Archive for ◊ March, 2017 ◊

31 Mar 2017 Twenty Minutes………
 |  Category: Travel & River House  | Comments off

Our New Lamp Post Bases……

I was out the door a few minutes before seven headed for the Senior Center. I had gotten up at five and finish all my morning routine duties.

Once again I was the first guy to arrive and got the tables uncovered and cleaned. Fred was the next in the door and we played head to head for at least twenty minutes before anyone else arrived. I don’t think I lost a game. While talking to one of the players, Chris, I discovered he has been a real estate appraiser for the last forty some years. He is now semi-retired but does appraisals for the biggest bank in town; Baker Boyer. We talked a little about the available buildings and he was a wealth of knowledge. I said I was doing some research on building a commercial building. He said something to the effect of being glad I was doing research as one commercial building, he knows of, built outside the downtown core, in 2007, has never has a tenant. Hmmmm……… Knowledge is power.

I was back at the RV park for only a few minutes when UPS arrived with eleven huge boxes. While they only weighed twenty pounds they were 2’ x 2’. I conned the UPS man into bringing them to our space and got to work. When I opened the first box I couldn’t believe my eyes. Inside the first box was a slightly smaller box. I popped it out and hidden inside encased in a mountain of brown paper was one of my new lamp post bases. They are well built and powder coated. I removed four screws and started to stack the halves, separated by paper, in one of the smaller boxes. I discovered I could safely pack five halves in each box. With Judith’s help in taping the boxes I finish just before noon. After a quick lunch I unpacked the truck and repacked everything barely getting everything reloaded.

While I was outside taking care of the lamp posts Judith was on the phone talking to the doctor’s office where we had our annual physical yesterday. It turns out the Medicare only “allows” twenty minutes for an annual exam. After He asked all the questions he only had a few minutes to do the exam. Getting old isn’t for sissies………………

In our search for a medical team I think we found our guy in the eye department. Dr. Nielson is a transplant from Canada and what seemed like a very competent guy. He gave a thorough exam and told us both it was time for a cataract evaluation. My eyes have change quite a bit in the last couple of years and will change a lot more if we have our cataracts removed. We opted for getting the cataract evaluation when we return in the fall. We just have too much on our plates in the last three weeks here in the states to add anything else.

I spent the last hours of the day ordering the last two things I need shipped here before our departure. Yes, the truck will be stuffed on our return.

As soon as I post this I’m heading off for blood work then I’ll meet with our realtor.

30 Mar 2017 Annual What?
 |  Category: Travel & River House  | Comments off

Pool at the Senior Center forces my day to begin at five. By doing so I can get my morning duties out of the way before heading out the door.

I sure do miss the cameras at River House. I sent an e-mail out to the local tech and he will address and fix the problem soon. We think a router has bitten the dust.

While we’ve had little snow this year I just got a report from the local fly shop with the first fishing report of the year. The steelhead and salmon are starting to come into the rivers and the early birds are catching crabs. Do to the lack of snow the lakes and ponds have really think ice. Round Lake, between Telkwa and River House , has a reported four feet of ice. When that ice comes off the fishing should be fantastic.

Only five showed up at the Senior Center this morning. They post the monthly players list on the wall and there are only about twenty on the list, including me. This Senior Center provides a lot of services to Walla Walla seniors. Many of the local accountants are there each morning to do tax returns for seniors at no charge. Yesterday they were providing low cost foot care and on weekdays they provide hot meals in the dining area.

I’m getting back in stroke and held my table most of the morning. I never thought pool provided much in the exercise arena but an app on my I-phone indicates I log about a half mile each morning. Hmmm.

Judith and I were sitting in the clinic office waiting for our annual physicals a few minutes before ten. We filled out all the paperwork and I took the first appointment at ten. I was taken to the exam room and asked just a question or two and the assistant took my blood pressure. We always get an annual physical and have seen this movie many times. I thought it was a little strange the young assistant didn’t ask me to get into an exam gown as she departed. A young thirty something doctor came in a few minutes later, introduced himself, and intently asked questions about my health. After about ten minutes he stood up, handed me a pair of gym shorts and told me to crack the door when I was ready. When he came back in he gave me a quick once over; checked my ears and put his stethoscope on my chest for less than two heartbeats. He explained he wanted to do lab work and told me the location of the lab and hours of operation. He said they would do a PSA so the traditional prostrate exam wasn’t necessary “unless I want one”. Really? He suggested his assistance flush out my right ear, shook my hand and left. I agreed and a few minutes later the assistant came back in and said “Dr. _______ said I need to flush out your left ear”. I pointed to my right ear. She checked out both ears and agreed it was the right one that needed flushing. A big chunk of wax came out and my ear has been “blocked” for the last twelve hours reducing my hearing in that ear by about half. Judith had the next appointment and came out shaking her head. I don’t even know where to begin on unwrapping this one. Did they not understand we wanted an annual physical? Is this the “new” standard for senior physicals? We are allowed one annual physical by Medicare and apparently we used that bullet today. It is never easy…..

We had lunch at the best Mexican place we’ve found in Walla Walla. We got two lunch specials that were better than decent at a fair price.

After lunch we decided to check out some residential areas near the down town are. There are a lot of beautiful old two story homes near the downtown core. If we decide to go to Plan B and buy a residence our desire is to get a one story home on a large lot near the downtown core or build. Building would entail buying an older home in a desirable spot, tear it down, and build something. We have lots of options all depending on getting River House sold. We are just too old to keep two balls in the air at once. The world is unfolding as it should………

I’m off in a few minutes to the Senior Center for a couple hours of pool. This afternoon we have eye appointments. Finding a new medical team is no easy, Papa…….

29 Mar 2017 Doctor — Doctor Give Me The News…………..
 |  Category: Travel & River House  | Comments off

The I-Phone alarm went off at five to start my day. I spent every minute taking care of my morning routine before I left for the Senior Center at seven. Once again I had a list a mile long of names to sort through for both Facebook and Lindedin. I’m confused as to the choices both present. Does one go for as many “likes” and “contacts” or just approve the people one interacts with or intends to? It is never easy.

The temperature was forty six when I headed to the Senior Center at ten minutes to seven. Once again I was first and uncovered and cleaned one of the two tables before someone else arrived. Fred has lived in Walla Walla his entire life and was able to explain a few things I need to know. I played much better yesterday and won most of my games. Playing a couple hours a day against decent competition always helps ones game. That applies to many more things than pool.

Judith was up when I returned to the RV and was getting ready for our trip to the Tri Cities. I got ready and we were out the door a few minutes after ten. Judith drove the forty eight miles while I tried to clear out my e-mails which were long overdue.

Bob and Nancy didn’t want to go through the hassle of going out to lunch so I took a survey and ended up going to Kentucky Fried Chicken. I haven’t been there in at least ten years. I Googled a nearby location and made the two mile trip. This was one of the locations that sells both KFC and A&W. I ordered four lunches which took about ten minutes for the only guy behind the counter to fill. I ordered an original mini meal. It sure wasn’t as good as I remember.

We left Bob and Nancy’s around two and headed for Best Buy to get Judith a new computer. I stayed in the car and talked with Wendy to finalize our advertising for the New York Times, Home & Land and Cowboys and Indians. We wrapped things up and the ads will appear in the June and July issues which will come out the first part of May.

Darrell called late in the day to let me know that we had over six hundred views on a new video posted just two days ago. It was the drone video. While we had lots of views the average time was only 33 seconds which doesn’t even get them down to River House. .

Rain is in the forecast for many of the next four or five days. River House is warming up. Hopefully all the snow will be all gone by the time we return in just a little over three weeks. I’ve got the crews lined up and projects will resume on April 24th.

Today I’ll leave soon for the Senior’s Center. After pool we have doctor’s appointments set up for ten. We gave appointments with our new GP for our annual physical.

28 Mar 2017 Zero Growth–Almost………
 |  Category: Travel & River House  | Comments off

A White Peacock At Pioneer Park

I was up at the crack of five to get everything done by seven when the pool playing starts at the Walla Walla Senior’s Center. Facebook has become a much larger task than I thought. Just reviewing the requests and posts is a thirty minute job. I still haven’t broken the code for Linkedin but continue to try. They don’t “support” our Canadian ISP which seems to be a problem. It is never easy.

I was the first in the door at the Senior Center. Last fall a guy named Richard was always first and had the tables uncovered by seven. He wasn’t there. When another player came in he explained Richard had been 86ed. Apparently he made comments that didn’t fly. Sad.

I’m as rusty as an old gate as I have only played once since leaving here last November. It will take several days to get back in the swing of things then it will be time to hit the road to Pendleton. Say yes to one thing – No to another.

On the way back to the RV Park I drove through downtown. The same buildings and spaces that were vacant the last two times we visited, for the most part, where still vacant. That is a little unnerving for someone that is thinking about building a commercial building. When I got back I Googled Walla Walla population and found out there has been little if any growth since 1990. The population stays a little above thirty thousand. On one hand that is great; beautiful little downtown and limited traffic. On the other hand could we rent out retail spaces? While this potential project isn’t all about building a very profitable building/business at least breaking even is a must. The world is unfolding as it should.

Judith did laundry while I got a few things ordered. After lunch we headed off to Pioneer Park for our daily walk. I made one lap before my hip, the one that wasn’t replaced, started waving the white flag. I sat on a park bench while Judith took another lap.

Judith and I split the cooking duties. I broke out the Tool Box Grill and cooked a Cornish Game Hen. I split it in two, sprinkled on three different spices and cooked it over the coals. Judith cooked Swiss chard, baked beans and a garden salad. It was excellent and NO leftovers.

This morning I’ll play at the senior center. At ten Judith and I will drive to Kennewick to have lunch with her brother Bob and his wife, Nancy.

27 Mar 2017 Spring is Springing………
 |  Category: Travel & River House  | Comments off

It is not the high RVing season in Walla Walla. In fact this park is less than half full with large propane tanks sitting next to many rigs. Those tanks are dead giveaways that those people aren’t just passing through. The reduced customers and the location, off the main track, make for a very quiet place.

I was up early doing all the things I pile on my plate. Adding Facebook and Linkedin has increased my e-mails tenfold. I think that will die down once all the invites are over. People I knew decades ago are popping up on my radar.

Judith and I decided to walk downtown for breakfast. We decided to try Bacon and Eggs, the restaurant. We walked in around ten and had to wait five minutes for a table. The service was quick and the food better than decent and reasonable. On the way back I measured four available lots in the downtown area. Three are lots occupied by the old Ford Dealership before they left Walla Walla. We were back at the RV just before noon and logged a little over two miles walking. I need to get back in shape and need to walk at least two miles every day.

Spring is about to happen here in Walla Walla. The Iris and tulips are up and the trees are budded out and will be blossoming soon. Once we live here this is about the time of the year we’ll be returning.

Judith went off shopping to restock our groceries while I grabbed some graph paper and laid out the available lots. I then cut out different sized buildings, to scale, as well as groups of ten parking spaces. All four lots will accommodate a building with a six thousand square foot footprint and ample parking. We certainly aren’t going to start the building project until River House is sold but it doesn’t hurt to check things out.

Judith took on the cooking duties. Finding favorite restaurants, here in Walla Walla, has been a slow process. We have found a good Mexican place but good Chinese and Thai places are a different story. I’m sure we’ll break the code. It is never easy……

This morning I’ll be at the Senior Center when it opens at seven for a couple hours of pool. When that’s over I have things to order and I’ve got to get back to organizing the last seventeen years of expenses at River House.

26 Mar 2017 Walla Walla—Water Water
 |  Category: Travel & River House  | Comments off

A Shot of The Columbia River Below Where The Walla Walla River And Columbia Meet……..

Dawn broke with clear skies and hopes of a sunny day. I was looking for a beautiful day to drive up the Columbia Gorge. Over the years I have probably driven this route at least a hundred times and I never get tired of this unique drive.

Long before the light went on in Darrell’s house I had all my daily chores done and ready to tie up a few loose ends with Darrell.

Darrell turned on the light shortly after eight signaling he was up with the coffee on. I made my way up the driveway turning to get a good look at the Columbia River which runs west to dump in the Ocean at Astoria.

Judith and Judy joined us around nine. Judy cooked breakfast in time to get us on the road at our planned departure time of ten o’clock. We said our goodbyes and thanked them for putting up with us on our extended stay and hit the road.

As soon as I turned on I-5 south there was a little grade getting on the freeway. I thought there was no better time to check out the power and put the pedal to the metal. The F-450 responded with all the power it had and got us up to sixty in a heartbeat.

The traffic was light and moving at the limit. Within twenty minutes we were turning on I-205 with traffic still moving at the limit. Once we turned east on I-84 clouds started to appear and within ten miles it started to rain. That didn’t last long. It was apparent this area had lots of snow this year; piles were still along the HI way and many trees had broken limbs apparently from the heavy snowfall during this past winter.

For many years we always stopped at the Hood River Hotel for lunch. Unfortunately the restaurant we liked closed two years ago and we just haven’t found a good replacement.

In the recent past “they” reintroduced Big Horn Sheep to the Columbia Gorge and that seems to be very successful. Up until a couple of years ago it was a rare sight to see a single sheep. A couple years ago we started seeing sheep on almost every trip with the numbers growing rapidly. Today we just saw one flock, however, there were well over a dozen standing just yards from the busy Hi way.

We pulled into Walla Walla just after four. I quickly unhooked and went to find propane. I found only one place open and paid the price; $2.79 a gallon. I drove back thru the downtown and noticed one of the lots we are interested in is still for sale.

Shortly after I got back we were off on a walk to the down town area to check things out. The Walla Walla area boasts over one hundred and thirty three wine tasting rooms and they were open and busy late in the day. We made a two mile loop and we back at the RV park in time to start dinner.

I fired up the tool box grill and cooked a salmon fillet. Judith cooked corn on the cob, backed sweet potatoes and made a carrot salad. Excellent.

Today we won’t be doing much. We spent the last week traveling and need a little time to recharge our batteries.

25 Mar 2017 Question of the Day……….
 |  Category: Travel & River House  | Comments off

If Cats and Dogs Can Get Along Why Can’t Democrats And Republicans?

The plan for the day was to get the truck and get to Walla Walla a five hour drive north.

I was up at five and got all my morning routine out of the way and even did my exercise routine which has been on the back shelf since returning from Australia.

Darrell’s light went on around eight signaling he was up and the coffee was brewing. He was glued to the computer screen when I walked in and stayed that way pretty much all day. He was working on a new HTML flyer for the River House marketing program.

I grabbed a cup of coffee and started in on my projects sharing his office which looks out across the Columbia River. There is always rain here but more so than normal and the rivers, including The Columbia, are bank full and near flood stage.

As part of the River House marketing program I’ll be using both Facebook and Linkedin and with Darrell’s help got those up and running this trip. Yesterday I got a message from an old friend and reconnected after over fifteen years. We talked for a long time and got caught up. His boys are now forty and forty one. It seems just like yesterday those kids were four and five playing in our yard in Petaluma.

I checked in on our world; warming up at River House, the same for Walla Walla and more rain here in Kalama.

I called the Ford place at eleven and they confirmed the part was in and the tech was working on it and it should be done by noon or shortly thereafter. We got the trailer ready for a quick departure and waited for the call to come pick up the truck. That call didn’t come until almost two making it too late to hit the road. Darrell and Judy were good sports and invited us for another night. The cop hasn’t returned; a good thing.

We tried to take them out to dinner but they refused and Judy made a wonderful casserole. After dinner we broke out the Pegs and Joker game and Darrell and I won 2-1.

This morning we’ll say good bye to Darrell and Judy around ten and head for Walla Walla. We were planning to go visit friends in Spokane but will postpone that until next weekend.

24 Mar 2017 Stuck In Lodi, Again………….
 |  Category: Travel & River House  | Comments off

Kalama is just thirty five miles north of Portland, Oregon and has similar weather; lots of rain. It was raining this morning when I greeted the day at five.

The first problem of the day was having no water for coffee. We only use bottled water on the road and usually store a few bottles in the backseat of the F-450. Of course, with the F-450 miles away at the Ford dealership, our water supply wasn’t available. Bottled water isn’t an issue at River House we have an unlimited supply of wonderful fresh water right out of the tap. Imagine that.

With only a month left I need to get all my ducks in line for things we’ll be taking back across the border. When we originally put in the gas lights, which surround River House , Harry cast concrete decorative bases. While beautiful they were very heavy and had to be lifted over the eight foot light posts; no easy tasks. They required too much maintenance and after a long search I found an almost identical design made out of cast iron. They are a clam shell design which will make for easy installation. I ordered twelve; ten for the existing ten lights surrounding River House and two more for the gas lights that will be installed near the new entry gate. They are being shipped to Walla Walla and should arrive within ten days.

Darrell turned on the living room light at eight our signal that he is up and the coffee is brewing. A cup of coffee never tasted so good.

Darrell has been working my fingers to the bone since we pulled into the driveway. Not only has he edited all the videos and developed the new website he is developing most of the media ads. The marketing is twofold; direct to the potential buyers and a reach out with our finder’s fee program.

My phone rang shortly after ten. It was the service writer at Ford letting me know the part didn’t arrive, however, the next delivery would be at two thirty and he was “sure” it would arrive today and they would get it repaired before five.

Even seventeen years ago I refused to travel at night so heading to Walla Walla at dusk wasn’t in the cards. I called the police department and pleaded my case to the dispatcher who was nice and said staying another day wasn’t a problem. It is never easy…..

The phone rang again at two thirty. It was Ford again: no part.

Dinner was easy; we pulled out all of last night’s leftovers and had a quick, easy and good meal. After dinner we broke out the Pegs and Jokers game. Judy and Judith gave us a lesson and are this visit’s champions.

Darrell and I have accomplished a lot these last two days. As soon as the truck is ready we’ll hook up and head to Walla Walla. It is still raining and will continue for most of the day.

23 Mar 2017 Good News….Bad News
 |  Category: Travel & River House  | Comments off