Gettin’ Stuff Done

I like having projects, lots of them. But some sit on the whiteboard as a ToDo list thang for *way* too long.

So what kind of things are on my whiteboard today. Here’s a snapshot in the life of me.

  1. PDF a new chart for the GOLD Big Band (All I Need is the Girl)
  2. Fix leak under kitchen sink and replace rotten wood under there
  3. Repair/replace the Little Library in the Waxen Park
  4. Pressure wash the driveway
  5. Paint wall in entryway
  6. Clean Garage (this has been on my list for over five years)
  7. Fix patio door
  8. Paint siding patches the same color as siding
  9. Clear upstairs hallway
  10. Remove and recycle patio awning

What is the chance that when I happen to look at this post years from now that some of these might be done? Besides using the results from the chore, much of the joy comes from actually completing a job. This week, for example, I was happy to finally (and with the help of my phone service provider) remove three old devices from my account, enroll in autopay/paperless billing, and add the military discount to my account. So much joy!

I hafta say that some jobs that I delay because I think they will be gnarly actually turn out to be amazingly simple. For example changing out the worn out shocks in the SUV back door only took 10 minutes… if that? You live for chores like that.

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Meet Abby, a Sweet Collie

Abby was born on 31 March 2021 and named after Abigail “Abby” Sciuto of NCIS. She is a rough collie with a merle blue coat. We got her at SnoValley Collies in Issaquah, WA. Within a week of joining the family she has learned sit, down, and come. She loves people, other dogs, and life. She is not afraid of fireworks, which is a first for the dogs we’ve had.

During her first week with us, we were also babysitting Mitsi who immediately took over duties of training the puppy. Mitsi would NOT let Abby be rude or too rambunctious. We didn’t plan it that way, but it really worked out well and we’d recommend that formula for anyone with a new puppy.

Abby loves mommy the bestest which is a first for us. But why wouldn’t she, this is the first dawg that Suzy has ever picked out herself. She also got to meet my sister Deb who was visiting that month.

Such a mellow dawg, Abby has helped us as we said goodbye to Dad and moved mom to a full-care facility. She is the bestest stress relief in a very cute, small package.

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Good Bye Dad

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Snowmagadden 2021

It started snowing in the Seattle area, all of the PNW actually, yesterday and much to our surprise we got almost 9 inches overnight! Here the obligatory photographic proof.

The chickens are not quite sure how to take the white stuff. They won’t come out of the coop, although it is a really nice and big space … for chickens that is.

A nice and accommodating neighbor even swung by with a snow blower, which is actually quite rare in this part of the country. He does a lot of community projects and is a such a good friend.

The birds are crazy happy with Suzy’s feeders and fresh water every day. Truth be known though, the snow will be gone by Monday or Tuesday, it rarely lasts more than a few days around. here.

The snow is quite beautiful. Having grown up in the midwest, where snow is quite common, having it show up here for a day or two each winter isn’t that special. But it is for the PNW folk, many of whom consider a reason to stay home and make snowmen. 🙂

We are prepared with our snow boots, snow shovel, kitty litter for the sidewalks, and such. And when we know it’s coming we stock up and don’t drive anywhere until it melts. There are just too many folk who insist on driving when they probably would be better served by staying home. Prost!

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Painting the Homestead 2020

We downsized into this lovely home in 2011. It was a short sale and the home was built in the last depression (2007). After 13 years since it was first painted, and with a number of touch ups and repainting the wood trim once, we finally got around to painting house with forever paint. Well, that’s what we call it, it’s actually Sherwood Williams’ Emerald series paint.

Here is a before:

Bothell Front

And an after shot:


We added the windows in the garage door in 2012, the weather vane when we moved in, and the fence last year. We are kinda hoping that with this high quality paint, we might not have to paint the place for over ten years. We’ll see.

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Meet Shelby II, Our New Puppy

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. ~ Bernard Williams

44927655_1552523501560698_5313728678445923795_nOur new puppy is a Von Waldberg German Shepherd named Shelby. She was born on September 24, 2018. We expect to take her home this weekend.

Shelby’s Mom: V Tosca von der Wilhelmswarte

ShelbysMomTosca is one of the most beautiful dogs you will ever see. She is as close to perfect as we have and she seems to know how commanding her presence is. She is the first to notice something new and is a natural born leader. When she barks, the other dogs bark. And when she quiets down, the others follow her lead. Her confidence is palpable and she is secure in who she is. Trained to the IPO3 level, the highest possible, Tosca is authoritative and commanding on the training field. She knows how to work and delivers what she is asked for. With her stunning conformation, intelligence and drive, she is, in a word, exceptional. We are proud to be able to say that she is part of von Waldberg.

However, there is more to Tosca than her near perfection. She has one of the most engaging personalities and is playful whenever she is not working. She waits until you are right next to her then intentionally drops her Kong in her water bucket. She will then stand, tail wagging and glance back and forth between you and the bucket. If you still don’t understand what she is asking, she will paw delicately at the water as if to say “will you get my toy, pretty please.” If you could embody all the best traits of a German Shepherd into one, you would end up with Tosca.

Shelby’s Dad: V Messi von der Ramhorst

ShelbysDadMessi is the perfect combination of authoritative, inquisitive and playful. He has a commanding presence with a strong broad head and chest and is a dog that people will notice from a distance. He is confident in himself and faithful to his people and will put himself between you and anything he is cautious of. He is quick to give you his trust and when he arrived from Germany he was fearless and accepting of his new home from the moment he touched down. He approaches any new situation with that same certainty and tenacity and adapts quickly to anything you introduce him to.

He is a substantial dog with a deep bark one moment and the next he will be so excited to play that his bark sounds like laughter. Once he knows you and knows he has your permission to do so, he will stand up on his hind feet, place his front paws on your shoulders and just look at you as if to say “you and me, we are pals.” His independent nature is reflected in his puppies who often will venture out to explore earlier than most.

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1915 Catalogue Band Instruments

What a lovely discovery from the Woodwind Forum. The actual PDF is located at


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My Instagram


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Community Garden

Garden as though you will live forever. ~ William Kent


I was watering our community garden this year and wondering at the lush green happiness that the three plots have provided. This is our first year for the garden and the joy it has brought the community far exceeds that of the people who have planted and tilled the land.

Before the garden was there, there were just weeds and not pretty ones at that. The narrow strip that defines our community common area now houses a little library, a picnic table, and the garden. Behind that is the Natural Growth Protection Area that the state mandates.

CommunityGarden2018This year our small part of this garden has yielded over 20 zucchini squashes, over 20 tomatoes, and hundreds, nay thousands of wild flowers. Two different kinds of corn are close to being harvested. I liked that the corn was truly a case of “knee high by July”.

It was an interesting engineering project to bring water to the garden. But I ended up just running a long hose to the raised sprinkler. That seems to work along with a mechanical (vice electric) timer at the spigot.

Where we didn’t plant vegetables I planted wild flowers with abandon. The came up plentiful and in so many colors changing as the season progresses.

WildFlowers WildFlower2018b WildFlower2018

My wife has done most of the work and I put in the white picket fence for her to keep the local kids honest. Not bad for the first year if’n you as me.

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Saxophone Lamp

“It’s hard to throw away history. It was like you were throwing away a part of yourself.”  ~ Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty

It happened during a theater pit job, I was schlepping 4 instruments and we had precious little real estate to plant the instruments. I returned from a break to find my soprano sax laying on the ground. I was devastated. And the tech told me it would cost more to repair the instrument than it was worth.


So I asked my very handy wife if she could make a lamp out of it. She loves crafts and researched the project. It took her longer to gather the materials than it did to build this beautiful lamp.


First she bought a lamp kit from a local craft store. That included the socket and cord. DSCF1191Then she made the base in her shop. That made the unit functional. She then looked for a lamp shade that would work in my office/library. One it was together I took some pictures to celebrate the finished product. My granddaughter, Amber, loves it. And it has turned out to generate more conversations than I would have imagined. There are so many people would want to make one of these and are actually quite please to discover that it isn’t that hard to accomplish.

In a society that generates so much trash, it can be nice to fine a way to use material that would otherwise go to the landfill.

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