Friday, June 23, 2006

Mother/Grandmother Joy so happy to be surrounded by grandson Joe, granddaughter Sara and daughter (their Mom) Bobbie. I haven't seen Joe since October 2004! Posted by Picasa
Sara listens with rapt attention to her big brother, Joe's latest adventure while Grandma and Mom look on. Posted by Picasa
Joe, Sara and Bobbie at our "house" after dinner.  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 22, 2006

3:50 PM Thursday June 22, 2006

How do we pick our next overnight park?

Some people choose their next stop by the location of one of their member parks when they are traveling down the highway. Our method is different … Phil and I pick our RV parks using three criterions: sites available that are open to the southern sky, travel distance and our preferred destination. We belong to many camping clubs including: Coast to Coast; Resort Parks International; Adventure Outdoor Resorts; Good Sam Club; Happy Camper’s ½ Price Club; KOA and Passport America. Also, we might receive 10% off because we are AAA members and sometimes just because we’re “seniors”, we get a discount. Around 200 miles is the preferred total each day we travel but sometimes we drive a little less—and sometimes a little more.

Even with all our camping affiliations, we often pay full price when no member parks or discounts are available because we travel where we want to go in order to observe and experience the things that are important to us. We have had some fantastic surprises and some great disappointment but one of the biggest benefits of living fulltime in our own “wheel estate” is being able to move on if the neighborhood doesn’t suit us. Often we decide to stay longer when we really like a park and we always have the option to move across town or farther down the road when we don’t.

When deciding what park we would like to stay in, the Internet is our research tool of choice but we also have many books with RV Park listings in our library in case we can’t get a satellite hookup. We rarely call ahead for reservations until the day we travel and sometimes we wait and call when we are only an hour or two away. Only once in almost two years have we been told there is no space available—then on second thought, they found a place for us that we felt was actually better (more breathing room) than the standard sites. Because our travel days are usually very short and we stop rolling early in the afternoon we aren’t too concerned. A worst case scenario would be a night in the Wal*Mart parking lot or a few hours of sleep at a rest stop—neither of which has ever been necessary in 17 months of fulltiming.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Here is an picture for my granddaughter Sara's scrapbook after taking a softball in the mouth at her slow pitch game on Thursday night. Phil and I drove Sara to Olympia on Friday where the orthodontist put braces on her badly bent front teeth. We will not know for some time whether the teeth will survive the trauma. She was playing catcher without a face mask and took a foul ball directly in her face. Needless to say, she will most likely never do that again. Posted by Picasa

12:47 PM Monday June 19, 2006

Wonderful Father’s Day BBQ at Bobbie and Virgil’s house …

This past Sunday may have been a BBQ dinner to celebrate Father’s Day but it was also a great day for this mom and grandmother as well!

My daughter, Bobbie and her partner, Virgil hosted a picnic at their new home north of Shelton and a great time was had by all—no one more than me. We enjoyed barbequed chicken with all the trimmings and everything was delicious. Bobbie invited her granddaughter, Carly with her mom, Jenn and her little sister, Lilly to come out and join us for dinner. It was wonderful to see Jenn again after being out of touch for more than a year. She looks great and continues to be gainfully employed at the same company where she has worked for several years. Being a single mom, keeping her head above water is tough for Jenn but it was wonderful to find out she is happy and still fighting the good fight! I remember well when I was alone with two little kids (many, many years ago) and my heart is full of praise and respect for her.

Virgil and Bobbie have been working very hard to develop and expand the grounds around their new house and the effort is paying off. Very soon it will look like a well-groomed park. Because he is a self-employed contractor, a large workshop for Virgil will be constructed in the near future. RV hookups are also in the plan so we can park Penny on their property next summer. Inside projects are “on hold” until winter but nonetheless, they have created a cozy and comfortable home that is a pleasure to visit. I am very proud of them!
Bobbie, Joy and Jenn doing behind the scenes preparation for the BBQ picnic. Posted by Picasa
My beautiful granddaughter, Sara (Bobbie's youngest) looking much better after her baseball injury on Friday. Posted by Picasa
Carly and Nana coming back from checking out the vegetable garden Carly helped her "little Grandma" plant last weekend. Posted by Picasa
L to R: Virgil, Lilly, Carly and Virgil's daughter, April putting the new badminton set together. Posted by Picasa
Jenn and Carly initiating the new play equipment in the back yard. Posted by Picasa
Jenn catching a nap and Joy. Posted by Picasa
Lilly and Carly playing on the bulldozer that Virgil is using to clear the land around the house. Posted by Picasa
"Grandpa" Virgil, Carly and "Little Grandma", Bobbie. Posted by Picasa
L to R: Virgil's dad, Bill, Joy, Virgil's mom, Lil and April relaxing on the deck. Posted by Picasa
Nanook says "I know they're coming ... any minute now ..." Posted by Picasa
Lilly comes to join Nanook's vigil at the squirrel feeder. Posted by Picasa
Virgil's wonderful Labrador, Nanook and Lilly waiting patiently for the squirrels to appear at the feeder.  Posted by Picasa
Can you see the squirrel? Camouflage by nature, at it's best ... Posted by Picasa
Perfect example of hunger overcoming fear ... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

11:23 AM Wednesday June 14, 2006

We’ve been back in Shelton WA for one week now. The weather has been warm with some rain but mostly sunny with lots of clouds keeping the temperature around the low 70s to low 80s. The humidity was evident as we moved north beginning in Oregon but we acclimated quickly and have not felt the need to turn the dehumidifier back on since Medford.

A Black Tail doe and her two yearling babies just walked in front of Penny and went up into Gloria and Lester’s yard. I hope they stay away from the highway on the other side of the house. I tried to take a picture but the batteries in my camera are dead, Phil has my spares in his pocket and he’s gone to a doctor’s appointment in Olympia.

This past Sunday we spent the afternoon with my younger daughter, Bobbie and her granddaughter, (my great granddaughter ;-), Carly and yesterday we spent the afternoon with Violet, my oldest daughter and her family. My sister, Dixie is having a “welcome home” dinner at her house on Friday night. If everyone she invited shows up, we’ll be able to visit with more friends and family—that will be fun.

I worked out a few numbers I’d like to share with you. Penny the Pace traveled 11, 818 miles and we visited 40 states. We were away from Shelton for 386 days, which equates to 30.6 miles per day. Of course, we didn’t travel every day but my reports will be about averages, which makes for a more realistic accounting.

My great granddaughter, Carly and her "little Grandma" (AKA my daughter, Bobbie) at my delayed Mother's Day lunch celebrated at Denny's Restaurant in Shelton. In the 13 months since we've seen her, Carly has really grown up! She'll be seven in August. Posted by Picasa
Carly and Papa paying the bill for lunch with Little Grandma's money.  Posted by Picasa
Loading her "Grandma suitcase" into the truck; getting ready to go home from "Little Grandma's" house.  Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 11, 2006

10:05 AM Sunday June 11, 2006

The heavy fog that cloaked Shelton like a blanket of fleece at 6:30 AM when I got up this morning is burning off. I can see a hazy blue cast to the sky out my window giving me hope that Mother Nature will grant us some sunshine today. Ah Hah! A breakthrough—I can see a shadow across the street!

The Squaxin Indian Tribe has a hotel, casino, a couple restaurants, gas station and convenience store about six miles south of Shelton. While we’ve been away they have done extensive remodeling and revamping of their food service. The Little Creek Buffet Restaurant is bar none, the best we’ve come across all around the country! Seniors eat lunch for $6.00 (which includes your non-alcoholic beverage of choice) and the 40 feet of all you can eat buffet line includes an assortment of entrees like succulent pork roast, baron of beef, pot roast, swiss steak, short ribs, chicken several ways and then there is the seafood! Crab legs, steamer clams, boiled shrimp, fried shrimp and shrimp cocktail, baked salmon, fried oysters and for dinner they add prime rib to the mix! Of course, there is a huge salad bar and abundant choice of fresh fruit, rolls, a condiment bar and wide variety of deserts including sugar free choices. We fail to understand why the people of this area would eat any place else … we’ve been there twice in four days!

Yesterday was one of those days. After eating our fill, we drove to my niece’s home about half way between Shelton and Olympia. Her Mom (my sister, Dixie) along with Tammy, her friend Nikki (Nicky?) and another lady were having a garage sale. After hello hugs and kisses, Phil and I stayed around until the sale closed for the day and then along with Dixie’s husband Paul we all went out together for a bite to eat.

Recently married, Tammy's new husband, Steve is serving in the military, stationed in the Phillipines and she took us on a tour their new home that’s being built only a few minutes away from where she lives now. Here are some pictures …
My wonderful niece, Tammy at the front door of her new home being built in Olympia, WA Posted by Picasa
1000 square feet of covered porch front and back. Posted by Picasa
Three car garage with bathroom and bonus room upstairs. Posted by Picasa
Grand staircase to the second floor in the entry. Posted by Picasa