VA, Costco, Michaels, Fred Meyer, & Lydia

Today I paid another visit to my psychiatrist at the VA clinic. She officially said that I’m not nuts after all and that I didn’t have to come back unless I wanted to. She was very nice and we had a good rapport. Apparently I speak a bit of her language. Anyway, we severed ties because she’s moving on to greener pastures with her skills. I can’t say that I’ll miss her because I’ve only seen her twice, but it was meaningful and we accomplished my goal of ridding my life of Ambien. By January I should be done with it.

Now all I have to do is lose about 30 pounds so the Diabetes Police will leave me alone. All I have to do is quit eating. Simple.

We returned home by way of Costco, the one on Jenkins Road, where we enjoyed a festive lunch of very large hot dogs. $3.00 gets you two of the foot longs plus two refillable drinks. Can’t beat that for a decent meal. Ok, ok, … it’s processed meat, I know, but it’s still a decent meal. On the plus side, I only had half a cup of soda instead of a full one with a refill, like Diane did.

Then we stopped at Michaels so Diane could get some important things. She let me stay in the Buick and rest. And read my book. On my iPad. Then we had to stop at Fred Meyer to get yogurt. She let me stay in the Buick there, too. Gas was only $2.27 but we didn’t need any. It’s cheaper at Freddie’s than it is at Costco.

One of the things she got at Costco was a dead chicken in a plastic box. It was all broiled and brown and I figured it was destined to be our early dinner. I was correct, as I am many times throughout the day. One of us may disagree on that point and that’s OK. I know I’m correct, like I am many times throughout the day. Again, there may be disagreement, etcetera.

Once home, my job was to dismantle the chicken while Diane made a festive salad. We had to hurry because I was tapped to return Lydia to Hillsboro for her weekly goalie training session. I did it because both Diane and Jennifer were booked for a hot bunco party, something they do once a month at various homes throughout the area.

Lydia and I had a very meaningful conversation on the trip over since it was just the two of us. We don’t get that kind of quality time together very often and it was good. I learn stuff. Today it was that one of the qualities of a good male friend, for a girl, is that he will hold your hair back when you throw up. Every time. She was sick, you see, during a teen conference thing for church and thought it would be more fun to throw up out side on the street than inside in a toilet. The male friend, I’m told, is sweet on Lydia but it’s been made very clear to him that she likes him like a brother. Still, he tries. During this learning evolution she consumed 17 of the 20 chicken nuggets we got at McDonalds on the way out of St. Helens. She only wanted 10, but for another $.50 we could get 20 so I opted for the bargain. It worked out.

Now I must stop. This is post 690. Maybe not a big deal to many of you, but it is to me. Thinking about all those words makes me tired.

Tour Hillsboro For Less Than $400

How’s the new elbow, KC?

Are your hands getting along, yet, or is it too early to tell?

Diane took me to my dermatologist today to visit the rash on my back. I know, that’s personal but I had to share that since KC hasn’t objected (yet) to my mention of her faulty elbow. Knowing this, now, you may be happy to learn that my dermatologist burned 13 holes in my face and at least that many in my back. She uses a little spray can of liquid nitrogen to burn those holes, and they hurt, in case you don’t know. Thankfully, there isn’t any skin left on my ears so she didn’t have to burn any holes there. Ears hurt the worst.

So, now, I have 20-30 more spots on my body that will never tan. If this keeps going, it’s going to be like freckles in reverse. Sometimes I think they should just dip me in liquid nitrogen, let thaw a bit, then send me home.

I’ll include a photo of the damage as soon as KC comes up with a photo of the guy she got her new elbow from.

After visiting the doc, at 1030, we went to Tom & Linda’s to deliver some Avon stuff, and to visit with Tom for a bit. They only live a few blocks from where the appointment was. Unfortunately, for us, Tom picked that day to have some blood work down so we missed him. We did get to visit with Kyle a bit, however, so all was not lost. Turns out we missed Tom by a whisker as we left and he returned. There will be another day.

IHOP got our attention for breakfast so we stopped and had some. Our morning yogurt was long gone. We both had the Senior 2+2+2 which was very good. Then we headed for Costco.

I think we went to get paper plates, napkins, and little cups for the church. When done, however, it cost us over $300 to exit the store. The large part of that was getting ink for our printers. One of us isn’t too frugal when it comes to printing ‘stuff’. I won’t say which one because I don’t want to get into trouble. Again.

From Costco we went to the Washington County Habitat For Humanity Restore Store, or the WCHFHRS, for short. We were looking for either a window, or a piece of plexiglas to fill the hole left by the storm window that suspiciously fell out of the right side of the living room window when Diane opened it a few years ago. Those things just can hold up to a 15 foot fall to the ground. Thinking it would no longer be needed, I compounded the problem by tossing the frame, into which a new piece of glass could have easily been inserted, into the metal bin at the dump. Smooth, huh?

The reason that’s important now is because of our new chairs, the ones we bought because company was coming over. Remember those? Well, Diane likes them so much that she’s moved from the old recliner couch to one of those chairs, and it’s right next to the window with the missing part. It’s drafty and cold and now needs to be fixed. As long as she was sitting by the wall, it was perfectly OK. I envision a visit to ACE tomorrow to rectify this.

We went from WCHFHRS to one of the many Goodwill stores, Diane’s favorite place to shop, that dot the greater Portland area. The one she chose is located just up the block from a BMW dealership. I sat in the vehicle and read my John Grisham book, “The Racketeer”, for a couple of hours while she cruised the isles. About 1640 I went in the store to cruise a bit myself but discovered that we were due at our next location at 1700, not 1730 as I previously believed. Diane was heading for the check out line so it turns out I showed up just in the nick of time to cart all her treasures to the vehicle. She was pleased.

Rick and Jody were next on the agenda. We had a plan to meet them at BJ’s Brewpub and Pizzararium in Hillsboro where three of us had hamburgers, and one didn’t. This was another visit to deliver Avon products, and to just visit prior to going home.

By the time we arrived, the dogs had been without us for 10 hours. In dog hours that’s about three days. Jennifer, bless her, agreed to visit the dogs this afternoon to assure them they hadn’t been abandoned, but I failed to ask her to turn on a light for them. So, when we got home, they were in a pitch black house, except for all the pretty blue and green lights on the front of all the electronic equipment scattered around the place. So, it’s really not pitch black – its pitch black blue and green.

They were fine and didn’t even get up until I opened the door for them. Normally Ozzie is yapping away as soon as the big garage door starts up, and doesn’t quit until he’s well into the yard, relieving himself. It’s funny to watch him bark and pee at the same time. I’ve tried that and it isn’t easy.

Now we’re home and we missed choir practice tonight. It was the first one, too. As expected, I got into trouble for that because I actually knew about it. Yesterday.

Seaside, Oregon – Day 3

OK – right off the bat, the title is misleading. Sure, we woke up in Seaside, but didn’t stay long before heading north toward home. That’s probably misleading, too, but you can look at a map and figure out that St. Helens is kinda NE from Seaside. Going up Highway 101 one must go north to Astoria, East to Rainier, then south to St. Helens. It’s complicated. If we were crows it would be a much shorter trip but we aren’t so it wasn’t.

After packing everything into the Buick, we took one more walk up to the board walk to see how things were progressing. Ruth, our hostess, told us that she was the “T-Shirt Lady” for the upcoming volley ball event, that there were 126 nets installed,  and the number of teams registered to play was up to 1162. She figured it would be closer to 2000 since registration didn’t close until Friday. So, I grossly over estimated how many nets there were. But, it looked like hundreds to me. Either way, Seaside is going to be jumping this weekend. Seriously.

Ruth also changed their reader board to commemorate Grams’ 86th. Here’s proof …


Oops … I was there, too …


… and, this is Ruth with the girls …


As I recall, from our previous visit to the Hillcrest Inn, Ruth and her husband, Don, met in the Marine Corps. She completed either 6 or 9 years (I can’t remember) and Don made it a career. We had some fun conversations during our first visit, but didn’t get to talk this trip.  Jay, whose image I failed to capture, helped us at check-in, as did Missy. They just make the experience better. Nice crew. A great place to stay.

OK – no more plugs – that’s it …

Here’s a picture of the Seaside turnaround, the end of the Lewis & Clark Trail.


The bronze statues are rumored to be of Lewis & Clark staring off into the ocean discussing what they were going to have for dinner that night. Being terminally tired of eating fish and venison, the opted for Norma’s, only 1.5 blocks away, where they reportedly shared a Turkey of The Sea sandwich and bowl of clam chowder. That’s how old Norma’s is.

From Seaside we drove north about 6 miles to the nearest Goodwill store which Diane had her sites on. It’s in a new area of Warrenton that has been stripped of whatever used to grow there and developed into a growing mall area on both sides of Highway 101. Goodwill is on the east side of the road, just past Costco. We wandered around in Goodwill for an hour or so, and I was the only one who purchased anything. I got a bag of Nike golf balls for $5, and 18 pencils for $1.99. Seemed like a really good deal, to me.

Then it was lunchtime which brings me to what was vetoed as the potential title for today’s entry. Since we had already planned to visit Costco for their outrageously big and cheap hotdogs, and soda, the first thing that popped into my mind was Grandma Gets a Weiner. It was, although she laughed, deemed inappropriate so I didn’t use it. I suspect, however, I’ll earned a considerable amount of grief for even mentioning it. I did not, as you notice, take a picture of any of us eating lunch. They are really good, by the way. I normally get the Polish Dog, but went for the All Beef today. And a Pepsi. I was going to get vanilla yogurt and refill my cup with root beer so I could make a root beer float, but by the time I got to the counter, the yogurt machine was reportedly defunct. So, I went without.

Then we crossed the Youngs Bay Bridge, on which we had to stop because it was raised to allow a tall masted fishing boat go by. It didn’t take long. Here’s the view while we waited.


Now, first glance may cause you to think the bridge you see in the distance is the one we’re on, but that isn’t the case. The distant one is the Astoria-Megler Bridge which links Oregon and Washington. If you follow that link you’ll discover that bridge is 4.1 miles long near the mouth of the Columbia River which is 1243 miles long and originates in British Columbia, Canada. One of the memorable things about the river is Buoy 10 which is at the mouth of the Columbia. If you want excitement, that’s the place to go. If you have a tendency to get sea-sick, stay away. I spent over 1/4 of a century in the US Navy and had the opportunity to ride some pretty rough seas, but Buoy 10 is the only place I ever got sea-sick. I was miserable, but I caught a nice Silver.

Once we gained access to the other side of Youngs Bay we took a right turn before heading in to Astoria proper. Instead, we weaved our way around the back side of the hill, on which Astoria resides, and made our way up to the Astoria Column, a significant landmark in Oregon. It has a continuous ribbon of artwork wrapped around it depicting the history of the area starting in 1792. It’s literally a work of art that you can climb. Inside, of course.

Here’s what it looked like, today …



We have all visited it many, many times in the past, and have climbed the 164 steps to the tower but not today. I threatened to do it, leaving instructions to call 911 if I wasn’t back in 30 minutes. Then I just went around taking pictures of the view.

This is the Astoria-Megler Bridge going to Washington …


This is the Youngs Bay Bridge looking toward Warrenton …


After leaving the Astoria Column, we headed down the hilly streets of Astoria toward Highway 30 and home. The streets of the city rival those of San Francisco. Honest.

The trip home was uneventful and I didn’t watch any of it preferring, instead, to read my current book on my iPad. I’m reading The Witness which started out boring, but is turning into an interesting mystery.

Now it’s supper time and I must quit in order to ingest some of Diane’s very tasty beef stew in order to replace all the energy I’ve used here whacking away on my keyboard.