Thursday, April 30, 2015

Check Off One More

Another EARLY morning!

We weren't quite sure how long it would take us to get to the Inland Imaging site out here in the Valley, so left a bit early and were there in plenty of time. It was chilly that early in the morning and we should have picked up jackets, but...

Forry said it was the longest MRI - and the loudest - he's ever had. He was gone for almost an hour, but he said the tech told him it would be a half hour in the machine. I suppose if you figure time to undress and redress. They also told him the doctor should have the results by Monday afternoon. So one more task on the way to surgery checked off.

We thought about making a Costco run this afternoon, but really didn't feel like going out again, even though it's only a couple of blocks away.

We did spend the afternoon playing with the Keurig coffee maker. I had bought a quart of white vinegar a week or so ago to use to dissolve the crud in the lines and innards. I had saved a post on Facebook that described the proper procedure. First you fill the water chamber with vinegar and run four cups through. Then you leave the machine turned on with the vinegar in the water chamber for four hours. Then you can empty the vinegar and run several cups of water through -- at least until it doesn't smell like vinegar any more. We'll see how successful we were when we make our coffee in the morning...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Once Again We Move...

We moved out to Park Lane Motel and RV Park this afternoon. It's out on east Sprague in the City of Spokane Valley. The motel is in the front part of the place with a small RV park in the back. We are in a pretty nice spot in the very back. While there are only about 30 sites altogether, we are in Site 220.

This is the view out of the front windshield, looking towards Sprague Avenue. There is a little park-like area right in the middle, which be pleasant this summer.

We will be here for at least a month. maybe longer, depending upon how things go.

We got a call this afternoon from Inland Imaging, setting up Forry's appointment for another MRI of his back. To our surprise, they were able to set it up for tomorrow morning at 7:45! I guess we'll be having another early morning...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Shearing Time!

This morning meant more laundry -- I'm still not sure how I managed to let it pile up so. I also washed the sheets and probably should wash some towels, but I'm ready to stop for a while.

This afternoon we went to get Forry's hair cut. It's been almost a year, and it was l-o-n-g! The lady who cut it last year met us at the door of her shop, very apologetic that she had double-booked herself. She wandered if it would be all right if her colleague cut Forry's hair. He did a very nice job, but it is short - and most of the blond is gone!

His curls are still there, but I am amazed at how white it's gotten...

That's one more task checked off of our to-do list. If we keep this up, we might get it all done. We did get a call from the Cardiology office setting up the appointment for his pre-surgical clearance check next month. We keep checking them off...

Monday, April 27, 2015

CPAP and Laundry

After our rather busy weekend, we were ready for a quieter day, but Forry had an appointment with the folks at Apria this morning to have his CPAP machine adjusted. Apria's Spokane office is located over on North Foothills Drive. After his repeat sleep test last week, Dr. Elmer wanted to try having the pressure set higher on his machine in hopes that would stop the periods of sleep apnea he is still occasionally having.

The Respiratory Therapist who saw Forry today was very personable as well as knowledgeable. She took one look at the face mask he has been using and said that he really needed to try their new mask. When she checked the record and found that he hadn't gotten a new mask for over a year, she immediately went to get a new one for him. The new mask doesn't have a pressure bar on his forehead and looks like it will be much more comfortable for him. We shall see.

We came home to the pile of laundry I have been ignoring all week. Forry drained the tanks and I started washing. I've still got one more load, but I think it's going to have to wait until tomorrow morning...

Granddaughter Havela called this afternoon and we had a good visit. We are looking forward to seeing her in a couple of weeks when Hesston College's Bel Canto Choir does their concert tour in the Pacific Northwest.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Another Busy Day!

We were up and out of here early this morning and went down to Menno for church. It was a good service, albeit a bit sparse. Seems many of the younger folk were up at Camp Camrec for their annual meeting. By pre-arrangement we went out to lunch with our friends Dennis and Colleen in Ritzville. It was good to sit and visit a bit even though we had to hustle back to Cheney.

We stopped at the Safeway store on our way home and picked up some garlic bread. I also picked up a loaf of gluten-free bread to fix as garlic bread as well. We got back to Auntie Violet early enough to have a nap and watch part of the Mariners game before we had to leave again.

Our AHEC (Area Health Education Center) crew has gotten together every summer since I retired. This year they wanted to get together early as Bettie (front right) and her husband have sold their house and are in the process of moving to Green Valley, Arizona

The majority of our old crew met at Cathi's house this afternoon. Cathi had made very tasty gluten-free lasagna and the rest filled in with salads and dessert. We not only feasted, but had a very good visit.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Kids. Kids and More Kids!

After a rather lazy day, this afternoon we headed across Spokane to my Nephew Jared's house near Five Mile. Brother Pat and almost his whole clan had been to the WSU Crimson and Grey Scrimmage at Joel Albi Stadium this afternoon and were gathering at Jared and Becky's for a barbecue.

Our niece Becky and her husband David were there with her two boys, Carter and Case. Our niece Ashley and Kyle were there with their two, Jackson and Peyton. Jared and Becky have their two, Ellie and Ryan. Then there were their friends' kids - I think there were four of them. The oldest of the bunch, Carter, is a first grader, while the youngest, Peyton, is just six months. What a zoo! It was great fun to see them all.

We had not met little Peyton before. I was concerned that she would be at the age where she would be frightened of strangers, but not at all. Niece Ashley gave her to me soon after we arrived and I got to get my baby fix! She is a little sweetie. Wants to sit up all the time, chatters and smiles.

Jared barbecued steak while Becky made her fabulous Gorgonzola Cream Sauce to go over it - so delicious! Patrick had brought asparagus from his garden, so we really had a feast. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Saturday Night Dinner

It was a very quiet day today. We slept in, then took it easy most of the day. I had made a reservation at Wild Sage Restaurant for six pm tonight. We were there long enough to review the menu when my Brother Patrick and Sister-in-law Cindy arrived.

We had a wonderful dinner and a very nice visit. The restaurant special tonight was halibut which both Forry and Cindy enjoyed. Pat order their pork chop while I had the duck breast - all so good. A cup of decaf and some delicious desserts finished a lovely meal.

It's so good to spend time with family. And tomorrow we will get to see all six of Pat and Cindy's grandchildren!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Another Busy Day

I was still in bed this morning, but thankfully awake, when I got a call from my Brother Patrick. He was calling to solidify our plans for the weekend as he and his family will all be in Spokane for the WSU scrimmage on Saturday. I had just hung up (Hmm, I guess one doesn't hang up the phone any more - you shut it off...) the phone when Erin called from the Hair Company to set up an appointment for Forry to get a much needed haircut.

Forry had an appointment early this afternoon at Northwest Orthopedics to see Dr. Powers. We walked in the door to see my old friend Emily who was working the desk. She used to work with me many years ago at the hospital in Ritzville when I was the administrator. Even though we were quite early, we very quickly got in to see the doctor. As I had suspected he would, he wants Forry to get another MRI before surgery. His last one was in September of 2013, so it's been a while.

Dr. Powers wants to expedite getting the surgery scheduled as he had had to postpone it last Fall due to emergencies. It still sounds like it will be late May or even early June before it can be set. We'll learn more in the next couple of days...

After the orthopedist visit, we went north to the Driver Licensing Office. Both of our Driver's Licenses expire on our birthdays in May. I think it actually took longer to drive out there than it took to get the licenses. Talk about an efficient operation. We took a number when we walked in the door, but barely sat down before our numbers were called. I had a trainee who had only been on the job for one week, but she knew what she was doing. We got our pictures taken, gave up $108, got our temporary licenses and were on our way.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Camping World AND Costco

We did get to sleep in a bit this morning, thank goodness! I was up about eight, enjoying a cup of coffee when Forry wandered out. I finished up the filing needed after the big box of mail, then wrote a check for the first half of this year's Property taxes for Adams County. They just keep going up and up every year. I'm just thankful they don't have to be paid all at once.

We needed to restock our supply of blue tablets for the gray and black tanks, so made a trip way out to the Spokane Valley to Camping World. We added some water filter inserts and a new outside rug (the old one disintegrated in the Arizona sun) to the tab while we were there.

From there we went back towards town and made an overdue stop at Costco to pick up vitamins. I looked for shirts for both of us, but didn't find any with a pocket for Forry nor anything I like for me. I added some fresh blueberries and some tomatoes and avocados to the cart. Seems like you just cannot leave Costco without spending at least a hundred dollars!

We stopped by the post office on the way back to mail the checks I wrote this morning. And that was about the extent of our day. Time to watch Nashville and then the Mariners game.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Busier Tuesday

I need some sleep! I was up earlier today than yesterday even. I set the alarm on my phone for six, but I thought a few more winks wouldn't hurt. I finally got up about quarter after and was soon ready to leave for town to pick up Forry. He was up and dressed and waiting for the doctor when I arrived at the Sleep Institute at seven. We waited another twenty or thirty minutes until it was our turn to talk with the doc. (There were six people at the Institute last night with three nurses in attendance.)

Turns out he hadn't liked the periods of apnea Forry was still showing during the night (there is tattle-tale card in the CPAP machine that records all that). Dr. Elmer though perhaps he was going to need supplementary oxygen, but that part is fine as his O2 levels never dropped below 90% all night. What he finally decided to do was to increase the pressure level of the machine. And then see Forry again in September. There is another more sophisticated machine he could get (to the tune of about 5K), but Dr. Elmer wants to try the increased pressure first.

I was definitely not in any mood to do any shopping or errands, but did rally enough to go check out the Park Lane RV Park out on Sprague. They do have monthly rentals and are quite a bit closer to town than out here in Cheney. We made tentative plans with them to move over there after our time is up here at Ponderosa Falls on the 29th.

Finally, made it home and we both were ready for a nap!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Busy Monday!

We were up early this morning as Forry had an appointment with his primary care doc at 9 AM at Group Health. By the time he was up and showered and we had breakfast, it was time to leave for town. He had a good checkup as well as an EKG. We got the referrals made he needs for all the other stuff he has to get done (cardiology, pulmonology, dermatology).

We came home by way of the Cheney Post Office, picking up an extremely FAT box of mail. Daughter MM had it ready to send when we were still in Arizona, but we decided it wouldn't get there before we left. She's just kept adding to it for the next two weeks until we got here.

We had an early dinner, then headed back into Spokane. Forry is having a repeat sleep study tonight. I'm not sure why, but the pulmonologist didn't like something about the way they did it last summer. I left Forry at the Sleep Institute and drove back here to the RV park to watch the remainder of the Mariners game against Houston. I'm supposed to be back at the Sleep Institute by seven tomorrow morning to talk with the doctor about the result.s

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Visits

We were up and going early this morning, heading down the ninety miles to Menno Mennonite Church. Services don't start until 10 AM, but I wanted to get there early to have a chance to visit with Pastor Matt in order to plan a bit how we were going to handle the discussion about Mennonite Church USA during  Sunday School.

The denomination had done a survey late last year of all the credentialed leaders in the church and are currently in process of doing a survey of the people who will be delegates at the biennial gathering this coming July. Pastor Matt had done a mini-survey with members of the Menno congregation. He shared the results of that survey and I presented the response to the same questions on the national surveys. It made for an interesting SS hour!

On our way back to Ponderosa Falls, we stopped in Ritzville at the Cow Creek sandwich shop and had lunch with Earl and Jay. Earl is nearing his 88th birthday and Jay is now retired as well, so it was a great time of visiting and exchanging family updates and information.

We listened to the Mariners on the radio on the way home. It wasn't so good, as they were behind the Rangers 7-5. By the time we got home and were watching it on TV, it had gotten to 10-6. But our boys came through and beat the Rangers 11-10 in the last of the ninth inning!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Springtime in Spokane

Without a doubt is is Springtime in Spokane! The plum trees that they have planted in between all of the pine trees in the RV Park are just finishing up their spring bloom -

We went into Cheney this afternoon to stock up on groceries at the Safeway there. We had wanted to pick up the mail that Daughter MM had sent, but the Post Office in Cheney is not open on Saturday...  The Arrowleaf Balsamroot along the road is also winding down its blooming season. Its bright yellow flowers can be seen all along the highway.

The lupine that is also blooming along the road makes a nice contrast with the yellow -

The daffodils, tulips and hyacinths planted in Spokanite's yards are spectacular. We have returned too late to the Northwest the past few years, so haven't seen them for a long time. The lilac bushes and trees are also budding out. We are going to have to take a trip over to Manito Gardens and drive through to check them all out.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Happy Birthday, Sean!

It was kind of a lazy day today. I spent the first part of the morning folding and putting away all of the laundry I did yesterday. So glad to get that all out of the way! Forry had tanks to dump. That kept him occupied for a while.

We left a bit early to take Son Sean out to dinner for his birthday and checked out one of the RV parks on the other side of Spokane. We're checking out alternatives to our usual haunts, trying to find a spot we can stay more than two weeks after Forry has back surgery. It's interesting that none of the RV parks in Spokane other than Ponderosa Falls, the KM park that we are presently at, have very good reviews.

We picked Sean up a bit after five and went up to Gordy's Szechuan on the South Hill for dinner. It's one of our favorite places to eat in Spokane. The tables are set with bowls and a pair of chopsticks and the food is served family style. We had some Battered Prawn appetizers, Sweet and Sour Pork, and Smoked Bacon and Cabbage along with a big bowl of rice. We topped dinner off with their chocolate, candied orange rind sundaes. So good!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

First Day in Spokane

We hit the ground running this morning, heading into Group Health to get our lab work done before next week's physician appointments. Since we had to be fasting for the blood work, we definitely were ready for brunch by the time we were finished. Frank's Diner is a Spokane institution. It's an old railroad dining car on 2nd that is always busy. We only had about a ten minute wait this morning, since it was mid-week. (It can be over an hour on the weekends, with lines out the door.)

We debated about making a Costco run or even going over to the Suzuki shop to check out the needed fender repairs after our blow-out, but we decided we would rather just go back to the RV and continue to rest up after our many days of driving. The other things can wait for another day.

Since we will be here at Ponderosa Falls for the next two weeks, we set out a few things that make it feel like home. The peacock seemed very glad to be outside in the breeze after being cooped up for the past couple of weeks... 

I spent the rest of the day doing laundry. It had piled up while we were traveling and we were down to very few clean clothes.

Plans are already in the air for an AHEC gathering. Betty, one of our colleagues, and her husband have their house on the market and are planning to move to Arizona. Therefore, the rest of the group would like to have a get-together before they leave. It's always fun to see everyone, so I'm glad it's in the planning stage already.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Once Again, Back Again

We headed out this morning on the last leg of our journey north, once again taking I-84 until we got to I-82, then Hwy 395 all the way to I-90 to Spokane. Here we're crossing the Umatilla River.

With McNary Dam off to our right -

Then it's on to the Tri-cities and crossing the Blue Bridge over the Columbia River -

We made our usual stop at The Country Mercantile a few miles further alongside the highway. This former fruit stand is now quite a super market. I bought some fresh asparagus, some fresh enchiladas for tonight's supper, a new jar of their very good lime pepper (that Brother Pat introduced us to), as well as ice cream cones - chocolate suicide for Forry and maplenut for me. We got to watch an interesting sight when we parked at the Mercantile - they were unloading some longhorn cattle from this pickup and trailer into the field alongside.

We think there were eleven of these steers with the humongous horns! I don't know if they're going to be a permanent exhibit or whether their owner is taking advantage of the cornstalks for forage... 

Another hour or so and we reached Exit 272 on I-90 and turned off to head up Thomas Mallon Road to Ponderosa Falls RV Resort. We'll spend the next two weeks here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Over The Hills...

We took Toad II (leaving Auntie Violet behind) this morning and headed over the hills to the Touchet River to visit Sister Sherry and that bowling fiend of hers, Keiko San. Keiko, a 240 pound mastiff, keeps in shape  by playing soccer with old bowling balls all over the farmstead.

The winter wheat crop between Pendleton and Touchet was absolutely gorgeous, green and lush -

Last night's storm not only brought nasty winds, but fresh snow to the Blue Mountains -

It's always nice to see the "Welcome to Washington" sign (even though we came back into Oregon for the night...).

You gotta stay alert! You never know when the blur that is Keiko might come tearing by...

The last of Sherry's tulips were in bloom -

We went out to the greenhouse and watered trays. Actually, Sherry watered and I watched.

Her greenhouse is loaded with healthy looking plants, getting ready for gardens and our niece's summer wedding -

Sherry stuck ribs and potatoes in the oven. We feasted on them and shrimp cocktails. Good food, good visiting, lots of slobbery doggy fixes and sister hugs - can't ask for anything more for a quick visit!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Wildhorse Resort & Casino

The KOA we stayed at the last two nights in Meridian, Idaho isn't terribly far from the Oregon border going north on I-84.

 Lots of sagebrush and bunch grass covered hills as we descended back down into the Snake River basin.

And all of a sudden, you know for sure you are back in the Northwest - the hills are yellow with the blooms of Arrowleaf Balsamroot!

The plants grow and bloom with sunflower like blooms and arrow shaped leaves, then dry up and disappear until the next spring.

Lots of ups and downs and curves as we went through the Wallulas and the Blue Mountains -

Just out of Pendleton, we come to the Wildhorse Resort and Casino. They have a nice 100 site RV park as well as 200 spaces for truck parking.

I was able to change Forry's doctor appointment to next Monday instead of this Wednesday, so we'll be able to go over to Touchet and spend the day with Sister Sherry tomorrow. I can hardly wait!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Quiet Rest Day

What a lovely day we have had. Showers this morning, then over to BJ's to meet Janny and Jerry for lunch. What lovely people they are. The parents of our youngest son-in-law Todd, they are fun to chat with. And chat we did! I think we spent a good two and a half hours just visiting and catching up. And a very brief time of that was spent eating...

We made a very necessary trip to a nearby Albertson's grocery store for a few groceries, then back home just in time to watch Nelson Cruz hit his second home run to help the Mariners win their game. The rest of the afternoon was spent just resting.

We are trying to decide our plans for the next few days. I would like to spend a day with my sister at her Touchet farm, but that would not get us to Spokane in time for Forry's appointment with his primary care provider. We may have to go directly to Spokane and come down to visit Sister Sherry later. I'll call in the morning to see if I can get Forry's appointment postponed for a day.

I guess we're back to the plans in jello!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

All the Way to Boise-Meridian KOA...

This is the fence Delbert was "oiling" when we arrived at Lottie-Dell Campground yesterday -

A view of the campground -

It isn't too many miles from Snowville to the Idaho border as we continued north on I 15, then off onto I 84.

Miles and miles of Junipers and sagebrush as you head through the hills and mountains -

Then hundreds of irrigation circles on both sides of the freeway. All of this is most likely irrigated with water from the Snake River.

 We were surprised to see some piles of wheat that had not yet been shipped -

And finally, the Snake River itself -

We are now at the KOA Kampground outside of Meridian, Idaho. We'll spend two nights here which will give us a chance to rest up a bit and also visit Son-in-law Todd's parents.

Friday, April 10, 2015


While the Springville/Provo KOA sits in the valley, the mountains all around are snow covered. I took this picture just as we were getting ready to leave this morning. The slides are in and the antenna is about halfway down.

Looking in the other direction, you can see even more snow. At least, it didn't freeze last night.

We didn't have an excessively long journey today - only a little over one hundred and fifty miles. Close to the Idaho border is the tiny town of Snowville and the Lottie-Dell RV Campground on the outskirts. We've try to make this place one of our stops every year as we go back and forth.

It's an interesting place. Payment is strictly on the honor system. You go into the office, fill out the registration slip, put it and your money ($25.50 for Escapees members) in an envelope and drop it into a slot in the wall. Today when we drove up, we were met by Delbert, the owner, who had been oiling the fence around the office. We've chatted with him maybe 2 or 3 times out of the half dozen times we've stopped. The park is named after his late wife.

It's a pretty basic setup with lines of sites between strips of grass, thirty amp electric, water and sewer. There is a large mown grass field in front of the sites that is marked off as a golf driving range. A free bucket of balls comes with each registration.

When we first stopped here many years ago, there was quite a display of antique farm equipment, especially tractors around the perimeter. Delbert tells the sad story of an unscrupulous auctioneer who not only did not auction the campground as he had contracted, but also absconded with proceeds from the sale of the antiques.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Travelin' Through Utah

We spent last night in St. George, Utah at Temple View RV Park. Our site was a pull-through (which we only got as someone cancelled) instead of a back-in. It was across the road from a row of older park models in what was essentially a graveled parking lot. It was mostly a row of over-nighters and by the time I took this picture this morning, most of them had already left.

Looking down the street was the clubhouse and the swimming pool with a shuffle board court in the foreground. It looked like the majority of the sites were winter residents.

These palm trees were near the road as we departed -

They were celebrating spring as well. Look at all of those blossoms!

This is the LDS Temple the RV Park is named for (though we couldn't see it from our site in the park.)

We continued north all day on Interstate 15. Most of the day we could see snow in the distant mountains. Brr!

This part of Utah is called the Great Basin. The primary products seem to be hay, crushed rock and cattle. We saw so many cows with baby calves today.

We ended up at the KOA in Springville late this afternoon. Once again we were able to get a pull-through (saves having to unhook and rehook up Toad II.) site.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Three States Later

We got a good start this morning, heading out on I-40, then turning north on Highway 93. This is pretty barren country, tannish brown with not much vegetation other than mesquite. Though it is spring and there are flowers. There must have been hundreds of these little Prickly Pears blooming scattered throughout the fields with their pink and fuchsia flowers.

Most of the country looks like this:

This is the approach to the new bridge by Hoover Dam  (and yes, those are bugs on the windshield).

You can see how low the water levels are in Lake Mead behind the dam -


This is a portion of the people lined up to visit the dam, which you cannot see from the road -

Joined up with I-115 and then I-15, we cruised right on through Las Vegas. My, it has grown since we first came here back in the sixties!

Our route took us further north, back into Arizona and then Utah. Then through the incredible gorge cut by the Virgin River -

This is one of those highways that makes me glad that I am not driving! With its curves and high walls, you don't see where the road is going... It is spectacular!

By three-thirty we had stopped for diesel, then pulled into Site 241 at Temple View RV Resort in St. George, Utah.