Since our last update Diane has made it back home after a 1 week visit in Portland. She drove back on Thursday the 19th on probably the worst weather day of the week, of course LOL!!
She stayed at her brother’s house where her mom is also living and has been since our visit last year. Her mom will be 91 in July and the years have certainly been catching up to her the last 2 or 3 years.
Diane’s mom has dementia and depending on what chart you use to determine what stage she is in the number can vary but using the 7 stage chart she is in stage 4 and teetering on level 5 it seems. They now have a couple different people from outside the home come in and help with things like baths and cleaning because both John and Daniel work outside the home and having someone from the outside come in during the day while they are away helps out a lot and gives a set of eyes on their mom while everyone is away. Eventually she will most likely need to be moved to assisted living but for now this seems to be working out pretty well.
Diane enjoyed her time with her mom and had a nice visit while there and our good friend Maureen stopped in for a visit as well. Maureen’s mom is also suffering from Dementia and is living in a Assisted Living Center so she can relate with what Diane’s mom and her family is going through and has offered some great advise having gone through it herself.
I think because of her mom’s condition we will be hanging around the west coast (Oregon, Washington & Idaho) a good chunk of the summer so Diane can spend more time with her, but we still plan to make it into Colorado for the month of August before going south for the winter. IN fact we have already reserved 8 days at a campground not far from Durango the first part of August.
Friday morning (5/20) Diane had an early morning appointment at an Audiologist for a hearing test and then we pretty much killed the rest of the day until her 4pm appointment at the Dermatologist to have another hunk of flesh dug out. They made comment that they almost got everything out on the original visit but needed to go just a little deeper and want to see her again in a year. I guess we know where we will be next May even though we had already pretty much figured on it anyway. In fact we have already reserved this same spot for the month of May next year.
Saturday (5/21) we got off to a slow start but finally decided to drive to Medford and do a little truck shopping so we could hopefully either (excuse the phrase) shit or get off the pot on this topic. I have always been a Ford truck guy so I wanted to at least hit one larger Ford dealership to test the waters but once again came up empty handed after toying around with ideas and numbers.
For more than the last 20 years I have always figured out exactly what I wanted in a car or truck and emailed what I wanted to 4 or 5 dealerships and let each one know that they were competing with other dealerships on the exact same vehicle and the lowest bid earned my business and it would be a cash deal. BUT having Diane’s car as a trade muddies the waters and makes that type of deal impossible without the dealerships seeing the trade. Looking at trucks and working numbers this time reminds me exactly why I bought the way I have in the past, I don’t play well with car salesman and I don’t just settle LOL!!
The remainder of the day I will be honest and say that I really don’t remember what we did so obviously it wasn’t very blog worthy. And you might say that none of this truck shopping is blog worthy and I might be inclined to agree with you LOL!!
I think we will sort of fast forward through Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. Monday Diane visited with her good friend Sheryl before going to her dentist appointment late in the day. Tuesday & Wednesday was a mixture of visiting with friends, going out for meals, playing tourist downtown Grants Pass and working in the storage unit to make sure we can park the Jeep in it in case we actually end up with a new truck (yup, it looks like we have struck a deal if it actually gets delivered before we leave the area but we will go more into that if things get even more serious).
Wednesday we jumped in the Prius and drove over to Ashland and played tourist. When we lived in the area we would drive over to Ashland maybe 2 or 3 times a year to walk around and have a meal and it has been about 3 years since we were last there so it sounded like the thing to do.
Ashland is considered sort of an upper end yuppie town that is surrounded by green rolling foothills and is a gorgeous little artsy city. It also holds a number of festivals throughout the year like the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a film festival during spring, a classical music festival in summer and wine tasting celebrations. Plus it’s a college town, we have mentioned before that we like the vibrant feel of small college towns.
Ashland is one of the many small town’s in America that has blocked Big Box stores and leans more towards supporting local business which help it remain a quaint little town yet is close enough to Medford to make it easy to shop larger chain stores if needed.
We spent a chunk of the day just walking through shops with one of our stops being the Village Baker for a couple fresh Bear Claws (that we planned to have the following day with breakfast) and a stop at the Greenleaf Restaurant where we took advantage of some outdoor seating along the Ashland Creek and had lunch.
After we stuffed our bellies we headed towards Lithia Park for a nice stroll through the tree’s and along the creek.
Maybe Lithia Park is not like hiking out in the National Forest but it offers a nice groomed trail through the trees along a stream with a couple of small ponds and a number of park benches where you can sit and enjoy the sounds & scenery.
By the time we finished at Lithia Park and worked our way back to the car the afternoon had pretty much slipped away so we just headed home where we chilled the rest of the evening. After paying close attention to the “Real Life” stuff the last couple weeks it was nice to just spend the day doing what we did.
Friday (5/27) Diane decided would be a good day to go to DMV and renew her driver’s license. It was going to expire in Sept. and because we will not be in the area it needed to be addressed sooner than later.
She actually went down one day last week but because she had not done a change of address to our mail forwarding address and because she didn’t have any utility bills going to the physical address of said mail forwarding address she was denied. Once home from that attempt she called the main DMV office in Salem to see just what she needed to do and was told to simply take her last year’s taxes which had the PO Box mail forwarding address to the DMV office and that would be all the proof needed.
On her second attempt Friday she had a different person helping her and had no problem getter her license without even showing her last year’s taxes LOL!! The lady behind the desk just said, “Oh, we will just register you as a CONTINUOUS TRAVELER” and put your PO Box as your address and that was that. My license does not expire until Feb. of 2019 and I suppose I will go through the same thing.
I stayed home while Diane was at the DMV and during that time I heard a knock on the door and it was Brian, an old rep. that used to call on me during my working day!! Brian and I stay in touch a little on Facebook but having a visit face to face again after almost 4 years was a nice treat.
After Brian left and Diane came home we just chilled for a couple hours until we drove over to Firehouse Pizza to meet with a few friends. Nine of us gathered, ate some very good pizza, drank some cold beer and shot the bull for I don’t know how long until we all decided a trip to DQ for desert was in order LOL!! IT was 8pm by the time we rolled in DQ so after a little time there we headed home and vegged.
Hey!!! How about an Instant Pot update!! Yup, I tried a couple new things, one being a Cheesecake.
I started out by making my own graham cracker crust followed by mixing cream cheese, 2 eggs, sugar and some fresh squeezed lemon juice together and tossing it in the Instant Pot for 20 minutes.
It really turned our good!! It had a nice solid texture and great taste but I think I will let it cook an additional 5 minutes next time in an attempt at an even more solid (New York style) texture.
The pot will only hold a 7” spring form pan and when I first looked at it I thought “damn that’s a small little thing” but it’s actually big enough that it lasted Diane and me almost 3 days. Not that I couldn’t have sat down and polished it off in 2 settings LOL!!!
The other thing I tried was chicken wings. I tossed 8 wings (just did 10 because we were not really hungry) in the pot along with 2 cups of water with Johnny’s Seasoning mixed in, closed the lid and set the timer for 15 minutes on high pressure.
After 15 minutes I took them out, put them on a rack with foil and coated them with Franks Wing Sauce and Sweet Baby Rays and tossed them under the broiler in our toaster oven for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes under the broiler I put them on plates along with a salad and dinner was served.
The wings are not one of the easy one step Instant Pot meals but still pretty darn easy and they turned out very tender. Still loving the Instant Pot so far!! And I think Diane is loving that fact that I’m having fun experimenting because it gets her off the hook for cooking.
That catches us up for now. I guess one more thing we could mention is that our original plan was to leave the area on June 1st but because of our truck dealings we have extended our stay until June 23rd. So read into that what you will and I’m sure there will be more on that topic at a later date.