Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!

Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!
We are extensively traveling around...working and having a blast...Life is Grand!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Laughlin Memories

Could not leave the area without stopping in Laughlin…here I feel the closest to my mother and brother. Not only is this the place we scattered their ashes but also carries the memories of our last time spent together as a family while they were both alive. Seeing my mother hit jackpots and of course sneak a few beers and swear she was not. Feeling like a kid again, hanging out with my brother and skipping along the casino floors, laughing and having fun. Watching my daughter hit her first jackpot and seeing the sparkle in her eyes. Just remembering our children not being old enough to gamble but now are all beyond their years with children of their own.

Today is a day of reflection…last day of 2008. Laughlin brings about sadness, joy, pain, heartache, love and times that we never knew may have been our last shared moments with one another.

Our wish for this upcoming new year is for our family, friends, and all of our readers to have the best opportunities and are able to meet each and every challenge with a new focus of good times ahead.

We Have Posted Our Vegas Photos

Monday, December 29, 2008

What An Amazing City

We have visited Vegas so many times for many different reasons but none have ever compared to the current visit. We are being total tourists…taking photos, something we have never done…trying out new cuisine, not just buffets…not spending too much time just gambling…basically, living in the moment and allowing things to just flow.

We received a $150 play money from the Venetian, the way this works is they put money on our gaming card which can only be used on the slot machines, but when you win anything while playing, that money can be cashed out. We more than tripled this and then to make our lucky streak even better, when we went to some of the other Casinos while sight seeing we have been hitting more little jackpots, most of the time on the first pull. This vacation…including all eating, which we are eating some very good stuff, more on that later…is costing us nothing!

There will be plenty of photos, stories and reviews that we will be sharing once we get back to our rig, in the meantime, we will be sharing little bits and pieces of our wonderful time and wishing you all some great travels.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Finally, Our Venetian Vacation

First thing this morning we called the Venetian to see if they had availability and a place for us to park our RV…they had both, so we went for it.

The extra attention given to us by the Reservationists was so comforting and very welcomed, which does not even begin to describe our entire time there. We are without a doubt living way beyond our means at this hotel but we are enjoying every moment. I know…many folks live this way every day…we do not and it feels right! The smooth feeling of the marble under our feet, the plushness of the king-size bed…drapes that open and close with a remote control. Yes, it is just a hotel but wow, feeling this grand is the way we have always imagined our lives to be. We are so very grateful to whomever sent us this wonderful gift, we will think about this often during those lean days of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches but for now, here we are living and loving in this moment!

We may never leave the room...not...we will share all of our sight seeing of the Strip with photos and stories in the next few days.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Visit at Calico Ghost Town

This morning we awoke with a sense of relief…for one thing we are in a warmer and drier climate…for the most relief of all is the holidays are over. Even though we are no longer overwhelmed with grief that our daughter and grandson are no longer in our lives, this time of the year usually brings about a little bit of sadness. But now even that little bit of sadness has passed and we are onto bigger and better adventures with our heads held high and our hearts opened wide.

Today we did the touristy thing and went sightseeing at Calico Ghost Town…what a unique place. It has a little of everything for everyone, shops of all sorts, working and unusual museums, restaurants and eateries, train rides, and so much more. The admissions are usually a very minimal charge but for today they were free and we enjoyed them all.

Check out their website for more information and check out our photos of our day trip!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Crazy Christmas Driving Day

A crazy driving day…began in the rain…drove a few miles with sunshine…rainbows…more clouds…more rain…a little snow…lots of wind.  We are in the desert now and the wind is howling the worst we have ever seen and we are getting a few drops of rain but it’s warmer and drier.

When we checked into the KOA in Yermo, California, we met a couple we worked with in Williams, Arizona, it is so nice to talk with folks that we have met in our travels. 

We spent a few hours doing over 7 loads of wash since not only did we have to wash our clothes but the sheets, blankets and rugs. Unfortunately, due to the heavy amount of moisture we endured while in Pleasanton, we had a bit of a mold existence that we needed to contend with.

We will be hanging out here one additional day so we can visit the Calico Ghost Town.

Merry Christmas

Our lives are anything but traditional any longer but for many others, this day still is a day for family gatherings. For us it will be a traveling day…hoping to reach some warmer, drier weather.

For those with family celebrations, we wish you love, peace and happiness.

For those alone, we wish you the feeling that there is always someone with you and that you are never truly ever alone.

And, for those who are missing a loved one for any reason, we wish you peace and to let you know that it is okay to smile, even if that person is no longer in your life, they are most certainly alive and well in your heart.

Have the Merriest Christmas ever!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Our Vacation Begins

We are done…finished…completed our assignment…YEA! There were good points, bad points and many in between but for an overall opinion…it was great!

It’s hard work with long hours…6 days x 12 per day…most other lots do not give you a day off…this place has “rovers”, a management team that goes to each of his other lots to relieve management for a day, unfortunately, the wrong people were in this position and left a few weeks back. This sort of lifestyle is not for everyone…they tried but just could not manage to hang in there. We have found in this lifestyle that the only way to survive is to be flexible…this is not “our” company and if the boss chooses to do things his way then so be it…we change our ways and do it his way, whether it makes sense or not. They could not do this…they wanted to change and fix the way he does business…he has been in business for many years and this was their first time, not only at a Christmas tree lot but on a Workamping job. So, they left which left us without a day off for a few weeks…not so bad since the entire assignment only lasted 30 days and we did get two days off in the middle of it all.

We hired a great group of guys that made our lives so much easier, we did have a few that we had to let go that had been coming back for several years but continued to choose goofing off over working, this does not sit well with us. We expect our employees to do their job and in return we give them respect and a fun environment. We knew the few that would be with us to the end almost from day one and we were right. These few guys gave their all and then some…we appreciate each of their efforts and would recommend them for any future work.

We had electricity, real electricity, not off a generator…we did have water…but the sewage is pumped out weekly…which is not so bad but we still have to ration showers and dishes since we do not have huge tanks, not truly what we consider full hookups but it was better than what most other lots offered.

The weather in Pleasanton is cold, damp and foggy for the most part…November days in the 50 to 60 range and nights down to the 30 to 40 range…very moist. In November we only had one rain day but once December came, the rain and frigid temperatures were more consistent. We are complete sissy’s when it comes to cold but it has been below normal as most folks are telling us and with this weather change, business tapered off.

This change made for many long days and even longer nights without selling many trees. We had been put on a slow lot since it was our first time doing this and in the future we would definitely ask for a busier lot, knowing we could handle it. It was fun learning something new and we would consider doing the Christmas Tree lots in the future.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why Are People So Malicious?

Again…the emails and phone calls from my sister are coming and they are nasty. Now she is gloating about how she is now my daughter’s mother and my grandson’s only grandmother. How much better off they are without us in their lives and how she is and always has been the better person of the two of us.

My daughter had never been a big drinker but now since the family gatherings always consist of getting drunk, she is now at risk to become an alcoholic like many of the other family members. They have never been able to be just social drinkers, we are very much included in that comment but we have since quit drinking but the word is that they are still drinking as much if not more then they had ever done before. This is something that I have to live with everyday of my life…wondering if my grandson is being taken care properly as he was when we were there.

Unfortunately, from the word we are receiving it does not sound good at all and all we can do is continue praying that the drinking dysfunction does not continue to grow and fester in their lives and that they eventually come to grip with the pain that all that drinking causes in everybody’s lives. Instead, we pray for forgiveness and hope that they too will find it in their hearts to stop all this chaos and begin to forgive and let go of it all. We know how hard it is to change your life for the better, we still struggle with it daily but we also know that if we can do it, they most certainly can too!

We wish the entire family a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest New Year ever!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Disaster Struck

Not really, but at the time it felt as if it were a major problem. Our first attempt of taking down the HUGE TENT proved to be more than we ever anticipated. We thought we understood the concept and that it would be challenging but something we could do…the owner felt the same so he made the decision that he really didn’t need to be here for the event and he was more needed elsewhere…that was the first mistake of many that was made. Now with hindsight we understand where all the other mistakes took it’s turn for the worse.

We took charge and began lifting the 30x60 tent by putting the four jacks on each corner of the tent…big misunderstanding on our part. The jacks are suppose to be put on one side of the tent at a time while lifting the tent pulling the steel poles out, then lowering the one side of the tent and doing the same thing on the other side. Thinking we had it right our way we began taking out the poles but a few of them would not come out…hindsight tells us that this was a lucky thing…if those poles would have come out the sway factor would have been out of control fast. Instead, we continued to struggle…nobody really knowing what to do and we were all hanging on as this mammoth tent began to sway…then one of the crank jacks lost it’s spring and begun to spin out of control, hitting one of our guys in the forehead…blood all over the place. At this time he let go and the sway was at an all time high and the guys were all screaming about not being able to hold on and I was only concerned with our injured guy. Simultaneously, while dialing 911, I yelled, “Just let go of the “f”ing thing, just let it go”.

Things seemed to be in slow motion...as I spoke to the operator I watched in horror as one of the guys counted down when to let go and for everyone to get out of the way. The tent began to sway in every direction, not knowing which way it was going down but then it made it’s decision and it began it’s decent, right in the direction of the Port-a-Potty…oh, no! Jerry and one of the other guys seemed as if they too were in slow motion as their hands landed on the side of it and held it in place so it did not fall. At this time the parking lot began filling up with police, fire and medical vehicles and the fire department became very concerned about safety measures being implemented and asked to speak with whomever was in charge…unfortunately, that was me and Jerry.

The end of this story is all good…the worker was not hurt badly and the tent survived without too much damage, besides a few bent poles. We are truly the luckiest folks alive and are heading straight to Vegas when we are done here…we actually decided to do just that since we need to get away from this rain and need some desert weather now…we will be skipping our sight seeing of San Francisco for now due to the prediction of the next 10 days of more rain.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting Ready For A Big Weekend

With less than two weeks left on this assignment, this is suppose to be the busiest weekend and they are calling for freezing temperatures and wet for the entire weekend, with the same forecast well into the week so we are preparing to get busy and get wet.

Even though our bodies are aching from doing 12 hour days and Jerry doing some pretty strenuous “humping” of trees, we are still loving it here. The area and people are marvelous, we have a great crew of hard working guys, and of course it is just a short time left before we are able to “vacation” for a few weeks while heading to Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

For the first time in a very long time, we are content with our lives and all the decisions leading up to this very moment. Living in the moment and not wanting or needing to change a thing is positively the only way to live!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Celebrities in Pleasanton

We are celebrities…at least in the small town of Pleasanton, California. Our very first tree purchasers came before we were actually setup for business…but that didn’t stop us from getting our feet wet. We spent time answering her many questions about our lifestyle and the next day when she came back to pick up her tree, she shared with us that her father was an editor for the local newspaper and he wanted to interview us. We, of course accepted most graciously and that is how it all began.

Jeb Bing came by the tree lot and interviewed us, we, being the open books we are were excited about it and shared our thoughts with him. Did we expect this sort of response? Absolutely, not. The article came out on Friday and over the weekend we have been approached by so many local people. Many welcoming us to their town…many wanting to know how they too can live this life…and many just stopping by to tell us how much they admire us for living our dream. The article is also available online, just follow this link to read it

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We thought we would take a few moments to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and to also let you all know that the blog entries may be a bit light for the next few weeks. We begin the busy season tomorrow, working long hours and learning all we need to learn to do an efficient well done job. Our crew is the best, a nice bunch of hard working guys with some very good work ethics, we are going to have a great, fun season. Today, we will get together with the other managers for dinner with all the traditional fixings and a bit of relaxation before the hustle and bustle begins.

We hope that you all have safe travels, many blessings and the best holidays ever.

Our Fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner - It was absolutely wonderful getting together with the other managers, the food was out of this world. There were new and different dishes and new and different ways to cooking just about everything. There was scalloped corn, citrus brined turkey, homemade from scratch pumpkin pie (of course since they did the pumpkin lots before the Christmas tree lots that had to be a given), cranberries, and so much more.

Monday, November 24, 2008

First Official Working Day

Today is our first official working day, even though we have been actually working since we arrived. All of this is brand new, but the good things are that we have managed employees before, sold merchandise before and worked hard before, so we are truly on top of things. We are not open for business until Friday, but that’s not to say if somebody comes in to buy a tree that we will not sell them one.

The owner is overwhelmed at times with all he has to do but he handles it in such a calm and even manner that is refreshing. Out of the six couples working, three of us our new and the other three are veterans to either this lot or other lots and they are all open to sharing their many helpful tips with us.

The weather has been marvelous, highs in the 60’s lows in the 40’s, clear sunny days, they are calling for rain for the next few days but that is certainly welcomed as well.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

We Made It!

We are here in San Francisco, actually in a surrounding city, Pleasanton, California but we do plan to make our journey to the Bay area, once this assignment is completed. We had planned to do some sight seeing during the month we are here but it is such a short time, we have decided we will do it afterwards.

The trip here was interesting, traveling our first time without the Jeep and what a difference it made. Our mileage towing was anywhere around 7mpg, but without the Jeep, we did 8.5mpg and above. As we said before, traveling without a toad may not be for everyone but it is something we are really looking forward to doing for the next year. We were also pushed for time, so we did 750 miles in just a day and a half, not the way we like to travel but for this trip it worked for us.

Had our first meeting with the crew, a nice group of folks. We also received our first delivery of Christmas trees, what a great smell We are going to do just fine in yet another new adventure in our lifestyle. Our life is so wonderful and we are so very grateful for all the great opportunities we have been receiving lately.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Meeting Another Workamper Couple

Through the Internet we have made many friends…yes, we call them friends even though we may have not yet met in person. Bob & Sharon Miller, aka rvingmillers, are two people we are happy to call our friends…they started this lifestyle the same year we had and they, like us, work their way around this country. We have kept in contact via emails and our blogs, so when we found out we would be in the same area, we just had to meet, so we did.

We walked around the campground and talked, it is so amazing that even though we had never met before, it was as if we knew each other well and the conversations flowed. We showed them around the Phoenix area, gave them tips on local businesses, roads, etc., then went to Mimi’s Café for lunch. The food was excellent and we even got free muffins because it was our first time there, make sure you tell them it is your first time and they give you 4 muffins per couple, a nice treat for free and you all know how we love “free”.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Shysters in the Auto Business

As many of you know, we are letting go of our Jeep and we have been dealing with many different types of people. One, that truly gave himself a bad name was Dino Eli with Fast Cash For Carz, he made an outlandish offer of $1000, then when we asked if he could come on a certain day, he lowered the price to $500. This vehicle is in tiptop shape with new brakes and tires and with just a few hundred dollar alternator replacement it would be well worth the bluebook value of $3000. We had an offer for $2000 but they couldn’t come up with the total cash for about a month and we wanted to get it sold now before we leave Phoenix and would only take payments from friends, not strangers.

We will now head out of Phoenix without selling the Jeep but we will not be taking it with us either, we would rather donate it to a good cause then to give it to someone who will make a substantial profit for his own cause…greed. No wonder why the auto business gets such a bad name…because of people like this…what a shame!

Stopping To Smell the Roses or Watching the Roadrunner...What A Life!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hook Us Up

We have to find that happy medium with boondocking and hooking up…almost a month is way too much time for us to boondock. It seems that the rig gets dirty and the only way to get it clean is with free flowing water. Also, laundry was not at the top of our priority list for that period of time so we had 6 loads today. This park has a weird laundry setup, the laundry room is located quite a bit away from any of the sites, so we had to drive our rig (no toad vehicle any longer) over to the laundry facilities and it was a good walk from where we could park our vehicle. But now we have clean clothes, a clean rig and extra clean bodies…life is marvelous! Another reason for us letting go of our toad was for us to walk and ride our bikes more which has already begun…it has been a great day!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Things Always Have a Way of Working Out

We started getting into a bit of a funk, with all the things going wrong for us lately, but today is another new day with hope, love and tons of avenues to take us to our next adventure. One of our past tile clients gave us a call and wanted a small bathroom tiled…once again perfect timing. So, while waiting on our checks and getting the Jeep sold, we now have a little breathing room until we head out on our next adventure awaiting us in San Francisco. We so wanted to take it leisurely there, but looks as if we will have to push our travels so we can get there on time for the manager’s meeting but we are so ready to move forward and looking forward to once again do something different.

Adding new experiences to our resume is always fun, but adding new places for us to see together as a couple is really awesome. Jerry has been to San Francisco but I have not and he is looking forward to showing me around, riding the trolley, crossing over the bridge and many other sight seeing adventures we have planned for the short time we will be there. A very photogenic area…indeed!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Family Dysfunction

Why do they insist on contacting us just to be nasty? We have not attempted to contact them during this entire fiasco because we are so past the chaos crap that always ends up happening when we do but instead of them leaving it alone or calling us to talk about it, they continue to call and email with some really malicious stuff.

As hard as it has been for us because we miss our grandson very much, we had made the choice years ago when the arguments happened that it was better for all of us to discontinue any contact with any of the family members, which we have done but they continue. My sister continues to repeatedly attempt to take us to court with false allegations, each time thankfully the courts see through her vengeance and denied her claims but it just doesn’t stop her. To make things worse, my sister has made it her mission to advise my daughter to also take some desperate measures to try to make our lives miserable; again, we have met each attempt with only love and understanding towards our daughter and grandson. However, the lies continue and the remarks, especially from my sister are beyond dysfunctional and have almost crossed the line of being downright threatening.

It doesn’t seem to matter what we do or say, they are not willing to let it go and forgive. Even when we say or do nothing at all to them, they continue to contact us with some outlandish and rude remarks. We would love to be able to put this all behind us and if their emails and phone calls were to apologize or want to work this through we would be more than happy to talk, but to continue with the threats and mean spiritedness is completely uncalled for and we wish they would stop.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Day…New Attitude

Wow…yesterday was a total meltdown…mostly because we were so exhausted from working 12 hour shifts for 3 days straight plus all the other hours and then because we had been rationing our peanut butter sandwiches all week. I kid you not…we had survived on water, coffee, bread, and peanut butter all week long. But because we are doing what we love and loving what we do it is always easier to adjust ourselves to look at the brighter side.

We are now…once we sell our Jeep or get our checks from PIR…heading for San Francisco to work a Christmas tree lot for about a month. In the meantime we are once again boondocking in the desert and by getting creative we were able to get a few bucks for food. First, while hosting the tram on Saturday night I began receiving tips…YeeHaw! Then, Jerry got the bright idea to go to the few casinos in the area and get our free money…totaling $40...thank goodness since even our bread and peanut butter was gone on Sunday…but now we have food until the money begins to once again roll in in a week or so.

I know a few of you out there are cringing…trying to figure out why on earth we live this way and all I can say is we make it work. Yes, we would love to have a monthly check coming in or hit the lottery or work at better paying jobs but since those things are not going on for us at this time, we prefer to be out here enjoying the freedom we have and doing it now instead of waiting for that perfect timing that may never come. Life is too short to wait for that perfect moment to begin living your dream, we choose to live it now, as is!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our Total Experience at PIR

Our intent was to give a daily report while at the races but once work began, this seemed to be on the back burner, especially when the 12 hours shifts began, so today will be an overview of our first work experience at PIR.

I was lucky to be able to have a taste of a variety of positions while working at PIR, I did RV Sales for a few days, then hosted on the Trams for a few days and then drove the Trams for a day, each had it’s own uniqueness about it that I could not pick just one as my favorite. The one thing they all had in common was working with the fans, we still feel that NASCAR fans are the best fans in the world. Now, yes there will be many workers that will disagree but when you weigh it out they would have to agree with the fact that out of the thousands of fans that we dealt with in our course of the week, there were only a few that were disruptive, now those are great odds.

We had more issues with some of the other workers than we had with the fans, why on earth would people do this sort of work if all they do is complain about the fans? We feel it‘s because, no matter what they would be doing, they would be bitching and moaning anyway. As for us, we enjoy working with the public and always have a great time no matter what we do and this was no exception.

The pay was decent…the hours were long…we were not able to see any portion of the race but we were able to listen to it on the radio as we drove around and around in the Chevy trucks pulling the trams. For us, we were doing what we love and that is being in the environment of NASCAR and we would definitely consider working at PIR in the future.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

This Morning Started With A BOOM…Literally

Just after daybreak, there was this boom, not really loud enough to jolt us out of bed but enough to get our attention. Lying there wondering what it could have been, then the sounds of sirens, many sirens rushing our way, passing us by and headed further into the Unreserved area. Being in the desert we find ourselves more observant than usual about fires because of all the dry brush around us so we immediately jumped out of bed and ran outside. The flames were ravaging around some campers and the smoke was bellowing high into the air. The fire department did an excellent job and had it out in no time at all. The only information we received was it was a 5th Wheel that was dropped off, nobody was in it and that it was caused by the refrigerator.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Working The RV Sales

Why they use that term (RV Sales) to describe the work that is actually done is totally out of my understanding. What it entails is standing at the entry to the Unreserved RV Parking area and checking for stickers, then selling to those who did not yet have them. Of course, there are other things we look for but for the most part this is it. Anyway, whatever they call the job, it was fun, I really enjoy talking with the race fans.

Jerry helped with gathering the trams, gassing them up and bringing them to their parking area. We are both anxious to start this part of our adventure on Friday, Jerry especially after getting a taste of it.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

First Day On The Job

We are actually doing two different types of work while here, I will be working RV Sales for a few days and then together we drive the trams for the weekend. Today, selling stickers from the booth for a few hours to help alleviate some stress to the campers who had been dry camping, some for over two weeks in the staging area was our task. Manning the gates is not new for us so this part of the job is easy, now driving the trams will be an entirely new adventure for both of us, one that we are really forward to doing.

We watched the Texas race, what a great effort on Edwards part to narrow the point spread down to a reachable 106 points. This makes the last two races even more exciting.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Let’s Go Racing Boys!

Arrived at the track mid morning, driving right past the hundreds of campers that had been staging now for two weeks. Our supervisor directed us to the area where we would be setting up camp with the other Workampers. We decided that we would do it a little differently this year, instead of just being spectators, we thought we could see it from a different perspective and work it this time. For the rest of the day, we just set up our site with our NASCAR décor and conversed with our co-workers. It was a good group of folks with many tales to tell about their travels and other events they have worked. Many had worked the Vegas race back in March when we were there, a few were recognizable but none we knew personally until now.

It was still peaceful through the night with only the sounds of coyotes howling. This silence of course will soon end as the “knuckleheads” arrive and begin their howling throughout the night.

Friday, October 31, 2008

This Too Can Happen To YOU!

If you are not one of the folks who chose to come into this lifestyle with a nest egg and some steady source of income, you too can be put into this position. We are out of cash…out of food but the big difference from yesterday is we have our faith and hope restored and the only thing that changed was our attitudes.

Even though many people could not live this way, we do okay with it because of the many places and people we have met and would not have unless we made this move. Today we may be strapped financially but all of this usually changes in a moment and then we are driving down the road smiling at all the new and exciting adventures ahead for us. But it takes a certain amount of courage to be able to do this lifestyle on a wing and a prayer as we do it. So take this into consideration when you are making your decisions about living your life on the road without any income but what you earn through work because it can be difficult at times but for us, these days beat any good days we had in the stationary life.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Birthday Breakdown

Being out here and having to find work all the time that fits into our schedule is not always easy, but then again, neither was the stationary lifestyle for us. We have our good and bad times, we have written before that there are times when we are riding the gravy train and then other times we are barely scraping by. Our plans fell through for the work we had planned here in Phoenix because our Jeep died which started an avalanche of feelings that we began sinking into this “poor us” attitude. Not very appealing at all but it is what it is.

We gave ourselves permission to break down and cry. It was my birthday and for over two years now our days are spent without our daughter and grandson…not even a phone call because she is still carrying a grudge for an argument that happened so long ago…she has chosen never to accept my apology and this is out of my control so I have put it into God‘s hands and he is taking his sweet time in doing anything about it. Then to make things worse…we are out of food…out of cash…and almost out of hope. We had a prospect to buy our Jeep, which we need to sell, and when that fell through…we lost it.

But this time instead of giving ourselves the positive approach that we usually give ourselves…we chose to allow ourselves to wallow in our self-pity and we threw a pity party for ourselves all day long. We cried…we spewed…we cursed…we laughed…and that is how it went for most of the day. Went to sleep without any hope…any dreams…any belief…just pain…but we awoke as we usually do with an attitude of a brand new day! Things always have a way of working out and we know this too shall pass!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Advantages of Boondocking

Our month was up at the RV Park so we are now boondocking in the desert for a few days before we head to PIR to boondock for a few more days at the race track. Not always a good thing for us since our rig is limited but we are bound and determined to do it more often.

We have always thought one of the greatest benefits to boondocking is that it is free but last night we found other advantages for doing it as well. Being away from the harsh lighting that is usually very bright in parking lots, parks or campgrounds was a welcomed treat last night. Also, watching the coyotes and javelinas in the moonlight was breathtaking but then to listen to the nearby sounds of them throughout the night was spectacular.

We spent the morning picking up the litter in the desert around us to give back what we are receiving from being able to boondock here. We know that we are intimately connected with all things and we each have the power to affect our world and live more consciously by doing as much as we can every day. Something we are learning by accepting the 29 Day Giving Challenge

Friday, October 24, 2008

Phoenix Has Not Been Kind

As usual we came here with high hopes but then life gave us challenges but the big difference is how we are handling these issues this time.

We lined up different work for the winter in Phoenix and had a few weeks of down time before starting but we made the most of it. But then when training was to begin, the Jeep had different ideas. We have been so lucky thus far with the mechanics on both vehicles…if and when they have ever previously broken down…it was during the times we had a steady money flow…this time was the total opposite. So, now onto our next adventure.

Since we have most of the race tracks for next year lined up for work and we would not be needing the Jeep as much, we have decided to let her go. Financially, it is the right decision, the cost of keeping it for the next year compared to the use just does not calculate. If for the next year it does not work out, we will either get another smaller vehicle or as we have been contemplating getting a pair of motorcycles instead. In the meantime, we can get more use on our bicycles and get into shape at the same time. Just a little adjustment to the type of work we need to find for now and future work, but that also seems to be falling into place as well.

Life certainly has a way of working itself out once we learned to take deep breaths and just flow with it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stop Focusing on Fixing Ourselves & Start Living

It is true that too much of anything can hurt more than not. We have been constantly focusing on “fixing” ourselves…making sure we meditate every day, read our scriptures, speak the words…on and on and on. Well, we finally realized that by focusing so much of our time on changing who we are, we actually lost ourselves. By constantly doing what the books and others say to do ALL the time has not allowed us to just live our lives and be us…exactly the way we are right now…this has caused us to miss out on some pretty terrific days. Too much of anything is too much, there should always be a balance for everything, including the good things and now that we have found that balance, life seems to be taking care of itself and we are free to be all that we can and have ever imagined.

As usual it has been very rough being here in Phoenix, so we have made the decision that this will be our last year wintering here. In the future, we will pass through to take care of our vehicle registrations and attend the race at PIR as we are headed elsewhere to spend the winter. The only thing keeping us here this year is we have already secured what seems to be some really fun work but we are planning to leave much earlier than usual because we are ready to move on with our lives and let the past go.

Phoenix was our home, but now our home is with us all the time in our hearts. Being truly alive now more than we have been in a very long time, stepping back, enjoying every moment and having the time of our lives.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Shooting Pool Once Again

It had been years since we both shot pool and since we are on idle time for a few more weeks we went to the game room and had so much fun. We do agree that it is just like riding a bike…some things in life you just don’t forget. All the magic for both of us came back as we shot pool, laughed and talked about when we first met. Our skills were still pretty good but we never knew we were so intense during play, we remembered how competitive we use to be but we no longer are…or so we thought before we seen these photos…maybe it’s just deep concentration.

When your life takes a different path…many things that were everyday happenings…have to change. Once we chose to quit smoking, other things had to go as well. Our alcohol assumption and many of the activities that went along with that entire drinking era like billiards, darts, and many of our friends had become just another activity that needed to change. The good thing about it is that it has been years since we quit smoking and now certain activities no longer bring out the reaction to smoking, such as shooting pool. We were able to have a fantastic time and not once having any desire for a cigarette…this is progress and really proves that people and situations can and do change.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What is Truly Important to You

Dreaming is something that is done all the time…making them come true is doing what needs to be done. If you find yourself not going after your dream…stop and truly ask yourself is it really what you want. When it is truly what you want, nothing or nobody will be able to stop you from attaining it. There will always be obstacles in your way but if you really want something bad enough those obstacles turn into challenges that help you grow enough so that you can go further toward your dream.

This is why you have to continuously ask yourself when you are going after what you might believe to be your dream if it really is after all your heart’s desire. On a daily basis, we tweak our lifestyle because what we thought we wanted isn’t always what we really want so we change and move forward.

When life sends us challenges, we are now open to understanding that there are always messages in each of those challenges and until we receive, truly receive those messages they will continue to resurface. We now get it and choose to take those challenging messages and create a path that takes us to our next journey, the journey of truly living our dreams with every breath we take.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Our Lives Taking an Entirely Different Turn

Not only are we on the journey of our lives traveling around the country…taking in every mile and loving every moment but we are also on the spiritual journey. Lately, this part of our journey has been taking on some very new approaches and helping us realize what and where we are headed.

Nothing seems to be going on for us here in Phoenix any longer, we thought that we would always come back here and we might have under different circumstances but time has changed things and we no longer feel as if this is where we want to spend that much time anymore. The weather is a big factor but after much research, we concluded that we could find the same sort of weather elsewhere here in the west. After attending PIR in November and taking care of some personal business, instead of hanging out here, we are moving onward to other work we have lined up.

Life always has a way of changing things when you continue living in the moment and always flowing with it. This we are learning more everyday and truly enjoying how when we give up our control and allow life to just happen for us…everything works out for the best for everyone involved.

We found this great website for our spiritual journey that we are able to be inundated with the positive aspects in life where we can become all that we are meant to become during our journey’s, both the inner and outer ones we continuously go on every moment. Check it out when you get a moment and as usual thank you for all of your comments, we truly appreciate knowing that we are helping others in their quests as well as our own!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Relax…Are You Kidding Me?

We spent yesterday visiting friends…old and new…shopping and eating at one of our favorite places (Pioneer Restaurant) that serve, the best, all you can eat, Fish & Chips. Had a great day finding some great deals and loads of fun visiting with folks we haven’t seen in quite awhile.

Now this morning the panic is setting in…we have been here now for a week and even though we are paid up for at least a month and having several jobs lined up here and there we still have a tendency to think that if we are not working or doing something we will perish.

When does this feeling of always having to do something disappear…or does it? The “what if’s” continue deep inside our heads asking…more like demanding answers…answers to questions that usually never happen.

So for today, we will continue to relax, have some fun and understand that our lifestyle has changed us completely. The heat broke and it is actually a cool, crisp day in the desert and this is the time we will take in a deep breath of fresh air, smile and know that everything will and always does work out once we began to live in this moment and allow it to take place without trying to constantly force an outcome.

“Life is as special as you choose to make it!”

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Spending Some Time in Phoenix

Wintering here is always a good choice…but we will not get here this early in the season ever again…temperatures have been reaching over 100 degrees…with the weather forecasts hardly changing…sunny and hot every day. We have been here a few days and have not…no kidding…have not turned on our water heater for showers and dishes. The water coming out of either the hot or cold faucets is so warm that a shower is not even refreshing.

We won’t be staying put in one campground for too long this winter since we have several different work opportunities that warrant our moving around the area…not so bad since we really do love change. As for now we are back at the Pioneer RV Park located in the northern part of Phoenix off of I-17 and has always been our favorite park in this area. Construction on the Interstate is still never-ending and on Sunday night a little after nine they did a dynamite blast…wow did that freak us out! Imagine sitting in your rig…watching television and boom-boom-pop-pop-crackle-crackle lighting up the area and then smoke bellowing over your rig…that is how close we were to this blast. We actually called 911 because we thought it was a tremendous accident on the Interstate but later found out after talking to a resident that this was planned…we just weren’t informed. That was definitely an exciting evening.

We have been swimming every day due to the heat and of course our air conditioner has been on most of the day, but it has been cooling a bit in the evenings…enough for opened windows with the fans on and last night we even turned the fans off but left the windows opened. A cool down is suppose to be arriving this weekend…days in the 80’s and nights into the 60’s…what a relief!

Our inner journey is coming along much better than we had ever anticipated, especially now being here in Phoenix and none of the old feelings are surfacing. The feelings we always carried with us while in the same area as “family” has always been, well less than positive but because of all the soul searching we have done in recent years all of this has changed. Our new lifestyle has been much more than just our physical travels, it has given us the opportunity to reach deep within ourselves and begin traveling down some very different roads. We now have the love, confidence and admiration for ourselves that we can hold our heads high and enjoy every moment of our lives…both the good and not so good. We are now living our lives from the truth of who we truly are, not what we have always believed ourselves to be. It has been the best few years of our lives and now having all this knowledge and learning more every day, we can now see our future journeys to be even more than we ever imagined. Life continues to get better every moment of every day and for this we are internally grateful!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom

This photo was taken in 1999 with my grandson, Austin...a simpler and happier time!

Celebration…is how we choose to spend this day. My mom had some wonderful gifts that she shared with this world during her time here and this can be written by each person that ever shared any time with her. Yes, as her daughter it was challenging to say the least but as so many of my friends and total strangers that met her repeatedly announced just how pleasant she was to be around…I always knew there was more to her than what I could see as her daughter.

She had a very kind heart…one that would give her last dollar to you if you asked. She was always tough and stood strong during any crisis and could always be counted on to lend an ear but you also had to be open to listen to her advice because she loved giving it to anybody and everybody. Her advice was not always what you wanted to hear but it was usually right on target…she lived a life that gave her the right to give advice of what not to do with your life. Her life had not always given her an easy way out but no matter what bumps the world gave her…she came out the other side much wiser and stronger than I could ever imagine she could be.

The one thing that finally broke her was losing her baby son…even though he was over 40, he was still her baby and when he died…the sparkle in her eyes went out. She survived just over a year after his death but within that last year of her life…I found that person that everyone else spoke about. We spent many moments talking and sharing our life’s experiences with one another as if we had never spoken before. There was a difference about her that I hold dear every moment of every day now and that is how I know she is with me today and wanting us to celebrate her life.

She is with us on our new journey and each time we go after yet another of our dreams…she is there applauding us for finally doing what she always wanted to do but never took the time to go after. During our travels…she is there creating a safety zone around us and we know she will always be there for us spiritually…anytime we need her…just as she was before she moved on.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Cool Pines in Williams, Arizona

We did not want to drive into Phoenix in the heat of the day so we opted to hang out in Williams…a crisp, chilly afternoon. We stayed at the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park …what a great park it is with all the amenities…using our Camp Club USA card we only paid $22...what a fantastic deal!

We took the shuttle that takes you anywhere on the premises of the Railway to Max & Thelma’s but they were closed until dinner so we walked a few short blocks to Pine Country Restaurant…the food was good but the pies were the BEST! If you are ever in the area…please do yourself a favor and try this place out.

Check out our Zee Map for the full reviews for both of these places.

I didn’t want to leave because the weather was fabulous, just wanted to hang out and enjoy this really beautiful area but Jerry wanted to head to Phoenix and get settled in so we left in the morning to beat the heat and got us a site for a month at this point in our journey…this may change since we are receiving many offers to go elsewhere. For now we are taking one day at a time…enjoying the moment and having the time of our lives!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Day of Mishaps Or Miracles…You Decide

When we are traveling we have a flow that we get into in the morning so we can get unhooked and on the road…this morning we were not in the flow at all. “Did he really ask me to rinse the black tank while I was brushing my teeth?” Instead of allowing it to fester, boil and then ruin our entire day…we chose to let it go and just have a good laugh over it.

The rest of Texas was flat…and I-40 had major construction and was so rough between Tucumcari and Santa Rosa in New Mexico. Our plan was to stop for the day in Santa Rosa but our exit was closed and the next one was under so much construction, we decided to move forward. Our plan was to then head straight to the Sky City Casino which was going to be our next day stop.

Shortly after we left Santa Rosa the “NOISE” began…quietly at first…my impression was the belt needed more dressing or needed to be tightened. We pulled into the next rest area where Jerry then proceeded to take off all the stuff in the way and tightened up the belt…in his opinion it was not really loose enough to be causing the noise and he was right as we pulled out of the rest area…immediately the noise came back and was getting LOUDER! We pulled into the next exit which was the Clines Corners exit…a major truck stop. We pulled into an area where Jerry could check it out…he now determined as I drove it and he walked beside it that it was something to do with our right front tire…OH NO…of course we thought the worst. Out came the never before used hydraulic jack we purchased last year…up went the front end…off came the tire…turn…squeal…turn…louder squeal…then…plop…this piece of tar fell out. It was lodged in and stuck on the shield, rubbing against the rotor.

For the rest of the day we had a smooth drive through the mountains…also nice to see them again…through Albuquerque, New Mexico…having to readjust our driving since waiting until the last minute for fuel could be dangerous out west because stations are further apart than back east.

We arrived at Sky City Casino RV Park…not impressed…the park is new…still under construction in areas…nice but overpriced at $28 for a FHU…Casino was small and smoky…Huwaka Restaurant’s buffet located inside the casino was terrible, overpriced and food was dry and not a wide assortment…thank goodness we hit a few jackpots or it would have been a total bust.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Out of Oklahoma and Into Texas

Oklahoma is an absolutely beautiful scenery State with plenty of Indian land and casinos…besides being hilly with lots of red dirt it is also very clean.

Driving into Texas was a bit different…flat…but plenty of roadside attractions…
“Cadillac Row”…we were a bit disappointed…with all the hype about it being a driving hazard and may need to be removed is just not a factor…it is far enough from the road that unless you were looking for it would not be a distraction at all. There is also the
“Largest Cross” in the western hemisphere and the “Leaning Tower” in Britter USA.

We seen plenty of RV Parks but many of them were empty and many advertised having storm/tornado shelters…not too comforting for us and definitely not a feature we look for in our travels, so we continued to drive a little over 200 miles…stopping at Amarillo Ranch RV Park in Amarillo, Texas…a nice, “feel like home” kind of park to do some laundry.

Gas prices continue to fluctuate…right now they are at $3.29 unleaded and $3.79 diesel.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One More Night In Oklahoma

All the errands we had to do took up so much time, we decided to drive a short distance…we found another Casino that offered FHU for free so we called it a day. This stay was at the Lucky Star Casino located in Concho, Oklahoma…they had about 7 or 8 sites and were FHU. All we needed to do was check in with security and they asked that we do not leave our rig to go sightseeing elsewhere…which was fine for us but may be a factor for others.

The casino was small and had a different kind of set up…all the machines were in rows…which made it a bit inconvenient in walking through and checking them out. Once again they paid us back for all we put into…including lunch…again…hard to complain.

They had a restaurant and a deli but no buffet, the restaurant had a bar atmosphere. Our server was a beautiful young lady who looked a lot like our daughter…she had a wild hairstyle with streaks and wonderfully different coloring…the most beautiful bright smile and eyes that lit up the room…she had a sassy attitude and took care of us just like our daughter use to do…she treated us to their specialty desert…Strawberry Shortcake on Fry Bread…it…like our entire lunch was scrumptious.

There is a bit of a difference with the casinos in Oklahoma…even though they refer to them as RV Parks…the bright lights make it a bit hard to get a good nights sleep…you need to be self-contained since they do not offer any services beyond the hookups…many do allow you to use the Hotels amenities that are located away from the park but for the most part you will need to be able to take care of your personal needs in your own rig.

We can’t complain…our time in Oklahoma did not cost us anything at all…free camping…free entertainment…free meals…free gas…couldn’t ask for anything more.