Sunday, September 23, 2012


Although I collected some good flat rocks to paint on, during our last trip, it's been a while since I actually got the paints out. Here are some of the things I did in AZ last winter


The one above is a chunk of palm tree and the one below is the center part of a palm frond.

I took a class in One Stroke Painting at a women's getaway one year, bought some brushes and paint and watched Donna Dewberry paint some stuff on TV and got brave. With one-stroke it's pretty easy - the paint does the work. On the other hand, I don't want everything to look alike. I got some books on "how to paint rocks" - can you believe they publish books on that stuff and then people like me buy them! Anyway, all the painted rocks in the books looked alike so I decided to try to paint something I would like. When I was in Yuma, I painted cactus.

The real charm in painting rocks is this: if you don't like it, you can always relocate back to the riverbank or seashore and walk away. Maybe someone will find it and be amazed or maybe not.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

We've been living with second-hand smoke for a week now and were amazed to wake up this morning with clear blue skies and a clear horizon. The Barry Point fire is about 20 miles away and is mostly contained. There's another fire at Drews Reservoir about 10 miles away that just flared up a few days ago. Both  have been blowing smoke like crazy but the winds kicked up yesterday and scoured out the valley.

Lakeview has a huge firecamp set up at the fairgrounds and there are signs on many of the roads indicating access roads to the fires as well as signs all over towns thanking all the fire fighters.

We've been camped at Junipers Reservoir RV Park 10 miles west of Lakeview, Oregon in the middle of an 8,000 acre cattle ranch for a week. I would have cropped the picture but don't know how to do that and feel fortunate to have found the gizmo which transfers pix to my laptop. I thought I'd left it at home. Just like the picture shows, we saw a bald eagle flying over yesterday when we went on a drive around the reservoir.

We left home last Wednesday and drove from Canby, over the Santiam thru Sisters and Bend. When we turned east just south of LaPine to head for Summer Lake Hot Springs we found ourselves following a couple of motorhomes and picked up another one behind us along the way. Ninety-two miles later when the milepost marker which marked the hot springs turnoff came up, we were amazed to see the blinkers on the two motorhomes ahead of us go on and sure enough the one behind us turned in too. We'd been in a convoy and didn't even realize it. Not only that, they too were headed to Junipers RV for a club campout!

We enjoyed soaking in the hot springs and then moved to Lakeview and Junipers RV on Thursday. We made some new friends who included us in some of the activities of the Rim Rock Rovers MHC. We weren't able to join as members because we had a 5th wheel instead of a motorhome.but we sure enjoyed their friendship and hospitality.

 There's a pasture full of steers just beside our campsite.
 My husband is sure enjoying this view!
 The smoke on the hills is from the Drews Reservoir fire. We've been loving this big cattle country.
 This is the patriarch of the antelope herd - a huge buck who just was resting for my photo-op under a juniper tree.
When we first arrived a pair of doves was sitting on a picnic table. This one was posed on the campsite hookups next to us when we pulled up after a drive today.
This is a picture of the RV park. It's a mile off the highway. Check out the website:

I will write more when I have a better signal. We're heading towards Likely RV and Golf Resort in CA tomorrow and then on to Reno to visit with Michael on Saturday.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Timing is everything. A friend sent us this information and our conclusion is that Dick retired just in time!

A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International airport as she attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, a slide-rule and a calculator.

Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes she is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement.

... He did not identify the woman, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

“Al-Gebra is a problem for us.” the Attorney General said. “They go off on tangents, use code names like "X" and "Y", and refer to themselves as "unknowns"; but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country.”

As the Greek philosopher Isosceles used to say, “There are 3 sides to every triangle.”

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Obama said, “If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, he would have given us more fingers and toes.”

Reporters could not recall a more profound statement by the President.
It is believed that another Nobel Prize will follow.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

We're family!

Many of the Oregon branch of the Zipprich family got together yesterday, July 14th, at the Large's house in Canby.
Back row: Polly Springstead soon to be Zipprich, Ron Zipprich, Linda Z., Luke Deese, Robert Zipprich, Barbara Z, Kara and Tim Barron, Lisa Meyer, Dick and Lynn Large, John Zipprich
Stephen Zipprich, Dave Zipprich, Judah Deese, Bethany and Ash Deese, Alex Louis Meyer, Bill Zipprich, Tracy, Jennifer, Joyce Zipprich, Mark Meyer.
We missed you: Michael Large, Amber and Dennis Zipprich, Jeff, Zach, Josh and Seth Meyer

 Rob, Dave reading the instruction book and Luke - the brain bust that got the group pictures.

Ron, Joyce, Tim and Kara
Rob, Dick and Bill

Bethany and Stephen

Tim (hard to recognize him with this facial expression), Kara and John

Judah and Alex had fun, fun, fun (see the soccer ball?) and then Gram set up the sprinkler!

Wrapped up and eating blueberries while their clothes were in the dryer. Judah's four and Alex will be next month.

Asha's walking/running/climbing and Mark is standing alone and ready to sprint!

Lisa and one of 4 tired kids! It was really good to get together.

Here's the crew three years ago: Lisa, Zach, Josh, Michael, Lynn, Jeff, Dick, Kara, John, Tim, Dennis, Judah, Bethany, Barbara, Ron, Jennifer, Linda, Front row: Seth, Alex, Joyce, Tracy, Dave, Bill, Rob, Amber

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

When in Rome . . .

It simply didn’t work out for us to do like the Romans were doing last week when we were in Rome. We just weren’t dressed for success in their field of enterprise. They were baling alfalfa and we were “at large” having left our haying gloves at home!

 Rome, OR is southeast of Burns, northwest of Jordan Valley, extremely remote and beautiful. Pioneers used to navigate by these rocky cliffs called the Pillars of Rome.

We were “glamping”  - a new term I just learned that combines glamour and camping into a word more indicative of a RV lifestyle where one can turn on the air conditioner if it gets a little too warm or the furnace if it’s cold, make popcorn in the microwave or plug in the toaster and coffeepot – glamping at Crystal Crane Hot Springs south of Burns OR last week. It was pretty windy but I managed to get a pretty good burn while soaking in the hot springs. It did keep me warm at night which was good because the nights were pretty cool. Take a look at the website: It was quite a drive, but well worth the trip.

We toured Malheur Wildlife Refuge. All the wildlife had dropped in and flown on except three red winged blackbirds (or as Dad used to say – black-bodied red birds) who kept alternating fence posts so we’d have something to see when we drove by. The last time we were there the kids were 2 and 4. We were in my folks' motorhome and I spent the auto tour cooking dinner and glancing our this little window all of which went a long way towards souring me on the dubious pleasures of a motorhome which carries all the conveniences with you and you never have to stop, not even to use the bathroom unless you’re the driver.

We also went to Pete French’s round barn and the visitor’s center. When I mentioned that it was interesting that Cycle Oregon donated to the preservation of this site, I learned why. It turns out that they were touring Oregon and had arrived at Diamond and the Malheur area on September 11, 2001. This was before cell phones were so prevalent so the farmers in the area parked their trucks with satellite phones in them along the roadway so the bicyclists could communicate with loved ones about the disaster. The compassion of the people in the area really spoke to the bicyclists and they returned the gesture by preserving this historic site.

Instead of cranes in the town of Crane, we saw vultures and kept moving! Yikes!

Back home again and looking forward to the Molalla Buckeroo Parade. I'll try to keep my blog more up to date - it's just this darn weather!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Wanta date? Come to Yuma!

Date plantations are everywhere around us, except for the orange, lemon, grapefruit and tangelo orchards and the lettuce and alfalfa fields! Other than that, we're in date country.

I thought dates were dates but I discovered that's not so and my new favorite are Medjool dates - melt in your mouth goodness. Check out We haven't been able to take the tour yet but we worked hard at buying out the store.
 This is a picture of a date palm in our RV park. It's the one on the right. The dates are growing in a cluster in the middle.
 Here's what they look like growing. These are just in a tree in the park. Date season is over so I think they didn't get cared for like you would if you were growing them for a crop and they're probably old and dried but I did get a picture. I had no idea how dates looked growing.

This is a young Medjool date plantation at Martha's Gardens. They also had quite a few date trees for sale in 5 gallon pots - about 2 years old and ready for transplant at only $249 apiece!
 Here's a picture of a palm. They have such an interesting cross-hatched pattern on their trunks. That's a palo verde tree behind, I think. They don't have leaves and apparently turn bright yellow in the fall.
 Here are some palm souvenirs Dick picked up for me to paint. We thought at first that they were cactus because they have such wicked points on them. The top "thing" is a piece of palm bark.
Here's my guy reading outside at 9:30 in the morning. He came in shortly after I took this picture to shed his shirt because he was too hot! It's 63 degrees but hotter in the sun. The water jug in the background is full. Fifty cents for 5 gallons at the water shop we went to. They have water shops like we have coffee stands back home! All the water in Yuma is alkaline and tastes terrible. Plus where we are there are nitrates and nitrites in the water, we've heard, because of the fertilizers and crop watering in the area.

We are really enjoying the park we're staying at. It's called Southern Mesa RV Park and is out in the country, about 8 miles south of the main drag into town. The parks in town are wall-to-wall RVs, not that we're not close to our neighbors, most of whom are Oregon transplants, but we don't really like the in-town atmosphere. We're liking the country.

I know these are random, probably disjointed thoughts, but I haven't been able to sit down and compute for awhile. Anyway, when we first got to SMRV we signed up for a week for $135, not knowing anything about the place. Then we extended and extended and have been doing some checking about another time. It would be cheaper to stay here for a month, which, since we got here on Feb. 15th, we're almost to. Monthly rate is $400 which includes water (don't drink it) electricity, sewer, wifi, and pretty good cell service (although they're close to Mexico and nobody wants to put a tower in this close, apparently, but we haven't had any trouble.) The people are friendly; they have a few activities we could participate in, a swimming pool. Bottom line, I think we'll come back.

Yuma has many interesting places to visit or you can just sit around and live in the sunshine! We have had a few windy days - yesterday for example the wind was terrible with lots of dust in it, but mostly sunny during the days, cooling in the evenings, chilly at night.

I've got to go back to the indoor market. There are three big ones in Yuma: the one by the airport is a lot like visiting Mexico and rates 3 fleas in my ranking system. (Shudder, shudder.) The outdoor one is set up in a huge parking lot and has booths with everything from soup to nuts, literally, and is comparable to Quartzsite but cleaner with lots of great stuff. The indoor one is in an old Mervin's store and is nice and clean and interesting, with possibly the best used book store I've seen. We bought a new shower head at the RV shop there but didn't buy a new cord, so we've got to go back!

Later, Lynn

Fun in the Yuma sun:

There's a lot of military activity in this area. We turn by the Marine Air Base to get home these days. Their jet fighters and harriers are often streaking through the air.

We drove out to Yuma Proving Grounds north of here the other day. They test military equipment in a vast area of desert to make sure it works before it is used. This was where they developed pontoon and other type of portable bridges for WWII. We were able to see simulated bridge approaches where they test tanks and armored personnel carriers. Many troops come to the area to learn how to use the equipment in simulated battle situations. They had a fascinating museum as well as all the stuff outside:.

This thing was huge.
General Patton did most of his training here before going to North Africa. We saw a museum dedicated to him in California on a side trip we took to Twenty-nine Palms. George C. Scott was standing outside it ready to shake our hands! (kidding)

I think what has been so strange about this entire trip is that all our lives we have known about this stuff but it's only been head knowledge. It's been really fun learning about a completely different part of the country than we've lived in all these years. For example: palm trees. They are all over the place. 29 Palms had more than they were laying claim to. That's a town around a military base and as we drove thru we saw many barber shops with big advertising for military haircuts.

My conclusion: when you-ma come to Yuma, don't miss Yuma Proving Grounds.