Sunday, August 31, 2014

Traveling East: Illinois

This is the post for Saturday August 30th

More fields of corn and soybeans with signs next to the fields. Just figure all are GMO. Farmers become dealers for a seed company and get a deal on seeds and chemicals. They put out the signs and encourage others to use these seeds.
We pass a field of sorghum. These are non GMO. I like the syrup. Used to watch my Grandpa Whitlock pour it all over his plate at breakfast. I only used to have it in Illinois, but now you can find it in the occasional farm stand in California.
Field of Sorghum
The big yellow flowers at the roads edge are wild sunflower relatives. Sunflowers are a big family. You see these along the farm roads in the central valley also. Same plant.
Wild Sunflowers
I start to see small homemade signs along the edge of the road. (1.) Born 1974. Then 5 miles later there's another. (2.) Hornets Cheerleader. Just when you think there are no more.  (3.) CHS Flag Corps. (4.) Track Star? (5.) You are 40 years old. No Way! (6.) Happy Birthday. Shelley (in a heart)
Shelley's husband went to a lot of trouble to let his Chillicothe High School sweetheart know he still loves her.

We pass a pickup hauling a long trailer with about 6 of those big rolls of hay stacked end to end.

We pass 2 ethanol plants out here close to the supply of corn.

Hannibal, Missouri, the boyhood home of Mark Twain. Then we cross over the mighty Mississippi River into Illinois.
The Mighty Mississippi
I72 looks deserted. This is part of the Eisenhower Interstate system the same as I80, but it is not a well traveled truck route to Springfield, Illinois.
The verge and divider are not mowed in most places and the edges are filled with grass growing out toward the roadway. No rest stops, no picnic spots and little traffic.

A sudden rain storm hits reminding us that's why its green, green, green here. When we pass houses they all have big lawns. Here all you need is a mower.
The trucks are on I55 from Springfield to St Louis.
At Litchfield we decide to visit Aunt Ruth first.

She looks very healthy for 100 years old. Her color is good. Not a wrinkle on her forehead or cheeks. She is on Oxygen now. She looks quite spry, up in a wheelchair. She is a bit forgetful. Kept wondering who Bill and I were. I am glad I made the picture book for her. She kept referring to it and liked it very much. Cousin Jim, Ruth's eldest, and his wife Nancy were there visiting also. I can't remember when I last saw Nancy. They are planning a visit to their daughter Anne in Seattle and may also visit us.

Traveling East: Missouri

Because of one thing and another this is Friday's Post. I may catch up sometime.
Traveling East: Missouri August 29th

We awoke at 7:36 this morning and remembered we had an appointment at 8am at the North Platte Firestone store to have our alignment and tire balance checked. We think we threw something out yesterday when we hit a pothole on the highway. We got dressed, made coffee, broke camp and arrived on time. It turned out we had a bulge in our right front tire, I blame Alaska, and we had to buy a new right front tire.
While sitting in the Firestone store, I decided to Google Baker North Platte Nebraska, since Grandpa Al came from here. Bill doesn't know any local relatives. What Mr Google suggested was an assortment of miscreants, politicians and the local police chief.
Back on the road riding very smooth now, we noticed the clouds getting darker. Then the deluge began. Many people pulled over to the side of the road, some put on hazard lights and others got under the overpasses. I remembered Al telling stories of grapefruit sized hail. He said if you were caught out you could get in a culvert or under a dead cow. Finally the rain lets up.
Car stopping under an overpass
Some places have so many large round bales of hay scattered in the fields that they look like huge deer droppings.

Then the fields change to mostly corn and soybeans. A huge field of corn and a huge field of soybeans.

After we cross the Missouri river into a corner of Iowa I notice small signs next to the fields. Pioneer and Golden Harvest with numbers on them. These are DuPont and Syngenta brands of GMO seeds.

In Missouri along with the continuation of the huge corn and soybean fields, we see wooded areas. All of this area from the Atlantic to the plains was a vast thick woodland until it was cleared for farms.

Ever since we left the tinderbox state of California we have seen lots of fireworks stands. William has fond memories of bad tricks done with fireworks as a kid. Here in Missouri I see one fireworks stand labeled Factory Outlet. Do they sell seconds and rejects here? How safe is that? But then how safe are things like M80's in perfect condition?

William went on a long walk around the developed and undeveloped parts of the RV park. We had to pull on the other side of our electric plug in so we would not be getting out right into the face of the neighbor's chained up dog. They are long term residents with a rusted out truck with gun lover bumper stickers. While William was on his walk he ran into the neighbors walking their dogs. He was told that the big dog was a rescue dog that was not well socialized yet. While they were chatting he discovered why there is no internet for us. This guy and 3 others are internet gamers. Also the neighbor has an internet business. Probably the others do too. So they suck up the free internet, leaving none for anyone else. The park will catch on after a while.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Traveling East: Nebraska

We left on Tuesday morning the 26th. Our first night was in Wells, NV. Then on to Rawlins, WY. Wyoming was very cold and we broke out the down comforter. Glad I washed it after Ben and  Toby borrowed it camping at Fallen Leaf Lake.
Today we caught up with the storm we have been following . Heavy rain and poor visibility in Wyoming. We see lots of huge oils tanks and a Sinclair processing plant in Sinclair, WY.
The land looks like it does not usually get this much rain, short grass and scrub, occasional black cows, one group of long horns and some dusky gray horses.
We hope for sun as we enter Nebraska, but it is still overcast. Out of the rain for now.
Lots of fleet trucks on I80 and all of them are hiring drivers. William says long haul truckers often don't last long.
This is a trailer tail. We see them on a few trucks. Something to improve aerodynamics.
Seems like most of I80 is under construction. At least a quarter of the time we are traveling on a two lane road.
Corn as far as the eye can see and then a feed lot.  The corn does not look too tall and the plants are very crammed together.
We stopped at a rest stop in Ogallala for lunch. Warm and humid here and lots of flies. A little lady Fed Ex driver admired our Pleasure Way van. She was on a break, driving a double trailer truck back and forth across the country. Said most of her social life is at truck stops or rest stops. A hard life.
As we pull out I spot the flies tap dancing on the table searching for crumbs.
Tonight we are in North Platte NE. Grandpa Al came from here, but we don't know anyone who lives around here anymore. Just saw another Pleasure Way pull in to the Holiday RV Park.
Our Pleasure Way, the PW.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tupperware is back

Actually Tupperware never left, but I was a dealer in the early 80's and I am back with Tupperware. You can look at what's new and order on my site.

I'm excited to announce . . . I'm a brand new Tupperware Consultant!! So this party is my Grand Opening and training party!! I would love and appreciate your support me as I begin my own business! Think about hosting a fun get together where I would be the consultant for you and your friends!

My Grand Opening will be a Fabulous Fun Meals in Minutes Party/Cooking Class!! Were going to make a yummy salsa is just minutes!! You'll learn how you can have dinner on the table in less time! We’ll experience hand’s on fun as we use many of my Tupperware Manager's favorite products!!

Date a party with me to help me get my business started and we can make a yummy Rotisserie Chicken in just 30 minutes, shred the meat – quick and easy to make awesome Chicken Nachos!! We could make a great Salsa to put on the Nachos!! Or a Suicide Chocolate Cake!!

I'd love for you to come see how Tupperware and the Tupperware party have changed for a new generation! It's time to think way beyond "bowls and storage"!! It’s not your mother’s Tupperware anymore, nor your mother’s Tupperware party!! Now only 30% or our products are food storage!! Come learn about the other 70%!!

We'll be auctioning off some wonderful Tupperware Products at the very end of the party, so be sure to earn your bucks!! Lots of ways to earn auction bucks: be the first to arrive, just for coming, for bringing friends and/or an order with you, date your own party/cooking class, start your own business and join me in Tupperware -- how fun!!

Bring a cracked, chipped, broken or peeling piece of Tupperware to be replaced under Tupperware's Lifetime Warranty! You'll get extra auction bucks!! AND you'll get your product replaced or receive a credit for it!!

Lots of bucks to be awarded all throughout the party!!

Please join me at my Grand Opening Tupperware party on July 3rd at 630 at my house where we’ll kick back, relax and let Tupperware show us ways to eat healthier, become more organized and save money – all while helping to protect the environment.

If you have friends who live too far away to come as your guest, feel free to forward this event to them. They can click on the link below so they don’t miss out on the new products and sales specials!

If you aren’t able to make it, we’ll miss you!! You can shop from the link below and your order will count towards my party!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Return to the Salmon River

The Salmon River in Northern California that is. We lived on the North Fork of the Salmon River in Sawyers Bar for 5 years from December of 1974 to the summer of 1979. We've been back a few times, but will probably be going back every year now. The new owners of the saloon in Cecilville, on the South Fork have begun a disc golf tournament on Father's Day weekend and our children play disc golf.

We began the trip with a visit to our friend Sarah Colvig in Finley Camp.
Down the side of the mountain to the valley below. This road used to be dirt but is now paved and wide enough for two cars in most places. Finley camp is right at the bottom. Quite a few people I know or am acquainted with live down here. Not all year round. We parked the RV and had a lovely picnic supper and visit with Sarah.
Thanks to Sarah for this cute picture of Bill and I. It gets cool in the evening in the woods. Sarah's Jambalaya is famous all the way to Bali. 
The next morning we head into Sawyers Bar.
A few more people live around here than the last time we came through in May of 2006.  The Town Hall we helped build is still here. The stores are all houses now and the school is a community building. We drive on down to Forks of Salmon and as far as the school where I taught special education for a year. The road is all paved. Fewer ruts but we question whether it is safer rounding blind curves on a one lane road without the ability to see the dust of an oncoming vehicle.
Across the bridge where the north and south forks come together and up the road on the south fork side. Some familiar names on mailboxes here too. We had decided to have a family camp out at Mathews Creek Campground. There was a free campsite at Cecilville, but no dogs were allowed and daughter does have her Golden Retriever puppy Toby. This is a beautiful area. But few people use this campground. No one is here, there are no visible ground squirrels or chipmunks and the butterflies are bold. 
The California sister butterflies are very friendly. Landing on us and lapping at our skin with their tongues. We save campsites at the end overlooking the river.  There is a nice path down to the river. A bit steep for me since I forgot my hiking stick. By the afternoon all the family has shown up. Son and family, daughter and family and daughter-in-laws brother. Son heads on into Cecilville for a money round of disc golf which he wins. Others head to the river.
 Grandson swimming in a deep pool of the south fork.
 Daughter-in-law and her brother.
The view of the river from our campsite.
The next morning everyone except the two youngest, my daughter and I and the dog, take off to play disc golf. Bill has just has a skin cancer removed from his upper right shoulder area and he is not able to throw. But he wants to go anyway. So he acts as son, Jonathan's caddy. The stay at homes have fun playing in camp and in the river.

Everyone does quite well in the tournament and say they will be back next year. 
Sunday we all drive down to Sawyers Bar and park at the former school to use the community swimming hole. My daughter remembers where the path to the river is.
It's an easy walk down. We enjoy a picnic and swim. And meet a local who went to school with the children long ago. Ty Bundy is older than Jon and Valerie and has just recently come back to his family home in Sawyers Bar. No one had been living there for quite a while. He was down at the river with his girlfriend and her daughter and his daughters. Great to make some contact from long ago.
 Some have to head back home. Bill and I and Valerie and her family camp at Idlewild Campground not far from Finley Camp Sunday night. We head back home Monday morning after a very enjoyable weekend in the wild lands of far Northern California.

Monday, June 2, 2014

From LA to Home the Long Way

We headed toward 395 and the east side of the Sierras, our favorite way to drive home.  We had made reservations at Boulder Creek RV Resort. Good thing, as it was crowded with people from all over the world, well USA and Germany, celebrating Memorial Day.  Our usual spot, #12, was taken, but #10 was OK.  We joined the crowd at the pool and hot tub.  The staff is not much on crowd control. They just hope everyone behaves.
The 26th looks like it will be too hot for going to the Alabama Hills so we head out Lubken Canyon Road to Horseshoe Meadows Road and then up the mountainside. We are very high up at over 10,000 feet. There is a large nice parking area at the end of the road where we set up for the day.
 William goes off for a hike in search of Golden Trout. When have I heard that before? Probably 1976. Not enough oxygen up here for me to be hiking. Even William admits to having to sit and rest on his way back. But he went on a long hike and says he spotted the elusive trout.
While we are sitting in the RV with the door open and William is reading and telling me about his adventures a golden mantled ground squirrel jumped into the RV. William yelled and I screamed as it ran toward me. Luckily I had my legs up. It was running fast, but I could see the stripes on its back. It seemed huge. As I screamed GET IT OUT, GET IT OUT, it ran back out the door. 
On the way back we stop at a memorial spot in the road. Back in the 50's when they were building this road an equipment operator had a heart attack. Nothing could be done back then. Horseshoe Meadows.
Newspaper letter about Walt's Point.  Sierra Paragliding. You can float 60 miles from here to Bishop.
The view is pretty scary for me, so naturally William stops and goes climbing.

On the 27th it was cooler so we head to the Alabama Hills.  Amazing to think of the times we have come here and found the ground covered with flowers. Too late for flowers here. But it is still lovely.

We have seen some flowers on our desert travels the last few days. Mariposa lilies,
 indian paint, lupine, pussy paws,
sunflowers, princes plume,
globe mallow, and white poppies.
We had paid for a third night at the RV park, but they forgot to mark us down for the same spot. So we would have had to take #9. I noticed that #12 was empty, so we told them we would take that one.  Up to the pool and spa. But the spa is not hot. A couple there who had been at Mule days in Bishop said that the resort had turned off the heat when too many children were playing in it. No children now so we got them to turn the heat back on.
On the 28th we take off for the Bristlecone Pines. We had driven up here before, but the road was blocked by snow.  I wonder when the visitor center is open. Maybe only on the weekends?
Our campsite for the night is down in the pinion pines outside the area of the bristlecones at Grandview campground.

The 29th we head to Lake Tahoe to check out some campsites we have reserved at Fallen Leaf Lake for this summer. We thought we might spend a night at Tahoe. If it had been Nevada Beach, I would have said yes. But we decide to head on home.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Los Angeles

On Sunday 5/18/2014 we arrived at our abode for the week. Balboa RV Park. The biggest RV park in LA area. Home to traveling nurses, lesser lights in the film industry and divorced firemen.  It's not a bad place but the noise from helicopters hovering over the freeways that surround us are deafening at times.  Multiple artists painted murals around the place. The Yellow Brick road is nice.

Monday we head to Pasadena to visit Shelley and the children. Lily loves all her presents. Board books from Valerie that I cleaned. The Melanie doll from Valerie that I repaired. A lovely red velveteen dress that was Jasmine's. Lots of Tupperware for her play kitchen and a cute purse we found in Cancun. Handmade by the Mayans. 

Presents are so much fun. Nothing for Max. But he is too little to care. He is just happy when you pay attention to him.
David's twin Daniel is working at the nearby Huntington Gardens. He gets us free entry tickets. Lily is quite familiar with the garden. Daniel's girlfriend often brings her here.
We first head to the children's garden, a favorite of Lily. Water features to play in and new friends to dance with.

Lets head over to the lily pond to look for Daniel.  It's time to feed the fish and Lily can help throw the food. Then Lily and another new friend watch the turtles try to get the food that Lily did not quite get in the pond.

Even Shelley is tired as she has to hike out carrying both children.

On Tuesday we head off to the Page Museum, La Brea Tar Pits and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).  Lily is going out with Daniel's girl friend today. So we tourist on our own.  Learned a lot about the tar pits. Lots of bones of ancient mammals such as mammoths, saber-tooth cats, giant sloths and others were found here trapped by the tar. But no dinosaurs. LA was deep under water during the time of the dinosaurs. 
Discoveries continue to be made here as the tar is sifted through for large and small bones, seeds and plant fragments.
We eat lunch at LACMA and plan what we want to see. This is a really big museum and it would take more than one afternoon to see it all. So we plan to see the paintings in a couple of buildings and the art of South and Southeast Asia.
 William with an image of Shiva dancing.
The museum had one of the many paintings of water lilies by Monet.
Wednesday is our day to visit the Getty. These freeways are tiresome. It takes so long to get anywhere and they are full of traffic most of the time.
The Getty is very worthwhile and we visit most all of it though we spend less time viewing the decorative arts.  
Getty has the original Irises. I was thrilled to see it since I had painted a bit of it in painting class, Community Canvas.  

We saw another of these at Peggy Guggenheim's museum in Venice.
Gardens were pretty, but small. There is a special exhibit of Ansel Adams photographs that we enjoy very much. The special exhibit of Jackson Pollock's Mural 
is interesting, but not quite so enjoyable. It does look like something Peggy Guggenheim would have liked as it was done for her.
Thursday we meet Shelley and the children again at the Natural History Museum
Yipes, we did not realize that the first thing that happens in the morning here is that hoards of school children thunder in.
We cannot hear ourselves think as their high pitched screechy voices resound in the exhibit halls.  We try to find areas where they are not and soon enough it is time for us to visit the butterflies.

 Lily is somewhat disappointed since the butterflies are not doing much fluttering. It is a cloudy day.  We spot quite a few butterflies anyway.  After lurking in a few places where not too many children are visiting we take an early lunch. Lily is hungry anyway and we are assured that the schoolkids begin to leave after lunch.  Much better after lunch and Lily enjoys the dinosaur exhibits.  She is very good at matching up the dinosaur heads.

Max does very good today switching back and forth between the sling and the stroller.  At the end of the day he is back in the sling and Lily is in the stroller.
Friday William and I head to the Norton Simon Museum. It is in Pasadena very close to Shelley's house.  This is a model for how rich people who are into collecting art can get themselves a museum.  The Pasadena Art museum was in financial trouble and Norton Simon helped them out and helped himself to a museum.  We enjoyed the museum. It was nicely laid out and had a lot of art from my favorite time period, 19th century and early 20th century.  They did have a self portrait by Rembrandt, 1636, that was very classy.
 The sculpture garden was nicely laid out around a lily pond.
William was disappointed that part of the South and Southeast Asian art downstairs was closed because they were packing up an item to ship off for loan to another museum.
We head over to Shelley's with another gift for Lily from the Norton Simon. A palette of colors in tiny board books.
Dinner will be with everyone including David.

 He had some last minute work to do at the office, but we are going by Metro and the restaurant is close.  Such a lovely visit with niece and her family.