Tuesday, June 30, 2009
It's interesting that members of SKP (Escapee) RV Club pride themselves on their "hugginess." And they do traditionally greet you -- and each other with hugs.
BUT, they have nothing on a gathering of Mennonites -- especially those of us who have served together on the Constituency Leadership Council (CLC) or other committees together. Today was one long round of wonderful hugs.
Forry and I didn't get up very early this morning, so had a late breakfast across the street from our hotel, before I went to my Executive Board meeting at 1:00 PM. It was a bitter-sweet meeting as we were both greeting four new members of the Board (new 4 year terms) and saying farewell to the four who have finished serving eight years on the Board. I have now been a Board member for two years -- and many of these folks have become very good friends. Needless to say, there were lots of hugs and more than a few tears.
Tonight we gathered for the first "official" function of the Assembly. There is nothing quite like hearing a roomful of Mennonites in song. Perhaps because singing was one of the few coed activities permitted in years past, Singing Schools were very popular. (I am sure this week's Hymn Sing will be attended by thousands.) Four part singing and rounds are taught to some of our littlest children. To have a 2-3 thousand adults singing acappello in worship is an early taste of what heaven may be like.
As usual, the adults at this assembly are way out-numbered by the youth. I haven't heard any official counts yet, but I did hear there are 5000 youths here versus around 2000 adults!
Monday, June 29, 2009
I had spent most of the day Thursday in Moses Lake with my dear friend Phyllis while Vic and Pam went to Wenatchee. It was a blessing to be able just to spend time with her. She slept most of the morning, so I was able to connect with Vic's wireless network; get my Norton virus software downloaded; get all the upgrades for both Microsoft and HP. It seemed like everything was going well...
Got home and attempted to access the internet and nada! I couldn't even get the computer to recognise the aircard...
We went to CleElum Saturday morning for the Memorial Service for our friend Dr. John Anderson at the Middle School Gym. The gym was full and it was a pretty amazing tribute. We heard a lot of stories about his Norwegian sense of humor and about all that he had done for rural health. It was good to see my former AHEC colleagues who were there. The community had a dessert reception following the program. There were three tables stretched the length of their school cafeteria loaded with cookies, cakes and other sweet things!
After the service, we went into Ellensburg to the AT&T store. They suggested that I delete the aircard software from the computer and then let the aircard reinstall it. I did, it reloaded just fine and voila! the computer could again see the aircard.
Got back to the ranch, had three bars, connected just fine, but then again it would not connect to the internet!
We flew to Columbus, Ohio today for the biennial Mennonite Church USA convention. We are at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and when we checked in I did get the password for their wifi system hoping that I could get it to work at least. I plugged in the computer, tried the aircard and it worked perfectly! I just don't understand what is going on!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I'd like to have the dollars spent on spray -- to say nothing of the hours -- spent trying to eradicate it!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Then we ran errands: to Group Health pharmacy to pick up a prescription; to Spokane Wireless to pick up a connector for the new booster we had gotten last week; to the AT&T store to see if they could figure out why I am sporadically having such a time -- especially during the daytime -- connecting to the internet; and to Auto Zone to pick up another inverter so that I can use my computer in the car without running the battery down (we've either loaned the one we had to someone or just plain lost it...).
The fellow at the AT&T store was not much help. Of course, the laptop and the aircard worked just fine there! He did pull up the map of coverage for all of the cell towers to see if we had coverage at the ranch and we do. He couldn't figure out why we were having problems. Scott at Spokane Wireless thinks maybe they are putting a new cell tower into service and have powered down the one we use so as not to "blow it out" when the other one comes on line. Perhaps they'll power them both up slowly?
We ended up taking Son Sean out to dinner at Chan's Dragon Inn on 3rd. It's one of the oldest established Chinese restaurants in Spokane. I had seen an ad where they were featuring asparagus this week... The food is typical Chinese, but it sure was quiet there. I don't think it's a real good time to be in the restaurant business.
Monday, June 22, 2009
We left Sherry's a little after eleven, stopped at the Mercantile along the highway for enchiladas for lunch and picked up some asparagus and fruit.
We took Highway 17 on into Moses Lake so that we could spend some time with Vic and Phyl. I brought some Royal Ann cherries for Phyl which she seemed to enjoy. Pam and Sarah as well as the caregiver Veronica were all there, so we had a chance to visit. It was nice to just sit with Phyl and hold her hand.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I've go an early conference call tomorrow morning; Forry needs to put a belt on Sherry's lawn mower; then we'll head back to Ritzville area and our ranch.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
One of the delegates that I have come to know over the years said today that she looks forward to conference all year and stores up interactions, worship and music to remember all year long. I think I agree with her!
Friday, June 19, 2009
A PNMC meeting is somewhat like going to a large family reunion -- there are many people here that we only see at such gatherings. So there are many, many conversations catching up on what has happened since we have last seen each other.
One of those pleasant surprises today was getting to visit with Phyllis and Norm who are delegates from Salem, Oregon. They had been long termer volunteers with us during our time with Mennonite Disaster Service in Dulzura, California in March and April.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
We drove (in the Toad) down through the Blue Mountains through Oregon and on into Idaho:
It truly was a beautiful drive!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This is 2 year old Deacon chowing down:
This is Corin (Corinthians 13), the 8 month old female mastiff puppy on her bed chewing on a raw carrot:
Here's Peek A Boo, Sherry's 11 year old Pyrenees Sheep Dog with her summer haircut:
This is Maggie, a stray that came to stay after hunting season last year:
Part of Sherry's herd of miniature horses "mowing" the farmstead:
This is Espresso, one of the miniatures:
One of the banty roosters:
And one of the peacocks:
The outside of the greenhouse:
And the inside:
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The blue is a bit washed out in the bright sun, but with the five petals and the color, I am pretty sure it is a variety of flax. There were several patches of it out in the flat.
Monday, June 15, 2009
After I got back from Diane's (where we had a really good workout), we headed for Spokane to pick up medications from the Group Health pharmacy that we had run out of -- and didn't have time to wait for them in the mail before we left for Sister Sherry's tomorrow.
We got caught in a couple of heavy rain showers while we were in Spokane. Thankfully I had my purple umbrella in the car! Since it was almost six, we decided to go to Wild Sage for dinner. I had a cup of braised tomato soup that was delicious. Forry decided to have the halibut that was their special tonight while I had the duck breast. It was served with risotto covered with a warm spinach, bacon and pine nut salad. Absolutely scrumtious! Forry's fish was served with finger potato salad. We decided to split a piece of coconut cream cake for dessert. It was served with a little bowl of whipped cream floating on a lake of pureed passion fruit. The tart puree was a great accompaniment and contrast to the sweet coconut mousse-filled cake. The guys at the table next to us commented that it was the prettiest presentation that they had ever seen.
PS Got a phone call from Daughter Mary Mae this afternoon saying my Kindle had arrived! Now I have to figure out when I'm going to get to her house to pick it up...
Sunday, June 14, 2009
After church, Colleen and Dennis came down to check out Auntie Violet and to have lunch with us. They are seriously in the process of getting their houses and his vending business ready to sell so that they can purchase a motorhome and go on the road. Dennis makes very interesting and gorgeous jewelry and wind chimes out of silverplate spoons. They have been setting up booths at various fairs and gatherings around the area checking out what they could make if they were to rely on their jewelry sales. They are getting pretty excited about the prospect of becoming fulltimers.
I made crab salads for lunch. I put hard boiled eggs, pea pods, cucumber slices, bamboo shoots, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes on a bed of spinach leaves with crab heaped in the middle and served the salads with a choice of dressing and rosemary flat bread and ice tea. They turned out to be very pretty.
As I had four dinner plates to work on, I was short of counter space until I remembered that there are covers for the stove burners (and for the sinks) under the sink! I don't think I had ever gotten them out to use... It was amazing how much more work space I suddenly had!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Even though we did transfer some of the things we had acquired this winter into the storage unit, we still seem to have more things then we have places to put them! We've not been at an RV park where I could take some of my paperbacks to the lending library and they're starting to pile up. I'll be so glad when my Kindle arrives!
Today I've spent most of the day doing laundry and cleaning the bathroom and kitchen. Forry's been vacuuming this evening. It really doesn't take that long to clean the whole motorhome, it takes longer to put stuff away than it does to clean.
I've replanted my AeroGarden and have tiny shoots of both basil and tomatoes showing. My basil did the best of all the herbs I planted before, so I'll try to see if it will co-exist with a yellow cherry tomato plant.
Friday, June 12, 2009
We went in to Moses Lake later this afternoon to pick up some more bark at Lowes for the dusty area around Auntie Violet and some parts for the antenna pole Forry is building.
Stopped by Vic and Phyl's just in time to meet the new caregiver and help with Phyl's shower. It was a busy place. Got to visit with both Pam and Curt and Sarah as well as say "hi" to Peter and Vanessa.
We ended up at DQ and had blizzards for supper...!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
So I got my bangs realigned (I've been trimming them myself after being VERY disappointed in the couple of trims I had gotten on the road) and the split ends trimmed off the rest. I had to chuckle as Sarah said she had been quite appalled when I said I was going to acquiese to Forry's desire for long hair when I retired, but now realizes she actually likes it long and without a permanent.
She cut a good three inches off of Forry's hair. I think she could have cut off again as much and he still would have had long hair... But, she really likes his curls...
We had gotten to Spokane early enough to meet Cherie (our massage therapist when we lived in Spokane) for lunch at Maggie's on the South Hill. She had crab cakes, Forry had a Reuben and I had a Crab Louie salad. The food was wonderful, BUT the conversation was even better. It was good to catch up on her life and all of the trips she has made with her partner. We'd probably still be there talking if we hadn't had hair appointments and she hadn't had to get back to work!
And we got home in time to go to Pastor Terry and Jerilee's for supper. He had barbecued steaks. Yum! And again we had a great time just visiting until all of a sudden we realized it was almost ten PM!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Today it was Auntie Violet's toilet. She's been complaining that it no longer held water -- that the water just seemed to seep away. So it seemed a new seal was in order. While we were at Camping World, we checked them out. Seems there are two of them that fit her Landsea toilet, but we couldn't find the model number so that we could know which one was the right one. We probably should have picked up both kinds and returned the one we didn't need, but Forry took an educated guess based on all of the measurements.
It was too gusty to spray today, so today was the day to take everything apart. The top portion of the toilet assembly comes off and this seal sort of goes in the middle part (darn, why didn't I think to take a picture?!). Well, the seal we bought wasn't exactly like the one she had, but strangely enough, it actually seemed to fit better! Now we are wondering whether the wrong one was put in initially at the factory...?
Well, after letting everything sit for a period of hours (and a few tests), Forry had it all working -- AND he installed a new sprayer as well. (Ours was not always shutting off well, it tended to drip.) Oh, and the model number, he never did find it, even when he had it all apart.
Never thought I'd be writing about fixing toilets, but it's like everything else in an RV -- or a house, for that matter -- things wear out, break, don't work anymore and hopefully someone is around who can fix them!
Monday, June 8, 2009
It's a pretty plant, but it is on the Noxious Weed Board's hit list, so it has to go!
I went over to Diane's late this afternoon to work out in the pool. Sandi was there as well and the three of us put in a pretty good session. I can tell that I am tired tonight.
Forry barbecued a wonderful piece of Copper River salmon tonight that I bought yesterday. I had marinated it for a brief bit with a lemon pepper marinade -- it was scrumptious!
Sunday, June 7, 2009
We just sort of lounged around this morning, I actually made bacon and eggs for breakfast instead of granola. I still had some of the wonderful bacon that we got at the Mennonite Country Auction in the freezer...
This afternoon we ran into Moses Lake to take care of getting gift cards for upcoming birthdays and 8th grade promotions so that we could get them into the mail.
We stopped by Vic and Phyl's to see how things were going today. Sounds like the modifications Curt made to the bathroom (took the shower doors off so that the shower chair could be placed inside) worked well.
Made a stop at the grocery store and stocked up, but, darn, I didn't bring my list along, so still don't have everything we're out of!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Today was a bit better of a day although my stomach is still a bit queasy, especially this morning. I've not done much today but a couple of loads of laundry and read. I've been reading the Twilight series (to catch up with my granddaughters!), finished those four and Danielle Steel's Impossible.
Friday, June 5, 2009
It was good to spend the night with Phyl and have a chance to visit -- and to see how she was actually doing. We went to the Menno Women in Mission meeting out at church in time for the meeting and lunch. Regan had prepared a commemorative book for Phyl with pictures of our gathering a few weeks ago and a really neat poem she had written. (The ladies decided to give me four of the comforters they had made for the next new home owners in Dulzura after I had told them how pleased the recipients were with the two that we had from Oregon.) After we had returned to Moses Lake, Phyl's Son Curt and Grandson Peter came into town in the late afternoon and started putting some adaptive hand-holds and grab bars up to help make it easier for her to get around.
Forry and I went to get groceries, stopping at Chico's to pick up a pizza that we took back and shared with Vic and Phyl. Vic's overnight at the apnea clinic in Wenatchee seems to have gone well, but he'll have to wait for his doctor's appointment to get any results.
This morning Forry and I headed for the airport in Spokane where I was supposed to catch an 11:25 flight to Chicago for an Executive Director Search Committee meeting tomorrow. I got violently ill on the way and made a decision that I was in NO condition to fly. I'm just glad I didn't wait until I was on the plane to get sick! It was a fairly short-lived thing -- at least I hope I'm over it! I will try to participate somewhat in the meeting tomorrow by conference call.
As a result, I certainly didn't get anything accomplished today -- except for several long naps!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
After lunch I went into Moses Lake, stopped at the grocery store on the way to Phyllis and Vic's. Vic had an overnight appointment in Wenatchee for a repeat sleep apnea evaluation, since it's been a lot of years since he had first done it. His daughter Pam went down with him, while I stayed here with Phyl.
It's been nice to spend some time with Phyl, she dozed off and on, but we've gotten some good visiting done. I had found some raspberries at the store that we both enjoyed along with our supper.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Today we took the Jeep apart, emptied everything out and gave it a good cleaning. Vacuumed, shampooed the seats, used ArmorAll on the dash, cleaned the windows, etc. The back seats and the rear of the Toad seem to be our secondary storage area. Everything that doesn't have a space in Auntie Violet ends up there. Some of it because it seems easier -- for example, it's easier to put the lawn chairs in and out of the Jeep than it is to put them away in the bays. Some of it because we don't know what else to do with it -- the box my computer came it that we wanted to keep until we were sure this one wasn't a lemon too. And some of it, like Forry's compressor, because it just doesn't fit anywhere else.
Then you start looking at everything when it's time to put stuff back and wondering if you really need to have it all...
Tomorrow morning I'm going over to our neighbor Diane's to swim (exercise) in the morning, then will head in to Moses Lake to spend the night with my friend Phyllis while Vic goes to Wenatchee for his sleep apnea testing.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Forry went in this morning to play golf with the Menno bunch. They had quite a group with a couple of fellows from Warden joining them as well. He was tired when he got home -- it's not like when he used to golf a couple of times a week.
I bought a new camera when we were in Spokane on Friday, a Nikon Coolpix, and I spent part of the day reading the manual and trying to figure out what all the icons mean. There are 18 of them under portraits alone!
I'm still having trouble with my internet connection -- I'm trying to send this from the ranch.