Monday, July 24, 2017

News and Pictures

Our last post was almost two weeks ago, so I'll try to bring you up-to-date without this being tooooo long.  On July 12th Pastor Paul & Aiko came over to visit us at the Elks for lunch, and we had a wonderful visit.  As usual, I forgot to get a picture of them, but they both looked wonderful!  That night I went in the lodge for the Emblem club meeting, not much has changed in the eight years since I was there!  
On Thursday night Sherrie & Ron came over for dinner and another game of Mexican Train.........I still won, but it was a much closer game.

The same night we got this picture of a neat looking woodie that a guy drove to the lodge in.  He said he also had a tiny house log cabin too.  Would have loved to see that too, but we didn't.
On Friday we drove down to Wilderness Lakes, and were lucky to find a 50 amp site open for us!  It is next to one of the canals, so we have ducks and geese visiting us.
It's really cool to see them this close, but I learned NOT to feed them.  When you run out of food, they chase after you to try to get more.....right up to your door!  We have had a couple "issues" since we got here.  One day our entry door lockset broke again, and we had to use the front door until Greg could get here to get the main door open.  We had to go to Hemet for parts at Bob's Trailer Supply.  He apparently is now selling tiny houses.  
We didn't take the time to see if we could tour one, but of course we got a picture.
Here's a surprising fact.  Despite all the years we have been coming here, and shopping at the local Wal-Mart in Hemet, we didn't know that on the 3rd Saturday of each month they host an antique car show in the parking lot.  
That day we stopped to see the cars, so here are a few pix from it.

Jim said the last one, on the right is just about my size!  There were many more, but this is just a sampling of what we saw.
There were also some interesting sites here in the RV Park.  This boat above was down the row from us.  I loved the inflated swan on the back of the boat.  He also had a kayak on top of his truck.  Does he know something we don't?

 Our next door neighbors have this family of ants in front of their RV.  Cute.  Everyday they change the position of the ants, as if they have been moving around by themselves!

Our site isn't quite large enough to set out our screen room, but Jim did put up the EZ Up to shade the car, and that is very nice as it has been hot many days since we arrived.
These lovely birds have been in or near our site from time to time for our viewing pleasure.

Another day Jim got this shot

I can't begin to tell you how much we enjoy their visits.

On Thursday we went to Wal-Mart to pick up the chair I had ordered for Jim.  Little did I know it came UNASSEMBLED.  Lucky for us, Greg stopped by just as we were trying to put it together and gave us a much needed hand with it.

Guess who was the first one to check it out!
Once he got to use it later that night, Jim fell asleep in it.  I guess that means it was nice and comfortable.
Tony came on Friday, to visit and celebrate our birthdays this weekend.  It was a busy and delightful visit.  

First our dogs had to check Tony out.  Then Willie and Woody got together to chat.
 Here's Woody playing with Millie's squeeky toy.  She's not very good at sharing, but things went fairly well.

On Saturday we went to play Candy Bar Bingo.  Jim won two candy bars, and got one for it being his birthday.  I got my birthday candy bar.............but this is the first time EVER that I didn't WIN a single one!!!!  That night we invited Diane & Greg, and Almita & Rueben over for dinner, as well as Tony.  Diane brought delicious home made barbecued baked beans, and Almita brought potato salad.  Jim grilled hamburgers with all the fixins, and I had baked a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  We had four different kids of ice cream and toppings, so nobody went away hungry.  I had told everybody that we didn't want gifts, but nobody listened to me!  Tony, and my sister Judy (she lives in Minnesota) gave us a beautiful bouquet of 7 red roses, for the 7 decades we have lived.
  This picture also shows my new owl curtains, and the small lighthouse kitchen timer (on the left side) that Jim got me after my last one fell in the sink and died a watery death!
This picture show the lovely owl  earrings Almita & Rueben gave me, and of course they are blue, my favorite color!  I wore them to church on Sunday and got several compliments on them.
Jim was easy for Almita to shop for....he's a choco-holic, so she got him lots of chocolate candy and Oreo cookies, and he was delighted! 
Greg & Diane brought us a gift card to Kohl's so now I can look forward to spending that soon.  Thanks to all of you for your kindness and generosity.  
Last night I set up the coffee maker for this morning, but it had decided it would no longer work as a programmable maker.  With pushing a bunch of buttons, we were able to have coffee this morning, but since it was trying to quit on us, we decided we HAD to get a new one before it died on us.  We drove over to Wal-Mart and got a nice new Black & Decker coffeemaker.  It was not expensive, but it is programmable, and much easier to use than that blasted Cuisinart one was.  It's also easier to read the time and settings on this one.  YAY!!!!!  Tomorrow we'll know if it was a good purchase.  Coming back into the park I took a scenic drive around the west side of the park, since we had not had a chance to do this yet. 
We saw this on the back of a truck but we aren't sure just what it is.  If any of you know, please share the information with us because we are curious.
These are the two sides of a custom painted RV we saw today.  Isn't that an amazing paint job? 
I thought this was just too cute not to take a photo of.  They've even brought along plants outside, and have that cute striped awning over the window.  We couldn't live in anything that small, but I do love seeing these tiny vintage trailers when they are here where we are. 
We asked this man if we could take a picture for our blog.  He was delighted, and closed the door so we could get both views.  He said it is a 1962 Woodpecker Woodie.  He told us there were only 17 made, and now there are only 7 left today.  His wife hunted for years to find this, and just finished restoring it herself!  That's what I just love about our life style.  You just never know what great things you will see or the interesting people you will meet along this wonderful journey that is life.  
Yesterday Pastor Bob gave a very interesting sermon on the promises in Revelations, and it was a wonderful message.  If you haven't read it yet, or lately, it is a very good read.  I am always glad to be reminded that the end of times will come when we least expect it.  It makes me stop to think about what I am doing with my life.  Are we doing all we can to make this a better place for the people around us?  Are we taking advantage of all the blessings God has given us to enjoy now?  Or are we feeling sorry for ourselves for what we don't have (and really don't need anyway)?  Bob reassured us that the end is most likely, not coming in our life time because the signs that are explained in the Bible have not happened yet, but it is clear that it will be soon.  What are you doing to get ready for the end of times and the rapture?  If you don't know what the signs are, maybe it's time for you to go back and read about it in your Bible.  
Last, but not least, I took a picture today of Greg & Diane's travel trailer.  This is where they live full time.  They spend 3 weeks here, then have to go out for a week.  They have a nice RV Park in Hemet that they stay in on their week out of here.  Poor Greg cut his hand last week cutting vinyl flooring, and he should have gone to a doctor to have it sutured up, but he didn't.  I have been bandaging it for him and making sure he keeps it clean so it won't get infected.  Surprising enough, it is healing pretty well, but he will have a doozie of a scar there.  I wonder what kind of story he will tell later about that!
That's all for today, so take care, stay well, and love one another.  Be kinder than you think you need to be.  Everybody has their own burdens they are living with.  Please don't add to someone's burdens by  being unkind to them.  Enjoy this day and all the ones ahead. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

We're At the Garden Grove Elks Lodge

As you know, we left Wilderness Lakes last Friday, and we have been here at the Elks since then.  On Friday Sherrie & Ron came over and we had a grand time with them.  We were having so much fun together that I forgot to get a picture of them.  After a great dinner, we played Mexican Train, and I won!  Later we had a dessert of banana ice cream pie that everyone enjoyed.  I assumed I would get a chance to take their picture on Saturday inside the Elks, but Sherrie went to a birthday party that day, and that night she had an upset tummy, so they didn't come to dinner at the lodge.  

Saturday my dear friend Joan and her husband Jim came over for lunch with us.  It was so great to see them again. I was sorry they had to rush off, but they have much to get done before their grand children from Holland arrive tomorrow.
This is the painting that represents the current Exalted Ruler of the Garden Grove Lodge, Mark Mahoney.  Every year a member, Bill Catlin, paints a wall size painting for the theme of the year.

 The painting also represents this car, which belongs to Mark Mahoney and his wife.  We saw it out in front of the lodge on Saturday morning.  It sure is a beauty!
 I debated if I should say what I think about the lodge and dinner, but I have decided that I should.  It saddens me to see how much the lodge has gone down hill over the last several years.   Of course they have to make enough money to cover expenses and raise money for the charities they support.  However, it seems to me that they are making a serious mistake in how they go about trying to do that.  Yes, the cost of food does go up, but many of the lodge members are senior citizens on a fixed income, so they cannot afford to pay higher prices for their dinners.  Instead, many have to stop coming here for the lodge loses the money they would have spent.......and then raise prices higher.  Instead, they should look at ways to keep the dinners affordable so the members will come back.  Many older people eat smaller portions, so they could use smaller servings of meats and side dishes.  They could offer one or two specials that are less than $10.00 per serving for those who can't afford the more pricey meals.  They could even offer home style meals that two to four people could share at the table.  I also think it is important that the service offered should be of top quality.  We were very disappointed Saturday night with our server, who didn't get our simple order right!  We both asked for our steaks WITHOUT mushrooms, but got them anyway.  We both asked for our steaks to be well done.  Mine was medium and Jim's was still alive!  He had to send it back twice before he got it done enough to eat...............and then it was burned black on the outside and still some was red inside.  This does not encourage people to come back again.  Good food, at good prices with good service will improve their business.  We were also disappointed with the DJ  who played "all requests" night.  I find it hard to believe anyone requested The Blue Danube Waltz that night!  He did a few songs we could dance to and then played several more that we couldn't believe anyone actually asked for.  
The DJ had these guys in front of his stand.  Maybe they would have done a better job of entertaining everyone.
We expected to stay in and dance until closing, but instead we were back in the RV by 8pm.  That means that the lodge lost the money we would have spent on drinks if we had stayed to dance.

I read in the monthly newsletter that the price of their Pizza Sunday pizza has been raised from $10.00 to $15.00 as of this month.  I'm sure that is because so many people who come down that day do NOT buy pizza anymore.  However, I have been told that this is because the quality of the pizza has deteriorated badly.  It is true that they have not raised the price of the pizza in several years, and people would probably not complain about this price increase IF the quality of the pizza had not gone south.  The tradition of Pizza Sunday once a month at the Elks has been going on for many years, and it used to be enjoyed, and supported, by hundreds of members and guests every month.  It would be a shame to see that tradition come to an end because of poor quality pizza!  I truly wish someone could show the people who are making these unfortunate decisions the error of their ways before it is too late to save this once great lodge.
Our lodge is a beautiful lodge with a wonderful grassy park out back where many wonderful events have been held each year.  

Sunday morning I was excited to go to our beloved church, and see so many loved ones there.  Sadly, Aiko was not feeling well so she had stayed home.  We are hoping she and Pastor Paul will be able to come see us before we have to leave here on Friday.  Pastor Paul gave a wonderful sermon on the topic of how to deal with criticism.  He reminded us that we are not alone in being criticized since even Jesus was criticized and called a blasphemer for saying that He is the son of God.  Paul made a humorous joke paraphrasing a Jewish story that said "if you are called a donkey once, dismiss it, but if you are called a donkey again, maybe it's time to buy a saddle".   He told us that since we are children of the Living God, people may criticize what we wear or the car we drive or many other things, but we must not let them criticize who we are.  That message was very important to me.  My son has been very critical of me, and of Jim, because he has become vegan and thinks everyone should stop eating any animal products and stop wearing animal materials like leather.  He is very adamant about his beliefs, and he has turned away from everything we believe in.  This has been very painful and upsetting to me.  He won't listen to anything I have to say because he KNOWS what is true and what is not.  He rejects the Bible calling it a book of fairy tales with no proof of anything in it.  I am deeply distressed by his refusal to accept the absolute truth of the Bible, but nothing I can say gets through to him.  So I pray, several times each day, that Jesus will show him the way.  I have absolute faith in Jesus, but I also know that my son is very stubborn.  So I also pray that before it is too late, my son will hit rock bottom, so he will have no where else to go but to God.  I respect his right to be a vegan, and I even respect his right to suggest his beliefs to others, but I can't respect the way he treats people who don't share his beliefs.  And I can only pray that he will find his way back to Jesus before it is too late.   
As for me, I don't believe in criticizing others, because only God can judge any of us.  None of us knows what burdens others may be dealing with.  We can't know other people's pain.  We all make mistakes, and God always forgives us if we ask Him to.  The way I see it is, if God can forgive all of us for our sins, who am I to be a harsher critic?  If I see someone who is having a hard time, instead of criticizing him, I would like to think I would extend a helping hand to that person.  God never promised us this life would be easy....but He DID promise to be here for us.  Life might be a little easier for everyone if we tried to help others, instead of criticize and hurt them.  So I'd like to suggest that for at least a week try something new.  Wake up with a grateful heart.  Start each day by thanking God for this day, and asking Him into your daily life.  Maybe you could even ask God how you might help someone else today.  I read something on my Mozilla Firefox page today that I never noticed before.  I don't know who said it, but it made me smile, so now I will pass it along to the rest of you.  It said "Watching the sunrise outdoors statistically increases your odds of having a good day.  And needing a nap after lunch."   I hope that made you smile too.  And by the way, Jim is napping in his chair as I write this.  Have a great day, and if it has been a good one, thank God for it.  We have been reading the Bible daily, and that is a wonderful way to start each day. 

Sunday afternoon Fred and Marla came over to visit and  we had dinner together.  She is the marvelous artist who painted this wonderful lighthouse painting that hangs in our bedroom.

 She also painted this wonderful Elk painting that hangs in the East Room of the lodge.

Well I guess I have rambled on for long enough today, so I will say Good bye for now.  Again, wishing you an abundance of blessings.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Happy Birthday America

Hello Everyone,

I hope all of you had a wonderful July 4th.  It was mostly quiet and calm here in Wilderness Lakes...............until it got dark!  The locals all around the area were setting off fireworks from Saturday night through Tuesday night.  It didn't matter to Millie, but poor Willie tried to hide under the bed all night.  Last night was the first time since Friday that he slept in his own bed.  If any of you have a dog who gets anxious about fireworks, or thunder, or loud noises, I would suggest getting your dog a "Thunder shirt."  It really helps Willie at times like this.  He would have been much more upset without the shirt.  Before we got it, he would shake all over and we couldn't get him outside to "take care of business" on a night like that.  You can get the Thunder shirt at PetCo or PetSmart if you need one.
If you remember my last post, I opened with a picture of my brother Tony with long hair.  Last night he sent me a new picture after his girl friend gave him a haircut.  Can you believe this is the same person?????   I guess the heat here in southern California finally got to him.

I also gave Millie a haircut this week because of the heat.  She looks sooooo cute!
After cutting her hair, I decided that I needed my hair cut too.  I made an appointment at Great Clips for that day.  I have often gone there for hair cuts before, but this time the girl really scalped me.  The good news is that it WILL grow back.  LOL.  

Now I will post some pictures we took here in the park.
I love the illuminated flamingo in front of another RV.  On the right is a picture of the colorful decorations outside Diane & Steve's home. 
  Here is a picture of Almita & Rueben's RV.  They had to leave on Tuesday, so they came over for lunch on Monday.  We had a great visit together.
We thought this tiny little trailer is just soooo cute!  It has a TV antenna that must telescope up because it was about 20 feet high.  Even I would not be able to stand up in this RV. 
  Above, on the right is our RV sitting in our nice site.  And, of course, the ducks and geese are still here visiting the RV sites. 
  We were amused because this RVer brought his own inflatable palm tree to the Park.

This patriotic bear and the golf cart were at the same site.  Many people go all out to decorate their RVs and their sites for holidays.  It makes it very festive and nice here.

 Willie looks funny wearing one of Jim's baseball cap, but he's a good sport about whatever Jim does.

Jim took a picture of the birds walking across the street right next to our site.  There were at least twenty of them, parents and babies, crossing from the grassy park out back and heading down to the canals. 
Tomorrow we're going down to the Garden Grove Elks for a week.  I am really excited about having a week there.  Our friends Sherrie and Ron will be coming over tomorrow night.  They are bringing steaks to grill and we will provide French fries, corn on the cob, salad and dessert.  We're looking forward to playing Mexican Train with them too!  Saturday night we're going into the lodge for dinner and dancing to the music of DJ Tom Potts.  
Sunday we will go to our home church, with Pastor Paul and his wonderful wife Aiko, and all of our church friends and family.  During the week we also hope to spend some time with Joan and her husband Jim, who came to see us in Arrey.  It will be great to see Cindy Wight again, and on Wednesday night I'm going to actually attend an Emblem meeting for the first time in over eight years!  It will be great to see all the ladies I have not seen in all this time.

This year has been difficult at times, but it's still been full of amazing people and events.  A friend of mine said she couldn't believe that I have found ways to stay positive after all the things that have happened.  I don't understand why we would NOT find the positive in whatever happens.  As I have always said, God watches over us.  He shows us the way, and for that we are always grateful.  We originally were going to stay up at Silent Valley, and only go to Garden Grove for three days.  Since we had to leave there and come to Wilderness Lakes, and we have been here over a week, we now must be away for at least seven days.  We considered going to Mountain Lakes for a few days, but then we decided it would make more sense to just stay at the Lodge for the whole week.  That gives us more time to see our friends and loved ones instead of rushing off, after just a few days.  

I think I have already told all of you that in Arrey we learned to relax and enjoy the moment.  We are trying not to lose track of that feeling.  Yes, there are times when we must keep to a schedule, like for doctor's appointments, etc. but I think it's important not to let all of our time be scheduled, and "spoken for".   Leave some time open for unexpected pleasures.  Those are some of the gifts God gives us.  

It's time to close for today, and wish you all a wonderful weekend.  Make the most of each day, and be grateful always for every gift and blessing.  Until next time, keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down, and stay well, and enjoy the moment.