Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pumpkin Carving

Tom and I don't plan to be home for Halloween. The kids will be doing their own thing, and trick-or-treaters don't make it to our door since we are back off the street. But we still have to carve jack-o-lanterns!

The one time that the five of us could get together was Friday evening. Since the Sounders had won by a shut out the night before, as ticket holders we could get free take and bake pizzas at Papa Murphey's.  We did, three of them, something for everyone's taste preference.  We ate and then we carved. 

Issac's big pumpkin innards were slimy. 

Irene used her cut outs to make appendages. 

Jill was creating a ghostly white ghost. 
Tom was inserting "teeth".
Isaac and Tom had a different approach to which way is up. 
I carved a variation on my standard happy face Jack-o-lantern, and then took photos. I forgot my camera ( I know!) so these are all iPhone pics. We made do. 
From left to right: Isaac's Green Monster, Jill's Ghost, Isaac's Prominent Proboscis Pumpkin, Irene's Cat Catching a Mouse, Linda's Smiling Jack, Tom's Creative Creature. 


Today, Saturday, we were on the sidelines in the rain and then in the sun for the kids' soccer games. Now I'm watching college football as I finish this post. 

Tomorrow, Sunday, there will be Seahawks football on TV in the morning, hopefully a walk, and then Sounders soccer live at the stadium in the evening. They made it through the knock-out round and are into the playoffs. 

Sometime in there we'll pack up a few things, including our gardening tools and clothes, and we'll be off to Whidbey Island Monday morning. It's time for the fall clean up and tulip planting in the island garden. Staying busy is good, but right now I'm resting. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I Smell a Rat

No, this is not a political post. :-)

And I'm starting out with a pretty picture because that's what will show up on my Facebook link, and this is not a pretty topic.

When we travel, as we did at the first of this month, we have our kids come and check on our cat from time to time, usually about every two days. Josy is an indoor/outdoor cat and comes and goes as she pleases through two cat doors into the garage and then into the house. But Josy gets lonely and misses us when we are gone, so she tends to hunt more and bring us gifts.  

After we returned from this latest trip, we were sitting in the family room and we saw a rat run across the floor. Oh no, Josy brought in a gift that wasn't dead! 

It has happened before. When we tried to see where the rat was going, it disappeared. We watched for it, and signs of it, and saw it again the next evening, but when we tried to corner it, it disappeared somewhere along the base of the kitchen island. 

I got down and crawled around and found this small opening where the molding left a gap with the kick board in the corner cabinet. 

 I found a few cobwebs too.

Well, we set a trap and watched for the rat to emerge, hoping we could plug the hole, corner it and chase it out the patio slider the cupboard was right next to. 
But we never saw it again, or any trace of it. We couldn't very well tear up the kitchen to look for it, and we worried about a mess accumulating under there. But then the odor emerging became much more one of something rotten and decaying. 

Well, now what. I went on line to see what I could find about a dead rat odor in the house. You know, if it happens to you, it seems it has happened to someone else, and there was all kinds of advice. Aside from tearing up the house the answer seemed to be managing the odor until the dead rat dried up.  These products, available from Amazon Prime, were recommended. 

 We got them on a two day delivery and began spraying the adjacent cupboards and propped the odor absorbent next to the hole. 

We've used the spray several times, and leave the slider door open for an hour of so when we have the heat turned down. 

It hasn't been terrible, but it is still a bit stinky. You can still smell a rat. 

So here are more pretty pictures. The dogwood and the maple in the back yard have gone crimson. 

We'll try not to think about the rat. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Planting Tulips

It's raining today. All the pretty leaves are already tumbling down, plastered on the ground in the rain. Blazes of glory are short lived, but we do still have a lot of color. 
 What a difference a day makes.
But while there was sunshine, we made the most of it. 

On Saturday we unpacked our bulbs, which UPS delivered about a week ago from RoozenGaarde, the Skagit Valley bulb growers. We planted them up in one gallon nursery cans, five bulbs per pot, tagged by name.

Monday I cleared the dahlias out of the bed where most of the bulbs get planted. 
 The tops went into the compost bin and the tubers are washed, dried and stored in the garage. I dug the bed to loosen the soil and remove weeds and unwanted spreaders. 

 Them my teammate came to help dig the holes to bury the cans. 
All planted.

Then on Tuesday I cleared and cleaned out spaces in other beds to plant the rest of the bulbs, like here in the rose bed. 
 Hopefully in April it will look like this!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Blaze of Glory

October is show time for the Full Moon Maple in our front yard. It takes its time. Color change is subtle at first. Then, suddenly, it bursts forth in a blaze of glory!

Reflected light fills the house, in the family room -
 In the master bedroom window upstairs,
 and in the upstairs home office. 
In October the entry garden glows. 
 Elsewhere color is creeping in too, like the Stewartia down the path
 The hostas and hydrangeas
 The Korean dogwood and the Japanese maple in the back yard, in the shade, are slower, spreading out the show. 
 And it's always nice to borrow a splash of color from the neighbor too.
What a glorious time of the year!

Friday, October 21, 2016

I Have Voted

Yesterday I studied the voter's pamphlet. I marked my choices in the pamphlet for all of the ballot measures and the state offices and the judges and the national offices.

Then  my ballot came in the afternoon mail. I set it aside until today. 

Here in Washington State we have all mail-in elections. Ballots began arriving in the mail this week. It is with great anticipation that many of my women friends have been awaiting this day; this day when we can mark our ballots for the women of our choice.

Oh, there were a few good men too. All in all, I voted for fifteen women, many of them judges or state representatives. Of course there was Patty Murray, our wonderful US Senator. I voted for them not just because they were women, but because they were the better choices. 
 And I voted for HER!  It was emotional. I got tears in my eyes, and a great sense of relief flooded over me. I still feel on the edge of tears. What an election season it has been. But I'm done with it. 
 My friend told me at breakfast this morning that she had filled in all of the candidate bubbles. She still has to decide on the ballot measures, but she called her sister-in-law who lives nearby and told that her ballot was signed and that if anything happened to her before she completed it to make sure that it got mailed. This is important!

Now mine is signed and stamped and ready for the postal box! I plan to help make history again. November 8th can't come soon enough!

I want to thank all of you who commented on my last post. We are a community of strong women and a few good men. Most of us are of one mind on this election, but I especially want to thank the one who had the courage to stand up for her differing convictions. And to the one who said merely "Good-by", that's OK too. I will still continue to be political from time to time. If my message is unpleasant for you, why stick around. God speed. 

And now I'm just going to go be quiet for awhile. Maybe my kitty will come sit on me and purr. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Worse Than Pulling Teeth

Notice the cleaned up patio. Yesterday was sunny and we got work done.

What a nasty day. Too much rain. Huge amount of rain. What a disaster!  Must be rigged against me. 

Sorry. I can't stop talking like Trump. You might have that problem too if you watch the trending #TrumpsBookReports. Google it. It's very funny. Bigly funny!
On Tuesday morning I had a tooth pulled. When I went to the dentist, I had not planned on a tooth extraction, but my badly broken wisdom tooth was not a good candidate for repair. After contemplation I choose to have it removed.

It was a first for me. While my teeth are unattractive, I still have all of them. Well, now I don't. I was a bit fearful, but decided to joke with the dentist and just relax and go with it. The process was quite simple. As I waited for the deadening agent to wear off, I also waited for the pain to set in. It never did. It was painless!
Mantel decorations
That was not the case Wednesday evening. After working in the yard much of the day, I got dinner ready and then at 6:00 we sat down to the dinner table and the 3rd Presidential Debate. 

I was dreading this debate. After the first two, and especially the second, I was so weary of Trump. I find him an embarrassment to our nation. But most of all I didn't think Hillary should have to stand on the stage with him for another 90 minutes and be bombarded with lies and insults and attacks.

Now I know some of my dear readers do not agree with me politically. If it is a difference of conservative view of policy vs liberal view of the role of government, I can respect that. However, if you find yourself feeling you have to vote for Trump because you hate Hillary, I can only say that you have been misled. So many of the claims against her just are not true. You can find this out by fact checking. Just google a question, like "Did Hilary Clinton lie to the FBI", and look for the Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact link, or try Both are good and non-biased. 

Anyway, back to the debate. I needn't have worried about Hillary. She can take care of herself. After trying in the first two debates to actually discuss policy, she realized she would have to squeeze substance in where she could. Instead she dismantled her opponent. 

Trump was pretty good for the first 30 minutes, trying hard to stay calm, on topic, presidential. But Hillary knew how to get under his skin, and I think it was talk about Putin that got to him and sent him reeling out of his carefully coached control. From then on, substance on his part amounted to babble and word salad. I had to put my hand up to cover his face from my view (On a 60 inch TV, that is a bigly face!) much of the time as he sighed and sniffed and screwed up his face and mouthed words of retort. It was painful to watch. Ugh. That man should never play poker. 

Donald Trump is a bully. He has bullied his way into being one of two major candidates for the President of the United States. It is beyond belief. 

But Hillary Clinton is one tough lady. She has had to be. She can handle a bully. Using Trump's own words, she took him apart, until what was left was a big pouting pile of poo. 

I hear that our ballots are in the mail. I'll sit down today and study the voter's guide. One race I will not have to study is POTUS. I will be proudly casting my vote for the first woman President of the United States!