Thursday, December 26, 2019

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Again, I will apologize for not posting in anything in over a month.  Life seems to keep me a few steps behind all the time.  There has not been a lot to report but I do like to keep in touch.  
After a pleasant, but soggy Thanksgiving with my brother Tony, here at Wilderness Lakes, we went to Palm Springs Resort for eleven days.   One must always be grateful when California gets some much needed rain, even if we don't enjoy everything getting soaked.  One of the reasons people choose to live in the southwest is that the weather is almost always warm and dry.  We enjoyed a nice visit with our dear friends Ray and Carol,when they came out to Palm Springs.
After our time in Palm Springs, where we sent out a few Christmas gifts and a bunch of Christmas cards, we came back to Wilderness Lakes again.  I got busy setting up, as usual, and then put out all of our Christmas decorations.  The next day I got really sick.  I have a bad case of bronchitis and an upper respiratory infection.  Between the antibiotics and the medications for the infection, I have been napping much of the time.  Sadly, as we age we lose the ability to bounce back the way we did when we were younger.  Being sick meant we had to cancel invitations to be with friends.  The last thing they need is to have me coughing all over them.  As a result, we spent a quiet Christmas here in the RV with our two fur babies.  I mostly miss the fact that we couldn't go to the candle light church service here in the park.  It's always a very special service, but the cold night air would not have been good for me, and nobody wants my germs.  We are again having a lot of rain, good for California,  but not so much for me.  This cough is hanging on something terrible.  As I said before, there is no real news, so I guess I should close this up with my hopes that each of you had a very nice Christmas and wish you ALL a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.  Recognize all your blessings, and look forward to how you might share them in the year ahead.  

We will leave here on January 6th for seven days in Palm Springs, and then on to Quartzsite before we proceed to Arrey, New Mexico.  I am ready to head home, and looking forward to living there.  I know I will miss my family and friends in other places, but truly hope some will visit us in our new home once we get settled in.  

We will share pictures once we get everything set up.  
Happy and Healthy New Year to one and all.


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Autumn is Upon us, but it's Still Pretty Warm

Happy Autumn everyone, I'm sorry I haven't written in quite a long time.  We seem to keep busy, but often with so little to show for our efforts.  We do housework, laundry, cooking and dishes, but none of that is newsworthy.  However, I will say I continue to love cooking in my Instant Pot pressure cooker.  I love to cook stews, soups, roasts, veggies, BBQ, chili, and best of all......cheesecakes.   You can't burn a cheesecake when you use a pressure cooker!  I have experimented with several flavors, and each has been my favorite when I made it.  But how can I lose weight when the Instant Pot calls me to make such yummy foods????

I am amazed to report that my Hawaiian Spider plant continues to thrive............since I learned that it is NOT supposed to be subjected to direct sunlight!  Is that amazing or what????  Praise be to God for watching over idiots, children and my plant.
Who knew I could kill my last one with too much water and too much sunlight?

As I mentioned above, we continue to have days that are above 80, and sometimes up to 90 here in So. Cal.  But the nights are getting much cooler.  The flannel sheets are back on the bed, along with a cozy, warm blanket under our nice warm quilt.  No cold feet in this house, except maybe Millie's.  LOL.  It's supposed to cool down about 10 degrees next week, which we are looking forward to.  
Our dear friends Diane and Jim are still traveling in their motorhome on the east coast.  She sent me these pictures, and I don't think I have shared them yet.  If any are repeats, just bear with me and enjoy.  Here they are at Niagara Falls.  Pretty chilly, but they enjoyed being there.
These were taken at the Tear Drop Memorial in the harbor of Bayonne, N.J.  It's 100 feet tall and the tear drop is 40 feet long.  It is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.  The Tear Drop faces the Statue of Liberty.  The tiles on the ground surrounding it contain the names of all who died that day.  This was completed by a Russian sculptor and brought to our country.  There has been very little publicity or recognition for this tremendous act of compassion and caring.  We think that is very sad.
 Diane and Jim are having a wonderful adventure on this trip and will be spending Thanksgiving with relatives in Georgia.  After that they plan to try to get back to California as quickly as possible.  We  have missed them terribly and look forward to seeing them soon, but we are very glad this trip has gone so well for them.  Here is one more picture they sent to me.  I don't remember just where it was, but still worth sharing.
In case you didn't notice, this "igloo" is made from a stack of ice chests.  Too funny.  

In case you haven't seen the news from California, there was a period of VERY low humidity and high Santa Ana winds, which lead to some really awful fires around the area.  Many, many acres of land burned, homes were destroyed and lives were lost.  Since there currently is only ONE way to get up and down the hill between Banning and Silent Valley, I got very nervous about the possibility of being trapped up there by fire, or of not being able to get our motorhome down the hill to safety.  After several days of worrying I asked Jim if he was willing to pack up early and come down off the hill before there might be a danger in the area.  We called and got a site in Wilderness Lakes for the week.  We packed up as quickly as we could and drove down there.  After we got into a nice site, I tried to put the living room slide "out".  I heard a terrible grinding noise, so I of course stopped.  I had forgotten to take down my adorable owl family clock from the wall behind the driver's seat.  It was shredded!  After I got the clock out of the slide, it went out perfectly.  Later I looked into the possibility of replacing the same clock.  To my dismay, the price had just 

about doubled!  I found another one to replace it, but no owls on this one.  We had to replace it because we always looked at that wall to see what time it was.  This is still a blue clock, our
favorite color, and its easy to see the time.  And it matches the color of our living room curtains.

Last Thursday we had to move from Wilderness Lakes to an RV park in Hemet for a week.  As we drove in the manager was outside and told us we would have site 43.  We drove back to find site 43 was already occupied!  I called Laurie back and informed of that, so she had to check the book to find us another site.  All is well and this is a nice enough site, but it was an unexpected surprise!  One must learn to "go with the flow" since these things do happen.  

I have one more cute picture to share before I close.
I think our friend Vickie Jo sent me this picture of a woodpecker trying to feed off 
this hummingbird feeder up in Silent Valley. 
Let's hope he found food elsewhere.

Before I close I would like to share again my holiday wishes for all of you.  Please think of all the many blessings you enjoy each day, and give thanks.  Also, please think of all the many people around you who are less fortunate than you are, and what you might do to help someone else.  Maybe you can invite someone to join you for Thanksgiving dinner.  Could you take dinner to a shut-in?  Make a donation to a homeless shelter or Food Bank.  Maybe you could volunteer at a Rescue Mission or Soup Kitchen.  
And don't forget about homeless animals.  The local animal shelters are always  over-crowded, but this time of year it's even more of a problem.  Have you considered opening your heart to a rescue animal?  You will be amazed how good it can make you feel to give a lonely animal a forever home.  Please consider rescuing a homeless dog or cat, but only if you are prepared to make a true commitment to providing a forever home.  These animals don't need to be taken in, and then abandoned later on.  If you can't take an animal home, please consider volunteering at a shelter, or at least donating food, or blankets, or bags of cat litter.  
The local hospitals can use donations too.  There are organizations that collect toys for children who might otherwise not have any gifts for Christmas.  Many churches collect food donations for families for the holidays too.  Please do whatever you can to share the blessings you enjoy with those who have so much less.  

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!!!😊

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Pictures and More

This is going to be mainly pictures, but I wanted to share them as soon as possible.  I had to get on the computer today, so here goes.  I can't remember if I posted this picture of the Goodyear Blimp we saw over Beaumont a few weeks ago.
 Here are two pictures
of the hat racks we got to hang up Jim's many caps.

Here is a cute "tree house" and our dear friends Jim & Diane at a lovely park they stopped in, I think this was near Niagara Falls, NY.
 We got new carpet for the outside steps, and of course we chose blue rugs!

 Did I post this picture before?  Have you ever seen a motorcycle with a side-car camper????  I had to include this picture of Jim in his new tee shirt.  It shows a Class C motorhome and says "What Happens in the RV stays in the RV".  Loved it.

 This is Diane and Jim's two "girls" in a shopping cart.  They are such sweet little girls.  Even our furry kids miss Lucy and Daisy.  On the right is Jim Hubert sitting outside their motorhome. They are in New York state and it's getting chilly there.  I suggested they be sure to visit Hershey Pennsylvania, and while they are camped in Jersey City, NJ they should go to Bayonne, NJ to see the amazing Tear Drop monument to the people who died on 9/11.  

I think it was Tony who sent me this picture.  It looks funny when they lifted the feathers over his legs.  Who knew???
 We had some really nice curtains here in the kitchen, but they got very worn out and ragged, so I ordered new ones.  I had to hem them, but I think they turned out very nicely.  We felt they go well with the wall paper strip behind them on the wall.

 When we put Jim's hat rack on the living room wall behind the passenger seat, we had to move this owl over on the front of this cabinet.  He looks great there. 
By the way, do you know what owls eat for breakfast????  Hoot Loops.

What did the owl say to his therapist???
Whoo Whoo am I.

That's enough corny jokes so I will close now.  Have a wonderful week ahead.  Road crews are working on the road down this hill from early morning until 5:30 pm each day.  So Tuesday we are going to drive down the hill after 5:30 and we will stay at the KOA for one night.  Then we can leave on Wednesday morning to go to Wilderness Lakes.  Best wishes to all and many blessings.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Long Time, No Blog Post

To be honest, I was a little surprised, and maybe disappointed, that no one emailed to ask why I haven't posted in about two months, when I used to blog one or more times a month.  Maybe you are tired of my musings and news.  If that is true, please say so, and I will stop posting after this one.  

This year has had some highs, and some very sad lows for us.  People we have loved have passed away.  Others have become ill, or disabled.  Beloved pets of some others have developed serious health issues.  Others have had to have surgeries.  My mother used to share a phrase that I think was originally from Art Linkletter:  Old age ain't for sissies.   I still think Life is a Gift, and I am grateful for each day God gives me in this life.  When He calls me Home, I look forward to going to Heaven to be with Jesus, but I will enjoy this life first.

For a few, the news has been good.  Diane & Jim were given a small motorhome, and have been able to experience a wonderful trip across this great country.   

We took part in the Luau held here at Silent Valley by the church here.

 Here are a few pictures of everyone having fun.  That is Pastor James and his wonderful wife, Judi in the picture on the right.
Here are Judi and another lady, maybe dancing a hula.  On the right is Vickie Jo.  She is an amazing lady who has helped me learn to use my Instant Pot, pressure cooker.   I have cooked many main dishes and several kinds of cheesecake.

With practice, my cheesecakes have gotten even more tasty!

She is a prayer leader in our church too.  I had hurt my left hip and was barely able to walk, so I didn't take part in the dancing or other contests.  Still, I did have a good time socializing with these nice people.

This little guy is my newest owl.  I don't remember where we were when I found him, but when I saw him, I just had to add him to our feathered family members.

There really has not been a lot of news to share lately.  Diane & Jim have been traveling in their new 22 foot motorhome.  They visited their daughter in Colorado, then friends in Arkansas, then on to another daughter in Indiana.  Now they are enjoying a beautiful campground in Loudinville, Ohio.  They are looking forward to seeing Niagara Falls.  The truth is, I miss them terribly, but at the same time, I am so very happy that they are having the chance to have these wonderful experiences.  God has given us so many blessings, and this wonderful world we live in are among these blessings.  They have been so blessed, and are very grateful for being able to make this journey across America.  
I wish we could have traveled with them, but with my injured hip, my mobility is quite limited, and we couldn't have kept up with them!!!  She is sending me pictures, and text messages most days to share their adventures with us.  I will send some of the pictures from my phone to my computer so I can share them with all of you.  

This week my computer access device, a Verizon Jet-pack, was hacked.  Someone was using my very limited data to stream movies.  I was horrified when I found these charges on my bill.  I called Verizon, and spoke with a wonderful lady who reviewed my billing history, and realized that these were not my charges.  Thank God, she took the charges off my bill and restored some of my data.  Sadly, there are bad people who don't think twice about scamming or hacking innocent folks, often older people like us.  All I can say is, watch your accounts, and report any unusual activity, so it can be checked out.  Please dear friends, I hate to suggest being suspicious, but just be careful.  Don't be duped by people who try to say you owe them money, or other types of scams.
Its a shame that people try to take advantage of older people.  They know we may be less skilled with the technology and that can make us more vulnerable.  Be careful, and be mindful.  

Be mindful of those even less fortunate than we are.  Please don't let bad people like these make you less generous to the people who really DO need help.  Summer is coming to an end, cold weather is coming.  Please do whatever you can to help the homeless, the disadvantaged, and poor, unwanted animals in humane shelters.  

Good bye for today, and God bless you.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Back Home in Silent Valley

It's always good to get back here.  It may be hot, but it's always cooler than down in the desert locations, like Banning.  We got here on July 8th, and were able to get into a site right across the road from our dear friends Diane & Jim.  We like being close to them, and it made it a little easier for them as they looked after our furry kids when we had two doctor's visits to make last week.  It has gotten up to the low 90s here, but with our two air conditioners working perfectly, we have kept it nice and cool inside the motorhome.  
I ordered  Jim an upgrade for his birthday.  It arrived last week, and as you can see, he IS enjoying the daylights out of his birthday gift.
Millie likes it too, but he gets it when he wants to sit in it.

I also got an early birthday gift.  It's called a Thermal Cooker.  Now I must admit that we have already got almost any kind of cookware we could want, but I had to add this one.  Our dear friend Almita told us about this, and showed me hers.  Mine has a large AND a small pot inside the outer pot.  You can put food inside the large pot, like stew meat, or chicken, etc. and vegetables with a little oil, and brown them off.  Then you add water, or gravy, or sauce to cover.  Bring the food to a rolling boil on the stove (or on an induction cook top) and boil for 15 to 30 minutes.  Now here's the unique part of the process.  You take the large pot OFF the stove, with the cover on it, and put it inside the outer, thermal pot, close the lid and leave it alone....with no more heat source required!  It keeps cooking for about 2 more hours.  Then it will keep the food warm for up to 6 more hours!  You can take hot food to a pot luck or just leave it sitting on the counter until you are ready to eat your dinner!  And there's can also use the Thermal cooker to keep COLD foods cold for up to 6 or 8 hours.  Say you made a nice potato salad to take to a pot luck later.  You can put it in either the large OR the small pot (depending on how much you made) then fill the other pot with ice.  Close the lid and keep your salad cold and safe from germs growing in it.  But wait, there's even MORE to tell you about the Thermal Cooker.  I made a yummy Hawaiian chicken dinner with vegetables in the large pot.  I cooked it on the stove for about twenty minutes.  At the same time, I put two cups of rice and three cups of water in the smaller pot.  I cooked that on top of the stove for about 5 minutes.  Then I put the BIG pot of chicken into the outer pot, and quickly added the covered pot of rice and closed the lid and left it on the counter.  About five hours later we enjoyed a most delicious dinner.  And believe it or not, there is even more for me to share with you about my wonderful Thermal Cooker.  Last week I filled the large pot with water and brought it to a boil.  At the same time, I half filled the small pot and brought it to a boil.  I made a small cake (I bought what is called Perfect Size cake mix kit) and I had bought a 6" Wilton cake pan.  I put the cake batter into the 6" pan, covered it with aluminum foil and secured the foil with a rubber band (to keep water out) and put the cake pan inside the small pot of water.  I covered it and boiled it for 25 minutes (directions said 20 to 30 minutes).  Then I put the large pan inside the outer Thermal pot, and put the small, covered pot inside the big pot and closed the lid.  We left it in there for two hours.  When I took it out, the cake was perfectly baked.  I let it cool on a rack for 15 or 20 minutes, then turned it out on a plate.  When it was cooled, I frosted it, and it was delightful.  You might think this was more work than baking a cake in the oven, but it wasn't bad, AND it didn't heat the motorhome up as much as having the oven on for 45 minutes or more.  Also, it was nice making just a perfect size (6") cake instead of a bigger one.  The most important thing about using the big pot is that it needs to be 75 to 80% full to maximize the cooking and keeping warm part of it.  Also, you need liquid to cover the food.  But you can make soups, stews, etc with only a short time on the stove or induction cooker, so you save energy, and after you put the meal into the Thermal Cooker, you don't have to do anything more, so you save time since you can be doing anything else that you want while the Thermal Cooker does the work!  Now here's the rest of the story.  Almita bought the Thermos Shuttle Chef.  I think she got it on  Her cooker is called a 4.5L size, but that refers to the outer pot, which you must NEVER put food in or put on your heat source.  Her inside pot probably holds 3 quarts of food and liquid, which is perfect for two people.  I bought mine on my favorite site:  Mine is called the Sonya 6L cooker.  The inner large pot holds about 4.5 quarts, and the smaller pot holds 2 quarts of food and liquid.  I know I may sound like a paid spokesperson, but I assure you I am not.  I am simply a very happy customer.  Now the one drawback with both of these cookers is that they do NOT come with a cookbook or instructions IN ENGLISH.  There is a page of information, with pictures you can follow fairly well, but the words are in Japanese, I think.  I went back to and found a nice and easy to use Thermal Cooker cookbook.  If anyone is interested, you can go online and compare the various models available, and see the sizes offered and the prices.  

This past Monday we had been told that Edison electric would be turning the power off all day while they did some work around here.  So we planned on going up to Oak Glen for a picnic where it would be cooler.  We called and invited George (my brother-in-law) to come too,

and also invited Diane & Jim to go with us.  We took ham and cheese sandwich makings, deviled eggs, potato chips, salad, home baked brownies, lots of water and other drinks.  Diane also brought potato salad which was delish!  It was very comfortable up there, except for the bugs that tried to eat us up.  I'll bring a can of Yard Guard next time to see if that helps.   I wanted to invite my brother Tony and his dog Woody too, but it was really too far to ask him to drive up there.  He sent me some really nice pictures of Woody recently.  The one here was taken about ten days ago.  Woody is soooo handsome, and my brother ain't bad looking either.  

This past Tuesday was quite a day.  Diane's Jim had an early morning doctor's appointment, and they had a lot to do that day, so we offered to puppy-sit.  Jim brought the girls (Lucy and Daisy) over Monday night.  They were delightful house guests, as always.

  All the dogs had gotten pretty dirty while we were up at Oak Glen, as they liked to dig in the soft dirt, so Tuesday was bath day.  First I took Millie into the shower with me.  Then after she was towel dried, Jim bathed Willie in the shower.  After Jim got his shower, I bathed Daisy then Lucy in the kitchen sink.  By the time all the dogs were dried, we were pretty well exhausted!  Lucy and Daisy had to be blow-dried because we saw that they were shivering, and we didn't want them to catch a cold.  In the picture above, Millie is trying to show off her new magnetic necklace.  LOL.  Daisy and Lucy got new necklaces too, but they really didn't much care!  

Wednesday was Diane & Jim's 43rd anniversary.  They have been so busy these last few weeks, that they both forgot!  I called and invited them for dinner here last night to celebrate the occasion.  Since they are vegans, and we are not, I wanted to provide them with a vegan dinner.  I found that Wal-Mart sells frozen vegan dinners, and also a vegan ice cream made with coconut milk.  We had a few other things we needed to get, so we got frozen dinners for all of us, and the coconut milk ice cream for them.  It turned out to be a very nice night.  Diane took a selfie of all of us, but she forgot to send it to me, so I can't include it here, as I had planned.  Maybe on the next blog posting.  

I don't want to go into the whole story, but this past weekend I was very sad about a situation that I have no control over.  The probable outcome of the situation will most likely cause much more sadness.  However, on Sunday we went to church here at Silent Valley with Pastor James.  I couldn't ask for prayers because I would have cried if I tried to talk about it.  Pastor James always asks if there was anyone who had any unspoken prayers they needed addressed.  I raised my hand.  He said God always knows what we need or want.  After he prayed for all who asked for prayers (spoken and unspoken) the he said "Give your problems to God and just let them go."  He went on to say we don't need to worry about anything when we give our cares to God.  He said a lot more that was important, but that was what I needed to hear.  I'm still sad about the situation, but I am also comforted because I know that He will take care of it.  I know I can't make it better, but He knows what needs to be done and He will do it.  The outcome may NOT be what we would like it to be, but we know that God will comfort us in our sadness, and we know that He has a reason for everything that happens.  We may think that we are in control of our lives, but God has always had a plan for us, and if we allow Him to take control, it will always be better than what we thought we wanted to do.  
I can only suggest that when you have a problem or concern, give it to God.  He wants us to ask for His help, but He won't force it on us.  Just KNOW that God loves you and wants to help you, and comfort you in times of stress, pain orf heartbreak.  Be a FROG!

Have a good week and a wonderful life my dear friends.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

We are still at Wilderness Lakes

Another beautiful day in Paradise

On June 17th we packed up and made our way to Menifee.  Almita & Rueben saved us a very nice site, right across from their site.  After we got unpacked and settled in, they came over for a short visit.  It had been quite a long time since we had seen them. The next day I had a doctor's appointment. Later that day Almita & Rueben came over for dessert.  I made a banana cream trifle.  They both said it was too pretty to I took a picture, and then we ate it!  
It was yummy too.
The next day was my mammogram.  The results were good, so we are happy.  That week we got a chance to re-connect with friends.

On Sunday we drove up to our home church in Garden Grove.  It was wonderful to see everyone there. I was sorry to see that Pastor Paul was limping because of pain in his ankle.  I got him a bottle of the Equine linament I use 🙏  I really hope it will give him the relief it has provided for me.  Most days I don't even need any ibuprofen if I use it on my back and knees.

Tony came down from Oceanside on Thursday to visit, and to doggy sit for us.
 Here is Tony's dog Woody on the right, and our Willie is on the left.  Poor Woody is getting old and has some unfortunate health issues, but he is a really wonderful companion dog for Tony.

On Friday we had to drive up to the Garden Grove Elks for the memorial service for our beloved friend Marla Greer.  Since it was a Friday, we decided not to drive back to Menifee because traffic would be really horrible that night.  Instead, we reserved a room for the night, and had dinner at the Elks lodge with our friends Ron & Sherrie Parker.  The band, called 5 Star, was excellent, and we danced all night.  Tony took care of the dogs for us, and it was such a comfort knowing they were in good, loving hands.  We got back before 10 am on Saturday.  The only bad part is that it was pretty hot here.  Tony is used to being on his boat in Oceanside, where it is cooler with delightful breezes.  He stayed over one more night so we had some time together.  Sadly he is still in a lot of pain from a fall in Wal-Mart over a month ago.  As our mom used to say, "Old age ain't for sissies".  Now he is home on his boat enjoying the milder temperatures.  

Our newest upgrade is a small table at the end of the couch.  It is perfect for us and holds our fruit bowl and our fiber optic eagle lamp. 

Our friends Joan and Jim have purchased a motorhome.  Here are two pictures of it.  They are very happy with their home, as they previously were traveling in a van camper.   They are currently on a trip up through Oregon, Idaho and thereabouts.  We wish them the very best on their first RV trip.

Jim & Diane are also hoping to buy a nice used motorhome in the near future.  I'll post pictures when they get one .

Our other news is that Almita has introduced us to Thermal Cooking.  It allows you to cook food on the stove for 10-20 minutes, then put the pot of food inside a large thermal pot, without any heat source, to finish cooking and stay warm for several hours.  I ordered one, and we love it!  My first experiment was a pork roast and vegetables.  Later I did a beef stew, and we were amazed.  Saturday I did Hawaiian Chicken in the big pot, and cooked rice in a smaller pot inside the same thermal pot.  It is incredible!  You use less energy, and once you put the pot of food inside the thermal pot, you can leave it alone until dinner time, so you can go about your day without having to check on your dinner.

We have one more week here before we go back to Silent Valley for a month.  This week we will be getting window shades for the last two windows of the RV.  We also have a guy coming to try to help us figure out what is causing our batteries to lose power.  All is good.  

Time to close now.  Please remember to begin each day with an attitude of gratitude.  God has given us so much to be grateful for.  Each day is a blessing and life is truly a gift.  Open each gift and enjoy the present!  More after we get back to Silent Valley next week.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Life Seems so Busy...........

I don't remember being this busy even when I had a full time job.   Do other retired people feel the same way?  Maybe it's just because we ARE retired that we feel like we have all kinds of time to get things done, so we procrastinate, and then wonder where the day went.  Alas, if that's my biggest problem, I shouldn't complain.
It's over nine miles down the hill from Silent Valley to Banning, so we would PREFER to only go down once, or twice a week, but last week it was six days out of seven!  
Last Wednesday the church had a 50's themed party and pot luck dinner.  I know I told you about it, but now I will include some pictures, and a video, if I can.
 This was the inflatable jukebox we had, but the music came from Pastor James's Alexa.
On the right is Pastor James and his wonderful wife, Judi.
I managed to stay out of these pictures, as I was taking some myself.

Several people, including Diane tried to use the hula hoops.  Fifty plus years ago, I was good at it.
Oh well.  Life moves on.

Sunday was Diane's birthday.  We baked her a cake for that night.  But it was her wish to get away somewhere, and she chose driving up to Big Bear Lake for the day.  It was a great idea, because it was over 100 degrees in Banning, and a cool mid 70's up there.  We had lunch at the Teddy Bear Cafe.  We chose that one because they had an outside patio where we could take all FOUR dogs with us.  We were very proud of Millie and Willie as they were on their very best behavior all day.  After lunch, we drove to a marina where we rented a pontoon boat for an hour on the lake.  Diane's husband Jim drove the boat, and we had an amazing time.
The guy from the marina took this pix.  I took about 125 pictures, but many were NOT good, as the wake bounced us around and many were just of water!  But some turned out very nicely.  Some of the people we saw enjoying the day on the lake.

 It was cool up in Big Bear, and you can see the snow up in the higher mountains.

On the right is a "pirate ship" that offers narrated lake tours.
 As always, Millie was fearless, but Willie had to be lifted onto the boat, and was not sure if he liked being away from terra firma.
This is just one of many beautiful, and very expensive homes we saw along the lakeside.
I understand that Big Bear Lake is a man made lake. 
 At one time this was a restaurant that people came to by boat.  On the right is an observatory.  We didn't go in because it wasn't open, but there are times when one can go inside it.

This was another tour boat we saw there.  It was an amazing day, and I'm so grateful that Diane & Jim wanted to share it with us.
I had to include this picture.  It was taken on California Highway 243 on the way up to Silent Valley.  California had more than its usual amount of rain this year, resulting in more greenery, and more beautiful flowers everywhere.  We think this is lavender, but I could be mistaken.  Nevertheless, it is a delightful spot of color on this usually dry, and brown landscape.
I took the picture on the right, looking northeast from Highway 243 as we were going down the hill. You can see how green some of it is, and again, snow capped mountains off in the distance.  God has blessed southern California with such beauty, and we can only hope and pray that this beauty won't be destroyed by wild fires, as happens too often.  Sadly, people can be very careless, and the resulting fires destroy many millions of acres of land, and homes, and all too often lives are lost too. Besides the risk of wild fires, there is another danger we must always be aware of.  In the summer heat, too many people leave, pets, children, or elderly family members is a closed and locked car to run errands.  It only takes a few minutes for the heat in a closed car to climb to life threatening temperatures, even with windows open a few inches.  Please do NOT leave people or pets in a closed car for even a moment.  If you can't take pets with you, they are better off left at home.  Also, if you have elderly people in your neighborhood, please check on them frequently.  Make sure they are not suffering from heat related problems, and are well hydrated.  We ALL need more water when it gets hot, since we can dehydrate easily.  And even if they are OK, most people would appreciate the company, and knowing that someone cared enough to check on them.  Occasionally you might even deliver them a nice homemade meal or dessert.  Maybe they cannot afford a tasty dessert, or cannot prepare meals.  Be a good neighbor, it's what Jesus wants us to do.

Bye for today.  Take care, drink plenty of water.  Don't spend too much time out in the sun, and if you like to exercise, try to do it either early in the morning or after it cools down in the evening.  Best wishes to all, and to all good day.  😀