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?