60+ years now just a seat

Well the tree s gone.  Della found a local service yesterday who came by and gave her a quote and was able to schedule the removal right away.  Done.  Dale saying bye to the tree, pulling in with equipment, moving my swing out of the way, thirty minutes in they are half way up the tree. They took it down to about 4 feet, we asked for “seat” level, and it was done!  The black in the rounds are is all the dead parts.

Thanks to my sister and brother and to Chris from Argo complete tree care!  Barely 24 hours from first call to removal.

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Bye-Bye Ponderosa Pine


This photo was taken at the end of May, from what I understand it is even less green now.

All trees have a life span and this wonder in my back yard has clearly come to the end of its life.

It will need to come down and we are working on quotes from that.
The roots are starting to compost in the ground which is what they are expected to do.

However this causes two problems, the first being sink holes.  My sister stepped into a bed yesterday to pull a weed and sunk in up to her calf.  Also recently there was what looked like a crack across the ground and I am betting it was earth settling around a no-longer-there root.

The second and probably bigger risk is the coming fall.  With no roots to hold this bad boy up, it is sure to blow right down in the first wind storm.  Either onto my house, or the neighbor’s house, or even into the pool.

So arborists being consulted and saying bye to what was the only shade option in the back yard  (which clearly isn’t a shade option any longer with no needles)

Before and After

Now that the yard is done.  Done as in there is still more we will do, there are things we will change, there will always be weeds but “done” enough for after photos.

This PDF has the before pictures in it. I don’t have the actual photo files but if I get them I will put them up….


I tried to take the after from approximately the same angles.  Except there are actual plants and structures in the way to see the whole yard.

Front Yard

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Back Yard

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Long distance plumbing

I am said it before, I repeat it here again I am so very lucky to have my brother and my sister living in and taking care of my house.  Last week Della happened to notice there was water dripping from the under the overhang from the first and second levels of the house.

This eve juts out and Dale and my bathrooms are in part of this area.  She found that my usual plumbers rating had gone down on-line.  Also they wouldn’t take my credit card over the phone.  Roto Rooter however would.  So on the 3rd they came by to investigate what was leaking.  Turned off the water and found that my toilet was leaking from around the wax ring.

Instead of paying them an incredible mark up for parts, Dale and Della picked up the parts and the plumber came back last Wednesday and finished up the toilet.  Put in a new flange, wax ring and reinstalled the toilet.  I guess he also fixed an issue with Della’s toilet as well.   Dale let me know when they were gone.

Now I get to figure out the water damage next time I am in town.  Luckily they noticed it pretty quick and it was only the overhang area that had any damage.

I tell ya, these are the things that push me toward the selling the place.  If I had any tenants in besides family I would be listing it I am sure.

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Whimsy and Yoga

The weekend started with ZERO plans.  Nothing on the agenda.  Nothing that “had” to get done.  Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have plenty to do like always but there was absolutely nothing on the calendar.  It also doesn’t mean that we didn’t manage to stuff it full.

Saturday we slept in, then went on to fill the day.  We spent the day running small errands.  The Quarry, the bank and the nursery (more like five nursery’s).  We were looking for “whimsy” for the back yard.  We looked for pottery lizards to hang on the wall.  We found some at one nursery but didn’t like the selection.  Then another nursery had beautiful pieces but the prices were not going to work.  We slid into the last nursery at 5:10 and they closed at 5:30.  Luckily we knew right were they carried them and there were a bunch on clearance.

We will probably add to this over time but got a great deal and fun assortment.  We ended up with frogs, gecko’s and lizards.

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Today we were up early.  I got the newest plants watered in my 1 hour window that we had left in our allotment and then we headed to Anaheim for Yoga.  We very well may have found a new yoga studio.  We were not sure about the location, heading into Anaheim is always iffy because of the Disney traffic but this actually only took us 20 minutes to get there.   The studio was small but very sweet and the 90 minute class was rated a 1-2.  It was probably the most advanced class I have ever had.  I was wobbly and sweaty when we were done and we ended up buying the 20-day for 20 bucks package.  If we make the next two Sunday’s that fall into the 20 days that will be less than $7 a class.

We went for breakfast next door and I am not usually one to photograph my restaurant food but these breakfast taco’s were beautiful and actually tasted even better.


Full/Exhausting 3 day weekend

By the photos here you would think this post is all about watermelon salad.  When in fact its more about getting prepared to host a brunch.

We don’t entertain much, in fact hardly ever.  But we were having company over on Sunday so we started cleaning up the yard two weekends ago.  Now that we have time again on the weekends of course we promptly fill them up with more chores.

Anyway, stay on track already….friends of Lori’s asked to see us and they would like to come to our house.  One of these women is a previous student who also donated lots of the cuttings and plants when we started re-doing the yard.  So of course we wanted the yard to be in tip-top shape.  Another woman joining the soirée also used to be a student of Lori’s and has her own garden design company…..tough audience for the garden.

There was a three-day weekend with a brunch on Sunday at our house to cap it all off.  Friday we went to home depot to get something for the yard and ended up renting a carpet cleaner.  I shampoo’d the carpets while Lori scrubbed the house and purged our book piles.  Saturday we went to the farmers market and got all the ingredients needed for the brunch.  We finished spreading the gravel I dropped when I sold the truck and got the last of the weeds out.  (By last of weeds you seriously know that the weeds are never ever completely gone – but it is close)

Sunday morning I was up and outside watering at 6:30.  (We are relegated to watering before 8:00 a.m. on Sundays and Wednesdays and after 7:00 p.m.)  Then I made us some oatmeal while I started cooking.  I started with banana bread and while that was baking I made the watermelon salad.  (Watermelon, mint, lime…so good).  I roasted zucchini and pablano peppers on the grill and cut them up for a fritatta.  I made the bacon and then right before noon when everyone was expected I put the grilled veggie fritatta together and put it in the oven.

Lori had been cleaning up the seating area and setting it all up.  We were done working, everything looked and tasted great and got to sit and visit for several hours with her friends.

The guests are long gone, however the leftovers we had for dinner and the house and yard still look fantastic!

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Results…maybe ?

I have become “that” person.  The person who writes letters to the city government to try to get things changed in the neighborhood.  I think part of this is from working at The City of Renton and actually seeing how local government works.  Knowing who to direct the letters to instead of just a random letter.

The main communication I have had was a letter I wrote to the head of economic development to try to recruit a Trader-Joes or a Sprouts to Norwalk.  I stressed the losing tax revenue going to neighboring cities because to get any organic produce you have to leave the city.  After several emails back and forth I was told that the city of Norwalk does not have the economic power to pull in a grocery store that focuses on organic (i.e. more expensive) food.  I did not stop there, I stressed the most recent census and cited the fact that lower-income families need healthy groceries perhaps more than the affluent and the city could stress the savings in health care.  I also wrote to both Sprouts and Trader Joes to encourage them to consider Norwalk.

There has been no movement yet on this issue, I was “reminded” of the Stater Brothers store in Norwalk.  I did stop in there,  They had organic green beans…..that is the ONLY organic produce in the store.

However another letter I wrote was to code enforcement.  I was stressing the parked cars parked half in the driveway and covering the sidewalk.  I cited two events that happened while I was out running.  One was a guy wheeling his wheel chair down the street and around the corner, only to be  stopped by a car on the sidewalk and him having to back track half way down the block to go down another driveway and then wheeled himself in the street for a couple blocks because not every block has curb cuts.

The other event was when I helped a woman off the curb with her electric wheel chair (that puppy was heavy), because she couldn’t get to her van because she parked in the street and the neighbor was blocking the sidewalk.

Now my focus was the cars parked across the sidewalk, pet peeve and I hate trying to run around them but I did also stress the wheelchair access in the neighborhood being so poor as there are were some blocks that only one of four corners had a curb cut.

Well the last couple weeks there have been crews in the neighborhood putting in curb cuts on the corners.



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