Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry Christmas from Pancho Villa State Park

Cold nights – 27-degrees has been the lowest
Hallelujah for electricity! And my cozy Jeremiah! Nights – with my electric space heater and my electric blanket; I have a cozy sleep. First thing in a.m. my built-in, forced-air propane heater brings the inside up to comfortable temps. And then the sun comes up. Life is great!

Christmas plans
I've chosen to have a calm Christmas, focusing on the Reason for the Season, not the commercial aspect that is full of hustle and bustle. One of peaceful solitude in nature: Rooster crowing in morning. Stunning sunrises. Books to read. Birds to watch. Steaming cup of coffee laced with half-and-half and lightly sweetened with raw sugar. Walks. Chatting with other campers and making new friends.

2015 plans
What's next? I have no idea. And fortunately I don't have to know – very few expectations.
I do know that I plan to volunteer again for the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta – Oct. 3 to 11.
 So stay tuned.


Monday, December 01, 2014

Adventures Galore – what blessings!

I will make today a special day! God has given me this day – I choose to be happy!

Trolley ride, poultry exhibit and delicious times with my RV friend (she's also a Chinook owner) Ann Martin. Her non-rolling house is a bit south and east of Tucson. She's a serious gardener who delights in growing the healthy, edible things in organic ways.

Jeremiah parks easily alongside her driveway, plugged into a 30-amp outlet she had installed. It was non-stop fun with her. After a short drive into Tucson, we boarded the trolley and toured the downtown in rolling comfort. For $4 a person can ride all day, getting off and on as desired – such a deal! Afterward we enjoyed a farmers' market.

Before going back to Ann's home, we had dinner at a restaurant named HotRods “Eat and cruise in hot rod heaven”. Not just a restaurant, the facility is also Tucson's only racing themed bar & restaurant – and a working garage. “Whether it's the full treatment or a simple fix, we can get the job done on your classic or custom in our custom shop,” according to the website. Check it out at

Yea! Chickens!
Driving past the Pima County Fairgrounds near Ann's home, the sign said “Poultry Show this weekend.” Definitely a must-see for me! From the parking lot, we could hear the roosters crowing – music to my ears. Out came my camera and here are many of my photos.

Towards the end of one row the turkeys strutted their stuff – obviously these guys were not slated for this years' turkey dinner!

How often do you enjoy looking at the sky?
Driving Jeremiah provides me with plenty of interesting sky views – and because I prefer driving on less-traveled back roads, I can easily stop and take photos that amaze me. Recently, on a partially cloudy day, I enjoyed this odd formation – all the rest of the clouds were “normal”.

Also, because I am an early riser, I get to be awed by sunrises. At home this morning before sunrise, I was treated to a massive pink sky. Too bad for those who always sleep in!

Statistics from Balloon Fiesta
Before I end this blog posting, I want to give you statistics from the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta:
Here are some facts that you might like to know about this year's event:
Registered Primary Pilots: 538
Special Shape Balloons: 105
Competitive Pilots: 267
First-time Pilots: 37
States Represented: 29
Countries Represented: 15
Overall Attendance during the 9-day event: Approx. 848,350 – and mid morning on the final Saturday, they ran out of parking spaces!

Reasons to be thankful
I have so many reasons – and so does Pat Bean, an RVing lady I met years ago. She also keeps a blog and her Nov. 26 entry was “100 reasons to be thankful”. Take a few minutes to check out her blog at

The Anderson Family Thanksgiving tradition never disappoints.
Brother Ed and his wife Debbie graciously host it and family comes from near and far to enjoy the festivities. We had 20+ in attendance – the oldest, Aunt Marian, is 95; and the youngest was 3 months! I noticed this schedule posted on their refrigerator door that shows just how it all gets done.

Anthem Veterans Memorial – just north of Phoenix

My friend Hilda alerted me to this memorial that I never knew existed. It was just a block or so off I-17 just north of Phoenix, so I stopped on my way home after the family dinner.

The monument is dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of the U.S. Armed Forces. The pillar provides a place of honor and reflection for veterans, their family and friends.” It was designed by Anthem resident Renee Palmer-Jones The five marble pillars represent the five branches of the U.S. Military. They are staggered in size (from 17 ft to 6 ft) and arranged so that precisely at 11:11 a.m. each Veterans' Day (Nov.11), the sun's rays pass through the ellipses of the five Armed Service pillars to form a perfect solar spotlight over a mosaic of the Great Seal of the United States.

A spotlight on a new product
Daughter Sue told me about a new product on the market (at Sprouts Market and also at some Albertsons).

Look for it in the produce section. These oven-ready potatoes are in a ready-to-cook foil pan. They are from “The Little Potato Company”. I chose the garlic/herb, but there are at least three more options. Check them out.

What's next?
At least one more week at home – a couple of appointments, visiting friends, getting Jeremiah reloaded. I am aiming to leave and head east to New Mexico on Sunday, Dec. 7. Weather and road conditions will determine if I drive to Rio Rancho/Albuquerque or head south to enter NM. Also I'll be contacting Darcie, NM State Volunteer Coordinator, to see if she knows of any park needs that I could help with.

My travels are not just over land though glorious scenery – they are also voyages of the spirit where personal growth happens daily; where fear and doubt are replaced by faith and hope.