It’s Not Always Pretty

When you don’t live in the city…

WARNING!!! This post contains graphic pictures that some sensitive people might find offensive!!!

My husband Bill and I have been living as full-time RVers for almost four months now. For the most part, we are having the time of our lives. This being our first time in the beautiful state of Utah, we have seen some of the most amazing scenery as we’ve made our way around this beautiful state.

However, not everything about full-time RV life is always pretty. Sometimes things get downright ugly… Let me explain;

Bill and I are committed to doing everything we can to preserve the wildlife we come across as camp hosts living in our motorhome in a campsite surrounded by the beauty of nature… But, with that said, I have to tell you that sometimes you just have to do whatever it takes to protect yourself and/or your home…

Our motorhome is 39 feet long and has at least ten bay or storage areas that run the length of the motorhome, five areas on each side.


Some of these bay/storage areas house electrical wiring that supply electricity to our coach. Some are for extra food storage, cleaning supplies, electric, water, sewer hook-ups etc.


They are also areas where critters, like field mice, chipmunks, etc. will take up full-time RV living with you if allowed to get into your home. Once in, they can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your RV. When you lay down 2, 3, 4 or more hundred thousand dollars for these motorhomes, the last thing you want is for the critters to get in and wreak havoc on your investment. They can and will chew through you electrical wiring and/or fuel lines, they can and will pull out large sections of carpet fibers to make nests, and they can and will poop and piss all over your RV leaving the most horrendous smell throughout the coach if they are not caught and stopped.

When our new friends, Helen and Chuck, who are the winter camp hosts here at Quail Creek State Park, and who have been full-time RVers for the past fifteen years, told us about all the damage these critters can do to a motorhome, Bill and I were in shock. We researched ways to detour the critters from getting inside our motorhome and took every measure we could to keep them out. Bill mixed up a chili/oil spray and sprayed all around the outside of our coach. We bought bags of “fresh cab” botanical rodent repellent and put that in the bay/storage areas under our coach as well as under the kitchen and bathroom sink. Bill also spread red chili pepper seeds all around the outside of our coach all in an effort to keep the critters from getting inside our motorhome… I read that they don’t like peppermint oil so I soaked cotton balls in peppermint oil, placed them in a bed of tin foil and placed it under the bathroom and kitchen sinks. We also read that they don’t like the smell of Irish Spring soap so we put bars of that in the bay/storage areas under our motorhome as well… However, nothing we did to detour the critters worked.

This week while I was cleaning, I noticed that the peppermint soaked cotton balls I had under the bathroom sink were gone. I asked Bill if he moved them and he said no. I knew our cat Carmen couldn’t get in there because the doors under the sink are always closed, so I knew it had to be that we have critters in our motorhome and they got the cotton balls most likely to make a nest so they can have BABIES!!! Babies that will grow up and chew through wires etc. just like their parents do… Oh, NO… not in our motorhome!

This was a game changer. We knew we could no longer waste time trying to keep the critters out because they had already gained entry. Now we had to take swift and drastic action to get rid of them. So Bill went out and bought ten mouse traps and baited them with peanut butter. He placed six of them in the bay/storage areas under the coach and one under the kitchen sink and one under the bathroom sink.

By the time he got all the traps baited and placed, he went back to check the first one and found that a critter had eaten all of the peanut butter off the trap without ever setting the trap off. He went around the motorhome checking each of the traps and sure enough all the peanut butter was gone. Licked almost clean and the traps were still set…


So time for plan (B)… Cheese! I gave Bill a bag of cheese curds and he set each trap with the cheese saying “I hope those little bastards are still hungry now that they already ate all the peanut butter I fed them”.


The next morning when we got up Bill checked the traps,

Again, WARNING!!! The following pictures are graphic and might be offensive to some sensitive people!!!


Bingo! We caught a chipmunk,


And three mice all in one night…



All of them had been inside the bay/storage areas of our motorhome, and all of them had the potential to cause a lot of damage…

We do have a cat, Carmen, but she is an indoor only cat and can’t get to the areas where the critters were… and, as you can clearly see, she just can’t be bothered…


Traps are reset and will be checked again tomorrow. Bill also filled every hole he could find with steel wool because we were told the critters won’t chew through that, but that remains to be seen…

I’m sorry if this post is offensive to sensitive people… but this is sometimes the reality when you are full-time RV living. “It’s not always pretty…”

Stay tuned!

Finding Treasures

I don’t know how many times when I was decorating our home, in my then favorite western décor, that I went looking for something specific and couldn’t find it anywhere. I would always say “if I wasn’t looking for this…. I would find it everywhere… like they would be falling off the shelf on my feet if I wasn’t looking for it…” Well today proved my point yet again.

Bill and I set out to check out a used bookstore today that our new friends Helen and Chuck told us about, and it just so happened there were two antique shops right in the same parking lot as the bookstore. Well of course we had to stop in and check them out too. And don’t you know we found many of the treasures I had been looking for when I was decorating my homes back in Arizona…

When I was decorating our first home in Ahwatukee, in my western theme, I wanted an old rustic looking (but still in good shape) saddle to put on a colorful Indian blanket that hung over a metal railing in our living room. I either couldn’t find one at all, or when I did find one it was beyond rustic, more like rotting, and way overpriced… Look what I found today.



All of these were in real good condition and reasonably priced.

Then I looked high and low for some used colorful western boots to place around our house just because I think they look way cool and I love splashes of color throughout our home.. I couldn’t find the type of boots I wanted (like these) to save my life… until today… Again reasonably priced…


When we moved to our Chandler home, and I had enough kitchen counter space for three houses…, I wanted an old scale with the metal bowl so I could use it as a fruit bowl sitting on my counter… Again, there were none to be found in any of the places I shopped… until today… I would have paid twice what they were asking for this one when I wanted it back in Arizona!


I remember a dear friend and me spending hours looking through antique markets just for fun… But she also had a desire to find an old-looking doll, with haunting eyes, that she wanted for a project she was working on… We looked high and low and never found the doll she was looking for… We saw lots of dolls, but none that she thought would work. Either the doll didn’t have that old look, or the eyes were not what she wanted…. I saw this doll today and I thought of her. I don’t know if this is exactly what she wanted but it was better than anything we saw when we were looking at the time… Don’t know if the eyes are right, but it has a porcelain head and arms, with soft body, and looks to me like it might work….. But again… where was this when we were looking… 🙂


However, now that we are living large, in a small space, I no longer desire all the stuff I thought I just had to have before. And, I have no place to put it now if I did. Now, if I need something, the first thing I think of is how can I make what I need serve at least two purposes? And I have so much fun looking for things that are small, lightweight, and will serve more than one purpose…

Back to the bookstore. I love to read real books. To me, there is just something about holding a book in my hands and reading the printed words on paper. I love turning the pages, and marking my place with a pretty little bookmark, as opposed to reading words off of a screen. I love the look and smell of books, especially old, used books. I also think they add the perfect touch of color and charm to any décor. I found the perfect multi-purpose use for the four small, used , books I purchased today at The Book Arbor. A charming used bookstore in Hurricane UT.



These books serve my new lifestyle well don’t you think?


First, They are used books, but new to me, so they fit well into our budget. Second, they will give me plenty of enjoyable reading time for a while. Third, they are small and lightweight so they will travel well, and forth, they add an additional splash of color in our home. When I finish reading them, I will give them away, and buy more used books to replace them. What more could I ask for from some used books?

Tonight we have been invited over to Helen and Chuck’s for dinner, and another game of Hand and Foot. Helen said she is making pork chops with mushroom gravy, potatoes and salad.. YUMMERS!! I told her I would be happy to pick up a desert. Everyone that knows me knows I don’t bake so Helen and Chuck might as well know it too….But I’m always happy to buy any kind of baked goods you want… Since I don’t eat sweets that are made with refined sugar… I let Bill choose the desert for tonight.

We heard about a new bakery in downtown Hurricane that has great reviews so we thought we would give them a try. Everything is fresh-baked that day. When Bill and I saw the GIANT cinnamon rolls we decided that would be the perfect sweet treat to take to Helen and Chuck’s. I mean this thing is as big as a frying pan… More than enough for three or more people to share… The person behind the counter said just before serving pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds and it will be just like it came fresh out of the oven… Looks like a good thing to me…


Looking forward to another fun-filled evening with our new friends Helen and Chuck.

Stay Tuned!

Hand And Foot

In a previous post titled Sister Act, I wrote about the winter camp hosts here at Quail Creek, Helen and Chuck, arriving early, and that the Park Complex Manager, Laura, gave them tickets to see Sister Act along with us so we could get to know each other better outside of work.

In the course of that evening, Helen asked us if we play cards. We told her we play some cards, but not anything like bridge…… Helen said she and Chuck know a game that is really fun, and said we should get together again sometime soon and they would teach us.

That was music to my ears because; I love to have people over for dinner etc. However, I was a little hesitant, at first, to make the dinner offer because I didn’t know if they enjoy having a drink or two before or with dinner….which is what we do…

Utah is mostly a Mormon state, and since we arrived here in June, we haven’t met anyone that up and admits that they enjoy a nice happy hour… Too bad for them, because we have been known to host FABULOUS happy hours…. And, we are who we are… and like I said many times, we do enjoy our happy hours and I’m not about to change that anytime soon… So what to do…?

The next time I saw Helen, I mentioned how much Bill and I enjoyed going to see Sister Act with her and Chuck. Helen said they enjoyed spending that time with us too, and said she didn’t know about me, but she never saw any nuns like the ones in Sister Act. She told me that her father studied to be a priest, and was about to take his final vows, when WWII broke out and he joined the service instead.

I shared with her that both Bill and I are practicing cradle Catholics. I went on to say that “I couldn’t be anything else, because Catholics are allowed to drink, and I enjoy my wine happy hour in the afternoon.” She laughed and said she enjoys her wine too, but not the kind the church uses…

Well, that broke the ice on that subject, and I immediately extended the invite to dinner, and asked if after dinner perhaps they could teach Bill and me the Hand and Foot card game.

I asked Helen if she and Chuck like cabbage rolls. She said yes, so we made a dinner/cards date for Saturday evening…

I made cabbage rolls with wild & long grain rice.


I served it with crusty bread and the best sweet cream butter Bill and I ever had that we get from our local farmers market…

Helen made what she called “dream bars.” She said she learned to make this from a very old recipe that her great-grandmother passed down to her.


When Helen asked if she could bring a desert, I said yes, but that I can’t have white refined sugar, but that Bill can, so I told her to just bring whatever she and Chuck like. She asked if I could have “real” brown sugar, sugar that is not white colored brown, and I said yes. Then she said she has a recipe for “dream bars”, made with “real brown sugar” that is one of Chuck’s favorites…

When you don’t eat sweets that often, and you get something like Helen’s “dream bars”, all I can say is “dream bars” is the right name for that desert, because both Bill and I agreed that desert was dream worthy…

Helen and Chuck loved happy hour and dinner, we loved the desert, and then we moved on to learning how to play Hand and Foot…

What a fun game. We played it with just the four of us, and used six decks of cards, but Helen and Chuck told us it can be played with six people and asked us if we would like to play the game with our Park Complex Manager, Laura, and her friend FeBe (spelling) Helen and Chuck, and Bill and I sometime…? Of course we said yes, but said we need to practice because it can be a fast paced game… And since we are new to the game, we didn’t want to feel like we would be slowing the other’s down….

Helen and Chuck said Bill and I could practice together, and that all we need to do is use three decks of cards instead of six… Don’t you know we are already all over that…? We won’t be the cause of the game being slowed down… I since found out our friends, Karen and Jim Parmenter play hand and foot as well and Karen said after Bill and I get some practice in…. “game on.” I accepted the invite and said we will be ready for them when they come back to Utah or when we get back to Arizona for the winter… We practiced four games again today Karen… 🙂

Helen and Chuck have been married 44 years, raised four children, and have been full-time RVer’s for over fifteen years. They have traveled the United States from end to end, and are a fountain of information, and gained knowledge, for Bill and I in regards to full-time RV life…. And, they are both so very willing to share that knowledge. They are a little camera-shy, and I respect that, so no picture of them now. I will work on that… 🙂

The things Bill and I are doing… the people we are meeting, and the renewed connection Bill and I are experiencing now that we have time for us to be just us again… This is what I dreamed our retirement years would be like, and I give thanks to my God, each and EVERY day, for this opportunity that has been given to us.

Stay Tuned!

Vet’s Appreciation Day

Saturday August 15th, was Vet’s Appreciation Day here at Quail Creek. The $10 per car day pass fee was waived for anyone that served our country at any time, and for their families. In addition to getting into the lake free all day, family activities were provided for them. Even the guy that rents out paddle boards and kayaks gave free one hour passes to use his equipment to the vets and their families.

The entrance to the lake was decorated with red, white, and blue flags that the winter camp host, Helen, made for the occasion.


Helen and her husband Chuck had their flag waving at their camp site


 And Bill and I had our flag out as well



Everything was set to show our Vet’s and their families a fun-filled day at Quail Creek. But before the festivities began that afternoon, Bill and I took another drive to Tuacahn (where we saw Sister Act last Monday) to check out the Saturday Family Market Festival.


 The entire parking lot was filled with artists from all over displaying and selling their goods. So many beautiful things to look at, but now that we are living small in our motorhome, I’m just as happy to look, and keep my commitment to not buy, anything we don’t need.




 However, it just so happened that I needed, and have been looking for, something small that I can put on the little ledge on our table, for our outgoing mail, so I don’t forget to mail it. And for our expense receipts so I don’t forget to enter them into our monthly budget…. For those of you that knew me when I worked in Corporate…, and knew how I HATED budget…., Well, yes, we do have a real budget, that I created in an Excel Spreadsheet, and that yours truly maintains… go figure right… ?? 🙂

Until now, our outgoing mail and receipts looked like this, and could easily get lost in the shuffle of clearing the table for meals…. I know, it’s not a BIG mess, but keep in mind when you are living small…., things tend to grow on their own if they are not contained…. 🙂


Anyway…, this tiny little adorable wire purse that I found in the Tuacahn gift gallery was just perfect for what I need don’t you think? Everything contained in one little purse… 🙂


And BONUS, it was marked $4.99 but I had a 40% off coupon so SCORE!!! I love it when that happens… Don’t you?

As we were getting ready to leave I thought I would get my picture taken in this picture board from Sister Act that was still there… How do you think I look as a nun?? I wanted to be a nun as a child…. Probably a good thing that didn’t happen…  I think I could have shaken things up there a bit don’t you? 🙂


After Bill took my picture as a nun, I was just about to put my camera away, when I noticed this dragon-fly hovering just above this tree, and I got this picture… Wow, it isn’t easy to get a picture of something so small in motion… but I thought it was neat so I’m sharing it with you.


Finally we left the Family Market Art Show and headed home to check out the Vet’s Appreciation festivities going on at the lake. As we went around the park/campgrounds everyone that attended seemed to be having a great time, and we were proud to have been part of Quail Creek, and honoring our Vet’s and their families.

Up Next: Learning To Play Hand And Foot..

Stay Tuned!


Second Chances

It’s been almost three months now since Bill and I retired, sold almost everything we owned, bought a motorhome, and set out on the adventure of our lives as full-time RVers… We are absolutely loving ever single minute of this journey we are on, and have not regretted one single decision we made that brought us to this new way of living…

I have been asked many times by family and friends what made us decide to sell our home and almost everything we owned, buy a 39ft motorhome, and live on the road… Well, that’s a story yet to be told… However, what I will share with you now is some things we have learned since we started this adventure… things like repurposing and/or “giving second chances” to things that would otherwise be discarded…

Things like discarded swimming noodles found on the lake beach…, how could they ever be repurposed into a useful item for our RV life? Take a look…


We have three slide outs on our motorhome and eight storage areas under our motorhome… Well when our slide outs are extended, which they are when we are parked and living in our motorhome like we are now… if you go to get anything out of the storage areas under the slide outs… if you are not VERY careful when you go to stand up you will hit your head on these slide outs and it is NOT a pleasant experience at all… enough said…. so what to do…? Oh, my Bill, in all his wisdom… happened to notice that another motorhome parked in the campgrounds had pool noodles cut down the middle and placed on the ridge of the slide out where some people hit their heads… so when he found some discarded pool noodles on the lake beach, he brought them home and just like magic…no more sore heads.. I tell Bill all the time that I hooked my wagon to his star because he is so bright, and I’m hoping his star will make me a little brighter too… 🙂

Another little thing I learned how to give a “second chance” to is an empty Kleenex box… Why you might ask? Well when you live in a small space you want things to be contained within small spaces, and we reuse our plastic grocery bags to deposit trash we pick up on our daily walks around the lake. When we first started out I just had a big bunch of plastic grocery bags stuffed into one bag and that big bag took up a lot of space in my linen closet… but I watched an episode of this old house and learned that you can take an empty Kleenex box and stuff a LOT of plastic bags into it and they pop out just like Kleenex do… Just look and see how compact my soon to be repurposed grocery bags are now… who knew?


Now the next few pictures are an update to how the water here at Quail Lake continues to recede just since we arrived here on June 9th, 2015.  It just amazes me that even though we have had some really major rain storms, some that were constant, soaking rains… the lake continues to recede… When we arrived, all of this was under water. The maintenance crew continues to push the fishing dock out further and further as the water continues to recede. You see all the brown dirt on the cement… that is dried dirt that was under water as well as the plants that are along the side of the cement…


all of this was under water when we arrived her in June.


They have pushed the fishing dock out so far that it is almost reaching the marker that lets boaters know to stay clear of shallow water…


The tent you see just beyond the trees (that are now getting a “second chance” at seeing the sunlight…) is a prime camp spot because when the lake is at its normal level… that campsite is just a few feet away from the water…


I took a picture of the tree bent over in the water, in relationship to the fishing dock as it sits today, as a reference point for my future post that will show how much lower the lake will go before we leave in October.


This next picture is a little fuzzy, but it is a tarantula… We got a call from the girl working the gate booth last night letting us know that someone reported a tarantula in the girls bathroom just beyond our campsite… Bill went down and captured it in a trash can, brought it to me for a picture… but I wasn’t going to spend too much time trying to get just the right pose seeing how it was crawling towards me… so this is the best I could do… Bill took it outside the campsite and let it go…”second chance” so many others might have killed it…. However, we are not here to destroy the wild life, or critters, unless it comes down to us or them…But it was a learning experience for a family that happened to be walking by as I was trying to capture the picture… they had three little boys that were just over the moon excited to see this “giant” spider…


Everyday brings something new and exciting for Bill and I so…

Stay Tuned!


Sister Act

In my last post I shared that Laura, the manager of the State Park Lakes Complex here in Hurricane Utah, gave Bill and I tickets to go see Sister Act, with Chuck and Helen, who are the winter camp hosts here at Quail Lake. Chuck and Helen don’t usually arrive for their winter duties until October, but this year they came back early because they are heading up some special projects that need to be completed before October… So, Laura wanted Bill and I to have an opportunity to get to know Chuck and Helen a little better outside of the work environment, and going to see Sister Act together at the AMAZING Tuacahn Amphitheatre in Ivins Utah, which is about 20 miles from Quail Lake, really fit the bill.

Even the entrance into the Tuacahn parking lot is beautiful, surrounded by beautiful red mountains, and lush green trees…


From the parking lot you enter a beautiful lighted walkway with waterways running through the center of the walkway all set against the backdrop of a souring red mountain. So beautiful and inviting….


As you make your way into the actual amphitheater entrance you are greeted by more rushing waterways, all kinds of artistic sculptures, an art gallery, gift gallery, and of course, a concession area.


Then you enter the Tuacahn Amphitheater itself and it is just FABULOUS!!!


As we waited for the show to begin, we enjoyed people watching as they filed into the 1,920 seat amphitheatre that was dedicated on April 8th, 1995. Tuacahn Amphitheatre annually presents live music concerts, large-scale musical theatre productions, and a Christmas festival.

The theatre’s formative years featured productions of the outdoor musical drama, Utah! Since the debut of Broadway in the Desert in 1999, Tuacahn’s musical productions include an extensive list of presented shows. The Little Mermaid, Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Starlight Express, Hairspray, Grease, Footloose and Les Miserables just to mention but a few…

But we came to see Sister Act, and WOW, did they ever deliver it up in style!!! All of the actors were just wonderful, but, Brit West played the lead role and has one of the most beautiful and powerful voices I’ve ever heard. That girl can sing!!

It was truly a beautiful star-studded evening, in an AMAZING setting, and we so enjoyed Sister Act!!! And then, as if all that were not enough… on the back of our tickets was a coupon for a “buy one entrée get one 1/2 off” at Players Sports Grill! Life is sweet for us here in Utah!!! 🙂 🙂

The next day when I saw Laura and was thanking her again for the tickets and shared with her how much we enjoyed our evening… she told me that the Tuacahn Amphitheatre’s stage is designed to hold thousands of gallons of water and that when they present productions like Utah, where the early pioneers that came to settle Utah were flooded out, the stage can produce outstanding rain storms with lightning, thunder, and the entire stage is covered with rushing flood waters. She said that play has actors up in the mountain that is the backdrop to the stage and it really looks like an actual major flood… OMG, can you just imagine that? I would LOVE to see that… I will let you know if that happens before we leave in October..

Stay Tuned!


Good Things Happen

When You Do The Right Thing…

I work two shifts a week at the gate booth at Quail Creek State Park, Tuesday and Wednesday from 7:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

I like it when it is busy, but not swamped!! Swamped being when there is a fishing tournament and every boater in the state of Utah shows up unannounced, and unbeknown to the person working the gate booth i.e. me…, and you have to get the bow numbers off each boat as well and find out what body of water the boat was last on while praying it was not on a body of water that is contaminated with quagga or zebra mussels like Lake Mead, Lake Powell, Deer Lake, etc. Because if it was, you have to ask them to pull forward, pull the plug on their boat, and let you inspect the boat for any water…If you find water you have to fill out a form and send them six miles down the road to be decontaminated (de-con) which is never what they want to do, and never a pleasant interaction between you and the boater… However, too bad, because I have come to learn that ALL boaters, unless you just bought your first boat and this is your first time on ANY Utah water… you know the rules… I’m only here to enforce the rules because Quail Lake is quagga and zebra mussel free and we want to keep it that way…. so even when the gate booth gets swamped, I’m still going to “do the right thing” and inspect every boat that tells me they were on contaminated water…

That said, last Wednesday, I had the entire Dixie Technical College show up, unannounced, and unbeknown to me, for a “going back to class ” annual thing. That was another “swamped day”, with boats coming from every direction all day long. Then to make matters worse, seven of those boats had been on contaminated waters, within the last seven days. So, that meant I had to inspect them, and sure enough I found water, and had to piss them off by sending them six miles down the road to the de-con facility… Sometimes “doing the right thing” isn’t the thing that makes you popular…

OK, as if that were not enough to make for a bad day…, I had an elderly man walk up to the gate booth, with his oxygen tank in tow, and ask to buy a senior annual pass. Senior passes (for those 62 and older) are $35. A regular annual pass is $75. Without boring you with all the detail of logging in ANY annual pass, lets just say it takes longer than any other function we do other than assigning a campsite for campers.

As I was trying to get the elderly man his Sr. pass, a line of Dixie Technical College boaters was starting to form at the booth. If you let the line get to you, you can get flustered, and make mistakes, like giving out the wrong change, charging the wrong price for a day pass, annual pass, etc. So I make it my practice to stay calm and just work one customer at a time. After all this is not a life and death situation…. it’s just boaters wanting to get on the lake and fish etc. Hey, the fish will wait for your bait…

I finally got the elderly man’s transaction completed and got the line of boaters that had formed what they needed and sent them happily on their way to launch their boats on the lake. Then, I took a minute to re-group and get ready for round two… That is when I realized, I accidentally gave the elderly man the wrong annual pass. I charged him the correct $35.00 for a Sr. annual pass but gave him a regular $75.00 annual pass. I tried calling his phone number which is part of the information we collect when selling a Sr. pass, but he didn’t answer. Now, I have a situation. I am short one $75.00 regular pass that will show up at the end of my shift as my money drawer being $40.00 short, and we would be short on a $75.00 annual pass that would not be accounted for…. Then to add insult to injury, I realized that the elderly man paid with a check which I forgot to write his driver license information on and that is never a good thing in the event that check should bounce… Tried calling the man again to get him to come back and exchange the regular pass for the senior pass and to get the information I needed for the check he gave me, but again no answer…after the man got his pass he left the park and never came back that day…

It so happened that my supervisor, Karen was out of the office due to a death in her family, and the park manager, Laura, was not available by phone. I was going to be off for the next five days and wanted to make sure that Laura had a good understanding of what happened, how it happened, what I did to try to correct the error etc. because I always believe it is better to tell your supervisor/manager you made a mistake yourself than to wait for them to come and tell you they found out you made a mistake. Most of the people that work the gate booth here at Quail Creek are young kids fresh out of high school and they don’t seem to get that at all…

I finally finished my shift, and was running my financial report that shows how much money I brought in that shift and that is the amount you are to deposit into the safe before you leave… when I realize, my drawer is $10.00 short and I have no idea why… I counted and recounted the money but every time it came up $10.00 short. So I made a note of that in my financial report comment section, printed it out, signed and dated it, wrapped it around the money and deposited it in the safe.

Now, what to do about letting the park complex manager, Laura know about the error I made with the annual passes… I went home and immediately put together an email outlining the details of “who, what, when, where, why, and how it all happened… I also included that my drawer was $10.00 short that day…. I copied my supervisor, Karen on it so Laura would not have to try to convey the details to Karen when she returned to the office, I apologized for my errors and asked them to let me know what more they might need me to do.

The next day, the Parks Complex Manager, Laura, came to our home, knocked on the door and gave us tickets to go see Sister Act!  Well, blow me over…., I just couldn’t believe my eyes… I screwed up three things on my shift and she gives me a gift… ! 🙂


This is showing at the amazing Tuacahn Amphitheatre not far from Quail Creek. The photo below is from their website. Laura even gave the other winter camp hosts tickets because she said she wanted us to have someone our age to go with and that it would give us an opportunity to get to know each other better. How nice and thoughtful that was.


When I talked to Laura about the mistakes I made, she said that didn’t matter, we all make mistakes…. She said she was just so impressed with how I handled the situation and especially that I documented the error in such detail which made her job, and my supervisor, Karen’s jobs so much easier…

Like I’ve said, and it has been my life long experience, that “good things happen when you do the right thing…”

Stay tuned!

What To Do With Duck Eggs

In my last post I shared pictures of our trip to the St. George Farmers Market here in Utah, and promised to do a  blog post to let you know what I thought about my first taste of the duck eggs we purchased there.

First I have to share that I researched duck eggs and found multiple opinions…

Most of the sites I saw said duck eggs are “far superior to chicken eggs, with the same taste & richer smoother, consistency, yet better than chicken eggs in many ways…”

I have seen everything from “duck eggs have twice the nutritional value of chicken eggs, and stay fresher longer due to their thicker shell, and that they have more Omega 3 fatty acids…, that they are an alkaline producing food…, one of the few foods that leave your body more alkaline…, which is a great benefit to cancer patients…” I’m just stating what I’ve seen on the internet which we all know is true…. or NOT, so take that with a grain of salt….

I read a lot about how duck egg are better for baking because they are richer, with more albumen, making cakes and pastries fluffier and richer( since I don’t bake I know nothing about that). However, my sister by choice, Holly, told me that they used to use duck eggs to make homemade noodles and they were delicious.. I wish she were here to teach me how to make homemade noodles from our duck eggs… 🙂

So, since this was my very first experience ever with duck eggs, I had to trust my husband, Bill, when he told me that duck eggs are so much better than chicken eggs. I have to say I was a little shy trusting his opinion of how good duck eggs are since he is more than willing to try just about anything… But, he assured me that his ex-In-Laws, that we love,  had a little mini-farm type of thing going on at one time and they introduced him to duck eggs. Bill told me he LOVED those duck eggs that they had, and went on to share with me how the yolk of a duck egg is usually bigger, richer in flavor and color, and  has a harder shell which gives them a longer shelf life… OK, that all sounded good to me so I’ll take the bait and try one of the dozen duck eggs we bought for six dollars a dozen…

Every Sunday, for as long as I can remember, with the few exceptions when we would go out to breakfast, Bill and I have come home from Mass and cooked our Sunday breakfast together.

We usually do something like this. I chop up some multi-color finger potatoes, with some onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and turkey sausage (or regular breakfast sausage, or any other protein you might like).


Cook those until tender, then melt a little low-fat(or full-fat if you are so inclined) shredded cheese on top


When that is all ready, Bill would cook a fried chicken egg to put on top of each serving. He always makes sure that the egg yolk is done, but still has what we call “that good run and spread factor”. Like this, where you cook it just right on one side, then flip it and it comes out looking like…


This, when you put it on top of your potato combination… Except none of the chicken egg yolks we ever had ever looked like this… See how dark yellow the yolk is with this duck egg as it breaks and runs… YUM!!!


However, me, being me, I added my usual lite sour cream and green chili hot sauce cold out of the fridge…. then I immediately said “this isn’t done, it’s cold…  not thinking that what I added on top of the duck egg made it cold…

At that point, of course I thought the duck egg sucked because “the egg is not done… it’s cold”…. all due to ME, and all the cold stuff I added to it….

My next attempt at a duck egg was another breakfast that I love, and have shared on my blog in the past which is this..

If I am cooking this just for me, I have a tiny little skillet that I use for one serving… and I scramble an egg (in this case I used a duck egg) then put it in the tiny little one serving skillet, and add one turkey sausage on top, like this.


When that is fully cooked, I take that off the burner and put one corn tortilla on the open flame just long enough to give it a little char… like this…


When it’s time to eat, I pull it all together like this. Fold it up and enjoy!


OR,  you can replace the potatoes in the above recipe with multi-grain tortillas that you cook in a little vegetable oil with the diced onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, just as you would thin sliced finger potatoes until crisp…, or what ever fits your tastes…. then add the duck or chicken egg on top. and get something like this.


So, when all was said and done…. I enjoyed the duck eggs I had… but not enough to pay six dollars a dozen for them. When compared to chicken eggs that I am used to having…. I really could not justify the difference in price.

Stay Tuned for more of our adventures!

St. George Farmer’s Market

If you follow my blog, you know that my husband, Bill, and I, are NOT world traveled, and are just starting our retirement, and just starting our travel adventures by traveling the United States and Canada. Our plan is to spend quality time in each state, and wherever possible, we want to be Camp Hosts in each state we visit….

Other than when we took our daughter, Shantel, on a Disney Cruise when she was very young, that allowed us to visit a small section of the Bahama’s, I have never been outside of the United States. And Bill has only been outside of the United States when he served in the U.S. Army…

So, to say the least, we are both so enjoying every minute of what we are experiencing here in beautiful Utah. Our base campsite is at Quail Creek, which is just six miles from St. George Utah…

I LOVE St. George Utah. I think it is just so pretty. Bill and I attend Mass every Sunday in St. George, and often times after church, we wander around the area just to see what we might stumble upon, and sure enough, every time we visit St. George we find something fun and interesting to do…

This week we attended the St. George Farmer’s Market. I’ve been to many Farmer’s Markets over the years  in Arizona, and most of them that I’ve attended carry the usual fresh fruits, vegetables, fresh-baked goods etc.

Well, here in St. George, we found a Farmer’s Market that had some different and unique offerings for those (that are NOT world traveled) but that still might want to live on the “wild side” …  and/or take some chances and “spice” up their lives just a bit… 🙂 🙂

The first thing I loved about this particular Farmer’s Market was the grounds it was being held on…. Adorable little shops and boutiques everywhere, like this one… I could have spent hours just wandering in and out of all the cute shops, and looking at all the interesting things to see on the grounds…


Like this old phone booth painted red. How sweet!


Anyone want to buy a bunny rabbit?


The courtyard was lined with people selling their goods..


We could smell these delicious strawberries from the far end of the courtyard and followed the smell to this booth..


And while you’re getting strawberries, how about some fresh corn on the cob?


We were given a taste of one of these Romanian cucumbers and just had to buy one for a dollar. I will make cucumber and onion salad out of that BIG bad boy…!


We even bought a dozen, fresh off the farm, duck eggs. Watch for another blog posting on what we do with those…


How about some Wood Smoked Alligator jerky for the more adventurous types?


We were offered a sample of Scorpion Chili Pistachios… Scorpion Chili’s are now supposed to be THE hottest chili’s in the United States. I declined the sample stating that I not only HATE anything to do with scorpions, but I also don’t have any desire to self-inflict intense pain on myself…


We would have bought the Elk jerky, but it was selling for a WHOPPING $15.00 for a package that contained three pieces!!! Our son Patrick, lives in Colorado, and can get us all the Elk jerky we want for FREE!!!


Just like we followed our noses to the strawberry booth… we could not help but follow the smell of fresh-baked goods at the “Sweet Tooth Fairy” shop. They just happen to be the winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars… So of course we had to stop in… OMG, if I could eat sugar… I would have thought I died and woke up in “sweet tooth” heaven….


Bill, on the other hand, can eat sugar, and could not resist these cinnamon rolls.


All I can say is I wish I had snapped a picture of his face as he ENJOYED every bite of it… Trust me, it was PRICELESS and he is still talking about how good it was…

Up Next: My first taste of duck eggs… 🙂 🙂

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park is located in beautiful southern Utah, just 44 miles east of Bryce Canyon National Park. This amazing little gem offers a wide variety of fun and interesting things to do and see.

You can hike along the park nature trails through a beautiful petrified forest, camp along the shores of Wide Hollow Reservoir, view fossils, petrified wood, and fossilized dinosaur bones in the visitor center, take your boat out on the water and enjoy skiing or fishing for rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and bluegill. Or, if you prefer, you can just jump right in the clear water and enjoy a refreshing swim… etc.

There are two established trails that wind through vast deposits of some of the most beautiful petrified wood found anywhere, with some pieces measuring nearly five feet long!

The information packet says “as you explore the desert environment, which is typical of the Upper Sonoran life zone, you will notice the trees are mostly pinyon and juniper with stands of cottonwoods along the lakeshore. Many species of wildflowers share the park with small rodents, lizards, waterfowl, birds, deer and coyotes. Escalante Petrified Forest state Park is listed in the Utah Wildlife Viewing Guide as one of the few wetland bird viewing sites in southern Utah”.

Escalante Petrified Forest is 6 hours, roundtrip, form our base camp in Quail Creek. We packed a lovely picnic lunch and made a day trip of it. I can definitely co-sign on everything the information packet claims this beautiful park to be.

Here are a few pictures from our Escalante adventure…

As you are traveling towards Escalante you are welcomed by all this beauty.




Inside Escalante campground, we were greeted by the camp host who, like me, also works the gate booth. When I told her we are camp hosts at Quail Creek, she said “well, then, I’m going to let you in for free”. I told her if she ever comes to Quail Creek or San Tan in Arizona I will let her in for free too… Even in retirement, it pays to network and keep good contacts. 🙂

This is the camp host site at Escalante camp grounds.


By the time we arrived at Escalante it was lunchtime so we settled in and enjoyed our picnic overlooking the clear reservoir.




Then it was time to hit the hiking trails and see the petrified forest… This is one large downed and petrified tree.


Petrified wood is everywhere. The information packet says “the 200-foot high mesa top of Escalante was once the bottom of an ancient flood plain and approximately 135 to 155 million years ago, trees up to 100 feet tall were uprooted and buried in mud during periods of flooding. Groundwater permeated the buried trees over million of years. Because they were in an oxygen-free environment, the trees did not decay. Instead, through a complex process, silica solution in the groundwater replaced organic material in the tree, leaving the cell structure intact. Due to erosion, this fallen forest of petrified trees is now exposed. How interesting is that?


After a fun afternoon at Escalante, we headed home. Bill noticed this old U.S. Post Office on the way to Escalante, and was so fascinated with it that he wanted to stop and get a picture of it on the way home…


He wanted me to be sure and capture the address.. “25” .


I found these pretty flowers tucked into this chain link fence all along the side of an old house interesting and wondered who put them there and why… ?


Bill and I had a beautiful, fun-filled day at Escalante, one of many we are enjoying now that we are retired and living our dream…

Up Next: St. George Farmer’s Market… Alligator jerky anyone?


Wheeling It: Tales From a Nomadic Life

On the Road Since 2010, Traveling Across USA & Europe With 12 Paws

The Brantley Blog

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the next few years

family life..with a unique perspective of motherhood

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Blooming Burgh Boomer

Living An Active Full Life

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