Hot Tub & Deck Project Updated 6-23-05
Pumphouse Remodel Updated 3-7-07.
Wildwood News Archives
12/20/09. I keep forgetting to post follow up pictures of some of the past projects. So here's the garden retaining wall, and the horseshoe pit wall, both in a mostly finished form. We took some of the dirt from the garden area and put it along the horseshoe pit wall. Pa put some netting around the whole garden to keep the deer out.
12/18/09. I took today off work. Got to WW last night. Pa and I went to the hospital this morning to pick up Ma. She's feeling much better than when she went in. She felt good enough to do some shopping with us to get ready for Tammy's visit this weekend. There's going to be a few follow-up visits needed in the weeks ahead, but as for now everything is going very well. Thanks to everyone who sent notes or called.
12/16/09. Pa sent word via email that Ma is in the hospital tonight. It seems she is bleeding internally, and was feeling weak starting Monday. She's gotten a blood transfusion already. I'll post more when I know more.
12/13/09. It was a wet weekend again at Wildwood. Still no luck with the water leak. We even had a thunderstorm pass through. We also got our Christmas decorations up this weekend. Here's the picture of the tree set up. Bonnie made the skirt around the tree, and gave it to Ma at Thanksgiving.
12/5/09. Some bad news at Wildwood when I got there, we have another water leak somewhere. It's a big one and we haven't been able to pin it down. It's supposedly losing 1000 gallons a day. We found this leak, but it doesn't seem to be the leak we're looking for. It's just a trickle of water going into the hole. And with rain (and maybe snow!) on the way, it's going to be hard to find it in the next week or so.
And here's a picture for Tammy. Ma and Pa got the latest puzzle done during the week. Thanks for bringing it Tam!
11/26/09. Happy Thanksgiving! We had another full house this year, in fact it was the exact same group as last year. Here's a few pictures.
The kids got their own table, and afterwards played lots of games. A Hide and Seek variation was popular, they played until about 9PM, then sadly left for home.
We tried out some more photos with a long shutter speed. This one of Cailey turned out the best. Fighting with herself again.
Tammy and her kids stayed a few extra days. More fun and games! Friday was drizzling, and Saturday turned out to be very windy. I tried to get a video, but never got a good view of the trees bending over. Tammy and kids left about 10:45 in the morning, and at 1:30 the power went out for 24 hours. We eventually found out where it happened.
This is down the road a ways, near out water pump holding tank. A giant fir tree toppled in the wind, took out a redwood tree about 60 feet up, and took off a chunk of eaves from a house. Here you can see the wires still dangling a bit.
Here's the redwood tree that got broken in half by the fir tree as it came down.
One more picture on my way to work Monday. This is on Bear Creek Road looking southwest toward Santa Cruz. Well, Santa Cruz would be to the left of the picture. Wildwood is well to the right of the picture.
11/21/09. So far this weekend has been looking good project-wise. We moved the log splitter down to the shed area, and started tearing out another rotting retaining wall. Well, we're moving the dirt from behind it first.
Pa and I got this much done in just a couple hours. The dirt was really loose, made for an easy time digging. We moved the dirt to several locations, one down the hill by the shed, another was along the new brick wall at the horseshoe pit. To keep horseshoes from hitting the wall ;-)
11/14/09. Pa worked on his sloping front yard project, putting in some plants and stepping stones. The plants are "supposedly" deer resistant. We'll see. Aside from this, there's not much else going on, just a relaxing weekend.
11/9/09. This weekend at Wildwood was not as good as the last weekend, so I relaxed inside for most of it. Pa worked on a few projects during the week. He got the old wood retaining wall in the front yard taken away and was moving dirt around so there would be no need for a retaining wall. I guess after seeing what was involved with the one by the horseshoe pit, he didn't want to do that much work.
One of the other projects Pa had was putting a new tarp over his car. He got a 60 ft. X 30 ft. tarp, and figured by cutting it he can get 4 tarps out of it. That means we had to unfold it and cut it. Fortunately we had a good place to unfold it. The volleyball court we made up for Camp Wildwood. Putting it up was almost easier than the unfolding and folding again. The only other thing I worked on outside was to use the leaf blower to clean off the driveways.
We had some road work done on Thursday the 5th. I wasn't around, but the neighboring road hired some folks to put this in by the slide we had a couple years ago. The old culvert, though metal, was doing the same thing everything else does and was rotting, turning to rust, which let water through and was eroding the road. This has always been a bad curve on the road, we kept having to move a fence over to keep up with the disappearing road.
And the other end.... The big mudslide is behind the pylons there.
And since I found the shutter speed feature on my camera, I had to try out a few things. I have a nice pic of what a green laser looks like to the naked eye at night. You really can see the entire beam.
11/5/09. While visiting Dave, Suzy and the kids tonight I got my camera out and started taking pictures with a delayed shutter speed. The shots were taken in a dark room with a shutter speed of 15 seconds, and we used flashlights and lasers to get the effects. This shot was pretty much the culmination of our tests, and turned out to be pretty cool. Absolutely no photoshopping done! The dueling sorcerers!
11/1/09. It was a fabulous weekend at Wildwood, weather-wise. Cool in the morning but quickly warmed up. Nice weather for projects, and I got a lot of stuff done. Saturday I finished the second row of bricks on the retaining wall at the horseshoe pit, and Sunday I put the last row on. Then we filled in the back side with dirt. I also got the leaves blown off the roof of the house, and the gutters cleaned out, and a small section of the gutter replaced because it was damaged.
I've had in mind to build a new bookshelf, and since it was offered, I thought I'd use some of Kenneth's wood he collected over the years. The boards I got were part of a 40 or 50 year old house we tore down at Mount Hermon 20+ years ago and have been sitting outside for most of that time. They were painted canary yellow on one side and white on the other. But they were heart redwood. I cut the bad/split ends off and ran them through a planer, and they turned out really nice. Very fine wood, but a lot of work to get it. I'll get pictures of it later. I also got the bimonthly Wildwood water bills out to the neighbors. I had a very productive weekend.
That guy never seems to be doing anything but sitting down.
And the brickwork is done! Now for some tile work.
10/25/09. Here's a project we've started. The retaining wall at the horseshoe pit is falling apart. Pa has found a myriad of bricks around Wildwood, mostly from Kenneth, and we're trying to use them up. Here's the before picture. You can see why this needs replacing.
And the removal. We also found at Kenneth's several boxes of tiles. Probably 40 years old, never used. We might put them on the brick once we're done. They're ugly but the green and brown might look good outside, once the ivy grows back.
Did this yesterday. Most of the 1st row of bricks is cemented in place.
And today we got the rest of that and another row started. There's so many different sizes of brick, it's hard to figure out how many we have and where they should go.
10/24/09. Here's a few follow-up pics from the storm. Not too bad in the way of cleanup. We got all the branches cut up for firewood, and the road is swept free of leaves, gutters cleaned out and ready for the next storm, which may be here next weekend.
First up is a video of my drive to WW in the storm. Click the picture. It's about 27 MB and 3 minutes.
Here's the next day, it was still sprinkling at times. The fog in the trees about the house was eerie.
And I found this in the deck of the pumphouse. A 10 foot long branch fell and stuck in the wood, then broke off.
One more, a spiderweb. Lots of new webs being spun, I get a facefull every time I go for a walk in the woods.
10/14/09. Work has been slow so far this week, so I'm taking some time off at Wildwood. We had a pretty major storm roll through here yesterday. From 3am when the storm started raining hard, 'till 6pm the same day, we measured 15 inches of rain. That's an inch an hour! And we had some pretty good winds blowing through as well, toppling trees and bringing down many branches. I have video of driving through some of the storm, but it'll have to wait since I'm still getting things set up on my new computer. The old laptop is in for service (Thanks Greg!) but no word on it yet.
I almost didn't make it to Wildwood, this tree was down on the power lines just a half mile or so from the house. I braved it and drove under it. Power was, of course, out for 30+ hours. I took this picture this morning.
This was full after only half a day's rain. 16.1 inches for the entire storm! There were rivers in the streets.
This tarp gave out. It was old, but it was also a lot of water.
I thought this was interesting because you can see the path and size of the water going down the creek behind the pumphouse.
10/11/09. The memorial for Ken Gamble went well here at Wildwood. We had a lot of relatives and neighbors attend. It was held at Kenneth and Jeans house, outside where Kenneth enjoyed spending most of his time. Since he built the 2 houses in between this area, he spent a lot of time right here. Video's may be coming later.
This last picture is down at the shop. This building was at first going to be a shop with electric tools and storage for projects. Then it became a 2 story, 1 room on each story. Then, like the Winchester Mystery House, it just kept expanding. Kenneth and Pa finished it just a few years ago. In the intervening 30 years it became a repository for the most amazing bits and things with no clear use or function. It will be quite an achievement to clean it out, but it's being worked on. Clif has found a few bits to be thrown out that he wanted to keep. I think he's getting a Halloween costume together - "Hi, I'm a homicidal maniac!"
10/3/09. Jean Gamble has made plans for a memorial for Kenneth, here at Wildwood, on Sunday the 11th of October, at 2PM. Anyone who would like to come is welcome.
On other news, my laptop has died. It's been having problems lately, and I'm pretty sure the CPU finally got too hot and fried (even with 3 fans trained on it). I have plans to build a new system, but it may take a while for it to be up and running. Updates may be sparse for a while.
9/26/09. Today is Molly Banks' wedding day! She's getting married to John Heylin and we've been invited to share the day. But first, Niomi and Ivey made it to Wildwood last night, because Ivey is part of the wedding party and had to come for the rehearsal and dinner afterwards. Ivey left with the girls early Saturday morning to get ready. Niomi called me up (from across the street) and asked if I wanted to visit DA and Vera Mae in Berkeley with her before the wedding. I agreed and we made the visit. Both were looking pretty well. DA knew me on sight and we talked about Wildwood for a bit before Niomi and I had to leave for the wedding.
So the wedding was pretty nice. Short, sweet. One of the presenters talked about Zombies. Pretty funny. I got lotsa pics and video of lots of goings on, here's one picture, but I decided to put the others on a new page.
9/21/09. So far there are no plans for a formal memorial service for Kenneth. His body will be cremated and the ashes will be scattered about Wildwood, under the redwood trees. If anyone has stories or pictures about him they'd like to share, please email them to me. You can also leave a short comment on the left. I can post text, audio, or video. I'd love to hear from people.
9/20/09. Our neighbor and relative, Kenneth Gamble is doing badly tonight. He had a fall two weeks ago and was in the hospital for almost a week, then went into a nursing home. It seems like he's giving up, he hasn't been eating well, and it's been painful to watch him even walk to the mailbox, his knees and body were so bad. It's just old age catching up to him, he's 85. He's been a fixture at Wildwood for so many years, it's hard to think of being here without him. He was building his house across the street from us the same time Ma and Pa were building our house. I always thought a great deal of him, and every time we came to Wildwood on weekends, the first thing I'd do was to go see him and see what projects he had. He was the first to use the nickname TJ for me, and it stuck. He nicknamed everybody Curley when he couldn't remember names, and "Sure is fun at Wildwood!" was one of his favorite sayings (usually said after a big work project), which is why I chose it for a website name. He's been doing projects for so many years that he couldn't stop, and was still building an addition to his house just a few years ago. He was always funny to listen to, we'd invite him for dinner just to listen to his stories and jokes. I'll be thinking kind thoughts of him tonight.
***UPDATE*** Kenneth passed away tonight at about
10:30 PM. I'll miss him. Remembering him here.
Below, one of the many times I've helped Kenneth out on various projects ranging from tearing apart houses (for the lumber) to splitting wood, roofing, painting, digging, road projects (he loved to drive our dump truck), and more.
9/20/09. I've been looking through old slides Clif took in the late 70's and 80's, and found some of Wildwood. I thought I'd post some comparisons of what's been going on the past 30 years or so. This one of the front of the house - a tiny pine tree at the corner of the porch, and we just took out last year because it got too huge.
Here's a shot of the lower part of the house and front driveway. Notice the redwoods to the right of the truck and compare to now.
Here's the back of the house. The bathroom windows have gotten smaller (in the middle of the house). It's looking like things were more colorful back in the old days. We had a huge TV antenna, which got 3 channels, if we were lucky.
I should've moved my truck before taking the new picture. I'll have to fix that sometime.
This is in the back, showing the horseshoe pit and garden area.
The big pile of sticks in the middle of the picture is something we cut up today. We're getting ready to replace the wood steps and retaining wall, because, of course, it's all rotting.
Here's where the old horseshoe pit was. We used to have tournaments all the time.
Now it's a driveway. Those sawhorses are there to keep drivers away from the septic tank. It's amazing how many times people will drive down here and try to turn around.
And this is also along the new driveway, but looking to the right a bit from the picture above. Ah, our favorite pastime - moving wood. As long as we move it uphill, we're doing it right.
We've filled this area with a lot of dirt and leaves over the many years. I have a few more pictures I want to try to put up at some point. Let me know if you liked it.
9/19/09. I finally took an "after" picture of the edging I put in a couple weeks ago. I will have to sift out more dirt farther on, but there is a plan to take out the retaining wall that is rotting, and I thought it'd be better to wait until that project is finished.
9/13/09. Friday we had 92 degree weather, Sunday evening it rained a quarter inch. I worked on a computer most of the day on Saturday, and Sunday it was all relaxing, so not much else to report. No news on the work party to upgrade the water pipes in the road.
9/5/09. I've had a small project in mind for some time. The edging we have that separates the gravel walkways from the dirt are rotting, so I bought some plastic edging to replace it with. I wasn't sure I liked the edging so I only got 1 roll to try it out. It turned out the gravel had so much dirt in it that it was packed solid, not loose, so I dug it up to loosen it.
Then Pa and I tried to figure out how to get the dirt out of the gravel. We got a screen to sift out the smaller bits, and that seemed to work great. Plus Pa got some good dirt for plants.
9/4/09. Ma and Pa bought a new mattress set during the week. It was delivered Friday. I took off a day early so was there for the delivery and took a few pics. Here's one of the truck. The driver had quite a time with our roads and such a big truck. Oh, on Sunday I managed to finish splitting those logs that are in this picture.
The old mattress going out, the new one coming in.
And the new mattress set set up. They're going from a King to Queen size here. Ma wanted to save the headboard since it matches the dresser. Pa and I took the headboard apart and resized it to fit so everything is now finished for this project. They seem to like the new bed.
8/30/09. Ma had her birthday on Thursday and got to go out for lunch on Wednesday with the neighbor Jean, Dinner on Thursday with Clif and Bonnie (plus a cake), I brought up some chicken on Friday, and Ma had leftovers from all that on Saturday. So she managed to get the most out of her day.
The only other thing going on over the weekend was that Pa had another fir tree he wanted to take out. This one wasn't too bad, not close to anything that could be damaged. Click on the picture below for a quicktime video.
8/23/09. This weekend started out smoky at Wildwood. The Lockheed fire down the way was blowing lots of smoke toward us. As I drove over the hill I could hardly see the valley below, about 2 miles or so of visibility. Fortunately by Saturday much of that was gone. One of the things I had picked up during the week was a banner that we hung up a few weeks ago for the Summer National Senior Games at Stanford. It was just going to be thrown away, so I grabbed it, thinking it might be nice to cover a log pile or something. It turned out it's not waterproof. There's tiny holes throughout the banner so it ended up replacing the decomposing tarps on the side of Ma's carport. We set this up Saturday. You can see some of the smoke behind the tarp.
One side is white, of course, but the other has advertising. It should work though. It was an 8'x40' banner, didn't quite go all the way around. Very colorful, and you can see through it. It (hopefully) won't get blown away by the wind, since it'll go through the banner. You can see the white tarp with the window in it is getting really bad too. I have some small banners that we can replace it with. If you look closely you can see the white frames of the windows of the house through the red.
Also Saturday Ma and Pa made more Sweet Pickles. Clif has been growing too many cucumbers. They're out of mason jars now. At 6PM we had our annual neighborhood meeting. Only 6 of the 13 houses sent representatives. I'm the accountant for that so I had to print reports and show up to talk about the money. It only lasted about 2 hours.
And Sunday, Pa wanted to cut a fir tree down by the back garden. These trees can get really big really fast and then they tend to uproot. We had quite a time with this. We had a rope pulling the tree towards the back forest, the safest direction, but as I was cutting it, I could tell it was starting to lean the wrong way. I stopped and got our neighbor Dave Gamble to help Ma and Pa pull the rope, then continued the cut. The saw got stuck as the tree started to fall (the correct direction), but it just leaned on the redwood tree branches for about a minute before it rolled off the stump and gently hit the ground. It was like watching it in slow motion. No I didn't get a video, too many things happening at once.
And today is Dennis' birthday. He'd be 43.
8/16/09. Not much going on again this weekend. Pa and I moved some of the split wood to the woodshed. I have about 10 more logs to split up, but there's another 10 or 15 at the neighbors that need splitting. Ma hurt her back last week and has been feeling terrible to pretty good and back over the weekend. I've been trying to help her out as much as I can. There's a lot of leftovers in the fridge so she can hopefully concentrate on relaxing.
On another note, there's a fire in Santa Cruz County, not too far from us as the crow flies, but several mountains over, that had smoke drifting into Wildwood. It wasn't too bad, and cleared up a bit later on Sunday. The fire would have to come a long ways to get to us.
And one more newsworthy thing: our neighbors Sari and Peter spent Saturday in San Jose at the Antiques Roadshow. No new fortunes made, however. The show is supposed to air Jan 4. Or at least one of the 3 shows they're supposed make from it.
8/8/09. The last 2 weeks I've been working hard helping set up many signs at Stanford University, the Summer National Senior Games is being held there. Sort of like the Olympics for old folks. I hung out at the new stadium for a bit.
When I got to Wildwood after work this Friday, Ma and Pa had some sad news. The 2 upstairs sinks had clogged up, in the bathroom and kitchen. I took out the pipe snake and we mucked out the pipes. It took a few hours, but in the end we got them unclogged. This should last a few years, I hope.
One of several projects Pa had worked on during the week was patching the road. The community has a pile of asphalt just for this type of fix. We had ordered another truckload so wanted to use the old stuff up. We're going to rip this road up soon.
And here's the new piles we got.
These piles are in preparation for a community project to replace the 40 year old 1 inch water pipes that keep sprouting leaks. The pipes run down the middle of the roads, so we need sand and asphalt to cover them back up. Our neighbor Art ordered some 4 inch water pipes for the replacement. Anyone interested in doing some plumbing? How about digging? I've done enough of both recently.
Saturday I got in some time chopping wood, since Matthew never seems to want to do any. Click on the picture for a video.
And lastly, to show how slow the pace is at Wildwood, here's a puzzle Ma and Pa have been working on since Camp Wildwood. About 3 weeks now. 2000 pieces. I refuse to do jigsaw puzzles.
Camp Wildwood 2009 photo's are now in the archive.
e-mail me: TJFredrick@aol.com