Buddy Boating….

Wally and I have cruised solo to some very isolated areas. We have enjoyed every minute of exploring these new areas and the peaceful, quiet anchorages. #our38ftliferocks, #our38ftlife

Beach House anchored near Greenway Sound in the Broughton Islands.

We also really enjoy cruising with friends and “buddy boating”. Our first cruise of the summer was with friends, Kristen and John who chartered a 36 foot motor yacht out of Anacortes. They had never operated a boat that large so we were totally up for the challenge of helping John learn how to handle a big boat and showing them the San Juan Islands.

The Scaparre

To charter a boat with out a licensed captain means that you need to have experience in a similar boat, understand the rules of the road, navigation and how to operate a big, heavy floating object with no brakes! Yep, there is a test and basically you have to be able to get the boat out of the slip, out of the marina and back in again, then dock the boat back in the slip. Ideally you don’t hit anything…yep, that will get you a big F. Sounds pretty straight forward right??? Well, toss in winds and currents and things can get hinky really fast.

John did great on his two training cruises with us on the Beach House. Wally ran him thru the paces, did some docking at a nearby marina with big open slips and took him to the marina that the charter boat was moored at. Once there he practiced maneuvering in and out of their breakwater.

Anacortes Marina…the breakwater exit (Gar left corner) is a tricky 90 degree turn. Remember, no brakes, wind and current…HINKY!!!

Ready, set, go…Saturday was D Day! I was a nervous wreck, hoping the wind didn’t pick up, hoping our training sessions were enough, hoping everything went well during the check out cruise. Like proud parents, we knew he would do just fine (but I was still a nervous wreck) and of course he aced his check out test. Now it was a mad rush for them to load the boat and get out on the water. We had plans to meet them outside our marina which is on the other side of Anacortes.

It was so exciting to get their text that they were underway and to see them out on the Guemes Channel headed our way. The sky was dark and a bit foreboding but that certainly didn’t dampen our enthusiasm to hit the marine highway.

Part of the fun of buddy boating is sharing meals and trip planning. Kristen and I planned menus and divided dinners, then shopped together to provision both boats. Since we live aboard all summer, our floating pantry is usually pretty well stocked which makes buddy boating easier too. Forgot something? Good chances are one of your buddy boats will have it.

I had put together a loose itinerary which included some of our favorite anchorages and a marina stop.

Our cruise route around the islands…

Weather and wind sometime dictate where we go and on this trip we mostly had ideal weather. We did make a few adjustments…especially when I found out our favorite seafood farm wasn’t open until Tuesday. I know, tough life right!!! But hey, fresh oysters, mussels and clams were part of the menu plan.

Our first night was spent anchored in Hunter Bay which is on the south end of Lopez Island. The Beach House was the anchored boat with Scaparre rafted to us. Rafting is essentially when one boat ties off the other. Typically, the heaviest boat anchors and in our case that was true plus we have years of experience anchoring. Anchoring can be tricky and is definitely a learned skill.

We had a relaxing evening In Hunter Bay after a stressful but exciting day. There was definitely some wine consumed and an easy dinner of pulled pork tacos, black beans and slaw on the Beach House was enjoyed by by all.

After a slow, relaxed morning we pulled anchor Sunday and cruised about 2.5 hours to Stuart Island where we found a great anchorage in Reid Harbor. Stuart Island Marine State Park is one of our favorites, with two great harbors for boaters, docks, mooring buoys and hiking. The rest of this 2.8 sq mi island which is only assessable by private boat or private plane is home to two communities of full and part-time residents, a state park, a one-room schoolhouse, and two airstrips. At the northern end is a beautifully restored light house which is 6.2 mile hike from the marine park.

The highlight of our two night stay there was watching a pair of Osprey’s fledge their chick. Those parents weren’t messing around either….despite juniors squawking and numerous attempts to get back in the nest, they had him flying like a champ by the end of the day.

Not only did we see ospreys, there were numerous eagle sightings, otters, kingfishers and we even saw a seal thermoregulating right near us for hours.

Beach House and Scaparre on the floating dock in Reid Harbor.

Our second day in Reid Harbor, we left the Beach House tied to a floating dock and took the Scaparre for a day cruise around Stuart Island. We anchored the boat in Prevost Harbor and had lunch, then continued the cruise around the island. It seemed fitting to have John cruise through John’s passage!

On Tuesday it was time to move on to Garrison Bay which is just a short 35 minute cruise from Reid Harbor

Garrison Bay has loads of history, some great hiking trails and the Wescott Bay Shellfish Company is just around the corner. Not only did we enjoy a great oyster happy hour there, freshly harvested mussels, clams and more oysters came back to the Beach House.

Seafood Paella anyone???

Our big excitement while we were anchored in Garrison Bay was seeing two Orca whales swim into the mouth of the bay. Hell yes, we stopped our happy hour on the flybridge of the Scarparre, jumped in our dingy and flew out there to check it out. We got close enough to see them surface a few times and head out through narrow Mosquito Pass. Orca sightings are very common on the southern side of San Juan Island but we have never seen Orcas come into Garrison Bay…what a thrill!!!

After two beautiful days in Garrison Bay it was time for a “city” fix! Roche Harbor Marina is the premier marina in the San Juan Islands and no cruise is complete without a stop-over there. Normally, Roche would be bustling with summer travelers but with Covid-19, the resort and marina were unusually quiet.

During our two day visit the resort and marina were operating at 50% occupancy as part of Washington’s phase 2 reopening plan. Even at that, we found plenty to keep us busy plus we had a birthday to celebrate.

We toured the sculpture garden, took a hike out to the creepy but historical mausoleum, had lunch at the outdoor cafe, checked out the historical Haro Hotel and its beautiful gardens, had a fun BD Happy Hour on the outdoor deck at the restaurant.

Happy Birthday Wally!!! John grilled some beautiful ribeye steaks which were served with a chimichurri sauce, baked potato and grilled asparagus. Kristen made the BD Boy a meyer lemon pie for dessert.

After two days in the big city we were ready to get back to the quiet outer islands. Sucia Island was our final destination and we found a unique way to raft/tie up there. The forecast was calling for a bit of wind that would blow into the bay so instead of anchoring we decided to use the mooring cans.

Tied on the mooring cans stern to stern so we could step back and forth between the boats.

So far Captain John had conquered rafting on an anchored boat (with and without wind), tying to a floating dock, docking the boat in a busy marina, navigating Mosquito Pass, anchoring the boat for a picnic lunch and now tying to the mooring cans.

We spent our last two days at the Sucia Island State Marine Park. This 814-acre marine park with 77,700 feet of shoreline, abundant camping and moorage is a boaters dream. The main island and several smaller islands comprise the “Sucia group.” There are no services on this island and no ferry service but loads of camping areas, hiking trails and hidden coves to explore. Despite only being assessable via private boat Sucia is always busy during the summer.

We like Sucia Island so much we named our cat after our favorite play ground.
Sucia at Sucia Island June 2017.

From Sucia Island we cruised back to Anacortes. John and Kristen got to experience a “lumpy” crossing on the top side of Rosario Strait, the wind and tides were causing the lumpiness (2-3 ft standing waves) from the eastern tip of Orcas Island to Sinclair Island. That toughens up all new boaters for sure!!!

We had a fabulous 10 days with our Buddy Boat Scaparre and the crew, John, Kristen and Duchess. Looking forward to our next adventure!!!

Time Flies…

Oopsie doodle…how time flies and how lazy have my fingers been, no post, no updates, nothing… Sorry …time just got away from me but all is well here in Anacortes Washington where we spend our summers.

We spent our first week in the coach at Pioneer Trails RV Resort moving onto the Beach House. The boat is mostly equipped with kitchen equipment, bedding and household items but there always seems to be plenty to move. Cleaning out the RV fridge, freezer and pantry is always a chore. We don’t leave much clothing onboard the boat – despite the heaters and dehumidifier we have running in our absence, boat funk smell seems to permeate fabrics – EWWW David!!! I always pack all of our freshly laundered bedding in big plastic, air tight storage bags when we are gone. So, while it is a bit of a chore getting the Beach House “opened” up for the season, I am not complaining!!!

Love these blue crates for moving days!!

Then, with a day onboard we took a short 2 day shake down cruise, trying to remember how to operate the boat and all its complex systems after almost 8 months on land. The poor pets didn’t even have a chance to get settled in before the engines were fired up and off we went – tough love baby!!!

Sucia is cautiously checking out the reflections on the water. Don’t worry, we always keep the door closed when we aren’t onboard!

Bentie found his favorite place by the heater vent!!!

Good news is, we kinda sorta remembered how to run the boat, nothing serious was broken or not working. And that my friends is very good news!! We had a short cruise to James Island where we met friends who were already tied up to the state park dock there. The current at that dock is wicked and getting on the dock when it is pushing you off isn’t always smooth or pretty. Luckily we had plenty of help and despite our lack of grace, our friends still let us raft on them!!!

She’s looking good!!!
Rafted at James Island State Park with our sister boat Chardonnay.

We enjoyed our brief reintroduction to the water and then headed back to our marina to get ready for our next adventure – Buddy Boating!!! Stay tuned for that update.

The view from our slip in the marina is actually Mt. Baker and the Cascade Mountains.

Back at the marina, Wally had a project list to get cracking on cause it’s a boat. Boat stands for “Break Out Another Thousand” which honestly is true and not always that funny!!! In this case, it was more time than money. Our diesel heater needed to be serviced and Wally wanted to reroute a vent to our cockpit. YAY – heat on the back porch!!

We do get some amazing sunsets right from our slip in the marina. This is a completely untouched photo.

Our other big project for the season is a flybridge remodel. Stay tuned for more on that too!!! What is a flybridge you may be wondering???  It is an open deck on a cabin cruiser located above the bridge on the cabin roof and usually having a duplicate set of navigating equipment. In our case, the flybridge is covered with a bimini and isenglass/canvas. While we do have controls inside the cabin of the boat, we always drive Beach House from the flybridge. Why?? Because she has a long bow and visibility is much better from the flybridge. 360 degree view to be exact…you would be surprised how often we have to dodge floating logs and debris in the water when we are cruising.

Yep, its does rain when we are out on the boat. This photo was taken from the flybridge looking out over the bow of the boat. This why our flybridge is completely enclosed!

It’s great to be back in our sleepy little Anacortes. More sleepy than usually this year thanks to COVID. Anacortes is the hub for people who want to see the San Juans Islands. Ferry are operating and things are starting to reopen but people for the most part, are being cautious. The city has also been very cautious and cancelled all the big summer events that usually drawn thousand of people to this sleepy island. Of course, there are always the Aholes, that refuse to wear a mask or openly declare it‘s all bullshit. Don’t even get me started on that topic!!!

My latest mask… thanks Kristen. Perhaps my next mask should read – “Be considerate you AHOLE”!!!

It Was A Long Week…

Our plan to stay a week in Bend morphed into three weeks… For no other reason than we just like it here! Plus, the weather up north in Anacortes still seem drippy so why not just stay put. Hiking, biking, and exploring the area have kept us busy. The Crown Villa RV Resort has been the perfect location with its easy access to the Old Mill District and Downtown. Great location, huge sites with brick pavers, patio sets and a storage shed certainly set this RV park apart from others we have stayed at. The other nice feature is that there is literally a grassy park behind all the RV sites and loads of mature ponderosa pine trees. Our only disappointment was that the pickleball court was closed due to COVID but I suspect it will be re-opening soon.

We have spent a lot of our time here in Bend just enjoying the outdoor life. Hiking, biking, walking and exploring the area have kept us plenty busy. There are no shortage of hiking trails nearby and we have especially enjoyed the extensive Deschutes River Trail system. Hiking along water – bonus points!!! Dillion Falls was one of our favorite hikes and the falls are just beautiful.

The bird watching on our hikes has been fun too. Colorful Western Tanagers, Black Headed Grosbeaks, copious amounts of Red Winged Black Birds, Finches of all kinds, Woodpeckers, loads of LBB’s, Nuthatches, Bald Eagles, Turkey Vultures, Ospreys and Hawks but our best sighting was a Great Blue Heron contemplating how to fish the turbulent waters at Dillon Falls. Herons take a bit of effort to take flight and seriously, one false move and this dude would have been swept into the water and over the falls.

Yesterday (Friday), we took a walk through Drake Park and Downtown Bend. Shops, bars and restaurants are starting to re-open but there wasn’t much foot traffic for the beginning of a long weekend. Much as I would like to plop myself down in a restaurant with white table clothes and gleaming stemware, a cold tap beer on a mostly deserted pub patio was a daring step out. Man, did it feel good to sit outside by a big fire table , overlooking Drake Park with a cold brew, sun on my back, yep…it felt normal.

While we aren’t partaking of newly opened restaurants yet that doesn’t mean we haven’t been eating well. There is a great produce stand just a few miles away and I even braved a trip to Trader Joe’s. The line was kinda long to get in as they were only letting 20 people in the store at a time, masks mandatory. So it was a thirty minute wait but once inside it was really nice not to be elbow to elbow like it always was pre-COVID. Not sure why the gal in front of me needed to bring her kids but at least they had masks on.

We have had a wide range of meals and I made a batch of triple chocolate brownies with toasted coconut which we have been feasting on for the last week. Tomorrow night the Uuni Pizza Oven is getting fired up…there is homemade pizza dough rising as I type.

We have a few more days to enjoy Bend before the Road House rolls on Tuesday. Tomorrow we are headed out to Tumalo State Park to take a hike and look for a family of owls that someone told us about. Hope you are all sane, healthy and enjoying a bit of normal…what ever that is!!!

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Eighteen

04/6/2020

The San Joaquin Mountains were socked in with dark, brooding clouds today. Rain was threatening all day but didn’t do more than mist us a few times. Tuesday and Wednesday look promising for a good down pour through out the day. Guess I will be looking for some indoor projects the next two days.

So here is how day eighteen of our sheltering in place went:

  • Wally and I slept in because, well we were just exhausted I guess. I think this stay at home order is turning us into cats but without the superior grooming habits.
  • I didn’t take any new pictures again today except the one of my buns… NO, I wouldn’t do that to you…Hamburger buns. So now that we have that cleared up…you are going to get some more random pictures that make me happy.


  • Used Zoom to call into a Board Meeting….yawn, maybe I should say bored meeting.



  • Donned my fancy face gaiter and took a bicycle ride with my friend Kristen. We rode about 8 miles which honestly didn’t burn the calories I consumed drinking wine tonight. I will just have to try harder tomorrow.


  • I had a hamburger craving but no hamburger buns. Normally, a quick trip to any number of nearby grocery stores or a visit to any number of great local restaurants would have solved that dilemma. Fast forward to the sci-fi movie life we are all living, I decided to just make the damn buns. I love to cook, a recipe is a suggestion of how something should be made, ingredients can be substituted, spices can be increased. Being unable to follow a recipe as it is written makes me a very poor baker. I decided that using some whole wheat flour would make these hamburger buns more healthy…OXYMORON.. hamburgers aren’t healthy what was I thinking! So what I ended up with were these anemic “buns” that look like a wasps nest. I even did an egg wash on the top…Well, I actually should have put it on when I put them in the oven, not in the last three minutes of baking. Yes, that is a glass of wine in the background.



  • There was no cocktail hour today…somehow the day got all monkey’ed up, I forgot to eat lunch so an early dinner was more important than a cocktail. But I did open another bottle of wine while I was getting everything ready sooo technically??? You decide.



  • Wally grilled burgers which I served on the anemic wasp nest looking buns. He should get husband of the year award, for many reasons but today it was for eating his delicious hamburger on a homemade bun with enthusiasm.
Now that my friends is a big-ass burger!!!


  • The fridge is full of possibilities, the cilantro is still viable so maybe some Baja Fish Tacos for dinner tomorrow… we’ll see!
  • Worked on this blog post and sifted through photos to find a few that brought a smile to my face.

Day eighteen was mellow and uneventful … we just stayed at home.

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Seventeen

04/5/2020

It was another warm, breezy day here in the Coachella Valley. Admittedly, I slept in later than usual after staying up until 1:30 am the night before. I will also admit to having not one but two edibles before I crawled in bed. As a long time sleep challenged person, I have found cannabis edibles to be just what I need for a good nights sleep. Wished these little gems had been legal in my working days when it was very common for me to lay in bed, wide awake but exhausted, my body desperately needing sleep but my brain unable to turn off. Not sure why I took the second one before I went to bed except I just didn’t want to think anymore. These were a new to me brand and I am here to tell you that I may have had a creepy dream and remember yelling NO to the person/thing that was pulling me under the bed. It’s hard to yell in your sleep but being an over achiever, I got out a really good NO… Wally confirmed that was so! Yelling woke me up and on the trip to the bathroom in those wee hours of the morning I also remember thinking I might have been a high as a kite. Only one gummie tonite…

So here is how day seventeen of our sheltering in place went:

  • Wally and I walked the resort but avoided the golf course today since my allergies have been relentless. I am so fortunate to be allergic to grass and palm tree pollen, go figure!
  • I didn’t take any new pictures today except one of our lunch so you are going to get some random picture that make me happy.
Sunset over the San Juan Islands

  • Shopped in the fridge and used the last of the rotisserie chicken to make a curried chicken salad for lunch. The recipe in the link is a good basic starter but I lightened the recipe by substituting non-fat greek yogurt, lemon juice and just a bit of light mayo for the heavy mayo and wine this recipe calls for. The curried chicken is served over a bed of lettuce. I also garnished with chopped cashews and a chiffonade of fresh basil.


  • We both puttered around outside. Wally worked on a few of his projects. Sunday is fertilizer day for all our new plants so I gave them their weekly dose of miracle grow. The only new plant that looks like hell is my had to have, Madagascar Palm. It looks terrible, like leafless spiny elephant trunks. It has new growth so I am hopeful but honestly don’t know if it needs more water, less water, a trip to the dump??? All of the leaves have fallen off and it doesn’t seem to like the wind…CRAPOLA…hoping it stops being such a prima donna and gets with the program.
It looked so beautiful back in January….

  • I used Instacart to arrange a Ralphs grocery store delivery for myself and Kristen on Wednesday and a Costco order for next Sunday. With my Paprika 3 App, menu planning and creating a shopping list for a week is a snap. Still on TP to be had here in the US…come on people really.
  • Had our cocktail on the patio…neighbors from across the golf course wandered over and we had a nice chat across the wall.

Killer bloodies with my gal pal Donna at Roche Harbor in 2017.

  • Wally fixed a five spice shrimp, broccoli and pepper stir fry served over rice ramen noodles. He is our stir fry chef…I just prepped the veggies and drank wine.
  • The fridge is full of possibilities but starting to thin out. I have a big burger craving and may make some hamburger buns tomorrow… we’ll see!
  • Worked on this blog post and sifted through photos to find a few that brought a smile to my face.
Hiking in Monterey Ca when freedom to travel was the norm.

Day seventeen was mellow And uneventful … we just stayed at home.

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Sixteen

04/4/2020

It was another warm, breezy day here in the Coachella Valley. No more earthquakes but the wind gusts were rocking the coach in the late evening as I sat, struggling to write this blog post. It wasn’t that we didn’t do anything, yep, we did more of the same from the last fifteen days. Honestly, I just can’t seem to find any good news that Mayes we think this is ending any time soon. As I sat, listening to music, toggling across multiple news channels looking for something that would lift my spirits this song by Train came on. The first verse was hauntingly poetic:

I need a sign to let me know you’re here
All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere
I need to know that things are gonna look up
‘Cause I feel us drowning in a sea spilled from a cup
When there is no place safe
And no safe place to put my head
When you feel the world shake
From the words that are said

The second verse kinda just summed up exactly how I was feeling.

I need a sign to let me know you’re here
‘Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear
I want a reason for the way things have to be
I need a hand to help build up
Some kind of hope inside of me

And the chorus…well, I am up for the challenge if all of you are?

And I’m calling all angels
And I’m calling all you angels
I won’t give up if you don’t give up
I won’t give up if you don’t give up
I won’t give up if you don’t give up
I won’t give up if you don’t give up

The other thing shaking our valley was the latest health order from Riverside County. I just can’t understand with all the facts and data pouring in from all over the WORLD…why so many people aren’t taking this seriously.

“In response to the rapidly rising number of COVID-19 cases, Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser today ordered that no gatherings of any number of people may take place outside of family members residing in the same home.
Dr. Kaiser also ordered everyone to wear a face covering when leaving home, including essential workers.
“While more and more Riverside County residents are getting COVID-19, not everybody’s getting the message,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer. “It started with staying home, social distance and covering your face. But now we change from saying that you should to saying that you must.”

So here is how day sixteen of our sheltering in place went:

  • Wally and I walked the resort and golf courses looking for Turtles. Yes…we have discovered there are turtles living in the pond on the back nine golf course. We have seen three total and actually were able to sneak up on two of them today and get pictures…not good pictures but evidence they exist and its not my red, allergy hazed eyes playing tricks on me. It’s hard sneaking up on turtles especially when they have two huge geese for body guards. They are actually big turtles so I have two think they have been living in that pond for quite awhile. They make me smile!!
  • Made a big batch of chimmchurri with some of the parsley I have growing in my big herb pot on the patio. This simple condiment is an essential part of Argentinean cuisine where a bowl of chimichurri can be found on practically every dinner table. Super tasty, traditional and incredibly easy to make, chimmchurri features fresh parsley, garlic and tangy vinegar. It gets an extra kick from oregano and crushed red pepper. Chimichurri is typically served with steak but it’s also great on lamb, smoky grilled fish and chicken.  Part of this batch was going to marinate some lamb chops with the rest going into a salad dressing for later in the week.
  • Wally went to Petsmart to pick up an online order that I had placed for cat litter. Since Sucia has given Arm an Hammer Cloud her four paw stamp of approval we decided to stock up. It was easy peasy, I placed the order online, Wally called Petsmart from the parking lot, gave them the order number, opened the back hatch of the car and someone brought out the bag of loot, put in in the trunk and off he went. No human contact – same thing repeated at Rubio’s where he picked up lunch. Sadly, this may be how things roll for a long time.
  • People all over the world are getting creative with social media to stay connected. My friend Kristen was feeling blue because she wasn’t able to be with her mother on her birthday today. They have a long history of traveling together on her mothers birthday so today their trip was done with Kristen on a golf cart, her mother Marilyn riding along side her on FaceTime. As they toured around the resort, they stopped and met friends who sang happy birthday or chatted with the birthday girl. So Sweet…Happy Birthday Marilyn!!!
  • Made that new drink, a Bourbon Smash for our outdoor cocktail date with friends. It was very tasty!!
Basil Bourbon Orange Smash
  • Fixed Chimmichuri marinated lamb chops and grilled asparagus for dinner.
  • The fridge is full of possibilities but not sure what I am cooking tomorrow.
  • Worked on this blog post wayyy to late …it was actually Sunday when I finished and went to bed.

Day sixteen was another day of extreme roller coaster emotions. We saw the Riverside County Health Order after our cocktail date. The more I researched and read, the more depressed I felt. The statistical model below is scary and geez…I hope they are wrong …I was hoping we would see this thing fizzle out in early May…but numbers usually don’t lie and humans are by nature non-complaint. I don’t know about you …but I am stayin home!

I won’t give up if you don’t give up
I won’t give up if you don’t give up
I won’t give up if you don’t give up

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Fifteen

04/3/2020

It was another warm, breezy day here in the Coachella Valley. Usually in early April our community would be starting to wind down, the winter season coming to an end, folks would be thinking about going home but it would still be teeming with activity. These days it is eerily quiet, only about a quarter of the 1,213 lots are occupied. Most morning we see walkers or people bicycling but after that its a ghost town.

So here is how day fifteen of our sheltering in place went:

  • Kristen and I walked the resort and golf courses looking for our duckling family. Turns out we now have three mallard families, with 8, 9 or 10 ducklings in each group. That explains why we though one was missing then miraculously reappeared. We found one family napping and grazing on the edge of the pond on the back nine golf course. One family was busy cruising on another pond, mother trying to keep all the little stinkers under control. They are all so adorable…
  • Successfully got my mothers prescription sent to a local CVS pharmacy near her apartment community. With the groovy CVS app I was able to set up an account for her which alerted me when the meds were ready for pick up. I was then able to pay for for it online through the app so the Support Services Manager from her community could go pick it up.
  • Wally actually left the resort today. Our good friends, John and Kristen who we are essentially sheltering in place with have a small plane, whose name is Valentina. John recently signed up with Angel Flight which is an nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization that arranges free, non-emergency air travel for children and adults with serious medical conditions and other compelling needs. Their network of 1,400+ pilots throughout the 13 western states donate their aircraft, piloting skills, and all flying costs to help families in need and they also fly missions that transport critical medical supplies, blood, plasma or donated organs to local hospitals. John needed help doing some maintenance work on plane wheels and landing gear, which is a project Wally was seriously up for! Wally has some flying experience and is excited to fly missions with John as needed. So cool!!! They took the plane up after completing the work and Wally got a few great pictures of nearby Painted Canyon which is an area we have been wanting to hike.
  • Checked in on my friend Pluto. She had some great advice for all they four-leggeds today. Loved the part about not worrying about the button pants!
  • I puttered around outside…it was really breezy again today and my allergies are STILL off the charts despite the daily allergy pills, nasal allergy spray and the allergy eye drops. Not sure why it is so bad this year but the wind is certainly not helping.
  • Got the juicer out and went to town! Put two quarts of clementine, orange and tangelo juice in the fridge as well as a quart of pink grapefruit juice.
  • Made a delicious bourbon drink with some of that fresh OJ and tangerine seltzer water. I want to try a Bourbon Smash tomorrow since I have a beautiful pot of basil growing on the patio.
Basil Bourbon Orange Smash
  • Saw the third mallard family napping near the pond on the green behind our lot while we were enjoying our cocktails on the patio. Wally got a few photos of them after their swim, marching their eight kids all home for bed! I love the shadows he captured in the photo. In the fourth photo, there is an uncle duck helping get the kids home safely. It takes a village!!!
  • Did loads of laundry…boring compared to flying.
  • There were a series of small earthquakes in California tonight … a 4.9 shook the coach pretty good. A friend in Palm Springs texted us and said it sounded like a freight train in their house. Being elevated on big, rubber wheels we didn’t hear anything but having lived in SoCal in the early 90’s we are no strangers to these shakers. That red splotch on the earthquake map is about where we are…eek!
  • Fixed Pork Carnitas Tacos with Hatch Green Chile Black Beans for dinner. Great way to use up the pork tenderloins we grilled the other night.
  • The fridge is full but not sure what I am cooking tomorrow. Maybe lamb chops…???
  • Worked on this blog post while some aftershock quakes rumbled.

Day fifteen was the most eventful day so far especially all the shake, rattle and rolling later in the evening. I think Mother Nature is extra cranky with all of us disrespectful humans messing up her planet or maybe she is reminding us to just stay the hell at home. Hoping she gives Florida and Louisiana a big shake too!

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Fourteen

04/2/2020

The warm days are bringing Painted Lady Butterfly’s by the droves. Last winter we had a lot of rain, a super bloom of flowers and Painted Ladies by the millions. Not exaggerating, millions…they floated, swooped and swished past our coach for days on end in March. This year we have had some rain, some flowers and now some Painted Ladies. They are late this year, here it is April and we are finally seeing them float through, coasting on the winds and headed for who knows where they finally land in their migration. While we were doing our resort walk today we passed by a lantana bush that was attracting dozens of these beauties. They were taking a break on the flowers, enjoying the nectar then moving on. Like they were visiting a coffee bar… I can kinda remember what that is like.

So here is how day fourteen of our sheltering in place went:

  • Wally and I walked the resort looking for notable fruit producing trees. We took a spin through the orchard and came home with our pockets filled with Mexican limes. These tangy little numbers are growing in the middle of our orchard, surrounded by grapefruit, lemon and orange trees. We discovered them last week when we walked through but this week the ground was littered with them. So excited… I just used the last of my limes so these are a welcome addition to the kitchen. They start off green and are actually supposed to be yellow when they are ripe.
  • Spent an enormous amount of time online looking at my mothers lab results, texting with my nurse friend Jane in Portland and trying to figure out how to get her prescription delivered.
  • Sucia got a mani – pedi today. Sorry no pictures of that …its kinda hard to photograph this kitty spa treatment. She required two human attendants. I administer the spa treatment while Wally stuffs Temptation Treats in her mouth. The treats keep me from being handed my ass on a platter.
  • Not doing much cooking today with my diced finger…Wally made eggs and toast for breakfast and then smoothies for lunch.
  • Puttered around outside…it was really breezy today and my allergies are off the chart. Extra allergy meds, nasal allergy spray and hopefully some allergy eye drops that are in the Ralphs grocery delivery will do the trick.
  • Met friends for golf cart cocktails in one of our big grassy common areas. We all parked 6-10 feet part, chatted, sipped beverages and played trivia.
  • Wally make Cubano Sandwiches with the left over pork tenderloin from last night. We had some coleslaw on the side so it was a tasty, simple dinner.
  • We sat outside after dinner and Bentley entertained us with his new zesting skills. You have seen him in action with lemons but tonight he really put a hurting on a pink grapefruit and a small orange. He had us giggling with his “fruit” face but what was really impressive was his lovely citrus breath!
  • The fridge is fat and happy …Alexis, our Instacart shopper came mid-afternoon with a order from Ralph’s Grocery store which is in the Kroger family of stores and is very similar to a Fred Meyer. I love this service and may honestly never shop again!!! We did give her a very nice cash tip in addition to the pre-assigned tip on the Instacart app.
  • Worked on this blog post and thankfully I didn’t need my thumb to type.

Day fourteen. – WHAT – was fairly uneventful. I am really missing our hikes and day trips around the valley but am satisfied to stay home if it helps keep our little valley healthy. Wondering what all ya’ll are doing to stay healthy and sane? PS.. please tell me you are staying home too???

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Thirteen

04/1/2020

We have a string of warm days ahead…it reached 88 degrees here today. The mornings are still cool but by 11:00 am today it was 81 degrees so we fired up the AC in the late afternoon. Once the sun went down we opened the coach back up and switched from AC to fans only which kept a nice cool air flow moving through the coach. Since we have a new coach this year there is a bit of a learning curve with how to keep us and the four-legged’s comfortable when the outdoor temperature’s go up.

There are always pros and cons with every coach and we definitely have things we really like about the new Entegra coach and things we really liked more about the Monaco coach. The windows open differently on the Entegra. Newer, high end coaches have frameless windows which aesthetically, look very nice. But, they open different, let in less air so we find it gets warmer faster in the new coach. Honestly, our older Monaco had better air circulation overall and more windows but with the upgraded living space the Entegra it is well worth the trade offs.

So here is how day thirteen of our sheltering in place went:

  • Walked the resort with my SIP pal Kristen… 2.5 miles. We decided to mix it up and dusted off our bikes and rode around the resort for about thirty minutes to get the equivalent walking miles in.
  • Made a curried chicken salad chicken for lunch which we enjoyed alfresco. 
  • Chatted with a girlfriend in Portland, compared kitty poop stories and caught up on everything we have been doing to keep ourselves entertained while under siege.
  • Had drinkies on the patio with fellow SIP friends while sitting 6 feet apart.
  • Had the annual letting of blood in the kitchen while prepping dinner. Our razor sharp Santoku chef knife finally took a whack out of my left thumb. Admittedly, it was after happy hour but honestly I was a bit distracted after getting a worrisome text from one of my mothers caregivers. I managed to get the bleeding stopped while Wally drove to Rite-Aid for “WoundSeal”.

This isn’t the first time I have written about this fabulous product and I always keep this in our first aid kit. Well, except the first aid kit on the boat is apparently where I am keeping it these days. Anyhow, we had a bit of a late dinner, the first aid kit on the Roadhouse is now restocked with Wound Seal and my thumb is sporting a “Steri Strip. Boy do I have some stories about steri strips!!!

  • Worked on this blog post and thankfully I didn’t need my thumb to type.

Day thirteen had some unexpected excitement but alls well that ends well. Hope you enjoyed all of my first aid tips and really hope you are all healthy, sane and staying home!!!

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Twelve

03/31/2020

It was warm, muggy and overcast today but this made for a beautiful sunset.

So here is how day twelve of our sheltering in place went:

  • Walked the resort and golf courses with my SIP pal Kristen…another 5 miles. We checked in on the 8th hole Mallard Duck family and I am sad to report we only counted nine ducklings today. Waahhhh…What was really cute and lifted my sad animal lovin heart was that mallard family had extra help protecting the ducklings from a group widgens. I almost didn’t post the picture below because its…well..so BAD. I asked Wally if he was sure that was the photo he took tonite and he said yes..so I tried to crop it and make it better, asked him again if he was sure that was tonite’s photo as upon closer inspection I counted TEN ducklings in the photos. It is still a crummy photo but Woohoo…hoping this is not a wine induced mirage.
  • Wally took Bentley to the desert for their dude walk. No snakes thankfully and the old crow took a pass over but didn’t land today. Notice Bentley is sporting a new pair of bright red “running shoes” in the photo below. The desert isn’t easy on his feet and the thorns are really painful so he happily wears his booties. He had two years mileage on the first pair. All the running and skidding all over the desert finally wore out the heavy neoprene soles so he just got these bright red numbers. SASSY!!!
  • Made a chopped salad with rotisserie chicken from Costco and all the newly acquired salad fixings in the fridge. 
  • I vacuumed till I sweated today…good-bye cat and dog hair. It was warm enough today that I actually turned on the AC while I kicked ass on the pet filth. 
  • Supported our favorite local sushi restaurant tonight by ordering take out….again.
  • Fridge is plump but not full…I really had no excuse not to cook dinner tonite except pure laziness and there is a pork tenderloin on the menu tomorrow.
  • Worked in this blog post, accidentally updated an old post with the new post and luckily used the revisions tab to undo my mistake. I knew better than to hit update instead of save…GRRRR. Its the wine…thats my story and I am sticking to it!!!

Day twelve just sped by. Hope all of you are healthy, sane and staying home!!!

PS… I am happy to report that Sucia pooped INSIDE the litter box yesterday. I know, not all of you may share in my over the top excitement but all you cat lovers will definitely be giving me a virtual high five. Fingers crossed the new litter and clean box will solve the mystery.