A Very Sad Day

We had to have our beautiful cat Carmen put down today and she took a piece of my heart with her.

I didn’t intend to let a cat capture my heart and run my life…, but it happened. I called her my princess and she fit the part. She would wake me up every morning at 5:00 a.m. no matter if I wanted to get up or not. She would walk over my head until I had no choice but to get up… She demanded to be fed then she would get back up on the bed and go back to sleep.

When our daughter, Shantel, was 10 years old our family cat, Nikki, died. We were all heartbroken, but Shantel cried for days and days. Then, after a few months, she begged for another cat. We gave in and rescued a beautiful 4 month old short hair tabby cat from the Arizona Human Society, and named her Carmen.

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Right from the get-go Carmen took control of our home. She was feisty, funny, and sassy, and had no problem making her wishes known. She completely attached herself to me and acted as if I was her mother. Everywhere I went, Carmen was sure to follow, and make herself completely at home.

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If I was working on the computer, she thought that was her invitation to come and get a belly rub…

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Because she seemed to always be around me, I found myself starting to talk to her more and more, and she had me convinced that she understood what I was saying. Is this not the face of an intelligent and alert cat?

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She loved her fancy feather bird/fish, and would play with it anytime we were out of the house. I would find this little cat toy all over the house.

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When Shantel graduated college, and moved into her own apartment, she was not allowed to have a pet so we kept Carmen with us. Carmen would not have liked to leave her home, and I know she would not like being away from me.

When Bill and I made the decision to become full-time RVers, I thought it would be a good idea to get Carmen harnessed trained so she would be able to sit outside with us in the mornings and evenings. I bought the harness and placed it on the bed where she slept in the hopes she would warm up to the idea of trying the harness on soon. But she let me know straight away that she was NOT at all interested in doing any such thing…

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I finally had to wrestle her to the ground to get the harness on her much to her complete annoyance

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She took about three pissed off steps then fell to the ground and acted like she was paralyzed! OMG, she was a drama QUEEN! 🙂

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This past week Carmen started refusing to eat. I tried everything to get her to eat. I tried different cat foods, baby food, pumpkin, tuna, cooked ground turkey, chicken stock etc. She would just look at the food and walk away. She was drinking very little water and stopped using her litter box. We took her to her Vet and he said it was just old age and her body was shutting down and there was really nothing more he could do for her. As hard as it was to let her go I agreed that I knew it was time to let her go. So with my arms wrapped around her I told her she was my princess, that I love her and thanked her for being my furry baby girl. I kissed her and told her good-bye as the Vet gave her the medications that ended her suffering and put her in a place of blissful peace…

Carmen, my life was enriched for thirteen years because you were in it.

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Rest in peace my beautiful, funny, Princess. You were loved and you are missed.

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Touches of Fall

I haven’t posted anything for a couple of weeks because I wanted to post pictures of how we fixed up our outside space at our new, winter, McDowell Mountain Regional Park home, in Fountain Hills Arizona… Just one thing stopped me… And what might that be you say? Well, the day after we arrived at McDowell Mountain Regional Park, and I posted pictures of our outside space as it was when we arrived…, we received a call from the Superintendent of all the east side Maricopa County Parks asking us if we would do her a favor and go back to San Tan Mountain Regional Park for a few weeks to help out.. Turns out a couple of paid staff members at San Tan quit, leaving only the Park Supervisor, and one part-time maintenance man to run the park. San Tan is where we were Park Hosts last winter, and we really enjoyed our time there, so of course we were happy to go back for a few weeks and help out in any way we can. We were promised our same space at McDowell when we return which could be any time now…

So, in the meantime, I decided since I wasn’t able to fix up our outside space at McDowell, I would put a few touches of Fall around the inside of our rig… I love to decorate so I created this little center piece using things I had around the house and a few added pieces I bought at the grocery store… I love it!

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And I think it blends in perfectly with the color’s we always have in our home. Don’t you?

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I also created this table top center piece using some flowers I bought and a vase I already had.

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Love these little coffee curtains reminding me that there is nothing better on a cool Fall morning than a nice hot cup of coffee or latte?

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So now that we are all fixed up for Fall on the inside… all that’s left to do is continue to wait for the word of when we can go back to McDowell Mountain Park so we can get busy fixing up our outside space there… Can’t hardly wait!

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Happy Fall Y’all, from our home to yours! 🙂 🙂

Stay Tuned!

Sitting Pretty In McDowell Mt Regional Park

We are now all settled into our new campsite for the winter at McDowell Mountain Regional Park, and we just love it here. We have a nice size full hook-up campsite (not too close to other campers) with a fire pit (really nice for happy hours in the winter…) , BBQ grill (would come in handy but Bill always uses his Traeger smoker/grill our kids bought us for our retirement), and large picnic table in our back yard…

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Bill already has his Traeger grill set up and ready to go, and I have my outdoor oven set up on the picnic table just waiting for me to cook up something wonderful for friends/family when they come to visit… You all know how I love to entertain…! We even set up our chairs and umbrella so we can sit outside and watch our outdoor TV in the evenings if the mood strikes us.. Ha!

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We have stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The mountain in the picture below is where the sun sets and casts its golden glow every evening… so beautiful.

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Being a desert rat through and through since 1952…, I just can’t get enough of the beautiful Arizona deserts!

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Like San Tan, where we were last winter, McDowell Mountain Park offers miles and miles of beautiful hiking trails, as well as mountain biking, and horseback ridding. But McDowell Mountain Park also offers overnight camping as well.

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McDowell Mountain Regional Park is located just outside of Fountain Hills Arizona. Fountain Hills is well-known for having one of the highest fountains in the world! The fountain sits in the center of a man-made lake in the center of the Fountain Hills community. We can actually see the fountain from the front window of our motorhome. Look closely in the middle of the picture below and you will see a white mark against the mountain in the background just to the right of the saguaro cactus. That is the fountain shooting high in the air.

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The fountain sends a snow-white jet stream of water 560 feet into the blue desert sky. It is set to go off at the top of every hour for fifteen minutes between the hours of 10:00 A.M and 9:00 P.M. The fountain is the center piece and landmark of Fountain Hills, a community of rolling hills and spectacular mountain views. Fountain Hills is located just east of Scottsdale, Arizona.

At night the fountain becomes a jet stream of gold and white against the desert sky. Golden spotlights situated in the base of the jet spray send glowing illumination up the first 300 feet of the column of water where it blends with a contrasting silver-white light on the upper portion.

On St. Patrick’s Day the fountain is turned green. How fun is that!

We are beyond thrilled to be here in this beautiful park where we will be closer to our family and friends that live in this neck of the cactus… 🙂 🙂 We are excited to meet with some of our new co-workers and team members tomorrow and to get started (next week) in our new work/camp roles here at McDowell Mountain Regional Park. We will work Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s in the beginning until the other work/campers arrive, then we will all rotate weekend work shifts…

Stay Tuned!

Big, Beautiful, Trees

Bill and I arrived, and settled into our temporary campsite at Lakeside RV Campground in Provo Utah. Big thank-you to our friends, Karen and Jim Parmenter, for turning us on to this adorable, little out-of-the-way gem. If this place doesn’t scream my want-to-be cowgirl style nothing ever will.

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I just love, love, love, all the big beautiful trees in this campground.

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Bill and I took a little walk to find the “raging river” along raging river drive…

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We found the river, but to say it is “raging” would be a BIG stretch of the imagination… But the ducks that were swimming in the river were friendly, and came right over to the edge of the water, perhaps thinking we were going to feed them. Sorry, ducks, we didn’t bring any duck food with us today. 🙂

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After our walk, Bill and I returned to our campsite on Gun Smoke Gulch… You can see the back-end of our rig in the picture below.

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We had lunch, then decided to take the beautiful drive through Sundance, to check out the beautiful fall colors in the changing trees.

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Such a beautiful way to just really relax, and enjoy this beautiful state of Utah.

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Bill and I are celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary while we are here. Our anniversary is tomorrow, but we will be on the road again early tomorrow morning traveling to Arizona. So today, we are going to treat ourselves to a steak dinner at Outback Steak House here in Provo. Outback Steakhouse has blue cheese encrusted steaks for blue cheese lovers like me…. That steak is my all time favorite! YUMMERS, I can’t hardly wait!!!

So happy to be living our dream…,

Stay Tuned!

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