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Road Trip with a Side of a Patty Melt.

4 Aug

For our 7 year anniversary, (this past June, yeah I procrastinate!) James had planned a travel down the Oregon coast, something I’ve been telling him he has to see for years now, for a 3 night camping trip. We dusted off our gear, (it had been way to long since the last time we camped,) planned and prepared the menu and loaded up the truck and dogs. We left early as the campsite was a 6 1/2 hour drive, and a beautiful day and drive it was.

Then, this happened. What should be a Yelp review (but won’t) is coming your way. It took about an hour longer than we’d planned when we stopped for a quick bite and beer at a dog friendly restaurant in Newport, OR. Found it on the BringFido app and it was at a Rouge Brewing Co. restaurant, and, being a well established name it had to be good, right? Wrong!!

We lucked out and found a parking spot right next to the patio, where I presume we’ll be sitting with the pups, πŸ‘πŸ»we were told to seat ourselves with a heads up that the food might take around 30 mins. That’s cool, I appreciate the knowing what I’m getting myself into. Unfamiliar with the area, and again, a well known name, we accepted it. Then 5 mins passed, 10, maybe 15 until we actually were greeted by our server. And as a person well versed of the industry myself I know how customers can TOTALLY over exaggerate a time frame. I assure you I am not. Now, “why didn’t you just leave?” you may be thinking. It’s a 3 fold response. 1, dogs. 2, wanting our truck, full of monies worth of camping gear and foods within eyesight βœ”οΈ. 3, small town, small roads, big truck (see reason #2). So we wait, every few mins saying, “Let’s just wait another minute and we’ll leave.” Alas, there she is!! She was apologetic so that’s cool, even though I’d seen her at the table across from us, twice, we are fully ready with our order (hoping it would expedite our departure as we still have almost 3 hours of driving,) and then proceeded to wait for our beers. We are now maybe 30+mins in. Me trying to make small talk when drinks finally come, “Wow you guys are pretty busy!” Her response, “Not Really” Really! Over 30 mins for a beer. Not Really!!?? Then another 30 mins pass, still no food. We’re sharing a fucking patty melt people! So, we order another round. When that round finally comes she says, “I have some interesting news and some good news. Which do you want first?” Interesting, bc well, I’m interested to hear any form of explanation. Turns out Mike took our sandwich to the wrong table and they’d already started eating it so, they’re making another for us right now, and she told them to, “put a rush on it“. The good news is, this round was on her. Sweet πŸΊπŸ–•πŸ»! So that rush put on our food was just that. Use your own imagination on how good it was. Thus folks, this took an hour and 45 mins!!!!! I’ll be skipping on Rogue Brewing from now on.

Oh! Damnit! I almost skipped the best part. There was a solo bathroom for both men and women, BUT, there was no way to lock the door, that I could see in the women’s so I went to the men’s. Huh? Same mother fucking thing! So I ask an employee who’s right there, “How do I lock the bathroom door?” I shit you not his response is, “That’s a good question, I don’t really know?” Followed by, “I’m not sure if you can.” If I can?!! How do you not know the answer? How has this never come up before? And is that even legal?!!!

Now that my rant is done and I hope you’re still reading, (sorry but it really was an experience that I felt I had to share, I mean, yeah,) we’re back on the road. The park. Sunset Bay.  Was beautiful! And the best part, no cell service. Nothing, nada, zilch, the whole time! I recommend taking yourselves somewhere similar, often. There was however, one way to make contact with the outside world, just in case. How many of you or people you know have never seen or used one of these!!!?? I picked it up just to hear the dial tone. (Also possibly something you or someone you know has no idea what that means or sounds like.)

Well, on the drive in, close to the park we passed a little corner store and there was a wheel barrow full of wood and a sign, “for sale.” Yeah, I made him turn around, those bundles they sell at the sites always burn faster as they rarely have any substantial sized logs. 20 bucks for the barrel, and nice cuts of logs. πŸ‘πŸ» Not positive the species but I know for damn sure that what we were burning here compared to camping in SD was in so many ways better! In SD the smoke was well, smokier, and when we’d get home it was straight up, everything in the garage-dogs get hosed down-strip naked-and get in the shower, smokier!! But this wood, none of that. Yeah there was still campfire smell but it was a happier kind. And when unloading our gear, dogs and own smelly beings at home, not that bad. Here our washer and dryer are in the house, in SD they were in the garage, so yeah, wood up here, unsurprisingly, trumps. No, wait, that’s not the right word. Maybe use, superior? Yep! That’s the one. Thanks to our unexpected “layover” we didn’t get settled in as early as we wanted, but we did. So by the time we’re ready to get that campfire going we’re teetering towards 8o’clock. Our little camping guidelines pamphlet we get says nothing about when fires must be out. Quiet time is at 10 but fires? When? So James goes to the host to inquire, and her answer is, none. “We can have a fire all night?”

“Yes, as long as you are quite and don’t disturb other campers.”

WHATTT??? Nice. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ”₯So we got lost in the flames and embers on a beautiful quiet night. Tomorrow. We walk! We were told there’s this amazing botanical garden at Shore Acres park, just a short hike away. Fuck yeah!! So we head off. Apparently in the wrong direction as we see no signs, and end up kicked off to the road. So we turn around and head back to camp to find our pathway out. When asking the first ranger we see where the path is her response is basically “yeah, the new camp host sn’t a fan of signs. I don’t know why.” Umm, I’m sorry, but how can you be a campground host and not be a fan of letting campers know where they’re going. In the wilderness. Where they haven’t been before? I mean, at least give us an arrow! βž°πŸ”œ But, we make our way and find the path, we did walk by the same outlook twice along the way, can’t possibly imagine how that happened, but the views were worth it!! Told you so James. 

We did find that botanical garden and of course they don’t allow dogs, understand why but, Damnit! So we had to take turns to walk through it. Which of course means, while walking through the most amazing rose garden I’ve ever seen, stopping to smell the roses loses a bit of it’s charm when the husband/dog hand-off is waiting for me. But smell I did. Totally worth it.As you know we bought a rehab property, which comes with all kinds of surprises. And whatever trees, shrubs and or plants that came with it were also part of that surprise, so we had no idea what they would look like come spring. Well there is a small rose bush in our front yard that, it seemed out of nowhere, produced this beautiful rose. I’d never seem one like this before and I beamed when I saw it out my bedroom window! Tada, this is it. It’s named Scentimental. And now when I stop and smell my roses, I know her name. It was a beautiful and peaceful few days. 
Fun’s over guys! We have a yard to get together.

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Shit me no more.Β 

22 Jan

No more shit from other peoples dogs!
We’ve packed up the trailer and the animals on our final descent to our new home!! Needless to say, the kiddies are unimpressed with the journey in their fun little carriers on this lovely truck ride out of the RV park. It’s like a cat song of torture in here πŸ‘πŸ». (maybe have animals out of ear shot of the video) 

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The dogs are upgrading to their very own back yard and will have access to it, uninterrupted as they deem necessary. No waiting on us to take them. No hoping the dog park is vacant for them, and the very bestest part of it all, no more of other people’s dogs’ shit!!! πŸ’©πŸ˜‘ Yes, that’s right, done with the keeping the park clean for our dogs to enjoy. 

Mic (in this case Poop Bag) Drop! 

So it really happened.

10 Jan

Mortgage-0

Gingerich-1 

Remember that one time, about 2 weeks ago, when I said we were “Getting the house in a week! Like one week!” I think were my words exactly. And then how our POD would take a couple weeks to get here, and we’d have to make do and live minimal with what we had from the trailer into our new empty house for however long it took. Well, hello real world situations where, for once you have planned accordingly and I thank you. Living in said “Real World” nothing works as it should, so unsurprisingly, the signing took a week longer than planned, which lines up nicely with the delivery of the rest of our belongings, and for that, a tip of the hat to you. 🎩

Well, as I’m writing now we are driving in to sign papers. What papers and what do they mean you ask? I don’t fucking know. I just hope it means keys to the house are coming within days and driving out of the trailer park is part of that timeline. We’ve been on cruise control for the past 5 weeks, desperately wanting to get into the fast lane, so we’re ready. Seems to be it may work out accordingly that we should only be sleeping on the floor a few days until that beautiful POD arrives. And! We’ll have all our tools to jump right in with the rehab and our cleaning supplies to, well, clean. Some of these are things that I was worried we’d have to buy, and I really don’t want more stuff. Moving gives you a real awakening to how much shit you acquire that, honestly, you don’t need. Let’s all take a minute to look around you and think, “Do I really need all this?”

But the shit I do need is, thankfully, closer than I thought 2 weeks ago. I want my bed! Sleeping separately for the past few months, with the animals also sharing sleepy time, is getting old. No, not getting, it’s just plain OLD! Last night it was Lily and Meows with me. The night before, Lily and Beau. A few nights ago just Daddy and Meows. You get it, they switch off themselves between James and I bc there’s not room for us all, so we all sacrifice and now, so it seems, we are days away from the humans reclaiming their bed!!! Together!! The struggle of tossing and turning, being oddly careful to not disturb the kids, with the eventual possibility to plain old kick them out will never end, but now, again, we can do it together in the same bed πŸ˜‰.


The damn fur babies always win 😦

Update! Just walked out of the bank. Money sent, house bought. Wednesday we should officially have our keys! Timing again is our friend! Just so happens our week at the RV park is paid through Thursday and that will be our last night here. In our little house, our tiny world. Vacation will be over my friends. All sorts of good, juicy, creative and amazing stories to flood your visual enjoyment coming your way. I will not disappoint. And I thank you for reading/listening. 

Β The ending of chapter 16. Beginning chapter 17.

1 Jan

2016 was a very flirtatious year for us, homeownership wise. The flirting is over. Let’s seal the deal.
For most of 2015 we planned on finishing our house and getting it on the market by the spring of 2016. Big surprise it came way too fast. We were close to being done for maybe 6-9 months. So close, but not quite there. For me, it didn’t really feel quite there for a long time, I drug my feet. I was proud of what we’d done, learned and, to be honest, I drug my feet because I was sad to let it all go, although it did make sense to me. While there were great people that I had met and personalities I really wanted to be around more these last few years, it couldn’t outshine our life there as a whole. At the end of every day, or from the start, all I wanted was to be home with our little family. My door was always open but never knocked on, but in reality, sometimes you have to leave and close it behind you as well, and I seldom did that. So, in being rational, logical, and monetarily smart, let’s do this. Shooting to get on the market in the spring but, not unsurprisingly, the months just kept creeping up and pushing us back. So many details and nuances. So many uncertainties. So many T’s to cross and I’s to dot. Needing to buy this and sell that. Clean that and throw away this. What to take and what to pack. So many ridiculous amounts of, What? But we pulled it off. The last few months, or year(s), in San Diego was so amazingly eye opening. Tiny confirmations that we were making the right decision, from friends new and old, to family or surroundings that were wearing thin. So we did the unfathomable and proceeded to put ourselves and our fur babies’ needs first.

The time had come and we drove out of California with a blank roadmap. Drive North was about as much as we’d mapped out so north we drove. Searching over a small but generous part of western Washington, driving by dozens of houses and looking inside dozens more. There were houses that weren’t worth taking any pictures of, and some that were solely for comical purposes, and then there was a prospect that became a fit for us! And oh-my-fuck-yeah we found a house! Supposedly we should be getting the keys next week. Like, next fucking week!! It’s been one of those hurry up and wait scenarios. For months it’s been pretty much up, down, back and forth. We’re ready to sell! Wait. Sold! Hurry up and move out! Drive. Camp. Drive. Searching for the new house, found one! Wait. Paperwork. Ready. Go!! Waiting for the keys. I don’t think I need to paint an exact picture for you, I can’t. I’m convinced this is going to be an extremely interesting first month of 2017. 

My only hopes, wants or needs right away are, in this order: a secure fence for the dogs, that the old as fuck oven and fridge work for now, and hot water. Everything  we own outside this trailer is sitting in a POD is SD, for a couple more weeks it turns out. Thankfully our trailer has a mattresss that we can pull out and sleep on the floor in the house for the time being, and that will be the only piecce of furniture in the house until then. We have a space heater and plenty of blankets and pillows to cuddle up to and animals to use as blankets whether they like it or not. I know our possibilities when we start on this house are unlimited, that we will make a home for us forever or for someone else in the very near future. Making a tough or inconvenienced situation a warm and happy one, is rewarding and part of the journey itself. We try not to keep things boring around these parts. 

Cheers to a Merry New Year to everyone. And, if needed, a nice tree outside you can hide behind and piss on 2016. ❀🍷

Baby it’s cold outside.Β 

15 Dec

Inevitably the temperature is dropping!! Winter is here! Northwest winter, not SoCal winter. 😊
It has officially snuck it’s tiny ice cold toes into our little home. 

 We had our rainy days, scattered sunny days and then snow!! Big fluffy flake snow!! The first fall was short lived, maybe 30 minutes and quickly melted away, but, not seeing it for years we were like small children looking out the window, all giddy and shit. Well, snow is in the forecast again, only this time it’s reported to last longer. Its been years since we’ve played in snow, even longer since we’ve lived where there was a winter that included snow, and degrees that hovered around freezing. So our first night of the temperature dropping, not really thinking anything of it since we’ve never been in this situation, water and pipes came into play. Late evening I turn on the water and it’s in the slow lane on the freeway. Shit. Here are those freezing temps coming into play. So we turn the faucets on to a slow drip hoping to get through the night and remedy tomorrow. No more than 10 minutes later there’s a knock on the door… It’s the park host informing us it’s dropping below freezing tonight and that we should disconnect our water hose. We have 2-5 gallon jugs full so being without running water over night or part of a day is doable, frozen pipes however, not so much. So thank you Mr. Park Host Man. Well, the next afternoon James is at the office/store to rent a movie and it just so happens that Chatty-mic-chat-Stein is working which, (seriously, this sweet lady will turn a 5 minute transaction into 30, easy!) turned out this time to be beneficial. She told James about thermal tape for the water hose, or spend a few dollars more and get a heated water hose. Never heard of this before, how would we, but now it’s on the list! So we make it through no water night number one, and two, and that tiny ass snow fall has gone away. It warmed above freezing and we’ve prolonged our water hose issue for now. Then we got snow again! β„οΈβ˜ƒοΈ For like hours this time. Our Lily girl has only lived in San Diego so snow is a brand new experience for her! She sat and looked out the window with such intrigue that when we went outside, well, her prance was different, and she for sure knew it wasn’t raindrops she was feeling. ​

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So lets talk about this snow/rain/below freezing and back again temperatures we are now living in. Myself growing up in southeast Alaska, James in Illinois, we both know our way around some weather. Leaving said states that have more than one season and moving to San Diego we both were smart enough to keep some cold weather gear necessary for trips back home or camping and such. I had a fun little bag tucked away in the back of the closet full of our warm clothes; gloves, scarves, hats, snow gear and such. Well, in packing away our lives for shipping, and loading our trailer for living, somewhere along the line that bag full of cozy necessities got packed for the wrong journey!! (So did the damn plug for my electric blanket! That I have with us and long for almost daily.) 😩

Being unsure of how long we’d be living in this, or how much space we’d really have, when packing things away we went minimal on the “travel with” pile. Now, I have a handful of cute warm coats, don’t get me wrong, but what do I need with a cute anything on this journey just yet? So I keep my Carhartt coat, James as well. We also both bring our Xtratuff boots, necessary for sure, a few hoodies and jeans (this is our cold weather gear apparently.) Turns out when we dress for a cold rainy day we look like twins. (which was pointed out to us by our realtor and a guy looking at a property as we were leaving it.) I guess it’s time to do a little shopping. 😊Can you ever really have too many scarves? Or boots? Or hats?  Really? Oh, and a heated water hose, that’s a real sexy accessory to have as well. 

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!!!! ​​
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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. 

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

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.