Saturday, December 31, 2016

Football and ?

Forrest was already watching television when I came out this morning. He was trying to make sure he could find the University of Washington/Alabama game. I think coverage for it on ESPN started at least three hours ahead of time! Unfortunately, as nearly all the prognosticators had predicted, UW lost their game. I guess it's pretty impressive they made it to the semi-finals and should be given credit for that. I think Forry spent the entire day watching one college football game after another.

Even though the indicator above the front dash shows five bars or full, we ran out of propane yesterday. Instead of small tanks, we have a large tank towards the front of the rig, that runs horizontally across and underneath the chassis. Since the only thing we use propane for are the surface burners on the stove, it lasts a l-o-n-g time. I think we last topped it off over two years ago when we were at Uhlmann's in Chehalis. We have noticed a propane supply truck in the park a time or two, but haven't paid much attention to it. We'll have to chat with the park manager Louie on Monday to find out who to contact about getting a fill-up. In the meantime, I'll have to pay attention to what I can plan for suppers that doesn't require the stovetop.

There was a low overcast sky all day today. It felt like it might snow, but so far we haven't seen any. Although it's being forecast for tonight or tomorrow. It started getting colder the minute the sun went down. I sure hope it doesn't get as cold as they are forecasting. The quail were a little braver today. They showed up about three o'clock and I actually got a few pictures (see my Facebook page). It's sort of funny that they do not go and pick up any of the wheat towards the back between the RV and the shed. Maybe they don't see a quick escape route? It'll be interesting to see if they'll go into that area as they begin to feel more comfortable.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday Evening

In one of the blogs I follow, Kathy's Klothesline, Kathy talked about seeing a casket for sale at Walmart and speculated about taking one home. It reminded me of a story my paternal Grandmother told about one of her elders who actually did see a casket he admired at the General Store and did bring it home in his wagon. But, he didn't bring home the flour Granny sent him to the store for in the first place. Evidently, Granny made it quite plain to him that he was to take that casket back - and he was to get his money back for it too!

I was only a young child when I heard this. I remember wandering where he thought he would put it until it was needed? Would they use it to store other stuff in it? Would it be stuck out in the barn? Could somebody else have used it if they needed it first? I was fascinated by the idea of Granny telling a grown man what to do - and that he minded her! Funny what kind of thoughts float around in a little kid's mind.

It was a beautiful day here today. The sun was shining and it was warm outside, almost fifty degrees? The snow has pretty much melted off the block patio. We don't often see them as they are very spooky, but the quail seem to be cleaning up the wheat kernels I've been scattering around. It's a shame they are forecasting terribly cold weather coming. It has been so nice.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Finished!

I have been working since Christmas off and on pretty steadily, on the report about Menno Church that I need to send to our Conference Minister. It's the second major step (the first was a congregational survey) in the process of getting names of a new potential pastor. Glad to finally have it finished, I sent it off to the other members of the Search Committee for review before I send it off to the conference staff.

Since I was so focused on getting the report finished, I did not get anything out of the freezer to defrost for supper. Therefore, I called the Potholes General Store to order pizza, which Forry then drove down and picked up. It might, at most, be a couple of miles over to the store/gas station. It's not something we do often, but it was sure handy tonight - as well as tasty.

We had a skiff of snow last night, just enough to leave an inch or less on the car and patio. It was a mix of overcast and occasional sunshine today. It's not been too bad, but they are predicting nasty cold weather after the weekend.




Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Bit of Laundry

Not a lot going on here. We've had no more snow, the sun was out most of the day, it got up to 46 degrees. I worked on a report I've been trying to get done on the computer, and I got another load of laundry done. Forry even hung them up for me...

The reports from the mountains are not good. I understand the Pass was good for a few hours this morning, then there was another jack-knifed semi and the Pass was closed again. So glad that Daughter MM and her family decided to stay home.

Not sure where our multitude of birds has gone. The feeder was only half empty today and we only saw two or three sparrows there at any one time. There were no juncos or finches that we saw at all.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

More Snow!

We had a good three inches of fresh snow on the ground this morning. Not a lot compared to the mountains or to Spokane, but enough for us! The sun was shining when we got up; then the fog crept in; then the sun came again; then it clouded over! Almost any weather you wanted.

Daughter Mary Mae and Scott finally paid attention to the weather and the forecasts and decided that they weren't going to try coming over the Pass tomorrow. Scott's mother and Dorv will be leaving for their annual anti-SAD (Seasonal Affective Disease) trip to Hawaii on the 5th. And they did want to see them before they were gone for the next couple of months. I was quite relieved that they made the decision not to come, as much as we'd like to see them and our Grandkids. This winter weather is nothing to be blasé about.

I spent most of the afternoon working on the computer as well as doing a load of laundry. My laundry took quite a while to dry, so it must be time to go through the cleaning cycle again. Lint and stuff builds up in the washer/dryer combos and you need to flush them out every once in a while. Fortunately, the Splendide cleaning protocol has been widely circulated in RV circles on the internet.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Cleaning

We packed up the little Christmas tree, the stockings and the rest of the Christmas decorations. That's one thing about living in a tiny space - clutter is not good. Putting the Christmas box away in its basement bay was a very good feeling! It's always fun to decorate, but even nicer to put it all away.

With everything cleared away, it was time to vacuum. Not that it needed it or anything like that!

The quail have discovered the wheat! Brother Pat had brought me over two five gallon buckets of wheat bits. I had scattered some over the patio area, but it hadn't been touched. Yesterday, when I went out to fill the bird feeder, I noticed the wheat was gone. So I scattered some more. It was still there this morning, but long about dusk, here came the quail! There were twenty to thirty of them, pecking up the wheat I had scattered and cleaning up the seed that had fallen from the feeder.

They are such fun to watch! They are pretty flighty, the slightest noise sends them flying off to the nearest bush. They are very thorough, searching the area to make sure they haven't left a single kernel behind.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Lazy Christmas Day

Once again, we had a sunny day. It wasn't as warm as yesterday - only 40 degrees - and the temperature immediately dropped when the sun went down.

We planned to go to church, but didn't get our act together. All of a sudden we realized we should have left a half hour earlier! So we ended up just staying home.

We read and watched TV, talked on the telephone with all three of our children and Granddaughter Kyra and generally just spent a very lazy day.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

It was gorgeous this morning. It had not snowed anymore during the night. The sun was shining and it was warm! The thermometer outside on the shed actually read 52 degrees! Forry saw that temperature on our inside/outside thermometer and wasn't sure it was correct. But it was!
Unfortunately, that much warmth will probably melt much of our snow cover which has been protecting the winter wheat during the cold weather of the last week or so.

We left Desert Sun and headed to my Brother Pat and Sister-in-law Cindy's home in Moses Lake. All four of their children were home with their spouses - or girl friend in Nephew Nick's case.  In addition, there were the seven grandchildren. What a lovely household of family!

I had to chuckle. They had decided that the kids could each open one present every hour. Great Nephew Case had a new watch and he kept trying to convince Uncle Nick it was time, but Nick was holding him to the exact minute!

Patrick was prepping a huge rib roast for the barbecue when we arrived. They seared it  in a 500 degree oven, then took it outside to roast while we watched the Seahawk game. We snacked on crab cocktails, bruschetta and various cheeses, crackers and libations during the game. Cindy made twice baked potatoes, Nephew Jared fixed green beans, his wife Becky made Gorgonzola sauce. All to serve with the perfect roast. It was so good, lovely pink center with a crispy crust.

After dinner, Niece Becky got out the cards and eight of us played a few hands of group solitaire. It gets pretty wild with everyone playing on the cards that are placed out in the center! (One of the safeguards we have learned over the years is to have everyone remove their rings first!)

Friday, December 23, 2016

More Snow?

When I got up this morning, there were large fat flakes of snow lazily drifting down from the sky. They soon stopped, then started up again an hour or so later. That seemed to be the pattern all day.

The FedEx guy stopped by in the early afternoon with a package. He said the roads were bare and dry -"actually, they are very good until you get to people's yards or driveways." So we decided to go ahead and go to Ephrata to spend some time with Vic. It had been almost a week since we had seen him. In the meantime, he had been discharged from the rehab unit and had been moved to the nursing home wing of the facility.

I told Forry to grab his cane as it might be a long walk to the new room and it was! We'll have to figure out if there's a shorter way to access the Nursing Home portion rather than going through the rehab area...

We took advantage of our trip into town to get gas and stock up on groceries. That may have been a mistake. Safeway was terribly, terribly crowded. It was hard to move around in the aisles. I guess everyone had the same idea.

We passed through a few more snow showers before we made it home. However, it doesn't seem to be sticking. We'll see what the night brings.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Potluck+

Last month, Sun Desert RV Park bought a turkey for the monthly park potluck. There weren't a lot of people here (including us!) and evidently there was a lot left over. So for this month's potluck, Pat used the leftover turkey to make a large kettle of soup. She also made a pot of split pea and ham soup. Everyone else filled in with the rest of the meal. This is the first we've been here for the potluck. I had signed up for dessert, so took a plate of Christmas cookies. (Yes, the ones Sister Sherry and I made after Thanksgiving that I stuck in the freezer and hid!)

Pat was already hard at work making soup this morning when I went over to the clubhouse for the weekly coffee gathering. One of ladies was upset this morning because "someone had let some air out of all four of the tires on her car!" The other ladies tried to explain to her that tire pressure is lower when it was cold, but she wasn't buying it. Seems she has a new car that gives a readout of tire pressure on each of the four wheels... "No, she knew who had done it, but she was a Christian and would forgive them!" Never a dull moment.

We were back home and watching television when we heard a siren and saw lots of lights down the hill where there are a bunch of mobile homes. We thought it was probably an ambulance. Then the lights and noise came on up the hill and turned into the RV park. Turned out to be a flat bed truck with Santa Claus escorted by a couple of police cars, all playing Christmas music. Every time they'd turn a corner, they'd blow the siren. They wound their way around the park, then went on their merry way.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Warm? Today

It was another very (comparatively speaking) warm day. The snow is gradually disappearing. The grass has funny melted spots all over where the sun had hit the leaves that were blown there by yesterday's winds.

We weren't up very early and much to his delight, we were actually awakened by Brother Pat inviting us to come join his family on Christmas Eve. He did say we should bring our ear plugs as all the Grandkids would be there...

Today was laundry and homemade chicken soup. We thought about going to visit our friend Vic in Ephrata, but today is the day he was supposed to be transferred to the Nursing Home wing. We thought tomorrow might be a better day to go.

For the first time in a while, we Skyped with Granddaughter Havela and little Kahlyn. It is sad that Illinois is so far away at this time of year. (Not that it's not a long way away the rest of the time, but it seems so much further at Christmas time!)




Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Big Thaw

I could hear raindrops on the roof when we went to bed last night. It didn't last long, but when we got up this morning there was a glistening sheet of ice over everything. But it was warm! And everything was thawed. The toilet flushed, the hot water flowed and the fan on the furnace was running! By ten o'clock there was water dripping down the front windshield from the melting snow on the roof. Then the gusty winds came.

Forry was outside emptying the tanks and had to dodge flying chunks of snow. Many of the willow trees have not previously shed all of their leaves, but today's wind gusts did them in.  There were oodles of little leaves skittering across the top of the snow. The roads which had been compacted snow turned into sheets of ice. It was not a good day to even think about going anywhere.

We took advantage of the warmer temperature and the thawed pipes to take showers and run the dishwasher. Maintenance Man Mike came along again and scattered deicer on our patio and on Zola's across the way. The bird feeder was again emptied and the wind picked it up and tossed it along with the holiday swag sent by the Andrews family.  Fortunately, sunset saw the end of the wind gusts.

We're supposed to have a couple of days of decent weather without more snow before it gets cold again.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Chilly Monday

It was very cold again this morning. While our AquaHot furnace is firing well, the fan does not seem to be working anymore. It was quite chilly indoors when we got home from our road trip last night. Since we have an electric mattress pad, we kept nicely warm during the night, but I had several layers of clothes on today.

The birds emptied the feeder by mid-morning, but so far they aren't too interested in the new wheat bits. The squirrels seem to sort of come and go.

I finished up the cards to family members today and we made a quick trip into the post office to send them off by Priority Mail. I purposely took along a pen to address the Priority Mail envelopes, but wouldn't you know, it was out of ink! I went back to the car and we scrounged and found another under the seat. Which meant I had to get in line again (they don't have one of those automated machines at the Moses Lake post office). But they had all of the counters staffed with friendly folks and the line moved quickly.

We stopped by Chris Conner's shop on the way home to see if he had any ideas about the furnace fan. He's coming out to take a look tomorrow afternoon...








Sunday, December 18, 2016

Road Trip

We have a friend we haven't seen for over a year and a half. This friend holds an Eggnog Party at her place up on Tiger Pass every December. She makes real Eggnog from scratch with eggs and cream and good stuff like that. Everyone that comes brings a plate of goodies, savory or sweet. Since a lot of people show up, it's quite a spread.

We haven't attended an Eggnog Party since we started full time RVing almost ten years ago. We've been in places like California and Florida and Arizona instead of in snowy Washington. So this year, we decided we would make the trek. Since there was no SS today, we left right after church.

It took us longer to drive north through Spokane than it took to get there from Menno. From Spokane we continued north on 395 through Deer Park, Springdale, Valley and Chewelah. We took the old Aden highway cutoff to Highway 12, then another six and a half miles to Mary's drive. It's a. one-way narrow road up the mountain to her place. You just hope you don't meet anyone coming down when you're going up! (Though Mary told me the guy going down has the right-of-way..)

We were late enough that there was a parking place right by the house. The house was still packed. I would guess there close to a hundred people there! Mary's Eggnog is fabulous, especially the bowl "with!"  The dining room table was covered with savory items  I took my plate of cookies to the sideboard where they joined an array of other sweet things.

I thought perhaps the Eggnog Parties would have tapered off a bit in the years while we were gone. But there is a whole new generation of folks enjoying this annual gathering. I sure didn't know very many people, but got some great hugs from Mary and the few I knew. We met a couple of the neighbors and were very intrigued by how much and how far you can see now from the balcony. (They had a violent wind shear come through the area that took down several truckloads of trees.)

We stayed for about an hour, then started the long trek back home (with a nice bottle of 'nog in hand). We saw a handful of deer as we drove back down towards Colville. There was a light snow falling, the mountains were beautiful. It got dark as we drove and we enjoyed the lights in Colville and the display in the Chewelah City Park. It's been a very good day!


Saturday, December 17, 2016

FROZEN!

It was COLD this morning! I don't know what the temperature was earlier, but it was 5 degrees at ten o'clock and we were frozen! No cold water, no hot water, no water in the toilet! It was cold!

Forry kicked the heater in the bays up to high, but we never did get thawed out today. Fortunately, we have half a tank of water in our fresh water tank (We try to keep that much water for use in emergencies even though we are hooked up to park water. You never know when a park's water is going to be shut off because a pipe sprang a leak or someone ran over a hydrant.) that we could use. I washed my hair this afternoon and took a sponge bath in icy cold water!

This evening we went to a birthday dinner at Menno to celebrate our friend Katharine's 70th birthday. Held in the new Fellowship Hall, we had a wonderful roast beef dinner, shrimp cocktails and three kinds of cake. Diane and her crew prepared another feast. There were an interesting combination of people there from various parts of Kay's life - church family, school teacher, trustee, and family!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday Visitor

I spotted a head going alongside the RV window this morning towards the back of the patio. Then as I  watched it came back the other way and I realized it was my Brother Pat. He had brought a couple of five gallon buckets of wheat bits for my bird feeder! Then he brought in two large zip lock bags of beans for the non-snowbirds inside. I'm going to have to hunt for that ham hock that I think is somewhere in the freezer...

We had a good visit. Forry and Pat checked out the bourbon balls Sister Sherry and I made after Thanksgiving. I've had them in the refrigerator aging. They were pretty strong when we made them (they've got a good dose of Jack Daniels in them), but the fellows said they have aged nicely.

There was a great deal of activity at the bird feeder this morning. Not only did the squirrel I've been chasing away show up (he hangs from the top of the feeder and eats), but his cousin came as well. The first one chased the new arrival away and we didn't see either of them after that.

I took advantage of the thawed tanks and did three loads of laundry this afternoon, working at filling them back up again. The UPS driver dropped off my order of another set of long johns from Costco, so between them and the clean laundry, I'm in pretty good shape to face the horrid temperatures they predicting for the next few days.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

More Snow

It started to snow last night just about the time I got back from town (went into Moses Lake for Bible Study which ended up canceled) about six thirty. It snowed about an inch, then stopped. We thought that was it as it was still quiet when we went to bed. But, when we got up this morning, there was at least another three inches on the ground!

I was sure glad I had gotten a pair of snow boots when I walked over to the clubhouse for the weekly ladies' coffee klatch. I was the first one there this morning, so I rummaged around, found the coffee can in the refrigerator, made a pot of coffee and put the water on for tea.

Forry put one of our electric heaters out in one of the bays. By noon, we had hot water. Mid-afternoon he was able to drain the black tank and an hour or so later the grey tank followed suit. So now I can take a shower again, run the dishwasher and do some laundry! I think we've figured what all we have to do to exist in this nasty weather... We'd better have, as it is forecast to get even colder!

Chatted with Sister Roxy on the phone this morning to wish her Happy Birthday! She said they had gotten enough snow in Lacey to dust the bushes. We had a nice talk until she suddenly decided she'd better hurry and get dressed or she'd be late for her Zumba class! The year she was born, our Dad told us she was our Christmas present...

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Another Chilly Day

I'm counting the days until the Winter Solstice. I can't wait until I can starting watching the days become longer! Even if it's only by a minute a day, there's something very psychological about it and I always feel better when I can read it in the newspaper every day.

It was cold today! We were once again without hot water this morning - that I can do without! From the looks of the tracks in the snow along the back of Auntie Violet, the deer we've seen have been exploring around the park. We've only seen them once here, but a couple of times we've seen bunches  of them crossing the road.

We watched the Pentatonix Christmas Show tonight. It was really a pleasure to watch. I bought their Christmas album just to get their rendition of Cohen's Hallelujah. They are a talented group.




Tuesday, December 13, 2016

FINALLY - A Stay-at-Home Day!

I made it very plain last night that I was not going to leave the RV today, and I didn't! I did open the door when John, one of the park maintenance guys, knocked. John announced, if it was all right with us, that he was here to scrape the ice and snow off of our patio and put down de-icer. I had swept a path in the snow out to the car, but that was all. The first snow actually melted off the patio, but it was colder now. This last snow stuck and every place we'd walked, getting bird feed etc,, turned to ice. John shoveled off the snow, scraped off the icy spots, then spread de-icer of some kind. When he finished with ours, we saw him go down the road and do the same thing at Zola's place. It's interesting that the maintenance crew is out doing this at all the occupied sites. I wonder if it's a liability issue? It's very nice whatever the reason!

Forry went out to drain our almost full tanks and discovered that the drain hose was frozen. He thinks we lost the electric unit in the AquaHot during the night as we had no hot water this morning. He switched the system over to use diesel instead of electricity and we soon had hot water again. One thing I quickly noticed - the AquaHot diesel system is much warmer then the electric version. It's much warmer in the RV even though it's colder outside.

I did finish our Christmas cards this afternoon. I finally got very frustrated with SendOutCards' website's ability to send the cards in one batch (in spite of multiple emails and discussions with their "help"staff), and sent them in batches of six to ten. Not real happy with the picture we used, but at least that task is done.

Forry spent some time outside doing some more winterizing stuff while I worked on the Congregational Description that the Search Committee helped flesh out last night. It is a complicated multi-page document that I really want to get finished up this week.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Another Busy Day...

Ugh! This getting up early and getting going is getting old.

Forry had another appointment with the dentist this morning to get a filling in one of his back molars. While he was at the dentist, I managed to get some shopping done - mainly for some cards and stocking stuffers.

After Forry was finished up, (plus a hug from Niece Becky!) we headed for Ephrata for a visit with our friend Vic. The roads were clear until we got into town, then they were a bit slushy yet. Vic was in pretty good spirits, still pleased that his Daughter Pam had been able to "borrow" a wheelchair van to take him to Walt's Memorial Service last Saturday. We visited for a bit, then PT came to take him for therapy.

Back to Moses Lake with a stop at Safeway for breakfast sandwiches and one at Lowes for another sack of birdseed. Then over to Denny's for an early supper. While we were there, we got a phone call from our friend Colleen who had just finished a ten day stint of vending at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. It was so good to talk with her - except that they were at Eagle View in Arizona! Jealous!

Next stop was out at Menno for a meeting of the Pastoral Search Committee. This was a working meeting to fill out the questionnaire about the congregation that we need to send into the PNMC office. Members of the committee had done the information gathering on various portions of the questionnaire. Now I need to get it all written up...

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Farewells

It was another early morning day.  Since church starts at ten AM, we have to leave a bit after eight-thirty, especially when we are not sure about the condition of the roads. They definitely were better this morning than yesterday, but still not fast. However, we did arrive in plenty of time.

After church this morning, a farewell celebration was held for Pastor Matthew and his family. Diane and her catering crew prepared a porkloin dinner for the congregation plus several families that were friends of Matthew and Shawna. There was a nice turnout and it was interesting to hear people's comments about the Yoder's years at Menno. They will be leaving towards the end the month for their new home in Ohio.

We arrive back home just in time to watch the sad second half of the Seahawks/Packers game. Green Bay certainly took Seattle to the cleaners this afternoon!


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Another Busy Day

We were up and going early this morning, but the roads were so bad that we made it to church just as the Memorial Service for Walt Reimer was starting. Walt was born in 1920 and with his wife Clara, was one of the treasured elders of our Menno congregation. There was a soup luncheon served after the service in the new Fellowship Hall so we had a chance to visit with many of the family members that were present. Although the occasion was sad, it was a joy to visit with many of these cherished souls.

The roads were a bit better on the way back home. They had had a chance to melt off a bit and we met a few snowplows. It probably snowed another good inch. inch and a half during the night. You could tell by all of the bird tracks that the little guys had been busy at the feeder. There were also tracks from the rabbit that lives under the RV across the road.

It wasn/t as cold last night as it was on Thursday, but the temperature tonight has been really dropping. We stopped at Safeway in Moses Lake to get gas and the wind made it feel much much colder.



Friday, December 9, 2016

A Snowy Day at Home

There was about another inch of snow on the ground this morning and we had intermittent snow showers throughout the day. The bird feeder had lots of customers - there were 20-25 little birds flying between the feeder and the trees. But, this nasty little guy has found the feeder as well! We yell at him and chase him away every time we see him, but...


The birds scatter quite a bit of feed unto the ground, but then they seem to go right after it, so it's not being wasted.


This is one of the little Oregon Juncos. He's puffed up almost to twice his size to keep himself warm in this nasty cold weather.


We hunkered down  in the house pretty much all day. Forry did go out to sweep a path to the shed and to the car and swept the car off. He also brought the sack of bird feed inside so I could refill the feeder. In this cold, they're emptying it almost every day.

I did get three loads of laundry done. I dry the underwear, but hang the rest of it on our rack. It seems to help keep the shrinkage down.

We ate the second crab for dinner tonight. I think it was even better than the one we had last night!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Another Trip to the Dentist and CRAB!

It was cold last night! It wasn't easy to climb out of our nice warm bed this morning (we have a heated mattress pad with dual controls), but I dutifully got up, washed my face, got dressed and headed over to the clubhouse to have coffee with the park ladies. It was definitely a brisk walk.

The birds had the feeder completely empty this morning! I refilled it when I came back from coffee. They were quickly back to work on re-emptying it. There must have been twenty plus little birds flitting in and out - finches, juncos and sparrows.

I had an appointment at two with Niece Becky to do some deep cleaning on two of my back molars. I don't know why those two were particularly bad, but Becky earned her paycheck by the time she finished with them.

On Becky's recommendation, we went from the dentist's office over to North40 and found me a pair of snow boots. It's snowing again tonight, so my purchase was timely. But here's one of my pet peeves. If the boots/shoes say they should be treated with water repellent before being worn, why don't they treat them before you buy them?! I dutifully bought a can of the spray stuff and will treat them tomorrow - provided I can step outside to do it! I don't want that spray stuff in a closed up house.

We stopped at Safeway to buy much needed groceries. When I came around the back to the meat counter, I was delighted to see the case full of beautiful Dungeness crab! The butcher said they had just gotten their first shipment of the season. $5.99/lb. I had him clean two. I picked up a loaf of crusty bread and we had crab for dinner tonight! After eating nothing but snow crab in Arizona the last few winters, it was an absolute delight to feast on Dungeness. And we have enough for crab and Gruyere omelets in the morning!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Very Busy Day

After taking our antibiotics (a necessity after our back and joint surgeries), we headed for Moses Lake and our appointments at the dentist. Our Niece Becky is the dental hygienist at the dentist we use, so it gives us a chance to visit for an hour while we get our teeth cleaned.

From the dentist' office, we headed for Ephrata to visit our friend Vic at Columbia Basin Hospital Rehab. He looks and seems to feel ever so much better than when we saw him last Saturday. We had a pretty short visit as he was scheduled for a trip to the jacuzzi. The roads were all clear until we got to Ephrata. They got about three inches of snow and it looks like none of it was plowed nor did any of it melt. The roads in town were all slick.

We got back to Moses Lake with time to have a quick dinner at Denny's before it was time to go over to Monroe House where the Menno ladies meet on Wednesday evenings for Bible Study. We were going to stop and get groceries, but since I have to go back to the dentist tomorrow afternoon, we'll wait and do it then.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Getting COLD!

Well, in spite of the forecast for more, we woke up this morning to the same amount of snow we had when we went to bed. The sun was out. It was so bright it actually hurt your eyes. I was outside trying to get a picture of Auntie Violet in the snow. There weren't any human tracks in the yard, but you could see the tracks from one of the little rabbits who live in the park and lots of bird tracks. The birds were working hard at the bird feeder, knocking snow off the top as they flew in and out.

By late afternoon, the snow had melted off the patio blocks. Then the temperature started to drop as the sun went down. Forry went outside and brushed and scraped the last of the snow off Toad II. It had partially melted and was now freezing hard.

This arctic front the forecasters have been talking about for two days may finally be here.

I spent a good share of the day working on Christmas cards and doing the end of the year bookwork for the ranch. It's always a pain to finish things up as since I only do it once a year, as I can never remember quite how to do it. I have to fight with my laptop computer as well - I sure wish I had never upgraded to Windows 10!

Monday, December 5, 2016

SNOW!

Yep, there's a good inch of snow out there on the ground! It started about two o'clock this afternoon and kept it up for almost three hours. It didn't look like it was going to stick for a while, but then it did. When it started, the maintenance guys were out there pounding four foot stakes in along the edge of the roads, then spray painting the top 6-7 inches orange. I assume they put the stakes in to guide snow plowing, but I surely hope they don't think it's going to get that deep!

We've been dithering a bit about our outdoor Christmas decorations. We've used luminarias the last three years at Eagle View in Arizona. They fit very well in our desert home. Somehow, it doesn't seem like such a good thing here. I don't think we're going to put them out. Today we hung our icicle lights on the front of the coach along with our JOY sign. The icicles are about a foot long and hang in two loops from the mirrors.

I also took our little Christmas tree out of the storage box. I had put it in a large two gallon plastic bag hoping to protect it. It looked a bit bedraggled anyway, but soon fluffed back up with a little TLC. I'm  not sure how we're going to light it up... Presently it's in the front window, but I may move it over to the top of our new little fireplace heater.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Church Today

I'm still not sure what happened. We were up plenty early and dressed and ready to go to Menno, but we were almost late! We walked in with one minute to spare - and Forry without his hearing aids..

In Adult Sunday School this morning, we watched a video of one of Ted and Lee's early shows, the one about the Angel Gabriel telling Mary the news; Mary's interaction with Joseph; and Zachariah and Elizabeth. Hilariously funny, but very thought provoking videos. They were especially poignant to watch, knowing of Lee's tragic death a few years back.

We stopped on the way home for both gas and coffee. Forry had a peppermint mocha while I had a peppermint latte. There was a cold wind blowing, so it was nice to have warm drinks after gassing the car.

We'll have to be switching the tv channels back and forth as we want to watch both the Seahawks game and the fourth night of the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Another Trip to Ephrata

We hadn't been to Ephrata to visit our friend Vic since Monday, so we were quite anxious to see how he was doing today. We understand that they had a good Care Conference last Wednesday and are thinking he probably needs another three weeks of therapy. Vic was asleep in his chair when we arrived, but quickly woke to visit when we arrived. We met a few more of the staff today. All that we've met seem to be both kind and competent.

It's been several years since Moses Lake has been our main "market town," so we feel like we're rediscovering it. I was hungry for steak tonight, so we went to the Porterhouse, which I remembered as being quite good. We were a bit disappointed. We split a rib steak which was only so-so. The baked potato could have baked a little longer. Our soup arrived before our drinks and was only lukewarm. The waitress asked us if we were ready for the check before we had even eaten half of our steak...

Tonight is night three of the National Finals Rodeo - so much fun to watch!


Friday, December 2, 2016

It's Friday!

We have been a bit concerned about keeping warm in our motorhome this winter. We were pretty sure that the two little electric heaters we used in Arizona and Florida and Texas to take the edge off would not be enough. Just for fun, we've been looking at the electric heaters that mimic fireplaces. The first one we considered - and almost ordered - turned out to have some scary reviews about melting plastic parts. We found another one that we eventually ordered. It's about 20 inches tall and has quite an active looking flame. I posted a picture on Facebook earlier this evening so you can take a look.

We talked briefly this morning about going into town to visit Vic, but are still feeling a bit "traveled out," so quickly vetoed that idea. Forry got outside long enough to take the garbage out to the cans on the edge of the park and get the mail. He did get the Christmas box out of the bay, so maybe we'll get some Christmas decorations up in the next few days. Our luminaries have plastic water bottles in the base as weights. We have sat outside and filled them in the past. I don't think we'll be doing that here.

We're again watching the broadcast of the National Finals Rodeo from Las Vegas. It's Night Two. We're be rooting for the Grandma barrel racer from Cheney who won the go-round last night.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Coffee and ?

I was moving sort of slow this morning when Forry reminded me it was Thursday morning. The ladies in the park meet on Thursday mornings for coffee and a bit of "discussion." I quickly got dressed, grabbed my mug of coffee and a container of cookies and walked over to the clubhouse. I shared the peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses that Sister Sherry and I had made last week with the ladies that were there. Sounds like only seven people were here for Thanksgiving dinner. Since they had bought a pretty large turkey, the leftovers were frozen for turkey soup at the December potluck later this month.

We're watching the first night of the 10 day National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas tonight. Pamela Capper, the little grandmother from Cheney who took four horses with her, won the first go-round in barrel racing tonight. Our friends, Dennis and Colleen have their Recycled Spoon jewelry booth here for the show. Here's hoping that they have lots of good sales. The only problem is they never get to watch the rodeo events...

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday Blahs

I think we were just tired from our trip to Spokane yesterday, but today was just a blah day. I did get the sheets washed and the bed remade, but that's about the extent of my ambitions. I did cut the tags off of the shirts I bought Forry yesterday - plus all of those nasty little plastic ties.

We had a bunch of little visitors today in the trees around the motor home as well as at the feeder. Some of them were little Oregon junkos and the others some little warblers that we weren't able to identify. They had pale yellow breasts with white wing bars and tails.

Tonight I drove into Moses Lake to join the rest of the Menno ladies for our weekly Bible Study. It's always good to get together with this group.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Spokane

We planned a trip to Spokane today. One item on my list was a haircut. The impulse I had four months ago to cut my long hair has one major drawback. In order to have "wash and wear" hair that settles into waves all by itself, it has to be cut again every couple of months! Otherwise it gets about an inch too long and the weight pulls the baby fine stuff straight again.

I had called yesterday to see what days Becky was working this week. Since today was one of her workdays, that's the first stop we made. There is something just plain nice about having someone else shampoo your hair.

Our next stop was Costco. I got a couple more long sleeved shirts for both of us plus took a couple back that didn't fit well. It was a VERY busy place today! Forry did replenish his supply of hearing aid batteries - much to my relief.

We stopped next to pick up Son Sean, then went out on the Spokane Pullman highway where we have a storage unit. We were hoping to haul some of the stuff down to the RV, but after looking it over decided we didn't have room in Toad II. It may have to wait for another day and perhaps borrowing or renting a pickup...

It was still fairly early, but we went up to Gordy's Szechuan on the South Hill in hopes they would be open. They were and we shared a great meal of apricot chicken (a little on the sweet side), while Sean had peppered beef, which was also very good.

A stop in Moses Lake for gas and ice cream, but we finally made it back home on this very chilly but productive day.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday Blahs

I saw a meme this morning that said something to the effect that the only people that don't dread Mondays are those who are retired. I know that I was very thankful this morning that I didn't have to get up and go to work. It was a beautiful sunny morning. It actually got up to 65 degrees early this afternoon - and it's almost December!

We drove over to Ephrata about two pm to spent an hour or so with Vic. I had emptied out his mailbox at church yesterday and brought the contents over for him. Vic was sleeping in his chair when we got there, but he soon woke up and we had a nice visit.

Not really being in a mood to cook, we stopped by Mike's Place, the clubhouse for the nearby golf course, for a hamburger on the way home.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Quiet Sunday

The first thing I did this morning was check my iPad to see how our friends Leslie and Bill were doing. They are in Florida, walking in the 45th Space Coast 1/2 Marathon. The first post I saw was a picture of Bill at Mile 12, so they were almost finished. They had actually started at 6 AM Florida time. This is the first marathon they have done since Bill's near death experience at Epcot last month. His cardiologists okayed him doing the half marathon, but only to walk not run.

Knowing our friends were doing okay, we headed for church at Menno. We had to make a quick stop at the Chevron station for gas as we hadn't refueled on the way home last night. It was a beautiful day  for a drive in the country.

I think our busy week caught up with us by the time we returned home. We both napped through most of the sad Seahawks game.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Visit With Vic

We took our time this morning getting our showers and putting stuff away from our overnight trip to Touchet. The batteries for our car fobs finally arrived in today's mail - only three weeks after I ordered them and four days after the projected arrival date! They came from Brooklyn, New York. It said on the envelope:
Surface Mail Only, Primary Lithium Batteries. Forbidden for Transportation Aboard Passenger Aircraft
 This package contains lithium metal cells or batteries. This package must be handled with care; a flammable hazard may exist if the package is damaged. Special procedures must be followed if the package is damaged, including inspection and repacking if necessary. Damaged batteries or cells should not be transported except under appropriate conditions.
From the mail box, we headed for Ephrata and spent an hour with Vic. He was up in a wheelchair when we got there and looked a great deal better than when saw him last Tuesday. It was good to see him alert and coherent.

From Ephrata, we returned to Moses Lake and a quick grocery stop. Seems like we're always needing something from there. I bought a frozen pizza to cook for supper when we got home.
 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Cookies!

When I got up this morning and came downstairs about seven, Sister Sherry was already mixing cookie dough. We had decided yesterday to make Mother's wedding cake cookies, bourbon balls and one with chocolate kisses. Sherry had checked out several baking sites on the internet and had also hauled out her old recipe box. It was sort of funny to see all the different variations there are of the same cookie.

The prize of the day was a recipe Sherry found for the kisses that used a peanut butter cookie for the base. You baked the little balls of dough for nine minutes; removed the tray from the oven; quickly and firmly pressed a kiss into the center of each cookie; then popped them back into the oven for two minutes more. They turned out to be delightful little morsels.

Sherry mixed dough and I sat at the table and made balls - lots and lots of balls! All the recipes we chose had you make balls of the dough. Even the bourbon balls, which weren't baked called for making them into balls that were rolled in powdered sugar before they were chilled. The bourbon balls were good. But we decided they needed to age for a few weeks to become their tastiest.

We had leftover roast beef sandwiches with the au jus we made from the roast drippings yesterday along with leftover crab cocktail. Forry and Sherry had pecan pie for breakfast! All in all, it was a very pleasant day, even though the Cougs didn't win the Apple Cup!

We got home just before dark, tired and full, and thankful for family!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Big Dogs and Roast Beast

And Creme Brûlée, and crab cocktails and popovers and mashed potatoes! And now we're eating pecan pie made with maple syrup and bourbon! Sister Sherry and I totally vetoed having turkey, she bought a standing rib roast instead. We also decided we would "graze" instead of having a big sit-down meal. There are some distinct advantages to being old ladies! And to not having a big crowd around!

We drove down to Strohmaier Farm this morning with pecans, walnuts, crab cocktail and a bottle of bourbon (strictly for the pie of course!) in the cooler. We were met by the gate by Sister Sherry and Keiko San, her 230 pound plus, five year old mastiff. The other two lady mastiffs were waiting in the house.

We've had a good day. We worked off a wee bit of calories walking out to the shop and then to the chicken house to do chores. The chickens were already up in their roosts for the night when we got out to shut them in.

Tomorrow we've got the makings for roast beef sandwiches with au jus we made from the roast drippings. We're going to make some Christmas cookies as well. It's fun to just work together in the kitchen with my sister!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cocktails

I wish I knew the story behind the seafood cocktails that were a tradition in my maternal grandparents' home on holidays. I don't know that the family ever lived near the ocean. They emigrated from Bohemia and settled in Minnesota. My Grandmother Mary, a 25 year old spinster in the federal census report, followed her brothers out to Washington Territory to take up a homestead. The story was that her brothers wanted more than the 180 acres they could claim. She was supposed to "prove up" a claim so that they could have more land.

But she met another man of Bohemian descent, my Grandfather Matthew, and married him. Her brother married Nettie, Matthew's sister, so all of their children were double cousins.

There were always two things at each place setting on the table at her house on holidays. One was a  hand-turned wooden nut cup made by Great Uncle John. They always held some nuts and a few pieces of candy. The other item was a glass of cocktail sauce with green onions, celery and seafood - either shrimp or crab. As a child, I never thought to ask where the tradition came from and I was only eleven or twelve when my grandmother died. My mother continued the tradition with both the nut cups and the cocktails and my sisters and I do the same.

Of course, over the years, we have been fortunate enough to have fresh Dungeness crab, but I can remember opening the little cans of shrimp or crab that you used to be able to buy...

I thought about Grandma today as I was mixing up crab cocktails to take to Sister Sherry's with us tomorrow. I just wish I knew the rest of the story.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Another Trip to Ephrata

I did the last load of laundry this morning, then picked up a few things and got a bit more organized. Then we left for Ephrata and Columbia Basin Hospital to visit Vic. They had moved him down the hall to a room closer to the Nurses' Station. He's not had the strength in his hands to use the call bell, so they moved him closer so that they can hear him call out.

His daughter Pam was already there when we arrived, so we had a chance for a good visit with her. Vic was so much improved today from when we last saw him on Saturday. He was much more alert and cognizant of what was going on. I told him we were leaving for Touchet tomorrow, so would not be back over to see him until Saturday. He told me that that was an awful long time!

We stopped in Moses Lake on the way home to have dinner at Denny's. It's one of those places you just go to eat, nothing special. We order off the Senior Menu, which is plenty for us.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Papers!

I spent a good share of my day working on paperwork for my meeting tonight. I am chairing the Search Committee at Menno as we look for a new pastor. Unlike many more centralized church denominations, Mennonite Churches do not get pastors assigned by from a centralized location. Each church chooses and recruits their own pastor(s). We do get assistance from the area conference.

Our District Pastor Gary Jewell is serving as interim pastor for the church in Albany, Oregon. He was on his way back to Spokane today, so agreed to meet with the Search Committee on his way home. Since it was dinnertime, my dear friend Katherine sent a crock pot of beef vegetable soup and a basket of bread along to the meeting with her hubby! So along with our meeting, we had a feast as well.

The good thing about having to get agendas and other stuff printed is I got my printer working again. Ever since I used my laptop at the auction in early October with a different printer, my home printer has been refusing to communicate with it. Today it must have quit pouting and the two of them worked together with no problems (fingers crossed as I type...!).


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Church & Seahawks

I did not want to get up this morning. Forry wasn't any better! I had to encourage him to get up and get going!

It was very foggy as we drove to church, especially along the dam. It was pretty thick, but fortunately it thinned out as we approached Moses Lake and headed to Menno. There was a nice turnout for church this morning. Pastor Matthew had everyone file to the front after the service to say a few words to Vic. His daughter-in-law held up her laptop and made a video that he could play of everyone expressing their prayers and good wishes.

Just to see some different country, we drove home through Warden. We got home just in time to see the start of the Seahawks versus the Eagles football game. It was a really good game even though Forry slept through the best part of it!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Visiting

We had two goals today. One was to go spend some time with Vic and the other was to get groceries. We weren't up terribly early. It had rained off and on during the night and it was quite dark and overcast when we got up.

We headed for Ephrata in the early afternoon. I took my iPad along, figuring if Vic was sleeping, we could just sit in his room with him. When we got there, the nursing staff was in his room getting him settled in his bed. They came and got us when they were finished. He didn't get to rest very long as the Occupational Therapist we had met last Wednesday came in with a nurse and a Hoyer lift to get him up for some therapy. We followed the wheelchair down to the PT department where Harmon put him through a series of exercises, both leg and arm strengthening stuff.

After his therapy, he was resettled in bed. I shared with him the members of the Search Committee and our plans for meeting on Monday. He was quite interested and talked a bit about previous pastors.  But he was tired and soon dozed off...

We left just before five, heading back to Moses Lake to get groceries before we headed home. Having no desire to cook dinner, we made a stop at KFC for chicken...

Friday, November 18, 2016

Company

This afternoon, Ron and his wife Mikki came for a visit. Ron was a classmate of Forry's through high school. They used to do a lot of things together -  hunting, bowling, golfing - that kind of stuff, when we lived on the ranch near Ritzville. Ron had heard that we were living over by Potholes State Park, so they came for a visit. It's always good to see people you haven't seen for a long time and catch up on their lives, their kids and their grandkids. They stayed for an enjoyable couple of hours.

It wasn't quite as cold today. The sun never did come out. The skies were very overcast, but so far we have had no more rain. We've pretty much decided that our two little electric heaters that were more than adequate in Arizona are just not going to be enough to do the job here. After looking at several, we went ahead and ordered a small electric fireplace from Camping World.

Forry had been snacking on peanuts this afternoon and wasn't very hungry for supper. I had planned to make some hearty nachos, but ended up just making some hamburger patties with grilled onions. We definitely need to make a grocery run tomorrow.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hmm...

Some of the ladies of Sun Desert get together at the Clubhouse every Thursday morning at nine in the morning for coffee and chitchat. It's been a fun way to get to know some of the neighbors. Between ten and twelve of the ladies are usually present.

I was a bit late this morning. (It was cold and I wasn't anxious to climb out of my warm bed!) I arrived about ten after nine and almost turned around and walked out the door! There was quite a shouting match going on between two of the women. One was the neighbor who lives directly behind us in one of the mobile homes and the other was evidently her neighbor on the other side. I wasn't sure if the argument was about their dogs chasing each other or infringement upon parking spaces. Seems they were both angry and were throwing in everything that irritated each other!

One of them finally left and things settled down and it was back to the usual discussions of projects and grandkids. It did bring home to me how much I dislike dissension! I don't ever recall getting into it with neighbors, not even the kid in Spokane who led his dog over to do its business in our driveway because his Dad made him pick it up if he did it in their yard! I just told him we expected the same in our yard as his Dad and that was the end of that!

It was COLD when we got up this morning! Forry said it was 30 degrees when he got up this morning. It's been a beautiful, though wet, fall. We've only had frost one night more than a month ago. Everyone's flowers are still blooming. But, I think that this is the end of our nice weather.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Visit..

After a fall that left fractures in his pelvis, our dear friend Vic was moved from the hospital to the rehab facility at Ephrata yesterday. I haven't been in the Columbia Basin Hospital facility there for over thirty years - not since a clinical rotation there as a student LPN at Big Bend Community College. I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised when we got there this afternoon. It has been extensively remodeled and is quite nice. The rooms are all single person rooms with private baths.

From Ephrata we traveled back to Moses Lake; got Forry a burger; then went over to Monroe House for our Woman's Bible Study. Forry sat in the lobby and read the newspaper while he waited for me.

Earlier today I had put together both an email group and a text group for the Search Committee for our new pastor that I am chairing. Not being certain if the email addresses in the church directory were still accurate, I duplicated my message. One of the first things we'll have to do when we meet next week is to figure out the best way to contact every one.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Finally, A Quiet Day

As much as I like and enjoy many people, my introvert's soul definitely needs down time! We slept in this morning. After listening to rain most of the night, it was nice to wake up to sunshine.

I finished up the last load of laundry that I didn't finish yesterday when Forry needed help outside. I think I did a few other little things like go after the mail, but that was about it. I curled up in my chair with my iPad and read most of the afternoon away.

I made a batch of stew for supper with carrots, parsnips, turnips, a sweet potato, a Yukon gold potato and an onion. For a change I tried thickening it a bit with corn meal instead of flour, but I don't think I like what it did to the taste. I made biscuits to go with - I think Forry would make a meal of just biscuits if he could...

Monday, November 14, 2016

Winter Prep

It was cool today, but at least the sun was shining. I heard rain during the night, but the clouds were gone this morning.

We've had the materials to freeze-proof the water standpipe at our site for a couple of weeks. I think the weather forecast finally convinced Forrest that we needed to get the task done. We bought the shortest heat tape we could find. It is three feet long, but the pipe is only about two and a half feet above the ground. The instructions are very explicit about not over-lapping heat tape. Forry dug down around the pipe far enough to be able to secure the tape straight down the pipe.

Then we wrapped 1/2 inch fiberglass insulation around the pipe and over the heat tape with a vapor barrier over that. Again the instructions were very clear about using no more than a half inch of insulation. Then we secured a couple sections of stove pipe around the whole thing; plugged in the heat tape; connected the heated water hose to the water standpipe; plugged it in; then put a five gallon bucket upside down over the whole apparatus to keep the rain out.

We didn't have to do any of that when we were in Arizona!

While we were out there messing around, we disconnected the sewer hose we had been using and connected a little short one. Less to freeze! Hopefully it's not going to get so cold that we'll have to worry about it.




Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Very Busy Sunday

Figuring we'd be going out to lunch today, we skipped breakfast. Might not have been a real good idea, as I could hear Forry's stomach growling during the sermon! We met Leslie and Bill at the ParknRide lot, they left the Yellow Taxi there and rode out to Menno with us. We didn't stay for Sunday School, but headed back to Moses Lake for lunch. The breakfast place we ate at the last time they were here on a Sunday morning has new owners and the reviews aren't very good, so we ended up going to Michael's On the Lake. They weren't serving breakfast, so we ended up eating lunch. Their lunch menu had an apple tart with orange syrup and ice cream under desserts. Forry decided that came as close to the pancakes he was hungry for, so that's what he had for lunch while the rest of us were more traditional. But, he raved so much about his choice that we ended up getting another one to share for dessert!

Bill and Leslie picked up their car and headed back to the west side while Forry and I went up to the hospital to visit Vic. Old Flying Farmer friends, Nina and Jerry, were there when we arrived, so we got to visit with them a bit as well. We stayed for quite a while, then Pastor Mathew showed up. We all talked a bit longer, then we finally headed home. It was after four o'clock when we got back to Auntie Violet.

It was already getting dark, so Forry worked on his Suduko while I read the newspapers on my iPad until it was time for the Seahawks game. It was definitely a back and forth battle with the New England Patriots, but the Seahawks won!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Walking?

I will be the first person to admit that we have some interesting friends. It does make for fun times.

Our friends Leslie and Bill are planning to walk in the Space Coast Half Marathon in Florida the end of November (after he had been cleared by his cardiologists!). Their training regimen called for them to walk four hours (10-11 miles) today. Leslie did not want to walk in the rain predicted for Bothell today, so last night they drove the four hours over to Moses Lake. This morning they drove out to Sun Desert, I fed them some eggs and bacon and they started walking. Forry rode his cart along with them for the first couple of miles, then he came in and they kept going.

By 1:30, they had walked 10 1/2 miles around and around the RV park and called it a successful day. It actually turned out to be a really nice day. The wind blew hard enough to blow the fog away that had hung around the last couple of days and the sun came out.

Bill and Leslie then went back to their motel and took cold baths to ward off leg cramps - and to shower! While they were gone, I browned some pine nuts in butter to add to the Brussels sprouts, gave the steaks a dry rub with lime pepper and stuck some Yukon Gold potatoes into the oven to bake. So all I had to do when they got back was put the steaks on to grill.

Bill and Leslie picked up some butter for me on their way out and also got a gluten free chocolate cake and strawberries - just in case we might have room for dessert! What a delightful day we have had.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Birthdays!

My Sister-in-law Cindy's birthday was yesterday and her Granddaughter Kiera's (my great-niece) was today. Tonight the family had a birthday party for both of them at Cindy and Brother Pat's home in Moses Lake. What a zoo! All four of our nieces and nephews were ther with their spouses. Well Nephew Nick's girlfriend. Plus all seven of the grand children! Plus Kiera's other set of grandparents and great grandmother and assorted cousins.

A fun time was held by all. The kids led Cindy on a scavenger hunt to find her birthday present from them all - a ring with all of their birth stones - with room for a couple more! The cousins all "helped" Princess Kiera open her presents. It was a kick to watch this one year old know immediately how to push the buttons on her new toy cell phone!

It is so enjoyable to see all of Pat's family and to be close enough to be part of their celebrations.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Vacuums and Groceries

It was another very nice, very warm day. There is over a forty degree spread between night and afternoon temperatures. We took advantage of the warmth and went outside and re-leveled the coach. We needed to put the jack pads down and put the extra jacks under the large living room slide on the passenger side. It's a bit tricky as the jacks have to be set so that the hydraulic slides for the basement bays don't hit them and they can still be opened. While we were outside, I gathered up the two hoses I had used to water the flowers and stored them in the shed.

I was so glad to have the house vacuum working again that I got ambitious and finished the vacuuming. I think the Chinese rug in the living room could be vacuumed a couple more times and you'd still get more hair and dirt picked up. I took all of the throw rugs outside and shook them well. I don't think they need washing again yet...

Then we decided we really needed to go into town and get groceries! I haven't done a heavy duty shopping trip for several weeks (we've been traveling too much!), so we were really out of staples. I bought lots of ingredients for making soup and stews: carrots, parsnips, turnips, noodles etc. I must have had the slowest ever checker in creation - he literally moved in slow motion. He was a young guy and I don't think his mother must have ever cooked anything from scratch. He didn't know what anything was and kept asking me what I was going to do with it. He asked what the Brussels sprouts were. When I told him, he said he had heard they "tasted awful!" He rang my head of cabbage up as iceberg lettuce. When I corrected him, he wanted to know what the difference was. Poor guy.

Tired, we stopped at El Rey for supper. Forry had some really good shrimp and I had a dish called Mexican beef steak. It was delicious!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Strange Day

It was a strange day indeed. Waking up to the news of Trump's election was tough. I am very saddened by this man's election. It didn't help to hear a couple of people say they only voted for him to make a protest statement - they never expected he would be elected...

Forry drained the tanks this morning and I finished the last load of laundry. I started on the vacuuming, getting the bedroom and the bathroom area done. Neither of us does well with vacuuming. We've both had back surgery and vacuuming quickly starts painful backs.

I went into Moses Lake to go to Women's Bible Study this evening. It seemed strange to go to Monroe House and not visit with Vic before the study session. He's been moved to a Group Home where they offer more skilled care than Monroe House can provide.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

It's Fixed!

After almost two months of putting up with extension cords all over the place and no power in any of the outlets, it is finally fixed! I called Chris this morning to remind him he was scheduled to come out today. He said he'd be out as soon as his wife got back to the office and sure enough he showed up about one thirty with our heated hose in hand.

He said he had been dreaming about our electrical problem and playing around with the old inverter he had removed. He realized some of the wires were reversed. He took care of that, then rewired the GCIF switch in the bathroom and voila!  there was power in the outlets.  Best of all, he didn't charge us anything more! He said he should have figured it out the first time he was here!

Anyway it is nice to be able to put all the extension cords away and to be able to fully close the window screen that had cords going to the outside power pole. I had to also remove the duct tape I had used on the screen opening to keep the flies out. And even better, the built-in vacuum cleaner works again! (You know what I'll be doing tomorrow...)

The USPS truck showed up as it was getting dark with both my package from Costco and our prescriptions from Group Health. (Now I know why I have found packages by our steps instead of in the mailbox!)

We are watching the voting results on TV as they come in. I am somewhat surprised at how close the vote is in some states. I guess we probably really won't know for sure until in the morning...

Monday, November 7, 2016

So Good to Be Home

With the change in time this past weekend, it gets dark so terribly early. The trade off is not waking up while it is still dark.

I spent a bit of time emptying out the little suitcase we took with us this past weekend. I need to return it to its place inside the bigger suitcase and have Forry store them both back in one of the basement bays.

We didn't do much of anything at all today. I did drive up the hill to check the mailbox and I filled the very empty bird feeder, but that was the extent of my ambition. I did grill a steak for supper and oven roast the last half of the butternut squash I had used for my stew last week.

It was really nice to sleep in my own bed last night. It seems like we haven't done much of that lately!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Home Once Again

After a quick stop at Tonnemaker's Fruit Stand for some tomatoes, a couple of D'anjou pears and two acorn squashes, we arrived home a little after five pm. Of course, with the time change this weekend, it was already dark with almost a half moon guiding us home.

Our GPS unit was suggesting we drive home via Goldendale and Yakima rather than going all the way back to the Tri-cities along the Columbia River. It may be a bit shorter coming that way, but I don't think it saves any gas as there are some pretty steep ridges along the way. Lots of ups and downs. Nonetheless, it was a very pretty drive with lots of color in the hills.

Yesterday was a fun day. Daughter Dawn and Granddaughter Havela had no idea how many people might be in attendance, but they had prepared plenty of food. We went over to the church in the morning, setting up tables  and chairs and decorating. We used the same collections of red and clear marbles and little tea lights in bowls to decorate the tables, along with red roses they had used at their wedding reception. The center of the serving table had a bouquet of red roses and the silver initials that had decorated their wedding cake in Illinois.

It poured rain all afternoon, but rain does not stop Oregonians! There was a nice steady crowd of folks who came and went. I was delighted to see some of my good friends arrive. Margaret is in her nineties now and just recently got a pacemaker. She is such a delight to chat with. Warden and Pat came with their granddaughter and we had a nice visit with them. We also visited with a couple who had worked with us for MDS. I was proud of my granddaughter and her new husband. They did a nice job of circulating and visiting with their guests.

 After cleaning up and vacuuming, we headed back to the house, then changed clothes and headed to the home of their friends, Mark and Hallie, near Canby for the after party. Many of Havela's high school friends came over and we played a hilarious game of cards until after midnight. No wonder I'm tired tonight!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Oregon!

It took a while, but we got ourselves organized and on the road again. This time we were heading for Keizer, Oregon. Todd and Daughter Dawn are hosting a reception for Granddaughter Havela and Ben at the Salem Mennonite Church tomorrow afternoon.

It was a beautiful day to drive through the Columbia Gorge. It was probably prettier a week or so ago, but there was still a great deal of autumn colors. There is also a great deal of green grass showing along the cliffs. There has been so much rain as well as warm weather that the grass is sprouting!

We made a detour to the little town of Boring, Oregon to visit the Boring Brewing Company. Forry's Sister Grace's son John opened this small brewery a few years ago. He's been wanting to stop and visit ever since Grace's husband Les told him about it.  John was not there when we stopped at the tasting room, but his wife was. She texted John and he soon arrived with their son, Bo. We had a very pleasant visit - and even sampled a few beers. We ended up taking a growler with us.

By the time we got back to I-5, we were fortunate to be just in time for rush hour traffic. It was a slow trip, but we finally got to Dawn and Todd's house. Just in time for spaghetti dinner! It was so good to see everyone again.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Errands

We had a few errands to run today, so headed for Moses Lake. We stopped at the bank, then headed out to Menno to pick up the package that Dennis and Coleen had left with Pastor Matthew for us. After a short, but pleasant visit with Matthew and Shawna and the kids, we headed back to Moses Lake.

We stopped at Safeway in Moses Lake for a few groceries - and snacks for the road trip to Oregon. We also went ahead and gassed up the car. Forry will need to check the oil and water in the morning.

We are watching the second night of the PBR Finals in Las Vegas. The bulls are rank tonight!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Nasty Colds

I thought colds were only supposed to last 7-10 days! This one seems to have decided to stay for a while. We must have caught them while we were in Illinois. I thought at first I was just getting hoarse from all the talking, but it soon turned into this nasty cold. We decided I shouldn't go to Women's Bible Study tonight so that I don't spread my blogs to the folks at Monroe House.

We spent a pretty laid back lazy day at home today. I did get a chance to talk with Sister Sherry who is celebrating her birthday today. My goodness, we are getting old!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

At Last!

At last we had a quiet day at home! I would not have even gone outside if I hadn't needed to go out to the shed to get one of Brother Pat's onions for the stew I was making for supper.

The sun was out today and it was gorgeous. Many of the trees in the park are turning red and orange and yellow. They are so pretty. They are rapidly shedding their leaves and there is a colorful carpet on the patio. It warmed up to 72 degrees this afternoon.

We have lots of sparrows at the bird feeder, but they are very jumpy, flying away at the slightest noise. We saw this afternoon why they maybe are so flighty. A small hawk, possibly a Merlin, flew into the patio and perched on one of the overturned lawn chairs for a while. It was about a foot long with a striped breast, yellow feet and eyes.

I have been playing with different combinations of ingredients for beef stew. Today I added onions, a sweet potato, a Yukon Gold potato and a portion of a cutup butternut squash. All this was added to the base of braised beef cubes, covered in red wine. It was very tasty.

While my stew was simmering, I once more turned to the laundry. I cannot believe how it piles up so quickly! I suppose a goodly share of it is from all the gadabouting we've been doing.

Monday, October 31, 2016

WE VOTED!

Son-in-law Scott brought us the mail when we went out to dinner with them Saturday night. Of course, we were anxious to get our ballots. We waded through the Voters' Guide this morning and got the ballots filled out. They are long sheets this time with both sides completely full. Washington State is an Initiative State, which means that anyone who can get enough signatures in support of an idea can get their idea on the ballot. In some ways I like the idea of citizen involvement, but unlike the regular legislative process, there are no hearings for public input, nor any way to make amendments. We have seen many times the unintended consequences of initiatives, especially when you've got people who, instead of running for the Legislature and winning a seat, make it their life's work to write initiatives instead.

We also realized this morning that today was the last day of the month and that the second half of our Property Tax payments was due today. By law, there is no grace period for paying these taxes. So I got out the calculator, added up the parcels for the various tax districts and wrote out a check.

What this really meant was that, in spite of my desire to not even get in a vehicle for at least a week, we needed to go to town to the post office to ensure the envelope with the tax payment was postmarked today! But that way we also got our ballots mailed.

Forry wanted to pick up a heat tape for the water standpipe as well, so we ended up running some errands. Thank goodness we really didn't need groceries - I don't think I could have handled that at all.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Back Over the Mountains

We were in bed last night very soon after we got back to the motel in Bothell from Mount Vernon. Even with Bill doing all the driving, it had been a long day. We made it up this morning and were checked out of the motel by ten. We made our way over to Pleasant Lake RV Park where Serenity, Bill and Leslie's RV is parked. It's a lovely park. The sites are close together, but there are shrubs and trees between them and they are all clustered around a pretty little lake.

We left our car there and took the Yellow Taxi out for one last brunch. We ate at the Original Pancake House where I actually found Dutch Babies on the menu - properly served with wedges of lemon and powdered sugar! Forry had pumpkin pancakes, Leslie had pecan pancakes and shared with Bill a huge fluffy baked omelet that he ordered with a side of chocolate chip pancakes. If we had stayed in Bothell any longer, we would have had to be rolled home, we've eaten so well.

We were back on the road by noon and rolled into Sun Desert a bit after three thirty. We had stopped once for gas and made one potty stop, but it was a quick trip. It's a lot shorter than going to Seattle from Spokane!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Good Day

We started off the day with brunch at Portage Bay near Lake Union. Leslie had made reservations the night before, so we avoided the long lines waiting for service. What great food! We had Dungeness crab omelettes, while Leslie and Bill had some of the day's specials. There were so many wonderful choices, it was hard to decide.

The next stop for the "Yellow Taxi" was at the Alderwood Mall where we took a look at their display of the Americana exhibit of Lego buildings. We saw the Capital Building, the Liberty Bell, and the Washington Monument. It's incredible to see the detail in these models. The detail of the columns, the windows, the flags and the statues is incredible.

Then it was time to head north to Mount Vernon for "Our Town" at the Lincoln Theatre. Our Granddaughter Claire had the lead as Emily and she did a wonderful job. This young woman at fifteen, already has quite a resume' as an actor. Our Town is a rather somber emotional play, but the cast did a great job.

The four of us joined Daughter Mary Mae, Scott and Claire for dinner at the Trumpeter in downtown Mount Vernon. Claire has been fighting a cold and was very tired. They had the Opening Night last night, the matinee today and another matinee tomorrow. Then there are two more weekends of performances to go. Oh, to be young!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Driving Again

We got a fairly decent start this morning and after a stop in Ellensburg for gas, made it to the Bothell StayAmerica Extended Stay by a little after 1:30 PM. The GPS took us through Royal City over to I-90 near Vantage. We left the fog behind midway there and had sunshine the remainder of the trip.

Forry got in a short nap before our friend Leslie arrived following her acupuncture appointment. We visited until it was time for Bill to finish work and join us. Leslie had made reservations at a place in the renovated Anderson Middle School called the Tavern on the Square. It opened about a year ago, though they had not been there yet. But they'll definitely be back. The food was extremely good. Leslie and I had some excellent mushroom risotto while Bill had a pork shank and Forry had a hamburger that was almost an inch thick!

We headed back to the hotel to get a good night's sleep before Leslie and Bill come pick us up in the morning to go to brunch.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Home = Laundry

I do so like the nice bags motels/hotels clip to their hangers for you to use for laundry services. They are excellent to use for dirty clothing as you travel. Then when you get home, you have all of your to-do laundry in one place ready to go. I unpacked last night and made a pile for today's washing. Instead of my usual one load of dark colors - jeans and such - I had two today. My little Splendide washer/dryer combo can easily handle two pairs of jeans plus some shorts and socks, but that's about max if you want clean clothes.

I finished up the laundry just about the time the hamburger soup I'd made for supper was done. It started raining about seven this morning and it drizzled all day until just about six. It was a day that definitely called for warm soup. The fall colors here at the park are gorgeous. The wet red and yellow leaves still on the trees and the ones on the ground just glisten.

We finally decided that if we wanted to see Granddaughter Claire's play, Our Town, we needed to do it this weekend. We will drive over to Seattle tomorrow, then go up to Mount Vernon with our friends Leslie and Bill to see Saturday's matinee. The preview publicity pictures are fascinating and I can hardly wait to see it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

We're Home!

We were more than ready for bed last night when the first disappointing game of the World Series was over. The little cabin we rented in St Regis had a bed in what would be the living room, another in a bedroom and a rollaway for Todd in the kitchen. The nice thing about ball games played in the east is the early start time which means you don't have to stay up so late.

We got a good night's sleep. I was awake by five, so got up and took my shower. Todd followed right behind me and by six thirty everyone was up and dressed and ready to go. It was raining and I must admit, traveling over Mullen and Sherman Passes in the rainy dark is not fun. But Todd was driving, so all was well.

Our goal was to make it to Frank's Diner in Spokane for breakfast in the restored train car. Granddaughter Havela wanted to take little Kahlyn to Riverfront Park to feed the goat and ride down the little red wagon. It was too wet and rainy for the slide, but they did get to go see it. Havela also wanted to drive up on the South Hill to see our old house. She has fond memories of Thanksgivings and Christmases celebrated there.

We drove down to Menno so they could see where her parents had been married and to look at the new addition. Pastor Matthew came over and he and Todd were able to exchange a little shoptalk as well as toss a few basketballs. We went by the farm, but didn't stop in. We did stop at El Rey Tacos to  refuel our travelers, then went on out to Sun Desert and our lonesome RV.

It felt so good to be home again, it's been a busy week! But it was so sad to see our fellow travelers head on without us. They planned to make it to the Lehman house in Salem yet today. We are going to miss our precious little Kahlyn and her Mommy and Daddy and Grandpa, but we'll see them again in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

On To Montana...

Today was a pretty steady day of driving.  We made it through the rest of Wyoming and started the long trek through Montana. We've been taking fairly long breaks for both gas and potty stops - it's a chance for little Greatgranddaughter Kahlyn to run a bit as well as a diaper change. She's a very good little traveler. Her Mommy and Daddy take turns sitting beside her car seat in the way back of the van, keeping her entertained.

We've been taking turns driving, though Todd has done the greatest share. I took a turn through a few hours of Montana this afternoon while Grandaughter Havela rode shotgun. Then we traded seats while she drove. We said it was appropriate, the women in the front with the guys in the back taking care of the baby...

We pulled into St. Regis, Montana this evening just in time to watch the start of the first game of the World Series. Ben and crew are avid Cubs fans, so they are very excited about having the Cubs finally in the Series.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Only Two States Today

We are in Gillette, Wyoming for the night. We made a couple of fairly long stops in South Dakota. We stayed in a very interesting motel last night called the Earth Inn. It was literally dug into the hillside with grass on the roof!

We made the obligatory stop at Wall Drug in Wall. Todd now has pictures with two of his children with the old lady cardshark as well as his solo one...

We drove through Badlands National Park, at least the north portion of it. The kids and Todd took one of the one mile hikes, but I heard that Kahlyn got to ride Daddy's shoulders a good share of the way. The South Dakota Badlands are pretty, but I think the ones in North Dakota are more dramatic due to the coal seams. There are some advantages to traveling with Seniors - our Parks Pass got us all in without charge.

We debated whether or not to check out Mount Rushmore since we were so close and Granddaughter Havela had never seen the Monument. We knew it would be dark by the time we got there, but Todd knew that they are now lit at night, so we made the detour. Boy, things have changed since the last time we were there many years ago. Now there is a very fancy grand entrance that is a bit of a walk from the parking area. Before there was just a road that took you fairly close to the mountain so you could just drive by. It certainly is dramatic to see it all lit up.

We put in another hour or so of driving to get us to Gillette, figuring we would quit and tackle Montana tomorrow. The restaurant in the motel was closed, but they said you could get pizza in the bar. Forry and I had snacked enough that we weren't hungry, so we kept Kahlyn while the other three went to eat. Our new Grandson Ben is always hungry - he's a tall guy with a hollow leg!

I stuck Kahlyn in the bath tub and let her play a bit. She was definitely ready for bed by the time she got out and the rest of the folks came back.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

We're On Our Way Home

Todd asked us to be ready by eight. He figured it would be easier to pick us up from Patty and Darwin's, go back over to Ben's parents where the others were staying and pack the van there. Havela and Ben were just getting organized and those that were flying today were just sort of milling around. Finally, everything was packed, sandwiches were made. I think we finally managed to leave just a little after ten.

There are now five of us adults in the car plus Baby Kahlyn. We made several more stops than on the way so that she could take a break and run and swing. Ben has such long legs, he needed a break too.

After the long slog through Iowa, we made it as far as Jackson, Minnesota and are settled in a motel here for the night.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Wedding Day!

I hope everyone reading this is a Facebook friend. If not, send me a friend request and I'll take care of you. Because, there are lots and lots of pictures of the wedding on Facebook!

In spite of a few glitches that will be good stories in the future, it went very well. Havela was a beautiful bride. She wore her hair up with a rhinestone hair comb that her Uncle Sean had given her many years ago. Her father, Todd performed the ceremony. Her sister Kyra was her Maid of Honor and her brother Micah was an usher. Micah also carried Kahlyn down the aisle when she decided she didn't want to ride in her wagon.

Ben's two sisters were also in the bridal party while the rest were all college friends of Ben and Havela. His brother Cam was the other usher. So it was quite a family affair.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Wedding Rehearsal Day

i got up fairly early so that I could go with Granddaughter Havela to her Young Mother's Bible Study Class. It was an interesting small group of young mothers that Havela calls "her weekly therapy!" Kahlyn got to play in the nursery with the other children while the mothers met.

The afternoon was busy with church decorating, rehearsal dinner cooking and baby-sitting Kahlyn. Forry and I decided it would be easier for us to stay back and watch the little one rather than be running up and down decorating the church. Might have been a mistake - she is such a busy little girl. But she is so much fun. She is enamored of her Uncle Micah and I think vice versa!

We all gathered at the church a little after five o'clock, and Todd tried to get the whole crew organized. Most of the ten attendants are college friends, some of whom have not seen each other for a while. A couple made it just in time for the rehearsal, including Granddaughter Kyra who flew in from her college in Virginia. We ran through the whole process two or three times including the escorting of the grandparents down the aisle. I think it is going to work well.

We returned to the Litwiller home after the rehearsal. Lisa and Kevin had fixed barbecued pork loins, cheesy potatoes, salads, corn, peas and rolls.By the time you added in all of the wedding party and all the family, there was quite a crowd for a delicious feast.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

We Made It!

We slept in until 6:30 this morning. A bit after seven there was a knock at the motel room, Daughter Dawn had arrived. She took a red-eye flight out of Portland last night, then took the shuttle from the airport to the Sheraton.

We shifted luggage and seats around and were on our way again. After a stop for breakfast crepes and pumpkin pancakes, we paid one more $1.90 toll and continued on to Hopedale, Illinois where the Litwiller family lives. When we arrived, Granddaughter Havela was off with her Bio-Grandmother getting her nails done. GreatGranddaughter Kahlyn had just woken up from her nap and was not real happy about all the strange people who had suddenly shown up...

Dawn and I joined Lisa, Ben's mother, and Ashley, Ben's sister, and Dorothy, Havela's Bio-grandmother at very nice tea shop for a little Ladies' Luncheon honoring Havela since we had not been here to attend any of her bridal showers. We did a good job of embarrassing her with some naughty lingerie.

By late afternoon, two of the groomsmen had arrived and the fellows picked up their tuxes. Dorothy  helped Lisa make Sloppy Joes and we ended up with quite a crew for dinner. After dinner Ben took Forry and I over to his Uncle and Aunt's home where we will be staying. Now we are enjoying watching the battle between the Cubs and Los Angeles. Of course, everyone around here is rooting for the Cubs!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Chicago!

After another long day of driving, we arrived in Chicago, actually to a Sheraton close to O'Hare Airport. Daughter Dawn is taking the red-eye flight tonight and will arrive in the morning and take the shuttle to the hotel to join us for the last leg of our trip to Hopedale.

We only managed four states today. We had breakfast at Wall Drug in South Dakota so that Grandson Micah could enjoy a bit of that crazy place that is basically a tribute to billboard advertising. They still offer a free glass of water to travelers, which was their original hook to lure them to stop. The fellows enjoyed today's Special of Biscuits and Gravy.

After South Dakota came Minnesota. I-90 travels along the lower portion of the state bordering Iowa - and it looks a lot like Iowa with miles and miles of corn and soybeans. All of which the farmers were busy harvesting. We drove by a beautiful portion of State Forest, with autumnal trees and cliffs of sedimentary rock. By then it was getting dark so we didn't see much of Wisconsin, nor Illinois.

After a quick stop for a noodle dinner, we paid the multiple tolls to get into Chicago - three different tolls for $1.90, $3.00 and a final one of .90!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

L-O-N-G Day...!

We were up at five this morning and out the door a little before six. We would have been a bit ahead of SIL Todd's schedule if Forry hadn't remembered about five miles out that he had forgotten his wallet. Since he needs to help drive, we turned around and went back. So we are meddling up leaving at the planned six o'clock after all.

Many, many hours and five states (Washington, Idaho, Montana, a corner of Wyoming and South Dakota) later, we pulled into an AmericanInn in Rapid City, South Dakota. Todd drove a whole lot, especially through the rain until we hit Montana, Forry drove some, and even Grandson Micah put in a shift with his Learners Permit.

Tomorrow won't be quite as long a day, we won't leave until seven, but we'll be near Chicago's O'Hare Airport on Thursday morning to meet Daughter Dawn's flight.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Rushin' Around

Due to some miscommunication between our daughter and our son-in-law, our departure date got moved up a day. So we have spent the day finishing our packing and tending to other details. I made a trip into Moses Lake this afternoon and picked up a scrap of something for a bridal shower gift.

I took our mail box key over to Barb, the park manager. She will pick up any packages for us and will keep an eye on the place while we were gone. So nice to be in a park where people are so helpful. We will turn off the water, disconnect the hoses and turn down the heat and hope everything does just fine while we are gone.

Not knowing for sure when we will be back, I think I have overpacked, but we will see how it goes. I need to check the Illinois weather forecast yet so I have some idea of how cold it is going to be in Hopedale.

I did take a few minutes to go outside and take some pictures of the colorful foliage in the park and put them up on my Facebook page. The colorful leaves will most likely be all gone by the time we return...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sabbath Day

Now that it's barely light at 7 AM, it's even harder to get up and get going on Sunday mornings. Forry keeps trying a variety of different routes to the church, trying to figure out the shortest route. Today he used some of the gravel roads as we came off the freeway. Trouble is, when you're married to a directionally challenged woman, all it does is confuse her!

Story we heard this morning was that the area had gotten two inches of rain! Considering that average rainfall for the area is 7-9 inches annually, that's a lot of rain. You could tell it on the gravel roads, some of them actually had ruts in them - and mud!

Pastor Matthew finally publicly announced in church this morning that he has accepted a call from Grace Mennonite Church in Pandora, Ohio and will be finishing up his term at Menno by the end of the year. Rumors have been flying around the congregation for over a month, so it was nice to have it made official.

We stopped at Safeway on our way home to stock up on breakfast sandwiches and load up on snacks and lunch stuff for our trip to Illinois this week. Son-in-law Todd and Grandson Micah are slated to arrive here tomorrow and we will head out from here on Tuesday.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Rain, Rain and More Rain!

It has been raining almost all day. There have been a couple of brief breaks, but then it starts up again. We've had a bit of wind, but so far nothing like the horrible gusts they were predicting.

I had to go out to the shed to get an onion for the chili I was making for supper. So while I had my shoes and a jacket on, I took the garbage to the dumpster and checked the mail. And I got wet!

Chatted with both daughters this morning, one via text and one on the phone. Neither of them had any damage from the predicted storm so far this morning.  Son Sean says it's been raining all day in Spokane as well.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Great Service

I was very frustrated yesterday. I had ordered a new blood pressure cuff as mine had given up the ghost. The tracking number said the USPS had delivered it on Friday. Here it was mid-week and no package. I checked with the park manager as we have noticed things occasionally get delivered to her. Barb hadn't seen it. So I called the post office in Othello. The postman looked up the tracking number and said it indeed had been delivered, but he would check with our carrier and get back to us.

About two o'clock, a Jeep driver beeped outside our door and the carrier brought the package to our door. She said it was in the parcel compartment and the key was in our mail box A10. I told her Forry had checked a couple of times and was sure it wasn't there. She made a comment about men and left.

This afternoon she was back at our door with the box of mail Daughter MM had sent. She also said she had figured out the problem! She went around to the front of the mailboxes and realized that the box labeled A10 that we had the key to was not the same as the labeled A10 box on the back side where she puts the mail!

She also said it had really puzzled her yesterday because we seemed so sincere about not finding the parcel box key. It bugged her most of the night until she finally figured what the problem might be!

We had originally had trouble looking for A10 as the numbers on the front are not in any order. For example A10 is right beside A4! I think the manager just assigned us an empty box and labeled it A10...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Very Rainy Day

I woke up about 4 AM, very stiff and sore. Last night when we came home from Bible Study, I tripped on the edge of the patio and did a full body plant. Amazingly, I didn't break or even scrape anything, not even the iPad I was holding. I think my tumble frightened Forry a bit. It knocked the wind out of me and I couldn't get enough air to answer him when he kept asking me if I was okay.

But, I am a bit stove up - perhaps as much from the cold damp weather as my fall. I decided that there was no way I could handle going out to Menno with Regan for Mission Society and a five hour work session. I did decide I'd better keep moving and walked over to the clubhouse for coffee this morning. If you can call the colored water they had, coffee!

It has rained steadily almost all day. At least it's not near as cold as it was a couple of days ago. I borrowed a hammer from Forry to help cut open one of the piedbald winter squashes I bought at Tonnemaker's last week. Baked with butter, brown sugar, salt and a little honey, it was a real treat.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Just Tired?

I don't seem to have my act together these days...

It was COLD last night! We have not had a freeze all this Fall, but ice came with a vengeance last night. There was frost on the grass and all of the shrubs. And the water in my glass bird bath was frozen. I need to bring it inside and put it in its traveling drawer for the winter. It was a surprise gift from my elder sister that I dearly love.

So I bundled up and went out into the icy morning, thinking it was Thursday, time for the lady's weekly gathering at the clubhouse. Still without coffee, it finally dawned on me why no one was there and the coffee pot wasn't on! Then I remembered I wouldn't be going anyway, because this Thursday is Menno Mission Society's monthly meeting...

Forry went into town with me tonight as he wanted to go to Lowes to look for a heat tape and insulation for the water pipe. Still not thinking straight, I told him that our Bible Study at Monroe House would be an hour and a half and he should be back by seven. Now how I thought something that started at 6 pm would be over by seven is beyond me. But at least the chairs in the entry area are a comfortable place to sit and wait.

I was there a bit early and had a chance to visit with our old neighbor Betty. She turned 80 this past month and was delighted to tell me that she had a new great granddaughter that they had named Charlotte Anne!