Saturday, May 20, 2017

HOME



The last post I put on this blog was back in October 2016 when we returned home from travelling. We’ve experienced a lotta stuff since then. I had my double knee replacement in November. Early rehab was, honestly, fucking terrible. PAIN! But it got better. Now, I’m 6 months post-surgery and they pretty much feel like my own knees. That’s the big win from these past few months. We had Christmas, New Year’s. Valentine’s Day, Chloe’s birthday, etc. Lotta stuff in these past 6 months. Ah, but what are our future plans now that that’s done? We’ve gone around and around about that. We did decide to stay here through the Summer. The Northwest is exquisite in the Summer and we were gonna be here through the Spring anyway doing rehab for my knees. But beyond that… Well, here’s the thing.

Home. It both a simple and subtle concept. It’s the physical building where you live. It’s also the emotional/psychological concept of where your heart resides. We got married in 1990. Bought this house in 1991 but we’ve never been alone as a couple in this house. When we moved in, cousin Sonya was looking to move out and asked if she could stay with us. She moved into our somewhat-finished basement bedroom. Then came nephew-son Jerry. Then we had MJ. Then Chloe. At some point Sonya moved out. Jerry, too. Then it was us and the girls for the next coupla decades with the parttime addition of niece Emma who unschooled with us. While we were on our 2015-2016 roadtrip (as a couple! But in our popup trailer.), Chloe took a job transfer to Minneapolis, leaving MJ and Joe as sole fulltime occupants of the house with the partial presence of Emma. Since we’ve been back, it’s been us plus those folks. But now MJ and Joe are moving into their own place and Emma will “finish high school” in June.

Leaving us alone in the house for the first time EVER. Honestly, we intend to enjoy the shit out of our exclusive Summer at home. But howzabout Fall? We are both kinda tired of year-round living here and neither girl wants to buy the house from us on the “family plan”. So… Back on the road? Buy somewhere else with the profits from selling? Or renting? Decisions are hard!

We do have a commitment to housesit for Ronnie’s dad in San Diego at the end of September, so that’s a scheduling hardpoint. And whether we rent or sell, we need to empty more than two decades worth of crap from the house and do some basic repairs and maintenance. So, our Summer will be living here (ALONE!) and doing some cleanup-fixup while enjoying local campouts and hikes. Based on our research and a walkthrough by a real estate agent, we’ll eventually decide on the rent/sell choice. Then we jump into our new adventures for the Fall.

It’s New Knees Summer and I’m stoked.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Roadtrip Day 456


Roadtrip Day 456
10/06 Thursday
Travel Corvallis to home. Home! Phew!
And with that, I’m gonna call this post the end of this trip. We are home and here for several months while I have surgery and rehab; so, this is the final post which could even possibly have a label of “Roadtrip”. It was great. Looking forward to another trip at some point.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Roadtrip Day 429 or Knee Surgery is Set


Roadtrip Day 429

9/09 Friday

In the time since my last post, I've created docs for each day but theres nothing significant to report. Just life at home.
So, Thursday evening we had a long visit with the ortho doc. He was running very late which certainly ramped up my nervousness. After a long discussion, we arrived at 11/11 for Dr. Anderson (called “Neo” - maybe “Knee-O”) to do both my knees. I now have a booklet and a list of things to do before 11/11.

Interesting tidbit. The doc said he generally likes to do both knees for people less than 65 but I’m healthy, fit, and motivated enough that I qualify. Joy.

So Ronnie and I will pop down to San Diego for the next coupla weeks, then come back home to do all the pre-op crapola before 11/11. Definitely a period for me to be religious about getting to the gym and getting my basic fitness and metabolism at the best possible level before surgery.

So it begins…

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Day 369 et sequitur Home Interlude

Today is Day 409 - 8/20. Summation of the recent past:

We met Chloe at the airport in Minneapolis and got her settled, crashing with friends. We then headed to Cherie and Steve's in Nebraska for a visit. Home from there. At home, we settled in for a short visit before loading a U-Haul trailer with Chloe's stuff to return to Minneapolis to help her get set up in the apartment she found in the interim. Hauled her stuff to Minneapolis and stayed with her in her new apartment for a few days. It's very nice. I like it a lot.





We left Chloe to her new life and headed down the freeway TRAILERLESS for a quick visit with Alex P. and saw her farm. Then fast driving back to Seattle. At home, it was an endless grunt of cleaning and deodorizing the basement rooms. Still at it but the bedroom is reclaimed and the big room ("family room" "video room") is close to being reclaimed.

We had thought we'd be unable to attend the LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference due to money and travelling but, because we're home, we decided to make it happen. So for the first weekend in September, we'll be in Portland, OR with so many friends.

Meanwhile, over the past few months my mobility has gotten progressively worse. It hurts to walk which obviously makes hiking difficult. I made an appointment with my primary doc (who is a gerontologist) and after a long discussion I took a referral to the orthopaedic surgeon. I see him on 9/8. Our plan was to housesit in San Diego for the last two weeks of September then continue being back on the road travelling. Now, it looks like I'll be scheduling knee-replacement surgery ASAP, hopefully in October. So instead of continuing back on the road, we'll housesit in San Diego then return home for surgery and the lengthy rehab period following.

I have not written anything for my second novel since being home and Ronnie has stalled on her editing pass of the first one. I'm ready to return to writing and with the enforced immobility of the rehab period, I hope to finish it by Christmas.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Roadtrip Day 368


Roadtrip Day 368

7/10 Sunday

Some pretty good rain last night but tapering off in the AM and gone by 10. We’re getting ready to take Chloe to crash with her friend until she gets her own apartment. Applications and searches in the works for that. We have late checkout in place here at the campground. We’ll get Chloe settled then come back here and pack ourselves up and get rolling by late afternoon. Chloe’s stuff now.

What a day. We’re at a Hampton Inn in Des Moines, Iowa for the night. Tomorrow we’ll cruise down the I-80 to Cherie’s.

Roadtrip Day 367


Roadtrip Day 367

7/9 Saturday

Ack! Terrible night. Ronnie and Chloe freaked out that maybe mosquitoes were getting in and stayed up forever in the middle of the night hunting them. I’m gonna need a big nap today. Sunny today without the cloudiness of yesterday. Probably gonna be hot. I need a Coke to get this day started. Coke with lemon pound cake. Yeah, that sounds like the palliative or even curative for me this particular bright morning.

Finished chapter 7 which I’ve tentatively titled “Dawn of the Living Dead” in honor of the legionaries’ nearly-alcohol-poisoned condition. It was a really fun chapter to write and I amused myself greatly. I don’t know how it’ll be received by readers but, like I said, it amused me tremendously. So there. Probably a little too “Three Stooges” in style and will mostly appeal to 12-year-old boys. But marathon puking is funny as hell, isn’t it?

The next chapter, chapter 8, is like a hands-on project for first-year Latin class – how to build a small ballista. Caveant draconi! I’ll hafta add some human interest to keep it from being simply a dull procedure of insert tab A into slot B. Well, the legionaries are pathetically hungover and the villagers are digging staked dragon pits under Flavius’ direction. Some potential for accidental carnage there.

Just took a break sitting in the screenroom having ice-cold lemonade-tea with Ronnie and Chloe. Cool and refreshing in the heat. While there, we watched a squirrel in a nearby tree (maybe 25 yards) busily going right to left and left to right, fighting or having sex or something. We eventually decided that she was moving a nest from the left to the right and picking up and carrying babies was all the extra strange motion we were seeing. Interesting.

Done with TLC:CtD for today. Gonna sit in the cool(er) screenroom and watch “The Avengers” on my laptop while Ronnie and Chloe run the streets accomplishing great things.

Avengers are done destroying New York and the shower called my name. Ahhhh! Better. Although it’s after 6 now and the day is cooling down. Some. Ronnie and Chloe are maybe on their way back or maybe going to look at Craigslist bikes if they get callbacks. I’ll see them in a while or a long while. I’m sitting contentedly damp under the trailer fan set on full power. I’m good.

Chloe came back to the trailer with a bicycle! She now has her own transpo in addition to shank’s mare. And public transit, of course. Tomorrow, we’ll drop her off to crash with a friend until she finds a lace of her own. She’s hoping for serious callback(s) Monday. And Monday she starts her new job in her new city. Pretty exciting. After we drop her, we’re hoping to make a hi-how-are-you visit to Alex Polikowsky and her gang. Never met them in real life. I’m excited to hear Alex’s accent. She’s a carioca – native of Brazil – now raising show cows in Minnesota. Go figure.

We’ll see how tomorrow goes. Bedtime now.

 

Roadtrip Day 366


Roadtrip Day 366

7/8 Friday

Good morning. Sunny and it’s gonna be hot. Gonna have some breakfast and then help Chloe get settled in her new city. W00t! 9am start after a late night. That’s businesslike.

Zipped around Minneapolis with Chloe. Saw one apartment. Seemed fine and not too far from her work. Phone tag with a coupla others. Drove around downtown sightseeing. Had lunch at Subway and got Chloe a new phone cuz her old one was broken to shit. Back at camp now for a little rest and more research and apartment paperwork filling out for Chloe. Lotta dark clouds all day but no actual rain yet. Made the temps very nice. Campground is filling up for the weekend.

Target trip for a coupla things for Chloe. Dinner now. BBQ chicken (skin-on, bone-in), mashed potatoes, and asparagus.

Oink! Chloe had a leg, Ronnie had a thigh, and I had half a breast. Chloe and I both even ate some asparagus despite the fact that they’re (shudder) green. I BBQd two of each of those things, so we have lots of leftovers. We did some damage to the mashed potatoes, however, and those green things are completely gone. (grin) Chocolate Twinkie for dessert finished me off. (Burp!) finishing up at 8:30 after a long day of apartment hunting, new phone, etc. Might be an early bedtime tonight. We talked about going to see the new “Independence Day” cuz I haven’t been to the movies in forever but bushed immobility trumped driving to the movies tonight.

Tomorrow brings day 2 of “Chloe in a new city.” What will that day bring, I wonder?

Friday, July 08, 2016

Roadtrip Day 365


Roadtrip Day 365

7/7 Thursday

Travel day and the anniversary of our departure – one year ago today. A year on the road – admittedly with a break for the Christmas holidays at home and I stayed there extra to do my kendo and iaido testing but Ronnie got right back on the road.

Breaking camp was mosquito brunch time. Damn! They feasted on us. But we finally got all our muddy, damp shit packed up and ready for the road. Cruised on down to our new digs outside of Minneapolis and set up in the HOT afternoon sun. Phew! After a little sit down in the shade, we went to the main building and put several loads of dirty clothes in the laundry. While they cooked, we hit the showers. Ahhhhh! Very nice. Refreshing. This is a well-set-up campground. With laundry done, we headed for some fast food (I hadn’t eaten anything all day and Ronnie had only had breakfast.) then a quick grocery trip. Back to the trailer and I took a pain pill and rested. Not just my knee but my whole left leg was really painful. Think I have a pinched nerve as well as basic bad knees.

 Better after a rest. Ronnie mad a hotspot and I did a quick online check – email and Facebook. And caught up on the news. If you don’t think the police are the enemy, then you’re rich and White or you’re stupid. When I tell people my procedure for reacting when stopped by the police, they scoff at how extravagantly silly I am but even as an old, apparently well-to-do White man, I don’t give those fuckers an opportunity/excuse to say I was “threatening.” Waaaaay back in the 60s, police apologists would say, “Well, if you don’t like the police, next time you’re in trouble, call a hippie.” Ya know, I suspect a hippie might at least try to help me rather than shoot me down like a rabid dog for no fucking reason. ‘nuff said on that.

Leaving to get Chloe from the airport soon! So exciting!

Got her! It’s late. A little snack, a little chat, and sleep.

Roadtrip Day 364


Roadtrip Day 364

7/6 Wednesday

The storm ended as predicted last night but it was a good one while it lasted. It’s supposed to hit 85 today. Not so bad yet at 11:30. We’re running Genny so I have power now. I ran down to nothing last night writing a morning-after hangover scene. I amused myself greatly doing that. Today is sunny and fresh and it may yet get to 85. Who knows?

Spent much of the day writing. I have amused myself mightily with the tale of the hungover legionaries trying to pull themselves together for predawn assembly. Poor bastards. Hahahaha!

Working toward evening now. I’m very happy with the “hungover legionaries” chapter. That’s a successful day of writing when you laugh at your own stuff! Time to read and relax. Moving tomorrow.

Roadtrip Day 363


Roadtrip Day 363

7/5 Tuesday

Surprisingly quiet night after the fireworks show. Pleasant greyish morning. Not hot. Yet. It was buggy (mosquitoes) when we set up so we made sure to attach the screenroom. Really nice to have that available to use and as an airlock between bugs and the interior of the trailer. We’re supposed to get some rain today so the screenroom is also nice for that. We can sit outside and enjoy the freshness even while it’s raining. If it does. Might not.

We are at the Highland Ridge Campground in the Eau Galle Recreation Area, WI and we’ll stay here until the morning of the 7th. Then, we’ll break camp and move to the campground Ronnie reserved for us near Minneapolis. We’ll pick Chloe up from the airport later that evening around midnight.

I finished reading Matt’s new (self-published) book “Quantum Lock.” It’s the first in a planned series of sf novels set in a post-dystopian world. I wish him great luck with it. I’m always happy to see new sf books.

Speaking of self-publishing, I guess I should put some time in on TLC:CtD. I can’t make progress on it if I don’t add any words to the doc. A million monkeys at typewriters to equal Shakespeare, this lone monkey at his laptop to crank out a pedestrian sword-and-sandal action novel. So this little monkey should stop jumping on the bed (metaphorically, of course) and start pounding on the keyboard.

Shaka-laka-J!

I have no idea what it means but the girls (our two little monkeys) used to say that when they’d jump on the open sofabed. It seemed to embody the qualities of satisfaction and completion and happiness, so once more unto the text-creating trenches, dear friends! And shaka-laka-J, motherfuckers!

The possibility of rain has become a severe storm warning. Well, ok, then. Constant, rumbly thunder all around. Nasty, yellow light. Drizzle has started and the camp host went around saying that the showerhouse is the official storm shelter. We’re close, if it comes to that. Drizzle is getting to be more than a drizzle now. Another exciting weather even brought to you by the latter half of our roadtrip. Big, specific thunder and hard rain now coming from a green sky. This is not the fabled green flash of a perfect tropical sunset, rather it is the ominous green of the Angle of Death from the movie “10 Commandments.” Well, ok, not quite that green but still nasty looking. Heavy rain and simultaneous lightning and thunder. Party on! Supposed to diminish/end by midnight. We’ll see.

Roadtrip Day 362


Roadtrip Day 362

7/4 Monday

Travel day. Woke early to get packed and get on the road. Did all that efficiently and made it to Madison by 11 in order to visit Jocelyn and Martin. It was so nice to see them one-on-one rather than in the hurly-burly of a conference. They took us to lunch at a delightful and delicious Vietnamese-Thai place. Yum! Hadn’t had Thai in a LONG time. After lunch we just sat at their house and had a lovely chat accompanied by a freshly-made tart. Burp! It was wonderful to visit with them and we hated to leave but we still had a lotta miles to go to get to our reserved campsite.

Bye! Thanks! Hope to do it again soon. Fabulous people.

Drifted into the campground around 7pm. Got set up. Warmed up the leftover yellow curry from lunch for a quick and easy (and tasty!) dinner. I had a long, hot shower; that was swell. Listened to what sounded like a 75mm mortar attack which was a fireworks show at the nearby dam. It stopped at a reasonable time and we crashed into a delightfully quiet night.

Roadtrip Day 361


Roadtrip Day 361

7/3 Sunday

Up before 9:00! I am soooo amazing. (grin) Pleasant morning to start with whole-milk chocolate milk and an apple Danish. Did some reading and some writing and a little Facebook surfing. Now it’s time for a nap cuz I didn’t sleep well and I’m fuzzy tired.

A little chocolate milk refreshment to wake up and start thinking about dinner. Very quiet here. Seems like everybody’s at the lake.

Time to do dinner and settle for the evening. Travelling tomorrow. Median stop in Madison, WI (yet another state that starts with “I”) to see Jocelyn and her gang. Then on to Highland Ridge Campground (still in WI) for the next three nights. Finally, on the 7th, we transition to the campground near Minneapolis and pick up Chloe at the airport near midnight that night so she can stay with us while she gets set up with crashing with friends or whatever she’ll be doing until she finds her own place.

I’m still tired from last night’s bad sleep so I’m gonna crash early. Nighty-night.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Roadtrip Day 360


Roadtrip Day 360
7/2 Saturday
Up by 8:30 today. Still a little grey but the sun is trying to dominate. Campground is pretty full for this all-American holiday. Raspberry Danish with P.G. Tips tea (lemon and sugar) to start me up.
Coupla days added to the blog and a cruise around Facebook. Bought a copy of Matt Frazier’s book for the kindle. “Quantum Lock.” Gonna read it this weekend. Getting on toward lunch now. Gonna scrounge something and start reading. Maybe sitting in the screenroom. It’s a lovely day.
Surprise socialization this afternoon. Denise, Brice, and the boys decided to come look at Laura and Rob’s property here which is for sale. So, we met here in the campground then went on over to the big resort to check out the facilities and look at the actual lot. After a while, we returned to the campground while they continued to check out the place. A while later, they stopped by to tell us that they were definitely gonna buy it and they were returning to the lake to go out on the realtor’s party barge. Who’d’a thunk it?
Amazing! Ya never know what the day will bring.
Feels like a day for BBQ chicken breasts with bones and skin. Corn on the cob and pasta to go with. Still got strawberries and angelfood cake for after. All-American food! Fuck yeah!
Yiss! Ronnie and I typically like boneless-skinless chicken breasts but were apparently on the same wavelength for this meal. I seasoned those bone-in-skin-on breasts heavily and seared both sides, then let them slow cook on the BBQ. Man! They were good. We both devoured the crispy skin. Now I’m recuperating with my bowl of delicious anglefood cake and sugared strawberries. Burp!
Sigh. The large, loud group nearby is now drunk and very loud and playing fucking country music. Ya know what’s worse than country music?
NOTHING!
Well, ok, maybe Donald Trump. Or NAZIs. NAZIs are always worse no matter what you’re talking about. And libertarians – the absolute worst! Maybe some other stuff. But not much. Not very fucking much is worse than fucking country music and loud drunks with whiny fucking penetrating voices.
And fireworks.
But it’s mostly a nice night and dinner is sitting lovingly in mah bellie. So I’m gonna get some sleep. See ya tomorrow.