Saturday, September 30, 2006

Life's Reflections

We watched an interesting film last night, An Unfinished Life. Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Lopez and that guy who played Capt. Nixon in the series, Band of Brothers, were the primary actors in the film.

Candace and I often think about loved ones departed. Parts of our thoughts surround guilt: Could we have been a better son or daughter? Why didn't we do this or that for our parents? Why didn't we ask more questions about the history of our family? Who is who in all of these pictures that have been left in endless cartons for us? And what do we do with all of these pictures? Most of all, what happens to us when we pass on to "the other side"?

We both feel that our parents are with us. Often I hear the words of my dad echoing in my ear when I approach a task or a problem. The words of wisdom from Candace's father Buz are also there when I think about the price of something. He would comment that there would be a day when gasoline would be $5 a gallon and hamburgers would cost ten dollars. Buz, we're nearly there. He had lots of advice on real estate on what to buy and what not to buy. Remember the saying, "Location, location, location"? Buz took that saying one step further when it came to buying in the right location, "Don't expect to find a peach in a lemon orchard." He would also apply the same words to his son in regards to who he was dating at the moment.

I didn't ever think that the thoughts of my parents would remain with me throughout my life. Years later they remain with me even today. Mom passed away in October 2000 ten days after the passing of Candace's mom. Dad left us in March 2002. Buz was the first and went at age 67 while climbing the steps of Little Harvey's Inn in South Lake Tahoe: Arteries already hardened constrict more at an altitude. It's been a while without our mom's and dad's.

I would hope that what we're going to leave with our children, apart from the tangible things in life that they'll receive, will stay with them. For example Candace's words, "First things first" when each of they try to take on too much. My words, "If you ride a bike at night, wear white." or, "You can't roller skate in a buffalo herd" are Dadisms. Even granddaughter Grace has learned about Papa. "You're so silly, Papa" she often says.

But if you know me you know well that strong opinions ride in the Watson family. I have something to say about most everything that I feel is important in this life. This will stay with the children.

This inner talk of mine today? It was brought on by things said at the end of the film An Unfinished Life. Mitch is played by Morgan Freeman, Einar is Robert Redford. What they said goes like this:

Mitch Bradley: Would you bury me next to Griffin?
Einar Gilkyson: Don't you think you oughtta die first?
Mitch Bradley: It's gonna happen, you know.
Einar Gilkyson: Where the hell else do you think I'd bury you? It's where my family lies. You think the dead really care about our lives?
Mitch Bradley: Yeah, I think they do. I think they forgive us our sins. I even think it's easy for them.
Einar Gilkyson: Griff said you had a dream about flying.
Mitch Bradley: Yeah. I got so high, Einar. I could see where the blue turns to black. From up there, you can see all there is. And it looked like there was a reason for everything.

I know that somewhere mom, dad, Buz and mother-in-law Dodie have forgiven or even ignored in life that we were not the perfect son or daughter. Their delight would be in that they're not forgotten nor will they ever be. The wealth they left us cannot be measured in dollars but in the wisdom imparted to the two of us that is the rudder which steers the ship of our day-to-day life.

As we enter into the autumn of our lives I can't help but measure my words to our children knowing one day these words will echo in their minds starting with ,"Dad said . . . . and he also said yes, there's a reason for everything."

Friday, September 29, 2006


Here we are at Logan's Roadhouse having beer, peanuts, burgers, fries and Logan's famous rolls. Max could not get over that the peanut shells were thrown on the floor. He said that would never fly in Korea. Well hell, this is "Merica" and we do what we please, right?

Max is enjoying the weather, the lack of humidity, Mom's home cooked meals (turkey last night was fantastic .. . it was grilled on the barbeque to perfection), playing Candy Land with Mom and Grace Helen, helping Dad with his computer skills and honestly, I think just being home is something Max is enjoying. We're planning a trip sometime next year to visit Max in Korea. A trip like that would definitely be a lot of fun.

Today we'll visit my former school district, mix pizza dough to bake Saturday night, buy some wine (Max loves a good red), cook turkey soup for dinner, take the handguns out to the range for a little old West "shoot-'em-up", eat lunch out somewhere nice and just "be".

Max's visit is going wayyyy too fast. With all of this global warming stuff, maybe the world will shift a bit and Korea will move closer to California. Sailing to Korea would then be no big deal. Now that's a thought.

A former student of mine will be on NBC's Dateline tonight. He's a Lt. in the Petaluma Police Department, Danny Fish. Danny was in charge of the sting NBC is televising tonight. I'll enjoy watching Danny in action and thinking back to the times where I taught him how to read in my second grade class. Because of the content of tonight's Dateline, Candace says it's disgusting and will pass on watching. She's right, entrapping children on the Internet is very disgusting (the focus of the sting). Maybe I'll catch a glimpse of Lt. Dan and then turn off the television.

Not counting today, three more days until we blast off to Hawaii. ALOHA!

T.G.I.F. ! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Max arrived late Wednesday afternoon driving a rent-a-car convertible. After a couple of beers, a plate of chicken wings, the barbeque was fired up, the potatoes baked on it and then three one pound New Yorks thrown on it.

Poor Max, he fell asleep after dinner. Korean time is 18 hours forward of California and he was tuckered out. At 2:00 a.m. I hear Max rambling around in his room. 2:00 a.m. here meant that it was 6:00 p.m. in Korea. Max has been up since then. Guess what? Max will again be tuckered out after dinner. The good news? Max will hit the sack by 9:00 p.m. instead of his usual time of 1:00 a.m. Going to bed by 9 will coincide with Dad's normal bedtime.

Today we'll shop. We'll buy Max a winter coat for the cold Korean winters. Lunch will be out somewhere nice. A whole turkey is waiting to be roasted for tonight's dinner. We'll have a Watson family dinner and invite the little old man across the street who lost his wife a week or so ago to join us. It will be like Thanksgiving in September. Come to think of it, there's a lot to be thankful for. Time in our busy lives is not set aside often enough to express thanks for the wonderful lives we all live. Tonight will be the perfect opportunity. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Once a year we take the dogs and Grace to have a picture taken by a professional. Usually it is in late October or early November to coincide with Grace's birthday. This picture was taken last year and (1) I can't believe that it's time for another picture and (2) that it is amazing how much Grace has changed since this was taken.

This picture was taken in our backyard. This year's picture will be at Turtle Bay. As in other years, one of the pictures will be on our Christmas cards.

Max is coming today. It will be red meat tonight, Blue Saphire gin and lots of laughs! Come to think of it, tonight will just be another in a long string of great nights. Life gets better and better. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Here I am, waiting in ambush for Max to arrive, wearing the hat he just sent me from Korea. I have no idea if I have it on right or if it is on backwards.

Max is arriving in Redding sometime time tomorrow. I asked him what he missed most living in Korea as we would like to serve those things up to Max during his visit. His wish list included Corona beer with a slice of lime, roast turkey and lunch out at really good sandwich shop.

Max will be with us until Monday when Candace and I jet off for 10 days in Hawaii. As Max's girl friend could not secure to visa to enter the United States, he opted not to travel with us to Hawaii. Instead he will hang out with his friends for the remainder of his visit in the Bay Area. I plan on wearing this hat on the flight to Hawaii just so Max will be with us in spirit. Candace says she has other ideas for the hat.

Candace and Grace are in the kitchen making a birthday cake for her father. He is 39 today. By the sounds of things Grace is sampling a fair amount of cake batter. Remember licking the spoon and the mixing bowl when you were young?

Both of us are excited to visit Hawaii. It's been years since we traveled to the Islands. I am personally looking forward to lots of blue drinks, eating great food, basking on the beach garnering the next batch of skin cancer cells, shopping for who knows what and sightseeing.

In an attempt to keep from getting sunburned the first day on the Hawaiian beach, I've been taking advantage of the tanning booth at our gym. It's a scary sort of machine that makes a lot of noise (the fans pushing the hot air out of the booth sound like a 747 is landing next to you), has really bright lights and gets hot really fast. I'm graduating tomorrow from 6 minutes to 8 minutes a session. It's been hard to stay in this damn thing for 6 minutes, it's that annoying. Staying put for 8 minutes is going to be even more difficult. Here's hoping this experience in the "shake and bake" machine will be worth the effort. I hate getting sunburned. Next life? Any shade other than honky white will be fine with me. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 25, 2006

Last night I decided to make stuffed peppers. I got out the old number 8 dutch oven that used to belong to my parents, the bowl for mixing the stuffing, spices and what have you. Stuffed peppers have been in the family for so long that I could make them by heart. That said, what I add to the pepper stuffing is a lot different from what mom used to add. Forgive me mother, but yours were a bit bland for my liking.

Candace likes her peppers to be red or yellow, mine by tradition have to always be green. Basically, you could stuff bell peppers with anything. Here's what I've been working off of. It's just been of late that the ingredients have been comitted to writing. Enjoy!

Stuffed Peppers Ala` Watson

This recipe goes back to my dad’s family who settled in the San Joaquin Valley in the 1800’s. His father made a living farming and supplemented the family income on weekends by playing the fiddle in local taverns. On one of those evenings Joaquin Marietta and Three Fingered Jack wondered into the tavern. They enjoyed the fiddle music so much that they forced old grandpa by gun point to play and play and play into the wee hours of the morning. This recipe has prevailed and changed some over the years. It remains a favorite at family gatherings.

4-6 bell peppers (yellow or red can be substituted)
1 pound very lean or 7% fat ground beef
1 cup of uncooked brown rice
2 cups or an 8 ounce package of grated sharp cheddar cheese (non fat can be used)
1 large onion diced (white or sweet variety)
2 teaspoons minced or crushed garlic
4 16 ounce cans tomato sauce - reserve 2 cans
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
5 tablespoons of chili powder (not the hot variety) – reserve 1 tablespoon
2 teaspoons ground pepper
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Options to add – 1 15 ounce can whole corn, a dozen chopped baby carrots, one medium onion chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cook the brown rice according to package directions. Add a cube or two of chicken or beef bullion to the water.

After the rice is done cooking and in a large mixing bowl thoroughly combine the ground beef, all of the cooked brown rice, grated cheese, diced onion, 2 cans tomato sauce (reserve remaining two), can of diced tomatoes, 4 tablespoons chili powder (reserve the 5th), the ground pepper, salt, red pepper flakes and garlic powder.

Use a number 8 sized Dutch oven (with lid) or a pot with at least 4 inch sides that is suitable for oven use (with lid). Add to the pot the two remaining 16 ounce cans of tomato sauce and blend in the remaining tablespoon of chili powder along with a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes.

Cut the tops off of the peppers and set them aside. Stuff the peppers with pepper mix. Place the tops on the peppers and place them into the pot. Place the lid on the pot and put into the 350 degree oven. Bake 60 to 70 minutes.

Divide the unused pepper mix (and there will be a lot) into two freezer bags and freeze for future use. Pepper mix should be used within three months.

Serving suggestion: Mashed potatoes. When serving ladle sauce from pot onto both the peppers and the potatoes. Mashed Potatoes: 4 large russets (cook 40 minutes whole to preserve flavor). When soft combine with a ½ cup of Parmesan cheese or 4 “dollops” of non fat sour cream, salt, pepper. Use an electric beater to blend pouring in buttermilk to find the consistency you prefer in your potatoes.

After eating such a fine dinner, I retired to the backyard to enjoy its beauty. I happened to look up and lo and behold there was the sign of the fish as shaped by the branches of an oak tree.

I take this as a sign as I would hope that anyone would. Lately I've been feeling very blessed and the sign of the fish in my very own backyard certainly adds to that feeling.

It's a great day in Redding and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sunday began with the usual Sunday question: What do you want to do? I don't know what do you want to do? Let's go work out at the gym. Naw, I don't want to work out on Sunday. Okay, let's go for a walk with the dogs. So we did. Only thing, the dogs ride and we walk. If you look closely, you'll see the most self assured, well adjusted dog in the family riding in the back of the bus or in this case, at the bottom of the pile. Jilli rolls with whatever she is presented. She's such a good sport.

A friend gave Candace this handy little three wheeled machine and frankly, it does work for us. We love to trot along at a fast walking pace of about 4 miles an hour. This is much too fast for the dogs. While they can keep up for a short time they soon tire.

People look and smile at us. We feel stupid but like Jilli, self assured in the decision to push the dogs when they're tired of walking instead of carrying a mile or more. Candace thinks that our family of two people and two dogs will make a newspaper or magazine. Thank you very much, but I'll look for my 10 minutes of fame somewhere else. This Sunday, there were no celebrity photographers lurking in the bushes just dying to get a shot of the Watson family.

Today's walk was at Turtle Bay and along the Sun Dial Bridge. What a piece of architecture it is and something Redding is most proud of.

The backyard of our home is a wonderful place. We've spent a fair amount of time and money creating what we feel is a nice escape from the ourside world. An additional strip of concrete was added this summer to the patio. This has allowed for an area for lounging and for extra plants (we have a lot of plants in containers). Several summers ago we added an overhead patio canopy that is nearly as long as the house. It shields the southern side of the home from the hot Redding summer sun.

Unlike most homes in the neighborhood ours has a green belt on two sides and the yard in back is exceptionally long. I believe we have close to a half acre of land. When it comes to upkeep a half acre is a whole bunch of upkeep.

Fall is setting upon Redding, the trees are starting to turn colors, some are beginning to lose their leaves and there's a crispness in the air. I look forward to rain, a fire, cooking a delicious comfort food in the slow cooker and settling down in my easy chair to a good book. With the rain comes with it relief of a constant feeling that I should be outside doing something to that half acre. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


 Posted by Picasa

Wow, the surf rolled in yesterday in multiple sets of very large waves. It must have been very special because a dozen or more surfers hit the surf late yesterday afternoon. Jilli and I sat on a bench for an hour watching the surfers hang ten or whatever it is that surfers do in the water with their boards.
The dog loves to be covered with a blanket, in this case my sweatshirt and snooze her life away. It's not unusual for Jilli to sleep with her tongue sticking out. Here's the dog taking a late afternoon, after having her dinner nap.
In Oregon if you want to log, you can log away. In Oregon, if you want to build a subdivision on the side of a hill, grade away. In California I don't imagine a project like the one you see in the picture would fly. Think of all the silt that will, in a very short time, slide down the hill not only into the back yards of the homes you see in the picture but also into the bay (see the tops of the sailboat masts?).

These lots will sell for well over 300k, not have much of a backyard or any property that goes with such a pricetag. Judging by the slope of the hill, it would not be a surprise if many of the lots will eventually need engineered retaining walls just to anchor the homes to the hill.

One thing for certain, the homes will have a killer view. The view of the harbor and ocean from this vantage point will be to die for.

Today is my last day in Brookings as I'll head back to Redding early tomorrow morning. It's been a nice visit, just what the doctor ordered to cure me of "attitude". While the bed in the RV is outstanding, it still will be nice to snuggle down tomorrow night with CRW in a huge king bed. Even though it is nice to travel there's really no place like home. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


There are two buoys just outside the entrance to Brookings Harbor. They beep or ring, depending on whether there is fog or if the swells are large enough to make one ring.

If you look closely at the Coast Guard buoy tender (or click on the photo to enlarge it) you'll see a big red buoy on the end of the crane. Cool!

One more day in Brookings. It's been a nice stay. We've enjoyed it so much that I've reserved a week during the Thanksgiving holiday. Now I have to measure the RV oven to see how large of a turkey it will hold. Better yet, I'd better check out the refrigerator to see what it can handle.

Jilli and I are taking our last walks on the beach, at least for this trip. She never seems to enjoy the walk as much as she does when Zoe and Candace are along. Maybe I'm just not peppy enough for her and do little to stir that old internal motivation of hers. But if I do mention that we're turning around to go have dinner in the trailer she blazes a quick trail back up the beach. Now there's motivation for you.

There's been sporatic cell service since my arrival. It's frustrating not to be able to connect with Candace. This morning I had to make a business telephone call back to Redding and had to drive 20 minutes south to pick up cell service.

Tomorrow I'll get the oil changed on the truck, fuel it up, wash it (there's a light salt film all over it) and start packing up the RV. I paid for 7 days of Intenet service and that runs out at 8 tomorrow morning so it really is time to leave.

Tonight it is one cornish game hen on the barbeque, baked potato, garlic bread, salad and spinach. I got a really good deal on the spinach at the local market. The market had a whole bunch of it marked down to really cheap prices. Brookings seems to always have the consumer in mind.

This world we live in - doesn't it seem that the wheels are coming off of it? There seems to be so much wrong in this world, even in America.

Last night I took the opportunity to watch a documentary on the Sundance channel. It's title: "Torture: The Guantanamo Handbook". Quote: "In an inspired melding of investigative journalism and the reality-TV format, Tim Carter's British documentary provides a disturbing demonstration of the conditions and coercive methods used by American interrogators at Guantanamo Bay. For four days, seven volunteers agree to submit themselves to techniques believed used at the prison. "The clearest impression yet of what it might be like ... an impeccable exercise in liberal journalism: its revelatory intentions are more serious than many TV news bulletins" — Guardian.

In their 36 hours of confinement, the men really suffered. I will not go into details but what the men were subjected to was purported to be typical of how America manages prisoners designated as terrorists. All but one of the volunteers gave up before the 36 hour period ended.

I'm the biggest flag waving patriot that there is. I've served my country during the Viet Nam era. But I think America, better yet, this administration, has made grave errors in the domain of human rights. Many men have been held for three years without the opportunity of being represented by counsel nor the opportunity to a trial in a court of law. Based on what I've read and the film that I saw last night, we all should be ashamed that we've allowed this type of cruelty to exist. To believe is to see the film. Most likely you'll be able to find it listed on Sundance's web site.

The men being held? Yes, they're terrorists. Yes, they're most likely all murderers. Yes, they're likely to continue to plot against the United States. And yes, they're human like everyone else on the planet. America needs to model what we expect other nations to follow: Allow these men due process. If they're guilty let them serve their time. If it cannot be proven that they did anything, then release those who are innocent. What our country is doing right now is anything but a model of human decency.

What can you do? Watch the film, write your congressman. Both Houses are reviewing the current treatment of these prisoners and more than a few senators and congressmen (on both sides of the floor) are pressuring the White House to stop this madness. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 18, 2006


I was 16. The second car I owned was a VW. The first a 1947 Ford coupe bought for $125 without the consent of my parents, carried no insurance and parked at a "secret" location until dad found out about it: Shortly after buying the Ford and driving it down one of the main streets I passed Dad on the street. What a look he had on his face.

And while I'm on the subject, my dad didn't want me to get a driver's license until I was 17 or 18. There was no way that I was going to get a driver's license at age 16. Undaunted by what my dad wanted compared to what I wanted, five days after I turned 16 I persuaded the mother of my girl friend to drive with me to the DMV, sign off as my mother so that I could get a driver's license. Back then, no body checked anything. I got the license and started driving anything I could get my hands on, like buying m very own 1947 Ford . . .

It has always been a habit to maintain my cars with spit, polish and care. I had off-set wheels on the VW, a great paint job and a muffler that made it sound like a Porshe. There were street races with other VW's in town owned by kids my age. I often won. Word on the street was that my VW had a racing Porshe engine, something I would not confirm or deny.

Washing my car happened several times a week. I'd take the wheels off and wash them inside and out. The inside would be clean and I'd make certain that it smelled right with an new and appropriate air freshener. Well, air fresher that was fresh was something I had to do - there was no choice. One warm summer Saturday evening my friend Leon and I were completely blasted and cruising the Russan River area. This was an area fraught with young ladies from San Francisco who were there on vacation with their parents. Bands from the City (San Francisco for those of you who have no idea what The City is) would play at resorts on the river each weekend. The River was a happening place. That night Leon had too much to drink and threw up into the passenger side windshield heater vent. What a mess. There was no cleaning the vent. I owned the green VW for five more years. Every time I turned on the windshield defrost heaters I was always reminded of that night out with Leon.

A female physician, her three very young daughters and architect husband lived next door to my family. Each time I washed my car the three girls would come , lean over the fence that separated our two homes and aske me questions. "Does your car go fast?" "Why is your car so loud?" "Do you have a girl friend?" "Do you like school? " All kinds of questions. Their questions used to drive me nuts, so nuts. It wasn't long before my response to their questions was, "Shut up!" I'd say nothing else. "Shut up!" It wasn't long before I was referred to by Dr. Payne's daughters as the "Shut Up Boy".

My last contact with the Payne's was just before I went into the Air Force. At age 18 I contracted a raging case of the measles. There was not anything that I could keep down. I honestly cannot remember being so sick. I wanted to die it was so bad. After two days of high fever and misery, mom called and asked Dr. Payne to come over and give me something to stop the vomiting.

I remember Dr. Payne coming into my bedroom, syringe in hand, and for who knows why, accompanied by one of her daughters. Before Dr. Payne could say anything to me, her daughter asked me a question to which I quickly replied, "SHUT UP!" After being asked by her mother to leave my bedroom, Dr. Payne delivered a painful injection to me that seemed, at the time, to carry with it some amount of enthusiasm. I stopped vomiting within hours. The fever soon went away. My butt hurt for a week. I never saw Dr. Payne or her daughters again.

Here I am in Brookings Oregon camped out. Yesterday a family pulled their trailer next to ours. Once they were parked and setup, their four or five year old daughter set up her toys outside of their trailer and started talking to herself and to whoever in the family would listen to her non stop. Before I shut the door on the trailer in an attempt to save myself from her chatter I wanted to yell at the top of my lungs, "SHUT UP!" I flashed back to the days of washing my green VW. Shut Up Boy is alive and well still living somewhere in California.

Old habits die hard.


We have a collection of heartshaped rocks. When we're beach combing it's always fun to find one or two of them to add to the collection. You can find these rocks on our front porch, the back patio and sometimes in various places in the house. While not exactly heartshaped, here's the latest one that's being added to our collection.

We were up at 5:00 a.m. this morning to get Candace on the road back to Redding by 6:00. Grace is picked up by 12:30 each afternoon and leaving by 6:00 left her plenty of time to get home. I can't remember the last time that the alarm was set for 5:00 a.m. but I do know that it was in another life.

In contrast to yesterday's weather and certainly the picture above, today is overcast with periods of rain. Now this is the coast I know.

It seemed fitting to make soup in the crockpot for dinner. Cold, overcast, moist outside days makes for great comfort food. Split pea soup is just that.

So tonight along with split pea soup the order of the evening will be Monday Night Foodball, the next episodes of Weeds (on Showtime) and Gene Simmon's reality TV gig on A&E (good for 30 minutes of ear-to-ear grinning). Please don't call because I'm going to be much to busy to answer the phone (unless your name is Candace!).

It's only 2:00 and the dog is already staring me down in hopes that she can have her dinner. Since Jilli was fed early this morning feeding her now would be a good thing. Oh Jilli? Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 17, 2006


It's another beautiful day in Brookings. Are you getting tired of hearing that? I'm not getting tired of writing it as it's true. Picture perfect days on the ocean, in my experience, as few and far between. Having spent two years on the California coast I know first hand that as a rule there's regular bouts with fog or a wind that makes life out-of-doors miserable. The past seven days in Brookings has been anything but fog and anything but wind. Perfect.

After morning coffee and showers, I set up the electric frying pan outside on the picnic table. Cooking bacon inside a recreational vehicle has a tendency to "taint" its environment for days to come. We've made a habit of cooking outside, whether it is bacon or fish. 8:00 a.m. bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches are ever so delicious. A BLT does nothing for already clogged arteries but what the hell, it's better to have it my way instead of eating oatmeal to jump start a day at the beach.

Fishing boats streamed out of port this morning starting at first light. Some were party boats while others were commercial fishing vessels getting a head start on Monday's market. Later in the morning three or four sail boats motored from the port to half a mile off shore and then hoisted their sails.

Having washed the dishes it was time for a walk down the beach. Candace and I put the dogs on leash and headed across the street to the beach. Five leaks and three dumps later, both dogs were finally ready to walk with us.

It was a great walk down the beach. The tide was coming in, the air crisp and the beach relatively free of dogs and people.

We turned around and of course I said to Jilli, "Let's go back to the trailer" and of course she smiled, barked and headed down the beach in that direction. In making our way back to the trailer we passed by a formation of rocks that were close to the incoming surf. In an instant, a wave, higher than the rest, broke and swept over Zoe. In as much time, Zoe was headed out to sea.

We all know about a mother's instinct: Protect the young at all costs. Without any consideration for herself Candace headed into the surf to get Zoe. Fortunately Zoe had not been taken any great distance. Having retrieved Zoe (who dog paddled for about 5 minutes in Candace's arms), we headed back to the trailer. Candace's clothes were drenched in salt water. Zoe was completely wet and covered with sand brought in by the wave.

This picture was taken after Zoe was bathed. She's basking in the sun with Candace. For Zoe and maybe even Candace, it was a really close call with the ocean's undertow. Whew!

Here I am getting my face sunburned on the docks of Port Brookings. I am fried. Mom, where did you put the salad oil?

There are many sailboats docked in Brookings. I could easily get used to living and sailing here. No problem.

Retention? Does that mean that after you've eaten this fish you are not supposed to retain it? Duh? There must be a better way to make this statement like "Throw 'em back, don't keep em"? I love plain English.

Candace heads back to Redding at first light tomorrow morning. Grace has to be picked up at her preschool by 12:30 Monday. That means a quick trip back home for Candace.

Jilli and I will stay in Brookings until Thursday morning and then head back to Redding. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Candace and Zoe arrived a little before 9:30 last night having driven 5 or more hours from Redding.

This morning it was a walk on the beach at 7:00, breakfast out, shopping for "stuff" (we bought two banners to fly outside the Boston home), repair to the trailer (there will be a RANT later about Fleetwood and how this company puts trailers together - do you hear that Fleetwood? It's going to hit the fan, damn you!). . . where was I? Okay, then shopping for investment homes (there's a glut of inventory in Brookings), a ride up the Chetco River, a stop at the local farmers market where a band played for the shoppers (Remember the Ventures? It was that kind of music that they played).

I love Brookings. When I like something I always say to Grace, "I like it so much that I'm going to marry it." Grace gets this look and says, "Papa, you're already married to Grammy!" And so it goes with Grace and I . . . back and forth about something that I like and then I want to marry it.

Brookings is much like the Gualala/Anchor Bay area where we've owned property and spent so much time. Both areas are "banana belts" which means little or no fog, lots of sun and fairly warm weather. Gualala and Brookings have rivers (the Gualala and Chetco, respectively) that empty into the ocean. Both places have the same "feel".

I have a sense that we'll invest in one or more properties here. January or February when the market is at a low will be the best time to buy and we'll wait for that time.

Tonight it's chicken splits or half chickens on the barbeque. They're marinating. Baked potato. Salad, hold the E. Coli. Next month when we're flying to and from Hawaii, I'm going to have the airport telephone operator page Mr. E. Coli . . call for Mr. E. Coli . . . Mr. E. Coli? White courtesy telephone please. There's surely someone out there with a last name of Coli and a first initial of E. Who knows, maybe someone will answer my page at one of the two airports we'll visit. I like doing things that that. . . Call for Mr. Wiser. Mr. Bud Wiser, white courtesy telephone, please!

Candace always washes our veggies in a solution of bleach (no kidding) - about 2 teaspoons and a little soap. We've learned that even this small amount of solution will dispell something like E. Coli or other bacteria that may inhabit our food.

It's a sunny September afternoon at the beach. There's a 3 knot breeze coming from the north west end of the park and a temperature of 67 degrees. Candace is off shopping. I'm outside with the computer on my lap. The dogs need a walk (again) and that's exactly where I'm headed . . . a nice long walk on the beach before an early dinner. I think that I'm going to marry this place. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 15, 2006

Here's something to chew on....

One of Jilli's favorite past times is to chew on a puppy bone and sit in MY chair in the trailer.
Speaking of past times, we all know that people love to feed the birds. What's amazing about these pictures is that these two people not only love to feed the birds at the beach but they also love to have the birds perch on them. Yikes, how gross is that? But it's okay for my dog to kiss me on the lips, right?

If you look closely, this guy has a bird flapping on his back and couple on his lap.

He has to surely have a few bird droppings on him.

I wonder these two have ever seen Alfred Hitchcock's film, "The Birds"?

And then there's TV and the good old satellite dish that is mounted on top of the trailer. While I'm at the beach I should really be outside instead of inside watching NASCAR or football or Pinks on the Speed Channel. I have gotten hooked on reality TV. I am currently watching a program that looks into the home life of Kiss sideman Gene Simmons. It's on A&E. When I watch it I swear that I have a grin on my face during the entire program (in fact, just thinking of it makes me grin). Did I mention that I also love Food TV?

There's no place like home as long as the satellite dish works and the TV has a wide screen. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 14, 2006


When I travel alone I do silly things. You know the saying, "Dance like no one is watching". Well, no one is here to watch so I dance . . . in the shower, I dance just for the dog (who has the look, "What the hell is he up to now?") and all around the trailer. Then I get to drum my fingers and beat my hands on the table in time to the music. I'm not allowed to do this at home.

Then there's the new found trick, self photography. Here I am looking totally stupid while I snap myself in the mirror. I could have been dancing but the mirror was too high for me to catch those wildly dancing feet with the camera - you know, like John Travolta dancing feet. I suspect that this will be the first of many self portraits that I upload to this Blog. If Van Gogh were alive today, he'd be doing the same thing.

I always think that i never look my age. Yesterday I became acquainted during breakfast with an 84 year old self made millionaire. He just sat down at my table and introduced himself. I think this is the way they do things in Brookings. One of the first things he said to me was that he probably had 20 years on me. Since he looked as if he was all of 75 I thought to myself, "I never look my age." And when Bill said that he was 84 I again thought to myself, "Oh shit, the gig is up . . . I'm starting to look my age."

I learned more about Bill in the 40 minutes that we sat together than I've learned from anyone in that amount of time in years. I know that I'll see Bill again. He's just one of those guys who you always seem to run into. And Bill, like my mom, my dad, my mother-in-law and my father-in-law is one of a kind: They don't make 'em like that any more. Damn, that was a great generation of Americans.

It's clam pasta tonight, garlic bread, veggies, salad and a nice bottle of red. All in all, it's been another day in paradise. You don't know what you're missing.

Oh and another thing: I AM NOT 64 YEARS OLD! NOT!!!!!

It was an beautiful end to a day last night. What do they say about pink sky at night, is it sailor's delight? I should know that one. One end to a perfect day is a sunset like this.
Another end to a perfect day is Blue Saphire up with an olive and an onion, baked potato in the microwave ready to go, a London Broil all primed for the barbeque, a nice green salad topped with cottage cheese and pineapple in the 'fridge, and a slice of garlic bread.
There's another end to a perfect day, a totally perfectly barbequed London Broil. Damn, can I cook 'em or what?! I can do a lot of things well but one thing that I do very well is not only barbeque (after 40 plus years of grilling you'd think that anyone would surely get the hang of it) but cooking as a craft.

I just love to cook. If I didn't think that it would take the fun out of cooking, I'd buy a restaturant. There would be things on the menu like meat loaf, potato chip sandwiches (there's a story to that dish - as a child when there was nothing in the house to make a sandwich with, there was always a bag of chips available), stuffed peppers, Bob's Chili, Christmas Spaghetti, ham slices with red gravy, chicken halves marinated in lime/Tequilla and then grilled, split pea soup . . . lots of stuff that you don't find when you're eating out . . . you'd find at Bob's.

This would be Jilli's end to a perfect day, stretched out in MY chair after chewing on her bone. She acts like she owns this place and you know what, Jilli probably does.

Oh yes, a not so perfect end to the day came after consuming part of but not all of the London Broil (now remember kiddies, one of the 7 sins is gluttony and I do abide by that). It is a habit to floss, floss and more floss every night. In my vigor to floss and more floss I pulled off one of my caps. My dentist, who is in process of replacing this cap, sent along a "cap repair kit" with me just in case it came off. Well hello?!

This morning I get to glue the cap back on all by myself. Now if I can just get the damn thing glued on without putting it in backwards . . . Wish me luck. Posted by Picasa
As the kids would say, that's a totally sick boat. Someone must have money in Brookings as that's an easy one or two million sitting at the dock.

There's a marina across the street from the RV park with varying degrees of water craft tied up there. Most are neglected and have copious amounts of algae growing on the bottom side not to mention the poor condition of their decks. I've always wondered why anyone would let an investment go to hell like that.
Here's more my speed, my African Queen. I can see my self pulling this baby up a canal somewhere in deepest Africa, dogs and Candace on the topside, me deep in mud, pausing now and again to rip the leeches off of my body, rope in one hand, bottle of Bud in the other, singing, "What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor". Now that would be the life, wouldn't it?
Then there's these guys. There's about 6 of them everynight at the park. At about 5 o'clock someone hauls their bikes in on a trailer and then they all rip around the block for about an hour. Two of them have carriers on the back of their bikes and carry their dogs with them. Cute!

It's about as nerdy as you can get but HEY! at least they're out there doing it. No, I am not going to buy one of these bikes but I might look into a dealership....
Ball, ball and more ball! Does this dog ever give it up? Hell no! How I love my dog, just me and my bitch on the beach. Now there's a song title for you!

I woke up this morning pressed up against the wall. Jilli had gotten cold during the night and nudged up against me to get warm leaving me absolutely no room to turn over or even move just a little bit. Just me and my bitch in bed! Haahahahaha!

Life on the beach in Brookings is ever so good. Posted by Picasa

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States