Home Is Where You Make It

As the summer heat continues to beat down on our temporary home here at Quail Creek State Park in Utah, I am reminded of the hot, dry, summer heat we left behind when we moved from our home in Chandler Arizona. Now, I’m not complaining because I would much rather deal with the heat than any type of cold weather. But this hot dry heat is really having a negative effect on the water level here at Quail Lake.

Even though we have had several nights of pouring rain over the past couple of weeks, it has not been near enough to keep the lake water from receding to a low level that is very noticeable.

These trees were under water when Bill and I arrived here on June 9th, 2015.

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The first night we arrived here, I sat on that bench at the end of this fishing dock and dangled my feet into the water.

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Now even the wild life seem confused about where the water is going… and what is happening to their home..

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With the water so low, God only knows what giant creature came along and made this home under the fishing dock…

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But still, even with the low water levels, this is still a beautiful place to call home…

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Being newly retired and enjoying the full-time RV life, home for me is truly where I make it. I have always loved decorating my home wherever my home may be…and my RV home is no different. All I need to make anywhere I live feel like home, is to have a few things I love placed around my home so I can see them as I walk from room to room. I especially love decorating with special treasures that people I love made and/or gave me.

Aside from treasured family photos, these are a few examples of some treasures I just couldn’t part with when we made the decision to sell our house, and almost everything we owned, so we could live the RV life…

I just had to keep my black shawl that hung over my kitchen window in our Chandler home. And I would never part with the Lazy Susan my friends Megs and Audrey gave me for my birthday that now holds my bible, or the special cross my brother Danny and his wife Bea bought for me when they visited Mexico.

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And this piece that my dear Frissy gave me because she said it reminded her of our friendship. It always makes me smile.

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 This little owl that Frissy gave me is now the perfect little tooth pick holder

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perfect for small spaces…

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I LOVE this angel Megs gave me as a thank-you for watching her precious twin granddaughters when their mother was not feeling well and Megs and Audrey both had to work…

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My Aunt Betty, my mother’s oldest sister, may she rest in peace, handmade this beautiful rug for my mother and now I have it to enjoy. Aunt Betty even hand dyed the yarn she used in the rug herself. I think it is just beautiful and tried many times to display it in our Chandler home but it wasn’t big enough to use as an area rug in that home, and Shantel tripped over it. But now that I’m living in a small space…

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it fits just perfectly in the dressing area of our RV…

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So with Bill/Bro by my side, when I set back and look around our home… I smile knowing home is truly what you make it… wherever that might be…

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Stay Tuned!

 

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Run Day, Fun Day…

The only bad thing we’ve found about our temporary living arrangements as camp hosts in Utah is the sky-high price of buying beer and/or wine. You can buy 3.2 beer in any local grocery store or Wal-Mart. However, if you want wine, you have to go to a State Liquor Store to purchase it at a sticker shock price of approx. 3X’s the price we paid in Arizona. What to do…?

Well, our home base here in Utah is only 40 miles one way from Mesquite Nevada which is just across the Nevada border where you can buy all the real beer and wine you want at real discounted prices… So, when we need to stock up on beer/wine, we make a day of it and head for Mesquite Nevada… Today was our beer/wine, run/fun day…

Nevada has lots more to offer besides cheep beer/wine… It has Casino’s on almost every corner… So we Googled what was the BEST Casino buffet in Mesquite Nevada and hit upon the Virgin River Casino. So naturally we planned our day so we would arrive at the Virgin River Casino just in time to have a wonderful buffet lunch. The buffet is all you can eat for $8.99 for the lunch menu. We were not allowed to take pictures within the Casino but trust me the buffet was to die for… I had two pork ribs with a side of b-b-q- sauce, a sampling of pasta primavera that was delicious, and a “real” baked potato (you know the kind they rub oil and course salt on the skin and bake it in a real oven as opposed to a microwave), and it comes out so wonderful you don’t need to cover it all up with other stuff… just a little butter and pepper and YUMMERS!!! They also had the biggest salad, soup, pizza, and desert bars I have ever seen. I was just happy (and full) with my ribs, pasta, and baked potato.. Bill had some honey wings, two pork ribs, the pasta primavera, and a slice of carrot cake.

After lunch we went out into the Casino to try our hand at gambling. We don’t gamble as a rule, but we decided since we were there we would take $50.00 between us and when it was gone, we would be gone. I lost my money on the 25 cent slot machine in all of about 15 minutes. Bill on the other hand enjoyed playing a poker machine for a couple of hours with his half of the money. He would win a little then go back down… and that went on and on for a couple of hours. I wandered into the gift shop that was empty except for the woman working there, so I spent about 45 minutes chatting it up with her. Then I went to see if Bill was ready to leave and he was. So we went a few miles down the road to Lee’s Discount Liquor store where we hit the jackpot of a different kind.

My wine of choice is Yellow Tail Chardonnay. I have tried all kinds of other chardonnay’s but always come back to Yellow Tail. Lee’s usually charges $14.00 for the 1.5L bottle of Yellow Tail, but today they had the 750ml bottles on sale for $4.00. Basically, that means we only paid $8.00 for the equivalent of one of the larger bottles. Now that is a deal we could not resist… So, of course we bought (3) 12 bottle cases. No judging…. 🙂 This is a trip we only make every couple of months… and due to construction within the Virgin River Gorge, which is the only convenient way in and out of Mesquite Nevada from our side of the border.., we had to endure treacherous mountain roads to get there and back.

Like this

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When Karen and Jim Parmenter were here to visit us in Utah, Karen and I talked about how scary it was to go through mountain roads like Ouray Colorado which Bill and I, and Karen and Jim, all went through at different times in our travels in Colorado… Don’t look down Karen… 🙂

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Wow, I was so happy to finally see the familiar white Mormon Temple in St. George, which means we are minutes from our camp site in Quail Creek!

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So what did Bill/Bro get out of this day other than a fabulous day with me, wonderful lunch, and playing poker at the casino.. you might ask…? Well, he got a Corona Extra beer and a lime… What more could he ask for..?

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Just kidding… he already had a case of beer here but he picked up another case because it will be awhile before we make this trip again…

HAPPY HOUR ANYONE?

Come join us anytime… :):)

Stayed Tuned!

Love Rainy Day’s

It’s raining again today here at Quail Creek State Park. Not a downpour like a few nights ago, today’s rain is a soft, gentle, give the ground a nice soaking kind of rain. The kind that, if you are like me, you love to hear falling on your roof (especially nice when your home is a motorhome like ours) or hitting against the window pane as you sit inside in the comfort of your home and watch it come down…

Like this..

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Today is also the “Big Bucks” B-B-Q that our Park Complex Manager is hosting for all her employees, and their families, to thank them for helping the various state park lakes and reservoirs she manages make a profit of a million dollars this past budget year… This company event is a little different from the company sponsored events I attended in my years working in Corporate America… By that I mean, this B-B-Q is being held at one of the covered Ramada’s here at Quail Lake and being hosted by our manager, Laura. Laura, said she would supply hamburger’s and potato salad, and asked that all employees bring a side dish, soda’s, or deserts. The company I worked for would never ask employees to bring anything to an event being held to thank employees for their contributions to the company’s success… but, to each their own… I don’t want to judge, I just wanted to go and enjoy the event.

The B-B-Q had a planning committee that was made up of some of the “longer time employee’s” which is mainly fresh out of High School kids… The flyer that was sent out said the event was to start at 8:00 a.m. and go until 6:00 p.m. with lunch being served between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The activities for the event included volleyball, paddle boards, kayaks, and jet ski’s. In spite of the rain, the event was to go on…

Bill and I went down to the Ramada at 9:30 this morning to drop off the case of soda and giant bag of popcorn and potato chips we bought for the B-B-Q and saw Laura helping one of the committee members trying to set the B-B-Q grill closer to the covered Ramada. No one else was there and nothing that pertained to any of the activities was even in sight… Laura told us the event was going on as scheduled in spite of the rain. We said OK, dropped off the soda, chips and popcorn, and said we would be back around lunchtime…

Since we had a couple of hours to pass until lunchtime, Bill and I decided to take a little drive and get some pictures of low hanging clouds around the lake area.

The clouds in this picture are on top of the mountain in the front and hanging way low on the mountain in the background. So beautiful.

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After a lovely drive around the lake area, Bill and I went back to the B-B-Q area for lunch. By now it was 12:15 and we were getting hungry and we knew lunch was being served between 11-3 right? Wrong.

When we arrived at the Ramada, there was uncooked food sitting out on the picnic tables but all the committee kids were down on the beach trying to set up the volleyball net in the rain… The grill had not even be heated and there was not a person of management to be found which was another thing I found very different from my time in Corporate. Whenever my company had a thank-you event for our employees, management was there from start to finish greeting employees as they arrived and thanking them for all their hard work at some point during the event…. Oh well, I sure found out we are not in Kansas anymore…., and haven’t been for some time now…

So, what to do…? Bill and I looked around and decided we didn’t need to deal with all this anymore and we really didn’t want hamburger’s anyway… So, we went home and made homemade chili! What is more fitting and perfect for a rainy day right?

We browned some ground turkey, chopped up fresh tomatoes, onions, and garlic, and added black and pinto beans.

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Mixed up our own secret chili spice blend. Sorry I can’t share that or we would have to kill you….

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Gave it some love and special attention to get it to come up to a gentle boil then back down to a gentle simmer…

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And when it was looking and tasting just right…. we put the cover on it and while it simmered away in the Dutch oven…

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We danced…  I just LOVE rainy day’s!!! 🙂 🙂

Stay Tuned!!!

Making Bad Day’s Good

As you know if you follow my blog, my husband Bill and I are retired, full-time RVers, and are currently camp hosts at Quail Creek State Park in beautiful Utah. We love this place and love that we have the opportunity to work 30 hours combined between Bill and I in exchange for our space fee and full electric, sewer and water hook-ups for our RV…

While our “official” title is camp host, I was wrangled/talked into working my two work day shifts in the booth taking money for day passes which is what you give people when they want to just come in and spend the day at the lake in their boat and/or picnic, swim, fish, etc. at the lake… I also assign camp sites to people that want to spend the night at the lake in a motorhome or tent etc… Not too bad, sounds like a fun little job right?

After my initial training period which in reality was watching someone do the job for one shift then being told by the Park Complex Manager that she “has every confidence in my abilities” so she wanted to put me on a shift by myself if I was willing to give it a try… Well, of course everything looks real easy when you are watching someone else do it and/or they are standing right there to help you if you get stuck, like not knowing which of the two separate computer systems you are supposed to be working in depending on if you are doing day passes or overnight passes… So, I agreed…

All was going REAL good for the first few shifts I worked alone, and I was really thinking this is a piece of cake…. Then… it happened…. I was working the booth alone one evening and don’t you know everyone and their sister wanted to come camping that night. When you assign a campsite out, you have to put in the person’s name, address, zip, phone number, method of payment, print a receipt, write-up and window pass with camp site number on it and the date they are to check-out of the camp site and give them a map and explain the rules of the campground to them…. all this for every campsite rented out… 🙂

In addition to assigning out every one of our 24 campsites that evening, I also had to contend with a bass fishing competition that showed up unannounced! Why is that such a BIG deal, you might ask…? Well, for every boat that comes to the lake, the person working the booth must get the boat identification number, ask the boat owner what was the last body of water the boat was on (if it was on a body of water that is contaminated with quagga or zebra mussels they have to be inspected and if any water is found in the boat they are sent six miles down the road to be decontaminated and given a seal that I must cut off when they come back before letting them launch their boat on our lake…) then, we must find out how many people are in the car/truck, and get their zip code. All this information has to be logged on paper while standing outside by the boat then logged into the computer when you get time to catch your breath… Now again, this was a bass fishing competition and everyone in the state of Utah showed up that night… at least it felt that way to me… I was so swamped I called Bill and asked him to come down and just help me get the boat information while I was taking their money and printing their receipts because, yes, they all have to have day passes to participate in the bass fishing competition…

By the end of the shift, both Bill and I were exhausted and happy to go home and have happy hour…. did I mention we are trying to be retired…? I never worked so fast in all my life!

But that was then. Now fast forward to the next evening when I worked the booth alone again for my second shift. When I arrived at the booth, I was very excited to find that every campsite had already been rented out for the night so I just knew it was going to be a nice slow evening…. piece of cake, gravy job… you know that feeling when you just know all is right in your world…?

Well, picture my face and imagine my shock and horror when about an hour into my shift a truck pulls up with two men in it and they tell me that they are from the Search and Rescue Department and they are going to have A LOT of search and rescue people coming with their families for a B-B-Q to thank them for their service then they are going to give new members lessons on search and rescue in our lake… What did that mean for me..? Well, I had to make up a card (hand written) for each car/truck that arrived with the Search and Rescue team showing who they are and the date. I also had to get the license plate number and name of every person that participated in the event, all while taking money and printing receipts for all the other general public admissions that wanted to just go play on the lake… Again I called Bill and begged him to come and help me… Lucky for me he loves me and said “sure I will be more than happy to come and help..” I LOVE that man..  And again, by the end of the evening both Bill and I were exhausted and more than happy to get back home and have another happy hour… after all… we are trying to be RETIRED and we are not supposed to be having any “bad” work day’s….. 🙂

But the next day, both Bill and I were off so we headed out to visit the historical section of St. George Utah. What a beautiful place. The historical section of St. George offers a walking tour where you can visit historical houses and buildings and beautiful gardens where we saw all kinds of unique and beautiful art sculptures and waterways..

This piece was done by Jerry Anderson and titled “America” it also had a price of $7,500.00 on it.

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Here is Bill standing in front of a vintage carousel.

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This piece by Jack Morford is titled “Book Peddlers” I think I’ve seen this before and I’m thinking it was in NYC!

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Here is “The Sand Man” dedicated to all the people that helped bag sand to try to hold back water when the Virgin River overflowed and was flooding the town.

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Then we came upon this really cool water way. Families come from all over to let their kids play in the water.

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These two fat toads sit looking out over the water ways..

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The waterway flows all through the park. Doesn’t this look refreshing to walk through on a warm day?

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When we finished our walking tour, we had lunch with the Beatles

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under this beautiful flag..

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We dined on some of the best fish and chips I’ve ever had… YUMMERS!!!

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And that my dear friends, is how we take “bad work day’s” and make them good!!!

Stay Tuned!

Way Cool Old Things

WARNING… this is a long post, but wanted to share lots of photos….

Bill and I planned a visit to the Washington City Historical Museum here in Utah today, but before we went there, I had to go and get what was left of the color cut out of my hair so I can be naturally grey now. Well, grey (salt) with a sprinkle of my natural dark brown (pepper) throughout… How do you like this “way cool old thing.. 🙂 ??

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Then, after lunch, we headed out to visit the museum. Oh my… lots and lots of “way cool old things” there… Take a look.

The grounds outside of the Washington City Historical Museum are surrounded by giant old trees like this one. So beautiful…

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And there is a playground for kids and lots of picnic tables making it a perfect place to enjoy an afternoon with family and friends…

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But for me, the real fun began when we stepped inside the museum, and saw all of this “way cool old stuff…”

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How cool is this? Butch Cassidy is on the left and his good friend is on the right.

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How about this for all my friends/family that play piano…

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This man passed away just a few weeks ago but donated his entire arrow-head collection to the museum.

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This is but a small part of his collection that lines the walls of the museum.

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This is the WWII dedication. All but two of them came home.

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This was used to make homemade root beer. We were told you could buy bottles and caps at the local market.

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This was used to separate the cream from the milk…

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This is a cheese wheel. Apparently, your mother would send you to the store and tell you how much cheese to buy and they would put the BIG cheese round on this and set the dial to how much you need..

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Can you imagine how long it would take to do your laundry in this..? No wonder women were so tiny, and worn out … just saying….

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This was on a lazy Susan of sorts and housed all different sizes of nails, screws, and other hardware…

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A way old, but way cool, telegraph key… look how far we have come….

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How about these old but cool irons…

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So the lady giving us the tour (shame on me I forgot her name) told us this is her favorite piece in the museum… it is a three in one piece. Pictured below it is an ironing board. The piece is still being made by the Amish community…

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It also converts into a step stool…. very nice….

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And, it also converts into a seat for a child… If you had a very young child ,we were told the child would be secured in by wrapping a large piece of material around the child and tying it behind the chair to secure the child in…. I can only imagine how many very young children wiggled loose and fell on the floor… Of course, like the saying goes… “what doesn’t kill you, will make you strong…

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Look at this early 4 slice toaster…. just put your bread on each side, put near an open fire and …. before you know it … toast!!! OMG! See how far we have come….

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And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better we saw this antique waffle maker…. lift the lid and you can make waffles… how way cool and old is that…?

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Then last but not least…. we saw this old camera so we thought anyone into photography would like to see this… have no idea how old it is but it was in the museum so I thought I would share it as well….

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Bill/Bro and I are so loving our new life adventure…. Everyday is new and exciting… and we just couldn’t ask for anything more… We are so appreciative and thankful for the blessings we have been given….

Stay Tuned!

All In A Day

This morning as Bill and I enjoyed our coffee we also enjoyed a beautiful sunrise over Quail Lake, and we talked about how beautiful Utah is and how blessed we feel to call Quail Lake our home until we go back to Arizona to spend the winter months.

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Even Carmen has settled into her comfort zone in her new surroundings.

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After breakfast Bill and I decided to take a drive back to the cute little farmers market we visited yesterday because we realized we were out of butter and they sell round rolls of butter there so we decided we would try some. Here are some pictures of Rowley’s Red Barn Fresh Fruit & Ice Cream.

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It’s an adorable placed filled with everything from fresh fruits/veggies, to these two famous dolls.

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They have a big cold room where they have all sorts of cheeses and other goodies, i.e. smoked cheese, curds, summer sausages, apples, fresh sweet corn etc.

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They sell very kind of hard candy as well as a large assortment of kettle corn.

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And if all that isn’t enough for you, they also sell all flavors of ice cream with every kind of topping you can imagine. And, they make their own waffle bowls and cones so the whole place smells sooooooo good when you walk in the front door.

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I also noticed a great antique place right on the same grounds so of course I had to stop in and take a look around…

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Wow!! Take a look at all this!

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And this… Lots of good-looking here… 🙂

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As I was talking to the man who owned the Antique store, he told me that he also owns all the buildings on the grounds, like the Red Barn Farmer’s Market, and this adorable dance hall.

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This is a picture of the sign on the outside wall of the dance hall.. How cute is this?

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There is even an intimate little theatre house right on the same grounds. Brigham’s Playhouse will be showing Anne of Green Gables until July 11th, and Fiddler on the Roof from Aug 5-Sept 12. Bill and I decided we will have to check out this place for sure!

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We are having so much fun exploring our new surroundings. We look forward to each new day and all it holds in store for us. But for now… I have to get ready to work one of my shifts that allows us to earn our keep here…. Bill already worked his two shifts this week… but I’m working 3:30 – 9:30 tonight, then I’m off again to play the day’s away Bill..

Hope all of you enjoy a fabulous Forth of July with your family/friends.

Stay Tuned!

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