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Invited to a neighbor's backyard graduation party
Keeping the kids busySaturday, May 26, 2018: A busy day today. My sons Ben and Joe came to help clear out the rest of the house. We started with the piano. It turned out to be easier than I thought to move the piano but I forgot to take any photos. I chose to list with an agent during our Open House. We have very few lookers yesterday and today due to the holiday weekend. We need her sales help going forward and she offers a good rate. Later in the afternoon, Mom's next door neighbor, Larry, who gave Mom so much help, called to invite me to a backyard barbeque at his house. It turned out to be a celebration of graduation of one of Larry's grandchildren. It was a huge family celebration and I was privileged to join it. Larry did a smart thing to have a bounce house for the younger children. Click the above photo for another view.
The Open House begins
Friday, May 25, 2018: Erica, our agent, has begun a three day "Open House" to sell the house at 610 W Turner Rd, Lodi. Erica has gone all out. I have left Erica in charge and because the "owner" should not be around when buyers visit. Here is a video I posted tonight to many Facebook sales sites in Lodi and the county.
Mom's trash is gone
Thursday, May 24, 2018: Today is the day. I've been waiting all morning. After lunch, the truck arrived to haul off all the stuff my parents have been saving for 60 years. I didn't quite fill the bin so I offered space to the neighbors who have been helping. They filled it up. I always like watching the trash disappear. Here is a video of the trash leaving. Click the photo for another view.
Trying a new kayak
Meeting on a sand barWednesday, May 23, 2018: I got a chance today to try out a kayak Gwen is interested in. It is a recreational kayak, very light weight and only ten feet long. It's made of a new type of material, very tough and fast in the water. The owner of the Lodi kayak store, Headwaters, invited me to try the Eddyline Sky-10 at Lodi Lake. It turned out to be a paddle club with about twenty members showing up tonight. These were all levels of paddlers, some first time and others advanced well beyond my ability. Neither Gwen nor I have ever paddled a recreational kayak, ours have always been sea kayaks. I was surprised with the speed of this little kayak and how easy it was to turn. Several ladies owned the Sky-10 and I asked them many questions. They liked it for it's light weight and ease of handling. I liked it because of the quality of the build and the two bulkheads which gave a place to store gear and would keep the kayak from sinking if overturned. I mentioned all levels of kayakers showed up tonight. Every level reached the sandbar about two miles from the launch, exited their kayak, did a stretch and visit then back into the water for the return paddle. It was about two hours of kayaking. I think Gwen would like this boat.

Nearly full

Tuesday, May 22, 2018: A very busy day, more stuff into the dumpster bin until my appointment with my mother's financial advisor. I was able to get much work done with him. Then a nice burrito lunch with sister Dorana. About that time I got an offer from one of the real estate agents who looked at the house. She offered to run a three day "Open House" this weekend in a professional manner. For that, she would charge only a 2% commission if she sells it and nothing if she doesn't. My hope is to have an acceptable offer before Friday but if not, we would gladly give 2% to have the house sold this weekend. I took the rest of the afternoon to change my advertising on Craigslist, Facebook,, Zillow plus three different Lodi Facebook selling groups. At the end of the afternoon we got our first offer on the house. It is a good offer but we need a much better offer to be able to stop the sales process and accept an offer. The dumpster bin is nearly full. I'm still looking for more to put in but fortunately, I'm not finding anything. I'm ready for it to be out of the driveway. Click the photo to enlarge.

Facebook page
Sunday, May 20, 2018: This was an "online" day. I spent nearly the whole day preparing online marketing for my mother's home. It is already listed on Zillow. I also added it to "" a "for sale by owners" site. I also added it to a Lodi Facebook items for sale site with 14,000 members. Then I created a Facebook page specifically for the house which you can see in the photo above. You can also click here for the 610 W Turner Rd. Facebook page. That part was fun to create. I could have built a Webpage for the house but a Facebook page makes it easy for people to communicate. My son Joe has been very helpful. Click the photo above for a larger view of the Facebook page or click HERE if you want to see the actual page.
Across town
In the neighborhood
Within 1/2 mile
Saturday, May 19, 2018: Saturday is open house day in Lodi so I took myself to three open houses to discover what a $330,000 house looks like in Lodi. All three houses were the same age as my mother's house. Two of the three houses were within one-half mile from my mother's house. The price range was $330,000 to $370,000. They were all smaller and none had been "renovated". All three had old kitchens, bathrooms, electrical, plumbing. The most expensive of the three had only a wall heater and window air conditioning. Two of the three had beautiful, polished hardwood floors. Mom's house also has hardwood floors but covered with carpet. Her house would show much better with the carpet removed and the floor refinished. My tour today told me that the $329,000 price is about right for Mom's house since it is in need of some serious repair.

The houseDon the termite inspector

Friday, May 18, 2018: I greeted Don from A-1 Pest Control this morning. He is doing the termite inspection for us. He wasn't looking very long until he showed me evidence of termites and explained the house would need a tent to get rid of them. "That sounds expensive." I said. He said, "Not bad, about $1,500." He continued his search and eventually crawled under the house. He will email the report to me by Tuesday with a bid to fix everything. I'm not sure what to expect. I saw lots of dry-rot when I was cleaning up and it will all have to be replaced. Later in the afternoon I worked on a Zillow ad to get the frenzy started. I've actually already had a call from someone wanting to see it. Perhaps I'll be back in Oregon before I expected.


Second Hand JoeCleaning


Thursday, May 17, 2018: I began the day with cleaning the west end of the house. I needed Mom's vacuum but found immediately the brush drive belt was broken. It made me wonder how long her caretakers had been using it with no powered brush. It was quick and easy to replace. This was a vacuum my mother purchased from a television ad and paid WAY too much money for it. I believe close to $500 but of course got "free" items with her purchase. A $100 vacuum could do better so don't get tricked by those TV ads. I also used the shop vac to vacuum the corners of each room. (Click the photo to see my Dad's shop vac.) About noon "Second Hand Joe" arrived to load donations for the Boys and Girls Club store. I call him "Second Hand Joe" but don't really know his name. He took everything which had not be spoken for. That included a few furniture items, dishes, trinkets. Now, once everything else is removed from the house I can finish the cleaning. Later in the afternoon the appraiser arrived at my request. He appraised the house at $335,000 and I needed to understand his appraisal since the house needs so many repairs. He was great help. In early evening, the next door neighbor arrived to view the house saying his family was interested in buying it. My goal is to have a sales contract with a buyer we located or have it listed with a real estate agent before going back to Oregon around June 2.

My mother at age 22

Wednesday, May 16, 2018: As we go through my mother's house cleaning out drawers and closets, we find lots of old photos. This one was taken in Pullman, Washington, May, 1947. My parents were in Pullman because my father was attending Washington State University getting a degree in poultry husbandry and animal nutrition. Mom is standing in front of the "cottage" they bought for $500. My dad fixed it up. When they left Pullman they sold the cottage for $5,000. Nice profit. My dad was in the Navy during World War II so he was attending college on the GI Bill. My mom won't be 22 for another six months in this photo. I was three months old. I'm sure I was a good baby, never complaining about anything.

Finding the Lodi Elks Club


Tuesday, May 15, 2018: A day of errands. I took two old TVs to the Tokay Recycle place, then drove to Staples with an old printer and scanner. They took those for recycle. A little grocery shopping came next. My final stop was the Lodi Elks Club which is really in the tiny town of Woodbridge (next door to Lodi). I had three US flags which must be disposed of correctly. The Elks club will take care of them properly. I also made appointments for a termite inspection plus a second hand store which will pick up the rest of the items in the house good enough for resale. The second hand store owner drives a Mercedes so business must be good.

Haxmat man!The dumpster arrives

Monday, May 14, 2018: This was a serious work day since now I have my "hazmat" suit and the dumpster has arrived in our driveway. When I called for the dumpster I was told they had only two sizes, 20 yard and 40 yard so I chose the smaller of the two. My father had used a storage room at the back of the house for many valuable-to-him items but then had not visited that room for many years. He passed away 7 years ago and certainly no one has visited that room in those seven years. I could imagine all sorts of wild things, insects, spiders and toxic dust in there. I ordered a hazmat suit on Amazon ($8.82) and used the respirator I found in the garage. Fortunately, my brother-in-law, Ed and next door neighbor, Larry came to help and we made quick work of that storage room as well as my old garage bedroom which my Dad had turned into a "catch-all" room. I was actually surprised because it could have been worse. I thought we might fill the dumpster but only made it half full. We put several items onto the sidewalk in front of the bin with a sign "FREE" and everything disappeared quickly. Click the photos for more views.

Lucy found great-grandpaLet's play in a box
Sunday, May 13, 2018: My daughter, Mindy, her husband Scott, plus Lucy and Elise came to visit great-grandma's home and to be with me on Mother's Day. Lucy had a request, she wanted to see where great-grandpa was buried. After some searching we found his grave marker in a Lodi cemetary. Her next request was to go on a hike in the nature area where great-grandpa was a docent. So while hiking, we found the plaque next to his bench in the Lodi Lake Nature Area. Click both photos for additional views.

I'd rather have a pancake!Spinach for breakfast?

Saturday, May 12, 2018: Noah was the first awake so I invited him to the motorhome for breakfast. He wanted pancakes so I fixed pancakes and jokingly told him I'd put mushrooms and spinach into his pancakes. Nope! But he ate several pancakes. Then I showed him the spinach and mushrooms. He decided he would eat the spinach, and ... he DID! But NO mushrooms! Click his photo! Next, Chloe came for breakfast. She too wanted a pancake so she finished off a pancake the size of her plate. Click her photo too. Chloe, Noah and their Dad had a special day planned with my sister Dorana. They dropped me off at the Enterprise Car Rental company so I could pick up a Kia Rio. Then they drove to the park for a short exercise before taking off to Dorana's house.

Help has arrived

Friday, May 11, 2018: Hurray! Help has arrived! Doris' great-grand-children, Chloe and Noah have arrived with their Dad to help with great-grandmother's house. They always loved to visit great-grandmother because she has a large concrete driveway for them to ride their scooters. They will miss their monthly trips to Lodi.

Chloe has taken an interest in playing the piano and great-grand-mother has a piano which I have been trying to get their Dad to take home. He was reluctant due to the weight and lack of space. However, during this visit, Chloe downloaded a piano lesson APP to her iPad and began learning from it. The first night she had to be forced away from the piano to go to bed. By the time she left for home, she was proud to announce she had learned FIVE notes for her right hand, "C, D, E, F and G". Her lesson APP teach how to read music at the same time it teaches keyboarding. Dad is convinced. The piano will go home with them. Here is a short video of Chloe at the piano.

Doris with her great grandchildren
Thursday, May 10, 2018: My two sisters and I visited my mother's financial advisor and her attorney today before continuing the process of sorting the items in the house. I found this photo of Doris with her two granddaughters and three of her great grandchildren. Family was always an important part of her life.

May 9, 2018: I'm parked in Mom's driveway, maybe for the last time. Mom's house will be for sale as soon as we can get it ready. My sisters have already been working hard at cleaning everything out of the house. There will be weeks of events and healing.

Mom at age 90
Tuesday, May 8, 2018: This was a traveling day from Sutherlin, Oregon to Lodi, California. This is my Mother's town since 1963. She passed away over the weekend, hence my trip to Lodi to be with my sisters during our time of grief. My mother was 92-1/2 years old. She passed quickly which was a blessing for her.
Again in Bandon on the way home. A bat in our awning
Monday, May 7, 2018: A travel day from Brookings to Sutherlin. We passed this fish made of ocean trash in Bandon. This time, no lunch, just drinks in Bandon. When we arrived home I rolled out our patio awning. We hadn't done it earlier because we were leaving for British Columbia. However, events have caused our plans to change and we will likely spend the summer in Sutherlin with short trips here in Oregon. When I rolled out the awning this little bat dropped onto the patio table. At first I thought it dead, but soon realized it was just stunned. Bats are our friends and welcome here in the park. They eat their weight in mosquitoes each night. Click the bat photo for a close up view. Yes, the little guy recovered and is off eating bugs tonight.

Gwen with her daughter Lesa


Sunday, May 6, 2018: Gwen and her daughter Lesa can't get enough of the beach so they are on another beach hike. The dog is Maize and belongs to Gwen's son Dave. Click the photo for another beach view.

Watching the waves
Saturday, May 5, 2018: Dave, Brook, Lesa, Gwen and I are watching the waves on the Brookings beach. This was low tide and a preparation to walking the beach. Overcast all morning then broken sun in the afternoon. Click the photo for another view.
The view from Dave and Brooks new home
Friday, May 4, 2018: We are stay in the guest room at Dave (Gwen's son) and Brook's new home. This is the view from their picture window. A perfect place to watch the fishermen and the approaching storms. They haven't gotten use to the view yet. This is the evening view from last night. Click the photo for today's view.
A lunch stop on travel day
Thursday, May 3, 2018: This is a travel day from Sutherlin, Oregon to Brookings, Oregon. Our halfway point and lunch stop is the Fish and Chips Chowder House in Bandon by the Sea, Oregon. It is an overcast day on the coast. The Chowder House is a Bandon favorite and always a line of folks waiting for their fish.

Monday, April 30, 2018: This is my new favorite tune! In fact, I think Curtis Salgado is my new favorite artist!

Kayaking Cooper Creek Reservoir

Wild life on the lakeIris along the lake


Wednesday, April 25, 2018: Time to prepare for a summer at Telegraph Cove, British Columbia. I need to spend as much time kayaking to improve my skills. Fortunately Cooper Creek Reservoir is only a ten minute drive from home base. It's not a large lake but large enough. One trip to the far end and back is 4.2 miles. That is almost enough to get to Hanson Island off Telegraph Cove and back. As I build endurance, I'll have to do the lake more than once. Click each of these photos for another view of Cooper Creek Reservoir. I also did a video of the drive from home base to the lake. You'll see an older part of Sutherlin, Oregon, the route to the lake, and you get to listen to Mozart along the way.

The kayaks are home
Saturday, April 21, 2018: This was a travel day to Klamath Falls and return, 3 hours driving each way. When Gwen was visiting her daughter earlier in the month she had taken the kayaks since I couldn't transport them with the motorhome. She left them in Klamath Falls with her daughter when she continued to home base in Sutherlin. The weather was finally good enough for us to make the trip. Of course, Lesa had a "to-do" list when we arrived so we spent several hours before packing the kayaks and returning. We have Cooper Creek Reservoir only three miles from home base so I can get the chance to practice my kayaking skills before heading north to British Columbia.

Gwen with her friends at the Douglas County Quilt ShowJoy is the leader of the quilt trip


Friday, April 20, 2018: While I said home to work on projects, Gwen went with her "Sit and Sew" group to explore the Douglas County Quilt Show at the Douglas County Fair Grounds. The girls left early this morning with the plan to explore most of the day at the quilt show. Gwen thought the show was slightly smaller than last year but it was crowded. I didn't see them again until 3 pm. Meanwhile, I repaired the fifth wheel furnace, a light switch in the fifth wheel and removed the shower "cartridge" from Miss Dory. I also scrubbed two throw rugs from Miss Dory with a brush and soap, hosed them off then hung to dry.

Welcome back snowbirds
Thursday, April 19, 2018: Timber Valley RV Park has a large clubhouse. Tonight we had a "Welcome Back Snowbirds" dinner in the clubhouse. This is just one of the many activities which happen in the clubhouse. Each night (7days each week) is game night of some sort or another. The clubhouse also has a lending library of books and videos. Various clubs meet during the day. Gwen always goes to the "Sit and Sew" club on Tuesday morning. I attend only the Webpage committee meetings. Tonight's dinner was not ready on time so to entertain the group, each "Snowbird" had to tell where they have been and what adventures they had. I was brief because the couple before us spoke for 15 minutes. After mentioning our Arizona adventures, I told them I had volunteered to take care of the clubhouse bathrooms until I left again at the end of May. I further told them "Not to use the bathrooms until I leave." That got a chuckle.
Our winter adventure to Arizona is over
Tuesday, April 17, 2018: We are back at "home base" from our Arizona adventure, the Escapee Park in Sutherlin, Oregon. We plan some changes and repairs to Miss Dory then off again on our next adventure toward the end of May. It has been raining since we arrived but it promises to be clear tomorrow. I have volunteered to clean the clubhouse bathrooms again and will do that everyday until we leave. Today, I cleared out several of the Miss Dory hatches and will repack them with our summer stuff. I pulled out bags of rocks we collected in Arizona as well as the metal flowers we bought in Quartzsite. The four, five gallon jugs I used for fresh water in the desert will be left here until next fall. It's nice to have our own washer/dryer again.


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