Monday, July 27, 2015

Volcano high...

Dad's been mope'n lately, I know why, and I can't fix that, but I can give him another venue, mountain air.

Sunday, I told him to get his fish'n pole, and Willy and Load Up!  He hemmed and hawed for about a minute, and then was yelling for me to get a move on. Hey, who's great idea was this anyway!
We made a big loop, going to the N entrance to Lassen Volcanic Park.

eruption of Lassen Peak, June 14, 1914

 Whipped out the trusty senior pass and we were in. I then drove to the south end of Manzanita Lake.  
After unloading his gear, I parked Dad & his walker by the water so he could fish.


 He was way out of practice with his casting, there by being of some danger to anything in the general vicinity. There weren't too many other people around, and the ones that were hastened to keep their distance.  Willy sat under Dad's chair and shook, as I waded out to untangle the lure, again, and again.  He caught: four logs, a large stump, one pine tree, two pine cones, three water plants, and me. Another day fish'n with Dad... But dang if he didn't have a smile on his face. When the wind got too brisk for him, we loaded up, and headed on through the park.

the 8,000 ft elevation mark

Helen Lake
It is beautiful in the high country... I told Dad I would love to come up here kayaking & camping. He said, "Well, if you had a boyfriend you could. Which you would have, if you weren't so darn picky!"  He's plotting again...

Emerald Lake
As we were driving through the park, I asked Dad what a certain shrub was. He didn't know, but he said my grandpa would have been able to tell me what every tree, plant, rock, and critter was... It seems he was a voracious reader with a photographic memory as well as a consummate outdoorsman.
After touring the park we drove into Chester for a bite to eat, checked on what was on the flight line at the airport, and then headed down the mountain to home. Dad was in a much better mood after 200 miles of mountain air... well that, and his SF Giants Won.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Shake it off...

Buying a new refrigerator, or spending your brother's share of the inheritance can be the same thing. I know that it is possible to do both in one go.
It started with Dad's 12 year old frig making strange noises. Then it defrosted the freezer side. After I cleaned out the freezer and hauled our frozen goods to the neighbors freezer, it decided to be freezy again. Carted all the stuff back and reloaded. Then the frig side went. Called the repair man.  Unless I wanted to spend more than the frig was worth, I needed to turn the dials, thump on the solenoidal housing, and pray it would stay alive til I could get a new one.
No problem, found the one I wanted online, in a price range I thought my brother would approve of. Down to the local (same retailer as online) store to see if they had the same one in stock.  Nope, they would have to order it. Plus, if I ordered it in store they would charge me $50 for delivery & set up, +10 for the disposal of the old frig.  What! if I ordered it online all that was included in the price, which by the way was $100 less... Back home to order it online. Ordered it, printed out my confirmation, and prayed that all would go smoothly.  Day came that I had seen as the delivery date, pulled the confirmation order, and the delivery date had been changed to a week further out. Damn, I could not talk them into changing it back to the original date.  I was now looking at seven days of no frig/freezer, while living with Dad who has to have his homemade coffee milkshake every afternoon, or else!
Off to the other local big box store, HD. Found a frig I liked, they had it in stock. After a bunch of conference calls with their delivery service, they agreed to deliver & setup that afternoon. I'm pretty darn sure they just wanted to get the fierce woman, who had a 91 year old Dad at home waiting for his homemade milkshake, out of the store. But what ever!
I get back home, call the first store, and cancel that order.  They are not as gracious as they could have been.  I explain in cowboy terms that it just wasn't meant to be.
Let Dad know we were getting the new frig from HD that afternoon.  And the phone rings, it's HD, the frig they had in the stock room was found to be severely damaged when they uncrated it. They could bend the rules of engagement and deliver the floor model if it was alright with me.  Oh Heck Yes, just bring it.  Delivery guys show up, tell me there are scratches on this one. OMG, just note it on the delivery sheet and install that sucker!  They take out the old frig, install the new frig, turn it on and that thing is cold like right now!  Yippy! 

  They test the water dispenser... no water...  ok, all three of us trouble shoot that, hookups are fine. I open the the door look in and point out that it has no water filter. They say the water dispenser won't work without the water filter. And they have to leave. Alrighty, I go back to HD, get credit for the scratches, get a water filter and the two missing shelves, and come home and install them myself. Still no water, which at this point I'm good with as the essentials are chilling nicely...

The manufacturer is sending a repair man in a week to fix the water dispenser.  I'm back on schedule for Dad's daily milkshake, my brother's inheritance has been spent, and the resupply of essentials is on going. We're good... 

Friday, July 17, 2015

The daily average...

Took Marymine's & granddaughter Ali's GPSs back to them Thursday. I kinda look for any reason to touch base with my kids & grands.  Ali was at work, so I didn't get to see her. She is working as a pest fieldman during summer break from college.

Ali & Lauren at a Giants game
Lauren was home, on the mend from a nasty bug she got flying home from USA volleyball camp in Michigan.

She's all better now, but it was a really crappy few days for her, and Marymine.

 By way of thanks for letting me borrow the GPSs for Dad's trip, I got the girls a big travel bag.  They fly around the country a lot, and like plain ol country western stuff...

Go Forward with Courage be Wild and Free

 While I was there I got to go for a ride in Marymine's second New pickup.  She called me when she got the first New one a month ago. First truly New vehicle she has ever had. It had everything she wanted, in the color she wanted, leather seats, crew cab, etc.  When I called her a week later to check in, she was not a happy camper.  She had taken it back to the dealer to get the leather seats treated.  They called her the next day, there was a little problem, they had wrecked her pickup driving it from one service building to another.  They would just put it in their shop and fix it.  And then the fight began! Suffice it to say, she pretty much went through a lot getting them to either give her another new pickup, or refund her money.  They finally decided that they would refund her money.  She went to another dealer, and found an even better deal on her second New pickup.  It is very cool, and she loves it. So all is well there.
Boy have pickups changed since the last one I bought. All those bells & whistles and the price!  

2015 Silverado 2500HD High Country
Of course, we had to test out all those bells & whistles. I voted the in-seat vibrator warning system most interesting, and it was the cause of no small amount of laughter.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Bear garden...

The weather has been perfect for working in the over grown jungle that is this yard.  My being gone for a week seems to have been encouragement for everything to grow faster.  
The volunteer black oil sunflowers are blooming, as are the crape myrtles.

The black bamboo is towering over Dad's shop and needs thinning.  I actually will take most of it out this winter. It's not the running variety, but it can get out of hand rather quickly.

The little area of black-eyed Susans are just about done in from the triple digit warm spell we had.

Thinning the abundant crop of pomegranates needs doing as well.  I will have plenty to share and make into jelly. 


While I'm deep in the jungle working up a sweat glow, snagged by brush, stabbed by thorns, and bitten by bugs... 

Bear is smiling cause he's finally home.  Drove 3133 miles with an eye out for him, and find him on the final 35 mile stretch... go figure.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Travel Log: part 4

There were two little cowpokes driv'n a pink caddy around the place one morning. With cow dogs and barn cats scattering in all directions. The cowpokes were laughing, spinning hookers, and generally having a great time, they made you smile just to see how much fun they were having.  Someone asked why they were driving a pink barbie caddy, and not a manly camo jeep.  The answer, because it was the grand girls (now out grown) and runs just fine. Besides, the little guys are tough enough to handle it.

The gathering of the clan was interesting, so many from so many far flung places. Touching base with roots that run deep.  Those that have stayed with being stewards of the land, and those that have served our country in other ways. The bedrock of our being.

Three states later, Dad and I made it back to N Calif. in time to celebrate Independence Day at home...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Travel Log: part 3

With Wyoming in our rear view mirror, we made good time across the prairie of S Dakota. It was lush with yellow clover blossoms this time of year.  Giving no hint to how cruel the winters can be... 

One hundred and twenty miles of grassland and one lone abandoned homestead. I always wish these places could tell their stories.
Then, we were topping a rise and looking over the Cheyenne River and the ranch headquarters.  

A warm welcome awaited us.  These are the people that make the world right. They are smart, they work hard, and they play hard. They are doing their utmost to see that those traditions that matter are continued, at the same time they are looking forward.  I love'm, Oh, and the smell of grass, horses, cattle, and history...

  "Kick off your boots and stay a while..." 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Travel Log: part 2

Fish Camp, Wyoming

We were on the road bright and early each day, as we had many miles to cover in order to be at the family gathering in Dakota territory on time.
Either memory failed me or I had simply forgotten how utterly beautiful it is in that part of Wyoming.  Everything was green and all the creeks were running full. Damn, I should have taken a rod & reel. We stopped for a jogging (me, not Dad) break on the Madison, and watched a guy fishing with what looked like a PMD fly. 

 Madison River, Wyoming

 Was he catching any, Yep.  Was he a local, No. Newly retired, on vacation, fishing his way across Wyoming. Geez, I envied him that... From San Jose, Calif. I didn't envy him that...
Our next stop was the Museum of the West in Cody, WY.  It has expanded a great deal since the last time either of us was there. Well worth the time. 
(the LL special)

The firearms gallery was awesome, and I could have spent days in there studying and reading the histories...
Back on the road, the beauty of mother natures work is stunning.
 (to be continued)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Home of the Brave...

Today is such an important day in our history. Take a moment to consider all that went into making it possible.  Take a moment to consider what is a continual process to make it so today and into the future. Freedom isn't free, we must earn it daily.  
Celebrate, but don't forget the cost in lives & treasure that made it possible.
 I encourage you to take or take a son, daughter, grandchild, friend to a Project Appleseed.  Project Appleseed teaches the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship and the history and heritage of our country. It is the primary focus of the Revolutionary War Veterans Assn.  Much more than a rifle class it is a great short course in our history. (
Have a good Independence Day!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Travel log: first three days

Dad and I are back home after the 3133 mile road trip.  We saw a lot of this beautiful country and bunches of FAMILY and friends.  It was a good journey.  
I took a few pics, so will share some of them. Starting out in N Calif. with the old barn just below the border into Oregon. (see above)
raking hay in Oregon's outback

Abert Rim in Oregon's Outback
 Abert Rim is an amazing place, and I'm sorry my pic doesn't begin to do it justice.  It has a rugged beauty all it's own, and I was happy to see it again. Wikipedia: Abert Rim in Lake County, Oregon is one of the highest fault scarps in the United States. It rises 2,490 feet (760 m) above the valley floor, finishing with a 820-foot (250 m) sheer-sided basalt cap. It was formed during the Miocene epoch.

On to Idaho to put mom to rest.  I put her ashes in a bright pink Victoria Secret bag, she would have gotten a kick out of that, I think.  Dad & Buzz thought so, too.

Dad, Buzz, and I at mom's grave

After a too short gathering with my brother's crew, it was onward across Idaho...

the Friar Mtns of Idaho

 They aren't really called the Friar Mtns but they reminded me of Friar Tuck, with their rings of black rocks like hair and bald tops, so that's what I call them.
(to be continued)