Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy New Year to Everyone!!!

We sure hope all of you had a wonderful, and joyous Christmas, and now look forward to the New Year with peace and joy in your hearts.  On the way here (to Wilderness Lakes) we saw our first snow topped mountains of the season.  

I'm sure this is no big deal to many of you, living in colder areas, but to's a reminder of why we moved to sunny southern California all those years ago!

We got here on Tuesday, and Tony came to visit us on Wednesday.  We worked quickly to have all our Christmas decorations up before he got here.  This is the wreath we hung on the outside of the RV.

 We put this wreath inside our home, hanging it in the hallway.
 We continue to enjoy using our Canine nativity, and added the lovely angel that our friend Marla gave us a few years ago, and a little Christmas tree.
 Jim and I made and framed this lighted wreath when we still lived in our house in Santa Ana.
This is the Christmas tree we put on our dining room table.  We like to think of the little snowman and snow lady as us. LOL. As you can see below, some of our neighbors get very creative with their Christmas decorations.

This one was an inflatable camper, and the door would open so Santa could look out.  Really cute!

We got some much needed rain on Thursday and Friday, but I'm not sure our neighbors were too happy about it.  The park people had to pump water out of the canals to keep them from overflowing.

As promised, we baked and decorated six cakes for the Christmas eve candle light service here in the park.  There weren't as many people there as Pastor Bob had expected so we only used four of them.  We gave a lemon cake to a lady here in the park to take home, as she was having guests over, and it would be enjoyed that night.  Jim brought back one whole chocolate cake.......which he is eating up as quickly as he can.  Hahaha!  The service was delightful, with wonderful Christmas music, and a very uplifting message by Pastor Bob.  
Christmas morning was quiet here.  The dogs had fun playing with their new toys, and enjoyed some special doggie treats!  We had agreed not to exchange gifts, and spent that money on some charitable donations.  When we need, or really, really want something, we get it, so there is no reason to shop just because the merchants want us to.  Willie doesn't like to get dressed up, but Millie likes to get festive.

 But sometimes she parties a little too much!

Christmas morning was cold, with ice hanging off the edge of our awning, but sunny and bright, so Jim got a little silly too. 

He was going to go pick up the newspaper, and had to wear his sun glasses.

The rest of the day went well.  We played Mexican Train, had a nice dinner and watched TV.  We had planned to volunteer to serve dinner at the VFW or some other place this year, but were unable to find any place to do that.  It turns out, the VFW only serves dinner to veterans on Thanksgiving day.  Maybe we can do that next year.

As you can see, the "lake" out behind us is beginning to dry up, but these birds have gone to higher ground for now.  All is well here at our home in Wilderness Lakes, and we are looking forward to a happy and healthy, and maybe prosperous New Year.  Time to think about New Year's resolutions..........maybe some we can actually KEEP this year?  As always, I encourage kindness to everyone you meet.....even those who may NOT seem to be nice or deserving of kindness.  We can't know what problems, or fears, they might be trying to cope with.  Our kindness could make a real difference to someone who is struggling.  Instead of regrets for what we don't have, we should always, ALWAYS give thanks for the many blessings we do have.  We don't have much money, but we are rich in the blessings we have.  Our health is pretty good.  We have a nice home on wheels, and two wonderful dogs to love, and they love us back.  We have family and many wonderful friends we have met along the way.  We have enough money to support our RV life style, and we are grateful for each day that we wake up to this truly awesome world God has created for us.  This reminds me of something I've been meaning to say for a while now.  There are some words that seem to be overused and it just drives me crazy.  One such word is "awesome".  Some people use that word to describe almost everything!  "That is an awesome car (or hair cut, or meal, etc)."  When I think about what is truly awesome, I think of God, and the amazing, beautiful world He has created.  We often do see a truly awesome sunset.  The gift of His son Jesus is so awesome it is beyond what any other word could describe.  Somehow I just can't see anything we do as being anywhere near awesome.  Please think about it before you say things are awesome.  The car is nice; the haircut is good; and maybe the meal was delicious, but shouldn't we save "awesome" for what truly deserves that word?

Here's wishing all of you a blessed, and happy, healthy, and prosperous year ahead.  Enjoy each day for the gift it is.  Don't dwell on the past, or worry about the future, enjoy the gift that is today.  That's why it's called the present!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas is Almost here!!!!

Can you believe it's only days until Christmas???  We have not yet decorated, because we will be leaving here tomorrow to head back to Wilderness Lakes for the next three weeks.  I do have a Christmas wreath I made hanging outside, but everything else will have to wait until tomorrow.  Tony is coming to visit on Wednesday, so I hope we can have everything festive by the time he arrives.  I may have said this before, but it still amazes me.  I always thought that when we retired we'd have tons of time to do things...........but it still seems like there are just not enough hours in the day for all the things we want to do.  And now I wonder how I ever found time for the job I worked at before retiring.  Alas, I guess I have to start getting up earlier...........and maybe spend less time playing solitaire on my computer.

It has been warm most days here in Palm Springs, but the night are pretty cold (for California, I mean).  The dogs are in no hurry to go outside early in the morning, especially Millie.  But doesn't she look cute anyway?

Last week the news reported that we were going to have heavy rain in many parts of southern California.  Some places got a lot of rain, and they worried about mud slides in "burn scar areas".  Here in Palm Desert we only got light showers, but the next day we were treated to this blessing.  
On the way to pick up mail at the post office we saw this beautiful double rainbow.  I'm sorry the picture isn't better, but the sight was spectacular! 

We got our first Christmas card this week.  It was from our dear friends Ray & Carol.  WOW.  It was a really pretty card.  Thanks guys!  Since we only get our mail forwarded once a month, and we usually get our December mail around the 15th, we usually get most of our cards in the mail in January.  But that's NOT a bad thing as it extends our enjoyment of the Christmas season through an extra month!  You can't complain when the happiest time of the year lasts a little longer.

In regards to our furry kids, I feel I need to make a few comments now.  First, as always please keep your pets safe during this busy time of the year.  With guests, and maybe delivery people, coming and going from your homes, please make sure your pets don't get outside without you knowing it.  Many Christmas plants, like poinsettias are lethal to animals, so place them where pets cannot get to them.  Likewise, holiday foods can make your pets sick, so keep them out of reach.  If you are hosting a party, with lots of guests, it might be best to put pets in a separate room where they won't be frightened by too many people.  Also, some of your friends might have animal allergies, so that might protect them as well.  Please make sure your pets have an adequate supply of clean water, and only pet appropriate foods to eat, and that they stay warm and safe at all times.  Last, but not least, I would like to advise against "surprising" someone with a pet for a Christmas gift.  As you know, I am ALL for pet adoptions, but not necessarily as a Christmas gift.  This is a hectic time of the year, and not the perfect time to try to introduce a new member to a family.  Also, I think the selection of the perfect furry family member must be made BY the family that is going to have the pet.  We always hope adoption will result in a FOREVER home for an animal, but if the pet is not a good fit for the family, that will not be the result.  If you want to give a pet for Christmas, why not give a card indicating that you have paid the adoption fees so the family can go select the pet they want AFTER the holidays are over and life has slowed down a little???
  They should get the right pet for them, like our "perfect for us" pair of loving pets.

 I promised to share a tip in this email.  This tip was sent to me by my friend Nancy Clark in Garden Grove.  You may already know this, but I didn't.  Many of us live in areas where we may experience power outages.  These are especially common in RV parks and campgrounds.  More than once we have come home to see clocks flashing because the power went out and came back on.  We never knew how to tell how long it was out, and if food in the freezer may have defrosted and then re-froze.  With this tip, you will know if food needs to be discarded or if it is safe to keep.  Place a cup of water in your freezer and let it freeze solid.  Then place a coin on top.  If you come back and discover that your power has been out, check the cup.  If the coin is still on top of the ice, your freezer didn't defrost, and your food is safe.  If the coin is on the bottom of the cup, your food has been compromised, and should be discarded.  If the coin is part of the way down in the cup, larger pieces of food are probably safe, but smaller pieces may have thawed and could be at risk.  I think that is a great tip and I thank Nancy for sharing it.  Please feel free to share it with others.

Before I close today, I would again like to remind people to be a little kinder than you need to be.  Unfortunately, many people are extra stressed this time of year.  They are looking for the "perfect" gift for someone special.  They are trying to clean and decorate their homes, send out Christmas cards, and prepare special meals, and desserts for friends and family.  Sadly, instead of enjoying Christmas, they make it into a list of chores they think they MUST get done by December 24th.  May I suggest that instead of trying to do it ALL, you pick a couple things that mean the most to you, and let someone else worry about the rest?  If you are hosting a party, you could ask someone else to prepare some of the food, or even maybe buy some of the foods ready made.  Your guests shouldn't be coming to inspect your house, so don't worry if it isn't perfectly clean.  What needs to be clean is where you prepare foods, and where people are going to be.  Clean the kitchen, bathroom and living room.  Forget about the bedrooms, and relax.  

Jim and I, and the furry kids wish you all a wonderful, Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.  Stay well,  and love your family and friends.  That's what Christmas is all about.  And if you are traveling this Christmas, please stay safe on the roadways.

Friday, December 9, 2016

December in Palm Springs

Hi Everyone,

We are settled in at our site in Palm Springs.  We got here on Wednesday, and there were quite a few 50 amp sites open.  In my previous post, I included pictures of a privately owned tiny house we saw at Wilderness Lakes, but here, Thousand Trails is putting in about a dozen of them to rent out.  
Since Palm Springs is a major mecca for "snowbirds," and these Thousand Trails membership parks are very popular with snowbirds, it is certainly no surprise that they jumped on the "tiny house" bandwagon.  These are right across the street from our site.
We were planning on selling products today at their arts & crafts sales, but when Jim spoke to the lady to reserve a table, she said she is booked up for this week AND next.  Imagine our surprise when we went over there today and saw THREE empty tables!  Oh well, it was nice to sleep in this morning.  

Jim is doing great since his cataract surgeries.  He is amazed at how great he can see now, and absolutely blown away by how incredible colors are.  He only has five more days to go on his eye drops, and then he is done.  YAY!!!

As advised, Jim oiled the butcher block cutting board, and we are really, really happy with how it looks, and how it fits in the space.  Charles has agreed to build us a new dining table with a leaf to open it out to seat more people when we need it.  I assured him there is no hurry, but I can't wait to see it when he does get it done!

This is a tiny camper that we saw at Wilderness Lakes.  That's too tiny for us!!!!  

Today we went around the park to see what else we could find here.  Jim had been told there were other tiny houses, besides the white ones the park is putting in.  We saw some "park model" homes here.  Some have been here, and some are fairly new additions to the park.  This is an example of the homes that are here now.
We were delighted to see that some of the folks here are all set up for Christmas.  I love to see the way people choose to decorate their RVs.

 This was at Wilderness Lakes too, and the amazing part is that the head of Jesus is convex shaped, so as you pass it, it looks like He turns to follow you with His eyes.
Aren't these festive looking?  Everybody decorates with their own style.

This is another tiny house here, all jazzed up for Christmas. 
We were slightly amused by this.  As you can see, the name is "Majestic" but for us, anything this small is just not  majestic.  But not every RV we see is being used as a full time home, like ours is.

In my last post, I encouraged each of you to find a way to do something for someone less fortunate than you are during this beautiful Christmas season.  I would like to share with you what we have done so far.  I am NOT telling you this because we are bragging, but maybe to give you ideas.  Our church at Wilderness Lakes decided to give food and gift baskets to 100 needy families in the Menifee area.  We made a donation to that project, and we took two twenty pound bags of Pedigree dog food to a local no-kill animal shelter.  Among other things, my son also gives blankets to the local animal shelter for the dogs.  The only sad part is that the Christmas spirit won't continue all year long for most people.  However, if you want to, you can sign up to donate to a variety of charitable organizations all year long, for less than $20.00 each per month.  A few of these include The Wounded Warrior Fund, the Humane Society, ASPCA, and St. Jude's Hospital.

I know that not everyone is happy about the election results from last month, but the choice was made, and we feel people should accept it.  I was shocked and disappointed by the protests that have gone on in many cities.  Yes, people are free to say whatever they want to, but some of the protests got violent and ugly.  I think that is wrong.  Now we need to get behind President-elect Trump and support him, and pray for him to help make America great again.

Winter is coming, and in many places it has arrived with some very severe weather conditions.  If you live in colder climates, please make sure to do what you need to do to stay safe.  Make sure you have adequate food and water supplies in case you get snowed in and can't go out for things.  Make sure you have your vehicles serviced so you won't be broken down someplace in frigid weather.  RV water hoses need to be heat wrapped so they don't freeze and burst.  In some areas we have been told to leave water lines dripping so they won't freeze.  If you are in an area with a lot of snow and freezing weather, make sure you have salt to spread on the ice so no one falls and gets injured.  Winter weather certainly can be beautiful, but please be sure you take precautions so it won't be dangerous.  

Also, I'm sure you all have seen the news of that extremely tragic fire in Oakland last week.  In light of that tragedy, I want to mention to make sure heating units and fireplaces   are checked and made safe.  Sadly it seems like every year someone dies of fires or suffocation from improperly vented heating units.  If you have elderly neighbors, please check on them to make sure they are OK and keeping warm.  Maybe they need someone to take them to a store to get much needed food or supplies.  We are all part of this Family of God, and we need to help others whenever we can.  

I'll close for now, and wish you all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Oh Happy Days!!!!

Today is Tuesday, and all is right with the world!  At least most things are right again, and I am happy, happy, happy!
Tony came over last Wednesday, and stayed for two days.  We always enjoy his visits, and his wonderful dog Woody.  Thursday we were preparing our traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  Here's our turkey, cooking in the NuWave Oven.
 While trying to cut a squash in half, it slipped, and the knife turned over.  Jim was pushing down on the blade and it cut into the palm of his hand.  We rushed into the bathroom to clean out the wound and then stopped the bleeding.  After several minutes I was able to pad and bandage the wound, but that was the end of Jim being able to help.  Tony pitched in and we managed to still get dinner on the table by 3 pm.......and Tony washed all the dishes after dinner.  He is a grand house guest and helper!!!!  I changed the dressings twice a day for two days and then daily until it was fully healed, which it is now.  YAY!

You remember the little fender bender incident when we were at Loma Linda Hospital???  Last Wednesday we met with the folks involved at the shop where Rueben got us a reasonable estimate for the repairs.  The guy ordered the new bumper and the paint.  He said he would paint the bumper and it would be ready to install on Monday (yesterday).  YAY again!

Saturday we played Candy Bar Bingo, and we won 7 candy bars, between is.  We didn't set up to sell that day because it was only 48 degrees out, and there was a 100% chance of rain, so we figured there weren't going to be a lot of shoppers anyway.  All good!

Sunday we went to the Wilderness Lakes Church, as usual, and then came home for the rest of the day with our dogs, and I beat Jim at a game of Mexican Train.  Jim baked two loaves of French Honey bread, and I baked a nice spice cake  All good again!

 Monday we met Charles & his wife at the repair shop and brought them back here while their car got fixed.  I had made a crockpot full of split pea soup for lunch, and we had a nice time together.  It turns out that Charles is a master wood crafter, and he has agreed to make the butcher block counter piece I wanted to put between our sink and the stove.  They are really nice people!  Later we took them back to get their car, and they were delighted with the work done well.  YAY, all is good again, and praise God.  

Have any of you watched the TV show, Tiny House Nation?  The people on this show custom build tiny houses for people.  We like to watch it and find it interesting to see how the design and decorate their tiny spaces.  In case you have not seen them, we discovered there is one here in the park, and it is sooooooo cute.  We
don't want one for us, because we love the home we have.  In the upper picture, the top window on the left is probably the loft where the people have to sleep.  In most of the tiny houses, the bedroom loft is not tall enough to stand up in.  We would NOT want to have to crawl around on our knees to make the bed.  As you can see, this one has a roof top deck too.  We just loved seeing one up close like this.  Again, all good!  

There are also some other cute RVs here in the park.  

We were amused by the signs on the back of this Toy Hauler.

Last night I got the BEST night of sleep than I've gotten in over a week, and I think it was because we were finally able to put the car incident behind us.  Unfortunately, it did cost us most of our Christmas budget, but maybe, if we eat beans for the next few weeks, we can send something to our grandkids, at least.  Again, life is good!  We don't hate beans.  LOL

Today we went to Great Clips to get haircuts...........mine was OK, but Jim's turned out badly.  At least this too will pass, but he won't need another haircut for at least three months!  LOL again.

As you can see, Jim and the kids are doing well!
And some of the locals are already decorating for Christmas!  We will do that when we come back here on December 20th.  I also agreed to bake cakes for the candle light church service here on Christmas eve.  It's what I can do, even in our tiny kitchen.  Tomorrow we are going to go to the manager's meeting in the adult center here.  Free doughnuts and coffee and an update on the park.....again, all good! 

As we enter the month of December, (and Christmas is only 26 days away) I hope all of you are thinking about what you can do to make life better for someone around you.  There are many seniors living alone who might welcome a visit from a neighbor or relative.  Maybe someone who can not drive anymore would appreciate an offer to take them to a store, or post office, or church service.  Maybe you can donate food at a local food bank, or take food, blankets or dog beds to a local animal shelter......and while you are there, maybe you will see a homeless animal that needs a forever home that you could adopt.  If there is a local homeless shelter, maybe you could volunteer to help them serve a nice Christmas dinner to those less fortunate than yourself.  It saddens me that so many people think of this season, only in terms of what gifts they will receive, and forget the GREATEST gift of all that we already received.....the birth of our dear Lord Jesus Christ.  I hope you will begin this month with feelings of joy about what our pastor here in the park called The Mary Miracle.  She received the Holy Spirit and gave birth to our Lord Jesus, as had been foretold 4000 years before.  We too can allow the glorious Holy Spirit come over us, so we can share God's wondrous love with others.  Please don't just wish someone Happy Holidays, say Merry Christmas, and know in your heart, that God loves you very much. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

We Have So Much to be Thankful For

It has been eleven days since I last wrote, and much has happened in that time, not all good.  I will try to bring everyone up to date on things.

As you know, on October 18th Jim had his first cataract surgery, on his left eye, and it was very successful.  He continues to be very happy with the results of that, so we went ahead and scheduled surgery on his right eye.  We moved from Palm Desert back to Wilderness Lakes on November 16th, and his surgery was set for the next day, Thursday.  We got the call around noon time, that he had to be up there no later than 6 am, so that meant getting up at 4 am.............groan!!!!  But we said OK.  Tony arrived about that same time and helped us get set up in our site.  This was the ONLY 50 amp site available in the whole park at that time!  WOW.  We were lucky to find it.  It is a nice, big site with plenty of room to set up our screen room, which we did.  We had a nice dinner and relaxed that night, and I continued to give Jim the eye drops four times a day (for three days before surgery).  

We got up at 4 am and left by 4:30 to go up to Loma Linda.  We had to be there that early as they said there was a good chance that the first case was going to be cancelled and Jim would move up to first, but it didn't so we waited.....and waited.....and waited until they finally took him in around 8:35 am.  His surgery didn't start until about 9:35, and she said this eye really made her work for it!  He got out of surgery about 10:45 am and we got to leave that area, but he was to come back to the eye clinic at 2 pm for his follow up post op visit.  We relaxed in the car until about 1:15 pm and then checked in at the eye clinic.  We got to see the doctor about 1:45 pm and got out to the car to leave around 2:15 pm.  

After checking both ways, I began to back up, when I heard the crunch of fenders meeting.  I know I was moving, but I also KNOW that I had looked both ways, and there was no car behind me when I started backing up.  The other man adamantly denies that he was moving, and says it was my fault.  We exchanged information and we came back home to Wilderness Lakes.  The next day we went over to his house in Hemet to take pictures of the damage.  
I told him that since the damage was so minor, maybe we could get an estimate or two and settle this without using insurance.  He called me on Saturday with an estimate from one shop for $1,165.00.  I said I didn't think that was reasonable and said I would try to get another estimate.  Our dear friends, Almita and Rueben are locals, and have a place they get their car serviced.  They called their guy and he said he doesn't do body work, but the body shop next door does.  Rueben got us an estimate of $300.00 to replace the whole bumper.  I went and talked to the guy and he can do the job right away.  I called Charles, and he took his car there for the mechanic to see, and we had him order the bumper today.  It will be all fixed on Monday.......YAY!!!!! 
Charles is a professional wood crafter, and he made this guy, looking over his fence from the patio towards the street.  He calls this his "security".  We thought he was cute so I had to take a picture.

Last Friday Jim had an appointment at the VA clinic in Murrieta about a growth on his right wrist.  We saw a man named Scott, who took the history on it, and took many pictures, including one very close up shot.  It looked really gross!  Scott called yesterday to say that the doctor who looked at it wants Jim to go up to Loma Linda for a biopsy of it, meaning there is some chance that it could be cancerous.  We called and we weren't able to get him an appointment for that until December 28th.  This will be a very, very long month of waiting for us, and worrying.  

Also, on Friday, Tony took Willie out to walk, and Willie got loose.  He ran at a man walking with two Dobermans.  The man stepped on Willie's leash, and Willie turned and bit the man on the leg.  Saturday that man came over to ask if Willie is current on his immunizations, which he is, of course.  I sure hope we won't end up in trouble over that.  From now on, only Jim will walk Willie, since he can be unpredictable at times. 

Still, we do feel we have so much to be thankful for.  We are thankful for our home, and furry kids who love us, and our over all good health.  I am thankful for my son Matt, who has very honorable principles that he lives by.  I admire him for being a vegan, even though we don't share his beliefs.  I am thankful that my older sister, Donna and her husband George are about to celebrate 54 years of marriage next month.  I'm thankful that I have my wonderful brother Tony, and my sister Judy, and my youngest brother Jeff and his wife Patty, that we love dearly.  I'm also thankful for dear friends, like Almita & Rueben who also celebrated 54 years of marriage this month, Steve & Diane, Joan & Jim and Allyn & Sherry.  We are heart broken over the death of Jim's brother Norm but also thankful that we have been contacted by Christine, Jeanette's wonderful daughter.  We are thankful that she has shared things about Norm with us, that otherwise we might never have known.  Thanksgiving is NOT just about the food you eat, or the football games you watch on TV.  It's about family and friends, and all the many blessings we receive every day, even when we don't ask for them.  God knows what we need, and provides it, which is not always what we ask Him for.  We are thankful for many others blessings, too numerous to mention.  I hope each of you will take time during this holiday season to reflect on all that God has blessed you with.  Take care and stay well.       

Friday, November 11, 2016

Oh What a Day

Hi Friends and Family, 

I know some of you are upset with the results of the election, but many of us believe that President-elect Donald Trump will be good for our country.  I guess, for now anyway, we will just have to agree-to-disagee.  Please pray with us that he can do good things for America.  We are saddened by the protests in several major cities, but we feel encouraged about the many  possibilities ahead.  I guess that is enough said for now.

Remember the lovely lilies that Carol & Ray gave us last week?  They blossomed into even more beautiful flowers.  Thank you again Carol and Ray.  We really enjoyed them.  I like my bouquet of yellow roses, that will never die, and the blue ones in the bathroom too, but it is a real treat to occasionally have fresh flowers that smell delightful!!!

We had a very good day of sales last Saturday, including selling my big red Kitchen Aid mixer, and many other things.  And we had fun at candy bar bingo, winning 7 candy bars between us.  Sunday afternoon Jim made us home made peanut butter cup ice cream, using the new Kitchen Aid attachment......and it was awesome!  It makes it even creamier than in the Cuisinart ice cream machine, which we had thought was the best we could ever imagine.

Monday we packed up and came out to Palm Desert Thousand Trails preserve.  We found a wonderful site on the end of a row.............which makes it even easier to find a satellite signal.  Our King Quest is the BEST satellite dish we have ever used.  Once we got all set up, I hooked up the bedroom TV using the Clear view antenna and was able to pull in almost 2 dozen stations, including all of the major networks.  Life is good!  Our site is right across the street from the recreation center where they hold church services, and other activities.  

 I had to take this picture.  It is down the row behind us.  This is a really cute little "tear drop" trailer with an added tent room.  We wouldn't want to live in anything this small, but we do think it is cute.  

Yesterday, Jim mixed up another batch of ice cream.  We took the afternoon off and played Mexican Train because it was too hot to be outside.  
When he took time out to run the freezer cycle of making the ice cream, I got silly and made this.  After all, he is my sweetheart!

Today they had the weekly arts and crafts sale at the rec center.  I didn't take over my magnetic jewelry this time, because I had a lot of other things I wanted to try to sell.  There is another woman who is usually here selling magnetics who is not very nice to others selling magnetic jewelry.  As it was, she wasn't here today, but we did fairly well with what we sold.  I thought the Cuisinart ice cream machine would be the first thing to go, but I was wrong.  The Oreck mixer and the food processor sold, as did the extra Clear view antenna, and a lot of my other jewelry.  I have a ton of bracelets, earrings and several necklaces that I just don't wear anymore, so I sold some of them.  One lady we talked to was saying she needed a cell phone booster for her AT&T phone, so Jim came home to get the one we have.  We bought it back when we had an AT&T phone, but don't need it with our Verizon phones.  She had left before he got back, but she knows where we are, if she decided she wants it.    Two other ladies asked about my magnetic jewelry that I was wearing.  They both said they have pain from arthritis, so they said they might come over to see the jewelry before we leave.  Also, a lady who works here was interested in the Cuisinart, so she said she MIGHT come over too.  Either way, it has been a nice day today. 

I plan to do a couple loads of laundry tomorrow, and enjoy relaxing here at home with our furry kids.  I felt bad that we had to leave them alone while we went on errands yesterday.  We have not yet gotten the probiotic product I mentioned in the last blog, so I can't report anything about it yet, but I will let you know when we try it.

I came up with a free solution to a small problem I have been trying to figure out.  Our computer friend Robert advised me that my laptop should not be allowed to overheat by sitting directly on the place mat on the table.  Despite calling them "laptops" they are definitely NOT meant to be used by placing on one's lap!  Last month I tried using a stand for it, but that made it too high for me to use comfortably.  I decided to put it on a set of stone coasters that hold it about 1/4 inch off the table.  I was amazed to find that it has solved the problem.  When I finished working, the bottom of the computer is NOT hot anymore.  YAY!!!!

I can't think of anything more I should share, so I will close for now.  Stay well, and keep the rubber side down when you're on the roads..............because we are out there too.  Have a great day and enjoy all of God's awesome gifts. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

All the news that's fit to print! LOL

Hello dear friends and family,
This has been a busy, but very good week, so now I'll bring you up to speed, so to speak.  Monday we had a service here to shampoo the carpets, and clean our upholstered chair.  It looks like a new chair.  In fact, when our friend Mary arrived on Tuesday, she thought we had new carpet put in here!  WOW!  It cost more than we wanted it to, but we are very happy with the results.

Tuesday I made a beef stew dinner in our Ninja cooker for Almita & Rueben.  She brought a delicious salad and I had baked a spice cake for dessert.  We played Mexican train, and had a grand time with these wonderful friends.

Wednesday Jim had an appointment with the eye doctor at the VA.  His left eye now has 20/20 vision.  YAY!  And that WAS the worst of the two eyes, so we are hoping for the results on the right eye to be wonderful too.  He had his pre-op EKG done and picked up the eye drops for the right eye for before and after surgery, which will be done on November 17th.  

Thursday, our friends Carol & Ray came to visit us here.  I made spaghetti with meatballs & sausage, and a salad.  Jim baked home made Italian bread.  I can't remember how long it has been since we have seen them, but it was toooo long. 
Carol brought us these beautiful lilies, so I got a chance to use my flat, plastic flower vase.  When it's not in use, it is flat, but when you add water, the bottom widens out to form a nice little vase.
 Ray & Carol are wonderful people, but they keep busy and it's not easy getting together sometimes.  They went to the Albuquerque, NM Hot Air Balloon Fiesta last month with their FMCA group.  That stands for Family Motor Coach Association.  This is one of many clubs RVers can belong to.  We are members of FMCA, the Good Sam Club, and Escapees.  Each hosts rallies and get togethers that we like to attend.  Ray told us about a new product he is using that we looked up online and will be ordering very soon.  It is a probiotic product for cleaning out the gray water and black water tanks.  It sounds very good, so I will report on it for the benefit of other RVers once we try it.

Friday I got an email that our new Kitchen Aid mixer and the ice cream maker attachment had come in at J C Penney's, so we drove down to Temecula to pick them up.  Also, our new spin dryer had arrived here at the park, so we picked that up too.  Since we don't enjoy hauling our dirty clothes to the laundromat, and sometimes waiting for machines to be available, I was very excited about the possibility of doing small loads here, at our convenience. 

 This is the cute new washer.  It can wash about 4 1/2 pounds of clothes at a time.  It sits in the shower, and I fill it using the shower head.  The wash cycle can be set between 3 and 15 minutes, but I found about 6 to 9 minutes was enough.  Then you drain the water out, and refill for the rinse cycle, which I ran for about 3 to 5 minutes.  It has a spin cycle, but it will only handle about 2.2 pounds, and it doesn't spin things as dry as we would want. 

This is the spin dryer we got from Wal-Mart.  It sits on the bathroom counter and drains into the sink.  What we found works quite well is to wash the load, then divide it in half, putting half in the spin dryer, and set it for 3-5 minutes.  We put the rest of the load into the spin basket of the washer, and spin those for 3-5 minutes.  Then we hang up the clothes from the dryer, and run the clothes from the washer through the spin dryer for a few more minutes.  Then we can hang them up too.  This may seem like a big bother, but in less than 25 minutes I have a small load of clothes washed and hung up to dry, and I can do a second load.  In a couple hours of hanging, everything was ready to put away, and we didn't have to leave the house.  The little spin dryer is small enough to store in my closet when not in use.  The washer stores in the shower, but is lightweight enough to just lift out when we take showers.  It might not suit everyone, but I am delighted with it, and I can't thank Diane & Steve enough for sharing this idea with us.  We will still have to go to the laundromat to wash big blankets, and such, but this will be such a blessing much of the time.  I washed & dried three small loads in under two hours yesterday, while watching TV and emailing friends!!!!  I LOVE it!

The freezer bowl of the Kitchen Aid had to be frozen for at least 15 hours before making ice cream, so Jim put it in the outside freezer yesterday afternoon.  This morning we went down to the park for a VERY successful day of sales.  I sold the red Kitchen Aid mixer, our extra Himalayan Salt Lamp and many of the magnetic bracelets and necklaces.  We didn't offer the Cuisinart Ice cream maker for sale yet, as we want to see if we like using the mixer attachment for making ice cream before we sell the one we KNOW works well.  After candy bar bingo.....and we each won four candy bars today!!!  we came back here and Jim set up the mixer and made a batch of peanut butter ice cream with peanut butter chips in it.  It's in the freezer now getting firmer, but I think this is a winner too.  YAY.  If the results are good, we will offer the Cuisinart for sale next week.  One less thing to carry around.  
Here's one more picture of something we saw in the park today.  Back when we had our house, Jim had some birds.  We had a Yellow Nape Amazon Parrot and a Blue and Gold Macaw.  Both were a joy to have..........but, birds can be messy, and we really couldn't imagine traveling with their bird cages and the mess in a motorhome.  We sold them to the man who owned the Arrow Bird Farm, and he found them good homes.  This is not the same Blue and Gold, but it brought back fond memories to see this lady walking around with him on her shoulder.  She also was walking a full size white poodle!  All in all, it has been a nice day.

That's all the news for today, so I will close for now.  I wish you all a wonderful, warm weekend.  Don't forget to turn your clocks back before you go to bed tonight, unless you live in a state that doesn't "spring forward and fall back".  Please pray that the election next Tuesday goes well, and peacefully.  May God bless us, and America.  Please remember those less fortunate than yourselves and do whatever you can for them.  Next Friday is Veteran's Day.  Please pray for our military men and women that they will return home safely, and remember to thank a veteran for their sacrifices.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Today is Halloween! Boo

Happy Halloween everyone,

So much has gone on over the last twelve days, but I'll try to bring you up-to-date, starting with something we did more than two weeks ago.  
We were frustrated by the lower cabinet in our bathroom, because the door was on the far right side and it was very hard to reach anything stored in the left side of it.  We figured out an inexpensive way to solve this problem.  We removed the piece of wood from the left side of the cabinet and replaced it with a pair of curtains on top and bottom tension rods.  Now we just open the curtains to find whatever we need.  It works perfectly.

As you know, Jim had his first cataract surgery at Loma Linda VA hospital this month, on his left eye.  He is enjoying much improved vision in that eye.  We went back last Wednesday for his follow up visit, and now he is scheduled to get his right eye done on November 17th.  There is something we have been immensely impressed by.  Obviously we see many other veterans at the VA hospital, many of whom have been severely injured, lost limbs, and more.  Much to my surprise, many of them step up to open doors for US.  I feel like we should be opening doors for them, but out of respect for them, we just thank them.  They are ALL polite, and helpful.  If we don't know where we are going, and the place is HUGE so it would be easy to get lost there, a veteran will ask where we want to go, and will walk there with us.  Often, in the lobby you will find a veteran entertaining others by playing the piano while others listen and sing along.  One hears about veterans with PTSD, and I'm sure some of these men and women could be suffering from that, but the people we see are always kind and respectful to others.  I know some veterans are homeless, and may be committing crimes out of desperation, but I really think all of us should do whatever we can to honor them in any way we can.
We are still here at Wilderness Lakes, and many of our neighbors have decorated their RVs and their sites for Halloween.  They have a lot of imagination sometimes.

 As you can see, they get really creative.
    Not so much for us though.  However, we handed out candy to all of the trick-or treaters Saturday evening.  Jim was wearing his Army veteran baseball cap and several of the older kids who came to our site thanked him for his service!  WOW!!!!  I was so proud of him.  We are fortunate that Jim was never sent to a war zone, but he did serve during the Viet Nam era, and he could have been sent there.  
Today we had a service come out and clean our carpets, and the upholstered chair by the door.  WOW!  We try to keep it clean in here, but the carpet and chair look like new now.  They also Scotch-guarded them to protect against stains.  We knew we had to get EVERYTHING off the floor before they got here, so yesterday we went through all the cupboards, closets and drawers to see what we could get rid of.  I get what I call "the urge to purge" and it feels so good to get rid of some of our clutter.  We took three bags of stuff to the trash, and two bags to the Goodwill bin.  I always say that if one has not used something in six months, one probably does NOT really need it at all.  Carrying too much weight in an RV can damage it, and can increase the risk of having an accident if one cannot stop quickly enough.  To reduce our clutter, we have ordered a smaller Kitchen Aid mixer, and will try to sell the bigger one we have.  We ordered the ice cream maker attachment and will sell the Cuisinart ice cream maker we have.  We might even be able to sell our bread maker if Jim can use the Kitchen Aid to mix up his bread dough.  We couldn't do that with the mixer we have because, for some odd reason, the bowl wouldn't lock into place and would bounce around when we tried to use it to knead the dough.  

In the past, we never wanted to have an RV with a built-in washer and dryer, because it would mean less storage space.  But the truth is, we also hate going to the laundromat, so we put it off until we have a TON of laundry to do, and we really hate that even more!  Our friend Diane introduced us to an alternative that we are going to try out.  We bought a small portable washer from Camping World yesterday.....and ordered a small portable spin dryer from WalMart.  It should get here in a day or two.  This way, in about 15 minutes we can wash about 4 1/2 pounds of clothes, and it will spin dry in 2-5 minutes.  Diane said she usually hangs clothes up for an hour or two and they are ready to put away.  Yesterday she used the dryer for 5 minutes, and the clothes were completely dry!  Again, WOW.  The savings on laundromat cost should pay for they machines in less than 3 months!!!!  Each appliance weighs less than twenty pounds, so they don't add much extra weight to the RV either.   

I guess that's all for today, but I will let you know, in my next blog post, how the portable washer & dryer work out for us.  Take care and stay well.  Happy trails to those of you who are travelers enjoying this wonderful life.  Remember to be kinder than you "need to" to the people you meet.  You cannot know what problems they may be dealing with.  Life is wonderful, but sometimes it can be difficult.  God never promised us life would be easy, just that He will always be here for us.