Monday, January 31, 2011

1/31/2011 Really, REALLY Good News!

I had a doctor’s appointment this morning. A follow up to my appointment two weeks ago. My scheduled time was 9:15, I got in to see him at 10:45. Let’s not even go there.

He asked me how I felt, I told him. I told him about the weekend. I was happy. He was happy. Then we got even happier!

He went over my blood test results with me. My numbers are all where they are supposed to be except for two. I knew the cholesterol was high, it has been for ever and a day. We’ll work on that but not right now. He’s much more concerned with another number that was too low.

Medical Diagram Of the Thyroid Glands Clipart ImageI was very happy to find out that my hormone level in my THYROID is too low, a contributing factor for mild depression. (Wow, do you know how hard it is to find clipart of a thryroid?)

My doctor isn’t ruling out the possibility of Seasonal Affective Disorder. (SAD) That’s where people have episodes of depression that occur every year during fall or winter. This is a possible contributing factor since I had a period last year at this time of the same thing but it wasn’t nearly as long lasting or as severe. I always did hate it when the clocks got turned back and it was dark at 5 p.m..

So now I will start a regimen of a low dose thyroid hormone replacement and a low dose of anti-depressant. And let’s not forget the meds for the shoulder. Two weeks ago I didn’t take any medication and now I have a mini-pharmacy. If they allow me to feel like me…then I’ll take it!

Yep, very good news! I’m fixable!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

1/30/2011 I FEEL LIKE…..


I jumped out of bed this morning, got my shower, got dressed, made the bed and straightened up the bedroom before I ever went downstairs. I felt good! Very good!

I had to tell somebody that I felt like ME again. Bob was out for his daily walk so I went over to my friend Kathy’s house and told her. I wanted to shout from the rooftops that I felt good!

Sun clipart

I think I really needed the day outdoors yesterday in the sunshine and I also think the low dose anti- depressant is kicking in. I am back among the living.

I am not naive enough to think that all is well and that I won’t have a less than cheerful day again but I’m in a whole lot better place than I was a few weeks ago or even three days ago. It doesn’t matter how long this will last, I’ll take it! I am so thankful for modern medicine and anti-depressant medication.

I sat outside in the warm air today and read for awhile and I visited with those who lived nearby. I am happy. I am living again.

I feel like ME!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

1/29/2011 Carnival Day at Quail Run

It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Arizona City. The air is warm and there is excitement in the air. It’s Carnival Day in Quail Run!

Judy, one of the workampers here in the park brought this idea of a carnival for an Activities fundraiser to the table and she organized the whole thing and ran with it. She did a wonderful job! As did all the workampers and winter resident volunteers who stepped up to the plate.

Local businesses have set up shop in the Carnaval Room. Food vendors are outside, lots of gift baskets are ready for a silent auction and volunteers are lined up to lead the games.

It started at ten and I managed to get up there to see what was going on a little after eleven. It seemed like the whole park was out for this. Every game had people playing and a waiting line, all the vendors had winter residents checking out the wares and services and five minute chair massages were being given. The place was just teeming with activity.

The first thing I saw when I reached the breezeway was this.


Its a jail. Anyone can fill out a warrant and deputies will go round that person up and bring them to jail. It cost two tickets to put out the warrant. (Tickets were sold for a quarter) To get out of jail the prisoner had to coax someone to spring him/her at the cost of four tickets. This was a lot of fun!

Our deputies Don Walrath and Dale Jones.

IMG_7170 IMG_7171

I couldn’t help but notice Dale’s gun holster.


Don took his job very seriously as he takes Sig to jail.


Sig joined Wendy who was already incarcerated.


Meanwhile, in the Carnaval Room the area business booths were busy. JC Penney had reps from their Sephora cosmetics boutique on hand with lots of samples and free eyebrow waxing. Lots of ladies took advantage of that, me included.

People here in the park also had tables set up for their jewelry that they make and I do believe sales were brisk.

There were 20 volunteers that made up gift baskets for a silent auction. The winter residents really stepped up to the plate and bid handsomely for the baskets. Of course the ones who put them together did a great job!


Outside there was a cake walk happening. For two tickets you got to walk around the circle to the music be played by Frank McGuire on his keyboard. When the music stopped you stepped on a spot with a number on it. Then the game leader called out a number and if it was your spot you won a delicious cake or pie or cookies, again made by volunteers in the park.


Another popular game was the giant marshmallow golf game. One had to hit a giant marshmallow with a golf club and it was actually quite a ways. It had to land within the boundaries of a hula hoop for points.



It was while in this area that I heard Deputy Dale calling my name. Next thing I know I’m handed a warrant and the rubber handcuffs were slapped on my wrists. A warrant was put out for me and my crime was just being Snookie.


I was put in jail. (I am soooo in need of suntan!)


It took me only a few minutes to get out as four of my friends were ready to post my bail when I called out for help.

Another popular game was the Throw a Pie In the Face booth.

Here’s the park manager, Jeannie, serving her time behind the board.


Rick Fury really rubbing it in.




There were several other games that I didn’t get pictures of such as the bean bag toss, hole in one on the mini golf course and there may been a few others I can’t think of right now.

One activity that everybody wanted to do was the obstacle course. That’s obstacle course with a golf cart and the driver is blindfolded!


I hear its not as easy as it looks!

The carnival was a HUGE SUCCESS! The winter residents stepped up and provided things that were needed and they played the games and bid at the auction and supported the outside vendors that were there.

I’m glad I was there! I enjoyed myself. It was great catching up with friends that I hadn’t seen in weeks. The sun felt good and it was great being outdoors!

I’m fightin’ back!

Friday, January 28, 2011

1/28/2011 Quail Run Has a Parade!

This is an event filled weekend here in Quail Run. Tomorrow there is a carnival here in the park put together by Judy, one of our workampers.

To get everyone in the mood we had an in park parade. All winter residents of Quail Run and anyone who wanted to be in it could. There were decorated golf carts, a group from the mini-golf league, the Domino Divas made an appearance, the Canadians in the park marched behind their nation’s flag, lots of dogs dressed in costumes with their humans and a clown and who knows what else.

Bob was outside and came in and said they were coming up our street and that I should come out and see the parade. I just looked at him. He went out.

I sat there for a minute more and my friend’s words of advice went through my head. I pictured each of them with a little cartoon bubble overhead with their words of wisdom and personal knowledge. You have to fight this. You have to force yourself to go out. You can’t give in to it.

I grabbed my camera and out I went.

The sun felt good on my face. I watched all our friends through my viewfinder enjoying themselves, laughing, LIVING and I knew then I had to fight if I was ever going to get through this.

I took picture after picture and it felt good! I was doing something familiar and everyone was calling out greetings to me and that made me feel even better. I was missed.

The parade passed by and I went back in the house.

After dinner I walked up to the Cantina to see if anyone was there playing cards or Mexican Train but the tables were all empty. No game playing tonight. It was ok,,,I was content to be home this evening. After playing a few games of Scrabble online I decided to upload the pictures I had taken of the parade, to go through them and pick out the best and get them edited. Oh no! Somehow my camera setting had gotten moved and it was on a setting that I have never used before and actually don’t know what its supposed to do but it took very washed out pictures and nothing I did made them acceptable. All the pictures were just terrible and I ended up deleting them.

10/28/2011 Trade Winds RV Resort

I thought I’d take you on a short tour of the park we’re in.

We are in Trade Winds RV Resort in Mission, Texas.


We are in a “sister park”. The park across the street is called Mission Bell RV Resort and when the owner who bought that one, bought this one, well I think it was a win-win situation for all. Each park has a Friendship Hall where all the activities takes place.

The one in Tradewinds is much smaller as I’ll show you the one in Mission Bell another day.


This building is actually quite large.

It holds the Library (there’s another one across the street)


A craft room.


This is actually quite a large room where Bingo is held, pot luck suppers, pancake breakfasts, craft shows and who knows what else.


The other side of the room which also has a kitchen.



Quail Run could really learn something from this place! Look at these chairs Quail Runners,,,,PADDED!


There are private computer areas where you can do your banking on the password protected free WIFI which services the whole park. Every time you get on the computer you have a choice of four towers to log onto. I have never seen any of them have less than four bars, the maximum strength. We have used the WIFI here quite a bit and I have to say it is lightning fast.


The area also has a shredder in case you want to dispose of bill paperwork that has been paid or anything else that needs shredding. I thought that was a nice touch.

This is the game room. If you have the need to play cards, put a puzzle together, get the dominos out or just sit around and talk, this is where you would come in the heat of the day.



This is the mailroom. The mail lady from the local post office comes in every day and and soon it is distributed in the appropriate box.


Some serious pool playing goes on in this room. There are six very nice pool tables. Solid oak, leather braided pockets and perfectly level. A set of four green shaded lights hang from a brass bar over each table for perfect lighting.


Outside is a much used Palapa. Four o’clock is Happy Hour and everyone is invited. I sat here one evening talking with Toni from Quail Run, and it was just so comfortable. There is also a large barbecue grill for anyone who wants to use it.


The birds like the fountain!


The salt water pool and hot tub. Lots of lounge chairs surround the pool.


These are the shuffle board courts for this park. A much bigger court area is on the Mission Bell side. Shuffleboard courts are usually made of a cement platform. In time, the cement deteriorates and they aren’t as smooth or the edges of the court chip off. I’m thinking this has happened here because the courts are covered with plastic covering, think of plastic cartons/boxes milk is delivered to the store in, the pieces interlock and the playing field lines are in place where they should be. The shuffle boarders here swear by this material and say the disc just flies down the lane.


The outside sitting areas are used often by the Winter Texans.


There are lots of plants around, in the ground and in big pots. These beautiful flowering bushes are everywhere! Hibiscus I think.


I don’t know what these are but there are a lot of these too.


So this is the park we’re in right now. Pretty nice for an older park and extremely neat and clean. Everyone we’ve met has been very nice and welcoming, inviting us to join get together’s, BBQ’s, games and other park activities.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

1/27/2011 Bob Goes on a Long ATV Trip

Bob and his buddies went on a long ATV trip today, longer than he’s ever been out before.

He loved it! He came home so filthy dirty with dust and grime. Somewhere along the way he lost his hat. This is what I saw when he came home.


I did have to venture up to the mailbox today to get our mail. I ran into quite a few people and over and over I heard, “Snookie, where you’ve been I haven’t seen you in ages”. I talked to a few people who told me that I have to force myself to get outside and do things. It won’t be easy but I have to fight my way out of this, I just can’t sit back and let it consume me as I have been doing. Words easier said than done I believe but I know in my heart and my mind that they are probably right. These are friends who have been where I am, they must know. I’ll try.

1/27/2011 Depression Is,,,,in a Word,,,,,


DEPRESSION: [dih-presh-uhn] n. a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason.

I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. It sucks the life right out of you. Nothing is fun anymore and happy times seem to be a thing of the past. I hate this. I feel like I’m drowning in darkness and there is no light at the end of my tunnel. Some of this darkness is self-imposed. I don’t raise the shades, I don’t want to see outside, the sunshine, the people living life, the bushes in bud which indicates a new beginning. I’m not part of that anymore. I haven’t been for weeks and I can’t tell you why. This is the hard part, not knowing why. Nothing has happened that I’m aware of. Bob keeps asking me what’s wrong and I can only answer, “I don’t know”. He’s frustrated, he want to fix it but he can’t. He sometimes gets angry with me, he doesn’t understand this withdrawal of from life I’m experiencing. I think because he doesn’t see bruises, or blood, or hear me cough he doesn’t believe I’m sick. That I’m sick emotionally or maybe its mentally, I’m not sure myself anymore.

It’s like I’m going round and round on a slow motion merry go round and I can’t jump off and get out and do things with my girlfriends here. Inwardly I laugh at the thought of jumping off and into life because I can’t even open the door and go outside.

I hate this, this is so not like the life I normally live. Again, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. I’m taking the meds but not enough time has passed for them to start working yet. I quit taking the one for shoulder pain because it just makes me sleepy and I nap too much.

I want time to rush by so the pill kicks in. I want to be ME again.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1/26/2011 What Are They Thinking????

As a rule I’m not much of a TV watcher. A lot of the times its on if for no other reason than the noise it provides.

When I went to bed last night I turned the TV on and started channel surfing. I came to The Learning Channel (TLC) and stopped to watch this new show called My Strange Addiction. It should be called, I’m an Idiot, Somebody Shoot Me….NOW!

There was a woman on this show who eats furniture cushions. Actually the foam cushion itself. She can’t stop she says. Another eats laundry detergent. By the handful! Yet another eats toilet paper! Where do they find these people? Why would anyone go on national TV and tell the world they eat furniture cushions?

As if that show wasn’t bad enough the next one on was Toddlers and Tiaras which should be changed to My Kid is a Bigger Brat Than Yours. In real life I have never been to children’s beauty pageant. After watching this show its something I should never go to because those kids would learn a whole new language as I told their parents what jerks they are for doing this to these little girls.

These children are judged on beauty, their dress, their specialty dress and stage presence.

Of course the 6 to 12 months old are carried out by their moms and held up for all to see in their little party dresses and the announcer is giving the name and then says something about the child like, “LIttle Susie’s favorite pastime is sucking her thumb and her favorite food is smashed bananas.” Oh please.

Oh wait, it gets worse. when get old enough to walk on stage by themselves they turn into little terrors,,,thanks to mommy and daddy. I have never seen so many three year olds with so much makeup on that they look like little hookers. We’re talkin’ fake eyelashes, eye shadow up the wazoo, and hairdo’s that Dolly Parton would die for. Of course the hair is all extensions because no three year old has that much hair yet. One little four year old had her EYEBROWS WAXED earlier in the day. They are taken to the dentist to get flippers made. Its a set of teeth that fits over their own but of course they are perfect pearly whites. Their party dresses? BIG BUCKS! Hundreds of dollars per dress. They wear them ONCE!

As they walk the runway they have their music playing and they have these little routines that they do and of course the mom’s and sometimes the dad’s are in the audience leading them with very exaggerated movements. They look ridiculous. Some of the routines these little girls do can be viewed as provocative,,,thank heavens they don’t know what their doing.

I said earlier they were terrors. Oh. My. They rule the roost that’s for sure and all the parents admitted it. What the kid says, goes. One little girl was getting ready to go on stage and she wasn’t smiling the way the parents wanted her to. Her dad pulled out a hundred dollar bill for this five year old and told her that if she smiled pretty she would get it. Well, she got off that stage and marched over to her dad and said, “Gimme the money”.

There is big money in the pageant going. I had no idea. Clothing, make-up, coaches, travel, entry fees, props, hotels, meals out and the list goes on….thousands and thousands of dollars per year. I took notice most of the dad’s were in the dark about how much pageant going costs. And let’s not forget the spa days for the little girls. Oh yeah, one mom said her 4 year old’s spa treatments run about $500.00 per month. she gets manicures, pedicures, FACIALS, massages,,,,the works. Four years old. can someone tell me why a four year old needs a facial???? Or any spa treatment for that matter.

I feel they are doing these little kids a great disservice. These children are constantly told they are beautiful and so much attention is on getting the sashes and crowns. I saw one mom yell at her little girl because she her music stopped in the middle of the routine and she didn’t know what to do so she just stood there. She got an earful from mom about that!

So by the time this show was over I was so angry at what this whole thing stands for I couldn’t go to sleep.

The icing on the cake for me, the one thing that would have caused me to throw a shoe at the TV would have been………

ANNOUNCER: Here we have beautiful little Tiffany. Tiffany is three years old, her favorite color is yellow and she like to watch Sponge Bob Squarepants on TV. And little Tiffany wants world peace.

I hope I never come across this show again, its not good for my blood pressure.

Monday, January 24, 2011

1/24/2011 Summer Plans are Firming Up

Bob and I have decided that we want to volunteer as camp hosts this summer but not in just one place. We want to spend a little time here and a little time there and really get to see some place new to us. We didn’t know how we were going to accomplish this because most campgrounds take on camp hosts for the entire season. We decided early on that we didn’t want to be in a privately owned campground but rather a state park or national park and let’s not forget the Corp of Engineer parks.

In December we started filling out online applications for the Dakota’s, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. We were upfront in the time period that we wanted and we got what we wanted!

So on May 17th we have to be at Lake Metagoshe State Park in North Dakota. It’s in the most northern part of N.D. as we’re only about 20 miles from the Canadian border. I’m sure we’ll have chilly weather. We’ll be here until June 21st as camp host and have to put in 15 hours each per week.

From there we’ll go to Icelandic State Park which is further south, thank heavens! This campground is situated on Lake Renwick. We won’t be camp hosts here we’ll be doing the landscaping for the Visitor’s Center. Planting the flowers, mulching, weeding, watering and deadheading the plants. This will run from June 22nd to July 14th and we’ll be required to give them 10 hours each in exchange for our full hook up site.

On the 15th of July we’ll be camp host at Cottonwood Campground near Theodore Roosevelt National Park. This is our longest gig which will take us to Labor Day.

We’ll have lots of free time and there is so much to see in the different areas.

We are going to try to get a short gig in Oklahoma on our way but if that doesn’t work then we’ll stay here in AZ as long as we can stand it and then start moving north. April is much too early to start traveling that far north,,,they could still get snow and we just don’t do the white stuff anymore.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

1/17-1/23/2011 My Life as a Zombie

I haven’t written anything for the last week due solely to the medication I’m on. I am a zombie. There is no other way to explain it. I’m getting through my days on automatic pilot….when I’m awake.

When I went to the doctor last week to talk to him about my emotional state of being I wanted to get my money’s worth. (There’s that Queen of Cheap coming out again) I brought up that I didn’t have anywhere near my normal range of motion with my left shoulder and the right was giving me a bit of trouble too but it wasn’t nearly as bad.

He poked and prodded and took note of the range of motion I had and wrote out two prescriptions for me to deal with that. I’m happy to tell you my shoulders feel great! I can move my arms every which that I want to. However, the meds knock me for a loop.

I get up in the morning, check my email and then make myself a bagel w/cream cheese, or a bowl of cereal maybe even a tuna fish sandwich. I have to eat something because my two morning pills I have to take with food. That’s fine. The pill I take for my shoulder is 500 mg of the drug and it says on the pill bottle, MAY CAUSE DROWSINESS. I’m the type that if I take over the counter Nyquill, that has the same warning, twenty minutes later I’m asleep. An hour and half after I take this pill, I’m struggling to hold my eyes open. In addition it makes me feel like I’m……..vibrating. Let me explain. If I sit very still and close my eyes I feel like my outer layers of skin are vibrating. It is the strangest sensation and I don’t know how else to explain it. Not just my skin, it feels like it goes a quarter inch deep. If I don’t pay close attention to it I don’t feel it so much, just occasionally. I soon get to the point that I just can’t stay awake anymore and I sleep. Sometimes as long as two to two and a half hours. When I wake up I’m groggy. This is no way to live. I called the doctor’s office and told them what was happening to me and the lady I spoke with came back on the phone and said to continue the meds until my next appointment this coming Monday.

I don’t like this at all. I can’t drive because I don’t trust myself to NOT fall asleep behind the wheel. At dinnertime I take the second pill and by seven I’m ready for bed. I force myself to stay up otherwise I’d be wide awake at three. You can bet by ten I’m in dreamland.

I am really looking forward to seeing the doctor so that these meds can be adjusted. I would rather have the limited range of motion than live(?) like this.

So needless to say we haven’t done anything this past week. Bob has been out riding in the desert with guys here in the park. He is so enjoying that. Of course he has also done his share of puttering around the house, playing pool, poker and Texas hold ‘em. I’m glad he has those things to keep him busy otherwise the poor guy would sit in his recliner and just be like I am. It’s no fun!

Oh yeah! Our fridge is fixed! Finally!

We’ve got some new readers. I heard from Doris in Washington who started the blog from the beginning. She and her husband are getting ready to sell their home so that they can get started fulltimin’ too. Two other readers, one from Overton, Nevada and the other from Ashland, Ohio have also started from the beginning. I hope they are enjoying the trip. Welcome to all of you!

This part of Arizona is trying real hard to swing into spring. We’ve had teaser days where the thermometer touches 80 and then slides back down to barely 70. It won’t be long now and we’ll be in the 80’s all the time. Compared to the east coast where we’re from we’ll take 70 any day.

So there it is in a nutshell….my life as a zombie.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

1/16/2011 Night Light Back in Place

Today Bob worked on getting our “street lamp” up and running. Remember the one he made when we were in the park model?

When we were at the Street Fair yesterday we bought a sign with our names on it to hang outside. In fact, when you come to the blog you see a closeup of it now. We’ve always had a wooden one that Bob’s brother Gene made for us the weather has taken its toll on that one so it was time to replace it.

Bob getting the hanger thing-y’s in place.


Our new sign on the lamppost!


He does such good work.


I sat outside for a bit today and talked with our friend Karen. The sunshine felt so good.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

1/15/2011 Street Fair Time Again!

This weekend Casa Grande is having their annual Car Show and Street Fair.

Since it was going to be the perfect day weather-wise we thought we’d better get an early start since the crowd is sure to be very large.

This street fair held in the oldest section of Casa Grande aptly called Old Town.


Luckily, we had no problem finding a parking space since we arrived just minutes after the opening of the fair. We were by no means the first ones there but compared to the crowd later in the day the population was sparse.

We happened to park in a area that gave us access to the car show area first thing. Pre-planning on Bob’s part?

When you see the word DWARF, what do you think of? Snow White? Bunnies? A little person? I would think of those things but somehow a car would never come to mind. Until today.



This is the first time we’ve seen a car like this and like everyone else we were just intrigued with it.


To give you some perspective as to just little this car is check out the man squatting next to it.


This isn’t a toy. It was driven here and it is road worthy. I don’t think I’d be comfortable driving this. I mean think about it a Volkswagen Beetle is bigger! I didn’t catch what year this vehicle is but looking at the grill you can tell its got some age on it. Wasn’t that look all the rage in the late 40’s or early 50’s? That’s just a guess on my part.

Now this next car also drew a lot of attention. If for no other reason its paint job. It just screamed PIMP-MOBILE to us.


Even the trunk was painted to match the outside.


I thought the fur trim was a nice touch…..NOT!


Do you notice anything strange about this car?



I kept looking at and thinking to myself that something was wrong with it but I couldn’t figure it out. The lady standing next to me said, “Is there something different about this car that I’m not seeing?” I looked at her and told her I was thinking the same thing. I stepped away to find Bob because I wanted him to see this and he says right away, “Oh look, no doors!” By now I’m standing next to the lady again and we just looked at each and laughed. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees!

There were some REALLY NICE restored cars and trucks.



Bob’s brother would love this car! The owner is a Dallas Cowboy’s fan.



This car is from 1903.



We stopped to have breakfast and then continued on looking at the rest of the car show part of the fair. By then the crowd was really starting to swell.


Tornado Fries. This is something new to us as we’ve never seen these before but a lot of people were buying them.


A potato cut in one continuous spiral, separated and deep fried.


There was a lot of food available if you were hungry.



Let’s not forget Ostrich Burgers!


Music is another street fair staple. This fellow recorded some of his own songs and had other CD’s available of music we’re all familiar with.


Ahhh,,,my favorite. The pan flute. Truly beautiful music.


The usual street fair craft tables were displaying their wares and we bought a few things but not a whole lot.


These dolls or figurines are made from a dried cottonwood tree root. They are light as a feather.





Sometimes I see something that is being sold and I think, “Nah, I don’t want one of those” and then the next day I wish I had bought one. Case in point, this fellow was selling these dishes that grate everything so easily. Garlic, ginger, chocolate, cheese, you name it, if it needs to be grated this handy little dish can do it. Well, I didn’t get one and now I’m kickin’ myself. He was nice enough to pose for me in his garlic hat. i hope he still them next year!


It was a great day at the fair! I told Bob on the way home that next year, I’m saving up for the fair because I saw lots of things that I would have liked to have bought but then again maybe its better if I go with limited funds.

We made a few stops on the way home and were glad to get there and kick back to relax.

A nice day….a very nice day!