12-31-08 Wednesday (Shopping Extremes)

Happy New Year! By the time you read this entry, the New Year has already rolled in. We're not the resolution types so you won't see me typing in promises to do stuff. I've said Happy New Year, but I'm going to exclude all the other heartfelt phrases others tend to share as this holiday rolls around. Fresh starts, hopes for a better year, quiting this or that, all just not for me.

I find it odd that so many of us, have a need to use a calendar year as a time to do something, share something or feel something. Sheesh, why wait to be a better person, lose weight or whatever else you've put on your plate? Live in the now.

OK, so obviously, I'm sort of anti-New-Year. Oh sure, when I was younger, it was a great excuse to party.

Enough of that. I've found that my newly found California buddies are going to some gigantic, enormous, large annual RV show smack in the middle of the desert in Quartzsite, Arizona. We've been invited to join in the festivities. I had never heard of this event, and so I quickly Googled for the information in hopes of enlightenment.

Every year this town of 4,000 residents swells to 100,000 or more RVers for various shows for a 3 month period. Of course, the main show is the huge RV show. Vendors, manufacturers and the like set up booths for you to conveniently buy their products. I've also seen this referred to the world's largest fleamarket. Many websites also call it a phenomenon that should be experienced at least once.

There are two primary obstacles. The first being no hookups. This takes place in the middle of the desert on BLM land. It's only $30 for 2 weeks! When your sewage tanks are full, you can get it emptied (for a fee) or go to the dump station. For water, you can get a delivery (for a fee) or go to a hose bib. OK, so some possibilities or workarounds exist.

The second obstacle is the timing. It's a little over 2 weeks from now, and it's 1200 miles away. If we made a beeline for it, we'd be skipping a lot of stuff. I suppose we could back track when we're done, but that takes time and fuel. I'm so torn.

I spoke with Scott (who invited us) via email several times and then finally called him on the phone with all of my concerns. At this point, Jim and I have decided we should skip it. That could change....

And now, Jim has decided to add to the blog. Here's his entry:

Hi there everyone. Jim here writing an entry for the blog. Yippie!! For those of you who know me, I can be a real cheap bastard. But then you also know I have a taste for fancy things and designer labels. So imagine my delight when I got a gift coupon for $25 off if I use my Mastercard at Saks. Yes, for those of you who are not so cheap or who make more than minimum wage know where this is going. Well, anyways, as you may or may not have read all ready, we got the jack delivered via FedEx today. So now we were free to go out and about and did have to not sit around waiting on them. We needed to go to Walmart (our favorite place nowadays) to stock up on groceries and etc since we will hit the road Saturday. I remembered I had that Saks coupon and grabbed it. It expired today. Again I am a cheap materialistic bastard, so I could not let $25 dollars go to waste. So we got out the GPS and plotted a course to go to Saks and then Walmart. I know, what a shopping combo. So we get to the vertical mall in downtown Portland and head into Saks. Well, was I ever in for a shock. $300 for a pair of jeans, $300 for a scarf (I do not care if it was cashmere or spun gold it is just a f$%#ing scarf), $300 for a belt (it was Gucci, but who cares) $100 for a t shirt, I could go one but my bill is all ready over 6 figures. I did see a few shirts that I really liked, but of course they were about $300. Now if a zero could fall off and I could have used my coupon, then we would have had a deal. BUT NO!!! So off to the clearance rack I go. 50% off, more my style. Well yes, but STILL not my price. I may not be hip enough to know all of the latest designers, but some of those brands I had never heard of and the original price on a polo shirt was nearly $100. Who buys this shit I wondered. I did find a t-shirt that was originally $62, now 50% off so, $31, less my coupon would now be $6. I thought about it, but again not a label that I could recognize, then I decided that $6 was more than I would normally be willing to pay these days for a t-shirt at Walmart. Once again NO SALE. We wondered about more then left. This Saks store was only men's wear. We went across the street to see the rest of the store. Being Saks ignorant I figured it would have home goods there. But alas only women's clothing and some of the ugliest and most expensive Christmas decorations I have ever seen now 70% off. Now I like labels and stuff, but ugly is still ugly. So back to the men's store we go to check out to see if MAYBE I could afford some socks or underwear. SCORE I can afford to buy underwear at Saks with my coupon. As I am looking for my size, that bitch Garret that insisted on coming on this trip with me asks "are you looking for the size you are now or that you are going to be?" The underwear are 30% off. So I can/have to get 2 pairs in order to exceed the coupon amount. My shoppers head does the math and says we will be OK with one pair of briefs and one pair of boxer briefs. So off to the register we go with my designer 2xist underwear. We made the cut $25.20, no sales tax in Oregon. Give the clerk my coupon and parking validation, and Mastercard to cover the 20 cents. Well, actually Garret had to do it all, since I did not have a Mastercard in my wallet, well, I did but it was his, long story. As we left I swear I heard snickering and the word loser. (Maybe someone had tried on something that was to tight and was laughing about it and saying they needed something looser.) Oh well Mr cheap strikes again. Besides I am so sure these pricey designer underwear will make me look much studlier than the Fruit of the Loom's that I buy at, you guessed it, Walmart. For those of you out there still reading my first blog entry a heart felt thank you. For those you who quit reading and skipped to where Garret wrote, go to hell and all that good stuff you jerks. Besides you will never know I said that you, BUTTHEAD.

After Saks, we went to Wal-Mart. Nothing all that interesting to report. Besides, Jim is typing a really long entry for me to insert so I think this is gonna be long enough.

Jag awaits coffee.

Dasher comforts Clea.

View of the RV park.

Some street side performers in downtown Portland.

12-30-08 Tuesday (No Sex, No Video, Just Lots of Lies)

Today FedEx called us back. This time I spoke with them. The guy says maybe today or tomorrow. I'm pissed, I ask for a supervisor. The supervisor (Frank) gets on the phone and is very polite and apologetic. It's nice, but doesn't help. The package is in the same town as me since the 23rd but I can't pick it up. Why? Because it's sitting in a trailer and needs to be sorted. When will that happen? POSSIBLY by the end of this week. The holidays and weather have slowed them down. Why didn't employees work on the days Home Delivery is closed to catch up? No answer for that. What's the holiday schedule now? Closed New Years, not sure about New Years Eve. I explain that we're stuck here, we're from out of town, and can't leave until our vehicle is repaired. He's sympathetic but still does nothing more than apologize. I explain that what bothers me more than anything, is the constant lies about its status. Another apology. It looks like we'll be here until after New Years. I heard UPS pulls overtime for the holidays. I bit my tongue but was steps away from telling FedEx to UPS it to me. FedEx sucks.

Jim washed the RV exterior today while I cleaned and organized the interior. Jim washed it in 40 degree weather with rubber gloves on. He'd never have done that if we were in Florida. I've started an overboard pile of crap that we don't need or haven't used. We'll make a grocery list and buy another week's worth of stuff. Oregon does not have sales tax so we may stock up on some other stuff as well.

I've decided to be calm over the FedEx situation. I was worked up when I spoke to the guy, then worked up about it again when I started this entry. I am one with calm.

OK, I lied. After I typed all that nonsense, I decided to call them again, especially after seeing their website says nice things about themselves and their customer service. I want them to realize I'm not just waiting for some Christmas gift to arrive. No, it's not a piece for my respirator or pace maker or some other earth shattering item. I'm kinda in the middle of that importance factor. I'm still talking to FedEx as I type. Well, I'm on hold, actually. New information is they are 12 trucks behind to unload. 12! This guy says he's talked to Portland a lot lately. the rep seemed surprised when I informed him that the snow has been gone for days! I just spoke with John. He put me on hold several times to check things. They are going to get that truck unloaded tonight between 2am-3am to get it delivered tomorrow. In not so many words, John says that my package is on the same truck as another customer who pushed and pushed for his package. I guess I'm the by-product of someone else's bitchiness which is fine by me! Jim will be pleased when he awakes from his nap.

A big RV just pulled up along side us. As usual, there's an empty space on the other side of him which would have left 1 empty spot between us, but the RV park put him right next to us. Typical. There's tons of empty spaces. I think it's because we're in the pull through area. A pull-through is a space that you don't have to back up into or out of when you leave. Pull throughs are more popular for their ease. I think Jim has gotten good enough to back in or out of more desirable spots. It takes more work, but is usually worth the spot. At least these spots are on an angle so both RV's don't line up with one another causing the window peek-a-boo affect. We've not closed out blinds (except the bedroom at night) since we got here.

I've gained a new subscriber! Welcome to IslandRoy from Sanibel, FL. He apparently felt pity on me from yesterday's "nobody loves me" type post. Or perhaps since he is very close to Fort Myers (our former residence), he ran into my mom at Publix who was passing out our business cards. What say you Roy? Well, whatever the reason, thanks for joining.

I've gotten so involved with Facebook and then later a 3 hour and 36 minute phone call with Mike. I think that's a record. I've never had my cell phone battery warn me it's low. I asked Mike several times, "what's that beeping noise". I finally looked at my cell phone and saw the warning. I said it outloud to Jim and got one of those looks from him. The "yeah, what did you expect" look. I thought I was only on the phone and hour and a half at most until I looked at the call timer.

I then find out that a lot of the friends I've pre-made in California is leaving and we may never get to meet them. I'm bummed. A few are going to some giant RV show in Arizona. Another couple is going somewhere due to losing their job. I think they've read the blog and know of the weather catastrophes and other disasters we bring with us. "Screw this" fell from their lips and they all scurried to depart the area.

12-29-08 Monday (Winning the Lottery)

Jack update: Jim has called FedEx this morning. Now, mind you he's been tracking it on their website which shows it's been in Portland since Tuesday, 12-23-08. We understand the weather delays, but it's been clear for 3 days at least. Today, the woman says the facility where it is, is closed today. On a Monday? Why? That's just their schedule. It hasn't made it to the home delivery division. Jim has asked for a supervisor to call him. Since they are closed today, that won't happen until tomorrow. The lady explains they were closed Christmas Day, the day after, Saturdays are no home deliveries and Monday they're closed. What the F*&K?

Leak update: The water leaking into the bedroom window was quite a lot. We had to put a bowl to catch the dripping water, and a fresh towel under it everyday. The leak seems to have stopped now that the snow is completely gone. It's been raining since last night yet no drip. Melting snow makes it leak, but not rain. Interesting.

Itinerary Update: Who the hell knows when we'll be able to leave. It's all dependent on the jack and then the mobile guy. Jim and I just discussed whether we minded travel on New Year's Day. Is it important for us to go out? If it is important than we need to stay here to go out to local gay bar for the festivities because our next destination isn't a very large town (Oakland, OR). For the past few years we've hosted a New Year's party or just a gathering amongst close friends so we haven't gone OUT in a few years and I doubt I'll miss it.

Weather Update: So we looked into going to the Japanese Gardens, the website says they are closed for snow removal. There's hardly any snow left, so perhaps an old message? Nope, it specifically said today's date. They must be related to FexEx. OK, so we look at going to the Chinese Gardens. As I gaze upon their website, a torrential rain storm blows in. So I look into the weather for the rest of the week, and the 5 day forecast is rain, rain, etc.

We took a drive to that Custom RV place again to look through the mistake pile of window shades. 2 would fit but then would be mismatched from all othe others so we'll pass. We spoke with Dana at Custom RV for a long time. We exchanged traveling stories back and forth and she had suggested keeping a journal of our trip, so I passed her a business card with the blog address on it. If you're reading this, welcome Dana.

For tonight's meal, we have chili in the crockpot. Last night was stew in the crockpot. I love the simplicity of crockpot cooking. Most recipes are throw it in and leave it alone. Over the years, I've mentioned crockpots to my mom. She's always had a fear of it burning down the house, doesn't trust them and therefore won't buy one. This week she told me she got one for Christmas and the next time she's home all day, she'll try it out to see how it works. Her statement came out more like she planned to watch it cook to see how it does but what she probably really meant is that if it goes up in flames, she'll be ready with a fire extinguisher in hand.

We've just gotten back from a short trip to some of the downtown area. The traffic to get 3 blocks up the road to the interstate made for a trip 30 minutes longer than we anticipated. We stopped at a bar, The Eagle, and had a drink. I had one drink and my lips went numb and I was buzzed. It didn't last long though, which was fine. Part of that is me being a light weight mixed with we hadn't eaten yet. This bar and a lot of other places have video slot machines. Only here, it's all part of the Oregon Lottery system. Bizarre. I went to their website and they boast all about video poker and slots. All governed by Oregon Lottery. Anyway, I played the machine on the penny setting. I walked away $2.10 wealthier.

By the way, we had our favorite drink which is Amaretto, sour, and maraschino cherry juice. Yummy if you like a sweet drink. Try it sometime but if you ever should become an alcoholic as a result of trying it, don't blame me.

12-28-08 Sunday (Pillow Talk)

It's Sunday and our new jack hasn't arrived. Jim has called several times and is put off a day at a time by FedEx. Our latest delivery date is now tomorrow. It would seem that we'll be here until Tuesday or Wednesday then. It's not that I don't like it here, it's just that there's other places I'd like to be.

Warmer weather is going to mean a lot of work. The RV needs waxing (being faded it may help a little), the Jeep is filthy, and the house needs a spring cleaning of sorts. Warm weather will also mean less laundry. Less layers to wash. I have done 1-2 loads of wash everyday to keep up with it.

Jim had suggested a ride to Mt. St. Helens. It's 3 hours each way and so I've vetoed that trip. I just don't want to drive around for 6 hours to see a mountain that once erupted. With any luck, I'm not missing anything. Looking at the government website, it appears that it might be interesting but not 6 hours worth interesting. We've been too many volcanic monuments and sites so I'd rather not reread all about how volcanoes form and such. As a child, be it from my parents or someone else, I received a capsule (a little larger than a 35mm film case) with Mt. St. Helens ash in it. It was interesting and of course I had to open it up, feel it, and at some point mixed it with water. I may have been playing chemist or something. Thinking back to that, I wonder how many people paid X dollars for a piece of ash? Yeah, I meant it like it came out. Anyway, it seems silly to me. As a kid, I thought it was cool, as an adult, dumb.

At some point I had 24 blog subscribers. Last night I noticed it dropped to 23. It bums me out I guess. I can't help but think, is it something I said? Maybe with the traveling slowed down, it's been kinda dull? Perhaps the over reporting of the snow? I suppose there are a lot of explanations for it. Blogger doesn't tell me who it was so I'm not sure. I've said it many a time; I started the blog to serve as a journal for me and Jim and to keep friends and family abreast of adventures. It's grown a little beyond that. I've made friends with this blog. It feels like I've lost a friend somewhere.

On a fellow blogger's blog,
Casa Hice, she just posted an entry all about the types of and guts of different blogs. It was interesting and she summed it up so well. Feel free to click on it and visit her site. Most blogs I read are just about someone's day to day life while others have an agenda. The agenda sites I read are funny, the day to day one's are a mix of fun and sad at times. If you do visit Casa Hice, DO look for a story about her raising a duck named Lulu. It's funny and sad all in one.

On our blog, the left column shows "View my complete profile" which will take you to a list of blogs I subscribe to. Some are racey, some are clean, some are mixed so read at your own risk. I know I probably over-mention the actual act of blogging, but perhaps it's now part of my personality, part of my daily routine. Yeah, yeah, what else do I have to do? I've gotten some of the "well, some of us work" comment but there's always room to meet interesting people and laugh a little.

Geez, I don't know how I got so involved in all of that blogging story. My fingers move with my thoughts sometimes. I'm not usually one to go back and reread the blog several times and edit it accordingly. Typically, if it comes to mind and I'm sitting here, I blog about it. I suppose a lot of the time, this blog is about our lives more than just our traveling. I'll toy with deleting all of that out. If you read this then obviously I left it. If it's been deleted then you won't even be reading this. So profound!

Over the past few months, I've received 3 invitations from friends to join Facebook. I already have myspace, why do I need another. I decided to give it a try. I like it better than myspace. It's faster and easier to see how friends are doing without visiting their noisy and visually distracting personal page like myspace can tend to be. Jim decided to look at it and search for some friends which led him to wanting his own account. I set him up and now he seems to enjoy it. With myspace I created "Jim and Garret". The blog is "Jim and Garret". Now he has something of his own. Oh sure, I take ownership of the blog more than he and often slip up and say "my blog", but maintaining friendships, making plans, and general writing has usually been my job. Many times, I do ask Jim for input or help wording something.

Jim laid down for another nap. He couldn't sleep. He says it's time for a new pillow, so off to the store we go. And no, neither he nor I could be happy with just any pillow. It's got to be one of those nice cushy latex pillows that cost a small fortune. I think I'm ready for one too though.

We came back from shopping. We went on a hunt to find Linen N Things. Yeah, I know they're closed but Jim checked their website and it seems like they're knocking them off their listing as they close. So off to the one that might still be open. We never even found the damn place so we had to settle for Bed, Bath and Beyond.

On the way home we stopped off at a Safeway to return Diet Coke bottles for the deposit refund. The return center was in a garage-type, open door enclosure attached to Safeway but with no pass through to the store, which was probably to keep out us bottle-return-slugs. The place is a mess. Bottles and cans that were rejected litter the place. The middle of the floor has a pool of left over bottle liquids. Ewwww. I warned Jim as we walked up, "It's gonna smell". No, not as bad as The Baily Dread type smell, but nonetheless it wasn't Febreeze fresh. The return center was like Vegas in a parallel universe. Redemption machines lined the walls like One Armed Bandits. Instead of gambling clientele, it was full of people you'd hope not to make eye contact with. With our 80 cent voucher in hand, we picked up a few things. The necessities like biscuits and brownie mix.

On the way into the store, I asked Jim what he had thought about this life enriching experience. He replied, "I feel dirty" and with that we both grabbed a cart wipe to sanitize our hands.

12-27-08 Saturday (Asphalt the Beautiful)

With our usual late start, we took a scenic drive. We drove along the Columbia River via the gorge. The views were disappointing but not because it was ugly, just because they could barely be seen. A cloudy day will do that sometimes. It rained on and off today, helping to melt the snow but not aiding in our views.

Our scenic tour took us to Multnomah Falls. It was water, pouring down off some high rocks. Yeah, it was indeed a waterfall. It was cold and rainy. Steps leading up to the viewing area were covered in snow. Walking up and down them with several near slip-n-falls was quite challenging. Oh, and there were some other falls, smaller, just around the corner. I'm so enthusiastic, huh?

After such a long wintry week here, the asphalt is finally showing through. Both Jim and I are so happy to see it! I know, corny, but ya know something, we're done with this snowy winter wonderland shit. The several inches of ice/snow that is on our patio is almost gone. The step from the RV to the ground are much greater now without the snow to shorten the climb.

A few days ago, Jim bought some restaurant.com certificates on a special. $3 for a $25.00 certificate. You have to spend $35.00 total to use the $25.00. We had decided to go out for a steak dinner with the certificate. Jim does not want me to name the place because he felt like they try or something like that. Whatever. This blog is searchable from the internet. If I mention their name, someone could find the pitiful review I'm getting ready to post. OK, the place is called The Baily Dread. Swap the B & D. First off, Jim reviews the menu online to be sure the prices are affordable but not too cheap. Remember, the bill needs to total $35. OK, next Jim and I discuss it's biblical reference and wonder what that's all about. Apparently, nothing. We arrive at TDB and the lot is empty. Upon entering, something smells icky. Like mold or something. We're seated at a booth, in front of a window that has a towel laying on the sill. We assume because of a leak. This place is 90% wood inside. How can they wipe down a wall if food gets on it? Ewwwww. The booth cushions are flat and torn and dirty looking. There's that weird smell again. I'm sure there's some sort of biblical reference to describe the smell.

I convince myself that a lot of dive's or hole-in-the-wall places have great food. I tell myself that we can't get a refund from restaurant.com and just deal with it. I ask for iced tea. I ask for Splenda, which they have but keep hidden because people steal them. Hmmmm, what a strange smell. We both order 8oz NY strips, medium, with REAL mashed potatoes and gravy. Me a side salad, Jim New England Clam Chowder. My salad had nothing but lettuce, croutons and a pitiful splash of dressing. I'm not sure where all the other salad ingredients were, maybe that was the smell of them rotting under our booth? The steaks weren't medium, more like well. Jim states "Hmmmm, I didn't know you could slice NY strip so thin". The mashed potatoes were presented in a lovely icecream scoop shape with gravy surrounding it like a pretty little island. I don't know where they get their gravy from but I could have done better with a packet of instant. Speaking of instant, I've had better instant potatoes than these "real" potatoes. What's that smell, good gawd!

We order dessert to go. Hold the smell, please. I can't help looking around this place. Before dinner, I caught a glimpse of a ceiling fan. The globe housed many dead insects. At least they're dead, right? I waited until after dinner to point that out to Jim. The bulbs were mismatched. 2 incandescent and 2 fluorescent. I hate that.

As I caught another whiff of the smell, I reassured Jim that it was all OK, since he picked the place. If we hadn't went there, I wouldn't have had so much to blog about.

I think the whole day was a whatever kinda day. My general mood has been, unpleased. That kind of mood that even if Jim had laid a golden egg, I would have asked, "Great, and who's gonna clean that up?" Unimpressed.

As I type this blog entry, we've eaten our desserts. Jim had the walnut and caramel pie. Let's start off with this "winner". Jim says: Where's the caramel? It was just like pecan pie except they used walnuts. What, are walnuts cheaper than pecans? The filling was lumpy. Overall, it was on par with the rest of the meal. Bravo! We miss Publix! Jim adds, "even the icecream was lame."

I had the peanut butter and chocolate cream pie. It was 80% cream. The peanut butter was lumpy and the chocolate was, ya know, let's just say it sucked and leave it at that. Wasted calories.

12-26-08 Friday (Santa's Dungeon)

We woke up to ABOVE freezing temperatures. Living in Florida for so long, 40 degrees seemed like freezing. Seeing tourists in short sleeves and shorts always humored me. I've almost become one of those people who could tolerate those cold temps. With the outside temp at 41, I felt warm wearing just a sweat shirt over a t-shirt. Amazing how my body has adjusted already. Yes, 41 seems warm now. I never thought I'd see that day.

The state of Oregon does that whole .05 bottle deposit so we're saving Jim's Diet Coke bottles. With as much as he drinks, I still don't think it will be worth the space to store them. In my under 18 years in NY, I worked the service desk and had to put gloves on and handle refunds for the bums that walked around and gathered them up for cash. It was gross at times. Eventually machines came that would scan them, crush them, and give the money without human interaction until it needed emptied. At that point only the damaged or unreadable bottles had to be handled. I guess it helped to keep streets clean since people were always picking them up, but sometimes picking them out of the trash as well. Ewwwww.

I hadn't realized until my friend Dave had pointed out, that I haven't posted anymore of the montage videos to TIVO. If you have a TIVO connected to the internet you can view the montages from the blog, on your TIVO. The channel code for it is 4594-6817-0205-0211. When I post them to TIVO, they stay on there for 90 days. I just posted as many as I could. Onetruemedia.com gives me a limited amount without paying $9.95 for another 10. I posted what I could for free. TIVO users, click here if you need instructions on how to get them on your TIVO. Dave says the videos play very clear and look a lot better than within the blog. Even though I have a TIVO, I haven't tried it myself.

Jim took a nap but was back up shortly after. He said he couldn't sleep with the airplane and roadside vehicle noises. The snow crunching and sloshing in spots makes for noise, I guess. I haven't really noticed the airplanes much; I probably will now. Thanks Jim. We haven't needed to run the central heat much lately (just a portable electric heater) so it has been quieter in here. In the warmer climates with A/C white noise a constant, it becomes the norm. I think we sleep better with the A/C noise. If we had the constant traffic noise as we've had in other parks, that would be OK, but apparently the intermittent car noise is annoying.

Funny, when we talked to family and friends, they asked how we stay warm. For those of you not very familiar with RV living, you know by now that I have a washer/dryer combo on board. We have EVERY comfort/convenience in an RV that most everyone has. We even have some that we never had in our house, like a skylight and carbon monoxide detector. We have a huge propane tank in the basement for the gas stove/oven, water heater, central (ducted) heat, fridge (if in LP mode), and even an exterior connection for our BBQ grill. What luxuries! Missing items are few. We don't have a sink garbage disposal (1 could be added), or a dishwasher (1 could be added ) Yes, we do have 2 roof top ducted A/C units, a fridge/freezer with built in icemaker, and a microwave. We have a fresh water tank, black water and gray water tanks for waste for use when we're not connected to an RV park. We have 12V lighting that runs off of several "house" batteries when we're not using the generator or hooked up to a park (aka shore power). Shore power on our RV is 30amp, newer RVs typically have 50amp service. We have hydraulic leveling jacks that with a push of a button, extends landing gear our from under the RV in 4 corners to provide stability and a level interior. While you read the blog, if you're curious about something, leave a comment or just email. I'm always happy to appear intelligent.

We took a drive (across the street) to the mall here. It's not the one we went to for Christmas Eve but rather the one with the 2 story Target attached. I was looking for new hiking boots. I didn't find any at a price I want to pay. Anyway, people are still getting stuck on the roads. It's partly slush and ice. All in all, just crazy. This mall has Target, Burlington, and Ross but many empty small stores. The funniest thing was what looked like a Halloween haunted castle was transformed into Santa's Christmas castle. It just looked creepy.

"Time with Santa". It looks like Santa is doing time. Is that barb wire atop the wall? Perhaps Santa molested a reindeer and has been locked up? And what's with the palm trees on the door? That doesn't appear to be Christmas nor Halloween. Perhaps prior to Christmas, prior to Halloween, it was the entrance to the "Luau Palace" where you can have some Hawaiian chick serve you a drink in a coconut whilst you watch a fat guy walk on fire. As the seasons changed the fat guy became Santa and the fire made an awesome Halloween effect. For Halloween the sign above the door was "Time with Satan". I could go on and on, really.

There's something about a Christmas store front window using the castle-look behind it. Very cold, uninviting. A Dollar Store explosion in the front window doesn't constitute decorating. Yep, this is all part of the Santa display. Pitiful.

12-25-08 Thursday (Trimming the Tree)

Merry Christmas! Santa is busy melting our snow for our Christmas gift! Isn't that awesome? It's been about 36 degrees since last night and it's been raining on and off. I don't mind the rain as it's contributing to the melting snow. The roads are still packed with snow, but it's a start.

Jim and I don't exchange gifts. We really never have. We've always bought ourselves a big household gift instead. One year surround sound, another a TV, you know that sort of thing. Our finances are combined so trying to sneak gift purchasing is pretty tough, so we've never bothered. This year, we've not bought anything as in previous years. We have a tight budget and there's nothing we really want or need other than a new RV and that's not gonna happen anytime soon.

Yesterday and today have been Christmas music marathons. I have to get my fill now because it will be a long time before I get to listen to it again. I think Jim could take it or leave it.

Jim's mom, Ann, is custodian of our mail. Every few weeks, she'll mail our junk to us. A couple of weeks ago, she mailed us 4 Christmas trees. You know, those tiny train model ones? Jim took scissors to one and "trimmed the tree". It was funny. We had thought about rolling one in snow to flock it. We're tired of snow, so we've resisted. A white Christmas is overrated.

Thanks to all my "friends" who have made the effort to tell us what the temperature will be in Florida for Christmas. I'll get ya'll back!

Jim took a nap, I played a video game. A light drizzle of rain turned into big-ass snow flakes. I've never seen so much fall at one time. Within 15 minutes, all that was thawed became recovered in snow. It's still above freezing, so it's melting quickly. Soon after, the rain started again.

Christmas dinner was delicious. We had turkey and stuffing. It was great.

I hope everyone had a great holiday too!

12-24-08 Wednesday (I'm Married)

Happy Christmas Eve! It's snowing. Strange, huh? It's 10am, and I think we have 2 inches already. They expect it to turn to rain at about noon and hopefully helping to melt it all down. I'm hoping we can still get out to make it to the mall. The DOT can't keep up with the weather. The news reports are in full disaster type broadcasting again. I think tonight will be a very interesting evening at the mall. I would think there's a lot of people behind on their shopping. The mall closes at 6 so we'll mosey over at about 1 or so.

The humorous part right now, is watching the TV and seeing 5mph traffic behind plows on the major interstates. The plows and deicers are taking up all of the lanes. I'd be instantly stressed! This is a good reason to move south. As beautiful as some of the northern states have been, I don't want to deal with this crap on a fulltime basis. These mountainous areas are interesting too because they have micro-climates. It's so varied all over here. The weather report takes a lot of time to get through each little area for their forecasts.

We made it to the mall today. It was a tri-level mall, laid out very well with a skating rink in the middle of it. Some of the department stores were 4 levels. For most of the shopping trip, we didn't see as many pained faces as we thought we would. There were plenty of them, don't get me wrong, but with the economy and the snowed in days, one would have thought we'd see people laying around in fetal positions, rocking to the voices in their heads that repeatedly tell them, "you've lost, go home".

It's nice to be home though. My feet started to feel like a blister was close to rearing its ugly head. The roads were fairly clear. Less travelled roads had large ruts in them from tire chains breaking partly through. That made for a rough ride but nothing worse than us taking an offroad trail. It's all good.

We may have developed a leak at one of the bedroom windows. For a while we thought it was from condensation but a towel we've been laying on the sill is way too wet. We haven't had this problem since the awning. The awning is not over that window so I'm not sure. At this moment, I'll reserve stamping this entry as a misadventure until we figure it out. We think that perhaps we need to reseal (CAULK) the window frame. I know where Jim gets his love of caulk... from Grandpa Kelly. Many a joke circulates in the family about GE Silcone. Anyway, the constant icicle dripping action isn't helping the situation, I'm sure. Jim went partly onto the roof and knocked off more chunks of ice. The temperature is about 35 this evening so things are slowly thawing. It will be a long time before this city fully thaws out. WE, however, won't be here for that.

I've probably mentioned this before, but I'm so excited to get to California. Especially to meet fellow bloggers I've chatted with. We so crave interaction, and outside friendship. We've met some people in Seattle, Colorado, and Georgia (Sorry if I forgot another place). Jim and I get along VERY well, BUT there's only so much to talk about when we're together all the time. I suppose, assuming that the friends we've made in California read the blog, that we won't have much to chat about with them since the blog covers all that. A pro about the blog is keeping friends/family up to date with our adventures and it also serves as a PRICELESS travel journal. The con is that there's not much to talk about on the phone or in person.

Funny, it's difficult to walk through a mall without Kiosk salespeople trying to grab your attention. The worst is the cell phone people. I typically ignore them and look away. Oregon's kiosk people weren't cell phone sales but other items instead. They started their approach with "Can I ask you a question." At one point I blurted, "I'm married". I then started to think about other stupid replies to give, although I never got another opportunity to use them. "Crest Whitening", "My religion forbids it", "Not tonight, I have a headache". There's so many silly replies. Maybe the next mall trip, I'll try them out. I understand these people are trying to make a living but I feel like I'm at a fleamarket. On a cruise, Jim and I were in Labadee (Haiti) at the Haitian Fleamarket. Boy, were they pushy!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

12-23-08 Tuesday (Desserts at the Mall)

We made another weeks menu up and went grocery shopping. We decided to go to the Wal-Mart in Oregon instead of the one in Washington. I think they're both about the same distance, but this time it was some different scenery. We've got a nice turkey breast for Christmas dinner. It will all be similar to the Thanksgiving dinner, but that's fine because we both really enjoyed it.

The trip back and forth was strange. The local streets are still packed in with snow but the highways are mostly clear. People were driving with chains on. With chains, I think the max speed is 30-35mph. I'm no expert but that's what the packaging says. So here we are doing 60mph on a clear road, with people doing 30 in other lanes. It was crazy. It's also crazy to see piles of chain in the road here and there. At one point we were close to a truck who's chain has broken and underbody trims or perhaps mud guards flew off of it. Jim quickly slowed down and took evasive maneuvers.

Chains look like a pain in the ass. Some need them to get from their house to the highway, but if the highway is clear, then it's a matter of driving slow because of the chains. It's kind of a pro and con all in one. Bummer.

An unexpected temperature of 36 degrees today! We did a little more deicing of the RV. It was preferred to help some of the ice down off the sides of the roof, prior to them leaping off onto our heads. I hate leaping icicles, don't you?

It's already getting dark, but the campground is full of roadside lights. With all of the snow on the ground, the light really bounces off it, creating a bright park.

Jim and I are planning out our annual Christmas Eve trip to the mall. This will be our 3rd or 4th trip. With camera in hand, we go to the mall just to hang out and watch stressed shoppers run around trying to get last minute stuff. We'll walk around a while, and then we'll sit for a while, snacking on fresh baked cookies. Watching the shoppers facial expressions is a hoot. Yeah, it's mean. Yeah, we're in the way. Yeah, we love it. For us, it's become a tradition. Sometimes, it's hard to stay calm. Someone walks too slow, or the imfamous family of 6 that spread out and walk like a human moving wall, and difficult to pass. Then ya have the people who stop short in the middle of everything to tie a shoe, or look in a window. Let's not forget the family reunions right in the middle of the walkways. Wow, I'm getting stressed already! (talking to myself: you won't NEED to be there, you are simply observing.) Much better.

I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve already. It seemed to have snuck up on us, more so for me. I'm going to miss seeing friends and family for Christmas but at the same time, I feel like I have a feeling of Zen. I think it's the total lack of stress. Did I buy enough for him/her? The wrapping, the entertaining, the rushing, it's all gone. I'll call my Mom tomorrow and then again on Christmas day. She'll probably be "strong" on the phone but I think she's hurting. It's the first time in 38 years we've spent the holidays apart.

12-22-08 Monday (Pony Rides!)

It has snowed a little bit this morning. The icicles off the roof are growing. I rather enjoy them though. They actually sparkle in the street light. Maybe tonight I can get the flash to bounce off of them just right. I makes me feel like we've decorated for Christmas! Those of you who personally know us, know that we go overboard for the holidays. 3 Christmas trees, various decor hung all over, and of course our excessive outdoor lighting display. I miss having at least 1 tree, but the lack of it all certainly makes for an easy holiday.

Last night we decided to go to McDonalds and return 2 of the 3 movies. The drive through was only open so I got a Happy Meal and Jim got cookies. I've never ordered a Happy Meal before and I guess I should have specified my sex. Apparently they got the gay vibe off of me and thought I'd enjoy the My Little Pony toy more so than the male oriented toy. Actually they were wrong. I always liked robotic toys better such as Bionicle toy for boys. I just took what I was given and will come to love and appreciate the pony. Oh, and it came with a brush. I don't even brush my cats, why would I want to brush a fake haired toy?

I wished you could have seen what I witnessed out of the window. A boat just "drove" by. I couldn't see the vehicle pulling it because of the hedges lining the road but it was funny. It's strange to even pull a boat in this weather. Oh well.

The shower from hell just occurred. I ran out of hot water while soaped up and had to wait for it to heat back up. The electric portion sucks, and the pilot keep going out on the gas. Our new jack part is due here Wednesday so we'll have the mobile repair guy look at it while he's here for that.

It has snowed a little more today but not much. We're going to return those 2 movies and then have lunch out somewhere. I think that secretly Jim enjoys driving in the snow. He likes driving in the mud and dirt so why not the snow? He seems to come up with excuses to drive around. Maybe we'll find an empty parking lot and do some 360's and other assorted crazy driving. We'll be crazy and careful. Sounds like an impossible mix to me too.

We returned our videos, ate lunch and then went to Home Depot for a few things. The roads were compacted snow/ice with layers of slush on top. I'm strange but it felt like we drove on mashed potatoes. No gravy though. We can't have it all. As I began to taste the mashed potatoes, Jim stopped me. Killjoy.

A trip outside for a smoke was almost deadly. I slipped on the icy steps and nearly busted my ass. I ended up catching myself before plummeting to the ground but in the process arched my back in a way that it's not meant too. I'm a little sore but I'll live. Of course safety should be a main concern, but sometimes cleanliness takes over. Jim suggested putting kitty litter down and I was like "no, then we'll track it in". I know, I know, you agree too. Good.

Jim teased the hair on my pony. I fixed it and then later he threw it away. I can't have anything nice.

We haven't picked up a Christmas dinner yet. We'll save that for something to do tomorrow. We've got to space out these outings you know. We don't want to have too much fun at one time. I'm enjoying some time at home. Laundry, some cleaning, mixed with reading blogs, creating videos, it's all good.

Cat fight!

Jim thinks the RV roof is a pinata.

Pinata Part 2

12-21-08 Sunday (Blogged Out)

Everything has frozen up over night. I felt really bad when I walked Dasher; the ice would crumble under him. In some places the ice layer was strong enough to support him! I wonder if the ice on his legs and feet scraped him with each step? He retreated and just ended up peeing under the RV. He still needs to be walked for his #2 business. That will be another interesting walk with him.

Several of the windows have totally iced up. It looks like privacy glass used in bathroom windows. I can tell you, it's just not a good situation. As a child in NY, of course I loved the snow and even the ice. Children seem almost immune to cold. As an adult, it means shoveling, careful stepping, insane driving, and a lot more. I just realized, I have no idea what the hell the point of that story is so, I'll just kill that.

I'm back to the blog a few hours later and it hasn't been snowing today, but now it's frozen rain. We finally got poor Dasher to crap under the RV. I have pictures. OK, no I don't.

3:30 pm, it's snowing on top of the sleet. I think we're at about a foot of snow. I noticed last night that I'd clear an outdoor table and an hour later there was an inch on it. I guess the weight of the snow makes it compact on itself. It's not expected to warm up until this weekend so we'll have to stay here longer than planned.

This whole blog entry sucks. I have nothing to say, I can't concentrate long enough to come up with something. The special news editions are covering the storm constantly. I'm already getting cabin fever yet sometimes when we can leave, we don't. Go figure! The layer of ice on last night's snow is 3/4 of an inch.

4:30: I cleaned the toilet. What fun, eh?

I just can't blog today. Watch the video and then go do something constructive. I chose the music for it's length and it's also one of my favorite Christmas songs. I hope you enjoy.

12-20-08 Saturday (A New Fridge)

It's been snowing all morning. We'll venture out (within a 2 mile radius) to return our video (the latest Indiana Jones movie) from last night. We'll also stop off at a grocery store for some lunch stuff. We'll probably be snowed in for a couple of days.

The water heater freaked out again and dumped some water. I think the thermostat is bad, since the water seemed extra hot during my shower. We've always left it on gas/electric mode but we unplugged it so it's only on gas mode. One of the problems is that the pilot light keeps going out. I think it's getting wet from it's overflow drama. We have to turn it on and off (there's a switch inside) until the pilot light remains on.

I dub today, cleaning day. What else is there to do? I know the stove/oven is in dire need of scrubbing, it's bordering gross right now. The floors need washed but it will do no good with the snow/water being constantly tracked around.

We managed to find a Wal-Mart only 10 minutes away. It took longer because of all the snow. I think we're at 6 inches so far and it is still snowing as of 5pm. $160 later at Wal-Mart, but diet coke was still only 88 cents! I must tell you, there are a lot of ugly people here in Oregon. We wonder if there's a nuclear test site close by.

Thanks to Glenn for this cartoon

After unloading groceries, we reserved 3 DVD's via online and went to McDonalds to pick them up. We then drove down the block from the RV park, up a road we hadn't been yet. Some how we drove into a hole in the road that was water/slush filled. It was scary, we were able to back out. We'll be curious to see what the hell it was when the snow/water is gone. We're positive it was a road leading to a gated driveway of some business.

We bought a pizza at Wal-Mart. The pizza box is too big to fit in the fridge so we stored it outside! Here's a photo from our big, beautiful bay window (windshield).


Dasher makes yellow snow

I think we're up to about 8 inches of snow so far. I'm sure a lot of you are tired of reading about our snow, but rest assured, I'm tired of having it to even report on. Some of you are experiencing your own snow hell.

12-19-08 Friday (The $5 Awning)

Wow, it seems like just last week it was Friday. How does that happen?

OK, so goofiness aside, last night the snow (which is everywhere) began to harden. I think it all means another day in the RV.

Last night, after I had posted the blog, we decided to go to Target. My laptop overheats and shuts down way too often, so I bought one of those fans for the laptop to sit on. We'll see what happens. The Target was 2 floors. They had a special escalator for shopping carts that sat along side the regular one. Of course, having my trusty camera, I took photos and filmed it. Fun stuff, fun stuff. We only managed to get 1 thing of our 3 thing list and walked out with several things that weren't on the list, some of which we consumed while in the store. Target Monster Cookies, Strawberry Milk for Jim and Chocolate Milk for me. Clearanced boxes of Stovetop Stuffing at .84 a box. We had to pickup some of those too. You know, important stuff.

We saw some clearanced heated throws but we don't need them. Years ago, I had invented heated throws; they were candle-powered. I couldn't pass safety inspections. Dumbasses, I'm sure they were OK. I say the fire at the retirement home was from someone using candles for light. Who would have thought oxygen tanks could fly like that? Mothballs and BenGay are terribly flammable. A shame really. Hey, on the bright side, they managed to get a new building out of the deal!

The ice was all over the roads last night. I think the mall parking lot (where Target was located) was worse than the streets. Both Jim and I, took turns almost falling on the way from the Jeep to the store.

Oh, and just so you know, we're not in Vegas. The snow there is NOT our fault! Thank you.

We woke up this morning to a little more snow and some freezing temps. I'm grateful for this temperature. After 19 degrees, this seems warm! Jim and I have just been surfing the net. I've been reading blogs I follow and playing around on Facebook. Carl Hughes called me. I think he was just gloating about his warm and sunny weather in Florida, but nonetheless it was good to hear from him. Remember Carl, we can come to Florida and ruin your damn weather. How's a hurricane sound?

I just looked out the window and it's snowing AGAIN. I suggested to Jim that we just skip Oakland, OR and high tail it to California. Jim has to research but says it appears we can't get there without going over some mountains which will undoubtedly be worse for ice/snow. We'll see.

I made pancakes this morning for breakfast. Yummy. Topped with some peanut butter and warm syrup, did I mention yummy? If I didn't, it was yummy.

Jim crawled under the RV to see how the spring is attached. It's going to be something he can't do because of where the spring sits. I wasn't surprised. I would have been surprised if it would work out for us. In the meantime, we're still awaiting a call from Bountiful.

On a side note to Ozzie & Mike, email me. You commented on the blog but I can't email you (none is listed).

Back to our regularly long, and bitchy blog....

The day hasn't went at all as planned. Not that it's a bad thing. We decided to skip a scenic tour we had planned so that Jim could work on getting the jack parts we need. Darren at Bountiful RV had found our old jack, but there was no spring. He said the one we replaced had the spring moved to the new one. No luck there. Jim ordered it online from the same place as the previous one, but it was more money (total $250) because it comes with the spring we need. A spring on it's own is over a $100 so we might as well replace the entire jack. We getting it Tuesday, but Christmas is Thursday so the next step is getting it replaced after it arrives. We might be here for Christmas rather than in Oakland. Oye vey!

We took the aluminum from the broken awning to the recycling center. It wasn't worth the trip for $5 we got. After our big $5, we stopped for fuel. Apparently Oregon has a law that they must pump the fuel for you. Interesting. No self-service I guess.

So, there I am, chatting with my mom on the phone. As I typically do, I pace around talking, and notice steam from outside the RV. The water heater was pouring some water out. A warning label says to consult the owner's manual if it weeps. I don't care how sad it is, weeping sucks. Jim is consulting the magical owner's manual of non useful information as I type. We're falling apart! Perhaps a trip to the Target escalator would cheer me up?

The mystical book is missing. Google to the rescue. Jim found an article about relieving the water heater's pressure. We did that, and we'll just have to wait and see. For now, it seems it did the trick.

Dinner is in the oven and I'm starving. I'm making a pork roast. Hopefully it's as good as it sounds. After dinner we're going to go to one of those Redbox movie rental kiosks we've seen all over the place. $1.00 a night rental ain't too shabby. You can also reserve the movie online and then pick it up. The kiosks seem to be popular within McDonalds but we've seen them at supermarkets and other places as well. AND you can return it to any Redbox which might be handy for us on the road traveling type gypsy-like RVing jobless roving the US type guys.

The historic St. John's Bridge (that's what the sign said)

12-18-08 Thursday (Jack Sucks)

This morning we woke up to snow. It warmed up to 34 degrees and the snow became slush which became water. I think the sun is coming out, why yes it is. The inside of the coach is the brightest it's been in a long time. We may actually need to close the light filtering blinds!

We're going to an RV store close by that sells RV furniture and home furnishings such as dinette cushions. It's a discount store of sorts; I'll report on it later after I've been there.

Jim noticed the passenger front jack spring broke off. ARGH!

Jim called a mobile RV tech to come and reseal some stuff up on the roof. We awaited a return call, but we gave up and went to the RV store. The store was awesome. All sorts of neat RV furniture there. We looked a few used sofas, captain's chairs and booth cushions. They also had a variety of blinds discounted in their "oops pile". We'll measure and see what we can come up with. Jim asked about the hydraulic jack, more so for advice. The guy said it assists with retraction and recommended a guy up the road.

We stopped at Advanced RV Repair and the guys said parts might be difficult to get, especially this time of year. He needs some numbers off the fluid reservoir and he'll look into it.

In the meantime, Jim wonders if Bountiful RV still has our old jack. Maybe we can get them to mail us the spring? Once we got home, Jim called Bountiful and Darren thinks he still has it in a recycle pile and will check. It would be awesome if he does and we'll pay for shipping of course. Right now, we're kind of stuck here. Sigh, sigh, and oh, sigh.

By the way, shortly after I snapped my sunshine pictures and went outside without a jacket, and between awaiting the mobie RV repair guys phone call, the weather turned gloomy once again. It was nice while it lasted.

So, Jim and I are sitting at the dinette, on our laptops, and Jim says, "that pisses me off that the mobile guy never called back." As he says this, through the window behind Jim, I see them pull up. Jim not believing me for a moment was humorous. Jim said it, it happened, I want that power. (insert evil laugh)

I called Gregg, who we met in Seattle and got his email. It will be nice to keep in touch with them. Now I just need an email from the other guy, Tim.

It's snowing.... wickedly as Jim put it. It has covered the ground and all in 5 minutes. I can't believe it! We walked the dog in it, and it soon stopped.

funny pictures

Does anyone have any sightseeing recommendations for Portland? After Portland, we're going to Oakland, OR. Speak up!

12-17-08 Wednesday (Planes, Trains, Automobiles)

A 3 hour drive to Portland, Oregon became a 7 hour drive! We woke up at about 7am, and shortly thereafter, it began to snow. It stuck hard and fast. We kept the Jeep disconnected so that we could fit in the small gas station a few miles away. Our propane read empty last night. We still had enough for heat and the hot water but knew we'd need it asap. The gas station didn't sell propane so we figured we'd find it on the way. After we filled the fuel tank, we drove about a mile a way to hook up the Jeep.

The drive was terrible. The snowfall grew thicker and stuck easily. The interstate had unrecognizable lanes. Was it 2 or 3 lanes? Some lanes were unused and therefore completely covered. The 70mph speed limit was impossible and unsafe to achieve. Traffic moved at 30-35mph. I knew it was going to be a long day.

Everywhere we looked for propane was a disappointment. Either they didn't sell it or their hook up was impossible for us to get to. At another interstate exit, we searched 3-4 gas stations and no luck. We spotted an empty out of business Shell and decided that would be a good place to turn around. Funny thing is they had a propane tank, but as I said, out of business. This place was a little bit downhill. Know where this is going yet? So we decide to walk the dog and smoke a cigarette. Back into the RV we go, up this slight hill we go, or not. The wheels on the RV go round and round, round and.... Each time we get some momentum going, traffic passes and we have to wait. We never slid back down though. When traffic was clear, Jim floored it and up we barely went.

We're now getting close to the campground and stop at a gas station with propane. The propane filling station is of course where we can't fit. The man says his hose is only 10' long. I guess size is everything. We had that feeling like he didn't want to be bothered because it was cold and snowing. He told us of another gas station.

We venture on, find the gas station. It's basically a service station with 1 mechanic and this one guy. Nothing but fuel and propane. The one guy did everything. There was also a full service fuel lane. I haven't seen one of those in a long time. When we got there, the man was replacing someone's tire, then came over to us, 2 other people with tanks pulled up and a lady entered the full service lane. This guy was running around. He filled our tank, then was our cashier. We never asked how much propane was there. We figured out it was well overpriced at about $4.00 a gallon. Ouch. Even if we had known prior, we would have gotten it there anyway. At least the propane issue was finally resolved 7 hours later. It's been raining here, so we're out of the snow, but it's still cold at 34.

The next exit was for the RV park located at Jantzen Beach, on Hayden Island just north of Portland. This park is huge. It was dark when we arrived but from what we can see, it's very nice. We settled in (hooked up), and then decided to go to a nearby Dennys for dinner. We have a gift card afterall.

As we await our food, we over hear a local saying that he hoped the weatherman was wrong. We ask our server for clarification. She said they are expecting the temperatures to drop, and the rain will freeze all over. She said it hasn't happened since 1997. No, I'm not kidding. I apologized for the bad weather, blaming it on ourselves, explaining the weather we've encountered on our trip. I told her that when the weather clears up, it means we're gone. She smiled and nodded her head like a southern lady which means "well then, get the hell out, morons.... bless their heart." If only they had sweet tea......

By the way the Dennys server was a short older woman who reminded me of the psychic from Poltergeist. "Don't go into the light" was all I kept hearing.

Oh, an another by the way, we're located near a highway, I heard a train, and we're in an airport flight pattern. Luckily, it's hard to hear all that from in the RV.

12-16-08 Tuesday (Fries with that?)

The Progressive Insurance Adjuster came out to the RV this morning. He took plenty of photos an as the previous guy did, climbed up on the roof. He had asked Jim the other day (by phone) to make sure the roof was clear of snow for inspection. Jim was ready to climb up there and I pretty much insisted that he didn't and that Progressive will have to make due. It's slippery up there! I told Jim to tell the guy the ladder was slippery, he's afraid of heights or whatever else he'd like to dream up. Jim wanted to put off the inspection until we reached California but the adjuster wouldn't take no for an answer. I think they wanted to see that prior repairs had been completed so that they're not paying on the same awning twice. Once the adjuster saw a new awning, laying in a pile, I think that was enough. No doubt, Progressive is weary of us, being we've only had insurance with them for a few months yet they've paid out 2 claims. I guess I can't blame them for trying to make sure things are on the up and up.

Jim mentioned a few times that he wanted to see the Museum of Mystery. Today however, after Progressive left (they'll email the claim), he decided to nap. I think the constant freezing temps have him down. We were also interested in seeing the rain forest but when he called, he was told they are expecting severe ice problems. It all goes back to our luck of things hardly ever happen until we've been there. You know, unseasonably hot, never snows, not usually this or that. It's humorous in some ways, I suppose. I'm just waiting to find the humor in it.

Tomorrow we "relocate" to Oregon. I think we're hitting 2 cities there, Portand being one of them. I forget the other one. Anyway, Portland's weather is forecasted for below freezing. If you remember, we extended our stay here, with tomorrow being a day of above freezing, until the evening. I'm so looking forward to California! Of course, we'll be in northern California for a while but at least it's in the late 40's right now. I'm sure when we get there, it will be unseasonably something. Hopefully, it will just be unseasoned fries.

Jim couldn't sleep so he's up and moving. I decided to update the digital picture frame. I added more pictures to it, up and including yesterday's photos. I have photos from a couple of Christmas' ago and several cruises in there. It's nice to see photos of friends and family pop up there (it's set to rotate the photos) and not just our adventures. So Glenn & Kevin, Carl & Tim, Bruce & Kevin, Mike & Dave, Laurie & Pearl, CB & Ryan, Chris & Jerry, Mark & Joel, Al & Jack, Ed & Walter ... you're all stuck in our frame, wearing silly Christmas hats I insisted you wear for photos.

It's been kinda gloomy all day. Yesterday, aside from the typical cold, was clear, sunny and bright. Not so much today. We're a little concerned about tomorrow. The forecast has changed and we're supposed to get more snow tonight. Argh.

Jim is finally in the shower, the day is almost over, but we're going to hop in the Jeep and "scout" for a suitable gas station for tomorrow's RV roadtrip. We scout each time, since the RV and Jeep in tow are monstrous. We don't really want to get to a small gas station or somewhere we can't fit and then have to detach the Jeep to get out of there.

I've thoroughly enjoyed Seattle. It's kinda sad to go but I'm looking forward to warmer weather anyway.