On-line logbook for the Sailing Vessel Legacy
The logbook display normally starts about one month prior to the current date.  You can also specify a starting date for entries and they will be displayed starting with that the next older date at the top.  If there are more than 10 entries you will get "Back" and "Next" buttons as appropriate to move through the log. To read the log in the opposite order click "Reverse Display."
7/1/2015  Semiahmoo Marina, Blaine, WA Google Map
  We ARE back on the boat, but I've been really bad about updating the log!

On Sunday we had a very pleasant, leisurely drive across the rest of the North Cascades. We had breakfast at a local bakery before leaving Twisp, then wandered through the National Park stopping at about every overlook. We also stopped at the National Park visitor center which was one of the strangest we've seen -- very touchy-feely, new-age-y, and distinctly lacking in real information!

As we headed down the western flanks of the mountains we stopped at the Cascadian Farms stand. Although the ripe organic raspberries and blueberries were very tempting we were afraid they wouldn't keep through the rest of the very warm day. Instead we indulged in some house-made raspberry ice cream. Yum!

Once in Bellingham, we stopped for lunch, unloaded the Flex into the storage unit, got the Volvo out of storage, and washed both cars. I took the Flex to get a few groceries while Chris finished washing the Volvo and driving to the marina. We met up there in the mid-afternoon. It's great to be off the road and back on the boat!

Monday found us back at the storage unit. Now that the Volvo is out of storage, we had enough room to completely unpack the trailer. That will allow us to take the trailer down to Seattle next week to pick up furniture. Ashley, our mortgage broker, called while we were finishing up the trailer. She needed us to sign some revised disclosures based on the reduced sales price and also get income verification letters from Retirement and Benefits. Although we were sweaty and dirty from unloading, we ran by her office and got those items taken care of.

On Tuesday, we drove down to the outskirts of Seattle where we bought a Sleep Number bed, a bed frame, two nightstands, and a mattress (that will go on the guest bed), as well as a living room chair. On July 9th (the day before we close on the house), we'll drive down to pick up those items as well as a few pieces from Ikea. That's why we needed to empty the trailer.

We spent a fair amount of time today getting utility accounts set up in our name. We knew that we'd need to do Comcast in person, so headed down to Bellingham after lunch. After standing in line there, we found that the seller hasn't yet put in a disconnect notice, so we weren't able to put in our service request. Frustrating.... We were able to run a couple of other errands and stopped on the way home for enough groceries to get us through the holiday weekend. [Heather]

7/6/2015  Semiahmoo Marina, Blaine, WA Google Map
  We had a nice 4th of July weekend! On Friday night, we went to a marina Happy Hour before a scheduled BBQ. It was nice to visit folks and share a beer. Instead of going to the expensive catered BBQ, we went back to the boat for chicken quesadillas.

Saturday we went to Blaine for the "Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration". We had a good time, but it didn't hold a candle to the celebrations in Douglas (across the bridge from Juneau). We drove over midmorning and found our way through all the street closures to park outside the Senior Center.

At the Senior Center, we enjoyed an excellent pancake breakfast (pancakes, eggs, sausage, and coffee). We shared a table with a couple probably a little younger than us who live in Fairhaven, quite near where we will be living. We had a great conversation with them and exchanged contact info.

After breakfast, we wandered down toward town enjoying the car show and various vendors. We settled in near the parade route to listen to music until the parade. The parade was okay, but lacked the fun and weirdness of the Douglas parade. After the parade, we wandered back through town, had some good ice cream, bought a couple of things, and headed back to the car.

We had considered going to the BBQ at the resort back at Semiahmoo but decided on a more low-key dinner on the boat. Steak on the grill, pan-roasted potatoes, green beans, and some red wine filled the bill well.

About 10, the various fireworks started and we had great seats in Legacy's cockpit! The main show in Blaine was clearly visible straight down the dock, framed by sailboat masts on either side. Very nice!

On Sunday, Chris made a delicious frittata for breakfast. About noon we headed back over to Blaine for a concert in Marine Park. It was a concert by "Full Metal Racket", the 133rd Army National Guard rock bank. It was VERY hot (close to 90), very sunny, and very windy. The wind caused a bit of trouble with the sound system, but for the most part the concert was good. We huddled under an umbrella for a bit of shade and sucked down the bottle of water I brought. Yikes! This really isn't NW Washington weather! At least the humidity was low.

Unfortunately, the low humidity and lack of rain also mean wildfires. Sunday evening, there was smoke all across northwestern Washington from wildfires in British Columbia. The smoke is really hard on my allergies, so I'm actually hoping for a little rain soon to clear the air.

Today we're headed back down to Bellingham, this time to deal with the "tax man" and register Legacy in the state. It's going to be a big bill because when we bought the boat 15 years ago we were exempt from sales tax as Alaska residents. Now that we are WA residents, we have to pay a one-time "use tax" equal to the sales tax on the current value of the boat. Ouch! Luckily, we knew this was coming and built it into our budget.

7/8/2015  Semiahmoo Marina, Blaine, WA Google Map
  Red Letter Day! This afternoon, we headed down to Bellingham for the final walkthrough of the house. We were delighted to see moving vans as we were a little concerned that the seller might just abandon all his junk.

After seeing that everything was still okay at the house, we ran some errands until it was signing time. We met at Whatcom Land Title where we signed, initialed, signed, and initialed our way through a 3" stack of paper. When done, we'd signed our lives away on a scarily big mortgage! However, the interest rate was great !

Next stop was Wells Fargo to have another big chunk of money wire-transferred into the title company trust account. It's weird how things are done in Washington. We signed everything today, but the actual "funding" of the sale doesn't happen until Friday morning. Then the sale gets recorded. Only after the sale is recorded do we get the keys to the house. In theory that could be as late as 9 p.m. on Friday. In practice, we should have the keys by 5 p.m. and we're hoping for earlier!

After all that excitement, we headed to a favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner. Margaritas were a must at that point....

Tomorrow morning we'll pick up the trailer and head down to Seattle for a little shopping at Ikea, then collecting other furniture that we already purchased. Yea! We'll have a bed once we move in! [Heather]

7/10/2015  Semiahmoo Marina, Blaine, WA Google Map
  Last "official" night living on the boat! Big changes!

On Thursday, we spent most of the day in Seattle. We left the marina about 8 a.m., picked up the trailer and finally made it down to Ikea (south and east of Seattle) about 11 a.m. We spent the first hour mulling over and choosing the guest bedroom furniture, as well as a small couch for the seating area of our master bedroom.

Exhausted by the decision-making process, we revived ourselves with some lunch. Next we plunged into the Marketplace, where we picked up bedding and lamps for the guest room as well as a number of other small items.

Shopping done, we started collecting. Except for the couch, all the furniture was "flat packs" that we picked up in the self-serve area. We trundled our full shopping cart and trolley to the checkout area. The total was large, but we got a lot for our money!

Next we had to wait... and wait.... and wait... for them to bring our couch over from the other warehouse so we could load all our goodies into the red circus trailer. We finally make it out of there about 2:30 p.m.

Our next two stops were pretty easy. First we went to a furniture store called Dania where we picked up the bed frame and nightstands for the master bedroom, and a mattress for the guest room. At Scan Design we collected a small chair we had purchased.

The trip back to Bellingham could have been awful because there was a 7 mile, accident-related backup on I-5 North close to where we picked up our furniture. Our faithful Google Maps voice, Wendy, guided us on the frontage roads until we were completely around the backup. Whew! We made the long drive back to Bellingham, dropped off the trailer, grabbed a hot dog for dinner, and headed back to the boat.

Today was a long, frustrating, but ultimately successful day. We found out last night that Wells Fargo (who is buying our mortgage from the originator, Bank of the Pacific) had approved everything in our mortgage package except for the appraisal. Mind you, they received the appraisal 3 1/2 weeks ago, asked some questions, and got those questions answered over a week ago. Ashley, our mortgage originator, had been calling them twice a day over the last week. Early this morning, she called and told them that she absolutely needed the approval by noon for us to close today. They missed deadline after deadline all day long. We were all incredibly frustrated and angry.

At one point, we were threatening to move all of our money out of Wells Fargo. Solveig, our realtor, was trying to negotiate a two business day extension but the seller was being difficult. At one point, even the CEO of Bank of the Pacific got involved and spoke to a counterpart at Wells Fargo. As time was growing short, he approved a back-up plan for Bank of the Pacific to keep rather than sell our mortgage, and also match the great interest rate we had locked in with Wells Fargo. Luckily, about that time, Wells Fargo finally came through with their approval. Ashley immediately wired the money over to Whatcom Land Title and they hand-walked the paperwork over to the courthouse to get the deed recorded.

Solveig met us at the house about 6 and gave us the key. Either tomorrow or Monday, we will get a locksmith in to change all the locks since the house has been used as a vacation rental for several years. The sellers left the place dirty, so our first order of business tomorrow will be to start cleaning before we unpack.

We did unload the furniture from our trailer and stacked it into the one relatively clean room in the place. After we get a couple of other rooms clean, we'll make another run to the storage unit to bring the furniture and some other items from Lexington.

We have SOOOOO much to do that it's hard to know where to start! By the way, we won't have internet at the house until Wednesday so we might not do a log entry until then. Also, our cell phone service will be limited until our signal booster arrives in about a week. We'll make sure to call folks when we are in an area with coverage, but don't be alarmed if you don't reach us immediately. Chris' cell phone is still off for repair, so Heather's is the only functional number right now. [Heather]

7/18/2015  Bayside Road, Belllingham, WA Google Map
  It's been a long, tiring, busy week! Saturday morning we packed up some things from the boat and headed to Bellingham. Our first stops were the storage unit for the vacuum cleaner, then to Lowe's to rent a carpet shampooer and to buy a variety of cleaning products.

Cleaning was the first priority, followed by unloading furniture from the trailer. We (the "Royal We" -- mostly Chris!) managed to get the bedroom cleaned and set up, then we picked up some readymade dinner to eat on our little patio bistro table. Lots of work and progress for one day.

Sunday was more of the same. I focused on cleaning the kitchen while Chris washed floors and got the dining room set up. He also made another trip to the storage unit and brought the rest of the big stuff back in the trailer. In the late afternoon, we walked over to the nearest neighbors to introduce ourselves. Both neighbors had lived there for decades and were very friendly. We managed to get some good info about the history of the house and the location of the property lines.

On Tuesday, we took the trailer down to Seattle and put it on the barge to Juneau. We'll fly up in a couple of weeks to fill it with the contents of our Juneau storage unit. It will be nice to see Mary and Kurt, and other Juneau friends while we're there!

The rest of the week has been work, work, and more work, interspersed with trips to Lowe's, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, etc. We've also been lining up various contractors and getting quotes. Chris has been scraping the icky "popcorn" ceiling texture in the guest rooms and getting ready to paint.

Last night we had a little fun, though. Leslie and David (formerly of Sunbreak) are in town looking at property. Yesterday, they came over to see the house, then we all went out for a nice Italian dinner. It was great to see them!

Today we made good progress in clearing out a lot of the junk that the sellers left in and around the house. We had a dumpster delivered earlier this week to handle it all. Earlier in the week, we cleared out the garage; today Chris cleared the area around the house. I did a little bit of clipping with the new garden tools Chris bought me!

We're really enjoying seeing the deer nearly every day. There are a mama and two babies that hang around this part of the neighborhood. We frequently see them walking past the living room windows, munching vegetation along the road, or even hanging out on the patio! [Heather]

7/29/2015  Bayside Road, Belllingham, WA Google Map
  Lots of progress, but much more still to do!

Let's see.... over the last ten days or so, we've done a lot of unpacking and arranging things. Yesterday I had great fun unpacking all the wonderful items I collected from Joan's house: the family bean pot, lots of interesting vases and serving pieces, the alabaster bookend, a few silver pieces from the Stockard side of the family, the peach and green tea set with snack plates, and of course, the egg cups with their own cozies. All of those things we will enjoy, and we'll enjoy the memories they bring back.

We've also been doing a lot of shopping as we keep finding things needed to fill in the gaps: multiple trips each week to Lowe's, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, and our favorite furniture consignment store, Fair Trade. So far our trips to Fair Trade have turned up a narrow console table to hold our bedroom TV and a wonderful small granite-topped table to sit next to the comfy chair in our kitchen (hopefully to be a pair of chairs as budget allows).

Chris, of course, has been working very hard. He's scraped the "popcorn" ceiling off one of the guest rooms, and painted the whole room. All that's left in that room is to add new trim, put in the new door and closet doors that are on order, and set up the furniture. So, should be ready for guests in a week or two!

While waiting for coats of paint to dry, Chris was also working on the garage. He emptied out all the leftover junk, tore out a wall that separated a storage area from the rest of the garage, and started painting the walls white to brighten up the area. In the process he managed to completely fill up the dumpster we had delivered. That was hauled away a few days ago.

Our other main job has been to hire help in various areas: we got the furnace serviced, hired a roofing contractor and a mason (for chimney work), found a landscaper who will work with me and teach me about gardening as we go, and got quotes for a couple of replacement windows in the dining/sun room and new windows in the master bedroom for the planned roof "bump-up". The outflow of cash is a little alarming at this point, but I'm confident the pace will slow shortly!

Today we're flying up to Juneau. Our red circus trailer arrived there on the barge a week ago. Tomorrow we'll empty out our Juneau storage unit and deliver the trailer back to the barge company. We're staying with Mary and Kurt and look forward to a nice visit with them. We also hope to catch up with a few other Juneau friends, along with cruising buddies Nicki and John who are currently in Juneau. Should be fun! We'll return to Bellingham next Tuesday. [Heather]

8/2/2015  Juneau, AK Google Map
  On Tuesday we had an uneventful flight from Bellingham to Seattle, then Seattle to Juneau. It was a pleasure to start our trip in Bellingham: an easy 15 - 20 minute drive to the airport, convenient parking, and no lines. We were already checked in, had only carry-on bags, and TSA Precheck so we walked in the terminal door, went straight through security, and were at the gate in under 10 minutes.

The 28-minute flight to Seattle was fun. We were on a 75-passenger, twin engine prop plane and flew low and slow down the coast to Seattle. It was a great opportunity to see all the harbors and islands from the air!

Kurt met us at the airport since Mary is still working. We've had a great visit so far! Thursday morning we borrowed Kurt's truck and picked up our red trailer from the barge lines. We worked hard most of the day and got the trailer loaded with almost everything from our storage unit. There were a few boxes I opted to sort and prune -- especially clothing. We left those things in storage temporarily and took the trailer back to the barge. We were exhausted!

Friday morning we headed back downtown. After dropping Mary at work, we went to the storage unit and sorted the remainder into donation items and trash. The donations we loaded into the car and delivered to a local charity. We also went to our Wells Fargo branch downtown, where we emptied our safe deposit box. Chris also redeemed and deposited a bunch of savings bonds that he had bought monthly when he was working. That was a really time consuming process, so we were glad that we'd headed to the bank early.

Saturday morning, we made one final trip to the storage unit, loading up the trash and sweeping the floor before relinquishing it. After a trip to the dump, we headed back to Kurt and Mary's where we made use of their burn pit to destroy a bunch of old financial records and tax returns.

Saturday night, Mary and Kurt had plans so we met up with Nicki and John (S/V Seychelles) for dinner. We didn't get a chance to spend time with them last winter, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to catch up!

Today should be full of leisure and fun. We're planning to cook a nice dinner for Mary and Kurt, and basically goof off most of the day. That will be a nice break. We'll have Monday for last minute errands and visits, then head back to Bellingham on Tuesday. Then back to work on the house and yard! [Heather]

8/13/2015  Bayside Road, Bellingham, WA Google Map
  Sorry it's been so long between log entries. Things have been crazy busy! We had a nice last day in Juneau, finishing with a wonderful dinner with friends, Gretchen and Bill. Our trip home to Bellingham went smoothly and we jumped right back into house and yard projects.

Shortly after our return, my "landscaping coach" Deborah started working with me. We've made great progress already! For two days we had some "heavy lifting" assistance from Jose, who cut down some scruffy trees and scraggly shrubs as well as doing battle with the blackberry thickets.

Deborah and I have cleared out the front street-side bed, neatened up the driveway area and front steps, and started "de-jungling" the area surrounding the patio. Between Deborah and Jose, we've sent over a ton of vegetation to the county composting facility!

Deborah and I will keep working on the yard together one or two days a week, and Jose will come back as needed for various projects around the house including tearing down the old rotten garden shed and helping Chris with some sheetrocking.

While we've been working on the yard, Chris has been plugging away on house projects. The first of the two guest bedrooms is nearly ready. Today Chris installed the new closet doors and room door. He has also stripped the popcorn ceiling from the second guest room and is preparing to start painting.

Meanwhile, the mason has been showing up occasionally to rebuild the chimney; we call him the "mystery mason" because we can never predict when he's going to show up or how long he's going to work! The roofers will start shortly after Chris returns from Boston.

Tuesday morning we drove down to Seattle to pick up the trailer from the barge lines. Since we knew the trailer was heavily loaded, we decided to rent a Ford F-150 pickup from U-Haul for the trip. I'm really glad we did. The overloaded trailer would have been a bit much for the Flex!

Yesterday we had fun -- Our friends Fro and Dan drove up from Mulkiteo to visit and see the house. We still had some peach blackberry tart left (peaches from the Farmer's Market and blackberries from our yard), so we enjoyed a light lunch of soup from the deli, smoked salmon dip and crackers, and the lovely tart. Yum! And it was great to catch up with Fro and Dan! [Heather]

9/3/2015  Bayside Road, Bellingham, WA Google Map
  Finally got a chance to take a breather and catch up on the log!

Right before Chris headed to Boston we celebrated our anniversary with a little break in all the work. We went to an afternoon movie ("Ricki and the Flash" -- great fun!) followed by an early dinner at one of the brewpubs downtown. Way too early the next morning, I dropped Chris at the airport (4 a.m.!) for his flight to Portland, connecting on to Boston.

I caught a quick nap, then was back up and headed out near the airport for an 8 a.m. appointment at the Pain Clinic for a cortisone shot in my foot. Way more involved than the ones I had in Boston! I was in the sterile "procedures room" with the doctor, an assistant, and an x-ray tech. After they numbed my foot, the doctor used the live imaging to get the needle precisely into the right part of my joint. A couple of days later, my left foot was pain free. Yippee! I guess I forgot to mention in my last log entry that I'd been to see an orthopedic surgeon in Bellingham. I'm hoping to postpone a little longer having the same surgery on my left foot that I had on my right foot four years ago.

While Chris was in Boston visiting Joan and Barbara, I continued working on projects around the house -- more landscaping with Deborah, unpacking boxes, and filing! Right before Chris left, we bought a file cabinet for the future office. It was very satisfying to file away all the piles of paper that had accumulated -- house documents, tax stuff for Joan and Barbara, and a lot of miscellany that we'd been carrying around.

I took a day off on the Saturday Chris was gone and drove down to Snohomish for the regional Portuguese Water Dog specialty. It was fun to renew acquaintances, and visit with old friends from the local PWD world. I also got to spend some time with Sandy Overton (Minnow's "mom") and made plans to visit her and Jim when Chris returned.

The day before Chris returned from Boston, the roofers started early! I had to do some scurrying around to get ready for them. I told the carpenter that he'd have to wait until after Chris came home to tear the roof off our bedroom! So, when I picked Chris up after the long flight from Boston and long layover in Seattle, we had to hurry home to work. Luckily, everything went pretty easily and we managed to move our bedroom furniture out and set up a temporary camp in the nearly-finished guest room. Then, we laid protective "ram board" over the hardwood floors.

The roofers zoomed along and got lots done, but on Friday it started to rain (of course....). It was the first substantial rain all summer, and it was a doozy! Over the weekend, a big fall-type storm blew through Washington State with very heavy rain and high winds.

Through the rain, we were visiting Sandy and Jim down in Port Orchard for two nights. We had a great time, and some excellent PWD snuggle time. We met Sandy's youngest dog, Ducky, who she is planning to breed this fall. We're keeping our fingers crossed; if all goes well, we should have a puppy from that breeding in about February!

We also got to participate in the annual Stargazer Family Reunion -- 33 people and 18 Stargazer dogs. Total chaos and great fun! The weather was awful, but Jim had managed to set up awnings over their large patio. Some folks and dogs even braved the weather to swim in the lake.

The house stayed mostly dry through the storm, but we've had rain off and on ever since, which has really slowed down roofing progress. Today the carpenter nearly finished framing the bumpout in our bedroom, but ran into rain again in the afternoon.....

Tomorrow Deborah and Jose will be back for more big landscaping projects. We may drag Chris in as well since we hope to move a good-size tree that has outgrown its container from near the front door to a nice spot along the driveway. [Heather]

10/9/2015  Bayside Road, Bellingham, WA Google Map
  Yikes, where do I begin after waiting so long to do a blog post?

Let's see... Landscaping: Deborah and Jose have taken over 3000 pounds of vegetation to the compost facility from our yard! We can actually see individual plants and it's wonderful! Chris and I met Deborah at her favorite nursery the day before their fall sale started. We jointly picked out several plants to add to our yard in holes that were left from the clearing out. The next day, Deborah picked up the plants and together we got them all planted. It's great to have some interesting new "faces" in the yard! Jose and Chris also cleaned up and rotated the old garden shed. Previously it was slightly on the neighbor's property and such a mess that it was unusable. It still needs some work, but it will eventually be good storage for our mower and other yard tools.

House projects: The roof is finally done, and we've paid the way-higher-than-we-expected bill. Unfortunately, most of the plywood under the roofing needed to be replaced, but we're glad to know that it is done right and completely sound. The "bump up" in the master bedroom looks spectacular!

Painting: both guest rooms are painted, have new trim, and nice doors and closet doors. The main guest room is fully furnished and has had the first overnight guest (Russ -- more about that later). As I write, Chris is putting the final touches on the paint in our master bedroom and bath. We're still camping out in the middle guest room and are looking forward to having our master back.

Another trip to Boston: Chris made an unplanned quick trip back to Boston to help Barbara with some problems. Now we have a "care management" firm in place to help with day-to-day oversight of Barbara's care. Ted, the care manager assigned to Barbara, was able to help Chris hire new aides to assist Barbara and is also coordinating appointments and other routine activities. It's wonderful to know that someone is keeping an eye on things and making sure Chris is informed about any changes in Barbara's condition.

Russ' visit: A couple of days after Chris returned to Bellingham, my brother Russ came to help out for about a week. We really appreciated his skills, and also the chance to brainstorm ideas with him. Russ and Chris got a lot done, including building a roof extension over the grill, installing the new clerestory windows in the master bedroom, finishing the cedar siding on the outside of the "bump up", figuring out a bunch of electrical mysteries, and installing yard hydrants.

Other visitors: Although Russ was our first overnight visitor, we've had other day visits from friends near and far. Fro and Dan (old sailing buddies from Alaska and Seattle) drove up to see the house and share a nice lunch with us. Nancy, a cruising friend from Mexico who spends summers in Anacortes, dropped by for a short visit after an appointment in Bellingham. And, while Russ was here Elizabeth (Liz) Kumin and her family came up for dinner. Russ enjoyed seeing Liz all grown up with kids of her own, 24 years after the Stockard/Tardif/Kumin trip to Kodiak aboard Legacy and Cirrus. And, he had great fun with Liz's kids Jonathon and Dahlia!

I'm really enjoying the deer and the hummingbirds in the yard. We see deer nearly every day and I'm happy to see them as long as they stay out of the herb garden I planted! The rufous hummingbirds have moved south now, but we have some Anna's hummingbirds that may stay for the winter.

In addition to our house and yard projects, I've been enjoying going to water aerobics at the local aquatic center about 10 minutes away. Also, we've both been enjoying cooking in our wonderful kitchen and shopping for great local produce and other items. We just got our Nexus cards approved by both US and Canadian customs so we can travel back and forth more easily. We even drove across into Canada to get the optional iris scan so that we can use our Nexus cards to fly into Canadian airports.

Poor Legacy is feeling a little neglected up in Blaine Harbor since most of our time and available funds are devoted to the house right now. We get up to check on her at least once a month and we're looking forward to exploring the islands more next spring and summer.

Next month, I'm planning to visit Joan and Barbara in the Boston area, then make a quick trip down to Nashville to see Monta. I'll be in Boston November 4 - 11, and Nashville November 12 - 14. [Heather]

11/2/2015  Bayside Road, Bellingham, WA Google Map
  Well, I had good intentions of updating our log more frequently! It's been a very social month. We've had a good time visiting with old friends and new.

In the middle of October, we celebrated my birthday. Chris made an incredible dinner for me: an appetizer of steamed mussels with a toasty slice of grilled bread, a main course of cedar-plank-grilled salmon with an ancho chile glaze accompanied by risotto cakes and sauteed chard, and a wonderful mocha cake with homemade walnut icing. Pretty wonderful, especially with a nice bottle of Prosecco to toast each course!

Just two days later, we did another birthday dinner -- for our friend, Dave, who came up from Seattle to celebrate. We made braised beef short ribs, garlic mashed potatoes, sauteed carrots, and a chocolate raspberry cake. Luckily, we froze most of my birthday cake and sent the leftovers of Dave's cake home with him! Dave spent the night, so we had more time to visit in the morning. We really enjoy his company!

Also during this period, I worked on starting to find local doctors. Chris and I both went for eye exams at a nearby optical office. I also had a new patient appointment with an internist. We are both very sad to lose the services of Dr. Nigborowicz at Lahey Clinic. Although the new internist seems nice enough, Dr. Nig is nearly impossible to replace.

Our next social activity was our first event at Mt Baker Theater. The concert by Jake Shimabukuro was incredible! He played an astounding variety of music on his ukulele, from traditional Hawaiian to rock and jazz. Our next event at the theater is tonight. I love Broadway musicals, so we're going to see "42nd Street".

A week ago Sunday, we had newer friends over to dinner. We had a very pleasant evening with Solveig (our realtor) and her significant other Matt and Ashley (our mortgage originator) and her husband Chad. Both ladies were wonderful to work with and went well above the call of duty in getting our house purchase to go smoothly. It was especially fun for Ashley to see the house since she only seen pictures and paperwork previously. And Solveig enjoyed seeing the improvements we've made in the house. She saw all the trash, dirt, and chaos we moved in to!

Although we had lovely weather through most of October, the rainy season is definitely moving in. We had enough of a break in the weather last Tuesday to move Legacy from Blaine down to the harbor in downtown Bellingham. It was definitely chilly, but nice to get out on the boat for a bit!

More social activity last Friday: we met friend and former Trooper dispatcher Pat Burrows for coffee about a half hour south of Bellingham as she was driving between visits with various family members. We had a great visit for about an hour, then continued south down to Lakewood. There we picked up the nice cherry dresser we had ordered. Now our master bedroom is officially complete!

Over the last couple of weeks, we've unpacked most of our art (both from Juneau and from Massachusetts). It was like visiting old friends! We've slowly been getting things hung on the walls.

This past weekend, we carved two pumpkins for Halloween, which came out really well if we do say so ourselves! We also put up a few decorations and bought way too much candy. All Saturday evening, we sat home waiting for trick or treaters. Not one single kid showed up! It was really disappointing! Most of the candy went into the freezer to be parceled out....

Early Wednesday morning, I leave for Boston. I'll visit with Joan and Barbara for a week, then travel to Nashville to visit Monta for a couple of days. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone! [Heather]