It’s been a week and a half since I had the chance to sit down to my personal computer and think about writing something about the passing days. They have been so full. The sadness in the southeast, and the devastation and lost lives was heartbreaking. With no time for blogging or reading blogs, the news about Al and Kelly’s Max still came in through Facebook and I was saddened again. Somehow when sadness intervenes I go quiet, it’s hard to write about my “stuff” when others are going through so much. This morning the sun is shining, and Mo and I are packing the MoHo for a trip to the Oregon Coast, and it’s time to start writing again!
Of course, as mentioned in the last post, I have been working three weeks straight through, with last week requiring a trip to town every single day. It was time for the formal Progress Review for the Klamath Soil Survey, and I couldn’t manage that one from home. I loved every minute of it, long days going over all the details of years of mapping the basin, and this time I was only a participant, with no stress, no management responsibilities. Yeah, I am still working after retirement, but I don’t have any of the stress of the job. Chris is a great project leader, had the review well prepared, and the regional specialist who reviewed us is one of my favorites. We have a long history going back many years.
The daily trip to town was a bit daunting, for a couple of reasons. Spring keeps trying to show up around here, but as the joke going around the internet says, it isn’t installing properly. I woke up on Thursday to an inch of frozen snow and ice, and slid all the way to town on that stuff. Ugh. Since I left early, I had time to slow down and appreciate the gorgeous skies and blue waters of Klamath Lake, and even pulled over a few times for photos. I kept thinking, “Just slow down and appreciate the beauty instead of complaining about the snow”. Then I slipped on the ice and managed to keep from sliding under the car with some fairly weird body moves. I was rewarded for my efforts by suddenly looking into the eyes of a blue heron right in front of me, trying to fish, and wondering where the snow came from. Of course, 30 miles each way isn’t bad when the weather is good and the sun is shining, but when gas is at 3.95 per gallon and I am driving my Dakota it gets a bit depressing. The Dakota gets about 15 mpg, so you do the math.
While I was intently focused on work stuff, Mo was valiantly working away on the greenhouse. We had a bit of a funny start with the project, funny unless you are the one wielding the shovel. We decided on a location for the house, and my job was to remove the sod from the 10×12 space. Took me a couple of partial days to get the job done and I was extremely proud of myself. Mo came in the house after I was done, looking sheepish. Seems as though we had located the house straddling the official property line, and half of it would be in the “road” if the county ever decided to enforce the rules. We thought the house would be something we could move around at will, but after reviewing the complex directions, Mo decided that she didn’t really want to ever move it once it was built. So, I got out the trusty sharp shooter spade, and once again lifted a 10 x 12 square foot area of sod. This time, Mo helped move it all after I did the cutting and it only took us a day. When I came home from work the following night, Mo had faithfully replaced all the sod squares in the original site. By mid summer, no one will ever know we tried to build a greenhouse in the road.
The rest of the week, while I worked, Mo patiently fiddled with the instructions and put that thing together. I swear it was like some sort of evil erector set. The directions were ok, but the drawings were a bit weird. I think Mo spent 3 hours trying to understand just how to put the top beam together. The kit is all screws and bolts and straight pieces of aluminum. It’s a good thing I wasn’t the one doing it, or it would still be in a pile somewhere!
I am excited about the project, though. When I got home from work on Friday it was completely finished, and now we are going to town today to buy the raised bed materials for the interior. We also decided to put down a floor of 1/2 inch hardware cloth wire to try to keep out the voles and rabbits. The sun was shining beautifully yesterday, but the wind was cold. I stepped into the greenhouse and reveled in the warm, humid air. I will have at least one 10×12 space of deer free, frost free gardening, at least as long as I remember to never leave that wide door open!
Last weekend we took some time out from work and greenhouse building to celebrate Easter with family. My daughter and son-in-law, my two grandkids, and my sister and niece all came out to Rocky Point for a celebratory brunch and Easter Egg hunt. We had a great time, and I made Mo’s favorite orange walnut coffee cake to go with the zip-lock bag omelets. I love those crazy things, always perfect for fun and laughs in a crowd. The kids then colored all the eggs and Kevin and Melody played Easter Bunny hiding them in the yard. We had some moments of snow flurries, but the sun came out warm and bright in time for our festivities. Then the kids decided to hide the eggs for the adults and we had lots of laughs together over that one.
I think the funniest moment of the day, however, was trying to explain to my daughter’s Thai exchange student why a rabbit would lay eggs. It’s hard enough to explain to our own kids, but when you add the cultural differences it’s even funnier. We finally went to the internet to discover that the tradition goes back to the middle ages and morphed into the Easter Rabbit sometime during the 18th century in Germany. It was perfect family time, even though I rarely manage to get all my family together at once, I am still so grateful for the ones that live close by.
The sun finally came out and in spite of the cold temperatures, Mo managed to get the MoHo all washed and shiny and I cleaned out the interior. The MoHo is five years old, and now and then something needs replaced. We had the original CO2 detector that is supposed to only last five years. Sure enough, it started screaming at strange moments having nothing to do whatsoever with CO2. The problem is that the original unit is no longer made, and the new one is a different size than our original. Mo had to cut out a bigger square in the wall to install the new one, but now all the green lights are on and there are no weird screams in the night. She had to find the replacement on the internet, since the local RV shops only carry the type that have both CO2 and propane detectors in one unit. Dumb. We already have a propane detector near the floor and the refrigerator, where propane might actually show up. Now we are all good to go, with safe detectors. I remember the explosion in an RV at the Sands RV Resort in Desert Hot Springs last winter that was caused by leaking propane. Good detectors are important!
I now have a whole week without work, and Mo and I decided it was a perfect time to head for the coast. We miss the beach, and this time we are going to Brookings, where Mo once had a condo overlooking the ocean. We will camp at Harris Beach State Park for a few days, and then drive north to South Beach where we will meet her brother and his wife for a couple of days of more family fun. Of course the kayaks are going on this trip, and we hope to test the waters in the Chetko and Pistol Rivers and maybe Brookings Harbor. The best part of this plan is that we have sunshine and temperatures predicted in the 70’s! On the Oregon Coast!! Some of our fellow RV’rs haven’t been so lucky lately, so our timing is perfect.