Monday, December 28, 2009

Building Floats in Pasadena

28December09 175(Chuck) We are at the heart of the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. It seems fitting that my bride of 41 years should be surrounded by roses on our wedding anniversary. We have spent the last two days volunteering as float builders for the Phoenix Decorating Company.


28December09 040 In our warehouse there are nine floats being built. All the mechanical and basic foam work has been done previously by the company. This stage of the building is the finish work and application of the flowers. It is a big job and we are happy to be a part of it. The float with the Eagle of the right is from the city of Glendale and it is one of the floats we have worked on.

28December09 106a Ron and Bernita Poutney are with us on this adventure. They are good traveling companions and we have all enjoyed the float building experience.28December09 113




Fellow Boomer Gretchen Mattison gave us the opening to this gig. She has worked for Phoenix Decorating for the past several years. Click on the Phoenix link and you can see some of the 2010 floats that are in our building.

28December09 088 (Jan) We have spent the day surrounded by flowers, thousands and thousands of them of every color and every type. Chuck and Ron have been working with Gretchen getting the ‘maches’ ready with oasis foam and chicken wire to hold the elaborate bouquets that will be on the floats.  They were working on the City of Glendale, McDonald’s and Lion’s Club floats.  Bernita and I worked with 800 roses today getting them stripped of thorns and lower leaves and then wiring the stems for those same three floats. Check out the photo album below to view some of the gorgeous flowers that have surrounded us!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 End of Year

016 (Jan) Another year is coming to a close and we’ve left The Foothills and we’re on the move!  Chuck and I hooked up the 5th wheel today and moved over to Jojoba Hills SKP Park near Aguanga, CA.  We are in the Boondocking area with the Poutneys and our plan is to head toward Pasadena tomorrow. We got a call from Gretchen, a B046oomer friend, who says we will be able to volunteer on the Rose Bowl Parade float that she is assigned to if we can find a place to park our rigs. In fact she says ‘Any time after 8 tomorrow morning!”  We’ll let you know how we turn out….. Tonight we’re having dinner at Ron and Bernita’s, ham and beans over corn bread, and then we’ll head to the Club House to play Hand and Foot.056

We had a lovely Christmas Eve with Chuck’s mom.   We went to church services together at 4:00 and then headed to her house to enjoy a wonderful meal together featuring traditional oyster stew.  After some gift opening we got out the deck of cards and had fun playing ‘the whole enchilada.’ securedownload[1]We wrapped up the evening starting one of Joanne’s new jigsaw puzzles.

Dan and Jenny invited Diane and Jim and us over for dinner on Christmas Day. We spend a light hearted afternoon visiting and playing Pegs and Jokers, enjoyed a wonderful meal of ham, sweet and scalloped potatoes, relish tray and green salad, topped off with a cherry/pineapple dessert, had a gift exchange and then continued playing P&J.  Very, very nice. BTW, the girls did win the first game but the guys prevailed on the next several. It’s been a fun Christmas week and the following are a few of the pictures from those events.

023 - Copy Our friends Bruce and Dee with their fun Christmas Hats.


DSC08157[1]Eating out at the Q Buffet Jim, Bob, Donna, Bee, Ken, Jenny, Dan, Jan & Chuck. Diane was our photographer.


Nativity Scene at Joanne’s

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas 2009

24March 012 - Copy Greetings to all of our family and friends during this 2009 Christmas season.  It been a busy year for us and we thought we would share a few of the highlights. We started the year in AZ and our plan is to end the year in Pasadena CA to watch the Rose Bowl Parade on January 1, 2010. Our 5th wheel has been our home 042 - Copyfor most of the year; 235 nights were spent boondocking (no hook-ups).  It one of our favorite ways to live and has taken us to wonderful places across the western U.S. such as high in the Big Horn Mountains in WY, the Olympic Peninsula along the Pacific Ocean in Washington, near Moran Junction in the Tetons and many desert locations in AZ.

16July 004 - Copy (2)It has also taken us to see our three sons and families. In May we visited Brent and Donna and grandchildren Stephen, Katie, Michael, Anne, Libby and Madeleine in Ames, IA. In June we stayed near Lake in the Hills IL. to be with Eric and Cheri, Ryan and Jessica and then in July we traveled westward. 12March 006 - Copy At the end of August we were in Lynnwood, WA with Alison and Isaac while Josh and Sarah were on an overseas trip. (Last month we received the news that Josh and Sarah will welcome another child into their family next summer; our eleventh grandchild!)

021 - CopyIn March Jackie and Butch came to Yuma, AZ to see Joanne, Chuck and Jan. Eric’s family, also, stopped in for a visit while they were on spring break. When we were at the farm in IA in June, Josh and Brent’s families came to see us. Also, at the end of June the Riesselman’s, Herb and Dolores, Linda and Richard, Glen and Mary Anne and Ron and Scarlet gathered. In November Jan flew from Las Vegas to IA to visit her parents in their new home, an assisted living facility, The Swan House in Carroll IA.

We continue to enjoy hiking and have had a wonderful time roaming the mountain and desert trails. We have been so very fortunate to have met so many wonderful friends in this lifestyle. We thank God daily for our family and friends and the many gifts in our lives.

             Chuck and Jan

          Merry Christmas to all and have a Happy and Successful 2010.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pilot Knob + Christmas festivities

Pilot Knob 2009 (Chuck) Yuma, AZ sits between two major landmarks. On the East is Telegraph Pass which we hiked in Cross and Chuck, Pilot KnobMarch of this year.  On the West is Pilot Knob which we have been eyeing for quite some time. Friday we took on Pilot Knob. We loaded the fanny pack and filled the water bottles. The climb is a rocky path ascending through an area which was quarried for gravel. It is not a leisurely hike that one would take with friends for the afternoon; it is more of a destination journey which, like Telegraph Pass, will reward you with a great vista at the summit.

(Jan) We reached the The Cross at the top, 876 feet elevation, after an hour of uphill climb.  The views from the top were magnificent; the Gila Mountains lay to the east beyond the city of Yuma, the Imperial Sand Dunes and the Cargo Muchacho Mountains lay to the west and north.  Los Algondes, Mexico was directly below us on the southeast and the American Canal and Mexico beyond the International Border Fence running off into the western distance, was on the south.

010Yuma and the Gila Mountains in the distance to the East 013Desert and Imperial Sand Dunes to the West
005 Cargo Muchacho Mountains 021 Los Algodones, Baja, Mexico
012Mexico beyond the American Canal and the Boundary Fence 028Chuck taking a phone call on the hike down – Notice our pick-up at the bottom

There is a geocache at the top of the mountain so we stopped to sign the notebook registry.  Jan at the Geocache, Pilot KnobThe hike down was somewhat easier, however, we had to be very careful of our footing in a couple of steep rocky sections. We were tired after the hike but really enjoyed our day’s outing.

Yesterday Chuck helped his mom put up new 8 foot ratan shades on her patio and then we joined her for lunch.  Later in the afternoon our friends Bruce and Dee came over from Kofa SKP Park for a visit. We enjoyed soup together and then walked over to the corner of 54th and El Camino to stake out a place for our lawn chairs to watch the Parade of Lights.  Dan & Jenny and Jim & Diane joined us as we viewed golf cars, quads and pick-ups roll by; all decked out in Christmas lights, Christmas trees and Holiday inflatables of all kinds. From there we strolled up and down 55th Street to see the neighborhood decorations.  What a fun day!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Celebrations

Jan with Christmas Ocotillo (Jan) Whether we’re out in the desert or in town living on 53rd Street, Christmas is being celebrated in unique fashion. Before we left our boondocking location out on Sidewinder Road we took a walk through the dessert surrounding us to the north and came upon this Ocotillo all decorated for the holiday season; complete with garland, bulbs and strings of lights.  It was just waiting to be plugged into a generator to033 - Copy light up the night!  Here on 53rd Street in the Foothills it’s an entirely different story!  Electric meters are rapidly spinning over on 55th Street between El Camino del Diablo and Montana street.  The last three nights Chuck and I have gone for evening walks through the neighborhood and always wind our way through 55th Street. The neighbors on that street have done their annual lighting for many years and have the theme, ‘The Night before Christmas’ with the entire poem done on Story boards up and down the street.

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           Corner of 53rd &
         El Camino del Diablo

    Story board with    Christmas Village Display

12/15 Boomer Gathering @ 53rd St.

This afternoon we had a Boomer Mini-rang Happy Hour at our house. It was a nice 70 degree afternoon and we enjoyed visiting out in the sunshine. Pictured above seated are; Patsy Cook, Diane Fisher, Carl Christensen, Barbara Cormack, standing; Gary Asplund, Jim Baker, Nancy Asplund, Bruce and Dee Richmond, our neighbors on our lot Steve and Kathy, Chuck, Joey Christensen, myself, Bea Marler, Dan Sheppard and Ken Marler (our photographer).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Is it December already?

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(Jan) Amazing!  It’s December already.  The Christmas tree is up and the shopping for the kids and grandkids is done and packages have been shipped!  We will sure miss having Christmas with them, but will look forward to being with everyone this summer.

Chuck and I are stilling hanging out at Sidewinder Road016 with Ron and Bernita. Our days are spent doing projects, hiking and making an occasional run to Yuma.  Ron and Chuck have been sharing Boondocking site info and of course, we’ve sharing some very tasty meals.  Last Saturday we visited friends of theirs over at Pilot Knob and then made a stop at the Imperial Date Farm near Bard for date shakes. Delicious! plus we bought boxes of fresh-off-the-tree dates.  

022Dean and Judy joined us on Tuesday afternoon.  They have just purchased a ‘new-to-them’ motor home and had solar panels installed on it at Starlight Solar in Yuma. We had lots of solar energy discussions as well as the usual travel stories, happy hours and more shared dinners.  Last night we grilled chicken and tuna and 014rounded out the meal with baked beans, salad, grilled potatoes and carrot cake with ice cream for dessert!  We had fun playing Mexican Train dominoes after. Dean and Judy are on their was back to Prescott today.  We’re planning a trip to American Girl Mine Rd (2 miles away) to see Karen & Mickey and Kaaren & Bill this afternoon. And I’m sure that will be followed by more good food and a card game this evening.  We’ll bid Ron and Bernita a temporary good-bye while we head back to Yuma and they start heading toward Pasedena.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


1December09 014 (Chuck)   We have moved to Sidewinder, a little spot of Heaven in the desert west of Yuma just before you get to the Imperial Sand Dunes. Some Boomers feel it is too windy (it can be), but to us it seems like home. We have enjoyed hiking in the nearby desert mountains over the years and when we arrived we made a plan to hike with our new best 2December09 0032December09 001

friends Ron and Bernita.  They are here with us for several days and we have enjoyed their company. Today we went through the mountain and around the North side for the return trip. On the way we visited a Geocache on the top called Black Rock Overlook. We first visited this cache two years ago with Monroes and Kingsburys. Geocaching is a sport that will always take you to a spot that you might not otherwise visit. We enjoy it.

(Jan)   Yesterday Chuck and I traveled to Algodones, MX to get new glasses as it has been several years since either of us had our eyes checked. We were delighted with the service we received at Algodones Optical from Dr. Luis Gonzalez.  He was very knowledgeable and professional and we both felt that it was a better experience than many eye exams we've had in the past. Only two hours after our exam our glasses were ready and we're both very happy with them.  During our wait we wandered the streetside shops and stores and then stopped for our favorite lunch, Shrimp Tacos.   

(Chuck) 1December09 026 We will be here with Ron and Bernita for several more days. We're having a good time hiking, planning winter activities and eating great meals. We are preparing for a trip to Pasadina, CA for the Rose Bowl Parade on New Years Day. If all goes well , we will park our rigs on a side street off Colorado Boulevard and be in great position to watch the parade. It promises to be a great experience.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving at Mittry

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(Jan)Take one part sunshine, 20 good friends, 72 degree weather and add lots of good food and you have the 2009 Boomer Turkeyrang at Lake Mittry. Here is the photo of us taken by Jenny Sheppard after our huge, delicious turkey dinner while we were still able to move! From the front: Jenny, Sue and Ken Pace, Bruce Richmond, Steve Richey, Ron and Bernita Poutney; second row:Kathy Webster, Patsy Cook, Pam Richey, me, Joy Melton; third row: Loren Webster, Art and Connie Carno-Sauerstrom, Dee Richmond, Chuck, Dan Sheppard, Bea and Ken Marler. We had Mugs and Hugs at 8:00 followed by a day of good fellowship and awesome food ending with a fire in the evening. As the sky darkened we had several minutes to view the Space Shuttle and International Space Station as it moved through the sky on a northwest trajectory. An awesome ending to a fun day was enjoyed by all.

We moved here, Lake Mittry, on Tuesday from the Foothills where we enjoyed having Art and Connie on the lot with us for a week or so.  Several evenings we grilled our evening mealsDSC04507[2] together and got to enjoy eating outside under the stars. Good friends; great times. We also invited several Boomers to come and join us for Happy Hour on the 18th. We had heard that the Fisher-Bakers and Meads were in town and wanted to have them over and then decided to invite a few more friends. The great thing about having a Boomer gathering is that you call, they bring chairs, drinks and food to share.  Instant party! Here is the group; Dan, Nancy & Gary, Jim, Connie & Art, Ron & Sharon, Diane, me & Chuck, Bea and Jenny. Thanks to Ken Marler for taking the photo. We also got our new Dish DVR set up while we were ‘townies’ and have enjoyed watching a little television again. Other activities were visiting with Joanne, going to Algodones, Mexico, walking around the neighborhood mornings and evenings and a trip to the Arizona Marketplace for me.

Monday, November 16, 2009

53rd Street in the Foothills

004(Jan) Chuck and I have moved back down to The Foothills just east of Yuma.  009For the last several winters we have rented a lot occasionally on 53rd Street so when we drove in this year, it seemed a like coming home.  We’re just a mile or two from Joanne’s, Chuck’s mom, and close to a whole lot of Boomers who call Yuma their home in the winter.  We spent the morning looking for a new Dish/DVR receiver and package as our receiver died.  Also, stopped by to visit with Gary and Nancy when we were in their neighborhood. There’s a Colorado River Hot Air Balloon event this week-end and then next week it’s on to Mittry Lake, north of Yuma, for the Boomer TurkeyRang on Thanksgiving Day. 

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