Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Moving Day

This morning we moved the ladder from out of the Toad's back seat to his new roof top carrier --

It was actually pretty easy to lift up and put it on top as it isn't very heavy.  But we did have to use our portable front step to fasten the bungee cords -- especially the ones in back that we couldn't reach by standing in the back doors.

Auntie Violet had an eleven-thirty appointment at Cummins NW to get her oil changed, so we had to hustle a bit to get everything buttoned up and ready to go.  Cummins NW is only a couple of miles by road (probably no more than one-half as the crow flies...), so we didn't hitch up Toad, I just followed Forry over.

We had gotten a call late yesterday afternoon from the Group Health Dispensary saying that Forry's new glasses were in, so we went over to pick them up while we were waiting.  The lenses are a bit smaller than he's had before, so he's done a bit of complaining this afternoon about just where to look through them.  From Group Health we went to Johnson's RV to pick up some refills for the water filters.  I've been looking for a small table to use outside by the lounge chairs since I've been using the folding one we have as a hassock inside.  Johnson's had a cute small round one, so we added that and a couple more ice trays to our shopping.  Next was a stop at Costco for gasoline for Toad and to pickup a new package of filters for our Brita pitcher.  There's ten in a package and they are supposed to be changed every month.  They should last us a while.

Cummins NW was finished with Auntie Violet by three o'clock.  Forry paid the bill and we hitched up the Toad and headed for Newport.  We were at Old American Kampground, a KM facility, by five pm and moved into Site 42 overlooking the Pend Oreille River.  We are on the higher portion of the campground looking across the river at the mountains. It looks like a view that should be on a postcard!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ahh, Massages!

One of the few things I miss about being a working woman is the weekly massages that my dear friend Mary convinced me were essential for my sanity and physical well-being.  The last year or so that I worked, I even convinced Forry that his back and legs would feel much better if he had them as well.  Not only did we enjoy our massages, but we also became good friends with Cherie, the therapist.  She helped see me through two knee surgeries!  Her practice is full and she is very busy, but she has been great about fitting us in for at least one massage when we are back in the area.  This afternoon was the day!

It was good catching up with what was going on with Cherie and her siblings, her parents and her partner, while at the same time filling her in on the goings-on of mine. Although it has been a year since we have seen her, we picked up right where we left off and she gave me as bad a time about my tight neck and back muscles as she has always done!

We made a couple of other quick stops while we were in Spokane, then came back to Auntie Violet for a half hour's nap before we headed to Ritzville.  We met our Godson Pete and his fiancee Tessa and her son Ayden at Consuelo's for a Mexican dinner.  They had offered to come up to Spokane, but we thought it would be easier to meet them in Ritzville as Ayden has started kindergarten this week and it is a school night. We had had dinner with their whole family a couple of weeks ago in Moses Lake, but it's hard to really talk much when there are a bunch of people.  This way we got a chance to have a good visit with them.  They will be getting married in Hawaii in early November.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Mondays are always interesting.  There's a certain amount of let-down after the weekend and of settling back into the regular week day routine.  But when you're retired, you don't have to face getting up and going to work -- and dealing with all  of the crises (the dictionary says that's the way to spell the plural of crisis, but it sure doesn't look right...) that seemed to come on Mondays.

I had opened a container of crab (from Costco) last week to make a crab garden salad on one of those very hot days.  It doesn't keep well once it is opened, so this morning I put some water on to boil for pasta and made a batch of Auntie June's crab salad, half of which we ate for lunch. I spent most of the morning working with my new computer.  I've gotten the Norton 360 software installed and also got the new computer to connect with my printer.  When I first put in the printer disc to install the drivers, I got a message that the new computer was not compatible.  But when I checked the Control Panel under printers, my printer was listed -- and it worked!  So I was able to print off the Payment Vouchers that our accountant Cleon had sent us this morning.

I've been wanting to find some nicer boxes for the Squash Blossom necklaces Forry bought me for my birthday (the ones they came in are just cardboard).  I had checked with Rings n Things who said they didn't carry them, but suggested I try Michael's Arts and Crafts or Hobby Lobby.  So later this afternoon, we drove out to the Valley to see if we could find anything.  Both stores had mannequins for displaying necklaces, but neither carried presentation type boxes.  I know that Rio Grande carries what I want, but their minimum order is six, so I guess I'll have to just keep looking.

We made a quick post office stop and a Costco run, then stopped by Son Sean's to take him out to dinner with us.  We went to Maggie's On the South Hill.  He'd not been there before, but seemed to really enjoy it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Last Trip to Menno For a While

As much as we like to travel and to see different parts of the country we have not yet seen, it is always difficult to leave both our families and our church family.  This morning we drove back down to Menno for church services and to say good-bye for a while. 

After church we drove down to the ranch (it's about 3 miles away) and took some keys to Jeff.  We also loaded up a Coleman BBQ that Leslie and Bill had donated to the Mennonite Country Auction as well as the Wave 8 propane heater we wanted to donate.  We took those back up to the church and put them in one of the Sunday School rooms that is beginning to fill up with items for the auction the first Saturday in October.

I also took up the box of auction tags and pens that I use to make the auction numbers for people.  Though a suggestion was thrown out at church that may have us coming back to the auction after all.  Evidently as the Steering Committee members were talking, someone came up with the idea that we should fly back for it.  I really like that idea and we shall have to do some checking on air fares.

We do know that we need to be in Newton, Kansas mid-September for an Executive Board meeting, but had not planned where we might be after that.  I'll just have to see what kinds of airfares we can find and from where...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"The Help"

This evening Forrest and I went to see the movie, The Help, at Riverpark Square AMC Theatre in Spokane.  I had read the book by Katheryn Stockett when it fist came out and really liked it.  Then I pulled it back up on my Kindle when the movie came out and re-read it.  It's not often that I think a movie is as good as the book, but I think this one was. Emma Stone as Skeeter, Octavia Spencer as Abileen and Viola Davis as Minnie (love her eyes!) should all get Academy Awards!

As we were going up the escalator to the theatre, we saw old friends Judy and Tim coming down.  They came back up and we had a very nice visit. It was sure good to catch up on what is going on with all the sisters and kids.  We spent a great deal of time together with Judy when her and our kids were youngsters. She is retired now while Tim is planning to teach another couple of years.

I got a couple of loads of laundry done today -- had to get our dog-slobbered jeans washed -- but that's about all I accomplished.  It was hot again today, with temps in the high 90's.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Day Trip to Touchet

This morning we were up early to leave for Sister Sherry's farm on the Touchet River (near Walla Walla, Washington).  We took the back way down through Colfax, Dayton and Waitsburg.  We were surprised to see how many wind towers that weren't here the last time we came this way.  The Snake River Wind Farm must have several hundred of them now!

We haven't been down at the farm since we spent a few days here earlier this summer.  I had some books I wanted to return to Sherry and I had bought her a copy of Ree Drummond's new book about her basset hound Charley as well.  Sherry had some of the tomatoes from her garden in BLTs for us when we arrived just in time for lunch -- and some cucumbers as well.

We sat around and visited for a good share of the afternoon, then Sherry and I took advantage of her pool to get some exercise and cool off.  She stuck some ribs and potatoes in the oven for supper while Forry enjoyed a nap.

Of course, I had to spend some time playing with and brushing out my favorite of her mastiffs, the lovable, mellow Deacon --

This is the new puppy, Keiko.  He's now eight months old and is one of the litter that Sister Sherry helped hand-feed last winter.  He's proving to be as mellow as Deac.  I'm not sure where the third mastiff was when I snapped these pictures.  The two males are fawn-colored, while Corin is an apricot.

We will be heading back to Spokane tonight (after Forry finishes watching the Mariner's game...) It's a lot of driving for one day -- but I did want to see my sister before we head east!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Toenails and Eyebrows

My friend Juni from Albuquerque, New Mexico introduced me to eyebrow waxing last year when we were in Phoenix together.  Having fought with plucking my uni-brow all my life, it was liberating to discover a better way of dealing with it!  Since we are staying on at Ponderosa RV Resort until next week when Auntie Violet gets her oil changed, I got on the telephone yesterday and got some recommendations.  I ended up making an appointment for eleven o'clock this morning at a place called Lee's Nails in the Safeway complex in Cheney.

It's interesting that this is the third time I've had it done, once in Phoenix, once in Albuquerque and now here in Cheney, and every shop I've been in has been run by Vietnamese.  Today it was two guys, the youngest one did my pedicure and the other the waxing. The younger one's wife was there as well, but she was busy watching soap operas...  It cost just about half as much here as it did in Albuquerque.

There was a hardware store in the same complex, so I went over to see if I could get a magnetic holder for the Toad's spare key.  They not only had one of those, but I also bought a box of paper tags.  I've been using them to label some of the MANY keys we seem to have. (We added two more yesterday with the keys for Toad's roof topper...)

When I got back to Auntie Violet, Forry was in the midst of cleaning out the last bay on the passenger side.  We retrieved the disks for Office 2003 and for LoJack.  I'll need to install them on my new computer.  I think I may still have a newer version of Office, but darned if I can find it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Toad --and I -- Get Presents!

Forry took Toad back to Barton Jeep today and got him more presents.  Last week he got new tires all around and his front end aligned.  Today he got a new set of keys (Forry had dropped his key somewhere last winter and we never did find it -- we've been using mine.).  The key has to be specially registered to the car and the electronics in it programmed so that the door can be opened with the fob.  We have a key that opens the door, but will not start the car -- all this pricey anti-theft stuff you know. (Though now we have two plain keys, it's kind of funny, the guys at the Jeep place locked my key in the car while they were programming the new one -- they had to cut a new plain key so that they could open the door...)

Forry had also ordered a set of cross-bars to go on top of Toad so that we can carry our ladder up there. Up until now, we have been putting it in the back seat stretching into the rear.  It makes if very hard to take anyone with us or to carry groceries or anything else in the rig. It should make life a bit easier all the way around.

I stayed home with Auntie Violet and did laundry while the boys were off getting new toys.  Forry actually came back with something for me as well.  He had stopped at the office where UPS had delivered my new ASUS laptop.  I've gotten it all unpacked and the back-up recovery disks made, but that's about all so far. We had been planning to take my computer in to have it worked on, but then decided it was old enough that it would be better to get a new one...!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Almost, But Not Quite...

I thought Forry's visit to the eye doctor this afternoon was going to be the last of our doctor visits, but it turns out he needs new glasses.  So I guess we'll be going back to the eye clinic again next week.  The tech offered to put a "rush" on the glasses, but couldn't guarantee that they would be there by the time we were going to leave.  I guess, if not, they can always be mailed to Daughter Mary Mae and she can send them on wherever we might be.

I did pick up a 90 day supply of our prescriptions while we were at Group Health.  That's one more task checked off our getting ready-to-go list. We have to drop some things off at the church on Sunday for the MCA sale, but other than that, things are pretty well taken care of.

We definitely have a bad case of "hitch itch," and are more than ready to be getting on the road again.  Our stay here at Ponderosa Falls is up on the 31st, Auntie Violet has an appointment that day to have her oil changed, then we were planning to start heading east.  I have an Executive Board meeting mid-September in Newton, Kansas, but that is as much as the jello of our plans has firmed up at this point.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The New Crown

Today was the big day -- my new crown was finally ready.  We drove down to Moses Lake late this morning getting there in time for my 2 PM appointment.  The crown was a nice fit.  I actually waited longer for the Dr. Froese to come put it in then it took to actually do it.  The only hitch was that my nite guard now now longer fit, but it only took him a bit of sanding to get that taken care of.

As she was working today, I did get to give my niece Becky a big hug that will have to last until we come back this way next spring.

We went over to Columbia Crest to see our good friend Vic.  He is really doing lots better after his knee surgery and is ambulating up and down the length of the hall (with rest stops).  It was a nice bonus that his daughter Pam was there and we had a chance to visit with her.

The only other task we had in Moses Lake was to pick up three gallons of Schaeffer Oil for Auntie Violet so that she can go for her oil change next week.  We thought about eating out in Cheney on our way home, but the Chinese place we like is closed on Mondays, so we settled for Mickey D's.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A VERY Lazy Day

We slept in this morning and then didn't do much of anything but read and listen to NPR the rest of the day.  I spent part of the day sitting outside in our loungers watching the activity here at the RV park.  There are a lot of big dogs at this park -- and of course, many people have two -- and the very big dog across the road barks at every one of them as soon as he sees them.

It is quite warm here in Spokane, it got up to the low nineties again today.  In contrast to the ranch, it really doesn't cool off at night.  We leave the windows open and run the fans so there is a bit of a breeze for sleeping.

I fixed orange rolls, grapefruit juice and link sausages for brunch this morning followed by bowls of sliced peaches.  Tonight I hard-boiled some eggs and made crab salads for supper.  We did go out for a pretty sort walk this evening.  Don't know why we were both so tired today...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dinner at Wild Sage

We had made arrangements before we left the ranch to meet up with our tenants, Jeff and Barb, on Saturday to talk about the CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) ground.  It's the ground that Forry has been returning to the ranch to spray any noxious weeds every year.  We've finally decided that it would be better for Jeff to take over doing that along with the rest of the farm work he does.  (I've been trying to get Forry to give up doing it for the last couple of years now...)

We decided that it would be nice to take Jeff and Barb (and the boys, but they were busy) out to dinner, so invited them to join us in Spokane at Wild Sage this evening.  Wild Sage is one of our favorite places to eat, but it's a bit on the pricey side, so we save it for special occasions.  It's always fun to see what new and interesting fresh item they will have on the menu.  Tonight we shared an appetizer tapa plate that had an fascinating variety of tidbits -- fresh hummus, marinated olives and mushrooms, thick sliced bacon pieces, salmon salad, tiny potato croquettes and pita bread quarters.  Forry and Barb each had the prawn pasta, Jeff had a steak, and I had duck breast.  They always serve little popovers as well, tonight with lavender honey butter.  For dessert Jeff had hot peach cobbler while Forry and I shared decadent chocolate molten cake.  What a wonderful meal!  But that darn Jeff took a "potty break" during which he cornered the waiter and unbeknownst to us, picked up the dinner tab that we had intended to take care of!  What a nice treat!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cardiologist Done!

We're whittling away at these appointments. I've decided that it takes real stamina to get old -- just getting around to all of the examinations and specialists that one is supposed to see is work!  EARLY this morning, we went to see Forry's cardiologist.  We were supposed to be there at 7:50 AM for an 8:20 appointment.  Having had several minutes of traffic delays yesterday, we left here at 7:15 -- and of course, sailed right through.

Forry had not seen his cardiologist for four years, nor had an echocardiogram.  He had gotten the echo last week and they did a cardiogram this morning.  It's been eleven years since his open heart mitral valve repair and the cardiologist says everything seems to be doing just fine -- and doesn't need to see him for another two years.

So all we have left now is Forry's eye exam and to get the new crown on my tooth.  We might get finished yet!  Auntie Violet also has an appointment next week to get her oil changed.

There are so many trees at Ponderosa Falls RV Park that we are unable to get satellite TV.  We could hook up to their cable system, but haven't gotten around to that yet.  So we've been listening to the Mariner's games on the radio.  They were ahead most of the game tonight, but then the Rays came along in the 8th and beat them...

We stopped at the clubhouse tonight and Forry attempted to teach me how to play billiards.  Though I was pretty lousy and he was pretty rusty, we had fun.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

An Eye Exam -- and a Polish Dog!

I had an appointment late this afternoon for my annual eye examination at Group Health.  I was only there about an hour.  There are no real changes to my eyes, but I did pick up a new copy of the prescription for my eyeglasses (in case I break them on the road?!).

I have been emptying out the freezer half of our side-by-side unit, getting ready to re-stock as we go back on the road.  I enjoy getting local produce and fruit, but would much rather have meat in the freezer.  So, today was a trip to Costco to stock up on hamburger (1 pound packages), steaks and pork chops.  I buy the family-size trays of steaks and chops; then bring them home and repackage them one to a ziplock freezer bag. I use the chops especially to make stir-fry -- one thick one is more then enough for the two of us.  I usually fix just one steak which we split. I also picked up some ham and some Chinese BBQ pork.  The freezer is now full again!  And a bonus today -- fresh figs were in!

Since it was getting pretty late, it just seemed like the thing to do was to have Costco Polish dogs for supper.  I think that's Forry's favorite meal.  This one happens to be mine -- his would have sauerkraut added to it as well.

I don't know where else you can eat two Polish dogs, drink your fill of diet Pepsi, share a churro for dessert and still get back change from a $5 bill!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Moving Day

We packed up Auntie Violet and hitched up the Toad and traveled today.  We went all the way from the ranch (20 miles west of Ritzville) along Interstate 90 to Exit 272 to Ponderosa Falls RV Park, about an 85 mile trip.  We have a few more appointments in Spokane and it seemed much easier to be closer than to be getting up so early and traveling back and forth.

We have been parked at the ranch since June 22nd. That's a long time to stay in one place!  You tend to get lazy, taking things out and letting them stay out rather than putting them away like you do when you are moving every day or two. So it took a lot longer to get going than it normally would. There were also things we needed to put back in the storage shed (lawn mower, shovel, etc.), so that took time as well.  We did leave the bird feeder up.  We will be back down at the ranch before we head east as Forry has to get some stuff over to the church for the MCA sale and he can store it then.

It is nice to be in a spot where I can get Internet coverage from my Verizon HotSpot.  However, the site we are in has too many trees for the satellite receiver to hook on to the satellites for TV!

We were both tired when we finally got here.  We sat outside for a bit in the lounge chairs with something cold to drink, then decided to go over to the nearby Iron Skillet for supper.  Forry had the chicken fried steak he has been hungry for and I had a sirloin steak open face sandwich that was actually very good.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Adams County Auditor

Sometimes you run into people that really lean over backwards to be helpful -- we sure did today!  Many, many years ago, Forry and I bought a sailboat, a 23 foot San Juan (all after we had gone to Sailing School in the Virgin Islands for our 25th wedding anniversary).  After we moved to Spokane, it sat in its trailer in the driveway for the next eighteen years.  When we sold the house, our son-in-law Todd hauled it down to Oregon and has spent the last couple of years restoring both the both the boat and the trailer.

Todd has been trying to get the trailer licensed, but no one can find the title for it.  He got a temporary 30 day permit, but really needs to get the paperwork for it.  We sent into Ritzville to the Adams County Auditor today to see what we could do.  Nancy Crossler, the Auditor, spent almost an hour trying to get an answer from the State of Washington.  (Because it has been so many years since it was licensed, there is no record of it in the State's computer system.) We finally filled out an Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest which she certified. Hopefully, along with a Bill of Sale, it will do the trick for him.  It's truly nice to run into a public servant that makes such an effort to be helpful!

There was a vendor at the corner of the Interstate in Ritzville selling Hermiston watermelons and cantalope.  Of course, we picked up some to take home.  I do love this time of year!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Bays

When RVers talk about stuff "in the basement," they're usually talking about the storage bays in the bottom of their coaches.  We've been sorting out and cleaning the basement the last few days.  Almost every RVer that you see has outfitted their bays with various sizes of storage containers.  We label the containers and try to keep an updated list of what is in each bay. After doing one on the west side of Auntie Violet in the hot late afternoon sun, we got smart and did the last ones on that side early this morning.  Then this afternoon we started on the ones on the passenger side, the east ones.  It helped that it was a lot cooler today than it has been and also that the awning shades that side of the coach.

Forry is much more patient then I am.  We found that the contents of one of the storage bins which was full of beading materials, had gotten soaked with oil last fall when the seal on the hydraulic lifter for the living room slide blew.  The lid must have had a crack as there was a good half inch of oil in the bottom.  Needless to say, many of the containers inside were also oil-soaked.  I would have -- and was going to -- toss the whole mess into the garbage.  But not Forry!  He is patiently emptying out each of the little bead containers, washing them and the beads, and then drying them all. 

The nice thing about the bays in Auntie Violet is that they are actually hydraulic drawers.  Since they open up all the way past the side of the coach, there is no having to crawl in and out to work in them or to store stuff. I would sure hate to be doing all of this sorting and cleaning in the other kind.  Especially since we are also removing any evidence of our recent unwanted visitors.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Harvest Moon

The full moon came up in the east behind the windbreak tonight. 

It is definitely a big fat harvest moon!

From what we can observe, the biggest share of the dry land wheat has been harvested and the irrigated wheat harvest is well underway.  Several of the families in church this morning were talking about going camping or to the lake.

We haven't done a lot today.  We did watch the Mariners beat the Red Sox for the second game in a row.  And then watched the PBR (Professional Bull Riding) from Oklahoma.  There was one really nasty wreck where the bull not only tossed the rider, but fell on him in the process and then kicked him knocking him out.  You never want to watch them carrying a rider off on a stretcher.

I came home from Brother Pat's last night with a bags of corn and potatoes, some cucumbers and best of all a bag of heirloom tomatoes.  Made for some great eating again today!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Vegetarian Feast

"If you could eat like this, being a vegetarian might not be too bad," said Brother Pat as he finished off the feast we had tonight at his house.  I had brought the makings of a Walla Walla Sweet Onion Pie over with me.  I had par-baked the pie shell and measured out all of the other ingredients at home; then sliced and sauteed the onions in Cindy's kitchen.  While the pie baked, Pat brought in corn, cucumbers and tomatoes from his garden.  These were the first "real"tomatoes I've had this year, and were they ever good! Add some chunks of watermelon and cantalope and we did have a feast.  To top it off, Cindy had made a peach and blueberry crunch for dessert. Served warm with a little ice cream, it was delicious!

Patrick had read comments on my blog about onion pie and couldn't quite imagine what it might be like, so I promised I would fix him one.  His brother-in-law also came over and snagged a piece as he was curious too.

We've been watching the Mariners game against the Red Sox  Ichiro led off the game with a home run and they're still ahead 5-4 in the 7th.  Sure hope they can hang on.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sorting Time

It seems like once you start cleaning and organizing, it just keeps going.  Thank goodness our unwelcome visitors did not decide to explore any further than the kitchen area, but once we got all those cupboards cleaned and cloroxed, I've just kept going.  I had gone through all the bedroom and bathroom cupboards and closets a few weeks ago (and believe me, I've checked them again...!)  Today I started on the desk area.  I had a bunch of the files out as we were doing stuff in Spokane and I had all of them to put back -- and a few more to set up.  That got a lot of the clutter on my desk out of the way.  I still need to remove the computers and use some Liquid Gold on the desk itself -- maybe tomorrow.

We have certainly been enjoying Summer's bounty of fresh fruit.  There are still fresh cherries in the market -- the last ones I bought were actually from Montana.  I also came home with a melon, peaches and plums.  We've had some really nice apricots and a good honey dew melon.  I did go over this evening and get some fresh zucchini from the neighbor's garden to add to our salads.  The one thing we are NOT seeing yet are tomatoes.  So far, the ones I've seen have all been hothouse ones, or else the cardboard travelling ones.

I just finished reading a rather nice book on my Kindle called The Mill River Recluse by Darci Chan.  It was a good summer "feel-good" read.  I've just started Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.  I can already tell this is going to be a tough one.  It's about the round-up of Jews by French police in July of 1942 as told by a ten year-old girl.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Another Trip to Moses Lake

Another day of cleaning up after our visitors.  I found another drawer where they had tried to set up housekeeping.  So everything out of there; Cloroxed and washed.  And another bag of nibbled-on stuff out to the garbage.  I even found some more stuff to take out to storage.

I used the last of the orange juice for breakfast this morning and since we were also out of fresh blueberries, we had to use frozen ones for our granola. It was a good excuse to run into Moses Lake and visit Vic. He was sitting at the table outside of his room in a wheelchair reading a magazine when we got to Columbia Crest.  He does look a lot better and seems somewhat stronger than the last time we saw him.

Forry was hungry for a fish sandwich, so we went over to Burger King before we went grocery shopping.  Then a quick stop at Rite Aid and on to Safeway.  Getting groceries isn't that bad, but I sure wish someone else would put them all away when we get home!

It's August 11th which was our late mother's birthday.  It's always heralded by the Pleides meteor shower...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On Top of the Hill

This has been one of those days and I think I've spent a good share of it up here on the top of the hill, either on the telephone or the computer.  We just have had NO access for either down in the coulee.  But, then all of a sudden, my phone will ring and we've got coverage for a few moments.  I just don't understand.  If it's the towers like they say, how come we have reception sometimes???

We spent most of the day deep-cleaning after our nasty unwanted company.  Forry hasn't caught anything for a few days in any of his traps, so I hope they have all either been caught or taken the hint.  I cleaned all the drawers -- and everything in them -- with Clorox spray (and spotted a pair of shorts in the process!).  As we always seem to do when we clean out cupboards, we found a few things we are not using and set them aside to go in the storage unit.  I even managed to throw a few things away, though Forry questioned every one of them and rescued a few.

Even though I thought we did a pretty good job of down-sizing when we first started the full-time RV life, it seems as though we still have things we don't need. We try to follow the rule of always getting rid of something when we bring home something new, but don't always manage that either.

It was a bit cooler today.  I went outside after dinner to read while I listened to the ball game (the Mariners won!) and actually got so chilly I went back inside.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Once Again, A Day in Spokane

The Toad (towed) had an appointment in Spokane at Barton Jeep at 9:30 this morning!  Barton Jeep is in the Spokane Valley, so in order to be there on time, we had to leave at 7:30 AM. I don't think my hair was even dry when I got in the car. We grabbed some Mickey D's breakfasts on our way through Ritzville and even made a potty stop at the Sprague rest area and still got there on time. Toad has four spanking new Goodyear tires -- with the white writing facing out. (I don't know why that is important, but the garage man was quite serious about coming out to the waiting room to ask me which way I wanted the lettering...)

The Barton crew just barely got the tires and front end alignment done before it was time to scoot across town for my appointment with my orthopaedic surgeon. I was one of his first patients when he moved to Spokane a year and one half ago.  And he says I am his star patient -- he's very pleased with how well everything had turned out and how pain-free I am.  He had a medical student with him today and had a great time telling him all about it. Today's x-rays looked good.  There is nice bone growth all around the rods and screws and everything has stayed where it belongs. Unless I have problems, I don't have to come back to see him again.  NICE!

From Dr. Powers' office, we went over to the Spokane Teachers Credit Union to see about moving our RV loan to them from Bank of America.  When they went to check my credit score, we discovered there was still a "NO Report Freeze" on it from when we had an errant courier at my former employer (his bag of payroll documents was stolen when he stashed it in a locker overnight rather than delivering it...).  When you call Equifax to try to the freeze taken off so the credit union can check it, you get nothing but automated stuff that takes you around in circles.  And their web-site is just as bad.  I LOVE THE INTERNET! When I typed in "how can I talk to a real person at Equifax?"; I got to a web-site of the same question.  There were several phone numbers as answers -- the fourth one I tried worked.  I got an actual person who was able to remove the freeze!  She told me it might take from 15 minutes to three days for it to work.  I called STCU to let them know, Kim tried it and it worked!

We were at Son Sean's apartment while I was trying to get through to Equifax visiting with him. He was waiting for us to take him out to dinner.  We ended up at Hill's downtown which I would rate as an "okay" place to eat.  I had a roasted vegetable panini (Sean ate half of it), Forry had a Reuben and Sean had Philly cheese steak.

The bad thing about returning west from Spokane is having to drive into the setting sun.  Even with a fairly clean windshiled, it's not real fun.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Visit With Vic

Today was a laundry day (seems like there are a lot of them...!) I hung jeans outside and I think they baked dry!  It was in the mid nineties again. 

We headed in to Moses Lake about five o'clock to visit Vic at Columbia Crest.  He sure looks a lot better then when we visited in Wenatchee.  The twinkle is back in his eye! We visited with Vic for a while, then Pam came, so we had a chance to visit with her a bit as well.

We had a small debate about where to go for dinner, but ended up getting a shrimp basket and a mushroom burger from DQ and going to McCosh Park to eat.  It was very peaceful sitting by the lake.

We noticed as we drove into town that many fields of grain have been cut, but there are still lots of combines and trucks in the fields.  The stubble looks pretty thick and we are hearing reports of good bushel numbers.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Sunday Walk

It was another hot day today.  It was even warm in church today. The youth and Pastor Matt gave reports on their experiences at the convention in Pittsburgh.  It was interesting to hear the impressions of attendees who weren't involved in the planning and organizing of it.

We came home in time for leftover stroganoff and naps.  Well, dozing off while watching the Mariner's game anyway.  Then it was time for the PBR and bull-riding.  They were finishing up the weekend in Billings, Montana.  Sure wish we could see it in person again.  I'd love to be at the finals in Vegas!

It finally cooled off enough to go out for a walk this evening.  We had a chance to visit with the neighbors for a while.  Jeff and Tyler finished up harvesting our ground this afternoon.  Now we need to wait to hear the number of bushels.

By the time we walked out through the flat and back, it was already starting to get dark and cool off. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Unwelcome Company

While we were in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago, Auntie Violet took advantage of our absence and invited in some company we did NOT want! I guess I shouldn't blame her, they took advantage of a house that was empty for two weeks.  So far, we have trapped SIX of the nasty things!  We have various traps and sticky pads all over the place, but I am not sure we have managed to catch all of them.  We have reinforced the bait sticks in the downstairs bays, but have not yet put out new Irish Spring soap.  We do have light strips underneath Auntie Violet that are on a timer and come on automatically.  But all of these deterrents may not yet have stopped the visitors...

Because of the company, I have been on a cleaning binge -- I'm very thankful for Clorox spray!  Though they haven't been anywhere near the high medicine chest above the bathroom sink, I tackled that and the shower today.  I am always surprised how many half-empty and empty dried-out bottles I find when I sort that cupboard out.  And yet, I find myself hesitating to throw out something that might have a little bit of use left...

The Mariners won their game in Anaheim this evening and the PBR is back on TV after their summer break.  The bull riding is being held in Montana this weekend and the Brazilians are stealing the show.  When it's too hot to be outside, it's a good thing there's something interesting to watch on TV.  I've been reading all of Tess Gerritsen's books and have had enough of mysteries.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Another Hot Day in Spokane

Forry had an appointment at Heart Clinics NW this morning for an echo cardiogram.  It's been eleven years since his Mitral valve repair and Dr. Brennan thought it just might be time for a follow-up exam.  Heart Clinics NW is based in the Heart Institute adjacent to Sacred Heart Medical Center.  There is a parking garage under the building, so it was an easy visit.

When he was finished, we ran some other errands, dropping off some checks at the bank, the credit union and the brokers.  Then it was time to head north to Holy Family Hospital where I had appointments for a bone density scan and a mammogram at Inland Imaging adjacent to that hospital. The bone density test went very quickly (and I've already gotten an email from Dr. Brennan saying it was "normal"), but then there was a long wait in the little cubicle for the mammogram.  There were ten little changing cubicles in the room and they were all full.  The ones that emptied while I was waiting, immediately filled up again.  When it finally was my turn, the tech said that they were doing between 80 and 100 mammograms a day!  They were busy!

It was just too hot to be hungry, but we made several stops for something to drink.  Even broke down and picked up some Frappacinos at the Starbuck stand at Holy Family.  We went to Barton Jeep to check out the wear on the Toad's tires and made an appointment to get new ones and a front end alignment when we go back up next Wednesday. 

And from there we headed for home, with a short stop at the fruit stand in Ritzville. It has finally cooled down to seventy degrees outside.  I had made vegetable salads for supper -- it was almost too hot and sticky to even eat something cold.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hot, Hot, HOT!

It is definitely the Dog Days of Summer -- whatever that means!  The temperature was in the high nineties even before noon today.  We decided to go ahead and turn the air conditioner on early.  Neither of us like AC very much, but by mid-afternoon with the sun striking Auntie Violet broadside from the west, it is miserable in here without it.  Nicely enough, the humidity is so low that it only registers as "LO."  I can't even imagine what it would be like if we had the humidity of the Midwest and east...!

When I drove over to Barb's last evening, it was very apparent that just about everyone is harvesting.  There are combines and trucks in wheat fields all over the place.  From what we are hearing so far, the yields seem to be good.

I had read The Help several months ago when the book first came.  Now with all of the publicity about the movie, I decided to read it again.  I pulled it back up on the Kindle app on my iPhone.  It's a good book for a hot summer day.  Other than making a batch of beef stroganoff for supper, that's about all I accomplished today.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Laundry -- and the Ladies

It was a good day to do laundry.  There was enough of a breeze to quickly dry the clothes -- one batch was dry before I had the next ready to hang up.  I only did a couple of loads.  It's a lot easier to keep up when I don't wait a week or more.

This afternoon I made a salad with fresh corn (cut off the cob), diced Walla Walla sweet onion, red pepper and avocados.  I made a dressing of lime juice and salt with lime flavored olive oil.  Just before I left with it, I added some pine nuts and quartered small tomatoes.  This was all for a gathering of the Women's Bible Study group from Menno.  I will most likely not be here for the study that will be starting in September, but it was great to spend time with the ladies.  We met over at Barb's house for a scrumptious salad bar dinner.

We had a good update on our friend Vic this evening.  He's had a struggle post his successful knee surgery last week and is still in the hospital in Wenatchee.  But today it seems he is doing much better.  He may get transferred to the rehab place in Moses Lake by Friday, or more likely on Monday.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Visit From My Brother -- And Dinner at Inca

I had just headed back to the bedroom to take a well deserved nap this afternoon when Brother Pat showed up.  He was on his way to Odessa to check out some onion seed plantings his company (Montsano) has in the area. Forry ended up going with him and they checked out onion fields, canola, garbanzos, wheat and a field of something neither one of them could identify.  They were both pretty warm when they got back to Auntie Violet and I think they appreciated the cold drinks I fixed for us along with some cheese and crackers.

After Patrick left, we headed for Moses Lake where we joined our friends, Curt and Sarah, their daughter Anna, their son Pete, Pete's fiancee Tessa and her young son Ayden at Inca for a wonderful Mexican dinner. We hadn't seen any of them since last fall and it was good to catch up on all that is going on.  After dinner we went over to take a look at the house that Anna, an attorney, will be moving into shortly. It has a great view of the lake it overlooks.

Not too bad a way to end a day that had started with a trip to the dentist to have the prep work done for the new crown I need.  As he drilled it out, the dentist commented that it was probably a good thing the inlay had come out while we were in Pittsburgh.  There was enough decay under it that had it remained hidden, I probably would have lost the tooth, or at the very least ended up having to have a root canal.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Quiet, Hot and Frustrating...

We had a quiet day today. It was nice to sleep in and not to have to be anywhere.  It was a typical August day at Tree Heart Ranch, Ltd.  It got up to ninety degrees (good harvesting weather) on a cloudless sunny day.  But, as is usual down in this coulee, the temperature is already starting to drop this evening -- it's 60 degrees at 9 PM.  It's been getting into the low forties about five in the morning.  Chilly enough to start looking for that blanket you threw off when you went to bed...

We have not been getting good phone reception with either phone down here.  I am trying to set up appointments for all of the referrals we got from our primary care doc last week.  She wanted me to get a bone density test along with my mammogram.  I was calling to set up the appointments with Inland Imaging in Spokane this morning (I finally drove up to the top of the hill), but they needed the reference number from Group Health.  I called Seattle and got that, then Inland said they had not gotten the order... So I called the doctor's office and talked to the staff person who was sure she had sent it last week.  She promised to fax it over to Inland this afternoon, so I'll try making an appointment again in the morning.

I did get Forry's appointment set for an echo cardiogram this coming Friday.  It's been eleven years since he had his mitral valve repaired and it's time to check up on it.  I tried to get an appointment with my back surgeon for the follow-up x-rays he wanted this summer, but his scheduler's voice mail said she was out and would be back on Monday?  I called later in the afternoon and got the same message, so I'll try her again tomorrow as well.

Since I have to take the calendar and all of the paperwork I need with me in the car to the top of the hill (where I park alongside the road), it would be nice if I could get everything taken care of all at once.  I guess I really have nothing but time, but I still get frustrated...!