Today’s Weather Forecast: Everything

Today’s blog is all about weather. We woke up to a beautiful, clear, sunny morning. We drove into Coeur d’Alene for breakfast, and it was cloudy and overcast. We’ve noticed a few times that when it is sunny at our place it is dismal in CDA. We checked out the touristy area of CDA. Lots of ritzy shops and restaurants. Then it was off to Home Depot because we can’t go there often enough. Among other things, Shawn was in search of hardware to mount my new weather station.

Fancy coffees in real mugs at Eat More Bread Bakery on the Lake

Yes, I have a weather station. For some reason, I am fascinated by the weather and have always been a diligent follower of the weather report on the news. I have at least five weather apps on my phone and tablet. My latest weather find is Weather Underground which lets me track specific weather stations. This is also where I learned I could get my own personal weather station and report my data back to Weather Underground. There are so many choices when it comes to weather stations, but I decided to start with an entry level station by Acurite for under $200. One day I might advance to the next level and start tracking lightning and soil temps. My model will track temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, dew point, and rain.

The National Weather Service suggests a height of 33′ for the weather station for optimal readings, and Shawn managed to rig a 3-piece metal pole to get mine up to 28′. It looks pretty impressive way up there.

The weather today was a bit of everything. We had sun, clouds, hail, snow, wind, and back to sun all within a few hours. We’re told if you don’t like the weather wait 15 minutes and it will change. That was definitely the theme today.



Who Said Retirement is Relaxing?

We have been so busy the last few days, that by the end of the day I’m too tired to blog.

Tuesday through Thursday we tore up wood flooring, and Friday we finally got to start laying the new flooring in the kitchen and living room. This vinyl plank flooring is pretty neat. We rolled out pressure sensitive adhesive around the perimeter of the room. Once it was set, we started laying the planks. They aren’t tongue and groove or click together, so you plop them down and abut to the previous row. The most time consuming part of the process is cutting the funky pieces, but you can use a box cutter for the straight cuts and we used the awesome new oscillating multi-tool for the trickier cuts. I say we, but Shawn did all the cutting. My job was laying the full pieces. It took us about 5 hours to get the kitchen and dining area done. We still have lots to go since we intend on putting it throughout the house, but it is so nice to have a few rooms done, and it is so much quieter than the bare plywood. Our knees are toast.

While we were waiting for the glue to set, we took the opportunity to explore our new acreage. Friday morning was clear and sunny, so it was a great day for a walk. We were trying to figure out the boundaries of our property which is not as easy as one would think. The house sits at an angle on the lot, so the corners of the lot are hard to figure out. The previous owner marked one of the back corners, but we could not find the other back corner. The back half of the property is wooded and the front half is grassy. A seasonal creek runs through it. We saw many fresh signs of deer.

We had a quick chat with our driveway neighbor. He gave us the rundown on the other neighbors. Below us are the “hippies”; they grow plants under grow lights. To the west is a retired Costco butcher. Shawn is pretty excited about meeting him. Across the road is a gunsmith; quality of work unknown. We were also warned about the guy down the road that likes to get into everyone’s business. He was described as “drives a Toyota Tundra, smokes small cigars, is a self-proclaimed expert at everything, and has about five teeth.”

Today, our last POD arrived so we spent the day getting it unloaded. As with the previous PODs, the unloading commenced in the snow. We woke up to a few inches of snow on the deck and ground, but by afternoon the sun was out again and almost all of the snow had melted. I was so happy to have my washer and dryer setup. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea where the laundry detergent is. I think that will be the story of our lives for the next few weeks as we begin to unpack.

Tonight, after another long day of physical labor, we sat in a couple sections of our sectional sofa facing the windows and enjoyed the spectacular view and sunset.


The Chicks Have Arrived

Another full day of demolition as we continued tearing out wood flooring. The kitchen is done with the exception of the flooring under the island. The goal for tomorrow is to lift the island and put it on furniture dollies so we can spin it and remove the remaining wood. I got to use a few new fun tools today. The flooring goes underneath the kitchen cabinets, so I had to cut the wood floor along the cabinet base with an oscillating multi-tool (saw). There are a bazillion nails in the floor, so Shawn gave me a nifty long-handled magnet to pick them up with. I also got to use crowbars, hammers, and various protective gear.

Time to buy a new dishwasher

#OOD – Outfit of the Day

Chuck Norris, the fraidy cat, hiding under the bed during demolition
Chuck Norris, the fraidy cat, hiding under the bed during demolition

Shawn went out to Tractor Supply in the afternoon to check out the new batch of chicks. He came home with six ISA Brown chicks for egg laying and 25 Cornish Rock Cross chicks for meat. They are pretty darn cute now, but luckily they won’t be so cute when it comes time to eat them. Sophie, the cat, thought they were rather tasty looking.

Chicks warming under the red light

While Shawn was out cruising chicks, I took the opportunity to do a little quilt photography with my awesome new backdrop.

Today we had all the weather: sun, a few snowflakes, clouds, rain and a breeze. The Crocus still knows today is Spring though.

After a full day of work, we figured we deserved a little happy hour beverage from the Growler Guys. Shawn picked up a few Crowlers of beer and cider. The One Tree Lemon Basil cider was very refreshing.

We Have Destroyed the Inside of a Perfectly Good House

When we were here in January, we pulled up all the old carpet and pad. We have been walking on bare plywood since. The only room with intact flooring was the kitchen. So what did we do today? Destroy the wood floor in the kitchen. Shawn sawed lines through the floor so we could remove the floor board-by-board and nail-by-nail. Fun with a hammer and pry bar, and thank God for knee pads. I think we got about a third of the floor removed. Shawn also figured out how to detach the kitchen island so we can rotate it. The island is currently at an angle and we plan to straighten it to make more room in the kitchen area.

The cats were not thrilled with the loud noises, and the fine saw dust got everywhere. We burned the scrap wood in our burn barrel. Can’t say I’ve ever had a burn barrel before. While tending the fire, I walked around the yard a bit and found a few treasures left by the previous owners. Little metal pieces of yard art like frogs and butterflies, and ceramic shoes.

Shawn also uncovered a decorative snow depth indicator which is funny because I just bought one before we moved. It was snowing a bit when we arrived on Saturday, but there is very little snow remaining on the ground now and our driveway and deck are completely clear. I may not be measuring any snow until next season. I found the first Crocus bloom in the yard, so maybe Spring is on the way.

Retirement is So Busy

The first Monday as retired folks and my damn alarm goes off at 5:51 AM (I always use the 9-minute snooze at least one time).  Yeah, I fixed that.  In the future the only time I’ll be setting an alarm is when I need to catch a flight.

The first order of business was taking care of a little bureaucracy…also known as two hours at the DMV to get Idaho drivers licenses and register vehicles.  It turns out we need to have our two cars and RV inspected before we can register them, but the Worley PD will come out to our house for a $5 fee to do that.  I’ll be ready with a tray of homemade cookies when the inspector shows up.  You don’t see the California police departments making house calls (unless you’re cooking meth I suppose).  Shawn and I both passed our written test with flying colors thanks to the practice internet tests we crammed on the day before.  Only $3 to take the test and $55 for an 8-year license.  We also updated our home address with Geico and our auto insurance was reduced by almost half. Less traffic and crime in Idaho than California?

Next, it was off to buy supplies for making chicken brooders, seed starting stations, and assorted house stuff like a new mailbox, muck boots, boot scraper, and boot remover.  Shawn also used his retirement gift card from the Tractor Supply to buy overalls.  My very own Mister Green Jeans…in brown.

We also made our second trip to the waste transfer station where you can show up as often as you like and dump your household waste (we had a lot of carpet, pad, and old appliances).  Just show your proof of residence and they let you drive in.  They even had people doing community service to help us unload.

So far this Idaho thing is working out.

We Are Officially Retired

Shawn and I both had our retirement parties at work on Thursday.  I think the emotions of it all surprised both of us.  It is hard to say goodbye to people you have spent 5 days-a-week with for years.

My party was in the morning, and my team provided a great spread of bagels, coffee, and carrot cake.  I stood just inside the door to the conference room and got to hug or shake hands with everyone that came in.  It was like a wedding receiving line.  A few people stood and said some very nice words, and I learned that I touched their lives and careers in ways I was not aware of.  I received lots of cards and well wishes in retirement and a photo book with pictures of each of my teams.

The quilted background is a nice touch
And I feared only a few people would show up

Shawn’s party was in the afternoon.  HIs team went all out with a farm theme for decorations.  Dioramas with potato characters, a red barn door for a photo backdrop, and a pinata in the shape of a terminal.  Shawn may have enjoyed smashing the pinata a bit too much.

Shawn with his team

Shawn and I in our Idaho potato form

After the parties, we headed home to finish loading the last Pod.  We really thought we had everything gathered up and ready to go, but in the last week, it seemed like the few things we had left expanded like a wet sponge.  By some miracle, Shawn and friends got everything in the Pod and the RV.  We actually ended putting so much stuff in the RV that we could only access the bedroom and bathroom while traveling.

Special thanks to our friends and family: Warren, Jeff, April, Jordan, Dorian, Stepanie, Matt, and Malcolm for helping us pack.  We would have been working way past midnight without you.  After the last dinner at our favorite neighborhood Mexican-Italian bistro, we had to say our last goodbyes.

After a sleepless night on an air mattress in our empty house, we cleaned and vacuumed.  Then we realized we had lost one of our cats.  We figured Chuck snuck out while we were moving things into the RV.  We called for him and looked in all his usual haunts, but no luck.  After an hour of searching, we stood in the kitchen wondering what we were going to do when Chuck sauntered out from the depths of one of the kitchen cabinets.

Time to hit the road for Idaho…California is in the rearview mirror.