grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Monday, November 30, 2015

15-28NOV15 - Sultan, WA (going green & prepping the RV)

Sunday, 15NOV, we caught the first early morning flight from Winnipeg, MB, to Vancouver, BC; & then drove back to the house in Sultan, WA.  As we said in our last BLOG we would have preferred to stay in Sprucewoods, MB, with Corrie’s family after the remembrance for her brother Eduard; but since contractors arrive tomorrow to begin installing a solar array, we need to be home.  After our arrival home Dan decided to move the large mulch pile off the short driveway with the tractor.  His fear (which turned out to be justified) is that the contractor trucks will get stuck if they drive on the grass, due to record rains.
Late Monday morning Sunergy Solar contractors showed up. Turns out the stakes they set for the installation are much wider than the stakes already in ground set by the initial survey?  The problem is the plan calls for 36 panels – 4 panels high by 9 wide, but the survey was based on 6 panels wide by 6 high.  We definitely did not want the array any wider than 6 panels!  After several phone calls, the issue was resolved.  Funny thing is that Sunergy kept telling us that we didn’t have to be present for installation “that lots of customers are not present with no problems?”  We would not have been pleased with a nine wide installation!  They augured post holes & discover that holes instantly fill with water; apparently they never had this problem before in the Pacific NW?  They will need to get sona tubes & different concrete & call it a day.
Tuesday thru Friday the Sunergy Solar crew work on the installation between heavy rains, record winds & freezing temperatures.  The last two weeks of the month the weather alternated between torrential rain; or dry weather but freezing temperatures.  Turns out a portion of the town of Sultan on the Sultan River routinely floods.  So Seattle news crews almost are guaranteed good flooding video in Sultan & routinely shoot flooding footage there during heavy rains.

On Wednesday, 18NOV, Dan returned an item for Corrie to Lowes.  While there Dan noted a $600 Troybilt walk behind mower (originally $900, but had been returned) w/complete warranty & recent servicing.  Since our “free” Sears ride’m mower’s engine had failed two years ago, the purchase of the Troybilt seemed like a great idea to DanJ!  To get rid of the Sears mower in the barn, Dan had to load it into the Toad using a neighbor’s come-along.

Friday, 20NOV, Sunergy completed the solar array & connected it to the house system.  Then L&I inspected & approved the system.  Now we need Snohomish PUD to install a second meter to connect the solar to their grid.  But recent storms outages has created a backlog of work & PUD has no idea when things will return to normal.

For Thanksgiving dinner we had purchased a Papa Murphys pizza.  But thankfully our neighbors Sara & Bob invited us over to join their family dinner with their sons & grandson.  Their thoughtfulness was very much appreciated & now we can have pizza tomorrow.
Most of our time during the last two weeks on November were spent preparing for our departure south & west for our annual visit with the kids & grandkids in Houma, LA:

-prepping tractor for storage & getting it back into barn
-cleaning house & loading stuff into RV
-“repairing” yard due to solar array installation
-recycling & garbage runs
-trouble-shooting garage door opener, security system & gate opener
-changing oil & spark plug on push mower; changing oil & filter on ride’m mower

Another thing of note, is that last month one of our neighbors cut down a maple tree that greatly improved our view.  Couple of years ago we had even offered to pay for a professional to cut it down, if they would agree to it?  But the neighbor stated that the tree was not in best of shape (plus dropped lots of leaves every fall) & was on his list “to do”.  The biggest view improvement will be in spring/summer, when the tree was full of leaves!

Saturday, 28NOV, we focus on major preparations to insure RV is ready to go tomorrow after sitting for four months.  However we did take time to drive into north Seattle to visit w/Dan's Aunt Madeline for a few hours.  As usual we stopped at Dicks to pick up lunch for her & us.  Then it was back to Sultan & RV prep, where Dan learned the RV starting batteries were dead.  Dan jumped them & ran the RV for an hour; before putting the batteries on a charger.  Hopefully they will start tomorrow & get us to Louisiana! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

01-14NOV15 - Sultan, WA & Sprucewoods, MB (the loss of loved ones)

Sunday, 01NOV, Dan made another long drive to the airport in Vancouver, BC, to pick up Corrie.  Sadly after returning to Sultan, WA, we are soon informed of our good friend Karen Bishop’s passing on 02NOV; followed by Corrie’s brother Ed Riesmeyer passing on 08NOV.

Karen was the wife of Ken Bishop (retired Coast Guard Captain).  Ken was our boss in Rotterdam, The Netherlands way back in 1979 to 1982.  After our marriage & leaving Rotterdam we maintained contact with Karen & Ken, while occasionally being able to visit.  As with all good friends the long time between visits didn’t matter & a good time was always enjoyed (even if not frequent enough).
As noted in our last BLOG Ed’s passing was expected, but that did not lessen the heartache of the loss of a beloved brother & brother-in-law.  So on 10NOV we made another drive to Vancouver, BC, to fly to Winnipeg, Manitoba.  The next sad four days were spent with Ed’s wife Elaine at their house in Sprucewoods, MB.  Corrie occupied herself by helping Elaine arranging the “Come & Go” Reception in Ed’s memory at the Community Hall on Saturday, 14NOV.  Dan engaged himself by collecting as many pictures of Ed from family & friends to create a memorial slide show of Ed’s life.
The reception was very nice & heartwarming affair, with standing room only in the Community Hall.  After the reception we returned to Elaine’s to say our goodbyes to the family & head to the Winnipeg airport.  We would have liked to stay longer, but contractors will be starting on our solar array Monday, 16NOV.