Category Archives: The Celebration Tour & RV Adventures

The Celebrate Life Tour – Day 2 – The Adventure Begins

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The stack of boxes and crates waiting for us at the storage facility.

The Celebrate Life Tour – Day 2 – The Adventure Begins

There was no doubt this was going to be a crazy day. We had to get to our rig, load up the ten tons worth of stuff that we had shipped or brought with us, travel to the RV Park, and then try to get us, and the animals, set up with at least the basics. This of course, was after we had completely worn ourselves out the last couple of weeks getting ready to go, and flying in on the red-eye. But hey, that’s why there’s a Starbuck’s on every corner, right, lots of liquid energy.

Don and I had talked through this day over and over, trying to plan the fastest way to get everything done with the least impact to the animals. We knew that by the time we reached Portland, they would have been in their carriers over 8 hours, and though it wasn’t as big a deal for our dog Tobi, since we would be able to get him to a nice grassy spot fairly quickly, it was definitely more difficult for the cats. Because they had dropped out of their leash training class, and we couldn’t open the kennels and say, “ OK everybody, go do your business and meet back here in ten minutes”, they were going to have to cross their paws a little while longer. We did have potty pads in all the carriers though, just in case.

Our RV has three main sections, each with a door that can be secured; the master bedroom, the main living area, and the garage. Originally, we were going to put the cats in the bedroom while we got things loaded and organized. The last minute decision to bring the kittens changed everything. They had not yet been incorporated into the family, so needless to say, throwing them together with the adults in a small, closed, unfamiliar room after flying all night, would definitely keep us out of the “caring pet owners” club. The revised plan was to put the kittens in the bedroom, put the adult cats in the living area, and then load the garage. There was just one little kink though. Already waiting for us in the garage was the large custom pantry and kitchen cabinet that we had ordered. Until we moved them out, we couldn’t get anything else in, and because there was no floor space in the main living area during travel, they would have to be installed before we left, and especially before we let the cats out. Bet you can guess what was at the top of our “ to do” list.

You know how sometimes someone comes into your life, and you think “Wow, how’d I get that lucky ?”. Well, for Don and I, that was Joe Pedron. He and his wife own and operate Pedron’s Auto, Boat and RV Storage, and 2 nicer people you’d be hard pressed to find. They good-naturedly received and stored our ridiculous number of shipments, took our truck in for service before we got there, and picked us up at the airport in a vehicle big enough to handle our entire load. On arriving at their facility, we found our truck and trailer all snug and protected in an enclosed building, with our boxes and crates close at hand. Joe had a good idea what was ahead of us, so he set things up to make it as easy as possible, but he didn’t stop there. When he found out about the cabinets, he grabbed his tools and jumped right in, and like us, was completely unaware that he would actually be wrestling an 8’ tall monster.

The pantry was triangular, designed to fit snugly in the same shaped space, but the walls in an RV, like a house, are very rarely square or level. Unlike a house though, there’s very little swinging room, and the walls that you’re mounting to, are made of foam. Needless to say, he and Don had their hands full. So while they struggled with the cabinets, I started getting things sorted and loaded. By late afternoon, they had finished the installation, and my arms were reduced to spaghetti from getting those 10 tons of boxes into the trailer. We then quickly said our extremely heartfelt thank you’s, and headed out to the RV Park.

Getting the rig set up in the park provided great entertainment for our neighbors. Our experience was limited to a five day trip, 9 months earlier, and at least then, we had gotten a little bit of instruction. Now we were trying to remember what we were supposed to do, and in what order, and it was laughingly obvious we were serious rookies. Nearly an hour later, when we finally finished up, we took our bows, and the crowd of giggling onlookers went on to other things.

Moving inside, we set up the nearly four foot long custom litter box that was perfectly made by Facecrafters, and then the cats were finally able to start adjusting to their new home. The kittens though were still confined to the bedroom, and because it was important to integrate them slowly, we needed a way to confine them. We also needed food, both in our bellies and in the frig, so it was time to head to the store.

At around midnight, the kittens were safely housed in their new kennel, the cats were checking out every nook and cranny of the trailer, there was cereal and milk in the frig, and Don, Tobi, & I were finally in bed, and just minutes away from a very needed sleep.

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The garage with the pantry and kitchen cabinet. As you can tell, this is before loading the boxes and crates.
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The 2 cabinets in place. The tall pantry is on the right.
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This is the garage after everything was loaded in. It was so full, I couldn’t get it all in the shot.
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The garage today.
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Our amazing custom made litter box from Facecrafters. I had originally not specified a color, but Shannon decided it should be black, and I’m ecstatic she did that. It’s perfect !
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Cat Tree with awesome litter box underneath.

The Celebrate Life Tour

Mission Positive Films

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The Celebrate Life Tour – The First 24 Hours – Thank Goodness For Skycaps

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Thank Goodness for Skycaps

The Celebrate Life Tour – The First 24 Hours Thank Goodness For Skycaps

When I was growing up, I was a pretty easy going kid, and with the exception of procrastinating on my homework, never intentionally put myself in a stressful situation. Once I reached adulthood though, that started changing, I wasn’t looking for stress, but I was definitely looking for excitement. Then, we started our business. The first few years were over the top exhilarating, so much to do, so many possibilities, but as the years wore on, those new challenges gave way to da, da, da, daaa “small business stress”. If you’ve ever owned or managed a small company, you know exactly what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, trust me, you don’t want to know. Twenty seven years later, I was living in a world of sleepless nights, sugar binges, and fingernail biting, with the old time favorite ” money woes blues” playing in the background. When we finally sold our business, the dream we’d been dreaming for years came true, the stress was gone, but what I hadn’t anticipated, was the enormous void that was left by it’s absence.

Don and I immediately jumped into everything we could to fill that space of time and energy, not once taking a minute to enjoy the quiet. Over the years, we had apparently become stress addicts, and were looking everywhere to find a fix. At this point, you’re thinking, “OK, so what does this have to do with the Celebrate Life Tour RV trip ?”. Well, I just wanted to give you an understanding of why two fairly normal people would get themselves into such a crazy situation.

June 29th – 6:00am, Departure Day – When the alarm went off after just a few hours of sleep, I resisted the urge to take a hammer to it while the day’s ” To Do List” came flooding back into my brain. Though we had done all we could ahead of time, we still had a ton of stuff to take care of before our flight left at 9pm.

Preparing the property for a short trip has always been a challenge, but for a 3 month trip, it’s insane. Things like, making sure the tenants were covered in case a sewer pipe breaks ( which actually happened our first month out ), arranging for exterior upkeep so we would be able to find the house when we got back ( if you saw the movie Jumanji, you know what I’m talking about ), organizing the finances to keep the bill collectors at bay, and trying to remember all the other little things you do every month without really thinking about it, becomes a necessity. With this situation, we couldn’t just say ” Oh, it’ll wait a few days until we get home “, we had to make sure we covered our behinds. Also, because we were leaving a few animals, fish, and plants, we had arranged for sitters to stay in the house, which basically means doing a spring cleaning. I don’t want anyone opening a drawer or door and going “oooh, yuk !”, so every little corner and crevice gets a once over, and when you have as many furballs as we have, that once over needs to be done right before you leave.  Linens need to be changed, the kitchen and bathrooms cleaned, litter boxes emptied, etc. etc.

On top of that, we had arranged for the house to be termite tented the next day. If you read one of the recent posts, you remember me mentioning some of the things Hawaii doesn’t have, like snakes and rabies. One thing Hawaii does have in spades, is termites. Generally you need to have your house tented every 5 years, but because of the nature of our building structure, the fact that we have tenants on property, the amount of plants and animals in the home, and the momma mia price-tag, it had been 18 years since the last big treatment. When we got a call from one of our tenants a few weeks earlier telling us they were having an epic battle with the termites over their toilet paper, we decided to bite the bullet, and get it done.

Since we had already planned to move the majority of the plants outside for the duration of the trip, and most of the animals were going with us, it made sense to have it done while we were gone. We just had to relocate the rest of the plants and fish ponds, board the remaining animals for a couple of nights, temporarily rehouse the tenants, trim all the shrubbery away from the house, and double bag all the food, medicines, and toiletries. Notice I said ” just”; frick, in addition to everything else, it was monumental. By the time we did all that, and packed 3 months worth of clothes, we were two steps away from moving out altogether.

For all of you not addicted to stress, I’m sure this would be plenty to deal with, but for this junky, apparently it wasn’t quite enough. A few months earlier, in a moment of total insanity, I had decided to put on not one, but four Celebrate Life Events in the first month of travel. I had literally made hundreds of phone calls, and sent hundreds of Emails in the weeks before leaving, and still had the majority of work ahead of me. That meant copying all the computer files relating to the film and the events, and bringing them, along with all my notes, with me.

We had arranged for both our house sitter, and good friend Tom to take us, the 10 animal carriers ( one of the carriers housed two kittens ), the 4 suitcases and 3 carry-ons to the airport, and it took every bit of both vehicles. When they arrived at the agreed upon time, we had gotten everything done that absolutely had to be, but I was a mess. The first thing our sitter said was ” Are you going like that ?”. Needless to say, that wasn’t my plan, so while everything was getting loaded in the cars, I took a luxurious 20 second shower, threw my clothes on, and got back out just as the last carrier was loaded.

On arriving at the airport, Tom thankfully grabbed a skycap knowing that it would have been a lot funnier watching Don & I trying to deal with the 10 or so little airport carts it would have taken to handle our load. As it was, it took 3 of the skycap’s carts to do the job.

I wish I could have taken a picture of the look on check-in agents face when she saw our entourage; guaranteed, she hadn’t seen anything like that before. The first thing she said was that we needed to take all but 2 of the animals to cargo. I calmly explained we had reservations for 9 carriers in baggage, and 1 in the plane with us, to which she replied that I had apparently misunderstood because that was against the airline’s policy. After almost 45 minutes, and numerous calls back and forth to one supervisor after another, we were checked in and on our way to security. This was the step I had already lost sleep over. Since 9-11, when you travel with animals, you have to take them out of their kennel while security gives it a good going over. We had 7 cats, and 3 kittens that had to be taken out of their carriers amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy airport. Needless to say, I had visions of chasing cats all over the terminal. Thankfully, my fears didn’t materialize, and we breathed a huge sigh of relief when that last carrier door was closed.

Once on the plane, a flight attendant headed down the aisle with a stack of the vouchers that tell you your animal has been loaded on the plane.  When she got to our seat, she said ” All yours ?”, When we admitted to it, she broke out in a laugh, and then went back to her duties.

A few hours later, we were in Portland, waiting on the curb for the ride that would take us to our RV, the busy day ahead, and the beginning of the Celebrate Life Tour.

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Our Moluccan Cockatoo, Samson. He had to stay home, but is being taken care of by a wonderful family.
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At The Portland Airport Waiting For Our Ride.

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The Celebrate Life Tour

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The Celebrate Life Tour – What ! I Thought You Said Eight ?

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And Three Makes Eleven. From Left To Right: Bruno, Josie, and Gracie.

The Celebrate Life Tour – What ! I Thought You Said Eight ?

Our first official overnight guest in the RV was aware going in that he would be sharing space with our seven cats and one dog. When we picked him up at the airport, he jokingly said “ OK, so how many of them will be sleeping with me, all eight of them ? “. We laughed with him for a little bit before telling him that it wasn’t eight anymore, it was actually eleven. After we picked him up off the floor, he said, “ WHAT ! How’d it get to be ELEVEN ? “.

OK, I know that you already have been thinking we were nuts, and this will probably confirm it, but there is a very good reason we ended up with three extra furballs on our 3 month Celebrate Life Tour RV trip.

A few weeks before we were scheduled to leave, we discovered a litter of three kittens playing in our front yard. As young as they were, we had 2 choices; do nothing, or take them in. Doing nothing is of course the easiest option; that is until they start multiplying, and trust me, rabbits have nothing on cats when it comes to reproducing. Also, feral cats are becoming a serious problem in our neighborhood, and Hawaii in general. You’re now thinking, “ Why didn’t they just take them to the Humane Society ? ”. That’s exactly what we would have done if they would have accepted them, but in Hawaii, they’ll only accept kittens if they’re on solid food, and they are “ adoptable”, meaning handleable, and this threesome didn’t meet either of those requirements. So, the plan was to take them in and get them “ handleable “, while looking for their forever homes. Shoots, we had 4 weeks, so no problem, right ?

As the clock kept ticking, we weren’t getting any closer to finding them homes, but we did find some very interesting information. First, in Hawaii, those that have a fondness for cats are in the minority, and almost always have as many as they can handle. Second, the very few that are actually looking for kittens, would rather pay a couple of hundred dollars at a pet store than getting a free one from someone they don’t know.

With time running out, we turned from trying to find forever homes, to just trying to find someone to babysit them while we were gone. Our house sitters were open to feeding them, and litter box duty, but they wouldn’t be there most of the time. I don’t know about you, but having 3 rambunctious kittens running loose for 3 months without supervision just wasn’t an appealing thought. I doubt they would bring down the structure, but I’d put money on coming back to an interior that was either broken or shredded, and since we actually want to live in the house when we get back, that wasn’t an option.

The day before our flight, we reluctantly made the only choice left open to us, which was to take them with us, and hope that we could find homes for them during our travels. We ran them over to our wonderfully accommodating vet, got their health certs, and called the airlines about the quantity change. And then there were eleven.

The Celebrate Life Tour

Mission Positive Films

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The Celebrate Life Tour – The Critters are Coming – Part 2

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The Critters are Coming Part 2 – Waiting for the Vet.

The Celebrate Life Tour – The Critters are Coming – Part 2

Please forgive the long break between posts on the Celebrate Life Tour RV Trip. It turned into a whirlwind of adventures, and has only just now started settling down enough to write. If you’re still interested in what’s been going on, I’ll try over the next few weeks to get you all caught up. So here we go.

You already know that Hawaii has great natural beauty and amazing weather, what you may not know is that it doesn’t have snakes. Needless to say, that can be very handy when you’re strolling through the woods. It is also the only state that doesn’t have rabies, and the government is bound and determined to make sure it stays that way. All animals coming to Hawaii from areas that do have the rabies virus must go through 2 rabies vaccines, a Rabies Test, and a 120-day quarantine before they can join their families. A few years ago, they started a program called the “ 5 day or less release “, which allows people that live in Hawaii to take their pets to the mainland and bring them back without going through the quarantine, but you still have to do the shots and tests. That means to get your little furry ones back home to paradise, you’re looking at no less than 5 trips to the vet, plus the cost of the shots, tests, and of course , the  “Entry Fees “. Cha-Ching !

Ok, this ordeal is bad enough for one pet, but if you multiply it by eight ( 7 cats and 1 dog ), you know you’ve gone loop d’ loop. Then again, for us, there was no way we were going to leave “our family” for a 3 month Celebrate Life Tour, so it became of matter of “let’s make a deal”.

We are fortunate to have 2 very good vet clinics close to our home, and we use each for different types of issues, but definitely have a favorite. Our first choice is the smaller of the two as they seem to be a bit a more personal, and have a very caring staff. I contacted them both about pricing for all the work necessary to get our animals back into Hawaii at the end of he trip. The larger clinic took their basic price times 8, but the manager at our preferred clinic, went above and beyond. She gave us discounts on the visits and shots, and allowed us to ship the blood tests to the Kansas State University lab that Hawaii approves for testing. We literally saved hundreds of dollars, whew ! There were however a few bumps in the road.

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The caring staff at Haiku Vet getting our family ready for the trip.

Now, timing is everything with this process. There is a specific time between shots, between shots and tests, and between results and Hawaii’s application approval. Also there is a limit in how long the blood sample for the test is good, and how it has to be handled, meaning “ refrigerated “, and carefully packed for shipping.

When we reached the point of getting the blood work done, we scheduled the appointment for a Thursday, thinking we could ship it overnight, and get it to the lab on Friday. We also assumed ( usually a bad thing ), that we could ship the package as a refrigerated item. Well, that was the plan, but this is what actually happened.

The sample for the rabies test requires quite a bit of blood, and in dogs, that’s not a big problem, but in cats, it can be a long and very uncomfortable process. Since we were dealing with 7 cats, it turned into a very time consuming appointment, and by the time the vet had everything they needed, we had missed the outgoing shipment for both Fedex and UPS. Our only choice was to get them out on Friday morning, and hope the lab would accept a weekend shipment. The vet kindly kept the samples in their refrigerator overnight, and we picked them up all neatly packed in a Styrofoam ice chest with icepacks, and headed first to FedEx. After a lengthy wait in line, we were told that there was no such thing as “refrigerated shipping”, and that if we shipped them on Friday, they would sit in a “not” climate controlled warehouse until late Sunday night, when they would be sent to their delivery city. CRAP !

We then headed to UPS, who of course gave us a similar song and dance. The only option left open to us, was to take the samples back home, pop them in the frig overnight, ship them on Saturday, and pray the icepacks would keep them cold enough to last until Monday morning when they would be delivered to the lab.

I had a dentist appointment in town, so Don ran the samples home to take care of them. What I didn’t realize is that he had not been part of most of the conversations about preserving the samples, and assumed that since they were in an ice chest with ice packs, that they should be put in the freezer. When I found out a couple of hours later where they were, I immediately called the vet to check if we were in trouble, but in using the speed dial on my phone, accidentally called the wrong vet. They of course, not knowing what I was talking about, told me it was fine. You know how some things just don’t sit right, and that uneasiness just keeps coming back until you do something about it. Well, it took about an hour of dealing with that before I finally gave in and called again just to double check, but this time I called the right vet, who said we were only in trouble if the blood had frozen. CRAP !!!!!

At that point, we were about a half hour away from home, and immediately raced back to the freezer to find 3 of the samples frozen solid, and the remaining 5 with only a few drops of moving liquid. OK, this was bad. It meant that we would not only have to put our babies through another round of blood drawing, but it was jeopardizing our timing in being able to get them back to Hawaii.

I called the right vet again to appraise them of the situation, and they called the lab, who thankfully said, that we were OK for this type of test, WHEW !!!!!

We took the samples to FedEx as late as possible on Saturday, to give us the best possible chance of keeping them cold, and on Monday morning got confirmation that the lab had received them, and they were usable. A week later, we were told that all had passed with flying colors, yeah! The hard part was behind us, or so we thought.

The last step that we needed to take in this process while we were still in Hawaii, was submitting the applications and payment to the State for re-entry. We could have mailed them in, but with this much paperwork, there’s no way we were going to do anything but hand deliver it. After the clerk, picked herself off the floor with the 50lb packet we handed her ( Ok, I’m exaggerating a little ), she informed us that they would not have time to process it that day, and for us to call back in a week or so, to verify they had everything they needed. When you have one application, they almost always process it while you wait, so we weren’t concerned about things getting done in plenty of time. Well, I called in a week or so, and then another, and another, until the day we left, to still get the answer that they had not had time to review them. Oh well, we had a 3 month trip ahead, and plenty of time to deal with it, I said to myself with fingers crossed. At least we had everything we needed to get them on the plane to Portland.

The Celebrate Life Tour

Mission Positive Films

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MPF Celebrate Life Tour – 10 Days & Counting & We Still Have Monkeys

MPF Celebrate Life Tour – 10 Days & Counting & We Still Have Monkeys

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Prep for The Celebrate Life Tour

I bet you’re scratching your head about that title. Years ago when we were drowning in the responsibility of a small business, a friend told me I needed to take those monkeys off my back, and give them to someone else. Meaning of course, I needed to learn to delegate. Over the course of time though, whenever I’m loaded down with a big ” To Do ” list, I have this great visual of all these monkeys swinging around on my back, yanking my hair, flicking my ears, sticking their fingers in my nose, and in general just trying to aggravate me. As I check things off the list, I grab a monkey and send it packing, and then anxiously get started on the next thing, trying to rid myself of those little beasties as soon as possible.

Now that we’ve hit the 10 days and counting point to the Celebrate Life Tour, when I was hoping to have just a few hanging around, there’s still enough of those little suckers left to have a full blown monkey party. Well as they say, no rest for the crazy. Anyway, let me catch you up a little on what’s been going on.

When we first came up with the idea of being gone 3 months, it didn’t seem like it would be all that difficult to put it together, kind of an ignorance is bliss thing. Had we really thought about it, we might have said, ” Nah, way to much work “, and missed out on all this insanity. Things like paying the monthly bills seemed like no big deal, because there’s this wonderful service called E-Banking, sweet. Yeh, that is until your bank tells you it doesn’t work in Canada, WHAT ? Ok, now it’s complicated. Oh, and then there’s your mortgage company that won’t let you do an autopay unless you have a checking or savings account with them. Really. Fortunately, thanks to some very accommodating bankers, I think we have gotten it worked out, but if I happen to send you what turns into a rubber check, I promise it wasn’t intentional.  Then there’s holding the mail, no problem right ? No problem if you’re gone less than 30 days, but if you’re gone more than 30 days, yeh, you got a problem.

Yesterday was plant day, and for this I need to back up a minute and give you some background. Sorry, again with the business, but this relates to dealing with stress. As you know, owning or running a business is definitely in the high stress category of daily life, and people deal with it in different ways. Some eat, some drink, some take really strong drugs, and some do all of the above, but for some reason I dealt with it by getting in touch with my inner gardener. I found that caring for plants, primarily orchids, worked as a decompressor, and the number of plants was in direct relationship to the amount of stress. I think you’ve already guessed, that means a whooooole lot of plants. I joined an orchid club, and I went to plant shows, and there wasn’t a meeting or show that I ever left empty handed. Our house is built on a hill, so it has multiple levels, most of which have patios, and we have a large atrium area off the living room, so it’s a great house for plants. Did I take advantage of that ? You betcha. After filling up every nook and cranny that had enough light to accommodate a green one, and reaching my limit on having enough time to tend to them, I finally quit the club, and would not step foot in a plant show knowing that I had no willpower to resist those beautiful flowering plants. Though I have been gifted plants since then, I have not bought any more, but most of them are still alive and under my care. Our normal trips have run around 10 days, and we have been lucky to have house sitters that were kind enough to try and make sure there were no casualties while we were gone.  Now, we’re looking at 3 months, and there’s no way, I could ask someone do deal with the work of that many plants, so the only option was to find a home for them outside under the sprinkler system. With the invaluable help of our very good friend Tom, all of them were relocated yesterday to their new home, and what I thought would be a few hours, turned into an entire day, but it’s done, and that monkey’s long gone.

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What’s an atrium without plants ? A Bowling Alley ?
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Outdoor Living – A New Home for Lots of Spoiled Houseplants

Today is clothes packing day. I’m not sure how this is gonna turn out, I have a hard enough time trying to figure out what to wear to dinner, and now I have to put together 3 months worth. Yikes !

MPF – The Celebrate Life Tour

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MPF – The Celebrate Life Tour – The Route – Looks A Little Loopy To Me

The Celebrate Life Tour – The Route – Looks A Little Loopy To Me

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Thought it would be fun to show you the route for this summers Celebrate Life Tour. We start in Portland, make our way north through Washington State, cross the border into Canada, hang a little in Vancouver, then head up to the incredible hiking country that is Yoho, Banff, Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks. We should have some really amazing shots for you from that area.

After playing with the bears, we head back down to the beauty that is Coeur D’Alene, then over to Missoula, Yellowstone, and Jackson Hole. I’m planning on doing the Jackson Hole Marathon while we’re there, so that should be good for lots of laughs since I haven’t started any training yet. We fortunately have a few days scheduled after the marathon, and considering I probably won’t be able to walk for a while, that should come in quite handy.

From there we head back through Idaho, visit some friends in Boise and enjoy the last Celebrate Life Tour event. Our final stop is Bend where our ” Climbing Gurus “, Gil and Cheryl, are waiting to inflict the pain of their Hiking Boot Camp on us, then we’ll put the Beast in it’s winter home, and head to Portland for our flight back to Hawaii.

Three months, 5 States, 2 Canadian Provinces, and 20 RV Parks, and it all starts on June 30th. Stay tuned, lots of laughs ahead.

The Celebrate Life Tour – Mission Positive Films

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The MPF Celebrate Life Tour Is Headed To Vancouver, BC

The MPF Celebrate Life Tour Is Headed To Vancouver, BC

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Celebrate Life Tour – Vancouver BC

If you’ve been touched by cancer, whether you’re a patient, survivor, or caregiver, please come and Celebrate Life. We’ll have great music, a Fighter and Survivor slide show with tips and tricks, information on services and products to help those going through and recovering from treatments, 2 fabulous guest speakers, and a showing of the award winning cancer survivorship documentary ” C – A Celebration of Life “.  Watch Trailer

It all happens on July 19th from 9am to 11:30am, at the Hollywood 3 Cinemas – 19190 Lougheed Hwy. Pitt Meadows, BC, and it’s free to the public. Seating is limited, so be sure and Register Here.

Check here for more information on the Celebrate Life Tour and it’s other stops.

OUR AMAZING KEYNOTE SPEAKER

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” Choosing to smile ” is the message Chilliwack’s own Glenda Standeven practices and passes on to whomever she meets. This force of nature has not just survived but thrived through adversities that would bring most of us to our knees. After losing her right leg, hip, and pelvis to Bone Cancer, she gave birth to her second son, won 2 Silver Medals in the 1990 BC Winter Games, saw her husband through a battle with an aggressive Prostate Cancer, had 2 books published, and became an award winning Inspirational Speaker. She has also garnered numerous awards for her volunteer and fundraising efforts over the last 2 1/2 decades, including the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

For more information about Glenda, visit her website at www.glendastandeven.com.

OUR VERY SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER

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Scott Kehoe is on a mission. At 28, when he was thriving in the fast paced world of Sports Marketing, he was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia. After a difficult but successful battle against the disease, his priorities had changed, and he left the world of sports to do everything he could to help find a cure, and lend his support to those still fighting. As the Fund Development Manager and Peer to Peer Consultant for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – BC/Yukon region, he is in a position to do just that, but it doesn’t end there. He has recently founded Project 5ive which is an online peer to peer inspiration and resource network for cancer survivors, and if there’s an event to help make a difference in cancer fundraising or awareness, he’ll be there, doing whatever needs to be done.

For more information on Project 5ive, visit the website at www.project5ive.com.

GREAT SPONSORS

Celebrate Life, Celebrate Life Tour,Celebrate Life Vancouver BC,Celebrate Life Event Vancouver BC,Celebrate Life,Mission Positive Films,C - A Celebration of Life,Celebration of Life,A Celebration of Life,C A Celebration of Life,Hollywood 3 Cinemas Pitt MeadowsA big thank you to Hollywood 3 Cinemas Pitt Meadows for generously donating our wonderful venue.

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Thank you to Clark’s Audio Visual Services Ltd. for generously donating the Mic System.

SEATING IS LIMITED, SO BE SURE AND REGISTER HERE

Please note: Food is not included with the event, but is available for purchase at the theater concession.

Event Map


Mission Positive Films

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Maybe We Shouldn’t Have Had That Second Glass Of Wine – Celebrate Life Tour

Maybe We Shouldn’t Have Had That Second Glass Of Wine – Celebrate Life Tour

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Did you ever have one of those days where you and your honey are having a glass of wine, and you come up with this great idea to go on an RV trip for 3 months, take all the animals with you, and put on Celebrate Life Tour events along the way, then 9 months later you look at each other and say, ” What in the world were we thinking” ?

Back when we owned a custom sign company, we’d close the shop over the year end holidays and take our sanity vacation. We figured out early on that we had two choices, a funny farm or a vacation, and the vacation was cheaper. If you have owned or managed a small business you know exactly what I’m talking about. Anyway, the weeks preceding the trip were insane to the point we’d start questioning whether it was really worth it, but of course as soon as we got on the plane, all the madness faded from memory. Little did I know that would turn out to be our basic training for this trip. What makes this one especially challenging is not only the time length of it, or the number of furry ones we’re taking, or trying to outfit a new rig when we’re in Hawaii and it’s in Oregon, but also organizing the Celebrate Life events that we’ll be doing along the way.

Let’s take a minute to go over the beginnings of this crazy adventure, so those that are just joining us will have a better idea what all the fuss is about. Last July, Don and I had a few hours to kill in Kalispell, Montana, and on a whim decided to go to an RV dealership just to window shop. We’d been kicking the idea around for a few years on how fun it would be to travel the U.S. in a ” home ” away from home, but figured we’d do a lot of research to find the right rig at the right price, and blah, blah, blah. Well to make a long story short, we spent the next 2 days at the dealership and headed back to Hawaii the proud owners of a Winnebago Scorpion Toy Hauler. Now your question at this point would be, ” What on earth do 2 people need with a 45′ long, 8 1/2′ wide, and 13′ 3″ tall monster rig ? “.  The answer, is that we have 7 cats and 1 dog, and live in Hawaii. Because taking short trips to and from Hawaii is not practical, because there’s no way we would leave our animals for months at a time, and that’s even if we could afford the pet sitting fees,  and because there’s absolutely no way we’re going to have litter boxes in our living room, we needed something that could accommodate all of us.  This unit has a 14′ long garage that was intended for carrying motorcycles, or ATV’s etc., so it makes the perfect home for our 4 legged friends, and after a long day of fun, we can close the door and have the main living area of the RV all to ourselves. Ahhhh, peace and quiet.

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In October, we took a few days and moved the RV to it’s winter storage home in Oregon, where the Celebrate Life Tour will begin, which unexpectedly turned into quite an adventure. If you want a couple of good giggles, check out the blog posts between August and November in ” The Celebration Tour & RV Adventures” category. The best way is to scroll all the way to the end of that category and read backward so to speak, that way you’re reading them in the proper order.

OK, flash forward. There were still some warranty issues left undone when we stored the RV, so I found a great company in Bend that agreed to pick it up, do the work, and drop it back off again, and I set up an appointment in March to make sure everything would be done long before we started the trip. The day before the scheduled pick up, they called to let me know that they were no longer an authorized Winnebago repair shop. **** ( insert expletive of your choice ). Several days and a ton of phone calls to Winnebago and all the RV repair shops in the area finally produced a company that would do the work, but they couldn’t do the repair on the generator, nor would they do any transporting of the trailer. **** ( same expletive ). Fortunately, we had some odds and ends that needed to be done outside of the warranty work, so here’s how it went down. The original company picked it up and took it to the authorized trailer repair company, then picked it up and took it to the authorized generator repair company, then picked it up, did the odds and ends work, and took it back to storage. Phewww.

The next issue that we needed to address was storage. If we were planning a weekender or even a week trip, or if we were the Bear Grylls type that can spend a month in the wilderness with a pocketknife and a bag of potato chips, no problem, but unfortunately we weren’t checking any of those boxes, so we definitely had to come up with a solution.  Our trailer was the first generation of this particular model, and considering the garage has much better layout than the kitchen, no doubt the designer was a man.  After getting customer feedback, no doubt primarily by women, ( see I’m an equal opportunity smart *** ), they made some great improvements in kitchen storage, but that of course didn’t solve our problem. Outside of a few kitchen drawers and 2 very high and very, very short upper cabinets, we have 1 wall cabinet that is 8″ wide x 10″ deep on the inside . To give you an idea what that means, a standard dinner plate is 9″ to 10″ in diameter, and a standard paper plate is 9″, so basically that cabinet is barely big enough to hold a salad plate.

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Fortunately the answer to this was fairy easy. First, right around the corner of the island there is a nice triangular space not doing anything that is perfect for a tall triangular shaped pantry, so woohoo, we’ll have a place to put food. Second, which unfortunately you can’t see in the picture, they put this enormous crown molding at the top of the cabinet, so we can make a new replacement cabinet that uses the same amount of wall , but gives us considerably more usable space inside. Yeah, kitchen solved !

Another spot that really needed to be looked at was the half bath, which for some reason has no cabinet or mirror. So that means the extra rolls of toilet paper have to sit on the floor ? I don’t think so. Well that little kitchen cabinet that we’re replacing is at least big enough to hold a few rolls of TP, so guess where it’s going. And finally, there’s a great wardrobe closet in the bedroom with it’s lower half occupied by the little washer/dryer combo and an upper area that’s just screaming for shelving. So with 2 cabinets, and some shelving, we made lots of extra storage, we just needed to find a carpenter to do it. I did find what I hope to be the right company in Bend, but after a few phone calls to see how it’s going, I get the ” I haven’t started it yet, but don’t worry, no problem.” I don’t know if you’ve found this to be true, but usually when someone tells me not to worry, that’s when I really should be. We’ll see, I’ll keep you updated.

Next Post: “The Critters are Coming “. Look for it in a couple of days.

Heather M Spencer

Mission Positive Films – Celebrate Life Tour

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The MPF Celebrate Life Tour Is Set To Stop In Tacoma, WA – July 9th

The MPF Celebrate Life Tour Is Set To Stop In Tacoma

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If you’ve been touched by cancer, whether you’re a patient, survivor, or caregiver, please join us at Celebrate Life Tour – Tacoma. We’ll have great music, tips and tricks, information on services and products to help those going through and recovering from treatments, 2 fabulous guest speakers, and a showing of the award winning documentary ” C – A Celebration of Life “. Watch Trailer

It all happens on July 9th, 2016 from 11am to 1:30pm, at The Blue Mouse Theatre, 2611 N Proctor St., Tacoma, WA, and it’s free to the public.  Seating is limited, so be sure and Register Here.

Check here for more information on the Celebrate Life Tour and it’s other stops.

OUR DYNAMIC KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Celebrate Life Tacoma,Celebrate Life Event Tacoma,Celebrate Life,Mission Positive Films,C - A Celebration of Life,Celebration of Life,A Celebration of Life,C A Celebration of Life,Robert B. Haase

We are honored to be joined by Washington’s own Robert B. Haase, a Keynote and Motivational Speaker, and owner of Haase and Associates, Inc. Diagnosed with Tongue Cancer in 2008, and a reoccurance in 2013, he went through 14 surgeries, and was told his speaking career might well be over. He was determined to not let cancer take away what he loved doing, and has fought his way back, but with a new purpose. He’s using his story and experience to help others who are dealing with hardship and adversity.

“Robert is a class act. He made the event what it was with his charm and grace. He connected with the audience and was a delight to work with.” ~ Trinette Baer-Kowalski, Gilda’s Club

For more information on Robert, visit his website at http://www.roberthaase.com.

OUR VERY SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER

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We are equally honored to welcome the amazing Anna Gottlieb, who is the Executive Director of Cancer Pathways ( formerly Gilda’s Club of Seattle ). She had seen an article in People Magazine about the first Gilda’s Club opening in New York City and was so intrigued that she went to see it for herself. She immediately knew that it was something the Northwest needed, and after a long four years of raising money and spreading the word, she was finally able to open the doors. In the 15 years it’s been operating, it has touched over 200,000 people living with cancer, and all the services are free of charge.

For more information on Anna and her mission visit her website at http://cancerpathways.org

GREAT SPONSOR

Celebrate Life Tacoma,Celebrate Life Event Tacoma,Mission Positive Films, Celebrate Life,C - A Celebration of Life,C A Celebration of Life,A Celebration of Life,Celebration of Life

A big thank you to Blue Mouse Theatre for generously donating our wonderful venue.

SEATING IS LIMITED, SO BE SURE AND REGISTER HERE

Please note: Food is not included with the event, but is available for purchase at the theater concession.

Event Map

Mission Positive Films

To keep up with the Celebrate Life Tour,  sign up for Email notices of new posts.

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The MPF Celebrate Life Tour Makes It’s First Stop In Portland – July 2nd

The Celebrate Life Tour Is Coming To Portland

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What does a cancer documentary, a Winnebago Scorpion Toy Hauler, seven stray cats, one stray dog, a 35th year anniversary, and a love of hiking all have in common ? The answer – The Celebrate Life Tour, and it’s starting in Portland.

This begins what should be a very interesting adventure that involves taking a ridiculously large RV, and a ton of animals on a summer trip to Celebrate Life with those touched by cancer.  We will be putting on parties in cities throughout the Northwest, and Canada, bringing together patients, survivors, and caregivers to share stories, information and fun. Amidst the balloons and streamers will be great guest speakers, music, food, information on products and services, and a showing of the award winning cancer survivorship documentary ” C – A Celebration of Life “. These Celebrate Life Tour events are free to the public.

It all happens on July 2nd from 9am – 11:30am, at the Jubitz Cinema – Portlander Inn, 10350 N Vancouver Way, Portland.  Seating is limited, so be sure and Register Here.

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Keynote Speaker – Becky Olson

Our Amazing Keynote Speaker

We’re extremely excited and honored to have Portland’s own Becky Olson serve as our Keynote Speaker. She’s a three-time breast cancer survivor, author, speaker, and co-founder of Breast Friends. She will make you laugh, cry and leave with a newfound enthusiasm for life!

A small sampling of Becky’s clients include: Susan G. Komen for the Cure, National Consortium of Breast Centers, University Health Systems, Good Samaritan, Peace Health Hospital System, Augusta Women’s Leadership Conference, St. John’s Hospital, Soroptimists International, Frito-Lay, Red Hat Society, Michigan State University, Eastern Connecticut Health Network.

Awards Include: Bank of America Local Hero Award, National Pink Power Mom Award, Susan G. Komen Local Hero Award, Toastmasters International Leadership and Communication Award.

“A joy, an inspiration and a witty, articulate speaker – Becky just makes any listener’s heart grow warmer and head grow smarter.”  – Carol Farron, Lodi Memorial Hospital

For more information on Becky’s work and mission, visit her website.

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Guest Speaker – Stephen Swift – Photo by Today’s News – Herald

Our Inspirational Guest Speaker

In March of 2012, Oregon’s own Stephen Swift had already beaten Bone Cancer, lost his father and sister to cancer, and his wife in an automobile accident, but hearing the doctor say he had Pancreatic Cancer, brought it all crashing down. Given 18 months to live, and not knowing what to do, or where to turn, his daughter suggested he go on a bike ride.

In May of that year he headed out on what has been a 4 year, and over 17,000 mile journey across the US. He worked along the way to cover costs, and stopped to spend time with others facing health issues. His goal has simply been to let people know they need to fight cancer or any disease. ” I want them to know they need to get out there and live. It all has to do with my doctor giving me 18 months to live and my expanding it. A doctor has no right to tell us how long we have to live. We have no expiration date, and we need to make the most of each day.”

Through his travels he has collected dozens of pictures, memories, and messages, which are all compiled in notebooks. “I met hundreds and thousands of people with cancer,” Swift said. “I want to just love on people with cancer, care about them, let them know to fight, to never give up, never give in, always go forward.”

It couldn’t happen without these generous sponsors.

A big thank you goes out to Jubitz Corporation for donating the the use of our wonderful event venue.

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And AV Rental Services for donating the use of their Mic System.

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Register Here

Event Map

Mission Positive Films

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