Monday, June 26, 2017

Ending An Era

We are winding down a chapter in our lives. By the end of this week we will have become the owners of a stix and brix home instead of an RV. This morning we signed, scanned and emailed the Closing Disclosure document to the bank. Now we have to wait three "cooling off" days before we can sign the actual papers.

It was HOT today. Forry said the outside temperature was 107 at one time this afternoon! Toward evening we loaded up his electric cart on the car carrier and took it and some of the yard art into the new house. We sat out on the deck for a while and enjoyed the breeze off of the lake. I think we're going to like it there.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

REST!

The alarm on my phone went off. I looked at Forry and asked if he wanted to get up. Getting a very negative reply, I shut off the alarm and went back to sleep. We were both extremely tired. It had been a long couple of days. The Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference met Friday and Saturday at Menno. There were representatives from Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington as well as visitors from Kansas, Indiana and Pennsylvania.

By noon I had already taken a nap. The Mariners were playing at one o'clock, so had to be alert for that. Can't say that we did much of anything else today.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

PNMC con.

Another day of conference. We are tired.  Think I will go to bed instead of finishing the Mariner's game.

Friday, June 23, 2017

PNMC

We spent this afternoon at Menno, taking care of registration for the Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference which is being hosted by Menno. It was actually a fairly easy task as name tags had been made in advance by the PNMC staff. I had to find the right name tag, then check them off my list and give them a schedule. Then Forry gave each registrant a tote bag (advertising the Mennonite Country Auction the first Saturday in October) and let them choose a coffee mug.

It was actually pretty nice way to spend an afternoon. It wasn't too terribly hot and we got to see lots of people we hadn't seen for a long time

Thursday, June 22, 2017

ANOTHER Trip to Town

We got an email from the bank last night saying they had gotten the approval for the flood insurance. BUT, it had been so long since they had started the process that the bank statements we gave them were outdated and we needed to bring them current ones! So back into town we went this morning!

Since there is a three day "cooling off" period before we can sign the papers, it looks like it will be the middle of next week at the earliest... Perhaps, it will actually happen before the end of the month?

We took the rocking lawn chairs from the patio here over to the new house this morning. They look pretty nice sitting on the deck outside the master bedroom.

I badly needed a haircut and Forry was looking shaggy, so instead of getting it done in Spokane, we decided to check out the shop here in Moses Lake. Even checking in on-line, we had about a half hour wait. With only two girls working today, they were very busy. We saw half a dozen people leave as they didn't want to wait 45-60 minutes. I think I got a pretty good haircut and Forry looks nice. We'll see what it looks like tomorrow after it gets washed.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hanging Up the Keys?

If you've noticed (like Sister Sherry) that we've been making an awful lot of trips to town, it's true. We have been dealing with bankers, insurance agents, appraisers and now, engineers! We spent a great deal of time this winter trying to make up our minds about what we are going to do next. We've pretty much lived in our RV and on the road ever since we retired almost eleven years ago. When we decided last fall, for a variety of reasons, that we weren't going to spend the winter in Arizona, it started us down a different path.

We had wanted to remain in the area for our dear friend Vic, who was nearing the end of his time with us. Though the winter itself was just plain awful (between the snow, ice and cold!), we enjoyed being close to both our family and our church family. As we started talking about summer travel plans, we realized that, while we certainly haven't seen everything, there was nowhere we had a burning desire to see. We had reached our initial goal of traveling through all of the 48 contiguous states a year or so ago.

Forry needs to have some work (i.e. replacements) on both his hips and his knees. That also  meant staying in the area. Then there was the whole issue of how tiring setting up and tearing down was getting to be for us - we're not getting any younger you know...

I had always said that someday I wanted to live near a body of water and we had off and on talked about it. One day Niece Becky told us about the house on Moses Lake that her brother-in-law had gutted and was rebuilding. We went to take a look and were very impressed. Craig does beautiful work! We looked at several other lake front houses, but...

So that's what we've been doing. It's been a bit of an ordeal as nothing about it has gone easily. The latest snag was a letter from the Feds that the house was in a "flood zone" and would require pricey flood insurance. Which prompted our today's trip to an engineer's office to start the process of getting an Elevation Certificate which can be used to exempt the dwelling.

One of these days, we just may get all of the paperwork taken care of, then we'll park Auntie Violet in the driveway and begin to enjoy our new house on the lake.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Finally, An At-home Day

Man, it got HOT today! It was 98 degrees this afternoon. I don't like it when it goes from chilly to hot so terribly fast. No time for one's body to adjust.

At least I had a bit of energy this morning. I had gone to bed early last night which may have helped. I cleaned up the weekend's scattered dishes and loaded the dishwasher. Then started a load of white clothing in the Splendide. Only after I had those electrical servants working did I sit down for my first cup of coffee. Somewhere in there, I also cleaned up the bathroom sink and counter. Not that it needed it or anything like that!

I don't think I've done any laundry since we got back from our last weekend's trips to Wenatchee and Mount Vernon. The drying rack in the living room is loaded. It's a good thing it was so hot this morning. The first load of clothes was dry enough for Forry to fold so that there was room for the next ones.

I did break down and shut all the windows so that I could turn on the A/C. On a day like today it is easy for me to give up my dislike of closed windows and put up with the noise of the A/C. We pulled the front curtains as well. It really helped to not have the sun shining in through that big front windshield.

I bought some pre-made skewers at Safeway the other day. Each skewer had pineapple, onions, peppers and mushrooms already on it. I thawed and marinated a thick piece of sirloin steak that I had sliced into one inch cubes. After grilling the pre-made skewers on all sides,  I threaded the steak on skewers and quickly grilled them as well. It made a really nice dinner without a lot of fuss.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Another Good Day

We were Greeters at church today, so were up early and heading for Menno. Since it was Father's Day, there were many families gone, camping and visiting parents. As they arrived, Pastor Jeanie had us give each person a puzzle piece. After the service, which was from the passage that talks about needing ears and eyes, hands and feet to make a whole church; each person took their puzzle piece into the education wing and attempted to put the puzzle together. Each piece together made the whole.

Following church, we went over to the parsonage for lunch with Pastor Jeanie and Pastor Lyn. I had brought the strawberries I had picked at Brother Pat's yesterday. We sliced them and had them with pound cake and whipped cream for dessert. They sure were good!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

An In Town Day

We had an early appointment this morning in Moses Lake. We decided we would stop and pick up breakfast at Starbucks on the way. We did and took our breakfasts along to the meeting, sitting outside to enjoy them.

We had some shopping to do, then went to take care of our grocery needs. It had been a while since I had picked up groceries, so it took a while. Forry stayed in the car while I did my shopping as he felt he had walked enough.

Our last stop was out at Brother Pat's house. He wasn't home, but had invited me to come and pick strawberries and peas while he was gone. I picked a bowl full of strawberries and a grocery sack half full of peas. They were so abundant in his garden that you couldn't even tell I had picked any! I sat and ate peas for a good half hour after we got back home and hardly made a dent in the bag. They are so good!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Evening

I was up at four-thirty for a while and the skies were relatively clear. Chilled, I went back to bed around six. When I woke up again it was clouded over. We did get another gentle rain today -- alas, not enough to clean off the front windshield. Now, at eight o'clock in the evening, the sky is blue and completely cloudless.

I bought a package of salt pork when we were in Mount Vernon last Sunday. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but when it started raining this afternoon, I figured it was a good day for a kettle of potato soup. I diced the salt pork, then rendered it until it was pretty brown. After I poured off most of the fat, I added half a diced onion to the mix. Some chicken broth and diced potatoes and let it simmer. An hour or so later, I added a can of coconut milk and some cilantro for color. Lots of ground pepper and we had a pretty good supper. Of course, by the time the soup was done, it was no longer a rainy day!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Another Day

It was slightly cloudy this morning. The clouds thickened throughout the afternoon until it finally started raining. It was a gentle but steady rain for a couple of hours. Along with the rain came a chill. We've gone from 80 degrees yesterday to a high of 53 today.

There was an early Mariners game today. I'm sure it was afternoon in the Twin Cities, but we were watching it this morning. It seems the Mariners and the Twins kept swapping wins - and today it was the Twins turn. They ended up splitting the series. I wonder if we'll ever get our pitchers back?

I spent a bit of time on the computer this afternoon. I've discovered that using the printer as much as possible keeps the printer in working order. Otherwise, the ink dries out and it doesn't print worth beans. It's amazing how well it works if used regularly. Sort of like people, huh?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Cooler Today

It was clear this morning, but by evening had pretty much clouded up. It was a bit breezy, but very comfortable.

The Mariners beat the Twins tonight 6-4. Last night they lost to them 20-4. It's been hard hitting games in Minneapolis. Lots and lots of home runs.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Frustration...

I don't know. Seemed like everything we tried to do today ended up with frustration. It's very hard to have to wait for other people to get things done so that you can do your part...

The wind warning we had for last night through today turned out to be much less than anticipated. It was still a bit breezy this morning, but nothing like we expected. The trees are still dancing quietly tonight.








Monday, June 12, 2017

Today

Oh,  it was hard to get going this morning! We are definitely tired - both physically and emotionally. We didn't do a lot. I paid some bills and Forry took the trash out and got the mail. I can't say we did much more than that.

I did make a pasta salad for dinner tonight with enough for tomorrow, too. We put away some of the stuff we'd gotten out this weekend and did a bit of cleanup.

The Mariners are in Minnesota playing the Rwins so the game was at five. They had a good offensive night with a final score of 14-3.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Home Again

In spite of the forecasts for thunder storms, yesterday was a perfect weather day. Daughter Mary Mae and Scott - along with Sister Roxy - set up tables and chairs outside on their newly remodeled and enlarged back deck. They set up a taco bar with several crock pots containing tortillas and two kinds of meat. Next in line were all the condiments, diced tomatoes, onions, lettuce, olive, cheese, etc. and then the salsas and bottles of hot sauces. At the very end were trays of lemon bars.

The open house for Varick's Graduation Party ran from 2 until 7. It worked out well as there was a steady stream of visitors coming and going throughout the afternoon. The highlight of the afternoon was the presentation to Varick of the traditional quilt that had been made for him. The ladies of Evergreen Mennonite Church picked steam punk and gear fabric and pieced the top. One of MM's friends machine quilted it using gear motifs and then Sister Roxy finished the binding. They had managed to keep it a secret and I think Varick was very pleased.

We didn't get a very early start this morning. MM and Scott and Forry and I left the teenagers home while we went over to the CO-OP for breakfast (we did get takeout for the kids). I was able to make use of the gift card I had gotten for Christmas, buying some smoked bacon and pork belly at the CO -OP shop.

When we got back to the house, we loaded up a picture and some lamps that MM wanted to return to me, a bag of mail, Forry's CPAP machine and our dirty clothes and headed out. It was a lovely day to be crossing the mountains, this time going over Snoqualmie Pass.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Another Hard Day

We were up early. I had gotten everything packed last night, so it was pretty much shower, eat breakfast and go. Not knowing if the cool weather was going to hold, I soaked my plants as we were going out the door.

The service for Forry's Sister Grace was at the Memorial Gardens Cemetery in East Wenatchee. The staff of the cemetery had done a good job of putting up arrows to direct you to the proper portion of the cemetery. The chaplain from the hospital who had been with us at the hospital conducted the short service. After his comments, the nine adult children toasted their mother with a glass of the Manichevitz wine she enjoyed every afternoon.  Many of Grace and Les' 27 grandchildren were there with their families. It was quite a crowd.

After the service and visiting a bit with family we got back on the road and headed over Stevens Pass on Hwy 2. It was a beautiful drive with lots of wild flowers on the roadside. I was excited to see a couple of flowering digitalis plants. Then as we went on, they were on the roadside by the hundreds! The road is narrow, two lane and curvy. There was lots of traffic which made for somewhat tense driving.

But we made good time and arrived at Daughter Mary Mae's by four o'clock. Sister Roxy was already there, hard at work prepping the ingredients for tomorrow's taco party for Grandson Varick's graduation from high school. I helped a bit cutting up tomatoes and peppers, then took a nap!

It's Son-in-law Scott's birthday today, so I had gotten him a Starbucks card. The fellow at the store said he was out of the envelopes for the cards, so took a small cup, filled it half full of coffee beans, stuck the gift card in and popped a lid on. It made for a cute gift.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Catch-up Day

As you can imagine, we are both emotionally and physically exhausted. We slept in this morning, then Forry drained the tanks and I started on the laundry.

It was cloudy and chilly today. We did get one shower early in the afternoon, but it didn't amount to much. When I talked with Sister Sherry, she was getting a thunderstorm and had been chased into the house by rain at least three times.

Grandson Varick graduated from high school this evening and we weren't able to be there. Since we need to be in East Wenatchee tomorrow morning by ten o'clock for Forry's sister's graveside service, we just couldn't make both. We will head over to Mount Vernon after tomorrow's family gathering and at least will be there for Varick's Graduation Party Saturday afternoon.

I bought some cauliflower yesterday at Costco. Tonight I tossed it with olive oil and roasted it in the oven along with some baby potatoes and a couple ears of corn. It made for a good meal to go with the steak I put on the grill.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Day in Spokane

Today was the start of our annual summer odyssey of medical visits (that's not quite right, Forry's already seen his dermatologist). It was our first visit with our primary care doctor since Kaiser Permanente absorbed Group Health. Other than signs, everything seemed pretty much the same. Our doctor's medical assistant did say she was nervous about potential changes - mainly because they have only been told there will be changes, not what they are.

After our medical visits, we made a Costco run. It was a very utilitarian visit. I needed things like TP and tissues. I did find some nice apricots and a few California cherries to add to the cart. Next we went out to the Valley JC Penny store and bought some bath towels and rugs.

The best part of going to Spokane was having a late lunch/early dinner at Gordy's! The special tonight was a beef tenderloin and red pepper stir-fry. It was delicious! As usual, we topped it off with a dish of vanilla ice cream with their chocolate orange rind sauce. It's so good! And we ended up with a surprise 20% discount for using our STCU card. Guess I should start paying more attention to the notes about the Passport program on their website.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Hard Day

Yesterday was tough. Nephew David called to tell us they had done an MRI on Forry's sister Grace and there was no evidence at all of brain activity. The decision was made to discontinue life support as soon as all of the family could get there.

We stayed at the hospital most of the day and evening, heading home under an almost full moon. Shortly after we returned home we received a message that Grace had passed away.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Rest Day

We were up early this morning, but didn't seem to get ourselves organized. We ended up having to get breakfast in Moses Lake after church. It's so hard to have to have a Starbucks Gouda and Bacon or their Double Bacon Breakfast sandwich! Forry really enjoys their Mint Mocha Frappachinos while I still prefer plain ol' nonfat latte's.

Church was interesting this morning. For the first time that I can ever remember, there were NO children in church! A couple of teenagers, but no little ones. Pastor Lyn was alone this morning, Pastor Jeanie is with her recently widowed friend on the Oregon coast.

Forry's Brother-in-law Les seemed pretty discouraged when we talked with him this evening. It has got to be terribly hard to watch your spouse in such difficult circumstances. They are going to do more scans tomorrow and plan next steps.

I made buckwheat pancakes for supper, using the last of my hoarded maple syrup. I guess we really do need to make a Costco run when we go to Spokane this week.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Broken Ribs

Trying to let Forry's sister Grace breath without the ventilator again didn't work very well. Her breaths were too shallow to be effective. Another scan shows that she has SEVEN broken ribs on each side - no wonder she can't take deep breaths! The CPR definitely restarted her heart, but I guess at 89, you can expect collateral damage. So we wait for ribs to heal...

Funky day today; slightly cloudy and nice and warm. Listened to a webinar this morning in preparation for next month's biennial Mennonite USA convention in Orlando. Much of it was very familiar from my years of serving on the Executive Board, but there was also a good discussion of the Israel/Palestine Resolution which is on the docket for the July meeting.

I made beef kabobs for supper tonight; adding Walla Walla green onions, pineapple squares, grape tomatoes and par-boiled miniature potatoes. We had some of yesterday's potato salad as well. Good stuff!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Improvement?

When Forry talked to his Brother-in-law Les today, he was told there was some improvement in his Sister Grace's condition. They closed off the breathing tube for a short period and she took some breaths on her own, but not enough to take it out. They'll try again tomorrow. Les sounded much more hopeful today then he had been yesterday...

Since we were gone on the first, I went up to the office to pay the site rent for the month. I was only going to pay for a couple weeks, but it's almost cheaper to pay for a month. And that way there won't be any hurry if we decide to leave here.

It was a pleasure getting the mail today as there was an announcement/invitation of Grandson Varick's high school graduation party in Mount Vernon on June 10th. He has been battling POTS with horrible migraine headaches for the last several years. Graduation is a major accomplishment for him!

What started out as a hazy overcast morning morphed into a very nice sunshiny day. I got most of the grass between the patio blocks pulled out while I was talking with Sister Sherry on the telephone this morning. It looks a lot better.

A Tough Day

We got a message late last night from Forry's nephew John that his Mom, Forry's 89 year old sister Grace, was in the ICU at Wenatchee Medical Center. She had collapsed at home earlier. The EMTs had had to do CPR in the ambulance, in the process breaking a couple of ribs and causing a pneumothorax. She's is on a ventilator and is non-responsive.

First thing this morning we headed for the hospital and spent the afternoon in Grace's room, visiting with her husband Lester and seven of their nine children, some of whom we had not seen for more than twenty years.

It was a bittersweet afternoon, having a chance to see so many of her family, but not being able to communicate with her. Grace is eleven years older than Forry and is his only living sibling (his brother Melvin was killed in a farm accident in 1961.).

We can only wait and see if Grace is able to recover. We covet your prayers. It's been a tough day.