grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Saturday, August 31, 2013

23-31AUG13 - Houma, LA (starting the wait for the stork)

Friday afternoon, 23AUG, we completed our cross country drive & parked our RV in our daughter’s Rebecca & husband Raymond’s driveway; 440 miles driven today! As we noted in previous BLOG we are here for birth of their second child (aka our second grandchild). Shortly after our arrival Rebecca came home with the first born, Jaxson (aka our first grandchild). Soon thereafter our son Joe showed up for a family dinner, unfortunately Raymond was stuck at work into the night:(

Saturday morning we finally got to say hello to Raymond back from work. That afternoon was a quick visit to son Joe’s & Tasha’s to drop off some of Dan’s tools we had brought him from Sultan. This was in preparation for a shed he plans to build in his back yard. This will be three sheds in less than two years for Dan. First there was Rebecca & Raymond’s shed (10ft x 12ft); Corrie’s garden shed (8ft x 12 ft); & now Joe’s (12ft x 16ft!). We also delivered Joe’s childhood Legos we had held onto for over 15 years. Then Joe & Tasha came over to Rebecca & Raymond’s with a spaghetti dinner (apparently one of Jaxson's favorite meals?) they had made. The excitement of the evening was when Tasha found an abandoned squirrel in yard. Most of the guys recommended leaving it to fend for its self, but softer hearts decided to “rescue” it.

Tuesday, 27AUG, Dan tried to put up satellite dish for the RV TV & somehow damaged the TV speakers. So Wednesday Dan & Raymond spent a couple of hours trouble shooting the TV. It appears the very cheap speakers are the problem, not one of the computer cards:) but even though the TV is less than four years old, Dan could not locate new speakers on the internet, so he was forced to order used speakers. That night Joe treated everyone to all you can eat crab dinners at a local restaurant. The Pacific Northwest is very proud of their boiled Dungeness crabs, but they are much better when boiled in Cajun spices! Note – we sadly learned the rescued squirrel did not make it:(!

Thursday late morning Dan headed over to Joe’s to help him with the concrete form for his future shed. Not only is the shed pretty large (12ft x 16 ft) but Joe wants a six inch slab of concrete! Dan suggested that four inches was used for garages that are bigger & carry more weight, but Joe wasn’t convinced. Since the ground was not level, a couple of loads of limestone rock were needed to level out the site for the concrete pad. Since neither pick-up truck was full size, a couple of trips were needed to local rock yard. Even then Joe’s truck was definitely overloaded! The rest of the afternoon was spent lining up a contractor for tomorrow (Mr Warrence Bennett); four cubic yards of concrete; & a “georgia buggy” to move the concrete from the delivery truck to the job site.

Friday morning, 30AUG, at 0700 Mr Bennett showed up wanting to start the concrete job in the morning, even though everything was set-up for 12 noon. Dan scrambled to get the georgia buggy, but the concrete company refused to change their delivery time (not uncommon for small residential jobs). So Mr Bennett & crew had to disappear & come back when the cement delivery was made at 1:15PM. Lesson learned for Joe – hire the contractor upfront & have them level the site, build the form & then pour the concrete! Dinner that evening for everyone was at Rebecca & Raymond’s & was take-out pizza.

Satuday afternoon the new "used" speakers showed up for the RV's Visio TV.  In twenty minutes Dan & Raymond had them installed & the TV remounted to the front cabinet wall & they worked! Twenty dollars in used parts & twenty dollars in shipping & a $500 TV (4 years ago) is saved:). Hi-def TVs maybe state of the art for their pictures, but their sound systems are unbelievably cheap!

In closing, the main reason we try not be back in south Louisiana (or anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico) until at least OCT (if not NOV) is to miss hurricane “season”. But something we forgot about this time of year is the HIGH heat & humidity!!! It’s been close to six years where we have endured day after day of high 80s, low 90s, with humidity; & we are having a hard time tolerating it:(! In fact, the poor AC on the RV runs almost all day, & only gets some breaks late at night & early morning.

Monday, August 26, 2013

18-22AUG13 - Various (missoula, mt; kennebec, sd; salina, ks; & canton, tx)

Sunday morning, 18AUG, bright & early we finished securing & locking up property & with some reluctance hit the road to Houma, LA. If you have followed our BLOG over the years, you know this an early departure from the Pacific Northwest for us; but we are happily doing so because our daughter Rebecca & husband Raymond are expecting their second child (aka our second grandchild) in mid September! Because of this event we will abandon our normal leisurely pace of driving on back roads & will drive long distances every day all freeways. For the first day we drove on I-90E Missoula, MT, & check into a Jellystone Park in time for an ice cream social. But before Missoula we had to honor a Ryan family tradition & stop at $50,000 Silver Dollars in Haugan, MT, where we had excellent sandwiches & coleslaw made with horseradish. 493 miles driven.

Monday was another hard drive to Sheridan, WY. During the later part of the drive Dan noted the RV engine temp acting up between Billings, Mt, & Sheridan, WY??? Since Dan had long ago installed a computer monitoring system on the engine he could tell the engine would run 10 to 15 degrees hotter than normal & then cool off to 5 degrees cooler than normal. This “cycle” would repeat itself during different parts of the drive sometimes on hills, but sometimes on flat stretches. As soon as we set up camp Dan washed the radiators using garden hose nozzle. 488 miles driven.

Tuesday morning back on the road, but we changed our planned route to go to the closest Cummins facility in Gillette, WY. Unfortunately they can’t get to us for over a week & the best they can do for us was pressure wash radiators. After that it was back on the road but engine temp still was not constant. Since the engine & transmission were not overheating, we continued on with one eye glued to the computer screen. By the end of the day we made it to Kennebec, SD. 426 miles driven.

Wednesday we spent much of the drive heading due south to spend the night in Salina, KS. 468 miles driven.

Early Thursday morning, 21AUG, we continued heading south. Unfortunately we hit Dallas at the height of rush hour & spent one & quarter hours going 30 miles, before stopping in Canton, TX! 551 miles driven, part of which was a twenty mile mistake by Dan. Tomorrow, hopefully with no mistakes, we should have an uneventful drive into Houma, LA. About 440 miles to go.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

01-17AUG13 Sultan, WA

Now that we are in the month of August its time to start preparing for our departure back to Houma, LA. If you have followed our BLOG over the last few years, you will know that this is a very early departure from Sultan, WA, for us. The reason for this is that our daughter Rebecca is pregnant for the second time & we need to be with her & husband Raymond before September!

Sunday, 04AUG, we headed over to Dan’s cousin Paul Peters & Aunt Jan’s for a quick family visit (see below BLOG for our last visit with the Peters clan). Since Paul hasn’t seen our house & property, we agreed for Paul & Aunt Jan to visit with us next weekend; which they did. It was an excellent visit at our place & everyone liked Dan’s smoked salmon & “faux” sausage.

Wednesday, 07AUG, was Dan’s birthday. In celebration he opted for a birthday dinner at “Kama’aina Grindz” in Everett. There we shared a Spam Musubi appetizer, & a Edamame Hummus appetizer; after appetizers it was a Kanaaina burger for Corrie, & Bibimbap for Dan. All very good! As their website says:

“Aloha!! My name is Dean Shinagawa and I am the Chef/Owner of Kama’aina Grindz along with my wife Rachel and three boys Brayden, Tylan and Noah. We are very excited to open our restaurant here in downtown Everett, Washington. Kama'aina Grindz is a casual restaurant serving a twist on traditional Hawaiian cooking. The food is unique, full of flavor and fun to eat. So put on your best Hawaiian shirt, favorite pair of slippa's and sunglasses and let us take you across the Pacific Ocean.”

Friday, 16AUG, we into Edmonds for lunch at The Cheesemonger’s Table, that we had just learned about in the paper. Dan had the “The Best” – Jamon Iberico de Bellota dried ham, from free range black-footed Spanish pigs that only eat wild acorns; & Corrie went with the trio of sliders; & we shared some cheesy bread. Definitely different & good! As their website states:

“The Cheesemonger’s Table strives to be the Northwest’s number one purveyor of artisanal and imported cheese. Cheesemonger and proprietor, Strom Peterson, selects the finest cheeses from the United States, France, Italy, Spain, England, and more.”

“Our cheese selection is one of the most extensive in the Seattle area, and we are committed to featuring Northwest and American cheesemakers. Take a look at our list of cheeses to search for cheese by region or type.”

“In addition to over 100 cheeses, Resident Cheesemonger offers an extensive selection of specialty produce, fresh breads, olives, antipasto and charcuterie, other accompaniments, and cheese-related gifts. Resident Cheesemonger is proud to feature Seattle’s own Salumi Meats, the finest artisan cured meats.”

Saturday at 2PM we attended an engagement party for Mony Schoener & Ryan Revel at the Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club in Bellevue, WA. Mony is the daughter of Eileen Schoener (nee Kiesel) Dan’s cousin. This event was the reason we had not departed earlier in the month. Knowing many members from Dan’s maternal side of the family would be there & we had seen very few of them this summer; we decided it would be very worthwhile for us to attend the event. In fact it was a great time, with lots of family visiting, & fantastic food & drink, including eating edible butterflies.

In the weeks leading to our departure, we prepared by:

---finally re-installing our new car stereo/DVD player after four months; job complicated by not remembering where the owner’s manual is – thank goodness for internet download PDFs
---continuing preparation of the RV in bits & pieces
---securing house, barn, pumphouse, new garage/shop building, & new garden shed
---getting sewage system inspected
---properly dispose of trash & recycle other material
---bush hogging, mowing & more mowing
---putting up gutter protectors
---Dan takes Toad into Chevrolet to determine fix for air bag warning light – it is determined that a $800 computer chip needs replacing
---doing routine maintenance on generator & rid’em mower, & prepare them for stowage
---etc, etc