Winter 2018

Oh Boy.  Can’t remember when I last posted, but a zillion things have happened since.  We’ve been looking at property in Arizona and Idaho.  We have walked through properties in the Prescott Valley area and the Boise area.  After spending a few weeks in Idaho for the Christmas of 2016, we had pretty much decided on Idaho.  Well, Eloise decided for the both of us.  Adam and Macie went up to the Boise area to be with me for my 43rd birthday.  They loved it up there.  Adam thinks of Kalifornia about the same as I, so he had already been thinking of moving to Montana.  By the spring of 2017, they started looking for a place in Boise.  Adam sent me information and a website that showed a house that they were interested in.  Almost before I could give an opinion, they announced that when their lease in Vallejo was up, they were moving!  So they leapfrogged us.  That solidified Idaho over Arizona for us.  Then they went to Alaska and called us to let us know that they were to be married in 2 days.   So Eloise scrapped all of the wedding plans and waited for pictures of the wedding.

We have been traveling to the Boise area looking at properties all year.  Adam and Macie rented a 3 bedroom house, so we have had awesome (bed and breakfast) hosts for every time that we spent time there.  I can’t remember the last “white Christmas” that we have had, so I scheduled time off to go up and spend a few weeks with our son and his now pregnant wife!  Amanda and her girls stayed in Sacramento so that Amanda could keep Airless open for me.  She is in training to be the manager as well as a service technician.  In order to give the newlyweds their space, we rented a cottage to stay in, up in Eagle.  While up in Boise, I would get up and get to Adam’s around 7am.  Adam starts his day at 5am, as that is 7am on the east coast.  I would be there absorbing as much as possible until around 1 or 2pm.  Then Eloise and I would meet our realtor and look at property.  The first day, we went to 7 properties!  It was exhausting to say the least.  By the second week, we had looked at so many that when we were talking about them, we were getting the properties confused.  We would have to relook at the pictures and data and even then some facts would get crossed up.  Prior to this trip, we had made offers on 2 properties.  On one, we were out bid.  On the other, we were the high offer, but the owner refused to sell to us because we were from the Republic of Kalifornia!

Success at last

We have been looking at properties in the outlying areas west of Boise.  Boise is way too big.  We have looked at many houses in Nampa, both in town and on the edge of town.  We preferred the town of Caldwell and the areas around it.  We looked at homes as far north as Fruitland and Payette.  Then we found the rural area of Parma.  On the way south edge of what they refer to as Parma was the “view house”.  Oh man, what a view.  This house was on our list until the very end.  Then we went to look at an old, small house in “downtown” Parma.  Parma has a population of 1900.  This house was built in 1921.  For those of you that visited us around the time that Adam was born, just remember our house on Bush Street.  It was built in 1896.  Very similar floor plans.  This house in Parma had been recently renovated and was ready to move in.  We decided to make an offer.  This quant Craftsman style house is a 2 Bedroom, 1.5 bath with 2 more “bedroom” areas in the basement.  However, it still had single paned windows.  Our offer took that into consideration.  After negotiating back and forth, they decided that we weren’t smart enough to recognize the games that they wanted to play.  When talking to our realtor she presented their third counter offer.  Before she could even finish, I told her “No”.  They have 24 hours to accept our first offer as the latter ones are now “off the table”.  Otherwise “they can go pound sand”.  I had to apologize to her later…..  The latter offers would have netted them thousands more, but they were greedy and I was out of patience and done with them.

While we were looking at the aforementioned property,  I had asked our realtor if she could contact the owner of the property across the street.  It was a mess, but was vacant and it looked like someone was starting to clean it up.  She found the owner and got us in to see it the two days later.  We were still negotiating on the previous house.  This house was a wreck.  In fact, I started referring to it as the “wreck house” as we couldn’t remember the address.

  606 N 5th Street  This one was built in 1918!!  Hey the same year as Dad!  And so, “Yes”,  on the 25th hour after the offer on the house across the street, we made a low ball offer on the house with the stipulation that they quit whatever they were doing and just made sure that the roof didn’t leak, the water was connected and not leaking and the electric power wouldn’t burn it down.  They had no clue on what they were doing.  I think that they had come to the same conclusion, as within 24 hours, they accepted our offer.  So now we are just waiting for the final inspection.  I think that Eloise and I will have to drive back up within a few weeks for that inspection, measure the rooms and property lines and to sign the final papers.  I have talked to brother Larry about our plans and have started the floor plans on my computer.  Larry will design the new front and rear porch elevations and will consult on the master bath.  I need to get the true dimensions of all of the rooms for the floor plan too.  The unfinished basement will get a bedroom and full bathroom too.  The problem with having Larry help is that when discussing the hot tub and gazebo, he presented the idea of heating the new 40’ covered concrete walkway from the back door to the garage!  And we are considering it!

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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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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.


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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