Matt and Isabella flew in and arrived on December 2nd. Matt needs to do some filming both here and in Los Angeles so he drove down to LA on Monday, December 12th. It was just IzzyB, Ryan and me until late yesterday (December 18th) when Matt arrived home. What an amazing time with her! She’s talking up a storm now and doing really good with potty training! We had so much fun together; my heart is so full!
Here are just a few pics from the visit.
We had a lot of fun at the Seattle Great Wheel. Uncle Ryan was not enjoying it at all (afraid of heights, like his father), but IzzyB had a blast.
We also went to the Seattle Aquarium as well. Honestly, it was a bit disappointing compared to the other city Aquariums we’ve seen, including Denver’s.
IzzyB loved jumping from the couch to my chair.
And today they are leaving. Fortunately they don’t leave until tonight so we get one last day together.
izzyB and Uncle Ryan had a lot of fun!
I’m going to miss IzzyB (and Matt!) so much! My heart is so full to share this time with them both! IzzyB loves Grammy’s fav hat!
While playing on a trampoline, IzzyB broke her tibia.
Matt and IzzyB at the hospital, waiting for the doctor to take an x-ray.
UPDATE – Tuesday, October 4, 2022
IzzyB got her beautiful purple cast on today.
UPDATE – October 6, 2022
She’s relearning how to walk with it too!
Her father, Matt, posted this caption of the above video:
“BREAKING – area woman who broke her tibia less than a week ago is delighted to report that the ordeal has afforded her the opportunity to discover the joy of Blue Ray discs, an antiquated digital media format. she also has appreciated the overflowing effort of servitude dispe’s layed by her parental units in the way of extra and more plentiful refreshments, as well as an enhanced ability on their part to endure vocal abuse. she also wishes to express that no, no, no, no, no you may not sign her cast. you may, however draw a rocket ship, so long as it doesn’t look like a penis.“
UPDATE – Monday, October 10, 2022
She’s walking with her cast now! Woo hoo!
UPDATE – November 8, 2022
IzzyB is a *very* independent girl and decided she didn’t want to walk after she had her cast removed on October 26, 2022. They printed out the x-rays so she could see it was healed and she tried to throw them away! Here’s what Matt texted me when they visited the orthopedists’ office:
“There’s no medical reason she can’t walk. Between 3 MDs and 3 nurse practitioners, no one can figure out what to do next. It’s normal for them to be limping now, but not outright refusing when there’s no medical reason.
“She’s so stubborn it’s actually impressive” – said both NP’s
She’s been crawling or being carried around by her mom and dad ever since; that got real old, real quick!
Two nights ago, she randomly says “I wanna walk” and has been standing and putting weight on it ever since with support!
Here’s her friends at school helping her walk with support:
Larry was always there for me. When Regina and Vincent died, he brought his usual sense of humor and strong muscle to help get her house sorted and empty. He and Kyle have been married almost two decades (I think?).
After some recent health challenges, he experienced a fatal brain aneurysm and passed away this morning, September 27, 2022 at 2:22 AM. Kyle was by his side.
Matt sent me these two photos a few days ago (8/27/2022); words can’t express how much I miss her! And today, for the very first time, she said “I uv u gwammy” when we were ending our FaceTime adventure. My heart is so full.
So after our wonderful road trip, it is time to focus on the house and needed repairs. I fixed the walking stones in the front yard which were uprooted when the electrical was installed for the Chinook. And now I’m turning my attention to the back yard (again).
I started to pressure wash the teak furniture and while sanding it I realized I was silly to keep this set when I can no longer take good care of it. So I decided to sell it and buy a wrought iron set that isn’t so high maintenance.
I found a wonderful Woodard French Country set that was in mint condition here locally so we picked it up last weekend. I’m going to put outdoor carpet on the deck to help protect it.
Anyway, deck refurbishment began and I’m trying to do a little every day. Here’s a few pics of what it looked like when I started.
I’m replacing one deck board that is in pretty bad shape and then will hire someone to do the scraping and sanding. I’ll do the prep for painting and get it done myself. I honestly wish I could hire someone to do painting too but we spent all our money on our vacation and the new-to-us Woodard patio set. Which I just love!
UPDATE – Thursday, August 4, 2022
I’ve made really good progress on the deck painting. I ordered some stair treads for both the back door and the stairs to the bottom of the deck on the side yard. Will feel better walking out in the rain and ice with those treads on the stairs.
I still need to paint the sides of the deck to make it look nice. And I also need to restain/paint the door from the patio. I’m going to paint it white to match the french doors from the family room (and that door needs to be painted too!)
UPDATE – Saturday, August 6, 2022
Today I painted the sides of the deck. I had to have Sherwin Williams match the deck color because the paint I was using was so clumpy. It matches great and looks pretty good.
Ryan and I got the furniture moved out and the new deck rugs on. It’s coming together, slowly but surely. Next, I am going to paint the little step and clear off the potting bench. And the next project is to paint the dining room back door. Never ending maintenance it seems. Here’s a few more pics from today.
UPDATE – Sunday, August 7, 2022
Washed the fire pit area and put some stuff away. A few pics as of this afternoon. Still have to organize the potting bench.
One more from the dining room door that includes the fire pit area.
I still have a few things I’d like to accomplish this summer; paint the back dining room door white to match the french doors, level and lay the pavers by the garden shed, organize the garden shed, remove the big ugly bush by the end of the waterfall, etc. But I’m feeling pretty good about how much I’ve accomplished already.
UPDATE – Sunday, August 14, 2022
The progress continues on my backyard renovation. Here’s a short video I took last weekend – includes my lovely pond-less waterfall.
This weekend, I painted the deck rug stakes to blend in better with the rugs (they were stainless steel in color and would have looked horrible). I also painted the screws too.
And i received the new Sunbrella canopy for my Galtech 9′ umbrella – it matches my 11′ cantilever umbrella. I bought it from The Patio Umbrella Store and I’m also replacing the bottom half of the pole for it as well.
And today I stained the dining room back door. I’ll need to put a few coats of urethane on it sometime this week, hopefully. And I ordered two stainless steel kick plates for the dining room doors from Kick Plate Direct.
I’m not going to paint the french doors – they are fine as is. I think I’ve just about done enough this summer.
UPDATE – Wednesday, August 17, 2022
I ordered a piece of table glass for my cute little table that goes between our chaise lounge chairs – it is perfect and I love it!
UPDATE – Thursday, August 18, 2022
When we bought this house in 1994, there was no door from the dining area – it was just a big window. I found these french doors from an old wine cellar down in Portland and carted them back home. I hired a carpenter to install them after I removed the old window. I never did any maintenance on them or anything so they were in really bad shape. Here’s a close up that I made lighter so you can see the damage from years of weather and use plus pressure washing the bottom part. They were ugly.
So I decided to clean them up and stain them. Here’s just after I started doing the staining.
I’ve been putting the top coat on the last few days and have one more coat to go. Then I’ll take some more pics.
UPDATE – Monday, August 22, 2022
I finally finished staining and putting 3 top coats on the dining room french doors – they look great! I should be receiving the stainless steel kick plates I ordered later this month and then that project will be done.
UPDATE – Tuesday, August 23, 2022
I truly love my backyard. I took this short video this weekend.
I finally received the stainless steel kick plates I ordered for the dining room doors. They look wonderful!
My 2004 Chinook Summit was built in March of 2004. It is SM-29, meaning it was the 29th Chinook Summit ever made from the original sticker on the inside of the bedroom closet. I believe I am the 3rd owner of this beautiful RV. The manufacturer, Trail Wagons, Inc., was based in Yakima, WA – here’s a good history of the company.
We are planning a road trip in June and I’m getting the Chinook ready.
Today I did the de-winterizing and needed a little help from the Chinook group I joined. I have a good sense of how our house works, but am slowly learning how the motorhome works.
Ryan and I are planning to drive to So California to visit Kyle, Larry, Penne and Charlie, then head to Denver. We will be bringing Mickey and Ava with us. Will be interesting to see if Penne remembers them.
And the new one can be set up to control with my iPhone. Brilliant!
Ryan wants to learn how to drive it so we took it out for a short drive yesterday.
UPDATE – June 5, 2022
I had a new water filter system installed under the sink so we don’t have to buy any bottled water and tomorrow, I’m taking it to get the oil changed and new wipers put on. She’s going to be in tip-top shape for our trip.
UPDATE – June 22, 2022
We left at our planned time of 7 AM. Goal is to make it to Red Bluff, CA before nightfall. An uneventful drive including quite a few stops to let the dogs out and refuel. I don’t like to let the fuel get below one-half full.
We arrived at one of the most modern and beautiful KOA‘s I’ve ever stayed at (was formerly called Durango RV park). I stayed here on my 2011 solo road trip and was so glad to have stumbled on it again. Unfortunately we weren’t able to really enjoy all of the amenities because we arrived kind of late. And since it was the first road trip Ryan and I have taken in my new-to-me Chinook Summit, there was a bit of anxiety and confusion setting up camp with the two dogs. In any event, it was a pleasant night and we hit the road to Kyle’s house early in the AM.
UPDATE – June 24, 2022
The drive to Kyle and Larry’s house was not without some excitement. We stopped for gas and Ryan got out to check on the Infiniti and let it run for two minutes. I got out to fill the Chinook tank and it appears I hit the door lock button near the door armrest on my way out. We were both locked out of the Chinook and the dogs were locked in! And of course, the generator stopped too for some reason. It was incredibly hot (103° F) and Ryan was quite upset. I immediately went inside the station and asked them to call 911. I also called AAA. And the gas station attendant called a locksmith too. While we waited, we tried hard not to panic. The locksmith showed up first and went to work. He couldn’t use the slim-jim door thingy so he started picking the door lock. Then the fire department showed up. Just 30 seconds before the fire department was about to break in via the rear emergency window, the locksmith successfully unlocked the driver’s door.
Whew!!! Hugs all around and I paid the locksmith $60. We were so relieved!
We filled up the tank and drove off. About a mile down the road, it was clear something was wrong with the steering. Turns out Ryan forgot to put the Infiniti tow car ignition on the first click to unlock the steering wheel! Once that error was corrected, we went on our way and I was mentally trying to plan for how to get the Infiniti fixed (it wouldn’t start after the incident) while at Kyle’s.
At the next stop, I decided to try the Infiniti again, only to realize that I had failed to put the clutch in previously when I tried. It fired right up.
Needless to say, we arrived at Kyle and Larry’s house late – our Chinook lockout adventure cost us some time and there was so much traffic. I was beyond exhausted.
Every time I see Kyle, it feels like home. Such a deep connection we have.
We had a wonderful pool party at Kyle’s daughter Katy and Jeff’s house. Jeff even saved my life when I choked on a piece of steak and he did the Heimlich maneuver on me. Never a dull moment.
We discovered that the low beams on the Infiniti weren’t working and one headlight was out on the Chinook. So I had Firestone fix the Chinook and will have my mechanic fix the Infiniti headlights since they are covered under warranty when we get home. And as luck would have it, Jeff (Katy’s husband) is an RV technician and he was able to find the loose connection that made the rear slide amber light not come on – problem solved! After a truly memorable visit, we made our way to Grand Canyon National Park – it’s been on my bucket list forever!
UPDATE – June 28, 2022
We arrived at our campground (Trailer Village Campground) at the Grand Canyon and it was amazing! Elk roaming everywhere! I want to plan a trip to stay here for a few days in the future to soak up this amazing place!
After a way-too-short stay, we left for Denver. I didn’t want to spend 12 hours a day for two days driving to Denver so we decided to stay in Moab, Utah; an absolutely amazing place!
After a good night’s sleep, we headed to Denver! We were so excited to visit with Matt, Ashley and our beloved IzzyB (aka Isabella, aka Chickadee)!
While going up to Vail, CO on I70, I had to shift down to first gear as we were fully loaded and towing the Infiniti. Going down from the summit was quite the experience! When we got to our exit, the brakes were smoking as I was riding them pretty hard to keep the Chinook from going over 60 (the Infiniti specs say not to go faster than 60 when flat towing). I posted a question on the Chinook message board and got some great advice about how to safely drive both up and down steep grades while fully loaded.
IzzyB is two and a half now; she’ll be three on October 29, 2022. I’m so blessed to be in her life. She actually ran up to me when we arrived and jumped in my arms!
Matt, Ashley and I went off to Devour303 to have a drink and say goodbye (it was closing permanently). While there, we were talking about all kinds of stuff and Matt went on the above rant about my getting a new “gold” Volvo just before we moved to the Seattle area in 1990. Amazing to hear how he processed some things when he was so young.
PS – it was this 1990 Volvo – Sand Beige Metallic
Also, while the three of us were at Devour303, Ryan was taking care of IzzyB. She was napping when we left. When she woke up, Ryan stepped up and actually changed her very dirty diaper (it was the first time he ever did anything like that, ever)! Woo hoo! Such a good Uncle!
Matt, Ryan and I also took IzzyB to the Downtown Aquarium while we were there. It was quite the experience watching IzzyB interact with everything! She even touched a Moon Jellyfish!
IzzyB is almost ready to use the potty! So proud of her! She’s talking up a storm now and I can’t believe how much she’s changed since I last saw her in April of this year (2022).
We had such a wonderful visit in Denver! Ryan stayed at the house with Matt, Ashley and Isabella and I slept in the Chinook with Mickey and Ava. I only wish the campground was closer to their house. I brought the dogs with me each morning to the house and then came back to the Chinook after IzzyB went to bed.
On July 5 we headed home. Ryan remembered he had in-person school on Saturday, July 9th and we wanted to have a day to decompress.
It was quite an exciting drive on I80 in Wyoming. For those not familiar, I80 is basically a two lane highway (4 lanes total separated by some ground in between the two eastbound and two westbound lanes). We saw some police lights up ahead and as we approached, we realized the lights were on our westbound side of the interstate and coming at us FAST. Turns out it was a police chase with a dark gray SUV coming toward us going eastbound on our westbound lanes with two police cars very close behind with sirens and lights glaring! Wish I had my camera going.
The trip home was beautiful and my co-pilots were at peace.
We arrived home early evening on Thursday, July 7, 2022. All in all it was a GREAT trip without anything going wrong with the motorhome or the Infiniti.
And for the record, gas mileage in the Chinook fully loaded and towing the Infiniti: