project check mark

I have painted the shed.  I did this piecemeal in the hours before work, over several weeks.

I got two coats of the left over house paint on the walls before heading up to Seattle for my dads funeral.  This week I manged to get the trim taped off and one coat painted yesterday and finished it up today.

Because the siding is textured the trim did bleed a little so some touch up will be needed.

It is great to have this checked off the to-do list however.





Screen Time

In the last seven days I have spent 7 hours and 40 minutes on my phone. (New feature on the IOS 12 system)

It breaks down to just over 1 hour and 5 minutes a day.  I am glad it is not more.

Twitter is clearly the winner with almost 2 hours for the week, followed by messages.  Facebook actually had more than I expected for the week at 46 minutes and I’m sure that is because of the trip up North and posting and being tagged on the trip.

This is an average, the weekend while we were away my phone lived in the bedroom while we were guests and came up with less than 30 minutes each day.   Twitter also clearly ramped up on Monday.


Wrap Up

Let me wrap up last week so I can move on to current events.

I should just write, MORE DRIVING! and call it a blog.

We left about 10:00 a.m. on Thursday for the trek home.  The 2 year old did remarkably well for being strapped in a car seat or highchair for 21 straight hours.  We headed out and got well out of town and near Oregon before stopping for breakfast.  When I was done eating I took the babe out for a little walk as there were chickens to see.  She is watching them in this photo.


The trade-off with driving continued and I took over after my sister around Salem or so and drove to Yreka, CA where we stopped for dinner.  I tried to get some sleep but there wasn’t much luck.  Just about 1 a.m. somewhere near Walnut Grove I took over again.  My niece helped keep me awake and we got to L.A. just in time for the morning commute on Friday.  Arriving at our house just before 7:00 a.m.  We got home in 21 hours with two long meal stops.

They continued home for another 90 minutes and I could barely stay awake.  I got about 3 hours of sleep before getting up, showering and re-packing a bag for the weekend.

Lori and I already had a weekend planned prior to the date being set for my dads funeral.  So when she got home from class we drove up to Manteca to visit friends who had just closed and moved into a new house.  So six hours more on the road.  Lori did the first couple, got us over the grapevine but with her sprained foot it was easier on me to drive.

We had a great weekend.  After a week on the road and watching my whole30 intake I had no real control of my food.  When you’re a guest and you are not the one making the food you eat what is served.  We got there to a lovely meal of meatloaf, squash and mushrooms.  In the morning she made homemade Arepas and I had cheese, which was followed by a headache.

Sunday we drove home.  We made good time and did the drive in just over five hours.

Now to settle in on my usual routine.  I made a general to do list today and got the small things that I could check done.  Dry-cleaners, wash car, fill gas, make/change hummingbird food and pay bills.  The rest of the week will be getting back to the gym, weeding in the front yard, finish painting the shed, clean house and grocery shopping.


Coral and I at dads funeral

It was nice that the rain held up for the service.  Considering the forecast was full of it we didn’t see much.  It was nice to be back in Seattle.  I realize what I miss most from there are people and this trip included only family.  I did get a wonderful offer of a guest room so hopefully another trip up to see friends will be in my future.


My step dad died last November. He married my mom when I was 18 years old. My mom died when I was 25 but he was still my dad all this time. 35 years of my life.

It took the last 9 months to clear out his house, sell it, and get everything through probate. Once all of that was done and the paperwork found and in order we were able to apply for his military service.

On Monday the family gathered at the Tacoma National Cemetery in Kent Washington and laid him to rest.

I had never been to a military service and was not sure about all the pomp and circumstance. The guns, taps, the flag rituals. It was all quite beautiful actually. There was a measured calmness to it all. Slow, methodical, beautiful way to honor him and the service he gave to the country.

Once the military service was done, we went to where he would be placed and got to place his remains, My niece read a poem and added that in. My nephew added one of his out tags from the army in with him. It was very organic and quite touching.

Because he died last year, there were still tears at the service, but the histrionics of a funeral were not there. By the time we drove to the memorial luncheon my sister set up at her work, it was more like a family reunion.

I got to meet the wives of my nephews and children of my nieces. They all got to meet Coral also,.

There were a few more family visits and a outing to show, or rather photograph Coral in all the spots the girls grew up in, Now we are hitting the road for the drive back to LA.

Road Trip

We left on Friday night, after I got off work. Luckily I was able to only work half a day and we hit the road out of LA after 7pm. With four of us driving we were able to drive all the way through to Seattle.

I took the first four hour turn and got us out of the city and handed over the driving to my niece Amber at about midnight. We are lucky to have her for the overnight stint. She is a night owl and doesn’t fall asleep like I start to do.

Amber drove until 4am and then my niece Taylor took over. Unfortunately we were just getting to Redding and the freeway was closed due to the fires so she had a stressful drive through some back highways to get around the freeway, It was a tough couple of hours for her.

Della my sister took the next shift after we all stopped for breakfast. It was the only real stop we made.

The baby did a great job sitting in her car seat for 23 hours. We would walk her around each time we stopped for gas and took one rest stop break were she could actually run around in the grass and all in all she only had one tantrum when she didn’t want to get back in the car seat. We were all very impressed at how well she did on the way up. Hoping for similar results on the way home.

We got to our airbnb about 6pm. Food, Showers and Sleep, in that order were what we all needed.

It is weird being in Seattle with so many friends but really no time to see anyone. We did see some family, my brother, nephew and great nephew came by on Sunday. It was a very nice, albeit brief visit. Sunday we also were able to see my Godson and his new (two year old) baby boy as I hadn’t met him yet. We met up at the fun center because it was his daughters birthday and the baby was able to climb all over the play structures and work off some of the pent up energy from the 23 drive up,

More tomorrow on why we are here…..


Every one of my blogs this week starts with Sunday…..   Sunday while moving gravel and before the sprain, a truck came by selling fruit.  Not a fancy truck, but a pick up loaded six feet tall with mango’s and pineapples.   I was out front loading up the wheelbarrow and they pulled in and wanted me to taste the mango and the pineapple.

I said no to the taste but asked how much.  He insisted on putting a just cut slice of mango in my hand as I told him I would be right back.  IT WAS SO GOOD.

I went in saying 1 box, but brought out money for 2 because SO GOOD.  He insisted I take the third box for the same price and tried several ways to get me to taste the pineapple and in my broken Spanish finally got him to understand acido muy mal.  Mostly because there is only so much fruit two people can consume in a week.

But there I was three boxes of mangos and twenty minutes before the sprain.

We ate Mangos Sunday, several times on Monday and then on Tuesday morning I cut them all up, froze two big bags and left several containers in the fridge (which we have finished off.)



IF Only

IMG_7098I was reading Sunday’s paper at work today.  I never even took it out of the plastic on Sunday.  There was just too much going on.  I also don’t usually read the horoscope but tonight happened to glance when looking for the crossword puzzle.  IF ONLY I had read it on Sunday Morning.

Sunday while we were mid gravel project Lori tripped and fell and sprained her ankle.  It is a really bad sprain.  I dropped the wheel barrow, literally, and ran and got an ice pack.  We had ice on it in less than 30 seconds and THANKFULLY she had on work boots so they were tight around her ankle.  Otherwise I’m sure it would be a break.

The rest of the project halted as we got her inside and onto the couch with it propped up.  Ibuprofen every four hours and rounds of ice.  We were very lucky there was no work on Monday as both days she spent on the couch with this cycle.

I went and bought a pair of crutches on Monday morning and did what I could for her by fetching and helping and cooking.  We also watched an entire just released season of The Great British Baking Show. 

By Tuesday she was able to drive, but no twisting allowed.  Today, she is able to put more pressure on the foot but is sticking with at least one crutch for the rest of the week.  Lecturing from a seated position lessons the impact and fluidity of her classes, luckily it is only the 2nd week.