Because We Can - Fulltime RV'ing

Journal Archive 10/01 - 10/10 2006

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Oct 1

This is a first for us as far as we can figure and it goes to prove just how sheltered a life we have lived, for a best as we can remember this is the first Sunday we have ever worked. Now talk about the twists and turns our lives take, here we are, living the retired life and now we work on Sunday, lol.

Some days are better than others. I recall a morning a number of months ago when Linda took a photo of me. My words at the time were a rather accurate recounting of the events. To quote from that post: "Speaking of the way the morning starts off, Linda came out into the living area this morning and just started laughing. Perceiving there was something humorous in the nearby vicinity, I inquired as to the source of hilarity she was displaying. Mentioning something between giggles about a bad hair day she took this photo which says it all, lol." Long time readers may recall seeing this photo.

Bad hair day

But you know the old saying, "What' good for the grizzly is good for the giraffe", or something like that, smile. Anyway it was another photo opportunity morning today. This time I don't think any commentary is necessary. I wouldn't probably survive for long if I did say anything, lol.

Really bad hair day

After recovering my senses, I started working on the website, but what should greet my eyes but this.Weather Doesn't look like much, just the hourly weather report and link to Weather Underground that appears on our home page. This time there was a difference, note the large red "Advisory!" that is readily apparent. Something that is not usually there. Turned out there was a magnitude 6.9 earthquake near the Kurile Islands which lie between Japan and Russia. The advisory was not about the earthquake, but was about a "not".The "not" was a tsunami that was not expected to happen along the CA, WA, OR coast. Wonder what they would have done if a tsunami was expected to happen?

Linda fixed a great breakfast of scrambled eggs with onions, diced fresh tomatoes and cilantro. It was such a contrast from the oatmeal and berries we have been eating, but of course when you're out of berries then you have to put plan "B" into effect, smile.


After breakfast it was show time once again. Gaylyn had told us the number of visitors droped off markedly as it gets later in the season. It's almost as if after September 30th they roll up the water and put it away for another year.The lady knows what she talks about because we didn't have nearly the number of people we had in the prior to days. We did learn from our first two visitors, the Harley group which was here yesterday had a banquet last night in Coos Bay where the center piece was an ice carving of the Umpqua River Lighthouse. Unfortunately they didn't take any photo's, but now Gaylyn is on a quest to get photo's of it. Sometimes it seems we learn as much from our visitors as they do from us.

We did have a steady stream of people wanting to take the tour, but there were only three to six people on each tour, which made for a better experience and it also made the day go faster. Dinner was a hurried meal of leftovers so we could get down to the crab pier before dark. According to our theory of tides and darkness, the next three nights should be excellent for crab trapping. While Linda fixed dinner, I had loaded the Explorer, so leaving the dishes in the sink, off we went. Getting everything out on the pier, Linda took off to call the kids while I prepared to catch food for the table. With her gone, I could actually leave the traps in the water long enough to catch something, smile. I decided to pull the ring after 15 minutes, but leave the box trap in for a full 30 minutes. Whether it was the tide, weather, Linda's not being there or just my deft touch at handling the traps, I was pleasantly surprised when I pulled the ring to find this in it.


The next pull there were 11 crabs in the ring, then it came time to pull the box trap.

Box trap

Imagine how astounded I was to count 19 crabs in it. That was a total of 40 crabs on the first three pulls. However all was not for the glory of gustatory delight. They have this little regulation about the number of crabs you can keep and the limit is 12 person per day. The regulations made for a problem, but not the kind you might first imagine. You see the regulations also state you can only keep males and then they must be of a minimum size and you've guessed it, not one of those crabs was a keeper. Linda returned soon afterward and couldn't believe my story until I pulled the ring and once again it was full of small ones. Before long we did catch our first keeper, the tasty gentleman to the left in this photo.


Something was mentioned about pointing out that I was referring to the multi-legged upside down crab to the left, not the old crab to the left wearing the blue jeans, but I'll let it pass for now, smile. We stayed till nearly 10 o'clock catching over 145 crabs all together, of which 3 turned out to be keepers. I think we now know how to catch crabs, we just have to learn how to catch keepers, lol. Like Linda says, if you go at the right time with the right bait and dress warm enough, the reward is more than worth it. As you can see, Linda is an expert a keeping warm.


Back at the coach we set our electric hot plate up, put the stainless steel steamer in the bottom and cleaned the crabs waiting for the pot to boil. Before long the smell of steamed crab was filling the night air as we downed mint flavored hot chocolate and chocolate oatmeal cookies. There was a minor discussion on just who ate all the cookies save for one or two which ended quickly when I told Linda if she didn't get one quick, the discussion was going to be about why I ate all the cookies, lol. We had a great day and even had a reward to show for our efforts.


Oct 2 The first of six consecutive days off in a row. That more than makes up for having to work yesterday, in fact I felt so good I cooked breakfast. Scrambled eggs, sauted thin sliced onions and sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil. Linda remarked how good tasting and also how moist, yet firm the eggs were. We figured the olive oil played a major part.

We both spent a good bit of time this morning on the computer. Linda had a number of Ebay bids close yesterday, so she needed to send emails, log payments and prepare packages to mail. I am sure there will be a post office run sometime tomorrow. Somehow or other we got all mixed up on time and skipped lunch. That meant no turkey wraps today, but that is just about the only way we are not going to have them. What's that old saying, "a day without the sun would be like a day without turkey wraps." That may not be percisely what the saying was, but I know it is something like that, lol.

We did have some extenuating circumstances at noon today that might have played a role in our forgetfulness, because today was the first test of the new Tsunami warning system. The test was to be at noon, so Linda had set the timer to go off at 11:55 so we could go outside to hear it. Pre-warned by our timer, we dutifully marched outside to listen for the siren. Bummer, it was 3 minutes after noon and we hadn't heard a thing. Linda commented that they might be having a little trouble because it was their first test, while I figured it was so far away even she couldn't hear it. Just about then we heard a sound, a sound that grew in intensity to the point my ears started hurting. In the coach we went and I could still hear the sound, though just barely. Linda on the other hand couldn't hear it at all. I did have the advantage in this case. I cannot hear low frequency sounds, so the TV did provide interference for me the way it did for Linda. We went outside to hear the rest of the test, which turned out to be just as loud. Then looking for the source of the sound we saw the tower with the siren mounted on top and painted green to blend in with the trees. It is exactly in the center of the photo. Pretty good job of camouflage.

Tsunami siren

Later we headed over to Reedsport to make a purchase to get ready for tonight. We have been crabbing with only two traps, even though we are permitted three. Today we move up to being three trap crabbers. We got the crab trap at the Ace Hardware and there's is a story in that as Winchester Bay-Reedsport does not have a whole lot of places to buy crab traps. Even though we did get our ring at the local Ace store, the best deals are either up in Florence or down in the Coos Bay area, read Bi-Mart and Walmart, lol. Our reason for getting it at the Ace store was an Ace gift card that we got from redeeming some of our credit card points that Linda refers to as "free money." Of course the trap is about $8 more than we could buy it for in those two "big cities", but then again, it was no money out of our pocket.

Let me backtrack for just a second and let you know that some moments are filled with more adventure than others. As we were leaving the museum to head over to Reedsport we encountered a minor problem. At least it ended up being a minor problem, though for a couple of seconds we thought it might be a major problem. Remember back on July 12th of this year when we had a smoke problem with the coach (if not it makes for interesting reading, lol), well, we had something similar happen, only this time it was with the Explorer, we were in it and the passenger compartment began filling with smoke. Long story short, it was short in the wiring to the heater fan and other than a burned plastic smell, the insulation on the wiring, and the fact the blower now only works on high, no damage was done. I must admit that with the smoke just pouring out of the dashboard in front of Linda she got out of the Explorer so fast she was just a blur, lol.

Back at the coach, the clatter of pans and request for the Splenda and chocolate chips meant a new dessert was in the offing for tonight. Linda has perfected the chocolate zucchini cake recipe. All those little tweaks that turn a recipe from merely good into great have been added to the original. She approaches a recipe as a guide or starting point and then it is up to her, through some experimentation to turn it into something that is perfect for our tastes. She has this one to the point of going up on the website. If I may digress for just a minute, we have a number of RV websites we read on a regular basis, some of which have recipes posted. I get the impression that often times they put the recipes up, just to put them up so to speak. They don't even sound good and if they do, they sure aren't healthy. More like the gooey rolls you might make on Saturday morning if you're just an occasional weekend camper, then wonder why you added another pound, smile.

Dinner was early, remember, no wraps, but we also had another reason. According to what I have been able to determine about crabbing and the best time to go, tonight should be a great opportunity to catch a few. A quick meal of leftover crab bisque and corn bread to fortify us and also to put us in the mood to catch some more for another meal and then we're off. Arriving at the pier we are surprised to see only a few people crabbing. Walking out we began to notice quite a few ropes tied off along the pier. Our usual spot was taken, so we stop up a little closer to shore than usual. I didn't view this as a problem, since the low tide was actually much higher than normal tonight.

An old female crab

We tried to use the scientific method, three traps, the first baited with just fish, the second only chicken and the third, a mix of chicken and fish. Problem was we never did figure out which one worked best, though Linda thought it was the chicken only trap. As for me, I was so busy after I would pull a trap that I completely forgot to keep track. The night before we had caught over 145 crabs that included 3 keepers. Tonight in the same amount of time we caught over 180, including the most crabs we have ever caught in one trap at one time. The ring of all things came up once totally loaded and we counted 23 crabs, but unfortunately not one was a keeper. All was not lost however, because we ended up catching 6 keepers, 5 of which were very large. We even got carded as the Oregon Fish and Wildlife officer checked the dock. We were good to go, but one unfortunate couple got caught with some undersized crabs, then had a problem with their licenses. When we left, they were sitting, looking rather glum as the F&W officer conferred with a State Trooper.

It had really been a great evening because besides our keepers, we had also caught at least a dozen males that were just barely undersized and an like number of very large females. In fact on our last pull we brought up the biggest crab we have ever caught, unfortunately she was female. Back at the coach we documented our catch and proceeded to clean them.


Just to give you an idea of their size, they have to be as big as the open distance to the first notch to be big enough to keep. This big guy is wider than the entire crab measure.

Nice crab

Then it was time to clean them. We use the kill, clean then boil method. It is really quite easy once you've done it and in short order we had the nights catch ready to go into the steamer.


The amount of crab legs we had, filled the steam pot to the top and Linda had to keep checking to make sure the steamer was actually steaming. It took quite awhile for it to come back up to temperature after putting that much crab in it, but she was up to the task. While the crabs steamed, we had our dessert of the scrumptious chocolate zucchini bread Linda had made earlier, the recipe for which is going up on the website in the next day or so. The crabs done steaming, it was picture time before heading off to bed. After all, we've got to get a good nights rest to have the strength to pick all those crab legs tomorrow.

Steamed crab

Now just to put this in perspective, contrast tonights catch shown above to last nights shown below, one that just 23 hours ago we were so excited about..


That's why always go around the next corner, because you never know what you will find, smile.

Oct 3 Not all days are filled with endless activity. Today is one of those days since, other than washing a couple of loads of clothes, we don't have anything planned for the day. Maybe it will actually be prove to be a day of rest and relaxation. We sure got a good start on attaining that goal when we didn't eat breakfast until almost noon. I'm not sure how others would define almost noon, but I think we could safely classify 11:57 as almost noon. Not that it wasn't worth the wait, it was, because the food was that good. Linda made something different today, popovers and steamed apples to go along with our scrambled eggs, which she had altered from our usual.

Instead of having the Canadian Bacon on the side, she cut it up into small pieces and mixed it in with the eggs. Just a minor change, but it completely changed the taste and texture of the eggs. The saying, "Don't sweat the small stuff", isn't always correct. Sometimes little changes can yield big results. The popovers popped great, it's just that next they poofed. Whole wheat flour appears to be the culprit, so she is going to make a couple of changes the next time. Like using whole wheat pastry flour, then blending it with some soy flour and finally, increasing the baking time a little. If you've baked with whole wheat flour without adding any regular flour you know the mechanizations you have to go through to get the results you want, smile.

The apples on the other hand came out exactly like we like them. She cored and sliced a Granny Smith apple, then placed the slices in a small amount of water in a skillet which was allowed to steam for about ten minutes. Removed from the skillet, they were dusted with ground cinnamon, fresh grated nutmeg and served. Notice there was no sweetener added. I had to ask Linda whether or not she had added any because the apples had a hint of sweetness to them and I always looked at Granny Smith's as being the opposite of sweet. The other thing was how firm they were. Maybe it was the fact she had not peeled them, but my memories are of the mealy Golden Delicious apples used to make candied apples at Christmas time. What a pleasant change these were, and oh so healthy.


With a third of the day already gone and threatening weather appearing out the front window, it seem like a good time to start thinking about dinner. Well, not necessarily tonight's dinner, but one thought leads to another and soon we were setting outside at the table picking crab. Quickly deciding that it was about 15 degrees cooler than we thought, we were soon back inside putting on more clothes. Between the previous two nights we had nine crabs to pick. We wore out after six. The combination of aching back and cold wind got to us. Besides we had over one and a half pounds of picked crab meat already. It is amazing how much meat is in those big fellows. Leaving the last three crabs in their Zip Loc bag in the refrigerator, we headed for our respective computers.

Busy trying to get a CSS style sheet to do what I wanted (the website can always use some improvement) I was snapped out of my little world of dots, forward slashes, directories and file names by Linda's cry of alarm, "It's raining." The shirts she had washed were hanging over on the clothesline. Like a couple of mad hatters we charged across the grass to quickly gather them up and bring them in. We laughed wondering what Jim or Liz would have thought if they had seen our mad dash. Maybe their coach was on fire or something, lol.

Before long we had settled once again into our computering when Linda announced she was hearing a strange noise. One of the good things about having hearing as bad as mine, is that I don't hear all those little bump in the night noises. One of the bad things is that I don't hear the little noises that bother Linda. This was one of those times. Trying to be nice I said, "maybe it's just the rain on the roof." Her reply was immediate, "It stopped raining some time ago." Obviously I was soon going to be up to my ears in quicksand if I didn't do something pronto. Thinking it may have something to do with the washer I headed back that way. It wasn't the washer, but when Linda passed by the shower she heard it loud and clear. It was the trap in the bottom of the shower belching gas, the gray water tank had filled up and apparently the water level was above the height of the vent.

Just to prove that I really know how to put my foot in my mouth, I asked Linda why she hadn't checked the gray water tank level before doing the the laundry. Linda's immediate imitation of a M1A1 flame thrower, the kind they used in the Pacific during WWII, caused me to rethink my approach. Duly humbled I headed outside to dump the tank, a task that was accomplished in short order. Back inside I noticed there was now a rather icy stare emanating from that woman, something that lasted for quite sometime. What did she expect, I'm a man.

Dinner was leftovers once again, this time tuna and salsa, bean salad and sweet potato salad. I find it incredible that leftovers can taste so good, but when you start with good food, I guess you end up with good food, no pun intended, lol.


Tonight we did get to watch NCIS, The Unit and Smith, but will admit that by the time Smith came on I was up to my eyeballs in computer problems. I got some of them worked out, but others will require a little more effort. The homepage has been redone with an article about our volunteering, plus I have added a couple more links. Unfortunately they aren't quite there yet so it will be be a case of now you see them, now you don't for a few days. Dessert was chocolate zucchini cake which reminds me I've also got to get that recipe up in the next couple of days. I'll put up a newsflash when I post it. So many things to do, smile.

Oct 4 Linda breezed out of the bedroom this morning proclaiming,"Do I have a good idea for breakfast" and immediately set to work cooking. Catching me craning my neck to see what was happening, she admonished me to stop peeking and just work on my computer. Before long I could hear what sounded like eggs being beaten, but disdained from looking for fear of spoiling her surprise. And also possiblely ending up in the same condition as those eggs, smile. In short order she was over at the table cleaning it off and telling me to close my eyes. I heard plates clatter as they where set before me and opened to eyes to another Linda creation.


Turns out, when she awoke this morning, she lay in bed thinking about what she could fix for breakfast. This life will do that to you, and consequently came up with the idea of using the two leftover "poofed" puffs from yesterday to make a version of egg muffins. Served with a side of cinnamon apples, it was great. I had to chuckle at her reasoning. Seems she wanted to try the puffs again, but needed to get rid of the leftover ones first.

If you need groceries, you've got to leave town around here, so we were soon on the road to Coos Bay. Stops at the Hospice and Goodwill Thrift stores turned up no fabulous finds to sell on Ebay, but we did pick up a Microsoft Optical Mouse for four bucks. Sure it has a cord, but then the batteries won't run down if it doesn't have any. The best part about it, it works!!! We tried to find several other thrift stores, but as is so often the case, they were no longer at those location. Whether out of business or moved, we'll probably never know.

We did have some real shopping to do, so it was off to the North Bend Staples store. After spending so many years buying office supplies at the places she worked, Linda needs an Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, i.e., stationary store, type of fix every so often. She was running low on big envelopes because of her sales on Ebay, so with that as an excuse, we spent about an hour in Staples. Wonder of wonders, the woman didn't buy anything. I think part of the reason was, those envelopes only came packed one hundred to a box and by a little math, it sure wasn't cost effective.

In short order we were at the nearby Walmart and we were surprised to find out we could buy 25 envelopes for the same per envelope price that we would have paid for one hundred over at Staples. The Wamart sign says it all when it comes to the lowest prices in town.


"Always", as in always the lowest price, always the freshest produce and always busy. I'm sure everyone has their own appellations that they could attach to that sentence, some good and some not so good. Choice, it's what makes life interesting.

On the way back to the lighthouse we stopped at several spots to check for blackberries. We found a couple oflocations that we will mark down for next year, but unfortunately, the berries were either picked or all dried up. We were astounded at one patch to see hundreds and hundreds of dried up berries, all within easy picking range. That one is a must visit for next year. At one location I decided to check the woods to see if there were any huckleberries. There were none, but what a fabulous place it turned out to be. Huge old stumps dotted the landscape which was covered with moss and ferns and carpeted by a thick layer of brown needles. The stillness and ensuring quiet that permeated this rugged place gave it a cathedral like atmosphere. Our good friend, Sara N. Dippity, at her best, smile. One thing that amazed me was the almost surreal green color that seem to infuse the scene. The photo below gives just a hint to the beauty we beheld.


Back at the coach, Linda returned to working on her Ebay bids. It takes a lot of effort to keep a dozen or so items up for bid all the time, but she really seems to enjoy it. I, on the other had made a significant breakthrough in my struggle with this website. If everything works like I plan there should be the words "Because We Can" superimposed on our sunset photo on each page of the website and it should float to the left as the page is made smaller. I also tried to make a change so the pages would load faster and use up less computer resources. Now if I can just get them all uploaded to the server and they work right, lol. I'll let you know when I get all the changes implemented. For a while it may look a little different depending which page is loaded.

Dinner was going to be a glimpse of the past. Many, many years ago when I was just a kid fresh out of college and working for a major oil company, I spent a lot of my time traveling on the Atlantic coast. It was during those trips that I discovered I loved a baked crab dish. Tonight for dinner we are going back to that time. Linda was trying to find a new recipe for the crab and happened to mention Crab Imperial. That was the dish I had so dearly loved, those many years ago. We talked about the dish and looked at a number of recipes for it before deciding to combine several recipes based on my recollection of past epicurean delights. Soon the ingredients were mixing and I think Linda really liked the idea the dish is "heavy" in crab.


We opted for the addition of very thinly sliced mushrooms, green peppers and onions. Next time will add some pimentos or red peppers for a little color. The original recipe called for mayonnaise and butter. Not the most healthy ingredients, but by substituting low fat mayo and ICBINB and using the good kind of whole wheat bread we made it into a dish that not only tastes great, it is also good for you. I really liked the way the whole wheat bread crumbs browned up giving it just the right look. Just remember that calling it whole wheat bread does not mean it is healthy. We ate what we thought was whole wheat bread for years, but since we've been eating the south beach way have become real label readers. Bread made with no enriched flour, only whole wheat flour and very low sugar content are two of the things we look for.

Great CrabImperial

Plated and served with a tossed salad and lightly steamed broccoli spritzed with ICBINB, it simply doesn't get better than this. Linda just couldn't get over how good it was. She laughed when we talked about my eating it when I was traveling, those many years ago, saying that I had probably tried to get her to try it it, but back then she didn't eat those kind of things. That Appalachian farm girl has come a long way since every meal was meat, boiled potatoes and over cooked canned vegetables, lol


Later it was another evening of network TV, will I ever be glad when the season premiers are over, lol. I'm lost when it comes to watching Lost, but The Nine looks like it may be a real winner. Mostly I worked on adding some more new links to the website, something that was harder than I thought it would be. Just when I think I have everything all figured out, something new crops up, lol. Our day ended with a dessert of chocolate zucchini bread and vanilla pudding. May reading about our day have made your day a little brighter.

Oct 5

This is going to be a heavy food day, so don't say you weren't warned, but first some web page wanderings. I was up early, working once again on the new website with the goal of getting all my changes implemented and uploaded today. One thing I did not do was to spend enough time mapping out the file structure of the site before I changed over to the new website. I thought it would be easy to add things afterward. It was and it wasn't. As I have worked on it, it is easy to see what I need to add. Unfortunately it takes we a while to figure out the code I need to write in order to make it function, then comes the tedious job of changing the pages. There are still some things which need to be done that will make my job easier, most of which you won't see, but I think I at least have the basic framework in place. Believe me it is a lot easier to try to pull the cart with the horse than tying to use the horse to push the cart, smile.

The sunset photo should be showing in the masthead on all pages. The other change you see is the addition of the 'Statistics and Budget', the 'Articles of Interest' and the 'Images' links under the Neat Things heading. They are a work in progress and we will keep you updated on additions and improvements to the data. For now the 'S&B' page only has our statistics for year to date, the 'A of I' page has the two articles that have appeared on the home page and the 'Images', well the images are simply a temporary placeholder, as I want that link to connect to the open source program, Gallery, where we will have many of our images stored. All that is definitely going to take a while. Reminds me of the lyrics from the Outsiders song, Time Won't Let Me

Time won't let me, oh no
Time won't let me, oh no
Time won't let me wait that long

It is a throbbing, hard driving chorus and that is how I have been working on the web site. I just need to learn to take an occasional wait (pause) and then go on, lol.

Okay, okay, enough of this web stuff, lets get into something we can really sink our teeth into, It started with breakfast. Those failed puffs of the past two days still on her mind, Linda retrieved the whole wheat pastry flour from the top shelf of the pantry and prepared to do battle with the poof gremlin that plagued her yesterday. She decided to only make that one change to see what would happen. It was a big improvement over her previous attempt, but still not quite where she want to be. I think the future foretells adding a little wheat gluten or soy flour to the recipe. You can see by the photo below that they look great in the oven when they've just finished baking.


The real proof is in the eating and by the time they were plated and served some of the steam had gone out of them. But that is okay because they were delicious, plus we will be eating them as egg muffins tomorrow. Also, she will have to try another variation on the recipe after our next trip to the store, meaning we will be eating them again soon. Still the combination of scrambled eggs with a touch of sun dried tomatoes and green pepper, puffs and fresh strawberries made for a delicious meal that also looked great.


It was early afternoon and I still hadn't gotten the website ready to upload when Linda said she was ready to go to the post office. She had nine packages that needed to be sent. I tell you she's doing pretty good at this Ebay thing, and because she wanted a receipt, they needed to mailed over at Reedsport. Sure she has done well on a few items, but she only makes a buck or so on most of them. It's not the money, it's the fun. The trip was supposed to be uneventful, but sometimes my hill girl forgets that she's in the big city. "If you'd huv'd grow'd up whar she did", Reedsport would be the big city to you too. Anyway, it happened at the post office. The transaction took forever, so I eventually wander back inside to find her chatting away with the clerks. Finished, we started to leave when she remembered she needed some more express mail envelopes and boxes. They keep them in a rack out by the main entrance, the entrance with all the big, floor length, almost invisible plate glass windows. You may have guessed the rest of the story, after picking up the boxes, she stepped directly into the window. Sure made an interesting noise, which was followed by silence, which was broken by utterances best not repeated in polite company.

My attempts at comfort were rebuffed and I began to understand what the term, "madder than a wet hen" meant. Suffice it to say my feeble attempts up cheer her up with humor fell flat. Back at the Explorer the shock finally wore off, she realized that other than a small cut on the inside of her lip no damage had been done and consequently burst out in laughter, joking about how that was a rather stupid thing to do. I wasn't sure how to respond, but I did recognize all was well once again.

Returning to the coach, I finished my work on the website and began uploading the changes while Linda suffered in silence. She did remind me to also upload the Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe. You can find it at the bottom of the dessert recipe page. Of course it wasn't too long until I began finding a few errors on the pages I had uploaded and the next few hours were spent in the changing a little here, change a little there, mode. I had some real problems getting the 2006 statistics table to show the same way in both Foxfire and IE Explorer, but I think I've got it now. Just let me say the demise of Microsoft can not come soon enough for me, smile.

Dinner was leftovers, real pushed to the back of the refrigerator, forgotten about leftovers as we had found the barbecued pork we had made a week ago. Then served it with brown rice, bean salad and a, new to us squash, Sweet Dumpling. I guess our simple tastes serve us well. You can find all kinds of recipes for rice and squash and yet, we cook them so simply. The brown rice is cooked in nothing but water so we can enjoy its inherent great taste with nothing added, while the squash was simply halved and microwaved for seven minutes cut side down in a dish with a little water. Once again, nothing added. Maybe we are different, but I simply don't see what adding things that are not good for you if eaten in excess, like butter, margarine or salt, do for the wonderful delicate flavors of winter squash.


Evening was another night of TV. Once again we enjoyed Ugly Betty, Survivor and Grey's Anatomy. We also watched CSI, but I'm afraid my interest in this show has run its course. The gimmick of having the autopsied bodies talk to each other came across as just that, a gimmick, one I would have expected a desperate show on the old WB network to use. But then all good things must come to an end. Speaking of the end, the end of the day meant dessert time.


Vanilla pudding and chocolate zucchini cake, the perfect way to end the day. I hope this little window on our world brings pleasure to your day, just watch where you walk, Linda sure will, lol.

Oct 6

After all the work on the website yesterday, I plan to make today a piddle around day. When Linda came out this morning she wasn't exactly the energizer bunny, so I don't think she has much planned either. Breakfast was repeat of two days ago, egg muffins. I have to admit they are are a really good way to use up the left over popovers, one of those 10 minute meal deals. Sort of like a marriage between Rachel Ray and Ronald McDonald, no, I won't go there, smile.

What followed was a day of both Linda and I sitting in front of our respective computers. Linda really enjoys her Ebay activities, plus we do get a little fun money from it. For a number of years Linda has dabbled with Ebay, buying more than she has sold, but when we were in Baker City back in mid August she started selling a few things, a hobby that has become the source of many pleasurable moments for her. One of the things people asked us about as we were in the final preparations for the change from living in one place to living in many places, was, " what will you do with all your time?"

We usually answered something to the effect that we just go and see what happens. I mean, having never lived this way, how could we know what we would be doing. I know there are a lot of people that have to know what they will be doing, but we are not one of them and I'm not sure they would be happy over the long run with life. I recall seeing a comment by a reader in a recent edition of the Escapees magazine that happiness was having four weeks of confirmed reservations. While this lifestyle affords everyone the opportunity to pursue it in any manner they choose, I have to think some ways are more likely to either succeed or fail, as the case may be, than others.

Where this is leading is to point we now find ourselves. Linda would never have envisioned spending as much time as she does having fun on Ebay, watching Rachel on TV or answering the numerous emails we receive. I've had time to really experiment with the website, go crabbing and once again take up one of my life long pleasures, reading and studying really great literature, something that I own to my high school English teacher, Mrs. Helen Jones

Alas and alack, as the saying goes, the day can not all be all fun and no work. The woman who wants things done was soon placing empty plates and bags of steamed crab legs in front of me. I took it as a very strong hint and set the computer aside. Shortly thereafter we were heavily engaged in the occupation known as crab picking. That we were picking crab needed to documented, so soon the camera was out and the photo's taken. As you can see, the distaff side was picking the lump white meat from the body while your's truly was cracking and picking all the legs and claws. Rank does have its privileges, lol.

Pretty picker

This went on for quite some time, the time it took to pick three crabs. When we were done it was time to package what we had picked. By adding a little bit of crab from several days ago we ended up with enough for three half pound packages, plus enough left over to make a batch of crab cakes.


Now it wasn't like this took all day, far from it, it only took until the early afternoon, when it was lunch time. But now that it is lunchtime, what to do. How about something entirely different from our normal lunch of turkey wraps. Something fishy, like tuna fish salad. But something different, something that turns out to be not your usual tuna fish sandwich, not by a long shot. It turns out to be the best tuna fish sandwich I have ever eaten. Recall that tuna we had grilled when our friends Wayne and Linda had been here on on Friday nigh, well Linda decided to turn into something far beyond the ordinary. A little food processing with added mustard, horseradish, mayo, non fat of course, and dill pickle relish transformed some refrigerator fish into an exquisite sandwich. The photo does not do justice to the epicurean delight we were treated to. Believe me, this will most differently be on the menu again in the future. Unfortunately it also has a downside, that being that sometime we will have to go back to regular canned tuna. What a bummer that will be. Add a few pita chips and it just doesn't get any better.

Tuna salad sandwiches

I will spare your the details of all the rest of the day, summing it up with a statement: Computer time and food, lol.

Oct 7

This not working for six days in a row is beginning to tell on us. Not that we don't enjoy the time off, we most assuredly do. It's just that it is not the normal way we live. Guess we are just going to have to come to grips with our new normal. With strawberries in the fridge, there was oatmeal and berries for breakfast. Then Linda busied herself with domestic duties. Hey, just because we live in a motor home doesn't mean the dust doesn't collect and the carpet doesn't get dirty. Then don't forget about the dirty clothes that accumulate day by day. Soon the gentle vibrations that signify the washer is running could be felt throughout the coach, then I was called away from the computer to help her hang our sheets on the outside clothes line.

Back at the coach I found that I was not permitted to return to the computer. Instead I was moving furniture so the lady could return the floors to the pristine condition she believes our house should exhibit. All it should take is a glance at the look in her eye in the photo below to know that she means business, lol.

Sweeping with a stare

The rest of the day was time on the computer, time spent eating and time spent watching TV. I dare not leave out our dessert, of chocolate zucchini cake. All in all it was a good day even though it had not resulted in the solution to my problems. First, what calendar to use on the journal archive pages to make it easy to find the post for a given days archive. Second, how to embed the Gallery2 image program into the web pages. But then again, just think of how much fun I will have solving those problems, if I can, over the next days and weeks, smile.

Oct 8

Talk about being all mixed up about what day it is, are we ever. This morning starts our work week and it's Sunday. I can just imagine that the next three days are going to be similar to macaroni casserole. A number of things all mixed together with the result being comfort food. On second thought, whether or not the next three days will end up being comfort food, we will have to leave to the future, smile.

No matter what we might think of the day to come, the start is something familiar, oatmeal and strawberries. Something that brings "Dan the Steel Diving Man" back to mind. How far we have traveled, both in miles and life experiences since that 25th day in March back in North Carolina at Mountain Stream RV Park when Dan and I put those landscape timbers in place. Those are wonderful memories that will always be with us, but time does not stand still. We are busy generating new memories on the opposite side of the country, where, rather than attend a small appalachian mountain Baptist church this Sunday morning, we will be introducing visitors to the wonders of the Umpqua River Lighthouse. What's not to love about living life this way. After all, look where we live.

Our house

When you haven't worked for six days it takes a while to get back into the flow. It's one thing when the stream is full of salmon, but when fish are few and far between it is a different story. That is what we found out today. All our prior days had been filled from start to finish with visitors and tours. Today we were going to get to see how the other half lives. We anticipated that Sunday might start slow then pick up. We got the start right, it's just that the latter part was a little off. It simply wasn't that busy. I wonder what tomorrow will bring since we have had such a significant fall off in visitors today. We did have visitors and tours, it is just that there wasn't the rush we had become used to. Tours are four to six people and not one just right after the other. I find I can eat a leisurely lunch, the first one at the museum since the start of our volunteer stint. I just don't know if that is good or not, smile. With time on my side I walk through the museum, stopping to take a photo of an early photo of the lighthouse. Could you live at this place?

Assistant keepers duplex.

Work finished we headed back over to the coach. I, however simply don't feel good, no other way to explain it. Supper is a blur, it was crab cake, but I had to ask Linda what we had as I writing this, then I headed back to bed. When I don't eat dessert you better believe I'm not up to par. Linda's idea about this was, just because I snooze doesn't mean she has to loose. She reports the chocolate zucchini cake was absolutely delicious. I do have to give her a small measure of credit, she only ate her piece, Lol. But just think, with a little less will power she could have had both hers and mine. Oops, better not giver her any ideas


Oct 9

I awoke this morning feeling a lot better than I did when I fell asleep, of course I could only imagine how much better I would be feeling if I had had dessert last night, lol. Okay, okay, I may be exaggerating just a tad, but if you love eating dessert as much as I do, you would find it just as traumatic. One thing that is certain, it is going to be a very pretty day. The air is as clear and still as can be, the sun rising in the east is playfully teasing us by painting the western horizon where sea and sky met with tinges of pinks and orange, while the ocean is like a shimmering blue mirror.Going to be one of those days for a day dreamin' boy. Dreamin' about days gone bye and a light to guide ships by. As walked up to the light this morning that is exactly what I was doing and I think that wonderful old girl actually had a tinkle in her eye as she greeted this day dreamin' boy this morning.

Twinkling light

Returning to the museum we were both soon brought down to earth by the complete isolation we found ourselves in. There were no visitors, in fact it was almost 11 o'clock before the first hardy soul entered the door. Sometimes, to salve our feelings we utter that time worn phrase, it isn't the quantity, it's the quality. In this case it happened to be true. Our first visitor, Kenneth Funk, turned out out to be a professional photographer who, during our photo shoot (somehow tour just doesn't describe our time spent together in the lighthouse) shared many things photographic with me. Much of his work is sold in the national parks where he usually shoots, but this year he had decided to shoot some lighthouses. He picked Heceta for it's setting and Umpqua River for the unsurpassed beauty of its light. The angles he shot he definitely different from the typical visitor.


As I walked back to the museum to start the next tour, I thought about the seeming twinkle I had noticed in the light earlier this morning. Had she known what was going to happen, was she getting herself all prettied up for the photographer? Her life has been spent keeping others safe. Did she want to show the world that just because the Coast Guard thinks she no longer serves any useful purpose, that she is no less the lady she was over 100 hundred years ago when people constantly depended upon her to give them safe passage. If only those walls could talk.

There is only one word to describe much of our day, and that is - slow. I ended up with five tours, but only because the last one left after 4 o'clock. It was what might be termed a late arriving crowd, smile. No, let me take that back, it was more like they kept straggling in, a few at a time, the last, a good bit later than normal. While I immersed myself in lighthouse and local history, Linda took up family history. She had me bring over the laptop, well it was more like, fetch Bob, fetch, but anyway, I did get her what she needed. As you can see, she enjoyed herself, plus she got an old will transcribed.


Because of the late hour of the last tour it was well after 5 o'clock before we had everything locked up and were ready to leave. While the slow day was nice, it does have some drawbacks. The ideal number on a tour is six or seven people. Fewer and it is more difficult to get any group interaction started, but if there are 10 or more, it becomes harder to get people into the small areas of the lighthouse. Then for everyone to see, someone is always having to move. All that is quickly forgotten as we walk over to the coach.


With a view like that, lawn chair time beckoned and soon we were shelling peanuts on what looks like a grassy bank, but we call our veranda with the million dollar view. Dinner was spaghetti, whole wheat of course, tossed salad and a cute little squash. I call it a cute little squash because that was about all it had going for it. There wasn't much meat inside it and what there was was on the dry side and lacking in flavor. It sure won't be on our buy list again. Somehow or other Linda misplaced the label, so I can'tname the variety. Maybe that's why they have all those squash recipes with loads of butter and other bad for you things, lol.

Squash that one

One of the great risks of living here is boring you with another sunset picture. Linda said it was just too pretty to pass up. I agree with her. As wonderful as the sunrise was, the sunset was even better.


Oct 10

Some days are better than others, and since our days have been getting better and better, today will probably be either boom or bust. Just to give you a hint, it was better than we could have ever imagined. I had figured we would start the day with scrambled eggs since we had eaten the last of the strawberries yesterday. I, however, did not reckon with Linda's ingenuity. She really likes the oatmeal, so, turning her mind to the task at hand she came up with an alternate. Taking a page from the book titled, what we got we use, she peeled a Granny Smith apple, sliced and diced it, then popped it into the microwave for two minutes. No added sugar or anything else. Use as you would the strawberries and enjoy. What a woman, what a cook, lol.

At the same time I was also accomplishing some good things as I managed to get the website up to date, posting yesterday's journal. I've toyed with the idea of posting the journal at various times during the day, but it would be just too difficult to do it on a continuous basis. Thus you will have to get it on the day after basis most of the time with the occasional lapse into periods of darkness. Darkness was not what the light was displaying today. Just take a look at these photos.


The exterior was just as awesome.


We didn't have to wait as long today until the first tour, then it was one tour after another all day. During a break, Linda took a glance at the monthly records and this was by far the busiest Tuesday for quite some time. Do you think that maybe the word is out that the best lighthouse tour guide on the Oregon coast is working today, smile. This was a very special day based just on the comments and donations of the visitors, made us feel great. Then the day got even better, or maybe I should say as good as it could possibly get. (Little did I know at the time it actually wasn't, but that will have to wait till later.)

I had just finished a tour and was talking to several of the people who had been on it when another of the people who had been on the same tour came up and said there was a man here who had once served as a lighthouse keeper. Back at the museum, I mentioned it to both Gaylyn and Linda, who hadn't met him yet. It turned out he was in the museum, but in short order we were talking to him. He had served on a lighthouse in Chesapeake Bay during the early 50's. I loved the story he told about the back to back hurricanes where his wife was on the boat taking some goodies out to him at the same time he was on a boat going in the opposite direction to check on her on the mainland. He had ridden out the first hurricane on the lighthouse while she was on the mainland, then she was on the lighthouse during the second hurricane while he was ashore with the kids. Reminds me of the O'Henry story, The Gift of the Magi. We had a great tour, then, I spent quite a while afterward talking some more to him about his experiences, then finally headed back to the lighthouse to lead the final tour of the day.

Old keeper

At the same time that the former lighthouse keeper was there, we also had a grade A-1 certified lighthouse nut in the museum. The neat thing was, he was wearing a tee shirt that had all the Chesapeake Bay lighthouses on it. It was fun watching the old keeper have the fellow turn around as he pointed out the lighthouse he had been the keeper of, then the others he had helped service later in his career.


Recall that earlier statement I made about having the former lighthouse keeper on the tour wasn't as good as it gets. Well, as we started out the last tour I thanked the people for waiting, because I had every tour guides dream, a former lighthouse keeper, on the last tour. It was at that moment that a lady spoke up and asked me if having the son of a lighthouse keeper on a tour would be just as good.Then she smiled and said her husband, standing next to her, had grown up at a lighthouse. There is no way to calculate what the odds of that happening are. He had a cool story about his mother laying down the law to his father, who was the lighthouse keeper, and telling him to never darken her kitchen with another lobster as she cooked and eaten all the lobster she was going to during her lifetime. I'll bet she had her hands on her hips when she told him, lol.

Later we said goodbye to the museum and lighthouse for the next six days and then ate peanuts as we watched for whales. Seeing none, but having enjoyed the peanuts, we worked on the computers, cooked white bean chicken chili and cornbread for dinner, then watched our favorite TV show, NCIS. Fortunately we didn't watch it till after we ate, and if you watched it you know what I mean. If not, well, lets just say thatwhile it was really funny, it wasn't too appetizing, lol. Our night is never complete without dessert and knowing I had missed a night just recently, Linda made sure I had a very generous slice of chocolate zucchini bread before we called it an early day.

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