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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Some Summer Pics-The California Trip 2015

Because I hadn't blogged all summer, here are a few pictures from our California trip.  Here is Ellen on the airplane on the way over to Denver, I believe.  Before we leave on our trip she sweats about it; she is a born worrywort, from both my dad and her paternal aunt.  

But once we are in the air going she does great; mostly she reads or colors.  In this pic she is wearing her "Grace" American Girl hat.  She bought this herself; saved up her allowance and birthday money and paid for it herself.

Notice that her hair is not braided nor pulled back.  After a 12 or so hour journey her hair wasn't just tangled, it was dreaded.  Serious dreadlocks.  Next year we will do things a bit differently.

Below is a picture of the tail end of our journey that started on June 18th. We did not get to the Eureka/Arcata Airport in McKinleyville until about 4 am on June 19th.  

All the flights out of San Francisco were cancelled.  The next flight at 6 am was full.  The next flight after that was 10 pm; it was likely to be full as well.  

Picture Ellen in a panic and myself very close to.  But they got 2 vans to DRIVE us up, overnight, from San Fran to Eureka.  The drivers were Asian, barely spoke English, and believed in driving at about 85 mph through the mountain passes.  Lovely.  But we got there and here is a pic I snapped of the van we rode in.  

Here is a picture of Rattlesnake Grass.  At least that is what my dad always called it.  He did his best to eliminate it from our property.  There is a patch of it along the road to the park from where my mom lives.  You can guess how it gets its name.

Here, on June 24th, is a picture of Ellen checking her wingspan.  I have tried to get a shot of this every time we go to CA so I can put them together as a growth chart.  But I never have collated them all yet.  I ought to.   

This year Ellen FINALLY started going down the slides by herself.  I was glad to see this.  Every year she has grown a bit and does things differently.

We went to the Made in Humboldt fair.  This year they had an Australian animals exhibit.  Ellen enjoyed this very much.  

We went out to eat a various places.  At Mazotti's in Arcata I had an Italian soda.  I hadn't had an Italian soda in ages.  Well over a decade I believe.  It was very good.

We did go to the beach a couple of times.  Here is Ellen at Moonstone Beach.  Very arguably the prettiest beach there.  The tide came in while we were there and was got to watch it wash up the river that runs into the ocean there.  We also go to watch a couple of surfers do their thing.  Ellen was fascinated by that.

That was pretty much our trip.  Except for the cool kids' play area in the Chicago O'hare airport:
Ellen enjoyed herself greatly here; even made a few friends while we were waiting.  And since we had a 5 hr or more layover, she had plenty of time to play and make friends.  I even made friends with a lady named April.  She had two kids there too.

That's all for now.

I am thankful for: A safe round trip to California.  Sand between my toes, animals from a different country, family to love and laugh with, a daughter who loves to travel.  Beautiful scenery.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Maxwell House...Chapter the Second

Hubby fell a few trees and bull-dozed around and on the other side of the house and bush-hogged, so it looks fairly nice from the road.

This is the view from the front of the house; which actually faces north, away from the road.

Below is the sun room.  I love this room.  It wasn't part of the original house; they added it on much later.  There are no heating/cooling vents in it at all, but they put in 7 or 8 outlets.  Maybe for fans or  The big windows set is actually an old panel of individual panes that they must have found somewhere and had installed when they added this room on.  We ripped out the nasty carpeting and installed laminate wood flooring.  It made a world of difference.  

We brought in a friend and had a painting party: we painted every room but the sun room.  Then we had both upstairs bedrooms  and the front room and hall carpeted (this is the room where Ellen was standing amongst the trash in the other blog post):

The kitchen looks much nicer now that it is cleared out.  We didn't redo the floor in it, but did a great deal of scrubbing to get the stains off the linoleum.  Surprisingly enough under the stains it was in quite good condition.  We did put in a different used fridge and a new range.  

Now we are waiting for someone to come along and love it.  If it were in the right location we'd move into it ourselves.  But since that is not feasible, we do have a couple intent on moving in this week, sight unseen.  They are coming here from Ohio.

Thanks for: A job well done.  Friends willing to pitch in and help. (Of course we paid him, but that's just common courtesy.)  Tenants who will appreciate it.  Laminate wood flooring.  Scenes of beauty in our neighborhood.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Story of the Maxwell House

When I moved out here in 2004 I vaguely remember hubby and his family discussing that a Mrs Maxwell had passed away and wondering what would become of her property which was situated across from my in-laws place.  Hubby professed his interest in purchasing said property; maybe 10-15 acres and the house pictured below.  The heirs to the property, Maxwells having no children, said they would consider it and there the issue was left to simmer on the back burner for the next 10 yrs.  

Last fall hubby finally got the heirs to capitulate and sell us the property.  We did not actually want the house, we wanted the 10 acres across the road, next to my in-laws place.  Mostly so that no one else would purchase it and put up a dwelling.  But also it will be nice to graze calves there.  

Believe it or not, in order to actually get them to sell the place to us we had to agree to give them 9 ( count them; NINE, months to clean out the house.  There are also two outbuildings, one only partially visible in the above pic; the white thing to right of center.  They still have to the end of 2015 to clean out the storage sheds.  

Anyway.  Their date to hand us the keys to the house was June 30, 2015.  They came for a few hours once or twice, but didn't do too much in the way of cleaning until about June 15th.  And I say "cleaning" loosely.  

After we got the keys, hubby went into the house and found the following:

This is what we call the sun room.  The first door you walk into.

Random items on the sofa in the sun room.

Fifteen-plus year old food in the cupboards.  There were actually eggs in the fridge.  Hubby broke one open, it had actually completely dried up.

The contents of one bedroom.  There was another bedroom almost as bad.  The dining area was piled up like this too.  

The basement.  Just one small corner of the basement. There must have been 4 or more washing machines down here.  There was also a chest freezer that STILL had food in it.  Of course it had quit working awhile back.  It was so nasty.  Hubby lugged it out without opening it.  Hubby lugged out every bit of the basement junk himself.

To say the least; the Maxwells were hoarders.  You name it, they had it.  Much of it was dated from the 70s.  It was a nightmare to clean up.  But we got'er done.  

Now; to work on my thankfulness deal.  I am thankful that though my house is cluttered and I fight it all the time, I am not this bad.  I am thankful I CAN let go of things, donate them and pass them on to others while the items are still usable and not saturated with an indescribable stench. I am thankful for the chance to clean out a house and find various treasures to reclaim.  That part was interesting.  I am thankful that our family worked as a team to get it cleaned out.