Monday, December 22, 2014

Foothills Fun & Projects

10426553_10203081071649680_3010270227547788412_n005(Jan) These past three weeks have found us having lots of fun in the Foothills with lots of amazing friends.  Our base was our usual address at 53rd Street. Early in the month Connie, Jenny, Sharon & I went to a Nativity Display at a downtown Yuma Church and then ate at the Garden CafĂ©. Strolling through shops and visiting the Art Museum rounded out the afternoon. What a great girls day!10299970_10203100095085254_6122639807978438186_n

Three days later our Hubbies joined us at the Historic downtown Yuma Theatre for a Christmas concert by the Fort Huachuca Army Band. We IMG_20141208_172758693enjoyed dinner after at Lutes Casino. That’s Larry, Connie, Sharon, Chuck, Jan, Jenny and Dan at left and we girls clowning around on the right.

There have been Pegs & Jokers games at Ron & Sharon’s and Dan & Jenny’s as well as trips to the Wednesday movies with group of Boomers followed by dinners out. We thought “The Judge” was pretty good, as was the food at Buffalo Wild Wings. “The Homesman” on the other hand had all of us shaking our heads. It took delicious burgers & fries at Five Guys to brighten our world!

We hosted a Christmas Potluck on beautiful, sunny Sunday the 14th.  Forty-one friends and neighbors answered the invite. A fabulous time eating and visiting was had by all. Pictured below are Chuck, Kaaren & Bill, Jan, Connie, Karen & Mickey, Sue & Bruce, Larry, Pat, Jack, Sharon, Linda, Gordon, Susie, Mona, Laura, Don, Ron, Jack & Sherrie, Steve & Cathy, Jenny & Dan, Don & Mary, Barbara, Ken, Tom, Nancy, Soren, Joy, Bea, Margie, Ron & Carol, Carl, Ron & Joey.PC140065

(Chuck)While we were in the foothills it seemed like a good time for some home repair projects. I started some, finished some and found a couple of others that I did not know I needed to do. We washed the rig one of the first days and we were happy to have it done, it has been quite a while. I had planned to wax it, but that has been put off for a while. Our social schedule interfered with some of the projects.PC190069 Our water pump quit the other day and is was a fairly simple job to install the spare pump that I use to pump water from the bladder to the rig. It is ok for this emergency, however it is noisy. The original pump that Newmar installed is expensive, but very quiet. I ordered one like it and it arrived at Ron and Sharon’s in Yuma today. We will pick it up when we return to Yuma after the New Year. Our rear AC is on the lamb. I took the lid off and discovered that a capacitor was bad, (it was falling apart). I had a mobile RV tech come and look at it. The new capacitor was not the solution. It is a Penguin 15,000 with the heat pump. They seem to have a common problem that the reversing valve that operates the heat pump and AC sticks. It is integral to the system and cannot be repaired. When it fails the system defaults to heat pump. That is not a good thing. We never use the heat pump and I would far rather it defaulted to AC, but not so. The tech says the AC will have to be replaced. I am very stubborn and I want to investigate it further. I have heard that sometimes a solenoid can cause the problem and I will take the solenoid off the front AC and put it on the rear AC and prove to myself that is or isn’t the problem. Time will tell. 1535432_10152871046062973_1593399207167165108_n

104(Jan) Last week Thursday a group of friends met at Joy’s house to decorate Christmas Trees, her house and her electric cart Tweety Bird for the Foothills parade. We had a very fun time and Joy shared delicious, pizza, eggnog, cider & Christmas goodies with us. That’s Laura, Maryann, Jan, Margie, Joy, Sharon, Barbara, Susie and Carol at left. The following evening a group of Boomers met and watching Joy, Jenny, Sharon & Candy in drive by along with 70+ others in the Foothills parade. We rounded out our time in the foothills walking to see the Christmas lights on 55th Street in the evenings, going to garage sales and shopping.

IMG_20141221_16305831610270556_904578616221738_9122293581793043912_nOur present location is Borrego Springs where we are boondocking near Peg Leg. Friends JC & Bev are here, too, so we’ve enjoyed visiting, seeing the fabulous sculptures of Ricardo Breceda and dinners at Carmelita’s and Carlee’s Bar & Grill. We’ll leave our Motor home in storage here while we fly from San Diego to Seattle tomorrow to be with our family! Merry Christmas Everyone and best wishes for a healthy and happy 2015!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Back in the Sunshine

IMG_20141116_164223496_HDR(Jan) While the cold and snow has started in much of the U.S., the area around our Yuma home base has been warm & sunny. Our travels since Death Valley have been two nights near Quartzsite, five nights west of Yuma on BLM land, six nights at the Paradise Casino and now we are once again at home on 53rd Street in the Foothills. The weather is in the 70’s & 80’s most days and in the 50’s at night.  It’s no wonder that winter visitors flock to this area each year.074

 

One of our first stops in the area was a trip to the dentist in Los Algodones, Mexico.  Our favorite dentist, who we’ve been to for the past 6 years has started her own office, Venus Dental. We had thought that our visit to Dr. Krystal was going to be for a root canal for me. Instead my tooth was cracked. It could not be repaired so having the tooth pulled was required. Dr. Hector, an Oral Surgeon, did an excellent job of pulling the tooth, placing bone grafting material in the cavity and then stitching it up.  I will return later for an implant and a crown. I’ll have it checked  next week when Chuck also has a check up.

027Recuperation time was spent in the desert with friends Karen & Mickey, Kaaren & Bill and new friends Linda & Pat.  It’s been wonderful visiting and catching up. On Friday we girls tackled a new bracelet pattern that Linda had brought. We sure had a fun afternoon beading together. On Sunday we went into see friends Ron & Sharon and play a few hands of Pegs and Jokers. From there we went over to Boomer Friend Joy’s for a Birthday party for those of us that had July through October Birthdays. It was wonderful seeing so many Yuma friends there. The following day five couples, Bill & Kaaren, Ron & Sharon, Mickey & Karen, Pat & Linda and Chuck & I gathered at our Motor Home and then had lunch at the Casino. Whew! We’re already in a lively social whirl.IMG_20141125_143357840

PB240025Tuesday was laundry day and haircut day.  I cut Chuck’s and had mine cut at a salon.  For months I’ve been thinking about short hair so that is what I had done. I love it!  My ponytail was mailed away to ‘Lock for Love.’

On Thanksgiving the couples at left minus Ron & Sharon had dinner at Golden Corral.  The food was good; the company was even better! That afternoon Chuck and I went over to the Wetlands area near the Colorado River to get a photo taken for this year’s Christmas Card. 50 cards for $15 at Sam’s Club seems like a good deal to us.  That plus a battery for my Fitbit was the extend of our Thanksgiving/Black Friday shopping!

Since our move into town we visited Ron & Carol and Jim & Diane, washed the Jeep and wrapped a few Christmas gifts. We’ve even put up the 2 foot Christmas tree and a few lights in our front window. Let the Christmas Season begin!007

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

On our way south & Death Valley

(Jan) Nov 3, 2014, Monday was moving day for us. For 11 1/2 weeks our home base was in the Seattle area. As the 002weather turned towards winter and our family visits ends we headed south. Overnight stops were in Canyonville, Oregon and Corning, California before staying several nights in Lodi, California at the Elks. While there we had a fun impromptu visit with fellow Boomers Lynn & Lin Ford and a great day with our sister-in-law Scarlett. It was the first time we had visited since my brother’s passing. We had a good visit and a nice walk on an area trail followed by a delicious stew for OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdinner. It was so good to visit with her & see that she is doing well.

Our travels from there took us up over the mountains on Hwy 88 to Minden, NV to visit friends Judie and Mark at her dad’s place. We were able to park there for several days to visit them and PA300018friends Betty & Duane. While Mark took the guys fishing on Lake Tahoe, we girls had lunch in Carson City at Schat’s Bakery and on Hwy 88 at Sorensen’s. Both were very delicious and fun outing with the girls. Each evening we gathered for a little wine and one of Mark’s delicious gourmet meals.  Here’s a photo of all of us on our last morning together.unnamed

 

 

We spent one night in Hawthorne, Nevada on our way to Furnace Creek in Death Valley.  Chuck & I visited DVNP last fall on our way south and were able see Scotty’s Castle, the Ubehebe Crater and do several hikes but due to a late fall thunderstorm many of the gravel/dirt roads were closed to the remoter areas. This year our first priority was visiting the Beatty Museum, the old Ryolite gold town, and driving the Titus Canyon Road. Below are some of the photos from Tuesday’s trip with Betty & Duane.

 

072A Bank/Business building in Ryolite PB120106The bottle house – walls were made with bottles imbedded in cement P1240378Picnic on Red Pass on the Titus Canyon Road
IMG_20141112_141336118One of the fascinating geological formations 095Leadfield – the sign says it all (above)
Going into the narrows section Of Titus Canyon (right)
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Tuesday was a down day for Chuck and I with just one outing to the Death Valley Visitors Center. They have an excellent topographical map of the park, some good exhibits and film that does a good job showing an over view of the area. The following morning we drove south with our buds to hike Natural Bridge Canyon, visit Bad Water Basin, the lowest point in North America, and drive through Artist Pallet. After lunch we drove through Twenty Mule Team Canyon and up to Dante’s View. It is amazing to see the variety of landscapes and rock formations. We finished the afternoon on the terrace of the Inn at Furnace Creek watching the sunset with a glass of wine.

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There was a nice surprise waiting for us when we got back home. New friends Mark & Patsy, whom we had met on the Washington Coast, were parked close by. We had a nice chat with them that evening and they joined us and Betty & Duane for coffee the following morning. We loved our Death Valley visit and will certainly return! One last photo to share; the sunset the first evening we were at Furnace Creek CG in Death Valley was glorious!

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

October flew by!

(Jan) Seattle  metro area was our home for the month of October. With our son’s family living in the north suburbs and Chuck’s mom and sister’s family in the southeast suburbs, it’s great for us to be able to see and visit with everyone. And as a bonus, we are able to stay on both of their properties. Big thanks yous go out to them for making us welcome! Here are some photos from the past month.

204Isaac & Grampa PA110033Lexi & I creating Ali’s BD Cake PA040028JJ & Ali

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We were able to gather together at Josh & Sarah’s house to celebrate Ali’s birthday in October and Sarah’s birthday in November. The family also came south to celebrate Joanne’s birthday.

067Chuck & Joanne baking cookies 023Joanne with one of the many puzzles we put together 005Joanne at our MH for birthday breakfast and Rumikub

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While Jackie had classes in Florida and she & Butch visited in Arizona, Chuck & I stayed with Joanne at their house. We had a wonderful time making cookies, fixing puzzles and playing Rumikub. But most of all the time was precious because we got to spend time with her just visiting.

Pictured at left are Joanne, Chuck & Jackie.

We are grateful to have had time with all in our Seattle families.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Surviving a Cold

P9210024(Jan) There is life after a cruise but it’s complicated! Our plan was to spend one night at the casino in Tulalip, drive to the Elks in Burien to do laundry since they have FHU sites, visit Chuck’s mom & sister’s family and then go to visit Josh & Sarah and family on the week-end before heading to the Washington coast. The first three went just as planned. And then one by one we succumbed to a horrible flu/cold. First Duane, then Chuck, followed by me & Betty. Our visit to see the kids & grandkids was not going to happen as we did not want to pass on this sickness. We did get some laundry done amongst fighting fevers and coughs along with lots of sleeping and napping. Sunday was Betty’s Birthday so we celebrated as best we could with a chicken casserole and carrot cake and a couple of games of Pegs & Jokers.IMG_20140923_135643_874

 

 

IMG_20140923_142329_926Monday we decided to drive over to the coast and boondock at the Quinault Casino near Ocean Shores. If we had to be sick and out of energy, we might at least do it where we could park near the ocean. The world here by the sea was pretty grey & rainy for much of the week. We did drive to Ocean Shores and drive out on the beach a couple of times. We saw this beautiful 6 point Black-tailed Deer posing on a sidewalk near town and watched a man & woman feeding the seagulls on the beach. We had breakfast at the casino and Chuck went up to the Copalis River to try a little fishing.P9260043IMG_20140927_133952_643

By Friday our energy was beginning to return and the beautiful sun came out to once again color our world. Walking on the beach is marvelous. Watching the waves rolling in fascinating. Many people were out for the week-end enjoying the sunshine; flying kites, watching & listening to the birds, walking on the beach and splashing in the surf.

On Saturday afternoon our friends Betty & Duane came to join us. They had been visiting in the Port Townsend area. This called for more walking on the beach, an incredible Sunday morning Omelet breakfast at the casino, fishing for Chuck & Duane and of course, more games of Pegs & Jokers.  We’re all recuperating and doing much better.

One last photo; these horse & riders were on the beach on Sunday. Lovely!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Alaskan Cruise Nature Adventures

IMG_20140911_132901_749s (5)s(Jan) Cruising to Alaska is special because of the magnificent natural beauty of this land. The cities, such as Juneau, above, are perched along the water at mountain’s edge. High lights of the trip were cruising Glacier Bay National Park, Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm Fjord.

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When we entered Glacier Bay National Park a NP Ranger came on board our cruise ship to talk about the area and narrate as we cruised up the Bay. This area is rich in marine and land mammal life but because of the rainy, overcast weather we missed seeing any. We were treated to a magnificent view of Margery Glacier which flows into the Tar inlet from it’s start in British Columbia, Canada.

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P9090191The following day we were able to view Hubbard Glacier. Both Hubbard & Margery are tidewater glaciers meaning that their terminus is at water’s edge. Hubbard Glacier flows 76 miles from Mt Walsh & a shorter tributary from Mt Logan, Yukon Territories, Canada to Alaska’s Disenchantment Bay. At it’s face the ice of the glacier is 7 miles wide and 100’s of feet tall and is the size of Rhode Island. At it’s terminus it is joined by the Valerie Glacier, also flowing from the Yukon. We were able to visit this area on our way north to Whittier and again on our way south.  It was quite rainy and overcast northbound so our cruise ship was unable to get very close. We were blessed with better weather on our way south. Our ship’s Captain got up quite close, turned the ship 360 degrees and we stayed at the site for over an hour. We were able to watch the calving of several icebergs and hear the mighty thunder of them hitting the water. It truly was an astonishing sight.P9090186

 

 

Cruising the Tracy Arm Fjord (below) was something we did not expect. Our 848 ft. long, 108 ft. wide ship cruised 27 miles up the narrow fjord with the walls close beside us on either side. We cruised to with in sight of the Sawyer Glacier. At that point, in a wide place in the Fjord near Sawyer Island the Captain turned the ship around we headed back out to sea. Amazing!

P9110230 P9110234Deck 12 – looking down the side and Jan on the back deck. P9110227     Cruising past ‘the wall’ in the Tracy Arm.

P9040065s (2)sP9040065s (4)sWe spent many hours both on the ships decks and lounges enjoying the ocean, shorelines, mountains and waterfalls. It was one of the most beautiful places we have ever been. We saw a bear, sea lions, whales and porpoise.P9060146s (2)s

P9150401sAt 7 A.M. on Monday morning September 15 we docked back in Vancouver, BC, Canada. We were quite sad to leave the cruise ship but ready to take the Sky Train back to the Raddison Hotel in Richmond P9150303where our Jeep was parked.  Our BC Boomer friends Bruce & Dee met us at the hotel for our first visit in a couple of years. We drove over to the seaside community of Steveston for lunch and strolling along the Fraser river. It was so wonderful that we could see them for this brief time. From there we headed back across the border to pick up our Motor Homes in Ferndale, Washington.

This cruise was everything we wanted and more! We will never forget all of the fun and laughter shared with good friends Betty and Duane, the beauty of Alaska and the joy of cruising on NCL.

 
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