Archive for ◊ October, 2017 ◊

31 Oct 2017 And The Truth Is……………….
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The furnace came on several times and hour as the temperature headed toward freezing. There is a cold spell forecast for this coming week. I put off filling the empty propane tank and wondered if I was going to pay the price.

I turned on the news and watched both CNN and Fox. If one just landed from Mars they would think the broadcasts were coming from two different countries. Make that planets.

I planned to leave ten minutes to seven: however, a thick coat of ice was on the truck’s windows. It does have a remote start; however, the engine is just a couple of feet from Judith’s head. I started the truck and backed it away for our space until the windows defrosted then I was off to the Senior’s Center.

Fred was already at the table with the balls ready to be racked. We played about ten minutes before the rest of the players arrived. The Morning crew is down to four regulars. They are all better than decent players making it challenging and fun. Chris came in with a handful of hundred dollar bills for his new Cousin’s Cue. I played for two hours and headed back to the park.

Judith was up and outside when I arrived. She is feeling much better; a good thing. We discussed the day over breakfast. Job one for me was getting propane. When I pulled off the propane bottles one was totally empty and the other only had about five percent left. This park doesn’t sell propane; however, there is a propane place just down the street. Propane is relatively cheap here; forty bucks for fourteen gallons.

Next we revised our RVing schedule eliminating Yuma from our travels and leaving a few days early to get back by April 11th when our six month lease expires along with the insurance.

The rest of the day I spent working on the manual and ordering a few items to take back to Canada. In years past I usually wait to the last month and have paid the price. I don’t need to take a lot back but……………

30 Oct 2017 Cooler Days Ahead………
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My alarm went off at six to start my day. It is cooling down and our furnace ran most of the night. I put on the coffee and turned on the news. We have cable TV here and a decent internet signal. I finished my Sudoku and crossword puzzles before heading to the Senior Center just before seven.

One of the players, Fred, had the cover off one of the tables and was getting the balls ready to rack. Before we finished playing the first game two more players came through the door. We agreed to play nine ball on one table and eight ball on the other. One of the players collects cues and proudly announced he finally was able to buy a Cousin’s Cue one on Ebay. As he was showing it to me he said what he really wanted was a 4-point. I reached in my case and pulled out a new one I carry with me and said “like this”. He bought it on the spot…….

Judith was up cooking breakfast when I got back to the RV Park at nine. She is still a little under the weather but keeping her down is next to impossible.

I worked on the systems manual most of the day with the exception of having lunch with Judith and Rebecca. Rebecca and her family are Canadians that moved to Walla Walla with her husband who is a pharmacist at Safeway. Safeway just offered him a position in Port Angeles and they will move there in a couple of months. Rebecca agreed to keep helping with direct mailings. I plan to restart those efforts sixty days before we return to River House.

Judith won the evening crib game. We decided to just graze for dinner and cleaned up the last of the leftovers.

Tomorrow will be another day without a lot scheduled. Amen.

29 Oct 2017 Sunday….Sunday………..
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Judith was coming down with something when I went to bed last night and that was on my mind when I got up this morning at seven twenty. Losing my alarm clock, AKA Buddy, is resulting in more sleep especially on dark mornings.

I checked my e-mails and did my morning mental exercises and even did a little reading. At nine I couldn’t stand it any longer and woke up Judith. She was alive and kicking although not feeling all the chipper. We had breakfast and discussed the day. Other than walking a couple times around the RV Park it looked like a pretty eventless day.

Job one for me was going through all the pictures Judith took selecting the ones I need for the systems manual I’m putting together. The internet at this park isn’t the best making downloading the pictures more difficult than it should have been.

While it was down near freezing last night it warmed up nicely into the high sixties today. Unfortunately the worm is turning and the forecast for next weekend is for nights to be down in the high twenties with some precipitation possible. That could make for some white stuff. No Thank you. We will be in Pendleton at the Fall Poker Tournament and if we have to pack up our dolls and dishes and head south before the main event—- so be it. We do plan to go over to the coast and follow 101 south to Petaluma.

Judith insisted on cooking dinner and made chicken in sour cream gravy. Sautéed pea pods and a nice organic salad finished out the menu. We broke our golden rule and watched TV during dinner; the World Series. In days past I was a real baseball nut and followed the game closely. When we started spending summers in Canada there wasn’t time to watch baseball and I lost my love for the game. Baseball seems to have changed a lot; grip it and rip it seems to be the game plan. Twenty home runs have already been hit and we still have two innings left in game five and one more and possibly two more games.

Tomorrow I’ll go to the Senior Center early for pool then work on the manuals. We have lunch planned with Rebecca who is helping with some direct mailing. She is a Bulkley Valley transplant and will soon be leaving Walla Walla for Port Angeles. She is the daughter of Fred Tabert who is one of the many contractors that have made River House wonderful.

28 Oct 2017 Break Out The Longjohns…………
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Part of coming several times a year to Walla Walla is to make sure this is the place where we want to spend the rest of our lives. After living, six months a year, in a remote part of Canada moving back to a highly populated area like California just isn’t in the cards. We only have one kid left in California and with his recent divorce I doubt if he’ll remain in California much longer. The wild card here is the winter which look as if it may start early this year. The good news is Walla Walla feels like home and we know the area well and are getting more use to what it has to offer each trip.

My day started a little late at seven twenty. I forgot to do the blog last night so that became job one this morning. Next I checked the cameras at River House; no snow. The heating system computer monitor isn’t working but a new Mac is on the horizon. Looking at both and making sure everything is OK starts the day off on the right foot. Next I did my to do list and completed both Sudoku’s.

Judith was up at nine and we discussed the day. We decided to meet Bobby and Jennifer at Macy’s in downtown and decided to take our daily walk first. As we drove through the downtown area we saw the Farmer’s Market and decided to take a look. We found a parking space nearby and checked out the twenty or so booths. Judith bought some bread and Granny’s Tamales caught my eye. We bought six and only five made it back to the truck.

Bobby and Jennifer met us in front of Macy’s at noon. A few minutes later we were sitting in the Whoopemup Restaurant. We’ve eaten there a few time and they do a better than decent job with their Cajun menu. We caught up on things before heading back to the RV to give Bobby a six pack of Sleemans; his favorite Canadian beer.

I took on the cooking duties and fired up the Tool Box Grill and cooked two Salmon fillets. We had our second artichokes of the trip something we seldom buy in Smithers. Mac and cheese filled out the menu. We are trying to lay off the dessert which isn’t easy. I’ve already gained four pounds and counting.

Tomorrow we haven’t a lot planned and that suits us just fine…………………

28 Oct 2017 TGIF…………….
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My day started at six thirty. It doesn’t get light until almost seven and this RV Park is surprisingly quiet especially as it is so close to the freeway.

I got all my morning activities out of the way with the exception of an exercising program which somehow is eluding my daily routine. Habits are made or broken in twenty one days. I better start putting exercising on my to do list.

Judith was up at eight thirty. We did bring the sour dough starter and I make pancakes for breakfast. Judith brought alone some of her wonderful jams; the perfect topping for sour dough pancakes.

I received several pictures from Fred of our now almost deckless Lake Cabin. While it looks strange the new plan will be so much more functional, low maintenance and will never need replacing. The ground work is done and will settle in and be ready for construction, placing of paving stones and landscaping in the spring.

We were off to Kennewick a little after ten with Judith at the wheel. It was the first time she has driven the new truck and did a fine job. Our first stop was at the BofA which has closed most branches here in the Northwest. I picked up cash and Judith had to make an appointment with the manager, for later in the day, to get a debit card replaced she left in Canada. The appointment was for 2:30 making it necessary to return to the bank after lunch.

Bob and Nancy have lived in Kennewick all their married life and in this particular house for at least the last fifteen or twenty years. For all that time the field behind their back fence has been just that a field. Not any more. It is now full with recently constructed new homes. So far, in just the ten days we’ve been back in the states, we are seeing lots of new construction happening and help wanted signs everywhere. Hmmmm.

We talked for almost two hours before driving to the Shangri La a Chinese Restaurant that has been around since the crust of the earth was still cooling. Their food is better than decent and the portions are huuuuge. We ordered four dishes and ate lots and we walked out with four two go boxes.

On her return to the bank Judith asked why all the BofA branches were being closed. She was told by the manager that “BofA will be putting up new fancy ATMs all over that will replace the branches”. She also said “cash and cards are obsolete and all you’ll ever need is your phone”! Hmmm…..

Over the years little moths have taken up residence in our RV and always reappear about this time of year. This year they came out strong and in numbers far beyond what we’ve seen in the past. Just before we left for Kennewick we let off a “bug bomb”. The directions called for lots of things including letting the place air out for at least two hours before reoccupying. Judith had errands to run so I volunteered to open things up and sit out in the sun for a couple of hours. Someone has to do the heavy lifting.

We were so full we opted to forget cooking dinner and eventually warmed up some leftovers from lunch.

Nephew Bobby called after lunch and he and his wife, Jennifer, will be coming over for a visit tomorrow. One of the reasons for choosing Walla Walla was having family nearby; a good thing. Before they arrive I’ll work on the manuals.

26 Oct 2017 Smell The Roses…………..
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The alarm clock went off at six and I was off to the aces. I reverted back to writing and posting my blog at night now that I’m not working ten and twelve hour days giving me more time in the morning. I quickly checked my e-mails then called John at Capture. We seldom talked this last six months: I was super busy at Rive House and he is busy growing Capture back to the ten million dollar mark. We just ended our 2017 and ended up just a shade under eight million. John is currently working on acquiring a company in Las Vegas that should add a couple million a year.

I was out the door at seven and walked into the Walla Walla Senior Center a few minutes after seven. I was surprised no one else was there and uncovered a table and starting hitting a few balls. It wasn’t until seven thirty that three other players walked through the front door. We exchanged hellos and I soon found out three of the players had died over the winter. The morning pool group is down to only about four guys. We played until nine. I was as rusty as an old gate but enjoyed the time on the green felt. I had little time to play this past summer.

Judith was up and we discussed the day. I paid some bills and sent some money to Canada. The American dollar has rebounded and risen almost six points in the last ten days.

After lunch Judith and I made a trip to Home Depot to pick up a few items. While out we checked out three other RV Parks in Walla Walla. We will be coming back in the spring to spend our last month RVing and are looking into alternatives to this park. Walla Walla has set up a homeless camp two blocks away from this park and walks to downtown involve dealing with people lying and sitting on the sidewalk waiting for the facility to open. The camp was opened a couple years ago and its population keeps growing with people coming in from other nearby towns.

We walked around Pioneer Park and the surrounding area checking out possible residential neighborhoods just in case the commercial building scenario doesn’t work out. The weather was perfect and the park was filled with squirrels scampering around. They aren’t afraid of humans and often run up and beg for food. Hmmm……….

Judith took on the cooking duties. Meals are so easy and simple in the RV; a pan or two, paper plates and a couple knives, forks and spoons. I won the evening crib game.

Tomorrow the Senior Center is closed as it is on the last Friday of every month. Judith and I will drive to Kennewick to visit her brother, Bob and sister-in-law Nancy. We’ll have lunch at their favorite Chinese restaurant and make it back to Walla Walla before dark.

25 Oct 2017 Hello….Walla Walla
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My intentions were to get up at six. That didn’t happen. I greeted the day at seven already behind the eight ball. There was no rain on the roof; a good thing especially on a travel day. I quickly checked e-mails then wrote and posted my blog.

I woke Judith up at eight and we got to work getting the rig ready to roll. We were finished at eight. Minutes later Judy and Darrell arrived. The RV Park has a little restaurant open for just breakfast and lunch. We walked in to find just one other table occupied. We were met by a pleasant sixty something lady who turned out to be the cook, waitperson and bottle washer. She brought us coffee and water and warned us she was alone and we’d have to be patient. Ten minutes later she came back and took our order. I ordered Virginia biscuits and gravy. I’ve eaten a lot of biscuits and gravy in my day but never heard them called Virginia. I took well over twenty minutes to get our order and it was worth every minute. The biscuit was about six inches in diameter with a sausage patty the same size sitting on top and covered with sausage filled gravy. A large portion of hash browns came with the breakfast. I shared the hash browns with Judith and got down to business expecting to eat less than half of the huuuge offering. NOT. Biscuits and gravy don’t get any better and I ate every bite. Why again have I gained almost five pounds since hitting the road ten days ago?

We finished our breakfast, thanked and said goodbye to Judy and Darrell and hit the road at ten. I punched in our Walla Walla destination and learned it was two hundred and seventy miles away. The traffic was light all the way to 84 which follows the Columbia River Gorge. Soon after we entered the gorge we started seeing signs of the recent fire set by some deranged teenager throwing fireworks out the car window. Despite acres of burnt trees the drive was still breathtaking. For years we always stopped at the Hood River Hotel for lunch. Unfortunately the restaurant we liked closed several years ago. Nothing lasts forever………

We got to the Blue Valley RV Park a few minutes before they closed the office at four. The lady working the desk is about as friendly as a snapping turtle. She was unhappy I parked in the thru traffic lane even though there are three lanes coming into the park then warned me about the 5 MPH speed limit and “reminded” be we had one offence on our record. She has worked here several years and is a perfect example of someone who hates her job and tries hard to make everyone as miserable as herself. If customer service isn’t dead it is taking its last breath.

We quickly parked, unhooked and walked to Safeway, a two mile round trip. We went by all the empty lots we’ve been keeping an eye on and none have been sold. That’s good and bad; however, we don’t plan to buy any property in Walla Walla until River House is sold.

Tomorrow I’ll be at the senior center at seven to check out the pool action. That lasts until nine. Now that I’ve had a week to wind down from the crazy level of activity while at River House I’ll spend three or four hours a day working on the manuals I plan to give the new owners which will explain the many, many things they will need to know about heating, plumbing, cameras, etc.

25 Oct 2017 Goodbye Kalama………
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I was up at six to start my day. There were no raindrops hitting the roof. Unusually good and sunny weather is forecast for the next week, We are looking at 60’s in Walla Walla and that is just fine with us. I had just completed my morning USAToday puzzles when a text came in from Darrell letting me know he was up and the coffee on. Ten minutes later I was sitting in his living room enjoying my third cup of the morning.

I still had about five items to address on this last day before heading to Walla Walla. Job one was getting a MLS posting agreement in place for River House in British Columbia. With that done we called WEB, in Smithers, and made a deal on a used Mac to monitor the River House heating system. Next we hopped on Amazon and order two replacement cameras. Over ten years ago I ordered four and if my memory serves me well they were $370 bucks each. Today, with better technology, they are only $79.95. Will they last ten years? That is the question………..

I checked in with Fred, in Telkwa, as to the progress on the deck removal project. He said it had been raining a lot but felt he would still get the Lake Cabin deck removed this week. Next week he’ll meet with one of the contractors, on site, so everything is in place to begin work in mid-April.

Good BBQ was high on my list for lunch and Darrell and I combined errands and getting lunch on our trip to Longview. Last year we had a good BBQ at the Hop-N-Grape and decided to return today. The place was almost full; a good thing. We both ordered the brisket sandwich. Darrell ordered fries and I went with the baked beans as a side. Excellent.

We were done with the errands and back at the house at three thirty. I set up the Pegs and Jokers game to be ready when Judy and Judith returned from shopping and Judy’s PT appointment.

The ladies never returned until almost six putting both dinner and the Pegs and Jokers game off until almost eight. I fired up the Tool Box Grill and cooked fillets wrapped in bacon. Judith roasted my potatoes and carrots and Judy made a salad. While the veggies were roasting we played the first two games and each team won one. After dinner Darrell and I won the rubber game and will wear the championship banner until we play again.

Tomorrow we’ll have breakfast with Darrell and Judy at the restaurant at the RV Park which seems to get excellent reviews. Once breakfast is over and the traffic has calmed down a bit we’ll head up the Columbia Gorge to Walla Walla.

24 Oct 2017 Last Day In Kalama…………
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I was expecting more rain on the roof when my feet hit the floor at six. It looks as if I’m caught up on rest and starting my days around six. It wasn’t raining and the forecast has changed to give us an unusually warm week ahead. That is a relief being only fifty yards from the swollen Kalama River.

I checked my e-mails and then logged onto USAToday to complete my mental gymnastics. It is a nice change from Pokerstars as that sight isn’t available, at least for real money play, in the US.

Judith was up at nine. We had breakfast and discussed the day. Job one was going to the Kalama Post Office where I experienced the worst “customer service” on the planet. Kalama is a small town. I had our mail forwarded to Darrell’s with the correct street address but omitted the P.O. Box number. I was informed that wasn’t a “correct” address without a PO Box and the mail was returned to sender. The woman I talked with couldn’t of cared less.

Next I went to the local RV center and picked up a couple of need parts. The cost of RVing, like everything else, has increased dramatically. A combination hitch that accomplished leveling with sway bars was about $250 back in the day and is now over $740. With just a few months left that kind of investment doesn’t pencil.

At eleven we were off to have lunch with Linda and Richard. Linda was recently diagnosed with cancer and is just finishing her chemotherapy. We met at Gustov’s, a German Restaurant where we have met many times before. We spent almost two hours eating and catching up on things. Linda was amazing with the best attitude I’ve ever seen. Amazing.

On the way home we stopped at Safeway to get groceries and diesel. Diesel was $3.01 and today we are averaged a little over 20 mpg with this Chevy truck when not towing the trailer.

Judith took on the cooking duties and cooked crab cakes with a nice salad, a rice dish and sweet corn. A peach pie alamode was the perfect dessert.

Tomorrow is our last day before heading to Walla Walla. Darrell and I will finish up a few loose ends, Judith and Judy will do a little shopping before we meet back at the house for a late afternoon game of Pegs and Jokers.

23 Oct 2017 Kato Potato…………..
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I woke up at seven thirty and immediately looked out the window to check on the level of the Kalama River which borders this park on two sides. On several occasions, over the years, we have gone by this park when it was covered in several feet of water. With all the rain we’ve had the past few days my biggest concern was possible flooding. There was no water on or near our space; however, the river was bank full and close to spilling over. The good news was the rain had stopped and the tide was heading to low.

I had finished my crossword and Sudoku puzzles which are once again part of my morning routine. Keeping the old mine working is becoming a full time job. Just before I started writing my blog I checked my e-mails and opened an e-mail from Capture’s president, John Babin. He included a U-tube clip that was amazing. So amazing I decided it to share it rather than write my daily blog.

Judith was up at eight thirty and we discussed the day. The plan for the day was to visit our eighteen year old granddaughter, Kate, who recently moved to the Portland area.

The sun was shining when we left the park at eleven making for a pleasant drive to Beaverton just southwest of Portland. The night Kate was born we got a call from our son, David, asking us to come to Petaluma and take care of Sydney while they went to the hospital. We did and met the hours old Kate the next morning. They said they named her Kate a name they didn’t think I could rhyme with anything. Kato Potato is now a wonderful young lady who moved out of the house at eighteen to support herself working two jobs and enjoying life. We picked her up and eleven thirty and talked nonstop for the next two hours. She is working on getting her nurse’s assistant certification while supporting herself working two jobs logging lots of hours. Ubetcha……….. Unfortunately we forgot to get a picture.

We were back at the RV Park at three. Job one was getting propane and going for a walk around the park; our first exercise since we left River House over a week ago. What a change in lifestyles. Strangely enough we love both. We are pretty sure this is our last year of RVing and that is sad on one level and on the other we are looking forward to getting to the next chapter of our interesting and amazing lifestyle. Be careful of what you dream.

We went to Darrell and Judy’s for dinner. Judy cooked a wonderful bone in pork roast. Yummy.

Tomorrow we will visit Judith’s cousin, Linda and her husband Richard, who live in the Portland area. We’ll meet at a favorite restaurant and catch up on things. Later in the day we’ll stop by at Darrell and Judy’s where Darrell and I will work on River House’s camera and on line heating systems.