Monday, December 31, 2012

Highlights of my year - 2012

Just some of the fun times I had being "just me - alive"
I love weather especially snow, and January didn't disappoint. We usually get northeast winds and our snow all blows away or drifts when we get snow here, 
so a flat sticking snow this year was extra nice.

.We can't get in enough birding trips, and in February since it was a Snowy Owl flight year we were determined to find them, and we did - in British Columbia - Boundary Bay.

The best news of the year was that my calf injury completely healed and by March I was able to resume many of the activities that I love.

also in March I was able to watch my Granddaughters for my daughter and son in law while they went to Hawaii for a week. While with them I taught them to sew with a sewing machine. Here are some of the projects they choose to make. Pretty good, I think!

Lora learned straight seams & made a blanket for her stuffed tiger.

Ruby made a Kimono for her Pandy bear

Skylar wanted to make a quilt for her bed.

In April I started training with Bellingham fit, a group that guarantees they will get you trained enough to run and finish a marathon. Since I'd been injured and hadn't run a marathon in 26 years I  thought that would be a good welcome back to running goal.

In June my daughter took me to a pottery studio for a one day lesson as a birthday gift. Here we are together - ready or not!

Thank you Melissa, such a fun day. Here's my finished pieces, I was really pleased with the green bowl, turned out rather nice. 

Summertime at our house means being busy in the vegetable and flower gardens. We get to freeze, can, dry etc. our vegetables, berries and fruit. I planted two things this year that haven't done so good in our garden in the past and was really pleased with them. Our sunflowers and dahlias finally got enough sun to actually grow this year. Enjoyed them so much -

I September I ran my marathon. Bellingham fit came through on their guarantee, I ran and finished.

In November I got to help with the aid support for my dad's 80 mile run for his 80th birthday.

Happy New Year! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Are you a 12th man?

 I am a Seahawks fan. They give partial credit of their wins to their fans, known as the "12th man", now known as 12's -  *see update below 

The following information is from this article on Wikipedia - 
(12th man (football)

The effects of the "12th man" vary widely, but can be put in two categories. The first is simply psychological, the effect of showing the home team that they are appreciated, and showing the away team that they are somewhat unwelcome. The second directly relates to the deafening effects of a loud crowd.
In American football, fans are most incited by physical play, especially good plays made by the defense. Additionally, the home team can derive energy from the loud noise of their fans; former American football players have described the feeling of their adrenaline pumping after hearing the fans yell, which is "like you have a reserve energy tank."
The noise of the crowd can have a significant impact on the players on the field. In American football, an extremely loud crowd can prevent the offensive linemen from hearing the snap count. This can have the effect of making the player slower to react when the ball is snapped, and his eventual response may be weaker than normal because each play is begun "with some indecision and doubt." The noise can also prevent players from hearing audibles and can make it difficult for the team's offense to coordinate plays in the huddle. The effect of the noise can often be measured in mistakes, such as false start penalties.
Coaches can take steps to minimize the effect of the crowd noise on their teams. Some American football teams bring large speakers to their practice fields and broadcast loud noises such as jet engines to prepare their teams for the anticipated noise level. Crowd noise tends to diminish after a long lull in play, such as a pause for instant replay. Former NFL player Brian Baldinger speculates that some coaches draw out reviews as part of a coaching strategy to quiet the crowd for their next play.
The New York Giants allegedly asked the NFL to intervene in 2006 when they played the Seattle Seahawks. In their 2005 match up at Qwest field, the Giants incurred 11 false start penalties due to the crowd noise. For the 2006 rematch between the two teams, the NFL sent observers to verify that the Seahawks were not artificially enhancing the noise level. This has caused 2.83 false starts per game, which is the highest in the NFL since 2005. The noise level at Qwest field has been measured at 112 dB.

Use in American football
The term has been used by various American football teams including the NFL's, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, Denver Bronco's, Washington Redskins, Indianapolis Colts, and Chicago Bears in marketing practices in reference to their supporters, though many stopped using the term "12th man" at the request of Texas A&M (the Bears currently use the phrase "4th Phase"). The Seattle Seahawks continue to use the phrase, having settled with Texas A&M out of court after a trademark lawsuit filed by Texas A&M.
The Seattle Seahawks retired the number 12 jersey on December 15, 1984. The tradition of raising a 12th man stadium flag before kickoff, by either season ticket holders or celebrities, began on October 12, 2003.
In 1992, the Buffalo Bills honored their 12th man by inducting them into the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame inside Ralph Wilson Stadium. They were inducted because of their loyal support during the team's early 90's Super Bowl runs.
The Indianapolis Colts honored their 12th man by inducting them into the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor in 2007.

Texas A&M trademark issues and Seattle Seahawks lawsuit
*as of August 2015 we are no longer the 12th man, but we are now the 12's. It looks like Texas A&M got their way ( The term "12th Man" is used non-exclusively to represent the Texas Aggie fans. Intellectual property laws recognize certain common law uses in trademark dispute. In spite of the fact the term originated with another university, an official registration of the mark was filed by Texas A&M (U.S. Reg. No. 1948306) in December 1989 and the application was approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in September, 1990. According to statements made by Texas A&M officials, they sent requests to stop using the phrase to the Seattle Seahawks (2004, 2005), Buffalo Bills (undated), and the Chicago Bears (undated). Both the Bills and the Bears responded to the requests stating they would no longer use the phrase, however the Seahawks did not respond to the request.
In January 2006, Texas A&M filed suit against the Seattle Seahawks to protect the trademark and in May 2006, the dispute was settled out of court. In the agreement, Texas A&M licensed the Seahawks to continue using the phrase "12th Man" in exchange for financial compensation along with public acknowledgement by the NFL franchise as to Texas A&M's ownership of the phrase.



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Just something a little more lighthearted

We love to get out on the water, whether in our raft, canoe or kayak. It brings us great joy. Sometimes when times are tough it's nice to take a break and enjoy something that just makes us smile. This does it for me :-)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Exploring the Middle Fork road

Today we took a drive to explore the Middle Fork (of the Nooksack river) road. The picture above is as far as we walked from the closed gate just at the bridge over the river. For those of you that climb the Twin Sisters peaks this road is the closest you can get to begin your climb. Several years ago the road that had the closest approach was gated. To see the pictures larger, just click on them.

Panorama picture taken just below the area of the first picture posted - my husband was standing on the knoll at the left of this picture.

 The clouds were too thick to really see the Twin Sisters, if you click on the picture to enlarge it, just above the saddle on the ridge in the middle of the picture there is a slight dark area - that is as much of the Twin Sisters as we could see today. Some day we'll go back on a sunny day and get a picture from that very spot and I'll insert it into this post.

The views were so pretty even though it was a fairly dark day. I love this picture I took of the contrasts in colors and textures of the forest -

Our happy dog "Lexis" found some water!

looking below the bridge
Here are a couple pictures from the bridge where we began our walk, after driving about 5 miles up the gravel road.

looking above the bridge

Part way up the road to the bridge is the Bellingham City dam turn off. 
Looks like it gets pretty soggy here doesn't it :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Salmon on the road

Every year it seems we have some flooding around Thanksgiving here in Washington state. When the water rises the local Salmon that are heading up river to spawn get caught in some strange places after the water recedes. We always have MANY news stories where the reporters stand in the road and act like the Salmon need to be rescued and they try to pick them up and carry them to the other side of the road. Here's a video from Komo news 4 in Seattle of some river flooding Salmon action -

We went for a drive near Wickersham on Friday after we'd had our annual high water and here are some pictures I took of Salmon in and out of the Samish river.

Coho on the road that didn't make it back to the river before the water receded.


Hope you had a happy and dry Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

80 mile run on his 80th birthday

80 miles in 23hrs. 50 min. 43 sec's, in under 24 hours.
Earlier this year my dad set a goal to run 80 miles on his 80th birthday. He looked on line for a 100 mile training program for ideas to help him train for this long of a distance. He has a long distance running background. He's been running marathon's since he was 40. He also ran 78 miles for his 78th birthday. On that one he broke it up into one marathon each day for three days. he has been blogging about his 80 mile training on this blog - if you want to read about it. This one he planned on doing it on one continuous run.
Our family all came together to support him not only with aid stations but running and walking along with him. 
Here's a summary of the epic -

 My dad Chuck ready to start

Dick, my husband ran the first 30 miles with him

 My husband Dick finishing his 30 miles with my dad as they come in to the 30 mile aid station.

My brother Phil and I set up the aid stations every 3 miles but after the first 30 miles we stopped every 2 miles. This kept us pretty busy for the 24 hours. Needless to say no sleep for any of us. He ran one 30 mile loop, one 30 mile out and back and one 20 mile loop, So I drove the first (daylight) aid station duty. My brother Phil has a motor home and he drove the night section of our aid station duty.

Jason came from Flagstaff, Arizona to run 50 miles of this with my dad. So thankful he did this, as he is an ultra runner and had some inside information about how to keep my dad hydrated and fueled to be able to finish. He did a great job.

with my brother Phil and  Jason - halfway 40 miles!

The focused march at 70 miles in the cold of the night, along with Jason, my brother Bruce (he walked 12 miles) and my nephew Douglas (he walked 12 miles).

Here he is finishing on the road near his house. Some friends had put a line across with a sign with "80" written on it for him to run through. Jason, my brother and my nephew decided to drop off when they got to this road so he could finish alone.

All of the aid support and runners and walkers together. Such an epic, and glad we could all come together to help my dad complete this big dream he had for his 80th birthday!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Centennial trail North access - Nakashima barn

Our walk on Saturday took us to the newly opened Centennial trail north access. The trail head access begins at the Nakashima barn parking lot, located in Snohomish county north of Arlington off of Hwy 9.

As you can see they've done a wonderful job with the parking area. 
They even have Sani-cans and trash cans.
At the beginning of this trail access is a nice marker telling the dedication date

Just after this marker you cross a little bridge that crosses a small creek, from there the trail heads due south. With distance markers every mile.

The trail starts in the town of Snohomish, Washington. and now it's been completed a bit more that 29 miles as you can see by the trail marker. just a few miles north of the town of Bryant. Wow, 29 miles of continuous paved trail!

I have blogged about the trail before once for a bike ride -,
another time when I ran my official/unofficial marathon -
and yet again when I heard of the opening of the northernmost access to the trail - and here's the HereldNet article on the grand opening -

If you haven't figured it out yet, I love this trail!!!!!!

As we walked along we heard the wings of what we thought must have been a very large bird and sure enough we spotted it in a tree just off the trail.

Bald Eagle in tree top - click to enlarge the photo
Bald Eagle in tree top - click to enlarge photo
Pilchuck bridge just north of Bryant
 As we were heading back there was a nice view of the parking area -

I found some interesting information on the Nakashima barn in an old newspaper article.
Here's the link -
Barn lost in WWll internment proposed for historic registry HeraldNet - local news
- if you chose not to click on the 2007 newspaper link,  here's a few quotes from the article:

"Built by relatives of the founder of Seattle, the barn has withstood the internment of its Japanese-American owners during World War II. It has lived through the modernization of the dairy industry and, more recently, it has survived a decade of abandonment. - Now the barn is poised to become one of the first on the state's new Heritage Barn Register, and is the only one being considered to have been owned by Asian-Americans. The barn also is being nominated for the National Register of Historic Places."

"Though county records date the barn to 1920, Tallman believes it was built 12 years earlier by Daniel Waldo Bass when he converted the land six miles north of Arlington from a logging camp to a dairy farm."

"Anti-Asian land restriction laws and citizenship restrictions prohibited Japanese immigrants from owning property. So the Basses were unable to sell Kamezo and Mije Nakashima the farm. In 1936, they transferred the deed to one of the Nakashimas' sons, Takeo Nakashima, who was an American citizen and around 24 years old at the time. Five years later, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor blasted apart the peaceful life the Nakashimas had built on the farm. Shortly after the attack, Kamezo Nakashima marched into City Hall and turned over guns and a partial box of dynamite, said Kraetz, whose mother graduated with one of the Nakashima girls. It wasn't enough to save their farm.With internment imminent, the Nakashimas were given just 10 days to sell more than 1,000 acres of land that spanned Snohomish and Skagit counties, and included a barn, a farm, and dozens of registered Guernsey cattle. They sold it all for around $10 an acre to a man who visited the farm looking to buy a bull, according to Tallman."

"Snohomish County bought 83 acres of the former Nakashima farm in 1996 and plans to begin transforming it into the north trailhead of the cross-county Centennial Trail in fall 2008, said Tom Teigen, the county Parks and Recreation director. While the county's first priority is getting the trail laid, it's also considering developing the barn for visitors."

Here's some pictures I took of the historic barn -

my husband and our Malamute "Lexis"
The photos on the barn show the Nakashima family and the barn when it was a functioning diary.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Flower World

 My daughter invited me to go on her daughters' 3rd grade field trip Tuesday to
"Flower world" in Maltby, Wa.
I found out this info. about their plants and facility from their home page -
They are one of the largest retail nurseries of its kind on the West Coast. Unlike other nurseries and garden centers Flower World does not buy its plants from other growers. They grow about ninety per cent of all the plant material they offer. Their plants are grown locally in Maltby in their own green houses and production fields. Because of that fact, you will get the freshest quality plant because you are buying directly from the growers.        

It was really interesting to see their retail plants in that large green house and then to tour the separate green houses where they do their own planting, and growing. We found out that they believe strongly in recycling within their facility. They even make their own soil that they compost themselves.                                                                                                     
Here is the info. from their "about us" page on the website -
"Flower World, Inc. was started in 1968 by John and Marijke Postema on a four acre parcel of land. During the 1970's and the 1980's bedding plants, fuchsias and foliage plants were the main crops. These were sold to the local wholesale markets and shipped nation wide to the wholesale trade. In the early 1980's local shoppers started to stop by the greenhouses to inquire about specific plant products and that was the beginning of the retail business. Until 1994 the retail nursery was located on one of the original eight-acre sites. In the spring of that year the retail business was moved to the newly constructed display greenhouses at its current location on 196th Street SE in Maltby.
Flower World is enormous, so it is very easy, as a first time customer, to be overwhelmed. We have constructed the layout of the retail greenhouses and the display areas in such a way that it becomes very easy to find the specific sections you are looking for. You will find numerous information mailboxes filled with maps of the area layout. You will also find informational plant brochures for your convenience and your use. We are a "self-help, low-key, take-your-time and-explore" type of operation. You will not experience a hard sell technique from any of our employees. We encourage you to take your time to enjoy the displays, the flowers, the plants, the shrubs and the trees. Most of our signage is meant to inform as well as educate. The informational signs will help you choose the right plant for the right location and explain how to give it the right care. The pictures will help you visualize the blooming stages and the mature look of a plant.We recycle plastic pots and containers and we encourage you to use the drop-off bins for your convenience. We are also accepting yard waste and horse manure" 

If you look at the base of the farthest back tree in the photo below you can just see one of the mail boxes where they keep their information. Also you can see which holiday season they are getting ready for by all of the Poinsettia's being displayed!
(click to enlarge each of the photos)
one of the many growing rooms

Gladiolus drying
assembly room
We got to see where the assembly line area was. This is where their own composted soil is added to the bedding/growing pots. Then either the seeds or plants are added and an identification label stick is put into each pot.
Plant label room
Tomato plants
 I was so surprised to see how tall the Tomato, Cucumber, and Pepper plants were. They were actually taller than this as they snake them side ways back and forth so the plants will keep growing to their maximum. Here's a photo with some of the volunteers and children from the field trip, as you can see the plants are taller than the adults.
Cucumber plants
Pepper plants
One part of the recycled pot area
I really like this Twisted Fig tree.

Here's a panorama (click to enlarge it) of the retail green house - so nice and cozy warm.

They did have benches here and there. It would be a wonderful place to sit and read with a cup of tea.
It was a great opportunity to get to go, so glad I was invited!