Saturday, July 1, 2017

Back home after a HOT road trip.

We had talked about doing a road trip to Oregon with the car earlier in the year but couldn’t make all parts of it come together until the middle of June. Our plan was to visit several of our friends both going and coming. We spent the first few days with our friends Cindy and Gary in Walnut Creek. They have a great backyard with a very nice pool which we spent our afternoons lounging beside and floating in. The pool temps were nice and warm which invited long stays in the water. Great hospitality also.

We also attended a Fathers day car show in Danville and then a nice lunch courtesy of Doug and Michelle, Cindy and Gary’s son and daughter-in-law. They were showing of ftheir newly remodeled kitchen.

After a great lunch and later in the day we drove to Redding, CA in the heat of the day with outside temps at 113 degrees. I had picked the motel using and Clyda about had a heart attach when she saw it. It is located in the old part of town near the Sundial Bridge and looked like the old motels of the 1960’s. However, it had been completely refurbished inside and out and was very nice and comfortable. They also served breakfast the next morning.

When we left the motel we stopped at the Sundial Bridge which spans the Sacramento River and walked across it, took a few photos, and then hit the road to Roseburg, OR as the temperature was rising.

Mt Shasta

We arrived at my old Navy buddy Gary’s house about 2:30 PM. Gary’s wife Judy was Clyda’s friend all through their school years. We spent the next few days playing board games, laughing a lot and eating. Gary and I had played pinochle while in the Navy but do you think we could remember the rules? Not a chance. We eventually made up what we thought were reasonable rules and played several games. I never could find rules on-line that worked like I remember. Maybe some day.

Playing a board game on the patio after dark.

Installing lights on the patio.

Salmon for dinner, yummy.

 Visiting a fish hatchery.

We left Oregon and drove to Williams, CA and another motel for the next two nights. In between we visited our friends Jack and Judy who live in Kelseyville near Clear Lake. We didn’t get to see them this winter in Arizona so we had a nice visit catching up on all the happenings with everyone.

Sign in hotel room in Williams.

The next day we drove to Bakersfield via Hwy 99 instead of I-5 because 99 has more 3 lane road than I-5 and has had a lot of repaving in the last few years. Also, it is more scenic than I-5.

We stayed with our ex-neighbors, Budd and Brenda, and their daughter Kori and Granddaughter Jessica. Because of the hot weather we had to visit two ice cream shops just to cool off. The first shop used nitrogen to freeze the product while being mixed in big special mixers. Pretty cool, and good ice cream also. The second shop was the old traditional ice cream parlor from years ago with great sundaes. What better way to cool off.

We did spend a fair amount of time setting several puzzles while keeping out of the heat. It made for a nice relaxing stay.

We arrived back home this past Tuesday and have been catching up on yard work, etc ever since. On Thursday I took the trailer in and had new tires put on. The old ones were 4 years old and I had one blow out and a screw in another which had been plugged and patched and which I no longer trusted as a road tire. I did save two of the tires as spares of which I carry one with me at all times plus the normal spare. Better safe than sorry.

The garden is producing lots of things, like yellow squash, zucchini, and loads of cucumbers. I think the neighbors are going to receive the excess soon.

I did make cucumber salad a few days ago and plan to make relish maybe on Monday. Clyda wants to make zucchini bread and I want some zucchini pancakes soon.

The boysenberries are all done so I need to remove all the old canes and shred them. Of course the new canes have grown up through the old ones which makes it a real job to remove them. All in good time.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

And more time passes.

We flew to Houston over Memorial weekend to attend our grandson’s high school graduation. It was a busy weekend with us arriving late Wednesday night and then taking granddaughter Ivy to the Department of Motor Vehicles twice on Thursday to get her drivers license (she forgot an important piece of paper the first trip).

Then it was time to go to Matthew’s graduation which was held in a very large facility owned by the school district which all the schools use for events. There are so many high schools (eleven) in the Cypress-Woods District that the ceremonies are scheduled every four hours throughout the day. Matthew’s was at 8 PM on the first day. It took a long time to get into the arena and we ended up sitting in the nose bleed section up high. It turned out alright as we could see Matthew march in and he was facing us when he received his diploma.

There were 781 in his graduating class. He graduated Suma Cum Laude. Quite an accomplishment. He has been accepted to attend Texas A&M University in the Engineering Department in Aerospace Engineering.

On Friday we all went out to dinner at a very nice restaurant in fact it was at this same restaurant that we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.

On Monday Daughter-in-law Diane suggested that we attend a Memorial Day service at Bear Creek Park. It was a nice service with a color guard, a bugler playing taps and a few short speeches. Oh… and they served cookies and lemonade after. Loved the cookies.

Tim had me help him with a few projects around the house but I don’t think we actually completed any of them. We did get a good start on a few.

We flew home early Tuesday morning and were back at the house shortly after noon.

I spent the last few days working in the yard cleaning up some areas and replanting in other areas. It never ends.

Here are a few photos from the garden.

 Boysenberries are looking good. 

Yellow squash and zucchini.

Cucumbers climbing the trellis.

California poppies in the iris bed.

One of our three Lions Mane plants.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

And time passes!

Indeed it does pass. I just returned from 10 days of working for Rancheros gate guarding at the main gate in the back country. The time did pass fast but included a day of rain on Sunday May 7th. Thank goodness, us at the gate did not need to travel on any of the ranch roads during the rain but oh-boy the mud on all the other vehicles coming into and going out of the camp must have added about 200 lbs to each vehicle. All were a light tan in color wherever the mud touched them. The mud will be hard to wash off as it is a treated mud which becomes as hard as cement when dry.

All in all, the 10 days flew by with few problems. The weather for the first few days was sunny and warm with temps in the low 90’s then it cooled off after the rain and turned windy which meant many days with hoody’s on for warmth.

Spending as many as 18 hours per day on duty pushes us old men to the limit. However, with three of us taking turns during the day we all survived as usual.

Last Friday after packing up everything and having Clyda come up with the car to take some of the extraneous stuff home, two of us drove to Santa Maria to the Elks club for a few days of R & R. We did the same thing last year. It allows us to clean up the RV’s, dump our holding tanks and partake of a good “cook your own steak” dinner at the Elks fabulous cooking facility. Very good!!!

Clyda and her high school friend and another couple came up on Sunday so we went wine tasting on Tuesday to our favorite Sisquoc winery. After tasting, we had a picnic lunch with a nice bottle of wine.

Again, the wind blew the whole time we were in Santa Maria which put a damper on things but we managed to do some outside cooking for the group.

We came home on Thursday so I could attend a picnic for all the old Delco retiree’s. It is the only time I get to see many of the folks I used to worked with. The group is getting smaller, older, and bent over. It happens to all of us I guess.

I have been cleaning up all the stuff I took with me for Rancheros including the RV. All the laundry is done, the RV is cleaned up, and a dead mouse in a trap has been tossed out. Ready for another trip whenever we can plan one.

Wednesday we fly to Houston for our grandson’s high school graduation. We will only be gone over the weekend.

I don’t know what this flower is called. It is a succulent and we have it in three places in our yard. I looks like it will take over as it spreads easily.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Things are still green but the temperature is rising.

I did get the batteries in the truck replaced a few days after I purchased them, It was not a big job but I was surprised to find sand under the batteries on the tray. This is from the wind storm we had back in October while camped in Panamint Valley. The sand obviously got into everywhere so I still find it when I move or change anything on the truck or RV.

I got the pole beans planted in the garden and they are breaking through the ground.

I have been putting down cardboard on the garden pathways to keep the weeds down and then covering them with bark. It makes nice paths. The cardboard and bark will eventually breakdown and supply future mulch to the garden. It is the lazy man’s way to garden and I am all about doing it the easy way.

We have had a small amount of rain in the past two weeks. Mostly less than a half inch each time. Every little bit helps but usually we get wind after the rain and the benefits of the rain are lost due to the wind.

I mentioned that temperatures were rising and the last two days are an example of that. Yesterday was around 90 degrees and today was over 80. I don’t think it will last however but day time highs for the next week will be around 75 degrees, Still nice enough for me.

Next week is dedicated to getting all my Rancheros equipment rounded up and checked out. The propane stove and BBQ need checking and I am trying to decide if I need my neighbors camp stove out of his old RV. I have borrowed it for the last two years and it is useful but also more equipment to take along as I need an extra propane tank to use with it. Still deciding on that. Using it does give me more options for cooking.

May will be a busy month for us. After I am through with the Rancheros we are camping with a few friends for several more days. As long as the RV is out of the yard we might as well use it. We get home around the middle of the month then fly to Houston to attend our grandson’s High School graduation. Hard to believe that much time has passed. We will return after Memorial Day.

A flower from our yard. It is a Monkey Paw. I have never seen one this big.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

It is getting close to that time of year.

Yes it is. Time for me to start getting things together for the annual ride of Rancheros Visitadores. This year it happens on May 1st for me when I go over the mountain to mow the spot where we park our RV’s and work for the next 10 days.

I have been working on possible menus based on a food list I turned in a few weeks ago. I only have 3 of us to cook for but I still need to do some planning to make it all work.

I also need to replace the batteries in my truck. Two are required because it is a diesel. The last time I had the truck serviced they cautioned me that the batteries at 7 years old were beginning to fail. The last thing I want is to have dead batteries while on the road.
I purchased two new batteries at Costco today for $99 each and gulped at the price but spread over 7 years I guess that’s not to bad.

So what else have I been doing you might ask? Well, I am still pulling weeds but not everyday as I am down to a few small areas in the yard. However, the ground is starting to dry out so the weeds are harder to pull but I need to get them out before they go to seed. Why don’t I just use a weed killer like Roundup you might ask? Well, I have a lot of small lizards running around the yard and I don’t want to kill them so I pull the weeds.

I also planted a small garden area. Even with our water shortage I decided that a few fresh vegetables are worth the extra water. I planted zucchini, yellow squash, a couple of tomato plants and cucumbers. Yet to be planted are some pole beans. We love fresh beans.

My boysenberries are starting to bloom so I have lots of bees working the blossoms right now. Hopefully we will get a nice crop of berries. Clyda makes jelly and syrup from what we get and maybe a few cobblers also.

Clyda is still doing physical therapy at least one day a week at the clinic plus walking and lots of exercises at home. She is doing well. Time will help complete the her healing.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Nothing much going on.

It has been 4 weeks since Clyda’s surgery and she is doing amazingly well. In fact she drove the car the other day for the first time. All of the staples, 32 of them , have been removed and she only has her scar covered with Steri Strips which will soak off soon just from taking a shower. She goes for long walks several times each day which helps strengthen her muscles and also does lots of exercises, plus rides her recumbent bicycle.

We have no real trips planned for this summer except for on RV trip after I finish with Visitadores in May. We will go to the Elks Club in Santa Maria with friends for a few days much as we did last year.

In the mean time, I have been pulling weeds. Lots and lots of weeds! With all the rain we have had this year, they sure do grow. I have the bulk of them pulled now and only have out of the way areas to finish up. Normally Clyda does the flower beds but I have had to do all of it. Oh poor Me! It keeps me off the streets I guess.

Basketball. Yeah, it is that time of year when all the NCAA teams are trying to be that Number 1. With games on 4 channels to begin with, I do a lot of channel swapping. It beats watching the news.

I am trying to get up to speed on Google Docs with voice text. I purchased a headset with a mic from Amazon and have tried it and believe it or not, it works. I still need to work with it some more to get the punctuation right. I think it will come in handy for some projects I have in mind.

I have included a few flower shots I took this morning on my walk.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A medical update for Clyda.

I have kept many of you updated on Clyda’s progress but I am sure I missed a few people which I apologize for.

Clyda had her knee surgery last Thursday. At that time it was anticipated that she would have the old knee device removed and a new less mobile device installed. The Dr told us prior to the surgery that he had a plan A, B, and C ready just in case he needed them. Each device in this case was less mobile that the higher order one.

After Clyda was sedated and in the operating room, the Dr manipulated her knee and felt that the ligament in question was probably in good shape. After making the incision, he found that to be the case and so instead of replacing the knee he just replaced the 7 mm bearing plate with a 12 mm plate and that really tightened up the ligament. It is his feeling that Clyda should have no further problems with stability after her healing process.

Instead of a 4 ½ hour surgery, it only took 45 minutes. However, Clyda had been prepped for the 4 ½ hour surgery so it took her a while to recover from the anesthetic.

I received a call from the Dr about 2 hours after the surgery started telling me the “good news” as he said and indeed it was good news as her recover time will be much shorter.

In fact she has made amazing progress this week. Clyda even has walked to the end of our block using her walker for added stability. I think the walker will be gone after today and she will only use a cane for a while.

I told her the other day that “at the rate she is progressing I better plan a trip soon. Ha!

This Angels Trumpet just keeps putting out flowers every few weeks. Amazing!