Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I've Been Off the Blog for Awhile But . . .

Check this out, Tengrain passed The World Famous Winlock Egg. while on the train. Don't you all wish you could see it in person too? We have a lovely guestroom waiting for you.

This is what I have been up to for the last few months:
  • 1 trip to Utah for me
  • 1 trip to Utah for Matt
  • 2 visits from Nancy (Matt's Stepmom) to Winlock (2 road trips with a motor home filled with furniture for our new house - she did all our decorating and we are most grateful)
  • 1 visit from my parents - their first to our new home and also their first time meeting Tom and Kathy. It was a really big deal for me to finally have my mom and dad meet my birthfather and his wife.
  • 1 giant housewarming party
  • a bunch of other stuff that a person needs to do when setting up a new home.
  • reacquainting myself with the printed word. I haven't taken the time to read for pleasure in far too long! I was so thirsty that I am reading four at once: Corvus: A Life With Birds, Deerhunting with Jesus, Edgar Sawtelle and a collection of Irish Folktales. I just can't make up my mind so I am reading them all.

I would like to mention that everything feels right and happy and normal again now. Amazing what a little breathing room in a lovely house can do for a person.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Guess what opens in Olympia today!!!!! Trader Joe's!!!!!! I am not ashamed to admit that leaving Trader Joe's behind was one of the sadnesses of leaving Los Angeles. By the time we left California we were pretty much exclusively grocery shopping at TJ's. In fact, when we decided to make the move one of the first things I did was do a search for the nearest Trader Joe's to Winlock. It was an hour away in Vancouver - too far for regular shopping. Before we even left Los Angeles I sent a message pleading for TJ's to put a location in Olympia - not that I am taking credit for this or anything. Olympia is the nearest place to us that makes sense for a Trader Joe's. I am not sure that Chehalis/Centralia could support one. Today is our lucky day. Olympia is only marginally closer than Vancouver but we find ourselves going north more often than south so this is a good thing.

Joe's Os for everyone! ($5 Cheerios can suck it)

Dryer Drama

I lost my cool yesterday.

Last Saturday Sears delivered our washer and dryer. They didn't hook it up. So we called our plumber and the earliest they could get here was yesterday. So, as the laundry piled up, we waited.

Our plumber got all the gas lines and waterlines ready to go but he informed us that he was unable to install the gas to liquid propane kit that came with the dryer because he would have to dismantle the entire dryer and it wasn't something he was comfortable doing.

I called Sears to ask why they didn't do the conversion. I was told that they could do the conversion but only if they did the install too. I said that the install was pretty much complete and all I needed was the conversion. They said they would have to uninstall all the work the plumber did, do the conversion and then reinstall. I said, "that is stupid", hung up and relayed the info to Matt. He said, "that doesn't make any sense because the delivery person said they never install gas dryers".

So, I called Sears back and said, "I feel like you guys are jerking me around. Why did you tell me you could convert my dryer but only if you install it? But you don't install gas dryers so you can't install it and that means you won't convert it, right? But why would you offer the conversion service which is obviously gas related if you won't do it because you won't install?". Sears said "sorry", they couldn't help.


I then called around to a bunch of local appliance repair services. I was told they would be happy to do the conversion and when could I bring the dryer into the shop? Well, I was hoping to have it done on site because, you know, I don't want to be lugging a freaking dryer around. Nope. No go.

I finally got wise and called our propane provider (Amerigas by the way). Do you know what they told me? "Lady, today is your lucky day! Our service technician is on North Military Road and you are only a few miles away. He will be there in a few hours". So, it all worked out in the end and the washer and dryer were put into service last night. Good thing too or else Matt would have headed to Utah with a suitcase full of dirty socks.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

To Utah and Back

I took a whirlwind trip to Utah this past week. I left Tuesday after the mail route and returned on Friday. The point of the trip was shopping with Nancy. She has a golden touch when it comes to decorating and so naturally she is the one we turned to now that it is time to furnish the house. The first stop was her storage units. She already has some items picked out that she thought would be right for us and she was correct. After that we hit a consignment store where I bought a rug, a coffee table and a carved deer head! In the picture it looks scary but in reality it is smiling. Tom laughed when he saw it. He says it is a composite of about 3 different animals carved into one. He would know!

Sofa and upholstery shopping followed and it is all a blur now. We managed to fit a ton of shopping into our 2 days. Kate is out of school right now so she was able to join us. She is also furnishing the house she bought with Jason so we are all on the same track right now.

Matt is flying to Utah on Friday and he and Nancy will load up her motor home with our stash and drive it to Winlock over next weekend.

My washer and dryer were delivered yesterday but we still need to hook up to the gas and water lines so I have not taken them for a spin yet.

I don't expect to post for a while because I am feathering my nest. I have so much to do in order to get ready for Nancy's arrival. My mom and Dad will be here in the early part of September. Plus, save the date: we will be having our house-warming/open house on Sunday, Sept. 20th. If you are anywhere nearby or feel like heading to the NW, stop by and say hi.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fuel for Obsession

Watch Hammerdance videos and dance lessons at

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

We Met Some of Our Neighbors

Do you remember this video? I think we saw it way back in our Utah days. The man in the video is Lynn Chestnut. He and his wife stopped by yesterday to check the progress on the house. They saw it get moved and were curious how it turned out. I always love showing the house off. How shocked was I to discover that Lynn was the man in the infamous deer fighting video? His wife is the one filming and as I understand it, she was told to keep filming and not run to the rescue. The Chestnuts have a herd of elk and have "owned" bears in the past. They live in Toledo, not Winlock. Toledo is also the birthplace of Bigfoot. Not sure what is in the water over there.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Woodpile

Pretty, isn't it?

Shirking My Responsibilities

I had many things planned Tuesday after the mail route. I had a long list of things I wanted to get done in Longview and around the house. Then Drew called.
I tried to say no but it was 100 degrees and what is the point of living in a place like this if I don't take advantage of it once in a while? Too bad Matt was stuck at work. I am a lousy wife!

My boatmates, Chris (the owner of the boat), his son, Dakota and Drew.

Drew and Dakota.

I do not regret abandoning my chores and spending the day on Mayfield lake. Not one bit.

Dinner Party

On Sunday we had Tom and Kathy over for the first meal in the Sister House. When Kathy asked what to bring, my only request was dinner plates! We are not really set up for guests yet! We had salad, pot pie and cherry trifle for dessert. It was really nice to cook a meal for them for once. They have fed us regularly for years now. There will never be any way to properly thank Tom for the beautiful creation that is the Sister House but it was nice to start with an inaugural dinner.

Bad Weather Mojo

The thermometer here is through the roof. Yesterday our temp climbed above 105 degrees! This is not normal Washington weather. I think the heat is breading bad mojo.

At the post office I learned that one of my customers was in an accident on the same road where one of the carriers crashed. It doesn't look good for her and I am sad. She is always really friendly and I like taking packages to her house. There have been other deaths on that road and I am starting to feel kind of spooked there.

Then out on the route, a heat addled bird flew in front of my car and I am pretty sure I hit it. Usually the birds get out of the way but not this one.

Later I saw a peacock in a shady patch on the side of the road. I looked closer and saw there were two. I drove by slowly so as not to spook them from their cool spot and realized that the male peacock was not resting but actually dead and the female was keeping a frenzied vigil. I understand that peacocks mate for life and I felt sick in my heart for her. I asked at the nearest house if the peacocks lived there but the owner's didn't know whose birds they were.

But the bad bird day wasn't over. Towards the end of the route I came upon a Canadian goose wandering down the middle of the road. Something was wrong with his wing and was breathing heavily through his open mouth. Like a fool I tried to chase him down. To what end? To squirt water on him? To grab him and stuff him in the mail wagon with all the mail? I don't know what I was thinking. The best I came up with was to chase him off the road into a shady glen and hope for the best.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Matt Buys Shotgun. Does Not Join NRA

Last weekend Matt went to a gunshow with Tom and Mick and came home with a 70 year old shotgun. He is in love. He took it over to Tom and Kathy's house to try it out. I am proud to report that he hit his targets on the first try. He even hit a stick that Tom threw in the air. Matt modestly claims beginner's luck but I think he is naturally a crack shot. BTW, I also shot the gun and didn't like it. I think it is too noisy. Shhh.