Part II

5/27/06  The activity continues!  We had our house re-roofed last week and it now looks pretty good.  The cedar shakes were about 30 years old and had dried, split, cracked, and grown moss, so we had them replaced with plain composition shingles which should be easier to maintain.  When we got the estimate, it included $800 to haul away the old shingles, so we told the guy that we would take care of that part of the job.  What a mess!!!  We wound up having to dig through a giant pile of shingles, felt, nails, spiders, tree junk, and everything else.  It took Teddie and I three days (and one tetanus shot) to clean up that pile, but at least now it's done and the place looks nice.  Meanwhile, I have been continuing to work at the hangar and the little workshop is taking shape.  All four walls are up now, and the door and window is installed.  Next I will work on the ceiling and a stairway.  After that comes insulation, electrical work, and painting.  It has been fun and I'm learning a lot, but I'm anxious to be done with it so I can finally start work on the airplane!  Oh yeah - the driveway/garage project gets under way in about 9 days, and it will be nice to be done with that.

6/8/06  Still busy as can be!  The front yard is torn up again, but this time it's in a good way.  The garage/driveway project got under way a few days ago and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel finally.  They ripped up what was left of the old driveway, dug trenches for the extension footing and set the forms.  We hoped to have a pour today, but the Building Inspector said no more work until the Engineer comes by and gives it his blessing.  But at least we have begun and my little vision of a place to park the truck, new garage doors, and a new driveway are starting to take shape.  Meanwhile, I have been putting in some time at the hangar getting my little workshop put together.  Yesterday I wired the breaker box and put up some insulation.  I have been putting off the exterior painting (I don't like to paint) but need to get going on that very soon.  It's interesting to see people slow down as they drive past my open hangar doors.  The hardest part of getting anything done is stopping to talk to all the people who drop by and want to chat, but that's just the fun part of having a hangar.  Besides, I have all the time in the world now and it's always enjoyable listening to their stories.

6/12/06  The EAA had their "Young Eagles" program at Port Angeles the other day.  The program gives free plane rides to kids who will, hopefully, be interested in aviation one day.  I helped load some of the kids in and out of the planes and they all seemed to have a good time.  When things got slow, Alan and I flew to Port Townsend for lunch, and then returned to continue with the program.  Yesterday we took the Goldwings out for a little ride and that felt good.  Today the Contractor will be back to pour the footings at 11am and tomorrow will probably mark the beginning of the framing.  Meanwhile, the hangar workshop is continuing along, with the wiring all done and the front primed.  Next will be the painting of the front, completion of the insulation, and installation of the interior plywood.  It's hard to believe how much effort has been put into this tiny building, but I've enjoyed every minute of it and feel it will be attractive when it's finished.

6/21/06  The projects are moving along very well.  They are putting the siding up on the garage extension as I write this, and the cement truck will be here any minute to pour the slab inside the garage.  Next week or so they will pour the remainder of the driveway.  The doors should be installed on Friday and I hope to clean up the garage and install the openers shortly thereafter.  The hangar workshop is coming along well - the outside is painted, and I am about to finish putting the interior plywood sheathing up.  Next will come the painting of the interior, and the installation of some kind of flooring.




7/11/06  What a hectic couple of weeks!!  On 6/28 I towed the travel trailer to Arlington, WA, where the EAA was preparing for their Northwest Fly-in.  For the next week I did everything you can imagine on the airport grounds - installed fencing, drove their forklift, set up buildings, etc., etc.  Then on the 4th of July we began manning the small open tower that was to control airplane parking for the next 5 days!  It was just like working Ground Control during my FAA days, except that there were FAR more airplanes, and things were a lot less structured.  So for 5 days I worked 12-hours in the tower, starting around 7:30am and not climbing down until 7pm or so.  Even then, I wound up bring the handheld radio back to the camper with me and parked a few planes while sitting at my dining table!  It was an exhausting experience, but lots of fun! Below is a picture of the truck/camper on one of the first days on-site before the crowds of people began pouring in -

Meanwhile, the garage extension project is winding down and should be finished very soon.  When we pulled back into town we got to see the new driveway for the first time and it looks good!  All that remains to be done now is paint the structure, clean up the cement debris, a little landscaping, and arrange a drain system for the drive.  Also, we need a little work on the gutters.  We hope to be done with all of this in about two weeks, and can start parking the truck in its new home right after!

7/17/06  Things are shaping up nicely in the front yard now!  In the past few days we have painted the garage extension, and buried drain and sprinkler lines alongside the garage.  Tomorrow we hope to set up the 4x4 pathway borders, and will fill in the path with gravel a day or two later.  For a project that didn't involve too much work, this one seems to have lingered on far longer than it should have!  But now it's looking nice and the front of the house looks much better than before, so it was all worth it!

8/9/06  Since writing last, we've been pretty busy.  We finally wrapped up the garage project and are happy with the way it looks.  The truck mirrors only clear the frame by about 2", but that's good enough and we're glad to be able to park inside at last. 
A week ago we went camping at Dosewallips State Park, and a few days ago I rode the motorcycle to Puyallup.  A few weeks ago I rode the bike with friends to Longview - down on the Oregon state line, and this week or next I hope to ride over to Seattle.  Although the motorcycle riding season is half as long as in Hawaii, the riding itself is 10 times better! 
We have tenants for our Taylor Blvd house, and they will be moving in in three days.  In preparation for their arrival, we decided to replace the sinks which were weathered and stained. Problem was, though, that the sinks and countertops were all molded as one unit!  We didn't want to have to replace the entire countertop, as it was in good shape, so we got a marble-cutting blade for the Sawsall and sawed the sinks out of the counter and installed new china ones.  It sounded like a goofy idea, but worked out well and saved us some $$$. 
I've been too busy to get started on my little airplane, and I regret that.  But soon the house and the hangar workshop should be pretty much done and I can concentrate on getting the plane put together.  So far, there has been nothing boring about retirement!!

8/21/06  Motorcycle madness!!  A few days ago Alan and I headed out on the motorcycles for a little get-away.  We rode east to Port Townsend, caught the Kingston ferry, and then proceeded to ride northbound and into Canada.  It took us a while to get through Vancouver, but we finally came out on the north side and kept going.  Eventually we caught the Horseshoe Bay ferry, where we met Dennis and Ron, a couple of really nice guys that had recently purchased Goldwings so they could take an epic trip around the US and Canada and reconnect (they're brothers).  From that point, the four of us rode together.  Continuing north we eventually took the Earl's Cove ferry and rode to Powell River where we spent the night.  Next morning we caught the ferry over to Vancouver Island where we rode north to Campbell River and then turned south and went all the way down to Victoria to catch the evening ferry over to Port Angeles.  Dennis and Ron stayed at a motel in Sequim where Teddie and I, and Alan and Michaelle, met up with them the next morning and the six of us had breakfast before heading westbound on highway 101.  At the Highway 113 junction we pulled over and said goodbye to Ron and Dennis who were going to continue around the Peninsula and head down into Oregon and beyond.  Alan and I, and the women, then looped back east on 113 and 112, made a brief stop at Salt Creek Recreation Area to visit Michaelle's son and family, and continued on to Port Angeles and Sequim.  For Alan and I it was three days of perfect motorcycle riding, with great weather, fantastic scenery, and an opportunity to meet up with a couple of great Goldwing riders!  I hope they encounter nothing but smooth roads and clear skies for the rest of their trip.

(L-R) Dennis, Michaelle, Alan, Teddie, me, Ron







9/4/06 Teddie and I threw the girls in the camper and headed out last week for a few days of R&R.  We drove down to Ocean City Beach Park (about a mile north of Ocean Shores) and set up camp, only to have the fog roll in and stay for a couple of days!  The first two days we were there we never saw the sun, and it was cold, wet, and windy!

Tracy and Teddie enjoy the flight from the back seat

  We did try to get out and about a little and Teddie got to see her first black bear in front of us on the trail one day!  After two days we hooked everything back up and went about 20 miles north to Pacific Beach where we stayed one night.  Then, on the next day, we went to Lake Crescent and camped at a National Park campground for one night. It was a good time and will likely be our last campout of the year.  Yesterday I flew to Orcas Island with Alan and Michaelle.  After brunch we flew down to Arlington where we looked at an Ultralight that Alan is thinking about buying, and then returned to Port Angeles.  Friends Bud and Tracy flew their Cessna and Jay and his son flew their homebuilt as far as Orcas Island, so we all went as a (rather loose) formation. Lotsa fun!  Last weekend Teddie and I went with Bud and Tracy to Hoquiam in their Cessna, and then flew right back over the Olympic mountains on the return.  That's the first time we've been over the Olympics and it was GREAT! 

11/11/06  It has been a little over two months since I updated this page, and what a busy two months it's been!  I went to New Jersey in the middle of September and didn't return to Washington until 5 weeks later!  I had a great time visiting with my family, sailing on the Chesapeake, and generally kicking around.  Got to see the grandchildren a lot (they keep getting cuter, although I didn't think that was possible!).  A week or so after my return to Washington, Michael and Alicia came out to visit with us for 10 days and we spent time touring, working at the hangar, and doing projects here at home.  We were sorry to see them go, but I know they were anxious to return to their regular routine in Oklahoma.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few snapshots that were taken during the past two months:

Isabella chats with her "Teddie Grandma"

Max gives me a big thumbs-up!


Mom enjoys some time with her great-grandchildren


My nephew Luke takes the helm of the Hunter 44 that we sailed
 around the Chesapeake for 4 days


Michael and a Llama eye each other over at the Olympic Game Park.
I was afraid the Llama was getting ready to spit at Michael.


Michael helped me put the wings on the airplane so we could get an
idea of its final size.  They will need to come back off before I do any
more work, though.  The ramps under the wheels raise the plane up
enough so I can walk under the wings without ducking.


Stairway to Heaven?  Well - not quite.  The stairs lead to the storage area
on top of my hangar workshop, and allow me to lug stuff up and down
much easier than on a ladder.


Life with the old folks!  Michael works a jigsaw puzzle while Alicia surfs
the Internet!

12/11/06 Michael and Ailcia went home about a month ago!  On Thanksgiving, my nephew Sam came to visit with us and it was great having him around the house for a few days.  For Thanksgiving dinner we also had Alan, Michaelle, Bud, and Tracy over and everyone brought some food!  Last weekend all of us went to the little theater here in Sequim to watch a play that Tracy directed, and then came home for drinks in the evening.  They are really a great group of folks.

Right after Thanksgiving we had some snow and Sequim got about 8" in some places.  It's probably the most snow we've seen here, and it pretty much shut the little town down for a day or two.  Now most of it is gone and things are well back to normal.

Lately we've been doing some more work in the hangar workshop.  A week ago a friend helped me lay most of the ceiling and then a few days ago, Teddie and I went over and primed the entire inside. Today we went back and painted it.  Tomorrow I hope to start laying down the floor (laminate) and should have that done in a day or two.  Perhaps then I can *finally* settle down and start building the plane.

For a change of pace, Alan and I rode the motorcycles over to Port Townsend yesterday.  The battery on his was going bad, so we had to jump-start it off of mine every time we stopped, but it was a fun ride and made me anxious for summer to someday get here so we can do some serious riding.  Otherwise, the bike is over at the hangar and will probably not move again until the early spring.

12/20/06  A little sadness around here - when I returned home from dropping Teddie off at the airport yesterday, I was greeted by Sandy and Pepper as usual.  I played with them, walked them, and fed them, and then we settled down for the evening.  Shortly thereafter I found Pepper laying on the floor and breathing heavily, so I picked her up and held her.  Within a minute or two she quit breathing and quietly died in my arms.  The Vet had told us she had a bad heart, so I guess it finally just gave way.  We will miss her dearly.


12/31/06  Teddie returned from New Jersey yesterday and felt the pain of having only one dog come to give her the big greeting!  But she's glad to be home and rested up from her 10 days on the east coast.  Travel is fun, but there IS no place like home!

I've been spending time at the hangar putting the finishing touches on my little workshop and cleaning up the rest of the place.  It's looking pretty good now and should make a great hangout spot and place to build the little airplane.  Time to think about getting started on the plane now!

1/6/07 Went for a checkout in a C172 the other day and it went well.  So now my flying is current for a brief period until next month when my biennial flight review (BFR) expires!  Once I take care of that I will be current for almost two more years.  It felt good to fly again, and I was comfortable at the controls, so now I hope to rent a plane from time to time to keep current and get more familiar with the surrounding airports.

Picked up Pepper's ashes this morning, so now she is in an urn on the bookshelves next to the fireplace.  Teddie said she wants to put Sox's ashes in there too.  Still kind of hard to believe the little girl is gone.

1/13/07  I just couldn't stand only having one little poodle puppy around the house, so a couple of days ago Teddie and I drove to Lake Stevens and brought home another little girl.  She's all black, was born on 9/9/06, and right now weighs 4 lbs 14 oz.  She's a real handful, and it looks like she and Sandy will get along fine.  Click here to see a few pictures, or click on the arrow below to see them in action.


1/14/07  Yesterday was fun - we brought table and chairs over to the hangar, along with some food and drinks, and were eventually joined by Alan and Michaelle, Bud and Tracy, Jay and Francois, and Dava - a new airplane owner. We had a pot-luck dinner in the hangar workshop and it seemed to work out well.  Between the electric heater, and the 23,000 BTU kerosene heater, we were plenty warm and eventually wound up moving the big heater outside to let the workshop cool off a bit.  It's nice to finally get some use out of the workshop after spending so much time planning and constructing it.

Gigi is doing well, although house-training her in this cold weather is proving to be a challenge.  I walk her outside until she and I are both freezing cold, and then she messes on the floor within minutes of coming back inside!  This will be easier when the weather warms up a bit, but I AM getting tired of picking up after her.  Oh well - just part of owning a puppy.

1/28/07  We're still struggling to get Gigi housebroken, but it's (slowly) coming along!  We did have a crisis last week when Gigi tried to jump up onto a chair that Sandy was laying on and Sandy snapped at her and got her right on the face.  She suffered a small puncture wound next to the left eye, and a cut above the right eye.  I whisked her off to the Vet who treated her and gave us antibiotics to administer.  Now - a week later - she seems to be doing fine and there have been no more serious incidents.

Flew to Hoquiam with Alan yesterday.  Bud and Tracy followed in their C182, and Jay came along in his homebuilt.  It was a very smooth flight and the scenery was great.  Also, last week I rented a C172 and Alan and I flew to Boeing Field and back - felt good being back in the left seat again.

I have FINALLY started working on my little airplane!!  Repaired some shipping damage, installed the Flaperon control, and started work on the landing gear and engine bolt-ons.  There is a link to the airplane on my home page and I will try to keep the project status current there.

1/12/07 Gigi has proven to be a real challenge when it comes to being house-trained!  For the past month we have cleaned up after her, held her in our lap so she wouldn't run into the next room and "do her business", and spent more hours than I care to think about standing outside with her, waiting for her to get the idea.  Then, a few days ago, we had two consecutive days with NO accidents!  It was very encouraging, but today she was back to her old tricks.  Argh!

Looks like a few things coming up in the next couple of weeks or so.  The Fire Department indicated they would begin training on the 21st (I'm not going to be surprised if it's put off yet again), Alan and I will attend an aviation trade show in Puyallup on the 24th, and we'll be going to a three day Light Sport Aircraft Repair seminar during the second week of March.  Also, we're expecting company around the 10th of March and there's a possibility I will fly to Oklahoma for a few days early in the month.  Even being retired, I sometimes run out of time!!

2/25/07  Like the last one, this page has gotten too long!  So, I'm starting still another.  If you're still with me, Thanks!!  Click here to continue on to the next page.

Page last modified on 02/25/2007