Toni’s juice

A few weeks ago, when the power was out for over two days, our house got a bit chilly.

Yeah, that’s 43 degrees in our kitchen. We spent one chilly night with Kyra and Hannah, but without any heat or running water, we felt like maybe it was time to go elsewhere. We talked our friends Doug and Toni into inviting us for a sleepover. Their house had power, heat, and a warm shower!

For breakfast, Toni whipped up some eggs and pancakes, and pulled out a big juicing machine to make some crazy concoction with oranges, apples, and carrots. Yes, carrots. When she offered me some, I was hesitant but wanted to be a good guest, so I took a glass. It turned out to be amazing.

Today Pepper made some with her juicer, and it was just as good.

Hard to believe I’m drinking carrot juice and enjoying it. I guess this quarantine stuff brings out strange things in all of us.

It’s come to this

Self-quarantine has brought out some terrible things in our house. Pepper wears sweatpants all the time, and her lunch was a hot dog sandwich.

It’s anarchy around here, I tell you.

Oh, the humanity

Kyra opened her new box of Breyer’s chocolate mint ice cream and was aghast.

Look at how far down it is from the top of the box! Normally it’s touching the lid. And it’s even pulled back from the sides. She couldn’t believe the deceit and trickery.

Quarantine beard

For the past two weeks, as we’ve more or less stayed home in self-quarantine, I’ve been lazy and not shaving. I figured I’d see how my facial hair looks.

Not so good. The beard on the sides of my face is pretty patchy.

So today I shaved it off. Better to look five years younger than a victim of a hair implant disaster.

Photo bombers

We have a few outdoor cameras at the house; they’re useful for alerting us if someone is coming up the driveway, and for keeping an eye on things when we’re away. Any time motion is detected, we receive an alert and a brief video clip of whatever triggered it. Most of the time it’s just something mundane like a UPS truck, but sometimes we get interesting things.

For example, here’s a buck walking along the driveway. We see deer pretty frequently, but for some reason they’re mostly does and adolescents. A buck is more rare. (Click the picture to watch the video clip.)

Then there’s a woodpecker who decided to attack the camera. Pretty funny.

A couple nights ago, we were watching a movie and heard an alarm. The video showed a bobcat striding toward the house. We looked out the window but it was too dark to see anything. This big cat was probably fifty feet from us.

It’s a house– err, a castle

Speaking of amazing homes, yesterday we received a book from some local real-estate firm. They’re advertising a bunch of super duper fancy homes for sale. The book is full of words like “distinguished” and “unique” and “opportunity of a lifetime” and of course “bespoke”.

The house that caught our eye is actually styled like a castle. It’s hard to believe anyone would live in a place like this, but here are some of the photos.

Yes, it has turrets, just like any respectable castle:

The listing even mentions the moat and drawbridge. It has a moat and drawbridge!

Let’s not forget the indoor shooting range, three pools, and an indoor bowling alley.

The laundry room is larger than my first apartment.

Oh, and it’s 30,000 square feet of living space, including ten ensuite bedrooms and bathrooms. Holy smokes.

It’s fun to see houses like this, but I can’t imagine living in one…

New neighbors

Yesterday a woman was tromping around the forest lot to the north of us. I chatted with her, and she explained she was performing a plot survey for the people who had just moved into the house down on the water. The lot is beside ours, and extends down to Flathead Lake (a total of roughly 27 acres). There’s nothing but trees on the hillside by us– the house is on the lower portion of the lot.

So Pepper and I decided we should go and meet our new neighbors. We walked down our driveway (a third of a mile) and then walked down theirs (another half-mile) and introduced ourselves. They were very friendly and down-to-earth, and grateful that we’d come “all that way” to say hi.

Their house is amazing. I found the real estate listing; here are some of the photos.

Yeah, an indoor pool. With a fantastic view of the lake. And around 15,000 square feet of living space. Wow. I thought our house was big for two people…

They’re really nice folks and we’re looking forward to getting to know them. All of our other neighbors are gone for the winter, so we still haven’t actually met any of them.

New view

With the fresh devastation in the forest, we have a new view to the north. Here’s what the forest looked like at the end of September (after the first windstorm):

And here’s what it looks like today:

Far in the distance, 5.5 miles north to be exact, you can see Woods Bay, the nearest town. And a lot more of Flathead Lake is visible. It’s crazy how much it’s changed. As Katie pointed out, we still have a lot of trees. But a lot fewer trees…

Back to bucking

It’s a gorgeous day outside, so I fired up the chainsaw and started working on the enormous tree lying in our yard. This is what half a tree looks like after it’s been limbed and bucked:

Whenever Thom does a project like this, he seems to enjoy posting artistic photos of his tools. So this is for Thom:

And a few other bits of kameraspielen:

Now I need to find someone who has a wood-burning fireplace… have I got a deal for them!

Roller coaster

They say the worst possible time to retire is just before a huge stock market crash.

Looking at a CNN graph of the market’s performance so far in 2020, my timing is pretty bad.

Then again, last night I read a thoughtful article that sums up investing in stocks:

“The only times that matter are the moment you buy and the moment you sell. Everything in between is just noise.”

I guess I’ll ride this roller coaster along with everyone else…