You Were a Good Dog, Jake

As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.  Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other.  All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals.”  

Ecclesiastes 3:18-19

 

Jake, 2001 - 2017

Jake, 2001 – 2017

 

Yesterday, our 4-legged family member passed away.  Jake was 15-1/2 years old.

 

A happy dog

 

I don’t even know where to begin.

15 years makes for lots of memories and adventures.  I can’t include every story here but I hope you take the time to go down memory lane with us while we remember our faithful companion.

We found Jake at the Idaho Humane Society in March of 2002.  He was the third dog we visited that spring.  In 2002, Bev’s dog Cody helped us in picking out just the right dog for us.  You see, Cody was going to be our new family member’s camping and hiking buddy and the two had to get along.  So we brought Cody to the shelter to visit possible recruits.  I found Jake in a group kennel and he was the first of the dogs Cody didn’t attack.  So we all hung out together in the shelter’s yard for awhile and got along.

After making arrangements to have Jake neutered, on March 20, 2002 we brought Jake home.  We paid $65.00 for the honor of having him join our family that day.  The records from back then state he was 9-1/2 months old, putting his birth around June 2001.

Shelley, Jake and Rich, 2002

Shelley and Jake, 2002

There are many things one can say about their canine companion.  “He was a good bird dog.”  Or maybe, “He was a great hunting dog.”  Even, “She was a great camping dog.”

Jake was our companion, our security, our road trip partner, our hiking partner and an international traveler.  He traveled all over Idaho camping and hiking.  He swam in 4th of July Lake, Hell Roaring Lake, Kane Lake, Red Fish Lodge/Lake, Lake Stanley and hiked throughout The Seven Devils, the Sawtooth Range and the Smoky Mountains just to name a few of his adventures.

Red Fish Lake, 2007

Lake Stanley, 2014

Lake Stanley, 2014

Kane Lake

Kane Lake, 2004

Cascade Lake, McCall 2011

Cascade Lake, McCall 2011

Upper Bernard Lake, 2005

Hiking up to Dry Diggins Overlook, The Seven Devils, 2005

Proper camp site leash maintenance was not Jake’s thing, Sedona AZ, 2016

Then there were numerous summer and winter Yurt trips to the Idaho City area.

Shelley and the dogs, Rocky Ridge Yurt, 2003

Shelley and the dogs, Rocky Ridge Yurt, 2003

Our attempt at a family photo. Jake didn’t like things pointed at him, 2003

Jake on a winter camping trip, 2003

In his years of traveling he visited Washington, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and Alberta, Canada.  He drank salt water out of the Pacific Ocean on his trips to the Washington and Oregon coasts.  He hiked in the Cascades and the Olympics.  He got to meet mountaineers at the Rainier Mountain Festival in 2010.  He went on treks around Bend and Leavenworth and he even walked on the Athabasca Glacer in Canada.

Cannon Beach, 2008

Cannon Beach, 2008

Banff, Canada, 2005

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You were a good outdoor dog, Jake.

Smelling a vacation, 2016

When we went on trips to the outdoors, he would run off into the woods to find whatever he could find.  Chipmunks and squirrels were his lifetime nemesis.  They would taunt him on camping trips and then run one way, while he looked another.  But he had perseverance.  He would wait at the base of a tree for hours, just hoping they might slip and fall back to him.  Ah, the ever elusive chipmunk.

Jake and the chipmunk, 2007

Whispering Pines Yurt, 2007

You were a good exploring dog, Jake.

The weather never bothered Jake.  Rain, wind or snow.  Hot or cold.  He seemed to enjoy every season and every climate.  He really did act like every day he woke up was a miracle and he wasn’t going to waste it.  I don’t think he ever wasted a single minute.

Snowshoeing in McCall, 2014

Snowshoeing in McCall, 2014

Jake never barked in anger or attacked another human.  He would never bite food from your hand, always being careful and gentle when you offered him up a treat.  And after we brought Ripley into the house in September of 2002, he became her protector as well as Shelley’s.  He never seemed afraid to come to either of their defense when necessary.

Jake and Ripley in our garden, 2002

Jake and Ripley in our garden, 2002

You were a sweet dog, Jake.

Jake had a routine around the house.  I’m sure he was more OCD than I am.  He liked to see the world as his domain.  Keeping an eye on things from a top the hill behind our house, looking out over the city.  What he was watching for all these times, we don’t really know.  Maybe the local fox or the deer that would stroll by on occasion.

Jake overlooking his "Kingdom"

Jake overlooking his “Kingdom”

At night, he would walk the perimeter of the fence line one last time before coming into the house to go to bed.  He even would walk a perimeter on camping trips.  Just keeping an eye on things, I guess.

Jake "listening" to his "Kingdom"

Jake “listening” to his “Kingdom”

While I worked nights, Shelley felt safer knowing he would alert to any intruder.  Even if it was just a fox walking around on the deck.

You were a good security dog, Jake.

As anyone who knew him from 2002, he was not very fond of men being around the house.  Including me.  And he hated men in beards and hats.  This issue with men did not apply to our good friend, Skip, however.  No, he loved Skip from minute one.  Go figure.

Jake even was one of the star attractions on our wedding cake in 2003.

Our wedding cake

Our wedding cake

Shortly after bringing him home, I traveled to Seattle for a weekend trip and when I came home, Shelley and Jake had bonded.

I was out of the picture.

It took years, close to a decade, before he would start to trust me more.  He always tolerated me, but never really trusted me.  The odd thing was this behavior was only in our own house.  On walks or on trips, he was a totally different dog.  But not at home.  Over the last 5 – 6 years, something changed in him and he became more relaxed and trusting around me.

As an explorer, Jake had a tendency to get himself into trouble.  We had some landscaping work done in the back yard and had trenches dug to run electrical wires to our patio and the trees out back.  Yep, he got stuck in that 4 foot deep trench.  Wedged in like a cork.

Back in Seattle we had a massive hole dug in the back yard of our house to repair a sewage pipe.  The hole was about 12 feet deep and 6 feet wide and long.  The top was covered, but that didn’t stop him from falling in that one either.

Jake in a hole, May 2014

Sometimes he would be the victim of his sister’s malfeasance.  When Ripley decided to get into Shelley’s luggage and eat an entire bottle medicine, we had no way of knowing if Jake partook in the pill popping party.  So, along with Ripley, he had his stomach pumped.  Of course, he didn’t eat any pills.

Ripley, Jake and the pill bottle, July 2010

You were a tough dog, Jake.

His love of fast food french fries and cheese got curtailed sometime around 2010 when he was diagnosed with canine pancreatitis. I guess that was good for us too as we had to stop eating fast food fries on road trips too because we felt so guilty not being able to give him any in the car.

We started noticing an obvious decline with Jake in the spring of 2016 while visiting Seattle.  He was having trouble standing up on the hardwood floors at my sister’s house.  Later at home, in the early summer, his back left leg started getting worse and he became trapped on our hardwoods (he couldn’t stand himself up) one day while we were out.  He probably had been down for a number of hours and couldn’t stand on his own when Shelley came home.  It took hours for him to get the use of his leg back.  By the next morning, he was walking like normal again.  We made the house more “friendly” to him by using throw rugs in strategic places in the house.  During this time he was fine on rugs, grass and outside.  Just not on hardwoods.

When we took him to the vet, Jake was diagnosed with canine degenerative myelopathy which has no treatment and no cure.  This is a progressive disease similar to ALS in humans.

In watching his behavior decline over the last year, we suspect he was also suffering from undiagnosed Cushing’s Syndrome and dementia.  But we cared for him as best we could.  We still included in him in all our trips when it was physically possible.  He loved going on walks, even if we could only walk down the street to the stop sign in our neighborhood and back.

In July of 2016, we went on a camping trip to Stanley Lake.  Jake really struggled on that trip.  He was very slow and the waves at Stanley Lake and Redfish Lake would knock him over when he tried to wade into the water.  When we made one last trip down to the lake before leaving, it would be his last visit to a mountain lake.

Stanley Lake, 2016

Stanley Lake, July 2016

Stanley Lake, July 2016

Chilling to the music at Red Fish Lodge, July 2016

Our final trip was just a few weekends ago when we took a long weekend up to McCall.  Jake got to be out among the trees and snow one last time as we hiked up a service road.  His spunk was visible even if his body wouldn’t allow him to do all the exploring he’s been used to over the years.

McCall, February 2017

McCall, February 2017

Jake was sweet dog.  Yes, he was neurotic dog.  He was a protecting dog.  He was an exploring and an adventurous dog.  And, yes, he gave us many sleepless nights as well.

Having tea at the Plain of the Six Glaciers, Banff, Canada, 2005

But you were a great companion, Jake.  Thank you for those 16 years, buddy.

Jake playing fetch in the backyard

Sometimes, the biggest compliment one can bestow on another is the most modest and humble of compliments……………………………..

Snowshoeing out of a yurt

Snowshoeing out of a yurt

♥ 

 

You were a good dog, Jake.

 

♥ 

 

Posted in Family news. Tags: . 4 Comments »

Bittersweet

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I am sitting here in the kitchen of our Seattle house writing this post. I figured this would be the best place to talk about this decision, as it did not come lightly. Shelley and I have talked about it for a few years, since the spring of 2012, but events over the last 12 months are really what brought us the decision to sell our Seattle house. Last Tuesday, March 3rd, we accepted an offer on it and this week we came back here for one last visit to the house as well as bring home some of the belongings we have here.

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Our agent did a great job getting the house ready and playing the market. There is no inventory here in Seattle and so it’s a sellers market right now. So he put it on the market on a Wednesday with a 5-day hold on offers. The open house was the following Sunday. He wanted to hold all offers till after the open house. As you can see, we had a lot of traffic. In the end, we had 6 offers and three were $60k+ over asking. The house was on the market for 6 days. Maybe the house was priced a bit low, but our agent warned us going in he wanted to do that in order to get multiple offers. It worked. We’re not disappointed.

This is a bittersweet moment because of the memories in this house over the last 27 years coupled with the price we accepted.

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My parents bought this house in 1988 with the help of my sister, Sylvia and her husband Bruce. My parents, never a wealthy pair and renters for the previous 12 years, couldn’t swing the financing at the time to buy the place for $86k-ish. I was stationed at Fort Polk at the time, so I didn’t grow up here. I didn’t see the house until I came home on leave prior to shipping out to Korea in 1989.

My dad soon turned family barbecues into a regular event here. He usually barbecued a turkey on a rotisserie. He planted some shrubs, built an arbor and planted grapes, planted some fruit trees and started a flower garden in the back yard and along the front of the house.  I only have one photo of these flower gardens he planted.

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When my dad poured the concrete to have a nice spot for the barbecue in the back, my niece drew out here name in the wet cement. It’s still there.

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I came home from the Army in 1990 and moved into the unfinished basement. I spent the next couple years trying to get my act together, go back to school and get out of my parents house. My parents were okay with me staying here. They had no issues and I could have stayed here as long as I wanted. The free rent for me was great too. But when you’re 25, the last place you want to be living is in your parent’s basement.

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As I got ready to move out, my dad’s health turned worse and he passed away in August of 1993. He was fortunate enough to be able to choose for himself that he wanted to come home, to this house. He passed away in the master bedroom with my mom at his side. It was the middle of the night. Most of my family was in town, staying with other family and friends, and I made the phone call to my sister to let her know and she in turn called everyone else.

When everyone got here, I was sitting on the couch in the living room holding my mom. Well, we were holding each other. We all gathered here in the living room for the next few hours. There might have been some beers involved.

My dad’s death changed a lot of things. Primarily, it changed my mom’s finances. She was going to lose the house now with half the income gone. So I decided to stay here, in the basement, and help out with the mortgage until she figured things out. That lasted till 1998. I didn’t mind. I just had to tell the girls I met that I lived in my mother’s basement.

I was single for a long time.

In 1998, Bruce’s company consolidated their business and moved their headquarters to Boise, Idaho. They offered my mom the chance to move there with them. She was about 78 and the house was just too much for her and she wanted to sell it. By this time I had my affairs figured out and, with some convincing from my siblings, my mom sold me the house. I didn’t rate the financing, just like my mom and dad didn’t in 1988, but with some “creative financing” we got the deal done and the house was mine.

A few weeks later I met Shelley and I wasn’t living in my mom’s basement anymore. Whew, that was close.

After moving to Boise in 2001 the house was a rental till 2008. I went through some really, really crappy tenants. By 2008, the house was a mess. I had a property management company running things, but still, the house got trashed.

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Shelley and I decided to make the house a vacation home for ourselves. We also talked a friend of mine, Robert, into moving in to keep the place lived in while we were gone. All he had to do was pay $600 a month, all the utilities and mow the yard. By 2012 he had screwed that simple, little deal up. I had to evict him in January of 2015.

When the house became a rental in 2001, I had to take out some of the fruit trees my dad planted. The tenants simply didn’t care about them and it was expensive to maintain them from Boise. I couldn’t bring myself to cut them all down, so I left one apple tree. I also left the plum tree, that is really a sucker, but has always been quite nice. You can see it in full bloom in the photo.

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I had to take out the flower gardens, of course, but left the front hedge my dad planted. My dad’s grape vines didn’t survive the rental period either.

After Robert moved into the house in July of 2008, Shelley and remodeled the basement to make it a nice, vacation spot for us to come visit Seattle. My mom never got to see it finished as she passed away in July of 2009 and it wasn’t completed until January of 2010.

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Shelley and I used the house a lot over the last 5 years. We had first talked about selling in 2012. We were debating whether to remodel the upstairs and patio or sell and buy something finished in Seattle. Ultimately, we chose not to sell and didn’t want to remodel since the house was just a vacation stop for us at the time. You have to understand, the basement is really nicely done. Shelley and I made an agreement in 2008 that if we remodeled the basement we would never turn the house back into a rental only to have more tenants trash the house again.

It has never ceased to amaze me how many people simply don’t care about other people’s property. They didn’t care if their dog peed on the rug and the rug sat on the hardwood floor and ruined the finish. They didn’t care if the sewer backed up and there was human waste on the floor for four days and ruined the hardwoods.

Mow the yard? Why mow the yard?

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Grease splatters on the kitchen ceiling? No reason to clean that up.

I could go on and on. Maybe it was just bad luck, I don’t know. I know it’s a small sample size of tenants, but my sample size sucked. Ultimately, we didn’t want to spend that much money on a new basement, or go further with a new kitchen and remodel the upstairs, only to have someone trash it again. I didn’t want to see the house in that condition again.

So here I am, sitting in the kitchen having accepted an offer. The same kitchen where I helped my mom and dad make dinners. Where another one of my nephews celebrated his 1st birthday. This is the house where I kissed Shelley for the first time….okay, she’ll say she kissed me. This is the house where my family celebrated my dad’s life with a turkey I barbecued on the rotisserie…..having learned how do that from the lessons he taught me in this backyard.

Financially, this house was always going to be another form of investment for us. Something for us to hang on to and use as a place to park some money for our retirement. Someday we would need to sell it. If we held on to it for another 15 years, I’d feel the same way then as I do now. I’d just be writing this later than sooner. I’ve tried to look at this transaction like any other transaction I’ve done over the years, but the history and emotions are just inescapable.

Shelley has asked me a dozen times over the last few months, “Are you okay with this?”  I’m okay with it.

It sucks, but I’m okay.

An Update From Boise

I haven’t written one of these in some time so I thought it was about time I did one.

A few years ago Shelley and I invited Travis and Courtney in on a business idea that I came up with.  I decided to look into the possibility of starting a brewery for my post-retirement gig.  Then last summer we entered three beers into beer judging contest and won third place in one of the categories and got great feed back on the other two.  This gave us the confidence to take another step towards our goal and we ended up building a mini-brewery in the backyard of Travis and Courtney’s house.  Well, in a shop in their backyard.

This construction took much longer then we anticipated.  From about mid-December to mid-April.  That construction took up all my free time as well.  While Shelley was dedicated to getting herself in climbing shape for Rainier in the summer of 2014, I was too busy every weekend and most days before I went to work, building the brewery.  The consequences was such that there wasn’t enough time left for me to get ready for Rainier.

Our plan had been to climb Rainier as independents at the end of July 2014.  We really want to take a shot at it without guides.  So we planned on a 4 – 5 day window that would allow us to sit at Camp Muir for an extra day or so if weather wasn’t perfect and this would also give us good acclimation time as well.

Our schedule was going to be arrive at Paradise the night before and stay at the hotel on Sunday night.  This would allow us to cut out the driving time from Seattle and let us climb early Monday morning before it started getting too hot.  Hopefully we’d be up at Camp Muir well before noon.  If the weather forecast for the week was beautiful, we’d stay at Camp Muir that night and into Wednesday to make sure we got acclimated well.  Then we’d leave for the summit Wednesday night around midnight and return to Camp Muir sometime Thursday morning.  Depending on how we felt, we could either descend back down to Paradise Thursday or wait till Friday morning.

I know that’s a long schedule for, what can be, a 2-day climb of Rainier.  But being our first independent climb, we wanted to make sure we took things slowly.  Although we’ve been up there a few times now, we don’t know the route well enough if the weather was bad.  We wanted to make sure the route was beaten down enough to follow it easily.  We also wanted to make sure we were good and acclimated.  No reason to rush up from Camp Muir the same day we arrived.  We just felt it would be better to take a day.  And lastly, I hate coming down Rainier from the summit on hot summer afternoons.  Man that sucks.  So I wanted to wait till Friday morning to descend to Paradise.

Also, being independents, there weren’t going to be any guides helping with our supplies this time.  It was all on us.  All our food, fuel, tent, ropes and climbing gear was going to be on us.  Unlike when you go with guides when you don’t carry a tent, fuel, ropes, etc.  So, by the time I got the mini-brewery built, I was left with just 2 1/2 months before the climb.  It just didn’t seem right to take the chance of not being ready.

Shelley and I do not have our next climbing adventure thought out yet.  I guess we could do something this winter like Ecuador or Kilimanjaro.  We’ve discussed waiting on Kili until after we retire.  We’ve been looking at Ecuador for some time, but it doesn’t appear we’ll be doing that this winter.  Maybe the winter of 2015.

We had a pretty good run of Denali, Russia and two trips to the Swiss Alps in three years.  But that cost a pretty penny too.  That was another reason for trying for Rainier as independents, it’s cheaper that way.

Neither of us want to stop climbing.  We’ll just have to see what is in store for us.

If you’d like to check out and/or follow what is going on over at the brewery, you can follow that blog at this link.  The brewery is also on Facebook and Twitter.  There isn’t a lot going on right now over there as we are still in the very early stages of recipe formulation and learning about the industry.  We aren’t in a hurry over there so we are still looking at a few years before we start the licensing process.

As time and events dictate, I’ll keep this family blog updated so everyone knows what we’re up to.  But our life isn’t all that exciting when we aren’t traveling.  Lots of hours put in at work when we are home, which is why we like to get away as often as we can.

Thanks for following along.

Twilight Criterium in Boise

Spent the evening last night with the wife and family downtown watching the Twilight Criterium.  We haven’t watched the race for the last couple years due to mountaineering trips and somethings have changed now.  The orange fences are new.  You used to be able to sit on the curb with nothing between you and racers.  Which was pretty cool.  Here are some pictures and videos I took during the race.

It was a big crowd all around the track.

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Pictures from the women’s pro race.

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Some people found ways to keep up to date on some other sporting events going on around the world as well.  Yes, that’s the Sounders FC vs San Jose on my wife’s iPhone.

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Pictures of the men’s pro race.

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Wine Cellar Remodel is Finished

This was actually finished a few weeks ago but I’m just now getting around to posting the final update on this project.

Many thanks go out to Gammill Construction and all of Tim’s crew for doing such a great job on this project.  Their work is always outstanding and the finish work on this project was no different.  Mark Schwanz, from JayMark Custom Cabinets also did a great job.  Mark gave us great advice and pointers on the design of the cellar.  He even invited us over to his own house to see his cellar and discuss with us features we should consider in our cellar.  Not only did he give us tips, but he took the time to explain why certain features are important.  When his crew showed up to do the install, they did the whole job in one day.  I think they were here nearly 11 hours.  The finish work is pretty impressive.  The final piece of this puzzle was put into place by the guys over at The Stereo Shoppe.  Raymond, Craig and Dave worked with us to uninstall our home stereo components from their old rack (that I had built) and relocated them into a new location that JayMark built into the wall.  Now the components are protected from dust and prying fingers with nice glass doors.

When you first come to the outside door, this is view you have before you enter.  This photo is from our theater room and looking into the wine tasting room with the cellar in the background.  Shelley and I installed the brick on the wall in the foreground when we remodeled this room years ago.  In order to maintain the brick wall illusion, we had Gammill continue the brick theme inside the tasting room and wine cellar.

from the outside

This photo is from inside the tasting room, looking back at the arched door you see in the photo above.  Note the brick wall on the inside matching the outside wall.  The two glass doors you see to the left of the arched door is the wall cabinet where the stereo system is now located.

looking back at front door 2

A close up of the door leading into the wine cellar.  Gammill ended up using an exterior door for this entrance.  We wanted as much glass as we could so you could see into the cellar and we wanted wood to match the cabinets and trim.  All the wood is alder.  You can see the bricked, arched ceiling really well.  We have two types of lighting in the cellar.  In the photo, the uplighting on the sides is on.  This is just for mood when you are having a party and want to highlight the cellar.  There are also three cans in the ceiling for those times when you are working on your wine inventory and need to see better.

cellar door

The next few photos are from inside the cellar itself and show the three walls.  From top to bottom:  The back “Trophy” wall, the left wall (where you can see the wine cellar’s chiller in the top corner), and the right wall.  The wood used in the cellar is all white oak.  None of the wood is finished.  When you leave the door shut for a few days and go inside, you can smell the mild aroma of the wood inside the cellar.  It’s really nice.

back wall 2  left wall

right wall

This is the counter top and cabinets we had put in for storage, sink and wine refrigerator.  We elected not to put up wall cabinets here.  We talked with Mark about this and he suggested the floating shelves instead.  We think it turned out great by giving us more open wall space for art and to display the glasses.  Not all our pictures are up yet, as you can see.

tasting room counter

Along the other side of the tasting room, across from the counter top, is our tasting table.  We had lighting put up above this to highlight the wall behind the table for more pictures once they are selected and framed.

cellar from the tasting room

Finally, to add a subtle touch to the room, Shelley picked up a replica USGS survey marker for the summit of Denali.  We had it installed in the slate right in front of the cellar door.  You can just see it in the photo above as the small, silver, round plate in the tile in front of the door.  Here’s a photo of the actual marker on the summit of Denali.  Below the photo of the real marker is the marker in our tasting room.  By the way, our guide on Denali in 2011, Vern Tejas, took that real marker to the summit and installed it.

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usgs marker

I think this might be the last remodel project for our house.  We had a 7-year plan that has now taken 10 years to complete.  But I think this might be it.  We have some house maintenance to do in the coming years like a new roof and painting the house, but as far as remodeling goes, this might be it.  I think we can sit back and enjoy the house for the next 25 years or so now.

New Chicks

Our seasonal visit from the local Kestrel population has resulted in new baby Kestrel chicks once again this year.  Our brother-in-law, Travis, took a peak inside the Kestrel box the other day and snapped this photo of the new chicks.  He figures they are only a few days old as their eyes are not even open yet.  There appears to be five chicks right now.  Let’s hope they all survive.

baby kestrels

Posted in Family news. Tags: . 1 Comment »

Remodel Update – Workout Room

The wine cellar and tasting room continue to creep closer to completion.  There have been some minor set backs that have led to scheduling issues and delays in the rooms’ completion.  They should be done by the end of next week.  As I type this, the tile installer is down stairs grouting parts of the project.  Since the project is so close to completion I don’t want to show any pictures of it just yet.  The only thing left is the ceiling in the bedroom, some plumbing and a couple of light fixtures.  Overall it is very close and, at this point, showing pictures will give it away without it actually being complete.  So you’ll just have to come over and see it or wait just another week.

In the mean time, this remodel has given us another finished bedroom.  Which has allowed us to expand our workout space.  We moved a couple of tables, a futon and some smaller things out of our workout room and into the new, almost finished bedroom.  This allowed us to do some re-arranging in the workout room giving us some more space.  That’s what this post is about.  I don’t have any before photos, sorry.  Just pretend it was much more crowded than it is now.

This is what you see when you walk in.

entrance

We added a new flat screen television by the windows, a new padded area in the middle of the floor and we bought a new weight plate rack (foreground on the left).  The futon used to be along that wall on the right of the photo.  With the new space, we rearranged the equipment to give us more floor space in the middle of the floor.  As we walk around the room clockwise, this picture is taken from under the television looking back at the entrance.

mirrors

We also added those large mirrors to the room.  It was hard to do different exercises in which you need to watch yourself to be sure you are in the correct position.  We had a picture hanging on the wall before and we had to use our reflection in that glass.  This is much, much better.  You can also see our new dumbbell rack in front of the mirror.  Yes, that is a backpack on the floor next to the rack.  Shelley has been using that on the elliptical.  Running on the elliptical with a 30 lb pack for an hour………just another day in the life of a hobbiest mountaineer.

Our most recent workout “machine” is the Total Trainer DLX-III you see here in front of the elliptical.  Shelley picked that up after she hurt her knee last year.  It’s helped me work my legs as well by offering better support while working your legs.  You can add weights to the “sled” you lie on and adjust the incline to suit your needs.  It takes up a lot of space but leg strength is a pretty big deal in the mountains.  So this has become a pretty important piece of our workout.

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One last photo of our new space.

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