Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Today is Gracie's first birthday!  For her birthday, we took her (and Blaze) for a long walk through Palisades Park, which is just up the hill from us.  We try to take the dogs for a walk there three or four times a week, but have been lax in doing so for the past week.

Gracie hadn't been groomed since almost a month before we left Arizona, so she was in dire need of a hair cut!  The breeder from whom we bought her is a groomer and she grooms the dogs she sells for $15 (costs us $30 in Quartzsite), so Gracie finally got a hair cut:


 Here's another picture of our birthday girl:

Sound asleep in Blaze's pad that's been pulled out of his crate
Blaze was five months old on the 23rd.  He's getting really big: 17.5" as close as we can tell and 22 pounds the last time we weighed him, although that was at the beginning of the month when we took him in for his final round of puppy shots, so he may weigh more now (he's asleep curled up next to me and I don't want to disturb him).  He's got most of his big boy teeth now and is starting to mark his territory...so, by the end of the month, when he's six months old, he'll be going in and having his cute little fuzzy balls removed!

The recliners are his favorite places to sleep

Do you love me mommy?
 One day as we were out running errands, we decided to stop at the Japanese Gardens on the South Hill.  We need to make another trip there soon to see more flowers in bloom:

Here are pictures of the tulips and bleeding hearts that bloomed in our gardens (the tulips are finished blooming, but the bleeding hearts are still going):

This is one of my grandmother's iris that bloomed in our garden, Forever Spring...it's the first, and so far, the only one that has bloomed, although we have scads of others ready to bloom if it would only warm up for several days in a row!

The month was taken up with doctor's appointments, both for Earl and me.  In addition to seeing my doctor, I've had a whole slew of tests done and will have another one done next week.  We've both been to Pearl Vision...Earl to get new lenses because his old ones were so scratched up, and me to get new frames because my old ones broke.  Earl also had an eye exam while he was there, and the doctor found that he has the very beginnings of macular degeneration.  So far, it hasn't affected his vision, but I did order MaxiVision (their whole body formula) that's supposed to help...we'll see. 

One Sunday, Earl discovered a leak in the water line going up to the water heater.  Of course, it happened on a Sunday, so it cost us an arm and a leg to get a plumber out to repair the leak! 

Our oldest Verizon phone was up for the "new every two years" upgrade, so instead of a phone, I ordered the Samsung Galaxy Tab, an android tablet.  I've been having fun playing with it.  It should come in handy as we're traveling...I can't remember the number of times we've wanted to look something up as we're driving down the road, but can't because the computer and USB modem is in the RV.  Now I'll be able to look the information up (should come in really handy to look up which station has the lowest fuel prices)...of course, we'll have to have cell service in the area, but we do for most of our traveling.

Friday, May 06, 2011

We've been busy since we returned to Spokane:  Grocery shopping to fill up the pantry again; new shoes for Earl (Skechers); a trip to Costco; bought a coffee bean grinder, which we ended up returning to the manufacturer because it quit working after the first whir; and, most exciting of all, a new car!

We bought a Kia Soul.  We got the base model with the 1.6L engine and the manual transmission.  We've been wanting a car that gets better mileage than the truck with the camper on it for trips around town (it would have come in really handy last year when Earl was undergoing radiation treatments, since we could have parked in the hospital's parking garage instead of having to park a couple of blocks away...uphill and in the snow), and for Arizona where the closest major grocery store is approximately 40 miles one way. 

The reason for getting the manual transmission instead of the automatic is that the manual transmission is the only one towable four-down.  We may not end up spending the money for a base plate, tow bars, and braking system needed to tow it though.  It would costs us upward of $3,000...or more...to equip the truck and car for towing; however, even at $5.00 per gallon for regular gas, it would cost us only around $180 in fuel to make the trip from Spokane to near Brenda where we spend the winters...that's about eight years or more of round trips.

All the Souls come with a Sirius radio, so when we got home, I called Sirius and transferred our subscription from the truck to the car.  We haven't been able to listen to Sirius in the truck since we've put the camper on because the overhang on the camper covers the "hockypuck" antenna built into the cab roof of the truck.

The weather hasn't been the best since we returned...it's been cold with some rain.  But it looks like today is going to be nice and it's supposed to warm up next week.  Our daffodils and some of our tulips are blooming, with more tulips to bloom in the next few days.  I'm eager to see all the iris in bloom later on this spring (I planted many of my Grandmother's iris as I could last year).  The Bleeding Hearts are just beginning to bloom, and we have other flowers starting to come up, although some of them won't bloom until later in the summer.