Weather Is About To Change

Wednesday was the Cowboy’s birthday–another trip around the sun for my guy. I wrote on Facebook Wednesday morning that we turned 39 and 49 years of age shortly after we met and now look at us–where have the years gone?

We celebrated the birthday by having lunch in Billings at his favorite restaurant, CJ’s. I had a haircut appointment and we did a little shopping. I happened to mention to my hairdresser that I was waiting for our county to get Pfizer booster shots and hoped the public health folks would have a booster shot available before we left to go south. Becky told me that a nearby pharmacy had the boosters–we stopped, filled out paperwork and now I am “boostered!” As of Thursday morning–no ill effects, none.

Our granddaughter Katie brought me some of her mother’s quilt tops and other projects way too long ago for us to talk about. With time on my hands I sorted, loaded a top onto the longarm and started quilting. I haven’t forgotten how!

Have any of you read Nomadland by Jessica Bruder or seen the movie? I purchased a used copy of the book for the Cowboy. When he finished I asked him, “did you enjoy the book.” His reply, “it’s not an enjoyable book.” Well, I read the book and he’s absolutely right–it’s a hard to read book in the sense it makes you think and it’s hard to read about how difficult life is for many, many people in this country. You have an apartment, a junky car and a job at Home Depot. You can barely afford your utilities and groceries much less insurance. Forget the safety net emergency fund Susie Orman preaches about–you are just barely surviving.Then your job is eliminated after Christmas. And just that quick you are homeless.

But some of these people pick themselves up, buy any kind of camper they can afford, hit the road, and supplement their $500 social security checks with work camping in jobs such as hosting a USFS campground, Amazon during the holiday season, sugar beet harvest in the west, selling Christmas trees, running a pumpkin patch, oil field gate guarding–anything to survive. They aren’t lazy and most of them are my age and older. There is no way I could work a season at Amazon! Those folks walk ten to twenty miles a day on concrete for $11.25 an hour–they aren’t lazy–they are doing what it takes to survive.

There is a whole culture that exists of people living in a RV, their car, a van, an old school bus, etc. And I’m not talking about those of us who lived or are living in a RV–working a good job from that RV or living on a good retirement income. I’m talking about nomads who wander the country in older vehicles, living on minimal social security and working temporary/seasonal jobs just in order to survive, to buy groceries, gas for their vehicle, propane to keep warm, etc. 

The book made me both sad and grateful. The Cowboy and I are so fortunate and for that we are truly grateful. 

It’s a beautiful fall day on this Sunday but that’s about to change! Snow and temperatures in the twenties are in our forecast for the next two or three days. But it’s OK–we have nowhere to go, we have a warm house, food to eat, wine to drink–and we need the moisture. 

The above photo was taken earlier in the week when it rained a bit. 

This last photo was taken from almost the highest point on our land looking to the west. Not a neighbor in sight! The houses you see in the middle right are abandoned–that ranch is now owned by the platinum mine. 

Just Puttering Along

We are both trying to get all the little things done before our departure south. The Cowboy has been completing some projects for the neighbors, I put the front and back yard flower beds to rest for the winter. The sprinkler system was drained today. I really wanted to do some painting–bathroom vanities, stairs–but that hasn’t happened. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t! 

I keep busy feeding us! It’s use everything in the refrigerator and freezer time in this household so meals are a little different–green peas with shrimp, etc. I baked another round of the Amish white bread and the loaves were beautiful. Our neighbor lost her husband recently after a long illness and I took a loaf to their house–lots of family there so the bread was a hit. 

I’ve given up on sourdough for the time being. I was just getting another starter going (ditched my first starter) when the trip to Challis came up. I was not going to take the starter with me plus it would have been so hot in the RV during the day I’m not sure how it would have reacted so I ditched it the second starter. I decided to wait until we were in Arizona and then I will get another starter going. 

We’ve had some warm days and no moisture. Our pests this time of year are very persistent! Flies and hornets buzzing around everywhere! The Cowboy has been looking for the hornet nest but has yet to find it. 

These photos are from our trip to Challis, Idaho.

Times were hard in the late 1800’s with no doctors available to these remote mining towns–there were seven graves in this little cemetery.
Ken, our leader for the day and Emmi
Peggy and an uncooperative Lacy, Charlie, me, the Cowboy with Emmi, Nellie the pooch, Lesley and Ken–one great group of easy to be with folks!
Weird rocks

A trip to Livingston was on the agenda this afternoon to get my glasses adjusted. It’s always a pain getting a new pair of glasses adjusted just right. Not sure today’s adjustments helped much!

Back in Big Timber we enjoyed strawberry milkshakes at Cole Drug which has a soda fountain that’s been there long before the Cowboy was a child. He told me he would come into Cole Drug and get a cheese sandwich when the school hot lunch involved fish!

Changes are coming in our weather pattern–YEA!

A Change Of Scenery

Sometimes a person just needs a change of scenery–it’s good for the soul. Our friend Ken mentioned a few weeks ago a possible ATV trip to Challis, Idaho but plans might not work. Things changed, plans were cancelled and the trip was a go. We had previous appointments in Billings prior to departure day leaving us with one day to load the rig. Whew! By the end of that day we were both dragging–I prepared a bunch of food to take with us–the ladies share responsibility for happy hour snacks and side dishes. Charlie is in charge of grilling each couple’s chosen meat for dinner each night. 

So, off we went a week ago today–bright and early heading for the Challis, Idaho area. 

That’s Ken and Lesley in front of us, Charlie and Peggy are out there in front somewhere with us bringing up the rear. It was smooth sailing all the way to Challis with two stops for gas and a stop for lunch. We had some difficulty finding a boondocking spot traveling up this steep mountain road with absolutely NO place to turn around only to find no boondocking spots and the campground full. Back down that awful road cringing when we would meet oncoming traffic–it was one narrow, steep road!

Moon going down

We ended up camped in a BLM campground along the highway. And were so lucky to find one accommodating camp host. There were not three open spots so he allowed us all three to camp in one large pull through, end to end. We parked first in the middle and moved our truck, Charlie backed his rig close to our front and Ken pulled his motorhome up to the rear of our trailer. Our doors all faced the grassy area and picnic table. It was a great spot with lots of shade in the afternoon.

It was chilly every morning–really chilly and we didn’t start riding until about 9:30am each morning when the sun was finally coming up over the mountains and hitting the campsite.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the 50 inch rule–many US forest service trails and even state trails are designated as 50 inch ATV use only. This means 4-wheelers and side by side ATVs that are only 50 inches wide can use these trails. In some areas the rule is even stricter and only ATVs in which the rider sits astride are legal. This bridge you see us about to cross was just barely 50 inches wide and the two poles were set in concrete and were exactly 50 inches wide. Our Polaris RZR is 50 inches wide and let me tell you, I would cringe as we were going through these barriers but we didn’t scrape so all is well!

The trails in this area–the Yankee Fork–are well used and rugged with some challenging riding. I only got out and walked once–that’s my gauge for how scary the trails is, I walk if I’m that uncomfortable and I take Emmi with me!–but I was tempted to get out more than once!! There was some side hilling that really made me cringe but we all survived! The fifty inch trails interspersed with other wider trails and roads were very narrow, usually incredibly steep with lots of trees to avoid–challenging!

Even though the trails were well used we saw very few other people–less than five rigs per day–even on the weekend. The fall colors were spectacular as was the scenery in this historical former mining area of Idaho.

We rode four days–50 miles, 55 miles, 80 miles and on the last day 47 miles. The dogs and the people all enjoyed each other’s company and we had a great trip. Tuesday we all loaded up and headed for home bucking a dang gale force wind all the way back to Montana. The wind brought the smoke supposedly from the California fires and it was miserable Tuesday night but by Wednesday morning all was clear once again.

Every day we rode past the ghost town of Bayhorse–an Idaho state park, closed for the season. The above photo shows one of the buildings and the next photo is of the kilns used in the processing of the gold found in these hills long ago.

And another dwelling of some sort

I will share more of the photos in the next blog posts–don’t want to overload you! Our fall colors in Montana are glorious right now too and the temps are downright chilly with frost most mornings–fall is here and winter not far behind. Now, if it would just rain or snow!!

I love this photo of the Cowboy taken by Lesley!

The Cowboy iS Free

Snow on the mountains and no smoke!

At least from stitches and bandages! His incisions look great, healthy and he’s relieved to not have that bandage near his eye in his vision all the time.

We made yet another 200 mile round trip to Billings on Tuesday for a routine doctor’s appointment for the Cowboy and some quick shopping. Because we left Emmi at home, alone, we ate a quick meal instead of sitting in a restaurant–we enjoyed a delicious Five Guy’s burger and fries. My mouth had been watering after Sue and Dave posted about Five Guy’s.

And that’s not the only reason we ate a quick, outside meal–Montana covid numbers are once again out of control. Montana has the highest 14-day percentage increase in new COVID-19 cases (55%) and hospitalizations (38%) in the country right now. And remember, Montana is a state of about one million people and it’s largest town is Billings at about 100,000 people. Billings Clinic alone has seen 28 COVID-related deaths since Sept. 1, including 14 over the last week. Billings Clinic is one of the two hospitals in Billings, Montana. “The hospital announced it may soon implement “crisis standards of care,” which basically means it will ration its equipment, staff and medicine, giving preference to those it can most likely save, regardless of vaccination status. It’s an ugly system, abhorred by those who will wield it, with tiebreakers in place to decide who potentially lives and dies. Other hospitals in Montana have taken similar steps.” KTVG Billings News Story

Can you imagine being the nurse/doctor who has watched 14 patients die over the last two weeks. I’m a nurse and I can’t imagine! And can you imagine being the “tie breaker” who decides which patient gets the ventilator and which patient doesn’t?

It’s fall in Montana–chilly morning temps with frost on the pumpkin as they say, golden aspen leaves and vivid red chokecherry and underbrush leaves with glorious day time temps and clear, blue Montana skies. My favorite time of year!

A couple weeks ago we had visitors–neither of us could remember the last time we had seen or talked to each other–my oldest cousin on my Mom’s side of the family and his wife came to visit. Ed and Barbara currently live in Texas near their two children. They have been touring in their Tiffin motorhome and having a ball–the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Moab and Arches National Park, Yellowstone National Park, etc. My Mom was one of six children, all daughters and Ed’s Mom, Aunt Lola was the oldest of the six. Ed was enough older than me and my siblings that we seldom saw him–he was in college, starting a career, and getting married when the rest of the cousins were teenagers and much younger. It was so good to see them! We visited Natural Bridge near our home and enjoyed a great meal–and enjoyed non stop conversation. We need to make sure we don’t let as many years go by this time.

First time we’ve seen the Crazy Mountains clearly in weeks!
I’m watching you!

Life is good!

What A Week

Another smoky sunset

It’s been one tough week in this household. It started early, early on Tuesday morning. We had to have Emmi in Billings by 7:30am–ugh–for her anal gland removal surgery. We live almost two hours from Billings so that meant an awful rising hour for the three of us! In hindsight we are very glad we made that veterinary appointment. Then we had hours to kill before yet another appointment for yet another Mohs surgery for the Cowboy.

We went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Billings–our only other experience with a ReStore was in Wickenburg, AZ–tiny store but awesome. The huge store in Billings was a dud. Lowes to check out back splash tile for the Arizona home, Costco where we wandered the aisles and finally it was time for lunch. We dawdled over lunch and could finally head for the clinic where they were quick to take the Cowboy back to a room.

This was by far the largest incision he has ever had for a Mohs procedure. It took multiple attempts to get all the basal cell cancer then a very large Z type incision to close the site. We were there for three hours.

During that three hours my phone vibrated, the vet clinic was calling. Emmi would not be having surgery as her blood work showed significantly elevated liver enzymes. A sonogram of her liver revealed she has a gallbladder full of “sludge.” This little dog is 12 years old, not an ounce of fat on her, active–would play 24 hours a day if someone would play with her. Emmi eats very well–the Cowboy likes to tell people Emmi eats prime rib and we eat hamburger! She had given us no indication she was ill.

So, we have to get rid of that sludge. We came home with two medications as the most important medication, urosodiol, a people medication would have to be compounded by a people pharmacy. As with all businesses during these times this pharmacy was shorthanded and it would take them until Thursday to compound the drug into a dosage and form for Emmi. I spoke with the veterinarian and he wasn’t happy with the wait but there wasn’t much we could do. On Wednesday I was anxious and called the pharmacy explaining how important this medication was for our little pooch. They were so accommodating and understanding promising to have it ready before they closed at 6pm on Wednesday. Off I went, making that 200 mile round trip once again. Audiobooks are my friend!

Emmi will have a repeat of her liver enzymes in 30 days. In the meantime she is all ready hanging her head when she sees me get the syringe ready to squirt the urosodiol down her throat–poor baby! Update–I mixed it with her food–she wasn’t happy I messed up her groceries but she ate it. It has to be better than squirting it down her throat twice a day for 30 days!!

The Cowboy’s face is incredibly swollen and he was just beat on Wednesday spending much of the day with an ice pack and his tablet. We are going nowhere near a dermatologist for a while, giving the poor guy a break!!

We order Emmi’s prescription dog food from Chewy’s and on Monday I had ordered a small bag to carry us through until we head south. Wouldn’t you know it–the vet wants her on a different prescription diet! I contacted Chewy’s asking if I could return the food we hadn’t even received yet. And here is the reply I received–

I’m sorry the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food, 6.6-lb bag didn’t work out as expected, but I’m more than happy to help. I’ve processed a refund to your Visa card and that’ll appear back to your account within 3-5 business days. If you feel it could still be of use, please feel free to donate it to a local shelter or rescue as our returns are on a case by case basis. We’d be happy to know that it’s going to help pets in need.

That reply made my day and almost made me cry! Amazing customer service!

I’m sure you’ve seen many of these photos across social media–tributes to the 13 Marines killed in Afghanistan–these in our own small town really hit home for me!–

We removed the Cowboy’s dressing on Thursday afternoon and he’s improved greatly! Still swollen and bruised but much better. Emmi is Emmi–as I said, she has given us no indication she is ill.

She loves to chase sticks but those weren’t good for her causing coughing when she would ingest some of the bark so the Cowboy created “sticks” from lengths of small plastic pipe. These sticks are all along our walking paths in the hayfields.

Recently I noticed an electric smoker for sale on one of our Facebook buy/sell groups. This tri-tip was my first attempt at using the smoker and the meat was to die for!!! Moist, flavorful and tender. Success!! Thanks for all the help and advice Jim!

A totally clear sky–first time in several weeks that there hasn’t been any smoke.

Sunday morning we woke to short lived rain then blustery, cloudy skies. The mountains have their first snow–

And I baked bread again–Amish White Bread

Thanks for following along with us this week!

Birthday Week

Having finally finished that gigantic shawl I’ve started a new knitting project with this gorgeous red wool yarn the Cowboy gave me for my birthday in 2020. I’m loving the color of the yarn so much–makes it fun to knit! This is a photo of the sweater from the pattern by Libby Jonson called Oatmeal, my first sweater to knit.

The Cowboy is feeling much better and decided to get a few extra trailers we own ready for sale. He aired up the tires, I took photos and the trailers are posted on Craigslist. And NOT the RV travel trailer in case anyone was worried!

Tuesday was my birthday and I was a bum–I took a walk with the Cowboy and Emmi then did my two hayfield rounds at a brisk pace–my weight loss program. I love to cook and eat so walking briskly and the cardio exercises given to me by the physical therapist allow me to eat more freely.

We went to Livingston and had Mexican food then back to Big Timber for milkshakes at Cole Drug–see why I need to do brisk walks!! I received so many beautiful cards plus phone calls and texts. I am so blessed with family and friends.

On Wednesday Jill and Jeane accompanied me to Billings for a girls day out in celebration of my birthday. We visited the great coffee shop, Rock Creek Roasters, shopped a bit and had lunch at the Marble Table. Shopped a bit more and headed home. It was a great day spent with such good, long time friends.

Thursday it was back to Billings for a haircut for me and lunch out again–that’s three days in a row I haven’t had to cook!! We bought a few groceries and pointed the car toward home–we put so many miles on our car in a summer!

And another smoky sunset

Friday we took a short drive up to Natural Bridge and were very surprised to find only one car in the parking lot. Every other time we’ve been by this summer the parking lot has been packed and there were extra cars parked out on the road.

The first photo is taken from the bridge looking downriver and the second is taken from one of the observation points looking upriver as the Boulder River water flows down the hole. The river is really, really low at the end of this summer–really low.

The smoke got to me on Friday–I woke at 5am sneezing, sneezing and I sneezed all day. Miserable! Saturday I was fine. During the night the wind blew, it sprinkled rain and Saturday we woke to a clear day, finally! Fluffy white clouds and blue skies–much better!

And Sunday was the same–two days of no smoke!! I spent Sunday knitting and ripping! My sweater has 222 stitches in one row and I had to rip out 20+ rows!!😭Late afternoon we took a drive up the Boulder looking for critters and saw one blue heron–that’s it!

But there is evidence of critters around our house–we’ve had bears very close. One bear obviously ate something that didn’t agree with him/her and left a long trail of scat out in front of the garage. This evidence is in the middle of the driveway–

Life is good!

We Eat Well

The Cowboy has been doing a lot of sitting and examining the backs of his eyelids while recovering from his skin cancer surgeries. He had strict orders from his doctor–“take it easy for at least 3-4 days, I would like a week but at least give me 3-4 days.” He knows my husband I guess! And the Cowboy has mostly complied. He’s done a few small, non heavy lifting type projects but has also done a lot of resting.

Seems I’ve been in the kitchen a lot lately and have tried some new recipes. This first photo is of the hamburgers we had for lunch one day on homemade hamburger buns using a King Arthur flour recipe. Nothing about this recipe was new. Those are oven roasted potatoes on the plate with the burger.

The Cowboy’s favorite meal!

While in Coos Bay with Ainslie and Beryl, Ainslie made breakfast–steel cut oats combined with regular oats and served with blueberries. We like oats and I seldom cook them but decided to try cooking the two together in the Instant Pot rather than having to watch a pot on the stove so carefully as Ainslie did. It worked–1 cup steel cut oats, 1 cup regular oats (not quick) and about 4.5 cups of water. Blueberries and brown sugar–a very good and filling breakfast.

The smoke that has returned does make for gorgeous sunsets–

In December of 2020 right after Mom’s visit I started knitting a shawl using an Andrea Moray pattern named Cinnabar. There is a term in knitting, “gauge” that means you need to have the same number of stiches and rows in a 4″ square as the pattern designer. You knit a swatch, count your stitches and rows hoping you have “made gauge.” I never could “make gauge” when I started this shawl no matter what I tried–bigger needles, smaller needles–it just didn’t matter, I couldn’t make gauge.

So, I just started knitting and kept measuring. Thankfully I could add rows to make it longer and as I added rows, the increasing stitches also made it wider. I am very pleased with it even though there are some mistakes, one major one, but I still like it very much! It’s a squishy knit, warm and cozy!

Sunday I used a recipe I found online for Instant Pot French Dip sandwiches. I halved the recipe and am glad I did using a large round steak I had in the freezer rather than the chuck roast. I also sautéed some peppers and onions to go on top. The sandwiches were delicious!!! The Cowboy was so happy–beef for lunch always makes him smile! I also made the buns again from the King Arthur flour recipe.

Even though our weather is warming again and the smoke is back, fall is in the air. There is a house on the way to town and the aspen trees out front are always the first to turn and the first to have leaves in the spring–it’s like clockwork. When I went to town on Friday, I took this photo–the gold doesn’t show up well, it’s just a hint of gold so far.

Another smoky sunset
I love when we come back to the house from our evening walk and the lights are on inside–it looks so welcoming.

Sunday afternoon we had the urge for ice cream–that has to be a big urge as it’s 22 miles to the nearest place for ice cream! But off we went–life is good!

We thank all of those who commented and left such kind words about our continuing the blog. You are much appreciated!

I Can’t Do It

Give up my blog and photography. Just can’t do it. But I can post in a more erratic manner, less often. We will see how that works! Thanks so much for all your wonderful, encouraging comments–our readers are amazing!

Monday was moving day–of the new to us refrigerator–we are too old for that kind of moving!!! Dang refrigerators are heavy! The Cowboy has had the newer refrigerator out in the shop, plugged in and making ice. He tweaked a couple things on the refrigerator and had no issues with freezing up while running. So in the house it came. Loaded into the bucket of the skidsteer then manhandled into the house. Does anyone move their refrigerator out away from the wall and clean periodically?? I don’t and geez, I could have grown a garden behind and underneath the old refrigerator!

I am loving the quietness and space of the newer refrigerator. It has two ice makers of all things–one in the refrigerator that provides ice from the door and another in the freezer drawer. You can turn off one or both with push buttons–we don’t use enough ice to need two ice makers so the freezer one is off.

The new to us refrigerator

It’s smoky again–with a vengeance! It rolled in from the south obscuring our view and giving the Cowboy an instant headache. It was 85 degrees at our house on Monday and again on Tuesday.

Exact same view–first photo was taken Tuesday, second photo was taken in May, 2018.

Tuesday I went to a new optometrist–in Livingston and I was very impressed. Lots of our friends use Eyecare Professionals and we took the Cowboy’s Dad there. In the past I’ve worn contact lenses but gave up as it became harder and harder to correct my vision with the monofocal lenses. This optometrist suggested I try multifocal lenses and by George–it worked! We may have to tweak the distance correction a bit–I drove home from Billings on Wednesday and noticed I wasn’t seeing highway signs very well. I also ordered a new pair of glasses. Yes, I was very pleased!

After the optometrist appointment, we met Sarge and Sarah at the Rib and Chop, picked up food and took it to the park. We enjoyed a nice meal and a long chat! Life is good!

Wednesday the poor Cowboy had two more Mohs procedures and he’s feeling a bit rough tonight. It has to get old being carved on every year and this summer he’s been carved on twice! We “enjoyed” a Costco hotdog for late lunch after our three hour stint at the dermatology clinic and picked up a few things in the store. Grocery pickup at Walmart and we were on our way home to a waiting little dog. I will be so glad when the temps cool and she can go with us.

The smoke cleared a bit today–we could at least see hazy mountains.

We Take A Different Kind Of Trip

We really can’t remember the last time we took a non-RV trip but that’s exactly what we did this time! We left home with just the car, suitcases and cooler in the back last Saturday, the 20th. Our first stop was an AirBnB in Ontario, Oregon.

Billed as a “quiet oasis” we had to chuckle. The “oasis” backyard was a dried up patch of weeds, dirt and cigarette butts. The duplex was filthy, the bed just OK–not the best place I’ve picked to stay but we survived!

We took the scenic route through John Day country from Ontario, Oregon to our next stop.

Excuse the dirty windshield please!

Our next bed and breakfast was amazing–we landed at Dan and Louanne’s in Bend, Oregon mid afternoon on Sunday. They share an acreage with their son and his family–chickens, goats, donkeys, and four cats who weren’t impressed with one little black dog.

Dan and Louanne’s home is an upscale modern manufactured home and we loved it! Perfect size–two bedrooms/two bathrooms with a small living area and good size kitchen in the middle. Louanne has great taste in furnishings and decoration, making their home very inviting. Dan of course had been cooking/smoking all day and we enjoyed a fabulous meal; their son and his wife joined us.

Our accommodations were much better than the ones in Ontario! We’ve never slept on a Sleep Number bed until Sunday night in their guest room–I think we are sold! Fluffy towels, outstanding breakfast and a tour on Monday out to the Mount Bachelor area. Yep, much better bed and breakfast!

Just about the time I snapped this photo Emmi came uncorked, barking, bouncing up and down–just having a fit–the cat paid absolutely no mind!

On Monday while auto touring we enjoyed a delightful late lunch with a friend of Dan, Louanne and Hadley’s (their son.) Sean and Hadley worked together in the past. The setting, Coltus Lake was beautiful and the food was good!

Tuesday morning we dawdled as check in time at our next accommodation was not until 4pm–Dan and Louanne were coming along. Traffic was light heading out to the coast and we stopped in Veneta for a late lunch before arriving at our rental house right on the ocean. A grassy yard and then the beach. The house has a large wall of windows looking out over the water, very comfortable seating in the living room, remodeled kitchen and bathrooms–it was perfect and clean!!

We spent time walking on the beach, eating, walking on the beach and eating. Wednesday we drove to South Beach and South Beach Fish Market where we sat outside in the sun and enjoyed the best fish (halibut) and chips we’ve ever eaten! YUM!!

It doesn’t get any better than this!

All too soon it was time to leave our beach paradise. Dan and Louanne headed back to Bend and we traveled the short distance to Coos Bay to see friends Ainslie and Beryl. They live just on the outskirts of Coos Bay within walking distance of town but their home and yard are situated on a hillside backed by dense woods giving it an secluded, oasis feel. Beryl and Ainslie both love to garden and as Beryl is from Wales–much of their backyard looks like an English garden. The climate in Coos Bay is temperate with about 45 inches of rainfall per year! Thus, they grow beautiful flowers!

This gladiola came from a cutting Beryl and Ainslie brought back from Sri Lanka.

Many of Beryl’s flowers such as the carnations pictured above are perennials! Ainslie and Beryl served us a wonderful meal and we enjoyed catching up–we haven’t seen them since December, 2019, right before covid appeared.

After another fabulous meal–breakfast–we said our goodbyes and rolled on down the road with intentions of heading to Bend. Louanne’s text changed all that! Seems they had been exposed to covid on Thursday night and while we are all vaccinated (including the person with covid) we decided to just head back to Montana. Our LaQuinta Inn stay on Friday night left much to be desired–let’s just say UGH and keep on going! So, the Cowboy had the pedal to the metal on Saturday and by 7pm we were home and unpacking the car. He was determined to avoid another hotel stay! There are benefits to traveling with a RV–your own CLEAN bathroom, bed, etc.

We had an amazing time exploring Oregon and seeing friends–even Emmi enjoyed!

Sunday has been spent unpacking and doing a mountain of laundry. I also baked bread–I’m determined to stay at home and not visit a grocery store until we go to Billings mid week for the Cowboy’s Mohs procedures.

Life is good!


The above photo was taken almost a week ago on Friday after the rain moved out.

Over the years of blog writing we’ve met some great people. First up was Ellie who tried to teach me all about blog writing in a very short time in Tucson, Arizona. Reading other blogs we feel we know these people and sometimes even call them our “friends” even though we’ve never met in person. And then there are the blog writers we’ve met in person.

Nina and Paul

While on the Oregon coast in August of 2013 we met Nina and Paul of Wheelinit fame. Nina writes the blog and takes the stunning photographs. We’ve met up with the two of them and various members of their family in Arizona also. Currently they are living in France with Nina’s father and traveling in their small European sized motorhome.

A 2013 Oregon coast view

Some of the friends we’ve met through blogging no longer blog–Ellie and Rollie come to mind. Some blogging friends are no longer with us–Mike, Rod, Judy. The RV blogging world is shrinking–so many of our friends have ceased to travel and have hung up their keys. Stay tuned for what brought on this attack of reminiscing!

In Arkansas, there appears to be lots of baby holding going on–my nephew Clayton and his wife Hannah welcomed a daughter, Magnolia, a week ago–

My brother Ross holding his first grandchild
Gina, Rollie, Zoey and Angel visiting us in Montana
Left to right–the Cowboy, Jim, Gina, Rollie and Ellie–hanging out in the Arizona desert
Al, Kelly and Pheebs–the Bayfield Bunch

Life is good, so very good!