Sunday, December 27, 2009

Still in the Bay Area


Sunday, December 27, 2009                                                                                                  Lorraine’s report

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! We did! We spent the day with our little family here in Sunnyvale, CA. The day was sunny, bright and cold. Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn, we thank you for such a great Christmas Day.

Well, last Sunday, I woke up not feeling well. Little did I know that I was at the start of a bout of either stomach flu or food poisoning. I was reminded of when I went through my chemo treatment. Chuck took me in to the emergency room at 5 am on Monday morning, I just couldn’t stop the throwing up and diarrhea. They did a bunch of tests, but the doc couldn’t say what it was for sure, they just gave me an IV for fluids, a shot of morphine for the pain and sent me home, after six hours in the broken bones supply room, where they put me when we checked into the hospital. My bout of being ill lasted until the morning of the 23rd, when I woke up feeling a bit better. I wasn’t able to eat solids until the 26th, and I’m still cold, having a hard time getting and staying warm. This wasn’t how I wanted to spend the pre-Christmas holiday.

I had plans to do other things before Christmas, but that didn’t happen. I was happy to just be able to go over to our daughter’s for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

We had a great time watching our little granddaughter, Kaitlyn open her presents. She had a blast, and we greatly enjoyed watching her.

After the presents were put away and Susy’s home was cleaned up, Mark took us to a movie. Susy, Mark, Kaitlyn and I went to see the Frog and the Princess. It was a good movie; Kaitlyn wants us to buy it when it comes out, she enjoyed it so much.

The only problem was Mark lost the car keys with a bunch of other keys on his key ring at the theater. He doesn’t know where or how they got lost, but they did, so he spent Saturday afternoon at the dealer to get the car retooled for new keys.

Saturday, Susy and I went to return a couple of presents that were not quite right. We came home just as it started to pour here; it sure did dump on us.

Not too much more to write about; it’s been nice to slow down a bit. Anyhow, I want to wish all our family and friends a belated Merry Christmas and many Blessings and a Healthy, Happy New Year! May God be good to you and yours!

Until next time…..Lorraine

12/27/09                                                                                                                            Chuck’s report

Well, I’m glad that week is over.  If you read our blog from last week, you know Lorraine wasn’t feeling well and didn’t write her part.  Well, on Monday I took her to the emergency room at 5:00 in the morning.  Actually a good time to go to the ER, we got right in but had to wait for the doctor.  Anyway, they ran a bunch of blood tests, had a Cat Scan and X-ray but could find anything for sure.  They think it was either food poisoning or a stomach bug that has been going around.   She sure was one sick gal for about 3 or 4 days there. 

She was released about 3:00 with a couple of prescriptions and a “I hope you feel better” comment.  I got her home and put to bed then went out to fill her prescriptions.  Boy was that fun, first one wouldn’t fill it, second was closed, third didn’t have one of the pills, fourth filled one but not the second, finally got what I needed at the fifth one. 

She was still down on Tuesday, but started feeling a bit better in the afternoon.  She has been feeling a bit better each day so I think it was the bug but not sure.  Main thing is she’s getting better and able to spend time with Kaitlyn before we leave.  She didn’t leave the coach until we went out to dinner on Christmas eve, only had soup however. 

I’ve been searching for a set of tires for our car, they’re pretty big at 19”.  I checked the normal places and got prices ranging from $950 to $1500.  I checked on line and found I could by them for $95 each.  I then called and tried to get price match from a couple of places.  Discount tire said they would match the internet price and only charge $20/tire for mounting/balancing and tire disposal.  So I got a set of new Goodyear tires for a pretty good price, an early Christmas present. 

We spent Christmas morning at Susy’s, really enjoyed watching Kaitlyn open her presents, she was so excited.  Lorraine, Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn went to the movie house to see a matinee, I came back to the coach.  Later we went out to Christmas dinner where Lorraine was able to eat a little bit of solid food. 

Mark and Susy both graduated from Stanford University, both of them work there now.  The Stanford football team in playing in a bowl game at El Paso, Tx. on Thursday.  They want to drive over, taking a much needed vacation.  They leave tomorrow, we leave for Palm Springs on Tuesday.   They will stop by and see us on their way home after the game, it’s on the way.   That may be the last time we see them until Kaitlyn’s birthday in April.  Once again, thanks to Susy and Mark for sharing their time and home with us, we sure appreciate it. 

We’ve finally made our minds up, decided we will go to Red Bay, Alabama for some coach repairs at the factory.  We plan on being there on March 4th.  I spent a couple of hours working out our route and schedule so we at least have an idea of when/where we will be going on the trip.  We are also working on getting all our items on the work list, want to make sure we get everything done while we are there. 

We will probably spend the spring traveling around the SE states, we’ve never spent any time there except for a two weeks stint in Atlanta a few years ago.  We haven’t worked out any schedule or even made a wish list for the spring yet, will need to work on that.  We are thinking about Georgia, N&S Carolina and Virginia.  We’ve never been to Washington DC so we may head that way too.  So if anyone has any places you think we have to see, please let us know. 

Our short range plans are to spend the most of the next two weeks in Palm Springs.  Susy will be stopping by on their way home, there is a FMCA rally we plan to attend plus we really like the area and weather.  Afterwards we will head for Quartzsite, Az for the annual RV week boon docking with our friends from the RV America group.  After that, we start our trek to the East.  

We are well into our third year of full timing and don’t see an end in sight yet, YEA.  We don’t know where the road will lead us this year but we are more experienced about what we do now.  We don’t travel fast or far like we are on vacation, rather we try to see and explore the area more. 

I would be remiss is I didn’t wish everyone a Happy New Year.  Here’s hoping you had a great ‘09 and wishing you a better one for ‘10! 

And now for some pictures. 

Here are some oranges on the tree, some ripening, some still very green. 

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Thought I would show some flowers in bloom here.  Most of these don’t bloom back home until late spring. 

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The pool is closed for winter. 

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Our coach.


Kaitlyn and Lorraine at our coach. 


Christmas at Susy’s.

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So once again, that was our week and an idea of our short and mid term plans. 

Thanks   Chuck

Sunday, December 20, 2009

We’re back in San Jose


12/20/09                                                                                                                             Chuck’s report

First off, I would like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas.  I hope you remember the reason for the season and don’t get too busy with everything else.  I know some of you have to work on Christmas, I’ve been there, done that too and know the family sacrifices you have to make.  Others may be traveling, be careful out there and return home safely.  Most of all, I hope you can spent time with family and friends during the season. 

Monday was our last day in Palm Springs until after Christmas.  We had forgotten about the Lewis & Clark Chapter luncheon but Scott stopped by in the morning to remind us so we made it.  Lorraine and I were talking about how we lucked out when we met these fine folks in Oregon the first time and joined this chapter. 

We went over to Joe/Alice’s rig in the evening, they will be leaving Palm Springs a couple of days before we return so we wanted to visit with them once again, maybe for the last time this winter.  However, with this lifestyle you never know. 

We had an uneventful trip from Palm Springs to here, no more problems with our front wheel bearings, the new seals look good.  We stopped overnight at a campground we’ve stayed at before near Coalinga, a bit over halfway.  The only thing different this time was the oranges surrounding them had been picked.  I asked if we could go over and pick any remaining.  They said it would be ok so I took off, guess what, I found a tree they had missed, loaded with nice, large, tree ripen oranges.  I only picked one bag full but Lorraine and Kaitlyn really like these, they are sweet, should have picked more I think. 

Once we got here we quickly got back into our normal mode.  We are able to pick up Kaitlyn so she can spend the day with us, Lorraine really likes to be Nana with her.  We also try to spend the evenings with Susy and Mark.

Last time we were here I worked on their clothes drier, it had a bad heating element that I was able to put back in place.  However, after we left it started acting up again so they bought a new one that Susy installed.  As we all know, things happen in bunches and their dishwasher sprung a leak.  They bought a new one and asked if I would help them install it when we got in, of course I agreed  We tried hooking it up but this one had a water inlet fitting no one had ever seen before so we ended up returning it to the store and changing it out for a different one with normal fittings.  After that, it was an easy change out. 

Lorraine likes to see movies at the movie house, I don’t.  On Thursday evening she, Susy and Mark went to see a movie while Kaitlyn and I stayed at their house.  We did art work and watched a couple of her movies but she was glad when Mommy and Nana got home. 

Mark’s mother and father flew in Friday evening for a business meeting on Saturday.  We were able to visit with them at Susy’s and then went to brunch with them before they had to drive up to Sacramento.  We haven’t seen them for awhile so it was good to visit with them, even is only for a short while.  Bill is going through another round of Chemo but appears to be handling it somewhat better than before.  Fight hard Bill, you’re doing the best you can, we know. 

Later that afternoon, Lorraine, Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn went to an amusement park down in Gilroy.  The park is all decorated for Christmas and they had some programs for Christmas too.  They bundled up as it was on the cool side and stayed for the whole evening .  Lorraine didn’t get home until after 10:00, I was already out, ha.  She said it was fun and they enjoyed themselves.

This morning Lorraine woke up and wasn’t feeling well.  She had plans to go with Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn to see the Nutcracker but had to cancel.  She’s spent the morning in bed hoping to shake whatever she caught so she isn’t putting out her normal posting this week. 

The weather has been nice here, actually got into the 70s the last two days but they are forecasting rain starting tonight for the next couple of days.  We’ve had some heavy fog in the mornings but it burns off by noon. 

Mark doesn’t have to work this week so I don’t know how many days he will let us have Kaitlyn but we’ll take all we can get.  Unfortunately , Susy has to work most of the week but of course she will be off on Christmas.  This will be the third year we’ve been able to spend Christmas at her house. 

And now for some pictures. 


Some pictures Lorraine took as we were driving around San Jose.

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Our rig all decorated for Christmas, sure a lot easier than the house.


Brunch with Mark’s parents who came down from Seattle.


At Gilroy Gardens for the evening. 

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And that was our week, how was yours??  

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Once again from Palm Springs


Sunday, December 13, 2009                                                                                               Lorraine’s report

Time sure seems to be flying by for us, here it’s Sunday already and we’ve been as busy as ever. We are still here at 1000 Trails in Palm Desert. It’s been cool here and last week it just poured outside.

Our week in review; last Sunday our friends, Joe/Alice left and went on over to a state park. Chuck and I went to the College of the Desert Swap Meet after they left. We walked all through it and bought a couple of things and some fresh grapefruit and cantaloupe. We came home and spent a quiet afternoon watching football and having a nice dinner home

Monday it just dumped lots of rain and was cold here. We had made plans to go to lunch with the group we joined at Seaside, OR, Lewis and Clark Chapter of Thousand Trails of FMCA. We headed into Desert Hot Springs, meeting them at a local resort/hotel/spa. There were about 15 of us there. While we enjoyed the company, I have to say that the food could have been better, since most of it was served cold, and it was suppose to be hot.

We came back home in the rain and rested, then met up with Joe/Alice at Agua Caliente for Monday night football. This casino had a football party going on during the game. We had lots of fun.

Tuesday we met up again with Joe/Alice and tried to go to the valley here in the desert where there was reported to be hundreds of hummingbirds. We found the place, but decided not to enter since they were charging a pretty price to enter. So we decided to eat lunch. We found a Mexican restaurant in down town Palm Springs. I think I had the best soft chicken taco I have ever eaten, it was just delicious. We came home after that and spent another quiet evening home.

Wednesday, I made Chuck a double batch of fudge. It is so good, if I do say so myself.

After that I took myself off to a matinee; I went to see “Blind Side” with Sandra Bullock. It was a good movie, one that I will buy when it comes out on DVD. Chuck stayed home and polished the wheels, he doesn’t like to go to the theaters.

Thursday, Chuck fixed the bar that the clothes hang on in the clothes closet. It broke on these rough CA roads, so he had to head over to Home Depot to replace the top part. He completed that and then I went through my clothes and got rid of a big bag of stuff for the Salvation Army.

We then went over to Augustine Casino for a couple of hours of fun. I went up, Chuck was down. Following that, we met Tom/Dorothy, who went with us to Alaska this summer for dinner at Applebee’s. We enjoyed a nice dinner and time with them, and made plans to attend the Powwow this weekend.

Friday, I went to Walmart to have my hair done. The gal there was extremely busy. She was working on three of us at the same time. It’s not the best I’ve had done, but I can live with this. Afterwards, we ate then went to Casino 29 for the 13th annual Christmas Powwow. It was so colorful and crowded with all the dancers and visitors who came from all over the US and Canada, we really enjoyed all the contests.

Saturday, we were up and out by 8:30. We went over to the clubhouse for breakfast. It was good. Then, off to an RV show in Indio. Following that we tried to go to the swap meet again, but traffic there was extremely heavy, so we headed home.

Dorothy called and wanted to go to the powwow with me so she came by and we headed back over. We got the last two seats and enjoyed all the sights and dancing.

Chuck called and we then went with Joe/Alice, and Bruce/Gloria to Augustine Casino for dinner. They have very good food. Afterwards, we all went back to the powwow for the men’s contest. It was the feathered men, all dancing until they crowned one winner. I think they played 15 songs before one finally beat out the rest; the winner must have been extremely fit, since this was also a contest of stamina.

This was our last weekend here in Palm Desert until after the holidays. It sure seemed to fly by.

I hope this finds everyone healthy and fine. Until next time…….Lorraine

12/13/09                                                                                                                              Chuck’s report

Hi again from beautiful Palm Springs.  This is our second week here, still enjoying ourselves.  The weather has been nice except for Monday when it rained HARD.  We had standing water puddles all over the park and in town.  The first set of pictures show the snow level in the mountains around us.  At least down here, the snow knows where it should be, up there and NOT where we are.  Other than Monday, the temperature has been getting down to the low 40s at night, up to the high 60s during the day. 

Last week I spent a few days washing the rig, the only thing I had left on my wish list was polishing the wheels.  I got that accomplished, they look good once again.  I also had to replace a wire shelf in the closet, all the bad roads and the weight of the clothes hanging was too much, it broke.  A quick trip to Home Depot to get a replacement shelf and remove/replace.  Of course, we sorted through and picked out a bunch to give away as we were putting them back, a good thing. 

Lorraine made a batch of her fudge she always makes for Christmas.  I guess I’ll have to eat your share John, seeing as you aren’t here and we can’t ship it up there.  Oh the sacrifices I make for my friends and family!

Joe/Alice and us went to a casino to watch Monday Night Football.  All of us left with a couple little trinkets but no one won a big prize.  The same casino has two drawings today, Sunday, each to give away a new Lexus.  I hope we didn’t win on Monday because today is our turn.  Don’t know if I could tow a Lexus Convertible but I would looking into it.  Wish us luck in the drawings this afternoon.

There is a big Indian Pow Wow held at a casino here every winter.  Indian dancers, drummers and singers from all over the US and Canada come down and participate in the three day Pow Wow.  Lorraine and I attended Friday evening, Lorraine and Dorothy went on Saturday morning.  Saturday afternoon we went to a buffet with our friends Joe/Alice and their friends Bruce/Gloria from Alaska.  The six of us then went to the evening portion of the Pow Wow. 

What great colors in their regalia.  Over the three sessions we noticed that most of them didn’t wear the same outfit twice, rather they have very different sets they wear.  They have some dance sessions where all the dancers come out on the floor at the same time, others are just for select groups.  They have judges for the drummers/singers and for the dancers.  They even invite any spectators to come down and join them in a few of their dances.  I couldn’t convince Lorraine she should go out and dance, however.

They told us there are 11 drum groups in attendance, they rotated each song through the different groups.  There was also over 350 dancers that registered.  On Saturday night they had the men’s group age 18 – 59 in Fancy Regalia dance in a last man standing type.  They went through 15 drum/singers until only one dancer was left.  He was crowned as the champion for the year, a much coveted prize I guess.  It lasted for almost an hour, one dance right after another with no resting time in between.  Boy did they dance, I would have lost 20 pounds if I tried that.  They had the whole crowd standing and applauding for them by the end.  Whew, I get tired just thinking about them again. 

We are going to head back to the Bay area to spend two weeks with our Daughter and her family over Christmas.  Our son is going to be back up North building the ice roads once again this winter so he will not be able to be there with us.  After that, we are coming back here to Palm Springs area. 

We will attend the FMCA rally here in Indio the first week in January then head towards Quartzsite for the middle of January and the big RV week.  The remained of the winter is still up in the air, I have to get a bit more information about some repairs before we decide where to spend the rest of the winter.  Where ever we are, however, you can bet we’ll be looking for warm weather.  I kind of like not dealing with the cold, wet, gray, miserable days we had back in Washington each winter!

And now for some pictures.  Most are from the Pow Wow as we didn’t take many pictures anywhere else.   I also will include a link to a blog from someone else who was there.  I have met Mark and Chris, they were in Alaska this year, met some of our friends up there and now they are here at 1000 Trails in Palm Springs.  He has a bunch of really good pictures from the Pow Wow, worth taking the time to see his pictures in a slideshow.

Notice the fresh snow in the hills.

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Good use of an old Volkswagen, make it into a spider.

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Opening ceremonies at the Pow Wow on Friday evening. 

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They had all the young ones come out and dance too. 

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And once again, that was our week.  Hope yours was good too. 

Thanks   Chuck