Friday, January 29, 2010

High Winds and High Water

We have been having rainy weather in the desert the past week or so. If any of you were keeping up with the weather in AZ, it was all about high winds and high water. We had a lot of little country roads around us washed out here and there.

What a week end of family we have had. My brother Dan and wife Alaine flew down from WY on Friday. We had a big meal waiting for them along with a bunch of our family that is here in the area. There was Norman & Connie B, George & Sharon B, Dale & Marie I, Dan & Alaine, Fred & I, plus sister, Peggy who picked them up at the airport. Norman & Connie are such great hosts. We all visited together most of the afternoon.

Well, that was not all. In the evening my cousin Tom R called, he is from SD and traveling in this area with his folks, Neil & Elaine. They came and joined us for supper that night. To make a long story short I had one first cousin, one sister-in-law, 2 siblings, 4 pair of aunts and uncles here to visit us in one day.We could not have planned a day filled with some much fun family if we tried.

We have our tickets for Brazil. We leave a week from today, Feb 5 and come back on Feb 28. We will be able to get email while we are there. We will not have our traveling photographer but will try and get you some pictures too. We look forward to seeing all the family and friends in South America.

Fred pulled a tummy muscle getting out of bed this week and had a few down days. He is back to his perkier self this morning, fixing his own breakfast, out walking with his dog, and going next door to collect some drinking water.

Uncles Norman and George took the bus to Mexico to spend the weekend with their brother Art. If we get a chance we would like to go down for a week or so too before the winter is over. Time is flying by so fast. I don't know if we will make it this year.

Wade rolled his truck this week. He walked away with a scratch on his ear. His company truck did not fair so well. He drives thousands of miles each month. We are so thankful he is okay.

Speaking of the kids.... Shane is into his second semester of grad school and very excited about being a TA for one of his professors. Misty is still being Mom to a busy bunch in Boise. Carrie is enjoying her Alaska winter and happy with her photo business.

I am busy visiting with family, keeping Fred fed and watered, doing a little sewing and shopping for are SA trip.

Today God and the sun are shining down on us here in the desert.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It is so good to be back

Let me start by saying..........for all of you that have been checking to see what we are up to, I apologize for not keeping you better posted on our travels.

We have missed having Carrie with us, but we do have a useful new traveling companion named Gabby the Garmin (GPS). Gabby tries to keep us out of traffic trouble and spends a lot of recalculating when we ignor her directions.

Since we last wrote we have had great roads and wonderful visits with family and friends as we drove accross Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, back to Kansas, through Okalahoma, pausing in Dallas and Fort Worth, accross to El Paso, and finally accross New Mexico and Arizona to land here in Maricopa.

Here it is January 15. We just got home (to our camper in Maricopa) from DC about 5pm last night. We have had 3 appointments in DC since we left Alaska. To make a long story short, Fred is holding his own. His numbers are rising, but he has very little pain and his quality of life is great. We are not changing his treatment at this time. The Doc's are shocked that he is not in more pain. They do have 3 different treatments we are looking at in the future.

Now for all of you that want a more detailed description of our last 2 months I will get out my travel calendar and fill you in.

Last time I wrote we were stuck in Rawlins, WY waiting for the wind to die down.

On Sunday, November first we arrived in Denver and parked at our dear friends Bruce and Jan B.'s home. We spent a couple of days catching up on each others lives. Our families used to do a lot of camping and rafting together when we lived in Idaho Falls. We had some great times cross country skiing to cut our Christmas trees.

Wednesday, November 4....The Ingalls Girls Party began......
Peggy, Beth, Laila, Eleanor, Annadeidra, Kyrstin, Alaine. All my sisters, my mother, a daughter-in-law, a granddaughter and a sister-in-law all gathered at a mountain top cabin called Eagle's Nest. What an awsome view we had looking accross at Pikes Peak. We spent 4 days together, sharing great meals, games, family stories, reading together, snowy walks and sledding. Leaving our normal routine, it was an unhurried sharing time, with all of us coming from different places and times in our lives. We were so blessed to be together for these few days. Fred, Wade and Ashton were camping nearby. We appreciated their support, they were always ready to help out and.......they came and ate dinner with us every night.

Sunday afternoon we headed fo Kansas and made it as far as Colby. The next day we drove to Fred's sister Sandy's farm near Tawanda, KS. We had just enough time to tell Fred's mother hello and then Wednesday, November 11, we flew to DC. Fred had body scans on Thursday and then waited for his appointment on Wed. The tests showed more small tumors. The Docs gaves us some more options for treatment. We are not changing treatment.....Fred's quality of life is very good right now. It was a long week waiting for Fred's appointment. Sandra I did come and spend most of one day with us because she had Doc appointment. We went to some of the places we used to go with Skip. It is hard believe he is gone.

We flew back to Kansas and before we knew it was Thanksgiving here.
We spent the holiday sharing meals and games with Fred's family and I got in a few visits with my sister, Laila and family in Wichita. We had a great treat of getting together with Larry and Suzie, our B&B guest last summer, for an evening. They took us to a chuch wagon supper and concert at the Prairrie Rose. What a great time we had with them.

About the time we were ready to head for South Dakota to see my family there, we decided to have the suberban looked at. We had a couple of times where it wouldn't start when it was warm. We were so glad we could get into Fred's sister Sandy's mechanic. We ended up putting in a new fuel pump.

December 5 - We headed for Nebraska to spend a couple of days with my brother Kenny. Fred had not seen him for 8 years, I think it had been 4 or 5 for me. The weather turned cold about the time we got there, but the roads were dry. Kenny has a feed lot and trains horses, so there is alway something going on at their house. I spent about 3 hours watching a vet give chiropractic treatments to 3 horses. He also gave them accupucture treatments and did dental work on them. It was fasinating to say the least.

December 7 - We drove an 8 hour day and arrived at my folks ranch as the sun was setting. The weather was very cold that week.........near 20 below. They were just starting to feed hay for the winter, so were getting that routine up to speed. They were trimming heads on the bulls, I enjoyed watching that.

December 12 - Fred and I went over and stayed with my sister, Beth, and her family. It still was staying COLD. They have been remodeling Terry's parents house for a year and have just moved in. Beth and Terry were still doing some painting and unpacking. We did not envy them at all. We know how much work it is to move. We stayed and extra day to go to my nefiew, Blane's Christmas concert. It was the best concert I have ever heard for such a small school. The termometer was bouncing around 20 below zero as we drove home that night. Brrrrrrr....

December 15 - It was off the Spearfish to stay with cousin, Janie and family. Both Janie and Lonnie and Beth and Terry are graduating their youngest from High School this year. Hummm...that was a very long time ago for us- 1995. We had venison stew, watched them babysit their grandsons and had a lot of laughs as we caught up on our families.
the next morning the weather was a warm 4o degrees, it felt so good. The next couple of days we ran around and saw Elaine and Neal, Dale and Sandi, Tom and friend, Levi and family and Lukus and family. I think that is everyone.

December 18 - We headed back to the ranch for a couple more days. This time they were trimming bulls feet. That was the biggest cattle table I have ever seen. It had great hydrolics. The last night we gave Dad his 80th birthday present early (BD December 29) and had a good visit. Looks like weather is coming in so we need to hit the road soon.

December 20 - We spent the night and Kenny's again as we passed through. We met him in town for supper. Dana was in SD at her mother's. Tomorrow will be a shorter day of driving.

December 21 - Back at the farm in Kansas. We missed sleeping in our own bed but the camper is getting colder. I did not do as much winterizing as I did last winter. We spent this week enjoying family Christmas celebrations. The Dirty Santa Gift Exchange is always a hoot. Fred and I made out pretty well. No gag gifts for us this time. All of Sandy and Rodney's girls and families were home, so there was never a dull moment. The last couple of days here we spent having our Suburban worked on again......this time we did shocks and tires. It drives so much better.

December 30 - Our camper has been parked at the farm since November 9. Today we headed south. We camped about 3 hours down the road, but we got started anyway. The next day about 2 pm we arrived in Dallas, TX at Barbara L's house. Once again Gabby got us through some unknown territory. We had a great time with Barbara and family........we played a lot of hand and foot, put a puzzle together, went to church and Fred picked up pecans out of the back yard.

January 4 - This day we drove to Fred's cousin's Bill L in Fort Worth, TX. We had a great visit with Bill and Lynda while they were having new tile layed in their kitchen. The next afternoon we were on the road again. It has been cold and windy most of the time we have been in Texas. We are ready for warmer weather. We stayed in Sweetwater, TX, in Jan. 5.

January 6 - Tonight we are in El Paso. We are parked at Marty and Jenn H. We had a yummy dinner of tacos, some good converstaion and then off to bed. These long days of driving make me tired. Fred drives for an hour or so and that really helps. Jenn made us waffles for breakfast and then it was back on the road for another long day of driving.

It's starting to get warmer.........

We made it.
It is so good to be back in Uncle Norman's campground.
Our plan was to be here for a few days before we had to fly to DC for Fred's Doc appointment.
We had clear roads all but 2 days of our trip.
God is sooo good to us.