Thursday, October 5, 2017

Avenue of the Giants. Redwoods in California

On our way up to the Oregon coast, we wanted to stop to see the giant Redwoods in Northern California. We've done this twice before and have never tired of gazing upwards at their majestic heights. So, after 240 miles of up/down twisty-turny, fast/slow, construction zones...we finally got to our destination: Ancient Redwoods RV Park.

These redwoods are over 200 feet tall and between 400 and 900 years old.


We usually go for strolls through the redwoods on marked trails. It's so peaceful and serene.



You can see how large this trunk base was in comparison to Kim and Katie in the foreground. It's massive !





At the Visitor's Center, the had a cut tree displayed that showed how old these trees typically are.


This cut was 70 feet above the ground and look how old it still is !


Katie liked to read the trail signs to keep us on the right path.
Here's a short drive through the 31 mile Avenue.



https://youtu.be/gdpAGq7IpHA

You can see Katie in the background, "Are you guys coming...or what!!??"

Katie LOVED the forest...so many new smells. We called her "Old Blue".
Kim went to the gift shop and got some gorgeous Redwood pieces that we'll have to show in a later blog after we unpack them.

Nice, nice trip with the trees. Steven even hugged one!



That's it for now....hope you enjoy the trees like we did

steve/kim/katie

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Cleanup


Imagine being a house for 56 years and, as the phrase goes, "Anything that came into this house, never left".

That's what has been going on for the last 3 weeks, "making these things leave"...we've been at the house doing cleanup detail....taking things out to the trucks (over eighteen 16-foot trucks so far, including two 40-yard dumpsters) and hauling them to the dump. Dump fees in California are steep....upwards to $165 a trip!!

One of the filled dumpsters....soooo much stuff.







Oh, did I mention that the three cats brought fleas into the house so we needed to put on some protection before going in for the first time?


We ended up talking and coordinating over 75 people for three weeks to get the house in shape and ready for sale. (Cleaners, recycling people, landscapers, sewer pros, pest control, lawyer, bank reps, real estate, etc....)  We're trying to get it on the market and sold because Dad will need the money to pay for his care/medical and hospital expenses. We're opening a special bank account for all of this. We sure don't have the money to pay for it. I'm not sure what people with no resources do.

Maybe when we're done, we'll get back to our six-week trip over to the Oregon coast.

I'm not going to post any of the inside photos. Just remind your older loved ones to start throwing away stuff before you have to get in and do it for them !

steve/kim/katie


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Postponed Oregon trip

..not your usual blog entry...but it's a stop along our life's journey...

My Dad has been in the hospital since Saturday. He fell (again), cut up his arm pretty badly so his neighbor took him and they called me on Sunday. Turns out the doctors at Kaiser feel that he's in the early stages of dementia. They give a proven test to see how he grades and he failed.


About 4 weeks ago, we planned a trip down to visit my Dad in Alameda, California then up the coast to the Redwoods, the Oregon coast, the Washington coast, Olympic National Park, and cruise on back home...about a six-week trip.

I get the call on Saturday, the 2nd of September, from the Kaiser Hospital in Oakland that my Dad was in the hospital because he fell. So...we headed off to visit him. We had planned on going down there first to help him get his finances straightened out.

We stopped at Winnemucca, Nevada and Verdi, Nevada (outside of Reno) before landing in Vacaville, California.

Typical desert scene from Nevada


RV park in Nevada...nice place and wonderful to smell the pine trees.
our site is to the far left..out of the picture.

...went for a hike above the RV park...




Turns out, two doctors (independently) have diagnosed him with Advanced dementia. I go to the hospital, only to find out they won't release him until he has 24-hour supervision as he cannot make financial, medical, or personal decisions anymore.

Therefore, our "vacation" has now turned in to a 2-4 week stay driving back and forth to Alameda ( 1 hour and 15 minutes each way...with traffic) to start taking over his house, his finances, etc. No complaining here...just life has just gotten in the way.

It's very strange to have him in this capacity. I never have thought of him as "old" but he's 95 now !! I guess that qualifies.

Here's a synopsis....


We've contracted with an Alameda board-and-care place to house him on a month to month basis where he can be monitored 24 hours a day. The hospital will not release him until I found a place with this requirement. He's moving in there tomorrow.

His house is not an option because (a) the house has a flea problem and (b) no live-in person would want to stay there with the mess that it's in. We got a pest control to work on the house already and he said it's not as bad as we thought.

We planned a six week trip down to see him, then up to the Redwoods, up the coast of Oregon and Washington and home. I came down to get access to his finances and release some money for him to live on. Never expected to run into this life-altering situation.

I guess we're going to start the process to clean up his house, move all the belongings out, stage the house and get it ready to sell. I'm not so sure he'll ever be able to live there again, given his condition. No one thinks he'll improve. So very sad.

NEXT UPDATE...

well, we got dad into a room at a care facility and he seems to be doing fine. I have not visited him yet...wanted to get him adjusted without any outside influence. Neighbors visited him and said he's doing fine...even started sketching the bay view outside. Nice to hear.

we went to the house and brought over two large bags of clothes, slippers, underwear, tee shirts, shirts, pants, clock, radio, two sketch pads with pencils, notepad and some toothbrushes.

i'll go back tomorrow or the next day to gather up more personal belongings he might need, or, if the manager/owner feels he has more that he needs.

Good to hear he's adjusting so well. This has been very emotional for me. I just want him to be okay.

Not much more to report. I've gathered more art supplies for him so he can continue painting and drawing (which is his life's passion). Then, more cleaning out his house and figuring out how to get on top of his finances and make sure bills are paid.

steve/kim/katie

Katie wants to try driving the coach.
arsty-fartsy photograph while on a walk

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Some Idaho Railroad History

A nice, simple blog entry this time but we like it. Hope you do too.


We've been wanting to take in the local Nampa Historical Train Building for some time and so we dropped Katie off to get groomed (which takes a couple of hours) and headed a few miles into town.

As the Oregon Short Line railroad originally bypassed Boise, Nampa has the fanciest of many railroad depots built in the area.
Nampa began its life in the early 1880s when the Oregon Short Line Railroad built a line from Granger, Wyoming, to Huntington, Oregon, which passed through Nampa. More railroad lines sprang up running through Nampa, making it a very important railroad town. As the Oregon Short Line railroad originally bypassed Boise, Nampa has the fanciest of many railroad depots built in the area.

It's a beautiful building, inside and out. Let's look at some of it....


This was not in the original building...don't know it's history.

The Oregon Short Line Depot shortly after construction in 1903.
1903 Original building 



The building was eventually donated to the Canyon County Historical Society by the Union Pacific Railroad. It was partially restored and converted into a museum by the Canyon County Historical Society and dedicated July 3, 1976.

We decided to join the historical society so we could come back many times for the one-time fee (only $30 for the two of us). There's too much inside to take in for one trip.

Inside, we were greeted by two friendly and extremely knowledgeable ladies, both volunteers. One took us around the inside and gave us more insights and information as to what we were viewing....like....

This is the entrance and the ticket booth where you would purchase your train ticket.


This is where the railroad person would be on the other side. Those copper "pointy things" in the background are from the roof of the building. You can see them in the outside photos.

Here's something interesting for you: To the left was the Ladies waiting room and bathroom. To the right was the Men's waiting room and bathroom. This was because, in those days, it was not proper for ladies and children to overhear "business talk" from the men !!
Men only !


A sensational collection of keys and locks donated by one of the family members. In order to be a locksmith for the railroad company, you had to have special registration. Not any locksmith credentials would do.

They had two railroad trains running while were there. So much detail.

This is what was used in the dining car when travelling on the railroad. Imagine getting this today on an airplane??!!

Nice milk bottle collection, except only two were local.

This is a child's set of cooking ware. It's tough to see the scale but it's tiny.

A large collection of wedding dresses from many decades.

I guess people are really into bottles. Seems like there's a collection in every museum we visit. This one is unique because one of the old bottles still has the original beer in it ! 
Ladies waiting room converted into the museum.


A gorgeous piece of furniture from Europe.

I was opening a few of these very thin drawers when the lady told be it was a dentist's cabinet. I quickly retreated.





Looks like my new wheelbarrow after I'd been using it.

My new chainsaw. This one must've made a LOT of racket.

Adjoining building that we never went through. Next visit.

Check out this donated tricycle. A local person completely restored it and it letting the museum display it. It was built in 1937 ! 

They have to keep it up high so children won't jump on it when they see it. I held the camera above my head to get this shot.

 Nice, nice place. There was much more but we've bored you enough.



Now, on to the cute stuff....


After working outside, I like to get in our $25 Wal-Mart pool and cool off. Katie likes to lay on her float at the same time.

This is her spot !


Helping plant roses in our garden.
Katie likes to look at the rabbits at our local hardware store.


Yes, we watched the eclipse. We were just about 30 miles to the south of Total, but got good viewing anyway. It almost went total.

It looks like we are each looking at a different sun ! "It's over here!....No, it's not, it's over here!"
Kim is proudly showing off her Official Eclipse paper.



That's all for now...glad you visited.

kim/katie/steve