VLA antenna, Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, Magdalena, NM, May 30, 2018

VLA antenna, Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, Magdalena, NM, May 30, 2018
VLA antenna, Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, Magdalena, NM, May 30, 2018

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Chert Glades, Part 2 of the Start of Our Trip - Tues., July 11, 2018

(Continued from Part 1...)
Susan and I had already signed in for our walk in Joplin, Missouri. As we drove from the check-in point to our hotel, we discussed whether it would be better to walk in the evening or the next morning. If we walked in the evening, we could head north earlier in the morning. And that's what we did. However, we did miss out on the Visitor Center.

Our walk started at the Wildcat Glades Conservation Park just down the freeway from our motel. Because my knee is still healing, we did a 6k walk (3.7 miles) instead of our usual 10k. That's good because we got a late start and we'd lose daylight by the end of the walk.

Wildcat Glades is a very unique natural area. It protects some of the only remaining chert beds in the world. Our walk information did not include any information on the chert beds, so I looked it up on Wikipedia. My, oh, my, what a special spot! Here's what Wikipedia taught me:
"Chert glades are a habitat which only exists in [the] southern Missouri area. They are described as a near desert-like environment. This is due to the hard chert bedrock underneath the soil, which has eroded and been exposed to the surface. Plants characteristic of arid areas, including cacti, grow here. Other plants had to adapt to the environment, resulting in some species having stunted growth."
The geologic area is called the Grand Falls Formation. The chert beds are over six feet thick here. Chert glades are only found along Shoal Creek and its tributaries in Joplin, Missouri (a two-square-mile area).


Picnic area in a chert glade
Our Volksmarch followed a short portion of the trails in the park. It did not go up on the ridge or through Mother Nature's Gap. We started at a parking lot and walked a short distance on the trail before crossing a single-lane bridge over Shoal Creek and then walking along a road to Grand Falls, Missouri's largest continuously running waterfall at 12' tall and 163' wide.


Shoal Creek
Susan enjoying the view at Shoal Creek
The I-35 bridge

Shoal Creek as seen from the low-water bridge

We felt like we were way out in the country, even though Grand Falls was only about 1-1/2 miles from I-35. Susan and I thought it would have been a nicer walk if we didn't have to walk on the narrow road most of the way. 


Gorgeous daylilies in a yard
It was quite humid and I kept trying to keep sweat, laced with mosquito repellent, from running in my eyes. The sleeve of my T-shirt had to do because I forgot to bring a towel. 


Even though the road followed Shoal Creek, we rarely saw it, so when we came to the parking area for Grand Falls, it was a pleasant surprise. The chert beds are quite obvious here. 

If you look closely at the top center of the photo below, you will see two people sitting in lawn chairs. You can see what erosion has done over the years.



Grand Falls is quite the local cooling off spot. People were hanging out in the water and others were in the water fishing.


Grand Falls
There is a small dam on top of and to
the side of the falls.
Grand Falls
Grand Falls is one of the largest falls in Missouri
A nice swimming hole below the falls

Fishing at the falls
Proof I made it
It was getting late so we had to high-tail it back to the car. The road we were walking on did not have streetlights and it was dusk. Cars drove pretty cautiously, for the most part.

We are definitely out in the country here!
This is a horse farm.
I was able to capture one last shot of Shoal Creek from the low-water crossing bridge. A car was waiting for me to get across so I had to hurry and take the photo.

The very last portion of the trail back through the chert glades was pretty dark when we returned. But we were able to see enough and the path was paved, so no rocks or roots under our feet. 

It was a pleasant walk and I'd like to come back sometime and do the 10k walk. I wonder if it goes on more of the trails in the park. Thank you to the Dogwood Trailblazers Club for hosting this walk! We appreciate your hard work.

We were tired and made a beeline back to our motel. We had left San Antonio at 6:10 a.m. and got back to our rooms about 9:30 p.m. Time to get some rest!

Tomorrow is a driving day to Eagan, Minnesota. Dinner tomorrow will be with my friends, Dave and Jyl Navarro. They live in Mankato Lake and plan to drive 45 minutes to meet us. That will be a nice visit.

It's hard to believe how far we've traveled in today. Over and out. 

Downpour Leads to Windshield Wiper Chaos - Monday, July 9, 2018, Part 1

Monday was the day to prepare for my next trip with Susan Medlin (on Tuesday!). I had a doctor's appointment and two stops to make at grocery stores. We planned to take my car because she had been taking hers on most of our trips together lately. I had been to Costco for two new tires the week before and got an oil change at my mechanic as well. 

I also wanted to get a physical to make sure I was in good health. My previous doctor retired over a year ago and it was finally time to find a new one. We have UHC health insurance. They have a great website where you can find a doctor and see reviews. That's how I found my previous doctor, who retired after I saw him twice. Sigh.

Anyway, I found a doctor on the website and went to see her on Monday. I was a new patient, so there was lots of paperwork to fill out. While I was in the examining room, I heard massive amounts of rain hitting the building. I love my new doctor, by the way. I'm pretty healthy, so I only need to get my lab work and bone density scan done when I return from the trip.

After the appointment, the street outside the doctor's office had rivers of water running along both curbs. Carefully, I drove through the deeper spots and avoided the outer lanes where all the water was flowing. The downpour was mostly over and I only had to deal with light rain. However, I noticed my windshield wipers were leaving big streaks across my windshield. It had been a while since I had replaced them.

After a trip to Walmart and Costco, I pulled in to Pep Boys to find the right windshield wipers. The guy behind the counter looked up my Escape on the computer and picked out the correct windshield wipers for my car. Pep Boys has free windshield wiper installation, so I sat in my car while the technician put the new ones on. I noticed as I was sitting there, that a small plastic piece broke off one of the new windshield wipers.

I waited to see if he would confess to breaking it. He finished with that wiper and got ready to put in the other one. I got out of the car and said, "What is that small piece of plastic on my hood?" He acted like he hadn't seen it at all, but looked a little sheepish when I asked him. He said it was one of the tabs that hold it in that had broken off. I told him I would need a new windshield wiper because we were going to Minnesota and North Dakota and I didn't want my windshield wiper coming off in a big rainstorm.

He gave me the packaging and the broken wiper. I took it back in the store and they traded it for a new one. 

After he installed both wipers, he asked me to test them. I sprayed the windows with washer fluid and turned on the wipers. The wipers did not get the water off the windshield in the line of sight for the driver or the passenger. The rest of the windshield was free of water, just not the areas where we needed to see! I told him that wouldn't work. He said to take them in and get another kind.

Someone else helped me. She asked me if I had a 4- or 6-cylinder engine. I don't know why that made a difference. Anyway, I asked her if they had Bosch wipers that fit my Escape because that's what I had on it before. She found the right size wipers and I paid the price difference. 

The technician put on the new wipers with no problems. When I tested those wipers, they worked perfectly. 

I must say, Pep Boys handled the issues well and there were no problems switching wiper blades out. They have always done a good job for me there, but I think the first guy who helped me just didn't pick out the right wipers.

On Tuesday morning, I was at Susan's house to pick her up at 6:10 a.m. We wanted to get out of San Antonio before rush hour. Bob met us at Costco near his work to loan me a hotspot for me to connect to the computer when I travel. That way I can work on my blog! Thanks, Bob, for doing that. I know you had a busy morning.

And off we went. Our route was north on I-35 to Buda, Texas, where we got on the 45 Toll Road to the 130 Toll Road around Austin. The speed limit is 80 on the toll road and we avoided the Austin rush-hour traffic. We reconnected with I-35 at Georgetown. 

We saw many speed traps and people getting pulled over on I-35 north of Georgetown all the way up to where I-35 split into East and West (south of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex). Go the speed limit through there because Smokeys were everywhere. 10-4, good buddy.

Rest areas have interesting information about the local area. The one we stopped at near Ft. Hood had info on the Chisholm Trail, Warriors and Warbler, I-35, and the Jarrell Tornado in May 1997. The historical markers are below if you're interested.
About birds at Ft. Hood
The Jarrell Tornado, May 27, 1997
History and significance of interstate 35
The Chisholm Trail
Lunch was at What-A-Burger and a few hours later we had Blizzards at Dairy Queen. We arrived in Joplin, Missouri, about 5:30 p.m., checked into our hotel, and had dinner at Cracker Barrel.

We decided to do our Volksmarch this evening at Wildcat Glades Conservation Park. That way we could get an early start on tomorrow's drive.

The temperature was 87 degrees and it was humid. 

To be continued in Part 2...



Saturday, June 16, 2018

It's All Coming Together - Fri., June 15, 2018

On Wednesday, the plan was to take Mom to DMV to get her I.D. card, change her address, transfer the title of her car to my sister, and apply for a disabled parking permit. That plan changed because I wanted to make sure my sister could be with us, and that we had all the correct paperwork before we went to the DMV office. 

Therefore, it was a take-it-easy kind of day. My brother, Frank, and his wife Gina, took Mom and I to lunch at McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant at Bridgeport Plaza. (My sister was working so she couldn't make it.) I had a Northwest Salmon Saute with mushrooms, asparagus, hazelnuts, and a lemon cream sauce, served with sticky rice, and steamed green beans. Mom had my other favorite: Pan Sauteed Idaho Trout (almond crusted) served with seasonal orzo pasta. It was delightful. We were celebrating my brother's birthday. They gave him a personal lava cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert. We all got a bite of it. It was warm and delicious! Thanks for lunch, Frank!

The parking at McCormick & Schmick's at lunchtime was full. People were circling the parking lot like sharks trying to snag a spot where someone might be leaving. I dropped everyone off at the door of the restaurant and drove to the big parking lot at the back of the mall. I mean, I don't mind walking after all. It was 1/4 mile to the restaurant from where I parked. That's okay because we got exercise after we ate when we walked back to the parking garage.

Bridgeport Village is a beautiful shopping mall, but they designed it as if it were in sunny southern California. All of the shops are outside and parking is not convenient if it's pouring rain. There are some pretty sculptures there, though. The name of the young lady in the sculpture below must be Hope because the title of the piece is "Spring Eternal."


"Spring Eternal" by Jerry Joslin
at Bridgeport Village, Tigard, Oregon
After lunch, I stayed to visit with Mom at Marquis. We wanted to play Rummikub, but didn't want to set up the card table in her room. However, every room we went to at Marquis that had a table on which we could play Rummikub was taken by employees having staff meetings. Finally, we found a small round table in one of the bistros in the rehab center.
Eight rounds of Rummikub later, Mom had won five games to my three. She was on a roll. 

I decided to stay for dinner at Marquis. I ate a girlled cheese sandwich, tomato soup, pea salad, and banana split dessert (vanilla pudding, bananas, vanilla wafers, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce drizzled on top). Mom had chicken teriyaki (which she took back to her room), pea salad, a couple of bites of cornbread, and banana split dessert which also went back to her room.

After dinner, I headed to my sister's house. On the way there, I stopped at Mom's house to drop off one more item for the estate sale that she didn't want: a rolling stand with a lamp and magnifying glass at the end of a long arm. She used to use it to see her knitting stitches, but she doesn't knit anymore.

It was so weird to see everything set up for the estate sale. There is so much in her house. The sale process is quite a production!

I'm enjoying being at Jan's house. Jan has been using her George Foreman Grill to make grilled chicken thighs, grilled salmon, and grilled veggies for dinner. Mmm! I make a green salad to go with it. Every night, we have strawberry shortcake for dessert. We stop at a fruit stand on the way home and buy a "tray" of fresh Hood strawberries. We've never found any other strawberries that even come close. They are so sweet, juicy, and flavorful. 

Jan has a double-wide manufactured home (vintage 1972) which is very comfortable. I am so thankful to have a place to stay.


Kitchen
Half of her living room
Living room has a wood stove
The other half of Jan's living room
Jan's place is perfect for inviting her friends over to play pinochle or to host Bible studies. The best thing is, she loves her place. 

Oh, and she has a cat named Jake. I am getting my kitty fix. Jake is such a sweetie. He loves to come in and get his back, neck, and face rubbed. 


Jan's cat, Jake
Jake
Jake focused on something outside.
He's much bigger than this picture makes him look!
On Thursday, Jan and I picked up Mom from Marquis and headed to the DMV to take care of all the business we had there. With trepidation, we took #119 which spewed forth from the maws of the number machine. How long would we have to wait? That's always the question at a government agency, isn't it?

Forms were on the counter for Application for an I.D. Card, so we grabbed that, and a clipboard. Mom filled out the application. Just as she finished signing her name, our number was called. 

Lucky for us, the man who helped us was very experienced, and we were pretty organized. He started with the I.D. card, then changed her address. The paperwork for the Disabled Parking Permit had been filled out by Mom's doctor in January, so she got the permit immediately. 

We asked him about transferring the car title to my sister and he said we could do it right then. He gave us the form. My sister filled it out, and both she and Mom signed it. 

They then called Mom to get her photo taken for the I.D. card. She was thrilled with her photo, because it was almost exactly the same as her photo that was on her driver's license. I don't know how long ago she had the driver's license photo taken. We left the DMV with a temporary I.D. card for Mom, her disabled permit, and a temporary title for my sister. It took about 1/2 hour tops.

Right across the street from the DMV is the Cat Adoption Team (CAT). We all love to go in and look at the kittens and cats, even though we're not looking for one to adopt. It was closed until noon. 

So, we decided to eat lunch at Rose's Deli. Strike two, Rose's Deli closed it's Sherwood location. Then we thought we'd see a movie, but Jan and Mom weren't thrilled with the choices.

Jan suggested we go to lunch at Trees Restaurant. She said 1/2 soup and 1/2 sandwich was $7.50. (It was actually $6.50.) Good suggestion, Jan! It's a lovely restaurant with a view of lots of, you guessed it, trees!


Trees dining room, start of lunchtime.
Jan at lunch
Me at Trees Restaurant
Mom at Trees
The trees outside Trees Restaurant
The sandwich and homemade Cream of Mushroom soup were excellent. We ordered beignets to share for dessert. They were not what we expected. Soft, puffy, doughnut-like pastry dusted with powdered sugar was what we expected. What we were served was more like sweet hush puppies. Dark chocolate ganache and a lemony sauce came with them...not to mention a MOUNTAIN of powdered sugar. A photo would have told the story much better than words describe it. I don't think I've ever eaten a crusty beignet before. We didn't care for them.

With full tummies, we visited Cat Adoption Team, a no-kill shelter. We couldn't take the kittens out of their cages, so I played with them and petted them through the bars. Adorable. I absolutely love kittens! Then we went upstairs to visit the older cats. There were a lot of empty cages, so a bunch of cats must have been adopted recently. 

Then we took Mom shopping at New Seasons Market. With Mom's new Parking Permit, my sister pulled into a handicapped spot. But it wasn't just any handicapped spot. This one was marked for disabled van with wheelchair only. So my sister moved over one space to a regular handicapped spot. Jan and Mom went in the store. I stayed in the car. 

Two slots over in the handicapped spots, a huge black pick-up truck pulled in. It was tricked out. I watched as the whole driver side of the truck lifted upward revealing a man in a wheelchair. The whole platform where the driver was sitting in his wheelchair came out and lowered to the ground. Holy smokes, Batman, that was some truck!

Also, while I was waiting, the police patrolled every handicapped spot. It's a good thing my sister moved over one spot. The police were eyeballing each vehicle for the disabled parking permit.

We returned to Mom's apartment and played Rummikub until dinnertime. Jan and I headed back to her place. We stopped for fresh strawberries on the way.

When we finished dinner, we watched a movie on Lifetime TV called, "Two Weeks Notice" with Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock. I had never seen it at the movies. It came out in 2002. We enjoyed it.

Today (Friday), my sister had to work all day. I picked up Mom at 1:00 p.m. and we headed to the King City Clubhouse to see the movie "Only the Brave" about the Granite Mountain firefighters in Arizona who bravely battled wildfires. That is such a tragic story. The movie is very well done. The movie and snacks were free!

I dropped Mom back at her apartment and headed back to my sister's place. It seems every day has been somewhat busy and things are coming together. We'll be interested to see how the estate sale goes this weekend. 

All for now.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Oh, Deer, Oh, Deer! - Tues., June 12, 2018

Today's blog is a mish-mash of happenings since last Thursday when we flew into Portland, Oregon: moving furniture was involved, as well as a dinner at PF Chang's, laser tag, mini family reunion, a minor remodel, two movies, dinner at Panera Bread, the Portland Rose Festival Volksmarch, we spent part of every day with mom, lunch at Olive Garden, and we visited Dad's grave at Willamette National Cemetery. Below is how it all went down...

Bob and I flew out of San Antonio's 100+ degree heat on Wednesday, June 6, at 8:50 p.m., changed planes in Phoenix and made it to Portland at 12:35 a.m. Thursday morning. We slept in, had breakfast at Elmer's Pancake House and then went to Marquis Assisted Living to meet my brother Frank at Mom's apartment in the early afternoon. Bob and Frank moved the love seat out of her apartment.

Mom, my sister Jan, and I went for a walk around the outside of the assisted living facility. It was a beautiful, sunny day. I didn't take my phone with me. When we returned to the room, my phone had three voice messages and an urgent text. Oh, dear, I forgot to give the guys the key to mom's house. Luckily, it was only about a 15-minute drive away and we had time to run over there before our movie started.

The guys, including Bob's son Randall, moved the loveseat back to her house and picked up a recliner. Then they were off to Beaverton to pick up an easy chair mom had paid for over the phone. At some point during this "guy time," Randall removed three dated, yellow glass panels from the entryway at Mom's house which opened up the entry view to include the golf course through the living room windows. Way to go, Randall! It looks awesome now.

Mom's entryway with yellow glass panels removed.
Meanwhile, Mom, Jan, and I went to see "Adrift," a true story about a couple who were adrift at sea in 1983 after a hurricane disabled the yacht they were trying to deliver from Tahiti to San Diego. This was quite a memorable movie. Wow.

After the movie, we met Michael, Bob, Frank, and Randall at PF Chang's for dinner. What a wonderful meal. It was a mini family reunion!


Randall, Jan, Mom
Bob and my brother Frank
Frank eating lava cake
Frank, Randall, Jan, Bob, Mom, me, Michael
When we finished dinner, Frank, Bob, Michael, and I drove to Gresham to play three games of laser tag at Wonderland. Randall and Marissa showed up after the first game, so they played two games. Frank stayed for two games and called it a night. It was so much fun. We didn't know it, but Thursday nights laser tag is $3.25 per game so the arena was pretty full for all three games.

As I was driving back to Tigard on I-5 South in the middle lane, I noticed something unusual in my lane of the freeway...a deer! OMG! Brake! Swerve right! I missed it. Luckily, I always know where other cars are when I'm driving. I knew there was no one to my right. There was a car on my left and one behind me. The deer had been moving slowly toward the fast lane. 

I saw all the cars behind me stop. I don't know what happened to the deer. Hopefully, they missed it and were trying to get it to move off the freeway. That was really scary!

Friday, Bob and I worked on Mom's house to get things ready for the estate sale. Bob (Mr. Hercules) moved a really heavy two-level oven from Mom's garage to the curb. It had been sitting in the garage for months. [If we had it at the curb there was no charge for heavy item pick up (or $15 max). If it was in the garage, it would have cost $15 for the driver and $1.25 per minute for a second person to help the driver move it out to the truck.] Good job, Bob!

Later in the afternoon on Friday, we went to Mom's apartment to see how nice it looked with the new arrangement of furniture. All of us went to dinner at Panera Bread except mom. We brought back a 1/2 sandwich, 1/2 salad, and a pecan sticky bun for her. Then we all called it a night.

Bob was flying back to San Antonio on Saturday afternoon, but in the morning we wanted to walk the Portland Rose Festival walk. It started at 9:00 a.m. Randall and Marissa had planned to walk with us, but other circumstances forced them to cancel.

The weather forecast mentioned rain and thunderstorms. When we started the walk it was sunny and pleasant with large, interesting cloud formations. I brought my umbrella along just in case.

Our walk instructions said we would see the Dragon Boat Races on the Willamette River, and we did! I love watching them race to the beat of their drummer.

The art below shows the bridges over the Willamette River in Portland. There is a sister piece next to it that shows the Columbia River Gorge.
Bridges over the Willamette River
Sculpture resembling a building's skeletal structure
Downtown Portland and the Willamette River
Bob crossing the Hawthorne Bridge
The Dragon Boat Races are part of Rose Festival. The races are run in heats. We watched one heat as we walked across the bridge.
Lining up at the start
And they're off!
The race was neck and neck, but the blue boat won.
The drummer is in the front of the boat.
Turning around to head back out.
From the bridge, we walked along Waterfront Park. Navy and Coast Guard ships lined the seawall. There were even some ships visiting from Canada. A training ship was at the seawall as well. 


U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Ironwood
History of the Ironwood
The Ironwood is now an active training vessel for the Seamanship Program at Tongue Point Job Corps Center in Astoria, Oregon. The Seamanship Program is 18-24 months of intense maritime training.

On the smokestack of the Ironwood.


Canadian vessel

Canadian vessel
Our route then veered away from the seawall and into Saturday Market. We enjoyed looking at all the fun products and art being sold there.
Skidmore Fountain
Saturday Market
From street level, we headed up onto the Burnside Bridge where the parade would be crossing the river. Apparently, we were too early for the big floats. We saw a marching band and some walking groups, but then nothing as far as the eye could see. 

Fred Meyer walkers in the parade

In the background of the photo below is the Moda Center. Bob worked for the roofing company who built the Rose Garden Arena (now the Moda Center) and his name is on a plaque on the outside of the building. He took me up on the roof one day when they were building it. It was an awesome view of downtown Portland.

A U.S. ship with the Moda Center in the background
Looking back at the iconic symbols of downtown.
The Portland symbol used to be the White Stag sign.
U.S. ships
We watched a tower crane get built!
Enlarge the photo below to see the four guys at each corner of the tower guiding the crane operator's control box into place. Wow. That would be a scary job!

Wildly painted new apartment building
We were mesmerized by the
building of the tower crane.

Because the crane that was building the tower crane was blocking the street we were supposed to walk on, we had to take a detour around it. The walk then veered away from the parade route and we walked through a business area before returning to our start point. Our first loop (6k) was done. 


The rain never came down in earnest so we chose to do the second loop (5k) to make an 11k (6.8 mile) walk out of it. The weather was cool, so it was good for walking. 

The second loop of our walk took us through southeast neighborhoods and on Hawthorne Blvd. where we enjoyed looking at shops. Quite a few murals revealed themselves as we walked.

The modern building below has a mural advertising a radio station. Even though the mural looks old, it is advertising current rock bands -- Red Hot Chili Peppers, Everclear, Creed, etc. -- and the art on the right of it shows guitar players.



Anime character mural
This says, "Flash."
This one looks very British to me.
The mural along the building below sports authors and their quotes. 


Virginia Woolf and Fyodor Dostoyevski are on the far right
We didn't have a very big breakfast, so we were very happy to find a bakery. While we were in the bakery a big downpour hit. Even though we bought our pastries to go, when we got outside we plopped ourselves down at the picnic tables that were under cover. By the time we finished eating, the rain had let up and we continued on our way. 

Somewhere along the way, I hurt my knee. I think I stepped down hard on it. for the last mile or two, I was limping along. My knee kept popping and almost collapsing. It really hurt. Bob offered to get the car, but I thought I could make it. (I did.)

Along the way, we saw beautiful homes, old churches, and the occasional oddity. It is Portland, after all.



I had never heard of a tool library before today. You can only join if you live in a certain area of Portland and follow very strict rules when you borrow tools. You can learn more about it here.
Hinson Baptist Church--they host the SE Portland
Tool Library 
Food trucks (and a double-decker bus)
Lebanese Bistro
Unique rock building


Portland Mennonite Church
Cute doors
Colorful homes
Old church

What kind of  flower looks like a ballerina dancing
(or a whirling dervish)?
A gorgeous home
Fairy garden
Hydrangeas and hostas
One more cool mural before we finished.
Bob drove the car from our parking spot close to the door where I had to check in at the end of the walk. I hobbled out to the car. He then drove us back to Mom's house. He changed clothes and then I took him to the airport. 

Sunday, Michael and I went to see "Ocean's 8," which we enjoyed. In the evening, Jan and I visited Mom at her apartment where we watched 60 Minutes and then played Rummikub.

Yesterday, I took Mom to her house for one last look around to see if she forgot anything and then we went to lunch at PF Chang's. I spent the afternoon finishing cleaning Mom's things out of her house before the estate sale. In the evening, I moved over to my sister's house for the remainder of the time I'm here. Thank you, Jan, for having me over. I really appreciate it.

Today, Mom, Jan, and I went to Olive Garden for lunch and then we went to visit Dad's grave. I had only been to Willamette National Cemetery for the funeral. This is the first time I visited his grave.

I will be in Oregon until June 20. Mom's estate sale will be this weekend (June 16-17) and then we will put her house on the market.