Sunday, June 29, 2008

SUMMER TIME and the livin' is easy!

Shelton weather: The sun is shining brightly; as I start composing my blog, it is almost 60 degrees at 7:30 am and the forecast is for 90 degrees today. Yesterday the temp topped out higher than that and while Phil and I basked in the delicious warmth—all the WA natives were melting! The weather people are saying it will stay sunny through Wednesday then the dreaded rain comes back. We will enjoy this brief reminder of what summer is supposed to be (and of course, hope for more) while we can.

It has been a busy week. Phil has been working on his “to do” list for our Penny, going to some garage sales looking for e-bay treasures and even managed to get in a couple fishing trips with Les to local lakes. He also spent some time assisting him with projects that were accomplished a lot faster with two guys and that second set of muscles was much appreciated by our friend. Phil also had a doctor’s appointment for his yearly battery assessment of his Pacemaker. Everything checked out perfectly. He will go in for a physical in a few weeks complete with blood work.

My week was a lot less physical but I did have a visit to discuss my bi-yearly blood work (very good) and my medications (no changes) with my doctor. Now we both need eye exams and I have appointments for my yearly mammogram and a chest x-ray which I like to have every few years or so because I am an ex-smoker and my mother died much too young from lung cancer.

Sister update: Dixie came home from the nursing care facility on Monday. She is managing pretty well but the carpeting in her living room and bedroom makes it more difficult to maneuver the wheel chair. She will no doubt develop some more upper body strength as long as she has to use it. Of course, it may also encourage her to use her walker more which is a good thing. The more time she spends on her feet, I’m sure the sooner she will be able to walk unaided. Robin and Walt arrived in Olympia on Thursday for a few weeks in the northwest. No news yet on any continued treatment for her when she returns to California.

I am teaching myself how to insert a slide show into my blog and going back into my pictures to find some interesting albums to share with you. It is always a difficult task to choose just one or two pictures to include in my blog when I have so many good ones I would like to show you. This will solve that problem and I hope you like them as much as I enjoyed taking them!
Just girls ... family lunch gathering at Little Creek Casino on Saturday.

L-R: Robin, Beth, Joy, Bobbie, James (well actually he is not a girl-he is Violet's nephew and she baby sits), Violet, Tammy, Dixie and Helga.
Here are pictures Phil took at the Yuma car show. If you are a classic car lover, you will enjoy this ... if not ... just skip it. I promise I will not be offended.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Botanical Garden walk-about

This is an experiment ... if it works, enjoy!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Shelton weather: At 8:30 am it is up to 60 degrees. Six days of sunshine are in the forecast … with a couple days in the 70s and maybe even the low 80s. Okay! That’s more like it!

I actually wore shorts and sandals for the last two days and look forward to a few more days in the same wardrobe. So … I’ll keep you posted.

My thanks to the readers who left comments last week. Your thoughts are most welcome and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your interest in my blog and our great adventure. I wish there was some way to thank you individually (off line) but blogger protects your privacy and does not include your e-mail address when publishing your comment. That is of course, a good thing and leaves me with only the recourse of thanking you publicly so ... THANKS again!

Another busy week including lunch with daughter, Violet and her husband, Fred in Belfair; dinners with friends; dropping by to see daughter, Bobbie at work; Phil going to garage sales; doing laundry; having my blood drawn in preparation for my yearly doctor visit next week; Phil cooking another spectacular spaghetti dinner to serve at Gloria and Les’s house for dinner and a card party with my sister, Dixie and her husband, Paul.

That’s right! Dixie is feeling better every day and continues to get out and about in her wheel chair. It looks like if all goes as planned, she will be released from the nursing home on Monday. She is somewhat melancholy about leaving all of her newly gained friends that work at the facility but she is also excited about being at home during the remainder of her recuperation. Since I am the only non-card player in the group (I do not have a drop of competitive spirit in my soul and only play for the camaraderie), it was (as usual) a fun evening and Gloria was the big winner of the night.

Phil and Les managed a day out fishing this past Friday and as usual, they ‘knocked them dead” so to speak. These guys obviously figured out how to find the big ones and I have been teasing them about the lack of challenge. My thoughts are that they should learn how to fly fish but so far – they are not amenable to my ideas.

Phil and I rarely make plans more than a few weeks ahead at any one time but I will tell you a little secret. We are playing with the idea of heading to the eastern half of the USA next spring and although it is still only in the earliest stage of our travel planning, the seed has been planted. Of course, we will need clean bills of health from our doctors and will have to resign ourselves to missing a summer here in Shelton with our friends and family but if we decide it is “a go” I'm sure everything will fall into place. We have even had positive feedback from some family members saying they might join us for a week here and there. The high gas prices, the weather including heat waves, hail storms, floods, tornadoes and probably hurricanes all add a less than positive approach to our travels however, we refuse to let these negatives keep us from continuing our great adventure.

No pictures this week but here are some THOUGHTS FOR TODAY:

Three essentials to happiness in life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. (Nick Russell-Gypsy Journal-6-22-08)

There are two types of roads in our country. One is under construction and the other is under repair.

Yesterday is experience, tomorrow is hope, today is getting from one to the other.

May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.

A penny saved is a government oversight.

And my favorite:
A gossip is one who talks to you about others; a bore is one who talks to you about himself; and a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself.

The caption on this picture someone sent me:

Hey Mom! Come look at the kittens!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Weather report in Shelton, WA: THE SUN IS SHINING! It is 58 degrees with a forecast of 70 degrees today. It may not last but for the moment, I am elated …

Happy Father’s Day to all my male readers with progeny. I sincerely hope your offspring mark the day in some way so you know they have given you at the very least a moment’s thought. The younger generations, in spite of all the new-fangled “time saving” conveniences always seem to have so much on their plates these days it is often difficult for a parent to get a minute of their time. And, speaking of fathers … I would like to offer my condolences to his family and dedicate my blog today to Tim Russert who at only 58 years old passed away this past Friday. His “Meet the Press” was one of my regularly watched Sunday morning TV shows and I cannot imagine who will fill his shoes. Of course, I did not know the man although I felt as if I did after reading his books and watching him on television for so many years.

It has been a busy week and Phil and Les managed to get a full day of fishing in this past Thursday. They caught and released some really big ones in Lake Kokonee (lower Lake Cushman) and Phil says it is a very beautiful lake. He was gone all day and I drove to Olympia to do some shopping then met Gloria, my sister Dixie and her husband Paul for lunch at Little Creek Casino. Dixie who is getting more mobile every day had a dentist appointment that morning in Shelton and we enjoyed visiting in a more “ordinary” setting than the nursing home. She is doing very well and hopes to be able to go home in a couple more weeks. For now, she will continue to use a walker and wheel chair as she builds her strength toward the goal of walking unassisted.

On Friday, Phil outdid himself and stirred together probably the best pot of homemade, spaghetti meat sauce he has ever made! Gloria has a love affair going with Phil’s spaghetti and he is duty bound to prepare this treat for her ASAP when we arrive in Shelton. We had a glorious feast which included Gloria’s tossed green salad and roasted garlic ciabatta bread and Phil gave Gloria the leftover sauce to freeze for later. It seems all the best times together with family and friends revolve around food—is it any wonder this country has a problem with obesity? I know my mother equated love with food and visa versa so taking pleasure from her deliciously prepared meals was a big part of my formative years. At almost 70 years old, after a life of overeating, yo-yo dieting and gaining and losing thousands of pounds, I think I have finally discovered the solution which is of course, simply put … moderation … in all things especially food. I wish you luck my friends!

Yesterday was another special day filled with much loved family, food and fun. Phil and I drove to Puyallup to spend the day at our Aunt Elaine’s condo with her sister, Aunt Beverly, her son, Casey and daughter, Shannon. You will remember Elaine from our months in Yuma where she spends several months each winter. The ladies had prepared a special lunch for us which we all enjoyed. She is also suffering in the cold temperatures and we commiserated together! Chilly weather aside, it was a very special, mutual admiration filled day

Catching up on all the latest family news ... L-R: Beverly, Joy and Elaine.

At 82 years young, doesn't Aunt Elaine look wonderful?
Joy and her family doing what they love to do--getting together to catch up on all the news and share lots of hugs.

L-R: Beverly, Joy, Elaine and Shannon.

Phil and Joy at Aunt Elaine's house in Puyallup, WA.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


This Sunday morning, I’m working on my new Microsoft ergonomic keyboard. I like it but trust me, getting used to it will take some time. Another new keyboard, you ask? Yes, when you buy cheap (as I have—several times) the paint on the keys wears off quickly if you spend a lot of time writing. I am a “touch” typist but sometimes I use one finger to edit and have discovered my eyes need help to find what my fingers can find all by themselves … hence, the new keyboard. To add to my learning curve, I have a new 19 inch monitor that makes me feel like I’m looking through a magnifying glass because the Times Roman 12 is so big! I thought I needed new glasses but this monitor might change my mind. I do love it!

We are in Shelton and safely set up in our favorite RV Park—the back yard of friend’s Gloria and Lester’s house. My computer is wired into their high speed internet (Wow! What a rush) but poor Phil is still working his laptop off our router and satellite Internet which is much faster than dial up but still slower than high speed. With our best friends only a few steps away, we have full hookups and at the push of a button a choice of satellite or cable TV—what more can we ask? I’m glad you asked—we would really appreciate some sunshine (it is the 8th of June after all) but I am doing my best not to whine today—honest I am!

Shelton has some big pluses for us—many of them about food but of course, for Phil it means the chance to go fishing with his best pal for the elusive rainbow trout that abounds in the many lakes in Mason County. They both practice catch and release so the guys can spend the day and fish until their arms go numb or their stomachs growl for food—whichever comes first. Our children and grandchildren are all close enough to see often and we have already started to take advantage of that fact as you will see in the pictures below.
However, one of the unrivaled aspects of being here is eating our favorite foods. A small example is the freshly made onion rings at the Ming Tree, blueberry pancakes (served all day) at the Pine Tree, the lunch buffet at Little Creek Casino and broasted chicken and Jo’s (with their unprecedented dip) from Bob’s Tavern. When we travel we are always trying to find some place that can best them but so far, that has not happened. Of course, the clean air—washed by millions of gallons of rain water on a regular basis—makes for minimal dust and much less pollen which does not hurt our feelings in the least. We have both stopped sneezing and that is nice after a winter of dry, dusty air in the desert.

Penny the Pace received a clean bill of health in Albany. With only a lube, oil and filter plus new latches on the fridge and freezer our wallet took a much lighter hit than on our visits the past three years and we were on our way in 24 hours with big smiles on our faces. The mechanics at McKay’s Trucking and RV Repair told us she is in great shape for her age which was music to our ears. We knew it in our hearts but it is always nice to hear it from the experts. You rock Miss Penny and we love you!

Carly and Daddy buying tickets with the $20 her mom gave her to spend. It was burning a hole in her pocket!

Digging for treasure ... and finding it!

Carly on the left, bouncing in the moon walk.

A real show stopper ... watching the pretend Sumo wrestlers. They were a riot!

There she goes ... up the pretend rock wall.

Yikes! Stepping off into space ... WHAT FUN!

Dunking the teacher and the next picture shows you who did it and how ...

Carly hitting the bulls eye ... what an arm!

Carly Joan Jenessa and Julie Joy, Great granddaugher born: 1999 and Great grandmother born: 1939.

Maybe this darling child will be one of the next Americans to live in three centuries!

Carly the contortionist ...

Mother and daughter: Joy and Bobbie ...

Photo credit goes to her granddaughter and my great granddaughter, Carly.

Bobbie Jeanne, my pretty baby girl.

Phil used up some stale bread feeding the small flock of ducks that are spending some time in the RV park. There seemed to be many males and only one female. They were all chasing her.

I could just hear her saying: so many men ... so little time! ;-)

Our pretty Penny the Pace ready to leave the Osprey Point RV Park in Lakeside, Oregon.

I will never understand why most of the interior sites face away from the water. We had a great view of the lake out the rear bedroom window and a better view of the bathrooms out the front window.

Was the park designed for only 5ers? Go figure!

Julie Joy's new toys. Aren't they pretty?

I have a hard time remembering it is still the same computer ... oh well, it is only two years old ... maybe next year ;-)

Sunday, June 01, 2008


It is raining. Misting is a better word I suppose but whatever you call it … it is wet and the sort of weather I remember well in the northwest. This is the reason we travel south for most of the year—to escape the cold and sogginess. It is the first of June and still no sign of summer up in this corner of the USA. I need to dig out my cold weather clothes but oh yes, I forgot … I no longer have any! Tomorrow we travel inland from the coast. Maybe the weather will improve and yes, I’d like a little cheese with my whine!

We have had a busy week and took hundreds of digital photos. I wish I could share them all with you but I think it would be a long day at the rate Blogger loads my pictures. The panoramas along Highway 101 in California and Highway 1 as well as the coastal country of Oregon are filled with unsurpassed ocean vistas. When the sun is shining it takes your breath away and it seems you can see all the way to Hawaii! However, I must say it is a great place to visit but I would not want to live here. Not having researched the number of sunny days per year for the northwest coast, I cannot prove it but I would wager they are few and far between. No longer this Washington girl’s cup of tea—but here we are and here we will be—for several months at the very least. We can hear the woods and the rain calling … it is saying, welcome back! Brrrrr!

The Oregon coast on a cloudy day.

Our neighbor couple here at Osprey Point RV Resort in Lakeside, Oregon.

They were waiting patiently for Phil to tear up some stale bread to feed them some breakfast.

Just south of Ft. Bragg on CA Highway 1, the garden is 47 acres of oceanfront gardens, forests, streams, fern canyons and bluffs. The rhododendrons were in glorious full bloom and the homemade ice cream at the snack stand was delicious.

Phil and Joy on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean. This is at the half way point on the one mile hike throught the gardens. it was a beautiful walk.

On my list of THINGS TO DO BEFORE I DIE, we stopped and went through the Trees of Mystery.

The gold bears on the modern Highway 101 bridge across the Klamath River.

Destroyed in a flood in 1964, this memorial to the Douglas Memorial Bridge is located a couple miles downstream from the new bridge on the old Redwood Highway. In the Army at the time, Phil was there for a couple weeks but his company was sent down from Fort Lewis in Washington and stayed longer to build a ferry that would accomodate the traffic until a new bridge could be constructed.

We found the bears thanks to a CA State Trooper parked beside the new bridge a couple miles up the river. He took the time to tell us how to find the memorial on the old highway.

This is a photo taken in Klamath, CA on the Douglas Memorial Bridge built in 1924. The lady perched on top by the cement bear is my mother, Violet and the picture was taken 73 years ago.