Friday, March 31, 2017

Trip to Town

We ran into Moses Lake this afternoon to take care of some banking business. Ended up bringing home some KFC chicken for supper.

It was gorgeous today. The sun was out, the wind wasn't blowing - it was just plain nice. Our neighbor up in the mobile home portion of the RV Park even started his lawn mower this morning. We left before he actually mowed his lawn, but he did get it out of his shed and ready to go.

There was lots of activity around the park today. Our immediate not-very-neighborly neighbor is packing up all of the stuff (and there's a lot of it!) and moving it over to the "C" section, on the very edge of the park. So evidently the rumor I heard at Thursday's Koffee Klatch is true and he is moving over there. Another fellow that left last fall is moving back in down the lane from us, along with his large boat.

When we went into town, we noticed quite a few RVs parked down at Mardon Resort, in spots that have been empty all winter. There are boat trailers and small RVs parked in the Public Fishing areas as well. Forry said he heard at the Men's Coffee that there was a fishing derby this weekend. I think spring and fishing season have both arrived!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Coffee!

I look forward to Thursday mornings and getting together with some of the ladies in the RV Park for coffee. I picked up my sweater to put on as I went out the door, but ended up just carrying it. I was beginning to think it would never get warm enough to walk outside without a wrap. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and the coffee was hot. It's not yet warm enough to have our coffee out on the deck, but I'm sure that day will come as well.

The fellows were meeting over at Darrell's this morning. As the weather gets nicer and more fishermen and families start showing up and staying at Mardon, I sure the Cafe will start opening earlier for breakfast and they can go back to meeting there.

Mike, one of the very nice Maintenance Crew guys, and his wife are expecting a baby early this summer. Much of the discussion this morning involved planning how to incorporate a baby shower into this month's potluck plans. I guess there's going to be a money tree. Mike is the one who chipped us out last winter when we had the ice storm and didn't dare step out on the icy steps with their quarter inch thick layer of ice.

I baked some Yukon Gold potatoes,  broiled some lamp chops, and chopped up a head of cabbage to drop into heavily salted boiling water for a few minutes. I had a couple of mini-pies I had picked up at the store yesterday. We ended up with a pretty good dinner.






Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday Working

It's been a busy day. I got my shower out of the way early, then got organized to head into town. The recycling/trash center closes at 2:45, so we needed to get going as it's on the other side of Moses Lake. We got there; got weighed in and got our number tag; then drove over and backed into Bay 5. I stayed in the car. After straining my back last week, I wasn't about to help Forry with that darn chair. Turns out, all he had to do was open the rear door. The workman reached in, grabbed each piece and casually tossed them in the pile! He said he used to move furniture; hated it; but knew just how to handle it. We drove back over the scale, gave the lady our $6 and left.

After we got back into town, we stopped by the grocery store. From there we went to a little hole-in-the-wall Chinese place, Tree Cafe, that I spotted last week. There were no other customers dining, but three different people came in to pick up take-out orders while we were there. The food was very good! Nice crisp vegetables and good flavor. I think we'll eat there again.

Last stop of the day was at Monroe House for Bible Study in Dorothy's room. We had a smaller group tonight, there were three of us missing. But it was a good session. Forry and Stan went over to the bowling alley while they waited for us. Oops, I guess there was one more stop. We had to pick up DQ ice cream sandwiches for sustenance on the trip home.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tuesday

Another Yo-Yo day, overcast and cloudy, then a few glimmers of sunshine, then more clouds and gloom.

We slept in this morning. There's something about this cloudiness that's just not very inspiring.  We spent most of the afternoon watching the Mariners play the Diamondbacks in Spring Training. Felix Hernandez pitched a great two innings. Probably the last we'll see of him until Opening Day. He really looked sharp and ready to go. The game went downhill from there while they kept bringing in the other pitchers who are hoping to be part of the Bullpen. There are still a couple of slots that haven't been solidified.

The clouds moving through came with wind. It was gusty most of the afternoon. I went out to scatter wheat for the quail and the wind did it for me. The doves are also taking advantage of the wheat. There's a pair that hang out in the little tree just for that reason.




Monday, March 27, 2017

A Sunny Day

Oh, what gorgeous sunshine we woke up to today! The willow trees are turning a yellowish color - you can see the beginnings of their leaves coming. The little tree in front of us has reddish buds. I'm not sure yet if they are for flowers or leaves. The birds are quite noisy early in the morning. There are a couple pairs of killdeer that are quite noisily "protecting" their nests. There is not yet any sign of life in the grasses we planted last fall. I hope they survived the cold winter.

I spent some time on the computer, getting the accountant changes into Quickbooks; paying a couple of bills and doing some filing. I made some phone calls for clarification of a couple of things and Forry sold some wheat. I've already figured out that April is going to be an expensive month with both income tax and property taxes due.

We went out for a walk later this afternoon. Forry made it all the way around the loop. We met a couple of the neighbors we hadn't met yet as they are usually gone. He works at a cold storage plant and she is a housekeeper at the Othello Hospital. We sat out for a bit, but every time a cloud came over, it got chilly. There were some huge cumulonimbus clouds around, but they disappated without getting us wet again.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Today is Sunday

Today is Sunday which means we were up early. After our beautiful sunshiny day yesterday, I was disappointed to see cloud cover. The forecast had predicted it wouldn't cloud up and rain again until late this afternoon. Obviously, the storm moved in much more quickly than expected.

We had breakfast, got dressed and headed for Menno. There were more than twenty rigs with trailers in the two Public Fishing Area parking lots. We saw several boatloads of fishermen out on the lake. Most of them were very bundled up.

There was not a lot of traffic on the freeway, but we did see several RVs - going in both directions. From what I am reading on the RV blogs, the northern movement of the Snowbirds has begun. Though I don't think many of them are too anxious to come to this rainy country. I heard on the Seattle news today that the I-5 area has, since October, already gotten more than the year's normal annual rainfall!

Keith Schaffer spoke at Menno today. We have greatly enjoyed having him as an occasional speaker during this period of time we have not had a permanent pastor. He has been a blessing for us - and he has a great sense of humor.

We stopped on the way home and picked up chicken for dinner. Then settled in to watch bull riding on TV. It was hard to stay awake and there may have been a nap or two in there somewhere as well.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Wins!

The Mariners beat the Royals today in Spring Training. Gonzaga beat Xavier in their Elite Eight NCAA basketball game, so next week they will play, for the first time ever, in the Final Four. That certainly took up a good share of our day. I did a couple more loads of laundry and that was about it.

The sun was out this morning and although there were a few clouds scudding across the sky, none of them stuck around. It is so nice just to bask in the warm sun - even though it shows up the dirty windows.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday

It was one of those days. We slept in a bit, but not really late. We watched the Mariners win another Spring Training game where Kama pitched a great three innings. Forry drained the tanks. I washed a load of clothes. I scattered wheat for the quail. It was a typical lazy retired folks Friday.

Late in the afternoon we headed in to Moses Lake and to the accountant's office where we signed our income tax forms so that they could be electronically filed. We stopped at the post office to get some mailing envelopes, then picked up a few groceries.

Our last stop was to meet up with Brother Pat and Cindy at Simmer. Simmer was a new restaurant to us, but I'm sure it won't be our last meal there. We started with a delicious crab cake appetizer. The menu is very eclectic and very fresh. Pat had a very tender pork chop; Cindy had prawns and grits; Forry had chicken and waffles; and I had duck breast. Everything was so good!

The restaurant is not very big and it was packed. We saw some good-looking plates going by our table. The service was excellent and friendly. But better than the food, was spending quality time with Pat and Cindy.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Coffee - and Corned Beef and Cabbage

We started the day out with coffee gatherings. I went over to the Clubhouse to join the ladies and Forry went over to Darrell's to meet with the guys. I took a coffee cake over with me to share.

This is the fourth Thursday of the month, which is Potluck Dinner Day in the RV Park. We had decided a couple of weeks ago that we would celebrate St. Patrick's Day a little late. We'd all chip in on the cost and Pat would make corned beef and cabbage. Pat was already getting things ready this morning  when we got to the Clubhouse for coffee.

We didn't do a lot today, I finished scrubbing up the stovetop and the area around the sink. We headed back over to the Clubhouse about 4:30. The smells were delicious! Pat had a roaster full of cabbage quarters, another with carrots and red potatoes, and a third with the corned beef. In spite of agreeing that we would only bring desserts (letting the cabbage and corned beef be the main attraction), there was a full spread of food.

I cannot believe that at our ages, neither of us have ever eaten corned beef. It was actually pretty good., especially with the cabbage. I don't think I would want to make it, but I would eat it again.

I brought our soiled plates and silverware home and stuck them in the dishwasher and went ahead and ran it. We were sitting quietly, watching the Gonzaga basketball game when the drain hose sprang out of the sink and splattered water all over! Including into my newly cleaned stovetop! It's a good thing Gonzaga won their game - and now proceeds into the Elite Eight - as otherwise it would have been a pretty discouraging mess.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Stars!

As I stepped out of the car tonight when I returned home from Bible Study, I couldn't help but notice the incredible expanse of stars. I don't recall how long it's been since we've had a clear enough night to see all the stars. It was overcast again this morning and we actually had a brief but intense rain shower while I was talking with Sister Sherry. It gradually cleared off in the late afternoon and we actually saw some sunshine. It's most likely going to be cold tonight...

It was good to have an opportunity to have a nice long telephone chat with Sherry today. With all of the rain lately, her telephone has been out as often as not. When you would get through, it crackled so loud, you couldn't hear anything anyway. The Touchet River has finally crested, so we can quit worrying about her getting flooded. I'm certainly glad her local REA invested in internet technology. When we can't get through on the telephone, we can at least email and know that we everything is okay.

I stopped at Safeway while I was in town and got some more freezer bags for the meat I bought yesterday. While I was there, I bought a coffee cake to take with me to tomorrow's coffee klatch. Seems like we either have no goodies to enjoy with our coffee or several people bring something. We'll see how it goes in the morning.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Finally - A Trip to Spokane

The weather and the roads have been so awful this winter, we have stayed pretty close to home. I've been muttering for some time that I needed to restock my meat supply. I have gotten so tired of hearing Forry's chair snap and crackle and pop every time he gets up and down - and it's even worse looking at it. It makes so much noise, it startles the quail outside when he moves.  It's in VERY bad shape. Then there's our shaggy hair...

Yesterday we looked at each other in the midst of our grumbling and decided to go to Spokane. I gave Becky a call at GreatClips to see if she was working today. She said she was, but that she had to leave early, so we made that our first stop. I am impressed by their system. I "checked in" on line when we hit town, therefore she knew we were on our way. They keep track of everything they do and use. For example they knew that they used a number 4 clipper guard on Forry's beard last time. And their prices are extremely reasonable - especially when I compare them to what I've paid Sarah over the years!

Our next stop was at the LZBoy store. Forry went around sitting in various recliners. He found a blue one he liked; we had it sprayed with their Fabric Shield protector; the guys loosely wrapped the two parts in plastic; and loaded them into the back of Toad II. Over the years I've discovered the way to deal with Forry, is not to give him too much time to think. Once he found the chair that fit and felt good and a color he liked, I quickly told the salesman we'd take it. If I don't, he'd start dithering about it. He'd want to go check and see if other stores had anything different. Then he'd wonder if he should get a different kind of chair. In the past, I've gone shopping with him - and with his dear mother - where we've found something they liked and wanted, then have driven around to every possible other store and finally at the end of a long day, ending up back at the first store to buy it.

Finally, we went to Costco. It's been a good three months since we've been there, so needless to say, it was an expensive trip! Tuesday seemed to be a good day to shop at the north Division store. It wasn't terribly crowded, we had no problem finding a parking spot and the lines at the registers were short.

Perhaps the best part of the whole day was going to Gordy's Szechuan for a late lunch/early dinner. They had an interesting special of beef tenderloin with rosemary stir-fry that we shared. It was so good! Of course, we also shared their signature dish of ice cream with the chocolate orange rind sauce.

It had showered off and on all day, but it poured on the way home. It was raining extremely hard with nasty wind gusts. You'd have thought we were over on the coast! There were black, black clouds overhead. I was glad Forry was driving. We finally drove out of the storm on the other side of Ritzville. It must have rained here at home sometime during the day as well, because the lid on the wheat bucket was full of water again.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cloudy Monday

After the beautiful sunny day we had yesterday, it was disappointing to wake up to overcast skies today. Guess we'd better get used to it, the forecast is as gloomy as the weather.

There's a pair of ravens who must be building a good-sized nest over in the mobile home upper portion of the park. They've been flying by steadily the past couple of days with sticks in their beaks.

I took apart the gas stovetop this afternoon to give it a good cleaning. It's always a pain to clean. You can't just wipe it down. You have to take the grids off first. It seems like everything falls under them and sticks.  I collected all of the pot holders and towels and threw them into the washing machine. I got the counter with the Keurig coffeemaker and the electric griddle cleaned as well. Not that any of them needed cleaning...

I noticed this afternoon that when the quail came into feed, it was almost all males. I wonder if maybe the females are all sitting on nests? It would be neat to see little chicks one of these days.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Busy Sunday

It's been another busy Sunday - and a sunny one! What a blessing to wake up to sunshine. There was still a very small pile of snow over by the edge of the road near the storage area where the maintenance crew had piled it. But there wasn't a trace of it when we came back home.

We saw a few fishing boats in the water when we headed for church and there were several rigs and empty trailers parked in the Public Fishing Areas. So we know there were boats out on the water we had not spotted as we drove by. The water still must be extremely cold, so the fish are probably pretty good. Unfortunately, I am not fond of eating the critters (too many fish meals as a kids, I suppose).

Sister Roxy and Rich had stopped by Brother Pat and Cindy's in Moses Lake on their way back to Olympia after attending a Memorial Service for one of Rich's friends yesterday in the Tri-Cities. We joined them all for lunch on our way home from church. Niece Becky and David and their family were there as well. Cindy made an interesting - and very good - soup called Lasagna Soup. She descriped it as a "sloppy lasagna."

It was nice enough to sit outside for a bit, but not quite warm enough to eat out there. Great-niece Kiera just did not want to come inside. She's going to have a fun time this summer - and Becky and David are going to have fun keeping up with her!

Cindy has been busily painting the inside rooms in their house. She's planning to use some stencils, especially in their bedroom. It's going to be quite elegant. I can hardly wait to see it when she's finished. My dear brother is NOT allowed to help! (I don't think he's meticulous enough...)

I took three empty five gallon buckets back over to Pat and brought a full bucket of wheat back. I guess we'll keep feeding the quail. While we were at Pat's, we saw the first cock pheasant I have seen in several years strutting across the yard. He's obviously been sharing in the quail's feed as he looked very plump and healthy.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

More Basketball

Saturdays are always interesting TV days. Forry likes to watch the nature shows, so we are often watching manatees, dolphins, turtles and other sea creatures. However today was more of a sports watching day. The Mariners game in Arizona against the Giants was on at one o'clock. We watched that until it was time for the Gonzaga/Northwestern game. The Zags started out real well, but it turned into a cliffhanger towards the end. They are into the Sweet Sixteen for next weekend. AND the Mariners won their game as well!

We started out with a cloudy day, but we ended up with sunshine by late afternoon. It's been windy all day. Not very pleasant at all. The only time I went outside was to feed the quail the last of my wheat. I think I've gone through five five-gallon buckets of wheat thanks to Brother Pat.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Finished, Again!

It had been a few weeks since I had dropped the envelope with all the tax stuff off at the accountants. Earlier this week Cle had called with a couple of questions, so I knew he had gotten started on it. Then he called and said that there were only three months of the ranch files on the thumb drive I had put into the package. Surprised, I checked my computer and discovered the files were gone on my laptop QuickBooks as well! I have no idea what happened!!

So, the past few days I have been busily recreating those lost months so that I can give them to Cle on Sunday. It's very annoying to have to redo my work. And even more annoying not to know what happened! I finished up this afternoon. I must have double checked the thumb drive half a dozen times to make sure all of the months were there.

Once again today we were back to cloudy overcast skies. Yesterday's sunshine is just a memory. We went out late this afternoon and walked around the loop. There are three little piles of snow down where the rigs are stored. They are just ghosts of what they were earlier.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Even the Guys...

After taking a hiatus during the winter because Mike's Cafe doesn't open for breakfast in the wintertime, the fellows in the park met for coffee this morning at Jerry's house. Sharon left them cookies, then she came over to the Clubhouse for our usual Thursday morning coffee klatch. I walked over this morning as it was a beautiful day. The sun was out and it was beautifully warm.

It's funny how sunshine changes moods. Everyone was feeling very chipper this morning. There was much talk about possible summer travels and plans.

When I got back after coffee, I started on the laundry. I had sort of neglected it this week while we were dealing with our visitors. It was so nice today, I began to think about where I was going to store all the heavier winter clothes we have accumulated this winter. This is the first week I have not worn long underwear. I had bought some very lightweight Merino wool long-sleeved shirts that have been my lifesavers during the frigid weather. Forry's been wearing heavy wool long sleeve shirts that are suddenly "too hot."

I know this lovely sunny day is not going to be repeated the rest of the week, but I've certainly enjoyed it anyway.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

No More Ice

It has been interesting watching the lake this winter. We watched it gradually freeze over, watching the open areas slowly close up. It's been the reverse this spring.  We watched puddles of water form on the surface of the ice. We watched as open water appeared at the edge of the lake. We saw the ice get more and more mushy looking. We saw "channels" of water open up across the ice. Soon, we could see open water on the other side. Monday when I went to town, there was lots of open water, but also "islands" of greenish looking rough ice. Today it was entirely open water - all the ice is gone!

What surprised us were the seagulls. We have not seen any all winter. Not a single one! But, the minute open water appeared so did the seagulls - flocks and flocks of them! Where have they been all winter? How did they know the ice was leaving? How did they know to arrive the first day there was open water?

Today was sort of a repeat of yesterday. We had a few hours of partly sunny sky with increasingly heavy cloud cover until we finally had rain showers. It wasn't nearly as warm however.

We went over to Menno this evening for the Lenten Soup Supper.  It's done in conjunction with the Ritzville Ministerial Association during Lent. Wednesday evening soup and bread meals are hosted at rotating churches. There were about a hundred people there, probably two thirds of them from other churches. Menno members had brought crock pots of various soups - there must have been a dozen different kinds. After the soup meal, there was a short service in the sanctuary.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Another Rainy Day

I had hope this morning when I first got up, but the sun very quickly disappeared behind the clouds. The clouds kept getting thicker and thicker until it once again started to rain - and rain some more. I went out to put out wheat for the quail and put the last of the bird feed into the feeder. The quarter inch lids on the tops of the five gallon buckets were once again completely full of water.

We weren't up very early this morning. It was a busy weekend and we were both tired. I had bought some smoked pork chops yesterday. They were fully cooked, so all I had to do was warm them in the skillet with a little butter. I fixed a box of stuffing and put some green beans in the microwave. It made for a pretty good dinner.

We watched the Mariners game this afternoon in Peoria. They were saying it got to 93 degrees there! James Paxton pitched today. We have watched him several times in Arizona and we're delighted to see him in fine form today.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Happiness is "Yes!"

I was up early again this morning. We (the Board of Deacons) had a meeting with the Hersheys at the parsonage over at Menno at 9:30. We were all feeling good about their visit over the past four days. I have tried to talk to as many folks as possible over the past couple of days and have had nothing but positive feedback. So, long story short, the Hersheys have agreed to come be our Interim Pastor team. They will here the first week in May.

Needless to say, it was a great relief for all of us that their answer was "yes!" We are very much looking forward to getting better acquainted with them. We have not had a "team" as pastors before. It will be an interesting experience for all of us. Having two ordained pastors in our small congregation is going to be pure luxury. We will continue to be searching for a permanent pastor.

On my way back home, I stopped at Safeway in Moses Lake for groceries. As usual, the store was packed. I had to wait for a car to leave the parking lot before I could find a spot. I'm not sure when the last time I went grocery shopping without Forry. But, he had sent his list along. I picked up a canister of peanuts, some goldfish crackers, a box of chocolate chip cookies and several bags of licorice. That should keep him happy for a while.

It's been a rainy day today. It drizzled on the way out to Menno - and while I was gassing the car. It rained hard in Moses Lake and then was back to intermittent showers at Sun Desert. The forecast is for the same kind of weather for the next few days.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Evening

After a long day, we are home again. This crazy change to Daylight Savings time is hard on people who aren't morning people to begin with. It's a good thing I had set the alarm on my iPhone last night as I was sleeping soundly when it rang.

The Hersheys joined us for church and Sunday School this morning. it was a good morning for them to visit as it was the Music Team's morning. The Men's Quartet did a lovely job. After SS we headed for Lake Bowl in Moses Lake. Stan and his son Reed had invited everyone to a bowling party and taco feed.

Lake Bowl had reserved the ten lanes towards the far end for the party. They set up a table in the area behind for Do It Yourself Tacos. They had both corn and flour tortillas, a tub of queso, one of refried beans, and a third of beef. Then they had condiment bowls with onions, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeƱos, olives, grated cheese and salsa. The staff served soft drinks and kept refilling the containers on the taco bar.

A good share of the folks that came bowled, including the teenagers and the younger kids. It's been a long time since I've been in a bowling alley. The last time I was in one, they still had paper scorecards! The other thing I had never seen before was the "lane guards" that came up to prevent gutter balls for the younger bowlers. They were linked to the scorecards, so you could indicate who needed/wanted them.

The rest of us sat around and ate and visited. It was a good opportunity for Lyn and Jeanie to visit with many of the congregation who hadn't signed up to invite them for meals. It ended up being a fun afternoon.

After we returned home, I spent some time working on the salary guidelines for our meeting with the Board and the Hersheys in the morning.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Weekend

Yesterday felt like Saturday, so today seems like we're doing the day all over again. We've been so busy that it felt good just to stay home and relax. The Mariners Spring Training game in Peoria was televised this afternoon. The "big guns" are at the WBC in Miami, so we got a chance to see some of the new young talent. They did a great job, rallying and playing both great offense and defense.

It was overcast this morning, we had some more rain in the early afternoon, then the sun came out. It was nowhere as nice nor as warm a day as yesterday was. I finally got a shower after the game was over.

I used the pork belly pancetta I got at the Co-op in Mount Vernon to start a pot of potato soup. It was very flavorful when rendered and made a good base with some onions. I still have a pound of their pepper smoked bacon that I will have to find a good use for. It is just too good to use for something that is only mediocre.

I talked a bit on the telephone with Jeanie Hershey. Sounds like at this point, they are enjoying their visit with Menno. If all continues to go well this weekend, we may end up with an interim pastor couple!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Elders

We lazed around this morning, while I whined about how sore my legs were after standing so long on the concrete floor getting dinner at church last night. We finally got ourselves dressed and headed into Monroe House in Moses Lake for lunch. Katherine had arranged a lunch in the private dining room for the four of our Menno Elders who live there to meet the Hersheys. Earl joined us as well. Considering that most of the Elders are over 90 (except Earl who turns 90 this year and Marge), it was a pretty lively luncheon. Kay and I and Dennis and Forry sat at a separate table so that they could visit without us monopolizing the conversation.

The food at Monroe House is very good. We had a choice of shrimp sciampi or tator tot casserole. Our shrimp were served with green beans, new roasted potatoes and rolls. Then they served delicious coconut pie and/or ice cream for dessert. Plus coffee, milk, chocolate milk and a variety of juices. 

There was a program scheduled for this afternoon by a gentleman who had a slideshow on the "Outlaws of the Area." The whole group decided to go together to the lecture, so we headed back home. 

When we walked in the Mariners were behind 6-10 in the 8th inning. We enjoyed watching them come back to win 11-10 with a walk off hit in the bottom of the ninth.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Lots Going On

It was a busy day today. I had an appointment this afternoon with Niece Becky at the dentist's to have my teeth cleaned. It's always good to see her and catch up on the activities of my great nephews and their little sister.

From the dentist office, we headed over to Safeway to pick up ingredients for a tossed salad: a 50/50 spring greens mix, an Anjou pear, and some candied pecans. I had a couple of salad dressings and picked up a couple more different ones. I also got a couple of loaves of prepared garlic bread.

Next stop was out at Menno. We met Katherine there. She had brought cooked pasta and two kinds of sauce, an Alfredo and a meat sauce. We fixed dinner for members of the Search Committee, their families, and Lyn and Jeanie Hershey. Lyn and Jeanie are spending the weekend with the Menno folks, checking to see if they might want to come as our interim pastors.

We had a fun evening, getting acquainted with the Hersheys and enjoying a good meal and fellowship - and Dennis' ice cream for dessert. The drive home was not so fun. After raining all day long, we had pretty thick fog the entire way.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wednesday Evening

We woke up to sunshine and blue skies, but it didn't last. By late afternoon it was clouded over and tonight I drove home with the windshield wipers on. When I filled the feeder this afternoon and scattered wheat for the quail, I noticed that the lids - which are about a quarter inch deep - were filled to the top with the rain from yesterday. We've had a lot of moisture this spring. Friend Dennis mentioned that there was moisture all the way down on the six foot soil probe they had used. I don't know when we've had that much soil moisture in the spring!

Forry had to drain the tanks again as I realized the shower wasn't draining... Seems we are much more generous with our water usage now that we are no longer concerned about frozen lines.

We actually went out for a walk this afternoon. We didn't go very far or for very long, but let the record show we went out and walked!

I realized as I was leaving Monroe House after Bible Study this evening that I didn't have my wallet! So much for picking up an ice cream sandwich at DQ for the drive. Needless to say, I carefully obeyed the speed limit on the way home. I'd have been in a pickle if I had been stopped.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tuesday Raindrops

The heavy cloud cover this morning broke loose this afternoon and we got the predicted rain - and lots of it. The ground is already super-saturated, so there are puddles. I shall not complain however, as everywhere around us was getting snow. Snoqualmie Pass was again closed due to snow, fog and multiple accidents.

I spent a good share of this rainy day contentedly reading. I have discovered a new trilogy by Robin Hobbs, one of my favorite authors. I've been reading the first one, Fool's Assassin. I have the second book, Fool's Quest, on my iPad, ready to go. The final book of the trilogy is due to come out later this month.

A rainy day was perfect for making beef stew. Some carrots, a parsnip, a turnip, an onion, and a potato and some beef, along with some red wine, just enough for the two of us. Add a pan of biscuits and we were good.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Blah Monday

I was so glad to wake up this morning and realize we did NOT have to go anywhere! And then we got to see all of the pictures and hear all the stories of the snow on the west side of the state. Daughter Dawn sent pictures of their snowy back yard in Oregon with a very confused Sparky (her dog).

We had clouds of various shapes and sizes and colors, but thankfully, no precipitation. It's not as warm as it was last week, but the snow mounds continue to melt.

I washed a load of dress clothes, but my Splendide washer was acting up. Almost acted like the pump was not working right. That's not exactly the way I want to start the week!

Our friends Katherine and Dennis and their son JR are on their way back from a funeral in Lyndon. The DOT has closed the eastbound lanes on Snoqualmie Pass, so they are sitting about a quarter mile from the Summit. The DOT website doesn't say anything about when it might reopen. What probably makes it more frustrating for them is that westbound traffic is still moving...

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Time

It was hard getting up and getting going this morning. We were still tired from yesterday.

We had an interesting church service. Amber, our friends Randy and Barb's daughter, a recent seminary graduate, was the speaker. She did an excellent job. Whichever Presbyterian congregation she ends up at, will have acquired a gem.

After church, several of us went to Inca, a Mexican restaurant in Moses Lake, for lunch. I think we ended up with ten of us at the table! Lots of visiting later, we headed for home. I think it was after three o'clock when we got there.

We spent a lazy rest of the afternoon. Not a lot of ambition here today.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Vic Franz

I'm not even sure where to start when describing today. We left home early, stopped to pick up roses - red for Vic and pink for Phyllis - and drove out to Menno. We gathered at the cemetery just down the road from the church. There was a fairly good sized crowd that gathered to place the urns with Vic and Phyl's ashes into the ground. Vic's youngest son Curt had used one of the "Franz Shovels" to create a unique urn for his Dad's ashes. The two urns were placed in the grave, then Vic's Great Grandson Gabe placed his blanket in the hole as well. Others of the grandchildren and children added roses. Then everyone took turns shoveling the dirt back in.

Just as District Pastor Gary Jewell finished the final prayers, two of Vic's Flying Farmer friends did a fly-over. They circled and then came over, flying very low. One of the airplanes was a Cessna 210, which was the model of the last airplane Vic flew.

We adjourned to the church where services were scheduled for 11 AM. The church was full, a bit of surprise for a 96 year old man who has outlived many of his friends and peers. As part of the service, at Son Randy's request, I read John Gillespie Magee's High Flight - 

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, -- and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of -- wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor ever eagle flew --
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

(A sonnet that was always on a plaque in Vic's office.)

After a moving message by Gary Jewell, there was sharing by several of the people present, including a letter from Bob and Paula Kramer, long-time Flying Farmer friends.

After the service, lunch was served in the Fellowship Hall. On display was a montage of pictures of Vic and Phyl's life that Daughter Pam and Granddaughter Renea had put together. Lots of stories and laughter and tears were shared.

Following all the activities at the church, we joined the family at Curt and Ruthie's home. I got a chance to get in some baby cuddle time with little McKenzie, Grandson Pete's new baby. Dinner was TatorTot Casserole, a tribute to Phyllis's go-to company recipe.

It was a good day, a sad day, but a good day.





Friday, March 3, 2017

Routine Stuff

Stuff we would normally do on Saturday got done today, as tomorrow is going to be a busy day. Forry drained the tanks - and wondered how come he was doing it again? (I had done it for over a year while he was recovering from his back surgery...) I reminded him that he had wanted to take the task back over as he was feeling better...

 I did a couple of loads of laundry, did the dishes, put away some stuff.

I went on the credit union website and paid the monthly bills. Then did some checking on the internet for addresses and set up Bill Pay accounts for Planned Parenthood and for ACLU. The way things are going these days, we decided we had best start supporting both of these organizations.

We've had lots of white crowned sparrows at the feeder; a group of redwing blackbirds stopped by; a few doves were spotted cleaning up spillage under the feeder; and a number of quail stopped at sunset to eat wheat kernels off the ground. I can hear the killdeer, but haven't seen them today.



Thursday, March 2, 2017

Another Busy Day

A cloudy overcast day turned into a rainy drive home tonight. It was nice enough this morning for a great walk over to the Clubhouse for the Thursday Coffee. The killdeer are back, playing their "injured" game to lead you away from their nest sites. Their unique squawking had me looking up to spot fourteen Sandhill Cranes flying over. There are more and more signs that spring is on its way - finally.

Forry and I went out this afternoon and cleaned up the mess the birds had made under the feeder. We swept up the leaves scattered from the willow trees this winter. We even - finally - took the icicle lights and the JOY plaque from Auntie Violet's windshield. There had been quite a discussion at coffee this morning about all the Christmas decorations that were still up. Seems no one wanted to deal with all snow and drifts. I know that the lights our neighbor had around her house had been all buried in the snow.

I had a Board of Deacons meeting tonight in Moses Lake. We had a packed agenda. Without a pastor, there are a great many details of ministry that fall to the Deacons. We are sure all hoping that the potential interim pastor we are looking at works out!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

It's Wednesday

And the sun was shining! There were funky little clouds drifting across the sky, but they never amounted to much of anything. It was up in the fifties again and we are seeing more and more patches of green grass out there - and they are getting larger! The piles of snow are getting uglier as the snow melts and gravel and dirt are left behind.

We noticed there is still a great deal of snow on the fields along Road M. There is melt water running down the draws and the ditches along the road. In a few places, where either a culvert was blocked or snow was piled up, it was covering a sizable portion of the road. Many of the gravel roads in both Adams and Grant Counties are closed due to washouts. Tonight when we were coming home, there was no water. When the sun set, the temperature once again dropped below freezing and the thawing stopped.

We went grocery shopping this afternoon. Forry was out of breakfast sandwiches... When we finished we went to Lin's, a Chinese restaurant near the Safeway store. Other than the chow main and the rice, everything was deep fried. The best thing you could say about it was there was a lot of food.

While I went to Bible Study at Monroe House, Forry and Stan went over to the bowling alley for a visit. At least, Forry didn't have to sit in the lobby doing sudoku...