Sunday, December 26, 2010

We’re in Santa Clara, California


Sunday, December 26, 2010                                                                                                                                           Lorraine’s report

Here’s hoping everyone had a wonderful Christmas!! We had a blast with our grand daughter, Kaitlyn and daughter, Susy. Thank you both for making it so special for us!

Well, we are still in Santa Clara, the Elks RV parking lot. There’s not too much to write about this past week.

I have been not feeling well this whole time; Susy, Kaitlyn and Chuck all have had days where we all have felt awful, to felling almost okay. Whatever this virus we all have had is sure hard to shake. We all are tired of it and wish it would go away, now.

Chuck and I and Susy have watched Kaitlyn all week. She has colored, made ornaments out of melt down beads, wrapped presents for her dog and cat and everyone else. We have had a lot of fun.

She has spent 6 out of the last 8 nights with her Nana and Papa, even Christmas Eve.

Chuck went over to Mark’s house on Wednesday and spent 6 hours replacing a hot water heater over there.

Oh, and I had so many gifts I had picked up for Kaitlyn from across the USA this summer, we decided that Kaitlyn should open 2-3 each day for the week before Christmas. Kaitlyn really loved doing that!

Only thing, I messed up and put Susy’s stocking stuffers in the bag with Kaitlyn’s gifts and counted Susy’s as Kaitlyn’s, so I had to pick up a couple of things for the last 2 days, as I would be short 2 days worth. No big deal since we had gone out to Wal-Mart for groceries and Kaitlyn found a couple of things she really wanted. She got angry with Chuck for not getting them, but laughed after she opened her 2 gifts and found out that Nana had gotten them for her.

So that has been our week. We hope you all had a nice holiday, too.

To Connie and Manuel, we just heard what you are going through, and you will be in our daily prayers. I know how you feel, Manuel. I’ve been there. Please know everything will turn out the way God has planned things for you and Connie. He doesn’t give us any more than we can bare, this I know!

Until next time….Happy New Year, 2011 to all our family and friends……Lorraine


12/26/10                                                                                                                                                                           Chuck’s report

Still here, made it though Christmas just fine, thank you.  Hope you had a Very Merry Christmas too! 

Kaitlyn was out of school all week so we were able to spend most days with her, plus she wanted to spend most of her nights at Nana’s too.  We are glad we can spend so much time with her when we are here, sometimes it’s a long time between baby fixes and we want to make the most of it when we can. 

Lorraine had finished most of her Christmas shopping before we got here, she shops all year, wherever we are.  I, of course, like to wait so it was Monday that Susy and I went to do my Christmas shopping.  A couple of hours later, we finished, came back to the motorhome and wrapped them up, finished!  Thanks for helping Susy, sure makes it easier. 

Tuesday I got a call from our son-in-law Mark, the water heater in his house had sprung a leak and he wanted to make sure it was ok.  I went over and made sure the gas was off (it was) and things were safe until we could change it out the next morning.  So Wednesday we went to Lowes and picked up a new one, blocked and drained the old one, disconnected it and carried it out to the garage.  It was a fairly easy swap, only problem was I forgot to pick up some Teflon tape for the water connections and we needed a new piece of vent pipe for the burner vent.  Mark made a quick trip to Lowes while I got everything else finished and ready.  About an hour later, we were checking it for leaks, looked good.  We started cleaning up and putting the tools away when Mark spotted a small leak on the hot water outlet.  We had to disconnect it and move the gasket around a bit.  When we put it back together, no leaks and to this day he said it is still good.  He has hot water once again, yea.  I was glad to be here to help him change it out, that close to Christmas might have been an expensive time to get a plumber in. 

Friday night we went out for a Christmas Eve dinner at Outback.  Later we came back to the coach where Lorraine, Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn played card games.  Kaitlyn wanted to spend the night at Nana’s once again so we got her to bed and spent a quite Christmas Eve watching our favorite Christmas movie together.  In case anyone cares, our favorite one is “Christmas Story” about Ralphie wanting a new BB gun for Christmas. 

As I said earlier, Lorraine has been picking up Christmas presents across the US all year long and she had a lot for Kaitlyn.  She decided to let Kaitlyn open at least one present each day starting about a week before so she wouldn’t have so many on Christmas morning.  That sure worked out good, Kaitlyn got to enjoy a present without dropping it to open another.  She may have started a new Christmas tradition.

Christmas morning we got ready and headed over to Susy’s.  Mark showed up a bit later and finally Kaitlyn could start opening presents from Santa.  Boy was she excited!  She had sent a note to Santa asking for a Hula Hoop (she got 4 of them) and a Unicorn with wings stuffed animal (hard to find that one but Lorraine got it at the Palm Springs swap meet a couple of weeks ago).  She got the usual stuff for a little girl, dolls, clothes, books and other toys too.  Plus she got the new blanket that Lorraine had knitted for her, she opened it and immediately placed it on her bed, she liked it so much.  All in all, she was a very happy little girl. 

After cleaning up the mess and almost filling the dumpster out side, Susy and Lorraine fixed a good brunch for everyone.  We stayed around for awhile visiting and setting up Kaitlyn’s new stuff.  Boy do they wrap stuff up too well, like Susy said, “Wish they would keep our State secrets as secure as these toys”. 

Lorraine and I decided to head back to the coach, she was tired and needed a short break before she started cooking our Christmas dinner.  She fixed a prime cross rib roast with potatoes and gravy, shrimp salad, rolls, cranberries, heck all the stuff!  We ate so much no one wanted desert so that will wait for another day. 

After such a busy day, Kaitlyn was tired and about 8:00 Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn left us.  We had a very nice week and a Very nice Christmas day with them.  Thanks once again for letting us spend so much time with Kaitlyn, I know we like it and I think she enjoys it too!!!

The weather this week has been dominated mostly by the rain.  We haven’t had the terrible flooding that they got down South, sure glad we didn’t go to Disneyland before Christmas, it would have very wet.  We had a couple of days with some sun and took advantage of them as much as we could.  Today has started out very nice, sunny and warming up.  

Our plans haven’t changed too much from last week, we leave here on Thursday heading for Palm Desert.  We will get there on New Years Eve day, probably spend New Years Eve at the Elks lodge.  We are seriously considering going to the Rose Bowl Parade with Dorothy on Saturday morning, our first time for that.  I don’t really care to do thing like that but it is on our bucket list and it would be nice to see it once, I guess. 

We will be heading over to 1000 Trials at Palm Springs on 1/6, the day our Canadian friends get into town.  We will be going to the FMCA rally  at Indio, it starts on 1/12 and ends on 1/16.  Not sure how many days we will go there, we will keep the rig at 1000 Trails and drive over rather than park with all our friends who are staying at the fairgrounds.  Although we won’t get to spend as much time with our FMCA and Lorraine’s Maestros group, at least we will get to see them and say “HI” and spend some time with them. 

Our two weeks at 1000 Trails will be up on the 20th so we will probably head for Quartzsite after that.  Our Canadian friends will be staying at a place in Desert Hot Springs, about 10 miles from us.  They will be heading to Quartzsite with us, their first time for this experience, our fourth time there. 

So now I will put a few pictures here and get this posted.  The only pictures Lorraine took this week was of family so that’s all you’ll see here this week. 


Kaitlyn opening her “pre” Christmas presents. 

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One of the sunny days we had.  Plenty of rain while we’ve been here this time. 

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More “pre” Christmas presents. 

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Lorraine’s Christmas tree in our motor home.  Kaitlyn and Susy at our table. 


Kaitlyn “driving” our rig and opening more “pre” presents. 

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Another sunny afternoon, we went to a city park for awhile.  Notice the short sleeves. 

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Christmas morning, what fun for a little girl. 

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Susy’s tree and Kaitlyn’s tree. 

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Boy is she good with the Hula Hoops, she plays with them at school. 

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Here is Kaitlyn with her new blanket that Nana made.  Susy with her new purse too. 

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One of her new dresses and all dressed up for Christmas day.  She really likes getting all dressed up.

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Some of her presents under the tree after cleaning up and putting stuff away.  Lots of stuffed animals and a bunch of dolls.

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And her are my gals!!!


And that was our Christmas week, hope you had fun on yours too. 

Thanks   Chuck

Saturday, December 18, 2010

We’re back in Santa Clara, California


Sunday Dec. 19, 2010                                                                                                                                                     Lorraine’s report

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hello from the very rainy Bay area, namely Santa Clara Elks RV Park. Boy it mast have rained several inches over night.

We arrived here Friday afternoon, set up and went and picked up Kaitlyn from her afterschool program. She was so happy to see us!! One of the little girls there in her class had told her that her Nana didn’t love her and wasn’t coming to pick her up after school. I told her how could that be true, her Nana loves her to infinity and beyond, and we were late because of the awful weather we went through. But there was no way we wouldn’t show up to get her from her after school day care. She was better after I hugged her and held her and loved on her.

Chuck has covered our week except for one thing. On Monday, I had made an appointment to have my hair done at the Wal-Mart there in Palm Springs, with a gal I had used last year, and she did a nice job then.

I went and explained how I wanted it, she said she had it and went to make up the mixture and put it on. Well, she must have been mixed up and used a wrong ingredient, because it turned my hair orange. I could tell when she was going to pull through the color to the ends that something was off. I told her my hair wasn’t orange and that I didn’t like it. She then said she had to put in some toner to take the orange out. I ended being there an extra hour plus due to her mistake. She was stressed I could tell. She was working on another color job, plus she did two hair cuts in between me and the others, too much at once.

Well, after the toner, then an application of conditioner and color to the ends, I ended up with a color I can live with. It’s not perfect, but at least I can live with it, and hair grows.

Happy Birthday wishes to Dorothy on the 23rd. We’ll see you again soon.

I would like to wish all our family and friends a Very Merry Christmas, may the joys of this Blessed Season fill each and every one of you with His Glorious Love.



12/19/10                                                                                                                                                                           Chuck’s report

Yep, back in the Bay area to spend Christmas with our daughter and grand daughter!  Sure is good to see how Kailtyn’s eyes light up when she talks about Christmas and Santa Claus, why do we have to grow up anyway??  And here’s a Very Merry Christmas wish for everyone, remember the reason for the season and stop to enjoy the time with family and friends.  And for those who have to work on Christmas, I remember doing that for lots of years too and you have my best regards. 

Let’s see, most of the past week we spent in Palm Springs, enjoying the warm weather.  It got up to 87* one day and we spent a couple of afternoons just lounging around outside doing nothing but sitting in the shade but enjoying the warmth.  Lorraine did get all the Christmas decorations finished on the inside, I hung the inside lights and outside lights, see a picture below of our coach with all my handy work.  Sure a lot easier than doing our house, that’s for sure. 

We spent some time trying to find a park for our friends from Canada who are going to come down in early January to Palm Springs and places beyond.  Unfortunately we will not be able to get them into 1000 Trails, they are full and not accepting reservations from members, let alone friends of members.  But all is not lost, we checked around and found a couple of places they could get into, they also hit the internet and found a couple of places.  We checked out one they were interested in and it looks just fine so they ended up making reservations at  Caliente Springs RV park in Desert Hot Springs.  We will be back at 1000 Trails, about 10 miles away so it should work out just fine.  I will add a couple pictures of the place for you Rob/Norma and Rick/Joy. 

After checking out their RV Park, Lorraine and I stopped at In N Out Burgers for dinner.  We checked out 5 Guys last week and while they have good burgers, they have loud rock music playing and don’t have Ice Cream of any sort, couldn’t get a chocolate shake even.  So for those two reasons, I think I like In N Out better but the burgers are good at both places and you get more French fries than you can eat at 5 Guys. 

After dinner Lorraine talked me into heading for the casino for Monday Night Football, at least that’s why I went, she hit the slots, ha.  She had good luck on them this time, in fact, they gave us both $5 in free slot play, I turned mine into $17, she turned hers into $53, not bad for free  money.  She also had done pretty well while I was watching the game so she came away a big winner for the night. 

Tuesday morning was one of those sit around and enjoy the weather days.  Lorraine has been knitting more so she sat out there knitting while I read a book.  Our friends Tom/Dorothy loaned me the first 6 books of the series “Left Behind” and I’ve been reading them, a good series so far.  Later we went out to a different casino to see if they would be nice to us but this one took our money so we didn’t stay too long.  After we got back to the campground we went to an information meeting about RVing to the Rose Bowl Parade.  They have it set up pretty nice, a 5 day trip with lots to do but it was just too expensive for us plus we don’t like living on someone else’s schedule so we didn’t sign up.

Wednesday we decided to go to yet another casino, this time to go to their lunch buffet.  They had a good spread and we got there just in time as they closed down the food line just after we got our second helpings.  But they didn’t close down the desert area so I had to try some and I left there too full, once again. 

Our friend Dorothy came by to see us once again before we left the area.  We had a good visit with her and got some information about how the locals see the Rose Bowl Parade.  We are debating in our minds about going with her, only problem is we have to leave before 6:00 am to get there in time before it starts.  We have to make up our minds soon so we can give Dorothy time to set her schedule too.  As neither of us have been there before, I would say we are leaning towards going. 

Thursday morning when I got up it was sprinkling, not raining but wet none the less.   We don’t like to travel in the rain but needed to head out anyway.  We can only stay at a 1000 Trails park for two weeks and our time was up plus we told Kaitlyn we would be back on Friday and we needed to keep that promise.  So we got everything put away for travel, dumped the holding tanks and took off. 

Dorothy had told us about a different route we could take, one we hadn’t taken before so we decided to try it.  Thanks for the advise Dorothy, a very nice, scenic drive, one we will take again.  Once again we made our overnight stop at Orange Grove RV park in Bakersfield and picked a few more oranges.  Boy have they grown larger in two weeks and Lorraine said they are much sweeter too. 

Friday morning we woke to a wet morning but with the skies clearing to the West.  We got everything put away and headed out but this time we we hit heavy winds and rain, not a good travel day.  And we just had the rig washed and waxed, I knew it was getting lots of road grime on it, shoot.  But we made it to the Elks Lodge here in Santa Clara, got set up and went to pick Kaitlyn up from after school.  Boy was she excited to see Nana, we were later than usual but as soon as she saw us, she came running to Nana with her arms out, yelling to her classmates, “That’s my Nana, I told you she was coming today”. 

So we got to spend the rest of the afternoon with Kaitlyn, doing “homework” first, then playing card games and watching a couple of TV shows.  And of course, Nana enjoyed making food and feeding Katie too.  They sure like spending time together.

Later Susy came by after work and spent some time with us before she had to head home.  Susy has been fighting a bad cold, even missed a couple of days at work this week so she was pretty beat.  As they were getting ready to go home, Kaitlyn asked if she could spend the night with Nana so that’s what happened.  It’s been a while since she has spent the night with us, I had almost forgot how much of a bed hog she can be.  I asked her the next day if her foot was hurting, she asked me why I would ask that and I told her she had kicked me all night long.  Boy did she laugh over that.

Saturday I got up normal time, took my shower and was ready to take Misty out for her walk when Kaitlyn woke up.  Of course she wanted to spend time with Nana right away but it was too early for Lorraine to get up.  But not wanting to miss spending any time with her, she got up anyway.  Later Susy came over and they fixed brunch and worked on some Christmas stuff.

We have a generator on our coach to supply electrical power when we aren’t hooked up to an external source, like we have here at the Elks Lodge.  It is set to auto start when the thermostat says we need to run either the heat pump or the air conditioner if we don’t have an external power.  Well, I was surprised to hear the generator start, meaning I had some troubleshooting to do.  As I walked out of the coach I met another member who had noticed his power was out.  We found the electrical power was surging from 95 to 138 volts, not a good thing.  We have a surge protector installed that will trip out if the power is too high or too low and that’s all that happened to us.  The other guy didn’t have a surge protector and it appears he has some damaged equipment in his coach due to the power surges. 

The host here called in the electricians and they found the ground wire on our outlet had come loose, made contact with the hot wire and was causing all kinds of weird reading for the whole place.  I still don’t understand why the breaker didn’t trip but it was still on.  They tripped the breaker and started to pull the plug and found it still had power?  They were stumped for awhile, this stuff is over my pay grade and I don’t understand everything they told me.  But they will have to pull new wires to our spot so we had to move to a different spot in order to have power but at least it is now good, steady power.  Once again. I’m really glad we have a good surge protector, it saved us some potential damage to some electrical equipment.  

It’s more of a big deal for Lorraine to get the coach ready to move than for me, she has to put a lot of stuff away so it doesn’t fall and break.  She had to stop what she was doing, put stuff away, go outside in the rain and direct me as I backed up into our spot.  It was late morning before all that happened and Lorraine was feeling rushed as she didn’t have time to do all the things she had planned.

Later, Lorraine and Susy had to make a trip to the grocery store for some stuff.  Kaitlyn and I stayed home and she beat me in cards and dominoes too.  We also watched two episodes of Sponge Bob that Lorraine had tivoed, first time for me.  I guess I like the Road Runner better but must admit this is probably much more politically correct and has less violence. 

Lorraine had started a stew in our slow cooker before she and Susy left and the smell was filling the coach, making us hungry.  When they got back she finished it up and we had a very good dinner, especially good on a rainy evening.  After dinner, Lorraine, Susy and Kaitlyn built and decorated a gingerbread house.  There was sure lots of laughter coming from the table while that was going on, they sure had a good time. 

Later Susy said it was time to head home and once again Kaitlyn asked to spend the night.  Lorraine told her she could stay if she allowed her to sleep in this morning.  I said I would need to protect my ribs.  But short story was, she spent the night with us once again.  She wasn’t as restless as the first night but both Lorraine and I were woken up a few times.  She has nightmares but Lorraine was able to calm her down quickly and she went right back to sleep. 

We did have a good wind and rain storm overnight both Friday and Saturday night.  The forecast is for rain or showers for the next 6 days or nights, almost like being back in the great NW, huh?   I heard on the radio they may get an additional 10’ (yes, feet!) of snow in the mountains around Lake Tahoe, this is on top of the already above normal snowfall they have there.  I’m already missing the dry, warm weather we had in Palm Springs and it’s only been two days. 

I think we have the dates set for our stay here.   Mark, Susy and Kaitlyn are going to Florida to the Orange Bowl where Stanford will play Virginia Tech on January 3rd.  They plan on leaving here on the 31st to fly out to the East Coast.  Lorraine and I will leave here on the 30th and head back to Palm Springs.  We hope to be there in time to see the New Year come in, probably will go to the Elks for that night.  And if we decide to drive over to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl Parade we will make it a short celebration the night before. 

I tried to get reservations at 1000 Trails but the system says they are full, no more reservations are being accepted.  We were able to use one of our other memberships and get into Catalina Spa and RV park in Desert Hot Springs until Jan. 6th.  We will then move over to 1000 Trails for our two weeks there.  Our friends from Canada are planning on getting into town on the 6th also so we will be set up and waiting to get word from them once they get to their park.  Then let the fun begin, this will be their first time playing snowbirds and we will have sun showing them around and exploring the area with them.  Here’s hoping for good weather for those three weeks for all of us.  

I will add some pictures to this and get it posted.  Once again, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!


Not too much decorations.  Lorraine really likes the Santa hats on the mirrors. 


Here are the Caliente Springs pictures, sorry but we didn’t get any of the actual spaces but it looks nice. 

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On the road once again. 

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Kaitlyn helping me squeeze some oranges for fresh orange juice, think she’ having fun??

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Working on the gingerbread house.  Turned out very nice I think. 

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And that’s the end. 

Thanks   Chuck