Monday, October 31, 2011

10/31/2011 Big Ghouls and Little Goblins…

It’s that time year again when the little kids and the not so little kids come trick or treating.


It’s no different when you are in a snowbird RV park. I really liked the way this park handled Halloween. In each park (remember there is a sister park right across the street) one street is dedicated to the Trick or Treat-ers. This way, those with less than honorable intentions, don’t get free reign to case the place if you will.


A little after five everyone lined up their tables and chairs on the designated street and sat back to wait for the princesses and witches and Spiderman and grim reapers galore.


Superman getting ready to take flight.


Our friend Drac Dann.


Dann and Pat together.

dan and me

Park managers, Cynthia and Scott in their Halloween garb.


The Trick or Treat-ers still hadn’t arrived so I walked inside the Friendship Hall to see what was going on in their.

The main hall all decked out for dinner after the kiddies leave.


Evidently some game playing was going on because candy corn note pads and pencils were on each table.


Activity staffers getting desserts ready.


Decorations in the hall.


A little after 5:30 the action on the street started. A steady line of cars coming in and and dropping off the kids and a parent and the other parent taking the car and picking them up at the other end.


I noticed some of the kids didn’t even bother dressing up at all, just held out their bags, or plastic pumpkins for the goodies. I also noticed quite a few adults with a bag or plastic pumpkin too which I thought was really odd.


Lots and lots of candy was given out this day here in the park. All of the participants who wanted to give out candy had a minimum of 300 pieces of the sweet stuff. And every one of them ran out of candy before they ran out of kids.



Sunday, October 30, 2011

10/30/2011 Beans! Beans! Good for Your Heart…

…and we’ll just leave that little childhood ditty right there.



Today I helped four others put chocolate, animal cracker type cookies into small plastic snack bags and to fill quart sized bags with beans like in the picture above.

Joann, filling snack bags.


Ladies hard at work filling snack bags for children in Mexico that otherwise will not have any treats.


We filled baggie after baggie. I don’t know where the cookies came from but I’ll assume the same place the beans did.

Chip helping fill the quart sized bags with beans.


I’ve heard that the park managers buy the beans, you can see what size the bags are by looking to the right of Chip in the picture above. I’m going to guess 50 lb. bags and there are two or three of them. Every Monday morning, but this week for some reason, on Sunday afternoon, ladies gather and fill these bags. On Wednesday, Scott and Cynthia will load them into their vehicle and head to Mexico to a mission they support. The children will be given their treats and their parents will be given a quart sized bag of beans. Or maybe they’ll be given two bags or perhaps three if they have a big family. I really don’t know. I do know, however, that the people who receive these gifts have very little. I hope to sit down with Scott or Cynthia before we leave here to find out more about what they do in the mission. Details about the children who wait for their arrival on Wednesday’s because they know they’ll be given a much anticipated treat and they’ll have a fleeting moment of just being any kid as they bite the chocolate head off of the giraffe animal cracker. They’ll savor each sweet morsel.

Mother’s will appreciate the beans that came from across the border that help feed their families. I bet if you talked with a dozen different women you’ll find these beans are prepared a dozen different ways.

To be perfectly honest with you, I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with those beans. The only beans I eat are green beans and Bush’s Baked Beans.

I can tell you this, I’m very thankful for my station in life. It was very humbling to fill those bags and to think that families are in such need that this quart sized bag of beans is going to make a difference in what a family is going to eat this week.

I did ask why these things weren’t given to the poor Mexicans here in this country now and I was told because those that the mission serve have even less than the poor here. Whether it be a family across the border or here in the U. S. of A. I was glad to be a part of this weekly activity. I was glad to help in some small way. Most of all I was glad to be reminded to thank God for what I have, not to ask for anything but to say thank you for all that I already have.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

10/25-10/27/2011 Not Much To Tell

I don’t know if its because we have all traveled so many miles….

Pat & Dann - South Dakota to Utah to southern Texas

Joy & DeWayne – South Dakota to Oklahoma to southern Texas

Us – South Dakota to Texas to Arizona to southern Texas

….whatever it is, its like we don’t really want to get in the truck and go anywhere other than the store to get needed tools and bread or milk and beer of course. It’s like we’re slugs although the guys are busy around the rigs and us girls are doing things in the park. Though no one has said it out loud its like we’re all saying, “Oh please, not the truck, don’t make me get in the truck.” Its really a shame because there are things to do and see around here.

Bob did fix the leak and this small leak turned into a monumental job! Since this is our second leak Bob decided that he had to check everything in the basement. EVERYTHING! He had already checked everything in the rig itself but now he is checking things behind walls and above basement ceilings. Lots of time and twisting and turning and cramped spaces but we can now say that every connection has been checked and tightened if needed and he also now knows where the lines run behind walls which someday he may be very glad he knows. Piece of mind, a good thing to have.

The girls and I have been playing Mexican Train during some afternoons.

Bunky, Toni and Joy waiting on Pat to make her move.


Pat, trying to figure out what she’s going to do.


We’ve been enjoying temperatures in the mid 80’s these past few days. I, for one, will be glad to have cold front come through so we can turn the air conditioner off. Not too cold mind you.

The trees at our site. What a beautiful blue sky!


Do you remember when I told you about the little ghost town for sale in South Dakota? You can refresh your memory HERE. Well, the town has been sold but the sale seems to be shrouded in mystery. The Iglesia ni Cristo church, established in the Philippines in 1914, bought the town. Spokespeople for the church are keeping mum on the reason they bought or any plans they have for the town. Even the local real estate agent had to sign an agreement that he would not speak of the sale. Strange, to say the least.

Monday, October 24, 2011

10/24/2011 Shopping Trip, Broken Filter & A Leak

After being in the park all weekend Bob was anxious to get and get some things he’s had on his shopping list.

First things first, our bikes need some updates. New seats for one. I don’t know who the original seats were designed for but it must have been for somebody with buns made literally of steel. So uncomfortable! Not anymore, we have nice cushy seats.


A basket for me. I am really glad to have this because it was getting more and more difficult to hold the handlebars, have my camera strap over my shoulder with my camera banging against my side and leg and to carry a Pepsi. The basket is removable with the push of a button so I can take whatever I’m carrying with me.


I still need new tires and the “streamers” for my handlebars but I don’t know if they even make them anymore. Oh, and baseball card/clothespin for my spokes. If you are going back to your childhood where your bike is main transportation then you might as well go all the way back!


We also had to look for a filter for our air conditioner. And of course Camping World didn’t have one or any other local place we could find.

I do have to say, it was nice getting out today with just “normal” traffic. Who couldn’t be happy driving on streets like this?


Oh we are not happy campers with LaMesa RV in Tucson. This is where we took our RV to get warranty repairs done. One of our complaints was that the air conditioner knobs were very difficult to turn. When we picked our rig up the service writer assured me that the knobs turned easily and that in fact they had quieted the AC because it was noisy. Oh great,,,above and beyond. Or so we thought. We needed the AC over the weekend and I wanted to turn the one in bedroom on too to help cool it down. I could not even turn the knobs a 32nd of an inch let alone ON! I didn’t say anything to Bob because he found another leak and he wasn’t exactly in a good mood.

Well, wouldn’t you know, he also tried to turn on the AC on. I wasn’t even in the same room when he tried and I knew he did. Heck, I could have been outside and would have known he tried to turn the knobs on the AC if you get my drift. This was not going to be pretty. I think he’s at the point he’s ready to torch the RV. (ONLY KIDDING….in case, God forbid, this thing should catch fire I don’t want our insurance company to really think we did that.) So Bob decides he’s going to find out what’s going on with AC and proceeds to take it apart. It wasn’t too much later that I heard he found something he didn’t like. Reluctantly, I went upstairs when beckoned and my blood pressure also went through the roof when I saw what he was holding in his hand.

One mangled, ripped, torn, broken AC filter.




Seems as though whoever worked on our AC couldn’t get the filter in the right way so forced it in. The knobs? Pushed so far into the casing they would never turn. Bob was able to correct the knob problem and I got on the phone with LaMesa. They didn’t have one in stock to send us so I called the manufacturer at their prompting and ordered one. Granted, they could have made the call but it would have been sent to them and in turn they would have send it to us so by us calling we’ll get it a whole lot faster. That part works for me. They will reimburse us for the part as soon as they get a copy of the receipt.

Now to the get the leak fixed. It was too late in the day to even get into this so we just turned the water off when we were done for the day. It was a very slow leak so it was no big deal even when the water was on, it could wait till the next day.

We are really getting’ to not likin’ this Carriage RV. Or maybe that should be the PEOPLE who built it, the PEOPLE in Quality Control, or lack thereof, and the PEOPLE who repair them. There just doesn’t seem to be pride in workmanship anymore.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

10/23/2011 Joy and I Were Brave…Stupid?

Joy and I went against everything we’ve heard about traffic on the weekend. We went out today only because she had to make a run to Home Depot. She called to ask if I wanted to ride along and I said yes without even thinking. I’m just glad she was driving! People here are crazy!!!! Lane changing with no directional signals. Left hand turns from right hand lanes. Crazy I tell ya.

Bob took a well deserved day off. That’s not to say he didn’t do anything, he just moved at a much slower pace and took more breaks.

I met Pat in the Tradewinds club house with about a dozen and a half others this evening for a rousing game of Pokeno. Never played Pokeno? Think Bingo with the card having pictures of playing cards on them instead of little square with a number. (I’ve never seen a book with cards in it like shown below, we each had an individual card.

We each had to put pennies in different “pots” such as center square, diagonal, four corners, postage stamp, full house, four of a kind and pokeno.

Everyone had several turns at being the caller. You had to flip over the cards in a regular deck of playing cards and call out the card. In turn, everyone who had that number put a penny on their card in the appropriate spot. The first one who got a penny on all four corners called it out and got the four corners pot. The same with the center square, a diagonal bingo, four of a kind and so on.

I wish I had my camera with me! I finished up as the big winner of the evening with quite a pile of pennies in front of me. To the point I had to borrow another container to get them all home. Will I be back next Sunday to play again? You betcha!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

10/22/2011 Pumpkin Carving Prank

We have heard that you don’t want to go out on the roads here on a weekend. Not only are all the locals busy running errands but you have snowbirds arriving to their winter perches and those that are just driving through on the way to theirs, plus add in all the visitors from Mexico that are coming here to shop. Well, it CHAOS! UTTER CHAOS! So while we haven’t actually experienced it, we’ll heed the warning and stay within the boundaries of park during the weekend while we’re here.

We were invited to a barbecue at the park managers place along with 35 or so others. They supplied the hamburgers and all the fixin’s and everyone else brought a dish to share.

Scott, the park manager, talking with Dann and Pat on the HUGE carport.


This is Jerry and Alabama. No, her name really isn’t Alabama but its what she’s called here, or “Bama” for short. She works in the office on the Mission Bell side and since she and the park manager are both named Cynthia there had to be a way to differentiate between the two. Neither wants to be called Cindy. So Alabama it is. I’m sure glad she doesn’t hail from Massachusetts or I-da-ho. Alabama just seems to roll off the tongue. Here’s another small world story. I knew Bama before we got here. We’re friends on Facebook. I forget how exactly it came about, we met on an RV forum or somewhere and then because FB friends so we’ve been communicating for awhile now. Of course it helped determine where we were going to stay when we came to the Valley.


This is Bunky and Chip, another couple we’ve become friendly with this past week.


Joy telling me to put the camera down because I’m missing out on all this good food.


Bama spends her days off at the pool, can you tell?


After everyone had eaten we had a pumpkin carving contest. Camphost Lily, Bunky and I were asked to come up to the table to participate. Now we all knew this was going to happen as we were asked the day before if we would. What Lily didn’t know was that Bunky and I were given more information than she was.

We were to carve the pumpkins while blindfolded!


This is hard enough to do when you can see so I had to check out which side was the sharp side of the knife. Bama is telling me here to be careful because the knives are very sharp. She had a bandaid on her finger for proof since she was the one who cleaned the pumpkins earlier in the day.


So we’re all blindfolded and it was time to start the carving.


What Lily didn’t know was that as soon as “go” was yelled, Bunky and I took our blindfolds off so we could see what we were doing!


We made it as real as possible by talking about how hard it was to do and I dropped my knife on the table and asked for someone to hand it to me and we just had a good time with it.

You know, I don’t think I’ve carved a pumpkin since I was a kid and I don’t really remember doing it then as I think that was something my mom did. When you see mine you’ll realize this is truly a beginner’s project.


Bunky must have been the pumpkin carver in her family because she just went to town!



Watch you finger Lily!


Now take notice of the stem on Lily’s pumpkin and then look at where she cut the mouth.


A better view. This is what happens when you carve blindfolded.


Bunky’s pumpkin.


Lily just found out we weren’t blindfolded!


This was fun and everyone had lots of laughs.

Good food, new friends, great weather and a new experience for me. This is what its all about.

Friday, October 21, 2011

10/21/2011 Have You Ever Heard Me Say……….

It’s a small world! Every so often we are reminded just how small it is. More about that in a bit.

You know what I like about this park? You can wash clothes in the laundry room here and then take the ones you want and hang them out at your site. I’ve seen many RV’s and park models here with small laundry racks of one sort or another. I only see these racks when in use so they are put away in between times. I happen to mention to some of the ladies here in the park during a small get together that I was surprised this was allowed. They were surprised at my use of the word allowed. In Quail Run we were never allowed to make use of these energy saving devices. I do believe that was a rule the former park manager made up and not necessarily one the owners of the park wanted enforced. (It has since come to light that there were a lot of rules that park owners new nothing about) Anyway, in support of living green, I’ve heard that has changed in our park in Arizona.

Bob and I had to make a run to the grocery store while we were out today to get two ingredients for a dish I’m making for a barbecue we’re invited to tomorrow. I made my first visit to a store called HEB. I was calling it Heb, like it sounds, but I’ve since learned its actually H E B which I have no clue what those letters stand for. I don’t like going into a grocery store for the first time. I don’t like not knowing where everything is. I also don’t like being the only ENGLISH SPEAKING person in the store as it seemed I was today. I was glad to get out of there because it certainly took me a lot longer than it should have. I couldn’t find one item I needed and there was no one to ask. If any of the Mexicans could speak English they certainly weren’t letting on. I was beginning to wonder if somehow we crossed the border and really were in Mexico!

So back to this being a small world. After dinner this evening I decided to go for a walk up to the clubhouse and I heard “Is that a familiar face I see?” I looked around and realized the lady was talking to ME! I was too far away to see who it was as dusk was just settling in and maybe the fact that I didn’t have my glasses on was a factor too. I got closer and she said, “What a surprise seeing you here Snookie.” Uh-Oh! She knows my name. I got to the area where they were sitting and I’m looking at both of them and saying to myself. “THINK SNOOKIE! You know these two but WHERE FROM???” I was running all kinds of scenarios through my mind as to where I’ve met this couple and I must have missed a question one of them asked because I realized they were standing there waiting for me to answer something. I asked them to repeat that and the question involved the words Quail Run. QUAIL RUN! YES! NOW I KNOW! I can place them there, I can see them at the pool. in the Carvnaval Room, in the Cantina and their names are…..and their names are……oh darn. Nametags Snookie,,look at their nametags! Oh my gosh, Eddie and Toni Ewing!


We workamped at Quail Run our very first year there, four years ago, and so did Toni and Eddie. We weren’t in the same department but being a small community that an RV Park is you get to know just about everyone. Yes, it certainly is a small world. And it got even smaller before the night was out. It turns out one of Toni’s friends is a reader here! Somehow it came up that Toni and her friend Lori were talking about them coming to Texas and Lori told her that a blog she follows, the couple were going to the same places, something like Snookie and Bob are going to Fort Sam Houston and then to the Valley too. Toni asked about the name Snookie and told Lori that she knew a Snookie from Quail Run and the connection was made. So Lori, glad to meet you in a roundabout way and thank you for following our journey. Its always nice, no matter how convoluted it is, to make a connection with readers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

10/20/2011 A Little of This and That

Today was the day that Bob finished up waxing the rig. After traveling from South Dakota to El Paso to Arizona to San Antonio and then down to the Rio Grande Valley, well, you can imagine the dead bugs we accumulated and the just the regular road grime. It’s now shiny and new looking once again. It took him several days because he can only work on it during the morning hours. We have been enjoying temperatures in the 90’s. There always seems to be a nice breeze here and that is definitely welcome.

After doing what I have to do around the house I’ve been meeting people here and playing cards and Mexican train with Joy and Pat. The three of us would love to get and about but the guys insist rigs have to be waxed first and minor repairs taken care of.

This seems it’s a very busy park during the winter months. As I understand it we are in Tradewinds RV Park and Mission Bell RV Park which is directly across the street are “sister parks”. You can go to the activities in both parks.

Joy and I keep saying we are going to walk around and take pictures but we haven’t done that yet.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

10/19/2011 TOGETHER…WE CAN!

I’m sure you are all seeing “pink” as this is Breast Cancer Awareness month.


I truly believe the poster above. Together, we CAN find a cure.

I’d like for all you to meet my sister-in-law Michelle.

Michelle 2.bmp

Michelle is a breast cancer survivor. In 2003, at the age of 40, she went for her baseline mammogram. Michelle got the devastating news that she had Stage IIIA breast cancer. She was in for the fight of her life. She fought and fought hard and she beat it. She is now an eight year SURVIVOR!

Michelle 3

Today, Michelle is a healthy, vibrant woman who hasn’t forgotten the fight she fought. She gets involved every year in the Walk for the Cure so that her daughter or granddaughters or YOUR daughter or granddaughters don’t have to face this terrible disease called Breast Cancer. To find a cure its takes money.

pink ribbon

Michelle sets a goal of contributions to raise when she does the walk and every year she works harder to meet and surpass that goal. This year is no different, she’s met her goal for her ninth year walk. I tell you this so that you know I’m not asking you to contribute for Michelle’s benefit in meeting her goal. That’s a done deal already. I’m asking you to contribute, five dollars will do, because I truly believe that together we CAN find a cure,,,,but it takes money for research.

pink ribbon

Have YOU given this year? Can you reach in your pocket and contribute as little as five dollars to help find the cure for a disease that has touched so many of our lives? Do any of us NOT know someone who has had breast cancer? I used to be able to count on one hand how many I knew, not anymore! We have to stop this and stop it SOON! We can’t lose anymore mother’s and daughters, and sisters and friends to breast cancer! But again, it takes money for research.

pink ribbon

I know times are rough right now and I know you’d all rather spend five dollars on something else, but can you afford NOT to give to this cause? Do you not all have women in your lives that you love and cherish and would never, ever wish this disease upon? Wouldn’t you like to be part of the cause that ERADICATES breast cancer? Five dollars, more if you can, its needed.

boob baby

I’ll thank you now for your contribution to this very worthy cause. Here is the link to make your safe, SECURE contribution.

click > > > TOGETHER WE CAN! < < < click

If you can’t find it in your heart or wallet to give five dollars, (or more) would you please click on the Breast Cancer button in the sidebar to help a woman in need to get a mammogram? I encourage you to come back to this site everyday and click that button. Two minutes out of your day could save a life.