Cedric, Jewel, Diane, Doug, Junior, & Taylor

Gee! It’s been a week since my last post and I can’t comprehend that amount of time slipping past me without registering. Just a blink of the eye and it’s gone. Perhaps I had a bunch of naps which could account for some of that time, but certainly not a week. I don’t think. Now I must reflect and see if anything interesting happened. If not, I’ll make something up.

First up is Cedric. He was 19 years old last Monday, the 13th. If you’ve read a few of these, you may already know that he’s poised for a trip to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center next month to begin boot camp. He enlisted on the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) a few months ago but had to wait for a spot. He’s excited about getting on with his life and we’re happy that he is finding his way. There will be more news about his progress as information is made available to me.

Last Monday, the 14th, was a double duty day for me because I was out of the house shortly after 6am to go help put out flags around town. Why did we do that, you may ask? It was Flag Day. One of those days that not may folks know about any more. So, now you have it. Keep that in mind for next year. It’s not a paid holiday, but one that gives us another opportunity to pay tribute to our Stars and Stripes.

After flags were in place, I made a trip to the St. Helens Golf Course for another round with the Peal Boys, Doug and Junior. That’s always a fun time. I actually played a pretty good round, too. Had two pars, one of which was a potential birdie. My drive made it to the green, something I’ve never done before. What fun is that!? Jimmie O wants to team up for a round at Wildwood soon so I’ll have an opportunity to see if I can survive 18 holes. There will be a report on that later, too, if I do good.

After golfing, we had a McBurgerville lunch then Doug dropped me by the doctor’s office for a scheduled visit with my cardiologist. This was the followup regarding the cardiac event I had a few weeks ago. I think it was a few weeks ago. I forget. Perhaps some of those brain cells that help me remember stuff got messed up somewhere along the road. That happens, and it’s OK. We all forget stuff. The one thing about forgetting stuff is where I am doing something up stairs and find I need “something” that’s in the basement but can’t remember what it is when I get down there. When that happens I walk around in my work shop and talk to my tools, and random pieces of wood, trying to get some help from them to remind me what I’m after. Generally I remember and find what I want, but sometimes I just find something else more interesting that what I was previously doing. When Diane discovers that I’m missing, she gets me back on track to finish the original task. She knows I forget, and I told her that it’s really only going to be a problem if I rush from the living room to the bathroom than can’t remember why I went there. I believe she has a stash of Depends somewhere to assist when that moment comes.

Thursday morning I had coffee with my friend, Larry. My other friend Larry played hooky so we didn’t have a quorum for the weekly meeting. Got to have three in case something comes up for a vote to ensure we don’t wind up with a tie. I believe the rest of that day was spent slumbering. I’m not sure. Diane may know. You’ll have to ask.

Friday we made a trip to Scappoose to pick up Jewel, our new gardener and dog sitter. She’s been on Hawaii, the Big Island, for the last 38 years, or so, (I’m guessing, of course), and is pretty much a native of Kailua/Kona. Coming back to the NW is like coming home for her. Thankfully the weather has cooperated, giving her a warm welcome. The sad thing about her return is that when we visit Kona we won’t have her to visit with. Because of that we may just not ever go there again. The good thing about her being here is she likes our dogs and she likes to pull weeds so we are applying a lot of pressure on her to just come live with us, like forever, or at least until she gets settled. She and I graduated from Scappoose High School together and it’s fun getting reacquainted after all these years. Because she was our Prom Queen I didn’t have a chance of ever dating her and now, look! We’re living together. It’s ok, though, because she and Diane are long time friends.

Friday afternoon we all went to the Riverfest Beer Garden down by the old court-house where we attended a OLCC training session about checking IDs for folks entering the area. We had to do that because Diane signed us up for a two-hour stint Friday evening. The training we received amounted to someone reading us a brochure that indicated the necessity of ensuring only competent adults were allowed in to drink beer then quickly shifted to “Signs of Visible Intoxication”. Here they are:

  • Bloodshot, glassy eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Spilling drinks
  • Rambling conversation, loss of train of thought
  • Difficulty handling money, picking up change
  • Lack of focus and eye contact
  • Difficulty standing up
  • Stumbling
  • Swaying, staggering
  • Speaking loudly, then quietly
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Slow response to questions

After that list is a reminder to the trainee that drinking while on duty is against the law because serving alcohol responsibly requires a clear head. That kind of got me because we weren’t serving alcohol. We were just checking IDs. Still, it was part of the training. After that little pause, another bulleted list of “More Signs of Visible Intoxication”.

  • Can’t find mouth with glass
  • Mussed hair
  • Disheveled clothing
  • Loud and unruly
  • Urging other people to have another drink
  • Annoying other guests or servers
  • Aggressive or belligerent
  • Making inappropriate comments about others
  • Foul language
  • Sullen, moody

After having all of this read to us I was convinced that the list was made specifically for me because I have almost every one of those problems without ever consuming alcohol. The first set of bullets apply to me from the time I get up in the morning until after I have my afternoon meal. After the meal, the bottom set of bullets apply. Except for the foul language. I don’t do that. Can’t say I’ve never been guilty of that, but I don’t practice that form of communication any more. It’s not productive. Diane said.

While at Riverfest, I had a chance to greet Taylor and find out how school in Las Vegas is going for her. She was working in her Mom’s Yo Place Frozen Yogurt trailer.

Yesterday was a fun day in the yard for all of us. Jewel is a gem, no pun intended, and a hard worker. It’s to our advantage that she loves digging in the dirt. Diane decided that she would try mowing the lawn which turned into an adventure for both her, and me. I found some really good face masks that allowed her to be in the open air, covered with grass clippings, and still breathe normally. Without it she would have been so choked up she’d’ve had to stay in side. Grass is her main nemesis. That and strong perfume.

Anyway, I got her moving on the lawn mower, after jump starting it, then turned her loose. Since I forgot to show her about putting the ignition key in the correct position for mowing in reverse, I had to drag a battery and cables to her and get the mower going again. Then she did an absolutely perfect job mowing the front yard. Things went south when she moved around to the side yard and she discovered that getting around trees posed a problem for novice lawn mowers. First, she ran into the holly tree and killed the engine. That required another jump-start. Then she dropped one of the front wheels into a hole and killed the engine for another jump-start. The last one was when she got tangled up in the grape vines and couldn’t extract herself. Another jump-start. It got to the point that whenever I heard the mower stop I just deserted my blackberry vine eradication efforts and took the batter to wherever she was. The most entertaining episode, however, didn’t involve a killing the engine, but almost killing herself, so to speak. She was mowing around a low hanging forsythia, thinking it couldn’t be all that hard to slowly mow under the dangling branches. I just happened to look up and saw her flying out from under the branches at full speed, leaning back as far as she could to avoid contact, and it looked like she was riding a bucking bronco. All she would have had to do was put one hand in the air to prove she wasn’t hanging on with both hands. What happened was when she leaned back she pushed the forward hydrostatic clutch lever all the way down and didn’t realize it as she fought to extract herself from the scratchy branches with minimal injury. It took her a good 30 feet to stop because she was going downhill, and when I got to her she was in hysterics, having a great time. It was really funny, and I’m glad she didn’t hurt herself. Just wish I could’ve had a video camera at the ready when I saw her take off.

Since nothing can top the mower episode, I’m going to quit. Diane’s looking forward to finishing up the back yard tomorrow. I’ll be standing by with the camera this time.


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