What a Week!

Yep, it was one in a million.

It all started with a snowfall on Monday that crippled Seattle, as usual. It would seem that people would get used to driving in it but when it happens only every other year, maybe not. Besides, it rains 9 months out of the year and the people around here can't drive in that either.

It was only about 6 inches but the ice always comes along with it. Tony works the furthest from home and took him 4 1/2 hours to make it home. That was good time though, some people took 7 hours and some didn't get home til 1 AM. I guess it depended on when you got off work, if it was after dark (sunset is 4:15 right now) it took longer. Just keep your cool and take it slow and easy.

Tuesday nearly everyone in the family stayed home from work, Rick was the only one who went. He works only 15 miles from home and has the added bonus of being experienced in driving in all conditions. So while he was at work the rest of the family enjoyed a sunny and COLD day playing in the snow. We all went up to the school and the kids sledded. It was a good test for Iceland. It was 20's in the shade, 30's in the sun. My camera battery lasted only 1 hour at best in those temps! Good thing we're getting 2 more batteries each! That night when we went in the hot tub it was 12º and the overnight low was 7.5º!

Wednesday the snow was still around and nearly everyone stayed home again. I finally decided to take my toaster out on my first drive in the snow and it did very well. A friend was one of the hundreds of people who had to abandon her vehicle on Monday and couldn't find a ride to go back to pick it up so I decided to help her out. She lives out in the sticks about 13 miles from here. I drove cautiously and had very little difficulty, very little slipping. I also did some errands in Covington. I noticed an older guy following me all the way into the Fred Meyer parking lot. He followed me to tell me that my tabs were expired! How nice! I guess he had nothing better to do... Rick kidnapped his daughter on the way home and she joined us for dinner, a ride with Rick on his 3-wheeler and a soak in the hot tub.

Thursday was Turkey day and Rach was cooking up the big dinner at her place. It was the first of Rick's 4 days off. About noon-thirty the power flickered off and on - then off. Apparently it was a downed tree, should only be a 3 or 4 hour outage. Rach's turkey had another 1.5 hours to go. She came over and I gave her some ideas and offered to loan some stuff. Tony and Kevin both have a BBQ with a burner on the side so they just set them up and finished all the cooking that way. The food was all hot and ready at the same time. It all worked out great, everyone seemed to know exactly what had to be done and they just did it. Rick went to his family's dinner and in the evening my friends from around the corner, the Haydens, came over to stay warm. The power came back on at 9:30 but they stayed and played games til almost 11. So the 3 - 4 hour outage became 9 hours. Oh well, it was all good.

Friday - Black Friday. No, we didn't go. Shirley did, Sarah did. We slept. Then we went for a drive to find some more snow to get pictures of - just about all gone, even in Enumclaw. We did stop at the new Winco in Sumner and had one of the nicest grocery shopping experiences. The new store was clean, neat and EMPTY! I guess everyone was still black Friday shopping! We had already obligated ourselves to dinner with the Haydens so we were at their house this time, had a great dinner and more game playing.

Saturday was just plain lazy. We found a coupon for Ace hardware - 50% off any item $30 or less, so Rick and I picked up Sarah and went. We all got stuff we were happy about. Then we dropped Sarah off (she had to go to work) and went back to town to snap a few shots for our picture of the day. Then back home for a relaxing evening and leftover soup. And the hot tub.

Finally today, Sunday, was nothing spectacular. Rick went down and checked out what Sarah's brakes were doing, then some yard work, then some housework, meeting on the telephone and our usual burgers for dinner.

Not a bad week, a lot of fun actually! I think the whole family agrees. Maybe we should have a week like this every year. Next time, though, Heather and Denny have to be there!

Save the Birds!

The other day I was outside raking leaves, mowing up stragglers, cutting firewood, just enjoying outdoor work on a beautiful autumn day. I have a row of birdhouses that live up on the front of my shop that produce numerous batches of babies in the spring and are inhabited during the cold days of winter. I noticed a bird that seemed to be having a problem in the entrance to one of them, it looked like its foot may have been stuck in a crack in the wood. I just kept working and figured it would work its way out. A couple hours later my attention was drawn back up to the fluttering bird. Still stuck.

Since my jobs outside were nearly complete I decided it was time to address the poor stuck bird. I got my tall folding ladder and leaned it on the building, to make it as tall and close as possible.  I climbed the ladder. I had to go one step higher than comfortable and just remove the entire birdhouse - it wasn't its foot that was stuck.

Those silly birds use anything they can find for their nests and one used a long piece of white nylon that resembled dental floss. It was wrapped around the birdy's neck. As he fluttered when I was close he would get exhausted and just hang by the string around his neck. Talk about a sad sight!

So I pulled the whole thing down and went inside to get a pair of scissors, with the birdhouse under my arm and the bird in my hand. I went back outside and swapped everything around, the scissor was in the wrong hand. I didn't try to slip the scissor under the string, it was pretty tightly wound. I simply snipped it and the birdy flew off with the twisted string still around his neck. Hopefully it'll just slowly unwind and fall off.

This is at least the third bird I've rescued. I have a soft spot for all living creatures but birds can't bite, so I opt to help when I can.

The first time I recall doing anything was when I saw a water fowl, duck or goose, in the road being blown underneath vehicles and not being able to get it's bearing long enough to get on it's feet. So I stopped my car on the side of the busy road and removed it and set it in the grass on the side of the lake.  I believe traffic waited for me, it was probably 20 years ago, I'm not sure.

More recently, maybe 10 years ago, I took my 2 youngest sons out in our paddle boat on Lake Holm. When I neared the far end of the lake a woman came to the shore and started to call to me. She told me there was a baby goose trapped among the boards in a rotten dock that was no longer attached to the land and not easily accessible. Never mind the 2 parent geese that were keeping vigil over their trapped baby! Talk about scary! Ever had a goose come after you?

So we paddled over to it and determined we needed tools. At that point I was walking on the dock. It wasn't as bad as it was made out. I walked toward the woman on the shore and asked her to bring me some tools. She brought out a hammer and crowbar or the like and I delicately pried up the board. The poor thing was between the dock boards and the ballast below. He could get his head out but his body was trapped. I got the little thing out and mom and dad goose were right close but not threatening. I let him go in the water and the happy family swam away together.

The best feeling is the release, letting the bird back into it's comfort. I wish I could help more animals.,,,

OK, I'll BLAH-G!

As usual, it's just been normal life lately. Nothing earth-shattering, just, simply, blah. Hence, this is my Blah(g).

The feud that was going on down the street has quieted. The weapons have all been laid down but no peace treaty has been signed as yet. Still, a move in the right direction.  The evening after a significant event to end the feud Kev and Shirl had a BBQ.  It was last minute, it was cold, but it was fun. We had a bonfire and the DeBellings made some additions to the feast. It was a Monday, a work night and a school night but we enjoyed it til 8ish.

We went on another drive toward the north and east to get some pics of the fall color and, although we left early and had great weather, we still ended up disappointed. We started to see some really cool stuff, just as the sun was getting too low. We hit Winthrop around 4:30 and planned to stop to eat, but that meant that when we left the restaurant the light would nearly be gone. We still had a 4 hour drive home and saw all kinds of stuff that would have been interesting in the morning. But an out-of-town relative was due in Sunday afternoon for a quick visit so we opted to just make the long drive home. Our choice of route turned out to be the wrong one as well, we just crested Blewett Pass when the traffic stopped and people started turning around. I say someone had a bad accident involving a deer or elk, but whatever it was, it closed the road. So we had to back track a few miles (20?) to get to the other route. That added about another hour to the drive and we got home about 11:30. We'll have to do it differently next year, make it an overnight trip.

I finally started filling the bird feeders again and almost immediately had a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers at the suet. They are so cool to see, they're like 14 inches long and each has a big red cap. We've been enjoying seeing all the Snow White type activity in the back yard again. And with the fall color... (smile and sigh)

Rach and Tony are in their house and have it nearly all painted inside and decorated. Kev is working on and off. Shirley is keeping busy with the boys and the new long-haired Chihuahua they recently adopted. Denny and Heather are remodeling and enjoying having the house to themselves. We miss spending time with them though. Gage seems to miss everyone the most. The DeB's are having ups and downs but are sticking it out, they'll get it all straightened out eventually.  The kids are finding friends at school and not so bored any more.

Last weekend Rick and I took the old pickup for a drive to the peninsula to buy a toy for Rick for the snow, a Honda 3-wheeler. It's old but in pretty good shape and was a bargain. It was raining like mad but just going for a drive was kinda fun.

We're plodding through our 365's. That's our picture-a-day projects that we started last spring. It gets real hard sometimes. I get uninspired and then I take lousy pictures. I started and so will end mine mid-March. Rick started his about 20 days later, on April 1.

Joe started kindergarten this year and got chosen to play in the first school musical brought to the school by the Missoula Children's Theater International.  They provide everything except the kids and then have an adult that leads the show so the kids don't have so much to learn.  Good thing since they had only 4 days to learn it all!  But they did real good.  Joe was a rooster and did a pretty good job of keeping up with his part.

And we took advantage of a sale that we missed out on last year. It's a 4 night vacation in Iceland in March! The trip includes airfare, hotel, breakfast buffet and the "Golden Circle" tour to see some of Iceland's most famous sights. We're gonna sign up for a Northern Lights tour and also rent a car to see some sights on our own. We may drive as far as the volcano that shut down air traffic for a week last year. We've been researching lots of stuff since its so unique and we'll be visiting in the last month of winter. Its not as cold as everyone thinks, 30's during the day and 20's at night. The streets and sidewalks in the main city, the capital, Reykjavik, where we're staying, are heated by geothermal heat so there's no ice on them! They serve some strange food that I think I'll have to pass on, things like reindeer, rotten shark, sheep's head, whale and puffin. It's very expensive so I'm planning to take stuff to make sandwiches for lunch (breakfast is included but I'm taking instant oatmeal just in case). Rick can buy his lunch if he wants but if I don't spend money on that I figure I can spend it on other stuff, goodies! Souvenirs are very pricey I hear so I think everyone can plan on receiving something small. One site I was looking at said the dinner buffet at our hotel was $90 for 2! Seriously expensive!

I guess blah is OK, it's better than always exciting.  Although I think Iceland will be pretty fantastic!

About Me

My photo
After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.