Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
October, 2017 - Mexico

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Inside Remodel Pictures

We are very close to being finished with the inside remodel. There are some trim pieces that still need to be put on the kitchen cabinets. Brad, the cabinet maker, has been on vacation the last two weeks, so the trim should be finished as soon as he returns.

In the entire place, the popcorn ceiling was removed, walls and ceilings were coated with knock down texture and then repainted. Also, all woodwork was painted. The walls were wallpaper before. We have had new windows, patio door, shades and flooring installed throughout.

Here is the living room before and after. The cornices over the windows were removed, opening up the look of the room. We replaced the old ceiling fan with a new white one. The little table is for my sewing machine. We're not sure what we are going to do for furniture in this room, as I plan to use part of it for my sewing space.

The kitchen underwent a drastic change. We had the drop down ceiling removed, and all new cabinets installed. Also, all new appliances including adding a dishwasher and new light fixtures. We got rid of the large kitchen table and put in an RV size small table. Perfect for just the two of us. The pictures don't do justice to the new cabinets. They are beautiful, made with alder wood. I did not stain them, just varnish. Once the trim pieces are done, I'll post some close up pictures of them.

We got solid surface counter tops that look like quartz. I am so happy with how they look. We haven't shopped for counter tops in a long time. I was blown away at how expensive they are, but at least they look great. By getting a smaller table, we were able to extend the counter and make room for the dishwasher. In our nine years of fulltime RVing, a dishwasher was the one thing I missed the most.

In the bathroom, we had the old tub surround replaced with a tiled walk-in shower. Also, a new vanity, sink, faucet, medicine cabinet and light fixture.

In the bedroom, we upgraded from a queen to king size bed. That doesn't leave room for much of anything else. We added a new ceiling fan, and had the cabinets painted.

I found this cute picture frame display at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Fits perfect on the bedroom wall.

The Arizona room, which is the same as a family room, also had a dramatic change. The closet on the back wall was removed, and a large window was installed to open up the beautiful view of the golf course. We also got a new back door, TV and recliners.

By taking out the closet, we added more room, but it is an odd shaped room, 16 feet long, but only 8 feet wide. The couch under the window was here, and it is a sleeper sofa. We're going to keep it there for when our kids come to visit, so it makes the space usable.

So, that's pretty much the extent of what has been going on here at our place in Yuma all winter. I can't tell you how happy we are that it is finally finished. Overall, our park model is only about 600 square feet, but it is now our home, and we love it here.

In previous years, we had to be back in Wisconsin for our campground job by mid-April. Now that we've completely retired, we are able to stay in Arizona longer. I've really enjoyed seeing the different types of cacti bloom. Recently, the saguaro have begun to bloom. Here's one that is on a site in the park. I'm guessing it's about 20 feet tall. Lots of flowers growing at the top.

The weather has not been as hot as I was expecting. We have days in the 90s, even a few 100 degree days. But, at night it is still cooling off to the low 60s. We understand that in the summer months, the night time temperatures stay in the 80s. Only about 70 people stay in the park year round. The RV area has 5 spots occupied. In the winter that area has over 400 spots filled. It looks like a ghost town around here.

We'll be leaving near the end of the month to head to Seattle where we will leave our RV and begin our two week Alaska vacation. We're very much looking forward to that!! Then we'll slowly made our way across Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota to be in Wisconsin by mid August. We're staying for a month, then heading to Nebraska for a few weeks, planning to be back in Yuma in early October.

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

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Remodel Almost Done!!

When we hired the contractor to do our remodel in November, he told us we should be finished by the end of January. Here we are near the end of April, and it is still not completely done; but we are VERY close. There were a number of reasons for the delay, but mainly the contractors were just very slow. I believe they took on more work than they should have, and did a little at each place to keep everyone somewhat happy.

It was a challenging winter living in our place while the work was being done. We didn't let that stop us though. We just kept going about our fun schedule, and they came and went as they pleased. Generally, we are very happy with the outcome. There are always a few things you wish you would have done differently, but I am so thrilled to be nearly done.

Here are pictures of the before and after outside. We had the windows replaced, took off shutters, and had everything repainted. I thought the main wall color outside would be a little darker (it is taupe), but it is better than it was.

Here's the back. I plan on painting the shed next year. Our orange tree we planted in January (in the foreground) has grown about a foot. No blossoms though, so we'll have to wait for fruit. We were told it can take up to three years to get fruit from a newly planted citrus tree.

I will post some before and after inside pictures in the next week or two. We still have too much stuff laying around that needs to get put into cabinets once the countertops are installed today.

In other news, we continue to keep busy. Many of the snowbirds leave during March, with the last of them heading out in early April. There are plenty of goodbye parties as more and more people leave. We really enjoy the many activities we participate in during the busy months, but it is a nice change to have things slow down again for a while.

I joined the woodcarving group this year. I really enjoyed the projects we worked on. Two projects are finished, one is not quite done yet. I'll finish that next season. Here's the carving in the round bird I made.

And here's a chip carving dragonfly trivet.

We went out for a seafood buffet dinner at the Quechan Casino in California (we are only 14 miles from the border) with a small group that are still here. The food was very good, and the company was delightful!

Now that the golf groups here at the resort have ended for the season, we were able to get out and play at some of the other courses in Yuma. On Monday we played at Mesa del Sol. Kevin had played there years ago, and I had never played this course. I really liked it, and we had a great time with friends Rick and Cynthia.

Cynthia is so fun and outgoing, she makes everyone smile. She was trying to teach me how to strike a pose. I think I need more lessons.

Yesterday we played with Brad and Martha (Brad is the one who built our kitchen cabinets). We have all been so busy this year, that this was the first time we were able to golf together all season. We played Desert Hills, the city owned course in Yuma. It is a pretty course, but quite a challenge. Too many LONG holes for my liking. I did par one of the par 3 holes. That's all I'm saying about my score!

This is the latest we've ever stayed in Yuma. I'm so enjoying getting to see some of the cactus bloom. I didn't realize there are different color flowers on prickly pear cactus. The yellow one is in front of the bar and grill, and it's huge.  The horse sculpture is amazing!

The house across the street has a bottle brush tree. It's so pretty when all the "brushes" are in bloom. But, quite messy when they all start falling down.

The corporation that owns our resort does a good job of putting money back into the place. This summer they are moving the main office to a new location inside the park. I think this will help greatly with the flow of RVs coming in and having a place to park while they register. 

Any time something new is happening, they have an excuse to party. We attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new offices and a road resurfacing project a few weeks ago. Free hot dogs, chips, beer, wine and lemonade were given out. Here are some of the managers from our resort and the corporate office participating in the ground breaking ceremony.

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

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!