Monday, December 3, 2018

Checking In

Apache Junction, AZ   High 63  Low  41

We have been back in Apache Junction for a month now and life is pretty much our normal now – doctor appointments for all four of us, catching up with our neighbors and friends who are in the area.

So far the doctor appointments are going great. Jim has a nodule in his right lung (he had the lower lobe of his left lung removed in 2012 because of cancer) and the oncologist keeps a really close eye on it. No change in that nodule which is great news. Check it again in before we head out next summer.

The pups had blood work done and are doing great considering how old they are and their heart problems. Skittlez is beyond happy to be  home and hates to have to go anywhere. Rocky is happy as long as he’s with Jim.

Our neighbors and good friends, Ginny and Mickey, lost their cockatiel to a heart attack. They had DOC 28 years and he was spoiled rotten and loved beyond words. He will be missed by all of us.

We still have several doctor appointments before Christmas but hope to also fit in some fun times.

Our weather has been about perfect. We did get some rain last night and a cold front moved through and our high for today is only 61. But that’s pretty good considering what other parts of the country are dealing with.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I fixed a turkey for Jim and I and we loved all the left overs. Now it’s back to trying to figure out what to have for dinner every night.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

11,369

Apache Junction, AZ   High 82  Low 54

After our wonderful visit with Nancy, it was time to turn the Bungalow west and head home. Ginny warned us about a severe storm that was headed our way. Sure glad she did.

We decided that we had to get west of that storm before it hit Texas and Louisiana and all those states we had to drive through. We took a look at the map and figured I-20 would be the route to take. Monday morning we got on the road early and ended up in Meridian, MS. Covered about 350 miles.

A couple of mornings we were on the road before the sun came up. We got to see the sunrise in our rear view mirrors.

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Tuesday we did almost 500 miles to Corsicana, TX. Wednesday we were still in TX and ended up in Odessa, TX. Can’t believe you can drive for two and a half days and still be in TX. But Thursday we made it out of Texas and into New Mexico. Spent the night in Deming and then got home about noon on Friday.

20181031_102852I’m really thankful that Jim was willing and able to drive so many miles in one day. We had one day of driving through pouring rain and wind when we had to pull off a couple of times because we couldn’t see the road. Later I found out that this storm had brought high winds and tornadoes to the areas we had just driven through.

This is the sign I’ve been looking for.

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Now the pups and I are suffering from changing three time zones in four and a half days. Skitz wants to eat breakfast at 4:30 in the morning. Once she gets me up that’s it for me so I’m ready for bed by 8 p.m. Hopefully in a day or two that will straighten out.

Skitz is so happy to be home. She loves her fireplace and if she never had to leave again, she would be happy.

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Sometimes she almost makes it into her bed.

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Rocky doesn’t care where he is as long as he’s with Jim. Sometimes he does like to share Skittlez’s bed with her.

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11,369 miles driven by Jim since we left Apache Junction back the beginning of June. I think he deserves a break and some fishing now.

It does seem really strange to not be going to Mesa to see Aunt Happy. 

Our neighbor, Wendy, took this beautiful picture of an Arizona sunset in the Cottage’s window. So happy to be experiencing these sunsets again. Notice Wendy’s Casita next door with the eyes. Love it.

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And so our travels end for 2018. There won’t be many blog posts until we travel again but I’ll be sure to check in once in awhile and let you know how things are going for the Dixons.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Family Visits 2018

I liked summarizing our friend visits in the last post, so I decided to do one for family also.

We started out with the wedding in Idaho of my great niece, Katie to Duel.

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Katie’s Dad (my nephew) Wade and his wife Nikki

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My sister, Judy and her hubby, Don

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Todd and Michaela in Billings with Jim

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Fredericksburg, VA Family

Jimmy and Jenetta

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Jenetta and her sister Betty

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Jimmy and Jim

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The Grands

Mad

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Juliet

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Angel

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Patti (Jim’s favorite niece) and her hubby David

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Patti and Jim

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My brother Rob

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Roanoke, VA Family

These pictures are from 2014.

Jim’s Aunt Ruby

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She turned 100 this year.

Nancy and Aunt Ruby at her 100th birthday party

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Jim and his sister Janet

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Jim’s cousin, Sandra, and her mom, Aunt Ruby

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South Carolina Family

Jim’s Sister, Nancy and her hubby Jack

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Jim and Nancy

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I really like putting all these pictures together in one post. Brings back such good memories as I look at each picture.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Friends Along Our Way

Our journey east this year has been about visiting with good friends and family. This is my wrap up of our visits.

Carol – in Billings

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On our way to Fredericksburg, VA we had visits with

Woody

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Peg

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Polly and Pat

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Larry and Delores

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Linda and Skittlez too

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Larry and Gerri

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Fredericksburg was all about family. Then we moved on to Mechanicsville.

Linda and Ed

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Eileen and David

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Patsy and Tom

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Roanoke was once more about family. My regret is the fact I was so sick with a cold that I didn’t get to visit with any of Jim’s family. But he had good visits.

In North Carolina we got to meet up with Larry and Gerri again.

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And a surprise visit with Paul.

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South Carolina we got to visit with Jim’s sister and hubby.

Then a planned visit with Nancy in Hampton, GA.

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I think that sums up a wonderful journey.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Nancy

Hampton, GA – Atlanta Motor Speedway – cold and miserable

As I mentioned in my last post, we knew we were going to be stopping in Atlanta. Nancy is our reason for this visit.

Nancy used to blog often when she and her dog Jack were rving. Her blog is Mr. Nimble    As all dogs do, Jack got old and crossed the rainbow bridge. Then Nancy had back and hip problems – major problems. She finally had to sell her RV and now she only blogs occasionally.

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When I started reading Nancy’s blog, it was like I had found a kindred spirt. We like or dislike so many of the same things. The gypsy spirit seems to be in both of us but we definitely prefer the west. She may live in Atlanta but she doesn’t like trees or humidity or bugs any better than I do. And she loves dogs.

She was willing to drive all the way from her home down to where we were camped so we could have lunch together. It was just amazing to see her again even though our time was short.

Thanks again Nancy for taking the time to come see us.

I love this picture of Jack. I took this when we last saw Nancy in 2014.

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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Jim Goes Really Fast

Atlanta Motor Speedway – High 51  Low 48  Rainy and foggy

We left Aiken Friday morning and ended up a the Atlanta Motor Speedway Campground. This will be the last of our NASCAR adventures for this journey.

We camped at the racetrack. It was overcast and dreary and cold while we were there.

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I love Groupon. I found a fantastic bargain for the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience (Jim has driven with them three other times) and since we knew we were going to be stopping at Atlanta (more about that in my next post), I signed him up.

Saturday was his big day. We headed towards the track.

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This is the entrance to the tunnel that takes you into the infield.

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The view as you come up out of the tunnel.

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I can feel how excited he is. This is him checking in. Notice that everybody has coats on. Well, except for Jim.

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After check in comes the driver’s meeting. This is held in the same room that the NASCAR drivers use for their pre-race briefings. At this meeting the instructor tells everybody what they can and cannot do while driving. He also explains the racetrack to them and the best way to get around it. These cars don’t drive like a regular car so he also explains to them about shifting and braking. Jim is front and center.

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20181027_120304Now it’s time for them to get suited up in their fire suit. This was our first inkling that things might not go quite as smoothly as the other times have. They did not have enough suits available. So Jim and the other drivers had to wait around until somebody finished their laps and hopefully they wore the size you needed. Jim finally got a suit and a helmet that fit.

Meanwhile I am freezing. It is cold and the wind is blowing. I could have gone into the meeting room but I didn’t want to miss anything. Little did I know that for the next three hours we would do almost nothing but wait in line.

Jim wanted to do the ride along. Professional drivers take you around the track for three laps and explain how and where your car should be as you enter the turns and hit the straight aways. They only had two cars doing the ride alongs and they had issues with tires going down. So we waited and waited in line. Finally Jim got to ride.

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After the ride along we then got in the line to wait for Jim to be able to drive. They were not only having problems with the ride along cars but also with the driver cars. A couple of them got taken behind the wall. Tires were a problem. In fact one guy had his tire go down while he was driving and he hit the wall. He wasn’t hurt but that put another car out of commission. So we waited and waited some more.

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Finally it’s Jim’s turn. He was very sad to have to drive a Ford but he said it was better than a Toyota. We did a car upgrade for him so he was driving a car that was able to go faster than the regular cars. He just has this need for speed.

This is probably the hardest part of the whole experience. Getting into the car.

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Once you get in the window, they take your picture and then sell it to you for a great amount of money. I took this one and I think it’s just as good as what they take.

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It’s hard for you to see his grin in this picture but it’s definitely there.

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I took a couple of pictures of him as he came down the front stretch. But it was so cold I went and sat in the truck with the pups.

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cropped

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They don’t tell you how fast you are going but it was really fast. This experience did not seem to be as well organized as the other tracks he’s driven. The cars definitely were not in great shape. So there were some issues we weren’t real happy about but the actual experience of driving was well worth it.

He’s still smiling when he thinks about it.