Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 30, 2014---Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California

Early this morning we went to Ridgecrest.  It is about 80 miles south of Lone Pine.  The trip along Hwy. 395 was rather dull, except for a few spots. 

We went past the Crystal Geyser plant.  It is a large operation that is situated on the edge of Owens Lake.  That’s the lake where the dirt is contaminated.  Hm-m-m-m-m!  The water company has the words “spring water” in their title.  I don’t know where the spring is, but it would be interesting to know.  Curious and curiouser!

We stopped in the area of Little Lake to find two caches.  The first one was simple to find.  The information said it was at the site of an old hotel.  There was a small, old building close by, but it didn’t look much like a hotel.  In search of the second cache, Bill had to climb up on lava rocks.  I stayed down on the road and cheered him on.

Further down the highway, we turned onto Nine Mile Road.  Before leaving that area, we had logged six more finds.  None of them were difficult to find, but it was fun being on a back road.

When we got into Ridgecrest, our first stop was for breakfast before going to Walmart for my two prescriptions.  It was a long way to go for meds, but it was our closest choice.  We did other shopping, but it wasn’t a Super Walmart so there were still several items on the list when we checked out.  

In the next block was a large Albertson’s.  When we were looking for cabbage in the produce section, I saw something I hadn’t seen before...celery roots.  The were big and ugly, but the celery stalks were small and pathetic looking.  I have no idea how they are cooked or what kind of recipe uses them.  Any ideas?

I had loaded 12 caches in the GPS for the area around Walmart.  All we had to show for our efforts was two DNFs.  It was getting hot, and for some reason, neither one of us was too interested in poking around in bushes for tiny containers.  One thing I can tell you for sure...Ridgecrest is not a place we might want to live someday! 

After eating lunch at Burger King, we headed north for Lone Pine.  Our only stop was at the Rest Area.  The cache was a light pole cache, usually simple to find, but we are out of practice.  We needed Coleson with us.  He is a good geocacher, especially the light pole kind.  That’s the first place he always looks.  He has been known to yell, “I found it” even before I get out of the car.

Both of us were really tired, so our after dinner walk was only about 20 minutes.  That was more than enough for me!

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014---Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California

Do any of you remember the old TV show in which the maid was named Hazel?  Well, my Hazel went into Lone Pine this morning to do laundry.  While he was gone...now don’t faint...I fixed him a big breakfast.  I don’t think I do as good a job as Chef Bill does, but my heart was in the right place!  That should count for something.

We watched a report on George Clooney’s wedding.  They tied the knot.  I wondered what kind of knot...square or overhand.  Bill said, “Maybe it was a granny knot.”  He’s probably correct!

We went caching this morning.  Our first adventure took us up into old mining country.  The road to it was a real challenge.  We finally made it and had to park and walk up a very rocky place.  It was listed a “4” for terrain, and it was ever bit as hard as that.  Wow!  We were able to find the container, log our find, and go back over the same rugged road with no major damage.

After trying to get to another location in the same area, we gave up and drove back to the highway.  Our second, and last, cache of the day was just outside Manzanar Japanese Interment camp used  during WW2.  It is always sobering to visit the site.  That certainly wasn’t one of the better ideas of the USA!

We went for a 25 minute evening walk.  It wasn’t as treacherous as yesterday’s, but we went up and down some fairly steep places.  I did better tonight. And  I could walk up the steps of the motorhome without any extra help!  Yea!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 28, 2014---Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California

There were thunderstorms in the area to the east of us this morning, so we decided not to cache up in the gold mining country.   The weather here was still mostly sunny, so we went for a walk.

The first part of our trek was mostly flat.  Then we decided to go up a hill, which was okay.  However, going up requires going down.  That’s not so easy because of the gravel.  I had Super Hiker there to keep me safe.

All had gone well, so we continued down a dirt road, hoping to go across a gully and go up a hill.  We were nearly to the gully when we discovered the way was blocked by a recent wash out.  We changed course and went down and up to a rise.

I told Bill I needed to rest for a few minutes.  He “parked” me on a big rock while he went to survey the other side of the rise.  He came back with the news that there was a sharp drop off.  We had to go up a slope, but didn’t know what was on the other side of it, either.  I sat on another rock...there are plenty around here...while he once again scoped out the situation.

By the time we finished that last climb I was getting very tired.  The motorhome was in sight, but by the time we got to it my legs were like rubber bands, even though the last part of our walk was mainly flat.  My knight in shining armor had to hoist me up into the motorhome.

When there was a break in the clouds we could see there was snow on Mt. Whitney, to the west.

I sat for a couple of minutes before wobbling to the bed and resting.  Ten minutes later I had recovered, but not enough to make me suggest we go out for another stroll.

We watched the NASCAR race from Dover, Delaware.  Jeff ran well most of the day and in the last 30 laps took the lead and won!  Yea!

While we ate dinner tonight, we watched two episodes of Zorro.  Before the sun set, the rain had started to fall and continued until bedtime.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

September 27, 2014---Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California

Late this morning Bill and I went to the BLM campground not far from where we are parked right now.  We wanted to check to see if their dump station is still available and to see if our friends, Kristi and Ellen, were parked there.  It was a “yes” on the dump station and a “no” on our friends.  

When we got into Lone Pine we reacquainted ourselves with the little town of 2,000 residents.  It didn’t take long!  After eating lunch at McDonald’s, we went to the Visitor Center south of town. There was a cache there and, after signing the log, we went in the center to see their displays of the Owens Lake area.

This part of the state was, at one time, a very fertile farming area.  There was also a lot of mining.  In 1901, the city of LA began buying property for the water rights.  Owens Lake was part of those deals.  Agriculture suffered.  Over the years, the lake was drained.  Run off from the mines had gone into Owens Lake, and now that it has been bone dry for a number of years, the dust blowing off of it is causing problems.  It is toxic.

LA is responsible for fixing the situation.  Some of the dry areas have been planted with something to help with the dust problem.  The part that couldn’t be planted has been graveled, I think.  All of this has to be watered.  LA has installed 2,000 miles of sprinkler system.  The whole thing has been the cause of many law suits and even some water wars.  I wonder how LA has dealt with the Paiute and Shoshone Indians over the years.  The reservation is south of town.  Problems were likely between LA, the Indians, and the “locals.”  It all makes for interesting history of the area.

We found three more caches along Hwy 395.  Then our Nuvi directed us to another one up in the hills.  At least the Nuvi tried to direct us.  We went for several miles over very rough roads.  Some were little more than two tracks.  When we began to notice that the mountain goats were avoiding the terrane, we decided to turn around and consider this one a lost cause.

You can see the alkaline areas of Owens Lake in the distance.
It was an adventurous day...the kind the two of us like!

Friday, September 26, 2014

September 26, 2014---Big Pine to the Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California

While in the the Big Pine area, we visited the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Visitor Center.  Bristlecone Pines are the oldest living things on earth.  Some are over 4,000 years old and still growing.  There was some very interesting information at the Visitor Center.

There were several walking trails, but we didn’t attempt any of them.  At elevation of over 10,000, Bill wasn’t feeling 100% and I wasn’t sure about walking the trails.  These trees have been studied for many years and there was an interesting film about them.

The road to and from the Center was not for the motorhome.  We were glad we had the CRV.  Coming down the road, we stopped at a lookout place.  The switch backs looked like pictures from the Swiss Alps.

As we went around one of the many, many curves, we saw a woman walking.  We stopped and talked to her.  She and her husband had been way back in the forest gathering pine nuts.  They had a flat and couldn’t get the tire off to change it.  She was going for help.  We asked if she wanted a ride.  She was very glad we offered help.  Eight other vehicles had passed by, including two from the Forest Service. 

In all of the years of driving all over the country, we have never picked anyone up.  We both thought it seemed like the right thing to do.  She had lived in the Bishop area all her life and knew some interesting things about this part of California.

This morning we left the campground in Big Pine and were headed south at 7:30.  The wind was calm then.  We decided to go on into Lone Pine and park in the Alabama Hills.  It is one of our favorite places to park for a few days.

By the time we got to Lone Pine and turned west, the wind was beginning to blow and Bill was hanging on to the steering wheel.  We parked the same place as last year.  It wasn’t very long before the wind was blowing from the east.  We were very glad to be off the road.

There are quite a few new geocaches in the area so I spent some time getting everything ready for some “hunting.”  One of them is hidden in a rock formation about 40 ft. from the MH.  We watched a guy search for it this afternoon.  If the wind isn’t blowing so hard tomorrow, we will claim it, too.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September 25, 2014---Big Pine, California

We woke up to very high winds and decided to stay in Big Pine one more day.  The motorhome is rocking just sitting here.  Bill didn’t think it would be too much fun to be “rockin’ and rollin’ down the highway.”

I had plenty of inside jobs to do.  I spent the morning on the computer.  I never seem to get caught up.  

Before you start to read this blog, I want to apologize to Michelle, Max, and all my readers.  I worked and worked to get the pictures with the right text.  I had a terrible time.  I'm sending the pictures with the text at the very end and I'm asking you to match pictures with text.
Max and Willie napping.

Riding shotgun.
Puppy's naptime.

Sara hangs on.
Max making sure his dog food bag is empty.

Napping with Matthew.

Max and Willie playing so hard things were a blur.

This will be a good time to introduce Maximus, aka Max, to everyone, except Meredith and me.  We call him Tippy because of the way his ears tip over at the very tips.  “Tippy” seemed like a good name.

Max was adopted by Michelle and her tribe just about a year ago.  He was eight weeks old.  As puppies go, he was all puppy.  And he is still very active, especially when his “brothers” are around. 

Max loves to spend his days napping in Michelle’s home office.  He’s probably storing energy for “feistiness” when the rest of the family gets home.  Max loves to play tug-of-war and is usually the winner.  He doesn’t give up!  When Willie was visiting Max last summer, it was a match.  Neither one wanted to let go.  He even got Sara involved.  When she was tired, she hung on and so did Max!

When Max was a baby, he had a very skinny tail.  We called it his rat tail.  Now that he is older, his tail is very plummy.  We call it his ostrich feathers.  And it wags a lot.

Max looks like a small munsterlander with a border collie head.  When seeing a bird, he sometimes shows his hunting traits.  He goes into pointer stance with one front paw up.  I think the only prey he ever presented to Michelle was a mouse he caught outside.  He was helping Grandpa with the mouse catching  business.

Max brings so much joy to his new family.  He's a lucky pup and they are lucky to have him.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 24, 2014---Bishop to Big Pine, California

After grocery shopping and fueling at Von’s, we hooked the Honda on and set off for Big Pine.  We parked at a campground, hooked up to electricity, and went geocaching.

There was a big pine tree here at one time, but it is long time.  In 1913, a sequoia was planted.  I wonder if they have ever considered changing the name of the town!

We found eight caches.  Some of them were in terrain like we see in Quartzsite.  We were practicing for Arizona.  We had to drive through three creeks, one of them three times.  That was not like Arizona.

I did a lot of walking, some of it in a rough area.  I was fairly steady on my feet.  I’m so glad I didn’t do any “face plants.”  That made it a really good day for me.

Today, it was sunny, warm, but windy.  That made it good caching weather.  We really enjoyed ourselves.  Tomorrow we continue our journey south on Hwy. 395.  There are caches along the way, so we should have lots of entertainment for the next few days.

I will continue our “family dog feature” tomorrow starring Max!  I finished the California cats and two dogs.  It is time to move on to Colorado...Max, Hapa, and Joey!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 23, 2014---Von’s, Bishop, California

We found four geocaches this morning.  It was rather warm, but three of them were in shady places.  That helped a lot.

We drove to Big Pine to check on a Forest Service Campground.  It was too remote, but we did see something interesting while we were there.  Fish and Game was stocking a stream.  The fish they were releasing were bigger than what we thought they would be putting in.

I made another trip to Ben Franklin Craft Store.  Yippy, Skippy!

Today is Tucker’s turn to be introduced.  He is a wonderful little dog who never gets tired of being scratched...on the head, behind the ears, on his tummy, or wherever.  If the “scratcher” puts down the scratching hand, Tucker puts his nose under the idle hand to let you know he hasn’t been scratched enough.

Tucker was adopted by Lori when he was three years old.  He loves Lori, preferring not to leave her side.  His background isn’t known, but he seems very needy, not wanting Lori out of his sight.  Our family is particularly fond of Schnauzers (We had Muffet for 13 years) and are glad to have Tucker in our family.

He loves to go on walks.  It is interesting...he looks back to make sure Lori is still there.  Hm-m-m!  Who does he thinks holds the leash?  And Tucker loves to go to yoga with Lori.  He stays right beside her mat.

"Will someone please tell me why she gets the big bed?"
Tucker likes to ride in Lori’s van, probably because he knows he won’t be left behind.  He definitely has separation issues.  And Tucker and Maddie are great friends.  They often nap together.  When Tucker is in the motorhome, he likes to sit by Grandpa!

Just like Lori, Tucker is a Denver Bronco fan!

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014---Von’s, Bishop, California

Today, I went to Ben Franklin Craft Store.  I am certainly glad I did.  For several years I have looked for a special kind of paper twist like I used when I was teaching basket making.  I found it at Ben’s!  Wow!  I was so excited I used some of the twist to recreate a loose weave basket I had made years ago.

One of my main reasons for weaving it tonight was to see how much of the paper twist I needed.  I couldn’t remember.  Although I need to make improvements on this style basket, I was able to do the basic weave.  Tomorrow, I will return to the store to get more of the paper twist.

As I told you yesterday, I would introduce Maddie.  Well, here she is.....

This is Madison, but she is usually called Maddie.  Natalia adopted her.  She was a street dog in Oakland and had had a litter of puppies.  For Natalia, it was love at first sight.  

Maddie is adorable.  She has wild hair and a tail that wags most of the time.  And because she is so little, she can hide...which she does if she gets scolded.  She can often be found hiding in the pillows on Lori’s bed.

Maddie and Tucker (Lori’s dog that you will meet next) are best friends.  We often find them curled up together, taking naps.

Maddie has been a wonderful addition to our family.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

September 21, 2014---Von’s, Bishop, California

We spent most of the day watching TV.  We started off with the NASCAR race from New Hampshire.  Jeff did well until about four laps from the finish when he cut down a tire.  Not good!  

Bill needed a nap.  While he was inspecting the insides of his eyelids, I went in search of the Ben Franklin Craft Store here in Bishop.  It was closed, this being Sunday.  Bummer!

Next on the day’s entertainment was the Denver Bronco game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle.  Denver nearly pulled it off, but it ended in a tie.  Seattle won in overtime.  Ugh!

So this seems like a good time take a suggestion that Meredith made this summer.  She said that since I talk about the dogs in the family so often, I should fill you in on some background of these great members of our family.

I had to decide the order of the presentation...smallest to largest, oldest to youngest, etc.  It was a hard decision to make because they are all so special, so I flipped a coin.  “Smallest” goes first.

Tomorrow, you’ll meet Maddie!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

September 20, 2014---Manteca to Von's, Bishop, California

Sunset last night...sunrise this morning.

Sunrise in a smoky sky.

Super Driver was in his seat and on the road before 7:00 this morning.  I was in the naviguesser seat, telling him where to go.  I just love my job!  I take it very seriously and I’m good at it.  I’ve had 54 years of practice.

As we came through Groveland, we were on a parade route.  People were waving and we were honking and waving, too.  This is the second time we’ve been in a parade.  The first parade was for a Strawberry Festival somewhere in Kentucky.  The one today seemed to be pioneer days or gold mining days.  There were a lot of people in Groveland for the occasion.

We saw huge forest fire burns in the Yosemite area and there was smoke in the air.  It must take a long time for the smoke to dissipate.  Signs along the way warned of extreme fire danger. 

We saw huge forest fire burns in the Yosemite area and there was smoke in the air.  It must take a long time for the smoke to dissipate.  Signs along the way warned of extreme fire danger. 


                              Scenes from Yosemite National Forest.

As we drove east toward Tioga Pass, we didn’t see any evidence of fires in the past.  It was a beautiful drive, but lots of traffic coming our way.  

At Lee Vining, we turned south on Hwy. 395.  After stopping at a Rest Area for naps and lunch, we went on into Bishop.  We have stopped there in the past years and knew we could park at Von’s Super Market.

After getting settled, we went to the Inyo National Forest Visitor Center.  Our search for information about camping on public lands was successful.  We have a lot of reading to do before deciding where we might like to spend a few days before continuing our journey south.

Tonight, we watched the Oregon Ducks play Western Washington State.  Although the Ducks managed to win, it wasn’t one of their better efforts.

Friday, September 19, 2014

September 19, 2014---Antioch to Bass Pro Shop, Manteca, California

We had some errands to do this morning.  After returning to WinCo for a few supplies, we went to Costco.  We were in search of peach and mango salsa like we bought in Eugene.  The Costcos in Lori’s area didn’t have it.  I was really disappointed, but maybe I can find out about it on the Internet.

We went home to put our purchases needing refrigeration where they belonged.  Bill said he thought we should go to In-N-Out one more time before leaving the area.  Of course, I didn’t argue...#21.

After dumping the holding tanks and getting everything in “go mode,” we left the county campground at 1:30.  Traffic was fairly heavy, even at that time of day.  

Lathrope was our destination for fuel for the MH.  From there we went to Manteca and parked at Bass Pro Shop.  It didn’t take us very long to go this 51 miles, but we decided it was a good place to stop for the night.

Lori had given us leftover “soul food” so that was our dinner tonight.  After eating, we drove to the Costco in this area in search of the salsa.  No luck!  We went to another WinCo for spices for Michelle.  The prices there for bulk supplies are really good compared to other places.  We returned home with everything she had requested.

The sky tonight was rather smoky looking and it showed up in the sunset picture I took.

Sunset in a smoky sky.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 18, 2014---Elks Lodge to County Fairgrounds, Antioch, California

During the night we had rain.  It was so minimal it wasn’t  measurable, even by Bill’s guage for measuring the distance between rain drops.  The only thing it accomplished was making the dust on the cars more noticable than before.  This area is in a terrible drought and needs rain desparately.  Mother Nature shouldn’t tease like that!

Lori, Tucker, and Maddie came to get me this morning.  We went to their apartment.  Lori started a new weaving class.  She had one of her portable looms warped and ready to begin a project.  Several of her “weaver friends” didn’t show up for the class and I know she was disappointed about that.  It was a nice social group last year, but I hope she will enjoy her weaving time, anyway.

The pups and I watched an English mystery program while she was gone.

Tonight we went to a barbecue place in Pleasant Hill.  The food was good and we had a lot of fun talking, as we always do.  Afterwards, we lined up on the sidewalk for a group picture.  Lori had a new remote gizmo for her phone so we could get everyone in the picture.  JP propped her phone up on Mario’s car and Lori clicked the camera remotely.  He looked at the results and said we needed to move to the right.

Lori’s account of it to her siblings said it all... “It was pretty funny.  A typical Dane moment.  We were using a remote on my phone and JP had us playing seagull (shuffling to the right) until we were all in the photo.  It would have been a hilarious video to watch all of us shuffling.”
Lori, Bill, Raymonda, Mario, Natalia, JP, and Rosy.

Nobody had to say “smile.”  We were all having so much fun.

We said our goodbyes, knowing we won’t be together again for awhile.  Tomorrow, several of us go different directions.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 17, 2014---Elks Lodge to County Fairgrounds, Antioch, California

At about mid morning, we moved the coach from the Elks Lodge to the County Fairgrounds in Antioch.  Soon after we hooked up to electricity, Lori came.

She and I went to lunch at Taco Bell before going to Winco for a few supplies.  We spent quite a bit of time in the bulk food section, mainly on the candy aisle.  Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!

I took a long nap this afternoon.  It is the first one I’ve had in several days.  I have just been too busy for such luxuries.

There is an In-N-Out about two miles from where we have the coach parked now.  Dinner tonight was #20!  We are really going to miss In-N-Out country when we leave this area.  I guess our next encounter will be in Las Vegas.  That’s a few miles away.

On our way home we went Geocaching.  A cache not far from the fairgrounds has alluded us for several years.  Tonight we found it.  Hooray!  It’s about time!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 16, 2014---Elks Lodge, Walnut Creek, California

We got our Wifi difficulty taken care of this morning.  It was a simple fix, but too technical for these two geezers.

Last night we went to see JP and Rosy in their new “digs” in Martinez.  After visiting for a while, we decided to go out for ice cream.  We haven’t spent much time in this area, but have heard the sidewalks are rolled up at dark.  It’s true!  After driving around for about 30 minutes and not finding an ice cream shop open, we went home and had cupcakes made by our hosts earlier in the day.  

JP and Rosy have two cats.  Kitty (I call her iCat because she belongs to my MAC guru grandson) is a breed called a Munchkin.  She has short legs and has some of the same colorings as a Siamese.  She is very pretty.

Last year, JP and Rosy adopted “Lulu.”  She was shy at first, but gradually appeared more during the evening.  She loves to play laser light tag.  That little cat can really move.

Kitty, aka iCat

Lulu and Kitty resting after a game of laser light tag.

Another thing of notable importance not reported on yesterday was visit #19 to In-N-Out!

I spent the first half of today finishing a project on Lori’s sewing machine.  (I started sewing on my mother’s Singer when I was five years old.  I called it a “masewing sheen.”)  I made a lot of progress today and was able to return the borrowed piece of equipment to Lori.

For dinner, Lori fixed Texas Soul Food, which is what our family calls pinto beans with ham hocks, pan fried potatoes and okra, cornbread, and relish Lori made from my Grandmother’s recipe. (It is sometime called Chow-chow.)  All the food was so-o-o-o good.  Lori sent us home with leftovers.  Yippy! Skippy!

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014---Elks Lodge, Walnut Creek, California

We are having trouble with our Wifi.  I am having to use a backup system.  Hopefully it will be working properly tomorrow and I can “play catch up.”

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September 14, 2014---Elks Lodge, Walnut Creek, California

When Bill and I were in Junction City having some work done on the motorhome we met Steve and Jean from Gilroy, California, also there with their rig for work.  With them was their Burmese Mountain Dog, Max.  He and I became good friends.

After we arrived in Walnut Creek, they sent a message to us, we communicated, and today we drove to Gilroy to visit with them.  They have a beautiful home a few miles east of town.  They have a great view of the coastal mountains west of Gilroy.  We sat on their patio and talked about motorhoning, among other things.

"Max, you and I both know I came to see you, but don't tell your mom and dad.  It's our  secret.  OK?"
Their son, Mike, was there, also.  He and I talked about rescue dogs. (We have five of those in our family...Joey, Hapa, Max, Tucker and Maddie.  I listed them by size.)  He does a lot of work with rescue dogs in the Gilroy area.  He is working to socialize his rescued pup, Myra.  At first, she wouldn’t leave his side, but after some minutes time she began to come close to both Bill and me.

Max likes lots of attention and, of course, I was happy to oblige him.  He’s a big, wooly, wonderful heap of black fur.

We went to lunch at Chevy's and continued talking about places we have visit

Before leaving the area, Bill and I went to Walmart for some supplies and stopped at Camping World for a running light cover.  The drive back to the Elks Lodge was fairly uneventful.  Lori came to collect and she, Mario, and I watched the 49ers game.  Sadly, they blew it in the last half.

Bill stayed at home to watch the NASCAR race from Chicago.  Jeff did well, but didn’t win.  Darn!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

September 13, 2014---Elks Lodge, Walnut Creek, California

Bill fixed us a good breakfast today.  We needed strength for the football game scheduled to start at 11:00.

The Oregon Ducks were playing Wyoming.  During the first quarter it was kind of close, with Wyoming scoring first.  But, true to form, the Ducks finished at 48 to 14.  They were rated second in the nation, but I didn’t see all the scores for this week.  Maybe that will change.

I did some work at my desk while the game was on.  I would rather do that than just watch a game.  I’m even getting better at multitasking.

We had a special treat tonight.  We watched two Randolph Scott movies.  We must be getting in gear for the Lone Pine Film Festival in October.  Yeehaw!

The temperature didn’t get as high today as it has the last few days, but it didn’t matter to me.  I had so many indoor things to keep me busy, I didn’t even set foot out of the house all day.  Sometimes I really enjoy those kinds of days. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

September 12, 2014---Elks Lodge, Walnut Creek, California

Today was a very busy day.  Bill and I found a cache about 500 feet from the Elks Lodge parking lot.  It was up a hill and back down the hill to a bridge.  Bill found it in a magnetic key holder on the back side of one of the metal support beams on the bridge.

We went on several errands...Sprouts Farm Store for fruit, parts houses for a light cover for the MH, Walmart, and Dollar Tree.  And as luck would have it, lunch time came at about the time In-N-Out came into view.  How’s that for timing?  That’s visit #18 for 2014.

I spent some time this afternoon on my quilt project and I made quite a bit of progress.  I have started some of the basting so I’m beginning to see the “fruits of my labor.”

At 5:30, Deidra came to get me to go to a party at Lori’s.  It is something we do every year.  Usually, it is an “ornament party,” but this year we decided to take a break from our usual event and just have a get together.  Candi and Karen were there, also.  I have known all these women for a long time and it was good to see each of them.  We had so much to catch up on.  I’ve watch their kids grow up, so I had a bunch of news to hear.

We had a pot luck kind of dinner and had way too much food.  But it was all really good.  We sat on the patio and talked and laughed and talked and laughed.  After our dinners had a chance to settle, we had dessert...key lime pie, chocolate mousse with raspberries and whipped cream, zucchini cobbler, and coconut “cake,” which was kind of a cross between a cake and a cobbler.

It was a busy, fun kind of day!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11, 2014---Elks Lodge, Walnut Creek, California

At 10:00 this morning, Lori, Natalia and I drove to Emoryville.  Our destination was IKEA.  We actually weren’t there very long, like we usually are.  But we were there long enough to have Swedish meatballs for an early lunch.

Natalia waiting for Lori and me to catch up in IKEA.

I had all of my high tech gizmos at Lori’s so I took the time to do some software updating using her Internet connection.  She went to the grocery store while I did my computer things.

I regret to say that I am not good at taking “selfies.”  This afternoon, I was sitting on the sofa typing on my computer.  Tucker, Lori’s black schnauzer was beside me with his head on the laptop right next to my hands.  It would have been a wonderful picture, but alas, I couldn’t make it happen.

This afternoon, Lori made a really good cobbler using zucchini.  It tasted as much like peach as anything else.  At this time of year, when anyone with a garden has way more zucchini than they can use or give away, Lori thought she had hit upon a great recipe.  And we all agreed as we sampled the results.

JP and Rosy came to Lori’s for dinner tonight.  Of course, Natalia and Mario were there, although he had a cold and wasn’t feeling well.  She served shish kabobs, steamed cauliflower, and rice.  For dessert she had chocolate fondue with strawberries, bananas, pound cake, Rice Crispy squares, and marshmallows for dipping. 

We sat on the patio to eat and visited even after all the fondue was gone.  It was a nice evening with family.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September 10, 2014---Elks Lodge, Walnut Creek, California

 Lori came after her yoga class.  We were meeting Karen Trestrail for lunch.  Natalia was coming, too.  Lori and I have known Karen since her son, Ian, and JP were in school together from Kindergarten until high school graduation.  We went to California Pizza Kitchen.

Afterwards, Lori and I went to Hobby Lobby, one of our favorite places to shop.  We are both so glad that company has moved into this area.

Back at Lori’s apartment, I worked on a wreath with stars while she was making a new creation with corks and bells.  We just never run out of things to do.

Bill came in time to take us for a very unusual dinner experience.  Every Wednesday, food vendor trucks come to the area in front of Pleasant Hill City Hall.  There were ten trucks and lots and lots of people there to buy their dinners.  Some diners were sitting on the lawn to eat.  Plenty of chairs were set up around so that’s where we ate.  Music was being played over a speaker, but a live band was setting up to perform just before we left.

Bill had a brisket sandwiches and Lori and I had empanadas.  Notice on the menu board ox tails and grits (smothered with gravy) was listed.  Since Brent wasn't here to share that culinary delight with me, I chose something traditional.

Afterwards, we went to an ice cream place for desert.  Some of the flavors were rather unusual.  I had never seen avocado ice cream so I sampled it.  Although it was good, I chose Chongos Zamorans, a Mexican desert.  It was some sort of sweet cottage cheese...very rich and very good.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 9, 2014---Elks Lodge, Walnut Creek, California

After a slow start to the morning, we got into high gear.  We collected Lori after she went to yoga and walked Tucker and Maddie.  We went to Sam’s Club for lunch and just a wee bit of shopping.  

From there, we went to Dollar Tree in Concord.  It is a new store and very big.  Lori and I both had several things to get so it took us a while.  Bill stayed in the car most of the time.  He came in for a short time to make sure I was getting an item he needed.  Neither one of us could find it, so he went back out to sit in the Honda.

We went to Costco, but they were so terribly busy we left.  The check out lines were really long.  Maybe other people are doing Christmas shopping like me!

Bill left us at Lori’s and he went back to the motorhome, most likely for a nap.  Lori and I had “other fish to fry,” as my grandmother use to say.  While Lori made zucchini bread, I looked through some of her craft projects.  She is very well organized and knew just where everything was.  I also spent some time watching a video of a beading project tutorial on her iPad.  Just what I need...more great ideas!

Michael came to take us to dinner.  We went to Lafayette to a really good Mexican place.  We sat on the patio.  The weather was perfect for eating outside.  The food was delicious, but the company was better.  We sat and visited about places we had traveled to over the years.  It was interesting to hear about Michael’s travels.  He’s been bitten by the travel bug, just like us all those years ago.

When Bill and I got home, I worked on a little of this and a little of that.  I am very good at it!

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 8, 2014---Elks Lodge, Walnut Creek, California

I took a break from my quilt project and spent the morning “unheaping” the desk.  It has really suffered lately.  Right now the small ironing board and iron are still on it.  I’ll deal with them later.  I did stash the cutting board so there is at least a little room to work now.  I had a lot of computer work that needed to be done, and I made a good dent in it today.

Bill and I went to Lori’s early this afternoon.  He was going to do the laundry in her machines while Lori and I went to see my knee surgeon,  Dr. Tischenko.  We had quite a long wait, but it was worth it.  He was glad to see me and I was glad to see him.  He wanted to know if we still lived in our RV and I asked about his son, who was in law school the last I heard.

I had both of my knees x-rayed, as well as my right hip.  I hurt it when I took a really hard fall on a geocache in the Yuma area last February.  It still bothers me sometime.  My knees are doing great, and my hip didn’t show any kind of a break.  In his examination of my hip, it didn’t take him but a couple of seconds to find the very sore place.

He suggested I get a cortisone shot for relief.  I did.  It was no big deal and I really hope it helps.  Dr. T said he was having some knee problems.  I told him I knew a really good doctor I would be glad to recommend.  He laughed, said “I’m not letting anyone here cut on me,” and walked out of the room.  He’s such a great guy...he cares!

Lori fixed bacon and tomato sandwiches for supper.  That’s one of my favorite kinds of sandwiches.  I also had avocado on mine.  After we ate, Bill was ready to go home.  We sent him on his way and Lori and I went to JoAnn’s Fabric in Concord.  They have a really big store there.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

September 7, 2014---Elks Lodge, Walnut Creek, California

This morning, I continued on my quilting project.  I didn’t make any mistakes that I know of.  I am in need of some more fabric so I hope Lori will be able to help me with that.  She knows the good places to shop for that kind of thing.

JP, my MAC guru, came to help me with some things.  He has so much knowledge and I have so little.  There were several areas I needed his help on and, as usual, he came through like a champ.  And then Grandpa needed some help.  Not as much as me, but some, nonetheless.

After we finished the computer lessons/fixes, we sat and talked.  JP is such a special person in our lives, and we are very happy when we can spend some time with him.

Bill and I went to Lori’s late this afternoon.  She and her dad went to Panda Express to bring dinner back to her townhouse.  That’s always a good choice.  While we ate we watched the Bronco game.  At half time, we came back to finish the game at home.  They had a good first half, but lagged during the second half.  Fortunately, they were able to hold the Colts off, but it wasn’t pretty.

Up date---In-N-Out count as of yesterday, 17.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

September 6, 2014---Elks Lodge, Walnut Creek, California

The Elks Lodge sponsored a dog show today.  It was a small one, but it was their first time to have the event.  I don’t think the Westminster Kennel Club needs to be concerned about the competition, but it was a fun event.  There were seven booths, plus the Boy Scouts serving lunch.

One of the activities was the dog competition.  There weren’t very many entries, but it was a fun event to watch.  One was for best costume.  The dog in the hula skirt won.  It was the only entry.  Just before it entered the “ring” the grass skirt fell off.  It was funny.  If Maddie had been there in her scuba diving costume I’m sure she would have won the blue ribbon.  

The dog with blue eyes won for the prettiest eyes  There were about five entries for that one.  Hapa, if you had been here you would have won with your one brown eye and one blue eye.  And Joey would be a shoo in for the best trick...two tennis balls in his mouth at once.  A “dancing dog” beat out two others.

Of about seven entries in the tail wagging contest, the winner was the only one to wag its tail.  The others were a big disappointment to their owners, I’m sure.  Willie, where were you?  You would have knocked all the rest out of the contest, both literally and figuratively.

Tucker certainly would be the winner of the most obedient.  When Lori walks him, he seldom leaves her side.

There was a droopy ear contest, with only one entry.  Maybe next time they will have a prize for “tippy ears.”  That would be yours to win, Max.

There was a lot of good information on rescue dogs and on service dogs.  I was particularly interested in how dogs can be trained to help people with diabetes.  Two vendors of pet supplies had booths.  I was able to do a little Christmas shopping.

Natalia came at 2:00 with Tucker and Maddie.  The show was already over, so we all went to In-N-Out for a late lunch.  I’m sure all five of us had naps in mind when we parted company.  I know Rip and I did.

Bill and I watched Oregon whip up on Michigan State and then watched the NASCAR race.  Jeff was second.  It wasn’t a particularly exciting race, but it must have been a hot one.  Jimmie Johnson collapsed from heat exhaustion and had to be taken to the Infield Care Center on a stretcher.  I think it was a wonder he finished the race!