Date:     December,  2003
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The December 2003 RV Newsletter

Wednesday, October 15th, to Sunday the 19th, 1181 campers traveled to Midway RV park in Centralia for the annual Officer's Outing, close by the outlet stores but apparently dryer than further north on Puget Sound.  The first day, campers set up, dinner on their own or at the restaurant next to the park (where it seemed like double portions on every order).  Thursday, we enjoyed heavy hors d'oeurves, dinner back at the restaurant (some made is there for breakfast and lunch also) and cards.  Friday, campers woke to coffee and breads before a full day of shopping, site-seeing or nothing much.  Friday evening, Gary Lewis and team judged the chili cook-off with the big winners:  First - Maxine Grevstad, Second - Lou Turner, and most original - Chris Blankenship's beanless.

The campers dove into the chili, potluck accompaniments and Gary Blankenship's homemade cornbread.  (Leftovers became Saturday's lunch.)  After dinner, the campers enjoyed a rousing game of White Elephant dice (officer's rules).

Saturday was another day to shop, play cards and watch Chris cook her Puget Sound Gumbo for evening's dinner.  Before dinner though, many of the RVers gathered in their best sleepware for a pajama costume contest.  By vote, the winners were:  Best overall - Maxine; best couple - Sandes; best guy - Ernie Gertsch; best gal - Lorriane Maves (the biggest baby).  Al Sande gathered the most votes with some in each category for his rendition of the Mrs's in Mr. and Mrs. Ready-for-Bed.

Several other costumes were noteworthy:  Ed Lively as Hugh Hefner; classy Darlene Green and strange Bill; Janice Watson, the lion queen; Bud Maves, Mr. Skull; and Merle Lewis's red hot wear.

Sunday morning, the campers finished off the breads and juice and traveled home from another successful outing (with some partaking of another too-large lunch from the restaurant).

Thanks to the Lewis's, Maves, Sandes, Livelys and Blankenships for another great outing.

The Gumbo recipe:  1 lb Italian sausage links sliced, 1 lb boneless chicken breasts cubed, 3 tbs olive oil, 1 sweet red pepper chopped (or any color mixed), 1 med onion chopped, 1 celery rib chopped, 1 tsp marjoram, 1 tsp thyme, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, 2 c frozen okra, 3  14.5 oz (med) cans chicken broth, 2/3 cup uncooked brown rice, 1 med can diced tomatoes, 1 lb shrimp uncooked peeled de-veined detailed,

In dutch oven, brown sausage and chicken in olive oil.  Remove with slotted spoon and keep warm.  In drippings, sauté red pepper, onion and celery until tender.  Stir in seasonings and cook 5 minutes.  Stir in broth, rice and sausage mix.

Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender.  Add tomatoes, shrimp and okra and cook 10 minutes or until shrimp turns pink, stirring occasionally.  Be careful not to overcook. Makes about 4 quarts or 8 servings.

November's Thanksgiving dinner at the Sons of Norway was hosted by Bill and Cindy Varsafsky on November 11th.  After a delicious turkey dinner cooked and served by Norway lodge members, 1181 was entertained by The Ladies of Elks Hula Dancers with solos by our favorite Hawaiian, Jeanne, and Dennis "Cowboy" Ramsey.  The dancing was an absolute delight.

After dinner, Sherie raffled centerpieces crafted by Cindy .  New member, Nancy Gould, won the major door prize, a bottle basket.

Friday, December 12, is our holiday dinner at the Lodge.  Gathering at 5 and dinner served promptly at 6:30.  Larry and Janice Watson will host.  The cost is $12 per person, payment in advance.  Contact Janice at (253) 843-2190 for reservations.

SUNSHINE: No illnesses were reported which is sunshine in itself.  Cindy, our new Sunshine chair, may be reached at (360) 373-6719 or by email at

Travel and Fun provided a basket for the Ladies of Elks basket auction - a hurricane theme assembled by Stephanie Dunmire.  Congratulations to the Ladies for a successful auction.

Gary Lewis was again elected Member-at-large.after the by-laws were changed to allow him to serve a third term.

Special thanks to Al Sande for the new flag stand.

And thanks to the outgoing officers - Bud and Lorraine Maves and Ed Lively. Remember, we have a new wagonmaster, Chris, and she will be looking for hosts for the outings.  You can beat her to the punch if you volunteer.
I've enjoyed my two years as president, but it is time to move on. 

Thanks to everyone who served on a committee during the last two years.  As far as I now know, I will still be penning this column next year; but that is up to the new president, Sherie.

The new dues for 2004 - $7.50 per member - are due.
The next general meeting will be Monday, January 12 at the Lodge, greet at 6 and meet at 7.

Have a safe and happy holidays.  It's liable to be a rough winter for a change, so if you camp, watch the weather.  And we will see you on the road.

If you have comments or suggestions, all 373-6416 or email
Please remember, nonmembers are welcome at any Travel and Fun event.

Gary Blankenship

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