Picture of the Week

Well, again a week with nothing spectacular.  Let's go back to last week while Rick and I were perusing Puyallup for garage sales:

There were some very pretty gardens on this particular street and I just couldn't stand it any more - "STOP!"  Rick said there was a woman watching me with an amused look on her face.  Call me nuts, I like it!

A "Glitchy" Day...

We've been trying to get to one of my favorite spots in this here beautiful Pacific Northwest - the Chinook Pass by Mt Rainier.  Ya see, July is spring in the mountains and the wildflowers in that area are unsurpassed.

But you have to get finished with winter first.

We have been to Chinook in the past and hit snow in July and June (if it's even open in June).  But it's the 24th!  It's nearly August!  And you can see by these here pitchers that the snow is still very thick in places.

We were chauffeuring the DeBellings out to see some of our PNW beauty.  Well, it was beautiful but not as we had planned.  We still had our picnic lunch and wandered and took pictures but it was quite different with the snow.  Rachel wore flip flops!  Ever try walking in the snow in flip flops?

After we finished circling the lake we opted to continue our drive around the mountain.  Rick had the guys (him, Mark and Markie) in his Neon and I had the girls (me, Rachel, Celeste and Bekah) in my toaster.  Rick led and we ended up driving clear around to Packwood.  When we looked at a map we saw a "short cut" road that was closed during the winter that we thought  would be fun to try out.  So we headed that way, I had my GPS plugged in and it told me to turn (a couple short blocks too early).  Rick was in front of me so he didn't know I'd turned even though I honked.  I immediately found the right road and waited for him to come driving down it toward me.  He didn't show up.  So I drove back the the intersection and parked on the corner and waited.  Nothing.  No cell service.  No way to get a message to them.  So after waiting 10 minutes or so we decided we all knew which way we were going so we would just go.  

It was a very pretty road, very dark and curvy, following a river with little waterfalls.  We finally made it about 25 miles to Ashford.  Still no cell service and then the GPS was messing up telling me to turn.  I finally checked with someone in a gas station.  No turning, just go straight.  We passed Elbe and I was finally more familiar with my surroundings.  About half way between Northwest Trek and Graham we finally got cell service. 

I tried to call Rick - it went straight to voice mail, meaning he had no service.  Mark too.  So I just kept heading toward home.  

Rick finally called and we discovered we weren't too far apart.  But he tried to make up time by taking a different route and ended up getting slowed down - by a cop!  He got a speeding ticket!

When we all were finally home together we got to discuss how everything went and Rick thought we may have forgotten something at a rest stop so he went back to that.  He thought we may have missed the turn so he went down the road that way.  He sat at the same spot we had sat at earlier.  He finally came to the same conclusion - how long do you wait?  How long do you look?  We're all adults and know the route.  So he finally gave up and headed home.

So, although a day fraught with glitches it was nonetheless an enjoyable one.  We'll try for the wildflowers again in maybe 3 weeks.  

And we'll take walkie-talkies.

Picture of the Week

Well, here again it's late Tuesday and I haven't posted my pic of the week for last week. Well, last week I didn't really get anything too interesting so I'm going back to our convention. I posted this picture on my 365friends on flickr and it was quite popular, probably cause we're all witnesses.

And that is our new songbook that we're all still struggling to learn...

Oh Crud!!! (& other choice expletives!)

Yesterday Kevin and Shirley were using our truck to get loads of dirt to fill holes in their front yard that were made by the last tenants' dog that was kept tied to a tree in the front yard (poor dog).  I picked up 4or 5 loads for them and Denny picked up a couple and they unloaded and spread the dirt.  Joe did a lot of the work, Kevin said he filled the wheelbarrow twice!  He's getting so big!

While I was laying in the sun Shirley brought the truck back, thanked me for being able to use it and left it in the driveway.

After showering I decided to continue with an AARP driver safety course that I'm taking online, we get a discount on our car insurance if we do this course.  It was getting near Rick's arrival time from work so I took a break to get the car swap done so he could park in his spot.

I have a large evergreen shrub / small tree that encroaches into the driveway that I have to swerve around to avoid scratching my toaster.  So I was backing my car out and attempting to avoid that tree when - CLUNK!!  I flipped my glance to the other side and there was the back corner of my toaster against the back corner of the truck!  AGH!!!  The truck was not where I thought it was, it was further down and more centered in the driveway.

I pulled the car forward and the truck's taillight lens was laying on the ground.  The damage to my car was mostly paint transfer, some scuffs on the bumper cover and that cover was pulled off of a couple clips.

Rick got home and I knew he would see it right away so I met him outside.  I told him what had happened up front, no use trying to hide it.  Good old easy-going Rick kept his disappointment well hidden, I'm sure he was more disappointed than he let on.

Keith took off the bumper cover, made a few adjustments to a wrinkle with a razor and file and reattached it.  Rick got some rubbing compound and removed the smudges and paint transfer.  I still need to go pick up some touch-up paint but it's pretty good already, thanks guys!

For Rick's truck we need to find a new inside-the-taillight-housing thingy for the lens to screw into, the corners all broke off still screwed to the lens.

And as a punishment Rick told me I had to blog it...

Picture of the Week

OK, I'll have to go back to our trip last weekend for my pic of the week.

This here schoolhouse (I demand that it's a schoolhouse!) had a bunch o' graffiti on the front side of it as you look at it and the foreground was actually a lot darker in the original shot. Oh, here, I'll post the original in a small thumbnail (click to enlarge).

I nearly posted this one from our convention last weekend. I loved this kid's attitude in his boring parking attendant job. As we drove past him he wished us a good day! He was in the blazing heat and still so fresh and friendly! But this pic of the week thing is supposed to be more about the best picture and the sunset one is clearly the winner in that respect.

New Places

Well, here I go again.  Needing to blog but Rick has already done his so I have to get mine done so I can read his.  I better get crackin!

Instead of sticking around for the usual 4th of July antics of our neighborhood Rick and I chose to go wandering (actually, I chose to and just shoved the idea down Rick's throat, but all's well that ends well, right?), prowling for ghost towns.  I found quite a few promising ones in Okanogan County in North central Washington so that's where we headed.

We chose to leave Saturday morning to avoid the mob scene leaving our neck of the woods for places less traveled that would be taking place on Thursday / Friday evening and returning Monday.  It was a perfect choice, the only traffic we found was in Cle Elum, they had traffic averted due to a parade and other festivities on the main drag through town.  Otherwise, our driving experience for nearly the entire weekend was delightful.

So we headed up and about 3 or 4 hours into our trip alighted onto the first town listed on the ghost towns website, the "town" of Monse.  The word "town" is an over-exaggeration and the word "ghost" an under-exaggeration, or maybe it, too, was over-exaggerated.  There was barely anything to see of interest except a cluster of satellite dishes up on a hill, not quite the wild west we were looking for!  There was a neat curvy dirt road next to a train track and a bunch of smelly lavender flower plants, kinda like big tumbleweeds.  Rick loved the scent and it was everywhere in the desert areas that we visited. (he's a super sniffer)

Our next stop was Riverside.  "Town" - yes, "ghost" - no.  There was one old building that was in use as a western store.  Across the street was an interesting corner store, complete with vintage gas pumps (still in use!) and decorated with rusty bikes.  After filling our tank there we asked if there were any old buildings in the area and the clerk directed us to a place called "Tunk".  Well, it was a nice drive but much further than we really wanted to wander so we never got to see if there truly was anything to see in Tunk.

The next possibility was another spur off the main drag and didn't sound ghost enough so we bypassed it and just headed straight up toward Oroville, the northernmost US city on the highway.  There was a town of Nighthawk west of Oroville that we were gonna explore but when we got to Oroville to try to find a room and only found the best of the best and the worst of the worst we decided to break in our new passports and hop over the border to the Canadian town of Osoyoos, named after the lake it resides around.  We barely found a room there, very expensive but otherwise a run-of-the-mill motel.  No blinking, buzzing light just outside our window, nor the paper-thin walls separating the rooms but everything else was pretty typical, though not to an unacceptable level. It was clean, had hot water and the bed was firm enough.  The town was interesting but Rick kept describing it a s a typical border town.  OK, I'm not familiar with what that is but I'll take your word for it.  The thing that I thought was hysterical was how, as soon as we stepped over the border, everyone spoke with that Canadian up-lilt accent, eh?  We overheard a couple guys pulling a boat out of the water and they spoke that way.  Rick was channel surfing on our amazing 17" TV in our room and found a stand-up comedian telling severely distasteful jokes with that accent.  But no one was wearing flannel.  Lots of flip flops and shorts though.  Our room was on the shore of Osoyoos Lake so we grabbed some Subway and ate dinner on the beach watching the sun wane.
The next morning we pretty much got up and ready and made a beeline back for the states.  Everything was a little too pricey in Canada and our unfamiliarity with everything was uncomfortable.  We got back over the border and found a nice place for breakfast, a small local grocery store to re-ice our cooler and headed off for the next town on our itinerary - Molson.

The drive out to Molson was beautiful, the weather was great, no traffic.  We started to spot some old buildings on the way and the "town" itself was a gold mine - of antiquities, that is!  They had a nice display of old buildings that had all been moved to a central location and were stocked with old paraphernalia.  Then there was a 1914 brick schoolhouse filled with tons more interesting old stuff, including the 2 old ladies that actually attended that school and were anxious to share their stories with every person who walked through the door.  Behind the school building was a couple old "Little House on the Prairie" buildings off across a big cow pasture and one of the little old ladies, Mary Ann, owned them. She thought I was crazy when I asked if we could go visit them, but she gave us permission if we really wanted to walk all that way!  Without asking Rick I told her we would love to walk out there and would respect her property.  Fortunately Rick was OK with that!  The Canadian border was just north of town, on a hilltop marked by a row of trees, we could have walked to it.

From Molson we took the scenic route via dirt road to our next destination, Chesaw.  Chesaw was in the throes of their 68th Annual 4th of July Rodeo.  There was a $5 per head entrance fee but since neither Rick nor I have ever attended a rodeo we went ahead and paid up.  It was a very nice event and extremely family-focused.  I saw at least 2 little boys securely carrying a chicken in their arms and during the barrel racing a 4 year-old was led through the course by what must have been a parent.  The girl was on horseback and the parent was on foot.  They timed her and announced her time and all applauded!  There were at least a couple other barrel racers that were like 7.  They had cow riding (no bull!) and the kids were off in a corner by themselves being thrown off heifers onto the sawdust-covered ground, getting a small taste of the thrill, but kid-style.

OK, so we hung around there for a couple hours then moved on to the next "town", Bodie.  I guess this was the closest thing to a real ghost town in that the buildings were there, right alongside the road, but were not in use.  Being alongside the road did not afford the best photographic surroundings and also left the buildings wide open to vandals.  They weren't in horrible condition though, no doubt due to their being so far out and off the beaten track.

The road continued down to Wauconda, which was back on the main drag.  No old buildings to see there but we saw so many scattered along the way all day, and Molson was so plentiful, that we were OK not having found anything there. 

So we headed next to Coulee Dam, the town and the dam.  When we got near the dam the crowds were gathering for a fireworks and laser show that was taking place at dusk, another 2 hours off so we just drove straight through.  On the outskirts the dam area we saw a collection of whirli-gigs in a cage on the side of a park.  But the light was already beginning to wane.  The highway followed the shore of Banks Lake for many miles and then we had a beautiful sunset to watch develop over an hour or so.  We stopped to see a little-known Washington sight, Dry Falls.  It was interesting but getting dark and very windy.  We drove through some beautiful, hilly, grassy areas while the sunset grew and changed. 

Since we had seen everything on the original agenda we opted to head straight for home, avoiding the retuning hoards.  We had had a successful photo outing, beautiful weather, pleasant driving, an overall great weekend.  So, of course, since nothing is perfect, we had to have one unpleasant thing happen.  Just as we were finding the onramp to I-90 which would lead us back to our beloved western WA we noticed some sprinkles on the windshield.  That was the beginning of the rain that continued the rest of the 75 miles home, accompanied by darkness, spray, heavier traffic, poorly marked lanes and occasional fog.

I think overall the whole family had a nice weekend.  I hope you didn't mind missing the fireworks, Rick!

Picture of the Week

Here is a shot I took outside, in the daylight, on Rick's RED car. I chose that spot to get some nice color reflection in shiny parts of the guitar. Do you see any red? neither do I! It totally looks like I took this in a dark room somewhere...

About Me

My photo
After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.