Sunday, August 31, 2014

Football and Baseball and Soccer and Bullriding...

If you didn't notice anything else, you would be able to detect the change of seasons by what's on television. The college football teams are starting, the pros are finishing their practice games and the baseball announcers can't seem to talk about anything but the "stretch" for the pennant races. But best of all, the summer hiatus of bull-riding is over and the run-down to the finals in Las Vegas has begun.

The riders were in Lackland, Oklahoma this weekend at an outdoor arena. It was sort of funny to see them riding out in the 100 + degree arena, then ducking into the air-conditioned tent with the locker rooms. I was pleased to see an American win the weekend purse -- I would much rather see that then one of the ubiquitous Brazilians.

We even watched a Seattle Sounders soccer game today. I don't think we had much, if any, interest in soccer until our grandchildren started playing. We sort of understand the game, but I am sure we are missing much of the nuances. It is fun to see that Granddaughter Havela is playing on the Hesston College Women's Soccer Team.

Both of our daughters and their families have spent much of the weekend on the water. MM and her family, plus a couple of extras, went up to a lake on the Canadian border while DT and her family are spending the long weekend out on the sailboat.

It's been a quiet weekend here at Pleasant Pines Campground. Most of the spaces are filled as well as a few of the tent spaces. It's actually chilly, another indication the seasons are changing.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Closets Revisited

Oh my, I started on the large closet in the bedroom today. I have been putting it off because I didn't want to make decisions. The biggest one: how many sweatshirts do I need? Is two enough, or three? If so, which ones do I give away? The one that was given to me by the North Dakota Rural Health Association when I spoke there? It's got a real neat pheasant on the front... How about the one from New Mexico with the kokopelli? Or the one from Alaska? Oh, and there's the appliqued one I bought at the shellfish festival in Florida when I got chilly. And the one that has the jeweled motorhome on the back? Or the turquoise one that zips at the neck?

I did manage to pack up a couple of dressier outfits that I have never worn since I retired. I really think that if I ever have to go somewhere that sort of outfit will be required, I'd rather go shopping. I also set aside a few Coldwater Creek jackets for Daughter Dawn to check out to see if they might be suitable for her job. Other than that, I managed to fill another bag of donations. I got rather tough with myself -- if I can't say I've worn it in the last three years, I wouldn't keep it.

I took one of the new center cut boneless pork chops out of the freezer this noon. By four o'clock, I was able to slice it into thin strips to marinate for stir-fry tonight. I added celery, onions, peppers and snap peas and served it over rice. Delicious!

Friday, August 29, 2014


I keep whittling away at the sorting and cleaning and clearing things out. I got to my underwear drawer today and I really wonder what I was thinking. I cannot believe the items I have saved that I have not worn for years... I think I have a gene that goes back directly to my Auntie Zoe -- "Use it up; make it do; make it over; do without!" Auntie Zoe was a recycler before there even was such a word.

The bottom drawer under that one is still spread out on the bedspread. I have always picked up trinkets and little gifts for my family as we travel. Sometimes it seems I have stashed them away in that drawer and then forgotten I had them. I've found some lovely bracelets and necklaces tucked away in there. Some things are just pure nostalgia. Like a butter pat plate from my late friend Phyllis; or a burl made from a burned shrub from our MDS stint in Dulzura; or the collections of pins from our visits to all of the lower 48 states. Others are from my working days like the jewelry I wore every day to the office. Then there's all the Players Club cards we've picked up at casinos we've visited. It' s an interesting hodgepodge of items that all needed to be looked at and have their story told.

We had made a decision earlier to stop using the kitchen corner garbage drop so that we could use the compartment below for storage. I found the Corian cover for the corner hole in Forry's closet we cleaned a couple of days ago. Today Forry moved the dishwasher out of the way, cleaned up the corner, then moved the countertop dishwasher as far into the corner as possible (had to leave space for the cord and the hoses). That will give me a little more counter and storage space.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stirring the Jello...

They always say that an RVer's plans are set in Jello. And that's the way ours have gone this summer. The cataract surgeries were a total surprise as was the acquiring of the CPAP machine. Now we were discussing the postponement of Forry's back surgery until late in September. The more we talked about the late date and the proposed follow-up and recovery time, the less we liked it.

When Dr. Powers' office called this morning about getting something else done, we started talking about the hassle it was going to be. After discussion, it was decided the surgery could wait until we return from Arizona next spring. It sounds like we aren't the only ones who were thinking this way.Victoria said that they had several patients who have decided not to have elective procedures this fall.

I did get two of my drawers emptied out and sorted through today. Again, there are lots of tee shirts that I haven't worn for the last few years. Gosh, now we've got another bag of clothes to donate...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I hadn't even finished my first cup of coffee this morning when the phone rang. It was Victoria from Dr. Powers' office, calling to tell us that they were most likely going to have to postpone Forrest's back surgery for a couple of weeks! It seems that Dr. Powers had been on orthopedic call this weekend and now had three emergency surgeries he needed to fit into his allotted surgery slots. She called back later to say Forry's surgery had been rescheduled for September 23rd.

One good thing about it. I called Spokane Respiratory Consultants and discovered they had not yet filled Forry's original appointment on the 9th with Dr. Elmer. So that is re-scheduled.

After the very sad Mariners game early this afternoon, we finally tackled the closet above the washer/dryer where Forry keeps his clothes. Beside his clothes it was crammed with everything we really didn't know where to put somewhere else. Over the last few years, Forry has decided he only wants to wear shirts with pockets, so we were able to pack an entire bag with no longer worn tee shirts that can be donated to Goodwill.1

I cannot believe that we filled a whole 'nother bag with BAGS! We had bags from conferences, conventions, dealers, meetings etc. Some of them I actually threw away. Some of them are pretty classy. Others not so much. I did save back a half dozen as I do take them to meetings.

It does feel good to have that closet cleaned out and to see how much room Forry now has. But that also means my closet is next...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On the Telephone...

Today was my day on the telephone. First it was to Group Health to verify that they had approved Forry's back surgery. Then it was a call to the Dr. Powers' office to confirm the date of Tuesday, September 9th at Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Then a call to Spokane Respiratory Consultants to change Forry's followup CPAP appointment there that was on the same day. That was not a good call -- the scheduler said they could not reschedule him until late October... I asked if they kept any appointments open for unexpected events-  "No." Is there a possible appointment with any of the other partners? "No." How about with one of the PAs? "No." I finally was able to persuade her to put us on a possible cancellation list... There is no way we want to still be in Spokane the end of October!

Then it was another call to Group Health Medical Records to see why the records of Forry's pre-surgical exam hadn't been sent to Dr. Powers' office.
"We can only send records if we have a release form."
"He signed it the day he was in the office so that there would be no delay."
"Oh. But we haven't had a request from Dr. Powers's for the records."
"We brought it and the list of what they needed on August 5th when he had the appointment."
"Oh, well I don't know why they have you checking on it, instead of calling themselves. That's not the way I usually do it.       I'll see if I can get to it this afternoon."
Then Sister Sherry called. She had just returned from a trip into Walla Walla and had a funny story or two to tell about her trip. We laughed and giggled like a couple of school girls. Just what I needed!

Monday, August 25, 2014

No Polish Dog...

We did make a Costco run today. My goal was to re-stock my now-clean freezer with meat. It's not like the old days when we'd have freezers with a half of a beef as well as a hog and accompanying hams and sides of bacon. Those were the days when we butchered our own hogs and made scrumptious sausage. I had lots of people to feed in those days: our own family and friends, harvest crews and anyone who might stop by the ranch at dinner time. One year we had lots of hamburger barbecues after two of our bulls got in a tussle and one pushed the other over the creek bank and broke his leg...

Life is very different now. My re-stocked freezer contains four boneless rib steaks, ten center-cut pork chops, three pound and a half packages of hamburger and six thick lamb chops. For one meal Forry and I will share a steak -- and maybe even have leftovers. The pork most likely will end up in stir fries and each package of hamburger will make two to three meals.

We made the Costco trip shortly after noon, way too early for Forry to have his Polish dog. He had to settle for lamb chops, a baked potato and corn on the cob for supper.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Trip to Menno

We were up early this morning to drive to the ninety-plus miles to Menno for church. We took the back way from Pleasant Pines RV Campground instead of going through Cheney. That meant there was no place to stop for breakfast until we got to Ritzville. We picked up something to eat, then headed the next twenty miles to the church.

It's always good to be home at Menno. I enjoy seeing how much the children have grown. Today was the "Back Pack Blessing" day for all of the children who will be heading back to school in the next week or two. There were several comments about the Mennonite Country Auction which is coming up next month. The MCA website is up and running with pictures of a whole bunch of quilts which will be auctioned.  There are three gorgeous afghans from Oregon posted as well. Keep checking the site, as Bill will keep adding items as they come in.

We took down a box of items for the Et Cetera Shop. The auction and booth sales are always the first Saturday in October, which means this year it will be October 4th.

We listened to a portion of the Mariners game on the radio, then saw the last of it on TV after we got home. It was another cliff-hanger. The Mariner's  closer Rodney, walked the bases loaded in the 9th with the winning win at bat before he finally got the last out. But in the end, the Mariners swept the Reds!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Is Summer Winding Down?

It's been noticeably cooler this week. We've had cool nights and very comfortable days. There's been a bit of rain and lots of partly cloudy skies. The roadsides and hills are dry and sere. The pine needles and cones are beginning to drop and the ground is littered with the needles.

People seem anxious to get in one or two last weekends of camping before school starts. Pleasant Pines RV Campground is full tonight, except for one tent space across from us. There are a lot of people in town today because Eastern State University played their first of the season football game today (which they won.). The Seahawks played their last exhibition game yesterday (which they won.). The Mariners are talking about a pennant run (which means they won their last two games - the one yesterday after two outs in the ninth inning!).

It seems like we've been stuck in Spokane all summer and now will be here into the fall. In one way I am glad to see Fall arrive. It means we are just a bit closer to finishing all the medical stuff so that we can once more be on our travels.

Friday, August 22, 2014

CPAP Checkup

We had to get a bit organized this morning as Forry had an appointment at the Apria store this afternoon. They needed to download the card from his CPAP machine to prove that he is using it sufficient hours per night to satisfy the the insurance company. Because the baseline requirement is at least four hours per night and the card shows he is using it an average eight and a half per night, I don't think that is going to be any problem.

I noticed this morning that the freezer door on our refrigerator/freezer was not quite closed and the egg, sausage and cheese sandwiches I took out for breakfast were already beginning to thaw. When we got back from the CPAP appointment, I took advantage of the state of the freezer and went ahead and started defrosting it. I had not purchased any meat the last time we were at Costco as I was thinking the defrosting was a task that needed to be done. I used the cooler we bought last week at The General Store to temporarily store what food was left in the freezer.  Since we haven't been using the ice maker, the water from automatic defrost had accumulated and frozen in that area. We ended up using my hair drier to help hasten the thawing.

With both the refrigerator and freezer clean, it's amazing how much room there is. I envision a trip to Costco in the near future.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Moving Day Again

Our two week K/M Ponderosa Falls Resort stay was up, so once again we moved over to Peaceful Pines in Cheney. It started out to be an easy move until we moved the living room slide in. Forry had left the bay immediately under the slide open. We had quite a bit of rain last night and when we pulled in the slide, all of the water on the slide topper poured into the open bay!

Thank goodness, that bay mostly holds hoses and other stuff that can get wet. I soaked up almost an inch of water from one of the boxes. NOT a nice way to start our trip! We left the bay open this afternoon to help it dry out.

One nice thing about coming back to Peaceful Pines is the friendly welcome by the managers. They just took over this summer and they are a delightful couple. They have all the paperwork ready for us when we arrive and are very pleasant to work with.

This must be the day for screw-ups. We arrived and I got the water and electric hooked up while Forry raised the satellite antenna and put the jacks down. We put out the shade and the slides and settled in. We spent the rest of the afternoon watching TV and reading. When I turned on the computer to write my blog tonight, I was complaining about how lousy the light was. The overhead lights just seemed terribly dim. As Forry was checking to see if we had blown a fuse since the inverter light was on, we realized that while I had plugged in the electric cord, I had not flipped the switch to turn it on!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Another Day

Well, we've worked our way around the RV doing the deep cleaning thing. We did the bathroom cupboards today, so all there is left are the tough ones -- the ones in the bedroom. I know there are clothes in both of our closets and drawers that we have not worn, nor are we likely to wear them. It's the dressier clothes, the ones we've kept "just in case" we might have to go to something a bit more formal than usual. And of course, there are the warmer clothes, the sweaters and jackets. I do occasionally wear one or two of my jackets when I go to Mennonite Church USA Executive Board meetings. I've got another ten months left on my last term of office. so then that need will be gone as well.

None of the churches we attend are "dressy." Even the pastors do not wear suits and ties. Jeans and knit shirts are likely on both men and women. My, how things have changed during our lifetime!

We've had a few claps of thunder this evening along with a brief rain shower. There are scattered clouds around the horizon, but I doubt if we'll get anything more. It's only been in the high seventies today, which is a very pleasant change.

This afternoon's Mariner's game, however, was anything but pleasant! I'm not quite sure how the Phillies managed to win today and take the series...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

More Cleaning,,

Actually, it's been a rather boring day. I washed a load of clothes, then got ambitious and scrubbed the steps and the screen door coming into the RV.  I've been wanting to do it for a while, but I am one of the world's best procrastinators.There is funny black stuff on the steps -- sorta like sandpaper to make them more non-slip. It doesn't clean up very well. I could scrub it with the brush, but then I couldn't wipe it up. The cloth just stuck to it. I think the way to really clean it would be to take a hose to it. But then I wouldn't want that much water in the RV...!

I think it's been a while since I scrubbed the screen on the screen door. It still had "doggy drool" from our last visit to Sister Sherry's farm. And lots and lots of dust!

Before I completely ran out of energy, I got a new bucket of sudsy water and started in on the passenger side chair. Besides the normal dirt, it also collects hand prints from everyone coming up the stairs. The seat and the dashboard are what we both seem to use as handholds as we come in and out...

And that's about the extent of my day. We listened to the Mariners game this afternoon when they beat the Phillies -- though they almost threw it away in the 9th. Thank goodness for Rodney who came in and got the last out!

Monday, August 18, 2014

On the Go...

We had to go out to the Spokane Valley today to the Spokane Industrial Park to where Walker Furniture's warehouse is located to pick up the hassock I bought last Saturday.

The hassock is basically 18 by 18 inches. It could be about a 1/3 smaller, but after lots of looking, it's the best we could find. I think it will work very nicely.

While we were out and about, we went to The General Store to see if we could find a replacement for the broken Styrofoam cooler. We use it to put frozen food in when we go grocery shopping. We really need it in Arizona, but as hot as it's been here this summer, it's just as necessary here. We found a nice one with an easy carry handle and also found a bin to replace the one that got broken in the bay when we tried to make the canopy fit with it. Forry also found a little fan to set by his chair to circulate the air. 

Sister Sherry called to tell us about their weekend in Enumclaw for the dog show. Keiko San did quite well again, winning Best of Breed both days. This is Keiko and his handler Luke. That's my Sister Sherry in the background in the light green with the sunglasses on top of her head.

Actually, in the last two days we've also talked with Daughter Dawn and Daughter Mary Mae, Son Sean, and our friend Bill. It's nice to catch up with everybody!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I Wonder,,,

I wonder about so many things. You would think that after seven decades on this earth, I would have more of the answers. And maybe I wouldn't be so curious.

I can remember watching the grownups around me when I was a child and as a teenager. How wonderful, I thought, to know. To have the answers. To not have to question why or how. They seemed to just know what to do and say. A good share of the teachers I had in school knew their stuff and were able to answer most of my questions. My father, especially, seemed quite wise and full of knowledge. He, and his Sister Zoe, had a way of speaking that was like a declarative statement. That what they said was the way it was. I suppose all his years of umpiring and refereeing may have contributed to his emphatic way of speaking.

What a shock it was to me when I was in my twenties and ran into a situation where Dad was wrong, not only wrong, but very wrong. I don't even remember what it was, but it rocked the pillars of my rather narrow world. As my own life went on, I began to realize that I would never have all the answers. And neither did anyone else I knew.

Dealing with a hyper-active autistic child taught me even more about the need for flexibility and "going with the flow." When the doctors shake their heads and tell you they don't know why (remember this was over fifty years ago...) or how you should handle it, you realize that they don't have all the answers either.

Remember how Ricky would say to Lucy after one of her escapades on I Love Lucy, "you've got a lot of splaining to do!"? My Grandmother Kubik used to say that she had so many questions to ask God when she died. That's kind of the way I feel these days. There are so many things happening in the world that I don't understand. I guess I'll just continue to wonder...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Out on the Town

Forry saw an ad in the Camping World catalog for a stand for thirty gallon trash bag stand. We have decided to quit using our "in the far corner" garbage chute and instead use that space for storage. I have just been keeping a trash bag on the floor in the kitchen, but Forry thought a stand was needed.

So we made the trek out to the Spokane Valley to the Camping World. As we walked in the door, Forry spotted a folding drying rack for hanging shirts to dry. It annoys him that I hang them on the knobs of the cupboards above the front seats as he has to duck when he goes out the door. So he got this rather large rack. I'm not quite sure where he is going to stow it, but oh, well.

On the way back, we stopped at Furniture Row to see if we could find a hassock (Forry thinks the cardboard box with the tussock on top of it is tacky...). I want one that isn't much more than 18 inches wide, but found out they are hard to come by. Most of the ones we saw were 24 by 24 and on up. We made another stop at Walker's Furniture and didn't have much better luck. The 20 by 20 one we found that might have worked was on sale for $349 -- a bit more than I wanted to pay! Finally found one that I think will work in the way back of the store. We'll have to go to the warehouse to pick it up Monday,

We went over to Kendall Yards on the Spokane River for dinner. I thought that the restaurant that my friend Diane had told me about was The Wandering Table, but it was a different one. We had some great food, but the service was incredibly slow. I'd be willing to try it again, but not on a busy Saturday night!

Friday, August 15, 2014


Blasphemous, irreverent, irreligious?
Yes, all of that.
Hilariously so.
Thought provoking?
Actually yes.
Poignant? Real World Problems?
That too.
Incredible music and dancing?

The Book of Mormon has kept my mind swirling a bit today. On the one hand, I feel like I should be appalled and disgusted by the irreverence of the play. On the other hand, I keep reflecting on the message of hope and the goodness of humankind that we were left with.

I guess I'll leave it at that. It was an experience. I did enjoy it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Night Out

We went into Spokane tonight to see The Book of Mormon at the INB Performing Arts Center (used to be the Spokane Opera House). It's late, so I'm going to bed.

I'll write about the show tomorrow -- after I've had a bit of time to think about it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Break in the Heat

Today was an absolutely delightful day. The temperature didn't get much higher than the mid-eighties. The dusty air had cleared with the small amount of rain we had last night. It was just all around a very pleasant day.

We had thought about going into town to look for a hassock, but didn't really want to shop. So we left it for another day. I have been using a sturdy cardboard box from Costco that I put my dilapidated tussock on and it works just fine -- though it's not very pretty to look at.

Since we had also been talking about making a grocery store run, I decided it might be a good day to clean out the refrigerator. As far as favorite tasks go, cleaning the frig is awfully far down the list. I am always surprised how much room there is when I finish the job. I was glad to find my butter dish. It had up and disappeared a couple of weeks ago to my frustration. No wonder, it had slipped down behind one of the shelves. Then, of course, there are those little covered dishes of leftovers that have to spend several days in the frig before they can be guiltlessly thrown out.

It should be good sleeping tonight. It's already 74 degrees and the forecast predicts it will drop another ten degrees or so. Might even need to pull that light blanket up from the bottom of the bed!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My "Super Moon" Shots

I was awake about 4:30 on Saturday morning and went out to look at the August Harvest Super Moon. It was already getting light outside, but the moon still dominated the night sky.

It surprised me that the moon was still so bright in the rapidly lighting sky --

I took this photo with the telephoto lens just a few minutes after the ones above. Note how dark the sky looks in this shot against the bright moon.

It's been a funny weather day today. We had a few rain drops this morning. They lasted just a few minutes, not even long enough to wet the ground. Then the clouds cleared away and the temperature went up into the nineties. Now this evening we have had wind gusts, a bit of dust and some rain. We can thunder rumbling in the distance all around us.

There was a really bad rolling dust storm (a haboob) in the Ritzville area. There are many pictures on Facebook of the rolling storm. I understand that I-90 is closed between Ritzville and Moses Lake.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Last of the Neighbors

After the "interesting" smoke we smelled late last night, no one was moving very early this morning. Then there was a bit of a mad scramble next door. Since the space between the neighbor's travel trailer and our left flank was solidly packed with "stuff," there was a mad scramble to pick up clothes, towels, coolers, blankets. the mattress, shoes, jackets, swim suites, chip bags etc. It all got tossed through the door into the trailer or into the back of the SUV. Soiled diapers just got tossed to the side.

They had hooked up the SUV to the trailer way before they were ready to leave and pretty much blocked the road. However, this road is the main road to the exit, so every time one of the many rigs who were leaving attempted to pass by, they would have to back their car and trailer up off of the road. I finally shut the living room window, so I didn't have to hear the cussing. (I'm not sure why they just didn't back it up and leave it.) Finally just before noon (checkout time is eleven), they finally pulled out.The guys in the pickup stayed on a while for a last cigarette, then they left as well.

The site was pretty well trashed with cigarette butts and bits of paper and stuff scattered all over and out into the road on both sides.  A while later a couple of fellows from the park came by in a golf cart with a rake and pick-up tools and started cleaning up. One of the guys made a comment about how many cigarette butts there were and I said there must have been seven or eight smokers in the bunch. The guy looked at me and said, "Tell us about it, we've followed their trail all over the park. You should have seen what the pool deck looked like!"

I think this bunch of "campers" stands out because they are so unusual. Most RVers are extremely nice folks who go out of their way to be considerate of their neighbors and the park. Many will pull out of a site and go back and check to make sure there is nothing left behind. The idea is to leave a site nicer that when you got there,

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Strange Weather, Neighbors and Dogs

It was so nice and cool this morning. It stayed in the mid and high seventies until late in the afternoon, then the temperature started to climb. It's now almost 7:30 and it's still 86 degrees outside. The Mariners played at 1 PM today. It was most pleasant listening to the game -- especially since they won! And they took three of four games to win the series against Chicago.

It's supposed to be hot all this week again, in the high nineties. So while I was cool this morning I boiled some wagon wheel pasta and using the Dungeness crab I got at Costco yesterday, I made a large salad. There should be enough for a couple of evening meals without my having to cook again.

And what about the neighbors you ask? Well, I think my Southern Grandmother would have had a name for them. As there don't seem to be any staff driving around on Sunday, they have moved the pick-up they were asked to move yesterday, back onto the grass. At least six or seven of them smoke, so the whole area around their campsite is now littered with cigarette butts. I did have to laugh this morning. When I got up this morning, one of the guys sleeping on the air mattress had thrown off his blanket. Unfortunately, he was sleeping on his tummy...

We are at the end of a row and one of the campground dumpsters is just down the road from us. We've watched quite a parade of dogs and their owners. The dogs do their business, the owners pick it up in plastic bags, then head for the dumpster. Forry thinks we need a dog book like our bird books,  that would help us identify the breeds. There might be one of pure breds, but I doubt there is any book that would help us figure out some of the mixed breeds we see.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Cranky Day and a Costco Run

I was cranky this morning -- not getting enough sleep will do that to a person! I was in bed AND ASLEEP by 10:30 last night -- and then the neighbors came home...

We have interesting neighbors. I'm not sure how many of them there are, at least ten and maybe even eleven. There are a couple of women, an older man, three males in their late teens or early twenties, a two-year old, a baby and a young girl. I think. They have a small, maybe nineteen foot, trailer. They back their SUV into the space between the rigs (I could reach out the window and touch it, it's that close.) and a couple of the guys sleep in the back of it. Then they put a blow-up mattress on the ground and some of them sleep there. They also have a pick-up which was parked on the grass alongside until the manager come by this afternoon and told them to move it off the grass.

They were gone all day yesterday and did not get back until a little after eleven. Then they sat outside, drank beer and smoked. And talked and argued and talked LOUDLY. Now, the park does have quiet hours that are from ten at night until seven in the morning. And it's way too hot to sleep with the windows closed...

I am always reluctant to say anything to neighbors, you never know how they will react. But finally about one AM, I went to the living room window and suggested that it was way past quiet hours and maybe they should hold it down a bit. Things got quiet after that and I finally got back to sleep.

At 4:30 I was once more awakened when one of the women came outside with her crying baby. When one of the guys asked her what was going on, she said she came outside with the kid because she "didn't want to wake her Dad!" She went walking with the little one up and down the road. I wonder how many other people they woke up?

We made a Costco run this afternoon. Forry procrastinated long enough for it to get late enough for him to have his favorite supper -- a Costco Polish dog!

Friday, August 8, 2014

20 -20!

Today was my last post-op visit to the eye doctor following my cataract surgeries. While the first  post-op visit was with the surgeon at the Spokane Eye Clinic, the last two have been with my Group Health optometrist. It was a bit crazy at the GH office today. There were several emergencies they were trying to fit into the schedule. The nurse told me they leave three appointments open for emergencies, but they had already used them and there were more people wanting to be seen. I felt quite sorry for an elderly lady who couldn't understand why she had to wait -- "But, my eye has something in it and it hurts! Last time I had something in my eye, they saw me right away!"

Dr. Scheffilbien seemed quite pleased with the way my eyes have healed. He very proudly announced to me that I now have 20-20 vision. Since I have been near-sighted since I was very young, it almost seems impossible.  I think I was only 7 or 8 when I got my first glasses. I can remember how surprised I was when I saw that the billboards had words on them, not just pictures, as we were driving home from Spokane with my new glasses.

I was a bit annoyed today when the doctor dilated my eyes again! He said since he probably wouldn't see me for another year, he wanted to do a thorough exam. It's not like my eyes haven't been looked at by two different doctors at least eight or nine times the last month and a half... Oh well, if that's the biggest thing I have to complain about.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Moving Day -- Again

Today we moved back over to Ponderosa Falls from Peaceful Pines for a two week K/M membership stay. It was a wee bit cooler today, but not by much. We are down at the end of a row with a tree right next to the site. It was actually quite pleasant early in the afternoon, though it got warm enough to turn on the air conditioner later.

My nephew Nick wants the welding setup and tanks that Forry had in the storage unit. He persuaded his brother Jared to come over to the storage unit and get them for him. We made arrangements to meet Jared over there this evening. His wife Becky is over in Seattle, so Jared picked up the kids from day care before he came.

I'm certainly glad he is young and strong! He was able to hoist the two tanks into the back of his pickup and then load the two-wheel trailer that held them-- with a bit of help from Forry. Now he'll need to make a trip down to his folks in Moses Lake and deliver them to Nick.

None of us had eaten, so we went over to the Latah Bistro. It might not have been the best choice fir two little kids, but they did really well. There really isn't a lot of choice in the Latah Creek area. (I should have guessed they didn't serve many children when they couldn't find a copy of a children's menu...)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Accomplishing Small Things

I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist and don't like dirt and disorder. I am also somewhat lazy. Sometimes those two tendencies run smack into each other. I can stand a certain amount of clutter and mess. But if the messiness hangs around too long, I tend to get cranky and irritable.

In another life, I would go on a cleaning binge when that happened. Now that I've gotten a bit older and quite a bit more decrepit, I can't do that any more. I just don't have the energy or the strength. So this summer, I've been trying the idea of just doing one small area at a time. It does work and I have gone about halfway through the motorhome. The major trouble with that is it means there is disorder in the portion of the motorhome that hasn't been done. And that makes me irritable. I have to learn to live with that!

Today's project was Forry's desire to get the canopy out of where it was jammed cross-wise into one of Auntie Violet's bays and into the carrier on top of Toad II. We had forgotten how heavy the thing is and were a little concerned about lifting it up to the top of the car. Fortunately, just as we were getting ready to try to lift it, our neighbor saw us and offered to help. She gave the back end a boost and into the carrier it went. We did some rearranging of the bay and were able to store some of the stuff that had been in the bedroom.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Quick Visit to Mount Vernon

It seems like the way this summer is going with doctor visits, eye surgery and now back surgery, we are going to spend the whole summer here in Spokane. (Last summer we spent several weeks at each of our daughter's homes on the west side.) But, we really did want to see two of our grandchildren and their father in the Northwest Shakespeare productions. So we decided to leave Auntie Violet here at Peaceful Pines and just take Toad II over to Mount Vernon for the long weekend.

Besides the theatre performances, it was also Granddaughter Claire's thirteenth birthday and it was fun to be there to help her celebrate. Claire is our youngest grandchild. It was bittersweet to realize that she has become a teenager!

A child after my own heart, Claire didn't want a birthday cake, but requested pie instead!

Daughter MaryMae has had a running gag of presents for her brother-in-law Scott for may years. (She once gave him rattles made from goat toes...!) This year she brought him this hat that came complete with dreadlocks...

It actually looks pretty good on him...

Monday, August 4, 2014

More of Much Ado...

Saturday's entertainment included a spoof of Shakespeare in one of the Mount Vernon parks. The Shakespeare Northwest troupe presented "To Be or Not TV 2" as a series of vignettes were Shakespeare writing for today's TV shows. In this skit, the actors are leading an exercise class. Recruited to help them was Grandson Micah on the right. It is hard to believe how tall he has gotten.

Daughter Dawn (second from right) got volunteered to participate in Queen Elizabeth's version of the Hokey-Pokey, done in archaic English.

Then back out to Rexburg/Blackrock Amphitheater for the evening's performance of Much Ado About Nothing. The theatre is  in an old rock quarry that really amplifies voices. 

This version of Ado is set in the Roaring 20's. Here's Grandaughter Claire's first appearance as a messenger boy.

Later, she appears as a serving girl at the masked ball --

In the last portion of the play, Claire is one of the constables that bring the tale-bearers before the judge.

Claire had lots of costume changes back and forth between her various characters. She has turned in to one amazing young actor!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Macbeth Reprise

I've posted my blog the last couple of nights using my iPad. I have no way of posting pictures from my camera to my iPad, so I had to wait until we got home to share some of the pictures of my family as they acted their various parts in Macbeth. First up is Son-in-law Scott in his guise as the Old Man:

Then there is Granddaughter Claire playing the oldest daughter of Macbeth's rival McDuff:

She and her mother, Lady McDuff, discuss the goings on in the kingdom --

 Just before Macbeth's assassins arrive and execute them both--

And carry them off --
(Claire says it's not easy to stay limp -- it can be hard on her stomach!)

 Later we see Grandson Varick in chain mail (left) as one of the English soldiers who come to fight Macbeth --

But alas, his encounter with Macbeth ends in his death by sword as well:

Scott, playing the head of the English troops, as he hears that Macbeth has killed his son --

The Rexburg/Blackrock Amphitheater is outdoors and the stage is not lit, so some of the scenes towards the end of the play are quite dark...

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Much Ado About Nothing

We definitely got our full dose of Shakespeare today. This afternoon Granddaughter Claire and the Shakespeare  Northwest  group put on their spoof, "To Be or Not TV Two" at one of the local Mount Vernon parks. Claire had several parts in this take-off riff of several of Shakespeare's plays. Grandson Micah was recruited out of the audience to participate in a couple of the skits.

Then this evening, back at the Rexville/Blackrock Ampitheatre, the troupe presented "Much Ado About Nothing." In this light-hearted play, Claire played a messenger, a serving girl and a constable. She had lots of quick costume changes! As the youngest player in this adult troupe, Claire certainly holds her own. She seems to have the mind for Shakespeare's archaic English and knows her own lines as well as those of many of the adults.

It's a tough assignment for a youngster, as their season runs from July 10 through August 16 with alternating shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night with a few Sunday matinees as well. None of the actors, directors or producers are paid, so it is definitely a labor of love.

Friday, August 1, 2014


Shakespeare Northwest presented Macbeth tonight at the Rexville-Blackrock Amphitheatre. Our Son-in-law Scott, Grandson Varick and Granddaughter Claire all have parts in it. But, unfortunately, both Claire and Varick both end up getting killed during the play!

Today was Claire's thirteenth birthday. She didn't want a birthday cake, but had asked for her favorite pie, which was a marshmallow cream pie with chocolate bits and chopped walnuts in it that her Great-grandmother Hardt used to make for Christmas. Martha called it Angel Pie. We decided that while we were at it, we would make a second one of Martha's pies, which was one of my favorites called Lemon Velvet.

Scott barbecued a couple of salmon filets for a late birthday lunch, but we waited on the pies until after we got home from the play tonight. Daughter Dawn and Grandson Micah arrived late last night. (Dawn drove north after work.) so we had a pretty nice cheering section at the play when the audience sang "Happy Birthday" to Claire.

It was a delightful day and evening.

Mount Vernon

Over the River
And through the woods,
Over the mountains
And through the passes,
To the grand children's
House we go....