A year in the life. (Just the highlights!)

I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I wrote a blog! Let’s see, I left off when we got back from a long trip in the camper.  

Mr. Finley says where have you been?

Mr. Finley says where have you been?

 Shortly after we got back, Paul’s brother Chuck and his wife Monica came to visit. After they saw how great truck campering is they bought one too! So, they brought it up to see us.

Chuck and Monica.

Chuck and Monica.

The rare photo of Paul and his “little” brother Chuck.

The rare photo of Paul and his “little” brother Chuck.

 In June, I took a quick trip to Arkansas to attend my cousin’s Mikey and Savannah’s wedding. As always, spending time with my cousins, aunts and uncles was great. Also, Annie and I moved and split wood to get Aunt Linda and Uncle Melvo ready for winter.

Beer break in the parking lot of the church. Me, Annie, Michael, and his grandson Ben. What great role models we are!

Beer break in the parking lot of the church. Me, Annie, Michael, and his grandson Ben. What great role models we are!

Michael Jay and Savannah saying their vows with best man Bentley.

Michael Jay and Savannah saying their vows with best man Bentley.

Two of my favorite people in the world! Cousin Annie and Aunt Linda.

Two of my favorite people in the world! Cousin Annie and Aunt Linda.

Annie and me. Micheal took us kayaking.

Annie and me. Micheal took us kayaking.

There’s nothing like kayaking in the back of a pickup truck on a dirt road in Arkansas!

There’s nothing like kayaking in the back of a pickup truck on a dirt road in Arkansas!

Michael, his friend, and grandson Ben.

Michael, his friend, and grandson Ben.

 After living here for three years, we decided that since we live on a river we needed to get out there and enjoy it more. We bought a couple of jet skis. A Sea Doo Sparks for me and a four stroke stand-up Kawasaki for Paul. We had a lot of fun last summer on the water! It was nice to have water toys when our friends came for a visit.

My ski and floating pad the ducks use as a toilet.

My ski and floating pad the ducks use as a toilet.

It’s not easy to walk on but once you’re out there, it’s pretty cool! Who wants to come drink beer on my floaty?

It’s not easy to walk on but once you’re out there, it’s pretty cool! Who wants to come drink beer on my floaty?

Paul on the standup. Just like 1985 again!

Paul on the standup. Just like 1985 again!

A fellow Cat City fire family retired a couple hours away, so a bunch of us met there for a fabulous dinner and a little living room dance party. L to R, Paul, Penny, me, Michele (Lewicki), oddly enough Rick Stone’s friends crack head Kevin, JD, Sanborn, Maverick, Cory, Corinne, Chase, and Chris.

A fellow Cat City fire family retired a couple hours away, so a bunch of us met there for a fabulous dinner and a little living room dance party. L to R, Paul, Penny, me, Michele (Lewicki), oddly enough Rick Stone’s friends crack head Kevin, JD, Sanborn, Maverick, Cory, Corinne, Chase, and Chris.

Me and Michele and Craig’s son Chase (Chaas to me). He’s been coming to hang with his mama and me since he was a wee lad. I was happy to see him before he went off to become a Navy corpsman this year!

Me and Michele and Craig’s son Chase (Chaas to me). He’s been coming to hang with his mama and me since he was a wee lad. I was happy to see him before he went off to become a Navy corpsman this year!

 My summer wouldn’t be complete without going to a concert. Specifically, a Kenny Chesney concert with Jane! Kenny was playing across the state in Seattle. Jane and I met there and made a long weekend out of it. We met up with my local friends, Sally, Dawn, Sammie, Sarah, and Jamie for pre concert drinks and hung out in the sandbar together. We even found Nicki up in the high seats and made the trek up to have a drink with her. 

From the roof top deck of our hotel.

From the roof top deck of our hotel.

 My summer water activities came to a halt when I missed the last step coming down the ladder holding a kayak over my head and broke my ankle. It didn’t slow me down too much, I was still able to go for jet ski rides with Paul, fishing, gardening, and camping with my friends. 

You can take the girl out of the trailer park, but, you can’t take the trash out of the girl!!! Quote from Paul.

You can take the girl out of the trailer park, but, you can’t take the trash out of the girl!!! Quote from Paul.

Me: I just sprained my ankle. Everyone else: It’s broken! Everyone was right! Needless to say I didn’t make the 16 mile paddle board trip I was headed to that day.

Me: I just sprained my ankle. Everyone else: It’s broken! Everyone was right! Needless to say I didn’t make the 16 mile paddle board trip I was headed to that day.

My garden from the road. I have room for more raised beds. Maybe next year!

My garden from the road. I have room for more raised beds. Maybe next year!

Even in the summer you rarely see another boat on the river during the week. It’s so quiet and peaceful. This day, I did see a black bear cooling off at the rivers edge.

Even in the summer you rarely see another boat on the river during the week. It’s so quiet and peaceful. This day, I did see a black bear cooling off at the rivers edge.

My friends and I have grown fond of girls camping weekends. Here are a few photos from the three times we camped locally in the past year.

Chicks from the sticks camp!

Chicks from the sticks camp!

I get by with a little help from my friends! Thanks for the lift, Stacey!

I get by with a little help from my friends! Thanks for the lift, Stacey!

We camped on Nicki’s property that has a cool old house. After a day of drinking we decided to do a photoshoot. I’m pointing a shotgun shaped bottle of tequila.

We camped on Nicki’s property that has a cool old house. After a day of drinking we decided to do a photoshoot. I’m pointing a shotgun shaped bottle of tequila.

We camped on the anniversary of the Mount St. Helens eruption, so Sharron and Connie made volcano hats for what we called “Ash Bash”.

We camped on the anniversary of the Mount St. Helens eruption, so Sharron and Connie made volcano hats for what we called “Ash Bash”.

A broken ankle sure didn’t stop me from meeting Jane in Buena Vista, Colorado for a music festival! It so happened that Dierks Bentley was putting on a 3 day festival called Seven Peaks in the small town where Jane’s daughter Stacey lives. Actually, Paul’s parents had a summer home there for years, yet we had never been there to visit. I never knew what we were missing. It is a beautiful place to visit! Paul and I plan on going back this year. 

Jane helping me with the heavy lifting! Don’t mind the girl scratching her butt behind us.

Jane helping me with the heavy lifting! Don’t mind the girl scratching her butt behind us.

Stacey, Sam, me, and Jane heading to the festival on bikes . Had to take an ice chest along for pre concert drinks. And a photo bomb by sweet Louie!

Stacey, Sam, me, and Jane heading to the festival on bikes . Had to take an ice chest along for pre concert drinks. And a photo bomb by sweet Louie!

 In the Fall, Paul and I spent some time out harvesting wood on Forest Service land. You get a permit and can take dead wood to use for firewood. The area we went was a short drive from the house. 

The first trip up to cut wood, we punctured the sidewall of one of the back dual tires. No harvesting that day!

The first trip up to cut wood, we punctured the sidewall of one of the back dual tires. No harvesting that day!

Paul cutting wood. The old fire helmet comes in handy.

Paul cutting wood. The old fire helmet comes in handy.

A few rounds loaded.

A few rounds loaded.

After using the axe a bunch, I noticed a bump in the palm of my hand. I googled it, of course, and it looked like it could be a hereditary condition called Dupuytren’s Disease. I called my mom, and sure enough, she has it too. Hers also started with a nodule in her palm around my age. After doing research and seeing a specialist, I decided to have low dose radiation to hopefully halt the disease at the beginning stage.

I’m was just starting stage 2 when I started radiation. Hopefully it works and I don’t end up with a claw. My ring, middle, and index fingers are involved.

I’m was just starting stage 2 when I started radiation. Hopefully it works and I don’t end up with a claw. My ring, middle, and index fingers are involved.

The doctor mapped the area to be radiated. The three nodules are circled as well as the two cords starting to form.

The doctor mapped the area to be radiated. The three nodules are circled as well as the two cords starting to form.

 We went to Las Vegas on what seems to have become an annual trip to hang out with our Cat City fire family. As always, it was a blast.

Us with Michele and Craig Sanborn.

Us with Michele and Craig Sanborn.

When you’re not good at large cornhole, you find other ways to amuse yourselves. My head on Michele’s body. Maybe you have to be day drinking to get it?

When you’re not good at large cornhole, you find other ways to amuse yourselves. My head on Michele’s body. Maybe you have to be day drinking to get it?

Rick West and Craig Sanborn in the cornhole. Love these goofballs!

Rick West and Craig Sanborn in the cornhole. Love these goofballs!

From Vegas, I rented a car to go to see my mama and then to Indian Wells to celebrate Jane’s birthday. 

Me and my mama.

Me and my mama.

Jane’s birthday crew. Debi, April, Jen, Cindy, Jane, Stacey, me, and Ann.

Jane’s birthday crew. Debi, April, Jen, Cindy, Jane, Stacey, me, and Ann.

 For Thanksgiving, we met Dustin and his girlfriend Jill on the coast of Oregon. We rented a house on the beach for the weekend and I made my first turkey. Even though I screwed up and didn’t have the turkey in the roaster right, it turned out pretty good. It was a really fun weekend, hanging out with the boy and getting to know his girl. Spending time with your grown kids is such a treat. I don’t know when I’ve laughed harder! ;D

Dustin, Jill, Paul, and me at the beach.

Dustin, Jill, Paul, and me at the beach.

Jill and Dustin.

Jill and Dustin.

 Christmas was pretty low key. I made our favorite holiday dinner, pizza.

Paul delivering the Christmas tree he cut.

Paul delivering the Christmas tree he cut.

Paul with his Christmas present. One of Dustin’s designs.

Paul with his Christmas present. One of Dustin’s designs.

A Christmas party at my friend Sally’s home bar, the North Star bar with some of my besties. Nicki, Tammy, Kathy, Stacey, and me.

A Christmas party at my friend Sally’s home bar, the North Star bar with some of my besties. Nicki, Tammy, Kathy, Stacey, and me.

A couple nights later we had a visit from a large cougar. Then a few days later a smaller one that seemed to be injured. We called out a couple of guys that hunt cougar and they found the injured one not far from the house. It was in such poor shape the game warden gave them permission to put it down. It had a broken leg and wasn’t able to hunt. The larger cat had left a fresh deer kill and that’s what drew him here. 

The large healthy cougar prints. To quote my brother in law, Tony, “follow that cougar, he’s dropping change!”.

The large healthy cougar prints. To quote my brother in law, Tony, “follow that cougar, he’s dropping change!”.

The injured cougar prints, dragging a paw.

The injured cougar prints, dragging a paw.

The top half of the skinny dead cougar.

The top half of the skinny dead cougar.

 The month of January I spent planning for a trip to Scotland. I will write about that trip in a separate blog so this one won’t be so long. 

 When Dustin was visiting Jill’s family in Virginia they sent me photos of Jill’s brothers  Australian shepherd dog and photos of a litter of Aussie puppies. I had been saying I wasn’t ready to get another dog, but those photos got my wheels spinning! You know I’m a sucker for Aussies! So, we discussed it, and decided to get a couple of puppies in late spring at the earliest. While we were in Scotland in February, I saw a pup for sale on Facebook and had to have her! Shortly after we got home, we drove to southeast Idaho in a winter storm to pick her up. So much for waiting! Then a few months later we went back to get a second puppy from the same breeder. I will also write another blog all about the pups!

Introducing Nuala , left, (an Irish name, pronounced Noola) and Cooper right.

Introducing Nuala , left, (an Irish name, pronounced Noola) and Cooper right.

Since we have two, soon to be large dogs, we decided to sell the small camper and get a larger one. Not as big as The Mr. Beaumont, but somewhere in between. We lucked out and were able to buy one from a friend of mine. It’s a 2012 Artic Fox 990 with one slide. It’s like new and absolutely perfect for us and the dogs. I took it out for a girls camping weekend at nearby Sullivan Lake. And, a couple weeks later over to Kennewick for a second round of radiation on my hand. I forgot to take photos of it. There will be plenty of time for that, though!


This spring has been really busy. We had a broken water main pipe that runs down the driveway from the wellhead to the pump house, buried 4’ down. Since this was the third time, and they couldn’t pinpoint the exact spot of the break, Paul decided to replace the whole line.

Waterline and power line trench.

Waterline and power line trench.

Paul tore down the ramp to the dock to replace the original section and the next day they raised the water level. We are hoping to get it fixed before we have summer guests.

The geese are lucky the ramp is missing. Finley cat wanted goose for dinner.

The geese are lucky the ramp is missing. Finley cat wanted goose for dinner.

My good friend Sally is going to have her first grand baby soon, so a group of us threw her a Gram shower. We played games and ate, and maybe drank too much and laughed a lot. I love my friends!

Yes, we pinned big granny panties on the poster of Sally. I think she won. Who else would know better how to put her panties on than herself?

Yes, we pinned big granny panties on the poster of Sally. I think she won. Who else would know better how to put her panties on than herself?

L to R Dawn, me, Kathy, Sally, Nicki, Diane, and Stacey.

L to R Dawn, me, Kathy, Sally, Nicki, Diane, and Stacey.

My mama finally made it up here to see where we live. She stayed with my sister, Stephanie in Tacoma for a week and here for 9 days. I took her up to Canada for lunch one day. Her first visit to Canada. I showed her around and introduced her to a lot of my friends. We had a great visit.

She always asks if I’ve seen Bigfoot, so I had to introduce her to him.

She always asks if I’ve seen Bigfoot, so I had to introduce her to him.

I took Mama on an adventure in the RZR.

I took Mama on an adventure in the RZR.

And for a boat ride where the clouds looked like smoke signals.

And for a boat ride where the clouds looked like smoke signals.

Well, those are the highlights of the past year. I promise to not wait so long to write another blog post. Coming soon, two weeks in Scotland, and two aussie pups join the Homelessbear family.