Thursday, November 19, 2015

Let It Rain

This water storage tank sat in the corner of the driveway for far too long. Before that it sat in my sisters yard, one of two that sat in her yard for several years. Being the generous little sister that she is, one of them followed me home. The idea was I was going to drive it into the nursery behind our property and have some of the employees help lift and drop it over our fence and then have them come round and help drag it into the location you now see it. It is quite heavy with its thick steel base, the cage surrounding it is light aluminum and the plastic tank is feather light compared to the rest of it. Well, I got tired of waiting for help so being the resourceful fellow that I can be on the rare occasion, I got some tools out and dismantled the damn thing. I admit it is not the most attractive thing but at least it is in the utility yard and not out in plain sight in one of the gardens.
For just under fifteen dollars I purchased 25 feet of corrugated hose and an attachment for the downspout.

I then attached it to the rain gutter and used zip ties to attach it to the fence line running behind the greenhouse.

All the while rain clouds threatened to dump the expected record rain fall.

The whole set-up took about 45 minutes and just as I was gathering up my tools the rain started to fall.
At 10:00 pm I braved the rain to check on the water level. Completely full and running off the top of the tank. 300 gallons in seven hours......good old Oregon rain.
I have a small electric pump that I will pump the stored rain water into the greenhouse where I have a 55 gallon tank that I use to water my orchids and seed trays.

Rain water can make for some happy orchids

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Check On The Project List

Since my retirement I have started and not finished several projects, I have lists of big projects and lists of small projects. Now I need to sit down with both lists and decide an order of importance and then work my way through the lot. Of course there are all the interruptions......Since I retired several people I worked with announced their retirement so the first two days I returned to the office in order to attend retirement parties and then Wednesday I had to attend my first "retiree's" luncheon then another retirement party for my ex boss who actually retired on the same day as I but had a late party yesterday evening. Then today we had an early supper out with friends and then returned to Menagerie Manor to watch the game (Portland Trail Blazers) and sample some of the many fine scotches that I received as gifts. So you can see how difficult it has been to get any one project done.
One small project completed was sorting the boxes of seed packets that I have collected and received from other gardeners. I  love marigold's and have several varieties that I save the seed from. Not only are they easy to grow,have tantalizing fragrance, their colors are bright and cheery. They look great in any kind of planting, mass planting or singly, in borders or pots and they produce plenty of seed for the next growing season. MeMa and I were at a local shop when a beautiful pot of French marigolds caught my attention. I knew it was late in the season but there were plenty of flowers that I could save for the seed so it followed me home.

It was the only one and was missing the tag so I call it "Burnt Orange"

Saturday, November 14, 2015

"Hey Doc, How Is Retirement?"

"So how is retirement?" I have been asked this question so many times since that event that I have lost track....not that I have been keeping track. Quite frankly I have been so busy that it still feels like one big long weekend and before I know it I will be going back to the office. Except there was that office party and all the congrats. 

Office party with staff


After 37 years in the business the district Manager had plenty of stories to tell all who were gathered and since I trained him many years ago I had a few to tell of my own, I also trained his late mother before he started working.
From left: Granddaughter Taeya, MeMa holding Granddaughter Lucy, retired boss Jim and Rail Maintenance Manager Jean

I received this engraved clock along with a handsome gift card

That cake says it all, does it not?

Among other duties I was the Transportation Department Cartographer and the logo on the bottom right was on every map I created. Yes, that is Vivian the Volvo who carried me safely to and from every project. Happy retirement Vivian!

Then that next Saturday my lovely wife planned a wonderful retirement party at the Rail Heritage Museum with catered dinner and adult beverages included. It was a lovely evening with friends, coworkers and family.
Don't remember what I said but it got a big laugh out of the Executive Manager of Rail Transportation and long long time friend Denis Van Dyke
He presented me with a shadow box he built and put together with some of pins and awards that I received over the years including the last brass belt buckle that I designed for the National Rail Rodeo.
It was a wonderful evening that was made possible by my lovely wife, from the incredible venue to the food and drink. I think the 60+ in attendance had a fun night out as well.
These four grew up together and still draw giggles and laughter when they get together.
From left to right: Our youngest son Ian, our eldest son Nathan and their sisters in every ounce of trouble they caused us in their growing up, Tori and Lora

I know this old man and the "Little Terrorists" had a blast. The museum volunteers were wonderful and allowed us to have a photo taken on board the old 700