Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Life Seems so Busy...........

I don't remember being this busy even when I had a full time job.   Do other retired people feel the same way?  Maybe it's just because we ARE retired that we feel like we have all kinds of time to get things done, so we procrastinate, and then wonder where the day went.  Alas, if that's my biggest problem, I shouldn't complain.
It's over nine miles down the hill from Silent Valley to Banning, so we would PREFER to only go down once, or twice a week, but last week it was six days out of seven!  
Last Wednesday the church had a 50's themed party and pot luck dinner.  I know I told you about it, but now I will include some pictures, and a video, if I can.
 This was the inflatable jukebox we had, but the music came from Pastor James's Alexa.
On the right is Pastor James and his wonderful wife, Judi.
I managed to stay out of these pictures, as I was taking some myself.

Several people, including Diane tried to use the hula hoops.  Fifty plus years ago, I was good at it.
Oh well.  Life moves on.

Sunday was Diane's birthday.  We baked her a cake for that night.  But it was her wish to get away somewhere, and she chose driving up to Big Bear Lake for the day.  It was a great idea, because it was over 100 degrees in Banning, and a cool mid 70's up there.  We had lunch at the Teddy Bear Cafe.  We chose that one because they had an outside patio where we could take all FOUR dogs with us.  We were very proud of Millie and Willie as they were on their very best behavior all day.  After lunch, we drove to a marina where we rented a pontoon boat for an hour on the lake.  Diane's husband Jim drove the boat, and we had an amazing time.
The guy from the marina took this pix.  I took about 125 pictures, but many were NOT good, as the wake bounced us around and many were just of water!  But some turned out very nicely.  Some of the people we saw enjoying the day on the lake.

 It was cool up in Big Bear, and you can see the snow up in the higher mountains.

On the right is a "pirate ship" that offers narrated lake tours.
 As always, Millie was fearless, but Willie had to be lifted onto the boat, and was not sure if he liked being away from terra firma.
This is just one of many beautiful, and very expensive homes we saw along the lakeside.
I understand that Big Bear Lake is a man made lake. 
 At one time this was a restaurant that people came to by boat.  On the right is an observatory.  We didn't go in because it wasn't open, but there are times when one can go inside it.

This was another tour boat we saw there.  It was an amazing day, and I'm so grateful that Diane & Jim wanted to share it with us.
I had to include this picture.  It was taken on California Highway 243 on the way up to Silent Valley.  California had more than its usual amount of rain this year, resulting in more greenery, and more beautiful flowers everywhere.  We think this is lavender, but I could be mistaken.  Nevertheless, it is a delightful spot of color on this usually dry, and brown landscape.
I took the picture on the right, looking northeast from Highway 243 as we were going down the hill. You can see how green some of it is, and again, snow capped mountains off in the distance.  God has blessed southern California with such beauty, and we can only hope and pray that this beauty won't be destroyed by wild fires, as happens too often.  Sadly, people can be very careless, and the resulting fires destroy many millions of acres of land, and homes, and all too often lives are lost too. Besides the risk of wild fires, there is another danger we must always be aware of.  In the summer heat, too many people leave, pets, children, or elderly family members is a closed and locked car to run errands.  It only takes a few minutes for the heat in a closed car to climb to life threatening temperatures, even with windows open a few inches.  Please do NOT leave people or pets in a closed car for even a moment.  If you can't take pets with you, they are better off left at home.  Also, if you have elderly people in your neighborhood, please check on them frequently.  Make sure they are not suffering from heat related problems, and are well hydrated.  We ALL need more water when it gets hot, since we can dehydrate easily.  And even if they are OK, most people would appreciate the company, and knowing that someone cared enough to check on them.  Occasionally you might even deliver them a nice homemade meal or dessert.  Maybe they cannot afford a tasty dessert, or cannot prepare meals.  Be a good neighbor, it's what Jesus wants us to do.

Bye for today.  Take care, drink plenty of water.  Don't spend too much time out in the sun, and if you like to exercise, try to do it either early in the morning or after it cools down in the evening.  Best wishes to all, and to all good day.  😀

Thursday, June 6, 2019

We Made it to Silent Valley

Hello my friends, 
I'm sorry it has taken me so long to report on our travels and activities since we left Benson, AZ, but here goes.
From Benson we went to the Elks lodge in Casa Grande for two nights of dry camping.  The folks there are so very nice, and always welcome us back.  On Thursday night they had a chili dog dinner and their Queen of Hearts drawing.  One ticket is drawn, and if it is your ticket, you get to pick a sealed envelope from the board.  If the envelope you select has the Queen of Hearts card, you win the money collected from the sales of tickets.  If it isn't won, the money rolls over for the next week.  Jim's ticket was drawn.  This was just before our 36th anniversary, so he chose envelope 36.  To cut to the chase, he was NOT the big winner, but he did win $50.00 for participating.  It was very exciting to even be drawn.  We have not received the money yet, as they will send him a check, but it should be coming soon.  
Then we went to an RV Park called Leaf Verde in Buckeye, AZ.  It was a very nice, clean park but this time of year, it was almost empty. 
 This cute little trailer was our closest neighbor.  You can't see it very well, but behind the BIG palm tree, he has a small, potted palm tree at each end of his trailer!  The  picture on the right shows how WIDE some of the sites are.
There was a Wal-Mart store about one mile away, so I had to shop.  I decided that our bedroom needed to be lightened up, so we did just that.

We got a new quilt and pillow shams and aqua blue curtains.  I think it looks great!  I found this storage unit for in the closet, and it works very well.  Before we  had a hanging thing with open "pockets" but stuff fell out all the time.  This is perfect.  It did require me to pare down again, which is always a good thing to do.  I had way too many dish towels and place mats anyway.  Then I decided we should replace the ugly, gray hall runner rug with something nicer.

This only made me want to lighten and brighten up the living room. That's how it goes; when you start one project, it leads to another. Then we got some nice blue curtains for the windows over the couch.

After that we ordered an area rug that was tan and brown and blue stripes, and matching ones for under the table and dog food dishes.  But later I decided even those were too dark.  Diane likes them so she is going to buy them for her 5th wheel trailer.  I have a new set coming, maybe today that are a nice textured blue.  I'll include that picture next time.  After a one night stop in a park in Blythe, CA on May 27th, we made it here on the 28th.  We found a wonderful site and got everything set up in a few hours.
The park was really full over the holiday weekend, but not too bad now.
Our very dear friends, Diane & Jim came over to welcome us, and she

  brought me an amazing gift.  I am usually NOT one to buy collector's plates, but this one is so beautiful that it actually left me speechless, and those of you who know me, know that doesn't happen very often!!!

It has been great being back here with Diane & Jim.  We missed them so much while we were traveling.  I'm still hoping that they will come to Arrey with us next February.  I'm sure that if they do, they will decide that they also want to reside there before long.  It was also really nice going to church here at Silent Valley too.  Pastor James and his wife Judi are terrific people.  Last night we attended a 50's party and potluck dinner they hosted.  It really was a BLAST!  We had 1950's food too.  I made macaroni and cheese with diced Spam in it, and it was quite a hit.  Diane made a delicious pineapple upside down cake.  I can't remember the last time I had that!  I haven't downloaded the pictures and videos from that yet, but they will be included in my next blog posting.  We played a neat kind of game of charades.  You drew one card from each of four stacks.  You had to act out the clues from each card in order, to made a funny statement.  They were hilarious!  Also, we had the name of a famous person from the 50's pinned to the back of our shirts, and we had to ask "yes or no" questions to try to figure out who we were.  I was Lucille Ball and Jim was Gary Cooper.  It was a great party.  In August they are going to do a Luau themed party.  Guess I have to get me a grass skirt and a coconut bra!!! Jim already has a nice Hawaiian shirt.

If you recall, we had a lot of problems during, and after our trip last year from Arrey to Menifee.  I don't wish to recount all of the difficulties we had, both on the road and after we got to Wilderness Lakes, including IT, which lasted almost four months.  However, I do want to discuss the power of prayer.  We have always prayed for safe travels for us and all the people on the roadways when we begin each travel day.  This year we decided to be more specific in our prayers, asking Jesus to watch over us AND our little home on wheels.  We asked Him to keep us safe, and to keep our motorhome from having any kind of mechanical problems.  We know Jesus is our personal Lord and Savior, and He wants us to be safe, healthy and happy.  He wants to help us in big and small ways, if we just ask Him to help.  We begin each day with a prayer of gratitude for all He has given us.  We pray for His help and guidance throughout each day, and before going to bed, we thank Him for all He has given us that day.  You can't have a real relationship with Jesus if you don't get to know Him.  You need to read His word in the Bible and talk to Him through prayer. Remember, Bible stands for:
  At this point I wish to remind you that He has a plan for each of us.  If you ask Him for something that is not right for you, or not in agreement with His plan for you, He will not give you what you asked Him for.  This is NOT a bad thing.  You need to remember that what He has planned for you is better than what you may have wanted.  He always answers prayers, but in His way, and in His time.  Trust Him always. I recently saw something cute but true.  It said:  I am a FROG.  That means that I will:

Are you a FROG?  Life is tough enough, but if you feel you have no one you can rely on...that's really sad.  Wouldn't you rather live your life KNOWING that God is always there for you?

Have a nice day and a blessed life. 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Our Travel Plans Have Changed Already

We packed up and left Arrey on Wednesday, and stopped at the Garfield Garage.  Our friend Ron checked everything out on the RV before we got on the road.  As planned we stopped at the Lordsburg KOA for one night.  We went to dinner at Kranberry's Chatterbox Restaurant.  They seated us in a different room so I had to take some new pictures.  I'm sure they will call these pieces "mining equipment" but we think differently.
 We figure these are for 
extracting baby teeth.  The one on the right is for pulling bigger teeth.

 This must be for drilling out cavities.
The tool on the right was used for "anesthesia"  Just kidding about these pictures.

As always before, the dinner we had was excellent, and for dessert, we shared a "Gold Miner's Delight".  It was a nice brownie with ice cream and toppings (hot fudge AND caramel) and whipped cream, chopped nuts and a cherry on top.  WOW!!!

Thursday we packed up and moved on to this RV Park, Valley Vista, in  Benson, AZ.  Before getting here, I called ahead to Silent Valley.  We were planning on arriving there on May 22nd.  However, we were told that it is already quite full, and if we couldn't get there before THIS Friday, we probably wouldn't be able to get a site until AFTER the Memorial day weekend.  We knew that if not there, we probably wouldn't be able to get into ANY park in the area before the holiday weekend. We debated what our choices might be.  After much consideration, we decided to extend our stay here at Valley Vista from two days to seven days.  We will then go to the Elks Lodge in Casa Grande for two or three days.  After that, we hope we can stay one night at an RV Park in Buckeye, AZ.  Our last night on the road will be May 27th in Blythe, CA.  Hopefully, by the 28th enough people will have left Silent Valley so we can get in there.  Had we thought ahead about how crowded it can get up at Silent Valley, we would have just stayed at home in Arrey until May 21st, before starting the trip back to California.  Oh well.  

We have a very lovely, and large, 50 amp site here. 

This is our source of shade and a beautiful cactus garden.  The weather has been mild, and the nights are cool so it has been nice for sleeping. 
On the right is a picture of the office/clubhouse here in the park.

Yesterday we had to go to Wal-Mart to get replacement filters for our Zero water pitchers, and saw this car.
We aren't sure what it is, but it is rather unique, so I took the picture.

Speaking of pictures, I re-took the ones I meant to include in the last blog, but couldn't find them last week.  I believe I told you that Mary is already fixing up her site that she will be returning to next March.
here is her trailer, and her van can be seen behind it.
She has a huge tree that provides plenty of shade.
On the right is her "flower garden" and a bird bath.  The flowers are NOT live!  I don't think you can see them, but there are solar lights along the edge of her garden. 

This picture shows the front of our motorhome in the site we were in this year.  You can see how close our neighbor was to our site.  Our neighbor Burt was a very pleasant person, and his dog Sammy, was very delightful.  We had no objection to them, but we hoped to have more space when we come back next year to stay.  Sadly, it never occurred to me to include a picture of the site we were able to get for our permanent site.  Each time we have been here, we have been right in front, along side of the road.  It isn't terribly noisy there, but it will be even quieter in the area in the back.  I wrote last time about the storage shed we were thinking of buying from Janice when we come back.

This is called 6 feet by 12 feet, but that is the outside measurement, and the low side is not tall enough for Jim to stand up in.  We decided to get a barn instead.  Our choice with be 8 feet by 12 feet with a higher roof.
Ours will be stained with a driftwood gray urethane finish, white trim and a beautiful blue roof.  It will have one window on the side, unless we decide to have two windows.  We also chose to have the radiant heat barrier in the roof.  That's supposed to keep the inside about 30 degrees cooler.  

We plan to buy a bigger refrigerator to put in the barn.  We hope to have one with about 4.6  cu.ft. capacity.  We also want to use the barn to store things when we don't need them.  We want to get an outdoor grill, and a propane oven to use outside.  I'm also hoping to have a small garden when we get back home.  I want to get a wagon and have a planter box in it.  That way, I can pull it out into the sun when the plants need sunshine, and then into the shade later.  Our home site will have 50 amps of electric service, and is a nice wide site.  There is some shade on both sides, so we hope it will be very pleasant back there.  On one side our neighbor is a guy named Charlie, who is very friendly.  He has a garden much larger than what I hope to have.  If I need help starting my garden, he will probably help me out.  The neighbor on our other side apparently works long hours some place, so we have not met him yet, but I'm sure we'll get along nicely.

This is a recent picture of my brother Tony's beloved dog Woody.  He turned 13 years old a couple weeks ago.  He can't hear, and his sight isn't good, but he is still a wonderful member of the family.  He lives in Oceanside on a sailboat with Tony.  I think Woody looks great for his age!
 I wanted to include this picture of our grandson Larz who lives in Bloomfield,, NY and his baby sister Willow.  This was taken and sent to us on Easter Sunday.  On the right is another picture of Larz.  He was in the Special Olympics and placed 5th in the 100m dash.  We are so proud of him.  

Our good and dear friends Almita and Rueben went to the 50th birthday party of their daughter.  She wanted a 70's theme, so they were all supposed to dress in 70's clothes.  Almita is in the picture on the left, wearing green leg warmers.  Rueben is in the picture to the right.  He is wearing the bucket hat and gray tee shirt.  They are really nice people and such good sports about things people ask of them.  I'm sure it was a great party.

I can't help but remember that life is short and should be savored.  None of us know how much time we have left, so we should make the most of each day we have.  This is a beautiful day and we are grateful for it.  Don't dwell on the past; look forward to each day ahead of you and thank God for all of your blessings.  Along with gratitude for your blessings, please remember those who are sick, alone, homeless and suffering, and pray for them.  Maybe you can even reach out to help someone less fortunate than yourself.  

Have a great weekend and a wonderful life.  We are very excited about getting back to our family and friends in California.  And please remember to honor the veterans on Memorial Day, and all year long.

God bless you and have a grand weekend.  💖😊

Friday, May 10, 2019

We'll be on the Road Again Next Week

This is our last full week here in Arrey.  I am looking forward to seeing friends and family when we get back to California, but my heart is heavy over leaving here.  If not for several issues to be taken care of back in California, we would stay here now.  Since we have known that we will come back to stay next year, this has seemed more like home than even before.  We have selected the site we will have as our permanent site, and begun planning what we will do with it when we come back.  Janice is now selling storage sheds, and small barns and other structures.  Some are even big enough that they could become a tiny house, with the right modifications.  We do NOT want to make one into a tiny house, but we felt certain that we would want at least her mini-shed for storage on our site.  But when we went inside it, we discovered it wasn't tall enough for Jim to stand up except on the "high side".  Instead of the 6' by 12' mini-shed, we decided to get the 8' by 12' storage barn.  That will give us a little more space AND will give Jim more hear room.  I took pictures, but now I can't figure out what became of them.  Oh well.  Our barn will have driftwood gray outside walls, a dark blue roof and one window.  We opted for the radiant heat barrier that will keep it about 30 degrees cooler inside.  We needed that because we are going to get a bigger refrigerator/freezer that will be kept inside the barn.  Well, I guess that's enough about all of that.  Back to this year now.

Last weekend Mary and I went to the TorC Fiesta and we really enjoyed the parade.  We watched it from the parking lot of my favorite place in TorC, the AB Drive-in.  Pastor Ric and Mary were across the street at the First Baptist Church.  The parade began with all the local fire trucks.

There were trucks from all the local departments, including our own truck.

Smokey the Bear rode by on a Forest Service truck too.   Then came the Fiesta Queen and her court.

After these lovely young ladies came the Hatch, New Mexico Red Chili Queen.  
Everybody was having a wonderful time despite the heat that day, except maybe this poor dog.  Besides the heat, many of the fire trucks sounded sirens and honked horns.  This poor little guy tried to hide under his owner's truck.  
But he did come out when it was less noisy to visit with Mary and me.

There were several equestrian teams too.  


There were floats with musicians
and dancers on
 them too.

 The Republican Party was present, but I didn't see the Democrats represented.
This truck lifted open, 
and then lifted out a wheel chair.  It was pretty amazing!

Many interesting people walked by, or rode horses, near the end of the parade.

After the parade was over, Mary and I had lunch in the AB Drive-in.  I, of course had the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich, since there is no place else that makes  it as good as they do.  Then we went over to the Ralph Edwards Park for the arts and crafts sales, plus much more.  We both bought beautiful straw hats.  No pictures of them yet, but later maybe.  We were over-heated and tired by the time we got home.  Jim looked after our furry kids so we could have a girl's day out.  It was a lot of fun, but we both needed to rest after we got back home.  

On Monday we got a new neighbor named Burt and his furry child named Sammy.  They travel extensively in a pop-up trailer.

On the left is his trailer when it is down.  Being low profile means it is easier to tow.  On the right is his trailer raised up to camp inside.
And here is his sweet dog Sammy.  Millie has enjoyed having a friendly dog next door.
We are going to play Mexican Train with Mary this afternoon.  Tomorrow we are going to a dinner in town put on by our church to benefit the Open Arms Pregnancy center.  Sunday, after church, Ric and Mary are coming over for dinner.  We will be busy packing up to travel on Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday we will stop at the Garfield Garage to have Ron Garay check our fluids and tire pressure before we head out for Lordsburg.  Ron, pictured on the right, is a great mechanic and did a lot of work for us this year. He is honest, hard-working and reasonable for prices.  If you need service and are in the area, we fully recommend calling him.

I need to close now.  We will be praying for safe travels in the week ahead.  We expect to get to Silent Valley by May 22nd.  Bye for now.  More pictures next time.