Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Winter..... GO AWAY!!!

OK, it's flipping COLD outside!!!  There is snow on the ground, the wind is blowing, and the thermometer refuses to rise!!!  I am so done with winter..... I am longing for spring and summer..... at least 55 degrees, where I can feel comfortable spending a few hours out on the bike!!!

March is near, and I am so hopeful that spring will come early this year...... pretty please!!!  :-)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Fantastic Run!!!???!!!???!!!???!!!

Yes, I did just actually write the words fantastic and run in the same sentence!  Yes, I did actually refer to a run as being fantastic.  I know this sounds stupid crazy, especially coming from a non-runner guy who loves cycling, and this is why I added a mix of exclamation marks with question marks in this posts title!  Now for an explanation.......

Yesterday morning Brad, Jenn Roosma and myself all went for a run together.  Jenn had called the night before, while we were on our way to our hockey game, and asked if we would like to go running with her.  So, we routed out a 6.5 mile run from our place and made plans to hit the road at around 9:30am.

The weather turned out to be perfect for our run, with is being nice and cold, but dry with overcast cloudy skies.  No real wind, mostly nice and calm and quiet.... just a great weather morning for our run.  We headed off and ran south from our place on Trapline Rd., and headed west on Timon Rd.  From there we caught Stickney Island Rd and followed it all the way back to Trapline again.  Then it was just a straight shot north back to home base, and a nice 6.5 miles ran.  :-)

It was wonderful..... the run felt great, for both me and for Brad.  Jenn and I were both simply amazed at how well Brad held up, and Brad was amazed at just how great the run felt, and how strong he felt all the way through.  Everything went so well for all three of us, and as we approached mile 5.5 at Trapline and Hampton Rds, I suggested that we run right by our house and add .5 miles by running to Badger Rd.........

And we DID!!!  Brad has been wanting to complete his very first 10k run this year, and he DID it!!!  More than a 10k, which is 6.2 miles, he ran a full 7 miles!!!  :-)

CONGRATULATIONS to you Brad!!!!!  A huge accomplishment, and a huge success!!!

Now you should all be able to understand what I mean when I say that yesterdays run was simply Fantastic!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Random, Crazy Thought.....

It is Sunday morning, and not yet 7am.  I am the first one, and only one awake here yet this morning.  As I am sitting her enjoying fresh hot coffee, I am being greeted to an absolutely glorious new beginning of a beautiful new day!   :-)

As I am sitting here at the computer, my mind is wandering all over the place, and many different thoughts are passing through me.... and one just jumped out at me and got me to thinking about how just fast time goes by anymore....  I realized that I will be 43 years old in just a month from now.  No, I do not consider that to be significant in itself.  However, that also means that in August of this year, I will have completed my 20th year with the Bellingham Fire Department.  I have already nearly completed two thirds of my career, which means I have just 10 more years until retirement, at which time I will still only be 53 years old..... now this, yes, I do find to be significant.... for several reasons.

First off, Evan will be 10 years old this August.  I swear that he was just a tiny tot only a year or two ago.  I can't believe how fast those ten years have gone by.  I am very confident that the next ten years will only go by even faster!  Second, it still seems so fresh in my mind that I was just being hired on at the BFD.  I still remember being the new guy, and the youngest firefighter and paramedic on the job for quite a while.  Suddenly, I am a veteran on the job, and hold a significant amount of seniority.  Third, we have already been living at our "new" place, Little Bearfoot Farm, for 5 years.  These 5 years have flown on by faster than I though possible.  Finally, it is already practically March of this year, and I am certain that the new year only just began last week!!!

Crazy to think about things such as this..... kind of a range of mixed emotions that come with it.  I so look forward to retirement, so we can have the freedom to do as we please, when we please.  I look forward to being able to travel and explore, and to not miss out on great days of bicycle riding because I am at work.  On the other hand, I love my job, love what I do.  I also know that with retirement, both of my kids will be grown into young adults, leaving high school and moving on into their own lives, whether it be college or something else.

I guess the big thing I am taking out of this random and crazy thought this morning is...... life is actually quite short here on earth.  Time is precious, and family is the most important thing in my life after loving and serving my God!!!  I am also realizing that it is time to start counting down my years to retirement now, and to be planning carefully, so that retirement will be as relaxing and enjoyable and stress free as I am looking forward to it being!

WOW.... 20 years of service already..... who would have thought?!?!?!?!?!?!  :-)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

How long until Spring?????

I awoke this morning to what appeared to be the most beautiful day outside...... absolutely sunny and gorgeous, blue skies..... just what we need to get us cheered up and warmed up and ready hit the outdoors again......NOT!!!!  It is cold out there.... and the northeast winds are blowing hard, making it much worse than it really should be.  It's down right miserable to be outside on a day like today.  :-(

I miss the nice dry, sunny and calm days....the ones in which the winds aren't blowing, or at least, are gently blowing warmly from the south/southwest!  I miss Spring and Summer and Fall in a big way right now.  I miss riding my bike, and just being outside.  I miss being warm without having the pellet stove cranked up high, or having to wear layers of clothing.

Yes, I have certainly come to the conclusion that I am snowbird material in the making.... I can't wait for retirement, when we can majorly downsize our home......perhaps to a nice, small and cozy condo......and where we can simply up and head south when the Winter arrives here, and stay away until  Spring finally arrives!!!

Just 10 more years until retirement!!!  On one hand, that seems like forever and a day away....but on the other hand, I have already put in my first 20 years, and they have flown right on by.  Evan will be 10 years old this August, and I can't even believe how fast those 10 years have gone by..... I can only imagine that these next 10 will go by even faster!!!

In the mean time.... I will sit here and pray for warmer and nicer and calmer days ahead.  I will look forward to, with great longing, my next bicycle ride!!!

Oh Spring and Summer..... please come early this year.... and feel free to stay longer than usual as well  :-)

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Sad Thursday Evening.....

Well, I have to say that I am glad it's now Friday..... and more so that God has provided sunshine and blue skies today as well.  Thursday turned out to be a rough day and evening for me, and I was in need of starting over fresh today.

I have been in a funk, and a slump this past week with my fitness/exercise routine, ever since getting a blister on my left Achilles after running on the treadmill at home.  In addition, my back has been giving me a bit of trouble, with a muscle strain that just won't completely heal..... probably because I haven't given it a chance!  So, yesterday I sort of found myself moping around most of the day, and feeling hungry all day long.... not the best way to start or go through a day anyway!  But yesterday late afternoon is when things kinda took a turn for the worse, making me a bit sad and remorseful... and here is why.....

I placed an ad on Craigslist yesterday to sell our goats, all 7 of them.  We really need the extra money right now, and I have been trying to sell off anything of significant value that I can lately to try and get us some financial relief.  Since our goats haven't been getting the attention I feel that they should, and since we just haven't managed to get our woods all properly fenced to contain the goats, and since the goats only have cost us money and never really made us any money.... well, I decided that it was time to have them move on to greener pastures.  I didn't really expect anything to happen right away, and boy was that a mistake.  Two calls came within an hour of posting the ad, with both callers wanting the goats.  So, last night at around 6pm or so, we herded our family of goats into someone elses trailer and said our good-byes to them for the final time.  It was difficult for me, as I have come to enjoy several of them, and have become especially fond of the big boy, Simon.  He and I had become friends, and I enjoyed playing around with him and petting and scratching him... which he also seemed to really enjoy.  Watching them leave our place, and knowing that the sale was final, my heart actually began to ache just a bit, and I started having sellers remorse!  But, they brought us another $500 cash that we can really use right now, so I am trying to just let it go today.

After the big goat sale issue, I went inside to sit and watch a movie with my favorite kiddos in the whole wide world.  We were all cozy and having a great time watching "Over the Hedge", with me just starting to drift off to sleep, when Brad came home and told me that  my neighbors barn was on fire, and that they had animals trapped inside!  :-(  We ended up going down to see what was happening, and to see if there was anything we could do for them... it was heart-breaking, as we found out that they had 13 calves inside, and some other cattle as well.  :-(

What a way to end the day!!!  Thankfully it was a barn and not their house, and thankfully no people were injured.  Today is a new day, and I am praying that God will step in and help our neighbors in every way that they need it right now.  I am also praying that our goats are enjoying their new home.

Yes, although I am sitting at work today, missing out on being home on such a nice day, I am still happy that Thursday is over with.  I am glad that I have been given the opportunity to make the best of a new day.  And I am hopeful that tomorrow we may just be lucky enough to sell our old travel trailer..... which would really help us out a lot!!!

OK..... enough about Thursday!!!  Today is Friday, and tomorrow starts a three day weekend with my family!!!  :-)  Time to move forward......

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bye Grammy & Papa!!!

After spending the past 9 1/2 days up here with us, Grammy & Papa left today to go back home to Beaverton, OR.  It was very nice to have them here to visit, and especially to spend quality time with Evan and Sierra!  The kids love having Grammy & Papa here, and it is always difficult for a day or so when the finally leave us.  It will certainly take us a day or two before we get back into our "normal routine" again.

Thank you, Grammy & Papa, for taking the time to come up here and be with us.  We love you both very much, and are so grateful for the time you choose to spend with us, and even more so, with Evan and Sierra!!!  :-)

In just two days from today, Grandma & Grandpa Fornshell will be arriving here to visit with us for a few days.  They are getting ready to leave soon on a big trip to Ireland and some other great places.  They wanted a chance to spend some time with us, and with Evan and Sierra before they leave, since we won't be seeing them again for a couple of months or more. 

So, no sense trying to get back to "normal" just yet..... we will just keep on plugging along until next week with the same routine we have been going with now for the past couple of weeks.

In the mean time, I am busy trying to sell as many things as I possibly can in an effort to help us out financially.... as we are in a bad way right now, and need to work hard to get back on track once again.  I sold my Honda XR250 yesterday for $1000 cash, and that feels good.  I didn't want to sell it, and will miss it dearly this summer around here when I can't ride with Evan, but it had to be done in an effort to try and deal with our struggles right now.  I then sold my older and smaller brush hog this morning for another $200 cash, which is great news.  And, I have 4 people all interested in my 3 point rototiller for the tractor, with one guy on his way here from down south right now to look at it!!!  I am firm on my price of $800 cash, so that would be just fantastic if I get it sold in the next day or so.  In addition, I have our travel trailer for sale, and have at least two potential buyers interested in seeing it this week and weekend.  I also have a manure spread for sale, but no calls on it just yet.

I am going to put together an ad for our Cashmere goats sometime today, and see if I can't sell them all together as a package for $500 cash.  I hate to see them be split apart, since they have been together for so long now, so I hope to fins someone who can, and will take them as a herd.

I am going to do some calculations on hay that I have still, and how much I need, then see about selling a few hundred bales of hay at $4 per bale.

Hopefully there will be more overtime coming available at work here in the near future that I can work as well.  I really would like to avoid looking for a second job at this time, for several reasons..... most importantly being the time away from my family, something I really don't want to give up.  Also, I need the time off from my regular job just to be able to try and keep up with our place as it is, and can't imagine how it will be if I am not able to be here hardly at all.  Finally, my time off of work is precious time for my passion of cycling and fitness, which I dread the though of having to give up.  So, I am praying that God will help me to get these things all sold, and to get our taxes taken care of, so there will be money available to take care of some things that are outstanding and need to be dealt with.

Well, I need to go see if I can the tractor running, since someone is possibly going to purchase the rototiller today, and if he does, he will need to use the tractor to load it on his trailer.  I am hoping that the battery simply needed a charge after not being used for quite some time now, and that it isn't actually a bad battery. 

As a reminder to myself, especially in this moment of my life right now, I am posting this passage from the Bible.....

Psalm 118:24 - This is the day that the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Since last Sundays big Super Bowl extravaganza, and the big win for the Green Bay Packers, we have settled into the next big thing around here...........

Gearing up to celebrate Uncle Brad's big 40th birthday!!!  Yes, it is of Thursday, February 10th, Brad has left his 30's behind him, and has moved on into the next decade of his life as a 40-something!!!  :-)

We have been celebrating Brad's birthday in several stages..... we started off by meeting him on his actual birthday, at his work site, and took him to lunch at Billy McHales.  That same evening, we attended Evan's basketball playoff game, where his team got yet another big win, moving them forward to the championship game on Friday evening!  Yesterday, Friday, after Brad came home from work.....we took Brad out for his official birthday dinner, to Kyoto's Steakhouse in Bellingham.  This was a really fun dinner, and very tasty indeed!  I am pretty sure that Brad enjoyed himself, as I know I did.  :-)  After our dinner, we headed off to see Evan play in his team's championship playoff game........

And for Uncle Brad's birthday, they did NOT let down!!!  They won the game, big time, with a score of 31-9!!!!!!!  :-)  Happy Birthday, Uncle Brad...... and CONGRATULATIONS to Evan  and the entire Nooksack boys 4th grade basketball team!!!!!  :-)

Upon getting home last night, after all of that excitement, Uncle Brad and the kids and Papa all stayed up and watched the movie, "Open Season 3" on Blu-Ray.

Today is a day of rest and recover for everyone around here, while I head off to work for 24 hours.  But we will continue with Uncle Brad's birthday celebration tomorrow evening with one more fun event..... we will all head north to Chilliwack, BC to see the Chilliwack Bruins take on the Tri-City Americans.  A fun evening of ice hockey should be a great way to finish off our celebration of Uncle Brad's big 4-0 birthday!!!!  :-)

HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY, Uncle Brad!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday

Good Sunday Morning one and all....... welcome to Super Bowl Sunday, 2011.  :-)

Grammy & Papa arrived yesterday afternoon to visit and stay with us for the next week or so.  Papa just had back surgery this past week, and is ready to spend time relaxing and recovering here with us..... and mostly with his grandchildren!

Today is Super Bowl Sunday, which is the same thing as Gluttonous Day, here at our house.  Without fail, as we do every year, once again we will start off our day by heading to church for the 10am service.  We will worship and praise God together, and hear His word through Pastor Grant.  We will leave church feeling good, giving the glory and praise to our God.  We will then head home to get ready for the big game day.....

And this is when it starts going downhill for us!!!  LOL......  we will begin to eat more junk food in this one day than we normally consume all year long!!!  We will watch football and cheer on the awesome new commercials for this year, all the while keeping our plates filled with tasty snack foods like  chips and queso, little smokies in bbq sauce, meatballs in cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup, hot dogs, and whatever else we can come up with!!!  For the first half of the game it will be fun and enjoyable....but by the fourth quarter, we will all be loosening restrictive clothing, stepping outside for a breath of fresh air, and will be moaning and groaning in the tune of gluttony!!!

We do this every year, and every year it's the same thing.  This year we will be short a few people, as Greg Bass is in Nevada on a job, and Phil Bryan could never be reached with, it will be a family affair only this year, which should be quite fun  :-)

Go Packers!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

On a Mission to Africa!!!

YES..... that is what I said.... Africa!!!  Nairobi, Kenya to be more exact.  August 1st through the 15th.  Mission trip through CTK Bellingham.  Tracie is stepping out in faith, way out of her comfort zone, and heading off on her first ever mission trip, along with her very good girlfriends, Jennifer Roosma and Tiffani Stauffer.  This will be an experience of a lifetime for all three of them.  We are so excited for God to use them in Kenya.

August seems so far away right now, but with everything that needs to be done and taken care of in preparation for this trip, it will be here faster than we can imagine.  Each gal needs to raise $2900 to be able to go on the mission trip.  In addition, each gal has to endure many vaccinations and prophylactic medications, which also cost a significant amount of money.

So, although it is now only the first day of February, you all will be hearing a lot about Africa from this day forward.  These ladies need your support, financially and prayerfully.  Would you please begin to pray today..... pray for Tracie and Jenn and Tiffani.  And please pray about how you might be able to support the three of them on this opportunity to follow God's calling.

Blessing to each and every one of you  :-)