Wednesday, August 22, 2012

We’re still in Blaine, WA


Sunday, August 26, 2012                                                                                                   Lorraine’s report

Well, it’s time to catch up the blog. It’s been a couple of weeks since we last wrote.

Hello once again from 1000 Trails in Birch Bay; and no we haven’t been anywhere in the rig since the last time. And it took Chuck over a week working with the manager of this park to let us be here this long.

I can say we are almost done with all the doctor visits. It turns our Chuck has had more doctor appointments than I did. We had two weeks full of doctor appointments, with Chuck going to 8 and me going 5. I can say I was very happy and thankful for my excellent reports on all fronts. Chuck is doing good health wise, also.

He has one more appointment tomorrow with his upper and lower GI doctor, probably to hear results from the procedure he had done in the hospital on the 14th of this month. It should be okay also.

We have been quite busy socially. First I would like to thank all my family and friends that sent kind birthday wishes to me. I appreciate you and all of them; I had a good time on my birthday, and I thank you all.

We were able to catch with friends, John and Breta Brown when we went by the condo they rented for son, Dave and his wife and their granddaughter. Dave and our daughter, Susy have been friends since their middle school days and Dave was up for his 20 year high school reunion. We enjoyed our time catching up and hope we can get together again before we leave.

We attended the annual BP/Arco Friday Night Picnic and were able to see lots of friends we wouldn’t have been able to see. As usual, the chili feed was wonderful, but I can’t believe they ran out of hot dogs on the grill. I prefer them over a burger and by the time we made it through, the hot dogs were gone.  But the picnic was fun and it was so great to see everyone.

One Sunday we were invited to the Kendall family reunion. Katie, one of Susy’s great girl friends from Rainbow days, came back home from Toulee, UT for a visit. Katie and Joe were the friends who showed us around Salt Lake City with their boys when we spent a week with them last year. It was great to see her again and I’m pretty sure she had a great visit with her family. Thanks Katie for the invite; I know you enjoyed my potato salad, since it was all eaten up.

We had our 40th Anniversary Party on the 18th of August. I would like to thank all our friends and especially our daughter and granddaughter, Susy and Kaitlyn for coming. I really enjoyed all the love, fellowship, food and fun we all shared and I thank you all for making it so wonderful for us.

I would like to thank Susy, Sandy and Richard for helping clean up and setting up before the party. Also, I would like to thank Breta Brown for all her help during the party, the cutting and serving the cake. Thank you all, our friends are the best!

Our Canadian friends came down for our anniversary party and we have had fun being with them this past week. The weather has been great and as usual, everyone has been busy. Thanks to Rick and Joy, Rob and Norma, their daughter and grandson, and Dennis and Barb. I really do appreciate the effort you all made to celebrate our anniversary with us.

As is usual, the Canadian gals and I go shopping, eat and enjoy our time together. We went to the Silver Reef for the old folks buffet with all of the gang and of course we had to play for a bit. It was a blast, and I think all of us were up?. Norma and Rob had us over for campfire one evening-thank you both. The fellowship was great, and the weather was mild.

One day, we went to the Ferndale Street Fair with Rick and Joy; after walking Misty dog, we took them down to Angel of the Winds Casino, after I returned the unused paper products from our party. A great time was had by all.

Our time here is running short, and after Labor Day we will go back out on the road. It’s a good thing too, the weather has changed from summer and it feels like fall is in the air here now.

While I loved being here during this good spell of weather, I don’t think I want to be here over another winter ever again.

So that’s it for me. Until next time…..



8/26/12                                                                                                                                                                   Chuck’s report

Wow, it’s been awhile since we’ve posted, I thought we only missed one week but looks like it was two.  Oh well, can’t say our lives have been that exciting anyway.  And besides, I don’t think anyone even noticed, nobody said anything to us about not posting, HA.

We’ve finished up will all but one doctor visit, I still have to meet with the GI doctor.  All the others had good results for us, blood work and physicals we good for both of us.  I had two visits with the hearing aid folks and they have them adjusted where they are actually working better.  I also had the doc give me cortisone shots in my shoulder and hip, its helped some but can’t overcome old age I guess.  So we are good to go for another year, glad it’s all over. 

Lorraine had her birthday on the 6th, I actually took her to a movie.  Lorraine loves going to the movies, me not so much.  We saw Wimpy Kid #3 and there were only about 20 folks in the theater so that helped.  Later we went out for a nice dinner.

One day we decided to take a “Sunday” drive up Mt. Baker.  We were looking for some devil’s club, it grows in the higher elevation plus we wanted to just have a nice drive.  We managed to do both and Lorraine took lots of pictures.  We were stuck in stopped traffic due to construction when we notice friends of ours were in the car right behind us, was nice to see Dave/Gloria for a short visit.

One day we were invited to visit with old friends of ours, John/Breta who were in one of the vacation places in Birch Bay and their son, DIL and grand daughter were coming up for a high school reunion.  It was nice to see them, it’s been awhile.  Their friend, Karen, was with them and we got see her again too.  All in all, a very nice visit although short as we had to get to the doctor for our physicals. 

One morning I got a wild hair and decided to finally scrape, paint and install new non-stick tread on the front entry steps, they were looking a bit ratty and showing signs of rust.  As usual, my idea of how long it would take was off by a factor of two, in other words, it took twice as long as I thought it would, ha.  But once completed, it looked nice. 

A couple of Sundays ago, we were invited to a family get together of friends of ours, the Kendalls.  Their daughter is the one we visit whenever we are near Salt Lake City, she was a good friend of our daughter, they were in Rainbow Girls together.  Once again, we had a good time and good visit with these good folks.  Ray/Barb have a place in Yuma and we probably will see them down South this winter. 

Oh yea, we also went to the annual picnic for the refinery.  Boy were there lots of people there I didn’t know and I’ve only been retired for 5 years.  But we did meet and visit with lots of folks we did know and don’t see too often.

Lorraine had been very busy getting ready for our 40th anniversary party, ordering decorations, food and working with the folks at the Moose Lodge.  Our daughter and grand daughter came up to help us celebrate and that made it even more special.  I think there were about 40 people at the party, lots of conversation and laughter seemed to be happening.  A couple of folks went out of their way to help, thanks to Richard/Sandy and Breta plus of course Susy and Kaitlyn for all the help they gave Lorraine in getting everything accomplished.  And thanks to everyone who attended and/or sent comments, it was good to see/hear from all. 

Our friends from Canada came down and we saw them at the party and a couple of times since.  We’ve been over to their place for a night around the campfire, I think there might have been some stretching of the truth a time or too but not sure.  Anyway, it’s always good to see them either here or down South in the winter. 

We had a good dinner with Susy and Kaitlyn at the Steak House the night before they left.  Their flight was scheduled to leave at 7 which meant we were to be there two hours before which meant getting up at 4 am.  It’s always sad to say bye to them but we know we will be down there this fall for Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

I’ve noticed we had a little bit of water on the floor after we get our showers, I finally tore the shower door apart and re-caulked everything.  I also gave everything a good cleaning with heavy bleached water, we need to get to a drier, less humid area so we don’t get mold, ha. 

And yesterday we picked up Rick/Joy and went to the Ferndale street fair.  They block off the main street in town and let vendors set up their tents, have traditional fair type food and an old car show.  We spent a couple hours there, didn’t find much we couldn’t live without.  We then headed down to Angel of the Winds Casino for the afternoon.  Rick/Joy have never been there so they were given $5 free slot play while Lorraine and I had to use our own money.  I ended up as the big loser of the day, I was down $0.23, everyone else won so guess you could say it was a nice trip.  We also had their inexpensive specials for dinner, Lorraine, Rick and I had their biscuits/gravy/eggs for $1.50 while Joy tried their salmon and chips for (I think) $1.50.  We also ordered strawberry shortcake for a buck, almost to big for one person but we managed. 

They weather has been mostly nice, a couple of days got pretty warm, into the 90s.  But lately the highs have been in the upper 70s and cooling off at night to the upper 50s.  Now I can live with that better than the HOT temperatures across the nation, and we don’t have to deal with hurricanes or tornados either.  But, as all good things must end, the forecast is calling for cooler temps with possible rain this week, must be time to start heading South.

Speaking of, that’s what we are planning on doing.  We are going to stay here through Labor Day weekend, then planning on doing the Oregon Coast for a month or so.  We have enjoyed the Oregon coast in September a couple of times and hope for good weather while there this time too.  But if the weather turns bad, we have plan B, head East and see Eastern Oregon.  Either way, we plan on spending at least a slow, quiet month there.  I’ve done some research and there are a couple of campgrounds in Northern California that we might try too.  So even though we don’t have any reservations (as usual), we do have a rough idea of our plans for the next month or more. 

Ok, enough writing about our lives, lets gets some pictures about it too.

Drive up Mt. Baker, lots of old cedar trees and moss.  Up here, the moss don’t grow only on the North side of the trees!

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Visit with friends  John/Breta and their son/daughter-in-law and grand daughter. 

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Their very good friend, Karen


Sunset over Birch Bay

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At the Kendall’s family picnic.

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I’ve never seen a bottle opener built into a flip flop.

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Our grand daughter, Kaitlyn. 

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Daughter Susy and grand daughter. 

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At our 40th Anniversary Celebration. 

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Richard and Sandy helped set up and were a big help throughout, thanks. 


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Susy giving a toast!

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Out to dinner.

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Flaming deserts.

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Susy and Kaitlyn with the end result, Cherry Jubilee.


And that was our last weeks, hope you had as good of a time and enjoyed your family and friends as we did.

Thanks   Chuck

Sunday, August 5, 2012

We’re back in Birch Bay


Sunday, August 5, 2012                                                                                                                                       Lorraine’s report

Well, this is the weather the locals wait for all year and for some, it was too hot. It was in the high 70’s to mid 80’s today and absolutely beautiful out; and by that I mean sunny, blue skies with a light breeze blowing. Channel 4 news said this weather was the first 90 degree day plus weather since August 16, 2011 in Seattle. This is the Pacific Northwest  at its best, and you could see all the snow capped peaks, Mt Baker, Mt. Rainier, the Olympics and the Canadian Rockies—there is still lots of snow on Baker & Rainier.

Hello again from 1000 Trails in Birch Bay, WA, We got back from our first rally with the Lewis & Clark Thousand Trails group on Tuesday morning. The rally was held in La Connor, WA at Thousand Trails. We had a lot of fun with the group over the 9 days we were there.

But it was nice to get back to civilization. By that I mean I like electricity, the internet, phone service and sewer. Everyone talks about how much they like that park, and while it is right on the water, those sites were hard to get parked in, most sites were for shorter rigs and so many trees. We had blackberry bushes that Chuck had to cut so they wouldn’t grab us as we entered the rig. What was worse, someone had cleaned their crab catch and dumped the crab guts right in the bushes by the front door—very smelly.

But even though we went in a couple of days before the event started, we were too late to get a 50 amp site, and that park has no sewer hook ups.  The internet at the clubhouse was as slow as dial up, so I felt disconnected from the outside world, and it felt like we were camping.  There are so many big, old trees getting television is a big challenge, but the trees are beautiful; and I guess that is what makes that park beautiful, being by the water and the trees.

What made the rally fun for us is the members of Lewis & Clark. About 37 rigs with 74 people came into the rally for Lewis & Clark. A big group of people were able to park their rigs together, unfortunately not us. There were games every night, as well as a big campfire, several nights they had two campfires; and I learned how to play Pegs and Jokers again, came in last the first game. Chuck learned another game of dominos. There were planned meals and pot lucks.

Many thanks go out to Bill & Susan Rasmussen for all the Dungeness crab they provided along with all their many helpers that cooked them up. Bill and friends went out several times a day, setting and pulling the pots; some days finding someone else probably pulled them before he got there and they were empty. I think we had crab at four meals, with the most being the first day. Such a great treat, I greatly enjoyed it, thank you again. We met many members we hadn’t met when we joined the group in Seaside, OR and it was a fun rally. The Lewis & Clark bunch are now headed into Leavenworth, WA for another rally in the warmer weather.

Wednesday a big group of us went on WA State Ferry to Friday Harbor. We had to be up at 6, meet for ride sharing by 7:15 am to catch the 9:00 AM ferry from Anacortes, WA. It so happened that the ferry was 1.5 hours late leaving, and you had your domino effect happen from there on, so the group that had booked a bus trip to the Lavender Fields, the winery and the alpaca farm in Friday Harbor didn’t get the tour they were promised. The ferries ran late all that day, so we were late in meeting the people who didn’t take the trip for dinner at the Bowling Alley for Fish and Chips. In spite of all of that, it was a beautiful day, and that was our first sunny day of the rally, rest of the time before was wet and rainy. From then on the days for the rally were equally great, sunny, mid 60’s to mid 70’s; with lows down to the mid 50’s.

Friends, Joe and Alice came into the park, but were with their grandchildren, so we saw them for only a few minutes the first day they were there.

One day Chuck had to go back into Burlington for two new tires for the car, he had a doctor’s appointment, and then he made arrangements to see his audiologist. He left a 7:15 and didn’t get back until almost 1 pm.

So now that we are back, we’ve been busy cleaning up the rig, and purging stuff again. Too much stuff came in, and now it’s time to get rid of the excess and to clean her out.

Chuck had to work on the Hydro Hot again. It wouldn’t warm up the water, and the switch would go off by itself. With a lot of messages from the guy back east, he was able to get it to work again. Thanks Honey, I love a warm shower!

These next two weeks we have doctors appointments, blood work and Chuck has to do his upper and lower GI test. I will be glad after I see my oncologist and get the word all is clear.

Don’t forget we are having our 40th Anniversary Party at the Moose Lodge by the airport on August 18 from 5-9 pm; come if you can. I would like to wish Manuel Esparza a very Happy Birthday today. Way to go Manny, hope you have an awesome day. 

Tomorrow is my 66th birthday; I’m finding that hard to believe!

So that’s it for me. Until next time….



8/5/12                                                                                                                                                               Chuck’s report

We didn’t write a blog last week, no internet service at our site and poor service at the lodge.  Besides, we didn’t have too much to write about anyway.  So this will be a two week report but it will be short as I don’t have much to write about for this week either. 

Last time I wrote, we were just getting started at our Lewis and Clark Chapter Rally in La Connor.  The rally was nice, we got to see some friends we’ve met before and met lots of other members too.  Like most rallies, most of our activities were around food, snacks, cards/dominos, campfires and quiet visiting.  We did have one day were some of us drove to Anacortes, caught the ferry to Friday Harbor where we spent a few hours roaming around town.  A lot of folks had booked a bus tour of the island but with the ferry being late, their tour was cut short and some told us it probably wasn’t worth it.  So we were glad we didn’t book the tour and stayed in town.  By the way, thanks to Lynn for checking on/walking our dog while we were gone most of the day, we couldn’t have gone without your help. 

I also went into town to buy a set of tires for car.  Lorraine had bought two last fall when we were here and it was time to replace the other two.  Once again, I got a quote from American Tire, checked online and found a much cheaper price and they matched it.  That makes four tires for the car and two for the coach in the last year and we might change out the remaining rear four on the coach when we are in Oregon this fall.  They tell us the price of tires follows the price of oil so here’s hoping the price of oil falls this fall.

A couple of the guys at the rally put their pots out and caught crab for the group.  I don’t care for crab but its one of Lorraine’s favorite so she enjoyed it.  After the rally was over, I happened to spot a friend of mine that I met when I worked at the refinery last year.  He was staying at the campground and was crabbing also.  He came by one afternoon and gave us three whole, cooked, crabs and a couple pounds of fresh king salmon.  Lorraine sure enjoyed it, we don’t get fresh Dungeness crab and salmon often and then only when we are back here.  Another one of the reasons to come back here.   Thanks to Bill and Jon for the crabs and the salmon!!

Our friends, Joe and Alice, also came down to the park with their grand children for a week.  We managed to see them one day but didn’t get together again before we left.  Like I’ve said before, we manage to see more of them when we are 1200 miles away from home than we do here.

We left La Connor on Tuesday morning, Lorraine needed to get some lab work before her doctor's visit and had a couple of errands to run so we didn’t hook up the car, she drove it and I drove the coach.  After stopping at the dump to empty our tanks, we took off and found they were painting the stripes on the road just down the way.  Of course, we managed to get paint on both the coach and the car.  Lorraine stopped by the car wash where they attempted to remove it but I still had to spend the better part of two hours to get it off, there is still lots inside the fender well and on the mud flaps but that will just have to stay there.  And to think, the only other way out had been freshly chip sealed so thought we were doing good by not going out that way, ha.

The day before we left for La Connor, our Hydro Hot system for hot water didn’t light on diesel.  I hoped it was just a bad switch on the control panel but that wasn’t it, of course.  With our limited internet service there, I did manage to contact a guy about troubleshooting but didn’t get anything done.  We managed to get by for the week with just the electric portion, short showers and such but missed the diesel heat. 

After we got back here, I contacted Roger once again and he gave me some ideas and places to start troubleshooting the system.  One of the ideas and probably the easiest was to check an over temperature relay switch.  Well, wonders of wonder, it was tripped, reset just fine and everything has been working good every since.  I will order a new one so if it trips again I will be able to change it out.  Roger says sometimes they trip early, before the temperature gets too hot and need changed.  But at least we have hot water once again and can take normal, long showers, yea. 

We been taking advantage of our quiet time here to complete some items for our honey-do lists.  I’ve managed to wash all the inside windows and oil the wood work.  Lorraine has been busy going through some drawers and storage places to get rid of “stuff”.  We’ve taken some to Goodwill, donated some to Lorraine’s church for a garage sale and some we just tossed.  Don’t know how we end up with so much stuff when we have a rule, something in --- something out.  Maybe one of us isn’t following that rule too carefully??

I didn’t realize when we came back that this weekend is a three day weekend for the Canadians.  I think they have one three day weekend every month in the summer, usually the first weekend of the month.  This place gets busy on holidays and long weekends.  On Friday there were 51 rigs scheduled to check in plus a couple of drive ins.  Saturday had almost as many so this place is full to the brim.  The sites are close together with this many folks here and a lot of them are “camping”.  By that I mean they are here to enjoy the outside, have fires at night with some drinking of adult beverages so they get loud, even with quiet time at 10.  But it should be back to normal on Monday when they leave, just one more night.

Yesterday Lorraine and I drove down to Anacortes so she could walk through the street fair.  She likes to go there but it is too Artsy/Fartsy and WAY too any people for me.  I managed to walk through with her for awhile then told her I would just wait at the end so she could enjoy herself without me trying to hurry her along.  But with all the people and the temperature being in the mid 80s, it wasn’t too long until she had enough and came back to find me.  We stopped at Outback for dinner on the way home then spent the rest of the afternoon watching the Olympics. 

The weather has been really nice, in fact, this weekend we are having the warmest temperatures of the year so far, high 80s and low 90s in Seattle.  But it cools off to the mid 60s at night, real nice.  I heard we may have some rain on Monday, might make the place clear out sooner, otherwise we should be in the low 80s, high 70s for the rest of the week.

The rest of the week we are set up for some doctor visits, Lorraine has three and I have one.  After we get through with these, I only have two more the following week then we will be done for the year, yea.  We’ll get our prescriptions filled for the year and then get back on the road.  

We have been talking about what we want to do/see for the rest of the year.  Of course, we know want to be with our daughter and grand daughter for Thanksgiving and Christmas so whatever we do will be worked around that.  We’ve never spent much time in Eastern Oregon because we like going to the coast so that is what we are trying to work out.  I guess we could do both but September on the coast has been real nice for us.  So guess what I’m saying, we still aren’t sure of our plans for the fall and winter yet. 

And another reminder, we are going to celebrate our 40th anniversary at the Moose Lodge on August 18th.  Lorraine found out the electronic invite deal didn’t work too well so even if you didn’t get a personal invite, consider this your invitation and try to stop by and help us celebrate.   We have the hall from 5 until 9 so stop by and see us if you can.

And last but certainly not least, tomorrow, August 6th, is Lorraine’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Hon.  We plan on going out for dinner in Bellingham.  Her sister, Thelma, had her birthday yesterday, and our good friend, Manuel, has his birthday today.  So lots of Happy Birthday wishes to all. 

Boy, this turned out to be longer than I thought.  I will add a few pictures and get this posted.   

At the L&C Rally in La Connor.  Everyone has a wooden motorhome cutout they decorate and hang.

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Our site, no sewer but private.  That’s blackberry bushes on the way in, have to be careful going in and out. 

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The potluck.

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Some of the members. 

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Our trip to Friday Harbor via the Washington State Ferry. 

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Now to get this posted. 

Thanks   Chuck