Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Celebrating the BIG 90th birthday

We started our journey from Fresno to Wilsonville, OR, over a week ago. We were going to celebrate Mom's 90th birthday party. This has been a very big plan for a long time. Mom even planned her knee replacement surgery in February considering the recuperation time so she would be walking well by her birthday, May 25th.

The family, Jennifer's and Jason's, from Fresno; Natalie's from Argentina; and Paige's from Wisconsin all traveled to Wilsonville. My sister, Janet and her husband, Patrick, Joce's family and Ryan are from the Oregon area . We of course came from our travels in Arizona, Nevada, and California.

Our first stop on our journey was Sacramento and we stayed at the Carmichael Elks. We visited our good friends, Gloria and Dennis Turner. Tom had worked with Dennis for many years at the Dept. of Education and I had not only worked with Dennis, but stayed many times at the Turner's when working for SkillsUSA. (We look forward to seeing the Turner's on the road as they start again to travel in their Chinook.2011-05-22_16-47-09_698)

We took a short trip to Yuba City to see Clovis and Mickey Armstrong. Clovis also worked for the Dept. of Ed. and has had some health problems lately and had to cancel her Reunion Party for the Ed. Dept. staff. We wanted to see the Armstrong’s before leaving California and Clovis insisted on our coming by. We enjoyed a nice lunch and good conversation with the Armstrongs.

When we left the Elks our next stop was at the Redding Elks. We have never stayed there before, but we will definitely stay there again. It is a beautiful RV park along the river. We called my cousin, Sharon, and make plans for dinner. We went to a wonderful Mexican restaurant. I have the very best green sauce enchilada EVER. This is my favorite and I try it every time I see it on the menu so I've had a lot of examples of this dish to compare to.


We traveled up I-5 and got so many good shots of Mt. Shasta. I guess we were lucky because the bad weather started to approach the California-Oregon border and clouds would cover the mountain for the next week.



Our next stop was Seven Feathers at Exit 99 in Oregon. One word, Beautiful.


We drove the rest of the way to Wilsonville to the Pheasant Ridge RV Resort. We had reserved for 6 nights, but when we checked in we found that we could stay 7 nights for $3.00 less. Duh... we are staying 7 nights.

The next 5 days are just a blur of preparation for Mom's birthday, dinners with family, the big party, food (lots of food), hugs, talking, talking, talking, and just lots of fun. The following pictures are just a few of the scenes of the fun times.  First, we got together at my niece, Jocelyn’s house.  We chopped, diced, sliced, skewered, and cut up vegetables, fruit; made corn muffins; and salads.


The next day we set up the food tables.

Then we ate.

So much fun.

And the All Family Picture – Serious and Goofy.


We also got the group pictures, too.  All the grandchildren, the great grandchildren, and individual families.



Ryan’s band was playing at a club nearby and the some of younger generation went to listen.  Even they used the “club issued” earplugs. Julie texted from the club and said, “Aunt Jany was right, you would not like the music”.  That was soooo funny.

Julie spent every night with us in the RV and the rest of our family from Fresno stayed at the Wilsonville Inn.   We all had a wonderful time, and if you want to see all 200+ pictures, this is the link: Mom’s 90th Birthday

Today my sister, Janet, took Mom to the train; the Fresno group traveled back to Fresno yesterday; Natalie’s family went to Northern California to visit family before heading back to Wisconsin; Paige’s family went to Seattle to visit family before flying back to Wisconsin; and we… well we went caching and got 13 yesterday and today. 

So I guess you could say all is back to normal… “On the Road Again, Caching Places That We’ve Never Been”.  But we sure will miss our wonderful, funny, eclectic family!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Fond Farewell to Fresno

Sushi Goodby

We had a great time in Fresno for only one week, but it was a full one.  It ended with a spontaneous family gathering for dinner at our favorite Sushi restaurant, OoI, in Clovis.  In the front, L to R, me (Barbara), Julie holding Ryan, Olivia. In the back, Logan, Jamie, Jenny, Greg, Claudio, Tom and Jason.

Our busy week started on arrival, Friday, a week ago only minutes after driving in the driveway; not unhooking the Jeep; and going to a fund-raising dinner for the Music Department at Clovis East.  Jamie was playing in the Jazz Band. She plays many instruments, but this night she was playing trumpet.  What an amazing musician, guitar, French Horn, keyboard, now trumpet.  She also sings in several choirs.


The whole family was there, too.  I only got pictures of 1) Julie (she hated my taking a picture of her with her eyes closed-she’s beautiful even with her eyes closed).  She is an amazing writer and now is beginning to Blog. This is the granddaughter that carries 15 units at CSU,Fresno, works 20-30 hours a week at Chipoltle, and is a 20 hour a week intern at a Ad Design and Marketing Company. Can you spell busy? She must take after her mom, grandmother and great-grandmother.  Next to Julie is  2) Tom,  3) Jason in the back , and 4) Mom (you’ll hear more about Mom next week as we celebrate her 90th birthday at my sister, Janet’s, in Portland).


Sunday morning we went to church in Kingsburg instead of our home church, Friends Community Church, because Jamie was singing.  She is the second from the left in the first row.  We really enjoyed the singing and the sermon on marriage was also very good.


Later that day we all, 13 in all, went to BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse for Julie’s Birthday dinner.  Julie had introduced me to the deep dish pizza and their incredible desert, Pizookie.  Check it out!  Just writing about it makes me hungry.  We will be planning a trip to BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse real soon.  Julie - 20!  We can’t believe she is no longer a teenager.  Grand children grow up way too fast.  But having an adult granddaughter who takes us to new restaurants, hosts us at Chipoltle,  designs Geocaching Path Tags, and just likes to come over to our house on wheels and talk is just perfect.






Then on Wednesday the work began on replacing the roof on Tom’s shop.  He and Jason had been working on replacing the facia shown in the picture at the right above.  Jay had already taken out the overgrown, intrusive Sunburst Locust that had destroyed the roof.  He cut off about 6 inches of the rafter tails and added the new facia.  About 6:30 a.m. we heard the roofers arrive, about 20 of them.  (Just an aside note to Nick yes, there are people who are up at that time, but WE ARE NOT, and we think they are nuts.)  It had rained off and on for 2 days and the forecast was for rain on Wednesday so we thought maybe they would not work on the roof, but with their early arrival they had stripped the old shingles by about 10 a.m.



We left at 8 a.m. to get the oil changed on the rig.  The shop was near us in the country way back off the road.  We have lived here since 1968 and I never knew this place was even here.  The work was done and Larry, who changed the oil, suggested that we have the front breaks checked before we leave town and we exited the shop down the ditch bank road.  The water level is pretty high and Tom was a little nervous when making the turn with his wheels near the ditch edge and the front of the RV hanging over the water.  TMI for me! 

They had the roof sheeted, papered and were loading the composition roofing at 10:30 when we got back. 

At 12:45 that day I had an appointment to talk to Mr Raul Rodriguez’s 4th grade class at Mayfair Elementary School.  I was in 2nd grade when Mayfair opened and the 60th anniversary of that opening was celebrated in 2009.  Mr. ’R’ was responsible for challenging his students to do a history project on Mayfair; The Fresno Bee did a story about the Mayfair Project and it continues today. 


Mr ‘R’ has asked me and other student alumnae to speak to the class over the last couple of years.  As I was telling the students what life was like when I was in 4th grade, no TV in Fresno, no long pants or shorts worn at school by the girls, and so little crime that our doors were always unlocked, the kids were making origami for me and this is what I brought back to the RV.  Pretty cool.


Thursday we drove our home on wheels to O’Brien’s Brake Service, the best, most reliable brake service in Fresno. Fresno PD, the local school districts, ambulance companies and all the knowledgeable people in Fresno bring their vehicles to  O’Brien’s.  Frank and Augie, now run the shop for Carol O’Brien and you will not find a more honest shop anywhere.  We went in to have the brake pads replaced and the play taken out of the front end.  We were prepared to spend the night in the shop if the repairs took 2 days to get the parts.  We were at breakfast when Frank called about an hour later and said, “Are you sitting down?”  Now when I heard that I braced myself and said, “Yes”.  He said, “You have over an inch of pad left. You don’t need a break job.  Come and get it”.  Any other shop could have changed the pads (or maybe not) and charged us and we would never have know the difference.  We just love knowing a shop where we can have work done and know we will be treated more than fairly.



Now back to where this blog started, the going away dinner at OoI’s.  One wall of the restaurant for customers to leave messages; you know the old non-techie answer to Text Messaging.  Jamie, held up by mom, Jenny, is writing a message for Logan about his school, Temperance-Kutner.  T-K is also the alma mater of Jenny, Jason, Julie, Jamie and now Logan.  That’s how life is before getting On The Road Again, Caching Places That We’ve Never Been.  Thanks for joining us on our ride.