Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Spring has Sprung and all is Well


I just got off the phone after an hour-long call from a guy with Thousand Trails, and my brain is fried!  He talked extensively about all the changes that have taken place over the last ten years or so with the management of Thousand Trails.  After about 45 minutes he finally got to the point that we had expected all along.  He was hoping to sell us an Upgrade on our membership.  Most of what he had to offer involved use of parks in parts of the country that we are NOT likely to visit again.  He also tried to interest us in "vacations" from our RV when we would be able to stay at discounted rates in a condo in resort locations around the country.  None of this would interest us since we LIKE staying in our RV home.  Even after we told him that we would not be interested in buying an upgrade, he kept on pitching.  Finally I tried to tell him we were not going to waste anymore of his, or our time, he asked us to stay on the line while he got his supervisor on.  He claimed his supervisor likes to make sure he had answered all of our questions.  I assured him we didn't have any questions, and we got off the phone.  OMG!!!  I'm glad we didn't have to go through yet another pitch from his supervisor.  But we did get a "gift" of a three day/two night stay at one of the Encore parks at no expense.  Yippee!  

We had a wonderful Easter Sunday last week.  We totally enjoyed, and were uplifted by the amazing sermon preached by Pastor Dudley.  The music was also awe-inspiring.  Then we came home for the Easter pot luck dinner at the rec room here in the park.  Janice prepared ham and two turkeys!  She also did mashed potatoes and gravy.  The rest of us brought many side dishes and desserts.  I think we all ate too much, but it was a grand day and everyone had a wonderful time.  After we came back to the RV, the weather was delightful and we enjoyed sitting outside all afternoon.  
The following Wednesday Jim and I prepared dinner for the whole park.  We did BBQ chicken, potato salad, green salad, French bread and butter, and baked two cakes (a spiced cake and a yellow marble cake).  We had a good turnout and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  

On our travels coming out here, we discovered that the oil pressure gauge and the gas gauge were not working.  We gassed up each day we traveled so as to make sure we didn't run out of gas.  We checked the oil each day too.  After getting here we tried to get one guy to come out and check on the problem, but he kept putting us off, so about ten days ago we called Ron at the Garfield Garage.  The first problem he found was that the battery we had installed only 3 months ago in Palm Springs was dead.  On checking it out, it turned out that the guy had sold us an old, outdated battery!  You can be sure we will check the date on any more batteries we have to buy.  Ron got the gas gauge to work..........for a few minutes, and then it quit again.  No luck with the oil pressure gauge, and then the coolant warning gauge came on too.  After connecting up a sensor, he determined that we needed to replace the entire instrument cluster!!!  He had to order one from Albuquerque.  He hopes to have it by tomorrow and will install it when it gets here.  

We have decided that we will be staying here when we come back next February.  We hope to have one of the bigger sites in the back.  It should be quieter being farther from the road.  We hope to buy one of the mini-storage sheds Janice has for sale.  It will be great to be able to store things outside, and hang our out-of-season clothes in the shed.  Jim will also have a work space in the shed, and we plan to get a bigger refrigerator to keep in the shed.  Here's the biggest surprise:  I'm hoping to have myself a small garden too.  There is a garden box already on the site, and I want to grow some tomatoes, green peppers, onions and maybe even a few cucumbers!  It's been many years since I did any gardening, but I'm going to try.  I don't intend to go overboard with it though.  I just want to grow what we can use.  I'm NOT going to grow so much that I have to freeze and/or can stuff.  That's too much like work!!!!!  I am also hoping to get a nice glider swing to sit on outside.  Millie and I sometimes use the glider over by the rec room, so I'm sure that we will enjoy having one of our own.  The one I want has padded seat cushions and a cover over the top. 

Last year, our friend Mary came out here (towing a trailer behind her van).  She had troubles with her van that ended up costing her a small fortune, and delayed her departure by FIVE weeks.  Just before Easter, she drove to the post office (about one mile away).  The van started making terrible noises, and she barely got it back here to the park.  Janice recommended someone she knew to look at it.  The guy came out on Easter Sunday and took her van to his shop nearby.  He found that she had blown a spark plug that did some other damage.  It's going to cost her over $2000 and won't be fixed for another week.  She is beginning to feel like her van is jinxed, or coming here is bad luck for her.  But, if it had to happen, she is definitely glad it happened before she got on the road to go back to California.  

Mary has also decided that next March she will be coming out here to stay, so she is fixing up her site to be more "homey".  She has set up a bird bath and surrounded it with artificial plants that look very nice.  She also has a bird feeder and a hummingbird feeder hanging from the roof of her picnic table.  She has her "yard" fenced so her dogs can be outside during the day, and they definitely enjoy that.

I think I have spoken before about the wonderful books by Jan Karon that I have been reading.  Pastor Dudley's lovely wife Karen told me about them.  I was not able to find them locally, so my dear brother Tony ordered me several of the "Father Tim" books about life in the fictional town of Mitford online from Amazon.  One day I found two more in a local thrift store.  Yesterday I got brave, and ordered more of the series of books from Amazon.  I had asked Tony how to order from Amazon.  I hope I did it right, because I ordered TEN books.  These books are not mysteries (another genre I enjoy reading).  They are just stories about the life of an Episcopalian priest in a small town and the people in his town.  The stories are a total delight!  The author makes the people come alive, and I feel as if I almost know them personally.  If any of you are looking for books to read that don't include violence, profanity or degenerate behaviors, I heartily recommend these books to you.  

In one I was reading recently, Father Tim was having trouble coming up  with a topic for the sermon he had to give.  After prayer and reading his Bible, he found a passage in First Thessalonians,Chapter 5 verse 18.  It said "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  This moved me very deeply.  It's certainly easy to thank God when things are going well for us.  Not so easy when we are struggling with pain, or grief or darkness in our lives.  But God loves us and He will provide for us.  If life seems bad, or dark or depressing to us, we should give thanks, and ask God what it is that He is preparing us for.  Someone, but I don't remember who said, "If God brings us to it, He will bring us through it."   That is a great comfort to me.   God never promised life would be easy.  He never said every day would be a walk in the park.  But He DID promise to never leave us.  If you are dealing with a difficult situation, or darkness or sadness, try this message.  Praise God and thank Him for what you are going through, knowing it will prepare you for whatever He has ahead for you.  We may never understand why we had to live through these dark times, but we CAN put our trust in Him, the one who made us, and loves us.  We can accept whatever He asks of us, because He is always with us, and waiting for us to join Him for all eternity in the mansions in Heaven.  Unfortunately, not everyone wants to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, but those who do, know that they will never walk alone.  I will continue for any of you who has not yet found your way to Jesus.

Have a wonderful week ahead, and enjoy this beautiful world God has given us.  Bye for now.  Pictures next time.  😀😃👍

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Happy Easter everyone

In only four more days it will be Easter Sunday.  Can you feel the excitement?  Every year I am overwhelmed by the miracle that God gave us.  Jesus died for our sins, yours and mine.  He did this because He loves us and wants us to be able to live with Him throughout all of eternity.  This gift was not because WE deserved it.  There is no way we can earn this gift.  But Jesus paid the ultimate price because HE loves us.  To receive the blessing of this gift we have only to accept His sacrifice and accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior.  As I have said before, there was a time when I was afraid to accept this gift, because I didn't know what He might expect of me in return.  How foolish I was!  From the very first day that I accepted Him and asked Him to be the center of my life, I have known true joy.  I know I am never alone.  I know I can give all my concerns, fears or problems to Him, and He will take care of everything.  He KNOWS what I need, much better than I do, so I can trust Him to lead me in the path that is best for me.  He won't ask more of me than I can do, with His help.  Rejoice in the knowledge that Jesus fulfilled His promise to triumph over death, and show us the way.  But like any friendship, we need to develop a relationship with Him, by reading His word, by attending church services regularly and through prayer.  Enjoy the relationship He  offers all of us.  He will never let you down.

As you know, last week Gene was here to put an RV Armor coating on the roof of our home.  Last week I posted the "before" picture, so here are the "after" pictures.  Here is Gene at work on the roof.
On the right is a picture of the job, about half done with the first coat, after he had scraped off all the old caulking.
This is a picture of the finished project.  We are totally delighted with the results.  This roof surface has a warranty for the life of this RV!!!  We will never have to re-surface it like one must do with the original rubber roof surface.  To get these last two pictures, Gene put his step ladder in the bed of his truck and climbed up on it.  OMG.  I would never dare to do that.  It should not be walked on for seven days, but I can assure you I will NEVER walk on it.
On Friday night Janice was having cake and ice cream to celebrate everyone with April birthdays.  Mary decided to serve Indian tacos before the dessert.  She made them with Indian fry bread.  The fry bread can also be served for a dessert with honey and powdered sugar on top!  The couple on the right in the picture above are Gene and his wife Valerie.  They were here for work, but we enjoyed meeting these nice people and hope we will keep in touch, at least online.  They haul a 42 foot long 5th wheel trailer to live in.  It has an incredibly HUGE living room with a huge TV in it.  I wouldn't be surprised if it was a 60 inch TV!!!  He did an amazing job of driving that monster 5er, and backing it into the site next to ours.  I'm so glad we don't have to tow anything that big.

On Sunday we had invited Pastor Ric and his wife Mary over for dinner.  We got back from church, and tidied up the RV.  Then we got busy making dinner and setting up the table for company.  It was a beautiful, warm day, and all went well.  We had just finished eating the salad course, and were ready to serve our main course, when we got a big surprise.  Can you believe it, Joan and her husband Jim showed up at our door.  It got hectic with the dogs barking their greetings and Joan & Jim trying to get inside the house.  They only stayed a few minutes, and then left to head over to Silver City.  I really, REALLY wish they had let us know they were coming.  We could have included them in our dinner simply by moving dinner to the picnic table outside, but they said they had already had a lunch before they came here.  We won't get to see them again until we get back to California in May or June.  I'm glad they stopped here, but I sure wish they could have stayed longer.  So, Joan, next time PLEASE call ahead so we can spend more time together.  OK???

Here is another trailer we saw in TorC this past week.
 People here really like camouflage on everything!  We get a kick out of such individuality.  This was next door to a local thrift store where I found two more of the Jan Karon books in the Father Tim series.  I'm still missing seven books in the series, but I will keep looking for them.
Pastor Ric will be preaching at the Good Friday service in TorC at the Hope Springs Community Church of the Nazarene.  We have not heard him preach since 2014, so we are looking forward to this. 

Saturday we will be decorating eggs for the kids Easter egg hunt on Sunday.  Later on Sunday we are having an Easter pot luck here at the park.  I'm making a casserole of winter squash and also an impossible pumpkin pie.  Janice is a wonderful RV park manager, and she does a lot to make this place HOME for us.  She has a beautician coming up next Thursday for anyone who wants her services.  She does haircuts for both men and women.  I'm going to make an appointment for her to trim my hair.  This is especially great for anyone who can't travel to TorC to get their hair done.  

Next Wednesday Jim and I are doing a dinner for the park.  It will include BBQ chicken, potato salad, green salad, and two kinds of cake for dessert.  I hope we will have a good turnout for it.  

It's really wonderful to feel a part of the community here.  It had to be more than luck that lead us here to this park that we will be living in after next February.  Actually, I don't believe in luck.  I believe in divine providence, and this is a perfect example of that.  There are many RV parks around here that we could have stayed at back in 2015 when we came through here.  Of all the possible RV parks in Hatch, Arrey, Caballo or TorC, we chose this one.  We felt welcomed into the fellowship of this park.  Each time we returned, we felt even more like we had come home.  It was an easy choice to decide on this park for our forever home.   We need to go back to California one more time to transfer our medical care, and our dogs' care out here, but then we will be so happy to get back here next February, and get settled in for good.

I think that's all the news for now, so I will close for today.  Wishing you all the Joy and Love of this blessed season.   This is a wonderful time to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  Spring time is a time of renewal and rebirth, and you can also be re-born in Christ.  Happy Easter everyone.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Hello Springtime

I'm sorry it has taken so long for me to get around to posting another entry here.  I guess there just are not enough hours in the day!!!!  Anyway, here goes.  

Our friend Annalee shared this picture with me.  She saw this in Truth or Consequences (Tor C from now on).  The van in the picture on the right we saw in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
 Here is a picture of yet another beautiful sunset here in Arrey.  Across from Wal-Mart we saw this and I HAD to get a picture of it.  There are lots of interesting people here in New Mexico, and they have many ways to express their individuality.
On St. Patrick's day we invited Annalee and her husband Wayne over for dinner.  Naturally I did a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner, and Jim baked Irish soda bread.  It was wonderful.  As usual, I forgot to take pictures of our guests, but later I did take this picture of Jim and Millie, in their holiday finery.

I believe I told you that we got rid of DirecTV last month.  For a while we used the antenna we bought in Quartzsite in January.  We hooked it up to the TV in the bedroom.  We were able to get about 15 channels on it.  The only trouble was that Jim isn't crazy about lying on the bed to watch TV. At the end of March we ordered a satellite dish and two receivers from Dish Network Outdoors.   The parts arrived in just a few days, and we set it up.  The set up in the living room (the primary) is great!!!!!  We chose a smaller package of channels, so we are saving a lot of money each month for that.  The satellite can receive programming from THREE different satellites.  Therein lies the small problem with the TV in the bedroom.  It can only receive programming from the SAME satellite that is being used for the primary TV.  That's OK if we both want to watch programs that are from the same satellite.  However, sometimes that is not the case.  We have decided that we want BOTH TVs to receive primary programming, so we plan to invest in a second satellite dish. It will pay for itself in about four months, compared to what we were paying for DirecTV each month, and will save me the disappointment of not always being able to get the program I want on the second TV.  By the way, while we were in Quartzsite, we had to replace the TV we had in the bedroom because it was not HD ready, so we upgraded to a 32 inch set in there too.  WOW!!!!  The Dish satellite is also easier to set up and find a signal too.  Over all, we are only sorry we didn't switch to Dish Network a couple years ago!

In March we also transferred Jim's Elk membership from Garden Grove, CA to Las Cruces, NM.  The people there were very welcoming, and we saved a ton of money on the dues.  YAY!!!

We have another big project in the works too.  The supplies will be delivered tomorrow, and on Thursday Gene will arrive from RV Armor.  He will be applying a new surface coating to the roof of our motorhome.  It has a life time warranty, for the life of the RV.  

 This will be the "Before" picture.  Next posting I will have the "After" picture for you to see.  It's only supposed to take two or three days, so by this time next week it will all be done.  Yippee!!!!!

If you remember, earlier this year I had posted that Janice might not have a site available for us when we are ready to stop traveling and settle down permanently.  You may also remember that we had quite a few problems during our trip back to California last year.  

The day we were to leave here, we couldn't get the steps to retract.  We ended having to call some guys out to get the steps retracted.  They tied the steps in place so we had to use a step stool to get in and out.  

The day we left Tempe, thinking our short drive to Blythe would be a piece of cake, was the day we blew a rear tire on the RV.  In 113 degree heat we had to move stuff from the car to the RV, so we had room for us in the car while the RV was being towed to Quartzsite to get a new tire put on it.  

We stayed two nights in Blythe, and when we were ready to leave there, the awning wouldn't roll up.  After much frustration, we got it rolled up and left for Wilderness Lakes in Menifee.  We had to call out the "awning guy" to get it working again.  We also had to call out a mobile RV guy to replace the motor for the steps, and later we found out that the guys who replaced the tire in Quartzsite had inadvertently cut the wire that powered the steps.  Finally got that fixed too.

Two days later I was stricken with extremely bad vertigo (now referred to as IT).  Despite the help of my doctor and my physical therapist, IT lasted for most of FOUR months.  With the love and prayers and support of our family and very dear friends, we got through that too. 

We have decided that all the work of packing up to travel to and from California, or other places, has become too much for us to do every year, so we feel it is time to settle down.  We will be back in California on or about May 20th this year.  During the summer months we will be making arrangements for Jim to get his VA medical care transferred to here in New Mexico, and transfer my medical records to a doctor here too.  

We will be spending a month in Quartzsite, AZ from January 13th to February 13th.  After that we will begin our last trip from there to New Mexico.  Janice said she does have a site for us to be here permanently.  We look forward to settling in here by the 1st of March, if not sooner.  We love being here in this park.  The people are amazing, especially Janice.  She plans activities for us, like pot luck dinners and movie nights in the rec room.  We love our church  in TorC and the people there make us feel right at home.   It will be great not having to pack up and unpack our home all the time.  

Here is the added surprise.   If we can find one we can afford, we plan to get a very small RV, either a van camper or a tiny motorhome, under 20 feet long.  We would use it for short trips when we want to still go places.  We can leave our motorhome here on our site, and only pack up what we will need for our short trips.  That should make things a lot easier, and maybe I can help with the driving too.

Here is our new night light for in the bathroom.  Annalee teased me for not having an owl night light, so now we have one.
And then I needed an owl key chain too.  We also got a new set of owl salt and pepper shakers.  

The ones we had were always falling over and Jim didn't like that.  These have a magnet holding them together so they stand up.  
Last week, I gave Millie a nice haircut and a shower, and after that I did her nails.  It was her spring day of beauty, and she was exhausted for two days after it.

I have one more thing to write about, and I hope everyone will read it.  Most of us are so busy with our everyday lives that we tend to forget about what is really important.  We think we are "taking care of business" but that just isn't true.  Our heavenly Father is always looking out for us.  Please, please never forget John 3:16.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."  Easter is coming soon.  There is no better time than right now, to redirect your life from an ego-centered life to a Christ centered life.  Jesus never promised that being a Christian would be easy, but He did promise to be there with us.  I don't know about you, but I think that's as good as it could ever get!  If God leads us to it, He will get us through it.   Jesus died for OUR sins, and showed us that He had risen and defeated the power of death over us.  It would depress me beyond words if I thought that this life is all there is.  I would hate to think that when we die, it's all over.  And I would hate to wake up each morning if I believed that I was alone to deal with all of the challenges of each day.  I know I am weak but He is strong.  Yesterday in church we sang "Just a Closer Walk with Thee".  My grandmother taught me to sing that hymn before I could even read.  It brought tears to my eyes because it brought back so many wonderful memories.  It also touched me deeply because I KNOW that I never want to walk alone.  Please think about your walk and figure out who you want to be walking closer to.  

Have a great week ahead, and a very blessed life.  Get to know Jesus.  He wants to be in your life, and with Him in the center, He will always be there for you.