Tuesday, October 31, 2006


A play day with the Red Hatters

Annie started and was the Queen of the Little Mountain Red Hatters here in Mt. Vernon. The chapter continues today under the Queenship (is that a word?) of our neighbor, B. Their outing for the month of October was a trip to a great play at the Stanwood Grange that included V, the male half of our park management team. It was called, "The Silver Horseshow Revue." Husbands were included on that day and I was invited as a guest of the chapter.

The play is done as a radio show, with the actors playing their parts over the air, speaking into microphones, just as if it were being done live and we were the studio audience. There also was some good music along with the play, from a live music troup.

Stanwood play 01
This is the cover of the program.

Stanwood play 02
The next photo shows the overall stage. It was done pretty simply with just one setting but also very well. The lady in the far back of the stage was the sound effects person.

Stanwood play 03
This view shows most of the musicians at work. They ranged from very experienced to almost new with their instruments, but provided very enjoyable music.

Stanwood play 04
Our park manager, V, is the guy here in the checked shirt. There was a definate story line, you could even say there were a couple of them that were woven together to make the whole.

Stanwood play 05
As you can probably guess from the color of V's cowboy hat, this was one of the surprise moments in the play. Most of them are not pink in color.

Stanwood play 06
This scene is a wrap-up with pretty much all of the performers and musicians on stage. The play was a lot of fun and I really appreciate being invited by my neighbor, J, and the whole chapter.

One other thing happened there. I met a new lady in our park and a new member of the Red Hat Chapter, P, who also lost her spouse to death a little over a year ago. She is a neat lady and we have done something together every day since. More later on this new relationship. I don't want to jinx it! It is kind of ironic, I joined Yahoo Personals to meet single ladies and the two who have most become involved in my life are a long time school friend and a lady I met through Annie's Red Hatter chapter, neither having anything to do with Yahoo Personals! Go figure.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006


A great poem by Maggie

Today I found a great poem Maggie wrote and posted on her blog, Mind Moss that I found especially good. I asked her if I could post it here and she said I could, so here it is:


We lived a lifetime
Maybe two
Old souls fit together
Like the long-worn sweater
Or constant companion
Walking shoe.
Who would guess
I should be the one
Half storyless
Or that there would be a time
When I would
Gaze into a future
Where summer days were left behind
Then snowflakes
Fell upon my head
Leaving cold silver strands
To grow and spread.

All those morning suns we woke
All those dreams we formed and spoke
All those years we stood beside
All those decades of turning tides

I keep the tale we wrote
And write it
Every day again
To fill my heart with longing
And the warmth of
My empty pain
I smile at the remnants
That tell me little moments
All brought together
Scream the life we sculpted
It is the inherent sorrow
Of the joy of being two
That one must leave the other
Before their story was through.

All those days were filled with us
All those nights we turned and touched
All those times your eyes read mine
All those moments we built in time

And so I keep our story
Close upon my mind
Because I was appointed
As the one left behind.

Isn't that great! Maggie posts a poem every Friday that she has written on her blog and they are good. This one is especially poignant to me due to the fact that I find myself in that same position. Thank you, Maggie.

Monday, October 16, 2006


A recent road trip

My friend SW had some pretty heavy duty dental surgery last Wednesday and wasn't feeling very good after it. I drove to her town very early last Friday and spent a few days there helping her. I am glad to say that she is doing much better now. I enjoyed the time we spent together and think she did, too. I took the Saturn rather than the Miata and left Huggy home in the care of my neighbors. My furry friend fix came with Sami, SW's Yorkshire Terrier, who seems to like me pretty well. I also managed to avoid getting any speeding tickets this time!

I have sent a few email notes to ladies on the Yahoo Personals site recently. I got an answer back from one over the weekend and I think we are going to get together for a mocha and to talk. SW says to meet as many different folks as I can and try to enjoy just meeting people. If the right one comes along, then I'll hopefully be able to recognize it. I have to try to not get too invested too soon again.

My Navy son drove up after work today to spend the night here, rather than sleeping on his ship. Nice to have him around.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006


Leavenworth, WA, with my YMCA group

When our exercise class leader at the YMCA where I go to my class told us about a bus tour to the Bavarian village of Leavenworth, on the east side of Stevens Pass over the Cascade Mountains, I thought I would like to go. I bought a ticket to ride over on the bus with the group at a cost of only $35

There were 37 of us who met at 08:00 Saturday, Oct. 7th at the Y. The bus left at 08:30 and it was great to be able to be a passenger and just enjoy the view. By now the leaves are turning their fall colors, especially at the higher points while crossing Stevens Pass on US-2.

Leavenworth 01
Here is a photo taken through the bus side window just a bit east of the summit. I found it fascinating to be looking down on clouds from a bus, not an airplane.

Leavenworth 02
This is another from the bus window, just a little beyond where the last photo was taken. We were moving out of the clouds but you can still see a cloud cap on the top of the hill.

The total trip was about two and a half hours, partially because of heavy traffic and two lane roads. I think it could be driven in about two hours if there were no traffic concerns. Leavenworth is an old railroad, lumber and mining town that was dying in the 1950s when the railroad closed most of their facilities in the area. One townsperson who had visited the Bavarian area of Germany noticed how similar in appearance the two settings were and proposed they remodel downtown buildings in a Bavarian look. It took off and Leavenworth is now one of the most popular tourist places in the state. They are having various festivals all the time and this weekend was the middle one of their Oktober Fest. The weather was perfect, with a temp about 70F and sunshine, so the town was crowded with people. Again it was nice to just hop off the bus and not have to worry about getting my car parked.

Leavenworth 03
This is a street scene looking east showing people and part of the downtown area. The main few blocks of this street were closed to traffic, allowing only pedestrians and horse drawn carriages.

Leavenworth 04
Another street scene, this time looking west. This is one of the few towns I know of where you can easily find Christmas items on sale all year round.

Leavenworth 05
This is a part of our group, just below the steps from the highway level above. The blue thing in the photo that kind of looks like a telephone pole is actually the base of a vary large May Pole.

Leavenworth 06
Here is another view showing more of our group. The cute blond gal third from the right is Ginger, the Activity Director of the YMCA who setup this trip. It was well organized and a lot of fun.

Leavenworth 07
The main bandstand and pagoda for the town is active with entertainment, especially during the various festivals. Most of the entertainers wear old traditional Bavarian style clothing, as these performers are doing.

Leavenworth 08
Of course there have to be horse drawn carriages in a town like this to ride around in and here is one.

Leavenworth 09
Another street scene. There are lots of flowers around all the time.

Leavenworth 10
We wanted to get a group photo so took this just before we started boarding the bus for the return trip. If you count you will note that there are not 37 here as they sort of came stragling in over the next few minutes, but this has most of the group. Bruce, at the end on the left side, also is with the YMCA and was partially raised in Germany so speaks the language well. That isn't necessary in Leavenworth as everyone speaks English, although there are quite a few citizens of the town who were German born.

I got home a little before 18:00. It was an enjoyable day and something that I don't have much experience doing in the past (bus tours.) I think I will look into more of these tours as they are fun and not really very expensive. If you don't buy a lot of things in all those little shops!

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Monday, October 09, 2006


My trip to Pt. Townsend, WA last Thursday

Pt. Townsend is a town located on the northern part of the Olympic Penninsula on the Puget Sound side. It is accessible by road but also from my side of the pond (Puget Sound) via a ferry boat ride on the Washington State Ferry System from Keystone on Whidbey Island. There currently are an RV couple I know who are staying in Sequim which is near Pt. Townsend and we agreed to meet in P.T. for lunch & a visit on Thursday, Oct. 5th. It is about an hour drive for me from home to Keystone where I caught the 11:15 boat for the 1/2 hour crossing. The cost for a walk on without a car is only $2.50 each direction. (I am going to change my habit of putting photo descriptions above the photo and go to putting it below, starting now.)

Pt Townsend 01
This shows the downtown shoreline as the ferry was approaching it's turn into the slip where it moors. We passed the boat going the other direction a bit before our arrival. With two boats operating there is service every 45 minutes each way, at least in the mid-day.

Pt Townsend 02
Here is the slip as the boat approaches. Pt. Townsend is a town from the late 1800s and many buildings from that era have been restored to look as they did when new. I don't know for sure what the one on the hill above the slip is but it looks kind of like a school. Maybe our bloggers from Whidbey Island who have been here more than I will know and can answer that in a comment. Phyllis or Mary Lou?

Pt Townsend 03
This is a different view of the downtown waterfront from the boat as we were comming into the slip. You can see the prop wash from the propellers at the front slowing our approach so it just smoothly enters the slip.

Pt Townsend 04
This is a street scene just a few blocks east of the ferry dock. You can see a couple of examples of the old restored buildings. Also note that the leaves on the trees have not started to turn to their fall colors even though this was taken on Oct. 5th. I think the closness to the water moderates the climate so much that it doesn't get cold enough here to cause them to change very early in the fall season.

Pt Townsend 05
Here is another of the restored buildings. It is not falling over backward but I had to use a wide angle lens to get even this much of it into the photo and the perspective is exagerated. I also worked quite awhile in Photoshop to remove some of the most obnoxious power lines from the upper part of the building. I wish the town would spend the money to put them all under ground. It would improve photos a lot!

We had lunch at a Thai restaurant that was very good. I am not one for the fire hot foods but they had some that were just my speed, so I was happy. After lunch G wanted to go to a special place for desert, so we headed off for it.

Pt Townsend 06
This is the Elevated Ice Cream & Candy Shop. They make their own product and sell them by the pound, including the ice cream. That way you can buy just a small amount of ice cream, enough to taste & enjoy but without a lot of caleries. I like that plan!

Pt Townsend 07
This is the main candy counter. We each bought one truffel, which was very good. I got a mocha when I first arrived as I got there before G & J so got to enjoy it while people watching. On our way back to the ferry boat I bought an Americano at the same store, then boarded the 15:45 boat for Keystone.

I got back home shortly before 18:00 after a very enjoyable day trip with friends and also seeing a part of my area that I don't get to often enough. I think I will need to go back soon.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006


Heading for Port Townsend today

I am heading by Miata to Whidbey Island in a couple of hours to catch the ferry boat to Port Townsend. There I will meet GV and JA, fulltime RVers who are currently in the area for lunch, a visit (I haven't seen them since March in Eugene, OR while driving the Miata home from Tucson)and looking around the town. I will take my camera and will be back home tonight.

So far this week I have been getting my house cleaned up a bit. My DIL came up yesterday while K was in school to help and we got a lot of things sorted. I have more to do but it is looking a lot better than it did before this week. The place really isn't dirty, just cluttered. I haven't thrown much away since loosing Annie and now it is time to get that process started.

BP and I are going to slow down a bit. I think I was too enthused and jumped too fast. We will see each other but not quite as often as I had hoped for. I hope a good relationship will continue to develop, just a little slower. I am still very impressed with BP and do hope good things come from getting to know each other better.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Wow, what a day!

Let me back up a little. Thanks to SWs pushing me I joined Yahoo Personals on Thursday night. It is similar to eHarmony.com - an online matching service. After I paid my fee, I spent an hour filling out the question form so that it could make a profile for me and I was a member. The next morning I went looking for ladies in the age range I was interested in (55 - 65) who live within 50 miles of Mt. Vernon. There were 426 of them! The computer allows you to sort them by a variety of things including how close a match are they to me, so I did that.

About the fourth one down that match list was a gal age 62 who lives in Bellingham, about 25 miles north of me. Her picture was cute and when I read her profile and what she was looking for in a guy I thought this one really sounded good. As as added bonus, she was online at that time so should get my note quickly. Less than an hour later I had a note back from her & she said, after looking at my info, that she would like to meet me. We decided to go to straight regular email as it is quicker & easier than going through the Yahoo thing.

We were both going to our own churches (which are compatible) today so agreed to meet at a restaurant in Bellingham about 12:30, after church. I was there with a red rose, she arrived as scheduled, and she really is cuter in person than in her photo! We spent the whole day together, showing me around the town, walking at the marina, watching kites flying, but mostly talking.

Needless to say, my emotions are flying high. I am highly impressed with this young (she is 1 year, 2 months, 3 days younger than me) lady and I want to spend a lot more time together with her. Now maybe I should drop Yahoo Personals...

Edited 10/8/2006 - I am sorry to say that this relationship is not going to work out. Back to square one for me.


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