Thursday, March 26, 2015


Escapees North Ranch RV Park
Congress, Arizona
Site 97

Yesterday was another busy day.  It's amazing how fast the days go here.  When you start the workshops at 8:15 and finish around 4 pm, you have a full day in.

Bonnie Kline gave a woodturng demonstartion.  She has been doing this for 30 years and made it look so simple and easy.  Notice I said "look".  I'm sure it's taken her a long time to get to her level.  She answered questions while she worked.  One of the questions was where did she get her wood.  She said she buys it by the ton and it's inexpensive except for the delivery charge.  She's ordered over 6 tons of wood.  
Notice how she's turning and using a pen to color it.
Here's a top she made in just a few minutes.
She's making these for the upcoming bead week.
She also said she uses wax to protect the colors.
Here's items being carved from the table Bill's working at. 

Lunch was supplied by the Birds of a Feather (BOF) Woodcarvers group.  Kellie did most of the luncheon.  I can't wait for tomorrow because she's doing lasagna for dinner and she's a great cook.  
We came back to the rig around 4 and found all of our neighbors have left.
Jim and Deb came over for Happy Hour.  We've stayed pretty close to home, since I can't walk all that far.

Do you think Bill's happy with his arms around two women?
I'm not happy with my chuckwagon.  I work a little and then go check out all the great talent in the activity center.  

Later this afternoon, I went over to Walt Gunn's table and decided to do a lariat bowl.  Naturally, I picked an oval one to do which is harder.  I also picked a very stiff lariat.  I'm having to use clamps to hold it as I don't have enough strength in my hands.  

Turtle Safely.......

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Woodcarvers Week--Tuesday

North Ranch Escapees Park
Congress, Arizona
Site 97

Bill and I walked over to the activity center for the ice cream social and were pleasantly surprised to see Denny and Susie Orr and Marilyn and Larry Forbes.  The surprise didn't end there, Jerry Anderson was serving the ice cream.  Didn't have my phone or camera again so sorry, no photos.

I finished my turtle yesterday and started a chuckwagon.  The transfer paper was defective and I didn't find that out until I pulled the paper off.  Oh no, you mean I have to do it all over again.  

I redid the transfer of the pattern this morning.  I burned a little bit, but was just discouraged.  I couldn't seem to get enthused about it.  I finally went over to the relief carving.  I picked out a pattern, and got started.  I am left handed and not what you'd call coordinated.  Bill can't stand to watch me hold a knife in the kitchen.  He always peels the potatoes and stuff.  He says I just look awkward with a knife.  

The instructors here are so patient.  It doesn't seem to bother them, that not all of us have talent.  I almost joined the purple heart club, but mine was only a prick and I covered it up with a bandaid before anyone saw it.  

Bill on the other hand is doing great despite his back giving him a lot of pain.  He is still carving faces in golf balls.  
I finally took a picture of a chain-saw horse statue that came from the rodeo in Billings, Montana.  It was outside a business in Wickenburg and was damaged.  The woodcarvers here at North Ranch are carving and repairing the head for the business.  
The media has had lots of stories about this.  They have done a great job of making it look like it used to.  

I'm still trying to decide what to do tomorrow--my relief carving or pyrography.  Of course, there are lot's of other different types of carving I could do, or maybe another lariat bowl.  I guess I'll decide in the morning.  

Kelly Gunn lent us a TENS machine to try on Bill's back and then Walt came to the rescue late today, when Bill had a misplaced hearing aid.  

Ray and Cindy Warner are here.  Ray has stopped down to check on the progress of our projects.  Jim and Deb were here last year, and we haven't seen them since.  They are both very talented.  

JoAnn and Jerry Anderson stopped to tell us they will be attending the Escapees Chapter 45 picnic.  

Lois Boose is here and she said she'd help me see if I liked beading.  You just can't go to a SKP park without knowing someone.  

Next year the dates for Woodcarvers workshop is March 19-26.  If you are interested in attending their g-mail is or you can phone 510-414-6680.  As they say, they specialize in beginners.  You can start by 8:15 and it ends everyday at 4 pm.  People come and go, so it's not real rigid.

Turtle Safely......

Sunday, March 22, 2015

First Day of Woodcarvers

North Ranch Escapees Park
Congress, Arizona
Site #97

Yesterday was registration and announcements.  It was nice to see some faces we haven't seen in a while.  There was a nice potluck at 5 pm which included a nice assortment of food.  

Bill and I went for a walk this morning.  Yes, I went for a walk.  There is such a beautiful cactus garden, we never tire of walking through it.  The cactus were even prettier today than yesterday.  

This cactus was circa 1870, I forgot the age of the one in the previous photo.  

We got more lessons today.  Jerry, was flying 24 kites at once.  

You'll have to click on this photo to enlarge it to see all 24 in the air.

Jerry bought his kites in China and we enjoyed talking with him, as we've been to some of the same places.
The kites were made out of bamboo and rice paper.

Woodcarving classes started after lunch today.  I decided to finish my turtle that I started last summer.  Don Del Rosario gave me the piece of wood and pattern.  

These were some of the pieces on display.  This isn't amateur work for a lot of people here.  The instructors are really talented.  
Bill is carving balls, that is golf balls.  Now that may sound funny to you, but wait until you see the completed project.  It was hard to decide what you want to try.
Here's my work in progress.  I already had it drawn on the board and the head done when I started today.  Three hours later, this is what it looks like.

Ice cream social is this evening.  How can you not love this great park?  

Turtle Safely....... 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Congress, but a good one.

North Ranch Escapees RV Park
Congress, Arizona
Site 97

Yesterday I had physical therapy at 7:30 am so we decided to head over to Congress when we returned.  We just put a few things in the refrigerator and left.  It was around noon when we pulled into the Escapees park in Congress.

Bill's has some real bad back pain.  He backed in and plugged the electric in and went inside to lie down.  The sewer is out of the basement but not hooked up.  I think we'll just give him some time to rest his back and see if the pain lets up.  Here's another case, where your partner needs to be able to drive.  Which is normally our case, but I haven't been able to drive since my shattered heel.  Why didn't I break the left one?

I received a call from Sharon Hime.  She said "You wanted me to keep you posted on our travels.  Well, this is as far as we went."  The engine on the truck died on I 10.  At first I thought it was exit 303, then the next time she called said near a sign for "The Thing" at exit 314.  Wrong again.  Now do you see a pattern?  I think my calendar problems are with numbers.  It turned out to be a different exit number.  
They were very upbeat as always.  No matter what happens they always find something positive.  I've told many of you of Sharon's talent for writing.  She really needs to write books but at least a blog.  Usually, she tells the story from Hickory, their dog, views.  

I was so upset I had to make myself feel better by having some of her peanut butter pie she left for us.  

Here's the story from Hickory.  Hope you enjoy her stories as much as we do.

Dad said his mechanic's ear was telling him our truck was still sick so he took it to Strictly Diesel on Thursday.  Yep, they said that the valves were in need of adjustment but there were definitely some other issues and he might want to consider getting a new engine....$14,ooo......but I think it'll take you back to Florida.  Dad was feeling pretty gloomy 'cuz he had already put $4000 worth of repairs in his truck this trip and it only has 122,ooo miles, which is young for a diesel.  I still wonder if that bad fuel we picked up a few years ago caused more issues than we knew????
Friday morning, Dad decided it was best to by pass the plans for Tombstone, White Sand and any other stops and make a beeline for Florida.  Everything was terrific for 2 hours and then we ALMOST made it to the top of the hill and the engine lost power and we were just able to get off to the side of the road at mile marker 316 on I-10 in Arizona. 
I liked the picnic at the side of the road while we were waiting for the big yellow tow truck.  We had some scrumptious caramel and cheddar popcorn that my friend Jan gave Mom.  Yep, Mom shared and so did Dad.  Mmmm!!
When they hooked the truck up to the tow truck, I told Dad I would keep an eye on the truck during the ride to the repair shop. I settled right in my back seat and road the 50 miles back west and then south to Sierra Vista.  Mom had located an RV Park not far from the Dodge repair shop so we are all set up in our site.  Dad about had a cow when Mom told him the rate was $100 for a week stay for 30 amp full hook up. CHEAP...just the way Dad likes it!!   I sure liked the manager.  He said I could go anywhere in the park as long as I was on my lead.  Now the rental car is a whole different story at $29.99 a day AND NO PETS!  Well!!!!
Monday or Tuesday Dad is going to get the results of the diagnostic tests.  I wonder how long we will stay in Arizona.  The manager said we just missed a hail storm yesterday afternoon here at the park....and it wasn't even cold out.  Jan said it never rains in Arizona and we had rain on two different days.  This is a strange state for sure!!  We'd better be careful or they will start blaming this strange weather on us.

Our tow

Putting the final touches on the hook-up
 Now after reading that story, let me tell you what our problem is today.  I turned on the fireplace and my flames aren't flickering.  It did it once before, but I can't remember how I fixed it.

Turtle Safely.........

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Airplanes and more

Casa Grande, Arizona

Roger ran his truck up to Phoenix to have it checked out. We had asked what he wanted to see and an air museum was his choice.  After all, he fixed the toilet seat in the cowboy bathroom.  It's strange but Bill and I were both talking yesterday about visiting this one.  Since Roger left almost before the sun was up, we said we'd pick Sharon up and meet him when he was finished. 
Roger was excited before he ever entered the doors.  He said the ship he was on, had guns like this.  He gave us a first hand explanation of what everyone's job was and how it operated.  
A docent explained a little bit about the museum and what we were going to see.  They were around for any questions we had.
I asked Roger about all the wires on this engine.

All screws had wires on them.  Roger said it was so they didn't vibrate off.  I wonder why the RV industry doesn't do that.

They had airplanes from most branches--I don't think the Coast Guard was represented, John.

There were two hangars plus what's outside.

There were even models of many different kinds.

They were even hanging from the ceiling.

This was one of my favorites.

It was so small only one stretcher could fit in it.

What an appropriate name.

Display cases had many stories of the people who flew these planes.  Here's some more models.

These are some of the guns that were mounted on the planes.

The influence of women in flying was well represented.

The stories of groups like Doolittle's Raiders and the Tuskegee Airmen were very well displayed and told. 

I used to always wore a helmet while motorcycle riding but I never heard of them being called "Brain Buckets".  I really like the name.

Things we've read or saw in the movies were there like this "Gibson Girl" emergency transmitter.

I loved the artwork and messages that went into a lot of these.

I'll bet the view was great, if you weren't in any danger.  It's one thing to be shooting at someone, but if they shoot back, you're a bulls-eye.

This was a toy pedal car.

As I looked around the hangar, I realized the planes were all different kinds of color.

I like the painting on this one.

Notice the sign which reads ".45 Cal Tommy Gun carried in B-29 490th Bomb Squadron--India-Burma 1942-1945. (Gun inactive).  Hopefully, it was an active gun in those years.

Unfortunately, there was way to much to see, before they closed at 4 pm.  

Remember this is the first hanger.  We never made it to the second one.

There were planes outside the hanger that you could climb up into.  I am under the girl and touching the ladder.  That's as close as I got to climbing in.

Not sure what this one was.

The weather was perfect and we even had clouds in the sky for a change.

I climbed into this one, but couldn't get back out.  Thanks for the help, Sharon and Bill.  It was very sloped and impossible to walk inside with my boot on.

This museum was very clean and well done.  

There were so many different types.  

When we left there, we decided we'd go to Lin's Buffet.  I gave the address to Sharon and Roger.  Roger turned at one intersection and I went to phone them.  That's when I realized my battery was almost dead.  I just said, we'd meet you back at the house and then go somewhere.  I must confess, I really screwed that up.  We then decided we'd go to Olive Garden.  It wasn't crowded, but the service was so slow.  We waited over 30 minutes for a to go box and our bill.  While the food was excellent, I won't be back.

Turtle Safely........