Home At Last

In my last post, I wrote about taking our motorhome into the shop to have carpet replaced in the bedroom and on one of the slide-outs (dining area). The rest of our rig has tile. We were told when we first made the arrangements to have this project done that it would take two days to complete the job. However, as with most home improvement projects, we’ve learned to hope for the best, and expect the worst… While it wasn’t the worst thing that ever happened with our home improvement projects, our two-day commitment to complete the job, quickly started turning into three days. I thought this posting would be a good time to let you know what we did for two and a half days without our home, after we spent the first trying to get our laundry done.

On day two, we decided we would go see the movie The Mule, staring Clint Eastwood. Both Bill and I enjoyed the movie and it gave us a couple of hours to sit and relax, and it took our minds off of thinking about when we were going to get our motor home back. We really were not too worried at that point because we knew we still had another day  off before we need to go back to our hosting jobs at the Visitor Center at McDowell Mountain Regional Park. After the movie, we enjoyed a lovely lunch at PF Chang’s. Then off we went back to our room at the hotel still thinking all is going well with our carpet replacement project. We decided we would make a call to get a status on where they are in regards to getting our carpet replacement completed. That’s when we were told that it was not going to be ready until Thursday,  the day we needed to go back to work.  That was NOT the answer we wanted to hear. If we would have been able to get our motor home back on Wednesday, it would have given us time to get it set up, and put back all of our belongings that we had to store in order for them to take the bed and dining area booths out to replace the carpet. In addition, we had to get our bed made up again, and get groceries for the upcoming week. We were both scheduled to work our half shift day Thursday. Now, this put us into putting the plan (B) in place. I am a big believer in always having a plan (B). Plan (B) was that I would drop Bill off at RV Renovators the next morning at 7 A.M. and I would go on to open the Visitor Center at 8:00. We were hoping  that Bill would be able to take possession of our home first thing that morning, get it back to the park and set up, and come to relieve me from the Visitor Center by 12:00 noon so I could go get the groceries (we had to really limit, and store the few groceries we had, because we knew we would be unplugged for the time our motorhome was in the shop) and try to put our home back together again so we can live comfortably once again…

On the morning of day three, we notified the morning desk clerk, at La Quinta Inn, of our situation and asked if we reserve our room for another night, and we get notified our motor home is ready, can we cancel without fees. She assured us we had until 6:00 P.M. to cancel without a fee. Good news to us. So in an effort to pass more time, and take our minds off our current situation, we went back to the movies, and saw Ben Is Back staring Julia Roberts. Seems like we had a little drug theme movie thing going on… Again, we both thought that was a good movie. Julia Roberts always delivers a great performance in my opinion.

When we returned to our hotel around 2:00 that afternoon, and were “patiently” waiting in the lobby of our hotel for our room to be cleaned, we received a call from RV Renovators letting us know our motorhome was ready. We were very excited to know we would be back in our home that day, but as a result, it cost us $50.00 to cancel the room we reserved earlier in the day. We would not have had a problem with that except for the fact that in the morning, before we went out to the movie, we told the girl at the front desk about our situation. We  explained that we are full-time RV, that we were having our motorhome carpet replaced, and that we were not sure if it would be done later that day or if we would need to stay another night. She assured us if we reserved our room that morning , for another night, we would have until 6:00 P.M. to cancel without any cancellation fees…However, when the call came in at about 2::00 p.m.  (check-in is 3:00 P.M.) and we told by the new, change of shift person at the front desk, that we needed to cancel our room for that night, we were told it was too late to cancel ,and we needed to pay for the night. We explained what the morning person told us, and were told to wait while this afternoon person checked with her manager… Finally, she came back and told us we wound need to pay $50.00 even though we never even stayed in that room at all… We just chalked it up to another case of the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing…

In the end, both Bill and I are very happy with how our carpet replacement looks, and we are VERY happy to have our home back, because there really is no place like home…

 

As a final thought, I have to say, through all of this home improvement “adventure”, both Bill and I were able to laugh, and keep our spirits up. Bill and I contribute that to some very positive changes we’ve made in our lives this year that are working very well for us.

Stay Tuned!

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On Monday, January 7, 2019, we took our motorhome in to have carpet replaced in the bedroom and dining area slide out. In order to do that, we had to pack up everything that was stored under our bed because they had to take the bed out in order to replace the carpet, and everything in the storage under the dining area booths had to be removed because the booths had to be removed to replace the carpet there. Then, we were told to have our motorhome at the renovations company by 7:A.M. so they could begin the work. We arrived promptly at 7:00 A.M. only to find the service manager that took our order and told us to be there by 7:00 A.M didn’t show up until 8:00 and no one else knew anything about why we were there or what we needed… this was not a good sign to us that we were going to have a positive experience from the get go… But, we wanted to stay positive in our thinking as it was too late to back out at that time. Finally, the service manager arrives and tells us we are free to go as we leave our home in their good hands, and that we had a three-day promise of delivery back to us…

We left the RV shop and drove to a coinless laundromat, something we have never used before. We went in thinking we would need to use our credit card to operate the machines. Sounded easy, and like the only way we were going to do it without coins, and since no one was working in the facility to ask, we set out to buy laundry soap (ours was back in our motorhome at the shop). We put our bank credit card into the slot and pushed the appropriate button. Nothing came out. So we tried again, and again, and again thinking we were doing something wrong because the message going across the screen kept saying “insert card correctly”. Finally, we asked the only other person in there if she knew how to get soap out of the machine. She didn’t speak English very well, but was more than willing to try to help us. She didn’t notice we were trying to use our bank credit card, so between Bill and this woman, they figured out we could use coins on this machine.

Now that we had our soap, we quickly put the correct amount of soap into the regular washers, sorted and put our clothes into the regular size washers, put our bank credit card into the slot, pushed start, and got the message “insert card correctly”. We tried this again and again until we finally decided the washers we picked must not be working…

 

So we quickly went back and bought more soap (we already put all our previously purchased soap into the regular washers), and we removed our clothes from the regular washers and put one load into the bigger washer directly behind us thinking surely these washers will work… But still nothing happened when we put our bank credit card into the slot. We still got the message “insert card correctly”…. What to do? What could we do but go and ask the nice lady that helped us get our soap if she used her “card” on the washes. She said she did, so we told her we are trying to use ours but it isn’t working.

She came over, looked at the card we were using, and told us “that’s a bank card”, we asked what she used and she directed us to the machine where we needed to use our bank card to purchase the Easy Card that operates the machines.

I can’t even say “who knew”, because apparently everyone that came in there before, while, and after we were there all know…

Once we understood the right card to use, we put all our clothes back into the regular washes we had already put or laundry soap in except for the one bigger washer we had already put bleach in to wash our whites. We didn’t realize that the bigger washers were a LOT more expensive than the regular washers. As a result of our lack of knowledge of coinless washers/dryers, it coast us over $4.00 to wash this tiny load of whites instead of $2.00 in the regular washers… But hey, the bleach we fought hard to buy was already in that washer… Ha! :):) We are so thankful, and grateful, to the woman that helped us learn how to use these washers/dryers and soap machine. I didn’t take her picture, and we didn’t get her name, as she seemed focused on getting her own laundry done, and we had already interrrupted her enough.

After a long, hard morning, of learning the world of coinless laundromats, we went out to lunch, and visited the local mall to walk around and get our exercise in while waiting for our room at La Quinta inns & Suites to be ready. We were surprised when we received an email saying our room was ready 3 hours earlier than we expected. We’ve stayed at La Quinta several times before in Arizona, and other states, and we are never disappointed.

We are enjoying a beautiful, spacious room, while we wait for our home on wheels.

While we wait for our motorhome repairs to be completed, Bill and I are thankful, and grateful, that we have the means to stay in a beautiful place while we are temporally without our home. That said, we also pray for those that are truly homeless, some of their own making, but many through no fault of their own. It’s hard to tell the difference, but I pray for them all, that they find food, water, shelter, and a way to get their lives back on track.

Stay Tuned!

 

Where’s The Heat?

I’m an Arizona desert rat through and through, and it’s no secret that I do not like to be cold. So imagine my surprise when I heard on the news that our usually sunny, warm, Arizona winter temperatures were going to dip down to an overnight low of 28 degrees! I know it’s much colder in many other parts of the country, but those folks must like, and be able to tolerate bitter cold weather better than I. Then when I woke up and looked out our window, I see snow on the surrounding mountains…

 

What’s happening here, and who turned off the heat? I heard on the news it was warmer in Anchorage Alaska yesterday than it was in some areas of Arizona. What’s up with that?

I need to get bundled up and go for my daily walk, but ” baby, it’s cold outside…” I’ve been told I need to dress in layers when it’s cold… I don’t think there are enough layers for me to put on to get warm enough to venture out in this cold. It’s so cold, I’d rather stay inside and do the ironing until it warms up again… That’s how much I do not like to be cold.

I hope if you love cold weather you are having fun and continue to enjoy many winter activities… I, on the other hand, just want to know… where’s the HEAT… Ha! 🙂 🙂

Happy New Year

I’ve never been one to make New Year resolutions. I prefer to make positive changes in my life anytime I feel the need to do so. Throughout this year, and especially in the last few months of this year, I’ve made several changes in my life that are bringing a lot more positive energy around me, and into my life.

I’ve always been dedicated to my Catholic Faith, but this year I started dedicating even more time to my prayer life by dedicating a time of day as my prayer hour. This is in addition to my regular morning and evening prayers. I’m amazed at the difference a dedicated prayer hour has made in my life. It has sharpened my focus on what is really important, and meaningful in my life. It has allowed me to look for things in my life that tend to drain my energy, and replace those things with things that bring me positive energy. Did you know there is actually a list of “Everyday habits that drain your energy”? Well, there is, and this is what it says:

  1. Taking things personally
  2. Holding on to the past
  3. Always checking Facebook
  4. Sleeping in late
  5. Fueling drama
  6. Over stressing
  7. Having a poor diet
  8. Complaining all the time
  9. Overthinking
  10. Gossiping
  11. Not living in the moment
  12. Trying to please everyone
  13. Worrying about what others think

Some folks get so caught up in the things on the list, they don’t even realize that is what is draining their energy and causing so much negativity in their lives. Another big change both Bill and I have made in our lives is deactivating our Facebook accounts. We had a conversation one evening and discussed how much negativity is out on Facebook, and asked ourselves why we were allowing that to come into our home and our lives. Then we simply made the decision to drop Facebook from our lives, and for us, it has been wonderful. We want our friends to feel comfortable to stop by and visit us, call or text us, instead of being virtual friends on Facebook that might read a posting and hit the like button or send a heart…

A few months ago, a dear friend of mine gave me a small friendship banner. The words on that banner resonated so much with me that I have it hanging on a door in our home to remind me every day what genuine friendship is based on. This is what the friendship banner says:

“Friendship

We have genuine friendship when it is based on true human feeling, a feeling of closeness in which there is a sense of sharing and connectedness. I would call this type of friendship genuine because it is not affected by the increase or decrease of the individual’s wealth, status, or power. The factor that sustains that friendship is whether or not the two people will have mutual feelings of love and affection, genuine human friendship is on the basis of human affection, irrespective of your position. Therefore, the more you show concern about the welfare and rights of others, the more  you are a genuine friend. The more you remain open and sincere, then ultimately more benefits will come to you. If you forget or do not bother about others, then eventually you will lose your own benefit.”

H.H. The XIV Dalai Lama

That is what I want my friendship with others to be, and what I want from others as my friend. And, for me, that just doesn’t happen on Facebook.

I will continue to work on myself, my goals, and doing me throughout 2019.

I wish all of you the very best.

Happy New Year!

 

 

The Grand Mesa Colorado

Yesterday our daughter Katie Roden, took us on a lovely drive to visit the Grand Mesa. This was our second weekend out and about seeing all the beautiful fall colors,

and we were amazed at how much the colors have changed in just one week.

The Grand Mesa is “known as the largest flattop mountain in the world, encompassing hundreds of square miles and standing more than 10,000 feet above sea level. The Grand Mesa scenic byway leads through old-growth forests, aspens, meadows and so many lakes you’ll lose track”.

We drove out to what is called Lands End Observatory, a ranger observatory on the rim of the Grand Mesa. The views from Lands End Observatory are spectacular, and there are lots of little critters running all over the rocks (look closely in the middle of the rock below) looking for special treats that visitors might put out for them.

Some visitors bring huge sunflower pods filled with sunflower seeds, and leave them out for the critters to find and enjoy.

We had a special treat at Lands End Observatory too. Katie packed a wonderful picnic lunch that we all enjoyed while taking in the million dollar views.

Thank-you Katie Roden, for treating us to such a beautiful, fun-filled day.

Our time here in Colorado is quickly coming to an end. We leave Saturday to make our way back to Arizona, where we are excited to see our family and friends there, and enjoy another exciting season hosting at the Visitor Center at McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

Stay Tuned!

Colors Of Fall

This week our son Pat, and daughter-in-law Celina, took us on a spectacular drive to see the fall colors on our way to visit Crested Butte, Colorado. About an hour into our drive, we started seeing the beginning of the leaves changing colors.

For our daughter Shantel, remember when you were a little girl, and you asked me what its like to see color? And I started teaching you what colors might feel like if you could feel color? I told you colors like red, orange, and yellow might feel warm to the touch, while green and blue might feel cool to the touch. Well, the leaves on many of the trees along our drive were changing from green,

to yellow,

and in some areas, we even saw hints of red.

Before we made our way into Crested Butte, we stopped at a beautiful lake named Lost Lake. Oh, Shantel, all the beautiful colors of the changing leaves were also being reflected off the still water of the lake. So as we were looking at the leaves on the trees around the lake, we were also seeing their image reflected on the water. Even the clouds in the sky were reflecting on the water. All of these images created a peaceful, calming, feeling.

We took a short hike around part of the lake,

and around every curve of the trail was a scene more beautiful than the last. In the next picture, we were looking across the lake at trees displaying every shade of color.

And in this next picture the clouds were moving across the lake creating shadows that reflected off the water.

We left the lake and made our way into Crested Butte. What an adorable, colorful, little town. Every building in the town is painted a different color. Orange, red, blue, and green, just like the colorful leaves on the trees.

And they have the most beautiful flowers planted in big flower beds and hanging pots all along the street and sidewalks.

Aside from the magnificent colors we saw in the fall colors of the trees, the highlight of the trip for me, was when we visited a little mini donut shop where they make mini donuts fresh right in front of you, and they come with hot toppings of your choice. Papa and Pat bought six of the donuts with a variety of toppings, like hot caramel/bacon to name just one. Then, they sat outside the donut shop on a bench and ate all the donuts. But the look on their faces as they enjoyed their sweet treats just made my day. As you know I don’t eat sweets, and Celina didn’t have any either, but she stood close by and kept handing Papa and Pat napkins to wipe their hands and face after they finished each of the six donuts. I got so tickled watching them, I could hardly hold the camera straight to take some pictures.

Just before we arrived in Crested Butte, we passed a grave site and stopped to make a visit. The headstone said the person died in 1881. But there was a message engraved into the bottom of the headstone that read,

“My good people as you pass by, as you are now so once was I. As I am now you soon must be, prepare yourselves to follow me.” I thought that was a profound message on a gravesite headstone, so I included a picture of it here on my blog as a reminder to enjoy every minute of your life, and especially enjoy the donuts!

Big thanks to Pat and Celina for taking us on such a beautiful drive and spending their day showing us around Crested Butte, Colorado.

Stay Tuned!

Canyonlands And Arches National Parks

Yesterday our son, Pat, and daughter-in-law, Celina, took us to visit Canyonlands National Park, and Arches National Park in Utah.

We left Fruita, Colorado and took a beautiful scenic drive to Moab.

For our daughter, Shantel, I will do my best to describe the beautiful scenery we saw. The scenic drive took us through an amazing canyon that follows the Colorado river. The mountain colors are almost beyond what I have words for, because they have multiple shades of color. Shades of red, blue, white and hues of everything in between. And, in some areas, they stand majestic against the deep blue sky, green grass, and trees that surround them.

 

From Moab, we made our way to Canyonlands National Park. The information we received when we entered this National Park says “Canyonlands National Park preserves 337,598 acres of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires in the heart of southeast desert. Water and gravity have been the prime architects of this land, sculpting layers of rock into the rugged landscape it is today”. It reminded me a lot of our Grand Canyon in Arizona, but on a smaller scale.

Pat, Celina, and Papa like to stand on rocks too near the edge for my taste. But they don’t have a fear of heights like I do… 🙂

At one stop, while we were at a very high point in our visit of the park, Pat pointed out a dirt road below us that goes around a mountain. He told me we were going to go on that road when we left the area we were at. I looked down at what looked like a one lane dirt road to me, looked back at Pat and said “we are?” But I was thinking to myself “not this girl, I’ll stay right here and you can pick me up on the way back.” Then Pat laughed and said no, that road was only for the off-road vehicles. Well better them than me!

One of the things that always amazes me when I visit areas like this, is how some trees seem to be growing right out of solid rocks. I captured a picture of a tree that was doing just that. There is a huge rock/cliff and a tree is growing right out of the rock. These particular trees don’t seem to need much soil to grow, and they are beautiful.

As we made our way around the scenic drive of Canyonlands National Park, each stop we made to take in the view was more spectacular than the last. It was truly hard to say what part of the park was my favorite. The next picture shows high spires that start wide at the bottom of the canyon we were looking down into, and they taper off into pillar shapes at the top.

We didn’t go all the way through the park, because Pat and Celina also wanted to show us as much of Arches National Park as we had time for. They needed to get back home at a reasonable time and get the kids from the sitter. So we left Canyonlands National Park, went to lunch at the brewery in Moab (thanks for the tip Mary) and made our way to Arches National Park.

One of the first things we saw as we entered Arches National Park was the courthouse towers, which are tall stone columns that in this case, look like what would be on the front entrance of a real courthouse.. Just amazing.

There are hundreds of unique rock formations throughout the park. Some of them form walls, while others look like balancing rocks,

and still others have windows, or arches, carved into them from years of wind carving holes into the rock.

As time was running short, we didn’t get to go through all of Arches National Park either. Pat said we went through about half of both Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park, but it was enough for us to get a good idea of what both parks offer. Both parks are amazingly beautiful while being very different.

We did get to see on of the larger arches or windows, and Celina and I did climb up and into the hole that makes the arch or window.

Then we made our way down from that arch, and on to the next one that had one large arch or window and another much smaller one carved out of the same rock.

The next arch formation had a rock sitting to the side of it at the entrance of the arch, and that rock had three other rocks on it that to me made it look like people who might be the gatekeepers of that arch.

As we made our way back to the parking lot, from a distance, you can see several more arches carved into a huge rock formation making it look the entrance to several caves.

And just to the side of that was one last rock formation with two small arches or windows, but to papa and I, the large rock formation looked like two big elephants. One laying down with its trunk up in the air, and one standing behind that one with its trunk pointed down towards the ground.

It was a beautiful fun-filled day, and we so appreciate Pat and Celina spending the day showing us around these two amazing National Parks.

Stay Tuned!

Previous Older Entries

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

The Brantley Blog

In the eyes of the law, we reach adulthood the day we turn 18 years old. God help anyone who actually believes that.

the next few years

family life..with a unique perspective of motherhood

Gotham Girl Chronicles

a mixture of random musings...life in NYC...travel...photography...cycling

Blooming Burgh Boomer

Living An Active Full Life

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