An Angel Named Michael

Boise, ID

I have had no trouble reaching a human at my new specialty pharmacy company.

But I have had big trouble connecting with one who could and actually WOULD help me.

I finally connected with an angel named Michael. Michael helped me more than a dozen others had over the last four weeks.

Michael

He not only listened to me whine, he started a process to correct the errors that had happened up until that point in time.

I told Michael that if we were in the same room I’d hug and kiss him!

I could almost hear him blushing over the phone…

Since I can’t hug Michael in person, I’m sending him a Thank You gift and note card expressing my appreciation.

Hopefully Michael likes Chicago popcorn as much as I do.

bowl-popcorn

There’s No Place Like Home

Troutdale, OR

It’s interesting how slowly we are coming to grips with our life changes.

When I first looked at the forecast for the days we would be At Fort Stevens, I was bummed by all the forecasted heavy rain. So I immediately thought that if it was too bad, we could just go home early.

Took me a few minutes to realize that I WAS home. Home is now the motor home.

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So then I stated thinking about what home feels like. What was it about wanting to go home that I wasn’t getting from the motor home.

Home feels safe. Home has my stuff in it. And home has my signature on it. People who know me could walk into and would know that “This one’s Kathy’s.”

We’re trying to not take too much stuff as we travel so that we don’t feel crowded. But I’ve realized that I need to get a few things out of storage while we’re back in Boise next week to make myself feel more at home.

Perspective Visions

Troutdale, Oregon

Just leaving Fort Stevens in Oregon. Just love this place!

One of the things I noticed today is how we all see whatever we are looking for… Vision is a matter of perspective.

For example, I love both flora and fauna. So I’m constantly looking for flowers, shrubs, and trees that I haven’t seen before. And I’m looking for any kind of wildlife.

While here, I saw some fingerling fish jumping out of the lake. During my kayak tour, I learned that those baby fish shouldn’t be there because the lake is land locked and all the fish planted there are sterile.

Later that afternoon a black tail doe wandered through our campsite and over by the restrooms. I doubt that anyone else within our area saw her because they kept on partying.

Their focus and perspective in life is different than mine. Nobody’s is right or wrong… What we’re looking for and at in life is different.

On our trip into town I saw a raven that had just captured a tasty snake for dinner. (Alas no picture…)

The best sighting was of these three bulls. They were about a quarter mile from the ocean.

ThreeBulls

We had seen a smaller bull earlier that morning whose antlers were in the velvet. Cars passed by us by the dozens probably wondering what we were looking at while they were looking for and at different things…

Things My Dog Teaches Me

Fort Stevens, Oregon

Sophie will be four years old at the end of the month, but she acts like she’s going on four months. She’s still 3/4 puppy…

Sophie

 

She’s a Welsh Terrier. I like a dog (and kids and friends) who misbehave a bit. I also wanted a dog that was full of piss and vinegar. As Rich often says, “You got what you wanted in spades!”

Sophie, like all dogs, is totally in the NOW. She doesn’t remember what happened five minutes ago because what’s happening right now is freaking amazing.

What a great way to live an engaged life.

She also never passes up a chance to play. As Rich and I are on this adventure, we’re aspiring to her wisdom more and more.

Water Lover

Fort Stevens, Oregon

Tried something new today while camping at Fort Stevens–kayaking!

Our guides Lynn and Hugh are teachers from the Tri-Cities area in south eastern Washington. Every summer for the last ten years they have worked at various parks teaching others about nature.

They were excellent guides and made all of us feel very welcome and comfortable regardless of our skill level (or lack there of).

We saw lots of wildlife including a doe and fawn, a bald eagle, an osprey, and a heron sitting in a pine tree.

I loved it and could easily fall in love with smooth water kayaking.

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Yep, that’s really me! This trip has been so good for me that I’ve lost 25 pounds, grown my hair out, and worked on my tan. Hee hee…

Happiest?

Fort Stevens, Oregon

We are staying at my favorite camping spot: Fort Stevens State Park west of Astoria in north west Oregon.

I love this park because it’s heavily forested, has miles of beach, tons of hiking trails, and oodles off bike paths.

For the last two nights we’ve been serenaded each night with children’s laughter and voices.

I think the kids had had enough of camping as of noon today . The families started packing up and the children’s laughter and voices turned to screams and cries.

Years ago Disneyland had “The Happiest Place on Earth!” as their advertising tag line.

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We visited Disneyland that summer. Melissa was 17, and she watched parents blowing up towards their children, kids crying, frazzled families everywhere.

Her comment? “Happiest place on earth? My ass!”

I still get the giggles thinking of her observation…

I’m sure our campsite neighbors and their kids will forget today’s meltdowns and remember their camping trip fondly. Just as we remember all the good times from our family trips.

CRS

Fort Stevens, Oregon

We moved today from Netarts to Fort Stevens driving along Highway 101.

We had less than 75 miles to go, and maybe because it was such a short drive I forgot lots of things on my pre-drive check list.

Whatever caused my CRS–Can’t Remember Shit, I’m going to change my way of getting ready to travel.

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From now on, I’ll be using a check list to make sure I close ALL the windows, secure the refrigerator, get the dog ready, etc…

An RV traveling down the road is basically an earthquake on wheels, and there’s no room for CRS in preparing for that earthquake.

Power of Habits and Patterns

Fort Stevens, Oregon

Here’s another quote: “Never underestimate the power of habit.”

This one is from The Midnight Disease by Alice Weaver Flaherty, a neurologist who “explores the mysteries of literary creativity”. (It’s an excellent book…)

Dr. Flaherty talks about how much of what we do is ingrained: habits so deeply embedded that we don’t even realize that we could do things differently.

habit

Moving from a 2400 square foot house with a 2000 square foot shop into two 600 square foot storage units and a 280 square foot motor home has definitely made Rich, Sophie, and I re-examine our habits and patterns.

While walking through our old house, Rich passed on the right side while I veered to his left. Sophie even knew the traffic patterns in the house and where she should stand to have the best chance of getting a cookie.

Now all those movement patterns are out the window, and we’re starting from scratch. It’s both interesting and annoying.

Annoying: All three of us head for the single door out of the motor home at the same time looking a bit like the Three Stooges trying to squeeze through the narrow door.

Interesting: We can make a choice about new patterns. We could have before, but habit made those patterns seem set in stone.

While traveling last fall we met a elderly couple from eastern Canada. They had been married over 40 years. Every morning Ed fixed breakfast in bed for Marie who stayed in bed for at least an hour after eating breakfast and did crossword puzzles. This pattern continued even while they were traveling cross country.

Ed talked about how they had had a cat for over a decade. The cat helped him fix Marie’s breakfast every morning by standing a foot behind him in the kitchen. During the decade Ed carefully swung his leg over the cat every time he moved. Years after the cat died the habit continued and Ed still carefully swung his leg. I still get the giggles remember how Ed showed us exactly how he swung his leg…

So as we form new habits and patterns, I’m going to experiment and stir things up just a bit. How about eating dessert BEFORE dinner?

cheesecake

 

 

 

Twin Passions

Netarts, Oregon

We ate at the Blue Agate Cafe, a small diner in Oceanside, Oregon, last night. Turns out it was their first dinner serving.

Blue-Agate

Owners Joseph and Jerald Ellison are identical twin brothers who have a passion for food. And their passions  results in great eats!

They opened their cafe last May for breakfast and lunch, venturing further for dinners this summer.

I forgot to take a photo of our food, but the presentation was lovely! I had prawn fettuccine with garlic and rosemary; Rich had a penne pasta with scallops and sun dried tomatoes. And the dinners tasted even better than they looked.

From my seat, I could watch Jerald cook in their tiny kitchen. I could tell he was nervous, but his passion won out and his joy was palpable. Twin Joseph was our host, waiter, bus boy, and cashier.

With twins there is usually one who is more socially dominant. That is Joseph. Jerald is perfectly comfortable working behind the scenes. Joseph was concerned about Jerald because it was their first night serving dinners.  He happily trotted back to report to his twin how happy all the diners were.

I congratulated Joseph and Jerald for their new beginning of exquisite dinners.