Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Yard Improvements

We've been doing a lot to improve the yard and exterior of our home this year. One of the benefits of being retired is having time in the day all through the week.

 Earlier we posted about the two trees we had removed.  We also pulled out this one bush from the front yard.  This allowed us to widen the grassy area and open up the front yard.

 First I dug a trench around the bush, then down and under as far as could be reached.  Next I hooked a tow line up to the car and pulled the bush out of the dirt.

 This gives an idea of how large the bush is.  We hauled it around to the back yard.

 Here it is in it's new home by the shed.

 Meanwhile Jacquelyn repainted one of our statues, the little boy fishing in the pond.

 She also removed all the rust from our fire cooker and repainted it with black.

 One the deck we lined up some tree sections from our tree that we'd cut down.  They make nice seats.

 We took out the canopy from our back patio area.  Shown here with the restored fire pit.

 Another big job was the roof.  This one took the most time and involved scrapping off all the moss that was growing there.  Caleb did most of this work, but Jacquelyn and I were up on the roof for many an hour too.

 Then we had a dump truck load of beauty bark delivered.

 Caleb loading up a wheel barrow of beauty bark for the non-grass areas of the yard.

 First we had to weed all the non-grass areas, then put down black weed resistant material, as you can see in front of the living room window.  Then we spread beauty bark on top.  It should make the yard weed resistant so it won't need much yard maintenance work in the future.

 A section of the back yard with new beauty bark.

Right now we are tackling the ponds.  All the pine needles and dirt had to be cleaned out from between the rocks.  Then we added foaming bleach to kill the algae.  After that the rocks from the bottom of the pond were all taken ouot so we could get all the dirt and dead fall removed.  After this the only thing left will be new grass, but that will have to wait until the fall.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Trip to Mt. Rainier

Malachi and his family invited us to go with them on a day trip to Mt. Rainier.  We got to use our National Park Senior Pass for the first time and so we got in free.  The cost for a car was $25 so we already more than made up the $10 we paid for the lifetime National Park Pass.

 First we stopped for a picnic lunch.  The weather was beautiful.

 Then we went on the Longmire hike called Trail of Shadows.  It's a very short hike (.7 miles roundtrip), paved, and level, around some interesting hot mineral springs.

 There were plenty of fallen logs alongside the trail for people to climb on.

 We love it out in the woods.  Washington is one of the most beautiful states in the country.

 It's fun for kids to be outdoors in the woods and away from the city.

 We wanted to do another hike so we went up to Cougar Rock to do a hike there.

 It starts out with a foot bridge across a stream from one of the glaciers.

 This hike was uphill and kind of steep.

Here we are at the waterfall lookout.  It was a very enjoyable day with Malachi and his family.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sculpture Park in Olympia

Last week we drove out to Olympia to get our National Parks Senior Pass before the prices go up.  Afterwards we stopped at this Sculpture Park that turned out to be nothing like what we had expected.

 It was kind of weird.  All the sculptures were more than a little strange.  And the more we saw the odder they got.

 It was out in the country and not close to the city.  Strange place for a park and it was a little overgrown and not totally well kept.

It's privately owned.  I think some one just had a lot of land so they set up this park and let any odd-ball artist that wants to set up a sculpture to come out and do so.

 At least it was free.

 Some were pretty good and some a little too odd for my taste.

 This flat looking lawn is actually the top of a pond that is totally covered in small little water algaes.

 We had fun walking around.

You call this art.   I'm not trying to explain any of this.  You can judge for yourself.

 It was interesting, I can tell you that.

 I think some of these artists might need a little help upstairs.

 My favorite.

That's the end.  Afterwards we got stuck in traffic.  The traffic was so bad we were not moving at all.  It looked like it would be hours getting home and we passed a movie theater so we stopped and watched a movie.

We saw the new Spiderman.  It was good.  The Spiderman character in this new version is a teenager like in the comic books and is funny.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Grandchildren Visiting

We watched Andrew and Mallory this week while Malachi and Layne went up to Canada for a vacation.  They were here Sunday evening, through until late Wednesday.

 We had a lot of fun doing all kinds of activities and getting to spend time together.

 The big thing they wanted to do was go fishing.  So one morning before Andrew's baseball camp we went fishing.  It started out really neat when the kids found a big turtle up on the shore trying to get some sun.

 We fished at Bradley Lake Park out on the dock.  At first Mallory said she wasn't touching any squirmy worms, but before we were done she did stick one on a hook.

 We didn't catch any fish but we saw some in the water and they got some nibbles.  However the sun was out and the weather was sunny and the lake was gorgeous.  It was a great start to the morning.

 They did want to play some games on the computer while they were here.

 But not too much.

 Can't forget to mention Bruce.  He was here too.

 One day Doranda came up with her children so they could play with their cousins.

 We went to the park by the library.

 Leon and Penelope doing gymnastics on the grassy fields.

 Scarlett and Penelope.


 Then later in the week James and Ashton flew into town and we had some overlap where we had all four.

 Of course Caleb had a lot of fun playing with the children.

 Ashton made us a dinner one night.  He took cooking lessons and made an Italian meal with Alfredo noodles and buttery bread rolls.  It was delicious.

 Mallory was the first to want to shoot arrows.  She learned quick.

 Andrew had no trouble at all and took it right up.  He's very athletic.

 James got a dead center bullseye on one shot.

 Then later in the week Tianna came up also.  Ashton made us cinnamon rolls.

What a week.  Lot of fun.