Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

 We wish all of our family and friends a very Merry Christmas!!

We won't be heading to the cold north this year, and will miss being with our families for the holidays. It's so nice to have the technology to visit with them from afar!!! However, we won't be alone to celebrate Christmas. Tonight a group of friends are coming over to our place for an extended happy hour, and to sit around the campfire and visit. Tomorrow we are invited to a neighbors with four other couples for a Christmas dinner potluck and gift exchange.

Another month has flown by since my last post, and we continue to keep busy and enjoy life. A few weeks ago, we went to Los Algodones, Mexico with our friends Brad and Martha to stock up on Kevin's blood pressure meds, Kahlua, and to check out what bargains were to be found. We bought two metal sculptures to decorate the park model. A sun for in the bathroom, and some geckos for the patio.

We had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants there. The owner is a very nice lady, and took our picture. I laughed when she included herself. She's a great business woman.

On December 7th we went to a Journey tribute band concert at a neighboring RV park. These guys were very talented musicians. The singer sounded just like the lead singer of Journey. They need to work a bit on their showmanship, but otherwise it was a great show.

On December 13th, we took a bus tour to Phoenix to see some Christmas light displays. Tour West is a company that offers many opportunities to take bus trips during the winter season for all the snowbirds that come down to Yuma. This trip was advertised as one light show with over 10 million lights and another with 3 million. 

On the way we stopped at Southwest Specialty Foods, home of the Kick Ass Hot Sauces. We were able to sample some of the sauces as well as different flavored popcorns they produce. It was a cute place, and a fun stop.

We had lunch at Rudy's BBQ restaurant, and then made another stop at The Cerreta Candy Company where more samples were to be had. They had some very good chocolates, but at $16 a pound, we were happy to sample only.

As it turned dark we headed to the Festival of Lights show on the State Fair grounds. Included in our tour was the $20 per person admission. It was advertised as the fifth largest light show in the country. It was a combination carnival and light show. There were a number of rides and games and some food trucks. The lights were very nice, but it wasn't nearly what we had expected. Ten million lights sounded so much grander than it was. We spent about an hour looking at the light displays, had a snack and watched an amateur magician entertain the kids. Here are some of the nicer displays.

The entrance

Santa and the 50 foot tall Christmas tree

Jungle and underwater themes

Light fountain with Fantasyland canopy in the background

Chandelier under the canopy

Our next stop was the Phoenix Nascar raceway where there was a display of 3 million lights. It was a drive-thru exhibit with displays under the grandstands, on the raceway grounds, and all around the actual track. I think it would have been better in a car as the displays were at ground level, so we couldn't see them as well from the higher bus. Also, although we were going slow, I think even slower would have been better to see and take pictures. I only got one decent picture when the driver actually stopped. It was an impressive exhibit.

We arrived back home at 12:30 am. That's a very late night for this retired person!!

The weather has turned a bit chilly lately. Highs in the 60s and lows in the mid 40s. We continue to golf and participate in our other activities with a few extra layers of clothes. With the cooler weather come some clouds, which make for fantastic sunsets. Here are a few of those.

Country Club RV of Yuma had a Christmas open house on Friday with free lunch and tours of some of the new model RVs. Santa was there, and he told us we were both on the nice list, so we deserved a new RV. We were able to see one just like the one we ordered that will arrive in January. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. We're getting a 2020 Grand Design Reflection 303RLS fifth wheel!! We ordered it in late October, and it should be here in a few weeks. More information to follow when it arrives.

We've also been to a few Christmas parties. Last night the resort hosted the annual Christmas dinner. They provide the ham, and the tables of 20 provide potluck items. We had a great time with some of our friends that I quilt with.

I finished varnishing the bowl I turned in November. Here is the final product. I'm happy with how it turned out. At some point, I may do it again. In the woodcarving group, I've been working on a Santa ornament. Slow going. He'll be ready by next Christmas!

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

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. We hope you have a wonderful day enjoying family, friends, each other, or whatever it is that brings you joy. We continue to be thankful for all God has given us. Life is good!!

We have been busy participating in the activities here at the resort that we enjoy. I signed up for a bowl turning class in the new wood shop that was built last year. It was much harder than I anticipated, and a very tedious process. I'm not sure I have the patience for it. I also didn't like having to wear a mask and goggles. It was definitely necessary with all the wood chips and sawdust flying off the lathe. Too messy! But, I'm glad I learned a new skill, and am happy with how it turned out. I still have to apply the finish.

We've been golfing in some of the groups. Kevin is in the men's club. We both play in the couples group, and also both play in a mixed scramble. We always have fun with friends.

We have had some fun dinners, too. Cynthia is great at taking pictures, so I've used a few of hers from Facebook. Kevin made sure to lean back so he wasn't included. He really doesn't like having his picture taken :)

And, happy hours are always a great time. It was hot at this one, so everyone was lined up in the shade.

We play bocce with a group every Thursday afternoon. We all bring an appetizer to share and then play three games. Kevin is concentrating to make a great shot!

The weather was quite warm through the middle of November. After that it cooled down a lot. Highs have been struggling to reach 70 and lows have been in the high 40s. Quite a change. Yuma has some amazing sunsets!

We've had rain once since we returned in early October. Rainbows are unusual here because it doesn't rain often. Rain is predicted for later today, though with high winds. I can't complain when I see what the weather in the rest of the country is like.

The resort hosts a Thanksgiving dinner every year. They provide the turkey and gravy. Tables are set up for 20 people. Each couple brings a dish to share, so there is plenty of food and fun. The resort also sponsors a table decorating contest. This year's winners had very creative centerpieces. I thought they were so cute!

I've also been doing some more quilting. Here are a few I finished lately. The first one was our mystery quilt project from last January. I finally got around to getting it quilted over the summer.

This is a quilt I made using lots of scraps I had saved up. Unfortunately, the bag is still plenty full. I guess I'll have to make another one.

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

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Happy to be Back in Yuma

I can't believe it's been over three weeks since we've been back in Yuma. Our home weathered the summer well. The new windows we had installed last year made a world of difference in how much dust and sand got into the park model. There was almost no dust on any of the furniture. The windows were definitely money well spent.

A few days after we returned the resort had an Octoberfest potluck party. They provided the brats and beer, and everyone else brought a dish to pass. In early October there aren't that many people back yet, so it was a nice gathering for a potluck. With over 1,200 sites here, there is no way a potluck would work once it gets busy. We enjoyed the food and catching up with friends.

We brought some bins back with us of treasures from our former house that were stored in Eric's basement. In 1982 I went to Germany with my mom and baby Eric to visit my grandparents. We were gone five weeks, so Kevin stayed home and worked. All he asked for was a coo coo clock. After almost ten years in storage, it is now hanging our our wall again. Amazingly, it still works great.

After my dad retired, he took up woodworking. He created many beautiful pieces. We hung a cabinet and shelf he made. The angel on the shelf was part of his casket, so has special meaning.

Last March Kevin had a hole in one on the fourth hole at the golf course here at the resort. The management gifted him a large beer mug with his name, the date and hole number engraved on it. On the other side is the name and logo of the resort. That was sure nice of them. He also gets free drinks in his mug for day. That could leave a mark!!!

Last Sunday we Skyped with Korey and Cathryn. It was the much anticipated day when the beer they brewed was ready to drink. Korey and Kevin opened a bottle and tasted together. Both said it was flat. Boo!! Korey had brewed some hard cider before, but neither had brewed beer. The recipe they had didn't say anything about adding priming sugar to the bottle when filling. They didn't know they were supposed to do that, so it didn't carbonate like it was supposed to.

I read online that if you place the bottles upside down for at least three days, the remaining yeast will get stirred up and create some carbonation. Kevin did this, and he is going to try it today. Otherwise, he will have 20 bottles of flat beer to drink. The good news is that the taste was good. A little hoppy for Kevin's tastes, but all in all drinkable. A decent outcome for the first try.

They learned a lot, and the next batch will be better. We plan on being back in Lincoln at the end of June next year. They plan to try again.

Since we've been back, the temperature has been pretty much in the 90s. Next week is predicted to cool off with highs in the 70s and 80s. That will be wonderful. We've golfed a few times. I had my best score ever for 9 holes. I finally broke the 50s and had a 49. Of course, we won't talk about the back nine. Much harder.

Our golf leagues start up again this week. The resort has hired a work camper whose job is to give free group golf lessons and clinics. I'm looking forward to learning something that may help my game a bit.

I went to the first woodcarving session. They have a couple of interesting projects planned for this season. I'm still working on finishing one I started last year.

So, we are looking forward to all the fun activities the resort offers each winter season. Plenty to keep us busy and entertained! We also have a few more projects on our park model to complete. Main ones are replacing the flooring on our front porch and repairing and painting the shed.

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

Monday, September 30, 2019

Great Visit with Family

We spent a month from mid August until mid September in Wisconsin visiting with family and friends. It was great to spend some time with our son Eric again. We hadn't seen him since last Christmas. He came and stayed a weekend with us at the RV park. We went golfing and had a great time.

Unfortunately, the weather was quite rainy the last week we were there. Once again, we had lakefront property. It seems to us that Wisconsin is having an unusual amount of rain and flooding over the last few years.

 As we took our morning walks around the park, we passed this tree. It sure looks like a Mastodon or Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street.

Over the Labor Day weekend, a group of us camped together at the Fountain Lake RV Park. This group has been friends for over 25 years, so it was fun to catch up and spend time together.

We stopped in Iowa for a few nights after leaving Wisconsin to visit more family and friends. I was quite remiss at taking pictures this year. Just enjoyed everyone's company.

Currently, we are in Lincoln, Nebraska visiting our son Korey and his wife Cathryn. We've had a great time seeing them again. We also hadn't seen them since last Christmas.

Korey and Kevin brewed some amber ale beer while we were here. Sure hope it tastes good. Kevin will be taking some bottles back to Arizona, but has to wait three more weeks for it to ferment before he can try it. Here they are cooking the mash.

After a week of the mash fermenting, it was time for the bottling process. First, they transferred the brew from one container to another by siphoning it out to keep as much residue out of the final product.

Then it was time for bottling and capping. Korey and Cathryn handled the bottling. Kevin was sanitizing bottles and capping. I was a gopher helping out as needed and taking photos.

Korey and Cathryn got a puppy for Christmas. His name is Remy, and he is a goldendoodle. He is rather big, but such a sweetheart. He has a fantastic disposition, and is so loving and easy going. I have really enjoyed getting to know him.

We had such a good time visiting with the kids, enjoying meals together, playing games, brewing beer, helping with a few home improvement projects, and just hanging out! We're hoping all the kids can come to Arizona this winter for a visit and see our new place.

Lincoln, Nebraska has a series of statues throughout the city. An artist has sculpted hands with different themes painted on them. I enjoyed seeing the different art pieces. Here's one of them.

So, we are headed out today for the trip back to Yuma. We plan to be there on Friday if all goes well. We've been gone for about 4-1/2 months. I must say that I am missing the place. It really has become our home, and I'm looking forward to getting back!

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

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Bismarck, North Dakota to Wisconsin

After leaving Medora, North Dakota, we headed to Bismarck for a few days. We toured the State Capitol building which was constructed in 1935 in the art deco design.  Only four states have this type of design. We've also toured the one in Nebraska. Florida and Louisiana are the other two. Apparently, this style was chosen over a rotunda because there is much less wasted space.

The hour long tour was led by a very knowledgeable guide, and was very interesting. North Dakota legislators are part time and only meet 80 days every other year. During that time, they take care of all the state's business, and are able to come up with a two year balanced budget. We need these guys in Washington, DC.

Next to the capitol grounds is the North Dakota Heritage Center. It is a very well done museum with many interesting displays. We wandered around in there for a good hour. They were featuring a display on horses. This one was beautifully painted.

As we drove from North Dakota to Minnesota, we saw some large sculptures along the road. It's amazing what you can see traveling down America's highways.

We spent 2 nights in Ashby, Minnesota. I often check a website called Roadside America for interesting or unusual attractions to see along our route. Ashby's claim to fame is an American Coot statue. It's about 10 feet tall, but could use a new paint job.

Our next stop was Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. This is where the Leinenkugel's Brewery is located. Kevin has been enjoying their beer for years, and has always wanted to visit. While living in Wisconsin, we never got around to it. Now, we have finally accomplished that mission. They have a fairly new, very nice, visitor center.

The brewery was begun by Jacob Leinenkugel in the late 1800s. Some of the original buildings are still being used. The tour was very interesting.

We couldn't resist sitting in the big chair!

We are now at Fountain Lake RV Park near Waupaca, Wisconsin until the middle of September. We've been visiting friends and family, and taking care of doctor and dentist visits. Summer is winding down. September is my favorite month as far as weather is concerned in the Midwest. We'll make a stop in Iowa and then 10 days in Lincoln, Nebraska to visit with Korey and Cathryn.

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