Sunday, August 29, 2004

Daughter, Violet came to help empty her teenage bedroom (now my craft and picture room) and spent the afternoon. Posted by Hello

Friday, August 27, 2004

Randy, our cousin, friend and computer guru with Joy in May, 2004 Posted by Hello

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I'm trying something new. I've been "publishing" on Friday and more often than not, it takes Blogger until Saturday to get it on the web. They must be really busy on that day so I'm going to try publishing on Thursday and see if that makes a difference. The rain is supposed to taper off starting today ... for a few days anyway. It rained cats and dogs yesterday evening (puppies and kittens too) but no precip in the air this morning. Last night, we shared a big pot of vegetable beef soup that had simmered in the crockpot all afternoon and lots of good conversation with our friends, Gloria and Les and it was delicious. Our house has been in such disarray for so long we haven't wanted to entertain so we're really pleased to have our new house on wheels so we can have friends over for dinner. That road has been one way for so long as they have invited us to dinner more times than we can count over the past year or so. At last, we settled on September 17-18-19 for the date of our sale. Even with Gloria and Les's eight tables up, we still needed more so on Tuesday afternoon we borrowed four more 8 ft. tables from our friends, Sandy and Ray and they have two more if we need them. Our nine tables have been presold to our friend, Andy and he'll take them after we're done with this sale. Twenty one tables plus the kitchen counter tops and twenty feet of built in work benches in the garage ought to do it ... if not, I guess we'll use the floor in the house! Phil took Randy to the doctor yesterday morning and as Phil says, "He's going to get blasted." (his kidney stone that is ;-) late Friday afternoon. Good luck Randy! Well, yesterday was my "payday" (my Social Security check was deposited) so we're off to Costco to buy some wonderful 'Kirkland" brand, canned albacore tuna fish (it's to die for), apples and whatever else looks good!

9:30 AM Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Rain, rain and more rain with more of the same on the way. It's pouring down right now but actually, we really needed to be wet down and I'm sure the firefighters working the forest fires on the east side of the Cascades are grateful. Yesterday, we started off our day cleaning up and washing windows, then went over to Les and Gloria's house to borrow their folding tables and a portable clothes rack (more about that later) for our fast approaching garage sale. While Phil and Les were loading them in the back of our truck about 3:30 PM Phil received a call from Randy. Poor guy has been living with a kidney stone for two weeks or longer trying to wait for treatment (beyond pain pills and lots of fluids) scheduled for September 12th but decided yesterday that he'd better go to the hospital. Phil dropped off the tables then left to pick up Randy and take him to the ER at St. Peter's Hospital in Olympia. After tests and some intermediate treatment, they sent him home at 11 PM. Phil will take him to a doctor's appointment on Wednesday and then back to the hospital for the scheduled removal of the kidney stone on Friday ... never a dull moment around here! Elaborating on the comment above about the tables, my wise friend, Gloria (the undisputed Queen of Garage Sales - both going and giving) suggested that we use the downstairs portion of our (nearly empty) house instead of tents in the driveway for display tables. At first, I didn't see the logic but within minutes, she had convinced me that it was not only logical but would make my preparation work so much easier. Much less time spent in the hot~cold~damp~whatever, garage on the cement floors and a much shorter distance to carry down all the items left upstairs that will be for sale. EXCELLENT IDEA Gloria! So, let it rain because our final, humongous sale will go on as scheduled ... rain or shine!

8:45 AM August 23, 2004

Last night I watched the International Home and Housewares Show 2004, filmed in Chicago for HGTV. Enough new fangled gadgets and innovative inventions to boggle the mind. I was spellbound ... ;-)

10 AM August 22, 2004

Phil and I had our second "dinner party" in the motorhome last night when we invited Gloria and Les over to break bread with us. During our shopping trip to Wal*Mart yesterday, we bought a new cast iron reversible grill/griddle to use on the propane BBQ outside (We LOVE our awning!) as well as inside on top the gas stove. Phil tried it out last night by cooking burger dips and buns on the BBQ and it worked great. I prepared the au jus, the salads (tossed green and fresh fruit ... after which we battled fruit flies all evening ... the little buggers rode in on the produce I guess) and we baked some frozen french fries in the big oven inside the house. I know, I know, that's cheating but we haven't mastered the art of lighting our propane oven without tearing it apart yet and besides, I didn't want the heat inside the rig. We're getting some significant rain around here again and although it was plenty warm (also humid), it's been plenty wet as well. This morning it's only 67 degrees inside the motorhome and it feels chilly. Les gave Phil and I an "Excel 101" lesson last night and hopefully, I retained enough to set up our budget sheets and traveling expense sheets in order to keep a running total that we can share with our readers on a monthly basis. I do know that being out of the house for everything but sleeping and showering has lowered our expenses somewhat already. Oh yes, by the way, Phil received his first retirement check ... finally! It has been 2 1/2 months since he retired ... so it was a good thing we still had a little money stashed after paying cash for the motorhome.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Sunflower bedroom upstairs ready for new carpeting. Posted by Hello

Kitchen ready for painting. Built in oven is on the left, Jennair cooktop is covered up by the newspaper in the middle of the bar (frig is in the dining area) and back door leads into the garage and outside to the motorhome. Posted by Hello

Looking toward the entry from the kitchen overtop of cleaning/construction mess. Refrigerator is temporarily in the dining area. Posted by Hello

Fireplace end of the living room. The "greenhouse" (glass enclosed front porch) is visible through window. Posted by Hello

Friday, August 20, 2004

Friday, August 20, 2004

Saturday, 8/14/04, was the kind of day that retirement is all about. Of course, Phil and I were full of good intentions, then early in the afternoon, just as we were settling down to go to work (you know ... that infamous four letter word), Gloria and Les stopped by on their way to a lunch to see if we wanted to join them. Well, we had eaten our breakfast/lunch at about 11:30 am so we really weren't hungry ... so ... Les went to work (there's that word again) helping Phil get the subfloor started while Gloria and I sat in the air-conditioned motorhome catching up on each other's latest happenings and newest plans for the near future. They delayed eating until Phil and I were ready for an early dinner and we all went to our local Denny's for a delicious and inexpensive meal. After eating, we came back to the motorhome where we enjoyed visiting for a couple hours then we had a little snack of cantaloupe and vanilla ice cream (for Les and Phil), just cantaloupe (for me) and sugar free Jello with Kool Whip (for Gloria who is on the L. A. Weight Loss Program), and, doing really well I might add.

What a wonderful day! What a wonderful life! We are retired ... we have time to do what has to be done ... we have no pressure unless we choose to impose it upon ourselves ... and we can change directions ~ plans ~ ideas ~ options ~ on a moments notice or even a whim, whichever the case may be. Life is good!

After writing about our perfect Saturday ... Sunday, August 15th was every bit as terrific and equally spontaneous. My precious aunts (my mother's sisters) two special ladies that I adore showed up at our house unannounced to see the progress of the renovation work Phil is doing and get the grand tour of our new home on wheels. After looking both over, we received their very welcome seal of approval then after visiting for an hour or so, we all decided to go to our local casino, called "Little Creek" on the Squaxin Reservation just ten miles south of town for a late lunch/early dinner. This establishment is very "Senior Friendly" (as are most native American casinos) with a 20% discount which we really appreciate. While we waited for our table (it's a very busy place) Phil took a stroll through the casino and found daughter, Bobbie playing the penny slots (he had seen her car in the parking garage) and invited her to join us. We had a great meal with non-stop visiting between bites and when Phil and I decided we'd better head for home we left my aunties in the care of Bobbie who was preparing to take them out on the floor to do a little gambling. I hope Luck was a Lady ... and they won!

We had received a call from Randy earlier so on the way home we stopped at his house and picked up the desktop computer with new hard drive installed. I also picked up the paperwork and the dead hard drive so we can return it for replacement on warranty for him. Again, he assured me that I can begin learning how to do some technical (to me) stuff while we are still in town so he can help me if I hit a glitch ... HA! Stay tuned ...

Soon after getting back to the house, Gloria and Les came by and Les pitched in (as usual) and helped Phil finish laying the subfloor so ... IT'S DONE! We celebrated by going downtown for a snack after which the guys went to Wal*Mart for worms 'cause they decided it was time for a fishing trip the next day on Monday. Note: Phil caught a beautiful trout (18" long--weighing about 3# ... see picture) and brought it home ... usually he catches and releases but this one was perfectly sized for a fish dinner.

On Monday evening, Les invited us to a tasty pork chop dinner followed by a couple hours of stimulating conversation about our favorite subject ... "How to survive as a senior citizen in the style we would like to become accustomed to." or "Will we outlive our money?" Always a lively discussion. Most of my adult life has involved being careful with my money but when you become a senior citizen, on a fixed income, watching your pennies becomes a full time job! The rest of our week was fairly uneventful with Phil working on the house every day and the two of us enjoying our evenings in the motorhome ... pretending we're out of here and on the road! One of my favorite quotes:
Sidhartha Gautama said, "Living is like boarding a ship that sails out into the ocean ... and sinks! The trick--is to enjoy the voyage."

Trouble on Blogger?

Today I'm scheduled to post my weeks worth of notes but I'm going to publish these few lines first to see if it prints properly on the website. If all looks okay, I'll go ahead ... if not, I'll wait until later or even tomorrow. Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Phil's big trout about to be dinner. August 16, 2004 Posted by Hello

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Surprise visit from Joy's two aunties ... Beverly from Seattle and Elaine from Puyallup on Sunday, August 15, 2004 Posted by Hello

Friday, August 13, 2004

Future fulltimers August 2004 Posted by Hello
It's Friday (the 13th yet ;-) and another week has slipped by at the speed light. Taking his "to do" list so seriously has even interferred with Phil's fishing ... it's been over three weeks since he has been able to wet a line ... sad to say. However, major progress has been made inside the house and this morning, the new subfloor material has been purchased at Home Depot in Olympia and hauled home to Shelton in brother-in-law, Walt's pickup. They arrived from CA the night before last and will board the cruise ship in Seattle this coming Sunday for a 7-day cruise to Alaska. They will join their friends, Lois and Harold who are taking this trip with family and friends to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their marriage.

Our dear friend, Gloria came to visit this morning while Phil was shopping and her husband, Les just called to volunteer his help unloading the truck. Phil says, Thank You Lester! Today is my volunteer day at Kitten Rescue so I'm off to get my kitten/cat fix for a couple hours this afternoon. I don't know how much longer I'll be able to do this but I'll continue as long as I can.

My list of accomplishments this past week isn't nearly as long as Phil's due to the hot weather and not feeling very well. But, I hope to do better this next week.

For those of you who requested a picture of "Joy and Phil" ... here it is. I finally got Phil to hold still long enough to get this shot.
I've been on the "puny" list yesterday and today. My diverticulosis is acting up so couple that with the heat and the past 48 hours haven't been very productive on my end. Yes, I know I shouldn't eat nuts but every so often, my will (won't?) power fails me and sometimes I get away with it. Other times (like now) I don't. It will be quite awhile before I "forget" my food restrictions again.
It's Sunday Morning, Phil has gone off to buy paint at Home Depot and the sun is shining again. The cloudy skies and heavy rain have run their course for now anyway. Forecast is for high 80s and low 90s through the rest of the week.

I have been meaning to tell you all about the new keyboard we bought for the laptop. Being full size keyboard trained, I was having a very difficult time using the laptop's key configuration. I'm sure it would be fine for two-fingered, hunt & peckers but for me, it was a pain in the patootie (you know that part of the anatomy that follows us everywhere). So whenever I used it (each time I've had trouble with the desk top), I plugged in a full size keyboard which overrode the built in but that caused another problem. It just wouldn't fit into my carrying bag, consequently, the primary reason for buying the laptop--portability--was lost. So, I've been cruising the web for months looking for a "folding" keyboard that I had heard was available "somewhere"! Well, I stumbled across it one day at a Sears website, of all places. "Not available in Sears stores ... Internet sales only", for only $29.95 plus shipping for a total of about $35, and it's wonderful. Made of soft plastic, it is full size and each key stands up just like a regular keyboard. The "feel" takes some getting used to and it is totally silent (it will be great for using in libraries) but the key placement is exactly like it's hard copy cousin. Made by "MICRO innovations" it is foldable, rollable, 100% waterproof, fits in my bag without a problem and I love it! If you're interested in taking a look, let me know and I'll send you a link to the website.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Overlooking downtown Shelton and Simpson Lumber Mill. Tip of Hammersly Inlet on the right. Olympic Mountain tops in the distance. Posted by Hello

Old growth slab welcome sign Posted by Hello

First week August 2004

They say, "It's not if but, when" regarding the demise of your hard drive. Well, six weeks into installation in my renovated desktop computer ... guess what? That's right ... out of the blue it up and died! It is covered by warranty but all I can think about is how relieved I am that I procrastinated reloading all my documents because I might have delayed saving any additions to disk or CD and lost a whole bunch of new entries. Thank goodness we have the laptop! We can still get on line, check e-mail and tend the website. The message here is to BACK UP your work. There just isn't any way to know when it will happen to you.
We've been getting some welcome rain the last few days. It has been alternating between warm and wet ... great weed growing weather. Haven't had to water for a week.
Our wonderful Pace Arrow is feeling more like home every day. Even as additional everyday needs are loaded and the storage space is starting to fill up, I find myself rearranging and rethinking whether this or that is really necessary. Kitchen gadgets are one of many collections I've amassed over the years. I LOVE them (Phil has nicknamed me the "gadget queen") and after analyzing and culling (for the garage sale) dozens I've never used, I still have filled three drawers in the motorhome. So, the next sorting must be without mercy or emotion. Any "might" or "maybe" I'll need it someday MUST go ... no exceptions. I will sooth my separation anxiety with the promise that if I EVER need it down the road, I will just go buy another one, although some are very difficult to find ... sigh ...!
Today is Friday and our cloudy skies have been raining buckets since early morning. All the plants, trees (and forest fires) are receiving the benefits of this incessant gully washer! Our coach and awnings are getting a much needed rinsing after being parked beside dusty 11th Street (the garage side of our house) for seven weeks. After a cursory examination, Phil didn't find any obvious signs of a leak ... hooray!
Here's a couple pictures of our town. Simpson, a subsidiary of Seattle-based Simpson Investment Co., monopolizes the waterfront except for a tiny yacht club along WA State Highway 3 on the edge of town and an even smaller city park across the inlet. Simpson Timber employs 450 at lumber facilities in Shelton, and Simpson Resource Co., an affiliate, employs 100 in Mason County. They are the envy of a large group of pleasure boat owners, with this prime salt water location.