Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
October, 2017 - Mexico

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Haboob Hits Yuma

You may have seen on the national news last week that a massive haboob wreaked havoc from the Phoenix area all the way to Yuma in Arizona. What is a haboob, you may be asking?? Webster's defines it as "a violent and oppressive wind blowing in summer bringing sand from the desert".

Here's a picture from the web as it crossed Interstate 8 in Yuma. Our park model is in a resort that is next to that highway.

I saw that there had been some roof damage in the Foothills of Yuma, which is where we are located. I contacted a friend, and she told me that there definitely was damage in the park. It seems the units on the east side of the park in the initial path of the storm took the biggest hit. There were roofs, carports and decks torn off of homes. Part of one carport roof landed in the swimming pool at the resort.

My friend said the office emailed people with damage. I didn't get such an email, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to double check. Within a few hours of emailing the office, they sent me these pictures. Only a few trim pieces torn off. One on the roof , and two on the skirting. Whew!! Nothing that can't wait until we return. Lucky for us, our unit is on the very western edge of the resort.

From what I understand storms of this magnitude are very rare in Yuma. Hopefully, there won't be another one for a very long time!! I can't even imagine actually being caught up in it.

Last weekend we had absolutely gorgeous weather. One of those summer weekends, I've been waiting for. Highs in the low 80s and low humidity. We spent much of the time outside. This weekend the heat and humidity have returned. Thank goodness for air conditioning. It is just nasty outside!

This poor bird was sitting in the shade of the bird feeder yesterday to escape the heat. He wasn't eating, just resting in the shade.

We did have something new happen at the dump station last Sunday. We got a knock on the door from the guy who was parked in the dump. Seems he left the truck running while dumping, and the dog locked the truck with his phone and keys inside. He was blocking the only access to the dump and the park was full of people leaving that day. We needed him out of there. I called the sheriff's non-emergency number and a very helpful dispatcher had a deputy there within 30 minutes. He had a tool to get the truck unlocked, and all was right again. Thanks to the Dodge County Sheriff's Department for a job well done.

With much of my time spent inside this season due to the weather, I've been doing a lot of quilting. Last Tuesday my machine had a breakdown. She is in the repair shop right now. I sure hope I get her back soon. I'm thinking of an upgrade, and keeping the one I have as a back up. I'm lost without my machine. The local quilt shop has one on sale that I've got my eye on. It's an extra 10% discount the week of your birthday. My birthday is a month away, so I have a feeling I know what Kevin is buying me for my birthday this year, whether he knows it or not :)

My daughter-in-law Cathryn had given one of the quilts I made to her friend Allison when she had her first baby. A few months ago Allison contacted me and asked if she could purchase two baby quilts from me. One for her nephew and one for her expected second child. I agreed and got busy. She sent me pictures of the two babies on their quilts. So precious!!

I'm currently working on more baby quilts to give Cathryn to use as gifts, and another one that will be a gift for a friend in Yuma. Now I just need my machine back.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Special July Anniversary

Today is the 60th anniversary of my parents and I arriving as immigrants from Germany to the USA. I was 10-1/2 months old at the time. I actually took my first steps on the ship coming over. Here's my first passport picture.

My mom tells the story of seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time and holding me up to see it. They had such dreams about starting a new life in the land of opportunity. In order to come, they had to apply for legal entrance and have a sponsor to help them. My dad's parents and brother also came. My grandpa's cousin was our sponsor, agreeing to help them find a place to live and get jobs.

It was much harder getting started than they ever imagined. They did not speak English. Eventually, everyone got jobs. With much hard work they made a wonderful life for themselves and me. They take great pride in the fact that everything they accomplished was done with hard work, never needing to take any kind of government assistance. So, the 4th of July holiday has always been extra special for my family, as it marked our arrival in a new country, fulfilling the dream so many others have had before and since!

Kevin and I celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary on June 11th. We had a nice day playing a round of golf and going out for dinner at Benvenutos Italian Restaurant in Beaver Dam. The food was really good!

The weather continues to be lousy this season. Either rainy and cool or super hot and humid. Last weekend we had a heat advisory with a heat index over 100 degrees. The next two days are going to be near that hot and humid again. I'm wishing for some nice crisp Wisconsin summer days!

Last Sunday Kevin and I went to Madison and checked out two microbreweries. The first was Ale Asylum where we took the tour. A great deal at $5 per person which included a pint of beer and a sample during the tour. They began their company in 2006 and have grown to be the third largest microbrewery in Wisconsin. They are very proud of their commitment to making great tasting beers while doing what is best for the environment. Quite an accomplishment. Kevin tried four of the beers and really liked them.

Our second stop was at Next Door Brewery. Kevin tried four of the beers, and I had a hard cider. He said the beers were okay, but he liked the ones at Ale Asylum better. I don't like beer, but still enjoy the tours and sharing Kevin's interest in microbrews.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Sun is Finally Shining

I remember reading a comment a few years ago on another blog by someone who didn't want to be reading about what the weather was like. Living in an RV full time and working at a campground makes the weather an important part of our days, so I'm going to talk about the weather once in a while. Hope that doesn't bother anyone :)

The sun is finally shining today. We haven't seen it since last Sunday. This has been an odd weather season so far. Record snows in April. Record rains in May. Above average rain so far in June. When it has gotten warm, it has gotten very hot with super high humidity. Just not very nice weather for campers. I'm very much in tune with the sun. My mood definitely improves as soon as the sun comes out. And, spending the winters in Yuma, where they claim to have 330 days a year of sun, has spoiled me a bit.

In other news, we spent a very nice Father's Day with our son Eric. We had lunch at the Ale House in downtown Milwaukee where Eric and Kevin tried some of their brews made by Milwaukee Brewing Company. Both of them agreed they liked the Weekend @ Louie's the best.

Our second stop was at the Lakefront Brewery for some more tasting. They have these interesting art pieces out front. The tops of some of the old brew kettles were painted to look like the three stooges.

More beers were tasted. They both agreed they liked the beers at Milwaukee Brewing Company better. We didn't go on the tour, but our son Korey told me that the tour at Lakefront Brewery is very interesting. Maybe another time.

I've been working on some quilting projects. I made two of these wall hangings. One for the quilting room at Fortuna de Oro and one for the wall in our new park model. I found the fabric at a quilt shop in Mesa and couldn't resist.

This quilt was started last winter while in Yuma. The pattern is known as a Bargello. There are many variations of the pattern, but it involves cutting many strips, sewing them together, and cutting them again crosswise to make the different colored squares, and then sewing them together again. It is the largest quilt I've ever made, a king sized for our bed in the park model. I quilted it myself on my small sewing machine. I'm quite happy with how it turned out. I have some strips left over, so I think I might make some pillow shams.

A few weeks ago we saw two young raccoons wandering around the park during the daytime. We very rarely see raccoons in the park. We thought it was kind of strange to see them during the day and to not see an adult near them. We saw them a few times, but haven't seen them lately. Hopefully, they're okay.

Time is going fast again this summer. We've been here two months already. A little over three more months until we head back to Yuma. We've been enjoying ourselves visiting with family and friends and enjoying our beautiful park.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hot Memorial Day Weekend

Last weekend was not a very pleasant Memorial Day weekend. The campground was fully booked. That always makes for a busy and interesting weekend. Combine that with record high temperatures and a power outage, and it wasn't a very nice weekend at all.

Late Friday afternoon, our power went out. Kevin traced it to a blown breaker in one of the main fuse boxes. It was a 200 amp breaker for 15 of our campsites. He reset it, and things were fine for the rest of the day. Friday's high was 92 degrees, so that was a good thing.

Around noon on Saturday the same breaker blew again. The high on Saturday was 95 degrees. Kevin reset it, and it lasted for a whole 15 minutes. We asked all campers on that circuit to put their refrigerators and water heaters on gas, and use electric for air only. That worked for about an hour, and it blew again. We called our boss who called the electrician the county uses. The breaker blew about 4 more times that afternoon. It started that it could be reset immediately to taking over an hour because it was getting so hot.

At dinner time, our boss called back and said the electrician would be there Sunday morning. I went around and spoke to all the campers on that circuit and asked that they not use their air until the electrician could come. We were hoping that we could keep the circuit going without air being run, and that way at least fans could be used. People were very cooperative, and almost everyone complied with the request. The power stayed on all night, and we were able to use our fans. It was very humid, so not a very pleasant night for sleeping.

The next morning the electrician came, but said he was having trouble getting in touch with anyone from the parts house. We told him we had looked online, and we thought the breaker was available at Menards or Home Depot. He went to Menards, and was able to get the part. He was surprised they had it, and thanked us for letting him know. Alliant Energy had to come turn off the power before the part could be replaced. While they were here, they noticed that the voltage was low.

They ended up tracing the low voltage all the way back into town. It took them until 8 pm until they had the problem resolved. They turned off the power several more times throughout the rest of Saturday, but it was only for a few minutes at a time. By the time the power was fully restored, it was 95 degrees in our RV. It took all day for it to get comfortable inside again, but we were just so very grateful to have power back.

We actually ended up having record high temperatures three days in a row. What a crazy way to start the camping season. The good news is that the breaker worked like a champ the rest of the weekend, and that the campers that were here were very cooperative and didn't give us a hard time.

Our friends Wendy and Jim and Terry and Tom camped here for the weekend. We had a good time, but really didn't do much because of the heat and humidity. No one felt like doing much of anything. We did manage to have plenty to eat and drink as usual.

On Monday our friends Tim and Pam invited all of us to go on a pontoon boat ride on the lake. That was a nice break from the heat. We really enjoyed ourselves.

Activity at the bird feeder has been slowing down. Many of the migrating birds have come through on their way north. I did see a new bird for me, a beautiful Indigo Bunting.

Tomorrow the heat and humidity are finally supposed to abate. It looks like the next week will be beautiful. Maybe we'll be able to go golfing on Monday. We're definitely hoping the heat on Memorial Day Weekend is not a sign of things to come for the rest of the summer.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day

I want to wish all the mothers out there a very Happy Mother's Day. We will be meeting up with my mother, brother and his wife, and our son Eric for dinner. It's always nice to be able to spend time with family.

We've been back in Wisconsin for about three weeks. We arrived with snow on the ground, and the weather hasn't improved too much since. It has been very rainy and darn cold. We have had a few nice days in between, but lots of lousy days, too. Especially on the weekends. Even so, these hearty Wisconsin campers come anyways. The campground has been about half full each weekend, even with some really lousy weather.

Despite the cold and rain, the spring tulips are blooming. The lilacs are way behind schedule. These beautiful flowers are along my walking route.

We have managed to golf twice since we've been back. Monday afternoons we are both off, and the last two Mondays have been decent enough to play. A bit windy the first week, and quite wet the second week, but we still managed to have a good time. Tomorrow looks like we'll be able to go again, probably still pretty wet.

It was so cold and rainy on Friday (high of 42 degrees), that the lake was actually warmer than the air causing steam to come off of the lake. Brrr!

The bird feeders have been busy. I love seeing the Baltimore Orioles as they migrate through in the spring.

I put oriole food in the hummingbird feeder, but it must not have been big enough for them to sit on. This guy found a way to get at it though.

A female cardinal and rose breasted grosbeak were munching away together.

On May 1st we celebrated 8 years of full time RVing. We've thoroughly enjoyed those years, and look forward to many years of future traveling. The places we've been to and things we've seen have been amazing.

However, since we bought the park model in Arizona and plan to spend every winter there, I'm thinking we won't actually be full time RVers anymore. That's okay though. I really like the place we bought and the friends we've made in Yuma.

We have some exciting dreams and plans for the upcoming years. There will be some changes in our routine. I'm waiting to make any announcement until later in the summer, but stay tuned. Changes are ahead!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Great Horned Owl Nest

We returned to Wisconsin on April 20th after having left Yuma on the 4th. We are so grateful to have had a very uneventful trip back other than having to wait a few extra days because of two late snowfalls in Wisconsin.

In the week before we returned, Beaver Dam had a total of 14 inches of snow. We were so thankful that our coworker Mike brought over the tractor with a bucket on it and pushed the snow and ice off of our site. It made it so much easier for Kevin to back in. The four wheel drive came in very useful on the snow across the road as he made the swing to get in.

Someone left an abandoned ice fishing shack in the boat launch parking lot across the road. Not sure what the county is going to do with that. Even with the snow, there were people fishing when we arrived.

The campground had six reservations for the weekend we arrived. With the six inches of snow on Wednesday, they all ended up cancelling, so we had the place all to ourselves the first weekend we were back. All of the snow had melted by the middle of the next week.

 This weekend we have seven sites occupied. Six of them were a group from the Wisconsin Camping Association Club. It was still quite cold with a brisk north wind and highs in the low 50s and lows near freezing.

Five years ago some red-tailed hawks built a large nest in one of our tallest trees. They occupied the nest for three years. Last year they did not return, and the nest was empty. We were quite surprised to see a large white bird sitting in the nest when we arrived. At first we thought it was maybe an eagle, but when we pulled out the binoculars, we could see that it was some type of white owl.

The next day we saw a brown owl sitting in the nest.

I did some online research, and discovered they were great horned owls. The white one is the baby which is born with the white downy feathers. These owls take over abandoned nests and lay their eggs earlier than other birds, usually in January. So, the baby is already quite large. I've only seen the adult a few times. The baby sits on the edge of the nest almost every morning.

This cardinal was chirping up a storm one morning on the highest branch of one of the tallest trees in the park. I love the zoom on my camera. He was quite a ways up there. He looks like he still has some of his winter plumage.

Last summer a large tree came down in the park during a thunderstorm. The county cut it up and filled our woodshed last fall. There were still quite a few large logs left, so they put them behind the wood shed for future use. Yesterday Woody Woodpecker was working away at one of the logs. I think it is a pileated woodpecker.

Temperatures are finally supposed to get warmer this coming week. We may even go golfing on Monday. It looks like April 2018 may go into the record books as the coldest on record in southeastern Wisconsin. The next two days are expected to be above average, so they might not break the record, but it will be close. Either way, it has been too cold. Hoping May will be much warmer.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

April Snow Delays

We left Arizona on April 6th and spent the weekend at Enchanted Trails RV Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It's a Passport America park, which gives us a half price stay. We stayed two nights to wait out some strong winds on Sunday.

There wasn't much to do in the wind, but we did take a drive to the eastern side of town to experience a drive on the musical highway on part of old Route 66. If you drive at 45 mph on a stretch of the road, you can clearly hear America the Beautiful.

You have to drive your right tire over the rumble strips at the correct speed to hear the song. The strips were installed in 2014 by National Geographic for a show called "Crowd Control". We turned around and did it a second time to get the full impact. Kevin wasn't too impressed, but I thought it was a fun roadside attraction.

We spent Monday night at the South Pueblo KOA in Colorado. There aren't many good choices of RV parks for us on this stretch of the trip where we feel we will fit without too much hassle for one night. The KOA is very nice, but at $51 a night, it's quite a ridiculous price to pay for an overnight. We use Passport America and Good Sam discounts at a lot of our stops, so at least the nightly price we pay averages out.

Here was the view when we arrived. The Rocky Mountains looked a bit ominous, but there was no rain or snow. At least we have a fantastic view for our nightly fee.

The next morning as we were hooking up, the mountains again gave us an amazing view.

And this little Mountain Bluebird was hopping around on the gravel. How beautiful!!!

We spent one night in Big Springs, Nebraska and then arrived in Lincoln for a five night stay to visit with our son Korey and daughter-in-law Cathryn. We hadn't seen them since our family trip to Mexico in October, so I was very excited to see them.

Temperatures on Thursday and Friday were quite warm with a high on Friday of 82 degrees. On Saturday afternoon things were quite different with a temperature of 28 degrees, snow and howling winds. That's a 24 hour temperature change of 54 degrees. I-80 in western Nebraska was closed for a few days with blizzard warnings. We had just come through there a few days before. Crazy!!!

Cathryn had a class on Saturday, so we spent the afternoon with Korey. They had purchased a Costco membership, so we took a little field trip to check it out. I managed to spend $120. Then we visited the Zipline Microbrewery where Korey and Kevin enjoyed a flight of beers. I had a delicious hard cider.

Sunday's weather was still terrible, but not as bad as Beaver Dam, Wisconsin where our summer campground is located. They had 8 inches of snow. We were supposed to be back today, but had to extend our stay an extra night in Lincoln to avoid the snow in Wisconsin. Here was the view out of our window on Sunday morning.

Today we're headed to Amana, Iowa for at least 2 nights. We were hoping the snow would melt and to be in Wisconsin on Thursday, but they are now expecting 3 to 5 inches of snow on Wednesday, so we may be delayed a day or two longer. This is the craziest April weather. Tomorrow our friends, John and Janie, are going to visit us in Amana, and we'll have to visit the Millstream Brewing Company. It's supposed to snow 1 to 3 inches in Amana tomorrow.

If we had known mid April weather was going to be this lousy, we could have spent an extra week in Yuma where it's nice and warm. This will be the latest we get back for our job in Wisconsin in eight years, but we're not risking arriving with a bunch of snow on the ground.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!