Flooding under Draught conditions

Only in California.  Even though there are areas up here that have been evacuated under threat of dam flooding, flash floods and levy breaching; our illustrious governor,  “Moonbeam“ Jerry Brown, has refused to lift the draught restrictions on our water districts up here.

Our friends, traveling in Idaho, report a severe heat wave there.  The high temperature hit 52 degrees yesterday!  Now all that ice can melt and they can flood too.  I don’t believe that they are living under draught conditions though…..

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Boise

Eloise and I finished out 2016 in Boise, Idaho.  We spent a week there after Christmas.  They had a little over the average snowfall in December, but it was the unusual cold sweep that has hit the northern states that made it a winter to be there.  The entire time we were in Idaho, the highest temperature was 17 degrees.  So the snow that normally melts between snowstorms, never melted.  It just turned to ice.  The main roads were plowed and not a problem.  Even the parking lots and shopping centers were OK.  However, the residential streets were another story.  We were in Idaho to look at residential property.  Most of the residential streets were packed with 12-14 inches of snow, topped with a layer of ice.  We had some interesting drives….

Our focus has been between the Prescott Valley, Arizona area and the Boise, Idaho area.  Their climate has been within 5 degrees of each other for the past year.  Until this winter.  Boise is now averaging 25 to 30 degrees below Prescott Valley.  Eloise and I walk between 3 and 5 miles per day, 5 days per week.  This is necessary for my back.  Treadmills don’t work.  So Boise was a challenge.  (We will have a hot tub, instantly, upon arrival no matter where we go.)  Indoor walking is OK (as in malls), but that gets boring really quick.  By the time we left, I had pretty much ruled Boise off the our map.  Then, Eloise found out that there are indoor tracks that we could have used.  Boise State has an indoor track and there are 2 health clubs that also have indoor tracks.  That put Nampa (Boise) back on the map, but in the number 2 position instead of the top pick as it was.  Next trip there, we will have to examine the indoor facilities.

Idaho has lower housing costs, but almost everything else is slightly higher than Arizona.

We wintered in Arizona last winter and Boise/Nampa this winter.  Next summer we will go to Arizona and then the next summer will probably be in Idaho.  It looks like Adam will be in Idaho this summer, so that weights it further…….

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Tahoe and participation trophies (post delayed from earlier)

Eloise and I got away on one of our rare 3 day weekends.  We left on Friday and headed to Tahoe.  We stayed at “The Ridge”.  It is truly on the ridge.  From one side of the top of the “Tower” that we stayed in, you can see Lake Tahoe and from the other side you can see the valley south of Reno.  Our view from the living room, dining room and master was down to the Reno side.  The property within 20 feet of the building slopes down at a 30-40 degree angle and drops from over 10000 feet to approximately 4400 feet at the valley floor.  An impressive view to say the least.  Friday, right around our check in time, it started to rain.  It was a serious rain and rained most of the night.  Saturday morning started with a breezy day without rain.  It enabled us to go and walk Stateline and visit the stores there.  We visited 2 of the most impressive art galleries that I have ever been in.  This includes all of the galleries that we have been in in San Francisco and the beach areas of Southern California.  We had to be back up to the Ridge for facial and massage by early afternoon.  By the time we got back and walked to the main building, it had started to rain again.  Really serious rain.  This rain reminded me of the rain one gets in the rain forest of Mendocino County where cousin Glen lives.  It’s like standing under a fire hose.  It poured all night with a few lightning strikes seen from our suite.  Sunday morning was still cloudy, but without rain.  By the time that we left, it had started again.  Altogether the Tahoe area got 4 inches of rain in 3 days.  Monday, I heard on the radio that Lake Folsom had risen 2 feet from Friday morning to Monday morning.

Monday, Eloise Renee had her last Volley Ball game and Adam traveled up to Sacramento to watch.  I have always thought that “Participation” trophies are foolish.  Go ahead, kid yourself, the kids keep score and know who wins and who doesn’t.  Maybe give a consolation trophy to those that don’t win.  (I don’t think that the Jr High gives out any trophies)  However, some of the parents are a problem, not the kids.  They embarrass their kids and annoy the other spectators.  Come on, This is junior high!  Let the kids have fun,  win or lose.  The point is to learn the game and have fun. 

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Greatest Version of the Star Spangled Banner yet

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Forgotten update and new news

Eloise:  Eloise went back to the Doctor last week and found that the pneumonia had spread to both lungs.  They said that it wasn’t unexpected, we just weren’t told.  Stronger antibiotics were prescribed and she was sent home with orders to take it easy.  Now, she is still a little weak, but slowly getting stronger.  We are back on our daily walks, however the distance has been cut from 5 miles to 2 or 3.  Thanks you for your prayers and support.

OK, on to the new news:

After fighting to keep a lawn growing and green, we decided to get rid of all the grass in the front like we did the back.  We live on clay and have done everything from rototilling in nutrients and good soil to re-sodding twice.  We tilled in lime to break up the clay.  We were told afterwards that this is good here for about 5-7 years.  The clay will then rise up and the good soil will wash away.  Some of the problem is that the yard is on an slope of about 3 feet on 10 feet.  After watering, you can feel the top sod slip as you walk on it.

So we had a herd of turtles converge on our front yard last Saturday.  I meant to get pictures of them crawling over the yard, but forgot.  Anyway, our front yard was ripped out.  Everything down 3-4 inches was rototilled and removed.  The surface tree roots prevented about 15% of the yard to remain.  We dug there as much as possible.  We found sprinkler lines that converged from different directions and lines that went nowhere!  At one place, there were 4 lines layered on top of each other.  Quite a few of the lines were severely bent into curves.  None of them were straight, even though the sprinkler heads were in a straight line.??  It would have been funny except that we had to track them back so that we could cap them off.  (After all was finished, we found 3 broken lines in the middle of the area that logically should haven’t had lines there at all.)  This stretched the day out a lot longer.

So we went from a water sucking failure of a lawn to a draught resistant low maintenance yard.  This is what it looks like today.

IMG_20160917_175220471_HDRIMG_20160918_075400713IMG_20160918_075405800 

Afterwards, I turned on the water lines and found the breaks I mentioned.  I will work on those this week and get pictures after the yard bin is removed and the lines working.

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Getting better

For all those that are inquiring about Eloise.  After attending the fabulous wedding of our nephew and his bride in Spokane, Eloise wasn’t feeling well as we traveled home.  She was starting to have pain when taking anything other than shallow breathes.  Upon arriving home, we decided (read: I threatened her) to call the doctor the next day.  She was having more trouble breathing and her breathing was getting more painful.  Tuesday morning, she called and the nurse told her to call 911 and “get thee to the ER”.  She didn’t, of course, as she wanted to wait for our granddaughter to get out of kindergarten.  (grandmother logic). We then called our great friend Tina, who rushed over immediately and picked up Eloise and Anna-Gale.

After I closed the shop, I relieved Tina.  Eloise had gone through many tests, x-rays, cat scans, etc.  They pumped (literally) her full of antibiotics and fluids.  She had a UTI.  They were thinking about sending her home until the scan came back.  (I still can’t figure out how they thought that a UTI would cause painful breathing!).  The ER nurse was on top of this and agreed with me.  She refused to do anything until all of the test results came back.  June, you are an angel!

There was a spot in the lower, rear quadrant of her left lung that may have been a blood clot.  Oh boy.  Anti coagulant shots are not fun.  Into the stomach they go.  Upon further tests, the spot was another infection and pneumonia had started. So now she was admitted to the psych ward, I mean the hospital.  There she spent the next few days fighting off the pneumonia.  She was not a happy camper.  Weak as a kitten,  hard and painful to breathe and bloated with fluids.

She was home before the weekend and rested both days.  Saturday, I was making my monthly run to Costco for 12 pounds of jerky and she wanted to go, just to get out of the house.  We spent very little time inside the store, but she was exhausted anyway.  Sunday, as our Lord decreed, she rested.  Monday was better.  She went to the doctor in the morning and and she walked with me in the evening to the store and bank.  This is a 2 mile round trip.  We were slower than normal, but made the trip OK.  Amanda was standing by with her keys and phone in hand in case we needed a ride home.

So today, Wednesday, she is venturing back to work for a half day.  Her breathing is much better and she is getting her energy back.

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Revamped Backyard & entry stairs

backyard      IMG_20160620_184612983     IMG_20160627_195417084   Look Mom, no grass!  

AND…. Aunt Bernie’s artwork finally up on the walls.

IMG_20160715_164636927_HDR     IMG_20160715_164752508

IMG_20160714_215220943_HDR    IMG_20160714_215243291

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