a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Late summer update

Ductless heat pump is in now.  I will give it a rating after this winter haha.  It is whisper quiet and almost half what a regular heat pump would cost.  Plus, it should be more efficient and save on the electric bill.  I have only had one electric bill over $100 here, so unlike California.

I'm still working on the "leak,"  A whole new shower fixing and fittings were put in.  The copper piper was strapped well and all the fittings are correct.  Unfortunately, what a mess.  A carpet guy ripped up the carpet and tore the pad out.  I have been using a fan and a heater daily blowing on the damp areas.  I also have been spraying H2O2.  Tomorrow I will scrub the floor with peroxide.  Then I need to get the carpet people back and find a drywall man.  Wayne could do the drywall, but I really don't want him to have to look forward to that at Christmas.

My new neighbors from Louisiana are here for 3 weeks.  They are putting in a tree line fence to separate our properties.  It is so unnecessary, but they are staking their claim, I guess.  We all (neighbors on the trail) used the field below to walk.  My dogs made their remarks about what they thought of the new tree line. They made me laugh.  Good dogs.

My dogs are a constant source of amusement :0)

Lots of fun going on of course.  Teri Meredyth was trialling her Belgian Tervurens up here in the Gig harbor/Auburn area.  She found time to come to Sequim for the afternoon.  We had a glass of wine and I gave her the condensed scenic Sequim tour.

They got a chance to stretch their legs at the beach.  Just a light drizzle.

Then, the Snepp family came to Sequim.  i LOVE the Snepp family.  They are probably the only Border Collie groupies in the country.  They have no BCs, but attend all of the BIG sheepdog trials.  

Karen's mother, Sue stayed back at the hotel.  She was smart.  She probably knew it was going to be smokey and that they were repaving the road to Hurricane Ridge.  That made for lots of traffic.  I was so fortunate to be able to go as a "passenger" (rare for me) with Karen and her father Karl, who did the driving.  Then we all got together for a lovely dinner :)

Even with 5 lightning strike fires still smoking, the ridge is a beautiful place.  Hurricane ridge is about one hour from my house.

Artists were here, there, and everywhere doing their thing.

An unusual shot I took on the Ridge with a bit of processing.  I think this will be my photography niche.  I love to paint and take photographs.  In college I loved painting abstracts.  I think I will continue down this path for awhile.  

I am preparing the RV for a trip to Colorado (Carbondale) to see the National Sheepdog Finals.  It has been a few years since I attended the finals.  I'm volunteering and staying on the trial grounds.  My dogs are going with me.  I am going to leave Champ home with Patricia (where he works sheep) Two BCs and an old JRT are enough to care for for the long travel time in the van.  I have to pack for any type of weather.  Could be hot, rainy, windy, etc.  Hard to tell in Sept.  I wanted to hit Yellowstone, too, but i will put that on the back burner when Wayne finally settles here.

Speaking of Wayne.  I think he found a room to rent in West Lancaster, close enough to Lockheed.  He has only looked at about 12 rooms.  He says all of the people are weird.  He's probably right.  But, he had a good feeling about this particular place, plus it is in a very quiet neighborhood. I knew he would find a place before winter...LOL   Living out of your truck is no piece of cake.

I have some arties now.  Whoo hoo.

My neighbor's rhubarb start has taken off!

Last year I had one apple the size of a cantaloupe.  This late winter my neighbor helped me prune the apple tree way back.  This is how many apples I shook off of it this evening.  I love the fact that I can actually grow stuff here!

Lots to do before I take off Sept. 10th for a couple of weeks to Colorado.  Enjoy what's left of summer.  More stories later in September!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Wayniac visit

SIX days went by in a FLASH, more like in a heartbeat.  Boo Hiss.  Wayne got to about half my honey-do list.  I so tried to find time for us to RELAX.  It was difficult because time wouldn't stop flying by us!
We had the hottest weather since I have been here in over two years.  I'm sure Wayne brought it with him.  It actually got to 93 degrees yesterday.  I have never seen it over 90 degrees.  It once was 89 degrees when my grandson came for a visit.  Hey, you So Cal men, keep that heat there!
Wayne looked good.  He needs to change his diet.  Living out of your truck is not conducive to good nutrition.  Can you say fast food?  Someone asked if he had found a place to live yet?  No, but I'm sure he will before winter (LOL).  He has our king size mattress in the back of his diesel truck.  He is staying at a mobile home park (he knows the manager) He has a pool, clubhouse with TV, pool table, and showers.  And, it is FREE.  I can't be too disturbed about it because I can live out of Avalanche truck and have on many, many trips.  I'm sure he will find a place to live when the temps start dropping.
I am RIGHT brained and Wayne is LEFT brained.  I had already bought him an organizer, placing it on dining room table for his wallet, keys, glasses, etc.  First thing, he lost his insulin.  Thank goodness, Jeanne was kind enough to have our pharmacy give him some new insulin pens.  (Jeanne, Rick and Wayne and I were married in a double wedding some 32/33 years ago.)  I don't think any of us know for sure without getting the wedding certificate out.  LOL
The organizer did help some.  I keep forgetting he hasn't been here that many times, so he really doesn't know where certain things are.  I ate a marajuana brownie to be able to cope.  hahahaha Relax Suzanne.  We are so Yin and Yang.  It's really quite funny.  But, I know down deep, he has a very good heart.  And, I know he loves me very much. As I do him.

I got Wayne a singing crystal bowl for our anniversary in the keynote of B which coincides with the 7th Chakra, the crown.  It gives spiritual energy/transcendence.  It played beautifully the first time he asked the bowl to play it.  We went to the Friday meditation group.  They have every bowl but the keynote B, so it was a pleasant surprise.  They all know Wayne from previous sit ins on meditation.  Everyone said the B note was one of the sweetest sounding of all of the bowls in the room :0)

When Wayne arrived I had the Rocket transportation drop him off at Kitsap State park where I picked him up.  We went to Poulsbo for the evening.  My good friend Bonnie was being featured as artist of the month in one of the local galleries.  I so love her photo which won her the 2016 National Wildlife Audubon award this year and will be hanging in the Smithsonian museum for a year.  Wayne purchased a "metal" rendition which Bonnie made in her studio for me for our anniversary.  It is now hanging over my computer desk.  It's an inspiration for me to be a better photographer.

I am just finishing up my photography class with the college.  I have been learning how to wean myself off of AUTO.  This is one of the pics I took while Wayne was here (Actually, he was still sleeping).  I am one of those pop-up people.  He is the opposite.  So much to learn, little time.  I have really enjoyed the class.  Next week is our last lesson.  I have been doing very well in the amateur division at our local photography club in Sequim.  It's a large membership of pros and masters.  I'm not too sure how many of amateurs are in the club, though.

I'm sure Wayne would like to call for a SWITCH.  Bill came by with his field mower and did our lower acreage.  I bet it is the first time it has been mowed in over a decade.  Wayne rode our little John Deere mower to do the intricate work :0)  I don't think the deer were too happy with us removing their bedding down areas.  But, they have long grass by the pond.  The Elk are still in the high country.  I haven't seen them all summer.

So, of course there were yellow jacket nests that had to be taken care of in the field along with about 12 nests in the rafters of our high roof with wasps that needed to be sprayed.  There was very little down time while Wayne was here.

Plus, one evening we took a 3 hour class at Brian's Sporting Goods and learned all of the hotspots to fish for Steelhead and Salmon on the peninsula.  I know Wayne really enjoyed that class.  No problem picking him out a Christmas present :0)

Since Wayne retires next year at the age of 60, we did take time to get some senior assistance.  We have a fabulous place here in Sequim that has all of the answers when it comes to Medicare, etc. Wayne was really impressed how much the lady in charge knew.  I knew he would be impressed, so all went well there.  He has all the information he needs and will be doing the crunching of numbers in the next few weeks.  I am already retired, but Wayne can't collect #SS until he is 66 1/2.

We also took time to stop in at the John Wayne Dock side grill for an order of their manilla clams and mahi mahi tacos.  Oh my.  Soooooo good!  I didn't have to twist his arm about going to lunch on the water :0)

Then, of course, all hell broke loose.  A leak was discovered from the piping behind the shower wall that adjoins to the closet in the hallway.  At first we thought Trouble had peed there.  Two days later, I knew it must be Champ, because he can pee a boatload.  Way wrong.  I did some further investigation that found the drywall and carpet wet in the hall closet.  Ugh.  Wayne started tearing out drywall.  We located a plumbing company that said they would have to charge us "after hour" charges.  All's well that ends well.  He charged us the normal rate and got a nice tip from us.  Whomever put the copper piping in didn't strap the piping to the studs, so it kept wiggling until the CPVC plumbing piping cracked :0(   Anyway, a temporary fix was done, so we have water and can shower.  They will be here in a week or two to finish the job.  That's fine, because I have to dry out and chlorox the whole area anyway.

Also, we had an appointment with a ductless heat pump company. Ductless is becoming a way to cool and heat and open house such as ours.  They have been using it in Europe for a long time.  Our OLD heat pump has not been serviced in over a decade.  The fins are raveled/shredded.  It still works, but now we are replacing it with a ductless system that will be more efficient. That will happen on Monday.

Plus, while Wayne was here we got the broken bolts to the manifold, front and rear, on the Avalanche taken care of plus flushed the transmission.  I love this truck more than any vehicle I have ever had. So, even though it has over 200,000 miles on it, I'm going to try to keep it going.  Wayne took time to change the oil and filter plus buy me a new battery for my generator in the RV.  The only thing we didn't get to was the VW brakes.  I can take it to the an auto place to get that done later this month.

So as you can see there was hardly any down time.  Plus we bought a Traeger pellet stove and cooked dinner for the neighbors and Bonnie one night.  We made a prime rib roast.  It was lovely.  The Yorkshire pudding was an epic fail.  Next time I will just buy Pillsbury crescent rolls and use them for the Yorkshire pudding  LOL

I finally made Wayne go to the beach with me on his last night.  I am so glad we did.  The sunset was awesome, the full moon rising even more awesome plus the wildlife at the beach was even better.  Seals were slapping the water with their flippers chasing fish and about 500 geese came to land at the Dungeness spit and in the water close by for the night.  They roam the fields for food during the day and then seek a more protective place to stay the night.  It was a spectacular sight.

I found where the 500 plus geese were staying until they flew to the Dungeness spit.

The beach which is just a short drive from the house.  It was an awesome evening. 

The pink glow of the Dungeness lighthouse at the end of the spit.

A romantic ending to a very nice week.  Too bad we were both so tired all we did was kiss each other good night.  Oh well, Wayne will be back in December and up here for good in April.

Meanwhile, I have a lot on my plate coming up.  Who knew?  LOL

Looking forward to going to Hurricane Ridge next week with the Snepp family.  Planning on a 10 day trip in September to Colorado for the National Sheepdog finals in Carbondale, Co. plus a visit to a coworker who just moved to Colorado.  The first weekend in October my girlfriend, Melodie is flying in from So Cal for a long weekend.  Yea!  Then, in mid October I will be going back to Bandon by the Sea, Or. for a nose work trial for Yoko on the beach.  I will be sure to do some horseback riding on the beach while I am there. Plus, I'd like to take time to visit my son on his property in Roseburg.

Then, winter will be arriving.  This will be my third winter by myself.  I got this.  Though, I'm really looking forward to having Wayne here with me :)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Jet's Story

I never knew what PTSD really was other than reading about it in my nursing books; that was until the San Francisquito Copper fire that almost wiped us completely out, Jet included. Then came the Powerhouse fire up the canyon. That's when I experienced PTSD first hand. The utter feeling of helplessness knowing that there would be a chance I could NOT get to my animals was a feeling of overwhelming panic. I managed well during the first fire. With each fire, it was like knowing there was a chance your kids would burn to death. The first, second, and third big fires that roared up our canyon happened when I was at work with the ER calling me to tell me there was a fire close to my home. Flashbacks, tears, sweat, palpitations, along with not being able to catch my breath was almost more than I could endure. Pictures in my mind of the first fire with the feeling of utter hopelessness flooded over me. Every time they closed a road towards my home or I saw smoke, I was a basket case. That is when I knew I had to move, with or without my husband. That is how I came to buy a home in the PNW.  People have asked me to write Jet's story.  It is in 2 parts. I will blog it because it is lengthy. He also endured PTSD from the Copper fire. But, he handled the future fires better than I did. Jet was just an amazing Border Collie. I am so fortunate to have had a dog like him in my lifetime. And, to think he made the move to Sequim with me and now is buried on my property here. I think God had a hand in that....

I took his story from the Clicker Journal. I hope you can blow it up enough to read it. 😁

Sunday, July 24, 2016

What's new in the zoo?

I'm broke.  That's what.  The dogs (Vet bills) are killing me.  But, the joy they bring me is well worth it (I guess).  I don't guess, I know so.  It's still a big OUCH to the pocket book.

Yoko is doing fabulously with her nose-work.  I took her to a mock trial over on Whidbey Island at a farm in Langley.  She was awesome winning the exterior search and 2nd in vehicles search.  We have or rather "I" have more work to do to get proficient in interior and container searches.

Champ is trying harder and harder.  I hope to start trialling them again (on sheep) this winter.  I took a few lessons with Derek Fisher to help me be a better partner with him.  I never understand why there are so many winter trials here in Washington?  They have awesome summer weather.  Doesn't that beat slogging around in ankle deep mud in the winter?  Maybe it's PNW tradition.  haha

The house closed Escrow.  It is a miracle!  In the line of fire and the drought.  Lots of praying and thinking optimistic thoughts.  Lordy...someone up there likes us.  Now, moving on to sell the wreck of a rental in Shelton, Wa.  We dropped the price and we will see what happens.  Surely, someone will come along and want to fix it up to flip it.

What is Wayne doing right now?  He is looking for a place to live.  Living out of your truck and Motel 6 is getting a bit old, especially, since he doesn't retire until March 2017.  I'm sure he will find something that will suit him, sooner rather than later.  He is flying up for our August anniversary.  I think it is 34 years this year.

I am taking a class at Brian's Sporting Goods in town on Salmon and Steelhead river fishing.  Wayne will be here for the last class.  Brian said to bring him along.  There are so many things I like to do.  The dogs are a big part of my life, but I have lots of other interests.  I landed in a good place.  Sequim has everything I like to do and then, some.

I bought a new camera, Canon 80D.  But, it's kind of like the new cars of today.  There is too much to learn.  It does everything, but the dishes!  Thankfully, I am friends with Bonnie Block.  She is helping me figure things out.  Plus, I'm taking the class on shooting in manual to nix my habit of always shooting on auto.  I think Bonnie said it is the difference between an artist and a photographer.  I need to learn how my camera works, so I can control better outcomes.

Next thing is I need GOOD lenses.  All I have is a couple of cheapies.  The lenses make the camera;  not the other way around.  Thankfully Bonnie has a ton of lenses.  So I will ask her to try one every now and then to see if I like it.

I have a lot of work ahead of me with my new camera.  Bonnie said it took her almost 2 years to figure everything out to be proficient at setting the controls for what she was shooting and in what light.  So I guess that will keep me out of trouble for awhile :0)

Below is Bonnie Block's AWESOME 2016 National Audubon Society photograph winner.  Her photo will be hanging in the Smithsonian Institute for the next year.  She does amazing work.

I have trekked along with Bonnie to watch the bald eagles harass the blue herons over small fish that get caught up in the oyster beds by Seabeck.  I don't have any close up lenses like hers,' but I do so enjoy just going to watch the "show."

Where are the Elk?  That is the million dollar question.  It has been 3 months and I haven't seen the herd or the bachelor bulls either.  And, I have pretty good Elk eyes plus I get around all over Sequim. My only guess is that they have taken to the high country for awhile.

I just heard from my grandson.  He is spending a week or more with my son on his property in Roseburg. Now, I must go check my calendar to see if I can make the 7 hour drive down there for a visit.