Chasing Dominion Cards

I wish I had thought to take a picture – or better yet, a video – but I was too frantic.

We were packing the car to leave for home after several days at a condo in Ocean Shores.  My wife, my son, and my parents were inside the condo taking care of the last minute clean-up duties while I was stuffing all our junk in the trunk of the car.  Our “Dominion Big Box” was on top of an ice chest on the sidewalk waiting for its turn for a spot in the trunk.  The wind was gusting pretty good.

Do you see where this is going?

Yep, the wind blew the box over and scattered its contents everywhere.

I guess this is a good time to describe what a “Dominion Big Box” is, for those who aren’t familiar.

My family likes to play table games.  Dominion is a great strategy game with that consists of cards…lots and lots of cards.  The “Big Box” is a set that includes the Dominion base set plus two expansion sets.  The total number of cards in that box adds up to around 800-900 small pieces of paper blowing around in the wind.  All around the parking lot.  Under cars.  In the bushes.  Between buildings.  Behind the condo.  Along the paths.  Over the berm.  On the beach.

When I saw the box of cards scattering, I quickly ran to the condo and suggested…no, pleaded…for everyone to come out and help me gather up the mess.

We all spent around a half hour gathering and stuffing the cards back into the box.  I was certain that we would be missing so many cards that we would end up throwing the whole set in the trash.

After we got home and reorganized the mess, we found that we had lost only about 16 cards.  Amazing!  Due to the nature of the game and considering the cards we lost, the game is still very playable, and we shouldn’t miss the lost cards, at all.



Learning How To Install Laminate Flooring

My daughter, Ashley, and her husband, Eric, recently asked me to help them install some laminate flooring in their house. Twice, I put some laminate flooring in the house that we used to live in, so now I’m an expert with that sort of thing…LOL!

That was an interesting story. In fact, I told my daughter that the only way I would help them with that project is if they purchased the snap lock type of flooring, because I had some experience with the tongue and groove type that you have to glue together. I’ll never use that style of material again.

The glue together type of laminate flooring is what we first put in the dining room in the house we were living in at that time. I was so careful and worked so hard to pull them tightly together and I strapped them and waited for the glue to dry before moving on to the next board. No matter how careful I was, it seemed that the gaps between boards got bigger and and bigger. By the time I made it to the other end of the room, there were some easily identifiable flaws in my workmanship.

I don’t remember if it was the next Winter, or if it was a year or two later, but we had a problem with some water leakage from our roof that ran down the wall and under our flooring. The water caused the edges of the laminate to warp and buckle. (Note here – always sop up any water that gets on your laminate flooring and don’t give it time to soak in through the edges of the boards.)

We ended up having to pull up that flooring and re-do it. This time I was wiser and used the snap together type of boards. It was so much easier and looked so much better. Lessons learned!

Anyway, I dug through YouTube to find some good how to videos to get some pointers for putting down the flooring. This is partly for me to remember how to do everything and to do it correctly. It’s also for Ashley and Eric to become a little more knowledgeable of the process before we go to work on their flooring.

This video gives an overview of the process of laying laminate flooring, including a list of the tools necessary for the project.

Another video with some good prep tips.

Learn here how to tap the ends together with a tapping block.

Here are some installation tips and tricks.

That gives a pretty good overview of the process, but the best thing to do before beginning to install laminate flooring is to Read Through the Directions That Come in the Box of Flooring Material. Oh, and be sure to ask question to the service people at the store where you purchased the material.

Video musical de Austin – Vuelve a mi de Reik

Austin was assigned a project in his high school Spanish class. He was to play a Spanish song for his class and speak the words of the song in Spanish. He also had to prepare a powerpoint presentation and talk about the song and the band that performed it.

Austin thought it would be fun to do a video presentation to show to his class in addition to the powerpoint presentation that was required. Here’s the video that he prepared. It turned out much better than I thought it would. Sit back, relax, and get ready to laugh a little.

I’m Feeling the Love on My Birthday!

Facebook has made its mark for my 50th birthday. I received 51 birthday greetings. At first, I was going to respond to each one individually, but my life is now officially half over so I’m not sure I have enough time left to do that.

Thank you everyone for noticing and caring enough to shout out to me today (and a couple from yesterday).

My family and a few friends surprised me with a surprise party at the New Thai restaurant on Saturday. They showered me with some lovely gifts….like Depends, Geritol, and other similarly themed goodies. Funny, I don’t feel that old…so why did AARP send me that application form?

Anyway, at work today, for lunch, my employees held a potluck lunch for me and another person in our department whose birthday was yesterday. I ate a lot, then fought back the sleep for the rest of the afternoon. I guess people my age need a nap in the afternoon.

All day, I was getting the greetings through Facebook, SMS, email greeting cards, phone calls, and in person. As I mentioned before, I greatly appreciate every thought, blessing, and prayer from each of you.

I heard from each one of my immediate family, several of my more extended family, school classmates (most of you already know the feeling of 50 or will very soon), friends from my church – now and past, friends from my daughter’s church in Idaho, many of my new friends from Virginia, racing buddies, people who know me from so long ago that they call me “Donny”, and family and friends from as far away as Spain and Japan. You are all amazing.

But now that I’m old, I need to stop writing this blog post and go take my early evening nap, so I can refresh myself enough to last all the way to bedtime.

First kart racing practice day

February 28th marked the first day of practice for us this season. It was a little cold, but dry.

I haven’t raced since 2002 and Austin last raced only a limited schedule about 2 years ago. It was fun to get back out on the track. Now that Austin is older and can take care of his own kart, I can start racing again without having to spend all of my time caring for two karts.

Much of our time was spent tuning and setting up the karts.

racing kart adjustment

We managed to get in about 30 to 40 laps, though. It was valuable time and allowed us to shake down two karts we hadn’t driven before.

It also gave me plenty of time to work out some muscles I didn’t know I had. Man, am I sore. I had forgotten how much work it is to drive one of those things. I’ve got a new respect for the professional race drivers who go like that for 500 miles….wow!

Some friends at the track took some photos of us while we were driving around the track. I’ll post them as soon as I receive them.


As my siblings and I were growing up, I remember Mom expressing many times how she wished her children were still babies. Oh, how she loved the “baby years.”

When our first daughter, Alyssa, was born and began to grow and develop, I realized that I loved her as a baby, but more than that, I loved to witness each phase of development. I would never wish for them to remain as babies.

Rolling over by herself
Standing while holding onto something
Taking first steps
Muttering first words
Talking incessantly
Potty training
First day of kindergarten
Sleepovers with friends
More boyfriends
High school graduation
Going away for college
College graduation
Living independently
First job
Serious boyfriend
Graduate school…..

All this has led to….now….

Two weeks ago, Alyssa’s boyfriend, Casey, met Leslie and I for breakfast, at his invitation. He arranged this meeting to ask for permission to marry our daughter. He drove all the way from Idaho, overnight, to do this.

About Alyssa

The name “Alyssa” comes from the Greek word meaning “against madness”, or “Rational”, which was a highly regarded characteristic in the time. It is also the name for a flowering herb, Alyssum, or commonly called “Sweet Alyssum”.

Alyssa’s middle name is Brooke, which is from my Grandfather’s middle name of “Brooks”. A brook is a small quiet stream which to me symbolizes peace an tranquility, a comforting spirit.

When Alyssa was dedicated as a baby, the pastor prayed for her to keep her body pure and clean in God’s sight and that she would grow and develop in righteousness. Then he prayed that God would begin at that moment to do the same for some young man in preparation for them to unite.

God answers prayer

christmasAlyssa began dating Casey only a few months ago, but they have been good friends for several years. Casey grew up near our current home in East Valley. He attended a different Nazarene church than the one we attend, but our church youth groups combined for various activities, so Alyssa and Casey were acquainted back then. In fact, Casey had even been in our home a few times during his high school years.

Casey and Alyssa both attended Northwest Nazarene University. While there, they began attending the same church, mostly because Casey didn’t have a car so he would hitch a ride there with Alyssa. Today, they continue to attend that church and Casey is on staff there as the Children’s Pastor.

When Alyssa announced to us that she and Casey had begun to date, Leslie and I both agreed, “What took you so long?” We had both wondered for several years, of all the guys that Alyssa dated, why she didn’t pick Casey. Alyssa reasoned to us later that she didn’t want to take the chance that it would mess up a great friendship.

God is fulfilling his plan

Tonight, Casey proposed to Alyssa.

I couldn’t have planned it better myself.

So, Why Did We Decide to Move

When our oldest daughter left for college, the realization that Leslie and I would soon be living alone began to hit us. We were living in a 2000+ square foot four bedroom home on a third of an acre. I felt that it was more house than we would need, and way more landscaping than I was interested in caring for.

Three years before we decided to move, I refinanced our house with a variable rate mortgage that would stay level for 3 years before beginning to increase, knowing that we would sell before the interest rate began to climb. I knew that Leslie and Austin and I would be the only ones remaining at home at the end of that time period. Then we could downsize to a smaller home and a smaller property.

By the time we put our house on the market, three years later, I had decided that I was happy where I was. Leslie, on the other hand, wanted to buy land and build a house.

I put the house up at a price that I didn’t think would be acceptable in our market. That way, Leslie would feel that I was going along with her wishes, but in the end, we would stay put.

Seven days later, we were entertaining a full price offer.

We moved in with Mom and Dad while we purchased our property – a full acre – and begin to build a home that was several hundred square feet larger than the one we just sold. I’ll be mowing a lawn that is about 10,000 sq. ft. larger than the entire lot that we sold.

So much for planning to downsize!

Merry Christmas to Our Friends and Family

I wrote this post almost a year ago, but never published it. I went a long time without blogging and am just getting back into the swing of things. I found this in my “incomplete drafts” folder so I decided to publish it, now.

Christmas 2007

Yes, we are late but this year we actually got this sent out. Usually, we procrastinate writing this letter until it’s too late and then simply don’t do it.

For the first time ever, we have a good excuse for being late. We have spent the past several months building and moving into our new house.

Our 2300 Sq. Ft. home sits on one acre in the East Valley area of Yakima. We enjoy our view of the Ahtanum Ridge and the valley below.

We have much work ahead of us to complete several projects – mostly the landscaping, a deck on the rear of the house, and an adjacent garage/shop that Don has dreamed of for many, many years.

We moved into our home just in time for our annual family Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange. Joining us were all three of our children, Mom and Dad Wilson, Ted and Debbi and family, Dave and Vickie and family, Dennis and Shenna and family, and Alyssa’s boyfriend, Daniel.

Alyssa is living in Nampa, ID, sharing a house with four of her friends that she met while attending Northwest Nazarene University. She graduated this past May from the nursing program at NNU and is now preparing to get her masters degree so that she can become a school teacher. She spends most of her spare time with Daniel.

Ashley is attending Yakima Valley Community College and working at The Coldstone Creamery. She isn’t clear, yet, as to what her major career emphasis will be, but has plenty of time to decide. She just purchased a Siberian Husky puppy that she has named Kaiyah, who has quickly become a beloved member of our family.

When Austin isn’t working on his “homeschool” work, he’s playing xbox or computer games. Kart racing is out of season, and we’re trying to decide if we should race again next summer or if we should sell the karts and get some dirt bikes to ride around the surrounding hillside. Austin is pictured, here with Ashley’s puppy, Kaiyah.

We wish you all the merriest of Christmas seasons. May God bless you, richly, as you celebrate the birth of his son, Jesus Christ.

Don and Leslie Wilson

Alyssa, Ashley, Austin

Now, I’m even late for Christmas 2008, so I think I’ll add those details, now.

Christmas 2008

We celebrated Jesus birth in the traditional manner – by gathering with all our family and eating lots of food. Hey, we prayed before each meal, alright?!

The traditional soup kitchen meal at our home preceded the Christmas Eve celebration at our church. Then we followed up with the opening of gifts. We were joined for the evening by Mom and Dad, Ted and Debbie and thier 3, Vickie and Dave and their 2, Dennis and Shenna and their 3, and finally, Leslie and I and our 3 plus Alyssa’s boyfriend, Casey, Ashley’s boyfriend, Eric, and Eric’s brother Ryan……whew! Soup is all we can afford.

Austin has his driving permit so he’s learning to drive more than just a racing kart. He attends East Valley High School and is active in they youth group at West Valley Church of the Nazarene.

Ashley is attending Central Washington University, my dad’s and my alma mater. It’s nice to have her close enough to see her fairly frequently. I’ve already mentioned her boyfriend, Eric, who is also attending CWU and is an intern at the local CMA Church.

Alyssa works at a child care center in Nampa, while preparing to enter a master’s of education program at Northwest Nazarene University. She is dating Casey who is the Pastor of the Children’s Ministries at Valley Shepard Church of the Nazarene in Meridian, ID.

Leslie still cuts hair, I still collect payments from apple sales, and we both spend the rest of our time working in, on, and around our house. We spent the better part of last year putting in the irrigation and planting our lawn.

As before, we wish you all the merriest of Christmas seasons. May God bless you, richly, as you celebrate the birth of his son, Jesus Christ.

Don and Leslie Wilson
Alyssa, Ashley, Austin

And The Answer Is…

On my last blog post…..that was a long time ago……have I mentioned that it has been a very busy time for me?……..ok…….on my last blog post, I asked if anyone recognized the car in the picture. I’ve had a few responses, and they were all very close, but nobody guessed right

I’ll let my father-in-law answer the question.

Don, Here are some pics of my new “1955” Desoto station wagon. It’s a real nice car, one that is quite rare today. It’s had an amature restoration on it with a paint job upholstery, and some new parts on it. The previous owner replaced the 291 Desoto Hemi with a ’55 331 Chrysler Hemi.

I drove it hom from Prineville, only 20 miles, last week and havn’t driven it anymore. I have to put some seals around the tail gate where I am getting some carbon monoxide fumes coming in, which caused me two days of headaches until I found the problem. I will have to do some TLC on it as it hasn’t been driven much the last couple of years.

It seems that I bought it out from under a club member who wanted it, but lacked the interest to go after it. I got a call from him, asking me if I bought Georgia’s Desoto Wagon. I said I did, and he said that it was his car and he really wanted to get it, and asked me what I was going to do with it. I told him I was going to work on it and make it a better driving and looking car. He told me a little bit of history about the car, which I didn’t know, and said he drove it a couple of years ago when the owner was alive. He was going to call me back later, but didn’t do it. I guess he’s a little upset that I got the car and he missed out. So be it.

Anyway, here are the pics.

Later, Kent

Here’s some more pictures of the car. We’ll see how these load as I am trying out a new method of delivering photos over my blog. Click on the photo and your browser should take you to an album with several more photos. Please comment on how this works for you. I appreciate the feedback.

Kent’s new car