Friday, March 31, 2017

Another Windy Day in Arrey

Hi Dear Ones,
By the way, I'm not sure I told all of you, but the town of Arrey is not pronounced like it appears.  It is pronounced as if it was spelled Array.  Just so you know.  Lately we have been getting winds up to 35 mph with gusts up to 50mph!  It seems like every time we think it has calmed down, and we put out the awning and outdoor chairs............the winds start up again.  Unfortunately for me, this wind has made my chronic cough much worse too.  
The nights have been down in the low 40's, so we have needed to use our electric blanket in bed, and the furnace set low to keep the house warm.  Yesterday we got up to discover the remote tank of propane ran out during the night, and it was only 50 inside......much too chilly for me.  Jim got dressed and went outside to disconnect the remote tank and turn on the RV propane tank.  The reason we use the remote tank is because if we run out of propane in the RV tank, we would have to break down and drive the RV some place to refill the tank, and then come back and set everything up awful lot of work.  By using the remote tank, we only have to disconnect it and go some place to refill it....much easier.  Only yesterday that too was a problem, since we don't have a car to get around in.  Luckily, Ric was available and he drove us to the Lakeside RV Park in nearby Caballo to fill the remote tank, so we are good again.  
Yesterday we got a call from Big Al, saying we can pick the car up this afternoon, but he still has to get one more part for it from the GM dealership.  This repair has ended up costing much, much more than we had hoped for it to be.  He had hoped to get parts from an after-market supplier, but since the Saturn is an "orphan" car, he was not able to find the parts we needed, and had to buy them from GM, at a much higher price.  Luckily for us, he is willing to let us pick up the car now, and pay him the balance next month, when we get paid.  He is only doing that for us because we are friends of Pastor Ric, I'm sure.  Does anybody know the winning Lotto numbers?  Oh well.
Originally we had hoped to be back on the road by the middle of April, but now it may be as late as the end of May or even the middle of June before we can get back on the road to come home to California.  Yikes!  Ric will be tormenting me something crazy by then!  By the way, he hasn't found the Kool-Aid packets yet.   
Tomorrow he is taking us, and the furry kids, on a road trip to a place you can only get into twice a year.  I hope this isn't a huge April Fool's day joke, but I believe he said it's the place where the first atomic bomb was tested.  Maybe we will be glowing in the dark after we go there.  I'll post pictures when we get back........if we make it back.  LOL   
I'm sorry that I don't have any new pictures for today, but I forgot to take my camera when we went out yesterday.  Ric said he will take us to see Sammy the Camel so I'll have a picture of that too. 
It would be easy for me to get depressed about all these unexpected problems, but I'm not going to.  I have had time to enjoy reading everyday.  Jim and I continue to read about five chapters from the Bible every morning.  It's a great way to start your day!  I am also enjoying reading my beloved mysteries.  This RV Park even has a book exchange, and yesterday I picked out four new books to read.  With all we had been through, we were really exhausted when we got here, so now we have been forced to rest and relax.  Again, all good.  Blessings sometimes come our way without us realizing that is what has happened, until later.  Now I wouldn't wish these damages, or expenses on anyone, but we will enjoy our time here, and continue to count our blessings every day.  I wish you all Peace, and Happiness, and all the blessings our Heavenly Father has for you, today and in the days ahead.  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Here Comes the Weekend

We are enjoying our stay here in Arrey.  The weather has mostly been wonderful.  The daytime highs are mostly in the mid 80's and night-time lows in low 50's.  Yesterday the winds were wild, and Jim had to take down the awning.  Before long it began to rain, so he helped our neighbor quickly pull his outdoor gear under the canopy of his picnic table.  This neighbor goes panning for gold almost everyday.  Jim says Steve told him it has to be his hobby because he'll never make money at it.  He said the gold he has found probably cost him about $6,000/ounce.  Anyway, by the time they got his gear out of the rain.....the rain had stopped!  That's life here in Arrey. 
 Here is the RV sitting in our site.  Can anyone identify the tree on the left side of this picture?  What you see on our outdoor mat is what falls off that tree constantly, and there are several of those trees here in the park.  One day I tried to sweep them up, so we don't track them inside.  It was a lost cause!  Now Jim uses his blower to try to get rid of some of them, but more are blown off the trees all the time.  Alas, such is life.
We took the car to Big Al's on Wednesday morning, and have not yet heard from him on when it will be finished.  I tried to get everything I would need from the store before we dropped the car off.  His helper, Diamond, brought us back home.  
Now here is the story of the week.  Last Friday we invited Ric over for a traditional Irish dinner in honor of St. Patrick's day.  When he arrived he brought steaks for us to use for a dinner on another day.  It was decided that we would grill them outside on Thursday (yesterday) and he would come to dinner again.  I gave him three choices of dessert: spice cake with raisins, yellow cake with chocolate frosting or black forest cherry cola cake.  Being the bugger that he can be, he chose the black forest cherry cola cake because he figured that would be the most work for me to make.  Anyway, I got the cake made and then I realized I didn't have any cool whip to top the cake with, and we had no car to go get it.  I knew Ric was going into town, so I sent him a text message asking if he could pick up a carton of cool whip for me.  He answered that he would, so all was well................until he arrived!  He had decided to play a prank on me, so he came inside with two packets of Kool-Aid, saying that was what I had asked for.  He was adamant that I never asked for cool whip.  He and Jim laughed themselves silly as I insisted I never asked for Kool-Aid.  He wouldn't take back the packets, so I have to find a way to get it back to him without him knowing it!  But in reality, he DID bring the cool whip too.  All evening he kept saying things like "I don't understand why Sue wanted Kool-Aid on her nice cake."  Finally I had to smack him upside of his head to get him to stop!
Here are some pictures we took Wednesday in Truth or Consequences.
 This is one of the Hot Springs in town.  I believe the name of it is Pelican Spa.  There are almost a dozen natural hot springs in town, and they do an amazing business, with people coming all the way from El Paso, TX and down from Albuquerque to soak in the springs.  We've soaked a few times, but it's not a big deal to us.
We saw this truck along side of the main street in town.  Really cool to see.  When is the last time you say a long horned steer on the main street in town?

I don't know if this is used as an RV or not, but we thought it was a pretty cool "covered wagon" style trailer.
Later I took some pictures of what is here in the park too.
 This is the office, clubhouse, laundry room and public showers building here.
 This is a vintage trailer that some folks are camping in. 
The park has some wild life here too, like this raccoon. 
I don't think this guy is native to the area, but he sure is good looking.  Millie did a second take and barked at him.  I don't think she was amused when we laughed at her.
 I'm glad we weren't here when this "spider" was roaming the grounds!

I'm not sure what this is supposed to be, but we thought it looks a little like a praying mantis....maybe.  anyway, in the evening many of the folks in the park congregate in front of the office to chat and share their day.  It's a very pleasant way to get to know these folks.......and they don't pick on me like Ric does.  
I forgot to take my camera with me Sunday when Ric took us to a local church service.  It was at the First Baptist Church, which is very beautiful.  The message was excellent and we enjoyed it.  Then we went over to Elephant Butt, oops I mean Elephant Butte for a brunch.  It was a wonderful day.  On the way home, Ric stopped at a local winery so we could taste some of the local wines.  Since I prefer sweeter wines, he didn't have anything I wanted to buy, but that's OK.  Maybe another winery will have one I like.
Today Jim gave Willie a bath, and Millie hid under the bed because she was afraid she might be next.  I did five loads of wash.......which means ten loads to spin dry..........but I still love being able to do my laundry at home, instead of hauling it to and from a laundromat.  
Life is great, and the problems along the way are just little bumps in the road.  I think they come our way to remind us of just how blessed we are.  If you look around you, you will always see people who are less fortunate than you are.  Please let that keep you both grateful, and humble, because whatever you have is a gift from our wonderful Father in heaven.  As I always say, He knows what you need, and He will provide it for you if you just ask.
Keep the rubber side down and enjoy every day of this life we are experiencing!  Bye bye for now.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Here in Arrey, NM

Dear Friends and family,
Things are beginning to look up a bit today.  Last night we got the electric working here in the RV park and are all settled in for a month or two.  I think I have already told you that we have cancelled our trips to Meteor Crater, and the Grand Canyon, but this will also mean we won't be going up to Las Vegas, St. George, Utah and to Pahrump, NV this year.  We gave it much thought, and we are pretty sure those places aren't going anywhere this year, so I'm pretty sure maybe we can reschedule that trip next year.
Today our dear friend Ric (who has been picking on me unmercifully since we got here) took us to see Big Al, who will do the needed repairs to make our car tow-able again.  The repairs are costing big bucks, but I'm sure it would be much worse anywhere else.  
This truck was in the garage at Big Al's.  Isn't she a beauty???
 We still need to get some repairs on the RV before we leave here.  We want to order the EZ connectors so the electric cord can't come apart and do all the damage it did this time ever again.  Once we get the parts we need, we'll have to find someone who can install them for us.  There is an RV place in Hatch, just down the road a bit, and we'll see if they can do it.
After we left Big Al's, we went to get a few groceries and gas up the car.  This is what we saw across the street.

I don't believe I've ever seen a camouflaged RV before.
We also saw a guy on a motorcycle who had cut the top off his cargo box behind his seat, so his dog had a safe place to ride.  But he left before I could get a picture of them.

I know some friends think we should continue on this adventure and go all the places we had planned to, but we don't agree.  We believe sometimes God lets something bad happen to protect us from something much worse happening.  We believe He is telling us to go home to California when we are able to leave here.  What happened to us could have been very much worse, but God watched over us.  The guy in Deming said he thought the welds were broken long before the incident on Monday.  If that is true, we are very, very blessed that the car didn't break loose at some point.  It could have struck and injured or killed someone.  But that didn't happen because God was watching out for us.  We could have been injured or killed but we weren't.  We have heard stories of similar incidents that turned out far worse.  This has only cost us money......but thanks to our Heavenly Father no one was injured.  I don't like having to spend this money for repairs anymore than anyone else would, but we are still counting our blessings BIG TIME.
I'm going to close for now, but I wish you all the blessings you need.  I won't wish anyone get what they deserve, because God wants to bless you with so very much more, if you just ask for it.  Remember, He knows what you need, and that is very seldom the same as what YOU think you need.  Trust God, and your life will be blessed.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The News is Not Good Today

I sure do wish I could write about the fun we've had on this trip, but yesterday has left me upset and depressed, and things look rather grim right now.  
Saturday we went out to lunch in Benson at the Horseshoe Cafe, and had a very nice time.  

 Sunday we began packing up for travel to Deming, NM.  Monday morning as we raised the leveling jacks, they didn't seem  to come all the way "up".  Jim looked under and thought they were OK, but when he turned on the RV to drive, the alarm went off.  To make this part of the story short, we secured the leveler up with a plastic strap tie, so it made contact with the sensor, and we got on our way.  Nothing seemed to be wrong as we towed the car from Benson to Deming, but when we got here, we discovered disaster had struck.  The driver's side front tire was GONE except for shreds of wires still attached to the rim.  The fender liner was GONE along with many wires that had been ripped loose, and the electrical cable that goes from the RV to the car, to make the brakes lights and turn signals work was destroyed.  OMG......we had a terrible time just getting the car unhooked from the RV tow bar.  After we did, Jim moved the RV into a space here, and began unloading everything out of the back of the car so he could get to the spare tire.  The wonderful folks here at the Elks, (Best People on Earth) recommended the best place to get an affordable tire for the car.  One lady even offered to drive us anywhere we needed to go last night.  

 Last night I wasn't up to taking a picture of the shredded tire, but this is how the car looks with the new tire on it.  Still very sad.  Today we got the tire put on very quickly at a place called Tinley Tee Tires.  Funny name, but good people.  He also recommended a place called Jimmy's RV Repair Service that will look at our levelers to see if he can help us with this problem.  We have NO idea what that is going to cost us.  
Sadly, we are exhausted and depressed with this trip.  Sometimes I wonder if having to replace the RV house batteries in Quartzsite was a warning to us that this trip was possibly ill-fated.  Jim is ready to give up and go back to California after our visit to Arrey.......if we can get both vehicles there!  As it is, we cannot tow the car, so I will have to drive, and Jim follow in the RV.  Once we get there, our dear friend Pastor Ric may be able to help us find the parts we need for the car.  Jim had to tape up the wires just so the car would be driveable, but we don't know how long that will work for us.  We will stay a full month in Arrey, and by then we should have figured out what to do next.  
We have already cancelled out grand trip to the Grand Canyon, complete with a ride on a vintage train from the RV Resort to the Grand Canyon South Rim, and the pet resort the dogs were going to stay in for that day.  If we decide to head back to California, we will again use I-10, so we also will miss our stop at Belen Harvey House, and Meteor Crater, but hopefully both will still be there next time we get out this way.  
Please KNOW I am not laying the whole decision on Jim of whether we continue or we head back to CA.  I just don't want to leave Arrey until we can tow the car again.  I do NOT want us traveling about 675 miles in separate vehicles.  I'm his navigator, and it's much harder if I'm not in the seat next to him.  
We are exhausted, both physically and emotionally, and we need some time to figure out what is best for us to do. 
Hopefully tomorrow we will have one problem solved, the levelers.  Then we can figure out how to resolve the issue with the electrical cable.  It has to be the receiver on the car, since we replaced the cable when we were up in Cottonwood last month.  We talked to Bob Livingston, at the Good Sam Super Show, and he recommends a cable that is secured with a very strong magnet, but we'll have to look online to find out more about that option.  If any of our RVing friends have any suggestions about the cable problem, we'd love to hear from you.  
Thank God we got here safely.  The lady who offered to drive us anywhere told us that her husband (a fireman/paramedic) recently saw the same thing happen to another RV towing a car, but the car caught fire and completely burned up!!!!  The guy barely got the car unhooked from the RV or he could have lost everything.  That really scared me because we never suspected that anything was wrong.  The RV towed the car without difficulty, and NOT a single driver that passed us signaled us that anything was wrong.  As I said, we feel VERY blessed to be here and alive after hearing about the other driver, and his car.   There is no doubt in our minds that our heavenly Father was watching over us.
That's all the news for now, so stay well and take care of the people you care about.  Hugs to all!!!      

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Benson, Arizona

Good morning one and all,

We left the Casa Grande Elks Lodge yesterday.  It was a very busy day, as we had to drive over Treckle Rd to a Chevron gas station, and then farther up that road to a campground where we could empty our tanks, before leaving Casa Grande to make our way here to Benson, AZ.  Before I close the page on our last stop, I wish to share more about our stay at the Elks lodge.  Some people say BPOE means the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, which of course it really does, but it also has another meaning.  That would be BEST PEOPLE ON EARTH.  We have stayed at probably 30-40 Elks lodges in the course of our travels.  Without exception, we have been treated like old friends returning, or better.  We are warmly greeted by members and officers alike.  At many lodges Jim has been giving the lodge's pin, which he proudly pins onto one of his caps.  Many lodges give us our first drink for free.  At a lodge in New Jersey, we were given a free dinner while we were there.  If we have needed help finding a place to get some kind of service, the members have gone out of their way to be helpful to us.  Elks truly are among the very Best People On Earth.  
Our stay at Casa Grande was no exception.
 This beautiful sign in the lodge was made by one of the members there.  Is that amazing, or what?

 This one of the very nice and cheerful bartenders at the lodge.  Her name is Teresa, and she is a really hard worker.  Like our home lodge, this one is open and busy everyday of the week.  They have all kinds of activities and fund raisers for their charities, and we were pleased to see that no matter how busy they were, they always had a smile for us each time we came in.  This is Jim with his new buddy, Mike. 
He sat by us whenever we came in, and he was always pleasant and glad to see us.  There were several ladies that I chatted with, but they didn't want their pictures taken for the blog. 
 This is a picture of Robert, I apologize for not getting his last name, but he is the Leading Knight of the lodge, and a very nice person.  After we were visited by the Exalted Ruler, who told us that they have lodge pins for sale, we decided that Jim would purchase one that day.  When Robert saw Teresa bring over the box of pins to show us, Robert came over and said he would like to buy Jim whichever pin he wanted!  In return, Jim made a donation to their Americanism fund.  We have had good experiences at all the Elks lodges we have visited, but this is one we will surely visit again, whenever we are in this area.  Our thanks and best wishes to ALL of the wonderful people we met in Casa Grande Elk Lodge 1957.

After the stops we made in the morning, we arrived here at Benson at Valley Vista RV Resort at 12:02pm, and got all set up by 1:45 pm.  It has been quite windy, so we didn't put out the awning or screen room.  We will only be here a week, so I doubt if we will put them out.  It was only 37 degrees outside when we woke up this morning..............brrrrrr.  I had been surprised yesterday to find out we have cable TV here in this park.  We had already set up the satellite dish for the TV in the living room.  The reception is great, and we like that it gets our TV programming from So. Cal......but it's also on Pacific Standard Time, so we have to stay up later to get the programs we like to watch.  With the TV in the bedroom hooked up to the local cable, we get shows on Arizona time, and they show the programs an hour earlier anyway, so that makes it two hours earlier than on the living room TV.  For example, on Monday nights we like to watch Scorpion, which is on CBS at 10 pm in So. Cal.  That means it starts at 11 pm on the living room TV, but it's broadcast here in Arizona at 9 pm!  That may not seems like any big deal, but yesterday we were very tired after our busy day, so we were happy to watch TV earlier (and in our comfy bed with the electric blanket on too!) and get to bed by 11 pm instead of well after 12:30 am.
We were extra tired because not only did we have to make the extra stops yesterday morning, but after we got set up and had lunch we went to WalMart for a few groceries before dinner time.  Also I stripped the sheets off the bed and put fresh, clean sheets on it.  After dinner we both got showers and that felt really good.  When one is dry camping, which means without access to fresh water or a place to dump the water you can't shower as often as you would like to.  Nuff said!

Later today I will get out and about to take some nice pictures to post of this beautiful, and historic little town, and this nice RV park.  We'll be here for a week, so we look forward to a nice relaxed time here, before we move on to New Mexico.

Just as the wonderful folks at the Casa Grande lodge welcomed us graciously, I encourage each of you to offer kindness and hospitality to the people you meet along your journey in life.  It costs you  nothing to say hello or smile at someone, and it just might help them through a difficult day.  Please remember, as I've said before, we never know what someone else may be struggling with today, but we can always be kind to others we meet.  We have all been put on this earth for a reason, and maybe the person you meet today is the person YOU were meant to help.  Every morning I wake up with gratitude that I wake up next to the most wonderful man I have ever met.  I thank God every morning  for the blessings He has given to us.  Then I ask Him what he wants of me today.  Most days, He tells me that He has everything under control and tells  me to have a great day!  And most days are great because of all He has given us.  By that I do not mean things money can buy.  We don't have a lot of money to buy stuff, but we really don't need much.  Living in a small space (this is after all, our "tiny house") means whenever we get something new.....something old has to go! Jim likes to say that every time I buy a new item, I throw out some piece of his clothing, but that's not really true either.  Hahaha!  However, to get back on topic, when I refer to all that God has given us I don't mean material things.  I mean He has given us reasonably good health for our ages, good friends and wonderful family members who love us, our beloved dogs that Matt rescued for us.  We have our tiny home, Marylou, named after my mom, because she wanted to travel with us.  We have been able to visit amazing places and meet so many delightful and interesting people along the way.  We have seen such awesome scenery along the way, because of the incredible artistry of our beloved Lord and Savior.  We are  very truly blessed and for all of our blessings we are incredibly grateful.  Please, dear ones, count your blessings everyday.  Don't dwell on what you don't have because God knows what you need, and He will provide it if you only ask it of Him.  Have a perfectly awesome day everyone!!!