http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: August 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Just Go Do It

A quilting friend of mine posted this on Facebook today, “Recently, there was an article that told how the wealthiest places on earth are not the oil fields of the Middle East nor the diamond mines of South Africa. The wealthiest places are the cemeteries. Buried in the ground are businesses that were never formed, songs that were never sung, books that were never written, potential that was never realized, and dreams that never came to pass. So just go do it.......”  Life can change so quickly, so very quickly for the bad—just go do it, fulfill your dreams, write that book, take that trip, whatever it was or is, just go do it.  Michael and I are not wealthy in money but we are so incredibly wealthy in so many other ways—our health, an awesome, beautiful place to live which has no mortgage, no debt, great family and friends, the means to travel when we want—we took a chance on retiring early and we are so glad we did—we are surely blessed! 


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sunset and ATV Trip

Last night’s storm clouds treated us to a spectacular sunset.  What do you think?



Today our friends Sarah and Sarge along with their dog Callie joined us and of course Emmi for an ATV ride to Moccasin Lake.  The trip up was glorious, we stopped several times—Callie loves to run alongside the ATV’s—that dog put on so many more miles than we did!  Every creek crossing or mud puddle, she went for a swim.  Emmi just watched her from the basket on Michael’s ATV—“what in the world is that dog doing??” 

We arrived at Moccasin Lake to a view like this:

IMG_2727Storm clouds were building and about the time we all dug out the lunch gear, the bottom fell out.  IMG_2738We all retreated under the shelter of a fir tree—Michael and I had oilskin raincoats, Sarah and Sarge just had jackets—the tree kept a lot of the rain off us but parts of all of us got a soaking.  My feet were soaking wet—I asked Michael this morning if it was OK to wear sneakers instead of boots and he said, “maybe.”  I wish he had said, “no, I think you ought to wear boots.”  Then my feet would have been dry.  It probably rained hard for a good thirty minutes or more.  When it more or less stopped we headed back to the ATV’s and made quick tracks for home enduring only one quick rain shower before arriving to find dry ground, dust—no rain at home.


Hot chocolate and tea warmed us up before Sarge and Sarah headed back over the hill to Chico way.  It was a great day in spite of the rain!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Day In Billings And A Bicycle Accident

Seems when Michael and Nat went to see the dermatologist in Billings the other day the doctor found another nasty spot on Nat’s nose—so he needed yet another MOHS procedure.  The man isn’t gonna have a nose left at this rate, I think this is his fourth or fifth MOHS procedure on either his nose or forehead.  I got Nat settled in at Billings Clinic and I was off to run errands—oil filters for the Honda ATV’s requested by the cowboy, returned some things to Coldwater Creek and Chico’s and was off to Costco when I witnessed something which made me shake!!

OK, I am stepping into the bear pit—here goes.  When we were traveling to Oregon and again once we were in the state of Oregon, we traveled on a lot of narrow, winding, steep, two lane roads.  I posted on Facebook, “ Can someone please explain to me--and I am not being nasty--the attraction of riding a bicycle along the side of a VERY crooked, narrow, steep highway, being passed by semi trucks, huge motorhomes and a zillion cars??? Yes, bicycles share the road but in a confrontation with a semi or motorhome, you are going to lose!!! So, what is the attraction?? We came around a blind corner doing about 30 miles per hour to find a bicycle right in front of us and a car coming at us--nowhere to go, Michael was able to stop this heavy beast just in the nick of time.” 

I was being serious, I want a bicyclist to explain to me the attraction—it is such an incredibly dangerous thing to do riding on those roads where traffic traveling faster than you can possibly pedal has nowhere to go when encountering a very slow moving bicycle in their lane.  Yes, Michael and I used to ride a motorcycle but at least in that case you have a motor and stand a fighting chance of getting out of the way.  One of the happiest days of my life was when we sold that motorcycle!  I rode to please Michael and yes there were days I enjoyed riding tremendously but there were many days I feared for our lives!

OK, the title of the blog, a bicycle accident.  This person was riding on the sidewalk, with the traffic and with the traffic lights—as he went to cross an intersection in the crosswalk, again with the traffic, a man in a pickup truck with a red light in front of him pulled into the crosswalk and hit this bicyclist.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw this man go flying, my lane of traffic is heading in the opposite direction so I am watching this scene unfold with part of my mind, the bicyclist stands up so I knew he probably was not seriously injured, other people were stopping so I went on my way. 

This has nothing to do with what Michael and I experienced on our vacation but it certainly made me shake!!  I don’t know what the legality of riding a bike on the sidewalk then into the crosswalk is—the bicyclist was doing what he probably thought safest—riding on the sidewalk is safer than riding with traffic doing 35 miles per hour.  It made me stop and think too—that could just as well have been me in that truck—I could have hit the bicyclist while distracted by something else such as my cellphone.  I try not to use my phone when in city traffic—today I vowed NOT to use my phone when in city traffic, it can wait!  It is also against the law to talk on your cell phone within the Billings city limits but I see people doing it all the time!

Dr. Lund set a record today I think—Nat’s appointment was at 10am and I returned him to his house by 2:30pm—this procedure was a lot simpler than some of the other ones Nat has had. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ripe Tomatoes

IMG_8416That’s a nickel, so these tomatoes are not very big—they are a black cherry heirloom tomato.  I do have lots and lots of green tomatoes, a few with a reddish tint—maybe soon I will have tomatoes.  My sister in Arkansas has canned and canned tomatoes, plus she still has tomatoes on the vines—I guess the price we pay for living in paradise is lack of produce!

Yoga this morning—it’s been a while for me and I could feel it!  Back home I made lunch then headed up to Judy’s—one of the yoga group who is originally form Michigan—she and her husband recently went back home for a visit and brought back fresh blueberries that were frozen.  I went to collect my 10 pounds—they are delicious, I made smoothies this afternoon.

The TinTeePee is painted, done—thank goodness!!  Michael just needs to finish up a few things—toilet paper holder, paper towel holder, curtain rods, etc.  He worked on getting his 1995 diesel totally put together and out of the garage today—yea, now maybe the Cadillac can go in there??? 

Nat and I are off to Billings—he is having another MOHS procedure on his nose—if they keep whittling on his nose, soon he may need a new one!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Beans and Emmi Goes To The Vet

When we left on our Oregon trip we moved the tomato plants in containers from the deck down to the garden—the garden has an automatic sprinkler system.  When we retrieved the plants yesterday I noticed the bean plants actually had beans!!  Enough for a meal—a small one!

IMG_8414The sunglasses are there to give you a comparison! Smile

I got after the painting in the TinTeePee this morning and only stopped to make lunch.  After lunch Emmi and I headed to town for multiple errands, one of which was an appointment for Emmi at the veterinarian’s. 

Several months ago while we were still in Texas Emmi began to have issues with involuntary urination—she would be laying on our laps, sound asleep and all of a sudden we would realize our laps were wet.  Emmi would just sleep on, totally unaware she had done anything which her parents might find revolting!  I mentioned this problem to Ellie—they have two schnauzers and we talked about what it could be.  I mentioned it to our Spokane friend Mary who has had dogs all her life—Mary’s diagnosis was spot on.  Dr. Jim said, “in spayed females, usually not as young as Emmi, they lose “tone in their urinary sphincter.”  A pill taken once a day cures it—we are not thrilled with Emmi having to take medication every day but we are also not thrilled with wet laps!! Smile

Lonn and Laci stopped by this afternoon to retrieve a truck which had been left here.  It was good to visit with them—plotting and planning their camping trip over the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

IMG_8411A warm one today but no smoke at least. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cameras And Laundry

Now that’s an exciting title isn’t it—back to the mundane, no more moody Oregon coast photos but we are still very glad to be home.  Let me tell you—walking at sea level is a piece of cake compared to hiking up hills at 5000 feet!  When we started up our usual path this morning, both of us were breathing hard and could feel that ole gravity pulling us backwards!

Rick got me thinking about camera upgrades so I went online to to research—mine, a Canon Powershot SX30IS, has a newer model the Powershot SX50HS which still has a viewfinder but any of the latest and greatest Powershot cameras such as the SX510HS have only a screen, no viewfinder.  I love the zoom on my camera, 30X, and don’t want to give that up—I might need to find a great deal on the model just newer than mine!

canon camera

When my camera zoom is fully extended it is very hard to hold it still enough to get a good photo—using a tripod is better.  I cannot imagine trying to take a photo with the zoom even half way extended using just the screen.  What are camera manufacturers thinking???

My washer and dryer have gone non-stop today—it is always good to get home to those work horse machines, too!  I love my little Splendide in the motorhome but it doesn’t even begin to compare with my home washer and dryer.

The rain storms last night brought us almost an inch of rain—in Montana in August, that is a welcome blessing!

Nat came for lunch, we had that wonderful crispy chicken done in the oven, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans and a salad.  I made him some chocolate chip/oatmeal/pecan cookies for dessert and sent the rest of the batch home with him.  After our little vacation, Michael and I don’t need any cookies!

It is hard to age, Nat is 91 years old and is starting to recognize his limitations.  His eyesight is failing and he knows it is only a matter of time before he will have to stop driving.  Lately I have started to wonder just how long he is going to be able to live alone—I would guess not much longer.  I think our friend Jim Woolsey who is Nat’s age and has lived in our local nursing home for many years said it best, “sometimes the good Lord just lets us live too long.” 

We moved RV’s around this afternoon putting the motorhome back in its spot and bringing the TinTeePee out so we can work on it some more—have a little more painting to finish up and Michael has a few odds and ends to complete.

IMG_8409A stark contrast between irrigated land and non-irrigated.IMG_8410Chokecherries are ripe and we saw bear scat this morning.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

It Is Good To Be Home

442 miles later we pulled into our driveway about 5pm—I don’t think we are subscribing to the Jim and Ellie or the Paul and Nina plan of slow traveling.  Is there treatment available for a cowboy who gets behind the wheel and just goes??  Seriously, we were both ready to be home and as much pleasure as we have taken in being here—I don’t think we are cut out to be fulltimers.  The motorhome is mostly unloaded and we have had dinner—tacos—quick and easy!

It is raining with nasty lightening and thunder thrown in.  And it is much cooler than when we left—hopefully the rain will help eliminate some of these forest fires, as we drove today, the closer we got to our neck of the woods, the smokier it became.  We’ve had two really good rain showers since we drove up the driveway—a really good thing.

I was hoping to have ripe tomatoes when I got home on any of my four tomato plants—I had TWO ripe tomatoes, only two of the tiny heirloom tomatoes were ripe—come on tomato plants, fall is approaching along with frost, you don’t have much time!!  Our chokecherries are ripe too which means we probably have bears around.

Michael started some hops plants (used to make beer) on our former ranch, they grew up the side of our house.  When we moved up here, he brought some hops cuttings with him and planted them at the base of our deck supports.  The dang things are trying to take over the deck—what do you think Ainslie, could we make beer???


Clematis plants are beautiful, at least other people have beautiful clematis plants, I have plants but I only get one or two flowers at a time instead of vines loaded with flowers as most other people do—what’s up with that??


Thanks to all of you who followed along on our Oregon coast tour—we appreciate the comments!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Coeur d’ Alene, ID

Only 198 miles and we were in our spot at the Coeur d’ Alene Elks Lodge by 11am.  It was easy four lane and freeway driving today—my cowboy said he has had enough for now of those “laid out by a snake” kind of roads, all curves and winding. 

The Elks Lodge is a nice place to land for a night or even several days—it’s located in a quiet neighbor—no trains or freeway noise.  The spots are wide and you are parked on green grass with electric and water hookups for $18 per night—a bargain! 

After lunch of leftover pizza—we had it delivered to the RV last night in Umatilla—I headed off to Costco.  The pantry at home needs refilling and shopping here will save us a stop in Bozeman.  Did you know Idaho charges sales tax on everything including food???  Washington state will not charge a person from Montana sales tax (Montana as well as Oregon have no sales tax) if you present a valid drivers license, most larger business cash registers are set up to read the drivers licenses and deduct the sales tax.  Smaller businesses will ask you to complete a short form and present your drivers license, then not charge you sales tax.  Idaho charges everyone sales tax for everything—6%. 

Back from Costco I did a little cooking—we had dinner with our friends Mary and Gene at their home in Veradale, WA—I marinated a pork tenderloin to cook on Mary’s grill and the Pioneer Woman’s potatoes.  Mary served us a delicious caesar salad and fresh, picked today corn on the cob that was so sweet and juicy.  I also grilled the little round zucchini I bought at the Bandon farmers market.  It was good to see these guys again, very good!

Off for home in the morning, our Oregon coast trip is coming to a close.  The weather map shows we might be getting lots of rain at home—wouldn’t that be wonderful—and let’s hope some falls on the fires which are burning in the west. 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Umatilla, Oregon

Although it did rain some drops during the night, the smoke still lingered this morning—so we will leave Crater Lake to another time.  About 9am we pulled out of Diamond Lake Campground heading for Umatilla, Oregon—312 miles, taking a little over 5 hours of driving time—how are we doing Nina??  I did not make reservations—remember our fiasco with the guy in Texas never living up to his promise for returning our cash deposit—but was told there were plenty of spots at the Umatilla Marina and RV Park. 

We scored a spot right on the Columbia River—granted the river is about 150 yards down the hill but we can see it!! SmileThe park is a green oasis in the middle of the high desert of eastern Oregon but it isn’t a quiet oasis.  We can see and hear the traffic on the I82 freeway bridge over the Columbia.  I think more plotting and planning as Nina does is in order—RV Park reviews are very individualized as to what each RVer prefers.  If you read the reviews for this park no one mentions the traffic noise or the fact there is a railroad (not busy) close behind the park.  If I had used Google Earth I would have seen both these things—the freeway and the railroad—and probably found another spot.

IMG_8394In my next life I want a job driving one of these—the header on this combine is probably 30 feet wide. 

IMG_8395Dam on the Columbia.


On to Coeur d’ Alene, ID tomorrow—only 198 miles!!! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

So Disappointed

We left the beautiful Oregon coast this morning heading inland—as we drove the miles the temps rose, not drastically but enough for you to know you had left the cooling ocean breezes behind.  The drive on Oregon highway 42 was another one of those egg scrambling roads but with absolutely stunning scenery.  Ainslie, (he grew up in Powers) this one is for you:


A short driving day for us—160 miles—and we pulled into Diamond Lake USFS campground, finding a spot for our big pink bus in spite of the young woman at the entry check-in station efforts to keep us out.  That’s a topic for another blog post! Sad smile

My dear father loved Oregon, he came to Oregon from Arkansas in his early twenties and worked in the timber industry meeting life long friends.  He went back home to Arkansas for a visit, started dating my Mom and although he always longed to return to Oregon, plans just never worked out.  In 1972, Mom and Dad along with we three children, me at age 17, my sister Ann at age 14, and my brother Ross at age 11 came out west on a vacation.  Dad had so much to show us and one of the places he delighted in was Crater Lake National Park.  There are family photos of we three kids playing in snow in July here at Crater Lake and of the family posed on the edge of that deep blue lake. 

I was so looking forward to seeing that deep blue lake again but unfortunately the forest fires in the west had other plans—I am extremely sad and disappointed.  It is so smoky it is almost impossible to see anything, the mountains are almost obscured and the water in Crater Lake is gray instead of beautiful blue. 


IMG_8392IMG_8393You can just barely see the faint outline of Mount Thielsen in the background of this photo.

I am praying for rain or wind from the right direction or something to make all this smoke go away—we will see what it looks like tomorrow morning early.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Windy, Wild, Whales

At times it was hard to stand still enough to take photos—that’s how hard the wind was blowing at the Port Orford Heads State Park.  We had a hold on Emmi—it was blowing hard enough to blow her 11 pounds right over the cliff I think! 

We drove south of Port Orford a ways—the coast just continues to become more beautiful and spectacular as we go.  Our purpose in going this direction today was to visit with Jim and Ellie who are staying in Port Orford for the next month.  We all enjoyed a lunch of clam chowder before heading out for a little hike—Jim and Ellie saw whales yesterday while hiking out at the Heads State Park. 

Have you ever tried to take photos of whales—the dang things are camera shy—coupled with the sun on the water, I got very few decent photos—so use your imagination! SmileMaybe Jim will have some better photos???




The sea lions or seals—whichever they are—were more photogenic—I caught them sunbathing while the waves crashed all around.


It was great as always to see Jim and Ellie—I wish our paths could have crossed earlier in this Oregon visit but it was not to be—next time guys!

Tomorrow we head inland to visit a spot I last saw when I was 17 years old and Michael saw when he was about 9 years old. 



Monday, August 19, 2013

Another Great Day On The Oregon Coast

Michael picked our walking spot today—we drove into Bandon and walked onto the beach just south of town.  The proverbial Oregon coast fog was present making for “moody” photos—it isn’t my camera or photo taking ability—it’s the fog.  The wind would blow the fog away for a few minutes then blow the fogginess right back in.  It’s a wild part of the country—windy, extremely windy—cool for August, and foggy—but I love it, the husband—he doesn’t love it so much!





After lunch we drove down to Cape Blanco—about 26 miles—to check out the campground, beach and lighthouse.  What a wild and wonderful place—the western most tip of Oregon—simply said, it is breathtaking.  The wind was even worse but there was very little fog and the photos are much better--






Back to Bandon we stopped at the creamery and indulged in some awesome ice cream!  Nina, Paul and Polly joined us for dinner--we spent another wonderful evening getting to know this couple—as we have said so many times before—we have met the greatest people while RVing! 

Tomorrow we are off to meet up with Jim and Ellie—our time here on the Oregon coast is drawing to a close, next up—more adventures!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

We Meet Paul and Nina

This was probably our all time shortest travel day ever—21 miles, from Coos Bay to Bullards Beach State Park near Bandon, OR.  Bullards Beach is a large Oregon state park and quite crowded—we have an allergy to reservations and took our chances, scoring a nice back in spot with electric and water hookups.  Parked and walking the wild, windy beach before noon—can’t beat that kind of travel day!!


Homemade pizza for lunch then I made a run into Bandon—there is after all a quilt shop there!  A quick stop at the grocery store which had no fresh rosemary—dang it—and back to the park.  I wanted to make these rosemary flavored toasted nuts—I made do with dried rosemary but they weren’t the same as the ones Jeane served us, good but not quite the same. 

The nuts were munchies for our gathering to meet Paul and Nina from Wheeling It.  Nina writes the Wheeling It blog with great RV park reviews, finding camping spots hints and resources, healthy living suggestions, etc.  Paul writes a financial blog that is an excellent resource—even I have gotten interested in the investing world reading Paul’s blog.  It was such a pleasure to spend a couple hours this afternoon getting to know them.  They are finishing up a two month stint volunteering as lighthouse hosts here in Bandon. 


A perfect Oregon day!