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Table Mountain

Table Mountain is in the North Cascades in the Mt. Baker area. The photo above is taken after we’d been hiking for awhile. We ended up on top of that flat-topped peak on the left. These photos are from August 13, 2016. I’m not sure how long it should take to drive up to the parking areas, but it took us about 14 or 60 hours to the lowest parking lot because of all the bike riders on the road up who apparently forgot about the “share” part of “share the road.”

This is a hike that almost anyone can do, as long as one can walk uphill, and then downhill, for hours, because it’s not technical. And, you’ve properly accomplished something when you get to the top. It’s steep in places, but people were on the trail in Tevas and tennis shoes. One woman proved it could be done in a flowy skirt and barefoot shoes. When I stepped aside so she could pass me, she said, “No worries, no hurry. Do any of us really have anyplace better to be?” She was right.

Near the top an older man – who surely would be welcome outside the fence, next to the cooler with Hank Hill and his pals – was coming down and lost his footing briefly.  Another older guy on his way up, clearly a veteran climber (no mere hiker) said, “Would you like to know a trick to coming down?” The guy now sitting down after having just arrested his slide, rocks raining down on people lower on the trail, said, “Not be from Texas and never have done this before?” When I admired his shirt with a picture of Reagan and the caption that said, “I smell hippies,” he said, “Ain’t it fun?” in that Texas way where each word sounds two or three words long. People are awesome.

In the interest of capturing this hike, I voluntarily stayed behind the rest of our party of four so that I could take pictures of them up ahead. One of whom, when asked if he could ride the billion miles up the steep, windy mountain road with the rest of the bike riders said, simply, “Yeah.” If that were true of me, it would be tattooed on my forehead. Documenting the hike: that’s the only reason I stayed in the back and begged them to not wait for me.


A little gardening at the old golf course

In his spare time on some weekends, Captain OCD works at what used to be a golf course but is now beautiful gardens.  Before the golf course, it was a dairy farm. He could not be having more fun. These 90+ acres are about one-third wetlands and the property is not visible from a main highway or any other regularly traveled street, although it just on the other side of thin strip of big trees between the highway and the property. Few people know that this beautiful oasis exists. It is one guy’s vision and hard work (the owner of the property), and some of Captain OCD’s work and ideas. It will always be a work in progress, but it’s available now for weddings and special events.

General grounds in no particular order, up above the valley bottom:

Yangs spring 2016 54-4686 Yangs spring 2016 51-4961 Yangs spring 2016 50-4959

Yangs spring 2016 48-4953 Yangs spring 2016 47-4949 Yangs spring 2016 43-4935 Yangs spring 2016 42-4932 Yangs spring 2016 41-4928 Yangs spring 2016 38-4920 Yangs spring 2016 37-4913 Yangs spring 2016 36-4917 Yangs spring 2016 35-4907 Yangs spring 2016 34-4904

It’s pine-candling season, but Captain OCD’s  full time job leaves little time for this:

Yangs spring 2016 33-4901 Yangs spring 2016 32-4893 Yangs spring 2016 31-4889 Yangs spring 2016 30-4886 Yangs spring 2016 28-4877 Yangs spring 2016 29-4880

Yangs spring 2016 58-4707 Yangs spring 2016 56-4691 Yangs spring 2016 55-4688 Yangs spring 2016 54-4686

Looking down toward the valley bottom:

Yangs spring 2016 49-4955


Function over form in the kitchen

Captain OCD does most of the cooking and almost all of the dish washing around here. He refuses to use the dishwasher because  every dish waiting for the dishwasher to finish is one dish not in the cupboard where dishes belong.

I grew up using flour-sack towels for drying dishes, like a civilized person, so when we were first married we had pretty terry cloth kitchen towels and lovely dish-drying towels, and only a barbarian would contemplate using a dish-drying towel to wipe ketchup off the counter.

It should come as no surprise that Captain OCD does not honor that important towel-use distinction and use the appropriate towel for the appropriate function, but uses all of the towels for every cleaning use, including wiping the floor, scrubbing the mud off of his boots, and stanching the fountains of blood pulsing out of a severed radial artery.

When we finished remodeling the kitchen, I again tried to establish a towel-use protocol. I bought black towels to match the new kitchen, towels that would look good sitting on the slate and granite counter tops. And they did look nice, but Captain OCD goes through about ten towels per meal-preparation session, a method that requires a lot of towels. And then he gets in a hurry to get laundry done and throws them in with the whites and I open the washer to find a bunch of gray underwear and socks. Again.


If someone else is doing the cooking and cleaning, I’m going to (eventually) shut up about which towel should be used for which purpose. Several years ago, I gave in and bought a gigantic bag o’ towels – a generous term, as they are closer to rags than towels – at Costco and we’ve never looked back.  At $20 for 60 towels, I don’t care if they get stained. I don’t care when he uses them to wipe pipe glue off of PVC pipe, or grabs one to wipe off the dipstick when he’s checking the oil in the Bobcat, or uses one to grease his boots (hmm, perhaps I’d better check that that’s not a euphemism). If I’m staining a door or wiping caulk off the ceiling joints or wrapping a greasy alternator to take to the parts store or trying to wipe off the super-concentrated icing-color paste I got all over my fingers, I grab a kitchen towel. Few things make me happier than coming home on house-cleaning day and seeing a pile of filthy towels waiting to be washed, which means the dirt is no longer on the floor or woodwork.

For C2’s wedding, I bought a bag to use for the multiple people helping with the three days of cooking, not caring if any of the towels made it back home. Good thing, because none of the 60 towels did. I very much suggest the same strategy for any large gathering where multiple people will be cooking and cleaning. Twenty bucks well-spent.

I just bought a new bag, the third or fourth in about as many years. I have no idea where they disappear to, but at 33-cents  a towel, I don’t care how many are sacrificed in the commission of someone else doing the meal preparation and dish washing.

The kitchen grinds to a halt

Captain OCD needs one egg:eggs

  1. Double the recipe so he can use two eggs?
  2. Crack two and pour the other one on the dog food?
  3. Delay the making of scones until he can come up with a new design to achieve symmetry?