Thursday, August 21, 2008

House Sitting, Dog Sitting and Just Hanging Out in Seattle

I realized it's been a over a week since I last posted. A lot has happened since then.

Currently, Dan and I are "home alone" with three dogs. Erin's mom came and took her home and Rodney, Gretchen and Lucy have gone to Florida for Rodney's brother's 40th birthday. So it's just us and Murphy, Jack and Kasey. Gretchen adopted Murphy not too long after she moved to Seattle. He is a German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix and is about 10 years old. He had been abused and Gretchen spent a lot of time and effort to rehab him. Murphy and Lucy get along really well. She climbs all over him and loves to take him for walks. He is a big dog, but never pulls on the leash with Lucy and if she stops, he does too.

Not sure what breed Jack is, but Rodney adopted him shortly after starting college. Jack is about sixteen years old and is in failing health. He has a large growth on his side, is deaf and partially blind and has mobility issues. He has lost his peripheral vision and doesn't like being surprised from the side. But he has been trotting out to see me when I come into the back yard. Gretchen and Rodney have taught Lucy not to bother Jack and she really does leave him alone.

And of course, Kasey is in the middle of everything. He is four years old and would like to play, but the senior citizen dogs would rather just take it easy.

So we're caring for the dogs, sitting out in the yard (when it's not raining - it's rained quite a bit the past few days, but was sunny today), watching the Olympics, picking zucchini, playing with the dogs, watching the Olympics, ....... You get the picture.
So, what were we doing before everyone left? Stephanie arrived on Wednesday, August 13th. Erin was really glad to see her mom. They both left this Wednesday. Erin's first day of school as a sixth grader was today. We really enjoyed having her with us this summer. And we all enjoyed our time with Stephanie and Erin this past week. They stayed in the motorhome with us, and enjoyed having breakfast with Lucy every day and just hanging out with family. We did go to Pike's Market one day and Stephanie and Dan did a four-hour hike up Mount Si another day.

And Stephanie made a wonderful blackberry cobbler with blackberries picked from the blackberry patch just across the street. Blackberries grow wild all over Seattle and most people don't even pick them. You can see by the pictures just how difficult it is to pick them. And the big ones are always just out of reach. :)

But just see the results of all that hard work. And they picked enough to freeze some too.

As I mentioned earlier, the O'Byrne's are in Florida. They'll be back Sunday morning. We took them to the airport Tuesday evening and they flew nonstop from Seattle to Miami, arriving in Miami about 3:00am. Then Wednesday morning, at 6:15, we took Erin and her mom to the airport. And we will pick up some friends of Gretchen's on Friday morning when they return from vacation. (Gail took them to the airport on Monday last week). We could probably drive to the airport blindfolded. :)

Yesterday, Dan and I drove to Everett, north of Seattle, and visited the Boeing assembly plant. We weren't allowed to take any pictures, but we did see the most recent plane in production, the 787, Dreamliner. Dan always enjoys visiting any airplane facility. He spent four years in the Air Force, but had nothing to do with planes.

And today we attended the fall RV show at Qwest Center in Seattle. It's always fun to check out the newest RV's and see the changes. We have no plans to trade our motorhome. We are very happy with it even though we do have some issues to be addressed this fall with the manufacturer. But our Mandalay came with a three year warranty and the manufacturer has honored that warranty as we've had some things fixed. And they allowed us to get most of the work done in Springfield, IL at a local RV dealer before we started fulltiming. However, we wanted to take it back to the manufacturer before the warranty expires in November for a couple of issues and some minor things which we've found since we began fulltiming in June. So we'll be in Elkhart, IN toward the end of October. We may have to leave the motorhome there for several days since some part of the work may not allow for us to stay in it while they work on it. If so, we may just stay in Monticello with the Beever's (Erin's family). Sure don't need to decide that now.

So, we are enjoying a little down time as we house sit and take care of the dogs. And we've started thinking about where to head to when we leave here next week. We know we'll be going east, but haven't settled on anything else. We've talked about stopping off in Carbondale, CO to visit Tim, Karen, Elijah and Isaac for a few days. We sure do want to see those boys again.

We'll head east on I-90 about next Wednesday and see where we end up. It's sure great to have so many choices in this lifestyle, and to know that the only big decision we have to make is where we'll park for the night. There may be a few others, but I can't think of them right now.

More later.......

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Playhouse is Finished !!!!!!

Lucy is really enjoying her playhouse. It's where she starts and ends her day. She loves opening and closing the doors and especially likes for someone to knock on the door so she can invite them in to visit.

Lucy at the door. No siding yet.

Siding being installed. (The siding came from a house across the alley that was being demolished and the blue paint matches the O'Byrne house.) Gretchen is working on the bubble machine while grandpa is getting bumped by the door. :)

Since the big people were bumping their heads on the corner of the shed roof, Grandma hung a planter from the corner. No more bumped heads. Doesn't it look homey?
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Some inside views.

We still need to make curtains for the windows, but that's more for Grandma and Mom. Lucy probably doesn't really care if she has curtains.

We are sooooo enjoying our stay here in Seattle. It's been really nice to just spend our days with family and get to know Lucy.

Grandpa is now building a picnic table for Lucy and her friends (at her mom's request). He certainly hasn't had any time to be bored. But I think he has enjoyed every minute of "work".

Pictures of the picnic table to follow.
More later......

Thursday, August 07, 2008

What Have We Been Doing Lately?

Thought I should update everyone on our latest activities in Seattle. Last Sunday afternoon we enjoyed a picnic lunch along Lake Washington and watched the Blue Angels perform. Of course, neither Gretchen nor I had our camera since we went to the lake directly from church. And even though we knew we were not going back to the house after church, we still didn't plan very well. So, no pictures, but you can check out the website from the link above. We had a wonderful day with a perfectly clear, sunny sky, nice breeze and good company.

And now for the playhouse update. Grandpa says this playhouse is a "work in progress." As you can see from the pictures, Lucy has been helping along with sharing snacks with "PaPa".



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Lucy's playhouse is designed for long-term use. Her mom wants to use it as a garden/potting shed after Lucy outgrows it; so Grandpa purchased a regular sized exterior door ($10) at "Second Use", a recycling store, to allow for adults to enter the building. Then he built a small barn-type door for Lucy and her friends to use while they are small. The windows are plexiglass. Some of the material is recycled from the fence around their yard and from a building site across the alley where a house is being torn down. The base of the building is treated lumber so it can set on the ground without a foundation. Thus making it movable. He did not put in a ceiling, so the interior height is open to the roof. He also has some blue painted cedar siding from the demolished house. Will post more pictures after the siding is completed.

For those of you who may wonder, the door knob is a passage knob - no lock; so no children being locked inside. And when I took these pictures, Dan hadn't finished the handle on the small door yet.

This morning Gretchen, Erin, Lucy and I along with Murphy and Kasey went to the dog park and let the dogs run free for about 2 hours. Needless to say, the dogs and Lucy are taking a well-deserved nap this afternoon. Erin and Gretchen are spending the afternoon with the Adams boys at the beach on Green Lake.

Just another great day in Seattle with family and friends. Oh, I almost forgot. For those of you who MIGHT wonder if we have full hook-ups (ie, electricity, water and sewer). We do have electricity and I fill the water tank from the house faucet when the tank gets low. BUT, while flushing the stool yesterday afternoon, I noticed I could see floating things in the black water tank. :) And as most RVers know, the tank sensors never seem to work correctly, but I knew the tank was FULL. After some phone calls to check about having the tanks emptied (at costs of $68 plus mileage), Dan called Poulsbo RV to see if they knew of any dump stations close to us. Remember, we are in West Seattle. The people at Poulsbo RV gave him the name of a fellow just north of SeaTac who sells propane and has a dump station. Dan called him and he acknowledged that he did have a dump station and there was no charge to dump. WOW. Sooooo, I quickly packed everything up in the motorhome (remember, we've been parked here since July 25) and off we went. We met the nicest fellow. He has a small garage and does auto repair, sells propane and has a free dump station. So we were able to dump our tanks and fill the propane tank in the motorhome and our small grill tank. And we were only gone about an hour. Even with the price of diesel fuel, we decided it was cheaper than $68 plus mileage.

Just another day in the life of the Brogdon's and their fulltime journey.

More later.......