Saturday, December 31, 2011



May all your dreams come true in the New Year.


I started this blog post two days ago and then I got interrupted by fun and sun.

IMG_3885 Jeri and Terry got moved into their site in our spot Friday morning and Denise moved her rig so it was more level. Jim and I watched all the excitement and did nothing.

I am just so very, very happy to be sitting in the sunshine in the desert.

IMG_3887 Denise took off to run an errand in town. Jim, Jeri and Terry started to put up the “clubhouse”. I sat in the sun and watched. She doesn’t like to sit in the sun like I do. She keeps having to move her chair around.

IMG_3884 Denise found Barbara and Katie from Me and My Dog at the dump station and brought them over to spend some time with us. She is parked just up the road a couple of miles. Looking forward to spending some more time getting to know her.

IMG_3888 The clubhouse project took many hours. The pipes were too tall and had to all be cut down. Thank goodness for Jim’s sawsall. It took awhile to figure out how to put all the pieces together. Then the tarps weren’t as large as they needed to be, so the pipes need to be cut some more. Too much work so it will wait until tomorrow.


I sat in the sun and watched. 

We have lots of open desert around us for any rigs that may want to join us here.








I am happy.

Thursday, December 29, 2011



We finally made it to Q. We didn’t leave Apache Junction until 1:00 and got to Q about 4:00. (Have to stop to let the girls out, you know.) The generator didn’t fit in the back of the truck. It has a remote start which makes it about 3 inches taller. Around and around we went trying to decide what to do. Do we take it back and exchange it for the shorter manual one? Do we try and figure out someplace else to carry it?

One of the guys in the park has a carrier that he offered to let us use that hooks onto the back of the RV. Jim really liked that idea and they helped him load it onto the rack. Then he had to go to the store to buy chains and locks for it. We had already hitched up so one of the other guys in the park took him to the store. Did I tell you we really have a great group of people in this park?

Finally after checking the king pin about 20 times we were ready to pull out. A nice uneventful trip. Just the kind I needed.

Jeri and Terry met us at the check in station at La Posa South and we went scouting out a spot for a bunch of rigs to park.

Found a great spot and after Jim dumped and took on fresh water, we found Denise and she followed us to our spot. Got set up, the girls fed and walked.

Jeri & Terry have been in an RV park in town and will be moving out to our spot in the morning. Jim and I joined them for dinner at Q-Town Cafe. Denise stayed home and got into her jammies and just relaxed.

We just got home and are exhausted.

The sunset pictures are from out first night here in the desert. I’ll have more pictures of our spot tomorrow.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Jim dumped this morning, we hitched up, pulled out and went around the corner in our park. Jim wanted to double check the brake lines and then decided to drive slowly through the park to adjust the new brakes. We turned another corner and heard a big thump. I got out to check and found that the fifth wheel was sitting on top of the truck bed. The hitch had not locked (even though we both checked it) and had allowed the fiver to come loose and fall.


My pictures don’t really show the damage. Jim said he can get better pictures tomorrow but these will have to do for tonight.

It could have been a lot worse. A whole lot worse. Even though it’s bad. Jim had placed our generator underneath the hitch and then landed on the generator more so than the truck bed. We will have to replace the tail gate on the truck but it still shuts. The sides of the bed are okay. No damage to the fifth wheel.

IMG_3870 But the generator was smashed really bad. Broke the gas tank and we had gas running everywhere. Of course, everybody in the park came out to see what was going on so I made sure nobody was smoking.

Jim was able to hitch back up and we went back around to our site. Unhitched and unloaded the generator and checked to see if there was any other damage. Didn’t find anything else.

Jim set off on a mission to find us a new generator. Many hours later he found one at Cabela’s over in Glendale. By the time he got home and got it all set up, it was getting dark. We still might have one hang up in the morning. This generator is slightly taller than our other one and we’re not sure it’s going to fit in the back of the truck with the RV hitched up. We’ll have to check that out in the morning.

Then hopefully we’ll be on our way to Q.


Had a major problem this morning so we haven't left yet. Still not sure if we're going to make it today or not. Or if we'll make it at all.

I'll make a post tonight when I feel up to it and let you know what's happening.


It just never fails, whenever we think we are ready to go to move someplace, something has to breakdown.

We were supposed to head for Q yesterday but the valve on our propane tank decided to quit working. It’s the valve that switches the propane from one tank to the other. So Jim had to buy a new valve and decided it was also time to replace all the hoses. Took several hours and many trips to different stores to find everything that he needed. Then a couple more hours to get everything put back together again. That was all on Monday afternoon. We still thought we could get out of here on Tuesday. Yeah right!

Jim’s doctor is concerned about his blood sugar levels and told him that if he didn’t get them under control he would not okay him for surgery. We have really been being very good since then with our diet. The doctor also gave him a prescription that needed to be filled. So off he goes to Walmart where they already have our insurance information on record. An hour later I finally text him to find out where he’s at. He’s still in line. It took him almost two hours to get his prescription. By this time it was already afternoon and we still didn’t have everything put away to be able to take off.

It is now Wednesday morning and we are ready to go. We’ll wait for some of rush hour to die down and be on our way. Yippee.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Not really. But I have completely lost my voice so silence reigns at our house. I get laryngitis once a year, regular as clockwork. I inherited this wonderful whatever from my Mom. She did the same thing. I have a cold but don’t feel too bad.

BUT, this means I don’t get to go enjoy Christmas dinner with my sister, her hubby, Jim and Aunt Happy. I don’t dare take my germs to a senior living center. 

Sure hope everyone had a truly wonderful day filled with love and joy.

dutton Last Wednesday, we went to the Dutton’s holiday show in Mesa. They put on a fabulous show; very talented family. They were on America’s Got Talent and made it into the top ten acts that year. They have a theater in Branson as well as the one here in Mesa. Definitely an act that is worth seeing.

IMG_3840 IMG_3846

IMG_3863 We also got our trailer brakes replaced. Thank goodness that’s over with. Now we are definitely ready to head to Q on Tuesday. I’m going regardless of how I feel.




My Christmas was definitely not very exciting but the sun was shining and that made me feel better. Hope you had a wonderful day filled with lots of love and joy.

Saturday, December 24, 2011



For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and The Government shall be upon His Shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty GOD, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.


wisemenNow when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king,
behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His Star in the east, and are come to worship Him.

At this sacred time of year my prayer is that we look for His Star and come to worship Him.

From the Dixon house to all of you. Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Jim started feeling better on Tuesday and by Wednesday he was ready to go.  To the doctor that is. This time it was for a CAT scan of his lungs. These doctors are really thorough and are going to make sure Jim is ready for surgery before they do it. Won’t know any of the results until the 4th of January.

After he got back from the doctor’s office he was still feeling good so we went to the Escapees Chapter 45 luncheon. While visiting with Jan she mentioned that she had bought a couple of pairs of our favorite shoes at the Easy Spirit Outlet.

I need to explain these shoes. After breaking my ankle and rupturing my Achilles tendon, they put a couple of screws in my ankle. If I wear shoes with an ordinary back of any kind, they rub on those screws and really hurt. I tried wearing clog type shoes but I have a lot of trouble walking in those and my feet and legs would cramp.

At the Gypsy Journal Rally in 2010 I commented on the cute sandals that Jan was wearing. She let me try them on (we wear the same size) and I fell in love with them. They have an elastic strap on the back that doesn’t slide around so it doesn’t rub on those stupid screws. I immediately went on line and found the shoes and ordered a pair. Cost me $60 and they were worth every penny.

Since this is the only shoe I wear, they are really looking very sad. When Jan mentioned the outlet, I immediately told Jim that we were heading there after the luncheon. Jan was going to stop there on their way home because she ended up with two left shoes and needed to exchange them.

This is the result of our stop at the Easy Spirit Outlet on Baseline and Power in Mesa. And it’s all Jan’s fault.


And no, Jim was not left out either.


Aunt Happy had a follow up appointment this morning. They did some laser treatment because the pressure in her eye was too high. As soon as they relieved that pressure, her eye quit hurting (not totally but definitely bearable) and she felt good enough to bet on the ponies this afternoon (the wooden ones that they “run” at her complex. Her spirits are much better.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Aunt Happy finally had her implant done yesterday and it went just okay. The surgeon didn’t go into a great amount of detail but we got the impression it didn’t go as smoothly as it could have. However, everything should be just fine.

Her eye is really bloody. She has four stitches and when I talked to her last evening, she was in a great deal of pain. Her surgeon told her to take some Motrin for the pain, but then she called the Pharmacist and he told her she shouldn’t take the Motrin but to take Tylenol. I had suggested she take three Tylenol and then go back to two today. But she wasn’t sure she was going to do that.

She isn’t happy right at the moment. Lots of things going on that she wants to do and she can’t or won’t because her eye looks so terrible. We’ll have Christmas dinner with her and hopefully that will cheer her up. I do know that she won’t let it keep her down for too long.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Jim hasn’t been feeling good the last couple of days. Some kind of stomach bug. Hopefully today will have him on the mend again. The girls love it when one of us doesn’t feel good because they get to spend the day curled up in bed with us. One of their favorite things besides eating.

I’m still nice and cozy and warm. Especially since Jim isn’t feeling good and likes the heat.

Yesterday on Facebook our friend (Vaughn) had posted that he was going to be at a restaurant in Mesa last night for dinner. He’s from Glendive, MT and was only going to be in town for about 12 hours. He had some business that needed to be taken care of down here. So I decided to surprise him. I’ve known Vaughn for 30+ years. He’s one of the best pals I’ve ever had but it’s been three or four years since I last saw him.


Headed out in plenty of time to find the restaurant, or so I thought. Jim just didn’t feel up to going with me and I haven’t driven the truck in awhile so I left way early. Good thing I did because I couldn’t find the stupid restaurant. My GPS quit working and even though I had the address of the place, I couldn’t find it. I finally gave up and called. They are tucked in the back of the parking lot behind an IHOP. Must have driven by it six times. It was dark out – about 7:00 p.m.

Vaughn was definitely surprised to see me because he didn’t realize that Jim and I were even in the area. (He’s not very good about computer stuff so following my blog doesn’t exist in his world.) He also doesn’t have a cell phone. He still has a land line. Unbelievable.

He really didn’t expect as many people to show up that did. So he had a very pleasant surprise. Didn’t get much of a chance to visit but it was so fun to see him again. He’ll be coming to Todd’s wedding in June so we’ll get a chance to see him again.


Nando’s Mexican Restaurant. Vaughn’s favorite place and I thought it was okay. Kind of expensive – my two taco’s with rice and beans was $11.00.

Sunday, December 18, 2011



I am always cold. Jim only gets cold when he doesn’t feel good. So at our house, we try to compromise so he doesn’t get roasted and I don’t freeze. Our furnace does an okay job of heating our home but it really uses a lot of propane which is expensive.

Our friends, Jeri and Terry, bought a blue flame propane heater and really like it. We know other RVers who also have these type heaters and have really good luck with them. We decided to see if we could find one here in Apache Junction. They are not a big seller down here in the land of sunshine.


I found one on line that got good reviews and ordered it along with the regulator hose that you need. It’s larger than I expected it to be but Jim hooked it up and we tried it out. Well, I love it. I am actually warm for the first time in weeks. Jim sits with his window open by his chair which serves a dual purpose – keeping him from roasting and also ventilating the heater.

It really is like having a gas fireplace. And is so much more efficient than our furnace. And it uses a whole lot less propane. Merry Christmas to me.

IMG_3816 Another project Jim had was to fix the light above his chair. It quit working so he took it apart and rewired a couple of things. Works perfectly now.


We also purchased a yard decoration. Jim had to put it together which wasn’t as fun as he thought it was going to be. But I love the end result.

IMG_3815 IMG_3823

IMG_3827 Friday night John and Karen stopped by to see if we wanted to go with them to the #1 Eastern Super Chinese Buffet. That took two seconds to make that decision. It was wonderful as usual. After dinner we went over to their rig and played Phase 10. Thank goodness we don’t keep score. Had a wonderful time. And a great break from all the running we’ve done the last couple of weeks.

Saturday, December 17, 2011



I let Jim go shopping at Bass Pro. These are what we came home with.











This one did NOT come home with us.


They have this great carousel at Bass Pro. The kids were having a wonderful time.


Now for a few projects.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


We’ve been on the run again this week. Monday we stopped to see Aunt Happy and then went over to Judy’s to wait for the exterminator for her termites. We waited and waited and finally she called to find out where they were. That’s when we found out she had the wrong date and they aren’t coming til next Monday. So we took her grocery shopping again. Back home to feed the girls and then go play cribbage. Wonder if I’ll ever win. Doubt it.

But Wednesday was the worst day. We left the house at 7:45 a.m. so we could be with Aunt Happy when she had her surgery. Picked up my sister and then got Happy settled at the eye doctor’s. Pat, the woman who stays with her at night, was also there and was going to give her a ride home. She has a car which is easier for Happy to get into.

Jim, Judy and I decided to go to Coco’s and have breakfast and then we’d go back to the eye doctor’s. We called Pat to see how things were going and found out that she had already taken Happy home. WHAT???

For whatever reason they didn’t do the surgery. Instead they did a laser procedure and will do the implant surgery next Wednesday. Needless-to-say, Aunt Happy was not happy. I really don’t know all the details, but they needed to do the laser work to shape her eye for the implant. But that’s not what they told her last week. She thought she was going to be done with this nonsense and now it’s going right into Christmas. This is all interfering with all her plans for parties and socializing. We went over to her house and visited with her for awhile until she calmed down. I don’t blame her for being angry.

After we left her house, we dropped Judy back at her house and then Jim had a doctor’s appointment up in Scottsdale. I originally hadn’t planned on going with him but we were running out of time and he couldn’t take me back to Apache Junction and then get to Scottsdale on time. So I went with him.

This appointment was with a General Practitioner. Jim has to get clearance from a GP as well as a Cardiologist before the surgery. We didn’t have either doctor down here so the surgeon referred us. Dr. Palen is a very busy doctor and they were running way behind. We were at the doctor’s office for over three hours. Then we had to go down the street to an imaging office and have his X-rays taken.

We didn’t get back to the rig until almost 5:00 p.m. Boy were the girls happy to see us. I felt so bad we had to leave them for so long. Everything seems to be looking good for Jim. The Cardiologist will do a stress test on him, but he passed his last one with flying colors. (He’s had two heart by-passes.)

Tuesday we got laundry done, ran a zillion errands, and then had John and Karen over for dinner. They are staying at our park for a week while they’re here visiting friends and going to a show at the Palms Dinner Theater. Had a great time visiting with them.

Today we’re waiting for the guy to show up to work on our trailer brakes. And Jim has had a couple of projects going. It’s been rather nice to stay home for a change. My sister’s husband arrived today which means she now has a car at her disposal so we won’t be running to Mesa quite as often. He can also help her deal with her termites.

Pictures? Who has time to take pictures!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Every January hordes of RVers land in this small town out in the middle of the desert. We had plans on joining them but with Jim’s surgery, we’ve had to once again change our plans.

We were going to meet up with about 30 other rigs – members of the Escapees Classes of 2005 through 2014 or beyond. The classes are gathering the middle of January and it will be party time.

Since we can’t be there at that time, we are going to pack up and head over probably the 27th of December and stay until the 7th of January. We won’t get to see everyone but there are going to be several people gathered early that we can join up with. That way I get my Q fix and we’re back in time for Jim’s surgery. I can hardly wait.

I had also hoped we could meet up with the Montana Owners Club that holds a Rally out at Q during this time. That’s not going to happen either. This is a picture of their 2011 gathering.

Quartzsite Circle 2011 040

Karen asked about Aunt Happy’s eye doctor. Dr. Wendy Wooten has been named one of the top ten eye doctor’s in Phoenix and has numerous awards. Everyone that we have talked to that has gone to her has been more than pleased with the results. I wish I knew what had gone wrong but maybe on Wednesday I can find out some additional information. But Aunt Happy’s positive outlook sure is amazing.

Jerry – it was definitely Big Ed and Alice. We’ll see them again at the next Chapter luncheon and I’ll be sure to tell them hi.

I want to thank all of you for all the wonderful comments and well wishes for both Aunt Happy and Jim. It sure does gladden our hearts.

Because we’ve been on the go so much, the girls have been very lonely. So the minute I sit down, this is what my lap looks like.


Saturday, December 10, 2011


It’s been a week since I’ve posted anything. And what a hectic week it has been.

My sister arrived Monday afternoon and we had to make Panda Express our first stop. Dumped her off at her place and then got ready to play cribbage.

Tuesday, my sister had several things that needed to be done at her park model and she also needed to go to the grocery store. Finally got back to our place in time to have dinner and watch a little TV.

Wednesday, we went to the Escapees Chapter 45 luncheon and then Doug and Carol came over to visit for awhile. After they left, I called Aunt Happy. Her cataract removal was a disaster. This is one lady that you never hear feeling sorry for herself or feeling down but she was really down in the dumps. So we headed up to see her. I’m not sure what went wrong but the doctor had told her she might lose her sight in that eye. I felt so bad for her. We stayed with her for awhile and got her dinner for her.

After we left her we stopped to see my sister. She’s not doing well either because of her Restless Legs. She also has termites and the exterminator can’t come until Monday. Never a dull moment.

Thursday Jim had a doctor’s appointment with the spine doctor to review his MRI. You know things are a little iffy when the Physician’s Assistant looks at the MRI and goes wow. And it’s really bad when the doctor looks at it and goes WOW. But the good news is that the doctor is sure that he can give Jim quite a bit of relief from his pain.

His surgery is scheduled for January 10. In between he has to have an appointment with a General Practitioner and a Cardiologist. Have everything all scheduled. The doctor is going to perform a laminectomy which is a minimally invasive surgery to scrape out some of the bone that is crushing down on his nerves. We are really excited about this. Changes our plans for going to Quartzsite in January but more about that later.

We also stopped in to see Aunt Happy because she had another doctor appointment in the morning. She was feeling much better because the doctor told her the chance of her losing her vision in that eye was very slim. They have to do another surgery next Wednesday and are doing some kind of an implant. She doesn’t really know what went wrong or exactly what they are doing. But we are going to be with her next week when she has this surgery done. Back over to check on my sister. Still not doing very good.

We were also trying to get some Christmas shopping done for the Giving Tree at Church. Have I told you how much I hate to shop? And especially at this time of year. We even went to the Mall.

Friday we finished up the shopping and wrapping for the Giving Tree. Talked to Aunt Happy and Judy on the phone to see how they were doing.

Then we went down to Casa Grande for a party at Jan and Bill’s with Ed and Alice, John and Karen, Dave and Sherry, Vern and Polly. Really had a great time. So much fun we didn’t take any pictures. Probably a good thing or I could have used some of them for blackmail.

Today Judy wanted to do some shopping and we needed to pick up a couple of other things so we went to Kohl’s. That wasn’t too bad because there weren’t all that many people there. Quite tolerable in fact. Stopped over to Aunt Happy’s and she was busy getting ready to play bingo. Had her hair cut and was back to her optimistic self. Amazing.

Dropped Judy off and we came home. Wrapped all the packages and are watching TV and falling asleep.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011



There are definitely angels among us.

For some reason I have really been wishing I had a grandchild to enjoy. I think it’s because I’ve been reading so many blogs where many of you are spending time with your grandchildren and it’s the holidays. Our son is getting married next June so there is hope in my future. But Todd and Michaela are in no hurry to have a child so I’m not sure how many years in the future it will be before I get my wish.

Anyhow, my heart and my arms have been feeling empty. On Sunday that changed.

We were at Church and Sacrament meeting had begun. Jim and I were sitting in the back row. Ahead of us sitting on the side row was a family with five children. The youngest was probably about two. He was sitting on his mother’s lap when all of a sudden he looked at us and wanted down from her lap. He was very adamant about it and his mother finally put him down. He took off and came running over to us. Hugged Jim’s legs and then wanted up into my lap. Such joy filled my old heart. He didn’t stay long, hard to sit still at that age. But there are definitely angels among us.

Saturday night we went to the Church Christmas dinner. One thing about it, those Mormons really do know how to cook. After a fantastic dinner of turkey and ham with everything else you could think of, we had the entertainment. Our Bishop and his family (father, grandfather, and sundry cousins) have a blue grass band and they performed for us. A really great time and a wonderful start to the Holiday Season.


Second guy from the left with the mandolin is our Bishop. His father is on the far right with the banjo and his grandfather is second from the right on guitar.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


IMG_3764 An almost totally uneventful week. Jim did some fishing before the cold weather moved in. It’s been raining and cold since Thursday and I am not a happy camper. I think the rain is supposed to be out of here tomorrow but it’s not going to warm up very much for the next week.

We’ve practiced cribbage and Thursday night Jim went to the clubhouse to play poker with the guys.

IMG_3768 We did get our hummingbird feeder up and have been enjoying the birds and their battles for dominance. It was a rainy and dreary day that the picture really didn’t turn out very well.

Yesterday we went to Mesa to open my sister’s park model. She’s flying in on Monday so we did what we could to make the house ready for her. Her hubby will be driving down with his son later in the week with a vehicle that they are going to leave here in AZ. They will then fly down to AZ in the fall and back to Helena, MT for the summer. My sister has Restless Legs Syndrome and cannot handle the long drive any longer. Turning on the electricity took a little longer than it should and also getting the pilot light lit. But next year we’ll be able to do it in half the time

Today we went to visit Aunt Happy. Her hearing aids aren’t working so it was a struggle to talk loud enough so she could hear us. She always tells such fun stories. This morning she went to the Lion’s Club breakfast as the guest of honor because she is one of their largest donors. But the pancakes weren’t cooked all the way through, they didn’t have real cream or half-and-half for the coffee, the orange juice was the cheap kind and so were the sausages. She was really glad that she didn’t have to pay the $6 for the meal because it really wasn’t worth it. Then all these guys came up to her and were giving her hugs and telling her how good it was to see her again. She didn’t have a clue as to who they were; so she was happy to get home and back to her book.

This Willy’s was sitting in the parking lot at Aunt Happy’s Senior Living Complex. Isn’t it beautiful?


I also have lots of help when I’m on the computer. Today it was Scooter’s turn to work with Mom.