Friday, May 8, 2009


Today was Early Mother's Day. My sister Nancy and I planned a fun day with my mom: lunch out - with gifts - followed by "spa" pedicures (manicure for Nancy, who already had good lookin' feet). I love having a pedicure: the massaging chair, the foot massage, the attentions of a "trained professional" to all the bumps, lumps and wierdly shaped toenails. Clomp in on hooves, glide out on dainty woman-feet.

The other reason I love getting a pedicure: it is such a "girl" experience. Martha Stewart's Living, Oprah's O, People, More, Family Circle... all the women's magazines are there (I opted for the O magazine from August of 2006). The pedicurists chat among themselves in an Asian tongue; the gaggle of girls getting ready for the prom gossip together; friends discuss their kids and husbands. I am rarely in that atmosphere anymore, and it is relaxing to listen to these slices of female life.

Over coffee after our pedicures, my mother mentioned that it had been several days since I posted a blog. All I could say was, "I've been soooooo busy!" My working sister laughed outloud at that, and I tried to think what, what, what have I been doing?? Two things have consumed a lot of time lately: picking out my new glasses, and planning our trip north.

My cataract surgery results are fantastic - I couldn't be happier. I still need glasses for reading and computer work, though, and HATE putting reading glasses on, taking them off, searching for them throughout the rig, digging into my purse for them when I am out, needing to find 'em to read the prices at the grocery store...

So, I want full-time glasses. Put them on and forget about 'em. Prior to cataract surgery, I wore the same pair of glasses for about 4 years: narrow burgundy frames, out-of-style shape. I am sick of them! I wanted something cute, something modern, something that took 10 years off my face and neck. With that tall, tall order in mind, I decided to start looking at frames well in advance of yesterday's "final checkup" of my eye and the resulting new prescription.

Any of you who wear glasses know what it's like to pick out your new frames. Too wide. Too big. Too heavy. Too dorky. Too "cute". Too trendy. When you find a pair you like and set them aside, you don't like 'em anymore 15 minutes and 22 frames later. Brown? Plum? Khaki? Purple? Bling, or bling-free? So, that is ONE of the things I spent time on (I went for brown, narrow frames, as bling-free as possible, semi-trendy shape).

The other is trip planning, and that sucked up ALL of my computer time for several evenings. We are leaving here on Wednesday, 5/20, a few days before the Memorial Day weekend. Fulltimers know this: be prepared for 3-day holiday weekends! The smart move is to be in place on Friday and stay put until Tuesday. If you are staying in a commercial campground or state/federal park, you have three choices: go where there is snow on the ground; go where the temperature is 100+ degrees, or have a reservation.

We have 12 days to move from Sacramento to our volunteer job in Hood River Oregon. Hmmmm...

Up I-5 for the umpteenth time? The driving is easy; we have favorite stops along the way; the mileage is shortest. One of the most beautiful RV parks we have ever visited is on that route (Seven Feathers RV Resort in Canyonville, Oregon), as is one of our favorite free sites (drycamping in the huge parking lot of the Valley River Shopping Center along the Willamette River and the bike trails of Eugene, Oregon).

But how about taking Hwy 101 through the California redwoods and up the Oregon coast? We haven't been that way in a long time; we love Eureka/Arcata (in California); the Oregon coast is beautiful and we have friends volunteering along the way to visit... but what if it is rainy, or foggy? But it is SO beautiful if the sun is out....

And how about Crater Lake - we haven't been there in ages? Oh, the open spaces and blue skies... we'd see some new sights, have excellent hiking... but what if there is still snow on the ground???

Stage One is to make a commitment to a route, and we spent a couple of nights researching and discussing - in impossible-to-describe detail - the pros and cons of the various options. Last night, we FINALLY decided to commit to the Memorial Day weekend in Grants Pass, Oregon. We've never spent time there and several fun events are planned over the long weekend so. Today, Odel called and reserved a spot for us in a highly-rated RV park within walking distance of the Rogue River. After that, we'll check and decide which way to go!

While I was having lunch with Nancy and my mom today, talk turned to food and recipes (of course). As a former Sacramentan, I still enjoy reading the Sacramento Bee. Wednesday is the day the food section comes out and, a few weeks ago, an unusual recipe caught my eye: White Bean and Shrimp Stew with Dandelion Greens.

I made it a couple of nights ago and Odel begged me to keep the recipe. As always, I made a few changes: I didn't have easy access to pancetta, so bought a couple of strips of applewood smoked bacon (you don't need much) from the butcher counter in Safeway, added more garlic than the recipe called for, and cooked the beans in the morning when I wanted to warm up the motorhome instead of in the afternoon when it was already damn hot inside! I also used kale instead of dandelion greens (not as readily available at Safeway and I wasn't in the mood to forage).

Since I didn't want to type the entire recipe, I googled it to see if I could snag it from the internet. Turns out that the Sacramento Bee's recipe had been printed in several newspapers, including the LA Times - who provided this yummy photo, copied off of their site. Consider that to be official accreditation... I don't want them tracking me down!


  1. Hey Laurie, we are also working in Oregon this summer we will be at Loon Lake in Reedsport 5/15. By the way do you twitter. You can check it out at

  2. That recipe sounds great. We will cook the beans in the solar oven - no heating the house up at all.


  3. I was checking out your reviews and you list Truckee, Arizona - I think it should be California???

  4. Thanks, Anon. Yes, it is Truckee, California. Fixed.