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.  😀

Thursday, June 6, 2019

We Made it to Silent Valley

Hello my friends, 
I'm sorry it has taken me so long to report on our travels and activities since we left Benson, AZ, but here goes.
From Benson we went to the Elks lodge in Casa Grande for two nights of dry camping.  The folks there are so very nice, and always welcome us back.  On Thursday night they had a chili dog dinner and their Queen of Hearts drawing.  One ticket is drawn, and if it is your ticket, you get to pick a sealed envelope from the board.  If the envelope you select has the Queen of Hearts card, you win the money collected from the sales of tickets.  If it isn't won, the money rolls over for the next week.  Jim's ticket was drawn.  This was just before our 36th anniversary, so he chose envelope 36.  To cut to the chase, he was NOT the big winner, but he did win $50.00 for participating.  It was very exciting to even be drawn.  We have not received the money yet, as they will send him a check, but it should be coming soon.  
Then we went to an RV Park called Leaf Verde in Buckeye, AZ.  It was a very nice, clean park but this time of year, it was almost empty. 
 This cute little trailer was our closest neighbor.  You can't see it very well, but behind the BIG palm tree, he has a small, potted palm tree at each end of his trailer!  The  picture on the right shows how WIDE some of the sites are.
There was a Wal-Mart store about one mile away, so I had to shop.  I decided that our bedroom needed to be lightened up, so we did just that.

We got a new quilt and pillow shams and aqua blue curtains.  I think it looks great!  I found this storage unit for in the closet, and it works very well.  Before we  had a hanging thing with open "pockets" but stuff fell out all the time.  This is perfect.  It did require me to pare down again, which is always a good thing to do.  I had way too many dish towels and place mats anyway.  Then I decided we should replace the ugly, gray hall runner rug with something nicer.

This only made me want to lighten and brighten up the living room. That's how it goes; when you start one project, it leads to another. Then we got some nice blue curtains for the windows over the couch.

After that we ordered an area rug that was tan and brown and blue stripes, and matching ones for under the table and dog food dishes.  But later I decided even those were too dark.  Diane likes them so she is going to buy them for her 5th wheel trailer.  I have a new set coming, maybe today that are a nice textured blue.  I'll include that picture next time.  After a one night stop in a park in Blythe, CA on May 27th, we made it here on the 28th.  We found a wonderful site and got everything set up in a few hours.
The park was really full over the holiday weekend, but not too bad now.
Our very dear friends, Diane & Jim came over to welcome us, and she

  brought me an amazing gift.  I am usually NOT one to buy collector's plates, but this one is so beautiful that it actually left me speechless, and those of you who know me, know that doesn't happen very often!!!

It has been great being back here with Diane & Jim.  We missed them so much while we were traveling.  I'm still hoping that they will come to Arrey with us next February.  I'm sure that if they do, they will decide that they also want to reside there before long.  It was also really nice going to church here at Silent Valley too.  Pastor James and his wife Judi are terrific people.  Last night we attended a 50's party and potluck dinner they hosted.  It really was a BLAST!  We had 1950's food too.  I made macaroni and cheese with diced Spam in it, and it was quite a hit.  Diane made a delicious pineapple upside down cake.  I can't remember the last time I had that!  I haven't downloaded the pictures and videos from that yet, but they will be included in my next blog posting.  We played a neat kind of game of charades.  You drew one card from each of four stacks.  You had to act out the clues from each card in order, to made a funny statement.  They were hilarious!  Also, we had the name of a famous person from the 50's pinned to the back of our shirts, and we had to ask "yes or no" questions to try to figure out who we were.  I was Lucille Ball and Jim was Gary Cooper.  It was a great party.  In August they are going to do a Luau themed party.  Guess I have to get me a grass skirt and a coconut bra!!! Jim already has a nice Hawaiian shirt.

If you recall, we had a lot of problems during, and after our trip last year from Arrey to Menifee.  I don't wish to recount all of the difficulties we had, both on the road and after we got to Wilderness Lakes, including IT, which lasted almost four months.  However, I do want to discuss the power of prayer.  We have always prayed for safe travels for us and all the people on the roadways when we begin each travel day.  This year we decided to be more specific in our prayers, asking Jesus to watch over us AND our little home on wheels.  We asked Him to keep us safe, and to keep our motorhome from having any kind of mechanical problems.  We know Jesus is our personal Lord and Savior, and He wants us to be safe, healthy and happy.  He wants to help us in big and small ways, if we just ask Him to help.  We begin each day with a prayer of gratitude for all He has given us.  We pray for His help and guidance throughout each day, and before going to bed, we thank Him for all He has given us that day.  You can't have a real relationship with Jesus if you don't get to know Him.  You need to read His word in the Bible and talk to Him through prayer. Remember, Bible stands for:
  At this point I wish to remind you that He has a plan for each of us.  If you ask Him for something that is not right for you, or not in agreement with His plan for you, He will not give you what you asked Him for.  This is NOT a bad thing.  You need to remember that what He has planned for you is better than what you may have wanted.  He always answers prayers, but in His way, and in His time.  Trust Him always. I recently saw something cute but true.  It said:  I am a FROG.  That means that I will:

Are you a FROG?  Life is tough enough, but if you feel you have no one you can rely on...that's really sad.  Wouldn't you rather live your life KNOWING that God is always there for you?

Have a nice day and a blessed life.