We Have Our Plan

May 7th, 2016, will be our last workday for the season here at San Tan Mountain Regional Park. Bill and I will leave here on May 8th, and make our way to our summer work/camp destination at Buffalo Bill’s State Park in Cody Wyoming. While we have enjoyed our time here at San Tan, and will look forward to returning here next October, I am beyond excited to get to Wyoming. Bill has been telling me about Wyoming for the past 28 years. I can’t wait to see everything Wyoming has to offer with my best friend, travel buddy, and the man who also happens to be my husband, Bill. 🙂 🙂

Yesterday we mapped out our travel plan, and paid for each of our RV sites along the way… We will stay one night in each of the RV Parks along our route…

Our first stop will be Blake Ranch RV Park in Kingman Az. The picture below shows the office at the Park. Looks like a great little western town to me…

This is the drive into the “RV Park and Horse Motel”. How fun is that?

 Blake Ranch RV Park is located 12 miles east of Kingman, and historic Route 66 runs through Kingman. How cool will that be to visit…

The next picture is of the RV Park camp sites and views of surrounding Kingman. I think we will be very comfortable in these wide open spaces… 🙂

Our next stop will be WillowWind RV Park in Hurricane Utah. Our friends, Karen and Jim Parmenter, stayed in this RV Park when they came through Hurricane. They stopped to visit Bill and I while we were Park Hosts at Quail Creek State Park last summer. WillowWind is a beautiful RV Park and we are looking forward to our stay there.

Next stop will be Mountain Shadows RV Park in Draper, Utah.

Draper City is located about 20 miles south of Salt Lake City Utah.

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Looks like a cozy, get to know your neighbor, type of place don’t you think…?

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Our last stop, before we reach Buffalo Bill State Park in Cody Wyoming, will be Sleeping Bear RV Park in Lander Wyoming. I hope if there are any bears, they really are sleeping, and stay asleep… just saying! 🙂

I bet we will meet lots of nice fellow travelers here…

Sleeping Bear Entrance

And won’t views like this be the perfect ending to our perfect day..?

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So there you have it…our travel plan to Cody Wyoming, where we will spend the summer months… I can’t wait!!!

Stay Tuned!

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EGGstravaganza

This being the week before Easter, when Bill and I returned to our normal work schedule, we were asked to help fill literally a tub full of plastic Easter eggs with one piece of left over Halloween candy each. When I say “a tub” full of plastic Easter eggs, I mean a plastic tub that one would use to pack away Christmas decorations etc. I mean a big plastic tub, full of plastic Easter eggs…, just like the ones in the picture below…

Speaking for myself, this week, I was thankful for the “busy work” to help fill the slack time between park visitors now that the weather is warming up and we don’t have as many visitors coming to the park in the afternoon… That said, Bill/Bro and I filled approximately 900 plastic Easter eggs before we were told the Park Superintendent decided we were going to “cancel the Easter EGGstravaganza” What, cancel Easter, I asked… “should I notify the Pope??”

Now anyone that knows me…, knows when I am asked to do something, I try to think about how I can do it to the absolute best of my abilities…, even going above and beyond what was actually asked of me… So naturally, when I thought about those plastic eggs being part of an Easter egg hunt here at San Tan Mountain Regional Park…, I didn’t want any of those eggs coming open and a child finding an egg that had no candy in it… What to do…? Well, I convinced Bill/Bro that we needed to tape each egg closed so every egg would have a piece of candy in it when the child found it…

As we were filling the 900 plastic eggs, and before we were told to stop… I even commented to Bill/Bro that we should play a little trick on one of our other park hosts, and tell her that a decision was made to take all the tape off the eggs  so the children could open them more easily…

Picture my face as I realized that what was going to be a little joke on a fellow park host all of a sudden became our reality…, and Bill and I had to actually open the 900 plastic eggs that we taped shut, take out the candy, and put the empty eggs back in the plastic tub… All of the sudden it was not funny at all… But, we did it, and laughed about it as we did it…, and that is all that matters… 🙂 🙂

If you are filling plastic Easter eggs for your Easter celebration our thoughts and spirits are with you…

Happy Easter Everyone.

 

Believe It Or Not

As I continue to process the passing of my mother, and we continue to work through the details of final arrangements, i.e. Friday we picked out her casket and made the graveside service arrangements, Sunday, Bill and I went back to the Care Center to go through her personal things, i.e. clothes, pictures etc. because the room needs to be cleared for a new resident arriving soon, and of course we wanted to make sure the staff at the care center knows how much we appreciate all they did to care for my mother, so Bill and I took two large platters of cookies for the staff on both shifts as a way of thanking them for all they did to care for her. My brother, Danny, is having fruit of the month delivered to the care center staff every month for a year as his way of thanking them for the care they provided… Six years is a long time to live in a 24/7 skilled nursing home, and over those years we came to know and love the staff and the other residents…

When I walked into the room where my mother lived, and died, the bed was stripped and only her personal belongs remained. As I looked around the room I thought about how many times my mother told me, after my father died 10 years ago, that she just didn’t want to go on living without him… As I remembered those conversations, I sent out a little private request to my mother. I asked her to show me some kind of a sign, if she could, that would be unique to her, so I would know that she is at peace now and where she wants to be… I didn’t even mention to Bill that I made that silent request to my mother.

When Bill and I arrived home, he went into our room and turned on the races like he does every Sunday during racing season. I normally turn on music and listen to that while I prep and/or cook make ahead meals for the upcoming week. I never turn on the TV on Sunday’s because first of all there is nothing on that I care to watch. We don’t have Netflix or cable, so if you don’t care for sports of some sort… the choices are pretty slim. But for some reason, out of the blue, I decided I would see if there was anything I cared to watch on channel 45, a channel I rarely, if ever, watch. I have to say I was amazed to find that the movie “Dances with Wolves” starring Kevin Costner was just starting… Believe it or not, that movie was my mother’s all time favorite movie… Like me, my mother rarely watched a movie a second time, but she watched Dances with Wolves six times! I watched the entire movie and took comfort in choosing to believe that my mother was letting me know she is at peace, and exactly where she wants to be…

On behalf of my brother, Danny, and his family, and Bill and I and our family, I want to thank everyone for the messages, however sent, to let us know you are keeping us in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time in our lives. We very much appreciate your thoughtfulness.

 

 

 

End Of Life Treasures

It is with a heavy heart that I’m sharing with you that my mother, Virginia Vezie, passed away Thursday, March 10th, at 9:10 P.M after a long illness. She was surrounded by her immediate family members in the last days of her life. My brother, Danny, his wife Bea, My husband Bill and I, our daughter Katie Decker, and other family members took turns sitting with her.

On the night she passed, I decided I would spend the night with her at the care center. My daughter, Katie Decker, had been there that afternoon, and Danny, Bea, Bill, and I were there together until 9:00 P.M. when Danny, Bea, and Bill said their goodbyes to mom and left to go home. I was prepared to stay the night with her and was sitting beside her bed holding her hand and trying to make sure she was comfortable. She had been getting morphine every two hours throughout the day, and as the evening progressed, she struggled more and more to breathe so the nurse told me she could have morphine every hour if we wanted her to have it. Mom had been given morphine at 7:30 P.M. and was showing no signs of it easing her breathing so I asked the nurse to give her another dose at 8:30. About twenty minutes later mom’s breathing became less labored and we thought she would be more comfortable through the night so that was when Danny, Bea, and Bill left at 9:00 P.M.

After my family left and I was sitting with my mother, I told my mother that Dad was waiting for her “just beyond the moon” like he always told her he would be if he died before she did, and that my brothers, Tommy and Stephen were waiting for her too. I asked her to let go and go to the light and find Jesus and at the same time, I was praying to Jesus, and the Blessed Mother to please just come and get mom and take her home with them. Finally, at 9:10 P.M. mom opened her eyes (she had not opened her eyes all day) looked up, made a little sound like she was gagging, let out her breath and was gone.

Mom is at peace now after a long, hard journey, and I’m happy she didn’t have to linger any longer than she did. She will be buried on Wednesday, March 16th, at 11:00 A.M. in a simple Catholic graveside service at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, in the same grave my father, her husband of 57 years, is buried in.

When my father was alive he showered my mother in gold and diamonds, all of which she gave to various family members as her health declined. This gold cross and her wedding ring is all she had of her gold/diamonds at the time of her death and I brought them home with me after she passed.

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During the six years my mother lived in the care center, she bought cheep plastic costume jewelery and seemed to treasure them as much as she ever did her gold and diamonds. The next few pictures are examples of what I found in my mother’s little treasure box she kept in her night stand.

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She also had her eye glasses and two watches.

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She had the little shamrock neckless her sister Ellen sent her for St. Patrick’s day last year, and her plastic rosary the visiting Catholic service people gave her after someone stole her metal rosary my father bought her from Ireland.

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She loved this cheep plastic cross she bought at the craft store the care center sponsored from time to time.

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And she kept all her treasures in the silver tone metal box she got cookies in one year. She loved this box. I have all her little treasures in it and it now sits on my bedside shelf.

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Our daughter, Katie Decker, wanted to buy the outfit mom will be buried in. She picked out this lovely outfit for mom and I delivered it to the mortuary yesterday when we went to make the arrangements for mom. Thank you Katie Decker.

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I want to take this opportunity to thank all our family, extended family, and friends who have loved, visited, and supported my mother, and our family, as we helped her through her end of life process.

REST IN PEACE MOM.

Off Days Fun At San Tan

Bill and I so enjoyed our four days off this week at San Tan. Although I have to say, Bill/Bro REALLY enjoyed our time off.

As promised, I made him those creamy lemon bars I mentioned in one of my past posts. I made them in my combo microwave/convection oven. I have come to LOVE that convection part of the oven. As most of you know I don’t like to bake sweets, but since we had so many lemons given to us from park visitors here at San Tan, I had to come up with some creative ways to use up some of those lemons… and Bill/Bro was more than willing to be on the receiving end of some creamy lemon bars. The picture below is the end result of my efforts.

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And the look on Bill/Bro’s face made it all worth while…The man behind Bill looks like he could use some too don’t you think? 🙂

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We also had great fun taking the park four-wheel drive Kubota out to the Malpais Hills area of the park.

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The Malpais Hills area is one of the more secluded areas of the park, but it also has some of the most beautiful scenery in the park. The next picture shows a section of the Malpais.

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Everywhere you look in the Malpais area is just beautiful,

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But the most unusual, and in my opinion, the most beautiful part of the Malpais Hills area is that it is home to one of the rare and elusive crested saguaro’s found in the Sonoran Desert. Since we have been here at San Tan, I’ve learned that even when saguaro’s grow in their normal form, they rarely grow symmetrically. Saguaro’s sometimes grow in odd or misshapen forms. The growing tip occasionally produces a fan-like form which is referred to as crested or cristate. Biologists disagree as to why some saguaro grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation, others say it is the result of a lighting strike or freeze damage. At this point it is simply not known what causes this rare, crested form. The crested saguaro sports the famous “hang five” (or “I love you” in american sign language). Whatever the reason for the unusual growth pattern… I think it is beautiful and we get people from all over the country coming to see our crested saguaro here at San Tan…

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After Bill/Bro drove us up to the Malpias Hills area, I had my turn to drive us back. Of course, since we were going to be out on the beautiful trails, as always, we took the opportunity to scoop horse and dog poop, and pick up any trash we found along the way.

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This is one of my favorite spots in the park. It sits at the top of a hill and there is a bench to just sit and rest as you look out over the beautiful San Tan Valley.

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But he HIGHLIGHT of Bill/Bro’s week was when our park superintendent gave Bill the “spot light” she promised to get him so when we have people stay past park hours or some folks come in after park hours (sometimes we get people using the park as “lovers lane… ” and/or as a race track…). Either way, if they are loud and obnoxious and are disturbing the other hosts who are trying to sleep… we were told not to get into a confrontation with them, but we are to instead just “shine a spotlight” on them and perhaps they will get the message and leave…  Shine a spotlight on them… are you kidding me… I gotta say, this baby could light up a runway for landing a space shuttle!!!

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Just look at this “spot light” in comparison to a normal flashlight… But, boys will be boys… and Bill/Bro LOVES his new toy… he calls it his “manly man flashlight” . You’ve heard the saying “go big or go home… ? Well, I just hope that when he goes BIG with this bad boy…”they” really will go home… :):)

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Stay Tuned for more fun-times at San Tan coming soon!

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