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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Recap - January thru June 2017

Greetings all!

We have not published a blog update since the end of 2016, and had thought to be done blogging. However, it has occurred to us that it will be fun to have a record of what we've put down in blogs later on, and have recently learned of a program that prints blog posts to books, so will continue on from time to time.

Trying to recap this last six months seems doable with the help of our photos and journal, so, here goes...

This was our first winter in our home in Tucson, and we enjoyed projects and time in the desert. We enjoy our neighborhood and our home without wheels.

 We thoroughly enjoy watching the birds, and frequent wildlife in the arroyo behind our house. Besides the variety of birds, we have seen coyotes, deer, rabbits, and even a family of javalena.

In January we gathered with RV friends in Quartzsite for ten days... good times together, and we saw many of these folks later on in Tucson, also.
Tina, Robbie, Alice, Jeff

Mike, Paul, Julie, Sue

In Tucson, we enjoyed times with neighbors as well as friends passing through.

We first met Christine & Brent, and their sweet dog, Shadow, at our campground in the summer of 2015. So good to see them again and have them visit in our Tucson home! Thanks, friends, for time together!

Carol & Clinton travel from their home in New Brunswick, Canada, and spent a few days parked nearby. Carol is the friend that taught me to do Swedish Weaving a couple of years back! They certainly win the prize for traveling the farthest :)

Mary Jane, Tom, Kimberly and Richard were at Quartzsite, and we had a couple of fun visits while they were in "our neighborhood."
We have met up with Ruth & Dale in a number of locations, and it's always fun to chat and get caught up. This evening, we went to an Irish Pub.

Brad, Tom, Dianne, Marilyn, Dori, Ken, Dave, Nancy, Wayne, Barbara
A fun gathering at Snyder Hill

On March 1st, Sherri & Ed flew down from Boise, Idaho for a few days. Time with my sister is always special, and we so enjoyed having both of them as our house guests for a few days! The weather cooperated, and we got in some pool time and had many good visits!

Soon after their visit, we packed up the motorhome for a week in Fallbrook, California to attend their daughter's wedding and spend time with my parents, family and friends there.

Congratulations and all good wishes to Leah & Matt! Great celebration, and fun to meet Matt's family and see many of our family.

Tom, Dianne, Don, Dad, Mom, Sherri, Ed
My parents live in a nice retirement center in Fallbrook, and it was good to be able to enjoy meals with them there in a small private dining room that was available for us. We had frequent visits with them and family, plus other visiting family members.

Budd, Jerry, Sharon, Tom, Dianne, Patty

Time is usually short while in Fallbrook, but we snuck in meals and visits with long-time friends... good to catch up, and always special to be together!
Dianne, Steve, Tom, Gloria

NELL   10/9/2003 - 3/20/2017
πŸ’” Now for the sad part of this blog update... parting with a loved pet is always difficult, and our hearts are broken. We knew the time to say goodbye to Nell was nearing, but I guess you are never prepared. Nell began losing her hearing last fall, and had some anxiety from that, as well as muscle loss and some seizures. By March, we knew the time was nearing and we didn't want her to suffer and go on with reduced quality of life. Thanks to the support of our veterinarian to help us through this process, we made the most difficult decision to let her go.

Here are some photos from our 13+ years of joy with this special girl. We know that in the future, the pain will become memories of the many great times with her.

In this photo, Maggie and Nell were just staring at Tom and waiting for him to say, "is it time to eat?"

I don't know if cats grieve, but Maggie sure seemed to miss Nell after she was gone. We give her lots of extra love and attention now... she is our therapy cat :)

When Tom went fishing, Nell would wait patiently in anticipation, and as he pulled in a fish she would run up and down the shore, yipping with excitement. 

This photo was taken our last summer in Wyoming, when Nell still had the strength and energy to be the "fishing scout." Though older and slower then, she was always Tom's best fishing scout!
 The following quote was in a note from a friend...
"Dogs come into our lives, leave paw prints on our hearts,
and we are forever changed."

In April we continued enjoying visits with friends in the area. 
And, it was fun helping Nancy & Dave celebrate their new home! Just five doors down the street from us! More fun times to come in the neighborhood!
Julie, Nancy, Tom, Dave, Sue, Mike, Paul

Just a bit of review... Nancy & Dave are RVers we met in Roswell, New Mexico in the spring of 2011 when they were volunteers at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge where Tom worked. They shared lots of information with us about the RV lifestyle, and once Tom retired and we sold our home in Roswell, they were our "biggest cheerleaders" as we headed out to be Full-time RVers! Our paths have crossed often... we will love being neighbors in Tucson!

Soon we were preparing to travel again... loading our motorhome and getting our house ready to be closed up for six months as we headed north. Summer in Tucson is HOT, so returning to Warren Bridge Campground in Wyoming seemed a good alternative. This would be our third summer as hosts at this small BLM campground, and we looked forward to returning.

Good bye to our Tucson home, until next fall...

We left Tucson on April 15th, taking our time as we headed east and north, mindful that it would be wise to adjust to higher elevations slowly. One stop Tom was keen on was Winslow, Arizona... he wanted to "stand on the corner." Doesn't everyone? 

Once in Colorado, we enjoyed a few days with Kevin, Kirsten, Logan and Owen in Bayfield... always special to be with our son, daughter-in-law and grandsons! Meals together, hiking, pool time at the casino where we stayed in Ignacio, and all-around good time! Thanks for everything!

From there, we traveled on to Monte Vista and spent one night parked at Margaret & Tyler's... great catch-up visit! Thanks for the delicious dinner!

While in Monte Visit, we got in a short visit with Neva... nice to see her feeling better and looking well! We had a good time with Marjie & Chuck, and they treated us to lunch at a favorite spot... a meal with them at Dos Rios has become tradition while in the Valley! Thanks, again!

We then parked for a couple of days at Braxton's in Alamosa, and had visits and a meal out with him! Always appreciate our "guest parking" there! Thanks, Brax! Best RV park in town! We also got in a visit with Carol Ann, and even got to see Bill (Sandy was teaching, and we missed her!). We were so pleased to get a copy of the book recently published for Carol Ann and Sandy about the history of the Upper Rio Grande! Good job, ladies!!!

Next stop, coffee and visit with Bunny & Ken in La Veta! Glad we were able to fit in that stop at their ranch... always fun to catch up with these special friends in such a beautiful location. Thanks!

From there we went to Colorado Springs and parked at the Elk's Lodge. We enjoyed time with Kayla & Weston... so fun to see their new house! Tom helped with some electrical projects, we got our laundry caught up while having visits! And, our last evening in town they treated us to a great Italian dinner! Thanks, kids!

On to Fort Collins and a couple days in Loren's neighborhood, parked at the Elk's Lodge there. He came for a visit our first afternoon, and I enjoyed fixing breakfast burritos for Loren the next morning. We did a bit of shopping, and treated ourselves to a very fun and amazing dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse... oh, goodness! So tasty, and we were so full after dinner, but it was a good time. Thanks, Loren, for taking a day off to spend extra time with us!

Note... didn't take photos during this busy time of visits in Colorado, but all these special people have previously appeared in blog posts. Many good memories!

We headed next to Rapid City, South Dakota to renew our driver's licenses, which we must do every five years to remain South Dakota residents. Got that taken care of, and then spent a couple of days touring the area.

We had never been to Devil's Tower, so took the route to there and spent a couple of days... went to the visitor center and then hiked the path around the base of the rock formation. Weather couldn't have been better, and we really enjoyed our time there!

We arrived in Pinedale, Wyoming on May 10th, stopped by the BLM office to pick up campground keys and supplies, and were at the campground by late afternoon! Good to be back... felt like home!
Our "Host Site" at Warren Bridge Campground

Weather was great for the first few days, and we spent the time settling in, preparing the campground to open on May 13th. Then, a storm blew in! Not nice!!! But, this IS Wyoming, and the weather changes frequently.
 We learned that we could receive rural delivery at the campground... got to love small towns! So, we bought a mailbox and Tom mounted it to a post in a bucket of cement. Great to receive mail  at our "summer home."
We enjoy the Pronghorn antelope that visit the campground, as well as nesting bluebirds that recently hatched and flew the nest. Four Killdeer eggs hatched in our yard, too, and a pair of Osprey nest on a pole at the river. Have seen only two moose so far!

Tom joined a local rockhounding club, and has enjoyed some new friendships and field trips!

One of the best things about our summer location is friends popping in to visit us here at the campground!

Our first visitors were Barb & Doug from Terrebonne, Oregon. We met Barb & Doug here in 2015, and then visited them at their home that fall! They visited us in Tucson in February, and it was fun to reconnect here again!

Next to arrive were Donna & Matt, neighbors from Tucson Estates! We have enjoyed getting to know them better!
Matt, Donna, Barb, Larry, Steve, Robin, Tom
While Donna & Matt were camped here, there were two other fulltimers that we met and clicked with... both couples are South Dakota residents and members of the Escapees RV Club. We had a nice gathering one evening!

Next to arrive were Diane & Dave! Fun to reminisce about the times and places we have been together! While here, Dave took some aerial photos from his drone! Great fun to see, and he also did a fun video that can be seen on Youtube at "Warren Bridge 2017."

Great job, Dave!
Great shot of part of the campground, showing our site and theirs in the lower portion, and the Day Use loop near Highway 191 at the old Warren Bridge. The photo even shows how full the Green River is running! 

Tom, Karen, Dianne, Bob... REAL MEN EAT KALE!
And, to close out June, Karen & Bob arrived on the 26th, and Shoko and Harry on the 30th! We first met these special Canadians in December of 2013 in Borrego Springs, California. They are all residents of British Columbia.
Bob, Harry, Karen, Shoko

Our paths have crossed in many locations over the years. Like us, they prefer to "boondock" in remote spots. We have enjoyed great adventures together, and are truly grateful that they all made it to our campground before they head on east! Look forward to seeing you all again in the desert next winter, eh!

Well, this about wraps it up for now... thanks for traveling along with us. We send all good wishes! Be well, everyone!

Fondly, Dianne & Tom

“One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.” — American novelist Edith Wharton

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Wrap Up

Hello to all! Hope this finds each of you doing well and enjoying this winter and holiday season! I have been slowly putting together an update, particularly for those of you that we do not connect with regularly via Facebook... so the following is a catch-up post of the past few months.

The time has been flying by since we returned to Tucson in September!  Life is good here for us in the desert southwest, and we feel truly blessed!

We have mostly just enjoyed our home and worked on projects. First order of business was Tom's shop... since this small building at the end of our carport was  unfinished, Tom insulated and drywalled the interior, taped and painted, put in good lighting and installed the cabinets. Turned out to be a very nice workspace, and it's good to be organized and have places for tools, plus a handy place to work on projects. 

The desert southwest is quite special... we spend lots of time on our back patio enjoying the views, birds and wildlife!

The back of our house from across the arroyo
In October, Kathleen & Mike came to visit for a couple of days on their way back to their home at Jojoba Hills SKP Park near Temecula, CA ... great fun to have them in our neighborhood as they parked their new motorhome at Gilbert Ray Campground... a beautiful, new-to-them, smaller traveling rig! We had good visits and fun times together... took in a movie, did some shopping and ate Mexican food. Thank you, dear friends, for your visit! See you down the road!
Kathleen, Mike, Dianne, Tom

And, Sue & Paul made a quick stop on their way back to Lake Havasu City... it's just the best when friends come to visit!!! 

Great that many of our RV friends travel to and through the Tucson area... a bonus for us living here! Julie & Mike are at a nearby RV park for the month of December, and we have enjoyed time with them again! Others come and stay nearby for the winter... Lynn & Roger and Diane & Dave are in Casa Grande for three months, and they all drove down one day for a visit! We so enjoyed their company, and enjoyed seeing them all at their "winter home" for a day in December!
Lynn, Roger, Dave, Diane, Tom

Dianne, Don, Sherri
Beverly & Mac
Beverly, Sherri, Dianne
In mid-November I flew west to spend a few days with my parents in Fallbrook, CA. My sister Sherri and I met at the airport in Las Vegas and went on together. Lots of good visits with Sherri,  Mom & Dad, and our brother, Don. Had a nice brunch on the veranda of the Grand Tradition one day, Sherri and I took Mom for a day outing of lunch and beach walking to celebrate her "89-1/2 birthday," and Mom and Dad treated us to a lovely lunch in the wine country of Temecula. Also, was nice to have an afternoon visit with my nephew Drew and his beautiful family. And, fit in short visits with friends Patty, and Gloria & Steve. A very busy and special time with all!

November also took us to Lake Havasu City, AZ for a fun time at the home of RV friends, Sue & Paul... best accommodations and hospitality, and we enjoyed a wonderful week of Thanksgiving together! Thanks for everything! See you all again soon!!!
L-R... Tom, Dianne, Sue, Paul, Nancy, Dave, Brad, Marilyn
Good times!
As we headed back to Tucson, we detoured to Quartzsite to meet up with friends from New Brunswick, Canada. We first met Carol & Clinton nearly two years ago here in Tucson... Carol is the one that taught me Swedish Weaving. She does beautiful work, and I will be forever grateful for her patience in teaching me this art. We had a great catch-up visit, and look forward to more time together later this winter!
Tom, Carol, Clinton
Tom, Dianne, Sandy, Paul
Next up, long-time friends Sandy & Paul stopped for a couple days on their return trip to Houston following Thanksgiving in the desert with family. As always, it was great to spend time together... fun to see their new truck and 5th-wheel! We did a bit of shopping, ate BBQ, and chatted lots! Thanks for making time to visit us!

In between these visits, we have worked on projects at our house... I say "we," but it is mostly Tom that does the work, and I so appreciate his talents! I'm just the helper, when I'm not in the way :) He has replaced all the drawer pulls and cabinet handles/hinges throughout the house... a very big job that made a huge difference! He replaced the dining room chandelier... so pretty! He put up mini-blinds in our screen porch, and painted a couple of walls in the breakfast room and den. He is slowly repairing, replacing and painting window trim on the outside of the house and has planted a variety of trees and bushes. We do love our winter home!

We have also enjoyed activities and time with new friends here in our community... warm, friendly people! We have been made most welcome, had some fun invites and time to get to know each other a little more. Like us, many residents go away for the summer and it seems to be catching-up time in winter when everyone has returned to the desert southwest!  The following two photos were taken at our community's holiday dinner.

George, Tom, Jack

Joan, Dianne, Pat

A few more photos of friends :) 
Julie, Mike, Tom - wood for our Quartzsite Gathering :)

Celebrating the Winter Solstice!  Mike, Steve, Carol, Julie, Tom

Christmas Eve with George, Pat, Carol, Jeff
December ended with a very special visit with our son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons from near Durango, CO. We SO appreciated this time with them here! So fun!
Feeling blessed!
Kirsten & Kevin, Owen, Logan
Well, this about catches you all up on the past several months for us here in Tucson. A  rather long blog update, but the best I can do since not posting updates often anymore. 

We hope each of you enjoyed a Merry Christmas and very happy holiday season! May your joys be many!!! And, we send all good wishes for each of you as this year comes to a close, and wish peace and comfort for those in need. We  are determined to remain hopeful and optimistic for the future, especially in areas of concern and frustration where we have no control. There is so much good to celebrate daily, even as we hear of the negative... most people have kind hearts, and work to share and do good for others. We must all strive to always focus on that and count our many blessings!

Happy New Year!

Be well, everyone! Fondly, Dianne & Tom