Friday, July 27, 2007


My house has been "sold"

My little house in Little Mountain Estates is looking different again because something has been added to the "For Sale" sign in the front yard. It is a "Sold" sign.
Sold house 1

While we were in Spokane things finalized on the house my buyer's are selling and they wanted a couple of things signed by me. They faxed over an acceptance of the inspection report that calls for replacing a small amount of the siding at the rear of the house. We have gotten a bid on that for about $250 plus tax and it has now almost been finished. The other thing was that they would like to take possession of the house on Aug. 1st, although the sale won't close until the 10th when they get the money from the closing of the house they are selling. They also asked to be able to get into it this weekend to start painting, especially on the outside, as the weather report here is favorable for the next week or longer. I signed and faxed them back.

We decided that we should be here to see things through on this sale, plus the forecast in Spokane called for temps that could be as high as 100F starting today. As I have said earlier, Pat doesn't like hot weather and three digit readings are definitely HOT. So, we got up early yesterday, left the campground at 08:00, bought $115.75 worth of gasoline to replace what we burned driving over and were on the road by 08:20 for home. We stopped in Ellensburg about 11:30 for lunch, then turned north to cross Blewett Pass on US 97, heading for US 2. We stopped in Leavenworth at Prey's Fruit Stand for fresh apricots & peaches, then headed west over Stevens Pass. We found quite a bit of construction causing two long delays, so we wouldn't have arrived at I-5 in Everett until about 16:30 and that is rush hour. So, we turned north on SR 9 and came home the back way, arriving here at 17:07. We unloaded a few things then went out for dinner and crashed in our recliners when we got home.

This morning I got the rig unloaded, then took it to Safeway to fill the gas tank before parking it. This time it took more gas as we drove farther and crossed two mountain passes, both higher than Snoqualmie that we crossed while going over there, but we got it for $2.719/gallon so I only spent $116.50. I brought it home and washed it, then parked it in it's storage lot. I did figure our mileage and from the time we filled it just after buying it to the end of this trip, a distance of 808 miles, it averaged almost exactly 8 miles per gallon. That is not too bad of mileage for moving a house.

Speaking of houses, here is another photo of mine with the Sold sign:
Sold house 2
I will miss this house and it sure holds a lot of good memories for me. But I live only about two blocks away and have some very good friends living next door to my "old" place so am sure I will be still seeing quite a bit of it.

This sale about closes a major book in my life and Pat & I can get on with building our book of life. We have some plans for this house we live in, like adding a sun room on the SW side, fencing & landscaping changes in the back yard, etc. There may even be a trip to Hawaii this winter. For us, not the house. If I can convince Pat there is no other way to get there except by airplane. That genie hasn't built the bridge yet to drive over there.

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Monday, July 23, 2007


Japanese Gardens at Manito Park

I found that I have a couple of photos on Flickr that were taken in Aug 2005 at the Japanese Gardens in Manito Park. I may have posted them earlier in a blog but will go ahead and do so here along with the other photos from the other gardens.

Japanese garden #2
This pond is fairly large and has fish that are quite large in it. This is a very peaceful area to visit and quite beautiful.

Japanese garden #1
Here is another area of the pond and the adjacent landscaping.

A tranquil place
And still a different area, this time showing a couple of the fish. They are at least two feet long.

These gardens are real show placed within the city of Spokane. They are located in a public park and are free to visit.

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Duncan Gardens at Manito Park

We visited Spokane's Manito Park yesterday. There are quite a few formal gardens there including Duncan Gardens. That is the one we visited and the greenhouse with it where the plants are propagated. I only had the small Sony camera but do have a few photos and will post about four of them here.

This first photo was taken inside the greenhouse with Pat standing under a very large leaf that is a part of a much larger plant. I don't remember what the name of this plant is but it is big. And this will give a bit of a feel for what the place looks like.

There is a fairly large cactus garden inside one of the greenhouse rooms. Here is Pat admiring a String of Pearls plant that is in that room. I don't know if it has stickers like the cactus plants or not.

I found the juxtaposition of the daisies in the foreground and the cactus plants in the background to be interesting.

Here is an overall view of the formal Duncan Gardens from above. We didn't go down into the garden area, partially because it was HOT outside, about 90 degrees.

There are formal rose gardens and a Japanese garden that are both beautiful. I do have some photos of both in my album in Photoshop and may try to upload a few here, but probably will wait until I get home to look into that. I have Photoshop Elements version 5 installed on this laptop but it is a bit different from v4 that I have been using. I think I like it but it will take a little more playing with before I feel comfortable with it. Anyway, if you ever have the chance to visit Manito Park in Spokane, do so, especially if you are interested in gardening.

Here are a few more photos from that set:

Here is a kind of general view inside one of the rooms.

A neat area within the greenhouse that also includes a small stream with a waterfall.

There are some real large plants inside that place- here are a few of them.

As we were leaving the greenhouse I looked back & noticed this scene. The place is full of beauty.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007


A link to the Hot Rod Cafe

I'll try to post a link to the Hot Rod Cafe web site. I didn't bring my notebook that I use to check my syntax for links so hope I can remember it correctly. Let's try this:

The Hot Rod Cafe in Post Falls, Idaho

Yep, it works. Go enjoy & browse their web site. Check some of the photos from the River City Rod Run, with over 1000 cars entered. They have the biggest list of northwest car enthusiast events I have ever seen. Lots to see, if you enjoy these type of vehicles.



Back to the Hot Rod Cafe

Yesterday (Friday) when we woke up it was only 63 degrees inside the RV. That felt cool until we got up & moving during which time it went up a bit. Breakfast in the rig, then I took Huggy for a walk on her leash. Walking a cat is not like walking a dog. You sort of follow her along and try to steer her to where you hope she will go. She enjoyed the outing.

I had sent out an email request to friends who are gathering here in town for our annual (since last year) old friends get together asking for phone numbers. G had sent a nice list of them but it is at home on my desktop PC & I forgot to print it before we left. I got two answers back in a few minutes and called G to find out what was up for the day.

After that we got in the Saturn (towed car) and drove into Spokane to a real estate office where my selling agent had faxed some paperwork for me to sign & fax back. While driving there we spotted a Chili's Restaurant at the Northtown shopping center which looked like a good place to meet for lunch. We called D, G & my brother L to suggest the place as we left the real estate office and they came to meet us there for lunch.

Pat had found some shoes that she just loves at Macy's at home but they only had one pair & style. She bought them but we walked by a much larger Macy's going into the mall so we stopped to check. They have a large, separate shoe store & they not only had this brand of shoes in many styles but they were on sale! We bought a pair.

We went next to Hastings Book Store at Lincoln Heights for mochas in their Hardback Cafe and of course bought some books. That trip took a lot longer than it does to talk about it. We dropped my brother off at his house, then stopped to pick up D at his sister's house. D & I started Kindergarten together so I've known him a long time. From there we drove to Post Falls, Idaho and the Hot Rod Cafe. When we originally left the rig I didn't realize that we would be gone all day & I didn't have my camera along, so for photos you will have to go to the archives for July of last year. If you haven't been there or saw my photos last year, do go take a look. It is a very unique place.

We dropped two off on our way home & didn't get home until about 21:30. It wasn't long before time for some sleep. This morning we are going to breakfast, just the two of us, then we will be off again with these friends. This time I will take the camera along!

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Friday, July 20, 2007


On the road again....

We left home as planned last Tuesday on our first real RV trip, after Pat finished her volunteer shift at the Day Surgery unit in the hospital. We got through the heavy population areas with only two slow downs, at Everett and Bellevue, hitting I-90 just before 15:00. East over Snoqualmie Pass to E & J RV Resort in Ellensburg, WA. This is an RV park connected with Days Inn there and is next door to the Flying J Truck Stop. We walked over to the Saks restaurant at Flying J for dinner. Cable TV was available but we couldn't get a channel that had our baseball game on (the Seattle Mariners.) We did have a good Internet connection over the Verizon Wireless connection.

Up for breakfast at the Days Inn free breakfast that is included with your overnight fee. We got away before 10, stopped for lunch at Templins at Sprague and pulled into Ponderosa Falls RV Resort about 10 miles west of Spokane before 14:00. This is a park within the K/M system that we are members of so we can stay for two weeks with no additional fee, beyond our $280/year dues. Then we would have to be out of the park for a week before we could check back in for another two weeks. Of course we won't be here quite two weeks so it is not a concern. The freeway exit from I-90 to get here is exit #272 in Washington State.

I got us hooked up but cannot find my telephone cord to hook up to the hot phone system. It may turn up when I go digging in the big storage compartment but it isn't as important as it used to be since we both have cell phones and do not need a phone modem connection with the laptop to connect to the Internet. We do have a new water leak, though. There is a steady leak that appears to be coming from some of the water connections at the top of the water pump. This is while connected to city water- I don't know if it will leak when we are not on a water system but are using the pump and water from our own tank.

This is another thing we will need to get fixed by the RV dealer where we bought the rig. I have always heard that there are a lot of little things that have to be fixed when you buy a new rig and we are finding that is true. If you buy a used one someone else has already done all those things. We also still have a little water leaking from the shower and I think it is from the inner door that doesn't have caulking at the ends of the base rail. But it does close now. It is also on the list.

Huggy is doing pretty well but is having to learn her way around this new rig, just as I am. Her kitty litter is in a different location and she doesn't have a basket on the dashboard while we are on the road. We made a stop yesterday at Walmart for some inexpensive towels to cover some of the chairs & let her be on them. We also got her a nice cat bed that came with catnip to rub into it & she does seem to like it.

I think we are going back to the Hot Rod Cafe at Post Falls, Idaho for dinner tonight. There are some photos here on my blog in the archives from July, 2006 when I was there last but Pat hasn't been there. I keep suggesting that we go to Silverwood, the big amusement park north of Cour de Alene and ride the three roller coasters, but Pat says "NO!" The one they call Tremors actually goes through the gift shop and is quite a ride.

So far the weather here has been cooler than normal for this time of the year. Yesterday's high was only 77F and today is supposed to be below 80. Mid to upper 80s are scheduled for the next week and that is fine with us. Pat doesn't like hot weather and considers anything over about 75 to be hot. It did rain quite a bit Wednesday night but I think there is no more expected while we will be here. What did come helped to clean my car which was pretty dirty after being towed 330 miles from home. But I am still looking for a car wash!

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Sunday, July 15, 2007


Yard flowers from my old house

I walked down to my old house yesterday to take some photos. I had not taken any when it was empty but wanted them to keep, so did it then. The Realtor held another open house there with mine and the two nearby that are also for sale but there were very few people who came around to look. Perhaps the hot, muggy weather turned them off. I did learn more about the sale of my buyer's house. It is not a sale contingent on the sale of another house, their buyer is living in an apartment and this will be her first house. The home inspection of my house will be tomorrow, Monday, and a home inspection of their house will be on Tuesday. It does sound like they are both progressing toward closing before too long. I suppose we will end up over night mailing paperwork while we are on our trip to Spokane. Or we may come back a bit early. Will see what happens tomorrow at the inspection, but I don't expect anything serious to pop up.

Anyway, I took some photos of a couple of flowers in the back yard at that house. I have done that before but don't remember seeing these first ones last year. Pat says they are some kind of a lily and I guess it is one that grows very well here so some people consider them to be weeds. I think they are pretty.

Yard flowers 01
Does anyone know what kind of flower this is for sure?

Yard flowers 02
These are the same ones but with the camera backed away a little to show more of them. Maybe you can see more of them but it really is a bit confusing since there are so many of them in view.

Yard flowers 03
This one I remember is a climantis. There were some photos from the same plant that climbs the arbor from my deck to the yard that I posted last summer. They were taken with a tripod and the 90mm macro lens. These were hand held and just with the 18 - 200mm zoom lens.

I'll have to take the camera on the tripod out into our yard here at the new house. Pat does a much better job of gardening than I do so they are a lot prettier here. I have been told that the buyers of my house like to garden and that is what that place needs, someone who enjoys doing that type of thing. It has a yard that potentially could be very beautiful. With this hot weather I may not have to mow that lawn again!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Wireless Broadband is working

I just setup the new Broadband card on my new laptop computer. I don't have a strong enough signal at home for it to work so am sitting in my car down near the YMCA where the signal strength is good. This kind of reminds me of that first Snowbird trip alone where I couldn't connect from the campground in Fort Mohave so had to drive to neat Laughlin, NV to get a connection. Then I had the Wilson Trucker's antennae installed & it would connect from the RV in the campground. I will now have to take this PC to the RV in it's storage place & try it with that antennae. At least I now know we will have the Internet & email available next week when we head out on our trip.

Pat is working today at her volunteer job at the day surgery unit in the hospital. I am getting a few things done on my own while she is there. Getting this card working was one of the main things to get setup. Now I am off to Costco, then home as Pat will be there in about an hour.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007


My "For Sale" house

LME house for sale
My house was listed "For Sale" on Tuesday, June 19th. The real estate agent held an open house there on Saturday the 23rd. One couple who looked at it that day came back the following day with the real estate agent and they then wrote an offer. It is contingent on them selling their house but they offered about what we were asking for the house. We accepted it.

The real estate agent feels that their house will sell quickly. It is small, only a 2-bedroom place, but nice and on a city lot that is above the flood plain so flood insurance is not an added expense for their buyer. She says there are very few houses available in our market that are below $250,000 and most of them are fixer uppers. Their asking price is only $204,500 and it is in good condition so a buyer will not have to spend additional money to fix it up. They held an open house there a week ago yesterday and I guess there is some interest.

With a contingent offer my house stays on the market, there is no "Sale Pending" sign put up in front. If another offer comes in the original buyer has 5 business days to finalize their offer or it can go to the new buyer. It seemed like an offer that we couldn't get hurt on.

Where I live we own the house but it is in a senior manufactured home park so we pay space rent for the lot. This is kind of a deluxe park with only 120 homes so the rent is fairly high, about $600/month. The place is beautifully maintained. The club house has an indoor swimming pool, a nice library, billiard & poker room, a large meeting/party room and a kitchen, plus the outside stuff. Our wedding and reception were held there and in the outside gazebo & you can see photos that show the yard & clubhouse in an earlier post here. I figure that with the rent, utility costs, taxes and insurance it costs us about $1000 a month to have the extra house that is just sitting there empty. I hope for a quick sale as that will be like a tax free $1000 a month increase in our monthly income.

In the meantime, I have two lawns to keep mowed. Darn.

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Friday, July 06, 2007


Cat Wars, scene 1

Huggy has lived with Molly and Peewee now for about a month. I think they are used to each other but they still hiss and chase. For the first couple of weeks Huggy was the dominant one. But one day Miss Molly, who is about the same age as Huggy (both 9,) decided that she was through being chased and hissed at in her own house and hissed back, then chased Huggy under the bed. Since then she hasn't let Hug chase her but has done it many times herself. And now Peewee has started to do the same thing, although not to the extent of "treeing" Huggy under the bed. These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago when Molly was not taking any guff from Hug but Peewee wasn't yet so sure.

Cat Wars I - 01
This first photo shows Miss Molly looking around the corner toward Huggy, with Peewee safely sitting behind her in the kitchen.

Cat Wars I - 02
Huggy is at rest on the living room floor. She actually is more than at rest. You can see the Purrpad Pat has for the cats. It always has kitty candy (catnip) on it and Hug has been indulging herself in the stuff. So she is in a bit of a "kitty high" but is still keeping an eye on Miss Molly.

Cat Wars I - 03
Molly and Huggy are eying each other. The Purrpad shows up better in this photo as do the Tiger Tails that also get covered with catnip. Can you feel the tension?

Cat Wars I - 04
This photo better shows the relationship between Huggy on the left and Peewee on the right. Peewee still isn't sure if she wants to take on that hissing monster in the living room, but Molly has decided to just supervise the whole event, so she has moved over to one of her proper supervisory positions.

Cat Wars I - 05
Here she is, in her chair at the dining table, where she can oversee all that is going on. This round ended peacefully as Huggy was a bit too relaxed to "go to battle" and Peewee wasn't yet ready to be so adventuresome. We still haven't had any blood let so the battles are not that serious but we do get tired of the posturing, hissing, chasing, etc. Huggy started it by acting that way when she was the new comer. I don't think Peewee even knew how to hiss until she saw Hug doing that.

In a week and a half we will go away with the motorhome for almost two weeks. We will take Huggy along with us so they will get a break from each other. I hope that when we return they will start over with their relationship and just get along or at least ignore each other. But I am not betting anyone that will happen. Maybe someday.

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