Friday, December 31, 2010

Palm Springs, Thousand Trails

This Thousand Trails has a bizillion palm trees, with I don't know how many tangerine, orange, and grapefruit trees scattered in.  :)

Yep, we made it today.  Originally, we were only booked in here for one night, but there was a cancellation, and now we'll be here until the 4th.  I think it's probably pretty full all winter long, but especially because of the holiday. 

A row over from ours, we felt like we were being welcomed back into a happy place for New Years Eve.
I'll have to find out the story of all these musicians and why they're here together, to share with you.  Live music is always a much appreciated thing for us.

Happy New Years!  Good health, much happiness, and many blessings to you!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Not quite Palm Springs, but...

From Colton CA 2010
Here we are tonight in Redlands, part of San Bernardino County.  What is important about this fact, is that we are about 5 miles down the road from Colton Truck Repair shop!!!  YEAH!!!!
Let's see.  Where did I leave off in the repair list?  Okay, the Air Turbo Charger that was leaking?  I guess it depends on who you talk to.  Later today I hear that the charger was toast!  Took until about 2:30 pm today to find out that, YES, warranty would indeed cover this as well!!!!  Thank. You. God.

So, now the radiator, and charger are put back inside, the shocks are adjusted, the PTO spline is wetted, hydrolic pump replaced, muffler insulated, wires protected, and we're off for our "test drive." 

Oh, the relief of all of this being completed (knowing that we will not have to spend the night, yet again, in the parking lot of the repair shop!)  One more small piece to this puzzle before we head to Palm Springs for the night!

Pull out on the street, just off the repair shop parking lot, CLUNK!!!  I mean that in a huge, loud, does not sound good sort of way!  The supervisor that was driving the coach at this point looks at Hubby in the passenger seat and says, "Oh, that does not sound good."  He gets on the walkie talkie and gets a couple of other employees to help back the mh into the shop.  #@!*+$&#!

So, a long story, short, a sway bar bracket BROKE IN HALF!!!  These brain surgeons of all things metal & chassis take just an hour to fix this latest problem!  In the end, it kind of cracked me up; two of the employees were talking about us being back in the shop: "Let's hurry up and get this fixed before anything else goes wrong with this thing.  Let's get this poor bastard out of here!"  They did not realize that the front driver window was open.  But I totally understood what they meant!

Here's the hilarious part of all of this!
From Colton CA 2010
When we left the garage this afternoon, they gave us TWO 2lb. 2oz. cans of Fancy Mixed Nuts, one 2lb. box of European Chocolate Cookies, two screen printed t-shirts, and two hats from Colton Truck Terminal Garage!!!  HOW COOL IS THAT!?  I had no idea that they were so touched by our visitation.  Truly, they were awesome!

Yes, our good fortune!  Total bill:  a bit over 12,000 dollars!  Our good fortune comes in at the fact that $10,000 was covered by warranty. 


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Repairs, and more repairs...

No, I'm not really complaining.  I'm not.  Because I figure that if these things were not discovered now, somewhere down the road we may have been in big trouble.
We came here to get the PTO spline replaced with a "wet" kit that will lubricate that gear.  The service manager talked the warranty company in to covering it.  Uh oh, your hydrolic pump is bad (tech showed Hubby).  Okay, warranty will cover it.  While putting that in...uh oh, your radiator is leaking.  Have to have an inspector from warranty come out and look at it.

Fortunately, the inspector was close by, came to inspect, and a couple of hours later gave us the okay to replace it under warranty. 

So, another night outside the building, in the rain.  A really great thing about it was that because the mh is being pulled in and out of the service area, all of the slides were folded in all night.  No leaking slides.  Yeah, we should have been doing that all along.  Brain surgeons, we are not.  :)

This morning we're pulled back in to the service area and told to secure everything because they had to lift the house on wheels to drop the radiator out.  This also meant tipping the mh forward.  Now, we had visions of everything in the cabinets flying out, anything loose sliding into the front window.  Turns out, it wasn't tipped THAT far.  Silly us!

Radiator dropped out and...uh oh, your turbo charger is leaking.  Another call to warranty but this time we may have to wait a day or two to get the inspector to come by.

This all creates an environment of anxious, nervous energy.  Hubby is not the laid back type.  He is easily frustrated, and is pretty verbal about it.  Imagine living in a box with your family.  It just takes one little word, or 5 repairs, to set off the negative train.  Everything is magnified in this little box, especially emotions.  We're fine, don't worry.  He goes out to talk to the service manager every so often, and that seems to calm him down.  I'll have to thank that guy later! 

What can I say?  I'm thankful for our safety.  I'm grateful that the warranty company has been so generous towards us.  We won't be stuck here forever.  Tomorrow is another day.  :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bye bye San Diego!

The water was smooth as glass this morning.  Sea World is on that other shore.
Full sun this morning! Just beautiful!
I can see why daughter has chosen to live in San Diego for 20 years...
PTO Spline:
Change in plans.
There is a gear in the transmission that gets no lubrication in a Country Coach motorhome. It has come to light that this will, at about 50,000 miles, create all kinds of problems. Okay, #%@*!, we'll get it fixed now (a piece put on that will lubricate this gear) before we REALLY get out on the road. So we traveled back up to the San Bernadino area
to have that part put on. Looks pretty doesn't it? However, that is not where we are spending the night. We are parked in the back, in the alley, of the truck repair shop, close to the freeway, a railroad and a party restaurant, that will do the work.
We're hoping to be outta here by noon tomorrow to beat the next winter storm coming through tomorrow night!
By the way, Hubby is 65 years old.  He had a phone call from his HIGH SCHOOL football coach to wish him Merry Christmas!  How cool is that?!?  He calls every Christmas and every birthday...every year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

The peace of the season is what I love most. 
Those brief moments, searching, reaching out, and receiving God's peace.
Merry Christmas blog peeps!  Wishing you love, laughter, and His peace. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


" We need to think of ourselves as gifts to be given and to think of others as gifts offered to us.  -John Powell 

I read this quote here.  Such a sweet blog!  I think I found it on blogs of note (I can't really remember, it was a couple of years ago!)  I always enjoy the positive, loving, and devotional posts on this blog!  (And her kids are adorable!)

What a quote, right?!?  I know many of us think of friends as gifts, but how often do we think of ourselves as someone else's gift?  Not often enough, I think.  If we did, how would we be different?  Would we do things differently? 

Certainly worth a pause, don't you think?

Mission Bay Park

Not a bad view from the old home on wheels, right?  Well, okay, this is a bit of a close up. Hehe. 
Here's the real view.
And in the 3 days since we've been here our view has been cut again by other motorhomes coming in to spend Christmas in beautiful San Diego.  Well, it's beautiful, sunny, warm, and picturesque when you're not having the storm of the decade whip through! Today is supposed to be the last day of the Pineapple Express, which is the very water laden trough that goes through Hawaii to pick up more moisture, then on to CA. 
The last time I remember experiencing a huge Pineapple Express was in 1982.  19" of rain in 24 hours.  A whole mountain became a monsterous mudslide that buried houses and took lives.  Although we have gotten a tremendous amount of rain, I don't think it has been anywhere near the storm of '82.  Thank you God!
I see a skinny strip of blue sky off in the distance...can't wait to show you a picture when it's all sunny!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Children are Quick

TEACHER:    Maria, go to the map and find   North America   . 
MARIA:         Here it  is. 
TEACHER:   Correct.  Now class, who discovered   America ? 
CLASS:         Maria. 
TEACHER:    John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor? 
JOHN:          You told me to do it without using tables. 
TEACHER:  Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?' 
GLENN:      K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L' 
TEACHER:  No, that's wrong 
GLENN:       Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.  
(I  Love this child) 
TEACHER:   Donald, what is the chemical formula for water? 
DONALD:     H I J K L M N O. 
TEACHER:   What are you talking about? 
DONALD:    Yesterday you said it's H to O.  
TEACHER:   Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago. 
WINNIE:       Me! 
TEACHER:   Glen, why do you always get so dirty? 
GLEN:          Well, I'm a  lot closer to the ground than you are.  
TEACHER:     Millie, give me a sentence starting with '  I.  ' 
MILLIE:         I  is.. 
TEACHER:     No, Millie..... Always say, 'I  am.' 
MILLIE:         All right...  'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'       
TEACHER:    George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it.  
                   Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him? 
LOUIS:           Because George still had  the axe in his hand....     
TEACHER:    Now, Simon , tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating? 
SIMON:         No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.  
TEACHER:       Clyde , your  composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your   brother's.. Did you copy his? 
CLYDE  :         No, sir. It's the same dog.     
(I want to adopt this kid!!!) 
TEACHER:    Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer  interested? 
HAROLD:     A teacher 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fresno, CA

Our trip to Fresno has been a whirlwind tour of this city of 500,000 people, stories from old radio friends, and a new understanding for me of how much  Hubby is loved and respected by his radio buddies.
KYNO was just one of the radio stations that he worked at, but it was the test market for top 40 music back in the 60's.   Hubby was program director here, and brought up (trained, helped, taught ) many of the big announcers and radio personalities that we hear today.  They were all kids back then, including Hubby, but he always went out of his way to teach these guys professionalism and the business of voice and delivery, so that the station would succeed.  It's been heartwarming to hear the personal stories of friendship and loyalty that remain today, all these years later.
We also met with his author friend at a weekly writers group yesterday.  Fascinating, it was.  They each brought a piece of writing that they had been working on that week and together critiqued the writing and made suggestions.  Nothing was held back, everyone was challenged to do better.  They've been meeting for 4 years, so they trust one another and respect the honest opinions they shared.  How awesome would it be to be part of a group like that!
Hubby's piece of writing from his book was just wonderful.  He has a real knack for it, and of course the story about radio is engaging if you were a listener back then.
So we leave again tomorrow morning, heading for southern California for the holidays.  CA is expecting rain for the next 5 days, and I'm reminded, not only of just how much it rains during the winter, but why we were so happy to move out of it.  LOL!

Friday, December 10, 2010

After the Rain

After the rain, everyone was out lookin' for a little something to eat. 
Dark-eyed Junco
Stellar's Jay
I wish I could have gotten a better shot of the pattern on his back. They're so beautiful.
It's hard to see them all in this picture, but I counted close to 50 crows in the tree next to the motorhome.
These jokers create quite the cacophony of calls first thing in the morning.

On another note, Wilson comes home today!  I've missed him, although I have to say it's been nice having a little extra room in the building on wheels.  I'm a little nervous about him coming home, only because I know how much work it's going to be to keep up on the training.  I worry that I'll screw up what he's learned somehow.  I'm such a pushover and he knows it. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Where the Monarchs Go

  Every fall, thousands of Monarch butterflies converge on both Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz Natural Bridges State Park eucalyptus groves during their migration to warmer climates.
These orange and black butterflies hang in clusters from eucalyptus branches in order to maintain body temperature when it dips below 60 degrees. As such, these pods of tightly clinging insects look like giant bouquets of butterflies…a spectacular display of natural wonder for the entire family.
According to David Munro at San Francisco State University, "It has an extensive home range, but specific habitat needs. The ecology and the home range of the monarch butterfly are closely intertwined, as with most species. Put simply, it is dependent upon milkweed plants...the distribution of the monarch is controlled by the distribution of milkweed, it regulates their density in a given area, and it is for this plant that the monarchs migrate for long distances every year. So dependent upon milkweed is the monarch that where one finds the monarch, one will also find milkweed."

Natural Bridges State Park sits on the edge of Monterey Bay.  It's a beautiful beach with huge rock formations that used to form a bridge in the water.  I don't know why I didn't take a picture of the beach, except, I suppose, that I'm so used to it that I didn't think of it.  Talk about taking beautiful things for granted!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Sunday!

My shabby corner of the building on wheels.  We were talking tonight about how we've gone from 2400 sq. ft. to whatever it is here in the motorhome, and the fact that we're happy in here.  As long as I have my space, all shabby chic, I'm good.  Yes, I have a silk rose vine hanging over the bedroom window, and some small "shabby" things inside our home on wheels, and hubby is okay with it.  Thank goodness!  I don't know that I could let go of those little things that really make me happy, in my soul. 
I mean, of course, I could if I HAD to!  Like if the world came to turmoil, and we were struggling to get from day to day.  You know I'm not talking about that, right?  I pray that never happens, because I would be seen sneaking from dark corner to stretched out behind a piller dragging my silk rose vine!  Yes, I would!
It's amazing to me that we can make this "us thing" work in such a little space.  We're still working on those "little" things, that really p*** us off!  There is a song by Robert Earl Keen that speaks to this very issue, so very well.  I'll have to try to post the song.  We can ALL recognize ourselves in that song if we're honest!
I awoke this morning to that flock of wild turkeys "gobbling" under my bedroom window!  I had to laugh out loud!!!  Just made me so happy!  Yes, they really do say GOBBLE!  Not only awakening to turkeys, but to crows and hoot owls! 
Man!  I love it here!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Morgan Hill

I watched motorhome after motorhome, trailer after trailer, fifth wheel after fifth wheel, leave the RV park in Scotts Valley over the last couple of months.  Yes, I felt envy and a big time desire for it to be US leaving the park, and move on.  Not because I haven't enjoyed being with family and revisiting the awesome restaurants (Tacos Moreno!), because I have.  I have missed those people and have loved being with them!  But we've had issues with the motorhome, an ongoing volatile situation with the RV repair shop, and some depression for me surrounding my Mom's death in August.
It was finally our turn to leave last Wednesday and travel "over the hill," inland, to the Thousand Trails in Morgan Hill.  I'll have to take some pictures to post what it looks like at this time of year.  The photo in this post is from early fall a couple of years ago. 
Now, the ground is damp and covered in the biggest leaves I have ever seen in my life!  Wait til I show you!  Within an hour of arriving here, we saw gobs of crows (one of my favorite birds), two big flocks of wild turkeys, a jack rabbit, and deer.  Yes, I love this place.  I have really missed the wildlife that I had so close in AZ.  There are several huge sycamore trees around the fenced-in dog run that is just alive with birds.  So many different songs and sounds.  It's like being in South America, or an aviary.  It's very soothing to sit on the bench while Shasta noses around and just listen.  I put bird food out this afternoon to see if I could coax some of those birds to my "yard!"