Friday, November 22, 2013

Hey,I’m Alive!!!!

Thought I had better up date as the other day I was at the doctors having some tests done, and when the nurse pulled the paper from the ekg machine it was a flat line.  So I better hurry before it catches up to me, so let me get this blog out.

We have been busy having a good time getting settled, most all of the park has arrived back from  their travels.  First off was our giant garage sale, which netted the park a total of 17 thousand dollars.  Course half the stuff will probably be back on sale next year, seems no one can resist all those bargains.  Then there was the Founders Day celebration, to kick off the official start of next years 25th event.  For that I volunteered to put together a skit, and we managed to do have good show.  Jojoba has a large collection of costumes and props which is a big help when it comes to something like that.  We are also in the process of putting together a Beefsteak & Cheesecake calendar.  Keep in mind that the steak is rather tough and the cheese is quite lumpy, but still the sales have been going good.  And so many groups wanted to be represented we had to make it a 15 month calendar. We are preselling and have hit the 300 mark already.  I personally think anyone who has kids ought to send them all one.  Let them worry about the parents a bit. 

While in South Dakota this year, I along with another friend hit the winery that makes the Red Ass Rhubarb wine, and we stocked up.  So we decided that we would have a ladies night out, which meant reserving the Ranch House here.  Which is great, we all could drive our golf carts, no DUI’s that way.  We limited it to 12 and had a great time.  Laughed till tears ran down our legs.  Opps.

The park is putting on a Thanksgiving dinner that we can’t pass up, for 5 dollars, it is more than a bargain.  So that is our plan, although I do have a turkey thawing in the frig.  Just got to have turkey sandwiches the next day.  Plan to spread it around so we don’t get sick of it.  Sort of got it  free, which is always good.  Then we have our craft sale next week, which also features a soup luncheon.  Six people each make TWO large roasters of soup, and everyone buys bowls for all the different soups for as much as they can eat.  It is a fund raiser for the woodworking shop.  I volunteered to make soup again this year, in exchange for some help in making wooden valances/shelves for the little trailer.  It only has 3 windows, so it is not like a big project.  And only two of them can be used as shelves. 

We have made no decisions on travel plans this winter, but we will either make a trip to Yuma/Casa Grande or go with a group into Mexico.  Sort of depends on doctors appointments and repairs.  Chuck sees his cardiologist again next month, and we are anxious to hear his recommendations.  Getting old sucks, but the alternative is even worse. We also checked out a assisted living/care facility in near by Hemet.  Very nice place, and some day, Lord will and the creek don’t run dry, we may live there. 

When we arrived back this year I decided that we needed a remodel of sorts.  But when you do anything thing to 400 square feet it is rather difficult.  Decided that I would put the day bed out in the gazebo, and put in chairs.  Well, when we looked at recliners in the store, they did not look so big, but once we put them in the RV, HOLY COW!!! Luckily we only bought one, and it took up so much space, but I figured that I would live with this goof up for a year or so.  But after a couple of weeks it was just too much, so someone said to see if the store would take it back, now I had no hope of that happening, but much to my surprise they were happy to!  And the best part, at the yard sale some one had donated two very nice beige rocker recliners, in excellent shape, and the price was 100 dollars, total.  Happy, happy, happy. 

Well it is off to happy hour, playing bridge later tonight, my partner will not be too happy if I stay very long at happy hour.  Wow, that is a lot of happy's there.  Thanks all for hanging in there with us, hopefully my flat line was a mistake……..  

If you would like to check out Jojoba Hills, we had two resident computer wizards redo our web site and it is wonderful.

Monday, September 16, 2013



We enjoyed a weeks visit with all in Colorado, daughter, Cyndi, SIL, John, our grandson and wife, Robert and Kerstin, but the best was seeing our great grand babies again.  They are so precious, and smart and cute, and and and…did I mention smart?  Went with them to a science fair down town.  It was very interesting for kids, there was all kinds of things that engaged their little minds.  Here they are painting a car, but they were so careful, basically leaving their just finger prints on it. 



Here is a booth you wouldn’t catch Chuck near, mushrooms, all types that grow in Colorado.


Then there was the funny car.


We did get to work on the storage unit, and it went rather quickly.  We took very little, seems a whole lot easier letting things go when you hardly remember them.  We loaded the few things we decided that we could put to use out here and that was it.  The kids are working on getting all the spruce up work they want to do before they put the house into the vacation rental pool.  Sure hope it works out for them.  To us it seems like theirs is a much bigger undertaking than ours was.  But then again they will still have the house if they decide to move back into it.  Then again they are going overseas. We had a great time, although they had to work some, and Chuck's breathing was not so good.  The elevation really got to him this time.  We decided to leave a day early, and hard to believe, but the RV park gave us a refund for that day.  We didn’t even ask, just wanted to let them know we were leaving as the park was staying pretty full.  Goldfields RV Park, passport America, and they take it for the entire stay.  Not much of a park, but close to everything, and for us just a few blocks from our daughters.  (Glad we left when we did as the rains came and we would have been land locked as they closed the road we used to get out.)

Then we were off, had a great audio book, and the miles just flew by.


We arrived in Albuquerque around 3, and checked in to a P.A. park, and as we were making our way to the site, spotted this couple outside that looked oh so familiar. Well, be darned, it was our friends that live here at Jojoba, but we had last seen them at Hart Ranch in North Dakota.  Of course we had to have a game of hand & foot.  Girls rule!  Next morning we were off, in and out of rain.  Luckily it never was too bad.  We had been batting around stopping and taking the train to the Grand Canyon, but the elevation was troubling.  Decision was made for us when we got there it was raining the hardest of the day, so we just pushed on. 


Scared Indian mountain, aka tourist trap.


We drove along the Colorado River and there were some very nice campground, especially on the California side of the river. 




We made it into a rather long drive, 500 plus miles, but the book was good.  Spent the night in Lake Havasu, the home of the London Bridge.  Been a long time since we have been there and the town has really grown.  Next morning we were off across the desert.  Glad we were a day late, looked like it had really rained in that area, lots of the “dips” still had mud and plenty of water on the side.  For quite a distance the road and the railroad tracks are side by side, and this is a mystery, there are no people living any where near, very little traffic.  Yet all this rock graffiti was next to the tracks. Ran for miles.


DSC04681 DSC04678

Then we were in Palm Springs, and it was getting hot.


We decided to grab something to eat before we tackled the mountain to “home”.  Yes we were taking the road I swore I would never travel on again, but we were just pulling the “Little Guy” so it did not seen so daunting.


Not only does the road look like this on the GPS, it fails to show you that it is going up, up and away till you get to the top. Down is not too bad.

We arrived at Jojoba Hills about 2 in the afternoon, and even though we had a great time this summer it was wonderful to be here.  And let me tell 400 square feet feels so spacious.  We love the little trailer, it is wonderful, park it anywhere, and that is the main reason we wanted it.  Taking it to Alaska next year will do just fine.  Having new love for the Damnearahouse, with its 4 slides and all though.

So that brings our summer adventure to a close.  Now it is on to doctor appointments and all that good fun.  By the way Chuck is breathing so much better, but he is still seeing the doctor.  Till next time.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


We zipped into Canada, no problems, but the border patrol couldn’t believe that with Texas license we had no guns.  Chuck told him that he was ex-military and thus needed no gun for defense, and the guard not knowing him, actually took him at his word.  Going into the part of Ontario that we were, campgrounds are very limited, and we ended up spending the first night in a Wal-Mart parking lot.  Thankfully the weather was cool, and we did get some sleep, but the place we parked was a shortcut, so the traffic was non stop most of the night.  It was wonderful to see our good friend, Lois.  It had been 4 years, which was way too long. The first couple of days we spent getting caught up, and Chuck got in a round of golf. Unfortunately Lois started coming down with a sore throat and a terrible cold, and when she was getting worse right before our eyes, we decided that leaving was the only thing to do.  Knowing that if we stayed she would soldier through and  probably end up in the hospital, which she has visited way too many times this year, we were off.  We only had a 130 miles to Niagara Falls, other than going through Toronto there was no problem.  
We have been here a couple of times before, but it never fails to impress.  Wow, the view, the roar, just the majesty.  Awesome.

Then it was off to Chucks home town of Myerstown, PA.  Pennsylvania has an abundance of country roads, and our GPS managed to plan our route so we saw our fair share.  Turn right, turn left, repeat and repeat.  Ten miles from his hometown, he still had not seen anything that sounded or looked familiar.  But it did get us there, and we parked the RV in the back of Chucks nieces yard.
Lovely, we had a gentle stream running by.  Usually when we have been in the area we parked in an RV park, but the closest are about 30 miles away, so it was always a drive.
This was so much nicer.  And we did manage to put together a mini family reunion.  Chucks sister and BIL, Anna Mae and Jim,DSC04600 came up from West Virginia, along with a few other more distant family members.  We do so thank our hosts, Debbie and Norman,DSC04604 for their hospitality, as we literally invaded their lives.  We have traveled this summer as no other, with the only destination being the Escapade in Gillette, WY, after that it was ????? where ever the wheels took us.  Hart Ranch in South Dakota, friends in Harlan, Ohio, Amana Colonies, Ohio then Goshen, Indiana, for the FROG rally, well heck, Mike and Leslie are only a 100 miles away, then on to see Lois in Owasha, Ontario.  After our quick visit to Canada, we were just a short distance from PA, simple when you think about it.  And that is how we ended up so far away from where we started. The first leg of the trip back is like1700 miles, and we have a 3 day holiday weekend coming up.  So we thought we would settle down some place along the way and wait it out.
Longaberger Basket Headquarters
Unfortunately there was no place that we wanted to spend any length of time at, being as we camped at Passport America parks, and other than one, they were not that great. But the price was right!  So we decided we would just push on to Springs.  We knew our daughter and family were all gone for the holiday, but we thought that it would be no problem spending the time at the famcamp on the Air Force Academy, as it is a large campground.  Well not when it is parents week end at the Academy! They were beyond full.  Elks lodge, yes, they do have RV facilities, but only one left, we are 15 miles away, bummer, when we got there, taken, they said we could stay in the parking lot, free,and it was a large one, and private.  But it was hot, and we called around and found an opening near our daughters.  By no means what we had anticipated, but off the street.  And not far from here is a wonderful patio, with all the amenities where we can go for a picnic, our daughters patio.  Unfortunately we do not have a key to their house, and they are in the mountains with no cell service.  Oh well, we had planned to hunker down for the week end. Next week we plan to purge the storage shed that we are sharing with our daughter.  They are planning on an adventure of their own, moving to Guam for at least 6 months so they can get their fill of scuba diving while they are still able.  They are putting their home into a vacation rental pool, but will store their personal items, so they can use the space.  And other than a few things in storage, if we have not needed anything in all these years, it does not seem likely we will ever need it.

Friday, August 16, 2013



Here at PJ Family campground is the perfect place for some down time, and we have been tasking advantage of it.  The weather has been a tad too cool for our comfort, but they say things are warming up.  Did happen on the Swans candle outlet in downtown Jackson.  For years I ordered candles from them and once we started full timing with a cat, that had to be one of my vices I gave up.  Now that we no longer have one, well, lets say that I indulged.  Also celebrated my birthday, Leslie and Mike made a lovely dinner.  And Chuck picked up my favorite cake, (cheesecake) just a bit of advice, never buy it at Wally World.  But it is the thought that counts, and we all saved lots of calories, so maybe it is the place to buy it after all. We have played a lot of ten penny, fun card game, taken a few country drives, found Camping World, basically just lazing around.

Tomorrow we are leaving, heading to Oshawa, Ontario.  Know that we will enjoy spending time there visiting with our friends.  Our Verizon here totally sucked, internet not too bad, but could not get a call out or in.  Of course need to make calls too.  Having a bit of trouble with our vehicle insurance, they would like to increase it by about 500 dollars a year, mainly on the Montana.  Makes me wish we would have a claim just so you can justify having insurance.  Well, maybe not.

Last night we had our delicious, best ever, summer dinner, corn on the cob, fresh garden tomatoes and fried egg plant.  Love it.  Use my conduction burner and it does a wonderful job of frying, it is the best.

See you on the other side……..of the border.


Friday, August 9, 2013



Forest River throws one heck of a rally.  This is defiantly the place to come if you have any problems or imperfections with your RV.  From the kick off dinner on Sunday night, the next morning we were in the middle of worker bees.  There were maintenance men in golf carts going through our units like crazy. Anything that was not perfect was replaced, or repaired in minutes.  Thought we only had just a few minor things, but now have a new table, microwave, stovetop, vent covers, awning arms, and then there are all the adjustments they did. If we were ever to buy another RV it would be a Forest River product.  And another thing, the repair people, they were the most pleasant, out to please and insure that you were happy, why it was like they cared.  Big change from what we usually run into now a days.  Nor did the meals disappoint, quite the contrary, full breakfast, and then some,every morning .  Monday night was the WOW welcome dinner, and they went all out.  A full service sit down.  And they did a super job. 


All the other dinners have been buffets, and we actually had to do a little of the work, but no cooking.  Tonight is our farewell dinner, and after breakfast we will be ready to move on down the road.  Escapees are not the only ones who travel on their stomachs.  We are heading about 150 miles into Michigan to spend a few days visiting with Mike and Leslie Kennedy.  Then we have decided that being as we are only about 350 miles from a very good friend who lives out side of Toronto, there is no way we could not go. Luckily we have our passports.  

Sunday, August 4, 2013



We have been in this area of Elkhart/Goshen, Indiana more than any other place, other than when we have planned to hunker down an spend the winter.  There is no better place for RVers to get repaired or renovated as there is everything here.  We have made trips to the salvage places, Montana factory, to get some needed pieces for Damnearahouse, and Chucks favorite place, Rise-N-Roll.  DSCF0882

They have a saying there, “Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole”. 


We spent the better part of the last week at a Passport campground in the town of Howe, great price, even though the PA (12.50) was good only 2 days.  After that it went to 14.00 for Escapees.  Water and electric only, but very quiet, country quiet, there is a difference. They did have a heated pool, and I had good Verizon.  And we made it without dumping, but it was close.


Of course we had to take in the famous Shipshewana market.  Love it, open only Tuesday and Wednesdays.  Found a few things that jumped in my shopping bag, and decided that we needed to send a “hey, see what we found for ya” box to our kids. We do that every so often, rather than saving things for special occasions.  Storage room is precious in these tin boxes too. We have been so lucky with the weather, other than some rain now and then it has been wonderful.  Looks like the rest of the week will be more of the same.

We are in Goshen now, at the fairgrounds, waiting for the FROG (Forest River Owners Group) rally to start.  There is no quiet here, the train tracks are with in a stones throw, and you can hear those whistles starting to blow a mile away.  Only bothered me the first night, last two nights not so much.  After looking at the program, think it might should be called the FOOD rally.  Full breakfast every day, strawberry shortcake for a few hours during the day, and full dinners every night, but one.  Will have to say though that night, there is a pot luck.  A whole week when I don’t have to think of what, when or where we are eating.  That is great!  They are expecting 400 rigs, so that is quite a lot.  Had thought there would be more little ones, but they are all makes, but they are now under the Forest River umbrella.  Have officially named the the Little One, he will now be the Tadpole. 


I have no idea what this little buggy is for, had not seen anything like this, but did see one pulling a boat the other day.  Love this area.

Sunday, July 28, 2013



Iowa that is.  It is unbelievable to see the fields of corn. Every where you look there is corn.  Said to Chuck, that would not be surprised to see a golf course planted with it. Of course there are a few fields of soy beans here and there.  We had left Rapid City, headed for Harlan, Iowa.  With my heart in my throat, as we had to pass through Kadoka, North Dakota.  Two years ago we broke down and spend 11 days there, and all I can say is it was a very, very long 11 days.  Fortunately we breezed right by.  Spent the night at a passport park, and it was a first.  We had power and sewer, but no water connection.  As it were we were tired, had water in the tank, so we did not even unhook.  In the morning we had water, but coming from the sky. 


We were off to visit with a couple who we met  when we were wintering in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  As they spend their summers in Harlan, where they own a lovely country home, which was just a few miles off our route, we could stop for a visit.

DSCF0877Dave & Bev

We arrived just a head of the annual ragbrai, (                       which was very lucky for us, as there are some where around 15,000 bicycle riders, making the ride border to border of Iowa.


The first stop was Harlan, which at least triple the population of the small town.  But it made for a fantastic fundraiser.  There were so many food booths and would not even hazard a guess how many pies, but Bev’s church alone had over 300.  Along with a spaghetti dinner.  A lot of them travel with a company that provides tents, handles luggage, pretty much all they have to do is ride, and find food.  


There were tents everywhere, Everything seemed to go very smoothly, and the next morning there was hardly a sign that they had been there. 


DSC04485                DSC04490

We spent a couple of days camped in their lovely back yard, enjoying the quiet country living.  Did get a few bridge games in too.  They had made plans to attend a get together of “Winter Texans” who spend the months at Alamo Palms.  There are a number of people in the surrounding area.  Destination was the Amana Colonies.  Well, we are always up for a new adventure, and it sounded interesting, and having spent 2 winters there we surely would know a few people.   Along the way we came across some of the bikers again. 


We had not heard of the Amana Colonies and were pleasantly surprised.



There are five small villages, plus a large campground, (Passport America) and the prices of everything was very reasonable. 


The gathering took place in the building of the RV park, and there actually were more people than we had expected to know attending.  Of course Chuck knew a whole lot more than me, but it was fun.  It was a cocktail party the first afternoon, and a wonderful catered dinner (noon) the next day.  

DSCF0870          DSCF0874

The only disappointment was that we were too full to take advantage of some of the scrumptious sounding restaurant fare.  Although we did manage to have a farewell breakfast with Bev and Dave before we started traveling in opposite directions the following day.  We are off to Goshen/Elkhart, Indiana. 

Friday, July 19, 2013



After spending a week, relaxing and playing tourist, we moved to the Hart Ranch.  It is a lovely campground just outside of Rapid City.  Seems to be a top quality RV resort.  We would seriously consider becoming a member, but because we have the next 24 month pretty much penciled in, and none of it in this area, it is something we will file away.

We met 2 couples that are friends who spend time in Jojoba Hills with us.  Also bridge players, so we managed to get in  couple of games, so we all got our bridge fix.  And of course eating, one night Mexican, then Rich fixed his amazing hamburgers.  Amazing that we could fit it in our mouths!


They were so good.  The time just flew, and before we even seemed to get started we were into our farewell dinner.  We could nor pass up the Alpine Café in Hilltop.  A little walk before we began the wait for dinner, some of the hand crafted statues that are created literally of nuts and bolts along with anything else that would fit,


The horse was beautiful, the donkey quite creative, and the man was well…..enough   said.




We were and hour early, yes the people do line up for a setting when the doors open.  They opened the bar, so we were inside and the time went fast, it was like a huge family get together, and everyone was enjoying the togetherness.  We had stopped at a winery before arriving here, and the wine tasting had been rather extensive, at least on my part.  Here we are getting started with salads, great steaks, and yes, we did partake ofNew folder some of their 29 desserts.


We were absolutely stuffed, but one we got back to the RV we decided that we could managed just a few more hands of bridge.  But we didn’t last too long, and some of us were planning an early morning.  During the night a storm came through and the thunder had us sitting right up in bed a few time.  But morning brought sunshine and we were off to our next adventure. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013




And also the scraggiest mountain goat.  I believe it is the same one we seen six years ago at this very site.  And he has in no means improved with age!  He was in the process of shedding his winter coat which contributed greatly to his appearance.


We took the day to take a drive of the area, and to have lunch at the Alpine Café in Hill City.  Which is a must do when in the area.  During lunch they have a wide menu, strongly German, very good, beautiful presentation.  Dinner is filet mignon, 6 or 9 ounce only, 8 to 10 dollars,  AND dessert, over 30 of them!  That way you only have to make one choice, what dessert.  Chuck and I shared a sandwich and and apple napoleon dessert.  Soooo good. 


From there we went on to Mount Rushmore.  Having been there many times we decided that we would by pass the 11 dollar parking fee (entrance is free) and see what we could for free.  Love this view with George Washington in the background.


Then there is this one, as you come out of a tunnel.  Could not get a good enough picture while we were in the tunnel though.


                   They frown on your stopping IN the tunnel.


Taking a very windy road through some beautiful country we made our way to Custard State Park.  The buffalo were in several huge herds,


but several time we found ourselves sharing the road with one of these big guys.



It was a great drive, good weather, good food and good company.  Doesn’t get any better than that.