Monthly Archives: October 2017

New heaters for the second guest room

Lots of visitorsThe remodel continues at a good pace as we prepare for visitors, lots of visitors. To that end, we have to get the house in to a more operable state at the same time we need to continue work on the remodel. Easier said than done. People will understand a little bit of disorder, but we want to make sure the guest bedrooms work OK–the two goals often working at cross purposes with each other. We decided the number one goal is to have two working guest bedrooms by the weekend, After that, we can go back to painting.

The first guest bedroom is in pretty good shape. It is newly painted with all the furniture it needs. All it needs is a little organization. The bed for the second one is scheduled to arrive sometime today. It needs to be assembled, a couple of tables, a chair, a heater we got from Walmart.com (again, at a significant savings over Amazon), and a lamp or two need to be added. Then that room will be good to go (short term) as soon as the carpet needs to be cleaned.

Uncle Doug’s DNA kit results

Uncle Doug's ethnicity estimateMy brother (Uncle Doug) got one of those DNA kits as a Christmas gift last year. The results were completely unexpected. We had always assumed, based on word of mouth family history that we were a quarter Finnish (not to far off the mark) and the rest was Welsh/English. The thing that is surprising is the largest component, over a third, is from Scandinavia. We have really wondered what is the ancestry of Lorena. We think there is a big Spanish component, maybe some French, some native Mexican and maybe even some semitic component. We are definitely going to do this. I think Doug’s cost something like $99. Not a bad price for something so interesting.

Where to take the blog

My blog posting has fallen off quite a bit over the last month or so. Part of this is due to a lack of time with work on the sickle cell disease project and my day job and the travel required for that, getting Grandpa Milo’s and Grandma Sarah’s estate settled, remodeling the house (even though the new kitchen is in, we still have about a year to go at our current pace), etc., etc. Really, though, I have not been so inspired to write too much. It was nice to be able to put up pictures so friends and family in other places could see pictures of what was going on with the remodel, but there has not really been any greater goal in my posting. The early posting about homeschool, CLEP testing, and posting about skipping high school to go to college had a greater appeal and still draws a lot of traffic to the site and was well worth the effort. After some thought, I have to find something better about which to write or just turn this into a personal blog with pictures and posts suitable for friends and family. I am working through that now. I do not think it will be a short process and I plan to continue to write as I go, but my desire is to find better things about which to write.

New furniture realities

My new parking placeWe enjoyed getting some new furniture yesterday. It was quite a task getting it into the house, but we have a (kind of) system now so it will be easier next time. The picture right below this text shows how it all appeared when we put it in place. the picture way down at the bottom shows what I think it will look like for all but those rare times when we have company and Kiwi the remaining twin cat sister is in hiding and unable to scratch the new furniture. We are not sure these pieces will stay where they are, but until we finish remodeling and buy some more, they are in a good place.The new furnitureThe cat coverings

New furniture — Bob and Gena’s fault

A BarcaLounger for the remodeled living roomBob and Gena invited us over to their house a couple of days after we arrived in Washington. Ever since then, Lorena has had sofa envy. Well, we are trying to remedy all that, but I am not sure if it will ever be enough! The good news, is that in addition to the sofa, we got a BarcaLounger. That was what we called Grandpa Milo’s chair when we were growing up and boy did he love it. Looking forward to putting this to great use.

Another 25th Anniversary

After Lorena and I got married, we decided it would be easier to just get married again in the US. We had planned to do it on the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. We missed it by one day. It was a fifteen minute affair in the County Clerk’s office of Palm Beach County, Florida. I thought I should just put this here for the sake of posterity.

The kids are home to celebrate

Kelly home for fall break 2017Christian and Kelly came to Centralia this weekend. The purpose is to celebrate Christian’s birthday, my birthday and Lorena’s and my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. We are going to do the “official” celebration toward the end of the year in Mexico at either the place we had the original wedding or something very similar. It is really nice to be able to have the kids home more frequently. Plane flights between Seattle or Portland and Phoenix are really pretty cheap so Christian can get here pretty easily. Train tickets from downtown Seattle to Centralia are even cheaper, so Kelly can get here any time she wants.

The real reason this became an occasion was because has a four day fall break and I have Columbus Day off. We ate way too much and hung out together. Hopefully we will be able to do it again at Thanksgiving and then again in Mexico.

A harvest moon and our first apple harvest

Centralia Harvest Moon 2017The picture to the right was taken last night and the moon looks even bigger today. There is a special feeling in the fall when homeschool starts up again, the weather starts cooling down, and there are tons of amazing local food stuffs on the grocery store shelves. Thanks to our friend Bob, we even had our own special harvest. Our apple trees have not been pruned properly for what looks like several years, but Bob brought over a apple picker on the end of a long pole so we did not get completely skunked. Lorena made up some apple sauce. Wonderful stuff. We are going to prune in January or February and hope for a much more bountiful harvest next year.

An added benefit is that Christian arrives shortly after midnight tonight for his fall break. That coupled with the fact I get Columbus Day off with my new company (it is also Canadian Thanksgiving Day), means life is quite good right now.

All-in-all, an excellent trip to China

Kiwi and the endless battle to sit on the counterI got back to Seattle almost two hours ahead of the scheduled arrival. The departure time got pushed up from 11:30 AM to 11:00 AM. Who ever heard of such a thing. The other thing that seems completely out of sync with my experience is that from my first ride from the airport to the hotel in Shanghai to my last ride from the hotel to the airport in Beijing, all the driving was quite sane and careful on very good roads. I am sure it must be that I was not in the right place to experience the wild driving about which I have heard, but they would have to up their insanity by several orders of magnitude to arrive at what I have experienced on numerous occasions in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon.

We went from SeaTac airport to drop Kelly off, home for a quick change and then on to church followed by a five hour nap. Then I went to bed at my normal time and got up at my normal time. The jet lag had way less effect on me than what I remember from trips to Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. Maybe it is because I am getting old and do not need much sleep. The whole trip, the nuts and bolts mechanics of it anyway, was about as benign as any Asian trip I have ever taken. I do not know if I relish the idea of going on a super regular basis, but I do not dread the idea anymore. It will be good to go back and see the very kind people with whom I worked when I was there, too.

Kiwi was fit to be tied when we got home. She had stayed by herself for two days while Lorena stayed with Kelly. It was good to see her, but she let us know she was displeased; in no uncertain terms.