Monday, June 30, 2014

Moving Day

Our four weeks at Ponderosa Falls were up and today was our day to move. We had made reservations to go back to Peaceful Pines RV Park in nearby Cheney when we realized we were coming up on the Fourth of July. When you are retired and full-timing, you don't always think about or need to look forward to having time off on holidays. They tend to sneak up on you and the next thing you know, you haven't reserved a campsite and everywhere you check, there is no vacancy.

Even though we made reservations over a month ago, we are still going to have to move from our full hookup site for four days to make room for someone who reserved our space a year ago! It's no big deal. We will just move to the other side of the park for the duration. There's no sewer hookup there, so we'll have to shift to our boon-docking, water-conserving mode for a few days. Then we'll move back over here for the rest of our two week stay.

I haven't seen much of Forry today, he's spent most of the day napping in his recliner. I think the last few days of staying up late to fetch me from the airport (and fretting that I wouldn't make it home that night) and driving down to Menno yesterday caught up with him today. We were up and going early besides.

I started on the laundry after we got settled in and got a couple of loads done. I am always surprised at how much laundry I have after a trip. I guess when I'm at home I don't change my shirt and wear clean clothes every day...

Sunday, June 29, 2014

94 Years Old!

Our dear friend Vic celebrated his ninety-fourth birthday today at Menno. There was a potluck after church, then his family furnished two kinds of birthday cake. What an incredible amount of things he has seen in those 94 years!

If it hadn't been for the birthday celebration, I probably would have stayed in bed this morning. I was really tired. By the time we got home last night, it was close to midnight and a bit after by the time we actually got to bed.

This is a picture of what it looked like last evening when we taxied into the gates in Minneapolis. You can tell that the thunderstorms had dumped a lot of water on the tarmac. But -- there was that rainbow!

I did give a bit of a report on the Executive Board meeting at church this morning, but since the meat of the report will not be released until Monday afternoon (after all of the affected people have been notified), I had to pretty much speak in generalities.

We did stop over at the ranch -- Forry had remembered the keys this time -- and picked up the bars for the top of the Suzuki. Forry wants to get a carrier for the top of Toad II so that we have a place to store the canopy.

Day 3

Meetings 'til noon. We've made some decisions that some people will hate, some people will like and , just maybe, a few will think we did it right...

Long delay in Chicago as there  were major thunderstorms moving through Minneapolis. After an hour and a half, we got on the plane and taxied out. Then we waited another hour in line as they were only flying out in one twenty mile corridor. Each plane had to be twenty miles out before the next plane could take off. We were fourth in line so basically had to wait until the first plane was one hundred miles away.

Luckily we originally had a three hour window between flights, so actually made the flight to Spokane. We left there a bit late, but were only about ten minutes late in Spokane, getting in a little after eleven.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 2

It's 9:30 and we just finished the day's meeting. It's  been a long, but productive day.  We had some report on the "Come and See" trip by one of the Board members who went to Palestine. We had a training session on Intercultural Competency. Then we spent all the rest of our time wrestling with the wording on the document the Task Force had developed.
It's been a long day!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

One Day Down

Actually, that's not true. We didn't start the meeting until 1:30 this afternoon, so I guess I should say half a day down. Though we did add a session this evening after supper as we had quite a few visitors that we met with tonight.

In contrast to the meeting in February when a good share of the Board didn't make it due to the snowstorm/blizzard, we are only missing one person. And he's due to arrive tonight.

I am struck by the collegiality of this group. It helps that I am rooming with my friend Tina. That always makes for a special time.

I need to get to bed. We don't start until 8 tomorrow, but due to the time zones, that's 6 AM for me!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Off to Chicago

Two flights today. The first one from Spokane to Salt Lake City, the second from SLC to Chicago. The Mennonite Church Executive Board meeting doesn't start until tomorrow afternoon, but you can't  get here from the West Coast by noon, so I had to come today.

I went through the TSA fast access line this morning. That is really nice. No shoes come off and the iPad didn't have to come out of the bag. I did set the machine off  with my knees, went through the scanner and had the quickest pat- down ever.

The flight to SLC was nice and boring - only had time for one cup of coffee. I didn't have a lot of time before my next flight. I had just gotten downstairs and to the gate when I got a call from Delta saying the flight was delayed. A few minutes later the fellow at the desk announced that Air Traffic Control in Chicago was holding incoming flights due to thunderstorms in the area.

We ended up leaving an hour late. My friend Tina, coming in from Denver, was delayed as well. We met up at the shuttle stop and took the shuttle to the hotel. By then it was after ten. Fortunately, the hotel restaurant was open until midnight so we were able to get some dinner as neither of us had eaten.

We be able to sleep in tomorrow as our meeting doesn't start until one.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Day Downtown

I had the last follow-up post-op appointment for my right eye this morning with the optometrist at Group Health. He seemed to think after his exam that all was going very well. This is the last day of the three kinds of drops four times a day. Tomorrow I get to eliminate the antibiotic drop and just do the other two three times a day for the next week.

While we were at Group Health, I went upstairs for a blood pressure check. The MA who checked it used too small of a cuff and did it on my forearm -- didn't listen to my advice at all.  Of course, he ended up with a sky-high reading which got everyone excited. We ended up having to hang around awhile while he talked to the doctor. Finally, an LPN came in and did it correctly. Of course, it was very much within normal limits... They even had pulled the pharmacist who has been working with my FP into the discussion. (I got an email from him tonight assuring me that I didn't need to worry about those first readings...)

Next we went over to the Apple Store at River Park Square to see if I could do something about the slow charging battery on my iPad. We made an appointment to come back at 1:40 to meet with the Genius Squad. We killed the the hour or so we had to wait with a latte and a cookie at the Nordstrom Lunch Bar. Turns out that the battery is fine, it was just running slow because of fragments of software and junk. The tech backed it up, then wiped it clean and reinstalled everything. While in the process, I also go rid of some apps I no longer use. I ended up buying a new full cover for the iPad as well as a trio of extra cords.

During our initial wait, I also tried to buy a new pair of sandals at the Walking Store, but they only had two shoes in the Ecco brand that I like, neither of which were sandals. I ended up ordering a pair which should be here in about a week.

As we were finishing up, Forry got a call from Apria, the people that supply the CPAP machines. They said they still had not received a report of the sleep study from the doctor. So, we went over to the Sleep Institute to see if they had it done yet (it'll be a month tomorrow!). Their receptionist seemed a bit embarrassed, but did go to check where the report was. Turns out it had been dictated by the doctor and was at the transcriptionist's, and most likely would be back tomorrow. BUT, the doctor is on his two week rotation at Sacred Heart's ICU... Which means he will not be back at the Sleep Institute until the second week in July! She did finally say that she MIGHT be able to take the report over to the hospital to have it signed...  Something seems just terribly inefficient about this whole setup!

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Girls 'Gave Us the Bird!'

We drove down to the ranch this morning with Son-in-law Todd.  Daughter Dawn wanted some lilac shoots from the ranch for the yard at their new house. We had wanted to get some stuff from the storage trailer, but Forry left the keys at home.  We did find the missing keys to the little trailer -- right in the door where I seen them in my dream.

Barb, our tenant's wife, had the day off, so we had a chance to visit with her and get caught up on their two sons, Colby and Tyler. The wheat is definitely starting to turn, harvest is not too far off. We sent Todd off on his way back to Oregon and drove home via the Schrag place and the old highway. There's some good looking wheat out there!

Todd brought us a "May Present" yesterday. Along with Mother's Day, the month of May brings both of our birthdays and our wedding anniversary. Our daughters had found this incredible peacock at a kite shop near the ocean. It's a good four feet long with a tail that turns in the slightest breeze.


We all got quite a chuckle after someone commented that the girls had "given us the bird!" It especially appropriate since when we still lived on the ranch, we had a flock of almost thirty semi-feral peafowl. We put it outside today -- its fun to watch.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Company Time

Early this afternoon there was a knock on our door and a voice asking "is there anybody home?"

We were expecting our Son-in-law Todd later this afternoon on his way back from the PNMC in Kalispell, but he had gotten an earlier start. What a pleasant surprise. We had not seen him since last summer so it is a delight to have him here!

I had made dinner reservations at Clinkerdagger's down on the Spokane River and asked to be seated outside on the patio. Due to all the snow in the mountains since February, the river is running very high and full. It is spectacular to look at as well as listen to.

I am not always a fan of calamari, especially if it's rubbery, but what we had tonight was crisp and delicious. The salads (pea for me and Caesar for the guys) were fresh and crunchy. Forry and I split an order of BBQ ribs and still had more than we could eat (Todd brought part of his stuffed chicken home as well.). We persevered however, and managed to split an order of creme brulee three ways. (This restaurant introduced Spokane to creme brulee during the 1973 World's Fair.)

We're now home watching the US vs Portugal soccer World Cup game. We already know that it ended up a tie game of 2-2, but it's a fun game to watch, even if it is delayed broadcast.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

An Outing

Today we went out for the first time since my eye surgery (other than follow-up visits to the eye surgeon). It was interesting to notice the lack of depth perception I have with only the cataract removal and lens replacement in one eye. At the restaurant we stopped at for dinner, the exit area had black rugs laid down on concrete. The contrast between the concrete and the black rug made me feel like there was a step down even though the ground was perfectly level.

It was also interesting in the grocery store. The contrast of the different colors on the shelves and the aisles was almost dizzying. I found myself being a bit careful about where I stepped. I think my trip through airports next week might be interesting. At least with the new lens I can see the signs!

Forry had to empty both the black and gray tanks this afternoon so that we could both shower and run the dishwasher. It's the usual chores that have to be done around the RV whether we are traveling or sitting still.

It was another good Mariners game in Kansas City this afternoon. It's great to see the boys winning games against the Royals.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Heading for the Weekend

You can tell it's getting into the summer routine around the RV Park. There was a pizza night at the clubhouse this evening and now there is Karaoke. That would be perfectly fine, but they are holding it outside and broadcasting it across the camp! Some of it is nice, but some of it makes one wonder why or how the singer decided they could sing... I guess I could understand if it was a bar where was alcohol involved, but somehow that doesn't jibe with the family atmosphere here...

The park is again pretty full. It's been rainy and overcast all week, but the weekend is supposed to be nice -- and the longest day of the year is on Saturday. Every RV seems to come equipped with one, two or three dogs. It's fun to sit and watch the parade go by. There are some really cute pups. Often it looks like the dogs are taking the people for a walk instead of the other way around.

We didn't do a whole lot today. I folded and put away all of the laundry from . Forry did some vacuuming. I put in eye drops several times and we watched the Mariners beat the Kansas City Royals in a nail-biter. It was another good day.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Quiet Busy Day

It was a quiet day today. I spent it doing laundry and getting used to not having my glasses. It is so ingrained in me to look for them everytime I get up to do something. The first thing I do in the morning is get my glasses off of the nightstand. After all these years, it's automatic. I often take my glasses off when I am lying down or when I'm reading. So when I get up to put in another load of laundry or do something else, the first thing I do is look for my glasses. It'll be interesting to see how long that lasts.

My vision is even better - clearer - today than it was yesterday. Forry says I seem to have a permanent smile on my face. And I guess I do. Life is good!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How Many Years Has It Been?

I woke up this morning to extremely clear vision in my right eye. I tried putting my glasses on, but that just made things blurry. At the Spokane Eye Clinic for my post-op check-up, Dr. Ranson told me my eyesight was now good enough to get a driver's license without even doing my left eye!

Forry and I were trying to figure out how many years I have worn glasses and have been unable to even see the bedroom clock without them. I think I was about eight years old. I hadn't been able to see the numbers on the score board at Dad's baseball games. I can remember coming back from Spokane with my new glasses and being surprised that the billboards had writing on them, not just pictures.

So that means it's been sixty-five or sixty-six years that I've needed glasses in order to find my way around in the wold. I did try contacts a couple of times, but ended up in agonizing pain in the middle of the night from irritated reactions to them.

So this going without glasses is a big deal for me. My astigmatism was so bad that I have never been without them. This is really going to take some getting used to.

I will probably be whining about all of the eye drops however. I need to put them in four times a day for the first week; three times a day for the next week; twice a day for the third week; then once a day for the fourth week. By that time, I'll have had the left eye done and will be starting the whole routine all over again!

Thought I'd share a picture of the beautiful roses I got last week when we were at Safeway. They have opened up and are absolutely gorgeous.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Drops and Patches

For a non-morning person, used to sleeping in, five fifteen came awfully early this morning. I had showered before I went to bed last night, so it was a matter of getting up, brushing teeth, eating breakfast, taking meds and getting out the door by 6 AM. We were at the Spokane Eye Surgery Clinic by 6:30, actually ten minutes for my appointment.

What a busy place! I don't know how many surgery suites they have, but it was a busy place. They take you back to a big easy chair that folds flat and actually goes into the surgery with you on it. After several more rounds of eye drops and an IV start, my doctor stopped by to visit; said he'd already done two this morning and that I'd be done before I knew it.

He was right. Of course, they draped my entire face so I couldn't see a thing. There was no pain, just a bit of pressure. In just a few minutes they were removing the drape and taping on an eye patch. They wheeled me back out, I had a glass of water, and I was sent home.

I had to wear the patch until five this afternoon. When Forry took it off for me,  we could see that the right eye is still very dilated. But I could see the Mariners on TV quite well without my glasses with that eye. Things are a little bit blurry, but they did tell me to expect that.

I must admit I have spent most of this very rainy drizzly day dozing or napping. I woke up this afternoon long enough to chat with Brother Pat, then fell back to sleep again. Nice drugs they gave me this morning! Now that the patch is off, it was back to the eye drop routine. (It goes on for the next four weeks.)

I have an appointment to see the surgeon again tomorrow morning at 8:20. Not quite as early as this morning, but early enough!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Storage Unit

Believe it or not, after eight years, Forrest still has stuff in a storage unit here in Spokane! It's mostly photography studio stuff -- things like background drapes, lights and reflectors. Wish we could find someone who would like to have it. He's also got a neat mat-cutting table. He told Daughter Dawn it was not much bigger than a card table, but it's at least five feet by five feet. It's a wooden table platform on a metal roller stand.

We had driven out to the storage place today just to take a look at what all he had in there. We had the key to the padlock on the unit, but Forry wasn't sure anymore what the number was. There some other odd stuff in the storage unit as well. An acetylene welding setup with the tanks; a developer tank and a conference room size table as well as some shelving stuff.

Just out of curiosity, we drove home the back way through Medical Lake to take a look at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery. We had seen it when they had just opened it a year or so ago. The grass was still not all up then and there were only a few gravestones up. Now there are two sections almost filled up as well as the crematory niches. They have planted hundreds of trees around the perimeter areas. Given a few more years of growth, it's going to be a beautiful spot.

Forry has been wanting to stop at the Petro Iron Skillet to eat, so we decided tonight the night. As truck stops go, it's got healthier choices then many we've seen with a nice salad bar and homemade soups. It's got both a buffet and menu service. AND a 20% discount for Seniors. Unfortunately, this summer, kids eat free. So there are lots of little ones running around. I am always hesitant to patronize buffets when parents let their children help themselves without supervision. Forry ended up getting chicken-fried steak while I had a plate of spaghetti.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

Father's Day makes me think about how things carry on through generations. We spent yesterday afternoon at my Brother Pat's house. All five of his grand-children were there with their parents. It is fascinating to both watch my brother interact with his grandchildren and the kids' Dads interact with them as well. Parenting has changed over the years and these Dads are much more hands-on then they were in our generation. (I recall my Father-in-law emphatically stating that "he had never changed a diaper!")

The two youngest little boys are still toddlers, busy little toddlers. Their Dads did the biggest share of chasing after as they played in the sandpile or the wading pool. (Though Nephew Jared got a lot of teasing from his sisters and wife after he said he had "baby-sat" for his children last week while his wife was working in Seattle for a couple of days. "How can you baby-sit for your own children?")

What probably hasn't changed is the obvious love for the little ones. Whether it's children or grand-children, it was pretty obvious they were treasured.

Forry had phone conversations with all three of our adult children today. No matter how old they are, they wanted to reach out and wish their Dad a Happy Father's Day.