a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Supper bowl--er, Super Bowl

SUMMARY: much human excitement and dog boredom
Source: My photos from Facebook from this past Sunday, February 11. Text is new though.

At my sister's house for the Super Bowl played at Las Vegas, San Francisco 49ers (my home team I suppose) versus Kansas City. It has been 20 years since the Niners won two out of three Super Bowls. Hard to believe, but yup. Time is flying.

There were just five of us-- me, Seester, my BIL (Her husband)--All rooting for the Niners -- and Zorro and Abby, the latter two rooting primarily for food. 

Note Abby in the chair in the background. Pretty much stayed there the whole time, staring at us.

Not me.

The game was intense and very close, even went into overtime and it came down to the last three seconds, and KC scored. Plus, as we all know, the Super Bowl often has spectacular ads because companies will pay big money to get their bits to so many viewers. So a good time for us to get up and go play with the dogs or get them food or such important things never occurred. Never ever! We even stubbornly and repeatedly refused to share the potato chips (Ruffles have ridges) and M&Ms, even though they were right there at dog face level. And someone even yelled at Zorro when he did the very logical thing and stole a used napkin and began eating it! Humans are so terrible.

Some of us were yelling and moaning and jumping up and down. Some of us were bored out of our little brains.

We were ahead almost the entire game, including the overtime. About 70 minutes of playing time.
Until the last three seconds.
Sportz can be like that.

We mostly ditched the halftime show, even though Usher was supposed to be very good, and my relatives took the dogs for a short walk, and we gave them dinner, and then everyone was completely happy and satisfied--why were we sitting around all day staring at the wall when we could've been giving the dogs food all along? 

This blog is supposed to be about dogs… And Binkies…

SUMMARY: So here come some dog posts, a few from Facebook recently.
But honestly this site has really become more of a diary plus random thoughts.

Zorro does like to keep all of his treasures in one place if he possibly can. I tried to keep his Binkies a various sizes and shapes in different parts of the house. I am so cruel to him. (These are things that he likes to snuggle and nurse on.) His favorite place for this these days is on the small carpet in the living room. It is like his own outline of a room that is just for dog.

Two days ago, I found this: In the back, the two Binkies that are usually in the living room, one on his raised bed, one on his luxurious bed; the red Binkie and the doughnut Binkie Bed that are usually in my bedroom, one on my bed and one on his bed; and even Squeaky Snake, which he sometimes uses in the same manner after he is done playing with him.

The only missing Binkie is the other one that sits on my bed in my bedroom.

Yes, he makes me laugh at least once every day and usually more than that. I am glad that he has his Binkies for friends.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

The important things in life: Binkies

SUMMARY: Sometimes Zorro's bedding needs to be washed. It just does.
Posting link on FB now

So much has been happening in my life. Over the last year. Ear surgery, knee surgery, knock myself unconscious (Which came with a bonus first ever ambulance ride and a first ever helicopter ride), Covid almost inevitably in January 2024, long RV trip through the west, trip to Disneyland, stuff like that. So I choose to talk about: washing Zorro's bedding.

Trying to launder Zorro's Binkies is challenging. As soon as I pick them up from their usual environs and start walking away with them, his eyes open wide and he starts saying, no, these are mine, I had them where I wanted them, don't move them! And he grabs one or more and tugs until I determinedly make him let go. And then as soon as I set them down to get the washing machine prepped, they all start disappearing.

I had picked up three of them this time; and this is where they were when I was ready to put them into the washing machine…  one close (Darker blue with light blue circles) to the washing machine but not where I left it. (where He is standing trying to decide whether to steal back that one also), one (brown with aqua circles) halfway through the doorway into the hallway, and one (Aqua with brown circles) way down the hallway in the living room. 

Update 20 minutes later: I re-collected the three, washed them, and they are now in the dryer. Fortunately they dry quickly.

... they did! Dried quickly! So when I took them out, he selected one to go nurse on for a while in the living room. Happiness restored.

Next I think I will do the red one. And attempt to remove the covers from two of his three cushion beds.
Maybe from all three cushion beds… Except that he typically is lying in one or another of them, so I guess I need to leave one clad for a bit.

Then the big challenge will be figuring out how to stitch back together his favorite Binky bed without a sewing machine. And he will definitely obsess over that one when I pick it up to sew it, and again when I need to wash it afterwards.

BUT after just now trying to vacuum out just one comfy bed and its cushion, I realize that perhaps doing all of this in one day after 10 days of recovering from Covid is not the best choice. So: that's it for today.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

So now it's the 21st century and...

SUMMARY: It's going to be WHAT? 2024? No wayyy!
Inspired by my comment on FB: Dec 31, 2023

A friend on FB threw the question out to his world, having lost his partner of 20ish years: What is everyone doing for New Years Eve? Party? Family gathering? Champagne at midnight? Me? Probably in bed by 8, scrolling for a fun movie. No one to kiss at midnight.

Taj MuttHall responds -- I'll be doing something useful like washing dishes or OH NO donating to charities at the last minute, snuggle with Zorro a bit but no kissing because COAT BEING BLOWN WHY?! when winter is just starting?!, in bed I hope by 8 and hope the fireworks noise isn't enough to keep me or Zorro up. Last year he hid in my closet and seemed fine there. Thank goodness I don't have Chip's terror to deal with any more. [But I miss him none the less]

Wishing you and the world at large a happy 2024.

 (How can it possibly be that year?! I still keep referring to, for example,  six years ago as 2007. Or sometimes 1997. Too many years to keep track of )

Me and former husband at a friend's fancy New Year's Eve party.
Back in 2018.... 2008... oh good grief, 1988. I'm sure I still look the same

Saturday, December 23, 2023

A little Christmas melancholy but a very Merry holiday to you

T-shirt tales—Because every t-shirt tells a story, don't it.
And I have so very many of them. Shirts. And stories. ---- Tell me more. or Read all t-shirt tales

SUMMARY:  It is hard not to feel it. For me anyway. At this time anyway
Source: Discord chat with another writer Dec 22,2023

Somehow I seem to be more busy than before I retired, moved out of state, and left most of my family and friends behind. But I have finished my Christmas shopping since I really have only two family members, two dogs (Only one of them mine), and a couple of neighbors And friends to shop lightly for this year. Such a small number of gifts. So surely I can leave wrapping them until the last minute tomorrow.

As much of my life as I can remember – – and I'm retirement age, so that's...forever – – everyone in the family and their significant others (And often their parents and siblings) and their children and random friends and cousins from near and far and Dad's parents until they died (in the 1970s, but I can still recall how disquieting it felt the first Christmas that neither of them were there) gathered at my parents' house Christmas morning for an astonishing number of Christmas present openings. Even if each person received one gift, that was still a lot, but some of us--like my dad and me--enjoyed giving more than one gift to each person. Christmas at their place became legendary.

Then my dad died in 2015 and it impacted me like a crash and burn. We still all gathered that Christmas and still had a lot of gifts. But he had been the true driving force, And of course their house was good because it was huge because we all grew up in that house. The following year, mom's health declined rapidly and she died two days after Christmas, and we sold their house. We tried for a while, but it wasn't the same. I know they say that, to avoid this kind of sadness during the season, one should create new traditions. We didn't seem to be doing that. I didn't know what to try to create.

[Sidenote: That was a hard, hard year. Lost dad and mom, Tika and boost, dad's cousin who used to spend Christmas with us, and the beloved dog,Who got along well with Tika and boost, of My cousin (dad's cousins daughter) who also used to spend Christmases with us]

I have to work at managing the grief around this holiday. Not looking for sympathy, it's just a thing that is true. Three of us moved completely out of state to basically the same town and we are experimenting with planning a Christmas this year more suitable to three people than 20. We will open gifts, we will have a good meal, we will go for a probably short hike, we will drive out Christmas Eve looking at decorated houses,  we will see about trying to visit some of the many local waterfalls that we haven't seen yet, we will go through our notes and photos from our big trip in October, We will probably watch some Christmas shows or movies. we might do a jigsaw puzzle. Whether a new tradition will spring out of this remains to be determined.

This will be our ninth Christmas without Dad Cheering us on and preparing parts of a Christmas feast to browse from all day and mom trying to keep him moderate and doling out love. Missing them still feels like yesterday.

I have mom's Christmas T-shirt that she received fairly late in her life. It's almost new. I have worn it at Christmas. I don't feel like mom when I do. But the message on the front feels like her.

Friday, December 15, 2023

I'm a little behind in my blogging

SUMMARY: Maybe I'll just spam my own account

Whenever I have a topic that I want to bring up, or edit, or expand upon, or capture from Facebook (or other places) to a more permanent place, or add photos to first, I create a draft post here. 

It's getting out of hand. 94 drafts. If I were to publish one a week, that would give me a year and a half of posts. BUT many are within the last year, where I felt that I haven't had time to turn them into actual posts becauseI'mtoobusyreadingclickbaitonfacebook because I'm still unpacking the house and trying to organize things and now also get ready for xmas.

It occurs to me that, perhaps, I should not wait for the editing or the photos or the additional info, but just spend 10 minutes each and post whatever it ends up being. (Backdated to their original date, of course...?)

One challenge is that many of my original ideas for posts have become obsolete, or the focus will necessarily have to change. Of my two earliest drafts--

Nunes Agility Field, used both by NAF and by VAST (Valley Agility Sport Team I think)--consisting of the same people-- has changed drastically. "John" died several years back. Then the group decided to decommission the NAF organization. Then the leased/loaned land was reclaimed. Pretty soon nothing was left, and this year VAST dissolved as well. A very different story.

The Future of Dog Agility has changed so much (is USDAA really on the way out? How about CPE? Will UKI take over?) that the questions (those questions) weren't even on the horizon back then. Furthermore, whatever I had intended to say 18 years ago (OMG!) I didn't even outline in the draft. Wish I had. I'll bet it would have been interesting to read now.

Meh. Requires making decisions. Plus my speed  at creating drafts has increased lately, it seems:

  • December: 4
  • November: 5
  • October: 1
  • September: 4
  • April/May/June/July/August: 0

Instead, I've created this actual post about Drafts. Is this some kind of meta thing? 

Instead, back to fretting about boxes of books and holiday decor nowthatI'vespent45minutesonthissuddenunplannedentry.

Saturday, December 09, 2023

And to you your xxxwassailxxx Wagtail Too

SUMMARY: We haven't been walking the dogs for so long--
More best-loved lyrics straight from your favorite, K-TajMuttHall radio

--and that's where K-TMH dreams up so many of their fun Alternative Lyrics.

Here's from yesterday.

Here we come a snuffeling [it's 3 syllables, yes, just--sing it like that, ok?] along the weeds so green
And here we are a-wandering so furry to be seeeeeeeennnn--

Treats and toys come to you, and to you a wagtail too
And Dog bless you and snuggle you with flappy floppy ears
    And Dog snuggle with flappy floppy ears

We are not evil squirrel thugs who rob your feeder seed
But we are neighbors' puppy dogs who are always starving because no one gives us regular meals so food is what we need

[Co-author's note: Dog poets are not always known for their innate rhythm sense, nor veracity]

Treats and toys come to you, and to you a wagtail too
And dog bless you and snuggle you with flappy floppy ears
    And dog snuggle with flappy floppy ears

Dog bless the master of this house no matter gender role
And give us rotten apples please to bury in a hole

Treats and toys come to you, and to you a wagtail too
And dog bless you and snuggle you with flappy floppy ears
    And dog snuggle with flappy floppy ears

Friday, September 15, 2023

Peninsula Living, Part 2

SUMMARY: But don’t you have to drive a while to GET someplace? Lol
Answering this friend's question on Facebook Sept 11, 2023

Depends on what you mean by "someplace". Within 5 minutes I have Costco, Home Depot, Safeway (and 2 or 3 other local/organic/nonchain groceries), Walgreens, Rite Aid, YMCA, local medical center, hiking opportunities, Dairy Queen, Burger King, McDonald's, Papa Murphy, Applebees, Taco Bell (plus nonchain restaurants and cafes)... and Walmart if you're inclined. 15 minutes to Toyota dealer if I want them to do things on my car, Wendy's... trying to identify local places by familiar names.

I *do* miss: Target, Macy's, Trader Joe's, Penney's (yes there is one up here!), Panera, major movie theaters, ... but all and many more are in Silverdale usually <60 minutes from here, so we just make it a day (or morning or afternoon) and go enjoy ourselves and do the shopping we need.

The biggest issue: Closest 24 hour emergency vet is also in Silverdale.

Most of my doctors are in Port Townsend (by choice--that's where I started up here and I like the facility and the docs etc) which is 35-45 minutes, but I'm so used to driving it that it doesn't bother me at all, AND... no traffic! The only traffic lights are at the onramp to 101 by my house and maybe one in Port Townsend--and within town they use roundabouts.

But NO TRAFFIC getting to all these places is such an amazing benefit--

I mean, it could take me an hour to get home from work in San Jose because freeways were jammed (15-20 minutes on a weekend). So driving freely through quiet mostly wooded areas for 40-60 minutes is nothing.

Not everyone else up here thinks that way. They just shop at walmart and online.

Yes, then I do have to consider gas prices. [shrug] I'm far from wealthy, but it's not like I make those drives every week.

I do avoid going to events in Seattle--it looks close, but it's either a 2-plus-hour drive or a 2-hour trip with less driving but waiting for and riding a ferry, less gas, plus ferry ticket. Ferries are pretty reliable.

You can drive around locally and find eggs and fruits and veggies and flowers and more at people's homes or at local small farms etc. And often it's just a small booth with the product and a sign stating the price and a place for you to drop your payment. Pretty cool. Of course, as population grows and more thieves arrive, that might go away.

Any more-specific questions? 😉

Photos from various  visits  to Silverdale (I have selected a whole bunch more, but from blogger into photos on my iPad, there's no way I can find the ones that I want. So I'll have to come back later on my Mac and figure it out.) ...(OK, I give up, the captioning and things don't even work right on my iPad. Here's what I've got so far kinda.)

This is a couch I've been considering for months. Then I bought that tie-dye thing. Oh well.

Sister and husband buying rugs at Macy's in Silverdale.

Monday, September 11, 2023

9-11 Twenty-two years later

SUMMARY: We'll never forget, but we can't remember every day of every year
From a reply to another blog about today

My dad's photo of the New York city skyline, when we visited in1975
The World Trade Center only 2 years old

I didn't realize what day it was until I had to write the date on something. It doesn't kick me in the gut so much any more. Not like the first day, watching the videos (on TV of course--most channels it seemed) over and over in shock. Not like the 2nd day, watching again. And, by afternoon, realizing that if I kept that up, I might never climb out of that hole. I recorded a couple of hours of the news, then turned off the TV and didn't go back to it. But there was no escaping the numbing realization of what had happened -- not just to the iconic buildings, but so so many people who had nothing to do with anything. Just people. Dead. Hundreds of men, women, children; moms, dads, sisters, brothers, business partners, cousins, lovers, husbands, wives, teammates, best friends--whole departments of companies wiped out-- and all of the first responders who paid the worst price of their professions.

But now--it was a long time ago.

Twenty-two years. More than a generation. My youngest--barely adult--niece wasn't born yet and the next youngest was only a year old. Over 13,000 babies were born in the US on that day (this article from 2021 shares some of the things that these adults will never know as a result of the fallout from the event). Imagine 22 years more of that many babies born every day, making well over a million US-born residents who have no idea what life was like. And it was different!

Day after day now, we encounter restrictions that didn't exist. There's a boundary of Before and After, like a black line drawn across time. A curtain beyond which, looking back, can't be seen through, really, unless you were there and already know.

But I don't think about it much, any more, really. Life is what it is and it's hard to stay angry and afraid this long. Still, today, and 9-11s in the future, I'll remember.


A couple of my photos from 1983 from atop the towers (unedited, sorry). The tower was 10 years old.

It fell at age 28.

Some of the bridges across the East River into Manhattan (where the towers were); I think the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges

It was a long, long way down.
You can barely see how many taxis there are (yellow)
I haven't taken the time to identify the streets or buildings--
but I wonder how many of these still exist after the disaster--

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Peninsula living

SUMMARY: Ferries

As I post most of my life to Facebook, I periodically think, I should repost it here every time it's something I want to remember, because I have much more control over the content here than I do on Facebook. Probably anyway.

I intend to do a better job all the time. And you see how well that has turned out. So, expect some random stuff while I try very hard to get back into blogging mode. NOTE ABOUT READERS iSUBSCRIBING HERE: I think there's a way to set it up with some service or other. I might have to pay for it. TBD.

For today: being on a peninsula means being surrounded by water on most sides. Which affects transportation options. Between the Olympic peninsula (where I am living) and the "mainland"--such as the biggest city of Seattle – – there are no bridges. Just a variety of ferries.

This past weekend, one of the ferries across the Puget Sound into Seattle lost power partway through the 60 minute trip (at about 18 miles an hour) and ran aground in the mud, thank goodness it was that simple. It took hours for them to evacuate the passengers. And they couldn't get their cars until they towed the ferry at high tide back to some dock the following day.

Ferries are the only way around to get from one side of Puget Sound to the other. Other than driving all the way to the south end where the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is and then drive back up the other side.

I kept thinking about all the people who were on the ferry to pick up someone at SeaTac (the big airport) or to catch an airplane there or had tickets to a show or more urgent things.  And that boat will be out of service until they can figure out why it lost power and repair any damage that it might have suffered, although it sounds like there wasn't much.

The truth is that the Seattle ferries are apparently ancient and sadly in need of replacing, let alone upgrading and repairs, even more let alone needing more ferries. But, at least, when a ferry becomes unavailable like this, there are other ferries in service doing other routes that will get you to where you want to go, even if it takes a little longer.

Map of ferry routes. For scale, from port Angeles to Victoria is over an hour and a half. From Port Townsend to Keystone is an hour. Note that you usually needt to be there at least half an hour before your scheduled departure time or you might not make it onto the next ferry. ...also note Sequim, where I live now.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

That White and Gold Dress (what? Blue and Black? No Way! (Visual or optical illusions)

SUMMARY: Brains are fascinating things. So are colors.

Things in shade or shadows take on a blue cast. In sunlight, they might appear blue or white or green or who knows, but also may take on a yellow cast.

If you know that an item is in shade or shadow, your experience and your brain know how to subtract the blue subconsciously--If you have the proper context.

Photographers and artists know this. 

Photo: Note blue shadows on backlit trees and the path

Painting: Shadows are blue or bluish
from Mark Mehaffey on Artists' Network
(I couldn't figure out how to just include this directly from the page, it's set up oddly)

The famous dress --
white with gold or
 blue with black? (Via Wikipedia) 

As a photographer, I'm very aware of the color effect of shade. For example, if someone wears a white and gold dress and I can see the whole person and the whole environment around them (e.g., it's sunny in the background but they are standing under the shade of a tree), your brain can subtract the blue tone from the shaded area and correctly see the colors--and ditto if you can also see the wearer's face and see that it is vastly overexposed like the background. 

But if you zoom in so that you see only a portion of the dress in the shade and everything behind it lit up, your brains (and cameras!) no longer understand whether it is a white and gold dress in the shade or a black and blue dress in the sun or very overexposed or WHAT.

I think that photographers and painters tend to see it as if it is in shade, which means it's white and gold modified by the blueness of shade. We know that it's blueish because of the shade, so we automatically subtract the shade to make it what it "really" is: white and gold. My mind has great difficulty accepting that it is anything other that that. Even after seeing photos of the actual black and blue dress. 

It's a fascinating example of how your experiences and interests might affect your perception, versus mine.

This professor of psychology and neurology notes that about 2/3 of viewers see it as white and gold (unless I got that backwards).

Here's a photo of a Disneyworld duck. (Because I paid so much to get to Florida and get into the park, I just want to stand there taking photos of ducks?!?) It was a sunny day, as you can clearly see.

But wait--that's not how the image actually came out of the camera. I asked Photoshop to adjust the coloring for a sunny day, because it was a sunny day but it came out of the camera quite bluish because it was actually in the shade on a sunny day. Which version is better? I like the former because it better shows what my brain saw, not the colors that the mindless camera chose to apply.

How do you see the dress?

Meanwhile, speaking of visual illusions and ducks: Can you unsee this once I tell you that ducks all wear a dog mask on their face?

Friday, February 10, 2023

Dogs or houses or what?

SUMMARY:  I am remiss!

My blog itself promises to be about dogs. My recent (not very recent) posts promised to talk a lot about my new house! I have done neither. Mostly I've been posting to Facebook. I have a backlog of things that I want to post here, and mostly in real life I am emptying moving boxes and trying to figure out where to put everything in the new house. Soon! Probably.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Almost ready for prime time

SUMMARY: move in next week! Compare and contrast to 2001

Well… This is three months since I said I would post something about the house project every day. I’m only behind by 90 days. I’m sure I will catch up eventually.

Movers will be here Tuesday and Wednesday! I am trying to be prepared. I have sketched out the furniture layout for all the rooms. I have a couple of people to help.

But the reason I brought you here all today is because of this:

August, 2001

The Last Time I Moved

SUMMARY: Reminding myself why I don't want to do that again

I plan to take photos of everything after the movers have left. I expect there to be too much stuff once again. But at least you can compare and contrast to what I moved into the house in San Jose in 2001. So, yes, despite my goals, I am more or less doing the whole thing again. But rest assured: I don’t ever want to do that again again!

>>  Visit the Wordless Wednesday site; lots of blogs. << >>  Visit Cee's Photo Challenge blog; lots of blogs. <<

Friday, November 18, 2022

Do You Want Breakfast?


Just a short unedited minute and a half video of Zorro when it’s time for breakfast. Once he starts eating, nothing else. Exciting happens. Just a fun quick little watch.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Top Secret History Stunning Secrets Revealed

SUMMARY: USA vs USSR spying, and there I was...

Just a passing discussion about a piece of my -- and our -- history for you-all:

For my first REAL job, I had to apply for a government Secret Clearance. Why?? asked someone. What were you doing that required a Secret Clearance?

This stuff.
(Image from Wikimedia Commons)
I, er, fed programs punched in paper tape through an antique computer tape reader and changed reels on magnetic tape drives.

And also carried 40-lb boxes of green and white fan-fold sprocket-fed continuous-feed computer paper to each printer several times a shift. (The shop worked 24/7/365.)

Translation: Computer operator in a military satellite tracking station, Secret because NO ONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD KNEW THAT WE WERE SPYING ON THE USSR WITH SATELLITES. 
Except, well, pretty much everyone.

Among the many many difficult questions to answer on the application was: Have you ever been out of the country? If so, where? Well, yes, I lived in New York state and you could, at that time, just drive or stroll casually between the U.S. and Canada. THEN the application wanted to know THE EXACT DATES I had done that.

"Probably several times between 19xx and 19xx." They weren't keen on that answer and I had to spend time with a supervisor coming up with credible answers.

We worked at what everyone knew as The Blue Cube, aka the Air Force Satellite Control Facility (SCF) or the Satellite Tracking Station (STC), later renamed (long after my time there) Onizuka Air Force Station. A yuuuuge structure that sat right alongside a freeway, in plain unobstructed sight, surrounded by six squillion satellite dishes.

Very secret.

Piece of history: One day they called in all the contractors and military people from all three shifts into a top-secret conference room in the building for an announcement from the President.  Pres. Carter announced that we had --ahem-- secretly been spying on the USSR with satellites.  We tried to look surprised but... um... [blink blink]...

Read about that stunning announcement here! https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB231/index.htm


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Paperwork! Money!

SUMMARY: Oooooooh closing is so close!

I can't believe it has been a month since I said I'd post something daily. Hahahaha actually I am not that surprised. I have been busy, but not significantly with the house buying process.

Now, badda-bing, badda-boom, THE NEXT BIG THING HAS HAPPENED.

The Title Company* left me voicemail late yesterday (Monday) afternoon while I was out touristing that the paperwork is ready for me to sign! And they calculated how much my total payment will be! 

Thar she be! Nice green lawn (it isn't right now because it's summer and not much rain).
Patio with pergola and raised flower planters on the near side.
Small shed on the far side against the fence.
The approximate floor plan! (I'll do a larger version later.)
And my three neighbors on my cul de sac.

Today they gave me a link to a few short documents on DocuSign identifying what my final payment consists of, identifying the buyer and seller, specifying what The Title Company is allowed/not allowed to do and what they will do. Basically that's it. 

So I DocuSigned the docu's. Next, I needed to send them a whole castle-full of money. From two different banks because I split the money up from the sale of my previous house:

  • Big Credit Union T*, back down in San Jose, had an online wire form that was easy to fill out and submit there. Someone called me back shortly thereafter to ask questions verifying my identity and asking things like, does this agreement require you to pay unidentified additional monies or ask for money back afterwards. Also whether I know that the property I'm buying actually exists.
  • Tiny Credit Union P*, here in tiny Port Townsend, does not have an online form; not even a form online to print and fill out. Have to go in to talk to them. Good thing the one in San Jose isn't like that. When I arrived, someone else occupied the seat with the manager that I needed to occupy to have this done, I waited nearly half an hour. Actually setting up the wire transfer took no more than 10 minutes. They asked similar questions, including whether I knew that The Title Company truly existed and was truly a legit business who would not be a fly-by night thang. (I am paraphrasing all the questions for poetic license.)
So, THAT BIG THING FULL OF MONEY will be out of my figurative hands tomorrow, and into the new owner's hand this coming Monday, and then SOMEONE WILL HAND ME THE KEYS! 

So excited! So broke. [wide eyes not panicking too much really]

* All company names changed to protect--oh, who knows. But I did it here anyway.


Previous post -- Next post TBD

All posts tagged viking house


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Doves, Music, Lyrics, and the Mysterious Ways of Brains

SUMMARY: They weren't the lyrics I thought they were.

[I *swear* I'll have something up about the new house tomorrow.]

On a driving trip through Arizona in 2010, taking photos as I went, I took a shot of blooming saguaro cactus and realized that it had a lovely dove perched on it taking sips of water from one of the flowers. I looked it up in my bird book: White-Winged Dove. Because I always like to know. 

 For some reason the topic of my vacation (or of birds or I don't know what) came up later in my dog agility class. I told about the bird drinking from a flower. What kind of bird? A species I'd never heard of before: White-Winged Dove. 

One of my classmates said, "oh! Like the song!" And it took me no more than a blink and two heartbeats to know exactly what she meant and to realize that the lyrics I'd thought for nearly 30 years were "like the wild wind does, sings a song sounds like she's singing" were not the actual lyrics. 

How I made that connection so quickly, I have no idea. She said nothing else about the song than those four words. I wonder what expression I had on my face.

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Horrid Wonderful Treats From My Childhood.

SUMMARY: And sometimes adulthood.

Nope, no house posts for a while. So much for Every Day.

BUT MEANWHILE I ran across this fun post about childhood favorites that lose their luster and just had to write my response. Here:

Wow, my childhood in a nutshell!

We loved Wonder bread. Best thing about it was that we’d peel off the crust, break the white part into small pieces, and roll them into tiny hard balls of … white stuff. So much fun to eat that way. Although the slices were also great slathered with a super thick layer of peanut butter. I haven’t bought this bread in decades and intend to keep it that way.

Hostess cupcakes–astonishingly I still love an occasional package of the orange ones. Why? I don’t know, but I do. Good thing they have about 10,000 calories each so it makes it easy to justify not buying them except in a cupcake emergency.

Kool-Aid, YESSS!! We always had a container of green Kool-Aid in the family fridge. All the kids knew that we were the place to go to get a cold glass of green Kool-Aid. I kept it up after I moved out until I was about 23, by which time I was a full-on Mug RootBeer in stumpy glass bottles addict. The next time I got around to making the Kool-Aid…. ugh. Haven't made it in decades, I don't think.

Oreos–the only ones I can handle are the fudge-covered mint-filled ones. Those, I can suck down a container full in the blink of my tongue. So bad, so good.

Necco wafers: I still love them. Why? Not sure. Maybe they taste of childhood? I just about danced in circles around the retro-candy-brands store last week [I left my phone at home! So no photos!] when I saw that they carried them! (I had heard they’d been discontinued.) I went through the roll in a day. Maybe I’ll go back for another in a few weeks. Some things just can’t be explained.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Things To Get For Whatever New House

 SUMMARY: Things I need or want no matter what house I end up buying

Note: No posts for the past 3 days because I've done nothing house related and a lot of things unrelated. 

When I left San Jose, I made conscious decisions--consciously considered for, in some cases, quite a few years--to not take a variety of furnishings with me. Because: New House! Retirement! Get things I like better! Here are the bigger ones.

  • Welllll crud, I don't find ANY photos of the
    guest room and its furniture... after all these
    decades! You can kinda see the white & gold
    on the mirror over the dresser.

    Guest bedroom furniture. 

    White & gold bureau, side tables, double bed with headboard, box springs, and mattress-- inherited from my Grandparents. Good, solid pieces and in excellent condition. BUT (a) I've had them for 44 years, (b) they were never really my style anyway, and (c) I've not often had sleepover guests, so it all took up a lot of space that didn't get used often.
    Replacement: I'll definitely have some nice comfy bed for visitors, but I'm thinkin'--Murphy bed! James Bond! I've been reading up on them. With some kind of bedside table (that also folds down!) and a separate bureau...TBD

  • Sofa.
    The large ivory fabric sectional served me perfectly for a long time. BUT (a) I bought it used in the first place back in 1991, and it is showing its age, (b) it is simply too low for me these days, (c) it is most useful with several guests (which doesn't happen much any more because EVERYONE MOVED OUT OF STATE, and (d) keeping a couch of that color clean and nice looking for guests when I had ... ta da... dogs! remained an ongoing challenge.
    Replacement: Friends with dogs and leather couches let the dogs on the furniture with impunity and it still looks great. So: Darker color, leather, higher seating profile, long enough to lie down full length.
  • Entertainment center
    I got a lovely oak one that matched the rest of my furniture--free! From FreeCycle! in excellent condition. It had shelves for all of my audio/video gear (CD player etc) and plenty of storage for other things. BUT (a) the space for a TV can't be rearranged or changed in size and is useless otherwise, (b) it's so big that one needs a whole wall for it, not flexible, and (c) although I almost never watch TV anyway, the configuration of this one made it difficult anyway.
    Replacement: Not sure yet. Some kind of modular units for the audio/visual gear. So, TBD.

    Big white sectional sofa in the back; entertainment center on the right.

  • Television
    Yeah, I seldom watch TV, but the newer ones are amaaazing. I think I want a larger TV than the one I have (which is at least 20 years old and that I got free from a friend), and I want it wall mounted. Maybe ceiling?!  Maybe silly because I don't watch often--but if I get the right seating and right TV location--probably would watch more
    Replacement:  TBD
  • Sewing machine table, sewing machine
    So handy when I did sew stuff. BUT Sewing machine died and newer ones probably don't fit this table. I hardly ever sewed any more. The table took up a lot of space, even though when closed it could be used as a generic large, heavy (i.e., inconvenient) tabletop.  
    Replacement: New sewing machine, but no table for it, thenk yew.

Do not think for even a minute that I have an unlimited budget. Soooooo we shall see how this wish list goes.


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Thursday, August 11, 2022

New House Documents

 SUMMARY: So many things to read and sign!

Everyone seems to use DocuSign now for viewing and signing legal docs. Did this when I sold my parent's house. Also when I put my San Jose house on the market earlier this year and then, eventually, sold it. So many documents! I'm an old pro now at signing electronically.

So far for this new house, I've read and, in many cases, initialed and/or signed (maybe not everything, and not necessarily in this order):

  • The responsibilities (and limitations) of a realtor (AH is handling my house hunt and purchase)
  • The neighborhood (4 houses only!) CC&Rs and CC&R Amendment -- short and sweet (What are CC&Rs?)
  • Short Plat (measurement, easements, and survey notes on the property)
  • Original Sewer (septic system) permit drawing and info
    Partial septic permit

  • Residential Purchase and Sale Agreement: The original offer that I made on the house (5 pages) a week ago and the seller's counter offer, which I accepted (small mods to that document)
  • Addendums to the agreement that I will provide proof of available funds for purchasing and that the agreement isn't final until I have had the house inspected and accept the results 
  • Blah blah standard addendums coming out my ears (just a few more single-page items providing assorted info), plus the FIRPTA (Foreign Investment Real Property Tax Act), which essentially says, nope, we're all citizens here
  • An amendment to the Agreement because I didn't think about my Trust until after the Agreement was signed
  • Amendment to the agreement to extend the time for completing inspections by 5 days 
  • Septic inspection reports from the last 2 years
  • Contract with a property inspector specifying what they do and don't inspect
  • Commitment for title insurance
  • Preliminary Title Report (13 pages)

Septic system access covers
(as shown on the drawing above)

Yesterday and today, I: 

  • Paid the property inspector
  • Paid my "earnest money" to the title company; essentially a small deposit which, in certain uncommon circumstances, I could lose if I back out of the sale. Very standard.
  • Provided the title company with proof that I have the full cash purchase price covered across various banks
  • Discussed with AH the inspector's preliminary verbal report, what items we would ask the seller take care of over the next week, and that I will pay for an inspection of the HVAC system (built-in vacuum) in the same timeframe (and AH will find someone to do the inspection)
Just wait until I get to Signing Day with the title company. Six squillion more documents to read and sign and then--erk--I hand over the purchase price to the title company!

Exciting! And not too scary; this will be the 5th home I've purchased over the years.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

New House Inspection

SUMMARY: Howzit look, professionally?

Mr. Inspector Man descending into the crawl space.
Which he said looked really good, no issues.
Lots of spiderwebs.

My realtor AH and I met a house inspector this morning at "my new" house, crossing our fingers that he would not find rotting floors, shattering foundations, leaking walls, corpses in the crawl space, or anything else that could kill the deal. I have until Friday to make my final agreement to buy, but everything looked as good as I had expected (and hoped).

Previous owner took great care of this house. Also helped that it's only 14 years old.

The house, not the previous owner.

The main disappointment was that, for a house this age, the inspector thinks that the roof should probably have another 5 usable years left...I had hoped for maybe 10. Soooo... from proceeds from selling my previous house, I need to set aside at least $10,000 for that eventuality not too far down the proverbial highway of life. 


Poor lilac; its base is mere inches from the house wall. Who does that? Seriously!

Otherwise, just a lot of small things to be aware of or that I or a handyman could probably handily handle, such as these examples:

  • Hall bathroom grout along bathtub needs to be dug out and replaced with caulk (for Official Reasons)
  • One ceiling light didn't light--am asking the seller to replace the bulb to confirm it's just a bulb issue and not Aliens.
  • One door whose hang needs adjusting [um, that's my phrasing, and now it sounds kinky]
  • Couple of nails to  be replaced and recovered. Assuming those aren't THE TWO KEY NAILS HOLDING IT ALL TOGETHER.
  • Trim the huge lilac shrub at the corner of the house so it's not touching the house. That'll be a machete hacking cut, it just shouldn't have been planted that close to the house. 

(Lilac photo is from the house's listing online.)

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Tuesday, August 09, 2022

New House Layout and Tidbits

SUMMARY: It has rooms and Stuf

Few home-for-sale listings provide a floorplan unless they are brand new. This house isn't; it's 14 years old. But the home seller apparently saved a copy from Way Back When. Rooms are good sizes; layout is lovely for someone who wants a downsized footprint.

Tidbits! it has:

  • Nine-foot ceilings! (2.74 m) And the living room is vaulted even higher! It feels light, airy, spacious, and so breathable. Standard modern homes in US are 8 feet (2.44 m)--and have been for decades. 
  • A whole-house built-in vacuum! I've always yearned for one. This one comes with a bonus little sucker at the bottom of one of the kitchen cabinets so if you want to do a quick sweep-up of dog hair, simply whisk it into that corner, step on the switch, and pfffft away it goes.
  • An extra-wide entry hall, so bookcases fit on one side and a table and bench on the other. Without feeling crowded. (Photo is from the listing and shows the seller's furnishings, not mine.) Gives me shivers of delight.

Front door is normal width; wide-angle images distort some things.

(Images are from the house's listing online.)

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Monday, August 08, 2022

New House Story

SUMMARY: Buying one in Washington!

I'm going to try to post daily how this all happened/is happening. I'm already a month (or 3 years?) behind, but there's not a lot to say until last week. 

But I am calling it my Viking House--I have traversed the wild seas of California, Oregon, and Washington, into the woods of a new seaside village,  and am setting down roots. Like Vikings of old!

Keep checking back!


  • It's not a new house; it's just new to me
  • The sale is not final yet. Keeping fingers crossed.

(photo is from the house's listing online.)

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Thursday, April 14, 2022

Sunrise, Sunset, and oh boy More Daylight!

SUMMARY: Pacific northwest advantage

I'm living in northwestern Washington state now. A little different from San Jose. And the differences are big when one wants to count hours of sunlight (at least nominally) pouring into one's eyeballs.

For tomorrow, here:

Sunrise: 6:21

Sunset: 8:02

Back in San Jose:

Sunrise: 6:33

Sunset: 7:43

Soooo a magnificent 20 minutes more already for evening strolls. And twilight lingers longer, as well. Niiiiice. 

The winter won't br so generous but, hey, I've got the whole summer still to look forward to.

April 10, 7:52 PM: Looking up 12th street by our house (not visible here)

April 10, 7:52 PM: Looking down in the opposite direction towards Puget Sound and the ferry.