior of the building, but nearly all of that work will be done by subcontractors, so the amount that needs to be done by the Laborers is diminishing. Jim and Carol, and Alec and Lois will be departing early next week, probably Monday. It is hard to say good-bye as these folks have become a big part of our church family at St. John's over the past several months. The pot luck lunches are part of the regular routine of the Labors For Christ because it gets the congregation to interact with them at least once a week. That interaction has never been a problem for St. John's but the food sure has been good. Of course, being that this is Saturday there will be lots of football to watch on TV, and I will very likely get to see some of it. Unfortunately, I won't be able to watch the Wisconsin Badgers take on the Iowa Hawg-eyes. There is just too much to do this morning to fit that game into the schedule.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Its Not The Coughin' That Gets Ya'

Its the coffin they carry ya' off in. That's one of the goofy things that my dad often said. He still does, and he often says a lot of other goofy things. Now you have a little insight into why I am the way I am. Anyway, the "crud" that has been going around has come home to roost. Since I am the only one who is roosting here right now it means that I am the one who has been a bit cruddy these past couple of days. Its not that bad, a very mild incidence, but an annoying cough has taken root. Fortunately today is a lab session, and not a lecture in my aviation weather class. That gives me the opportunity to just sit there and not talk so much. I can terrorize the students in many other ways.

We are off to a very gray start to the day, with cloudy skies and temperatures hovering in the middle 40s right now. We will see the sun make a few appearances today, especially this afternoon, and it is going to be warmer today too. Expect a high around 63 degrees after yesterday' s 57. Rain returns by tomorrow morning, and the wind will be picking up a bit out of the southeast and south. The temperatures will still be on the plus side of normal by a bit, with a high again in the low to mid 60s. Things will turn more showery on Sunday, and a little cooler. We'll see cloudy skies, on and off, mostly off, light rain showers and temperatures in the 50s again. Cool and damp weather still looks like it will be the way of next week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Baseball, Football and Pizza

There is something to be said for the bachelor lifestyle, when a guy can watch whatever he wants on TV and eat whatever he wants for dinner. Yeah, it is nice for a day or two, but it gets really old really fast. I spent the evening with the TV remote in hand flipping back and forth between the Phillies and Dodgers playoff game, and Cincinnati against South Florida in college football. In the midst of all of the sports entertainment a Papa Murphy's sausage pizza was cooked and partially consumed. Perhaps it was consumed a bit more than just "partially". Kay will be returning from the Oregon coast tomorrow evening and I am looking forward to that. Dixie is not what you would call a good conversationalist, and I think that watching baseball and football kind of freaks her out. She has been acting strangely all evening long.

The weather today was much nicer than it has been in awhile. There was no rain, the sun was out from time to time, and it was pretty comfortable. I even had to open the window in my office for a short time to let a little cool air in. The official high temperatures was 57 degrees. Tomorrow is looking rather nice as well, with a little bit of sun and a top temperature around 63 in the afternoon. As I mentioned in a previous post the rain will be coming back later Friday night into Saturday, and showers will be over the area Sunday, so a dry and mild day tomorrow will be a good thing.

Not Too Bad

After receiving over a half inch of rain yesterday, 6 tenths of an inch to be exact, today should be a dry day. It will be warmer too. Later this afternoon the temperature should reach into the upper 50s, and the sun will pop out occasionally to help it get there. Tomorrow will be a little warmer still, and still dry. We should make the low 60s on Friday with the sun peeking through from time to time. The rain will come back for the weekend and the temperatures will be backing down again, so enjoy the dry weather while you can.

There's a big Halloween candy sale today at Rosauers (that's a grocery store chain for those who are not experienced in the culture of the Inland Northwest). I am going to take my life in my hands and join the fray to stock up for the trick or treaters in a couple of weeks. We still have to go out and get pumpkins. It just isn't the same, doesn't have the same appeal, as when you have a kid or two in the house, even if they are of high school age! I imagine that the feeling will be the same when it is time for the annual Christmas tree hunt. I don't think that Beth will come home soon enough to be part of that expedition. Oh the trials and tribulations of getting old and useless!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Making Good On My Promises

Earlier today I posted the recipe for the "Famous Pasta Sauce", and tonight I am coming through with fresh pictures of the new church building. I might be slow, but I do try to deliver on my word. The exterior of building is just about completed, but the interior has a long way to go. The inside picture is one of the school classrooms, and they are nearing completion. In the fellowship hall and the sanctuary there is still much to do, and that work is being held up by the electricians, specifically their absence. I asked our Project Manager, Willie, today if we will be able to have our Christmas Choir Presentation in a heated and dry new church building on December 20th and he was not able to give me an affirmative answer. Please pray that our project is completed, God willing, before Christmas.
It was a very rainy day today, but as you can see from the pictures the sun did come out for a short time this afternoon. The rain did expose a leak in the roof of the church near the kitchen in the rear of the building, so it was a good thing as that leak will be much easier to fix now rather than later. It is dry now, and only a few isolated showers are in the forecast for tomorrow. Friday looks like the best day of the week. It should be dry with a little bit of sunshine and temperatures are expected to get up to the middle 60s. From there the rain will come back for Saturday and a bit will linger into Sunday. It will cool off again, but I wouldn't say that it will be cold...not yet.

Famous Pasta Sauce

This recipe has been served from Sacramento to Chicago, Jacksonville to St. Paul, and Spokane to Atlanta, and no one has died yet, at least no one that I know of.

Start with a deep frying pan, preferably with a cover.

Dice 1 medium onion, and mince about 6 large cloves of of garlic (you can put in lots more if you love garlic or have vampire issues...I do!)

Pre-heat the pan over a medium heat and add about 2 Tbsps of extra virgin olive oil.

Throw the onion in and saute it until it is softened and a dull yellow color, then add the garlic and allow it to heat up (Be carefully not to let the garlic burn)

Add one large can, or two smaller cans of tomato product. It can be diced, crushed, stewed, sauce...whatever. Fresh tomatoes work even better, 6 to 10 cut into quarters should do, depending on their size.

Add at least a Tbsp of basil and at least a half Tbsp of oregano, again, more if you would like, and if you can get fresh herbs it is always a good thing.

Once the mixture comes to a light boil turn the heat down to low and simmer for about a half hour. It will take longer if you are using whole large peices of tomato, especially fresh, as it takes longer for them to cook down. Here is where the cover comes in handy, it can keep the clean-up to a minimum.

Now the fun begins...and you can add lots of good stuff.

Optional ingredients: 1/2 cup of white or red wine
1/4 cup of clam juice
A can of minced or chopped clams, juice included
A half pound of shrimp or scallops, maybe both!
White clams or mussels, about a dozen of each, depending on size
A pinch of red careful, these guys are powerful!
You should add any red pepper flakes when you add the other herbs.

While to sauce is simmering cook a pound of pasta, I generally use a string variety like linguine, to a nice al dente. Once the pasta is cooked it is a great time to add any fresh seafood to the sauce, as you don't want to overcook it.

Put the pasta in a large, wide and rather flat, pasta bowl, pour the sauce over the top, no need to mix it in, and drop a liberal amount of freshly grated parmesan or asiago cheese over the entire bowl. Sprinkle a few fresh basil leaves (chopped) over the dish and you are good to go.

If this recipe stinks, it is obviously not the fault of the recipe itself, as it has been tried and tested nationwide.

A Nice Rain

The rains came overnight, and are now winding down. We have received .36 inches so far, and a few showers will be lingering over eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle today. Snow in the mountains is now confined to areas well above 5,000 feet as milder air has been blowing in. This afternoon should mark the first time since the middle of last week that we have been above 50 degrees, we should make it to about 55, and things will be getting milder still tomorrow and Friday. Thursday high temperature will be nearing 60, and Friday into the mid 60s. Dry weather is in the plan for tomorrow with just a few isolated showers on Friday. Wetter weather will be returning for the weekend, and temperatures will start to cool again. Saturday's high will be near 60 again, with mid 50s on Sunday. Generally cool and damp weather will last into most of next week.

Oh by the way...if I thought that my hair looked goofy yesterday, you should see it now...FauxHawk!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Bad Hair Day

For whatever reason, and I have no idea why, I just couldn't get over the feeling that my hair really looked goofy today, and there wasn't anything that I could do about it. Now I don't usually worry too much about what my hair looks like, but everytime there was a mirror within sight, or whenever I saw a reflection in a window it was, wow...does my hair ever look goofy! I am surprised that I had time to notice, as the day's work has just ended, about 14 and a half hours after it started. There was the usual work of the day at the church, along with a good healthy dose of this week's homework for my seminary class. Add to that a meeting this evening and the fact that I gave the first test of the quarter in my aviation weather class, and the papers needed to be graded, it all made for a full day. Just a note on the meteorology exam...this is my 5th year of teaching the course and it is amazing that the distribution of grades turns out to be almost exactly the same every year. A couple of students ace the thing, a couple absolutely bomb, and the majority come in at around 80 percent, give or take a few points. The names and faces change but the grades never do.

Kay is in Seaside, Oregon tonight, along with Carolyn our school adminstrator and Kindergarten-First Grade Teacher. They drove the 8 hours to get there today, and I am told that Carolyn only asked 17 times if Kay needed to "stop to go potty". Their conference starts tomorrow, at which time 586 women will ask every 10 minutes if anyone needs to "stop to go potty". Seaside is out on the Oregon coast, on the side of the sea, and if it ever stops raining this week the gang might just be able to see the sea. Speaking of rain, we have a little of that around the Spokane area tonight. It is kind of damp, but there hasn't been much falling this evening above a few spits and sprinkles. It will probably pick up a bit overnight, and then most of it should have passed us by before daybreak. A few drips may linger into tomorrow, but the day looks mainly cloudy with an afternoon high temperature in the mid 50s. Today we reached 47 degrees, the warmest since last Thursday, so 50s should be rather comfortable. It still looks like we will reach into the 60s by Friday. In general the weather will be mostly cloudy for the next several days, and little light rain will fall from time to time.

I have received two request for the famous pasta sauce, so it is my intent to post that recipe tomorrow. Then again, I promised that I would put up some pictures of the current status of the church building today, and you can see that I welched on that promise, so don't hold your breath on the recipe either. I will get there...eventually. Being a slacker by nature it just takes me a while to "get 'er done"!

No Snow For Us

While parts of the country from Denver to Minnesota and Wisconsin have already experienced the joy of their first snowfall of the autumn season, we here in the Inland Northwest have missed out on all of the fun. Late today rain will be rolling in, and it looks like it will be damp through the rest of the week. It will be getting warmer too, YIPPEE!!! Because of clouds that hung around last night we stayed above freezing, dipping to 33, and this afternoon we should see the mid to upper 40s. Most of our first batch of rain will come down tonight into early tomorrow morning, and with just a few lingering showers on Wednesday we should reach the mid 50s. From there it looks like we will be in the 60s, if not Thursday then certainly Friday. Through the weekend the relatively mild and mushy weather will persist. It doesn't look like there will be a lot of rain, but occasional drips and dribbles will keep it on the clammy side. High temperatures Saturday and Sunday should be near 60.

Kay left this morning to go to Seaside, Oregon to attend the Lutheran Preschool and Elementary Teachers Conference. It is about an 8 hour drive down through Portland and out to the Oregon Coast. She won't be home again until late Friday evening. That means I am flying solo, well, Dixie will be my copilot, for the rest of the week. The fridge is stocked with leftovers, and I have more than plenty of work to do between the church, the class that I am teaching, and the class that I am taking. That and a Thursday morning dentist appointment will no doubt mean that the time will pass quickly. Would anyone like to volunteer to take on the dentist appointment?

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Famous Pasta Sauce

It may not be famous, but it should be. I make an incredible pasta sauce, and I like to put it over string pasta, spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine. It is a pretty simple recipe, but it is just delightful. If any of you out there would like the insight into perfect spaghetti sauce, the way it is made in Italy, just leave a comment to this post and I will be happy to share it with you. I am telling you this because this is what our dinner was made of this evening. Kay is going to be leaving for Seaside, Oregon in the morning, and I wanted to have a special dinner on the night before she took off. Kay was also very busy working on a quilting project so I thought that making dinner would be a helpful gesture. I am nowhere near the cook that she is, but there are a few things that I do well, so there you have it. The sauce might have been a bit spicy for some, but for us it was very good.

Clouds have overtaken the sky in the Spokane area, and pretty much all over the Inland Northwest. That should help to keep the temperature from dropping to near as cold as it has been in recent nights. Instead of being near 20 in the morning it will be closer to 30. Starting tomorrow we are in for some wetter weather. Being that it is quite cold and dry right now there could be a few snowflakes as things get started tomorrow, but for all intents and purposes we are taloking rain, not snow. warmer air will be moving in, but it will be offset by the clouds and precipitation so the warming will be slow to materialize. We should be up near 60 by the end of the week which will be a nice change.

Since I didn't post pictures of the church building this weekend I will take some tomorrow and have them for you in the evening.

Its Cold All Over

We have seen the temperature again drop to near 20 degrees today, 21 has been the low so far this morning, but it is not just eastern Washington and northern Idaho that are in the freezer. Back in my home county, western Wisconsin and southeast Minnesota there is snow falling right now, and that will continue for awhile. Some spots will have a couple of inches by noontime, which then mostly melt off. Around here it is possible that we mights see some snowflakes tomorrow morning. In don't think it will amount to anything around Spokane, as it will change over to rain, but it will get people talking. As I mentioned before, there will be some significant snow farther up the hill with elevations above 3,000 feet getting a covering before the snow level rises up with the arrival of warmer air. By Tomorrow night into Wednesday we will have occasional bouts of light rain to contend with. It will be getting warmer though. Today we will only be in the low 40s again, under a partly sunny sky. Tuesday's high will reach just the mid 40s, but then it is back into the 50s for Wednesday through the end of the week. Thursday looks drier, and with a little bit of sun, it should turn out to be much nicer.

Well...its almost time for my regularly scheduled Monday morning butt kicking at the tennis club.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weekend Winding Down

Earlier today I promised that I would try to post some pictures of the church, but I just couldn't get that done. Feeling guilty, I had to put pictures of something on here, so here are some shots of the altars that Kay and I built a couple of weeks ago. These will be going into the pre-school rooms at Meadowlane Christian School. If you look closely at the workmanship you can easily tell that Kay was totally in charge of the project, and I was only responsible for some of the cutting. If I had a more substantial roll in the construction there would no doubt be blood and small body parts visible in these photos.

Now that the day is done we can look back at the official weather statistics. This morning's low temperature was 20 degrees, which broke the record by 4, and the afternoon high made it only to 40, which is more than 20 degrees below average for the 11th of October. It is already running a couple of degrees colder tonight than it was at this time last night so there is a pretty good chance that we will be in the teens in the morning. Take heart though, warmer air is on the way. At the same time there is a lot more moisture in the forecast for the middle to latter part of the week so our first rainy stretch of the fall season appears to be headed our way.

Before I head off to hit the sack I have to comment on this morning's church services. It was wonderful to have our neighbor's Jason and Sherilyn Moore there, along with their kids Jillian and Brady. Please remember that Brady and I are members of a secret society, with a language and handshake that is know only to the two of us. Jason's dad and mom, Larry and Darlene Moore who are visiting from Boise were also there, along with another neighbor, Louis. It was great to have them all there in the early service, and made for a very relaxed atmosphere, at least from my perspective. We had another young family visit in the late service, so we got to meet some new friends as well. Beth was here this morning, and sang with us in the choir, but she had to leave for the airport right after we sang our song at the beginning at the 11:00 o'clock service, so it was kind of hard to see her go. She got back to school safely, and that is definitely a relief. I really miss her already. It was so nice having her home for the weekend. (Note: it is becoming harder to type as my eyes are welling up with tears)

Kay will be leaving early Tuesday to go to Seaside, Oregon for an early childhood center seminar and teacher's conference. She will be gone through Friday evening. That means that I will be home alone, with only Dixie to keep me in line. I am afraid that I might end up in jail and Dixie won't have sufficient funds to bail me out. I am hoping that those of you who know me will be able to help keep me on the straight and narrow this week.

Cold In The Valley

The official airport temperature has been hovering at 22 degrees since about 2 this morning. That breaks the record for the day by 2 degrees. As I came down off of the South Hill this morning, headed for the church in the Latah Valley, the temperature on the car thermometer dropped from 25 at the top of the hill to 13 at the bottom. Wow! That's 12 degrees over about 400 feet vertically. We will be treated to bright sunshine today, but it won't be any warmer than yesterday. When warmer air does come our way by the middle of the week it will be accompanied by more moisture, and that will mean clouds and rain. We could see some significant snow in some low mountain elevations on Tuesday, perhaps a few inches down to about 3,500 feet.

I didn't post any church pictures yesterday, as I wasn't here long enough to take any. I hope to today, and I will have them for you this evening, after I stop crying from Beth heading back to school in St. Paul today.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Full Day

The day is finally winding down. It really turned out to be a good day, just quite busy. The Memory Walk this morning was great. It was a little nippy. No, it was a lot nippy, but we were prepared for that and so were a lot of other people. There definitely looked like there were more people there than last year, and I know that there were more dogs. Part of the event is a dog walk, and that seems to be a rousing success. Our team, Poppe's Pride, won the award for raising the most money. We must have had some really good fundraisers, because Kay and I, especially me, were quite the slackers in that regard. We managed to stop by the church during the regular Saturday pot luck lunch, and had the chance to talk to friends for awhile.

The late afternoon and evening was dominated by the "Sound of Thunder" Inland Northwest Marching Band Championships. It was a great event, but for the second straight year the evening was uncomfortably cold for both spectators and band members. I was, along with Kay, in a booth in the press box since I was the announcer for the event. We opened the window so that we could hear the bands, and that made it cold enough. I can only imagine how cold it was sitting in the stands on those aluminium bleachers. For some strange reason my brain and mouth were not working in unison, so I had a really hard time reading the material without stumbling all over myself. It probably wasn't as bad as I thought it was, most of us are usually our own worst critic.

Tomorrow morning I will be leading the worship and delivering the message at St. John's Lutheran Church. I will be talking about a cruise ship, and the experiences of two guys who are on their way from New York to London. You will have to show up at 8:30 or 11:00am to find out what happens to them. How's that for a tease? In the afternoon we have our final regular season softball game of the fall season. I just hope that I don't freeze to death. Today's high temperature was only 43 degrees, almost 20 degrees below normal. As of 10:00pm it is already down to 31, and we are on our way to another record in the morning as we will be getting down near 20! The sun will be out again tomorrow, but I don't think that it will be any warmer than today. It will be getting milder next week, but it will also cloud up and start to rain by Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday.

Nighty night!!!

A Great Achievement

We did it! We broke the record this morning by one degree. The low temperature so far has been 24 degrees, and the record was 25 set in 1977. It should be a little colder still tonight. Today is going to be sunny and brrrrrrrrrrrrisk. We have a 5 kilometer walk to do at 10:00am, the Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk, and a band competition at Joe Albi stadium later this afternoon and evening. Any warmth that you might send our way would be much appreciated!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Record Lows Tonight

It is already down near freezing, and the time is 10:00pm. By morning the temperature will be at 20 degrees or below. That's record cold for October. I got the sprinkler system winterized today, and brought in the lemon tree and hibiscus bush. Winter seems to be coming on early this year. Actually, it isn't winter, but a typical October cold snap. It is just that this one has come a little earlier than normal, and is a little more intense than usual. The question is, does this mean that we are in for a cold winter? The answer to that question is; not necessarily. We have had some very cold Octobers that have been followed by mild winters in the past 10 years, so we can't really read too much into this. There is still an El Nino situation out over the Pacific and that nearly always means a milder than average winter with below average snowfall. After the past two winters we can sure use a break.

Its been quite a day. It all started early this morning with tennis. I played well, but the guys played better. Tuck was on fire. The bottom line was that I got another butt kicking, as usual. After that there was a lot to do, but I think most everything on the agenda was accomplished. This evening we got the opportunity to catch up with Larry and Darlene Moore, who are up from Boise to visit our neighbors Jason and Sherilyn Moore, son and daugther-in-law. Larry brought me a Boise State hat, which I will proudly wear whenever the Wisconsin Badgers are not playing. They are playing tomorrow at Ohio State, so GO BADGERS, bring home a victory!!! I also had the opportunity to have a Facebook chat with my precious daughter's "boyfriend" John. He seems like a very nice young man, but I still have a lot to learn in that regard. While we were chatting it really freaked Beth out. I get the feeling that she kind of likes this young man. She is my only daughter, the apple of my eye, so pardon me if I am a little bit protective.

The weather forecast remains as posted earlier, very cold and dry. We will no doubt be setting records over the next few nights as temperatures fall into the teens, and the all-time records are in the low to mid 20s right now. The normal high temperatures are in the low 60s, and with forecast highs in the mid to upper 40s we will be a good 15 to 18 degrees below normal.

Bundle up and stay warm! Go Badgers!!!

Early Morning Spud Run

When a child comes home from college, especially for the first time, they are usually looking for mom to make their favorite food. A steady diet of institutional cuisine at best lacks the variety and high quality of home cooked meals, and at worst will result in regular bouts of diarrhea. It has become evident that Beth's experience with the cafeteria food at Concordia St. Paul runs the gamut of those results. One of her all time favorites is Kay's potato soup, and that is what is being produced right now. An important ingredient in potato soup is potatoes, of which none were to be found in this house, so I was off to Albertson's before 7:00am to procure a 10 pound sack of spuds. One thing I noticed along the way is that it is cold and windy out there. The weekend's chill is arriving on time, pushed along by a gusty north wind.

The weekend weather forecast is unchanged, nice and sunny, and nice and cold. I am not sure if those two words, nice and cold, should go together. That is especially the case when you consider that I will be involved in two outdoor events tomorrow, the Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk and the Inland Northwest Marching Band Championships. I have been asked to be the emcee of both events. It is going to be a busy Saturday, and a very cold one too. The best we can hope for is a high temperature in the mid to upper 40s today, tomorrow and Sunday. Again, the overnight lows will be dropping into the teens...Chilly Willy!!! At least the wind should die down after today.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cold And Windy

Right now the weather isn't too bad. It is not that cold, not yet, the winds are light and the sky is mostly cloudy. Chillier air will begin to sweep down from the north later tonight, and that will start a stretch of very cool October weather that will last through the weekend. Today's official high temperature was 57 degrees, and by morning we should be down into the upper 20s. Tomorrow we won't even get out of the 40s, and with the wind coming in at 15 to 25 miles per hour from the northeast it will feel a whole lot colder than that. The winds will be dying down for Saturday and Sunday, but it won't be any warmer. High temperatures will only be in the mid to upper 40s, and lows will range from the mid teens to the low 20s. It should be mostly sunny, but the nip will definitely be in the air. The weather will slowly get milder in the early to mid part of next week, and it still looks like we should see some light rain by Tuesday or Wednesday.

On the home front, Beth is here, but she has come down with a pretty nasty cold. It seems like most everyone has been hit with the same thing, and a few have had the full blown flu. Over the past couple of weeks the members of our church have been hit hard, but I think that most are coming out of it. Great things are happening with the church building. The stained glass windows are starting to be installed, and the drywall is going into the school wing. I will have pictures again on Saturday. I hope that everyone stays warm. You might want to snuggle up to someone you love!

Frost On The Pumpkin

Yes indeed, it is cold out there this morning. What was interesting this morning was the display of atmospheric physics that was right in front of our noses. As I drove down from Spokane's South Hill into the Latah Valley below the temperature on the car thermometer read 37 degrees as I started down, and plummeted to 28 when I got to the bottom. That was just about 8 o'clock this morning. This is living proof that as the air cools the air molecules get closer together, causing the density to increase. This causes that cold air to slide down the side of the hill and fill in the valleys, much like soup poured into a bowl occupies the bottom of the bowl and fills from there. Minus a good breeze the coldest air fills the valleys at night and early in the mornings. That is why my tomato plants bit the big one last night, while those of the Laborers For Christ, down at the church site, succumbed to the elements about a month ago. There you have it, a little lesson in microclimatology! The official low at the airport this morning was 29 degrees, the coldest it has been so far this fall.

Looking ahead there is not much to look forward to after today, at least if you don't like really cold temperatures. After reaching the upper 50s today, we very likely won't see the plus side of 50, let alone 60, until early next week. The wind will be picking up tomorrow putting an extra bite into the cold, to the tune of 15 to 25 miles per hour. That will put wind chill factors in the 20s and 30s through the day. The weekend should be sunny to partly cloudy, with light winds, but still much colder than normal for the middle of October. Highs will only be in the mid to upper 40s, and overnight temperatures will be dipping, dropping, diving, to the mid teens to low 20s. Thats brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrisk!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wow, Its Almost Thursday Already!

This week is flying by. It has been busy, but a great deal has been accomplished. Before it got dark this evening I finally gave in and picked all of the tomatoes that were out on the vines, red, green and all colors in between. No longer will I be playing the game with the October weather of going out in the late evening and covering them up, only to go out again in the early morning to uncover them. Tonight marks the official end to the Albrecht growing season. It is already down into the 30s, and will probably reach the upper 20s by morning. Earlier today it was very nice, with sunshine and a high of 61 degrees. Tomorrow will be another sunny day, but it will be a few degrees cooler than today. We should top off in the upper 50s. As I have been talking, or writing, about the real chill hits on Friday and lasts through the weekend. Temperatures on Friday will probably not even get to 50, and if we get there Saturday and Sunday we won't get much above it. The nights will be very cold for early October, down into the upper teens to low 20s.

Tomorrow I will be picking Beth up at the airport at about 1:30pm. She is planning to go to the Gonzaga Prep football game at Joe Albi Stadium tomorrow evening. I hope she is bringing her long underwear back with her from the frozen tundra of Minnesota. It will be a cold one out there tomorrow evening. I will be safe and warm at a meeting at church tomorrow night.

A Similar Start

Just like yesterday morning the temperature this morning dropped down to freezing, 32 degrees. And just like yesterday the day is going to turn out to be beautiful. We should be back up into the lower 60s. "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." We should particularly rejoice because starting tomorrow it is going to be turning colder. By Friday and Saturday high temperatures will only be in the upper 40s and the overnight lows will fall to the upper teens and lower 20s, yikes! It will be mostly sunny and dry, just very chilly. The wind is likely to be a factor on Friday too, coming out of the northeast at 15 to 25 miles per hour. That means a nasty wind chill factor, so it will feel more like the 30s during the day. That wind will die down for the weekend. The next rain chances, not snow, look to be coming early next week. The fall colors are just starting to emerge. It will probably be another week or so before things really become colorful.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Beautiful Day

As expected the clouds this morning drifted away, and the result was a beautiful day. How's that for poetry? We reached 60 degrees this afternoon in the Lilac City, which is pretty close to normal for early October. Tomorrow looks like it will be very much the same, so a cold start to the day will turn into a very nice autumn afternoon. Not much has changed in the forecast from there through the weekend. A cooler and dry air mass will be dropping in, so instead of 60 degree days we will see 50 degree weather by Friday through the weekend.

This weekend, especially Saturday, is going to be a big one. On Saturday I will be the emcee for the local Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk. Kay and I participate on the Poppe's Pride team in honor of one of the members of our church, Norma Poppe, who has Alzheimer's. Her daughter, Nancy Aslam, put the team together and keeps us going every year. That takes place Saturday morning to early afternoon. Later in the day I will be the announcer for the Inland Northwest Marching Band Championships at Joe Albi Stadium. I did the same thing last year and really enjoyed it. There are some incredible high school bands in the Spokane area and the Pacific Northwest that will be competing. On Sunday morning I will be leading the worship services and delivering the message at St John's Lutheran Church here in Spokane. Why don't you come and check us out at 8:30 or 11:00am. In the afternoon I will be partaking in the last softball doubleheader of the fall season. I sure wish I could run like I was 30 years old again, it is getting quite embarrassing!

The best thing about the upcoming weekend is that Beth will be coming home from college. They have Thursday and Friday off so she will be flying in Thursday afternoon, and staying until Sunday. It will be so nice to have her home again, even for just a few days. She sure seems to be enjoying her college experience, but I also know that she is looking forward to a few days in Spokane. Also, we will be seeing Larry and Darlene Moore as they will be visiting their son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Sherilyn Moore, our neighbors across the cul-de-sac. My buddy Brady and dog Lucy are very excited that they are coming. If I heard correctly, they will be here late tomorrow afternoon.