Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hot, Hot, Hot

Hi Everybody,
We are back at Wilderness Lakes for our 21 day stay, and boy is it hot here!  On Sunday we got up at 6 am so we could get down here before it got TOO hot.  It didn't work.  We got away from Silent Valley by 8 am, but by the time we got down the hill to Banning, it was already 86 degrees outside.  We stopped for gas in Hemet, and it was already up to 90 degrees.  We had a little problem after we left the gas station.  Neither of us noticed that when we hooked up the tow bar part on the car, we didn't put on the padlocks that keep the bar in place.  As we left the gas station there was a "drop down" to the street that was apparently just enough to let the bar bounce up and off the holder.  About 1/4 mile down the road I happened to look in the side mirror, and I saw OUR CAR trying to pass us on the right side!  We stopped immediately and put on the 4 way flashers, and got out to find the bar and blue security cables dragging on the road.  We will have to replace the cables before we can tow again.  We had to unhook the car and proceed to the campground.  One "arm" of the tow bar (the part attached to the back of the RV) was bent a little so Jim couldn't get it to retract all the way.  Once we got set up he used a silicon spray on it and got it to retract, but we are not yet sure if it will be usable or if we will need to replace it.  YIKES!

Anyway, after all that we didn't get to the campground until about 10:30 am.  We drove around and finally found a nice, big, 50 amp site here in the very back of the park.  I had hoped to be over closer to the adult swimming pool, but we are just grateful to have a 50 amp site, so we can run both A/C units when we need to.  

By the time we got leveled, hooked up electric and water, and put the awning out, it was up to 100 degrees......and by mid-afternoon it was up another 9 degrees!  We walked the dogs and set up what needed to be done inside and were ready to relax by about 12:30 pm.  

We waited until after dark, when it cooled down to about 96 to put out the outside rug, chairs, and the extended shade below the awning.  Then we finally took the check-in card to the ranger station.  

The dogs do like it here, but they both made it clear that this heat was not a good thing.  Still we are more fortunate than many because we do have working A/C.  There are thousands of people in LA county without electricity because of outages that are lasting for days.  They are trying desperately to find ways to stay cool.  

Please folks, let me remind you again of the need to drink lots of water, and stay out of the sun as much as you can.  Do NOT, under any circumstances, leave children, pets or elderly family members in a closed up car, even for a few minutes, as the heat can build up very, very quickly to dangerous levels.  If you have elderly neighbors, please check on them to make sure they are all right too.  I would also suggest eating water-rich foods like fresh veggies and fruit to help keep you well hydrated.  Avoid heating up your home by eating cooler foods, such as salads.  You also might need a little extra salt in your diet to help prevent excessive  fluid loss from perspiration.  That reminds me of a cute thing my grandmother used to say.  She never liked to hear us say we were sweaty.  Instead, she would say "Horses sweat, men perspire, and ladies glisten."  Anyway, try to stay cool, don't overdo on exercise in this heat, and try not to glisten too much.

We are also praying for all the people in Texas and now Louisiana dealing with the flooding and losses from "Harvey".  Here in southern California the people freak out over 1/2 " of rain, and now we hear that Houston has gotten 52" of rain!  I can't even imagine what that is like.  Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones in this disaster, including a 34 year old police officer who drowned trying to get out there to work and rescue others. It's all very heart wrenching to watch on the news.

Now for a change of pace a bit with some recent pictures.
 Willie is a bit large for a lap dog, but he doesn't think he is.
Sometimes Millie can't decide if she wants to be on the foot rest or on the chair............or maybe both!

 Some days she disappears, and it turns out she is hiding, maybe from playful Willie, up on the top of the bed.  I'm sorry if some of you aren't dog lovers, but I just think these two are awfully cute!

This shows our set up, with the extended shade from the awning down beyond the picnic table, and the EZ Up that we use to keep the car a little cooler.  The advantage of hanging anything, such as the nylon chili peppers off the side of the awning is that it helps discourage people from walking into the arm of the awning.  We've seen others who put a large label on the awning arm which reads "HIT HEAD HERE", but we hope folks won't do that.  To compliment the nylon peppers, 

I made a wreath wrapped with red, green and yellow ribbons, and entwined my string of ten chili pepper lights around it.  I thought it looked really cute, until we smelled an awful smell of something burning last was the ribbons against the lights.  They didn't seem that warm, but once we unplugged them and waited awhile, the smell went away.  Good thing we aren't like some campers who leave their outdoor lights on all night!
 Even though we can't imagine living in such a tiny camper, I still think they are really cute!
This is NOT the same woody we saw last month when we were here.  This one also has an outside shower, inside the small blue tent on the left in the picture.  And if you look closely, you can see the flamingo in front of it.  So cute.  The folks with all the purple decor outside are also back and located down the row from us.  I still can't get over the purple refrigerator!  We have yet to see the people who live in that one, but I hold out hope of meeting them someday when they are outside.  I'd love to ask if they have the inside decorated in purple too.  As I said before, I get such a kick out of seeing how much they enjoy using their favorite color.

Our friends Diane and Steve are here too.  I had fully expected that they would have headed north to get away from all of this heat, so it was quite a surprise when we spotted their RV farther forward in our row.  They only need 30 amp, and found a nice site under the shade of a large tree, so they care able to keep fairly cool too.

Yesterday we were inside the RV reading, when our neighbor knocked on the door to tell us that the door of our outside refrigerator was open.  Jim went out to check on foods and closed it.  Almost immediately after that our neighbor from behind us came over to say we had a leak in our water hose.  It actually was not a simple leak; the hose had split wide open and water was pouring out!  Jim turned off the water and removed the damaged hose.  We think the excessive heat made it crack since it was no more than one year old.  In February, at the RV show in Avondale, AZ we bought one of the new G-coil hoses that we heard was supposed to be really great.  It sprung a leak within about a month!  So much for that hose.  Alas, we will pick up a new hose when we go out to Wal-Mart tomorrow.  For now, we are just using water from our fresh water tank.  It's good to do that from time to time, so you can replace the water in the tank. 

I also want to report that we were not completely satisfied with the product called Tank Tech for cleaning out our holding tanks.  Now we are trying a "drop-in" product from Thetford that our friend Jim, up at Silent Valley, thinks is quite good at keeping down odors.  We'll let you campers know what we think after a while.

Well I think that's all I have to share today, except to say that we are, as always, grateful for the love of friends and family and the many blessings God has given us each and every day.  We wake up with grateful hearts, and try to enjoy all that He has given us each day.  Happy trails, and drive carefully.  Stay cool and calm.  Last night there was a terrible story on the news of a case of "road rage" in LA that resulted in one person shot and another person stabbed.  It makes us very sad when people resort to such unnecessary violence over traffic problems.  Remember to give others a little more space and consideration.  Try to remember that we have no way to know what problems that other person may be trying to cope with today.  Have a blessed day one and all.   

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Procrastinators Beware, It's Later than You Think

This had started out as a good week, but yesterday something happened that made me stop to think about all the things we put off, thinking we'll take care of them later.  
How often have you said "Some day I'll lose weight and exercise so I will be healthier."?  Many of us say that when we are not so busy we'll call someone we have meant to speak to.  Maybe we had a disagreement and always figured some day we should talk this over and make it right again.   Some of us say "when I save up the money I'll take that trip to Alaska" or wherever it is that we always wanted to go.  We always assume that we'll have time to get it done, or see that place, or whatever it is we are putting off.  The trouble is, for each of us, our days ARE numbered, and WE don't know what that number is.  So we keep doing what we are doing, and put off what we SHOULD be doing.  

Is there a family member you have been feuding with so long you can hardly remember why you stopped talking to them?  

Is there someone you promised you would do something for, but just haven't gotten around to it yet?   

Is there someone who means the world to you, but you have NOT taken the time to tell him or her how VERY much you love them?  

Did you tell someone you would do something for them, or take them some place, but you've been too busy, or too self-absorbed, to even think about it recently?

There are no guarantees on tomorrow folks.  Life is precious, and the people we love are precious, but they may not be here tomorrow, so if you want to tell them something, or do something, or go someplace with them......THINK ABOUT DOING IT NOW.

Yesterday we were awakened by a call from my youngest brother Jeffrey.  He called to tell me that his wife, Patty, the love of his life, the center of his world had suffered a massive heart attack and died last week.  His pain was so real, so palpable it took my breath away.  I couldn't believe that this incredibly generous, kind person could be dead at the young age of only 59.  September 2nd would have been their 39th anniversary.  There were many things they had hoped to do together that will never happen now.  His sons are bereft at the loss of their mother.  

Please folks, don't let loved ones slip away from you with things left unspoken.  Don't be too busy to do the things that should be done.  And don't pass up the opportunities  that life presents to you to share your adventures with the ones you love.  Don't put off mending fences, or sharing life's lessons.  Don't wait for the other person to admit he or she was wrong.  Realize NOW that it really doesn't matter who was wrong, just that you want to make the most of each day you have, and the loved ones around you.  I'm sorry if this offends anyone, but better to be offended now than spend the rest of your days regretting what you did NOT do.

I send my love to all of you, and wish you many wonderful days and years ahead with those you love.  Treasure them and enjoy all that God has given you.  

Bye for now.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Another Day, Another Lesson Learned

This has NOT been a great day today.  It started out as good as it usually does, then my computer, my brand new in February, Dell Windows 10 computer CRASHED!  I got a message that locked up my computer, saying that multiple viruses and/or infected files had required it to stop working, or else my files, bank accounts, etc would be left vulnerable to hackers.  It offered a toll-free number that it said I should call at once to prevent further compromise of my data.  I called and it was the Microsoft IT Support people.  After going through a lot of information, Neil told me how to give them access to my computer to check for problems.  To make a very long story short-ER, he told me that the antivirus program that the folks at Staples in Sedona, AZ installed for a significant cost, was NOT compatible with Windows 10...which this computer has.  He found almost 3000 infected files and viruses, dating back to when I first got this computer.  They would remove all that for free, but said they would recommend that I install, or have them install a protection plan that is compatible with Windows 10.  I, of course, asked them what they would suggest I should have.  They advised I get the Microsoft protection plan.  It would cost me $149.99 for one year, or $199.99 for three years, or $239.99 for five years.  I really did NOT want to spend that much, however, I also didn't want to go through this again in a year.  The extra good news is that for the price, they also cover both of our computers, and both of our tablets.......................and if we get new Smart phones (not too likely, but still good to know) they will cover up to 10 devices on this same coverage.  It took over 3 hours to scan everything, and remove all the crap on my computer, and set up all the protection it now has.  Once a month, I call them and give them my customer ID number, and they will scan everything, and if anything IS wrong, fix it on the spot.  That's what I call peace of mind for me!  And it's for a full five years.  WOW.  They also fixed a couple little problems that were making my computer life less than perfect.  It's easy to be suspicious,as Jim was, about things like this.  I tried to call my computer guy in Orange County to advise me before I called the support guy, but I couldn't reach him.  I really didn't dare leave my computer unprotected either, so I took a leap of faith and got it taken care of.  Of course I could have been taken advantage of, but my computer is working great now.  I had complained to Jim for the last couple weeks that it seemed slower than molasses in January, and now it it humming along beautifully.   

Two days ago we got our monthly mail sent to us from Arrey.  I don't know if I have told you before, but a man in our home church mails us copies of Pastor Paul's sermons each month.  It is wonderful to read his thoughts, and sometimes it is amusing too.  I would like to share some humor we got this week from Pastor Paul.
"I don't do windows, because I love birds, and don't want one to run into a clean one and get hurt.
I don't wax floors, because I am afraid a guest will slip and get hurt, then I'll feel terrible, plus they might sue me.
I don't disturb cobwebs, because I want every creature to have a home of its own.
I don't do spring cleaning, because I love all seasons and don't want the others to get jealous.
I don't put things away, because my husband will never be able to find them again.  
I don't do gourmet meals when we entertain, because I don't want my guests to stress out over what to make when they invite us over for dinner at their place.
I don't iron, because I choose to believe them when they say Permanent Press.
Finally, I don't pull weeds in the garden, because I don't want to get into God's way."  
He went on with a parable that Jesus told his disciples about "the one who sowed the good seeds was the Son of Man and the weeds are the sons of the evil one."  The harvesters are angels who will throw everything that causes sin and all who do evil into the fiery furnace.  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  Pastor Paul went on to quote Paul who said in Romans 3:23 "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  Pastor Paul went on to say that God is our Savior.  "God has no desire to destroy us.  God is our Savior.  He offers us forgiveness and the opportunity to start over.  God's only desire is to free us from the mess we've made of our lives."  I won't copy his whole sermon for you here, but I think the message offers us great hope.  Remember, our heavenly Father does NOT lie, and He has promised us eternity in heaven.  That can take away any pain life here on earth can throw at me, any day of the week.   

Have a great weekend, and praise God for all He has given us now and for the future.  Life IS good, and the next life will be so much better.  Happy Trails everyone.  :o) 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Another Day, Another Toy

This will be brief, but I wanted to add some updates to what I posted yesterday.  
First is the picture I promised I would try to take.  It's not perfect, but better than what I posted before.
Today we had to go down the hill to send out some mail, and to get a few things at Wal-Mart.  I was looking at the "As Seen on TV" section of the store, and you'll never guess what I found.  If any of you watch some of the Informercials on TV with Cathy Mitchell, you would have seen her Red Copper 5 Minute Chef.  It has intrigued me since I saw it, so today we bought one.  

I had a roll of refrigerated pizza dough, so for lunch today we made a pepperoni pizza in the 5 Minute Chef.  It turned out VERY well!  Later we tried the Stuffed Lava Cake.  We did a yellow cake and stuffed it with half of a Three Musketeers bar.  We put some whipped cream on top.  Jim lifted the cake out of the pan onto a paper plate.  The directions didn't say if you should let it cool in the pan first, which we did not do, so maybe that's why it stuck to the paper plate.  The cake was done, and tasted OK, but we will have to experiment with that recipe some more.  Tomorrow, omelets for breakfast!  And maybe another try at making a cake.......maybe with miniature peanut butter cups in it.  I will let you know in a few days how we are doing with it.  The question will be do we need a second one since it only does a single serving at a time.  On the other hand, it only takes about 5 minutes, so it isn't a long wait for the second serving.  

Bye for now.  Remember to begin each day with gratitude.  Today we were grateful that the holding tanks were still "holding".  Seriously, God is awesome, and His mercies are unlimited, so enjoy each day secure in the knowledge that God loves you and sent this day just for you.  :o)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Silent Valley is Beautiful this Time of Year

As we had planned, we began packing up on Thursday, and came up here on Friday.  This first picture is what our bed looks like when everything is on it for travel.  Yikes!
Here are the furry kids, seat belted for safe travel to our next location.  They settle in and travel very nicely.
 I tried to make sure Jim didn't do too much, but he still was pretty tired by the time we found a site and got all set up.  The sites we like best were not available, as usual, so we ended up taking the site right next to where we were last month.  Not a bad site, just pretty far from everything!  That can be good or bad sometimes. 
We have an interesting unit parked next to us.  The wife is a glass artist and they live up in Idyllwild.  She also hand paints silk scarves that she sells, starting at $90 each!  I have never had a knack for wearing a scarf, and I can't afford that kind of money for something that will look like I'm trying to hide under it, so of course I did not buy one.  They left a few days ago and so far their site is still empty, but this is Friday, and campers are arriving for the weekend.
On our left side, in the site we had last month is another interesting rig.
We know from seeing RVs like this at shows, that the back slide has the head of the bed in it.  Usually that means there is no room to walk around up there, and that makes it hard to make or change the bed.  This guy arrived and stayed a few hours, then left on Saturday.  I don't know how long his RV has been here, but he's been gone all week.  The park rules now allow a rig to be left, unoccupied, for up to 30 days on a site.  We don't like that rule, but that's how it is.  Anyway, he told Jim he is having a screen room put on, so we expect he'll be back this weekend for that to be done.  

Monday, and again Tuesday we had to drive over to the VA Hospital in Loma Linda.  Jim had X-rays and lab work and saw a Nurse Practitioner on Monday, and had a repeat CT scan on Tuesday.  We got a call from the doctor yesterday, and the earliest he could be scheduled for his surgery will be September 15th, so we are asking for prayers that he doesn't experience any really bad pain before they can get him in to pulverize the stone so he can pass it.  Thanks all.

A few days ago we got around to putting up our new awning lights.  I wish we could have gotten more of these cute chili pepper lights, but they only had the one string of them at Richardson's, so we added the blue rope lights to "go the distance".

I took this shot using the flash so the lights didn't show up as well as I had hoped.  Then I tried again, using the night landscape 
setting, but it's still not a great shot.  

I'm going to try again tonight with the porch light on and see if that will give me a better picture.  Anyway, you can get an idea of how it looks. 

Our patio side gets too much sun to sit out there in the morning, but once it cools down in the early evening it is very pleasant to sit out there.  Most days we get a delightful breeze and we really enjoy being out there.  Millie loves to be outside, but Willie thinks he must be on guard duty so he never really relaxes outdoors.  

 Today I took Millie in the shower with me.  I used to try to bathe her in the kitchen sink, but that doesn't work too well.  It is much easier in the shower, but after she is all dried off, this is how she she has been tortured.  She really doesn't seem to mind while she's in there, and it's funny when Willie sticks his nose in through the curtain to see what I'm doing to her!  

I tried to call Bennett RV Repair yesterday, as there are a couple things I wanted him to take care of...........but he has moved to Lake Havasu, Arizona.  We are sorry to see him leave, but it was what he wanted to do.  I can't imagine living in a place as hot as Arizona.  Oh well.

Yesterday we sent in our registration form and check for the FMCA International Rally that will be held in Tucson, AZ next February.  They are offering a limited number  FULL hookup sites, and we wanted to make sure we got one of them.  Someone asked me how we can plan that far in advance for an event like this.  In the first place, we have faith in God that we will still be here, and be well next year, and if we aren't, that money won't matter anyway.  In the second place, it is taking place from February 5--9th, and that's right after we will be in Quartzsite and before we head east to go to Arrey for a few months.  In the third and final place, the reason we RV is so we CAN go to events like we are going!
God watches over us, and we know He loves us.  Even when things don't happen the way we had planned, we know things will happen according to His plan, so it will always be good.  We trust our Heavenly Father in all of His infinite wisdom, and then enjoy whatever He sends our way.  As I've said before, Life is a Journey and we intend to enjoy each day of it.  I hope you will too.  

A friend of ours wrote recently to ask us a few questions about RVing.  He is thinking about getting an RV to place in a park not far from his home.  That is a great way to begin, but I hope maybe he might consider a rental unit at first.  That way, he can see what features he likes, and what ones he may not need before he buys one.  I also told him that once he buys one and puts it in an RV park, he just might get the itch to travel a little in it.  People in RV parks and campgrounds are usually very friendly and helpful, especially to first timers.  Once you get settled in, take a walk around and meet your neighbors.  They all have stories they love to share.  Some stories will amuse you when you hear about the mistakes they have made.  Some have lessons you can learn from.  Others may inspire you to travel and see some of the wonderful places of beauty and grandeur only God could create.  And just maybe, we will meet up at a campground somewhere and swap stories with you too.  If we can help you in any way, don't hesitate to write or call us for advice or information.  If any of you readers are thinking about dipping your toes in the water of RV adventures, I hope you won't waste any more time and will begin your adventure soon.  Happy trails to you, and keep the rubber side down, as Walt Wille likes to say.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Another Day, Another Adventure

Hello everyone,
I hope things have been going well for all of you this week.  My friend Gail sent me her blog last week, with a quote I would like to share with all of you.  It said "I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."  I liked that because there ARE many places we would still like to see.  For us, they are here in America.  I don't doubt there are many wonderful places to see in other countries, but we just want to see America FIRST.  Another friend of ours, who is also a full time RVer, has a sticker on the back of his motorhome that says "Not all who wander are lost."  That amuses us.  Sometimes, as we wander, we are lost, but as long as we have gas in the RV, we can wander without worrying about where we are.  We feel it is important to remember that it's NOT only about the destination, it's also about the journey.  So even if you get lost along the way, or have to take a detour, look for the adventure in it.

The week before our birthday party, our RV house door lock broke yet again.  With MUCH effort Greg got the door to open, and we used a bungee cord to hold it closed until we could replace it.  Oh joy!  

This past Wednesday Greg began ripping out most of our carpet.  OMG, I couldn't believe how dirty the floor was under it.  We had selected a vinyl plank flooring that looks like oak, but is much lighter in weight.  We only have carpet in the dining room, in front of the couch, and in the bedroom.  It was a lot of work for him, and a lot of misery for me, to get the new floor installed!  But the job is finally done and we are delighted with the results. 

This is a look at the entryway.  You can see the nice silver edging that he finished it off with.  The next picture shows the flooring and the beautiful area rug we ordered for the area where Jim sits in his recliner chair.  The wood edging in the living room, kitchen and hallway Jim did the golden oak stain on, and it turned out great!  The area rug has sea shells, anchors, sailboats and lighthouses on it, and we just love it.  Millie still loves Jim's recliner chair!  And Willie likes the small striped rug in front of the couch.

 This last picture shows the nice job Greg did putting the flooring in the bathroom.  It also shows the hall runner we bought, which also matches the small rug we put under the dog food dishes.  The upgrades are finished, and the mess has been cleaned up, and we are very happy with the end result! 
 It's been a very long time since we stayed in a site along the canals here, and I am really enjoying seeing the ducks, geese, and egrets that visit us most days.

I took the picture on the right because it amused me! 

 Yesterday we went to Kohl's, and we saw these two suits.  I just had to take pictures.  Each had a jacket, pants AND tie to match.  I just couldn't decide who I should buy one for.  OMG.  Anybody want to wear flamingos from head to toe?  LOL.

Today we went to WalMart to pick up something and I had another "must take" this picture moment.  I asked permission to take this one since I couldn't get it without him seeing me take it.  As I said, each day is an adventure.

Now I know everybody's taste is different, but here are a few pix of a motorhome down the row from us.  I do like the color purple, but not quite THIS much.
Even their outdoor refrigerator is purple!  I really enjoyed seeing how much they enjoy this color.  They had two dining canopies with purple table cloths and seat covers.  WOW.  Is this amazing or what?  

Today was also a special day because we had some close up visitors around noon. 
It's amazing how trusting the birds are around here. But I'm sure they would take off really fast if you tried to approach them, unless you had food to offer them.  It's so neat to sit quietly and watch the birds swim and walk around the canals.  

Mostly for us, life is good.  There has been one bump in the road this past week.  Early Friday morning Jim woke up with terrible pain.  To make a long story short, he has a nasty kidney stone, that he has not been able to pass.  On Saturday I took him to the nearby ER where they diagnosed it by a CT scan, gave him pain medication, and told him to follow up with his doctor.  So far, his doctor has not gotten back to us, and he is still dealing with pain.  Hopefully this will be resolved before I write again.  We are hoping to go up to Silent Valley on Friday, but that will depend on how he feels.  That's all for now, and I will keep you informed when there is any news.