Monday, February 29, 2016

See Ya Later Paul

AJ, AZ   High 88  Low 55

I can’t believe that our good friend Paul has already been in the area for five weeks and it’s time for him to move on. We  had our last dinner together at our usual place – Los Gringos Locos here in AJ. We have made plans to meet up again this summer in Montana. Safe travels.

Last Tuesday night we also met up with a bunch of friends for dinner at Boulders on Broadway. Nice turn out and no pictures. Dianna, Bobbie, Paul, Paula, Croft, Norma, Ken and Kris. We even had our own little room which made it much easier to visit with everybody.

We are still hitting or breaking high temperatures. At least we’re still staying mostly in the 80’s and not the 90’s yet. We are here until the end of May because of Jim’s doctor appointments.

I wanted to record some memories of Aunt Happy and it might even be of interest to you. She was quite the traveler in her day. So here is her report of her journey on the Concorde.

Around the World in 33 days on the Concorde

In 1992 I called my travel agency and asked for their suggestion for a trip that was different from the ones I had taken with them. They suggested a trip around the world on the Concorde. They would be leaving in October an there was still room for me. Of the 99 maximum passengers allowed, there would be 45 single men and women.

I needed many shots; most of them were administered at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix due to the fact that there were few calls for them in our area. We were going around the world in 33 days! This was to include many social affairs which would require evening dresses and fancy shoes. Each passenger was allowed one piece of baggage and an overnight bag.

I began my trip meeting everyone on the flight, which originated in San Francisco. Never before was it possible to fly so far and so fast in such luxury – first class all the way. The Concorde was the most graceful aircraft every built. I could look out my window and see the curvature of the earth. Only a spacecraft could bring us closer to the moon. We watched the Mack meter tick off the increasing speed of 683 miles per hour above the Earth. Twice the speed of sound. I never dreamed of such exuberance in my lifetime. We were wined and dined in the grandest manner at the finest restaurants in places, seldom visited by other travelers. Travel directors were included in all our tours.

The Concorde had to be refueled every 2 ½ hours. A red carpet was laid for us as we stopped off at all the Pacific Islands that had runways large enough to accommodate the plane’s landing. These stops gave us a chance to take a taxi around to see the top sightseeing places. Dancing girls in native outfits met our plane hugged us and gave us leis. Around 4 p.m. each day, we were met by our hotel busses. Each hotel was selected for its deluxe comfort and excellent service.

After three days in the Hawaiian Islands we were on our way to Australia. The world famous Opera House planned a dinner and night show for us. I did not feel it was as elegant inside as the one in Vienna or Mexico City. However, the outside is worth seeing. There is always a lot to see and do in Sydney. Our visit to the zoo gave us a chance to hold the baby koala bears and feed kangaroos.

New Zealand is noted for its friendly people. Many homes invited five or six people to have dinner with them and learn their lifestyle. I was really impressed with their hospitality. Some of the countryside reminded me of Montana, with high mountains and thousands of sheep in the lowlands.

Japan is always a highlight of a trip. Their achievements are worth hearing over and over again. It is a proud nation, and still, beneath this super society are old traditions of removing shoes, bowing and sitting on the floor at some evening nightclubs. The real treat was the super train to Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital and heartland of the country’s art, beautiful gardens and architecture.

In Beijing China we visited the Forbidden City that emperors once ruled with complete control. In Hong Kong, we viewed the city from Victoria Peak, rode on the junk boats and viewed the waterfront on a dinner cruise – a sight to behold. The Great Wall was a feat. To believe hand labor could create something so spectacular.

In Cairo, Egypt, I could see the Nile out of my bedroom window, full of pleasure and working boats. We saw the precious items from King Tut’s tomb at the museum. We always enjoy a trip to the pyramids and rides on the camels. In Luxor, we walked down the great Avenue of the Sphinxes.

In Agra, India, home of the Taj-Mahal, we listened to the story of the ruler building this beautiful temple for his dying wife.

My favorite memories were in African. In mini-buses we’d go out in the reserve with all the animals and their babies all around us; lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, etc. At night we returned to the resort hotel with white linen tablecloths. (The mongoose kept the snakes away.)

Most of the group had been in Europe many times, so we spent little time in Rome, Paris, and Berlin. We did however, enjoy going back to Moscow. There were so many changes but troops were still marching in Red Square. At night, when we entered the big dining room of our hotel, everyone stood up and a band played “America”. We stood by the door with tears in our eyes; even the men used their hankies. We had a seven course dinner with lots of liquor.

Our farewell gathering was at the opera house in London to see “Les Miserables.” This was a trip of a lifetime, never to be forgotten. A dream come true.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Rod Update

I heard from Rod’s daughter-in-law Melissa tonight. They all made it safely home and Rod saw his primary care doctor today. He ordered some new tests be done and will then set up an appointment with a specialist from the neurology department at KU Med.

They are concerned with his respiratory infection and are working to get that cleared up and get his strength built back up.

When there is more info, I will post it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Retired Rod

AJ, AZ  High 78   Low 55

blog7I wanted to let everyone know that Rod won’t be blogging for awhile. His two sons flew out on Monday to help him drive the motorhome and Jeep back to Kansas City. I really don’t have too much information, but Rod has a brain tumor and is going to have surgery.

I’m hoping that someone will let us know how he is doing but I’m not sure we will hear anything. If I do, I will be sure to keep all of you updated.

Rod has a deep faith in the Lord and I know he would appreciate your prayers.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

People Are So Nice

AJ, AZ   High 85  Low 54

Scooter wants me to thank all of you for thinking about her and us and to let you know she is doing really good. In fact, she is getting a little tired of all the love she is getting from Mom and Dad. She feels really good – been bouncing around the house, goes “hunting” with Jim, and has even played with Skittlez occasionally.

This is back in 2004 when Skittlez was still a puppy.


On Wednesday we met up with Bob and Jo for lunch at The American Grill in Fountain Hills. We really enjoy our visits with them and want to wish Jo all the best with her surgery next Friday. We’ll be praying for you.

Thursday was an “exciting” day for us. Our belly pan cover is falling down under the fiver. So Jim crawled under the rig to try and fix it. After being under there for awhile, he went to get up and became extremely dizzy and light headed. Got him inside and in his chair. Thought maybe it would go away but no such luck. We checked his blood pressure and blood sugar and both were good. A couple of hours later he was still really dizzy. So off to Urgent Care.

This is definitely not the time of year to need Urgent Care. The place was packed and they told us we had a two hour wait (which ended up being almost three hours). So we sat down and waited and waited. All around us people were coughing and coughing. Oh joy. If we can get out of here without getting really sick we’re going to be very very lucky.

Jim finally saw the doctor. Decided they needed to do an EKG to make sure nothing was going on with his heart (it was beating which is good). After all the checking the doc said he has a bad case of Vertigo. Put him on some dizzy medicine and we got out of there. He’s doing better but still gets dizzy when he tries to stand up or moves his head too rapidly. At least his stomach isn’t in rebellion today. Some progress. If he’s not better in a week or so, we will make an appointment to see an ENT.

The park had a hot dog pot luck down in our water retention pit. So much good food. We had over 60 people show up.


Jim and the guys got to talking about what Jim had been trying to do and today (Sunday) Pat (our new neighbor across the street) crawled underneath our fiver and finished up the belly pan cover and also found the source of a leak that we had and fixed it while he was under there. Jim really hates having to need help but it’s so nice to know everyone is there to pitch in.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I Don’t Know Where the Time Goes

Apache Junction, AZ  High 88  Low 54

It doesn’t feel to me like we are that busy but I have no idea where the days go anymore. We are experiencing record hot days. Makes me a little concerned about how warm it’s going to be in May before we can leave here.

We watched the Super Bowl at Paul’s rig. We were able to sit outside until half time and then we moved inside where it was warmer.  Paul fixed us brats on the grill. Not sure what happened to the Panthers but the Bronco’s defense was pretty impressive.

super bowl

I am sure all of you know that getting together with friends over food is very popular among RVers. One night last week we met up with friends at Sal’s Gilbert Pizza. People always seem to leave me in charge of where to eat so I make sure my cravings are taken care of. Italian sausage sandwich for me.

Rich and Paul


Rod and Paula


On Thursday Jim and Marv finally got to take the boat out for a ride. They really wanted to go fishing but nothing was biting so they enjoyed the boat ride.

Then on Friday we met up with Toni and Doug at City Bistro in Phoenix for lunch. No pictures but it was a great find. And find is the key word because it was difficult to find. It’s in an office building and I really wasn’t sure what to expect. But I had one of the best Philly’s I’ve ever had. In fact, everybody really liked what they ordered. Toni and Doug are slowly making their way north to Canada for their son’s March wedding.

Scooter had another episode Tuesday night so we didn’t get much sleep. Took her to the vet on Wednesday. Whatever these episodes are, they are very strange. Not really seizures because seizures almost always happen when the dog is awake and there is all kinds of movement. Scooter is always asleep, moaning, and absolutely no movement. They took blood and a couple of x-rays. Had to wait until Friday to get the results.

The vet called on Friday and they still don’t have any idea what is causing these episodes. Her blood work came back wonderful as far as kidney function, no valley fever, good liver function. But her heart is not in good shape at all. Her heart is very enlarged and according to the lab it could give out any time.

Our options are to take her to a neurologist for her episodes and a cardiologist for her heart, or continue to give her a wonderful life for as long as we can. The specialists really can’t do much more for her especially at her age and we can’t really afford them. So we are going to love her forever.

I’m documenting all of this mainly for my own memories. We love the vets at Prestige Animal Clinic. They are so compassionate and caring.

We stopped to see Aunt Happy today. She is on a diet. She had a beautiful outfit she wanted to wear for Valentine’s day and had gained too much weight to wear it. So she is only going to have one dessert a day instead of two. Never a dull moment with her around.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Big Scare

Apache Junction, AZ   High 78  Low 51

We found out this week that Jim’s anemia is caused by a lack of Vitamin D. He says it’s because the weather has been so lousy he hasn’t been able to go fishing and get his share of sunshine.  He is now taking a Vitamin D pill to make up for it.

It is finally warming up (into the 80’s next week) but I sure wish the “breezes” would stop.


I’ve been taking pictures of the girls. Scooter gave me a scare last Thursday night. Jim was up at the clubhouse playing poker and Scoots was laying on her rug under the table. All of a sudden she started making the most horrible moaning sound. I thought she was having a nightmare so I went over to wake her up and I couldn’t get her to wake up. She just kept making this horrible sound. I was frantic. Could barely hit the right buttons to call Jim. He got home in about two minutes flat and by then Scooter finally lifted her head and looked at me like “what is all the fuss”. I still haven’t recovered but Scooter is doing just fine.


Jim attacked another project this week. A piece of the siding on the Bungalow had oxidized with lots of holes in it. And as you all know, no project goes as easily as you think it will.


And it is always more expensive than you had planned on. These four small pieces are $10 a piece.


BungalowTook a couple of trips to RV Renovators to find the right siding and about a zillion screws later the work is done. Don’t worry, I still have a big long list of projects for Jim to finish before we head out for the summer.

We had a campfire last night here in the park. Perfect evening for it and I even stayed outside for over an hour. I think that might be a record for me.


The girls really like Jim’s new chair. Especially Skitz.


We’re going to Paul’s to watch the Super Bowl this afternoon. Don’t really have a favorite but I’ll probably root for the Broncos.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Running in Place

Apache Junction, AZ  High 52  Low 38

I am way behind on blogs. Not sure where the time goes anymore. So a quick recap of our last week or so.

Tuesday we drove down to Casa Grande to Jan and Bill’s for dinner and a get together with a couple of other Montana RV owners. Lots of visiting and even though Jan says she doesn’t cook she really made some great beans to go with our hamburgers that Bill grilled. I drove down and back just to keep myself in driving shape.

Wednesday was Jim’s doctor appointment. No news – just more tests. He had more blood work done and hopefully we’ll get results shortly. He also has to do a poop test to find out if he’s bleeding internally. This is all to try and figure out why he is anemic. The other thing he needs to have done is a colonoscopy. (OH JOY) The earliest appointment the gastroenterologist had was April 4. So it will be awhile before we have to suffer through that one.

After the appointment we met Paul for lunch at The District. We had a Groupon for a couple of burgers and milkshakes. Very interesting place. Not a place we would normally hang out – mainly a bar with a lot of outdoor seating. I’m sure it is really happening on the week-ends. But the burgers were good and so were the shakes.

Jim’s been doing some projects around here. Got the back up camera working again on the truck. Flushed the hot water tank and got a new anode rod put in. Changed water filters. Helped Mickey put the battery in their motorcycle. He, Marv and Ken put new batteries in the fifth wheel. We discovered the old ones were shot when the power went out.

Friday we checked out Paul’s new RV. It is gorgeous. A brand new Newmar Ventana. The color scheme is one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen in an RV.

Sunday we went to visit Aunt Happy. She always has a couple of projects for Jim to help her with. Like getting things down off the top shelf, gluing her blind rod back together, making sure all her pens write and throwing out the old ones, cleaning out her humidifier. Just odds and ends.

Last night winter hit Arizona in the form of WIND and rain. Snow in the high country. Not much sleep because of the wind but thankfully it’s calmed down tonight. It only got into the low 50’s today and just felt really cold to me. We decided the best thing to do was to go to a movie (along with every other retired person in town).

Paul joined us and we went to see Bridge of Spies at the $2 theater. What a great movie. We all really enjoyed it. I have always like all of Tom Hanks’ movies.

That’s about it from here. Hope to get togethere with a few more people before too long.