Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Night

The weekend is just about done, and so are the Winter Olympics. All in all it is a bittersweet experience as Kay and I have really enjoyed the past two weeks of competition and the stories that have emerged from it, but we look forward to what is ahead. We look forward to the completion of the new church building, which will be in about two weeks...Lord willing! We look forward to spring, and a time to reconnect with our neighbors, and we look forward to the time when we can re-establish all of the relationships with our friends that live a little bit farther away than our immediate neighborhood, and you all know who you are! The dedication of our new church and school building is scheduled for Sunday April 18th. It will be a joyous occasion as we celebrate what God has done for us at St. John's Lutheran of Spokane, and we celebrate what he has accomplished through each and every one of us that he has used in the building process. We have made a lot of new friends and all of us that have been involved in the construction process are richer for the experience. Thanks be to God!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dust Storm

Today was a beautiful day...the nicest of the year so far. Temperatures were in the middle 50s this afternoon with a good amount of sunshine. Tomorrow isn't looking to shabby either. The day began in the dust. A number of us met at the church, the new church, this morning to clean up as much of the dust as possible that has collected on the walls, floors, woodwork, windows and everything else since the construction project began. The dust has to be dealt with before the heat can be turned on in the fellowship hall and sanctuary, and the heat has to be on before the organ can be tuned. I believe that the carpeting in the entry and the fellowship area will be going in on Monday or Tuesday, and that will be one of the final acts of the construction project.

Tomorrow will begin with church services and Sunday Sunday as is usually the case. In the afternoon we have tickets to see Ken Davis, a Christian comedian who just happens to be passing through town. Kay saw one of his shows a couple of years ago while attending a teacher's conference on the Oregon coast. He was so good that she bought all 2,356 of his videos. I have heard him on the radio on many occasions, which is much more economical than purchasing 2,356 videos. He is very good. To top off the day on Sunday a 12 legged chicken gave its life in order that I might barbecue drummies on the grill. I have no idea what happened to the rest of the bird, as the package that we purchased from the grocery store contained only the dozen limbs.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rain On Me

The rain is falling again, and why should that be surprising? In the month of February we have had all of 9 tenths of an inch of snow, and for the entire season we have only stacked up 13.7 inches. That compares with a normal snowfall to date of 41.1 inches, and last year at this time we had been dumped on to the tune of over 83 inches. The total precipitation for the winter is just about average, with nearly all of it falling in the form of rain. For the weekend it appears as if tomorrow will be cloudy with a few sprinkles, and Sunday should be drier with a little bit of sun. High temperatures will be in the upper 40s to low 50s.

The Winter Olympics come to a close on Sunday, and I am fearing what will take place as Kay goes through curling withdrawal. She has become quite the fan, and has been threatening me regularly with "having the hammer", "throwing a blank" and "clearing the house". It has been great fun to be able to watch hockey together on a regular basis, so the prospects of having to watch regular TV shows is not at all least not at this point. We are seriously thinking about officially changing the dog's name to Apolo Anton Ohno Vonn-Mancuso Spillane.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oh Pew!

Sorry these pictures are a bit blurry but the batteries in my camera were dying, and by the time I got back to church after making a few home visits it was getting dark. I'll post some better shots in the next couple of days with fresh batteries and brighter light.

Ace Piano Movers

I have spent my morning helping to move church pews out one of the stables on our church property and into the new sanctuary. It really looks like a church now, and I will attempt to post pictures this evening. Once all of the pews were relocated to a position very near to where they will be permanently affixed, at least we all hope they are now very near where they will be permanently affixed, four of us tackled a piano moving job. Now this piano is only a small upright, but even a small upright weighs close to a half a ton. We had to get it out of the shop...into a pick-up...and then ride with it down the hill to the new building. Fortunately, none of us are too much worse for the wear, but I know that I do not want a future in the piano moving business.

I must say a brief word about my tennis experience yesterday. Perhaps the physical laws that govern the universe were totally out of whack, and pretty much reversed, or my posse got together and decided that they better let the big guy win for a change so they don't have to listen to me cry again. Either way, I came out the winner of the day. I doubt that it will happen again for many years to come. On a related note, one of our nailed for the 3rd time in a week and a half, and on only one occasion was I the nailer. John, I would suggest that you forgo the striped shirts for awhile as folks are starting to see them as targets!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It Actually Looks Like Winter

I got up this morning to a light dusting of snow on the grass, and a mix of snowflakes and raindrops gently falling through the now looks like it is all rain. It is not that the air was particularly cold that caused the snow, but that the air has been extremely dry. The last few days have been beautiful with clear blue skies. The reason that we did not have fog and low clouds is due to the very low humidity. As the weather changed, and precipitation begins to fall overnight, the rain falling through the dry air will evaporate. The process of evaporation, a change from liquid water to water vapor, requires heat to be absorbed by the water molecules to occur. That heat comes out of the air so the temperature of the air drops. As it drops the snowflakes falling from higher up in the clouds, a few 1000 feet, no longer melt on the way down since the air below has cooled due to evaporation. The end result is that the snow level quickly drops and those of us that live in the higher ground around town get a little taste of winter this morning. It won't last...any hint of the snow will be gone well before noon.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spontaneous Sex Change?

I'm really not sure what it is all about, but over the past couple of days I have been subjected to unending cramps, and now a raging back ache. Is there any medical evidence of an aging man morphing into a really ugly old woman? I know that is where I would end up. I guess I should look at the bright least I won't be pregnant!

Today I completed my second seminary class, out of a total of 16 that I will be taking over the course of four years. This one was a tough one as the weekly workload was quite heavy. The knowledge gained has been considerable, if I can only remember it all. I now have two and a half weeks before the next one starts, and I am thinking that I might actually take a day off this Friday. That will be the first day off in about a month. What will I do?

The weather today began to turn. The day dawned bright and sunny. The sky was a most beautiful color of blue. This afternoon the clouds took over and by morning there is going to be a little light rain mixed with a few snowflakes. The snowflakes won't be a factor at all though, as the temperatures will be above freezing early in the morning and rise into the mid 40s in the afternoon to make sure that the lion's share of the precipitation will fall as rain. There will be some snow accumulation up in the mountains, but even there it won't be that much. This weather change will usher in a wetter weather pattern that will last through the upcoming weekend into next week. Temperatures will remain on the mild side of normal, and that means daily highs in the mid 40s to near 50 degrees, and overnight lows above freezing.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Beautiful Day

The sunshine was abundant today...just great! Another nice day in the "non-winter" of 2010. The sky was brilliantly blue and the afternoon temperatures were comfortable. I took a nice little walk from the office down to the mailbox...nice until a couple of raging cramps set into the back of both of my thighs halfway down the hill, most likely a consequence of the 2 basketball games yesterday and tennis this morning. It had to be pretty comical to see me waddling along like a penguin! I might have been a bit dehydrated. On the other side of the hydration scale...Kay went to lunch with her good friend Jacquie today, a lunch that lasted a full three hours, and between the two of them they drank 16 gallons of Diet Pepsi.

I should have taken the opportunity over the past several days of dry and sunny weather to get my car washed. It is getting rather hard to find the door handle on the little mud ball. It is a little late now as the rain will be returning tomorrow. The rest of the week is looking a lot cloudier and occasional wet...that's wet, not white, as there still looks to be little chance of any significant snow falling anytime soon. With the weather pattern being what it is, and no real change in the overall forcing behind it coming up, it is very likely that there will be less than two or three inches of additional snowfall for the rest of the winter season, and whatever does fall will most likely melt on contact.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weekend Is Over

For most of us the weekend is a goal that we focus on...and can't wait to get here, but every once in a while it is something that must be endured. Right now I am at the point of relief in that this weekend has finally come to an end. It is not that it wasn't enjoyable, things went very well, it is just that there was an awful lot on the plate, and plate was full of things that I didn't want to mess up! I had two charity auctions to emcee, two church services to lead and preach in (plus Sunday School), and two tournament basketball games to officiate this afternoon. All in all everything turned out very well, but with the stress level being what it was leading up to all of these events, it is a relief to have them in the rear view mirror.

I believe that I have written about it before, but Kay and I are really enjoying the Winter Olympics. Kay has become quite the expert on curling, and I have been tuned into the hockey tournament...USA...USA...USA! If the National Hockey League would enforce the rules of the game like the Olympics do the sport would be a lot more popular. I think that there should be a worldwide league, with mostly regional play during the regular season, and then an international tournament at the end of each year. That is something that I would watch.

As we head into the week I guess I should say a few words about the weather. The weekend was beautiful, sunny and pleasant. The mornings have been cold but the afternoons have been nice, in the mid to upper 40s. Nothing much will change through Tuesday, and then the rain will be coming back on Wednesday. Overall, the mild winter will roll on with no sign of snow around here in the immediate to intermediate future.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Got Another Follower!

After several weeks of being stuck on 27 followers, I noticed this evening that I am up to 28. WooHoo! Thanks to all of you who have found this blog worth your precious time. I have included the latest pictures from the new church building to show you where we are at. The sanctuary is virtually done, while the fellowship hall and the kitchen have a week or two of work yet to go. The final electrical inspection is set for Wednesday. And we thought that guy would never get done! I have added an outdoor shot of building, not because the outside has changed, it is about the same as it was in October, but rather to give those of you who are not from the Spokane area an idea of just how beautiful our "winter" weather has been. Services are being held in the education wing of the new building for now, that is on the left side of the outdoor shot. Tomorrow is approaching very quickly so I better get off the computer and get to bed.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Strike Up The Band

I spent the evening serving as the emcee for the Central Valley High School (CVHS) "Jazz Under the Stars" fundraiser. I got invited to do this a couple of years ago after I served as the announcer for the Pacific Northwest Marching Band Championships at Joe Albi Stadium here in Spokane. The event is a silent auction and dessert concert to raise money for the band programs at CV, and the Jazz Bands from the high school and two of the middle schools that feed into it perform. The quality of the music is very good, and the attendance was quite impressive. I am always humbled when folks ask me to participate in their events. For the parents and staff of the school this is one of the most important things that they will do all year, and I don't want to mess it up. All in all, it went very well tonight. Tomorrow evening I will serve as the emcee for the North Idaho Christian School Auction in Hayden, Idaho. That's a suburb of Coeur d'Alene. Before you get the idea that I do this all the time, the fact that two of these events are occurring on the same weekend is totally coincidental. I probably won't have another one until October when the local Alzheimer's Association has their memory walk.

The weather today was very nice. I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt all day, at least until evening when I was sporting a suit and a tie. Things will be holding up well through the weekend into early next week. The air is now dry enough that fog won't be much of a problem. Saturday and Sunday in Spokane will be sunny days with temperatures rising up into the mid to upper 40s. The next rain should hold off until the middle of next week. Sounds to me like it is time to get the car is a rolling dirt ball right now.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

An Olympic Effort

While watching Winter Olympics from Vancouver over the past several nights I have made the comment, on several occasions, how nice that it is to be able to watch the games and not have be at work until the wee wee hours of the morning. Did I just say wee-wee? Pardon my French. Anyway, having spent the better part of the past 20 years at NBC TV stations I must admit that up until this year the Olympics have been a real pain in the patoot! Kay is really into it as well. She finally understands that curling is not just something that you do to your hair, and the ends that they talk about are not split ends! I have a soft spot in my heart for the Winter Games, as 30 years ago, as I had just entered graduate school and was making a little bit of money as a teaching assistant and a research assistant, I made my first major purchase. It was a 19 inch color TV that I bought for $309.00 from Crazy TV Lenny at American TV. It was procured so that we, my buddies and I, could watch the Olympic hockey tournament. The games that year were in Lake Placid, New York. You may remember that...the "Miracle on Ice". Well played if I must say so myself!

And now...the weather. The sun did manage to come out this afternoon in the Latah Valley, and the temperatures made it into the middle 40s. We were just out in the hot tub counting the stars this evening, so the skies are pretty clear right now. As I have been saying the last couple of days the weather is going to be very uneventful...pretty nice...through the weekend. The days will be fairly sunny, with some morning fog in the valleys, while the nights will be crisp and cool, down into the upper 20s. Daily highs will be in the low to mid 40s. Early next week we may see a little light rain mixed with snow.

Back At It

After being out and about all day yesterday, I am back at my post in the office today. On Wednesday I spent most of the day at a conference on caring for the grieving and mourning. It was fascinating stuff, and very useful. The speaker was very good, so he kept the attention of the 200+ in the room very well. Last evening we had our Ash Wednesday service, and prior to that the first installment of our Wednesday evening Lenten soup suppers. I have to tell you, if you are ever hungry on a Wednesday evening, or just love soup, come on and join us. We eat at 6:00pm and there is always more than plenty to go around. The service went well, as I took another step along the path to "pastorhood" by placing the ashes on the foreheads of our worshipers, and presiding over the celebration of Holy Communion for the first time. It all turned out pretty well, as I did not suffer from any brain cramps that might cause me to forget the words.

Down here in the valley this morning it is foggy and gloomy again. Up on the hill, at our house, the sun is shining brightly. The sun will be emerging here before long as well, brightening up our day. Into the weekend all looks about the same, early morning fog followed by sunshine, and temperatures running from near 30 at daybreak to the mid 40s in the mid afternoons. I have lots of school work to complete today, and a sermon to prepare for Sunday, so I am not at a loos for something to do.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lookin' At Fog...Hoping For Sun

The fog is thick this morning, but there is no rain. That probably won't happen again until sometime next week. The weather pattern has quieted down, and that means drier weather through the weekend. As the fog this morning is deep it will take all morning to burn through it. We should see a little sun this afternoon, and as drier air seeps in over the next couple of days the sunshine should become more prevalent. Temperatures should rise into the middle 40s today, and we will see highs in the 40s through Saturday and Sunday. The mornings will be quite frosty though, as we dip down below freezing.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Organ Piper!

The church is getting very close to being done. The floor is down in the sanctuary and the organ has been installed. There is a little bit of woodwork to go, and then the pews come in. What you can't see is that some of the electrical work ins not yet finished, and much of the audio-visual system is nowhere to be found. In any event, we are only a couple of weeks away from the completion of most of project, is we can get the electrician to show-up, along with the multimedia guys. We can get occupancy without all of the bells and whistles of the video and audio, but the electrical work has to be done, inspected and approved. We'll see how that goes!

Rain, Rain..Go Away!

The rain is falling once again this morning, as expected. The good news is that after today we will be getting into a drier weather pattern that should last through the weekend. Temperatures will stay on the mild side as well, so as we head into the 2nd half of February the weather is looking pretty decent. There will be some fog to deal with in the overnight and morning hours, but sunshine is expected beginning tomorrow each afternoon.

As is usually the case, there is a lot of work to be done this week. Yesterday was Presidents Day, but in spite of that I was at my post carrying out my duties...whatever they might be. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent, and as is our custom we will have church services at 7:00pm, with our usual soup supper immediately before. If tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, that means today is Fat Tuesday. Actually, for me, every Tuesday is Fat Tuesday, but that is a completely different issue. In some parts of the world, mainly English speaking countries, this is considered Shrove Tuesday. It is a time of confession before Lent begins, and its focus on repentance. A feast of pancakes is traditionally eaten to symbolize the removing of foods of indulgence from our lives, such as oil, eggs and sugar in advance of Ash Wednesday. We are going to be having pancakes and sausage for dinner tonight, mainly because I like pancakes and sausage.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Statistics Class

To get things started on this Monday morning I thought that I would bore you with some weather stats. We are now halfway through the month of February and winter is still yet to rear its ugly least around these parts. Snowfall in February thus far has been all of a trace, and for the entire season we are sitting at 12.8 inches. Most of that came down in December and immediately melted off. As for total precip. though, the numbers are a bit surprising. While it seems that it has been raining all the time, and yesterday we did pick up about a third of an inch of rain, the liquid received since January 1st, rain and melted snow, is running a bit below normal...just a bit. We have recorded 2.48 inches of moisture in the past month and a half, which is just 15 hundredths of an inch short of the 30 year average. Oh, by the way, those averages get recomputed this every 10 year the census.

There is more rain in the near future, but drier days are ahead starting Wednesday through the end of the week. After a cloudy and foggy start today we should see some sun breaks by the afternoon. Highs will be in the mid to upper 40s. Wet weather arrives again later tonight into Tuesday, then from Wednesday into the weekend a high pressure ridge will move in the provide us with quieter weather. This time of year high pressure is a breeding ground for fog, so expect a lot of that with daily highs in the 40s and lows in the low 30s, near freezing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tax Day

Today started off with our regular Sunday services, but the experience was not at all regular. We had our worship services in the new church building, at least in one of the classrooms, so it was a new and wonderful change. We're still a few weeks away from being in the new sanctuary, but to have a lot more elbow room and to be in the new building was quite a thrill for most of us. As with any time you make a change, there were a few folks that were not totally happy...oh well...Lincoln had something to say about that...Abe Lincoln that is!

After church we came home and I made a head long dive into more work. I promised Kay that I would get going on the taxes, and get the FAFSA form started for Beth's second year in school. For the past couple of years tax preparation has been unduly taxing, as it has been a struggle to not have to send the government any more money than they had already confiscated from our earnings. Today was quite a different story though, as a drop in our income and the fact that we have a kid in college made for quite a change in our status with the IRS. When it was all said and done, and Turbo Tax had completed its rounds, I found that we are owed several thousand dollars in return from the government, mainly due to tax credits for college students. After about an hour of doing the dance of joy in the kitchen with Kay, I called Beth to negotiate her cut of our new found windfall. After several seconds of intense bargaining it was settled that I would pay her one dollar in return for her being born 19 years ago and making it into college. Sounds fair to me!

This evening was highlighted by a rare chance to watch TV. Kay and I sat in on the first episode of this season's Amazing Race. We love that show as it is a chance to see parts of the world that we have never been to, and probably never will. It is also fun to see these people struggle to stay in the race when I know that if Beth and I were part of the race we would kick their butts...BIG TIME! Not that I am self-righteous or anything, but I have a built in sense of direction that makes me able to find anything anywhere without much problem. Perhaps one of these days you will see the two of us on CBS at 8:00pm every Sunday...then again, maybe not!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympian Effort

We spent the evening watching the Olympics on TV, and eating Thai salad rolls. Both were very good. You have no idea how much fun it is to just sit and watch the Olympic games after about 20 years of working at an NBC TV station, which makes the whole thing a real pain in the patoot!
Earlier today I spent a couple of hours in court, or more appropriately, on the court. I had a couple of AAU basketball games to officiate, which went really well. It makes a big difference when you have a good partner, and today I had one of the best!
Upon wiping off all of the sweat from 3 hours of running up and down a basketball floor, I went to the church for awhile, and then Kay and I headed off to the Williamson's for their open house. David and Jenn, along with their two sons, are preparing to head of to France as missionaries planting churches in the small towns just north of Paris. Can you imagine uprooting your comfy life to head to an unknown place in a foreign culture, with two boys who are just about to enter high school? I am amazed by their willingness to follow the call of the Lord to witness in a place where faith, and the Church, have been abandoned long ago. They are in the final stages of raising funds for their mission, and if you would like to help I know exactly how to set you up. Just let me know!
Tomorrow morning I will be leading the services at church, and preaching the message. We are holding the services in one of the classrooms in the new building...a little more elbow room...Why not come and join us at 8:30 or 11:00am?

A Break In The Action

Some how yesterday slipped by without me making a blog entry. That just should not happen. I am here this morning, but I am struggling with what to write. There is always the old fall back...the weather.

The sun is shining this morning and it looks like a pretty good day ahead. We will be getting a break from the rain, at least until tomorrow, and the temperatures will be rising into the mid to upper 40s. We weather will return on Sunday into Monday, and then there appears to be another break in the action through the middle of next week. As has been the case just about all winter long, as the rest of the nation digs out from blizzard after blizzard, we will have the nice weather continuing indefinitely. High temperatures next week will run from the mid 40s to near 50 degrees each day, and the overnight low will mostly stay above freezing.

Oh...I know why I can't think of what to write...Every day this week I have had to write 769,234 words pertaining to one verse of the Gospel of Luke for my class. My word budget has become overspent.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Today was an emotional day. I had the commital service and the memorial for one of our long-time and beloved members of our church. Actually, I didn't have it, but the entire congregation and the family observed this great event. It was a homegoing celebration for our sister Eunice, who spent 89 years on this earth serving others and walking by a faith that i can only dream of. Eunice passed from this life into the glorious eternity last Thursday, and we celebrated that event earlier today.

The memorial service was held in one of the classrooms in the new building that we will be calling our church home very soon. The sanctuary is not quite finished yet, and because the floor tiles are being laid this week we could not have the service in the church area. It was fitting to be in a school room because Eunice took on the role of teacher at the age of 50, when she went to Tokyo Japan to teach English. A 6 month assignment turned into 20 years. Her life as filled with music as an organist and choir director. She wrote the entire service, even picking the hymns and the scripture readings that the message was based upon. It was a wonderful experience, and one that had many of those in attendance in tears. I had the pleasure of driving the bus, as the route was mapped out by Eunice well in advance.

As I write this I can hear the raindrops falling outside. Another of our senior church members, Betty, will be celebrating a birthday tomorrow, and her daughters have come to Spokane from all over the country. One is from Naples, Florida...that's Claudia...She told me that no one there can recall a winter that has been this cold, and that is in south Florida! I guess I am feeling a little bit of what the German language terms "Shadenfreude". That's where we find enjoyment, and maybe a little chuckle, in the misery of others.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Smells Like Spring

No...nobody least not at our house. As I posted before, today is Kay's birthday. Here are the flowers that she received to brighten her day. One bouquet was from her not so secret admirer, while the other came from Lena, our exchange student from Germany, who was with us a couple of years ago. Kay was thrilled that she sent flowers to remember her birthday. The ones that I got for her...well, she wasn't as impressed. We had a very nice lunch at Luna today, and it is date night tonight after choir practice.

Happy Birthday To You!

There she is...the birthday girl! I am up early this morning trying to plan all of the events of the day. The coffee is perking and I hear Kay moving around upstairs. If you get the chance, take the opportunity to wish her a happy day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Soft Tissue Injury

While I was attending to my duties at church today Kay was on a mission of mercy to help one of her quilting buddies clean out her daughter's house, after her daughter passed away a few weeks back. Very shortly after her arrival this morning, and while carrying a large box out of the house to the carport, Kay stepped in a hole and sprained her right ankle. The view this evening was quite impressive as the swelling was was substantial. It sort of looked like a large rutabaga was affixed to her lower leg. I am looking forward to a Technicolor display tomorrow morning. Speaking of tomorrow morning, Kay will awaken another year older. I am not going to reveal her age, but it is a multiple of can do the math. As for the sprained ankle, these were common occurrences back in the day, but it hasn't happened for quite some time, a good 10 to 15 years now.

As I see news teases, those annoying little 5 to 15 second snippets that come on during the commercial breaks of our favorite television programs, it seems like the entire country east of the Rocky Mountains is experiencing a series of crippling blizzards. The snow is so deep that the Washington Monument looks like a fire hydrant and the buses are tunneling through the streets of eastern cities like moles. Back here in the Inland Northwest I think that I might have, just maybe, seen a snowflake this morning. Otherwise, it was a cloudy day with temperatures reaching into the low to mid 40s. That felt cold, as we have gotten pretty used to the mild weather over the past 6 weeks. It has been dry for the past couple of days, but that is about to change. Tomorrow should be pretty uneventful, but by Thursday into the weekend the rain will be back. Temperatures will remain on the mild side, and probably even get warmer, by the weekend we should see afternoon highs up close to 50 degrees. As I have said many times before in recent weeks, I will say it again, there is no obvious sign that this weather pattern is going to change anytime soon. I must admit, I haven't heard too many people complaining about it. As a matter of fact, I haven't heard anyone complaining about it!

Oh well...time to turn just a few short hours I will be heading back out onto the tennis court to get my butt kicked.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Back To School

Remember those all-nighters from back in the college days? Actually, I don't...I was never one to stay up all night and cram for an exam, or finish a paper. I usually got the studying and the writing done early enough to get some sleep on the night before a big test. Now granted, as I write this it is only a little after 9:00 in the evening, but I have been busting it all afternoon and evening trying to get the jump on this week's classwork, because this week is going to be a monster. I did take a break to officiate a basketball game and quickly choke down a little dinner. Right now I am taking a study break to fill you in on just what is going on. I'll be back at it in a few minutes.

Did I mention that this is a busy week? Tomorrow starts off with staff devotions for the church and school employees, and it is chapel day for the 2 pre-school classes. I will be leading a service for 3 year olds at 9:15 in the morning. I am invisioning a cat herding extravaganza. The older kids...4 year olds...will have their chapel time at 12:45pm. Kay wants me to go out to Cheney sometime tomorrow to help move some furniture out of a house that belonged to the daughter of one of her quilting friends. The daughter passed away a couple of weeks ago and her house was left a bit of a mess. In the evening I have a church meeting, and in between I will be trying stuff in some of the mounds of homework that has been assigned for this week. Wednesday is Kay's birthday. I won't say which one, but it is very significant. Thursday will be the burial and memorial service for Eunice, the member of our church who left this life for the next last Thursday. I will be leading both services. Then it will be time to gear up for Sunday's services and get all of the homework done. Oh yeah...there are basketball games to do on Wednesday and again on Saturday. What am I? Nuts? Don't answer that!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Stupor Bowl?

Super Sunday is coming to a close. As was the case with most of the country and the world we watched the game with great anticipation. We were hoping for an exciting contest and some hilarious commercials. As it turned out we were in for a reversal of the usual occurrence. The game was good, but the commercials were a huge disappointment! I didn't have strong feelings about who I wanted to win, I like Peyton Manning but at the same time I also love the city of New Orleans, but I found myself rooting for the Colts. We have friends that recently moved to Indy. Did it seem to you that the game went very quickly?

The big deal was the ads. As I said before, they came up way short of the previous 10 or 20 years. Most were not funny at all, or completely stupid. A number of them started off well, but failed to deliver at the end. All in all, I must ask if the businesses that bought time at $2 million plus for a 30 second spot will be asking for their money back from the production companies that came up with that garbage. The only one that I really liked was the Doritos ad with the little kid who told his mother's date that there are two things that you don't do. You don't touch my Doritos and you don't touch my mama!

The event wasn't a total loss though. Kay and I made homemade queso dip, refried beans and guacamole. The food was excellent and way too much was consumed. I really need to learn some self-discipline. For now it is time to turn in, as tomorrow morning it is going to be time to get back out on the tennis court to work off some of the millions of calories that were ingested this evening. Good night and "Who Dat!"

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Almost Done

Earlier today a number of us from St. John's got into the new church to clean. You can probably imagine just how much dust and dirt can build up over the course of 7+ months of construction. We swept. We dusted. We vacuumed. We mopped. The end result is what you see pictured here. I am told that the tiling of the main floor of the church will begin on Monday, and should be done by the end of the week. There is still a little bit of woodwork to be finished, along with some of the electrical work and the audio-visual system. The organ pipes are scheduled to begin being installed this week, and when everything else is finished the church pews, which were saved from the previous church building will go in. By the end of the month just about all of the work should be finished and we will move in. the way...the person in the red, telling people what to do...that's Kay.

Running With The Bulls

This morning starts off with our monthly men's breakfast at St. John's, first Saturday of each month. I have a chiche (is that how you spell it? It really looks funny to me) in the oven and soon will be making out meal...actually...Kay made the chiche. After breakfast and Bible study the guys will be going down to the new building to join the group cleaning out the church. The woodwork is nearly complete so it is time to get all of the sawdust and dirt out of there so the crew can come in Monday to tile begin tiling the main church floor. I expect a big crowd of helpers today as this should be a fun job. We are getting very close to the completion of our building project, and the excitement is mounting to begin worshipping in the new church. I'll post picture this evening.

The weather is going to be very nice today too. There is a little fog down here in the valley this morning, but it won't last long. We should see a good amount of sunshine and the temperature will be up near 50 degrees...yes, 50 degrees...this afternoon. I have no basketball games to officiate today, the two that I had last evening went very well. Both were blowouts, where West Valley crushed Riverside in both the boys and girls JV games. The play was pretty clean and I had a great partner so the experience was very positive. Right now...I am positive that I need another cup of coffee. Bottoms up!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

So Long...For Now

Late yesterday afternoon one of our elder church members quietly slipped out of this life into the eternal glory that lies on the other side of the door that we call death. She had been standing at that door for about a week, and it was finally opened to her allowing here into the face to face presence of God. As I was driving to the hospital immediately after getting the call that she had passed on, about 5pm, I noticed that it was not yet getting dark. Which was quite nice. As we stand today, February 5th, the sun is setting exactly one hour later than it did back on the first day of winter. That was about a month and a half ago. It is rising about 45 minutes earlier, so we have reclaimed just under two hours of light back from the darkness each day. As we approach the beginning of spring, 6 weeks away, the rate of increase in the day length will be getting more substantial. The bottom line is that winter is on the downhill slide, and spring will be here before you know it!

We have spring like rains falling this morning, and it will be pretty wet until about noon. Yesterday the high temperature reached 47 degrees, but with the clouds and rain today we will probably be cooler, more like 41 or 42. I checked out the snowfall total for the season so far, and we still sit at 12.8 inches since the winter weather began back in November. Normal through the 5th of February is 34.9 inches, so we sit at just a bit over 22 inches below average. That's almost 2 feet. We are running almost 6 feet behind where we were last winter at this time. The prospects for a lot of snow this month into March are pretty slim, given the El Nino weather pattern, so it is highly doubtful that we will get back to anywhere near the normal for snowfall this winter. As I have said many times before...that is A-okay with me!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another Round of Rain

After a quiet day today, the fog is just now burning away, we will be seeing more wet weather moving across the Inland Northwest late tonight into tomorrow. As has been the pattern of this winter we are talking rain for Spokane, rather than snow. Since the timing of this event is such that the wet weather will reach us in the wee hours of the morning, which is generally the chilliest part of the day, there may be some snowflakes mixed with the rain over the higher ground around town. Accumulating snow will be confined to the mountain areas. Through the rest of the week we will be maintaining the status quo, as the weather will be doing pretty much the same thing...daytime temperatures into the 40s, and nighttime temperatures only dipping to the mid to low 30s, with a little rain and drizzle dripping down at times. Like it has been for about a month and a half there is no end to this weather pattern in sight.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Can See Clearly Now

Last night I went to bed in a fog, but things have cleared this morning. At least I think they is still rather dark out there. Oh...and pardon the whining in last night's was unbecoming of a seasoned blogger! Back to the situation out the back door, the sun is just about to rise in the east, and it looks to be a pretty one. As I said, the fog has dissipated, and there are a few clouds texturing the sky to be lit up by the rising sun. It looks like we will get a dry day today, before a little more rain comes in tonight into tomorrow morning. Is tomorrow Thursday? I think that today is Wednesday...yeah...that's it. All the way through the weekend, and probably well beyond, the weather will continue to be like it has for the past month, mild and muddy.

What's up today? First off, tennis, then a day at the church to get a whole bunch of school work done. Tonight we have choir practice followed by our usual social hour. Should be a pretty low key day. I hope that I can get a lot basketball today!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Challenge

This afternoon and evening I had a couple of basketball games to officiate in Chewelah. For those of you who do not hail from the Inland Northwest, this little town is pronounced Chew-e-lah...just like it is spelled! The bottom line of the whole adventure was that I had a partner with over 20 years of officiating experience, but he made the worst calls of anyone that I have ever worked with. The kicker was that he continually praised himself for the great job that he was doing, as the coaches and fans were screaming otherwise. I was embarrassed for him, and I got dragged into the mess too, so it was not a fun experience. The best thing that I can say is that the 3rd game that we had scheduled, boys freshman, did not take place because the visiting team didn't bring the freshman along! I truly thank God for that as it spared us an hour and a half of more misery.

And now a word on the weather...actually 4 words...more of the same. I'll have more to report in the morning.

Pork Sausage Day

This is the day that the entire country celebrates Groundhog Day, except in Iowa, they have Pork Sausage Day...ground hog!!! I hear that Punxatawny Phil has prognosticated 6 more weeks of winter, and that is all well and good, for a couple of reasons. Pennsylvania is nearly an entire continent away from the Inland Northwest, and our weather patterns are usually in diametric opposition to each other. So a cold stretch of weather in the east will usually mean mild stuff for us in the northwest. The second reason is more mathematical. Take out your calendar and count 6 weeks into the future, you will arrive at March 16th (that's the day before my birthday if you would like to begin shopping for gifts). The official beginning of spring is March 21st, so doing the math we find that 6 more weeks of winter would result in a slightly early spring. I can smell a scam brewing in this whole Groundhog boondoggle! Besides, here in the Spokane area, spring began just after Christmas.