Archives for category: Simple Living



I am from the last century. Maybe it’s not fair, but what it is now doesn’t seem to measure up to what it was, or what it is supposed to be.

A pretty close family connection for us was in place maybe fifteen years ago. Add in a couple divorces. Loved ones who have passed away. Kids who aren’t kids anymore. The family togetherness tends to break down, even outside of the traditional November/December weeks.

Speaking of last century, I like a good parade. Sometimes we tune in to see if the one in NYC is still the same. We watch for a few minutes and we’re not seeing much in the way of old cars, the US Marine Corps marching band, groups on horseback, and some of the best high school marching bands in the nation. Nope. It’s a made for TV lip sync fest. Some TV celebrity signed a contract and it says they must be here and be super enthusiastic again this year.

We do not have regular TV. The holiday ad blitz is weaker this way. We watch TV through the web and we still see some ads. A luxury automobile in the driveway with a giant bow on top. It’s a great time to surprise her with diamonds.

Don’t be the poor family that fails to purchase the right retail products this holiday season:

Not in the habit of doing any Christmas shopping. OK with the idea that people take joy in it.

Not connected with a church and have nothing against it. Do not care how people choose to express their greetings in public. Seems like people who are solid in their faith would be OK with whatever others do or don’t do Re: casual greetings.  Ditto with the styling of disposable fast food packaging.

I look at 365 days a year as the time to do more or less in terms of what we think is meaningful in life. Things that are meaningful are on our mind all the time. They are not saved up for a special day on the calendar.

Went to the web to see what others are saying:

Does anyone else who’s family isn’t very close ever feel …awkward about it?

Is there something wrong with people who don’t care about holidays (birthdays included)?

How many of you couldn’t care less about the Holidays? And what made you feel that way?

No big plans here this month. Not feeling connected to what is almost a cultural peer pressure that sets up many people to try to do the same thing at the same time.

Never here to take away from others what is meaningful to them, just an urge to duck out all year long and be somewhere near the slow lane.

Okinawa 1980 – The Christmas Tree Story


Not just the holidays.

American culture seems less interesting and meaningful as time goes on. I saved all the voting materials that came in the mail this year, going all the way back to the Aug primary. I studied and made notes on the voter guides. Today, it all went into recycling. Do I feel better or different for voting? No.







A winter trip to Arizona some years back.



We have that mint for your drink.



Recent early morning walk – Washington Coast


Over the past 20 years, I have spent a huge amount of time on the web with news and politics. Commenting, blogging, posting, sharing, commenting. It was taking up a chunk of my life. Time to move to a better place.

I plan to focus now on more positive themes. They have already been a part of my life, but now there will be more space for them. The more positive activities and images to go with them may show up in the categories and style of posts below.

Happy Hours – Out and about with dogs in the PNW

At the Beach

Coastal Live Cams

A Small Nonprofit Rescued & Adopted Cat Daycare Center That Is Always Open

Camping and Related Memories

Cast Iron



Photo at top of page:

Hill Road

Local info: Two Bluff Trails


I pulled the plug on news and politics at 11:14 on 6/5/22


Several years back, I made my first effort to clean the outside of a home that was crying out for it. Got it done without any pressure washing. Started by using a hand held quart sprayer with pre-mixed 30 SECONDS Outdoor Cleaner.

I felt like it worked well. Later, I bought the gallon concentrate and diluted it myself.

Several years later, I have moved on to using a pump sprayer.

Here is a good video to watch before heading out to buy one:

Here is what I ended up buying:

Smith Contractor 190216 2-Gallon Sprayer with Viton 

Happy with the sprayer and it minimizes any need to step on a ladder.

These days, I am mixing my own home brew bleach and detergent solution. The images above were done with the home brew. There are various recipes on the web for mixing your own solution.

For high areas, and to avoid ladder work, I still like the 30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner garden hose sprayer. This can also be refiled with home brew.

Happy Cleaning


Two images above:

Crescent Beach is a nice spot for camping, about 12 miles west of Port Angeles.

Family lantern from the 1970s

Food prep and storage for a group. Thinking this was at Fort Flagler.

Driftwood fetish

A light lunch at Fort Worden

A lonely night at Falls View

With Willie at Salt Creek

Same trip?

The view at Salt Creek

Be prepared

Fort Flagler

Views near our campsite – Kilisut Harbor side of Fort Flagler

Day is done.

Looking over the beach towards Port Townsend.

Upper campground area closer to Marrowstone Point at Fort Flagler

Shannon brought steaks:

Old dock at Fort Flagler

Sometimes wet – Kalaloch area

Sometimes dry – Ocean Shores

Our buyers inspect and select only the leanest cuts of meat for the grill – Seal Rock

If the plane crashes and the search party does not arrive for 3 or 4 days, you may be tempted to eat this:

Moran State Park with Mike & Sherry

Turkey on the Weber at Moran State Park:

Camping at Fort Flagler in 2000.


Possibly related:

Cast Iron


400,000 Mile Club – Trivia Report


Just a light breakfast for me, please.

Fried Oysters at Seal Rock

Back Home

In the Oven – tater tot casserole

Pie Iron

Dessert Too

On the grill

Can of hash







We appreciate the wood & all you do.


Beachcombing may be an effort to find items to collect and bring home. Some people may be out to do a minor or major beach cleanup project. Some may be out to get a few photos or to take a look at how people are living their lives near the water.

Shallow water beachcombing is also an activity I enjoy. There can be a lot to see in the part of the beach that is not on dry land.

There is a lonely stretch of beach between Perego’s Lagoon and Fort Ebey. Less people can mean better beachcombing.

Hatch cover from a yacht. I found this item in the Port Townsend area.

This works well as an elevated table top when placed on sawhorses during a backyard bbq. Also great when set up like an outdoor coffee table.

This item was crying out for a little TLC when I found it.

Out back by the fire pit.

Local beach glass

A good spot to add to your collection.

Sometimes the outing is just a chance to take a look around.

Maybe a chance to see something from a time gone by.

Maybe a chance to work on a project.

A chance to see how people are living their lives near the water.

Starting a new day at Port Hadlock by rowing ashore:

Happy Hours

Quality time at Point Partridge

Oregon Coast

Low tide

Shallow water beachcombing at Fort Casey/Keystone Harbor

Oak Bay

Moon snail on the move

Fort Flagler

WA State Parks tell us not to collect driftwood for a campfire.

Sometimes firewood becomes driftwood.

We’ll save our picnic for another day.


Beach Find


Washington Coast

Our buyers inspect and select only the leanest cuts of meat for the grill-



Also, much composting going on.


We have had a tradition over the years, where we invite people over and cook a turkey a week or more before Thanksgiving. People may be more available this way, because they can visit with us, but still get to their own family gatherings on Thanksgiving Day. Picking an off day/week also allows for less crowded stores, roads, ferry and air terminals, etc.

We were on the road to visit family last week. Today, it’s just the two of us and a decent weather day in our area. A turkey on the weber is a family tradition. We are always happy with the finished product.


Along for the afternoon: Classic Deep Cuts




The wind and rain has eased up for a bit. Out to the beach before daylight, and it was a really good morning for clams. First outing for clams since living in Port Hadlock years ago.


Washington Coast


Several years ago, we lost a chunk of a plum tree. Much of this was set aside for a future BBQ project.

Today was the day to use this aged wood for smoking on the grill.

Pork steak can be sliced/cubed and used for tacos or added to stir-fried asian noodles.

This is the plan for tonight.

Along for the afternoon: Classic Deep Cuts


Local sunset




January 1985 – March 2022

400,926 Miles


Photo above:

Mount Walker – snow in May

Yakima River Canyon

No crowds on this day – Freshwater Bay

37 Years – No Car Payment

400,000 Miles – June 2021
375,000 Miles – June 2013
350,000 Miles – June 2008
325,000 Miles – December 2005
20 Years Service – January 2005
300,000 Miles – May 2004
2 Ex-Wives let me keep it!

Original owner. Paid cash – January 1985
Replaced the car I had in High School


The miles have gone on more slowly in recent years. I have not lived in a community served by traffic reports in more than 20 years.

Was commuting 300 miles a week during the last four years I lived in California.

Purchased new in Orange, California in January of 1985, during my time at USMCAS El Toro.

Truck was manufactured in St.Louis, Missouri.

Where did we go?

San Diego

Wichita Falls, Texas

El Paso, Texas

New Jersey

North Carolina

South Carolina





Victoria, B.C. Canada

Also camping, trips to deserts, mountains, backroads, beaches, scenic drives and many places in between.