Sunday, October 18, 2009

You won't be hearing from me for a few days as I scream. I had the misfortune to be the one to find my father's body today. I am trying to deal and cope.

Friday, October 16, 2009

the BIG Move

A little over a week ago Dad finally said things that let me know that he is now ready to actually make the move out of his house and into a retirement apartment.

We agreed on a schedule of visitations to places he had already looked at to determine which one he really wanted to live in. Made appointments for visits. Three, 3, of them.

Saturday morning we went to the first one, nice, not overly impressed by food (they gave us lunch), small but adequate apartments, no balconies, rather sparse grounds. The company rep said that they didn't expect people to spend much time in their rooms, they should be out "socializing" in common areas. They were giving veteran's discounts; still kind of pricey but possibly acceptable for what was offered in program. Took notes, "thanks for the tour." Left.

2nd visit was back to Village Green. I think I have mentioned them before as they offer several programs for seniors that you don't have to be a resident to attend. And they encourage seniors to attend social functions so that they can "sample the experience" without a lot of sales hype. I digress, we walked in and told them what we wanted to look at. A number of apartments were available as several residents had moved from the "independent living" building down to the "assisted living" building very recently. We looked at 5, all with a bit of view, 3 with balconies. (Dad has always liked to take his coffee and often his lunch on his deck in nice weather.) All these apts were in close proximity to areas of interest to Dad. Seems the sales rep had not only listened to what Dad said as we toured, he heard. A humorous note: it seems that on a prior visit Dad had become a "teaching moment" for reps. He had headed for a staircase, notice staircase not stairs, to descent from 2nd to 1st floor; the then tour guide directed us away and toward an elevator. As we talked to a (resident) friend later we wondered why. Apparently the staff to do tours are now taught to pay attention to such actions and not redirect visitors. David was laughing that he got to "meet the legend" as he hadn't really known if it had happened or was a story. Anyway, I am away from the point again. We sat down to talk numbers and what was included.

Then Dad surprised me, asking when he could put reservation on one of the apartments we'd seen. The 1st one actually. A 1 bedroom 719 sq.ft. with a generously sized walk in 2nd closet off the bedroom which will provide storage room for the things he wants but doesn't want out. So much for visitation #3.

We went back the next morning (before my visit to museum), made the deposit and started the ball rolling. The apartment went to head of clean/refurbish list. By the end of this week they are up to painting the walls. Next week they will reinstall appliances and lay carpet. We are going in on Monday to do measurements on everything, locate all outlets and phone, and cable connections.

Now that the decision is made he is looking at the houseful of 49 years worth of accumulations. It is daunting, I have to admit. He is feeling a bit overwhelmed. We have mapped out a strategy to determine what is there and how to decide what to take/what to delete. Some things will stay in the house with me. I have contacted property managers to meet as we (D.W. and I) will also have to decide who will handle our house after we relocate to his. Yes, we are moving over so that we have a somewhat larger, rambler style, home. The 2 car garage will be nice. My schedule for the next month (at least) will be 2 days moving activities, 4 days in office [boss approved] 1 day with D.W. doing whatever we need to do. Hectic much? Yikes.

Under "things", egad! I remember some of them

On Sunday last, a group of ladies, members of Beyond Reality Costumers Guild and/or Somewhere In Time, journeyed to the White River Museum in Auburn. I think there were 9 of us plus 1 gentlemen. Most, not all, in some type of period attire. The special interest display was entitled "Suffer for Beauty." There was a selection of corsets, bras, bodice covers, bloomers, girdles, stockings, slips, even a night gown or two spanning approximately a hundred year period. I remember some of them from common usage during the 1950's-60's. They are as strange now as they were then. There were also a couple displays of day dresses which would have hidden the culprits. Many of us enjoyed critiquing the dresses as much as or more than the underpinnings. Alterations are often interesting as to how and why. Did she let it out because she developed breasts while pregnant?, was that a hand me down that needed lace extensions? Why on earth! was there a tacky kitchen apron on a very nice "dinner" dress? Anyone who would wear that dress could have afforded a server. I heard a museum staff member say that this was the most popular special exhibit that he remembers in the past 30 years. Yes, there were other members of the public there at the same time. No, our costumes did not even raise eyebrows - there are a LOT of costumers of one ilk or another in this area. We took pictures in the gallery. We shopped. (Hey it is what women do anywhere.)

After the viewing the ladies sans gentleman went to tea at the Secret Garden in Sumner. Yum. Everyone got to choose their own flavor to tea for their pot. White? Green? Black? Flavor added? Scones, of course! with Devonshire cream, seedless raspberry jam, and lemon curd - all homemade naturally. Tea sandwiches, petite pastries, quiches, pumpkin/coconut soup, mango sorbet - I don't remember what else. All very tasty. They are very clever at the Secret Garden; you have to wander through the gift shop to reach the cash register. Shopping was accomplished. :)

I would definitely have to say it was an enjoyable 7 hours. Wonder why we don't do this more often?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Take a ride?

So StitchWitch came by (6-ish) to pick up the material we got for her at the Kent flood planning meeting.

I showed her the new porch, she showed me her "new" car. She said, all innocent like, "would you like to take a ride?"

Well naturally that led us to the fabric store; because she wanted to see if a pattern she wants was on sale, no, and to look for some blue fabric for a costume, sort of but not quite. And she needed some hooks to finish a project.

So we looked at fabric, and notions, and beads, and tools, and halloween-y stuff - and got back about 9. We had a lot of fun suggesting weird and wild applications. We bought matching (almost) large glass beads (1 each) - multicolor, swirls, and gave ourselves 1 year to come up with the best design we could think of to use them. We are talking 3 inch focal points here. This should be interesting. To make jewelry? or to use in costume?

She reminded me that this coming Sunday is the outing to the small local museum to view their Corsets display. Followed by going out to Tea. About a dozen of us. "Ladies", "Ladies", "Ladies"? ....

I have heard that one of our group will be having a "pretty big sale" at her costume shop; wonder if I need anything? Said shop is most definitely in the flood plane. I think she wants to downsize inventory fripperies so that there is less to have to move.

Stay tuned

Monday, October 5, 2009

In case of flooding

We went to a community meeting on the contingency planning in case the Howard Hanson Dam is breached. The Green snakes around for something like 64 miles on its way to the Duwamish. They have been rebuilding the levees in several places. They are also planning to place 3' sandbags on top of them for added protection.

I think they managed to get the message of "no need to panic" across. They kept stressing the distance of the dam upstream and the multiple levels of warnings that could/would be given. They didn't come right out and say that the time frame between breach and flood was 7-8 hours, but they stressed that they would have time to announce which routes and shelters would be open and most accessible at various stages.

Our house is located on the top of the hill on one side of the valley so we are in no danger, but we could be "inconvenienced".

The power substations and the water treatment plant are all down in the valley. If they get inundated we could feel the effects.
We are making sure that we have propane, and batteries.
And we picked up the instructions on how to block the sewer to avoid backwash. (That is a horrid idea.) YUCK!

The meeting was held in the ice hockey arena, we wore coats. Strangely there were a large number of people who obviously had not made the connection of ice hockey and c-o-l-d.

The stairs, the stairs

Yahoo! The steps are in!

We have been several months using a set of Rubbermaid steps off the back door. The old stairs were getting rather decrepit. When we had the patio resurfaced Ken took the camping "hawk" to them. The idea being to build a new somewhat larger platform and put in steps wide enough to actually fit a full foot.

Somehow the timing wasn't working out to get the design done and the lumber bought and the steps built. Until now.

TigerBoy, Raven and the kids came down on Saturday. The guys went to work and the stairs were in in fairly short order. It only took them 2 trips to the hardware store to get done. The first trip to get a new wood saw because the old one needed a new blade and this one is multi-purpose and has interchangeable blades; it seemed more cost effective. The second trip was to pick up a couple of 2X2's to fill the gaps between the platform boards. For some reason I didn't know that a 12" board wasn't actually a 12" board, how silly of me.

The new stairs look fantastic!!!!

I also learned a good home lesson on Saturday - concerning fruit flies.

The last round of summer fruits brought in the little buggers. (I think it was the pears.) 'Not sure why they weren't around all summer but I'm glad they weren't! Anyway the last week or so we have had a bunch of them in the corner of the kitchen.

Raven told me to put 3/4" - 1 inch of apple cider vinegar in a wide mouth glass and add just a drop or two of dish detergent. Swish it a bit to mix it up then just set it on the counter.


The flies go for the cider vinegar and ingest the poison of the detergent at the same time. Within a couple of hours there were significantly fewer flies in the air and a bunch of them drowned in the glass.

Don't you love the old home remedies?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Frappe' Vino

OMG, I am totally remiss!

MOM, I haven't told you about the fun you have been causing by your birthday gift of Frappe' Vino.

We haven't made the stuff yet but just playing around with what wines we have and how they would taste as a smoothie is tremendous fun.

I'd almost decided on Raspberry Mead but the bottle isn't big enough for the mix. So we're back to the "drawing board", so to speak.

I'll keep you posted as to the decision and the outcome. I just wanted you to know that the anticipation is a pleasure.

Thank you!
Have I told you about my favorite cookbook? Lily Wallace New American Cookbook published in 1945.

I had a piece of halibut fillet to cook on Saturday, and I had a bunch of baby spinach. What to do with them?

Joy of C, and James B. neither had anything very interesting to say.
Lily suggested making a sauce of stewed fresh tomatoes with rosemary to go with the fish. Did I tell you that Dad has been loading me up with tomatoes lately?
She further suggested a cooked creamy mustard sauce for the spinach.

The tomato sauce called for sweetening, don't do it! The fillet was mild and sweet enough not to need it; it actually detracted.

The mustard sauce called for cream for which I substituted 1% milk, which meant that I had to cook it a bit longer to thicken properly. It also called for butter to be added at the end, which I left out entirely. I achieved the same smooth effect by whipping it with my smallest whisk for a minute. I had also left out the optional salt, next time I'll add a few grains to give it a bit more spark. It was just slightly tangy, not a lot of bite, and went very well with the fresh spinach. There is now yet another bookmark in Lily.

Pondered the old potato/rice/couscous/bulgar question and nothing struck my fancy. So I made cornbread. I've learned that I can never go wrong with cornbread in our house.
When I wrote the post about the GBR in Reno I forgot to include another of my favorite people in attendance.

An extremely pleasant young man from the UK named Phil Roberts. He definitely came the farthest but I don't think he would get the travel time prize.

He is starting to work on his doctorate with a thesis on a controversial ancient Roman verb evolution. Guaranteed to get him a good place in the job market? At dinner on Friday he was sitting across from Bea and he actually made it sound interesting and exciting. Who knew?

Anyway, here at work we have a production manager named Bob. He often does productions in conjunction with a gentleman in another company whose name is Phil. Because these collaborations are sometimes complex and often a bit confusing, we call them Phil-Bobs.

I told GBR Phil the story; he got a good chuckle from it.

Phil joined his school rifle team when he was 14 for P.E. credit. Now in college he is still on the shooting team. All rifles are owned by the school. He shoots only on their range or at a competing school's range.

He got to handle a hand gun for the 1st time in Reno. Wish I had a picture of his grin.

Gotta get back to work.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I realized after posting (several) today that it makes for kind of a backwards read. Oops!
Dad and I visited another Wesley Homes Residence Community yesterday. This one out on the east hill above Auburn; it has only been open for 2 years. It seemed to have a lot of open space and long corridors. The lounges were well appointed and looked to be comfortable. The problem with going to an "open house" is that you only see the residents who are "working". Almost everyone else stays out of sight and you do not see any regular use of space. We did meet a few residents who were returning from day trips and had a chance to chat while waiting for elevators. Dad even knew 1 couple who he used to dance with. Dad seemed to find the place a bit overwhelming. We are going to re-visit the Des Moines residence. And compare their floor plans and financial requirements with the other 2 residences we've visited and in which he has shown continued interest.

Dad is getting close to making a move commitment. He recently admitted that he has been finding it harder to get things done. And he does not like asking for help in most things. Once he has signed onto a waiting list, getting the apartment he wants could take anywhere from 2 weeks to a year. Closer to the short end of that range is obviously preferrable.

D.W.'s objection to the Auburn residence is that it being on the Auburn East Hill and us being on the Kent West Hill means that if the Howard Hanson Dam does burst and flood the valley we wouldn't be able to get there if needed. It would mean that the only way in would be way north then east to the plateau and then head south again. Along with everyone else who would be using the only route on that side of the valley.

Small Batch Preserving

Dad has supplied me with an abundance of blueberries and tomatoes recently.

I put up 6 cups of Spiced Blueberry Honey Jam and 5 cups of Maple Blueberry Raisin Conserve.

I made a double batch of Pico de Gallo and 3 containers of Tuscan Pasta Sauce.

This was the last weekend for most of the local farmer's markets so it will be back to grocery store fruits and vegetables again. I will miss the vine ripened grape tomatoes especially.
Wow! Time flies and life happens. A lot of it is repetitive and the usual routine of home and work; not particularly memorable.

The guild trip to the alpaca farm scheduled for August was cancelled as too many members were unable to go due to colds/flu going around businesses and schools.

Dad had a couple home projects that he didn't feel able to do himself, D.W. was able to help him with them. That's just one more reason that I think he's wonderful!

D.W. won me a custom kydex holster for my Firestar.
A local guy on one of D.W.'s blogs (who had been making a few for himself and friends) wanted to customize one for someone to see how it went and how they would like it. And hopefully to have it talked up so that he would get enquiries. He had a contest to see you would respond and the reasons why they thought they should win. Ta Da! Woman, birthday, hard to fit firearm.
It took several hours, longer than anyone anticipated. I had chosen to stay and watch the "manufacture" out of curiousity, rather than go to a neighboring mall and window shop. Good thing I/we did. Everyone knows that women are built differently than men. It took quite a number of "fittings" to get the fit and cant to sit comfortably on a curved hip. [BTW now we can get the open carry discount at Dino's.]

My birthday weekend was spent in Reno at the Gun Bloggers Rendezvous. We drove down on Thursday, got in around dinner time so missed the shopping trip to Scheels. (If you want a full description of the trip down see D.W.'s blog The Clue Meter.)

We went there (Scheel's) on our own on Sunday just to say we'd been there. If you are unfamiliar with the name but know Cabela's - think a store big enough to hold 2-3 Cabellas. If you can name the sport they have a department for it. Also clothing, home decor and a deli.

We went over to the hotel to check in. Met a number of people who D.W. knew by blog name and who I had never heard of. While he "caught up", I chatted with a couple other spouses in attendance. Kiwi and her husband had organized the event and live here in WA on Whidbey. Desi is a caterer from Fort Worth, her husband works for Cheaper Than Dirt.

Friday, my day, was spent out at the county range so everyone could play with their own and other attendee's toys. Lot of sun and lots of noise.

I took a wheel along for the ride. I had an idea that I could spin if I didn't want to shoot. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way the sliding feed winder clamp had come off the arm of the maiden. This effectively made the wheel unusable.

Anyone know where parts for a Pipy (New Zealand) Poly wheel are available? They are no longer being manufactured.

Show and Tell back at the Silver Legacy (home of the GBR) was interesting as there were a number of vintage weapons as well as some custom modifications that brought oohs and aahs.

Dinner was at Gekko's Smokin' BBQ. Pretty darn good food. D.W. was at the end of the table while I was several chairs away so we had a divergence of conversation. I was seated opposite Major Chuck Ziegenfuss of Valour I.T. He has quite a sense of humor and LOTS of stories about his travels. He is not really a fan of TSA screeners. I was also seated by Bea, a grandmother from Iowa, more about her later.

Back to the hospitality suite to party. We contributed a board of smoked salmon,a variety of crackers, and a can of Cougar White with Basil(cheese). Molly arrived with her father and visited for a bit. More about her later also.

Oh, and if you are wondering :) Yes, D.W. did give me a "pretty" for my birthday. A pendant of a square Chinese turquoise in a frame of ruby chips. It is a thing of beauty. I love it!

Saturday D.W. and I skipped the morning event of the Steel Challenge. We decided that it was time for some "just us and no plans" time.

Saturday afternoon 4-ish we returned to the venue for the evening speakers and dinner. Surprisingly, to me, the scores for the challenge were not announced, with the exception of 1st - Bea. [I heard a rumor that Molly was 3rd.] There were a couple dozen men and women in the competition.

Now about Bea and Molly:

Bea is 79 years young, and has been shooting for 2 years. You read that correctly.
Two years ago her oldest son informed her that if she was to continue living in her home on her own that she needed to be able to defend herself. He made that happen.
For Chrismas last year he gave her a reloading kit.

Molly is a 13 year old Californian. When she is old enough to compete she is expected to become a new world champion shooter. She already has a professional sponsor. She is very engaging and quite articulate. It seemed that she received by the assembly as a sort of "adopted daughter/younger sister". Neither of her parents shoot but they and her older brother were there/interested/supportive. They seemed to be mildly bemused that Molly was treated protectively by so many.

Saturday evening there was a speaker from the NRA-ILA, as well as a representative of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The NSSF picked up the tab for the "pizza feast" dinner.

Door prizes and raffle items were distributed. D.W. and I came home with an assortment of t-shirts, patches and a cap. D.W. picked up a framed Heller Kitty t-shirt for us. [Hello Kitty dressed in red/white/blue carrying a pistol and a copy of the constitution] It is signed by the attorney instrumental in winning the Heller case in the other Washington.

Sunday we journeyed to Virginia City for the Cowboy Fast Draw competition and for some the camel races. Again refer to D.W.'s account for detail.

Monday we drove home along a different route. Lots of similar scenery, quite warm, long drive. I had renewed my license on-line but the new driver's license had not arrived before we left so I had no license most of the trip.

Friday, July 31, 2009

and life goes on...

Last Friday I stayed as late as possible to get everything done and still make my bus connection, the commute was only slightly slow. Did manage to get home in time to get the car and go pick up my glasses. Little bit stronger prescription. Must be slow in the eyeglass industry, they only took 4 days.

Saturday morning we got on the road for my family picnic. Made really good time until we were nearly there and got stuck behind a combine. Not for long and we knew the reason when folks that came from close by were late arriving. There were 4 generations represented, the youngest 1 1/2 years and the oldest 86 years. Six little kids. A cousin from Swiss Miss' side of the family. Conversation with her helped me fill in the blanks on some family connections. Several people brought memorabilia: toys & knickknacks that had been in grandmother's house, the old stool we had to sit on "in the corner", Great Aunt's family bible, Swiss Miss' 1st Communion, Grandparent's Marriage Certificate (in German and fancy script), Great Grandfather's enlistment in Union Army and discharge from Indian service. I was MOST happy to learn that he was in the post hospital and had to miss Custer's Last Stand! Think those last 2 interested D.W. the most. There was plenty of good food. I made a list of everyone there afterward, we numbered 37. Weather? Sunny and hot (high 80's) but we ran into rain just as we got home; we could smell it before we saw it.

Sunday we went to the Scottish Highland Games (and Ren Faire). D.W. got some more Wicked Tinkers cds. [Poor curmudgeon tried to use Wicked Tinker to combat rap music at work and then found out that those owners of obnoxious music were also Tinker's fans. Go figure.] I found a short, season spanning, Celtic knot design dress suitable for work and a tank t-shirt which will have to be a project before it is wearable. Why any clothing manufacturer would only make size small seems odd. I'll have to cut it off at the spaghetti straps, open the side seams, and then applique' the panels onto other solid color regular tanks. It's an intricate Mother Earth/Green Man design. When it's done I'll post a pic. We also played a bit in the tent of a leather clothing company. Black (his) and white (hers) highwayman coats? We'd have to un-gafiate. They WERE pretty.

And then it got hotter! and hotter! The fans went into the windows and have stayed there, running full out. We have the exchange fans and can blow hot air OUT as well as bringing outside air in, I think that helped. Hard to tell when the temperature didn't really drop into anything "normal" even at night. We set lots of records: hottest day ever in area (twice), multiple hottest for date, longest heat wave. We are not made for 100 degree temps here! Today it only got to 86 and everyone is enjoying the coolness. It's going back up again tomorrow for another week or so they say. Boss actually sent us home early a couple days because it got so hot in the (NOT air conditioned) office. I took 1 "personal health" vacation day to avoid 100+ temp.; at home I could wear less ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I found out last week that my high school class is having our 40th reunion this coming weekend. There actually are a few with who I would like to renew acquaintance. There is a Friday night dinner event, and then the main event on Saturday at the Tulalip Casino & Resort. Looking at the RSVP's for the Friday event it appears that there will be 2-3 dozen people (so far none of my reconnects). BTW my graduating class had close to 700 students; it was the last year as the only high school in the district.

This coming weekend is also the annual family gathering nominally celebrating my paternal Grandmother's birthday, Swiss Miss passed away in 1989 at the age of 97 yrs 51 wks. Guess where we will be on Saturday.

If your guess was ON THE ROAD you would have it right. Because this weekend is also, drumroll anyone?, the Highland Games; where we will make an appearance on Sunday and thereby miss being part of Raven's Saturday presentation on period dress.

It looks like we will have another week of mid-80's weather with a couple possible excursions into the low 90's. I'm ok with the lower 80's during the day if it would only cool off at night; I have dresses, skirts, and this year even shorts. I have sunglasses and sun hats - one of which I am told makes me look demure. Please to stop laughing. What I dislike, have a real preference AGAINST, is when the temp doesn't drop below the mid 70's by midnight. I would like to be able to sleep.

Adding more fun this week was the buying of sticky traps for the latest outdoor toy which the boys (at least 1 of them) brought indoors. It didn't get stickied this time. Guess the boys were keeping it from getting to the kitchen and it got hungry enough to go for the peanut butter in the electronic trap. Bye bye Ratbert.

I bought onions this past weekend so that I could reprise the spinach pie rolls. Bagged baby spinach doesn't make as good an impression as fresh from the field spinach. Today the annual "gift" of Walla Walla Sweets to our office from one of our vendors arrived. I now have a sufficiency of onions.

Our Farmers Market was back this weekend. There were 2 booths that had golden beets, hurrah! This year's "trendy" veg looks to be Purple Kohlrabi. Tastes just the same as green. I'm not sure I understand why it was developed other than that they could as it has to be peeled to prepare so the color goes away.

This is Day Two of "Torchwood, Children of Earth", on BBC America. This 5 day mini- series presentation of the story is presenting a lot more depth of character than most of their past storylines. Check it out. I think I saw that it releases on DVD around the end of the month.

Dad called, seems that he got an astronomical gas bill. Seems his meter hasn't been working and they just figured it out. This sounds all too familiar, seems there was a whole slough of dysfunctional meters last year. We're going to review his past bills tomorrow.

I ordered my new glasses yesterday, they should be ready in a couple weeks. These have a light violet colored frame, it will be a different look. I'll probably get new lenses put into my current frames when I have the new ones. I'm thinking that there will be times when I will want the more neutral color.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

So between then and now - life happened...

Last weekend we went to Cabelas. 'Nuff said? see D.W.'s blog for his comments. As an incentive for the road trip he suggested a visit to Shipwreck Beads, "the world's largest selection". It's about 2 miles from Cabelas and, though it is hard to credit, I had never been. WOW! We spent a couple of hours and I bypassed whole sections, including the books and instructional dvds.

The next day I rearranged the corner where my new gun safe is located. Moved several furniture pieces that were not large, but cumbersome. My back complained a bit for a couple of days. Aleve to the rescue.

We have gone back to "summer schedule" at the office. From now through September I will be working 4/10's, Tuesday - Friday. Makes morning come pretty darn early! I catch the very 1st express bus of the day from this area into town, and the next to last bus out.

This weekend is Kent's Cornucopia Days celebration. No Farmer's Market but a rather extensive street fair set up. We found a few Xmas gifts. I also found out that a local shop hosts spinners for a few hours twice a month. YES! Much easier to get to than visiting Weaving Works in the U District in the evening after work. Picked up cards from a couple of local craftspeople who do custom refinishing.

Last night D.W. showed me a page from Wednesday's, July 8, Seattle Times which featured a recipe for Spinach Phyllo Pie, (actually a roll). I decided to try it for tonight's dinner.

Before baking

During baking we opened a bottle of Sangria, which we 1st tasted on the trip to Long Beach for D.W.'s birthday.
His glass says King Crab
Mine says Queen

After baking

D.W. says

I have now written several amendments on the page and it will go into the recipe box.

Tomorrow I am planning to visit Carpinito's fruit, vegetable and plant center to see it their produce department carries golden beets. I found out last summer that I can eat them easily, unlike the red ones that bite me back. They seem to be one of those "specialty" veggies like kohlrabi (another of my summer faves).

Then I'll be visiting my Dad.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bummer! Learned today that the Broadway Across America production of Fiddler On the Roof - featuring TOPOL! - has been rescheduled from Dec 2009 to May 2010. Sigh.

So guess I'll have to make do with having a theatre party night for Wicked instead. Gosh.
Hey Raven! Hey StitchWitch! how does Friday, Sept. 18th sound? I'll book us in downtown for the evening; we can have "after" and go shopping on Saturday. Yes? Maybe we can even do something that TigerBoy and Wolf will find interesting.

Oh NO, just looked at Camlin and it looks like they are doing the group theatre thing again. How about we get a couple of 1 bedrooms and go to the play on Friday, Sept. 25th? Email or call so that we can talk tickets.
Sometimes I really don't like my commute. Like yesterday afternoon when it took over 2 1/2 hours to get home. The game got out right at rush hour.

I know that Seattle has to repair/resurface their downtown streets. It just seems that if they have to 1/2 the available traffic lanes there should be some way to detour part of the traffic. My bus driver yesterday suggested that instead of getting on at our usual north end stops we take a different bus through town in the tunnel and then connect with our bus at the final stop at the south end of downtown. I'll have to try that next week.

The majority of southbound bus routes through town approach downtown from the east on Stewart Street, which is currently reduced to 2 (of 4) lanes on left so that they can repair bus zones. This causes stack-ups of buses waiting to get to stops. The routes split between 3rd and 2nd Avenues when they turn south. Second Ave. is currently, for 2-4 weeks, reduced to2 (of 4) lanes to left for the same reason.

I've heard that the surface streets all need to be done while there is "stimulus" money available, and that they have to be done before the viaduct replacement tunnel can be started. Too bad the light rail doesn't go through town. Someday.
I stayed home from work on Wednesday because I wanted to be there when Sierra Stone Northwest did the resurfacing of our patio. They'd said they'd leave the bill and I could mail a check if it was easier. Those who know me also know that since D.W. had to go to work and I don't always believe workers will do what I was told they would do when unsupervised...... Not to mention I wanted them paid immediately so that there was no possibility of a construction lien being started. Yup, trusting, that's me.

We forgot to take a "before" picture, darn. It took them about 5 hours.
They cleaned out the starts of new growth that had appeared post-pressure wash and filled in the holes and cracks with epoxy. That was followed by a rather nasty smelling primer, then they chased away the neighbor cat. They started to mix epoxy for surface when neighbor cat returned, got chased away again. Back to mixing; picked up neighbor cat and set him just on edge of primer - he schedaddled. Finished mixing, glared at cat. They blended 5 different colors of pebbles to get the mix we had selected, poured in the epoxy and they were off on the 1st of 4 sections. (I watched the color/epoxy blending. A cooking analogy would be layering dry ingredients for a recipe, without a bowl, blending them then adding liquid to center and stirring to combine evenly.) To create the new patio surface they used a "rake" to spread the stone mix and then got down on hands and knees to spread/tamp/smooth. As they started to mix for 2nd section they had to run off you-know-who, again - luckily this was the last time. The last step of the day was tossing a light layer of sand over the wet surface, to add just enough "texture" that it won't be slippery when it gets rained on.

We had chosen a 2nd, lighter, color to be applied to the "step" aka "weird angled ledge" on patio. Guess what! It can be seen, easily. Now I wish I had told them to do that to garage door step as well.

The "new" patio looks great! We were laughing last night because it has just enough shine to look "wet". No more looking at patio and saying "it's starting to rain". :)

Next, final (?), step is building new stairs. Home Depot here we come.

We'll have a BBQ when they are in!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hello world, I'm back. It has been pointed out to me that it has been several days since I posted. OK, yeah, I'm aware.

Think I told you that I took a tumble on a Seattle street. I landed complete palm down on my right hand, which means that the wrist was nicely bent, so I jammed it down pretty hard. I've had a recurring soreness when I turn my wrist or pick up anything with much of a weight (large, full, coffee cup for example). NO it is not broken, or sprained - it doesn't hurt nearly enough for either. Been there, done those. I think strained would be the most it can be called. It has caused me to treat it "nicely" for the past week. It is much improved!

Yesterday was Father's Day. D.W. and I took my Dad to brunch at Marie Callendar's before D.W. had to go to work. They have quite the spread. Omelets, waffles, fruit, and dessert in 1 room; salad/soup bar in another room, and the bisquits&gravy, salmon fillets, chorizo, quiche and the like hot trays in a 3rd location. We all enjoyed it. Dad ate more than his usual for breakfast :) , including giving in to a bit of sweet tooth. I'd never put shredded carrot into a veggie omelet before, that was pretty good. D.W. and I did justice to the wonderfully flavorful pineapple.

Have I told you that the neighbor's cat has been trying to convince us that he belongs to us too?
Started when we let him into the dining room (where the cat door is) when he was locked out of his house during the snow storms that past winter. Now he just comes for company. He knows that he isn't supposed to come any further in than the dining room area; and he minds a darn sight better than ours do.

Anyway, this weekend another cat (who I have only seen once before) came to sit on the steps and gaze in. This one is a large, medium-long hair, cream color with orange points.

What brought this subject up is that "someone" decided to scent mark my kitchen! So I washed down the counter fronts, and the floor, and the rugs. That worked. Think I'll go back over the counter fronts and floor tonight with a more specific cat odor out solution just to be really sure.

Raven and I went to Firwood Farm Alpaca's earlier this month, see previous post. And we went back after they sheared and took a look at the fiber that they decided to keep and sell directly to hand-spinners. Raven also booked a day for the weaver's guild fiber artists to visit and have a mini spin-in. We had told her that we were mostly interested in the chocolates and the multi-color suri (long haired) fiber. She showed us the whites, and the pure black that she had as well.

We purchased small amounts from those for which we had previously expressed interest. Mr. C's is a warm, milk chocolate color. Hershey's is a dark chocolate color with some blending toward his father's black, and just a bit which is an usual kind of grey-brown. The the suri, Bellagio, is a 6" long staple of mixed fawn, grey, white, cream. For the event, the farm staff will be making an assortment of 1-3 oz. bags of single color or assorted color/texture.

I haven't worked with raw alpaca before. I decided to look for cleaning instructions on-line. What I discovered is that there is a wide range of ideas on how to treat raw alpaca. Who'd have figured. I knew that because alpaca does not have lanolin that it would take a lower than sheep's 150 degree wash temp. What I hadn't realized is that the "popular opinion" as to care would range from 85 - 140 degrees. And some said they thought the best option was to spin raw and wash afterward to clean and set twist at the same time.

With this alpaca I can see that last option, these are very clean alpaca. Very little vegetation and pretty low odor for a camelidae. These species like to roll, and who cares if there is urine on the ground. Apparently this farm has very well behaved alpacas, they don't even dig wallows.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I decided to stay home from the shoot and recupe. Today I decided to ACT on the idea of alleviating pain. Worked, sorta. Now I just have to figure out how to not use that hand. And the deep muscle bruise from the fall has worked its way up to the surface, not pretty.

Ghost thought it was a very good idea for me to stay put and act as catnap furniture.

This evening I had a tutorial from D.W. on ways to customize blog. He asked why I didn't figure it out for myself. Answered that why should I take months to work it out when he is here and already knows. Yup, definitely The Wife.

We went shopping this afternoon because we were out of eggs. How can I make Vanilla Ginger French Toast without eggs? Came home with several bottles of wine. Well you know how it is.

One of them is a Spanish sparkling non-vintage Cava. Non-vintage made about a $40 difference. Are you surprised we thought we'd try it?
BTW for anyone who doesn't know us well, D.W.Drang of Clue Meter is my other half!

Friday, June 12, 2009

I've had a couple of mishaps lately. Darn it! I am NOT at a certain age and starting to fall apart; I simply refuse.

I hadn't been to the dentist for longer than I should have - I called & made an appointment. Several days before the day, all of a sudden, c.r.a.c.k, broke a tooth. Went & got a rubber patch applied; on the appointed day I got prepped/fitted for a crown as well as rest of exam and cleaning. Oh my aching jaw. I get the actual crown next week.

This week I have grounds to sue the city of Seattle. Those sidewalks are UNSAFE. I was walking along, on my way to work, and WHAM! All of a sudden I was flat on the ground. The thing just reached out and grabbed the toe of my sandal. I have witnesses! No broken bones, no torn clothing. My hands bore the brunt and got chewed up some. And I seem to have jarred one hand to the extent that I either bruised the bone or strained it somehow. Tonight D.W. took me to buy a wrist support so that I will stop using it wrong and give it a chance to rest. Sigh.

We are supposed to be going to a "shoot", or at least an outdoor social event, tomorrow. Can't shoot, can't spin, don't kow any of the attendees. I'm having 2nd,3rd,10th thoughts - still haven't made up my mind whether to go or bail and send D.W. on his own.

Last weekend Raven and I went to visit the Firwood Farm Alpacas. Oh yeah, tasty fibers. Met the pure black herd sire and the white herd matriarch. We got to hand feed several, some very dainty, some slobberers. Glad to have the hand sanitizer. The "Guard Westie" was a treasure.

But it was last year's babies who won us over. Mr C, and Hershey are milk and semi-dark chocolate. Bellagio is a suri throwback, longer straighter fiber, thinks mini dreads instead of curls. And he is a multi-color! fawn, gray, white, mocha. Yummy. The herd was to be sheared/sorted/graded on Tuesday. I left a message today asking what fiber they would have for direct sale and reminding her of what we had told her when we were there. Crossing fingers that the news will be good.

Raven was wearing a watch/bracelet set which she had made. (I didn't register for any of Fusion Beads classes this time around. sorry to have missed this one.) She says that she'll show me the technique - Triangle weave chain.

Father's Day is fast approaching and not an idea of what to do for Dad. A pocket case for the ever present toothpicks, perhaps? He did say when we talked tonight that he would like to go back to Maria Callendar's for one of their brunches again sometime. Hope they are taking reservations.

The Aunts are leaving in the morning for a trip back t0 the old homestead. Aunt B's daughter and husband will be doing the driving. Since both aunts are now in 80's this may well be their last visit. Dad (86) says he wishes they had asked if he wanted to go.

Does this mean I need to plan a driving trip to Midwest? I already am working on how to do the coast trip he wants.

Next week we get a new patio! Or more accurately a freshly resurfaced patio. I am very much looking forward to having a nice looking patio.

Next step is steps. So just what does it take to build new steps (4)? Sure can't use the step stool I put out there was any length of time.

When that is done I think it will be time to get Dad on Evergreen's waiting list for the apartment he wants to move to. I'll have to start clearing things out of here so that I'll know what we want to take with us in the move to the house.

I have been doing fairly well with the "redesign the Bearcat" plan. Not losing weight fast, but losing it steadily. Leslie says my chart looks fantastic. I commented to D.W. tonight that it surprises me how many people comment on my brighter spring/summer wardrobe. It is still quite casual but nicer casual.

Ghost says I'm ignoring him so I better go appease the cat. Jet went outside after it cooled off; wonder what time he'll decide to come back in tonight.
So, I've finally decided to jump into the water not just dip a toe.
My husband says "start your own blog."
My boss says "I like the way you write, you should have a blog."
My friends say "if you'd write it in a blog you wouldn't have to write to [everyone] separately."
Alright, already, it begins. Today, June 12th, 2009.