Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Visit Continued


It was so nice to visit with everyone on Thanksgiving Day.  I spent time with the grandchildren that were there, especially the teenagers, the younger ones were outside playing.  The last time I saw Christopher, he was a little kid, now he is a grown young man working towards becoming a manager of a restaurant.  Svea Ails is seventeen and working on her  voice, wanting to be a singer.  She is quite good!

It was getting late and I had little sleep, so I called to make reservations at a Motel 6, where they are pet friendly, for both Sandi and myself.  I checked in and went to bed.  Sandi hit the stores with her sister and niece at midnight for Black Friday.  She got to the motel sometime after 2 am (I think).  We both slept in until around 7 or 8.  We were going to meet with Heidi and Mellissa  for lunch in Tempe at the Marketplace.  We had a great lunch and then did a bit of Christmas shopping.  DSC00645  That’s Svea Ails with the funny face.

Sandi is taking the picture.

On the way home we tried to take pictures of mountains and cactus.

       DSC00648         DSC00647             Sandi “kissing” a cactus                       and “hugging” one

        It’s been a long time since she even seen a saguaro cactus.

Saturday was breakfast at The Cracker Barrel with Mellissa and the kids before Mellissa had to go to work.  Afterwards we took the kids to Kmart to buy their Christmas presents.

I left to start back to Sacramento from there.  I decided to visit with Barbara and Katie of Me and My Dog  in Quartzsite.

IMG_0414           DSC00649

Angel’s new friend.                    Barbara and Katie in front of the Palms

We had a really nice visit.  It’s amazing how when we meet up with fellow bloggers we feel like we’ve been friends for a long time and just comfortable.  From there I made it to Palm Springs CA, where I stayed at the Red Roof Inn.  When I got up I sent an email to Rick of Rick and Paulette’s RV Travels to see if they would be open for a visit.  Unfortunately, they were one their way out to a fair.  Maybe we can meet when I go back south in a couple of months.  Since I knew that Russ and Donna of Travels in Therapy were staying at Sands RV Park too, so I swung by there just on the chance that they may be home.  Russ was there, so we had a short visit, Donna was still not feeling well, hopefully she is feeling better by  now.  Russ helped me figure out a way to go back to Sacramento without going through Los Angeles.


                                                  One more new friend.

That’s the way I went, west on Dillon out of the Park to 62, to 247, to 18, to 395 then north to 58 and then west to 99 and finally north to Sacramento.  It was a bit longer, but definitely  a  lot easier than LA.  I also took a short detour to check out the Orange Grove RV Park just east of Bakersfield.

     DSC00651   DSC00652t

                           On the way to 62 I traveled thru  windmill farm.

It is interesting driving through the desert, the gratified rocks, long distances with nothing ,but no passing zones, mountain passes and Joshua Trees.  It wasn’t too bad until after Bakersfield when the sun started to go down and then there was more FOG all the way back to Sacramento and then avoiding several accidents, it took a bit longer to get back home.

Home by 8:30 and then to bed.  Late to be, early to rise.  Yuck!   Fortunately it won’t be for much longer.  I have some things that I have to get scheduled and switched around before I can set a date to be out of here and going south.  Time is just flying by.

Thanks for hanging in there through this long post about my trip to Phoenix.


                         Angel just didn’t want to get out of bed at the motel.

Susan and Angel

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Visit to Phoenix



Where do I start?  I decided at the last minute that I would use some time off at work to go to Phoenix AZ for Thanksgiving,  After a meeting with someone in Human Resources to get information on my Retirement Package.  Bottom Line!  I can retire anytime after January 1, 2012 and get all of the earned incentive bonus, plus 40 hours of vacation pay and accrued vacation.  Now all I have to do is figure out what it will cost for insurance and other budget items.  I will also need to get some definite Workamping commitments for Summer 2012 and Winter 2012/2013.  I’ve got a couple of applications out there, but haven’t any answers yet. Before I can set an actual date, I will have to get all of my appointments made, doctors’, dentist, Social Security, etc..  Everything has to be in place first.

While in Phoenix, I was able to meet with the person that hires and check out the resort and the Workampers area.  It’s a nice place and close to where one of my daughters lives.  They won’t make any offers until after May for the Winter season.

                           DSC00619    4:30 am

Back to Tuesday, one of my neighbors, John helped me get the containers out of storage and loaded into the back of the truck,  It was a puzzle, packing around the fifth wheel hitch and then covering it with a tarp and strapping it all down.  Wednesday morning,  I left Rancho Cordova at 4:30 am.  I drove straight through, stopping for fuel and rest areas to let Angel out and check on the tarp coming loose,  My first stop for #2 diesel was in Bakersfield where I also went to Target to get a net to cover the tarp, it worked fairly well.

   DSC00623    DSC00627

From Bakersfield I took 58 East to avoid the Grapevine and check out the steepness of the grades going over the mountains.  It was so much easier and a prettier drive, although it was a longer route to take and not as much traffic, although there was an accident on the westbound (a truck and travel trailer that jack-knifed) where it backed up traffic for a few miles, glad I was going Eastbound.  From 58 I took I 15 North to connect with I 40 East and then I took US 95 South to I 10 and then East to the 303 North to El Mirage where my daughter Mellissa lives with three kids and three dogs.  I got there at 8 pm, Boy was I tired!  As tired as I was I didn’t get more than a couple hours(?) sleep. 

Thanksgiving Day!


                                   Angel is such a good traveler.

In the morning we all (Mellissa, Elyzabeth, Robert, Katie and Me) went out for breakfast (not her dogs), Angel stayed in her crate in the car, poor baby!  From there we went to a Women’s Shelter to serve them their Thanksgiving Dinner,  The company that she works for (Waste Management) volunteers each year, not only to serve dinner, but also for other activities or the women and the kids, bowling, arts and crafts, football, basket ball etc.. My granddaughter and I took the arts ad crafts.  I think that the mothers and kid had fun and created some things to take back up to their rooms.  No pictures were allowed to protect identities.

From there we went out to Queen Creek where my oldest daughter, Heidi lives with her husband, Chris and daughter, Svea Ailis.  (They are currently living with his parents to save $$ to relocate to the Dallas/Fort Worth area next Spring).  That’s where we had our Thanksgiving Dinner, at her in-laws.  Janelle certainly set out a great spread.   Most of their family was there too. 


                                               combined families



                               me          Heidi        Sandi       Mellissa


                                                me              Sandi

Then out of the blue my #2 daughter, Sandi comes to the door.  She lives in Texas and decided that morning to fly in and surprise us.  A VERY BIG SURPRISE!!!  It has been over 10 years since I’ve seen her and more than that since we have all been together at the same time.  The only one missing was my son Ted, Nick and Sandi’s two children, Mary and Charlie.  We had a great visit with everyone there and then Sandi and I shared a motel room.         

More on my visit in my next post.

In the mean time I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday as I did. I certainly have a lot to be thankful for, friends and family are right there at the top of the list along with my fur kid Angel.


Thanks for visiting

Susan and Angel

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Truck’s Back Home, Miscellaneous and Help?


     IMG_0384        DSC00617

              before                                                      after

My truck was supposed to be ready on Wednesday, well it was , except for spraying the top edge of the bed liner.  I could have had it on Wednesday and they would have given me $100.00, but I told them to go ahead and do it.  I picked it up after work on Thursday.  They did a really nice job with the detailing, but it didn’t stay nice and clean for long with the rain that we had on Friday, just enough to have dirty roads.


I’m usually off on Friday, but I went in to work (not really to work) but to bring in my art work.  It was our 2nd Annual Employee Craft Fair, as a fundraiser.  We donated 20% of what we made.  There were a lot more people that participated and came to attend.  I did slightly better than I did last year, but I think that was because I presented it as a Retirement Clearance Sale. 


   DSC00613         DSC00614         DSC00612

Before I went to work I dropped of some sandwiches at church for a reception that they had for a memorial service for one of our members.  Then I went back to church after I finished at work to pay my respects. 

While I was out I thought that I might as well make my annual appointment with my eye doctor.  It was for next Tuesday after work, but fortunately there was a cancellation for Saturday.  I’m glad, because I really need to pack the truck right after work on Tuesday.


Today, I kept my appointment.  Everything is just fine, although my prescription is slightly stronger and the cataracts are growing at a snails pace and no glaucoma, which is all good.  I picked out some new frames for my computer glasses, ordered my contacts and paid my co-pays.  It didn’t take too long. 

Later, I took a ride out to the Costco in Folsom to get a few things that I ran I needed.  I get NuGo Nutrition Bars there because they don’t have them at the one here in Rancho Cordova.  I’m surprised that I came out of there getting only the things that I went there for.  Usually find something that I just have to have.  I guess that I am really getting this RV thing down pat.  If I don’t need it, I don’t get it.


Another Sunday has come and is almost gone.  Other than church I picked up some coffeecake for our coffee hour between services, then attended the 2nd service because I gave Samantha, her seeing eye dog Gilbert and her daughter Serenity a ride to church.  After I got home I packed up the laundry to get it done.


              I’m not sure if I’m really clean or dirty.  There’s this much every 2 weeks.

                                         There’s two of the hampers.


Tomorrow I will gather the things inside that I will be taking to Phoenix and Tuesday the things that are in storage.  I hope that I can leave very early on Wednesday.  I will be going south on CA 99 or I 5 to Bakersfield then east on CA 58 to Barstow.  I was thinking on going east on I 40 to Flagstaff and then south on I 17 to Phoenix.  After thinking that it is farther that way, but all freeway, than if I go to Lake Havasu City and then south on AZ 95 to I 10 then east to Phoenix.   I need help to decide which way to go.  I will be in the truck, no trailer this time, but will be going the same way in the spring after I retire with “My Spot”.  What kind of grades, road conditions, etc. Any comments would be appreciated.

Hope you all have a Great week.

Thanks for visiting          DSC00609

Susan and Angel

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Big Thank You



Yesterday was spent thinking about my grandson, who is in the Navy and all those men and women, past and present, who have served and are serving in the military.  They and their families give up so much for us to keep us free.  I would say to each and every one of them,”A Big Thank You to each and every one of you”.  That would not be possible, so I will mention it here. 

I actually slept in for a while, if you want to call 7:30am/8:00am  instead of 3:00am sleeping in.  Then I had to do a little bit of housekeeping related to my accident.  I got a call from Body Craft letting me know what their estimate was (over $4,000.00) for my truck.  I won’t get it back until the middle of next week.  The rental car that I have, ironically, is identical to the other car in the accident,  Weird, huh?


Angel and I took a ride over to Folsom Lake RV to get a new shower head that has an on/off switch for saving water, and for not having to readjust the temperature.  While there I decided to order washer/dryer combo to be installed at the same time while they will be installing the solar.  I think that is all that I will be doing to upgrade my rig.  The only other “want not need” is a folding tonneau cover for the truck.


At work, I had not gotten an answer as to getting an appointment with someone in HR to discuss my retirement until Thursday when someone sent me an email indicating that it won’t be until sometime during Thanksgiving week.  Ten years ago it was a lot easier dealing with HR, more personal.  Now everything has changed since they “farmed out” a lot of there processes.   Once I know how all that works out, I’ll be able to make commitments for next year. 

I also made a couple of calls to the RV parks where I sent Workamping applications. It is a good thing to follow up, as neither one had received them, so I resent them. Now I will continue to wait and see what happens.


On my way home I stopped at WalMart to pick up a few things.  While there, there was a demo on using a mandolin.  I have been thinking of getting one for a while, so I went ahead and got one.  I used it to slice a tomato.  I think that I will really like it.



Saturday, another day to sleep in.  I didn’t do much in the morning, but went to the store for something that I forgot yesterday.  While out there, I took Angel to the local dog park. It is a nice one, a separate one for small dogs, large dogs and one that both sizes.  As usual, she just wondered around, checking out the smells for a few minutes and then came back to me.  She doesn’t run around or play.  I just walked around the perimeter for exercise for me and she just followed me off lead.  Some other small dogs game in and wanted to play, but no, not what she wanted,  So we left and walked over to the American River where we walked between the bike trail and the river and found a path down to the river.  I also heard and spotted a small (I think) redheaded woodpecker. of course, I forgot my camera and my phone, so no pictures.  Angel had a lot more fun just sniffing around and walking in the river.  It was a nice easy walk, something I haven’t done in a long time.  That’s one of the things that I need to do and will be doing more of.  I think that I found a spot to do some painting when the weather is nice. 

Once we were home I didn’t do much except put the few things away and make an individual pizza using some of the sliced tomato.  It only took 7 minutes in the Readi-Set-Go Grill, so there was plenty of time to catch up on blogs.


Well, today I made it to church and home without any incidents.  I fixed a salad for lunch and now just finishing this post.  I don’t think that I will going out again.  Maybe I’ll just take a nap and prepare myself for one more full work week before the holidays.  The next few weeks after that will be shorter weeks because I am taking some vacation days.

Thanks fro visiting


Susan and Angel

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Great Dinner With Friends, Next Day, Really Bummed


Halloween has come and gone.  The decorations at work have been put away and its back to normal.  Same old, same old stuff.  Enough said about that.



By the end of the week the weather changed to COLD, down to the 30’s at night and only to the mid 60’s during the day.  Boy, an I a wimp.  I really want to go South and get warm.  I am waiting for an appointment with HR to discuss all that there is to know about retirement and come up with a date.


Friday I tried out another Laundromat nearby.  I will probably return there next time, closer, cleaner and quieter.  

In the meantime I have set up a date to take my 5’er to Folsom Lake RV to have a Solar Installation.  I am trying to become as self sufficient as possible before I retire so that in between Workamping jobs I won’t have to overnight  in a campground if I don’t want to.



Then later I went to WinCo  to get some grocery shopping done.  I was having some friends from church for a spaghetti dinner.  Bob and Dee came by at 5:30 pm bringing the salad and bread.  We hand a wonderful meal and afterwards played a bit of Pente and then had Tea and Apple cake.  Bob will be retiring in December and he and Dee have been thinking about RVing part time.  Dee wasn’t too sure about it, but is now open to the possibility.  (she really likes my rig)   Thank you Bob and Dee for a great evening. 


                                      Angel had to get in the picture.


Here is the bummed out part of the weekend.  On my way to church, There was a bit of a metal to metal connection.  A big BOOM!   Yep.  I had an accident.  I blew it.  I wasn’t paying attention and turned left before I should have and a Chevy HHR caught the rear corner of my Pick Up.  First of all, no one was hurt, Thank God for that.  Now that’s one more thing that has to be  taken care of.

              IMG_0384                  IMG_0382

                           me                                                        the other guy        

Hope fully it can be fixed soon.  I will need to tow MY SPOT on December 2nd.

I got to church a bit late, but at least I was able to drive my truck.  The other one had to be towed. 

I came home right after church and used a bit of Duct Tape to hold the  light in place, as the lights still work and it will hold it together until I can get it fixed.

I am now sitting in front of the fireplace/heater and not planning on doing anything else, but catch up on the bloggers that I follow and follow me.

Thank you all for visiting and all your support.    I hope that you all are having a great weekend and have a wonderful week to come.

Susan and Angel