Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays

I guess you've heard that Seattle/Portland area is socked in by snow and ice. Well, I'm here to tell you, we have snow and it looks like we're go to have a very white Christmas, my first - believe it or not. 
What a year. The miracle of President Elect Obama, the price of gas at an all time high and now at an unbelieveable low, the Government giving those $$billions to the banks who are hoarding them for themselves, and President Bush actually giving some of it to the working class. (Be still my heart). The long lines at the food banks, the falling house prices, and the homeless numbers going up, and  they are calling this a recession, I don't think so, looks like a depression to me!
Every charity has a hard luck story and it pulls on my heart strings, but my charity dollars are going to my own family this year. To bad thats not tax deductable. Roy figures that if they had split those billions among all of us, we would spend it on cars and homes and Christmas gifts for the family. Maybe thats to simplistic but what the hell do I know. It seems to me we could do better than those bankers are.
Our Christmas is going to be a simple old fashion 'be with family' Christmas. We're going to eat and eat and laugh and sing and maybe even have a snowball fight. And we are going to think about our friends. 
This year I lost a few friends. Pat, an old friend and volunteer lost her battle to breast cancer. She use to have wheelchair races down the corridors at Madigan with the nurses. Rose is also gone. Rose lost her battle with Ovarian cancer . Her fight was brief but heroic and so many of us miss her as she was blessed with so many friends. I was really sick of going to funerals. 

The grandson's both returned home this year and then since work was just not here, they both returned to their old jobs. Jake is in Billings and Thad in Vermont. I am proud of both of them as they are at least working. 

Betty made the Dean's List at UW, her first semester. She is going to be a great accountant so if you know anyone looking for a CPA, she has another year and then will be out there looking for employment. Ron, sweet son, is up in Seattle fighting his fights and winning. 

Roy and I are planning our 2009 and 2010 trips. We have decided 2010 is going to be our year for travel and  winter we will head south and stay south until summer. LOL

Have a great holiday. 

Friday, November 07, 2008

Larrabee State Park

Our last days were spent at Larrabee State Park and while I wouldn't recommend this park during the summer unless you have reservations, we almost had the place to ourselves and loved it, even in the rain. 

Birch Bay State Park, Birch Bay, WA

This area was named by Vancouver when he passed the area in the 1700s and it was named after the huge number of paper birch trees located there. I am thinking it should have been named Big Leaf Maple as we saw much more of those than the paper birch. 

The State Park is noted for its birding as it's on the Pacific Flyway. We saw a number of species, but as it was pretty late in the year, not hundreds like we had hoped. The regulars were there though, gulls and loons, geese and ducks and we enjoyed just sitting on the logs and watching them watch us. 
The park as a Terrell Marsh Interpretive Trail that was about a mile long and we heard a woodpecker but couldn't see him/her in the canopy of trees

Tolt MacDonald County Park

Its funny, but since DH and I have retired we need to keep day-planners to keep up with all we have to do and to get time for travel has been difficult. Now, what we do is block off time a couple months ahead and hope that we can avoid meetings and appointments or gatherings.

Last week we got a whole 8 days for ourselves and when you live in Washington State, rain is always a possibility and we had some, but we also had some great weather. 
Our first stop was just south of the town of Carnation and a King County park that catered to RVs but more mountain bikers.  The trails were beautiful with the turning leaves and awesome views. The bridge was pedestrian only and about half way across you could feel the wind and the vibration, but it had such a beautiful view of the mountains, it didn't matter much. 
The little shed, laughingly called a cabin is for the Mountain Bikers who want to spend the night. The other option was yurts and they were much better, with real beds and heaters. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sumo Season

This is my man Kaio. He's old, he's beaten up and he barely makes his 8, but ya got ta love him. Folks speculate every basho about his retiring, but he keeps going, sometimes showing his brilliants, mostly showing his age.

Friday, August 01, 2008

July Bash

We made it a long weekend and headed out Thursday for the weekend. We went to Rest-A-While RV Resort near Hoodsport on the Olympic Penninsula to meet some friends. We pulled in and we were told by the gal who checked us in, that our party called saying we were coming on Friday.??? I thought it was funny they hadn't called a told me, but okay, it didn't matter. Roy bought us each an ice cream cone (what diet?) and just as we were getting into the RV to park it in space 19, another one of our group showed up. They were confused as they hadn't called, but it didn't matter, we were there. Never did solve the mystery, the last couple showed up and they hadn't called either.

The weather was fine, so as soon as we got hooked up, we pulled out the awning and sat in the sun catching up on news and gossip. Whoops, we all got a little to much arms and face were red red red.

In no mood to cook, we wandered across the street and had dinner at the Tides, a great little family owned resturaunt. All the men had liver and onions, but I opt'ed for Fish. Oh yum, it was way to good and I ate way to much.

Lola and Josette must know ever card game in the book. Earlier in the year they taught me to play Hand and Foot, a Canasta like game using about 4 decks of cards. Its fun except when your losing. We played Golf and Mexican Train (with dominos) and I had a great time.

Saturday morning we woke to rain, but it was light and didn't really change much. Sunday we drove home in another rainstrom.

I thought this was summer, but I guess not.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

We're home, Sharing pics

This is the wildlife refuge by Wenatchee, WA
Campground at Alta Lake
So, can anyone identify this flower/plant for me. They are all over central Washington, no smell but might pretty

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Third Week

Oh my goodness, according to the calendar we've been on the road for 3 full weeks, Cle Elem to Lake Chelan, to Alta Lake, to Winthrop, to Omak, to Wenatchee, to Ephrada and now we're in Moses Lake.
Central Washington is so different from home as it's worse than desert, deserts have interesting flora - cacti, etc. but here, the canvas is blank, nothing but shrubs grow no higher than your knees. Rock also grow here, well actually most of them were brought here from Montana.
The theory is, and stop me if you have heard this, during the ice age, a great ice damn formed in Montana and water backed up behind it. It had to be at least a ga-zillion gallons because when the dam broke, the water, in great torrents made it all the way to Washington and brought with it rocks, some the size of greyhound buses. (Wouldn't that have been a sight to see).
Okay so no one would bother to live in this desert and except for a few, they don't, but that same flood cut some great lakes and rivers into the landscape, the Columbia being the most well-known. Along those rives and lakes our apples and wine grapes, and fruit and veggies from asparagus to zucchini grow and well farms needed towns and towns turned to cities, etc. Moses Lake is the color of turquoise and Soap Lake is a popular mineral spa.
Birding is awesome especially for migratory birds that take advantage of the occasional wetlands, water and menu of bugs and grasses.
Ephrada, has a fun museum. Roy and I spent hours exploring. They built or restored about 2 dozen buildings and filled each with turn of the century furniture, etc. They have a bank, a Church, a blacksmith, a dentist, a doctor, a barber. There is a general store, a saloon, a school. The kids would love it, but Grandma might have to explain the dunce in the corner and the inkwell holes in the desk.
Our next stop is Potholes State Park, another flood leftover, I think

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Winthrop WA

Will an assay furnace heat a house?
What turns a Pelton wheel?
How many can sit in a Model T?
Does laughing dew make you laugh?
Is a hell box dangerous?
Can you make ciden with a Babcock press?

Some time ago, (and I am just guessing about this) some city fathers sat around looking at their dying town and decided one way to save it was to turn it into a tourist trap: Winthrop Washington, An Old West Town".
Downtown Wintrop is about 3 blocks long, buildings have been restored or rebuilt to look 'western'. Interesting enough, the bank is still operating and family owned. That building is restored and still operational , but the rest of the building sell tourist stuff or antiques or a mixture of both. The most favorite spot was the ice cream parlor...
But Winthrop has a fine museum, one you could really get into if museums are your bag. Buildings, old cabins and even the Winthrop Castle was moved to this block. Machinery, rusting stuff with motors, antique sleds, sleighs,wagons, etc.
Its a great place to visit and find the answers to the above questions.
My answers are: I don't know, I don't know, four I think, I don't know, I don't know and probably not.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dutch Oven Cooking

Okay, so its not as easy as it sounded.

You know I purchased this cool 12" Dutch Oven. We'll got home, opened the box and read all about cooking in one. OMG, I had to go back to the store, you can't just have a dutch oven, you also need all the accouterments that goes along with it... a lid lifter ($12.) a chimney to start the coals in, ($13), 16 inch tongs to move the coals around with and the should haves, a table to cook on with a metal surface. These meals are going to cost a fortune.

Well, you know they say that when your cooking for other folks, you should never try out either a new recipe or a new way to cook, i.e. in a Dutch Oven.(that last part is my new rule) But I did it anyway because this is a 12" cooking pot and anything I make it in will be more than either Roy or I could eat. So my first attempt was a Baked Corn Casserole. (No 2big, it wasn't low carb, LOL) The recipe was easy, two cans of corn, drained - 2 cans of cream of corn. 2 packages of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, 2 sticks of butter and 16 oz of sour cream. Mix together - bake for 1 hour using 17 hot coals on top and 8 on the bottom.
Well the smell was delicious, but after an hour, it wasn't close to being done, and dinner was ready. I'm not sure to this date what I did wrong. Let me tell you, I tasted it and it was good but finished cooking it on the stove.
So my second try.. a cobbler.. Same problem, followed the directions, number of coals top, and bottom and after any hour it still wasn't done. This time I started early so kept cooking it.
I think that the coal number is my problem as the wind was blowing and it was cold out, so maybe the oven just didn't get hot enough. Believe it or not there is a Dutch Oven Forum and I am going to go to the experts and see what they say.
According to the directions, you can bake anything in the Dutch Oven as long as you know how to regulate the temp. I have some great low carb casseroles and they are going to be my next project.

Lake Chelan WA

Lake Chelan has the clearest, bluest water I’ve ever seen. No that’s not true, Ash Meadows near Death Valley had the bluest, but Lake Chelan comes in a close second. In Salish, the local Native American language, Chelan means lake and blue water so I guess nothing has changed much.
We arrived at the park after a leisurely trip from Cle Elem. After fitting the RV into a tight spot we walked around to explore our new home for the next few days. Lake Chelan State Park has close to 150 camping sites. The utility sites where we parked is pretty much like a back in parking lot, but tent sites are scattered about in the woods, on the beach and even some on the expansive lawns.
Saw my first marmot. It’s a member of the rabbit family but they don’t look like it. These little guys had very little fear of people, Roy about 3 feet from one of them before it moved off.
The park added to my bird list. Ducks, robins, black birds and a new symphony of chirps, songs and calls.
After a night of rolling off the bed, Roy and I came to the conclusion the rig wasn’t level so after breakfast we went out to re-level, we saw that we had a low tire. Dollar signs go off. The park doesn’t have air, but we can’t find the valve stem so we drove, slowly, to town and found a Les Schwab. We are all prepared to purchase 6 new tires but the manager checked them and told me not to worry about it, added some air and charged up the cost of new wipers which we also needed.
Since we were in town, and Wal-Mart was over the hill, we stopped and spent some money there. Roy bought another level and I bought some DVDs. (They were cheap ones and now that I have seen them I know why….. pretty terrible)
Wednesday woke to overcast skies and the news that Obama had gotten the votes. I guess that I was hoping for a miracle for Hillary, and I really resent Obama for having an ego big enough to think that he is “president worthy”. Oh well, again like all of my life, I will vote for the lesser of two evils, but I wish that just once I could vote for someone I really thought would make a good president. I believe that another miracle will be needed to put Obama in as President. Middle America is still prejudice and that’s just the way it is. Actually, I wanted Richardson for President and still feel that he would have been the best choice. Obama talks a good talk, but being able to make pretty speeches doesn’t make him a good choice for President.
So now were heading to Alta Lake State Park, north of here. Looking forward to a new vista.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Critters and things

So far, our trip has had some great wildlife adventure. Alta Lake State Park had a sign posted that there had been some cougar siting and what to do if you saw on. My answer "run like hell" was wrong of course, but it didn't matter, the largest mammal that I saw was a gray squirrel.

But we did have some encounters...

I was sitting in the bedroom of the RV on the bed and suddenly movement caught my eye. A tiny chipmunk was in the hallway checking me out. I squealed, he (she) squeaked, I ran, he ran and I could only hope that he ran out the way he got in cause I wasn't particularly interested in having a chipmunk for a travel companion. That happened at Teanaway

Roy and I were hiking around Lake Chelan and I saw this animal on the rocks near the beach. It was about the size of a house cat, but looked like a gopher except he (she) had a bottle brush looking tail. Didn't have a clue what this was, and neither did Roy. We walked right up to him (her) and he scampered away when we got about 3 foot from him. Obviously, not afraid of humans. Turned out they are marmots and after I saw the one, we kept seeing them all over the rocks. Even got some pictures.

Alta Lake wildlife gave us a chuckle. We parked and went out exploring the park and returned in about 2 hours. Darn if two little birds hadn't decided to use our refrigerator vent for their home. Roy had to chase them off, clean out the mess of twigs and then cover the vent with paper so they wouldn't return. They were not happy at all as they kept trying to return to the vent...

Roy saw some whitetail deer in Winthrop, WA but so far we haven't had any further encounters.

Teanaway campground

Teanaway always makes me smile as its so far removed from most camps, the adjective primitive might come close to describing it, but even that sounds luxurious. The road in and through the camp hasn't been graded since..well ever. Your vehicle, even at a slow crawl feels like your on the ocean in a wild storm and anything that wasn't battened down is now on the floor.
Campsites are where folks made them. Fire pits are a collection of local rock, added to every year at the good sites, neglected at the not so good. You pull in to take advantage of 'flat" or 'scenic' or 'sunny' or 'shady' depending on ones needs and rig. There are pit toilets but they are usually avoided by RVers and tenters alike..
Tall towering long needle pines (ponderosa?) fill the landscape with not only their majestic size but also with a fresh clean smell in the air. Pine cones litter the dirt and scrubby brush gives each site some privacy.
Wildlife, mostly in the form of birds is abundant. The morning sound like a symphony of chirps, and calls, tweets and peeps. And in the background, the river adds its sounds as it rushes down to join its mates.
We parked, levelled and first rule of thumb is to gather firewood. As the others arrive, meet and greet.
Roy and I hiked along the river and first Roy found a jack knife and then I saw a machete in the water. We retrieved it and while not rusty, it was pretty dull. I wish that I had remembered to buy Roy a gold pan as the river sands looked promising.

Made my first meal in a dutch oven, and that is a whole new chapter.

Monday, May 26, 2008

We'll be off again on Thursday

I told Roy about April that we were going east in June and to make no plans, I even marked out the calander with a big red X to remind him, and so far so good. We leave on Thursday and should be back about the 1st of July.

This is the plan (right now) We're spending this weekend near CleElem WA at a campground called Teanaway. It is completely dry and while there is a vault toilet, its noting I plan on using. We're going to be with friends from the Nomads, a like minded group of RVers. Just for the occasion I bought a Dutch Oven and hope that I can learn to cook in it.

Anyway, I don't think we are going to have a lot of internet access, so if you don't hear from us, just know we will post when we can and take lots of pictures.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Last Day

This WAS a mini vacation....

WOW We toured the Evergreen Aviation Education Institute in McMinnville Oregon and it you are ever in the area (west of Salem, south of Portland) check this place out. It is awesome.
It is an Aviation museum that rivals the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum with dozens of displays including replicas of the Wright Bothers plane, up to the 1990ies. The piece de resistanceis the Hughes Flying Boat aka the Spruce Goose. OMG it absolutely fills up the hanger. There are Helicopters and commercial and military planes like the famous Flying Fortress and Spitfire and even the Gooney Bird. Around each corner there are videos that tell the stories of these wonderful planes and also great volunteers who will answer any question, give you a tour or tell of their experiences.
And if thats not enough, there are more displays of antique cars, helicopters and tanks. (In summer they give the kids rides in the tanks)
I am hardly an aviation buff, but I did enjoy this place. The admission was $13.00 for seniors but absolutely worth it. It takes about 2 hours to see and do it all, and thats not sitting thru all the videos.

Second Day NW Oregon

Wednesday was overcast, windy and darn cold, but we had places to see and things to do, and so armed with an umbrella we got an early start and our first stop was Ft Clatsop, home of Lewis and Clark during the winter of 1806. The Corp of Discovery built this temporary stucture and then just left it. The Clapsop tribe used it and eventually it disappeared. The site where it stands now it pretty close but they are unsure where it really is.
A few years ago the first "replica" burnt down, and this one was just recently rebuilt. With all the fallen trees in the area due to last winters storms it is amazing that the fort is still standing.

We drove out to Ft Stevens, an old military base, now reduced to 'sites' and concrete foundations. The museum was interesting and the camping sites look great so we plan to return. Ft Stevens was bombed by the Japanese during WWII and the big mystery is why the base never fired back. Some say it was because the officers were drunk and other theory is that by the time they were ready the Japanses sub was long gone. Wonder now if it was the Japanses at all, could have been friendly fire....

A little further on was the shipwreck of the Peter Iredale, a British ship which wrecked in 1906. It was a bad year for shipwrecks as a total of 6 were lost that year.

Northwestern Oregon Trip

Looking through my pictures, decided that few were really 'blog' worthy and when it came right down to it, the first couple of days of our mini spring vacation was pretty much a-wash. Monday we drove to Beaverton to pick up George, hiked the Tualatin Hills Nature Park after a pretty decent Mexican Dinner at Azteca.

Tuesday we took Hwy 26 out of Beaverton but then cut across to Astoria on a little used road that milage wise was probably a shortcut, but time wise probably doubled. We hit road construction a couple places. After passing the little town of Jewell, we came to the Jewell Wildlife Area and amazingly we saw a herd of Elk grazing right along side the road. Watching Roy try to get their pictures was more amusing than the elk as they were having none of it..He would move forward and they would move away.

The bridge over the Columbia looked so inviting and since George hadn't been to Cape Disappointment, we took another side trip.

Monday, April 21, 2008

First Trip of the year

Belong to a club of campers, well RV'ers actually and this weekend we went on our first trip of the year to Toppanish WA, just south of Yakima, on Hwy 97. Roy couldn't come because of a prior but that never stops me. I filled the refrigerator with legal (my diet) foods, packed warm clothes and headed out on Thursday about noonish.

Trip over the pass was uneventful and in no time I was pulling into the Yakama (spelled differently) Nation RV Park and easily found my friends actually sitting in the warm sun. It was absolutely beautiful weather but that wasn't going to last as I would find out.
The last time I solo'ed we dry camped but this campground was full service so I had to hook up the water, electricity and sewer. Plugging in the electricity, and screwing on the hose takes little talent, and even the sewer didn't pose much of a problem. I didn't get the water on all the way so there was some worry as I didn't have any water, but it just took a double check. Flipped on the water heater and the propane heater and I was good to go.
Lola and Ray introduced me to Roy and his lovely wife with an equally lovely Korean name I can't pronounce let alone spell. She and I had a great time talking about Korean foods and laughed about at how hot (spicy) she ate her foods.

Friday morning the other rigs were quiet so I dressed warmly as the cold front had now moved in including a strong wind. I decided to walk to Toppanish to check out the "famous" murals. There are about 50 of them and new ones are added each year to the walls of the local businesses. Some are historical, others whimsical, and all are interesting. They are scattered all through town, so I missed many of them and ended up walking nearly two hours. Got home just in time to join the others for lunch at the Casino across the street. I also won $65.35 on a slot machine that I didn't have a clue what I was doing. It said I won 1000 points but didn't have a clue what a point was worth. Couple more wins and I cashed out. Didn't want to press my luck.

Becky and Rob pulled in and it was really good seeing them again. We were now up to 4 rigs, but unfortunately Roy and his wife were going to have to leave early Saturday.

Saturday we decided to drive to Ft Simcoe, an 1850ies Army post that was only active for about 3 years and then turned over to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It had some restored building and the Colonels home was furnished in period doings, but unless your a real history buff or have nothing better to do, don't make a special trip. It was cold, windy and threatening snow and rain so we didn't say long.

(I took pictures of all this to show you but for some reason, I get an error message when I put the card in. Don't know what I'm going to do about that. )

Sunday we had a leisurely breakfast and then I unhooked and got ready to go. Unhooking was as uneventful as hooking so think I'm ready for anything. Before heading home, Toppanish has a wildlife refuge just about 3 miles out of town and since I love to check out these places, I headed here. Well, it is small and not much. I can't add many birds to my list. A magpie, but they are all over the area, a Cinnamon teal, okay that was cool and I heard blackbirds. Oh also swallows but don't know what kind as the fly faster than the eye can see.

I was rather concerned about the pass over the mountain as snow and rain clouds were all around by this time. Called 511 and found out that while the road was wet, conditions were fine and the only thing that happened was that I found out we need windshild wipers.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Wow, did I pick a beautiful weekend or what. Sharon and I headed out on Thursday for Victoria BC and we had an absolutely great time. We took the Coho out of Port Angeles (25.00 round trip)and I was shocked at the number of motorhomes and 5th Wheels that were going across.

We didn't take our rig thought, and found a cheap motel called Pauls Motor Inn that was about a mile from the ferry dock. It wasn't bad, the room had a fresh coat a paint (and someone forgot to remove the painters tape on one wall), the rugs weren't the cleanest and kids ran up and down the hallway until late at night, but still, the price was better than most, so we put up with the rest. It was just for sleeping anyway.

The Empress Hotel would have been a better choice if we were rich.$239 Canadian as opposed to $64. at Pauls. But look at that place. Isn't it awesome.

After dropping off our luggage we walked back down town and get directions to take the city bus out to Buschart Gardens. DD warned me that it might be to early for any flowers. OMG, the place was not only full of blooms and the sweet smells were delightful. Buschart is the most beautiful garden that I have ever been to and I have lived in Japan where gardens are fantastic. Warning -- it cost $25.00 to enter the place. A little on the pricy side I think, but then the dollar is way down so that made it worse.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Harmed by Kimkins? Share your Story on National TV

Harmed by Kimkins? Share your Story on National TV
Posted on January 15, 2008 by anonymous
Have you experienced medical problems due to Kimkins?
Do you have any medically documented health issues related to the
Kimkins Diet?
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• Nausea
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• Heartbeat palpitations
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• Mental changes - irritability, forgetfulness, confusion
• Bowel complications/symptoms of laxative abuse
as a result of your experience with the Kimkins Diet, and would like this exciting opportunity to share your experiences with the public, please contact within the next 48 hours.
No travel will be required, an ABC crew will come to you to discuss your experience.
If you know of anyone who fits the above-mentioned medical criteria, please share this contact information with them for this important opportunity.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Tree is down, company had gone home, job is finished

And its time to think about getting the old lady (RV) on the road

Red Cross called and asked if I could work Thursdays nights, 1000-0800 cause they had a volunteer quit and I told them that I would, but with all this rain and cold and wind that we have been having, I am seriously thinking about heading south so they better hurry and get someone else trained.

Today I'm on a diet again and I really have to get serious as I put on 5 lbs over the holidays eating so much holiday food. Also I need to start exercising.