Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Don and I have been blessed in many ways this year. We’ve spent the past couple of months taking care of various routine annual doctor visits in southeastern Arizona where we have our winter ‘home’ at Cochise Terrace Resort in Benson.

First, we were lucky enough to connect with a new doctor to serve as our primary care physician, Dr. Glenn Robertson, who we both like. Don’s blood sugar has been jumping all over the scale, and this dr. has helped us work to control it. He has also made some good referrals to specialists for certain things.

The most important of these was an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist, Dr. David Hu, in Tucson. Dr. Hu shared my concern about a tumor on the right side of Don’s neck. It’s been there for years, but it seemed to be slowly growing, and other tests (CT scan, MRI, fine needle biopsy) proved to be inconclusive. So Dr. Hu removed the tumor last Friday under general anesthesia. The surgery was to take 45 minutes but actually lasted almost 3 hours, so I was getting a little antsy in the waiting room. When I posted my worry on Facebook, dozens of friends sent messages of encouragement. It’s amazing how a simple message saying “thinking of you” or “sending hugs and prayers” will boost your spirits! Thanks for the support, my friends!

What took so long was the tumor was larger than Dr. Hu estimated, and it was attached to a large muscle. He was very careful and skillful in removing it without disturbing either the muscle or any nerves. So Don didn’t lose any function of his shoulder or neck in that area. And the initial report is that the tumor was benign. Another blessing! Hurray!

Now that he’s in the recovery stage and has the drain removed so he can sleep on that side, take showers, and generally live normally, Don’s a happy camper! And so am I!

With that behind us, we enjoyed a nice Christmas party today with our neighbors at the clubhouse (called “The Barn”) at Cochise Terrace. Here are some pictures of the event.

Art & Pat Bale are the resort owners.IMG_8600

Workampers also hung their cutouts.IMG_8599

A cute Snoopy stocking.IMG_8601

A pretty Christmas tree.IMG_8602

Lots of desserts! (Food, too, but I didn’t get pics of it.)IMG_8608

Even the stage was decorated.IMG_8619

As we prepared to start the feast, we were given instructions for going through the food lines.IMG_8618

After eating, we enjoyed visiting with folks and getting to know them better. IMG_8623


Then we had a gift exchange based on Bingo numbers. In this game, when your number’s called you may choose a wrapped gift from the Ladies’ table or the Men’s table, based on your gender. Or, if you like a gift that’s already been chosen by someone else, you may steal it. It can be stolen from you, but that 3rd person gets to keep it – no more stealing. So the activity can get interesting!


These solar lights were stolen a few times.IMG_8634


And the Bailey’s was also popular!IMG_8638

And several wanted this nice set of glassware.IMG_8639

Oooh, a nice one!IMG_8642

Les wore the T-shirt he got in last year’s gift exchange and carried the mug he got the year before.IMG_8645

The Jose Cuervo Margarita package was stolen a few times, too. First, Ben (on the right) stole it from Don, then the next guy stole it from him!IMG_8650

So, undaunted, Ben stole the similar package (one was Cuervo Gold, one Silver) from across the room!IMG_8651

Easy come, easy go!IMG_8653

And later, Ben was again the victim of a thief!IMG_8660

It was a fun party, and we returned home to have a relaxing evening. We count many other things among our blessings as we reach the end of another year. Our lifestyle, which we both love; our comfortable place to park in the winter, whether we stay a week, a month or longer; our good neighbors here and in the Escapees Saguaro Park across town; our many friends; and the ability to keep traveling are among the top blessings.

We send our very best wishes to friends and family for a Merry Christmas and (in case I don’t post another blog during the next week) a safe and prosperous New Year!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Now They’re Here; Then They’re Not

It seems like Dennis & Carol’s visit was very short. The 4 of us went to the Farm House for breakfast this morning, and enjoyed more conversation solving the world’s problems.


I managed to get a few shots of their pretty new motorhome.



Their Little Green Man lost his flag, and he nearly lost his head in a recent accident. But he’s still able to travel, although he leans a little now.


And pretty soon it was time for them to roll down the road.


Travel safely and we’ll see you again next month in Quartzsite! And thanks, Carol for the sweet crocheted Christmas stockings!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

We’re enjoying a visit from Dennis & Carol Hill, who are staying on our neighbor’s RV lot in Cochise Terrace. Their new Winnebago Journey motorhome is beautiful! I’ll have to post pictures later, as I was so busy looking at it I forgot to use my camera.

Last night we got together with Charles & Chris Yust who just stayed one night in the Benson area on their way to Yuma. They stayed with Henry & Peggy Watkins, who own a place at J Six Ranch, just west of Benson. We all had dinner at Pablo’s Steakhouse last night. The ‘girls’ sat at one end of the table with the ‘boys’ at the other. Conversations seem to work better that way. It was a fun time, and the staff were patient with our lengthy stay because we enjoyed each others’ company for a long time after the food was gone!


Today we did a little shopping and had lunch at Wild Dogs, a fun gourmet hot dog restaurant we enjoy frequently.

Don and I took advantage of the clear, sunny (though chilly) day to finish decorating the outside of our RV lot. Here’s how it looks at night.


Even the Little Green Man got into the spirit!


And inside I put our miniature Christmas tree on the dash.


Then tonight, Don made his special Santa Maria style tri-tip roast with salad, baked potatoes and old fashioned green beans. We’re definitely eating well!

We know that Dennis is a fan of Duck Dynasty, as evidenced by this pic of his T-shirt.


So Don found a small doll for him today. It says several familiar phrases from the TV show if you squeeze its belly. Dennis loves it!


It sure is fun having Dennis & Carol here, and we have another half-day with them before they have to leave tomorrow. Goodnight, Friends!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Nothing Much Happening…

…In our lives right now. I haven’t blogged in about a month, and I know my readers are dropping off. But I don’t think it’s interesting to say “We went to Wal-Mart today” or “We had two doctor’s appointments.” The pace of life in Benson is rather slow, or it has been for us anyway. And it’s kind of nice to kick back for awhile. But it doesn’t make for very interesting blog posts.

We did have a brief visit by George and Valerie Mayleben, owners of RV Driving School, and Valerie wrote about it in her blog. Now we’re looking forward to a visit from Dennis & Carol, previous owners of the school.

In reviewing the pictures I’ve taken during the last month, I can report a few interesting points. First, Don gave me a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses for my birthday, as well as taking me out to dinner and a movie.


He also gave me a Dell Latitude 10 tablet, but it didn’t work out to be useful to me because it was not designed to work with a stylus. So, long story short, after a lengthy phone battle with Dell customer support, we returned it. There’s now a new laptop computer in my future, but the shipment has been delayed. That’s okay, because it’s a combined birthday/Christmas present (and probably a few other occasions). But my current laptop is dying, so I hope the new computer comes soon.

My niece Dixie Mercy, who lives in Cleburne, TX, found a bookmark I made for her mother Barbara Glasscock (my sister) when I was a child. It was tucked into a Bible, and she came across it recently and offered to send it to me. What a sweet reminder of my innocent youth! And of her mother, who we sadly lost to cancer when she was 54, over 25 years ago.


The back side.


I finished knitting another lap-sized afghan for Soldiers’ Angels and delivered it to the VA hospital in Tucson.


We attended the monthly luncheon for Escapees Chapter 21 at the San Pedro Golf Course restaurant and saw lots of friends.


Don is now acting President of the Chapter, as the former President Don Damkaer is dealing with a serious health issue and is currently in Washington state. We wish him the best, with a good outlook for returning to health soon.

On the way back from Tucson for one of our doctor visits along with a shopping excursion, we stopped at the Pima County Fairgrounds and dropped in on Nick and Terry Russell.


What luck that we found them at home, with enough time to drop everything and have a nice long chat! We’ve seen them several times at rallies, but we never seemed to be able to spend any quality time together. It’s good that we caught them when we did, because they were called to the Phoenix area to help a very ill friend not too long afterward.

It’s about time to decorate our place for Christmas, as many of our neighbors have already done. I’ll post again when that’s finished. In the meantime, what have you all been doing? We love hearing from you, so send us an email to keep in touch.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Silver City, Deming and then Benson Once Again

We returned to our RV lot in Benson on October 19, after a visit to Deming, NM at the end of the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque. We were in Deming for 5 days for the Escapees Chapter 21 rally which Don and I hosted. We managed to pull it off although we were both very tired from the 2 weeks in Albuquerque and getting up very early most days to launch balloons. At the end of the chapter rally, Don and I were telling each other not to schedule two events that we are hosting back to back in the future!

While in Deming, we drove to Silver City with Frank & Gloria King and visited the Silver City Museum. It is housed in the restored 1881 H.B. Ailman House, which is quite beautiful.


We went through and examined all of the exhibits, including climbing stairs to the second floor.


We even climbed the steeper, narrower stairs to the third floor!


Up there is a tower room or cupola, which served to help ventilate the house and provided lots of natural light for sewing or a greenhouse or just a peaceful retreat. From the outside, the cupola looks really tall!


Each of the four windows has a sign describing the view to the North, East, South and West.


The view to the north shows some of the buildings of the Western New Mexico University (originally the Territorial Normal School) and the two domed towers of the Catholic church.


Getting back down the stairs was almost as hard as climbing up them. I think people were a lot smaller in those days!


We drove around the historic district to see more interesting buildings, such as this apartment house.


Then we enjoyed a lunch of New Mexico style Mexican food, similar to what I ate while growing up in El Paso, TX.

Here are a few pics of folks enjoying food together at the rally. Luke & Judy Rinehimer were too busy eating to smile for the picture!


Ron and JerrieLea Hopf served as VCR’s (volunteer club representatives) for the rally.


Frank & Gloria King are always fun to be around.


Bill & Jan Mains sat next to their friends (and now ours too) John & Karen Knoll.


Oops! I caught Jean Holloway-Burkhardt with her eyes closed, sitting across from Myra Cox.


Ron & Alice Schulz have been active in the club for a long time; he’s Treasurer of the Chapter.


It was nice to get to know Dan and Pat Urso.


And to get to know better Don DeMent and Chapter Secretary Betty Dawson.


For excellent reports on other events we enjoyed during the rally, go to and look at entries beginning with one posted on October 16 entitled “Escapees Chapter 21.” Jan did a great job of reporting on our activities.

Don and I departed Deming on Saturday Oct. 19 and were happy to see the Arizona border after about 8 months of traveling other parts of the country.


About a week after the rally ended, Bill & Jan Mains met us for an early dinner at the Vail Steakhouse, about 25 miles west of Benson. They were attending another rally in Amado, about 35 miles southwest of there. We were just too tired for another rally so soon, so we opted out of this one and just enjoyed it through Jan’s blog.


Don & I have been busy with several things on our “To Do” list, including hanging the ristra we bought in Hatch, NM. It goes well with the Kokopelli’s.


Don trimmed the rosemary bush way back with the hedge trimmer he bought at the Boomers’ CARE auction almost a year ago. I raked and bagged the clippings (6 leaf bags full) and kept a few sprigs for the kitchen. The bush looks a little ragged on two sides, but it will grow and fill in.


The Little Green Man got staked down so he won’t blow over and he joined the Navy, giving up his American flag!


A little more yard cleanup and we were ready to relax!



Yesterday, we had a pleasant surprise. Larry & Carol Jennings decided to stop for a visit on their way back to Texas. It was great to see them and we enjoyed dinner at Pablo’s in Benson.


It’s nice to be back on our RV lot, with no stay limit or check-out time. Some of our traveling neighbors are back from their summer sojourns, but the neighborhood is fairly quiet. And we’re back to enjoying beautiful sunsets out to the west.