Saturday, August 27, 2005

Home Sweet Home

Well the Musemobile performed wonderfully and got us back home safely.

I have to thank Winnebago for the fine workmanship and layout of this Sightseer. It gave us warmth coolness when we needed it, cooked some great meals, wonderful nights of scrabble, Satellite TV, and more. It really is a little house on wheels.

The front porch and the Dowdy field next door were great to see again.

Even Isaac's newest car looked great if not familiar, I'm having trouble keeping track of his autos.

The windshield of the Musemobile is a great place to display bug parts but also a great mirror of the sunset.

Our neighbor Gail's Maple tree had a trimming on the west side. Our other neighbors across the street were concerned about the limbs overhanging their home and the leaf droppings in the fall so they hired an arborist to trim the tree with Gail's approval. It looks weird for now but I'm sure new growth next year will help.

Sharyn's front garden still looked nice with some color still showing.

And then there is the Dowdy barn, it's my favorite view in the area and I must have 300 pictures of it in every season. The sheep were busy eating grass and were self absorbed to say hi.

And then there is the great cottonwood tree that catches the last of the suns rays in it's upper branches.

Here is my last sunset of the trip, clear sky blues and reds framing the street light at Sunday Drive.

Scrabble Score - Scrabble Queen 320 the Contender 329. "All's well that ends well"

Quote of the Day
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson US essayist & poet (1803 - 1882)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Of Oranges and Happy Cows

The drive to Redding California from Kingsburg (River Bend RV or something like that) was pretty uneventful. It was an easy drive on Highway 99 to Sacramento then an easy transition to Interstate 5. Elk Grove was out main stop for lunch at In-N-Out Burger.

As we approached Corning and one of our favorite stops called the "Olive Pit," Sharyn spotted a sign for a produce stand. The stand was a little off the Interstate, down a narrow road and then on a minor two lane highway. When we saw the sign ands a place to park the Musemobile we didn't see the stand so we began to turn around and noticed an arrow beneath the sign pointing across the highway. We also noticed two of California's famous "Happy Cows" chowing down on some grass.

Of course I got some pictures including a telephone with religious overtones.....

....the Happy Cows........

...and the minor highway in the middle of nowhere......

Well not quite nowhere because as I documented FedEx delivers anywhere.

No wonder we had trouble finding the stand it was behind this house hidden in the underbrush and down the driveway with an "Open" sign on the mailbox.

Sharyn played in the traffic running across the highway and emerged with a sack of oranges, a bottle of olive oil, two fresh ripe tomatoes and an orange melon of some kind.

All in all it was a nice drive and brought us to Redding, and in sight of Mount Shasta and a one days drive to our home in Oregon. It' been a long trip that began on May 27 and will end August 25. Three months of wandering and wondering about life, family, this magnificent land and how we made it intact from the time we met at University of Houston through today. No one's perfect and yet I wonder if perfection in a human life can ever be measured. All I do know is we can all choose to act happy all the time or just be who we are and give the truth to those we meet. Personally I prefer the latter because then I get the true definition of what it is to be human. Knowing that one thing makes me feel ok about who I am with all my scars and wrinkles and even the twinkles in my eye. We didn't play scrabble tonight, we ate a great meal we prepared ourselves and watched an old movie called Arabesque with Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren. It's nice to know my humanity and after this trip I can thank Sharyn for our eventful 39 years and 4 days to be exact (not counting the time we dated).

Quote of the Day
A garden is a complex of aesthetic and plastic intentions; and the plant is, to a landscape artist, not only a plant - rare, unusual, ordinary or doomed to disappearance - but it is also a color, a shape, a volume or an arabesque in itself. ~Roberto Burle Marx

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Diversity of Little Rock, California - almost home

Here we are again taking highway 138 From Interstate 15 west to Interstate 5. The Antelope Valley is over the mountains from Los Angeles and has it's own natural charm. Los Angeles, like the smog that occasionally overflows it's valley, is creeping over the mountains north and spilling into this valley along highway 14.

In the town of Pearblossom or maybe it's Little Rock California there exists a time warp. I'm not even sure Charlie Brown's Gift Shop got it's name from the owner or the Comic Strip but they have all kinds of interesting things. We stopped for some Grapefruit candies and Boston Baked Beans (the candy) they sell here and they are excellent and always fresh. They are a gift shop/exotic meats/candy/ fruit and nuts place and more.... with three, count 'em three buildings and two patios and a partridge in a pear tree..........

This is the entrance to the Antelope Valley which includes Palmdale (Air Control for the Los Angeles area), Lancaster (Skunk Works), Mojave (Edwards Air Force Base), Death Valley and the California Poppy Preserve.

Back at the gift shop in the Antelope Valley they have venison, Elk, Wild Boar, Caribou, Ostrich, Bear, and Buffalo. I wondered if they ate all the Antelope or if they are the "& More" the sign mentions?

I wondered if the fence in the back is to keep the yard art in or to make the visitors go through the store and try to get back out without buying the multiple products inside.

It takes a special breed of human to live in the desert with rattlesnakes, scorpions, brown recluse spiders, Gila monsters and dinosaurs........ Yes Dinosaures like T-Rex and Triceratops. Oh my! Maybe the fence was for the Prehistoric animals.

Oh my gosh the T-Rex is getting closer......

...and closer.

.... maybe this pig is prehistoric as well. In any case I stayed in the RV and talked to Kathy via interstellar communicator (Verizon Cell Phone) while Sharyn bought the Boston Baked Bean and Grapefruit candy and also some awesome BBQ.

Maybe I should have gone in to the new addition and done the Wine Tasting, but no I'm driving. It seemed strange to see a wine tasting room here after all the Ultra-Sophisticated vineyards we have visited (not that we drink wine or anything other than tea, coffee and coke) in the past.

We made it almost to Fresno today and tomorrow probably Redding and finally home again - finally.

No Scrabble - The contender fell asleep after setting up camp.

Quote of the Day
"God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny." ~ Garrison Keillor quotes (American writer and broadcaster b.1942)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Ed's New Digs

Ed moved today to his new place and it's a great place to live. It has a great entrance and the rooms are very large and well maintained. He is across the hall from the Wellness Center (gym with exercise equipment and even a putting area.

The center of the complex is a beautiful garden courtyard.

It has benches for sitting and enjoying the weather and outdoor tables with umbrellas for a nice place to play cards or have a conversation with friends.

The courtyard gardens are great and they even have twinkle lights on the trees.

Ed came out from the dining room for a few pictures.

He is so happy here already and this is his first day. He even joked in this picture with a ceramic pelican.

The interior hallways and anti rooms are all wonderfully decorated and tasteful.

The dining room looks like a 4 star restraunt. We ate finner there with Ed, Jill and George and the food is very good.

This picture cannot do this sculpture justice. It has symbols, names and events from the past on both sides and is called Memories. It was done by Jesus Dominguez February 19, 1991.

Scrabble Score - Scrabble Queen 267 - The contender 347 ( I got lucky folks)

Quote of the Day
"A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past." Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983) author - The Passionate State of Mind, 1954

Bikers, Palms and the Grand Slam of Grandchildren

The day started with a drive to "Play it Again Sports" in Sam Marcos. While looking for it we found the Harley-Davidson store where a biker rally was assembling. Later we caught the tail end of a huge line of Harley's taking of on the ride.

Of course what is Southern California without palms.

Later I went to a birthday party for David and Chris at Chuck E Cheese. Steven and Martha had found a cute cake for the boys and it was great to see them all and Samantha was a little doll. This completed my Grand Slam of seeing family. Unfortunately Sharyn wasn't feeling well and couldn't come. So maybe this Blog and the pictures Steven took will help ease the disappointment of not being able to see the children.

David is looking great and growing into a fine young man with a wonderful personality and a great smile.

Chris is a little bundle of energy very smart and fast on his feet. We did the Grandpoppy and glasses thing and Steve got this picture.

Samantha loved the balloons, loved the pizza and did a great job of feeding herself, while shunning any help.

I think the cake was her favorite making for a good "food in the face" picture. Because the boys were running all around Chuck E. Cheese I spent a lot of time with Samantha and she is a precious child with a great personality.

Chris would cruise by every now and then to humor me but disappeared as fast as he appeared.

Steve and Martha have a dear sweet family and Sharyn and I are very proud of ho they have grown as parents in a very high-powered city like San Diego with both their family and business

Samantha even charmed Chuck E Cheese himself into visiting the table.

No Scrabble today

Quote of the Day
"The ballplayer who loses his head, who can't keep his cool, is worse than no ballplayer at all." ~ Lou Gehrig still holds the leader in Grand Slam Home Runs at 23

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Pete and the Jumping Cholla

We saw Peter today in Lancaster. His housing is in the distance and is in the grey buildings an appropriate color. It was a good visit and he looks great. Told us he had another tooth pulled and it still hurts a bit after a few days. He said how great it was to get the Frankenstein Books from Kathy and the Jimmy Buffet book and one other from Elaine and he's already read both Dean Koontz's Frankenstein books. He's quit smoking and thinks he's gained weight but he looked great and didn't look like he gained weight so much as he's filled out a bit. He's enjoying the new job and enjoys getting out in the fresh air.

After leaving we stopped at Jack in the Box for a tea and coke. While in line I took this picture of the huge movie theater across the street.

As we left Jack to feed the world I spotted a Jet on display and took this picture. I'm not sure what it was but it looked really cool.

California - what can I say about the biggest recreation in the state - Cell Phones and here is a fake tree Cell Tower ... not as good as the palm tree towers but interesting none-the-less.

We stopped at a gas station in the desert East of Lancaster somewhere between Pearblossom and Little Rock and caught this interesting 18 wheeler trailer run by Taco Bravo Motorsports. I especially liked the race car looking vent on the top.

I looked this up and think it's a "Jumping Cholla/Teddy-Bear Cholla- Opuntia bigelovii. Contrary to popular myth, the plants do not fling themselves at you, but they are disturbingly easy to pick up when brushing by. Tiny recurved barbs lock the spines into skin." Yea I know and they are sharp and will go through Tennis shoes. I found out about them in Borrego one year - Ouch!!!

Don't walk across here the sign says. I wondered if I tried if I'd get hit by a Sailplane. Sounds like a fun thing to do but not today.

This is the backside of Los Angeles. Just on the other side of this desert and these mountains is one of the most populated and densely packed cities in the world. You just couldn't tell from this side if you didn't know.

I love these tilted rocks and they remind me of so many movies and TV shows. I remember at least two Star Trek original series shows shot here.

End of the day and we were too tired to play scrabble so we went to Rubio's Fish Taco place for our anniversary dinner. We are saving Commander's Palace for our fortieth next year.

Quote of the Day
Tell that someone that you love, just what you're thinking of, If tomorrow never comes. ~ Garth Brooks from the song If Tomorrow Never Comes

Love you Sharyn


©Paul Viel