Sunday, September 29, 2013

Another Damp Day

We went to bed early last night, only to be awoken about ten-thirty by a huge gust of wind that shook Auntie Violet. It was followed by a downpour of rain that drummed loudly on the roof. Neither lasted long. It was a violent, fast-moving storm. The ground was puddles this morning, but so far we haven't had more rain.)

We got going a bit earlier this morning and actually got to watch Keiko in the ring today. He got another set of ribbons, but I understand the points don't count until Sister Sherry declares he is going for Grand Champion status (he got enough points yesterday to be considered a Champion). By being in the class today, he made sure there were enough dogs in the class for others to get their points.

Keiko was VERY glad to get back to the Farm this morning after the show. Since he had been at the groomers on Friday, Sherry had been attempting to keep him clean, so he hadn't been allowed to play soccer with the bowling balls. I took one out of the pool where we had hidden it which it made him extremely happy. He's definitely not a namby-pandy pampered dog!

Forry's spent most of the afternoon watching football games. He was delighted with Seahawks victory after listening to the announcers spend most of the game denigrating the Hawks. I did get to watch a bit of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) in between football plays.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Show Day -- and a Champion!

Sister Sherry and her friend Kathy left early this morning with Keiko San for the Richland Dog Show at the park on the banks of the Columbia River. Forry and I were going to get going a little later in order to watch him show. but we were slow getting going. We arrived at the ring just in time to see him posing with the judge and his handler with his ribbons! He now has all of his Champion points having gotten a Winner, a First Prize, a Best of Winners and a Best of Opposite Sex ribbon this morning.

It has been raining every day that we've been at the Farm, and last night it really came down hard. On our way back from the Park to the Farm, we went by acres and acres of grape vines.

 Some of the vineyards stretch for miles. The local paper is saying that it's going to be a very good harvest due to the hot weather this summer and the long fall without a freeze. They say the grapes may be a little small, but exceptionally sweet.

After the early start this morning, everyone is tired and I think naps are on the agenda for everyone.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wash Day

We up and going early this morning. Keiko San had a 7:30 AM appointment at the groomers this morning -- their first appointment of the day. I peaked in the door. They've got quite a neat set-up for big dogs. The baths are walk-in tubs with doors just like the ads on TV for tubs for old folks. Keiko was quick to come down the little ramp in the back of Sister Sherry's wagon and headed right in without any hesitation.

We left Keiko at the groomers (he was getting all pretty for the Dog Show tomorrow) and took Sherry's rig over to the Ford dealer to get its oil changed and its check-up. While that was being taken care of, Sherry and I walked around the corner for breakfast. When that was done, we picked up the car -- after a short wait -- and then went to the car wash. Like Sherry said, there had been a couple of rain storms and a bit of dust with the windows open and a cleaning was badly needed. It was the sort of car wash with lots of windows so that you could watch the process.

That done we headed for the grocery store to pick up turkey body parts (backs and necks) for the mastiffs. From there to the Carcineria (Mexican Meat Market) to pick up a dozen pig feet. Despite the language barrier -- and help from a young woman who told us the word for pig was puerco -- Sherry was able to get the butcher to saw the feet vertically for the dogs.

By that time, Keiko was finished at the beauty shop. He had had a bath and his whiskers trimmed. He was happy to see Sherry and greatly enjoyed being admired by a woman who saw him walking across the parking lot.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Just Hangin' Out

I can't say we've accomplished anything in particular while we've been at the Farm, but we are enjoying life. Part of it is just watching all of the critters as they roam around. The swallows and finches have all left already for warmer climes, so there isn't near the bird life we saw this summer. The herd of miniature horses has been hanging around the yard, taking on the grass mowing responsibilities --


Most of them are pretty friendly and will come to check out whatever it is they think you are doing --


It's kind of neat to look out Auntie Violet's window and see them grazing outside --

Oops, did I miss something?

And then there's this guy. He's the last of several goats that have come to the Farm to live out their last days (Sister Sherry keeps large animals for the local animal shelter...).

It definitely seems to be Fall. There hasn't been any frost yet, but it's certainly a lot chillier in the mornings.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Naptime for the Mastiffs

It's quiet at Sister Sherry's this afternoon. It has been drizzly all morning after a nice rain during the night. There was a brief spat of sunshine earlier, but the clouds quickly moved back in.

All of the dogs are enjoying the quiet -- well, it would be quiet if it wasn't for their snoring! After a busy morning, they are all three zonked out. Corin didn't even get her kerchief on before she crashed --

Deacon went and curled up on the couch in the study --

And instead of one of the dog beds, Keiko San decided he'd rather nap on the floor by Sherry's feet --

Sherry found some neat WSU (Washington State University) fabric on EBay. Yesterday I cut it up to make both kerchiefs and ties for the dogs. The piece of fabric was big enough that I was able to make several extra so that Sherry can give some to her friends at the dog show in the Tri-Cities this weekend.

We have been relatively lazy since we arrived back here on Saturday. Sherry and I did take a long walk out in the pasture yesterday trying to wear Keiko out a bit, but other than that we've been pretty lazy, just reading and talking.

Great-nephew Jared is here in the Walla Walla area as his engineering firm is planning some work at the VA Hospital. He'll be joining us for dinner tonight, so that will be good.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday at the Farm

We were up early this morning to head into Walla Walla to go to the Chapel on the Wainwright Veterans Administration Hospital grounds. Sherry's husband Stroh was a World War II vet who used VA services. Sherry has continued to attend services at the Chapel after Stroh's passage. We like to go with her whenever we are in this area.

Today was a special day as this week is Chaplain Ben's 91st birthday! Ben is the most incredible person. He always has the most interesting and thoughtful sermons. He would be amazing even if he were twenty years younger! Sherry had made caramel corn for after the service. Others brought cupcakes and cookies to help with the celebration.

We got a glimpse of the new hospital that is being built to replace this very old facility. It looks like it is really nice and is so needed!

We've spent a lazy afternoon reading the papers, grooming the dogs, and watching Mariners and Seahawks games. It's a good day when both of your teams win!

Sherry and I sat outside with the mastiffs a good share of the afternoon until it started to drip. We actually got a pretty nice rain for a while. From the sound of things, it's going to be a pretty wet week throughout the Northwest.

Yesterday, Once Again

Yesterday was another long day of driving. We were going to get an early start, but the Grandkids and their parents had other ideas! So, after breakfasting at IHOP, we finally got on our way about 1PM.

We braved I-90 and Snoqualamie Pass and sailed right through. I was driving and it looked to me like they were pretty well finishing up this year's work of blasting and widening the road for the season. We pulled into the yard at Sister Sherry's a little after eight, listened to a wee bit of the Mariners game and went to bed.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pan, the Musical

We drove Toad II from Sister Sherry's farm near Touchet to the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, Washington today. We lefy about ten this morning and got here about five-thirty this afternoon. Granddaughter Claire did a fine job as one of the "lost boys" and Grandson Varick was behind the lights. Varick is getting quite involved in the technical aspects of theatre while Claire continues to grow as an actor!

Our friends Bill and Leslie drove up from their RV Park near Bothell to go to the play with us. We went out to dinner afterwards at Applebee's (the only place we could find open!), so it's already quite late. So no more tonight!


Yesterday we packed up and left Ponderosa Falls after our month in Spokane. We headed south to my Sister Sherry's farm on the Touchet River.

By the time we got settled in, ate a bite and got the electricity hooked up, it was dark. I was too tired to walk over to the house where there is an Internet connection and just went to bed!

Today we are on our way (just with Toad II, we left Auntie Violet at the farm) to Mount Vernon to the Opening Night of Granddaughter Claire's latest theatrical effort, Pan, the Musical.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Flu Shots and More...

We are definitely trying to get everything we need to do in Spokane finished up before we head down to my sister's for a week and then to the ranch for a few days in preparation for the Mennonite County Auction. Forry started the task of packing up the recliners in their bags and we took up the rug and tried to shake off all of the pine needles from it. We ended up draping it over the picnic table to dry up a bit from the damp ground before we try to fold it up.

We made a trip to Group Health this afternoon and while we were there we got our flu shots. We both got the flu last January in spite of the shots -- though we were told it would have been a lot worse if we hadn't had the shots... I really do not want to get it again. I've never had my knee joints hurt so much!

We made a short stop at Costco to pick up a bag of avocados for Sister Sherry as well as a new carton of garbage bags and a few other small things. They are going to be working on the main road coming by Ponderosa Falls starting tomorrow and all of the detour signs were up. We followed the signs around to see where we were going to have drive with Auntie Violet as we leave tomorrow. It actually isn't going to be too bad.

It had rained almost all night and was still damp and rainy when we got up this morning. It started to clear off this afternoon and warmed up a bit as well. I guess what rain we had is nothing compared to what they are dealing with in Colorado and New Mexico!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Home Again, Home Again

I did take a few pictures Sunday at Infinity Mennonite Church in Harlem.

This is one I took early in the worship service. Later they brought in so many folding chairs to accommodate the people that kept arriving that there was hardly a path to the front. The women in front are their Worship Team.

Infinity is on a corner storefront. This mural is painted on the one side. All of their materials talk about being a peace church.

This is looking down the street from the church. You can see the watermelon stand on the left corner.

I was fascinated by the blocks and blocks of double-parked cars. The white van was our transportation into the city and again to the airport today --


Evidently a card with the church name on it in the windshield is sufficient to save you from being ticketed. The van was parked there from about 9:30 in the morning until after seven at night. I don't know what the inside cars do if they want to get out...

Today was another long day. We met all morning, then took the van for the two hour drive to the Newark airport. It was a four and a half hour flight from Newark to Salt Lake City, then another hour and a half from Salt Lake City to Spokane. At least I gained three hours in the process and we were actually back to Ponderosa Falls by a little after ten tonight. It's good to be home.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Meeting Day Two

We had another early start this morning. We had a pancake and sausage breakfast at 7:30 and were in the meeting by 8:15. It was a long day, finishing up in time for dinner at 6:00. As usually happens, items get added to the agenda and discussions take longer than planned. We have five new Board members, so a good deal of time is spent in explanation of or the history of an agenda item.

This evening after dinner, the Camp Director hooked up a hay wagon to his little wheel tractor and took us on a tour of the camp. Camp Deerpark is owned by five of the New York City churches. It used to be a farm and then a golf course. The buildings we are staying in were part of the old farmstead. They are building some new cabins nearby out of lumber from their own trees.

I understand I missed out on the horrible windstorm that swept through eastern Washington last night. Forry said there was just enough rain before the dust storm to make Toad II and Auntie Violet a mess...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Going to Harlem!

After an early breakfast this morning, we loaded everyone up and headed back into the city. We had three cars and a van with 22 of us. We drove for two hours into New York City to Infinity Mennonite Church right in the midst of Harlem. I don't know if you can just do it on Sundays, but for blocks around the area, the streets were full of double-parked cars! The church pastor came out and showed the guys where to double- park the van. We parked there until after seven o'clock tonight without being ticketed!

We were at Infinity in time for Sunday School led by Bishop Yoder. We had all been seated on the left side of this storefront church, but before services started, Pastor Alfred Taylor decided he wanted to "mix things up," and had the ushers move everyone around so that we were well interspersed with his congregation. Surprisingly enough, while there were women there with all stages of dressiness, there were no hats!

The  worship music was incredible -- it was loud and enthusiastic. There were four women and one man on the music team, plus a drummer and a keyboard player. No hymn books here! (But I did notice some well worn blue hymnals in the chair backs,,,) Mennonite Church USA CEO Ervin Stutzman gave the sermon -- I'm not sure what his Amish ancestors might have said, but I told him afterwards he'd make a good Southern Baptist preacher...

This is the congregation my good friend Addy Banks has been serving at. It was so good to see her, exchange hugs, and bring her greetings from our Menno Church group.  More and more people kept showing up, they put out more chairs in the  aisle and then put out more until there was barely a trail from the back to the front!

After the service, there was lunch served to everyone, then we settled in the sanctuary for Session One of our Board meeting. Mid-afternoon, we snacked on slices of watermelon one of the Board Members bought  from a vendor across the street. Then at six o'clock, they fed us again! We had a lovely chicken dinner before we once again loaded up the vehicles and began the two hour trek back to Camp Deerpark and bed!



4:00  time to get up and shower
5:00. Off to the airport
5:15. Go through security
6:15. Take off for Salt Lake City
8:00  land in SLC
9:05  take off for Newark
3:50 land in Newark
4:00 find ride to Deer Park Camp
6:00 hooray! Arrive in time for last of dinner
9:00 BED!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Another Beautiful Day

I love this gorgeous weather we have been having! It got up to 85 degrees today with lots of sunshine. I know now why my mother liked this kind of weather so much. None of my arthritic joints hurt!

We had to be up and going early this morning as I had an 8:20 appointment at Group Health. Forry came along and had some repeat blood work done while I had a small nevi removed from my face. I ended up with two stitches that will have to be removed sometime next week.

From Group Health, we made a couple of other stops trying to see if we could get a couple of Forry's appointments expedited so that we can get them done before we plan to head south. We ended up with promises that we would be called if there are any cancellations...

I have spent part of the afternoon getting organized, packing and printing my boarding passes. I have a flight out on Delta at 6:10 in the morning that will take me to Newark, New Jersey via Salt Lake City. I'll get in about 9 PM and then will have at least a 45 minute drive to Camp Deerpark where the Executive Board meeting will be held.

The Mariners are in St. Louis tonight, so the game started at five our time. At least I should be able to get to bed early!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My "Must-Do" List

There are a few things I really want to do while we are in Spokane. One of them is to go to Gordy's Sichuan Café to eat. We been talking about it and finally this afternoon when I went to get meat out of the freezer for supper, I decided I didn't want to cook. I wanted to go to Gordy's!

Gordy's is basically a hole-in-the-wall little place up on the South Hill on 30th. It only has maybe fifteen tables and it's always full -- even on a weeknight. The tables are rather bare. They set them with a napkin, a bowl and a pair of chopsticks. The food is incredible. They've been voted the best Asian food in Spokane several years in a row.

One of the specials tonight was one of our favorites, Smokey Bacon and Cabbage. We had an order of Sesame Prawns for an appetizer, then the Smokey Bacon with a side order of green beans. Of course you can't eat at Gordy's without sharing a dish of ice cream with their signature candied orange chocolate sauce for dessert!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Errand Day

We spent a good share of today traipsing around Spokane and getting a few errands done. Forry has been wanting to replace the screw-on safety clasps on our towing set-up with some snap-on clamps, making it easier to hook-up. We had thought perhaps Camping World might have some, but when we checked there a couple of weeks ago, the only ones they had were the ones that were already on towing rigs. Forry thought maybe a place that handled logging equipment or something like that might have them. I used Safari on my iPhone and finally narrowed my search for chains enough to come up with Spokane Chain and Cable out on West Broadway. He needed clamps that were rated for at least 6000 pounds and sure enough they had them.

I should have gone looking for a Sketchers shoe store when we were over on the west side of the state. There are several there including a couple of outlet stores. I have been wearing nothing but sandals almost all of the time. The one pair of sneakers I own has Velcro clasps which are worn through. I'm not sure what kind of weather we'll be having in rural New York this weekend, but I don't think my sandals will be the right kind of footwear for Camp Deerpark. We went out to the Valley Mall and found a Famous Footwear store. They only had a couple of pairs of Sketchers in my size and with a wide width. Hopefully, I did find a pair of sneakers that will work. It's not often we are anywhere where socks and shoes are necessary, but at least now I am prepared.

The last stop we made was at Costco. After walking around the Valley Mall looking for a shoe store and then around the Costco warehouse, I think I have gotten my exercise for the day. Forry waited in the Food Court at the Mall for me, then rode one of the motorized carts at Costco, so he actually enjoyed shopping with me. Unfortunately, it was too early in the afternoon for him to have his favorite meal. He'll have to wait and have his Costco Dog another day.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Coyote and Dinner With Sean

We went into Spokane this evening to take Son Sean out to dinner. In the several years we have been coming to Ponderosa Falls RV Park, the housing out on this portion of Spokane's West Plains has grown significantly. There have been several hundred homes built out here in the last few years. As we drove by on our way to town, we spotted this large coyote meandering across the field on the edge of one of the developments --

We stopped an watched him for a bit. He seemed totally unfazed by our scrutiny and even watched us for a bit before he continued his walk.

We've not seen deer this trip, although we saw them quite regularly last fall when we were here. We've also not seen the large flock of quail we used to see. The farmer at the end of Ponderosa Falls entrance used to feed the quail up by his house. The property is now for sale and the house is empty. I guess the quail are looking elsewhere for their lunches.

Sean and his friend Carma have been eating occasionally at a Mexican restaurant on the corner of Cedar and 2nd. He thought it was pretty good, so wanted to take us there. The food was not bad at all. I had some very good Carne Asada while Forry stuck to one of the burritos he's been eating lately.

It was nice to see that some work has been done on Sean's apartment complex. It had been for sale, but I understand it is now off the market. The overgrown shrubs along the sides have been torn out and lots of flowers planted. There seems to be work being done on the apartments in the portion next door to Sean's building. I'd really like to see them replace the very worn linoleum in his kitchen. He's said that they've told him it is going to happen...

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Busy Day

We've been busy checking off all the medical appointments on our "to-do" list. Today Forry had an appointment at his dermatologist's office. Like many old farmers who spent hours in the sun, he has been dealing with pre-cancerous lesions on his face for several years. He thinks that the staff in that office just waits for him with their little cans of liquid nitrogen to freeze things off. This morning was no exception -- he has a few more "owies" on his face and hands...

From the dermatologist's office on the South Hill, we went out to Group Health's Riverfront office to pick up some prescriptions from their pharmacy. After that, it was out to Cheney to pick up the box of mail that Daughter Mary Mae had sent us last week. I was very disappointed to find that our new Neskowin Creek Legacy cards were not in the mail as promised. I guess I'll be making phone calls tomorrow again...

This afternoon once again found me doing laundry. It was a nice warm day today, so at least the clothes are drying quickly. It's supposed to be really nice the rest of the week. I guess we are now in "Indian Summer."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Another Wonderful Day...

We woke up to FOG this morning! It was widespread as we drove I-90 west to Menno. As usual it got thicker as we neared Ritzville (years ago, the mail pilots all talked about "the Ritzville Fog Bank"). Then it cleared up and we began to see sunshine.

You can tell summer is truly over when the Fall Sunday School kickoff happens. The annual Sunday School potluck followed services this morning. There was a sense of excitement as Menno is starting its participation in the denomination-wide "Year of the Bible." All of the classes, from the adults to the children, will be participating.

You can also tell it's Fall when talk is all of the upcoming Mennonite Country Auction (MCA). Always held the first Saturday in October, the sale and auction is now in its thirty-fifth year. It is one of 47 sales held throughout the US and Canada every year. The various booths and auction sales support the relief work of the Mennonite Central Committee throughout the world. Because of the volunteer support, MCC has an incredible reputation as one of those organizations which has minimal administrative expense. We get attendees from across the Northwest who want to support MCC and want their dollars to go directly to those in need. Several of the quilts that have been arriving for the auction were displayed in the front and back of the sanctuary. I always think that the quilts cannot get any more exquisite, but then I see the quilts arriving and I think they are the most beautiful I've ever seen. To see pictures of some of this year's quilts and other auction items, go to:

Diane announced in church this morning that her brother, Jim Stucky, had died this morning. Jim came out from Kansas and donated his services as auctioneer to the MCA every year. He had announced last year that it would be his last year as one of the auctioneers. He was known by the children for the wonderful Children's Stories he told on Sunday mornings after the sale. Jim will be truly missed by family and friends. Rest In Peace my friend.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Another Rainy Day

I know I heard the weather forecaster on TV saying we were going to have a beautiful warm weekend. But it's already Saturday night and I have seen NO sign of it. There was a  brief glimpse of blue sky this morning when I first got up, but it soon started to cloud over. And it never did warm up! As I was getting dinner -- and making a cucumber salad for tomorrow's potluck at church -- I began to hear rain on the roof. It rained pretty hard for about an hour. This time it wasn't a thunderstorm, just rain that came straight down without any wind to blow it sideways.

It's Saturday, which meant there is football game after football game on TV. Finally six o'clock came and I got to watch the Mariners game. They have brought up another one of their hot young pitchers to make his major league debut tonight. Paxton is a lefty, and so far (6th inning) has done a great job against the Tampa Devil Rays.

It's interesting to watch the traffic in and out of the RV park. Suddenly, there are lots of empty sites in the park. There is a line of rental cabins sort of across the road from us. They were full over Labor Day, but have been empty ever since. Today there was a flurry of activity and all of a sudden four of them are full again. I heard one guy saying something about having already winterized their RV and put it away, but thought they'd get one more weekend of camping in.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A VERY Nice Day!

We had lunch today with a very special, very dear friend! Our friend Mary had come into Spokane this morning from her home on Tiger Mountain for a consult and we met at Maggie's South Hill Grill up on 29th. Maggie's was one of the places we enjoyed for lunches when we lived here in Spokane. We weren't sure it was still here and still open since restaurants sometime have short lives. But we drove up that way and sure enough it was still here and it was open!

Mary arrived a few minutes after we did and we had a chance to catch up just a little bit while we ate. She had a Reuben that looked delicious and I had a bowl of wonderful butternut squash soup that was absolutely scrumptious. Forry wasn't hungry, so just had ice tea.

He had an appointment early this afternoon to have an MRI done of his back at Columbia Imaging which was just around the block from the restaurant. Forry and I headed over that way while Mary went to pick up a few things at Trader Joes. She joined me while I was waiting for Forry to have his imaging done and we had a chance to visit a little bit more. The doctor is running a bunch of tests on Forry to try to find out why his back and legs are hurting when he walks very far.

But, we decided that we just had too much to catch up on, so made plans to drive up to her home in the woods near Colville early next week. Mary is one of those dear souls that we cannot have seen for over a year, but can pick up the conversation as if we had just talked yesterday. Now that she is retired, we'll have to see if we can get together more often.

We did have another thunderstorm last night, but it blew through pretty fast. We could hear thunder in the distance this morning, but only had a few drops of rain. But, the storm did  drop the temperature considerably. I put on long pants and a long-sleeved shirt this morning and we actually plugged in the little heater this evening in the living room.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I should have known better then to tempt the universe. Yesterday while we were at the Suzuki shop, they gave Toad II a nice much-needed bath. Then when we got home I carried my basket of geraniums over to the empty site next to us and soaked it good. It went from being very light and easy to carry to so heavy I could hardly carry it back to its spot in front of Auntie Violet.

So, wouldn't you know it, it poured rain last night! We had three different bands of thunderstorms come through during the night. In addition to the thunder and lightening, it rained. And then it rained some more! It rained so hard about 2 AM that I got up to see if it was hail!

These storms moved clean across the state yesterday afternoon, during the night and early this morning. Today we went from overcast to a very nice sunshiny day to an evening with gathering clouds and forecasts of more storms. There is another flash flood warning for the Spokane and Northern Idaho areas tonight.

I was up early this morning as I had a 10:30 appointment for my routine mammogram. I went to the beautiful new Inland Imaging building on the South Hill. It is very nice and they only do mammograms there, so they are very quick and efficient. I had thought once I hit seventy, I would not need to get routine scans anymore, but my doctor believes otherwise. She has had patients that had life-saving mammograms in their eighties, so I guess I had best resign myself to keep getting them. I must admit, the newer machines are more comfortable then the old ones used to be...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Butler

We went to see The Butler Saturday night and I've been thinking about what I wanted to say about it ever since. First of all, Forrest Whitacker and Oprah Winfrey did an incredible job. You know it's a good acting job when you forget the actor is someone famous like Oprah and you start thinking of them as the role they are playing.

In case you aren't familiar with the story, it follows a young boy from his childhood on a cotton farm where his father is shot in front of him for daring to object to the rape of his mother by the plantation owner. The plantation matriarch takes the young boy into the manor house to teach him how to be a house servant. He goes from there to jobs in hotels and is eventually recruited to work as a butler in the Eisenhower White House.

Forry and I lived our early married life during the period of time the film encompasses. I must admit that in our rural Eastern Washington farm home, we were somewhat isolated from what was going on in our country. While we watched the Freedom Riders, the Vietnam War protests and the riots on TV and agonized over the Kennedy and King assassinations, we really were on the very periphery of what was happening.

The movie follows the butler's career through the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Johnson and Reagan administrations. The very fact that the African-American staff was routinely paid less than the Caucasian staff for the same work underscores the disparity that was pervasive. We had seen 42, the Jackie Robinson story earlier this summer. I've come away from these movies thinking both of them should be shown in American History classes. They've given us a lot to think about.

Toad II got an engine and differential oil change today. AND he got a much needed courtesy bath as well. After our appointment at the Suzuki shop, we stopped at a Safeway and stocked up on groceries. I sure wish some of those nice people that help you take your groceries out to the car would come home with me and help carry them in and put them away!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Life Goes On...

When we meet people and eventually end up telling them we are full-time RVers, we often get comments that seem to indicate we are constantly on vacation. Some people observed that we don't have to do yardwork, but seem to not realize that the same old chores need to be done as if we lived in a stick and brick house instead of a motorhome.

Today was one of those days. We were both tired after two days of traveling west albeit for wonderful church and family time. Forry had to come up with enough energy to take out the garbage and to empty the grey water tank. While I occasionally deal with the garbage, the sewage is definitely his task!

It was also the first part of the month, which meant I needed to turn on the computer, log in to our credit union and use BillPay to take care of our bills. I not only use BillPay to pay our bills, but I use it to have checks sent for our charitable donations. It only takes a half hour or so of my time. And I don't need to come up with envelopes or stamps. It makes life much easier all the way around.

Meals need to be cooked, beds need to be made and dishes need to be washed. Floors need to be vacuumed or swept and washed. Toilets and sinks and refrigerators need to be cleaned. It doesn't matter what kind of a house you live in, on wheels or otherwise, life goes on...

And gorgeous sunsets continue to appear!

Monday, September 2, 2013


I had seen a recipe from Paula Deen for fresh peach cobbler that sounded really good. I peeled some of the peaches we got at the Ritzville fruit stand yesterday and made it up. Only, knowing a bit about Paula Deen's recipes, I cut the sugar almost in half and it was still very good. I picked up some Tillamook Old-Fashioned Vanilla ice cream at Safeway as we  came through Moses Lake and served it with the cobbler.

The problem was, we were all stuffed already, but everyone managed to eat it anyway! We had driven down to my Brother Pat and Cindy's house and spent the afternoon visiting with them. Cindy was babysitting three three-week old puppies for Niece Becky. Becky and her husband David and their two sons had gone to Oregon for the weekend. Fortunately for us, they got back in time to join us for dinner. The boys have really grown -- Carter will be starting kindergarten tomorrow.

Niece Ashley, Kyle and their son Jackson also joined the party. I had seen Jackson briefly last fall when he was just a baby and now he is running all over the place. What a little cutie!

We had a bbq feast. Cindy put Yukon Gold potatoes from their garden on the grill and we had green beans, corn on the cob, sliced heritage tomatoes along with a cucumber and sweet onion salad. Pat barbecued both salmon and halibut that he had caught on his trip to Alaska fishing in July.

The more time goes by, the more Patrick reminds me of our Dad. We came home with a big box of goodies from his garden just like we used to do from Dad's. I have a whole bunch of heirloom tomatoes (they taste and smell so good!), cucumbers, green beans, some little peppers, a bag of shelled hazelnuts AND a package of salmon and one of halibut!

It was a lovely afternoon. It's so good to spend time with family!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Wheat is Up; The School is Down

We drove over the hill to the ranch before church this morning to check on the winter wheat. It had all been seeded last week, but nothing was up. Today, the furrows are showing green.

It's nice to see the nice green shoots coming up --

On our way back home, we drove through Ritzville to take a look at the site of the old Ritzville High School. The building has been abandoned for over twenty years, It's had various owners with all kinds of ideas about possible uses of the building, but nothing ever seemed to work out. The roof had collapsed and one of the walls was falling down. It was finally declared a public nuisance and the City ordered it to be demolished.

Forry and I both went to high school in this building as did both of my parents and two of my sisters. Daughter Mary Mae went to school here and Son Sean was in the last class to graduate from here.

It's been quite sad to see this beautiful old building decay and go to ruin.


It will be interesting to see what will become of the lot the old high school was on. It's immediately adjacent to the City Park -- maybe they'll decide to extend the park...