Hot Tub & Deck Project Updated 6-23-05
Pumphouse Remodel Updated 3-7-07.
Wildwood News Archives
3/22/09. Today was cold and windy, with rain and a bit of hail at times. This morning Ma said to Pa that they got married on Palm Sunday 50 years ago, and it's turned out to be the same Sunday this year. Pa said he couldn't remember that far back ;-)
I made a cake and we had some chinese take-out for dinner. A very low key anniversary. All the real celebrations were done on the cruise. How many months ago was that?
And here's a picture of the "gate" we put up yesterday. It's just string, but hopefully will keep the deer out.
3/21/09. Tomorrow is Ma and Pa's 50th wedding anniversary. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! Write them a note in the cbox!
I got off work a bit early Friday and headed to WW. I stopped off at a place that sold archery equipment and bought a few replacement parts for my bow. When I got to Wildwood, Pa suggested we go down the road to fix a pothole he'd noticed. Ma wasn't feeling good so I fixed myself a sandwich, and Pa had a TV dinner, while Ma had some soup and went to bed early.
This morning we had a few little projects to do outside, since the power went off for an hour at 10:30 am. First off I swept off the road a bit. Getting ready for a new storm coming in. Next, the deer keep getting into Pa's garden area, so he's put up string all around it, and we set some posts in the ground and made a little gate. Then we fixed a hole in the greenhouse roof, and since I had to open a new silicone tube, I decided to use the rest of it on the porch roof, since I missed a few spots the last time I did it. Just as I finished up it started sprinkling, and it's supposed to rain tonight into tomorrow. That should make it about 6 weekends in a row with rain. I also started a new page on this site with the books I'm reading (the link is at the bottom of the left-hand panel) and set up a new archives page.
As for a picture, here's one of the latest puzzles
And Pa's building a fire in the fireplace.
3/16/09. I don't think I've mentioned our cat on these pages. Years ago we had 3 cats hanging around, strays most likely. A grey and white, a black, and another light colored one. Ma started putting out food scraps for them and after a few months the only one left was the black one. She was truly a scaredy-cat, wouldn't let anyone near her for the longest time, but I kept trying. Finally I made contact and found she had a flea collar, so she must have been a pet. By this time Ma had given up trying to set aside scraps and resorted to buying dry cat food (which the cat loved more than the scraps, of course.) And Ma also named the cat. Fluffy. Well, Fluffy had to be doing something right, surviving as an outside cat for so long with all the other animals around: coyotes, dogs, deer, mountain lions, skunks, raccoons, etc. It probably had something to do with her color blending so well with the forest. And also the fact that I saw her chase a dog 3 times her size down the road. (That was hilarious, after a point she stopped, calmly sat down and watched the dog run away. Never seen it come back.) Now Fluffy hangs out by our back door waiting for attention from us. I can scratch her for ten minutes or more, but only near the food. If we go for a walk, she follows us, meowing all the while. She's decimated the mole population, and made a dent in the mice, and even left us a rat or two. (We give the unfortunates to the ravens that hang about.) What a good kitty!
3/14/09. Last weekend I chatted with Sari and Peter for a while, and they pointed out the hummingbirds that come to their feeder. This isn't a great picture since I took it through the kitchen window, but there's 2 hummingbirds, and I missed getting a third by a minute. Peter had a funny story about one hummingbird bossing the others and not letting them eat from this feeder. It would stay in a nearby tree until it saw another hummingbird fly up to the feeder, then it would chase them away. Peter felt sorry for these other hummingbirds and set up another feeder around the side of the house. But the bossy one figured this out soon enough and changed the branch it sat on so it could keep track of both feeders.
Sari and Peter also gave Ma and Pa a puzzle of butterflies. Everyone said it was very hard. Took Ma and Pa about 5 days.
And the last picture today, I took a walk up the hill and saw a sand pile being worn away by the rain. But everywhere there was a rock or twig, it protected the sand and made these towers. The Sand Castle! All right, pretty boring, but a nice photography exercise.
3/7/09. As per the request: deer, in a video. This was taken about 100 feet from the house. I see deer at least once a month wandering around, but I know they've got a set route every few days and come by many more times and we don't see them. They've made paths through the woods because they go the same route all the time. The deer made a funny huffing noise as it ran away, you'll hear it several times at the end.
This morning I got google earth set up on both Ma's and Pa's computer. They've been looking through old locations they used to go to, as well as researching ancestry locations, like where so and so went to college in the 1860's in Ireland, and seeing what it all looks like. They're getting the hang of it, and looks like they will probably spend more time using that than playing games.
It's a nice day out, gotta try and get some work done with finishing a porch roof...
3/2/09. It was another wet weekend here. Not as much rain on Sunday but by Monday morning when I left we had another 4 inches. I think we're past the average rainfall amount by now, which is about 40 inches.
Pa got the last of his flowers from the nursery planted. The wire fencing is there to try to protect the plants from the ever-present deer.
And yes, it's so exciting at Wildwood when it's raining that Ma and Pa managed to put a whole puzzle together! They especially want to thank Tammy for giving them this. They said it was a nightmare to put together this 1500 piece puzzle. At least it's not all sky.
2/27/09. Here's something a little different. Pa and Clif have been doing a lot of family tree research over the years, and Clif has saved a lot of documents from Aunt Grace. This picture below is scanned from my Great-Grandmother Ella Gamble's college yearbook (or "Memories" book) from 1878 or thereabouts (don't know exact date at the moment.) Most of the signatures in there are just signatures, but this one stood out and just amazes me. What kind of pens and ink did they use in that age? Wow. In case you can't see it, it says "To Ella My Best Wishes", and signed Charles Eis-Something.
2/23/09. Ok I got my mudslide video. This is the news video of our slide we had in January of last year. And that completes the element list.
2/22/09. The aforementioned storm is upon us, but it's not nearly as bad as last weekend. As of 10pm we've gotten about 2.5 inches of rain, where we had about 8 inches for the same amount of time last week. We had a bit of wind tonight as well, and I wanted to include a video of some wind I took a while ago. It's amazing how much these redwood trees sway in the wind, 40 or 50 feet in heavy wind. This video shows just a light wind, maybe 20 mph, tops. And it's interesting to watch the breeze make it's way from one set of trees to another, all along the hillside.
Yeah I know, my videos are turning out to be fairly elemental in nature. Air, Water, Fire. Guess I gotta make a video of a mudslide next...
2/20/09. Tonight, Friday, I got to Wildwood and heard that Monday night the power had gone out. From about 4pm to 9am Tuesday. A very large tree had taken out the power lines down Highway 9 near Brookdale Lodge. The power lines follow Highway 9, and it only takes 1 tree to cut power to 30 miles of homes.
I also heard that on early Tuesday morning there was a supercell over Boulder Creek dropping nickel sized hail. No confirmation of that here. Ma and Pa said the rain kept them awake most of the night, and the rain really came down hard. We're supposed to get another storm starting Saturday night, so this is an early post to get ahead of another power outage. Also, thanks to everyone who has left messages in the new cbox! It's fun to see the comments, and keep 'em coming.
2/16/09. Starting Sunday morning about 2 am we got a great rainstorm started up. It rained all day long, at times about 1/2 inch an hour. From 2 am Sunday to 10am Monday, we got 10.5 inches of rain at Wildwood! The water came so fast our drains could hardly keep up. I had to go clean them out several times during the day. Surprisingly we didn't get any power outages, like we usually do.
Here's a couple pictures of the small creek in back of the Pumphouse. This only has water for the first 24 hours or so after a rain, but there's a lot of water coming through. This one is looking up the hill. This is the first rain of the season that actually made it to water flowing down. All the other rain we've gotten has been soaked up by the dry ground.
And down the hill.
Here's a very short video of the water going by. Quicktime is needed to play it.
This is the San Lorenzo River, about a 5 minute drive down the road from Wildwood. There has been only a trickle of water 'till now.
Lesse, here's a shot of one of our rain gauges. It only goes up to 5 inches, so we had to empty it several times during this storm. Here it is at 4 inches and counting. It sure was nice staying inside this day.
2/12/09. I took these pics on the way home from
work. This one of the clouds is looking towards the Santa Cruz
mountains. Clouds always seem to gather along these mountains and
cling. Boulder Creek *is* in a rain forest.
Here's a nice rainbow I managed to catch.
2/8/09. The porch roof I worked on last weekend held up pretty well for 2 inches of rain during the past few days. There's 2 spots where it's dripping through my patch, so I need to figure out where that is, but when the rain lets up I'll try to redo the rest of it.
The refrigerator has been acting up for the past month. The compressor has been rattling while the motor goes, so Ma and Pa purchased a new one last month, and it should be delivered Tuesday the 10th. If the delivery guys can find the place. The old refrig can only fit through the kitchen door if we take the door off the doorframe. Then it has about 1/4 inch of clearance. So that was the big task for this weekend. Took about 5 minutes. Then back to my book and listening to the rain come down.
Here's a picture of the finished screen door we worked on a few months ago. I realized I hadn't put this up. Water splashes quite high up the door so we had to add a splash guard.
2/1/09. A few weeks ago I tried to fix the leak we had under the porch roof. Every time we go out the door when it's raining, we get wet. I used some expanding foam stuff from a can. It didn't stick to the rook plastic very well, so it leaked. I tore out the foam and put some silicone caulking in it's place. I only got half of the roofline done. We have some rain in the forecast next week, so I want to see if this works before doing the next half.
Here's an old video of Niomi's dog Zip from 2003. She's trying to talk! Great video. I've tried a few other video's lately and think I'll try for even more. They'll work on an ipod. You may need to download Quicktime to view them.
Try out the cbox message box on the left. Thanks go to Dave Smock in Anacortes for the idea.
1/24/09. Ma and Pa had gotten a dozen or so jigsaw puzzles over the holidays. They've got a folding card table to assemble them on, but it's a bit too small, and too short. Pa raised the legs up a few inches with some PVC pipe (as you can see in the picture below). No more backaches from leaning over the table.
Next Pa got a sheet of plywood leftover from the Ping Pong table and made it into a tabletop, with some edging to keep pieces from dropping to the floor. Lots of space!
1/17/09. The last week we had such good weather that we had to get outside to do things and enjoy the days. Here we are washing the car.
I tried an experiment with my camera. It takes timelapse movies, in 1 and 2 second increments. I took a few on the cruise and it was pretty neat. Here's a log that is slowly burning in the fireplace. It's about 2 minutes long but took over an hour to film. Nice to watch around Christmastime.
I went for a walk in the woods and found some interesting things. I'm getting into the habit of taking my camera along. These trees can't seem to figure out which way is up.
And a little salamander went for a stroll.
1/15/09. I've been handling the accounting for the community's water and road fees for the past 3 years, taking over the responsibilities from my Uncle Dave who worked on them for the past 30 years. Our community of 13 houses handle our own road repairs and water service. We've had some problems with owners moving and not paying their fees. After several warnings that we were going to shut off the water for one household, I finally put a firm shutoff date of 12/31/08. I never heard a word from either the renters or the owners. I actually turned off the water at a shutoff valve on the first of the year, but checked it the next weekend. The renters of the house had turned it back on. So I covered the shutoff valve with sand, then poured concrete mortar over the top of it. It took a few days for a call to come in from the owner that he wanted to pay, and finally tonight I got a check for the outstanding amount. It still needs to clear, but it's easy to stop the water again if it doesn't. Looks pretty convincing and it's easy to take out. The next step would be to physically remove the meter section of pipe, but it didn't come to that. Yet.
12/25/08. This morning Ma, Pa and I opened gifts, then we drove down to visit with Dave and Suzy for more gifts and dinner. I tried to tape up this gift to Matthew really well, but he had it opened in minutes. Someone gave him a knife.
12/20/08. We had a pretty good Christmas here at Wildwood. Today we had Tammy and her kids, and Clif and Bonnie were visiting as well to exchange gifts.
Here's the tree we had. With gifts no less.
We've been getting a lot of rain which has made mushrooms grow throughout the forest. Anyone know what kind these are?
And with the rain comes fog, here's a shot of some sunbeams through the trees.
11/27/08. Happy Thanksgiving! We had a slew of people here at Wildwood. It was a blast having them all here. We cooked 2 turkeys (1 yesterday, one this morning) and had lots of people bringing various dishes so it made it easy on everyone. The 6 kids played so much, I think they got a whole weekends worth of fun in 1 day. Shooting water balloons with a BB gun, Archery, watching Corner Gas episodes, going on a couple of Treasure hunts out in the woods, playing Hide-N-Seek, Murder in the Dark, sorting D&D dice, having a "bonfire", playing with lasers, and of course eating lots of good food. The only down spot of the day happened when the downstairs sink got clogged up from water coming down the kitchen sink upstairs, but it was a quick and dirty fix.
We got everyone together for a picture before folks
here to download the full resolution picture.
Early Thanksgiving morning I had a job of hiding a small treasure out in the woods for the kids to find according to a treasure map I made up. It was foggy, having rained an inch the day before.
Here are some hard workers in the kitchen preparing the turkey and other foods.
And here's a not very great photo of people eating. We kept looking around for Francisco (our waiter from the Alaska Cruise.)
And I didn't have to sit at the kids table this year! Drat. They all just talked politics anyway so I didn't miss much.
Some of the kids have started getting into Dungeons and Dragons. I had a one pound "bag o' dice" that they were welcome to, and here they are splitting them up while watching Corner Gas.
e-mail me: TJFredrick@aol.com