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Trails for Two

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Post  ounce on Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:27 pm

Well, Mark.  It's like this.  Like kidney stones...this too shall pass. pale

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Post  Mark B on Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:01 am

Sounds ... delightful.

So, speaking of "delightful," I'm in the midst of what can best be described as a "gluten protocol," eating as much wheat-related stuff as I can in advance of a blood test to see if I have celiac. I have had progressively less gluten-containing foods over the past several months, and a number of chronic (nearly lifelong) issues I've been having faded away. But when we went to the coast last weekend, I lapsed and had a big reaction -- as in, all the problems coming back at once. Hm....

So, I finally bit the bullet, called the doc and explained what was going on. (Oh, I also had one of those DNA tests that shows I'm more likely to have celiac.) Doc scheduled the test but said I need to go back to eating a more traditional diet for at least a week before taking the test, otherwise it might show up as a false negative... since it's testing for antibodies reacting to a protein in gluten, and if you don't have anything to stimulate the system, there'll be nothing there.

The upside is I've gotten to eat Grape Nuts and sandwiches and pasta and have beer. Tastes great. The downside is how it makes me feel, which is not great. I itch all over, and my guts are doing all sorts of interesting things. Fun! I'm not worried about doing serious damage to myself, since I used to eat this way all the time -- heck, I did a 50-miler eating this way -- but the difference is striking.

I'm sure it's jacked my weight loss effort, too, so I think Ounce wins that challenge. The things I do for science...

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Post  ounce on Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:32 pm

Getting to eat your favorite cereal, Grape Nuts!  Euell Gibbons would be pleased.

Well, you've told me everything I know about Celiac.  I hope the result is definitive.

After you have the results, we'll have another contest.  By then, you should be at the weight from which you can lose well....pounds, that is.

I'd advise Alita to trade you in, before the results are known.
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Post  nkrichards on Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:41 am

Keep us posted on the test results.  It sounds like you may want to continue to modify your diet to make you feel better even if you don't turn out to actually have Celiac.  It certainly won't hurt.

Are you still avoiding caffeine?  Totally or just cutting back?

Did you spend any time on your favorite coastal trails during your visit to the coast?

Enjoy the summer...it's going to be gone before we know it.
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Post  Mark B on Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:49 am

@ounce wrote:Getting to eat your favorite cereal, Grape Nuts!  Euell Gibbons would be pleased.

Well, you've told me everything I know about Celiac.  I hope the result is definitive.

After you have the results, we'll have another contest.  By then, you should be at the weight from which you can lose well....pounds, that is.

I'd advise Alita to trade you in, before the results are known.

I think the warranty has expired, so the trade-in value would be low. I guess she's keeping me.

@nkrichards wrote:Keep us posted on the test results.  It sounds like you may want to continue to modify your diet to make you feel better even if you don't turn out to actually have Celiac.  It certainly won't hurt.

Are you still avoiding caffeine?  Totally or just cutting back?

Did you spend any time on your favorite coastal trails during your visit to the coast?

Enjoy the summer...it's going to be gone before we know it.

I'm still plowing through all the whole grain food I can find. I guess I'll do the blood test once I've finished the box of Grape Nuts. It's kind of amazing to see the difference from when I was avoiding things like that. I'll spare you the tales of digestive daring do-do, but I will say that the itching is driving me nuts. Little tiny pinpoint itchy spots, scattered all over my body. (No Ounce, I'm pretty sure it's not fleas.)

I actually started drinking a single cup of coffee most mornings now. I was getting too foggy at work without it.

We didn't do any trails this time, but we went for miles and miles on the beach. It was nice.

We are less than three weeks away from taking Alec to college, which is a very weird thought.

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Post  ounce on Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:58 am

Fleas.

Maybe Fluff will need a Mental Health Day, after Alec has escaped.
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Post  Mark B on Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:32 pm

Finally finished the box of Grape Nuts and got my blood draw today. Thank heavens. Now I can go back to my "exclusion diet" - also known as "not eating things that I thought were good but actually make serious mischief with my body." Lordy. 

Test results in 1-3 days. I'm not sure what happens next. I know that in some cases, they do an endoscopy to verify a diagnosis, which I think would mean another gluten protocol, maybe for longer. I've heard of people having to do it for weeks. That doesn't sound fun.

So cross your fingers... though I'm not sure what result I'm hoping for. I'd like to know, but still...  scratch

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Post  Mark B on Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:01 am

Test results back, and I'm more perplexed than ever.

The test document said anything <=14.9 U/ml is in the standard range, and my results were <0.5 U/ml. 

(If you were wondering, it was a test for Tissue Transglutaminase Immunoglobulin A, also known as TTGIgA.) 

Looks like a pretty solid "nope!" doesn't it? That's good, because I'd really rather not have my small intestine looking like Swiss cheese or whatever happens with celiac. But it doesn't explain why eating the way I ate for the last week (and for how I ate for most of my life) caused me so many digestive and skin issues. So much gas. So much itching. So much... well, you get the idea. 

So what is it? Non-celiac gluten sensitivity? A wheat allergy? Something about yeast? I hope my doctor is willing to press on and nail this down, because I'd like to have the answers so I can eat wisely and well. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Post  nkrichards on Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:34 pm

@Mark B wrote:Test results back, and I'm more perplexed than ever.

The test document said anything <=14.9 U/ml is in the standard range, and my results were <0.5 U/ml. 

(If you were wondering, it was a test for Tissue Transglutaminase Immunoglobulin A, also known as TTGIgA.) 

Looks like a pretty solid "nope!" doesn't it? That's good, because I'd really rather not have my small intestine looking like Swiss cheese or whatever happens with celiac. But it doesn't explain why eating the way I ate for the last week (and for how I ate for most of my life) caused me so many digestive and skin issues. So much gas. So much itching. So much... well, you get the idea. 

So what is it? Non-celiac gluten sensitivity? A wheat allergy? Something about yeast? I hope my doctor is willing to press on and nail this down, because I'd like to have the answers so I can eat wisely and well. I'll let you know how it goes.
I think not knowing is harder than anything!  Did you always have the itching or is that new?  That seems odd.  I can understand the other symptoms but itching is baffling...

Good luck getting answers.  Hope your doctor continues to look into it for you!
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Post  ounce on Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:20 am

Don't expect the doctor to tell you what it is, rather expect the doctor to tell you what it isn't.

If you catch a glimpse of the doctor's order to the lab, look for "R/O Fluff poisoning food" with 'R/O' being 'rule out.' 

You may be able to rule things out by excluding certain foods made by specific manufacturers.  Keep notes.  Constantly ask 'What if...'  Show the doc what you have ruled out.  He might be able to come up with a test or rule out a whole section of maladies, based on your What if.

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Post  Mark B on Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:57 am

Yeah. So that wasn't overly helpful.

The test showed that I wasn't producing the antibody that causes celiac. (Yay! I really didn't want my small intestine to be slowly disintegrating.) But beyond that? Big shrug. I send a note to the doctor and got an email back saying that there are no tests to narrow down what might be causing the symptoms, but researchers are starting to think that fructans - another thing found in wheat - is what's causing a lot of people's non-celiac symptoms. It's also in garlic, onions and a lot of other tasty things. Naturally. 

And, of course, the doctor's response email didn't allow the opportunity for a follow-up question. As in, I get digestive issues, but itching? How's that work?

So... I guess I should try to avoid gluten, because it'd help me avoid the other thing?

Or more simply, when something makes my guts weird and my body itch, don't eat it. Unless it's really tasty and I don't mind itching.

Case in point: We had a hot dog cart at work yesterday. I had two. They were delicious. A couple of hours later, though, I had itchy bumps popping up on my chest and back. So. Weird. So. Annoying. But totally worth it.

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Post  ounce on Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:58 am

I remember a couple of years ago that Reina went to an allergist and got tested on a bunch of different foods.  There were about 20 things she was a little 'reactive' or moderately or highly reactive to eating.  She had to cut out eggs, dairy, flour, almonds and a few other things, but she could have sugar and corn.  She doesn't eat land-based critters, just fish.

I don't remember if it was a homeopathic doc or a mainstream doc.

As far as your hot dog, now you need to figure out which ingredient(s) caused the itch.  Keep sleuthing!

What do we have, now, 5 days before young master Alec is BMOC?
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Post  nkrichards on Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:59 pm

Funny all the things we do...even when we know we shouldn't.  Glad you enjoyed the hot dogs.  Laughing

The itching thing really has me curious.  I can understand the other issues but...  Is the itching a new symptom or has it always been an issue?

Keep us updated when/if you learn anything.
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Post  ounce on Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:24 am

NOW 4 DAYS.  4 DAYS AND THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT WILL CHANGE. 



"Oh, honey, bring 2 extra boxes of Kleenex for the ride back."
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Post  ounce on Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:37 am

@ounce wrote:NOW 4 DAYS.  4 DAYS AND THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT WILL CHANGE. 



"Oh, honey, bring 2 extra boxes of Kleenex for the ride back."
2 days and your Like a Star @ heaven will be adios, muchacho!   pale


I hope Fluff has his Therapist credentials, now.
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Post  ounce on Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:44 pm

Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad 

LAST DAY!!!!!!


I'd put a sign on his door saying "The Alec Bowder Museum"
$20 admission
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Post  ounce on Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:15 pm

Re-setting the space-time continuum, it is Day 3, in the year of our Lord 0 A.D. (After Dropoff).  The globe continues with it's activities.  The bank loan industry is the only industry that doesn't exist as all loans have been deleted.  This should make paying for college easier.

Class dismissed.
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Post  Mark B on Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:54 am

Oh hi. You still exist in this shattered universe? Good to hear it.

Yup. We dropped the progeny off at Washington State University in the sprawling metropolis of Pullman, Washington, on Saturday. We drove partway there the day before so we didn't have to do the huge drive and unpacking all on the same day.

His dorm room is smallish (they have to bunk the beds), nice but on Saturday was HOT. (No a/c in the dorm.) We had to make a second trip to the Bed Bath and Beyond in nearby Moscow, Idaho, to buy a fan that could actually do the job. Luckily, a thunderstorm passed through and cooled things down a bit.

We took him out to lunch and dinner and got back on the road to our hotel 138 miles away (way cheaper than staying local) at about 8.

All in all, it was successful. But it's a weird thing. New chapters for him, and us. The cats are just confused.

I think we'll be processing this for a while. His absence is palpable. (But he's been in regular contact with us via text, which is nice.)

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Post  Mark B on Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:41 am

The world's more boring blog continues... 

Our life isn't boring. We're very pleased that Alec seems to be thriving in his new environment. He's doing things that suggests he MIGHT HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO US, which is amazing. He's very glad to be in marching band, and he's getting his work-study gig worked out. Woot!!

Alita and I are in full empty nester mode. We're thinking strongly about downsizing, and we've been taking steps to get our house ready to sell at some point, while looking around at condos seeing if anything catches our fancy. There are some pretty frightening things out there, but there are, indeed some things that are kinda decent. Our fancy may have been caught. Stay tuned.

Running and activity is still mostly hypothetical, but once Alita starts back at school next week, I'm going to have some extra time before work with no kid to get ready for school. Will I crawl back in bed, or actually get out and move? Again, stay tuned.

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Post  ounce on Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:03 am

@Mark B wrote:The world's more boring blog continues... 

Our life isn't boring. We're very pleased that Alec seems to be thriving in his new environment. He's doing things that suggests he MIGHT HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO US, which is amazing. He's very glad to be in marching band, and he's getting his work-study gig worked out. Woot!!

Alita and I are in full empty nester mode. We're thinking strongly about downsizing, and we've been taking steps to get our house ready to sell at some point, while looking around at condos seeing if anything catches our fancy. There are some pretty frightening things out there, but there are, indeed some things that are kinda decent. Our fancy may have been caught. Stay tuned.

Running and activity is still mostly hypothetical, but once Alita starts back at school next week, I'm going to have some extra time before work with no kid to get ready for school. Will I crawl back in bed, or actually get out and move? Again, stay tuned.
Amazing what sticks.  One preview of coming attractions for y'all regarding Alec, you'll always have his ear up to the point when his knowledge and/or information source on a subject is deemed superior to yours.  Y'all are his North Star, especially 1 of you. 

As far as downsizing, I can't help you much there except to keep in mind will an A/C window unit fit and be allowed.  The term 'condo' down here could be different than up there. 

One thing that, looking back 44 years, I wish I had was coming back to the house I grew up in...one time.  I didn't get that.  My folks sold and (never gave me the forwarding address Laughing Laughing Laughing ) while where they were was home, it would've been nice to have my old room welcome me back like a conquering soldier and look at the neighborhood as a self-perceived more mature (yeah, it's early here) collegian.  And seeing the old homestead hasn't changed.  However, it didn't stunt my early adult life.  However now, cyclops cyclops cyclops cyclops .

Good luck with the new experience and views.  Will your new diggs be workable in 20 years or will there be another move for when medical needs/accomodations become the focus?
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Post  Mark B on Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:52 am

@ounce wrote:
@Mark B wrote:The world's more boring blog continues... 

Our life isn't boring. We're very pleased that Alec seems to be thriving in his new environment. He's doing things that suggests he MIGHT HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO US, which is amazing. He's very glad to be in marching band, and he's getting his work-study gig worked out. Woot!!

Alita and I are in full empty nester mode. We're thinking strongly about downsizing, and we've been taking steps to get our house ready to sell at some point, while looking around at condos seeing if anything catches our fancy. There are some pretty frightening things out there, but there are, indeed some things that are kinda decent. Our fancy may have been caught. Stay tuned.

Running and activity is still mostly hypothetical, but once Alita starts back at school next week, I'm going to have some extra time before work with no kid to get ready for school. Will I crawl back in bed, or actually get out and move? Again, stay tuned.
Amazing what sticks.  One preview of coming attractions for y'all regarding Alec, you'll always have his ear up to the point when his knowledge and/or information source on a subject is deemed superior to yours.  Y'all are his North Star, especially 1 of you. 

As far as downsizing, I can't help you much there except to keep in mind will an A/C window unit fit and be allowed.  The term 'condo' down here could be different than up there. 

One thing that, looking back 44 years, I wish I had was coming back to the house I grew up in...one time.  I didn't get that.  My folks sold and (never gave me the forwarding address Laughing Laughing Laughing ) while where they were was home, it would've been nice to have my old room welcome me back like a conquering soldier and look at the neighborhood as a self-perceived more mature (yeah, it's early here) collegian.  And seeing the old homestead hasn't changed.  However, it didn't stunt my early adult life.  However now, cyclops cyclops cyclops cyclops .

Good luck with the new experience and views.  Will your new diggs be workable in 20 years or will there be another move for when medical needs/accomodations become the focus?

Ah, condos. I think what that term means varies widely even around here. There are a lot of "condos" around here that are essentially duplexes, or townhouses, or essentially giant apartment complexes, except you own your unit. 

The window a/c unit will probably not be coming with us -- the places we like the best so far have a/c already. 

If you're curious, here is a link showing one of the units that has us interested. It's nice because it's close to the Columbia River, with lots of walking paths and restaurants. It's about 1.5 miles from downtown, so I could in theory walk to work or ride a bike. This unit has a two-car tandem garage, which provides nice room for cars and stuff we couldn't quite part with yet.

Here is another option.  (And another!)  In a mid-rise building right in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The upside of this is a *much* closer walk to work - about 5 minutes - and proximity to the city's big park, which hosts all sorts of fun events and farmer's market. One unit overlooks the park and is maybe a 10-minute walk from the river. The other is on the other side of the building, with a large balcony that overlooks a secluded (and secure) courtyard. Downside is that you have to pay to park in its parking garage, which means that we'd probably get rid of one of our cars. (That might actually be an upside.) 

The prices are higher than we'd prefer, but these units have been on the market for some time, and the prices are falling. So who knows? The mid-rise unit is a flat with an elevator, so access isn't an issue. The one closer to the river is a flat, but you have to walk up a set of stairs to get to it. Other units in that complex have three levels with a bedroom on the ground floor, living on the second, and bedrooms -- AND ALL THE BATHROOMS -- on the third. I'd pity the person who stayed in the ground floor room if they have to get up to pee in the middle of the night. So that would end up an office and/or exercise room.

As for Alec, yes... the idea of never coming "home" again is weird. We're not sure when he's coming back, so if something happens sooner, we'd probably fly him back for a weekend. We'd been talking about putting our house on the market in the spring to catch the wave of pent-up demand from the winter, but if we get a screaming deal on someplace we'd really like to go, it might be sooner. We'll see. We're currently trying to declutter and clean the $#@! shower to avoid having to have the whole thing replaced. Darn hard water.

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Post  nkrichards on Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:11 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@ounce wrote:
@Mark B wrote:The world's more boring blog continues... 

Our life isn't boring. We're very pleased that Alec seems to be thriving in his new environment. He's doing things that suggests he MIGHT HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO US, which is amazing. He's very glad to be in marching band, and he's getting his work-study gig worked out. Woot!!

Alita and I are in full empty nester mode. We're thinking strongly about downsizing, and we've been taking steps to get our house ready to sell at some point, while looking around at condos seeing if anything catches our fancy. There are some pretty frightening things out there, but there are, indeed some things that are kinda decent. Our fancy may have been caught. Stay tuned.

Running and activity is still mostly hypothetical, but once Alita starts back at school next week, I'm going to have some extra time before work with no kid to get ready for school. Will I crawl back in bed, or actually get out and move? Again, stay tuned.
Amazing what sticks.  One preview of coming attractions for y'all regarding Alec, you'll always have his ear up to the point when his knowledge and/or information source on a subject is deemed superior to yours.  Y'all are his North Star, especially 1 of you. 

As far as downsizing, I can't help you much there except to keep in mind will an A/C window unit fit and be allowed.  The term 'condo' down here could be different than up there. 

One thing that, looking back 44 years, I wish I had was coming back to the house I grew up in...one time.  I didn't get that.  My folks sold and (never gave me the forwarding address Laughing Laughing Laughing ) while where they were was home, it would've been nice to have my old room welcome me back like a conquering soldier and look at the neighborhood as a self-perceived more mature (yeah, it's early here) collegian.  And seeing the old homestead hasn't changed.  However, it didn't stunt my early adult life.  However now, cyclops cyclops cyclops cyclops .

Good luck with the new experience and views.  Will your new diggs be workable in 20 years or will there be another move for when medical needs/accomodations become the focus?

Ah, condos. I think what that term means varies widely even around here. There are a lot of "condos" around here that are essentially duplexes, or townhouses, or essentially giant apartment complexes, except you own your unit. 

The window a/c unit will probably not be coming with us -- the places we like the best so far have a/c already. 

If you're curious, here is a link showing one of the units that has us interested. It's nice because it's close to the Columbia River, with lots of walking paths and restaurants. It's about 1.5 miles from downtown, so I could in theory walk to work or ride a bike. This unit has a two-car tandem garage, which provides nice room for cars and stuff we couldn't quite part with yet.

Here is another option.  (And another!)  In a mid-rise building right in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The upside of this is a *much* closer walk to work - about 5 minutes - and proximity to the city's big park, which hosts all sorts of fun events and farmer's market. One unit overlooks the park and is maybe a 10-minute walk from the river. The other is on the other side of the building, with a large balcony that overlooks a secluded (and secure) courtyard. Downside is that you have to pay to park in its parking garage, which means that we'd probably get rid of one of our cars. (That might actually be an upside.) 

The prices are higher than we'd prefer, but these units have been on the market for some time, and the prices are falling. So who knows? The mid-rise unit is a flat with an elevator, so access isn't an issue. The one closer to the river is a flat, but you have to walk up a set of stairs to get to it. Other units in that complex have three levels with a bedroom on the ground floor, living on the second, and bedrooms -- AND ALL THE BATHROOMS -- on the third. I'd pity the person who stayed in the ground floor room if they have to get up to pee in the middle of the night. So that would end up an office and/or exercise room.

As for Alec, yes... the idea of never coming "home" again is weird. We're not sure when he's coming back, so if something happens sooner, we'd probably fly him back for a weekend. We'd been talking about putting our house on the market in the spring to catch the wave of pent-up demand from the winter, but if we get a screaming deal on someplace we'd really like to go, it might be sooner. We'll see. We're currently trying to declutter and clean the $#@! shower to avoid having to have the whole thing replaced. Darn hard water.
You guys are quick!  I guess you have had 18 years to think about this but...

Will you set up one bedroom for Alec or will he officially be a guest from now on?  We kept our kids rooms intact until they finished their schooling as they usually spent summers at home on the farm.  Kevin graduated in 2000 and we didn't really clean out any of the kids rooms until 2009 when we demolished the oldest part of the house (40's vintage), rebuilt it and remodeled the sections that were added in the 70's and 80's.  We'll never move.  Marty plans to die here...he's hoping he'll be in a tractor for his last few minutes on earth but Kevin's worried about the tractor!  And the boys are both raising their families on the farm.

Houses/homes are interesting.  My family still owns the farm my Mom grew up on, the farm my Dad grew up on, and the farm my parents raised us on.  I have fond memories of all three places...and I hate going back to them.  They aren't the same.  My memories are better than the real thing.

Hope you find something that really catches your interest...and that you get that shower clean enough to sell.
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Post  Mark B on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:36 am

@nkrichards wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@ounce wrote:
@Mark B wrote:The world's more boring blog continues... 

Our life isn't boring. We're very pleased that Alec seems to be thriving in his new environment. He's doing things that suggests he MIGHT HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO US, which is amazing. He's very glad to be in marching band, and he's getting his work-study gig worked out. Woot!!

Alita and I are in full empty nester mode. We're thinking strongly about downsizing, and we've been taking steps to get our house ready to sell at some point, while looking around at condos seeing if anything catches our fancy. There are some pretty frightening things out there, but there are, indeed some things that are kinda decent. Our fancy may have been caught. Stay tuned.

Running and activity is still mostly hypothetical, but once Alita starts back at school next week, I'm going to have some extra time before work with no kid to get ready for school. Will I crawl back in bed, or actually get out and move? Again, stay tuned.
Amazing what sticks.  One preview of coming attractions for y'all regarding Alec, you'll always have his ear up to the point when his knowledge and/or information source on a subject is deemed superior to yours.  Y'all are his North Star, especially 1 of you. 

As far as downsizing, I can't help you much there except to keep in mind will an A/C window unit fit and be allowed.  The term 'condo' down here could be different than up there. 

One thing that, looking back 44 years, I wish I had was coming back to the house I grew up in...one time.  I didn't get that.  My folks sold and (never gave me the forwarding address Laughing Laughing Laughing ) while where they were was home, it would've been nice to have my old room welcome me back like a conquering soldier and look at the neighborhood as a self-perceived more mature (yeah, it's early here) collegian.  And seeing the old homestead hasn't changed.  However, it didn't stunt my early adult life.  However now, cyclops cyclops cyclops cyclops .

Good luck with the new experience and views.  Will your new diggs be workable in 20 years or will there be another move for when medical needs/accomodations become the focus?

Ah, condos. I think what that term means varies widely even around here. There are a lot of "condos" around here that are essentially duplexes, or townhouses, or essentially giant apartment complexes, except you own your unit. 

The window a/c unit will probably not be coming with us -- the places we like the best so far have a/c already. 

If you're curious, here is a link showing one of the units that has us interested. It's nice because it's close to the Columbia River, with lots of walking paths and restaurants. It's about 1.5 miles from downtown, so I could in theory walk to work or ride a bike. This unit has a two-car tandem garage, which provides nice room for cars and stuff we couldn't quite part with yet.

Here is another option.  (And another!)  In a mid-rise building right in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The upside of this is a *much* closer walk to work - about 5 minutes - and proximity to the city's big park, which hosts all sorts of fun events and farmer's market. One unit overlooks the park and is maybe a 10-minute walk from the river. The other is on the other side of the building, with a large balcony that overlooks a secluded (and secure) courtyard. Downside is that you have to pay to park in its parking garage, which means that we'd probably get rid of one of our cars. (That might actually be an upside.) 

The prices are higher than we'd prefer, but these units have been on the market for some time, and the prices are falling. So who knows? The mid-rise unit is a flat with an elevator, so access isn't an issue. The one closer to the river is a flat, but you have to walk up a set of stairs to get to it. Other units in that complex have three levels with a bedroom on the ground floor, living on the second, and bedrooms -- AND ALL THE BATHROOMS -- on the third. I'd pity the person who stayed in the ground floor room if they have to get up to pee in the middle of the night. So that would end up an office and/or exercise room.

As for Alec, yes... the idea of never coming "home" again is weird. We're not sure when he's coming back, so if something happens sooner, we'd probably fly him back for a weekend. We'd been talking about putting our house on the market in the spring to catch the wave of pent-up demand from the winter, but if we get a screaming deal on someplace we'd really like to go, it might be sooner. We'll see. We're currently trying to declutter and clean the $#@! shower to avoid having to have the whole thing replaced. Darn hard water.
You guys are quick!  I guess you have had 18 years to think about this but...

Will you set up one bedroom for Alec or will he officially be a guest from now on?  We kept our kids rooms intact until they finished their schooling as they usually spent summers at home on the farm.  Kevin graduated in 2000 and we didn't really clean out any of the kids rooms until 2009 when we demolished the oldest part of the house (40's vintage), rebuilt it and remodeled the sections that were added in the 70's and 80's.  We'll never move.  Marty plans to die here...he's hoping he'll be in a tractor for his last few minutes on earth but Kevin's worried about the tractor!  And the boys are both raising their families on the farm.

Houses/homes are interesting.  My family still owns the farm my Mom grew up on, the farm my Dad grew up on, and the farm my parents raised us on.  I have fond memories of all three places...and I hate going back to them.  They aren't the same.  My memories are better than the real thing.

Hope you find something that really catches your interest...and that you get that shower clean enough to sell.

That's the thing - we hadn't really thought about this until a few months ago. It was one of those realizations where you go, "Oh, wait. We don't have to stay in this house forever, do we? And there are some real benefits to *not* staying here? Whoa."

So it feels like we're moving at breakneck speed. It's a little dizzying, and scary, but exciting, too. 

I hear what you say about rootedness. I have deep roots in the West (and specifically the Pacific Northwest), but not necessarily to one specific place. Just since we got married, Alita and I have lived in six different homes in three different states. But chasing journalism jobs tends to require more moving than a lot of other careers. I hear you about going back home and how that feels. My parents had a nasty divorce, so my sense of "home" was pretty much wiped out as a young adult. So that sense of continuity that you mention feels alien but attractive... until it's time to clean out the basement. 

It will be interesting to see how being away has changed Alec and how "home" feels to him. Any second bedroom we had would be Alec's bedroom for as long as he needs one. It'll do double duty as something else when he's away, but we're not quite ready to pull the rug out from under him *that* much. 

Maybe Kevin needs to rig a deadman switch on the tractor, so the thing shuts down if Marty passes on to his reward while out plowing the back 40. You know, for the tractor's sake.  Laughing

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Post  nkrichards on Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:38 pm

@Mark B wrote:
Maybe Kevin needs to rig a deadman switch on the tractor, so the thing shuts down if Marty passes on to his reward while out plowing the back 40. You know, for the tractor's sake.  Laughing
Oh trust me...we've had these discussions.  Most of our tractors are rigged with GPS with Auto Steer now.  That means that they go straight once they are set but you do still have to turn around at the end of the row and then put them back on line.  An alarm reminds you when you are getting close to the edge of the field...just in case you nod off or are playing on your phone.  That only works if you're conscious though.  Marty has strict instructions to make sure he's not headed towards Willow Creek Canyon, one of the BPA power lines, or a home when he decides he's had enough.  In all seriousness, when we were learning to drive tractor and teaching our kids to drive tractor, the motors would die if they hit something relatively solid.  Now they are so big and powerful that they would just keep going.  Pretty scary and has altered our ability to involve the grandkids at a young age.
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:51 pm

We downsized when Shannon went to college.  We have a condo in Cleveland on the lake and a townhouse here back in Atlanta as i missed all of my adult friends here and I was generally alone in Cleveland.  My daughter has a room here in Atlanta (although she lives in her own apartment) and honestly does spend a great deal of time here.  The two houses are worth what our big house was on its own - lol.   I like the smaller digs and not having to mow the grass - but then again, I do miss having a bit of green space.
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