grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Friday, June 30, 2017

01-30JUN17 - Sultan, WA (summer solstice in fremont)

Saturday, 03JUN, we headed to Everett for the “Artist’s Garage Sale” outside the Schack Art Center – see the below internet description of the event.  In our opinion the prices were much better than when the same artists/vendors sell their items at the “normal” street fairs.  This was followed by brunch at Kates Greek & American – pretty good, Dan had the gyro scramble, sadly no greek coffee?

“100+ artists are cleaning out their studios for this annual street sale in front of the Schack Art Center.  Become an art collector without breaking the bank. You'll find incredible bargains on old and new stock including glass, ceramics, watercolors, oils, acrylics, recycled art, photography, garden art and much more.”

On 05JUN the house AC was finally fixed.  This was then followed on 08, 09 & 14JUN with us dealing w/septic alarm issues.  After three repair attempts, problem solved.  The good thing about the alarm issue, was the septic tanks were opened & we discovered they were VERY overdue for pumping; but this had nothing to do with the alarm issue?

Saturday, 10JUN, we go to Sorticulture (garden arts festival) in Everett – as their facebook page states –

June 9-11, 2017 Sorticulture unites art and the garden in a celebration of creative outdoor living. Over 100 artists and nurseries gather to showcase distinctive hand-crafted garden art and unique plants to transform your backyard. Learn tips and tricks from top regional gardening experts including special guest Ciscoe Morris Saturday at 2 p.m. Sorticulture also features display gardens, live music, a food fair and free activities for the kids.”

Saturday, 17JUN, it was into Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood for the Fremont Fair (Seattle’s Solstice Tradition!).  See our below BLOG link for more details about this very unique Seattle event (can you say – several hundred nude bicyclists?).  Sometime after our last experience with this event in 2010, the organizers shifted the parade/bicycle ride from the afternoon to the evening.  This was not well received & attendance at the festival sharply declined.  This year the parade returned to its early start time.

21JUN Rebecca & kids returned from Canada, while Raymond flew back to his job in Kuwait.

Saturday, 24JUN, sometime after dinner our neighbor calls about a mule who fell to bottom of a swampy gulley on their property.  Neighbors & volunteer fire department were trying to rescue the mule.  Eventually a vet is called to sedate & provide IVs during the rescue attempts.  Best we can do is get mule “righted” w/hind legs still mired in the mud; & eventually the volunteer fire fighters must return to station.  Next WASART (Washington State Animal Response Team) is called (one of eight large animal rescue groups in USA).  As WASART crew starts to arrive Dan calls it a day at midnight; but our driveway ends-up as a staging area, w/twelve WASART vehicles parked in it.  After Dan returns home, Corrie decides to get up & help w/rescue until almost 4AM, when the mule is eventually winched up the gulley.

Sunday, 25JUN, more record heat in Seattle area.  During the day Dan noticed that Rebecca’s weimaraner dog has gotten into rat poison in the shop/RV garage.  First we call the 800 number on the rat poison bag; they give us some very good “treatment” advice, which we immediately did.  Then it was off to the only vet office in the area open on Sunday.  They felt that we had taken the necessary precautions; prescribed vitamin K to guard against internal bleeding, & scheduled blood tests in a month.  Thankfully all turned out well.

Friday, 30JUN, our RV/Coast Guard friends Chuck & Anneke Guldenschuh from Florida show up in their RV for a visit.  If you follow our BLOG you will recognize them from our almost yearly visits to their place near Navarre, FL (see below BLOG link for our last visit).  This year they joined an RV caravan tracing the route of Lewis & Clark.  Since the caravan ended at the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon, what better time to drive three hours north & visit us?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

01-31MAY17 - Sultan, WA (& moving from houma, la)

Thursday (May the Fourth be with you) evening we headed into Lynnwood, WA, for the annual Habitat Volunteer Dinner.  We are not sure why, but for some reason Dan made the invite list this year?  The event not only recognizes “construction” volunteers like Dan, but those that work behind the scenes in the office & Habitat stores.
Sunday, 07MAY, morning it was into Redmond Town Center for a walkabout before heading to Marymoor Park for Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA.  As you see from the below internet link, the last Cirque du Soleil production we saw was KURIOS (also at Marymoor).  Kurios was great but Luzia was a step beyond that.  Why?  Because in addition to the “standard” Cirque cutting edge acts, they had water cascading from the ceiling onto the stage for large portions of the show.  You would think this would cause a slippery/dangerous footing for the performers?  But the water was completely & finely controlled by computer; even to the point that the droplets formed clearly defined images of plants, animals, etc, as they fell!

Early Monday morning, 08MAY, Dan headed to the University of Washington Eastside Clinic seeking treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture.  Dupuyatren’s is a hereditary disease as described below in a quote from Wikipedia.  Dan Sr had the disease in both hands & one foot for as long as Dan can remember (and the disease eventually ended Dan Sr’s military career).  Dan first noticed the symptoms over five years ago & sought the opinion of an Orthopedic Surgeon.  The surgeon jokingly said an operation was needed (in twenty years – HaHa).  The symptoms did not worsen until early last year; then the disease progressed rapidly to the point where Dan’s right ring finger & right pinkie were permanently curled in & their use was extremely limited.

“Dupuytren's contracture is a flexion contracture of the hand due to a palmar fibromatosis, in which the fingers bend towards the palm and cannot be fully extended (straightened). It is an inherited proliferative connective tissue disorder that involves the hand's palmar fascia. It is named after Baron Guillaume Dupuytren, the surgeon who described an operation to correct the affliction.
Dupuytren's contracture is treated with procedures to help straighten the fingers, but this does not cure the underlying disease. Contractures often return or involve other fingers.

According to one study, the ring finger is the finger most commonly affected, followed by the middle and little fingers; the thumb and index finger are only rarely affected. Dupuytren's contracture progresses slowly and is often accompanied by some aching and itching. In patients with this condition, the palmar fascia (palmar aponeurosis) thickens and shortens so that the tendons connected to the fingers cannot move freely. The palmar fascia becomes hyperplastic and contracts.

Rates increases after age 40; at this age, men are affected more often than women. Beyond 80 the gender distribution is about even. In the United Kingdom, about 20% of people over 65 have some form of the disease.”

The doctor at the UW clinic decided that the best course of action for Dan was treatment w/the drug Xiaflex.  The treatment would consist of injection of the drug into various areas of the palmar fascia.  A week after the injections Dan would travel to the UW’s Seattle clinic & the fibromatosis would be “broken”; followed by return visits to the Seattle clinic for therapy.  Dan agreed to the treatment, now we just wait for the scheduling of the injections.

Early Monday morning, 15MAY, Corrie ran Dan into SeaTac Airport for the daily Alaskan Air direct flight to New Orleans.  As we said previously in this BLOG daughter Rebecca & kids (Jaxson & Mason) will live with us while husband Raymond works overseas. As detailed in our previous BLOG Corrie returned to Houma last month to help while the grandkids were on spring break from daycare/pre-school.  Now Dan will house/dog sit in Houma when Rebecca takes the kids to our place in Sultan, WA, for Oma to babysit.  Then Rebecca returns to Houma for the loading of the Penske rental truck with their household goods.  Once the truck is loaded Dan will start driving the truck to Washington, with Rebecca (& her dog Gracie) following in their car. Rebecca & kids departed on the 17th & Rebecca returned on 19th.   The rest of the time in Houma was packing & more packing, endless cleaning, spackling, touch-up paint, vacuuming, minor repairs, etc; while dealing w/torrential down pours.

Monday, 22MAY, early Dan picked up the rental moving truck (same model we rented 2012).  Good thing he got it early – movers show-up early. It was not the best packing job – Dan had to give “recommendations” on repacking, otherwise many items would have been left behind.  Couple hours later Dan & Rebecca finally hit the road (big difference in driving speed); & make it to Texarkana, TX.

Tuesday early morning Dan gets on road before Rebecca (but because she can drive faster she passes Dan twice in the morning).  Around 2PM Dan’s Penske truck dies outside Quanah, TX.  After four hours on the side of a TX highway & NO JOY (Rebecca already in Albuquerque); Dan gets a tow to motel in Quanah – hopefully truck problem solved tomorrow?

Wednesday 7AM another tow truck shows up w/replacement truck.  Around 8AM two packers show up - two packers take five hours to unload broken truck & reload new truck MUCH, MUCH, better than five packers & four hours back in Houma, LA, did.  Dan then drives to Albuquerque, NM, before calling it a day (by now Rebecca is in northern Utah).  Thursday, 25MAY, is a long, hard drive from Albuquerque to Twin Falls, ID.  Friday Dan finishes drive to our house in Sultan; only to run into holiday traffic outside Monroe, WA.

Saturday we all spend all day unloading the Penske truck.  Thankfully Raymond is here visiting.  Dan had planned on taking several days to unload truck to store everything as “tightly” as possible & track where everything was stored.  But since Rebecca, Raymond & kids will head to Canada tomorrow, we just unpack as fast as possible!  The last item was the gun safe.

Everyone had a different idea on how to safely unload this six hundred pound monster!  Finally we place a mattress on the floor of the truck behind the safe.  Then we tipped the safe backwards, until it fell over onto the mattress.  Lastly we attached a cargo strap around the safe to hopefully control it as we slid it down the cargo ramp into the garage.  (note – cargo ramp supposedly rated at 900 pounds)  The day was ended w/family campfire arranged by grandkids Jaxson & Mason.

Sunday, 28MAY, kids & grandkids head to Victoria, BC, via Port Angeles, WA (although they had little or no ideas about ferry systems in Washington or BC, everything turns out ok).  We had planned on a day of rest for us; but the AC craps-out on the hottest Memorial Day weekend in decades.  Monday (Memorial Day) more heat w/o AC.  Tuesday 25 degrees cooler than yesterday w/heavy rain showers (only in Seattle?).  We also have our small propane tank refilled for first time since house built (still half full).  Wednesday, 31MAY, nice day; AC technician shows up – bad capacitor, doesn’t have part – maybe Friday?