Sunday, September 26, 2004

Vance heading home to Utah. Randy heading for preop at Providence Hospital. Posted by Hello

The brothers Brown ... in front of Randy's newest toy for fishing. Posted by Hello

Saturday, September 25, 2004

9:30 AM Saturday, September 25, 2004

I must report to you that my mind is willing but my body is giving out. Everything hurts! I'm threatening to stay in bed for 24 hours when our garage sale is over but it's an idle pledge because I have a podiatry appointment on Monday, October 4th. I've been so preoccupied I've missed two in a row so most likely my feet will mutiny on me if somehow, I manage to miss this one as well. My sister, Dixie (bless her heart) worries about me and has said she is going to remind me this time. Since she's ten years younger than I am, maybe her memory is better than mine; I hope so because obviously, I need help! ** Phil's cousin, Randy had a second kidney stone procedure yesterday and this time, it appears to have been successful. Phil drove him there and brought him home from the hospital and he was surprised and happy that Randy was in and out so quickly. Later, yesterday afternoon he joined us for dinner downtown then came over to the house for awhile afterward and seemed to be doing especially well, compared to his first go-round. ** A special "hello" to Margie in Tennessee ... a neat lady I've met via her weblog! Thanks for the kudos (right back atcha!) and I promise to be in touch personally once this next week is history. Until then, catch the latest in Backroad Chronicles!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Still more tools ... Posted by Hello

One of four tables full of tools! Posted by Hello

Stacks on top of stacks waiting to be sorted and priced. Posted by Hello

8:45 AM Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Very busy day on Tuesday! I had an early haircut appointment so dropped Phil off at the house to continue his work marking and sorting the growing pile of tools. After my cut, on the way back to the house I stopped and picked up my beautiful quilt from the cleaners. The seamstress hemmed it all the way around for me so that it might fit our queen size bed a little better but I haven't tried it yet to see if it worked. When I arrived back at the house, daughter, Violet and her husband, Fred were there to pick up a few family mementos she wanted. The little house they sold was closing that afternoon so they could also buy a few items they needed since they moved from 700 square feet into 1500 square feet. When they left, Phil made a speed run to take care of some banking business and pick up some chicken at the Colonels ... which got cold ... because just as we were ready to eat, two men from the prosecutor's office came by to interview us (again!) and give us copies of our taped statements (Obviously, they want to make sure we remember what we said.) taken by the arresting officer. They also told us the trial begins on Monday the 27th of September and should be finished by Tuesday. Since we are only five minutes from the courthouse, we will be able to be "on call" to testify rather than have to sit outside the courtroom for two days. Then, after eating our cold and very late lunch, our hairdresser, Mindy stopped by on her way home to pick up some lumber we had for sale and just after she left the phone rang and it was Gloria and Les asking us to join them at Denny's. Well, we certainly weren't hungry but if possible, we never pass up a chance to spend time with our dear friends (Les cooked a luscious salmon dinner for us the night before!) so we had coffee and dessert while they ate dinner. Then, since we hadn't accomplished much in the way of working on the garage sale all day ... we went back to the house and worked until 8 PM. ** Very nice, rain-free day Tuesday but it's pouring down rain again at this moment with more "showers" in the forecast. Gray and gloomy outside. ** After resisting the urge for a week and trying to stay warm with our little inadequate electric heater, we gave up and turned on the furnace in the motorhome after piling on the afghans and shivering from the cold all night the night before. Except for the problems caused from drinking coffee so late in the day (it was hard to get to sleep), we both slept a lot better with a little warmth in the rig. Like everything else in this motorhome, the furnace works perfectly ;-)! ** Phil is taking his cousin, Randy's brother, Vance to the airport at Sea Tac for his flight home to Utah this morning. Vance rode home with Randy to keep him company and "be there" in case Randy started having serious problems again. Fortunately, he didn't and has felt good enough to take his brother fishing a couple times in his new boat. He is going in for his preop today with another surgery scheduled for Friday. We're keeping our fingers crossed that this time, they can finish what they started last month.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

7:45 AM Saturday, September 18, 2004

Phil and I went to a family gathering at my sister, Dixie and her husband, Paul's beautiful house last night. Our precious cousin, Jonelle had flown up from her home in Denver to visit her mom, our beloved Aunt Elaine and sister, our treasured cousin, Shannon. They drove down to Dixie's along with Elaine's sister, our adored Aunt Bev and we enjoyed a mini-Ellison family reunion. We had a wonderful visit and a bountiful dinner prepared by Dixie and Paul. Along with a plethera of culinary goodies, Phil and I especially enjoyed the fried oysters ... Paul's specialty and one of our favorite foods. Dixie's children, her exceptional daughter, Tammy and her special (and only) son, Shane along with his lady, Wendy and her youngster, Logan joined us. It was nearly midnight when we got home so I'm a little groggy this morning although we only had about 10 miles to drive. Our family had to drive back to SeaTac, Puyallup and Seattle! Everyone knows my favorite pastime is visiting with my kinfolk, so we really appreciate the fact that they braved the stormy weather and traffic to come and spend some time with us! Hopefully, their trip home was uneventful. I plan to respond in kind once the work on our house is finished and it is on the market. At that point, (it says here in fine print) we'll have plenty of time to spend with family without feeling guilty because we are neglecting our "to do" list. ** It continues to rain ... no break expected until next week.

Dixie's daughter and granddaughter, Tammy and Jessica 9-17-2004 Posted by Hello

Mini Ellison reunion, L-R: Elaine, Dixie Bev, Jonelle, Shannon and Joy 9-17-2004 Posted by Hello

Phil and Les setting up the motorhome Tuesday, 9-14-04 Posted by Hello

Friday, September 17, 2004

5:15 PM, Friday, September 17, 2004

Surprise! This morning I could see patches of blue sky and a hint of sunshine through the motorhome window ... first time in several days. We have been inundated with serious rain for quite some time (Like all of September!) and it has hampered our efforts to prepare for our garage sale. Even though we're setting up tables inside the house, in the living room and dining room, as well as in the garage there is so much to sell, we've borrowed a 10' X 20' tent for the driveway from Les. He and Phil set it up between intermittent downpours yesterday. He has two but could only loan us one because he set one up in their yard so the humans have a dry place to stand when Wookie and Zena (yes, they've been named) go outside. ** If you read the comment left by "anonymous" you will find it's Les being funny. As you know, we're actually set up and hooked up at his and Gloria's house. No harm done but we did trip a breaker yesterday because we only have 20 amp service here compared to the 30 amp we had in our driveway. So, we must be more aware about what else we turn on when our little electric heater is in use to get the chill off in the morning, especially the microwave ... it's a definite no-no. ** Here's a few pictures taken the night of Les's birthday party.

What a team! Posted by Hello

Looking pretty for the camera with Daddy Posted by Hello

Dueling digitals ... Posted by Hello

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Happy Birthday Les 2004 Posted by Hello

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

6:30 PM Tuesday, September 14, 2004

We have moved -- finished moving in our personal belongings; unhooked the utilities and the dial-up Internet connection; rolled up all the awnings; slid in the slideout and stowed all the potential projectiles. That process took about 45 minutes then we moseyed over to our friend's yard (AKA Les's RV Park ... ha!) about ten minutes away. We are now parked beside Gloria and Les's house about a mile from our house where we reversed the above; hooked up to Les's fiber optic, high speed Internet; slid out the slide; hooked up the utilities and we're as snug as a bug in a rug. Just in time I might add as I listen to the steady patter of pouring down rain on the roof that hopefully, will lull us to sleep, rather than keep us awake. Tonight will be our first night in our comfy queen size bed in our cozy "master bedroom" ... all 8' X 8' feet of it, or a compact 64 square feet! This should be an interesting adjustment since our master bedroom in the house was 18' X 25' or about 450 square feet. ** Phil rejoined (he had been a member years ago) the Loyal Order of Moose and he was initiated this past Saturday night. I was invited to come along and we enjoyed a wonderful meal after the swearing in ceremony, compliments of the ladies in charge of the kitchen. ** On Monday night we joined our friends, Millie, Andy, Sandy and Ray at Gloria and Les's house for his birthday celebration dinner (that Les cooked ;-). Andy provided magnificent two inch boneless pork chops that Les stuffed and baked! They were knock your socks off exceptional! Sandy, the master baker of the group baked two wonderful cherry pies and I put together an apple crisp for dessert. After dinner we all got our "puppy fixes" playing with Zena and Wookie who are about nine weeks old now. They started puppy school tonight in Olympia because Gloria and Les are determined to ultimately have two well-behaved dogs rather than bratty babies that think they are people ... but they are sooooo sweet and sooooo cute! It's going to be very difficult not to spoil them. ** Tomorrow we will return to the salt mine and get back to work preparing for the garage sale!

Saturday, September 11, 2004

9:45 AM Saturday, September 11, 2004

We've postponed the garage sale. The new date, October 1-2-3 is 99% carved in stone and baring a catastrophe, will not be changed. We've changed the date for several reasons: 1. (obviously) I will not be ready. 2. The weather forecast is for rain and more rain. 3. Phil will be initiated into the Moose Saturday, September 11th. 4. We've been invited to attend a birthday dinner for our friend, Les on Monday, September 13th. 5. Phil will be indoctrinated into the Elks on Wednesday, September 15th. And, on top of all that, we've been subpoenaed to testify in an assault trial we witnessed out the window of our motorhome a week after we parked in the driveway (two drunks arguing and one ran over the other with his pickup ... luckily, no life threatening injuries were sustained but there certainly could have been and we didn't know that at the time). Phil called the police and evidently, we are the only hope of the prosecution, because the officer we talked to told us if we didn't testify, the "perp" (I've been watching entirely too much TV ... HA!) will walk. However, they can't firm up on a trial date so we've had to call in every other day to see when they will need us. The latest we've been told is they are asking for a continuation because one of the arresting officers is unavailable at this time. I'm wondering why don't they subpoena him? We certainly didn't have a choice about whether we could be there or not! Oh well, I've read somewhere that the wheels of justice turn very slowly ... this I believe!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

9:45 AM Thursday, September 10, 2004

Not much to add to yesterdays note. Haven't even taken the time to snap some pictures but will do that soon. I really want to "chronicle" this house/garage/driveway/moving sale so I remember NEVER to get myself into this situation again. Several pickup loads have gone to the landfill and another one is piling up fast, not to mention our personal (city provided) dumpster, filled to the brim that has been picked up weekly. I hope I have the strength to pull this off ... at the end of each day, my 65 year old body is complaining louder and longer! I'm beginning to understand why I've put this monumental job on the back burner for so long. My darling daughters should be very grateful that we are taking care of this purging now instead of leaving it for them in the event of my demise! Of course, since I don't plan on checking out any time soon, I must resist the inherent urge to start "collecting" again ... JUST KIDDING!

7:00 PM Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Here's a picture for you. My nose is pressed to the grindstone; my head is down; I'm hunched over my plethora of precious genealogy files and other office related possessions ... until my back aches and my neck is stiff ... does that look like fun to you? You're right, it isn't! It's taken me six days but I've honed my genealogy files to fit inside four large trunks and hopefully, I've kept all the important stuff and managed to not throw away anything that can't be replaced. I've filled a half dozen 33 gallon garbage bags and nearly worn out the shredder. Our small downstairs bedroom that we've used for an office all these years is a shambles but there is light at the end of the tunnel. It has been arguably the hardest room in the house to sort and empty but the worst of it is over. I'm really tired and extremely frustrated with myself that I haven't taken care of this purging over the years as I went along instead of waiting until now to do it all. Even today, after finally going through the last box, I'm want to explain why I haven't found the time for this important job. No excuses, no reasons, no explanation ... it just didn't get done, and what a job it was! Phil has been working in the garage and making good headway pricing all the tools, paint, nails, (Enough to open a small hardware store!) and other various garage-type stuff, that we've been adding to and storing there for the past 20 years. He too is wondering how two people could accumulate so much stuff. Our future minimalistic life is looking better by the minute!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Two beautiful babies posing for their closeups! Posted by Hello

8:25 AM Sunday, September 5, 2004

Whew! The pressure is on ... just 12 days until our garage sale and only 24 days of work to get done in that length of time ;-)! I'm feeling the crunch as I painstakingly sort through my office ... I have priceless info and pictures filed in every nook and cranny. I've emptied and culled three double drawer file cabinets plus six folding file boxes. Only one, two drawer file cabinet left to sort through. Big job! About half of the family notebooks have found a spot on board the motorhome; the other half will be put in the genealogy trunks we'll carry in the back of the pickup. I haven't told you about the trunks. They are the rectangular shaped footlocker type trunks available at Wal*Mart. I bought them in like-new condition for half price at a garage sale our friends, Sandy and Ray held a month or so ago. Gloria told me about them and sure enough, they were perfect for my needs. I have four that fit snuggly in the bed of our Ford Ranger leaving plenty of room for other things. If truth be told, I could have used another four but that is just not going to happen so I've ruthlessly sorted and culled to fit the space I have. This purging is possible because of the Internet. Most of that information is readily available online today.** Les and Gloria have fed us dinner the past two nights! What a wonderful gift of time not to mention the delicious fare ~ chicken breasts night before last and perfectly baked Alaskan salmon last night. This delicious fish was hand delivered to Les by our friend, Greg (who lives in AK and caught it on July 4th). Delicious! ** The newest news at Gloria and Les's house is the addition of two adorable bundles of fur. Eight week old Shihtzu littermates, one male and one female, have joined the family. Neither have a name yet but I'm voting for "Wookie" for the male and "Princess Leah" for the little girl.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

1:00 PM Thursday, September 2, 2004

Sorry about the mix up in the days below ... Phil says I must have had a "senior moment." Ha! Ya think? I'm preoccupied with the weather news as the fury of "Frances" bears down on the East coast of Florida. My cousins (Eddie and his wife, Anita in Boynton Beach and his sister, Ginny and her husband, Wayne in Okeechobee) must be busy battening down the hatches or maybe even heading north for higher ground. Either way, my thoughts are with them and I hope they are able to stay safe and dry until this hurricane spins itself out. ** I'm still slugging away at paring down my worldly possessions to an acceptable size that will fit into our rolling home. I have few "personal" items (my computers and sewing machine are about it) but my precious pictures and genealogy files (that didn't find their way to CD as planned) are going to test my ingenuity as far as finding space for them. ** Our new glass for the entry windows (there's a picture of them below) arrived today so Phil is busy replacing the cracked and broken plastic ones ... can you believe they were temporary 30 years ago? ** Yesterday, Phil put together his special spaghetti sauce and let it simmer in the crock pot all afternoon so Gloria (who really loves Phil's recipe) and Les joined us for dinner. Our local grocery stores are still carrying some pretty good looking fruit so I put together another compote (we had it for dessert) as well as a tossed green salad and garlic bread. Gloria and I had our sauce over spaghetti squash that she brought down and we steamed in the microwave (yummy!) but the guys preferred regular spaghetti pasta. Just enough leftover for our dinner tonight. ** For two weeks I've been thinking about this special treat so today, using our new cast iron griddle, I cooked blueberry pancakes and link sausage for brunch. I ate mine with sugarfree syrup and they were delicious. Well, dear readers, ... time to get back to work! Thanks for stopping by!

9:00 AM Wednesday, September 1, 2004

We had a surprise visit Tuesday afternoon from my sister, Dixie and her husband Paul. It was Paul's first look at our new home on wheels. After taking a tour of the work Phil is doing in the house, we came out to the motorhome and Phil made some coffee (Paul is a coffee-holic). While we were chatting away, Randy dropped by to return my laptop and stayed for a "cup o' Joe". [Note: That's an old World War II, U.S. Army expression my dad often used - he thought it was funny because his name was Joe ... guess you had to be there ;-) ]. I haven't checked it yet (and we didn't talk too much about it) but I assume Randy found the reason for the glitches in Excel and I know he reinstalled Word but also had to uninstall the printer driver. In retrospect, I don't remember his explanation about why that was necessary; I'll have to ask next time I see him. Today, he has a followup visit with his urologist and if there isn't any continued or imminent treatment on the calendar, he's heading south for a family reunion in Utah where his parents and siblings live. Do you think these computers can behave themselves while he's gone? Time will tell ...

9:30 AM Sunday, August 29, 2004

Very productive day yesterday. My daughter, Violet came from Belfair and spent the afternoon helping us in her old bedroom. We boxed up all my craft and silk floral arrangement supplies, the last of the picture frames and framing equipment, tools and hardware stockpiles, gift wrapping inventory and family pictures, etc., plus the odds and ends stored (audio tapes, letters, and so on) for genealogy purposes. She helped Phil carry everything downstairs and now my job is to sort (remove the items I will keep) and categorize, then clean and price for the garage sale. After the room was 90 % empty, we could see the carpet really does need to be replaced and the walls need some repair and fresh paint so Phil will be busy for a few days sprucing up that room getting it ready for new carpet. Even though we were working hard, it was fun having her here all afternoon ... a very rare happening in her busy life. Violet and her husband, Fred have three boys still at home and have been working very hard to make a success of their new business -- "Fred's Car Lot" in Belfair, WA. Then, to add to the mix, they have just sold their home (too small) and will be moving into a much bigger place sometime in the next month.

8:30 AM Monday, August 30, 2004

My sister, Robin and her husband, Walt stopped by yesterday afternoon on their way out of town; they are returning to CA. They won't know when they will return to WA until they get to Pleasanton and reassess their calendar. They are the busiest retirees I know ... always on the go. They dropped off a welcome accumulation of plastic bags (for our garage sale) and Walt left the key to his pickup so we can use it to haul construction and cleanup debris to the landfill. ** I received an e-mail from my cousin, Sharon in Manchester, TN this morning. Prefacing a comprehensive explanation about the roller coaster of emotions that the parents of a handicapped child experience, it contained a note explaining what her daughter, Tina and son-in-law, Wayne have recently been told about their handsome baby boy, Jimmy. Her heartbreak is palpable as she wrote, " ... our beautiful Jimmy Levi suffers from Severe Visual Impairment (he is cortically blind). I just can't imagine Tina and Wayne's feelings." My heart goes out to Sharon and her family and again, I count my blessings in regard to the health of my immediate family, my own grandchildren and great granddaughter.

8:27 AM Saturday, August 28, 2004

They kept Randy overnight at St. Pete's. Technical difficulties ... standard procedure ... they won't let him go home until the plumbing works to their satisfaction. After not getting back to Shelton until 1:00 AM, Phil is heading back over this morning to see how things went during the night. Even though I don't anticipate going anywhere, he's driving Randy's truck so I'm not stranded. Having only one vehicle is a unique experience for us ... we've always had at least two (sometimes more) over the years. ** Last Wednesday I checked in with my internist and she looked over my blood sugar record for the prior three weeks. I was thrilled with the numbers because they're lower than they've been for years but she wants them even lower (like normal ... hmmmm?) so she tweeked my medication schedule just a little more. Also, my blood pressure had dropped to near PERFECT ;-) after creeping steadily upwards over the past year. Then, to top off all this good news ... I'd lost another seven pounds! That's a total of 15 pounds in two and a half months ... or since Phil retired! Could it be that in order to save money, we've reduced the amount of times we eat "out" and consequently, I've reduced my calorie, fat and carbohydrate intake and I'm losing weight ... duh ... ? None of this has been conscious, I'm certainly eating anything I please (minus regular sugar of course) but whatever I'm doing, it's working for me and I'm not complaining! ** We received a very positive e-mail from our dear friends, Ardella and Don in Arizona telling us that their business dealings are finally falling into place and it looks like they will soon be out from under all their long-term responsibilities and be able to really retire. With any luck, they will be on the road, heading north in the very near future! Yeah!! ** About September 15th, we will be moving our motorhome over to Les and Gloria's house (just across town, about a mile from here) where they will provide "full hookups" (including cable TV and high speed Internet for us ;-) from just before the garage sale until the house sells