1 – 2 – 3 – Safe!

Before I get carried away with this, as I sometimes do, let me apologize for my fragrant fingers. I just applied some Avon Foot Works Deep moisture Cream to the palms of both feet to fend off dryness which has a tendency to attack exposed body parts without warning. Actually, I have plenty of warning but forget to do anything about it, normally, until time for bed. Then I don’t want to apply it because it makes my feet stick to the sheets and I don’t like that. So, I cream my feet during the day, mainly because Diane insists. Not because they are odoriferous, but because they are dry.

First thing this morning, around 0630, I attempted to place my open yogurt container, from which I had yet to partake, upon the table by my assigned end of the couch. It was dark so most of you may think that setting the container in such a manner that when released would tumble freely to the floor. It was particularly distressing because it was Peach, one of my favorites. It landed big side down which, for some yogurt containers would be a good thing, but not for Tillamook yogurt. Their big end is the one used to dip out the great tasting interior of the container. There was a small pile of yogurt next to the upside down container meaning the remainder had to still be inside.

So, I had a dilemma.

Do I make an honest effort and try to contain the spilled remnants inside the container as I tipped it over? Do I flip it fast, or flip is slow? Or, just pick it up like nothing is wrong?

I chose the latter and was pleased when I discovered that at least half of the container was full. The other half remained on the floor in two fairly evenly sized piles. I wasn’t sure if this constituted a new dilemma or was still part of the first one, but it was a dilemma, all the same.

The piles that escaped were sitting placidly on the hard wood floor, missing the carpet by mere inches. I didn’t see any visual evidence of dog or cat hair in the vicinity, so briefly considered just scooping it up and putting it back into the container and calling it good. Instead, I retrieved my spoon from the end table and, since I was already on my knees, just bent of a little and scooped spoons full directly into my mouth.

I did this for two reasons – 1) I chose to not take a chance of contaminating the yogurt that remained in the container, and 2) Diane wasn’t there to tell me it was a bad idea. I already knew it was probably a bad idea, but I’ve eaten food from the floor in the past, and I believe I’m better for it. More on that later, if I remember.

When scooping up the remains, I was very careful to not touch the spoon all the way down to the floor. Doing that would have pulled up all manner of things like 409, Simple Green, wax, and old varnish. Perhaps a pet hair or two, also. That didn’t happen. I got pure yogurt and I got most of it.

Once I’d had my share of the floor yogurt, I called Ozzie over to see if he liked Peach yogurt. He did for a short time, but quickly gave it up so Panzee could finish up. Panzee likes any kind of yogurt. She’s my official yogurt container cleaner, getting the remnants my spoon can’t. When she was finished with the floor, she stared intently at me, waiting for the container to finish the job. I ate slowly, causing her great concern, but she kept her cool, and didn’t issue any threats that would cause me to hasten the process.

Then I took my morning nap, waking at Diane’s command around 0800, alerting me that we had to leave for church in an hour.

An hour! I still had a good 30 minutes of sleep time to go, so I took it, arising precisely at 0830.

We left at 0900, picked up Diane’s Mom, Jean, and arrived at church about 0910. It’s a quick trip.

During the service, I was the designated communion assistant. Yeah, I know. That’s a little out of character for me, but I did it quite frequently and most people don’t seem to mind. My job is to handle the wine with decorum and appropriately bestow the blessing of  “Christ’s blood, shed for you.” I do that for each parishioner who choses to accept communion. Today we had communion via “intinction” so all I had to do was hold the cup as everyone dipped their wafer into the wine. It’s a simple task.

When everyone was done, we returned to the altar to replace unused wafers and the wine when the 2nd casualty of the day transpired. I bumped the wafer tray while sitting the goblet down and slopped wine all over the altar. I also soaked a few wafers. To help save me from ridicule, pastor moved toward me to cover the mishap as we sopped it up with the napkins placed there for just that purpose. Thankfully, this has happened so many times in the past, that a thick plastic cover was placed over the paraments to protect them.  So, it wasn’t the catastrophe that it could have been.

After the service, like every other Sunday, we went to the basement for coffee and treats. It’s called “Coffee Hour”, but sometimes it lasts 2-3 hours so that’s not a descriptive name for this event. But, it’s tradition, so I’ll just go with that.

Things went well for the first 10 minutes or so, while I was talking with Ron. Then, without any warning, what so ever, I found it necessary to make a gesture to punctuate a statement and made it half way through before disaster struck. Standing at the table, the gesture issued away from my body successfully, but on the return to the resting position, a little bit of just one finger found the edge of Ron’s coffee cup, spilling the contents toward me in a rush of liquid. I managed to jump back, like it was a normal movement, and calmly stood there assessing the damage as Ron rushed to get a rag to staunch the flow. I had one little splash mark just below the knee of my left pant leg which I could easily hide from Diane. Thankfully, Ron chose to put creamer in his coffee today, so it was essentially the same color as my khaki pants. No one else received damage from this. I attribute this to my foresight to spill it toward me, not away from me. Even then, I think the large doily in the center of the table would have sucked the coffee up quickly. We may never know.

From church we went to Burger King, for a nutritious lunch, then to Fred Meyer so Diane and Mom could shop for food while I stayed on guard in the vehicle. They were only gone about an hour before returning with two loaded carts which I would have helped with but my seat belt was still hooked up. I even sat there and watched 86-year-old Jean push the carts back to the store. A bit of grief was bestowed upon me for that discretion. It wasn’t bad because those present recognized that it was not my nature to avoid opportunities like that. I’m the guy who always opens car doors, any doors, for the ladies in my presence. A lost art, I know, but an example I insist on displaying not matter where we are. Diane is so used to this that, when leaving the house, she goes into the garage and stands beside her car, knowing I’m right behind her to open the door. There’s just the two of us, but the gesture has even more meaning then than when done in public. It’s not done for show, but as a sign of respect. Looking back on this, I should have freed myself from my seat and done the right thing, but I didn’t. Now I must live with this flaw on my previously almost unflawed behavior. Drat!

The coffee spilling incident was #3 for the day so I figured I was pretty safe for foreseeable future. So far, that’s been true, but there is a long way to go until bedtime. Lots of stuff could happen in the next 5-6 hours. I’m pretty confident I’ll be safe until tomorrow.

Something I forgot to mention yesterday, with regard to the failed fuel pump, is that I discovered an absolutely brand new one in one of the little storage compartments on the RV. There’s even a new starter, in case the current one fails. Since there was already a new fuel pump, it’s normal to presume that the previous owner anticipated this failure. Tomorrow I’m going to install it and see what happens. I might even add some brake fluid to the master cylinder to solve that issue.

Later …


I wasn’t going to write anything this morning because my plan was to take a nap when I returned home from placing US Flags on Columbia Blvd in St. Helens. The reason for the flags is to help celebrate the Maritime Heritage Festival for the town. our Lion’s Club place the flags for all holidays and special events like this. It looks really nice to see Old Glory waving back at you as you mosey down the street. The MHF is a big deal for the village. If you’re interested about learning more, just hit the link above and you will be magically transported to our little corner of the world.

I know. You’re thinking, “What does this have to do with coffee?” In response, I would say, “not much, yet, but give me time and I’ll get there.” Honest.

Normally, after placing the flags, we stop by Sunshine Pizza for breakfast. We do this because the flag evolution begins at 0700 in the morning which is just way too early for me. True, I’m always up before that, but normal days find me deep into ‘nap mode’ by 0700. So, I had to set an alarm on my iPad. I guess I could have used my phone, but I didn’t want to. I like breakfast at SP because they have excellent breakfast sandwiches for a reasonable price. I discovered those one morning when I took Diane’s Buick to Emmert Motors for a bit of warranty work and an oil change. They’re right across the street from Sunshine and gave me a coupon for the sandwich while I waited. How nice.

I’m wandering around a little, aren’t I? Sorry.

Coffee … I’ve been drinking coffee forever and was never very particular what it tasted like. The entire time I was in the Navy, I drank it black and rarely walked past a coffee pot without refilling my cup. Never washed my cup, either. It was a ‘thing’, you know? Like, wash your cup and you lose all that flavor that took years to accumulate. Truthfully, the coffee was so bad it didn’t do any good to wash your cup, so why bother.

The one exception to this was when we were stationed in Italy. We learned to really like latte’s and espresso. We would have made it at home but didn’t have a coffee bean grinder, or the fancy machine they used to make the ones we bought.

Coffee at home, wherever we were, was always good because Diane made it. But it was still ‘fresh’ out of a can, vacuum packed for freshness. We both loved the smell when a new can was opened. It made us swoon a little, it was so fragrant. Then, after retiring from the Navy I went to work for a local company and we decided to take a trip on a cruise ship to Alaska. That did us in for coffee because cruise ship coffee is pretty darn good. Very rich flavor, and not bitter.

So, upon return from that first cruise, we purchased our first coffee bean grinder and started testing beans to see which ones we liked the best. Eventually we settled on Gavalia, which is expensive, but really good and they mail it too us. They also send us a new coffee pot once a year. How cool is that?

We always make 10 cups of coffee first thing in the morning, when it’s just the two of us, which is most of the time. Generally, there’s a cup left at the end of the day which I save for the next morning and heat in the microwave while the new pot is brewing. Unless I’m napping, that is. Then Diane makes the coffee. I normally don’t because the bean grinder is horrendously loud and I have to take it to the garage so it doesn’t wake Diane. She does that for me, too. We’re nice to each other, that way.

This morning, upon returning from my flag duties, I put my favorite creamer in one of my favorite cup, and discovered that it was going to be the last cup for that bottle of creamer. When that happens, I pour the coffee into the creamer container to ensure I get all the creamer we paid for. I swish it around and around to get the really sticky stuff off the bottom, then I pour it into the cup and stick it into the microwave to heat it up for a minute and forty seconds. I don’t pick that number. That’s what the microwave assigns for one cup of coffee.

When the little microwave dinger went off, signaling that my coffee was ready, I pulled it out and discovered something floating in it. This had never happened before so it perplexed me. Upon dipping it out with a spoon I discovered it was a small moth. “Hmmm,’ I thought. Should I really drink this or not. “I don’t know where this moth has been,” I continued. “Then again,” thought I, “it’s been thoroughly cooked in the microwave so couldn’t possibly be all that bad.”

Continuing with this line of thinking, I got out a fine mesh strainer and pour the coffee into another cup to ensure there were no legs or eyes floating around. The last thing out of the original cup was what looked like coffee grounds, neatly caught by the strainer. I couldn’t help but think that, possibly, they weren’t grounds, but moth eggs, or worse, moth crap, but there were far too many to accept that as a reasonable assumption. So, I stuck with ‘coffee grounds’ and took the cup to my nappy place on the couch to enjoy it.

As I sat there sipping away, I couldn’t help wonder about how the moth got in my cup. I know for sure it wasn’t in the cup when I started, and I’m fairly certain it wasn’t in the creamer because it’s stored in the refrigerator. So, the only way it could have inserted its way into my life was by crawling into the pot at some point during the night. I presume it fluttered to the bottom of the pot, drank a little bit, and got crazy once the caffeine took hold, and bashed his brains in by flying into the side of the pot, over and over, until it fell into the remains and drowned.

I don’t know that this is what happened, of course. It may have simply clung to the inside of the pot all night and was still alive when I poured it into my cup, and I microwaved it to death. Knowing that microwaves cook things from the inside out caused me to envision this sad little moth exploding in the cup giving credence that what I thought was coffee grounds in the bottom of the cup could indeed be moth parts of some nature. So, I returned to the sink with the cup still half full, took one final sip, and dumped it down the drain.

By this time, the new pot was done, so I got a fresh cup and returned to the couch. All of this will probably make Diane gag, especially when she discovers that the spoon I used to remove the moth from my cup is the one she uses to put sugar in hers. I guess I just won’t tell her because I’m sure the moth had been sterilized.

Hope you have a great day.

Day 6 – San Diego

Today was pretty routine. Some might say it was boring, even. But me? Boring or not, I cherish every day that I wake up on the green side of the grass. Know what I mean?

We got up late. Too late for our continental breakfast, again. We’ve been here two days and missed both time. Tomorrow, being a weekend, it will be open until 10 am, an hour later, so we might be able to make it down before it closes. I’m sure they serve delicious, very hearty fare. The most important part, however, is the coffee. Ummmmmm.

Our beautiful daughter, Jennifer, gets migraine headaches whenever she smells chocolate, of coffee. That is just so unfair. Two of the most important food groups, and she cannot partake of them. Makes me wonder what I ever did so wrong to inflict such a terrible thing on her.

I suffer from migraines, too, but love walking down the coffee aisle in any grocery store. It’s such a wonderful aroma that I fear I’ll embarrass Diane and start drooling or something. I know, she’s used to the drooling, but the smell of coffee makes it way worse. That’s about all I ever consume for breakfast … coffee. I eat bananas, too, and douse my coffee with hazlenut creamer, so it’s not just coffee. But it’s mostly coffee.

For 27 years I roamed the passageways of naval ships, and various shore facilities, clutching a crusty coffee cup in my hand, filling it every time I passed a coffee pot. I only drank it black, and I drank it right up until taps, or lights out at 10pm. Sometimes later than that. It never bothered me. The more bitter, the better. It wasn’t about the taste back then, it was just a need to carry around a coffee cup and an empty coffee cup isn’t normal. That cup never got washed, either. That was a rule because it supposedly ruined the flavor. I never believed that, of course, because, as I said previously, it wasn’t about the flavor. It’s a wonder I didn’t catch something really, really bad. Maybe I did and it just hasn’t manifested, yet. Maybe I’ll wake up and have it tomorrow because it lays dormant for 25 years before it strikes.

What ruined me and Diane for coffee was the first pleasure cruise we ever took. Cruise ship coffee is really strong, and tasty. We loved it so much that we promptly tossed out the Folgers when we got home, bought a coffee grinder, and enrolled in the Gavalia coffee of the week program. For a nominal fee they send us boxes filled with little bags of whole bean coffee from various parts of the world. All of them are good. I’d be perfectly happy with just one kind, all the time, since I now use creamer, all the time, but the variety is great for Diane. All she uses is sugar. I mistakenly took a sip of hers once and about gagged, then acquired a taste for it. I drank it that way for years. Then I went to Starbucks. It was the thing to do every Thursday morning toward the end of my civilian career. Instead of plain old coffee at an exorbitant price, I decided to have a Venti White Chocolate Mocha, no whip at an even MORE exorbitant price. I was hooked. Simply sugared coffee left me wanting. I needed more. I needed something that I could roll around in my mouth and feel the creamy substance absorb into my tongue, and the inner walls of my cheeks. Just like the VWCMNW.

After sampling a lot of different creamer flavors, I settled on hazelnut. I’m so stuck on that stuff that I just can’t drink coffee without it any more. We travel with it, even. It’s an addiction, I think. Not a terribly bad on, but an addiction, just the same.

I’m sorry … I didn’t mean to turn this into a confessionalistic episode, but there you have it. It’s done and there’s no turning back. Maybe I should add a picture. Haven’t taken many, and don’t have an recent ones, so I’ll just give you one of Breezie having a cat nap and call this good.


Holy Toledo

That’s Toledo, Oregon, in case you’re wondering. Today we visited this small artsy-crafty village which is situated abut four miles east of Newport. It’s got a huge saw mill and an odiferous paper mill for industry as well as a main street that turns in to a city wide yard sale every Thursday. Fortunately, today was Thursday so we got to enjoy a wonderful stroll along the street meeting some very nice people. Actually, everyone we met was very nice.


We saw these same tied-dye folks in Waldport yesterday. Some of the other vendors were also there. Also, all of the shop owners along main street pulled their wares out onto the street …


We got a little hungry when we got to the end of the main street and fortunately crossed paths with Sassafras Sue. She wasn’t real keen on having her picture taken but acquiesced for this one shot, as long as she didn’t have to look at the camera. So, she didn’t. Diane and I had sandwiches, Les and Sophie had salads. All of it was most excellent, the prices were good, and the service exceptional. We went back later to get special coffee from their very own Starbucks certified barista who has been doing it for ten years, since she was sixteen, before and after she went to college to be a social worker.


Today we met a dog named Bruce. Sadly, I didn’t take a picture of him. You would have liked him because he looked kinda like the dog-dragon animal in “The Never Ending Story”. He was brown, instead of white, and he was much smaller.

As we departed Toledo, the clouds condensed and began overflowing, giving us a more familiar version of coastal weather. We don’t mind. We had to get “home” to let Ozzie run. He’s been a good little house sitter for us and doesn’t seem to mind. Probably because he knows he’s going to get a treat when we get back to him.


Before going inside I hooked the RV up to the Buick so we could head out in the morning if the weather is still nasty. If we do, we’ll just wander up Highway 101 to Astoria and skip the freeway.