Thursday, December 31, 2009
After all the running around yesterday done by all of us -- the guys getting Auntie Violet's oil changed and Juni and I shopping -- none of us were moving very fast this morning. We had some of the gargantuan Costco muffins that we had picked up yesterday for breakfast, then Juni and I went out again to Trader Joe's and Sam's Club to get the things we didn't yesterday. I've had "Two Buck Chuck" at the neighbors and enjoyed it and we've been drinking it while we've been here in Albuquerque. I had never been to a Trader Joe's before, just heard about it from lots of folks. Now that I've been in one, it won't be the last time! I came home with a case of "Two Buck Chuck" red table wine (even if it's now $2.99 a bottle instead of $1.99...).
While we were gone, Forry introduced Tom to Sudoku puzzles. Tom's spent the evening playing it on the computer, Forry's playing it in a puzzle book, Juni is playing Party Poker on the computer and I've been dealing with my farming on Facebook. Quite a subdued New Year's Eve gathering, but we're all too stuffed to do anything more energetic. I had fixed some brie wrapped in pastry with apples and pears this afternoon while we were waiting for the ribs which hasn't helped either!
I do hope this note finds everyone ready for 2010! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
It was lightly snowing most of the day and all of the luminara (paper bags on roofs and walkways with lit candles or battery driven lamps in them) on the roofs were very pretty (which is the main reason I had wanted Forry to see it during the holidays). We took a walk around the Plaza. There were quite a few Native Americans sitting in front of the Governor's Palace selling jewelry, but not nearly what there had been when we were here in the summer time.
We asked several of the artists about repairing jewelry and everyone we asked told us to "go see Bobby." Juni had a stamped silver bead necklace that needed to be re-strung as well as a concho bell that needed a new leather belt. I have an old (I bought it at least 45 years ago) petit point bracelet that had lost a silver roundel (small disk) between the parts of the turquoise and a petit point ring that Forry had given me last year that had lost one of its turquoises.
We followed directions and found Bobby's stall "Walk in Beauty" down in the rear bottom of one of the malls. He wasn't there, but his two sons were and they said all our items could be repaired, but that we needed to go see "The Fast Draw" in another mall to get a new piece of leather for the concho belt.
So by the end of the day, we managed to get everything fixed. Bobby was quite impressed by my bracelet, said they "just weren't made like that anymore." He said I could have ruined the value if I had let someone who really didn't know how to carefully and with real low intermittent heat to solder the new roundel (which he made). They would have either cracked the adjoining turquoise (0r they would have had to remove them). And if we had been able to find the roundel and glued it in, that would also have devalued it. I am so glad we were able to get it fixed properly and it looks wonderful!
We had a long wait (after six PM) to get everything finished (Juni's beads needed to be re-strung on a new chain which someone had to go after -- the original wasn't strong enough which is why it broke in the first place). We got back to Albuquerque after eight and had a late seafood dinner.
Today Tom and Forry took Auntie Violet to an RV dealer here in Albuquerque and had the oil in her engine, generator and transmission changed. They had to be at the dealers by 8 AM, so left here a bit after seven. They came back after they had delivered her and both of them went back to bed...
Juni and I took advantage of the fellows' absence to spend the day running errands. We ended up at Coldwater Creek (she had to return some items). They just happened to be having a sale. I ended up with two new pairs of jeans and Juni found a couple of outfits as well. Then we went to a place called Sephora which sells makeup so Juni could buy some eye shadow. It turned out that they sold Clinique as well, so I was able to restock my supply.
Truly a great couple of days for the ladies!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
It's late, so I tell some stories about our trip tomorrow!
Monday, December 28, 2009
In the meantime, I took advantage of Junie's generosity with her washer and dryer and got all of my laundry done! I also did some work on the household books. I had finally decided -- after much fretting about it -- to go ahead and allow Quicken to do an automatic download of my accounts from the credit union. But then I couldn't make it work! I guess I'll have to give them a call and see what else I have to do...
Tonight we watched football with the Bears and the Vikings. It was a lackadaisical first half, but the second half was really exciting, ending up with an overtime win by the Bears. The guys had picked up Papa Murphy's pizza while they were out, so we had an easy supper.
Tomorrow we are hoping that the weather will cooperate so that we can take a day trip to Santa Fe!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Junie and Tom had gotten a terribly complex "Country Music" puzzle as a Christmas gift. I tried to count the number of faces of stars on it this morning, but gave up after 150 or so. What is impressive is that Junie can identify just about every one of them -- and the songs they made famous! She says it's 'cause she grew up in Tennessee.
Today this lovely woman made Green Chili Stew with beans and ham on the side. I think I've found a new favorite cold weather dish. Junie was kind enough to make the main pot pretty mild with extra green chilies and red sauce on the side. She served it with flour tortillas crisped over the gas stove. Umm, it was all so good!
We lazed around most of the day watching football and reading the Sunday papers. I think the only constructive task any of us did (other than Junie cooking!) was to get the garbage ready for tomorrow's collection...
Friday, December 25, 2009
Even with filled stockings awaiting us in Auntie Violet's living room, we had a tough time getting going this morning! 2 AM is a bit past our normal bedtime! To say nothing of the amount of holiday libations our hosts kept pouring...
After we got our gifts opened, I did go over to help Junie with Christmas dinner. She had made a great deal of it ahead of time, but there is still always quite a bit to do towards the end. Junie fixed both a turkey and a ham, cornbread dressing, a scrumptious pecan encrusted yam casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, corn, rolls, cranberries! I'm not quite sure how many people we ended up with for dinner as they sort of came and went from both Junie and Tom's families. The hit of the day though was Cyrus, their 9 month old great-grandson. He entertained everyone!
We didn't have dinner until about 3 PM, thinking we would have a light supper of leftovers tonight. But, by evening we were all still feeling too stuffed to eat any more!
It's been really unseasonably COLD here! It's already 25 degrees and predicted to drop at least another ten tonight. I think we need to begin to think seriously about heading further south! Forry does want to get Auntie Violet's engine, transmission and generator oil changed while we are here and we're going to need to replace the front tires on the toad. We also want to take a day trip to Santa Fe with Tom and Junie, so it may be the end of next week before we get headed to warmer country!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
We had planned to stay at Meteor Crater RV Park for two nights, spend a day exploring the crater and then head to our friends house in Albuquerque to spend Christmas. But how quickly plans can change! Tom called us early Monday morning wanting to know if we had looked at the weather forecast? He said there was a weather warning out for a freezing rain and then a snow storm that was supposed to come in that evening and make for treacherous driving and roads on Tuesday when we had planned to travel.
Not wanting to deal with those kind of conditions, we decided to go ahead and leave that morning. We dumped the black and grey tanks and got everything stowed, then stopped at the office to let them know we were leaving a day early. I was VERY surprised when the lady gave us a cash refund for the night we were not going to be there!
About half way to the Arizona border, there was a sign over the freeway saying that Interstate 40 was closed 100 miles ahead. We called Tom to see if there had been anything on the news about why they had closed the freeway. He checked the New Mexico DOT website which said there had been a truck accident at the Continental Divide with a chemical spill. The east bound lanes were closed and west bound had only one lane open. The map on the website showed a short four mile detour around the accident site using the frontage road.
When we got to New Mexico, we stopped at the Welcome Center to get a new map of New Mexico to replace my rather tattered one. The lady there said they were recommending that people leave I-40 at Milepost 20 and take Hwy 503 south and then rejoin I-40 on milepost 53. Well, we looked at the map and saw that it was a detour considerably out of the way and a lot further then the 4 mile detour the DOT map showed.
So we pressed on -- but not for long! At Milepost 26 the eastbound traffic was pulled off the freeway and routed down through NM 11 & 371. The first hour or so was interesting as we were in gorgeous back country that we normally would not have seen. Lots of cliff and red rock and eroded spindles to see as well as many farmsteads with hogans near the main house. But after it began to get dark, it was just long and boring. The road was rough and bounced Auntie Violet around pretty good, even only going 4-5 miles an hour.
We kept in touch with Tom whenever we could get cell phone reception (remember this is NM and cell towers are few and far between at best!) and the Department of Transportation website NEVER did change its four mile detour map! We finally got back onto the freeway about 7:20, but didn't meet any traffic coming from the west for a long while. When we got to the spot where they were being diverted, we saw two lanes of traffic backed up for three miles before they even got onto the detour!
Our 2 1/2 to 3 hour trip to Albuquerque ended up taking us over eight hours! The gorgeous lights of the city were a very welcome sight when we reached Nine Mile Hill and could see it sprawled out below us.
To add insult to injury, the storm is stalled to the north and still hasn't got here!
It's very late, so this will only be a short note. I'll explain tomorrow how our 3 hour trip to Albuquerque turned into an 8 hour odyssey!
But we are here safely and have had a wonderful shrimp (spicy!) soup and several glasses of wine and good company!
So to all, a good night!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
This RV park has small pea gravel at each of the sites and is landscaped with natural desert plants. It has corrals for traveling horses and fenced areas for dog runs, plus a store that carries a good selection of both food and RV necessities.
I was going to take my turn driving on some of these straight Arizona highways, but a quick "sit" in the driver's seat made it real clear that it wouldn't work well with the back brace I am still wearing for another few weeks. I guess I'll have to let Forry be the designated driver until next year!
As we drove along today, we came to the long stretches of juniper forests. They're not very tall trees, but they are a deep green with lovely shapes...
And in the drier country, sagebrush in bloom!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Forry disconnecting the electric this morning at our site on the end of the row:
Friday, December 18, 2009
And starts the drive around...
Thursday, December 17, 2009
It was definitely time to be back on the road this morning! We had everything ready to go and pulled up in Auntie Violet to the office at Seven Feathers RV Resort waiting for the mail to arrive this morning. Unfortunately the package of prescriptions I had ordered from the Group Health pharmacy still hadn't arrived -- so the 7 Feathers staff said they would forward them to our friend's house in Albuquerque. It was sort of funny when the lady at the desk said that since we had stayed for six nights, we could not stay one more night for free -- but it didn't take more than a minute for us to say "Thank you, but no thanks!"
This is the view going south down Interstate 5 right after we left Seven Feathers:
We ended up this evening back at Old Orchard RV Park in Orland, California, a place we've stayed at several times before. Not wanting to unhitch the Toad, we walked a couple of blocks to a restaurant at Portuguese Plaza for dinner. We shared an entree of very nicely spiced pork cutlets along with a piece of real cherry pie (not canned pie filling!) for me and some pumpkin pie for Forry.
We've left the front slides in on Auntie Violet and have just put out the bedroom slide as we want to keep going early tomorrow now that we're finally on the road again!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
We really enjoy our adult children -- and their families. When they were little there were so many other immediate things to think about that I cannot recall ever spending much time speculating about what they might be like as grown-ups. Nor did I ever think about them as being "friends" with their parents (or each other!) when they grew up. We were fortunate enough to spend time at our older daughter Mary Mae's in Mount Vernon this summer while her husband was getting things ready for her 50th birthday party. While I was recuperating from my back surgery, we had time in Spokane with Son Sean. Then recently we were able to spend a few days in Hubbard with Dawn's crew.
Each one of the "kids" has a very different personality. Sometimes I wonder how they could be siblings! Then again, they have so many things in common. All three are very devout and have a strong faith. Each of them has an interesting sense of humor and a very strong sense of family. I marvel at the way their minds work and the way they approach life. We have indeed been blessed!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
We were going to leave this morning, but were waiting for my prescriptions to come in the mail -- and they didn't make it today. With the rain and fog, it was easier to decide to stay here for another day.
I just finished reading Bone by Bone by Carol O'Connell. Sister Roxy (who's celebrating a very special birthday today!) said she couldn't put it down when she read it. It's a page-turner! I've started reading To Ride Hell-s Chasm by Janny Wurts, another Roxy recommendation. I can't think of a better way to spend a rainy, rainy wet day.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Auntie Violet always preens a bit when she acquires her Christmas swag:
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Tonight we took the shuttle up to the casino and ate at the buffet. When you trying to watch what you eat, buffets are both easy and hard. There's a lot of temptation, but also a lot of choices...
I had a chance to chat with both Sister Sherry and Brother Pat today. It's warmed up at Sherry's, though she said it's still pretty nasty in Walla Walla. Brother Pat and his family have spent the weekend celebrating with my niece Ashley as she graduated from the nursing program at Washington State University and the Intercollegiate College of Nursing Education in Spokane, They had ceremonies both in Pullman (for WSU) and Spokane (for ICNE -- which is my alma mater as well!). Ashley will be taking her Nursing Boards in January and will most likely be working at one of the Seattle hospitals.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
We made it a bit of a lazy day today, reading and playing on the computer (me) and sudoku (Forry) and listening to Christmas CDs while I ran several loads of laundry. We had done laundry once at Daughter Dawn's when we first got there, but it's been piling up ever since. There's a lot more to wash when it's cold; there's layers and layers -- long johns, sweaters, sweat shirts, etc.
This evening we took the shuttle over to the Casino for supper. Forry had BBQ pork ribs and I had their 10 oz rib steak special ($8.99) which we've had here before. We both had enough left for lunch tomorrow! I forget from time to time how smokey casinos always are. I did remember not to wear my leather jacket -- I've had to hang it outside to air before.
Friday, December 11, 2009
A picture of 1-5 Uhlman RV in Chehalis where work the wonderful guys who took such wonderful care of Auntie Violet and have her all fixed up and ready to head south:
I am writing this at the Seven Feathers RV Resort in Canyonville, Oregon! And it is actually ABOVE freezing here! We got out of Chehalis about an hour later than we should have (also had a stop at Wilsonville to pick up a few things at Camper World and meet with Daughter Dawn who delivered our ladder) and therefore had about an hour of white knuckle driving in some freezing rain! We drove out of the storm somewhere after Eugene. The rest of the drive was just long!
We will be here at Seven Feathers until at least Tuesday which will give our mail a chance to catch up with us.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I think that the idea is that if they shut the water off at this point, everything will freeze up and break, so they're letting it run!
When we talked with Uhlman RV earlier this morning, it sounded like things were moving along pretty good. They should be finished early in the afternoon and we could be on our way. We went ahead and checked out of Room 402 that has been our home for the past couple of days and headed over there after lunch.
At that point, it didn't look as good. The part for the refrigerator had come in, but they had to completely defrost and thaw the freezer in order to install it. And that was not going very fast. Also Clayton was concerned that the sealant he had put on the roof around the new Winegard TV antenna wasn't quite cured. So reluctantly, we decided that we'd stay over another day. That way they could finish the two jobs without feeling rushed.
We are now resettled back at the Holiday Inn Express in Room 300. The bad thing about it is that we are missing GD Havela's Choir Concert tonight in Canby...
This is the view the people of Chehalis have of Mount St. Helens:
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
After we had stopped in at Uhlman's, we took a drive around the countryside. It is amazing how densely populated the area is. It's just one little "farm" after another. Most of them are just a few acres, and some are almost as close as in a subdivision. We came back through the little town of Napavine. I remember them playing Ritzville in the "B" basketball tournaments!
While we were over visiting Auntie Violet, I got the chargers for my iPhone and the Kindle, Forry's phone and my computer. We had packed clothes and toiletries, but hadn't thought about all of the electronic stuff. It is still terribly cold here, but at least we are at a warm motel and Auntie Violet is inside a warm shop!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
We got going fairly early this morning and headed north. (I know, I know, wrong direction!) We had an appointment with Uhlman RV to have a couple of Auntie Violet's problems dealt with. She's had an ERR code flashing in her refrigerator intermittently the last month as well as a leak somewhere in her front roof area. AND once again the TV Kingdome is not licking on to the satellite...!
After everything was checked out, it was decided that the refrigerator needed a new part that won't be in until Thursday. Which means we will be here in Chehalis for a couple of days.
It was bitterly cold again today!
Monday, December 7, 2009
We slept in this morning, then got organized and went into Wilsonville to the Costco store there. I had wanted to take Daughter Dawn's family out to dinner tonight as it will probably be our last night here. BUT, Dawn had other ideas! It is so cold and miserable outside, she just wanted to stay home. (She's done with her clinical and classroom schedule for this semester, but still has one more paper to write.)
GD Havela has been hungry for t-bone steaks, so Dawn suggested we get some of those for supper instead of going out. Would you believe that Costco does not carry t-bones? We checked out the neat meat store in Hubbard, but the ones they had were frozen (by now, it was after four...), Son-in-law Todd called another meat store he knew, but they were closed! We ended up going to the Safeway store in Woodburn and bought the last five they had...
It turned out to have been a wonderful idea of Dawn's. We had baked Yukon Gold potatoes, artichokes with Hollandaise sauce, and barbecued steaks -- what a feast! (And GD Havela ate an entire steak all by herself!)
After dinner the GDs and I played triple solitaire to the accompaniment of many giggles. Multiple solitaire is a tradition among the women in my family and Havela remembered watching "the aunties" play -- and remembered hands getting slapped for two handed play...
Sunday, December 6, 2009
It was an enjoyable service this morning, lots of good music and singing. Music always helps to put me into a worshipful mood!
I was checking out my camera card with GD Havela and found these two pictures that I had wanted to post! This darling little llama was born at Sister Sherry's earlier this summer, but this is the first time I had seen her. (By the way, the brown llama is NOT her mother, her mother is white with similar speckles to the baby, but this "auntie" was babysitting every time I tried to get a picture!)
Isn't she just the cutest thing?!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Everyone pretty much got into the act. Grandson Micah's cookies and his ark have multiple layers of frosting and sugars on them. His Mom said they almost look like batik.
Havela, on the other hand, does not have a sweet tooth and is not terribly interested in baking. Her ark has a strip of chocolate colored frosting on it -- the rest of the ark and her animals are plain ginger cookies!
Friday, December 4, 2009
The kids were game, but wanted to make the ginger animal cookies that go with the Noah's Ark set I had gotten from Martha Stewart many years ago. So that's what we did. The set has a recipe for ginger cookies that is really very good -- it should be: it calls for a tablespoon of ginger, a tablespoon of cinnamon, a half tablespoon of cloves, a cup of molasses AND a teaspoon full of black pepper!
We spent most of the morning making the dough, chilling it, rolling out the dough, cutting out the animals, chilling it again, and then baking the cookies. We were going to start the royal icing, but neither Dawn, nor the neighbor, nor Auntie Violet, not the little Whiskey Hill Store next door had any powdered sugar!
While the girls and I were making cookies, Forry took GS Micah birding. Micah needed to do a project for Scouts. They had a pretty successful afternoon with Micah spotting and identifying fourteen different birds -- including eight blue herons!
Since we didn't have the powdered sugar to do the frosting, we took a break (badly needed on my part!) until Dawn came home a little after three. After she got here -- all bubbly and happy about the wonderful evaluation she got from her nursing instructor! -- we took the girls and went over to the Goodwill store to look for some new jeans for GD Kyra. She has been growing so tall, so quickly, that everything she owns is definitely "high water" pants! She lucked out and not only found several pair of jeans that fit, but a couple of skirts as well.
We met the guys at the Thai restaurant in Canby and had a quick, but very delicious dinner before we headed for the new show house. Grandpa made major brownie points by taking Micah to see Planet 21 while the rest of us went to see New Moon (the 2nd time for Dawn and Havela and the THIRD time for Kyra!). Great movie -- I can't wait until the next one comes out in June!
(And we did remember to stop at the store and buy powdered sugar on the way home...)
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I've been on a kick of reading Amish books. The nice thing -- or not so nice thing about Kindle -- is that when you read one book in a genre, they have lots of suggestions about other books in the same genre...
This afternoon, I did go over to Zion Mennonite and visited with the ladies who were quilting. I got caught up with my friend Margaret who has had six new great-grand babies since I had seen her last -- five of them boys!
It's always fun when the kids get home from school. GD Havela had her weekly practice session with the Portland Youth Philharmonic Orchestra in Portland tonight, so she and her Dad headed in that direction. Forry was going to watch the "Civil War" football game (Oregon Ducks vs Oregon Beavers) tonight with GD Kyra and GS Micah (who were rooting for opposite teams), but it was blacked out on their TV.
The Gkids don't have school tomorrow, so they have lots of plans for us -- including taking me to see New Moon...!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
We had an early morning visit from GS Micah and GD Kyra while they waited for the traffic safety guard to allow them across the street to 91 School. GD Havela's bus had already left for the high school in Canby at 7 AM!
When Daughter Dawn got back from her short day of classes today, we decided to have tacos for dinner. With everyone pitching in, it didn't take long to get the meal on the table.
Tonight we listened to GD Havela practice her violin and GD Kyra practice her flute, then watched TV with the GKids while their folks were at a meeting. Like I said, a pretty lazy day!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
We were true RVers this morning -- slept in until quite late and enjoyed VERY much not having to pile on lots of blankets. It is quite warm here compared to eastern Washington and the sun was even shining this afternoon.
I have long been a fan of the Pioneer Woman's blog. The other day she had a recipe for Turkey Pot Pie that made me want to try it. So tonight after Daughter Dawn got home from clinical (nursing school), we went over to the store for a few things (she was out of flour) and then put two varieties (one with and one without celery) together. Dawn made the pie crusts (I think I had the best job!) while I made the fillings.
Tonight the kids and I spent some time in the hot tub -- NICE!
Monday, November 30, 2009
It took us all morning, but we finally left Sister Sherry's ranch on the Touchet River about one pm. It was hard to say good-bye to all the mastiffs, especially dear Deacon, but harder still to say good-bye to my sis.
It was foggy when we left, but it rapidly cleared off and we had a nice drive down Hwy 12 into Oregon and then down the Columbia Gorge. We certainly timed it right (HA!) hitting Portland at 5:20 pm just in time for rush hour traffic!
We got into Hubbard a little before seven where Daughter Dawn had turkey dinner waiting. Grandson Micah and GD Kyra have both gotten quite a bit taller since we've seen them -- GD Havela is definitely going to be the shortest one!
The girls were quite insistent that we watch the first of the vampire movies with them so that they can take me to see New Moon while we are here... So after Micah went to bed...
We haven't been up this late for quite a while!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I miss Napua! I cut and wrapped Niece Daphne's caramels this morning. I didn't cut them as small as I did mine yesterday, but they still took a long time to wrap. We also made a second batch of divinity today as the one we did yesterday didn't set up. After the rain we had, I think it's still a bit too humid for divinity making. We beat this batch for over 20 minutes and it looks pretty good.
We will be getting organized in the morning to travel on down the Columbia Gorge to Daughter Dawn's in Hubbard, Oregon. We haven't had much of a chance to spoil those grandkids this year, so I am really looking forward to seeing them!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
By the time I got a shower this morning and got over to Sherry's, the caramel brigade was hard at work. Napua (my sis's good Hawaiian friend from Shelton) was busy cutting and wrapping yesterday's last batch and Sherry had another batch going on the stove:
Before Forry and I left for Walla Walla for my pedicure appointment, Sherry had finished another batch of caramels, made a bunch of pound cakes to freeze for Christmas gifts and stirred up some refrigerator logs of lime cookies to bake tomorrow.... Originally, she and Napua had planned to go into town with us, but she was on a baking roll and wasn't about to stop.
Forry and I went into Walla Walla for my noon appointment with Yoko, my sister's pedicurist. I was delighted when Sherry was able to get me an appointment as the one I had scheduled when we were in Sundance before my back surgery had been cancelled as they were redoing the floors in the spa. Since I am not allowed to bend over, I cannot reach my toes! And then when I went to pay Yoko, she told me "Merry Christmas, your sister has already taken care of it!"
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Earlier this afternoon, Sherry made Hollandaise sauce that we enjoyed with artichokes while the turkey was finishing roasting. Later we had roast turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and dressing followed by goblets of tiramisu. Now we're all sitting around feeling STUFFED!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I was going to bring the camera over today to get some pictures of the mastiffs, but forgot all about out it until just now... I guess I'll just have to do it tomorrow.
Forry spent some time today working on the hydro-hot system. Most of the issue seems to be with the float in the reservoir (just like it was in our first Alpine), so he bypassed it and now everything seems to be working well. We'll see how it continues to work through the night... It's clear tonight, so it's liable to be chilly!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
We went over to the Petro store for diesel and could only get $75 worth on our credit card on the pump, so I had to take the card into the store so that we could keep pumping. Another $200 later we were finally out of there!
We have had trouble with a slow leak on one of the inside rear duels, so had to go into the shop to get air added to it. Finally got that done and then finally were on our way. It was a nice day for traveling, the roads were bare and dry and the sun was shining off and on. It was good to be back out on the road again!
We arrived at Sister Sherry's a little before four o'clock, just as Sherry and Napua (her Hawaiian friend from Olympia) were out doing chores. I will have to take pictures of the mastiffs in the morning. In addition to Deacon, the almost two year old male, Sherry has two female mastiffs staying with her -- Lara and Corinne plus Maggie, the stray hunting dog who showed up a year or so ago. There are dog beds all over the living room...!
It's good to be here!
Monday, November 23, 2009
When we leave Auntie Violet, we shut off and unplug the two portable electric heaters that we use to keep the temperature up to 70 degrees inside (we're concerned about potential fires while we're gone). We leave the hydro-hot coach system running which usually keeps the temp in the low 60s. This afternoon when we got home, it was COLD in Auntie Violet, the temperature was down to 52! Forry found that one of the fuses in the 12 volt panel in the bathroom was actually melted, though it had not kicked out...
He's replaced the fuse and has been trouble-shooting the hydro-hot system, but has not been able to figure out why he cannot get it restarted. We've sent an email to Mark Harrah, the consultant who is on-call for the Alpine Coach Association. We're hoping he will call soon with some ideas about what to do next!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
We looked at each other and I don't know which one of us said first that we didn't want to be out in this kind of a storm! We had wanted to go to Menno to say good-bye to our church family and then to go over to the ranch and get a few things out of the storage unit and move the vehicles in front of it.
So we ended up spending a quiet day at home. Later in the day, the snow turned to rain. The roads are clear, but the snow is now very wet slush. Forry did take a trip over to the recycling place late this afternoon and got rid of all we had stacked up here.
This evening I roasted an acorn squash, filling it with a diced pear and dried pie cherries with butter and maple syrup -- GOOD!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Later this afternoon we headed into Spokane. Stopped at Auntie's Bookstore to pick up the book I had ordered for Sister Sherry -- and naturally they could not find it! (It was supposed to have come in yesterday!) After conferring with another staffer, the book was finally found. I never did hear the reason it was not on the shelf with all of the other ordered books...
We didn't have that problem at Costco. Forry's hearing aids were not only there, but the tech had already made all of the adjustments needed and updated what she had done in the manual. This pair is smaller than the previous ones he had before (the ones he had lost one of...), you certainly cannot see them. He commented how noisy it was in the store when we were checking out -- so I guess they are working!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Today was a pretty quiet day -- I think yesterday wore me out! Forry made a trip into town to pick up W-2 & W-3 forms, but I stayed home and rested. We did go into Spokane this evening to take Son Sean out to dinner one last time before we leave the area. He wanted to go out to the Old Country Buffet out on north Division. NOT my favorite place! It was busy, but I think from the look of most of the patrons, it is just an open invitation to over-eat...!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Next I had an email from my primary care physician saying that the results of the kidney ultrasound that I had yesterday were in and there was no change in the size or shape of the cyst from the initial films 3 months ago! Of course, she wants me to have another follow-up ultrasound in another three months... But she did say she could make arrangements for me to have it done in Arizona somewhere.
I had a 9:45 appointment at Dr. Power's office this morning as a follow-up to my back surgery. He was running late this morning and his office was BUSY! It was good to see as he is the newcomer in the NW Orthopedics office (I had been his first surgery at Sacred Heart Medical Center). He had been heavily recruited to come to Spokane from Michigan. He seemed very pleased with my progress -- and perhaps with himself..? Anyway, he saw no reason for us to continue to remain in the area -- though I am to come see him as soon as we get back in the spring!
After that we went looking for a rear wiper for the Toad. We had gotten new wipers all around at Les Schwab last month, but the rear one very quickly had come loose and flown off somewhere. The downtown Les Schwab place did not have a replacement blade, so sent us to their store out by University City. They didn't have the right size either so actually gave us our money back. Since we were already close, we went on over to the Jeep dealer and sure enough, they had one the right size and fit!
Since we were already so far out, we stopped at Williams Fish Market and bought a nice Dungeness crab for dinner. They are pretty pricy this time of year, but Forry and I each had a half for dinner (though I did save back enough to make crab omelets for breakfast...) along with the first tossed salad I've made since my surgery -- can you tell I'm getting MUCH better?!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
We over-estimated how long it would take us to get to the Inland Imaging over on Cowley. It's actually a straight shot into Spokane on the freeway and then a quick off and a couple of blocks and there you are. We were there in the waiting room by 6:30. but the tech didn't come to get me until 7:15!
The test itself didn't take long -- it's just all of the lovely gel they use for the ultrasound that's all over your abdomen...
Later this afternoon we went back into town and ran a bunch more errands as we try to get ready to pack up and move south. We picked up some prescriptions at Group Health, got Forry a new box for his farm records, picked up a couple more small tools, mailed some more notes, and resupplied the stock of dishwasher soap.
I put a small pork roast and a large sweet potato in the oven for supper tonight. It sure tasted good. I must be getting better -- I actually felt like cooking!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
From there we drove on out to Post Falls, Idaho (just across the border) to the new Capela's store there. Shoe buying with Forry is usually like the cartoons you see of ladies buying shoes with boxes stacked up all over as he tries to find a pair he likes and that fit well. This time, he checked the shoes he had on for a number, walked into the shoe department, looked for a box with that number, got the right size and was ready to go! I did make him open the box to make sure both shoes were the same size and one was right and one was left...
It's always fun to look around at a Capela's store, both at all of the stuffed animals and the big aquariums of game fish. The amount of merchandise that goes out the doors is pretty impressive as well.
We drove back into Spokane, stopped to get Costco gas, then went downtown to Auntie's Bookstore to get a book I wanted for my sister. I was surprised they didn't have it, but they ordered it and it should be there by Friday afternoon.
By then it was late enough to start thinking about dinner. We had not been to Herbal Essence for a couple of years, but remembered how good the food was, so decided to go there. We split an order of Beef Wellington with an extra house salad. Instead of dividing the finished beef in half, the chef made each half an individual portion wrapped in puff pastry. It was still more than I could eat, so I have a nice portion for lunch tomorrow.
I had emailed my primary care physician yesterday to see if I could arrange for the follow-up ultrasound of the kidney cyst that they had recommended three months ago when I finally got the clearance for my back surgery. Would you believe that the only appointment I could get this week is at 6:45 AM tomorrow morning?! Otherwise I would have had to wait until next week and we really want to leave by this weekend if the surgeon turns me loose on Thursday and the weather cooperates...
Monday, November 16, 2009
I am a bit tired tonight. We took a fairly long walk around the campground today -- even went up the hill to the paved road and around. I tried to take a brisker pace than the leisurely stroll I've been using. It felt good, but I could feel it by the time we got back to Auntie Violet. There's been a bit of a light rain/drizzle off and on last night and today that has pretty well taken care of the last of the snow. Though you can still see it on the north slopes.
We drove into Cheney this afternoon to mail the thank you notes I had finally gotten written and to pick up some groceries. The Safeway store there has a great selection of fresh produce -- Forry says he can tell I am feeling better because I was buying stuff to make fresh salads with again. But by the time we got back home I was too tired to fix anything...!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
The drive down to Menno (about 90 miles) wasn't bad. The Toad was warm and the seats are comfortable. I can't say the same for the pews, though! I realize that for the last month or more, I have either been sitting cradled in a nest of pillows on the couch or in my very comfortable office chair at the computer. I don't think I have sat in a straight chair during all that time!
I am still wearing the wrap-around molded plastic back support that goes pretty much from my groin area halfway up my back when I am not in bed. It wasn't too happy about the hard wooden pew either!
BUT, it was worth it just to see everyone! And to revel in the smiles of greeting! And to worship and enjoy Sunday School with the beloved members of our church family! And to see how much all of the little ones have grown!
We made a quick stop at Taco del Mar in Ritzville on our way back to Spokane. We had not stopped there before, usually going to the Starbucks store next door instead. It's a great place to eat. Most of the staff were very young clean cut male teenagers with lots of poise and delightful manners -- and the food was good too!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I usually do a load of laundry in our washer/dryer combo in Auntie Violet every day or so, but Forry doesn't really like doing laundry all that well to do it that often. The laundry basket was full and the sheets on the bed needed changing and the bedspread needed washing as well. So we decided the easiest thing to do would be to load everything up and take it over to the laundromat here at the RV Park and do it all at once. We were lucky that we got there that there was no one else there and no one else came until we had all of our stuff out of the washers and in the dryers. It was nice as that way, we were able to use every washer in the place all at the same time.
While we were at the laundry, it started to snow. Light fluffy stuff that didn't seem to be sticking. OK, I can handle that. And then it seemed to quit -- NICE!
But, as we were finishing up, it decided to start getting serious and started coming down -- and sticking -- with a vengeance! By the time the bedspread was finally out of the dryer, there was just about an inch of the white stuff on the ground! Forry had fun trying to keep all of our nice clean clothes dry as he brought them into Auntie Violet from the Toad parked behind her, maybe 40 feet from the front door.
It's been cold all day today. Usually it's been warming up enough during the day that our water hose thaws out. It never got that warm today. Forry had to roll it up and put it in one of the heated basement bays to warm up and thaw out so that he could fill up the fresh water tank.
We seriously need to be thinking of moving SOUTH! I have an appointment with my surgeon next Thursday -- I sure hope he gives us the OK!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
By the time we got finished there, it was DARK! I really dislike this time or year when everything gets dark so early and it stays so dark in the morning...!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
We took a road trip to Moses Lake this morning. Cleon had the ranch taxes done, so picked them up, signed, wrote a check and got them into the mail. One more task checked off.
We drove back on Rosenoff Road so that Forry could stash more stuff in the storage unit at the ranch -- including the walker! I'm glad I've been able to get by using a cane -- it's so much easier!
Talked with Brother Pat and Neice Becky who were on their way to Spokane with the family and little Carter to see The Lion King. He's a bit young, but I'll bet they'll have a great time!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I didn't sleep well last night, so spent a quiet day today. Worked on books a little bit and spent the rest of the day reading.
Sister Roxie sent as email that she and Rich were going to Las Vegas later this week to join Cousin Cathy for her wedding. All kinds of interesting things going on.
Forry made a recycling run into Spokane this afternoon as the cardboard, plastic and glass etc. were overloading the back seat of the Toad. It's always amazing how much just the two of us manage to accumulate!
Monday, November 9, 2009
This afternoon we decided to take a drive out to the Turnbull Nature Reserve to do some bird-watching. We didn't see much! We took the 5.8 mile auto trip around the reserve and it sure was quiet. We saw a family of magpies in the trees, the flit of a squirrel's tail going over a log, and one pond that had a couple of merganser ducks --that was it!
Just outside of Cheney, we did see a bunch of Canada geese eating in a field. I guess all of the migrating birds have made it south and everything else is hunkered down for winter. The state highway folks closed two of the northern passes over the Cascades this weekend (one had three feet of snow already!) and I'm sure the North Cascades Highway will be closed soon as well.
It was a good day for mail. We got a copy of Windows 7 from Leslie and Bill plus a big box of mail forwarded by daughter MM. Lots of magazines to enjoy.
I was so tired when we got back from our drive that I had to lie down and have an hour's nap. (As though that was something new...!)
Sunday, November 8, 2009
We had thought earlier in the week about driving the 90 miles to Menno this morning for the Harvest Homecoming service. As the week went by, we realized that I was not ready for that long a trip nor did I have the energy to interact with people for 3-4 hours over the service and dinner. But, it would have been nice to see everyone! And we have never been around in the Fall during the past several years to meet Charles Duplessis, the pastor of Mount Nemo Baptist Church in New Orleans that Menno has partnered with the past couple of years.
I did take a fairly long walk around the RV park this afternoon. It's been quite cold here all day. I don't believe it got above 43 degrees.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I did rouse enough to read some of the RVing blogs I haven't looked at for a while, and catch up with my farming on Facebook. But other than that haven't done anything but nap and read.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Last night and today have been much, much better. It's been almost 40 hours since I've had any pain down my left leg -- what a relief! Let's just hope it stays that way.
It was another overcast day and it finally started to rain a bit a half hour or so ago. We had gone into Cheney late in the afternoon to mail a letter and to pick up some blueberries for breakfast with our granola. Forry want to get a heat strip for the water hose, but had to stop at a couple of different places to find one. Then when we got home and he got it out of the package, he found that the instructions said it was to only be used on pipes, not hoses!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
I was pondering today how my world has shrunk. I have very little interest in anything beyond my own existence these days. It seems so strange to listen to the news on NPR --even about health care reform -- in a very detached manner. Like "that's interesting, but has little to do with me" instead of being concerned about the minute detail.
I had obsrerved this phenomenon before with both my father and my father-in-law after they had had major surgery. It's as though all of their energy was focused on themselves and the healing process and there was none left for anything else.
It's a bit scary to feel this way. I am normally insatiably curious about what is going on around me and what's happening in my friend's lives and families. The past couple of weeks, it's like "who cares?"!
I was pleased yesterday to note how impatient I was to see the pictures of Leslie & Bill's wedding. It felt "more like me!"
I know that a great deal of the "cloudiness" has to do with the amount of muscle relaxent and pain medication I've been taking. As I take less and less of them, I am hoping that my window into the larger world will continue to grow!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
It's been a very quiet day. I went outside to take a short walk, otherwise moved from bed to couch to bed. If it wasn't for the pain in the irritated left leg nerve, I think I'd be feeling pretty good.
Forry has been working on his ranch bookwork muttering with every month he enters into QuickBooks that "next year he's going to do it every month so that he can remember what those entries were about!"
Got the SmugMug pictures today of Leslie and Bill's wedding yesterday at Voodoo Doughnuts. Pretty amazing that you can see all the fun in less than a day!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
This is my little corner of Auntie Violet:
Do note the posture! It's amazing how straight I sit with the brace on.
We slept in this morning as yesterday had been a really big day. Our good friends Leslie and Bill were married this noon at the Donut Shop in Portland, Oregon. We had seriously thought about driving down for the festivities this noon, but decided it was a bit too soon in the recovery process to take that a road trip. But, we are waiting to see the pictures!
Friday, October 30, 2009
It's been a busy one! I had an appointment for my two-week follow-up post-surgery check-up with Dr Powers this morning. He had another set of x-rays taken to compare with the ones they took the morning after surgery. Boy, those are long screws holding the rods in place! He also had the pre-surgical ones. The tech burned a set onto a CD for us to have as well when we're traveling. It's interesting that he does not want me to resume taking aspirin or any oher NSAID (Advil, naproxen) for another six weeks. Evidently the inflammation actually helps with the fusion.
All of the males in my life are telling me that now that I've got the new iPhone, I can tell Forry where I hid the old one! They all think alike!
After the flurries of snow yesterday, the weather was actually pretty nice today -- and much warmer .
Our friends Bill & Leslie are getting married tomorrow noon in Portland at a doughnut shop. We were thinking sort of seriously about driving down, but as tired as I get from just a trip to the doctor's, I guess we'll just have to enjoy it vicariously!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
With no sign of my missing iPhone all week, we finally decded to go ahead and buy a new one. I had the old one long enough that it was out of contract, so we were able to get a new 3Gs for a pretty reasonable price.
It's been a good day today with out recurrance of the awful pain of Tuesday night.
Stopped at Red Robin and had a bowl of onion soup -- I was even able to eat almost half. ;-)
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Managed to get back into bed, but at an angle and didn't want to move again. Poor Forry ended up sleeping the rest of the night on the couch as there was no room for him in the bed...
Finally talked with Dr. Powers, ruled out anything having gone wrong with the surgery area or incision. He suggested that today should be a VERY quiet day and that I keep the pain meds up to maximum dosage all day. So that's what I've done. It was easy to sleep a lot because I hadn't slept much last night. Might not be as easy tonight. I feel as I've turned my nights and days around.
Pastor Terry stopped by on his way from Spokane for a short visit. Bonnie and Terry were going to bring the babies by after work, but they all woke up with snotty noses and (thankfully!) decided I didn't need to be exposed to colds, so they're going to try again next week..
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
We were awakened before seven this morning with a phone call from Fed Ex wanting to know how to find us. They had only the General Delivery PO address in Cheney and didn't think that would get them to us with the box they had to deliver. They actually showed up about 2 PM to deliver a box of the most gorgeous pears -- looks like maybe four different varieties. They are all colors from a pale yellow to a bright red. Thank you to my youngest (all be it taller) sister Roxy and her husband Rich! We will certainly enjoy them!
We decided to go over to the nearby Iron Skillet this evening for dinner. It's kind of a shame in some ways as I only seem to be able to eat 5-6 bites before I'm full. But, now I've got a nice take-home box of leftover chicken-fried steak for lunch tomorrow. And I got outside for a short bit!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Have laid low the rest of day, just healing.... Forry went into Cheney and picked up the mail. Lots of cards and a care package from Sister Sherry -- NICE!
It rained most of the night and a good share of the day. I sure hope the ranch is getting a good share of it!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I had wanted badly to go to church this morning, but re-thought the idea after reflecting Dr. Powers comments about just spending my time resting and healing. I'll catch up my farming on Facebook this AM, read for a while (started an interesting new series with a book (The Patriot Witch) that Curt and Sarah brought by when they came to visit at the hospital. I started writing "thank you" cards yesterday, but couldn't seem to even get one finished without falling asleep..) I am getting very good a dozing off mid-sentence!
I actually had a pretty good night's sleep. Forry had bought me a frozen Mac and Cheese dinner that he doctored up a bit with crumbled saltines and pepper. I was actually able to finish almost half of it, so will have the rest for lunch today.