June, Summer Unfolding

By: PugetSoundPost , 2:15 PM GMT on June 05, 2014

June 21, 10:15 PM

Happy Summer Solstice! Ahhh, the first day of summer, and the longest day of the year too! There are sure a lot of months when we wish for this day. It was a nice one for us – sunny under a partially filtered sky and a high of 76. Unfortunately, other than to water my garden, I wasn’t out in it very much.

An update on my daughter’s knee: it has been diagnosed as a dislocated knee cap. No surgery for now, but a few weeks of PT and a big brace on her leg. We actually don’t know too much yet on how long this may take to really heal – a month was one estimate, but not too sure how much healing or mobility improvement was meant by that guess. Now she is at higher risk of this happening again, unfortunately. So summer plans are altered quite a bit for her, but not everything. I will write a bit more about her soon.

Here on the first day of summer I will give my little solar stats:

Sunrise: 5:10 AM ---- Sunset: 9:10 PM (PDT)
(losing 4 seconds tomorrow)

June 18, 7:30 AM

I wrote a post here yesterday, but suddenly “poof!” it was lost and I could not face starting over. So I decided to come back later and in the interim I have a different post to write anyway.

First, our weather has changed over what we did have for quite a few weeks during spring. It was a pretty nice spring overall – warmer, sunnier, and even drier than usual – at least for parts of it. We did have “record-setting” rains earlier in the spring, but it never really felt so much that way to me. Spring is usually pretty wet. By mid May the rains quit and it was quite dry for a few weeks. Then about a week ago it changed again. The clouds returned for mostly overcast days, rain was back most days, and then, naturally, it was cooler – even below average. It has never rained very hard, so it can putter along all day and not add up a whole lot, but we are now up to 1.00” even for the month of June, nearly all of that in the last week. Summer is our dry season, so this is decent with quite a bit of the month left to go. This morning is another overcast day. I do think the sun may come out this afternoon.

We have another college graduate in the family! Last weekend was the big commencement for my son and a couple of days before that was his department ceremony. We had a little party at home and so all in all graduation kept us busy for several days. We lucked out for commencement as it didn’t really rain! Both days around it were considerably wetter, but while Saturday remained overcast and cool, it didn’t rain on us in the stadium. Yay! The ceremony went well, stayed perfectly on time, and is always a big and festive occasion. Three down and one to go! In a couple more years she should be finished.

The other news is about my daughter, off at Marines Officer Candidates School. Well, she is home, as of last night. Last week we did hear some news from her when I did not expect it – a letter and then a phone call on their liberty weekend. The first news was that over a week ago she was getting her stitches taken out of her chin. She had hit her chin on the butt of her rifle when diving to the ground in an exercise. By the time we heard of this, the stitches were long out and she seemed to be moving forward from that incident. Then we heard that last weekend she was on crutches with an undetermined knee injury. They were allowed five days of “light duty” due to medical reasons and would be evaluated along the way. It didn’t sound promising for her. They did some evals of the knee but couldn’t really find anything “wrong or broken”, but something obviously was. It was quite swollen and stiff. By yesterday they determined that she wasn’t improving enough, they suspect something is torn in the knee and they wanted her to go home, have an MRI and determine a proper diagnosis. So she was immediately shipped home, arriving in Seattle the middle of last evening. Another female was shipping out the same time, also on crutches. My daughter is able to walk on it without crutches now, but the knee is quite unstable and needs attention. We need to figure out some next steps today – which isn’t as easy as it seems – waiting for military direction on it. It seems that if she could have avoided this and hung on even to just this weekend she may have had a good shot at “making it” for this course. But we are claiming “victory” in that she was not “cut” and because she had to leave for an injury, she is eligible to re-apply. If you drop out on your own decision, or are “cut” or from some infraction, you are not able to re-apply. Not sure at this point what she may want to do with this in the future, but she seems positive about the experience and no matter what, she has had some amazing experiences that she can carry with her through life that not many others around us have ever had, and I think without a doubt she has learned a great deal about herself and what she can do. She faced some scary situations head-on and beat them, and that is a life lesson that is so very valuable.

June 5, 7:15 AM

June is here and so is summer for us. I have decided that spring, as we most typically think of it, has passed behind. The weather has kind of pushed me to the decision.

It has been a lovely spring - now going into summer. For us the record-setting rain of even early in May has stopped. We haven't had a decent rain here in some time now. May 23 was our last meaningful rain and there was not much for a good spell before that. And now nothing is in sight, maybe a chance of showers next week. Meanwhile, the days have had a lot of sunshine and mainly in the 70's (some 80's!). Seems like summertime to me!

My garden is planted and coming up. I don't have too much variety and I wanted to keep it simple. I have some bush green beans, zucchini (haven't grown this in a long while but decided to go back to it), two types of pumpkins, some tomato plants, and a few peppers. And just yesterday I finally officially finished up and planted some sunflowers. So far it all looks good and now I am hoping to keep the bunnies or any other problem out of it all. No guarantees on that. But with it growing and needing to keep up on water for it, this is a perfect sight of summer.

I have worked in the yard quite a bit and made some nice progress in an area that has not had a lot of attention. Cleared weeds, trimmed back bushes substantially, and now I am in the middle of putting down bark all along that bed. I would be finished but the store ran out of the bark I was using and so I am stopped. Plus, I have run out of time for now. But at least it looks pretty reasonable in its unfinished state and it is hard to tell unless someone looked closely.

Tis the season for graduations and we are no exception. First, we are heading this weekend to eastern Washington to attend our nephew's high school graduation in a small town. It will be nice to go, see everyone, and also just hit the road, even briefly like this. As Briar has written about, once you cross the Cascades into the east side, you are in a whole different world for landscape, climate, and economy. So it really does make you feel like you have taken a much larger trip.

Then once back, we immediately have a family birthday and then next week and weekend we have graduation events for my son, child #3, as he completes university! He is super anxious to finish and be done. The big commencement ceremony is on June 14, so not far away now. He is busy wrapping up with papers, tests and a final next week.

My youngest child, daughter, recently completed a milestone of earning her Private Pilot's license! She has been working on it for almost one and a half years. Three different instructors, two different flight schools, a lot of down time due to weather problems (months on end, actually), and a strenuous university class load have slowed the process, but now she has it! Good job!

And, there is more to her story. She plans to use her flying skills in the military. In fact, she is currently back in Virginia attending the very demanding and rigorous Marines Officer Candidates School! Her goal is to fly an aircraft for the Marines. She is in step one of the process. She must pass OCS, which for her is a two summer program - six weeks this summer and another six weeks next summer. IF she can pass all of this, then she will be commissioned when she graduates from college and then be on her way. Getting this far was rigorous to be accepted, but now she is really in it, neck deep, pretty literally. She is scheduled to return home in early July. That is if she hangs on that long, isn't injured, and can keep up with it all. Who knows. The drop out rate for various reasons is "high". And for females it is extra tough. But, she loves adventure, has a lot of capabilities, and a lot of determination so this will truly test her mettle. I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, here is a summary of May for us:


Average High Temperature: 73
Average Low Temperature: 49
High Temperature: 91 (May 1)
Low Temperature: 43 (May 11)
Wettest Day: May 3 (.90" rain)
Days of Measurable Precipitation: 15
Days of 80+ degrees: 7

Total Rain for May: 2.36"

June 5

Sunrise: 5:12 AM --- Sunset: 9:02 PM (PDT)
(gaining 1 minute, 13 seconds tomorrow)

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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18. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
5:29 PM GMT on July 15, 2014
PugetSoundPost has created a new entry.
17. calpoppy
3:44 PM GMT on July 04, 2014
Happy 4th!!

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
16. PugetSoundPost
3:41 PM GMT on July 03, 2014
July is here and it started off great - a high of 95 for us on the 1st! Yesterday was much cooler but still reached 83 when the sun broke through in the afternoon. A very nice day. Now this morning is cloudy again and we expect to see the sun less and even cooler yet.

But, a big project is about to launch! Our deck project, delayed well over a year now, is set to begin! It will probably go along in jerks as there are other things still needing doing that will have to jump ahead in line at times, but at least it looks like a start.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
15. PugetSoundPost
4:57 AM GMT on July 01, 2014
Hi WTS and Briar - Yes, the dislocated knee cap is simpler than anything that may have torn in the knee (initial thought). In the short term it is an easier diagnosis. She also has bruised bone where the knee cap slapped against the underlying bone when it slid sideways and back again. She is doing better, the bracing and taping keep changing with doctor and PT visits and is now a smaller version with the brace. However, the long term picture is that because of her quite flexible joints and loose knee caps, and now that this has happened once, it is something that will be a risk through her life and can happen again more easily.

A nice day today! Sunshine and summer warmth. Tomorrow should be even better!

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
14. WatchinTheSky
5:32 PM GMT on June 30, 2014
Well, at least the canopies didn't launch into the next county! Adding to the memories, right? Sounds like a good time anyway :) We have a couple canopies in the backyard, they are screwed down to the concrete patios - after one tried to jump a 5 foot fence and visit the neighbors!

I missed the part about dislocated knee cap, but that does seem better that torn ligaments (the initial comments sounded dire) - even with advancements in surgery! Ah, to be young and look forward to quick recovery.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
13. PugetSoundPost
12:45 AM GMT on June 30, 2014
Hi Briar, Your idea with the pavers holding down the canopy sounds good, and is an obvious need.

We had our picnic/BBQ yesterday in the park. I wrote that I was a little worried about rain. Well, I should go back and erase that word and replace it with wind. We arrived early to begin setting up, including with our two new canopies. The location of our tables that we reserved has a wonderful lake and beyond view. But, with that view comes full-on exposure to the southerly wind that was blowing pretty hard yesterday afternoon. There was a breeze at home but nothing like the wind we got into at our picnic tables. A steady blow aiming right at our tables with nothing to block it, white caps on the lake, and no alternative to the picnic location or plan. Invited people were coming and we needed to figure it out. Rain was still also a threat and we did indeed have some sprinkles, that looked like it could worsen, and then that WIND! Mr. PSP and the rest of us battled to set up our canopies - a maiden voyage with those and not under conditions they are designed for. The tarps were ready to launch, flapping wildly this way and that. Luckily, Mr. PSP did have foresight to bring a lot of extra ropes and bungees and after a long battle, a few re-designs along the way, in the end both canopies were up, and pretty stable - anchored to nearby trees, the tables, and each other to form one long roof. Well, the wind continued to blow all afternoon but it really never did rain. By evening the wind began to lesson somewhat and the sky was quite pretty - lots of clouds, some clearing, a bit of sunshine late afternoon/evening, but it was also changeable too.

We did manage to BBQ, used most of our foods and the things we brought to anchor the table cloths, and in the end I think everyone had a good time and it seemed to go okay. Memorable for sure. Our son-in-law leaves late tonight for a month in Alabama for the Air Force, then onto Maryland to begin medical school. He is excited and a new life chapter begins. Our daughter will follow late in the summer.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
12. BriarCraft
10:54 PM GMT on June 28, 2014
A dislocated kneecap doesn't sound good, but certainly better than a torn ligament.

Jane, believe it or not, your zinnias are doing better than mine. Mine got up to about 2 inches high, then damped off with some dusty fungus and died. :{

We have one of those 12x12 gazebo covers, like you describe and use it in our courtyard every summer. It goes up whenever hot weather arrives and goes down when fall coolth sets in. We stack pavers on the base of the poles and that works just fine to anchor them. The weather here is improving as the day progresses, so I hope that is the case in your neighborhood, too.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
11. PugetSoundPost
2:51 PM GMT on June 28, 2014
This afternoon we are heading to a park to help my daughter throw a "good-bye party" for her husband, who is leaving for the Air Force and then medical school late tomorrow night. She will stay in town till later in August.

She has invited people for a BBQ and we have some reserved tables near a beach. This morning there is a rough looking sky, more breeze than you really like, and showers are possible this morning (did rain last evening and overnight some). But by this afternoon another shortwave embedded in the flow coming out of a low spinning around closer to Alaska will swing through, "increasing the showers especially this afternoon and evening". A convergence zone may set up (colliding winds that produce showers or rain in a more localized area - like where we live and I think the park may be in the zone - and the convergence zone can shift over time, drifting in location).

So, it does not look like a great day for a picnic and the party may end up "dampened". Last night Mr. PSP was out running around shopping for square canopies that you put up over tables or chairs (tent tops on poles, pretty much, with no sides) and he has two 12'x12' canopies now. My vision is that they are not too good in much breeze, but we have no real practical experience with them yet. We don't have any other real option for the party (when we reserved, only a week ago, all of the covered shelters at two candidate parks were already booked - imagine that - and so we ended up with a grouping of open air tables. Rain was in the forecast for today then but it is worse now, rather than back then more of just a "possible threat". Now I need to get going on gathering up all that we are bringing, which has grown exponentially over this week. My daughter is swamped and we can do this. Not long now and they will be so far away. In Maryland. I'll come back afterward and update on how it really turns out.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
10. JanesVacation
7:21 PM GMT on June 23, 2014
Oops, forgot to say CONGRATULATIONS to you and your husband for raising such accomplished students. It takes a village to raise kids and sounds like things are going well for them and their futures!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9. JanesVacation
7:20 PM GMT on June 23, 2014
Yes, I am growing zinnias this year. They are getting a rocky start. Most are only about 2 inches high. Our weather has continued to be cold and wet. The weekends have been dry, which is great because my husband only has Saturday and 1/2 of Sunday at home since he is working in Chicago.

My parents are great role models for our families. They are 79 and 83 and healthy and active after raising 4 kids. They are thankful for the blessings they have each day.

Rainy day today. Im headed out for my 4 times a week walk. I should probably go more often, but 4 times seems to suit my schedule. I have been doing this for 7 years. I should be thin, but I enjoy the "treats" too much! :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. BriarCraft
11:12 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
That is really interesting about your daughter's experience at MOCS. Regardless of what comes next, as you say, she has had some great life lessons and she now knows a lot more about her physical and mental limits. I do hope the knee isn't permanently damaged. Some types of damage can heal just fine, but sometimes, the injury is never quite right even after surgery. We'll just have to hope for the best.

Oh, BTW, Calpoppy and I are trying to put together a Flickr photo challenge group. If that sounds interesting, please go over to her blog, starting at Comment #33.
http://www.wunderground.com/blog/calpoppy/comment .html?entrynum=50
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. PugetSoundPost
9:24 PM GMT on June 18, 2014
Hi WTS and CP! It is good to have our daughter home and hear about her adventures, but I would have liked to see her finish and pass, of course! Actually this puts her two years behind, I believe. The next opportunity would be a post-graduate OCS course that is ten weeks long but you just go once. She has two more years of college and I don't think she can repeat the program she is in, or was in. It is year-specific while in college - a college junior year and senior year program. She is getting around on her knee, with a decided limp, but we are still waiting for direction on how to proceed, that is coming in the mail because their computer system was down yesterday when they could have printed and sent them with her and saved several days of time, but a day of rest today seems beneficial.

The sun is trying to come out today and it is shining some but it is still considerably cloudy.

UPDATE 6/19: I have to come back here and make a correction - apparently my daughter can return next year (upon application approval - she does need to re-apply) or the following year. There are a couple of different program options. It is all still an open option for her in her mind as she considers it in the coming months. I have found out that there are a lot of details that have not been clear to me and I am having to correct. Funny how the older you get the less you know --- sometimes!

Also, CP - You probably know but Sequim is a lovely area - wonderful setting with Puget Sound on one side and the Olympic Mountains as a beautiful backdrop. The climate is better there - the "banana belt" with a lot less rain than most other western Washington locations due to the rain shadow effect from the Olympics. A great lavender area and out of the metropolitan noise. A little trickier to get to, being off the beaten path and needing (most realistically) a ferry to get there and then a bridge that can be closed now and then. I have had relatives there, but no longer. The house idea sounds like a fun project, if everyone has the energy to put into it - but sounds like your family has willing helpers!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. calpoppy
8:00 PM GMT on June 18, 2014
Even when our kids get older they still have some unexpected surprises for don't they? Hope she will be okay! This puts her back a whole year which is to bad!

It looks like my oldest son and DIL are determined to live in Sequim. They are actively looking for a house there even though they won't live there for another couple of years. They want a fixer upper and will go up there as much as they can before they move to fix it up. Something for mom and Mr. P to help with too :) Would be fun to go up there!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
5. WatchinTheSky
6:16 PM GMT on June 18, 2014
A visit from the 'kids' is always nice, even when the reason is unexpected! We will hope for a thorough recovery and back into MOCS! And congrats on another grad :D Nice job!

Where you seem to be trending toward a wet 'dry season', we are on normal track - no rain. But there is still talk of El Nino building, so maybe we'll get some this fall ;D
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. PugetSoundPost
2:54 AM GMT on June 13, 2014
Thanks Cal and Briar! It has been a busy quite a few days and we are still in the middle of it. We were out of town last weekend, had a family birthday this week and now today Part 1 of UW graduation! My son's department graduation ceremony was today and we are just now settled again at home from it all. Then on this Saturday is the Big commencement in the stadium. Currently a storm seems to be brewing up, but we really lucked out today. Showers and t-storms have been forecast for today and we were planning a long "photo shoot" around campus with our grad in his cap and gown this afternoon. I was afraid it would wash out and I was really hoping to get it done today, our best opportunity. Lots of grads can be seen doing the same thing around campus, mostly outdoors. Well, the sun was out and it was quite a lot warmer than expected! A bit windy, however, which will show in the photos with blowing hair and robe and tassel. But now this evening it seems more threatening outside. Still no rain.

As for my daughter, she is still back at OCS and I guess hanging in there. We are on a communication blackout for at least a couple more weeks. "Radio silence". Good to hear you and your late husband's background, CP. We know that being able to eventually fly is tough sledding for the military. However, IF she can pass OCS this summer, and again next summer, she is supposedly guaranteed a seat in an aircraft with the Marines. That is why she chose this branch to pursue. I keep wondering about the "fine print" somewhere that may say otherwise, but so far we are going on this assumption. I will say that not much over a year ago I did not see this coming with her, and it shows how little we know lies around each corner, but I also see this, now, as a good fit for her in many ways. But I think she is a good fit for many things. This is certainly something new to our whole family and I suspect she will have stories to tell once returning home!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. calpoppy
8:11 PM GMT on June 12, 2014
The wash out rate for pilots in the military is high! But I am sure your daughter understands all the ups and downs of being a military aviator!! My late husband was a naval aviator, he flew A-4 Skyhawks, landed on carriers and did bombing runs in Vietnam. My sons are very proud of his accomplishments. I think my boys saw Topgun a million times, LOL!!!

Congrats on both your kids, graduating and going for a dream. Great job, mom!!!!!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. BriarCraft
6:21 PM GMT on June 12, 2014
Yes, the incessant spring rains have finally vanished to be replaced by summer weather. I was late getting the garden in because it took so long for it to dry out enough to work.

I was a bit surprised to wake up to something between mist and drizzle, but the sun is out now. I doubt if we got any measurable precip, though I see a bit green blob on the radar that may douse us later today.

I am fascinated by your daughter's story. I wish she wasn't interested in the military and chose another way to make flight her career. On the other hand, it is exciting that she is testing her limits to learn just what she can do. Good for her! Please keep us posted on her progress.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. WatchinTheSky
5:15 PM GMT on June 05, 2014
First! Garden is sounding great, good luck with the bunnies! It seemed like nonstop rain up there, I guess not with 2.3" for a total - I'd sure take that!
Congrats to your youngest on the pilot license! And planning on Marine aviator - nice!

This seems to be an off year for us with grads, I don't think we are off to see any.
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Weather has been a lifelong passion for me; while my husband and 4 kids, all grown, and one of them now married, have patiently gone along with me!

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