Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Happy Boxing Day

AJ, AZ  High 68  Low 43

Paul reminded me that today is Boxing Day, a celebration that originated in the United Kingdom and is celebrated in a number of countries that previously formed part of the British Empire.

Jim and I celebrated a quiet, peaceful Christmas day. Used my working oven to fix a turkey and we watched holiday movies. We did, however, have a couple of glitches in our peaceful day.

We ran out of propane and as per usual it was in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve. Sure glad we had full tanks on the Bungalow so Jim could just exchange those because I’m not sure anything would have been open on Christmas day especially that early in the morning.

The other issue was more serious. Jim discovered a leak in our bathroom. Not sure if it was from the shower or the toilet, so he had to take things apart on Christmas day. He’s pretty sure it was a pipe to the toilet and got it repaired and put back together. He’ll keep a watch on it and we have our fingers crossed.

I want to post my Christmas decorations so I will have them to remember in later years.

This is our fishing Santa. The Hershey’s Christmas tree was made by Aunt Happy in her crafts class. The bottle next to Santa is full of candy to help us celebrate New Year’s Eve.


Jim decorates the outside with lots of lights.


Spike is all dressed up for Christmas.


Our Christmas Dachshunds.


The newest addition to our Dachshund family. Thanks to Todd and Michaela.


Our Christmas tree (there is a ledge behind the couch for it to sit on)



The Nativity Set my mother made for me some 35 years ago.


I hope all of you had a truly wonderful Christmas at your homes filled with love, friends, family and good food.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

December Happenings

AJ, AZ   High 58  Low 33

We were able to meet up with some Escapees Class of 2008-2009 members at Benihana for a Christmas get together. So much fun. The restaurant had a hard time getting us seated but once that was out of the way, we really enjoyed the show and the food. It’s been probably 40 years or more since I went to Benihana and I’m sure glad Jeri suggested it.

Jeri brought lights for all the guys to wear and had fun turning them on.

Toni and Doug, Jeri and Terry, Janice and Jerry, and us


Jim and I both ordered steak which is served with mushrooms, onions, and rice. Sooo good. Our Chef was very entertaining.

This is the onion volcano.



Jim also went jeeping one day with a bunch of guys. He got some great pictures but I don’t think he’ll be doing that again. All that rocking back and forth hurt his back and his neck. Other than that he did have a good time.




One of our neighbors here in the park, Jeanne, took this fantastic sunrise picture and I wanted to share it with you.


We’ve gotten tons of goodies from the fantastic cooks here in the park and have enjoyed them in front of our fireplace. It’s been cold (for us) the last few days but next week’s weather looks about perfect.

RJ got a new sweater. Skittlez claims the fireplace as hers.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Sassy, You Will Be Missed

AJ, AZ  High 58  Low 37


Received an e-mail from Denise’s sister this morning letting us know that Denise (Sassy) passed away on December 14 from lung cancer.

We met Sassy back in 2011 in Yuma and she became one of our dearest friends. She loved her RV and she especially loved her Harley.


She put up a mighty battle against Cancer and now she is free. I love you girl.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Life after the Adrenalin

AJ, AZ   High 78  Low 42

It’s kind of hard to follow up my last post which was full of adrenalin and this post is all about mundane living.

Let’s see – what have we been doing. We’ve almost finished up our doctor appointments – only the dermatologist is left on the 21st. I had my favorite procedure (a colonoscopy in case you were wondering) done on the day before Thanksgiving. The good news is all the polyps were non-cancerous. The bad news is that I have to do it again in three years because I had five of them.

Jim got great news from his pulmonologist. His breathing has improved from his last visit to the point that she doesn’t want to see him for another year instead of six months. That’s wonderful news.

My kidney doc said everything is status quo except I need a prescription Vitamin D. However, I just looked at the paperwork they gave me on Friday and discovered they had combined my info with another patient. So now I’m not very happy with them. I’ll have to call them and try to get it straightened out tomorrow.

We had to say goodbye to our friend, Paul. He is now in Florida where he will be having a hip replacement. Wish you all the best Paul and we’ll see you next Fall.

I came down with a miserable cold about a week ago. Of course we were invited down to Bill and Jan’s for a Christmas party and we were going to see Toni and Doug’s new motorhome. Even had Paula all lined up to be our barking dog sitter for us. All those plans got scrapped and I spent the week sitting wrapped in a blanket in the recliner.

We finally got down to see Toni and Doug’s motorhome yesterday and it was beautiful. She fixed a great lunch for us and we had a short visit. We had the puppers with us and they had lots of fun exploring a new place.

Skittlez was exhausted from all the excitement.


One of our beautiful neighbors here in the park passed away and she will be greatly missed.

That pretty well brings you up to date in our world. Hope all your plans for Christmas and the holidays are coming together nicely and without too much stress.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Adrenalin High

Avondale, AZ   High 80 Low 57

Most of you know that Jim’s two favorite things (besides me and the pups) are fishing and NASCAR. And the best part of NASCAR for him is being able to drive really fast.

I had used a Groupon to buy Jim a Rusty Wallace Racing Experience out at Phoenix International Raceway. He was scheduled for last spring but it was pouring rain and he had to reschedule. So last Saturday was the day.


I knew Jim was going to be gone for several hours so I stayed home with the pups. But Jim wasn’t going alone – our really good friend Paul is here and was looking forward to seeing what it was like down in the pits.

Jim's NASCAR Drive-4

Paul has this really fancy camera and agreed to take pictures for me. At the track they have a photographer taking pictures of the participants which they then are wiling to sell to you. They tried to get Jim to pose but he told them that he had his own photographer. They don’t give up easily but when they finally looked over at Paul, they immediately agreed that his camera was probably better than theirs.

Jim's NASCAR Drive-6

They have a driver’s meeting and explain how everything is done to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Jim has driven twice before – once in North Carolina and once at Phoenix so he had a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Jim's NASCAR Drive-8

The excitement builds. Jim checks out all the cars going around the track but he’s especially interested in the #88 which is Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s number and is Jim’s NASCAR driver. There are two #88 cars on the track. One (green) is a drive car and one (blue) is a ride along car. The ride along car is driven by trained drivers and is allowed to go faster than the drive cars.

Jim's NASCAR Drive-15

As he’s standing in line, the guy calls out his name and asks him if he had purchased the car upgrade option (which I had). Jim said yes and the guy told him he got to drive the #88. So Jim figured he’s be in the green drive car but no – because of the upgrade he gets to drive the blue ride along car. WOW! At this point Jim’s excitement is beyond words.

Jim's NASCAR Drive-22

He had the 12 lap shoot out experience and it was over way too fast. It doesn’t take long to get around the track when you’re driving 140 mph. He also got to pass two other cars on the track which just added to the excitement.

Jim's NASCAR Drive-29

There is no one in the car with you – just your spotter talking to you over the headphones. He advises you when you’re coming up on a slower car and lets you know when it is safe to pass. He also warns you when a ride car is coming along and is going to pass you. Safety is definitely their priority.

Jim's NASCAR Drive-30

Jim's NASCAR Drive-1See that grin? It took Jim several days to come down off that adrenalin high. Hopefully he gets to do it again when I can find another great Groupon deal.

Thanks Paul for taking these fantastic pictures for us.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Oven Saga Continues

AJ, AZ  High 89 (record)  Low 65 (at least the nights cool down)

Some of you may remember that my oven in our new rig has never worked. I’ve been so frustrated with Camping World that I just haven’t even felt like blogging about it.

We thought everything was going well. Jim talked to CW on the phone and they reassured him that they had the correct part and were waiting for the repair guy to set up an appointment with us. Tim called and he was so busy because as he said “all of you come back at the same time.” We figured we should be at the top of his scheduling list since we’ve been working on this since we’ve been dealing with this situation for months. But not true.

We finally narrowed it down to either the 10th or 11th of November. On Thursday the 10th, Tim called and told us that he had contacted CW and they told him they couldn’t find the part. Jim went ballistic. He and I immediately headed down to CW to find out what was going on. Come to find out, the Service Manager had put the part in his drawer and didn’t think to tell anybody else about it.


We brought the part home with us which didn’t make the Service Manager happy because it was a warranty repair. But we were not leaving without the part in our hands. Tim came out the next day. Took one look at the part and the oven and you guessed it. CW ordered the wrong part AGAIN. He was just as disgusted as we were. Tim called Suburban (the manufacturer of the oven) directly and they agreed to send the right part directly to him and bypass CW. Hurray.

On Tuesday, Tim came out and in about ten minutes I had a working oven. We are so done with CW.

I was able to cook my turkey in my oven today and it was delicious. I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Aunt Happy and Pretty Birds

AJ, AZ   High 83  Low 61

Hard to believe Aunt Happy is 104 and still going strong. However, we did see some deterioration in her ability to walk and speak. She had a physical therapist with her when we got there who is making her walk and do some leg exercises. She has a little more trouble getting her thoughts out into words but her thoughts are still very sharp and aware. She’s really happy we (especially Jim) are back in the Valley and not too far away. She always has little chores for Jim to do – like change a battery in her clock or restring her bead necklace.


Skitz is so happy to be back in the land of sunshine and hot rocks.


We had purchased some road runner statues when we were in Mexico a few years ago. They were brown and rather sun faded, so we enlisted the talents of our daughter-in-law, Michaela. Here is the result of her work. I thought we had a picture of the “before birds” but we can’t find it. Michaela has an amazing ability to put color together to create works of art.





Jim and Marv went fishing. Didn’t catch any fish but found a few small things that needed to be repaired on the boat. Jim has got most of the repairs finished and hopefully will be back out on the water next week.

Skittlez loves these cooler mornings because she gets to lay in front of the fireplace.


Or snuggle on the couch with Rocky Joe.


Still catching up on doctor appointments. Just amazes me how many times we have to see doctors anymore. Thank goodness we are still having good times catching up with friends in between appointments.

Sure do love these Arizona morning skies.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Just Some Thoughts On This Sabbath Day

AJ, AZ  High 86  Low 59

As I was sitting in church this morning during our Sacrament Service, I looked around me at all the people who were there – the families, the young singles, the older couples, the widows and widowers – and thought about those people in Texas who were in that church worshipping God when a man under the influence of evil, destroyed all of those lives and changed the lives of people everywhere. How easily it could have been us.

Today was our testimony meeting where members of the congregation go to the pulpit and express their love and faith for our Heavenly Father. One little girl, probably about 8 years old, got up and touched all of our hearts with her simple faith. She said “I love God. And God loves me.”

And a little child shall lead them. We do not know when our mortal life on this earth will end but we do know that if we have lived worthily we will be welcomed back within our Heavenly Father’s arms.

As Pastor Pomeroy said today in his sermon in Texas.

“I know everyone who lost their life that day. Some of which were my best friends, and my daughter, and I guarantee without any shadow of a doubt they are dancing with Jesus today. God gets the glory.”

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Back to the Routine

Apache Junction, AZ   High 83  Low 62

I’ve been having internet issues. Our Verizon signal is almost non-existent here in our spot and we’re not sure why. Jim spent hours on the phone with Verizon and got no where. Took my computer in and had it all cleaned up and fixed. Still have a lot of trouble getting on line and loading web pages or pictures takes forever if they will even load. Very frustrating.

We have settled back into our routine of doctor appointments and catching up with friends we haven’t seen all summer.

We went to lunch with Paula who has returned to the valley. Then we had lunch with Toni, Doug, Jeri and Terry. Got to see Jeri and Terry’s new fifth wheel and it is gorgeous. We’re trying to figure out when we can get to Casa Grande to see Toni and Doug’s new motorhome.

Doug took this picture for us. We were at Can’t Stop Smokin’ BBQ. Love that place.


Between us and the pups, we have had doctor appts almost every day except for the week-ends. Hopefully next week things will calm down and Jim can do some fishing. He hasn’t even had the boat out once yet.

Jan and Bill also came for dinner one night. So much fun to catch up with folks. They had given us a pillow with fish on it when we first got our fifth wheel. Skittlez has decided to claim it for her own.




Hopefully I can get caught up on blogs some day.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Ray and I Ran Away to Mexico

Yuma, AZ  High 100  Low 83

We only got to spend a couple of nights in our Cottage (that’s our new travel trailer) before we had to head out again. We did get most of the stuff moved from the Bungalow to the Cottage, leaving only the necessities that we would need for a few days in Yuma.

I needed a new crown because I had broken the old one. Our good friends, Ray and Cindy, invited us to stay in their driveway and we are so grateful to them. They own a home in a really nice resort in Yuma and had a 50/30 amp post put in.

We headed out Tuesday morning and got set up in their drive way. I was going back to San Luis de Coronado, Mexico to see Dr. Bernal about the crown. He did my bridge back in January and I was very pleased with his work. Ray also needed a bridge and wanted to give Dr. Bernal a try. Worked out perfectly because Ray was willing to drive us to Mexico and that way Jim could stay home and dog sit with the “barker”.

Wednesday morning we got to his office about 9:00 and he had someone in his chair. As soon as she was finished he took me back, did some grinding on my poor tooth, and made my mold. Took no more than 10 minutes. Ray was in there probably 15 minutes and we were ready to go. Everything would be ready Thursday morning after 11:00.

We walked down to the pharmacy and picked up some medicine that we needed and then crossed back across the border. No lines at all.

Thursday Ray and I went back across the border, got our crown and bridge glued in, and we were done. My crown fit almost perfectly with no need for any additional adjustments and cost me $130.00. Ray is still getting used to his bridge.

We went out to dinner with Ray and Cindy at Chicken on the Run and had some of their really great chicken. Then Thursday night they fixed dinner for us. Thanks again guys. It was so good to see you again.

Friday, Jim and I were home by noon. Feels so good.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Pretty Balloons and My Thoughts

The mornings were definitely cold but according to the people reporting from the launch field, the conditions were perfect for launching the balloons. Tuesday was the best day for us because the balloons passed right over us.

They are huge and loud. Buck (Jeri and Terry’s bulldog) hated them. I felt really bad for him because he just shook and hid if he saw any of them. Our pups could have cared less.



These are the balloons that offer the balloon rides to the public. We didn’t price the rides because none of us were interested, but I think the cost is between $300 and $400.


1975 was the first year that people were allowed on the field with the balloons.


Yoda kind of snuck in on this picture.


In 1986 they held the first glow. There wasn’t a glow the three nights we were there.



In 1978 they had the first “key grab”. A set of keys was hooked to a really high pole and the balloonists would try to grab the keys as their balloon floated by. It sounds easy but remember, the pilots have very little control of their balloon. The wind is in charge. It wasn’t until 1981 that they finally had a winner. The prize was a brand new car.



Attending this balloon festival should be on everybody’s bucket list. For us though, it was a one time thing. I know that being able to volunteer down on the launch field is a lot of fun, but neither Jim nor I are physically able to help anybody. So we did not go down to the launch field.

DSCN4280After the balloons are done launching (and believe me, it is beyond incredible), everything shuts down including the vendors. Jeri and I talked about what a shame it was that there weren’t any vendors out  in the RV parking area. There is probably some reason for it but I sure don’t know why not.

So from 9:00 a.m. to sunset, there is almost nothing to do at the venue. The balloon museum is open but Jim and I had already explored it with our kids. In fact, we have explored most of Albuquerque with Steve and Jen over the years.

DSCN4281That meant for most of the time we found it rather boring. Like I said, they did not have a glow any of the nights we were there. The week-ends are when most events take place. But that is when all the crowds show up. And I don’t do crowds. Thursday and Friday all the kids are out of school and they take over the fiesta.

It is definitely a must see but we won’t do it again.