Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another week stuck in Washington


Sunday, May 31, 2009                                                                                         Lorraine’s Report

Well, another week has flown by and we are still here in Birch Bay, WA at Beachwood RV Park. Since last week we’ve been busy seeing family, friends and doctors.

Last Sunday, my sister, Thelma had a Memorial Day Picnic. Her children and grand children were there and our friends, Dennis and Barb were there part of the day. There was tons of food and friendship; a great time was had by all.

Monday, Chuck and I took flowers up to my parent’s and my two brother’s graves. It was a beautiful day here, and the cemetery was very crowded.

Tuesday was spent visiting the doctors. Chuck had an appointment with his urologist and I went to the gastroenterologist. Chuck has to have a biopsy Tuesday this week because of the lump they found in his prostrate. My doctor took a bunch of tubes of blood, trying to find out why my liver went south. Hopefully, everything will turn out alright for both of us.

Wednesday, our friend, Rob asked Chuck to go to Canada with him for work on his truck. The gals, Norma and Barb and I went shopping and then to lunch, and then more shopping, fun for all.

Thursday, we had to move from TT/Naco West to here, Beachwood. We moved into a 30 amp spot since all the 50 amps were full, mostly with campers and smaller trailers.

We had a call from Sharon and TJ, our friends whose lot we stayed at in Yuma, AZ in February this year. They live in Ferndale and invited us over to see Larry and Kathy, who are up from Yuma. They have the lot next door to Sharon and TJ in Yuma. Larry is a local boy and is visiting family and friends. We went over and played “Pegs and Jokers”. The gals won all three games for the world championship, then we went to dinner at a Mexican Restaurant, then back to Sharon’s home for more visiting.

Friday was chores day. We were in town and had a call from Richard and Sandy. They has just gotten their marriage license and wanted to meet us for lunch. We went and had a nice visit and lunch, then decided to meet Saturday afternoon to plan their Bachelor/Bachelorette party for next month.

We came home and Dennis and Barb were back and had started a fire. Rob and Norma were there also. So we went over and had hot dogs and marsh mellows for dinner. The fire was wonderful. And I think the best way to eat hot dogs is over an open fire. What a beautiful evening it was.

Saturday, I asked Chuck to invite Rob and Norma, and Barb and Dennis over for breakfast, only Barb and Dennis had left for groceries. While cooking breakfast, one of the 50 amp spots opened up so Chuck went over and parked the car in the spot. We had our breakfast, then packed up and moved. Another spot had opened up, which we tried, but couldn’t get satellite for the TV, so we moved into the first spot. We were able to get TV, so we took this spot.

Then it was time to make food to take to Richard’s for the planning meeting for the Bachelor/Bachelorette Party. I took a Salmon salad, Salmon dip, watermelon and potato chips. He had all the rest of the food. The plans were made, depending on whether we have to stay for Chuck, or we can go to Alaska as planned. We will know more next week. We will then finalize everything after we hear from Chuck’s doctors.

We came home and I rested and then went over to Barb and Dennis’s campfire. It was a really mild evening and the fire was wonderful. Thank you everyone.

I heard from Dorothy and Tom this week, they are one of the couples going to Alaska with the group. They are in Montana, and were talking with another couple in the campground, who said they were going to Alaska with a group. Well, it turns out the other couple was Joe and Loretta, who are meeting up with us and are going to Alaska with Mark and Sue and us. Small World I say.

So that was our week; busy, but fun, full of family, food, friends, and doctors.

This week Chuck sees the gastro doctor on Monday, has the biopsy on Tuesday, has an upper GI test on Wednesday, and I get my blood test results on Thursday. It will be another busy week. We are praying for the best and hopefully will get to go to Alaska. If not, then there’s next year. Richard, are you still going next year?

Till next time….Bye for now….


Sunday May 31, 2009                                                                                                          Chuck’s Report

Boy is hitch itch setting in, we want to be on the road!!  So far, the doctors haven’t found anything terribly wrong with us and we only have one more round of them this week.  Our biggest issue has been making appointments in a timely manner, seems they want to make them out three weeks or more.  Oh well, nothing we can do about it but follow their schedules instead of ours.  But at least we are in a nice park while we are waiting, the picture below shows our site.  Notice the shade, we’ve actually had very nice weather for most of the past week and we are starting to dry out some.  And we are just a 1/4 mile or so from the bay, a nice area when the weather is this nice. 

DSCN4770 Yep, that’s us.

Lorraine’s sister, Thelma, invited us over to their house last Sunday for a Bar-B-Q.  John fixed up pork and beef ribs plus all the usual stuff, very good.  We had a very good time visiting as well as enjoyed the meal. 

DSCN4744 DSCN4748Brother in law, John and Lorraine’s sister, Thelma

 DSCN4747 DSCN4751 Thelma’s oldest daughter, Kari and husband, Paul and another one of John. 

Tuesday both Lorraine and I visited doctors, she had 7 large vials of blood drawn so they could run a bunch of tests, still trying to figure out why she got sick earlier this year.  Hope they can figure it out as she isn’t able to take her normal medicine for arthritis and its acting up while we are here.  My doctor just checked me and made another appointment for this week.  So as it stands now, I have doctor appointments on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Lorraine has one on Thursday.  If everything is good, we are outta here on Friday.  If we are held up until the following week, that means we don’t head to Alaska until July or maybe we will just wait until next year as we’re already 3 weeks behind our original schedule. 

On Thursday we moved from 1000 Trails back to Beachwood park.  I also drove into Bellingham to fill the diesel and propane tanks so we can just head out this week.  There are only a few sites with 50 amp here and we couldn’t get one until Saturday when we moved to our current site so now we are set. 

Our fiends that are traveling to Alaska with us, Rob and Norma, are also here as well as Barb, who’s husband, Dennis, had to work this week.  Lorraine has gone shopping a couple of times with the gals, Rob and I went to Canada to get some work on his truck on Wednesday.  We’ve also had a couple of nights out at the fire pit with these folks.  Last night Dennis was back and we had another night at the fire with John and Thelma coming out too.  

DSCN4776Barb and Dennis at the start of the weekend. 

DSCN4774 DSCN4775 They start getting this way as the weekend wears down, I think it’s because he still has a J-O-B.

 DSCN4773Dennis and Rob, Rob is retired and doesn’t go through the same transformation. 

Thursday we got a call from our fiends TJ and Sharon.  These are the folks that allowed us to stay at their lot with them in Yuma for a month this past winter.   We also met their neighbors, Larry and Kathy while there.  Well, Larry and Kathy were in the area visiting with TJ and Sharon and they invited us over to play Pegs and Jokers and go to dinner.  We haven’t played Pegs and Jokers since the winter, guess I’m out of practice as the gals won all three games.  They wouldn’t play one more, winner take all so they have bragging rights until next time we met up with these fine folks. 

DSCN4759 DSCN4761 Chuck, Larry and TJ.  Sharon, Kathy and Lorraine.

DSCN4767 Another picture of Lorraine, you can tell where Susy and Kaitlyn get their smiles from.

Saturday we went over to Richard’s house so Lorraine could work on wedding and bachelor/bachelorette party plans.  They are getting married on June 27 and we are standing up or them.   

DSCN4769 Sandy and Richard at lunch.

The other folks that are traveling to Alaska with us are also heading towards Canada.  Tom/Dorothy were in a park in Montana taking with with a couple they just met.  It seems this couple were heading to Alaska too and they got to talking about their schedule and who they were traveling with.  Small world, it was Joe/Loretta who are going with us, they didn’t know each other until meeting at a this park.  Mark/Sue got their maintenance work completed and are going to meet with Bob/Vicky before crossing the border.  We are all meeting in Dawson Creek on June 10 before beginning our trip up North.  Really looking forward to this trip!!!

Depending on the doctor’s finding this week, we will be here until at least this Friday.  If they postpone us any longer, we have plan B and plan C in our minds and will work on them.  Here’s hoping plan A is a go and we get on the road.  Even though we have had nice weather and we’ve enjoyed visiting with family and friends, I’m ready to go - - North to Alaska.

Thanks   Chuck

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Unexpected visit with Susy and her family


Sunday, May 24, 2009                                                                                                         Lorraine’s Report

I hope everyone is enjoying this Memorial Day weekend, we are. Well, another week just flew by.

We are still here at Thousand Trails/Naco West in Birch Bay, WA. The weather the past couple of days has been great, and the TV weatherman has said this is the first time in the past 30 some odd years that this Whole weekend will be sunny and warm; at least warm for the full time residents who are here year round; and by that I mean in the high 60’s to low 70’s.

Since I last wrote, we’ve been to Seattle twice, down to Anacortes once, over to Lynden once, and into Bellingham a bunch of times.

Last weekend Susy, Kaitlyn and Mark flew into Seattle for another short visit. Mark’s mom had bought them tickets to go see a children’s play “Good Night Moon’ last Christmas. They came up for that. Susy called us to come down Monday, spend the day with them, and then drive them to the airport Monday night, since Mary can’t leave Bill alone. We went down early Monday morning, did some running on the way down and then spent the day with all of them. We left by 4 pm, took Kaitlyn to a park to play, then went to dinner before we dropped the kids off at the airport. What a nice visit with Susy, Kaitlyn, Mark and his parents.

Tuesday was errands day. Then we took my sis, Thelma and BIL, John with our friends, Rob and Norma, and Barb to Northwood Casino for the $2.00 buffet. It was simple, but very good food.

Wednesday, Norma and Barb invited me to go shopping with them; Barb had left her bag of clothing home in Squamish, BC, and needed to get a few things. We had a great afternoon, and no one came home empty-handed, only some of us had bought more than others.

Thursday, Chuck had a doctor’s appointment in Seattle at 10 am. We left here at 7:15, had to stop for gas and Mickey D’s for breakfast, and got there by 9:15. They took Chuck in by 9:30 and I ran to Nordstrom’s to look for my special bras. He was out by 11:30ish and we then drove up to Lake Tyee to see friends, Steve and Sandy. We spent the afternoon with them. They have a very nice spot up there by the creek. Not wanting to leave them, we decided to meet them and their neighbor, Janet and her hubby, Todd,  Friday evening for dinner at Northern Lights Casino for the Friday night Crab feed.

We then drove back to Bellingham and stopped at the airport where I purchased tickets for Susy and Kaitlyn to come back into B’ham when we are here for the wedding at the end of June. We got back home around 7:15, a long twelve hour day.

Friday was shopping for food for the Memorial Day get together with my sister and her family. All the stores here were packed, and everywhere was busy.

Saturday is the annual “Ski to Sea” Parade. This is a two hour parade with bands, floats and entries from around the area. This used to be called the “Blossom Time Parade”. It is now named for the race that starts at the top of Mount Baker where several members of hundreds of different teams ski, cross-country ski, bike, run, cross-country bike, canoe, and sail/kayak down to Fairhaven, the end of the 90 mile race.  Fairhaven then has a festival with food, vendors and music going on all day.

I was at the parade with my sister and her family, it was a very nice parade and we all enjoyed it very much. I ran some more errands, then came home and started preparing food for the get together today.

So another week has passed very quickly. This week we both have doctor’s appointments of Tuesday. We will then decide whether we will stay or go.

Till next time, Happy Memorial Day, I hope this finds everyone well.


Sunday 5/24/09                                                                                                                Chuck’s Report

First, I would like to wish everyone a happy Memorial day.  I also would like to thank all the military veterans out there, as well as thank those currently serving.  Remember, all veterans gave some, some gave all!!  It is because of them that we can live and enjoy our lives here in this great country of ours.  

We had a fairly uneventful week, just one doctor visit in Seattle that went well.  We also had a call from Susy letting us know they would be in Seattle last weekend, leaving on Monday.  Of course, we wanted to spend time with them when they are close so we headed down to Mark’s parent’s house and saw them on Monday.  Following are some pictures of Kaitlyn and Mark in his parent’s swimming pool. 

DSCN4723 DSCN4726


DSCN4740Mark’s parents, Mary and Bill, really nice folks.   

DSCN4743 Kaitlyn high fiving a bear carving outside the restaurant.   

On Thursday, we had to return to Seattle for another doctor visit for me, everything checked out ok once again. 

On the trip back we were able to stop by and visit with our friends Steve and Sandy at their place in the foothills North of Seattle.  We met these fine folks in Red Bay last spring and spent some time with them in Arizona this winter.   We also got together with their friends Janet and Todd for a seafood buffet on Friday evening.  Once again, we had a good time visiting with them and enjoyed meeting and visiting with Janet and Todd.  Here are pictures of Steve/Sandy and their place with a nice stream right behind them. 


A picture showing a different perspective of Mt. Baker on the return trip.


Every spring this area has a week celebration called Ski to Sea.  They have a carnival, a kids plus a regular parade and on Sunday they have a race.  The race is from the top of Mt. Baker to a city park on the bay.  The teams consists of a cross county skier, downhill skier, runner, mountain biker, kayaker and sail boater, each taking a portion of the race.  On Saturday, Lorraine met with some of her family to watch the parade, here is a picture of them along the route.  


Later today we are going to Lorraine’s sister’s house for a Memorial day get-together and Bar-B-Q, I plan on getting a good picture of BIL John this time, ha.  Should be a good time, it always is. 

This week should be more of the same, we have doctor visits on Tuesday, here’s hoping for more good news.  So far all the tests have been good, here’s hoping for more of the same.  We plan on visiting with some of our friends and enjoy a card or domino game this week too. 

So until next time - - - -  Chuck



Sunday, May 17, 2009

We’re at 1000 Trails in Birch Bay


Saturday, May 16, 2009                                                                                                    Lorraine’s report

Time sure flies when you’re busy, I can’t believe another week has passed.

We just got home from a shift picnic from BP, Chuck’s former employer. The crew had an incident on Easter and they handled the situation well; this was their “Thank You”.

We were invited to attend at the Company Rec area today. It was sunny, warm for here and it turned out to be a very enjoyable day. Great company, great food, great weather, you can’t ask for more. Thank you everyone for including us in your celebration. We do appreciate your many kindnesses, and it was so great to see and visit with everyone again.

We spent the week visiting doctors, we took the car in for recalls, I had my hair done,

Chuck had a new switch put in the car for towing, our friends, Rob and Norma came in from Vancouver Island. They are going with us to Alaska and are happy we have a little delay in leaving; this gives them a chance to rest from gearing up and getting their home ready to leave for the summer. We went Thursday evening to Tulalip Casino for dinner and met up with Barb and Dennis, Dennis’s brother, Tom and his wife Pat, our friends, Rob and Norma, and we took my sister, Thelma and John. It was a good buffet and then we played for a little while. I think everyone enjoyed the outing.

Oh, I forgot, we had to leave Beachwood on Friday, so we moved to Thousand Trails, Naco West here in Birch Bay. When we were here last August, we didn’t know this camp ground had 50 amp, it was pretty full. They have 50 amp in about a dozen spots, we picked one this time, sure makes it nice.

That’s it for this week, next week is looking to be almost as busy as this week has been.

I want to wish a Happy Birthday to my nephew, Joshua.

Till next time…….Lorraine

Sunday 5/17/09                                                                                                                     Chuck’s Report

We could only stay at Beachwood campground for two weeks, have to be out for at least one week before we go back.  We attempted to “buy” our week out but they were already overbooked and said no way so we had to move.  We’ve moved about 3 miles to a TT that we’ve stayed at before but never realized they had 50 amp power available on Phase One side.  I would imagine it will fill up next week, being Memorial week but for now, it’s not even half full, it’s quiet and we have all the utilities we need. 

This past week was another one full of doctor visits.  At least they haven’t found any problems and have eliminated a couple of things for me, still working on why Lorraine got so sick.  But at least things are progressing and nothing bad was reported to us.

We also took our car in for three recalls.  The closest Saturn dealer is in Mount Vernon, about 35 miles away.  They did give us a rental car for the day so it wasn’t too bad.  The reason we haven’t had the recalls completed before now was because the biggest one was for the windshield wipers getting hung up during a heavy snow.  As it didn’t snow too much this winter (where we were, anyway), I wasn’t too worried about the repairs.

There is an Indian casino about 30 miles away from here that has a senior citizen’s buffet on Tuesdays for only $2.00.  So we tried it out, not too bad but definitely not one of the best we’ve been to, that’s for sure. 

One of the couples that we will be traveling to Alaska with, Rob and Norma, live in British Columbia.  They have been busy getting everything in order to leave and travel up North.  Well, they came down to Beachwood on Wednesday evening and we had a good visit with them. 

DSCN4704 Rob and Norma inside our coach the night they got to Beachwood.

On Thursday, some more of our friends from British Columbia were overnighting at an Indian Casino just North of Seattle for one night.  Rob and Norma drove their rig down to visit with them, we decided to drive our car down after an afternoon doctor visit and spend the evening with the group too.  We picked up Lorraine’s sister and BIL, Thelma and John. and drove down to meet with these good folks.  We visited for a short while then headed into the casino for their buffet.  This one was much better and I must say, I left too full.  Plus Lorraine and I both won there, a total of 52 cents for me, $1.00 for Lorraine, yea!.   Rob and Norma came back to Beachwood on Friday but we didn’t get a chance to visit with them again, yet.

DSCN4706 Here’s the gang just before we headed inside for the buffet.  As promised I finally got a picture of John, he’s third from the left in the back row.  I’ll try to get a better picture this week.

Back in my working days (man, I love to say that), I worked at an oil refinery in the operations department.  Our job was to run the plant safely, make the products required and handle any upsets/emergency conditions in the proper, safe manner.  On Easter Sunday, my old crew was on duty when they lost electrical power to their area of the plant.  Now this is in a part of the plant where oil is heater up to 625F and under pressure.  The loss of power is one of the worst conditions to handle as they don’t have all the normal equipment available to handle the problem.  Well, long story short, they were able to shut down their units safely, with no fires or oil outside of the pipes, a very good thing.  Because of the way they handled this problem, their foreman, Mike, wanted to thank them by having a bar-b-q for them and their families on Saturday.  They were kind enough to invite Lorraine and me to come out to the rec area with them.  We had a very nice time visiting with them and their families plus Mike did a great job on the grill.  Thanks for the invite and treating us so well guys, even though I don’t work there, you still made us feel welcome and I’m glad you handled the upset so well. 

DSCN4711 DSCN4714 DSCN4716 DSCN4718 DSCN4719 DSCN4721 DSCN4722 Once again I didn’t get pictures of everyone and some aren’t very good shots but this is what I have.

So another week has gone by, just a couple more and we should be heading up towards Alaska.  We have plans to meet up with 4 couples in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. the official beginning point on the Alaskan Highway, mile 0, on June 10th.  I figured we will put between 4 and 5,000 miles on the coach before we return to the lower 48 this fall.  Anyway, more on our trip later, just wanted to say we were here for two more weeks then on to another great adventure.

So till next time - - -  Chuck

Monday, May 11, 2009

Our second week at Beachwood


Monday, May 11, 2009                                                                                                     Lorraine’s Report

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all our family and friends who are Mother’s out there. We had a great Mother’s Day! Our daughter, Susy and Grand daughter, Kaitlyn flew up here for a visit on Wednesday evening and spent the past five days with us. We drove them back to Seattle yesterday afternoon to Mark’s parent’s home. On the way there we stopped at the Skagit Valley Tulip fields, only to learn they topped them on Thursday. We stopped at Tulip Town and walked through their planted gardens. Kaitlyn had fun and we enjoyed the many colors and varieties still blooming, and it was warm and sunny for a change. It was so nice to have Kaitlyn and Susy here for Mother’s Day. And, my son, Rick called from the Keys in Florida. He’s there resting his shoulder per doctor’s orders. He said it was one hundred fifty degrees difference in temperature from where he was a month ago. That sure is a huge difference.

We had doctor visits this week and we both need to have further visits with other doctors. Hopefully, everything will go well and we’ll still be able to make the Alaska trip.

We also saw our financial planner and had him change some things.

On Saturday, my sister, Thelma had a get together for all of us to celebrate Mother’s Day early. I think there were about fifteen of us. There was tons of food, lots of laughter and we ended the evening playing Mexican Train. It was so good to be together again. I’ve missed that part of family events while we’re traveling on the road.

On Saturday at noon was Sandy’s fitting for her wedding dress. She sure looked beautiful in it. I think she picked the perfect dress for her big day. We are looking forward to being there for her and Richard.

That’s it for this week…so bye for now……Lorraine

May 11, 2009                                                                                                                     Chuck’s Report

How about a belated HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the mother’s out there.  I hope you had a very good day. 

We are in the middle of our time here back “Home”.  I had almost forgotten how the area gets and stays so green, RAIN, RAIN and more RAIN!  We’ve had more rain in almost any given two days than we had this past winter in Arizona.  Although we really like this area, it sure rains too much for my (changed) taste.  Also, they had more rain, snow and cold temperatures than normal the past two winters, glad we weren’t here for that too.  And, my sun tan is fading. 

This week was the first round of our doctor visits, of course, our primary doctor wants us to see some other specialist before he will release us to travel to Alaska.  He hasn’t found anything bad but wants to rule out a couple of things for me and get more information on why Lorraine got so sick in San Diego in March.  The last of these visits require us to stay here longer than expected but our original timeline still works.  However, if these specialists require further visits, it may effect our trip timeline.  But here’s hoping for good news and a release so we can get back to our travels. 

Susy and Kaitlyn were able to come up for a quick visit for Mother’s day.  They stayed with us so Lorraine got lots of baby time and some time alone with Susy at their favorite mall stores.  They flew into Bellingham on Wednesday and we drove them down to her in-laws in Seattle on Sunday where they met up with our SIL Mark.  He was able to came up to spend some time with his family and check on how his father is doing.

On Saturday we went to Lorraine’s sister Thelma’s house for a nice visit and a Mother’s day dinner.  She had most of here family there plus us and our friend Tim even stopped by for a quick visit with everyone. 

One other thing we managed to squeeze in was a visit to our financial advisor, Jamie, at his office.  We changed some of our investing goals and we hope to sleep better when/if the market tanks again. 

And now for the pictures:

The following are some pictures taken at Thelma’s house on Saturday.  Looking over our pictures, I see we once again neglected to take any pictures of my BIL John.  But we will see them before we leave, maybe I’ll finally get him in the camera lens.

DSCN4583 DSCN4588 Thelma, Kerri and Paul.

DSCN4592DSCN4631Rose, Joshua, Patrick and Susy.

DSCN4635 DSCN4636 Patrick, Ashley and Patrick.

DSCN4637 DSCN4638 Carl, Joshua and Ashley’s new kitty.

DSCN4640 DSCN4642 Kaitlyn, Rose and Kerri.

DSCN4644 DSCN4648 Ashley, Thelma and Susy. 

On the way to Seattle, we stopped at the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley.  All the fields had just been topped this week but this place had some still growing.  Too bad the fields were picked, they make great pictures. 

DSCN4657   DSCN4672

DSCN4676 DSCN4671

DSCN4680 DSCN4682

DSCN4683 DSCN4691

DSCN4698 DSCN4703

Kaitlyn and I spent lots of time at the playground here, she is too fearless for my comfort level but what can you do?


We went out to dinner and took a few pictures.

DSCN4599 DSCN4605 DSCN4602   Gotta love those smiles.

Sunset over Birch Bay after dinner.  The beach is only about 1/2 mile from here. 

DSCN4621 DSCN4629 DSCN4630 

Jamie and his wife Jeanne, our financial gurus.  They try to help us meet our goals and keep within our tolerance for losses, of which we’ve had too much in the past year or so.

DSCN4593 DSCN4594

So that was another week in review, even if it did get written and posted late.  We plan on being here at Beachwood until Friday,  then move to a 1000 Trails park here in Birch Bay for another two weeks.  We will continue working on our list of must do items while here, getting some work done on the car and of course, those pesky doctor visits. 

So until next time - - - -   Chuck