Just make it through the day

Temps above 100 , floor to ceiling windows in a southern facing arc circulation poor at best ten hours on hands and knees scraping the floor.

Quick weight loss program

Not a favorite week of mine but the coming won’t be fun either, for a different reason..

Working around construction trying to keep going on what I need to get done without stalling myself or contractors. Floors are my world and pretty much everyone needs to walk on them.

The summer has been another fun remodel but we are getting to the end of summer if not the end of the build.

Too many people needing to work in the areas I need to work…as we all need to work in all the areas..go figure. The worst area for me is the common area of the building. Windows arc from East to West facing South. The area is large , taking several days to refinish the floor at any time  let alone with the building full and the area is the main way from point A to B etc…

I have had to hold off until now as too much was going on in the area. Now temps are up around 104 making it the perfect time to be in the sweat box . The building’s AC is a pile of connections and tubes laying about inside and out . Most of the building is based on the units that keep it cool or warm and feed the circulation …. No circulation and a ton of windows makes it more fun that normal which is bad enough..

Three ten hour days . One with a machine, one on my hands and knees with a scraper and another laying seal with a mop. Wondered what I did for a living? That. Fill a 32oz mop head with heavy wax swinging it side to side for the better part of the day.  Then add 100+ and no breeze. Finally about a third of the job through the day I have direct sun baking through the glass onto me head to toe. Three coats of wax so covering every square foot three times.. I actually managed to get a sunburn.. inside…Fortunately , my farmer’s tan soaked it up by the next day , just a little lobstery .

Fighting with the uric acid since March / April? hands wrists legs hips all set up quickly.. Just have to make it through the day . Waxing , lower back , neck, arms, legs ,hips.. Just make it through the day… The nice thing is , it’s done till next time… Not all of it as I had to leave a way for the guys, but the bulk.

I was soaked early on each day and just couldn’t stop to go get water if I wanted to finish out each day… So I was pretty wrung out… No worries.. But I did lose a lot of water during the week..

Thank goodness I had the weekend coming up…

Working for the weekend

Got up early , sat down with a cup of coffee. Hands and legs were wiped out as I looked over my song list to set up my first ” album” Six songs that I had to finish up then work out the bugs.

IN less than an hour Ma was up and working… I groaned , put on my work clothes and headed outside…

We needed to add another layer of protection to the Apple fence. We were keeping everything from cats to elk at bay but the dang squirrels wiped us out of Golden Delicious apples last year.. The entire crop.

I took over four rolls of inch chicken wire , glared at the wrapping and began to roll it out. The winds had come in and were tossing the wrapping everywhere..

” CRAP!”…and then the proverbial string of swear words hazed the area.

Carrying the wrap back to the shop trash simply annoyed me . More steps ..

I weighted one end of the roll , spinning it out down the driveway reversing the curl. Once I had the fencing more or less under control I started working it around the small orchard.

I had to secure all the bottom run or it wouldn’t do any good. Trying to reach through the inch holes and wrap around posts and the other fencing while the wind was jerking at my hat and the roll set off another string of swearing.. I was getting pretty good at it by this time.

One of the weeds that grows up here puts off a “poison” as it scratches you.. I managed to get tangled in them pretty much nonstop for close to eight hours as I worked. Grabbing on to them , my eyes just not seeing right , sitting on them..yeah , you don’t want to know…and having them run across my arms as I worked. Pulling them tore up my hands as they could barely close anyway. I couldn’t wear gloves and still work with the layers of fencing.

By the end of the day , my hands were swollen from the “poison” and red. I about wet myself as I washed my hands they were so tender….sending off layers of strings of swearing…More of an afghan of curse … Even I was impressed.

I thought;

” At least Saturday I can just kick back a bit , work in the gardens and water..I just have to get through the day.”

Friday night , Ma comes in to my office where I was working on the songs saying there was a fire at the base of Zen and the winds were coming directly at us from there..Perfect !

The Gorge is burning…still and again


I pulled up the map to see where it actually was from us. I didn’t get too concerned  as we were a few miles off though it is all woods and grasslands spotted with a few others like us.

Then reports started hitting. IN no time reports from Sheriff and Fire were putting people at stage 1 through stage 3 .We were up until Midnight . Things were hopping. We ended up Saturday morning packing up the house.

Now, let’s keep in mind that we have had several fires at our doorstep over the years . The closest wildfire  was just over 100 yards from the front room. I could feel the heat from the flames as I glared at it then the fire guys then it..and then it blew up finding me packing a truck to head down the hill.

I have stood at the berm watching another fire blow up trees as it ran, four years ago actually. I watched it race through the trees at more than a hundred yards heading towards the house by the time I got back to the same house..So as fast as I could move though it was taking out a much larger area than my skinny arse. So yeah.. we have been close to fire.

I have been thinking about packing up since the beginning of June with fires every few days….Saturday there were 47 fires in Washington state ..as in started Saturday.. Here we had two ,Gotham had yet another , another at Hooterville , then across the river there was another and the Locks closed down their bridge we were told because of fire but I didn’t look it up..

All of this got us to pack up everything we just can’t replace. I have a fine stack of guitars at the moment . My office is cleaned out. I had only what I needed to work on my songs.. One guitar , computer and my Helix. Everything else went into “Innie” or ” Outie” along with several other things. We have totes full of all Ma’s stuff so they don’t have to go out but at a ” LEVEL 2 !” we have very little time taken putting them into relative fire proof areas.

We finally sat down. The house cleared or packed for the rest of the season when Ma heard a siren on the main road which stopped at our path of a road..

” CRAP!”

Now, I know in town sirens are just background noise….City’s version of bird songs.

I have heard sirens up here for each of the five big fires close to the homestead…And once as I was coming around the corner to our drive….IN more than a quarter of a century so yeah.. Not normal..

We just have to get through the day.. The winds are suppose to calm during the evening.

Reports finally stopped. Evac levels were wide spread and that was mostly what we had to go by. I wasn’t about to go be another Lookielou ….Not going to happen. Level 3s were on our main road to the East West and North of us . We were well within the triangle and that was all we had to go by.

We finally got to calm down once the sun and winds went down….Then I ended up in the office working on my songs until late…

Sunday Sunday Sunday

The alarm went off at 5am. I got up and set the second for 6am …Screw it I am sleeping in.

We got up at Six. The hummies were looking in the windows to see if we were ok.

Shortly after we went out , the little guys started coming in. Within a few minutes , their numbers had more then tripled , flying around us , hitting the feeders, chasing each other and hovering in our faces..Yes..They actually do that.

Ma had to head to work  early so I sat back down and started Mastering the songs.


It ended up taking the full time Ma worked other than the little time I spent watering.

Relearning everything as I went. The updates to the programming and that this is the farthest I have gotten on my own had me falling into trap after trap that I had to back out of and figure out. Mostly on my own. I couldn’t find what I needed online..or.. more likely I am not smart enough to ask the right questions…

I had barely finished as Ma came in to tell me she was off. Six dang songs.. You would have thought it would have maybe taken an hour..yeah..No…

Final Thoughts


Well made it through the week.. The rough thing is , this week is going to be worse in several ways…I just have to make it through each day.

I actually have two more ” Albums” started . As I change , so do the song styles. Fortunately , I had set up all the songs I needed for one of the projects , I just have to flesh them out. The newest is where I am now so it is a moving forward kinda deal..

I have mentioned that I have had a few people ask about the MP3s..well now the first set is done as done as I can do it. I did learn.. I have to remember. No idea when I’ll get the next two projects done.. Months at the least for probably each.

I could probably write a book faster….But I imagine only I’d read it so….

I am glad things are back to ” normal” again even if it wiped out another treasured weekend . We are running out of time .

Harvest is finally kicking in. Ma has a bunch of sheets in the oven . Tomatoes , Peppers , and Eggplants all having to be roasted and or baked.

The Zukes we are eating as they come off , as boats … I did see that a couple more of the Zuke plants are showing more life so maybe they will kick in . August is when everything finally starts producing . No matter what we do , this is Zen Time.

Ma’s prunes , which were plums until she spent almost ten hours on Friday slicing , pitting and traying them into the wall of dehydrators, look to be ready. They are cooling right now so we will know soon.

We have lots of herbs that need to be harvested but we lost our Saturday which would have been their day.

Hummies have another month or so before they start heading home from the holidays. I am sure “Hummie” is all choked up over that. Just him and his family then they will head to town and only he and us until it gets too chilly when he will finally throw up his wings and head to the townhouse .

We haven’t heard the elk lately , a few days now , before the fire so it wasn’t that.

The doe with twins has been back, while I was recording… One of them was staring at me while I was playing making me laugh hard enough I had to start over.

Thursday eve coming in , I had a fawn at the drive head with it’s shoulders hunched staring at me..

” You Shall Not Pass!”

”  Really? “

” Really Really. “

Then it realized I was me and skipped off .

I made it another ten feet before the flock of turkeys ; hens and dino babies blocked my path.

” Pardon. Passing through. CHILDREN! ..Pardon.. Excuse us.. KIDS!.. They are so adorable.. RALPH! QUIT DOING THAT TO YOUR SISTER!….Pardon. Excuse us.. Passing through.”

Then the bunnies started hopping through..It’s a friggin Zoo up here some days.


The morning dark as I get up. I can see clouds in the sky though only because they hide the stars.

After a couple attempts at getting toothpaste on my brush only to find out it was my hand , I turn on the light. I glare at the bulb. I am pretty sure it dimmed a bit .

I get my work clothes on to look out the window at our doe watching me.

” What? It’s my house too”

In case you were wondering; Blowing your nose is like swearing in the deer world.

She looked up at me , turned and walked off.

I sat down on the deck watching the colors come into the sky heavy with smoke. Rays of light filtered to reds scraped along the bottoms of clouds.

Ma sat down across from me as the coyote kids started in to the south and answered from the north. A third group sang in from the west.

Our doe showed back up.

” So not dealing with them right now. “

She made her way over to the mineral block as the hummers started filling the air around the three of us.

Several more deer popped their heads over the berm and a few others peaked over the grasses . In the distance we could see a fawn dragging her feet as her mother made her way to the house.

Deer ten yards from where we sit chat with each other , casting looks towards the corners where the coyote kids have been singing. Safe in the yard they pretty much ignored us.

Hummies filling the feeders as they spend time hanging out with us , chasing each other , buzzing us as they play. The little female chatting with me , then Ma , hovering in our faces.

Bunnies , cotton tails , hopping into the yard chasing each other then racing to the lower lumber pile only to run back up again.

The sun Red with smoke hides behind layers of clouds as it rises slowly.

I watch the kids at play all around us , take a deep breath and smile… Looks to be

Just another day on Zen Mountain




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