Thursday, January 19, 2017

Quartzite, Arizona
Polomas Road BLM

People wonder what you do sitting in the middle of the desert in January.  It was another busy day beginning with a fire safety seminar from Mac McCoy.  We've attended at least one per year from him.  He's very serious but also entertaining as a speaker.  

Part of his seminar has the women in the class putting out different kinds of fires.  I must say these women did a great job of quickly putting out the fire.  

Notice how warmly everyone is dressed.  It was in the 50's. 

I forgot to mention the gift I received from Stephanie.  It
is lemon marmalade and it tastes wonderful.

Dave came over and wanted to check out Bill's metal detector.  He's going to spend some time with Bill and Harry tomorrow showing them how to properly use the detectors.

We went into town to go to the grocery store.  While in town, we decided to show Harry and Carlena Reeder's Book Store.  It's unique and if you've never visited it, it's a must see.  I just can't describe the sight we saw.  

No one had had lunch so we stopped at the Yacht Club.  It was crowded but there was a table available.  

We skipped the Montana Owners happy hour, as we were going to a Loosey Goosey meeting at 5:30.   

It was dark, windy and cold, but somehow we all had a great time listening to the stories about Alaska.  We were the first to say we were getting cold and it was 8 pm and time to go home.

Turtle Safely........

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Quartzite Day 4

Quartzite, Arizona
Montana Circling of the Wagons

Today was even busier than yesterday.  

There was a seminar on refrigerators this morning.  It was very interesting and Paul explained the operation in a way that I could understand.  He has the patent on the ARPrv Control.  Naturally, we bought one.  

As we were listening to the seminar, a hot air balloon flew overhead.

Before we knew it, it was time for the Escapees Happy Hour.  It was so nice seeing friends that we haven't seen in awhile.  

There were some fifth wheels on display.  As nice as they were, we're still happy with the our Montana we have.   

The music was great, thanks to Johnny Goodrun.  The weather was great--what more could you ask for?  I think everyone liked the new location of the Happy Hour.  Mark did a great job hosting it.  The new location was much easier for parking.  It was close enough we could have walked over but since we had our chairs we all piled into the truck.  Carlena and I rode in the back of the truck.  I didn't have my camera with me, but hopefully, Dennis will share some of his photos.  

Dave Burtrom was kind enough to come over and add another fuse in line for us.  He's going to give Bill and Harry some help with their metal detectors tomorrow.  He also was going to have his telescope out tonight but we started to get cold and decided we'd be better off inside.  Hopefully, we can try it some other night while they are here.

Harry has this really neat smoker grill that Carlena used to make some delicious cookies.  

The Escapees Happy Hour was between 1 and 3.  The Montana Circle has their Happy Hour everyday at 4:30.  Needless to say we were very happy.  

Turtle Safely.......

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Quartzite Day 3--Calendar, clock challenges.

Quartzite, Arizona
Montana Circling of the Wagons

We've been very busy.  Yesterday we had an appointment with the satellite shop.  They were going to come out on the BLM land but once we found out we had an appointment with RV Lifestyles at 1 pm we told the satellite shop we'd stop after the other appointment.  I was surprised how busy both places were.  By the time we returned, it was about 4:30.  We pulled back in and set up and ran inside to change into warmer clothes.  I'd received an e-mail from Dennis Hill who said there would be a Loosey Goosey meeting at 5:30.  We had Carlena and Harry grab their chairs and we drove over to the meeting.  Guess what?  No Dennis and no Carol,we were only two days early.  We ended up going to Silly Al's while we were out.  Anyone that knows me, knows I'm calendar challenged.  I also have a problem with time.  

This morning I woke up and looked at the clock and it said 7:15.  We decided to get up and made the bed and came downstairs to turn on the coffee pot.  Bill looked at his watch and it said 5:15.  I have a few of those atomic clocks that never seem to be in the right time zone.  The one by the bed is two hours off, but I forgot to subtract the two hours.  The other clock in the bedroom is three hours difference.  We went back upstairs and went back to bed.

Harry and Bill are waiting for Dave to arrive, as he's going to help then with their metal detectors.  

Harry and Carlena drove us over to Tyson Wells.  It's only about half full of vendors.  They enjoyed walking through, and bought stuff that all first timers pick up.  We picked up a gold pan, which with all the gold we'll find in Alaska, should help finance the trip.  Do you really believe that?

Look who we ran into at Tyson Wells.  It's Don Smith.

No sooner had we returned to the circle than a car pulled up.  It was Nick and Jeanne.  Isn't this a great photo of them?

Mary and Glen Strom arrived with their dog Nikki.  She and Boo got along just fine.  

It was a perfect day for the Meet and Greet.  Not windy at all.  The Canadians were in shorts, we were in sweatshirts.  
 Curtis and Stephanie made all the announcements.  There were many first timers in attendance.

Everyone brought some delicious food.  

Jim Fischer's birthday was today and we all toasted him Happy Birthday.  Not sure if Jim could hear us from the East coast, but he was thought of.

  Turtle Safely...........

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Quartzite Day 1

Quartzite, AZ

We left Casa Grande around 7:45 am with Bill behind the wheel.  I know, I said I was going to drive since my cataract surgery, but it did look like rain.  Matter of fact, it rained pretty hard around Gila Bend but by the time we were on I 10 the weather cleared up.

Harry and Carlena left from Mesa about the same time.  Our plan was to meet them at the TA Truck Stop in Tonopah.  I picked that spot instead of the rest area because they had a huge truck parking area and the last time the rest stop was full with no place to park.  You wouldn't believe how full the truck stop was and of course, there was plenty of parking at the rest area. 

 Harry and Carlena arrived ahead of us and he was wearing a Pittsburgh Steeler hat.  He liked my Steeler sweatshirt. 

 We had an appointment at the satellite shop at 1 but we were early.  We dropped the fifth wheel and took them over to the Montana Circle of the Wagons.  Since this was their first time we stopped and registered for the BLM land and then showed them how to drive down the rope to park.

We went back over to the satellite shop and found out that Carol had to go to Phoenix and the other worker was tied up for awhile.  We decided not to wait and made arrangements for them to come out to the BLM land tomorrow.

The circle looks very large now, but it will be amazing how quickly it fills in.  The Circling of the Wagons doesn't officially start until Tuesday.

Dave and Betsy have a new addition to their family.  

Why were we all sitting in the shade?

Curtis has a lot of Alaska information to share with us.

 Turtle Safely......

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Itching,,,,,scratching tomorrow.

Sundance RV Resort
Casa Grande, AZ

I can't believe it's been almost a week since I last blogged.  The next week or so while we are at Quartzite, we'll be too busy to blog.  

Yes, my eyesight has improved since the surgery.  I told Bill I thought I could start helping with the driving again.  Of course, I'll wait until tomorrow morning to see if its raining before I decide to do that.  

I was glad we didn't decide to go earlier this week, when     I 10 was closed down for 13 hours.  One thing about Arizona roads, if the interstate closes down, there aren't alternate routes to take.  It's one of the main reasons we avoid taking I 17 because it gets closed down so much.  The detour took all the traffic south to I 8.  

We got caught in a traffic jam on I 10 two years ago when we went to Quartzite.  It ended up only being two hours because they didn't shut the entire road down.    

We're looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new people.  

Casa Grande had a home show at the old mall today.  It really wasn't much of a home show, more of a car display.  The weather called for rain today, but it was very nice out.

Bill enjoyed seeing all the cars.
You can't see it well, but there's an air conditioner mounted on the rear passenger window.
There were vehicles from all different time periods.
There was music playing and of course a few food vendors.
See that thing on the roof of this bug?

We couldn't figure out what it was for.  Any ideas?

Bill owned an MG like this one.  He said it was always something going wrong with it.  After he sold it, the man who bought it said it was the most trouble free car he'd ever owned.  I guess Bill got all the bugs out of it.

This car had Nebraska plates and I think I remember seeing it at the Cruise In in Kearney.

Pinal County Swat vehicle which was bought with drug money. 

Turtle Safely.........

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dennis Hill Made Me Do It

Sundance RV Resort
Casa Grande, AZ

Every once in awhile when I haven't really had anything to say on a blog, I get this e-mail from Dennis Hill saying it's time to update my blog.  

I really enjoy blogging when we are seeing and doing exciting things, but somehow visiting the doctor doesn't quite fit in that category.

I was having a hard time reading anything since my surgery.  While my dominant eye had the surgery, it just made reading almost impossible.  I can't wear my bifocal glasses because it messes up my good eye.  About the only thing I could do if I needed to read anything was to ask Bill to read something for me. This is that time of the year, when you are trying to get all the year in paperwork together.  

While we haven't been moving down the road, we have been enjoying our friends.  What do RVers do when they see each other?  Why of course, we go out to eat.  Here's Pam, Carlena and me at Mimi's.
The guys--Bill, Harry and Randy, were on the other side of the table.  

We chatted through lunch and almost to dinner time, and still never ran out of things to say.

Pam and Randy were a wealth of knowledge about Alaska.  They gave us a lot of places that we need to see on our upcoming Alaska trip.

Carlena and Harry are also joining the Loosey Goosey.   Gang.  I showed Carlena our orange identifier to show we are part of the Loosey Goosey Gang.  Dennis will just have to wait and see it in Quartzite.

We are having new tires installed on the Montana this week. Our tires are 4 years old and we don't want to take any chances on tire problems while in Alaska.

I'm sorry I didn't get any photos on Wednesday but Neil and Candy stopped for a visit.  They live in Canada on the Yellowhead Highway and have invited us and our traveling couples to stop for a few days en-route to Alaska.  

We had all the atlas's out while they were here and I was telling her how disappointed I was in the new Rand McNally I just bought. The description said that all state and province maps were included in the book.  When I got the book I realized that the Yukon wasn't included.  I wrote Amazon a nasty review and also Rand McNally.  Candy is the one who set me straight.  She said the Yukon is part of the Northwest Territories, not a province.  Duh!  Talk about feeling foolish.

The following day, Thursday, we had to be in central Phoenix at 7:15 am for my surgery.  It was nice that we were heading back to Casa Grande by 9 am and we didn't have to wait around like we did on the first eye because of their Christmas hours.  

I was very disappointed when I removed the tape that kept my eye closed at noon.  I could hardly see out of that eye and everything I saw was doubled.  The first eye was such a drastic difference, I guess I was expecting the same thing on the right eye.  I didn't panic as I remembered them  telling me, this eye could react differently and be blurry and/or double vision could happen.  I kept putting the drops in every two hours and by the evening it started clearing up.  

The next day I had a post op appointment and when I read the eye chart I was amazed how much I could see.  My pressure was up so I have additional drops for awhile.  

Hopefully, things will get back to normal this week.  Bill has a check up with the hearing doctor and I have a mammogram scheduled.  As soon as we get our tires changed we can start preparing for Quartzite.  

We go out I 8 to Gila Bend and then north rather than go through Phoenix on I 10 to go to Quartzite.  We'll be meeting the others at the Tonopah Truck Stop.  The weather looks perfect, and it should be a great time.  

Turtle Safely........

Monday, December 26, 2016

Diving in a Parking Lot

Casa Grande, AZ
Sundance RV Resort

By the time we returned home Thursday, we were both exhausted.  There were many calls asking how my surgery went.  I want to thank you again for all your kind caring words.  Calls and cards of condolences for the loss of my father continued.  I forgot how many of our friends had meet Dad at one time or other.

Friday morning I was amazed at the difference in my vision.  My dominant eye is the left one which had the RK surgery on it.  The doctor asked me if I wanted to go back to mono vision--one eye for distance and one eye for reading.  He said I'd be a good candidate for it.  I don't have to make a decision until the second surgery.  I was concerned that maybe my age and old brain might not be able to manage it.  They gave me a contact lens for the eye that wasn't operated on.  I was suppose to start wearing the contact on Friday.  

I was excited to see how my vision would be with the contact.  It didn't take long for my brain to manage it.  Around 7, I decided I'd take the contact out as I wasn't reading.  I worked and worked at getting it out of my eye.  Bill who had worn the soft lens before tried to remove it.  While I never wore the soft lens I had the hard bifocal lens about 25 years ago.  There is no reason it won't come out.  I checked the internet for ways to get it out.  Finally, after 3 hours and a very red sore eye I called the eye doctor.  I was told to sleep with it in, don't touch it, and he'd meet me at the office the next day.  

The next day is Christmas Eve!  That means another trip to Phoenix on Christmas Eve.  I think everyone had their Christmas cheer before getting in their cars.  

The doctor checked my reading vision and I could read down to the last line without any difficulty.  In less than a second he had that contact out and threw it in the trash.  He said, "you don't want to try another contact, do you?"  No way!  Luckily, I didn't irritate or damage the other eye.  

He wanted to check the operated eye since we were there.  That's when he found the pressure very high and gave me some more drops to use until my follow up appointment this week.

I really felt stupid but I guess it happens more times than you think.  The drive back to Casa Grande was very, very windy and dust was flying but we didn't get into any full fledged dust storm.  I guess the rain kept the dust down.

I have to tell you about something we experienced while we were driving in Phoenix.  Bill got a phone call from a friend and pulled over into a shopping center to talk.

There was one of those huge metal containers around 6 foot tall for donating food and housewares nearby in the parking lot.  This one had an opening like a mail box.  All of a sudden a girl comes running up to it and jumps up on the pivoting door.  The door falls back and she's out of sight.  We sat there for awhile and couldn't figure out what to do.  Bill started getting worried that she'd die of heat stroke (remember this is Arizona.)  We're looking around to try and find out exactly where we are so we can call the police.  Finally the door pulls back and a black trash bag full of something lands on the ground.  Another black bag lands on the ground a few minutes later.  All of a sudden the girl pops back up and jumps down.  We're watching all this with bewilderment.  The girl jumps on a bicycle with her bag and hands the other bag to someone else on a bicycle.  They smile at us and wave and say "Merry Christmas" as they pedal away on their bikes. She was a true dumpster diver. Life in the big city is definitely interesting.

Today we had lunch with our friends, Toni and Doug Laird.    Look what she brought us--Betty's RV Park t-shirts.  We had such a great time there and never even thought about t-shirts until we left.  Toni and Doug's experience was just as great as ours.  They planned on staying a week and ended up staying a month.  We will be back there but until then we'll be sporting the t-shirts.  
Toni and Doug have both lost a lot of weight since we had dinner with them in Yuma.  They look great.  Wish we could have stayed longer, but we were both short on time.  Two hours for lunch just isn't enough time.

We never even had much time to talk about British Columbia, but hopefully, we'll stop and see them when we are on the Alaska adventure.  

Turtle Safely..........

Friday, December 23, 2016

I See........

Casa Grande, Arizona
Sundance RV Resort

It's been very busy since I last blogged.  I guess it's that time of the year, when you feel rushed.

I forgot to mention in my blog about the Chapter 45 20th Anniversary Rally that we had a nice surprise the last morning of the rally.  

As we stepped outside the coach to begin hitching up, I heard someone call out to me.  It was Marilyn Wix, who is a member of Chapter 21.  We hadn't seen her in a very long time.  I was trying to remember how long it's been.  Maybe it was one of the Polar Bear Party's that Chapter 21 has at the Saguaro Escapees Park in Benson, or maybe at the rally in Columbus, NM or maybe the one in Deming or maybe the first one in Amado or matter, it's been a very long time.  Needless to say we chatted for awhile.  By the time we parted, it was too late to walk over and say good bye to anyone that might have been left.

Bill's treatments seem to be slowly helping him.  It's difficult scheduling since the doctor only works four days a week and sometimes he wants to see him three times.

We didn't have a Christmas party these past two years while Dad was under Hospice care.  When we have them, John and Karen drive all the way up to Casa Grande and back from Green Valley.  So when they suggested we get together on Tuesday it was a given, we were going to be there.  

Some of your best friends you don't have to see often, but you just pick up where you left off the last time you saw them.  The other neat thing about friends is they make the best of a bad situation.  This was no exception.  

We needed to visit another friend who was in the hospital so the plans changed to meeting at a restaurant near the hospital.  I found three that weren't fast food and John and Karen selected one of those that had good reviews.  As we were ready to pull into the driveway, I realized it was a drive thru restaurant only.  That wouldn't work, we want to visit for awhile.  I called John and he was right in front of us so we agreed on a Mexican restaurant across the street.  It had a big sign in the window, "under new management". 

 This place we will never forget.  When we walked in it had a counter where you ordered with seating.  In one week's time we went from the best fajita we ever tasted in Mesa, to the worst we've ever had.  The only thing good I could say for the $25.00 lunch was that the Dr. Pepper was good.  How can you screw up rice and beans?  The fajita didn't even resemble one.  It was suppose to be steak, but looked like they ground it up.  I can't remember what Karen ordered but she only had one bite.  

I wish I would have taken a picture of the sign behind the counter but it said everything.  "No refund for eaten food".
But like I said, good friends, make the best of it.  At least we weren't annoyed by screaming kids or anyone else in the place.  We were free to sit there and visit as long as we wanted.  We left the restaurant, laughing about our experience but still stood out in the parking lot, reluctant to say our "see ya's".  

We stopped at the hospital to visit another friend.  It really makes you feel good, when you know someone is not feeling well, but smiles and looks happy to see you.  You always get condition reports, but it's nothing like seeing for yourself.  It's a hopeless feeling that you can't do something to help.

It was getting late, when we started back and I knew it was going to be getting dark, but we both needed to get something to get the bad taste of the little bit we ate out of mouth.  I suggested a milk shake.  While it tasted good, I could still remember that terrible food.

Wednesday was Dad's service at the National Military Cemetery.  We were very blessed to have our nephew, Cody Tupps, conduct the short ceremony.  Dad had military honors and the bugler was excellent.  They were reservist's who volunteer for this duty.  It was a difficult decision regarding the flag.  I had previously decided since there were three sisters and one flag that I would donate it to the VA to be displayed for holidays.  Did I mention that I am the oldest?  At the last moment, when they asked about the flag, I decided to keep the flag.  

We hurried home in time to get Bill to his doctor appointment.  This was his only opportunity as we'd be in Phoenix all day Thursday.  Of course then the doctor isn't in on Friday's and with the Christmas break it complicated things even worse.  

Yesterday we woke up at 4:30 am. We never have to use an alarm clock, our bodies must have a built in one.  I thought 5:15 am would be fine, but we were both awake so decided to get up. When we turned on the TV the news was showing flooded streets and traffic problems everywhere.  I was suppose to report to the surgical department at 7:45 at their office in the Biltmore (central Phoenix) area.  Finally at 5:30 Bill said, we might as well just head out, we can wait up there, or wait here.  

The weather gods were with us.  Of course night driving is something we just don't do, but you do what you have to do.  John Beckman offered to drive us up, but the conditions weren't bad the day before, and it was too late to call them now.  The first couple of blocks there was water everywhere but after the first mile the roads were dry and it wasn't raining.  We made record time getting to Phoenix, of course I think we were ahead of the rush hour traffic.  We arrived at the office at 6:30 but after about a 10 minute wait they took me back.  

I can't say enough about how great you are treated.  Every step of the way, they explain everything.  We left the office around 9.  Now what do we do?  Normally you have a follow up the following day but they will be closed for the holiday.  We had an appointment at 3:15.  That's a long time to wait around town.  

We decided to go for breakfast and one of the nurses recommended a restaurant next to Nordstrom's.  I wasn't real hungry but a cup of coffee sounded real good.  We were told that it would be a 20 minute wait for a table.  No problem we weren't in a hurry.  The only problem is you had to scream to talk.  It seemed like the longer we waited the louder it got.  Finally, the girl had a table for us, and I said, I was sorry, it was just too noisy for us. 

We found a Denny's but there was no parking.  We cruised up and down Camelback but couldn't find a place with an empty parking space.  

Finally I suggested we just go to the movies.  I used to work up in this area, and years ago we had an apartment that we used through the week until I realized we couldn't be that far away from elderly parents.  I knew where all the theaters were.  Did you notice that word "were"? We tried three different places.  Now there are huge buildings on those corners.  

Finally, around noon, we decided to stop for lunch.  The lines were terrible and we had to park in another business just to get a parking place.  I think we spent more time circling the parking lots than anything else we did.  

I finally said, "enough".  Let's just go back to the doctor's office and wait there.  We arrived around 2 pm and I was surprised when they called me back about 2:15.  

It was a great feeling on the way home to know we beat the rush hour traffic and we were driving home in sunshine.  

I am amazed at the difference already in my vision and was told it will take up to 4 weeks for it to improve due to my previous RK surgery.

Turtle Safely.........

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Anniversary/Christmas Party is Over

Casa Grande, AZ
Sundance RV Resort

The morning started off with a breakfast put on by Vern and Polly.  We walked over about 8:15 and everyone was standing around asking if it had been cancelled.  Sherry had been helping Polly and she wasn't up yet.  I walked back over to the electric sites and Vern came outside.  They were running a little late.  No problem, just need someone to say something.  Have you ever been around hungry Escapees?  Something else about them, if you say breakfast starts at 8, they'll be there at least 15 minutes early.  

Breakfast was worth the wait.  Vern fixed pancakes and sausage.  There were fruit cups and juice to go along with the meal.

Bill is enjoying a cup of coffee and conversation with Jeanne.

Yesterday was a very busy day.  My appointment with the surgeon was yesterday at his Biltmore area office.  This is the office I went to over 20 years ago for my RK surgery.  

Unlike when Bill had his cataracts removed he didn't have a lot of choices.  Now I have to make up my mind before the second eye is done on whether to go back to mono vision.  

By the time we got back to Usery Regional Park, the Chapter members had returned from their cruise on Lake Saguaro.  By the comments I heard, everyone enjoyed their cruise.  

The Golden Corral was where the dinner reservations were for the evening meal.  Once again there was a great selection of food.  Our tables were reserved by the dessert section.  Do you think Ed Allard had anything to do with that?  

While a lot of people enjoy campfires, we don't usually do them.  The smoke bothers Bill's lungs, and I hate to have to go back and wash my hair to get the smoke smell out of it and the smoke smell on my clothes.  It sure made sense when they came out with the propane fires and also made the environmentalists happy no trees were cut down for the fire.  

It rained through the night and looked like rain this morning.  We just headed back to Casa Grande after a quick stop at the dump station.  I figured there would be a big line up to use it.   

The gravel really bothered my foot and I just didn't want to make another trip over to the pavilion this morning.  We said our good byes and Merry Christmas to everyone at the dinner.  

Turtle Safely......