Friday, May 30, 2008

Painting and waxing

Location, At Home

After my morning walk and a bowl of cereal for breakfast, I finished removing the wall paper paste Clyda had worked on in the hall bath. I did some repair around the tub with spackle and will wait for that to dry before I put on a primer coat. I am hoping that the primer will cover any imperfections created when the wall paper was removed. If that doesn’t work then I will need to pick up a can of Orange Peel spray for touch up.

I managed to get some waxing done on the RV before lunch. Not as much as I had hoped however. I would like to get it all waxed before Tuesday when we leave for Washington.

After lunch I sanded the few spots that needed it and taped off all surfaces I didn’t want to paint. The bathroom is small so it doesn’t take long to roll on a coat of paint. It will dry until tomorrow.

I finished the day by picking 11 baskets of berries which is the largest amount I have picked at one time this year. Clyda decided to make a small cobbler for dessert tonight. Yummy!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A much needed wash job.

Location, At Home

I mentioned in last Fridays blog that I needed to remove the sap from the RV awning after the trip to Yosemite, well, today was the day. With the RV parked next to the house, there is no room to extend the awning so I needed to put it in the street to open it for cleaning.

We live on a cul de sac so I waited until all the neighbors had left for work and then pulled the trailer out and parked it at the side of the cul de sac and extended the awning. There was a lot of sticking noise from the sap as I unrolled it. Using Soft Scrub on a rag I started on the under side and working upside down, or looking over my head, tackled one square foot at a time. Talk about hard on the back and arms………I guess. It took me about 2 ½ hours to do both sides of the awning. Not all the spots came off but I think I got the sap off.

After lunch I started washing the rig. It’s at time like this when I wonder why I ever bought such a large RV. It is basically a hand wash job so that means lots of climbing up and down an 8 foot ladder. With the washing done I decided to wax the front cap which gets all the bugs while traveling. Waxing isn’t to taxing and so this was done quickly. Now I really need to wax the rest of the unit but Clyda has other plans for me tomorrow.

She has been removing wallpaper and paste from the hall bath so now it is up to me to complete that job and get a coat of primer on the walls. We would like to get that bath done before we go to Washington next week. Don’t know if that will happen or not.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day

Location, At Home

I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend. We didn’t have much planned. On Sunday we walked the last nine holes of the City Gold Tournament while watching Kevin Marsh, the son of friends play. Kevin has won the tournament twice in recent times but yesterday was not to be. He came in fourth after a disastrous two holes.

After the tournament, we went to Don and Bev’s house for a BBQ for Kevin. It was a nice afternoon and has become somewhat of a tradition on Memorial weekend. Clyda is paying for it today as the course is quit hilly and her knees bother her.

This mornings local paper featured a picture of the tournament winner at the 18th green on its front page and through his legs you can make out Clyda standing back of t he green. Her 15 minutes of fame!

I replaced the hall bathroom fan which is always fun as I had to get up in the attic to remove the old one. Of course, the new one is not the same exact size so wood spacers needed to be added to make it line up with the existing opening in the ceiling. After it was installed I tried putting the vent cover on and it wouldn’t fit as the fan needed to be recessed in the cutout to the bottom of the drywall not the top as I had positioned it. After another trip to the attic and help from Craig all is now as it should be. I am filling the opening around the new fan casing with spackle so the fan won’t draw air from the attic instead of the bathroom. The fan is 110 CFM which should make my friend Budd happy the next time he visits.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's berry picking time!

Location, At Home

It’s berry picking time. To be specific, it’s boysenberry picking time. My berries usually start to ripen about the 2nd week in May and continue for 6 weeks. This year the vines are smaller but the berries are nice sized.

Today’s picking was only 5 baskets as we have had cool weather the last few days. Nice warm days make for a bumper crop. About the most I have ever picked at one time were about 25 baskets. That amount is unusual and only happens once a season at the peak ripening stage. Notice, I recycle strawberry baskets for my picking.

After picking, the berries are washed under a stream of water as I dump some into my hand so I can look for leaves, etc to make sure they are clean. I let the clean berries drain in a colander and then put them on cookie sheets and into the freezer they go. After freezing over night the berries are packed in one gallon zip lock bags and marked with the year and put back in the freezer again. Frozen berries look like jujubes, the candy shaped like raspberries.

Most of our berries are used for cobblers or canned into jam. When we have too many for the freezer Clyda cooks them down for juice and cans them later. The juice is frozen in quart jars. She also makes boysenberry syrup which is really good on pancakes or French toast.

There you have it, the life of boysenberries.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rain in May?

Location, At Home

It rained today and it never rains in May. Son Craig had just asked me this morning about the chance of rain and I said “no chance”. Well, I was wrong as it rained about 0.2 inch in a very short time. The rest of the day was dreary with mist and short showers. The rain puts a crimp on lots of Memorial weekend activities. This weekend is the City Golf Championship with our friend Kevin Marsh playing. We are invited to walk the course and later attend a BBQ in his honor.

Our neighbors are all at church camp for the weekend so I hope the weather turns out nice for them.

After we got home Wednesday, I parked the RV in the street and scrubbed the roof as it needed it. It is a rubber roof which needs periodic maintenance. Unfortunately, while we were camped at Summerdale Campground, the cottonwood trees were putting on their leaves and the leaf sheaths were falling. These sheaths are covered with a sap that is impossible to remove when it sticks to something. The roof and awning are covered with this sap. I haven’t tried to remove the sap from the awning yet as it has been too windy to put the awning out.

Today was work around the house day. I finished putting the baseboard in the front bedroom closet and re hung the doors. Clyda put all the stuff back and I think we are done in that room. Now she is removing the wallpaper and paste from the hall bathroom. I need to get a new ceiling fan and replace the electrical outlet and switch to match the new outlets in the kitchen. I am replacing all outlets and switches as we redo each room. They are 42 years old after all.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Continuing the story

Location, At Home

I should mention that most of the time we spent in Yosemite and nearby, the temperature was in the low 90’s which made for very warm days but pleasant evenings around the campfire.

To continue the story from the last entry, on Sunday, Ron and Becky left for home and the rest of us stayed around camp then drove to Oakhurst for a BBQ lunch which was very good. We picked up a few groceries and lay around camp the rest of the day.

On Monday we drove back into the valley and signed up for a 2 hour tour of the valley. Earlier tours were full so we picked a 1 PM tour. We walked to the base of Yosemite Falls in the blowing mist and crossed over the bridge below the falls and hiked the trail back to the village. We had a quick bite to eat and then took the Tram back to Yosemite Lodge for the tour.

Early in the day we had stopped at Sentinel Picnic area which is near the Merced River and watched a group of painters at work trying to capture the magnificence of Yosemite Falls. Near by was a back water of the river which was crystal clear with no wind ripples and had a perfect reflection of the falls. The pictures tell the story.

Tram used for valley tour.

Touring the valley.

It was a very nice tour with geology, and history facts woven into the tour as we moved about. We drove to the Ahwahnee Hotel for a quick look. It had been years since Clyda and I had been there. We had stayed at Yosemite Lodge for our anniversay and had dinner and breakfast at the Ahwahnee Hotel.

After a full day in the valley we returned to camp for a kick back evening.

We left for home about 9:30 on Tuesday morning. With a stop in Oakhurst to top off fuel at $4.69 a gallon we drove to Paso Robles and parked the RV at Wal-Mart. We had called our friends Dick and Connie and spent the afternoon with them. Clyda went to Barber Shop Chorus with Connie while Dick and I caught up on plans for the annual Death Valley pre trip in the fall. We went for Chinese Buffet later. The Wal-Mart lot was ok but someone next to us ran a generator most of the night. Inconsiderate people! We didn’t even put out our slides to sleep. It is the right thing to do. We had breakfast at McDonalds inside Wal-Mart, shopped a little, and drove home, arriving about 12:30.

A very nice trip with good friends.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Camping near Yosemite Nat'nl Park

Fish Camp, CA – Again this will be delayed until we have an internet connection. We are at Summerdale, a National Forest Campground 1.5 miles North of Fish Camp CA on Hwy 41. There are only 30 sites here and very few that will fit a 30 foot RV. In fact only 5 sites accommodate rigs of that size. The roads are too narrow for a large fifth wheel such as ours to make the turns with out the wheels going up on the black top burm. I hate doing that as the tires are not made to take that side stress.

We spent Sunday afternoon and overnight with our friends Ron and Becky at their home in Nipomo, CA. Friends Jan and Tom came for dinner. We had not seen them for at least a year so did a lot of catching up.

We arrived here on Monday which was a day earlier than our reservations called for, just hoping that we could get in. As we turned into the campground road the hosts were cleaning the road and informed us that the campground would not open until the next day as snow had blocked the road into the campground until now. They however were nice enough to let us in as we had reservations for the next day. We did have snow on the road and along the edge of the campground. The temperatures were quite low and dipped to 30 degrees Monday night. At almost 6000 foot elevation, summer comes late here in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. None of the cottonwood trees in the campground have any leaves yet.

Ron, Clyda, and Becky at campsite with snow in the background.

On Tuesday we drove to Oakhurst for groceries and waited for our friends Al and Dotty to arrive.

Wednesday we drove to Yosemite and visited and hiked the Mariposa grove of big Sequoia trees. We picnicked in the park and then hiked some of the trails.

Giant Seqouias at Mariposa Grove.

Thursday we drove down to the valley floor in Yosemite and used the tram for transportation to and from different sites. The waterfalls are AWSOME this time of year with cascading water everywhere, especially Yosemite Falls. You can hear its thunder over most of the valley. We hiked to Mirror Lake and stopped at the Visitor Center.

Yosemite Falls.

Friday we drove to Glacier Point, high above the Eastern rim of the valley for spectacular views of the valley floor and the back country. We had planned to hike here but all the trails are still closed because of snow. Even the parking lots still had snow in places. Glacier Point is 7200 feet in altitude. We stopped at Badger Pass Ski area which we all agreed had not changed in 35 years. Rather dowdy.

Glacier Point with Half Dome in the background.

We stopped at Wawona for ice cream and viewed the pioneer village nearby. We had never stopped here before and all of the old log cabins were quite interesting. After a stop at the Wawona hotel, which is old world and pricey we returned to camp.

Wells Fargo building at Wawona.

Saturday was a kick-back day. We sat and talked, the ladies played Mexican Train and we rested. Late in the day we drove to Tenya Lodge nearby for a drink in the Jackalopes Bar before returning to camp for a late dinner.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ranchero Visitadores

Cachuma Lake

I haven’t updated this blog for almost 2 weeks. Where to start. I spent the last 10 days working for Rancheros Visitadores checking people in at the infamous “Blue Gate”.

The days were very long and even with a good night’s sleep last night I am still very tired and feel the need of a nap. Here are some photos from our vantage spot at the gate.

Here is the wood pile of stuff I brought from home to burn. Chief among this was the very large guava tree root we dug up last week.

I finished packing everything by 10 AM Friday. The boss delivered our checks at 10:30 and shortly after that I was on my way. The plan is to park the trailer at Lake Cachuma RV Park for 2 days and camp with friends. I will drive home with all the equipment I took to Visitadores, do laundry and pick up Clyda and what we need for a week of camping in Yosemite with friends. We will leave Cachuma on Sunday and travel to Nipomo and leave from there on Monday morning for Fish Camp South of Yosemite.

This is a short report but does fill in the essentials of what has been happening.