Thursday, May 31, 2012


Kanab, UT  H 95  L 61

IMG_4573 This is significant because this is the speed at which our truck said we must travel today. Don’t you just love computers? 30 miles from Kanab, UT (our destination) the truck speed dropped to 30 mph and a message popped up that said “power reduced”.


So picture this, we are on a two lane road with lots of traffic, no shoulder and absolutely no where to pull over, no cell phone service (not even a part of a bar) and even On-Star can’t get through to us. Do you think my anxiety level went up a wee bit?

IMG_4565 The rest of the gauges showed everything was fine. No overheating, pressure was good. We had absolutely no choice but to keep moving forward very slowly. Jim pulled over as far as he could, put his flashers on and signaled people to pass when he could. I am just grateful that the road was pretty flat and not in the mountains.


IMG_4548 It took us an hour but we did make it to the Kanab RV Corral. As soon as we got the fifth wheel leveled and set up, Jim unhitched and headed up to Ramsey’s. Recommended by the RV park owners. Jim was very impressed with their customer service. They took the truck in after just a short wait and discovered that we have a clogged fuel filter. Changed the filter and we are good to go. So happy it was not something more serious.



I took a bunch of windshield pictures today. Highway 89 from Flagstaff to Kanab is such a treat for the eyes. We crossed over Glen Canyon Dam at Lake Powell near Page, AZ.



Only had one small stretch of road construction with a flagger.


Loved this old water tower.IMG_4574

We will be staying in Kanab for three days to give Jim a chance to recover and relax. Will definitely be visiting Zion and hopefully the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. My nerves are starting to climb down off the walls.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Flagstaff, AZ   H 79  L 38


(Lousy picture taken with my phone).

You really didn’t think we were going to get out of town without problems did you?

Our original plan was to leave Apache Junction at 5:00 a.m. That way we’d miss rush hour traffic and could climb the mountain up to Flagstaff before the heat of the day. Got up at 4:00 a.m. Walked the girls, unhooked everything and got in position to hitch the boat behind the fifth wheel. That went okay. Checked the lights and Jim had to replace one of the boat tail lights. Time is ticking.

Jim then wanted to check the trailer brakes for both the fiver and the boat. Fiver is fine – boat not so good. Something is wrong and with the boat trailer brake plugged in, the brakes were on all the time. Time is ticking.

Jim finally figures out that the plug has a bad connection (or something like that). We need a new plug. It is now 6:15 and right in the middle of rush hour. Besides that, stores aren’t open yet. I get on the internet and find out that the U-Haul store just down the block from us opens at 7:00 a.m. Bob gave Jim a ride to the store so we didn’t have to unhitch the truck. Thank goodness for such great neighbors.

Got the plug replaced and it is now 7:30. Not going to head out at this time with that boat attached. Not if I’m going along for the ride. So I made Jim take a nap (it’s only been 3 1/2 weeks since his surgery). Woke him up and we finally left town at 9:45.

Tonight we are in Flagstaff, AZ where it is much cooler because we climbed from the valley floor up to over 6000 feet in elevation. We’re at Black Bart’s RV Park which is okay for an overnight stop. They let us have a pull through site which is really two sites for the price of one. We stayed here on the way down from Montana. We were not at all impressed with the steakhouse attached to the Park and won’t be eating there tonight.

Tomorrow we will be in Kanab, UT. If all goes well in the morning.

Sunday, May 27, 2012



I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day.  I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it.  We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.  ~Benjamin Harrison

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Apache Junction, AZ  H 84 L 55


My good friend, Judy, sent me this picture this morning. This is her back yard in Billings, MT where we are headed. As much as the heat down here in Arizona can be pretty miserable, I would much rather be in the heat then in the snow and cold. So I told Judy that she had to make sure the sun was out and shining or I was not going to be happy.

Today is beautiful here in AZ. Almost perfect except a little windy. The lower temps make it easier to get the stuff done that’s on our list to get out of here.

Went to dinner last night with Don Faye. Faye had her spleen removed a week ago and feels better than she has in years. I am so happy for her. Their doctors have also released them to get out of town next week.

Jim has been torquing and lubing and straightening and who knows what else so we will be ready to leave Wednesday morning. I’ve been reading. All the stuff I need to do (laundry, putting everything away, grocery shopping, etc.) will all be done on Monday and Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Apache Junction, AZ    h 108 l 72


The question is: Can we leave Arizona? And that will be Wednesday, May 30, 2012. I am so ready to get on the road. We have been sitting here since January and I just hope we can find our departure check sheet so we don’t forget something.

The surgeon was very pleased with how well Jim is healing and nobody wants to see us again until September. We will be taking our time heading up to Montana. 150 miles a day or so and maybe stay a couple of nights. Nice and easy so Jim doesn’t wear out. It will sure be nice to move north to cooler weather.


After the doctor’s appointment we stopped by to check on Aunt Happy. Her necklace had broke and she was sure glad to see Jim cause she knew he could fix it for her. Had a really fun visit with her. She needed us to go to the store for her and then we headed home to check on the girls. (I worry about the air conditioner breaking down.)

We celebrated by going to Superstition Skies for their two for one burgers. B & K do not play during the summer months and the place was almost empty. Said our goodbyes and see ya’s in the Fall.

Apache Junction is a whole different world when the snowbirds leave. We can go to Walmart and park close to the door instead of out in the north 40. Picking up a prescription only takes about 10 minutes instead of three hours. Restaurants are empty at 4:00 p.m. Getting a doctor’s appointment is easy-peasy. All of the license plates are from Arizona.

IMG_4529 Last night we met up with Dianna and Bobbi and went to the American Legion in Chandler for dinner and a bluegrass jam. The food was fantastic and there are some extremely talented pickers and grinners.


IMG_4531This young man was there for the first time with his Dad. His banjo is almost as big as he is but he was hanging in there with the group. For the closing number he and his Dad played Dueling Banjos. Really made the evening. They ended up with 25 players (6 banjos).

Now back to making a list of everything we need to get done.  I’m so excited I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Apache Junction, AZ -   h 103  l 72

It’s been hot here and not a whole lot gets done. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 108. We stay inside in the air conditioning most of the time. However, the early mornings are very pleasant and we really enjoy sitting outside. There is almost nobody left here in the park.

Our street is empty except for us so it’s really, really quiet. We have lots of rabbits for neighbors and Scooter chases them until her tongue is hanging to the ground. She certainly isn’t going to ever catch one but hope springs eternal. Skitz will chase one for a little ways and as soon as it runs she’s done.


Jim overdid it yesterday. He pounded some stakes into the ground so we can tie down our awning. The desert is really hard and he had to really pound. Not a good idea just yet. He was pretty miserable last night and is still in some pain today. But definitely getting much better.

We see the surgeon on Tuesday and we’re hoping he will give us the okay to leave town shortly. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

IMG_4507 Tonight we watched the solar eclipse. That was just incredible. I ordered some solar glasses from Astronomers Without Borders ( They allowed us to look directly at the sun without damaging our eyes.

Our little camera doesn’t take very good pictures but Jim was able to get a couple of them that give you some idea of the eclipse. We were too far south to see the Ring of Fire but it was still awesome.


Astronomers Without Borders tells us that another event is happening in June. This is from their website: On 5/6 June 2012 a celestial takes place that is so rare that it will not be seen again by anyone now living. On June 8, 2004 Venus crossed the face of the Sun for the first time since the 19th century. This spectacle will be repeated again this June for the last time until 2117. Only six Venus transits have occurred since the invention of the telescope in the early 17th century.

solar1 Our glasses will work for that one also.

Thursday, May 17, 2012



Jim replaced our toilet. (A cable on the pedal broke and since the toilet is eight years old we decided to get a new one.) Now isn’t that an exciting project for the day? But since I fell in love with him for rolling up my car windows, it seems pretty apropos.

26 years ago Jim and I were married in Fairfax County, VA. And it was hot there also. We were married at home with only about eight friends to see us get hitched. That morning Jim and Billy put in a window air conditioner cause we were sweltering. I made my wedding cake and the punch. The next day Jim left me to go to New Jersey for an automotive school for a week. A perfect day.

I had thought we might go out for dinner but after the toilet project and then trying to get new tires on the truck, Jim is exhausted. So we will have left overs and watch some TV. This is also a perfect day.

We’re going to have a chest x-ray taken tomorrow and we’ll celebrate by going out to lunch after that is out of the way. All that matters is that we are together.

New toilet ready to be used.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

JUNE 7, 2012

That’s the date that we will be leaving AZ (barring any unforeseen problems).

We saw the oncologist today and he doesn’t want to see Jim again until September. That’s right, the surgeon was able to get all of Jim’s cancer. No chemo, no radiation. Just the follow up scans for the next few years. Miracles really do happen in our lives.

We still need to see the surgeon next week but I’m sure he’ll say that if Jim feels good we can leave town.

And leave town will be a good thing. It was 106 here today. The weather reporters are excited because we’re cooling down into the mid-90’s for a few days. Talk about a cold front coming through. LOL. That gives us two weeks to get back to Billings, MT for our son’s wedding, and we don’t have to push too hard to get there.

Karen, the movie theater in my last post is in Mesa, AZ. I forgot to mention that.


Fire season has already started here in Arizona. It is so hot, dry and windy that the firefighters don’t stand a chance. It could prove to be a long, long summer in several states that did not receive much snowfall this past winter. Please, be careful when you are camping. The picture above is of the smoke from the Sunflower Fire which is just south of Payson. We took it at an intersection in Scottsdale.

Do you think Scooter just might be a tad bit spoiled? That’s my pillow.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Yesterday, Jan and Bill brought us lunch from Rudy’s BBQ. They picked up some brisket and cole slaw and it was great. The brisket was so tender and tasty. Definitely a place we’ll visit again.

Can you tell who’s the soft touch in this group?


war-horseLast Friday we went to see War Horse with our friend Dianna. I find that as I’ve gotten older I prefer to just be entertained when I go to the movie. Movies like War Horse are just so emotionally draining for me. Especially when I’m in such a vulnerable condition as I am after Jim’s surgery. It was a really great movie and I’m glad we went. But I was so wrung out afterwards that I just wanted to go home and go to bed. Thank goodness it had a happy ending.

I did remember to take the camera with me this time and I want to show you what this move theater looks like. This is the $3 theater that is almost empty on a week-end afternoon – perfect!

 IMG_4479 The band that greets you as you walk in.









Keeping the kids entertained.











Quite the theater.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


mothers day

For those of you who still have your Moms here on earth I hope you are able to be with her today or call her on the phone and tell her how important she is.

For those of us whose Moms have already left earth, I pray that they know how much they are loved and missed.

I love you Mom.

hawiai 017

(She would hate that I used this picture of her which was taken shortly before her death. Horrors, no lipstick and her hair not combed. But I love this picture.)

Friday, May 11, 2012


Several of you had questions about Scooter’s Thundershirt so I thought I’d post a picture of her wearing it.


According to their website the Thundershirt wrap works by applying constant, gentle pressure to the animal’s torso. This has a significant calming effect for most dogs.

And it really does help Scooter. She isn’t so much afraid of the storms or fireworks as she wants to attack them. And she seems to really like her Thundershirt. She absolutely would not let us put a sweater or anything like that on her but when we tell her we’re going to get the Thundershirt, she just waits patiently for us to get it done. She’s still not happy about the storm but I don’t worry about her having a heart attack.


Skittlez is afraid of everything. From people to other animals to a leaf or bag blowing across the yard. But thunderstorms and fireworks done’ bother her at all. So she doesn’t have a Thundershirt.

I also want to answer a question that somebody asked awhile ago – I am so sorry but I don’t remember who or when asked the question.

They wanted to know where we will put the patio set we bought when we finally get to move again. We actually lease our spot here in Apache Junction, AZ by the year. We found that works for us because we can come and go as we please and still have a place to sit if we run out of money or energy. This year it has been a life saver because of all the medical issues Jim has had.


This is our sport in Apache Junction at the Santa Fe RV Park.

Also, this year we put a shed on our lot at the back end of the sidewalk and we will be leaving the patio set in the shed when we leave. We have a couple of chairs that fold that we take with us in the fiver for the summer.

Thanks Linda – we also leave one of our boats here during the summer but not actually on our lot. Our neighbor across the street has a park model with a carport and he lets us leave the boat under the carport. That really does help to protect it from the sun and dust storms.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Love that song.

We had a humdinger go through this afternoon. We had thunder, lightning, wind (50 mph), rain and hail. Thank goodness the hail wasn’t very big and I don’t think it did any damage.

But it was rather exciting for awhile. Got Scooter’s Thundershirt on her and it really does help keep her calmer. She still thinks she should be attacking the thunder and protecting her home.

What amazes me is how rapidly the water disappears into the ground or into the air down here in the desert. People are really happy about getting this rain. Arizona is in desperate need of water.

Jim is doing better. Yesterday was a rough day – in quite a bit of pain. But today is better. Still hurts but we went for a walk and he took the girls out a couple of times. Definitely improving.

And that is how our day went.

Monday, May 7, 2012


IMG_4475 Jim told me the first thing I have to do is explain the shirt. He was cold and I couldn’t find his flannel shirt so I grabbed this one out of the closet and told him to put it on. I think he looks cute.

He is doing so well, the doctor said he could come home a day early and even though it took us several hours to get all the doctors coordinated and all the paperwork done, I got him home about 5:00. He really doesn’t have any restrictions – if it hurts, don’t do it. He can’t drive because of the pain meds.

So good to have him home.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


But I’m recovering. Not as fast as Jim though. Yesterday they moved him out of ICU, turned off most of his monitors, and this morning they removed the catheter and all the tubes should come out today.

I knew he was doing great when I called him yesterday morning before I headed up to see him. He had an omelet and an English muffin for breakfast. Most of you know, my husband loves to eat and that is an excellent sign that he is recovering nicely.

There has to be something about the lighting in this hospital that makes everything pink. The rest of my pictures turn out okay. But this is what greeted me when I got to the ICU yesterday.

IMG_4469 Notice – no oxygen. I think that is what surprised me the most. After having part of your lung removed I would think you would need to be on oxygen. But not my guy. He’s able to breathe deep enough to get the oxygen into his lower lungs.

The bandage on his neck is where they went in to do the biopsy on the lymph node.


Now the next picture is one of those you may not want to look at. This is his left side where they went in between the ribs to remove the lobe. The drainage tubes will hopefully come out today (Sunday).


I was also amazed at how alert he was in the ICU after the surgery. Don and Faye stopped in to see him and he actually remembered the next day that they had been there.

Faye has been having some major medical problems and will be having surgery in the next week or so to remove her spleen. I sure appreciate them stopping by to check on Jim. Faye is the one who referred us to Dr. Field who did Jim’s back surgery.

We got Jim moved to a regular room and by then he was really tired. So I left and went home to feed the girls. Ginny and Mickey, our neighbors across the street, have been taking care of the girls for me while I spend so much time at the hospital. I think she has spoiled them rotten cause they really get excited when they see her coming. They also helped me with my awning. Guess the wind caught it and jammed it up somehow. Mickey and Ginny took care of that for me.

I then went to the movie with Dianna. Went to see The Descendants at the $3 theater. That was a great movie. Monday we’re planning on going again – this time to see War Horse. I still don’t like parking the truck but I think I’m doing better this time around.

The plan is still to bring Jim home on Tuesday.

This tree is blooming outside the hospital and I was finally able to take the time to stop and enjoy the beauty of the blossoms. I just haven’t been in the mood to see the signs of Spring around me and hopefully now I can appreciate all of the beauty of the Lord’s creations.


Friday, May 4, 2012



Playing solitaire while waiting. And those pants are beige NOT pink!!

That was the word from the surgeon today. Jim’s surgery was routine. Those are really wonderful words.

We were up at 4:30 and left for the hospital at 5:15. Got checked in and they came to get Jim about 6:45 to do some blood work and prep him for surgery. Then I got to go see him and talk to the surgeon and the anesthesiologist.

One of the things they had seen in the PET-CT scan was an abnormal lymph node on the outside of his right lung. It did not show up as cancer but the oncologist was concerned about it and after he and the surgeon discussed it, they decided that a biopsy was going to be done before surgery. We knew that this may be a possibility but we didn’t find out for sure until this morning.

If they found cancer in that node, they would not do surgery and Jim would have to do the chemo/radiation route. No cancer. Just an enlarged node. So on with the surgery to remove the lower lobe of the left lung. It took almost four hours for the biopsy and the surgery. He was in recovery for over an hour and then they moved him to the ICU and I finally got to see him.

He looks good. He’s on some really heavy duty pain meds and had trouble keeping his eyes open, but he came to long enough to tell me he loves me. That’s all that matters.

He’ll stay in ICU until tomorrow and hopefully I’ll get to bring him home on Tuesday. I’m exhausted and it will be an early night for me.

Once again our prayers were answered.