Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cold Morning Walks

No, this is not the abominable is Bruce dressed warmly for our morning walk. It was necessary as the temperature was a balmy 39 degrees. No rain today, though. Bruce snapped a photo of me dressed up for the walk. This is my "medium heavy weight" clothing. I still have a couple of pair of long-johns and warmer shirts and hats tucked away in the dresser drawer waiting for November and December mornings.

After moving up here to Washington from Southern California, we needed to get used to the idea of walking in the mornings even if the temperature was below freezing. After 15 years, it isn't a problem for us. When the area gets icy, that is a different story. With ice you get no traction and, naturally, you slip all over the place and risk injury. So, on icy mornings we go over to the mall and walk indoors.

Keeping all of this in mind, I'm not saying Bruce and I will miss these temperatures when we get the opportunity to flee to the desert in December. No, we can take it here.....but we don't have to all the time. Just another blessing of enjoying a fulltime RV lifestyle, where you can go where the weather leads you.

It really is a blessing and one we are grateful for every single day. God willing, we will be able to enjoy this great way of life for many more years to come.

Until next long for now!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just Hanging Out Today

Today we were lucky to wake up to clear skies at 6:30 am. That meant we could get out for our 1 hour walk without rain protection. No sooner had we finished our walk and climbed back into the motorhome...and there was the rain! Perfect timing.

We began making preliminary plans for our departure on December 26th for parts south, and warmer. We will be able to call and make reservations at some of our membership RV parks on October 1st. Going to warmer climes in the winter will require planning and reservations. It is prime snow-bird country. We do already have our reservation confirmed for our spot at the Pismo Coast Village in Pismo Beach, CA. We will check-in on Jan. 14, 2010 and we will check-out on Feb. 26, 2010. We can make reservations there 6 months prior to check-in date.

Back in the day, we used to just "wing it" sometimes and leave on vacations without confirmed reservations or even a concrete plan. Since getting the 40-foot motorhome, we prefer getting a reservation most of the time. I know a lot of RVer's, and especially fulltimers, prefer to be free to go on a spontaneous journey. If we want to utilize our membership parks as often as possible, that does require planning. We're OK with that, but we have been known to change plans on the fly and go a different direction, as we did a lot this past summer.

Also today, I started sorting some photos for the albums I've been working on for the "Grands". I've got lots of pages to catch up on for both albums. That will keep me busy as the cool, wet weather sets in for the fall and winter.

Truthfully, we don't know the meaning of "bored". Bruce and I can always find something to do around here. That is one reason why we've taken to the fulltime lifestyle so well. Sometimes it seems as if there are not enough hours in the day for me. To quote Martha Stewart, "that's a good thing".

So until next long for now!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays

Way back when, Karen Carpenter sang about "rainy days and Mondays". From the lyrics, the listener realized that these were depressing things for the singer. We are having our rainy day on a Monday right now, and it doesn't look like the rain is going to contain itself to Monday. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest in the fall! Unlike in the old song by Ms. Carpenter, a rainy day does not depress us in the least.

It sort of comes with the territory in these parts. The rain is to be celebrated as it helps to clean up the air, bring fresh water supply to the reservoirs, and keep everything green. This is The Evergreen State, after all. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing happens every year to some area of our state and there is flooding. In our immediate area of Tumwater this doesn't occur, but south of us just 20 miles has been a whole different story. Disastrous floods have happened during past 2 winters. We'll hope and pray that this doesn't happen this winter.

We have been lucky since we returned "home" that the warm summer weather kept going on and on, just like the Energizer bunny. That warm weather came to an abrupt halt in the wee hours of the morning today. The prediction is for a cold front to be moving in quickly and it will bring lots of rain with it for the next week, at least.

This morning when we set out for our walk, it was 39 degrees outdoors. Clear skies at that time as the rain hadn't moved in yet. I also took our flashlight with us to use as a sort of headlight to alert drivers of our presence. A couple of times last year we nearly got run over by cars.

Planning ahead last weekend, we got our winter coats, hats, and gloves out from our basement storage in the RV. Just in time it seems. We keep all of our clothing, for all seasons, with us in storage bins tucked away in the basement. We do not maintain a separate storage pod or room for extra "stuff". We don't want the extra expense of keeping a storage unit.

So, I can truly say fall is upon us here in Tumwater. I enjoy fall and winter, too, most of the time. (Last year was that winter exception, though) However, we have been making our plans for our winter escape which will take place on December 26th this year. We plan to go to Yuma, Arizona, and then to Orange County, California and finally on to Pismo Beach, California for several weeks. For the moment that is our plan, and we're sticking to it!

Until next long for now!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Mental Head Slap...Deserved!

Today I just had to give myself a big, old mental head slap! It was deserved. I didn't give myself a real head slap...that would hurt. Here's is why this self punishment was needed.

This morning I found a question on my blog regarding my post on Priest Point Park. Jerry and Suzy ( were wondering if this nature park was accessible to wheelchairs or motorized scooters. How stupid of me that I didn't include any information on that fact when making the original post.

I will try to remember that question with future posts on places to visit. That is a very important detail for many travelers out there, fulltimers or not. I'm sorry that I've been so ignorant as to have left that out.

The quick answer to the question from Jerry and Suzy is that part of the area at Priest Point Park has a trail that can be navigated from a motorized scooter or by wheelchair. That trail would be much shorter than the Ellis Cove Trail and there is also a rose garden in that area. In the main part of the park, near the parking, there are picnic kitchens that can be accessed by wheelchairs also.

The longest trail, Ellis Cove Trail, is not usable by physically challenged folks. There are several steep steps on the trail in order to get to the lower areas by the shoreline. Olympia is a very forward-thinking community and in most cases there are areas that all people can enjoy. It just so happens that this area of the community (Priest Point Park) is very old and the trail has not been reconfigured in many years. Hope this new information helps.

Until next long for now!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Priest Point Park, Olympia, WA

Today was a beautiful day and we took advantage of it. Next week rain is expected in our Tumwater/Olympia area. Although the calendar tells us it is officially fall, Mother Nature hasn't gotten the word and the weather was like a summer day.

About 6 short miles from our RV park home is a really wonderful regional nature park. It is Priest Point Park. It is open to the public and FREE of charge. Located north of I-5 on East Bay Drive, the park encompasses 314 acres a of century old forested waterfront.

The property was acquired by the City of Olympia in 1905. There is a one-mile saltwater shoreline on Budd Inlet. Hiking trails will allow the casual visitor to enjoy the quietness of the forest and keep on the lookout for any of over 30 species of birds that inhabit the area. Those could include: bald eagle, herons, owls, gulls and more.

After we parked the car, I added Annie's water dish and bowl to our lunch in my backpack. Annie was up to the challenge of a little walk in the woods.

Bruce and Annie kept ahead of me on the trail and I had my camera ready for some great pictures.
We were walking in Priest Point Park for over 2 hours and only saw 2 other people on the trail. As well as the bird population, the park is home to fox, deer, squirrels, and seals and many other species of mammal. We didn't see any fox or deer this time.

After walking on the Ellis Cove Trail for a while we ventured down to the mud flats. It was low tide while we were there. This view is of the mud flats with Budd Inlet in the background.

Looking in the other direction, you can see a couple of the beautiful waterfront homes. Even during low tide the views those home owner's have must be amazing.

This area may not be the tourist draw that Seattle, to the north, is but it sure has a lot to offer. We have been here to Priest Point Park on many occasions. During really hot summer days it is a nice place to bring a picnic supper and enjoy the cool breezes and the shade provided by the large trees of the forest. Imagine, practically in our own backyard. If we still had a backyard, that is.
Until next long for now!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rise and Shine

This day began at 5:30 for us. This will be our last morning on duty with the "Grands". Mommy and Daddy fly back from Las Vegas this afternoon. Good thing, as I'm tired.

Getting ourselves up earlier than the girls gives us the opportunity to shower and dress before the ordeal of getting 2 little girls out of bed and ready for their day. Neither Mackenzie nor Zoey are thrilled about getting out of bed early. We need to get them moving by 6:30 so we can be out the door by 7:35.

As you can see here, Mackenzie has a serious case of bed head! Man, that is one scary look. Zoey preferred to stick her head under the pillow in hopes that we couldn't see her, I guess. Didn't work out very well.....we saw her anyway.
I tackled the harder project...Mackenzie. Bruce got Zoey up finally and managed to let her pick out her own clothes for the day. Getting those sneakers onto Zoey's feet was sure holding Annie's interest.
Mackenzie is not an easy person in the mornings. That's why Bruce always sticks me with her. OK, I'm up to the task. I got her up finally and she picked out her outfit for the day. Then it was time to get that hair fixed. Mackenzie is not wanting any of that "little girl" stuff going on with her coiffure. She prefers the scattered, wild look. Not going to happen on my watch! I made her brush her hair through to unsnarl the tangles and she pushed it back with a nice headband.
Zoey came into the bathroom and I got a couple of pony tails going with her. They both washed their faces and we were ready to go downstairs for breakfast.
Zoey opted for microwave pancakes and some red grapes. Mackenzie preferred 1/2 bagel with cream cheese and the grapes. After eating, we got them both to brush those teeth and we were ready to go out the door.
I think we set a new record and were out the door by 7:30. We drove them off to the daycare center where the public school bus will come to get Mackenzie for 3rd grade. Papa and Grandma will go back to the house and collapse. I'm too old for this!
Until next long for now!

Making A New Friend

We had the great pleasure of making a new friend yesterday. About a week ago I was contacted by one of our blog readers who happens to live in the next-door town of Olympia. Her name is Pam and she wanted to know if we would like to meet for a cup of coffee and a chat at McDonald's. "Yes" was our enthusiastic answer. It would be great fun to meet, in person, with somebody who has been reading our simple, little blog. We met up at our favorite Tumwater McDonald's location.

Pam is a full-time "wanna be" right now. She and her husband have a 5th wheel that is just itching to get on the road. Right now they have business concerns that keep them home bound except for vacation travel.

Bruce and I enjoyed the conversation with Pam so much. She shares a lot of the same travel interests with us and we found that we had a lot in common. She wanted to hear about some of our fulltime travel decisions and how we came about doing what we are doing. Do we enjoy the lifestyle and do we regret making the big decision? Yes, we enjoy the lifestyle. No, we do not regret making this choice.

It was also fun to learn that she knew a lot about us, and our Annie, from actually reading the blog. I guess I still find it amazing that people out here in cyberland are really reading my posts. It is interesting to read the other RV blogs I follow, but I am still surprised that I have real "followers"!

Although Pam and her husband aren't ready to hit the road yet, they have begun early preparations. They've already begun downsizing and purging themselves of unwanted items from their sticks and bricks home. Like I told her, it is all part of the process.

I am confident that our new friend will realize her dream of a fulltime lifestyle eventually. She has the determination and motivation that drives us all to do this great big crazy thing we love so much!
Until next long for now!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Keep Up With the "Grands" Activities

We've been on babysitting duty now for 3 days with the "Grands". We've done this before and I know we'll be exhausted when our time is up. I know why kids are meant for the young..and not just the young at heart.

This afternoon we will need to get the girls over to Gymnastics Elite in Olympia for their classes. I think we'll get Mackenzie at the daycare center early today so she can come home and do some homework before heading off to the gym at 3:45. She has early release from 3rd grade today so this will be possible.

Here are some photos I took of the girls when we had them over to the gym last Monday. Mackenzie is really getting a work out 3 days a week and has some serious muscle growth in her upper body. She is getting ready for a turn on the lower bar.
She can fly through the air with the greatest of ease. Is she thinking about being a future Olympic athlete....or a circus performer?
I'm thinking at this point Zoey just likes getting into those sparkly leotards she wears to the gym. She isn't too serious about this whole thing yet.
When I peeked into her gym area with the camera, she spotted me easily and posed on the balance beam.

They have the little ones working on doing a handstand. The littlest gymnasts are supposed to walk their hands back toward the board there and be totally upright. Don't think it is working out real well here. They will keep trying.

Being with the "Grands" is always fun, but tiring. Their schedule is much busier than our normal routine. It is a non-stop event each morning from the time they get up until we get them out the door. Then in the afternoon it is even worse. Total non-stop activity from 3:15 until bedtime.
They're asking for Chicken McNuggets for dinner tonight. That may be the best idea I've heard all day. Calgon.....take me away!
Until next long for now!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Life Is Messy....So Clean It Up!

Yesterday morning after breakfast was carpet cleaning day. Dirt just happens! We have a little Bissell carpet cleaning machine and we keep it in the basement storage. It does a so-so job, as it is a small machine, but is better than nothing.
The first step was clearing away all of our stuff and furniture from the carpeted areas. Since we had the new vinyl flooring installed down the center of the coach, we could put the Euro chair there. The dining table we stuck up front in the kitchen.
Bruce started back in the bedroom area and worked his way forward, cleaning as he went. Annie was very interested and didn't run and hide someplace from the noise of the carpet cleaner. Back and forth he pushed the machine trying to do a thorough job of it. You wonder at the thinking of the Winnebago folks in putting carpet the color of oatmeal inside an RV. I guess more to the wonder at the morons who would buy such an RV with that carpet. Oh yeah! That was us morons! It was a nice sunny and very warm day in Tumwater, so when Bruce finished we left all the windows open to allow it to dry. We popped Annie into the car and left for several hours.

Today was the beginning of our 4-day babysitting gig with "the Grands". It was easy to just leave the motorhome with the wet carpet and go over to our temporary quarters. Bruce went back later to check it out. It was all dry and he reported it to be "as good as could be expected". Guess that is all we can hope for when we are living with oatmeal.

Until next long for now!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Lunch Date with Family

Today we had a planned lunch date with part of our family. My cousin, John, and his wife, Diana, live down in Lake Oswego, Oregon. John e-mailed me about a week ago to see if we'd like to meet in the town of Kelso, Washington for lunch. We've done this on many occasions and it works out well. Kelso is sort of half way between Lake Oswego and Tumwater. We said, "Yes!"

My Great Aunt Anne and Uncle Lyle were staying with John and Diana (she's John's mom) so it was a bonus to be meeting with them, too. Aunt Anne and Uncle Lyle live over in Soda Springs, Idaho but they come over to Oregon a couple of times a year.
Aunt Anne, Uncle Lyle, John and Diana

It was only a 63 mile drive south on I-5 to get to our usual meeting place, the Azteca Mexican Restaurant in Kelso. We took Annie with us and she waited patiently in the car. We checked with the weather forecast to make sure it would be safe to leave her in the car -- good to go!

We enjoyed our visit so much. John and Diana are planning a return trip to Italy in October and will stay there for 4 weeks. They go over there about twice a year. They've taken Italian language lessons for years and can communicate with the local folks easily. They do not RV, so they go to Italy to enjoy the culture, art and architecture, and live like the Italians while they are there.

Aunt Anne and Uncle Lyle have traveled a great deal over the years, as well. They've gone to Europe a couple of times and have traveled a lot throughout the U.S. too. Currently they are enjoying the quiet, retired life in the very small town of Soda Springs, Idaho. (pop. approx. 5,500) We had hoped to stop off for a day or two in Soda Springs on our way home from Iowa. We ended up having to stay so long at Winnebago that I just waned to get home, so we came straight to Tumwater.

Bruce and I minded our menu selection very carefully today. We got a low-fat chicken tostada with no dressing or refried beans. I took some of our own fat-free dressing with us and we used that. We were also able to steer clear of those darned chips they leave at the table. That was a little harder to do...but we managed.

We enjoyed catching up on activities with everyone such as: hip replacement surgery (John), knee surgery (Diana), and blood disorder issues (Bruce). The oldest ones (Anne and Lyle) had no major health issues to report, which is a good thing.

I took the photo (above) as we left the restaurant and said our good-byes. We're hoping to get over to Soda Springs at some point next year to see Aunt Anne & Uncle Lyle. Won't go in the gets way, way cold and snowy there! Good old Annie was waiting for us happily when we got back to the car and I swear she gave me a big smile! It was a great day.

Until next long for now!

See my healthy living blog:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

TV, Who Needs It? WE DO!

Sometimes we'd like to think we're above the lure of television. Reading is good, playing cards is good, crafts are good....but when we get right down to it.....I WANT SOME TELEVISION. Our satellite dish went kablooey several weeks ago while we were on the road from Iowa to Washington. We made an appointment down at Uhlmann RV to get it checked out when we had our slide-top awning replaced.

Our extended warranty insurance policy was supposed to cover repairs/replacement of satellite dishes. As it happens with all technology, our 2 year old dish was obsolete and could not be replaced with exactly the same type. The only choice was to buy what is currently on the market that comes closest to what we have. No dice the warranty company said...that constitutes an "upgrade". No matter that we can't get the same type anyplace on the planet they would not cover a full replacement. What they did approve was a payment of $1,347.00 toward the purchase of the new dish. This amount is what they said would be the cost (if they could do it) of the old dish.

Uhlmann RV wanted almost $2,500.00, which included tax, to put the new dish on the motorhome. Whoa there! We've had to lay out some serious cash this year for other repairs and upgrades and we weren't looking forward to adding another $1,300 to the replacement of a dish. We decided to think about it. We went home and attached the cable TV service to the RV again. Yippee, we got the 3 main networks and about 8 home shopping channels and 2 religious networks. We thought about it again and decided to call Camping World and get a quote. The price they gave us for the same dish was about $800.00 cheaper. No brainer there. We set up an appointment for installation.

Yesterday morning at O-dark-thirty, we drove the RV north to the Camping World store in Fife, which is about 30 miles from us. Traffic going north toward Seattle can be a real drag on weekdays so we wanted to get on the road early. We got there and Bruce checked in with the service department at 8:00. While the motorhome was in the service bay, we had plenty of time to shop in the Camping World store. Annie got to ride in the stroller so she could rest. She wasn't real sure if this was a good thing or not.
It took several hours for the installation, but it was finally finished and the service tech took us to the motorhome to look things over. He mounted the control box, for turning the power on to the dish, in a great place. He stuck it up under our systems monitor panel which was dead space anyway. It is very small compared to our old control box which takes up half a cabinet over the dash area.
LOOK! We have television again. Lots of channels again! We're happy again!

What better picture than a man with his remote? Yeah, Bruce was fairly upset last week when he couldn't get to see the USC football game on TV because we couldn't get the channel for it. Did he care that I couldn't watch Top Chef on Bravo? No. Did he care that I couldn't watch the Food Network? No.
Here is our new dish mounted up on the roof of the motorhome. The extended warranty company paid Camping World directly in the amount of $1,347.00 which was what they promised, and we paid the balance. You can't fight city hall.
We can still enjoy reading, playing cards and doing crafts. At least we have a zillion TV channels to view when we tire of those activities.
Until next long for now!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Killing Time at Camping World, So......

We're here at the Camping World store in Fife, WA getting the new satellite dish installed. I'll post details on that tomorrow. But while we are killing time for probably 6 to 7 hours, I don't have much going on. So, I'll ramble for a bit.

I read an article in the newspaper this morning about "Fashion Week" in New York City. It stated that "with the economic recovery in process, people are starting to embrace fashion and have fun again." I want my readers to know that I feel so relieved about that! Don't you all? I've been getting tired of seeing folks running around in last year's styles.

The article told of some of the celebrities attending the runway shows and what they had to say about high fashion. Good to know these things, just in case I'm ever in the market for high fashion. For me "High Fashion" was when I purchased a T-shirt in Estes Park, CO a few years ago. (high elevation in that mountain town)

I'm mainly a jeans and T-shirt gal and purchase a lot of my clothes from L.L. Bean catalog or at any WalMart I happen to be living by at the moment. I am soooooooo low-maintenance. Bruce should feel lucky about that but I don't think it has sunk in yet, even after 40 years of wedded bliss.

I don't get manicures, although I have on a few occasions many years ago. I've never gotten a pedicure in my life. Personally, I don't want people playing with my toes. I had bunion surgery in 2004 and that is as close to a "footsie thing" I want to get. I quit dying my hair in 1992 and just let it go the snow-white color it naturally is, even though I was only 41 years old at the time. We were traveling around on long RV vacations at the time and I didn't want a bunch of different people putting chemicals on my head!

I also don't go in for a lot of expensive jewelry. However, I did take a diamond necklace my mother-in-law left to me and had it redone as a ring. Looks better. No more diamond purchases for me now. I don't buy a lot of shoes and clothes either. Living in a motorhome helps with that since closet space is limited, but I was never much of a clothes horse anyway. I don't go in for expensive make-up. A little bit on me goes a long way, but sometimes I still think I might scare small children without it. Oh well.

Actually, I'd much rather take the money I don't spend on that stuff and put it into filling the fuel tank in the motorhome and traveling to someplace fun. It's a better way to go!
Until next long for now!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Update on Annie the Schnauzer

Last Friday we took our little Annie back to her doctor for a recheck. She was reluctant to enter the veterinary center as she probably thought she was going to have to stay again. We coaxed her through the door.

Dr. Mitchell spent a lot of time listening to her heart and her belly with his stethoscope. He said her belly sounds were good. Her heart rate was also much lower than when she first became so ill. I guess her heart rate was so high the last time it was about to pound right out of her little chest. The results of her blood test was good, too. Dr. Mitchell said she didn't need to take the Lasix anymore. She needs to continue with her other 2 drugs, probably for the remainder of her life.

I explained to Dr. Mitchell that Annie still didn't want to take long walks and her appetite was off. We keep her food out like cat owners do with their pets. Instead of Annie gobbling her food up in 60 seconds like she used to, she now takes about 6 hours or more to eat. We pretty much let Annie just do what she wants, when she wants to do it. Dr. Mitchell was fairly pleased with her progress and we take her back for another blood test in 4 weeks.

Then yesterday poor little Annie was really off her game again. She didn't have any fainting spells or seizures, but she just didn't want to get up off the couch.
I told her I wanted to take her picture for the blog and she did lift her head up for a moment. She put it right back down again quickly.
This is pretty much how she behaved all day until around mid-afternoon. She finally began some actual movement and then ate her breakfast that was still waiting for her.

This morning she is more like her normal self again. She even ate her breakfast about an hour after I put it into her bowl. She is snoozing on her little floor pillow now. I am detecting some quiet snoring going on down there, so maybe she is having a great dream about chasing a squirrel or something fun like that. Hope so!
Until next long for now!

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Leveling Boards

Here at the Allimor RV/Mobile Home Park we have one of the newly constructed sites for RV's. While we were away this past summer, the owner refurbished about 10 spaces. They have a thick bed of large gravel (small rocks?) as a foundation. They are so new that I don't think anybody had even parked in our space yet when we moved in.

The fresh gravel had been laid down and we think that it hasn't had a chance to pack down hard enough yet to resist some setting with a heavy RV sitting on it. It seemed like the first 2 weeks we were here we needed to "jack up" the passenger side a couple of times. We had been using those Lego looking things you buy at places like Camping World. They are good in many situations, but they weren't cutting it here. Being plastic, they get squished down and go sway-back with these heavy RV's sitting on them.

Bruce decided to fix up a couple of wooden jack pads of his own. We went over to Home Depot and bought an 8 ft. long plank that was 2" x 12". We had the man at the Depot cut it into 4 equal parts for us. (each 2 foot long) Bruce then set to work with the drill and some wood screws that were 3 1/2" in length. He placed 2 boards on top of each other and then, using the wood screws, secured them. He turned it over and put screws through on the other side as well. Then he attached a cord to one end to act as a handle.

I got his picture as he was putting his tools away in the "tool bin".
Then he raised the jacks enough to slip the new leveling boards underneath. We got the jacks back down and they seem to be doing a good job of keeping us on an even keel. We had resisted doing this just because of the added weight to carry them when driving, but we found the need for them growing. Sometimes you just have to do it.
Given enough time, the rocky-gravel here will settle as more and more RV's drive in and out and pack it down. In the meantime, since we will be here a while this seemed like a good plan.
Until next long for now!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Teaching Sunday first day

The pastor's wife from our church asked me if I'd teach a Sunday School class for 2 months this year. I said "Yes". What was I thinking? This was a class of kindergarten aged kids and I began to wonder if I had what it takes to engage them and keep them interested. Well, it can't really be that bad I began to think. It was only for September and October. was my first day with the kids.

Bruce and I attend Tumwater United Methodist Church when we are living here. We enjoy going there and love our church family, too. This morning I got to church about 30 minutes early to set things up in the classroom. I had no idea exactly how many kids would be coming. I thought I had everything all planned out from the curriculum given to me by our education director. A lot of it is still up to my own discretion on what to teach.

By 9:30 we had 4 little shining faces sitting across from me at the table, looking hopeful. OK...we're on our way I thought. First off, I couldn't get the antiquated stereo/CD system working. Scratch the opening song from the CD I was given and go to Plan B! I made a mental note that I'd have to check with somebody on how to get the CD player working. Next step was an opening prayer and introductions on just who we all were. A couple of the kids began coming while Bruce and I were traveling this past summer so they were new to me.

Anyway, we got through the hour without mishap or tears....I'm talking about myself here!! They seemed to be happy and occupied enough with what I had presented and I guess they will all be coming back again next Sunday. So, I wasn't a total failure after all. There were a couple of moments when Elijah wanted to play the piano although the rest of us were doing a project. And then a few minutes later Cristina wanted to play with the window blinds and they almost fell off the window...but hey, this is kindergarten remember. They have an attention span of about 5 minutes so you have to keep changing it up.

This is funny....when we first got to church this morning Bruce and I took Zoey into the nursery classroom where she spends her time. No teacher. Our pastor looked in to see the kids and saw Bruce there alone with Zoey and another little girl that had come in. I told Pastor Andy not to worry....Bruce would stay and take charge of the nursery this morning. :) Heh! Heh! Heh! I scooted off to my kindergarten kids. The 2 and 3 year olds kept Bruce hopping for an hour before the permanent nursery teacher got there. He's done this a couple of times so it wasn't a real problem for him, but this time around the little ones were rather rowdy and he was happy to be relieved by the teacher.

Since we are only at this church on a part time basis now that we are fulltime RVer's, we both try to do our part to help out as often as we can. It helps to give us a purpose, if you know what I mean.

Until next long for now!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Go Take A Hike!

It wasn't really a hike, but on Friday morning we walked from our RV park in Tumwater to the marina in Olympia. It was a trek of about 5 1/2 miles one way. We left about 10:10 after I made 2 sandwiches and stuck them into my backpack with my camera. We decided to walk down there, but we would take the city transit bus back to Tumwater. There is a bus stop right by home. About 6 years ago, we walked both ways and that was way too much for my poor feet. We lived further away at that time and it was a round trip of 13 miles. Never again, and that is why we planned on the bus ride home. (double click on a photo for larger view)

Our path takes us down Capital Blvd., which goes right into the marina area. Along the way, we pass right by our state capitol building. We stopped to take a couple of pictures. This is the fountain that is easily seen from the street and sidewalk.
This is the main capitol building with the 287-foot masonry dome, which is one of the largest in the world. The U.S. flag was flapping nicely in the warm breeze with our state flag beneath it.

We continued on our walk toward the marina, still a good distance away. I snapped this photo of one of our tree lined streets in downtown Olympia. This area was damaged heavily in the Nisqually earthquake several years prior, but has been rebuilt since.

We finally got to our destination at the water. It took us about 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach Budd Bay. The boats were mostly at the docks, but when the weekend comes they will surely be out on the water. The boat owners know they need to take advantage of every good day while they last. Winter will come along all too soon.
Some lucky boat owners have boathouses for protection....most do not. We did see For Sale signs on many of the larger boats/yachts.

This is the Budd Bay Cafe waterfront restaurant which has a very popular outdoor cafe as well as indoor seating. It has excellent seafood choices, but I have to say it isn't as good as it used to be when we first moved here in 1994. The original owners sold it and we don't go back anymore. It's OK, but we now prefer the Oyster House.
We bought ourselves a Pepsi from a vendor by the Farmer's Market and sat down to enjoy the view and the sandwiches I brought along. We never tire of the views in and around Olympia. From this area you are looking at Budd Inlet which goes out to Puget Sound. In the distance you can see the Olympic Mountains out on the Olympic Peninsula. During the winter these are snow capped peaks and the sight is fantastic.
We finished our lunch and the cell phone rang. It was our son, Dennis, wondering where we were. He was at the RV. Our car was there but we were not. We explained that we had walked down to the marina. I asked him if he'd like to drive down and pick us up and we wouldn't have to take the transit bus. He said, "Sure". So we walked over toward the Oyster House restaurant where he could find us easily.
On the way, we walked along 4th Street and I took this final picture of the capitol building.

Here is the Oyster House Restaurant, which has another popular outdoor eating area. During the late spring and summer it is common to find all the tables occupied during lunch. We began coming here to the Oyster House for our family Thanksgiving dinner. That "tradition" started in 2005 when Bruce had heart by-pass surgery the day before Thanksgiving. I planned to spend most of the day at the hospital and not in the kitchen, so I took everyone to this restaurant instead. That began our new tradition and we have gone there every year since. They put out a fabulous buffet on the holiday with the usual turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings. Plus, they have baked salmon, chicken, pork roast, roast beef, assorted cheeses, salads and many desserts. It's a no-brainer for me now.....we just take everyone there.

While we waited for Dennis to come and play taxi, I walked over to Percival Landing (right by the Oyster House) and took a picture of this sculpture titled, "The Kiss".

We had enjoyed our day out at the marina and the walk was good. However, I was just fine with getting a ride back home!
Note: I'm not cuckoo, here in this community they use the spellings "capitol" and "capital" in all mixed up ways. I just go with it and I think it is a capital idea.
Until next long for now!

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2001

Today marks the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our nation. Please remember those people who perished on that day, and their families.
Our family lost a member, my cousin, on 9/11. He was in the U.S. Navy working in the Pentagon building. He took a direct hit. His name was Joseph Pycior, Jr.
He was just one of thousands who lost their life. Take a moment today to reflect on those events and how we can work to make this world a better place.
God Bless You All.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tumwater Falls Park

Right in the heart of Tumwater, lies a beautiful park with a scenic walking path. It is the Tumwater Falls Park. To celebrate a glorious and sunny day, we packed a lunch and drove over to the park to enjoy the tranquility. It is only about 3 miles from where we are living in the RV right now, but we drove because we took Annie the Schnauzer with us. She loves a good picnic. Before settling down with our lunch, we decided to check out the fish hatchery on the park grounds. The sign informed us that we were looking at Chinook salmon.
They were so huge. I couldn't help looking at them and thinking of ways to cook them and enjoy their succulent goodness. There were quite a few in the hatchery pond. These ponds were built in 1964 on the park grounds to collect and spawn Chinook salmon. The ponds also aid in counting the coho salmon, steel head and cutthroat trout which are allowed to pass upstream.
Just past the hatchery area you can get a good view of the actual falls. This is the Deschutes River. Just above the falls on the left is the old brew house for the defunct Olympia Brewing Company. Remember: "Its the Water" on the old tv commercials?
A better view of part of the brew house and the falls, too.
A larger view of the brew house without the falls in the shot. Look at that beautiful sky!
Leopold Schmidt opened his Olympia Brewing Company in 1896. He was from Montana and owned a few breweries there. He heard about the exceptional springs near the city of Olympia and he came to see for himself. The artesian wells of Tumwater were perfect for brewing beer and he stayed.

The photo above is the original brew house, built in 1906.  It lies down river from the brew house by the falls but has been abandoned for many years.

The large brew house that rises above the trees beyond Tumwater Falls was built later. Prohibition stopped the brewery for a while, but in 1933 the Schmidt family began making their special brand of beer again. Various members of the Schmidt family owned and operated the Olympia Brewing Company until 1983. For 20 years after that it operated under several different corporate owners until it closed for good in 2003. The community really misses the old brewery and it put many people out of work. To this day, the building remains empty but is up for sale.

Above the Deschutes River with a grand view of the falls, is the Falls Terrace Restaurant. It is a favorite location for the lunch time crowd with great food and good specials. Open for dinner, as well. If you can score a table by the picture windows, you won't want to leave.

We continued walking past the restaurant and crossed over a small bridge to get to the far side of the river. The walking path runs along both sides of the Deschutes and will circle around to the other side down stream. From that little bridge you can get a good view of the river and the overpass for cars above.

Bruce and our Annie were enjoying the day. Annie sniffed at every rock and tree we'd allow her to stop at. Other dogs have been here, but she knows there are also critters in these woods!
A beautiful little waterfall along the way.

Here's the footbridge downstream where we crossed back over to the other side of the river.

This view from the footbridge is showing you downstream toward Capital Lake where the Deschutes will flow.

Walking back upstream now, you can see one of the fish ladders on the river. From early September through late October several thousand salmon ascend a series of 3 fish ladders. The ladders allow fish to pass around the falls and enter the ponds.

Just another wonderful view of the river.

Back at the picnic grounds we look for a nice bench in the warm sunshine.

Bruce takes a photo of me enjoying my yogurt. Taking our own lunch not only saves saves us a lot of excess calories. Still trying to knock off 8 more pounds. I blog about that journey every day on my other blogger blog site.
We all enjoyed our day and then drove back home to the good old motorhome. Now Annie is snoozing on her dog pillow and Bruce is back in the bedroom having his own snooze. Peace and quiet for me!
Until next long for now!