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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Remotely.....

Wednesday was Brayden James day for TLE......we both drove up to Rancho Cucamonga around 0930.....as usual I took my Cannondale Bad Boy bike with us, and after spending some time 'ooohing and ahhhhing' over THE BABY I changed into my bike clothes, bid adieu to TLE, Brayden and Sharon, then took off riding to my son's office just 2 miles away to pick up mail and visit for a while.  The weather Wednesday was quite cool.....it was probably high 50's to low 60's when I began my ride so I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, vest and bike tights.  

Brayden James at 2 months

After visiting with my son, Chris, for about 40 minutes I next rode over to the local Lowe's to pick up a couple of 9 volt batteries and some of the round (about the size of a nickle) 2032 batteries for the garage door remotes at our house.  Then it was south on Haven to our house in southeast Ontario.

I spent about 2 hours there fiddling with the remote controls, but could only get one at a time to work....for some reason the Liftmaster door opener would not 'pair' with more than one remote at a time.  It's been 5 years since I had to deal with this issue and I'm sure I'm forgetting a simple step in getting this done, and I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually, but that was as much time as I had to dedicate to that issue as it was time to complete my 30 mile bike ride home to our coach.

I pretty much followed the same route home I took the week before when I did the round trip ride from Riverside to our house, and arrived home just as the cyclocomputer 'clicked' over to 30 miles and some 1800 calories burned.  My weekly weigh in showed me at the same mark I was last week......I was hoping to lose another pound, but staying even is not too bad either.....I've still got 4 weeks to hit my interim goal.....a little less than 2 pounds more!

Just before TLE arrived home it began to, unexpectedly, rain once again, and just as the evening before it continued for about an hour before abating.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future....."

......the opening lyric for the famous Steve Miller Band song entitled "Fly Like An Eagle" keeps running through my brain as I sit here in contemplation about the words I will coax out of my keyboard this morning.  Within a week escrow will close on my daughter's home here in Riverside and within a couple days of that we will be rolling our wheels up to the Fontana Elks Club.  We are, once again, short timers and it is time for us to begin to think in terms of 'putting stuff away' so we can move.  We are down to counting the 'last things' we will do this time in SoCal.....our last trip to Tio's Tacos, Pepito's, Simple Simon's, The Coffee Bean.....our last time to see and hold Brayden James in person, the last hugs with our kids, grandkids, and great grandkids........and there will be many, many of those.....the last bike ride and/or hike to the top of Mt. Rubidoux....the last ride around Lake Evans in Fairmont Park....the last ride on the SART and on the Pacific Electric Trail.....the last time camping in the backyard of my daughter's home here in Riverside.

The future is coming fast, and within weeks now we will be cruising north on US HWY 395 through familiar Owens Valley towns (Olancha, Lone Pine, Independence, Big Pine and Bishop)........pausing at the top of Conway Summit to look back at Mono Lake and Lee Vining, descending US HWY 50 down from Spooner Summit and catching that first view of Lake Tahoe, arriving at our familiar site #426 at Tahoe Valley Campground.......enjoying that unique Lake Tahoe aroma.......reacquainting with our TVC friends once again and enjoying the environs of Lake Tahoe.

Around noontime we drove over to the Mt. Rubidoux trailhead to take our favorite hike one more time........through a combination of fast walking and a little jogging I upped my 'mph' to an even 4.0 finishing 3.3 miles in just 48 minutes and 26 seconds.....TLE finished shortly behind me at 3.9 mph.....she even jogged a few times.  You might wonder why the total mileage seems to vary on each of these hikes and the reason is we rarely ever park at the same spot....sometimes we must park further away from the trailhead, sometimes we are able to park close like Tuesday.....it just depends on where we must park.....we always start our GPS programs as we exit the car.


We were back home before 1330 where I continued my workout with my usual pushups, planking, stretching, etc. after which I settled in to reading.  Around 1700 I started up the Sea-B-Que and grilled up some pollo asado for taco salad.  Around 1830 it began, unexpectedly, to rain which was accompanied by lightning and thunder.......we did not see any lightning, but there was a lot of thunder!  As I said it was totally unexpected, and it went on for the better part of an hour.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Typical.....

I may have mentioned in yesterday's blog entry that during the early morning hours Tuesday it rained.....not hard, but hard enough to get things wet and drop the temperature about 20 degrees overnight.  That somewhat influenced our decision to take a day off from walking.  The front heater in the salon area hummed along steadily all morning as we sat reading and waiting for it to warm up.  I know, we sound like typical Southern Californians, right?  Up north in the Reno/Sparks, NV area just over 500 miles from here they got over a foot of snow and it was down in the mid 20's.......cousin Lois posted the following picture on her Facebook wall yesterday morning.......

The view out cousin Lois' front window

.....meanwhile our temperature was in the high 50's at the same time with sun peaking out from behind the clouds.....and we were huddled inside our coach with the heater going full blast.

I needed a haircut in the worst kind of way.....it had been about 6-7 weeks since my last haircut, so I convinced TLE we should go out, drop off my suit at the dry cleaners, get my haircut and then go 'junking' for a couple of hours.....so we did.  TLE found a t-shirt in one thrift shop, and I found a nice Cabela's jacket at the Goodwill for $8.99 (including senior discount).....knowing we will be at 6,300 feet elevation in just a few weeks and that it is always still quite cold in South Lake Tahoe when we arrive in May I'm always thinking about jackets this time of year......you can never have too many jackets......the last two May's we have gotten quite a bit of snow in SLT.

On the other side of the coin, all the snow and rainfall in northern California this winter has brought Lake Shasta, the largest of the California reservoirs, to almost full capacity......see the before and after pictures below.....


.....we are definitely not out of the drought, but things are definitely looking up in California water wise!

We were home by 1600 hours reading and relaxing once again..........thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 28, 2016

In depth.....

I woke up well after 0800 Sunday morning after having gone to bed at 2200 the night before.....wait, what?  Ten hours sleeping?  I never do that......just ask TLE....well rarely, if ever.  Until this morning (Monday) when I slept until 0815 once again after going to bed at 2300 the night before.....what is up?  The only thing that was different the past two days is that I really didn't get my usual nap either Saturday, or Sunday, so I guess that is my body's way of compensating for the lack of a nap.

The night before we had invited our daughter, Meredith, to come hiking with us to the top of Mt. Rubidoux.......she arrived at our location just before 1100 hours, and we all promptly headed over to the trailhead to begin our hike.....this was her first time doing this hike.  She managed to keep up with us, although I have to admit we did slow our pace slightly to about 3.2 mph.

With Meredith a year ago

As is always the case we spent our entire time with Meredith talking non-stop during our drive over to the trailhead, during the entire hike, for the entire time we sat at The Coffee Bean, and then until after 1600 at our coach when she headed for home.  I love talking with Meredith......she is extremely well read, and she knows something (sometimes a lot) about almost everything, and has very definite opinions she is not afraid to voice whether it be with TLE and I, or anyone else.  The five hours we spent with her just flew by and it was time for her to head for home.  This is one of the things we have really taken pleasure from this time around in SoCal....being able to spend hours talking with our children, and getting a real feel for where they are at in their lives.  

We are coming away from our time here in SoCal with good feelings about the lives our children and their families are living.  I think we always had the impression things were going well with our kids, but until you can take the time to sit and have in depth conversations you really don't know.....I think now we really know things are going well.  All any parent can ask for is that their children are good, productive citizens, and are living good lives, right?

We spent the late afternoon, and early evening watching two more of the NCAA March Madness 'elite eight' games......at the end of the weekend three of the four number one seeded teams lost their games leaving North Carolina as the only number one seed team remaining in the tournament, and that is the randomness of this tournament that appeals so much to almost everyone.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

You say it's your birthday!

TLE and I took our semi-daily walk/hike around 1000 hours.....once again we headed for the Mt. Rubidoux trailhead......the beehive had been successfully removed by the city employees so we were able to make it to the top once again....


.....we covered 3.4 miles in just over 56 minutes......I haven't taken too many pictures of the flora along the path, but am including one today of one of the many patches of 'prickly pear' cactus, along with many eucalyptus trees.....


Other than our hike Saturday pretty much revolved around preparations for my son-in-law, Nick's 30th birthday celebration......the intent was that it was to be a 'SURPRISE!' birthday party, and when you have some 60 people in play that is always difficult to execute.  We headed over to the surprise birthday venue around 1415 to get ready for Nick's arrival around 1615......

 Hanging with beautiful women waiting for Nick's arrival....left to right: Cathy, TAR, moi and TBL

 TLE & Tim's fiance, Laila (TBL)

TAR, TBL and GEC

The band warming up to play 'You say it's your birthday' by the Beatles....left to right: Mike, Tony and Tim....Terry, the drummer is just behind Tony....my bad.

Nick giving his best 'surprised' performance....I'm pretty sure he was mostly surprised.

....just before Nick's arrival we closed the garage door, then opened it up as he stepped from the car......

My son Chris with the birthday boy, Nick

I'm sure the party went on until 2100, or 2200 hours, but we were on our way home just before 2000 hours......it was a great party with a wonderful extended family, food and friends.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hurry up and wait!

Sounds familiar?  Yup!  We just got a reprieve on our move date.....the escrow closing date for my daughter's home has reverted to the original closing date.....April 8th.  We actually like the reprieve......so, we now have two weeks before we move temporarily up to the Fontana Elks Lodge before heading for South Lake Tahoe for the summer!

Friday was Good Friday, so our daughter Kate was off work, and home to take care of Charlise.....TLE and I headed out for our favorite Mt. Rubidoux hike with the intent of descending  the trail to the south side of the mountain and then picking up the SART trail to hike back to our car....we figured we could cover over 5.5 miles......however, as we all know....the best laid plans, right?

We arrived at the trailhead about 1000, but there were no parking spots available, so we headed down to the dog park in the west side of the mountain and began our walk from there, and we were on our way to the summit......we chose to transition to the south trail to take the steeper, but shorter route to the top and then descend on the north trail once again transitioning to the lower half of the south trail to arrive at the south trailhead, but just about 1/3 mile from the summit we were turned back by city employees who were in the process of removing a bee hive along the trail, so we headed back down........


......once at the bottom we made a right hand turn on Tequesquite Ave. for two blocks and then right again on the SART, which took us back to the dog park parking lot and our Beetle.  In all we covered just 3.7 miles due to the bee hive detour, but it was still a great walk.

We were home by 1130 and relaxing......the only other thing we had going on Friday was a drive up to the Fontana Elks Club for dinner, and orientation....our official initiation will be April 19th at their membership meeting.  We met our good friends Steve and Candy for 'Taco Night' dinner, and met a number of new people.  One thing I have noticed over the years is that generally most people you meet who belong to service clubs not only tend to be good people, but interesting people.

We arrived just before 1700 hours, and ordered drings ($3 each)....TLE some white wine, and for me a draft Amber Bach.  After dinner we watched an orientation video, and spent another hour, so sitting around a big round table getting to know more people (Maureen - camp host), Pat, retiring ER (Exalted Ruler), Gary (future ER), Mike, Phyllis, Kathleen....and on and on it goes.....what a great group of people.  There are probably other Elks Lodges whose dues are less per year, but we wanted our 'home lodge' to be a place where we would revisit over and over again when we come into SoCal, and where we would have friends so the Fontana Lodge works perfectly for us!  Our goal in becoming Elks has always been twofold.....1) To have access to camping opportunities as we crisscross the USA, but also 2) for the social aspects.

We were home by 2100 hours and off to dreamland by 2230.....thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 25, 2016

This is all I ask.....

Tony Bennett recorded his version of this Gordon Jenkins song (This is all I ask) for Capitol Records back in 1963.  The essence of the lyric is to arrive at the place in your life where it is the small things in life which have meaning and significance.....

The lyric.....

"As I approach the prime of my life
I find I have the time of my life
Learning to enjoy at my leisure
All the simple pleasures and so I happily concede
That this is all I ask
This is all I need
Beautiful girls
Walk a little slower when you walk by me
Lingering sunsets
Stay a little longer with the lonely sea
Children everywhere
When you shoot at bad men, shoot at me
Take me to that strange
Enchanted land, grown-ups seldom understand
Wandering rainbows
Leave a bit of color for my heart to own
Stars in the sky
Make my wish come true before the night has flown
And let the music play
As long as there's a song to sing
And I will stay younger than Spring"

Tony's version of this song was my father's favorite, and not coincidentally, it is mine.  When I hear the opening lyric sung by Tony I am transported in time back to a snowy winter evening  at Mammoth Mountain after a day of skiing with my father back in 1976, sitting in the living room of a condo we had rented listening to this song on the record player.....this was back in the days when vinyl was still in fashion.....when I hear this song it feels like it was just yesterday.

It took me many years to appreciate the essence of the lyric, but my father seemed to always understand the importance of appreciating the simple pleasures of life.......sunsets, being young at heart, rainbows, a beautiful woman.  To a very few this lesson of living life comes naturally.....for some it is learned later in life (me), and for many it is never learned.  It came naturally for my father, and it is one of the greatest life lessons I received from him.

I say all that to say this........our choice to pursue and live this nomadic life was inspired by my father's passion for embracing the simple pleasures of life.  When you rid your life of all the distracting clutter that accumulates over decades of living you begin to notice the important things......the small things such as sunsets, sunrises, rainbows, panoramic views, rain on the roof.  Without all the clutter that can, and probably does inhabit your daily life you will have more time to focus on what is important.....friendships, family, relationships, sunsets, grand children, great grand children, adventures yet to be experienced.....the question is 'will you?'.  

Thursday we spent a few hours with friends who are in the exploratory stages of buying an RV and becoming nomadic.  They had a lot of the usual questions to be addressed, and as we answered their questions we tried to also convey the added benefits of living more modestly and deliberately.  The process of simplifying never seems to end, and the benefits continue to multiply.

One of the things I have come to appreciate this time around in SoCal visiting our kids are the relationships between each of our children.  They all have each other's backs.....if one has a need they are all there to provide support.  Of course, they have differences and disagreements.....what siblings do not?  The thing I see is in spite of those differences they love each other just the way they are.  Watching and listening to them interact on an adult level with each other, and their children is so heart warming and rewarding.  Have you learned to......are you learning to......do you enjoy the simple things in the prime of your life?


Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Treading water.....

As we slowly meander toward our departure date, which happens to coincide with the close of escrow of our daughter's home, we feel a lot like we are in a holding pattern.  There are no projects that require my attention either involving the Newell, our daughter's home, our our house.  I have done everything I can do so it comes down to making sure to exercise everyday, and then reading.  When I went out to wash and detail the Beetle a couple of days ago I was actually excited to see that the right rear tire was flat (a nail)......ahhhhh, something to fix!!!  Having something to fix takes me to one of my happy places.  The local Napa auto parts store is just a block away, so I walked over with Charlise to buy a tire repair kit, and then spent the next hour doing just that....what's the hurry, right?

Seriously, while we have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy our sojourn here in SoCal spending oodles of time with our kids and grandkids, our nature as nomads is to be moving.....to be changing our view on a regular basis, and we are not doing that.  Now within a week, at the close of escrow, we will be changing our view when we move up to the Fontana Elks Lodge for the remainder of our SoCal stay.

For exercise TLE, Charlise and I took a 3.2 mile walk out to the Mt. Rubidoux bridge and back, stopping for a refreshment at The Coffee Bean (for TLE an ice coffee, for Charlise a hot chocolate, and for moi....of course....a mocha frappuccino), then we walked across the Main Street Mall to browse at the Mission Galleria Antique store of which we are quite fond......


.....Charlise found a cool Easter Bonnet.........

We were back home before 1300 hours.....I finished my exercise by stretching, doing my pushups, 'planking', etc......then it was time to read, which I did.  In a few days I will begin to put everything away in anticipation of our move up to Fontana, and then it will just come down to my last two dental appointments this time around before we begin our trek to South Lake Tahoe for the summer!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The best time of life......

That this is 'the best time of life' has been my theme for a number of years, and Tuesday was just another example.  It is just sooooo cool to see your children become adults and begin to raise families.  Having raised our own family of five children we totally understand how time consuming and labor intensive that part of life is, and we are so impressed with the job our children are doing in raising their children.  As you know, we are chaperoning our granddaughter, Charlise this week.......she is affectionately called 'Charlie' by everyone, but I love to call her Charlise......and I think she likes it also.

Like most kids her age, Charlise has boundless amounts of energy, and she loves to take walks with TLE and I so when we suggested to her that we take a hike to the top of Mt. Rubidoux she was immediately excited.

We left to drive over to the trailhead about 1100 hours and for the next 2.5 hours Charlie was climbing rocks, running down trails to see historical markers, and climbing rock stairs wherever she found them.......








Charlie at the very top of Mt. Rubidoux beneath the famous cross

TLE and I walked about 3.5 miles, but I think Charlise covered over 4 miles.  TLE packed snacks for us which we ate as we sat in the shade at the top of the trail before beginning our descent.  Usually TLE and I are power walking up and down the trail always aiming for fastest MPH we can attain, so it was nice to just meander up and down the trail, as well as all over the summit, which we never do.

We were back home before 1400.....I sat down to read a book, and TLE went inside the house with Charlise to watch a couple of children's movies she wanted to see.....and that was essentially our Tuesday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thirty plus.....

This past Friday was the beginning of 'Spring Break' for our granddaughter's school, so we are taking care of her during the day this week while Mom and Dad are at work.  TLE had announced her intentions to take Charlise to the new movie 'Zootopia', so while they were off on their adventure I decided to take a bike ride.

I get bored doing the same ride over and over again, although one might not think so as many times as I have ridden to the top of Mt. Rubidoux over the past few years, but even that starts to get boring......you might have noticed I have been hiking to the top of Rubidoux lately, not riding.  Monday I decided to crack the 30 mile barrier for the first time in a long time.....the last time I broke that barrier was on my aborted attempt last summer to ride around Lake Tahoe.....I had just passed the 33 mile mark when, as you will recall, I badly injured my middle finger on my left hand abruptly ending my quest that day.  

The circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe is still on my bucket list, so in addition to riding my bike to aid in my weight loss goal I am also training to make that ride this summer so I need to do a few 30+ mile rides just to get the 'seat time'.  

I left on my ride a little after 1100 heading west on Mission Inn Ave. toward our house in Ontario transitioning from Mission Inn Ave. to Mission Blvd. to San Sevaine Way to Riverside Drive to our house.......

Route to our house in Ontario

......my return route took me back on Riverside Drive to Van Buren Blvd. south to the SART (Santa Ana River Trail) to Jurupa to Palm/Redwood back to University and home......

Return route back to Riverside

.....in all I covered just over 32 miles, burned 2005 calories, and averaged about 12 mph.  Needless to say I was tired when I got back......the good news....I am now within 2.3 pounds of my short term weight loss goal with over 4 weeks to go before we leave for South Lake Tahoe!

TLE was back from her adventure with Charlise before 1700......and that was our Monday!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 21, 2016

The long and the short of it......

After a couple of days off we headed out for a walk about 1100 hours going west on University to the Mt. Rubidoux Drive bridge and then back east on Mission Inn Avenue.  Of course, walking back on Mission Inn Avenue takes us directly by The Coffee Bean so we stopped....TLE got a cup of ice coffee and I regular coffee along with a salad......


.......unlike Saturday which began quite foggy, Sunday was clear and sunny once again, and it was a perfect day to be sitting outside enjoying the ambiance of downtown Riverside.....

Not currently moving at 3.7 mph.....:-)

In all we covered about 3.2 miles averaging about 3.7 mph while we were moving.....it was just after 1245 when we arrived home.  We had planned at some point to head back over to the house in Ontario to finish a few things we had started and to see in person all the 'demo' work the boys had done, but first I needed to do some repairs on the shelving in the bin where I keep the various hoses utilized in our nomadic life....water hoses and sewer hoses with all the necessary accoutrement.  What I needed to address was that the plywood shelving was beginning to delaminate around the edges, so I got out all 9 of my clamps along my white glue and got to work.  Once everything was glued, clamped and laying out in the sun to dry we headed off to the house in Ontario.

It was certainly surreal to walk through what is left of the interior of our house, but over the next couple of weeks we will begin to see a real transformation as the remodeling swings into gear.  We both agree that over the past 5 years since we moved out that we have mentally detached ourselves from the sticks and bricks life we once lived, and the house really has nothing to do with the life we live now.  Soon it will begin a new life providing shelter for a new family making new memories.

We were home a little after 1500.....I watched parts of 3 NCAA March Madness games before we decided to switch the TV to Netflix to begin watching season 4 of 'Longmire'.  The really cool thing about Longmire being a Netflix property now is that the episodes are around 55 minutes long with NO commercials.....much more 'bang for the buck'.  We ended up watching 5 of the 10 Season 4 episodes going to bed just before 2300......what a great Sunday!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Demolition Men.....

Now that it is certain escrow will be closing on Kate and Nick's home demolition has begun in earnest on the old family homestead.  My son Tim, my son-in-law Nick and good family friend Chris were at the house promptly at 0600 Saturday morning to demo the old wood flooring and carpeting, as well as gut part of the downstairs bathroom, and the master bathroom up stairs (sinks/toilets only).......by the time TLE and I arrived mid morning this is what we found..........by doing the demo themselves they are saving a few thousand dollars.....once the demo is completed the contractors will arrive to put in the new flooring, bathroom fixtures, etc...........

  Downstairs bathroom....flooring, toilet, mirror and sink removed

 Master bedroom....carpet removed, sinks and toilet removed

Flooring in family room/kitchen removed along with breakfast bar (see below for "before")

Kitchen flooring and breakfast bar (right of picture) "before", circa 2004

Downstairs hallway to garage flooring removed

 Downstairs hallway "before" circa 2004

Living room flooring removed

Living room circa 2004 just after we remodeled

......it was truly amazing to see all that the boys had accomplished in such a short period of time.....within a couple of weeks our former 'home' for 25 of the 30 years we have owned her will be a brand new 'home' for Nick, Kate, Elijah, Charlise, and the new baby girl due in June.  They will have new furniture, new wood flooring downstairs and upstairs with two new bathrooms as well as new appliances.  Then they will begin to make memories just as we began to back in April of 1986......by the end of the day the interior of the house was bare of flooring up and downstairs!

As one might imagine it was a little painful for TLE and I to stand there while the interior of our former home was being ripped, literally, apart.  Even though we intellectually understand what is happening and why, we are also witnessing the physical evidence of 25 years of our lives being erased to create a new slate for our daughter and her family.  The 25 years of memories, however, will remain forever etched in our hearts.  At any rate we decided to leave the boys to their own devices and headed back to Riverside for the rest of the day where we helped Kate begin to pack up her possessions at her home of 4 years.  While we were there Sharon and Rod brought Brayden James over for a visit......


......he is such an angel.....what else can I say?

Within a couple of weeks we will no longer be property owners in the State of California.....we will no longer have the anchor of our house and will be free to change our residency to another state if we wish.....a lot to think about!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

No more 'faux'.....

Back in October of 2012 while we were working at Amazon.com in Campbellsville, KY we bought a Euro style recliner with an ottoman.   It was faux leather, and only cost about $190.  I loved that recliner......yes, I am using the past tense of love.....after three and a half years of daily use, and many, many enjoyable naps it was wearing out.  I began to look for a replacement a few months ago when I first began to notice the signs of wear in the faux leather.  This time I wanted a real leather chair.  Finally about 3 weeks ago I pulled the trigger and ordered a more traditional recliner off eBay ($189 with free shipping).......   


......it arrived about 2 weeks ago, and I loved it immediately......at the same time I was noticing signs of wear and tear on my old recliner I noticed TLE's two year old Euro style recliner (also faux leather) was also showing signs of wear, so initially we replaced her recliner with the new real leather recliner to see if she liked that style.......as it turned out she preferred the Euro style, so about a week ago we ordered a new Euro style leather recliner with ottoman from eBay ($238 with free shipping) for her.....it arrived Friday and TLE loves it.......


......what I love about my more traditional recliner is that it has a smaller footprint than my old Euro style one with the ottoman, and I love the feel of the real leather!  Actually even TLE's new Euro style recliner sports a smaller footprint, so now the salon area of our coach feels just a little bit roomier now!

We both took a day  off from walking/riding Friday......I spent the morning watching March Madness games while TLE spent time putting new 'seam binding' on quilt which covers our bed, then repairing some shorts for me, and adding some velcro to a jacket of mine.

Around 1500 we drove over to our house to finish a few things I had started such as adjusting the travel on the garage door opener.....as you will recall I had installed the replacement chain drive a week, or so ago.  While we were there Nick (my son-in-law) showed up with my son Tim (they work together) to begin clearing out the garage.....Tim has been storing his vintage VW Bug there for a few years, and that along with his other possessions which are still there need to be moved before Nick and Kate move into the house in a few weeks.  The next two weeks will see a lot of work being done on the family homestead.....Nick and Kate are going to have new wood floors installed in the entire house, repaint the entire interior, and remodel the kitchen (new counter tops, appliances, etc).

We were home by 1730 and relaxing for the evening.....me watching more March Madness, and TLE reading.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Whirlwind!

In keeping with our efforts at consistently exercising we drove to the Mt. Rubidoux trailhead to do what turned out to be a 3.6 mile roundtrip hike, which we finished in 59 minutes and 57 seconds averaging, of course 3.6 mph.  After a brief stop at the local Stater Brothers supermarket to pick up some 'Snap-E-Tom' we headed for home.



To back up just a bit in the recap of Thursday, just before we went on our walk we got a text message from our daughter, Kate, that the escrow closing date had been moved up from April 7th to March 31st!  Well, that really kind of threw our plans into a tizzy.  We had tentatively planned to spend a week at Rincon Parkway beginning the 10th of April, and return to Riverside and Rancho Jurupa Regional Park on the 17th where we planned to spend our final 10 days before heading for South Lake Tahoe.....now we were having to look at finding places to say for almost a month before we leave.  About that same time I remembered that beginning April 1st the longest you can stay at the Rincon Parkway is 5 days....down from the off season maximum stay of 14 days.  Suddenly we were having to find places to stay for a week here and there......then it occurred to me that we have our application in at the Fontana Elks Lodge for membership, so we called our friends Candy and Steve who are sponsoring us to see if they could get us in as guests for a month, and were advised they could......our monthly rate would be $350!  Perfect, and we don't have to move every week, or so.  Once that was resolved we headed out for our walk.

Thursday was also the official beginning of March Madness which begins with 64 teams all playing single elimination games.....by Sunday evening we will be down to 16 teams, also known affectionately as the "Sweet Sixteen" teams.  The first game was at 0915, and once the temperature got comfortable I set up the outdoor TV.....at one point I had 3 of my 4 TV's tuned to a March Madness game.

Now that everything is seemingly coming together on the sale of their house, and them taking over our house, we suggested to Kate and Nick that we go out to dinner Thursday to have a small celebration......we opted to eat at a new place in Riverside called El Patron which serves Mexican cuisine.  Yelp gives them 4 stars on 151 reviews, so it seemed to be a perfect place to go.  The ambiance is very nice, and they have outdoor dining, which we always prefer......especially on a balmy evening.  We met Kate, Nick and Charlise there at 1815 and were seated in their alfresco section within minutes.  I ordered their 'Los Rellenos' dish (Chile Relleno), which I liked, but no one else seemed to like their food.  To top it off the service was poor......not poor in the sense of being slow, which it was.....I normally do not mind slow service if the food is exceptional.  The problem was that even though they have been open for about 6 months it seemed like it was their first night.  The servers all seemed to be inexperienced, or had not been trained very well.  At any rate the best rating we could give them is a disappointing 2.5 stars.  Nevertheless, we had an enjoyable time talking about the next few weeks which will be a whirlwind!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Irony......

We came back to SoCal this year with the goal of selling our home.  Originally we were going to list it with a realtor and hope it sold quickly.  The downside to that is we would have had to spend a few weeks prior to listing it getting it ready, and spend a few thousand bucks in the process fixing stuff.  Then, while we were still on our way home in mid November I received an e-mail from our daughter Kate suggesting that she and her husband, Nick, were interesting in buying the house.  They were going to sell their home in Riverside so Kate would be closer to work, and Charlise, their daughter, closer to her school.  Charlise attends the same elementary school that Kate, and all of our children except for our oldest son attended.


Our house which we have owned for 30 years

Of course this immediately got our attention because it would mean we would not have to spend time fixing up the house to be listed since they, Kate and Nick, want to remodel the house anyway.  So, instead of fixing up the Ontario house, we spent time helping them get their home ready to sell.  Their house was listed in December, and they had a full value offer within days of listing, which was so amazing.  The escrow was scheduled to close in early February, however, the house fell out of escrow in early January.  Needless to say we were all bummed, but the house was still being shown, so we hoped a buyer would come along quickly.


Kate and Nick's home

Near the end of February with no buyers in sight we told Kate and Nick that if they didn't have an offer by March 13th when their listing contract ended that we would need to list our home.  I then began the work to get our house listed.  They had an 'Open House' on both February 5th and 6th, but there were no offers......until the 8th when they got an offer which was acceptable.....not full value, but still good nonetheless.  The house was in escrow the next day with termite and home inspections scheduled for that weekend.  By Wednesday, yesterday, we found out the home passed inspection with NO requests for any repairs, and today, Thursday the home will be appraised by the lender!

Escrow should close April 7th on which date we will become officially 'homeless' in the traditional sense of the word.....obviously we have a 'home' which we have been living in for over 5 years now.  Ironically, we moved into our Ontario home in April of 1986 when TLE was just over 6 months pregnant with our 5th child, and now our daughter and her family will be moving in 30 years almost to the day after we first moved in, and she is also just over 6 months pregnant with her third child.

So, other than getting all excited about the house sale going through, what did we do on Wednesday?  Well, TLE went to Costco to shop, and I took a bike ride.  I started out to just do my 10 mile roundtrip ride to the top of Mt. Rubidoux and back, but I decided in mid route to jump on the SART* and ride up to Waterman Ave. in San Bernardino and back.  I covered 24 miles in all averaging 14.2 miles per hour......my best ever for this ride by almost a mile per hour!  By the time I arrived back at the coach  around 1300 it was well into the 80's where it remained until early evening....thankfully TLE was home from shopping and had turned on the A/C so I could cool down.

Once I had taken a shower, and cooled down I spent the rest of the day outside in the shade reading and relaxing.  By the way, I have been doing good on being consistent at exercise, and am proud to report I have lost 6 pounds, and am 4 pounds away from my short term goal of 10 pounds lost by the time we head for South Lake Tahoe in 6 weeks.....I think I'm going to make it!

Thanks for stopping by!

*SART - Santa Ana River Trail

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

'To Do' DONE!

I began to create my 'To Do' list (below) prior to our arrival in Riverside last November and Tuesday I finally crossed the last item off the list (#5 - Fire Extinguisher Service).....  


The fire extinguisher guy I took them to recommned quite strongly that I get new fire extinguishers even though the ones I had were rechargeable......the problem was they are over 30 years old, and have plastic hardware on the top, which gets brittle with age......of course having fire extinguishers that you know you can depend on becomes really important when you need to use one, or both to put out a fire, right?  So, it was an easy choice for me....the new ones have aluminum hardware on top along with a hose and nozzle. 


So, at least for now, my 'To Do' list is finished.  No doubt there will be new things to fix, and a new list with new challenges will come into being.

Around 0900 TLE and I drove up to Rancho Cucamonga to my daughter Sharon's apartment so TLE could get some more Brayden James time......while she did that I took off on my bike for another ride back to Riverside.......

Brayden James at 6 weeks....10 lbs!

.......instead of riding east on 4th Street like I did last time I headed back a block and went north on Haven to pick up the PET (Pacific Electric Trail).  On my way I stopped off at Cyclery USA to pick up a couple of tubes for my grandson's mountain bike, and then continued eastward on to the PET.

 The Haven Ave. entrance to the PET in Rancho Cucamonga, CA

 Crossing Foothill Blvd. in Fontana

 Entering the Rialto section of the PET

......by heading north to pick up the PET I added 3 miles to my ride, but I was able to be off surface streets for a total of 19 miles out of the 28 miles I rode.  

I stopped off once again at The Coffee Bean for a......you guessed it.....mocha frappuccino.....it was in the 80's by the time I arrived at the coffee shop just before 1300 hours, and I needed something COLD to cool me down.....usually I get the medium, but Tuesday I ordered the LARGE.  In all it took me 2 hours and 4 minutes of riding time to get back home, and burned closed to 1800 calories.......


Before I took a shower I installed one of the new bicycle tubes in the rear tire of Elijah's K-2 mountain bike, and did some stretching.  I spent the rest of the afternoon finishing a good book, then took a well deserved nap......

Next up.....March Madness.....the NCAA men's basketball tournament!

Thanks for stopping by!