Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
October, 2017 - Mexico

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Hole in One

We continue to keep quite busy with all the activities going on in the park.

Last Wednesday Kevin had his first ever hole in one. We were playing in the couples group. On the par 3, fourth hole, he hit a perfect drive that bounced just in front of the green and rolled toward the pin. It was going at a good clip, so I was afraid it was going to roll right past. Suddenly, the ball disappeared. We both saw it, but couldn't quite believe it. The couple we were playing with drove their cart up to see. Sure enough, there it was in the hole. He was quite excited!! So was everyone else at the bar afterwards. We bought several pitchers of beer, and everyone was able to enjoy the celebration!

We have still been playing quite a bit of golf. On Feb. 23rd, we both played in the annual tournament for the park residents. There were 185 participants. Here's my group. It was so cold, we had a 30 minute frost delay. Once the sun got higher in the sky, it warmed up nicely. Good thing we had plenty of layers and some birdie juice to keep us warm.

Each year there are more men than women signed up for the tournament. Several yeas ago, they started choosing men to be special ladies to even out the teams. It has become quite the event. The "ladies" wore golf attire during the day, and changed into their evening finery for dinner. It's all in good fun, and everyone seemed to enjoy the entire day.

The quilting group has also been busy. We made 35 bags for foster children. The kids are able to take the bags to a charity where they can fill them with toiletries and some clothing. Here we are working hard sewing them.

And, here are the finished products!

We found time to go to some quilt shows at some of the other RV parks in Yuma. We enjoyed lunch at one of the shows. So many talented people creating beautiful quilts all over Yuma.

A few weeks ago there was a full moon. We attended the Howl at the Moon party with music, dancing and some howling going on. I managed to catch a picture before the moon disappeared behind the clouds. It was kind of cool that it was rising between the palm trees with the flag between the trees. Too bad that cell tower was in the way. 

This winter has been colder and wetter than normal. We've had quite a bit of rain, which is supposed to make the desert bloom beautiful in spring. You don't often see a rainbow over the desert hills here.

The Sunday before Dick and Wanda left I attended Cowboy Church with them at another RV park. Jack Jackson is a top rate country entertainer who spends his winters in Arizona. Several years ago he began holding his Cowboy Church services. He has developed such a huge following that they now have two services, and they are packed. It was very enjoyable. He is a great entertainer and preacher. The gentleman playing the fiddle was outstanding.

So, you can see we are never bored. In between all the fun, our remodel continues at a slow pace. Our friend Brad, who was a cabinetmaker before he retired, is making the kitchen cabinets. He has finished the bottom ones, and I applied the varnish. They are going in this week. The outside was supposed to be painted this week, but it rained, so another delay. I'm hoping the outside will get done next week. The remodel is mostly finished, but we are waiting until the cabinets are done before the flooring and final touch ups can be done. 

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

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Golf, Hikes, and a New Car

In my last post, I mentioned we were golfing in the Canadians versus Americans tournament here at the resort. It was a beautiful day with lots of sun, friends, and fun. Here are some of the American ladies sporting their red, white and blue attire.

We played with a Canadian couple we had never seen before. With the over 1200 sites here, its amazing how often we meet new people. We had a great time, and lost our round by two strokes. The Americans lost overall, but it was close. Oh well, there's always next year.

On January 25th we participated in the 5K run/walk for charity at the resort. Lots of people participated, and the park provided refreshments and snacks at the end. It was fun.  Kevin and I are in that crowd near the left side. Wonder if anyone can find us!

On February 4th, Kevin and I were the hiking club leaders. This year they are trying to get more people involved in leading the hikes so the same people don't have to do it every week. I was at the front, and Kevin brought up the rear to make sure everyone was okay. We had 39 people participate.

We hiked to an area in the desert with some petroglyphs.

No one really knows how they got there. Of course, lots of people have ideas including that they are fake. However they got there, it was interesting to see them.  Here is the group at the petroglyph stop. We had to do some climbing and scrambling over rocks to get up there.

Our friends Dick and Wanda have been staying here in their motorhome since early January. Last Sunday Dick participated in the drive, chip and putt contest. He was third in his age category for the drives. Here he is working hard at chipping. If you look up the hill to the right of the red Wisconsin flag, you can see Kevin cheering him on from our back yard.

Last Saturday Dick, Wanda and I went to the Rodeo parade in downtown Yuma. The parade was for the Silver Spur Rodeo that was in town for the weekend. As expected, we saw lots of horses. Missing were any bands or musical entries. Here is the group from the Border Patrol.

On Monday we joined the hiking group to hike to a cross on one of the foothills and to an old mine. We've hiked to both of these spots before, but not in the same trip. Here I am sitting on the bench up by the cross. No one seems to know how the cross got up there.

Here's that same cross from a distance. You can see we climbed up a bit to get there. (Click on the picture to enlarge.)

The path we took to get from the cross to the mine had a steep section with lots of loose rocks and gravel. People were going down sideways using their hiking poles. About half way down my front foot just kept sliding until I was pretty much doing the splits, so I just sat down. As long as I was down I scooted part of the rest of the way on my bottom. Of course, someone took a picture. Hey, whatever it takes to be safe :)  Looking at the picture it doesn't look nearly as steep as it felt!!

Since we plan on staying in Yuma about 8 months of the year, I had been wanting to get a car to keep here. I really don't like driving the truck, and I felt a car would save mileage and wear on the truck. We have the fifth wheel in a storage spot here at the resort, and the truck will also fit on that spot. Kevin didn't really think we needed a car, but we went out looking. We found a 2017 Hyundai Accent with 47,000 miles on it at the GM dealership.

This is the first time we have actually had to negotiate to buy a car. All of our married life, Kevin had always worked at a dealer. We would just decide what we wanted, he would tell the sales manager, and it would be ordered at the employee discount. I must say I did not enjoy the process of negotiating to buy this slightly used car. I can see why car salesmen have a bad reputation. I think we got a very good deal below the Kelly Blue Book lowest value, but what a hassle. Hopefully, this car will last a long time.

So, you can see we are still quite busy enjoying ourselves in Yuma. The weather has been cooler than average, but it's still better than most places we could be. The work on our house has slowed down considerably. The inside is mostly done. They still need to paint the outside. Our new cabinets are going to be done sometime in March. Hopefully, it will be done before we leave in May. The pace here is a lot different than we are used to. Definitely not the same work ethic as in the Midwest.

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

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Still Having a Great Time in Yuma

It's been about a month since my last post. We've been keeping quite busy and enjoying ourselves so much, I've been negligent in blogging.

Last night we went to a dinner sponsored by the resort. The theme was "The Gambler". We had a delicious dinner of ribs, baked potato, baked beans, Cole slaw, corn bread, and a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. After dinner there was music and dancing. Our friends the Patzers and Stanleys are staying in the park, so the six of us enjoyed the dinner with lots of fun and laughter.

 As you can see, Kevin doesn't like having his picture taken. He made up for his shenanigans by letting Judy take the picture below.

 The dance floor was full all night. The band played a special song just for the line dancers. They filled the space, and looked like they all knew what they were doing.

We had a great time, too!

Right around the beginning of the year, I got a toothache. I went to a dentist in Mexico that was recommended by friends that have been here for years. I needed the tooth pulled due to a broken root. They did root canals in the two surrounding teeth. Yesterday I got the bridge for the three teeth installed. It feels good, and I'm hoping will last for many years. It sure felt strange having a big hole in the side of my mouth. The extraction, two root canals and the bridge with all appointments and x-rays cost a total of $1,100. Lots of money, but much less than it would have cost at home as we don't have dental insurance. We'll see how well it lasts. I've read there are between 400 and 600 dentists in the small border town of Los Algodones. Many Americans and Canadians have dental work done there.

We've been playing quite a bit of golf. On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, we went down to the course with Dave and Judy and did some practicing. Here's Dave and Kevin on the putting green.

Today we're playing in the Canada versus US tournament. This is the first year we've been invited to participate. We hear its great fun, and are looking forward to it.

On Mondays we hike with the hiking group in the park. There have been around 35 to 40 participants each week. Last week we hiked in the North Gila Mountains. It was a great hike, but at the limit of my comfort zone for scrambling up and down rocks.

There are quite a few mine shafts out in the hills. In the mid 1800s many people came to this area to mine for gold, some even having success. They had to hike in with their mules and bring all supplies including water. I can't even imagine how difficult it was digging out these holes.

Here's the group from the January 21st hike.

One of the steep slopes we came down.

 Tired, but feeling successful after the three hour trek.

We've had more than normal rainfall this winter. The dessert is covered in greenery compared to other years. Look closely, and you can see the green carpet over the hills.

One morning after some overnight rain, the foothills were shrouded in clouds. I don't recall ever seeing that before. It was quite mystic looking.

I'm still quilting, but am finding it difficult some weeks to have time to get up to the quilting room. I really enjoy going up there and sewing and socializing with the many great ladies there. In January we had a mystery quilt project. Everyone got the same pattern. It's really amazing how different they all look based on the fabrics people chose. Here's mine. It's a crib size. I love how the colors turned out.

Last Friday we played in the weekly mixed scramble golf event. After it was over, a couple came up to us and asked Kevin if his name was Kevin. It turns out this couple, Tim and Dianne from West Virginia started reading my blog several years ago. Tim told us reading my blog was the reason they became fulltimers, and why they came to this park. It was so interesting talking with them. We plan to visit with them again before they leave.

The remodel is still underway. They have been working a bit slower than we'd like, but are making progress and doing a good job. They have a little work left to do in the Arizona room and then complete the outside painting. I'm hoping it will be done in a few weeks.

Removing the closet in the Arizona room and adding a window has really opened up that room. I love how it's turning out. Here's the before and after of that wall. We now can see out the back of our home, and enjoy the beautiful view of the golf course and see the sunsets from inside. The washer was moved to the shed where the dryer already was. Makes it much easier to do laundry.

So, as you can see we've been busy enjoying life. The weather was colder and wetter than normal for several weeks, but still better than up north. Lately, it has been in the mid 70s and sunny. No complaints from us. My thoughts are with our friends and family in the Midwest who are suffering through some brutal cold weather. Stay safe up there!!

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

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Great Family Visit and Merry Christmas

Kevin and I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

We left Yuma in the early morning hours of December 11th. We had uneventful flights which is always a good thing. The skies were clear as we left Phoenix. I never realized how many mountains are around the city. There is often a haze in the air which I'm betting is caused by being in a valley.

Eric picked us up at the airport in Milwaukee, and we spent the next week at his house enjoying his company and visiting family and friends. We brought nice weather with us, as the entire time we were there it was quite pleasant for December in Wisconsin.

Korey and Cathryn came for the weekend, and we celebrated Christmas on the 15th with my side of the family and our kids. It is always great enjoying time with family. Here is my side of the family, my mom, brother and his wife, and our family. Not a very big family anymore.

And here we are with our kids.

Yesterday we found out Korey and Cathryn have added a new member to their family. They got a Goldendoodle named Remy. He is sure cute!!

A lot of work was completed on our place while we were gone. They installed the new windows and patio door, scraped the popcorn ceilings, textured and painted the ceilings and walls, and installed a new walk-in shower. There is still touch up work to be done inside, but the brunt of the work was completed. We are able to stay in the home while the rest gets finished.

The most dramatic difference is in the kitchen. We had them remove the drop down ceiling and a large upper cabinet. It really opened the place up, as you can see in the before and after pictures. We will be putting another cabinet on the wall where the old one was removed, but not as big and cumbersome looking. We will also be getting a new TV cabinet so it will not be sitting on the kitchen counter.

All of the rest of the kitchen cabinets will be replaced and be higher to the ceiling. The microwave vent will be covered as well. The shorter side will be extended so we can have a dishwasher and another cabinet there.

The refrigerator had a large cabinet structure around it. That was also removed to open things up more. We will have cabinets on the back side of the refrigerator, but not an enclosure all around it. All new appliances are being delivered on Jan. 8th.

The new shower is done in white tile and looks great. I'll post a picture next time as it doesn't have a door on it yet. That is being installed this coming week. In the meantime, we're using a shower rod and curtain, which is fine for now. The new windows also look so much better, and I'm sure will give us better insulation and noise reduction as they are dual pane versus single pane.

We will be celebrating Christmas with friends here in Yuma. We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas wherever you may be.

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

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Keeping My Fingers Crossed

It's been a month since my last post. We've spent that time enjoying ourselves here in Yuma!

In my last post, I mentioned that we would be playing night golf. It was a lot of fun, but I was surprised how discombobulated it made me feel. The resort did a great job placing glow lights along the course, so there was no problem finding our way around. However, when it came time to hit that ball, my brain had a hard time figuring it out. A few times, I actually felt some vertigo. It was still a great time!

Last week 36 of us headed out into the desert for the first group hike of the season. We did a total of about 5 miles, so got a good workout. If you look closely, you can see the line of hikers snaking all the way back over the ridge in the photo. Kevin is in the middle wearing the gray sweatshirt. (Click on photo to enlarge).

On Thursday afternoons, we play in a Bocce Ball group. Everyone brings an appetizer, we eat together, and then we play 2 or 3 games of Bocce. There are artificial turf courts here, so it's a little different than the Bocce games we played in Wisconsin. It's a lot of fun, and a great way to meet new people. 

Sunsets in Yuma are often spectacular. Here is one we saw at Bocce. 

And here is another one from last week.

Last Thursday was the food drive in the park. A guy named Keith has been organizing this event for the past 26 years at this park. He was hoping with this year's donations to get to 100,000 pounds of food collected in that time. WOW!!! They asked Kevin if he would help this year, and if they could use our truck to pull the trailer around picking up the donations. Kevin was happy to do it. Thursday turned out to be a cold, cloudy day with rain predicted. Luckily, there was only a little drizzle a few times during their collection time.

That night it rained almost an inch. Yuma has certainly gotten more rain than normal this year. The next morning the mountains were shrouded with clouds and fog. Not a site we have seen here before.

The sun doesn't stay away for long though. Soon it was back out, and we were enjoying a nice day again.

I've been busy sewing with the quilting group. I also joined the woodworking class. This is my beginning project after the first class. I might just get it done before the end of the season :)

The windows that were ordered for our remodel are done. Tomorrow the contractor is coming to begin work. That's what I'm keeping my fingers crossed about. We've observed that work around here does not get done at the pace we are used to seeing in Wisconsin. It reminds me of what they referred to as "island time" on some of our vacations. It is definitely a different way of doing things. The plan is they will be doing the messy inside work while we are in Wisconsin this coming week. I sure hope that is what actually happens.

We leave for Wisconsin bright and early Tuesday morning. I am so looking forward to seeing our family again. I do miss those kids of ours!!

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