December 25, 2010 - Merry Christmas

To all our family and friends


We have received so many neat digital Christmas Cards and wishes that I just needed to share with you all.

Here are the links:

Angel Tree

We wish you a Merry Christmas



Not a Christmas Card but a tribute to this great country:

America the Beautiful


Where is the line for Jesus:



Amazing Grace – wonderful House lights:



Pets talking



Really funny!



May we always remember our soldiers:


A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear..
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother...
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.."

"  So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.."

Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people
stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

And may we always remember the true reason why we celebrate Christmas:



Blessings to you and yours!

December 14-24, 2010 Our New Home

What a busy 10 days this has been. 

We made the trip to Yuma and picked up our new (to us) coach.  We spent a few days there moving all our “stuff” and getting some items fixed…  Boy, we were exhausted…(now I remember why I also hated moving – :-)).

So now we are settled back in Casa Grande and just loving our coach.  The funny thing is we do not know where we put everything so every day is an adventure.  We continue to try to organize ourselves – LOL!!

So here is our new coach:

12-12-10 Casa Grande 008

12-12-10 Casa Grande 007

I took inside pictures before we loaded our stuff and uploaded them to Picassa.   Here is a slideshow and a link:


Some of the goodies…

A tub – and it is WONDERFUL…   After taking navy showers, it feels decadent to fill the tub and soak…although I end up using all the hot water – :-)).   Yes, this is only for full hook up sites!!!

A larger oven – it has been great to cook a ham and even a chicken – YEA!!!   I am going to have fun with this.  (Tina and Gail, you would be proud!)

A four door refrigerator – that speaks for itself!!  But you know, I still can’t get a pizza in the freezer or fridge!

And this coach is in excellent condition.  The only thing worn is the rugs (which I may replace with some other type of flooring).

We did have a combo washer/dryer but I sold that on Craig’s list – worked out pretty well.  Now we are looking at some type of shelving for that area.   I am also thinking of selling the TV from the bedroom.   We don’t watch it and I could use the space.

I also sold my pouches with the Flair and I really miss those.   So one of my next projects will be to decide what I need and make up new patterns.

So that is what has been keeping us busy.  And probably will for a while.

There are some other items that need to be fixed including some of the recalls that were not done by the previous owner so we will be heading back to Yuma in mid-January to hopefully get them all fixed.

We have also been enjoying ourselves at the park.  Carolyn and Pete who we last saw in Cottonwood last April are here with us for a few weeks and it has been great getting caught up. Also Joyce (who we last saw in Albuquerque) is here.  She and I share a hobby of making jewelry so it will be good to compare notes.   Plus we have been reconnecting with others in the park that we met last year.

There is a morning coffee group here as well as a craft/beading group and I hate to say it but…I have not been joining in – still too busy getting caught up..   Although next week they are making a bracelet that I may just want to do – :-))).   We have, however, been enjoying the daily Happy Hours – lots of socializing, announcements and fun!!  

One sad bit of news: Joe Peterson who founded the Escapees Club passed away suddenly this week.  Please keep him in your prayers.  Andy and I briefly met Joe in December 2008  (December 18, 2008 – Escapees – Touring and Dinner) and loved his stories.   I think of how many great people/friends that I have met thru this Club and will always be grateful to Joe and Kay for starting it.   Please keep Kay and their family in your prayers.

So about our future plans – yes they always change – LOL!!

We will be here in Casa Grande until January 9, 2011.  We will then be in Yuma getting some things done on the coach.  From there we are planning to go to Quartzsite.  (Depending on what is happening with the coach, we may be back and forth from Yuma to Q to Yuma.)  And what about Florida.  Well, we have decided to head that way after Quartzsite and who knows – :-)))

Merry Christmas to all our friends and family.  We are so blessed to have you in our lives.

To those who read the blog that we do not know.  I hope that some day our paths will cross.

Blessings to you all.




December 9 - 13, 2010 – Driving, Moving and New Family

We left our little spot in Yuma and headed down the road to Casa Grande with me (Diane) driving…. Yes, you read that right – I drove the motorhome!!  Now this is the current one – so hopefully will do the same with the new one.    And my Andy was a good passenger – LOL!!!  

So how did I do??  Not bad – it takes a little getting use to but not bad – :-))).  

We arrived at the SKP Park in Casa Grande and explained our situation to them (needing to leave for a few days and bringing a different coach back) and they really helped us out.  Their assistant manager has a lot in the Park so the lot usually reserved for that position is open.  We were put in that spot and have the use of the shed to store some items while we are moving.   (Have I said how much I love being an Escapee!!).   So except for those few days, we will be here until January 9, 2011.

We also found out that we are now number 55 on the list for a lot.  We started out at number 108 in January 2009 so it looks like we should be near the top in about 2 more years.

Here is our spot:

 12-12-10 Casa Grande 001

 12-12-10 Casa Grande 005

So over the past few days we have been getting caught up with items in the motorhome, making use of that shed, getting caught up with what’s been happening around the park, etc…    The weather has been beautiful – 70’s during the day and 40’s during the night – PERFECT!!   The air quality has been a bit more dusty – makes for incredible sunrises and sunsets.    Sorry I don’t have many pictures – should be getting my lens back next week and will be using heavily again – :-))).

On Saturday, I reconnected with my first cousin, Kris.  We have not seen each other in over 45 years – WOW!   We had such a wonderful time chatting and getting to know one another again.   And hopefully we will be seeing each other again before we head on out of Casa Grande.   What a blessing for us!  Thank you, Kris.

Kris and I:

12-11-10 001

Today, Monday, we met with Andy’s primary VA doctor.   All went well and we are good to go for another year – Yea.

And we were pleasantly surprised to have our friends Carolyn and Pete (who we last saw in March in Cottonwood area) drive in and camp right across from us.   They will be here thru the holidays so it will be good to get caught up with each other.   It has been so great to reconnect with so many great people.  We are so blessed.

We also got our mail today (Thanks, Dave).  With our mail came my fixed lenses – YEA!  And spare helicopter blades for Andy from Larry (Thanks, Larry).  And cards and notes – I love mail day!!!

Tomorrow we head back to Yuma to pick up our new home and transfer all our “stuff” so stay tuned – :-))))

Stats for December 9, 2010:

Miles Traveled:  162 miles

Routes Traveled:

Arizona: SR-95; I-8; Montgomery Road


November 30. 2010 to December 8, 2010 – Quartzsite, Yuma, and Something New!

Wow!  Can’t believe it has been a while since I updated.  Hope I am not falling out of the habit – :-((…

So what have we been up to…

Well, we enjoyed our stay in Quartzsite.  I was able to get into town to Gem World.  They just opened a new store that is four times the size of the old store.  Oh my, I could have spent the day just walking around.   If I spend a season in Quartzsite, I am going to get a job in Gem World!    To my beading buddies, if and when you get to Q, check it out.  They have all kinds of items and lots more coming in (including crystals).  Plus, they will be starting classes soon.  

Altamont Tools is now in the old Donna Day’s buildings.  They are also just starting up so it should be an interesting place in a few months.   They were having some great sales on the old inventory and I was able to pick up some different cords to try out kumihimo (Japanese braiding).   After talking with Chris at the Swap Meet in Pahrump, I am going to try my hand at doing some different cording…

Andy had a chance to check out RV Special Things for more LED lights.  He did not have what we wanted (waiting on a shipment) so we continue to look.   If you are in Q, check this place out – great service on the LED lights.  Two years ago we bought lights at another vendor and they quit working.  RV Special Things replaced them for us – free of charge.   And they are still working – :-))).

The weather warmed up and wind died down enough for us to enjoy a nice campfire.

On Thursday, 12/2, we drove 70 miles (SR-95) to BLM Lands behind the VFW in Yuma.   And we were lucky enough to get our favorite spot.

 12-08-10 Yuma 001

12-08-10 Yuma 004

12-08-10 Yuma 003

Did you notice Dusty in the above picture??    He was following me around since I would not let him wander too much in our “back” yard.   The first day there, he walked thru the foliage and had stickers all over his paws, belly, and tail – what an interesting time we had getting them all out.   But he sure loved being out in the sand – LOL!!

We had a busy time in Yuma.

On Thursday, we met with Larry (who we last saw in Pahrump) and spent some time chatting and then out to supper at the Elks. – Great meal and great company.  (Sorry, we missed you. Peg).  Hopefully we will see them again if we decide to stay around this season.

On Friday, we did the Yuma Marketplace and a number of other shopping stops.   It was like old home week at the Yuma Marketplace.  We first saw Sharon and John (who we last saw in Congress, AZ in March).  It was great to see them and get caught up.  They are camped at Imperial Dam and if we decide to stay in this area this winter, we hope to spend some time there.  We also ran into Kay and Norval (who we last saw in Pahrump) and had lunch.  They are heading towards Phoenix in a few days while we will be heading to Casa Grande.

On Saturday, we spent most of the day with Lynne and Fred (who we last saw at Imperial Dam in Feb/Mar).  It was great to see them again and get caught up…  Hopefully we will see them again this season – maybe they will be heading to Casa Grande - (Lynne ???– :-))))

On Sunday thru Wednesday, we got together with Sandy and Raul – our daughter’s in laws – who we have not seen since Feb/Mar.  It was also great to see them again and get caught up.  And not sure if we will see them again this season – unless we decide to stay.

We are so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives, both at home and on the road.   (Great to see you all – :-))))

We also got some medical things done.  On Monday and Wednesday, we went to Algodones for dental work for Andy.  He got his teeth cleaned and a new crown to replace the one that chipped.  We go to the Smille Shoppe and really like Dr. Roberto – :-)))).  If I even need more than a cleaning, I will probably go to him.

We also made a few stops until I found a place that would take my insurance.  I needed some routine bloodwork but did not want to pay out of pocket – :-)))   Oh, my!!!!

And even more news……..

Can you guess what this is???

12-07-10 Our New Home 044

It is our new (to us) home….  We will pick it up next week – isn’t that exciting…..

Now in all fairness to you all, we have been looking for a while.  We had not decided whether we should buy or remodel ours so we just left it that “if” we saw one that we liked and the deal was decent, we would go for it.   If not, then next summer we would remodel ours.   Well……we found one we really liked at a decent price.   It is a 2003 36’ Fleetwood Bounder with one slide.  (The slide is not out in the above picture.)   It was owned by one couple and the inside is in mint condition.  And it drives very nice – :-))).   So next week (15/16), we will be back in Yuma to pick it up…   Isn’t that exciting!!!!!!!

We first saw the coach on Sunday then went back, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday – can you believe it??   I wanted to be sure – :-))).    It will be interesting moving everything from our coach to the new one.

We are heading to Casa Grande tomorrow (9th) to the SKP Park.  We hope to stay a month but will need to leave for a few days to pick up the new home.  We are hoping that we can get the month, leave for a few days and then come back but we won’t know that until tomorrow so stay tuned.

As most of you know, we had been planning to head to Florida right after the holidays to see the February Space Shuttle Launch.  Well, the launch that was originally scheduled for November, 2010 is now scheduled for February 3, 2011.  The tickets from November will be honored at that launch (and we don’t have any of those).   The launch that we were going to try to see was originally scheduled for the end of February, 2011 and has been rescheduled for April 1, 2011.  Those tickets have yet to go on sale.  So we don’t know what we are going to do…    As my Andy would say, we will play it by ear…  

Off to another adventure……oh my!!!



November 29, 2010 – Quartzsite

Here is our little spot:

 11-29-10 Quartzsite 003

Notice how empty it is around us – that will change in a few months..

Our side yard – it looks like our fire ring from last February…

11-29-10 Quartzsite 005

My friend, Lynne, tells me there are some quail that live in the wash.  Haven’t seen them yet but once the wind dies down and it warms a little more, we will be checking it out.   As well as having a fire in that fire ring.

We spent the day doing some shopping down town.  Many of the places were closed due to the winds and should reopen tomorrow.   But many of the places are empty – we are here too early – :-((.   Oh well.

Back at the motorhome…

This is what our cat does when we are not home – LOL:

11-29-10 Quartzsite 011

Looks like he is watching TV.

Lately he has been fascinated with the water coming from the spigot.   When we wash our hands or the dishes, he has to sit and watch the water – :-)).   So today he entertained us trying to catch the drips  - notice the droplets of water on his face/ears…  he couldn’t figure out where to get the drips – LOL..   (Hey, it was great entertainment on a cold, windy day!)

11-29-10 Quartzsite 022

And that was our day – :-)))!


November 28, 2010 – Travel To Q

We left our little spot in Pahrump and traveled south over Mt. Potosi where they must have had snow and ice last night – BRRR.

Going Up:

  11-28-10 Pahrump to NVCA Border 003

11-28-10 Pahrump to NVCA Border 004

11-28-10 Pahrump to NVCA Border 008

Yes, that is ice – WHOA!!!

11-28-10 Pahrump to NVCA Border 010

Coming down the other side:

11-28-10 Pahrump to NVCA Border 011

11-28-10 Pahrump to NVCA Border 012

Vegas in the distance and notice – no snow – amazing!!!

11-28-10 Pahrump to NVCA Border 015

We traveled thru Vegas into part of California:

  11-28-10 X B 95-40 008

11-28-10 X B 95-40 014

11-28-10 X B 95-40 018

And across the Colorado River:

11-28-10 X B 95-40 024

Into Arizona:

11-28-10 Y US 40 CA-AZ Border to SR-95 006

In Arizona, we took SR-95 to Quartzsite.  Such amazing scenery since most of that route follows the Colorado River – Enjoy:

 11-28-10 Z SR-95 near Lake Havasu 003

11-28-10 Z SR-95 near Lake Havasu 006

11-28-10 Z SR-95 near Lake Havasu 007

11-28-10 ZA SR-95 Along the Colorado

11-28-10 ZA SR-95 Along the Colorado (5)

11-28-10 ZA SR-95 Along the Colorado (7)

11-28-10 ZA SR-95 Along the Colorado (12)

11-28-10 ZA SR-95 Along the Colorado (14)

11-28-10 ZA SR-95 Along the Colorado (16)

11-28-10 ZA SR-95 Along the Colorado (18)

11-28-10 ZA SR-95 Along the Colorado (22)

11-28-10 ZA SR-95 Along the Colorado (27)

We are staying in Quartzsite at Hi-Jolly.  We were able to get one of our favorite sites along the wash – I will take some pictures tomorrow.   Not a lot of people here now but by January it will be packed.  We took a ride around town to see what was open and will be checking out those places in the next few days.   A number of the flea markets/swap meets are not open yet – :-(((…   I don’t buy much but LOVE just walking thru them – LOL.

And I am looking forward to some campfires if the wind dies down…  As well as some great sunrises, sunsets, and star gazing - so stay tuned.

Stats for today:

Miles Traveled: 273 miles

Nevada: Oakridge Road, Manse Road, SR-160; Windmill Lane; I-215; I-515; US-95

California: US-95; I-40

Arizona:  I-40; SR-95

November 26-27, 2010 Red Rock Canyon

On Friday, we woke to 22 degrees outside – BRRRR!!!   But the sun was shining and we decided to take another road trip to Red Rock Canyon.  This National Area is about 17 miles west of the Las Vegas strip and has a great visitor center and 13 mile scenic route.    There are also some great trails and programs and when we come back to this area (in warmer weather), we may just may camp here and do some of those trails and programs – :-)).

Here is a link to more info:


The pictures are from the area and the scenic drive – Enjoy!

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (24)a

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (101)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (6)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (9)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (10)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (13)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (17)  

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (26)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (27)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (30)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (33)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (38)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (44)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (47)

And the swirls of color:

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (50)

Lots of rock climbers:

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (53)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (55)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (63)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (76)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (78)

I am amazed at the different colors in the rocks and the layers..WOW.

Andy taking a picture of me taking a picture of him:

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (85) 

 11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (89)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (70)

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (106)

Doesn’t this look inviting:

11-26-10 Red Rock Canyon (118)

And Friday night we had Thanksgiving revisited (as my friend Madeline would say).   There were that many leftovers from our dinner here at the clubhouse that we had another party tonight – :-)))    Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

On Saturday night we got together with John and Audrey and another couple for dinner – another great time – :-))   Oh and I have to tell you about the traveling tree….

In December 2008 while we were at Livingston, Texas, Andy and I purchased a small Christmas tree at the Dollar Store for the holidays.   Well, when we left, we put the tree on the sale table.   Audrey picked up the tree and used it the following year (we did not know this).  On Wednesday when they came over, they brought us a Christmas present – the little tree – :-))).   So Audrey, I will take care of it and send it your way when we see you again.

Wednesday morning was my last day with the beading ladies and Saturday morning was my last coffee hour with the ladies and it was sad to say goodbye for now… but hopefully we will see them next season – :-)).  We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Pahrump and tomorrow we will head south to Quartzsite, Arizona for a few days.

So stay tuned.