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Summer Update

A lot has been going since the last blog post so I’ll do my best as concise as possible. Patience and Cordell have settled into their new forever homes nicely! They seem very happy and content! As with most pets, we have had a few accidents along the way, especially with Patience the cat. She has taken to occasionally peeing on our bed. Not good!!! We have to now keep her out of our bedroom while we were not at home and when she does sometimes sleep in our room, we bring up the cat box and put it in the bathroom. So far these tactics have prevented further pee episodes, but we are still at odds at the reasons she is doing this. My assumption  is that she is jealous of the relationship Debbie has with Cordell. Cordell is mommy’s boy and he loves her to death. We are making sure we give her as much attention as we give Cordell and so far seems to be working….crossing fingers!

We are enjoying our new camp trailer and so is Cordell. We have made a few outings to places with hook ups just to get a feel for things and learn how everything works. Cordell just loves to go camping with us. He has such a good time on these adventures. He has turned out to be a wonderful dog!! We were on the fence about taking Patience with us on these trips and in the end decided it would just upset her routine too much and exacerbate her peeing problem, so she has to stay home!  Over the 4th of July weekend, we met friends near Mt. St. Helen’s and dry camped for three days. Dry camping is no power, water, or toilets. It tested our water rationing and the brand new generator and everything worked out great! It was also a long drive with winding roads and long grades which tested the Mercedes and the car also passed the test! We also had a great time with great friends. One of the days we were there, we hiked the Ape Caves. That was a cool but long brutal hike, climbing over rock falls and tight spaces sometimes a bit challenging and scary! We’d do it again in a heartbeat! In a few weeks we will be heading down the Oregon coast for a week of camping adventures.

Just before that, we had Debbie’s oldest son Chad and his wife and two girls come out for a visit. It was the first time visiting us out here since they found each other! It was also the first time Chad had met Ryan and Alex. Deb took some time off work to visit with them and show them some of the sites of the area. The highlight of the visit was Chad and I running the Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon! It was my first half and six years and though I finished allot slower than the last time I ran one, I did finish it! Chad of course rocked it and kicked my ass! That day was finished off by a big family barbecue at the house. It was a nice visit and hope they enjoyed their stay with us! As I wrap up this entry,  go and check out all the new photos on our Flickr page and watch the video of us being fools in the cave at our You Tube page. Until next time!!!

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Chicago Family

It has been awhile since I posted much since the boating accident and I’ll just say one last thing and we’ll put the subject to rest. Just this last week we got our insurance check for the loss and paid off the loan. With some of the remaining funds, we are paying off Deb’s car loan and now we are debt free except for mortgage. We are  still waiting for our personal loss claim to go through for all the stuff we lost in the boat. I still think about that day and feel queasy when I see rough water. It has permanently affected most of us involved.

Just recently Deb and I took a week off and went to Chicago to see her oldest son Chad and his family. It was her only second time visiting them and my introduction to them. The story of Chad is an interesting one that needs to be told in full someday soon but I won’t do it here. We were going to record a podcast and tell the story of Debbie and Chad, but never got around to it. Let’s just say that he was Debbie’s first-born that she never knew and now they have reconnected. He lives in Lake Bluff in a very nice neighborhood and is successful. He has a beautiful wife named Kay and two gorgeous daughters! That fact has just made us instant grand parents! Debbie loves it and the call her Nana and love her to death. They call me Papa Joe and I guess I made quite a hit with both of them. Riley is the older one and is five and Brynlee is three and looks just like a little Debbie. They are both sweethearts and very smart just like their Nana. Now, you ask, how does it feel to be an instant grandpa? I am not sure as it is still sinking in. It does make me feel old though!

We had a great visit and made it our vacation. There was a lot of family time but also some touristy stuff too. We took a train to downtown Chicago and went up to the top of the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), went to the Adler Planetarium, Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Botanical Gardens, saw a friend of ours who played at our local pub play at the House of Blues, and Chad even had us running a 5k race while we were there. One day Chad drove us through the ghettos of South Chicago bypassing traffic, so we can say we saw a lot of diversity while we were there! Now I like Chicago and there are some beautiful parts of the city, especially around where they live, but I would never want to live there! First, the weather would be had to handle. The freezing cold winters and blistering humid summers would be a bitch. Another thing is the horrendous traffic! It is horrible and the natives drive insane! The place is just too big for us, but we will always enjoy visiting, and now we have four good reasons why we will! There are pictures, go have a look. Soon the story will be told to those who don’t know it already so stay tuned!

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