Sunday, June 27, 2010


The money has changed hands—we are homeowners again … not landowners but homeowners just the same and the work has begun. It seems a bit strange after being footloose and fancy free for six years, but, “strange” in a good way. All of a sudden, we have responsibilities again … monthly bills to pay (space rent, electricity and homeowner’s insurance) not to mention a yearly property owner’s tax (fortunately, on a trailer as old as this one that amount is minimal). We have paid these same bills during the past six years but it was our predilection. We didn’t have to—which is the difference. Penny the Pace is 100% self contained and we always had the choice to camp out in the boonies (that’s why it is called boon docking) instead of in an RV park but that rarely happened. The older we get, the more we appreciate our creature comforts.

Phil had three doctor appointments this past week! The first one was at the cardiology department for a battery check on his pacemaker. Since this one has only been aboard for about two years, it is still registering a strong signal. However, after discussing his snoring issues (which I’m not sure how or why a cardiologist is involved at this point) it was decided that Phil should have a sleep test to see if he has sleep apnea or if his breathing difficulty during sleep is caused by something else. That consultation appointment was the next day and he has been scheduled to come back and learn how to use the machine that will do the testing. That done, his test will be performed at home which Medicare now approves. They have been doing it at home for years through private insurers and Medicare finally got on the bandwagon. His final appointment for the week was with his ophthalmologist and although his eyes haven’t really changed much there is an issue with his pressure. He will return for more testing next Friday. He had this problem before and it was corrected but it seems the condition has returned.

We have been working every day on our new home base. Lots of pruning shaped up the overgrown camellia and rhododendron as well as a small lilac bush that had become rangy and overgrown with suckers. We had the lawn mowed and have begun work inside getting ready to paint. Phil has also been working on the shed, cleaning it out and made a dump run with all the garbage and made a trip to the recyclers with a truck full of the pruning from the shrubbery. I have been sorting and boxing up our garage sale and auction purchases so we know where each box belongs when it is time to unpack.

Our darling Carly will join us tomorrow to go to a few garage sales and then spend the night. She leaves with her family on Friday for eleven days of vacation into Montana. Last night, we met my sister, Robin, her husband, Walt along with our beautiful niece, Tammy and her husband, Steve for a lovely dinner and visit at one of Olympia’s finest seafood restaurants on the waterfront. Robin and Walt will begin their trek south back to California on Monday after spending nearly three weeks spoiling their grandson, Max and granddaughter, Sophia—two very great kids that are growing up fast!

Since we are off the road for a while, I am especially appreciative and grateful to all of my readers who are still checking in to see what’s happening in our world!
Until next time ...

Camelia ... before.

Rhododendron ... before.

A truck load of shrubbery trimmings waiting to go to the recycler.

And after ...

Dinner with my family at Anthony's Restaurant in Olympia, WA. Food was good and the service was excellent!
L-R: Phil, Joy, Steve, Tammy, Walt and Robin.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


We are trying very hard to remember the quote above attributed to Ben Franklin but another week has gone by without closure on our new home base. And, it seems like we’ve been going at a dead run but not accomplishing much! The good news is that we managed to completely furnish our new home and had a great time doing it for very little money due to freebies from friends and family along with garage sales and an auction! We still haven’t been able to transfer the title due to a delay on the part of the seller but we are hoping to close the deal early this next week. We are both ready to get to work but Phil is wary of putting any sweat equity into the place until it is actually in our name and of course, he is right. However, it is torture not to be able to start getting the things that need to be done marked off the list.

Last Sunday we spent an enjoyable afternoon with my youngest daughter, Bobbie, her friend, Benny and her son, Joe. Phil cooked dinner for all at her house making his famous chicken enchiladas, Spanish rice and refried beans. They were delicious … as usual. The following Tuesday, my mammogram (along with a retake a few days later) and bone density scan were taken care of and now we wait (it seems we’re always waiting for something) for the results.

On Wednesday, we finally connected with our great granddaughter, Carly who will be 11 in August. Her mom dropped her off to spend the day and after going out to breakfast with our friends, Ray and Sandy we went to Rocks n’ Rhinestones where Carly became enamored with the whole process of searching for, cutting and polishing rocks. Les gave her a short tutorial about the rocks she picked out to take home and we bought her a couple books for beginners. Then we spent several hours in the afternoon in Olympia with my sister, Robin and her husband, Walt. They joined us for Linner at Sheri’s Restaurant but since it was too early for their dinner, they had a snack and while we ate, we enjoyed a good visit and they were happy to get to see Carly.

The next day, Carly came back and spent the night with us then we took her garage saling the next morning starting at 8 AM and continuing until after 3 PM. Of course, we took several breaks … once for breakfast, twice to unload our purchases at our (soon to be) new home base, once for another stop at the rock shop and once for Linner. At one sale in Union, WA (a small town on Hood Canal just north of Shelton) we ran into Tim and Shari, the folks we bought Penny the Pace from back in 2004. Shari told me she has been keeping track of us on the blog so knew we were back in the Northwest but never dreamed we would connect in such a serendipitous way. What a pleasant surprise and it was really good to see them.

When we delivered Carly back to her mother’s work in late afternoon, she had many bags of garage sale bargains along with more rocks. With lots of hugs and kisses all around, we promised to see her again real soon. Wired with all the energy that comes with being young, she was still rearing to go but Phil and I were pretty pooped and more than ready to kick back and take it easy but we still had an auction to attend. We loved having her with us but it was a reminder that usually in the big picture, having children is left to young people. Saturday morning, in spite of heavy rain that became intermittent mid-morning, we managed to check out many “Saturday Only” sales and found just about everything we still needed. Very productive weekend!

As always, I thank you so much for stopping by!

Until next time,

Carly is here! Only half awake and rubbing sleep out of her eyes while we say hello and goodbye to her mom ...
We haven't seen her except in pictures for 21 months and she has done some growing!

National Guard paratroopers practicing jumping out of a helicopter at the Shelton airport.
The airport is just across the road from our new mobile home.

Alway looking for adventure, here is our Carly climbing the rock wall behind my sister's motel in Olympia.

Carly weighing one of the rocks she thought was very pretty.

One small part on a very large flock of chickens we found at one of our garage sale stops.
The owner sells organic eggs from range fed beauties and has several hundred laying hens.
They were gorgeous!

Candid shot of Joy getting a baby chicken fix, up close and personal with a young pullet in the nursery.

A beautiful Dogwood Tree, perfectly pruned on the hospital lawn.
In full bloom and gorgeous ...

Up close to one of the hundreds of blooms.

Turning pink as the petals fade and die.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


You cannot imagine the whirlwind of activity that has been surrounding us this past week. All I can say is thank goodness I’m up to it … a year ago it would have been more than I could handle! This summer I am actually looking forward to each day with great enthusiasm and best if all, without anxiety. This is occurring partly because of my anti-anxiety medication for sure, but mostly because blood is flowing without restriction through my new arteries for the first time in a very long time. It wasn’t easy but Phil and Lester managed to squeeze out some personal time for a day of fishing and caught lots of fish, which of course, makes it a perfect day.

The appointment with my eye surgeon went well and I am scheduled to have the cataract removed from my left eye and my new lens implanted on 14 July. If all goes as planned, my right eye will be done about three weeks later. My cataracts have grown so large, the doctor told me I will be thrilled with the results and I can hardly wait!

Our next adventure may come as a surprise to many (it did to us) but last week, we found a small, older 2-bedroom, singlewide mobile home for sale in the 55+ mobile home park here in Shelton and we decided to try and buy it. We made a ridiculously low offer and the seller responded with a counter offer of an additional $500 and we had a deal. It needs much TLC including paint, appliances, cupboards and a bathroom renovation but overall it is in fairly good shape for its age. We may discover we are wrong but Phil and I believe we are up for the challenge. When the work is finished, and we are able to move in, we should have a comfortable and cozy home base when we come back to WA in the summer time. I’ll keep you all updated as we get to work, mark off the “to do” list and the projects get done.

We watched with pride on Friday night as our grandson, Jeremy graduated from high school with his class of 2010 in the Tacoma Dome. We took the family out to dinner at the Olive Garden afterward and had a great meal and great service. Jeremy’s 5-year-old little sister, our precocious granddaughter, Brooke captured the heart of our server who then catered to her every whim. We didn’t get back to Penny the Pace until after midnight happy but exhausted since staying up that late is a rarity in our lives lately.

Sister, Robin and her husband Walt arrived from California last Thursday night. They drove up and her daughter, Julie and SIL, Doug flew up. They have come for Robin’s granddaughter, Sophia Rose’s band concert (Sophie plays the trumpet) and ballet recital, which is today. Even though we spent two weeks with them last month it was wonderful to visit with them and have dinner together on Saturday afternoon. After eating, we went to Arne and Beth’s home (Sophie’s parents) to visit with the family for an hour or so before heading home to settle in for the night.

We have more doctor appointments coming up in the next week or so and hope the results continue to be positive. Thank you all for stopping by!

Until next time …

This beautiful trout was one of Phil's catches. He is still alive and about to get dropped back in the lake after his close up :)

Les removing the hook in this fortunate trout ... it will be released to swim a few more days ... longer if he's lucky!

This is the good side ... LOL!
Beautiful Rhodie is ours ...

Our new home base in Shelton, WA.
It needs lots of work but we are ready!
That's a Magnolia shrub on the right ...

The graduate, Jeremy ... front left.

Phil with his second oldest son (one of four) Michael and his family after graduation.
L-R: Ray, Mari, Mike and Brooke, Jeremy and Phil.

Happy patrons at Olive Garden ...
L-R: Oldest son Ray, next oldest-the graduate-Jeremy, proud dad, Michael, adorable baby sister, Brooke holding up the dessert menu, Mom,-Mari, Grandma Joy and proud grandpa, Phil.

This note came with the bill. Did I tell you we had good service?
The server handing out these cards is a brilliant touch by Olive Garden management. We were impressed.

Sunday, June 06, 2010


It has been a joyous and fun-filled week here in our little world up in Shelton, WA. Visits with old friends and family have filled out days and nights. Phil and I vowed to not complain about the weather while we are here this year and so far we’re doing pretty good. It has been difficult with the continual rain since our arrival but there have been some fairly nice breaks in between showers. The sun feels good when it comes out and gives us hope that summer is coming soon to the northwest.

Phil has managed to get a few items checked off his “to do” list and we found an afternoon to get our laundry caught up. Phil also gave Penny the Pace’s vinyl floors a good wash and wax before putting down the clean throw rugs. I managed to clear out some more clothing from of my closet to donate to the thrift store and found three pair of brand new shoes in my size at garage sales at bargain prices.

The thrill of the week (and the “Good Thing” I mentioned in the title) for us happened when my beautiful granddaughter, Megan came north unexpectedly from Longview, WA and brought her baby boy, our GREAT grandson, Sean-Michael Liam to meet his Nana and Papa for the first time. He is 19 months old and all I can say is that I am in love! He is absolutely adorable and so full of personality that has twisted this great grandma’s heart around his little fingers. What a wonderful child and I am so grateful that (with luck) I may live long enough to see him grow up now that my heart problems have been addressed. Sean-Michael is our number two great grandchild—the other being Carly Jenessa Joan who lives in Shelton and will be 11-years old in August. We haven’t caught up to her yet but that will happen very soon.

Last Wednesday evening we went to an estate sale auction in Olympia with Gloria and Les. It was fun but with very high-end items way above our budget. We called it an educational seminar with the star of the show being a huge and very valuable doll collection. Wow! Who knew? One doll went for $500.00 and dozens sold for over $200.00. Phil said he was sure glad I didn’t collect dolls … LOL

Doctor appointments brought my health records up to date at my local eye care professional and I have an appointment next week for a consultation with the eye surgeon to discuss my cataract surgery that has been postponed while we were on our 21-month odyssey. I also went to see my primary care provider. She was amazed at how well I was doing after having open-heart surgery such a short time ago, and I have orders for a mammogram, blood work and bone density scan along with a referral to see the cardiologist of my choice in a week or so for follow up after my surgery.

Friday and Saturday we were up early and hot on the trail of the treasures we knew awaited us at all the garage and yard sales in the area. This time we actually found something that gave Phil the “find of the week award.” Inside a small wooden box he bought for .50 cents, he found some bits and pieces of tarnished jewelry, which included a pair of Black Hills Gold earrings that our friend, Gloria who is a jewelry expert valued at around $200-$250! One was broken but Phil fixed it for me and I was thrilled. They have been happily added to my jewelry collection. Saturday after running down garage sales all morning, we went downtown to Gloria and Les’s store, Rocks n’ Rhinestones and watched the Forest Festival Parade, the annual Mason County celebration for the past 65 years of the logging industry and forestry products that have been the cornerstone of the economy here in Shelton. My older daughter, Violet was walking in the parade this year to support one of her friends who is running for senate in the next election.

After a quick hello-goodbye and a hug from her, Phil and I headed south for Longview for another visit with our (he is Violet's first grandchild) delightful and precocious new GREAT grandson, Sean-Michael (and his parents too of course … :). We met at Sizzlers for a leisurely Linner for us and lunch for them. Lots of picture taking then we followed them home for another hour or so of hugs and kisses from that adorable little boy. It had been a long day for me and I was fading fast by the time we headed home and I actually fell asleep for quick nap as we sped north on Interstate 5. Of course, that is what freeways always do to me … put me to sleep! I am definitely a “Backroad” gal!

Another busy week has ended and again, I thank you all for stopping by!

Until next time …

Gloria, Les, Phil and I went out to Linner in Allyn, WA at the Mexican restaurant, 2 Margaritas.
It was a cold, rainy day but that hazy water is beautiful (when sunny) Case Inlet (south Puget Sound) across the road to the left.

This is a "Mexican Pizza." My favorite menu choice but I've never found it anywhere else in the country except Washington state.
It had been a long dry spell, and it was as good as I remembered. There was enough for three meals for me.

Lester's Taco Salad ... he said it was very good.

Gloria's beans, rice and cheese ...
She loves this combo and this order was so huge, she brought half of it home

Les, Gloria, Joy and Phil ... enjoying some yummy Mexican food!

Inside the Olympia, WA Cabela's hunting, fishing, etc. store.
Phil and Les love this place and could browse for hours. Gloria and I sat in their comfy chairs on the mezzanine and visited.

Family portrait of Joy's granddaughter, Megan -- her husband, Joshua and their son, Joy and Phil's GREAT grandson, Sean-Michael Liam.

Joy's much loved granddaughter, Megan and her son, my GREAT grandson Sean-Michael Liam arrive to meet and visit with Nana and Papa for the first time!
He is a bit overwhelmed with all the ooohing and aaahing going on ...

Sean-Michael getting his jammies on ...

Darling child ... still being shy around his Nana and Papa.

Nana and Mommy Megan watching as
Sean-Michael Liam makes us all laugh ...
he is a real entertainer!

One of the cute pair of shoes I found (for$2.00!!!) at one of Friday's garage sales.
Brand new!

Here is Phil ... clowning around before the parade!

This is what the whole shindig is all about.
Now that is a fine load of logs!

Mason County Forest Festival Royal Court.

We finally spotted her ... looking good behind her Foster Grants!
My lovely daughter, Violet.

Here comes my beautiful girl to give me a big hug!

Joy and daughter, Violet catching a quick minute together before she rushes to catch up with her group marching ahead ...

At Sizzler for Linner ...
Mommy Megan, Sean-Michael and proud Daddy, Joshua.

Megan, Sean-Michael and Nana.
Can you see the family resemblance? Of course you can ... :)
The first, third and fourth generation of this little guys family tree.

I know you think I'm biased ... but is this child not adorable?
Okay, okay ... I admit ... maybe a little ...