Sunday, August 29, 2010


Hello dear friends and family from beautiful downtown Shelton, WA.
We have had very nice weather all week even though the weather prognosticators have screwed up the forecast nearly every day. They forecast showers and it is sunny and warm. They forecast sunny days and it pours down rain for an hour or so. That sort of unpredictable weather is very familiar to us after living in WA for so many years. The last showers at the mobile home park did not last long enough or come down hard enough to really test our recently repaired roof but even so, we watched closely and saw no sign of a leak. We will have to wait for a truly hard downpour to give it a real trial. I am hopeful we have solved the leaking problems and look forward to finding out for sure.

Phil picked up his A-pap on Monday and began his regime on Wednesday. The first night was rough and after about four hours, he took it off. The second night was easier for him and he wore it all night. Last night he slept so well, he wore it all night and didn’t get up until almost 9 AM. I also noticed that his side of the bed was hardly disturbed which meant he did not toss and turn all night like he has always done. I have also become aware that I am resting better and getting used to the slight hum of the machine. It kept me awake for several hours the first night and a couple hours in the early morning on Friday. Last night I barely heard it at all. Obviously, I am adjusting to the noise and tuning it out. I am fairly certain that this new way of sleeping will help both of us get a better nights rest. Apparently, there is a monitor that will tell the technicians how many hours Phil is using the machine. In order for Medicare to pay for it, he must use it a minimum of four hours a night for a minimum of 21 days during the next 90 days. So far, I am loving it … Phil is not so thrilled but bless his heart, he is giving it his best shot.

On Tuesday, Phil had a follow-up appointment with his ophthalmologist. He received the good news that his pressure was back down to 21 and 24 (normal is 20 or under) after being up to 26 and 28 so he has been given an A-ok for another six months before his next check up. I went to my regular ophthalmologist on Wednesday for my post-op checkup on my right eye. They put a close vision lens in during surgery and after two weeks of separation anxiety I actually went all day today without wearing my readers. I did not miss my glasses once and I am typing this blog without any eye wear at all. My vision is 20-100 now in that eye and I have 20-20 in my left eye. Yes!!! I will go back in a month to get a prescription for glasses IF I feel the need. Time will tell how that turns out.

Early in the week Phil brought grandson, Joe over to help him bring the washer-dryer combo into the bathroom. It was a VERY tight fit but with only a few scrapes on the wall they managed to put it in the nearly finished bathroom. Phil installed it and guess what? It would not work. The next day, we went to the appliance store where it was purchased. We had an “in house” one-year parts and labor warranty but we agreed to pay for a service call ($60) if they would come to our house to fix it and it would not have to be moved again. They have been there twice now and it still is not working. We told them it was the pump but after two tries with used pumps from their inventory, they have decided to order a new (and correct) one. Supposedly, it will be fixed early next week when the right part comes in.

We have been living in the middle of a good-size yard sale in Gloria and Les’s back yard the past two days. The last day is today and most everything will be half-price all day. It has been fun to help out and we haven’t got much accomplished at the trailer to speak of. The washer not working sort of took the wind out of our sails and once that is fixed we will get our momentum back! Back to the grindstone on Monday!

Thank you so much for stopping by!
Until, next time

There it goes through the door and taking a little paint off the wall in the process ...
Phil says it is an easy fix.

Almost done ...

In place in the bathroom, waiting to be hooked up ... I was so disappointed when it didn't work!

The sun shone ... the customer's came ... and so did the rain.
A deluge (showers were possible the forecast warned) closed the sale down on the first day at 3 PM! Tarps saved the merchandise for the next day.

Lots of neat "stuff" at Andy's garage (he built it for storage space) across the street from Gloria's house.

Phil and Ray working on Andy's cultivator ... trying to make it run.
No luck so it probably won't sell, even at half price today.

Pay here ... and pay they did!

Dolls and other dandy stuff ...

Working both sides of the street ... Phil in "garage sale heaven!"

Sitting in the middle of all the action, Penny the Pace is enjoying all the hustle and bustle!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


The comments I received last week regarding my new blog idea were few but the ones I did hear were 100% in favor of my continuing the blog as I have been doing. So … that is what I will do for a while longer. We continue to live in Penny the Pace and work almost daily on our renovation project at the trailer. I’m not exactly doing much in that department but Phil is working his tail off. I, on the other hand am spending my time getting ready for our big garage sale that will hopefully put a few greenbacks back in the kitty. Of course, all that cleaning, pricing and packing for transport is taking its toll on my body and I have been forced to face the fact that “The old gray mule ain’t what she used to be!” I feel fine and my recuperation from heart surgery appears to be moving along nicely. However, I will be celebrating my 71st birthday in November and my lifestyle has been fairly sedentary for the past six years. I keep hoping for a reversal of these tired body symptoms as time goes on but so far, not much luck. Thoughts that I will have all winter to rest keep me going!

Grandson, Joe finished the block retaining wall that encloses Penny’s parking place and also finished up the painting on the gutters and fascia board around the patio cover and carport at the trailer. He has done some wonderful work for us and we are very happy with the results. Who knew we had such a talented grandchild?

We picked up great granddaughter, Carly on Wednesday and she stayed with us for two nights and three days. Along with her dad, Joe we all went to Tacoma on Thursday and intended to take in the Children’s Museum of Tacoma but Carly decided it was geared more toward young kids (and after all she is 11 now) so we opted to go to Point Defiance Zoo for a few hours. We also took in the Tacoma Farmer’s Market and viewed some beautiful Puyallup Valley produce. We bought some cherries to snack on but knowing it would be hours before we got home, decided not to buy any produce this time through.

Before we headed for home, we decided to eat our Linner at Warthog’s BBQ in Fife, WA. Joe worked there when he lived in Tacoma and had been telling us for years how good the food is. He had a great time visiting with his old boss and some coworkers and as he had predicted, we had a great meal.

Neither Phil nor I had any doctor appointments this week and after returning Carly to her mother Friday afternoon we headed for Belfair and attended the auction. We filled up the truck and had a great time. We really enjoy going and as usual, brought home some great bargains. This coming week Phil has two doctor appointments and I have one so it will be a busy week. Next Saturday and the following Tuesday, Phil and I will work for Gloria and Les at Rock’s ‘n Rhinestones. They are taking a much-deserved mini-vacation over the Labor Day weekend but of course will combine pleasure with work and buy a few rocks on the travels. We know nothing about rocks but we will keep the doors open and let everyone know the experts will be back on Wednesday next week.

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time …

The block wall after the first day of work by grandson, Joe.

The bathtub surround is going in. Les will finish the electrical this coming week.
Our new bathroom is coming together fast now!

Our good little helper sanding the bathroom door for Papa.
How about that? An 11-year old female wood worker and she was loving it!

Joe's favorite part of the zoo ... the big aquarium.

The park is free ... the zoo is not!

Just pretend ...
What a great little actress ... don't you agree?

Carly with her new polar bear t-shirt sitting on the polar bear mother and cub wood carving.
The polar bears were not in their pond and there was no explantion on the glass???
Carly was very disappointed.

My favorites at the zoo ... the Meerkats! They are so cute ...

The two stars of the exhibits ...

Two special new arrivals at the zoo taking an afternoon nap with mom ...

Just two of the many stuffed animals displayed at the Warthog BBQ.

Many many vendors selling their wares at the Tacoma Farmer's Market

These were the cutest little cabbages. We all love cabbage and I'll be these are delicious.

Live entertainment everywhere.

Street musician looking mighty happy when Carly dropped money into his tip cup.

Old Flat Iron type apartment building in downtown Tacoma across from the Farmer's Market.

Joe hired Carly to carry the stones to his worksite. He paid her 50 cents per stone and she earned $20!
What a great worker!

Carly assisting Papa by painting the bathroom door.

Grandson, Joe finishing up the painting at our new home base trailer in Shelton, WA.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


For a travel blog, this blog is sorely lacking. For that I apologize but there is not much travel going on here except back and forth to Olympia (about 40 miles round-trip) for doctor appointments and out to the mobile home and back to Penny the Pace (about 7 miles round-trip) at night. Pretty boring stuff I have to admit. I’m thinking about starting a new blog with a link to it on Backroad Chronicles while we are off the road. The new blog could be about our adventures here in our old hometown (sort of what I have been doing in Backroad Chronicles since we arrived), showing our garage sale treasures, relating the auction fun and all the family and friends we interrelate with as the months go by. That way my readers that are looking for travel info can opt out until we are back on the road. By doing this, I can get out from under these guilt feelings about how I am disappointing some of my loyal followers out there on the road. Also, I might reduce my entries to two per month instead of every week. Let me know what you think, okay?

Our beautiful Caddy went into the shop this past Monday and received new front brakes; a LOF and a front end check up. She passed with flying colors and we were told her rear brakes are still very good. Next up is a front-end alignment and she should be good to go for the winter. I love this car more and more every day. In my humble opinion, there is no car like a Cadillac! Phil finally took the time to give her a good scrubbing and she looks better than ever.

On Wednesday, I had my second cataract surgery on my right eye. As I am typing this post, I am not wearing glasses and my close vision is getting better every day. On my post-op visit the next day, my doctor said everything looks great! I will go back in two weeks for an evaluation to find out if I need glasses and if so, get a prescription. He said most people just use their glasses for driving at night because they are mostly to even out the glare. I am having a bit of trepidation about giving up my 1.25 readers that I’ve had since the first surgery. I hope my confidence improves as time goes by and I can leave the house without them pretty soon.

My sister, Robin and bil, Walt arrived from California on Wednesday night. They came up to the trailer on Thursday to see the progress we have made first hand. With all the stacks of boxes, etc. still needing to be priced, filling up the place it is hard for others to imagine how it will look when we’re done but I have the picture in my mind. Trust me, it will be wonderful when it is finished. Robin and her son’s family went to Bremerton yesterday to witness her daughter-in-law, Beth’s sister, Linda graduate from nursing college. Walt had to head south to Portland to attend a celebration in his family. They will be leaving for eastern WA on Monday then heading home to Pleasanton, CA after visiting his brother and family.

We attended our great granddaughter’s 11th birthday party and BBQ on Saturday afternoon. It was a great party and her Mom, Jenn did a fabulous job putting it all together. After Carly opened her gifts, all the kids (and some of the adults) went down to the lake for boat rides and swimming. Phil walked down with them and took some pictures before we headed for home. Gloria and Les invited us up to their house to watch a video (Ghost Writer) and fed us a dish of Creamsicle ice cream for dessert. Yummy!

As always, I want to thank each and every one of you for stopping by! Be sure and let me know what you think about my new blog idea.

Until next time ...

Our beautiful girl in her new swimming suit opening her presents.

I think she liked what was inside the card ... no doubt a gift card or that green stuff kids like so much for their birthdays :)

Carly on the run off the dock ...

That splash was where she landed!
The camera wasn't fast enough to catch the girl flying through the air (shouting CANNONBALL!!) I'm sure ...

Sunday, August 08, 2010


As you all know by now, we have taken a temporary hiatus from full-time living and traveling across country in our RV here in Shelton for what will probably be about a year or longer. I won’t go into all the reasons why as most of that has been said already. We arrived in May 2010 and will most likely be here until late August or September 2011. Since we arrived, we have bought a mobile home in a senior park and are currently renovating and remodeling before we move in. During this time, we continue to be comfortably bedded down in Penny the Pace. She is parked at Gloria and Les’s house in downtown Shelton with all amenities. Phil and I feel like it is time to let everyone know how good they have been to us, graciously giving us space in their basement for temporary storage and supporting and encouraging our wild and crazy decision to buy this fixer-upper, which has extended our WA stopover for many months. We aren’t sure how long this adventure is going to take but since our hosts seem to be agreeable to our parking in their back yard for as long as we want—we are not in any hurry. We are working at a steady pace and doing things the way we want rather than making this a rush job. Thanks again to our dearest friends!

Last Sunday we worked on our mobile home all day. I had purchased eight porcelain dolls at the auction on Friday night. Our friend, Sandy missed this auction and specializes in dolls at her garage sales so we offered them to her. She told me, “You did good!” and in spite of my offer of just reimbursement for what they cost me, she bought them all making sure I made a profit. That was a nice surprise and even though it wasn’t what I expected, I am grateful for Sandy’s generosity. Thanks again, Sandy! I hope you make a ton of money on those dolls!

Phil finished the bathtub, shower and washer/dryer plumbing then we drove out to the house of a young couple we met at a garage sale that had given us a queen size spring and mattress a month or so ago. After repainting their bedroom, they finally purchased a King Size bed and needed us to come and get it. Well, of course, we are not ready yet so another item went into storage. We purchased a little (like-new) microwave and actually cooked our first meal in our new home base. So … it was only TV dinners but it was a meal just the same! :)

Phil and Les squeezed a day in for fishing on Monday but Phil forgot the camera again so there are no pictures. Actually, the fish won that day but I was told they didn’t get “skunked” but the catching was far from rockin’ hot! While Phil was taking a day off, I spend all day Monday and Tuesday cleaning and organizing my daughter, Bobbie’s garage where we plan to have a garage sale sometime in September. We met our friends, Gloria and Les and Andy and Millie at my sister, Dixie and her husband, Paul’s for dinner and cards. It was a lot of fun, as we haven’t played since we left two years ago. Unfortunately, neither Phil nor I won any money but we had a great time all evening for just six dollars apiece. Morning came early the next day, as we didn’t get home until around midnight.

Phil joined me on Tuesday and worked in Bobbie’s garage most of the day. He finished most of the wiring in her garage but still needs to chase down some circuits and find out what wire goes where to finish up her outside lights. My granddaughter, Bobbie’s daughter, Sara finally found an affordable rental and came to retrieve her things that have been stored at her mom’s for quite some time. She took advantage of Phil’s empty truck and had her grandpa haul her belongings to her new place. Phil said it is small but cozy and the price is right! We met Sandy and Ray at the Little Creek Casino for Linner and they insisted on buying to say “thank you” for our taking care of their two furry kids while they were on vacation. After “linner” we took one truckload of boxed and priced merchandise for our upcoming sale to Bobbie’s garage. Bobbie’s garage was barren of any storage shelving and Andy had a big open front cabinet with 3-4 shelves that he gave us for hauling it off and we found a perfect spot for it. We can use it for displaying our treasures during our sale and she will have some much-needed storage afterwards.

We worked at the trailer all day on Wednesday and that night, my cousin, Sharon and her husband, Brownie arrived from Portland in their rental car. They had flown in from Nashville the day before and were doing the family “hop” in Oregon and Washington that I know so well from visiting relatives as we travel. We met them for breakfast the next morning and proudly introduced them to our many friends that also eat breakfast at “Blondie’s” then in our new luxury vehicle (I LOVE that car) we took them sightseeing along Hood Canal. We made a stop at Rocks ‘n Rhinestones to introduce them to Gloria and Les and Sharon was impressed with all the beautiful things artfully displayed and for sale in the store. Later we stopped for lunch at “The Tide’s”, a tourist stop near the tiny wide spot on Hiway 101 North named Lilliwaup. The clam chowder was very good but we were disappointed that they no longer serve pie of any kind! What’s up with that? The waitress said, “Lilliwaup is pie less now!” After we said our good byes to Sharon and Brownie we dropped in on friends, Carol and John for an hour or so then met more friends at Denny’s for our third restaurant meal of the day

The next day with rain in the forecast, we finished cleaning the carport, taking several loads to Bobbie’s and covered the remaining items with a tarp. A flying trip to Belfair got us to the auction just as the bidding started! On Saturday morning, we unloaded our treasures, finished hauling garage sale treasures to Bobbie’s and cleaning the carport then drove back to Belfair to pickup the things we forgot to bring home the night before. In between loads, Phil built some hand rails for the back door stairway and I tried to pin point the remaining leaks in our carport and patio roof that grandson Joe put so much work into repairing. We knew he would probably miss a few but it is a thousand percent better than it was. I think we will be able to get it watertight when it stops raining which is supposed to be today.

Sorry this blog is so long today but we had a busy week and I wanted to bring everyone up to date. As always, thank you very much for stopping buy and checking in on us!

Until next time …

Another example of buying merchandise at garage sales for resale.
We paid $8.00 for nine crystal goblets. I carefully packed them for transport but took them out and took pictures of them first.
I will tape the pictures on the top of the box and proclaim they are perfect with no chips and put a $16 price tag on them. That is a really cheap price for these beautiful glasses and yes, that's double our money ... :)

Meeting my cousin Sharon at Blondie's for breakfast!
It has been 16 months since we've seen each other but we stay in touch with our blogs.
Sharon doesn't write too often but her blogs are always worth the wait! Check it out here ...

Big "hello" hug as Brownie observes ...

Here is Phil enjoying the beautiful sunshine on the beach at Potlatch State Park.
He looks mad ... but he was really happy ... honest!

Brownie and Sharon at "The Tides" in Lilliwaup, WA.
Isn't she beautiful!! I love her so much!

Joy with Brownie and Sharon just before they left for Puyallup, then Marysville and on to Spokane.
A whirlwind tour but like I told her ... as much as I'd like her to stay and visit for as much time as I want, I know I have to share and I'll take any amount of time with her I can get.

Isn't this cute? It is metal with the word welcome cut out on the front.
We hung it by it's wire handle beside the front door.

My little scarecrow says "Welcome" where he stands on my front porch.
It needs painting badly but I am considering putting indoor outdoor carpeting down after we paint. The rugs are a pain to keep in place and are hard to keep clean.
I could just vacuum the carpet, right?

Where my new Washer-Dryer stack unit will be.
I can hardly wait!

Where the vanity will be ...

This is the finished plumbing for our new tub and shower waiting for sheetrock. Maybe today ;)

Our new railings at the back door of our mobile home. They are a requirement of our homeowner's insurance.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


Hurray! My post op visit with my Ophthalmologist confirmed that my cataract surgery on my left eye was a success and it is healing very nicely. I now have 20-25 vision in that eye and 20-20 with corrective lenses should I decide to get them. I’m hoping for 20-20 in the right eye after surgery and I may be sans glasses once again after 30 years! My blood work follow up with my PCP went well. My numbers are all within range and there has been some major improvement in my cholesterol. My cardiologist wants my LDL below 70 and it is 79 and that may not be acceptable to him but I’m still working on it. My HDL is still too low at 33 but my doctor prescribed Niacin for me and I’m going to try that for a while. Phil went in for a hearing test on Friday and discovered nothing new … he is in fact losing his hearing and needs hearing aids. However, the least expensive Group Health has to offer is $2,400 and neither they nor Medicare pays any part of them except for the test. We will just continue to do our “huh?”, “what did you say?”, “excuse me?”, “say that again” dance for a bit longer I guess. Maybe we’ll hit the lottery … oh right, you have to play to win don’t you? So much for that idea!

Our great granddaughter, Carly played her last two soccer games this past week. She LOVES soccer and hated for it to end. We loved watching her play and will miss it too. Now she can take a break until school starts and she plans to play basketball and maybe run track again this year. She is especially competitive but also a good sport and very team oriented. Did I tell you we are so PROUD of her? :) Her 12th birthday is coming up fast and her mother is having a BBQ for her at home. I can’t believe she is 12 already! Seems like yesterday when she was born…

Phil continues to work on our new bathroom and in spite of a few glitches along the way and a couple extra trips to the lumber/hardware store he is progressing nicely. The new floor is down and just about all the new plumbing and wiring is ready to go. Part of the sheetrock is up and the rest will be put up in a day or two, then the tub surround will be installed. The shower/tub faucets will go in tomorrow and once that is done, things will begin to move fast. I am SOOOOO excited for it to be finished. It is so close …

We have stayed away from the many garage sales for two weekends now (it has been tough!) but I finally made room for another load from the auction and we went to Belfair Friday night to see what they had. We purchased enough treasure to fill the truck again and somehow, managed to get most of it inside the mobile. Grandson, Joe finished his repair job on our roof and cleaned all the gutters. We’re hoping (although realistically we know it is probably not possible) he found and patched all the holes. We have a lot of big “stuff” stacked outside under the awning so when rain is forecast we will cover it with plastic just to be safe until we see how tight the roof actually will be. However, he did a very good job and we are optimistic about the results.

Thank you all for stopping by!
Until next time …