Saturday, September 29, 2007

A boring week

With a precious few highlights. Most of the week was spent in front of my computer - sometimes I was working and sometimes I was pretending it was a fire up to which I was huddling because I am COLD! Today Tom is coming over and we are going to figure out how to better close off the living space in here from the garage bay. Brrr. This week wasn't all blah. We got a new/old tub. I had been trolling the internet and home improvement shops looking for a bathtub I liked. I couldn't find anything I was willing to soak my bones in for less than $5000. Call me picky but I want a bathtub with beautiful lines. I demand form and function of my bathroom fixtures. Anyway, up in Centralia there is a place called the Northwest Tub Company that specializes in refinishing and reselling old tubs. The lions share of their inventory is clawfoot tubs but I already had one of those and wasn't interested in using it. So we traded in our clawfoot for this beauty: I have christened it The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. One last note on the week, Matt and I went up to The Olympic Club in Centralia and spent the night there for our anniversary. Ooooh, fancy, a night in an ancient hotel w/ shared bathrooms a mere 20 minutes north of our house. Whatever. That's what a homebuilder's budget and anxiety levels have reduced us too. It was fun in all sorts of weird ways. The bartender a the Oly club was a spaz. Always talking, always asking questions. Complimentary with our room rate were tickets to the movie theater in the complex. We saw Stardust (words can't describe the mess this movie is) and I now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. I am not sure how that movie went over with the locals. The movie goers sure looked like good ole' boys and the movie's "acceptance and love for all (yes, even gays)" message might not have been what they were expecting. We at a ginormous pile of tater tots while watching the movie. Tater tots seem to be a recurring menu item in these parts.

The morning after our movie marathon we did some lightweight antiquing. That is where I ran across this alligator bag.

Words fail me.

Do you have any money burning a hole in your pocket?

Yeah, neither do I. But I might someday and if I do I plan to use some here so I am bookmarking this page so I don't forget. People helping other people directly. What could be better? Just thought I would share this site w/ my friends and family because you are all good people who like to do good things.

Love to you all,


Sunday, September 23, 2007

15 Years!

Matt and I got married 15 years ago today! We were very young (22) and I know there were more than a few people who wondered if we knew what we were doing. I did not feel nervous at all on our wedding day or the days leading up to it. I never worried that I was making the wrong move. I have spent the last 15 years with a wonderful man and the best match for me - no question.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What I have been up to this week. . .

Walker Lahmann LOVES balls

Matt and I got our Washington driver's licenses this week. Somehow that makes everything seem very official.

Tom, Kathy and Walker came over the other day. Tom and Matt put a cat door in the wall of the shop so that the cats can go in and out freely. That is if they ever figure out how to use their cat door. So far Lily and Quinten are the only ones who have used it without our help. Una seems disinterested and I am just not sure if Russell has enough in his brain pan to reason it out.

Those of you who know me from way back will get a kick out of this. When we first moved here we had trouble getting our mail forward sorted out. In my talks with the Post Master I mentioned that I had been a contract carrier. He asked if I would be interested in being a sub for the rural route here if he had an opening. I wasn't sure (it was the best of jobs, worst of jobs yada yada yada). On Monday he sent me a notice that he needs 2 new subs fairly soon. I thought about it an decided a couple of days a week can't be too bad. Only problem is, just like the contract carriers, rural carriers need to use their own vehicle. Now is not really the time for me to be adding another car to the fold. I take the rural carriers test on Oct 10th and am currently working on an application from the PO that requires documentation of my entire life. Hopefully I can figure out some car solution. I'll keep you posted (ba dum bum chhh).

Russell and Una. Russell is playing. Una is pissed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

This is how we do things in the country

1. We air our grievances in public:

Ran across this sign on my walk this morning. I didn't have my camera but I thought is was so funny I ran home to get it. I was afraid Allen would drive by and see it before I got back. Wonder who Allen is? How much does he owe? Why did he borrow the money? If he doesn't pay up, maybe I will learn the answers to these burning questions if his "buddy" makes good on the threat to let everyone know what a smuck [sic] he is.

2. We can our own goods.
I had some pangs of guilt yesterday while I was helping Kathy can marinara sauce. My mom did lots of canning while I was growing up. I never wanted to help and viewed the whole endeavor as pointless - I mean seriously, there was a grocery store right down the street! Now that I am grown up I find home arts like canning fascinating. As a teenager I thought anything as gender specific as home-ec was evil. Now I kind of dig it. Go figure. Anyway, sorry I wasn't more cooperative as kid mom. When you come to visit we will can something!

3. We bruise the crap out of ourselves.

Yes, that is my hairy leg. My bike turned on me and the pedal went for blood. Now the bruise is black - so pretty. I won't be wearing shorts or skirts for the rest of the season. I guess it's good for me that the rains started yesterday.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The temperature is dropping

Una keeps warm under my desk lamp.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ladies who lunch

On Wednesday I had a break from the norm - as if there is a norm around here. Kathy, her mom, Vi and I drove down to Washougal and picked up my aunt Lani. We then continued on up the Columbia River Gorge to Stevenson where we met Grandma Nellie at the Skamania Lodge for lunch. Lots of laughs and good food. Grandma had dessert waiting for us at home so we went a little further along the road to Carson and had a delicious apple cake and a good visit with Grandpa. It was a long day but great fun.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


This picture was taken Sunday morning looking north from our shed door. The elk were originally headed toward are property (that is our fence if you can make it out) but were cautious and jumpy. They turned around and went back in the trees. We got on our bikes to see if we could see them through the trees from the road.
This shot is taken from the road. All the other elk headed into the property but this little guy ran the wrong way - straight toward us! Figured out his mistake pretty quick and joined the rest of the herd. One of the elk was as big as a moose - tall and all leg.
The herd headed onto our property but I couldn't get a clear shot. This one is taken from the road at the entrance to our drive. Gravel driveways are too noisy for sneaking up on wildlife. When we headed up the drive the herd spooked and ran west across the llama and horse field and into the forest on the opposite side. Next time we will just let them be and not scare them as we try to get a better view. It was so thrilling to have them so close. The city girl in me couldn't help trying to get a better look - though I can't imagine something like this ever becoming common place no matter how many times they come to visit.

Still More Bees and Demolition

When we went back to the Sister House on Saturday to finish off the porch and chimney demo we thought we would only be contending with one last bit of bees. The only portion of this hive we could see is the lightly colored bit up at the top. Once we started pulling the wall off we found the rest of the hive. That makes 4 full (small) walls full of bees and honeycomb that we have removed. We were able to save the first few we found but have learned from beekeepers in the area that it is too late in the season to relocate the rest of them. These last hangers on were pissed. All 3 of us got stung at some point in the day. Matt got his first, then Tom, then me.
We weren't sure what to do with the comb. It was dripping with honey and covered in angry bees. We never saw the queen. We broke the comb off the wall and put most of it in a box and the rest of it in a plastic bag. Tom took the box home and is draining those combs into tubs. We took the bag home and put the comb we had into a mixing bowl - the largest thing I have right now. We are waiting for the bees to settle down and hopefully find a new home. I feel bad. We took their home and all their food.

Here is Tom on top of the roof beginning the chimney demo. It went pretty fast. The mortar was quite crumbly.Here is Matt finishing the chimney demo inside. MUCH messier when the job is enclosed within walls. The demolition drew blood from Matt this time. He got a nasty scratch on his neck from a falling board and a pretty bloody wrist from an unknown assailant.
Here is the Sister House in all her naked glory. I can't wait to get her moved and fixed up properly. I have more pictures of the demo and lots more of the bees posted on Flickr.

Una & Russell

This picture will only mean something to those of you who know Una. She has never been known to allow another cat to settle in so closely. Matt said Una let Russell sit butt to butt for quite a while. We can't figure it out. We know here eyesight and hearing are failing. Perhaps she thought he was a heating pad to keep her warm since the blankets were in the laundry.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Again with the Spiders

I should rename this blog. Arachnids: Fear and Fascination.

Yesterday we found a hobo spider hanging out on the floor near our shower. FYI, hobo spider = BAD. I don't have a picture of it because I stepped on it before I thought to grab the camera. Tough little bugger to kill. Hobo spiders don't like to live where there are a bunch of other types of spiders - don't like the competition for food. Anyhoo, the following is an open letter to all the other spiders in the neighborhood.

Dear all non-hobo spiders,

Welcome to our home/homestead. Please make yourselves comfortable. Dangle over my mouth while I sleep, leave your eggsacks in my shoes, hang out in the shower with me. I may cringe or scream but I won't kill you. I appreciate the work you do keeping the hosts of hobo spiders at bay. Please be aware that I cannot be responsible for the actions of my cats. I hope you will take care to steer clear of them.

Kindest Regards,


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Matt and cats

To Clarify

Sarah was asking where we are living now - in the Sister House or in the shed. We are in the Shed. The Sister House is still full of bugs, bees and all manner of icks. Plus, it is still sitting in the front yard of the Frye family. Speaking of the Sister House, Matt and Tom will be continuing the demo this week. The plan is to get the back lean-to completely removed and begin work on the chimney demo. Once that is done and the loan docs go through we will be ready to move it to our property. We will be living in the shed for quite some time yet. It will be our base while we do all the renovations to the house.
Here are some before and after pics.

The living space before we moved in (the sellers cleaned out the furniture but left the lab rat white walls and softly buzzing flourescent lights.
A bit messy but here is the living space "after" photo. Matt literally rolls out of bed and lands in his work space. We painted the walls but have yet to make any changes to those damnable flourescent lights. We don't have them on much. We use lamps.
Here is the bay full of our stuff just as the movers left it.

Here is the bay with a little living space carved out. I am happy to report that the TV made the trip OK. That was the big worry. We are not hooked up to any sort of cable/dish service. We just have our DVD player hooked up. The one and only movie we have had time to watch so far was Ravenous! Great first movie to watch living off the beaten path in the country.

The Beach

We took some time off over Labor Day and headed to Tom and Kathy's beach house in Long Beach. I didn't manage to take many pics but here are some from a bike ride we took.
Matt and Walker in the beach grass.

Matt is SO over having is picture taken for blog posts!

Kathy looking lovely as she looks to the water.


Here are some cute, fuzzy-wuzzy fawns to take cleanse your palette of the spiders in the last post. We saw these two with their mother on the side of the road near to our place.

If you can't beat 'em . . .

To my mind Matt's lost his mind. He has developed quite a fascination with all the spiders here. And the spiders here are legion! Crimeny! They are everywhere! I give you warning - the first to pictures in this photo "essay" shot by Matt are lovely, dew covered webs but things get worse in down the line.

Check out the fangs in the shadow! This spider lives on the side of our shed. And since home is where one hangs one's hat then understand that the shed is our home. The other day we saw spiders doing a mating dance. We don't have a picture to post but I am sure you have plenty of spider pics here to more than satisfy.

Poo slugs

Do slugs look like poo as some sort of deterrent to creatures that might otherwise eat them? Here I have a picture of slugs in the morning w/ Lily's foot to emphasize the poo-iness.

Pre Sunset

Looking west through the trees just before sunset. Precious lives on the other side of the trees but declined to pose.