Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas is Almost Here

Hi Everyone,  I'm sorry I haven't written in quite some time.  We have been beyond busy since we got back to Wilderness Lakes.  First I will post a few pictures from Palm Springs, and then try to catch up on everything else.
These two pictures are of the neighbor's camper and his dog Freddie.

 We thought this was really cute, and we noticed that they are now just down the road from us here at Wilderness Lakes.
 I took this so you can see just how crowded this park is with palm trees.  It makes parking a large RV pretty difficult.

I wasn't thrilled that Jim took this picture.  He said that despite my sore toe, which it turns out is broken, I still had to go shopping at Wal-Mart.  It certainly helped that they had the riding carts!

On December 13th, we packed up early and left there to get to Menifee as early as possible.  We were not able to find a 50 amp site, but this one (30 amps) is a nice, larger site with room for all of our stuff, our car and a visitor's car too.  We got all set up and put out some of our Christmas decor.  Ollie South is again watching over us from the awning.  
We set up our EZ Up canopy and are parking the car under it.  Our owl family has grown a little more too.
 This is Goldie and she hangs around in the kitchen to keep me company.
 This guy has not been named, at least not yet.  Jim got a kick out of his top hat.  He is hanging above all of Jim's baseball caps.
I'm sure I showed this cookie jar before, but now we have salt and pepper shakers too. 
Last, but surely not least is our new coffee mugs.    
Life is owl-ishly good.  
Now for all the news since we got here. 

The day after we got here, I had a doctor's appointment.  After examining my right foot and toe, she thought I might have fractured the toe AND a bone in the foot, so I was sent for an X-ray.  Only the toe is broken, but the earliest appointment I could get with a podiatrist is on January 8th.  Alas, it may be all healed up before that.  
The next day was Jim's surgery for the large kidney stone and the enlarged prostate.  We didn't have to get there until about 11 am.  Tony came here on Thursday so he could look after our furry kids while we were gone.  Donna & George came to the hospital to keep me company while Jim was in surgery.  It was a huge relief when the doctor came out and said the surgery went very well.  About an hour later Jim was moved to a room for over night.  They provided me with a recliner to spend the night in.  I appreciate their thoughtfulness, but the chair was NOT comfortable and neither of us got much sleep at all.  It was well after 12 noon before we got discharged from the hospital and started for home.  We were so very happy to get back here and get comfortable.  Jim has spent most of his waking hours in his recliner chair.  It was not easy keeping the dogs from jumping on him.  The dogs were really glad to see us, and acted like we had been away for a year!  I couldn't even go into the bathroom without Millie following me there.  It was early to bed that night.  Jim has also taken naps most afternoons since we came home, but I think he really needs to.  I want all of you to know that am NOT complaining at all.  However, since I have been making Jim take it easy this week, and I have been doing the things Jim usually does, I now appreciate just how much work he does around here!  I knew he did a lot of the chores, but I didn't realize just how much he did.  This week has been better than I had expected, but still Jim is kinda sore, and will be glad to get his catheter removed tomorrow.  I again wish to thank all of you for your prayers and calls and emails of support.  All of them were appreciated, and we love you for them.  

I finally got around to taking a couple pictures of some of the Christmas decorations around this area.  I hope to drive around tomorrow night and get pictures of some more.
Here are two shots of our Christmas tree.  I used a flash on the first one but not on the second one.

This is across the street from us.  The lights that are ON the front of the motorhome are set to twinkle and change color.  Very pretty at night.  If I get more pictures tomorrow  night, I will post them on the next blog.

We will be having a quiet Christmas here this year.  As usual, we will be attending a candle-light service at the family center on Christmas eve.  They have a wonderful service each year, and it draws a large group of people.  I really look forward to the service and the music.  We are not exchanging gifts since we have all we need.  Instead we have donated money to several charities we believe in.  As I have said before, we wish the spirit of Christmas could last all year long, so we contribute to organizations that help animals and also veterans, and people who are less fortunate than we are.  It's easy to not notice the less fortunate around us, but this time of year we have a chance to help them out.  Please pray for guidance and inspiration to know where you can help too.  I wish each of you a very Merry, and Blessed Christmas and a Happy, and Healthy New Year, filled with love and faith.  Please be kinder than ever to those you meet each day.  Smile at strangers.  That might be the only smile they see all day.  If you see someone who is really struggling, lend a hand.  Offer a kind word to others.  It will give them a lift, and it will make you feel good inside too.  
That's all for now.  Love and blessings to all.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Thanksgiving and Beyond

For the most part, our Thanksgiving went very nicely.......except one small mishap.  As many of you know, I don't like wearing shoes, especially in the house.  So I was busily preparing our holiday dinner, barefooted, and when the timer dinged, I rushed to check on food in the oven.  However, I stubbed my toe so badly my baby toe was pulled sideways, like at a right angle from my foot.  It hurt sooooooo badly that I couldn't even speak!!!  When I did, all I could say was Oh my God, over and over.  I fell onto Jim and cried.  He carried me to the couch, elevated my foot and kept ice on it.  That's how I spent most of the next week.  When I had to walk, I used a cane and Jim helped.  By the following Monday I was quite a lot better and could walk, even though the baby toe was still swollen and tender.  

On Wednesday we packed up and moved out to Palm Desert for our two week stay before we will return to Wilderness Lakes for three more weeks.  I was busy getting things set up inside the RV and, of course, I was barefoot.  I wanted to squeeze behind the bed to plug in our electric blanket........and I again stubbed my poor little baby toe on a case of bottled water Jim had left in the corner of the bedroom.  Since I didn't turn on the light I had not seen it there.  As this was the second assault in less than a week, my poor pinkie toe was very, VERY unhappy about it.  I have been doing my best to stay off it, but there ARE things I have to do.  I do have an appointment to see my doctor in Menifee next Thursday, so I guess I will have to let him look at it then.  However, since Jim has his surgery on Friday, and I will be taking care of him after he comes home on Saturday, there isn't anything I can do about the toe right away.  

In other news we saw something really cute at the WalMart out here in Palm Desert last week, and I had to get a picture.

Tony thought it might be a Gypsy vehicle, but I think it's too small for that.  I think it might be a homemade tiny house.  If I had seen anyone around, I would have asked to see inside it.  We really don't want to live in anything that tiny, but I do get a kick out of seeing how creative some people can be when they build the home of their dreams!  

This RV park is very full now with Snowbirds from Canada, Alaska, and Oregon, just to name a few.  We are mostly surrounded by VERY large Class A motorhomes and some 5th wheel trailers.  Many have three to five slide-outs for extra living space.  The problem here is that with all the palm trees, it's not always easy to find a site where they can put out all the slides and their awnings without hitting a tree.  

It was amusing to see a new arrival yesterday who parked across the street from us.  He has a rather large SUV that towed a very tiny Casita trailer.  I doubt if it is more than 16 feet long.  That might be OK for just one person....but he is traveling with a very LARGE dog, named Freddie.  Freddie is part golden retriever and part full size poodle, called a Labra-doodle.  Since the weather was warm yesterday, Freddie and his owner spent much of the day outside, but it must be quite a challenge when they must stay inside, like on a rainy day.  

Monday we went to Loma Linda VA for Jim's pre-op visit for lab work, EKG, chest X-ray and to meet with his surgeon.  It was a long day, so we took the "kids" with us.  We found a nice, shady spot to park and left the windows down about an inch or two.  They had a lovely breeze and were just fine.  We came out after all the tests to walk them and had lunch with them before the meeting with the doctor.  That's when we found out Jim would have to stay in the hospital for at least one night.  I should have realized that ahead of time, but I didn't.  It has been over 14 years since we ever spent a night apart, and neither of us was happy about it.  I asked if I could stay in his room overnight but the doctor said that would not be allowed.  I really don't want to drive all the way back to Wilderness Lakes on a Friday night, and then back there in the morning, since it is over 60 miles each way, so I might try to find a motel nearby, like a Motel 6, where I could spend the night.  But I'm also not thrilled with the idea of a night alone in a motel either.  Still that's better than trying to sleep in our car in the hospital parking lot!!!

Yesterday Jim got up on the roof to begin washing and waxing the motorhome.  It made me very nervous for him to be up there, but he was determined to do it.  He has a new "toy" he wanted to try out.  It is called the Hydroshot by WORX.  It is a power washer, but doesn't use too much power.  It has a rechargable battery and you can use a 2 L bottle for the water.  He has the soap dispenser accessory so it is all very portable.  The only drawback was that he had to keep coming down off the roof to refill the water bottle!  We have decided we will have to get a few more 2 L bottles so he can carry up more water to work with.  Today he is power washing the rest of the motorhome, but at least now he has both feet solidly on the ground!  If any of you are interested in seeing the power washer he is using, you can either go to the WORX website or to the Home Depot website and type in Hydroshot.  On the Home Depot site there is a neat video of how to use it and all the accessories.  We bought all of the parts for LESS than half what it would cost to have someone else wash and wax the RV ONCE!  He has also used it twice to wash the car, so it has already more than paid for itself.

We are going to have to do one more upgrade in here when we get back to Wilderness Lakes.  Our kitchen faucet was a beauty, but it is in need of replacement.  The pin that holds the  pull-out  faucet in place when you don't want it pulled out has it won't stay in place.  The base plate is wearing away, I guess from hard water.  We looked around and found a nice new one, at Home Depot, that pulls out, but has a very strong magnet that holds it in place when you want it to.  Tony is going to install it next week when he comes up to stay with us for a few days.  He will stay with the dogs while we go to Loma Linda, and help out when we get back home again.  

Last Sunday we drove by car to Garden Grove to attend church with our beloved church family.  It was just wonderful to see Pastor Paul and Aiko and all the rest of our dear friends.  It is too far to drive every week, but it IS worth the trip when we can go.  I was delighted when Pastor Paul's sermon was on kindness.  He read the scripture that tells us that whatever we do for the least of God's people, or whatever we FAIL to do for them, is what we do, or fail to do, for God.  Even though we cannot get into Heaven based on our own good deeds, God does want us to be kind, especially to those less fortunate than we are.  We will be judged by what is in our hearts, and kindness towards others should ALWAYS be in our hearts.  As I also wrote last time, Above all else, be kind.  We may not have a lot of money, but a simple act of kindness doesn't have to cost anything.  A smile or kind word to others can make the difference for someone having a difficult day.  If you see someone struggling to carry their packages, you could lend a hand.  Just showing that you sincerely care can help someone who is struggling with a crisis in their life.

If you do have some extra money, maybe you have a favorite charity you could support.  I like to buy pet food and treats for a local animal shelter.  We also always give a few dollars to each of the Salvation Army bell ringers this time of year.  Also, many stores have bins for food donations for needy families, and toy bins where you can donate new toys for kids who would otherwise not be getting any presents.  But the point I really want to make is that the need for kindness does not end on December 26th.  Homeless shelters, animal shelters, and all kinds of charities have needs all year long.  Maybe if you have a little extra money you could sign up for a monthly donation to a worthwhile charity.  A few such organizations are:  The Wounded Warrior Project, The Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA, and St. Jude's Children's Hospital, and of course there are many more that need help.  Most of them ask for a  monthly commitment of $19.00 each month, and that's only $228 per year.  Many people spend more than $19.00 in a week at places like Starbucks.  Please stop for a minute and think about what you can do to make life a little easier or healthier for other people, both the two legged AND the four legged people around you.  Maybe instead of asking for a gift that you really don't need, you might give a gift that keeps on giving all year long.  And you can feel warm inside knowing you did something that could make a difference in other people's lives forever.  This just could be the Merry-est Christmas you have ever had.  

Here's wishing you the most blessed Christmas ever and a very happy and healthy New Year.