Friday, August 12, 2011

Spirit Lake, Idaho

Spirit Lake, Idaho

The local water tower in Spirit lake, Idaho. Cool isn't it?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Mommy & Me Interview

Just found a questionnaire for children this week and LOVE the idea.  You can interview your kids once, or do it every year to capture their thoughts and opinions.  LJ is still a tad young for this, but BJ and I did it tonight.  I laughed so hard reading his answers to Marty over the phone.  If you have little ones at home try it out, it's a hoot!  Here are just a few of my favorite answers of his...

1.  Mommy asks her child to recite his name: BJ (he recited his full name, very proudly I might add).

2.  How old are you?  "Uh..  4 years old."

6.  What do you want to be when your all grown up?  "Um, 5, I want to be 5 when I grow up."  Mom says, yes but what do you want to do for a job?  "Um, work on trucks, and get, and... fix the engines, that's what I want to do when I grow up.  Everyone needs help working on their engines."  Yes we do, good career!

8.  What's your favorite book?  "David & Goliath."  Mom says: But we don't have that book…  "The book is in the 5th wheel mommy.”  We don’t have that story book Josh…   “Mommy, it’s  in the BIBLE!"  Oh, haha, DUH.... (We DO have that book!)

12.  What is your favorite song to sing?  "Uh...  Jesus loves me, that's my favorite song to sing...  May I please sing it right now???"  LOL! 

What a little blessing he is.

Here is the link to the full list of questions, you can print it out and do it together year after year. 

I'm also thinking I will start snapping a yearly shot like this to go with our interview - maybe even do this around their birthdays:
Only I'm thinking I'll have the kids stand in front of our white board (instead of laying down on a blanket) with their age written over their heads.

Anyway, hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

From Home to House.

I've been avoiding this post...

I'm not sure where to start, or even how much to say so I guess I'll just start here.

Welcome to our new temporary rental home.

Lovely isn't it?

It turns out we will be staying in the Spokane area over the winter so one of the boys can can get some medical attention.  Everyone is fine.  No death, cancer or anything like that.  Just some work in hopes of making life easier for one of the kids. 

We're really (REALLY) bummed to have to take a break from our traveling but feel VERY blessed to be able to travel right to where the best of medical specialist are.

So why have we rented a house?  We certainly didn't need to move out of the 5th wheel, it's perfect for us.  We think of it as our home.   The problem is that sometimes the close proximity of neighbors in an RV park can be difficult with a special needs child.  Nothing that's a really big deal, or anything we haven't been able to work around but since we're stuck here for such a spell we decided to look for something with more space and privacy - stretch out and make things easier because we can.

We had hoped to find some private property to park the 5th wheel on, but nothing was available like that.  So we moved on to rental properties and found this house just across the boarder from Spokane, on the western side of Idaho.  It's on a few acres, no neighbors around, a shop for Marty to tinker in, an extra room for me to craft in, hummingbirds visiting everyday, deer running through the back yard, coyotes  howling in the night and moles running amuck in the back yard - we're really enjoying it. Ok we could do without the moles, but then, they are kinda neat for us Alaskans.  Kinda.

We were picky about choosing a rental, and this place has everything we could ask for to help life run smooth while we're here.

We are not done with traveling, nor are we done with our 5th wheel.  We still plan to travel as much as possible on weekends and in between appointments.

Our boys usually always call the 5th wheel just that, the 5th wheel.  But since we've moved out, they now call it "home".  They only refer to the rental as "the house".  Although we're in this house to make things easier for this temporary time in our lives, our hearts remain with the RV. 

As they should.  :D

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rooms for Royalty

I was recently going through old photo's and found these...

Room for a little princess.

Room for a little prince.

My uncle owns a construction company back in Indiana.  A few years ago when I flew down for a visit he took me to one of the houses he built. It was one of the show houses they made available to the public for the Parade of Homes.  In each closet there is a ladder that leads up to a reading/play loft.

The owners had requested these two custom rooms for their kids, didn't they turn out just heavenly? 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kefir Grains: How To's and Health Benefits.

I've been using real kefir grains for several months now to make kefir and have found the health benefits and nutritional value to be amazing.  I got mine from friends, and have sent some out to others since (you can't buy the real thing in the store).  Unfortunately they don't come with written instructions when a friend sends some to you and because I've been giving grains to more people lately, I thought I'd put a post together on what to do.

If your interested in knowing more about kefir and their health benefits I'll leave that up to the experts...
  • Patty Donovan wrote "Grow Your Own Probiotics, Part 1: Kefir" back in 2008.  Awesome article.
  • Dominic Anfiteatro has a webpage with an overload of info.  I love that he lists different probiotic strains, yeast strains, recipes, and much more. 
  • One more website has awesome recipes and further info on how to's.
So with all that out of the way, this is how it goes down...

This is everything you'll need for making kefir.  Mason jars and some type of cloth or napkin (I use coffee filters) are perfect but you can use any glass or plastic container.  Some folks say there is a risk in killing the kefir grains if you use metal so I stick with glass and plastic when messing with this stuff to be safe.

SOURCE: You can either get grains from a friend who has some, or you can order them online.  You can't buy the real thing in the store though.  You CAN get a starter pack in the store, but they will die after a handful of uses and from what I understand don't have all the nutritional benefits and vitamins that the real grains have.  So however you get your Real grains, they will either come ready to go or dehydrated.

  • You can use any kind of milk, but if you want your grains to continue to live and produce kefir you have to use milk from a mammal of some kind.  Cows, goats....  Whole milk is best, raw milk is even better.  I've even used the pasteurized, homogenized milk before but the health benefits go much further with better quality milk. 
  • You can even culture other types of milk such as soy or coconut milk, but use spare grains for milk that doesn't come from a mammal because the grains will eventually die off in that kind of milk. 

(And by spare grains I should add here that the grains tend to double in size about once a week.) 

ENVIRONMENTAL TEMPERATURES make a difference in the speed at which they reproduce.  The warmer side of room temperature will speed up growth of grains and kefir liquid production, the cooler side of room temperature will slow them down.  You can send the extra grains to friends, or double the health benefits by adding them to your smoothies.

Kefir Grains
This is what real Hydrated kefir grains look like.  If yours are Dehydrated you'll want to continue milk changes daily until they start working.  It may take a few days to a week to bounce back after shipping to where it's producing liquid kefir like it should.

So the first thing you do with your kefir grains is put them into a jar of milk.  You'll want to give 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups of milk per tablespoon of kefir grains (I never do exact measurements).  You don't want to seal the jar because the yeast fermentation will build up pressure, which is why I use the coffee filter to cover the top of the mason jar.  The filter (or napkin) allows it to breath and yet keeps things from falling into the jar.  Use milk straight from the fridge (no need to let it warm) and store jar out of direct sunlight for 12 - 24 hours, stirring a few times a day.

This is what it should look like after 24 hours - I just stirred it.  See how it looks above the milk line?  That's how it's suppose to look, kinda particlely and grainy.  If it isn't stirred it will build up pockets of clear liquid called kefir whey, the white will become extremely thick.  It's best to stir it so the grains don't suffocate in the thick stuff.  By stirring it, you are helping more lactose to get to the grains, which is what the grains eat and need to survive.

This is another angle of stirred, 24 hour kefir.  The big chunks you see are the grains, as they like to float when their at their best.  The liquid kefir should look grainy or with tiny chunks after stirring it although it's hard to see here, it will also be rather like the consistency of a melted milkshake - thicker liquid than just milk.  If you leave a glass of milk out on the counter for 24 hours it does not look thick and particley like the liquid kefir does, it stays like milk and only shows a milk ring around the glass at the top of the milk line.  If your kefir stays like milk after leaving it out, better skip ingesting it until the kefir grains are turning out liquid kefir as they should.  It's pretty hard to kill your kefir grains so if they aren't working as they should, just keep changing their milk daily and they will bounce back pretty quickly.

If you are using to much milk your liquid kefir won't turn out thick or as grainy (which is ok if you want thinner consistency).

One last bit of helpful information is how to store your grains when you need a break from producing kefir, or when your going on vacation. 

I plan on adding a few more posts with recipes, ways to boost the vitamins and probiotics and hopefully stories of how this stuff can help in specific ways.  Just look for posts tagged "Kefir" which you can find by looking in the right hand column under the "Tags" heading.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Loft Remodel

We've been meaning to fix up the loft so LJ can have his own room, but I've really held back because safety was a big concern.  He's still so young and the loft is pretty high up.

I've been letting him play up there for months but only when I was able to keep my eyes on him without distractions.  He does wonderfully up there but I wasn't ok with him sleeping up there until we had a few things figured out.

Now that he can scale the ladder faster and with more confidence than I can, I felt we were ready to move forward. 

Two issues here.  The accordion door and the queen mattress.

Our first big problem was the door.  This photo above was taken when we first got the RV and if you look, you can see the accordion door folded away on the right side of the loft opening.  If LJ were to roll out of bed (which is rare), and roll over to the door, that little accordion door would not hold him in at all.  It is, after all just flimsy cloth.  I figured we needed a solid barrier to keep him from rolling out - and a proper door to the loft would also serve as a better sound barrier than cloth.  I really wanted to use Tambour which is what they use for roll top desks, but unfortunately that plan didn't come together so well.  We may still do it in the future but for now we just built sliding doors.


Marty built sliding doors.

The Loft
The doors are on tracks at the bottom and top so they won't swing out.  If you roll against these puppies, their solid and won't let you fall out.  We put weather stripping on the sides and trim on the bottom to seal the light out. Actually we still need to add one last trim piece to the top on the outside here.  We also notched out holes in the trim and put magnets in the door and door frame to hold the doors closed when we're traveling down the road.  The magnets are really powerful, but LJ can still pull the doors open so that worked out really well.

The other problem was that queen bed.  Ugh, that. bed...  I really really really loathed making that bed.  If you wonder why, let me challenge you to making any bed without actually getting off the bed for 75% of the making.  And then having to do it crouched over for all 100% of the making because the head room is cut short.  LJ is just way to small for a queen bed anyway.  So we moved that mattress into the garage and stacked on top of the top bunk where it's up and out of the way.  We don't use the bunks in the garage at all, they stay lifted up against the ceiling leaving loads of room to walk around so that was a good spot for the mattress.  Should we end up needing it, it's still around.

The Loft
Next we went to Home Depot and picked up some soft puzzle flooring that doesn't hurt your knees to crawl around on.  The puzzle flooring is thin and by taking out the mattress we gained a pleasant amount of headroom up there.  Well, LJ can sit on the floor or the bed and not have to worry about hitting his head, so it's really Marty and I that are excited about more headroom up there.  We love reading stories at bedtime up there and the occasional moments of goofing off.

After the floor was finished we put his toddler mattress up there and toy box.  For added safety we put one of our video/audio baby monitor cameras up there on the door until we were able to purchase door alarm dingers.  The alarm doesn't lock him in the room, but notifies us in the middle of the night should he wake up and open one of the doors.  We are so happy with this set up and more importantly LJ is over the moon for his new space.  Even though he's been allowed to play up there for months, it was never super exciting to him until now.

I'd still like to add some extra touches, like curtains and maybe some little boy wall art, but for the most part, this is it.

I give you LJ's new room...

The Loft
The cabinets and shelf in between are just extra places to keep his toys and drive his cars on. 

The Loft

The Loft
The tote to the right is his toy box.

And here you have a small window into his imagination.  Cars, cars, cars.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

RV Modifications & Add-ons

I had to share a couple neat ideas I've seen around the RV park lately.

This is our neighbors RV.  See the pipe with the white cap?  He took some regular pvc pipe (4"?), mounted under his RV and now stores his sewer hoses in there.  Great idea, those hoses now have their own space, and can't accidentally contaminate anything else in the storage area.  Perfect.

I was thinking you could also use one for fishing rods, the tie-down bracket/rods that are suppose to go in our garage, and anything long and awkward like that.

Another thing I've been noticing...

These are "RV Vent Covers".  I was so excited to discover these on several of our neighbors RV's!

With no vent covers, every time it rains you have to close your vents, even if it's sweltering outside and you need that vent and fan pulling in a breeze.  And if you don't have a fantastic fan that automatically closes when it senses water, you can count on coming home to a wet floor or a wet spare bed at some point in your future.

So with the covers, you just mount them over your vents and never worry again.  EVEN if you hit the road forgetting you left your vent wide open (which I've already done since we got the covers) it doesn't hurt a thing.  Vent covers allow your fans to pull in a breeze, keeps the rain OUT, and it has screens on the vent cover in addition to the screen the vent itself already has, so you end up with a double bug barrier.

I LOVE the RV vent covers and they come at a great price.  If you don't have one for your RV, I'd highly recommend running out and picking some up.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

Patriotic Pancakes

I busted a little food coloring out this morning and tossed it in some pancake mix, it was fun cooking and the boys loved their stack of pancakes.

We colored American flags today, had red (strawberries), white (whipped cream) and blue (blueberries) parfaits for lunch, and fire works in the middle.  It was a fun day.

Hope yours was just as special.  :D

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Nettles pack power as ‘people’s medicine’

Published Tuesday, June 25th 2011

Nettles pack power as ‘people’s medicine’

• Alaska’s wild plant expert Janice Schofield pays Homer a visit, plans a new herbal medicine book based on native flora
By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune

Janice Schofield
Janice Schofield
The backyard, full of dandelions, horsetails, devil’s club and nettles may seem more problem than gift. But each of those plants has a use that is power-packed for health.

Consider that in Japan, devil’s club was literally loved to death. Today, the plant needs to be imported because widespread use as a healing herb has nearly wiped them out, said Janice Schofield, a foremost authority on Alaska’s wild plants who made a visit to Homer to host an edible plant workshop last week.
Nettles are shy plants often found behind or shaded by large wild shrubs. Hikers know the sting and the burning itch of bare-skin contact. Horsetails, that ancient plant that shows up in fossil records from the dinosaur era, can be used to immediately counteract the sting by scrubbing it across the irritated area.

Nettles offer a powerhouse for remedies to keep a prostate healthy, cure a urinary track infection and inhibit bleeding, said Schofield, author of “Discovering Wild Plants” and “Alaska’s Wild Plants.” Her first acquaintance with the weeds began here in Kachemak Bay in the early 1980s. She spent a year studying nettles. “I realized I was only at the tip of the iceberg – there is such a long relationship between humans and nettles.”

In her fascination, Schofield wrote an entire book, “Nettles,” in the Keats Good Herb Guide series, that currently is out of print and in want of a new publisher.

The book goes into great detailed explanation of the plant’s chemical properties and how they function. Teens may want to try a nettle concoction to help alleviate acne. The fresh-pressed juice of nettle plants is laden with chlorophyll and other nutrients. In France, nettles are used as medical treatment for mild to moderate acne. Here’s an explanation she presents from an herbalist: “Since the blood must maintain its slightly alkaline pH and since nearly all the waste products the body produces are acid, something like nettle tea helps to add electrolytes and alkali to assist the buffering system when under stress, and nettle specifically helps increase the transport and excretion of blood nitrogen waste products.”

For this reason, a cup of nettle tea one to three times a day can help relieve acne and other painful skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Even arthritis can be relieved by ingesting nettles as a tonic. The juice can be preserved by adding 10 percent grain alcohol or 25 percent brandy. Or, Schofield recommends, freeze the fresh juice in ice cube trays and thaw one as needed.

When hiking in summer, any number of mishaps can occur in the outdoors. It might come in handy to know that nettles can inhibit bleeding because it is an astringent and tightens tissues. Nettle powder can be sprinkled on cuts to aid in coagulation.

Schofield also found research that credits a mixture of burdock and nettles (half and half) taken as a tea eases premenstrual syndrome. Nettle root has been used to treat enlarged or irritated prostates. Drinking nettle tea during pregnancy (be sure to get nettles in the early spring only) aids health and afterward, helps nursing mothers produce milk. Nettle seeds, which contain oils and traces of formic acid, can be used as a scalp conditioner and hair-growth stimulant for people who have undergone chemotherapy. Take a teaspoon of seeds, soak in a cup of hot water for twenty minutes and use as a rinse after shampooing, recommends herbalist Michael Moore in Schofield’s research.

Young plants are best
The only case of a person dying or becoming ill from nettle use that Schofield knows of occurred in Australia where a species of nettles is a dangerous rainforest dweller. Contact with the razor sharp hairs burn for weeks and months even. But the Alaska variety is safe if taken in its prime. Later in the season, when the plant’s leaves are larger than two-inches in diameter and it starts flowering, it becomes unhealthy.

“If you are observing the plant, it will tell you if it’s the right time to use it,” Schofield said. “When it’s young, it’s vibrant and juicy. As it’s older, it becomes courser and dry, constricting fluids and juices.”

Nettles are best used in the spring, when the plant is 10-12 inches high. But if you have a grove of nettles in the yard that you have used as the season progresses, they tend to replenish themselves and can be harvested all summer. Look for the small new growths in a nettle grove that may be hidden by the more mature stalks. Plants in use tend to oblige humans by growing back more plentifully. “After they flower, the plant becomes more irritating to the urinary track. Once bugs get into the nettles, the harvest is over,” she advises.

How Scholfield began
Schofield came to know Alaska’s herbs and write numerous articles and books on the subject because there was so little out there. In 1980, she and her husband moved to the head of Kachemak Bay and later they lived by Red Mountain. She had earned her degree in home economics and felt a keen curiosity about the nettle groves around her, as well as other plants she found fascinating like wild roses, dandelions and devils club. What could they be used for? Few books were available to help answer her extensive curiosity, so she decided to write one. Her quest took her all over the state, seeking out traditional Alaska Native uses and researching herbalists’ works and scientific findings from around the globe. Thirty years and thousands of pages later, Schofield is highly sought out as probably Alaska’s foremost expert on wild plants. Her workshop, co-hosted with Nancy Lee Evans, was attended by 24 people.

“What you see now is the byproduct of trial and error, flops and successful attempts,” Schofield said in an interview with the Homer Tribune. Now she lives in New Zealand, and is writing another book, “Health Plants of Alaska.” Sadly, much of the manuscript burned in a fire that destroyed her home earlier this year.
Her trip to Homer was the first trip back to her beloved Kachemak Bay in four years.

Weeds and wild plants tend to be taken for granted- or attacked with strong killing sprays – but Alaskans probably shouldn’t do that, she said. “The pureness and availability makes Alaska plants very healthy. Other places don’t always have these plants. Dandelions, for example – they don’t grow in the wild in New Zealand.”

Devil’s club was wiped out in Japan because the stems and roots are found to be beneficial as a medicine to regulate sugar levels, as in diabetes, and also to regulate blood pressure.

“This is the people’s medicine, these weeds. It’s to use for health, not just as a medicine which is what you need when you are sick. It keeps you in balance, strengthens immunity – its how to keep your family, kids and animals healthy.”

To start with, Schofield recommends getting to know 10 plants around your yard. Many in Homer contain dandelions, devils club, cow parsley (puski), nettles, horsetail, wild roses, raspberry plants and fireweed. All of these have specific uses.

“They form a community of plants, an ecosystem, and a good reason to not eradicate them through weed killers is because once one is gone, the community health of plants suffer,” she said. “They keep the landscape healthy.”

HOMER TRIBUNE/Naomi Klouda - An abundance of local recipes for nettle use are shared in Homer. Lasse Holmes creates a Nettle Creme Tonic beer; Two Sister’s Bakery Owner Carrie Thurman makes a nesto pesto. Public Health Nurse Bonnie Betley makes pasta of nettles and the Kilcher family is credited with many other suggested uses. Schofield lists many in her books as well.
HOMER TRIBUNE/Naomi Klouda - An abundance of local recipes for nettle use are shared in Homer. Lasse Holmes creates a Nettle Creme Tonic beer; Two Sister’s Bakery Owner Carrie Thurman makes a nesto pesto. Public Health Nurse Bonnie Betley makes pasta of nettles and the Kilcher family is credited with many other suggested uses. Schofield lists many in her books as well.
A commenter to the article also left this added bit of helpful information:
As a big herbal medicine aficionado, I try to make all my own herbal tinctures as well. My favorite reference is Charles Kane’s Herbal Medicine-Trends and Traditions…a fantastic herbal resource book. It’s the only herbal I’ve seen to have tincture-making worksheets, and the proper alc/water percentages and dosages for 400+ herbs…highly recommended as a medicine-makers manual.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Today we hung around the RV park and played hopscotch for the first time with the boys.  They had so much fun but Pete (the dog) really wanted to join in.  He kept going and laying down right in the middle of it all, lol.  I had to make him get up and move more times than I can count.

Had to share, as it was loads of old fashion fun we'll definitely be doing again.  If your like me and have forgotten how to play, there are directions for the original game of hopscotch here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Photo Hunt Day!

Today we had to drive Marty into the airport so he could fly back to work.  Although I wouldn't trade his work schedule in for a million town jobs, I can't wait for 2 weeks to fly by and see him again.

On the ride home the kids and I decided to have a little fun and go on a photo hunt.  I told them if they saw something weird, wacky, wild, fun or neat we would stop the truck and get a picture of them next to their find.  Whatever it was it had to be something that really drew their eye in.

I had to help our 3 yr old find things but it was SO interesting seeing the world according to my 4 year old.  He choose several beautiful old churches and cathedrals, showing me he has an eye for architecture!  I am always drawn to houses, and Marty doesn't really care so much about building character so this was truly seeing BJ's taste come out.  Maybe in 20 years or so he can turn this architecture appeal into a career!  We took TONS of photos that won't make it to this blog because the kids are in them, but here are a few photos we took with nobody in them.

Old International
LJ is really REALLY into trucks, so this was one of the neat things I helped him find.

We were checking out a church BJ found when he started hollering about "SHOES!!!"

One of BJ's picks.  What child wouldn't be drawn to this?

Both of the boys were excited to see a plane crash into a roof - I made sure and told them it wasn't real but just staged.

LJ loved this old truck.

I wish I could share the other shots, they were so much better, but you get the idea.  We had such a good time doing this, I'd love to put together a photo album with just photos from this little adventure.  And it was Cheap fun!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hot Rod Cafe

3/20/12 UPDATE: Hot Rod Cafe closed their doors and went out of business in either February or March of 2012. Such a BUMMER - as it was such a great place to go. Here's to hoping someone will eventually resurrect this place when economic times are better.


We've been staying at the Coeur D' Alene RV Resort in Post Falls, Idaho for about a week.  We had hoped to find a good park in Spokane, or Spokane Valley but found that many weren't all that great.  No place to open your awning and let the kids play, or no yard, or just bad locations.  We finally found the park here in Post Falls and fell in love with it.  They have an amazing staff, an indoor swimming pool, exercise room and the whole park is really well kept.

If your in the area you can find them at:
2652 East Mullan Avenue
Post Falls, ID 83854
(208) 773-3527


Hot Rod Cafe
Anyway just down the road is the neatest little cafe!

Hot Rod Cafe
The parking lot alone is fun to drive through, even on a slow day.

Hot Rod Cafe

Chevy Impala


Love this car, very stealth.

34 Ford
1934 Ford

We actually saw much more in the parking lot but I'll stop here and show you inside.

Hot Rod Cafe
This is their waiting area.  The boys were happy as clams to sit here!

Hot Rod Cafe
The entrance/exit.

Hot Rod Cafe

Hot Rod Cafe

Hot Rod Cafe

Hot Rod Cafe
This was an ice-cream station you could access from the other side, the boys went and checked it out while I took the other photos.

Hot Rod Cafe
And when you order a children's meal, they bring the fries in these lovely fry baskets, aren't they neat looking?

We have several other photos of the Hot Rod Cafe if you'd like to see them.

It's a great place to stop in and have a meal (the food is pretty good), they also have weekend car shows all the time in the parking lot.  In fact at one point during a drive by we saw huge smoke plumes and on closer look from the highway discovered it wasn't some enormous building caught fire, but people smoking their tires during a car show, lol!

Anyway if your in the area and want to stop in, the Cafe can be found at:
1610 Schneidmiller Avenue
Post Falls, ID 83854-7065
(208) 777-1712

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another Day Around Spokane

Franks Diner
Today we decided to spend the day exploring more of Spokane.    What better place to start than dining out in a train?  None of us have ever dined in a train car so we were kind of excited to hear about this place.

Franks Diner

Franks Diner
Just on the end outside is this huge dome in the outdoor ceiling, it really caught my eye.  Amazing craftsmanship.

Franks Diner
Isn't it beautiful?

Franks Diner
When you walk in there's an area to wait until they're ready to seat you.  With it being a train, seating is limited of course.  :)

Franks Diner
You can sit at the counter or at a booth.

Franks Diner
The ceiling is just amazing, the little stained glass windows bring such an old classy charm to it.

Franks Diner
These are the booths, I wish I had gotten a better picture of them.  Through some of the windows on the left they had displays of old train artifacts.  Very cool to see.

We ordered the eggs benedict, an omelet and the boys got pancakes & oatmeal - although it wasn't the best we've ever had, it was pretty good food.  We'd definitely go back and dine again.

After eating we hit the road looking for neat finds and boy did we ever find one.

We turned down a neighborhood road just down the street from BJ's doctor's office and saw this...
Castle House
Another wow moment here in Spokane.  :D

Castle House

Castle House

Castle House
There isn't very much information available on the net, so I'm not terribly sure it's accurate but as far as I can tell some guy built this up around his house over the years, for the fun of it.  I would love to get a tour of it!  Very magical looking but hard to get into one shot.  I took several photos of the Vercler Lane castle if you'd like to see more.

We didn't see the house address but the neighbor to the right is 920 N. Vercler Ln, Spokane Valley, WA

The last few things we saw on our outing today were just as eye catching.

International Harvester, Travelall
An International Harvester, Travelall.  Until today I had never even heard of one.  Kinda looks like a cross between an old Suburban and a Hurst.

"Holiday House"
My most favorite find of the day was this old vintage travel trailer called a "Holiday House".  Looks like a really fun weekend trailer to renovate doesn't it?  I googled and found photos of a renovated version of the Holiday House, looks very charming.