Spring in Seattle

March 27, 2022

Today is a very nice spring day. It has been nice off and on, but frequently with wind or rain hot on the sun’s heels. I drove home one day in sun and rain, together.

Guardian of the Blooms

Work is back to one day a week in the office. Two days a week starting in April, and finally three days after May 7th. Three days is only partially a slow transition, and more waiting for the office carpet replacement project to be completed. About 25 years and it is time for an update. This also means sorting through 25 years of paperwork. Scanning, shredding, retaining and archiving. I filled a janitor sized recycle bin last Thursday. Much was plans from other utilities that had been updated. Previous cleaning had seen the last of several versions of daytimers from 1987 forward to the advent of my computer calendar. And decades of meeting notes. Copies of District Comprehensive Plans (I always retain at least one hard copy, and am making sure scanned versions are available. ) Requests for service were reviewed. If connected, to the log and destroy pile. If not, keep for scanning and reference when the next request is received. All of this sandwiched in with the current workload. But it is a good exercise. One of my coworkers refers to this as pre-retirement work.

And my peripheral interest in March Madness is waning as the St. Peter Peacocks have seen their Cinderella run ended. While the Peacocks run killed several brackets, our daughter-in-law Becca picked them to win it all. She traditionally bases her picks on the team mascots.

And finally, Nymph in 3 tries and 30 minutes. If you know you will understand. If not, let it go.

Week in Review

February 27, 2022

I worked, and walked occasionally.

Took care of a few tasks last weekend, like taxes. And paying bills. Today will be more of the same, except the taxes part, sort of.

We scored by getting out for a walk this morning between rain showers. I know it rained before, and since there is a 90% chance of rain today, am assuming there is more to come. I also scored with another Little Free Library selection. One of Maeve Binchey’s that I don’t think I’ve read.

Currently reading The Splendid and the Vile.

The focus of this morning’s walk was to acquire some Raisin Bran. This appears to be one item where supply ebbs and flows. The brand available changes, if it is available at all. This morning we found the store brand, which is fine, but no Kellogg or Post.

Happiness abounds. Books, raisin bran and some exercise. And Wordle in 3. Appreciate the mundane.

And back to work.

HB Theo

February 16, 2022

Okay, so Theo is a cat. Our grand-cat. But he’s the light of Ashlan and Allen’s life, that is until baby Brewington makes his debut. So let’s celebrate Theo while he’s still the king of his castle.

Enjoying his birthday salmon

Signs of Growth

February 16, 2022

I was going to say Spring, but I have been continuing to wear my winter wardrobe for walks. Jacket, knit hat, scarf, gloves, hand warmer. We did take a walk last weekend where I stopped for a bit on a bench dedicated to a friend of ours. It was the first time in quite a while where I was sitting outside, being warm.

Little lillies
Ever colorful plants
Baby and parent. Hardly a baby, but the bark differences are striking.

The most notable growth is in the length of the days. We didn’t leave for our walk until 5 PM, and it was just being dusky when we returned at 6.

Love and Food

February 14, 2022

We don’t usually do too much for Valentine’s Day. But I got inspired this year to order a really nice meal. Kind of a sneaky way to take credit for picking up the telephone. I was working, after all.

It included steelhead, swordfish, Kobe steak, lobster … oh heck, here’s the menu. Since there were 2 of us, we basically got everything (except the oyster). It was all so tasty.

Best of all, I had just finished my Board presentation when Carl got home with the food. And had two splits of Prosecco.

Carl did have his moments.

I think I’ll keep him for another year.

HB to the Youngest

February 13, 2022

It had to happen. Happens every year. And really, it is a good thing.

So what if it is her back. It is still her! And one of the more interesting pictures I captured this year.
And now her foot – on the left, in green.

I guess I don’t take as many pictures as I think. Actually, I have an abundance of pictures of the grandson…

NOW FOR SOME FUN! Because you are never too old to have some fun.

And I Quote “Nothing says HB like Lego”
Guess what letters are limited in Scrabble
Actually, kind of fun to create. More of a challenge than I expected.



Weekends are For Walking

February 6, 2022

We had a good walk each morning this weekend. Perhaps the Olympics are inspiration, but it is more likely that it wasn’t actively raining.

From today’s walk, when the sun replaced yesterday’s mist.

Too much condensation to consider sitting
Find the old coot
Old Growth, or at least a replica
Post-walk repose

Part of the weekend was spent working. And part was spent adding tax information. We don’t have all of the required forms yet, but are getting closer. One of the more intriguing bits are the two letters we received indicating we each received the third Covid Stimulus payment. Which we did not. I seem to recall there was some income component that might make this the case. Not a problem, except for the letter. Ever helpful, Turbo Tax says to go check the IRS site. 45 minutes later, with email, telephone, uploaded license and web video for ID verification, I was able to see we had received only what I thought we had received.

I don’t think I care too much about the 3rd payment, just that I got letters saying we had – when their site says we didn’t. Grrr. Why would they send the letter?

Oh, and the car has a flat tire, again. A different tire this time. Double grrrr.

Party Time

February 4, 2022

What better way to end the weekday work week than a party. Our party of choice was a decidedly laid back birthday for the neighbor boy turning 5.

The guest of honor was late to his party. The reason was that he wasn’t done handing out frozen blueberries to his fellow preschool mates. It’s apparently important to turn your tongue and fingers blue.

Not that it stopped the kids from playing or adults from chatting. The kids were fine. Some of us adults were shivering a bit. The party was outside and by and large people were masked. Even the 2 year old. It seemed like no big deal for the kids. Of course masks were lowered for the eating of the cake, but we were pretty well distanced.

Presents were not expected, but we decided to get a little something. Carl took care of Conor one afternoon. He took his hot wheels track, and it amused Conor for several hours. So we decided he could use some hot wheels track of his own.

It turned out to be the hit of the party. Sometimes you get it right.

Penny, the dog, observing the pile of cars that have made their run. Conor, in teal, directing the next run.

And yes, hot wheels track is not just orange any more.

And we are partied out.

Shepard’s Art transformed

February 3, 2022

Otis Shepard was a graphic artist. He did a lot of work for P.K. Wrigley, of chewing gum and the Cub’s ballpark fame. He was responsible for the art on the Cub scorecards for over a 30-year period. Carl really likes his art in general and his scorecards in particular.

My sister Anne is an artist in her own right. Quilting for example. She gifted Carl with these quilts of several of the scorecards. These are awesome.

For a much better view go to Mark’s blog He provides good pictures of the individual blocks, and of the original Shepard artwork.

Carl’s current art form, as most of you know, is fun with food. It’s a fleeting, temporary format. He has been doing this for decades as well. Our kids were on the receiving end many times, and apparently remember. Rey recently tried his hand with the tried and true initials. For his son.

Rey had carried his creation of arranged orange slices to show Becca, passing by Corwin. If you look to the side of Rey, you can see his reaction. Those oranges must be really good.

What a difference

January 27, 2022

… a day makes. Change can be good.

Yesterday I was in a state when I woke. A situation with snafus piled on top of each other. Miscommunications as we were passed from one “advisor” to another. We thought we were clear, but apparently we were speaking with an accent.

I wrote a rather tersely worded email on what we thought should happen. Even suggested a potential solution.

In the midst of my key banging, Carl delivered breakfast. I set it down with the same energy I was typing. Needless to say, his artistic efforts suffered.

The email apparently hit the right note. By the evening they were working towards a solution. Not mine, but I only wanted a solution, not necessarily mine.

This morning’s artistic endeavor recieved treatment commensurate with solutions being found, and much calmer keystrokes.

And today we transitioned from a 32 degree fog, to sunny and cool at lunchtime. Good enough for a walk.