Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The New Year Is Almost Here

First I want to say that we hope all of you had a wonderful and blessed Christmas, filled with love and joy.  We hope you spent the time with loved ones and experiencing the true meaning of Christmas.  I believe that celebrating Christmas without honoring the birth of our beloved Savior Jesus Christ would be empty and sad.  Many people go deeply in debt buying over priced gifts for their loved ones, and still don't find any true joy in the holiday.  Some people wear themselves out making elaborate meals that are rapidly consumed without even giving thanks to our Lord for the food, or the hands that prepared the food.  Lots of people went to sleep last night wondering why they did all of that, and feeling nothing but exhaustion and sadness.  Are you one of these tired, unfortunate people?   

Wouldn't it be great to start the New Year off with a resolution that could bring you REAL joy for the rest of your life?  Do you usually make the same, hopeless resolutions that we all make, and break before the end of January? Most of us resolve to lose some weight, or eat a more healthy diet, or get more exercise, or save more money, but in a few weeks we give up on our resolutions.  Failing to keep our resolutions only makes us feel worse about ourselves.

There is a resolution you can make that will bring you true joy.  None of us will ever get into Heaven based on our own deeds.  We are Human and as such we are ALL sinners.  Only Jesus was perfect, and He came into this world to save us. He was born humbly, and He lived to teach us and show us the way.  He died on the Cross to pay the price for our sins. All He asks of us is that we love Him and accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior.  But He can't be our PERSONAL Lord and Savior unless we actually take the time to KNOW Him personally.  Pastor Bob here at Wilderness Lakes preached a very moving and important message at church this past Sunday (December 23rd).  The title of his message was
"Wise Men Still Seek Him".  It pains me to admit that there was a time when I didn't think I needed Him in my life.  I was even a little afraid to commit to a relationship with Jesus.  I thought I would get into Heaven by being an honest and kind person.  I was wrong.  I was totally dead wrong.  I have learned that I need Jesus in my life every single day.  I feel very sad for anyone who does not know Jesus as I do.  Going to church every Sunday is not enough.  To have a real relationship with Jesus you need to read the scriptures and fellowship with other Christians.  We need to learn the meaning of His Word.  I would hate to wake up in the morning without KNOWING that Jesus is watching over me.  I already know that I can't make it without His help.  I know that there are many intelligent people who think they can get along on their own.  But those who are truly WISE know that Jesus is the Truth, and The Light and the Way.  Wise men, and women still seek Him, because He is the source of true joy.  He is the promise for our eternal Salvation.  Many of you have lots of unanswered questions, but Jesus IS the answer.  Be a Wise Man or Woman, and seek Him now.

God bless each of you now and as you go forward into the New Year.  Open your hearts and invite Jesus into your life, not just on Sundays, but every day.  If you give your life to Him, you have no idea how much your life will improve.  With Him in the center of your life, everything changes for the better.  

Happy New Year!  Now for a few pictures I would like to share with all of you.Here is our little Christmas tree with an owl that my dear friend Diane brought to me.  On the right is our cute Santa!
 Here are Tony and the two Jims, and Diane is on the right.

We saw these when we went 
out for a drive around the 
park Friday night.  There were lots of other nice decorations, but it's not easy getting good pictures in the dark.

This is Sean, he is one of the rangers here at the park.  He obviously loves the Christmas season.  On the right is Sean on Christmas day.  Too funny!!!

 This is the beautiful Christmas card that shows Tony & his dog Woody.  On the right is an amazing owl that Diane hand painted for me.  I really love it.  I was blown away when I saw it.  She is such a talented artist.  😊

Well, that's all for now.  Best wishes to all of you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Only One More Week until Christmas

It seems like I must again begin with an apology for letting too much time lapse between entries.  Somehow, there are just not enough hours in the day for all that I expect to do.  Since my last post, we have kept quite busy.  We were up at Silent Valley from November 8th until December 7th, then ten days at Thousand Trails Palm Springs and yesterday we returned to Wilderness Lakes in Menifee for a three week stay.  
Do you remember the cute picture of a Chihuahua in a pink sweater dress and hat that I posted last month?  Based on seeing that I tried to buy Millie a sweater and hat on that order.  Although it was described as a size that would fit her, the hat and sweater I ordered were so small it fit Diane's smallest Chihuahua, Daisy.  Here she is wearing it.

Since that didn't work, I ended up knitting Millie a red hat and scarf.  And I found an adorable red and white sweater for her.  Then I decided to knit hats and scarves for Diane's two dogs, again in red.  After that, I did a scarf for our dog Willie, but Jim had to try it on too.

I think Willie wears it quite well.
But Jim is still a hippy at heart!  😃  LOL.

Then I knitted a scarf and hat for Diane and a scarf for her hubby Jim.  Not to be left out, I made a red hat and scarf with red and white fringe for me, with an owl decoration, of course.

I also made one just like it, but in blue and white with owl trims for my sister Donna.  I sure hope she will like it.
Once we got set up here in Menifee, we had to set up our Christmas decor.  Beginning with a wreath trimmed with a white owl.
 I bought the wreath at the Dollar Store, and added the red trim and the white owl.  On the right are two wine bottles I made into centerpieces but I ended up selling them to someone who liked them.

Here is Millie in her Christmas dress, actually it's one of four she has.  I forgot she had one and ordered another, then I found one at Wal-Mart. After I bought that one, I discovered that we  had another one we bought LAST year, so she is really set for Christmas this year.  LOL, another senior moment I guess.
Here is our Christmas owl flag.  So cute.  I found this picture I took a short time ago of our Millie with Diane & Jim's two girls.  We tried three times to include Willie in the picture, but he wanted no part of it!  

Many of you have probably seen our beloved nativity before, Feliz Navidog, but here it is on our mantle below the TV set.  It combines our love of everything about the true meaning of Christmas, and our love of dogs.  How could it get any better than this?????

Unfortunately, Christmas time can be very difficult for some people.  People who are alone or in poor health might be depressed.  I have read that suicides increase between now and the New Year.  Since Christmas and New Year mean so much to me, it saddens me to think of others who are hurting this time of year.  Someone (I don't know who it was, so I can't give credit here) who was much smarter than I am once said that suicide is a PERMANENT solution to a TEMPORARY problem.  I try to understand what could ever drive one to ending their life, but it is very difficult for me because I am optimistic that things WILL get better.  Maybe seeing others who are so very happy this time of year only intensifies that person's sense of hopelessness.  

I realize not everyone has extra money to donate to the many worthwhile charities that need money this time of year.  However, all of us should be able to find a few minutes to reach out to people who might be alone and depressed.  Maybe you could invite someone to come to your home for a Christmas holiday meal.  You might offer a shut-in some of your time to drive them to a store or just to drive around to see all the beautiful holiday decorations people put up.  

I just heard of someone who died in Georgia, and was not found for over three weeks.  It's hard for me to imagine that no one cared enough to check on that person for that long.  Please be mindful of those around you.  Maybe you could take a gift basket of non-perishable foods to someone who doesn't have a lot of money for food.  You might even include a few pieces of fresh fruit.  If the person has a pet, don't forget to get food or treats for their pet too.  A gift card makes a great present.....IF the person has a way to get to a store to spend it.  Please check on your neighbors, especially those who are elderly.  If you live in a  cold climate, please check to make sure older people have their heat turned on and working properly.  Little acts of kindness could be the difference between life and death for some people, and will make you feel better too. 

Last but surely not least, please try to be a little MORE patient and kind to the people you meet as you rush around getting ready for holiday parties and travels.  Try to realize they may also be stressed out with all they want to do in this last week before Christmas.  Smile, and wish them a joyous Christmas and a very happy New Year.  It doesn't help anyone if you get angry or rude to others.  Please try to remember the reason for the season, and share a little love with everyone you meet.

Merry Christmas to one and all.  Here's wishing you the very best this Holiday season, and a happy, healthy and prosperous year ahead.  We know you will be blessed with all that our Father in Heaven knows you really need.  God bless you and yours.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

A Brief Addition to the Last Post

There were a few pictures I didn't have enough time to include when I posted our last entry, so I thought I would take a few minutes to do so now.  Unfortunately, I was almost done (and yes I did save as I was going along) but all of a sudden, everything was gone and I am now starting over!

 My dear friend Diane sent me this cute picture.  She & Jim have those adorable Chihuahuas that were our house guests last week.  I could just picture her Lucy in this outfit trying to drive their car.  I looked everywhere trying to find a sweater and hat like this for her girls, but sadly to no avail.

 Here are our two sharing Willie's bed.  Yes, Millie uses her own bed, but they looked so cute cuddled up together that I had to take this picture. 

I believe I posted a picture of Millie's bed in front of the storage ottoman under the window, but we have made some more improvements that I think look really nice.  We removed the ugly, dirty window shade and replaced it with a room darkening curtain.  Then I decided to make a magnetic tieback so we could look out the window.  Willie liked that.  Then I decided to add a panel of sheer beige curtain to provide a little privacy while still allowing the kids to see outside.  As you can see, I have added a blue owl bell that is hanging above the dogs heads.  He is, as yet, un-named since we just got him yesterday. 

Another new addition to the owl collection is a lovely white owl that holds a tea light which can shine out through the cut-outs on the front.
He sits below the TV on a carpeted mantle, I didn't want to take any risk of fire, so we use a battery operated candle inside it.  I liked it so much I went back and got a second one that I took over to my sister Donna yesterday.  She was delighted with it!

There is something else that I should have shared the last time I posted, but I was not ready to talk about it yet, so here goes.  My brother Michael, in Elmira, lost his battle with cancer and went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus early in the morning on November 4th.  Tony flew back in October and spent a week with Michael and our other brother Jeffrey and with Michael's son Douglas. 
 For those of you who don't know my brothers, Tony is on the left, Michael is in the middle and our baby brother Jeffrey is on the right.  Part of me will always regret that I didn't go back to see him one last time.  However, another part of me wanted to remember him as he was when we saw him in July 2015.  He was not sick and was enjoying his life then.
The picture on the left was taken on the back patio of Michael's home while we were there.
The one on the right was taken at the reunion.  He was enjoying life.  He loved to go line dancing at the VFW hall in Elmira Heights on Friday nights and he loved sailing his boat on Seneca Lake.  He took lessons and was learning to play the piano.  He even tried his hand at learning to play the bag pipes!!!  His former wife Judy has remained a true and devoted friend to him through all of this.  God bless her for being such an amazing person.

The take-away that I would like to share today is that we have to live with the decisions we make every day.  We are all so busy and all too often we put off for another day the things we should have done yesterday.  Michael died on a Sunday morning.  The night before that day, I had told Jim that I was going to call Michael on Sunday, but I never got that chance to talk to him once more.  I never got to say good bye or tell him one more time that I love him.  This is what I will have to live with.  If I can spare one of you this pain, it will be worth sharing this today.  Please don't put things off.  Even difficult things that you knew you should do.  None of us knows if we will get another day to do those things.  Call your parents, or your kids and tell them you love them.  Apologize to the person you have been feuding with for so long you can't even remember what the fight was all about.  Please don't put things off any longer.  You might regret it for a very long time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Thanksgiving is Coming Soon

Hello dear friends and readers,

I am sorry it has been such a long time since my last post.  We spent two weeks down at Wilderness Lakes before coming back up here to Silent Valley for another month.  We didn't get our favorite site (#400) but we got one at the four corners again, next to the one we were in last month.  We drove up here last Thursday despite very bad Santa Ana Winds.  Jim is an excellent driver and got us here safely.  We got into our site and leveled the RV and then Diane & Jim Hubert came over to help us get settled in.  I was so very grateful for their help because that day I had two brief but scary bursts of vertigo.  We now do NOT call by name as we only refer to this disorder as IT.  Our only problem with the setting up was that in the high winds (gusts up to 50mph) we couldn't get good reception from our satellite dish.  Alas, we gave up that night.  On Friday we heard about the tragedy of the shooting at the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks.  Along with that, the Santa Ana Winds and very low humidity increased the risk of brush fires, and California suffered from two very bad fires.  One called the Camp Fire completely devastated the town of Paradise in northern California.  The Woolsley fire and the Hill Fire continues to do a great deal of damage to the areas around Malibu, Calabasas, Westlake Village, West Hills and Thousand Oaks.  Sadly the death toll from the Camp Fire is about 48 and may go even higher.  I believe there have been 3 deaths and many injuries in southern California.  Last night another fire has broken out near Rialto and Interstate 15 which is only about 46 miles from where we are.  They expect the winds to ease up today but the relative humidity is still very low, and that means there is still quite a lot of fire danger throughout the area.  All I can ask is that you please pray for people who have lost their homes and loved ones in all these tragedies. It's hard to imagine Thanksgiving in the midst of so much destruction.  Donations to help the victims are being collected by the Red Cross and other organizations.  We saw them on the NBC news so one could check them out probably by going to /California fires if you wish to make a donation.

We have been busy again with a few little home improvements.  First, Millie started trying to sleep in her little bed, which was really only big enough for her toys, so we got her a bigger bed.
As you who have been in our RV can see, we have removed the chair that was in front of the window beside the house door.  We put this storage ottoman there, and it still gives us more space in the room.  We moved the folding tables so we could look out the window.  The window shade was very dirty, and we have not had good luck cleaning them, so we replaced the shade with a new curtain for privacy.  It can be pulled aside to permit looking outside.  The dogs like getting up on the ottoman to look out the window too.
Diane and Jim are such fun people and on Friday I got this cute picture of them.Those are supposed to be sprinkled donuts...and after all we are all kinda nuts! Jim is wearing a deer head that's supposed to be mounted on a wall!  Luckily, I was holding the camera, so I am not in these pictures.  On Saturday Jim Hubert had to have extensive surgery on his shoulder, and of course Diane wanted to be with him, so we offered to babysit their two two adorable Chihuahua girls while they were away.  It was so much fun having them in our house.
In this picture Millie is in Willie's bed next to the girls in their beds.  At night Millie still sleeps with us in our bed, and Willie got to sleep in his own bed.  I put the girls' beds up on the couch and they spent the whole night in bed.  It was happy chaos when we  took four dogs out to walk!  We had a grand time, and the girls were happy here, although every time they heard noises outside they would run to the door expected Jim or Diane to appear at the door.  I got to spoil two more girls with loving care and doggie treats.  I was very happy when Jim finally got out of the hospital so he could come home and sleep in his own bed, but we were sorry to see these sweet girls leave us.  Diane and Jim are always ready and willing to help us out when we need anything, so we were delighted to be able to do this for them so they would NOT have any worries about their beloved girls.  That's what friends are for.  We are so glad to see that Jim is recovering well with no apparent problems or complications.  He has been through a lot with his shoulder, and we hope now his problems are over.

I'm running out of time to write now, so I will close with a brief message, asking all of you to be grateful for your many blessings and share your blessings with those less fortunate than yourselves.  Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

Friday, October 19, 2018

It Gets Cold Up Here in the Mountains at Night

We usually don't come up to Silent Valley this late in the year, so I had forgotten how chilly it can get at night.  In an effort to save our propane, we try to stay warm with our little electric heater.  However, the one we had bought in Truth or Consequences back in 2013 was "on its last legs" and died a few weeks ago.  We had planned to replace it but just hadn't gotten around to it.  As a belated birthday gift, our very dear friend Joan gave us a couple Wal-Mart gift cards so we decided to use them to get us a new heater.  We chose a Honeywell 360 degree heater and it has been amazing!  Thanks again Joan, for your gift card that we put to good use.  It is much better than the heater we had before.  It's so good we usually don't even need to use the high setting!   


Many of the campers here at this time of year go ALL OUT on their Halloween decorations.  Here are a few pictures of some of the decorations
near us. Another site near us is "adorned" with numerous skulls and skeletons.  Yuck.  Jim says it's very eerie at night when he walks the dogs, but I can't get a good picture of that. 

 Jim took Millie over to see our neighbor's display, but as you can see, she wasn't really interested.

 Last year I posted several pictures of one site decorated with an over-abundance of weird and eerie things.  Those people have done the same set-up this year, so I didn't bother taking pictures again.  We put out a few little decorations, but we don't go overboard about it.  It is fun to put up some seasonal decor, but we are limited to one storage box for all of our decorations, plus our fold-able Christmas tree that we store under our bed.  As I said before, it gets pretty chilly up here.  Although we realize there are many places that get colder than it does here, WE choose  not to visit places like that.  Even Millie prefers to stay warm and toasty, as you can see here.
 I hope you can see the cute little owls all over her pajamas.  Even with her nice warm jammies on, she goes under the bed covers at night.  Willie has a wonderful dog bed with a sheep skin lining that is very nice and warm for him to sleep in.  
We have been enjoying our month up here in Silent Valley very much.  The first week, my brother Tony came up and stayed for three nights.  The second week Joan came to visit.  In my last blog I think I forgot to include pictures of the  lovely flowers that Joan brought to us.  Joan, you know you don't have to bring us flowers, but these were really special.  The scent was amazing and the color was delightful.  In case you can't tell, the vase is plastic, and when empty, it can be be flat so it doesn't take up much space.  That's just one  of the unique things we find when we go to Quartzsite in January.  
Our third week here included going out to lunch in Beaumont with my sister, Donna & her husband George.  

We went to a restaurant called Guys Italian Restaurant.  The food was quite nice and Donna even had some spumoni for dessert.  Unfortunately, before we left, a large party (of 14 people) arrived, and were so loud that we couldn't carry on a conversation, so we left.  It was a nice outing but it ended a little sooner than I expected it to.  
 Last week I saw a tiny trailer and I just had to take a picture of it.  We could never live in anything that small, but I still get a kick out of seeing the tear drop trailers.  This one is quite unique.

If you enlarge the picture you will see that it is very rugged and ready for off road camping!  Again, not something we will ever be doing, but still very interesting.   We really prefer having more living space and comfort.  

Many of us take our "creature comforts" for granted, and often forget about those who must try to survive without many things we all enjoy.  Not only are the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas coming very soon...........colder weather is also coming.  Survival for the less fortunate becomes even more difficult.  There is always something we can do for homeless people and animals.  How often do you stop by a coffee shop and spend several dollars on a fancy cup of coffee?  Could you give up your high priced coffee to use that same amount of  money to buy blankets for people living in homeless shelters?  You can also buy pet food for animal shelters.  You might volunteer to feed the less fortunate at food banks.  You can also volunteer at a local veterans hospital.  Another way to help the less fortunate is to sign up to make a monthly donation to a worthwhile organization.  Examples of such would include The Wounded Warrior Project, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, The Shriner's Hospital or the Salvation Army. Most of these ask for a donation commitment of only $19.00/month, which almost any of us could afford.  We have also made donations to the American Lung Association and the America Cancer Society.  The Humane Society desperately needs donations to keep animals alive and safe.  Please let this be the year that you commit to helping the less fortunate, be they two legged or four legged friends.  God has blessed all of us with so much that it's only right that we find ways to give back and help others.

Have a great day and a very happy holiday season ahead.  😊

Monday, October 8, 2018

Autumn in the Mountains

I'm sorry it has been so long since I wrote an entry, but it has been so great being up here at Silent Valley and we have been very busy.
Before we left Wilderness Lakes, we went to Camping World intending to replace our poor old microwave with a new Convection microwave.  We bought and took home a box that we thought contained the above oven.  Our friend Greg came over to install it.  He had built a shelf and installed it, but it turned out to NOT be a convection microwave.  It was only a microwave.  I called Camping World back and they agreed to exchange it for what we had paid for.  Once we got here, and got all set up in a wonderful site in Silent Valley, we took the first one back and got the right one.  We came up on Monday, two weeks ago, and on Wednesday Tony came up for a visit.  It had been several weeks since we had seen my brother, so that was great.  He and Diane's husband Jim helped us to put in the new unit.......but it was slightly bigger than the old one had been, so they had to take it out yet again, and move the shelf forward to accommodate the bigger oven. 

 The original microwave had a light under it to provide light to the stove below.  We replaced it with a light bar we saw on TV in an As Seen on TV.  It works great, and provides an amazing amount of light.  I love that we can keep it plugged in to charge it up, and if we have a power outage, it is all charged up to provide hours of great light!

I also decided to replace the owl case I was using on my cell phone since it was pretty grungy, and dirty looking.  So I ordered this one.
 Jim picked it out and I do love it.  Too cute!
Diane & Jim have been over often, which has been wonderful.  It has been so much fun being with them.  
 I don't know if I posted this picture before or not, so here are Diane & Jim.
They have two adorable dogs that our dogs have gotten used to, so they get along very well.
 Here's my Jim holding Diane & Jim's two little loves.  On the left is Lucy and on the right is Daisy.  It's so nice that our dogs like these two and get along nicely.

Diane shares my fondness for owls, so I have made her some owl jewelry, and she finds owls for me when she goes places. 
This is one of the adorable owls Diane found for me.  Can you see the golden brown glitter along the edges?  I just love it!

On the right is an owl paper towel holder that I found online to hold toilet paper in the bathroom.  Again, too cute, I think.

Diane & Jim shop at the Aldi market here and she found a bottle of wine she just had to buy for us.

Not only is the bottle adorable, but the white Zinfandel wine inside was very, very nice.  We drank it while we played Mexican Train.  I may try to make a decorative bottle lamp out of it.  Maybe.


This past week my very dear friend (of over 35 years) Joan Minor came up here and stayed overnight with us.  It had been over a year since we've seen each other, but we keep in touch by phone or emails almost every week.  It was so wonderful to have her come visit us this week.  Out of respect for her personal privacy I won't discuss all that she has been through, but life has not always been easy for Joan.  Through her most difficult times, she has always been cheerful and helpful whenever I needed anything.  She has a wonderful, loving husband, also named Jim, who has been very supportive during her difficult times.  They have a small van camper that they enjoy traveling in too.  I hope sometime, maybe this coming year, we can persuade them to come to Quartzsite, AZ when we are there too.  Joan has promised to come visit us at Wilderness Lakes and stay two nights this time.  It always seems like we run out of time long before we run out of things we want to talk about.  

Diane and Jim live here at Silent Valley year round because he works a work camper job here.  I don't know why this park has this rule, but work campers must move to a new site every thirty days, so last week they got to move over close to us!  YAY!!!  

Here is a photo of their 5th wheel and their car.  That's our awning at the top of the picture, so you can see how close they are.   I love that I can just run over to her RV whenever I want to.
We never had a chance to be parked this close before.  
We don't do anywhere near the amount of decorating
some folks do for Halloween, but we do try to get
in the spirit a little bit.   This guy has been hanging around for quite a while I'd say.  LOL.

Here is Jim with the Furry Kids outside the RV enjoying a nice, warm day.  

 This is our Halloween flag stand with a Snoopy and a ghost flag.  I like the orange solar lights in the side posts.  It's fun being part of the spirit of the season.  

I hope all of you who read my blog have taken my advice and suggestions to heart.  I am referring specifically to advice about making your final wishes known, IN WRITING.  None of us knows when our days in this life will end.  It's very, VERY easy to say "someday I will write my will" or "I will call that person next week to apologize for the unkind things I did or said".   Since only God knows when we will shake off this mortal coil, please don't put off doing the things you need or want to do.  My brother Michael, who lives in Elmira, NY is in the last days of his life.  His ex-wife Judy is doing all she can to help him in any way she can.  Judy is an amazing woman with a loving Christian heart.  She has kept me informed about Michael's condition.  I cannot afford a trip back to Elmira to see him, and he told his son Douglas that he didn't want any of us to see him as he is now. 

I prefer to remember him the way he was when we saw him in 2015.  This is Mike at our Horseheads High School Alumni reunion.  Sadly, he is angry towards others and refusing to see people who might want to offer him love and comfort.  We pray he will find Peace in Heaven when he dies.

I beg you NOT to put off until tomorrow what you KNOW you should do today.  If there is someone you should make amends with, please don't put it off.  Please do it now!  If you feel there is someone who needs your help, call them today.  If you feel you need to re-dedicate yourself to your faith, there is no better time than now.  Jim and I believe that the only way to get into Heaven is by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.  We have accepted Jesus and we KNOW that we have been forgiven of our sins.  We know that when we die, we will close our eyes to this life, and open them to see Jesus.  It is a wonderful assurance to know that our beloved Lord Jesus loves us and wants us to live with Him for all of eternity.  We know that we are all sinners, and no one can get into Heaven based on any good deeds we do, so we thank Jesus every day for His sacrifice for us.  I will pray for all of you, and wish you a wonderful week ahead, and life ahead too.