Monday, October 27, 2008

Getting Old Is Not For Sissies!

Let us start out by saying…. The Baby Boomer’s life that we are living in these days, is not one for sissies! Once again we have allowed our yard to kick our butts.

This time of the year in the Pacific Northwest it's pretty much unheard of that the weather forecast is for “no rain for the next 4 days”. This past Saturday, we heard that very thing on the newscast and we looked at each other, as to say "hmmmm?". Those of you that know us, know that we take pride in our lawn. It is a yard that our neighbors are envious of. You also know the joy we feel when they say “your lawn always look so nice, how do you keep it so green, isn't it a lot of work?” we just smile and tell them how much we enjoy our yard (as we snicker silently to ourselves) . But you also know that we never seem to be 100% pleased with it ourselves. We are always striving to make just a little better.

Dear Lord, we are still trying to figure out what came over us this past Saturday as we were running our normal week-end errands when we stopped at our local landscape supply dealer and ordered 10 yards of compost. By next spring our yard will be so green we are sure it will be seen by the International Space Station after all of the compost works it's magic this fall and winter. We will be the envy of our neighbors. We couldn't wait to get home and wait for their truck to come and dump this huge pile of organic matter in the middle of our front yard. It will be great!

We were so wrong. First off, 10 yards is A LOT of compost, pretty much a dump truck full, but with shovel, rake and wheel barrow in hand we dove in Saturday afternoon and started our compost adventure still thinking to ourselves that this will be fun and it will be great next spring when our yard looks phenominal. Did we mention this was not the smartest thing that we've done this year?

Long story short… by Sunday evening we were extremely tired and oh so sore. We had too much compost, we have pains where we shouldn’t have pains (the cheeks of one’s bottom should not be painful, especially when you haven’t spent a lot of time on your bottom). Who needs to join a gym when you have compost to spread? We over estimated how much compost we needed so we are hauling it to the backyard to the future storage shed site to be used in our flower gardens next spring…


*10 Yards of Compost is A LOT of compost

*Think long and hard about how sore we are now the next time we come up with and idea like this.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Mexicans

The "Via con Dios" Ranchero is officially ours! Here is an exert of the email we received from the title agent yesterday morning: We are in receipt of your closing documents and have also received the wire. We will be recording the Warranty Deed today so around 3:00 the property will officially be yours! The property is 20 acres of prime retirement land that we hope to be living on one day in the not so distant future.


  • Admitting to ourselves we needed professional help (real estate)

Friday, October 17, 2008

The San Francisco Family Wedding Adventure

There is a lot to catch up, so here goes…. We didn’t get the blog updated each night this trip as we had in Albuquerque.

Thursday, October 9, 2008
We traveled from Seattle to San Jose on Thursday evening. We got in late & were pretty tired by the time we picked up our car and got to our room.

Friday, October 10, 2008
We had to be back at t
he San Jose airport this morning to pick up the girls. They arrived within an hour of each other, Brittany first and then Whitney, both safe & sound.

Once we had the girls we made our way to San Francisco, where we could not check into the hotel until after 3:00 so we headed into downtown to do some sightseeing, no matter how many times we make it to SF we have several things that are on our "must always do" list. The first thing was to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and stop at the view point, no matter how many times we see it, we are always ahhhed. Back to downtown to Ghirardelli Square (another must on the list no m
atter how many times we make it to SF) we did the usual lunch of hot fudge sundaes at Ghiradelli’s!!! In our opinion the best hot fudge sundaes EVER! Ghirardelli’s has been located in the Square there since 1852. We walked around Fisherman’s Wharf, enjoying the city. This is Fleet Week in SF, which is an annual celebration of the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard (in Seattle we call this Sea-Fair). There is an air shows going on and the Blue Angels perform stunts all over the city, they were practicing their show overhead.
We made our way to towards the airport where our hotel was located. Ironically we got to the hotel around the same time as Don & Diane. Later we all enjoyed dinner together, took a nice walk then called it a night.

Saturday, October 11, 2008
The 6 of us met in the hotel
lobby for breakfast and discussed what are options were for the day while still allowing 4 ladies enough time to get dressed for the wedding. We all piled into the rental car (those of us in the back seat were packed in like sardines) and headed to downtown. We walked around the wharf and Pier 39 where we had a really nice lunch, then headed to back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding.

This was the wedding of Bill’s nephew Adam and his fiancĂ©e Meredith both of which live in SF (the mother of the bride is Bill’s sister, Karen). The wedding was very nice, and it was very Scottish (Meredith’s family immigrated from Scotland) . The ceremony and reception were held on the 9th & 10th floors at City Club of San Francisco which is located in the Stock Exchange Tower.

At the e
ntrance to the building there was a bagpiper outside playing, very cool. The males of the wedding party were all dressed in kilts which were very handsome. They wore socks which were turned down at the knee with garters and each “sporran” (purse/pouch) hung from the waist with a chain, some of which were made from sealskin. It was very interesting as well as attractive.

The ceremony was very touching and we were very glad we were able to be there to be able share this event with the rest of the family. Dinner was delicious and there was lots of dancing afterwards.

Whitney was the lucky girl that caught the bouquet!!! A good time was had by all.

Sunday, October 12, 2008
Today was a day of recovery for several members of our group, high heels were the downfall for one and “other” reasons for others. But being the true troopers they are, they came along as went back to the city to meet up with Karen, Ronny, Jan (Ronny’s mom) and Oli
via (niece of Ronny & 1 of the flower girls). We met up with the Texas clan at Golden Gate Park at the Academy of Sciences along with about 10,000 other people that had the same idea. There were lots to do and see there, a rainforest, aquarium, planetarium and other points of interests, it reminded us of smaller scale of Moody Gardens in Galveston. It was extremely crowded the day we attended which had an impact on our enjoyment of the facility. After a great time together, we said our good-byes and headed back to the hotel.

We had a nice dinner with Don, Diane, Brittany & Whitney. After dinner we said our good-byes to Don & Diane since we were leaving earlier on Monday to take Brittany to the airport.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bill, Tonya, Brittany & Whitney all met in the hotel lobby for the continental breakfast for the last time for this trip. Brittany needed to be to the San Jose airport by 8:00 and we were not sure what California’s Monday morning traffic would hold for us. Actually we made it to the airport in good time, said our good-byes to Brittany and then decided what were going to do with the rest of our day (Our flight was scheduled to leave about 6:00.)

We decided that since we were in San Jose we would like to see the Winchester Mansion. This is a story the 3 of us had heard for years so we were interested. For those of you not familiar the story goes:

In 1884, a wealthy widow named Sarah L. Winchester began a construction project occupied the lives of carpenters and craftsmen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until her death thirty-eight years later. It is believed that after the untimely deaths of her baby daughter
and husband, son of the Winchester Rifle manufacturer, Mrs. Winchester was convinced by a physic that continuous building would appease the evil spirits of those killed by the famous “Gun that Won the West” and help her attain eternal life.

We read the reviews of the house tour and none of them were very favorable, with the main complaints being it was over priced, rushed and you weren’t able to see much of the house. We found the house without any trouble and walked around the outside perimeter of the house. We looked thru the fence, and talked and we realized we all wanted to take the tour. We were so glad we did. While it was pricey but for people who app
reciates fine wood working it was well worth it. The craftsmanship was phenomenal especially when one considers all of this art was created by hand, no power tools. We were so glad we took the tour.

We did some other sight seeing around San Jose. It’s time for us to head to the airport and go home. I know we are all tired ready to go home.

Lesson’s Learned:
  • Even though you pay extra dollars to rent a full size Cadillac, you still can’t get 4 grown adults comfortably in the backseat
  • Kilts are quite classy
  • Think long & hard about how tall the heels really are (even if they are really cute) that you wear to an event
  • Don’t always believe all the reviews you read, you might miss an opportunity to see some of the most amazing woodworking craftsmanship.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Unit 24, Block 3, Lot 15

A new adventure begins today; we have made an offer on land. We have been in touch with our real estate agent the past few days and we were correct, the land that we stood on Monday was not the land that was for sale. We have reviewed county maps and survey maps and realized that we had not gone far enough down the road. Our agent went to the subdivision on Thursday and took pictures from all directions and emailed them to us. The lots (yes there are 2 side by side 20 acre lots for sale, and we told the agent we were not interested in both parcels) are closer to the mountains and you can still see the neighbor’s house (even though they are about 3/4 of a mile away). We are hoping the owner will accept our offer even though it’s below their asking price (we keep hearing it’s a buyers market) and if not we’re sure they will come back with a counter offer. And if not, the asking price is not a bad price. We will keep you informed of how things are going. We are including a few of the agents photos that he took (they are much better quality than the ones Tonya had to take with her cell phone on Monday while we were there).
Now we need to explain the "Via con Dios" from the previous entry. Tonya has always heard that expression in old western movies and TV shows and thought that it sounded cool. We were talking about it when we were driving all over New Mexico looking at land, Bill told her that it means “Go with God” in spanish so it was decided that our “ranchero” would be named “Via con Dios”.
Thursday evening we leave for the San Francisco Bay area, Bill’s nephew is getting married there on Saturday and it is always good to get together with family (and Tonya is not going to miss a San Francisco opportunity if at all possible). Brittany will drive up from Los Angeles on Thursday and meet us at the hotel and Whitney flies in on Friday morning to meet up with us.

Back Home for Now…

We made it home just fine; Tuesday was a really long day. We left Albuquerque about 5:30 am heading north to Denver. Each time we leave we are always sad, we really like the area in and around Albuquerque, and the more time we spend there the more we want to spend there.

This particular leg of our adventure seemed extra long since we were being held to a schedule, knowing we had to be in Denver by a certain time and with the exception of only the occasional coffee, potty, fuel and Harley store stops we made it left with no extra time to play along the way.

The Denver International Airport is out in the middle of nowhere. It seems as if you drive for days once you leave the freeway before ever getting to the actual airport, but we made it with time to spare. The flight was not pleasant, there was not an extra seat to be had on the plane, about 10% of those on the plane were infants & toddlers, most of whom were not very happy to be going to Seattle either. It was a long, very cramped 2 ½ hour flight.

By the time we got our luggage and truck we were pretty much hungry enough to eat the chrome off of a bumper hitch so we stopped for dinner. We called Whitney and she met us there, she’d already eaten but we were able to visit and catch up with here for a while before heading to the house. We are pooped, and now that we are here, glad to be home.