Thursday, May 31, 2018

Plan B

Retired Mountain Man said that he needed something to do.  Now, I can always think of projects and I immediately said, "why don't you build me a new bench to set my plants on?"

This is the old bench.  We've had this bench for more than thirty years.  Jon's parents gave it to us along with the picnic table.  They had used it for several years before that so it's really difficult to say how old it was.

As you can see, it had been painted over many times. Still, it was the perfect bench.  Lightweight and not too big to move around.

We weren't exactly sure how we were going to build a new bench, but I set off for the building supply store in search of 7 redwood or cedar 2x4's.    We decided on 7 so that we would have at least one for any screw-ups.

Yes, we needed that extra screw-up board.  It's always a good idea to be ready for Plan B.

We don't own a table saw or a drill press.  This project was going to have to be constructed with a circular saw and a drill.   The design of the old bench was a little more complicated than what we had the tools for.  We needed to come up with an easier plan.
 There was a lot of discussion throughout the project and Jon's cousin Kermit stopped by and helped out with suggestions as we tried to work it out.  At the end of day one we had made a lot of progress and finalized the exact design. 

On day two we had a rain delay but were back on the project by 4:00 in the afternoon.  We finished it in about a couple of hours.

I need a sunny day to stain it and then my deck plants will have a new resting place.    Retired Mountain Man did a great job and I may have more projects for him in the future. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Meet ToWanda - the beast!

How did I end up with a Hammond A102 organ and Leslie 147C speaker in my basement?  It's a long story. 

Remember a few weeks ago when it was raining and raining and raining?  There was nothing to do except go on Craigslist to look at what musical instruments might be for sale.  Lo and behold I came across a listing for a Hammond A102.  It was located in Missoula, Montana on Idaho Street.   It was a sign.

The Hammond Organ, specifically, the Hammond B3, is the mother of all organs made famous by the rock bands of the 60's and talented musicians such as Jimmy Smith.   Invented in 1935 by Laurens Hammonad and John Hanert it earned the name of "the beast" in the sixties due to the fact that depending upon the cabinet, they weigh between 350-400 lbs. which made it difficult to load on stage at gigs and concerts.  It is used with a Leslie speaker which helps create it's unique sound.  The Leslie speakers are also on the heavy side, somewhere between 100-200 lbs.  There are A, B and C models, which have all the same components, just different cabinets. 

Leslie Speaker
Well, purchasing one is the easy part.  Moving it is a serious undertaking, especially if you are moving it from Missoula to Idaho.   Retired Mountain Man and I drove to Missoula to try it out and grandson, Dylan went with us.  It sounded wonderful and we agreed on a price with the seller.  Not only did all of the stars have to align for this to happen, but a lot of people helped make it happen.  Retired Mountain Man was a rock!  He knew I was very nervous about it and hung in there the entire time to support me.  
Son David had agreed to haul it over in the back of his pickup and I arranged for a piano mover to load it on his truck.  The Leslie speaker is so big that it barely fit in the back of my Forester, but Dylan and Paul, the seller, and a friend of his, managed to get it loaded.   Thank you!

 Once David and family arrived, our neighbor Adam and his friend, Derrick, came over to help us unload it.  I had rented a piano dolly, but they were so strong they just picked it up and carried it in the basement.  Amazing. 

 It has been christened "ToWanda", as in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes.  ToWanda, the beast, a symbol of independence and women's strength!

(Yes, I can even laugh like that)

 We have "tucked" the Leslie in the corner by the closet.  RMM and David patiently worked this morning to attach the pedal board and make sure it was level. 

All I can say is that it has the most amazing sound and I am having a blast playing it!  I can make the walls in the basement shake with the volume pedal at 1/3.   Whoo!  (Hey Cougar Creek Band members, let's play some music.)

Retired Mountain Man says that I am not allowed to get bored ever again.....

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Halleluiah - almost 70

This poem is from Mary Oliver’s collection, Evidence.
by Mary Oliver
Everyone should be born into this world happy
and loving everything.
But in truth it rarely works that way.
For myself, I have spent my life clamoring toward it.
Halleluiah, anyway I’m not where I started!
And have you too been trudging like that, sometimes
almost forgetting how wondrous the world is
and how miraculously kind some people can be?
And have you decided that probably nothing important
is ever easy?
Not, say, for the first sixty years.
Halleluiah, I’m sixty now, and even a little more,
and some days I feel I have wings.

 Rhodie in front of my barn door

Sweet Woodruff and Hostas

Bleeding Heart Bush

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day Mini Road Trip

Retired Mountain Man and I went to the Hope Marketplace Cafe to listen to Beth and Bruce play there for possibly the last time since Kally has sold the cafe.   As always, the music was lovely.   I will miss those Sunday afternoons.

Afterward we drove to Cabinet Gorge Dam to check out the water.  It's impressive.

When we returned to Clark Fork we decided to drive up Johnson Creek to check it out.  There were trucks along the way hauling rip-rap to fortify the banks.

Notice the long dock here.  Jon and his friend, John Underwood, used to put in their canoe here every October to go duck hunting.    Jamie and David went with them once when they a chance to use two canoes. 

It was a very big adventure.

There was always lots of very detailed planning about what they would take with them.  Coffee thermos filled with hot coffee, a few snacks, sandwiches and of course all of the necessary gear.  They would get up at 3:00 a.m. and by 4:30 they would be at Johnson Creek, backing the pickup with the trailer into the water to unload the canoe.  (It was always so cold!  I could never understand how it could be fun.  At 4:30 a.m. I just curled back up in my warm blankets and went back to sleep.)

Once they were in the canoe and on the water one person always held the flashlight in the front of the canoe to watch for driftwood.   It wouldn't be daylight until after they paddled almost all the way to the lake and had time to set up their decoys.

 He said that one time there were two other hunters on the other side of the dock unloading their canoe.  One of them headed out in the dark to the end of the dock.  Soon they heard a big splash in the water.  He had walked right off the end of the dock!  There was a lot of splashing around and then the guy came walking back dripping wet and cold.   His hunting partner just said he would be waiting for him while he drove home to get dry clothes.

I used to worry that they would hit a big piece of driftwood and tip their canoe over and end up in the lake with all of their hunting gear on.   They would sink like a rock.  That's what wives and mothers do.  Worry.

Another time Jon and John rescued two hunters who were stranded on an island.  They had been duck hunting and their boat drifted away.  The two hunters had spent the night on the island and were very cold and hungry. 

Today there was a family there swimming.  The father was trying to convince his young daughter to jump in and swim a few feet towards him.  She wouldn't go for it.   I don't blame her.  The water couldn't possibly be warm.

Here's a photo of where some of that water comes from.  The Mission Mountains a couple of weeks ago.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Miscellaneous activities might sound boring but they are not.

 My days are filled with lots to do.  Strength classes, balance & Tai Chi classes, a little bit of politics here and there, gardening and music.   There's always house cleaning.  Ugh!  Appointments.  At my age there seem to be a lot doctor and dentist appointments.  Go figure.

Busy times right now with the temperatures warming up trees leafing out and the grass starting to grow.  Retired Mountain Man has the lawn mower ready to go, but I can't quite talk myself into the first mowing of the season because it means that I have officially started the weekly mowing regime.   I'm not ready!

I have planted my two raised beds with an assortment of lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower.  They are looking good.  My two large hanging baskets are planted and hung up on the front porch.

Today it's pouring rain, so no working outside.  The timing is perfect for working on some recording with my two friends Bruce and Larry.  Bruce has written some great songs and since this is my first time recording, I am learning a lot about the process.  They are both very talented musicians and masters of their craft.

Retired Mountain Man and I are trying to pick a road trip destination, but haven't really settled on anything yet.  I'm still pretty interested in Mt. Saint Helen's.   He would like to go to the John Day Fossil Beds in Oregon.  Maybe we'll hit them both.

May 18, 1980
Once our rain has gone (tomorrow?) -  we have sunshine and warm temps in the forecast.  It will be time to move out the deck furniture and relax.  Like that ever happens with a gardener.  I sit down on the deck to rest and can spot a weed from 50 feet away.

What a life!  

So wonderful. 

I love it! 

You don't see any weeds in this photo do you?