Archive | November, 2016

A Sorry to Daddy (a.k.a. Crawford, our cat)

29 Nov

If you’re familiar with the Pacific Northwest then you know all about the rain, and here we are at the tail end of the largest temperate rainforest in the world so, well, we get wet. This little 27′ trailer home of ours is no exception. There is condensation everywhere. Weeks ago, before we arrived in Washington, we were shopping for supplies and saw a dehumidifier for $70. Thought the size might be too big, so we bought these little bags that collect water in the air and hung them throughout. Yes, they did collect some but the windows were always damp, like, drops covering the windows and water would pool in the windowsill, damp. Well, after a couple times of having the blinds open Daddy figured out that he could lick them clean! He loves water!!!! ​​

See the bag thing there. Yeah, Crawford licks more than that daily I’m pretty sure. So this became his new obsession. And it’s so damn adorable I totally gave into it and would open the blinds for him. 

In the mornings James would close the door to the bedroom so I could sleep in, see he’s an early to sleep early to rise kinda guy and I’m the opposite. Well after he does his biz, has his coffee and everyone’s fed, he’d take the kids on a walk to do their biz. When they’d get back he’d let them in to greet me jumping on the bed with kisses. And Daddy would come in too and try to climb behind the shades, (venetian blinds, bleh!) which would make so much noise I’d just have to open the damn things! Well, then he wanted that every morning, on his own time, so he figured out he could just squeeze his little self under the door. Damn him! Now I had to open the blinds or listen to him clambering behind the damn things and not sleep. Who’s the winner? Hmm, there’s a reason he’s The Daddy. When finished he’d just sit and look outside, all satisfied and content with his bad self. Well, there’s just too much wetness and we had to give in and buy a damn dehumidifier. Bought a midsize one, holds 6 gallons, plugged it in yesterday around 4:30 and woke up this morning to moist free windows!! That fucker works! It’s $250 but clearly proved it’s worth. So this morning, Daddy comes crawling under the door and I sadly had to deliver the bad news.   This is how the window looked when I opened it, dry and clear. Poor guy’s searching for the drops of water. 

“I’m sorry Daddy. But we still have the bathtub faucet.” 

Which is a thing. Seriously, he jumps into the tub when we’re on the pot, or brushing our teeth, and we (I say we but it’s really mostly me) put the faucet on slow drip and he just laps it up. I really did feel sad opening those blinds for him this morning, and I’m pretty sure I saw disappointment. But dagnamit, it feels so much better in here! And we dumped out all 6 of those gallons of water just over 24 hours later. I’m sorry Daddy. ❤️

Meet me up in my morning biz and I’ll hook you up with some bathtub faucet drips. 

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All About Thanks

25 Nov

Thanksgiving. I love cooking the whole spread. The starting in the morning and going into the afternoon kind of spread. You know, the American Way. I can’t remember the last time I haven’t cooked/hosted/contributed on this holiday. So today was an interesting one. 1. There’s no fucking way to cook that whole shabang in this little trailer. I mean, c’mon, coffee is a 3 step process. So, James does his googling and finds that Safeway offers a fully cooked turkey dinner. All the fixings. It does state that it’s for 6 ppl but, whatever, I’ll make it work as far as leftovers. So he reserved one for us and left this morning to pick it up. Fun surprise! “Fully Cooked” meant it had been at some point, and then frozen or refrigerated. So our fully cooked (10lb) turkey needs to be reheated. 10 mins for every 10 lbs. 🙂 fun times. 

This is our little trailer oven. There’s no fucking way, not gonna fit, sunuva, really!? Thankfully it is fully cooked so James got up in there and started tearing that bird apart to fit some into a cake pan that I can heat/bake it in. And then wait, there’s all the “Fully cooked fixings.”

 So now it’s a toaster oven-stovetop-microwave -propane oven-reheating someone’s pre made food-, kinda dinner. And you know what. We made it work. Food was good, company was great, I have no complaints. At the end it was fun, oddly enough, taking the time figuring out how to package and strategically store the leftovers. You really have to utilize every inch and know what size container to use. I got mad skills from watching and helping my Grandma throughout the years. (You’d be amazed at her packing skills). 

So everything is packed away. Dishes are done. The Cowboys won!!! Fuck Yeah. We all took a nap then ate more food. I think we nailed Thanksgiving in this little 27′ home this year. 

Be thankful for every foot my friends. 

Damp, Damp Dampness

24 Nov

First I’d like to share that growing up in Southeast Alaska I never owned an umbrella. If you opened and closed an umbrella every time it rained, well, there’s a few years of your life wasted. The first time I bought one was after I moved to San Diego. Moving back up north, rain will come into this blog over and over again.
So anyway, after our treacherous hike in Brinnon (11/16) we curled up and watched a movie, ready to leave the next day. We researched RV parks, somewhere closer to the next vicinity of “Operation House Hunt” but none had a dog run so we headed back down south to the first site we stayed here in Washington that had the amazing gated area for the dogs to be off leash. We will gladly exchange 20 or so extra minutes of travel time for all the freedom the kids can get a few times a day. Because they need this. ​​

   ​We arrived and the first order of business is of course the park. As per any dog park I’ve ever been to, or simply walking your dog, it’s well known to clean up your pets shit. Well, there was a nice pile that wasn’t Lily’s, next to Lily’s. Then the next morning, there were a few bags of shit by the entrance. I mean really!! You bag it but can’t walk it to the dumpster?! Assholes. Then the next day James filled 5 bags of shit while out with the kids! We don’t want to leave it because, 

A: Our dogs, or selves, could step in it while playing or,

B: As noted on the gate, “Please pick up your dogs poo. Thank you. Otherwise the gate will have to be locked.” (They are so much more PC than I am). Why must people be so inconsiderate and selfish? Just why?

Dampness. Back in San Diego you assume it’s going to be clear, mostly sunny and probably a warm shorts and tank kinda day. In the Northwest you assume it will be wet, in some way shape or form. Damp. James has commented on the fact that it’s not always rainy persay, but just, wet, he now understands the irrelavence of an umbrella. Granted it is winter, but still relevant. It’s a factor in the trailer as well. Condensation is puddling in the windowsill and also, our carpet. We’ve used the blow dryer a few times, to keep it at bay, but the next purchase is a dehumidifier. Like, a good one. I will say though that Daddy does not mind the amount that graces our windows with it’s presence, for instance this morning I was woken by the sound of the Venetian blinds rattling above my head. Homeboy crawled under the space of the closed door and stretched his head behind the blinds to lick the drops off the window. I can’t blame it all on him though, the last few days I have happily let him in and opened the blinds. He knows Mom has the goods and will ensure he gets his fix. But apparently today I slept in too late.  ​

​  ​  Any who, we’ve been milling over the property in Bremerton. It is, like I’ve said, a huge project. But it has potential and that’s what we’re looking for. I’m not in love with the town, I’ll be honest, it’s, “eh,” but that’s only part of what we’re looking for. Access to materials we need to rehab, further prospect to resell, a place to house all 6 of us as soon as possible, etc. It seems plausible, it has hope. Again, milling.

We take Sunday off, football of course. Time to talk over everything. Nice day for the dogs to spend time in “their” park, yes there was poop again, dicks!! It turned into a rainy day and night. This little park has dvd’s for rent so we all cuddled up, (yes, this is a recurring theme) and I’ll tell ya, 2 grown adults, 2- 50+lb dogs and 2 cats in one full sized bed, tight fit my friends. And as much as we all want, we cannot sleep like this every night. 

So today we meet up with an agent in Olympia to look at a property James came across online. We had done a drive by through the town before but never any walk throughs. Her initial phone call to schedule was a bit like, “Are you sure?” We meet her and she was spot on. Umm, no. Asked if we’d like to see a few others so we obliged. One was a tear down so no! The other was a very cute, ready to move in house, nice lot, nice deck. When we walked upstairs she noticed a very prevalent, not her first time at the rodeo, smell. Mold. Saw some rotting wood and she straight up said “No.” On our way out she even commented on not wanting to leave her card, (there’s always stacks of agents cards that have shown the house before) she didn’t want anybody to know she had shown the house. I really loved the total honesty, no sugar coating attitude. 
Update: (11/23) The property we looked at and were milling over in Bremerton has become a pending sale. So, at ground zero again. Haven’t found an area yet that feels close to home, so we’re going to start broadening our horizons. Meaning more trailer living for we don’t know how long. 

Smile on

14 Nov

Did you know that you can hear a smile? I believe you can. When someone really smiles at you, you feel it. Stranger or family, friend or lover. A true smile resonates your entire body, including hearing. It’s the most beautiful sound because you are watching it as it’s happening, it’s infectious, and we need to infect people as fast and often as possible with it. And then just keep it going. Smile. As much as you can.

 So please, smile on!  

Sunday Funday

13 Nov

Another rainy weekend and we’re taking a day off. And I’ll tell you, after working so many Sunday brunches at Meze Greek Fusion (it’s really fun if you read that with the Allstate voice) in San Diego, today I’m totally down with making our own brunch at home, cracking a beer and watching football. And yes, I realize I totally just plugged my previous employer but I’m ok with that. I worked with and met a lot of great people there. 

We did get some house cleaning and laundry done so it still qualifies as a productive day I’m pretty sure. Yeah, I decided it does 😉👌🏻 

 To flip or not to flip? That is the question. 

13 Nov

Well, we have our lists’ of properties, we’ve done our drive-by looksies spanning from Rochester up into Tenino, Yelm over to Olympia and all small towns in between and around. Our next tour of the state was northwest from Brinnon to Port Angeles. We took off on Friday to explore and do our next round of drive-byes, and well, we did it! We decided to actually call an agent and look at a house. Its a cute corner lot with a park right across the street 

The next day we drove back up (11/12) to Port Angeles. We knew full well going into it that it was rehab material. Now we know for sure it is a top.to.bottom complete rehab!! I know it’s only the first property we’ve looked at from inside but we’re starting to get our feet wet. So many factors to consider, I mean, this is our future we’re talking about. I won’t lie, walking through the house I was envisioning how much fun it would be to make this cute little neglected house into somebody’s first home. Our first house was a complete rehab as well but we had literally no idea what we were doing, so much so that our first trip to Home Depot was overwhelming! We were fortunate then to know people that knew and taught us so much, able to get help from friends and know how to get cheap labor. Those that did have no idea how thankful we are for the time and knowledge they contributed. It was trying and exhausting and took us years to complete the task. But it was also fun. So thinking about the possibility of rehabbing and selling, is exciting. 

We had our Sunday funday and spent Monday researching a new area to explore properties and we got in touch with an agent in Bremerton WA. So today (11/15) we head on over. Its about an hour drive from our site and to get there we have to drive over the Hood Canal Draw Bridge. The gps is on and as we get closer it’s suddenly taking us on a detour that changes from 30 mins to 2.5 hours. What???  There were signs that read, “if blinking draw bridge will be closed,” well, we carried on, why, because we didn’t really know exactly what to expect. In case you’re wondering, yes it was closed. Now our gps says 3 hours to our destination! James gets on the internet highway to further investigate and thankfully their website says up to 30 mins for maintenance, so ok, lets just chill for a second. One car up ahead had turned around and left, it is a double yellow line so totally not legal, but I stored that away for future possibilities of aborting a mission. After a few minutes let’s just get out of the car with the dogs and peek over the side, it’s a beautiful, (I realize I say that word a lot bc it’s always fitting, but you’re probably tired of seeing it so so I’m going to have to hit up the trusty old thesaurus), clear day, calm water and birds flying around or chilling just floating on the water. If he could I know Beau would’ve jumped over that ledge and gone swimming with them. And adorable little otters floating around too!!. Sometimes you get stuck, and sometimes you get stuck in something great, so look. The closure was short lived. YAY!! Hours would’ve sucked balls!!

So we made it to the first house, (James is a “leave early” type of guy, bc he’s smart) on time! The first house, took it off the list bc there was a big barking shepherd next door and that and Lily would get old real fast!! The next was right next to the Naval base. Twice the size with a loft upstairs and a basement as well. Nice long driveway, garage and extra shed of a sort out back. All new windows, huge plus! Still a gigantic undertaking!! Having easy access to the base could make it a potentially easier to sell, being that there will be no shortage of families moving to Bremerton, or a possible rental. And Seattle is a short ferry ride away. So who knows.  Saw a couple other houses and were both just a good old fashioned no. Let’s head back to camp.

Yesterday (11/17) was our last day this neck of the woods and it was clear and sunny so James suggested we take a nice hike, which is good for all of us! There’s a trail 3 miles from the site with a difficulty level of moderate to hard and a lookout 2,200 feet to the top, about 2 miles and friends, up is the only way to get there. That fucking trail was ridiculous, at the base it was warned that there parts with  10%-20% inclines, and they weren’t joking! “Parts!” Where were the 0%-9% inclines?? NOWHERE! Mount Walker was it’s name. Fear it! About an hour into it, after several breaks we come upon 2 ladies walking down, and here’s me, crouched over, breathing heavy, (the air is thinner up there) “Please tell me we’re close,” her response, “Weeelllll not really. Just take it slow, the view is beautiful today.”😐 Bitches were in their 50’s! Pretty sure I just made them feel good about themselves damnit. So we didn’t make it to the top and after 10 more minutes I was over it, and I’m ok with that. I’ve seen so many beautiful views in my life that I chose to lessen the acute paralytic sensation I’m bound to feel in the morning and head down. The whole way I kept repeating in my head the lyrics to “Not My Idea” by Garbage circa 1995. More specifically, “this.is.not.my.idea.of.a.good.time, this is not my idea.”

So, onward to the next park. 

Beautiful west coast day.

11 Nov

We left our first week long camping stint (11/09) and headed northwest to Brinnon. It’s about halfway between Olympia and Port Angeles, WA. We had toured several towns around Rochester, peeked a little east of Olympia and a bit around the capital, and now we’re taking a look at the northwest penninsula. This little park we’ve unhitched at for the next week is just that, and I’m sad to say there’s no dog run for the kids. But it’s beautiful (I realize I say that a lot but I can’t help myself) and it’s alive and we’re right next to the water so their little bathroom break walks aren’t so bad. Our first full day was fresh and clear with no rain in the forecast so we chose to stay close and take advantage!! Lucky for us there’s a state park 2 miles away and and it’s been decided we’re spending the afternoon enjoying a fresh air hike. Something we didn’t know, you have to pay for access to all parks in this state. The government had to cut funds somewhere and to try to make up the difference we all have to pay the price. Should be no surprise that when states need extra money the first to cut from is the less “needy” services, like, you know, parks, infrastructure, schools, teachers. YadaYadaYada. The little things that don’t make much of a difference in our country or lives. Right?👍🏻

It was a refreshing timeout from all that’s going on now. On the way back to the truck we were walking alongside a stream and saw some movement! Oh! Fishes! James thinks it might be salmon but we’re unfamiliar with this neck of the woods so he asks the park ranger and she confirms, it was Chum and Coho. Took me back to my Alaska days watching the salmon run, only this time I wont be here to smell the rotting carccuses of the fish, now that’s a special kind of smell. (At least I think I won’t, the future is still unclear). And Beau really wanted to go fishing. I mean, really. ​🐡

After our getaway from all that is driving, making a travel trailer a home and googling properties, well kids, your union obligated break is over! So we peeked around the area, some short drives from where we’re staying, and maybe a half dozen listings. We’ve seen a lot of “eh, it has potential” properties. And some plain old negative as in, “I’m not impressed with the neighbors or neighborhood” sort of negatived. Then we came across this gem. Nice houses, shopping close by, something to take into factor. When we pulled up to it we literally started laughing! That real laughter you have when you hear a good joke or can’t believe this is real.  Although, it does come with a car and camper trailer as well, gee, don’t be so quick to judge Desiree! 😉 I guarantee the neighbors were looking out their windows praying we would be the ones to finally buy it and clean that shit up!! Sadly, no. Sorry not sorry.

So we called it quits for the day and went home. I attempted to write (it takes me days, obviously) and James attempted to start a fire. Bought a couple bundles at the corner store but kindling or fire starter didn’t cross our minds. Wood up here is quite different than San Diego wood 🙂 It needs a little encouragement. So that was a no-go. Alright James, let’s finish that round of Speed! 😘