April 2011

April 2011
Boondocking at my brother's in Reno, April 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stick a Fork in Me…I’m DONE!

First of all, I want to thank so many of you who expressed concern and sympathy for Merry’s dog Lucy.  I don’t know what the final decision will be.  Merry really wants to continue to train Lucy at this point in time, but how long that will be a viable option is subject to debate.  Only time will tell on this.

My brother is a show breeder and well respected expert and author on the subject of German Shepherds.  We are all well versed in the dangers of hip dysplasia.  Merry questioned the owner of Lucy’s parents carefully on this subject and they insisted that neither of the parents nor the grandparents had any problems.  I think they either misrepresented the truth or are just ignorant of the facts.  I am so sad for Lucy and for Merry.
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After a beautiful start to yesterday, a nice afternoon and a pleasant evening…it all disintegrated in a big hurry.

The evening was cooling off nicely and we settled down in our snug little bunks for a good night’s sleep when BAM – the sky lit up like Times Square on New Year’s Eve and the heavens roared and rumbled like Russ’s stomach right before a good meal…maybe even louder.

Now most of you have been in a thunder storm in your RV but this was our first time to experience the rumbling echoes inside a tin box while two fifty plus pound fur balls, overcome with terror, found new and inventive ways to drive their mommy and daddy CRAZY! 

At home, Poppy runs for the bathroom at the first sign of a boomer.  She wraps herself around the toilet and, thus hidden from the night terrors, passes the time with the door closed and the exhaust fan running at full speed.  This way she feels cozy and safe and can barely hear the heavenly cacophony.  The fantastic fans in the motor home were of no use as it was raining so they had to remain closed.  We ran the fan on the roof A/C all night but even that was not enough to mask the noise of the thunder boomers.  If you have ever been in central Oregon during a thunder storm, you know they don’t hold back – you get the whole shebang.

Rusty on the other hand has no such safe place and has no idea what to do with himself.  He normally crawls into bed with us and lays shaking between our heads until the storm passes.  Last night he took this behavior to new heights.  First he wanted on Russ’s bed, then my bed, then he wanted on my pillows – the foot of my bed being deemed less safe than the head.  Then he wanted down, then he scratched on the beds, then on the door…any door…then under the table, then back on the beds, then on the small dresser between the beds.  He shook like Santa Claus’s tummy and the proverbial bowl full of jelly.  He would not be comforted.

Meanwhile, Poppy knows there is a bathroom behind door number one and she is determined to go inside.  The problem is, in a Lazy Daze, the water closet is tiny, and the toilet is perched on a small ledge with very little floor space below.  On one side of the toilet sits a VERY small waste can and on the other, a toilet bowl cleaner.  After denying her access for most of the night and trying every other method we could think of to clam her, I finally opened the bathroom door.  She would barely fit on the floor but even that wasn’t good enough.  More than once we had to disentangle her and forcibly remove her front leg from the waste can as she tried desperately to curl herself around the coolness of the toilet bowl.  My hand towels and wash clothes which normally sit on a low shelf, were scattered on the floor and in the waste can and the toilet bowl cleaner came crashing down more than once.  Finally, about 4:30 this morning, Poppy became convinced that she could hide on the small floor portion of the bathroom and I turned on a portable fan and closed the door as far as it would close without totally squishing her and she fell into a fitful sleep. 

Not so with Rusty.  He had me up ALL night.  Finally, as Poppy calmed down, I took Rusty out into the living area and closed the door so Russ could get some sleep.  Since more of the same was forecast for tonight, we had determined that we were heading for home ASAP.  Russ needed some sleep so he could drive us home.

I tried to get a little rest on the narrow sofa – no WAY!  Rusty jumped on me, laid on my feet, jumped off, went under the table, scratched at the sofa, crawled down into the driver’s foot well, climbed out and into the passengers foot well, scratched at the windows, stuck his head under the curtains and on and on.  Finally about 5:30 I gave up, got dressed and took him outside for a long walk.  The sky was still angry but the boomers had stopped and I thought I could walk the restlessness out of him.  We did have a nice walk and I walked within 6 feet of a small doe enjoying her breakfast al fresco.  We nodded a greeting and she watched me carefully walk around her and she went back to her business.  Rusty neither saw nor smelled the deer!!!  That tells you how out of it he was.

So what does “I’m DONE” mean?  I am seriously re-thinking all this travel business.  Seems like every time we go anywhere there is a problem.  Either I am sick, or Russ is sick, or I fall down the steps, or Rusty cuts his leg, etc., etc.  There are always problems with the dogs.  I did not want to keep carrying their home beds into and out of the motor home so I bought them brand new beds…same kind, from Costco.  Nice clean soft beds that don’t stink.  They HATE them.  Rusty tried and tried last night to “make” his bed to his liking and I even joined in – nothing doing.  Just too new and soft.  And speaking of beds…it it WALL TO WALL dog beds when we go.  I am always tripping over a dog bed or a water dish or a bowl of dry food.

I just think the whole idea of travel is too much trouble.  All we do is work.  We work for days getting ready to go – loading up, topping off gas, propane, water…washing bugs off…you all know the drill.  Then we go for one frigging night, get NO sleep, and come home and do the whole process in reverse.  NOT WORTH IT!  And I know one thing for sure…if I EVER get back in that motor home it will be without the dogs.  They are too old and too set in their ways and they just want to be in their own home in their own beds.  The only reason they want to go is they don’t want us to go without them.  If we just stayed home 100% of the time and devoted all our time and attention to them, THEN they would be perfectly happy.  So since they are old and we chose to be their parents, I guess that is what we need to do.  Beyond that, I am too tired to think.  Think I'll go take a nap.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sisters

Sisters, Oregon that is.  We arrived and are nestled into our camping site at Sisters City Park…more on that in a minute.

Our day started early with both of us up and awake before 5:30A.  It still took us over an hour to finally get on the road but for us, that was still early.  The drive along the McKenzie River is always beautiful and today was no exception.  One of the sights we enjoy is the Goodpasture Covered Bridge.

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We wanted to get to Takoda’s for breakfast and that is about an hour from our house.  It was a beautiful morning and we parked and gave the dogs a little exercise before we got breakfast.  There is lots of parking at Takoda’s and plenty of room to walk the dogs.
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The weather was so nice that we enjoyed our breakfast outside on the patio.  Russ perused the menu while we listened to a gentle waterfall, the call of the birds, and the occasional roar of the 18 wheeler going by on the highway that’s just beyond the fence!  All in all, the ambiance of the pond and the flowers and that beautiful willow far outweighed any traffic noise.

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There are about a dozen tables on the patio but only one other one was occupied this morning.  The breakfast did not disappoint and we enjoyed every bite.  It was a bit spendy but they do have smaller portions for a fair price if you are so inclined.  Russ was not so inclined!!

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Harbicks Country Store is next door to Takoda’s and is owned by the same folks.  This store is a must see.  They have a little bit of everything, including deli fast food if you don’t want to wait for restaurant meal.P1030591








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There is something for everyone at Takoda’s and we found this selection of books that no camper should be without.  If you’re there Nellie, you can guess which ones we picked for you!
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The Sisters City Park is at the east end of town with easy access off the highway.  They feature full hook up sites with both 30 and 50 amps available.  The cost to seniors (60 and over) is $30 for a 30 amp site and $34 for a 50 amp site.  It can seem a little crowded by evening but the sites are actually well spaced and don’t feel all that close.

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There were quite a few empty sites on the side closer to the highway.
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There are restrooms and showers in the park.  A bridge across Whychus Creek connects the campground with the day use area.  There is access to the creek but it can be a bit steep.  Right now the creek is flowing full and swift and that water is COLD.  The pups didn’t seem to mind!

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And here we are.  The grassy area is the doggie area but it is not fenced.  Leashes are required but I did see a fella playing Frisbee with his dog earlier and no leash police appeared.  The highway is not too far away so caution is the word regarding leashes.

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There is no internet provided by the park but I found a hot spot that works pretty well.  Hopefully I can get this uploaded and visit a few blogs while I’m at it.  If not, I’ll see ya on the flip side.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

The last of the company has just left and all is quiet on the western front.  For the last week we had two grandgirls staying with us.  Plus for three of those days, we had a grandson coming over everyday to visit.  On Thursday, our daughter arrived for the weekend, along with her dog, Lucy.  Today we had 10 people for a backyard lunch of barbeque pulled pork, coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, macaroni salad, and fresh Oregon strawberries.  It was all good and no one went away hungry.

But we are TIRED!  Wish I had as much energy as I had even 10 years ago.  I wouldn’t give up the family times for anything but just can’t keep up like I used to.  I often think my “can do” just doesn’t keep pace with my “want to”.  I was even too tired to remember to take some pictures of the group.  Oh well, I know what they look like.

My daughter’s dog was just recently diagnosed with hip dysplasia.  The dog is a German Shepard mix and is only 14 months old.  Merry was training her to be her service dog.  The vet said it is mild and perhaps with proper treatment, will not get much worse.  Friday Lucy romped in the yard quite a bit and then took a nap in the living room.   When she woke up, she couldn’t get up.  She yelped every time she moved.  We put hot and cold packs on her hips and gave her an extra Rimidyl and finally she was able to move.  It’s really too bad as she is a wonderful loving dog and smart as a whip.  time will tell how this turns out.

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Lucy hunting for toys under Rusty's "Toy Tree"
Ever since he was a pup, Rusty has stashed his
toys under this cedar tree. 


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Rusty and Lucy enjoying the grass


Even with all the company we managed to get Therapy loaded and the Wee Fit hooked up and we are ready to roll first thing in the morning.  We’ll travel towards the McKenzie Pass and stop at Takoda’s for breakfast.  Anytime we head that way we always like to stop at Takoda’s for a meal.

Just a couple of photos from my (vastly underplanted) yard.  I have stuck with my bargain and have neither purchased nor planted a single flower this season.


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Consider the Lilies of the field...

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I forget what this is called.  We planted
three of them last year and they are all
thriving.  I sure like the blossoms.


 Since I am “flower deprived” this year. I could not bear to pull up these little volunteers from the pool deck.  No power washing allowed here!!

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Gotta get to bed so we can get an early start.  Hopefully I’ll have some good things to write about from Sisters.  When we get back we get to meet Doug and Sue so we are really looking forward to that.  By the way, Al of the Bayfield Bunch has a great mystery story going on over at his blog…all about a lamp.  He promised the second installment tonight so pop on over and have a look.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Techno Kids and other Miscellany

The conversation today with my 11 year old grand daughter, Bekah,  went something like this:

Bekah:  Grandma, do you have an SD card with pictures on it I can borrow?  I want to play around on the Wii with it.  My card is a 4 gig and it won’t load in the Wii.

Grandma:  Sure, bring me my camera.

Bekah:  (with camera already opened and SD card removed)  Oh good, yours is a 2 gig.  That’ll work in the Wii.

Now that’s no big deal.  But what surprises me is the ease with which these kids talk about and understand technology.  Talking about gigs and gadgets is as comfortable to them as it was for me to ask for a couple of tin cans so I could make a telephone when I was their age.  Progress!!

I finally got some good Oregon strawberries today and they were just as good as they look.  YUM!

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The day was warm and the girls had a great time in the pool.  And what’s better in a pool than a boat?

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Maybe two boats in the pool?
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Even if one of those boats has seen better days.  Believe it or not, this is one of the favorite toys.

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And where there’s a will there’s a way…

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Ah, the inventiveness of those agile young minds.

Next week we are taking a break and going (I think) to Sisters, Or.  And then on Friday next week we get to meet Sue and Doug from Big Dawg and Freeway when they come through here on their way to the Oregon coast.   Sue’s last post, working to live..living to dream…, was just a joy to read with lots of pictures of doggies having fun.

Carol and Dave have been having a great time in Yellowstone National park and Jerry and Suzy are winding up their visit to Yosemite…both great places to visit.  Both of these blogs have some great pictures and some valuable information if you plan on visiting either of these parks.

My week with the grand girls is winding to a close.  Tomorrow everyone will be going home.  We are both pretty tired but it was well worth the effort.  The visit would not be complete without Grandma coercing a few drum licks from Bekah.


Good night all…hope the drums don’t keep you awake.  She gets pretty wound up at the end.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Heceta Head–Part 2

We were a little late getting started yesterday.  With two adults, three kids and two dogs, plus food for all, it took us awhile to get it together.

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As you saw yesterday, with Rusty’s help, we made it to Heceta Head beach just fine.

It was a bit crowded so we parked in the overflow area – and we were the only ones there.  What I really like about this place is having Cape Creek to play in.
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Plus the trees and the grass.
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A nice place to park the motorhome.
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And just a short walk away and under the historic Cape Creek bridge…
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…you are on a great sandy beach.
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It’s great fun to play in the creek.
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Or explore the many caves and tide pools.
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When it’s time to go, it’s hard to say “good-bye.”

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This is one place we will return to again and again.  There is nothing I don’t like about this place.  Many beaches on this central part of the coast are difficult to access because of the huge sand dunes.  There is either a hike over the dunes or a rocky beach.  On this beach, you park, walk over a few feet of grass, and you are on the beach…unless, of course, you have parked in the overflow lot and then you have to walk about a block on a paved sidewalk to get to the beach!!!

I highly recommend this area and this beach.  You can also hike to the light house from here but those days are long over for us old folks…it’s quite a hike…uphill both ways!

There is a day use fee on this beach but there are also flush toilets, picnic tables, water, grass, and good parking.  Well worth the $5 you will pay if you do not have an access pass.  My recommendation – GO---ENJOY!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Heceta Head–part 1 (too tired to finish)

We took three kids and two dogs to the beach at Heceta Head today.  The weather was iffy when we started out but ended up being okay once we got there. 



Since he was a pup, Rusty has always been a bit leery of going under bridges and through tunnels.  He has gotten much better but he still has to stay alert and help Daddy drive whenever we go through a tunnel.

The kid all had a great time and I got some fun pictures of them.  Corbin is just like his dad was at that age and hams it up every time a camera is pointed in his direction.  Keeps life interesting!!

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We are all happy but tired and I have a headache, mainly from too much glare.  That'll do it every time.  So I am going to play it smart and quit staying on the computer for hours and go get rid of my headache before it spins off into a full blown migraine.  I’ll finish this tomorrow.

Have a good evening everyone and see you back here tomorrow, same time, same station!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Grandgirls are Here

Greetings to all and a late Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads out there.  Didn’t have internet yesterday so couldn’t post my greeting until today.

A lot of today’s post is for the enjoyment of my family near and far but you are certainly invited to share our day if you are so inclined.  We’re all family in Blogland anyway LOL!!

We had a great Father’s Day in Portland yesterday and picked up a couple of extra passengers on our way home this morning.

Yesterday we had a taco feed at John’s…and what a feed it was.  We had shredded pork and shredded chicken…and for the not so adventurous (ME!) good old hamburger, plus all the fixings, AND beans and rice.  It was yummy.

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John, Laurie (John's step-mom), and Kari (Laurie's daughter)


Then John made root beer floats and Bekah served them.  I think they went through a LOT of root beer and ice cream.

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We had four Fathers present…and they all liked their root beer floats.

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Russ, Bob (SIL), John (Red), and Steve (John's other Dad!)

Afterwards, I asked John to play me some tunes on the piano.  He was a bit embarrassed as he said he hasn’t practiced for awhile but it was still music to my ears!  I’m pretty proud of John for teaching himself not only the piano, but the drums and guitar as well.



When we got tired, we went back to our little temporary home and relaxed to the sights and sounds of the river.  I love Clackamette Park – even if it is little and doesn’t have full hook-ups.

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To those of you who read about my “Dilemma” earlier…we missed the dogs and are going to try and find a way to have them with us as much as possible when we travel.

Today Bekah and Anna came home with us for a week.  (If you want to read a touching Father’s Day post go to Red’s page and see what he wrote about Bekah and being a father).

We stopped at Champoeg State Park just for a quick look-see on the way home.  Dave and Carol made us very curious about this park and we have to say, they are right…it’s beautiful.  We went through the visitors center and found some things to amuse ourselves.


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Bekah, Anna, and Grandpa outside the visitors center.  The girls had 3D glasses
 that they took the lenses out of and they wore them almost all day.

Bekah found a shadow box first thing.

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And Anna found the perfect boyfriend.

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Grandpa found a political philosophy that he could relate to.

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And this is what happened to him for his rebellion.

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Anna liked the reference to her hometown.

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And Anna also liked the dress-up display but Bekah was not so happy with her outfit.

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Almost before we were unloaded, the girls wanted to get in the pool…what the heck, we can unload later when it’s too cold to swim.

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Bekah was just a little wary of the water being too cold so she went in the shallow end first.

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But Anna went for the deep end…it’s COLD, she said!!

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They both agreed it really wasn’t that cold and soon they were swimming around like little mermaids.

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And that’s the way it was for the Krecklows this weekend.  That’s all for now.