Thursday, July 24, 2008


Trim painting is finished!

I finished the last of the trim painting on the house last Monday and it looks better than before, if I have to say so myself. I should have taken a current photo before I started but didn't, so will have to pull one from the past.

House 3-25-08
This one was taken March 25th while the roofers were here re-roofing the house. The sun wasn't shining so the lighting looks quite a bit different between the two but this one actually shows more detail on the porch which is in much deeper shadows in the photo taken today in the sunshine. Note that the trim is a lighter shade of gray then in the next photos. In some places, especially along the roof gutters & down spouts, that gray looked like it was showing a previous color through the paint.

House 7-24-08
This view is from about the same place but I painted out the telephone hookup box. You can see there are also a lot more flowers but the forsythia isn't in bloom any more. Also you can see just a glimpse of the new roof on the peak to the left of the front porch. Anyway, the trim is about the same color but a darker shade of gray. The house itself is finished in vinyl siding in a very light gray shade.

House 7-24-08 00
A view of the front porch with more detail showing. You can also see the very large begonia and it now has about 3 white blooms and some of the red one that is growing in the same pot to the right. There are yellow ones behind the white ones at the left side but they are not yet as large. The stock on the white one is at least an inch across.

House 7-24-08 02
We have some yard decorations. There is a family of odd birds and this is one of the babies.

House 7-24-08 03
Here is the mother bird. These do not go south for the winter but just move into the garage for the cold and snowy part of the year. It is an easier trip for them that way.

Pat is a collector of toads and also has some frogs, some of which I'll post later in photos. Anyway, you can see what I spent about a week working a few hours on almost every day this past week. I do need to touch up a few spots with white, like in the back of the garage where the roofers had to replace one of the plywood roof panels and part of it shows. I'll get to that next week. For now, it is time to relax a little, drink a few mochas, and enjoy our nice summer like weather.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008


A new park in our town

When I first moved to Mount Vernon, WA in 2003 and started attending church at St. Paul's Episcopal Church I heard about the Kiwanis Park that was going to be built across the street from the church. Construction finally was started in Spring of last year and the City Parks Dept. held an opening ceremony Friday, July 11th. The park is on land that was purchased by three local Kiwanis clubs and those clubs have contributed over $100,000 to it's construction.

Kiwanis Park Grand Opening 001
This is a scan of the program that we were given at the ceremony. I'll be honest and admit that we didn't stay for the talks by these important people. We went to dinner at the Olive Garden instead.

Kiwanis Park Grand Opening 002
Our church parking area was used by the construction people and in exchange for that we have a newly paved parking lot. We also provided the kitchen facilities to prepare the goodies that were handed out at the ceremony and ladies from the church manned the tables handing them out. This photo has many from the church getting things ready.

Kiwanis Park Grand Opening 03
I think some of the park was done by volunteer labor and it is not yet finished. In fact what has been finished occupies less than half of the space. One main thing that is in is a finished play yard with some pretty nice toys to climb and swing on. There is also a finished baseball field and a basketball court that is almost finished. There is going to be some sort of a water park on an area that right now is just in lawn, although that lawn is still growing so it really isn't very usable yet. The treed area in the back, which is over half of the property, will have walking trails, some on a board walk as it is considered a wet area.

Kiwanis Park Grand Opening 04
I wish there were some of these kind of things when my kids were young! We did have some pretty nice climbing toys for them that were built of logs but nothing like these climbing rocks and walls and some of those fiberglas things are really nice.

Kiwanis Park Grand Opening 05
The base of the whole play yard area is of something that does not give slivers like cedar bark and is soft & absorbent if a child falls. It is well designed. And there are things for the little ones as well as those a bit older.

Kiwanis Park Grand Opening 06
My church can be seen in the background of this photo. I think that both of my grand daughters, even the 11 year old, will enjoy this place and I look forward to being able to take them there. The park is only about a mile away from our house.

Kiwanis Park Grand Opening 07
This is an add on to the original post as I forgot to include it. This shows the setup for the opening ceremony but behind it is the baseball field. It is well designed and was about the first thing built so the grass is mature and can be played on now. Beyond the ball park is the basketball court. You can see Little Mountain to the left side of the photo in the background. Our house is located in a park at the base of Little Mountain. Well, it is really just a hill as it is only about 1500 feet tall and I guess it officially has to be over 2000 to call it a "mountain," but that is it's name. The whole of it is a city park and there are a couple of fabulous view points on top that give good views to the west and north. There is also a place for hang gliders to launch from but I don't think that is done very often from up there. It is probably a risk that the Park Dept. doesn't want to take on.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Painting trim.....

I don't have any photos to post today but thought I'd do a quick update. I've gotten started on painting the outside house trim and have found a bit of dry rot that we will have to get fixed. I have been trying to paint on the shady side of the house but that has been a problem on the south side as it is almost never shady there. So, this morning I didn't go to the YMCA for my exercise class. I figure that I am getting more exercise than normal with this project and this way I was able to be out on the south side early in the morning before it got too hot. Now I am waiting for the sun to move around to where the east side is in the shade again.

I do have an extension ladder but it is down in Arlington at my son, M's house. He needs it more than I do but now I do need one for some of the higher places. Pat talked with my ex-neighbors who live only a couple of blocks away and they loaned me theirs which we walked over last night to pick up. So, today when the sun gets around far enough I'll use it to get the peak trim done on that east side. That is the street side of the house and what most people see.

There turned out to be an interesting tale on picking up the paint. We went on Saturday to Parker Paints. They have short hours on Sat, only open from 9 to 1, but got our two gallons ready before closing and I picked them up along with a 1 1/2" brush (I already have a good 3" one) and I bought some of that blue masking tape used by painters. They had a stack of 9 rolls of 1" wide tape with a price sticker of $4.59 on it. When I got home and looked over the invoice I realized that the price was PER ROLL, not for the whole stack. I didn't need that much and the tape cost more than the two gallons of paint.

Pat & I took it back to have the $43.64 (tape plus tax) credited back into my checking account (purchased with a debit card) and I bought just two rolls. The fellow working there wasn't too sure how to credit my account back so called another store for help. He did it, then brought me the slip to sign. I always look them over and noticed that he had hit an extra zero so had credited my account $430.64! I pointed this out to him and he said he would correct it. Then he asked me to just write a check for the two rolls of tape I was buying.

These transactions didn't show up on my banking online until Monday, when I found the $430.64 was still there and he had charged another $43.64, then credited $43.64 back. I got started painting Monday and didn't have the chance to go over to the store but we did make it yesterday, when we talked with the store manager (who seemed glad to see us) and got it corrected. They charged my account the $387.00 difference between the return payment of $430.64 and the $43.64 that should have been put back in. I guess I actually made a little money since that money was there from Sat until Tue but any money over $500 in checking only earns 1/2 of one percent interest so we won't be getting rich over the error.

That mistake gave us more money than we should have had but it could just as easily have been the other way around. I am not sure that all business' would quickly return the money to the customer, so it is important to check these transactions on a regular basis. I like my debit card but there are a lot of ways mistakes can be made with it. So, check your transactions on a regular basis!

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Saturday, July 12, 2008


The late (poster), Dick

Well, so much for good intentions. I don't think it has ever been this long between posts on my blog. I have no excuse but do seem to have been busy all of the time. Of course part of that being busy is working on a project on my computer and not all of "us" really count that as being busy. But it does take a lot of time.

We have been doing things and I'll (try to) get something posted about some of those but for now I thought I'd just post a couple of photos of one of Pat's flowers. This is a begonia that she has grown from a bulb given to her by one of her daughters. It started in a pot in our yard but she worried that it might be drowned in all of the rain we had this spring so it and it's pot was moved onto the front porch, along with a bunch of others. I think it likes that location as it sure has grown, both leaves and bloom. And there are other blooms that are developing on this plant. There is a slightly smaller one that has red blooms coming in behind this one. Here is the first photo:
Pats begonia 01
This flower is a good 8 inches across. You can't see all of it because it's large leaves (like elephant ears) have part of it covered. You can just see a hint of red to the left of this flower, just below that upper leaf, and that is the red begonia starting to bloom.

Pats begonia 02
Here's a closeup view of the flower. It is large and really looks good.

Pat is good at raising her garden and much of it is in pots so that we can move them around to different locations. I have some other photos of different flowers she has grown and will try to post them occasionally.

Today we picked up a couple gallons of paint and the stuff to go with it so I can paint the trim around the outside of the house. The basic house is finished in a light gray, almost off white, vinyl siding. The trim has been gray but it looks like it was painted at different times as there is at least two shades of gray involved. We wanted it to look better so will get started with this. I'll probably start in the front of the house as that is what most people will see. Between that and working on my computer project, plus trying to occasionally take photos and we do want to take the RV out for a few days, I know I will be busy. But I will try to not take so long before the next post and also try to get around to visits to my blog friends more often. I'll try.

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