Saturday, December 31, 2011

Update from Blaine, WA


Saturday, December 31, 2011                                                                                                                                        Lorraine’s report

Well, here it is, the last day of 2011. We would like to wish all our family and friends a very Happy, Healthy New Year. May God’s Blessing pour down on each and every one of you this year!

Hello once again from Latitude 49 in Birch Bay, WA. It’s not a bad day so far, there’s no rain or snow, and the clouds are stable. It’ 39 degrees outside, with the low’s tonight forecast for 36. Hopefully the sun will burn through this afternoon.

Actually it has been a really dry, cold December so far, with Seattle news saying that this December has been the second driest since they started keeping records years ago. The weather man said we were six inches below normal as of the day before the 24th of December. The past 2 nights it rained lots, so we aren’t as far behind, with the rivers rising a whole bunch.

Now the temperature has been below normal this whole December, averaging the mid to low 20’s at night, with day time being around 37. If only the sun came out everyday, instead of the gray clouds we’ve had most days. There were a few days when the sun came out, showing off the beautiful white capped mountains around here, but those days don’t happen often enough for me. I miss the nice sunny, blue skies of the southwest in the winter time.

Since last I wrote, Chuck has been working most days 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. His company didn’t know how far behind they were when he first started. He’s put in a lot of hours, trying to catch them up enough to see daylight. One day he was given 37 new projects to handle; way too much for just him. And he’s asked for help, but no one has been hired as of yet. Maybe after the new year starts.

I went to see Susy and Kaitlyn on the day before Thanksgiving, coming back the following Tuesday. We had a wonderful time together, with Kaitlyn not wanting me to leave. She wrote me the most beautiful, heartfelt letter, saying how thankful she was for her Nana. She said I should just live there by her now; we truly have a wonderful time together playing, coloring, just about everything. It tears me up to leave them. Our time together just flies by too quickly.  Thanks Susy for a fun time.

We just returned on the 28th evening, spending Christmas with Susy and Kaitlyn. Chuck was able to go with me in spite of his claustrophobia when he flies. I was able to go on early, save him a seat, and then he would be the last to board the plane. Thankfully the crew was able to let us have the first row of seats on the airplane. I must say Allegiant was pretty cooperative about this, and did their best to accommodate him.

But Allegiant needs to work on boarding people in a more timely manner; they had only one worker checking people in. It took us almost 2 hours to get our boarding passes. It didn’t help that there were three different flights going out of Bellingham about the same time either. But I am grateful that Allegiant flies directly to Oakland, CA, thus by passing the dreaded Seattle traffic and all that mess.

The week before Christmas I made up about 12 pounds of fudge to give to family and friends, and of course, I had to make up Susy’s sugar cookies, and Chuck’s favorite chocolate chip. I packed them in my suitcase in tins and they made the trip okay.

Since our son, Rick is up on the North Slope again building the Ice Road, I didn’t do his peanut butter chocolate balls, or as he calls them, hockey pucks since I’ve learned to make them bigger for him. He went up on the 17th of December, 10 days later than last year. He’s up there for at least 6-8 weeks before he gets a week off.

Christmas was very low keyed and wonderful! Kaitlyn had written Santa Claus with a list of what she wanted. I thought it was great she asked Santa for stuff for her Mom and for her dog, not just herself.

Her favorite gift was a big wooden Barbie doll house. She was so excited, she said she didn’t even ask Santa Claus for it but it was her favorite gift.  Thank you Susy for a wonderful Christmas, good food, fun and family time…loved it, you too Kaitlyn.

Now that Christmas is over, I hope to rest up a bit. Seems to me like there has been lots to take care of; like oil changes, car tires, paper work, etc. hopefully things slow down.

With that I would like to say to Rick/Joy, Rob/Norma and Barb/Dennis, hope you stop by before you head south to Quartzsite and AZ for your fun in the sun. Wish we were going with you, but maybe next year. I know you will have a blast! Be sure to enjoy the oranges at the Orange Grove RV Park for me; they are the best right off the trees!

Until next time….Hugs,



12/31/11                                                                                                                                                                           Chuck’s report

First off, I hope everyone had a Very Merry Christmas with family and/or friends.  And of course, wish you a Happy New Year too. 

Just a quick update from our winter hang out back here in Washington.  As we said in our last blog, we are back here because I accepted a job to work (now that’s a four letter word) with a contractor back here.  I’ll be working until probably June so we are pretty well settled in here.  We’ve taken the coach out one time to “exercise” all the systems, plan on doing that once a month or so.  Once again, thanks to Joe and Alice for renting us their extra space here in the park, it’s nice to not have to move every two weeks within our membership parks here. 

I’ve been working some longer hours than expected, 5 or 6 days/per week and 10 hour days.  What a shock to the system after being on our own schedule for the past few months.  But once again, I know it’s only temporary and then we will be back on the road again this summer.  As far as the work is going, I’ve been pretty busy trying to get caught up and meet the deadlines the company wants, not much time to goof off.

I got my little work car out of our shop and it’s been running ok except I’ve had trouble starting it a couple of times.  I finally got the battery checked out and sure enough, it wasn’t holding a charge very well so we replaced it.  Other than that, it’s been a great little car and serve my needs very well.

Lorraine has been busy doing all the things necessary to live here, shopping, cooking, keeping our car going (it needed a set of tires and she got those installed) and taking care of me.  She was able to fly down to Susy’s place for Thanksgiving, I found out I could have gone too but I didn’t know what my work schedule would be so I didn’t get a ticket in time.  I think they had a good time down there, I know I was ready for Lorraine to come back and she was only gone a week!

Lorraine cooked a couple batches of cookies and fudge for Christmas, like I really needed the calories but they were good just the same.  She also put a few Christmas decorations about the coach and a small tree on the steering wheel table.  She said it made it feel more like Christmas but she still missed all the decorations she used to put out.  We still have them stored in our shop but no place to put them in our much smaller living space. 

We haven’t done much visiting with family and friends since we’ve been here, I’m just too tired after getting off of work, getting old I guess.  Lorraine is willing to sit with me but I know she would like to be out a bit more.  Usually I get home, we eat and watch a movie or whatever then I head to bed and do it all over again the next day. 

I was able to take a week off this week and we flew down to spend Christmas with Susy, Kaitlyn and Mark.  Boy what a mess at out little airport here in Bellingham.  There is a small airline flying out of here and they had three flights leaving the morning we were and only one person at the check-in counter.  We waited in the check-in line almost two hours and the line still was strung all the way past the baggage area and out the door.  And to make matters worse, there was absolutely no line at the Alaska counter and they kept announcing that if you were on an Alaska Airlines flight and in a long line, you didn’t need to be there and just come up to their counter.  But we made it on time and the flight was a direct into Oakland so we didn’t have to change planes in Seattle.

We did have a great time with Susy and Kaitlyn.  There was lots of play time with her, boy does she love to play with Nana.  We went out for a few meals, had a couple at home too.  Christmas was great, especially “seeing” it though the eyes of an excited 6 year old who still believes in Santa.  But soon enough we had to head to airport for our trip back here.  The check-in went much smoother even though we were in a full service airport, we both had to go through the full body scanner, not sure why but our number must have come up. 

We been BUSY since we got back too.  Lorraine took down the Christmas decorations, boxed them up and they are ready to go to the shop.  She also cleaned the place from top to bottom and found a few more items for the shop too.  I had to change out the controller for our select comfort bed, second time our display has gone out.  This time they sent us a remote control type VS a wire one, made the installation a bit easier.  I also ordered a new entry door handle but haven’t gotten it installed as yet.  And just because things come in three, our clothes washer is acting like the pump isn’t working again and I have to check it out.  Oh well, we still had a good year, can’t let the small things stop us. 

There is a band at the club house here at the park tonight, don’t think we will go however.  We will probably just watch the New Year’s Eve ball fall in New York on TV and call it a night.  Boy what party animals we are (not).

Like I said, we will here until June or so and my South Dakota driver’s license expires in April, what to do, what to do.  We finally decided to just get a license from Washington, seeing as how I’m working here but will get a South Dakota one after we’re done here.  So guess that makes South Dakota one of our first stops once we leave here.  Other than that, we don’t have any destinations but we have plenty of time to work on that.   And the plans we had for this winter, spring and summer may just carry over and we’ll use them next time. 

So that’s been our life since we last posted, not too exciting.  Not sure when we’ll update again but will send out a note when/if we do.  Here are a few pictures to complete the blog.

Susy’s Christmas tree up Thanksgiving at her place. 

DSCN0219  DSCN0220 DSCN0231

A handwritten note from Kaitlyn to Nana.  The quilt Lorraine knitted for Susy’s Christmas present. 

DSCN0243 DSCN0253

Our place all decorated for Christmas.  Notice the sun is shining!

  DSCN0260 DSCN0250

Kaitlyn’s Christmas tree.

DSCN0264 DSCN0268

Out to dinner before Christmas. 

DSCN0272 DSCN0277

DSCN0274 DSCN0281

Christmas morning.  And the stockings were hung - -   That’s a big doll house for a little girl!

DSCN0284  DSCN0290DSCN0285

A Charlie Brown Christmas tree.  Kaitlyn enjoys Christmas morning. 

DSCN0292 DSCN0299 

DSCN0305 DSCN0304

DSCN0315 DSCN0335

Showing Papa the doll house and accessories.   Love the smiles!!!

DSCN0345 DSCN0348

DSCN0350 DSCN0353

One happy little girl.


And that’s all folks.  Until next time, enjoy life and keep smiling.