Not All Who Wander Are Lost

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

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Welcome Granddaughter Eden

Our youngest son Korey and his wife Cathryn welcomed their first child, a daughter named Eden Ann in early July. She is the first grandchild on both sides, so is truly a blessing for all!!

We left Yuma on July 17th and headed to Nebraska to meet our sweet granddaughter. We were able to spend a few days with them, and then made our way to Wisconsin. On the way, we stopped and visited with Kevin's brother and wife in Iowa. 

We've spent about seven weeks at our lot in Wisconsin. During that time, we visited with our son Eric and his family a few times. Eric started playing hockey two years ago at the age of 40. He had never played before, but did skate as a kid. He asked us to come watch a game, so we were happy to do so. It's amazing how good of a skater he has become in such a short time. We're happy he has found a hobby he really enjoys!!

During August, there is a farm that allows people to come and view their sunflower fields. They are just beautiful!! 

I went kayaking with Eric and his crew on Labor Day weekend. Kevin did not go, as he didn't want to risk a fall and injuring his chest wound.

Kevin is doing very well! September 9th was the four month anniversary of his surgery. That was when the doctor said he could return to normal activities including golf. He's still being careful as we leave for our Australia/New Zealand trip in October, so he isn't taking any chances.

We spent the summer enjoying some time relaxing in Wisconsin and cleaning up our lot. The previous owners hadn't done much, so we did some tree trimming and stained the concrete. Next year we plan to put up a gazebo and do some grass seeding on the dead spots. 

There is a huge (maybe 50 feet tall) white pine tree in the middle of our lot. It is very messy and drips sap all over everything. We had hoped to have it cut down, but the board of directors at the park wouldn't allow it. So, we had it trimmed. We were able to hire a tree service and have some branches cut off that were hanging over the front cap of our fifth wheel. Kevin spent about two hours cleaning the sap off the paint. We also had two arborvitae bushes at the back of the property. They were totally overgrown, so we had those cleaned up as well. It looks much better now.

Can you see the tree trimmer on the lift?

Looks much better. Especially, the bushes in the back!

We leave here on Thursday morning, heading back to Lincoln for four nights. Eden is now over two months old, and has grown quite a bit. I can't wait to hold her again!!

Our plan is to make two stops on our way from Lincoln to Yuma. I'll write about those once we get home. Then, we're in Yuma for about twelve days, and we head off on our month long great adventure to Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand!

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

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Baby Shower in Nebraska

As I stated in my last post, our departure from Yuma has been delayed this summer due to Kevin's bypass surgery. He is doing super well, but we have to wait for the breast bone to heal so he can tow the fifth wheel safely.

Our granddaughter is due in early July. Cathryn's sister, Samantha, was hosting a baby shower on June 3rd with help from myself and some of their friends. Initially, we had planned to travel to Nebraska with the fifth wheel in time for the shower. That wasn't happening, so I flew and stayed for five days. It was a wonderful shower, and I had a great time visiting with Korey and Cathryn, whom we hadn't seen in over a year.

They are both huge Disney fans, so the theme of the shower was, of course, Disney. Samantha made these cute cupcakes. The yellow ones were Dole Whip pineapple flavored. So good!

Several months ago, at a friend's baby shower, Korey had mentioned that if he ever had a baby shower, he wanted a dragon cake. Instead of breathing out fire, he wanted it to breath out a baby. This was before they knew they were expecting. Samantha is quite the baker, and she remembered this comment. She did a great job. Disney has a character named Figment on one of their Epcot rides. Korey has always loved Figment. The large figure belongs to him. Not only was the cake beautifully decorated, it tasted great, too!

I made the Mickey Mouse fruit bowl and cut out the cheese with a Mickey cookie cutter. Everything turned out so nice.

Cathryn's parents traveled from Minnesota for the shower. Both grandmas were given these cute badges to wear at the shower. This will be the first grandchild for both sets of grandparents. How thoughtful was that!! 

Cathryn's mom and I both had saved some baby items from our own children. She brought the cutest little dresses. We looked through my bin, but most of it is for boys. There were a few things they might be able to use.

I made two quilts for the shower. The baby will lay on the angel wings and then have a picture taken each month to show her growth. The background is actually white. I'm not sure why it looks like there are blue lines in it.

Here are the family members that were present. Korey, Cathryn, Samantha, her parents and myself. Our son Eric was not able to come from Wisconsin because his girlfriend just had surgery. Also, Kevin stayed in Yuma. When I was making the plans to fly, we weren't sure how well his recovery would be going, so felt it was best he didn't travel.

I was flying home late Tuesday afternoon. Korey took me to work with him where I helped with a service project the campers are doing. They're painting a large mural to hang in one of the camp buildings. 

What the finished product will look like.

Work in progress

As I was sitting outside of the building, I saw this swallow nesting in the eaves.

On the flights home, I flew from Omaha to Dallas, and then to Yuma. Dallas was  having thunderstorms and the flight was delayed well over two hours. Luckily, I had a three hour layover. I had to sprint through a very large Dallas airport to get to my next gate. I haven't run like that in quite some time, but I made it with about 10 minutes to spare!

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

Thursday, May 11, 2023

A Medical Hiccup

We had a fun and busy season. Played lots of golf and participated in many of the activities here at the resort. Kevin did have a medical issue crop up, which we dealt with for much of the winter.

In early January, he was experiencing some chest tightness and pressure when walking the nine hole golf course. He happened to have a scheduled visit with his primary doctor, who referred him to a cardiologist. After many tests and office visits, it was determined that he had blockage in his main artery. The plan was to do an angiogram and place a stent or stents during that procedure, which was scheduled for late March. During all of this time, as long as he didn't exert himself too much, he was feeling fine and playing golf most days using the riding cart.

Of course, waiting for the procedure made us feel as if we were sitting on pins and needles hoping he didn't have a heart attack. He did have nitroglycerin pills which he never needed to take. Turns out the stent was not possible due to the location of the blockage and the thickness of it. The cardiologist was not able to get the stent in.

So, next step is to see a heart surgeon to discuss bypass surgery. After many more tests and a few office visits, bypass surgery was scheduled for May 9th. It turned out to be a double bypass. The main artery was 99.5% blocked and quite a bit of it had blockage. A secondary artery was 70% blocked and was also bypassed. Kevin asked me not to post anything about this until it was over. Our kids and some friends at the park were the only ones who knew.

The good news is that the surgery was a success. Today is day two post surgery, and he is doing great. He even did three laps around the nurses station. Tomorrow he is being moved from the ICU to a regular room. He should be coming home early next week. He allowed me to take this picture to prove he is doing well!

We are very impressed with the team of doctors and nurses at the Yuma Regional Medical Center. His care has been excellent. We are so grateful for the love and support of our family and friends and for the successful outcome of all of this. We are again reminded that you never know what life will throw at you; so live life to the fullest as much as you can!

Our original plans were to leave Yuma at the end of May so we could be in Nebraska for Korey and Cathryn's baby shower. That's not happening. I will fly there instead. After some rehab and recovery, the doctor estimates a two to three month recovery time. So, we are hoping to leave Yuma around the end of July so we can meet our new granddaughter who is due in early July. Then, we'll head to our lot in Wisconsin and leave our fifth wheel there.

Our trip to Australia and New Zealand in October and November is still on. Hopefully, that will all work out!

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

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Puerto Penasco, Mexico

We took a little vacation to Puerto Penasco, Mexico last week. Yuma has a company called Tour West that provides bus tours. They have been closed for the past three years due to Covid. This season they have reopened. One of their employees, Lavonne, comes to our resort during the weekly information meeting to advertise some of the trips. She arranged a four day trip to Puerto Penasco for just our resort. There were about 50 people that signed up.

We left at 7:30 am on Sunday morning. Along the way, we stopped at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near Ajo, Arizona. The organ pipe is a large cactus rarely found in the United States, although it is common in Mexico. The monument protects the bulk of the US range.

The Kris Eggle Visitor Center is named in honor of a young park ranger who was shot in 2002. Two men involved in a violent confrontation in Mexico fled through the desert and entered the monument illegally. While pursuing one of the men, ranger Kris was shot and killed. This monument has been placed in his memory.

Back on the bus with our neighbors, Everett and Nancy.

It took two hours to cross the Mexican border. They took all the luggage off the bus and searched every suitcase. Then we all had to exit the bus and wait in line to have our passports processed. There was only one employee doing that, so it took a long time. 

We finally continued on, and arrived at the Playa Bonita hotel at about 3:30 pm. They were waiting for us with a free margarita at the pool bar. One of the pools was very cold, but the other was quite nice. They also had two hot tubs. Many of the ladies enjoyed their drinks at the pool. It was a beautiful afternoon.

Our room was on the first floor at the back of the hotel. Although the hotel is located right on the beach, we had a limited view. Overall, the hotel was very nice. It has recently been renovated, and our room was great. 

Beautiful views of the water from the pool deck. It was quite interesting to see how far out the tide went.

The hotel has a restaurant. Most of us had dinner there the first night. The food was very tasty and inexpensive. They even had live entertainment. The restaurant also offered a breakfast buffet each morning for $10 for our group. The food was good with lots of choices. Some of them were quite different than what we're used to.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset our first night.

Monday morning most of us boarded the bus for a visit to The Malecon, a downtown Puerto Penasco shopping and restaurant district. We did some shopping and enjoyed relaxing at the central plaza along the Sea of Cortez. There is a large statue of a fisherman on a shrimp. It was dedicated in 2003 and is known as El Camaronero. Fishing and shrimping are the main industry in this town.

The steps leading to the upper plaza, had a beautiful tile mural. Can you see the whale and sea turtle? Click on the picture to enlarge it. Really impressive!!

Looking out across the plaza to the sea.

Our group enjoyed a few Mexican beers at the BooBar.

Then we enjoyed another yummy meal at a local restaurant. Shrimp meals were inexpensive and delicious everywhere we ate.

That evening we went on a sunset cruise on the Intrepid boat. For $20 we were supposed to get a three hour cruise, two fish tacos and open bar of beer or margaritas. The tour ended up being only two hours due to fear of getting stuck at low tide. The tacos were okay, and the margaritas had no tequila. We missed seeing the sunset because the trip was cut short. 

Lots of shrimp boats.

Tuesday was a free day. I took a nice long walk along the beach. Other than our hotel, there are a number of condo complexes and an RV park. The RV park has 300 sites. They looked pretty tight. Waterfront sites are $900 per month.

I collected some seashells and a piece of coral.

That afternoon our bus driver, Tom, brought out his karaoke machine. Everyone had a good time singing and line dancing. Tom is the one with the microphone. We had some great singers in our group.

That evening the bus took us to the Wrecked on the Reef bar for happy hour. What a fun place. Then we had dinner at Mare Blu restaurant.

Wednesday morning we left about 9:30 am. There was a fisherman there selling seafood as we loaded the bus. We had been informed to bring coolers for this. We bought two pounds of large shrimp, a pound of scallops, and five pounds of sea bass for $38. What a deal!!

It was quite windy on our return trip. Our driver did a fantastic job getting us home. The border crossing only took an hour this time. We got back at 3:30 pm to howling winds. We had to collect stuff from our yard that had blown around. 

Our trip was fun with a great group of people. I'm not sure we would ever go back. San Diego and the California coast are about the same distance. I think we'll go there for beach time in the future.

Yesterday was the 9th annual FDO Golf Tournament. In previous years, there have always been more men than women who sign up. So, each year there have been some "special ladies" chosen to even out the teams. You may recall Kevin was one of those special ladies last year. 

This year with 216 participants, there were exactly the same number of men as women. In order to keep the tradition going, there were six special ladies chosen and 6 special gentlemen. It was a great tournament with many laughs. I won a hybrid golf club as a door price at the dinner.

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