Posts Tagged ‘trip’

I am soo disturbed that the soldiers will now have to spend an additional three months in the middle east, as part of their tour of duty.  The biggest issue for the Army is retention; the troops there quickly learn that as soon as they can get out of the Army and go to work for one of the private firms there they can quadruple their pay.   There is no such thing as career military much anymore.   In a related note, last night we watched ” Iraq for Sale: the War Profiteers”, a documentary about Haliburton, KBR, and Blackwater.  My mouth mostly hung open in shock at the obscene amounts of money that these contractors are getting, and the price that the workers and the military and US are paying.  I was surprised when at the end of the film, Richard said ( for the first time ) that we need to get the troops out now, and we should cut all funding to the contractors.  Locally, Blackwater is pushing to construct a huge training facility in the backcountry about 60 miles east of here, and needless to say, the locals who live there are extremely upset about it. 

On the note of ‘this is related to nothing”:   Which is ruder:    to wait in line so close to someone that you’re nearly touching them, or to ask the person behind you to step back a bit?   Yesterday at the post office there was a woman who felt the need to push the line forward to the point of constantly brushing up against my backside ( emitting a couple of really loud burps as well ).  I wrestled with turning around and asking her to 1) ‘Back off!”  2) giving her a annoyed look   3) telling her I had a contagious disease so she ought to keep her distance.    Instead, each time the line ahead of me moved, I took just a quarter step forward to irritate her, ultimately leaving a big space in front of me.  Its not like you’re going to get out of there any faster if you get all pushy.

Today I will do some pre-leaving chores, like mowing the yard, and pruning the madly growing wisteria.  I’ll also do some cookie baking for the trip, as we will have our 12 year old grandson along with us this time.

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trip recap

So yesterday was spent catching up on life here. I feel so lucky that there wasn’t ‘work’ waiting for me ( well, there is, but it’s stuff that can get done next week).
We went for a walk, and Sunny acted all goofy – happy to be back on one of her usual routes.  All of the laundry done from the trip; got the front yard mowed, edged, and some weeds pulled, and watered everything. Went to the post office, ( it always feels like I’m being punished when they go and retrive the large box of mail, even though they are nice about it ) grocery store and another couple errands. Came home and washed the car and then the dog ( anyone who knows her knows her fondness for the hose-jumping ) – she was especially patient while I washed the car so she got to play in the hose for a while after I bathed her. 

The trip had a different feel this time. The fact that we were actually beginning to move, with another trip to haul more there in just over two weeks was kind of weird. I wasn’t sad when we left, like I usually am, knowing we’ll be back soon. Towing the trailer meant that we travelled at between 60 and 65 mph the whole way. The gas milage sucked, with the trip there getting about 8.5 and towing the empty trailer back here was a mere 10.5 as compared with the usual 16-18 miles per gallon that we usually get with the truck. And Richard became increasingly unhappy with the transmission  –  it doesn’t seem like there is much control over what gear you’re in.  
We arrived on Sunday afternoon, with Gretchen and Tom there already. Justin came out that evening and we had a wonderful dinner ( she cooked ) . They stayed until Tuesday morning, and Justin left early on Wednesday morning. It was great to have time to visit. We spent Wednesday morning dealing with contractors, then we opened an account at a local bank and a P.O. box in Ocean Park. The whole ‘setting up residency’ thing.  We left that afternoon for Seattle, and stayed at Mom’s house.  Thursday we mostly hung out at mom’s, sleeping in. We went to Gretchen’s for dinner that night and were joined there by Ryan. 
Friday we did the financial planner stuff in the morning, then went back that afternoon to finish up some paperwork.  We spent that evening looking at boxes of old slides that Mom dug out of  the closet. These were taken by my grandfather from the fifties through the mid eighties. Family – mostly my aunts, uncles, and mom and dad, but there were a lot of my sisters and I in there too. Lots of pictures of his work – beautiful ( and sometimes really oddly funky – hey, it was in the sixties and seventies ) copper fireplace and range hoods, and some other assorted iron work. It was amazing to look at all of the things he built – I remember looking at pictures in his shop when I was a kid – but of course I didn’t have a clue as to the work that was involved. It got me to thinking about what has become of so many of them – people remodel after twenty or thirty years, and of course some of those things are pretty dated – did they keep them? I would love to know, and be able to see some of them first hand.  Most of the slides ( they are an odd large size ) were taken with the camera that Ethan currently has – the Yashica-mat? – I think.
Saturday we met up with Ryan and went to Crave, where Justin cooked us breakfast ( I had a yummy apple dutch baby ). Then on to see Ryan’s new house -so cute – before going back to his condo to see all that he had done there before he moves this weekend.  Later that afternoon we went to Snohomish to Deb’s house for dinner and had a nice evening catching up with them. 
We left to go back to the beach on Sunday morning, stopping in Illwaco for some fresh crab that we had for dinner that night. I made Richard go for a long beach walk ( as he had not been there yet this trip, and it was a pretty low tide) and the weather was beautiful . To hell with the weather reports in Seattle that said things were flooding all the way there. It was a gorgeous drive the whole way from Des Moines on, to the house. In the high fifties once we were there, even, with clear skies and little wind.
Monday morning we left out of there at around 8:00, with a quick stop at the little Bakery in Nachotta – Bailey’s-  to pick up the best scones that I’ve ever had – and an espresso next door, then it was on the road south.

I had forgotten how lovely the spring is in the northwest. There were daffodills in bloom- huge meadows scattered with them in some places, cherry trees ( I think ) in bloom in white, some pink, and some an incredible orchid color. There were some early blooming rhodedenderons, some camelias blooming and green, newly leafing out trees everywhere.  I’m excited that this will be my home soon.
I did come back here to the wisteria blooming, along with some returning freesia and tulips; and the work that we put into the front yard is paying off – it is greener and lusher than it’s ever been.  Who doesn’t like spring? 

Now I can get busy packing again. We leave on the 14th.  Not sure if a car will go in the trailer this time – maybe just stuff out of the house and the shed & carport area.  I also am going to start on the slate work on the back patio and the walkway under the bedroom windows, to match it with the stuff I did in the front.  A lot to do before this goes on the market in just over a month.

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there & back

We made it to the house and back without incident. We got back last night and have figured out that the halfway point is Red Bluff, CA. It is about eleven and a half hours ( with a trailer in tow) from Santee to there and the same from there to the house in Ocean Park. 

The two worst points about the trip were that once again it was rush, rush, rush; leaving no time for a stop in Portland. We did go to Seattle to take care of some money business and were able to see everyone while there. The other bummer was that the ‘tethering’ broadband connection thing that I got so that I could use the laptop through my cellphone didn’t work because at the beach it is in the ‘Extended Network’, so while in Seattle, I cancelled it.  Boo.

I’ll make a longer post in the next couple of days, because there is a lot to catch up with today.

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