Sunday, September 28, 2008

9/28/08 Sunday Night and we have just finished an enjoyable homemade pizza dinner with our neighbors Jeanne Taylor and Rodger Lyman, and our friends Viv & Curt Rogers. Usually when we make pizza it is because we want crab pizza, using some of the crab we recently caught in Oregon. But Viv is allergic, so we had a smoked salmon and veggie pizza, and a BLT pizza. Of course, we used fresh lettuce on the BLT pizza - not baked, silly. Now tomorrow we will have to exercise twice as hard to get these extra calories off!!!
Not much has been happening here although we have been trying to tackle a few "to do" items. Last weekend we went to the Reel Pride Festival in Fresno, where we saw a few interesting Gay films, and also picked up a few bumper stickers for our car and a big poster for our lot telling people to vote "NO" on Prop 8, which is the proposition to ban Gay marriage. It hadn't been up very long when we had a visit from our new park manager telling us that it wasn't permitted for us to have a political sign up on our lot. Elaine asked him if we could have stuff on our car and he said vehicles were OK. So she positioned our golf cart (the one Viv & Curt have extra so they are loaning it to us) so it faces the street and she stuck the big poster right across the windshield of it. Now that sign is even more visible than it was before! (And we are legal). We know that this action was precipitated by an overly religious park member who walks by our lot every day; so we hope she enjoys her enhanced view of our sign!

We will be spending the rest of this month here at Park Sierra, getting ready for the wedding, doing jury duty, having a few more appointments, and also getting ready for the next cruise. Because we didn't have anything special planned for November, Elaine wanted to take another trans-Atlantic repositioning cruise. We knew that our friends, Carole and Dick Schneider, who have been in Europe since May, were returning on the Navigator of the Seas on Nov. 10 from Barcelona. The price had dropped to $399 for a 12 day cruise, so it seemed reasonable. So yesterday we booked the cruise and a flight to Barcelona, leaving Nov. 8. Of course, by the time extra government tax is added and a fuel surcharge, the cruise costs about $600 each, but that still seems like a bargain. If anyone reading this blog wants all the information, let us know because it is not too late for friends to join us on this - our Honeymoon cruise!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

9/17/08 Still here at Park Sierra and taking care of business. Not very interesting for BLOG readers!! The report on the doctor's appointments is that we had a bad run-in with the dermatologist. I had to have spots on my neck, nose (3) and lip burned with liquid nitrogen. Then he spotted Elaine's lip, which he said was worse than mine, and he zapped hers too - three times!! So we went to our lunch date with Diana Bonas, the Methodist minister who will perform our ceremony, with big blisters on our lips! Since then we have developed scabs and we are telling people that before getting married we wanted to have a really BIG fight!
Diana seems like a sweetie and we had a great time with her. She gave us lots of good suggestions for our ceremony and now we just need to work on the wording. It is like a homework assignment! Then we went to get our marriage license at the county clerk's office. There were about 10 people waiting around ahead of us and I'm sure we were an item of curiosity, covert looks, etc., but all went well. the license cost $49 so now we really have to go through with this - too much money invested to abort now....
There is a need for some follow-up appointments so we are hanging around Park Sierra waiting for these to be scheduled. It has been fairly hot here - in the 90's every day, which has been OK with us and we have now thawed from being frozen up in Oregon. Today the weather is starting to cool into the 80's which is about perfect and we will bask in it. On our daily walks we have been seeing lots of animals: deer, coyotes, quail, bunnies, squirrels, woodpeckers, and last night there was a skunk right in our patio area. The other evening on our walk we saw a baby rattlesnake on one of the streets in the park. There have also been sightings of a cougar and her 2 cubs down in the number 500 lots by the creek. It is great to have so much "nature" right around us. In case you haven't seen any of the pictures we have posted in the past about this park, here are a few:

Front View of Our Lot at Park Sierra #414

The back and side view from our lot.

The clubhouse at Park Sierra where our wedding will be held.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

9/10/08 We have been back at Park Sierra for a few days now and until today, it has been HOT. Of course, we are enjoying having warmer weather. It has been good to be back here, helping with minor things at the park and seeing lots of old friends. Viv & Curt Rogers had us over for a delicious steak dinner on Monday and Mary & Dave Fountain were at our place for dinner last night. Sunday there will be a brunch at the Kimptons. When it is not too hot to be outside, we are tackling a few projects on the rig and in our shed.
Today we had some check-ups at Kaiser in Fresno, and tomorrow there will be more. We will also be meeting the minister who will be performing our ceremony on October 25. Reports on these events will be in the next blog.

Friday, September 05, 2008

9/5/08 I am writing this as Elaine is driving south towards the California border. This morning we left Days Creek, where we stayed several days with our friends Pat & Tom Bryant on their beautiful little farm. Not only are they always welcoming, when we visit, they are interesting and always busy with a myriad of projects. We were able to help with a few of them, but when it came to dealing with their critters, we left that up to them! Because we had just arrived from Winchester Bay, we had some fresh crab to share with them, and here is a picture of our first dinner together, enjoying the fruits of the sea.

The first day we were there, we went with Tom to the nearby river to collect some flat river rocks for his fireplace project in his big storage shed/shop/art room complex. Here is a picture of Mary & Tom at the site:

On the north side of the hill we could still find some good blackberries, so we wanted to pick some for a cobbler. Elaine was whining about how hard it was to get to them so Tom developed a new method of picking. He used a large leather glove to protect his hand and he cut off the stalks of berries and handed them to us in a dishpan and then we just plucked off the berries into another pan and threw the stalks away. We had a large amount of berries in about 10 minutes! The cobbler that night was delicious.
The next day we helped Pat out in their very large and productive garden. She had some small plants that had been developing in their greenhouse which she needed to plant. She also had a row of beets that were ready to harvest and she wanted to pickle them and can them. So we went out and helped with that. Here are some pictures of all the fun we had:

Pat Rototils the Garden

Elaine and Pat Planting

Elaine & Pat With Finished Rows

Pat's Pumpkins
As they were planting, my job was to harvet the beets. When the green leafy tops are cut off, then they get thrown over the fence to the waiting goats:

Because Pat &Tom have sheep and goats, they had to get a guardian dog to patrol the fenced areas to protect the livestock from predators such as cougars, coyotes, etc. Here is a picture of Dutch, the guardian dog:

The two newest critters on the farm are Fudge and Pudge. After all the great food we had here, we fall into the same category as these animals!

Before arriving at Tom & Pat's, we stopped at the Escapee park in Sutherlin to visit our friends Pam & Sid Bowen. We not only go to see their new park model, new truck, and new (old) small travel trailer, they took us out to lunch as an early wedding celebration/present. It was great to see them and here is a picture of them in front of their new trailer, which they will use to go over to the Crabfest on the coast, of course.

It has been nice to be off the coast and experiencing some warm weather! Now that we are heading towards Redding, it is even getting HOT. We will be back at Park Sierra within a day or two and have a few doctor's appointments next week. It will be good to see all our Park Sierra friends again, and also start getting arrangements made for the wedding on Oct. 25.