Friday, September 30, 2011

Guest post by Maria

"Arlete Wu" makes me laugh because our friend Rick is dating a gal, Nikko Wu.  She doesn't go anywhere without her camera and she snaps pics of everything!  I'm wondering if she has a blog? ....Maria

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Going sub-Tim-inal

I just got back from two FUN days at Old Greenwood, which is near Truckee, California.
Maria & Tim's "cabin":
We all had such a good time and these are my favorite photos.  For each one, there is a smile and a story.

Friends Terri and Tom arrived on Wednesday.  Terri made a delicious dinner.
Timmy telling an action-filled story:
Upstairs, Maria and Terri are practicing and getting ready for the couples' pool tournament.
By this point in the evening, we had all gone "sub-Tim-inal."  And the guys started calling me Arlete Wu.  I need to ask for the explanation, but it has something to do with . . . uh, something about taking a lot of pictures.
So many pictures must be left on the cutting room floor in order to come up with gems like these.  Thanks, Maria and Tim, for everything!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Conversation @ Nicolaus Post Office

This was a day filled with errands.  My first stop was a quick one - the Nicolaus Post Office - just postage on three items.

Ronda:  Would you like some stamps?

Arlete:  Yes, the Celebrate, the Love, and the Edward Hopper sailboat.

Ronda:  The Celebrate stamps are in this box that just came today . . . just a minute and I'll open it.  These boxes are so hard to open, they're really sealed shut.  (and I waited while she checked the inventory sheet and counted out 2548 stamps, one sheet at a time.  She only had to do three recounts when the number didn't match.)  I have to count them all out before I can sell them.    (At last I paid my bill and could leave.)  You wouldn't believe what this place looked like when I started working here two weeks ago  . . . cobwebs . . . boxes stacked . . . (she continued a rather detailed list of accomplishments. I was near the door.  Then she lifted the counter top and opened the gate underneath) and you should see what we did outside . . .
 Anyway, this quick stop turned out to be 45 minutes.  I enjoyed almost every minute.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dinner with Dave & Phyl

 After dinner we went out to visit the chickens.  Dave is able to understand what the chickens are actually saying.  One day, I hope to be able to capture one of his translations.
It makes me smile when I listen to Phyllis talk to Beauty, Mr Fanny, Shock Top, and two others (I will get their names and edit this sentence).
 An artichoke plant gone to seed:
Recently I have annoyed Dick and Paula with my incessant picture taking.   Tonight, it was Phyl's turn.
And then my good friend sent me home with delicious leftovers including apple crisp made with apples they grow themselves, using a recipe from a 1960s 4-H cookbook.  It's like a candy bar on top. 

Visiting Uncle Justin's pigs

Thais and Sophia:
About two weeks until due date:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Here and Gone

Wednesday.  Dick was a driving machine and I discovered I'm not the long-distance driver I used to be. I was good for about 3 hours before I needed a break.  Dick moved us down the road farther than I expected, across Arizona and into California.  This part's a little fuzzy because I slept a good restful 8 hours in the passenger seat. 

Thursday.  When we were both too tired to drive, we did the "car-tel" thing somewhere in CA.  We got to E Nicolaus at 11:30 am.  Time to take naps, do laundry, unload the car, all the usual tasks.

Friday.  A day of errands and visiting some of our "favorite" places:

I even found some treasures to buy, but I was not so lucky at the next stop - Shipwreck Marine.

Two big plates of  mostly "green food" at Dick's favorite restaurant, Fresh Choice.
Saturday morning.   All too soon, Dick was heading off to the boat in Guaymas . . .
. . . and now what kind of fun can I find out there?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Driving westward

Monday. Since it rained off and on all morning, we decided not to ride our bikes and drove northwest toward I-40. As the day wore on, we lost our enthusiasm for riding completely and drove all the way to Tenkiller State Park in Oklahoma.
An even bigger driving day.  We ended up in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  This part of I-40 is also part of the old Route 66 and businesses capitalize on it.  Adventure Cycling is currently developing a set of maps for Route 66. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Birthday party and goodbye

Dick made my favorite birthday cake from my childhood for my 63rd celebration.
Carefully watching the marshmallows toasting under the broiler:
Chocolate frosting from scratch!  This was the first cake Dick has ever frosted.
It was delicious.  Thanks, Dick!
Paula and Tom came back to Starkville this weekend, even though Tom had to work yesterday.  We had breakfast together and cake and ice cream at 9:30 am.  Then it time to get the house tidied up,
get some grass mowed,
and get our stuff packed into the car.  Thank you SO MUCH, Tom and Paula, for giving us a most restful week in your home. 
As we passed through Leland, Mississippi, a billboard announced it is the birthplace of Kermit the Frog.  It was Jim Henson's childhood home.
We crossed the Mississippi River
into Arkansas.
We camped at the mostly deserted Lake Chicot State Park.  During the night it rained so hard, it penetrated the rainfly and dripped onto us.  It also disturbed the ant population which had invaded our tent and bedding and bodies.  Little tiny ants, no biting involved, but nevertheless gross and annoying.  And the mud - yikes! - it was a rather messy packing up.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Exploring Starkville

Starkville is home to Mississippi State University, the reminders are everywhere.  Flags on houses, good wishes from local businesses, maroon MSU t-shirts on citizens, and
At the public library, there were many paintings on display of the MSU mascot.  For the first time in all our travels, this library does not allow access to Facebook, chat rooms, Ebay, Google's blogger or gmail, and quite a few other websites.  Although Yahoo and Hotmail were accessible. 
Beer must be the beverage of choice because the local grocery stores had a couple of aisles dedicated to refrigerated and non-refrigerated.
Meanwhile, the entire wine department was an end-cap which gave the top shelf to more beer.
One of the main grocery store chains in the south, the name makes me smile everytime.
There was a BIG home game on Thursday against Louisiana State University.
Football is huge in the South.  There is reserved seating at high school games and they are televised live on Friday nights.  This game has been sold out for the past year.
The traffic in and around town began to increase on Wednesday.  Tom warned us not to even go to town on Thursday, but Dick was so curious, he rode his bike.  Yup, lots of traffic!
Tailgate parties on campus, although you had to park quite far away and walk in.
About 6 miles from the campus at the Mississippi Horse Park
many more RVs were gathered.  Dick thought there were mostly Louisiana license plates here.
Petty's BBQ - great food, I must say.  I wish we were going to be here long enough so I could sample the BBQ from every joint in town like The Three Little Pigs or Little Dooey. 
I know they put the barbecues out front so the smell makes to turn in and make a purchase.
At the local Hardee's (outside the midwest and south, it's called Carl's Junior) fast food restaurant, you can order a fried bologna biscuit.  At McDonald's you can get a biscuit with sausage gravy for $1.  At the grocery store, I saw a huge bin filled with the stuff on the blue plate.  They looked like gigantic peanuts, but they were soft and slightly damp.  Were they raw?  Were they bold?  I mean "boiled."  This is an example of the difficulty I have at times understanding what people are saying.  It's English, I know, but my California ears don't always get the Mississippi accent.  To me, "bold" and "boiled" are pronounced alike in the South. 
That's all for now, y'all.