Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let's discuss . . .

Yesterday I posted the quote from the Dalai Lama. I saw it several places yesterday and everyone agreed that it really struck a chord.

What did it mean to you? I thought of my mom who is nearing 90 and is so afraid of dying (always has been) that she has never really lived. And now, she is angry about being old. I want more for her - joy - contentment of a good life - love - peace - laughter. But, I see only fear.

What came to your mind when you read the quote? I would love to know, please.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Good thoughts . . .

This was shared on FB this morning.

As we prepare to leave Arizona, it struck me with how true this is.

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered "Man.... Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cute story . . .

We had a special lunch with another set of friends today. They had a gathering of their neighbors and invited us to join in so we did. It was a good visit and opened our eyes to another possibility - buying a smaller, older home here to enjoy a few months each winter. We are sure enjoying the weather this week - mid 70's.

And then when I got back to the motorhome - I got this really cute email from Rainy. She is watching the house while we are gone and she takes Weston and Walker out with her when she checks on it. She said Weston has not wanted to go until "Grandma and Grandpa are really there". But today, she went out and they had some lunch from the goodies we left in the freezer for just that purpose - chicken nuggets, fries and sugar cookies. They were also enjoying some TV so Weston was feeling right at home. When she was ready to go, Weston did not want to leave. She told him that she and Walker were tired and he told her, "Mom, why don't you two just go lay down on my bed, while I watch Tom and Jerry!"

So - buying a nice little house in Arizona for the winter months is going to have to wait a few years for this Grandma. I don't want to miss these special times with any of them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday . . .

Pictures, pictures, pictures - must remember to take some. I keep forgetting! So - just to make this blog look better, I am starting with a cute picture of Walker I took before we left home. And - I am really missing those little guys!

We were out fairly early this morning to meet up with two other couples from home for a breakfast that lasted until nearly lunch. We had such a great visit with them. The guys are all fraternity brothers (Sigma Chi) from Montana State University and they always enjoy getting together.

Afterwards we came back to our "home away from home" and had a nice visit with another guy in the park here who has a motorhome like ours. It is always fun to compare notes and share stories. We always learn a lot.

We then spent a couple hours looking for vacuum bags for our little vacuum. We left without bringing any extra. I have to order them at home but thought maybe I would find some in one of the stores here. No such luck, but we did see some wonderful new areas and a great new mall where there is a huge Sears. Sears online has them so I was thinking they might carry them in the store. Bob enjoyed the huge tool area in this Sears and I enjoyed finding a couple shops in the beautiful, huge, new, two story mall that I only find in the "big cities". They had a wonderful Nordstroms and a Body Shoppe plus everything else under the sun. There are times I really love the amenities of such a mall. Tomorrow we are going to have to do a little creative emptying of the existing vacuum bag. It is time to vacuum!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Great day . . .

It was a beautiful day here in Chandler, AZ! WE walked this morning, headed out for a little shopping (I bought 2 pairs of shoes - not on the list), ate at Paradise Bakery for lunch, had a little great soup, bread and wine for supper and a good visit with my sister who joined us.

I gave her her birthday present early - her birthday is this weekend and we are having a family gathering, but I wanted to give her a special DVD early. I got her the DVD, "It Might Get Loud".
It is a documentary with Jimmy Page, the Edge, and Jack White about the electric guitar. I hope she likes it!

It was a perfect day.

Monday, March 21, 2011

cool and wet . . .

We moved yesterday from the west edge of metro Phoenix to the far southeast edge - over 50 miles and never left the city look. We are in a little older park and in what is officially called Chandler. Of course every franchise and major shopping entity known to man is not far as is the case in every suburban area here - and everywhere it seems.

They are predicting high 60's today and tomorrow for the warmest part of the day and then it will be in the 70's for the rest of the week. That sounds good to me - but, in reality, I love all kinds of weather. I am one of the weird ones who even enjoys a good snow fall and I don't ski.

We enjoyed a wonderful supper out last night with my sis and her friend at a fun place in Chandler - San Tan Brewing Company. I think this area used to be "old downtown Chandler" but is now redone as a fun little area with shops and restaurants. We ate outside and walked the shops and did lots of window shopping under the moonlight. Fun night out!

Friday, March 18, 2011

learning for the day . . .

I am so glad I am not too old to keep learning. This post is about a couple things that I figured out today - so glad I finally "got it". This might be too long to read, but I will certainly feel better once my bitching is off my chest. You may want to stop reading right here.

We have been on the road 3 weeks this coming Sunday. We have worked hard to keep our flexibility and our "nowhere to go and all day to get there" attitude. There are two couples who are good friends who we have enjoyed some RVing with in the past. We were going to try to connect with both couples while we were in AZ at their suggestions if it worked out - and I emphasize "IF IT WORKED OUT".

Well here is where my learning hit me along side the head. To me that means you could make plans that work for everybody and then try to stay with them. But, I am learning, in this case, it means that the other two couples (separate situations - they don't even know each other) will make suggestions, agree on plans and then change them as they want, when they want and they may or may not make the connection.

Now, I am not talking about emergencies that arise. That is always understandable. I am talking about just plain deciding to do something else. So, we make our travel plans to line up with the commonly agreed upon plans with both couples and we end up looking at each other and wondering "what in the world were we thinking"? This is not like driving across town - we are talking driving a motorhome towing a car across a state - or in one case several states. Neither worked out - or in other words - we got where we were supposed to be when we were supposed to be there, but both of the other couples made last minute changes in their plans. I think I need to change my soap - or my politics.

So what did I learn? We will do what we can and want and if we run into friends we will enjoy and while on the way, we will enjoy the new friends we meet. I will not do any more contortions to try to make things work.

And now for the second learning today . . . it is much better to up the minutes on your cell phone and MiFi plan rather than monitor every time you talk or use the internet for fear of "going over". Life just got a whole lot easier today for lots of reasons.

We took a drive through one of the regional parks and enjoyed the scenery and even hit a really big sale at a J.C. Penney's that we didn't know about. We decided to just stop as Bob needed a couple more pair of socks. We are enjoying a little basketball and some sewing - I am sewing.

And, we have decided to move over to the east side of metro-Phoenix on Sunday and get the lay of the land over there.

Another great day in the sunshine. I have been wondering, however, with all that is happening in the world, how many houses does one old couple really need?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Having a great time . . .

We have been doing lots of sightseeing around the Phoenix area and lots of visiting with friends. We are enjoying every minute! Just thought I would drop a quick line here to stay a little up to date.

Friday, March 11, 2011

We left the Parker area yesterday and came over to Goodyear on the far west edge of metro Phoenix. This is a picture of the clean Gus just before we left. There was a portable RV washing team that came through the park and we had them give Gus a bath.

We found a nice park here in Goodyear and decided we would stay for a week or so on this west side of Phoenix and then move over to the Mesa/Chandler area for another week and then hit one of the state parks for a third week before heading north toward home. Of course those plans change with the hour. We love talking about what we want to do and then doing whatever hits us at the moment.

Today we drove over to the Mesa area and ended up driving way out east of Mesa and then down to Chandler and Gilbert. We traveled on I-10, I-17, 60, 101 loop, 201 loop, and many regular streets. I had wanted to take in a quilt show in Mesa, but when we got over to that area, we got caught up with looking at other RV parks, some of the thousands (no I am not exaggerating) of RVs for sale and Camping World. Then we stopped to visit with my sister and her friend. They had just returned from Mexico and our visit with them lasted most of the afternoon. So that is what happened to my visiting the quilt show.

We found what we were looking for with the help of Gertie (the Garmin) and the computer when we needed to look up other things. And then we decided to drive back through Phoenix on I-10 right at 5 pm just to see if the traffic was as bad as we had heard. It was no different than any large city with 5 lanes of traffic plus an HOV lane in both directions with multiple 2 lane merges - sometimes on both sides. It was slow going right in the middle section, but we traveled the 45+ miles in just a bit over an hour.

So, we have gained the “lay of the land” here in the Valley of the Sun - from the west end to the east end. We will start our north and south exploring Sunday. Tomorrow we are staying close. Kassie needs a bath and we both want to just hang loose and read or do some computer stuff.

I lived in the Phoenix area for a few years 40 years ago! Lots of things have changed - mostly what used to be desert is now people - in every direction - in cars and houses. I have been back many times in the past 10 or 15 years, but it always amazes me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Trip to Yuma . . .

Yesterday we went to Yuma. We had a good visit with my cousin and his wife. She fixed us a spectacular lunch - truly a magnificent meal. She fixed flounder and the way she cooked it was just delicious. She added baked asparagus and a wonderful seasoned baked potato along with great bread. We ate so much I suspect they wondered if we had ever had such a meal. It was that good!

On the way back to Parker, we stopped at the Yuma Proving Ground where Bob was stationed for 3 years when he was in the Army. Several months of each of those years they were in northern Alaska. The project he worked on kept them in Yuma from May through November and then in Alaska - seems backwards to me, but what do I know? The first picture is of something called "the overland train". He said when a certain general would visit it would have to be kept out of site as that general was not favorable of the project.

The second picture is of the view from the museum across the parade grounds. We spent some time in the museum which is in the building that used to be the post headquarters. The headquarters have now moved to a new location. The museum is very well done and we enjoy the time there. The last picture of the day was of a tree that I loved so I had to capture it. I see some design possibilities there.

Today we have cleaned, got the laundry done, had the coach washed (traveling coach washing team) and we are ready to hit the road toward Phoenix tomorrow. Everyone who hears us say we are heading to Phoenix just grimaces and says, "oh the traffic - you will be sorry". We hope not, but we are prepared for lots of traffic. I do love cities and we always enjoy our time in Denver and Portland. I don't mind finding my way where I need to go and I don't mind driving in the traffic since I spent lots of years in Denver. But, driving Gus through lots of traffic is not fun. We will be staying at a park on the southwest corner just as you enter metro Phoenix off I-10 so I hope that helps us with the traffic, but we are prepared. We plan to stay in that area two or three weeks unless we can't stand "the traffic" and then we will head north - or somewhere - maybe back this way.

We will come back this way next year for sure. We are hoping for a place to rent in the same park where my brother has their park model. Many of the lots there are rented to motorhomes and they have covered parking for cars and small patios. Also - we know we want to get some golf lessons over the summer. I have my clubs, but haven't played for years so I sure need a "brush up". Bob has never played golf (always a basketball guy until he had both knees replaced), but he is wanting to give it a try. We really like the area where they are - a small park, very well kept, beautiful pool and close to lots of hiking. The golf course is not right there, but fairly close. And, there is a quilting group that meets and sews every Wednesday. Now, if I could just figure out some way to bring my longarm, I might have to stay for months. LOL!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Windy day close to home . . .

We stayed close to the coach today. We decided to do some deep cleaning and even got the carpets cleaned by a guy who is retired here in this park and comes down here for winters with his RV carpet cleaning business. The place looks pretty darn good. We did take a drive over to the California side of the river while the carpet dried to see some different scenery.

Tomorrow we are heading to Yuma with a stop at the Heritage Center of the Army's Yuma Proving Ground. Bob was stationed there during his time in the army and he would like to visit the Heritage Center which is like a museum of projects focused on research and development. Bob is wondering if any of the projects he worked on might be there. We are then going to visit one of my cousins who winters in Yuma so it will be a good day.

I did make a couple more blocks for the Block of the Month project from one of the online groups I enjoy. I made the February and March blocks from batiks in reds and blacks. I also wanted to make a second set out of some reproduction fabrics from the 30's. I have had the pack of fabrics for some time. At first I didn't like sewing on the fabric as it seems really flimsy, but I am going to stay with it for another month or so. It may end up being a table runner. LOL. I did up these two blocks (Feb and March) this evening while we are watching Gonzaga play St. Mary's. It is good basketball and good stitching.

Yesterday we spent the afternoon with my brother, John and his wife, Ann. John did some wonderful smoked fish - catfish, red snapper, and salmon. It was delicious and Ann prepared some wonderful salads and potatoes. We are really enjoying our time here and hate to leave on Thursday.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Another Good day . . .

We had a good day. We did a little more stuff around here this morning and then had a good visit with my brother part of the afternoon. Tonight we went in to Parker for supper - kind of a Saturday night date night.

I sat up my sewing area this morning and enjoyed doing some sewing. It is kind of like a mini-studio in Gus and it works great! I got the March block done for the Longarm Chat BOM. The picture looks like it is not square, but it really is. I have only my little camera with me and either I don't know how to use it very well (probably the case) or is is not as good as my bigger one.

I am going to make another one tomorrow out of some reproduction fabrics I brought with me and then make a second one from the February pattern as well. At least that is the plan for tonight. Of course by tomorrow, I could change my mind a dozen times. I am going to leave the mini-studio set up while we are here. It is so nice to be able to sew, take a walk break, and visit here and there.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bob's Birthday . .

Today was Bob's birthday. After we walked this morning, we decided to stay at this campground and moved to another site that was available. That requires unhooking everything and then moving and rehooking everything. It was good practice for us. We will stay here a week and then head out.

We finally took the time to do some work in the motorhome with rearranging shelf locations and organizing things like we want them. We have never had the time to do that before it seems as we usually had little ones or traveling company with us last summer and fall when we went out and about with Gus.

Being as it was Bob's birthday and he had taken a long walk and worked hard, he decided to take a little nap so I took this picture. Yes, those are my shoes elevated in the lounge chair. I wasn't sleeping, but I was sure being lazy. It was really just a short afternoon siesta.

Tonight we went out to celebrate the birthday with my brother and SIL - had a great meal at this place on the marina. They have wonderful ribs and a great view.

Tomorrow - who knows? Maybe I will break out my sewing machine - and then again maybe not.
I've got nothing to do and all day to do it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Warm day . . .

It was a nice warm day here. We thought it was that way every day here. After all it is Arizona and isn't that why people come here in the winter? But, we have heard many comments from those who have been here for the past couple months that this was a very nice, warm day for them as well since there has been a lot of cool weather for the area.

We got out and about to see some of the country side and the small town of Parker. There are a whole lot of RV's everywhere - and I mean everywhere and a lot of them are heading out or have already left the area. We are amazed!

We had a great late lunch with John and Ann (brother and sister-in-law). We enjoyed a nice view of a marina and the Colorado River while we ate and had a good visit.

Here is a picture of the Colorado River from the campground where we are staying. There are a lot of really nice places to stay all up and down the river. One park we loved was Buckskin Mountain State Park. We may come back to that one after our couple weeks over near Phoenix for some visiting. It has all the ingredients we like - warm air, a little shade, good walking paths, spaces not too close and a nice view of the river.

But, who knows what we will do or where we will go? We have no place to be and all day to get there. Life is good!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

We made it . . .

After two days of driving through Montana, Idaho and Utah with snow everywhere, we finally made it to Arizona after a quick pass through a corner of Nevada and California.

Tonight we had a great visit with my brother and sister-in-law here in Parker. Tomorrow it will take me a few hours to get everything packed away. We left Montana without having a chance to "de-winterize" the water system because it was so cold. We thought we would run out of the freezing weather before we did, but it was not to be. We did that as soon as we arrived this afternoon.

It has been a fun trip and there is so much more to come.