Saturday, January 13, 2018

So Much to Do and See

This will be short since I wrote yesterday using Jim's computer.  If you could not find that blog post, please try using the search at: Happy to be Here

As you will see, I was able to download a few pictures on it.   We came to Quartzsite earlier than usual because we want to use this as a home base to visit other area points of interest.  On Tuesday we are planning to go south on 95 to Yuma.  We were there once over 20 years ago for my job, but never got to see anything else.  We want to see the Yuma Territorial Prison, a local museum, and a place called The Peanut Patch.  I understand they no longer grow peanuts there, but they make all kinds of peanut and chocolate snacks and candy, and they offer a tour and some history about the growing of it should still be interesting.  

We also want to go see the London Bridge in Lake Havasu.  We have not been there since 2008.  I also think there is a place within driving distance (for a day trip) where you can view ancient artifacts and petrogliphs too, but I will have to do some research on that.

Some of my family, and a few friends too, have written saying they are dealing with some challenging health issues.  They asked for prayers to be offered for them.  They said they did not want me to go into any details about the specific health issues, so I will not.  Maybe I can ask you to pray for all who are sick or having health concerns at this time.  Sorry I can't be more specific, but I feel I must respect their wishes for privacy.  

As I said yesterday, Jim and I are very grateful to be in good health.  My busted baby toe is healing well and was not displaced at all, so all is good.  We feel very blessed to be as healthy as we are for our ages.  We are so glad that Jim is receiving his care through the VA system.  We hear about people who have difficulty with using the VA health care system, but we have nothing but praise for the wonderful care he has received from knowledgable, compassionate people.   We have NO complaints at all.  
I'd also like to say that we are grateful for our family and friends and for all the kind and helpful people we meet in our travels.  The people we meet in RV parks, at Rallies, and at Elks lodges have always been kind, cheerful and interesting individuals.  If we have needed help, advice, or directions, they were always generous and helpful.  We have even had total strangers offer to loan us a car while we got ours serviced!!!  You hear stories every day about bad people doing unthinkably awful things, but I want to remember the good people who are around us and are seldom spoken of.  Life is good, and most people are too!  Have a great day.

Our Month in Quartzsite is Almost Over.....

It doesn't seem possible that our time here is drawing to a close.  I had this almost all written when it suddenly just disappeared.  I will try again, and save as I go along.  You will note that this is dated January 13th, but I am actually writing this on the 30th.  I won't even try to explain that..............
Before I go into much of what has been happening, I would like to post a picture of one of my new garden flags.  Diane & Steve gave us this lovely stand for flags, flowers and solar lights.  We love this eagle soaring over a lake in front of the snow-capped mountains.
  As you can see, I am using strings of magnetic beads to secure it to the stand.  I think that works quite well.
 Now I will include some pictures from this RV park and our neighbors sites.  This is one of the many permanent homes here in the park.  

I have never seen cactus in such a brilliant shade of purple.

One of our neighbors has four solar owls outside his RV. 

 And here is one of the owls after dark.  I thought that was quite spectacular.  I'm looking to get a solar owl for outside our home before long.

This amazing owl was on the porch next door to the guy with the four solar owls.  So it is clear that I am NOT the only owl-ish person around here.  The picture on the right shows how pretty the cacti are here.

The official start of the RV event was not until 20th of January, but many vendors have been open for the "snowbirds" since November or December and will be here until March.   I have to include a few pictures we took "downtown" here.
This guy is not for sale, but he stand outside of Gem World, where I spent a lot of time AND quite a lot of money too!

These guys were on display in Tyson Wells.  You can see which one Jim wanted to bring home....we did NOT, but somebody did buy the smaller ones.  Can you even imagine taking them home?  Even if we had the space, I don't want them.
We did have some pretty nice sunsets here, but I think the ones in New Mexico are still tops!

These two toy haulers are right behind us.  They tied their two awnings together, and then had camp fires under the awnings.  We thought that was not too smart since sparks might have set the awnings on fire.

This wooden airplane is in front of an RV park on Main Street.  It also serves as a water wheel when it is running.  Cute.

We had planned to attend the Escapees Happy Hour at the BLM land out on Plomosa Road on the 17th.  We drove up there, parked and began walking towards the gathering place.  There were hundreds, maybe over a thousand RV's and thousands of people milling around.  Music of every kind was blasting from stereo systems everywhere.  I have NEVER ever had a panic attack, but that day I believe I had one.  I turned around and saw more and more cars full of people arriving, and I was afraid we wouldn't be able to find our car or get it out of the crowded parking area.  I told Jim I forgot something and started back towards the car.  He asked what I forgot and I said "I forgot I don't want to be here."  He said "OK, we're out of here".  We got back to the car just before somebody parked behind it and we were still able to leave.  OMG I've never seen such a crowd in a such a small area.

Mary arrived that same day.  She is not staying in the same park we are at.  There are about 50 RV parks in and around Q, plus acres of BLM land where one can stay for free or for very little money.  However, those are dry camping water, no electric and no place to empty your gray or black water tanks.  We prefer full hook-ups if we will be staying more than three days!

Ray & Carol went to the annual Bluegrass Festival in Blythe from January 19th to the 21st, and then arrived in the park we are in.  They had family with them in two truck campers, and stayed in the dry camping area.   Ray came to our rescue one night.  The days have been warm, but at night it can get really chilly.  One night we closed the door and turned the furnace on.  I tried to turn the heat up, by hitting the plus (+) tab to raise the desired temperature.  Apparently I also hit the minus (-) tab at the same time.  The numbers switched from Fahrenheit to Centigrade, AND both the furnace and the A/C started at the same time!  OMG.  When we couldn't figure it out after almost ten minutes of pushing buttons and of course turning it off and back on, I called Ray.  He and Carol came over, and before too long he figured out what I must have done.  He shut it off, then back on, held in both the plus and minus and it went back to Fahrenheit and began heating us up.  Yay and thank you again Ray.   Boy did I feel stupid.

Our dear friends Diane & Jim Hubert from Silent Valley came out on Monday, the 22nd for a one week visit, and quickly learned that you need a lot more than seven days to see and do all we wanted to do out here.  Next year they say they will plan to be here at least two weeks.  We took them to the Big Tent and to Tyson's Wells for the swap meet.  We also spent a few hours in Gem World again with them.  On Friday we took them to see the Hi Jolly Monument.  One should not come here and miss the monument and the cemetery.
This is a tribute to Hadji Ali who was part of a military experiment to train camels for desert missions for American troops.  I think it was during the WW1.  They felt the experiment was a failure, and released the camels to fend for themselves, but Hadji remained and became a miner and lived out his life here.  The cemetery is still used for the local people, and is quite well maintained.
Here are a few of the head 
stones we saw.

This must be a significant name here in town as there is a street by that name too.  As you can see on the right, they even adorn the back side of head stones with beautiful rocks from this area.  After we left the cemetery, we went looking for which church we wanted to attend on Sunday.  This is not a church, but it was an impressive building, so we had to get a closer look.
This is what we saw in front of it, so we are still not sure just what it is.  We went on to see a few churches, but we decided on this one to attend.
We all agreed that it looked like a place 
we would feel comfortable attending.  We also liked the painted stone out front.  You can see a little bit of a cactus to the right of the painting.......Jim tried to suggest that would be a good place for me to sit so he could take my picture..........but I'm not that stupid.
All of us did enjoy the church service on Sunday.  We even met up with another couple who were there from Silent Valley!  Then we took Diane & Jim to see the Quartzsite General Store, because it is unique.

It is not like most grocery stores you will see other places.
After a quick lunch, Diane & Jim wanted to take us to a place called The Desert Bar.  It is located about 5 miles outside of Parker.  We were told it is on a "dirt road".  That is such a huge understatement!  The road is full of ruts, holes and boulders!  Most of the vehicles we saw were dune buggies and Jeeps, but Jim Hubert continued to drive there in his Kia van.  It was a terrible ride, but we were all glad we got there, because we will NEVER do that again!  Here are some pictures of that outing.
 The "church" on the right is just a facade for picture taking.

 There is Diane and Jim with their two adorable dogs, Lucy and Daisy.  Daisy is part Yorkie and she is as sweet as can be.

 You can look this place up online to read the history.  It is all solar powered.  In the picture on the left there are people up on that ridge in the back.  OMG.  
They have a "love seat" and rocker, which Jim is sitting in, made from horse shoes!  Also a turtle.

This is how one SHOULD make a trip like that.  I can't tell you how grateful we were for paved roads when we got back down out of those mountains again.  

While we were here, we had hoped to find some new or gently used back cushions for our dinette booth, as ours were quite worn.  We had no luck with that, so we found a guy who does re-upholstering, and we picked some nice material for the job.  It took him most of the day yesterday, bur we are quite happy with the results.
The blue piping on the cushions is almost a perfect match for the blue in our curtains, so it looks nice together.  The pix on the right includes Millie's "chair" and her blue place mat where she eats at the table.  Lately she has been a little more spoiled, and won't eat unless I spoon feed her, but that is going to have to stop!

Before Diane & Jim left on Monday, she went with us to a few more shops on Main Street.  In one Jim bought me this beautiful family of wooden owls made in Indonesia.

Aren't they amazing?

And Diane bought me this very adorable stone owl.  I just love the color and detail of it.  Again, thank you Diane, this will always have a very special place in my collection.  It will remind me of all the fun we had together here on your first, of many (I hope) trips to Quartzsite with us.  The beautiful plate behind the owl is a gift from Pastor Paul and Aiko from our home church in Garden Grove, CA.  In case you can't read it, it says "May our HOME be filled with dreams and love and endless blessings from above."   I know, without a single doubt that we are enjoying our dreams and love, and have received more blessings than we could have ever hoped for.  

We both enjoy pretty good health for our ages.

We have each other and our beloved furry four legged kids.

We have a loving family in different parts of the country to visit.

We have many wonderful and amazing friends, and make new friends through our travels.

Although we are far from rich (financially speaking) we are blessed with a rich life that allows us to see much of America and a chance to appreciate the incredibly awesome artistry of God's world.

And MOST of all, we are blessed because we KNOW that God loves us and He has a plan for our lives, and best of all, beyond this life.

We are so very grateful for all He has given us.  We try to always remember to take time to express our gratitude.  Many people waste their time, their energy, and their very lives wishing they had more things.  God has given all of us what we need.  We only need to wake up with the gratitude and the wisdom to realize that what we have is most certainly enough.  Please don't spend one single minute feeling sad, or envious about what you don't have.  Realize you don't need it.  God gave you what you need, so enjoy that.    


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Here We Are in Hemet

I hope your new year has started off well for each of you.  We see on the news that many areas of the country are experiencing record low temperatures and record high amounts of snow.  We hope all of you are able to keep warm and safe at this time, and we are so very glad we are not in any of these places!  We moved to southern California for a reason, and we still prefer to be here in the winter time.  I hope better weather will head your way very soon.

 Here are two pictures I took of the super moon we had on December 31st.  It was amazing and so very  bright!

January 2nd we saw the doctor at Loma Linda, and Jim had an ultrasound done to see if there are any more stones we need to be aware of.  We have not heard back yet on that, but otherwise, the doctor said he is good for another year.  On Monday I go to see a doctor about my busted toe.  I was going to cancel it since my toe had not hurt in a couple weeks, so then the toe started hurting again..............go figure.  Tuesday Jim sees his primary doctor before we head out on the road to Arizona and beyond.  

Since we could only stay at Wilderness Lakes (or any Thousand Trails park) for 3 weeks, which was up on January 3rd, we had to relocate.  Because of our appointments in Menifee and Murrieta, we didn't want to go all the way to Palm Springs for this week.  Greg had told us about this park called Royal Holiday Mobile Home Estates.  As you might guess by the name, it is not your typical RV park, but they have some sites that they keep available for members of Thousand Trails to use for their "week out."   It is right in downtown Hemet (not a big place but close to Menifee) and the price is a very reasonable $99 per week, at least that's what they charge for Thousand Trails members.  We tried to get a mobile oil change guy to come out to change the oil on the RV when we were at Palm Springs last month.  He was too busy at that time but said he could come while we were at Wilderness Lakes.  With all that was going on while we were there, it just didn't happen, so I called him the day before we left, and we set it up for him to do it here yesterday.  He also serviced our we are good to go.  We were also overdue for an oil change on the car, so I drove around on Thursday to try to get it done here in Hemet.  We tried Jiffy Lube and Econolube, and even Pep Boys, but all said we would have to wait two or three hours!  While exiting a plaza parking lot we spotted a Goodyear Tire store with a sign that they do oil changes, so we went there.  We took it there and, luckily for us, they routinely check several other things.  They informed us that the front shocks and struts were very badly in need of replacement (he showed Jim how badly) and a front axle was leaking terribly.  It was an expensive repair, but it had to be done.  He gave us a ride home, and then picked us up when the work was completed.  The good news is the parts have a lifetime warranty, and since we went to a national dealership, we can get service, if we should need it, at any Goodyear shop in the country.  

 This painting of a lighthouse was painted by our dear friend Marla.  I framed it and it has been hung up front, but I moved it to the dining room to be next to our lighthouse calendar.  I like it there.

This lighthouse was also painted by Marla.  She matted it and framed it for me, and we thought the only place we had to hang it was in our bedroom.  Nice but not everyone got to see it.  A few months ago the frame just up and broke.  I don't know how or why, it just did, so last week I found a nice frame to replace it, and we decided we wanted to hang it where others could see it too.  The spot is not perfect, but RVs don't have a lot of open space for wall hangings.  The picture is now between the dining room and the living room, in the spot where we had previously hung our owl clock.

Now the clock has been relocated onto the short wall behind the driver's seat.  I think that is a good spot for it.  We just have to get used to looking there to see what time it is!
We keep looking at Marla's beautiful lighthouse, but it doesn't tell time.  LOL

I had planned to give Millie a trim before Christmas, but just never got around to it until today.  Even when the weather is cooler (it's only in mid 70s to low 80s around here) I do try to keep her groomed.  It is especially important to keep her feet groomed so she doesn't pick up burrs and fox tails.  She doesn't appreciate it, but with Jim's help, I got her all trimmed and brushed, and I think she looks grand.

 And of course, if I take her picture, I need to take one of Willie too.  Jim did brush him to get rid of some of the loose hair.  I sweep the floors at LEAST once a day because of the dog hair.  I hate to think of how much dog hair was always on the carpet before we had it taken out.  Millie had to take a nap after her haircut.
 Before I close for today, I would like to share an RV tip about an ugly, but important subject.  Non-RVers can skip ahead if you wish.  Many of us struggle with our gray and black water holding tanks.  There are many products on the market that claim they will clean, and de-oderize your tanks.  Many of these products fail to do as they claim, despite some being very expensive.  We did not find Tank Tech to be worth the cost of it.  Last month we had to replace our toilet, which Greg installed for us since Jim had just had surgery and could not do it.  In a conversation on the subject of holding tank care, Greg told us that he uses about a cupful of PineSol in each tank when he empties and drives to a new location.  It is CHEAP, and it works well.  We bought some and tried it when we moved here last week.  He said it also cleans the sensors, for a more accurate reading.  It may take more than our short drive to Hemet to fully clean the sensors, but I can tell you that there was no bad odor after we put PineSol in the tanks.  I will let you know if we continue to find it to be a good choice for tank care after we have tried it for a while.

Now we are all ready to head out to Quartzsite, AZ on Wednesday.  
 God lead us to get the oil change at a place that checks the car out, and for that, we are very thankful.  Had we gone someplace else, we would not have known we were traveling with a car that might have been unsafe to drive.  We know that God watches out for us and keeps us safe.  We know God shows us what we need to see.  Pastor Ric wrote a column recently in which he said God doesn't let us see everything ahead because we might be overwhelmed by it.  I am sure that is true, but I also believe that God never gives us more than we can handle, especially if we ask Him for help.   Somebody sent me an email that said something like this:
"When Satan sees a Bible in our house, he notices,
When he sees it is open, he is worries,
When he sees us reading it, he knows he will never have us."
I hope each of you will place your trust for the year ahead in God.  We happen to know that our God is an Awesome God, and in Him all things are possible.  Have a wonderful year ahead, and know that you are blessed by our all powerful, and loving God.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

Happy January 1st to one and all,

I am sorry it has taken so long to get back to writing on our blog, but this IS a busy time of year, with shopping, sending cards, decorating and cooking.  I love all of it, but it does keep us busy. 

For weeks now, my computer has been doing something strange.  If I didn't know better, I would think it is possessed by poltergeists.  While I am typing along, suddenly the curser will jump to another part of the text, and continue in that place.  When I see that what I just typed is not where it should be, I have to find it and move it to where it should have been or delete it from where it is, and re-write it.  Also, sometimes I finish a sentence......or a paragraph, and as I am looking at just disappears!  It's not even that I hit the wrong key because it can happen when my hands are not even near the key board.  If anyone knows why my computer is doing this, HELP......please.  I haven't had a chance to go see my computer Geek at Best Buy to ask for his help, but I am really getting tired of having to re-type my emails all the time.  It even happens when I am entering my password to open certain accounts.  Yikes!  

And now for the news and views.  Many people put up some really nice Christmas decorations here in the park.  Even though Christmas is over, I wanted to include some pictures we took.
This was across the street from us.  I was surprised when they took everything down on the day after Christmas.

I had not expected so see a Christmas minion, but here he is.
And what a cute penguin someone set out.  Here are a few more decorations we saw around the park.  

These last two pictures were at one of the leased sites of a lady who lives here.  

On the 23rd our dear friend Mary came over with her son Michael.  We had gotten them both holiday cocoa mugs, so we served hot cocoa with marshmallows and a yummy chocolate cake. Normally I would have baked it myself, but while shopping I found this one.

It was quite delicious, and saved me some time too.  I gave Mary a copy of the book Gail Alexander wrote " Keep your Small Space from Bulging at the Seams".  She is really enjoying learning how to purge and save space in her small trailer.  She used to live in a van camper, but now she has a 19 foot trailer.  She feels like she has a lot more space, but she also knows that it's important not to overload her space and carry too much weight.  The tips in Gail's book are excellent, and can be used in any small space, not just an RV.

 The Christmas eve service here is usually a candle light service at 6 pm.  Since December 24th fell on Sunday, the pastor decided to only hold the service in the morning.  I was sorry there was no candle light service, but the morning service was delightful, with wonderful Christmas hymns and an inspirational message.  Sunday night Jim and I went over to Mary's trailer for dessert with her and Michael.  She served apple pie and ice cream.  Is it any wonder we all need to go on diets after the holiday season?  

Christmas morning was warm and pleasant.  After taking the dogs out we had coffee and doughnuts.  The dogs enjoyed the toys and treats in their Christmas stockings, and Millie got a new sweater. 
She looks so cute in it.  Here are the two dogs playing with their new toys.
We invited our friends Greg and Diane over for Christmas dinner.  I think it turned out very well.  I did a boneless pork roast with peach glaze and roasted potatoes in my Ninja cooker.  We also served winter squash, peas and carrots, Mandarine oranges, dinner rolls and for dessert I baked an orange supreme cake.  

On Tuesday Donna and George came over for lunch.  I made a delicious split pea soup with ham and carrots, and potatoes and celery.  It was a very pleasant day for all.  

Wednesday was a quiet day, but Thursday Jim had an early appointment for lab work, and then we did some shopping at Penneys.  On Friday I persuaded Jim to get a much needed hair cut.  He looks like a new man!  She did cut it too short on top, but this too shall pass.  LOL.

 Speaking of new men, we heard a commotion outside yesterday and here  is what we saw.  I have no idea who was in each of these costumes,  but I had to take pictures of them, and include them today.  

I guess we really are OLD fogies because we stayed home last night.  We invited Mary over for New Year's eve snacks and.........welcomed the New Year with a glass of champagne at TEN pm.  

Many people make New Year's resolutions about being a better person, like losing weight, or exercising more, or learning something new.  All of these are admirable, but we often fail within weeks or less.  I would like to suggest we follow the advice I read this morning in the Dear Abby column.  She wrote that we should try to make our resolutions "just for today" such as "just for today I will be happy.  I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me.  If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine."  Pastor Bob said his resolution this year would be to have more fun and to eat more.  He said that is how he learned to make resolutions he would be able to keep!!!  I think we should be realistic about our goals and resolutions because failure to achieve goals can be depressing.  But that doesn't mean we have to set the bar too low either.  I suggest we resolve, just for today, to be kinder to the people we meet.  Just for today, we can resolve to forgive someone.  Just for today, I resolve to try to understand what someone ELSE is struggling with, and if possible, lend a hand.  Also, maybe we should resolve to try a little harder today to forgive ourselves for the things we have done that hurt others.  Just maybe if we forgive ourselves, we can find a way to be friends again with those we have hurt.  We hope you will have a Happy and Healthy New Year and that you enjoy all the blessings God has in store for you.