Monday, January 11, 2021


 Well, I don't know if this past week can be officially counted as a "Move".  I mean who knows what the rules are anymore?  If you're in the midst of moving things from one place of residence to another and that was called a "Move" in the past, can that criteria still be applied in this day and age?  

I think even The Lord was confused about the rules and decided to play it safe in case it was ruled a move.  Yes, My Move/Precipitation ration is still 100 percent

Given that it had been in the mid 40's the day before, it didn't stay on the ground long.

So...Anyhow, this past week, Mrs J and I spent prepping our old house for the floor refurbish. (For those who haven't been following this saga, we're refurbishing our old house so that my Sister can move into it, we will then refurbish her cabin and turn it into a second guest house. That's the plan anyhow.)

The "bubbas" will be arriving this morning to begin tearing out the old carpeting and tile in preparation for replacement by vinyl planking.  One of the preconditions for their beginning work was that all but the heavy furniture be off the floor and that the water be turned off to the refrigerator.

Easy, peasy, on the latter, right?  There's just a little valve to turn.  Nothing is easy anymore.  Turns out there were 4 different valves.  Not sure what two of them were, but there was the one to the Reverse Osmosis system and then one to the fridge itself.  That last one was hidden in a closet half way around the kitchen.  Being the patient man that I am (Stop laughing, Beans, that isn't funny!) I finally gave up and called Culligan.  They sent a guy out about an hour later, took him two minutes to get the water off.

That crisis averted, we spent the rest of the week going through the remains of 20 years of habitation hiding in storage places I only dimly remembered existing.  It involved many round trips from one dwelling to the other and many more round trips from the dwelling to the truck to the dwelling.

Hat tip:  Costco makes a dolly that can be converted to a wagon.  Sound's great, doesn't it? DON"T BUY IT.  It does nothing well.  The wheels are too small, the handle is badly designed and forces you the bend lower to get the cargo off the ground and the shelf that holds the cargo is not 90o to the handle.  Your back will thank you.

But there was a small reward in this operation.  When my Mother passed away, Dad was pretty rattled even though she had been ill for quite a while.  Dad very quickly sold the house, packed up and moved here.  Not many of the boxes were labeled and many were left unpacked in the new attic. He bachelored it for 6 years before rejoining Mom.  It fell to me to handle the estate.  

Got the house sold, moved most of the stuff to a storage unit.  Tried my best to get stuff divvied up fairly between the four of us kids.  That latter part didn't go too well and when all was said and done, the stuff I had left went into closets in our house for sorting out at a later date. I wasn't ready for the job at that time.

This past week was that date, 18 years after my Mom passed.  I'd always wondered what had happened to her cooking recipes.  Mom was an excellent cook and passed the love of cooking to me.  I had wanted her cookbooks and had prevailed in that request.  But, she had had a shoe box full of 3 x 5 cards that were her recipes, borrowed from other sources, tried and adjusted as necessary, then recorded for reuse as her own.

I had vaguely remembered putting the shoe box in a closet, but when we did the initial move to the new house, couldn't find it.  I was pretty bummed about the potential loss.  In any case,  we're cleaning out the old house and my wife comes walking in to the room where I'm working and hands me this.

She had forgotten that back in the day when we were unpacking Dad's things, she'd come across the shoe box (which was in pretty poor shape), knew that I would want the recipes, and had put them in a more survivable storage.

I, not realizing that had happened, just put the new plastic box away in a moving box intending to go through it later.  This week, Mrs J went through that box and realized that it contained the box with the recipes.  

So we're at home, relaxing with a soothing Naproxen and I'm just getting ready to start looking through them (all handwritten BTW) when my phone dings.  It's a text from my brother with a picture I had never seen before.

That would be me in the middle.  I believe this was taken around Christmas '59.  I was 4.  We were in Finley ND and my Grandmother had come to visit.  She had taken the picture, had it developed as a slide which my Grandfather had given to my brother quite a few years ago.  He had also forgotten about them until he moved to the LA area.  He finally got around to having a print made of it and texted me the picture.  

I think Mom was involved in this little discovery period of mine.

Oh, here's another.  See if you can guess which one is me!

Update: Sarge's younger brother, Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, once said "No plan survives first contact with the enemy".  So it is written, so it shall be.

Dining room on the same wall as the kitchen sink.

Spare bedroom shared wall with guest bathroom.

We had scheduled a guy to come take a look at the rafters shingles that had blown off the roof in a storm a few weeks ago, and happened to mention that the flooring job just got difficult.  He asked if he could take a look, did, and said it wasn't too bad, the joists looked fine.  He also said that he has a crew that does renovation that would be available next week.  Quote coming tonight.  We'll see.


  1. HUZZAH! That Which Was Lost is Found! Huzzah! Ya, a non-convertible hand truck is the thing. Finley ND? Not too far from Grand Forks.....good thing you were so young as to not know you were living in ND juvat.......... :) Any MN resident can't resist jabbing ND-land.

    1. If you google Earth Finley AFS ND, you can see the layout of the place. I do have a couple of memories of the place. One is a scar on my knee caused by a barb wire fence that I'd run into on my first attempt at riding a bike. Still have the scar. The other is sledding off the roof of the quonset hut that served as our home. Dad was a junior Captain at the time, but was the station commander. I think he had a LT also assigned, along with several NCO's and other enlisted. It was an early warning RADAR station. I do remember Mom being somewhat excited when we got transferred to....Miles City Montana. Which was/is a big city in comparison to Finley.

      I probably need to plan a road trip to "see the sites". No, it won't be til at least June.

    2. Ooooh... You got to live in a Quonset Hut? How lucky!

    3. The Commander gets the perks. I think the LT had to live in the barracks with the enlisted folks. Mom was mid-20's then and the Commander's wife, so I do remember a lot of people for dinner at regular intervals. She would drive to the commissary wherever that was and order food for delivery to the station. Sides of beef and the lot, then there would be a big shindig. I don't remember how many people were assigned, but I doubt it was more than 20-30 and I think they came TDY for the most part.

      Still, Mom was glad to leave when the time came.

    4. (Don McCollor)..Quonset Huts are durable. UND at Grand forks had a number of them built for aviation cadets in WW2. Postwar, they were converted to married student housing. The big advantage was very cheap rent and UND provided the heat. I think they were finally torn down in the early 1980s

  2. Dolly. Thanks for the tip. I think that multi purpose tools usually do everything poorly.

    Finding the recipes put a smile on my face, and I've not found a lot to smile about of late.

    Plumbing repairs are almost always an adventure and unlike you, we cannot shut off the well pump to stop the deluge.

    We went through family photos and slides recently, and we kept very few of them. Physical deterioration, a huge color change, and a large incidence of "Who are these people?" made parts of the task easier.
    Surprisingly, the slide projector worked OK, and when the bulb went out, it was easy to get another one.

    1. You can't shut off your well? Both of ours have big red t-handles right beside them to turn off the flow. Have had to use them a few times in the past.

      The culling of family photos is an on-going thing. The obvious ones are easy to do away with, Others....not so much.

    2. Nope. We are responsible for every thing this side of the valve at the curb that ties us into the city water main.
      When we went looking for the access cover for the curb valve, we didn't find it until we bought an entry level metal detector.
      After that we couldn't turn the valve because it probably hadn't been turned since the house was built in the early fifties.
      As my digging large holes days are in the past, we paid a plumber to dig up the yard and fix the problem.
      Now we lubricate and cycle that valve every few years.

      Our house wasn't connected to the city sewer system for some long time after it was built. The excavator found the brick septic vault when digging for the pool.

      I've seen some photos of our area when the houses were built. It wasn't country like you have, but it sure wasn't the rows of closely packed houses that most of Philly has.

  3. Plumbing repairs, much like electrical repairs in my house, have a requirement for me to turn off the ENTIRE house to complete! Seems like every time I do not do that, there is pressure in the line or current to make my heart do the shimmy sham!!

    1. Both of those categories are good cause to pick up the phone and checkbook. I know enough about both to screw things up really badly. However, in this case, I was assured it was just the turning of a valve. Which was technically correct, if incomplete, information. The Culligan guy was helpful and walked me through the undersink nomenclature and fluid flow. Which, since we've moved out of the house, is virtually useless information. Which means I'll remember it forever!

  4. I got a whiff of that plastic when I saw you in the Space Force Uniform, Mod 1 Mk 1. Was there anything else that smelled like that? I don't think so... I ate most of what came in the front door before it went into the paper trash sack. Barbie dolls, GI Joe stuff, those green army men, just about everything, and nothing in my memory smelled like those masks...

    It is so strange to see the world as it used to exist. That picture of you by the tree reminds me of our family. Same chubby, well fed kids, Christmas excitement.

    Thanks for posting this. And yeah, if you are moving from one spot to another, use pneumatic tires and a well balanced dolly. When we moved over here, the hard rubber tires dug into the blow sand, and dragging that load was tough. I found some cheap man sized dollies at Horror Freight with blow up tires and I survived with just a few aches and pains.

    Nice snowy pic too. We got some liquid snow that day....

    1. Yeah, I do remember that scent also. I also got that Mattel thing that you heated plastic and stretched it across a form (car, airplane, animals) then cut them out and glued them together. It also had a similar smell. I used to have pleasant thoughts when I smelled that. Now...Not so much. Nothing good is happening with melting plastic now.

      I am definitely getting a better dolly shortly. My back is demanding I do so.

      Yeah, we were pretty much on the rain/snow line all day. It would snow pretty hard for an hour or so, then sleet/rain, rinse and repeat all day long. Nothing on the ground when I went to feed the horses this morning.

    2. Just like it's worth forking over the bucks for good woodworking tools, same goes for moving tools. Try to save a buck, you'll spend it a thousand times over on repairing your back.

    3. Yeah, we had a decent dolly, but the axle broke. Mrs J was solo at Costco and saw it. I didn't get a vote.

    4. (Don McCollor)...Moving a couple years ago, I bought two carts - a heavy industrial cart/dolly like at work and a much smaller folding 'Pack & Roll'. The little one was used to roll (instead of lug) boxes in restricted spaces to where the big one was waiting to transport it to the Trailblazer. Arriving, the process was reversed. [A note on do-it-all tools. The oddest one I got (as a Christmas present) was a large pliers with the handle ends ground to a regular and a phillips screwdriver blades and a hammer head welded to the back of one jaw. Does not do anything well, but still pretty handy.]

    5. I could see the handiness of pliers and screw drives in one. But I don't think the tool would have enough mass to hammer any thing other than a picture hanging nail. I carry a very small tool similar to that in my back pocket all the time. Very handy for picking cactus thorns out. DAMHIK

  5. So you were an early member of the Space Force?

    (That has to be you!)

    1. Yeah, That picture was taken in Norman OK, when Dad was getting an Engineering Degree from OU. He was applying for an Astronaut position as his next assignment and it was required. So...There were a lot of Space type things around the house at the time. He didn't (obviously) make the program and next few assignments were base civil engineer stuff until he finally got back to flying as an IP at Webb and I became a Texan.

  6. "Which means I'll remember it forever."

    LOL, LOL, LOL! So VERY, verrrry true! :)

    1. VX, I'm sure that you are able to recite the Bold Face Procedures for every aircraft you flew. Only one of which has any bearing on current life. It's the one that says "Maintain Aircraft Control and Land as soon as conditions permit." Of course, "Stick Full Forward. Ailerons and Rudder neutral" comes into play sometimes when I'm trying to influence things that are out of control.

      Glad you got a chuckle.

  7. Ah, memories. By the time I came around, between broken cameras (not caused by me) and just wear and tear on the parental units, and me being a sickly kid in a family that already lost a sickly kid, well, the number of young-sprout photos of me are few and far between. Enough that my older brothers had a physical basis to say I was adopted. Which took a lot of convincing and more physical evidence later on for my parents to prove that I wasn't adopted.

    As to photos, yeah, there's no reason to take them if you aren't going to annotate them. Seen too many boxes of "Who are these people and when were these taken?" No clue as to the significance and importance of the photo. Mayhaps the old way, wherein photographs were expensive luxuries and thus forced people to annotate them was a good way. Nowadays? Since cheap digitals and video equipment, I see more people spending more and more time behind the lens and not experiencing the event.

    Sad, so very sad.

    As to hard precipitation, we've had five nights below 32 so far, cold enough to form frost and ice up any standing water (like on Christmas Eve, when we got hit by a ferocious wind storm that knocked out power and dropped a ton of water everywhere all the while the temperature was dropping like Congress' approval rating) and yet still no snow. Which is good, because we (the geographical and political area wherein I doth abide) isn't set up for snow. Or ice. Or any combination of the two. Which was proven in the great Ice Storm of 1989, when it went from the 70's and clear to the 19's and very unclear in like 6 hours, along with a massive amount of rain that turned to sleet that turned into snow.

    Eh, memories...

    Glad you found your recipes. I made the mistake of storing Mrs. Andrew's box-o-recipes above the stove, and the condensation molded everything. We went through all the recipes and saved the ones we actually used. And now I have been transcribing into the combonculator all the recipes and other downloaded recipes and arranging them in proper order (like, well, a single step should not have 20 parts, those are now divided into steps, because breaking complex steps down into individual steps is how Beans doesn't make mistakes) and printing them out. I use binder clips to clip the recipe to a cabinet door so the recipe is easy to see and I can use a pencil to mark any changes (which then goes back into the printer and the positive revision gets printed out.)

    Which reminds me I need to get some sort of backup for my combonculator that has all my recipes and downloaded books and stuff on it. Any recommendations out there for cheap and good?

    Back to the juvat... glad you're move seems to be winding down. Looking forward to the adventures of "Look what we found under the Carpet..."

    1. Thanks, Beans,
      Your wish is granted. See Update above. Not too bad, Contractor thought it would be in the mid hundreds or so.

  8. There is always good and bad, the ying and the yang of our lives. Glad you found the recipes and got the pics. Easy to pick you out! LOL And now you can 'inflict' those recipes on the family! :-D

    1. I will endeavor to make my Mother proud of my culinary abilities.

      and not inflict my family with food poisoning. :-)

  9. OUCH as regards the update.

    Moltke was fun to pick on when we were lads...

    1. I'm expecting a "Wow"

      Which if you remember....

      Phil Davis: "How much is "wow"?

      Bob Wallace: "It's right in between, uh, between "ouch" and "boing".

      Phil Davis: "Wow!"

  10. Juvat, when we moved into our house 7 years ago we found boxes we had not unpacked from the move four years before. Makes you wonder why we dragged it halfway across the country in the first place.

    Ugh. The horrors of the "remodel". I get sweaty every time any kind of work is started.

    1. THBB,
      Exactly. I think we did a pretty good job avoiding that on this move. Back in September, we moved only the things we knew we'd need. Over the next couple of months, we'd go back and get the "Oops, shoulda brought that" things. Then last week we boxed up the rest, and took a lot of that to the dumpster.

      I know the feeling.


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