Saturday, November 24, 2007

11/24/07 It has been a busy time since our last post. Right after leaving Park Sierra, we spent 3 nights in San Diego, staying at the Poway Elks club. There are only 3 RV sites there and the parking was very tight, but the people are very helpful and friendly. Elaine's son, Darran, came over for dinner with his new girlfriend, Marielle. He is very happy and she is cute and likeable. He says he is serious about her, so perhaps soon there will be a big announcement. Unfortunately, right after they left, I got sick with an intestinal bug and had it for the next few days. That put a damper on our visit the next day with old friends Sally and Kathy. They had free passes for all of us so we went to the San Diego Zoo. Elaine and I had not been there since we had Tarra and Darran there when they were small and they broke out in chicken pox while we were on top of the tram. Taking the tram all around the zoo and then doing a short walk to see just a few animals really wiped me out, so it was a short day there. Kathy and Sally fixed a nice dinner and we had a great visit.
Then we drove over to Yuma, and out to Mittry Lake where the RoVing Rods were gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving. There were about 8 rigs here when we arrived on Tuesday evening. A few more came the next day and some folks drove out in their cars just for Thanksgiving day and the delicious dinner. Since everyone contributes, the dinner prep isn't too hard on anyone. Bruce and Bunny prepared a trash can turkey (see the steps in the pictures below), and Ron Bonham smoked a turkey and a ham. Stan Lindner prepared several Canada geese that he had shot up in Alberta. Surprisingly, the cooked meat tastes kind of like beef tri-tip. We made a big salad, and fixed 2 big pans of yams and some broccoli. Of course, there were many other side dishes and lots of different pies. Luckily, it was a sunny and beautiful day, with no wind, and we were happy to be outside. Ed Broz brought out his button box (or squeeze box) and entertained us before dinner. Dinner left us all stuffed, so I took a walk with Doc and Billie while Elaine rested. By now she had the same illness that I had in San Diego, but she wasn't as sick. She was even able to eat on Thanksgiving Day. There was so much food leftover that we had another group dinner the next night. This time, Ed Bonham arrived and so did the members of his "band", so they set up their equipment and performed a 2 hour concert for all of us last evening. We all sat around roaring fires and listened intently. How lucky we are to be in groups where there are such talented people!
Last summer when we were campground hosts at Lake Kachess, another camp host named Frank became our very good friend. He lives here in Yuma with his partner, Andy (see picture below). So he drove out yesterday and we had a happy reunion with him. He invited us to a breakfast today, with about 8 of his friends, after which we all went for a hike out in the foothills. Frank has gotten obsessed with geocaching and that was the goal of the hike, to find some of these sites. We were happy to just go along and have some visiting time with all of Frank's friends, whom we had met last summer too.
Another couple of guys, Fred and Marty, whom we met on a beach in Baja about 6 years ago had e-mailed us that they were going to be here at Mittry Lake for Thanksgiving. So we drove up to the canal area and there they were. We had a very nice visit with them, and were happy to see how well they are doing. They are returning to Baja in January and trying to convince us to go too!
We are trying to use part of our time here to do some research for our next international trip. I am pushing for us to go to South Africa for March, April and May, but we haven't made any definite arrangements yet. In the meantime, we will be staying down here in Arizona where we are hoping for warmth. We are hoping to go out to the Sidewinder Road area where the Boomers have gathered in past years, but no one was out there over Thanksgiving. Perhaps if we go out there, more will show up!

Friday, November 16, 2007

11/16/07 This will be our last night at Park Sierra, as we have decided to join the RoVing Rods for Thanksgiving down at Mittrey Lake near Yuma, AZ. We have had a nice time here at the park, mainly because there are such nice people here and also the weather has been great too. Some chores we always put off have been done, such as washing and waxing the car and RV, we have had some medical tests, and done a bit of reorganizing. Tomorrow we leave for San Diego, where we will get to meet Darran's new girlfriend and (hooray) return about 6 boxes worth of stuff to him, which we have been storing in our shed for years! Then, after a visit with friends Kathy and Sally, we will be off to Yuma. Hopefully, we will be able to reconnect with other friends down there as well. The plan is that we will start to do some travel research and decide on a place to go for our next international trip, and start making definite arrangements.
Today we had a very enjoyable Happy Hour here at the park and were delighted that so many great people showed up and stayed quite a while to talk. The last time we sponsored one we had to bail out at the last minute because of Tarra's illness. She is doing quite well, having finished her course of antibiotics at home.
At the end of this report, there is a picture of a red shouldered hawk which sat on a branch right in front of Ken & Carolyn's rig and didn't seem the least upset by the fact that 4 of us (and a dog) were within 10 feet! Today while we were packing the RV, an adolescent deer with small horns went running right down the path near our rig. It is great to have a lot in a place where there are still such animals roaming around.
Please contact us if you will be in the Yuma area so we can try to get together.

Monday, November 05, 2007

11/5/07 Happily, we can now report that Elaine's daughter, Tarra, is doing much better. She spent 9 days in the hospital, and will be on IV antibiotics for about another 10 days. The lab tests finally revealed that she had bacterial spinal meningitis, an e. coli infection, and a staph infection. The doctor said that if she hadn't gone in for help and waited another 24 hours, the infection would have gone into her brain and she would have had about a 5% chance of survival. They are still treating 3 other people for the same thing in the same hospital and none of them are responding nearly as well to the drugs as Tarra did. So we are feeling very lucky right now that we still have her!
We are also very glad that we have finished fixing up our rental house in Roseville and have turned it over to the new tenants. The outside was badly in need of painting, which we did, and after 4 days of painting eaves, we both have stiff necks!! The old tenants did a great job of cleanup, so all we had to do was paint the walls on the inside and touch up the trim. Now we hope the new tenants stay in there for a LONG time.
The last few days we have enjoyed some social times with old friends and family in the area, and that has been a treat. Since my brain was fuzzy from breathing paint fumes, I never thought of taking pictures, so there are none following this report. But we did have a delicious Italian dinner with Jan & Bill Vecchio on Friday, followed by a nice lunch out on Saturday with Roberta & Odette, old friends from Cool. Saturday evening we shared drinks and food with Carol & Ron Leonard, the SKP couple whose land we were parked on during our stay in Sacramento. Then we enjoyed a fabulous Asian meal on Sunday with high school friend Lois Cissell and her brother, Richard. Lois had recently been in the hospital with a slight stroke, so we were very happy to see that she is doing so well, with hardly any residual effects. Today we met my youngest brother, Jerry, and his wife, Diann at Chili's in Roseville, and had another delicious lunch. They are both looking fabulous and enjoying their retirement immensely. So you can see that if we did manage to work off a few ounces or pounds with all the hard work on the rental, we put it back on and more with all these food events!!
Currently we are driving back to Fremont, for another quick visit with Tarra. Then we have to return to Park Sierra because I have jury duty on Thursday and we have bone density tests on Friday. Our car is also in need of some repairs and we have to take care of that before heading south. Our plans are often made in jello, and are subject to change at any time, but it is looking like we will head south to Arizona for a while until we get a chance to do some travel research and make some definite plans for international destinations.