Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year and Passing of a Great Friend

So, here I am, in DaGirls Rv II, with Dakota and Tilly. 2017 has started out with a – not so great a bang. Well not really a small one. You see, one of my very good friend has passed away. 5 months from retirement. Andy Stramiello, who was only a year older then I am.

Andy was just one of those guys who never complained, especially when, we as men or women should. I will not go into great detail, but sad to say, it was like the movie “Perfect Storm”. Everything seem to work against him this pass week (Dec 23 – Dec 31). Andy’s condition deteriorated to the point that life for him would not be what he would have wanted. On Friday, family and friends gather and discuss what his life would be like. Elise may the ultimate decision, to suspend life support.

Services will be held this week, it is good that Susan is returning on Wednesday, in time for everything. 

On Saturday, many of us gather to rejoice in Andy’s life, marriage, children, and his career as a Aerospace Engineer. It was during the New year celebration, that the champagne was open to celebrate the New Year and Andy (9:00 MST) 12:00 EST that Andy passed on. He joined the many great golfers, family and friends in Heaven.

As I write this, I cannot remember the day we met. Somehow we ended up as a four-some and from that day on, we were enjoined. To play as many rounds as we could together, along with Jim. We were similar to the 3 Musketeers, we played together in the company tournaments. Went to Green Valley for the 2 days of golf and everywhere else. Even when there were no tournaments we would get together and play golf. 

While writing this, I started searching through my photos. I then realized that all the pictures, I had were on film. Due to issues, I loss most if not all of those photos. 

I cannot speak for the Family except to say, both Susan and I have face this same situation with the loss of a close one or friend. 

To all of you, who keep putting off retirement, stop what you are doing and think, Is this life really worth it ? All the while dreaming about retirement? Dreaming what you are going to do in retirement?

I cannot stress the importance, of this. Do whatever it takes to retire as soon as you can. Meaning even if selling your perfect home, down-sizing, eating hot-dogs and beans, to get out of debt.

DO WHATEVER IT TAKES, if you don’t, then you may miss out on the Greatness adventure of your life. 

For Wayne and Kathy, they are looking for this year to be a great year. Better then 2016.

For Elise, 2017 will be the year, that she loss the greatness love of her life.

Susan and I, be the best friends and lovers to each other.

Renew friendship, but with the understanding that we are now traveling in different circles. Those same friends, will now understand that friendship is more important to us then canceling an engagement and seeing a movie instead.

Safe Travels and Journeys 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Holidays and Happiness

Dec. 24th Christmas eve, and we are home waiting for the storm to pass here at Sunshine Acres Children home.

Susan is getting packed, as she is heading to Chicago to see Eric, Di, Dana, Mike and all the grandchildren. Scheduled to fly out Monday morning – on a red-eye.

Dakota, Tilly and I are staying where it is warm and cozy, not to say I would not want to see everyone, but Chicago ?? It’s cold there and I have gotten to the point I would rather drive the Rv instead of flying. So off she goes to spend time with the families.

I will continue to volunteer and stay busy while she is away.

So, maybe you were expecting maybe a Christmas  letter? From ME? I just blog about life and what is going on. Big and sad news a close friend, has been taken gravely ill and has been taken to the hospital and put into an induced coma. We understand he will be kept like that for a few weeks. Our hopes and prayers are very high priority for Andy.

So to all of our Friends – May you have a wonderful and beautiful Merry Christmas wherever you are.

Susan, Dakota, Tilly and me.
Happy Holidays from all of us to you.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Life Changes or as we know it, We change

Well it has been awhile, we been kept not so busy, but busy enough seeing friends, going places and doing things. Our biggest travel was down to Casa Grande to see friends. Along with that we have been doing the doctor things, you know, medical check ups, dentist and so forth. Also helping friends who needed some medical attention.

Also some improvements, repairs and just plain old fun. And let's not forget we are both volunteering.
Repairs? You don’t say, what type of repairs, you might ask? Well, one day we almost lost our big awning. It just about popped outside of the track. Luckily we were outside and with Susan's help we managed to retract it and seated it sort of till we could get repaired. Mike (Gene’s RV)came out with Eddie and along with me we were able to get it re-installed and firmly mounted this time. Seems there are 2 small # 6 screws which lock it in-place – NOT. Well it is now in place and working well. Gene's also assisted us with a fan rewire (by me), new monitor (backup), Vent fan lift and motor and more. We just about have our twin temp working again. A few more minutes and back in service.

Susan has been doing hats, baskets, sewing things for friends. We learned Mexican Tile game. Did I tell you she loves her pantry? Well she really lovvvvvvvvvvvvves it.

We also sold our Big Mr. Buddy and installed a Pro-Com Blue Flame Ventless LP Heater. We learned of this from Terry and Karla who have had one for a few years. We are hoping to really try it out this week. For this install, I choose to do flare fitting. This is a method where the copper tube is flared by a flaring tool. This was an easy way and good thing to do.

We also upgraded our Cell Phone System. We installed a Maximum Signal System. What does this allow us to do? Increase our cell phone service while in the Boonies. Our 3g system, was working, but I needed a new antenna and better tech:

The outside antenna is installed on the rear roof on a 8 inch saw blade as a ground plate and the inside is located up front near the captain's chairs. This will give us the best range.

Along with this, I installed a new 12 Vdc water pump for recirculating hot water line to the bathroom sink and shower.

On the other side, we usually all take our walks around the area, then off to the dog park / baseball park to allow everyone to take a long and hard run. We are now taking the Dakota and Tilly along with us when going to the stores like Home Depot and a few other places as part of her training and socialization.  That's going very well

Dakota is always ready to go

Of course what would be a good outside shot?

We have been trying to catch up with friends and what they have been doing.

Speaking of friends, I’ll try to make this short, while sitting with Wayne,
Wayne looking Good

when Kathy was in surgery, a long time friend pop out of a ward. Once we got over the shock of seeing each other, Charlie had sad news about an associate we had worked with and known for many years. Sad to say he passed away that night. So, it begs the point. You never know what may happen tomorrow. Odd I could not fine his obituary.

of course I capture a photo of Charlie 

and another of Bob 

Now how about where we are and what we are doing. Susan and I have been given alot of compliments about our work and work habits. It seems we really do not need supervision nor have to be told what needs to be done. We see and just go do it. Phil, my partner gave me a really big compliment saying “ I hope you are coming back next year, and wish you were staying longer. It is nice to hear words like that, especially from your co-workers. We just seem to get along and know what needs to be done at the same time. We share the work load but if he is busy, I am doing clean up and getting ready for the next job.

Even Big John, Facility Mgr has taken notice.  Well anyway, work here is realy great and fun, its’ fun to be with a bunch of good people who work well with each other.

What else, the first MOAB was held this month and will be each month till April:

Oh while I am at it, we located 2 - 305 Watts Solar panels, for the low price of $120 each. That brings our system up to 1600 Watts. Woo-Ho, no longer have to elevate the panels. With what I have learned since Oct. I do believe we will no longer have to run our generator or reduce it operations quite a bit. Photo of our roof will be added later.

We have started our new "Where have we been / going road map:

Susan found this Hutch, This is the finish product. When she found it, a top section was built on top, she stripped it, re-finished it and then we made modification to it. 

Night with the fam's Soccer game (Colin).

No photos of the parade (allergies just about killed me)

More/Additional Photos and such to come later.

Well time to close and get this published

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving with Family

So, this year we were invited to Turkey day with Eric, Laura, Colin, Owen, Sydney and Miles. We also met Laura’s Grandmother, Louise the Great and brother. Brea,  Isreal, Mary and David, Laura’s mother and father also attended the festive occasion. I wish I had taken photos of the wonderful family group.

We also met Steve a very close friend of Laura’s who works with her on various projects.
Food prep and execution was excellent as Laura outdid herself. Well, I could not tell for sure, as this was our first time for the holiday, as we always seem to be in different parts of the US. Anyway, the food was excellent.

We spent many hours talking and listening to various conversations. Susan and I hope to spend more time with them.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving Holiday.
Dale, Susan, Dakota & Tilly

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sunshine Acres Children Home - Back in Az.

Ok, we have landed at Sunshine Acres Children Home in Mesa, Az. Some of you will remember when we were here in 2014 for the winter months. We stayed until it was time to leave for the rally in Casa Grande.

We have settled into site #4, facing east and slightly north. Della & Tilly were happy here and now Dakota is here enjoying the peace and large areas to run.

So, what will be our assignment? Possible working in the warehouse (no thinking for this), help with truck pickups, (again no brains) or possible working with maintenance group (this requires some brains cells to be on the job).

So what will it be, we’ll find out on Tuesday, and  go forward from there.

How much work? 30 hours total for us. That could be 15 Hrs. each, or any combination. We are thinking why are we doing this? Do we need to do it? No, but it does provide a chance to keep our minds and bodies busy, which at our age we all need to do.

You can learn all about Sunshine Acres here

On to more important things. What is so important that you have to interrupted my train of thought??....Dakota, Tilly how are they doing, great except for Tilly, she is wearing the cone of shame, as she will not leave her stitches alone.

As I write this Dakota is laying on the floor, resting. She has found her lost energy, her voice, which came out of now where. And now she is learning that maybe we are the boss around here. Just stay tuned on this same channel to see what is happening.

Ok, lets get back to what's going on: Friday night was Grand-children Soccer:

Just to let you know Dakota,, loves her other chair.

Kathy and Wayne stopped over, Wayne is looking good. Smile back on his face.

This is always a good closing photo - Della always new what to say.

Safe Travels and Journeys

Friday, October 28, 2016

Life with and without a Chocolate Lab

First, there is life without a chocolate lab. But, who would want to do that? Not us, as with a pup, life can be so exciting and fun. Especially with a Chocolate. A dark chocolate at that.

If you been seeing the FB posts you have realize that Dakota has been trying out new things to do. She found she has a voice, she has big paws, she can jump with ease. She can sit up if you put your hands out. She is all of our pups rolled into one. She walks well and when she is done she grabs her leash and heads to the Rv. Right to the door. Even if she has to pull you along.

Her voice?, Well last night we had company over, Those Young Guys AKA Lisa and Norm Young.

Off she went into the Rv, right to her chair, showing Lisa how it is done. Then what  happens later? We hear this bark, what bark, she wants back out to be with everyone. No different then Della, except he wanted us to come back into the Rv.

Once Lisa and Dakota met, it was like --- I lovvvvvve you Lisa, please rub me.  Right there, that it’s, that’s the spot. It was love as first rub.

So, back to the moment, where are ? We started in Verde Valley Rv Resort a Thousand Trails Camp ground. Then when we heard Lisa and Norm were coming into Dead Horse State Park and suggested we get together. Susan found us a spot and we moved over.
So last night was all about learning what each of had been doing, learning about new places, things to do and people to see. Learned a little more on Turbo Waste gate from Norm and a few more tid-bits on CAT engines.

Lisa and Norm will be in the East Valley for Nov. visiting family and friends. Ft McDowell Mountains and Usury Mountains area.  So, if you are around, give them a call and stop by.

Another new Bus Conversion was seen the other day:

This is what NOT TO DO when you park your RV.

A few photos of the area including DaNew Rig in DaSpot.

While up the National Forest, David and I went on a short 4 mile hike to Potato Lake. Sign posted, No Camping, No Parking, No Motor vehicles. Just walk by.

1 final photo, you know how it is when you take a camera with you for that special photo? Well for whatever reason you always forget to take the correct lens or a spare camera with a different lens:
In this photo you cannot see Him, but to the left of the electrical box and above the 2 rocks is a Roadrunner.