Monday, July 29, 2013

Day Trip to Joseph, Oregon

Vince and I took a day trip to Joseph, Oregon with friends on Sunday, a 30 minute flight from where we live (three hours by car). Vince built this RV8 in our garage over a twelve-year period and flew it for the first time in 2009. It was quite a project and I even learned how to rivet!! Someday (hopefully soon) it will be painted blue and white.  

Joseph Airport is one mile from the town of Joseph. 
We saw this old barn along the way.

Joseph is named after Chief Joseph, a famous Nez Perce Indian chief. (me on left)

Vince with friends Cathy and Mike (they have an 
RV7 that Mike built!)

Wallowa County Museum. ~Sigh~ CLOSED


Vince and me (Joseph has beautiful bronze statues everywhere). Too bad most of the shops were closed. After walking around, we ate dinner at a restaurant in a nice outdoor setting and flew home.
Weather was great, but a little bumpy flying in!

Be sure to check out Cathy's blog for more pics!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Weekly Recap: Back to Work

I have taken off the past few weeks, for vacation, family, illness, and just plain orneriness. Interpretation: I needed a break!! I have been resting when I feel like it, reading when the urge hits, and gardening when it isn't too darn hot (mostly too hot), but enough groveling. Back to work for me, and this week I have been working on the book again--four hours a day. Yay! Goal: finish Chapter 21 this week and 22-24 over the next three weeks. I'm in "got to get it done" mode. 

Why is it I can go to the hospital for an expensive test (e.g. an ultrasound) and never hear back officially from my doctor, confirming it is good or bad. Why do I have to bird dog my doctors? Everything is on computers these days, but if I have an illness or need a prescription, I am asked if I have had a certain medication before. Isn't it in your records? I ask. Well, yes, somewhere . . . Hmm . . . out of pocket I will likely pay $165 for this visit, I am thinking, and you can't tell me? I have started a home record-keeping method to monitor all this, but isn't that their job? Just my opinion of course.

Doubly bugged:
Schools in the U.S. are actually considering removing recess from elementary schools, to make room for more teaching! And those kids will be alert enough to learn more? I think not! When is the health and physical fitness of our children going to be important again? I played from morning to dusk, often outside, when I was a kid. I even climbed trees. Yes, dangerous, you might say, but what an experience I had. I climbed monkey bars too and was so strong I could arm wrestle boys in my teens. I lived on my bike during the summer, swam in the bay, and sat and rolled on the grass and sand where all those crawly things live. We have become too regimented and I feel sorry for our children today. Just my opinion of course.  

I am impressed this week with my city's law enforcement. Pullman, WA where I live has a population of only 31,000, but we have been plagued with suspected arson for several years. Most recently was the burning down of four apartment complexes being constructed. The university here has had a huge increase in students so housing has been in short supply. The estimated loss in its current state of construction was $13 million! Well . . . finally, someone has been arrested, and it is now a federal case, as the crimes committed have likely extended beyond our borders. The man heard voices that told him to 'do bad things' we are told. Scary. 

I have been reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh's North to the Orient (1935). It was her first venture into writing and written after the kidnapping and murder of her and Charles's son. I can only imagine how heart wrenching the aftermath of his death must have been. The only therapy that I can imagine working for me would have been to write my heart out, which is exactly what she has done in North to the Orient. It documents a trip that she and Charles took to China over the north pole, but there is so much more. I will do a review eventually. Here are some of Anne's inspiring words that speak to me as a writer:

"Yesterday's fairy tale is today's fact. The magician is only one step ahead of his audience. I must write down my story before it is too late."

Your thoughts?


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Africa Mercy - Shipyard Renovations: One Nurse's Journey

More from my friend on the Africa Mercy. This is a running post about her work in Africa as a nurse. One more week to go before the repairs are complete, then off to Tenerife for a week and finally, the Congo!

Sun 7/14/2013 2:35 AM

If you missed the segment about Mercy Ships that was aired last February and you would like to see it, you have another opportunity. [click here] They plan to rebroadcast our segment on their program on July 21st--next Sunday evening.  The hour-long program begins at 7 p.m. Eastern & Pacific Time and 6 p.m. Central Time on your local CBS station.  

I personally thought they did a very nice job of representing us to the world; public reaction has been positive, with both financial contributions and volunteer applications increasing immediately after the first showing. Now we get a second exposure--what a blessing, especially considering that Mercy Ships is currently in the process of trying to finance the building of a second ship, and will eventually need to staff it with volunteers.
Meanwhile, the shipyard renovations on this ship continue, pretty much on schedule.  We still hope to be done with this shipyard a week from now.  We will then sail to Tenerife to stay for a week (I still don't know why...) and then we're off to the Congo.  It takes two weeks to get from here to there--seems slow in this age of air travel, doesn't it? But it'll be a pleasant interlude, a time of getting things ready for field service, at least as much as possible while everything is battened down for safety during the sail.
My life is pretty smooth at this point.  I still don't have a bunkmate, and I have been thoroughly enjoying the freedom that that allows, flipping lights on when I can't sleep, getting up and going to bed whenever I please, etc.  I expect I'll get a bunkmate sometime next week.  We anticipate over 150 people embarking between now and then, more than doubling our current occupancy, with every bunk occupied before the sail to Congo.  The times, they are a' changin'.
Yesterday was probably my last day of being able to take some serious time away from the ship.  I am either working or on call as duty nurse every day from now until we sail.  So, to celebrate my freedom, I walked to the shopping mall at the far end of the boardwalk and back--fourteen miles.  Of course, I was too tired to do any shopping, and didn't really want anything anyway.  I could have taken a taxi, but actually, walking was the point.  It was a glorious day, just the right temperature, scads of interesting people to watch all along the boardwalk, occasional music from street musicians or birds, a fellow creating sand sculptures beside the boardwalk, vendors of curios plying their trade, etc.  I noticed a number of relatively young adults wheeling older folks along, lots of families out for a day of adventure, and many older couples strolling along hand in hand.  Some were tourists, of course, but most seemed to be Spanish, and I assume many were locals.  Their beach and boardwalk are a treasure, and they take time to enjoy it.
The shipyard itself is pretty interesting.  The "Catalina" from St. John has been in dry dock next to us for several weeks.  The shipyard men looked so tiny in their perches as they needlegunned and sanded away the rust and then painted the towering ship.  Finally, last Friday, it was ready to launch.  In dry dock, the ship rests on hundreds of wooden supports mounted on wheeled platforms that run along railroad tracks.
The Catalina had five rows of these support gadgets running on ten rails, the equivalent of five lines of railroad flatcars traveling abreast.  To move the ship toward the water, they lined up five large front loaders to push against the central platform--it took that much power, I suppose.  At the end of the line, they pushed the ship onto an elevator platform. Once the ship was in position, about fifty huge motors lowered the platform into the water by unwinding the thick cables, allowing the ship to float.  Alas, the Catalina listed badly, not seaworthy after all.  I suppose that something must have been wrong with the ballast balancing system.  They had to drag the poor baby back into dry dock, where it remains today.  There was lots of activity aboard the ship yesterday, though, so I suppose they'll try again today or tomorrow to launch the ship.
Blessings to you all.  Thank you for walking with me in this Mercy Ship adventure.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Weekly Recap: On the Road

Happy Fourth of July!!

It has been a packed summer thus far--trip to California and now a trip to Utah via southern Idaho. The trip was actually delayed a few days due to complications from the 'summer flu' in my last post. I had bronchial pneumonia! But by Tuesday this week, after a full round of antibiotics and sucking on cough drops for a week, we were able to leave for Utah.

The weather has been terribly hot and without air conditioning, which are camper-truck is fully rigged to provide, we would be miserable. Traveling across country in harsh weather is nothing compared to what our ancestors once endured. En route to Utah we follow remnants of the Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail. My husband and I have often commented as we travel across country in our "modern" covered wagon that our ancestors would be horrified at the things we complain about today. For instance, my modern camper refrigerator had trouble enduring the 100 degree plus heat yesterday. We had to buy ice to keep everything chilled. Of course, when we arrived at our designated RV campground, we simply plugged into AC. Awe gee......we are so spoiled.

Sharon in front of our camper, Shoshone Falls parking lot

Shoshone Falls (southern Idaho). Isn't it beautiful?

We popped in our DVD of Robin Williams's RV and had a relaxing evening. We watch RV every year to remind ourselves of all the stupid things that RV'ers do, which of course we won't do now that we have been adequately warned, right? WRONG. Yesterday after packing up again and heading south on the road into Utah, we heard a thump-thump and didn't think anything of it. When we stopped to make lunch, we found our TV on the floor. Amazingly, it didn't break in the five-foot fall and landed on its side without a scratch (we still haven't plugged it in). We have a check list of things to check when we leave a campsite. For some reason, 'secure the TV' was not on that list! We are now sitting in our daughter's family's driveway in Utah. We watched the grand kids jump on their outdoor trampoline last night in their beautiful back yard and ate pizza on the patio. is tough.

On the writing front, not much going on there. I did spend time before leaving, looking at books I have started that are in various stages of progress. I added a list to my Works in Progress page with images reflective of each book's theme. I did it more for my inspiration and motivation but feel free to check it out.

On a different note, I thought it would be fun to promote an amazing product I bought for my feet. I have been a bare-footer most of my life and noticed one day how terribly cracked and dry my heels are. I struck out on a mission to solve this problem to no avail. I tried pricey creams,Vaseline and even Vicks. I was at my favorite store in Moscow, ID recently and discovered another pricey cream ($8.99). A clerk told me she had heard others loved it and said it really worked. I thought: yeah, right....been there, done that, but I plunked my money down and guess what? It worked! It changes the PH of the skin, which apparently is part of the problem. Your skin actually tingles in the beginning. So here it is, my summer cream tip for healthy feet: O'Keeffe's for Healthy Feet. Trust me, this cream works!!

Okay, that's it for me. My best to all of you for a safe, healthy, and fun-filled family summer. Remember, life is short. Always make time for those you love!!

Copyright 2013 © Sharon Himsl

Sharon M. Himsl

Writer/Author. Blogging since 2011. 
Published with Evernight Teen: 
~~The Shells of Mersing


About Me

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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.