Friday, February 27, 2009

Sat., Feb. 21st we finally made it inside the US Capitol building! It was amazing!

This is the painting in the Rotunda

The beautiful paintings in the Rotunda

This is the mural portraying American history

This is Statuary Hall (where the Inauguration luncheon was held)

This is the new Capitol Visitors Center completed a couple of months ago.

On to the Library of Congress!
It was another great day seeing more of our nations history!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Different Sort of Valentine Day

What happens when Valentine's Day falls on exploration day (Saturday) in a city where you've never celebrated Valentine's Day before when they are celebrating Lincoln's 200th birthday? You spend the day with your Valentine exploring the new city and new things and dining in a fine local eatery. At least that is what we did! It was quite different than our years of heart-shaped pizzas at Alfy's.

We started out the day in DC (no surprise there, huh?). In celebration of the 200th birthday of Abe Lincoln's birth, the National Archives held a four day viewing of THE Emancipation Proclamation. It was a piece of history that we wanted to go see. We had recently watched a History Channel special about Lincoln's motives for freeing the slaves and its impact on the nation and the war. We can hardly imagine the enormity of this act at the time.

(While there, we also saw one of the few remaining copies of the Magna Carta. If you are coming for a visit, you may want to stop here to see the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence. )

Photographs had to be sans flash, so we "borrowed" these (two of the five). It was fascinating seeing Abe's actual signature on the page.

From there we walked to Ford's Theater. On the way we stopped to see the Naval Memorial.

And passed by a beautiful old stone church ....

Then we arrived at Ford's Theater, where Lincoln was shot ...

And then toured the house across the street where Lincoln was taken to die, where he passed the next morning.

OK, all that sounds really depressing for a Valentine's Day, doesn't it? So my Valentine and I got all dressed up and went to Flemings Steakhouse for a wonderful meal,

and then home for a dessert of chocolate-dipped strawberries!

Now that's a Valentine's Day we will always remember!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


How is it that pets become so much a part of our lives, and leave such a void when they are gone? Punkin, our cat, one that many of you know, is gone. This cat had a personality that gave more to like and dislike all in one package than any other pet we had. Yet for 18 years she was a part of our family.

Punkin, the cat that would allow a very young Kacie to "manhandle" her, up to a point ... and then would invariably bite Kacie somewhere on the nose, the cheek, the chin, wherever she could sink her teeth. Yet for years they remained buddies, and Punkin would spend at least some of each night sleeping with Kacie.

Punkin, the cat who got stuck underneath the garage door (before garage door openers came with mandatory safety sensors). The cat for whom a neighbor came to the door and said "you have a cat pinned underneath your garage door", and when we went to the garage she was completely pinned, almost crushed, and her little feet flailing in an attempt to free herself. We knew then that a cat who could survive that would be a feisty and long-living creature!

Punkin, the cat who slept with Barb every night, either at her feet or on her pillow. (To say Dan didn't like sleeping with a cat is an understatement, and Punkin, after being thrown off the bed a few times in the dark of night, didn't come back to him much at night any more.)

Punkin, who not only perpetuated the eat-puke-eat cycle known to many felines, but took it to legendary frequencies.

Punkin, who would come to your lap just as you were about to get up, and then nestle in with a deep and contented purr.

Punkin, who would not tolerate the presence of our sweet golden retriever, and would give a nasty "hiss" and a bat of her paw to tell Zoey to "get lost"!

Punkin, who would keep Barb company, following her whenever she was outside in the yard and wherever she would go.

Punkin, who would disappear for days at a time, and then would show up like nothing happened. More than once we had found her locked in a neighbor's garage.

Punkin, who in later years, became even more affectionate and loved to paw at our faces to get our attention.

Goodbye Punkin, we will miss you.

Back in Seattle Again

Hi everyone,

We had the great fortune to be back in Seattle again last week. Dan had to be back at Boeing in Everett and Renton for meetings that week. With this great oportunity, Barb found a really good airfare online and we made the trip together. It was a good week for the most part. During the days while Dan worked (and he had a total of 32 meetings in those five days), Barb kept very busy with doctor appointments (checkups only, nothing serious!), root canals (now that is serious) and a dental appointment for a crown. And in an unexpected development, our cat Punkin, who Nate and Shell had been keeping, became very ill. On Tuesday, Barb took her to the vet and found out how very sick she was. At that point, she made the decision to put Punkin to sleep. She was over 18 years old, a ripe old age for a cat, but it was a sad day for sure. (Gee, root canals, mamagrams, sick pets, how much fun can you have in a week?)

But in the evenings, we were most fortunate to see friends and family. The only downside was that Callie had to be away on business travel herself for several days, and we only saw Matt a little bit because of his work schedule.

One night we got together at Nate and Shell's for dinner, and had a great time except for missing Matt and Callie :-(

Here we are catching up with our very good friends, Bob and Lisa Jones. We hadn't seen them since our trip together to Lake Tahoe last October (click on the photo to enlarge it).

A late night snack at Scotts in Edmonds after the Lions' basketball games .....

And getting together for breakfast Saturday before we headed off to the airport:

We were glad that Bruce and Jo could join us that morning, too. (We had stayed with them a couple of nights but only got this one pic of them.)

We consider that week among one of our greatest adventures so far! And now for the picture of the week, our beautiful and slightly crazy daughter!!