Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

Apache Junction, AZ


A Christmas message from Bishop Gary E. Stevenson:

This Christmas, as the spirit of the season permeates our hearts, let us do something that expresses our feelings in an outward way, showing that we understand that the babe born in Bethlehem is the real Redeemer. President Howard W. Hunter gave some practical advice that helps us do that:

“This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude.  Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.”

My mother made this Nativity set for me at least 35 years ago. It is one of my most treasured possessions.


Merry Christmas and may your heart be filled with love and peace.

The Dixon’s – Jim, Sandie, Scooter, and Skittlez

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hershey’s Chocolate, Christmas Lights and Ice Cream

 Apache Junction, AZ  High 65  Low 43

Some folks are so amazingly creative. This display was at Fry’s Grocery store and was put together by one of their cake bakers.


albertsons1 albertsons2


Sunday night, we picked up Paul and headed out to look at Christmas lights. These folks had lights all synced to music an it was so fun to see them. Lots of other people were out to see the lights also.

DSCN0474 This display had five houses all hooked up together. They were taking donations for Make A Wish and even had a snow making machine for the kids. 


I really liked the Santa at this house. But it was hard to get a picture of him with all the panes in the window. The kids were totally enthralled with him and he did look real walking back and forth across the window.





And what better way to end the evening but with a stop at Cold Stone.

Jim Paul

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Glendale Glitters

Glendale, AZ 

Scooter Update: Thank you all so much for the wonderful, caring comments. They are appreciated beyond words. She is still a very unhappy little girl. She is starting to feel better and wants to do more than she should. She was actually able to stand on her back legs to eat today. Wobbly, but standing. However, she’s not supposed to do that and we haven’t figured out how to stop her. It reminds me of Jim when he was in rehab after his back surgery. Both of them are terrible patients.


Tuesday night we made plans to meet up with Jeri and Terry in Glendale to take a carriage ride to see the Christmas lights that they call Glendale Glitters.

I had forgotten how bad rush hour traffic can be. When we worked in Washington, DC, we faced that kind of traffic everyday. Sure am grateful we don’t have to do that anymore. Except when I plan outings on the other side of the city.

DSCN0417By the time we arrived and met up with Jeri and Terry, we were starved. Jeri found a great restaurant. Originally we thought it was an Irish pub. (Murphy’s sounds Irish to me.) But this Murphy was German.


They even had doxies in their windows.


Then we ordered dinner. My plate had enough food on it for all four of us. (Thanks Jeri for the use of some of your pictures.)


They also had a trio playing German drinking music. You can just see the tuba player’s arm.

german band

After dinner we strolled through the lights on Glendale Square and got into line for the carriage ride.



Jeri and Terry waiting for the ride. Hard to take good pictures at night.


Miss Daisy was pulling our carriage. Isn’t she pretty?


It was a fun experience and I’m glad we did it. It was cold enough that it put me more in the Christmas mood. Growing up in Montana most of our Christmas’s were really cold and white. However, I’m really enjoying these warm Arizona Christmases.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Very Sad Scooter

Apache Junction, AZ  High 68  Low 42

A week ago, When Jim took Scooter out she stumbled coming back into the fifth wheel. But then she seemed fine. A little later she tried going up the steps into the bedroom and cried out in pain.

At this time she doesn’t have much use of her hind legs. We took her to the vet and it’s a neurological problem with her back. She is not a candidate for surgery because of her heart.

I got on the internet on which is a website devoted to dogs with IVDD (canine back problems) especially dachshunds and started reading. We are going to use the “conservative” method of treatment which means complete crate rest for two months. We don’t know if this will work but we are praying that it works for her.


She will probably never be able to walk normally and will always look like a drunken sailor but that’s okay. Just means the rabbits are a little bit safer.

This has been a real adjustment time for all of us. It took us a few days to decide on the crate rest and during that time one of us had to be with her at all times to make sure she didn’t move. We have to carry her outside and since she’s on a heart medicine that makes her have to go to the bathroom, we make several trips a day. Now with the crate we can leave her for a couple of hours at a time. And Ginny is always just across the street to help us out.

Scooter just looks at us like what in the world has happened to me. I feel so bad for her but she isn’t in any pain which is something we can really be grateful for. Skittlez also doesn’t understand what is going on but she’s getting used to Scooter being in the crate.

Jim and Paul went to Casa Grande to Jan and Bill’s Christmas Party last Friday. I stayed home with Scooter but I heard that everyone had a fantastic time and a whole lot of good food.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Good Times and Food

Apache Junction, AZ  High 72   Low 58  Rain

As all of you know, when folks get together food always seems to be a common denominator.

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving at Jan and Bill’s. There is just nothing like a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

From left – Vern, Polly, Dave, Sherry, Jan and Sherry’s Dad, Jim, me and Jan with her back to the camera.


Bill, Vern, Polly and Dave


Our good friend Paul arrived in town Thanksgiving afternoon. He is going to be just up the street from us for the winter so we’ll get a chance to see him quite often.

After we said hi to him, we drove by our local Walmart. The parking lot was a total zoo. People were even parking across the street in the McDonalds lot. I really don’t need or want anything that bad. We drove on past and went back to the sanity of our home.

Friday morning I was watching the news and they were broadcasting from a Target store that was almost empty. Jim and I looked at each other and wondered if the Walmart would also be empty. And it was. I have never seen it that empty. We got a parking spot about four spots from the door. I wanted to find the sheets they had on sale for $25 but we didn’t have any luck in the bedding aisle or in the front of the store. Jim said he needed some kind of wire and we headed back towards automotive. Guess what we found – the sheets. Yippee.

No lines anywhere so after getting a few groceries, we were in and out.

We bought this really great ham at Frys but it was way too big for us. I called Paul and Rod and asked them if they wanted to join us for Sunday dinner. More great times with special friends. The weather was beautiful so we were able to enjoy our meal outside.


Today we met up with Dianna, Bobbie and Paul for lunch in Chandler. No pictures cause Dianna threatened my life if I pulled out a camera.

We also stopped in and visited with Aunt Happy who is doing really good. She was on her way to play bingo and was excited because she was on a winning streak.

We are keeping busy and having a great time. More friends and food are in our future.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Apache Junction, AZ  High 68  Low 42

We have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

We are blessed with dear friends, like Eric and Karla who made time in their busy plans to have dinner with us before they left town. One of the best things that has come out of our full-time lifestyle are the friends we have made on our journeys. We had a few friends when we lived in a sticks and bricks but now we have an amazing number of people that I consider great friends. Hopefully we will be seeing many of these wonderful folks at Quartzsite in January.


Then there are all of you out there in blogland – some we’ve met and many others that we hope to meet in the future. When I need help, you are all there with suggestions and ideas and Rick takes his time to help me out. Thank you so much, especially Rick who was able to remove some suspicious programs on my computer.

Because we have chosen this lifestyle, we were able to spend time this summer with almost all of our families. What a great time we had. Our family is doing well and are happy. What more can we ask for.

Todd and Michaela


Being able to explore this beautiful country of ours at our own pace and in our own home on wheels. In our six years on the road we’ve barely put a dent in my list of places to see.

We also are able to spend our winter months in the Southwest. And this year I am really grateful for our sunshine and warmth. Snow is beautiful in pictures but definitely not in my yard. Desert sunsets are so incredible.


I am especially grateful for the wonderful doctors we have here and for their abilities. We saw Jim’s oncologist on Monday and his PET scan was great. We don’t have to go back for six months. We definitely did a happy dance in their parking lot.

We are going to be sharing Thanksgiving dinner with Jan and Bill down in Casa Grande. We have so very much to be thankful for this year. We wish all of you a very wonderful and joyous Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Need Help


I am going through my gigabytes faster than ever and I can’t figure out why. I have almost given up reading blogs or commenting. Jim hasn’t been on his computer for almost two weeks and yet we are still over 50% of our 8 gigs.

Does anybody have any suggestions as to what might be wrong? We got along just fine with 5 gigabytes for many years and now 8 isn’t enough.

Thanks guys.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Checking in with Folks

Apache Junction, Az   High 81  Low 58

IMG_20141109_145053_167 After recovering from our mad, cross country dash, we headed out on Monday to visit with Aunt Happy. She is really glad that we are back. She fell a couple of weeks ago and spent the night in the hospital. Unbelievable that she didn’t break any bones at her age. But the doctor told her that for being 101 she has incredible bone strength. Lots of bruises and needs some physical therapy but is still going strong.

Tuesday we headed over to see Dianna. She needed some help with her computer and printer and she wanted Jim to check out a couple of things on her travel trailer. Also had lunch with her and Bobbie at Lin’s Chinese Buffet. So good.

Wednesday Jan and Bill came up from Casa Grande. They had to drop off their rig for some smaller repairs that needed to be done. We went to the Escapees Chapter luncheon at Mickey D’s. It was good to see everybody again.

DSCN0401 Thursday morning we finally got laundry done. Thursday afternoon, Betty and Joe came over for a visit. I have enjoyed Betty’s blog for a long time and it sure was fun to finally meet them in person. The couple of hours they were here passed so quickly because we had so much we wanted to talk about. They left last Saturday to head further south to St. David. Safe travels.

On Friday we had to take Scooter to the vet. We weren’t impressed with the vet here in AJ (they seemed a lot more interested in money than in our girls) so we went to Dianna’s vet in Gilbert. Everyone was wonderful and definitely put Scooter first.


Scooter has a heart murmur and has been on a heart medication for over a year now. But we noticed that her breathing was very shallow and noisy. The vet took x-rays and did an exam. Her heart is enlarged somewhat and that pushes on the lungs and doesn’t allow them to expand as much as they should. The valves in her heart aren’t working as good as they should either. With these problems, she had some fluid in her lungs.


The doctor put her on an additional heart medication as well as a diuretic. We noticed an immediate improvement in her breathing and in her energy level. The vet said she should live several more years as long as we keep her in good shape weight wise. Right now she is at a perfect weight between 14 and 15 pounds.

Skittlez can’t be left alone at home. She would probably collapse from a broken heart. So she got to go to the vet with us.


On Saturday, Carol and Doug came to see us. They have been “camping” in the RV Renovators repair shop like forever. They are having some major repairs made on their fifth wheel. Check out their blog at Carol to see what they have been going through. Sure hope things are looking up for them this week.


We had some root beer floats and then headed for dinner at Tom’s BBQ in Mesa. They have some of the best bbq in town. Jim had their Italian beef sandwich and loved it. I went with the brisket and it was fantastic. We will be meeting up with Carol and Doug later on this winter.

This week, Jim is working on getting the boat ready to go in the water. We also have several doctor appointments including another one for Scooter.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Summer Summary

We had one of the best summer’s ever. It started with our journey north and our visits with friends, Steve and Peter, in Las Vegas; Sharon and George in Hawthorne, NV; and Dianne and Tom and Jeff and Tina in Wyoming.

We then got to spend the week-end in Bozeman with David, Kelly and Katie Bug and watch Katie compete in her track events.

From there we headed to Helena and got set up for a couple of months. Jim had good luck fishing for walleye which makes him a very happy man. We had lots of fun with my sister and her hubby going out to dinner, garage sales, and just visiting. While there we also got to see Tara Jo and Emmett.

After leaving Helena we ended up in Todd and Michaela’s drive way. Major hail damage needed to be repaired on the house. A little over a week later the work was done and we were ready to head East to Virginia.

Met up with Nan and John in South Dakota. Jan and Bill in Indiana. John and Peg in Illinois. It really is so much fun to meet up with good friends all across this country.

We spent a week in Fredericksburg with Jimmy and his family. We finally got to meet Jenetta and Angel. Also got to spend some time with Madison and Juliet and their Mom, Jessica. Our friend, Linda, came down from Maryland and rented a cabin at the campground for a couple of days. Visited lots of Civil War battlefields and stood on sacred ground. Also got to have dinner with Jim’s sister, Nancy, her hubby, Jack, and Jim’s niece, Patti.

Moved on down to Mechanicsville into our friends’ driveway. It had been years since we last visited with Tom and Patsy and we won’t let that happen again. We ended up staying almost two weeks and had a fantastic time.

Headed west to Appomattox to experience the surrender of Lee to Grant and the end of the Civil War.

On to Roanoke and good times visiting with Jim’s family.  His sister, Janet; his Aunt Ruby; his cousin, Sandra and her hubby. Nancy and Patti were able to come down to join us for dinner to complete the family reunion.

Time to head West and a stop in Atlanta. There was someone I really wanted to meet. Nancy and Master Jack Nimble. After following Nancy’s blog and feeling a strong connection with her, we landed in her driveway and thanks to her daughter, Susan, had a fantastic dinner and a wonderful visit.

Most of our days west were to pull into a campground, not unhitch, and leave in the morning. We did spend two days in Albuquerque so we could visit with Steve and Jen.

Then down the mountainside into Apache Junction.

I am so happy to be back in the desert. I did not like the feeling of being so closed in with all the trees in the East. They are all you can see. I like being able to see for miles and miles in all directions. I hated the humidity – everything always felt wet. Thank goodness the friends and family more than made up for that.

Now that we are settled back in our spot in AJ (Petticoat Junction), I probably won’t have a lot of blog posts. At least until something fun or exciting happens in our lives.

I forgot to add that we covered 11,686 miles this summer. And Jim drove all but maybe 100 of them. He is such a great guy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Steve and Jen

Albuquerque, NM

We stopped in Albuquerque for two nights so we could visit with our kids. This was a great summer for Jim because he got to spend time with all four of his sons. That doesn’t happen very often.

Steve and his Dad


We let the kids decide where we were going to dinner and they made a great choice. Cracker Barrel. One of our favorite.


Jen is really tiny and we all decided that the child’s rocker would be the perfect size for her.


We had a fantastic visit with the kids. A really nice way to spend Halloween.

The next day we were going to go as far as Holbrook, AZ but when we got there the weather people were predicting 50 mph winds and possible snow flurries for the next day. Jim looked at me after we got fuel and said we’re going down the mountain into the valley. So over 400 miles later, we arrived in Apache Junction.


Saturday morning we got up early and unloaded the Bungalow into the fiver. We parked in Ron’s spot since they hadn’t arrived from Canada yet. We got everything moved and sat down for a minute. I asked Jim when he wanted to move the Bungalow to it’s storage spot and he said right now. As he started to pull out, a motorhome came rolling down the street. Talk about perfect timing. Yep – Ron and Theresa.


The rest of Saturday and Sunday are just a blur because we were exhausted. Sure feels good to be back in the desert.

Our first Arizona sunrise.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Heading West

Across the USA

I don’t have too many pictures of our trip West. All we did was drive, pull into a campground and head out in the morning. We didn’t do any sight seeing.

Virginia weather. 

clouds and rain

Some Fall colors.


Bright sunshine.


The Gaffney Peach


Atlanta traffic.


Beautiful clouds.


A barge on the Mississippi River


A hitchhiker.


A prairie sunset.