Sick day for retirees?

Yesterday was a cloudy, misty day in Yuma, rather unusual to say the least. After a night of coughing, LeRoy woke up sneezing and congested and just felt progressively worse all day. This morning, it was my turn to add to the mix, so we took a sick day and stayed home from Sunday school and church. We’ve just come back from a drugstore run, hoping for a better night tonight. Just so our friends don’t think we’ve dropped off the face of the earth, I thought I’d leave a current update.

More later.

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Frustration, thy name is computer

I have cried and yelled and griped and my computer still is my prime source of frustration. It had been terribly slow for quite some time, sometimes taking 10 minutes to come to life. Then last week when I started to do my blog, it wouldn’t boot up at all. No blue screen of death, no sounds, nothing. Geek Squad at Best Buy has worked for us before so we took it for a thorough checkup. They told me that it would be ready today, but Friday night I had a call saying that while everything checked out okay on the hard drive once it came up, 2 out of 5 times it didn’t come up at all. They recommended a new hard drive and said it would be much faster than the old one and it would be ready yesterday.

True to their word, it was ready on Saturday, but what a frustration! All my files were still there, but in different places, none of which were available at a click on the desktop. The icons opened folders, but they were blank. First, I had to get into an icon labeled “backup” and there were all my files…like a treasure hunt without a map. (If there is a “backup”, shouldn’t there have been a “restore”?) I had to look in each folder, sometimes in places that had no similarity to the type of file I was trying to find. My Quicken program was completely gone and the latest backup in the file was in 2008. Hardly a good beginning to getting my tax papers together! Fortunately, I was able to download the app and I had made a separate backup on a thumb drive before taking the computer for service. But the computer would no longer talk to the printer. I couldn’t scan the 1099 forms to send to our accountant in Kansas without that communication and I could NOT make it talk or listen. Needless to say, Geek Squad was not thrilled to hear from me. I took it back today and the nice young man pulled things together in a much more functional way and got the printer and computer playing nice again. I’m a happy camper, or will be when I figure out a few more things, like how to get the computer itself passworded again.

We’ve had new friends in our extra space for over a week now. First, Dan and Charlene Lawry were here from Oregon. We’ve been friends with Dan’s brother Paul and his wife Becky since we first went on the road in the late summer of 2010. They are full timers in an Eagle as well and Paul was the one who encouraged me to begin writing a blog. Anyway, Dan and Charlene were a joy to have and we are so glad we got acquainted. Then last Wednesday, Larry and Alice Jesse from Ohio moved in. Alice and I attend the same Bible study at Desert Grace Nazarene Church. They had planned to leave for the Grand Canyon but the weather up there is too cold for their liking. Funny, we think Arizona should be warm and sunny, but we forget that’s only down south. It’s snowy and cold up north.

Perhaps another blog will be less tedious and frustration-filled. And one day I’ll be sorry for yelling, but not today.

 

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Full House

When we bought the Landing in Kansas, we planned to have an extra plug in just in case friends happened to stop by for a visit in their RV. We were just a couple of miles off the interstate and on a paved road with a circle drive for easy access. Even though we were off the beaten path for most people, our friends began to find us and we loved it.

So when we began thinking about buying property in Arizona, we thought the same thing might apply here. The Landing in Yuma is just a couple of miles off the interstate and not hard to find. We have not been disappointed! Since December, we have been hosts to four rigs of various sizes and shapes for various lengths of time. Our friends Larry and Mileta Kinser were here until Tuesday this week and when I say “full house”, their rig is the definition of filling our space!

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They stopped by on their way to visit their daughter Lacey and family in Fresno. We had a relaxed visit and were sorry to see them go. Today, we’re meeting new friends. We already feel as though we know Dan and Charlene Lawry, because Dan’s brother is another bus friend, Paul Lawry. Paul and Becky are fellow full-timers in an Eagle bus, and there aren’t many of us around! We stopped to see them in Abilene, TX our very first year on the road. Dan and Charlene are our first 5th wheel visitors.

Between visitors, LeRoy dismantled the deck that had been covered with turf.

It was just the wrong height for most of the people who have visited, so the turf now covers the ground instead and the former deck is ready for future projects.

We’ve decided to attend Desert Grace Nazarene church where we already knew several couples, and they are just starting a women’s Bible study. I attended last week and I’m looking forward to going again on Tuesday. About half of us are winter visitors and the leader is the associate pastor of the church. It’s interesting to me that the women most likely to join in discussion are the winter visitors. I don’t suppose that surprises many people who know me very well!

Friends and relatives in the heartland may not be very sympathetic when I say that we have overnight temperatures forecast for the 30s this week, but we’ll appreciate our electric fireplace and our heated mattress pad! Stay warm, everyone!

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Happy birthday, YPG!

Each year, I understand, there is a birthday celebration for the Yuma Proving Ground, but this year is the 75th birthday of one of the largest military installations in the world, just a few miles from where we sit. The proving ground is used to test military equipment in the Sonoran Desert. Although it was built in 1943, it has really only been used since 1950. When we were here in December of 2011, our son Robert came there for training and we got to spend time with him.

Booths were set up around the parade field with a stage at one end. Several groups were scheduled to perform, but we only saw the Manhattan Dolls, performing Andrews Sisters style harmony, and heard a little of a local band called Downtime that played country and rock hits. That’s when we left to look at all the equipment and then headed home.

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It was an interesting morning. We had wished there would be more demonstrations, but that wasn’t the case.

Early in the week, Raymond called to say that he had been sick, thought it was the flu but since he thought he was over it already, we thought there might be something else going on. A day passed and he called to say that he was going to the hospital and they diagnosed pneumonia. Very soon after that, he was being entubated and moved to ICU. Every time LeRoy called, they said he was doing well but still on the ventilator. Some part of being on a vent tells me that he wasn’t exactly doing “well”, but he has now improved enough that they moved him back to a regular floor in the middle of the night last night. Please keep him in your prayers as they get ready to discharge him back to Casa de Oro.

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Changes

When we got the new turquoise paint job on Liberty last spring, we knew that awnings would have to be in our future because the old ones were bright blue. They were a good match when Liberty was blue, but not so much with the turquoise. Awnings served the purpose of keeping glare out, but they also blocked our view. In order to see out when the awnings were out, we had to duck and look under. We had made the decision to replace the ones we had, but didn’t know exactly what the fabric would be. Most awning companies use similar colors and none of them coordinated with turquoise. While we were in Albuquerque in October of 2010, we had windshield covers made that we can see through in the daytime but those outside can’t see in. We asked 5 Star Sunshades here in Yuma if they could make our new awnings out of that same fabric and they said they could. There was a minor hiccup this morning when the smaller awnings didn’t fit, but the front ones are just what we wanted.

Many hands make light work? Well, it took both of the crew from 5 Star and LeRoy to hang the first one, and me to hold a ladder.

 

 

Looking out with the old awnings

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Looking out the other side with the new awning

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Such a difference, but with the same glare-reducing effect. And from the outside, it just looks like the other window.

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They’ll be back in a few days with the back awnings made to the correct measurements. We’re loving it already!

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Eventful week

Following up on the Quartzsite rally, our extra RV slot was filled by friends Russ Long and Pat Cox in this MCI 5 bus.

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We met them in Tucson a year or two ago and it was good to see them again, along with their little dog Lucy. We took them to try fish tacos at our favorite little stand, Tacos El Cositas and to the Arizona Marketplace, a favorite haunt of winter visitors. I know this will be a shock, but LeRoy bought yet another hat and we even got Russ to buy one. He looked really good in a hat! They planned to go back over today and get another one but a family emergency came up and they had to head toward San Jose, CA. While they were here, though, we had a cookout to celebrate Pat’s birthday, complete with cake and ice cream. We had a great time with other bus friends in the process, Wilbur and Laura Bradbury in the first two pictures and Russ and Pat next to LeRoy in the last picture with David and Lois St. John, who “just happened by” just in time for dinner. We give them a hard time, but we were really glad to see them.

 

LeRoy hung the new metal sun on the front of the casita and I couldn’t help but think of the time when our daughter’s family lived with us. The twins, Ben and Bailey, were just about 2 and we always said that Ben thought Papa hung the moon! Anywhere Papa was, Ben was.

Speaking of Ben, he’s nearly 18 now and on the way home from work last week, he was involved in a rollover wreck in LeRoy’s pickup. The seatbelt, airbag and the hand of the Lord protected him, but the pickup didn’t fare as well. We’ll probably know more this week when we hear back from the adjuster. Needless to say, we are thankful for Ben’s safety!

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Anyone who has been around us through the years knows that LeRoy has had, and probably always will have, a thing for dune buggies. Living within minutes of open desert and a few miles from the Imperial Sand Dunes, it was only a matter of time until his sand deficiency anemia started to kick in and sure enough, he now has a new toy. It’s still waiting on a title change to be official, but it sure sounds good!

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While LeRoy sees the sunrise just about anywhere we are, I’m far more likely to see the sunset in most locations. Being on the west side of the mountains, we don’t get the full effect of the sunrise until just about the time coffee comes to my bedroom, so I thought I’d share a morning view from this week. The sunrise isn’t visible from the head of the bed, but when you get closer to the bathroom door, the view is spectacular.

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I’ll leave with a prayer request. LeRoy’s cousin Raymond called yesterday to say that he was again on the way to the hospital. He has COPD and thought he had the flu early in the week. His oxygen levels got dangerously low and a day after being admitted to the hospital, they have diagnosed him with pneumonia. I know he would appreciate prayers for his rapid recovery and so would we.

 

 

 

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As the world turns

Another turn around the sun and our Eagle friends gathered in Quartzsite for a rally again. And again, Quartzsite turned out to be the black hole for all things electrical. If we boondocked anywhere else, we would find out the kinks and problems there, but Quartzsite is about our only dry camping of the year so it is very important for the generator to run. This year we thought we had it made with the generator swap last fall. Sure enough, our generator ran like a champ, but the electricity didn’t get to the bus. LeRoy and several other guys stood around and scratched their heads and finally decided that the line switch was probably defective. Instead of spending valuable time when we could be shopping or sharing stories with friends, we found a long enough cord to plug into a 20 amp circuit and made do until we could get back to a 50 amp plug in. Problem solved, temporarily.

The gathering this year was smaller, but still lots of old and new friends to enjoy. I think there were 16 Eagles and 6 “other” coaches who put up with us.

We always enjoy the vendors in Tyson Wells, as well as the Big Tent, but this year we actually made purchases. I got my Christmas present, which will be seen soon on the front of our casita in Yuma. I’ve been looking for just the right thing to fill that blank space since before Christmas

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The major purpose of this year’s business meeting was the announcement of election results and introduction of the new president. LeRoy assumed the duties of the president, and we’re not really sure what all that entails yet, except that we are now guardians of the coffee pot!

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Before we left for the rally, we had a visit from Dave and Karen Franklin, younger folks from the Benjamin Hills neighborhood we lived in while in Wichita. They’re doing a west coast tour for a few weeks and stopped to spend a night with us before they went on their way.

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Now we’re back at “home” and ready to hit the hot tub. That’s one winter purchase  where we get our money’s worth.

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