Friday, July 1, 2016

Whew! What a Whirl!

Life in the fast lane.....what a whirl!  We hardly made it to Minnesota than I went on an annual 5 day quilting retreat with friends at Lake Palmer.
 It's a beautiful place right on the lake with room for all.
We eat most of our meals in the screen porch.  It's like eating in the trees.
 Can you tell we have fun?
One day we reserve for going to the nearest "city," Park Rapids, MN population 3,903.  There is a nice quilt shop (Monica's) where we leave a lot of our $$$ and next door is a Ben Franklin's that has some good fabric finds too.  We went to the book store, the Amish Furniture Store and a bead store where I bought a couple of strings of turquoise  that I will have Sydney help me make into a necklace and earrings.  Since there is no cell service at the cabin here Kari and I are checking in! 

Just three days later it was time to leave for Yellowstone National Park.
I've been coming to Yellowstone for a loooong time.....here I am with Dad in front of Old Faithful. I'm three years old!


 Another view when I am 8 or 9 years old.  I tried to count the times I've been to this great place.  Somewhere between 12 and 15 times.  It never gets old, it's always wonderful.  The paint pots still enchant me with their bubbling mud, the geysers are so interesting and the wild life still abounds.  We don't see the bears like we used to....in the 50's we still rolled down our windows and fed marshmallos to them and drove to the dump to watch them feed.  So many years of discouraging the feeding of the bears they have moved back into the hills and you don't see many. This trip I did see two black bears, one grizzly by the side of the road eating grubs from a hollow tree, too many bison to count, a fox, bald eagles, ducks, geese and so much more. 
 Mr. Scottie Dog and I got a chance to pose.  Beautiful view.

 Bison losing that winter coat. There were lots of baby bison to see.
We went to Yellowstone this year as a family reunion of sorts...lots of family and friends met us there.  Sydney (on the right) got to see her friend Emma from Eureka.  I had a brother, cousins, nephew, third cousins, spouses, friends...more than 25 of us.  The only problem is not enough time spent with them all!
Here's one of brother Pat and I....wishing our little brother Denny could have made it.

After a week of camping, barbeque, hiking, talking, laughing, sight seeing and more we had to say goodbye.  Maybe in 5 years we'll do it again.

A quick trip back to MN and we've settled into our trailer and the house hunt begins.....The Midwest just feels like home now. 

(PS...thanks to the friends and family I "borrowed" all these pics from....I didn't bring my camera and had to depend on their kindness)



Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day and other Musings


Today is Mother's Day.  I had expected to be in Minnesota surrounded by my dear hubby of 43+ years, my girls, my son-in-laws and my delightful grand children.  Sigh!  (REALLY BIG SIGH!!!)

But here I sit in this house that is mine on paper deed but not house of my heart.  That title is for the new family coming to live in it.  They are waiting excitedly and expectantly to make their own memories.  This is the house of their future.  The house of my past. Three more days.

Don't get me wrong.  I loved this house, this little house in the redwoods that grew to be a great, big, beautiful house in the redwoods.  Only 2 bedrooms when we came, it was in an up and coming, desirable neighborhood on an huge, extra large lot with redwood trees, ferns and all of the trappings of a forest.  We raised kids and chickens and loved every minute,  We added on, remodeled, painted, removed walls, added bathrooms, tile and more to turn that little fixer-upper into a dream house.  But our dream here is over and we're now dreaming of a farm in Minnesota, surrounded by our family.  We are ready to start a new adventure. To begin the rest of our lives, perhaps the best of our lives.

Back to Mother's Day.  Mr. Scottie Dog thought I should have lobster for Mother's Day dinner.  My favorite food.  No one can grill lobster like Mr. Scottie Dog!  If I couldn't be with my kids that lobster dinner certainly helped make up for it.

 One reason I keep going on about that lobster is we've been busy cleaning out the refrigerator and cupboards.  We will be moving into our trailer for a week and then off to Minnesota.  So we need to eat it up or throw it out.
I found a home for some of our pantry items but who wants three-quarters of a bag of corn meal of questionably age?  A half-eaten jar of orange marmalade?  That semi-used bottle of sesame oil I bought that time I made a Thai dish?  I know, I know  First World Problem.  We have too much stuff, too much food, too much...well not too much love.  This I know!

I've been in limbo for a long time, waiting to get the show on the road, the car in gear, to shove off for Minnesota.  On Friday I realized I have not allowed myself to think of one of the costs of moving after a lifetime in one place.  I made a FaceBook post and someone commented (it was you, Geri, my friend).  Just a little comment.  And as I read it, I burst into not just tears but all-out blubbering, sputtering, deep gut wrenching sobbing.  I am moving away.  I am moving away from the friends from my entire adult life.  I moved here to Humboldt County California as a starry-eyed 20 year-old bride.  850 miles away from my family and childhood friends.  Here I forged the family of my heart, raised my children (and buried two of them).  Here I grew up. I accomplished many things I am proud of. Here I made precious life-long friends. I will deeply miss all of you.....please, please come visit us in Minnesota.



Friday, May 6, 2016

California Livin' is Coming to an End




Selling a house isn't for sissies!  Over the past three days our Escrow Closing date has changed FIVE times.  Prior to that it had been set back one week and was supposed to close today.  The roller coaster ride continues and my stomach has been queasy for days.  I'm sure it will settle down as soon as we hit the road to MN.

 There have been blessings in this Escrow bouncing ball.  Mr. Scottie Dog has been exhausting himself sorting, toting, hauling and packing up the shop, garage and his office.   I think he's lost 15 lbs. he didn't have to lose. When we first got the word that our closing date was moved from today to next Tuesday he promptly took a nap!  Sufficiently restored for the day he took the evening off and played accordion with some friends.  Ahhh.....physical and emotional restoration.  Then the date bounced around back and forth like a ping pong ball and finally settled on NEXT Thursday, May 12. I had to call the telephone and Internet people FOUR times attempting to give them an End of Service date. I had hoped to be hugging the grands by then but am grateful that Mr. Scottie Dog will have a little less stress.  Today I'm packing up the last of the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.  This means boxes with unrelated stuff in them...long lists of contents on the outside. I'm not quite sure I believe I will ever unpack.  Most of our stuff has been packed up for almost 2 years.

Final days, hectic days.....so much to do and so mindless and boring.  I'm so appreciating our last  Spring in the redwoods.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mr. Scottie Dog's Adventure

We are in the home stretch....Just one more week to go.  My part is mostly done; it will take me one morning to pack up the kitchen as we move for a week into our travel trailer.  Mr. Scottie Dog has been very busy.  For the past two days he's had a crew of 4 extra guys helping him clear and sort the garage and shop.  Three huge trailers and trucks have been busy hauling salvage to the salvage yard, recyclables and trash to the dump. I'm not even sure they know how many trips.

 This is of course, after Mr. Scottie Dog spent many days pulling out tools and equipment he will need in Minnesota and taking it to a storage unit until we pack up a trailer bound for  the Midwest. One of they guys helping filled his own truck and trailer several times with construction "left-overs" that he and his dad will be able to put to good use here.


This picture is really for my kids....this is Dad's shop.  Clean shelves, floors and just an empty space!


I've been busy putting all manner of things on a FaceBook classifieds page.  Amazing the number of things we've sold.  Even some things to friends!  Feels good to see them go to familiar homes. 
Bill found three old typewriters in the depths of the garage.  We sold them, but not everyone who bought them actually knows much about typewriters.  One gal asked me where she could get paper!  She was excited to know you could use any paper in it.  Ribbons are easily available at office supply stores.

Good job, Mr. Scottie Dog!  What an adventure.



Sunday, April 24, 2016

Farewell Trip to Sequoia Park Zoo

When we were out on Friday, Mr. Scottie Dog and I noticed a banner that announced that Sunday would be a free admission day to Eureka's Sequoia Park Zoo.  When Sydney lived here we had grandparents' memberships and we went quite often. 

I picked Sydney up from school a couple of days a week and we'd often pop into the zoo just to see one or two exhibits and share an order of french fries or an ice cream cone.
 We drive by the zoo nearly every day so it was fun to stop and do a farewell look around. After Church we stopped on the way home. We started with the monkeys and gibbons....lots of tables set up telling about water reclamation, pollution, energy saving plans, activities and fun for kids.  It had rained in the early morning, but the skies had cleared and the place was filling up.  When we got to the bear exhibit we were surprised at how different it looked.  Oh, it was now a habitat for South American wild dogs.  They were kind of cute and very active.

Next stop, past the Fairy House was an entirely new exhibit to us.  The American Bald Eagle now has a friend and lives among the trees!
 On the other side of the exhibit was a Spotted Owl and on the ground beneath porcupines now live.  Very well done exhibits.  The eagles and the owl are rescue birds who could no longer live in the wild so their life at the zoo is the best of both worlds for them.  They live as nearly a normal life as they can and we get to observe them up close.

I had heard much about the zoo's second Otter exhibit and I was quite impressed.  It is large with a natural-looking stream running through it, many trees and boulders to climb on and hide amongst.  Their pool is large and very deep with many things to play with in the water.

 One of the best surprises is a tube you can walk/crawl through their pond and they swim over and under.  They seem to like to look at the people as much as we like to watch them play.
 
 We wound around in the mighty redwoods and saw the yaks, the caveys and the screamers.  Then onto every one's favorites, the flamingos!  They are so pretty and were all up, active and eating something from the muck of their pond which I noticed a new stream and waterfall supplying moving water.

 We hit the jackpot when we got to the Red Panda area.  All three were up close and active.  Lunch of bamboo was served in the trees and Mama, Papa and baby (now 2 years old) were happily munching away.  We learned that baby is growing up and showing behaviors (anger towards mother among other things) that she needs to establish her own new space.  She will be moved out soon to another zoo and Mama & Papa will soon make room for a new arrival.

 Of course we visited the barnyard, the aviary and more.  Each area with memories.....in the 45 years we've lived here Sequoia Park Zoo has come so far!  The habitats for the animals are now very large and natural.  It is no wonder that this little zoo wins awards.  They have a lot to show the big zoos.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Riding the Roller Coaster







 Selling a house, I have found, is much like riding a roller coaster.  (Side note:  I HATE ROLLER COASTERS!)  As you start out everyone is smiling and thinking to themselves, "This is a piece of Cake."  Then comes the chunk, chunk, chunk of the links engaging as your car is pulled up an incline.  You pause for a moment at the top of the loop and then WHAM, rattle, rattle the air rushes in your face as you plummet downward at the speed of light.  The car shakes violently back and forth as your cheeks are pulled back to your ears and you wonder why in the world do people call this fun!  You are stuck in that car as it goes up again even higher this time, turning as it goes, around and up and down at ever increasing speeds.  You hear screams and realize they are coming from you.  With every swoop you realize this was a BAD IDEA and vow never to get on one again.

We never put our house on multiple listings.  Bill put it on Zillow over a year ago hoping someone would see and he could cut short the remodeling.  A few people called and just as he was finishing up two couples called to see the house.  The second set wanted to buy it. and we began the contract process.  There were some negotiations back and forth between realtors.  Up and down on the roller coaster.  All was finally agreed on.  Smooth sailing, right?  Wrong!

We had agreed on a closing date and the inspections were being made.  Oops! The buyer of their house backed out.  Whosh!  The roller coaster was plummeting to the depths.  Just at the last minute they found a new buyer.  Gliding along......Then Whosh!  They want us to give them money for a new roof.  Down, down in the pit of my stomach.  More negotiations, up and down, back and forth.  Enough is enough.  Take it or leave it...maybe we'd do better to put the house onto multiple listings after all. The roller coaster ride was terrible for me.  It's time to get it done, sell the house, move to MN.

The buyers' realtor said, "OK, I'll let them know what you said and they can counter."  NO COUNTERS.  This is it!  or the deal is off.  Wisely they sent over the papers to sign.  Now officially in Escrow.  Sale is complete on May 6.  I am hoping and praying the roller coaster ride is over.  Did I say I HATE roller coasters.  They make my tummy hurt.