Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Continuing Kitchen Saga

At the end of May, I posted pictures of the new kitchen granite going in with new cook top and sink. Still remaining to be done, the island tops. As of this morning the island in the middle of the kitchen is done! Yay! Here is it's story. 

Pine boards were carefully fit together in the shop.

There was lots of minute adjustments.

There was lots and lots of measuring.

Benjamin came to help with the installation.

Making sure it fits. 

Liquid wood goes on the ply wood.

Careful adjustment before the glue dries.

It required clamping ~ 

Lots of clamping!

Benjamin, being younger and more limber, was designated to crawl under. 

Three coats of oil, three of acrylic ~ 

And voila! it is ready for use. Sunday breakfast about to commence!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Great Haircut!

I had seen pictures of Owlet's new haircut. After some family conversation, her mom buzzed her head except for the already long strands. 

The first night I was in Ashland, her mom braided it in little tiny braids.

With the braids out, brushed to one side.

And one long braid down the back, proving that Mama Susan has not lost her touch with young girls' hair. She went swimming with this style and when she came home was able to wash her hair leaving the braid in. While wearing this, two people commented on her hair while we were walking down the street. People really like it. She does too. Another buzz next week will have her ready for the start of school. Quick, clean, easy and very flexible. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thank You, Firefighters!

I have often mentioned helicopter pilot, fire-fighting, son-in-law David. This is a busy season for him. I know you can't see him, and he is the pilot in this aircraft, dipping water from some nearby lake or stream (or possibly ocean given where they were last week).

Unfortunately not all little towns are pleased to be invaded by firefighters. Garberville, CA was different. Many stores posted their support of those who were supporting them.

Northern California, Oregon and Washington are for all practical descriptions on fire. It is dry and dusty out here. Campfire permits have been cancelled. There are international firefighters arriving daily to support those arriving from all over this country. If you should be having lunch next to a table of firefighters in your town, stop by and say thanks. Even if you have lots of rain and no forests around, say Thanks. These folks are the heroes of the season. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Family Walk to the Pond

We woke to a smoky Ashland morning. The house was closed tight by the time I was up and I decided not to walk. Then the smoke cleared, breakfast made me feel better, allergy meds made me feel even better and I asked if anyone would like to walk. Everybody did ~ and Owlet suggested we go to the pond. She had taken Puck and me last spring but had never had a chance to take her mom. So off we went on an adventure.
~ but first they had to show off new shoes bought at the mall yesterday.

The path to the Pond had ripening black berries.

A heron was standing on a log in the middle of the Pond.

The bridge took us down another path to discover ~

~ trees that Owlet and her class had planted last year. 

Her very own tree.

A beautiful flower on the way home.

Puck sat down in the road to wait and ~ oops,
you sit in the road and you get sat upon. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Dean and I stopped for brunch on the way to Ashland. A family came in and sat at the table next to us. They were obviously in the middle of a conversation and the first thing I heard was ". . . and they expected us to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the pouring rain. And they had asked us to wear nice clothes." (continued muttering about that request) "We finally got the tour of the White House." (quick change of subject to what grandson was going to have for brunch).

Really??? You are important enough or something has happened around you (like some soldier died) that you have been asked to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and you are complaining about rain??? This is honoring persons who slogged though rain and mud and faced and finally lost to bullets ~ and you are complaining about rain??? I don't think so. *sigh* We are strange creatures sometimes.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Lassen National Park

On the road to Ashland. We drove through Lassen National Park. Beautiful scenery, wide views of summer rocky peaks.

Mt. Lassen

The sweep of the land.

Manzanita Lake ~ great fishing during the cool of spring and fall days.
Kayaks, canoes and paddle boards in the summer. 

And then we headed for Shasta. If you squint, you can see Mt. Shasta between the pines. Normally the sky would be blue and Shasta would be a shining beacon at the end of the road. Yesterday smoke covered it to the point that it is barely there. *sigh* ~ Makes one very grateful for folks like our son-in-law who are on the front lines fighting all these fires. Our trip to Ashland was safe and our arrival greeted with joy and lots of hugs. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Morning Watch

The church camp I attended during junior high and high school had what they called Morning Watch. It was a 30 minute period of silence right before breakfast when you could choose to sit by the lake or under a tree and meditate, write in a little provided journal or just be. I have no idea what other kids did or thought about if they even participated in the time. From the very first morning I sat by the lake, I loved it. I especially appreciated the quiet. Among all the noise of a camp full of teenagers, those thirty 
minutes of silence stood out as a very special time. I hadn’t thought of Morning Watch in years. 

This morning I was up before 6 and instead of putting Oso out, I took him out and walked up the hill with him. Suddenly I was thinking of Morning Watch. The earth was quiet. Really quiet. Chattering critters were still waking in their nests. No cars whirred by on the road below. Boaters were having their first cups of coffee. It was also still. No breeze wafted through the pine needles. Oso made no noise as he tracked some night animal through the woods. Even my own steps fell gently and lightly on the soft pine needles. It was a beautiful silence with which to start my day. 

May your day be blessed with enough silence to help you have focus and clarity during the noisy times ~ 

Monday, August 10, 2015

MD Live

As you know, one son-in-law is a helicopter pilot. This time of year he is fighting fires, mostly in remote areas of the country. Daughter travels with him. Lots of adventures as they have explored small towns, large towns, the back of the beyond. As they live in New England wherever they are is a long way from home. 

This week, they are on the west coast fighting the Humbolt Complex fire in northern California. They arrived on Thursday and on Friday morning Daughter woke with an ear infection. These have been chronic since her childhood and she knows how to treat them. This one was severe enough that OTC drugs weren’t doing it for her and she needed to see a doctor on Monday. While chatting with a friend on Saturday morning, she mentioned she was going to have a hard time making it until Monday. Within the last 48 hours the friend had heard about MD Live and suggested she try it. 

Great suggestion!! She went on line and registered ($50) and filled out the easy to navigate site. She was even told she was a long way from home and it checked to make sure she really was in California. She was given a choice of doctors who could handle ear infections - she chose a phone contact because she had no video capability. Within minutes she was called by a doctor who is licensed to prescribe in CA, who listened, understood what does and doesn’t work for her ears, and with one click sent a prescription to a pharmacy two blocks from the hotel. Two hours later she walked to the pharmacy, picked up her prescription and by Sunday morning with meds and a good night’s sleep was feeling Much better!!! 

I checked out the website before writing this. MD Live was established in 2009 and so you may already know about it and be using it. We didn’t know and it is wonderful. I am thinking about my daughter of course and how often she travels with her husband. But there are also all those traveling families with little ones who get strep or ear infections or fall and cut something and parents aren’t sure if it needs stitches or just a bandaid. Having someone look at it before you leave your hotel or camp site to find a clinic would be very reassuring. I am sure you can also use the site from your own home. It may be the wave of the future for reasonably simple doctor visits. I’m certainly bookmarking it on my computer. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Three Inch Difference

Several years ago The Man Next Door and I tried to think of a way to keep our dumpster closed so the bears couldn't get in. Smart as they are, they weren't reading and heeding the Bears, Keep Out signs. MND finally came up with a really good solution. All he did was add a carabiner to the chain on the dumpster and voila! No more bear invasions. Except: 

See how far open the dumpster is? This is when the carabiner is on the first link of the chain. Guess what? If the dumpster can be opened this far, small bears can get inside. I watched from my living room window last night as a small bear struggled to extricate himself from the dumpster. He finally made it - phew! I was worried though. He could have avoided getting in and the trauma of trying to get out, however, if someone had only left the carabiner on the fifth link of the chain where it normally stays.

See the difference? If the dumpster opens only this much, yes, the bear might reach a paw in and pull out garbage if the dumpster is really full, but the whole bear cannot and will not make it inside. And the Mama Susan won't lose sleep in the middle of the night watching and worrying over the process. 

It's Fire Season

It's that time of year, folks. Fires are burning in Alaska, California and Oregon. Helicopter pilot son-in-law has been fighting them in Alaska. The helicopters are flying over Grass Valley just over the mountain from us. A friend who lives there has evacuated twice with this same fire. And that's the point of this very pithy blog: if someone comes to you and says, Evacuate (whether from fire or flood or any other disaster), Do It!! Get out!! Leave!! Depart!! Go!!

There are folks in the sky and on the ground risking their lives to keep you safe. Let them do their job without adding to it the risk of coming to rescue you when the fire or flood gets so close that you can no longer get out on your own. Stay safe out there. Help keep others safe as well. Blessings.