Another cold chilly morning, but remembering what the boss told me yesterday morning, I turned on the front furnace and warmed up the living area of the coach. One of the nice things about the coach is the fact we have seprarate heating and cooling systems for the front and rear of the coach. By the time Linda got up the coach was nice and warm. As she so sweetly commented, "See, you are trainable." For a change it was Good Bob, rather than Bad Bob, lol.
With the cozy conditions in the coach, it didn't take her long to get breakfast underway. After the eggless scones of yesterday, she must have had eggs on the brain this morning. She began with chopped onions and a little garlic, then added chucks of fresh tomatillo which were sautéed in olive oil. Next came sundried tomatoes, which unfortunately, pretty much overpowered the other ingredients. It was at this point that a discussion arose regarding the fact Linda seems to always cook breakfast anymore, which ended with my taking over cooking breakfast. Three eggs, and some time later, the pan was sitting on the stove cooking away as I worked on the daily journal update, and worked on the update and worked on the update, smile. That was a rather lengthy passage of time, definitely long enough for Linda to become concerned about the status of her, no doubt by now, overcooked breakfast. Her utterance, "You do remember that cooking breakfast, don't you," shook we loose from my writing, heck, it sort of shook me up period. Had I managed to once again get in deep doo doo by not paying attention to what I was doing? It was Linda to the rescue, but in an unexpected way. When she had turned the cooking duties over to me, she had also turned the burner down to its lowest setting. That little act saved both the eggs and my bacon, as they weren't burnt, in fact they weren't even completely cooked.
I decided to speed up the cooking and turned up the heat a little, then proceeded to forget all about those darned eggs once again. Thank goodness for such an understanding wife, because a little later a plate of scrambled eggs and a cold scone appeared on the table beside the computer. No words were exchanged, no words needed to be exchanged. Oh well, it was supposed to rain, so maybe the doghouse really wasn't such a bad place to spend the day.
After we finished eating, Linda washed the breakfast dishes and returned to her computer while I dried and put them away. It was a tad frozty in the coach, but it wasn't because it was cold, sigh. It had been spitting a few drops of rain off and on for quite some time when Linda observed the sky was looking much less gloomy. It was shortly after this that I was informed the time to take a walk over to the beach was probably right now, since the forecast was for rain this afternoon. Remembering how cold it had been on the beach yesterday, we bundled up and headed out. The sign at the trailhead stated it was a 3/4 mile trail over to the beach. They are probably right, but I think the sign would better relect the actual terain and conditions if it said, 'beach 3/4 mile, but seems like 3 to 4 miles'. You try walking that distance, mostly through loose sand and always going either up or down, then tell me how far you think it is. This was not a trail for those not in shape and the farther we walked the narrower the trail became. I had to believe this was because so many people must turn back at some point. It gets to be laughable because every rise you top, you expect to see the ocean in front of you, only to see more rises in the distance. We did have several pleasant distractions, as there were still a few wildflowers blooming.
Finally we topped the last rise and the beach appeared below us. Unfortunately it was not what we were expecting. Yesterdays agates and shells had whetted our appetites for some more collecting. As could be expected, given how my day had started, this was a sand beach with virtually no rocks or shells to be seen. What was to be seen, was, in a way, more fascinating than any rocks or shells. Way back in 1962, a little girl with a giant voice had the number three hit song of the year. It's chorus sang the lament of what we saw before us.
You had to feel sorry for that stump, sitting out on that beach, all alone, ripped from where she once was a mighty tree, now stripped of everything worthwhille, but still trying to maintain a dignified, if somewhat tattered presence. How she had arrived at this place and managed to position herself upright was a story that would never be known. Would she be able to withstand the coming vicious winter storms, would she still stand next spring, like the lighthouse just down the beach? Surely she will be swept out to sea, only to be uncerimoniously tossed onto some distant beach by an errant wave, buried in the sand and forever gone. But for one glorious moment this morning she was worthwhile, a place where a woman, for just a few brief moments became a little girl once again. Life, meant to be lived.
Linda and I were not the only visitors at the beach today. As we walked up and down the sand, looking for and finding rocks and shells, we had some companions who followed our path for some distance. This small flock of birds were eagerly searching the sand at the waters edge for food. We watched in admiration as they always remained just inches from the water, walking out as the water flowed back toward the ocean, then turning tail and hurriedly running up the beach as the next wave washed towards them.
Unfortunately, we never did identify what bird this was, guess we need to get an Oregon bird book. After walking at least a half mile down the beach to the south, returning to the stump and heading up north, we arrived at the point of no return. Well, maybe I exaggerate a little, but besides the wind having really picked up and the sky over the ocean tinting to a much darker shade of gray, we found that we had completely filled our collecting bag, plus Linda had both of her pockets full. No more room for rocks? It was most definitely time to head back, lol. Our return journey kept getting interrupted as we found one huckleberry bush after another. Talk about a variety of tastes, what we were searching for was the real thing, and finally we found a bush in a low wet area that had the combination of berry size: large, juciness: full of juice, sweetness: very sweet and juceiness: very juicy, that we were searching for. We literally stripped that bush bare of huckleberries, all of which went directly from bush to mouth. It simply doesn't get any better than that. Unfortunately this berry hunting expedition put us behind on our flight before the storm and the rain caught up with us.
It was raining fairly heavily by the time we arrived at the coach, but we still had one more job to do. We have an appointment to get our coach worked on at the Monaco Service Center at the end of the month and we needed to do another walkaround outside of the coach to make sure we had everything on the list. We did find a few things we had left off the original list, so it was worth doing it, even if it was raining. With the rain falling, it became an inside day. Computer, TV and food, which definitely sounds like a pretty good combination to us, smile. We had the leftover sausage and bean soup for dinner. We decided this dish was a real winner that needs to be fixed again. There is just something about a hot bowl of homemade soup and cornbread on the cold, rainy, fall evening that says, all is right with the world. Talk about living the good life, special times for special people in a special place. I will end this day with a photo Linda took on the beach. Up high, far beyond the waterline the driftwood piles up. Some people gather it up and build structures, others just look. We are lookers and this was what we saw.
A huge change in the weather for a change, as we have seemly exchanged cold temperatures for warmer temperatures, but with the addition of copious amounts of rain. I'll try to focus in on that old saying about the weather, the one that goes, don't like the weather, wait a while it is bound to change. Guess it is about time I change the subject for a change, lol.
The rain may mean a day of coach living, but it sure got off to a good start. For the second morning in a row, Linda woke up to a nice warm coach, so she immediately tackled breakfast, which turned out to be a semi-reflection of yesterday's. Today she began by cooking a piece of Canadian Bacon, then cutting it into pieces. Next she sautéed some chopped onions and a little garlic in olive oil. Then she beat two eaggs, to which she added some chopped cilantro and water. Finally she added more EVOO to the skillet and poured the egg/cilantro mixture over the over the bacon, onions and garlic. The result was another variation on the scrambled egg theme. It was served with a slice of avacodo and a huckleberry scone. Doesn't sound like health food, but healthy food, it sure was.
Linda suggested that we smash the avacodo over the eggs, did that ever make those eggs delicious, plus my liberal use of course ground black pepper and hot pepper flakes kicked everything up about three notches. It is amazing what a few additions to a meal can do as far as enhancing both the food and the experience. That Linda was enjoying the experience, there can be no doubt, lol.
Of course, all the rain meant a coach day, so that's what we did, at least until the early afternoon when the weather cleared some and the rain stopped. By then we wanted outta here, so we bundled up and headed out for a walk. They are shutting down the back two loops of the campground, those with the bigger sites that are easy for larger RV's to get into, so we walked those loops. It is easy to see the march of time in the loops. "A" loop, the one we were in, was built first, a long time ago when people camped in either tents or smaller RV's. Then they expanded the park, building much bigger sites to accomodate the bigger RV's. As we have traveled the country this past year, we have seen this repeated at RV park after RV park. The bigger sites are almost always in the back. Sometimes it's a small world.
Speaking of small worlds, we decided to extend our walk and headed off on the path that paralleled the entrance road, eventually ending up by the boat ramp. We were suprised to see that you could crab off the dock. Maybe we will get to try our hand after all. The sign had more don'ts than do's, but the bottom line was, here is a nearby place to at least try to catch some of those cabby clawed critters. This was the same place we saw the rescue dog demonstration several years ago when we stayed at the park on our vacation. The wind was blowing so hard that we didn't stay for long, but it sure brought back pleasant memories. Here is the young model I use so often, posing by the boat ramp with the Coquille River bridge, in the background.
Below is a photo that is filled with memories and more, taken at the same spot with the rescue dogs hard at work. As we had walked over towards the boat ramp a couple were walking away. They had a black dog. What were the odds?
Lunch was special today. First because of what it was, second because of who fixed it. After bragging up Linda's breakfast, I must put in a word or two regarding the lunch I fixed. With lefteover meatloaf it was a no brainer as to what to fix, so I jumped right to the task. Whole wheat bread, the real thing, not the regular bread they try to pass off as whole wheat, horseradish mustard, dill pickle relish, lots of lettuce, and of course, thin slices of leftover meatloaf. A sandwich you smash down to eat. A sandwich that is comfort food at it's finest. Served with grapes and those special thick salt and vinegar potato chips, a meal for the gods. It was so good, I wasn't even concerned regarding Linda's comment, to effect that if I'm this good at fixing lunch, I should do it more often, lol.
In the late afternoon we worked on the computers and intemittently took walks, which were timed to the breaks between the intermittent rain showers. This is a fairly busy campground and we enjoy watching the RV's circle the loop, so to speak. Some we only see once, many we see twice and then there are those poor lost souls who are destined to wander through life, those who pass by three or more times. I wonder whether they are ever happy with the site the select? As you can see, Linda doesn't get as excited by these goings on as I do.
When you have a rainy day, food takes a prominent place, so as the dinner hour approached, out came the cookbook and soon the meal was planned. Tilapia in ginger sauce, brown rice, baked Danish squash and tossed salad. When it was all over, the dishes washed, dried and put away, we talked about how good the ginger fish was. That was when we got a big laugh. Wiping off the counter, I suddenly realized I had left something out of the recipe. Laying on the counter was the ginger, an ungrated piece of ginger. Yours truly had managed to leave the key ingredient out of the fish and neither of us had noticed. See, I knew there was a reason I had doubled the amount of garlic and minced onions in the recipe, smile. Kind of blows all my waxing poetic about our fabulous food feasts doesn't it, lol. lol, lol. All in all, it really was as good as the photo shows.
After dinner I got into something really interesting, or at least it was to me, so you're going to hear about it. When you are surfing the internet and you visit a site like Yahoo!, you always see the litle symbol of the "Y!" in the address bar at the top of the browser. Same thing when you bookmark the site, the same symbol appears beside the bookmark. This got me to thinking. I know what you're thinking, but sometimes things other than lyrics and poetry do pop into my mind, lol, so I started searching. Below are the symbols I am talking about for both Yahoo! and CBS.
One thing lead to another and after some false starts I had our first attempt at this up on our site. It ain't perfect, it's not even what we will end up with, but it is a start.
To show you what I mean, here's an image of our page showing those little graphics. We plan to spend time on this finding a better image or graphic, so stay tuned. Once I get it all figured out I will do a little tutorial on how to do it, which should be fun. Of course the other side of all this is that it may be something most everyone knows about and I may be one of the last to discover this favicon thingy, lol.
May your day have included as much fun as ours.
Another rainy day. They said this weather system was supposed to last for a week and it appears that will be the case. At least the outside temperatures have stayed warmer. When I first got up, I spent time reading the news, which I guess, in a way was my method of procrastinating versus starting the day. I really wanted to get started on the journal, but I didn't. There are times I become so caught up in writing, that it is all I want to do, then it seems like I go off the deep end and stop altogether for a while, sigh. It was almost 8 o'clock before I started, but once started, I couldn't seem to stop, double sigh. Some days are like that...
Breakfast was not a priority, so Linda spent time attempting to get our email answered, while I tried to finish the journal. What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago we would both have been chin deep in work during our industry's 'busy season', as it was so fondly referred to. Today, we have a low to no stress life, one that goes as far as the roads we travel. To sum it up, we are happy.
Happiness is also a pot of bubbling hot oatmeat cooking on the stove and that was what was filling the air. Linda was smiling and laughing as she stirred the pot, I have to believe she was thinking the same thoughts about our former life and work that were going through my mind. After she added the cranberries and steel cut oats, she changed hats, and sitting at my computer, took on the role of editor, which has become more difficult as of late. The program I had previously used to write the daily journal contained a spell checker, making part of her task, shall we say, easy. The new one has no spell checker which is bad from her standpoint. From my point it has syntax assist, which is great. While I my struggle with spelling, I am not without assistance, as the following photo shows.
Not one to resist a challenge for long, I had incorporated a word spell checker into my image size calculator, which is set up in OpenOffice.org Calc, the spreadsheet that is part of the Open Office.org suite. Of course, I have to know that I don't know how to spell the word in the first place, so there are a few that slip through, smile. It's one of those you can't have everything situations, so there she sat, trying to correct all my spelling errors and doing a pretty good job at it, that is, both the correcting and the being pretty, lol.
The wind was really blowing, plus heavy rain was pelting the coach most of the morning, so each of us did our own thing. Linda vacuumed the coach, while I moved myself and the chair I was sitting on. Then she started on one of her periodic "thing checks". Starting in the kitchen, she opened every drawer or cabinet, took everything out of it and asked, have we use this "thing" or not, and if not, then do we plan on using it in the next few months. If the answer was no, it went into either the trash or into the dispose of box. In our former life, all the drawers in the house were full and it seemed like we were constantly buying something new. As we have now discovered, about 90% of all that 'stuff' was unneccessary for living day to day. Want to simplify your life, live in an RV. It is amazing what you can do without.
Eventually there was a break in the rain and we joined the other people we saw walking up and down the campground roads. There is something about being outside after a rain that brings new life to us, so when we returned to the coach, I took on a project I have been messing around with for quite some time, but with no success, the color combination on the website. You have no doubt noticed a change in color. Gone is the mint colors, replaced with a blue scheme. The mint was the origial color Ruthsarian had used when he developed the layout I am using. In a recent blog post he was pointing out the fact, that when people use his layout, they don't change the color scheme, so it had come time to correct that situation.
Picking just the right colors for a website is something not to be undertaken by the faint of heart. There are all sorts of things to consider, not the least of which is "browser safe colors". Deciding to throw caution to the winds, we based the new scheme on the colors we liked, the heck with safety, lol. Actually the browser safe color palette was developed many years ago when most computers had 8-bit monitors that could only support 256 colors. Hopefully everyone can view the right palette of blues. All this color matching took a lot longer than you might expect as we tried to get the right "feel" to the website. Sometime in the future I may experiment with a style switcher where you could change color schemes just like you can font sizes, but for now it is just some distant dream. The other thing is that we hope our color scheme did not just come off as a bunch of horrid colors, as is so ofen the case. Anyway, we like it and hope you will too.
The remainder of the day, what little of it remained, passed by quickly. It was after 4 o'clock when we ate lunch and late evening before dinner was served. Being oxygen induction units who know good food when we have it, lunch was once again meatloaf sandwiches by Bob. That got Linda's creative juices flowing and she almost immediately starting planing supper, though I suspect my leaving the ginger out of the ginger fish last night also had something to do with it, lol. It was back to comfort food, as she found a package of frozen turkey in the freezer, which was appearantly leftover from the holidays last year. Sort like what you could call fowl aged meat, smile. When combined with whole wheat dressing, boccoli and tossed salad, it sure was comforting to eat.
As you can probably guess, it was not a day when the camera was clicking, but some days are like that. Being as it was Friday night, we watched Apollo 13, which should get us all fired up to handle any situation that might arise when we watch our grandchildren next week while their mom and dad spend a week in the tropics, a break from the routine they very much deserve. As always, the day ended with dessert, and may your day have also ended as expected.
Want to take a guess at what the weather is going to be like today? Another rainy day. Linda has a different attitude this morning, more like:
The reason is, we have an activity director on board this morning who is in full activity mode. There are always the usual morning activities, checking email, writing the daily journal for the previous day, fixing breakfast. Did I say fixing breakfast? This morning it was oatmeal with dried cranberries, an easy to fix but healthy meal. Wonder how many people ate Quaker Instant Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal this morning? We make our oatmeal the healthy way, we used thick, and I mean thick (no powder or dust) rolled oats, steel cut oats, wheat bran and non fat milk to which we added a small amount of dried cranberries while it is cooking. It always amazes me when I read the labels just what it is that the manufacturers put in these convenience foods. Leaving out the added vitamins, this instant oatmeal has: WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS (WITH OAT BRAN), SUGAR, NATURAL AND ARTIFICAL FLAVORS, SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, GUM, CARAMEL COLOR. How many of those ingredients are to enhance (using the food company term) the taste or appearance of the stuff they're trying to get you to buy? Each of us has to make our own choices.
It was just a few minutes after breakfast was fixed and the current web pages had been edited uploaded, when Linda took over. It was a rather off hand comment, "Are you about ready?", that made me realize I'd better get on the stick, or I was going to have to pay the piper and then some, lol. I quickly found out I had no time to lollygag around, as she was ready to go right now. Evento the point of having a map printed out with the addresses of all the locations she wanted to visit clearly marked. There was the Bandon Museum, four thrift shops and the grocery store. It was definitely time for me to shake a leg and then some.
Happiness is sometimes as simple as a visit to a small town museum and today proved to be no exception to the rule. Admission was $2 per adult and included all the local history you had time to learn about. Whoever was responsible for putting this musuem together knew what they were doing. We spent nearly two hours slowly viewing exhibit after exhibit. The flow is such that you begin with the Native American peoples and by the time you are done, you understand the history of the town and surrounding area. As we travel along the Oregon Coast, we notice how the rivers around the towns are bordered with old wooden posts that stick up out of the water. They are the remnants of the past. The museum is filled with photograghs that show the tremendous number of industrial and commercial buildings that used these pilings as their base because one hundred years ago the rivers were the highways of today, since there were no roads as we know them. Going through the museum, you begin to understand the nearly unbelievable changes that the highway system brought to this area. For a lover of history, it was close to sensory overload, lol.
sometimes called Bandon-by-the-Sea, Bandon's commercial past included fishing and timber, but it also included the Dairy industry. There was a very large milk condensary which operated in Bandon in the early 1900's, something we would never have known had we not visited the museum. The history of this venture makes for a very interesting read. If you would like to learn about it, the link to a very fascinating article in the Oregon Historical quarterly is here.
After our wonderful visit to the museum, things went rapidly downhill. It was starting to rain once again as we left the museum and we should have paid attention to what it was trying to tell us. If you are looking for a second hand store in Bandon, good luck, as we didn't have much success. Oh, we found three of the four shops Linda had listed, one was closed and the other two had nothing but clothing. Linda didn't know what to expect, so she wasn't dissappointed. We did cross paths with the other grocery store in town, the Price n Pride, so we stopped in for some smoked turkey for wraps and, of course, ended up buying a few more things including another delicious Danish squash like we had gotten at the Price n Pride in Reedsport. They were really getting to the bottom of the barrel, or box, so to speak, as the bottom layer of squash was being to rot and the fruit flies were as thick as, well, as thick as flies. That's what we could term real food for real people, lol. We also found some 7% fat content ground beef, so that solved the problem of what was for dinner.
Driving back to the park, Linda suggest we continue on north and take some pictures. There is one Bandon industry that started back in the late 1800's which still survives today. Here is a photo, taken at the museum of one of the pieces of equipment they used over 50 years ago in their harvest. Can you guess what it was?
Before there was mechanization, the job was done by hand. Can you imagine what a backbreaking job harvesting cranberries could have been, if you didn't know the right technique of swinging the cradle.
We finally arrived at the turn off for the bogs, which I managed to blissfully drive right past, then encountered a long stretch of road with no turn around. Eventually we found ourselves over looking those cranberry bogs we had seen on our drive down from Reedsport. The bogs appeared to be at different states of harvest. The one in the foreground was flooded and the berries can be seen to the left, while the bog in the background appears to be unharvested, but that is only a guess, smile.
Here is a closeup of the berries in that first bog.
The cranberry harvesting machine used in this bog.
As you can probably guess, returning to the coach, dinner was already on our minds and we hadn't even eaten lunch yet. The meatloaf sandwiches were great, but it was dinner we were focusing on. Eventually the ground beef was cooking with a finely chopped onion and our dinner was underway. After all, what could possibly taste better on a cool rainy fall day than a pot of homemade chili.
Traditions, doing something that those before us did. Learning about the past and having fun. The end to a great day.
Would you believe it, another day of rain, but then, this is Oregon, smile.
I watch as the hunched over figures walk toward the restrooms and think of those years that we took that same walk. Do I miss them? No I don't, for that is no longer our life. They are the weekend campers in the slide in pair of truck campers or the A-liner fold up camper that is up the road. I feel sorry for the two couples in the truck campers. They came in on Friday, three vehicles in all, the two truck campers and a third pickup loaded with crab traps. I wonder how they feel about the weekend, but what ever it is, it is no doubt not what they were looking for when they arrived. I wonder, will I find what I am looking today? Or do I even know what I am looking for? Does anyone?
Breakfast was once again oatmeal and blackberries, the frozen type, then it was computer time. We were limited as far as being on the web was concerned. The rain was heavy enough to periodically knock us off line. Finally the rain let up, then stopped altogether. Linda took the opportunity to go outside and shut off the gray waste drain. She was going to wash a load of clothes and needed to make sure we have enough gray water afterward to dump the black tank. Returning to the coach she reported the rain had stopped, so we decided to drive over to the beach parking area and see if we could find some more agates.
The weather did not look bad as we made the short drive down the road that leads to the lighthouse. We arrived at the parking lot to find that we were not the only ones who wanted to look at the beach this morning. When I opened the door to the Explorer I should have guessed conditions were not the best, but we were going to be looking for rocks, so we were both excited. Just because I could barely open the door against the wind was no reason to worry. It was somewhat windy as we walked up to the top off the dunes, but to us that only meant the ocean must really look pretty. That was certainly the case and we paused to take some photo's.
It was as we walked down off the dune that we first noticed something was wrong, looking for the beach, we could see no beach. It had simply disappeared. There was still sand and the dunes were there, but the big wide expanse of beach we had walked the other day was gone. There was however, something else that almost took our breath away and that was the wind. It was absolutely howling. We weren't sure whether we wanted to stay or not, but finally decided to take a short walk down the beach and see if we could find any agates. Sand, just sand, what little there was of it, and drift wood, some of it more than just a piece of wood, was all there was. A short ways down the beach we got a glimpse of how the stump we had seen about a mile up the beach a few days ago had probably gotten there. Rolling around near the edge of the water we saw this.
Though the image doesn't show it, because there is nothing to give it scale, this stump was bigger than the one Linda was climbing on the other day. Watching it tumble around in the surf helped bring into focus the unbelievable power of the ocean. We decided we had walked far enough and turned around to walk back. That was the moment the full power of the wind hit us. We had to bend forward to walk and so, slowly, made our way down the beach. The wind had totally obliterated any trace of the footprints we had made only moments before, plus it was carrying ocean spray and sand that stung our faces and made it impossible to see out of our glasses. On the walk back we found some more debris that had been thrown up on the beach by the storm. I managed to find that pretty model I sometimes use, to pose beside it. As you can tell, the wind was most definitely really blowing, lol.
We walked up to the top of the dunes, took one last look at the fury of the ocean and walked down into a completely different world. Gone was the vicious wind and the roar. During the drive back we talked about how pretty the storm was and how glad we were that we had driven over and looked at it. Then it was back to reality. The load of clothes required some attention, but it is so easy because, as we have said before, we really like our washer/dryer. Here's Linda watching Mythbusters on The Learning Channel while doing the laundry. Sometimes simple things are good things.
Sometimes you just can't get that woman to stop working and today was one of those times. The only problem, if I may refer to it as that, was I was soon going to be working more than she was. The project was throwing away the crab bait we would not be using. It really wasn't bad, since all I had to do was take a bag of frozen chicken and fish parts up to the dumpster. Oh, but if that was all that it was. Returning to the coach I found the contents of one side of the freezer in the sink and a hair dryer laying on the table. I could see a defrosting future for me, smile. This was the first time we had deforsted this side of the freezer and the ice was pretty well caked on. It took some time and a little help from a wooden spatula, but the ice came off and the mess was cleaned up. It is one of those things that needs to be done and is always easier than you think.
The rest of the day was spent watching TV, doing some surfing and just lazing around. Well there was dinner, but is was partially leftovers. Linda had decreeded we would not be having meatloaf sandwiches for lunch, because that was what we would be eating for dinner. It was perfect timing as we used the very last of our horseradish on top of the meatloaf. We also microwaved the Danish squash which made for a great meal.
As always the day ended with dessert, some chocolate chip brownies that came out of the freezer. I knew something good would come of my defrosting endeavor, lol. We plan to get up early tomorrow as it is travel day. We are heading back towards the Reedsport area. Hope your weekend had as many wonderful moments as ours did.
Mind games played in the night, crazy dreams spinning around.
BS&T, that was some group!!!!!
It's time to leave this place, time to travel on. So with the light we arise and eat our usual oatmeal, but for the second day in a row with blackberries. It brings back the sweet memories of our first few days on the coast back in late August, when we drove up the Smith River to find our special berry patch. We learned we were lucky, because with the lack of rain there were hardly any berries to be picked this year. That was the reason we had seen so many dried up berries on the vines. It was also why the huckleberries were not very good. Maybe next year will make for a 'berry good year', lol.
But alas and alack, it was going to take some work to get the old buggy ready to roll. We had been pelted with wind and rain ever since we had arrived and when you are in a pine forest, that means pine needles everywhere. By looking at the picnic table I could visualize what the roof of the coach must look like. Then it dawned on me that the covers that covered the top of the slideouts must be just that, covered. So, with broom in hand, I climbed the ladder on the back of the coach and swept them off. As I was up there something unbelievable happened, she who is deathly afraid of ladders, climbed the ladder and took several pictures.
Here's another view. See, I do work sometimes, lol.
Since everything outside was dirty from the rain that splashed dirt and debris over every exposed surface, it took a lot longer to get everthing done than usual. Even had to wipe off the boards we put under the jacks, as the slugs seem to have found them very much to their liking. No, don't worry, I didn't take any pictures, smile. Once on our way, it became appearent there had been a lot of rain fall in the last few days. As we approached Coos Bay we could see the river was out of it's banks in a number of places. Notice how the railroad tracks seem to disappear into the water which was right up to the road. What was that song? Disappearing railroad blues or something like that.
Just like the trip down, the trip back to Winchester Bay did not take long and soon we were in familiar territory. We checked in and got set up, then talked about getting all the outside things we need to get done, done before it started to rain, then turned around and drove into Reedsport rather than do them. Linda had to get her last Ebay sale package into the mail since she had finally recieved the payment. The buyer was a Foundation over in eastern Oregon, of all things and places, and it had taken them a little longer than usual to make the payment. Linda really values her 100% Ebay rating, so as soon as payment is recieved, the package goes into the mail. The Reedsport Post Office is also the site of Linda's famous bruised lip incident of a number of weeks ago when she managed to step face first into a plate glass window. As we walked away, we got to laughing about it once again, so I turned around, went back, and took a photo of the spot. They now have a piece of white paper hanging in the spot she hit, just to the right of the rack, but you can get the idea.
Of course, no sooner had we gotten back into the Explorer than the skies opened up. Since we weren't going to be getting any outside work done when we got back, we stopped at Linda's Craft Shop, the real name of the store, for a while. Finally deciding the rain was only getting worse, we left the store without purchasing anything. Wonders of wonders if I do say so, lol. Back at the coach we finished the inside packing and were surpised at how little we were taking with us. Back in August when we went back the first time we had the Explorer filled to overflowing. That wasn't going to be the case this time. Maybe we are getting close to finally learning just what we need to live in the coach. Eventually the rain stopped and we went out to finish up the last few things. Getting into the back bay we found something unexpected, a water leak. A leak that was not coming in around the gasket, but rather was following some wires from up inside the coach somewhere. Definitely not a good thing, so it will go on the list for the factory service center appointment. It will probably be as hard to find as the picture shows. Heck, I know where the leak is and can't see it in this picture, lol. Maybe this is no laughing matter, lol.
The rest of the day was spent watching TV, doing some surfing and trying to get this post done. If it is up you know I succeeeded if it's not you won't, but by the time you read this we should be on our way to see our grandchildren. Get to baby sit for a week and have a great time with them. I will still be posting as I have some ideas for some articles of lasting interest that I would like to write. We will really miss our house, but will really enjoy our grandchildren. As you can see, Linda was getting in some last minute computer time before it was time to be Grandma.
It rained all night, not a light rain, rather a heavy, drum on the roof, kind of rain. One that wakes you periodically just to let you know it is still here. When we finally awoke it was still coming down and the forecast promised more of the same off and on for the next seven days. Maybe this going home to watch the grandchildren thing tripis not such a bad thing. In fact we could look upon it as excellent planing by our daughter to get mom and dad out of the rainy pacific northewest and down to sunny warm California, smile.
Breakfast was our usual travel day meal, shredded wheat, this time over blackberries, warmed in the microwave and topped with the Splenda version of brown sugar. Then it was time to load the Explorer and upon opening the back door, I discovered water. Somehow we had gotten a leak and one of the boxes was wet. I took this to be an omen about the coach and switched my thinking on several things. The last time we left it, it was Sunny August in Nevada, now it was overcast, cloudy, rainy fall in Oregon. Just as before we would have no hookups, but would the solar cells get enough light? We were parked with trees on the west, meaning the hours of sunlight would be severely limited, so I decided it would be better to be safe than to be sorry, and a change of plans was the order of the day. We would empty and shut off the freezer and refrigerator rather than take a chance on the batteries going down and all the food spoiling.
I was also concerned about the water we had found leaking into the inverter compartment and so worked at mopping it up. There was already enough water in the compartment to fill the towel I used, which meant I had to wring out several times. I placed an empty bucket under the leak and we will see how that works. Of course all this was done outside in a pouring rain. I checked all the outside compartments twice while Linda went over the inside. The cooler was now full of all our frozen food, so the things from the refrigerator just went into plastic bags. Sometimes you do what you need to do. If you're thinking it was hard to leave, you're thinking right. We had decided to take Rt-38 east, then 138 to Sutherlin. The drive along the Umpqua was different than the last time, the trees were still in full color, but it was raining so hard it was difficult to see. That difficulty did not extend to the elk along the road. The rain did not seeem to bother them so we got a picture at least.
The miles rolled along, but I was also noticing that it definitely wasn't as comfortable driving the Explorer as it would have been driving the coach. This was where I needed to get back into vacation mode. Those long drives that first day to get to where we were going, it was like daja vue all over again, smile. It's just that now, our vacations are the exact opposite of those we used to take. We live year around in our motorhome at all the places we used to go on our vacation, then spend a couple of weeks a year back at our old home. The thing is, just how easy it was to get used to living this way. It was like we were born to do this. The view as we drove along was all pretty much the same.
After quite literally traveling for hours in the gloom and rain of Oregon, it dawned on us that, if home is where you park it, we were leaving our home. As we neared the California border where we would be spending the next few weeks watching grandchildren and vacationing, we looked up ahead toward the Siskiyou Mountains and this was the view that greeted us.
It had been over a week since we had seen a blue sky, and sure it was only a tiny patch of blue, but still, maybe it was California missing us. Then the sun came out even before we got out of Oregon. Did oregon take up the gauntlet thrown down by California and say, see, we have good weather also? We'll never know because we were south bound and down as that old saying went. The beauty of the sun playing on the hills was truly a site to behold. As you can see, Oregon is just not all green, they also have some fabulous fall colors.
We did stop at the Mount Shasta scenic view area, where a poor substitute for our usual pretty young female model managed to stand in the perfect spot to block the view of the mountain. At least that is what the usual model said. The usual photographer said the substitute photographer positioned the substitute model in the wrong spot, smile.
The same substitue photographer who had been photographing this trip then tried to get a photo of just Mt Shasta. She wasn't having any luck since the top of the mountain was completely obscured by cloud cover.
Eventually, after more hours of driving, the smokey haze of burning rice fields came into view and we knew we where almost back. The sun was setting and the special beauty that comes out with the mingling of the smoke with the rays of the sun really brought the rice fields to life. It also meant that for the next several weeks our life was also going to be different.
Would you believe, early this morning it rained. We thought we were getting away from the rain when we left Oregon, but it seems to be pursuing us, lol. It wasn't much of a rain and it stopped in short order, then the sun came out and the sky turned blue. By the time we had eaten our oatmeal and strawberries it was already warming up. Going to be a very nice day. I did mention strawberries on the oatmeal, well it seems Linda found a package buried in the freezer. There is still some food in it, so we will work on eating up as much of it as we can while we are here. I did spy some rhubarb and persimmon down in the bottom so those containers will be going back with us. I sense some persimmon cookies and rhubarb pie in our future at Quartszite.
Following this it was time to get down to work. We want to start getting as much of the "junk" in the house thrown away as possible each time that we are here. Having been industrious pack rats for much of our lives, we certainly have accumulated a lot of it, smile. In a way, it is probably easier for the people who decide to get rid of everything and sell before they go on the road than to be like us and try to see whether or not it is something we really want to do, then sell the house and get rid of all the stuff. Everyone has to do it their own way, but you really have to feel for the people who sell everything, then find out they don't like this life or can't afford it or have some health problems that cause them to have to go back to living in a stick house.
I'm sure we followed the exact pattern of everyone who has done this before. At first everything is minutely examined and much is put into the save pile that should have gone into the yard sale pile while the yard sale pile gets some pure junk that should go into the junk pile. After a while we got into the swing of things and the big pile was the yard sale pile, while the junk pile also picked up steam. I did notice Linda slipping a number of items into the Ebay boxes that she thought would sell. Weight and size factor into shipping costs and by now she has sold enough to know which items are good to go so to speak.
The bottom line was we completely filled our trash can as well as our neighbors and also completely filled a recycling container with cardboard, magazines and newspaper. Isn't it unbelievable how any magazines one can collect. The only problem of course was that you couldn't even tell we had done anything. You would think after emptying out the homes of both our mothers we would have at least a clue as to how big this job was. As found out when I downloaded the pictures from the camera, it wasn't all work and no play for Linda. Her favorite flower is the Scabosia and our maroon colored one was in full bloom.
There comes a time when you have done enough for a while and about one o'clock we were informed by the rumbles that it was time to eat. Those turkey roll ups eaten out by the pond sure tasted good. Then it was back to work. Linda also made a mail run and brought back some bad news when our truck failed its smog test. What made it bad was we had someone who wanted to buy it, but it had to pass smog before we could sign the papers. They are going to run an analysis and let us how how much it's going to cost. Turned out to not be anything major and after a carburetor adjustment, it is an 'old' truck, it passed. That's one more thing that we don't have to worry about.
Later we had two visitors stop by, our son and our old cat. Linda and I must be shrinking, or our son is growing taller because we sure were doing a lot of looking up at him. Maybe he is just standing tall because life is going good for him now. Isn't it neat when good things happen to people, especially people we love. The second visitor was our old cat, Bit. She has decided to move in with our neighbor across the street, Beth, much to both Bit and Beth's delight. She wasn't very happy posing for pictures, especially when the flash went off, but then she isn't our cat any more either, smile.
We weren't through with visitors yet, because our daughter and grandson also stopped by. Think they have learned to visit while they can because mom and dad are here today gone tomorrow so to speak and when they are gone, they are really gone. Linda baked some pork in barbecue sauce, so you can guess what was for supper. The pork and whatever else we could dredge up out of the freezer. All in all it made for a good day. Tomorrow will be radically different as it will be our "training day" at our other daughter's house and we have to be there at 6:30 A.M. to learn how to get our special needs grandson ready for school. Till tomorrow, may your dreams be coming true just as ours are.
Today reminds me of that time before. You know, that time before we quit our jobs to live our life on the road. It was 5 AM when the alarm sounded, not much different from the 4:30 alarm that woke me for years. Breakfast was oatmeal with some frozen raisins from the big freezer. We were on the road right at 6 AM as we needed to be at our daughters house by 6:30. Talk about a contrast in lifestyle, here we had been going down to North Bend for the past two months, a trip of the same time and distance as it was over to our daughters. That trip to North Bend was virtually all through the country with just the last few miles through the city of North Bend. The trip to our daughter's was all city driving. Is it any wonder we love our new life so much, smile. So here we are in training mode, so to speak, learning how to watch the grandchildren, complete with spreadsheet to make sure everyone gets to where they're supposed to be when they're supposed to be there. It will also help us make sure we pick everyone up when they are supposed to be picked up, which is probably more important than getting them there in the first place, lol. Linda is a little sensitive on this point as I occasionally remind her of the time many years ago when she was the soccer mom taking three kids here there and everywhere. There was this night we sat down to supper and I was curious why our son was not eating with us, so I innocently asked Linda where he was. Turned out she had forgotten she needed to pick him up after soccer practice. It has gotten funnier as the years have passed, but it sure wasn't the night it happened, lol.
We spent an hour and a half driving to schools, soccer fields, doctor's offices, Girl Scout leaders houses, horse riding therapy stables and other locations. More to know where the entrances were than how to drive to them. We plan to use the GPS to get us from place to place, which should be really interesting, especially the first morning. The sun was up and our daughter's dog was enjoying the day. I don't know what you might call this, but I call it basking in the sun.
It wasn't all work and no play. My son-in-law had set me up on their wireless network so I will be able to unwind by doing some surfing and also not have to go around the neighborhood searching for an open network to upload the web site. In our neighborhood, we have three networks that show on the connections screen, none of which is protected. My son-in-law works at high tech company, as do nearly all his neighbors, and though we can see three networks from his house, all of them are security enabled. It doesn't make anyone right or wrong, it just means everyone has a different level of understanding as to the best practices for this type of technology. They have a high speed connection and the difference in speed between the satellite in the coach and this connection is just unbelievable. You get used to what you use and it becomes the standard. We are going to have to take a hard look at our upload and download speeds when we get back.
Speaking of back, back at the house we faced our mountain. The mountain of "stuff" we are taking back to the coach. A mountain that seems to grow day by day.
Friday we get to watch our other daughter's son since it will be the Veterans Day holiday. Should be a good warm up for watching the other three next week. I hope you were able to take a few seconds today and bask in the glory of life. It is so easy to take our own life as the norm, when the only thing normal about it is that it is as different as everyone else's life.
Last night the strange bed syndrome caught up with us and the strange bed was actually the one we had slept in for many years. That got me to thinking about why is it the mattress in the coach is the most comfortable one we have ever slept on. My search took me to the web encyclopedia, Wikpedia where I learned some interesting things. Among them was the fact, the kind of mattress we should sleep on varies with the type of sleeper we are.
For example, stomach sleepers probably need a firmer mattress to prevent spinal distortion that can result in back pain when waking up, while back sleepers need a mattress that offers enough support to fill in the gaps in the contour of the back, yet at the same time provide the amount of comfort the user prefers. But suppose you are neither a stomach nor a back sleeper, instead you are a side sleeper, what then? The article points out that side sleepers usually face the greatest amount of weight on the smallest areas of the body thereby creating pressure points, which reduce circulation and can be a cause of the tossing and turning during sleep. A side sleeper will probably want a softer mattress, to minimize pressure points, especially if they have a very curved or rounded figure.(That previous phrase most definitely does not apply to either Linda or myself, lol.) Of course not everyone fits into these neat little boxes. I don't know how anyone else sleeps, but my sleep posture has bee described as something akin to a pretzel, meaning I sleep all three ways, sometimes all at the same time. It isn't easy, but with a lot of time and training I've learn how, lol.
So what good is knowing all this? Well, maybe we can find out why the mattress in the coach is so comfortable. The article goes on to give some pointers about how all this fits together. It turns out that it is easier to soften up a firm mattress with the proper padding or bedding, than it is to firm up an overly soft one that is causing a backache. However, firm mattresses are designed to feel hard, so even when padding is added to a firm mattress it will not feel like a soft one, because the body will sink through the foam onto the hard surface underneath. A firm or very firm bed might be topped with a three-inch viscoelastic foam pad giving the user the best of both worlds � Good support and soft cushioned feel. Now I know the why they call our mattress a pillow top mattress, it has that perfect foam topper. Things you never know about until you read our journal, lol.
One of the great things about watching grandchildren is that you get to repeatedly relive your childhood. The American Bricks that totally captivated me some 50 or more years ago, now do the same to our grandson, Zach. As I worked on the computer he siddled up next to me and in a very soft voice asked if we could play with the red lego's. Notice it wasn't, could he play, it was, could we play. It doesn't get any better that that, smile. He wanted to build a skyscraper, so we did. Up and up, higher and higher, till it was the highest skyscraper ever built. Was Zach ever happy and so was his grandpa. It was a very special time for both of us.
There is also the problem of uploading the website and also programing the GPS with the proper maps as both items require a trip to the car. Now if we were at the coach, neither would be any problem. Just sit at the table and connect, either to the internet or to the DC outlet, whichever the case may be, but not so at the house. We seem to have trouble doing whatever it is that we need to do at the house , maybe because the house has become just that, a house, while the coach has become our home, smile. It will be good to leave the house and go back home again. As you can see from the attached picture, it isn't much fun trying to do things the difficult way all the time, smile.
This did not end our day however, there was still more to do, some of which was planned and some unplanned. Among the unplanned things was a find by Linda. Take a look at the girl in this photo. Notice the nice curl to the hair.
By the way, she was quick to point out that even today we have to throw away a lot of the pictures we take because that same girl still quite frequently has her eyes closed when the camera clicks, lol. Now here is that same girl today, throwing out those hair culers she slept on every night for about 10 plus years, so she could have the perfect reverse curl to her hair.
Guess that once she was sure she had me, she didn't think she needed to get gussied up anymore. Looking at those insturments of torture, that was one tough hill girl who wanted out of Appalachia in the worst way to go through that to trap her a man. Our life has been good, may your life also be one of joy.