Our lives now include living at one of the nicest senior communities in the USA. Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, CA. We will still travel in the RV but not full time.

Archive for the ‘friendship’ Category

Joys of Living In SF Area

OMG!!  I have not blogged since February.  Not because I have nothing to share but because I have been just that busy.  Being retired can be a busy job.

We have been working on the condo here at Rossmoor.  Now we are getting ready to rent it out for two months so we can travel to Idaho wedding for Kreighton and Lisa (nephew) and Colorado where we will enjoy Denver area and support Kreighton’s big brother, Kristopher, and family during the arrival of their new baby.

The other day we drove to Sausalito, CA as a favor to my nephew, Zak.  Oh, he really had to beg me to do this favor.  When you see the photos you will know what a difficult job it was.  Of course it was absolutely a perfect  SF Bay area day.  We had Georgie Girl so we found a restaurant that would let her eat at their outside table.

We were right on the Bay looking at Tiberon, the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, SF and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Across the street were two of our favorite restaurants.  If you do not know Scoma”s or Trident restaurants you are really missing something.  The Trident sold some years back and had a new name.  It was thrilling to see the old name back up.  Locals loved sharing our pleasure over it.

Our Methodist Church at Pt. Richmond continues to keep us very busy.  We are a jazz church.  Acoustics are incredible and jazz series run for 8 months and today was “Jazz on Father’s Day”.  We are talking professional concerts.  Our minister brought this to us and publishes jazz CD’s, writes songs for the Methodist Church and is published in the new Methodist Hymnal.  We put on a Junktique Sale and I worked with others getting ready for it.  In past years I only worked the day of.  This year I joined Betty, Diane, Jonathan, Bill, Julio, Fran getting ready for it.  Betty gave me a bad time, cause I practically give stuff away, but we did great and raised more money this year than any other.  These people are a real family to Russ and I and we have been active for over 20 years.

Those of you who do not live here really should come visit us.  The Murphy bed is finally put together in the guest room, office, and we are ready for you.  We will be back in September and as many of you know, fall in SF is the best weather of the year.

The Murphy Bed story:  It came in pieces and Russ planned to put it together himself.  First time it arrived after 3 weeks, the boxes were damaged and so it all went back to Canada.  The second time, another month, it all looked good but when Russ started to work with it, gouges appeared on a key piece so he sent that back.  In the meantime for two months we had huge pieces of the bed out in our entry, living room and office.  Russ kept working on parts, and let me tell you, it was difficult and not easy to follow directions.  His battery operated screw driver, fortunately, puts in screws and then takes them out. However the Murphy Bed  was just a taped on veneer and was not meant to have any mistakes.  When the end was near and before we nailed it to the wall, I painted the office.  I’ll have to send photos later on with the results.  Suddenly we had a place looking like home.

Photos include or Friday Farmer’s Market here in Rossmoor, doe and faun, (you cannot believe all the wildlife walking around our homes-turkeys, deer, geese, predator hawks, etc,)  and the Sausalito day.

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One of our pools

One of our pools

View of Sausalito

View of Sausalito

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Deer in our parking lot.

Deer in our parking lot.

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Our own Farmers Market at Rossmoor

Our own Farmers Market at Rossmoor

Quite a few people have cool cars.

Quite a few people have cool cars.

 

 

Sweetheart Dinner Masquers and Methodists

When your church is over 100 years old, you are responsible for the historic building lasting into the next 100 years.  For Pt. Richmond people, First Methodist is a labor of love supported by others in the community.  We hold a junktique sale, put on wonderful concerts,  make and sell Christmas cookies, hold tea parties and so on.  Each event is done with humor, fun sharing times and creativity as well as a lot of work.

One event that has been going on each February or March is the Sweetheart Dinner.  Someone wonderful from the Pt. is chosen and if they accept they ask their friends to come to our dinner. We Methodists are there both working it and enjoying it.  It is a roast.  The Methodists led by Fran Smith creator and organizer and the Pt. Richmond Yaught Club put on a wonderful dinner. But the speeches can be hysterical especially if the honoree is involved with the Masquers Theatre Group.  One such person became the new Sweetheart last Friday night.  Tamara acts and she designs clothes and sets and she organizes like nobody’s business.  And of course the Methodists love these skills as she shares them with us-most recently putting on the Christmas story at the Jazz Christmas Eve Service.  Her friends not only roasted her but shared the wonderful ways she has stood beside them.

I am so  happy to be back enjoying working with my Methodist Family and Friends and was glad to be here for Tamara’s  special nite.

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Victor the Cat and his Neighborhood in Concord, CA

I did Halloween at Nancy’s House but I don’t think I have told you about Victor.  He is cat with so much love he must share it with an entire neighborhood.  The other day a young woman who works in San Francisco was moving into her first house in Nancy’s neighborhood.  I met her and her mother and as usual got into a lovely conversation.  I suggested she meet Nancy and Victor across the street.  “Victor?,”  That cat is in my house on the sofa we just moved in.  I thought maybe he came with the house and I was counting my good luck.”   Well I explained that he comes with the neighborhood, everyone thinks he spends most of his time with them.  Of course there are about 14 thems. Nancy figures his nine lives may be out there right now.

In the mornings Victor likes to show up at Nancy’s bedside after a nite of roaming.  He wants his food and he tells her loudly. She tells him how much trouble he is going to get into if he does not wait until 8.  She sleeps on a different schedule and they work it out.  But Victor loves to test her on it.  If you heard the conversations between them you would agree they have shared many lives together.

The funny part is everyone is just sure they must let Nancy know if Victor is out late at night.  So 2 AM calls and taps at her door to report that Victor is limping or has not been seen for several days occur all the time.  Regular walkers in the neighborhood carry treats for him.

Victor has taught our little Georgie Girl how to behave around him.  She has figured out he is Senior and very cool.  So she treats him with great respect.

Oh yes, when neighborhood children have birthday parties, Victor always attends.  He spends the full party entertaining and sharing love with their friends and families.

Our Hostess, Nancy Decorates for Halloween

We are having a great time parked  at Nancy’s house here in the Bay Area.  She and I taught together many years.  She has been my retirement mentor and wonderful friend.  It is so cool being here and being back with friends and family.  Russ and I have been going to the YMCA, chiropractor, church and with close friends.  We have Brandon and Marisa here and Kay and Todd.  I get time with my closest girlfriends and we have even been to Watsonville to camp on the strawberry farm at Russ’s sister’s home.  I even ran into a former Crossroad’s Student.  How cool is that?

Just starting to catch up on the blog and calling other peoples we want to see.

A Day of the Dead theme

A Day of the Dead theme

Cool mailbox.  This cottage is so cute.

Cool mailbox. This cottage is so cute.

Georgie will no longer go into front yard.

Georgie will no longer go into front yard.

Dusk allows the lights to show a bit

Dusk allows the lights to show a bit

My favorite, Nancy has changed this one up a few times.

My favorite, Nancy has changed this one up a few times.

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I had the idea for this, but Nancy executed-the drink is eyeballs.

I had the idea for this, but Nancy executed-the drink is eyeballs.

The skeleton is drinking eyeballs.

The skeleton is drinking eyeballs.

Front porch was built some years ago by brother in law Ken Honas

Front porch was built some years ago by brother in law Ken Honas

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Spiders

Spiders

Our light that changes colors was bought at Blackfoot's East Idaho County Fair and Rodeo

Our light that changes colors was bought at Blackfoot’s East Idaho County Fair and Rodeo

Home on the Range

Wow, did I get to see some Idaho I had never known was even there.  What an amazing evening at the Lish Ranch, 20 miles up canyon roads from Pocatello, Idaho and into dry farming high country .  Met people who still have the family homestead their grandfather or great grandfather started in late 1800’s.  Good friends of my nephew Karson who worked for Shawn with the guys in the photos. Karole and Ken have become friends too and Ken has worked with Sadie laying tile and working out rooms in the basement for the girls.  What an incredible family and I just wish I had taken a photo of beautiful wife and mother, Sadie.

We have been told any time we want to take the motor home out there and park and hook up-do it.  Yeah!

You ought to double click on some of the scenes so they blow up and you can feel the country.

Fires for the Family Reunion at Easley’s just north of Ketchum!

Boy OH Boy do I have a few stories to share.  Kassi’s 21st birthday was last Tuesday. Kay and Todd bought a new trailer, every one of my siblings and other family showed up to camp at Easley Hot Springs.  We had 4 camp sites and Karole and Kenny brought their 2 ATVs. The entertainment was Westin and Reagan-who at 2 years of age  and 6 months old were about all it took.  Scott’s other son, Nik arrived for one day, Karole’s sister in law from Boise the last day, and Karole’s friend, Teri drove from Ellensburg to meet up with us.

Yes, we knew the forest were burning and smoke would be everywhere around us, but what could we do?  When Russ and I arrived, Kay and Todd with Kassi chomping at the bit- wanted us to go into Ketchum (Sun Valley) to eat and celebrate- after all you only turn 21 once.  Todd was a good sport and matched Kassi shot for shot for for the first three, and of course Kassi’s were free.  The Pioneer Inn (please, God, let it survive) was our life long favorite for dining.  But Kassi wanted a bar bar-found 1!  We played pool and drug her back to camp  to meet up with everyone.  Russ and I were designated drivers of course.

My grandad had a cabin-back in the day- near by and we used to follow a trail to the wonderful natural hot springs pool.  It still was there with something extra, ashes!.  But we swam and exercised and played with the babies in it.  Kassi survived the birthday and went fishing with Uncle Todd and Kenny, her dad and mom.  They went way into the wilderness on an old old road that went from Sun Valley to Mackey.  You will need a map!  Kay and Todd in waders worked the river, Ken and Kassi sat on the bridge.  When Kay and Todd returned with their 4 trout, Ken and Kassi held up 20 and Kassi had caught the big one.  If you want to know what to do with real trout, call my brother in law Todd.  OMG!!!!  What a great dinner we had that night.

The Beaver Creek fire had started that 2nd day and joined the others.  

So from then on, we were in heavy smoke and ash.  Still we kept in touch with the Forest Service fire crews and they told us we could go over Galena Summit to Red Fish Lake-as they would not call for an evacuation before that evening.  Fearing we might get back to burned out homes, we still went to Red Fish and had a wonderful afternoon.  Russ and I got in a bike ride, the others a boat trip, before the smoke from the other side blew in to us- so we headed back to camp.  Huge plumes of smoke could be seen all the way to Galena Summit and we were in dark smoke into camp.  So of course we went swimming.  Met with firemen who said our campground would probably burn up in the next morning, possible the wonderful ancient pools, buildings and cabins.  We slept expecting to be routed out of bed, but they did not tell us to evacuate until 8:30 AM and we were ready to get out.  In the mean time everything else got out of hand and by the time we got to the RV water and dump in Haily my brother was standing there calling all of us to say-do not stop at Sun Valley for lunch, get the hell down here, they are closing the highway to Galena (now behind us) and evacuating Sun Valley and Ketchum and all the valley towns.

We all got out of the Valley ahead of the bumper to bumper parade behind us.  Meanwhile Scott tells us that the fire on the tops of the mountains on the West Side of Highway 75 was feared to jump the highway which would completely wipe out the towns and spread to the Mackey wilderness area and the White Clouds and so on.

Well as of this moment we have not heard that it has gotten past the highway-but it tried several times and was put out so far.  This fire was 30 miles long !!!  It was jumping from canyon to canyon and burning up multi million dollar homes and ranches.  Did you know that the people who insure Sun Valley and some of the multi million dollar homes and ranches have their own teams of fire fighters that they have sent to to try and save the big resorts, etc ?  New one on me.

Will stop this blog now and send another one soon.

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Full Timer in the RV (Don’t make too many Plans) or (Let the Universe Lead You)

Complete strangers can change your life-for a moment, for a day and for years.  We all know how you meet a person on a plane and exchange all kinds of personal stuff you never thought you would share.  Well I, of course, do not have much that I don’t share! But you know what I mean.

At Perdido Cove we made friends with Linda and Wayne from Young Harris, Georgia and they not only were fun, but kind, helpful, thoughtful, bright, and extremely interesting.  I knew very quickly Linda and I would be girl friends.  Then Wayne helped me plan the trip north and we decided to see their beautiful area.  So we got to know them a little better.  I will miss them and truly hope we get time together in the future.  But whether we do or not may not be the point.

Being free to change plans or to await for them from that Source we usually call God is very rewarding.  There is less fear.  You take more chances.  Best of all you see and listen.  Sometimes when I am not sure what should be next I use a prayer from a writer and blogger that I have followed. I thought today I would share it with you.

“God let your will be done not mine. Jesus I give you my heart, my eyes, my ears, my smell, my touch all my senses, let your will be done not mine. Let me be the divine channel of your loving expression. Make the signs easy and clear to understand so I that I know what to do, and I will show up and I will say yes.”

Most of you know I believe there is no God box and that all religions would use different names to call upon that connection that I believe is everywhere, is all we are.

Yesterday the Tornado hit Oklahoma and children in a schoolhouse were killed.  I am not a good enough writer to express my feelings.  Why????  But this time on the road at least has taught me that I do not do this alone, that God is always there-with those children and with me.  I have finally come to know for myself that we are not just this body or this time.  I am less afraid to just live each day and be.  Since I am blessed with good health and my other senses I really am grateful for this opportunity to “be here” in this moment.

On the day to day surprises, I have pictures of Clayton in Rabin County-made me think of Gooding, Idaho in the 50’s and 60’s.  The hand painted sale signs on the store windows-my Dad’s store!!  Ace had everything including a deer stand, which I took the picture for Todd Mink and Brandon.  It is considered one of the prettiest counties anywhere.  By the way,  the movie, Deliverance was filmed here.

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Haiwassee and Young Harris, Georgia

Russ and I became friends in Perdido Cove with a lovely couple, Wayne and Linda.  They were the center of the night life each evening as a half dozen or more of us gathered together, they had the view of the tug boats and the waterway.  Well, when I began to plan our route out of Florida and through Alabama and Tennessee and then into the Smokey Mountains, Wayne said, bring the map to me.  He knows all the south, actually.  So leaving Chattanooga we did not go to Knoxville, but he wanted us to see a very scenic area in NW Georgia where he and Linda live-Young Harris.  He knew of a remarkable campground, isolated a bit but still close to everything.  This was in Haiwassee. Well the drive from Chattanooga there was on narrow two lane highways, with plenty of up and down, and then my side of the RV almost over the River was very exciting OMG!  Russ knows he should never have me be a passenger on those narrow road trips, as I am sure he will drive us right into the river.

The RV place is beautiful, rolling country grasses and forests and the whole valley has lake and river winding through it.  I think it might be the prettiest place I have ever been. In Haiwassee the campground was River’s Bend.  Creek was stocked with trout and place was landscaped beautifully.

For some reason I keep forgetting to say anything about the Southern accents.  They all don’t come across the same.  The order of words, the level of education, the country or city they live in-absolutely delightful.  What I have enjoyed is that I don’t try to imitate anyone, but in my head I play back something someone said and I realize I am remembering it with the accent.

Linda and Wayne live on top of one of the Hills and have a scrumptious house and huge lawns.  They entertained us for the first evening in her country creative porch room they enclosed.  Oh, the views!!!  They also belong to a Resort with pool both indoor and outdoor.  Linda took me to swim and have lunch by the pool.  I can’t believe they are members of this magnificent spot.  What an incredible afternoon she gave me.  Girl talk endlessly!

DSC04197This view from Linda and Wayne’s family room views the mountain.

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These two are the porch-very informal compared to the rest of the home.  They enclosed it, and it is perfect for family.

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One of the views of the resort where Linda and I swam.

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Resort fireplace and great room.

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more of the resort

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views from resort terrace

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Russ with our friend Linda.
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You know who!!

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The area around the RV place.

Chocoloskee and the Everglades (Russ and Shadow go to the Doctors)

The Academy Awards are on the TV.  I love to watch them, but it is also a good time to do a little work.  So many wonderful movies to see.  Le Mis is doing ok so far.  Looks like the James Bond tribute is starting!.  I snuck all the  James Bond books out of my dad’s bedside table back in the 60’s.  This is where I learned about sex.  Dad did not know that until 10 years ago.

This has been a remarkable place to camp-everyone is a fisherman, we are right on an island, Chocoloskee, south of  Marcos Island-part of the 10,000 Islands.  The sunsets are the best, guys are fishing from kayaks  and off the docks here.  People gather nightly under a pergola and drink and laugh together.  Many of them have been coming here for their winters for several years.  Sharks are caught right out in front of us, alligators are right beside the highway into Naples.   It is 80 degrees or better and the humidity is so thick that the floors feel wet each morning.  I can not hold on to the fact that it is winter everywhere else, I actually find myself confused about the time of year, being in shorts and tank tops.

So Russ tweaked his back and it just got worse, my foot still has not healed, and Shadow tore a toenail.  Yet, in 24 hours, the man parked next to us is a podiatrist from the Netherlands and gave me some ideas about my foot, the couple I visited with on the docks that evening, are from Louisiana and often come to the area due to a chiropractor in Naples and Russ is improving under this group, Shadow was in terrible pain and we had to find one of those weekend emergency pet clinics.  Now, in case I did not mention it, we are really out here in the wild lands.  Naples and civilization are an hour away and Miami is 3.  So I have been driving and taking care of my husband and pet and I  still can not walk without the wooden shoe. But people show up and we get to the best help so one just keeps being thankful and enjoying the beauty of the life.

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Gallery

Toronto and Teri #2

I mostly want to send you all more photos, so here we go.

Went on a ferry to Toronto Island in Lake Ontario and we biked the island, ate lunch at an elegant restaurant and caught photo’s of the Toronto skyline from the island and ferry.

Russ calls his friend, Joanne in Roanoke Park as we watch the sailboats.

We dine at a 4star restaurant on the island and the manager is a friend of teri’s.  He buys our dessert and hopefully I can put in the photo.  I seem to be having trouble with this today.

A delightful hour and calamari like I have never eaten. Wow!

Makes me think of Bay Area SF. Boats everywhere and the skyline is spectacular.

Russ and Teri, as usual no pictures of me! There are actually funky little cottages on the island and people live there without cars.


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