Independence Day Musings

This is a blog I wrote on July 4th.  I decided to wait and reread it before posting and then I promptly forgot the plan.  So, here goes.

I once saw a women’s lib lapel pin that said, “I WANT TO BE INDEPENDENT, BUT I CAN’T DO IT ALONE.  And that pretty well sums it up for me.  How about you?

So, it is America’s independence day and I don’t think she can do it alone either.  We need the rest of the world.  They need us.  We are all in this together.  To become an isolationist country doesn’t fit the narrative, does it?  Just a thing I wonder about tonight.  Because I think that is what Trump appeals to when he says Make America Great Again.  I’m not buying it.  I think America is flawed.  America has not lived up the lofty words proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence.  Let’s review it, shall we?  But before we do, I think America still holds great promise if we can continue forward and strive to improve.

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Okay…and then the rest of the document lists the colonies’ grievances:  (which I have done in green in case you wish to skip ahead.)

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

End of statement.  Except for all the men that signed it.

Did you make it this far?  I take the second paragraph to be the part that we have not lived up to yet.  We are a work in progress.  And if you haven’t read The People’s History of the United States, I urge you to do so.

But I digress.

I am free of the Gilbert house.  This is a form of independence I am now enjoying.  And for that, Rayman and I went out on the town in Sisters, Oregon to a restaurant called Open Door.




This outdoor restaurant had “green houses” that could accommodate big parties. Lovely.



It was very special.  And we so enjoyed it.  Then we came back to The Dog House and just on a lark, I looked to see if Rachel Maddow was on tonight, July 4th.  And she was!!  That woman has a strong work ethic.  And I encourage you all to watch it because she traces the evolution of Russiagate.  And she ends the show with a shot across the brow re: Mike Pence.  She believes he is complicit with Flynne.  I’m not going to rehash it.  I just suggest you go on line and watch it if you are interested.  (and I don’t think she is wrong).

So, now.  re: independence which started this whole blog.  I came across an interesting quote from Fredrick Douglass today.   Fredrick was a black man that escaped slavery and worked to abolish it.  Here’s the quote from July 5, 1852.

“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.”

And I think we still have a long way to go for the least amongst us.  If we could be more empathetic, perhaps that would help things.

But I digress again.

The 4th of July just takes on a special significance to me today.  With Trump in the White House, I am less enthusiastic about our future.  It looks bleak to me.  It feels like he is trying to drag us back to 1852.  Or earlier.  And Congress is not stopping him.

Okay.  I’ll stop it now.  My blogs are suppose to be fun so I’ll leave you with a Woody Allen quote.

“I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.”

Okay, one more.  From Joan Rivers.

Thank God we’re living in a country where the sky’s the limit, the stores are open late and you can shop in bed thanks to television.

And with that, happy 4th of July to one and all.



Curbing Enthusiams

We are now in Washington, the state.  We arrived yesterday in grand fashion.  It went something like this.

“Dianna, what the hell are you doing?”, followed by clutching his seat as I careened over a curb upending just about everything in The Dog House.

“Jesus Christ!”,  followed by the Rayman holding on for dear life as I swallowed up another curb in my wake.

“Perhaps you should check the refrigerator?”, I demurred as I soldiered on weaving my way through the back streets of Portland in search of the on ramp to the narrowest bridge I’ve encountered that was 4 lanes.  4 lanes for smart cars perhaps.  One lane for moi.  “Things might be leaking.”

In all of my driving, I have never rolled two curbs in a span of perhaps 42 seconds.  But, in my defense, the streets were beyond narrow making driving an RV a really stupid idea in retrospect.  The GPS does not specify width of road.  There.  I rest my case.

Rayman got so out of sorts, all I could do was to laugh.  That may or may not have been the appropriate reaction.  I was on a roll.  Literally and figuratively.  So, I rolled to a stop and we re-grouped.  Blood pressures descended.  Heart rates fell.  Calm was restored.  And then I entered the traffic lane.  And away we went on the west side of the river toward Washington.

We thankfully arrived at the Silver Lake Cove RV Resort which is located on the road up to Mt. St. Helens without any more driving faux pas on my part.  A lovely spot here after spending three weeks in an RV “resort” that had a lot of in and out travelers so we never had the same neighbor for more than 12 hours.  That’s okay.  We didn’t mind as we were zooming all around Portland meeting up with friends and family.

One night we went to Podnah’s Pit for barbecue.  In attendance were Ryan, number one son.  My cousin, Susie, and her husband, Larry.  And us.  First things first, we ordered beer (except for Susie who ordered Coke in a bottle).  Drinks arrived.  We ordered.  Drinking commenced.  After a few slurps, Larry asked, “Why is my beer so much lighter in color than yours, Ryan?  I ordered the same thing.”  Ryan, who works in the beer industry and is a guru of sorts, took a sip.  Pensive posed was held for a few seconds while thinking occurred.  “That’s hard cider.”



We all burst out laughing.  Seemingly it was the color not the taste that had Larry asking.  Another beer was forthcoming.  And remember, guys, I did say I was going to blog this.  Just saying.

On national ice cream day, we bought some ice cream.  The line was extremely long.  It turns out this ice cream biz always has long lines so employees come out and hand out samples for the patient crowd.  We skipped all that.  Ryan’s girlfriend, Tamara, told us the secret to line avoidance.  Go in the out door, pick up a pint and hit the register.  Voila.  Ice cream to go in about 3 minutes.  Mission accomplished.  Local rules.

One night we went for pizza.  The pizza parlor is famous in Portland because Anthony Bourdain went there and announced that the pizza was good.  The joint only offers one size pizza.  Ginormous.  Their Caesar salad was, like, outrageously good with mild anchovies delicately laid on-top the romaine.  On a cold, cold plate.  Pizza Sholls, I think it was named.  The only funny thing that happened is the waiter spilled Larry’s water.  People got wet.  We were all thankful it was water.  Not wine.


IMAX was on our mind as we elected  see Dunkirk, the movie.  Holy moly.  What a film.  A must-see on the big screen.  It was non-stop action without gore which was appreciated.  The soundtrack was very additive to the movie, strikingly so.  Sort of like the roar of the lion as you stomp around in the bush of Africa kind of additive.  Two thumbs up from us.  Actually, all five of us found it remarkable…the story itself is amazing.  I kept imaging the actual soldiers and boaters of the time.  War is hell.

Beau has found that he likes water.  This ah ha occurred because we kept taking him to the Sandy River delta where just about everyone in Portland shows up with dogs in tow.  It’s a place where dogs are allowed off leash.  There are paths that wind through the woods that line the river banks.  The woods are where we got lost.  Yep, we have taken to getting lost on foot to add to our repertoire of lost stories.  At one point, the trail looked like the end.  But we crashed through a bush (I have scratches to prove it), and emerged on the other side of the bush to find a trail of about 6 inches in width continuing.

But, I digress.

Beau went to the river for days and flirted with the water.  He drank the water.  He put his paws in the water.  Meanwhile all the Labs that were there dove into the water to fetch sticks, balls etc.  One day, Beau, mistakenly fell into the water (completely) and came up sputtering.  We lifted him out.  Then, the next time we took him to the river, he actually went in from a slow sloping river bank area and frolicked.  OMG.  He had a blast.  And so did we.

Today the sun has not emerged.  It’s in the 70s.  But it is gray.  So here I am blogging.  If the fog or clouds lift, we will drive up to Mt. St. Helens.

The clouds lifted and we visited Mt. St. Helens.  Here’s the proof.


A selfie gone wrong. I’m much more good looking, and I am blocking out the mountain with my big head.



This one is better.


Of Mosquito Festivals and Lt. Fremont

Traveled today from Blairsden to god knows where in eastern Oregon. Currently resting our bones at the Ana Reservoir. Which is near Summer Lake. Which is north of Paisley. As I write, I am currently looking West at a huge mountain and white puffy clouds. It is beautiful and quiet and peaceful. (later, it hailed).

Let's twist again, like we did last summer...twisters in Summer Lake, OR

Let’s twist again, like we did last summer…twisters in Summer Lake, OR

As noted previously, traveling the back roads is a real pleasure. All two lane roads today. When we left Blairsden, we headed east on 70 and connected up with 395 turning north. And that’s the road we traveled until we turned off to bend it toward Bend. Which is our destination tomorrow.

Rayman was not convinced of the route I wanted but he went along with me. He said there were no RV joints on the roads we were going to traverse. And he was right…until we saw a sign that said “RV campground One Mile. Down this road.” That’s how we found this place. We were both sick of driving. Too many hours in the saddle.

The eastern side of Oregon is lovely. It has some gigantic lakes. Goose Lake went on and on and on. It was not blue. Reminded us a lot of the Salton Sea. Must be shallow. I would tell you, dear reader, definitively but we don’t have a signal. No internet. Off the grid. Can’t look it up.



Sandy soil with low shrubs.


Near where we stayed.

Besides lakes there are plateaus. And mountains. And valleys. Even desert -like sand punctuated with low growing green shrubs. Quite unusual, really.



Besides all the nature, we saw many homesteads that looked in disrepair or abandoned. What happened? Where did they go? We also saw many head of cattle, horses here and there. One coyote and an elk crossing sign.

There was very little traffic. Almost perfect. The lanes were very narrow in many places and there were a few drop offs that caused us considerable anxiety, but hey, we made it!!

After so many hours on the road, I started hallucinating. In the middle of nowhere I proclaimed, 
“Look, I think I see a Hilton.” Rayman may have rolled his eyes. He was driving and not looking at me so I’m not certain of his reaction. When we finally arrived at the Hilton, it was a couple of newer barns.

Speaking of newer barns. The route was littered with old, weathered barns that had seen their better days. Unloved. Unused. And apparently, unwanted. If you need used wood for that new floor, come north. Perhaps you could make a deal. Plenty to choose from.

And how is Beau, you ask? Scalped. We took him to the groomer yesterday. He looks great except she took a bit too much off his legs. He has bird legs now.

After a month of no TV because we were parked amongst big towering trees, we had TV last night. Yes. That’s right. It’s the next day. Wednesday morning. News to report. Still no signals for our electronic devices. What to do? Usually, we read the paper on-line. Not today. And we don’t turn on the TV in the morning, the exception being…the British Open, perhaps. You get the picture. No TV in the a.m. So, with nothing to do for the first time in a long time, I picked up the written material the RV campground owner, Jay, gave us upon our arrival yesterday. That’s when I discovered that tomorrow and Friday the area will be celebrating their Mosquito Festival with a parade, perhaps some pie slinging, and a deep pit barbecue. A Mosquito Festival? These people have a sense of humor. Do you suppose they have a Miss Mosquito to reign orr the activities? Some young lass has probably been bit with the bug to be a Mosquito Princess. What do you suppose her crown will look like? A pointy affair? Perhaps it will be adorned with a can of Off!! One can speculate. Unfortunately, we won’t be around to attend. It sounds like it will be a fun day. Incidentally, Rayman slew a mosquito this morning in our bathroom. Thank goodness the wind is blowing here or I fear we’d be scratching ourselves silly.

This area is famous for their bird life, their fishing (trout and bass). The campground even has a cleaning shed, a place to go to gut your fish, pluck your ducks. Never seen one of those before. A testament to the fauna in the area.

There are many natural wonders here too. Caves. Hiking trails, big holes in the ground (calderas), more lakes. Plenty to do if one would like to stay a while and explore. But that’s not on our agenda this trip.

We find ourselves in the middle of the Fremont National Forest Preserve. It was established in 1908 by my favorite President, Teddy Roosevelt. And it was named for the famous explorer Lieutenant John Fremont in the winter of 1843. He started his exploration from The Dalles on Nov. 25th. What a guy. I’d be hunkering down for the winter. Not him. He mounted his horse and rode south along the eastern edge of the Cascades and Sierra mountains. What fortitude!! What courage. No GPS. No Rand McNally atlas. He was accompanied by Charles Preuss, a cartographer, mapmaker and scientist. Preuss was, according to the info at my disposal, an ill-humored man (perhaps he didn’t like mosquitos) and confided in his journals how ill-suited he was to be an explorer and to work with Fremont on the frontier expeditions. Well, frankly, I don’t blame the guy. Exploring is hard in the dead of winter. Okay back to the story.

On December 16 after several days of traveling in snow storms (what, he couldn’t hunker down and wait?) they found themselves “on the verge of a vertical and rocky wall of the mountain. At our feet—-more than a 1000 feet below—-we looked into a green prairie country , in which a beautiful lake, some 20 miles in length, was spread along the foot of the mountains, it’s shores bordered with green grass. Just then the sun broke out among the clouds, and illuminated the country below, while around us the storm raged fiercely. Shivering in snow three feet deep, stiffening in a cold north wind, we exclaimed at once the names Summer Lake and Winter Ridge should be applied to these two proximate of such sudden and violent contrast.”

At this point I must interject that the lives we live now are pretty mundane. Imagine that experience. I am totally drawn to the historic accounts of explorers like this. And I wonder what has become of us? I won’t leave the house without gortex if the wind if blowing. Heck, we don’t even drive the RV if it’s too windy. Dinner last night was homemade pesto and tossed green salad. What do you imagine they ate? Perhaps a plucked duck?

An interesting cat, this Fremont. He eloped with a Senator’s daughter against the Senator’s wishes. (he was 28, she was 17) She helped him write his reports of exploration. According to this phamplet, she “was an early example of how women were capable of equal rights of citizenship and full participation with men and was an inspiration to generations of women.” Now, that, I consider hyperbole. As I recall women weren’t allowed to vote. And until now I have never heard of her. Jessie Fremont. Guess I need to bone up on my history some more. However, it is nice that they gave her a shout-out in the article. Sounds a bit like Amy Adams.

Some more info. Fremont ran for President. Against an upstart named Abe Lincoln. This must have been the Republican primary. And get this. Lincoln made Fremont a General during the Civil War. And then Fremont lost his command for issuing an Emancipation Proclamation and freeing all slaves in Missouri. Good grief. Really? Oh, how the irony drips. He later served as gov for Arizona.

And below is where we are staying for the next week.  Sisters, OR with the fabulous mountains as a backdrop.   Again, please note the traffic.


Sisters in the distance.

It’s Not All Fun

I’m always telling you our comings and goings.  And I attempt to keep it upbeat and funny.  So, here’s my latest story that ain’t so funny.  I’m going to send it to my U.S. Congressman with a few modifications, perhaps.  Thought you’d like to know that sometimes we have trouble just like you!!



Dear USPS:

We decided to go on an extended vacation this summer.  What to do with our mail?  After some on-line research I discovered a Premium Forwarding Service that USPS offered.  For an amount of money, we could have our mail forwarded to us at the post office in Graeagle, CA.  So, I made the arrangements on line.

The post office promised to gather our mail for a week at a time and forward it using their priority service.  Great.  That should be perfect.

Only it wasn’t.  The P.O. in Morro Bay (93442) was to send the mail every Wednesday.  So we traipsed to the post office in Graeagle and set up general delivery privileges.   On Friday, we figured out mail would be there.  No mail.  So we waited until Monday.  No mail.  So we waited until Tuesday.  No mail.  That’s when we started talking to our post office about the situation.  They confirmed that they had sent it.  I asked for a tracking number.  Well, that didn’t go well.  It took them a day or so to get me the tracking number.  And guess what?  The package had been delivered to Graeagle on Friday.  So, we drove down to the Graeagle post office and told them that the package had been delivered.  Well.  After an exhaustive search, they found it in the file for “R”.  Not “J”.  R is for Ray.  J is for Jackson.  Really.  That is what happened.

So, now I am trying to change the address to Portland, as that is where we are heading tomorrow.  Because I had ordered it on-line, I went on line and tried to change the order.  The website indicated that I could cancel or edit the order.  When I double-clicked on the link to do that, it was discovered that there was no way to do it.   So, I called the Morro Bay post office.   They told me they could not take a verbal order from me.  They told me I would need to call 1 800 275-8777.  They explained that was the same number they used to call if they had questions.   So, I dialed and waited for 40 minutes only to explain my issue to a person that had no earthly idea how to help me.  Her solution was to transfer me to on-line support at 800 344-7779.  She said she would transfer me… before I was immediately disconnected.  So, I dialed that number and am now currently waiting.  It has been 22 minutes and counting.

As a casual observer, I would say that this a new service and maybe 2 people in the entire postal service know about it.  The other thing I would suggest is that no one who works in the tech support group for the post has tried to use the service.

I exhaustively searched FAQs on the USPS website.  Not one word could I find that addressed this issue.  Okay, one other explanation.   I’m the first and only person that has ever tried to use the service so, of course, there would not be any FAQs as the name implies…FREQUENTLY.

Didn’t they beta test this?  Didn’t they anticipate that people might want to cancel it or change it?  They must have because that link is there.  The link that does not offer what it offers.

I’m still on hold.  It’s been 30 minutes.  I’m not hanging up.

So, I got picked up by Raylene.  She knew about the service but could not help me so she forwarded me to the internet group.  Carol.  She understood the service but wasn’t sure what to do so she put me on hold for 10 minutes.  When she returned she still could not help me.  I even tried another browser.  There was no way to help me.  So, I told her I was forwarding all this info to my elected representative.  She provided me with a case number and it was 170626-001907.  And we amicably parted company.

In the meantime, Rayman went to the Graeagle post office to see if he could get the new service going for us.  Anxiously awaiting his return.  Because I need a drink.


The Dragon in our Midst

Dear Robin Nelson. Golf Course designer,

Today Rayman and I played your course at Clio, CA.  It has been known as the Dragon.  May we tell you that we think the name of the course is inappropriate.  If you ever get a phone call asking you for ideas for renaming the course, we have a few choice names to offer up.  Devil in the Mountains at Nakoma would be an appropriate name.  Another deft choice might be You’ve Got to be Kidding Me at Nakoma.  Those would give prospective golfers an idea of what they are in for when they play this course.

This course should only allow pro golfers on it as the average golfer spends much too much time searching for their balls.  This slows play.  We are quite sure you know that and yet, what did you do?  Narrowed the fairways?  Planted more weeds interspersed with various long wispy grasses?  That’s not helpful.

The other thing is that there is not one single level lie on this layout.  If the ball is above your feet, it makes the shot harder.  If the ball is below your feet, it makes the shot almost impossible.   Really, we think you should come back and figure out a way to offer some level lies for us, the duffers that we are.

Not only did you interject dog legs, you did so with barrancas in the mix.  Now what is that about?   One or the other would have sufficed.  But, oh, no.  You did this more than once so we know it is not a mistake.  You actually designed it that way.  What were you thinking?*

And the sand.  Good grief.  There was sand everywhere.  Bunkers to the right.  Bunkers to the left.  AND bunkers straight ahead.  And these were not small bunkers.  The went on for miles.  With great big lips.  And the sand was wet in many of them and that drove the Rayman crazy.  He swore he could not hit out of the wet sand.  Now, I did counsel him that if he could not hit out of the sand, perhaps he shouldn’t go in to the sand in the first place.  That did not go well.

And then, the Rayman found someone’s else’s clubs on the side of one of the 8th green.  So on the tee box he screamed at the people in front of us, “DID ANYONE OF YOU LEAVE SOME CLUBS ON THE TEE?”.  They didn’t hear him so he had to re-shout his question.  I said, “Ray, they were on the green.”  Not the tee.  Well, one of the guys came back and said they weren’t his but he took them because he thought they might belong to the people of front of them.  Fine.  We teed off and Rayman drove his ball into the sand.  He used his sand wedge to get out of the sand.  Quite impressive.  Then on the next green when he needed his sand wedge again (I won’t rub it in), he was sans wedge.  Apparently he left it on the same 8th green.  Upset he was.  And all this happened because you designed this course with way too many sand traps.  Just saying.

Now, there are barrancas and arroyos but your barrancas and arroyos are over the top.  Good grief.  Couldn’t you have just filled some of those in and planted grass?  It would have improved our chances of not losing our balls.  On one hole, I had a hell of a drive and never did find the ball.  It went into one of those annoying arroyos.  No fault of mine, really.  And, no, I never found my ball.  In case you don’t know it, Robin, there are snakes in all that rough you so cleverly put into that arroyo.  Not helpful.

I may be a bit negative so let me compliment you.  The views on the course are fabulous.  That may be because each hole has huge elevation changes culminating on the gigantic greens.  We’re pretty sure that every single green was elevated, meaning that it made it much more difficult to get on the greens.  Which is the point.  Right?  But after a while, it is just monotonous, always missing the green.  Lowering a few greens would be a very good idea.   It might result in less clubs being thrown.

And while you are at it, chopping down a few trees would be helpful to our games.  There are so many trees it is hard to miss them.   They are also in the way when we drive the ball into the trees and then have to hit our next shot amongst the trees.  Because there was never a clear shot because there were so many trees.  So, culling the forest would be helpful.

I would also suggest that you consult with the real estate office for the resort.  Selling lots too close to the course is not a good idea.  Too many swear words are uttered and this is very bad if small children are living or visiting said houses.   Every effort should be made to protect the young children in our society.  It’s only right.

So, there you have it.  A few suggestions on making the Dragon a better course for the duffers in our mist.  Please consider our ideas carefully.  In the meantime, we are sending a cc: of this memo to the groundskeeper.  He may have some further suggestions for course improvement.  Not only would it make all the golfers happier, but he might find some friends.  We understand he is currently a social isolate.   He/she does not have an enviable job.

Sincerely, The JacksonsIMG_1823

Took pictures of the course, but couldn’t put them in because the file was too big.  Drats.

P.S.  This is Bob and his drinking bear.  We met them at dinner the other night.  I don’t have much of a story only to say that Bob had great fun with his bear.  When he first brought it in, I thought it was a Labradoodle.

Collision Course

Yesterday, Father’s Day, Rayman and I played a golf course named Grizzly Ranch.  OMG.  what a course.  It is so difficult but at the same time so beautiful.  We were lucky enough to be able to play alone and as usual, engaged in our match play tourney with each other.

Everything was just dandy until we made the turn (that means going from the front 9 to the back 9).

Four guys slipped in between us and the twosome in front of us.  Generally speaking, four is slower than two while play golf.  So, I drove up to them and they talked with us.  Finally, the leader of the group, a tall drink of water, asked if we would like to go ahead.  We eagerly said, yes.  And that’s when I really screwed up.

The path was very narrow and I tried to slip by their cart on the right.  That did not work out well.  But before I get to the punchline, I must confess that while playing the front nine, my friend Glam Girl Nancy, texted me to report that our mutual friend, MaryKay and her husband Jay, hit a deer between Susanville and Mt. Shasta.  She also texted me to tell me that the headlights were okay but the grill was toast.  That’s when I texted her back and said, “Yum, grilled venison”.  Not quite gallows humor but humor nonetheless.  Then I texted MaryKay and said, “I herd you hit Bambi”.  So many ways to play off the subject matter.  I could not contain myself.

So, fast forward to the narrow cart path and me at the wheel.  In an effort to squeeze by, I somehow got our carts locked together.  The thing is, everyone had an opinion about how I could get out of the mess I created.  So, after some consideration, I tried to move forward.  That did not work.  So then I tried to move back.  That did not work as evidenced by the twisted fiberglass I saw.  Finally, the guys decided that they needed to lift their cart up while I backed up.  That worked.  Sort of.  The two entangled carts were separated but so was part of the cart’s parts.  A rail running along the cart floorboard came disengaged and stuck out.

I was getting more than a bit flustered at this point while, all the while, trying to act nonchalant.    In doing so, I neglected to see what kind of damage I delivered to their buggy.  “Well, I promise we will play fast”, I said after offering profuse apologies.  And off we went.

Rayman was extremely upset.  He imagined all types of varying scenarios of how it was going to end.  Thousands of dollars?  Blot on the driving record?  What about their cart?  His mood turned to snark.  I was completely guilt-ridden and mortified.  So, I parred the next hole.  That just made matters worse as Rayman got a double bogey.

When our game concluded on the 18th green, we immediately went to the pro shop and I fell on my somewhat overused sword.  I confessed to everything.  The great big Irish looking redhead behind the counter was sympathetic and appreciated my honesty.  However, he would have to call people re: same.  And he came out and took a picture.  This is one of the few times on my trip that I did not take a picture.  I didn’t want the reminder.   I left my name and number and he said, “We’ll be in touch.”.  Ouch.

So, karma is real.  That was a definite case of karma.  Making fun puns out of my friend’s predicament only to create my own misery.   Geez.

When we arrived back at The Dog House, I made Rayman a delicious dinner using our fresh salmon to help create ceviche.  Boy was it good.  Here’s the recipe.

I did not do the tostadas.  Here’s my rendition: