Happy Saturday morning. After babysitting last evening I am now at the top of my game.

“I am more the kind of babysitter who likes to play with the little urchins and then putting them to bed; then watch a bunch of TV while eating everything in the kitchen” ~ anonymous

Tonight it’ll be round two – I wonder if the kids will be ready to spend another evening with their Opa?

Sitting – Last evening with Vai and Vili was glorious (they were glorious). All went without any hitch whatsoever; except for one, one which could have been a “hiccup.”

The new pup needed an evening walk and so Rugby along with Vai and Vili were taken on a stroll around the neighborhood. After the normally frenetic race to find shoes, socks, leash, etc, plus getting all of this stuff on and situated (kids always spread their toes out when trying on socks) – we were finally ready. Leaving by the back door I heard it lock shut.

That click was my first hint that there lay trouble ahead. Not wanting to disrupt their happy mood we (I) proceeded on the walk as if all was ‘hunky-dory’. Meanwhile the mind was racing. Which window could be unlatched? How would Marcia react to a phone call asking that she pick up our little gang? Would the parental units feel about being called? Meanwhile, primarily due to the wanderings of an untrained puppy, we proceeded along the sidewalk like a group of drunken sailors. Every few steps one of us was either wound up in the leash or ready to trip over it.

Finally we were back home. Vai merrily bounded up the steps and threw open the front door. That door is always locked. I had forgotten to throw the deadbolt after and earlier let-Rugby-out-in-the-front-yard-to-whizz moment. I love little senior lapses!

Progress – Amazing the amount of work in less than two weeks since our return from Northern Comfort. The electric update in the kitchen is almost complete. We’re waiting for the plumber to perform his magic. And, most of our kitchen has arrived.

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I know that IKEA advertises the buy-it-drag-it-home concept. However, seeing two ‘brutes’ from a delivery service spend an hour and a half lugging 171 items into the place (including four major appliances) made me appreciate the fact that I had forgone IKEA’s do-it-yourself scheme.

The photos below show what a dining area looks like when one parks a (mostly) complete kitchen into that space. A few more items will come sometime this coming week.

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Excellence – Seldom have I seen such excellence in standing behind a product as was demonstrated by the Leatherman Company. I have a Leatherman tool – the Wave model. Especially at Northern Comfort it is always on my person and in use several times a day. It had broken! Actually, I used the pliers function in a completely ‘unorthodox’ way and managed to bust it.

Last Thursday I went on line and filled out a return authorization request on their warranty page. Without any query whatsoever I received a R.A. number. The next day I shipped them my broken tool. Two days later UPS informed me that a package from Leatherman had left Portland, OR. Yesterday it arrived!

I know that often I am a total curmudgeon. The first to complain vigorously about lots of things, and bad customer service is on that list. This however needed a Gold Star. Yeah Leatherman! May you thrive!

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Animal Planet – Other than occasionally hearing several hundred migrating birds resting in some large Oak tree there is very little to report. This is especially true since I did not witness the eclipse last Thursday – other than on a live feed from some observatory in Los Angeles.

However, there is one report to make. This year our side yard appears to have become home to Puffball Mushrooms. The most magnificent one approached the size of a Volleyball. Marcia tells me that they are edible; they do smell exactly like the little white button mushrooms at the veggie market. We’ve not taken that step.

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Fini – As mentioned, later today (evening) it’s round two on my babysitting adventure.

Today it’s a little more work to finish up the kitchen electric, prior to starting the plaster patching around the various outlets. Then, yesterday the first of the replacement window treatments started to arrive so that is also on the list. YES, we are determined to make our condo ready!

‘Ribs’ Marcia is still sore – now her rib cage gives her more of a dull pain as she weans off of her Aleve regimen. She still swears off quad riding — at least with me as the driver.

Make it a great week everyone. Stay safe.

Cheers.

Dirk

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