Thursday, June 27, 2013

Our third bathtub and other Craigslist furniture

At work this week, Andy taught Dennis how to put a search on Craigslist. In next to no time, great old cast iron bathtubs were showing up online, ones that had just been posted. In Spokane, one family had removed their tub from their attic bathroom in their home built in 1913 near Manito Park. So Monday afternoon we drove up and bought it from them. They gave us the pedestal sink as well; Dennis would have liked to take the old toilet also but stopped himself! Four of us lifted the heavy tub onto the pick-up bed, then added the sink and pedestal, all padded and tied with ropes for the drive home.

Wednesday eve, Dennis and I moved the second tub (fiberglass, clawfoot, too short, not yet installed) out of the bathroom into the garage and got everything prepared for the move in of the new-old tub today. Arthur and I drove over to Artmil at 9 am to hold down the fort at work. Soon, Dennis, Andy, Chris and Derek drove over to our house with the furniture dolly to move the tub out of the truck into the bathroom. In less than an hour, they were back to work with teasing reports of how many dents they'd made in the walls, how three of the claw feet had gotten broken off, etc. but actually it had all gone very well. The new tub, made in 1912, resembles the one we had upstairs in our house on Stanford Street in Springfield. I am looking forward to stretching out in this one! (Our first tub acquired for the bathroom remodel was a huge fiberglass jetted tub that Lowe's gave us since it was scratched. We decided not to use it but it hasn't made it to the dump yet! The second tub will go into our smaller bathroom when it gets remodeled.)

Andy and Dennis had found a couple bookcases and a dresser via Craigslist at different times earlier. The first bookcase was solid wood, four shelves, maybe '50's, bought for a song at an estate sale reeking of cigarette odor. We used it for toys and books while Kaley and children were here. Last weekend I had time to clean it thoroughly with 3 dousings of vinegar water, finished with Howard's Dark Oak Restore-a-Finish-- came out very nice. The second was a three shelf lawyer bookcase from the Franklin County Courthouse, dark oak, about 100 years old in very good condition. Now all the books and music in the family room have homes and the last of our four plain, tall oak bookcases is removed to Artmil. The dresser is for me, since the one I had been using is now in the guest room. The antique oak dresser has a mirror, a curved front and lots more drawer space. We found it at Foelber's home in Richland, a family who remembered Zach from Bethel from years ago.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Family Time

Kaley and Keziah, Zion and Kacia stayed here with us for two weeks. They just flew home yesterday. I thought it would be good to try to remember what we did while they were here.

On the way here from the airport in Spokane on Thursday, May 30, Keziah and Zion climbed trees at a rest stop while Grandpa took photos of them that he posted on Instagram. Kaley needed that time to nurse Kacia, who turned 7 months old while she was here. Keziah is nearly 6 and Zion is 3 1/2.

They explored our newly remodeled rooms when they arrived, then we had supper and played outside on the swing set and the trampoline. The weather was sunny and warm and still nearly the whole time they were here! At bedtime, I read them stories on the couch in the family room from new old books I'd picked up at a garage sale.

Arthur gave up his bedroom so Keziah and Zion could sleep there near their mother, who was in the guest room with Kacia. Arthur slept out in the shed with his dad for company that first night.

On Friday morning, they explored the toys and books I had gathered in the family room. Kacia tasted the blocks in the Noah's Ark model. Arthur joined Dennis at work so I could take Kaley and children to Target, where we found clothes for each child. I went to work after lunch, thinking that Paul wasn't due in until suppertime. He called at 2:30, already at the Pasco Airport, so Dennis went to get him and we all enjoyed him at supper with us! We played croquet somewhat hilariously out in the back yard, then we played music together in the family room before bed.  Paul held the phone with Facetime so Daddy Zach deployed in Qatar could read a story to his children! Zach called most mornings and evenings to share lives for a time, him being on the opposite schedule of us. Sometimes he would pray for our meal or recite scripture to us he'd been memorizing.

Paul slept out with Arthur the week he was here with us. Arthur kept his clothes and rags, shows and the laptop out there and would escape whenever we let him but we got him to join us and play often. He was great about sharing all his toys with the visiting children. Sometimes he would hold his ears when the baby cried but mostly he was very patient with everything.

Saturday morning, Dennis, Arthur and I left home about 8:00 to head to the Pasco Farmers Market to help get set up for the play date we had with other musicians to publicize the upcoming Sacajawea Bluegrass Festival. Arthur set up his computer with dvd's behind the stage. Our music started at 9:00. Paul brought Kaley and children about 10:30 so they got to hear and see the band play. After the bend finished at 11:00, we stopped at Starbucks, then drove onto to Ethan's graduation party at Craig and Martha's where Paul and Kaley got to visit some of the Millers who were not yet on vacation. Zion napped, Keziah was shy and Kacia charmed everyone! That evening when we did music together at home, Keziah and Zion "played" instruments and sang with us just like they had seen our group play and sing together earlier that day!

Sunday, we drove over to Artmil to have a kid-friendly church service there with Loretta Maki who joined us. Dennis led action songs while I played guitar and Paul played uke bass after his lessons from Dennis on Friday and Saturday. With fruit leather & water, paper & markers, we watched and listened to Grandpa read the creation story, A is for Adam, that also presents the Gospel.

After lunch and a short nap, we took off for Palouse Falls in two vehicles since neither could hold all eight of us! I took care of "the babycake" (my name for Kacia) while the others walked down closer to the falls. Kacia and I explored the picnic area near the metal safety fence on the rock ledge. We discovered eight creatures that looked like a cross between a beaver, a porcupine and a prairie dog! After exploring further, I found a sign that identified them as marmots. Kaley said they were the fattest marmots she'd ever seen, obviously fed by humans. Dennis got some good pictures of Zion down with his nose too close to the mouth of a marmot!

On Monday Paul bought Arthur a mini iPad and taught him to take photos and make videos with it. Arthur made a video with scads of short clips, and played back the whole thing every time he added another clip to it. He filmed us playing bluegrass music, then put other music to his video! Since he went to bed before Paul, while he was alone he videoed himself talking seriously a long time about wanting a girl and other heart rending stuff.

On Tuesday, Jen Miller came to visit with her two little girls, Elli and Ava, who played together with Keziah and Zion and Kacia, all outside enjoying the glorious weather.

Paul worked several hours, then took Zion to find a bike. They put it together and then we gathered all the helmets we could find around the place but all were extra large! So Kaley wrapped a dish towel around Zion's head like a turban under one helmet and we went out in the street in front of the house. Paul had gotten his red 16" Diamondback fixed so he rode it with Keziah on the back tire bars while Zion rode and then learned how to mount his new bike, taller than he was used to. Kacia sat in the grass or I held her while Kaley and Arthur took pictures. Dennis worked to get the trailer ready to take it out to the campsite at Sacajawea, filling it with water and stuff from the garage.

Wednesday morning Dennis hitched the trailer to the truck, first time without any assistance! Zion was up so we took him out to the campground and unhitched the trailer there, meeting our fine neighbors on each side. When we got back home, we realized we'd forgotten to take the programs so Keziah and I drove out with those, giving her a chance to see it too. Noon held the promise of Keziah's luncheon date with Paul. They both got dressed up and went to Shari's for lunch. Later, after supper, we all drove out in our two vehicles to enjoy the evening at Sacajawea, playing a few songs at the campsite.

Thursday morning at 10:00, Kaley drove her children off to a play date with Jen, Meridith and Mallory and all their children in West Pasco. If she had made it, 8 of the 12 great-grandchildren of Floyd and Joan would have been together, but, alas, she never found the home where they were meeting-- I should have driven them. She did make it back home at 12:30 after a long 'adventure'!

When Zion woke from his nap, Paul took him to a dirt racing track near the Richland Airport. After riding a while up and down those hills Zion seemed tired, but then he got a second wind, singing "This little light of mine", pedaling on and on with new strength!

Jen had invited us to a jewelry (made in 3rd world countries) party at her parent's home on Thursday evening so Kaley and her children and I drove there while Dennis, Paul and Arthur drove out to spend the night at the campsite after jamming with some of the other campers. They returned Friday morning so both Paul and Dennis could get a little work done before we all packed up to go out after lunch to campout until Sunday.

The 10th Annual Sacajawea Blue Grass Festival and Dutch Oven Rendevous was a big success, both for the organization who puts in on and for us as a family. The weather was great, the children enjoyed the concerts and jamming, both at our campsite and with neighbors. Zion got to ride his bide around and got lost the first time! But the president of MCTAMA, Nancy Burgess found and kept him till Paul found him. After that he rode with company! Kacia loved playing outside on the mat with her toys and would rock in rhythm to the beat of the music as she had done at home. She was pulling together and practicing all the skills to crawl during the two weeks here. She screamed for an hour near midnight the first night, then Keziah woke with growing pains, but other than that our sleep was pretty peaceful. Zion, Paul, Dennis and Arthur slept out in our big two room tent while all the ladies slept in the Jayco.

On Saturday, Rochelle Hopp drove out from town to visit us and soon Kyle and Erin Shannon arrived by bike. We visited with them at our blue checked covered picnic table until it was time for Rochelle to drive Paul to the airport to fly to LA for a work engagement there. (But not before he got to show off on the uke bass!) We all hugged him goodbye, glad for all the fun and special things we each got to do with him. After lunch Arthur, Kaley, Kacia and I visited the Interpretive Center while Zion and Dennis napped. We learned about the houses the Indians made of river reeds sewn togethe, amazing facts about Sacajewea, etc. Dennis was jamming with Foghorn Stringband and his friends Ken and Lowell at Ken's campsite.

Later, while Kaley and Kacia napped, I took Zion and Keziah down near the point of land in the park at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers. This is where Lewis and Clark camped back in the 1800's. Two large, old model full sail pirate-type ships were fake fighting each other with booms as they skidded across the water down the Columbia. After we watched them out of sight, we collected tiny shells and rocks at the water's edge. Then we scurried home to be in time for their favorite concert, Top String, 5 young people ages 12 to 18 from two homeschooling families. All five had helped teach the young people's class earlier that Keziah took part in for a bit. After their set, Foghorn Stringband came on. Soon Kaley, Keziah and Zion all went to the sidelines to dance-- it was real old time toe-tappin' music! Later Arthur joined them-- that boy is always ready to dance!

The neighbors on our left were impressed that our whole family made music together. Dennis talked with them and found out he had been the owner of Color Press in Walla Walla back a ways, a firm Artmil had used for print when he was owner and we were named White Stone!

Sunday after the Gospel sing and Top String again, we started tearing down the camp, but left before all was done since Arthur and Dennis would be coming later in the truck and would finish up when they were ready to leave. I drove Kaley and children to Jack Miller's 3rd b-day party, held in a big gym behind the mall with all kinds of gear for little kids. Keziah and Zion did the zip line and other stuff while I entertained Kacia on baby toys. Kaley got to chat with Meridith, Jen and Jessica Miller as well as Craig & Martha.

Monday morning Jen brought her girls again to our house to visit. I got Arthur to play outside with everyone part of the time and got the bills paid inside! So much of our time was spent outdoors. Kacia particularly liked it outside in the baby swing; it was often a tonic for fussiness. One day I showed Keziah and Zion the sand box that Dennis and Arthur built two years ago up on the ledge, covered with the old red, metal saucer. They dug "down to the sewer" in the shade of the cedar tree, surrounded by ivy vines that well camouflaged the site. Another day we stuck small stuffed animals up in the arborvitaes and had Batman and Spiderman rescue them!

Arthur and I went to work several of the afternoons. Kaley took Keziah to the craft store one day while we were at work. They got me some fabric for making children stuff as well as Keziah got some fun craft supplies. Another time, Paul encouraged her in her watercolor painting when it became frustrating. The wading pool they used for a bathtub within the shower was also used outside for water fun for all three children. They played with medicine syringes I'd saved for years and realized I would never use again! Shasta stayed pretty scarce but George accepted all the new residents of our home and often joined them outside like he does with us. Our meals were delicious and varied, thanks to good ideas from Kaley and a box of asparagus we bought early in their visit. Keziah and I made one supper together.

After supper, Dennis worked with Zion and Arthur to make little wooden racing cars from kits he'd bought at Lowe's. This experience helped them become better friends, less competitive. Kaley, Keziah, Kacia and I walked to Vista Park to enjoy the swings, slide and teeter totter there. 

Tuesday we climbed Flat Top, a short but steep sandy hill in West Richland. Since Arthur wouldn't fit in my car he stayed with Dennis at work, and it was a good thing as climbing in that deep sand was not a snap! Of course, after pictures at the top, Zion ran all the way down in a flash. Keziah had to go slower with us as she hadn't tennies to wear. Kacia didn't fuss the whole trip with Kaley carrying her, wishing she had her baby back pack! We met Grandpa and Uncle Arthur for lunch at the Thai place behind the mall for a scrumptious buffet!

After supper, Kaley treated us to organic yoghurt and toppings at Finnegan Frost, partly owned by Michael Miller, Jack's dad! Then we sang some songs, read some stories, prayed our prayers and topped off the night and their visit with a wrestling session, requested by Zion!

Wednesday we got ready to for the drive to Spokane as Dennis took Arthur to work with him. Before we left, Kaley got a text from a friend in Colorado Springs that fires had already burned 100 homes not too many miles from where they live. Thankfully, Kacia made it through the flight in peace and they arrived home to a voluntary evacuation, so stayed unpacked, ready to leave if necessary. Thankfully, they did not have to leave their home, and good thing because Kaley's family was coming to celebrate Keziah's b-day!