Sunday, November 6, 2011 Lorraine’s report
Hello again from our old spot in Birch Bay, WA-Latitude 49; yes, we are back in the cold Pacific Northwest for the winter. I never thought we would be spending another winter back here, but here we are. Chuck took a job back here with a main contractor working on the major turn around at his old company-British Petroleum. It looks like we will be in Joe/Alice’s lot until the end of the turnaround in June or so.
They are predicting a very cold, wet La Nina winter, like they had last winter. Our spring was pretty non-existent. I heard a report on KIRO 7 TV saying they had 1 day of sunshine in April, 6 days in May, and 4 days in June; only 11 days out of 91 days-pretty sad for those that live here full time.
I have to say I really enjoyed our time away, and I loved the hot, dry weather of the southwest, Utah and the great parks, all unique; seeing Katie, Joe and the boys in Salt Lake City. Nevada and the new places we went to, the casinos, the buffets, meeting up with Joe/Alice and all the fun we had there with them.
I loved spending time in California with our daughter, Susy and granddaughter, Kaitlyn. We spent 11 days with them, way too short a time for me and Kaitlyn, she didn’t want me to leave. She said Nana should live there all the time now.
We would pick her up after school on school days, bring her back to the rig and have FUN. She is in a growing spurt and I had a hard time filling her up. Her favorite food is Nana’s macaroni and cheese, plus lots of fruits and cheese.
We did lots of art work, she is getting so creative in her drawings, and I love to watch her while she works on her art work, she really gets into it. She loved putting it up on Nana’s refrigerator. And of course all the chatter; she loves to share secrets with Nana. She spent 4 weekend nights with us over the 11 days we were there.
For Halloween, Kaitlyn was a Mermaid Fairy, a costume she thought up herself. Susy found her a mermaid dress and ordered fairy wings with matching crown and scepter. We went over to her old classmate’s home, Grace. Gracie’s parents decorate their home every year in a theme. This year they did Mulan, from the Disney movie. Gracie’s parents sure do get into decorating their home. Kaitlyn has Trick or Treated with Gracie for the past few years in Gracie’s neighborhood. She was really liking Trick or Treating and getting all the goodies.
Earlier in they day on Halloween we went to Kaitlyn’s school for the schools yearly Halloween Parade. All the children dress up and parade around the school yard, with all the parents on the sidelines. It was so hot and sunny that morning, everyone had a great time.
We got to go to her dance class the 2 Saturdays we were there, she was taking Hip Hop and we saw her dance recital. She had fun, but I don’t know how much she actually learned. It was cute and fun for her anyways.
Afterwards, Chuck wanted to hit the San Jose Outdoor Flea market. It was a beautiful hot, sunny afternoon and we all enjoyed our outing. Susy and I found some great fresh fruit and several dresses for Kaitlyn.
I forgot about Kaitlyn’s ear incident. She had her ears pierced in June and somehow, one of the ears swallowed up the back of the earring and she couldn’t turn it. The ear got infected and Susy took her to the doctor for antibiotics. Then 3 days later another doctor, a surgeon, had to pull the earring back out with a needle nose instrument. That doctor didn’t even numb it or anything. It sure was barbaric the way the doctor did that, Kaitlyn didn’t like that one bit. It was all I could do to hold her hand and dry the tears. To help her get over that incident, Susy and I took her to Build a Bear and Panda Soup for lunch.
One day the 3 gals, Susy, Kaitlyn and I went for a manicure/pedicure. Chuck stayed at Susy’s new condo and worked on putting up her TV on the wall above the fireplace. When we got back, Susy helped Chuck lift the TV so he could finish up. We then helped her unpack some boxes and Chuck cleared out the boxes.
One day Chuck had to go to a tire place for tire stems for the car. He had them ordered, but they never called to say they came in.
Next door to the tire place was a Fry’s Electronic store. We checked it out and I found the camera I had been looking at on line in this Fry’s. We ended up buying and I now have a new Nikon P 7000 Coolpix. I must say I am pretty happy with it, it still has a view finder as well as a back screen, and it’s not too heavy to carry in my purse.
The day after Halloween we got word Chuck had gotten his job and we left Santa Clara and started north. That first day the wind was blowing so hard, we ended up in the next lane in our big rig. That is some hard wind and so scary to be blown around like that.
We took 3 days coming back, driving 4 hours most days, then parking the rig and then scrambling after we stopped, taking the car and gathering the things we needed for back here. I was pretty tired each day and I know it was the same for Chuck. So we are off the road for a while.
It was 34 degrees last night-high of 52, about half of what we were 3 weeks ago. We put on the heavy winter weight down blanket, Chuck bought some heated water hose and we are hunkering down for a long, cold wet winter. So that’s it for me.
Until next time…
11/6/11 Chuck’s report
Yes, that’s right, we are back in Washington for awhile yet again. Last time I posted I said there might be something that could change our winter plans and that happened. I accepted a job offer to work for a contractor back at the refinery where I retired from 4+ years ago. I actually start work tomorrow and will find out exactly what my duties will be but I do know they will be using my operation experience. I will be helping with the planning of the work until the actual shutdown and associated work start in Mid-April.
We didn’t post our blog as normal last week, we both were too busy being grandparents and having fun with our grand daughter who stayed overnight with us. We are going to miss our scheduled stay with them over Thanksgiving and Christmas but will see about flying down for a visit.
The reason we were in Santa Clara was to spend quality time with our daughter and grand daughter. We were able to pick Kaitlyn up from school most days and spend the afternoon with her. Plus she spent the night at our rig 4 nights while we were there, she loves to be with her Nana, that’s for sure.
We were there to help her pick out some pumpkins, helped carve them into jack-o-lanterns, go to her school for their Halloween party and go with her when she went out trick or treating. We also spent time with her while she did her art work, school work and watching some kid shows on TV.
Lorraine was able to do some shopping while we were there, a couple of time with Susy, which they really enjoyed. Lorraine found a new camera to replace the one that broke when it accidently got dropped. Susy had to move to a new condo about a month before we got there and I was able to help her finish some move-in projects too.
But as all good things, our time with them had to end. We were able to stay there through Halloween but on Tuesday I got the official call offering me a job opportunity and accepted it. I had been in communications with them but didn’t get the offer until the day we were leaving, not sure if we were going South to continue our scheduled itinerary or change our plans and head North. So when we got the call the decision was made and we were on our way a couple of hours later.
We had a couple of stops we wanted to make on the way up so we knew we wouldn’t be driving straight through but still we did travel on four consecutive days. This may have been a first for us, we rarely drive more that two days in a row without at least staying in one place for two days. The driving parts weren’t too bad, probably averaged 4 –5 hours per day but we did have errands and shopping at each stop, after all, we were in sales tax free Oregon for most of these stops.
We had heavy winds the first day out of the Bay area, the gust were 60 MPH in a couple of places and I had some trouble keeping in our lane when they hit us broadside. We hit a couple of places that were wet but didn’t get any rain until we were in Washington, just what we expected. The sun has been shining since we’ve been here but clear skies mean cool/cold nights, below freezing both nights we’ve been here. This morning I got up and was greeted to a heavy frost and cold temperatures in my early morning walk with Misty. The forecast is for rain starting tomorrow and continuing for the rest of the week, welcome to Western Washington in the winter!!
So here we sit for the next few months. We are in the same lot we rented from our friends, Joe/Alice, who are down South right now. Joe might be offered a position up here too so we still may be able to spend some time with them this winter, ha.
I know we won't live a very exciting life while we are here so I don’t plan on posting a blog very often. I will continue to send out a note when/if we update.
We had made some long range plans for next summer, those of course will not happen. We were going to travel up the Mississippi from New Orleans to the headwaters in Minnesota, stopping to visit family and friends along the way. Sorry, but those visits won’t happen this time but that trip is still in our bucket and something we would like to do, just can’t do it this time as planned.
Also, we were going to meet with some of our Canadian friends down South, that won’t happen either. I’m sure they will have a good time even if we aren’t there with them, keep it touch and let us know what we are missing. And for our friends who will be in Quartzsite, enjoy yourselves and think of us as you are having your 5:00 gathering around the campfire.
I’ve already got my work car out of the shop, had the oil changed and drained/flushed the antifreeze. We picked up a couple of heated water hoses for our water supply so I don’t have to unhook the hose every time the temperature gets below freezing. I have two trouble lights set up and ready to turn on in case of cold temperatures to keep our wet bay from freezing. We have two electric space heaters ready to turn on if needed to keep warm inside too. We both need to get our blood “thickened” to get used to the cooler temperatures too.
So guess we are pretty well set up for our time here and we’ve spent enough winters here to know what to expect. Not that we are necessarily looking forward to it but at least we know what’s coming. Plus we should have some time to spend visiting with friends and family in the area too, that’s always a good thing.
So now guess I’ll add the customary pictures and get this posted. Not sure when we will update next but as I said, I’ll send out a note when we do.
Kaitlyn, Susy, Nana and Papa at the pumpkin patch.
I’ll pick this one. Now see, if you just stay away I can pick it up by myself.
This one would make a good horse. You say I have one too many and have to leave one?
Helping carve and the finished product.
At school with friends.
Boy, can I Hula-Hoop or what.
Now you know the truth behind those motorhome drivers.
After dance class at the fountains.
The gals getting pedicures.
In their costumes at school.
Gracie’s house, that’s a false front made out of cardboard. Gracie and Kaitlyn.
On the road from California to Washington.
Pictures from the park where we are staying.
This will be our “home” for the next 8 months, nice lot with all the services we need.