Tuesday, May 22, 2018

At Home in Arrey, NM and Happy to be Here

Today is another sunny day in Arrey, NM.  Rain was predicted yesterday, and some areas got it, but we didn't.  Jim saw lightning off in the distance last night, but we just had a warm, and muggy evening here.  A few days ago he took this incredible picture.  

 This was taken on May 17th just after sunset.  We thought it was great because the stars here are so bright, but usually we can't get a decent picture showing them.  I just love how clear the night sky is here.  In California, and many other heavily populated areas there is so much artificial light that you just can't see the beauty and peacefulness of the night sky.  Some nights Jim and Millie and I sit outside and just enjoy the quiet and beauty.  We don't make Willie stay out with us because he gets nervous when he can't see what might be out there.  He is happier inside, but Millie isn't afraid of anything!!!

I hope you don't get tired of my pictures of our furry kids, but I like taking their pictures because they are just so adorable.  Case in point:
Millie is showing off her newest necklace.  I don't know if I told you, but three years ago her doctor told us she has a congenital knee problem, and he said someday down the road she may need surgery on it.  In hopes of not having to put her through that, I have made her magnetic necklaces.  The doctor is amazed that her knee has not gotten any worse over the years.  In this picture she is modeling her owl and magnet necklace.  Willie also wears a double magnetic necklace.  About two months ago he was having trouble 
getting up the steps to the RV or onto the couch, so I made him a double strand necklace and within mere hours of wearing it, he was acting like a pup again!  I couldn't believe how quickly he showed a huge improvement.  I don't know if you can see it, but he IS wearing it under his collar.

Another cute picture:
 She is wearing Jim's Happy Camper cap we got at Camping World last year.  She is such a character that she will go along with whatever Jim does with her.
Anyway, our furry kids are such a blessing to us that we absolutely KNOW they are a gift from God to make us happy campers too.

Last Saturday was the Arrey Outdoor Bonanza again, known as AOB.  Janice has done everything imaginable to publicize the event throughout the whole area.  She has posted colorful signs around in many places, she advertised in the Cobblestone, which is a monthly publication of events and advertisements for the area, and on the radio and even on Facebook and the RV park website.  She even printed up cards to hand out to anyone we meet.  Still the response was less than all of us hoped for.  Sadly we have competition from TorC.  On May 5th it was the annual Fiesta weekend in town.  This time it was a HUGE auction going on in TorC.  It's hard to get people to travel 18 miles to come to a new event.  We are hoping that on June 2nd we won't have any major competition and might get more people to show up.  This past Saturday we had about 8 or 9 vendors, and sales were not terrific for anyone.  We only sold a few loaves of our yummy home made breads, and a few pieces of costume jewelry, none of my magnetic bracelets, and none of our gourmet jellies.  We donated the unsold clothes and household goods to be taken to a local homeless shelter.  A camping couple who were here overnight bought one loaf of Vienna bread and a jar of grape jelly on Sunday morning before they left the RV park.  We gave away a few loaves of bread, and Ric and Mary bought some today.  The rest we have put into our freezer.  

I really thought that being here in New Mexico, the Chili Pepper Capital of the World, our Jalapeno Cheese bread and the Jalapeno pepper jellies would be a big seller.  I guess you just never know.  Anyway, I like them so if they don't sell, I can eat them.  We sold one or two of the wine and cheese breads, so I still haven't gotten to try that one yet, but I will.  We found that a grilled cheese sandwich on cheddar cheese bread is pure heaven on earth!!!!  

It's a lot of work to load up the chairs, tables and what we want to sell into the car, drive next door to the AOB area, park and set up the EZ Up shade canopy, and all the set up for selling.  It gets really hot out there before noon, and then it's a lot of work to pack it all back up to come back home again.  It's well worth it IF we have good sales, but it's disheartening if we don't make very many sales.  We debated whether we should set up again on June 2nd, but I think we will, since it will be the last AOB before we start back to California.  But we will not take as much stuff over there.  We will take one case of assorted jellies and only about 6 or 8 loaves of breads.  We will have our flyers telling people the kinds of bread we offer, if anyone wants to order anything before we leave here. Anyway, that's enough about the AOB and our sales.  

Sunday we were really tired and decided we needed a nice, quiet stay at home day, so we didn't even go to church that day.  After breakfast we got showers and got dressed.  I have been meaning to have Jim go through his closets and drawers to clear out things that he doesn't wear anymore.  It wasn't supposed to, but it turned into quite a big project.  We threw out un-matched socks, and overly worn clothes.  We bagged up things that don't fit to give to the homeless shelter, and we packed away winter clothes for next year!  We even went through the things stored underneath the bed!  Jim says that the next time I say we are going to have a nice, quiet stay at home day...............he's going to pass on it.

By the way, last week after he steam cleaned the kitchen sinks and cabinets in the Rec Room of the park, Jim also steam cleaned the stove and oven there to look almost like new.  It was amazing how clean he got it.  

Next Sunday will be our 35th anniversary.  Ric and Mary want to take us out to lunch after church to celebrate it.  Saturday I will have to bake our anniversary cake.  I don't do it every single anniversary, but I have to do it again this year because Guy remembers it from last year, and he has been asking me to make it since we got here in February!  It's the same cake (but smaller) that I made for our wedding.  For the wedding I made it as three double tiers of awesome white walnut cake with a creamy custard filling and a whipped cream frosting.  For here, I will make it as a Bundt cake which I will cut in half to include the custard filling and top it with the whipped cream frosting.  

In closing I would like to wish everyone a wonderful week, and a life filled with blessings, great and small.  Please don't overlook any of them.  You woke up this morning, so be grateful for life itself.  Many others didn't.  If it was your choice, you had breakfast this morning.  Many people are going hungry, not just today but much too often.  You probably took a nice warm shower and got dressed.  Too many people don't have access to clean water or a change of clothes.  I think you see my point here.  As I have said repeatedly, God will provide for what we NEED.  Much of what we WANT is not what we really need.  We should stop worrying about what we don't have because in most cases, we really don't need what we think we want.  

In some cases, we may be unhappy with the life we have.  It may seem empty or meaningless.  We may be sad or frustrated with what we are doing, and we may even be feeling sorry for ourselves.  I would like to suggest that such a situation is not God's fault, it is our own fault.  If we are not satisfied with life as it is, we can change it.  Pray to God for direction, and He will show you the way, but it will be up to each of us to do something.  We could volunteer to help others less fortunate than ourselves, or get a job if money is what we need.  We have only to get moving to start to feel more energized, and that in and of itself, will make us happier.  Jesus loves you, so share the love and by helping others, you will help yourself too.

Sadly, there is violence here in America, but in many other parts of the world violence is an every day risk.  Please pray for an end to the violence and suffering around the world.  Pray that the Holy Spirit will enter the hearts of people around the world and bring us Peace on earth.  Pray for our President and the leaders of the world to resolve their issues, and ask God to lead us to the world He wants us to have.  

Memorial day is coming up next week.  If your town holds a parade or other event to honor our veterans, please attend it.  Remember to thank veterans for their service.  I have often read there are only two people who will lay down their lives for you.  American veterans gave their lives for your freedoms, and Jesus died to save your soul.  Please honor both and never forget their sacrifices for us.  God bless America, and may Her flag be flown with pride.

Until next time, be happy, and please be grateful for all that you have been blessed with.

Saturday, May 12, 2018


I put question marks for the title because I'm not sure what I will write about today.  Maybe I will figure out a title for it before I am finished and this will be changed, but I don't know right now.  Anyway, I do want to keep in touch with everyone, so here goes.

We have received a few orders for our gourmet jellies and artisan breads since the second Arrey Outdoor Bonanza, which I will in the future refer to as AOB.  I hope our sales continue to pick up.  If they do, we will invest in a slightly bigger water-bath canner.  I know some people love using a pressure canner, but I have always been terrified of them, and this late in life, I'm not going to try to use one now.  
We are offering selections of about 10 flavors of jelly and 10 varieties of breads.  So far, the breads are the big sellers, but we will continue offering the jellies for a little longer.  This was one of our tables at the second AOB.

Janice has been trying to improve the rec room, which has not had anything done to it in a very long time.  One camper, named Guy has been doing a lot of work on the electrical and plumbing in the kitchen area.  Janice wanted to rip out and replace the cupboards, so Guy set out to do that task........but quickly found out just how heavy said cupboards really were.  Jim has been helping him out for much of the last week now.  I haven't been over to see what they have done, but I think, if I understand what Jim said, they built a kind of platform to raise the cupboards up a little, and now have them in place.  There is a very heavy, and very old double sink that they hope to salvage, so today Jim is over there again, trying to steam clean the sinks, inside and out.  What he has accomplished is nothing short of amazing!!!!!
The sink on the right shows just how bad they were.  On the left is the first one he cleaned.  He of course cleaned both, so they look almost like new now.  I'm so proud of him for the good things he does for people.

Along with all of this, he also was trying to help his friend Ron, who left a few days ago to head back to Tex-Arkana.  While he was here, Ron was living in a truck camper.  He towed a truck behind on a trailer for use to get around while he was here.  As I understand it, truck campers CAN be taken off the back of the truck and supported on "stands" so the same truck could be used for local transportation.  Therefore, I don't exactly understand why he needed the second truck. While he was here, Ron bought a Honda Gold wing three wheel motorcycle (trike) with a tiny cargo trailer behind it.  On the right is a picture of the trike.
At first he wasn't sure how he would get the trike and trailer back home.  Problem solved,  he bought another trailer to put the trike and its trailer onto.  

Jim helped him to get the used trailer fixed so it could make the trip.  

He also helped Ron get #2 truck onto #1 trailer, and the trike and little trailer onto #2 trailer and get everything hooked up together for the trip east to Tex-Arkana.  

Our friends  Sherrie and Willie were supposed to be here until about June 3rd, but he said he got homesick and just wanted to go back to Coldfax, Louisiana as soon as he could.  They decided to pack up and leave on May 3rd, so they stopped digging for gold on the previous Saturday, and on Monday they started packing up.  Willie had sold his travel trailer to Billy (a guy who works here for Janice) and since they were all packed up, they left in their truck on Wednesday at 2:30 pm.  Sherrie kept in touch by text messages to let me know how far they had gotten.  The whole trip was 1036 miles, which would have been 4 or 5 travel days, with rest days in between for us.  They did over 800 miles before they stopped to catch a few hours of sleep, and made it to their home in under 24 hours!!!!!  We just could not do that.  No way, no how. 
It's not a good picture of her, but this is my friend Sherrie, and to the right is a picture of Willie.

I really do enjoy going to church here in TorC.  Pastor Dudley Bristow is quite a guy.  He is a wonderful Pastor and he can take a joke when members of the church poke fun at him.  I don't have an example of that right now, but I just wanted to say that he is very inspiring and also comforting.  A few weeks ago I asked to speak to him after church to ask a question about something someone said to me.  He lead me into a quieter area and he talked to me as much as I needed him to do, so I could feel confident in his answers to me.  I don't know if he reads my blogs, but if he does, I hope he knows how much I appreciated his time that morning.

The church bulletin always has good things to read in it too.  A few weeks ago one of the messages in the bulletin was "The Golden Rule is old,but it's as good as ever.  It hasn't been used often enough to wear it out."  I really liked that because we just can't use the Golden Rule TOO often.  I can't imagine anyone ever saying someone had done "unto others as he would like others to do unto him" too much.  We may never know the good a simple act of kindness can do for another person.  But in our hearts we will always know if we treat others in ways we would not want them to have treated us.  I would like to share another short writing that was in the bulletin the same day.  Again, I don't know who said it first, but I think it is worth repeating.

"If you planted HOPE today in any hopeless heart............
If someone's burden was lighter because you did your part.....
If you caused a laugh that chased someone's tears away........
If tonight your name is named when someone kneels to pray....
Then your day was well-spent."

Just food for thought folks.  Everyone you meet has their own problems, worries, pains, and concerns.  We should never be the one who makes that person's burden more than they can bear.  We should always be willing and able to spare a smile, a hug, a kind word.  As I said before, we may never know what good our actions did for another person.  We shouldn't be doing kindness expecting any kind of reward or even thanks for what we have done.  We should be kind to others because we know it's the right thing to do.  There is an awful lot of unkindness out in the world, and people need people to be kind whenever possible.  We can hope that others will want to be kind to us, and to others too.  Often acts of kindness are "paid forward."  

Last week Pastor Dudley was talking about angels.  It was very interesting, and at times confusing because I had many wrong ideas about who angels really are. I really thought angels were people who have died that want to help and comfort us.  The Bible says that angels are spiritual beings that God created to serve Him.  Christians who have died are much higher up than angels are.  Jesus said He would prepare a place for us in Heaven.  I also worried about babies and children who might have died before they could accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.  It was very comforting to know that when little children die they are  immediately taken to heaven.  When I was younger someone said to me that elderly people spend more time reading the Bible because they are "cramming for their final exam."  I guess we are there now!!!  After all, another person told me that BIBLE means:

Anyway, have a wonderful day, and weekend, and life.  Please be kinder to others and pray they will pass it along.  Remember that Jesus loves you and that is the greatest gift you could ever have.