Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Send prayers for Kayla

The fifteen year old niece of Susan, a blogger from Maple Ridge, BC, Canada, has been fighting against bone cancer since it was discovered this past spring. Kayla has shown an amazing amount of strength during this battle which has been very stressful for her extended family, including many in the Blogging World. Tomorrow she will have her right leg surgically removed, another step in this battle against a terrible disease. Many of us who have grown to love her over the many miles that seperate us are praying for Kayla and the success of her medical team, as well as for her family. Please join many of us tomorrow morning in saying a prayer for the success of this proceedure and the recovery of this wonderful young lady. You can learn more by clicking on the link above or in my side bar on Susan's blog, "Thousand Wordsworth."

On a lighter note, I watched a fun video last night. I belong to Blockbuster On-Line which works much like NetFlicks. I order movies I want to watch online, they send me three that I return via mail when I have seen them. I had one on my list that looked like fun and it was great. If you haven't yet seen "Nanny McPhee" I would suggest you do. Annie sure would have loved it. My son, M, has taken his family to see it and gave me a description of it as sort of a Harry Potter version of Mary Poppins, and in some ways that is probably accurate. It is a fun show and one that is fine for children. It is not animated but has real people.

Monday, August 28, 2006


A week of little to write about

Well, what to write about. I've been getting some mileage on the moped due to very nice weather. The top has been off the Miata most of the time, too. The books & DVD that I had ordered from Amazon.com came. I learned the old Laugh In TV shows are not as meaningful to younger people as they are to me. Since they didn't know the people or situations that are referenced in the show, they often miss the point of the jokes. I guess I hadn't thought about that aspect of the show, but I am enjoying watching the old ones. I haven't yet started reading the books. I have too many started that I need to get through before starting more.

Saturday afternoon was the annual picnic at church and again the weather was perfect. I had a nice time, visiting with friends. Yesterday I noticed no one had signed up yet for coffee hour after church on Sunday, Sep. 10th, so I did. Annie worked pretty hard to get the coffee hour started again there and I sure want to do whatever I can to keep it going. That Sunday fits right in the middle of three family birthdays, so I'll buy a cake at Costco for the occasion. My older son, who's birthday is the first of the three, will be out at sea but the next one is mine and I hope my soon to be six year old grand daughter will come up and join me for the occasion.

There was a chance to maybe get together yesterday with a couple of Blogger friends from Whidbey Island for mochas but it turns out that later will work better. I had hoped to take some photos but that will also have to wait.

I did manage to go on the walk with the men from my park all three times last week. They walk three miles to the hospital and back, stopping for coffee while there, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week. I plan to go again on another walk in a few minutes, this morning. I need the exercise. I bought a cookbook and am starting to look into cooking some things rather than eating out most of the time. I have a couple of friends, including SW, who have offered to be my cooking teacher/advisors so maybe I'll get beyond being able only to cook Papa Murphy's pizza and Nalley's chilli.

This is looking like a busier week with other activities including some with picture opportunities so maybe I'll find it easier to write here during the week. In the meantime I have been enjoying reading blogs of online friends. Keep up the good work!

Sunday, August 20, 2006


SW, Sammy and my moped

There hasn't been very much happening in my life that is exciting or different, so I haven't tried to post much here. Last Thursday was the annual picnic in the park where I live. My neighbor & I again played in the bocce ball tournament but it got messed up. We won our first game & should have gone on, but the score keeper forgot there was a playoff to happen & awarded the prize to the winners of the next game. We really should have played them for the championship. Oh well, we did win it two years ago & didn't play last summer.

I did decide that I perhaps should put up a couple of photos of my Honda moped since I have mentioned it a few times. This first photo is of my DIL, J, riding it about a year ago shortly after I bought it. It still looks the same, although it didn't have the sticker I'll show you in the second photo installed on it yet at the time of this photo:
Moped 01

My neighbor thought the moped lacked something and he had just the "fix" for it. He had a sticker for Orange County Choppers which he thought would look good on the moped, so we put it on. Now I can go out and hang with the Harleys, as long as they are parked. I can't keep up with them when they're moving:

SW & I have been talking pretty regularly on the phone. I "found" her, a high school classmate, on a web site called, "Classmates.com." Here is the photo she posted there of she and her 1 1/2 year old Yorkshire terrier, Sammy:

I managed to get to the end of my cell phone bill cycle yesterday with only two minutes over my basic amount by making my calls after 21:00 in the evening. As I said, there is not a lot of activity here to write about. I'll try to not let it go so long before adding something else. I do want to go play with my camera again so should have some area pics that I can at least post.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Has it only been a week since I drove to Richland to meet SW? Since I got my first speeding ticket in many years (I'm mailing them the check today)? I really don't seem to have done very much in that time but a full week has indeed gone by.

SW & I have been talking quite a bit on the phone. I have been enjoying those calls but may need to increase my cell plan minutes. With five more days left in the billing month, I am now one minute over my contracted number of minutes, at 45 cents a minute for those extra minutes. The next jump would double the number of anytime minutes, for a cost of $20 plus all those taxes they add. Maybe if we talk after 21:00 or on weekends when it is free.....

I renewed the license for my Honda Metropolitan II moped yesterday for it's second year. I plan to drive it around more than I have been as it only has 250 miles on the odometer since I bought it August 13, 2005. But it gets over 90 miles to a gallon of gas so is pretty nice now with $3+/gal gas. My neighbor gave me an Orange County Choppers decal for the back of the moped. Now I can park with the Harley's and fit in.

Last night I ordered one of Dorothy's books on soul mates, one on WordPress to blog with and a DVD of "The Best of Rowan & Martin's Laugh In" TV shows on Amazon.com. I went there from Miss Cellania's blog so she will get a little money from Amazon to help pay her online expenses. The books are some I have wanted and I loved Laugh In when it was on the air. We will never see anything like it again as it wasn't politically correct. It spoofed any and everything in a no holds barred way. It is where Goldie Hahn got her start.

Time now for lunch & then I'm off on the moped for Starbucks, with a book, for my mocha. I should buy stock in that company.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


The Miata trip to Eastern Washington this week

Tuesday morning I got up at 04:00 & did get away from home at 05:05. This got me through Everett about 05:45 with only a traffic slowdown to 30mph on the freeway and little or no slowdowns in Bellevue, so I was onto I-90 eastbound about 06:30. I stopped at a rest stop in the mountains to stretch & for a cup of coffee, then continued east on the freeway.

Just across the bridge over the Columbia River at Vantage I left the freeway & headed south on SR-253. There was almost no traffic at about 8am. About three & a half miles from the freeway I met three Sherrif's dept. cars coming the opposite way. As they got up to me the rear one turned on his flashing lights, turned around & proceeded to pull me over. It seems I had not slowed down to the state highway speed and was still running, he said, 74mph in a 60 zone. I now owe Grant County $122. But this was the only bummer on the trip.

I got to the Tri Cities a bit after 9 but due to road construction, I couldn't figure out how to get to S.W.'s townhouse. I called her, she drove over & met me at a mocha place where I had stopped (isn't it amazing how I seem to be able to FIND those places!) and, after we had a mocha, I followed her home. We did a lot of talking, ate a nice lunch she fixed, went to a lab for an appointment she had and worked with the furniture people who brought over a couple of pieces she had bought for her new home. They setup & mounted her big clock on the wall. After that we went out to dinner at Applebees, then drove around to show me some of her town, including where the motel I had my reservation for the night was located.

When we got back we took her dog, Sammy, for a walk in the dark along the Columbia River which is across the street from her home, on a walkway. There is a golf course on the other side of her home. We met a skunk not far from the house but stayed clear of it. When we got back from the walk we came around the low wall at the edge of her back yard, with Sammy in front, & met the skunk again. This time we were not so lucky & Sammy got sprayed. We took him inside & washed him up (he is only about ten pounds) so he smelled better, then I headed for the motel.

Yesterday after I checked out of the motel I went back to her home, finding it on my own this time. We did some more talking, she fixed another lunch, more talking, then I headed for home and she off to find out the results to the lab work from the day before. I have learned that we will probably be very good friends but perhaps not more than that, although I don't think finding a new very good friend is a bad thing. She will come over here sometime this fall & I may get back over there again this year, hopefully without the visit with the police again. We did attend grade school together for at least our sixth grade year, four years of high school and two years at the same college. She married while still in college, they moved to the Tri Cities after finishing school and she raised her three kids & taught school there. She has been divorced for 15 or so years.

I did drive back home a different way. I stayed on the freeways (and out of Grant County) to Ellensburg, then went north across Blewett Pass to US-2 and the town of Leavenworth. Leavenworth adopted a Bavarian look a few years ago so is quite a touristy place. I didn't stop in town but west of town, along the Wenatchee River, is a chocolate place called The Alps which we always stopped in while driving by. Somehow the car almost wanted to stop there on it's own. I didn't buy sugar free candies this time but did buy a package each of divinity and chocolate rum pecan fudge, & a bottle of water. I also took a few photos. This first one is looking down the river, with the highway along the left side:
At The Alps 01

The Alps is located five or six miles out of Leavenworth, but they still follow the Bavarian theme with their architecture. Here is the steeple thing on the top of their building with a little knome in it:
At The Alps 02

The road here is starting up into the Cascade Mountains and you can see some of the foothills in these photos. It is a beautiful area but it does get quite a bit of snow in the winter. The next photo I took at the summit of Stevens Pass which has an altitude of a little over 4000 feet. I was starting to get into clouds and you can see that one has covered much of the ski slopes above the homes:
Stevens Pass 01

I went this way because it allowed me to bypass Seattle completely. It was a little farther but a beautiful drive with very light traffic until I hit I-5 on the north side of Everett about 18:20. By then the worst of the rush hour was over so I got to Mount Vernon before 19:00 & stopped at Umi Teriyaki for a chicken dinner to take home. Huggy was glad to see me and has been staying pretty close. One of my neighbors had fed her while I was gone & my older son spent the night here Tuesday night so he probably petted her some, too.

There was some rain here this morning but it cleared up and was nice the rest of the day. My neighbor & I went over to Haggen's for sandwiches for lunch to eat with mochas at Starbucks, so I got my mocha fix taken care of today and at my home store.

I think the trip was worth going on. I met a neat lady who I will enjoy talking with and probably do some things with over the years. It was a break in my routine that was neat (except the ticket.) Perhaps there are some changes coming in my life.

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Monday, August 07, 2006


In pursuit of dreams.....

Today's post by Rain is about daydreams. I think we all do some of that and she talks in a way that is easy to understand about the difference between daydreams and dreams that occur as we sleep. I like her thoughts on the subject. One that I do occasionally is to buy a single lottery ticket. I'll buy it when the winnings get fairly high and figure it is worth the $1 to dream a little for a couple of days. All I ever seem to get are the, "Sorry, not a winner" type but it is fun never the less and I feel I can afford an occasional dollar for that fun.

But there are other daydreams I have. One is that perhaps there is another lady who I could spend the rest of my live loving and living with. I will never forget my Annie but I really do want to try to get the magic we had back into my life. Maybe it is just a daydream, but someone does win those lotto prizes rather than just getting "Sorry, not a winner" and maybe it will eventually be me. I think you have a better chance of winning if you buy a ticket.

Recently I connected with a lady who I attended school with. Our high school had over 600 graduating seniors so the chances of really knowing someone there was not real good but I do remember her. I found her on Classmates.com and we have exchanged email and a few phone calls since then. It turns out that we also went to the same grade school for a year or so but I am pretty sure we were not in the same classroom there as I don't remember her from that time. We did go to the same college where she finished & became a teacher but I transfered from after two years.

Anyway, in the spirit of having a better chance of winning if I buy a ticket, I have a motel reservation in her town for tomorrow night and will drive there tomorrow to meet & spend some time together. Will S.W. be the one I am looking for? I dunno, but if I don't try to reach for the gold ring I know I'll never get it.

Here is a quote from Rain's post of today and I think she is right on:

"Are we ever too old to dream? I think as we age, we may have to adjust the dreams for what is physically possible; but there can, and I believe, should be dreams at any age. To follow a dream sometimes does have risk attached. Some would say forgetting your dreams will make you happier, but for me, I will hold onto mine and take my chance to make them real if the chance comes."

I hope I am not like Don Quixote, tilting at windmills. More later.


Sunday, August 06, 2006


Old friends are great

While on my recent RV trip to the Spokane, WA area, a group of friends who attended Lewis & Clark High School together until we graduated in June, 1961, got together to reminise in Spokane. One came from New York where he is a chemistry prof at a university there. Another works for the State of California in Sacramento in the education field. One is a public school teacher who retired a few years ago but still teaches about 60 days a year to finance his travels. One works for the City of Spokane. Four of us are retired. I have known some of them since we started Kindergarten together and the others since 1955 when one of them moved into a new house two houses away from where I lived. Three of them I have stayed in pretty close contact with over the years, the other four have just been occasionally when our schedules happened to put us together at the same time.

We spent Saturday going around looking at the houses we lived in at the time, or at least those that were still there. We also visited our high school but since it was the weekend we couldn't get inside the building. The current Lewis & Clark HS building was built in 1912 after the previous building was destroyed in a fire. My Mother graduated from there in 1931. Her favorite history teacher was the principal when I was there from 1957 - 1961. The building is a historical thing so when it was to be replaced, the basic shell was kept with much of the interior rebuilt. It has a second "cornerstone" that says it was "Rededicated in 2002." This building is almost in downtown Spokane. Here is a photo of a part of it that gives an idea what it looks like:
LC group 01

This photo shows the group (less me as I took the photo) standing on 4th Ave. in front of the school:
LC group 02

My parents were married in 1938 and bought this house in 1940. It is the only home I knew while growing up. It was in the family until the death of my Mother in 2000 when it was sold to a young lady who grew up across the street & had always loved it. Her Mother still lives in the house across the street:
LC group 03

I have already posted the photos from our dinner at the Hot Rod Cafe in Post Falls, Idaho. We gathered a few more times at different places. I had wanted to stay a couple more days to go to Newman Lake with this group on Sunday, July 29th, but the campground had reservations coming in right after me so I couldn't get those extra days. I checked out of Yogi Bear Campground about 09:00 that morning and drove home that day, but I took some photos of my Sea Breeze RV in it's space there before leaving. This photo was taken about 08:30 before I moved out of that space.
Yogi Bear Sea Breeze

This was a wonderful get together and we hope to do it again on a fairly regular basis. As I have said before in my blog, I think friends & family are a great thing to have and cultivate, especially as we grow older. This group was pretty close during high school, then drifted apart after HS with some of us going to different colleges and a couple into the military. Now most are retired & all probably will be within two or three years, so we want to stay in contact & not let so many years go by before we gather again. In five years we will have our 50th reunion. I know I'll see most of these guys before then.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006


The Hot Rod Cafe

During my second week in the Spokane WA area a group of friends who went through the public schools together gathered to reminisce about our times together. On Saturday evening we went to the Hot Rod Cafe in Post Falls, Idaho for dinner. I had never been there before but it is quite the place and only about 20 miles from downtown Spokane, east on I-90. Here are a few photos from that gathering, with the first one showing the outside of the place. There is a red hot rod coupe on the top of the building on the round part, that rotates:
Hot Rod Cafe 01

When you first come in you are in the waiting area which is used if they are crowded, which I guess happens often. This is a view of part of that area. Notice how the seats have been made up from the trunk areas of cars:
Hot Rod Cafe 03

There is a lot to see inside. This 1957 Chevrolet station wagon is pulling a drag boat on a trailer, both painted to match. You can also see other signs as well as things hanging around and there are many TVs with car related things on them continuously:
Hot Rod Cafe 02

This Ford pickup is powered with a Crysler Hemi V-8. The car is licensed for the road and probably does not spend all it's time here on display. I would bet the owner takes it out for drives on a regular basis, perhaps then bringing in another car to put on display in this location. Notice the old gas pump and all the various signs:
Hot Rod Cafe 04

Here is a photo of part of our group. Some came from California and New York as well as various parts of Washington State. This view shows a bit more of the restaurant in the background. Notice that neat child's pedal car raised up on a pole to the right side of the photo. I bet it would be loved by any kid today:
Hot Rod Cafe 05

We had a fun time and I would have loved to stay on but I had to get back to the RV to start getting ready to leave the next morning for home. I was staying in a membership campground, Yogi Bear Campground, and could only get two weeks there. I hoped to extend it a couple of days but they had someone coming in right after me to take my spot. Our group was going out to a lake cabin owned by a sister of one of the guys the next day (Sunday.) I spent time each summer at that lake while growing up and would have enjoyed seeing the place again, but it was not to be. There was another nice sunset as we were leaving and I did manage to get the Hot Rod Cafe sign into the photo, too. The bank in the background had a time/temperature sign but I couldn't get the two co-ordinated to display both at the same time. The temp was 72 as we were leaving, about 21:00:
Hot Rod Cafe 06

I have some other photos that were taken during this gathering and my time in Spokane and I will look through them and post a few more in another post. I wanted to get these up as it has been a few days since I added anything & I figured these would be easy to do. More later.

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