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Tide in/Tide out
Tuesday, March 30, 2021: This day began with me taking Abby back to the dog park to play with Gracie. However, this time there were already half a dozen big dogs in the park so Abby locked all four legs letting me know SHE would NOT go into the park. I understood and took her back to the beach instead. Yesterday, the tide was in but this morning the tide was out. Swing your pointer in and out of the photo above to see tide in and tide out. After our beach walk I had a second cup of coffee and cereal for breakfast. I then hoped on the bike a rode out North Bank Chetco River Road to Loeb State Park where Gwen met me. Abby got to swim in the Chetco River before we had a sandwich for lunch. I continued my bike ride on up the road for another six miles. By the time I got back to Loeb State Park, Gwen was pulling out and I caught a ride back. This was the warmest day so far this winter with clear skies.

This beach is covered with pebblesHiking down to McVay Beach

Monday, March 29, 2021: McVay Beach is one of our favorite beaches near Brookings. It is managed by Oregon State Parks but with virtually no facilities. The beach is not sand but pebbles and the ocean is dotted with interesting rock formations. The beach is probably the main draw to this recreation but a second draw is the huge dog park where we have introduced Abby to several other dogs her size. She is very cautious of other dogs both large and small. She is very shy of large dogs so introducing her slowly to just one or two dogs at a time is what we have done with this park. She has met Gracie, a white Labrador who is one week older than she is. She is almost to the point of playing with Gracie. Gwen did her share of pebble collecting. I'm not sure what she will do with her rocks. The beach had lots of visitors today so we didn't let Abby off leash. She still enjoyed the salt water and a couple of freshwater creeks. You can see the clouds have moved on so the ocean is back to blue, a reflection of the clear sky. Click these photos for more views.

Abby climbing from the beachAbby heads to the beach

Sunday, March 28, 2021: We had a special morning with Gwen's son David just before he had to go to work.

We hiked to the beach after the visit and let Abby run the trail just like we do at home on our park trails. She doesn't go far from us but runs hard and fast.

Click both these photos to see the drift wood treasures at both these beaches. In fact, as we were going down the trail, another hiker was coming up the trail with two interesting pieces of drift wood. I could only imagine turning them into a lamp or some other decorative item.

Fortunately, Gwen didn't want any driftwood so we came back empty handed.

This was an overcast day so the water is gray unlike the blue water yesterday.

We got the best Bandon Elks camp site
Friday, March 26, 2021: Great weather for traveling from Bandon to Brookings, Oregon along the coast highway, 101. We arrived just after noon. With only two other campers in the RV park, we were able to get space 5, a corner space, the longest with plenty of grass and play area for Abby. We are here to visit with Gwen son David. He is an Oregon State Park Ranger working until 9 pm each day so it may be a challenge to get some visiting time. We tried to get Clam Chowder at a favorite restaurant but they were sold out. We shared a fish and chips instead. Click the photo to enlarge.
Bullards Beach
Thursday, March 25, 2021: Once our oil and transmission fluid were changed we chose to leave a day early for the coast. Only an hour and forty-five minutes to Bullards Beach State Park in Bandon, Oregon. We arrived at 6 pm and tried to get fish and chips at our favorite tiny marina restaurant. Unfortunately, they closed at 6 so we were out of luck. We did have the time for a beach walk and chasing the waves with Abby. Click the photo for our campsite.

Bicycle for Glen

Monday, March 22, 2021: My friend, Glen, and I have been watching the Facebook ads for a bicycle which Glen can mount permanently on the Wahoo Kikr trainer he bought a couple of weeks ago. Trainers are pretty hard on bicycles so Glen wanted to put a bike on the trainer other than his "good" bike. Yesterday a lady in Roseburg listed this bike and Glen spotted it right away. She asked $400 which Glen and I felt was a good price considering the components on the bike and knew it would fit perfectly on the Kikr. Another interesting part to this bike, it came with a "dumb trainer" which I could use since REI would not let me use their advertised 20% discount on a Kikr for myself. With a sale like this, the first one to arrive with $400 cash gets the bike. The lady was not available yesterday so Glen and I decided it would be best if I picked up the bike this morning before anyone else had the chance to get it. I already had some shopping to do in Roseburg. I got the bike just after 10 am after looking it over. It is 13 years old but in good shape with really nice components and just the right size for Glen. I put the bike on my bike rack and delivered to Glen's house. I'm testing the dumb trainer myself so I can give back the trainer Glen loaned me. Click the photo to see the bike on Glen's Kikr. The rear wheel is removed and the bike sits directly on the Kikr using the cassette mounted on the trainer. The resistance when riding the Kikr is controlled by Zwift to simulate riding on the road. Resistance increases when riding a virtual hill and decreases when riding a virtual descent, just like real life. So this is a "smart trainer". Glen has a good plan. He works full time so only has the weekends to ride. He likes to get up early however and is usually riding the Kikr at 5:30 in the morning. The plan, then, is to continue riding the Kikr in the morning during the week and his "good bike" on the weekends with our group of friends.

Oregon State at March MadnessOregon State in March Madness

Friday, March 19, 2021: The Oregon State Beavers worked their way into March Madness by winning the last few games. The first round of March madness was today and the Beavers, ranked 12, were matched with the Tennessee Volunteers, ranked 5.

It seemed like the Volunteers never had a chance, the Beavers were always ahead by as much as 20 points and ended up defeating the number 5 Volunteers.

We then watch Liberty play Oklahoma State. Whoever won that game would play the Beavers. It turned out to be number 4, Oklahoma State Cowboys. Liberty came very close however so perhaps the Beavers will have a chance to move to the Sweet 16. Click this photos for more views.

Tax day for us



Thursday, March 18, 2021: Today was poor weather again so I decided it was a good day to complete our income tax reports for 2020.

Just like everybody else, it's not a day I look forward to. I've used TurboTax for the last six years which makes the job easier. They do a lot of advertising on TV for FREE tax returns. It has NEVER been free. Two people on minimum wage might be free.

Using TurboTax, the process took me four hours.

Dining outside


Wednesday, March 17, 2021: Our county, Douglas County, is one of only two counties in Oregon labeled "Extreme Risk for COVID" due to the number of new cases each day. Because of that designation, all restaurants may NOT have indoor dining. They may have outdoor dining or take-out. Since we had a coupon, I called the Rodeo in Roseburg and ordered "take-out" for their special. The special is 2 chicken fried steaks plus sides for $20. When we arrived at 3:30 expecting to pick up our meal and drive to a park or to home, we saw they had outdoor dining. So we asked to sit at their outdoor tables. This was a nice weather day, felt warm in the sun, so was very pleasant eating our chicken fried steak in the sun. Tomorrow is forecast to be rain so it won't be so pleasant tomorrow. I feel badly for the struggling restaurants in our county but I believe our COVID designation will be reduced soon since the number of new cases has diminished and the county has been vaccinating people like crazy.

In line for the COVID vaccine
Final check-in stationSaturday, March 13, 2021: Here we are at 8 am in line at the Douglas County Fairground, Roseburg for the COVID vaccine for Gwen. I already got my first dose of Moderna, Gwen wanted the single dose Johnson and Johnson offered by Douglas County health department. This line of cars was probably a half mile but went quickly after they got started. Gwen got her vaccine one hour after we got in line. From here, we drove to Medford so Gwen could meet her daughter at Hobby Lobby. I rode my bike from the city of Rogue River to Hobby Lobby. Click the above photo to enlarge.

Getting ground cover ideasPossible ground cover

Thursday, March 11, 2021: We drove to Roseburg today. I sold the string trimmer and the buyer met us at Costco. After Costco shopping we did a bit more grocery shopping ending up at a large nursery after the groceries.

We are look for plants which will grow on our rocky hillside. This hillside is wet during the winter months but can be very dry for months at a time during the summer months. We wandered the nursery to get ideas. The clerk cautioned that we would need to water the plants at least the first summer. We decided we could set up a water timer so we wouldn't have to cancel travel plans.

Abby and me are making plans for tomorrow
Tuesday, March 9, 2021: Abby mentioned plans for tomorrow so after a short discussion about it, we both decided to close our eyes and think about fun things we might do tomorrow. Good thing my phone is stuck to my left hand or it might have fallen. Abby had just come from her daily run so she was grateful for the shut-eye time. I took photos today of my Stihl String Trimmer and Bissell Carpet Cleaner then listed both in Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Remember all those rocks placed behind our lot? That's where I once used the string trimmer and no longer have a need for it. Remember the carpet I removed from the main slide? Now we have no need for a carpet cleaner. I will mention my Itawamba Baseball sweatshirt. It came from Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Mississippi where we visited 10 years ago. It's a great sweatshirt and it was on sale so I had to buy it.
Ice First coffee Gwen's daughter
Sunday, February 28, 2021: Gwen's daughter, Lesa, and her partner, Jeff have come to visit today and pick up the Kitchenaid refrigerator to deliver to Gwen's granddaughter. We enjoyed a good pizza and then a walk of discovery to the clubhouse. This morning, I shared the first ice with Abby who played with several cubes. I enjoyed my morning coffee from LG filtered water. It's good to give a working refrigerator to family and good to enjoy the new LG.
Wild Turkeys in our park
Sunday, February 21, 2021: After a spin bike ride this morning and lunch, I went to the hardware store, then recycle then off to Glen's house to try out his Wahoo Kikr and just visit. On the drive in and out I run across the park's wild turkeys wandering around. They are often wandering through the lots and depositing turkey poop. Once each year the Oregon Wildlife Service comes to the park and traps as many Turkeys as possible to haul them far away.

Test Zwift with the Wahoo KikrGlen trying the Wahoo Kikr

Saturday, February 20, 2021: I rode as a passenger with my friend, Glen today as he drove to Portland to look at a used Wahoo Kikr. A Wahoo Kikr takes the place of the rear wheel of a bicycle. The drive train of the bike connects to the gears on the Kikr which are attached to a flywheel and electronic resistance. It is a "smart trainer" which means it connects to a fitness program such as Zwift. We have all been riding Zwift together. It is "smart", when Zwift shows the rider ascending a hill, the resistance on the trainer increases as in real life. When Zwift shows a descent, the resistance is reduced and the animated bike speeds up. All metrics such as speed, cadence, heart rate, power and distance are reported to Zwift and the animated character proceeds through the route. The difference between a Wahoo Kikr and the Echelon Spin bike I ride, you are actually sitting on your own, real bike, the same bike you street ride. The resistance is automated with the virtual terrain on the kikr, I must manually change the resistance and rarely do so to match the terrain. I increase resistance to be able to stand off the seat and increase power. So the Kikr is much closer to the real cycling world. It is also portable and can be setup quickly anywhere. I can't easily move the spin bike and certainly would NOT take it on a trip. Glen tested all the functions since this was a used Kikr he found advertised on the Internet. He was very pleased with the quality and condition and is now the proud owner. Click the photo for more views.

Glen and RioDiscount Windows and Doors


Saturday, February 13, 2021: My friend, Glen needed new doors for his house and knew of Discount Windows and Doors in Junction City, Oregon. That's about 1.25 hours away from Sutherlin. He really didn't need help to get the doors but asked if I'd would go with him. We have much to talk about since we ride bicycles together when the weather is good and ride virtually on Zwift when the weather is poor. Glen brought his dog, Rio, with him. Rio likes to do car rides and spent much of the drive in my lap. I didn't know of this retail location but now I do. They have a huge inventory and seemed very busy. Glen told me he had replaced the windows in his house and now a few doors need to be updated. It was a good drive with a friend.

Abby: my ball is missingMy bedroom project


Friday: February 12, 2021: I did a spin bike workout this morning.

Then stained the oak bedroom project to match the cabinets. I had to bring the stain inside to warm it up before applying to the Oak. I've already brought the polyurethane inside to warm it up for tomorrow.

Gwen must rescue a ball which has gone under the couch. Abby is sure it must be there.

My corner projectNew 45 degree lock mitre bit

Thursday, February 11, 2021: I have a project in our bedroom where I need to make a 90° corner. I bought a new router bit specifically for this purpose. Yes, I could have made the corner differently but I wanted to try something new and I liked this bit.

I did watch a couple of "Lock Mitre bit" videos to be sure I did this correctly. Here is a short video showing how to use this bit.

Click the photos to enlarge.

The Callahan MountainsLooking glass Store

Wednesday, February 10, 2021: Gwen, Abby and I took a drive looking for the Callahan Mountains. I have been told much about the bicycle riding around the Callahan area. We found the Britt Nichols County Park which turns out to be a "forest park". Forest park means just that, it's nothing but a forest with forest trails. We also found views of the Callahan sandstone peaks, access to the peaks is limited because the trails to the base of the mountains is on private land. We stopped at the Looking glass Store, a historic store in the rural area. We each got an ice cream bowl. I got some ideas about the bicycle riding in the spring and summer.

Super Bowl 55
Sunday, February 7, 2021: It was a one sided Super Bowl this year. Not sure what happened, either Kansas City did not come to play or Tampa Bay was just too tough for them. It is obvious, Tom Brady is the best.

Private elementary school among the high rise condosAn evening view of the Willamette River in Portland

Wednesday and Thursday, February 3 & 4, 2021: I was with my friend Erik these two day in Portland. He was scheduled for a medical procedure at the Oregon Health Sciences University and I volunteered to drive him home after the procedure. I felt very lucky to get to spend these two days with Erik. I believe we both enjoyed our time together. While he was busy with OHSU I walked many of the streets and paths around the campus. OHSU has a tram to the top of the hill where more of the campus resided. This area is surrounded by high-rise condos and it seemed many of the residents had dogs. I saw lots of people walking their dogs and came across "Dogtopia" (as well as other dog care facilities). Dogtopia is a franchise of doggie day care and spa to take care of those dogs while the owners are at work. I also found a private elementary school for kids. So this neighborhood takes care of their dogs and kids. There were also plenty of coffee shops but due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the coffee shops were open for take-out only. The Willamette River, the longest river in Oregon, passes through this area on it's way to join the Columbia River. The Columbia is longer but it originates in British Columbia, Canada and passes through Washington then through Oregon. Click each photo for another view.

Ross Island Bridge over the Willamette River
Magnolia Table Fatayer Fatayer Baked with Lebanese Salad
Sunday, January 31, 2021: Since we purchased the Roku receiver we have been able to subscribe to Discovery Plus, a new online streaming APP which has all the HGTV shows and the new Magnolia Channel for Chip and Joanne Gaines. Magnolia Table with Joanne showing cooking instruction is one of the new shows. Sunday is my day to cook so I watched episode one where Joanne showed how to make Fatayer and Lebanese Salad. It had simple ingredients and looked easy to make so I decided to make it for Gwen. It was simple but still took me, a novice chef, about 1.5 hours to make. It is simply ground beef, hash brown potatoes and cheese wrapped in a Pillsbury Grands biscuit then baked. The Lebanese salad is cucumbers and tomatoes with a little bit of olive oil and lemon juice. Both were very good and Gwen was pleased. Click the photos for more views.

Dusting on the gazeboA dusting of snow



Monday, January 25, 2021: It is unusual for Sutherlin, Oregon to get snow but last night we got a little dusting. It wasn't sticking on the ground but the evidence was on the car and the roof of the gazebo.

Green Bay just couldn't convert
Sunday, January 24, 2021: Unfortunately, Green Bay Packers, the team I was hoping would go to the Super Bowl just couldn't defeat the Buccaneers. They had several chances to move ahead but just couldn't do it. Likewise, the Buffalo Bills looked like amateurs next to the Kansas City Chiefs. Now I'm hoping the Chiefs can defeat the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl in two weeks.

Bernie, a special Green Bay fan!




Saturday, January 23, 2021: Yes, Bernie and his mittens is our special Packer's fan!

Cooper Creek Reservoir

Thursday, January 21, 2021: Gwen and I decided to give Abby a treat. We usually take Abby for a hike on the park trail which I did earlier today. We decided to add another hike to Abby's experience. We took her to Cooper Creek Reservoir and to the Cooper Creek Trail. Abby has never been on this trail so lots of new smells, jumps and sights. Click this photo for a view of her on the trail.

Not so free tank

Monday, January 18, 2021: Back on January 4, I told you the story of the "bargain" propane tank. Unfortunately, the story has gone on until today. I got the 40 lb tank for free because it was in the discard pile at the park. I thought it could be certified for another 5 years for $20, and it was. However, the valve was leaking and had to be replaced. That fee was $45. So now the "free" tank has cost me two trips to Roseburg (20 miles round trip) plus fees of $65. Divided over 5 years isn't bad. However, the certifier told me his 2021 tags had not arrived and the best he could do was 12/20 meaning I wouldn't get 5 years but would get 4 years and 11 months. I accepted that and took the tank to our park for filling. They have a certification marking system of their own and marked the tank for January, 2020, not December, 2020 because the certifier hadn't marked the month on the new certification tag. So now my tank just lost a year of certification. Today I made a third trip to Roseburg to tell the propane certifier the whole story. On the way I decided to keep it simple and just ask for the correct January, 2021 tag. That worked, no more discussion. So now my free tank has cost me three trips to Roseburg, certification for $20, new valve for $45 and a $6 can of white paint. Still, a new tank is $130 and at the end of 5 years I can get another 5 year certification for $20 assuming the valve will still be good.

Just for the record, I DID ride the spin bike today for 50 minutes.

Protecting Gwen's jigsaw puzzle Makes it easy pick up the cover Abby is confused by the hidden puzzle pieces

Sunday, January 17, 2021: Yes, I watched Baker and Patrick play. I was disappointed that Patrick had to leave the game early and also disappointed that the Chiefs won due to a non-penalty call. I also watched Tom and Drew play. Again, disappointed in Drew and his interceptions which gave Tom the win.

My project today was to build a method to protect Gwen's jigsaw puzzles from Abby. Gwen loves to do puzzles but Abby likes to sneak a piece to taste. We tried to cover the puzzles in the past but she always finds a hole in our protection. I cut a piece of plywood to cover the puzzle board with a knob on one corner to make it easy to remove. Abby was confused when all the pieces disappeared at once. Hopefully it will keep future puzzles safe. This one had a couple of pieces mutilated. Click the photos for more information.

Green Bay moves on


Saturday, January 16, 2021: I actually rode a real bike on a real road today. It was an 18 mile ride with cloudy skies but 52 degrees so not too bad. Glad I remembered how to ride something other than a spin bike.

It's Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills moving on to the next playoff game. I'm glad to see both teams moving on.

NFL Playoff


Sunday, January 10, 2021: Another day of three NFL playoff games. I believe the Cleveland Browns surprised Pittsburgh. Even though the Brown's defense barely played the second half, Pittsburgh still lost and the Browns are moving on. I'm looking forward to the games next week.

The button to sound the hornInstalling the Ah-ooga horn

Thursday, January 7, 2021: I ordered an Ah-ooga horn for the golf cart a few months ago. I finally got around to installing it today. The horn easily mounted to a part of the frame. In fact, the hole needed to install the horn was already present. The positive line is attached to the switch and then to the positive terminal of one of the batteries. This is a 12 volt horn so the negative wire (in this case, green) is connected to the negative terminal on the battery next to the positive terminal battery. Pushing the button completes the circuit and the horn sounds. Here is a short video so you can hear the horn.

Replacing the lights

The lighted Gold CartTuesday, January 5, 2021: It didn't rain today so I spent nearly the entire day making two changes to the golf cart. The ignition switch has been well used, possibly for 18 years and needed to be replaced. The headlights were unusable, I'm not sure how long it had been since they last worked.

The ignition switch was going to be an easy fix but the lights were likely going to be more difficult so I chose to begin with the lights. I decided to replace the two headlights with a single LED flood light. I did my best to use the holes already drilled in the fiberglass. I was mostly successful. I had purchased a wire harness specifically made to power lights on a golf cart which made the change pretty easy. Abby had to help and stole several nuts and bolts I needed to complete the project. I had to trade treats to get my parts back. The headlamp needed to be connected directly to two of the batteries in the battery bank. That lead to a lighted switch on the dashboard. A new hole had to be drilled into the dashboard for this switch. I originally thought the light would be needed because Gwen likes to visit the clubhouse in the evening to play card games with friends. However, the COVID-19 restrictions has kept that from happening. An unexpected need for the light has happened. It is not unusual for our valley to get heavy fog with low viability, I would feel safer with a light on those days.

The ignition switch was just two wires. Unfortunately, the new switch did not fit the old hole so it had to be enlarged. Also, the new switch had four connectors, not two so I had to figure out which two worked for this Club Car. After cutting off the old connectors and installing new, the wiring became easy. I put the dashboard back in place and secured. Everything is working perfectly. Click both photos for more views.

40 lb propane tank

Monday, January 4, 2021: A motorhome (like ours) always has an onboard, permanently mounted propane tank. (Well some of the newer models are all electric.) The problem with a permanently mounted propane tank, once the tank is low (or empty) you must pack up the motorhome and move it to the propane filling area. To avoid that, I have always installed an external propane tank on the motorhomes we have owned. Here's a discussion of the connection. With an external tank, I simply disconnect the tank and refill then return with the tank, no moving of the motorhome. The external tank we use is a standard 20 lb tank, the same size used on a propane barbeque. During the cold winter days her in Oregon and even during the winter in Arizona we can burn through a 20 lb tank in three days. Here in Oregon, I am envious of my neighbors who have 60 and 80 lb tanks which must be filled every other week. Our park has it's own propane filling station. Propane tanks have an "expiration" date which is ten years from manufacture. The manufactured date is stamped on the valve guard at the top of the tank. Here in the park, when a tank reaches it's expiration date there is an area between sheds where these old tanks go to die. What many don't know, tanks can be "certified" for a fee of $5 - $30. I wanted a larger than 20 lb tank so had my eye on a 40 lb tank in the "dead tank" area. I can't easily man handle a tank larger than 40 lbs. I asked Randy, our park manager, if I could have the 40 lb tank from the dead tank area. He agreed and told me a good place to get it certified. I took it to certification today which didn't take long. The certifier did want me to paint the rusted areas. Fortunately there was little rust. The tank is at the left with a disposable glove on the valve to protect the valve from my painting. This tank, then, is twice the size of a standard 20 lb tank. It will hold nearly ten gallons of propane so I will need to refill it half as often as the smaller tanks. I won't be hauling this tank with us when we travel but it will be great to have it here in Oregon.

Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl

Saturday, January 2, 2021: Our day was filled with anticipation as the Oregon Ducks had earned their place in the Fiesta Bowl with Iowa State as their opponent. The odds were stacked against the Ducks. They became the Pac12 Champs because they beat USC after Washington Huskies forfeited their playoff position due to COVID-19 restrictions. Iowa State had played twice as many games as Oregon Ducks. During the second quarter, Iowa State began to control the game. Oregon lost the ball five times due to interceptions and lost the ball twice when Iowa State recovered a punt and kick off. You can't win a game when you give the ball away to the opponent.

DogTVThe Rose Bowl Game

Friday, January 1, 2021: This has been a TV day due to rain and the college bowl games. Notre Dame didn't have a chance against Alabama and Clemson just couldn't keep up with Ohio State. Abby was having as bad a time as Notre Dame and Clemson due to the rain. The rain kept her inside so I decided to try "DogTV" on our new Roku receiver. I get a free trail before having to pay. The colors, music, noises and images are specifically designed to be of interest to dogs. It is advertised to help them relax and I'd have to say, helps humans relax too. The colors on the screen are a little off for humans but dogs see blue, yellow and shades of gray so perfect for them. This station is for dogs who must stay home alone while humans leave for work or other projects. That isn't the case for Abby since we are nearly always home or we take her with us when going to the store. However, when she must stay inside due to weather, she gets bored and wants us to play. Hopefully this will help her relax on those days.

Roku remote on the phoneFavorite shows on demand

Thursday, December 30, 2020: We are normally in Arizona this time of year. Due to the COVID emergency was are staying in Oregon. That has created a TV problem we had not anticipated. We subscribe to DISH satellite network on the "pay as you go" plan which means we have no contract and can subscribe to not-subscribe at any time. We normally subscribe to see college football and the bowl games then stop TV all together. However, the Oregon weather stops our satellite from working about half the time. This didn't happen in Arizona. Additionally, our living room smart TV is six years old so the streaming APPs we can access are very limited. We have been considering a new TV and maybe a better satellite dish because of all these problems. However, since the purchase of the Roku TV for our Gazebo I've been researching what Roku has to offer. The picture quality of our current TV is really quite good. It is actually a 4K TV, we just haven't had a 4K source. I decided to buy a Roku receiver rather than replace the TV or satellite dish. Walmart had them for $39 so I order online with pickup in Roseburg. I has several reasons to go to Roseburg. One of those reasons was Staples to recycle a broken tablet. When I arrived at the Staples parking lot I got a text message from Walmart telling me my order. The photo at the left is my phone Roku APP where I can control everything from my phone. That includes a "mute" button (the headphones) which sends the sound from the TV speaker to the phone. If the phone volume is low or off, the sound is "muted". Otherwise, I can listen privately from my phone speakers or connect Bluetooth to the phone for perfect, private sound quality. Of course I can change channels, rewind, fast forward shows and voice control from the phone. The photo on the right is one of our favorite HGTV shows, Home Town about house renovation in Mississippi. Roku is WiFi, not satellite so Oregon weather does not affect our reception. Click the photos for more views.

Clear skies, it could be worse
I am home!Mount Shasta in the distance
Sunday, December 27, 2020: This was a travel day from Reno, Nevada to Sutherlin, Oregon. The roads through northern California had received snow on Saturday. It had been plowed so I had to slow but no problem with traction. This is one of the most beautiful drives through northern California. Click two of the three photos for more views. 7.5 hours driving time makes for a long day. Abby is sticky close after I got home.

Electrical project at Ben's houseMoving an electrical outlet



Saturday, December 26, 2020: Today was electrician day. Ben needs to move an electrical outlet because the current outlet will be cover by a new cabinet. We also wanted to add another outlet over the top of a closet where Ben has a string of Christmas decorations and lights. It turned out to be an easy install. Click both photos for more views.

Chloe and Noah, new Geocache APPLearning mechanical drawing

Friday, December 25, 2020: Christmas day with Ben, Joe, Chloe and Noah. The kids got more gifts than you can count. The favorite seemed to be a new Geocache APP to search for hidden treasures.

One of the gifts I gave them was some tools to be able to do mechanical drawing or drafting. They are a little younger than I was when I learned but I was hoping to get them started with a different way to make accurate drawings. They both made their first drawing of a block of wood I had prepared for this purpose. I left them with the challenge to do another project from the box of projects I had given them then email me a photo of their drawing. Click the photos for more views.

Long line at Safeway


Thursday, December 24, 2020: On this Christmas Eve day I still had some shopping to do. I eventually ended up in a long check-out line at Safeway. There were no shopping baskets available, all were in use. The gentleman in front of me had his arms full and was kicking more products ahead as we advanced. About this time a customer came into the store pushing two empty baskets. Apparently she had noticed that the customer in front of me needed one. She came next to him, separated the baskets and gave him one. We continued to advance forward. He finally got to the head of the line but then turned around telling me, "I just got a text asking for another item." He left the line to do more shopping. Of course we are all wearing COVID-19 masks. Merry Christmas everyone!

Walking in the park
Wednesday, December 23, 2020: Today was very special. Ben, Chloe, Noah and I drove to Roseville, California to meet up with my sister Dorana. She lives in Elk Grove, California so Roseville was a good half-way point. We were able to visit and hike together. Dorana's partner, Robin also met us for the visit. It made for a long day with four hours of driving and 3 hours of visiting. It was all worth it.
Our ski day
Tuesday, December 22, 2020: This was ski day with son, Ben and his two children Chloe and Noah. I know, you can't see faces due to COVID masks but I can tell you, it was difficult to keep us with my grandchildren. I hadn't skied in 30 years but after two runs, 80% of what I knew came back to me and I was able to keep up.
Lucy, Elise and Mom, Mindy Elise Figuring out the castle shelf
Monday, December 21, 2020: This was a driving day from Sutherlin, Oregon to Reno, Nevada. That's a 7.5 hour drive through some of the most beautiful parts of northern California. The first stop is to see my daughter, Mindy and her two girls, Lucy and Elise. They got to see the castle shelf I built for them and they are ready to start using it. But before they do, Mindy promised to finish it off with polyurethane. Click these photos for more views.
In Oregon you must eat outside
Friday, December 18, 2020: Our Oregon governor has shut down all restaurants except for take-out or outdoor seating. One of the restaurants in Roseburg purchased a large tent with three propane heaters for outdoor seating. We decided to help them support their investment by having a late lunch with them. The day was sunny, low 50s with no wind so the tent and heaters made the seating comfortable. The state Chamber of Commerce has proposed some changes to save Oregon business. Our state legislature will meet in a couple days to discuss and hopefully come up with some solution other than shutting down business. This restaurant was doing a great deal of take-out and tent business. We had to wait for a tent table.
This is an 8 inch Samsung tablet for my sister
Thursday, December 17, 2020: All of my afternoon I used to prepare a Samsung tablet for my sister. I got the idea that making a copy of all the APPs on my phone would be a quick way to set up the tablet. Once set up, I thought it would be easy to make my sister the "administrator" of the tablet, then delete my account. Well, it didn't turn out to be easy. I soon decided to start over and do a "factory reset". This time made my sister the administrator from the beginning. That meant downloading each APP one at a time. My sister likes Goldens as we do. I make photos of Abby her lock page and home page photos. This tablet will be good for email, music, photos, videos, movies, eBooks and even writing if you add a keyboard. It has 32 gig of internal memory and a 32 gig external SD card. I've added "Curiosity Stream", a streaming APP with hundreds of documentaries. I've also added "Spotify" which will give her access to every tune ever recorded. Now all she needs to do is add a Bluetooth speaker or headset or both to really enjoy the music.
A drafting board for Noah and Chloe
Wednesday, December 16, 2020: I completed another Christmas project today. This is a drafting board. I purchased the plywood then added the wood and metal edges. When I was a sophomore in high school I took a "mechanical drawing" course which became one of my favorite high school courses. That was 57 years ago. Of course no one really does "mechanical drawing" any more, they use a computer. However, I believe this is a great introduction to drawing items in detail. My plan is to teach my grandson, Noah 8 and granddaughter, Chloe 10 how to do an "isometric" drawing. Yes, they are considerably younger than I was when I learned but I believe they can do simple drawings.
A project for GwenA table top music stand
Tuesday, December 15, 2020: Ever since we decided to start playing a ukulele Gwen has wanted a method to view her notebook of music. She sent me a photo of a table top music stand. From that photo I created this table top music holder. It has an adjustable "foot" which also folds for storage. This is exactly the size she wanted. Click the photos for more views.

Gwen with her granddaughter, CourtneyPreparing lunch

Sunday, December 13, 2020: This was a strange family Christmas gathering. Gwen's daughter, Lesa and granddaughter Courtney live in Klamath Falls. KF is a 2 hour drive to Medford, Oregon. We are also a 2 hour drive to Medford so we chose to meet at the only Costco in Southern Oregon, Medford. They could do some shopping, we could exchange gifts and have lunch together in the parking lot. All restaurants in Oregon are closed due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The food court in Costco is open for take-out. Our lunch, then, was hot dogs and pizza. We ate in the Costco parking lot out the back of Jeff's Suburban. There drive was not as easy as ours. They had to drive through a snow storm while we drove through a rain storm. The photo at the right is pretty funny because it shows them stocking up on toilet paper. Costco has limited one case per customer per trip. We bought a case, which we gave to them, and they bought a case. I think they are ready for the next hoarding of toilet paper during the pandemic. Click the photos to see our family fun times in the Costco parking lot.

Gwen and her son, Dave


Saturday, December 12, 2020: Gwen's son, Dave, lives on the Oregon coast but had business in Chicago this last week. Today he was returning to the coast from the Portland airport. His travel plans are taking he through the little town of Elkton which is only 25 miles from Sutherlin. We coordinated with Dave and we both arrived in Elkton only 3 minutes apart. We spent an hour together in the Elkton coffee shop which also had a large gift shop collection. It was good to catch up with what Dave has been doing.

Ford's Pond
Thursday, December 10, 2020: We have a widower who lives alone near us. He has an odd habit of always leaving early then returning late. Sometimes returning for short visits during the day. It has always been a mystery where he goes during the day. A couple of days ago I was outside with Abby when he was about to leave. I yelled a greeting then added "where are you going"? "To Ford's Pond" he answered. That caught me by surprise, I was expecting the veteran's center or senior center. So I added, "To fish?" "No!" he replied. "I watch the wildlife, the hikers and read my book." Today I had an errand to do in downtown. I got an idea. I stopped by Henry's donut shop hoping for Apple Fritters but had to settle for an Apple Turnover and a Pumpkin Turnover intending to give our neighbor a choice. I then drove to Ford's Pond and found our neighbor parked in his car next to the pond. I walked up to his window and we began a conversation about what was going on around Ford's Pond. It was my first time to actually view the pond. My neighbor chose the Pumpkin Turnover so we enjoyed our turnovers together. I learned that Ford's Pond is on the migratory bird flyway, I learned about the tree planting nearby and the delay in finishing the large parking lot. The parking lot needs asphalt but it must be 50 degrees to lay asphalt. We laughed about that because we both doubted it would be 50 before spring.
The final version
Tuesday, December 8, 2020: Here is the final version, ready to be delivered. The figures were purchased at Hobby Lobby and Michael's. The tower is a bird house purchased from Michael's, I thought it would go well with the bookcase. The figures are about 1/8" thick (flat) so I made a saw kerf for the figures to slide into. Now I hope it fits into the car. Click this photo for a close up of the top.
Adding some contrasting hardwood Handmade plugs Smooth the plug once glue is dry
Monday, December 7, 2020: After taking Abby to the Vet for a follow up on a ear infection I went back to putting finishing touches on my project. I wanted a contrasting hardwood on the face of the two shelves. I'm securing with glue and screws. The screws are counter sunk with a 3/8" hole. I made 3/8" glue plugs of the same wood then glued them over the top of the screw heads. Once the glue is dry I will use my chisel to slice them flush with the facing board. The grain in the plug matches the grain of the facing board.

Final assemblyFinal assembly

Sunday, December 6, 2020: Today was final assembly of my project. I still have a few things I need to do to this project but it is 98% complete and assembled. My daughter sent me a photo of exactly what she wanted and this is what I think she intended. Her little girls (my granddaughters) are 3 and 6 years old. She expects the girls to play with castle figures as well as use the shelves for storage of books and toys.

Click the photos for more views. Here is another view of the completed project.


Router my projectAssembly has begun


Friday, December 4, 2020: Most of the pieces have been cut out so one of the last tasks is to router all the edges. I made a lot of sawdust.

Once the router task is done the assembly begins. But is must be done in the right order to enable and easy access to the screws to assemble.

Clamps are needed until the glue dries.

Click the photos for more views.

Mod PizzaLunch in my lap
Tuesday, December 1, 2020: This was Subaru Forester maintenance day. We drove 1 hour to Eugene for an oil change and two recalls. We were told it would take six hours so we could have a free rental car. They gave us a new 2020 well equipped Forester. It was larger than our Forester so much has been done in four years. We first drove to Gwen's favorite store, Hobby Lobby where we found a few Christmas gifts. Next, we drove to Target looking for more Christmas gifts. Our last stop, before lunch, was Costco, still looking for Christmas gifts. The Oregon State Governor has put our state in a "freeze" so all restaurants are take-out only. We chose Mod Pizza where you can build your own pizza. We sat in the brand new Forester eating our lunch out of a box. Abby was with us this whole day and did very well. She got to run in a large field next to Costco. We were told our next oil change will cost $1,000 because they will flush all fluids and change the spark plugs.Yike!
Abby as co-pilot
Monday, November 30, 2020: I had some Roseburg errands and Gwen wanted to do some house cleaning without Abby's help. I took Abby with me, first to Lowe's where we found only half what we needed. We crossed the street to Home Depot for the other half. I ran short of Pine for my project and needed a backboard. Of course neither store had the size I needed so I had to buy a full 4 x 8' sheet of plywood. I had it cut in half so I could fit it into the Forester. Unfortunately, it would only fit into the back seat so I had to move Abby to the front seat. It was her first time in the front seat and she watched the traffic all the way back to Sutherlin. I learned in about 3 seconds that I should connect Abby's front seat, seatbelt or I'd be listening to the seatbelt alarm all the way home.
Making the windows At the top Sanding

The back


Saturday and Sunday, November 28 - 29, 2020: Continued working on my project. Lots of progress this weekend with sides, dados, part of the back and finishing the top edges.

I'm using lots of tools I haven't used in a while like the rotary sanding tubes, the band saw, dado blades, sabre saw, and many sizes of Forstner bits.

Click each of the photos for more views.

Side cutoutUsing a sabre saw for the cutouts

Friday, November 27, 2020: I did a 7:30 am Live Spin Bike class. Only a 30 minute class plus the warm up and cool down but torture for most of the class. The lesson I learned today: the better riders must get up early!

I returned to my woodworking project. This time for measuring, drilling and cutting with a Sabre Saw.

The slot you see in the board at the right is called a "dado". A shelf will be inserted into the dado.

The hole is drilled to be able to insert the Sabre Saw blade into the hole to make the window cutout.

Click both photos for more views.

Mom's green jello salad


Wednesday, November 25, 2020: Today started early with my second LIVE class on my spin bike. This one was a 45 minute class which is equal to twice that on a actual bike ride since there is no coasting. All these classes are available "on demand" but not "live". That's how I have been riding until now. There is something about a live class that forces me to do better and stick to a schedule since the class starts at a specific time. I did well today placing 5th out of 93 riders. Pretty good for a guy turning 74 in a couple months. Of course the instructor didn't mention about the other 92 riders wheeling up to their bikes in wheel chairs. She DID mention "RVeCycling", my "Nickname" during the workout.

The rest of the day was finishing a grounding rod for the neighbor's emergency generator, taking Abby for a run, getting propane for a long weekend, and checking the cleanliness of the clubhouse bathrooms (my volunteer duty in the park). Then came the hard part. I am responsible for only one food item tomorrow, my Mother's green Jello Salad. Gwen searched the Internet for a recipe. It took three bowls for this simple salad. I don't believe it's exactly like mom's but it does taste good. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

New Five Guys in Roseburg

Tuesday, November 24, 2020: Today was a trip to Costco for gas and groceries. Then on to Fred Meyer for more groceries and a WiFi extender to hopefully solve a connection problem when riding my spin bike. From Fred Meyer to Lowe's for project materials. The price for what I wanted was too high so I decided I would make what I needed. I also bought a couple of items I needed to help a neighbor with her emergency generator installation.

Our last stop was the new Five Guys restaurant in Roseburg. It has been open only a week. Since it was late in the day, our meal, which we took home, served as lunch and dinner.

Finishing the base
Monday, November 23, 2020: With lots of interruptions I was able to finish the base today. My grandfather in-law, William Ellsworth, taught me this screw hole technique during the summer of 1969. This is his "crank handle chisel" probably made in the 1930s. The crank handle makes it easy to shave the button from the base lumber. That's right, carefully shave layers of the button until it is flush with the face of the lumber. My grandfather also taught me to always lay a chisel on its side. Click the photo to see what I mean and to see the first button shaved flush with the lumber. Shaving buttons like this requires a very sharp chisel. My grandfather also showed me how to sharpen a chisel on an oil stone. First the chisel is set flat on the stone and polished then flipped over and the edge is honed to perfection. Thanks, Bill!

Counter sink the screw then plug the holeMaking screwhole plugs


Sunday, November 22, 2020: I'm starting the assembly of my Christmas project. This project will require some screws for assembly. I used my plug cutter to make screw hole plugs from the same wood I'm assembling. The advantage is a better match in wood color as well as matching the grain of the wood. Plug is inserted with the grain of the plug going the same direction as the grain in the board. Plugs are cut then released using a chisel. The screws are counter sunk then glue into the predrilled hole. The plug is inserted into the hole. Once the glue has dried, I'll trim the plug to match the level of the board. I believe I learned to do this from my grandfather in-law. Not that I've already put an edge on the board using my router. Click the left photo to enlarge. Click the right photo to see the plugs inserted into the screw holes.

Our new printer

Saturday, November 21, 2020: I worked on a Christmas project all day and still didn't get enough to photograph. Well, I had to make a run to the hardware store and take Abby for her daily run in the back 40. Then Erik and Glen wanted to do an online musical jam. The Oregon Ducks game with UCLA would sneak in every so often. Nice to see the Ducks win.

I had time after dinner to set up our new printer. We have been fighting with the Canon printer since we bought it. We tried to take it back but Staples wouldn't take it. That was about three years ago and so we would moan and groan every time we needed to print something. It would take three times longer due to the paper jams.

This new Epson printer was on a three day sale at Costco. It has ink wells rather than ink cartridges and advertises 7000+ pages on a single bottle of ink. After 25 minutes to "setup" we got our first print with no jams. I also quickly learned we can print directly from our phones and tablets. We are very pleased. Click the photo to enlarge.

Kathy and Rocky at Ukulele classGwen and Me at Ukulele Class
Tuesday, November 17, 2020: Kathy is one of the leaseholders in our park. She has offered to give Ukulele lessons so I began to research and decided to give it a try. I've not had success at any musical instrument but perhaps with age comes patience and persistence. I knew nothing about the Ukulele. I've learned there are four different sizes, the soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. I found a soprano at our local BiMart for only $20. I played with it for a while but quickly decided it was too small for my fat fingers. I ordered a Tenor from Amazon and have been practicing with it since Saturday. It has a much better sound and much easier for my fingers to find the chords. In the mean time, Gwen became interested and has been practicing on the soprano. She, too, has ordered a larger Ukulele from Amazon. She has ordered the concert size which is due on Friday. Today was our first lesson with Kathy. I had already gotten the lesson pages from Kathy so I'd been practicing to be the best student in the class. The goal is to learn to make the chord changes quickly and smoothly. Of course there are a few tunes to learn with only two - four chords to keep up the interest. However, to make things even tougher, our state governor has declared a "freeze" to last two weeks hoping to reduce the exposure to COVID-19. Our park board of directors has closed our clubhouse for those two weeks making it impossible to continue our classes until after the freeze. We have much to practice so it is just a matter of staying motivated. Click both photos to enlarge.

My turn to cook dinner


Sunday, November 15, 2020: Sunday is my day to cook dinner. I decided to fix a pizza but this time, bake it in the new barbeque. After all, the new barbeque has a temperature thermometer on the lid so it should work just like an oven. Yes, I think it would if I paid more attention to the thermometer reading. Click the photo to see the whole pizza. For some reason, Gwen refused to eat my pizza so I ate most of it. Next time I will be more careful with the temperature setting and the timing. In this case, the temperature was too high and the timing was too long. Unfortunately, I don't believe I will lose my job as the Sunday cook.

Here is a photo hint of the new musical hobby BOTH Gwen and I are going to try. Our first lesson will be on Tuesday. We are both pretty excited.

Abby ready to get back to her golf cart


Monday, November 9, 2020: Abby is ready to start driving just like she drives the golf cart. She loves watching the happenings out the windshield. It doesn't matter if the motorhome is moving or not, she likes looking at the windshield. We spent the night in Florence to visit with Gary and Jeanne but now we must get back to Sutherlin for a Vet appointment. Abby has something going on with her ears and the five vets we called in the Seaside and Tillamook areas would not see us. Abby made sure we were on the road in time to get to the appointment on time.

We learned from Dr. Joe, Abby has a yeast infection in her left ear and a slight infection in her right ear. After $170, the infections are treated and Abby is ready to go home. Now we will all rest from our ten days at the coast. We have arrived home just in time for the rain to begin. I've looked at the forecast and rain should arrive tomorrow morning and won't end for at least ten days. Perhaps we will live up to the Oregon reputation.

Florence Bridge
Sunday, November 8, 2020: We enjoyed dinner with our friends Gary and Jeanne with this view of the Florence Bridge over the Siuslaw River. Click this photo to see a daylight view of the bridge. We spent the night at the Florence Elks RV Park. The coast weather has finally cleared and we are seeing the sun. This is our last night on the coast, back to Sutherlin tomorrow.

Tillamook Holliday Craft ShowOur favorite Bay City location

Saturday, November 7, 2020: Yesterday, while driving around the Tillamook area, we accidentally came across the Tillamook County Fairgrounds with a sign advertising a Holiday Craft show Friday and Saturday. We returned today to shop. Click the photo to see the room full of vendors. Each of us found something to buy. I bought some local honey, Gwen found some handmade tree ornaments she plans to use as gifts.

After the Holiday Faire, we drove to Bay City a few miles north to our favorite Tillamook County restaurant. I got an Oyster basket while Gwen got a Cod basket. Click the photo for a view of today's catch.

Tillamook Elks RV Park
Friday, November 6, 2020: This was a travel day from Seaside, Oregon to Tillamook, Oregon. It's still raining this morning so the first half of the day was wet. Tillamook was wet but not raining. Highway 101 between Seaside and Tillamook is only two lanes and many 35 mph turns. We did get stormy views of the ocean along the way. Click the photo to see a beach view.

Coast Elk

Thursday, November 5, 2020: In our travels today we came across this small herd of Elk. They seem to have found something special in this group of bushes. The certainly look healthy.

Visiting Astoria, Oregon Columbia River shipping at the mouth A five mile bridge over the moutn of the Columbia River
Astoria City Hall Historic Theater Coast Guard stationed at the Columbia Mouth
Wednesday, November 4, 2020: Joe and I visited Astoria, Oregon today. Joe had several locations on his list of things to see. I always enjoy seeing the Astoria bridge over the mouth of the Columbia River. I also really enjoyed a music shop Joe wanted to visit. He was looking for vinyl records, I enjoyed seeing the instruments the proprietor repairs and sells. I played trombone in high school and college but was never very good. I always thought I should be playing the baritone. The proprietor was kind enough to show me one. I was tempted but I already have too much to do everyday. I can't add baritone. practice to that list! Click all the photos for more views.

Tried to go to the Cannon Beach BakerySettled for a different bakery

Tuesday, November 3, 2020: I tried to take myself to the Cannon Beach Bakery. I arrived early but was greeted by all these signs. In the small letters I found "Closed on Tuesday". I quickly looked on my phone for an alternative and found another bakery about 3 miles down the road, The Sea Level Bakery. They had good banana bread but no bear claws.

Down the street from the Sea Level Bakery was more of the Cannon Beach Beach. This time with a view of the famous Haystack Rock. Click both photos for more views. You'll find a view of Haystack Rock in the distance on a stormy day behind the Sea Level Bakery.

World Mark, SeasideShopping downtown Seasiide, Oregon

Seaside candy shopMonday, November 2, 2020: My son Joe and I went shopping in downtown Seaside, Oregon right after breakfast.

We found the Carousel Mall with shops surrounding a carousel.

We found several antique malls where we actually found a few items to purchase.

Joe has a World Mark membership which means he always gets to stay in a "condo" anytime he travels. Seaside has a huge eight story World Mark right on the boardwalk and beach.

Somehow we wandered into the candy store by mistake.

Click all the photos for more views.

Found friends on the beachSeaside Beach


Sunday, November 1, 2020: This time we take Abby onto the Seaside beach. This is near high tide so Seaside has a very large beach for people and dogs. It must be a little chilly for beach walkers today because there aren't many folks on the beach. The weather for us seemed good, little wind and lots of sun. We are looking forward for son Joe to arrive. I'm thinking we will walk the town of Seaside but Joe says he already has a plan. We'll learn of the plan tomorrow. Click these photos to see more of the beach.

Downtown Canon Beach
Saturday, October 31, 2020: Gwen, Abby and I drove to Canon Beach today. We were surprised by the number of window shoppers who were also walking their dogs. We found two pet stores, one and each end of the street. Gwen found her favorite store. Actually, as it turned out, both our favorites was the bakery shop where Gwen got a tea and I got a nice cup of coffee. Note how nice the weather is. It is forecast to stay this way until Tuesday when rain is forecast. Click this photo for a view of the beach at Canon Beach.
Circle Creek Campground, Seaside, Oregon

Friday, October 30, 2020: We have arrived at the Circle Creek Campground RV Park 2 miles from Seaside, Oregon. We are here because my son, Joe will be vacationing here for a week and we plan to spend time with him. We can hear the ocean at night, but not see or hear it during the day. The spaces are large and plenty of grass for Abby to play. This must be an OLD park because all the sites are 30 amp only. That is a huge difference from the 50 amp circuit our coach is wired for. A 50 amp RV is TWO legs of 50 amps each so really 100 amps. A 30 amp RV is ONE leg of 30 amps for a total of 30 amps. Our electric heater is 15 amps. Add the refrigerator, TV and electric water heater and the 30 amps is

out. Just remember to turn off the heater before running the microwave. This park was the best in Seaside and really is a nice clean park. It does have a large fenced dog park for Abby to run but she is taking her time getting use to a new area. She really misses her golf cart. Click this photo to see a very expensive tent trailer. The fee for this park is $33.75 per night including all utilities. That price included several discounts, an off season rate, a weekly rate and RV club rate.

Help! Save Me!Abby gets a bath
Thursday, October 29, 2020: We are rolling everything up today because we are traveling tomorrow. But the most memorable thing was Abby's bath. It was our first time to Tractor Supply Store dog wash for $10. They provide aprons, shampoo, wash bin, elevated drying stand, blow dryer, combs, brushes and towels. Such a deal. It was SO much easier than trying to bathe Abby in the shower.

Laying blocks on the drain rock

Monday, October 26, 2020: The area behind the shed has been made impossible because of the drain rock in the ditch. The drain rock is awful stuff. It varies in size from 1" is diameter to 6" in diameter and very sharp edges. It is very difficult to walk on. Our clothes line is located back here as well as the extra storage bin.

My original idea was to build a board-walk over the top of the drain rock thinking it was impossible to set all the extra blocks we have onto this drain rock. However, today I decided to give the blocks a try since I don't want to spend any more money on this lot, especially when we already have lots of blocks.

I started early this morning and quickly learned with enough raking and hand placing of the drain rock, it was possible to place the blocks. I placed each block one at a time and ended up placing blocks all the way to the clothes line. Click the photo to see the final project.

Portland Apartment livingView from OHSU

Thursday, October 22, 2020: We made a long drive today to Portland and back for a health checkup. These views are from the 9th floor of building 2 of the Oregon Health Sciences University. Abby went with us and did excellent on such a long trip. Gwen knew right where to go so we drove straight to the parking garage with very little traffic. The building on the right is one of the Mirabella towers, a very large senior retirement and care facility. They have 1 and 2 bedroom apartments to rent. Click both photos. Behind the Mirabella photo is an outdoor dining area on the roof of the building between the two towers. I would imagine Mirabella is quite expensive.

Mounting bracket installedRails installed


Monday, October 19, 2020: I have finished the rails for the golf cart. They are on brackets so they can be easily removed when needed.

On our trip to the "back forty" today, we found an abandoned half wine barrel planter, a treasure. We loaded the treasure into the pickup bed of the golf cart and drove it home. I'm sure this is the first of many treasures we will find with our golf cart.

Click the photos for more views.

Next projectSide rails for the Golf Cart

Sunday, October 18, 2020: I started the next project today. The golf cart needs side rails in the case we carry a large garbage bag or yard trimmings. I'm making the rails easily removable. The wood is rough cedar. I'm not sure if I will use sealer on the boards or not. I could have finished this project today but need to wait for the glue to dry before I can proceed. I'll finish it tomorrow. Click these photos for another view.

The project is completeAbby likes the golf cart
Friday, October 16, 2020: The golf cart is mostly finished today. Only thing left is to add a horn and repair the lights. I thought the lights would just need a new switch but the headlights are in such bad shape they will need replacing. I also believe I'm going to add wood rails to the pickup bed. Abby loves riding in the golf cart. She sits on the seat and watches everything and everyone as we drive by. Click the photos for more views.
The next projectThe painting begins
Thursday, October 15, 2020: My next project begins. We have decided to paint the pickup bed red so the first coat of paint is applied today. I also removed the driver side door and took to the upholstery shop for repair. I also pressure washed the area under bed. The bed needs another coat so this project won't be completed until tomorrow. Click the photos for additional views.
These signs are desturbing

Wednesday: October 14, 2020: We are free again! The Alpenlite fifth wheel has left our lot (probably just in time before the manager told us to get it out of here) and now in Roseburg. We can think again of our own projects.

Something disturbing has been happening in our neighborhood. These signs have been going up on many of our neighbor lots. Having Trump as our President these last three years has been very traumatic for us. It has caused me to wonder what has happened to our wonderful country to approve of a person so hateful and destructive of our environment. His policies benefit only rich and corporations while sacrificing our planet to improve corporate profit. I can't imagine his administration has benefited any of those around us with support signs on their lot. My view of Trump, he makes a very poor human being and even worse President. Yet, many of those with support signs have been our friends for years. We have dined together and occasionally work together on common projects. Now their signs have caused us to question their judgment. I can't imagine the state of this country with another four years of Trump as President.

New batteries



Tuesday, October 13, 2020: Yes, it was raining today but that didn't stop me from installing the new batteries into the golf cart. I took photos of the wiring and had to use those photos. I drew a wiring chart and had to use it too. Before the installation of the new batteries, I pressure washed the compartment. The red liquid around the terminals is corrosion prevention. I took about three hours to finish this project.

I learned the old batteries were purchased multi-years from 2011, 2012 and 2015. No wonder the batteries were causing problems.

No, I haven't tried the golf cart after the installation. The instructions were specific. "Don't use the golf cart the first time until the batteries are fully charged." They weren't fully charged before dark so we won't go for a ride until the morning.

Click the photo for a larger view of the battery installation.

New batteries for Gwen's Golf CartOld batteries

Monday, October 12, 2020: This is the next project. Replacing the old golf cart batteries with new batteries from Costco. That's $89 each times six batteries. They should last 5 years. Everyone still thinks we got a good deal on the cart. I've watched the YouTube videos to learn how to do it correctly. It is forecast to rain tomorrow so not sure this will happen until Wednesday.

What is a golf cart used for at a large RV park like ours. Gwen will use it to drive to the mailroom for the mail, she will drive to the clubhouse for games, she will drive to friends and she will "walk the dog" using the cart. I will use it to take the garbage to the bin. Then I will use it to take yard trimmings to the back forty. I will also use it to take the propane tanks to be filled then retrieve them. We will both participate in the July 4th golf cart parade. I guess we need a HORN for that.

A cover for the golf cartGas appliances work

Sunday, October 11, 2020: Multiple tasks today. I ordered a golf cart cover since we have no way to keep it dry when not in use. I also considered pulling all the batteries in preparation for new batteries. I learned Costco will provide a battery strap with the purchase of the batteries which would save about $10 if I were to purchase the strap. I chose NOT to buy a strap and pull the batteries today but wait until I make the Costco purchase to get the free strap. Click the golf cart to see the bank of batteries.

I connected one of my propane tanks to the Alpenlite and learned the stove works. In fact, it is one of the nicest RV stoves I've seen. It is a better stove than the one in our motorhome. It has a beautiful oven too, looks unused. The furnace also works. I have not been able to get the refrigerator working on electricity or gas. I've not been able to test the water heater because there is no water in the tank. I also rolled out the two awnings and both are in good condition. To see the huge, door side awning, click the stove photo.

Using a pressure washer to clean the scum It took five hours The project is complete

The door sideSaturday, October 10, 2020: Yes, it's raining today but that didn't stop me from completing the fifth wheel cleaning of the outside. Compare these photos of those below. The Alpenlite is ready for Paige to clean the inside.

Click on all the photos.

Paige has purchased the fifth wheel. My friend Nate used his pickup to move it.

The roof looks pretty bad.The "before" photosFriday, October 9, 2020: Paige has purchased the 30 year old Alpenlite fifth wheel. Alpenlite is a reputable brand name even though they are no longer in business. Other brands would have fallen apart at this age. The fifth wheel looks pretty crusty. Consider these the "before" photos. I'll post photos as I tackle the "crust" on the outside. The inside actually looks pretty good and with some serious and deep cleaning it can be a really nice living space. Of course, I've been living in an RV full time since 2006 so perhaps I see something others would not.

Rain is in the forecast tomorrow so we will learn if the Alpenlite has any leaks. We looked carefully for evidence of leaks and didn't find any. The cleaning starts tomorrow as well as checking the systems.

I found a golf cart for GwenThe cart need a thorough cleaning


Friday, October 8, 2020: Our friends, Bud and Anita, dropped by and mentioned our friend, Joy, wanted to sell her golf cart at a good price. Gwen and mentioned only the day before how she would like to have a golf cart to run around our RV park. Since we are spending the winter in Oregon, it sounds like a good idea. This is a 2002 electric model. It has good tires and a "pickup" bed but needs new batteries and a new canvas enclosure.

I think it will be something we can use but it definitely will be another machine which will need a lot of maintenance and repair. Click these photos for more views.

The donkey is dead Wendell's blueberry pancakes Barbeque and campfire
Wednesday, October 7, 2020: My day started with the death of Mr. Donkey. I'm not sure what's going on but Abby is taking apart all of her toys and my newspaper too. Next, I spotted Wendell and took him the bottle of red wine I promised because of his help with gazebo assembly. He immediately turned around and got me a batch of hot blueberry pancakes he had ready, yummy! In the middle of the day I took a nice bike ride. After the ride I got the barbeque ready to cook a hamburger and turned on the propane campfire to keep warm under the gazebo.
1989 Alpenlite
Tuesday, October 6, 2020: This is a 1989 Alpenlite manufactured in Yakima, Washington. No, we aren't about to buy another RV. My bicycle riding friend, Glen, has a daughter, Paige. Paige is 24 and renting a room with a roommate. She came up with the idea of getting her own trailer. I found this one in our park. It hasn't been used for five years so it's pretty "crusty" on the outside, about the same as the Alumascape we bought a few years ago. I showed this to Paige today because I believe, with a lot of hard work, it can be made into a nice living "apartment" for her. We will learn if she agrees.
The last roof panel to install The gazebo project is completed Propane campfire to keep warm
Monday, October 5, 2020: This is day three of the gazebo assembly project. I was able to complete the project by 1pm. Then I moved the table and chairs, spin bike and campfire under the roof. Each corner is bolted down to the patio frame using lag bolts except the one corner sitting only on the blocks. I have lots of extra blocks so I stacked blocks in that corner then used a steel cable to secure to the blocks. I doubt there is much of a chance a wind could carry it off. It weighs more than 500 lbs and with the double roof, air under the roof can escape. With all the extra bracing with this gazebo design and bolting the feet down, the gazebo is very stable and secure. After these photos were taken, I moved our barbeque and Gwen's lounging chair under the canopy by moving two table chairs to a different location. Gwen also added a nice Halloween decoration to the top of my blocks holding down the one corner. Click the three photos to enlarge.

A little progress today



Sunday, October 4, 2020: I was able to make some progress today on the gazebo assembly. I got some of the roof panels installed. I decided the roof panels are the most difficult part of this assembly. I was able to spend about four hours in assembly. Click on the photo for a wider view.

The most important part of this day, however, was a 39 mile ride with friends. A great Oregon ride in warm weather.

The gaxebo has arrived
This frame was only to protect the contents of the boxWendle has been a big help
Saturday, October 3, 2020: Our gazebo finally arrived. The box weighs nearly 600 lbs. This may be a 3 - 4 day project. The basic frame took all afternoon to complete with Gwen, Wendell and myself working on the project. Wendell has been our inspiration for the gazebo. He has one identical on his patio which gave us the idea for ours. So far I am very impressed with the quality of the material. The next step is to begin the roof but I have other plans for tomorrow afternoon. I'm not sure when we will have this completed. Click on the photos for more views.
The Turf has arrived at Home DepotThe turf is laid
Friday, October 2, 2020: We have been waiting for artificial turf to arrive at our local Home Depot. It is 12 feet wide and $24 per foot ($1.99 per square foot). I had to tie it to the roof of our Forester to transport which worked well. It laid out easily and was relatively easy to cut to the shape we wanted. It is tacked down using "landscape staples" which Home Depot did NOT have in stock. Fortunately I had anticipated the need and ordered from Amazon. The grass can look only as good as the sand underneath so give it a day or two for the sand to settle. Click the photos for more views. Abby likes the grass as much as she liked the sand.

Erik at Old Soul Pizza, Roseburg, Oregon

Thursday, October 1, 2020: Erik is my bicycle riding buddy and a solo performer. He was performing tonight at the Old Soul Pizza Restaurant in Roseburg, Oregon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic he must stand in the parking lot to perform to eight outdoor tables. I happened to get a tiny table up front which made for good photos and a short video. Pass your pointer through this photo for a "rollover".

The pizza was good and so was Erik, I especially like the way he plays the guitar and often ask for guitar solos.

After pizza and Erik I went home to ride my trainer. Somehow I beat 137 other riders, they must be pretty weak.

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