Archive for August, 2018

It’s Raining!

August 31, 2018

For Jane (see comments), lower section.

I was going to water the vegetables this morning, but when I started out the back door, I saw the railings were already wet. So the tomatoes are on their own.

Carl has been trying to do some straightening around the house. Two of his efforts.

I think this is the haul of baseballs from 2018. He’s planning to give them away to kids during the last game of the season.

You probably can’t tell from the picture, but those are heart-shaped rocks.

Close up view. Yes, Purell has been an important part of our life this year.

All for now. Time for work.


August 20, 2018

I swear I can smell it, in addition to trying to peer through the haze. I have been told the particulant count is down, but the smoke is thicker.

Health advisories are out. We are approaching red levels = “unhealthy.” We can still go purple=”very unhealthy”, or even maroon =”hazardous”.

Approaching first pitch. It’s even less than clear looking across to home plate. It is raining ash.

I did walk at lunch, but sat most of the day at work, picking away at animations for a PowerPoint presentation. It is part of the big project. I had put together outline notes before Carl’s surgery. Slowly trying to catch up, still.

Hazy Perspectives

August 19, 2018

We went to the Dodgers, I mean the Mariners, game last night. There were an impressive number of Dodger blue attired people in attendance. I almost think they may have accounted for more than 50 percent, and it was a packed house. Perhaps it was just that they persisted with the uninspired and unimaginative chant, “let’s go Dodgers.” This was answered by the equally bland, “let’s go Mariners,” to the point where it was hard to discern who I should be cheering for.

The Mariners put up a bit of a fight, but were tied at the end of the 9th inning. In the 10th, after not having scored since the 1st inning, with the bases loaded, they managed to pull off a walk-off. Balk. Not a walk, not a hit, but a shuffle of the feet balk. It was over in an instant.

Today’s game started slowly. The bottom of the first inning took 30 minutes, and the Dodgers scored 5 runs. We were not in our usual seats, so I checked out the different views.

Seattle Skyline

Space Needle

These next few shots were later in the game. It was quite breezy, and I noticed an interesting phenomenon.

Sounders flag blowing west, American flag blowing east.

Notice the difference in air quality from the first picture in the blog

The air quality got really bad last week. I am hoping this is not a repeat.


August 18, 2018

Our upstairs bathroom faucet started dripping about Easter. It was still possible to apply a bit of extra twist to stop the drops. Recently, however, the drops would continue to drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip … well you get the drip, er drift.

I finally had the moment of time, inclination and confidence to take on this repair. Really the first time, although I know we have had other drips and I assume they did not just stop on their own.

So I consulted our DIY book. This book was given to Carl, specifically not to me, several years ago when we had a local contractor redo some of the downstairs bathroom.

Carl ended up taking care of his daughter for a time, and then two kids of a family that lived across the street from the contractor. This has generally been how Carl’s business has been. Word of mouth from friends to their friends. All of these kids have graduated high school and are into their next endeavor.

The book is basic. Perfect for these types of projects. I ignored the book ownership issue and forged ahead.

I started with the cold water tap. It came out easily. I spent a short amount of time looking at the bits and pieces. It was clear that one was in need of replacement, and possibly two.

One trip to the hardware store. $1.74 later and home.

The kind Ace Hardware man agreed that the seat washer needed to be replaced, but said he thought the packing gland should continue, even if it looked a bit worse for wear.

Old vs New

The hot water tap didn’t come out quite as easily, so I am glad I chose the cold first. In the end they both were repaired and seem to be holding the water back. Just to be sure, the tools are not put away, yet.

All this, watering, one load of laundry and still time before leaving for a 3-year old’s birthday party at noon.

As Carl often says, “Three at last, three at last, three at last. Thank God almighty I’m three at last!”


August 15, 2018

The change of seasons presents an interesting morning decision. It is dawn and the sun will be rising as I drive east to work.

Should I put on my (prescription) sunglasses or not? If I do, the first bit of the drive is dim due to the shades. If I don’t, I may have moments of near blindness due to the sun, or trying to change my glasses while driving in rush hour traffic.

This morning I did not put on the sunglasses. And the sun rose.

But all of the distant fires (eastern Washington and British Columbia) have added an extremely thick haze. I could see the full shape of the sun, and it was red. The haze was thick enough that the lack of sunglasses was tolerable.

The sun as I arrived at work

The air is actually considered unhealthy at this point. Exercising outdoors is not encouraged.

Neither Carl or I have noticed any breathing difficulties, but my eyes feel scratchy.

I hope the fires die down and the wind picks up. Even rain would be acceptable.

Baseball Day Out

August 13, 2018

But not the Mariners!

Although we did check their progress online. Instead we went to a Silver Fox game to see friends, both on and off the field. Carl’s team, for all of 1 game this year, prevailed.

Next up was a single-a Everett Aquasox game with a group of Mariner fans who Carl hangs around with, usually at a stadium. The Frogs! And they lost. Even the mascots lost to a little boy ( seen leading the pack on the left.)

It was a reasonably nice day, but I was ready to go home when the game finally ended.

Oh, and there was a wedding. Friday evening. A lovely affair, on the water (like Rey and Becca’s), but no beach. And the boats were a bit larger than kayaks.

Speaking of wedding pictures. Here’s one of the Root and Arrow photos from the wedding a bit earlier this summer. Just a taste for now.

Jay, Rey, Becca, Cheryl and Tony.

There were kayaks. Trust me.

And just for grins, here are 2 of the 3 Harms boys. Bruce could not make it.

Steve and Carl

For Dad

August 6, 2018

91. Simply amazing.

Photo courtesy of Bill

He often tells me, now, how he is slowing down. And then that he has to go finish putting the hardware cloth on the outhouse vents to keep the squirrels from turning it into a giant 2 hole storage bin. And he was going to trim some branches off of a pine tree to get to one of the vents.

I hope to catch up to his speed sometime soon.

Catching Up

August 5, 2018

There are a few chores that have fallen by the wayside over the summer. I am constantly reminded of one in particular. WEEDING

I decided that I would attack just one stretch this morning, before it got too hot. I didn’t take a before picture, but a partial one. It’s like raking leaves, you can see your progress.

The large bare area being cleared is supposed to get strawberries, eventually.

Checked out the vegetables as well, picking two tomatoes and one zucchini.

Find the zucchini

After a lunch break we set out on a walk. These have not happened since the 2nd knee episode, but we decided to go. A bit more than 2 miles, and it included some hills. (That’s what happens when you follow the shade into a ravine. You eventually have to climb out.)

It’s been a while, so the rest of the afternoon may have a bit slower pace.

Say it with Food

August 3, 2018

Morning greeting. Recognizable form before coffee.

More Picassoesque after the stress of the day.

Okay, okay, okay

August 2, 2018

I have been home from home away from home for over a month now, really 1-1/2 months. It still seems very recent, and yet so long ago. I just found my passport from the Michigan travels, still in my backpack, so I am just getting myself sorted.

Gate 1 and only at Chippewa International Airport

3 primary areas for discussion over this time; health, work and family.

Me – I got a cold for the past weekend. Keeping the Kleenex company in business, and it looks like it is time for a Costco run again. And I gave it to Carl too! SHARING IS CARING.

Carl’s health has been a roller-coaster of a summer. (See previous posts for the earlier bits.) Jane provided stellar care; with infusions, doctor calls, cooking, and more. Carl didn’t have a relapse until I returned home.

When not going to medical centers Carl passes the time with sports on TV, puzzles and reading (Boys in the Boat – highly recommended). Jane and Carl shared the World Cup, Wimbledon and the Tour de France, and of course a few baseball games.

Carl was continuing to improve, walking, climbing stairs. He was down to 1 bandaid and some scabs. Then, 2 weeks after getting off of antibiotics his knee blew up again. No temperature this time though. Urgent Care and a new referral to rheumetology (and drugs). Rheumetology is looking at arthritis (of course) or psuedogout. (Regular gout isn’t good enough for us, fake “_____” is all the rage this year.) Back up to 3 bandaids and one more pill to the pile.

This week we are into follow-up appointments. More x-rays, but hopefully no more blood draws – he has turned into a turnip, and cardiac rehabilitation. The scabs are almost all gone and the knee swelling is decreasing, back on the positive path toward recovery.

And back to a few Mariner games again. We did manage to get to a Paxton (pitcher from Canada) game, since we just missed seeing him on Carl’s birth/discharge-day. This is all part of the recovery plan.

Carl’s job is recovery. (See previous notes.)

I feel like I have been barely working for 6+ weeks. I managed to keep up with small projects, but the bigger ventures essentially went on hiatus. For example: I reviewed a plan on the day of Carl’s first surgery (6/18), and just go my review letter written last Thursday (7/26). Another stressor was being summoned before a hearing examiner to explain and be questioned about my decisions and directions on a project. This finally happened Monday. After spending a week reading literally a box of reports, emails and studies, I was ready to be grilled. It ended up being a light saute as more recent decisions deflected the appellants path of argument and I only gave about 10 minutes of testimony (instead of the expected several hours). My next focus is to focus on getting my two big responsibilities back on track. And maybe even work a full 5-day work week next week.

Carl’s already had his share of this update, so on to the kids.

Rey & Becca are on the move again. MOVING WEST! About 100 miles further west, and one time zone closer. To Nashville. (Becca has already started her new job!)

Ashlan & Allen, as far as I can tell, are continuing their year of weddings. (Not theirs)

My sisters. Let me just take a moment to say I have the best! Pooh stepped in to keep me on track and pick up my slack with all of the festivities surrounding Rey and Becca’s wedding – in addition to her regular activities.
And Jane – took exceedingly good care of Carl and the garden and building furniture – all while I slacked off in Michigan.
I have not figured out an appropriate way to thank them, yet.

Patient in his new chair

In amongst all of this, the car got a flat tire. I actually think the nail was there while Jane was driving, but didn’t shift to let air out until I tried to put more air in. (An adventure in itself with non-working air machines and driving on an ever lowering tire. Luckily our neighbor had asked me to park in her flat driveway while she was vacationing. So it made it easier for me to attempt to change, and for AAA to finally change the tire for the little spare. (I am not strong.)

The temperatures have been soaring, so I have been watering. The raspberries are just about done, a few zuchini have arrived (zoodles for dinner tonight), the bush peas have been “meh”, but the tomatoes are really good. I think I may change my planting choices next year.