Smoke Out

Well, well. Where does the time go. I didn’t even realize I missed a weekly update until I got to looking at this thing. And on a holiday weekend too, tsk. Can’t say I really had anything anyway, maybe some more pictures of my dinner. About the same this week, but I won’t skip consecutive updates on principle. We did get caught up in the first big power shut off of the season. If you haven’t heard of this practice, last year they started cutting power whenever the weather forecast calls for wind. Yep, you read that right. They just flat cut the electricity, for 48 hours or more. We were unaffected last year in our fancy-house, but we’re right square in the middle of it now. We bought a generator several months ago in preparation for this situation, but in true Phil-Fashion it was still in the box, out in the shed. Well, time to figure out how to fire it up I guess. Honestly I’d hoped to return it when our backup-battery system gets installed, but it’s a little murky when or if that is going to happen. So anyway, we woke up to a pitch black house, and trudged outside to figure out the new generator. Wasn’t too hard really, aside from being crazy-heavy to get in place. Most people around here have them wired into their house for a quick hookup; We did the power strip and extension cord method. Hey, we had a fridge, Internet, and a few lights; Good to go. It did get a little old after a few days though, especially the noise. Wow, that thing is wicked loud. Part of the fun I guess. Not having any water was something of an inconvenience also. Not an ideal time to finally look at the well pump and find it’s hardwired to the box and can’t be plugged into an extension cord. Whoops.

The majority of our weekend was spent babysitting our little friend Renfield Cornelius. Being a dog, he is blissfully unaware of his unusual name. Seems to kind of like it as a matter of fact. He joined us Friday night, and we mostly sat out in the back yard watching him and Quinn run around all crazy, until the smoke smell drove us back inside. The smoke is just nasty. While we are in no immediate danger from the wildfires, the haze and the smell are about intolerable. With any luck the wind will kick up and blow it out of here soon. Of course then they’ll shut off our power again; Oh bother.

Saturday we left the dogs to entertain themselves and went wine tasting with friends. It was nice to get out of the house for a few hours, and the temp was a little cooler than it has been. We only went to two places, not wanting to push our luck with the pups back home. Turned out they did just fine as usual. Never hurts to have something to stress about though.

Sunday Renfield’s folks swung by on their way home from Tahoe and picked him up. Being excited to have visitors out in the booneys, we cooked up a little brunch in an attempt to lure them into staying for a bit. In what probably qualifies as the most exciting thing to happen to me this year, I even tried making homemade biscuits. I know that sounds like sheer lunacy, but that’s just how I roll these days. Life on the edge at the Kenagy Ranch. They came out pretty good, or at least good enough that I didn’t feel compelled to fall back on the tube of Grands I had in the fridge “just in case.” I’ll make them again, already got a few adjustments in my head. After that whirlwind of biscuit excitement, we settled in for a day of football on the TV. Speaking of TV, we finally have TV service after going without since June. Honestly we haven’t really missed it, but football did give us a cause for concern. So, we chipped in on youtube TV with some friends, and now we’re back to mindlessly clicking through 100’s of channels of nothing for hours on end. Ah, entertainment.

Well, I’ve Got More Food Pics

Nothing too exciting to work with this week. That seems to be something of the “new normal,” but what can ya’ do. I’ve been on a sort of self quarantine lately, which greatly limits my already scarce social interactions. No, no, not quarantine because of THAT, just some other unrelated health-ish issues. They’ve left me pretty much feeling like just sitting on the couch and sulking. Well, and watching the Royals games, which is pretty much the same as sulking.

Aside from cooking lots of dinner, about the only thing we did all weekend was work on our new gazebo. It was a Costco order, and hopefully will provide some much needed shade in our back yard. The reviews online are generally positive, with an oft-repeated caveat that the set up is somewhat difficult. Uh yeah, agreed. We worked on that darn thing all day Saturday, and the better part of Sunday, and still don’t have any shade. We have a structure, but the roof got the better of us. It just won’t go together. As is always the case with these stupid “some assembly required” projects, it just doesn’t go together like the pictures, or at least my interpretation of the pictures. I don’t see how it even could really, it’s impossible. We took turns climbing the ladder in the 98 degree sun trying to put the puzzle together, but finally gave up. We think we have a new plan, but that wasted Sunday kind of knocked the wind out of us for the time being. I hate putting that stuff together. I have a friend who claims to enjoy it, which I think an indication of deep emotional troubles. None of it’s fun, from a simple desk assembly to this behemoth. Good grief, the parts list for it is five pages long! I spent over an hour just sorting the B’s, A1’s, J’s, M2’s, blah blah blah. At this point I am considering just strapping a large blue tarp over the top and calling it good.

Lake Siskiyou 2020

This last weekend was a scratch. Let’s just pretend it didn’t happen. Luckily I have some material from the previous weekend to blather on about, or a least a bunch of photos. So last Thursday, as in the 13th, we finally got to take our new motorhome out. We went in on one with some friends back in March, and about the time we closed the deal everything got locked down. Figures. Technically we’ve been out in it once, but it was so long ago I can’t really remember. This was a bona fide “Trip.” We took off driving Thursday night after work, and made it to a truck stop near the California/Oregon border. (A casino that allows overnight parking, actually.) We called it a night there, then the next morning took off again, destination Klamath Falls, OR. Our friends have family there, so we spent a few days visiting them. Had a big bbq, toured Alaina’s home town haunts, and that kind of good stuff.

We stayed through Saturday night, then got up and backtracked to Lake Siskiyou, which we’d passed by on the way to OR. It is in the middle of a mountain range, and made for a quite scenic weekend camp. Bit short though. We could have stood at least two more nights. Alas, stupid jobs and stuff. We rented a pontoon boat and cruised the lake, enjoyed the views, made some great food, and tried to keep the dogs occupied. Solid trip, but definitely ready to head out again. Of course, we did experience the requisite motorhome issue, as is the case nearly every time you take one out I think. When we were putting the slides in getting ready to leave her Dad’s house, there was a quite audible “crack.” After some searching, we found the slide is just a bit off, and had gotten caught, sheering off a pvc drain pipe in the process. Blech. Luckily her Dad has tons of tools and is quite handy with him, so he was able to save the day. (Well, he saved our day anyway; Probably ruined his, it took like 4 hours.)

Party Party

Another quarantine-ish weekend. Lame. We did have some friends up for a nice happy hour Friday I guess. A little dinner, a few games of pool, that kind of stuff. It’s hard to get people to come out here to the boondocks very often, but we enjoy our infrequent visitors when they come. It must have really taken the wind out of us though, because Saturday we didn’t do a thing. Well, we did go out to lunch I guess. On a whim, we decided to roll over to “downtown” Placerville to kick around a bit, and decided on Cascada for lunch. We’ve been there several times, it’s pretty solid for around here anyway. The only downside is the whole current outdoor-dining thing. C’mon, it’s 100 degrees out. I guess at least I wasn’t shuttling hot plates around like the poor wait staff, but geez it was hot. They put up some tents for a little shade, but that’s just stifling. Oh well, I guess we enjoyed some tasty enchiladas at any rate. It really knocked us out for the rest of the day though. The remainder of the afternoon and evening was spent on the couch watching B (maybe more like C- or D) horror movies and several 70’s Kung-Fu flicks. Quality entertainment.

Sunday we went over to a friend’s house for a big pool party. She’s only 7, but knows how to throw a pretty good bash. Plus, there was free ice cream and cake and stuff, so we weren’t about to miss it. There was swimming, tattoos, and a photo booth, so we were amply entertained. It was another hot day, but the pool definitely helped out. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

At Least There is Baseball

We made a little go of things this weekend, but for the most part we remain on the dreaded “lockdown.” I’m not entirely sure this isn’t by choice more than anything else. We mixed things up a little though. Friday, for instance, we headed over to a friends house for what was intended to be a swimming party. It was just way too hot though, so we ended up grilling some dinner and hanging out in the a/c. Wow, it is hot.

Saturday, exhausted from our wild Friday out, we locked back down at the ranch. Eh, I had to work that night so probably for the best. We renewed our subscription as always, so at least we have bad baseball to keep us occupied at home. Or, at least as much as we can watch with our sketchy Internet service. Ugh. We actually had to bump our service up a tier because it wouldn’t even work at first. Insult to injury. If you’re keeping track, I am now paying exactly twice as much, for 1/30th the speed I had at the last house. Ouch.

Sunday we declared an official Sunday-Funday. In the not-so-distant past, this was effectively a weekly event. Recently though, between work and the black plague, they’ve been few and far between. Time to jump back in the saddle. Well, maybe ease back in would be more accurate. Some friends picked us up and we went out on a little local wine tasting. We ended up at three places, none of which we’d been to before. Just really expanding our vino horizons. It was hot, yeah, but not miserable. They all had decent shade, and we made do. The “rules” are still a little off-putting; You have to have a reservation, and of course the masks when paying and stuff. It was good to get out and about all the same though.