In Memoriam: April 25, 2005

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Tuesday April 26, 2005

In Memory of Tucker

Feb 29, 1992 – Apr 24, 2005

As we’ve been saying, Tucker began a rapid decline this week after a long and noble fight against the power of arthritis. Over the last two years or more, he began to get a little more stiff, but, hoping you wouldn’t notice, was always ready for a romp and a trip outdoors. As the arthritic decay advanced, he had to ingest more and more medicine. Seems here at the last, he had almost as much medicine going in him as there was food. It seems the pain overtook what we could do and by Friday, he could hardly get up at all, and one meal was given to him lying down. Between then and Saturday, he had to be assisted twice just to get on his feet. Yes, the other behaviors that accompany this weakened condition even made him feel worse, because he was ALWAYS great about going outdoors when he needed to.

Luckily, we had a “vet” connection. Neighbor and friend Kristen was able to come over late Saturday night and aid us with helping Tucker leave the pain behind. It was hard to actually do this but then it was a relief to see him quit straining against the grinding arthritis. It WAS great that Kristen could help. Tucker knew her, he was at home on his big pillow-bed and we were all with him. He slipped smoothly away before the medical injection was even complete. It was hard to feel his warm fur without life.

Kristen kindly took Tuck on down to the hospital where she works and the “details” were taken care of.

Tucker was a leap year puppy, born Feb 29, 1992 and joined us in Sunnyvale in April that year. What a grand couple years he enjoyed there in that pool. Summer afternoons after swimming, he’d just sit on the steps and stare at the water wondering when we’d be going to the beach again.

He had a great plane ride in January of 1996 when he was shipped up here and began a new life in the woods. In those years since, he’s had a great time chasing squirrels, raccoons, dogging mole hills open so he could stick his entire head down that hole to smell. He had many trips to the coast staying at the Smiths’ home where ritual beach trips were expected several times a day.

So he’s going to be missed, but we’re both feeling good about the decision to bring on the big sleep. Everyone’s always told us “You’ll know when the time is right.”****..and that’s always an abstract thought until it occurs. We knew it was time.

Tucker’s last great old boy pic was the one in the front yard all posed just right as the button was being pushed, but at the last second, that little breeze probably brought on a lovely smell of old deer poop or something and he was distracted:

Great fur, eh?

Mac has been a little lost and confused today*********.but already thrilled that he got to eat from the BIG DISH Sunday morning. I believe his serious training is just about to begin.

Mark & Rodger.

life ain’t easy

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Friday April 22, 2005

My cousins’ husband Warden is having a hard time here in a local hospital after severe brain surgery to remove a lot of mass out of a brain tumor………..a diagnose they’ve only known about for 3 weeks or so, a diagnosis that should have been seen 6 months ago when an MRI was done prior to having nasal surgery. He’s alert now but suffering the side effects of having someone rake around in your brain suffering weakness on one side, short term memory connection losses, etc. I feel terrible for the family suffering together. He’s in ICU, so no one is encouraged to visit….since only the family can see him anyway.

Another old friend now living in Texas has just gotten his own diagnosis about having a brain tumor and will be having surgery next month, and, luckily, in this case, it sounds like things will be MUCH better, but still, anytime you face this kind of surgery, you DO pray.

These two guys are younger than I am ! ! !

Neighbor Baird must have a bad case of FLU….his fever’s at 102 and he’s sleeping a lot.

Our own dear Mail Carrier, Cherie, has been injured in an auto accident and will be off work a while. Whew.

AND LAST but NOT LEAST…………..this one’s right here at home. Our Tucker seems to be giving up a little bit. He’s so weak he’s wobbling to walk, and it’s tough to get him to get up at all. Today he had to sit to finish eating his breakfast. The time is soon.

Life ain’t always smooth……………..Nature can humble all of us most of the time just by a simple turn of the dial.

hummingbird frenzy

Bloged in birding by mark Friday April 22, 2005

How cool it is to be startled by the number of hummers and frenzy of activity as they all seem to arrive (a few I’m sure will move on)………….. almost instantly we’re using 2 quarts of sugar water EVERY day. It is a tremendous thrill to watch them try to fill up just before dusk………and argue via flying antics I’m not sure Hollywood can match. Occasionally it sounds like a small airport out by the garage……….

Oh well, spring is here. The feeding waves will go up and down ………today will be less as they temp should reach 75…………..

Outings and buffets and a lunch TOO !

Bloged in garden,General Home Life,Scuff Boys by mark Wednesday April 13, 2005

April 13……2005
Friends and Family,

If you’re a gardener, or ever thought about being a gardener, you missed a fun time this past weekend. There are TWO huge plant sales here in the spring and it’s hard to compare them because they’re both very different. The big one in April is the “Hardy Plant Society Sale” at the Washington County Fairgrounds every year. “Hardy Plant Society” means the plants here are native to this area and should do well in our climate. The volume of exhibitors and plants more than fills one big exhibit hall and a waiting line develops that by 9:00 am sale start was, this year, about a football field long. You muster your way through crowds to visit dozens of nurseries selling these native “hardy” plants and when you like something, you pull it out and haul it off to one end of the hall where handlers put all your plants in one place and give you a checkout card. When your done, you collect all your plants and get rung up and finally exit where you can use a cart to roll all the “stuff” out to your cars.

The second sale is about to happen (first w/e in May) and is at the complete opposite end of the valley in Canby, OR. It’s held at the Clackamas Country Fairgrounds. At this sale, there’s NO holds barred with every conceivable kind of nursery selling everything here at the largest plant sale in Oregon. Thousands of people come and it’s GREAT fun. So, yes, the kitchen gets a break that w/e and we will be going to Canby.

But……….let’s not forget the BEST part about the Hardy Plant Sale. In what is seeming to becoming an annual get-together, Carol D. hosts a pot-luck buffet AFTER the sale at her beautifully decorated home in Cedar Mill. Carol is becoming rather famous around these parts not only for her world-class calligraphy both as artist and instructor, but for making a complete (and BIG) display garden in her driveway back by the garage. It’s so big, it is now filling up the neighbor’s side of the place too. Full of beautifully displayed plants, whimsical art, hummingbirds, etc., this is a fabulous place to visit and more-than-that, to be welcomed by such a fabulous person as Carol is. This year, Nancy G was the “shepherd” of the cars that made the trek from Hillsboro to Cedar Mill, the food theme seemed to center around a fresh Mexican flavor, and the visiting was just great. We got to see update pictures of Carol’s grandson SAM, who just the day before had disappeared while his Mom had simply turned around for a second…he’s almost a year old, and was found all the way upstairs….yep, he’s learned to crawl up……….whew!

So we had a great memorable time this weekend, and don’t forget Bob and Rhonda potted several grape starts for anyone who wanted to grow some grapes. We had four now that we have to find a place for and figure out the support we’ll need…. . . . . . . Our lettuce is up about two inches now! BUT, better than that, a few early things, the “early survivals” (stuff from last year), are growing and ready to eat. We’re picking green onions, thyme, oregano, sage, chives, yummy herbs, and the first rhubarb cutting is days away.

Oh………by the way our “shephered” and friend, Nancy Grossenbacher, always takes care to alert us all to anything significant in the garden world, and THIS week’s news? Starbucks recycling is now giving away all their coffee grounds FREE to gardeners. We’ve collected about 5 five pound bags so far….and intend to keep collecting. Now I can find a reason to actually “Go to Starbucks” where I had none until now. Thanks NANCY ! ! !

On Sunday, we were invited to the Pattons (two OHSU Scientists) along with the Stewarts (Mike’s the vet and Janice works with Rodger—they live in Salem) for a grand buffet spread and about four hours of continuous chat. Bruce and Show-Ling are about to make a decision on remodeling their own kitchen so that was a good long topic. It truly was fun to enjoy the company of these great people.

And finally, just yesterday, Mark got to go along with dear friends the Smiths and Rochlins to lunch and more kitchen tales were shared while we dined on completely fresh and delicious sandwiches, salads, and home-made ice cream at a tiny 8-table spot out on Fremont called “Leaf and Bean” just about across from Stanich Grill in the 4900 block. There’s only one waitress and a tiny kitchen that does extremely well in making quality tasty scratch food here, and we recommend a visit. It’s always great to have some time to be with these friends too, we live up here in the same block and don’t do it enough.

Yo, Bruce and Kevin, the web-site is fabulous and an always engaging read! A travel magazine would pay you on that description of your visit to the Mission.

Mark & Rodger.

kitchen progress?

Bloged in General Home Life,kitchen remodel by mark Monday April 4, 2005

This weekends no-holds barred discussions were about sinks, hoods, faucets, microwave placement, and refining WHO will be given the Cabinet Contract. My mind seems worn out this morning.

BUT, good things are in the middle of the thought process. We DID manage to order a beautiful sink on-line and save $200 from buying locally. It will be an undercounter beauty………… My mind is still having a hard time wrapping itself around the cost of things like a decent faucet, etc. They are now astronomical if you decide to have something special.

The hood still hangs in limbo since we’re trying to match noise vs. power and reccomendations. There are still more than two contenders although the field is narrowing. The problem here seems to be finding a place to see the favorite we like. The two top contenders are the Sirius SU18 and the Zephyr Venezia……….any advice?

The cabinet story? We have truly 99% decided on working with Andy Mohrr at Hayes Cabinets (see the Link) in Woodland, Washington, just about 45 miles north of here. On reccomendations of neighbor/friend/designer Lisa, though, we checked out 3 more companies. One is as far as Eugene, one does not finish the product or install, only builds and you do the rest. The other one? There was a fun adventure………..the ONE company in Vancouver is an emigrant Russian Family. The showroom installs were so full of mis-jointed cabinets it was easy to see we wouldn’t be paying them the thousands to build our cabinets. But I DID feel like I was near the Russian Mafia when the stern father would NOT smile or talk. The “install” brother said, “Yes,” you’d better be nice to me for a good install, and the son talking with us was the polar opposite and really seemed to want the business. That was kind of fun.

The Mafia visit was followed by a truly fabulous lunch at “ROOTS” Restaurant (yea, go ahead click and look at the menu) on the edge of Camas/Vancouver. THAT is worth the drive. Owner Brad Root makes everything from fresh produce to local meats and has a true Pastry Chef does desserts. When asked why the tartar sauce was so wonderful, we were told Brad knows it takes home-made mayonnaise to make good Tartar Sauce. The home-made mayonnaise went into making the Potato Salad very very good also. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen THAT stuff home-made. Since Carolee, the pastry chef was there we HAD to try a dessert. One was Profiteroles (3) with carmelized bananas….outstanding, and one order of Strawberry Shortcake Bread Pudding with lots of sauce and whipped cream. Fantastic stuff. When we raved about the dessert, she came over and talked with us. Carolee has NEVER gone to any school about cooking but grew up in Montana where the Mom milled her own wheat to make bread (yes, we suspect they are “mormons)…………. If you’re ever in the 205/84 area, make the drive up to Roots and have a great lunch.

Oh well. Back to work. Yes, work continues on wood:

wood and MORE wood.

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Friday April 1, 2005

We’re trying now to reduce the size of the piles of log rounds that were dropped on the edge of the property last weekend when Ed and “staff” had equipment to move the big pieces by machine. We had 3 distinct separate piles of wood to work and finally have eliminated the one in front of the garage. This picture shows a stack of “split” wood by the deck and a little of one of the piles:

A couple of other views of this labor shows here:


Mark works some hours in the afternoon and Rodger works when he gets home about 5:45 until dark, and piles finally get split, moved and stacked:

That stack is getting to be three rows deep and is about 16-18 feet long. We do have two other stacks on the edge of the place and more wood to split. We “figure” we’re splitting wood now that we’ll use in 2008. Whew!

It’s been GREAT for the excercise and some sore muscles after sleeping all night. But it takes the tedium off kitchen planning …………. SO, we’re not getting much else done right now…………… Sense of humor dampened for a couple weeks.

And it’s going to rain for a few days. Oh well, the dogs don’t care do they. They’re both looking at me right now wondering what the hell’s wrong with me sitting inside.

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