Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WTF Wednesday: Is Bill Trolling Again?

WTF Wednesday is a semi-regular feature of this blog. It documents the things that have made me pause, slap my forehead and say, "What the f**k!"  Well, that and I just like saying WTF. I'm retired. I don't have to watch what I say anymore. I'm not any one's role model.

WTF???  I'm sure I am not the only one who thought this email from Bill Clinton is a little creepy.

Who does he think I am?  Monica Lewinski?  

I like Bill Clinton, even though I recognize that he made poor choices in his private life.  Everyone gets the opportunity to reset their moral compass.  Why not Bill Clinton?

I like Hillary too.  I may even have made a campaign contribution.  

WTF...didn't one person at campaign headquarters think twice about Bill sending email to women he doesn't know, saying he wanted to "meet for dinner."  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

WTF Wednesday: Nana Makes a Guess

WTF Wednesday is a semi-regular feature of this blog. It documents the things that have made me pause, slap my forehead and say, "What the f**k!"  Well, that and I just like saying WTF. I'm retired. I don't have to watch what I say anymore. I'm not any one's role model.

Last week the spouse and I took a break from our grueling life of retirement and headed to the coast.  It was the maiden voyage for our new trailer, Stanley.  

Here's Stanley enjoying the woods...

The great thing about a trailer is that you can leave it in camp and go explore.  Okay, we didn't do a lot of exploring but we did dig through the treasures at Aurora Architectural Salvage,

and watch for whales,  (we spotted two rolling in the surf just off shore), and visited breweries.  

We had lunch at Rogue Brewery in Newport, Oregon and that's where I found myself slapping my forehead and muttering "What the f#%k?"  

I had no trouble finding the restrooms.  There was a sign

with doors on either side....

What the f#%k?  Which one would you choose?  I made a wild guess and bolted into "barley."  Whew!  There were no urinals and there were little containers bolted inside the cubicles for sanitary disposal.  I think I made the right choice.  I still have no idea why females are barley and males are hops.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

How Our New Baby Got His Name

Several weeks ago the spouse and I went to the RV show in Portland.  We just went to look, but several hours later we left as owners of a 26 foot Airstream Flying Cloud trailer.  We returned to Portland the following week with our truck to haul it home.

The trailer currently resides in the spouse's workshop.  We visit it,  and sometimes sit inside and chat while we admire all the gleaming surfaces.  Slowly we are transferring equipment from the old 5th wheel to the new trailer, and hopefully getting rid of all the miscellaneous junk that seems to accumulate when we travel.  Later this month we will take it on its maiden voyage.  I have several grant writing assignments that I have to complete before we can cut the tethers and hit the open road.

Originally we had planned to go to the Utah National Parks and the Grand Canyon.  Now the spouse says he doesn't want to tow the trailer over the mountains this late in the season, so we will be driving south along the Oregon coast.  

The Airstream draws a lot of attention.  Hauling it home from Portland people waved at us as they passed and at rest areas fellow travelers stopped to chat with the spouse as he meticulously checked all around the trailer at every stop.  Once we got it home it didn't spend much time in the open air.  The spouse had cleaned out space in his workshop and safely tucked it in under cover.

We hadn't been home long when the neighbor leaned over the fence and said, "Did I see a new trailer?"

The spouse proudly declared, "Yes, we bought an Airstream.  Want to see it?"

The neighbor didn't waste time hopping over the fence.  He was dazzled by the shiny aluminum, clean lines, and well-designed interior.

"Wow," he said, standing in the kitchen looking down the hall to the bedroom, "If I were a mouse living in a thermos, this is exactly what it would look like."

...and that's how our trailer got his name.  We call him Stanley, like the thermos!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Vashonista Celebration

Lavender Hill Farm

This is the fourth year that I have traveled to Vashon Island in October to spend a weekend with five intelligent, wise, and amusing women.  We first met through our blogs and then, with amazing trust and faith, we met in person at Lavender Hill Farm.  Six strangers brought together by the Internet and their love of writing.  Now we meet every year for several days of fun and laughter.   This year we were able to stay for five nights because finally all six of us are retired.  We are now old friends.  We call ourselves the Vashonistas.

Five nights and six days spent exploring the island, talking, laughing, and writing.  This year we decided we wanted to write together and Deb gracefully agreed to facilitate a writing circle.  

In our writing circle

On our last day of writing Deb read us the poem, "The Summer Day" by Mary Oliver and gave us the last two lines as a writing prompt:

     Tell me, what is it you plan to do
     with your one wild and precious life?

This is what I wrote:

What do I plan to do with my one precious life?

F*@k if I know!

My friend Jocelyn lost her husband two weeks ago.  In April, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He retired July 1.  In August he was gone...the Universe reminding me that there isn't always a tomorrow.  The week after his memorial service the spouse and I went to the RV show in Portland, not to buy, but to look.  We came home with a new Airstream trailer.  Later this month we're headed to the Utah National Parks and to the Grand Canyon.  I'm not waiting for tomorrow.  The time to do what I want is now:  to spend more time with my grandchildren, to listen to my 88-year-old father's stories, to watch the sun set on the ocean.  There's no time for disagreeable people, no time to waste.  Life is good, and I want to bask in the light.

Read what my fellow Vashonistas wrote about this prompt on their blogs:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Life as a Lifeboat Museum Host

Port Orford Lifeboat Museum

We are starting our final week at the Port Orford Lifeboat Museum and have fallen into a routine, but one quite different from when we are home.  The spouse is fishing, or talking fishing, or fiddling with his fishing stuff every day.  He has finally cracked the code for catching surf perch and will show anyone who expresses any interest the pictures of his dead fish on his iPhone   We "work" four days a week, Thursday through Sunday.  I've been at the museum today for four hours and we've had four visitors...and made $3.00 in donations and $5.00 in dogtag sales.  I've caught up on email and Facebook since we don't have wifi at our campsite.  The "job" gives us plenty of time to feed our cyber addiction.

We took a road trip to California to see the redwoods on our time off.  They are beautiful, as is the scenery along the coastline, but the best part of the trip was staying one night in a hotel and taking a shower in a full sized shower.  I could actually raised my arms above my head to wash my hair without having to tuck in my elbows.  We're getting along fine in our 5th wheel trailer; it seems spacious after our motorhome, but I do miss having a bathroom I can turn around in.

Last weekend Indians gathered at the park where we are camped to bless the site and launch new cedar canoes.  They have a salmon feed every year at the park that was once a Native American campsite.  They drummed and chanted around a fire.  I was reminded again that I had stepped out of my routine. 

This volunteer assignment is like putting our life on hold.  All our regular chores and responsibilities are set aside.  We have no routine to follow.  We didn't forward our mail.  Most of our bills are paid automatically...and those that aren't will just have to wait until we get home.  We're in suspended animation.  We're forced to shop and eat in new places.  There is nothing familiar here.  On our trip to California we stopped at Taco Bell for lunch...I hate to admit that I felt at home.  For creatures of habit, this adventure is a challenge, one that we are enjoying but, nevertheless, a challenge.

As I paddled my kayak on the lake yesterday I was smiling.  I could hear the ocean waves breaking on the shore just over the dune.  I paddled along a patch of reeds close to shore and made eye contact with an egret.  He watched me as I silently floated by.  I am an intruder in this place, but the locals don't seem to mind my incursion into their territory.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

WTF Wednesday: Sometimes Junk is Just Junk

WTF Wednesday is a semi-regular feature of this blog. It documents the things that have made me pause, slap my forehead and say, "What the f**k!"  Well, that and I just like saying WTF. I'm retired. I don't have to watch what I say anymore. I'm not any one's role model.

It's Thursday, but we don't have WiFi on Wednesday. so I'm late posting this...Get over it!

One thing the spouse and I like to do when we travel is visit the swap meets, junk stores, and antique barns all along our route.  Last week on our day off we went to Brookings, Oregon and found a lot of "antique" shops with lots of reproductions and made in China tourist crap.  We also found the Humane Society Thrift Shop and the Goodwill.  

The spouse said, "Did you notice that these thrift stores are well organized and smell nice?"  He was right.  They were probably the cleanest thrift stores I've been in.  However, we didn't find anything we couldn't live without.

We returned to Port Orford, our home away from home.  There's a thrift shop at the Senior Center and we stopped by to try our luck.

This was the most interesting item on the shelves...

What the f**k?  Who buys opened packages of panty liners at a thrift store?  There are some things that just shouldn't be recycled.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lifeboat Museum Hosts

The spouse and I are spending a month on the southern Oregon coast at Port Orford.  We are working for Oregon State Parks as volunteer hosts at the Lifeboat Museum.  We work four days a week from 10:00 to 3:30.  It's not strenuous work; so far today we've had only six visitors.  It has, however, taken some adjustment to rejoin the working world.  I've forgotten what it's like to not have a choice about rolling out of bed in the morning...a few words of protest might have escaped my lips.  

On our days off we are exploring other parts of the coast.  On Wednesday we visited Cape Blanco Lighthouse and got to visit with the lighthouse volunteers.  It might be a fun place to volunteer in the future.On Monday we're going to drive down to Brookings and then visit the Redwoods.  

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

We are staying at Tseriadun State Park, a day park located steps from the beach.  Every day after work I walk the beach, which is known locally as Agate Beach.  I have accumulated a collection of agates, rocks, shells, and driftwood.  The seals swim in the surf at "our" beach, where we are often the only humans on the beach.  Yesterday afternoon we went to Battle Rock in Port Orford and watched the whales in the bay. 

Agate Beach at Tseriadun State Park

Agate Beach

Agate Beach, at the tide line you can see the purple sailor jellyfish that have washed ashore by the thousands.
Purple sailor jellyfish
Purple sailor jellyfish

There's no Costco, no McDonald's, not even a Dairy Queen, and just a small grocery store.  There is a nice public library with very friendly staff and I'm now the proud owner of a Port Orford library card!

I haven't watched news in two weeks...except when we had breakfast at Hooks with the other park hosts and the overhead TV had Fox News playing, but we all know that's not really news!  I do miss TV, but I am enjoying the change of pace here.

We got this job because I read about the opening on a blog  Once we got to Port Orford, I had the opportunity to meet the writer of another blog that I've been reading for several years.  The spouse and I met up with Rosario Williams and her husband for dinner last night at Redfish, a waterfront restaurant with great food and a terrific view.  Rosario's blog is Loving Real Food and you can visit it by clicking on the title.

Life is good.  I think we'll be doing more hosting in the future.  I'm glad we said "Yes" to adventure.

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