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phil leng: Lunch in LaConner Washington - 08/01/12 05:29 PM
Lunch in LaConner WashingtonLunch in LaConner WashingtonLaConner has long been an interesting combination of local town for farmers, a tourist town for locals from the big cities, and a boaters haven when the storms are brewing out in the Sound.Today it was our lunch stop. We found the Waterfront Cafe - right on the Swinomish Channel. They have a big deck out back and there is even a spot to tie up a boat or two right in front.We had a delicious serving of their special of the day - Seafood Salad. The sun was hot, the company was grand, the (3 comments)
phil leng: Accident on Freeway - 06/20/12 10:31 PM
Accident on FreewayAccident on FreewayI was cruising along on our Route 167 freeway the other day. I could see the flashing lights on the other side of the freeway.Our side started slowing down, and eventually came to a complete stop. But there was no hindrance on our side of the freeway.I whipped out my little video camera and started shooting. There were several police cars, a fire truck and an emergency response vehicle.Then I briefly saw the wreckage - a car mashed up and in the ditch.Funny how a wreck on the OTHER side of the freeway can affect the cars (2 comments)
phil leng: The Book That Made Me Mad, Ashamed, Outraged and Scared - 05/17/12 07:47 AM
The Book That Made Me Mad, Ashamed, Outraged and ScaredThe Book That Made Me Mad, Ashamed, Outraged and ScaredIt started with a friend at church. She gave the book to my wife. After she read it, she gave it to our daughter, who is a social worker.The other day we were over there, to be with the grandkids. I heard the discussion of the book as it was given back to my wife.“I might as well read it, before it goes to someone else” I thought to myself.What a mistake! I couldn’t put it down all weekend. Before I had finished (4 comments)
phil leng: The Beautiful Young Girl - 05/13/12 08:35 PM
The Beautiful Young GirlThe Beautiful Young GirlAs we were moving my wife’s mom to a yet smaller room the other day, we found this photograph.It shows a beautiful young girl. All her hopes and dreams intact.It was her high school graduation picture.She later married a very handsome young man and they had 5 kids. However, her life was not easy. Her husband turned out to be demanding and demeaning. They raised 5 kids who were only 7 years apart from oldest to youngest.She has now been a widow for many years.Today was Mother’s Day, and three of her kids and one (3 comments)
phil leng: Church by the Plaza in Puerto Vallarta Mexico - 05/13/12 08:14 PM
Church by the Plaza in Puerto Vallarta MexicoChurch by the Plaza in Puerto Vallarta MexicoSunday morning we walked to a great sounding church we found on the internet. When we got there, we found it was closed.A taxi driver came to our rescue, and we attended this wonderful church right in the middle of downtown.The singing was good, the people friendly and the message powerful. Here is a little video for you to participate in the Church by the Plaza in Puerto Vallarta Mexico.
phil leng: Breakfast with a Live Mariachi Band in Puerto Vallarta Mexico - 05/11/12 06:16 PM
Breakfast with a Live Mariachi Band in Puerto Vallarta MexicoBreakfast with a Live Mariachi Band in Puerto Vallarta MexicoOur first full day in Puerto Vallarta. We go down to the beautiful outdoor / indoor eating area. Breakfast with a view of the ocean!What could be better than that? But wait! Here comes a Mariachi Band, right into the middle of the eating area. Are they really going to play? Yes they do, doing “serenata” after “serenata” at different tables. I shamelessly pulled out my little video camera and captured it on film.You get to enjoy it as much as we did. (3 comments)
phil leng: Morning View, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - 05/11/12 07:33 AM
Morning View, Puerto Vallarta, MexicoMorning View, Puerto Vallarta, MexicoSlide open the balcony glass door.The sound of the waves coming on shore immediately washes over you.I set my cup of coffee down, pull out the book I am reading, breathe deep of the pure ocean air.Should we swim in one of the four hotel pools first? Or swim in the ocean? Or walk the beach? Or sit by the pool and read? Or find a couple of chairs under the grass roofed umbrellas? Or walk along the beach into town?So many decisions...But right now, I just want to read my book while (0 comments)
phil leng: Our Room in the Gran Buenaventura, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - 05/11/12 07:09 AM
Our Room in the Gran Buenaventura, Puerto Vallarta, MexicoOur Room in the Gran Buenaventura, Puerto Vallarta, MexicoWe had paid for an oceanfront view room at this hotel complex called the Gran Buenaventura in Puerto Vallarta.We were not disappointed! We were up on the fifth floor, and the room had high ceilings. Included was a great balcony with a spectacular view of the swimming pools and the beach beyond.Each morning before my wife was fully alive, I would make coffee and read on the balcony. What an inspiring place to read!As an aside, we made an agreement to never use the elevator. (0 comments)
phil leng: The Sun Sets on Puerto Vallarta Mexico - 05/11/12 06:58 AM
The Sun Sets on Puerto Vallarta MexicoThe Sun Sets on Puerto Vallarta MexicoPuerto Vallarta Mexico has spectacular beaches. The one in front of our hotel went on for several miles. Of course, our first night we had to take a long stroll on the beach. We captured this spectacular sun set!Each afternoon there is a cruise offered on a replica of an old pirate ship. It goes along the coast, lands on a deserted beach and the occupants are presented with a sumptuous supper. Then, just before the sun sets, it slowly heads back to where it started. After dark the (2 comments)
phil leng: Puerto Vallarta Mexico by Taxi - 05/11/12 06:49 AM
Puerto Vallarta Mexico by TaxiPuerto Vallarta Mexico by TaxiWe arrived at Puerto Vallarta for a week of sun and reflection. First was the taxi ride from the airport to the hotel complex.The taxi driver had lived in the town for over 20 years, and was full of information about everything from history to location of amenities to how the place had changed over the last 20 years.I whipped out my camera as we were rolling toward the hotel. Enjoy the view of Puerto Vallarta Mexico by taxi! (2 comments)
phil leng: Cooling Off - 03/05/12 05:07 AM
Cooling OffCooling OffThe grandkids invented a new game called “The Slide”In it they climbed up and slid down, or ran down, or hopped down the coffee table some 50 times.The older one decided it was time for a cooling off period. However, when she sat down in her little chair, she felt even more sweaty than before.Time to go outside to cool down.Of course, the wide expanse of grass called irresistibly for a run...The video ends with the most magical sound on God’s green earth. The giggles and laughter of a happy child... (1 comments)
phil leng: The Slide - 03/05/12 04:51 AM
The SlideThe SlideSaturday night is grandparents night.There is a set routine. Supper. Clear the dishes. Then a little free time, then bath time, jammies, brush teeth. Then the six year old gets to choose her clothes for the next day and lay them out. Both get three books read to them, a few songs, hugs and kisses, and lights out.The free time is play time. This week we invented a new game. It is called “The Slide”Enjoy the video. If this is the last time we are invited over for grandparents night, you will know why...
phil leng: Baking Cookies - 02/12/12 11:06 AM
Baking CookiesBaking CookiesIt is a collaborative effort - this monumental task of baking cookies! They are for dessert after the picnic.Big sister is clearly in control of the process and the effort, but little brother is right there helping out.First they have to be made. Frosting has to be put on.Then the cookies go into the oven. Little brother lays down to take a nap and big sister starts to rub his back.Soon the cookies come out of the oven. Be careful, they are hot! warns big sister.After they are cool enough, the cookies are transferred to the picnic.Even the little (0 comments)
phil leng: This Blog is About Joy - 02/01/12 04:54 AM
This Blog is About JoyThis Blog is About JoyMy youngest grand children were over a few days ago.I took a video, and named it “Hippin’ and Hoppin’ As We Go Along”But I could just as well have called it - Pure Joy. Why are they so happy? There are no toys, no expensive electronic gadgets. Just a yard with some stepping stones to hop on, and a grandpa who loves and adores them.Here they are running, hopping and expressing the exuberant joy that children have so abundantly, and we adults can miss so easily.I especially like my grand daughter’s spin of (3 comments)
phil leng: Over The Cliff - 01/31/12 06:06 AM
Over The Cliff Over The Cliff The first time we do something hard, it seems so scary, so difficult, so daunting. My granddaughter was playing in our yard. I helped her down from this rock wall. She trusts me completely, so that was not hard at all. However, when she came down, I tricked her. Instead of catching her, holding her and placing her on the grass, I let her fall with her own weight, only using my two hands in hers as a guide. She then knew she could do it all by herself. She had basically already done it (2 comments)
phil leng: Mastery of the Hill - 01/29/12 08:44 AM
Mastery of the HillMastery of the HillAfter some training and some practice comes mastery.Keller Williams has many courses to take to learn our craft better. One of them is called Buyer Mastery, and another is called Seller Mastery.My grand kids wanted to play on the little hill behind our house. At first going up was difficult. Going down was scary.Then I taught them how. RUN down! Keep your feet moving. Let yourself FALL over the edge and run. It is exhilarating! They learned. They practiced. In this video they have mastery.Notice the joy of accomplishment. The thrill of overcoming danger. The (4 comments)
phil leng: Christmas 2011 Part 7 - Supper and The Running Game - 12/26/11 01:01 AM
Christmas 2011 Part 7 - Supper and The Running GameWhat is the perfect ending of a perfect day?Well, a supper consisting entirely of dessert is a great idea. Those who were still hungry later had some “healthy food” as well.And, after the evening time routine is begun, after jammies are on, what could be a better conclusion than the Running Game?For you who are uninitiated, it consists of running down the hall at full speed, crashing into grandpa who is sitting cross legged in front of the fireplace, and ending up knocking him over! It is called the Running Game, and (3 comments)
phil leng: Christmas 2011 Part 6 - The Walk and Bike Ride - 12/26/11 01:00 AM
Christmas 2011 Part 6 - The Walk and Bike RideChristmas 2011 Part 6 - The Walk and Bike RideThe presents are opened, and the wrapping paper is all picked up and put in bags.The meal is eaten and the dishes are all put away.It is early afternoon. The TV is on, but the football game is disappointing!What comes next? It is light out still. It is not raining.Of course! A walk and bike ride!!Enjoy the video...
phil leng: Christmas 2011 Part 5 - The Feast - 12/26/11 12:59 AM
Christmas 2011 Part 5 - The FeastChristmas 2011 Part 5 - The FeastWhen it is time to celebrate, it is time to eat together!This Christmas we had ham. My son in law gave him a name, but then kept it quite in case the little ones heard and got too attached to the giver of the ham.And yes - mashed potatoes and gravy, and Patti’s wonderful cranberry jello salad! Some corn and bread rolls completed the meal. No one went hungry!One of my buyer’s agents was busy with his wife feeding homeless teenagers. Pretty amazing! A reminder to us of the (0 comments)
phil leng: Christmas 2011 Part 4 - The Presents - 12/26/11 12:58 AM
Christmas 2011 Part 4 - The PresentsChristmas 2011 Part 4 - The PresentsOur family has some very clear traditions around the opening of the presents.First, we have the Christmas story about the Great Present (Jesus coming to earth), then some singing, and only then do we start opening presents.Our tradition is that the youngest one present gets to hand out the presents. When all 26 of my family used to celebrate Christmas together, the children would take turns handing out presents, starting with the youngest, the the next youngest and so on, down the line.Here there are only 2 children, one (0 comments)
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