Whale, Crab, & Depoe Bay

Today was a real lazy one. Although we got up at a reasonable time, we didn’t leave the trailer until afternoon when we decided to visit Depoe Bay. While pondering that short trip we just sat and read our books. We read a lot, just sitting here in the quiet. 
It must have rained last night because there were puddles on our picnic table.  By the time we got in the truck the sun was trying to shine, and by the time we got to Depoe Bay it was in full bloom. Sunshine everywhere. Our objective was lunch at Gracie’s Sea Hag restaurant.  We always eat there when in the vicinity because it’s good.  I have the Crab Louie, and Diane has fish and chips. It’s the best around. 

Before going in to eat, however, we sat on a bench overlooking the inlet to the bay from the ocean and we were treated to a terrific show by a pod of whales. They were spouting all over the place and some were rolling to show us their fins and others gave us good looks at their tales. It was pretty awesome.  It’s the first time I’ve ever seen whales off the Oregon coast. I forgot to mention that on the way through Depoe Bay on Monday we had to stop at the light and saw whales spouting so we knew they were in the area. What a treat. 

We returned to the park around 4:30 pm and sat on the beach for an hour, huddled in our winter coats watching the little children play in the freezing water unfazed. I actually remember those days when I thought the Pacific Ocean was warm. Brrrrrr. 

When the wind picked up, making the kiters happy, we returned to the trailer to warm up. Before going in I reconnected the satellite dish just for fun (it didn’t work yesterday) and it worked. Diane’s ecstatic!  It works. Our southern exposure is severely limited so I’m surprised it worked. Now we can watch HGTV all night. Great, right?

I’m quitting now, before I get into trouble. 

Don’t forget to revisit this weeks entry next week because I’ll be adding photos. In case you’re interested. 

Beverly Beach & Wal*Mart

So, here we are at Beverly Beach on the glorious Oregon Coast. We arrived yesterday afternoon when it was bright, sunny, and warm. The space (C7) had all the necessary features (water, sewer, electricity, cable TV) but it was only 32 feet long. The trailer and truck need more like 45 feet of space.  But, we parked, got the trailer stabilized and spent a pretty good night in the quiet. Right behind our spot is an ongoing bank stabilization project to keep the park from falling into the creek behind us. Big trees coming down and big rocks being added. Fun to watch but noisy when they got to work around 9 this morning. 

People gathered in the closed spot next to us to watch the chaos. So, I went to visit the Rangers to see if there was something a little further inland that was available. I though it was worth a shot because we watched a lot of big rigs filing out of the park.  Luck was with us and Taylor, my Ranger, closed us out if C7 and logged us into G36. Doing this meant we’d have to rough it without sewer and TV. There was an outside chance the satellite receiver might work but it didn’t. 

BUT, G36 is a 65 foot long pull through spot so it was OK. We just decided we’d skip showers and only go to the bathroom every second time we felt the need. Now, considering our advanced age, that last bit was a stretch so we decided instead that we’d only flush every second time. After careful consideration we decided the heck with it, we’re on vacation, so we’re just going to use the bathroom whenever we want to. As many times as we want to.  When the tank gets full we’ll deal with it.

Sadly, when removing stuff from the truck I discovered that my treasured iPad has a cracked screen. It still works good, but it’s very unsightly and I just know that it won’t be long before I suffer a sever, life altering injury while swiping through one of my books. So, I’ll be looking at new ones sometime soon. 

Speaking of books … I downloaded a new one from iBooks yesterday and it doesn’t work like all the others. I checked. Instead of advancing a page forward when tapping the ride side of the screen, it goes back one page. Just the opposite of all the other books I have. Also, when viewing it in two column mode, you must read the right column first, then the left one or it doesn’t make any sense. So, I put it in scroll mode, which I don’t like but will use because I like the book. Very odd behavior. 

This morning, before changing spots, we went to Wal*Mart in Newport to get Diane some socks because her feet were cold and she didn’t bring any and I wouldn’t let her use mine. I knew right where Wal*Mart was because I had to go there yesterday to get an RV water regulator to replace the one I left laying on the garage floor at home. After returning “home” we went to the beach and took a nice long walk.  According to Diane’s Fitbit we went 3.5 miles. Pretty good. I came back with a nice load of rocks to mess with. The first one I found was an agate. The rest weren’t. 

I have photos for all the things I mentioned, but can’t add them from my iPad. If I remember, I’ll add them when we get home next month. Until then. Stay safe and don’t believe everything you hear on the news. And, I lied about my socks. Diane can wear them any time she wants. 

Observations From The Road

The other day I noticed a Tesla Model S in the park and ride lot for the Columbia County Rider.  Seemed a little odd to me that someone driving an electric vehicle would park it then jump on a gas guzzling bus. Could be, I suppose, they needed what charge they had remaining for their trip home after work. 

Speaking of electric vehicles. Do you, like me, find it unfair that electric car drivers are provided premium parking places, with chargers, all over the place? Seems to me that we who can’t afford an electric car should be provided comparable parking spots with gas pumps. 

Just sayin. 

Mary, Hood to Coast Relay, & Spaghetti

Before getting to the cheerful stuff, I’m compelled to report that we’ve lost another friend. Mary Newell-Dickinson depart this mortal domain on August 20th. She was only 68, and passed peacefully in her sleep. Her departure was a total surprise to everyone, especially her husband, Ross. It’s a tragedy, but we rest comfortably in the knowledge that she’s just gone ahead to help us find our way when it’s our time. So, whether or not you knew Mary, please remember her and send healing prayers to Ross.

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Incidentally, Mary was a member of the OMTAAMB (One More Time Around Again Marching Band). Maybe you’ve heard of them.

Our friends Jeannie, and Susan are also in the band. I’ll talk about them on another day.

Yesterday Diane and I chipped in to help daughter Jennifer prepare food for the Hood to Coast walkers and runners. For those of you who are not familiar with the Hood to Coast, it’s a relay race from Mt. Hood to Seaside. It’s about a 200 mile trek for the runners. Walkers also relay but start from Portland. The object of this event is to make it to Seaside before all those who went before you drink all the beer.

Team members take turns and each member normally runs or walks three 5 KM segments. The runners/walkers start in the morning and continue throughout the night with the last participants arriving in Seaside Saturday morning. It’s one of the largest relay races in the world, and they always come through St. Helens. One of the main stops for food is the Columbia County Fair Grounds which just happens to be located on the outskirts of St. Helens. One of the traditions for providing food is for the St. Helens High School parents and Seniors to sponsor the main food service for the Senior’s Safe & Sober program. They make lots of money doing this, but they provide some pretty good food in return. High Carb stuff to keep participants moving.

Diane and my contribution was to make spaghetti for 200. We’ve never done that before so it was an exciting challenge. During our effort we made 8 gallons of sauce and boiled up 10 double packages of spaghetti noodles. The spaghetti noodles were cooked to perfection. I know that’s true because we know who Al Dente is. He lives just down the street.

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Now, here’s where I must share what learned during this evolution … when stirring either sauce, or noodles, it’s beneficial to have tools with handles that are longer than the water or sauce is deep. Not observing this rule results in repeated, painful burns to fingers when attempting to get stuff from the bottom of the pan. I only burned myself twice before opting for a long-handled spoon to finish the job. In all we had two very large pots of sauce, and I cooked the noodles 3 packages at a time in the same pots after moving the sauce to holding tanks with heaters. The hardest part about doing the noodles was waiting for the water to boil. For some reason it took an incredibly long time. Once it got going, however, it worked just fine so I just kept using it over and over, adding water sparingly to keep from cooling it down too much.

The final vote of confidence for all that work was received from the runners who complimented Jennifer and Lydia on the great spaghetti. And, they sold every bit of it. We did good.

After turning over our spaghetti efforts to Daniel & Jeran, Diane and I made ourselves presentable so we could join some of our Winnebago friends, Cliff, Susie, Carolann, & Terry at the St. Helens Elks Lodge for dinner. These folks park at the Elks a couple of times a year which gives us more opportunities to visit with them. We treasure our time with these folks.

That’s Susie, Diane, Carolann, Terry, Me, and Cliff after the end of a pretty terrific meal served by one of the happiest waitresses I believe I’ve ever seen. As Terry said, “she should smile more.” She couldn’t do that, of course, because there wasn’t a moment when she wasn’t smiling.

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The St. Helens Elks Lodge #1999 sits on a hill with a terrific view of the Columbia River. I don’t have a photo to prove it, but that’s OK. I’m sure everyone believes me. Right?

While Diane and I were playing with spaghetti, Jewel went to the Portland International Airport to meet her daughter, Jessica, and family when they arrived from Perth, Australia. That, my friends, is a very long trip.

Now it’s Saturday, 1530 hours in the afternoon. This morning I mowed the entire yard, as well as one of our neighbor’s yards, edged stuff, and hauled a trailer load of debris to the burn pile. I could do that because it was only in the 80’s. I’m allowed outside when it’s under 90. I don’t know why it matter becasue I sweat just as much either way. But, rules are rules, ya know?

That’s it for now. I have some ball games to watch.

Guess Who Got Specs !

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… and, she got a T-shirt to match. How cool is that?

Baylee has joined the majority portion of the world who wears glasses and she couldn’t be happier. Turns how she’s been having difficulty for a little while at school but it wasn’t noticeable to the teacher until she saw Baylee trying to hold her eyes open so she could see better. The teacher initially thought she was trying to stay awake. Far from it.

Now she sees perfectly, just like the rest of us.

Doctor Visits, Golf, Gmail & Outlook, RV Dumping

Last Monday I had a doctor’s appointment but gave it up so Diane could go in my place. Since I don’t go to the doc very often I was pretty sure they wouldn’t notice that Diane wasn’t me. But, they fooled me, and knew it was Diane right away. I think it’s because her hair is longer than mine. Even though they knew it wasn’t me they chose to see Diane anyway because, well, she needed to be seen. My appointment was just for a 2-month followup. Nothing’s happened in the last two months, however, so I was OK not seeing the doc. But, as luck would have it, they had an opening with my doctor right after my original appointment, so all that subtrafuge, though fun, was a total waste of time.

Diane had to see the doc because she developed a mysterious rash on her neck that was driving her nutsoid. She said it didn’t hurt, it just itched. We were concerned that it might be a new episode of shingles, and the doctor was wondering that herself. Diane now has some cream to help with the itch and it appears to be working.

Me? I’m fine. My BP was 117/68 (or something like that), HR 72, and weight 197. The weight, of course, is incorrect. It always is at the doc’s office. I wonder why that is. In addition to  asking all the normal questions about any changes I may have noticed, doc checked my ear to see how the Mohs surgery went. The ear is still a bit tender, but it healed so nicely that you can barely see that anything was done. My surgeon did a fabulous job. I also had photos taken of my retinas to see how my diabetes is going. I got the good news today that it’s all normal.

Yesterday I was forced to go golfing with Junior and Doug and I had one of my better rounds (52). Not bad for a 37 handicap. Yes, that’s how bad I really am. The reason is because I’m no too concerned with trees and just pretend they aren’t there if they happen to be between me and where I want to go. Most of the time it doesn’t work, but the times it does is lots of fun.

After golf I paid a visit to Eva, one of my high school class mates, who was having trouble with adding a Gmail account to her Outlook application. I couldn’t figure it out, but had a great visit. After returning home I went to work on the internet in an attempt to figure out how to fix it. It was a waste of time because I was really wanting to be outside working but Diane wouldn’t let me because it was so hot. Running 90+ I think and I’m forbidden to be outside when it’s that hot. I don’t mind, but hot days are the ones I’d rather be inside anyway so I don’t whine about it. Well, I don’t whine about it every time. Just once in a while, to keep in practice.

No, regarding Gmail and Outlook … I figured it out this afternoon and it’s kind of interesting. I’d explain it to you but I don’t want to. If you’re really interested, let me know and I’ll tell you.

Before doing the Gmail research, I hooked up the travel trailer in preparation for a run to the dump station next to Burgerville. Regarding that … I don’t believe any of the rumors going around about Burgerville using water from the dump station to wash their pans. I think it goes directly into the city sewer system. Honest. The trailer had to be dumped because when we left Big Eddy on July 24th their dump station was no available. So, we just went on home thinking we would do it when we got to St. Helens. But, we didn’t. Instead, we just went home to visit with Jewel and the dogs. Once the trailer was parked, there seemed to be too many other things going on that made hooking up the trailer difficult. Today, however, we decided that it had to be done since we will need to have all tanks empty for our trip to Beverly Beach next week. The dump went well, in case you’re wondering. Didn’t spill a drop. I was a bit concerned that the black tank may have solidified after sitting for a month, and that I may have to get a bunch of Fleet enemas to get things going, but it wasn’t necessary. It was a complete, uneventful evacuation of all tanks. Made me proud.

Upon returning home I put on my outdoor work clothes because I wanted to flatten a portion of the front yard that’s been a lump for years. Despite warnings about temps too high for me to be working outside (98) I went anyway and accomplished the task. then I took a shower so Diane would let me sit in the living room this evening.

For those of you keeping track of Jewel, I must admit that Diane and I are having difficulty helping her gain weight. She only weighs like 12 pounds and nothing seems to stick to her. Actually, she weighs more than that but it’s a secret. She did make a comment the other day that I thought was quite funny. She said she’s just a stick figure with wrinkles. But, she’s healthy and appears to be happy, so we should probably just quit making her eat ice cream all the time and leave her alone.

Hope all of you are happy and well.

Bubble Soccer

Lydia’s team played some rousing rounds of bubble soccer in the high school gym this evening. It was fun to watch. After the girls had a few rounds, the parents got involved to play against their daughters. Jennifer, of course, was the first one on the floor so she could suit up and knock Lydia down. She did, too, but Lydia made her pay by knocking Mom down over and over. Jennie was laughing so hard she could hardly stand up. Everyone watching was laughing, also. Fun stuff.

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I took video but, alas, cannot make it work on the blog. Had to share Jennifer all suited up, though.