This is how my ancestors came to this double named valley, about 150 years ago. They arrived with less freight than many of us take camping, but they survived. Great-great-gandfather had just mustered out of the Union Army, as I can pick up the story. He had had enough of the east and wanted to go west.
It is winter here in the valley they liked so well they named it twice.
Not many places have a compound name that repeats itself. But we are unique here, sorta.
I have seen it terribly cold here (-35) and I have seen it horribly hot (117) in the past living here, but now it is winter. I am living in my tiny house. Miriam lives in the house with daughter and her family.
Seems like everything I build is at least somewhat experimental, and this tiny house is no exception.
It is well insulateld, but it does not have any thermal mass, that is it does not have heavy stuff that holds the heat. Our Idaho house had tons and tons of masonry, so if it was comfortable when you went to bed at 10 or 11, it cooled down only 8 or 10 degrees by morning.
Here it cools down more dramatically. Usually it is in the low 50’s when I get up. I start up the propane catalytic heater in the kitchen (6000 btu) and the one in the “big” room (3000 btu) and for the first hour or so I may use a 1500 watt electric heater, but it does not take long to be very comfortable.
I have well water coming into the house, that is I usually do. The cold last week went down to about 20 and froze the water line. Grr. Another experiment I get to work with. It won’t be too hard to fix the water supply as soon as it thaws a bit, which will be this week, I think!
Gray water runs out on the back lawn at this point, but will go into a mini-leach field soon. The toilet is composting and operates with a compost pile at the back of the property.
So, I am comfortable.
Last night, as I was talking to Miriam before returning to my tiny house, she kept saying that she did not remember us getting divorced. When I pressed her a little she said that since we did not sleep together that were probably divorced, but she could not remember it.
She stays in the house and has not been in the tiny house in a couple of weeks. It will continue like that. Getting around is very tedious for her. She doesn’t read, she doesn’t do puzzles, she just sits and stares straight ahead. And she sleeps a LOT.
We get her to bed between 8 and 9, and she will sleep until at least 10 the next morning. Then while she is sitting in her chair, she will doze off.
Daughter is a knitter, big time, and she made Miriam a cute wool hat with a pair of fingerless gloves to match. When it is cool, we put those on Miriam. She looks cute in them and it helps her keep warm.
So my and our life is good. We are comfortable and warm. We are well fed and well loved. What else could we ask?
This blog began as a spot to vent about my life with Miriam and her time with Alzheimer's disease.
She was diagnosed in '99 and her decline has been quite slow. In fact some of our best years of our long marriage have been these recent years.
Alzherimer's, at least her version is a disease of waiting. One shoe drops and it can be a very long time before the other one drops.
So life goes on.
At the beginning of this blog I told the story of our courtship and marriage, about out family and our personal journey with this disease. The part that scares the most is the anticipation as the disease slowly progresses.
So, I will touch on that subject from time to time, but the entries will tend toward comments on life. I'll leave politics and religion for others to worry about, not that I don't have strong opinions!
I have my hands full just looking after my wonderful Miriam.
We met when we were 6, began dating at 15 and have been together since. We will have our 56th anniversary this June.
We have four wonderful daughters. Smart, independent, awesome. They have given us 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. None of them are little any more. The oldest is 28 and married, the youngest is 14.
Until this last fall we lived in a hosue I designed and built in the '70's and it is pretty weird and wild, but very comfortable. Last summer the girls came to the conclusion that I really did need help dealing with Miriam. Now we live on a couple acres with daughter 1.
Life has been good. There is not much I would do different even if I could. We are rich beyond belief but chronically short of cash!
And, unless stated otherwise all the photographs are mine.