Saturday, December 26, 2015

Post Christmas

Well the Christmas season appears to be over for another year.  Sitting here this morning I have to wonder what 2016 will bring.  We had a great time with the family yesterday and I really enjoyed having all of them in for a visit and dinner.  They all have lives but I miss the times like we had yesterday.

I read this morning that our region of the country, primarily Seattle, might be in another housing bubble.  With the Fed increasing the interest rate there may very well be another explosion when it comes to our housing market.  We have made significant gains over the past few years but fewer and fewer people can afford a house when the median home is $521,400 with values having grown by 12.7% according to a report released on MSN this morning.  If interest continues to rise there are going to be fewer and fewer folks who will be able to afford to purchase the "American Dream" of owning their own home.   Sadly the Seattle area may already be out of reach for many of the population living in the area.

Today is a do nothing day.  I have no plans.  There is a Washington Husky football bowl game on today and I will probably watch it.  Tomorrow as the Seattle Seahawks do battle at Century Link Field, Mia and I will be visiting my stepmom in Mt. Vernon.  We plan to help my son with some maintenance work around his home over the coming week and I am looking for and working on plans for a new project in the wood shop.  After the first of the year I have to get back to work putting down the moldings around the baseboard and our built in cabinets in the kitchen area.

Hope everyone had a safe and Merry Christmas.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, December 21, 2015

These Characters

Colonial Williamsburg
We have almost another one year of listening to and trying to judge the candidate that we think would best lead our country into the future.  Sadly, I am already tired of the whole he said, she said, there're lying BS that we are listen to or reading about daily in the media.  Between the allegations of theft of information to the out right fictional videos, we listen to the front runners call each other liars and many other things.  I am personally sick of listening to it.  Tell me what you're going to do.

Show me you have the qualities to lead.  Be knowledgeable about the issues, don't make up facts that aren't in existence.  Show some personal character and don't sink to the other guy (gals) level.  Name calling and personal attacks are not what I want to see.  If I wanted a bully for President, I would got back to grade school.  Have respect for the Constitution.  Perhaps it is flawed or needs updating but for now it is what we have to guide us into the future.  And have a flexible mind.  Be able to listen and perhaps choose a different direction when you hear arguments against your position.

Please just give me information that will benefit my decision at the polls.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas and Root Beer

Christmas is about a week away and I think I have all the shop projects for this year done.  I finished a rocking doll cradle for my youngest granddaughter (don't worry, she doesn't use the computer yet).  Mia put together some accessories that include a pillow, quilt and a mattress.  I originally gave one of these to my daughter when she was young and she let me use it as a pattern so I could make the new one.  Frankly, I built the first one back in the days when I drank alcohol like a fish and I really don't remember building it for her.  I have photo records of a bunch of different things that I have built over the years but can't find a single photo with her cradle in it.  I guess I failed to take a picture of it then and now.  Gave it back to my daughter yesterday.

Done with three coats of satin polyurethane

Back in the early days I used to build and give away all kinds of silly things for Christmas.  I made Angel Door Bells from pine, dowels, round wooden door knobs, sting and a couple of bells.  They were pretty big and I doubt if any of them have survived the years.  I made some simple Reindeer that everyone seemed to like and with the help of Mia we gave several away as gifts one year.  Both of the kids still have theirs.

We baked on Tuesday and Thursday this week.  First up was a Fruit Cake that my mom used to make sometime in September.  The difference between ours and hers was the lack of alcohol in ours.  I took one taste of it and was swept back into the 60's.

Thursday morning we made some cookies.  The first one was a icebox cookie with candied fruit.  Again, this cookie was my mom's recipe and once again I was transported into the 60's and our house on 35th N.E. in Seattle, which no longer exists.

The second on was an oatmeal cookie with candied fruit added.  This one was our doing and is something new for us.
As those of you who follow the blog are aware, I love Root Beer.  When we were on our trip across America I took every opportunity to grab a different Root Beer to test.  After extensive drinking, Mia and I decided that the Root Beer we drank at Jefferson's Monticello was the best we had found.  When we got home I did some extensive research and discovered that their Root Beer is bottle by the Old Dominion Brewing Company.  Upon visiting the local Root Beer Store I soon discovered that Old Dominion Brewing actually had their own Root Beer.  I couldn't tell if it was the same as the one from Monticello or not so I ordered a case of Root Beer from Monticello and purchased a couple of bottles of the Old Dominion from the Root Beer Store.  The cost difference is amazing.  With shipping added in you pay $3.03 per bottle for the Monticello brand but change the label and the price comes down to $1.69 per bottle.  After getting both in my hands we did a comparison this morning.

Other than the label on the front and the name they are both the exact same product.  It is much sweeter than I remember but it still tastes like old time Root Beer.  I have 24 bottles of Monticello Root Beer to drink over the holidays so you could say I am a very happy camper.

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, December 12, 2015


It has been a couple of weeks since I posted anything.  We have been pretty busy with preparations for the Holidays.  I got the woodshop cranked up and made a couple of yard decorations for the porch.
Then I started a special project for our youngest grand daughter.

We have had some pretty nasty weather conditions here in the Pacific Northwest.  Something they call the Pineapple Express keeps bringing us rain, sleet, hail, high winds, and even a tornado.
The other night there was a loud noise and I got up to see what was going on.  The snowman I built had learned to fly and was laying on the sidewalk in front of the porch.

The next morning I was walking the dog and found this in front of our building.  It appears to have been dropped here, facing the wrong direction on the street.  My neighbors didn't recognize it so I called the local police department and they came out to look at it.  The car has extensive body damage to the right side and a flat left rear tire.  They said the license came back local but some distance from where it is currently parked.  They were going to attempt to contact the owner but I have heard nothing more from them and the condo owners association has tagged it to be towed away.

You just got to enjoy life.  Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Tired Of All The BS

Events of the recent past have left me wondering just what the heck is going on with the human race.

All life matters.  I don't care if you're green, your life matters.  Everyone has a right to live.  I don't judge you based on your color, religious beliefs or sexuality.  I can't just look at you and judge you without knowing you.  You might look down and out but I can't or won't judge you based on your looks.  I can't understand folks who continue to judge others without having had contact with them.

I don't think you should be shot down in the street unless you are endangering yourself or someone else.  I certainly don't think you should have a gun emptied into you.  Do I think you should stop when requested to do so by a police officer?  Yes, definitely yes.  Regardless of what you think, follow the officers instructions carefully.  To continue walking down the street is to invite trouble.  Don't fight your situation if you are in handcuffs.  Let the Justice system weed things out.  Police officers can be wrong too.  Is it really worth dying for?

I enjoy people and I disagree with a lot of my friends and relatives who see things completely different from me.  Could be my age but I genuinely enjoy having people around me that aren't necessarily going to agree with everything I say.  I don't make it personal when I don't agree with a friend or relative.  We can agree to disagree.  More often than not, I wander off to reconsider my position.  Sometimes I change my position, other times I don't.

Onward and upward.  Remember, all lives matter.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Trading Up or Trading Down

After some consideration we have decided to divest ourselves of our 2010 Chevrolet Silverado Pickup.  Having seen most of the country over the 84,000 miles that we have accumulated together and considering that we sold our trailer and no longer have anything to pull, we have decided to trade our almost seven year companion in on a new car.


For one of these
Since we had to factory order the Forester we wanted with an ETA of January, I decided to download the 612 page Owners Manual to try and get a head start.  Not only do you need the Owners Manual but there are four other manuals for a couple of the more complex accessories on the vehicle.

It is amazing how much has changed since I retired from the auto industry less than two years ago.  The technological advances up to the time that I retired were in themselves pretty amazing but this car will practically drive itself.  From what I read I may have trouble staying awake on long trips behind the wheel of the Subaru.  I am definitely going to need to find something to help keep my brain "in the game" when taking trips.

We are looking forward to the delivery of this fully loaded Forester Limited.

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving and the Shop in Full Swing

Let me be the first to wish each of you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving.  With the world turned upside down and politicians inventing our history, family is just possibly the most important thing that we have.  Make sure they know you love them.

I smoked our turkey this morning and it looks absolutely scrumptious.

My wood shop is in full operation.  Recycling pallet boards into useful items is kind of fun.  It would be more fun with less splinters.  A couple of projects in process include a snowman and Christmas tree decoration for our front porch.

Hope everyone is well and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Trip, Storms and World Changes

Last Friday we had reservation at Rosario Resort and Spa on Orcas Island in the San Juans.  While some head south to nice warm dry weather, we chose to head north and out towards the water for a cooler, stormy break.  On November 14, 1969 we got married and spent a long weekend at Rosario for our honeymoon.  It has been 46 years since we last visited the island.
While the exterior has changed very little, the interior has seen an extensive remodel.  Much of the original woodwork was retained but there were new additions and some thing got rearranged.  Rosario originally was the home of Robert Moran, shipbuilder, one time Mayor of Seattle.  He retired to the island after taking himself from rags to riches.  With one of the biggest shipbuilding businesses on the Pacific Coast he was able to afford to build this fantastic property using trade labor from his business and it shows in the beautiful wood work inside.

We visited every town on the island during our four day trip and took at trip into Moran State Park and up to Mt. Constitution property originally developed by Moran and donated to the State in the early 1900's.  It was snowing at the summit.  And there is a tower that would have provided spectacular views had it not been overcast.  It was a beautiful day on Sunday for the visit to the pass.

We visited most of the townships on the island and many, like Olga, are empty.  Eastsound is centrally located on the island and seems to be the town that has developed all the necessary businesses to keep the island going.  It is a tourist trap but also has the basics that are needed to survive on the island.  There are no fast food restaurants on the island.

Of course the island is full of eccentric individuals as well as many artist.  There are many farms that supply several local restaurants with fresh meats, vegetables and fruits.

We had a ball.  Monday we experienced a storm that messed with the area and the island lost power.  It was fun watching the storm.

As we left on Tuesday there was some doubt about the ferry crossing back to the mainland but while the ride was a little rough we made it home just fine.
Here are more pictures of the inside of the mansion.

Unfortunately you can't stay in the mansion anymore but the accommodations are nice in the outbuildings that are well placed on the hillside alongside the mansion property.  We had a great time.

While we were gone the world change again.  Now Russia and France are participating in the war on terrorism as Paris, France was attacked by a group of individuals from the terrorist group, Isis.  Now we have allies who were enemies.  Will this insanity every stop?  

Black Lives Matter upset college campuses and libraries across the county.  What happened to All Lives Matter......?

Thanks for dropping by, hope all is well.