Artsy

Well, it has been a fun month traveling with Ruth. Today, I had to say good-bye, for now that is.  I suspect, we will get together down the road some day.  In the meantime, she is catching a train westward and I will head southward once again.

The whole time Ruth traveled with me, she was knitting this crazy blanket – that you see above. I wanted to buy it from her, but we traded instead. She got one of my handwoven towels in trade. Its way too hot to be using that knitted blanket at the moment, but can think of many times in the future that I will greatly appreciate having it.  Then Ruth found out that I love bracelets and necklaces, never owned a beaded one before. So was very pleased and tickled to be given these two, pictured above. I love autumn colors, and this fits it to a tee. They are gorgeous and I said as much to Ruth. So lots of laughter, lots of teasing, and then more laughter is now stashed in our memories of this past month. Thanks Ruth, if you are reading this… really enjoyed our time together, despite the initial challenges (on both of our parts). See you next summer!  I will bring your red Why hat, tahini (if anything left by then), and I can guarantee the chocolate bar will not make it to Alaska… laughing here. Told you, you would forget something…smirking here.  Thanks Ruth!

So I got the handwoven towels off the loom, washed, hemmed & pressed. My very next project is a kit from a Karen Selk workshop I had taken years ago. 100% silk. The biggest yarn is Bombyx silk 30/2 and the smallest is Tussah silk at 120/8… for ye lay person reading that… its makes sewing thread look huge!  Due to its wee size, I need a whole lot of heddles. I have 800 on my loom and I need 1187. So as we speak, they have been ordered and I will hopefully have them in my hot little hands by the end of the week. I am so jazzed about getting this project started. It will be a fun one to weave, but a challenge, like all shadow weaves can be.  Pictures will be posted as I get going on this.

So while waiting for the heddles… more bike riding is in order… and I suspect some much needed spinning will be started.  I am moving within the park I’m at. I found a little landscaped (if deserts can ever be landscaped) area big enough for me and my rig. It is a little closer to my neighbors then I have been doing, but this little patch of landscaped desert has a couple of trees to block the heat of the day. 80ºF needs some shade in my humble opinion.

But first, I am parked at Sanderson Ford Truck in Glendale for the night, with services being done in the morning. I swear by this Ford dealer – they have saved me money in many occasions, and well…just been real good. Besides, its free parking with security, electricity, even water – though the latter is next to impossible to hook up to, so I don’t try. It is worth going out of my way to get my rig into them, so I do it when I am in the vicinity…will sort of in the vicinity.

 

Why?

Had an easy trip eastward from Yuma, then southward. I have friends from Chimacum that winter down in the area near Ajo, so wanted to see where they are. Ajo is not pronounced as “A Jo” as it looks, nor is it “Ah Jo”. It is “Ah Ho”.  Ajo is a small, small town out in the middle of nowhere. It does have a post office, grocery store, even a gas station so it is quite doable for these parts.  My friends tho, are further south, up in a high desert surrounded by mountains. It is high end boondocking if I have ever found.  No hook-ups whatsoever. One needs solar, as the generator is definitely frowned upon, in fact they will ask you to leave. Perfect! Smiling here.  The area is haven to folks from the Northwest, it seems, with a few flashes of Alaskans stirring the pot. One odd bird from Miami is known, but wow what an interesting mix of people.  It is a huge private park, the price is right, as they provide: 4 separate bath houses (toilets/showers); 4 dump stations;  water is accessible, laundry & a clubhouse are available. The views posted upon are from this park.  Ruth has been hiking with new friends, and I have been riding my bike – a nice challenge over non-paved roads, with inclines that make the muscles burn to its core. Loving it!

Wildlife seen here are wild burros, jack rabbits, bunny rabbits, lizards, birds. When it gets warmer we’ve been told to expect rattlesnakes, scorpions and other reptiles.

I experienced one of the real joys of being a full timer… a long soaking hot shower. Not powerful spray, but this gal did not care. It was awesome… one of the signs in the shower said “Watch for rattlesnakes” – oh yeah?  Will let’s just hope that’s after I leave… I don’t really have a problem with snakes, but don’t want to experience them in a shower.

I have managed to weave since arriving here, another joy of mine.  Please note Tucker, one of my two felines, on my loom in the above pictures. He loves to sleep on “his hammock” and eyes me when I come near. I had a battle royal with him yesterday, when I would get up to rewind bobbins, he would get up on my handwoven section and would have to be kicked off. Repeatedly.  So now, I throw my bench pad over it to protect it, even for a few short minutes.  Tomorrow, he will have to find another place to rest, as the project is coming off the loom. Yippee!

Last night, Ruth & I went to a jam session over at the community center. About a dozen guitars (acoustic, bass, electric, & a slide), one mandolin, two fiddlers, spoons, and a string bass. It was quite an enjoyable mix of music. My foot was tapping away…  They don’t practice together, just whoever shows up and they have fun making music. Just lucky enough to learn about it, so we went.  Tonight is a dance at the clubhouse, I may be parked just shy of a mile from the clubhouse, but it is pitch black out here and I got to tell you, I get lost in the daytime. Creosote bushes all look alike – day or night. Laughing here. There are no other real identifiers to find one’s way.  Oh, I guess I could use the magnificent stars in the sky… no, I think I will just stay home.

Let’s do it!

Ah life, it continues to be busy in some of the most unexpected ways. My last post, I had spent time at the beach. But I digress a bit… let’s swing back thru the summer here before I move forward.

In June, I met a kindred spirit… we have spent many, many, so many hours talking about everything and anything. We discovered we have mutual friends and it is entirely possible we have crossed paths more than once over the last 40 years. It is uncanny, almost unnerving to encounter such a person, but what a blast!  Now this person, who I shall call “BDS” – who I have not asked permission to post name, images or much else (which I do with anything I post on my blog), has come and gone since June. In fact, has gone again since the first of November. Won’t see BDS for a few months now. That’s ok, we both need our space.

So in early September, went to the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend. Oh my, what an unique experience!  Some of the photos posted above, but I have so much more.  One of my highlights was going out on a schooner, a historical schooner at that. Beautiful!!! Absolutely loved being back out on the water. I haven’t done so since the 70’s, so it was as special as one can gets at this time.  The Wooden Boat Festival was just a grand affair and will try to make this an annual affair. Wonderful time!

I introduced BDS to the RV life. BDS had never traveled in a RV. How do you explain this amazing life? You can’t. So I invited BDS for a short trip.  We hit 3 different volcano national parks – not one picture was taken, can you believe it! Well, not without us in the images, so nothing to show.  We also headed down to northern California to the Feather River White Water Festival. Oh my… I learned how to judge a gate in the race, nothing fascinates me more then learning something new about all this. I have never done competitive rafting, little lone do white water rafting to the degree in which we witnessed. This was Class II-III rapids… I was glued to all the action, even tho I did not fully understand what I was seeing. But the helpful rafters, taught me what they were doing, what maneuvers were necessary to what they were called.  Wow!  I want to go, I want to experience this. Think I will have to wait, but a girl can dream.  As for RV travel, BDS was quite simply hooked with the whole concept. We had a blast.  Having always done the driving, it was a neat experience to let BDS drive, until we got to the mountains roads in Lassen Volcano National Park. Egads, I did NOT like the virtual drop off to no man’s land from the passenger seat. It had nothing to do with BDS’s driving skills, my fear of heights just reared its ugly head.  We were up there to see the Super Moon and I flunked.  So have asked for a repeat in the future, to do Lassen again.   So that was an eye-opener. I wonder if I was driving would the road bother me as bad?  I don’t know.   The Crater Lake road from North to South was a scary one and I was driving. So… these things – you either learn to deal with it or not do it.

In the midst of all this fun, I had two different medical board exams for this VA compensation thing. Both came back 0%, not good, not good at all. Then when I thought I was all done with this, I met with a senior representative from the Seattle American Legion office. That changed my perspective in an instant. They found out things I did not know and highly recommend that I go for it.  So my task at hand is to find a doctor to evaluate my various levels of disabilities. Even some of the stuff I would never have dreamed was important, such as scars.  The problem I have encountered now, no doctor will see me (not in this area, Mayo Clinic, etc), I can’t get in for appointments unless I have something to be treated. I have managed to get 2 appointments under false premises. One, he flat out refused to fill out the forms. The 2nd one comes next week. Time will tell.

This leads me to tell you… I am heading out of here in January. So on that note, Merry Christmas everyone.

Summer Hots!

I say Summer Hots, as this summer has been the rage in music, dancing, soaring temperatures and a whole new world of friends.  Love, love the unexpected perks that life throws my way.  It is never boring, can be very distracting, but it is alive in wonder of it all.

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Pete & Brad

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Pole Marina

My 6 week class on East Coast Swing was finished at the end of June. What a hoot!  With that, had the grand opportunity to take a workshop with Ari Levitt, a pro dancer out of Seattle, to fine tune all the moves, plus learn several advance moves. Danced for 3 hours solid that night and my feet were screaming – as my mind said: I have got to get new dance shoes!!!  So I limped out of the workshop, not complaining my feet hurt, just delighted to have taken the workshop. Wow, what an education!  And for those that did not realize people wear special dance shoes… there are, but you can get by with duck tape on comfortable shoes as well. I foolishly bought cheap dance shoes on Amazon… they barely lasted the 6 weeks. All a learning experience.

Music galore in Port Townsend, Sequim, Port Angeles, even in Seattle if one wanted to take a boat ride. Port Townsend is overflowing with enough music to keep me happy for a long time. You find music just about anywhere… as I listened to a man playing a cello put on a concert from a park bench one day.  He got some money from me. But there’s the fiddlers, banjos, guitars, etc. all playing what they do best. Then theirs the Concerts on the Dock – wow!  Or Fiddle Tunes at Fort Worden. All kinds of music in the various bars too. And via new friends, I have made contact with a local group that is giving us two free gigs to play at Evergreen Coho SKP, the first one is next Friday, July 17th. This first one they are playing bluegrass and some old time music.  Can’t wait to hear them.

Last night, was the first of 3 dance classes here at Evergreen Coho SKP on East Coast Swing. Taught by Jeff and Carol. We had a great turnout, lots and lots of laughter, all learned they did not have two left feet and could dance. Truly was a special evening by all that attended.  There’s a request for Jeff and Carol to come back to teach Country 2 step… we are going to get a sample of this after our Swing classes, leading up to Coho Days. We are having Buck Ellard for Coho Days… so everyone wants to be ready. Then in August, after Coho Days, they may give us more classes.

Temperatures in Western Washington have been blistering hot. 90ºF or higher is too damn hot for my cats in the RV. So have been forced to figure out my A/C.  I have pretty much converted it into winter mode of dress with the a/c and fan (to blow cold to rear of rig) on. Its dark in here. And my boys do NOT like a/c. In fact, since I got my a/c to cycle on and off, Norm (orange tabby) howls of major discontent. But what am I to do? Let them roast?  Today, clouds moved in and cooled things down, but we are not to the hot part of their summer yet.  Just thankful we have a break from the heat.  So all the Reflectix came down off the windows, opened them up and let the sound of raindrops sooth their souls.  And life goes on.

Just being cute

Are you staying home for a change???

Its hot!

Its hot! Norm is telling me!

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Playing cello

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Beautiful kayak coming in!

Stretch of North Beach

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People flying kites at North Beach

Yippee!!!!

Me and Janie

Altho this picture was taken a year and a half ago, the grin on my face describes me best for right this very minute.  I’m done packing, its been hauled off to the Alaska Marine (barge) people and I have moved back into my rig.  Despite the cold, it was the best night of sleeping I’ve had in a long while. My bed was better then I remembered…  slept long and quite comfortably. Ah-h-h!

Norm
Tucker
Managed to get moved out, apartment cleaned and inspected yesterday.  Plus spent some quality time with friends, went off to the a play last night.  The play was “Dancing at Lughnasa”. Lughnasa (pronounced LOO-ne-se), is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season, and celebrating Lugh, the god of music and light – of Donegal, Ireland.  A very nice productive day and a very nice play to attend. 
Today… is spent organizing, processing all the stuff in my rig. I’ve done a little of this each day, but nothing more is coming in, therefore now is to prep for travel.  Managed to get my rig de-winterized, altho there is no water available to test for leaks, etc. Discovered I forgot to turn on the propane, hence no heat last night…brrrrr.  I don’t run my little electric cube heater when asleep or away from the rig… so it was a challenge for the cats to acclimate to the colder temps. They found I would not budge from my electric mattress pad heater…. but they managed to keep me pinned to my spot in the bed.
The deal with the break-in, ere so called break-in into my rig. Despite being made fun of on the Lazy Daze list about Sasquatch, a raccoon, or some big burly guy attempting to break-in… I still find it a little too bizarre to have really happened – but did report to the police, etc.  As someone pointed out, my door may have been caught by the wind and slammed open, then slammed shut without me being aware of it. Which would torque the door, could bend the hinge…. I really don’t know. Via a tip from “bumper” on the mailing list, got a friend to pound on the door with a wedge of wood near the latch. It closed the gap enough, I no longer see daylight and its not near as drafty as it was. Which I am very thankful at the moment.
So… back to work, organizing my rig better. The excess baggage that I’m carrying to Washington is the stuff that I’m processing. It needs a safe secure spot to make the trip. Besides, my boys need places to run and play. Not really going to happen until I get it unloaded in Washington. Visitors keep stopping in, which gives nice breaks.  Its a beautiful sunny cold day… nary a wisp of wind to stir the bay. An amazing day.

Darn cats!

Tucker

The above picture was taken on a nippy morning at Wenatchee. Tucker had backed himself into the blankets.  All sweet and innocent…

Then along comes Oroville.  Had only plans to do laundry and get some groceries then move on north in a day.  Well… I’m still here.  The second night an old tomcat came visiting. Jumping up on the hood of my rig and announcing to the world he was not happy with the visitors – us!   That old tomcat and Tucker went at it thru the windshield. Delighted the glass did not break, but what a fight!!! And it went on and on and on thru the night..   No sleep for this person, so canceled leaving that next day.  Had to do another load of laundry – as the cat fight, markings, vomiting – happened on my jackets and vest which I hang on my passenger seat. Oh hum….  Ok, all seemed to calm down… the next day into the evening.  Got everything cleaned up.  All seems to be fine.
Off to bed, read a little bit, turned off the light and thump… damn. That tomcat is back. Tucker is once again at the window hissing and slamming into the windshield to get that tomcat.  I reached out of my bedside window and threw a little broom at the cat – dead on, it was knocked off.  Tucker is pacing at the window, almost meowing but quietly as he paces.  Adrenalin rush is quieting… turn over to try to get back to the task at hand, called sleep. And thump. The damn tomcat is back and he and Tucker are once again going at it.  I could not think what else I could throw and banging on the wall or on anything else did not deter the cat.  So I threw open the curtains across my cab and that startled the tomcat enough to run off.   I sat there for awhile… Tucker jumped down and went back up to the bed over the cab.  Well, there’s no way I’m going to stand guard all night…. so I go back to bed. Did not get horizontal before the damn tomcat was back.  At that point, I was thoroughly pissed.
Threw the cab curtains open once again. Same result as before. This time I left them open.  What I did not anticipate was Norm to get curious.  Well, Tucker was thoroughly fed up dealing with the tomcat, and when Norm decided to get curious – he was attacked. Oh good grief.  Visions of the nights in Georgia (last Jan/Feb) – bobcat, fighting cats… and I knew I was in trouble.
I moved the next morning… just trying to get from point A to B was so distracting with all the hissing and fighting going on there’s no way I can head out, little lone do a day’s worth of driving.  So I’ve moved to the grocery store’s RV park – bare bones dirt, got electricity but its right on the highway. Noisy and at this point, I don’t care.   Well… I got my first decent night of sleep since I left Wenatchee. But… my two are still going at it.  I had a surprise tho… Tucker approached me early before I got up… he was so close, so reverent and then curled up in my arms. Wow!  Later he tried to make peace with Norm… not good, Norm won’t have anything to do with him.  And so it continues…
When they get on speaking terms, I will be heading into Canada.  This usually takes about a week – from initial fight to peace. Today I see some positive changes, tho its not quite there yet. I’ve got time. 

NW LD GTG

The Northwest Lazy Daze get together  – what a hoot!   4 days at Confluence State Park in Wenatchee, Washington, a beautiful park, was a blast seeing everyone. Some new, some old.  This is a great park to bicycle, hike, explore or kick back to enjoy.  There was an auction on two nights vs one this time, they had so much offered up, including 2 of my towels… Yes… indeed, some really great stuff, including some real funny ones. Such as the sock one – what a hoot!!!  All proceeds go to support this great group.  I don’t know exactly what they made, but both Leonard and Bill seemed pleased.

Just a few of the Lazy Daze that gathered

The Pavilion 

More Lazy Daze

We learned of a neat way to start a fire. Learned it from our own Pyro/magician man… Ready?  Take a snack size bag of Fritos, open it, put kindling over it. Light with match. Wa-la – fire is started.  Who would have thought Fritos was a fire starter?  A new one for all of us.

Larry, our Pyro man

A surprise showed up at our group site the night before we left.  It was a 1987 Lazy Daze with a popup, not entirely sure of the year.  But you catch the drift.  John the owner of said rig, lives in Wenatchee and he was surprised to see so many Lazy Daze in town – so dropped on by.  Sorry, I did not get a picture of his rig, thought I did, but it didn’t show up in my pictures.

It was a fun, fun time by all…