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The first use of the NutriBullet
Saturday, December 8, 2012: Gwen is enjoying the new NutriBullet she got for her birthday. I thought I would give it a try so I stuffed the container half full of spinach, then a whole cored apple, banana and celery plus water to the "MAX" line. This was my first try. I started it up and let it run until I was afraid it might explode. Click the photo to see what it looked like at the end of blending. The flavor was mostly of the apple and banana. Very tasty.
My second try with blueberries.
My second try was a little more creative. This time Gwen fixed it for me and she did a far better job with pear, kiwi, apple, blueberries, spinach, oats, carrots, cabbage, Chai seeds, flax seeds and cinnamon. The blueberries were frozen so Gwen's drink was cold and very tasty. Her drink was mostly the flavor of the blueberries and cinnamon with a hint of the pear and apple. Click the photo to see what this drink looked like blended.
Working on the do-nothing machine Turning a do-nothing handle
Making start and stop buttons Parts getting assembled
Monday, December 10, 2012: A few days ago I began a "manly" project for the Christmas gift exchange party for Timber Valley. I've finally finished it and promised that I would show what a "do-nothing machine" is and how it works. Be sure to click each of these photos for additional assembly views. I turned the handle from a fig branch trimmed from our Fig tree on the lot. Yes, I used my funky lathe creation on my drill press. It's very difficult and probably dangerous to do this but I wear my weed-eater helmet with a face shield. I'm watching for a bargain on a real lathe. The slides were made from some very hard .. hardwood flooring given to me. The slides have been waxed using a candle we had around the trailer. I decided to add a "start" (green) and "stop" (red) button to add interest. The final assembly is behind the last photo. You can see how it work by watching this short video.

Our new stainless steel pots and pans

Tuesday, December 11, 2012: I actually worked today, editing a Webpage I created for a local abstractor, Patricia Klassen, five years ago. She owns a service business as an abstractor in southern Oregon. An abstractor searches public records for whatever information is there. Visit her Website to learn more, especially if you need a public search in southern Oregon.

Gwen and I have been investigating stainless cookware for a couple of years looking for the best quality, price and the right set. Most sets include items we can't use which runs the price up. We decided to visit our local pharmacy looking for greeting cards. It was our first visit but we should have visited earlier, especially since we like to support local business. They have a nice selection of gift items and we spotted this set of Oneida stainless steel pots and pans. They were on sale at a price we found attractive so we bought ourselves a Christmas gift.

Breakfast with Escapee Chapter 9

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 (12/12/12): Today is 12/12/12 so there must be something special to do. Our first special day experience was to attend the Escapee Chapter 9 breakfast at Abby's pizza. This happens the second Wednesday of every month. Next, Gwen's daughter Lesa let us know that we could get a "souvenir" from Geocaching if we record a find today so we found a cache in downtown Sutherlin. It was located at the "Feed and Seed" store so we visited the store looking for wild bird seed. We've been feeding the winter birds and need a cheap source of bird seed. Yes! Only $16 for 50 lbs, that's the best price yet and if we don't feed the Stellar Jays, it will last the rest of the winter. Next, we came home to find a doe eating the lawn behind our lot (and I was thinking we needed to mow it). Click the photo to see our guest. Next, I went to work on a new project for my new grandson, Noah, turning a toy train boiler on my make-shift-drill-press-lathe. I turned the boiler from a fig branch but not sure if this will work since it's not dry. I'm afraid it will crack as it dries. We'll see. I'll be showing photos of this project later. Had a nice spaghetti dinner ... that's about it for 12/12/12.

Hey! Is that PET on a LEASH?

Thursday, December 13, 2012: Hey! Is that PET on a LEASH? We struggle every day trying to "herd" this cat or at least keep her inside. Sometimes she is just too fast or too sneaky and she gets out on her own. Once that happens, she must return on "her own time" because she will not come when called and if we try to catch her, it's a game to her which she always wins. However, lately, the "chairman" of the "Pet Watch Committee" has been out of town so we haven't worried so much about the cat. We've learned she usually goes only a few feet from the trailer, under the truck, sits on the deck with Morgan, under the trailer, or sits in the golf cart. She stays especially close when it's cold or raining. Today, she stretched out on the step in the sun. I'm not a cat person, Gwen is the cat person. There is a huge difference between a PET DOG and a PET CAT. These guys have made a short video to illustrate that difference. If you've ever owned lived-with a cat you will understand this video. Personally, I can't see how anyone would ever choose to live with a cat except that they must enjoy being abused (by the cat).

Woodworking for Mere Mortals

Friday, December 14, 2012: This was a special day as a woodworker. First, I got an email from Steve Ramsey pictured to the right. He operates "Woodworking for Mere Mortals" and I've watched many of his videos. Today's video was especially interesting because it introduced me to many other woodworkers who produce instructional videos. It also illustrates the sense of humor of woodworkers. If you enjoy woodworking, you don't want to miss this video. Next, Gwen and I went to a birthday luncheon and I got to sit next to Gene, a woodworker in Timber Valley. We talked woodworking and he shared another online source of information, Captain Eddie. He specializes in woodturning instruction and tools. He has created many instructional videos. I've watched a few today and found him very informative. I'm really looking forward to watching more of his videos.

Really great bread choices

Saturday, December 15, 2012: This is the greatest bread in the US and it's right here in the tiny community of Umpqua. My favorite has become the "Raisin-Pecan". We visit the Lighthouse Bakery at least once each week to get our bread. I added a cup of coffee today. Every table was full except one, just for me. I had two cups of coffee along with a few slices of my Raisin-Pecan bread. It was a fun time watching the folks enjoy a good lunch.

Trader Joes, Eugene
Sunday, December 16, 2012: Today was a trip to Eugene, I'll share more photos tomorrow. This one was taken in Trader Joe's. Eugene is the closest Trader Joe's and worth a visit. It was raining the whole trip and severe weather was threatened (via a text alert on our phones) but we experienced nothing but rain and a little bit of wind.
Holiday Fair in Eugene
Monday, December 17, 2012: Yesterday we enjoyed the Holiday Fair at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene. We save up our reasons to visit Eugene since it's 60 miles and yesterday, raining. This fair had some high quality items. I got to talk with most of the woodworkers and especially to those doing woodturning. I didn't tell anyone I was using my drill press to turn wood. I learned of the Beaver State Woodturners, a woodturning club in Eugene and learned of a couple of sources of hardwood in Eugene. They also had some great food vendors. The above photo is an overview of the vendor room taken from the food court. Click the photo for another view. We also visited the Dollar store, Winco Foods, Trader Joe's, Michael's and Jill's Yogurt shop.

Timber Valley Christmas Party
Thursday, December 20, 2012: Tonight was the Timber Valley Christmas Party. We shared tasty treats and stories from Christmas past. Then came the fun part of the gift exchange. Everyone had a number. Numbers were called by drawing from a hat. First person got to choose from the entire table of gifts. The second person got to "steal" the first gift OR pick from the table. So the last person got to choose from any of the gifts already opened OR take the last gift on the table. I was second to last so I had the choice of the room. I still picked from the table, an envelope which contained two $5 bills. I'll buy myself a gift tomorrow. Gwen got a tea set with mug, tea, hot chocolate and gift bag ... she was successful in hiding her gift from the rest and bringing it home with her. We were both happy with our presents. The gift I brought to give away was the "do-nothing" machine and all the men in the room had to look and admire it. That made ME happy. Click the photo to see Fred and Rita, the organizers and MCs (Helaine shared the MC duties) for the night along with Jerdis opening one of the four gifts he got tonight. The first three were "stolen" from him. Trudy is in the background after getting two cups of decaf (I assume George sent her on a "mission").

The North Umpqua River

Friday, December 21, 2012: If the Mayan calendar is correct, it really doesn't matter what I write here because no one will read it. On the other hand, other than the stormy weather, the Earth seems to be stable for the moment so I took a photo of the North Umpqua River after five days of rain. The river is normally clear but during stormy weather, it's pretty muddy. The weather continues to be wet and so bad in Northern California, Interstate 5 has been closed at the California border due to blizzard conditions. Around here, the weather is wet and chilly but the traffic is moving. The Umpqua River is the second largest in Oregon (the Willamette is first), apparently the Columbia is not counted as an "Oregon" river since it passes from other states and originates in Canada.

Trying to finish Thomas the engine coat rack and secret compartment

Saturday, December 22, 2012: I've been working on a project for my granddaughter for quite some time. I won't be delivering it until the end of January but I need to get it finished and off my bench to do some other projects. I'm nearly finished with all the wood parts but struggling with the finish. For example, I sprayed some of the parts gray, then smeared another color into the gray in a tiny corner. I used acrylic gray to "touch-up" which was dangerous since the spray gray was oil based and the acrylic was water based and a slightly different hugh of gray. But, when dry, it worked. I then sprayed with polyurethane to seal the flat acrylic and match the rest of the finish. However, the polyurethane brought out the difference between the spray gray and the acrylic gray. So I came up with the idea of spraying the gray into a container then using a brush for touch-up. When I started that, the polyurethane bubbled. Now I must sand and start over again. Oh, and a few drops of gray landed on the blue Thomas body in the photo which will need repair. The yellow circles in the photo are actually window ports on the Thomas body. I sprayed them with polyurethane but they dried stuck to the newsprint so NOW I must sand and repaint. To make matters worse, I've used up all the yellow shade in the photo so must change shades of yellow. This finishing is driving me crazy. I enjoy the woodworking but hate the painting/finishing. I know you can't tell what Thomas looks like in the photo, that's intentional, I'll be showing a whole assembly of photos when this project is finished and OUT OF MY WAY. OH ... in the center of those yellow window ports is a 1" dowel which I made from the not-quite-dry fig branches I trimmed about two months ago. They were exactly 1" when cut but as they dried, shrunk. I'm going to have to knock them out of the center and replace with dried wood. It's all driving me nuts.

Grant Goins at Roseburg Alliance

Sunday, December 23, 2012: My mother told us of a friend who had moved from her church to a church in Roseburg. She wanted us to check on her friend Grant Goins who is the Associate Pastor at the Roseburg Alliance Church. We decided to be brave and get up early for the EARLY service (9am). The size of the sanctuary is about 1/5 the size of Mom's church in Lodi. I learned from Grant that he was on the staff at Temple Baptist in Lodi (Mom's church) for nine years before moving to Roseburg. As it turned out, Grant was in charge of the service today, the Senior Pastor was out. Since I attended Temple Baptist for six months in 2011 when my father was ill, I recognized much of the service schedule at this church, very similar to the Lodi church. Today's service was a traditional Christmas service with lots of music and children. Click the photo for a view of Grant with the kids.

Christmas Eve service in Sutherlin
Monday, December 24, 2012: This afternoon, our neighbor, Delores invited Gwen and I to visit a local restaurant we've never eaten (Apple Peddler) before going to the Christmas eve service at a local Methodist church. You can click the photo to see our little group at the Apple Peddler. We had bad memories of the Apple Peddler in White City, Oregon so had some apprehension about the AP in Sutherlin. As it turned out, we enjoyed the meal and friendship and will likely return. The service was filled with singing and a cheerful Christmas message.
Christmas Day in the clubhouse
Tuesday, December 25, 2012: Christmas Day at Timber Valley. We did not wake up to snow this morning but it did rain all night. Gwen and I had volunteered to help with the clubhouse potluck today so Gwen helped set up the tables at noon while I began pealing potatoes. The kitchen in the clubhouse has lots of space and a commercial stove which makes it easy to fix mashed potatoes. We had about 30 people at the potluck. The other half of the folks wintering in the park drove to Seven Feathers Casino for their special Christmas dinner. We enjoyed our Christmas and I'm sure everyone else did too. They always do when surrounded by good food. Merry Christmas to all. Click the photo for a view of all the good food.

Getting ready for the TWO Oregon Bowl games

Thursday, December 27, 2012: The folks in Oregon are getting excited about the TWO Oregon bowl games. The first is coming this weekend with the Oregon State Beavers taking on the Texas Longhorns in the Alamo Bowl, San Antonio, Texas. Of course that means, the Longhorns will have home field advantage although a number of the Oregon players have come from Texas. Next, the Fiesta Bowl where the Oregon Ducks play Kansas State Wildcats in Phoenix, Arizona on January 3. Today's newspaper entertainment section cover is the photo of two kids wearing Duck hats and looking with "fierce faces". The article, titled: "Bowled Over", tells how the Oregon fans are building up to these two games with hope and expectation.

Meanwhile, it was time for me to check the water in the batteries today. I usually check every 3 - 4 months and that's just about right. I can't believe the folks that spend hundreds of dollars on "automatic" water systems for their batteries. It's easy and quick, just once every three months. I know of at least one camper who lost his batteries because the "automatic" system failed. To me, the problem is, you really need to be looking at your batteries and you won't do that if you think the automatic system is taking care of them. Click the photo to see me checking my batteries.

Spindle sander using my drill press

Friday, December 28, 2012: This day began with a regional power outage affecting nearly 13,000 in several small towns including Sutherlin. Gwen suggested, "The power's out, let's go out to breakfast." (not realizing that the whole area was without power). By the time we reached the restaurant, the power was restored but neither of us had a wallet. I left Gwen at the restaurant to visit with the waitress while I drove back home for my wallet. It was a nice breakfast where we used a coupon published in the newspaper. Once we returned from breakfast, Gwen spent her time making aprons as gifts for friends. I disappeared into my shop and made another tool out of my drill press. I already attempt to use it as a wood lathe (and, of course, a drill press) but now I can use it as a spindle sander too. The spindle table is bolted to the drill press table. There are three sizes of sanding spindles so I created three inserts to fit the three sizes. No, this is NOT a reciprocating drill press. They start at about $350 and mine was used and only cost $45. I can always flip the sanding tube to use both ends. These tubes are 4", a special purchase since most spindle tubes like these are only 2". I need these for the toys I'm building. Click the photo for an enlarged view.

Oregon State losses the Alamo Bowl

Saturday, December 29, 2012: Sad! Sad! Sad! Oregon State led Texas in the Alamo Bowl until the final few minutes in the fourth quarter then LOST by four points. This is really disappointing to me and to all Oregon State fans. It seemed obvious to all of us that Vaz, the quarter back, was not working well today and OS has a perfectly GOOD backup QB in Mannion. But Mike Riley kept Vaz in the game. Sad! Sad! Sad!

Meanwhile, back on home turf, I'm still trying to finish my Thomas Engine wall unit. I'll show the whole project once it's finished. Click the photo for an assembly view.

Driving a friend's motor home

Sunday, December 30, 2012: We have a friend, Faye, at the park. She and her husband got their lot about the same time we did but her husband died soon afterward. Later in the year, Faye had some health problems so moved to Medford to be with her son. She was unable to drive her motor home so one of the park residents drove it to Medford for her. Last week we learned that Faye's health has improved and she was anxious to move back to the park to be with her friends. I've not driven a motor home before but volunteered to return it from Medford. Driving time is about four hours round trip. Gwen and I left early this morning then did some grocery shopping in Medford at Winco, our favorite grocery store. We arrived at Faye's location about noon where her daughter-in-law had prepared sandwiches for us. On the drive back to Sutherlin, we stopped at Costco in Roseburg to refuel the motor home. The fuel gauge measured 2/3 full but Faye wanted to be sure she had a full tank so she could run the generator in case of a power failure at the park. So 1/3 of the tank turned out to be 34 gallons, this must be a huge tank. The charge was $100 which reminded me of the times we put diesel into our truck tank. We helped set up the motor home just in time for Gwen and Faye to take off to the clubhouse for games with friends. The motor home was easy to drive but I had to get use to all the rattles from inside the cabinets as I drove. While Gwen and Faye were playing games, I watched the Washington Redskins beat the Dallas Cowboys.

Dinner before celebrating the New Year
Monday, December 31, 2012: The last day of 2012 has been busy. First a doctor appointment for me then a nice cup of coffee at my favorite Roseburg bagel shop. I returned to work some more on the Thomas the Engine project then attend a block party at Max's place across the street. That ended just in time for the group dinner at the Rodeo in Roseburg. Thirty-two from our park braved a popular night for dining out. Then the park celebrated the New Year in the clubhouse until 9 pm when 2013 reached New York. For me, the big news are the changes to my home page, subtle changes, but I believe they are improvements. I hope the New Year brings happiness and prosperity to all.

David Shaw hugs his father after Stanford's win at the Rose Bowl
Tuesday, January 1, 2013: New Year's Day is not ONLY about football but that's how I spent my "fun" time today AFTER doing the laundry, helping to remove and store the Christmas decorations at the clubhouse and help Faye set up her sewer line and satellite dish. Fortunately, Stanford DID win the Rose Bowl but I'm still mad at them for beating Oregon at the ONE Duck game I got to attend this season. David Shaw, the Stanford coach is hugging his father in the above photo after the win. Both Stanford and Wisconsin played well so it was a good game. Stanford won only after a freak interception by Stanford in the last few minutes. They were able to run the clock out in the fourth quarter by achieving first downs after the interception. Tomorrow is REALLY the first day of 2013 and I'm beginning the day with a health club membership provided by the supplemental Medicare coverage I have with Regency Blue Cross in Oregon.

Oregon Duck win the Fiesta Bowl

Thursday, January 3, 2013: This should have been the championship game. Oregon played well tonight, NOT how they played against Stanford, awful. Mariota, the Oregon quarterback, is only a freshman so next year may be the year Oregon plays in the national championship. It sounds like Chip Kelly, the Oregon coach, may leave for the NFL ... that's what ESPN predicts. Tonight's game was close until the last minute of the first half when Oregon scored a quick touchdown. Then Kansas received the ball at the second half achieving only 3 and out with that possession. That was the game.

Calling BINGO

Friday, January 4, 2013: Every Wednesday evening, Timber Valley plays BINGO and this Wednesday I was talked into calling the numbers. Last week I played bingo with the group so I could watch the caller and see how to do the job. It turned out that I was the big winner last week. That was fun. So this week I was ready to deliver the numbers. I offered to call the "needed-number" if the player would only write that number on the back of a $5 bill but I had no takers. Perhaps they didn't think I was serious. I signed up to call again in February if they can put up with me.

Taking down the Christmas decorations

Saturday, January 5, 2013: Kristy and Gerry decided today was the day to take down the Christmas decorations on the outside of the clubhouse. Gerry did most of the climbing onto the tall ladder, click the photo to see him at the front of the clubhouse. Kristy and Gwen got all the lower lights and rolled them up for storage. I held the ladder most of the time and took photos. I'm not sure how many in the park realize how much work it is to decorate the clubhouse but Gwen and I have seen the video taken during the construction of the park and no amount of decorating will ever match the hard labor done to create this park in 1988, 89 and 90.

Annie spends hours at this window

Sunday, January 6, 2013: Today was non-stop activity. I began working on preparing my college business class I'll be teaching for the tenth time beginning tomorrow. I took a break late in the morning to attend a new church, the United Methodist Church in Sutherlin. By "new" I mean new to us. According the folks we talked to, the lady playing the organ and piano at the service is in her 90's and has played more than 60 years for the church. I suspect the church is much older than 60 years. We sang all traditional hymns and I noticed she did not need music most of the time. After church, I returned to continue the preparation of my class. While working at my computer, Annie continued to stare out the window growling an occasional strange noise. I learned it was because the park's wild turkeys were outside our window cleaning up the birdseed dropped under the feeders. Click the photo to see the whole flock. After the my course was ready for new students I drove to the athletic center to continue working off a few more ounces.

Monday, January 7, 2013: My college course began today without "fanfare". I sent out three emails to each of the students but have received only one email from a student. That student wasn't in my course but wanted to register "with my permission" since she was registering late. We'll see how these students do ... there is a lot of reading in this course. First wood toy train car

Meanwhile, back in the park and in my workshop, I finished the first train car for the wooden train I'm building for my grandson and grandnephew (one for each). I needed to complete a train car before I build the engine because the engine will have different size wheels than the cars. The height of the bases must match so a good coupling is made. I got the idea to build cars to haul wood blocks. While thinking about this, I was walking into Lowe's and in front of me was a display with hundreds of yard sticks for 69¢ each. I bought one thinking to use it in the construction of the block cars to add interest and education. I really like how it turned out. I cut a very tight dado into the top of the base, glued a portion of the yardstick into the dado then cut out the shape needed for the base. I haven't put a finish onto the cars yet, I'll probably wait to do that last when the engine and one other car is complete. I plan to make this only a yard engine with two cars to begin with, then add cars for special occasions. Of course I want to do a regular steam engine too but we are talking about 3 year old and 16 month old boys. I should have plenty of time to add cars and engines. I'll be visiting them in 3 weeks so I need to get these projects completed. Click the photo to see the bottom of the cars.

Clam chowder created by the men's cooking group
Tuesday, January 8, 2013: Today was a lunchtime special created by the men's cooking group at the park. Today's menu was New England Clam Chowder filled with potatoes, bacon, clams and celery is what I noticed. It was announced, after paying our $3 lunch fee, each would get two cups. If any was left over, we could have more. As it turns out, the whole pot to the right of the photo was available for second helpings. There was so much left that many took some home. I came prepared for this offer and took home enough for another lunch another day. Dolores is amazed with her first helping served by Skip and Ken is getting excited just behind Dolores. As it turned out, it was Ken's birthday. To celebrate, the park purchased a birthday cake to share at this luncheon. Click the photo to see Ken's cake.

The food never stops
Thursday, January 10, 2013: The food never stops at the park. Escapee Chapter 9 met at Abby's Pizza for breakfast. Yes, Abby's serves breakfast, at least in Sutherlin they do. No one leaves here hungry. It's a joke with Gwen and I about the start time. The Chapter 9 monthly breakfast meeting is advertised as 9 am. But if you arrive a 9 am, you are about 30 minutes late. So today, we arrived at 8:20 am and were the third and fourth persons to arrive. Skip and Mark arrived first (at the head of the table). These meetings are pure social. No serious business here, just fun and food.

Some of the toy parts I worked on today.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013: I'm working full time getting the last gifts ready to go with me to Reno in a week from tomorrow. These are parts to two locomotives, hopefully, they will be finished tomorrow. Then I need to get another couple of projects done. Yike! Time is short.

The beginning of another project
Wednesday, January 16, 2013: While I'm waiting for paint and glue to dry on the steam train project, I began another project. This one is for my son and daughter-in-law and will involve the two kids too. You'll understand once I detail the whole project. I believe this one will be quick to make but will require painting, a talent I've already explained ... I don't really have. This one is a combination of another idea I had a while back but I've added to the idea to involve the whole family. I'll explain when the project is done. This requires the scroll saw. I used the scroll saw yesterday for an hour cutting out eight windows in the two locomotives I'm building. It was exhausting. I know those who do intarsia, puzzles and fretwork will spend days at a scroll saw. I don't believe I'm up to that and admire their patience and persistence.

Today's weather graph

Sunday, January 20, 2013: This is today's weather graph for the last three days. The red line is the temperature and the gray line is the atmospheric pressure. "M" is for "Midnight" and "N" is for "Noon". Can you tell when the sun goes behind the mountain to the southwest of our location? Yes, you spotted it, exactly at 3 pm each day. We've had a clear sky the last three days. During an overcast, the point is NOT so obvious.

Hoorah for the San Francisco 49ers! It's coaches Jim and John Harbaugh brothers, east and west, against each other.


Thursday, January 24, 2013: You've heard the saying, "opening a can of worms", meaning, fixing one problem only to discover three more which must be repaired. That was the case today with replacing a garbage disposer for my mother's home. She let me know a month ago that her disposer stopped working, "it was OLD" and was "CHEAP when I got it" she said. Her house is 65 years old, so is the plumbing and electrical equipment. Normally, installing a new disposer is nothing more than removing the old one and attaching the new one. In this case, the switch to turn on the disposer was bad. That required replacement, then I discovered it was wired as a "second" thought with very confusing connections through three separate circuit breaker boxes each installed at a different lifetime of this house. With the switch repaired, I took the wire a better direction to a new outlet box and receptacle. From that point, the disposer install was easy except some of the plumbing now dissolved in my hand because it was old. I finally replaced it all so now everything is satisfactory. Mom is happy, that's what's important. Tomorrow, on to Reno where great-grandma (my mother) and I will baby sit the grandkids for a couple of days.


Friday, January 25, 2013: I've made it to Reno. My first visit was to my daughter's house to visit and see the many change she and her new husband have made to their home. The Oregon Myrtlewood clock I built them found a good spot on one of their walls. Mindy and Scott made a wonder lunch for my mother and I which gave us a good start toward our babysitting duties. That's where Mom and I went next, to my son's house to get our babysitting instructions. My other son, Joe, is joining us for this duty. Hopefully, three adults can take care of one 3 year old and one 16 month old.

Noah makes train noises as he pushes his yard engine


Saturday, January 26, 2013: The two grand kids are being perfect and very helpful in teaching me how to change clothes, pick meal menus, which toys are the best and when nap time should happen. Noah plays with his train in short sperts. Chloe loves her new apron (made by Gwen) and matching napkin. She also does a good job of keeping track of the wooden spoon and fork I made her. Click the photo to see her apron. She actually had much more fun popping the air-cushion bags protecting her Thomas train wall unit during transportation than with the wall unit itself, but it's not hung yet.

My "birdhouse clock" looks pretty good on the wall


Sunday, January 27, 2013: The birdhouse clock looks pretty good with the top branch attached and the birdhouses are starting to accumulate. Chloe decorated her birdhouse with colored pens, I wrote her name and date she did the art work on the bottom then hung the birdhouse on the branch she chose. Noah, Kim and Ben still need to decorate their birdhouses. I'm anxious to see the branches full. Click the photo to enlarge.

Mt Shasta



Monday, January 28, 2013: This was a driving day from Reno, Nevada to Lodi, California then on to Sutherlin, Oregon. I also stopped in Woodland, California to visit the older of my two sisters. The trip and driving was long but the visit with family was well worth the time. The photo is of Mt. Shasta in northern California as I'm driving north on Interstate 5.

Chloe shoveling the snow off her deck in Reno, NV


Tuesday, January 29, 2013: This was a day of catching up and running errands. First, Gwen and I drove to Roseburg. A doctor appointment for her and a lab appointment for me. Next, a quick lunch then on to Costco to check prices on tires for truck and dog food. Gwen is part of the Valentine Day planning so had to return quickly to the park so she could meet with the planning team. Meanwhile, I visited Les Schwab for another tire quote then to BiMart to check our member numbers for prizes (none-darn!) then to the dentists office. I got a letter from my insurance company telling me that I paid the dentist more than what was due. So they promised a refund (the check is in the mail). Since then, I've been working on catching up with my class while Gwen went to the clubhouse to play cards. The photo is of Chloe, clearing the decks at her Reno home after an over night dusting of snow. The hat she is wearing was a gift from "PaPa and Gwen".

Birdfeeder tree
Friday, February 1, 2013: Our Fig tree behind our trailer is waiting for spring to pop out those giant, shady leaves and fresh fruit. But while it waits for spring, I've made use of the branches with our bird feeders. I ended up frightening all the birds to take this photo but we get Juncos most of the time, Finches head straight to the black cylinder filled with thistle seed, a few Jays, but they are discouraged by the unsteady nature of the feeders. Unsteady on purpose because the Jays would eat all the food in one day and I can't afford that. These bird feeders sit only a few feet from our back window so we enjoy seeing the wild birds fly in for a snack.

A tough Superbowl


Sunday, February 3, 2013: It looked bad for the 49ers until the lights went out, then a near miracle happened with a quick come-back but it just wasn't enough. The winning touchdown by the 49ers was avoided in the last 2 minutes so John won over Jim and the 49ers lost their first Super bowl. I'm glad it turned out to be a real game. At first, it looked like a Raven run-away. Click the photo to see the Super bowl meal Gwen fixed. All this plus a coconut cream pie and stuffed portabella mushrooms.

Eugene Harbor Freight

Thursday, February 7, 2013: This was a great day to visit Eugene (the "big" city).First, we stopped for breakfast in Cottage Grove then on to several dollar stores and Goodwill plus St. Vincent De Paul for some cheap but needed items for projects both Gwen and I are working on. Gwen had a short list of fabric stores she wanted to visit for supplies for a quilt she is trying to finish. I also had a short list for the dollar stores and for Harbor Freight. I returned the doweling jig I purchased at HFT in Medford two weeks ago. I would like to have made the jig work but I could NOT figure out how they expected this tool to work correctly. The instructions were exactly as I have used doweling jigs in the past but the guide line for matching the two boards to the hole to be drilled was off center. This meant that turning the jig to drill the second board would put the holes in different locations on the boards. HFT sells cheap tools from China but they usually work, at least for a short while. In this case, my evaluation of the doweling jig is defective manufacture. HFT gladly gave me a refund but want to know my thoughts on the defective tool. That's OK, I was able to use two more 20% discount coupons, one for a chuck for bits up to 1/2" to fit the tail stock of my lathe (about $11, such a deal) and the other for very tiny drill bits (.5 mm to 3 mm) to try to clear a clog in the top of a spray paint can. I'm not sure I have a chuck which will hold these tiny bits but that's another problem. There are 30 of them at only $3.20 with discount. The main purpose of the trip to Eugene was to visit Winco Foods, our favorite grocery store. That was the last store before returning. Click the photo to see the "mystery store" we found and enjoyed shopping but not buying anything.

A new bridge in Sutherlin
Friday, February 8, 2013: Sutherlin received a small grant to build a paved walking and bicycling trail which will pass through the edge of town with a total length of three miles. That's not much of a bicycle trail (I'd prefer a trail leading into Roseburg (ten miles) but a three mile walking or running trail would be very nice. This trail is to pass by the Sutherlin Fairgrounds which I've seen from a distance but have not seen any activities there. I look forward to exploring this new trail and whatever might happen at the fairgrounds. This bridge, installed today, leads from town across Sutherlin Creek to the paved trail. The library is on this side of the bridge.

Monday, February 11, 2013: While visiting my daughter a couple of weeks ago, she introduced me to The China Study. This is a book written to promote a diet change for most to improve health and well being. To be fair, I've not read all the other nutrition and diet books but know of them and I certainly know what I've been taught from a baby about good nutrition. This plan stands up to all the others with different, even opposite, conclusions and recommendations. I have read The China Study and want to say a few words about it. If you watch TV, listen The China Studyto the radio, read the newspaper you are seeing, hearing and reading hundreds of lies usually in the form of advertising designed to convince you to purchase one product or another. The US economy survives on these lies. The economic crisis which began about 2007 happened because the people in the US stopped buying. For whatever reason (loss of job, fear of banking, loss of credit,etc.) but they stopped buying so many companies could not survive long with NO sales (like the auto industry which had to be rescued because their sales fell so dramatically). If a large percentage of the US population were to read, then follow the recommendations in this book (whether the recommendations produce better health or not), whole industries would dry up and blow away. For that reason alone, the ideas in this book will have very powerful enemies who would do ANYTHING to disprove the conclusions. Maybe that's one reason I'm just now learning of this book when it was published six years ago. If the US slowly changes their diet to the recommendations found here, in all likelihood, current agricultural industries would have a chance to slowly change then provide what is needed by popular demand. Anyway, I'm no scientist but I do have a degree in the biological sciences and a post graduate degree in business so what I've read makes much more sense that other "facts" I hear. Professor Campbell spends most of his time in this book explaining why you can't believe what you've been taught about nutrition either from the corporations who want to sell you health or diet related products or from the government agencies who make diet recommendations. In some ways, he gets carried away with those lessons but maybe I'm an easy sell because it's easy for me to believe that the government is in league with the corporations. In any case, having owned my own business for twenty years and taught business courses at the community college level for ten years, it's easy for me to say that EVERY business has ONE top priority, that is to make a profit for the owner (share holders). They don't care about public health, truth in advertising, or being "fair" to the customer unless it improves profit. I'm sure you know of many examples of damages done to the public by corporations because their primary concern is profit. As an informed consumer, it is our job to wade through the hundreds of offers and claims we see each day then make the best decisions we can. Thank goodness for the Internet which makes it easier to research all those claims so we can make better informed decisions and/or write reviews after the decision has been made. It is the same with choosing a diet. There is plenty of controversy concerning the claims made by The China Study. For myself, I'm in the process of changing my diet to match more of what the China Study recommends. At age 65, I'm starting to feel some of the symptoms of aging so I don't think it will take very long to learn if the changes actually make a difference. Additionally, the diet change may be a change in life style but it's NOT poison, in other words, the change can't hurt, it can only help. I once told my son Ben (a Physician's Assistant) that I was going to take Glucosamine, Chondroitin because one of my hips was getting "scratchy". He replied that I was just creating expensive urine and if I did not notice a change after several months, don't waste my money. Ben does not believe in nutritional supplements and I haven't either but this is my first time to be 65 so I thought of trying something new. In the same manner, changing my diet to match this book will not cost me more, in fact, may save me money, will not hurt my health can only have NO effect or improve my health and so I have nothing to lose. I also believe the effects of a diet change can be noticed quickly (I'll give it a year) with the way I feel (hopefully with more energy and strength), with blood tests for cholesterol for example and hopefully with a change in my hip. I have purposely NOT mentioned the recommendations of this book. I'll leave it to Professor Campbell to make the case. I borrowed the book from the library so no-one has made any money from me yet with this change. Anyway, I mention this here just to give you the chance to read the book or not. Remember, the diet change has to occur slowly to the US population or we run the risk of ruining several HUGE food industries so I'm telling only my few readers.

Baked potato meal Blueberry Cobbler for dessert
Tuesday, February 12, 2013: Gwen surprised me today by reminding me of a baked potato dinner to happen today at 4 pm. It was only $2 and sounded good and almost fit my new diet ideas. I looked for vegetables to pile onto the potato and found them. Gwen had fixed honey/mustard chicken so I added some to the potato. I also piled on some vegetable chili and had a great meal. Everyone else enjoyed this simple meal too. Then we were surprised with a blueberry cobbler, it was the best. Click the photos to see other views.

UCC Library
Wednesday, February 13, 2013: Douglas County has a nice library system and one of those libraries is in Sutherlin. I often order books online to borrow then pick them up at the library. I tried doing the same with music CDs and quickly learned that all the music CDs are at our local community college library. Umpqua Community College (UCC) has a very nice campus only eight miles from us. The campus is between Sutherlin and Roseburg. I would like to expand my music collection cheaply so began looking for artists and composers I know in the library online catalog then drove to UCC library to check them out. I picked out eight CDs and walked to the counter for checkout. I learned my Douglas County Library Card won't work, I must have a UCC library card which they immediately issued to me. I now have the eight CDs for three weeks but I'm already ready to return them. I "rip" them in Windows Media play which turns them into MP3 files. The MP3 files can be stored on my computer, MP3 player, tablet or my smart phone. Which means I can listen to the music if I'm near one of those devices. It's a nice step up from the "transistor radio" I owned in the sixth grade. I'll keep looking at the CD storage at the UCC library to expand my library further. One artist you might look for is Washington Phillips a black religious artist who recorded in the 20's. Gwen and I heard him while listening to the Bob Dylan music show on satellite radio. Bob often introduces us to American artists we are not familiar with. Unfortunately, UCC had only one CD with ONE tune by Washington Phillips, "Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave it There". When listening to Bob Dylan we heard "Denomination Blues", another excellent tune. I think we plan to actually buy his album, Key to the Kingdom. Another album I picked up was by Richard Thompson, an artist my sister Dorana introduced me to. I got an older album but his new album, Electric (a two CD set) was released only 9 days ago. Richard is classified as "Rock" but I think he is more of a cross between, rock, jazz, country and folk. I'm looking forward to hearing some new music from some new and familiar artists.

Valentine party at the clubhouse

Thursday, February 14, 2013: Valentines Day at the Clubhouse. That means games and treats. This year, Gwen was the chairman of the committee for the party. We had some fun games where we met members of the park we had not known before. We also got to stick pineapple, bananas, and a few other treats into dark chocolate fondue. This was in addition to the valentine cake and ice cream. Some of the game winners got some pretty nice prizes too. That wasn't me. But we enjoyed the fellowship. Click the photo for another view.

Douglas County Outdoor Show at the Douglas County Fairground
Walking the show with an empty box

Saturday, February 16, 2013: Our day began with breakfast with Don and Irene at the White Horse Coffee Shop. Don and Irene had given us a gift certificate for White Horse as a Christmas gift so we decided to share the gift with them. It was a good breakfast and a good gift. Don and I left together from the coffee shop to head to the Douglas County Fairground to attend the outdoor show. This show was mostly for hunters, fishermen, ATV, boating but had several hundred exhibits of all sorts of outdoor things. Don and I were just interested in seeing what was new with outdoor products.

As it turned out, while I was walking through the first building I spotted a long narrow box which was just what I needed. You see, I couldn't deliver a picture frame to my daughter in Reno a couple of weeks ago because I didn't have a special tool to finish the job. Well, now the project is complete and I needed a box to ship the frame to her. Since this was the first building, I ended up carrying the box for the rest of the show.

Climbing for kids

Not much of a haul Several others attending stopped me to say that "my box had broken open" but I assured them it was only an empty box.

There is no photo behind my photo but there is behind the other photos, so click them see other views. You'll see the kids at the show had fun. Don and I looked at everything but we ended up with only two free items, playing cards from Seven Feather's Casino and a Northwest Sportsman Magazine which I picked up for the advertising.

We DID buy something. It's called BoomBox V2 (a vibration speaker) which attaches to any headphone jack then you attach the other end to a cardboard box (like the one in the photo) or "any object" and the object acts as a sounding board to be a speaker for the music of your device. So it will work with my MP3 player, phone, tablet, computer or whatever has a headphone jack. Apparently a cheap, styrofoam ice chest works best but it sounded great from the box in the photo. Both Don and I were pleased with the show and enjoyed seeing what people spend their outdoor recreation money on. I was really impressed with the aluminum fishing boats with a price tag of $82,000. It's hard to imagine those sitting in a driveway 11-1/2 months out of the year.

Our new hobby, feeding the Finches

Sunday, February 17, 2013: The Finches are beginning to increase in number at our Finch feeder. So are the Juncos, their feeder is empty after being filled only a couple days ago. Gwen counted a dozen Finches hanging on our feeder at one time. Today was a slow day with Gwen and I taking Morgan for a hike into the "back 40" to check out the stream. Of course Morgan found a way into the water and enjoyed a dip for the first time since last fall. I completed and packaged the frame for my daughter and finished then varnished the gadget charging station for my son. Gwen is playing Po-Ke-No at the clubhouse tonight.

Looking for something smaller

Tuesday, February 19, 2013: Back in 2007, when we bought our 36 foot fifth wheel we really felt we needed something that big to travel and live in. And, we do, but it is really difficult for traveling, weighing 16,000 lbs. We certainly enjoy the room and the "apartment" feel of the fifth wheel. Now that we have our "home base" at Timber Valley in Sutherlin, we are considering something smaller for travel. That means leaving the fifth wheel in Sutherlin when we travel. This is not a new idea with us. A lot of the Escapee members with a lot in one of the Co-Op parks leave their "big rig" in the park and travel in something much smaller. Sutherlin only charges $30 per year for parking extra vehicles in the "back 40". While at the Outdoor show, I looked at several travel trailers. This one is only 22 feet long (advertised 22 feet but I think it was longer). I couldn't believe it but thought we could actually make this work for 3 - 4 months of traveling. We'll be looking over the next few months getting an idea of size, layout and price then find something used which we can afford. This trailer, fully loaded, would weigh only 8,000 lbs or less. Our Dodge would hardly even know it was connected.

Bingo tonight

Wednesday, February 20, 2013: Gwen needed to go to Roseburg today so I went along. While she was doing her thing, I went to the lumber yard for more project lumber. Then I drove to Costco to order tires for the truck. I picked up Gwen and we came home for lunch. After lunch, she drove off to a haircut appointment while I stayed in my workshop the rest of the afternoon working on my next project. We ended the day with bingo at the clubhouse. I won twice. I had to laugh today as I watched the weather report showing hail in Phoenix, Arizona. I think it was warmer here.

Thursday, February 21, 2013: I worked all day in my wood-shop on the next project. Several weeks ago I purchased an inexpensive tablet to be able to read ebooks, both Kindle books and Nook books. Since then I've actually read about half a dozen books, all free, either from Kindle or Nook. I've also borrowed and listened to several audio books from Library2Go. Library2Go is available through my local Douglas County Library system. I've learned to listen using my wireless, Bluetooth headset while working in my wood-shop. Yes, I really can do two things at once, listen and woodwork. So far, the audio books have been "non-fiction" such as "The China Study". Today, I finished "A Distant Mirror", a history of the 14th century. I learned much about the European history of the 14th century. One of the discussions in the book was of the relationship between the nobleman and peasants. The nobleman owned land usually granted from the king or inherited. But the nobleman NEVER worked the land. He either had surfs (slave people who were either owned by the nobleman or the peasant who was working An audio book from Library2go off a debt to the nobleman). The land was worked by these people for the profit of the nobleman. The nobleman provided subsistence for the peasant just enough to keep them healthy enough to produce a profit for the nobleman. It was not a "sin" to murder a peasant. There were some noblemen who allowed peasants to rent acreage because this would produce a profit off the land and the nobleman would not be responsible for "room and board" of the peasant in this way. I teach business classes for an Oregon community college. One of the things I teach is the goal of a business should always be to provide profit for the owner (stockholders). After listening to this book, I began to equate how business (in the form of corporations) has taken over the position of the "nobleman", creating profit at the expense of the worker who makes the profit for the corporation. I've always marveled at the politician who campaigns to "create jobs". I don't know of ANY business whose goal it is to "create jobs". Although, my Oregon governor just did that when Nike asked for an extended tax exclusion if it expanded in Oregon creating 500 new jobs. So the governor created 500 new jobs but at what cost? I know California has done similar deals and Amazon demands tax incentives when it builds distribution centers in new states. Anyway, I'm thinking business needs to take responsibility for its workers. I know, for example, that Walmart does not treat it's workers well, low wage, few benefits. On the other hand, and in comparison, Costco treats its employees very well, family wage plus benefits. I can always tell the difference in employee moral when visiting these two stores. I owned my own business with employees from 1976 to 1994 and paid them better than the average wage in the community. However, knowing what I know now, I would do more for those who created a profit for my business. I learned much more about the 14th century but wanted to point out a comparison of the corporation to noble society. Interestingly enough, the consumer is gaining power over corporations due to the Internet. I can't say how many times I have changed my purchase due to positive or negative product reviews, for example. I believe the same thing will happen to force corporations to be more socially responsible
A dinner theater for my birthday Toward the end of the play
Sunday, February 24, 2013: I turned 66 this week, an age I use to think was OLD, but now that I'm there, it doesn't seem so bad (yet). Gwen took me to the Mystery Dinner Theatre at the Grand Victorian in Myrtle Creek, about 18 miles south of Roseburg as a birthday gift. Several in Timber Valley have been to the theatre and recommended it. This was an uplifting story with several mysteries to solve and we came close to solving it correctly. We enjoyed chicken, baked potato, vegetable, salad, chocolate cake all with a scene of the play separating the dinner courses. Fortunately, the play had a happy ending and we enjoyed our time too. We are hoping to visit again. Myrtle Creek is an interesting small town which we will also need to visit sometime before traveling away from Oregon again. Click each photo for additional views.
New tires from Costco Almost finished
Wednesday, February 27, 2013: I made a hard decision today ... to buy tires at Costco rather than Les Schwab. If we weren't planning to travel outside of the Les Schwab states, they would be my first choice. But Costco is located in every state and we may need their support in Kentucky, for example. So I purchased 70,000 mile Michelin tires at Costco. They come will all the same add-ons at Les Schwab tires (click the first photo). My current tires came from Les Schwab and were 50,000 mile tires but we got only 34,000 from them. Those tires came with a discount because the tires they replaced came up short on mileage. Costco swears their tires will have an adjustment if they don't meet the 70,000 mile target. I told them my tires come up short because the weight I tow, it doesn't matter they said, the tires are rated for that load. I watched the installation and noticed they cleaned my brake discs, I've not seen Les Schwab do that. On the other hand, none of these installers would have their job very long at Les Schwab, these guys work in SLOW MOTION. Les Schwab would have had the tires balanced, rims cleaned and mounted in twenty minutes. Costco took an hour and the rims weren't cleaned. Still, these are Michelin tires so I'm expecting a lot from them.
Our new patio fire pit A good place to warm your feet on a cold day
Thursday, February 28, 2013: Mom doesn't know it yet, but she got me a patio fire pit for my birthday. It is a must to accompany the new Adirondack Chairs I built. I assembled it today. I chose this one because it had a nice shelf to set a drink and to hold my feet next to the fire to warm them on a cold day/night. I have lots of scraps left-over from my woodworking so, this is also a nice way to "recycle" them. Click the left photo for another view. Thanks Mom!
Marrakesh Bowl at Laughing Planet Cafe Some nice stops today in our Eugene shopping
Friday, March 1, 2013: On this first day of March, Gwen and I drove to Eugene to explore the "Oregon RV Show" at the Lane County Fairgrounds. It was nice to catch all the Eugene area dealers in one place but a bit of a disappointment to me that there were not more RVs to view and the prices seemed high also. We are looking for something smaller and lighter to tow so we don't have to pull or 36ft fifth wheel everywhere we go. Anyway, you don't see any photos of the show because I didn't see anything spectacular. I did take ONE photo of the detail tag of an Arctic Fox travel trailer because we liked it the most and I wanted to remember the model number. If you look at the maximum weight of this trailer (10,000 lbs), my truck would think it had died and gone to heaven if only pulling 10,000 lbs. So the photos are from the rest of our day in Eugene. We came out of the RV show pretty hungry but wanted to buy something really healthy trying to stick to our new vegan lifestyle. I used YELP to find the Laughing Planet only 1/2 mile from our location. I ordered the Marrakesh Bowl and really enjoyed the flavors and quality of the meal. It was cheap too. If you click the photo, you'll see the menu with the ingredients listed. Gwen really liked her burrito too. Next, I found my way to the Woodcraft store and next door was Market of Choice grocery store which was one of our favorites when we lived in Grants Pass. So Gwen visited MOC while I visited Woodcraft. She found what she was after and so did I. On the way out of town, we visited Michael's so I could use my 50% discount coupon on a piece of plywood.

Handmade corn tortilla with my vegetable burrito

Saturday, March 2, 2013: I visited the Douglas County Home and Garden show then visited Michael's, the Dollar store, Lowe's, Home Depot and the Burrito Vaquero for lunch. It was the only place I figured I might be able to get a "vegetable" lunch. So I ordered a meatless burrito, whole beans, rice and "vegetables" and NO cheese. The waitress looked like no one had ever asked for something so strange but the cook figured it out and it was very good. While waiting for my vegetable burrito an elderly spanish lady brought me a basket with flowered napkin hiding a single corn tortilla in it. I learned that she was the owner's mother, standing in the corner, hand making and delivering the tortillas. I got the impression that this was a special day for her. It was very good and so was the burrito. Next time I'll introduce Gwen to this place too. The rest of the day went well too except that it began to rain later.

Fred and Rita invite us to visit Wildlife Safari The bears gave us a show
We get to see some American wildlife These are cute little monkeys
Only a few of the wildlife would "pose"Sunday, March 3, 2013: Gwen and I actually did other things today but a couple of days ago we were invited to visit the Wildlife Safari park in Winston, Oregon with our friends, Fred and Rita. This was not our first time, we saw the wildlife back in 2008 at a Chapter 37 rally. During that trip, it was later in the spring so more wildlife to view but much more crowded. This trip began with finding a cheetah out for a walk with Wildlife staff. Our guides were sitting in the car with windows down and only a few feet from the cheetah They could hear it purring when the cheetah was commanded to "sit". When driving by the brown bears, they began to "play" with each other and put on a 30 minute show. We watched the whole show. Finally, the giraffe came out of the shed and walked around the park. Oh the way out of the park, I visited the exhibit housing those cute little monkeys. On the return to the park, we stopped at a new (new to us) restaurant in Roseburg, Casey's. It was well liked by the Roseburg newspaper poll of locals but only 2-1/2 stars on YELP. I don't think I would give it more than 2 stars. Otherwise, it was a fun day with friends. This will be a great place to take the grand kids once they are a little older. Click on all the photos to see additional views. You are not allowed outside of your vehicle in the park. There are signs everywhere instructing you to "stay inside the vehicle with the door closed". There are "guards" in towers around the park to yell at you if the rules aren't obeyed.The photos reflect those restrictions.

A tofu sandwich for lunch

Thursday, March 7, 2013: OK .. to attempt to continue with my new food lifestyle of "Whole Food, Plant Based", I ordered a tofu sandwich at my favorite vegetarian restaurant, Light house Bakery and Cafe. So I ordered the daily special and a cup of coffee with "coconut milk" creamer. About 5 minutes later I remembered that potato chips come with the special and I didn't want potato chips so I asked if I had an alternative. I was told, soup or salad for $1 extra and french fries for 75¢. I chose the soup (corn chowder) because I love corn chowder. So they changed the order. I walked back to my table then began thinking about chowder. I wondered if there might be dairy in chowder but decided to stick with my choice. When the meal arrived, the soup bowl was small, the soup was wonderful and I forgave myself for the dairy which might or might not be in the soup. The tofu sandwich was also great. You can click the photo for another view. I sent Dorana, my sister, a photo of the sandwich. She asked a good question ... "would I make it at home?" "All I needed was sprouts", I told her ... and "yes I would".

Umpqua Valley Arts Association membership drive exhibit Umpqua Arts Association Quilting as art
David from our woodturning group Umpqua Arts Association Kids art on display
Saturday, March 9, 2013: We attended the Umpqua Arts Association membership drive exhibit which included many of the folks in the woodturning club showing their best work. We also found many different art media. These was high quality art so we were surprised at the talent in our small county. Be sure to click each of these photos for additional views.

Our new patio fire pit

Tuesday, March 12, 2013: Well today was another date to remember like the date, April 18, 2007. We are back to our trailer park and tired so all will have to wait until tomorrow. In the mean time, here is Gwen enjoying (and trying to get warm) at our new patio fire pit or stand (whatever it's called). So far we've burned only left over pieces of wood from my woodworking projects. I think it's going to take some real firewood to keep us warm. Or mayby we need to have warmer nights, like those coming in spring and summer. Anyway, it works. Check back tomorrow for the exciting details of today.

St. Patricks celebration and meal at the clubhouse

Gwen enjoys her corned beef, carrots, cabbage and potatoes


Friday, March 15, 2013: St. Patrick's Day is not until Sunday but Timber Valley celebrated the day today with a meal provided by the "men's cooking group". The mean had to be at 4pm because we did not want the celebration to interfere with Po-Ke-No which begins at 6:30. The menu was traditional, corned beef, potatoes, carrots, cabbage and a small cup of ice cream with Irish Cream on top. So how does a vegan eats this meal? Well, I'm only 97% vegan so in my case, you eat it just like everyone else except my portion of corned beef was very small and my portion of carrots, cabbage and potatoes was large. Click the photos for additional views. The view behind the panorama above is of Norm and Barbara. Norm is our official "leprechaun" of the park and today he has a pot of gold which he is sharing.

Driving into the Cascades along the North Umpqua River Finding snow at the higher elevations in the Cascades
The north entrace to Crater Lake won't open for a few more months. Mt. McLoughlin behind from the east looking west. Saturday, March 23, 2013: Today was a nice drive into the Cascades with Gwen taking photos as we climbed to the summit. We are on our way to Klamath Falls, Oregon. It's a bit more than 3 hours from Sutherlin but her daughter and grandchildren have flown from Germany to visit for a couple of weeks. They are going to drive to Sutherlin but Gwen was anxious to see them and her Grandson, Dustin lives and works in Klamath Falls so won't be visiting Sutherlin. We followed the North Umpqua River to the summit, stopped at the closed north entrance to Crater Lake before proceeding to Klamath Falls. Click the photos for additional views.

The "girls" have made it to Sutherlin for a visit.


Sunday, March 24, 2013: The "kids" have made it to Sutherlin to visit for a few day. Gwen's on the left with daughter Lesa, then grandaughter Courtney, then Cortney's best friend, Michaela followed by cousin Bailey. We have moved the new "Great Blue Heron Edition" Alumascape to a rental location next door for the "girls" to campout. So they will be the first to use the new travel trailer. This could get pretty crazy for the next few days so I'm trying to figure out WHERE I could go. There is NO "surviving" this many females all in one place. Click the photo for a wider view of the "girls". I just hope the "Great Blue Heron Edition" survives.

Easter Sunday at Cooper Creek Reservoir
Sunday, March 31, 2013: Hey! It's the last day of March and Easter Sunday. We happened to notice the sign for a sunrise service at Cooper Creek Reservoir the other day presented by one of the local churches. Gwen and I thought that would be a good way to start today. This was a friendly group of people and a great place to begin the day with meditation and thankfulness. The weather cooperated too.

Our first camping trip with the Alumascape

Wednesday, April 3, 2013: For our first camping trip with have only gove a bit more than 100 miles to visit with Ralph and Janet. The two of us are staying at a mutual friends house where he has about 2 acres of land where we can both park comfortably. My weather station pole doesn't fit the Alumascape ladder so a new pole will need to be made especially for this trailer. Our friends Ralph and Janet have decided to live full-time in their RV and sell their house. They have purchased a beautiful Cedar Creek fifth wheel to live in, about twice the size of their little Cougar. This one has lots of extras. Click the photo to see a view of their new trailer. So we had a purpose of meeting up with them, it was to help them move items from storage to a location for a "garage sale" which they plan to do this weekend. They have pieces of furniture and many large rubbermaid tubs full of garage sale items to move. The job is done and all that's left is the set-up on Friday. They had a number of items we needed for our new Alumascape so that's why we have two large storage tubs next to our trailer. The weather has cooperated, but tomorrow it's to turn back to winter weather and tomorrow is a travel day for us, back to Sutherlin. Ralph and Janet are about to get a lot in the SKP park, "Park Sierra" in Coarsegold, California. It is also one of our favorite parks but neither Gwen nor I wish to be California residents. We will settle for visiting often.

Pizza at Kaleidoscope

Thursday, April 4, 2013: Last night Ralph, Janet, Gwen and I visited one of the best pizza locations in Medford. Gwen and I haven't been there for many years. Gwen and I had a vegetarian pizza with no cheese while Ralph and Janet had the Mt. Ashland, lots of meat and cheese. It was excellent pizza.

Today, Gwen and I had many stores to visit. Grover's, a plumbing and electrical supply, Lowes, Wal-Mart, Harbor Freight, Petco, REI, and Trader Joes. Click the photo to see the new Medford Trader Joes.

We ended up getting some misc. items such as a replacement faucet for the Alumascape kitchen sink. I also got some electrical parts to fix some electrical problems in the bathroom of the Alumascape.

We left Medford at 3 pm and are now back in Sutherlin.

The Great Blue Heron is parked in storage
Monday: April 8, 2013: This morning we had a knock on the door at 8:30 am. It was the new park manager, Randy. We had a short chat, then he said, "There are some issues." I was expecting a long list of all the rules we have broken but Randy really had only one complaint. We returned from our short trip on Thursday night and the Alumascape was still sitting in our driveway on Monday morning. There is a 48 hour rule after April 1 where second RVs must not remain on the lot for more than 48 hours without a special "pass" from the office. I told Randy I was already planning to move the Alumascape to storage today. You can see that many in the park use a storage trailer for all their junk. It amazes me that folks choose a full time RV lifestyle but find things they can't part with. I can tell you from experience, the items in these trailers will sit here until they rot, are sold or retrieved by and disposed of by the heirs. We have more than one friend who has spent thousands for storage units, then disposed of everything in storage for pennies on the dollar. Fortunately, the park only charges an extra $30 per year for a storage space. That means the major expense to keep your junk, is the cost of the utility trailer. I hope The Great Blue Heron Edition is not in storage long. The weather is improving, it's time to get moving.

A cat cage on the deck

Thursday, April 11, 2013: The winter snowbirds are beginning to return. Next year WE hope to be one of the snowbirds heading to Arizona during the winter months. Some of our snowbird neighbors do NOT like animals and either complain to us or to the office about the animals. Morgan is no problem, she minds and is easy to keep track of. Annie is a problem. She can wander were ever she pleases. Last year we DID have a neighbor complain to us that Annie was sunny on their car and getting cat tracks on the car. So we had to fight with Annie every time we entered or exited the Cameo. This year we decided to build a cat cage. She prefers to be outside and we prefer to HAVE her outside so I spent the day building a cage for her. Our plan is to stock the cage with a litter box, and water ... not sure we will put food in the cage ... I think it will be better to keep her food in the Cameo basement. I put one of our collapsible garbage containers in her cage, I think I'll put the litter box inside. I'll also provide shade when it get warmer. It will be interesting to learn how long it takes her to figure a way out of this cage. Click the photo to see Annie's first experience in the cage. I was able to use my pneumatic staple gun to attach the wire fence. That made the job MUCH easier.

An early estate sale this morning

Friday, April, 12, 2013: This morning I decided to try garage sales again. After getting excited about garage sales when helping Ralph and Janet with theirs I started looking around Sutherlin for sales. Yesterday I found an estate sale advertised in the newspaper and on Craigslist and it was only two miles from our location. Last week, I tried garage sales and learned that the rule followers miss out. Last week the ad said "no early birds" for a 9am start so I arrived at 9am to learn that all the good stuff had already been sold to the early birds. So this time I decided to show up at 8:30am to a 9am start estate sale.

Probably 200 cars parked on this narrow dirt roadI wasn't the only one with that same idea except this time it was run by a professional estate sale manager and the "gates" did not open until 9am. I would guess that there were 200 cars parked on this little dirt by 9am. Lots of buyers seemed to already know what item they wanted to buy so not sure if there was a pre-shopping examination day. When the gates opened, folks began running. This is the kind of frenzy you want if you are a seller. I was overwhelmed buy the number of buyers and the quantity of items for sale. Virtually everything was for sale.
More insideMost of the items seemed to come straight out of a 1950's era so maybe that's what these folks were after. Folks seemed to be finding "treasures" but I was having trouble seeing the "trees for the forest". I purchased nothing at this sale. I think I would have to make a list of items to look for before attending a sale like this one. It seems to me, with this number of buyers, negotiating for a better price would not be happening today. Maybe it will happen tomorrow since this is a two day sale. I'll bet there's not much left for tomorrow. I did enjoy seeing this old vintage rural home. There were lots of little rooms like little boxes surrounding the backyard which was a flower garden with graveled paths leading around the flower bushes. The upstairs was blocked off, but all the downstairs rooms were open and filled with items for sale. Click the photos for additional views.

Oregon is double approved by God

Tuesday, April 16, 2013: I knew Oregon was "God's country" but this evening I got proof that God DOUBLE approves Oregon or maybe double approves of Timber Valley RV park. Eat your heart out, California, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico, Texas .....

Click the photo for another view.

We've had showers today, then sun breaks. This double rainbow happened about 7pm during a surprise shower.

Breaking my new diet at the clubhouse
Wednesday, April 17, 2013: It's time for the men's cooking group to fix an evening meal. Tonight it was ham, yams and green salad. So, yes, I broke my new vegan diet. Today is my 3% day. I'm only 97% vegan. I continue to loose weight but now I've stepped up my cycling too. I didn't get much ham so maybe today was only a 1.5% day. That way I could have some of my son's barbequed chicken when I visit next week.

Mowing a portion of the park which can't be mowed by the riding mower

Thursday, April 18, 2013: Ralph and Janet have just received their lot at Park Sierra. Yesterday Ralph sent me a text message telling of "weed whacking" for two days around his new park. To not be over done by Ralph, I decided the steep yard behind our trailer and six other trailers needed to be mowed. This portion of the lawn is so steep, it would be too dangerous to mow using one of our three riding mowers so I used the Honda powered walk-behind mower. It does have driving wheels which assist. Without that assistance, I'm sure I wouldn't be doing this. I really didn't wear my weed-whacker helmet and visor while mowing. I DID wear my hearing protection. However, I got hit in the face a couple of times and bonked in the head too from limbs I was trying to duck. I decided from that to wear my helmet with visor and hearing protect next time. I talked with Tom yesterday about doing this mowing because he is the landscape supervisor. He asked if I'd driven any of the riding mowers. The park has one John Deer, deck mower and two zero clearance mowers. I've driven all three. Tom exclaimed, "I'll put your name on the LIST. Those on the list are doing four hour shifts." "Wait, Wait! I was thinking. "OK", I said. I needed to get this mowing done today because I'm going on a ten day trip beginning tomorrow to visit Mom and my kids. Click the photo for another view.

Mom fixes a vegan main dish

Sunday, April 21, 2013: While visiting my mother in California, we worked together to find a vegan recipe we both thought might taste good. Mom is not vegan but wanted to serve me something considering my new diet lifestyle so I found a recipe online which we both thought would be quick, easy and good. I had no idea what "Orzo" was but my mother knew. We picked up a package at the store for the Saturday evening meal. It turned out to be tiny pasta the size of rice grains. Mom said it was usually found in pasta salad. It cooked quickly and the whole meal turned out to be a great success. We like it so much, we did it again on Sunday but added Tofu this time. Click this photo to see the Tofu dish. Mom said she liked it so much she might become "vegan", but I think she was joking.

My sister's vegan entre

Monday, April 22, 2013: This was a travel day from California to Reno, Nevada to visit my adult children and grandchildren. But to be fair, I must share the vegan meal my sister (in Sacramento) made for me yesterday evening. This is a "Hippie Loaf" from The Happy Herbivore, a recipe book for vegans. My sister got it from her local library, a place where she spends a lot of time. It's a replacement for "meatloaf" so we treated it like meatloaf and added ketchup. It was also excellent, just like Mom's!

Chloe Noah
Tuesday, April 23, 2013: Here are a couple of good reasons to be in Reno. Chloe on the left, Noah on the right.

The major project in reno, kitchen lighting





Wednesday, April 24, 2013: The major project my son Ben wanted help with was all new lighting for the kitchen. Most of the lights had failed and the previous owners had not install good lights anyway so everything needed replacement. Ben and Kim decided on recessed lighting with dimmable LED, 50,000 hour lights. We installed (12) 6 inch lights and (4) 4 inch lights. All are LEDs so about 1/5 the watts for the same amount of light. Ben and I worked as a team. He, marked the location of the lights, cleared the insulation above the ceiling then cut the holes. I prewired all the "cans" and hauled them into the attic for installation. Three recessed cans were already in place but they were 7" diameter so the LED lighting fixtures had to be modified to fit. Our ACE hardware helped us do that and provided the parts we needed. Each of the steps was time consuming. Making the holes, wiring the cans, installing the cans, connecting to power, installing the LED lights and cleanup all took considerable time. However, Ben and I finished the job in one day. Click the photos for other views.

The recessed lighting parts Wiring the cans
A tite sqeeze into the attic The holes had to be exactly 6-3/8" diameter For smaller lights took 4" cans
Scott and my daughter Mindy Thursday, April 25, 2013: My daughter Mindy and her husband Scott also live in Reno. I joined them today for a hike along the Truckee River so Gunner could swim. This is also where the train tracks lead from Donner Summit into Reno. We got to see a long freight train coming down the Truckee toward Reno. Mindy and Scott are the two who got me onto my current whole food, plant based diet. Tonight they worked together to fix a great dinner. Click the right photo to view dinner. No, it's not hamburger meat. Mindy is mixing a batch of cookies caller Trail Mix Cookies. I believe I'll get to take some with me. Mindy making Trail Mix Cookies
Pudla in the morning Friday, April 26, 2013: Mindy started my day off with a Pudla. A kind of pancake with all sorts of vegetables and toppings. Click the photo on the left for the recipe. That's not sour cream on top but looks and tastes like sour cream. Later in the day Mindy took me to Whole Foods Market. That is one of Gwen's and my favorite markets but we are needing to learn how and what to shop for in that market. It's high quality grocery items and also high priced so we need to know what's important to buy first. Mindy was very helpful with suggestions so I have a bag full of new food items to take home to Gwen. Click the right photo for the Reno Whole Foods Market. Pudla with toppings
Sub-panel in the garage Saturday, April 27, 2013: All the project and more are completed. The projects seemed to multiply as Ben looked around. When I arrived, Ben told me of a problem in the kitchen, the refrigerator, microwave and convection over were all on one 20 amp circuit and the circuit break often had to be reset. This is an older house creating a separate circuit for the microwave had not been required at the time. The microwave wall is backed up to the garage. Ben and I had installed a sub-panel in the garage several years ago when more power was needed in the garage. One 20 amp breaker in that sub-panel was not being used so we decided to use it to create a separate circuit for the microwave. Ben ran the wire through the garage attic and through the ceiling into the cabinet above the microwave. I installed an external receptacle box, moved the microwave cord to the new box then connected the other end of the wire to the unused circuit breaker at the sub-panel. Now the microwave has its own circuit. Barn door for the laundry room
Another project was a barn door on the laundry room. This project became the most time consuming and difficult project of the week. Ben glued the old door together then painted them. He had already received the barn door hardware by UPS. Problems with spacing and gaps in the opening had to be solved. The bottom of the old doors had to be reinforced to accept the slot guide from the hardware package. It was also a tight area to work in which also made the job more difficult. After three days of micro-adjusting, we are both happy with the outcome. Click both photos for additional views.

Mt. Shasta in northern California from Highway 89

Sunday, April 28, 2013: Today was a back roads drive from Reno, Nevada to Sutherlin, Oregon. I've done this drive many times but still think it is one of the most scenic. From Highway 89 you get this view of Mt. Shasta. It's as if you will drive straight into the mountain but instead, you climb the south slope then drop down into Interstate 5 and Mt. Shasta City. Click the photo for a view of Mt. Lassen about 50 miles to the south of Mt. Shasta. The view is from Highway 44 which connects Susanville, California to Old Station, California on Highway 89. Mt. Lassen erupted about 98 years ago (May 22, 1915) and still has hot springs and boiling mud pots from the vocanic activity still present. Lassen also had a small ski area which has been permanently closed. The area is now mostly used for cross-country skiing. The driving time from Reno to Sutherlin was only 6.5 hours, very little traffic on these back roads. It was a fun visit and much was accomplished but I'm sure glad to be home.

Visiting Kruse Family Farms Lots of flowers at Krause Farms
Monday, April 29, 2013: We were looking for some fresh produce and thought of Krause Farms, a local farmer's market. We learned that this time of year, they have three greenhouses full of flowers. We did buy some other food items like Corn Chowder mix (just add boiling water). We wanted to buy some flowers too but knew the overnight temperatures were to be very cold so decided to wait a few days. Click the photos for additional views.

Relaxing on my deck
Tuesday, April 30, 2013: I'm enjoying my Adirondack chair and stool while treating myself with the vegan cookies my daughter Mindy made for me while I visited Reno. Yes, Gwen prefers to hang dry the laundry and it's getting warm enough in Oregon to begin using the line dry technique. Annie is at the base of the clothes line and really loves the deck. Our view of the mountains is unobscured because we are on a ledge above the other trailers.

No, I didn't relax today. Instead, I mowed the 30 degree slope behind our trailer (and six other trailers) with a walk-behind mower. Then I noticed Tom was mowing across our street with a riding mower but couldn't mow the slope. I took my mower across the street and mowed the slope there too. It was three hours of hard work. It will probably have to be done again in a week. I use to laugh a folks in "real life" having to mow lawns while I was riding my bike. This IS a "co-op" park meaning residents should help maintain the park in some way.

Finally, I get to be on the Douglas County Oregon Jury pool for the month of May. I'm juror number 694 and required to call the "code-a-phone" everyday for the month of May to learn if my service is needed. Tomorrow, jurors #1 -100 are required so I won't be heading to the courthouse tomorrow. I've learned that NO electronic devices are allowed in the courthouse so no interior photos if I'm called to duty.

Surprise birthday party for Delores




Wednesday, May 1, 2013: Today was a busy day with preparing some ground for Gwen to plant some of her bushes. Then, mid-day we attended a surprise birthday party for Delores, our across the street neighbor. Her next door neighbor is Ken. Ken planned and arranged the surprise and it sure seemed to work, Delores was truly surprised. All of a sudden, there were lots of people on her deck.

After the party, I joined the Umpqua Velo Bike Club for a short ride in Roseburg then a presentation by club members who rode around Italy last year for about two weeks. That's as close to Italy I will ever get.

Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville
Thursday, May 2, 2013: Another party, this time it's located at the Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, Oregon, about 40 minutes driving time from our location. On Thursday and Friday they have a crab legs buffet which also features a lot of other fishy items plus asian, Mexican and Italian menu items. It's a favorite location for Theresa and Bud who are having birthdays this month so they chose the Seven Feathers Buffet as a place to celebrate. Click the photo to see those at the party and stacks of empty crab legs on the dining table in front of those filling themselves with crab meat. It really is work to get to the meat.
Allegro, I don't know the details 2003 25' Sierra Lite, one slide
2005 22' Nash, no slideFriday, May 3, 2013: My son Joe is interested in purchasing a used RV so I've been consulting with him about it. The folks in the Escapees parks are often doing what we have done, making a purchase of a small RV to travel while keeping the large RV on their lot for living. However, when they get to an age where they would prefer to stay put, their smaller RV is often offered for sale. I sent my son these three photos of the RVs I know to be for sale in our park. Escapee members usually keep their RVs in good condition so all three will likely be in good shape, even the older models. If you happen to see something here that you might have an interest, send me an email and I'll put you in touch with the owner. These owners are probably pretty anxious.
Ray Market Parking lot Flea Market where I got the PVC rain gutters
This is where I found the garlic press in a bag with other kitchen utensils all for 50¢ I missed getting saw horses here by 3 minutes. This is where I got the free roofing tiles
This was a permanent yard sale, lots of used auto and motorcycle parts, nothing for us I always try to help out entrepreneurs A busy, spontanious yard sale, nothing for us
A couple choosing to sell all and move to an RV. We introduced them to Escapees. The beginning of a whole neighborhood having a once per year yard sale. Here is where we purchased a whole box of "stainless steel" pans for $20
Saturday, May 4, 2013: We decided to spend this day searching garage sales from south Roseburg, north to Sutherlin. We made up a list of items we were looking for. My list was short. I needed some siding and roofing to build a new water house and a small storage area behind my shed. I also wanted another set of sawhorses. Gwen wanted a set of stainless steel pans for the Great Blue Heron Edition Alumascape. We found most of our garage sales using CraigsList but also stumbled upon a few which were apparently not advertised. We chose to drive to south Roseburg to visit a couple selling everything to go RVing. Unfortunately there was nothing there for us but we got to visit with the folks and introduce them to Escapees. It got better from there on, I got a small piece of T-111 siding, exactly what I'm looking for. Probably enough for ONE of my projects and I got it for free. I also got a stack of 3-tab roofing material, enough for both projects and I got it free also. I missed the sawhorses by about three minutes. Be sure to click the photos for additional views. Gwen found a whole shoe box of unused greeting cards for $2, potato masher and small cheese grater for the Alumascape, plus small baking bowls. We found an entire neighborhood where everyone was having a yard sale. We just walked from one to another. One of the houses has a box of pans and lids marked $25 for the whole box. I spotted Revere Ware and knew they were stainless steel so I called Gwen over and she approved of the purchase which I got for $20. I set them out on plywood when we got home really pleased with my purchase even though we had four lids left over which fit nothing. Gwen questioned, "Are you sure these aren't aluminum?", she didn't want aluminum. "I'll prove it to you, and got a magnet out of my shop to test each pan." My magnet stuck ONLY to the stainless steel mixing bowl (which Gwen didn't want) and to nothing else. Even the Revere Ware was aluminum. So this whole box is going into our park-wide yard sale in June and our search for stainless pans continues. I also found two ten-foot PVC rain gutters for $1.50 each. I'll use them to create a trough to hold the sewer hose. I also found an Oregon Ducks sweatshirt in good shape and my size for only $1. Finally, I found three stabilizer jacks to add stability to the Cameo, only $10 for the set. While shopping, I continued to send Ben and Kim text messages with photos of drum sets suggesting a drum set would be a good gift for Noah (as a joke). They both hated the idea. My daughter, Mindy had told me to look for an antique garlic press, I found one garlic press in a bag with other items. The whole bag was only 50¢ so I bought that also. I also sent son Joe a photograph of a "family tent" as an alternative to an RV in his travel interests (again, as a joke).
Building an new PVC mast for my weather station to fit the Alumascape The PVC is partially glued together The new mast fits the new ladder
Sunday, May 5, 2013: A new mast is needed for my weather station. The current mast fits the Cameo ladder just fine but the Alumascape ladder has different spacing on the rungs, so another mast is needed for the Alumascape. Yes, we plan to move soon and take the weather station with us. The mast is built with 1-1/4" schedule-40 PVC and the glue dries fast, almost instantly. I measured very carefully to get exactly 15" between the ladder rungs but I measured from the bottom of one rung to the top of the one below making my new mast connection about 2" too long. (It's my first mistake this year.) I couldn't pull it apart so had to spend another $1 for a connector to shorten the distance between the two rung connections. You can see the connector in the last photo. Be sure to click all the photos for additional views, especially the last photo to see the weather station currently connected to the Cameo. The new mast connects exactly the same way but matches the wider rung distance.

Making waffles without eggs


Monday, May 6, 2013: Gwen had a desire for waffles and I was anxious to use our new food processor so I made the waffles. First I had to look up what to use instead of the two eggs the recipe called for. The easiest solution was a banana. The recipe called for water but next time I think I will use almond milk. I heated up real maple syrup purchased at Costco. Heated syrup is one of the stars I give restaurants, many don't earn that star. The waffles turned out very good. Gwen prefers to cover her waffle with Adams peanut butter, click the photo to see her waffle.

Randy and Greg install a new door on our shed


Thursday, May 9, 2013: While I was cleaning out the shed, Randy and Greg showed up to install a new door. Gwen had requested one about two weeks ago because the original door was beyond repair. The park takes care of the storage sheds so the new door is part of the service we get as leaseholders in the park. The door trim and hinges were also replaced. This is a pretty heavy door for these little hinges. Also the screws used to secure the door were just long enough to catch the pine trim. I'm pretty pessimistic that the door will be operational for very long (without sagging). I believe larger hinges with longer screws are needed. Long enough to catch the 2 x 4 behind the trim. One positive however, these hinges are stainless steel and so were the screws. The park also supplies the paint for the sheds but Gwen or I must do the painting. I hate painting, but did it anyway this evening when the weather was cooler. Click this photo to see the "happy painter". Yes, Randy and Greg used my tablesaw to hold up the new door and as a tool rest. They also threatened to take it with them to the park maintenance shed. At least I'll know where to look for it if it goes missing. When you click the photo, notice who is on her deck watching the painting operation.

Monday, May 13, 2013: This is the Timber Valley office. Our flag has been at half mast for three days because a park member and a good friend has died suddenly while shopping at Costco. Ron and Theresa are the members who left last fall to spend the winter in Arizona and while they were away, loaned us the use of their golf cart. While in Arizona, they found the perfect travel trailer for the many miles of traveling they planned to do. They brought it back to Timber Valley to complete a solar installation and put air suspension bags and new tires on the tow vehicle. Ron and Theresa were at Costco ordering new tires when Ron had a massive heart attack. Ron was well known in the park so his death affects us all. I remember being afraid to plan anything during my working life or at least getting too excited about the plan. The fear was that something would happen at the last moment to change or cancel the plan. This loss brought back those memories. Our friends had not finished their traveling days yet and had many plans for cross country trips. This makes me wonder if it's "safe" to make plans. But after thinking about it, I've decided, rather than be afraid of making plans, instead, enjoy and appreciate every single moment in the present. Plans are OK, but enjoy making them as much as executing them. I'll bet Ron and Theresa did.

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