April 2011

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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rusty has Wheels and I’ve Got a Cold

If you are a regular reader, you know the ongoing saga of my aging dog, Rusty, and his increasing lack of mobility.  Poor guy, he does his best but his hind legs just keep getting crossed up and tangled then he falls and he cannot keep up.  There are spots on the top of his rear feet where the hair has been rubbed off and the top of his nails are all worn down.  This is from dragging his feet and not being able to always walk on his pads.  It’s something like walking on your knuckles.  I bought him some booties but they just cause his feet to tangle more than they already do and make it harder for him to get around.

When I had my little Chihuahua years ago, she used to love to ride in a stroller.  I had thought about it for Rusty but he is so fiercely independent and also over 40lbs. so I didn’t think it would work for him.


  Yesterday we went to the lake and, after letting him out to sniff and pee for a bit and get his feet wet, I hoisted him into the stroller.  I expected a big struggle from him but to my surprise, he sat there like a good dog and seemed to enjoy the ride.  So here’s a picture of Rusty in his new-to-him wheels.

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I kept him on a short leash in case he got any ideas but he never tried to jump out or acted like he didn’t like it.  Those red things hanging off the stroller handle are his booties.  He wore them in the water and was just barely managing to stay upright.  I took them off and hung them on the stroller to dry.  Miss Poppy, who is a tad lazy, was eyeing the stroller like, “Geez, mom, how does he rate?”!!!  So finally, we were able to take a good walk along the lake, rather than the few yards that we have been walking lately.

Last time I posted pictures of the sailboats in the marina Judy mentioned that all the sail covers were blue and thought a red one would be nice.  Well, here ya go Judy, Russ found one!!
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There were also some guys out on paddle boards.  It was a great day for it as the lake was smooth and the weather warm and sunny.  I just don’t get the fun of standing on a board paddling around in the water though!!

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Russ was also lucky enough to spot another Oregon alligator.  This species is not as rare as one might imagine, but you do have to look carefully to see them.
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We also made a return visit to Hendricks Park.  This is a beautiful rhododendron and azalea garden and we wanted one last look before all the blooms had faded.  Most of the blossoms are already spent but we did find a few blooms left, along with some other flowers. 
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This is a beautiful place to walk but, unfortunately, no dogs are allowed in the garden area. The paths and the dappled sunlight in this park make it a perfect place to take a stroll or just relax on the grass with a good book.

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Our granddaughter, Bekah, came to visit this weekend and I spent some time with her making a new summer top.  I only did a small portion of the work.  I would say she completed 90% of it on her own.  She was feeling pretty comfortable with the sewing machine by the time she was done and she did an excellent job.  Unfortunately, Bekah had a cold and all that working together allowed her germs to jump all over me.  Used to be, I would never get sick but it seems my immune system just isn’t what is once was.  Now I am putting all my chores on hold and trying desperately to get better quickly.  We have two blogger couples that we are scheduled to meet with – one on Saturday and another on Monday and I don’t want to mess that up.  Vitamin C, zinc, Echinacea, cold capsules, hot tea with lemon and honey – it’s all on board.  All I am missing is the chicken soup and I don’t have enough energy to make a pot.  Maybe later cuz I gotta be well by Saturday.  Wish me luck!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Reveille

This video is a bit long but very enjoyable.  Thank you to all who have served and are serving. My we never forget and may we always honor their sacrifice.  To my own family, thank you Russ, Brian, Jim, Bob, John, Zach, Johnny, and Tony. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Passion for Wicked

Before I go any further, WARNING!!!!  This is an unabashed Grandma's Brag Book post but one I definitely want in my next blog book.  Besides, I am proud of my grands and I want them to know it!

Yesterday Russ and I went to Gresham, OR to see one of our 12 year old granddaughters perform in her middle school talent show.  Other than a couple of lines at a choir concert earlier this year, this was Bekah’s first public solo performance.  She was terrified but she overcame her fear and did an outstanding job with her selection.

Regarding her song selection; while other kids went with the modern tunes familiar to the teen age set, Bekah went with her heart and sang a show tune.  Her parents (bless them) have exposed her to live performances from time to time and Bekah has recently discovered a passion for live musical theater.  She even knows who Rodgers and Hammerstein are lol!!  That’s a pretty good passion to have at her age.

"Wicked" is a Broadway musical set in the time before Dorothy arrived in the Land of Oz, when the witches were still young girls and good friends. Glinda, the Good Witch is preparing to give Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, a makeover in this song. There was no coaching from the teachers. You have to imagine that Elphaba is present, as this was simply a solo and not a scene from the play. Pardon the acoustics, this was in the gym! The background is not so great either tee-hee.  I was so proud of Bekah for doing something out of the ordinary and not just a song from popular teenage music. Great job Bekah!  (I added the words in post-production as the echoes made it hard to hear her words.)


And that, my friends, is what we did yesterday…and it did my heart good.  There were lots of other talented kids in the program too and I am so thankful that there is still a school that places importance on things like music and art. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Countin’ Flowers on the Wall, That Don’t Bother Me at all…

I admit it – I’m a flowerholic.  I just can’t get enough of beautiful, colorful blooms this time of year.  We are lucky to have several nurseries close by and two farms just a couple of miles from our house, in Eugene, OR.  A short drive in the country and we are at Thistledown Farm.  Yes, it is a working farm and in the summer they have some produce for sale, but they seem to have evolved into more of a flower farm.   Another farm just down the road, Lone Pine, is more of the vegetable place.  I wrote about that last fall.

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See, I told you, flowers on the wall!!


The grounds are nicely landscaped and it is just a restful place to visit.
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They have 6 or 8 (I forgot already!) HUGE green houses that are filled with flowers and hanging baskets.
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This green house is all geraniums.
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Out back there are goats to feed and a Shetland pony and a donkey to visit.
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I just love looking at donkeys.   I only bought one plant in a pot.

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“Excuse me, does this big leaf make my pot look smaller?”  Roxanne, I hope you’re out there.

The farm also has a plan for those entering retirement.
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A beautiful courtyard for outdoor plants.
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And words of wisdom…

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And if you run out of coffee, there’s always this.
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I think I better quit now.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I Think I Saw Noah Float By!

After the longest May dry spell in 20 years (17 days), the rain returned to Eugene, OR today with a vengeance.  It was a nice gentle showery kind of day until mid-afternoon when we got a sudden deluge that threatened to float us all away.  The rain is expected to last until Friday when the sun is scheduled to make it’s next appearance.  That’s okay – at least I don’t have to do the watering tonight!


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Yesterday was a mild, partly cloudy day and so off we went on a short adventure with our mutts.  We went to another park on the lake that we don’t get to visit much during the winter.  That’s because it’s closed ha-ha!!  Unlike Orchard Point, which stays open all year, Richardson (panorama above) closes for the winter.  There is a day use area and a campground there and the crowds are usually non-existent.

This is a great spot for a picnic – trees, table, BBQ, boat dock, and restrooms just out of view. 

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Rusty did so well!  He did his little “shuffle and drag” all the way down to the water and he even got in!  He thinks he is swimming but in truth his feet were always touching bottom.

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He enjoyed himself, even if he was exhausted by the time he made it back to the car.  And this is what the parking lot looked like when we left.
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We also hung up the feeder I got for Mother’s Day.  However our hanging job was not very sturdy and the feeder was on the ground before we knew it.  Didn’t seem to stop the local wildlife from enjoying its bounty however.

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Checking to make sure the coast is clear.

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Enjoying a snack.

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The End!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Our Dirty Little Secret and Blogger Friends Come Calling

No one wants to talk about them but we all have them!  Those dirty little secrets that we only talk about behind closed doors or at the septic dump!  Yup, we all have them…black tanks that is.  We were having a problem with our gauge NOT registering empty even though we knew it was. 

We flushed and we rinsed and we even ran the rotating wand down the commode but it still would register 1/3 full all the time.  Now I know what causes this problem – it’s those little pieces of the Sears catalog that go down into the tank.  I know – they make special Sears Catalogs for RVers but we don’t always have those available and they are so expensive!!  So we do what we do and then we pray.  

So…after we tried everything else I said, “Bring me the Simple Green.”  I dumped about a quart of that stuff into the tank, added a bunch of water and WHOA…reminded me of the time when we were much younger and I thought it would be fun to add bubble bath to the Jacuzzi tub at the hotel we were staying in.  I thought we would NEVER get those bubbles to go down – but I digress. 

And by the way, when did the Simple P1050809Green become NOT Green?  When they came up with Simple Green lemon fresh, that’s when.  That stuff is NOT green, it’s as yellow as my pansies.  Just something not right about that.

So the bubbles that came back into the bowl were not that bad but they were there!!  I knew Simple Green would not retain the bubbles like the bubble bath did so we put about half a tank of water in and drove around several times last week, running over as many speed bumps as possible…they’re great for all kinds of agitation!! 

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We are very lucky to have a clean, accessible and FREE RV dump station just a couple of miles from our home.  Yesterday we did another dump and violà – the tank rinsed clean and the gauge shows a big “E”!  Yeah…and it smells better too!.  So that’s our dirty little secret – but now it’s our clean little secret.  Simple Green – works for lots of stuff.

This afternoon we got a call from Betty of Joe and Betty’s Adventures.  We had previously met Betty when we were in the Milwaukie, OR area, but Joe was not able to join us.   They were on a day trip today and asked if we were up for a visit.  OF COURSE we were!!  So Joe and Betty and Joe’s mom Viola, came and visited us in the back yard.

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Joe and Russ had a great time yakking and solving all the world’s problems.  Betty and I talked about Blogger books and flowers and just about everything else too!

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Although Joe’s mom had never met us or read our blog, she was fascinated by the Blog Books and spent all her time looking them over.  This lady is 98 years old and still lively.

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We had a great visit.  If any of you are ever in the area please know that you are welcome to give us a call and if we are home, we’d love to visit.  We have room for you to park your rig in the driveway.

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And we have a big backyard where we can sit and visit (but the house is usually a mess so come when it's sunny!).  The picnic table is really NOT curved.  This is a panorama the computer put together for me from three shots.  It did a pretty good job but there is some distortion.

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Hope you all had as good a day as we did and don’t forget to give us a shout if you get close.  Our email info is in our profile or you can always call us on Russ’s cell phone – FIVE FOUR ONE – Eight seven zero – 0281. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Therapy gets a New Hat–well Three New Hats!


Finally – we got three Max-Air vents put on today.  It is something I kinda dragged my feet about cuz I didn’t want to impede the air flow from our Fantastic Fans.  We got the vent covers which are supposed to allow maximum air flow so I hope they work that way.  Haven’t tried them out yet.  This is what they look like.  At least we shouldn't have anymore rain inside the motor home!max vent
We got them at Camping World so I don’t feel bad about using their picture – free advertising for them lol!   They cost quite a bit more than the regular vent covers but if you have the Fantastic Fans you understand why I don’t want to interfere with the airflow.  It cost us $16 per cover for installation but I consider it money well spent.  We do NOT want to see Russ up on the roof, or me either for that matter.

MC900140691 (1)Last night we managed to replace an outside plug on the side of the garage.  It somehow got corroded and shorted out.  Since it runs our pool pump, it is pretty essential.  Now, you may not think replacing it is such a big deal but for Mr. and Mrs. Unhandy it was a major accomplishment.   Put either of us in front of a computer and we can usually figure out how to do something – put a tool in our hands and it’s all downhill from there!!

It’s been a busy week so far but we have got a lot accomplished.  The Fit is back in the shop.  The check engine light came on right after we left Pendleton.  We called the dealer who did the insurance work and were told to take it to the dealer when we got home.  Did that once already and they reset it and cleaned off the antifreeze that was on the sensor but the light came back on a few days later.  Now we find that the gasket on the thermostat was not properly in place and that is causing the problem.  Hmmm… I wonder how that happened??  No way to go back to the other dealer so we’ll just bite the bullet and pay for it ourselves.

Also got our passports sent in for renewalMP900314381.  $110 for a ten year renewal…not too bad.  The worst part was having my picture taken – full face straight into the camera.  It was not a pretty sight.  It sure didn’t look much like that woman who was on my old passport.  I wonder where she went?


Amid all our chores and running around, we did manage to get Therapy out for a run to the lake.  I always love it when all the boats are back.  They look so graceful and colorful.

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Rusty wanted to go and he managed to walk a little but not too far.  It’s hard on our backs lifting him in and out of the motorhome but he wants to be with us and so we try.  Poppy is doing great.

More flowers are getting planted tomorrow…hopefully the planters that hang on the front of the house.  We’ll see how that works out. 

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Monday, May 14, 2012

It Was a Fun Day

I had one of the best times yesterday on Mother’s Day.  Oh sure, I was tired when the day was done, but it was worth every moment.   I had 5 grandkids come over and all three of my sons.  Unfortunately, my daughter and her family could not make it down from Oregon City yesterday but that’s okay.  We’ll have other times.


That’s Brendan, Corbin, Emmie, Bekah, and Cailin:
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Okay, for those of you who didn’t make a silly face before, now’s your chance.
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Pardon my pictures but these will someday be put in a blog book for posterity, so I’m including them here even if they aren’t the best.  I was having too much fun to think about the camera much so every once in a while I would snap a quick shot without much thought!


L to R: Corbin, Bekah and Emmie, Russ, DIL Annette, son Joel, and Brendan.
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We ate lots of burgers and salads and the boys (the GROWN-up boys, John, Josh, and Joel) sat around and horrified us with their memories of shenanigans they pulled while they were growing up.  It’s no wonder Russ and I need Therapy!!


The kids had fun playing yard games and chasing each other with squirt guns.

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Corbin always wants to work so he spent a lot of time watering my flower beds – until he discovered that he was holding the best squirt gun of all.
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I have some very lovely blooms in my garden.
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And although the pool has not been cleaned up or warmed up for summer, Brendan could not resist soaking his feet.  He ended up with a lot more than wet feet!
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Unfortunately I didn’t get photos of everyone.  I did get a picture of the bird/squirrel feeder that Josh brought me.
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I hung the feeder where we can sit in our chairs in the living room each morning with a cup of coffee and watch the critters come for a meal and a drink.  I’m going to enjoy this a lot over the summer.

We ended the day with ice cream in Styrofoam cups and Russ got these cute photos of Brendan eating his treat.


And that was my day.  Hope yours was just as wonderful.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother’s Day and a “Borrowed” Post

Just wanted to wish all those Mothers out there a very happy day.  May your troubles be halved and your Blessings be multiplied.


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I got an email from my sister this morning and I thought it was so good I want to pass it on it it’s entirety. 

This is AWESOME ... something we should all remember. 

A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed  each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably combed and  shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home  today.



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His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.  After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready. 

As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual  description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.



“I love it,” he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.


“Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait.”


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“That doesn't have anything to do with it,” he replied.  “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged  ... it's how I arrange my mind.  I already decided  to love it.   It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I  can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with  the parts  of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful  for the ones that do.”


“Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and  all the happy memories I've stored away.. Just for this time in my  life. “



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Old  age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in.  So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!



Thank  you for your part in filling my Memory Bank.  I am still depositing. 

Remember  the five simple rules to be happy:

1.  Free your heart from hatred.
2.  Free your mind from worries.
3.  Live simply.
4.  Give more.
5.  Expect less.

Have a nice day, unless you already have other plans.

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(All photos in today’s post were taken by Russ in 2008 at Shore Acres State Park in Coos Bay, Oregon.)