Monday, August 29, 2011

The Real Meaning of Words

This is a rework of an email I received earlier today….I wanted to share with each of you….There is often so much truth in so few words….God Bless
Love......


Sorrow......


Innocence......


Departure......


Pain......



Respect......


Compassion......


Friendship......


Patience......


Rescued......



Best Friends......


Devine......


"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about caring and
loving your relatives and friends while you can touch and see them,
and they are still among us!"


Be nice to all you meet; each of us carries a burden that others can't see.








Thursday, August 25, 2011

Apartment Hunting

It’s that time again, that time that rolls around every few years for many, its apartment hunting time. We are so excited about finding a new place to call home…the place we are in now was great for a time, but we are leaning more towards a place with amenities and  a place that will showcase some of the beautiful views Issaquah has to offer.  We really missed not having a hot tub and pool this summer and Lord knows I could use a workout room to shed a few extra pounds J lol
There are some things we are going to miss, like renting from an individual vs. a property management company.  Our landlord is a really nice guy and we could live there for the next twenty years without him raising the rent, whereas any property management company is going to raise it every time the lease ends, which means we have the choice to pay the increase or get out...   All in all though, the pros of having the place we want far outweigh the typical renter woes…
We have found a few places that we absolutely love, so I’m hoping we can get a great move in special on one of them… Wish us luck :)
Choice # 1

Choice # 2


Choice # 3







Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What Matters the Most

Another highlight of our recent Texas trip was getting to spend some time with my dad Jim, my stepmom Bonita, my Papaw Covert and his wife Bettye.  Because of the distance between here and there, we don’t get to see them all nearly as often as we would like…  As a matter of fact, I think it had been 4+ years since I had seen my Papaw Covert, so it felt really good to have the opportunity for a visit.   
If I had to pick one thing that most Texans can appreciate, it would have to be a good helping of southern fried catfish, and those of us in the Covert clan are of no exception…   So you can imagine my delight when Dad called to say we were all meeting up at Lee's Catfish & Steak House.   This is a relatively new restaurant to the area, so we were all excited to give it a go, and I am happy to report that we weren’t disappointed. J   We had some great catfish and hushpuppies and all the sweet tea we could drink.  Just when I didn’t think it could get any better, the band started to play… Live music, country cookin’, and time with family… who could ask for more….. We were blessed to have the time.
After an evening of fine country dining, we ended up back at Papaw and Bettye’s house where we all had some good laughs and time to catch up…   It was wonderful to see the girls have a chance to interact with their grandparents and great grandparents.  Not’s something they get to do every day, and that is a shame, but I am thankful for the time they were able to spend with them. 
Heck I even had some time to get Bettye’s computer back into tip-top shape before leaving, she can finally listen to those audiobooks she has been wanting to hear – I guess having a grandson that works in the technology industry has its advantages LOL….
You don't choose your family.  They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Boot Scootin' Boogie

The whole reason for going to Texas earlier this month is so we could attend my brother’s family wedding reception which consisted of an old fashioned shindig in the old red barn there on the farm… well sorta kinda… it is an old red barn, but it was converted long ago into a country store and then later into a venue for Country style weddings, so it’s actually pretty nice now… has the look and feel of an old barn, but with all the modern conveniences of home, such as A/C, etc. LOL… Considering the heat, there wouldn’t have been many of us in attendance had there not been the A/C, sorry bro LOL… 
The party was an absolute blast…the live band, beers a plenty, and all the Texas BBQ we could eat.  We were in our own little Texas paradise... They just don’t cook BBQ like that here in the great northwest, at least not that I have found.
September and I had the opportunity to catch up with family and friends we haven’t seen in years and the girls had a great time dancing with their Nanny (my mom) and their cousins alike… It was just an all-around good old fashion barn party!
YEEEEE HAWWWWW…….


Welcome home, Ward family. Welcome home…

Once in a while someone comes along that makes your heart smile, not necessarily because of what they accomplish, but because of whom they are and the selfless love they show others…
Extreme Makeover Home Edition has to be one of our favorite shows – I guess it would fall under the “reality TV” blanket, but there is something different about this show.  It’s not about who can beat who at some task, or who can find love on a tropical island far away from any sort of reality.  This show is about giving to others who have fallen on hard times for one reason or another. It’s a show that focuses on giving back to those who are truly in need…
In last night’s episode, Clara Ward a lady from Erie Pennsylvania has dedicated her life to serving the disadvantaged children of her neighborhood.  Many of these children don’t have enough food to eat or a clean pillow to lay there head on at night. Many live in fear of the gunfire that takes place just outside their window as they try to get a good night sleep… 
For many in the neighborhood, Ms. Clara is the only sense of normalcy these children have…  She provides a hot meal, a gentle hug, a safe place to fall in a world of such uncertainty… and she does it all in spite of being bound to a wheelchair…
For years, she ran the operation from her home which wasn’t wheelchair accessible.  Because of the wheelchair, she wasn’t even able to access the back bedroom in her home, or take a shower without risk of falling while moving from her wheelchair into the bathtub, but through it all, she continued to serve and love without a complaint…giving all of herself and expecting nothing in return…making sure the children had a sense of normalcy even when she herself didn’t..
The people from Extreme Makeover Home Edition built her a beautiful home with all things needed for her to take care of herself  and continue her one of a kind service to the children she loves… I can’t think of a more deserving individual….
Welcome home, Ward family. Welcome home…
Proverbs 11:24-25
New International Version (NIV)
24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
   another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
25 A generous person will prosper;
   whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.


Justice for All?

September and I watched a very interesting HBO documentary this weekend that I would highly recommend to the masses.  Hot Coffee covers the hot topic of Tort Reform and the impact it is having on the lives of everyday people like you and I.
You may ask, what is Tort Reform?  Well, Wikipedia describes it as follows:
Tort reform refers to proposed changes in common law civil justice systems that would reduce tort litigation or damages. Tort actions are civil common law claims first created in the English commonwealth system as a non-legislative means for compensating wrongs and harm done by one party to another's person, property or other protected interests (e.g. physical injury or reputation, under libel and slander laws). Tort reform advocates focus on personal injury common law rules in particular.
In the United States tort reform is a contentious political issue. US tort reform advocates propose, among other things, procedural limits on the ability to file claims, and capping the awards of damages. Supporters of the existing tort system, including consumer advocates, argue that reformers have mis-stated the existence of any real factual issue and criticize tort reform as disguised corporate welfare.[1], [2]
In Commonwealth countries as well as states including Texas, Georgia and California, the losing party must pay court costs of the opposing party.[3] In some countries and U.S. states, including Texas and California, the loser must also pay the opposing parties' attorneys' fees as well.
Some legal scholars propose to replace tort compensation with a social security framework that serves victims without respect to cause or fault. In 1972, New Zealand introduced the first universal no-fault insurance scheme for all accident victims, which provides benefit from the government run Accident Compensation Corporation without respect to negligence. Its goal is to achieve equality of compensation, while reducing costs of litigation. In the 1970s, Australia[4] and the United Kingdom drew up proposals for similar no-fault schemes[5] but they were later abandoned.

Basically, caps are put on the amount of damages one can be awarded from another party as a result of damages caused by the other party.

There were several interesting stories chronicled in the documentary, but the one I want to focus on here is the story of Colin, a boy born with Cerebral Palsy as a result of a doctor’s negligence before and during delivery.  Colin ended up with a severe case of Cerebral Palsy and will require direct care for the rest of his life.

The parents proceeded with legal action against the doctor and were awarded 5.6 million dollars which would have allowed Colin’s family to ensure he had the required level of care needed for the rest of his life… Well as a result of Tort Reform in his state, the judge had no choice but to reduce the award to 1.2 million, which isn’t enough to ensure the level of lifelong care needed.

Come on Adam, 1.2 million is still a great deal of money; they should be able to make it on that, right?
The thing to remember about a handicap is it’s not like going into the doctor for a broken leg, having them patch it up and slowly recovering over time.  The leg will eventually heal and normal function will be restored….

With a handicap, the struggles that one has will always be there, they don’t get better with time.  If anything, ones struggles may become more compounded over time as a result of the normal aging process….
Now let’s take Colin’s situation…. He is severely mentally and physically handicapped.  Which means he will never be able to have a career to provide for himself, he will never be able to have a family and will require one on one care for the rest of his life.  When you put it like that, 1.2 million dollars is nothing…
What happens to Collin after his Mother and Father are gone, he will most likely end up in some government paid for care facility, which I’m sure is the last place any of us would want to end up.

When we start taking the power away from a jury to award what they feel is fair compensation based on the facts of a case, and give that power to lawmakers, in the form of caps on damages, we handicap the very fundamentals of our legal system…

This begs the question, is justice being served?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Down to the River We Go

Our trip to Texas brought back so many memories for me.  Growing up on a farm in east Texas was a one of a kind childhood, and I am blessed to have had the opportunity.
The farmland goes all the way to the bank of the Red River.  There were many times when my dad, Bart would take my younger brother and me down to the river to shoot his “22 rifle…  We would hang our feet off the bank  and shoot at sticks and debris moving in the current - the first one to sink the chosen target into the river with his projectile won a point, as you might have guessed, I always won every match because of my true marksmanship, YEAH RIGHT lol…
 It’s hard to describe the feeling of freedom that being in such a setting brings… the beautiful blue skies, the sounds of nature, the sound of the river as it rushes downstream, etc… It’s something that’s hard to appreciate unless you have experienced it….
Shortly after arriving at the farm, my cousin Micah says “Hey y’all wanna go down to the river?”  Well, let’s just say September, myself, Courtney (my youngest daughter) and my brother Brien jumped all over the opportunity – hopped in Micah’s Ford F-150 and off we went lol…
Before I knew it, my wife was a pistol packin’ momma for the first time in her life and my daughter had shot her first “22 rifle…I was one proud husband and father… Courtney with her first two shots hit the targets dead on, she had the biggest smile on her face, I loved it….  As for September, she did a great job too, and there is just something about a woman who knows how to handle a ’45 lol