Sunday, July 27, 2014

Moving (dirt) on….

Still no drywall repair, no carpet, etc. as of yet.  Contractors ###***.  But, it's okay; it will all get done eventually.  It would just be nice to have some company while having a place for them to sleep.  What will be, will be.  C'est la vie.

Meanwhile, I hired an excavator (whom I really like) to start using some heavy equipment up behind the house on the back acre.  Even my neighbors were surprised to see how much land we have back there.  The timing was right.  The neighbor above me on 5 acres used a back hoe to go along the metal stakes that mark our property lines last week.  That gave me a walking path at the top of our acreage.

Property line

The brush is so dense you would have to use a machete every step of the way.  Steve (excavator) works for Legacy Homes here in Sequim and we looked at every possibility for the top acre.  We aren't just clearing a little park like area, we are trying to have somewhere to park our extra vehicles!

Our drive way is asphalt, but is on a steep incline.  So, this is where I have been parking my truck and van.  Yes, we have a garage under the house, but for now it houses a small trailer and my riding mower, and lots of unpacked boxes.  The VW is the only vehicle we have that fits in the garage.  Wayne has my VW in California.
Plus, the walk up from my truck to the house with groceries, etc. is a killer.  I'm sure it is a great "thigh master," but it's starting to get a bit old  (or I am) if you know what I mean.

When Steve is finishes excavating above, he will cut another 6 feet here where the truck and van are parked.  I can maneuver fairly easily backing both into the tight spaces, but doubtful that some my friends could…hahahaha  Plus, I am running 100 feet of extension cord to the house from my RV to keep it plugged in.  A rather large pain.  You can see it next to the lava rock wall.

Even the land below the van and truck is sloped.  You may wonder why we wouldn't excavate down there?  Because I don't want to be looking at a parking lot.  That's why :0)

So we decided to do something with the acre plus above the house.  Wayne already did a little excavating on his own while he was here with an outback brush hog which you can see as the clearing behind the kennels.  The excavating is taking place behind the big firs and madronas.

Private drive (Elk Heights Trail) going up towards my three neighbors above us.  The houses above us have views of the water.  Steve thought we might be able to see the water once he got through the brush.  I don't think so. Those are the culverts (40 feet) that will be used in the ditch to catch the winter rains.  We have them at the beginning of our driveway, too.

Steve taking a look-see.  probably a bigger job than he or I imagined :0(  The nice thing about Steve is that he is very ecology minded.  We are trying to leave all of the BIG trees.  He also trying very hard not to disturb the big trees root systems.  I really don't want one of them falling on the house because some are about 100 feet tall.  I don't want to blog about having a tree come through the back bedrooms.

After some 9 hours of pushing dirt and piling HUGE burn piles of brush.  This is the lower part of the acre.  Steve excavated the upper part, also.  I have some burn piles ready for October.  Should be quite the bonfire.  Burn ban until October.  We will blaze a trail from the level area where we can park a few more vehicles to the house.  The trail will lead right to my upper garden area.

King of the back hoe :0)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Ups, The Downs

Most certainly, moving to Washington while my husband moved back to California has been a journey of laughs and tears, frustration and satisfaction, etc. 

I needed help to get the riding lawn mower running.  I needed new U-joints on the Avalanche truck, had a flat tire having to buy 2 new tires, and had to drive to Port Angeles to get the parking brake fixed today.
The RV/Van needs to be plugged in in order to keep the battery charged.  That took me buying a new adapter for the 30 amp to the new 100 feet of 10 gauge electrical wire to be able to feed it all the way up the hill to the garage to get electricity.
The house is still in disrepair from the plumbing leak that St. Farm wouldn't cover because it wasn't sudden and catastrophic.  I have been living on bare floors with carpet tacks where the carpet used to be, plus several walls are gone waiting for the contractors to fix the drywall.
I didn't understand about heat pumps.  I now have learned they cool also.  Mine was making a huge buzzing noise vibrating through the garage.  I called our Home Shield house protection.  They said the heat pump is just old, but it still works.  I had to pay them for coming out, but they would only replace it if it didn't work at all :0(
The sewer is a whole new type of system to me, too.  A whirring chirping outside has been going off at odd times of the day and night and I have to go out and reset the alarm.  I called a sewer company and they have referred me to a plumbing company.
i called a fencing company to get an idea what price a small fenced yard would cost for the dogs.  It was outrageous.  I will have to wait until Wayne moves up here permanently to help with fencing.
Meanwhile, though all of this, fans from Service Master drying the wet walls and floors and me sleeping in the living room, the spare room, and at the campground, 

Wayne sent me my mother and grandmother's diamond rings.

Oh yeah…and Champ, he almost croaks after 4 days at Summit hospital with leptospirosis.  All 3 dogs had to receive pills morning and night twice a day while I had to be sure I washed my hands 100 times a day and followed all around with a clorox bottle.

Meanwhile, the diamond rings.  They are heirlooms.

I don't wear any rings, but I so wanted my son's wife to choose which diamond ring she would like as a Christmas present this year when they come home from overseas.  
I can't find them.  I have looked everywhere.  I have spent a week crying, losing sleep, and tearing this place apart.  I have crawled around on the floors with carpet tacks with a flashlight looking.  I have prayed and talked to my Mother whose birthday was July 23rd.  Still NO rings :0(  I feel like such a schmuck.  I don't think anyone would take them.  They are in a black plastic film can.  I have been cleaning madly.  There could be a chance I accidentally threw them away with all of my cleaning and garbage.  God, I don't know.  I just can't remember where I put them.  But, I finally had to let it go or I would lose my mind totally.

So, that's what led me to the above saying that I saw on Facebook today.  Lots of us smile big…. happy to be alive, but still have just as many problems as everyone else.  It's just how you deal with those problems and how you let it affect the way you live your life.
I have apologized to my son who is overseas in Japan.  If they ever show up, it will be such a blessing.  But, I can't continue to beat myself up.  The last couple of months have had many highs and many lows.  I'm sure my mental alertness has not been operating on full capacity.
So with much sadness, I bid those heirloom treasures good-bye and I will move on.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lavender festival

No, I didn't ride my purple bike to the festival, but it was close enough, I could have ridden my bike.  Instead, my neighbor offered to show me around.

Jimi Hendrix was rocking at the Purple Haze Farm.

Rows of purple and white lavender

Now we are talking.  Lavender gin and tonic please.

This rental is available by the weekend or week at the Purple haze farm.  The backside has a nice patio, spa and barbeque.  Too scared to ask what it rented for!

Out in the middle of someone's lavender fields was a unicorn :0)

A lavender drink and a very tasty lunch!

Some lavender was deep purple, some purple-blue.

Poppies do very well here in Wa.  I love the red poppies, plus they bloom for MONTHS.  In CA. they bloom only for a short period.

I found a little buddy.

Each farm had food and art and crafts booths, music, etc.

This lavender farm was close to the Dungeness spit.

Kitty stopped by Fat Cat lavender farm at my request.  This farm is an acre or two away from where we put a bid on 13 acres.  Then, we backed out thinking it might be too good to be true plus, it was going to be HELL to try to get a "land" loan.  Plus, we would have had to refinance out home in order to do it.  Too bad.  We drove over to the acreage.  I loved it.  Even if we just got it for investment purposes.  But, no can do until the Green Valley home sells (whenever that will be)  Beautiful area.

Fat Cat farm

I believe those are purple poppies which I have never seen before!

Fencing around the garden areas to keep the quackers OUT.

I don't know the name of these blue flowers, but I loved them.

Kitty has chickens. She was much braver than I about going up to this rooster.  The last encounter I had with a rooster was at Fido Farms and I am still having nightmares about him.

The Millers at Fat Cat offered us some Strawberry Rhubarb pie and ice-cream which we ate around this picturesque pond.

The gardens behind Fat Cat farm.  So beautiful.

Just a pretty photo of a chicken.  The end.  Great day.  Loved the farms and the festivals and all of the wonderful people of Sequim!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I am woman. Yes I can!

I'm glad I live in a great neighborhood, because some of these Washingtonians aren't the sharpest tools in the shed.

Everything costs MORE here.  Groceries are more, utilities are more, most definitely any type of service you need is going to cost twice as much as it did in California.  Only gas prices are about the same as California.

I ordered a trash service.  You get one narrow garbage can.  I thought I would spend the extra $10 a month to recycle.  They only pick up recyclables every other week.  I read up about what I can recycle and notice I have 3 different colored bins they have left me.  The first week I put my recyclables out with my trash can.  We live on a loooong private gravel drive, so I take everything to the main road in the back of the Rhino.  They take the trash, not the recyclables.  Okay, I figure I have the wrong week.  I put the bins out the next week.  They take the trash and leave the recyclables again.  I call, leave them a message and write several emails to them.  No return call or emails.  I try it again the 3rd week. I email them and tell them just to pick up the bins.  Same thing, still next to the empty trash can.  I finally get ahold of a real person on the phone to see what they are charging me for the month.  They aren't even charging me for the recycling even though they have left me three different colored bins.  I give up.  I told Wayne…."The bins are ours."

I have now learned that a heat pump can cool as in ALSO.  My husband never mentioned that we had cool air I could turn on.  He didn't even mention it on one of our hottest days when the house was in the mid 80's.  I even told him I was buying a fan from Home Depot.  Ugh.  Men.  Good thing he isn't here right now!  Anyway, with the help of my FB friends, I figured it out.  Yea!

Next, the sewer is a different sort of system here.  At 10:30 PM, drying off after a relaxing bath, I hear this loud chirping.  It takes me awhile to get a robe on, find a lantern, while the dogs all freak out (well, not Jet, because he can't hear it).  I find the sewer box under one of the house eaves and press a reset button.  Now it has gone off several times and I'm trying to read all I can about this type of sewer.  Lordy…I wish I was forty.

I'm still waiting for the drywall contractor to come and fix the walls.  I'm trying to pick colors to paint the back two bedrooms.  The carpet is all ripped up and I'm walking on tacked floorboards.  Oh joy.  Not.

As soon as Wayne left the U joints needed replacing in the Avalanche.  It was squealing.  It freaked me out.  I drove all the way to Elma where Jeanne's husband replaced them for me.  Huge relief.  I'm kind of swearing under my breath at Wayne who left me a truck he knew was about to need a lot of repair and he took my brand new VW back to California with him.  Ugh.  Men!

This morning I get up to take the dogs over to work sheep.  I get out onto Happy Valley Rd. and know something is way wrong.  I pull the truck over and the back rear tire is flat to the rim.  I can't catch a signal, so I have to walk quite a ways up the private drive to get a few bars.  I call triple A and they say it will be about an hour.  When "Scott" shows up, he sees the tire on the rim and says, "How about I just pump it up and you go to a tire place?"  Geez….Over 30 years I have been a Triple A member. I ask him politely if he would just change it for me.  I give him the special jack to release the tire.  He obviously doesn't know what he is doing.  I bring him the Chevy book with directions.  He says, "Real men don't need directions."
Oh dear God.  I know where this is going.  After an hour, he says, something is wrong.  I will pump up the tire and follow you over to Les Schwab's (another tire place).  We get there. He leaves.  I wait an hour with 3 Border Collies who aren't liking all of the garage racket, trash trucks coming and going, etc.  Finally, they get to me.  They take the tire off, throw it in the back of the truck and put the spare on.  They tell me someone put the spare on upside down. That's why the Triple A guy couldn't get it off.  It made absolutely no sense to me. I didn't have them fix the spare because I think I have insurance with American Tire which is Discount tire in this state.

I make an appt with Discount Tire and sure enough I have insurance and can get a free tire.  Bad news is the flat is toast, and the spare is older than my truck.  I end up getting one free tire and buying another and it comes out to over $200.00  At least I have a good spare on.  But, when I go to leave, the guy at Discount says that the Triple A guy didn't put the jack iron together properly and there is an 18 inch piece of it stuck up with the spare.  Say what?  He says he could lower the spare, take the tire off and put a new one on, but he can't take that 18 inch piece of jack iron out because it is stuck and he doesn't have the tools.  He tells me the Triple A guy screwed up and didn't put the pieces of the jack together correctly.  Well, Hell's bells.  I don't know who is telling the truth.  So I leave the tire place with an 18 inch rod somewhere under the truck.

I go to fill up on gas at Safeway and I can't get the pump to work.  Oh shit, oh dear.  Please just shoot me.  My dogs are home really pissed because now their dinner is 3 hours late.  The lady inside came out and it turned on like magic making me feel like a complete idiot.  I did buy some windshield wiper fluid since I have none.  I hope I can find the right place to put tomorrow.  LOL

Meanwhile, I can't talk to my husband.  He discontinued the land line in SoCal.  We (he) gets no cell reception.  The only thing he can do is text.  He texts painfully slow and not very often because he never looks at his phone.  I'm thinking it is out of convenience for him, so he doesn't have to answer my questions.  Ugh.  Men!

I come home stopping by the mailbox and this is what I see.  I try to pull that priority box out of the mailbox.  Impossible.  I have some marshmallow tines in the truck.  I stick them in there and can't budge the box.  I get out my truck knife.  I want to stab myself with it about this time.  I cut the front of the box off, pull out my two little plants I ordered from Amazon, scrunch the rest of the box and pull it out.  Really?

So it ain't all Camelot.  Hahahaha  Glad I can still laugh about it.  Now I'm poor and looking for a job.  The new drywall, painting, and carpet are going to cost me an arm and a leg.  I'm on my own.  Okay then.

To be continued…….