Friday, April 24, 2009


We've been at Cal Expo (click here to read our recent review) for 2 1/2 weeks, and our chores are being accomplished. As the medical appointments and repairs are completed, fun and socializing take their place, so our calendar now leans more towards FUN and less towards WORK.

Yesterday was my last medical appointment: a visit with my dentist. A little filling had fallen out of my front tooth, and I anticipated shots and drilling to replace it... Nope, it was a painless "refill" of the existing hole. Aside from a (gentle) chiding for my poor flossing habits, the visit was painless. Whew!

Actually, I do have one more medical appointment on the calendar - the three week followup on my cataract surgery. That is one I am looking forward to - I can't wait to learn the "official" measurement of improvment in my vision. I know I will need prescription lenses for reading and computing, but I am still in awe of the difference in my vision pre- and post-surgery. Birds! Street signs! The pretty silver tips on Luna's gray fur! The world is looking particularly fine to me these days.

Odel still has a visit to his dentist coming up, and one big appointment coming up just before we leave - a visit with his urologist for the first followup and PSA test results since his proton beam therapy. We are expecting the PSA to have dropped by about half.

We've just about completed everything on our repairs/maintenance/upgrades list: new mattress (love it); new sound system for Scoopy (love it); the reworking of our TV, converter box, satellite receiver, etc. (we can live with it). We're awaiting the return of our (repaired) water pump, and need to visit Verizon for the "new every two" year upgrade to our cell phones and aircard. Everything is on track for completion well in advance of our scheduled May 20th departure.

We've had LOTS of fun socializing, with much more to come: a baseball game this weekend (Sacramento Rivercats), dinner out with friends at a new and well reviewed restaurant on Monday, dinner with friends at a favorite restaurant on Thursday. We've each seen a movie, I've been to a great play, and we have another play coming up next weekend.

My mom has been my shopping companion (she with a bit more success than me). Here is one of cute shoes she found at the new DSW shoe store we visited the other day. I have the same style in gray, and recommended them to her because they fit narrower feet so comfortably.

My sister Nancy and my friend Becky joined me for a six week series of hooping classes from Allison Miller (photo below), a Licensed HoopGirl Workout Teacher (you didn't know that existed, did you?), and we try to get together once a week to practice. I'm aiming to make another video soon - stay tuned, but don't expect a similar outfit. :)

Odel has been on the golf course every week with his buddies from our prior life here in Sacramento. We've done our walking almost everyday, and have added a speeded-up segment after noticing that just about everyone passes us on our usual slow amble.

The weather? WILD! Temperatures in Sacramento usually average in the low 70's in April, but we recently sweltered through 3 or 4 days of record-breaking highs in the 90's. UGH. The hot spell broke a couple nights ago, and we heard rain on the roof last night. Today is sunny, cool and windy... SPRING.

A few days ago, we received an interesting email from Julianne Crane, the editor of She had recently found and enjoyed our blog, and said:

For sometime I have been pondering with the idea of writing a series of short profiles about "Good people having fun, doing what they love to do." I am hoping you will agree to let me begin the series with you.

Who would say no to that? So today she added a profile of us to her website. Aside from a little info about us, luna, Scoopy and Jules, she also mentioned Kiva and our experiences there, which reminded me that it has been a long time since I did an update. Coincidentally, today's email included a message from Kiva about recent loans paid back, which resulted in a credit balance in our Kiva account. We were able to help fund 4 more loans, bringing our total loans to 99.

When we orginally began lending on Kiva May 26, 2007), we "invested" $1000 over a period of about 6 months. Our contributions of $25 or $50 per loan were pooled with contributions from other lenders and loaned to pre-screened borrowers. I believe we have had one loan default in two years, and many, many have been repaid in full. Each time our share is paid back, we relend the money so, over time, our original $1000 has helped fund $2500 in loans. That's the kind of sustainability we appreciate. :)


  1. What are those shoes? Are they Skechers?

  2. Yes, Skechers. I ripped the photo right off the official website, My feet aren't narrow, but the glovelike fit and high arch worked well on my mom's narrower foot. I wish the color combo she bought had been available when I bought mine - it's really a cute shoe.

  3. Laurie and Odell - Just wanted to let you know that Julianne Crane used to work for the Spokesman Review here in Spokane and I was interviewed for a column she did on Campsites close to Spokane...that was 4 or 5 years ago. I will dig it up.\ so you can read it. I think it is exciting ....Glad you were picked!! You can find me at
    Jenny J (

  4. Nice posting!! Skechers has a great choice of stylish shoes.

  5. After reading about KIVA, I just made my first loan to a lady in Kenya. Thanks for reminding me about this great service.