grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

31OCT18 - Sultan, WA

Monday, 01OCT, we both see our general health care provider about our new blood pressure medicine.  We are not on new medicine because of increased blood pressure, but because of the recent multiple recalls on contaminated prescription statins.  So to ensure no issues with our new meds, our general practitioner is checking us out.  Doctor didn’t “like” the sound of Dan’s heartbeat, so an ultrasound of his heart was ordered.
Tuesday evening Dan headed to local hospital for the ultrasound.  He thought the procedure would be similar to what we remembered when Corrie was pregnant, ie simple & take very little time – NOT!  Procedure took over 45 minutes with Dan laying on his back, left side, & right side while technician took numerous ultrasonic images (saved to computer) with different probes.  More to follow.
On Thursday, 11OCT, Dan headed to Bellingham, WA, for lunch w/some of his Coast Guard Academy classmates.  Two years ago these mini reunions started, usually in Seattle (see below BLOG link for last one on 27MAR this year).  Bellingham was not really convenient for anyone, other than Sandy Petersen who sponsored the event – so why Bellingham?
Turns out Sandy has a new business called “Growlers Keep” filling growlers w/beerJ!!!  Being old CG Cadets & the possibility of free beer, it sounded pretty good to everyone.  First we all met up at local wing establishment for lunch & never ending sea stories.  Then off to Growlers Keep.  Apparently we have matured; no one expected free beer & only small samples were tasted, before paying for selected brews (including root beer & kambuchas) to be drunken responsibly at home.
Being a CG engineer Sandy’s system is unique & provides a much better product than other systems (even those at highly rated micro-breweries).  The difference is that his entire system uses CO2 in the piping system; air never touches the beer.  That means your unopened growler will stay fresh for many weeks, even if not refrigerated.  Some customers claim that it even stays fresher after being opened?  Dan asked why the difference if beer in a bottle/can stayed flavorful even if stored not in a refrigerator?  Turns out bottled/canned beer is pasteurized; beer in a keg is not.  So once exposed to air, keg beer quickly goes flat.

Sunday, 14OCT, good weather, that evening we head to Borealis Festival (more about that later) at Lake Union, Seattle.  We were early for the festival, so we commenced a walkabout enjoying the good weather.  The Lake Union area of Seattle used to be primarily an industrial area & a definitely “low rent” area of Seattle; but not any longer!  The latest change is the construction of several 40 story office buildings for Amazon.  Since we still had time before the festival, we stopped for a light dinner at Daniel’s Broiler.  A very high end steak house, but nothing special in our opinion.
After dinner we still had time to kill before the main event of Borealis started.  As per their website ---
“BOREALIS, a festival of light is a first-in-the US global competition and exhibition of technology and light art that takes place each evening in the South Lake Union neighborhood October 11-14, 2018. The festival is free to the public and features a unique combination of live music, street art performance, lighting art installations, and multi-media video mapping designed to transform surrounding built environments of landmark buildings and facades into a virtual reality extravaganza – an urban canvas for unconventional storytelling by artists from around the globe.”

“From Lake Union Park, where the selected video-mapping artists will showcase their work on the architecturally unique Museum of History and Industry building, the festival extends south across Mercer with approximately 25 light art installations.”

“During the event, attendees will stroll and enjoy the entertaining and interactive light art displays, sample food from participating food trucks, quench their thirst at the festival beer and wine garden, and enjoy live music from local bands. The festival is walkable, and will take place regardless of weather. The festival is free and open to the public...”

So while still waiting for the main event we wandered around some of the exhibits spread thru-out the business area, before catching the end of scheduled light show before heading home.  The smaller “art installations” were pretty hit-or-miss.  Some were interesting/intriguing, some were pretty simple and/or had you scratching your head?  Below picture is where we sat back to back in a booth that used mirrors to combine half of each couples face into one composite.  Not sure we will be using it as our new facebook profile pic?  Finally it was time for the main light display on the side of Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI).  It was a very beautiful display, but after half an hour, we had seen enough & headed home.

Thursday, 18OCT, Dan catches ferry in the toad & drives to Bremerton to pick up grandson Mason for the weekend.  Our daughter is still working nights Thursday/Friday/Saturday & usually husband Raymond takes charge of kids.  But due to Raymond’s work he is also working nights & Jaxson is sick.  So the decision was to have us pick up Mason & hopefully Jaxson will be better tomorrow & can join us at our house.

Friday Jaxson does feel better, & we pick him at the Edmonds ferry & have fire in family fire pit after dinner.  Saturday was cool & cloudy but no rain; so we took the grandkids to Remlinger Farms in Carnation, WA, for their Fall Harvest Pumpkin Festival.  As their website says -
“By responding to visitor requests for more choices of fruits and vegetables in the fruit stand, the farm began to grow. Pumpkins, the first crop that Gary and Bonnie grew as a newly married couple, have continued to play a major role in farm activities. Now each October, schools from the Northwest Washington area visit the farm for educational weekday tours. Every October weekend the farm holds the northwest's largest Harvest Festival, bringing families from far and wide to join in the family festivities.”
“What began over 30 years ago as a humble produce stand has grown into a 200 acre tourist center offering a full service restaurant, bakery, ice cream parlor, large picnic areas, U-Pick fields, Birthday Party Packages, fun and educational tours and Country Fair Fun Park. The farm annually hosts more than 200,000 visitors from all over the world. Remlinger Farms is also famous for its pies and other products which are sold commercially in over 200 Northwest grocery stores.”
At first we questioned the entry price?  But all the rides were unlimited & after four hours we were beat (unfortunately the grandkids didn’t want to leave).  Their two favorite activities were – 1) the hay bale maze, that also included a giant hay pit to jump into; 2) rock climbing on a portable climbing structure.  It took some coaxing to get them to try rock climbing, but now they are hooked!  Remlinger’s Pumpkin Festival is highly recommended!!!  Sunday back to the ferry to return the grandkids to their parents.

Thursday early AM, 25OCT, head to Rebecca & Raymond’s in east Bremerton; after arriving it was off to the Boat Shed restaurant w/grandkids for Corrie’s b-day dinner.  Then back to their house for a small “witch's cauldron" b-day cake.  Friday not much done other done babysitting during day after Rebecca goes to work.  Saturday AM we head back to house via Kingston ferry & discover that it is last day for the season of the Kingston Farmers Market at the Mike Wallace Waterfront Park, next to the ferry terminal – not many vendors present.

October 31 – no grandkids around, no halloween activitiesL

Sunday, September 30, 2018

01-30SEP18 - Sultan, WA

Well the “summer” (May/June/July/August) in the Seattle area finished by setting a new record for a dry – less than one inch of rain for the entire four months.  Of course with all the smoke from the numerous, almost continuous forest fires in Oregon, east Washington & BC thru-out those months, it wasn’t that sunny most of the time.
Saturday late morning, 01SEP, we headed to a Parson Russell Terrier (aka Jack Russell Terrier) breeder to possibly rescue/adopt a dog.  As we noted in our BLOG we had to put our last dog Gumbo (also a Jack) down in Alaska, July 2015.  Now we feel comfortable with bringing another dog into our life.
First we searched the internet to rescue a Jack Russell.  For some reason we found only one website covering Idaho, Oregon & Washington; & that site listed only eight dogs (with only two nearby)?  It was also discouraging that the site charged for their service ($200+), & had what we felt was an intrusive vetting questionnaire.  We know as a non-profit they need to cover their costs, & they are trying to insure adopters truly know about this hi-energy breed to ensure the dogs don’t end up in rescue organization again; but we felt there had to be an easier process?
Anyway, we eventually learned of a kennel about two hours away that had two dogs that the breeder wanted to place with a family (or families).  We drove to the kennel planning on adopting the older female; but headed home w/two dogsJ!!!  Meet Bella the eight year old female; & Rocket the one year old male.

The next day, Sunday, Corrie spent the morning buying replacement dog stuff.  That afternoon was the Danker’s annual end of summer party for those that live on our section of Reiner Rd.  Even though we only see each other once a year at this gathering, as always it was great to reconnect, & a great end to the summer!

Sunday evening, 09SEP, we headed into Monroe for the yearly Bird Night Out.  This event is timed for the annual return of Vaux Swifts as they migrate south for the winter.  Unfortunately we missed the town sponsored event by one day (ie yesterday).  But fortunately the swifts use the chimney at Wagoner school for several days on their migration.  Historically the birds used “hollowed-out” trees for this; but thanks to loss of habitat, they now depend on large abandoned chimneys (note – every “large” chimney is not suitable).  Quiet the sight, next year we will get the date rightJ!
In late summer and early fall, migrating Vaux's Swifts seek nighttime shelter in chimneys in the West, Chimney Swifts in the East. A gathering of swifts waits until dusk to descend into a chimney. The swifts enter in a continuous swirl. Each swift drops into the opening with wings raised, feet first, to hang upright for the night by its claws. To see a real swirl of swifts, visit Monroe, Washington, during the month of September.

Thursday, 13SEP, Dan’s sister Sharon & husband Tim stopped by for a visit for several hours.  Readers of our BLOG know that they reside in Kerrville, TX, & we usually visit them once or twice a year when we were full time RV’ers.  They have traveled to Washington to take care of family business, & visit family & friends.  They will return on Sunday, 16SEP, to spend a couple of full days with us.
Sunday our daughter Rebecca, husband Raymond, grandkids Jaxson & Mason drove over for a family dinner w/Sharon, Tim, & us.  Late morning Monday Dan & Sharon visited their aunt Mary Ann Lee in Sumner, WA (last visit three years ago).  But first was lunch at Dairy Freeze (highly recommended).

Sunday morning, 23SEP, we drove to Rebecca & Raymond’s house in east Bremerton for grandson Mason’s fifth birthday (actual birthday tomorrow, 24SEP).  After arriving, we all then loaded up two vehicles & headed to North Beach County Park (Jefferson Co) for Mason’s favorite activity – hunting for sea glass.  Several hours later we headed to Port Townsend to find the town packed because a local film festival was wrapping-up.  Late lunch was pizza al fresco from Waterfront Pizza & ice cream from Elevated Ice Cream.  Then back to their house to open presents; before taking the ferry home to Edmonds – naturally the ferry line was a one hour waitL

Friday morning, 28SEP, we discover Dan’s phone no longer charges.  He spends most of day looking for repair shop to fix USB port.  Turns out Motorola phones used to have USB port soldered directly to mainboard (ie repair not possible); newer Motorola phones can now replace USB port.  So back to Verizon to get the cheapest so called smart phone they have.  That afternoon we headed to the Edmonds ferry to pick up grandkids; followed by their favorite - dinner at chick-fil-a.
Sunday, 30SEP, we meet Rebecca & Raymond at Marymoor Park, Redmond, WA, for Cirque du Soleil’s VOLTA (see below BLOG for last Cirque production we saw).  Two things we noted right away were – everything was much more expensive; & the freebies (ie lagniappe as Cajun say) are pretty much goneL!  First tickets are now $15 per person higher; parking has gone from $10 to $20 (note parking is run by Marymoor park not Cirque); & forget refreshments.  As to freebies, it used to be as you entered the gated area you saw some of the costumed performers walking around (not the main personnel but lessor characters maybe involved in moving props, etc) – there were none this time.  Same thing for the entrance tent where the concessions were; we are used to seeing one or two costumed characters & maybe display(s) about other Cirque history or shows – no more.  The only things to look at are the expensive concessions.
We would rate this show in the middle of all the Cirque shows we have seen over the decades.  One thing we would say is it is clearly aimed at a younger crowd.  Some acts are based on what you see on TV advertised as extreme sports – trampoline/parkour, multiple gymnastic rings at one time, bmx bikes, skates/skate boards, etc.  As well as a heavy metal rock guitar musician.  Must say that the grandkids (Jaxson & Mason) were enthralled!!!  But we are starting to question if the expense is worth it?

Other than that, the month of September was spent –
>trying to adjust to having two high energy dogs around
>harvesting the last of the vegetable garden (way too many tomatoes) & preparing beds for next season
>lots & lots of canning
>getting broken truck window from end of August replaced
>many trips to Freightliner to check on RV repair
>and as always medical appointments