Tuesday, January 31, 2017

New Baby!

Our Godson Pete and his wife Tessa had a baby girl yesterday. Her name is Mackenzie Grace and she is a darling! We were awaiting news yesterday as we knew Tessa was scheduled for a c-section. Late in the afternoon, pictures of the new arrival were posted on Facebook.

This morning, we got a text from Pete asking if we wanted to come and visit? Of course, we did! Early this afternoon, we headed to Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake. After a stop to pick up some pink roses for the baby, we went up the second floor. Baby Mackenzie was sleeping in her Mommy's arms with her proud Daddy by her side. Fortunately, I got to hold Mackenzie and get my baby fix in. You forget how tiny babies are when they are brand new. Even though she weighed nine pounds, Mackenzie is so little! And so cute!

Such a fun visit! We made a stop at Staples to pick up an accordion folder for the 2016 ranch paperwork, then headed for home. But not before we picked up a couple of DQ ice cream sandwiches and a butterscotch latte for Forry at Starbucks.

We had awoken this morning to another inch of very wet snow on the ground. About noon, the sun came out and it was actually warm. The quail were out scratching in the snow when I got up, trying to see if there were wheat kernels under all that snow. It was warm enough this afternoon that that top layer of new snow has pretty much melted off, leaving the icy layers behind.

Quiet Day

Oh, it felt so good to sleep in this morning. It's been a busy weekend and we had been up early too many days in a row. We pretty much stayed home today, so still have no idea what was going on last night next door.

I finished up the ranch books today and finally got a response on how to look at the bank statements for our personal account. Seems I have to do it on my laptop -- you can't access it from the mobile account on the iPad! so tomorrow I'll start on that project.

I finished off another one of the five gallon buckets of wheat scraps this morning. Seems like we have more and more quail coming in all the time. They seem to get pretty excited when they find any of the little scraps of grass that are finally beginning to show through the snow and ice. They are still very jumpy though. Rightfully so, as we saw a Northern Harrier circling around for quite some time.

Forry has been working on the electrical connections with the plug-in by the bathroom sink. It's been inoperative since we blew the inverter late last Fall. I'll be very happy when he figures it out. I miss having that outlet!

I did get a load of laundry done - and the dishes from the weekend

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sabbath Day

It was hard getting up this morning, but we persevered and made it to church in plenty of time. We have been enjoying having Keith Schaeffer as a guest speaker since Pastor Matthew left. He's had some interesting life experiences and preaches some good sermons.

I had a chance after church to have a good visit with Randy about the plans for his Dad's (our friend Vic) Memorial Service which will be held in March. It was great to visit with Randy and catch up.

We did stop at Dairy Queen on the way home for ice cream sandwiches. That's getting to be a bad habit!

I recorded this morning's 15/15 Bucking Battle in Sacramento so that we could watch it when we got home. Then later this evening, we are watching the regular PBR show from there.

But the big show is right outside. So far, there are three ambulances, a fire truck and a sheriff's rig parked on the road behind us with all their lights flashing. There is a lot of traffic in and out of the neighbor's large shed up there, but we have no idea what is going on! I suppose we'll find out in the morning...

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Early Day

We had to be at Menno by 9 AM this morning for the Annual Meeting. That made for an early up in order to be out of the house by 8. It was not easy.

Fortunately, Head Deacon Dennis runs a taut meeting. Without a pastor, even the budget discussion was short. We were done shortly after 10:30.

We made arrangements to have lunch with Dennis and Kay at Michael's Bistro in Moses Lake. We were there around 11:30, so we were able to be served quickly as it was pretty empty. That didn't last long. By the time we finished, the place was packed. The food was really good. Forry had a Reuben, I had a steak salad, Dennis had a burger and Kay had a sandwich, soup and salad trio.

We made a quick stop at Safeway to gas up and get a box of coffee for our Keurig. Once again, the store was packed. It doesn't seem to matter when you go there, it is always busy.

Brother Pat called me from Yuma where he is overseeing the digging of carrot roots that will be transported to the Columbia Basin and replanted in the spring to produce carrot seed. Pat had to give me a bad time about having to wear a sweatshirt yesterday because it was windy... I told him that it was too bad he missed the snow here!

Friday, January 27, 2017

More Snow!

Shortly after I got up this morning, I looked out the window and it was snowing again! I know it wasn't snowing earlier and it didn't need to be snowing then. Fortunately, it didn't last terribly long and it was warm enough so that it didn't stick to the ground.

One of the maintenance fellows came around with the tractor this morning. He had the big shovel filled with coarse sand. He proceeded to take a scoop shovel and spread several shovelfuls all around the car and the pathway. After the way everyone was slipping and sliding at the potluck last night, I think management must have gotten a bit nervous.

I spent a good share of the afternoon working on the ranch books. In the process, I found some paperwork that we hadn't signed and sent back to the Farm Services Agency. I called them to make sure I hadn't done it electronically, but no such luck. So we got it all signed, then Forry took the envelope on up to the mail box. He said it was a lot easier getting out to the car with the sand there.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sun Desert Day

I did get myself organized today and went over to the Clubhouse this morning and joined the ladies for coffee (I spaced it last week!). In contrast to what I had heard about the last couple of weeks, there was a good turnout. I think everyone has cabin fever. I usually walk over, it's not that far. But is just too icy! It's barely possible to get to Toad II after one of the maintenance crew shoveled away some of the ice from the path to the doors at our place. Then, once I drove to the Clubhouse, I had to hang on to the car, trying to crunch the ice as I walked until I got to the sidewalk. It's treacherous out there!

Like the Bible Study meeting I was at last night, everyone seemed pleased to see each other and to share their holiday stories. Unfortunately, many had been sick with flu and bronchitis and there had been a couple of surgeries as well.

Today is the fourth Thursday of the month, so there was the monthly park potluck this evening. We debated briefly about going, but have committed ourselves to being friendly, so went. There was a fairly decent turnout, about twenty some people. As usual, there was some really good food, including homemade lemon meringue pies that the Park Manager made.

We drove back home afterwards admiring the glistening sheet of icy snow under the lights. Today continued the pattern of temperatures slightly above freezing during the day, melting some of snow, then again dropping below freezing after sunset. I know that this slow thawing is very good for both the farmers and those who would be affected by flooding. But, I sure am getting tired of the ice!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Another Busy Day

We had to be in Moses Lake by one o'clock this afternoon for Forry's dentist appointment. This is the third chipped tooth he's had in the past year or so. They fixed it. Our dental hygienist Niece Becky has gotten him some special toothpaste that is supposed to help keep that from happening - hope it helps.

From the dentist office, we went to the grocery store for a long delayed shopping expedition. Hopefully, I now have more than enough foodstuffs and meat to keep us happy during the next snow storm - or two.

The next stop was at Starbucks. We both figured we needed a reward for what we had accomplished so far. Forry's been drinking peppermint mochas. I tried their newest latte - a cascara one. The barista said it wasn't as sweet as the ones with flavored syrups. She was right, and it was very good.

From there to Denny's for an early dinner. Forry loves their pancakes. I had somewhat spoiled my dinner at Starbucks, so ordered a plate of spaghetti without meatballs.

Last stop was Monroe House where our Ladie's Bible Study meets. We've been meeting there so that Dorothy and Malinda and Marge can easily attend. It makes it easier for me as well as it's another twenty miles on out to the church. Because of the holidays and the very bad drifting and ice, we haven't met since before Christmas. So there was a great deal of sharing. It was good.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Still Slick!

I left the Annual Report that was distributed in church Sunday in the car. Forry went out to get it shortly after noon. He came back in shaking his head about how slick it was outside. There was sort of a path around the car as well as out to the bird feeder. Those paths of beaten down snow are now solid ice - and they have a layer of water on them from the melting that went on this morning. The temperature for the last couple days has been in the high thirties, going back to below freezing at night. The snow pack is slowly getting less, but not measurably so.

It was back to the books again this morning. I got three more months done. That makes half the year finished! Also managed to get two more loads of laundry done. After doing the cleaning protocol on my Splendide washer/dryer last week, it is surprising how quickly it dries now.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday Is a Work Day!

I don't know quite how it happened, but I actually got a bit ambitious today. I finally got started on the ranch books. It took a bit to get back in the swing of Quickbooks, but I ended up getting three months done. I stripped the sheets off the bed and got them washed (it takes two loads - a sheet and a pillowcase in each - in my little Splendide washer/dryer.). I filled the bird feeder - finally finishing off the bag they don't like so well - and scattered wheat for the quail. I went on-line and ordered prescriptions for Forry. I even made mini-meatloaves and baked sweet potatoes for dinner. I still have to put clean sheets on the bed. It's been a busy day.

There were lots of birds at the feeder this morning and the quail were out in force. Then all of a sudden this afternoon, they ALL disappeared! And there wasn't a bird to be seen for over an hour. We could see a blackbird or two in the trees way over on the far edge of the park, but that was it. After a long time, they gradually started coming back, but they were extremely jumpy. All we can figure out is there must have been another hawk somewhere in the trees behind us that we couldn't see.

It was overcast all day today with a temperature up to 38 degrees. We didn't get any more precipitation and it continues to slowly melt. It's still slick out there!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Late Start

Staying up late to watch Saturday Night Live makes it tough to get going on Sunday mornings. And for some reason it was especially hard this morning. In my messed up brain, I was thinking we were a half hour away from Menno. But that's only how long it takes to get to Moses Lake. It's another twenty miles out to church! So we were late this morning. I hate being late!

Earl, one of our church friends, approached us after church and informed us he was taking us out to lunch in Moses Lake with him. We have occasionally had lunch after church with him before, but usually in Ritzville with Colleen and Dennis. Earl, who will be ninety this coming June, is a delight to visit with. We ate and talked and then visited some more. I think it was almost four by the time we got home.

It was raining this morning when we left for church and it was raining hard while we were having lunch in Moses Lake. The temperature was hovering around 36-37 degrees, but it once again dropped below freezing when the sun set. Hopefully, this will keep the thawing of all this saturated snow slow and it will soak in rather than just run off. But, the forecast still calls for more snow...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Funny Ice Snow

It was actually warm today! Forry says it was close to 50 degrees. When you look outside at the snow, however, it's hard to tell it is even melting. There is a thick hard layer of ice on top of the snow. Underneath the ice, it has been thawing and the snow is super saturated. When you walk on it, you break through the icy top and then your shoes get soaked! You are literally stepping into several inches of suspended water.

I'll be glad when this last bag of bird feed is finished (I think there's enough left to fill the feeder one more time.). The birds don't like some of the stuff in it and they've dropped a considerable amount on the ground. The quail scratch through it and take what they like, but there's still a big mess on the ground. I've got a new bag in the car of the stuff they liked better, so as soon as this bag is finished...

Our Granddaughter Kyra took a bus early this morning from her university (Eastern Mennonite University) to Washington DC to participate in the Woman's March. She was one of several hundred thousand people who marched in DC. We tried to spot her on TV - she said she'd be wearing a pink hat...!

I followed the various marches in the many cities all day on Facebook. Our daughters marched in Bellingham and Salem.  There were marches in just about every town and city in the US and in 60+ cities around the world. There was one on every continent including Antarctica! It was interesting to see all of the creative and colorful signs - and all of the pink hats!

Friday, January 20, 2017


It was thawing again this morning. It had been below freezing during the night, but warmed up almost to the forties today. One of the maintenance guys came over and scattered some deicer on the paths. The deicer cleared enough that Forry was able to work his way over to the shed and retrieve the shovel so that we could clear away more of the ice. We did some chipping away of the thick ice along the walk around the car and over to the bird feeder. We then drove up to the mailbox and took the accumulated bags of garbage out. It was just good to get out of the house for a few minutes after being cooped up inside for the last several days.

It's supposed to snow again tomorrow night...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lots of Ice

It was raining lightly when we went to bed last night. When we got up this morning, everything was this white glistening sheet of ice. I went outside and was going to fill the bird feeder. Ha! It had warmed up to 37 degrees and between the rain and the melting ice, there was a layer of water over the ice. The ice itself is close to half an inch thick. There was no way you could walk on it without falling on your tush!

I just tossed bird seed out the door, scattering it as far as I could - that was about all I could do. Forry tried breaking up the ice with the prongs of my hiking sticks, but quickly gave it up as a bad job. The poor quail slipped and slid as they came in to eat. I feel bad, but we're just going to have to wait for a thaw.

We've seen an occasional vehicle go by, but it's just too slick for much traffic. After our morning attempts, we spent the day inside. After being above freezing all day, it started to cool down after sunset. Maybe we're going to get that slow thaw everyone was hoping for instead of a chinook. We heard tonight that I-90 going east is now open over Snoqualmie Pas and they were hoping to get the west bound lanes open by tomorrow sometime.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I was up early. I looked outside, and Yep! It was still there! I had seen the start of it when we went to bed last night. There was at least a quarter inch of ice covering the car, the patio and all of the snow! It just glistened in the early morning light.

I was glad I had filled the bird feeder and scattered wheat for the quail when we got home last night. I had no desire to go out in that icy mess. We waited a few hours to see if it was going to melt off, but when it showed no sign of it, we went ahead and cancelled Forry's dentist appointment. We rescheduled it for next week when hopefully the roads are safer.

There are warning about driving on all of the media. Interstate 90 is closed in both directions over Snoqualmie Pass due to ice and falling stares. I-84 is also closed along the Columbia Gorge. There are lines of pulled over semis all over. There was a jack-knifed Uhaul blocking the exit at Ritzville.

It was fun watching the birds under the feeder today. They would come in for a landing and just skate, sometimes sliding 3-4 inches. The quail had quite a time. They had to crack the coating of ice to get at the wheat kernels. I've commented before about how jumpy the birds are. The slightest noise or movement startles them and off they fly.

This afternoon there was quite a crowd. There were sparrows, finches, towhees, and a couple of doves at the feeder and probably thirty or forty quail scratching in the snow for wheat. Suddenly, they all panicked and flew furiously, with one of the quail smacking into the window before he too, flew off. In a moment, I saw why. A small hawk, most likely a Merlin, was sitting behind the car with a little bird in his claws. I went to get the camera, but he flew off, still holding his prey, into the trees.

I guess we are not only feeding seeds to the little birds, but also providing a buffet for the hunters. The cycle of life!

We are once again thawed out, so I did laundry, refilled the water jugs and washed the dishes. Time now for showers. It's raining again and starting to freeze. We may have more of these icy roads yet tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sad Day

We planned to go to Ephrata's hospital today in time to relieve family so that they could go to lunch while we sat with Vic. But it was not to be. Vic passed away as we were parking the car outside the facility.

Our lives have been intertwined with Vic and Phyllis for a good fifty years, we considered and spoke of each other as family. Our first cross-country flights were taken with Vic on our wingtip. He and Phyl were with us in multiple trips across the United States, in Baja, mainland Mexico and throughout Central America. We watched their children grow up and they nurtured ours (Our girls learned their good work habits from Vic and about bakery birthday cakes from Phyl). We shared many family, church and Flying Farmer events over the years.

Their marriage was a classic City Girl meets Country Boy story. The nasty winter weather we've been  having lately prompted stories from Vic about some of his hairy drives back across the Pass to the farm on Sunday nights after a weekend of courting in Seattle. Their engagement picture always met with smiles from him. Phyllis passed away over eight years ago and Vic has been ready to meet up with her again for a long time.

Forry and I have been blessed to be able to be with this precious family the past couple of days. Their willingness to honor their father's wishes made for a peaceful transition. While we are very sad and sorrow filled tonight, we all rest comfortably knowing that Vic and Phyl are together again.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Long Day

It started off early as Forry had a dentist appointment to get his new crowns and he needed to be there  an hour early to be pre-medicated (we hadn't been to Spokane to get his prescription filled). After he took his antibiotics we went over to Ace Hardware and picked up another heater to replace our older one. Then back to the dentist's.

We had barely gotten home when I had a text from Pam telling us that Vic was not doing well. We turned around and went over to Columbia Basin Hospital in Ephrata. We spent the afternoon and early afternoon there with the rest of the family. Pam is going to spend the night and the rest of us will be back in the morning. After talking with the doctor, we are all aware that there is not a great deal of time left. It is good to be with family that are all in agreement about palliative care only per Vic's wishes...

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Snowy Sunday

I was up early this morning, only to see lazy flakes of snow fluttering down. It didn't get any worse, so we went ahead and headed for church. I scattered wheat for the quail before we left, but the feeder was still half full. The snow kept up all the way to Menno, but it didn't get any heavier and it wasn't sticking.

The Search Committee had a short meeting after Sunday School, so it was late when we got back to Moses Lake. We stopped at Lowes to see about picking up another heater to have as a backup for our oldest one that has been working overtime. But, they were out of them - again! I wonder how many they have sold this winter? We do know that is at least the third time they've been sold out that we know of! We picked up more bird seed, then made a stop at DQ for ice cream sandwiches and Starbucks for a mocha for Forry before we headed on home. The feeder was empty, so I filled it up and  scattered more grain. We watched the third night of the PBR in Chicago then settled in to watch Saturday Night Live that I recorded last night.

It sent down big flakes of snow almost all day, but it didn't amount to much. It's still very cold, but now the forecast says it will be raining on Wednesday and will be warm..?

Saturday, January 14, 2017


We can deal with a couple of days of being froze up. When everything thaws out, we take showers, wash dishes, do laundry and fill up the gallon jugs with water for the next go-round. BUT, the updated weather forecast came out saying this horrific cold snap was not going to be over by the weekend as they had first said, but would last until midweek. Brother Pat and Sister-in-law Cindy invited us to come over to their house to take showers and do laundry - as well as watch the Seahawks game! Thank goodness! We may not have been too pleasant to be around otherwise.

We were up early to watch the 15/15 Bucking Battle on TV, then drove over to Pat's in Moses Lake. It was a fun afternoon - except for the outcome of the game! Our Nieces Ashley and Becky were there with their spouses and kids. It's been fun getting to know their little ones this winter. The littlest girls, Kiera and Peyton, are going to run the world one of these days if they keep up the way they are going! Peyton was sharing spoonfuls of cookie dough with her Pop-Pop, but for some reason by the time she got to the living room with his spoon, it was always pretty empty...

We returned home in time to watch the second night of bull-riding from the PBR in Chicago, then it was on to the St.Mary's vs Gonzaga basketball game. In the meantime, the paper has been full of articles about the trades Manager Dipoto Has made for the Mariners this winter. It's almost time for Spring Training!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Out and About

It started out overcast and bitterly cold this morning. Forry had various readings, all in the minus category as the morning went by. Everything is definitely froze up in the RV.

There was a knock on the door. I opened it to find a red-bearded good-looking young man with an envelope in his hand. Turned out it was Tyler, the youngest son of our farm tenant, hand-delivering the wedding "save-the-date" card that had been returned to him from our Arizona address. It was so good to see him! We had a good visit, catching up on his activities since we had seen him last summer at his brother's wedding.

Tyler said the roads were clear (he was on his way to Spokane), so we decided to go ahead and head into town. We went on over to Ephrata, hoping to visit our friend Vic, but he was sound asleep. Knowing he would be unhappy if I didn't, I tried to wake him up to visit, but he kept falling back to sleep. The nurse said he had had a very busy day with exercise and PT and had been up all day. After a couple of futile efforts, we decided we'd best visit another day.

Next stop was the Safeway store. Man, was it ever crowded! We have never been there when it wasn't extremely busy. We have heard rumors that there is going to be a new WinCo grocery opening soon in Moses Lake. Hopefully, it will take some of the pressure off.

It is so terribly cold, we didn't dare leave anything in the car. By the time we got everything inside, I was very thankful we had picked up dinner at KFC on our way out of town.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


I had good intentions of going over to the clubhouse this morning for the weekly Koffee Klatch, but I totally spaced it! It was way after ten o'clock when I thought about it... And I was really ready for some female company after being housebound for so long. I was quite annoyed with me.

We are froze up again as the temperature dropped precipitously last night. The sun was out and bright today with no clouds. That practically guarantees a cold night tonight also. By now, we've sort of gotten used to it. We just shift into using bottled water mode.

I fed the quail twice today. I had finished my first bucket of wheat this morning and managed to get the lid loosened on the second one. When I went out this afternoon to fill the now emptied bird feeder, I felt sorry for them as it was so cold. So they got a second scattering.

It is really cold and crisp outside. The maintenance guys did such a nice job of clearing the roads. They are nicely compacted and very easy walking, so I went for a walk. It's much easier walking now compared to a couple of days ago when I tried wading through a foot of snow. But my nose was cold when I came back inside.

I cut one of the acorn squashes I got at the grocer a couple of weeks ago in half to bake for dinner. I've been playing with cooking them upside down in the microwave for 15-20 minutes; then turning them over, adding salt, butter, brown sugar and a little honey and baking them for half an hour. They seem to stay juicier that way compared to just baking them. I think winter squash may be one of Forry's favorite foods.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Clearing It Off

I think I commented yesterday that the maintenance guy had plowed our road, leaving a big old berm behind Toad II. It pretty much blocked our access to the road. This morning we saw all three of the guys out with the tractor as well as shovels. They used the tractor to load the snow in the berms into piles between the RV sites. Then they came in with their shovels. They cleared a path to the front door, all around the car, over to the shed, and even made a clear path to the bird feeder! What a neat bunch of guys they are!

Later Forry went out and cleaned the last couple of snowfalls off the top of Toad II. He was then able to drive over to the garbage cans and up to the mail box. Even though we complain about the snow here, we're fortunate we haven't had the winds. We have been getting reports from the Grant County Sheriff's office the past couple of days about blowing snow and drifted shut roads. They are asking everyone to not drive unless absolutely necessary. I understand there are a lot of stuck and stranded vehicles out there.

Other than feeding the birds and sweeping off the car - and Forry's trip to the mailbox - we have pretty much stayed indoors reading, playing sudoku and watching TV.  It was a good day to stick some sweet potatoes and muffin tin meatloaves in the oven.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

And More Snow?

It didn't snow much today. I think we only got another inch. It was pretty light and fluffy - easy to sweep away. The maintenance crew was out with a big tractor and scoop today trying to clear off the roads. They have piled up some really big mounds of snow. Of course, in the process they made a pretty big berm behind Toad II.

Sister Sherry told me the other day that she had had blueberry pancakes for breakfast. She put an idea in my head that I couldn't get rid of, so this morning I made some for us. Sure were good with maple syrup. I haven't made pancakes for a long time. I used the bottom grid of the Cuisinard griddle and found that it worked very well.

Forry insists that there's two feet of snow out there. It's actually not much than thirteen inches, but that's plenty as far as I'm concerned. The quail have figured out where the feed is - we've had as many as forty of them outside scratching in the snow for the wheat. It's a good thing Brother Pat sent another bucket of wheat home with us.

Monday, January 9, 2017

And More Snow!

We were awakened this morning by the sound of a snow blower. The neighbor who had stopped by yesterday to check on us had brought his leaf blower and was cleaning the snow off the car windows and the walk in front of the RV. It was so nice of him because the snow is now a good ten inches deep!

There was so much snow yesterday that the little birds hadn't emptied the bird feeder, so I didn't need to refill it. I'm sure by the time the sun goes down, it will be empty again. I did scatter six canfuls of wheat for the quail. There must be at least forty quail who are coming in to eat. They are pretty jumpy. I'm afraid they use a great deal of energy every time they startle and fly off.

It snowed again this morning, but stopped after it had put down just another half inch. It was easy to sweep off. It has been fairly warm all day. I think it even got up to 27 degrees. We took advantage of the thaw to drain the grey water tank, wash the dishes, do some laundry and take much needed showers. It's supposed to get terribly cold again next week, so we'd best be prepared.

From the news reports, I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass is once again closed due to multiple accidents. There's been freezing rain in many areas and the local Sheriffs and State Patrol are asking everyone to stay off the roads except for emergencies. I think it's just a good time to stay hunkered down.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


We were up early to get ready to go to church, but then we looked outside. There had been about three inches of snow on the ground when we went to bed. But since we had just driven back home from my brother's the top of the car was clear. Now, it was covered with another couple of inches of snow and it was snowing hard with big fat flakes. We decided to just stay at home.

It snowed ALL day long. There's a good five inches plus on the ground. I did go out to fill the bird feeder in the snow as it was completely empty again. I scattered several cans of wheat into the snow, wondering whether it was an exercise in futility since the snow was so deep. Turns out it wasn't. When the quail showed up, they very briskly started scratching. They seemed to be finding lots of kernels. I posted a video of them on my Facebook page. They are such industrious creatures.

I just read a note from Bill. He and Sharla did go to church this morning. He said the trip there was not too bad, but by the time it was over and they headed home it was another story. Between the snow and the nasty wind, there were lots of drifts across the roads. I think we made the right decision!

We had an interesting visitor this afternoon from a neighbor who lives just up the hill from us. He was checking to see if we were okay. And did we have enough food? He said if we needed anything at all to let him know. Nice to know that we have neighbors who care enough to check on us!

It is much warmer today. Our pipes seem to be thawing out nicely. We even have hot water. I think I should go ahead and run the dishwasher before it freezes down again.

It's still snowing, but it looks very wet. I see reports of freezing rain over towards Ritzville. I think the roads are going to be a mess tonight and in the morning.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


How about those Seahawks?! They won this afternoon's Wild Card game against the Detroit Lions quite nicely.

We stopped at Moses Lake Safeway on our way through town and picked up a couple racks of spare ribs to take to Brother Pat to barbecue. Cindy parboiled them for twenty minutes or so, then Pat smoked them for an hour before he grilled them. They sure turned out to be very tasty. Cindy made a baked potato dish that had a can of green chilies in them along with bacon and cheese. Add some corn frozen from Pat's garden and we had quite a feast.

It had started to snow just as we arrived at Pat's, and it continued through the afternoon. There was a good three inches of fresh snow on the ground by the time we headed home. There were some small flakes on the way, but by the time we got home it had stopped. There's more to come if you believe the forecasts.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Still Cold!

It had warmed up a bit this morning, not much, but it was not quite as bitterly cold as yesterday. The sun was out again. It has melted the top of the snow, which then refrozen, so the top of the snow has this icy glazed look.

We are still froze up without running water - maybe tomorrow. We brought in extra water ahead of time, so we are getting along okay.

We went over to Ephrata this afternoon to visit with our friend Vic for a while. He's doing okay and we had a good visit.

We made  a stop at Papa Murphy's in Moses Lake on our way back and picked up a Take n Bake pizza for dinner tonight.  I had forgotten that the "large" pizza is too big for the two of us. It's been too long since I've picked one up - actually the last time I got one was in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

More Quail

It was VERY cold here this morning - it was a whole three degrees! We are definitely froze up. We were prepared with extra water, but it's still not fun. At least it is warm in the RV. The sun was reflecting off the snow and shining in the windows. It almost got too warm inside to be comfortable.

I went out and filled the bird feeder again this morning. It was completely empty! I scattered another four small cans full of wheat for the quail and hung a bag of nyjer seed in the little tree for the finches. I was a bit worried about how fast I was emptying the five gallon bucket of wheat, but Brother Pat assures me there is more where that came from.

I tried very hard this afternoon to get a decent closeup shot of one of the male quail, but the darn things are so quick. And they only seemed to want their derrieres photographed!

Oops, not quick enough! You can see the white neck ring on the one on the right.

Almost got him! A little bit of the markings on his head and the topknot.

Well, a front shot. See his white eyebrow?

Finally! I don't whether they are quite plump or whether they are puffed up from the cold. Note the little white crowned sparrow behind him.

The quail are definitely fun to watch. They scratch just like chickens and do a good job of cleaning up the bird seed that the little birds spill from the feeder.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


The sun was shining this morning. The reflection off of the snow was so bright, you almost needed sunglasses inside the RV! It was quite warm outside when I went out to fill the depleted bird feeder. That is, it was warm until a wind gust came through! That wind was cold!

This is a small portion of the flock of quail who have come to the snow covered patio to feed. They are scratching under the bird feeder where seed has been kicked overboard by the smaller birds. The little sparrows wade right in among the larger birds, pecking for their share.  I counted at least forty quail earlier working at picking up the wheat I scattered when I refilled the feeder. They are fun to watch. One filling of the feeder seems to last about twenty-four hours. I scatter four small cans full of wheat and it all disappears. I'm sure they would eat everything I can put out.

We debated about going to Ephrata to visit Vic today, but opted out due to the cold. Tonight's Bible Study in Moses Lake has been cancelled as well. It's just too cold to be out driving about!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Forrest did not have a good dental exam last month. The dentist drilled and filled a small cavity, but left the two larger ones to deal with in the new billing year. Dental insurance works differently than medical insurance. It pays 100% for preventative and routine care, then pays less and less as procedures get more complex. Unfortunately, for things like the crowns the dentist was prepping for Forry today, the insurance share is only 50%.

It has been interesting to watch O'Sullivan Lake (AKA Potholes) as the weather has gotten colder. We drive across O'Sullivan Dam every time we go to town. The lake has been freezing along the edges the past few weeks. When it snowed, it made it easy to see what was ice and what was still water. And there was beginning to be a lot of ice. You could see the large cracks and spaces in the ice where there was water movement. There are usually geese or ducks along the edges of the open water. All of the little ponds on the other side of the road from the Dam appear to be frozen solid.

With the new snow Sunday night, we also got strong winds that caused a lot of drifting. Today, when we went into town, the wind was still blowing and the lake was pretty choppy with some fairly good-sized waves. Most of the ice had broken up in to large chunks that were bouncing up and down as well. Quite a change from the tranquil scene we had seen previously.

We stopped at Basin Propane while we were in Moses Lake to see if they could fill our on-board propane tank, but were told that "No, they only filled their own large 200 gallon tanks." Evidently, our 35 gallon tank was too small for them to bother with. He finally sarcastically said they'd fill it for $150! His attitude did not make Forry at all happy...

Monday, January 2, 2017

On the 2nd Day

It snowed only 3-4 inches last night, but the wind blew. There are a whole lot of closed roads in Adams and Grant Counties. Even portions of Interstate 90 have been closed down in the Ellensburg area. With blowing snow, the visibility was way below zero! Sheriffs of both counties have been telling people to just stay at home. Now, due to falling temperatures, there are lots of warnings this evening about the dangers of wind chill.

The bird feeder had been very busy today. I refilled it this morning when I went out to scatter wheat for the quail. We've had anywhere from a dozen to two dozen birds at the feeder at any one time. We spotted a new one in the bunch - at first when we saw the red breast, we thought it was a young robin. But wait, that wasn't snow on its breast, it actually was white feathers. So out came the bird books. Unfortunately, this wasn't a new Life Bird for Forry, but it was for me. A Spotted Towhee is a very pretty bird!

We pretty much stayed inside today. I didn't go outside except to take care of the birds, but Forry did go out and empty the tanks so that I could start on the laundry. I put a pork sirloin roast in the oven along with some cubes of butternut squash for tonight's dinner.

Sunday, January 1, 2017


So it is once more a new year. You would think after all of them that we have seen, we wouldn't get at all excited about another one. But, we stay up late and wait for it just like everyone else. I must admit, I can take fireworks or leave them most of the time. But, the show Seattle put on last night was amazing!  We watched on television as they set off a solid ten minutes of pyrotechnics from -- the Space Needle! The incredible colors were set off from all the various levels of the Needle. It was spectacular even when we saw it again today.

We were up early this morning. As we didn't get the forecasted snow last night, the roads were bare and dry as we headed for Menno. We stopped at Lowes on the way home and purchased another small electric heater. Forry is concerned that if it gets as cold as they are predicting, we'll need a heater in the bedroom.

There were a few stray snowflakes as we drove home. By mid-afternoon it seriously started to snow. We only got about two inches, but then the wind started to blow. I have a feeling that there are going to be some serious drifts in the morning.

We watched the rather sloppy, but successful Seahawks game this afternoon; took a nap; and had a long chat with Daughter Dawn who had just returned from celebrating her fiftieth birthday weekend with her friends. I baked sweet potatoes and grilled lamb chops for supper. And that's how we spent the first rather quiet day of 2017.