Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You Never Know....!

On a lark I placed our "pillbox style" vintage toilet and tank on Craigslist. Why not? Heh. It took a grand total of two days to get a hit from a lady in north Portland. Hmmmm....cross your fingers! We need to raise some cabin-repair money!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Fun Never Ends....

Last weekend we took a well-deserved break! I went schlepping fiber down to the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene while Gary went "June hog" fishing. We were back at it again this weekend - and the weather at the beach was glorious! The detached shop was in camouflage earlier this year... Then Gary did the weed-whacking magic. Oh look, there's a big pile of gravel....hmmm...looks like WAY too much to shovel manually (ugh!). So we took Mr. Kubota to the beach. Now look at the shop! Wow~ For those who failed to notice in the previous post...that hot water heater inside the house does NOT have a safety relief valve. Someone removed it and inserted a pipe plug. Brilliant. Time bomb! So we leave the power off to that baby for now! We were happy to see the hot water heater in the meat locker does, indeed, have a safety relief valve. However! We didn't think it would leak on us so soon.....good thing the floor needs replaced anyhow... I found a rather ancient fan upstairs - and wow! It still works - and dried up the floor almost all the way over the weekend. While Gary was cleaning up the back driveway, I went forward and scrubbed the kitchen. I did not get done...and uh, I did SCRUB that floor. Still looks dingy. It will likely come up within the year - I dislike floor tiles with indented designs in them - they collect dirt and are difficult to keep clean. I like SMOOTH, FLAT floor tiles. Just sayin'.... Here's the before shot (ICKY) Here's the after....(that dark crap on the counter above? Years of instant coffee spills...gag... Then there was the front bathroom. We had the proper tools this time and managed to remove all the fixtures!!! Yay!!! Oh, and my grandmother had kept sort of a household inventory. There was an "overjohn" cabinet in the bathroom. She acquired this lovely item in 1974 from "Green Stamps"! Here's Gary after removing all the fixtures... There is alot of mold in here - heck, even on the wall behind the toilet tank... We now have some temporary lawn ornaments: And then there was more plumbing...... Outside, under an old cover we discovered this relic... and after much head-scratching and sand digging, we are happy to know that this is an old water source from a sand point. Whew! The ugly outside water pipe wrapped in a blanket, tied with electrical tape had to go. Gary installed a new hydrant. How can you tell if you have a water leak? You check the water meter, of course! And, at the end of a very long, dirty day....you celebrate! Who picked out the wine? Gary did...he liked the label. And yeah, you guessed it. The beach cabin is now dubbed the "Fish House". And yeah, it's a pretty good Chardonnay from Walla Walla. What's up for next weekend? Numerous dump trips (again)....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

Once the water company turned our city water on, they pointed out a slow rotation of the meter, telling us there is a small amount of water useage "somewhere". They really meant "you have a water leak". Great. Usually, they tell us, it's the toilet - go check your toilets. So we did. Neither was leaking. And we couldn't see any leaks around any of the sinks or tub(?). The front bathroom has this weird toilet tank and rather ugly sink... Not really knowing what else to do at that moment, we proceeded on with crap removal. By the next day, I could see the foundation slightly wet just west of the front porch. Aha! Gary got to fiddling around, and realized it was a leak in the hot water line to the front bathroom shower. And, uh, the leak was UNDER the house. It took us awhile to find the crawlspace entry - once we found it, I sort of remembered that at one time, I did know that it was there. Gary had to remove many pieces of lumber (dry!) to gain entry (God bless him!). And thankfully, even though it was clean, dry (except at leak spot) and rodent-free, he found two sheets of plywood that he could lay on. The hot water line is plastic and had split, probably freeze damage - and based on his observations, it had been leaking for YEARS. Eweee....no wonder the study room had so much more mildew than anywhere else in the cabin: it's right above the leak and no ventilation. Since that bathroom is so incredibly small, we elected to remove the shower (for good - it was an old metal, icky thing anyhow). This will allow us to install a new hot water heater IN THE BATHROOM, and remove the old one from THE STUDY ! And the old water heater in the study appears to be quite old, and also appears to be a ticking time bomb! (look closely....!!)

Friday, June 12, 2009

More Minutiae

Gosh, mom, you were correct about the minutiae - - - heh heh, look what else I found!

More Old Photos!

I stumbled across a couple photos which are very, very cool - a glimpse into my father's life at a time he never talks about. This would be when his parents were still married - and maybe he has little recollection as he was quite young. I was NOT prepared for the resemblance of my father as a wee thing with my little sister when she was a similar age. Wow. Anyhow, here are two photos: one of my grandfather, Walter, with dad and uncle Larry. The other is the two boys with Shirley, their biological mother.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stradivarius it was NOT

I remember the stories Grandma Pat told me about her old violin, how it was hand made with rosewood pegs, and that she would save it for me someday. When my 9 year old daughter decided to play the violin in orchestra, I even thought, someday, when she is in high school and about to audition for the Boise Philharmonic, maybe she can play Grandma's violin!! I was SO excited when I found the old, moldy smelling violin at the bottom of the closet upstairs in the Beach Cabin Loft! Terry told me I just stared at it, shaking a little. Kind of like that look on Holly's 1 year old face when Grandma Fuller gave her a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie, perhaps. Anyway, not really holding my breath that it was a priceless, vintage instrument, I took it in to Telford's yesterday, for an informal appraisal. Bless their hearts, they still remember me everytime I walk in, and this time, bless them for their straight faces. "It's very old, it's domestic..." I told them them they didn't have to sugar-coat it. Without knowing who made it, it is very difficult to appraise. The good news is, that it is in very good condition, all things considered. The damp humidity is actually good for it. The bad news is, it would need about $100 worth of work to get it playable again, mostly strings, bridge, tailpiece. But, even then, it wouldn't even be worth $300.!!! So, we will just hang on to it for sentimental reasons for now. I would like to eventually get new strings on it, ask Holly to play it (hopefully the mold smell will eventually dissapate) and see how it sounds!

Michele & Jon

Ah, enjoying the fresh ocean breeze before the nasty work began! I was just so happy I found the beach cabin on ol' Huckleberry Lane without any help. Ok, so Jon saw the Harris sign, but I recognized the corner without even seeing the Harris sign!
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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thanksgiving 1967

I have some memories of Thanksgiving in 1967 - in McMinnville. Not alot of memories, but I wonder where we actually slept - probably those awful army cots with the very scratch, green, wool blankets(!) I can't recall - just remember HATING those cots! What else? She had this rocking chair and took EVERYONE'S photo sitting on it. I vaguely remember everyone thinking it was a bit nuts, but now - I'm grateful she did! I think this photo set of everyone is neat (ok, my mom is SO not going to be thrilled with her photo....what can ya do?). Can anyone guess who all these silly family members are??? P.S. the rocker has survived and is in pretty good shape. Yeah, you guess it - it's at the beach house!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Buried Treasure???

Each night after work, after dinner & shower, I continue sorting through the large collection of boxes in our garage. This may take me a month....sigh..... So what am I finding?? As you'd expect, a high percentage of junk. Remember, one person's junk is another one's treasures! Junk would be old Christmas cards received in years past, letters from friends, lots of stuff from the Australian trip, including some old metal, disposable McDonalds ashtrays...old brochures.... ....my grandfathers gas charge cards. Hmmmm, he died 30 years ago. I'm finding lots of neat photos! Several of my grandfather as a young man. Many of family members. I'm sorting the family member photos, etc into three piles for the three branches of the family. Each branch will receive their box of stuff when I'm done. Some of the photos are extremely old on her side of the family and should go to other family members. I found a box with, oh, about 30 pairs of polished-rock cufflinks. The rock is gorgeous. Does anyone wear cufflinks these days? And they're not small, what-I-would-consider-tasteful size...they're fairly large. I've found three more copies of the Book of Morman. Grandpa was a Presbyterian, Grandma was Episcopalian. Hmm??? I think that brings our total up to 5, doesn't it Jon?? I've found three old telephones, 12 address books, and another bag full of stuffed animals. Wonder what I'll find tonight??? In some ways, I must confess this part can be slightly interesting, if a bit voyeuristic (spelling??), but in the long run - it's very tedious, but necessary.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Greetings from a former Pack Rat....

Yeah, that's right....I WAS a pack rat. Just as soon as I finish going through the 110 boxes and plastic bags in our garage - I'm tossing half the contents of our house. I mean really, who is going to want: 1. the top to our wedding cake. Seriously. 2. My scrapbook from high school... 3. Misc holiday decorations (read: cheesy) in the hall closet. We live on a dead-end road. Why decorate??? 4. a ton of good knitting yarn (ok, so that won't be so hard to get rid of...) 5. four filing cabinets full of genealogical research 6. 2 bookshelves full of genealogical research (don't worry, Mom, will save the good stuff, but need to toss the "what if crap"! 7. My wedding dress. Yep, I sewed it and was quite proud of it. But it's time to say goodby...same with a few long dresses from high school. 8. Um, I'm trying to come up with 10 things....I did pretty well keeping my clothes and shoes under control.... Ok, give me a few days, perhaps I can round out my list of ten things. I am SO FRIGGIN' tired of packing boxes and boxes of CRAP! I did get the boxes out of the second storage facility today - nothing earthshattering - some bags of clothes that are destined for our church collection and two lawn-leaf bags full of pads, not panty-pads, but the disposable kind you put on the bed(?). Grrrrreat...... Got the 12 boxes of stamps/coins from the conservators today as well. Holy moley -- you should see our garage (Gary would rather you didn't). Can't do a thing with those until I speak with our attorney. Oh~ And found the key to the other safe deposit box in Long Beach! So I have keys now to both of those boxes!!!! And the grand finale for the day (this will just kill you, Jon......). Wrote an estate check for a couple hundred dollars to US Bank to drill the box in Longview - there is no key to be found.....the contents were extremely interesting.....so interesting that....... they were invisible!! The damned thing was EMPTY! Great! What a grand waste of money!!! I just want to set fire to my garage......and I need a good back massage!!!! But not just yet - my year's worth of hay is showing up Saturday morning. Whaaaaaaa!

Monday, June 1, 2009

What a DAY

Started out this morning by leaving the house at 9:30 am (took the day off from work to get some of this work done). Got down to Battleground, WA and began unloading storage unit #1. It took us two hours to load/sort/pack the truck and trailer. Managed to get all of it on! Our truck and trailer are getting a work-out (to say nothing of our backs!) Headed for home - the original plan called for unloading/sorting at home, then taking remainder to beach at a later date. But the amount of stuff we loaded was so overwhelming and the load packed so neatly - we bit the bullet and drove straight to the beach. Well, we stopped for a bite to eat in Cathlamet. Didn't really want to pack anything into that beach house - but what else could we do? In went the furniture: actually a great table and 4 chairs, 3 bookcases (no suprise there, eh?), two "rock" tables, a nice dresser (large!) and a computer desk - new - particleboard - and omygosh HEAVY! And more books (gads!). We offloaded approx 2/3 of our load, and then headed home. We got home around 7:30 pm absolutely fried. Tomorrow? An appt at a Longview bank for a safe deposit box lock drilling, then down to Portland to the 2nd storage facility. Hopefully then to the conservators for the other personal items. What a fun way to spend two days of PTO! (not). And now (in my spare time - ha ha) I need to fire up my scanner - I found GREAT photos of the beach house before the addition, etc. VERY COOL! And we were there - heck, I don't remember all those type of details....