Thursday, April 30, 2009


I was just outside wearing down the dogs before I head for the store. After several launches of the tennis ball, they were beginning tire. It was then that I heard it. No doubt about it; it came from my mouth. I was the only human being out there.

First a bit of background. I was born in Seattle and raised in what was then a very small rural community to the east of Seattle. The only time I did not live there was when I went away to college. However, when I went to school I was not east, nor south, of Utah. I traveled with the Drum and Bugle Corps for most of my life after fifth grade. We went all the way to the east coast for competitions. However, most of the time was spent either practicing or in greyhound bus depots changing buses.

One must, therefore, wonder why I asked the dogs if they were "tarred" and ready to go in. I noticed that I also tend to forget the "eee" sound after such words as "bye" and "why."

Sunshine?? S2??

Is this my not so secret desire to go back to that wonderful land of smiles, courtesy, and just plain manners?



Darlin, we just want to go back :)
Bahy now...y'all come back...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Today was an amazing day, weather wise. I spent the day in shorts and T-shirt. Tonight is another story, however. A cold breeze has come in and it feels like winter (still). I just heard a clap of thunder.

Kate had her bath today. Unlike the dogs in the advertisement she did not seem to enjoy it. However it really did take only three minutes, and it is great to know that she was clean all the way to, and including, the skin, and rinsed completely as well. As soon as I get the ignitor switch fixed on the trailer I will have the same available right in my driveway. I then dried her, checking out some ideas to give her a more level top line. Suffice it to say, it worked, and it will be interesting to see what the judges think this weekend. Sadly, for Kate, there is no more pasture time until Monday. She is so low to the ground, and moves so fast, all the mud gets kicked onto her now white belly and her legs.

I guess the fifth time must be a charm, as I am really looking forward to the shows this weekend. I think I finally know what is expected and just want Kate to have fun. I have a few new tricks in my show bag that ought to make her happy.
I got a call from the man who did my "tattoo" on the prosthesis. He is giving a talk at a fundraising dinner at the Convention Center in Seattle, and wants me to go. I had written a few lines for a story one of the TV stations wants to do, and he wants me to read it. I think the work that he does is not only amazing, but can really help some of the new members of my "gimp" family (the war vets) begin the road to healing. To be proud of that crazy replacement leg is a must, in my opinion. Every time I look at mine it makes me smile. None of us are born exactly the same. Why should this very personal replacement part look as if it came off an assembly line? Any thing I can do to help Dan, I will do my best to do.
It is interesting how some people just show up in my life and fill a void that I really didn't know was there. I am so lucky to have amazing friends. Tonight I got a call from a friend who offered to take care of Henry and Windy this weekend. I will take Henry, so it will just be Windy that will need to be fed. I had realized today that I needed to talk to the neighbor, and was going to call when I got the call and offer. Another friend emailed me a picture of her husband's new bike. That simple gesture made my day, and warms my heart for a lot of reasons. Each day there is some "encounter" that verifies how wonderful and full my life is. A few years back I was pretty angry when the code team pulled me back from that wonderful tunnel of light. Now I am extremely grateful. I can only hope that I can give my friends' lives a little bit of the happiness that they all give me.
So onward goes the week. All of the veggies seem happy in their straw bales. The grapes are showing signs of coming out of their winter hibernation. The first rhodies to bloom will be there by early next week. The nettles are at about two feet tall now, and I am eager for a couple of nice days so I can kill them. Those things hurt. Big time. I have tried pulling them out. I have tried cutting them out. Both of those have netted me big time "stings" on my wrists...between the gloves and the shirt sleeve. One of the not so great joys of living in the woods. I have had enough taste of spring to know it will be here. When it does, I will be out with the nasty poison, and a big grin.
Carry on.
ARGHH! After FIVE attempts to edit in spaces between paragraphs it looks like it is not going to happen tonight. It is just another one of those interesting quirks that raises its head on this site. I just don't understand how, or why, it doesn't publish the same as the preview. sigh.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The start to a new week

and what a week it will be. This coming weekend is the Olympia Dog Fanciers show at the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds in Elma. My sister used to live walking distance from the fairgrounds, and now lives on the other side of town. We will stay there as I was silly enough to get a dog whose name is at the beginning of the alphabet so have early ring calls. Truthfully, the AKC messed it up in the beginning by calling the breed "Welsh Corgi, Cardigan" so they would show right before the "Welsh Corgi, Pembroke." Now they are going by the more correct "Cardigan Welsh Corgi" so we always have 8:30 or 9am ring calls. For those poor, lucky, souls whose dog goes into Best of Show, it means spending the day. So, the deal was that I would stay with family, but not, since there was a horse show in Oregon the same weekend. I would stay at the house and happily do chores with the horsies that will be staying home. I realized today, in a panic sort of way, that I hadn't a clue how to do chores at the new place. Add to that the changing of horses, either looks, or adding and subtracting, and I am clueless as to what I will need to do. I really don't feel like four hours of driving so called this afternoon and figured I would arrange to go down this week. After the obligatory chat and catch up I mentioned the show(s). "A week from this coming weekend" says she. "No, this coming weekend" says I. "The weekend of the 8th, 9th, 10th" she says. "No, the 2nd and 3rd" says I. She is delighted, and I now even more nervous. She will be cheering me on. So, I thought it might be good to just take the one dog down. I make a note to call "doggy camp" to reserve a spot for Henry. Then remember, dum, dum, dum, the Hood Canal bridge will be closed starting Friday, and going for the next six weeks. So, I will take both dogs rather than drive an extra two hours. The bridge closure also means that our ferry schedule in the evenings is bunged up pretty crazy. One of the later boats will now be sailing from Edmonds to Port Townsend, and we will not have a replacement. (Sorry kids, no dinner dates for the next couple of months.) If I were to miss the last boat, and I haven't a clue now when that last boat runs, it means driving down to Seattle, or worse, Tacoma and around.

So this week, in addition to show packing, I made a date with a cousin I haven't seen in a couple of years. Perhaps my visit with younger brother touched a nerve, but I called and we have a lunch date on the other side of the "pond." Tuesday Kate gets a special bath that will hopefully wash out much of the shedding hair. Thursday she has a massage (who says show dogs are spoiled?) and Friday we leave. I haven't entered any more shows at this point. I have been working so hard on conditioning both Kate and myself that I decided to be a bit more picky and choosy as to where we go. She is plenty happy to not go any where, but I haven't got it out of my system as of yet. In between the big "dates" are a ton of little, and not so little, things I need to get done. (Like bathe and finish clipping the poor horse. It is a good thing she is alone out there as she would be the laughing stock of the field. Even my grand daughter mentioned that "there is something wrong with Windy's hair.")

The first veggies have gone into the straw bales. We shall see how they grow, and I will get pictures and post on occasion. I think I will get a soaker hose to run across the bales. The horse needs a feeder for Saturday and Sunday morning. So much to do, now that the weather appears to be turning. It is odd to have the trees and shrubs and bulbs all blooming at the same time, but there was a moment when I wondered if anything would bloom at all. (We did have frost again last night!)

Welcome to my world, and again I have to wonder how the heck anything got done when I worked full time.

With that, I am out to do evening chores and go to bed. I stayed up too late on the phone last night...but it was great to talk to you, S2. I will throw, or set, the camera in the truck. Blogging this week may be limited to pictures.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Oh my

I feel like a cooked noodle that has been thrown against the wall. I think I might be over cooked.

I picked up my treadmill on Wednesday. I got it into the house yesterday about dinner time. I have found that there is a reason that these things come in multiple boxes. This is big. It is heavy. It is awkward. Sure once inside, it it wonderful as it folds up and has wheels on one side of the base. So it can be tipped back and wheeled, uhmmm, well it can be wheeled "somewhere." Where it ends up after the walk is yet to be determined. At this point it is in the living room and a lot of things have been pushed aside. Training now takes precedence over entertaining. (Like I do any entertaining!!)

So. I get home after picking the treadmill up, Wednesday, and unload it into the carport. Thursday I take the trusty tape measure out and measure it. There is no way it will fit into my door off the carport. I am very sure it will fit in the slider off the pool, so begin the thought process of getting into the house by way of that door. It fits through the gate of the pool, barely, but must be move "side ways." Wouldn't it be nice if those wheels on the base were swivel wheels? An inch at a time I get it through the gate. Yes!! By now I am breathing heavy, and sweat is beginning to form all over. Next I must get the thing up two steps and into my room. No problem, think I, I got it through the gate. I can get it up those two cement steps. I get it up one, no problem, but the second just isn't happening. The steps are not wide enough to be able to get the whole thing on that first step, and it will not straddle the first step to go all the way up to the room. Back down and get the ramp. By now I am wet with sweat, and I think the brain is lacking oxygen. I get the ramp and set it on the first step and wiggle the treadmill onto the ramp. (You know where I am going, don't you? Like I said, I am now panting, and the brain wasn't fully functional.) Here I am. Leaning through the slider and trying to pull this huge thing up and in. sigh. I don't need a ramp to the first step. I need it spanning the first step and onto the second. Walk treadmill back down and again set the ramp, this time where it truly is needed. Inch by inch I walked the thing into my bedroom. Upon sitting for a minute I begin to realize that I may not be able to get it thru my bedroom door and go get the tape measure. Remember, each little "step" of this must be done sideways, so those wheels are of no help. I sit and gasp for a few minutes. Then begin to wiggle very slowly to the door and then through it. I must make tiny little moves as it can just barely get thru using different angles. Success!! However, the hall way is not wide enough to be able to use those handy wheels, once again. So I wiggle it, and walk it into the dining area. At this point I am thinking about where this huge piece of equipment is going to go. I move the table over to the piano. Maybe the dining area will be its home until September. I can't see the TV, and figured that would be my reward. As I sit contemplating the possibilities I look at the dog crates and realize that I could have used the nice furniture dolly that I got from Circuit City when they closed down. It has wonderful huge swivel wheels. So, the last five feet were done quickly and easily. (I am now, as I type, picturing myself beating my head on a brick wall.) Of course once I get the cord where it will reach a plug in I simply MUST try it out. I feel a bit like George Jetson. This thing has a dashboard and I haven't a clue what all buttons I should push. "Start" sounds like a plan. On I go. Slooooowly. So I push a button with a "2." Uh wrong button as I am trying my best to jog my way back to the control panel. Perhaps I can find an owner's manual on line. I cannot find the "Off" switch. Oh stop! I found the "stop" button. It is huge and says "STOP" on it. But I don't know how to silence the dashboard. it is laughing at my measly twenty seconds and is broadcasting it to the heavens. "Look. She did a great big twenty seconds and she thinks she is going to walk sixty miles! Hey everyone, over here. Look. Look!!" I pull the plug to silence the monster. I cackle a bit as I am thinking about the wicked witch of the west "I'm melting...."

On line I see where I can download the owner's manual. Model number is needed. No problem. It is on the now silent dashboard in big chrome letters. C 2000. Nope. Luckily there is a pop up that tells me where to look. It gives me six options. First go over I come up dry. No serial number plate. Now I find a flashlight and get down on my hands and knees. Success!! What the heck is that big C2000? It is model number NTL1084.2. Of course. I should have known that! Well, the good news is that I was able to print out the 34 page book. The bonus was that I found the on/off switch. It was then time to head to the shower. While I didn't get a mile in, or even a half mile in, I got plenty of exercise. That MUST count for something, right?

Upon flipping through the manual I am amazed at all this treadmill can do. I can set various "routes" where I walk level for a bit than climb little hills, and bigger hills, and mountains. I can mosey along, or I can sprint. All is done with me just hanging on to those nifty handles that will give my heart rate. I can even get, or download, special programs that have been written by trainers and that target certain goals. It also has two fans that will blow on me as I train. THOSE would have come in handy while I was moving the bloody thing. It has all the bells and whistles. If only I could go to bed and have it take my body and put it to work as I sleep. I could wake up refreshed and strong. Impossible, but I can dream can't I? For now the treadmill is in the middle of the floor. I think that is where it will stay for the next few months.

I will tell you one thing. I got the workout of my life last night. And I only had it on for twenty seconds. Boy am I stiff!!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A day with a five year old

I was blessed with spending the day with my number two grand daughter, who is five. Non stop talk was the special of the day. She can read, so every sign was scrutinized and sounded out. She also knows sign language, so was teaching me that. Understand, of course, that she could easily be pulling the wool over my eyes and I would likely not catch it. Some of the things she knows are: poetry is a little story that has rhymes. There are vowels that connect other letters to make words. To jump off the ramp to the ferry boat would not be good as the water is cold. My favorite is the bald eagle that we saw was the Daddy, because "Daddy's are bald, silly grandma, not Mommys." I also learned that hangnails can catch on tights, but if she pulls really fast it only hurts for a second and sometimes it will get pulled off and then won't hurt any more.

The plans were to give Windy a bath and finish up the clip job. However it has been a cold drizzly day so that plan was scrapped. We did some crafts and read. We sang songs (Christmas carols) and told stories. The favorite was the chipmunks in the swimming pool event. She had me retell it at least three times. We hit the jackpot coming here on the ferry boat. I let her pick a snack and when she put in the money her Skittles hung for a split second and I thought we might have to jiggle the machine. Instead it gave us two. Inside I suspect the little hamster was reading my mind and I could almost her him squeaking "NOOOOOOOOO" as I got close to the machine. He then got on his little hamster wheel and kicked it into overdrive and we got two packages. We thanked him and then acknowledged that he was pretend.

All in all it was wonderful, and way too short. I think I am going to have to do this much more often. They are growing up way too fast.

One the return trip home after dropping her off with her Dad, I was escorted to port by three dolphins. How cool is that!!!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Incredible weather, so why am I on the computer?

I spent the last two and a half hours clipping the horse. She looks like the little neighbor whose brother locked them both in the bathroom and took the clippers to her. (True story.) Here's the deal. It was a long cold winter. She had a long thick coat. That thick coat is shedding out, so she rubs on the fences. I am supposed to bathe her before clipping. Nice idea, but if I bathe her, there is no way to get all the way down to the skin, and she would need to remain contained until dry or she would immediately go out and roll, thereby defeating the bath. Some the first couple of passes don't look too bad. It is all down hill from there. By the end of this session I am forcing the clippers thru the hair an inch at a time. I have changed blades five times, and clippers twice. Her legs are untouched. Clipper tracks form a little map for a toddler to run his matchbox cars upon. The horse is feeling pretty good and no longer wants to stand still. She wants to run around, which she does as soon as I put her away. Her beautiful red color is a mousy brown. Next up? A bath and fresh blade to finish the job. This little horse has the cutest head. Every year it is like opening a very special present when I clip her head. I know why my sister fell in love with her.

I came in to take a shower and start laundry. You see I am allergic to animals. Animal allergies tend to be skin/hair based. I have two corgwyn of hair that I raked up. Much is still on my body and even though I doubled my allergy meds my arms are beginning to welt and my sinuses can only "squeak" when I try to breath thru my nose.

After the shower it is email time. My younger brother, who is developmentally delayed, had skin cancer surgery the first week of the month that involved grafting. We have all tried for years to get him to wear sunscreen and he refuses. While he is DD, he is living on his own, drives and holds a job. His DD shows with odd little quirks that make me completely insane. He is able to take me back to age ten faster than any person I have ever met. And it isn't the nice kid at age 10. Anyway, it seems that he won't go out of his apartment because he doesn't want anyone seeing his bandage. He thinks they will stare or ask him what happened. I made the mistake of trying to explain how that shouldn't bug him, or that he could use any comments that occur as a way to educate them about the need for sunscreen. Not happening. I suggested a hat; that way he is covering the owie and shading his face from more sun rays. Nope. At this point I have to say that my older brother and his wife are due for sainthood. They oversee everything. They caught the lesion and took him in. They take care of his bills. They deal with his weird idiosyncrasies. I am in awe. I am good for a couple of hours, but that is it. So, I am going over on Thursday. I am taking him out in public. I will wear shorts so that he can see that it is no big deal when folks look, and so that it takes the attention away from him. This new prosthesis is about as bold and dramatic looking as they come. I will take him to the grocery store. He didn't tell my brother that he wasn't going out. He told me. We have learned to forward all communication to the big brother, so that he gets ALL the picture. So this is where I say "Please God, grant me patience."

Also on the computer is a note from a friend who just moved to Missouri. I am sad and will miss her. It was nice to know she made it safely and is ready to embark on her new life. I mentioned that I needed a treadmill as my walking was just not happening as I had hoped, and she has been a big supporter of me doing the 3 Day. It seems that her nice (fold up) treadmill didn't fit in the moving truck and I should call her friends and get it out of their shed. It has all the bells and whistles and I am excited. I can get a few miles in as my wake up at 5:30am. Perhaps I can get the dogs on it at some point as well; that could be fun! So, I have the bike in here on the trainer still and now will also have the treadmill. Time to unload some more stuff so that there is room. I am really, really loving downsizing the clutter. It is so freeing. It also helps paying for the bike trainer and dog show entry fees.

Then I find I also have proofs to go through from a photo shoot last weekend. They are really good. I have to pick fifteen for a calendar. I have three pages of proofs to go through. Daughter dearest suggests printing them out so that I can compare. Great idea! I click "print" and out comes a page with little blank boxes all over it. Of course I cannot copy the pictures. The photographer is a professional and she doesn't want anyone just printing out their proofs and not paying. Duh!! So I have a piece of paper with numbers all over it and check marks and notations by those numbers. I send the link to a few friends and family to help with the decision process. As their suggestions come in I tally them up. The fifteen with the highest votes become the calendar. I will get a disk with all the proofs and can then make my copies from it. She wants to do a bit of photo shop work first.

See what happens when I neglect my technology? It suddenly piles up and my one hour quickly becomes three. Oh well. In those three hours my sinuses have begun to clear a tiny bit and the shower and antihistamines have taken care of the hives. However, I have received ten emails in the last thirty minutes, and it is hard to leave them for later.

But I must walk away from all this. If I don't I will likely still be here at 6pm. I really need to water my bales of straw. It is never ending no matter which part of my world I choose to deal with. I become a lot like Kate: "Which ball should I choose?"


Monday, April 20, 2009

Tulip Time in Mt. Vernon, WA (hope you really like daffodils)

Saturday, my friend and I headed to Mt. Vernon, WA, in order to photograph the stunning fields of tulips. I've done this before, but it's been eight years, and well before I had this camera. And Karen hadn't had a cool camera the last time she did the same. Right now, it's the usually the heart of the Tulip Festival...but we hadn't really factored in the fact that we've had an unusually cool and stormy spring.
The real beauty of this is that we are usually so fixated on the colorful tulips that we miss the daffodil season. Not this year!
These white beauties are called "Ice Follies". I love tulips and used to have several varieties in my garden. Now however, I live in an apartment, and have to enjoy other people's daffodils. When I was photographing this field, I had a couple of tourists (from Asia, not Europe, else they would have known) approach me and ask me somewhat confusedly if these were the tulips. I had to give them the bad news that the tulips wouldn't be on show for another week or two at least, but at least I knew what kind of daffies these were, right?
There were no signs telling us, but I'm thinking these are King Alfred daffodils.
I'm so happy I got to see the fields of daffodils, I love them! Really raises the spirits!

Guess what grew in these fields previously? These were our only tulip photos...

Our plan was also to lunch on the salmon feed put on by the Kiwanis club. However, while at the Dakota Art store (Karen is a pastel artist), we made new friends that needed a ride to a local Mexican restaurant (can't remember the name, which is a shame because the food was a pleasure). We ended up receiving an invitation to stay and eat lunch with them. It was a pleasure to get to know these artists better, we felt so lucky!

I'll post more tomorrow...we spent the balance of the day at the beach :) Enjoy, Grandma! I know you love daffodils, so I posted lots of photos :)

(((((((S2))))))) Thanks. Wonderful pictures. I have lived in the area my entire life and have never been to the "daffodil fields."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunset at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park

I had a calm Sunday, punctuated with fits of activity during which I got as much done as possible. The new freezer wants to be in an extremely clean kitchen. I've been in a 'take a toothbrush to the small crevices' sort of mood. However, there are hitches. I took down some pictures that have been up quite a while; now I need to wash the walls. Next, I'll be wanting to paint the walls, mark my words.

I had a fantastic Saturday, my friend Karen and I headed north to see the tulip fields in Mt. Vernon. All I have to say at the moment, is that the daffodils were stunning! Photos of them will come later.

So this evening, Karen and I convened to compare our respective caches of photos, when we suddenly realized it was sunset time! Really, we were late setting out, but we made it out to Richmond Beach Saltwater Park before the colors were finished. Sometimes I think that the darkening of the sunset is the very best part. I know we both took some wonderful shots...enjoy:

We're so lucky to have a park like this so near. It's 'owned' by the City of Shoreline now, and clearly the city has money. The improvements are great but they do look as though they are expensive. I probably wouldn't make that observation if the economy were better. This is a wonderful park and I've loved it for many years.

We took Karen's dog, Charlie, with us to the park. It was her third trip to the park today, apparently! As we took the elevator upstairs on our way back home, I think you can read her mind: Open, open, open...

One of those days

the kind that wears a person out before they even get up!

Yep. That was my Sunday. No day of rest here, beginning at somewhere after 5:30am. I got up at the usual crack-o-dawn with the corgwyn. However, this morning it was all I could do to even sit up. I am stiff from the riding yesterday, and the tinnitus was extra loud last night, also due to the riding, and lack of earplugs, and wind buffeting my head around, etc. etc. So, the loud squeal kept me from falling asleep until after midnight. So, I let the dogs out and after we come back in I went back to bed. I fell sound asleep so never heard the commotion in the front room. I neglected to crate the Kate dog, and she had a heyday in the living room. I want everyone reading this to take a look around the room you are sitting in. I cannot be so abnormal that I am the only one who stacks things in corners and under the computer desk. There is a shelf under there that nicely hold various boxes of computer programs. When I finally crawled out of bed for allergy meds I came into the front room and saw the war zone. Computer programs that no longer had boxes. A wireless router that I was going to return, which is also now without any box or packing. A used laser cartridge that had been boxed up for recycle. Now cannot be recycled as it is chewed in various places. Then, of course, a couple of books. AND some things off the table. I have laid the chairs down as I thought she was getting stuff by jumping on the chairs. Now I haven't a clue. She will be crated should I ever feel the need to go back to bed. It was crazy enough that I had to put myself in time out so I wouldn't strike her. The worst was that she was following me around as I picked up the bits and pieces. She hasn't a clue. I know it wasn't Henry as he slept beside me, and he would definitely be as far away as possible had he been involved.

Anyway, we went outside to blow off some steam. Today we were meeting the photographer in the off leash park and I thought I would throw in the basketball and a tennis ball should Kate need incentive. We had a blast and the photographer adored Henry and his whole charming self. I will get the pictures sometime in the next couple of week and I can hardly wait. She will be using a lot on her website, so that will be fun as well. After a couple of hours of wandering around I was pretty wiped out and the dogs tired, and wet. Oh, I guess I haven't mentioned that Miss Kate likes to swim. She found a series of ditches that were full of water and took a few refreshing dips. Henry, on the other hand, just waded up to his elbows in mud. I think I will need to be sure that the pool doors are locked up this summer. So, I threw the bags of poo in the back of the truck, and the wet dogs in the front and we headed to S'dale for the Spring Fling. When we got there it was all dear Henry could do to contain himself when he heard the trainer's voice. He hasn't been to class since November and he adores both the trainer and her husband, and there they were in the same room. All manners were out the door and the next thing I knew Noel was on the floor rolling around with Henry as he was trying to give her a thorough bath. He would then run full speed across the room to nudge at Mike and then back again. It was pretty darn cute. She worked on Kate a bit and we talked about things I can do to strengthen her back. Then we talked about the lack of training we are doing for the 3 day. She is a breast cancer survivor and is doing the walk this year. Yes indeedy, me thinks we will be sharing the short bus back to camp with her. We left Noel to continue on with her CGC (canine good citizenship) testing, which we are far from qualifying for, and I loaded up the fur kids and headed for home. They slept all the way and were raring to go about the time I turned up the driveway. The truck was full of dog hair, so I opted to vacuum immediately. When I walked around the truck...

the tailgate was down. Yep. When I put those baggies in at the park I didn't get it closed completely. There, nicely balanced on the edge, were those two baggies. Sadly, there is a basketball bouncing down a highway somewhere between here and there. Can you imagine driving along and having a basketball bounce past? I suspect it came out long before we hit the highway, at least I hope that is the case. I guess I will anxiously wait out the next couple of days and see if the county cops contact me. Hmmm, which would be worse, a bag of doggy poo or a ball? I know the ball could cause some damage, but, ewwwww.

Bedtime draws near, and I need to go fall in. My stiff, sore body needs some rest. Nighty night, y'all.


Oh my, what a day. Certain aspects do have me laughing, but oh my. I sure hope you feel better tomorrow (((hug)))

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A very fine Saturday, thank you very much!

Indeed. Spring weather. Sunny and chilly. I dressed in several layers, with the top being leather. Do you get where I am going with this? It was one of those thirty minute miles. It's funny how much longer it takes to get somewhere on the motorcycle. It's not like I am dawdling. In fact I have to really watch the right wrist as it tends to flex a bit too much, and I don't want to soil my perfect driving record with a speeding ticket. As I was cruising prior to getting on the ferry, I realized that my cheap Walmart watch was frozen at 11:30. I think it was a victim of the cruel winter. I guess I should figure on spending the $5 each year, eh? Since I had a date with two of the grandkids I figured I had better make my way to the ferry dock. As happens more often than not, I arrived and paid for my tickets with just five minutes to spare before loading. I love riding the bike on the ferry as there is no waiting in line. First on, first off. I drive a bit more tense on the first few trips out. I need to knock the cobwebs from my riding body. Once the wind hits me that feeling of excitement and content come out as well. I feel free.

I got to my son's and was greeted by the two girls, squealing in excitement. Their Mommy went off on her way, and we sat and read six books that they had just checked out at the library. We then popped some popcorn and settled to watch "Toy Story." After about 10 minutes they wanted to play outside. As we were getting shoes on the older child changed her mind, as she was afraid the alarm was set and she didn't want it to go off. I told her it was probably fine, but she quickly told me she would rather just stay in the house and read some more. Hmmmm. Mom got home and I was telling her about the alarm story and she began to chuckle. It seems that the alarm system can be set up to "kid proof" the house. Generally if the system is on, the door can be opened and it will beep and you have a certain amount of time to disarm it. If it is set to "kid-proof" and they open the door if goes off in a VERY loud and very long squeal. One of the girls decided to sneak outside one day when Mom thought she was napping. BUSTED!! Maybe I DO like technology a little. I would have loved to see that. Mom said that both girls completely freaked out and started crying. A perfect instance of Mommy having eyes everywhere.

I got back on the bike and headed for the ferry. I hate leaving Kate crated, but I hate even more having to deal with the destruction. I need to remember that she was a crate raised dog. All the things that Henry outgrew long ago are showing in Kate now. However, the most interesting thing is that her love of books has changed. She now only eats the ones that are not mine. sigh. At any rate, I had bought my home-bound ride when I left at noon, so was able to go straight to the dock and have it scanned. Again, no lines. As I turned to go down to the dock the oncoming bikes were unloading. Perfect! The ride home was great. Seagulls following along. A few waves from the big freighters...I find myself saying a little prayer that they will reach their destinations safely now. I stayed on the car deck with my bike. A great front row seat; why go anywhere else? As I spotted the dock I got that feeling in my stomach. That rush of excitement. As a kid we called them "tummy tickles." It is like my whole body is so excited at where I live and how it is all working out. I couldn't ask for anything better.

Once home I rushed in and got the doggies and headed to the pasture. The horse softly called...not to me, to the dogs! I threw the ball enough times that Henry was refusing to bring it back and Kate's dirty tongue was hanging to the ground.

Tomorrow is a doggie day. A friend who is a massage therapist and trainer is doing the "Spring Fair" at a wonderful shop in S'dale. After a stopover to let Henry climb all over her (roll eyes) we head to the dog park where a professional horse photographer wants to try her hand at dogs. Sadly, both dogs are blowing their coats right now (as is the horse, but she will be shaved down in the next few days. It would be a sad and sorry looking corgi if they got clippered). I will get the furminator out and work them both over tonight and again in the morning. More so that I am not eating dog hair for the next several trips in the truck!

The song of the day is homage to a couple of friends, one metal and rubber, the other, hmmm, partially metal, now that I think about it.

It was late last night, the other day
I thought I'd go up and see Ray
So I went up and I saw Ray
There was only one thing Ray could say, was

I, I don't want a pickle
I just want to ride on my motorcycle.
And I don't want a tickle
I'd rather ride on my motorcycle
And I don't want to die
Just want to ride on my motorcycle...

Thanks, Arlo!!


Big, Black and Cold (No, it's not Superfly)

It's my new freezer! It's not the smallest size, it's about double that square box type, has 8 cubic feet of storage space. How long have I talked about getting one of these? It's been years and years, nonspecific numbers of years. Well, Sears was able to get me while I was weak and ask if I would apply for a credit card. This is something I had no intention of owning. However, I was waiting for repairs to be done on my car at the nearby shop, and then I thought, maybe the checker gets brownie points if I go along....and I had good reason to expect they wouldn't approve me anyway, so I said why not. Wouldn't cha know. Now I have a sears card.

Which at first I planned to not use. But then I got to thinking. It is a fact that I have dug myself out of all debt, and made sure that my debtors wrote letters to that effect to Equifax, Experian and Transunion, all. I've been rewarded with a credit card from my bank which I use instead of debit cards, the better to earn points that turn into airline ticket vouchers. I pay it off every month, keeping honest I am.

In spite of the foregoing, it still was a shock when Sears approved a card, I still cannot understand it. In due time, I decided to buy the wee chest freezer that I wanted for lo these many years. I really didn't want to have to go through another summer full of freshly picked strawberries, blueberries, raspberries crying out to be harvested, frozen on cookie sheets, then bagged and laid away in the freezer to await the depth of winter. It costs $31 a year in electricity. The freezer was on sale and cost $250. Add $29 for them to deliver it and wrassle it to the third floor and into my apartment. It's an investment which won't realize its cost this year for sure, but maybe I'll break out the math skills and see if I can figure out when I'll break even. Meanwhile I'll have that secure feeling that having plenty of food set by gives me.

Then yesterday, I had to take my laptop back to Frye's for repair, the 'noise' came back with a vengeance. It has been diagnosed with a bad fan bearing, and I now have another loaner. One thing you must do when you have a loaner is go through the checkout line, just as though it were a purchase. They want you to sign on the dotted line and they want an imprint of my credit card to have on hand in case I make a run for it.

Then it happened...wouldn't I like to apply for a charge card? The young lady looked pleadingly into my eyes. I didn't fall for it this time, the last time, they actually gave me a card! No! It's Fry's, I really like to spend money at Fry's, I'm a computer geek. Even though I still don't believe they would give me one, the plain fact is I thought that and Sears did.

The retailers give off an air of desperation. They really do.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Song of the day

"If I had a hammer" sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary. It is stuck in my head for whatever the reason, and I decided I would hand it off to you! You can hear it, can't you? No amount of "People's Court" or Wii will give respite from this song. So, go on your way; it will be lurking in the nooks and crannies of your mind for at least the rest of the day. Sorry, I am hoping sharing will let me escape. I have even tried humming similar songs, sung by similar sounding people, and I still can't escape.

With that said, I sit here; the smell of cakes baking fills the house. It has been years since I baked a "real" cake. I have baked a few Angel Food cakes, but this is an honest to goodness cake which I will even frost...and take to a wedding reception tomorrow. I have grown accustomed to the lack of sugar around the house. The smell right now is wonderful, but I doubt I could actually eat more than a bite or two. It's like the switch to Diet Coke. I once took a swallow of full octane Coke to take some meds, and I thought I was drinking syrup. It was all I could do to gag it down. I am quite happy this way, although at times it would be nice to be able to escape with a carton of Ben and Jerry's like in the old days.

I have decided that I enjoy time away from electronics. I've gotten my computer time down to a couple of hours a day, tops. When I go outside I leave the cell phone, unless I am on a project that requires me to to something that would get me "in trouble" like cleaning gutters or building something from a ladder. I promised my daughter I would have the cell phone with me for that kind of thing. I suppose it would make more sense to keep it off or muted, and I will consider that possibility. I also turned off the answering machine and the TV is on only after evening chores are done. It is incredibly freeing. It is like I am giving myself undivided attention. Instead of just "hanging out" I am outside more; rain or shine. I am getting things done. I have so much more energy (even with these darn allergies); I think Stephen King could write a novel in which the electronics in our lives are slowly draining us of our life forces. I have the DVR, don't get me wrong. It is my "bestest friend." It is used as if I were renting DVDs of favorite shows. A lot of my favorites are piling up and I will have to go through it one of these days and delete a bunch. I haven't had the local ABC channel since before Christmas. I will possibly rent "Lost" as I hear it is good this season. Other than that I can't say that I miss it much. I now can understand how my son was able to discontinue cable/satellite and not miss it. He didn't want his kids to be able to access it, and I think he also realized that it was easy to be drawn in, and family time would soon suffer. Check out a 3 to 5 year old sometime when they are in front of the TV. They turn to little zombies. Weird and scary.

So, with that said I am out to water my bales of straw. Valley Nursery has lettuce plants on sale and I need to get some planted. I am also out to get some pictures of spring. It really does seem to have come, finally.

Remember: "If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning; I'd hammer in the evening, all over this land".......


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lawnmower therapy

It is not as good as Motorcycle Therapy, but will do in a pinch.

The day began much as yesterday was; dreary, wet, and a bit breezy. By 5pm the sun was out and it was quite nice. After three trips out to the pasture with the Corgwyn, each one with a few less layers on my body, I decided it was time to crank up the lawnmower for the first mow of the season. I live next to people with the nicest lawn in the area. It is tended and fed and weeded year round, and my neighbor is out there mowing almost all year. My "lawn" on the other hand, is mostly moss with a few dandelions interspersed. There are a few blades of grass that stand up here and there as well. When those lovely dandelions begin to bloom I feel really bad for the neighbors. I half expect to wake up some morning and see little baggies tied on every yellow "head" so as to catch the seed and keep it off their lawn. So, when I looked out this evening after a trip to the post office I decided it was time to mow down a few dandelions. The air was crisp and the mower started right up. The sun began to shine through the woods as dusk approached. It only took a short time, but I felt as if spring was really going to come to Washington state. How do I know this you may ask? The dreaded nettles are sprouting everywhere as are the thimble berries and blackberries. The Japanese cherry is just ready to pop into bloom, and the Asian pear is covered with buds. Then, of course, add the really rotten allergies and that pretty much is a guarantee that the pollen is flying.

In two weeks the Hood Canal Bridge shuts down for six weeks as they put some new pieces in place. That pretty much takes care of riding out on the peninsula for those six weeks. I have little desire to ride down through Bremerton and up through Belfair, Hoodsport, and several other tiny towns to get out to Sequim. Riding the Canal is quite pleasant, but the ride thru Bremerton and Gorst is not. So I will bide my time on the pedal variety of bike until mid June. I am not sure if there will be a toll put on the bridge when done or not. I remember as a kid going camping out on the Olympic Peninsula quite often and paying the toll back then. As bad as our dear Governor has messed up the budget (yeah, like there really even WAS one!) it would not surprise me to see toll booths suddenly appear. FYI, the ferry system in Washington State is actually considered part of the state Highway system. The "toll" on THAT highway system has gone up substantially since I moved here. I believe it has pretty close to doubled in the seven years I have been here. All of the boats are sorely in need of replacement, but it isn't going to happen any time soon...except perhaps on a small island near here that is the play ground for the rich and famous. While they are in our county, they have an area code that is the same as the big city across the sound. What they want, they generally get. Another island north of here has been without a car ferry on and off since before Christmas. While they have a good size Naval Base, it is accessible from the main land, so I don't think the politicians lose sleep over it; the business people, on the other hand, have really suffered. When they can make it to another summer there is a collective sigh of relief as the ferry system gets a lot of tourists, who in turn like to wander through the small shops and studios. The wonderful "Highway System" also throws in a peak season surcharge during the summer months. I remember the first year I was here the fares actually went down when the peak season was over. Now they use it as a way to raise the fares. prices go up, but the never come down. Then the ferry system runs more in the red, as the locals use the system less, because the cost is so high, and on it goes. So, I wish to call "baloney" on the whole "ferry is part of the highway system" thing. I doubt that the city folk would put up with toll roads; especially if every eight months the toll goes up and never comes back down. Can you imagine how they would feel if they were charged $11 each way to drive five miles? (That is how far it is from my closest ferry to the dock on the other side of the Sound.) Try it, Mayor Nichols, I dare you!! And you thought charging for plastic garbage bags made the folk red in the face...

So, as the sun sets on the Olympic mountains, I sit and again appreciate all that I have. Sure, I whine, I complain, I can even get down right nasty. But when all is said and done, I love it here and would not trade my place for the finest house on that nearby island. I may have a few dandelions, and a lot of nettles, but it is my place of peace. The eagles and osprey are nesting. The heron must be as well as they have become quite vocal as of late. It is a heck of a lot of work to keep up and i wouldn't have it any other way. I feel alive when I am finishing a chore or project. I answer only to myself (don't let on to the dogs, please), and I also spend a fair amount of time talking to myself. In the end, all is good.

Song of the day?
"Take me out to the Ball game"
Welcome home, kid.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Moving quite slow

All of the activity last week has finally caught up. Or perhaps it is all the pollen that is circulating in this very strange spring season. Whatever it is, I just know that I feel like it is molasses circulating in my veins, and oatmeal fills my head.

The good news is that I got a lot done. I even got the lawn tractor tuned up and regular season maintenance done. At the beginning of last season I was mowing out beyond the pasture and a stick wedged in the blade and it died. It sat back there for a month or so and I finally pushed it to the carport where it sat until last weekend. Now it needs a bath and I will be happy. I don't use it much anymore as I like the exercise that the walk behind mower gives me. The bed is also "done." OK, not completely; you know that measure twice, cut once thing? I need to do the reverse. I measured and cut, but ended up with the "deck" being too big. I was so careful to put little "L" shaped metal pieces on it so that the bed won't slide and just wasn't thinking about the fact that the deck needed to be a bit smaller. At least it is too big, and not too small! Next time I change the linens I will bring in the skill saw and trim it back. No big deal, but I was just done with the whole project. It required way too many brain cells, and I am glad that the misfire was in erring on the fixable side. Another nice thing is that the grass seed is already sprouting. I was thinking that the seed had somehow disappeared (perhaps down Windy's throat) but saw that it was still there, but half green. It feels really cold outside, but I think part of that is due to me being so tired. The dogs are still demanding run time out there, so I have been layering on the clothes and going out for 45 minutes at a time.

Easter is tough for me, but I need to thank my North Carolina friend once again for the bunny she sent a few years back. Just when I was getting a little low, I looked up and saw the bunny, who sits here by the computer, and he made me smile. A little touch of Sunshine was just what I needed.

This week I plan on taking things a bit slower. I will still try to get the mileage in on the prosthesis, but am not going to push as hard as I did last week. I am going to get the grass mowed, but that's only an hour project. If the weather cooperates I will also go kill some nettles. (shhhh, don't tell anyone that I want to use toxic chemicals!!) Other than that it will just be maintenance. No big projects. I had planned to start pressure washing the pool deck, but it is going to wait another week. This body needs rest.

Here is my picture for today:

When my daughter did the walk last year her daughter made a sign to cheer on her Mommy. I asked what she wanted to say and printed it out for her and she colored it and added pictures. Her Mommy took the picture and just sent it to me.

"Go Mommy Go"


Friday, April 10, 2009


It appears to be my day of "rest." The nice sunshine has become the typical liquid variety, so I have allowed myself to retreat to inside work. It was sorely needed as I have been outside during daylight hours. Now I sit in my half clean house and give myself an hour of computer time. Then I will be off to finish cleaning and get the carpet in my room cleaned. I always enjoy sitting and looking at the house when it is clean. I haven't a clue why I don't just keep it this way. For the most part it is the dusting and vacuuming that are a constant need. With two dogs, and me, in and out all day I guess a lot of dirt follows us in. Each week I strive to set aside one day a week to just do the dusting and vacuuming. Now that I am posting it, perhaps it will become a reality.

I sat last night and designed a bed frame for the spare room. I have been watching for one for a couple of weeks, but nothing has materialized and I really want to get that room done. I was making a material list and suddenly realized that I had the perfect wood out in the carport. I was given some material for shelving. It is 1x10 and really nice wood. I think it is actually the "caps" for indoor wood stairs. It is exactly what I need. I will build a pedestal for the bed. It will be a box that will be topped with plywood that is a bit larger than the frame, and some nice trim. I don't have the expertise to do drawers, but think I will put some of the boxes from the closet in it before I put the top on. Stuff that I don't need to access very often, but won't part with, such as family pictures, Dad's slides, and all. Today I will finish the frame, but will have to wait until the middle of next week (pay day) to finish it up. At some point I will design and build a headboard to go with it. It is fun to use Dad's tools for some of these projects. I feel like he is working alongside me.

Yesterday I got the pasture seeded. I had to get my rock piles and boulders moved and biggest craters filled in prior to the seeding. I made the foolish choice of saving money by getting one of those hand crank seeders. There I am, like a pied piper, walking back and forth across the pasture, turning a little crank that broadcasts the seed all around. However, in my case I had two dogs and a horse walking in front. The neighbors must have gotten sick of hearing "MOVE!" and "GET AWAY" as I walked, back and forth. It will be interesting to see how much grass Windy sprouts as the days go on. They all three were probably just trying to figure out what the heck I was doing. I was frustrated because after each pass I had to brush seed off the animals. Hopefully a good amount will actually grow in the ground. The last boulder that I dug up was unmovable. I really don't know how I got it out of the ground. I was just going to roll it over next to the fence, but couldn't budge it. Creative leverage got it out, but I can't for the life of me remember what I did. I guess it was meant to be where it is. Maybe I will have the grandkids paint it this summer.

I like rainy Fridays. Why? Simple, actually. If it is good weather on a Friday the traffic through town is ugly. On Sundays the ferry line can be five miles long, and the out of towners are grumpy. It seems a waste of a weekend to sit in ferry lines on the east side, grumpy from a week of work, and get to the west side and have 36 hours of "break" then get grumpy knowing that there will be a line of this side. One of the things I fondly remember when I was looking at this house was that I heard no car horns blaring. Most of us "locals" tend to let other drivers merge into traffic. On Fridays and on Sundays I need to remember not to do that. There is a certain hand gesture that goes along with the blaring horn should I make the mistake of stopping and using MY hand gesture to invite someone from the shopping center lot to go ahead of me on the main road. I generally give those nice city folks with the misshapen hands a nice smile and wave. If I could I would happily give them a nice southern "Y'all have a nice day, y'hear?" Sadly, no matter how sickeningly sweet, I doubt it does much to make their time over here any better. 'Tis a shame.

With that, I will go back to gluing and nailing (I am actually using screws, but saying that, and working on a bed, might just give the wrong impression of my project.) I need to get the fire stoked up so that the glue will dry a bit faster.

Y'all have a nice weekend, y'hear?


Go head, all together now: AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

It appears some parasitic mass has invaded my daughter and has declared its cuteness to the rest of the family. It does appear to have a brain, so who knows what it can achieve upon its declaration of independence.

(For that matter is there ever a time of real independence? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I miss you, Mom

***************November 17, 1924----------------------------- April 9, 1982***************

Please, my dear friends and family, be healthy. Have regular checkups. Be aware of the warning signs of heart disease. You will be leaving loved ones behind. Help them to know that you did all you could humanly do. Only my oldest got to spend time with Mom. My younger two were cheated...


On August 22nd, I think I'll do this, too :). Very lovely memorial, my friend. ((((G2)))))


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Yes, it is indeed.

I head to bed with thoughts of North Carolina dancing in my head. (Thanks, Linda. I sent the information that was sent to me on over to S2. Our fear is that we might not come back home.) I cannot begin to explain how much I miss the south.

Today was much more of the same from yesterday. The stiffness and soreness caused me to be a bit more inventive when it came to getting a good sized boulder out. I am glad it was close enough to the broken up one from yesterday that I was able to rock it up a bit at a time and put pieces of the broken one under it. It eventually was up enough that I could roll it out of the crater. The hardest thing was getting Henry away. I think he sensed I was on a mission and likely to do something stupid. I got away with a few hefty bruises and two crunched knuckles. The weather is changing, so I think tomorrow I will gather all the rock piles and call it done. There will always be another year.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of Mom's death. She died on Good Friday, April 9, 1982. It is hard to believe it has been 27 years! The first person to appear to help me cope? S2. She had gone through the loss of her Mom, and it does put us in a special club. I detest the membership requirements.

Life does go on, but it doesn't get easier. There are just more things to keep me busy. (Like tighten up the fence wire; gee how does it get so loose? I will just ask Miss Itchy Bum...)

And so I can keep myself on task I will occasionally throw in some pictures from last year's 3 Day walk. This was right before the walk began. The opening ceremony got me crying big time. I am so proud of my daughter. This year she will be 8 months pregnant and walking with her gimpy Mom. We will make a good team, and will likely be on the short bus a time or two.

Who would have ever thought I would wear pink?.....


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The somewhat amusing and somewhat productive day

It has been an interesting day, to say the least. It started out good enough. I decided to do more work in the field since I'd like to get it seeded as the rains come back. I have a neighbor in a little rental cabin to the south of me. A rental cabin that S2 fantasizes about buying, which would be quite nice. Anyway...this neighbor is a log truck driver and a cancer survivor. Had he not told me his vocation I likely would have guessed just from the stereotypical truck driver way of speaking. He is also a pretty darned depressed individual. After telling how badly the world has messed with him, how he lost his truck, hasn't been able to pay rent, it's all Obama's fault, he failed a drug test and now will likely lose his CDL, thus his vocation, and on, and on...Then he says: "so if you hear a gunshot, come check on me." Uhhhhh. I think I have talked with this guy maybe three times. I don't know much about him personally, so haven't a clue if he is serious, or if he even has a gun. Darn. What to do. Meanwhile I have unburied a boulder that is bigger than I think I can tackle. I don't want to stop and give this guy my undivided attention (was that wrong?) so I kept chipping away and got the darn thing out in pieces. I am mentally willing one of the neighbor's on the other side to open her window, or come check on ME! (Nothing, I must have lost my touch.) An hour or so (probably more like two, but I really don't know) goes by, the sun is now shining directly on me and I am as wet as if I had taken a shower, but was impressed that I was actually able to chip the darn boulder out of its resting place. I am feeling seriously parched and hungry, but not willing to move out of the pasture. Nice enough guy, but something about him keeps me on my guard. FINALLY he leaves and I wait about five minutes and gather the dogs and head into the house. Had I been talking to a kid and they were talking of suicide I would have begun to research options. Instead I head over to my other neighbors. The man had just got home so I was able to talk to him about it. After the few obligatory guy comments he assured me that he would go over should I hear anything suspicious. He also cautioned me NOT to go by myself (well, duh). I love these neighbors. I can always count on them, and it is nice.

So I take a break and drink two bottles of water and head back outside. I feel like I have done nothing as the two things I needed to get done (the straw bales and the grape arbor) were not even started.

I placed the straw bales beside the driveway. This will be part of my veggie garden.

I then went to work on the arbor. I got the posts placed and the wire set, but haven't tied it down yet. I used a couple pieces of baling twine for now, and will get it wired correctly tomorrow.
(Ignore the mess. Henry's agility stuff and the hoses are just thrown in the corner and I didn't edit the pictures at all. Sorry.) Any way, you get the general idea. Tomorrow I will place the grape plants.
I then found another Windy sized rock; this one is staying...unless the neighbor to the south comes back to chat again. I haven't found the edges on this one. I think it is an iceberg rock. When I started there was about 12 by 6 inches showing.
These are some of the remnants of the rock that I chipped out of the ground. Now look, over to the left toward the middle/bottom of the picture.
See that green/yellow tennis ball tucked part way in a hole? If you want to feel really old, you can say to someone: "Do you remember when tennis balls were white?" Go ahead, I dare you!!

A physically, mentally, and emotionally tired,

Tennis balls were WHITE?
REAL funny! They were white, and we took a felt pen and wrote our initials on them and took them to school for baseball during recess. Where were you?
Tennis just wasn't a happening thing when I was in school. I know it sounds weird, but I never had a tennis ball when I was a kid. I didn't run into tennis until I was in high school, and I have no idea what color the balls were, can you believe?

I finally have some peace and quiet (my four charges are all abed and the late night blood sugar has been done) and something just clicked. Big burly truck driver that just stood there and watched you bash at that rock? He's seriously out of touch with reality if that's the case. Call a suicide hotline and get some advice, is my advice. Here is a place to start.

Chehalis River

I wrote a lovely blog about my trip to the river last Saturday, and while I was putting in the pictures, the whole thing froze. I'm not trusting it today, so in short: The floods in December 2007 and again in 2008 have changed the way of the river. We went to find carnelians in the gravel shoals, but what we found was 10 feet of silt, everywhere. Ruined fields, standing water. I'm abandoning the pretense of formatting this, I'm just laying in the pictures now and posting. G2, if you get a chance you can mess with it, or I will later on tonight.

Beautiful pictures! Amazing the beauty that comes through from the carnage. (If they can till that silt in, and have a couple of drier winters, it will likely give them some incredible pasture and/or hay. Same thing happened with the volcanic ash. It yielded the nicest veggies my sister has ever grown.)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Straw Bale Gardening and grape arbors

I am off to the feed store for a couple of things. First, I need three bales of straw for my veggie garden. This year I am planting in REALLY raised beds. I may decide to do more than three, just because I think it look really nice, but for sure I need three as I am actually going to use them to mulch my existing beds this fall, and to give those beds a rest this year. For a week I will sprinkle ammonium nitrate onto the bales and water it in. The bales have to be kept damp, which is certainly no problem in the Seattle area this time of year. Then I can plunk my veggie starts into the bales. I can plant seeds as well, but usually just get starts and do it that way.

Then I am buying a cattle panel. These are usually around 16' long and 3 or 4 foot wide.

If I attach it to two T-posts on each short side, and pound one side into the ground, then slowly walk the other side until it is about three feet away from the first and pound those posts in, I will have an arch shape that will be my grape arbor. It will be right outside of the pool sliding door, so won't interfere with getting back to the barn in the truck. I have three grape plants that need to get into the ground. I think the Spring bug has hit; I feel the need to get food growing.

I am now off to enjoy the nice weather while it is here.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

An interesting thing

As I begin to write it is just a few minutes before noon on Sunday. I have been up for seven hours already. I have done my chores, taking the dogs out to play, twice, started laundry, worked out, vacuumed and just did all the computer stuff. After I finish this I will turn off the computer and walk away until tomorrow. I am beginning to think that I am a morning person. If I try to stay in bed longer I get MUCH less done during the day and rather enjoy being sedentary. It could be that the daylight comes earlier and stays later now. I am not sure. It is a bit odd to have everything done by 10am. Not that I cannot find plenty more, mind you, but it all feels pretty darn good. I noticed the change a few days ago. As much as I wanted to lay in bed, I just could not do it. I was pretty grouchy until I got up and dressed, but the more I did, the better I felt. Along with this up by 5am stuff comes the to bed at around 9pm. I am so glad that I have the DVR thing because there are some TV shows that I enjoy watching, and most come on after I fall asleep. It seems to be that the more I do, the more I want to do. I remember having this feeling in high school. I used to get up at 5:30 and head out for a morning run. I LOVED to run, and especially loved the cool brisk air being drawn into my lungs. It was so invigorating. Perhaps it is the fact that my house is around 59 degrees when I get up and I have to get active to stay warm! I really haven't a clue, but know that I had to climb over the obstacle of "sedentaryism" (like that one?) to get to this point. It is so much easier to just vegetate in front of the computer screen. However, once over those few days of dragging myself away, I am finding that I have to force myself to sit here. I read once that in the canine world you can imprint a habit in four days. After the four days of a certain routine, that is what they expect. I saw it in Kate, when I brought her home. I am thinking perhaps as people we over think things and perhaps don't really just let the natural routine emerge. I would say it was about four days of fighting myself before this new routine became the comfortable norm. Maybe a bit longer, but not much. (Oh, and yes, I am sure that there are some folks that have seen me as a, ahem, female dog, at times ;-) ).

With that, I am out of here. It is a beautiful day and it is time to go walk on the beach.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

blog list malfunction

Hey G2, and anyone else who has a blog on blogspot: have you tried to add a blog to your blog list lately? I have another blog on which I wanted to add this feature, but alas, I was unable to do it. So, I tried adding this blog to our already existing blog list here, and it all seemed to be working, until I hit SAVE. Nope, nada.

Could others give it a try? Is this a currently broken feature (why to I always type 'feather' when I type this word?)

Just wondering.

Frustratingly yours,


It took me forever to even figure out how to add one, which is all I have done. I figured that was your baby, but will give it a try and see what happens. ***update***worked fine; no problems


Friday, April 3, 2009

Wish granted

As if my son could hear my wishes and needs, he called and offered his youngest child for some one on one Grandma time.

She turned three in February and has a big sister, so sometimes it is fun to be the "only" kid at Grandma's. The weather couldn't have been better. When I got her at the ferry she was wearing some adorable knit gloves. "I have gloves on so I can touch the horse's tail," says she. Hmmmm.
We get home, having had a snack on the boat, and head directly to the pasture, she leading one dog, and me the other. Before we get to the gate she says "Is it OK if I touch the horse's tail withOUT my gloves?" I haven't a clue what the gloves were all about, but she was assured that she could touch the horse's tail however she wanted.
After thoroughly touching little Windy it was decided that she was in need a brushing. (You need to know that Windy has hair that is a couple of inches long due to the cold winter, and it is all beginning to fall out. We are expecting nights to be in the 20s or I would have shaved her already.)

Once the horse was nicely brushed it was decided that Windy really really wanted the child on her back, so we graciously accommodated her.

I didn't put the saddle or the pad on, but just plopped the child on top. She is such a natural...she held on with her little knees, without me even telling her, and grabbed a hunk of mane as a "handle."

I suddenly realize how big she has gotten. I also see how much she really does look like her Dad did at the same age. I will have to find some old pictures.

It was a great day, but I am exhausted. She is at the age of mimicry. EVERY thing I said, she repeated. I don't think there was quiet until she fell asleep.

I had forgotten the odd things that go on in the three year old mind. After a nice rest I might remember specifics.

For now, I call it a night.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

The past revisited

As you know my fourth grandchild will be along in the fall. The mama is seeing the same midwife that delivered her first, five and a half years ago.

I taught childbirth classes, as did S2, many years ago. I had all of my children outside of the hospital, attended by a licensed midwife. All were very easy unmedicated births. As a teacher (this was before there were support people with the label "Douala") I was invited to many of my students deliveries; some at home and some in the hospitals. I did not cater exclusively to home births.

I have been blessed to be at the births of all of my grandchildren. At this moment I am reliving the trauma of the birth of my first grandchild. She is apparently well remembered by the midwife, and likely by any staff that are still working at the hospital. The labor was pretty standard, but my daughter had some blood pressure issues so an IV was started and pain meds given as she was not allowed to be up and walking. yada,yada,yada. Any way, when the baby was born she did not breathe. She was not blue, but she didn't even try to breathe. I was sent over to the isolette so that I could assure the mama that all was well. All was NOT well. This baby would not breathe. In the whirlwind of events that began to occur I somehow stepped off the crazy roller coaster and everything began to go in slow motion. The two minute check time came, but this baby was still not breathing, and was still not blue. The cord was cut immediately when the midwife realized the kid wasn't doing well, so she was getting no oxygen. Five minutes went by, and she still was too quiet. The code cart was outside the door and equipment was being passed thru the curtain. I quietly began to plan the funeral for my first grand baby. After 7 full minutes she finally took her first breath. So...apparently this delivery ended up going before the Board of Review. The midwife kept telling the nurses to call a code and they didn't do it; the baby wasn't blue. I remember the midwife asking for the code to be called and I remember resuscitation equipment being passed thru the curtain and I made an assumption it was called. A part of me is glad that it happened the way it did, as I am sure that many more people would have been called into the room and I would have been forced out of my front row "seat" and certainly could not have hidden my pain and worry from my daughter. Being it was the first baby, I don't think they really understood the gravity of the situation. I did. Once she took that breath, all was good. She was not taken away, which she likely would have, had the code been officially called. Because time stood still for me I really did not understand how much time had really elapsed until the next morning when a very stressed midwife came to check up on the mom and baby. I remember asking how it was possible that a baby could go for seven full minutes and she could not answer. She still cannot.

Luckily there are no problems that can be detected so far.

This time is different. My daughter is much healthier and in great physical shape. She has promised me that they will be taking classes this time, so the dad will have a better idea of what is going on and I won't have to argue about whether his wife is in labor (which is a long story that is best left buried). It is difficult to try to be Dad's coach, Mom's coach, mother of the Mom-to-be, and soon-to-be grandma.

I think it will be a good thing to replace those scary memories. I had successfully buried the memories, since the baby is doing just fine. I must admit that I again have the little catch in my throat. I think that was the scariest thing I have ever gone through. How do I let that go? How can I permanently erase those memories? I really cannot find any good that has come of that whole experience. Truly. I have been on the code team at the hospital where I worked. I've been on codes that went well, and codes that didn't go well. I have very few memories that haunt me now. I learned to let them go. Perhaps I should have spent more time with the medical staff back then so that I could work through this.

I think I need to spend some time with the grand kids. I need to hold them. I need to just feel their "life." I also am glad for the choices that my children have made for the deliveries of my grandchildren. I never really thought I could love anyone as strongly as I have loved my babies. I was wrong.