Saturday, April 28, 2018

Another Lovely Day in Paradise aka Arrey, NM

Hi Everyone, 

Last Saturday was the first ever Arrey Outdoor Bonanza held in an open area next to this campground.  Janice invited vendors to rent a 10' by 10' site and set up to sell their wares.  She charged each vendor $15.00 for the site, or they could pay $10.00 and donate 4 cans of foods to the local food bank.  We set up that day, and donated foods to the food bank.  Janice had publicized the event all over the area, but turnout was still not impressive, and sales were dismal.............but we remain hopeful that it will get better.  I really wish I had taken pictures of the event, but didn't think of it that day.  There were 12 vendors, so the food bank made out well.  My sales were less than the cost of the site, and to make matters worse, for us, I found things to buy.  I got some produce, and a good deal on a portable sewing machine.  It does work and is small-ish and light weight, so that's good in an RV.  I also couldn't resist an adorable blue owl I found there.

 I hadn't decided on a name for this little girl, but she is hanging above the window behind where I sit at the dinette table, watching over us, then her name came to me....Angel.  

 The owl on the right, in front of the cookie jar owl, and beside the white owl salt and pepper shakers is named Faith, and we found her in a local hardware store.  To her left is a pair of brown owls having coffee together.  Mary bought them because they made her think of us having our morning coffee.
This one is Bella, and she also came from the same hardware store.  I couldn't resist her eyes!

Since our sales had not gone well, we began trying to figure out what we might sell that would be more successful.  We both like to cook and bake, so that seemed like a way to go, however, one has to consider the heat, and not sell anything that could go bad and make anyone sick.  We have decided to try our hand at making and selling home made breads and jellies.  During this past week we bought the equipment and supplies to start on making different flavors of home made jelly.  So far we have made a batch (6 jars to a batch) of Merlot wine jelly, White Zinfandel wine jelly, peach jelly, and Jalapeno Pepper Jelly.  Before next week we hope to add a batch of Apple jelly, Moscato Wine jelly and grape jelly.  In time we hope to add apple butter too.  Before next Saturday (the Arrey Outdoor Bonanza is going to be held on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month) we hope to make about 8 loaves of bread to sell too.  Probably we will make French Honey bread, Vienna bread, and Jalapeno Cheese bread.  I make sure we don't make anything we don't like, so if it doesn't sell, we can enjoy it ourselves, but we do hope to sell it, so please wish us good fortune with our newest venture.
When we went to Wal-Mart to buy our groceries and supplies we saw this in the parking lot.  I'm not a motorcycle person, but even I was impressed with this pretty little two seater.  The parking lot at this store has covered parking sites so your car is shaded and doesn't get too hot usually.  Here's something else we saw there the other day.  This picture is not distorted............this Dalmation was HUGE.  I hope he lives someplace where he has plenty of room to run around.
Speaking of dog pictures, I have to include this one.
I got a kick out of this because I figured Willie has taken up yoga!  And Millie looks so serious in this other picture.  Can you see her owl necklace she is wearing?
I came across this picture so I had to include it.  The day we drove over to Lordsburg to see Mary Iron Elk, she needed to get water, so we drove her over to a store where she could refill her water bottles.  I didn't notice this at first, but Mary pointed it out.  Younger people won't get it, but on the roof of the store is a sign familiar to us old folks, indicating that the store gives S&H Green Stamps.  Fifty years ago that was a big deal!  You stuck the stamps in books and redeemed them for many great items.  When I got married the first time, someone gave me THREE books of green stamps as a wedding present!

Any way, to bring you up-to-date on Mary, it has been quite an ordeal for her.  She has been staying in her travel trailer in a locked junk yard owned by the Ford Service center in Lordsburg waiting for repairs to be done to her Ford van.  Last Monday made 4 weeks she has been stuck there.  She made good use of her time working on crafts she will sell later this summer at Indian pow wows she goes to, and a few friends have stopped by on their travels, since it is very close to Interstate 10.  They finally got the part, and when they tried to install was not the right one!  Finally, yesterday she texted me that the part has been successfully installed, and today she will be on her way back to southern California and later up to Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and into Canada with a friend of hers.  We are praying for her safe travels after all this delay.....4 weeks and 5 days.  OMG.  

Mary's experience has reminded us that we must never lose faith.  She told me that she believes everything happens for a reason.  She said maybe God kept her there longer to avoid something that might have happened if she had been traveling when she had originally planned to travel.  She never lost faith that her van would be fixed and she would get back on the road again (like the Willie Nelson song).  She never complained to me or whined about "Why is this happening to me?"  Many people would have been beside themselves with anger.  Many people try to rush around and do everything on a timetable of their own making.  This can cause them a great deal of stress, because things don't always happen the way we think they should.  God has a plan for each of us.  He also knows WHEN things should happen.  Much of our stress results from us trying to control that which we have no control over.  Everyone knows that stress can be bad for our health too.  Maybe we all need to step back and let God take control of our lives instead of stressing over that which we cannot control.  Trust in God, and realize that you ARE where you should be, and He is in control, so everything will work out perfectly if you allow Him to do what He wants to do for you.  Have a great day, and enjoy what God has given you.  Please remember to thank Him for this's a present.  Don't worry about the past because there isn't anything you can do about it.  Try not to worry about the  future because God will always take care of it.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

I Just Can't Believe How Busy we Are

Well it has happened again.  I was almost done writing this blog when suddenly the page was completely blank, and of course I had NOT saved anything.  So now I will try to recreate, as best I can, what I had written before.

Before we retired, people asked me how we would keep busy, with so much time on our hands.  Even I sometimes wondered what we would do to fill the hours.  But since we have been retired (for eight years as of April 9th) I have been wondering how I ever found time to work a full time job back then.  It's not that every day is filled with glorious adventures, but there is always something to do.  

Among the blessings of retirement is not being a slave to a clock.  This was something we looked forward to.  However we hadn't realized that our dogs have an internal clock, and are very used to life with a regimented routine.  They know when it's time to be taken out several times a day.  They also know when their meal times and snack times are, and they will NOT let us forget these times.  Aside from that, they are quite happy to let us do what we want, when we want to.

We do feel very blessed.  We have reasonably good health, a nice home and a little money in the bank for the things we need.  We are also blessed with a loving family, good friends, and as I said before our furry kids.  Most of all we are grateful for our Heavenly Father who makes all things possible.  I am always amazed by the wonderful things he does for us and provides for us, warm sunny days and cool nights, beautiful sunsets and gorgeous flowers.  We enjoy the friendly people who stay here at this park in Arrey.  Most of the guys come here to go prospecting for gold.  They admit that it costs them more than they get back, but it's still a hobby they enjoy.  One neighbor Ron has invited Jim to go out prospecting with him someday.  He's looking forward to that.
 Last night after I got Millie ready for bed, she got up on Jim's pillow, and burrowed her head under this black neck pillow that Jim uses.  He positioned it like this and she just sat there and waited for me to take her picture.  Too cute.  

Once we get in bed she sleeps next to me most of the night.  Sometimes she gets between us and almost pushes Jim out of bed.  How can such a small dog take up so much space?  STRETCH!

Anyway, getting back to what I started out to say, there just never seems to be enough hours in the day for all we want to do.  Living in an RV doesn't change most of the things one has to do.  Like folks in a sticks and bricks home, we have to clean house, make the beds, do the laundry, etc.  However, I think it takes a lot less time to clean this house.  I can sweep and mop, dust, vacuum, and clean the bathroom in about one and a half hours.  We don't have any real yard work to do here, except to sweep or blow off the patio mat.  And yet, even with my to-do list in hand, at the end of the day I find I didn't accomplish more than half of what I wanted to do.  For example, I go to make the bed, and I hear someone sending me a text on my phone, so I come back to the living room.  I answer the text and notice I need to pick up Millie's toys that are scattered around on the floor.  Wouldn't want anyone to trip over them.  Then I start to do something and remember that I never made the bed, so I go back to the bedroom.  I might get the bed made, then I notice that there is laundry on the floor so I take that to the laundry basket in the bathroom.  When I get there I decide to brush my hair, but first I want to clean the sink.  While I'm doing that Jim calls me to come see something outside, so the sink doesn't get cleaned and my hair didn't get brushed.  Later I decide to wash the breakfast dishes but I see that I forgot to turn on the water heater, so I turn it on, and while the water is heating up I decide to check email on my computer.  Before I know it, it's time to fix lunch and walk the dogs again.  This is how it can go all day long and by evening I can't figure out why my to-do list still has several items on it, and I feel like I've worked hard all day long.  Does this sound familiar to any of you?  

I don't want to sound like a product spokes-person, but I do want to tell you about a few things we have found that we think are just great.  First, we love hard boiled or soft boiled eggs.  We like deviled eggs and I love egg salad sandwiches.  BUT we both hate trying to peel eggs.  We lose almost half of the egg white before we get rid of all of the shell......but not anymore.  We found the "Egglets" which are silicone egg cups with lids.  
You simply spray cooking oil (such as Pam) into the cups, break eggs into the cups and put on the caps, then put them into a pan of boiling water for 15 to 18 minutes.   After they boil, cool them and carefully remove from the pan and squeeze out the egg onto your plate or bowl and enjoy!
Another item we have found to be very useful is the 9.5 inch square Gotham steel copper skillet.  It can be used on top of the stove or in the oven.  It's not too big but seems just right when we are cooking for just the two of us.  I don't have a picture of it, but we found it at Wal-Mart.  WE think it is  much better than the Red Copper pans we have seen advertised on TV and available just about everywhere.  

Anyway, life is good, even if it gets hectic at times.  I'm happy to wake up to all God has given us, and do whatever I can to share the promise He made to us when He sent his son to be born, live and die to show us the way to heaven.  Jesus died for our sins, and He did this because He loves us.  He is the way, the light and the truth.  I am FAR from the person I would like to be, but thanks to God, I have the opportunity to try each day to be a better person and show kindness and love to others.  I would hate for anyone to look at my example and think they wouldn't want to be a Christian because of what they see in me.  I'm a work in progress.  Jesus has not given up on me, so I won't either.  Just know always that Jesus loves you, and He wants us to love Him back.  He wants for us to join Him in Heaven when our time comes.  I hope you will accept this wonderful gift and promise before it's too late.  Life is hectic, but don't put off the really important things you want and need to do.  

Have a blessed and grand day, and enjoy the adventure that is ahead of you each day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Spring Time in New Mexico

I'm sorry it has taken so long to get back to writing on this blog.  Much has happened since I last posted, and not all is good.  I'm not sure how long this will be, but I will try to bring you up-to-date on what has been happening.
On March 30th we were at Big Al's getting the thermostat on our car replaced.  While we were there, our dear friend Pastor Ric stopped by to talk to Al about his car.  While he was there, Ric got a call that his only son Lon had been rushed to the hospital.  That night Ric texted me that it was an infection and that Lon was back home.  On Saturday Ric texted me that his son had died.  I believe the cause of death was due to a carbon monoxide leak from a faulty heater.  I pray Ric will forgive me for revealing this personal and painful information because I hope we can ALL learn something from this terrible tragedy.  

Lon was only 43 years old, and was a gentle, kind man who was loved by all who knew him.  This past Saturday we went to the wake for him.  The chapel of the funeral home was filled to capacity and beyond with people who loved Lon, and wanted to be with others who loved him and would miss him.  Many tears were shed by people that Lon had helped over the years.  He had been an example of love and generosity to all, and never turned anyone needing his kindness away.  He helped people overcome their demons, and even if they faltered, he stuck with them.  He didn't give up on anyone who came to him for help.  Several people, including Ric told stories of what Lon had meant to them.  Lon was a genuine kind of person who truly cared about the people he knew.  I think he would have helped a total stranger too if he was asked to do something.  

I hope we can take away two lessons from Lon's life and his passing.  First is that we should never be in such a hurry that we can't take time to help others who are in need, or are hurting.  A kind word or a helping hand can make a huge difference to a person who is alone or hurting.  We should not let our lives become so busy, or so self-centered that we will ignore the people around us.  God gave us life and that does make us important, but it's not supposed to make us selfish and ignorant of the people around us.  God created us to love Him and to love our neighbors (and that means everyone).  

Second, I hope this will remind all of us that this life on earth is transitory.  It may be short, but we should make the most of it.  God gave us a beautiful world to live in.  As I have said before, we should wake up with an attitude of gratitude for all that He has given us.  We should be counting our many blessings, not grumbling about what we don't have.  We do have what we need.  There are many in the world who are much less fortunate than most of us are.  Even if it's not perfect, most of us have fairly good health.  If it's not as good as we wish it would be, many of us can do something about it.  In fact most of us could do with eating a little less (or eating healthier foods) and getting a little more exercise.  If will power is an issue, ask God for help with that too.

Most of us have some money in our pockets, and in our bank accounts, so we can buy what we need.  There are many people with much less than what we have.   I have mentioned before that there are some wonderful charities that could use donations, such as The Wounded Warrior Project, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Shriner's Hospital, the Salvation Army, and the ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States.  There are also international charities such as Save The Children that desperately need help.  This earthly life is short, and NONE of us knows exactly when we will be called home.  But we have today, and we should not squander it.  What can you do to help another person today?  If you don't have money to donate, do you have time or energy you can donate?  You might volunteer at a local animal shelter, nursing home or hospital.  Maybe you have clothes or blankets or canned food you can bring to a center for the homeless.  Volunteers are needed every day.  Please search your heart and see what you can do for someone less fortunate than yourself.  Helping others will make you feel better about your own life too.

Another thing I want to say about realizing that this life could end suddenly is about forgiveness.  Many of us have held onto bad feelings towards someone that we may feel has wronged us.  In the first place, that person may or may not even know you are holding onto these ugly and often hateful feelings. Such feelings often hurt us more than anyone else.   It takes a lot of energy to maintain a grudge, and that is just wasted energy.  God has forgiven us for our sins, so who are we to decide we can't forgive others who may have hurt us at some time in the past?  As Christians we are supposed to try to learn from Jesus Christ and try to be like Him.  He forgave us, so we need to forgive others.  Please don't waste another day of your life focused on past grievances.  Forgive fully and make peace with those you have held bad feelings towards.  Letting go of negative feelings can be the start of a new and happier life for you.  A life of kindness and love for all mankind.  Don't put off until another day the kindness you could do today, because none of us know if we will be here tomorrow.  

Have a wonderful day filled with appreciation for all God has given you and with love and hope for the future.  God loves you, and that is a great way for your day to begin. 

One more short note.  Mary is still stuck in Lordsburg waiting for Smith Ford to get her van fixed so she can continue her travels.  Sunday we drove over and took lunch and her mail from here to her.  She is still in good spirits, and working on her projects.  Monday another friend from here went over and took her out to lunch, at the place I like, Kranberry's Chatterbox.  She still doesn't know how much longer she will be stuck there, or what these repairs will cost her, but she is still grateful that the van will be repaired and safe to drive when she finally gets back on the road.  She has a great attitude and that is so important in life.  

Happy days and happy, safe travels to one and all.  😊