Wednesday, September 09, 2020

My father, a German half-Jew, discussing similarities between Trump and Hitler (July, 2016)

 Look what I came upon as I reviewed video conversations I had with my father during the years before he died, when he was finally willing to talk about his experiences as a half-Jew (a "mischling") in WWII Germany. 

Dad wrote prolifically about his experiences, but he insisted that his books and stories be only for family, never for people he didn't know. I begged him to publish his memoir, stressing the importance of his first-person voice during a time when those voices were growing quieter and quieter, while another voice - that of Donald Trump - was becoming louder and louder," but he refused, saying only, "You can tell my story when I'm gone" - which is becoming my life's work.

This video conversation with Dad, shot at his house in Ashland, Oregon in July, 2016, four months before Trump was elected and seven months before he died (I swear, Trump's election killed him), is chilling, prescient, and terrifying. 

As much as I miss him, I'm glad he's not alive to witness what's happening in our country. He totally called it.



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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Tom does it again: A "gar-lodge" project almost two year in the making (and counting)

Back in late 2017, when we decided to scrap the idea of building in Suncadia and instead decided to move to Gig Harbor, we bought a house that kept coming up on Tom's Redfin searches, but never on mine.

Why? Because I checked that box that says "must have a garage" and Tom didn't.

Yep, we bought a house with no garage - and only one real closet! I knew storage space was going to be an issue, especially storage of Tom's massive collection of tools, machines, and other gizmos, but Tom had big plans - he was gonna build a workshop. 

As you probably know from Tom's previous projects in our Woodinville home, he does amazing work. He is truly a craftsman, but he is sloooow, methodical, and meticulous. So when he begins a major project I brace myself for the long haul - and I knew this project would take a while.

It began about a year and a half ago, in February, 2019. The idea was to create a workshop attached to and just behind the car port. The first step would be to grind down a huge stump that was in the way and to pour a large, deep slab. Fortunately, we hired both those tasks out.
 



 
Once the foundation was in, Tom's work began. I don't know the technical terms for everything he did, but I do know that these thingamabobs held some really heavy concrete blocks in place.























Once those blocks were in, "lodge" became the guiding word! Look at these heavy beams!




Next: the walls. For the walls, as well as for the roof, our dear friend Neal came to help Tom. Goodness knows, I was useless as a helper. 





See those three square boxes on the near wall in the above photo? Those will contain windows meant to mimic the three windows way up high on the house.
Before the roof could go on, Tom and Neal had to lay down more big, heavy, "lodgy" beams.

Of course, Tom insisted on the same green metal roof that we have on the house.




Tom's projects live in his mind. No real architectural plans, no formal drawings, nothing - so it was only at this point that I came to understand what his "gar-lodge" would ultimately look like. I loved how it was taking shape!



Being... well, me... I was focusing more on this. The mess-for-months-on-end in the carport was driving me nuts. 

 
Next step: every inside surface was covered with pegboard. This was to be, after all, a WORKSHOP! Tom was going to build a workbench, but then found some adjustable-height work tables. Brilliant! They're on wheels, so can be rolled pretty much anywhere, individually or together, for just about any project.

Finally, it was time to get stuff out of the carport and begin moving it into the workshop. I'm kind of ashamed to admit how excited I was about this milestone.



I just love some of the finishing touches and fixtures Tom insisted on!



Of course, Tom's attention to detail extends to outside the workshop, as well, including shingles all around. I love the little "swoosh" at the bottom of the shingles. Eventually, he'll install rock along the workshop foundation - and he's busy making a gorgeous wood and rock staircase right now.

 
 Eventually, Tom will make a set of shingled barn doors to close his workshop off from the carport. And you know by now that he has to do something special to those as well, right? It'll likely look something like this.

And you KNOW I love this!


 
Next project (because there always is one...): creating a new and improved entryway. 

Tom will work on the entryway (creative and fun) next summer at the same time that contractors will rebuild our deck (not creative and not fun). Our current deck is in desperate need of a facelift. Hell, it's in desperate need of a complete re-do!


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