Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I've finally planted my garden. I'm not sure just what the outcome will be. It is terribly late and there were a lot of casualties in the greenhouse. So far, all of the plants I put in the ground have survived but, it's only been two days. Time will tell.

I finished insulating the walls in my work shop. The room is located on the east side of the barn so the insulation really makes a difference in the temperature of the room. This week end we will be putting up the inside walls. That will allow me to move some of my stuff back into the room and set it up for use.

Scott baled the grass in the field and should be picking up the bales soon. I'll start watering the front part as soon as that's done. Maybe we will get something growing around the trees.
Roger has completed the watering system out to the tree along the creek. Watering them should be a temporary arrangement. As soon as they put down enough roots they should be able to draw some of their water from the creek.
Five of the trees I purchased from the nursery are called Box Elders. I read up on them and they are supposed to be fast growing and short lived. Scott told us he has one in his front yard that is 115 years old. I wonder just what 'short lived' means to the author of the web site.
And of course, Roger is still up to his neck (literally) in the electric Volkswagen. Except for the fact there there are no seats, steering wheel or engine and there are wires hanging out of the dash, I guess you could say it's starting to look good.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Greenhouse

The greenhouse was installed on Saturday. Roger and I both had visions of them plopping the structure down on the foundation we had built and walking away in just a couple of hours. Ignorance is truly bliss. We really had no clue.

The greenhouse was built at a facility called The Glass Hut located in Oregon. I'm sure the drivers were not aware of where we were located when they told us they would depart the factory on Friday morning and deliver it to our location on Friday afternoon. The greenhouse arrived about 7:30 PM on Friday and dropped off by two very tired drivers.

Saturday morning they returned bright and early. They moved the greenhouse off of the trailer.

The movers like the location but, that is not where I want it.

No, it has to be moved.

Up and over the water spigot.

And onto the foundation.

The bracing for the door openings are removed...

And, door frames installed.

A view from the top.

Now to install the panels,
the doors,

and the shelves and windows.

It's beginning to look like a greenhouse.

The logo goes on; the final touch.

A full days work and the greenhouse is finally complete (well their part is).

Our work is just beginning. We get to move plants and pots; sinks and counters and, install electrical and watering systems.

My garden is finally going to get planted... Hurray!

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Arrival

Remember when we took the road trip in our trailer last February/March? We traveled from northern Washington down the coast to Portland Oregon. In Portland we made a down payment on a greenhouse at the Home and Garden Show and scheduled delivery for (around) mid April. Fortunately (for us) they did not have the greenhouse ready. We weren't ready either.

Delivery was pushed out until the first of May; then the last of May; then mid June. Guess what arrived today?

Happy Birthday to me...

Nope, I don't think it's quite ready yet.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I love strawberries. So, when we moved here I was happy to see that the previous owners had planted a strawberry patch. It was surrounded by rail road ties at about ground level. I asked Carol what she did with the strawberries. "Nothing," was her reply. I wondered why but didn't ask. I should have asked.

After we were a bit settled in the new home, I weeded and tended the patch noting the progress of the ripening strawberries. Much to my chagrin each and every time one got even near being ready it mysteriously disappeared. One day it was there the next it was not. Hmmm. I wasn't really surprised. In fact I would have been surprised if they had lasted. We live in a very rural area heavily populated by birds, rabbits, and deer. They eat everything.

I talked Roger into purchasing four more rail road ties and we built up the sides of the patch. I then constructed a cover to keep the birds out and 'voila' we started getting strawberries. Not many but a few. That was last year.

This year I had to build the sides up higher to accommodate the plants and wow, do we have strawberries. They're so sweet and don't come any fresher.

This weekend I begin work on the regular garden. I know, it should have already been planted and the poor little plants are about to revolt due to the crowding in the green house. Liberation is planned for Saturday and I hope they thrive outside of the green house. At least I don't think they'll be pounded to death by hail or killed by an early frost. Crispy critters is not out of the question though. It's starting to get hot.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Letter to my Father

Hi Daddy. How are you? I know; things have not changed in recent months have they? Are you resting well? I hope you’re not cold any more. I pray you’re happy where you are. Though it may be peaceful there, I think you still miss us. I know we miss you.

I know I haven’t spoken with you lately. With all of the work we’re doing on the ‘ranch’ it seems like the day just begins and then its night time again. Where does the time go? I know, that’s not a good excuse but, it’s the only one I can come up with right now.

I’m sorry I did not speak with you the last time you were here. I just wasn’t ready for that. I’m ready now but, I don’t think you’ll be back here again. I wish you would; even if it was just one more time. We could talk. You could tell me stories again and I could watch your eyes light up when you talk about the things that happened with friends and family in your life.

I often hear you speaking though I cannot make out the words. I see you face smiling at me. I see the happiness in your eyes as you show me your newest creation from the slip casting class. You’ve made so much and you’re so proud of the pieces. I cherish each one in my possession each and every time I use them, hold them, or clean them. The rooster still occupies the place of honor on the hearth beside the fireplace. The frog has not made it out to the Koi pond yet. I may continue to keep him on the floor beside the bed. I think he likes it there.

I pray that I will never forget to keep the water level up in the fountain. It runs all of the time. It’s the one you wanted me to have. Each time I fill it I remember how proud you were with how the little cherub came out.

You so love to create things. I guess that’s where I get it from. I know Mom was going crazy with all of the art work in the house. I don’t think she would really mind now. She might even welcome it.

You know when you left we all thought Mom was going to follow right behind you. Thank you for helping convince her to stay a bit longer. She’s doing okay but she does miss you terribly. They say the first year is the hardest. And, this past nine months has been hard on all of us.

I know there is no place to send a card and there is no phone number I can call. Still, I wanted you to know how proud I am of you and happy that you were part of my life. I made a promise to you the last time I saw you. I will endeavor to keep that promise. You know the promise.

Most importantly I wanted to tell you, Happy Father’s Day, Dad. Until I see you again remember that I love you.

Glenn Ellis July 26, 1919 - August 3, 2006

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Great Night at Beasley Auditorium

Yesterday morning Roger was reading the local paper and came across an article stating the the Lippizaner Stallions were going to be performing at the Beasley Auditorium on the WSU campus. I bought tickets and what a thrill. We were in the third row from the arena. What wonderful animals.

I knew that the foals were born brown or black but I didn't know that they were occasionally born white. The white foals are considered a rarity and are used as carriage horses for royalty.

I also thought that all of the foals turned pure white as they matured. I found out that occasionally a horse does not turn 'pure' white but retains some remnants of its former color. One example is a 15 year old stallion (performing in the show) that was a dapple gray. Their name for his color is flea tick gray but I think I like my name better.

The maneuvers the horses do in the arena (and they are called maneuvers, not tricks) the horses do naturally. Their training involves getting them to do the maneuver on command. Also, only the stallions are used in the arena as the mares have a different center of gravity and cannot perform many of the moves. It was truly an interesting educational experience.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rose Gardens and VW's...

I finished (as much as I could at this point) the revamping of the rose garden. I still have three blocks to cut but that will be done this weekend. I will live with it this way for awhile and decide if I want to do more.

Roger is continuing work on his VW.

While steam cleaning the engine compartment he discovered a 'new game' he could play. I think it has something in common with Old Faithful. He's having way too much fun at this...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Roger performed 'open heart' surgery on the Cabriolet today.

We're still not certain the 'patient' will survive but, the prognosis is good. He wants to complete the project before the Lintel Festival in August. He just may make it.

I began work on my project today (the rose garden).

This is how it looked before I started. I was hoping I could finish today but...

I didn't do too bad. I will finish tomorrow (maybe). Meanwhile, we're both going to take advantage of the hot tub tonight... (Ouch!).


Vacation is over and it's back to 'projects'. Roger completed one wall of his work shop and moved his tool box into the room. Looks great, doesn't it?

He also began work on converting his VW to electric. I think it will keep him busy for awhile.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Five years and counting…

Roger and I celebrated our 5th anniversary the last week of May by returning to the place of our honeymoon.

We left home on Saturday morning (about 5:00 AM) and arrived at the condo in Kauai at 6:00 PM that evening. We got settled in and after two pieces of chicken and a bottle of wine we were ready for some sleep but… We forced ourselves to stay up until 8:30 so we would not be awake before daylight.

Now I know it does not seem like much time to be awake until you realize that 8:30 PM in Kauai is really 11:30 PM in Washington. It really was a long day.

Needless to say, Sunday was our day of rest; really, rest. It wasn’t until towards the end of the day that we finally ventured out and that was because we were hungry. On our return to the condo we stopped in to see one of the units they had for sale in the same complex we were staying. Nice, cozy (about the size of our condo in Laguna Woods), beautifully furnished and asking $1.5M. Wow!

Monday: This morning we had scheduled a bus tour of the island. The tour began at 9:00 AM and ended at 6:00 PM. We now have an idea of places we want to revisit and places we have no desire to return to. Kauai is a beautiful island. I’m sure it would have been more beautiful had I not forgotten my relief band (motion sickness watch). Carol, our bus driver, was very informative and took us on a few roads that were not exactly on the tour route (not particularly wide and not particularly well maintained).

The Kauai 'Grand Canyon'.

Sugar Mill and yours truly.

The view from the top of one very bumpy road.

A tree in bloom.

Entertainment on the return from the Fern Grotto.

Tuesday: Today we walked up to the golf course for brunch. This little bird was insistent about dining with us.

He's a Red Headed Cardinal.

After brunch we continued our walk to see another open house. This one was really a ‘house’. Two stories, cherry wood floors, open design with beautiful views of the golf course and ocean. The asking price was $1.8M. I don’t think we’re moving to Kauai any time soon; unless (of course) my philanthropic uncle decides to fork over a large chunk of money. Oh yes, I don’t have an uncle do I?

On the return trip we saw a couple of people on the golf course with what appeared to be a small animal. There are signs posted all along the walk that people were not allowed to walk on the golf course. I know, curiosity killed the cat and we were curious as to what was going on. So, onto the golf course we went.

What we saw was two ladies trying to touch a chick (baby bird). This ‘chick’ was about the size of a very large chicken or a medium size turkey. The bird was also not afraid of people (it’s a golf course, remember). There were signs posted around the ‘chick’ stating, “The chick has not been abandoned.” Even with all of the posted signs the ladies were getting too close. I pointed out the signs to the ladies and they backed off. BTW: the ‘chick’ was/is an Albatross (aka Gooney bird).

We snapped this photo and continued back to the condo. We did ‘check on him/her’ each day but from a safe distance. There was no telling when Mom and Dad would return. Evidently they do often enough to warrant an Albatross Crossing sign.

Wednesday: I was sitting on the lanai this morning looking out at the ocean and enjoying the fresh air and quiet beauty of the landscape. I could see something in the water but couldn’t quite make out what it was. I picked up the binoculars form the table and looked out to see a pod of dolphins chasing fish through the water. Both the fish and the dolphins were jumping out of the water. What a sight. I just wish I had thought of the camera.

Wednesday afternoon we took an aerial tour of the island. We sat in front with the pilot. Roger has such connections, or maybe it’s because I was the only one who suffers from motion sickness. It was a great trip and we had a good time. I’ve found out also that the relief band has its limits. It doesn’t seem to help when there are sudden drops and many bumps.



and the Ne Pali coast line...

Thursday: There are many feral chickens on the island and we are awakened each morning to the sound of the roosters crowing. This morning I heard one of the roosters raising a such a ruckus I got up to see what he was upset about. It seems that a trio of endangered Hawaiian Wild Geese (called Né Né) were invading the rooster's territory. His squawking didn't seem to bother the geese. In fact one of the geese challenged the rooster. Evidently embarrassed, the rooster began chasing off the smaller birds. (I think the hens must have been watching).

We drove to the end of the road to Kaá Beach to explore the cave and beach. We also hiked up the trail (about a 45 minute climb) to catch the view of the Nepali Coast. I can definitely say that we got our cardio-vascular exercise that morning. A young man at the bottom of the trail was selling water (and soft drinks) for $4.00 a can. Sounded expensive to me but he told us he was making more money selling soft drinks than he was making working a 9-5 job as a computer technician. It’s a tough climb and there are a lot of thirsty people who make the climb on a whim like we did. No, I didn’t pay $4.00; I had my water with me.

My hero (in the cave) Footprints

Look it's easy... And steep.

But we made it.

The other side of the Ne Pali Coast and the beach from which we hiked.

We made it back down safely.

We had reservations at the Princeville Hotel for dinner. I think I could get used to this.

Photo by the fountain

Friday: This is our last day here at the condo and tomorrow will be a long day for us. We passed the morning just talking, napping and watching the surfers and sail boats. This afternoon we walked down the steep hill to the beach to do some snorkeling.

Saturday: Until next time; we packed our stuff, loaded up the rental car and headed out towards the airport. It’s 10:00 AM and our plane does not leave until 6:00 PM so we stopped along the way to visit a street fair, the light house and bird sanctuary.

Roger resting... A pretty tree at the street fair... Bird sanctuary...

We finally arrived home about noon on Sunday. We had an eight-hour wait between leaving our condo and our flight from Kauai to Oahu; a 2 ½ hour layover for our departure from Oahu to Seattle and a five hour layover in Seattle for our flight to Pullman. Gosh it’s nice to be home.

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