Sue and Mo at Harris Beach

Sue and Mo at Harris Beach
Sue and Mo at Harris Beach

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sick of that photo!

In Rocky Point, OR: 26 degrees F and the high predicted today is sunny and 57 degrees?!

Friday morning sunrise on the Pacific.  Third full sea day November 2012 I have nothing exciting to write about, but I am sick and tired of looking at that last post with that face!  Needless to say, I am better, with just a few yellow and green patches here and there and a bit of a weird nose.  November is my least favorite month for outdoor photos, though, and I don’t have many that are worth putting up.  I suppose I could get out there and try for something, but all the leaves are gone, there isn’t any snow on the ground, and nothing seems to inspire me much.  Instead I’ll just pop in a shot of last November on our cruise for bit of text relief.

It is almost the end of November and just a few days ago, Mo motored around the yard with the mower.  She said technically she wasn’t “mowing” although that is what it looked like.  Instead, she was mulching up the bazillions of pine needles that come down every year and make spring raking a back breaking chore.  With no snow yet to speak of, that chore should be a bit easier this year when we return in April to the Rocky Point homestead.

Mo is mowing in November (1) I have been busy quilting, and sent sister Sal’s quilt off to her daughter in Corvallis.  She was supposed to make it home for Thanksgiving, but instead is holed up in a motel on the Iowa/Minnesota border, waiting once again for a truck repair.  Cold and no income while she is sitting.  Bummer.  The life of a trucker can be so frustrating when the truck doesn’t run.  Although with the weather back in that part of the country, I guess I am glad she isn’t on the road.  She has her gorgeous big German shepherd with her for company, and I am glad for that as well.

Daughter Deanna is safely home in Washington State for the holiday, something that doesn’t happen all that often.  Thanksgiving for her will include most of Keith’s family and at least one of their sons.  Makes me happy for her.  They will be back on the road again before Christmas, and I am dreaming of the chance for a visit with them here sometime around Christmas.  Then again, who knows, I may not see her again until we are both somewhere in Florida.  They deliver a lot of jet engines to Miami.

Tomorrow Mo and I will amble into Klamath Falls for Thanksgiving dinner at my daughter, Melody’s home.  Yippee!  I am often the Thanksgiving hostess, although last year I was cruising around Hawaii for the day.  This year Melody decided she was up for doing the holiday and since Daughter Deborah lives close enough now to share, she is heading to Melody’s tonight after work.  I hear rumors of lots of sister cooking with some drinking involved.  Ha!  They should have a lot of fun together.  Makes me happy.

Deanna and Keith's quilt ready for machine quiltingI have just two jobs.  Dressing and Gravy.  Melody and Kevin are making the turkey on his Big Green Egg.  Makes for a great turkey, but then there isn’t any gravy.  So I bought a turkey, will cook it today, keep the meat for sandwiches for Mo and I, and have lots of gravy to take to Melody’s tomorrow.  The girls have big lists of goodies, including a lot of our traditional favorites and some new things Deb is trying.  I am stress-free.  All I have to do is show up.  Wow, that is just soooo different, but kinda nice.

I even managed to finish Deanna and Keith’s quilt and get it down to Merrill to the machine quilter.  It is promised before Christmas and I can get the binding on in time to deliver it to Deanna before we head off to the southland.

trip map In exactly one month we will be heading out on our three month sojourn, and I will find out just how well all the planning worked.  Being on the road that time of year is a crap shoot, and the possibilities run the gamut.  Smooth sailing or crazy weather, either way it keeps us young and if we stay loose, it will be great.

In the midst of all the homey things I have been doing that involve a sewing machine, I neglected to wander around the internet enough to keep track of the comet Ison.  This morning I heard that it may just get blown up by the sun, but if it doesn’t then we should get a great comet show in December. 

comet On another very exciting note, my theater geek daughter, Melody, who acted with Albany Civic Theater, Corvallis Civic Theater, and the Linkville here in Klamath Falls, was just cast in the Sally Field role for Steel Magnolias.  Acting is Melody’s first love, but it sometimes is hard to do with a family, a full time job, and all the other requirements of daily living.  She thought long and hard about auditioning, especially since she works in a jewelry store and it is the Christmas season.  I pushed kinda hard, knowing how much acting means to her and she went for it.  Of course she was cast, my daughter is one amazing actress, something that was born in her, and something I knew by the time she was two.

Worst part about this whole thing is that the play is opening on January 15!  Yes…right in the middle of the part where we are somewhere in Texas.  For the first time, I will miss one of my daughter’s plays.  Filming or photographing a play is just a no-no, but rumor has it that someone is going to film it, with permission from the director, just for Melody’s mommy!  Is that great, or what! 

easter 010 On a final note, my son-in-law Kevin, Melody’s husband, who has worked in our small town of Klamath Falls for insignificant salaries, just landed a job with the big guy!  Kevin is now a Google contractor, and will be heading south to the Mountain View Google Campus for a year long stint with hopes for more permanent employment in the future.  Sad to say, the Klamath Basin just doesn’t offer much for computer geeks, so Kevin and Melody will be managing a long distance marriage for a time, at least until the grandson exits high school in three years or so.  Working at Google is pretty amazing, and Kevin’s brother has been there for some time now.  Melody is in super freak-out mode, knowing it is a good thing and still not excited about being a long distance wife.  Of course. Those two communicate on Facebook when they are sitting in their own living room, so I would imagine they are better equipped than most to handle the apart time.

Time to get busy with the turkey (source for the gravy) and finishing up the complicated quilt blocks that are making me crazy.  Wishing all the US folks a great Thanksgiving celebration.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Fight!

Home in Rocky Point: cloudy, chilly at 40 degrees F, with snow coming tonight

IMG_3758IMG_3755 It was just a fight with a lawnmower, but the results looked as if I had been in some kind of bar fight!  Early in the month, we took the MoHo over to Grants Pass for the last time this winter and decided to do a bit of yard cleanup while we were there.  Mo, of course, is the riding mower queen and I was busy raking leaves.  I was at least 20 feet away, but was downside from the eject window on that mower and a rock hidden in the long grass decided to come my way.

Ugh!  It knocked me down, hurt worse than anything I can quite remember, and the results were not pretty.  Of course, all the yard equipment danger stories came out of the woodwork after it happened.  Of course I wouldn’t mow barefoot, am pretty careful with the weed eater, and have managed to do yard work for half a century without anything like this happening to me in the past.  Still, you can bet I won’t be anywhere in the yard in the future when that mower is going.

Now, of course, it has been a bit of time since I last posted and lots has been happening, and it is time to try to catch up so I don’t forget what we did in November.  How do you pick a title for the mish mash of stuff that is to follow?  A funny thing to note….until recently the most popular post in my entire 6 years of blogging is one called “Vandalized”.  Go figure.  At last the main post about the MoHo has surpassed the stats for Vandalized, but it has taken years!  Betcha I get a bunch more hits when I talk about a fight.  What is it about people anyway.  I am sure the the word “Fight” gets a ton more views than something like “gorgeous bird” or “Halloween” or “My grandson’s play”.  Wanna make a bet with me on that?

IMG_0963 We have driven the MoHo across the mountains more times than we planned because it was time for new tires.  Basin Tire does great by us, but it is a locally owned company in Klamath Falls, 30 miles east.  The MoHo was already over in Grants Pass, where she doesn’t have to be winterized, 100 miles west.  Oops.  So we brought her home to get tires, and an oil change and transmission service, which made her very happy, and made us very happy with more than 8,000 travel miles already tucked away on our winter agenda.  Of course, sitting at home in Rocky Point, with sub freezing temperatures and a smattering of snow wasn’t the best.  Mo set up the electric heater inside and we parked her under the shelter of the big trees.  It was nice to see frost and snow all over the grass but not on the driveway.

IMG_3748 Not long after the tires were added, I got an early morning wakeup call from Daughter Deanna, who was just an hour out of the truck stop in Central Point.  This was exciting for several reasons, one of which is that I don’t get to see her often, and their jet engine deliveries don’t take them down I-5 all that often.  For some reason she thought I was in Grants Pass, but instead we jumped up and dashed over the mountain in the melting snow, in the MoHo, so that we could meet them by 8 at the restaurant so they could continue with their very tight schedule.  They were delivering some kind of big jetway, an oversize load, and had all sorts of permitting and route variations they had to follow on their way south to LAX.

IMG_3751 Whew!  Now,  just maybe, a few old time readers will remember Deanna lent her huge fast magnificent Nikkor lens to me for our trip to Alaska and I crashed to the ground and crashed the lens.  I replaced it for Deanna, and repaired the old one for myself and I love it.  I happen to have a zoom lens, but it isn’t anything like the big zoom lens that Deanna had for her photography business, and since I was responsible enough to replace her lens, she had no problem lending her big zoom to me for our upcoming trip to the southeast.  I really do want to get some spoonbill photos!  Now lets hope my old lady tendency to crash every now and then won’t cost me the several thousand dollars it would cost me to replace THIS lens.

IMG_3760The good part about the quickie visit to Medford, is that Deanna had a chance to pick up the lens from their storage in Wenatchee and bring it along for me. Way better than trying to ship and insure the thing.  Breakfast and daughter hugs were great too!

Another good part about the quickie visit is that I was able to bring the beginnings of the quilt I am making for their truck bed over for her to see and approve in person.  Deanna saw Sally’s quilt and asked for one, and was willing to pay for the fabric if I would make the quilt.  We decided on an idea, and it was great to see that our over the phone choices worked out perfectly for the soft gray and blue interior of their truck.  Eventually I will even make truck curtains to match.  It is been good that I can stay at home in the dreary November weather and just quilt and not scare people with my fighter face.

new lens-015 Another little glitch showed up early in the month while I was working away on the quilt with a broken sewing machine.  Sheesh.  My machine is a Bernina 1230, a model from the 80’s, and it seems the part is expensive and hard to find.  It would require a 150 mile round trip to the Ashland Bernina Dealer.  Sister Sal, the other trucker in the family, who recommended the 1230 because she loves hers, sent a quickie text message to me saying, “Go get mine, it is in storage, you can use it while I am driving”  Wow!  Just before that, Mo and I decided it was time for me to get the little 12 pound travel Janome 600 machine I had been eyeing for awhile now.  So now I have the Janome for travel and classes and quickie piecing at home, and my broken Bernina, and Sal’s working Bernina and two of her sergers which I haven’t a clue how to thread. Did I mention I don’t have a sewing room, that I store all my sewing stuff in my bedroom and quilt on the dining table?  Ha!

new lens-010It seems I don’t have a lot to show for it yet, except of course Deanna’s quilt which will be ready for the quilter this week.  They promised to get it back before Christmas, so the next time I meet Deanna on the road somewhere (probably in Florida or Texas or something), I’ll have her quilt all bound and ready to give to her.  Yippee!!

IMG_0976-001 The other little busy maker around here has been Mo’s computer.  She has a great Dell workhorse that has plunked along for a very long time, but it is a bit slow and still runs XP without the bones that could be upgraded to Windows 7.  I had Bel’s little Dell laptop I got for her before she passed away, just sitting in a cupboard, so decided that it would be a good backup computer for Mo.  Sure enough, Mo is now learning to use Windows 7 and is getting more and more used to the idea that she can let the old beast go.  I have been using Windows 7 for some time now, but in teaching Mo the differences in the OS, I am learning things I didn’t know.  I have no desire whatsoever to try out Windows 8 any time soon.  Just the upgrade to the IOS on my iPhone made me a bit crazy.  Finally, after some of our computer work, this morning Mo said something to the effect, “Gee, I like this, I can work on Quicken on my old machine and see all the banks on the laptop at the same time!”  Power User!  You go Mo!!

woodpecker_133 Oh yeah, another little busy maker….I am trying to get all the old VHS videos that I have in boxes transferred to DVD’s so that I can actually do something with them.  I bought a Toshiba machine that does the job, but still takes a bit of tweaking and concentration to make sure that the resulting DVD can be viewed on a computer.  The plan is to eventually get those files converted and transferred from the DVD’s to the computer and to then make some nice movie clips from the good parts.  I can’t believe how much wasted, pretty boring footage there is on the old videos, and yet how many sweet special moments are tucked away in there as well.  It is a big job, and I have to thank Erin and Mui (this is a link to his great videos) for sending some emails along that helped me at least begin to understand what I was dealing with, what kinds of files and software I needed to understand to actually do the project.  For now, I am just happy to get them to DVD’s where I can skip and fast forward and find things much more easily.

Another delightful treat early in the month was a trip to town to watch my youngest grandson, Xavier, starring as Jack Rover in the play Wild Oats.  It was amazing to me to see how great the kids were in this high school production.  It was as good as many community theater productions I have seen.  I even went for the second night since I did learn, when Melody was doing theater, that every single performance has its own nuance, its own special moments.  Sure was proud of that kid!  Plus he is getting all A’s for his first year of high school in advanced placement classes.  He is on  a roll, and I trust it will keep going throughout his high school years.Wild Oates_060

I would imagine that those who read the blog because it said “Fight” are long gone.  Those who read the blog because they read RV travel blogs have probably bailed by now as well.  But at least when I go back to the blog to try to remember what we did this month I will have something to read.  There are times in the past when we ask that question, and if we weren’t traveling there is nothing but a big blank!new lens-002

I have lots of practice ahead of me using Deanna’s lens, but I did try it out a little bit.  She has a nice tripod that is attached to then lens rather than the camera to help hold it.  While it is only a 200mm, it is fast, so hopefully I can get photos that are more clear than I have managed with my much less expensive slower lens.  Wish me luck!