Ozzie 2005 – 2021

Our little Buddy is gone. I’ve had to delay this news because he passed away in his sleep while we were away in Montana. He was 16 years old, but he acted like a little puppy most of the time. Toward the end he was blind and had an attitude to the point where his groomer wasn’t able to get him looking this handsome. Still, we loved the little guy to the end and miss him every day.

Ciao, Oz.

Assigned Gender?

  • I recently had to fill out a medical form at the VA and was surprised to see that the “Gender” block had been changed. Instead of having just “M” and “F” is shows “Gender Assigned at Birth – M of F”.

I understand that in today’s world, gender identification is almost a science of its own because many people who were assigned the “M” gender at birth don’t mentally or socially associate themselves with other “M” assignees. I get it. Same goes for those assigned the “F”. I’m sure this has been an issue for many many generations but it just wasn’t discussed so openly as it is now.

Complicating this further, gender pronouns are a hot button for many folks, so I did a little research and found this info provided by the Vassar LGBTQ Center.

QUOTE 

What is a gender pronoun?

  • A gender pronoun is a pronoun that a person chooses to use for themself. For example: If Xena’s gender pronouns are sheher, and hers, you could say “Xena ate her food because she was hungry.”

END QUOTE

OK, got it. People can choose their own gender pronouns to reflect how they feel about themselves. I respect that and do my best to comply with their wishes when I encounter the need.

I submit, however, that doing this does not mean that an assigned “M” is changing their gender simply by letting people know they prefer to be called “her” or “she”. It’s a preference based on how they view themselves. At the end of the day, an “M” is still an “M” and an “F” is still an “F” even for those who identify with the opposite assigned gender.

So, I think those medical forms that use “Gender Assigned at Birth” should get an additional line requesting to know “What Gender Pronoun do you Prefer – Him or Her?”.

It’s a complicated world we live in and navigating the hazards is becoming more difficult. It isn’t my desire to offend anyone but not knowing the rules places me in harms way. I suspect that’s true for some of you, too. Hopefully, sharing this information from Vassar will help clear things up for all of us.

I will not report on this issue in the future. It’s just one of those things that got into my head and the only way I can get it out of there is to write it down.

Thanks

Car Bibs

This is for my Jennie.

Somewhere in our travels Diane obtained a couple of car bibs for us. Since we eat in our car all the time (who doesn’t?) we use them all the time. I’ve threatened to take control of Diane’s sewing machine so I could take a shot at making a few of them, but that hasn’t happened, yet. Maybe soon.

While working toward that possibility, I’m sharing what I know with all of you knowing that many of you are crafty people who can fathom the intricate details required to make these a reality for yourselves.

.5First, you must obtain a piece of material that you won’t miss from the piles of scraps in one of your drawers. Actually, get two pieces. They can be any size, but the finished example is 14.25″ X 26″.

The scraps must be larger, of course, to allow you to stitch the pieces together, good sides facing each other. Once they are stitched together, you must devise a way to turn the material inside out. You already knew that, of course, and probably left a gap at the bottom, or side which can be closed with hot glue or wood glue, whatever is handy. You can also stitch it with the sewing machine.

I’m getting ahead of myself.

Once you have the material, you need to cut out a circle large enough to go around the neck of the person for whom you’re making the bib. Use the example as a guide.

Once you’re done stitching it all together, and figured out how to get the thing inside out, dig around in your sewing supplies and find the velcro you bought six years ago. It’s in there. You just have to find it. Attach opposing pieces of velcro to the little tabs on the pieces that go around the neck opening.

Easy Peazy, right?

Now that I’ve shared all that, ETSY provides an easier way but it’s not as much fun as making them yourselves.

Show us pictures of what you’ve done.

Montana Trip Finale.

The entries for this trip are disjointed, I know, and there are reasons, of course. I would share all those reasons but it would sound a lot like whining so I’ll just give you the main reason.

OK, I’ll give you a few of them.

First, my laptop is old and slow like molasses all the time. No amount of searching on the internet, when we had it, revealed a viable solution so I struggled with the long wait times. It reminded me of when I first got involved with computers (1989) when slow was the norm. Now, however, everything is supposed to be lighting fast, like when the laptop was new (2010, I think).

Then there was the internet problem. Most of the campgrounds had wifi, but in all cases it was a iffy connection to a slow service. Diane and I found that using our iPhones as a hot spot worked far better (when we had a cell signal).

Other reasons for scattered input involved laziness. I was on vacation and simply found it more relaxing to just zone out on the sofa, watching TV, until time for bed. That was one really good thing about all the camping sites – we had a good look at the southern sky that ensured contact with the Dish satellites. Just like being home, almost. I don’t like using that term because it conjures the question, “then why didn’t you just stay home?” So, I shy away from that one so forget I said that.

Also, most of our RV trips only last 4-5 days at a time but this one stretched to 18 days. I know that’s true because that’s how many pair of underwear I packed and I used every one of them. I also packed just enough pills to make it all the way to the end and ran out the day we got home. That was last Thursday, September 30th.

The last excuse I have for not keeping up with our travels is that we had to change our route because of forest fires and rumors that Highway 12 had been closed where it crosses into the Indian Reservation to stop the spread of COVID. Instead of verifying the latter, we just chose to head north back through Coeur d’Alene to Spokane. That one wore my head out even though I was not part of the planning process to find an alternate route. The ladies did all that.

From Drummond, Montana, the name that may not be correct, and the Ghost Town attraction, we headed west. That’s the direction both those arrows indicate, but we used I-90 instead of Drummond Frontage Road, which passes by the Bearmouth Chalet and RV park.

That’s Terry & Cliff resting.

When we got to Missoula, just a few miles west of Bearmouth, or Drummond (your choice), we stopped to take a peak at Fort Missoula which was not far off route. when we finally weaved our RVs through a seemingly endless number of full parking lots, we found some space in front of the Military Museum. As luck would have it, that was my main choice of places to look at.

While trying to avoid active sprinklers, I got to a dry sidewalk and saw this lashup which intrigued me.

The hose runs off to one of the sprinklers running in the area.

This apparently intrigued me so much that I either failed to take photos inside the museum, or I took ’em and lost ’em. We may never know. I just know I can’t find them, yet.

one of On the grounds outside the museum we discovered all manner of interesting things. This was my favorites ……..

There was also a steam engine that belongs to Willamette Iron & Steel Works in Portland, Oregon. That true. there was a label on it …

In an attempt to curb vandalism, they put a sign on it to dissuade climbers,

… but there’s one in every crowd, right?

Actually, I asked Terry to step up there so I could take his photo for this very purpose. He didn’t hesitate but he didn’t see the sign, either. It was OK, though, because no one was looking but us.

There was this enormous steam tractor, too, that was connected to a portable sawmill. Fascinating.

After the park and museum, we continued our journey west toward Spokane. Since we fiddled around a while at the fort, we made it a short day by stopping at the River’s Edge RV park in Alberton, Montana. It was handy, between I-90 and the Clark Fork River. I think Diane found it. It’s a nice park once you find the spot assigned. It was very confusing, but we worked it out and got parked OK. Supper was left overs from previous meals at table #5 on the river, about 50 feet from our parking spot.

Home

In Spokane we were going to stay at the Elks Lodge but upon arriving at the address we found on the internet we found that the entire building had been torn down. We found another address for it but couldn’t find it so we stayed at the Eagle’s Lodge instead. It was OK but it poured down rain in the night. That sounds like a complaint, but it isn’t. It was an observation.

From Spokane we drove south to Umatilla and stayed at a city park right on the river. It was Exit 1 after crossing the Columbia. Diane and I left the other two RV’s at Spokane because Terry was having transmission problems that needed attention and he didn’t want to take a chance of catastrophic failure on the freeway. Cliff an Susie stayed with him an Carolann to help. We went ahead because my pills ran out on Thursday and we had to be home before then. As it turned out, they acquired a workable solution that allowed them to follow about 3 hours behind us. They alerted us when they were 20 miles out so Diane and I took a walk round the park and found a bench to perch on so we could see them coming down the road.

And, there they were!

We all had good spots in the park, enjoyed the evening with a group dinner, then headed west on I-84 for The Dalles the following morning. We only made one stop along the way, not too far past Boardman.

In The Dalles we stayed at the Eagle’s Lodge parking lot (with hookups). For dinner we went to Cousin’s Restaurant. Turns out it wasn’t nearly as good as it used to be so we crossed it off out list for the near future. We took a little trip around town near our parking spots, and I found this street …

We didn’t linger here, but headed back to the ranch post haste.

Diane and I headed home the next morning but the other two couples wanted to stay another night because of the weather report. They didn’t want to get home and unpack in the rain that was forecast. So, Diane and I went on ahead.

The trip through the Columbia River Gorge was extremely windy (not uncommon) and it poured rain on us the entire way. So, the weather report Terry heard was correct.

We got home in time for me to take my last batch of pills so all is good.

As I finish this, we’ve been home just a week.

We made it!

We took a trip to the mountains to see some glaciers, but they are not as close as I’d like them to be. I wanted to touch one of them but they are all too far away. Rumor has it that they’ve been shrinking lately due to global warming which may or may not be true, depending on your individuals beliefs. I, personally, think they’re probably melting because it’s warmer outside than it used to be.

Once we entered the Glacier National Park the road quickly narrowed making progress difficult at times. Like when someone in a very large pickup is coming at you and he’s crowding the center line because he doesn’t want to snap his mirror off on the sheer rock wall to his right. Adding to the that, I think the pickups in Montana are bigger than in other states. And, most of them have diesel engines and the drivers like to show you how loud they can be when they stomp on the gas going by the Elks Lodge. That’s where we’re staying, the Elks Lodge in Kalispell, Montana.

Diane was driving, though, so we were safe. She’s a great driver. As we got closer to the top, the drop to our right got more exciting until she finally called it quits and turned around. Since there are no turn-arounds on the road, she just stopped and made a U-turn. It was during a rare lull when there was no traffic either direction, though, so it was safe.

We made a few stops on the way up to ooo and aaaah at the incredible views of the mountains. And, I took over 300 photos with my phone. Later in the day I blamed my sore right hand on the picture taking. Every corner we turned surprised us with another fantastic view. Here are some of them …

In front of the McDonald Lake Lodge before heading into the wilderness

Did I mention that there are lots of lakes in this part of the world? Well, there are.

McDonald Lake

Then the mountains started popping up.

At every corner the view was more magnificent

I’d add more but I think you get the idea. In that first picture you can see two of the glaciers that populate the area. Very few of them are accessible but we were perfectly content to see them from afar.

In all we spent 5-6 hours on this trip and it was worth every second of it. Mingling with all the other Looky-Looers was fun, too. We met some really nice people whose names I do not know.

Today was a day of rest for me. I got to sleep in longer than usual, then the other five folks piled into the Diane’s Equinox and motored off to visit a mansion in town. I chose to stay behind and guard everything and take a nap.

Tomorrow we planned to head down toward Missoula to visit a ghost town but discovered that this is home-coming week for the University of Montana which, unfortunately for us, is in Missoula. Seems like everyone who ever went to college there has an RV and they used up all the spaces. So, when The crew gets back from their visit to town, Diane will no doubt hunker down and search for an alternate place to park our homes.

Wish us luck.

Almost There!

Today is Sunday. We spent most of it driving from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to Troy, Montana. Normally it’s about a 2 hour drive but one of us decided to not follow the leader and screwed things up a bit. As a result, the rain gods made a concerted effort to dampen our spirits most of the way but we didn’t mind. It’s been a long time since we’ve had the pleasure of rain and it was pretty refreshing. Since we enjoyed the rain too much, I suspect, they gave up as we neared our destination and the sun came out to greet us, welcoming us to the Kootenai River Campground on Highway 2, space 4. It’s a nice little park in Troy, Montana owned by a retired Senior Chief Corpsman. We had a nice conversation about past duty stations like old chiefs are prone to do. It’s required.

Before leaving Coeur D’Alene we took a trip to the lake just to see it up close. We found a merry-go-round that was actually operating so we took a ride. I pulled 13 rings from the holder, one of which was a gold one so I won a free ride. Not wanting to use it right away, I took a ticket thinking it would make a good souvenir. Instead, I gave it to a couple of Mom’s with a couple of kids who were heading in for a ride. That’s better than a souvenir.

On the outside wall of the merry-go-round were these wings that were obviously placed there to allow folks like us to show our angelic side, which we did.

The trip along State Road 200 and 56 afforded us stunning views of rivers, mountains, and valleys. Way different from the never ending wheat fields we traversed in Washington, although those were pretty stunning, too.

Looking back toward Sandpoint. Taken on Highway 200, heading east-ish.
On Highway 200.

Though there are some nice attractions here, we are only spending one night. Getting to Glacier National Park takes precedence so we must move on.

We arrived in Kalispell, Montana early afternoon on Monday. It was a beautiful drive that included more torrents of rain and bouts of sunshine. Kalispell is spread out over a considerable area of this part of Montana. We’ve found the people, and drivers, to be very considerate and kind so it seems to be a good place. We may move here.

Then again, maybe not.

No, not “maybe”, just not. We’re quite happy with our home in Oregon.

See you tomorrow with information about the glacier.

Glacier National Park, Here We Come!

Hi.

Diane and I, and a few friends, are on a road trip to Glacier National Park that’s located somewhere in Montana. It’s my understanding that we must traverse through Washington and Idaho to get there. So far, two days into the trip, that info has been accurate and we are spending our second night in Kenniwick, WA. That’s one of the Tri-Cities, in case you’re wondering. The other two are Pasco and Richland. Although the cities are separate villages, and we’ve technically only been to Kenniwick, we can honestly say we visited the Tri-Cities. Not that that’s important.

The Tri-Cities is scattered along the shores of the Columbia River in the area where hydroplane races are held each year in July. Apparently they happened last July but no one told us. So, we missed it again. Looks like a COVID spreader to me, but it would have still been fun.

To start the trip we journeyed from our home to a friend’s home in Gresham last Sunday, the 12th, because they live an hour closer to our first destination. It didn’t seem fair for Diane and I to have to get up a couple hours earlier than everyone else, and drive an hour longer to begin the trip, so we went the day before scheduled departure and spend the night in our RV on the street in front of their house. They said it was OK.

Getting there the day before gave us all a chance to have a picnic in Terry and Carolann’s back yard. We had dead Kentucky Fried Chicken and Diabetic Friendly jello that Diane made. There was other stuff, too, but I can’t remember what it was.

Monday morning we all got up bright and shiny ready to depart at 10:30 am. Everything went smoothly until I pushed the button to raise the jacks on our RV. No matter how hard, or often I pushed that button, they just wouldn’t go up all the way. Consequently, we couldn’t leave. Not wanting to be a hinderance, we encouraged those who could to leave without us with promises that we’d catch up with them later. But, they all stuck around like good friends do. After a bit of head scratching, it was determined that the system that controlled the hydraulic jacks was low on fluid. As luck would have it, Terry had a brand new gallon of the correct fluid and Cliff used it to top off the tank. Not sure how much was needed, he was careful the first two attempts, then went all in on the third try which resulted in the reservoir tank to overflow a bit. Once that was done, I ran the jacks up and down a few times to make sure they worked correctly, which they did, and we were on our way. I must add, at this point, that Cliff is a dapper gentleman who wears a sport coat most of the time, no matter what he’s doing. Even when working on other people’s motorhomes. I only had to poke him a couple of times too encourage him to finish the job before getting out from under the RV.

Then we discovered that a door opened next to the hydraulic system making access easier so Cliff wouldn’t have to lay on the ground. Made him happy, it did.

First stop was at a really wide spot on I-84 along the Columbia River where we ate lunch. Some of us could have used a short nap but that wasn’t in the cards. It was OK, though, because we weren’t far from our first scheduled stop at Bill Ferris’ home in Kennewick, WA.

Bill is an old friend of the Classic Winnebago group who hasn’t been seen by any of us for a long time so he wan’t cognizant of the changes we have all made in the past 10 years. He was on his porch when we showed up, Diane and I in the lead, and he greeted us with, “What the hell is that?” which is code for “where’s the Winnebago?” We haven’t had one of those for a while. Bill has space to park a couple of rigs along side his garage which I left to the younger crowd. Bill lives on a dead end street, which we didn’t know until we arrived, so turning our 35′ bus around in the cul-de-sac proved to be difficult since these people park around the perimeter instead of in their driveways. Fortunately, his neighbor saw our plight and moved his car which was perilously close to the front of our bus as I attempted to wiggle around him. Once he was moved, I parked in front of Bills house.

He had all manner of cold cuts in his fridge waiting for our arrival so he could feed us. It was very good. We visited, caught up a bit, then closed down for the night.

The next morning, Tuesday, we were treated to a fun tour of Kennewick With Bill directing Terry from the navigators seat with the girls following behind. Kennewick is a beautiful city on the Columbia River.

I’m sure this bridge has a name but I’ll be darned if I know what it is.

We visited a very large carousel that has been totally restored. Additionally, since it’s in Washington, it has two extra animals not commonly found on carousels …

A Cougar for Washington State
A Husky for the University of Washington

One of the stops was at a monument to 9/11 which contains a warped piece from the World Trade Center in New York. No one, including Bill, knew how this bit of history wound up in Kennewick, but it certainly did and we all touched it. Driving around the city we were treated to many wonderful views too many to share here. You’ll just have to go see for yourself.

After 2 days on the street in front of Bill’s house, we pulled in our anchors and headed north and east to Moscow, Idaho where we planted ourselves for another couple of days at the Moscow Elks Lodge. To get there required that I dump a bunch of ATF in the hydraulic reservoir for the leveling jacks in order to get them fully retracted. After a short period of time the leveling system started blinking all it’s lights and beeping at me warning that at least one of the jacks was not fully retracted. We dealt with the noise for about 40 miles before Diane insisted that we stop and see about turning it off. The problem with stopping was finding a place away from the highway where we could actually turn around.

Magically, a church with large parking lot appeared and I took advantage to pull over and stop. That allowed a whole bunch of ATF to spill on the asphalt letting me know that at our next stop a project would be necessary.

That’s Cliff’s head and that black tank with the yellow sticker was the problem. It has a smaller tube on the bottom left attached to the hydraulic pump that had about a 2″ crack where it attaches to the large tank. Cliff found all that and after a few phone calls I found a welder in Troy, Idaho who was willing to take on this small project. At the shop willing to do it, a young girl weilded the torch and painted the tank so it looked like new. Impressive.

Back at the camp site, Terry reinforced the weld by applying a bit of gas tank patching material over the repaired area. Then, when no one was looking, Cliff put it all back together wearing a very nice wind breaker.

Then I strained all the ATF we had captured while dismantling the unit, and poured it back into the tank. In all the repair cost about $50 for the welding and parts, some of which weren’t used but may come in handy another day.

It all works perfect, now, and no longer drips ATF all over the place. Jerrie’s a happy camper as is Diane because the beeping stopped.

The real reason we stopped in Moscow was so we could visit with John and Sue who are also Winnebago friends. They moved from the Seattle area to a 66 acre farm in Deary, Idaho which is just a hop and a skip away from Moscow. We would have stayed in Deary but Moscow has the closest Elk campground.

This takes us through day 4 of the trip. On the 5th day we packed up and headed north to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho which lies about 4+ hours straight north on Highway 95. e

It was an eventful trip through some mighty picturesque farmland carved into the rolling hills. We’ve never seen so many wheat and hay fields in our lives. It was amazing but you’ll have to take my word for it because I was driving and couldn’t take photos. Just trust me.

At the end of Day 5 we pulled in to the Coeur D’Alene Elks Lodge RV site where we spent two days resting and looking around the city. We had lunch out, our first of this trip, at Le Peeps down by the lake. Great food and a nice view.

Instead of dragging this out any longer, I’m ending this segment and will continue tomorrow once we get settled in out next park 2-3 hours north of here. Out past Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry. I have more photos to add but doing so on this park’s Wi-fi is painfully slow. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

See you there.

Guess What!?

Before any of you who may have happened to see the below photo before reading this, don’t jump to conclusions. I’m just writing this on behalf of a very good friend of Diane’s who wishes to remain nameless. That’s the truth. Here’s what happened.

While working on the window sills that Diane has been waiting for since sometime in 2018, this individual once again discovered that the least little bit of inattention or, possibly, the complete disregard for simple safety measures, creates a situation that generally ends badly for the person involved. In this case I reiterate, it wasn’t me. Honest.

I know, I have a history of injuring myself in sometimes dramatic ways that generally require a trip to either Urgent Care, or an Emergency Room, whichever is closest. And, my injuries are usually caused by some sort of sharp tool, like a saw or box knife. There’s been a hammer injury, or two, too but those are minor. In the case of Diane’s friend the offending piece of equipment that caused the injury in this case was, oddly enough, my table saw.

I know, right? Figure the odds that someone besides me found a way to create considerable amount of excitement leading to a trip to Urgent Care using my table saw.

My history with that saw involves two events where I managed to cut a 1/8″ kerf across the fingerprint pad of my left forefinger and my left thumb. These were two separate event that happened years apart. I may have mentioned them in previous posts. They healed nicely, in case you’re wondering.

Diane’s friend changed things up a bit by using the same blade to rip the fingernail off his left forefinger and causing a compound fracture of that last bone of that finger when thew blade hit the bone. As a result of extracting his finger from the saw’s jaws, instead of a neat kerf like I made, he turned the end of his finger into a mess that looked suspiciously like a dollop of raspberry jam. Quite colorful and, according to Diane’s friend, extremely painful until he went into shock and his body shut off the nerves to his left hand.

I’m not making this up! I was there and saw the whole thing! He was dancing around holding his finger, make horrible “pain” faces one minute, then he stopped when the pain stopped. He continued to hold his injured finger, thankfully, to keep from dripping blood all over the place as it was leaking badly.

At Urgent Care, I was allowed to go in with Diane’s friend and was able to get a fresh photo ofd the injury. It was kinda creepy, I must say.

After a few days I, rather Diane’s friend, was sent to a Recon doctor to see what should be done. That confused me a bit because in my world, “Recon” is short for reconnaissance and has nothing to do with doctors unless the person doing the reconnaissance gets shot. Turns out the medical version of Recon means reconstructive, as in plastic surgeon which in itself does not make a lot of sense to me because it doesn’t make sense to me. But, that’s where we were sent.

At the recon doctor’s office, the bandage was removed and the PA in charged diligently removed the gel blood soaker thing from the end of Diane’s friend’s finger. It was like an artificial scab.

Thankfully, before doing all that they gave him multiple shots of lidocaine around the base of the injured finger making it severely numb.

Then a yellow gauzy thing was applied to the injury so it could be wrapped.

Then we all went home as there was nothing else they could do. So, basically, the trip to the recon doctor was kind of a waste of time because I could have wrapped the wounded digit sufficiently with just three bandaids. I know that’s true because I did just that during one of the re-wraps prescribed.

I know you know I’ve been fabricating a bit, and the wounded digit is my very own. This is what it looks like now, after a week or so of healing.

As a result of my injury I’ve been banned by Diane and more than one doctor from using power tools, once again. I’ll never get those window sills done at this rate.

Are Expiration Dates Real?

Typically, I look at expiration dates on food with a skeptical eye. It’s always been my opinion that these dates are determined by a person with very thick glasses who toils in a the basement of some government building in Salem. Or maybe Portland. There’s no science involved, just a guess based on this person’s current state of mind.

Complicating these dates is the fact that my bride, Diane, is famous for saving money at the store by frequenting what she calls the Ding and Dent aisle. Each kind of food has it’s own area for Ding and Dent sales. She gets Ding and Dent cake, Ding and Dent steaks, and Ding and Dent Half & Half, to name just a few. Sometimes she gets Ding and Dent vegetables, too.

Ding and Dent items are generally placed on sale because their Expiration Date is getting close, or has already passed. Since most of the Ding and Dent food gets cooked, there’s no danger of catching some catastrophic ailment by ignoring that date.

Until now …

I ran out of Half & Half a couple of weeks ago so I put it on the shopping list. I find it necessary to put a lot of H&H in my morning coffee to make it taste better. This is necessary to help erase the memory of many days aboard ships and various military bases where I didn’t have time to doctor the brew, drinking it black. I kept my cup topped off all day long. It kind of leaves an after taste that last for years.

The next trip to the store Diane found this…

She bought 4 of them. Little tiny pints for 50% off making them cost a paltry 25 cents after using a few coupons she normally has in her purse. Although the stamped date is labeled “Sell By”, it’s really an Expiration Date.

The photo is of the 4th pint as I drained the other 3. Number 4 was opened this morning and I poured a little of it into my cup in a dimly lit kitchen so as not to wake anyone. I drank that cup of coffee with no concern and it seemed to be fine.

When I got around to pouring my second cup it was full daylight and adding the H&H to my cup made the lumpy mess exiting the container quite apparent. To confirm my suspicion, I poured the remainder into the kitchen sink and saw that it was indeed lumpy. I did that because Diane was watching and would have objected had I capped it and put it back in the fridge. But it didn’t really smell bad so I figured that had I shaken the container it would have been just fine. The Expiration Date was only 8 days prior, right?

So, as I sit here waiting for my bowels to go on alert to explosively expel my first cup of coffee, which probably won’t happen until we’re in church, the “Lesson Learned” from this is that I should shake the heck out of these things before opening them, and prior to each use, to liquify those lumps and integrate them into the surrounding fluid thereby eliminating the threat of gastric issues. I’m pretty sure it was OK and I’m a little worry that I poured it out. It just looked really bad and we all know looks can be deceiving.

dot dot dot dot

It’s much later now and I can share that I safely made it all the way through church, retaining that first cup of tainted coffee. All I have now is the memory of the lumpy mess glopping out of that container. Perhaps I’ll just start drinking my coffee black again.

Maryssa & Matt 7.24.2021

There was a wedding. I was there with my very own lovely bride, Diane. So were my Brother’s, Jim & Jack and their brides, Donna & Wynette. It was a family affair. The bride was my Niece Steffani’s Daughter.

The trip to Nampa, Idaho was uneventful unless you consider how difficult it is for someone my age to drive a motorhome long distances without an occasional rest stop. I’m sure you’ve seen old folks bopping along the freeway in these huge rigs, wondering, as do I, how they manage to keep those things on the road. If you happen to be at an RV park when they arrive the mystery deepens when the drivers exit their vehicle and immediately grab onto their walker which their wives conveniently place at the bottom of the stairs. Watching some of them hobble around their rigs makes it a little frightening to know they were recently going 70 mph down a freeway in the driver’s seat of a vehicle that could cause untold amounts of damage should the drive become deceased while changing lanes.

But, that’s a story for another day. This day is about a wedding.

Maryssa and Matt have known each other since they were about 3-7 years old. I’m obviously guessing at their ages because I truly don’t know. I just know it’s been a long time even though I don’t know how old they are at this moment in time. Old enough to drink beer, I’m pretty sure. Not that they do, of course. Although, Maryssa is a teacher and I’m pretty sure most teachers drink beer. Or wine. It’s necessary.

Jennifer Walking up the Aisle

The wedding took place at a very stunning outdoor venue that was created just for this purpose. Not just this wedding, but anyone who wants a wedding in a stunning venue. The date was chosen based on weather predictions about when the hottest day of the year was likely to descend on Nampa. I must say, they nailed it. It was very hot. Thankfully, there was a little hand fan on each chair to help with the heat. Daniel, brother of the bride, escaped to the shade of a tree and kept his tiny little daughter (Edith) cool with a battery powered fan. Everyone else just had to sit there and sweat.

Since the bride and groom waited so long to get married there were no small children in either family available to serve as flower girls or ring bearers. So, the Best Man filled in by taking charge of the rings and Maryssa’s Grandmothers (Donna & Mary) were the Flower Girls. It was pretty awesome watching them walk down the aisle tossing rose petals all over the place. It was evident they were having a good time.

The only downside was that brother Jim, one of the Flower Girl’s husbands, had to wear a nice white shirt with a tie. It was only a downside for him. He looked quite nice. My other brother, Jack, and I wore more comfy attire.

Then came the bride.

She was stunning, of course, and it was evident that the Groom, Matt, was on the verge of losing it from the moment he saw her coming at him. Many of those in attendance had the same problem. Either that, or they had sweat running in their eyes like I did, which stings a lot, making it necessary to wipe them with anything handy.

Here’s a look at the whole group …

The Girl’s Side

The Boy’s Side
Sealed the Deal

The service was great, the knot was tied, and we adjourned to the adjacent patio, table 3, where we sat with Jim, Donna, Jack, Wynette, Jennifer, and Lydia. There was a place for Ruth, too, but she couldn’t make it. Too much turmoil in the country for a trip from Connecticut. But, she was there in spirit, I’m sure.

The food was provided by a Pizza Truck. It had it’s own wood fired pizza oven which produced some pretty darn good pizza. There was salad, too. Simple fare, but totally appropriate for this group.

The wedding cake was small, perfect for the bride and groom, and everyone else ate the many cupcakes scattered around their big cake. From a food perspective, it was totally unique in my experience and seemed to be just perfect for those involved. The result was a very relaxed reception.

There was open bar, too. The most popular item was Moscato wine. By the time the bar ran out of that, those who drank it weren’t very picky about what to replace it with. My favorite thing in the bar area was a neverending supply of popcorn. I just love that stuff.

A tradition at weddings is for all married couples to dance. As the dance progresses, the DJ announces that those who have been married less than 5 hours should leave the dance floor. This progresses as the numbers increase and the number of couples on the floor quickly dwindles until there are just a few left. In this case, the last three couples standing were my brothers, me, and our wives. Of those three, Diane and I left first at 53. Jack and Wynette held out until he got to 58, then Jim and Donna won with 62. Between us, that’s 173 years of wedded bliss. Kinda cool.

Diane and I were eliminated

Jack did a great job of swing dancing with Maryssa, for a long time, and I danced with Diane as often as something came up on the play list that was danceable.

Our Girls displaying their rings – Jennifer on the left, Lydia on the right

I also danced with our daughter, Jennifer, and granddaughter, Lydia, neither of whom I’ve had the honor of dancing with previously. It was really nice. Diane and I waited a long time for a good song to play so we could do our fast dance, but the music just kept getting louder meant for a younger crowd. So, we made our departure, wishing the newlyweds the best of luck.

The next day, Steffani, mother of the bride, had a brunch for everyone who attended the wedding. After eating we all watched Mr. and Mrs. Prosser open their wedding gifts. At the appropriate time, we left and went to Jim and Donna’s to have some brother/sister time before parting ways. We don’t often have the opportunity to visit as a group any more so that time is precious.

The next morning Diane and I departed Nampa, heading west. Destination, Home, with an overnight stop in Boardman.

It was a good trip.