RETIRED, AT LAST!!
Well, it's official - we are RETIRED! Actually, I have been retired since April 3rd, and Teddie is on leave until June 1st when she will also be officially retired! Hard to believe a month has gone by, although a lot has happened during that time. Here is a catchup:
Sunday, April 3rd: My official retirement date! Not wanting to have to say good-byes, I told my work group that I was retiring on the first of May, so they were expecting me to be around for another month. When I left work on Friday, one of them said, "See you Monday", and I just replied with, "Have a good weekend". I wasn't trying to be sneaky or insultive - I just don't like good-byes.
April 8-11: A few very busy days. The movers begin packing our stuff, Teddie sells her SUV, and we take the Mercedes down to the dock for shipment. As the packers progress, less and less of our stuff becomes available and we eventually wind up sleeping on the hide-a-bed that we don't plan to take to Washington. Eventually the house is empty, except for our luggage, the dogs, and the stuff that we haven't gotten around to throwing away. The place is kind of a mess, but we sweep it up and that helps a lot. Also, we hire a girl to come and give it a good cleaning after we leave. Wendy, Betsy, Isaac, and Gerry come by on Sunday to bid us farewell, on Monday we enjoy dinner with Pat, Mel, and Bob at Buona Sera, on Tuesday we have dinner with Judi and Stephanie at Bucca de Beppo, and on Wednesday Sherine comes by to say goodbye. In previous weeks we have had a party at the house for our Sierra Club friends, and one for our Geocache friends. Without a doubt, the hardest part of leaving Hawaii is saying goodbye to our dear friends. Like I mentioned before, I don't like good-byes.
April 14: Time to go! We take one last look at our home of the past 25 years and then load the baggage and dogs into the rental car and leave Kailua for the last time. We offload the dogs and luggage at the curb of the terminal and I wait for Teddie as she returns the rental. Then we go through the check in process and eventually watch as they cart Sandy and Pepper off to the baggage area. A while later we board the plane for what is likely to be our last Hawaii-Mainland flight and settle in. Arriving at SEA we are glad to find that the girls have made the trip fine, and we catch a shuttle to the Motel 6 where we will settle in for the night.
April 15: Dan from BowenScarff Ford picks me up and takes me to the dealership where I pick up the truck I have been daydreaming about for the past three years. It's a beauty! F350 Lariat SuperCab diesel 4x4 with all the goodies, plus a camper shell. After a quick checkout, I head back to the motel and pick up Teddie and the girls and we turn north to Kenmore where the travel trailer I bought (sight unseen) is stored. We find the trailer, but nobody is home, so we turn west to Edmonds and catch the Kingston ferry and then motor on the Poulsbo where Ed and Chrys are waiting for us. Here we move into their lovely studio apartment where we will live for the next several days while we get settled.
April 16: Ed and I catch the ferry back to Edmonds and then drive to Kenmore where we meet the owner of the travel trailer. It's raining, so we don't take too much time to learn all the ins and outs of the system but, rather, hook the trailer up and prepare to haul it to Poulsbo. I check the lights and brakes to make sure they are OK, and then it's back to Edmonds to catch the ferry once again. Eventually we reach Poulsbo and check the trailer into Eagle RV where it will stay for three nights while we check out the systems and prepare to move it to Sequim. We find a problem with the toilet valve, but that is quickly fixed, and a few other minor items are corrected. Overall, the trailer seems to be in pretty good shape and we're quite happy with it.
April 19: After days of pampering by Ed and Chrys (including Chrys' breakfasts-to-kill-for) it's time to head for Sequim! We pick up the trailer at Eagle RV and turn westward, eventually reaching Sequim and checking into Gilgal Oasis RV Park where we will stay for the next two weeks.
April 25: We decide to drive around SunLand to see what's for sale, and find a home on Taylor Blvd for sale by owner. He shows us through and we find that we both like the place. We need to look around further, though, to see what else is available and to get a better feel for the prices in the area.
April 26: We look at a half dozen places in SunLand with a Realtor and find that I like some that Teddie doesn't care for, and she likes some that I don't. There were one or two "possibles" but nothing really grabbed us like the FSBO from the day before.
April 27: We make another appointment to look at the FSBO and agree that we both like it. The owner and I do a little dickering in the living room and we quickly come to an agreement on the place. He (Ken) is pretty easy to work with and we feel there will be no problems in closing the deal. A home inspection is arranged and the wheels are set in motion. We still plan to move into the Horizon View house, so this one will be strictly an investment rental. It's a nice place, though, and I wouldn't hesitate to live there myself if the situation dictated.
April 29: Teddie and I drive to Poulsbo and meet Ed and Chrys at Hill's Moving & Storage where our container is being unloaded. It's pretty exciting to see our stuff come out of the container, although it's all still wrapped up! We pull out my motorcycle, our bicycles, and a small stepladder (so I can check the oil on my big pickup). We leave the motorcycle with Ed and Chrys then Teddie and I continue south to Tacoma where we head for the dock and pick up the Mercedes. It has arrived unharmed and we are thankful for that. We drop the Mercedes off with Ed and Chrys and then head back to Sequim.
Next up: On Tuesday (5/3) we leave for our road trip in the big truck. We'll head south the Palmdale, CA and visit Teddie's nephew, and then turn east and do some sightseeing on our way to New Mexico. There we will spend a few days in the cabin with Teddie's folks before moving on to Texas and Oklahoma. Isn't retirement great!
5/8 Catch-up! We left Sequim on 5/3 after putting the travel trailer into storage. Heading down the west side of Hood Canal, we eventually joined up with I-5 and continues southbound. Our first nightly stop was at the Motel 6 in Eugene, Oregon. Motel 6 allows pets, so they will be our mainstay during this trip. While in Eugene, we are visited by Eric and his wife and enjoy a pleasant time getting acquainted. Eric purchased our Big Island property from us a while back and we have been anxious to meet him, so it was a very pleasant get-together. The next morning we continued south and finally stopped for the night in Stockton, California. Alberto, Florinda, and her father, Mario, had driven out from Palo Alto to visit with us and were waiting for us at the motel when we pulled in! It was a long drive for them to come out and see us, but we were very glad they did it - such special friends!! The next morning we turned east and drove to Yosemite where we toured the National Park in the rain! All day the weather was rainy and drippy, the dogs were getting cranky, and I was losing patience. But the park (what we could see of it) is quite beautiful and now we can say, "Been there, done that". Leaving Yosemite southbound, we join up with the main highway in Fresno and settle down for the night. The next day it was on to Palmdale where we visited with Darin and Rika, and enjoyed their kids. Little Derik is soooo cute, and the 3-week-old baby is a jewel. That night we enjoyed Rika's spaghetti dinner, which was much better that "road food"! Next we turned north to join I-40 and headed east as far as Holbrook, Arizona, where I sit now typing this. Up until Palmdale the weather was quite rainy and wet, but since leaving Palmdale it has been very clear and dry and this morning (5/8) it is beautiful.
5/8 (evening). We drove through the day and never have I seen so much of nothing! Miles and miles of open, empty desert! It was very attractive, in its own way, but very unlike anything we have lived around. We went west on I-40 to Albuquerque, then turned north on I-25 until reaching Las Vegas (NM). There we went north on a rural road for about 45 minutes until we reached Teddie's parents' cabin in the woods. The weather today was perfect, and the miles peeled off quickly in the big pickup, so it was a good trip. I'm getting 17-19 mpg on the highway, and that is about what I expected. Diesel fuel has been anywhere from $2.30/gallon to $2.89/gallon, so this trip is not going to be cheap. I must have $500 worth of fuel receipts in the glove box now and the trip is slightly less than half over. But we're having fun (except when the dogs are fighting) and seeing lots of countryside.
5/10 Today we drove into Taos to look around, and I was not impressed. It was like the Lahaina of New Mexico - lots and lots of craft, jewelry, and art shops. But it was nice to see some of the countryside north of here and the one hour drive (each way) was pleasant. Tomorrow Teddie's folks arrive at the cabin and we will all be here for a few days before heading on to Borger, TX. We still feel like we are on vacation, and the retirement will probably not fully sink in until we are eventually settled in our Sequim house and no longer have to report for work on Monday. So far, retirement is great!
5/17/05 After a few very relaxing days in the NM mountains, we all headed for Borger, TX - a 5 hour drive - to spend time at Teddie's folks' place. While there I aired up the tires in my motorcycle and prepared it for shipment to Washington after a 24 year storage in their garage! Then yesterday Teddie and I drove to Oklahoma City where we are now. We will spend a week here visiting Michael, working on my truck and trailer, and generally goofing around before returning to Borger for a day or two and then on to Washington. The weather has been great and the truck is running good - retirement is still fun!
5/22/05 Yesterday turned very hot here in Oklahoma City, hitting almost 100 degrees in the afternoon!! A friend from work was in town so he and I got together for lunch and then visited Michael's shop for a while. In the evening, Teddie and I drove down to Tuttle to attend a family birthday party for one of her cousins. We attended another party the night before for another of her cousins, so now I'm In-law'ed out!
Tomorrow we drive back to Borger and finish preparations for the trip back to Sequim. Michael is going to slide the gun safe into the pickup today, and the little flatbed trailer is ready to pull. The drive to Borger will give me a good chance to test things out and make any final adjustments before heading to Washington.
Our stay here in OKC has been fun. Teddie has been doing some shopping and a lot of visiting. She even bought a pair of cowgirl boots the other day! I've spent a lot of time playing around in Michael's shop, and doing odds and ends around town. But now we're ready to head back and settle down in Sequim for a while. Our Taylor Blvd house closed yesterday, so we officially own that one now. Still no word on the tenant in Horizon View, so it looks like we will have to wait until July 1st to get in there.
5/25/05 The drive back to Borger went well - no problems at all with the trailer. We stayed with Teddie's folks for two nights and then left to start heading home this morning. We went west out of Borger, through Dumas, Dalhart, and then into New Mexico There we headed through Clayton and Raton and then up into Colorado. Continuing north we passed through Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Ft. Collins before entering Wyoming and stopping at Cheyenne for the night (where I sit typing this). The weather was good and the highway quite scenic, but the drive through Denver was anything but pleasant, what with all the traffic, construction, and bumpy roads! We thought we'd never get through it, but suddenly the highway opened up in front of us and once again we were driving through wide-open spaces! Tomorrow we hope to make it as far as Twin Falls, Idaho, before stopping for the night. So far, so good!!
5/27/05 We're now in Yakima, WA!! We left Twin Falls around 8:30 this morning and drove out of Idaho, through the northeast corner of Oregon, and into Washington. The weather was clear (but hot) and the roads were good, so the trip went quite well. Tomorrow we make the final leg of this journey and should arrive in Sequim in the late afternoon or early evening. We'll swing by Poulsbo to enjoy a cold drink with Ed and Chrys, and then will pick up the car and Teddie can follow me to Sequim. My "new" truck now has about 6,300 miles on it and the front end is plastered with a zillion little bugs, but it will all wash off when we get home. I need to upload some more pictures for this page. Perhaps later this evening.
5/28/05 The road trip is over! We got to Poulsbo a little after noon and picked up our car after a pleasant visit with Ed and Chrys, and then continued on to Sequim! There was room for us in the RV campground, so we fetched the travel trailer and set it up in spot #12 where we are today! Although we would rather be in our house, it still feels good to be back in the familiar trailer and not planning any more full days of driving. We saw a lot of beautiful country (and a whole lot of barren country) in the past few weeks, but now it's time to settle in, clean the bugs off the front of the truck, and think about moving into the house in another month. It's been almost two months since I retired and it feels more like two weeks!
6/3/05 We're still happy to be back in the trailer! Being on the road is fun, but "there's no place like home" - even if it is only 8x24'. A couple of days ago we met up with Ed and Chrys in Poulsbo and shopped for furniture. Teddie has her eye on a leather couch, loveseat, and recliner. On Monday we will head over to Seattle to do some comparison shopping. After we left the furniture store, we went by Ed's and picked up my motorcycle. I drove it back to Sequim while Teddie followed in the car, and it sure felt good, even if the temperature was in the 50's. Now it's here at the trailer and I've used it for a couple of short errands since. Then yesterday, Teddie and I went to the hanger and borrowed a little. engine lift and managed to wrestle the one ton safe out of the back of the pickup and down onto the ground. It was touch-and-go a couple of times, but we finally got it done without damaging the safe or the truck or killing one of us. Today we went back and got the 850 lb. Smithy off the trailer and on the floor (alongside the safe). Both items can sit there for a long time, but at least now I have the truck empty and the trailer available for more missions.
Today marks two months since retirement! The time has been flying by so quickly that it feels like two weeks, and I still can't make my brain understand that I don't have to go back to work after this "vacation". It has been VERY nice just being able to do the things we want to and not have to fight the traffic to/from work and sit in the office all day. After we returned from our road trip, I collected our mail at the Post Office and there was a retirement greeting card from my work group in the AOS office, and that was very nice. Also, I have Instant Messaged one of the co-workers a couple of times. It's nice to hear the latest news, but I have no desire to return to work at all. That part of my life is over, unless I get really bored or very broke. Neither is likely.
6/9/05 Things are gradually coming together - we have arranged for the movers to deliver our furniture on July 8th, and my airplane kit should arrive next week. We're still doing just fine in the travel trailer, but are looking forward to the day when our house is available. After living in the trailer for a couple of months, the house will seem like a mansion! The weather has been wet and drippy for the past few days, but the cool air feels good to us and we're learning how to dress for it. This morning is clear and bright, though, so we probably won't even need a jacket. I hope to wash the truck today.
6/18/05 Still busy! On Wednesday Ed and Chrys came by for the day and that was fun. Teddie and Chrys went out to the U-pick-it place and picked 28 lbs of strawberries for a party Chrys was going to attend the next day. Both of them came back with red hands. Then that afternoon I received a call that there was a delivery truck looking for me at the airport. We drove over and helped unload 9 boxes, plus one long wrapped-up object - MY AIRPLANE! Then yesterday Teddie and I drove to Poulsbo where we met up with Ed and Chrys again and headed for Silverdale. Teddie ordered the leather furniture she has been wanting and then we headed over to Costco and Sears where we bought shelves for the hangar and a replacement table saw to put at the house. This retirement business is interesting - sometimes I am quite busy and moving in a dozen different directions, and other times I am relaxing at the computer with a cup of coffee in my hand and a sleeping poodle in my lap. So far, it's just as I imagined it would be.
6/19/05 It was a beautiful clear blue day today so we packed the dogs into the truck and drove to the top of Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. You just couldn't ask for better weather! After enjoying the views and walking around for a while we had a light lunch and then headed down the mountain. On the way home we stopped at the airport and I cleaned up the hangar a little better and put the shelving together. Meanwhile the dogs ran around and had the time of their lives. Sandy found a tennis ball in the hangar and kept bringing it back to me to throw. After a while she lost it and then kept trying to pull the tennis ball off the trailer hitch! Later in the day we picked up the gps and went geocaching for a while on an old train trestle SE of the RV park. There is a great bicycle path here in the peninsula that was build on an old railroad bed and winds through several miles of the area. One day I hope to ride it all on my bicycle, although it may take a few days to complete. After geocaching we went to Home Depot and purchased a small outdoor grill and enjoyed a steak dinner in the trailer. Now we're settled down in the trailer, the poodles are sleeping, and there is an old Harry Potter movie on the little TV. We're very happy to be here.
6/23/05 The weather was clear and cool today so I decided to ride the motorcycle back up Hurricane Ridge while my 7-day pass was still good. What a great ride - smooth twisting roads with little to no traffic and nice cool temperatures. Perfect riding weather. It was so much better than the hot riding in the middle of heavy traffic that I was used to finding on Oahu. After coming back down off the ridge I wandered around Port Angeles for a while, spending most of my time in outdoor recreation shops, and then drove over the Old Olympic Highway to the airport, where I poked around and straightened up some of the airplane parts. This is a great time to be on the peninsula - the weather is generally good, the flowers are in full bloom, and it's good to be alive (and retired!).
6/29/05 Things are still going well. A few days ago I drove down to Poulsbo and picked up Ed and we took the Bainbridge ferry to Seattle where we spent the day checking out electronic stores and such. I purchased an in-dash navigation system for my truck a while back and needed an in-dash installation kit for it. We managed to find the kit and then prowled around Fry's Electronics - a store which has to be seen to be believed! We then fought traffic up through downtown and stopped by REI where I bought a new pair of hiking boots which I can't wait to try out on some of the many trails around the Sequim area. Finally, it was back across the Sound on the Downtown-Bainbridge ferry and back to Sequim. I've spend several hours of the past two days installing the Nav unit and it looks great! Tonight there is a meeting of the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and I plan to attend. Also, it looks like we will be able to get into our house either tomorrow or Friday, so Teddie has been lining up flooring and window people to come give estimates. In some ways, we are going to miss the little RV community, but it will be nice to have our house and plenty of room to move around. Being in our little travel trailer all this time has not been a bad experience at all, and we have become quite attached to the little place, but it isn't nearly big enough to hold all our "stuff". But once we move into the house we will put the trailer in a storage lot about 1/2 mile from the house and it will be available to take camping whenever we feel we want to get away for a few days or more. Tomorrow night Teddie begins her weekly Yoga class and she is looking forward to it. She tried to get me to sign up with her, but I explained that I don't get stress - I give it. Just kidding!!
6/30/05 Yesterday morning we dropped by a cabinet shop and Teddie discussed kitchen cabinets with the folks there. One of them will come by the house in about 10 days to look the place over and give her an estimate on the kitchen remodel, and she is very excited about that. To me a kitchen is just a place to grab a bite to eat, but what do I know?! Later, we loaded the dogs into the truck and did a little geocaching. Found one about a half mile east of here (easy find) and then continued east about 4 miles to look for another. This one required us to drive down a private road and we didn't feel good about that so we passed. The third, and final, one was about a mile and a half out on a long sand spit on East Sequim Bay. It was a long walk on small round rocks, but the weather was perfect and the scenery fantastic. We had the whole place to ourselves! Later that evening I attended the EAA meeting at Sequim Valley Airport and that was fun. The highlight speakers of the meeting were a pair of Seattle Controllers who talked about radio procedure. They were pretty good, despite a couple of bits of mis-information, and everyone enjoyed and appreciated their presence. On the way to the meeting I was turning off Sequim Avenue onto the entrance ramp to Highway 101 when a large bird swooped down in front of me and passed almost over the hood from left to right. As it passed low over the grass and then began flying upward, I realized from the white head and tail that it was a bald eagle!
Today the tenant is supposed to complete her cleaning and vacate the house, so we are anxious to get in and have a look around. Most likely we will move in tomorrow, even though we have no furniture. We can always drag the beds from the camper in so we'll have something to sleep on until our furniture arrives on July 8th.
7/5/05 Busy, busy busy! We moved out of the camper and into the house on the 1st, and have been very busy getting things straightened up and cleaned out. The tenant didn't leave the place as clean as we had hoped, but we're slowly getting caught up and making repairs. In the past few days we have replaced a toilet, installed a new mail box, put vinyl flooring in the utility room, cut all the bushes back, removed planters, checked out the sprinkler system, and a hundred other things! The place is coming along, though, and we're starting to feel comfortable here. Our furniture arrives on Friday, so then the real work will begin. But for today, we await a washer and dryer from Sears, the cable TV guy will come by, and we will install cable Internet. Our doggie door will arrive at the campground, so I'll pick that up and install it. When time permits, I need to contact the electric and garbage people, plus arrange to have a land-line phone installed (cellular service in the neighborhood is very bad). Time permitting, we need to have a couple of screen doors replaced, and will have to contact people about doing glass replacements. Finally, we need to arrange for a load of gravel to be delivered to fill in the walkways behind and alongside the house. Whew!
Yesterday we went back to the RV park for a 4th of July picnic, and that was a lot of fun. Most of the park residents are very transient, so we didn't recognize very many people, but those we did recognize were fun to chat with and had lots of questions about our house.
7/6/05 Another busy day! In the morning we loaded all the tree trimmings from the back yard onto the flatbed trailer and took it to Pt. Angeles to dump. Unlike Kailua, they charge you to dump here so it cost us about $9.70 for the trailer load. After we returned, the window guy came by and measured all our windows for glass replacement. They are all the original windows and many of them have fogged up between the layers of glass. While he was here, a dump truck showed up with the 4 yards of gravel I ordered the day before, and Teddie and I spent most of the remainder of the day moving the gravel around to the back of the yard and spreading it on a walkway that goes around the house. Then it was off to Gwennie's Restaurant for a light dinner, Home Depot to sign papers for the carpeting, WalMart for a Yoga mat, and the airport to drop off the trailer. Teddie was exhausted by the end of the day!
We finally have Internet at the house! We signed up for Wave Cable and Olypen Broadband. There were a lot of problems with the cable modem, but I finally got them to replace it and things are working well now. Our cell phones, unfortunately, are NOT working so well. Coverage at the house is very, very poor and it's necessary to sit by the south windows and hold the phone straight up to have any kind of connection at all. Last night I ordered a Verizon phone and we will see how that works. Everyone tells us Verizon has the best coverage in this area, so if it works out well I will cancel my T-Mobile account (and take a $200 cancellation hit).
Pepper and Sandy have been having an occasional "accident" in the house, but we installed a doggie door two days ago and are training them to use it. With any luck at all, this will take care of that problem.
7/10/05 The movers came two days ago!! Now our house is filled with cardboard boxes and packing material, but at least we're one step closer to returning to normal. Unfortunately, we can't just completely unpack and enjoy the summer - Teddie has arranged for hardwood flooring to be put down upstairs and new carpet downstairs, so much of the unpacking is going to have to wait until that is done. Also, she is having the kitchen redone and that will have some effect on the flooring. Meanwhile, the house is littered with boxes, the garage is packed full, and my flatbed trailer is over at the hangar and loaded down with stuff. It's going to take quite a while to sort through all this stuff but we just have to take it one box at a time. At least now we can quit worrying about the container catching fire, rolling off the ship, etc., etc.
7/15/05 Another busy day! The hardwood flooring people came by at 7am and began ripping the carpet and padding from the living room and family room floors. While they were doing that, Teddie and I continued to gather all the yard cuttings we had trimmed and loaded them onto the trailer. Somewhere in there I managed to get something in my eye and that required a trip to the doctor's, but he got it out and said the eye should feel better in the morning. We saw our first deer in the yard yesterday - it was a doe and she came in from Taylor Blvd and walked up our gravel path, munching on our plants along the way. Then she continued up the walkway past the house and eventually crossed through the bushes into the neighbor's yard. She had a deformed front leg (probably from a vehicle encounter) but seemed healthy enough otherwise. The poodle girls never had a clue she was out there or they would have gone nuts. Tomorrow we might take the trailer full of clippings to the Pt. Angeles landfill.
7/20/05 It has been a busy couple of days lately, although we haven't had to work quite as hard as in the past few weeks. We dumped a trailer load of yard clippings a few days ago and, yesterday, we dumped a load of packing paper. The flooring people came yesterday and ripped up the floor in the dining area and hallway, and a truck delivered all the hardwood it will take for the job. It's Brazilian Cherry and should look very nice once it's down and finished. Also, I brought a load of stuff from the garage over to the hangar yesterday, and hope to get started on the airplane one of these days. I still lack the engine, prop, and instruments, but the landing gear came two days ago and looks great. Once I start building the plane in earnest, I'll have to ask the tenant to move his 182 out of there. Plus, I hope to build an enclosed workshop in the back of the hangar and that will cause a mess for a while. Finally, we are placing an offer on a house down the street that came on the market a few days ago. We have a little $$$ left from the Hawaii sale and are confident that Sequim Real Estate is a decent investment. We'll see what happens.
7/21/05 Well, the house deal went nowhere. They rejected our offer and only came down $1,000 so we're going to pass on this one. No big deal. In other news, a friend gave me a ride in his Stinson yesterday and it was great! We departed Pt. Angeles Airport (Fairchild Int'l) and flew down the coast to Whidbey Island and then turned northeast and landed at Skagit (sp?) where we met a friend of his who has a Challenger very similar to the one I will be building. We spent quite a while there while I took pictures of every imaginable area of his plane and asked lots of questions. Then we departed Skagit and flew around over the San Juans before turning south to cross the Strait to Sequim and turn west to Pt. Angeles. The weather was great, the air calm, and the '48 Stinson performed flawlessly! Thanks for a great ride, Alan!!
7/25/05 The weather has been just fantastic these past several days, and we have been trying to get out and enjoy it. However, there is still a lot of work to do around the house and we found ourselves spending the morning pulling blackberry vines the other day. Yesterday I pulled the motorcycle out and rode around the outer fringes of Sequim for a while - VERY enjoyable! Then last night we drove to Alan's place in PA for a BarBQ dinner with a couple of his friends and had a very pleasant visit. He and Michelle have a nice home out in the woods and all the toys a man could ask for! I'm envious! One other thing we did in the past few days was to plant a Geocache out in the back yard. We had one in our front yard in Kailua and it was fun watching the Cachers come by, so we hope this one is as well received. You can click here to see if anyone has visited it lately.
7/30/05 The day before yesterday, Alan and I drove out to Fall City, WA, and I looked at a '93 Honda Gold Wing. It was low mileage and appeared to be in very good shape, so I bought it and we carried it back to Sequim on the little flatbed trailer! Now I will have to sell the '91 CBR that has kept me happy over so many years! Although the CBR is a great bike, it's not comfortable for long rides, and I hope to take a few trips in the area while the weather is warm. In other news, the hardwood flooring is down in the living room now and they will come to sand and finish it in a week or so. A week from today the other company will be by to carpet the downstairs hallway, bedrooms, and Teddie's bonus room. Once the carpet is down and the hardwood is finished in the living room, we can FINALLY begin to unpack in earnest and I can clean out the garage (and make room for the Gold Wing....). Today Alan and Michelle are coming over on their motorcycle and the four of us will ride to Port Townsend for lunch. The sky is clear blue out there this morning and the forecast temperature is around 71F, so it should be a perfect day for a motorcycle ride! By the way, is buying a motorcycle in Fall City bad Karma??
7/30/05 I drove the new bike down to the gas station to fill up and noticed it seemed to be running on only 5 of its 6 cylinders!! Oh no - I just bought this thing! When I got home, Alan and Michelle came by in their Gold Wing to go riding and I showed Alan how the bike was running, so we pulled the lower fairings off and finally decided one of the plugs was not firing. After a quick run to the auto parts store, we were in business! Alan and Michelle and Teddie and I rode the Wings to Port Townsend where we browsed the shops, ate a light lunch, and had an ice cream. Then it was back to Sequim as the sun was getting low on the horizon. The weather was exceptional and the ride smooth and quiet. Life is good.
8/2/05 Another busy day! We drove down to Blake Sand & Gravel this morning and they put one ton of slate-like rock on the trailer, which we then took home and unloaded - - piece by piece! When it was done, we met with Alan and Michelle and they showed us a house around the corner that has just come on the market. As soon as that was done, Teddie came home to meet with the cabinet maker and I drove back over to Blake's for another ton of rock. Once that was unloaded, we broke out the chain saw and cut down a bunch of thick cedar bushes (trees?) that were taking over the back yard and loaded the whole mess onto the trailer. Now we are both really whipped, but the job is almost done. While we were cutting and loading, Teddie called me over to show me the raccoon family that was climbing the tree further down in the back yard. I stood at the base of the tree and, about 10' up above, three little bandit faces peered down at me! They kind of reminded me of Sandy. They're really cute, but I hope they don't try to take up residence under our roof......
8/8/05 The landlord business continues..... A couple of days ago we signed an agreement to purchase a house about 3 miles northwest of here. It's an attractive little place in good condition and should make a desirable rental. We have a home inspection this Wednesday and plan to close on the 5th of September. This will be our last house purchase for a while (forever?)!! Hopefully this house business will prove to be a good investment, and not just a never-ending headache. Only time will tell. Tomorrow the carpet people are coming to lay the carpet in the bedrooms, downstairs hallway, and Teddie's "bonus" room. On Wednesday the hardwood flooring folks come back to sand and varnish the living room floor. They will return again on Thursday to give it a 2nd coat. Next Monday the window people come by to replace each and every window in the house. Lots of stuff going on.
8/14/05 This morning we joined up with Alan and Michelle and went for a long motorcycle ride. We headed west through Pt. Angeles and then continued on Highway 101 past Lake Crescent, joined Highway 112 to Clallam Bay, and then west to Neah Bay. At the end of the road we parked the bikes and then walked the remainder of the way to Cape Flattery - the most northwest point in the contiguous 48 states. We returned via Highway 112 eastbound until it joined 101 not too far from Port Angeles. From there it was a quick ride through Pt. A and down the Old Olympic Highway to our place. What a great ride! Although it was chilly and foggy near the water sometimes, the road was great and the weather very, very good. The only hitch came when we had to ride through a stretch of gravel road and, in an attempt to avoid a pothole, I slowly slid off the side of the road and came to an immediate stop. Teddie got off and we drove the bike out of the mud with no damage and no harm done. Basically we were out and about on the bikes for about 8 hours. The Gold Wings have intercom systems and CB radios, so we were all able to chat with each other the entire time.
When we got home and parked the bike, there were three deer (a doe and two large fawns) resting on the front yard. They paid little attention to us and hung around for about 40 minutes before moving on. One day we may see them as pests but for now they are fun to have around.
Tomorrow the glass people come and do their thing. We will be glad to be rid of the foggy panes that we have here and there.
8/21/05 The window job went well and they look great - no more misty, foggy windows to have to look through! Also, we are continuing to unpack and very slooooooowly clear out the garage so that one day we may get a car in there. While we're at it, we are working on the design of a small garage extension that will allow me to get the pickup inside, and give me a small workshop area. But building anything in this neighborhood is not easy and will require a lot boundary readjustment, community approval, permits, and the rest of it.
Yesterday I flew to McMinnville, Oregon, with Alan and his friend Bud for a little fly-in and airshow. We went in Bud's 1957 Cessna with a new engine, and it flew great. The airshow and displays were very enjoyable, and the flight down and back was terrific. While we were there we even got to see Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose which is on display at the museum. What a HUGE airplane!!
Today we are off the the County Fair in Port Angeles. Then it will be time to return home and continue with the unpacking.
8/24/05 The County Fair turned out to be a lot of fun. They were giving rides in Bigfoot pickup trucks, selling local crafts, hawking several types of local foods, and the kids were displaying their 4-H animals and projects. We had a great time wandering around all of the exhibits.
Later in the day we dropped by the hangar to pick up some stuff and could see some birds low on the horizon heading our way. In a few minutes a couple of formations of geese came in low over the field and passed right over us, squawking and honking the entire time! After living in Hawaii so long and only seeing an occasional mongoose, it's enjoyable to see such a wide variety of animals living among us. The other evening we were on the road around dusk and saw quite a few deer wandering around and crossing the roads. That's probably not a good time to ride the motorcycle around here.
8/29/05 We spent a few days trying to clear the bamboo out of the back yard - what a terrible job! We wound up with two huge trailer-loads of the stuff that we took the the "green dump" just south of town. At one point during the project I was out front loading the trailer while Teddie was alongside the house doing the cutting. Suddenly I heard my neighbor yell at me that Teddie was in trouble. We both rushed to the side of the house to find Teddie flat on her back in the bushes and unable to get back up. It seems she tripped on some bamboo shoots, fell over backwards through an old fence, and landed in the neighbor's yard. Fortunately she was not hurt and we quickly got her on her feet (and back to work). She was OK the next morning, except for being a little sore and having a few bruises.
Alan called yesterday morning and asked if I'd like to go flying with he and Bud. The weather was poor here at the house, but he said that Port Angeles was better and it looked good from over there. I drove over but buy the time I got there the weather had deteriorated, so we all drove over to a local restaurant for a late breakfast. We'll fly another day.
9/2/05 Yesterday we returned form Salt Creek Recreation Area, about 20 miles west of Port Angeles. We went out on the 30th and spent two days and nights there, hiking the trails and walking the shoreline. What a pretty park!! When we left Sequim the weather was drippy and dismal, but we decided we need to get out in it instead of hiding in the house, and we were glad we did, as it turned quite nice and trailer proved very comfortable. Only problem was that we couldn't get the water heater working (using propane) so it was either no shower, or ice-cold shower. Want to guess which I chose?
9/7/05 Yesterday morning Teddie and I rode the Gold Wing to Paulsbo to visit with Ed and Chrys. Ed had bypass surgery a few weeks ago and I wanted to drop by and spend a little time with him before I got ready to head for New Jersey in a couple of weeks. It was a very nice ride out and back and I think Teddie is getting more relaxed about riding the bike, although she'll probably never prefer the bike over her car.
9/10/05 Big Red is gone! About an hour ago I sold my beloved Honda CBR motorcycle to a nice young man from the south side of the Peninsula. I never thought I'd feel emotional about something mechanical, but as he rode it off and I knew I'll never see it again, I felt a real sense of loss at seeing it go. Interestingly, it was exactly on this date in 1991 that I purchased it. I hope it provides the new owner with the same enjoyment it has given me over the years. It was, and continues to be, a great motorcycle.
11/1/05 Time to do a little catch-up! I left Washington on September 18th and flew to New Jersey to spend some time with my family while Teddie stayed behind and took care of her home construction projects! I stayed in Jersey for six fun weeks and spent time with my Mother, brother, sister, son (Bill), daughter-in-law, and grandchildren! While on the east coast I spent 4 days sailing in the Chesapeake on a 35' catamaran, did projects around the house for Mom, helped my brother when I could, and generally had a great time. Click here to see a few snapshots. It was amazing how quickly the time flew by - seems like I was only gone for 2 weeks!! While I was away, they finished the hardwood flooring upstairs, installed the kitchen cabinets. delivered the new leather furniture, and accomplished a few other things. Although I was hoping the project would be DONE by the time I returned, there is still a little left to complete, but that should be finished fairly soon. It was great being back with the family for such a long visit, but now it's time to take care of a few things here - mainly preparing two of the rental homes. Also, I still have boxes piled high in the garage that need to be sorted out and arranged, and I have to get moving on permits for my garage extension project. But it's not all work and no play. Last night we lit a fire in the fireplace and relaxed in front of the TV with the dogs for a while as we watched an old Woody Allan movie. Retirement is great!
11/9/05 This morning we went birdwatching with the local Audubon Society. The birds here are so much different than the ones we used to see in Hawaii! The past few days we have been working on the Taylor Blvd house, painting, fixing appliances, and the like. The place had a big hot tub and deck in the back yard, but it had gone unused for a long time and was quite dirty. I put a FREE ad in craigslist.org and the tub and deck were literally gone within 24 hours! Yesterday I built a small 6' bridge over the ditch behind our home, so now we can enter the street easier and walk the 100 yards to the Taylor house without having to step through the culvert. We signed up for a basic subscription with netflix.com and have been watching one or two videos a week. It can be damp and cold outside at night, but sitting in front of the fireplace watching videos is not all bad!
11/11/05 - Things are starting to look good over at our Taylor Blvd place! So far, we have repainted the living and dining areas, hallway, master bedroom, and part of a 2nd bedroom, changed smoke alarms, replaced a few light fixtures, installed a range vent, repaired the garage door opener, and done a few other things. We hope to finish up the painting this week and take care of a few other things, and then the place can go on the rental market. Otherwise, we seem to spend a lot of time in Home Depot, Costco, and WalMart these days! We're getting to know Sequim better by the day and enjoy being a part of the community. Unfortunately, the weather has been too chilly and unpredictable for me to take the motorcycle out for a ride, but I'm hoping for a clear spell soon where I can hit the road for at least an hour or two. In other miscellany, we drove the truck down to Silverdale the other day and picked up some furniture for the family room. Sometime in the next month or so we will head over to Seattle so Teddie can have routine maintenance performed on her car. After May's one-month blitz down the left coast, across the southwest, and up the rocky mountains, we are quite happy to confine our travels to day-trips!
11/24/05 Happy Turkey Day!!! Today we head for Alan and Michelle's place where we will join a few others for dinner. It's going to be nice to get away from "the chores" for the afternoon - we have put in a lot of time at Taylor and Brittany getting the places ready. Except for a little cleaning and final painting, they are both about ready to hit the rental market and maybe we can (finally) see some money come IN for a change. We continue to think of Home Depot as our 2nd dwelling, and recognize most of the orange-apron people now. Before heading for Alan's, I hope to give the truck a basic wash, as it has been weeks since it last saw clean water and it's quite filthy. It's been a long time since I washed a car in 45 degree weather, so we'll hope I can do it quickly. As for our house, the granite tile guy showed up yesterday to finish the last of the kitchen countertop and it looks very nice. Now we are waiting on the electrician to come and install the cooktop, and the carpenter to install the range hood. When those are done, all the major work on the living room and upstairs will be FINISHED! Teddie is talking about a makeover for her bathroom, but that shouldn't involve any inconvenience to me. Now it's time to focus on the computer room and the garage - both of which are piled to the ceiling with "stuff". Also, I painted my bedroom light blue yesterday and it looks pretty good. The tenant had teenage kids and they must have hung posters all over the room because the walls contained literally hundreds of pinholes which had to be patched. They did some basic patching before they left, but I know I filled at least 300 holes myself. I should have prepped the earlier patching better, as you can spot it through the new paint job, but it's too late to go back and do that now. Teddie says that now I need to take the model motorcycles off the headboard, and the airplane propeller off the wall, but they all stay. At least for now.
12/1/05 It's SNOWING!! Big, wet snowflakes are falling, but they are melting as soon as they hit the ground. I thought it might be time to shift the truck into 4WD and chain up all 4 corners, but that isn't going to happen this time! Maybe when we go up into the mountains one day.
Teddie's electrician came yesterday and wired up the cooktop. We were very happy with it until she looked under the counter (where the drawers go) and saw that he left the electrical box hanging out of the wall and the metal-shielded cable hanging through the middle of it. We're not sure if he felt that mounting the box was "someone else's job", or what! These house projects never seem to go smoothly.
12/8/05 The snow has mostly melted now, but it was fun while it lasted. I'm sure we will be tired of it by the end of the winter, but having lived in Hawaii for 26 years makes snow somewhat of a novelty. The dogs had never seen snow before, so it was quite an experience for them and they ran and ran in big circles out in the yard and buried their snouts in it. Island girls!!
I've posted a few picture of the house, so people can see the progress that has been made. I'll have to remember to post some "before" pictures too. Check out the pics by clicking here.
12/12/05 The "Before and After" shots of the kitchen are now online. You can view them by clicking here!
12/15/05 Other than doing some work around the house today, we got the truck ready for a "dump run" tomorrow in Port Angeles. Since moving here, it seems like we have a never-ending supply of cardboard boxes and other trash that just won't go into the garbage can. So..... today we put all the "junk" in the back of the pickup, and then filled up the little back seat area with flattened cardboard to recycle. The plan is to leave here in the morning and head for the dump where we will get rid of everything. Then we're going to drive up to Hurricane Ridge and take in the winter sights! This will give me an opportunity to use the "Golden Age Pass" that I bought after I turned 62. If the weather is nice tomorrow, I'll post some pictures of the ridge after we return.
12/16/05 The drive to Hurricane Ridge went very well, and we found far less snow than we had expected. There was about 4' at the Visitor Center in the areas that had not been cleared. The road to the ridge was clear all the way and I never had to switch to 4-wheel drive. We didn't stay at the ridge for too long as the snack bar was closed (and it was lunch time) and Teddie started to get cold after we walked around a bit. Click on either of the snow pictures to see a full-size image.
12/17/05 Alan and I flew his Stinson to Arlington, WA, today and met with a group of people who organize the annual EAA fly-in there every summer. I'm hoping to get involved with the planning and execution of the '06 fly-in, and feel that my 30+ years with the FAA will bring a little expertise with me. We will likely fly or drive over to Arlington at least once a month until the fly-in takes place. At that time we'll drag the travel trailer over and live on the airport for about 9 days and help out with the various tasks that need to be done at an event of that magnitude. Click here to read about the event! We had a great flight over and back, as the air was smooth and the visibility outstanding. Soon after getting airborne at Port Angeles we were able to see both Mount Baker (85 miles) and Mount Rainier (117 miles)!
1/18/06 It's hard to believe that it has been a month since I logged anything on this page. Now that I'm retired, the time is just flying by!! Anyway, we've been keeping busy working on stuff around the house and at the rentals. The place on Brittany now has tenants (from Hawaii), but the Taylor place remains vacant. We're hoping to find someone soon so we can see some in-flow mixed with all the out-flow. Yesterday Teddie and I took the car over to Seattle for routine maintenance and wandered around REI while they were working on it. Seattle has had almost a month of nonstop rain, but it broke a few days ago, and yesterday was gorgeous! It takes about 2 1/2 hours (counting the ferry ride) to get to Seattle, but it's a nice drive and we always enjoy the ferry. Coming back we always look forward to crossing the Hood Canal bridge, as traffic drops off greatly at that point. Life on the Peninsula can be pretty quiet, and that's the way we like it. We've seen more and more deer in the neighborhood lately, and the other day there were 4 right across the street. They watched us work on the yard for a while and then went back to eating grass and our neighbor's shrubs. Incidentally, we have met a few of the folks who live on our street, and they all seem very nice. They're an older bunch, so Teddie and I feel like "the kids" on the block, but that's OK. It is soooooo nice to not hear loud mufflers, tires screeching, kids screaming, and all the other sounds associated with a neighborhood of young people. Color me old - - - but smiling.
1/23/06 Busy day today. We had a carpenter come by the house this morning and look at the deck in the back yard. It has been in need of repair, and Teddie and I were going to take care of it, but I decided it would probably be best to let someone else do the work. We finally agreed that he would perform the labor and I would supply the materials. After he left we went to the lumber yard and purchased about 300' of 2x6, plus a 5 lb box of deck screws. The carpenter will be back on Friday to do the job. Then I picked up my neighbor and we drove to the sand & gravel store and had them dump about a ton and a half of gravel in the trailer for him. We off-loaded the gravel in his front yard and he will spread it around the driveway later. I'm getting pretty used to this gravel loading and unloading, as we did 3 tons of it ourselves the other day. Before we return the trailer to the hangar tomorrow, we will load it with more yard clippings and drop them off at the green dump in the morning. We found that if the load is wood, or leafy, we can dump it here in Sequim for free. If it is other (appliances, etc) we have to take it all the way to the west side of Port Angeles and then pay by the pound to dump it. Quite unlike Kailua. Wednesday night is the EAA meeting, and on Friday evening we hope to have friends over for dinner, so it looks like the rest of the week will be busy, but not so much that I can't sneak in a little time on the Goldwing (weather permitting).
2/4/06 Still working around the house! We have spent the past several days working on the deck in the back yard. First, we hired a guy to come and rip up the old planking and replace it with new 2x6 boards, and then Teddie and I re-worked the railing, placed a 1x4 on top of it (to hold beverages in the summer) and installed new pickets in-between the old ones (to keep the Poodle girls from falling through). It's still all sitting on the old framework, but that seems pretty solid and we think it will probably last another 30 years. Other than the deck, we have been working in the garage cleaning up and straightening, planting stuff around the yard, and regularly traveling our "Retirement Route" - Post Office, Bank, Home Depot, Costco, and Wal-Mart! As time goes on, we seem to be blending in more and more with the old folks who wander those aisles. Frightening!
2/11/06 A couple of days ago we drove to Poulsbo to
pick up Ed and Chrys, and then headed over to SEATAC where Teddie boarded an
Alaska Airlines 737 headed for New Jersey. She is going to spend a couple
of weeks visiting with the gang and getting to know her two grandchildren again.
After dropping her off at the terminal, we let Chrys off at the Tukwila Mall
where she spent several hours shopping while Ed and I headed for Fry's, an
Electronics superstore! Then it was back to the Mall to pick up Chrys, and
on to downtown where we caught the Bainbridge ferry (just barely - we were one
of the last to be able to board) and rode a packed boat across the Sound as the
sun set in front of us. I had dinner with Ed and Chrys at their place and then
headed back to Sequim where the poodles were anxiously waiting for someone to
come home. It was a fun day, and the weather was fantastic. Now it's
pretty quiet around the house, but Teddie will be back in about 10 days and
things will return to normal. Meanwhile, we have been having cold nights
(in the 20's) and warm days (in the 50's) with brilliant blue skies and pretty
calm winds. There's no place quite like the Pacific Northwest!
2/27/06 Teddie returned from New Jersey last week,
after a nice 2-week stay with the family. It was a good time for her to
reconnect with our grandchildren (who are growing up far too quickly!).
3/1/06 A couple of days ago it was unseasonably warm in the evening. I remember walking outside and thinking that it was comfortable even without a jacket on. The next morning, when I went out to pick up the morning paper, I noticed fragments of pine cones all over the driveway and front yard! The warm temperature must have signaled something to the tree and all the pine cones literally exploded, sending pieces as far as 50' out in all directions! We'll need to watch for that next year! I got my hair cut yesterday, and that always makes me feel young. The average age of the clientele at my barber shop must be around 75 or so, and I seem like "the kid" in comparison. Enjoy it while I can, I guess.
3/6/06 We continue to be busy. A couple of days ago Michael sent me a pair of small industrial robotic arms to play with. They look like really interesting and fun toys, and I'm anxious to get them all wired and start experimenting with them. Leave it to Michael to pick something like that - he knows me pretty well. Then, a couple of days ago, our Drafts-person come by to discuss the garage project and its requirements. We are checking on a few final details and, if everything goes right, we will finally be able to put out requests for bids for a new driveway and garage extension. Once it's done the place will look much better, and I'll be able to park my monster pickup in the garage here, instead of over at the Taylor Blvd place. Finally, I have been going through the application process to be a Volunteer Fireman here in Sequim, and had the Physical Agility test this morning. It was tough (climbing stairs with a load, dragging a dummy, etc) but I managed to finish it well within the time limits. Then we had to sit in a dark room, under a dark tarp, breathing through the Fireman's breathing apparatus (claustrophobia check) and climb a tall ladder (acrophobia check). It was all very interesting, but I was pretty wasted when it was done! I'll have an interview with the personnel people next week and they will tell me if they can use me. Seems like this will be a good way to give back to the community a little bit, and go where the action is from time to time.
3/17/06 Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm still waiting to hear from the Fire Department. They should have some word for me in the next week or two, but the good part about applying for a volunteer position is that it doesn't matter if they select me or not! We've been busy the past few days with some more yard clean-out. Lots of overgrown bushes around the front of the house that needed cutting down and hauling off, so today we took what must be our 10th trailer load to the dump. Slowly things are shaping up around here. A few days ago I received my electric/hydraulic wood splitter and have already split two large boxes of kindling with it. It's really fun - you place the wood on it and press the lever and a 5-ton ram pushes the wood against a stationary wedge. If the wood is large and dry, it often splits with a loud crack and the pieces shoot off in two directions. I just can't imagine going back to splitting outside with an old ax again. We did some Geocaching the other day and it felt good to get back into it again. The weather has been warm (50's) and sunny, with calm winds, so we have been enjoying being outdoors. Not very long ago I would have considered temperatures in the 50's to be very cold, but now it seems quite comfortable and pleasant - as long as it's sunny and calm. We're very happy to be here in the Northwest. And have I mentioned how much we enjoy being retired??
3/18/06 Alan called this morning and said that he and a couple of friends were going to fly up to Orcas Island for lunch, and wanted to know if I'd like to come along. I hopped on the motorcycle and rode over to Fairchild Airport (Port Angeles) where I met with Alan and his friends, Bud and Jay. I rode in Alan's Stinson, while Jay and his wife rode in their homebuilt, and Bud flew his Cessna 182. We went east until over Sequim, and then turned north to the San Juans. Eventually we reached Eastsound Airport on Orcas Island and landed last of the three. A short walk brought us into town (a very nice place, and very popular in the summer) where we had lunch and relaxed for a while before the return flight home. All in all, a very pleasant day.
3/20/06 What a nice weekend we had! After flying to the San Juans on Saturday, Alan and I rode the Goldwings over to Port Townsend for lunch on Sunday! The weather was perfect, and I suspect everyone with a motorcycle on the Peninsula was out and about - we must have passed over a hundred of them! The weekend was a little taste of things to come this summer (I hope). Great weather, good friends, and fun times!
The Fire Department called me today and said that they had all the necessary paperwork (for now) and would get back to me in the next couple of weeks as they complete the background check and other stuff they have to do. So, for now, I just wait until I hear from them. Meanwhile, I now have the formal plans for the garage, so it's time for me to submit the paperwork for the Building Permit. And soon I will need to order the material for the hangar workshop project which I hope to begin on the 1st or 2nd of May. If everything falls into place, the airplane construction should start a few weeks later.
3/27/06 Last week turned into a busy time, with lots of odds and ends. Ed and Chrys came by one day and spent the afternoon, our Drafting person brought by the plans for the garage extension, neighbors Roger and Evy came over for dinner, we attended an AAA Defensive Driving course, neighbors Ed and Gloria came by for Backgammon, and Alan and I flew to Port Townsend for lunch. Also, we submitted the rest of the papers for our '05 income tax return, and mailed in the application for a Building Permit for the garage extension. Lots of day-to-day stuff in-between, of course, so it made for an active week. Once we start on the garage project, and the hangar workshop, it will be a very busy time.
4/11/06 So much stuff going on! A few days ago I fired the Management firm that was handling the Taylor Blvd place, as they weren't doing much with it. So now it's with another company and we will see if they can do any better. Also, I'm trying to get bids on the driveway job and that is proving to be a real challenge. One guy came by and gave me a very high bid (over $16K), so I called another company. Two teenagers came by (they said they WERE the company) and were last seen running around the driveway with tape measures. That was 4 days ago and they haven't been seen or heard from since then. Tomorrow another fellow comes to look it over. In about 2 weeks I will have materials delivered for the hangar workshop, and that will keep me busy for a couple of weeks or so. Bill is going to help me - in absentia! He will be my lifeline that I call whenever I have a problem or question.
We had a crisis in the family about 10 days ago. Michael's girlfriend (our common-law daughter-in-law) fell off her motorcycle while she and Michael were riding through Arkansas with a group of about 40 bikers, and hurt herself badly. Michael called us from the hospital, so Teddie flew out of Seattle that night to be with them. Alicia's injuries are serious, but not quite as bad as we first thought, and they are not life-threatening. It's going to be a long time before she is healed and back to normal, but she was fortunate in that she did not lose any limbs and did not injure anything internal. There were about 5 broken bones (both legs), some pretty deep lacerations, severed tendons and ligaments, and lots of bruises. Teddie will be leaving Arkansas on Thursday, heading for Oklahoma and Texas, before returning to Washington in a couple of weeks or so, as Michael seems to have things under control now. He and Alicia will no doubt be in Arkansas for MONTHS before they clear her to be moved to Oklahoma City.
4/16/06 Alicia continues on her slow road to recovery, and things seems to have stabilized right now. Michael has rented an apartment in Fayetteville where they will live for the next few months, and Teddie has gone to Texas to visit her folks. I've been doing little projects around here, and am getting ready to begin construction on my small workshop in the hangar. Yesterday I loaded up the 2,000 lb safe I had stored in the hangar and moved it to the garage. It was quite a chore, but with the help of an engine lift, and a couple of friends, it was accomplished without incident. Also, I went to the home at Brittany and broke up a small cement slab in the back yard that we need to haul away. The place continues to be an effort and an expense, but it's a nice home and the tenants are very nice folks, so I know all the work is worth it. Today I am going to Poulsbo to visit with Ed and Chrys, and to pick up my Garden Tractor which I left there a couple of weeks ago. So many things to do!
4/20/06 29,000 steps. That's how many I figure it took for me to reach the Dungeness Spit Lighthouse today! It's an 11 mile round-trip that goes all the way down the beach to the lighthouse at the end. The weather was just about right today - temperature around 50, cloudy sky (no hot sun), light winds, and low tide. I walked a couple miles of it yesterday but decided it was too late to try and make it to the lighthouse, so I returned this morning and was on the trail by 9:30. The bird on the right is a young eagle I encountered about 3/4 of the way to the lighthouse. The four adults flew away when I got close, but this one was too busy eating a piece of fish to bother with me. The lighthouse is now being manned and maintained by volunteers and one of them (Dean) was kind enough to give me a tour and take me up to the tower. Then it was back down the beach, up the cliff trail, and back to the truck. By the time I got home I was really whipped and now have a few blisters to show for it. (Hint: Don't take a long walk in boots that aren't broken in). Click here to read more about the lighthouse.
4/25/06 It was a busy weekend. On Saturday I flew to Arlington with Alan and Bud. We dropped by Port Townsend Airport for lunch on the way back, and then continued on to Port Angeles. The weather was perfect, and Alan's little Stinson flew as nice as ever! On Sunday I drove the motorcycle over to Lake Crescent and back, as it was another great weather day! That afternoon Teddie arrived home via bus from Sea-Tac and the dogs went nuts when they saw her! Maybe now they will spend less time following me all over the house, and will shadow Teddie for a while. Finally, I have ordered the material I will need to build a hangar workshop and they are scheduled to deliver it tomorrow. The Tenant's airplane is gone (sold), but he still has a great deal of "stuff" crammed into the hangar - parachutes, wood shelves, golf bags, etc., etc. But he understands that it needs to be out by May 1st, so workshop construction should begin shortly. And once that's done, I can FINALLY start work on my little airplane!!
It's almost hard to believe that winter is over and we have been here for a year now! The time has just flown by, and the winter, although most locals say it was the worst in several years, was really not bad at all. But now we are approaching the very best time of year - spring, when all the flowers start to bloom, the sky turns clear and blue, and the temperatures warm up to a very comfortable 70's. It's a great time to be alive, living on the Peninsula, and retired!
4/27/06 They delivered the hangar workshop materials yesterday, so now I'm more anxious than ever to get started. After tossing off the rolls of insulation, and carrying off the window and door, they tilted the bed of the truck and slid the big pile of plywood and lumber off onto the hangar floor what a loud WHAM!! I was more concerned about them damaging the hangar floor, than damaging the wood material, but it looks like everything survived. With any luck, the tenant will clean out his junk this weekend and construction will begin in earnest early next week. Pictures will follow.
5/9/06 The days and weeks seem to be just flying past now! My hangar Tenant finally moved his stuff out, so I've spent a few days over there working on my little workshop. Right now I have the floor down and the back wall framed and sheathed. I need to recruit about 4 or 5 helpers to raise the wall, and then I can continue to build the other walls and get this thing together. I worked on it a while the other day and Teddie dropped by to take a look. Shortly thereafter Alan flew in from Port Angeles and the three of us flew to Port Townsend for lunch.
I'm still trying to get estimates for the driveway/garage project, but they are difficult to come by. Sequim construction is booming right now, so all the good trades people are off working on major projects and not many of them are interested in the small stuff. It's a catch-22 situation and, as Billy put it, "If you can find someone who has time to work on your project, you probably wouldn't want him working on your project". But the search continues and we hope to find someone soon and be done with this. Meanwhile, we still need to vent the crawl space under the house at Brittany Lane, and we are meeting someone this afternoon to discuss the sprinkler system at Taylor Blvd.
We brought the travel trailer over to the house for the weekend and did some minor repairs and checked all the systems out. For a cheap old trailer, it's in pretty decent shape and neither of us sees any reason to upgrade to something better at this point. I requested campground reservations at Fort Worden for a couple of days next week, so we're hoping to put the trailer to work for a while.
5/18/06 What a busy time! We camped out at Fort Worden on Monday-Wednesday and had a great time. It's a very interesting place, and would make a great group get-together location. I'm going to post a separate page, with pictures, in the next few days. Meanwhile, drop by their web site and check it out! Yesterday we worked on the sprinklers at the Brittany house, and then went to the Serpentine house to investigate a strange wet area that has appeared on the lawn. Looks like a call to the plumber is in order. Today we signed up for a new roof on our house, and that should happen this weekend. Also, I received another bid on the garage/driveway project, so once I get it in writing we should be on the way to getting that done. In between all of this I have been working at the hangar on my little playhouse. As of right now the flooring is done, and so is the rear, left, and right walls. I have the front wall framed out and laying on the floor and hope to raise it tomorrow. The place is shaping up nicely and should look good when it's finally done.
If you're still reading, THANKS!! This page has reached such a size that I need to start a new one, so click here to press on!!
Page last modified on 05/27/2006