Monday, December 5, 2011

Finally got a pic w/Papa & his new truck

((This is a 'false alarm' posting.. it's just to send you back to see the pic I've been meaning to take & post from here))

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


So we’ve been running around like bees on a hot brick.

Happily, the major mental-, emotional- & paper- work involved in some of the more tedious tasks is done. Now there’s just the waiting game to play before we can cross a couple of these major to-do’s off the list. 

First there’s THE TRUCK SAGA, then the time-consuming, life-changing, on-going NATURALIZATION MARATHON, and lastly, THE NEW JOB inquiry/application/testing ordeal.

Though it looks like it ends in a week’s time THE TRUCK SAGA didn't actually get completed til 2 wks later (yesterday, Nov 14th, with the key mystery solved) during THE NEW JOB story (and, as of this writing, that final chapter hasn't yet been realized, more's the pity..)

Monday Oct 31st

So on Halloween Ben discovers an ad for a truck 45 minutes north of Eli's place in northern Utah. The hunt, hopefully, for a replacement to Papa’s ‘sold-last-spring-’67 Ford’ seemed possibly at an end. I get on the phone to the seller and start the same ol' same ol' line of questioning I’ve been engaged in for several vehicles the past few months:
  • Smoke-free? Check. 
  • Clear & clean title? Check.   
  • Records of scheduled major maintence requirements? Well, sorta check. Has had it all done, just hasn’t got the receipts at the house. At shop, though. Okay. 
  • Tires? Not great. So I tell him I’ll negotiate that into the final sales price if we take it…
After some more phone calls, involving our on-site vehicle inspection guy, Eli-o, we arrange for a meet-time. Which quickly moves from two days hence to ‘how about in a few hours from now?’ Oh my. 

Put everything into high gear. Call AbbyJaynlette, who's 30 miles south of Eli, to see if she’s available as a 2nd driver to go w/her big brother in case we decide to buy it. She is. What a gal! Arrange a transfer of the monies from temporary financier, Banker Ben, to Abby’s account (thank goodness for the family linked banking & a patient daughter after the bank messed up the withdrawal!)

Made me nervous for her to be carrying that sum of cash but, being armed & dangerous, she felt secure with her steel companion. I felt better when she met up with Eli for the remainder of the drive. 2 CC (concealed/carry) kids are better’n one ;)

With the initial look-see, test-drive, & negotiating finished the pair traveled back to their abodes & Papa was the proud owner of a Tundra.  Now to arrange to get it to him 11 hours to the west.  So the next part of the new truck experience begins. 

Tuesday Nov 1st

Number one factor: needs tires. But Eli determines they’re good enough for him to travel across on so we’ll just do it after it arrives in Hat Creek. Oops! Wait a minute. Richard & Abby call to offer a change in their travel route to the coast in 2 days so they could deliver the truck instead of Eli (which then would’ve required a trip to Reno to put him on a plane back to SLC). Will cost me a batch of Mama's Granola... (well, and petrol, of course ;)

Wow. Cool. Okay, that would be awesome. Done deal. BUT! Now there’s a winter storm coming (after weeks of awesome, warm, sunshiny weather).  We can’t have that daughter-dear driving on anything but quality winter tires. So good ol’ Eli offers to take the truck into the shop & get the studded winter tires put on. 

Then it’s discovered that not only are the rotors warped (which he already knew about) but upon further inspection finds the brake pads are pretty much done in, too. It’s an absolute must that our kids are driving totally safe rigs, so we ‘okay’ the repairs and our awesome boy waits for literally hours for all the work to be finalized. Then he goes to his friend’s place & loads up the twin bed he’s sending back here, goes home to his apartment, eats, studies, and calls it a day!
Prepped w/new tires & brakes, ready for its California 'make-over' =)
 Wednesday Nov 2nd

One day left now before the kids are to leave Utah. I’m on the phone to Utah Dmv to find out what needs to be done so we can legally get this truck to California for titling. So again Eli takes time out of his busy school & work schedule to go to the DMV to get the transport permit.

Thursday Nov 3rd

Next day Abby n Richard drive up to Ogden, gets Richard’s winter tires put on his own car for the trip, picks up the truck from Eli, wraps the mattress in their tarp since the weather’s gonna be stormy, go back home, sleep for a few hours, rise up and are out the door at 8pm the same evening to start the trip to Hat Creek (crazy kids).  Abby calls about an hour into the drive to declare that this will be thee most comfortable ride she's ever taken across I-80! So far so good on the purchase! Heater working great, tires & brakes awesome...

Friday Nov 4th

It was a night of fitful sleep for the Papa Bear & me and zero rest for Richard and Abby. We left the phone on through the snowy, freezing night and were half-fearful of it ringing. Didn’t happen til 5am Friday morning when Abby called to tell us they were following a semi down the rim and were almost here! About 15 happy minutes later both kids pulled up the driveway…

I fed them Baked Omelet (sorry 'bout that pepper jack, Abby), thick slab bacon from Peggie’s piggy, & some Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins I’d made the night before.

After breakfast and a little visiting the kids gave Jenny a good run around the yard...
..with Abby giving me one last pose to make sure I'd miss her like fury (it worked, I do)...
You've GOT to click on this one & enlarge it!

The guys unloaded the mattress set while the gal folded up the tarp...

...then they packed up the granola I’d made for them & Eli and were off for the 5.5hr drive to their coastal vacation. At least for this last leg of their journey they get to ride in the same vehicle!

A few hours later we pick up Ben in Shingletown and drive on down to Palo Cedro to get the truck smogged. It passes..whew!

But. A different concern appears. Apparently there’s only one key that came with the truck. And that single key DOES NOT work the doors! Only have a remote for that. And the key works wanky in the ignition. Okay, fine. We’ll get a couple spares made. Nope. Go to 3 different places in Anderson & Palo Cedro. NONE of the ones made will work in either the door OR the ignition. Something’s up. I’m wondering if someone’s changed cylinders on doors and/or ignition somewhere along this truck’s history. I’ve got to figure out that mystery sooner than later. Only one key, and it doesn’t even unlock the doors! strange..

Saturday Nov 5th

I discover the ‘49-state Only’ sticker instead of 'California Compliant' under the hood. We agonozied the 'what ifs' the whole weekend til I could get hold of my smog guy & main DMV office to learn if that’s only for brand-new vehicles (under 7,500 miles) & please oh please say ours is fine since it’s older and passed smog with flying colors!

Monday Nov 7th

Okay. Cool. Thank goodness! Word is, we should check out just fine. Ben comes up to take a ride over to Fall River with me while I get the truck weighed, titled, & registered. I was very flattered when he stated:

“You know just HOW boring this current house-sitting job is when I want to 1.) go with my Mom  2.) to the DMV!”

Humph. Cheeky young whipper-snapper.

Before going to the field office we dropped his truck off in Burney at the tire shop so they could switch to his winter treads and he wouldn't have to wait around. Picked it up 2 hrs later on the way back through to the library... with brand new California plates on Papa's pick-up!

Tuesday  Nov 8th

Papa gets to drive his new ride to work and my car gets to be here at the house for me! The reality of once again having automobile freedom brings an amazing sense of huge relief and comfort (plus, it’s a great thing to not have to depend on bicycling 2 miles to my local jobs! A real pain in the hot summer weather & freezing winter days).

So then. Long story short.. between Ben, Eli, Abby, & Richard what a grand bunch of awesome helpers we’ve got! Papa’s finally got a truck again..

..and the Mama has her Honda back!!

Hip hip hooray! It’s been a  l-o-n-g wait living in the sticks with only one vehicle between us.. so THANKS, all you great kids  =)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gather Ye Rosebuds

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day, To-morrow will be dying.
-Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Well, actually, the rosebuds (and lavender!) have already been gathered and placed in a decorative jar on my desk so I can see them and reminisce about my flower garden when it's covered in snow in another month.

The red, pink, & yellow miniature roses produce such tiny little pretty petals. When they're blooming I pick a few petite buds each week, along with a sprig of a ferny asparagus leaf, to place in miniature vases on the kitchen windowsill. Every now and then, as the buds in the vase go to full bloom, I'll pluck a few out & let them dry on the sill.

Little by little I start filling the rose jar with dried petals. This year I mixed in some of my lavender for color, too. I like to open it now and then and let the delicate scents of summer perfume the air.

So that olde line from the 17th century poem kept running through my head last Saturday when Ben came down to help Papa & I Gather Ye Cord Wood While Ye May...

Earlier that day, before Ben showed up, Papa had been out in the orchard sampling the apple crop.

He came in the house and said, 'Honey! Grab your camera and come get some pictures of the walnut tree. This is the best it's ever looked in the Fall.'

So we were outdoors moseying around when Ben came to get the wood-splitting party started. He & Jenny-dog ended up moseying along with us, too.

I call this next one the Ben-being-Eli shot...

You've got to click on the pic to truly appreciate that look on Ben's face

Truth be told, he was really just being grumpy at the photographer cuz she kept wanting more and more pictures... and did that stop her? No way José. I went a step further and started in on some live video in the afternoon. heheheh :D

About a half-hour into it in the late morning:

The pine rounds were kinda wet -on what must have been the north side of the standing tree- so they piled up the pieces to dry for the next few days before I wheelbarrow it all into the woodshed. So my job was boxing up any kindling, then removing the punky middles and bark as the fellas split. I stacked 'em up along the south side of the airplane garage so the sun will finish 'curing' them so they'll burn instead of smolder in the woodstove. 

Got some noisy action shots after lunch:

And some quiet, peaceful ones, too =)

Listen for the geese calling:

...and see that goofy camera shy pup (again):

One of the bulls showed up. I fed him apples:

..while the guys took the rack off Ben's truck until next year:

..and chewed the fat for a bit before Son One went home to his cabin.

Then I just had to get another shot of that walnut out back.. the light changed the perspective, doncha know ;)

..and then took one l-a-s-t picture. This time of the lilac & forsythia and the ivy on the elm at the north-east corner of the house:

-The End-
(of a perfectly, lovely, ideal day)

** Credits **
for the inspiration, education, and tutoring of attaching HTML videos

Ben the Beloved 
for helping me figure out my camera's video issues

for providing inspirational quotes 

for feeding my addiction to taking pictures :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Carpe Diem...

...and what better way than with a kayak or a hike!

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. 
Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. 
The winds will blow their own freshness into you, 
and the storms their energy, 
while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”  
-John Muir

After a rainy start last Monday the remainder of the week turned into glorious October Indian Summer weather. Wanting to grab every opportunity left to be out in the warmth and sunshine before the winter storms set in for good I 'Seized The Day' with a hike in the Park on Thursday with Peggie.

It was so warm we could have taken the boats but, not knowing just how nice it still was at Manzanita, we'd left them at home and donned hiking boots for a jaunt around the lake. This was my umpteenth time, but Peggie's first, so I was quite excited to share one of my favorite trails with her. She's seen a portion of it since I've brought her up a couple times last month for kayaking lessons, but this was her first trip around it on land!

Since pictures can definitely be worth a thousand words (and better.. since I'm no author ;) this entry will have loads of photos.

When we got up to the Park good ol' Ona was manning the entrance station.

She noticed we hadn't brought the kayaks and, when I told her we were walking around the lake instead of paddling, she suggested a little variety by walking counter-clockwise on the lake trail. More views of the mountain that way.

We parked at the Museum and deliberated on which way to start out. Ended up going with Ona's recommendation, which was way fun for me since so much of the trail looked different coming at it from the 'usual' direction.

Peggie's eagle eye spotted a large trout that was following us along the bank for a bit. You'll have to click on the picture and look real close. He/she/it is coming towards us about a foot or so from the bank in the middle of the picture but near the bottom 1/3:

Okay.. that might be too hard to see unless I could physically point it out so here's another shot. See him?

The rest of the trail produced some fabulous views & close encounters with the flora and fauna:

The water was so perfect, with hardly a ripple, except for where the fish were jumpin'. Watched several fly fisherman performing their poetry in motion moves, dancing their flies through the air. Saw this guy catch and release a big one:

For a little ways we stuck close to the stream feeding into the lake before hiking on up and back to the museum.

I missed not seeing you working there, Abby :(
Oh heck. I think I'll just put a pic in right HERE from last year..
There. Now things seem more normal :)

We checked out the displays, books, puppets, and other cool things at the museum. Then, instead of traveling on home, made a random decision to go hike the Lily Pond Trail since neither of us had seen it. I think this massive burl on the ponderosa pine at the start of the trail is awesome:

First, had to take Peggie to see the cool old Discovery Center building that's just off the path:

And then, over the 'river':

And thru the woods:

To the Lily Pond we go:
Can't wait to go see it next summer when the water lilies will be in bloom!
 The rocky trail with the stunted trees leading out on the other side:

Besides the obvious great beauty of Lassen I really like the tremendous geographic diversity of the landscape. And I still haven't hiked the majority of the trails in this National treasure. But it's on my to-do list... right next to my to-get list with Ken Burn's The National Parks: America's Best Idea :)

I love being a citizen-owner.. Long Live the Park System!

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

...quite possibly my most favorite quote of all time.

John Muir - 1907