Old Diary

A Week’s Worth of Loading and Prep

What a beautiful holiday weekend Sunday!

To be yourself...

To be yourself…

I have to say that my self-ness is finally returning a bit at a time.  It’s been hard to accept that the drama of waiting to sell Journey is nearing an end.

Which only means that this week is going to be crammed jammed with chores.  We have one week and one day before we head out in Journey. There’s a lot to be done!

Now that I once again have a ladder tall enough to get up to Journey‘s roof I have some topside cleaning to do.  I want to decided whether I’m going to change out our crank-up TV antenna with something higher tech and better wind configured.  And — an important task — to remeasure her from ground to tip-top tip and assess our new road clearance.  I don’t think anything we’ve added has changed her but it never hurts to double check!

  • I’ll get our DISH network receiver setup this week.
  • Rearrange RV storage – inside and out
  • Find a better storage solution for the few tools I still have — right over the driver’s tire is not a good place — too much weight there already! 😀
  • Start bringing our possessions out and stowing them inside.
  • Evaluate how we’re going to travel with computers — we are bringing along different gear than we took with us last summer and what worked then will not work now.
  • And then there’s photo gear to stow — with re-configured sofa storage.
  • And spices!  Oh the spices!  And rearranging the new spice racks Michael built for us.

On a positive note – read that as “NOT  A COSTLY” note – I double checked our RV tire build dates and it seems I had mentally added a few years to their age since we first took delivery — we have a good three to four years usable life on them (in terms of rubber life, not tread) so there’s no need to contemplate replacement for some time.  Tires are one of those things I would have replaced before we went mobile if we needed but given my penchant for waiting till we are right on top of something before I do it, I would have waited till this week to do so.

our CR-V (before the Blue-Ox installation

our CR-V (before the Blue-Ox installation

On a negative note — we got notification from Honda that our CR-V needs a recall repair — and coincidentally, when we got back to Cudahy our SRS light came on and stayed on indicating a problem with airbags or seatbelts — so we’ll get that done too.  Don’t like the problem with airbags though…. gonna get that checked out right a way.

Prescription Pad

Then there are the myriad of little things that any soon-to-be-mobile-person needs doing.  I’m going to have my prescriptions transferred to Auto Fill so they’ll arrive at Kathryn’s house and she’ll Express Mail them on to us wherever we are.  At least until I go on Medicare next February.  After that we may re-thing that choice but for now our current pharmacy price is better than I can get at ANY of the nationwide options.

Our new Missouri Botanical membership cards arrived during our trip!  Glad to have those. We are hoping to get as much use out of them this coming year as we did in the past.  We hope to spend a lot of time in botanic gardens and wildlife refuges in the next few years!

numeral 12

Twelve Days till Closing?

Well, I have a coach-full of stuff to do today, so I better get started.

Cheery-Bye and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

Old Diary

One More Month?

I should have known!  A beautiful day yesterday was the harbinger of a very strange day today.

After bagels at Panera Bread we started off with a walk at Wehr Nature Center. There’s a lot of volunteer work going on out there and some of the volunteers were well older than we — lift that shovel, swing that rake…..  Afterwards I picked up my old pruning shears from Kathryn and then we headed home.  She took half a day off to do some exterior painting on their place – part of the pre-listing cleanup for them.

I heard from our agent about the buyer/buyers’ agent review of the inspection and to me it sounded as if we were/are in pretty decent shape.  Little things have me still wondering whether I’m getting the entire story. There seem to be communication gaffs aplenty.  I don’t have time or the inclination to explain all the gorey details right now. Frankly I’m tired of blogging about all the in’s and out’s of real estate — it’s never been my favorite subject and I’m only writing enough to save my own sanity.  After all of this is said and done, I may write it up in a single story. It might be fun to see it all in perspective. But for now…  I’ll take a pass on explaining.

It was a busy afternoon.  Peg managed to get the lawn mowed.  I got the wisteria pruned as well as the grapes — I know — wrong time ‘o year to do so, but had to be done. We had people coming and going through the afternoon but by 5 p.m. life had settled down again.

One thing for sure — having too many projects up in the air at any one time is just not my cup-‘o-tea.  Too many balls in the air.  Too many balls by far.

I can’t be sure Peg had a good birthday.  The morning walk was rather balanced out by mowing the lawn.  Dinner was lovely — back on our veggie diet

numeral 30

Thirty more days till Closing?

Old Diary

Patience With Bark

They say that genetic traits often skip a generation.  I believe it.

When we heard that our granddaughter liked Bonsai it was like Deja Vu all over again.  (Sorry for that – there’s a movie line just like that and even though I know deja vu means all over again I couldn’t resist it).

 Seattle 2004 DSC01137

We love taking in Bonsai gardens whenever we are nearby and have the opportunity.  I hope we’ll be able to see a lot more.  And I also hope that our grand daughter will have her little starter bonsai for many many years.  But Bonsai are not for the likes of me — I’ve killed several of them over the years. Mostly because I’m not around often enough.

Let me explain.


There really are no limits to the lifespan of a bonsai.  This specimen on the right is one we saw at Elandan Gardens in Bremerton WA.  If you could read the legend plate it says, A.D. 1320.  Now that’s an OLD bonsai.  Of course the truth of the story is that it hasn’t been a cultivated bonsai that long.  It was found on a desolate outcropping high on a mountain and brought from there to civilization where it has flourished under care for a great many years.  But my point is that these old living things are fully able to survive a great long time.  IF they have someone to care for them.

Bremerton BackwatersAnd of course that has always been my problem.  I travel.  I have always travelled.  And when I’m gone there’s no one home to tend to the plants.  Sigh.

The result has been several dead bonsai.  I’m a tree killer I’m afraid.  And now that we are trying desperately to get, and go, mobile we aren’t planning on carrying along bonsai in Journey. I’ll continue enjoying them when we see them, but I’m getting old enough that starting a bonsai isn’t in the cards — I might find one that has been in training for a half century or more and enjoy that — but my “expected” lifespan doesn’t suggest that I’ll really get very far starting the process from scratch.

When a living plant is first converted into a bonsai there is a process of trimming back the branches and trimming back the roots so as to put the tree into a state of struggle.  By forcing the plant to reach into Mother Nature’s bag of tricks to survive a portion of the unique bonsai trait is begun.  Then by keeping the plant in fast draining soil and with only limited soil in which to gain nourishment the plant achieves more rapidly the look of advanced age.

2004261WASH04018There is something innately human about rushing to make something look older, isn’t there?  We love our shabby chic, and our faux finishes.  We build new buildings and apply venetian plaster techniques to make our new structure look a century old — instead of tearing down that century old building that once stood there and actually USING an old building.  To be truthful I sometimes think that this urge to antiquification is something particularly a U.S. trait.  Our culture is so young, and I often think that we envy cultures with greater age and so we imitate what we do not have.

Bonsai is more of an oriental pastime than caucasian.  Bonsai has been a way of life for a certain portion of Japan for centuries.  It’s not all the common here in the states, though there are local bonsai clubs and numerous gardens around the country.  However, I have never visited a bonsai garden that is as crowded as Disneyland. It’s a different state of mind.

Culturally it’s a strange dichotomy that we’ve created.  We like to have old things around us as long as we can have new old things.  Real old things we get rid of.  We raze our old buildings to make room for new ones.  We hide our old people away in “retirement homes” when they get too troubling to look at.  We go to extraordinary measures to cut our bodies open and insert foreign objects in pursuit of a younger visage.  We endure exercise regimens but we don’t want to work hard.  In fact, we have to exercise because we don’t have enough day in and day out exertion to prevent our getting fat.  It’s a strange world we have created.

Grandma and Grandpa / 1947My grandmother lived to 102 yrs of age (I keep wanting to think it was 104, but I have to look it up from time to time to keep it straight).  She ate so much salt that the family thought she had lost her tastebuds.  She ate so much animal fat  that they were sure she was headed for an early grave. (“that’s where the flavor is,” she would say to her girls in Polish)   Of course she outlived all her daughters by at least 20 yrs.  What she did do, however, was to work until her dying day.

I don’t know.  I find the growing contradictions of american society perplexing. The good thing about Bonsai is they don’t take any interpretation.  They are what they are:  Beautiful patience enrobed in bark.