Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Family Christmas

Well, technically not my family, but Ron's. However nobody could make me feel more welcome. We flew to Denver on Monday the 21st and spent a lovely week with them.

The first thing Ron does when in the area is run to the Danish bakery. I was attracted to all the chocolate coated pastries. (I'm not sure what those green frogs are.)

However, Ron's favorite is an almond kringle. The best kingles come from Racine, WI, but he said this one was very acceptable.

We stayed with his daughter Kim who treated us royally. Here she is with her 'taco ring' creation which was artistic and tasty.

While she went to work, we all pitched in to help out. Here Shannon and Grandpa Ron unloaded the dishwasher. It's a good thing Shannon knew where things went.

Ron's son Jim pitched in and helped with the cooking. . .

Under the supervisory eye of Ron's daughter Kelli. (Just kidding, Kelli did more than any of us.) As a professional organizer, she couldn't resist organizing a couple of kitchen drawers.

The day after we arrived it began snowing and continued for 24 hours. But it didn't accumulate much and just created a winter wonderland. Here's the view out Kim's back door.

Little Maddie enjoyed the snow, but didn't stay out too long in the cold.

Here's Kim with her family - husband Tom, Shannon, and Adam (and of course, Maddie.)

And the siblings - Kim, Jim and Kelli.

I even managed to get all of them in one shot. Aren't they a great looking group?

Shannon modeled what all the well-dressed 8-year-olds are wearing this year.

Christmas morning the kids were soooo excited to see what Santa brought them.

Kelli began to worry that someone thought she needed to exercise.

Don't worry, Kelli, if you can fit into those tiny shorts, I don't think you need to worry.

Kim snapped this of me when I modeled my present from Santa - just what I wanted! Hey, is that Kelli on the box?

Adam's birthday is on Christmas! Like me, I guess he never has summer clothes either.

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

This is our first Christmas as home owners and some might say we are minimalistic in our decorations. I remember years ago when I moved to Florida from the Northeast and everyone on the block had fantastic decorations. In fact my helpful neighbor asked if I needed any help hanging my lights. I asked, "What lights?" Since then, although I moved into an RV, I seem to have accumulated some stuff. Ironic, huh? The only new thing I bought was the wreath on the window. Even that might have been a mistake. Where do you store things in Arizona where the summer temps reach 120 so the attic is out and there is no basement?

This is our cute little fiber optic tree.

I thought this was the best outdoor decoration in the neighborhood.

We asked Brenda to take our picture for our Christmas card. Although she kept trying to move us out of the shadow, I guess we didn't move far enough. I was discouraged and almost gave up.

But wait!!! We attended a dinner put on by the local assisted living establishment. They fed us prime rib and are hoping we'll remember them when we need their services. It was really nice, but the best was a chance to pose with Santa! At first I hesitated, but then they mentioned the magic word - FREE!

I do wish we had dressed more seasonally, but we were so happy with the results that it went out with the Christmas cards.

Ron and I wish all of you a wonderful Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Being from the Northeast, I get a kick out of the weather forecast. Check this out.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Probably the nicest thing about owning a house is having a place to display objects that have special meaning to us. Once again, this post is only interesting to me and maybe a few others, but I'm going with it anyway.

First, we carried some of my father's photographic prints across the country in the RV. If you think that wasn't a challenge, just look at the size of these babies. Don't they look great?

My father has been taking gorgeous pictures for most of his life. I like to say he designed his house around the darkroom. To see a few of his pictures on Flickr, click here. (Keeping in mind that they were scanned in from film.)

I also have several of my mother's cross stitch masterpieces.

Here are some more of my mother's cross stitch pictures. Brenda gets the credit for suggesting that I put them in a triple frame.

Speaking of Brenda, she loaned us a few of her treasures too. After all, why should they languish in her storage space?

I also have a very special cross stitch sampler created by my aunt.

This is my favorite knickknack. I found it when I was out with the same aforementioned aunt. I love it because it reminds me of my two precious girls.

I know you're probably wondering where are Ron's treasures. Well he has some amazing pictures of his ancestors and has claimed the hallway for their display. So far that's a work in progress.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Life as Homeowners

I have been very neglectful of our blog lately, but for the life of me, I can't figure out what to write. I could mention that we've been having a real cold spell where it hasn't even made it up to 60 and we even had, heaven forbid, rain!

Or I could tell how I've been trimming the citrus trees which shot up four feet since last year. The scratches I received from my battle with the wicked lemon tree prompted one person to ask if I have a cat. I replied, "No, I have a lemon tree."

I could brag about how I found a valance in my favorite thrift shop that I thought was similar to the print in the living room sofa. When I brought it home to try in the living room window, it wasn't similar to the sofa material, it was the same!

Or how about the day we met fellow bloggers Carol and John for a fun three hour lunch. I've been reading their blog for a year or so, following their travels and transition from part time to full time RVers. They are just as charming in person as they are in their blog. To check out their adventures, click here.

I could say that I'm still practicing my hostessing skills with mixed results. You'll have to ask Brenda, Pat and Harold, or Judy and Max about that.

But alas, I have no pictures of any of this, so it's not very interesting. I did miss a good photo op the other day when Ron and I helped Pat and Harold put Christmas lights along their roof line. Okay, so Ron did it and the three of us just watched. This reminded me of the old joke, "How many seniors does it take . . .?" (You can fill in the rest.)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Playing House

Although we bought our little house last February, we still consider ourselves fulltime RVers. It's just a place to sit in the winter for now. Because of this mindset, I feel like I'm playing house. Ron has his projects and I pretend to know what I'm doing taking care of a house. It's been 8 years and I really wasn't very good at it then. Ron however is a wonder at being Mr. Handyman. Take for example the saga of the master bathroom.

When we bought the house, it had that 'stuck in the sixties' look.

Ron changed out the light and replaced the mirror with a big recessed mirrored medicine cabinet which I thought we would never fill. However universal law states that you will fill any available space and we did.

We were still stuck with a vanity top and sink that neither of us was crazy about so when we saw one in a thrift store in Yuma, I insisted it would fit the spot.

Well I was wrong. The new top was not deep enough, but never fear, Ron is always up for a challenge.

He simply added a 2x4 behind the back splash. Alright there was nothing simple about it, but he did it anyway.

Then he covered the board with a piece of molding that we already had in the garage!

And, voila! Here is the beautiful result. (Now I guess I need to get more colorful accessories.)

And we finally signed up for trash collection. I think only RVers can fully appreciate the convenience of having your trash hauled away. The company gave us this GIGANTIC can that will be emptied twice a week. At first you might wonder how we'll ever fill it, but when you have citrus trees that seem to always need trimming, it fills up pretty quickly. And then there are those days like today when we forget to put the thing out. Geez.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

AACA Museum

For the past week, I've been visiting my father in Pennsylvania. And, no, I didn't drive, but risked my health and flew. I now have a cold which I hope is just that. But I digress. . .

I had a lovely time with my Papa who is doing very well, thank you. One day we went with his neighbors Al and Carol to the Antique Automobile Club of America's museum in Hershey, the town famous for delicious chocolate. Although I forgot to bring my camera, my father kindly stepped in and took pictures for me. I felt like a reporter with my own professional photographer! The museum is really terrific with lots of cars that are older than I am. I really hate it when the antique cars are ones I remember when they were new.

Lest we forget where we are, they park the Hershey Kissmobile at the front door.

I really liked this car from 1895. It was made in Chicago and was called a Benton Harbor Motorcycle. Doesn't look like a motorcycle to me - more like a sleigh.

Like my father observed, these cars probably look better today than they did when brand new. Just look at the shine on this Cadillac.

Here I am looking at the model cars with Al and Carol. Hey! Am I the only one having fun?

I don't know what kind of car this one is, but it looks particularly nice with the background.

This is a 1919 Briggs-Stratton Model J Flyer. Propelled by the wheel in the back with a small lawnmower type engine, it's a true 'rear-wheel drive.'

Now that's what I need - a motor on my bicycle to help me up the hills. Actually this is a 1908 Indian Twin Racer.

My father really liked the Coca-Cola truck.

And I loved the model train layout. This is only a very small section of it. Look at the corn field!

Friday, November 6, 2009

WIN Triathlon

For the past week the WINs have been in Lake Havasu City, most famous as the site of the London Bridge. The bridge was purchased by developer Robert McCulloch in 1968 for $2,460,000. It took three years and another $4,500,000 to transport and reassemble the bridge. Sounds crazy, right? But by bringing in this impressive bridge, not to mention digging a channel to run under it, Mr. McCulloch kicked his developing plans into high gear. The tiny town he created in the Arizona desert is now a thriving metropolis.

Each piece was numbered to facilitate the reassembly process. Carolyn spotted some of the numbers still visible.

But my favorite part of the story is the legend that Mr. McCulloch thought he was buying the more impressive Tower Bridge.

It makes a great story, but I think anybody with Mr. McCulloch's business sense would know what bridge he was buying.

Now on to the WIN Triathlon - hiking, biking, and kayaking. First up was the hike in SARA Park on the south end of Lake Havasu City. It begins as an easy walk down a wash. . .

Which becomes a bit more challenging through a slot canyon. (For embarrassing pictures of me, see Diana's blog here.)

Once through the slot (or SARA's crack as the locals say,) some of us returned overland on a fairly well-marked trail until we took the wrong wash at the end. Even with that it was an easy hike of about 2 1/2 miles.

Others in the group (Ron, for one) decided to forge their own trail and arrived back at the parking lot about 2 hours later. We were already home and showered by then.

Next was the kayaking. We put in about 1/2 mile south of the bridge and kayaked up the channel to it. Here are the WINs under the London Bridge.

I liked this view of the bridge architecture and one of the unique lampposts, molded from French cannons captured during the 1815 battle of Waterloo. Wow! See what you can learn online?

Most of the group continued around the island formed by said channel, but wimp that I am, I turned around. That was some of the clearest, prettiest water I've ever kayaked.

While I was waiting (no, I didn't leave Ron this time) I walked back to the bridge where they have cute shops and ICE CREAM! I had cappuccino chocolate chip. Yum.

I also saw this tour boat that reminded me of the one my daughter and son-in-law got married on. If they would only read my blog, I could ask them what they think. LOL

And I discovered why there are so many ducks in the area.

Back at our launching point, Patty entertained us by practicing her kayak reboarding technique. Carolyn is ready to lead a hand or maybe just laugh.

We all admired Patty's new 'big girl toy.'

Then today we did some biking. Here we are on the island with Lake Havasu City in the background.

What a good looking group! Bill, Bill, Carol, Peter, Ron, (fearless leader) Mark, and I all had a perfect ride.

On the way home I snapped this picture out the window. Can you see why I thought it was amusing?

Maybe I'm just crazy, but I thought that Saguaro under the Sheriff's sign looked like a person with his hands raised in surrender.