Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Green tea and cash flow...

Finally met my next door neighbor. He came over to introduce himself, and give me a tin of proper Chinese tea, direct from China.  He is a very nice man who happens to play beautiful classical violin.  While we were talking about our children & grandchildren, he mentioned that his son was a physicist, currently working in England.  
My neighbor is only here for four or five days every four months. He said that next time he will bring his wife so I can meet her. 
When he came over to give me his contact info, he said he liked what I had done with my unit. And that I was a 'very neat' person from the looks of my place.  
After he left, I texted my cousin in Portland that I had finally met my next door neighbor.  I gave her his name, and a few minutes later she texted me back. "Holy Hell, I looked him up, do you know who he is!?!"  
"I know he is Chinese, comes over here every four months or so, and plays beautiful violin music.  Why?"
"He's a world renown cardiologist!" she texted back.
and so it turns out he is... but more importantly to me a good neighbor who plays beautiful classical violin.

my planter on the patio is in need of sunshine

Work on the hovel continues, I was going to replace the flush valve for the downstairs bathroom,   but I couldn't find the shut off for the water line to that toilet. As the plumber was here for another problem I asked him to do it. Come to find out the shut off valve is behind the refrigerator in the kitchen, and that line and valve needed to be replaced as well.  I couldn't have gotten the refrigerator out by myself, so it was a good thing I had the plumber do it. He shut off the water at the street valve just to be on the safe side while working on it. This place is so crazy plumbed. It frustrates the heck out of me when I can't do simple repairs myself, and I've done more than a few flush valve replacements in other houses.

I've started crocheting again, progress is slow as I haven't done any in several years.  Muddling my left handed way along on this snood... 

The long stretch of not doing any crocheting shows in my uneven stitches.  If I rip it out anymore times the yarn is going to be ruined. Practicing a bit of patience would be helpful at this point... 

Monday, April 1, 2019

Hot Pink...

Got a text from  SIL Marianne, "we are at the River house through Sunday.  Come up and go fishing with us." 

I headed up Friday afternoon with steaks, wine, and my hot pink pole in hopes of making The Wall.

Didn't make the wall this time, but I'm getting closer. 

There was a fair amount of river traffic with grain barges and tugs. Boy do those guys like to blow their own horn.

he was pushing a huge double barge

Rant on:
one small portion of the river, each one of those Indian platforms has at least one hoop net
I watched Indians putting in hoop nets from numerous platforms.   If you watch the videos by the tribes it looks like they only catch one or two salmon. They don't show that they catch everything, and most of the fish are long dead by the time they retrieve their nets. They just keep the money fish, and throw the rest of the dead back in the river.  This is not to feed themselves or their families. Another area where the "we owe the Indians" and the government has screwed up. 
rant off.

BIL Don had a new pink pole built for Marianne. It was on it's maiden trip, and I had my pink pole. Pink poles rule!

Sunday morning at the dock
 Their son Jake, brought his boat down and his GF, & a buddy,  on Sunday. 

Jake and a walleye

The weather was gorgeous. We teased and pranked each other unmercifully, we laughed, and we caught fish. 


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Board Meetings & pink poles...

I went to the HOA's board meeting last week. Walked in and sat down off to the side. A board member asked me who I was. I gave him my name.  Another board member asked me if I was the architect or with the siding contractor.  "No, just here to set in on the board meeting." A few board members looked confused and a few hesitantly introduced themselves.  The other board members busily whispered amongst themselves. 

Not really wanting to get off on the wrong foot with them, I politely told them that I had purchased one of the units,  was living there, and wanted to learn more about the property and the management thereof.
They told me it would "probably" be Ok if I listened in, BUT couldn't comment, and this was A Board Meeting and NOT the general property owners meeting.
Yes, I am aware of that, but you see in the Board Meeting Agenda you sent out it states:


Owners are welcome and encouraged to attend.   The Open Forum time for Homeowner's input is limited to 15 minutes (3 minutes each) at the beginning of each meeting.  Once the Open Forum is closed, all Owners are welcome to stay and listen to the business before the Board of Directors, however, additional Homeowner interaction and input is only allowed if the President of the Board calls upon a Homeowner.

Apparently they don't read their own board Agenda mail outs. They finally settled down to business, while keeping a wary eye on me as I sat quietly and kept my mouth shut, mostly... 

I quietly left just before the Adjournment.  I might have heard a couple of big sighs as I was going out the door, but I could be wrong... 

Property owners meeting is next month, this is going to be interesting.


SIL Marianne sent me a text today.  They are back at the river house through Sunday, and did I want to come and fish.  "Damn straight, I will be there with my pink pole, wine, & steaks Friday afternoon." Marianne and I both have hot pink poles.

 We have a little friendly side bet on who can catch the most fish with a pink pole. She got a lot of teasing from the guys when she first got hers, but she has out fished the guys with that thing.
I can't go sooner as Jacey's jeep is not running well, so I'm the HS bus til Friday afternoon.
Marianne said they had been fishing for two days and nothing. Today they caught eleven Walleye! Bring it on...

Sunday, March 24, 2019


It was BIL Mark's birthday last week. My SIL Shelley invited my granddaughter Jacey, her boyfriend, and I to a small family party.  I was in a bit of a quandary as to what to get Mark.  He pretty much has everything.  A while back I came across a leather bound journal made by a small mother-daughter business in Wyoming. 

 Ordered it and tucked it away in the gift box.  I have to admit I took it out a few times thinking I might just keep it for myself.  Then I would feel guilty about that and put it back.  Got down to the wire on a present for Mark and decided that the journal would have to be it.  Now I'm not exactly sure what rep I have in the family, but when I handed him his present he said, "Yes!!!, you got me a bottle of The Best Whiskey, didn't you!"  "Ahhh, nope."  His response to that was, "huh".   He sighed, and slowly opened his present. And he loved the leather bound journal. Said he used to keep a journal and had been meaning to start another, and this was perfect.  whew...
SIL Shelley is by far the best cook I have ever known.  At the small family gathering for Mark's birthday she cooked & served: steak, salmon, shrimp scampi, tortellini, insalata caprese, artichokes, grilled corn on the cob, green salad, and sour dough bread with her nephew's wine.

Everything was delicious, as usual. This is her idea of throwing something together. She is awesome!


My cousin, who runs two of the cutest air BNB's in Portland, came over Friday and we went to an estate sale.  She was looking for things for the houses, and I still needed a few things for the hovel.  She found a nice metal stand that will work well in a nook, and some retro dish towels.  I ended up with an oak mission style chair for the living room,

and an antique wedding ring quilt for my bedroom. 

The prices were more than fair. After that we scouted out some future venues to take in.  

Next we are planning to take my granddaughters and a friend of theirs for a girls day at the coast. Yay, road trip.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Fish'n trip...

Started up the Tahoe, turned up the heater, blasted the tunes, and hit the road a little after noon on Friday.  Traffic wasn't bad at all after I got across the river and out of the Portlandia metro area.
Took my time, still some pretty good snow on the south side of the gorge. The roads were dry and the sun was out. The scenery was spectacular, as ever. I never quite get over how big the Columbia River Gorge is.

Made it to BIL Don & SIL Marianne's river house and was greeted by the dogs, Gracie, a wire haired Griffon, and Joe, a German short hair pointer.  The door was unlocked, the house was warm, and the smell wafting from the chukar in the crockpot was heavenly.  Texted Marianne that I was in camp, and soon got a reply to put on layers, and meet them at the dock. Hurriedly stowed my gear, put on layers (it can get damn cold out on the water there), and hustled down to the dock. 
Looking N from the house, the Colombia is on the other side of the elevator

After hugs for Don, Marianne, and Pearl (the poodle) we headed up river, baited hooks, threw out our lines and started some serious fishing. 

Don at the helm trolling up river

Marianne watching her pink pole
Don and Marianne are nearly always hunting or fishing. They don't do stupid, or unprepared. They are really good with grandkids, guns, dogs, boats, and drop in relatives by marriage... 
Under Don's watchful tutelage I got lucky and managed to reel in my first walleye. There is no limit on walleye, but I was the only one to boat one that day.
After we got off the water & back to the house, had let the big dogs in, and eaten a delicious meal of chukar, Marianne and I proceeded to finish the wine I brought. There was a lot of catching up to do, so it was quite late when we finally went to bed.
I wake up early no matter what, habit after all these years.  Don's an early riser too, so he and I discussed a multitude of topics, everything from politics to lures while we finished off the first pot of coffee.  After Marianne got up, we layered up, kenneled the big dogs and headed back to the river.  
It was colder than cold early on, but there was hardly any wind, so it was bearable.  Lots of boats out working the early morning bite. 

You can hardly tell I have 4 layers on under my jacket & jeans, right, lol...

We fished til mid afternoon. I caught another walleye, and Don & Marianne both caught two. They were all good size fish.
We went in earlier than normal as Don & Marianne had to drive home to Prineville before leaving to charter boat fish at the coast early Sunday morning.

Loaded up my gear, petted the dogs one more time, thanked my BIL & SIL, and came home. It was a short but much needed break. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019


I know I've been slacking in the posting department, and in order to rectify that to some small degree I'm posting this Hodgepodge. 
The weather here has been much like the rest of the country, changeable... 

I drive by this immaculate little working farmstead at least twice a month.  Neat as a pin, the whole place.

Finally, found a rug for the 'not so great' room. Been looking every since I moved in, all were way too expensive.  This wool 9x10 in the colors and a pattern I like was waiting for me to find it at goodwill for $27.  Only has one small frayed corner, which I can easily repair, and needs a good cleaning, but that will wait for warmer weather.

Willie has taken it upon himself to watch over it


Participated in the church's blood sucker event yesterday. They were giving these T shirts to donors, go figure.  I didn't get the reference (haven't watched the Game of Thrones series) to "I bled for the Throne" til they explained.

One of the grandkids will like it.


 I was given this HS class, award winning, original design, pottery napkin holder recently...

 (I love this thing, it makes me laugh every time...)
by the granddaughter that lives with me. 

BIL & SIL have invited me to their river house on the Columbia to go walleye fish'n with them this coming weekend. Prayers up the weather cooperates.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Simple Pleasures...

The snow here mesmerizes me. I am relearning how to drive in it. Pretty sure that those who are used to living with it, are not as into it as this newbie to the PNW. It is an adventure I'm enjoying every time.

It is raining as I type this but this morning as I was taking my BIL & SIL to PDX for their flight to Cali the sun was out. Mt Hood was stunning in the early morning alpine glow.

my photo didn't turn out, so you get this photo by Patrick Campbell
 After I dropped off the "kids" I went to IKEA for breakfast, it's cheap, good, & close to PDX. Got my breakfast, and sat down by the big windows that look towards PDX. Heard a wonderful sound and looked out to see these two...

 Two of the  F-15 C Eagles, known as the Red Hawks, of the 142 fighter wing of the Oregon Air National Guard stationed at PDX. They are heart thumping to watch.

the Red Hawks on patrol (not my photo)

 I watched them run through maneuvers til they flew out of sight. 

Two simple pleasures in one morning, I'll take it...

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ol men & birthdays...

I swear, living with Willie is like living with a little ol man.  He doesn't like my driving, or snow, or rain, or cats, or squirrels, and his favorite pastime is napping...


It is granddaughter, Miss B's 16th Birthday today. She has gone from a little little bitty baby, to the hunt'n, shoot'n, fish'n, scholarly, smart young lady she is today. Life has presented her with lots of challenges, and she has continued to meet them head on. 
Happy Birthday Miss B, you are much loved and wise beyond your years.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Snow days...

The snow-mageddon we were supposed to get this weekend hasn't been all that bad, so far...

outside the front door of the hovel
 The work on the hovel is slow, damn slow, but gett'n there.
I had to call my plumber and have him come unplug the upstairs toilet. (A little talk with the granddaughter about that ensued.) I had tried everything, nothing worked, so the call was made. While Chance was here I asked for an estimate on a new bigger, water heater. We were gett'n mighty tired of spit baths & cold, cold showers. Asked if there was room for a full size water heater if I took out the shelves in the little pantry.  Which is right next to the under stairs crawl space that the little old water heater lives in. 
"Yes, let me make a phone call to the boss, and I think we can do it today."  
"Yay, give me an hour to move money, and tear out the shelves in the pantry." I said.
He came back, helped me finish removing the shelves, then the boss came & they took out the old water heater, and installed the new one.

Tim Rowe (Rowe Plumbing) & Chance removing old water heater from the crawl space under the stairs
   I lost most of the pantry space, just have to be creative in using other spaces. Hot showers make for much better attitudes around here.

Finished installing new cordless cellular window shades in the bedrooms. No more blankets tacked over the windows. The bedrooms don't look like makeshift homeless shelters anymore.

Have my frequent hardware store flyer cards in their own niche in my wallet, and the clerks all greet me by name... They used to ask me who was doing the work on the hovel, now they ask what MY current project is. lol.
Saw this handsome beast in the parking lot of the hardware store last week. Don't think he's a bit afraid of a little snow.

Finished up with the eye doc here til next fall. All is good, except for the dang floater in my dominate shoot'n eye. Doc taught me to quickly move my eyes to the left, then to the right, then look straight ahead to get it to move out of the center of the field of vision. I can do it fairly fast now, & I'm quite sure people that catch me doing it, think I'm more than a little cockeyed...

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Hovel update...

The bedroom doors are hung and hardware installed. I didn't paint them before hanging because it is too darn cold to be painting outside (see fence below). LOL...

A licensed plumber has visited the hovel, and his words on the hot water heater, were not encouraging.  As the water heater is small, old, & lives in a dark cubby under the stairwell it will need replacing down the line.  Since it is small it is a special order, I can't just go to HD or the like, and pick one up.  And because it is special order, it is of course more $$$$.  There is the option of going tankless, but that is more $$$$ yet.  His recommendation is to be fast, and live with it, til I can't.  
We removed all the flow restrictors, so the water pressure problem has been eliminated.

Today the electricians came to replace the electrical panel, replace a GFI plug in the kitchen, and figure out what was going on with my bedroom heater. I did ask if the door jamb pounding was the cause of the heater not working, and it wasn't. The thermostat had decided to fail, it was replaced and my room is now warm.  Tomorrow morning it will be interesting to not have icicles hanging from my bangs when I wake up.  The electricians were on time, within the $,$$$ quote, and cleaned up after themselves.  Plus, they were friendly, like old pickups, Chris Stapleton music, and answered all my pesky questions. I will tape, texture & paint the places the electricians cut the drywall for the new panel and that can be checked off the long list.

The small back patio has a picket fence around it, a white picket fence.  Which really doesn't go with the design of the hovel.  I can't afford to replace the fence so I'm painting it Espresso bean. I've done part of it, in near freezing weather, between down pours, because I wanted to see what it would look like. 

When the temp gets a touch higher I will finish it. Hopefully this way it will sorta disappear into the landscape instead of standing out like a dirty white petticoat. 

Miss B spent a long weekend with her sister & I.  It was good to have a house full of kids, with all the loud music, and giggles, and to cook real breakfasts and dinners. The first morning I asked them what they wanted for breakfast. "Oh, we don't usually eat breakfast" they said.  Next morning, I put plates & the platter in the oven to warm, fried bacon, cooked eggs, made pancakes, and served fresh berries. They said "Oh, we don't usually eat breakfast"... as they were getting started on second helpings... 

Another 1,000 piece puzzle has been started, with good headway made by Miss B while she was here.

There is Lots more to do to the hovel, before I'm willing to call it home...

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Moving in...

News from the hovel...  
So much to do here, and I'm a bunch slower at getting things done than I used to be. Which frustrates the heck out of me.

Learning the ins & outs of life in the hovel complex.

Like my mail box # key doesn't match my hovel number. An elderly neighbor lady? explained that "box numbers are different from the actual hovel numbers, "so the thieve'n bastards don't know which hovel you live in, dear". Off to the main post office I went to have them tell me that my local carrier would let me know which box was mine. A couple days later the kindly postman wrote my hovel number, "on the outside of my mail box", to let me know which box was mine. I'm putting a "Girls with Guns" sticker on it in the name of fair warning to "thieve'n bastards".
Trying to get an element replaced in the water heater is a work in progress. Granddaughter Jacey said she had the coldest shower she has ever had in her life when she first tried the shower out.  My words of wisdom to her were: "Yep, there is no dwaddling in that sucker. You can get about a minute more out of it if you twist the dial just so, and say three hail Marys." As soon as the handyman recovers from surgery he will replace the water heater elements, but is "not sure that will fix the problem as the shower is upstairs, you know". oh my God, where do these people come from.

The hovel came without bedroom doors, I have no idea why.  The previous owners finish carpenter, and I use that term very lightly, seems to have forgotten to replace the doors that had gone to the landfill, or another condo.  I took measurements, and Jacey and I went off to HD to get new doors. 
Jacey says shopping with me is way different than shopping with her mom.  "I like going with you, Nanny. You go in with a list of aisle, bay, & SKU #s, get what you came for and are outta there." 
Got the doors home, and a friend came to help me install them. That didn't go too well as he's a brick mason, not a door hanging carpenter.  My son offered to bring his router over and help me hang them. That went much better. Well except for the jambs were off by a hair and the doors wouldn't close. I was contemplating getting a plane, when we decided that a few well placed hammer blows to the jambs might solve the problem.  It worked perfectly. Now the doors swing true.  I will install door handles today, and try to figure out why the wall heater in my bedroom (same wall as the door) no longer works...