So Much to Share, Summer 2017

I’ve had idea after idea about what to post next, but to actually get my fingertips to the keyboard just wasn’t happening. Today I say, “self, stop using up all your brain power thinking and just starting typing!” Here goes….

Waterfall wonderland was our summertime fun.

Mitch found this fountain free here in town, it just needed a little fix and now it works great

I got this fountain at the dollars for scholars here in medical lake last year. The birds love it!

Mitch made a tree stump waterfall that ‘s just beyond beautiful. He worked on it for days, and it couldn’t be any more amazing. He’d tried to find ideas and suggestions on Pinterest without much luck, so maybe now he’ll be able to help others.

He started with drilling the outer shape

Drilling took way to long, so he brought out the big guns… his chainsaw

Hours later

Painted out perimeter for stone blocks

Its starting to take shape

He used retaining wall stone blocks he’d found on Craigslist, and just chipped off the lip of the stone with a hammer to make it work

Pump is set, power cord ran underground, pond liner finished, now to add water

Ahhhh, the sound of flowing water

He has the lights on a timer so they go off in the morning and on at night, and even though its August there has just got to be some color.

Starting to look real nice now, but he just insists on more color

Out watering every morning or evening

nighttime look

I’ve read that cats like to drink from moving water and so I looked into one of those cat water fountains, but just couldn’t bring myself to spend that kind of money so I decided to make my own.

Zoey trying to send me a mental messages saying, “mama, make my world wonderful…… you will pamper me!”

My first round was probably a year ago, I got a small water pump, put it in a dog dish and cut out a flower from an aluminum can. After cutting myself trying to shape it, and noticing all the sharp edges I decided that it just wouldn’t be safe for Zoey to drink from.

my first try with the water pump and soda can

Trashed that prototype, and 6 months later I was ready to try again. This time I’d found a bowl and pitcher at a yard sale for $15,

bowl and pitcher with water pump before we cut off the  bottom half to make it fit better

bought a ceramic tile cutter for our Dremel and after some trial and error, tada!

Dremel diamond wheel cut super smooth and worked great

the pitcher bottom after we used the Dremel, just leaving the last little cut

Zoey using the final product! wahoo

Now to be honest, after the first couple days she rarely drank from it and it was a pain to clean, so after about 5 months I gave up the ghost.

now I use it as a candy dish

Zoey hanging with her best buddy

We still have a pet water filter in her dish, but even with cleaning it daily she’d rather just drink out of the dogs water. Can’t say we didn’t try, that’s for sure.

this little window bird feeder is  awesome, great treat to see the birds from inside the house! got it used from amazon, only cost about $12

Lake Wenatchee State Park near Leavenworth is where we were when the eclipse took place, spending time with the kids.

Nettie riding in style and Charlie trying to get settled in for the drive

using our selfie stick for the first time capturing a family photo and Harvy the RV as a backdrop

As the eclipse was happening it made some really cool sun rays

capturing all the colors in the sun rays

Chef Marcus cooking it up

DELICIOUS!  Great job Marcus! thanks for making it a glamping experience! (note, never never again will we have shrimp in the rv fridge! Peweee, that was some work getting the smell out)

Sunset at the campsite

the sunset colors hitting the trees

our new friend Oreo, named after the snack he first went for when we set up camp. He’s stocking up on some dog food here in the picture

Mitch made me a homemade air conditioner this summer for my Four Lakes Post Office because it was so HOT in my office

fan on the top, PVC pipe coming out the side and ice inside the cooler

It definatley gave me some relief from the heat in the office

I had my hair gal cut my hair and I donated it to Children with Hair Loss (only place that accepts dyed and grey hair!)

measuring my hair to make sure I had enough to donate

we were able to send about 10 inches

About a month after my initial cut, my hair still felt heavy and just too much, so I asked my hair gal if she would shave off some of it and she said, “no, your hair’s too thick, I just don’t think it’d look good.” I was a bit taken aback, and needless to say; not ok with the resistance in doing whatever I wanted with my own hair so I thanked her for looking out for me and told her I understood. Then with a tone of joking but with truth I said, ” gosh, I don’t know, I think I’m going to have to break up with you… maybe we should just be friends ” Later that night I got the hubby to give er a little shavin! It worked out the way it was supposed to, it made for memorable quality time with my love, and I’m happy to say I stayed friends with my hair gal because I spoke my peace so I could keep the peace.

Mitch prepping to shave my head

all up top will stay, down below will go

trying to get the line just right

just like it, she gone

now, when my hair’s down you can’t tell it’s shaved and it feels so much lighter and manageable

Found a puppy left in a car this summer and was about to report it to the authorities when I was lucky enough to encounter the female owner and her two male companions, who’d just finished their lunch at the Texas Road House in Cour d’Alene. It was at least 85 degrees outside, and the female who said it was her dog was probably 8 months pregnant! She defended her choice by stating that she cracked the windows and left water for the dog. It took every ounce of self-control I had not to grab that puppy and lock them in that hot car for an hour while I went and ate my lunch! I tried to get a picture of their license plate so I could still call and report the incident, but by that time the situation had escalated to, “mind your own bleeping business, and bleep off !” So of course by then I was screaming at the top of my lungs, asking her if next time she’d be leaving her child in the car like that! Oh boy! It was not good, there was a moment when I had to decide, just walk away or sucker punch those punks in the throat, take the dog and run. Realizing it was 3 against 1, as Mitch, not knowing what was happening and was non-the wiser enjoying his warm rolls and cinnamon butter inside the restaurant, I walked away, using some of my own choice words, while taking a picture of one of the guys who was trying to block the license plate. Seriously, what is wrong with people?! Ugh!

yes, he’s blocking the license plate

Charlie boy our Golden Retriever was getting a much-needed pampering session this summer when I noticed a big ol lump near his poo shoot.

found this bobble head at a yard sale, and yup it looks just like our Charlie boy

Figured it was his anal glands that just needed expressed so we headed to the vet the very next day. Never thinking it’d be anything else, imagine our surprise when the vet gave us the news that it was cancer.

peanut butter heaven

Of course she told us what to look for when it starts getting worse, and that there are things that they can do to help him when he starts showing symptoms. We were so sad initially, but then also grateful, because now he’s getting super spoiled, no more diet and we’ve been giving him things he’s never had before, like ice cream, a hamburger and other kinds of people food! I’m not too much on giving our dogs people food very often, only as a treat, but now for Charlie, everyday is treat day!

first time having ice cream

In Nettie news, it’s not good news either! Don’t know if you remember, but she’s living with us now, back in pops cottage. Story goes, Nettie’s been having back pain for the past few months and it’s progressively gotten worse. This summer she went and spent a month with the sis’s in California, before that she’d had some discomfort but it was manageable. After returning home she was really struggling and we thought it was sciatic pain so she’d made an appointment to see the doctor.  The doctor said “well, I’m going to send you to physical therapy and they’ll probably just send you back to me and then I’ll refer you to get an MRI.” Well they didn’t, they started giving her physical therapy. We assumed a bulging disk, pinched nerve, sciatic pain…. Week after week Nettie’s pain got worse and I suggested she try acupuncture because that’s what’d helped pops when his sciatica was so bad. She tried it and still no relief. Every now and then I’d check in with her, ask if she’d done her exercises to see if she was doing what she was supposed to. Sometimes she hadn’t, and I would give her the good ol’ talkin to about being consistant with her exercises. After going back to physical therapy the 3rd time and just being in too much pain she saw the doctor and they finally sent her down to get an MRI. The next day she got a call from the doctors office and they said she needs to get to Deaconess emergency, get admitted and get a biopsy that day! She ended up spending 5 days in the hospital, two other biopsies and a surgery to remove a huge tumor on her spine that was pinching all her nerves.

getting briefed by the surgeon before surgery to remove the tumor

The surgeon was surprised she could even walk! Talk about  having a high tollerance for pain!

off she goes

That poor girl, after ALL that time of suffering! With all the test result in they’ve diagnosed her with high risk multiple myeloma.

before her first chemo shot she’s contemplating if she should’ve brought in her coffee

Nettie’s endured months of pain unneccessarily, and there I am giving her a hard time about not doing her exercises! I called her crying uncontrollably after finding out what it was and couldn’t apologize enough about pressuring her to do her stretches. We got to bring her home Sunday the 5th of November, and you can tell she is feeling so much better and ready to fight the good fight with this cancer. Nettie has got the best disposition and attitude of gratitude of anyone I’ve ever known, I admire her so much.

beautiful birthday girl (we celebrated on Thanksgiving since her birthday was the day after), free of that horrible nerve pain

Happy to report, she’s responding well to the treatment and  just started her second cycle of treatment this Friday the 8th of December. Please keep our Nettie Noodle in your thoughts and prayers.

Here Comes the Sun

Let me start out by saying, “Trees are Terrific!” I love, love, love trees, but with that being said, they can really cause some issues.  We have 3 huge, beautiful, thick maple trees in our front yard.

Our place with the trees in the front

The trees are so big that Avista (our power company) has to come in and cut a huge L shape out of them every few years because they get too close to the power lines.

The L in the trees from the power company

It’s hard to imagine when you are planting a little bitty tree that it will grow sooo big that it almost covers half the house, and goes halfway into the street.

The side street next to our house and our trees halfway in the middle

The trees over our roof

Also, the amount of leaves it produces every year is beautiful and back-breaking! I remember one year, Mitch was working the swing shift and I was outside in the dark with a flood light because it was going to snow the next day,  I just remember telling myself, “Power through the pain, you can do this, just power through the pain.”

The start of fall with our maple trees last year

Grass refuses to grow

We had to put a fence between the front and back yard because the dogs would always have dirty paws.

Honeydew on my car, sprinkled with pollen.

Did you know honeydew is actually aphid poop!

Some aphids up close and icky!

The leaves were so thick getting any sunlight in the house was rare.

Such a cute little house, nestled behind the trees.

Mitch and I were talking about how much work the trees are, all year-long and how when we get older it’s just going to get harder and harder to keep up with the work. Not to mention the little helicopters (seed pods) that stain the vehicles when it rains and as they decay they release a dye known as tannins.

The conversation wasn’t interesting enough for Milo and Zoey, but Charlie pretended to care.

I started thinking…If Avista trims the trees because of their power lines, I wonder if they would just cut them down for us for free!?  I googled it, I got their number and made a call.  I was just kind of inquiring and the lady said that someone would go by the house and they would get back to us in probably a week.  Not even two days later on a Tuesday, they called me back and had an opening to cut them down on Thursday.  It was that quick!  We decided the pro’s to cut them down really outweighed the con’s and said, “let’s do it.”

One last photo for the photo book before they’re gone

 

Avista setting up before starting to cut down the trees

 

They said they only cut them, and we will be responsible for the clean up

The pile just kept getting bigger

and bigger

Until the house was barely visible from the street!

Zoey had some reservations about the trees being removed, but we told her she’s not the one who has to do all the work.

She said, “Fine my human pets, just get me a snack and bring me my Charlie to cuddle with.”

Zoey’s favorite spot

Avista sprayed something on the stumps so they wouldn’t begin to grow again and we are hoping to use them for flower planters.

The blue circle is now gone and soaked into the stump

We took 15 truck loads of branches over a 5 day period, so needless to say we were pretty sore and had some battle wounds to show for it.

I looked for my long sleeve work shirt but things surprisingly get lost in a such a small house.

Mitch’s gotten good use out of his chain saw.

The front part of the roof was in shock since it’d never had the summer sun shine on it before.

Hello little house, here comes the sun, do-do-do-d0 (me trying to write the tune of that song)

So how did we move all those branches you ask? We used our trusty ol’ girl aka, the truck. She also got a battle wound from the work.  Mitch’s sister Annette, the sweetest soul in the world, was helping us load branches and didn’t know her own strength. haha.

One of the pieces of wood went straight into the back windshield, made a hole and next thing you know the whole window starting cracking.

Mitch got so busy cleaning it up, he forgot that I’d want pictures for stories sake.

“Wait Nettie, don’t throw that stick for Milo, it may hit the little yellow house! just kiddin sis! you’re the best.”

So now we have a blank canvas for our front yard, and have learned what type of trees we can plant up front so they don’t interfere with the power lines. I am now in search for the most beautiful dogwood tree, yipppeee.

But for now, all that wood is going to keep us warm this winter, since now the trees are gone we can get a wood stove (a life saver for around here when the power goes out in the winter time.)

The neighborhood has been surprisingly appreciative of the tree removal because it created a large blind spot for traffic.

 The best part is that house isn’t any hotter!  We thought for sure there would be a huge difference because of all the shade they produced, but that isn’t the case.  Extremely grateful to now have sunshine in our home.