The travels of DaGirls Rv. Piloted by Dakota, Tilly, who along with Susan and Dale travel highways and by-ways of this wonderful country. Koko & Della have gone onto Rainbow Bridge but their spirit lives with us.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
Well, it sucks, life without our Della, has been to say the least – missing. A big chunk of our heart was torned out. Yes we know it was her time, we couldn’t keep her with us, as she slowly kept losing weight, even though her strong heart and strong will kept her going. However, we understood, that our time with her was growing shorter.
So, is it time to start up Della’s blog and continue? I think Della would want us to, as she loved writing about the places she traveled to, places she saw and the things we, as a family did. Even as I write this tears are welling up, just thinking about her.
Della with her sister Koko
Some people would say, you need to go out and adopt another per right away. Get back up and rescue another one. Well, I am waiting on Della to say this is the right one for us. This pass 6 – 7 weeks without her has been different, and you may ask how? Not having to share her queen size bed, sitting on the floor while she sprawled over her love-seat. Sharing yogurt with her. Letting us take morning walks with her, even though they were short. Letting us bring her bed outside for her to lay on and watch us while we worked, Or even helping her down and up the stairs. But in the end, Della was saying it was time for her to go to her brothers, sisters and cousins. Ok, so it has been over 8 weeks, what have we done since then. Well for starters we picked up a 2008 Alfa So-Long Gold, floor plan 1015. This is the one with large pantry, shower in the back driver side corner, toilet in the middle on the passenger side and king bed place end wises (driver to passenger). We located it in Ft Meyers, Fl. Flew in, Susan made the choice, and a rush 2 day drive back to Sandwich, IL. fairgrounds where the Painted Lady awaited. Then a 2 day drive to Beaver Crossing, NE. where we parked for 6 weeks, transferring, working, maintaining and just cleaning up both RV's. Thank’s to the Derr family farm and Sharon and Dwight Tisdale for offering us a place to stay and work. Let me tell you, on some days, beer-30, never tasted so good after a long hard day. But with new and old friends life was good, ( even with Della not there in body). Pictures of Mods to follow: From there is was off to Albuquerque, NM. Susan had arranged for a small rally, at the Balloon Fiesta. The trick was 1 person from each Rv had to volunteer as a Navigator. Oh wait, did ask about what did we do to the Painted Lady? Well I drove her and Susan drove the 08. You see a very lovely couple name, Abdul & Hazel Ahmad, had a bad accident with thier 2004 SeeYa. They were looking to replace it, and thanks to Ray Zimmerman, we all got together and came to a agreement on the Painted Lady. So while in Albuquerque, they came and finalized the deal for her. Hazel and Abdul joined us at the Balloon Fiesta, and stayed with all of us. Hazel and Abdul stayed with us, until we parted company Oct. 15, just outside of Happy Jack, AZ. South of Flagstaff. As they were wanting to return to Riverside, CA., to close out and sell their house. Now during all this time we were working at the Fiesta, Susan and many others drove golf carts, Jim worked propane, Dave & Jane worked food, and I. Well I was not wanted becaused I wanted to be in a chase crew.
But it all worked out, I ended up driving a golf cart at night and chase crew in the morning. Even Susan joined me for a few days on the crew.
So, what else happen. The bigger news is Della, Koko, Gator, Chiquita, Qua-Pasa, Maggie and other cousins got together and sent us a new chocolate lab. Yep, we were presented with a new traveling companion, name Dakota. Telling you if it wasn’t for all the help, we would not have gotten her. This was a last minute thing that came together. Another day and we would have left Albuquerque, and headed west. But things have a way of working differently then you can imagine. So, here we are, with a very Dark Chocolate female lab, weighting in around 73 lbs, medium to high energy, toy driven, loves to run, hike, play. Just like Della and Koko and all the others combined together.
As you see in some of the photos, Dakota loves Dry Camping in the High Country in the Coconino NF. This is south of Clint Wells off of FR613:
How did we come into this? With the Help of Luvin-Labs in Albuquerque, Joan, Alexis and Cindy at the Vet hospital. For without their help, Dakota, would surely not have come into our lives. Luvin-Labs So, where and when can you see her? any time you are within distance of us. Della will have to talk with Dakota as to what signature to use. Yes Dakota is learning how to write, but it does take time. Here is what she wrote to Joan @Luvin-labs
"Hi, Joan, Dakota hear. I m leaning to wirt. Im not reely
spoil. I hav sleep on floor n bed. Cn’t sllep on big bed only n morning w mom.
I eat only at times not all. Dad is teachin me bout Go Rv (I now that) but I
let him tink I need teching.
Taugh dad that I can wlk by myself with my leasch. Thank you
for helping me to fine my forever hom
Give her time and I am sure her writing will get better.
I write this with a sad heart, but with a happy spirit, I think Many of you know and remember Della. She along with her sister,Koko, came to be known as DaGirls, and it was their Rv, called DaGirls RV that they allowed Susan and I to drive around and take them on journeys. This week started out as any other week, Della the Queen, summoned us to her Court to inform us that she was a little stressed and her sore on her cheek was still bothering her and needed to see the vet, over in IN again. But in her usual way, she was willing to always keep us happy, take us for walks. Even though they were short, she endured them for us. She kept us smiling and ensured we were happy. But somewhere in our hearts, we knew she was trying to tell us her time was getting short and she wanted to go and see her sister, Koko. We knew and yet we did not want to listen. We kept asking ourselves were we keeping her here for her or us? Della, in her way, told us that yes she would go to Alaska with us, and then onto Texas and keep us happy while we worked at Amazon. Then back to Arizona, to see family and friends, all the while, fighting old age to keep us happy. Things will be quite different for us going forward as we adjust without her physical presence in DaGirls Rv. No longer will she be under foot as we try to come into her Rv. Nor will she bring us, one of her babies when we come home. Or crowd us out of her queen size bed, when we go to bed. Nor will she wake us up in the middle on the night, telling us she needs to go outside. Some people would say, why did you keep her then? Because she gave us unconditional love. She was always there for us. Giving us her love, no matter how bad she felt. Staying by our side thru thick and thin. She always had a way, of bringing a smile to our faces. As we get up each day, we will be expecting to feel her by our side in bed, or see her sitting on the love seat, taking up more then her fair share. Or laying on her bed in the middle of the living room, waiting on us, to get her breakfast, dinner or late night snacks. So it is with our sad hearts that we inform you that Della went home today to be with her sister and to meet our other pets.
Good Bye, Della, we love you and will greatly miss you
Chillin, in Elkhart. Why you may ask? Because DaGirls has a booBoo and is getting them repaired. But wait you say, you were in Buchanan, MI. so what happen in Buchanan? Well Susan’s Son and Daughter came out from the Chicago area and visited, She was able to get a cabin for 7 days. Dana, Mike & the Children came out for 4 days. Eric, Di and Faith came out for 3 days. All in all we all had a wonderful time visiting and checking out the sites.
Once that was done we packed up and headed out to Elkhart, were Susan found us a Airbnb o stay while DaGirls was getting fixed. In fact, at first it was going to take 2 weeks, but after discussion with Paul. We were able to pick it up on Friday, 5 days after dropping her off.
Since then we have been visiting the area, and being surprised by my best man from our wedding arriving who spent four days with us. We stopped in at the MH / RV Hall of Fame Museum
Then on Thursday, Mike a old close work friend and former roommate stopped by on his way back up North. All in all it has been a fun and enjoyable stay. On Friday, it was a day with the Amish community.