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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Mid-December 2015


Hello, and Merry Christmas everyone! 

We continue to enjoy our time in Quartzsite, taking daily walks, enjoying the sun and beautiful desert (though some colder lately and a bit of needed rain), and have had some great visits with friends in the area and some "passing through." 

Sandy & Paul stopped by for a couple of days as they were returning to Houston... fun to see them again and have some good chats. They stayed at an rv park in town, but came out to our site for a day!

We took a drive to Bouse one day to visit Linda & Ron... we first met here in Quartzsite last year when they were new fulltimers. They visited us three times in Wyoming last summer, which was great fun! So nice to see their "winter home" and have some time together again!

Temporarily left our site at La Posa South to join Karen & Bob for four days at Plamosa Road... had a most enjoyable time together! The guys took morning walks and went on a day trip to find a mine, plus we all four went on a road trip one day to visit a few surrounding towns and look up some friends of theirs. We enjoyed meals together, and sat around visiting and catching up. Karen and I went to town one morning to do laundry and check out a few stores, and we had lots of sharing to do about our Swedish weaving projects. Has been so good to reconnect with these special friends and we look forward to more time together after the first of the year!

One day, Julie & Mike drove up from Yuma, and Sue & Paul, and Marilyn & Brad drove from Lake Havasu City... we all met at Silly Al's for pizza and nearly four hours of visiting, sharing and catching up! Was a truly enjoyable gathering with these special folks! Looking forward to time with all of them later, also!

As many of you know, our cat "Maggie" spends most of her time outdoors... she knows our motorhome is "home" and always finds her way back, wherever we are. But, if we are in a busy area where there is traffic, or where there are many rigs and she might get locked in someone's storage compartment while snooping around, her access to the outdoors is limited.
Here in the desert, she is free to roam as much as she likes... until nearing dark. Then, because of coyotes, she is closed in by around 4pm each day.

Recently, a friend observed her opening our screen door... I thought it was maybe an accident until we WATCHED her do it. So, I decided to catch her in the act and, sure enough... she knows exactly what she is doing!!! 

Yep... just reach up, press down on the black handle and FREEDOM!!!
Slider must now be closed at ALL times! 



Because of our extended time in Quartzsite this winter, Tom has been enjoying the local Gem & Mineral Club... working and volunteering a bit in the lapidary shop, and has been on some interesting field trips. He is really enjoying this more relaxing pace!

Our desert sunrises and sunsets have been magnificent... such a beautiful time of year to be in the desert southwest!




Well, that's about it from us for this year. We will enjoy a quiet Christmas together, and be thinking of our families and friends... and wishing each of you a beautiful holiday season filled with love!

Be well, everyone! Dianne & Tom

"May peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!" - Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Beautiful Desert Southwest!

Hello all! Amazing to think that we have begun the final month of 2015! Hope everyone enjoyed a good Thanksgiving. 

Continuing to keep good thoughts and caring hearts for those dealing with loss, and for those suffering with illness and uncertainty. At a time when a small percentage of haters make the news, we choose to focus on the throngs of good sending out positive energy... there is much to be grateful for. We keep good thoughts for all, and focus on the abundant goodness in this world!

We enjoyed our time in San Diego County with family and friends! Important time with my parents, and great visits with those we saw there. Thanks to all for making the visit special!

We are now enjoying our time in the desert! Should be interesting to watch as Quartzite, Arizona goes from a sleepy little desert town to a booming RV mecca. We stay away from much of the circus, probably won't go to town often, and enjoy great hiking trails and sunshine! Uncertain as to what the predicted El Nino weather pattern may bring this winter... best advice seems to be, "don't park in an arroyo or low spot of any kind." This is our current location :)




We have had a project in mind and, while sitting still in this beautiful location, finally put it together... a screen to block the breeze, as needed. Can be easily disassembled should a desert breeze turn to wind. May make one side longer? Some unknowns, but a good start. Plus, the tarp under the edge of our motorhome makes a big difference in reducing airflow from under the rig!



We have enjoyed a bit of time with Denise... so nice to have her nearby!  Have also enjoyed a visit with friends Sandy & Paul passing through the area on their way back to Houston, as well as Ruth & Dale who snuck in a few days here between engagements... we look forward to their return later in the month. Will be fun to see others who will be filtering in during December and January. Good visits mixed with lots of quiet time... again, much to be grateful for!

Take care. As always, we value our connections to each of you and look forward to hearing from those we will not be seeing this winter. Be well, everyone!

Hugs, Dianne & Tom

"I'm too grateful to be hateful. I am too blessed to be stressed." - El DeBarge


Promote Kindness and Peace!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Oregon to California

We enjoyed good visits on the Oregon Coast, as posted in our last blog update. The ocean views, even though the weather was stormy, were stunning and our stay was good. Had a bit of blue sky one day and spent some time with Nancy & Dave in Florence, Oregon. Tom picked up some nice pieces of agate and petrified wood on the beach one day!








From Newport, we moved inland to Medford, Oregon to visit Tom’s college buddy of many years ago. Tom and Tim were roommates at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado back in the early 1970s… had seen each other only once, over 25 years ago, since then. Tim and wife, Tina, graciously provided us with space for our motorhome behind their home, a beautiful, elegantly restored and decorated Victorian structure.









The guys hit it off like no time had passed. Tina is delightful, and they both treated us so well! We had wonderful meals, including fried clams! 





We enjoyed learning of Tina & Tim’s restoration projects and collections, museum and about yearly “haunts” to benefit a variety of charities, plusTina’s work with the Oregon Historical Society.


Thank you, Tina & Tim, for a truly delightful visit... the time together was special! We are most appreciative and look forward to getting together again one day down the road!

*********************

We had rain the day we left Medford, and for the next several days… made a stop at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery, but mostly just wanted to head south to sunshine.

SERENDIPITY!  Some days present unplanned gifts, and you just have to chuckle. Here’s how one morning last week played out... 

We knew that friends Vicki & Mike were at Lake Havasu, and would soon be heading north to Washington. We would already be in San Diego area by then, so looked forward to seeing them next year.

Then we receive an early-morning text asking where we were. Wrote back saying we were near Redding, California traveling south on I-5. They write back that they are near Bakersfield traveling north on I-5. We make a plan, and meet in Stockton! We had a wonderful afternoon and evening together, and more chats the next morning before we each continue on our paths.


Serendipity, to be sure! A true blessing!!!

We are now in Fallbrook, California… parked in a lime grove on property of longtime friends, Sharon and Jerry.

Our main objective, while here for a week or so, is time with my parents. They are doing well, and have a lovely apartment in a retirement residence… bright and sunny with a screened porch. Food is excellent, and we have joined them for several meals! Many times together planned to make the most of our visit to Southern California! Mom and I are going for manicures and pedicures one day (Thanks, Mom!), had brunch with my brother and my parents yesterday morning (Thanks, Don!). 



And, we are enjoying time with friends in the area. The calendar is full of get-togethers and visits… thanks to all for making this time so special!

And, thanks, Sharon & Jerry, for our “Fallbrook RV Site.” You are always so giving and generous to offer space for us!!! 


A busy week ahead. Next stop, Quartzite, Arizona :)

Be well, everyone!  Dianne & Tom


"SERENDIPITY... the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for; also: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way." 

PROMOTING PEACE... “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

OCTOBER ENDS FOR US ON OREGON COAST

 Ok... bear with me here! Learning a new computer program, and Windows LiveWriter is not supported to prepare a blog update offline in advance, so here goes anyway.

Mid-October found us in Bend, Oregon where we met up with Nancy & Dave at the Elk's Lodge RV Park... they took us to a great neighborhood pub for an enjoyable evening of live music.
 

Then, it was time for Tom to have a bit of dental work, so Maggie helped soothe the pain for him :)

During his week of healing, we hung out with friends, Barb & Doug in Terrebonne... they so graciously made us welcome parked in their yard, showed us around the area and we had many good chats. Thanks, friends!

From the Bend area, we moved to Lebanon, Oregon for some time with my Aunt June, cousin Christine and her husband, Kevin. They treated us to "Taco Tuesday" at the local bowling alley and lunch at an Asian buffet the next day, plus delicious food in their homes and terrific visits! Thank you all for a truly lovely visit and special time to reconnect!

While in Lebanon, we took a drive north to a Portland suburb to visit the Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals... Tom's one real desire on this trip was to see the "Alma Rose," an incredible rhodocrosite specimen from the Sweet Home Mine in Colorado... he has two small specimens, actually, but this brought tears to his eyes! This and the other magnificent displays were well worth the trip!



Next we headed to the coast... a walk in an old-growth forest along the way was a must! 


We are now in Newport, Oregon... just in time for their first storm of the season! Has been fun to reconnect with classmate, Phoebe, from our high school days in Fallbrook, California. Phoebe gave us a great tour of Newport on our first afternoon here. We so enjoyed meeting her husband, Bob, and touring their lovely home! Will have dinner together tomorrow evening... thanks, Phoebe, for making us so very welcome in your hometown!
Today we walked around the shops and docks of the Bayfront Area. A little rain doesn't dampen our spirits! Tomorrow we will get out to the beach, rain or shine, and hunt for agates!



Happy Halloween to all!  Hard to believe we change our clocks and welcome November tomorrow!

Be well, everyone! Dianne & Tom

"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photo-graphs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence." -Ansel Adams




Thursday, October 15, 2015

Idaho, then to Central Oregon

Nancy & Dave arrived on our third day in Boise, Idaho, parking next to us in the rv park. They joined in the fun with us and Sherri & Ed as we went to the farmers market, out to dinner and listening to live music downtown, and wine tasting at several wineries one day, followed by dinner at Sherri & Ed’s. Nice for Nancy & Dave and Sherri & Ed to get to know each other! Sherri and I enjoyed time together, and we appreciated the hospitality and meals together with Sherri & Ed! We fit a lot into one week! Time with my sister is so special!
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Our journey west into Oregon took us to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. We camped in some pretty spots, enjoyed quiet, peaceful times and exploring in the park.
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Tom enjoyed a few days of rockhounding in the Prineville, Oregon area, and we are now in Bend… crossing paths once again with Nancy & Dave, as we pulled in to the Bend Elk’s Lodge a few days after they arrived :)  We have enjoyed beautiful, sunny and warm fall weather. Tom has had fun digging in the dirt and bringing home more “interesting” rocks and petrified wood!  Then, moving on west later this month...
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Be well, everyone! Dianne & Tom

“You should sit in nature for 20 minutes a day…
Unless you’re busy, then you should sit for an hour.”

- The Wild Network, based on an old Zen saying on meditation

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hello from Boise, Idaho

It was bitter-sweet to say goodbye to Warren Bridge Campground and Wyoming after another good summer there, but it is also invigorating to be “on the road” again!  (Though, “our girls” will miss the campground and all their freedom and great walks.)
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Amazing to think that it’s been three years since Tom’s retirement from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service! As we reflect on this milestone, thought it might be fun to post the following photos from his last day at Bitter Lake Refuge in Roswell, New Mexico, as he tossed his old lunch box in the dumpster… no regrets   :)
2012.09.25 Lunchbox in Trash #1 2012.09.25 Lunchbox in Trash #2A

A few adjustments, to be sure… saying goodbye to Roswell friends, of course, and to our beautiful home, gardens and shop!
2011.12.22 House 004 2010.06 Yard 0012010.08 Misc. 018

And next, moving from our trailer into a motorhome…  2012.10.21 Boondocking Ridgway #1   2013.07.28 Rio Grande Campground 001

We remain most  comfortable in our home on wheels, and enjoy our fulltime rv lifestyle! We miss some things, of course, but life is full of tradeoffs.  We are living simply, and enjoying great adventures and added friendships! We have been blessed!

So, now it's good to be in Boise. Time with my sister is always special, and we appreciate the hospitality she and my brother-in-law always extend us. We have a full week planned, and then on to Oregon.

Appreciating life… more tales of our trek to follow :)
Be well, everyone!  Dianne & Tom

“And somehow I’ve learned how to listen
for a sound like the sun going down.
In the magic the morning is bringing
there’s a song for the life I have found.
It keeps my feet on the ground.”
Lyric by Rodney Crowell, “Song For Life”





Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Our summer in Wyoming is coming to a close…

Hello all.  Thinking of those of you, family and friends following our blog (and even some folks that we do not know who are reading along)… we appreciate each of you tagging along and staying connected to us!

Our posts have been a combination of information and photos of our fulltime lifestyle. Sometimes our updates may be informative and/or interesting, and often just mundane records of our travels, activities, etc. The best part is the photos of smiling faces of friends and family along the way! Our life is peaceful and enjoyable, and we feel truly blessed!

Sad to say goodbye to Christine & Brent as they drove off Sunday! We have SO enjoyed them being here for two long stays during this summer! Dear friends, you will be missed! Until next time, travel well!

Wildflowers at the kiosk and sweet peas at our sign…20150830_10262720150823_192327

As we come to the close of our time as hosts at Warren Bridge Campground, we are organizing and preparing to travel again after 4-1/2 months sitting still. We are looking forward to hitting the road again! And, our big news is that we are passing the hosting torch to Becky & Dave who will take our places here next summer! They will do a great job here!  Thanks, friends… we hope you will enjoy your time here as much as we have!  This has been a great place to summer these past two years, but we have missed summers in Southern Colorado, and look forward to spending next summer there again! Sometimes it’s just time for a change :)

Not much else to report. Tom has enjoyed a bit of fishing and the weather has been beautiful! The photos below and the header were taken at New Forks Lake, WY.
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As for our plans from here this fall… when we close the campground on September 29th, we will head for Boise, Idaho for a week back in civilization. We each have dentist appointments, I have a haircut scheduled, Tom has an appointment for a massage, our vacuum cleaner will get serviced and repaired, we will do some stocking-up shopping and, of course, are truly looking forward to time with my sister and brother-in-law there!

From there, we expect to spend the remainder of October in Oregon… exploring an rockhounding, always on the lookout for live music and hot springs, plus looking forward to a few visits with family and friends in the state. As the weather allows, we will hang out in Oregon into November and then move south into California for some more visits, exploring and adventures. No definite plans, route or agenda… though we do expect to be to the San Diego area by mid-December. Looking forward to time with those of you we will be seeing in the coming months… will be in touch as we get closer!

As I prepare to post this update, it is raining here! There are no fires near us, but hope the moisture to the west will be of help for the fires in Oregon, Washington and California… much loss of land and homes, as well as firefighters mentioned previously. Wishing safety for all, and an end to these fires!

Be well, everyone!  Dianne & Tom

  “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”Melody Beattie