January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Getting reacquainted and old/new steps

Benson,  AZ

We were looking forward to spending time with my cousin and an high school friend this weekend.  And we did. 

Yesterday my cousin, Muriel, who lives down in Hereford, came up to the campground.  We visited almost all day and went out for lunch.

This is me on left, Muriel on the right.   Our mothers are half sisters.   They had the same father.   We had a great time getting caught up.    We had our new steps sent to her so she brought them up to us.  We are planning on getting together again on Thursday where she will be our tour guide.  Murial has lived in this area for several years.

This morning we attended the local Methodist Church.   When we got there we heard someone ask "Who are the NOMADS?"   (We have a sign on our truck).   What a surprise.  It was the NOMAD couple we met back last month at Rockhound State Park in Deming, NM.   They are at the campground next to ours. Small world, indeed.

After church we met for lunch with my High School friend Carolyn who lives over in Tombstone.   She moved down here in the early 70's.

Carolyn was a Bridesmaid in my "first" wedding back when we were both young.   She married a few years later when I was 8 months pregnant with Terri, so Amy was her flower girl.    We will catch up with her next weekend and she will be our tour guide in a neighboring area she says she likes a lot.

So then we came back to the park.  Leonard took off the old steps.

While Lucky Cat looked on.

Then he installed the new steps.

See the improvement?   NEITHER DO WE!!!!!   We still have steps that are way too short for our rig.   We still need to use the platform as a bottom step.   We still have a large step down between and bottom and step and the platform.  Considering we are parked on a 2" slab, we are over 20" from bottom step to ground.  Without slab it would still be over a 18" drop.   Unacceptable.  Will be making another phone call tomorrow.  

We do like this park.   Everyone is so nice.  This is the club house.

Not too shabby, is it?

Gotta plan what we will see tomorrow.  I am still having ankle issues and tire out easily when walking.  I do hope more swelling goes down soon.  We have things to do and places to see.

Friday, January 28, 2011

From Tucson to Benson

Benson,  AZ

We (they) finished up the ceiling yesterday at Hope UMC.   I was of no help all week due to sprained ankle.  It is still swollen, making walking difficult.

Len drove the final nail in the trim.

The ceiling looks great.   The spotlights were painted and new fans installed.

We all celebrated the completion of the project and our last day by going to Red Lobster for dinner.   Mary Lou and Paul had a friend couple passing through the area and asked that they join us.   When Mary Lou introduced the woman to Leonard and I she told us that Erna once lived in NJ.    Erna told us she lived in SEABROOK when she was 15-17 and she and her father worked at Seabrook Farms. 

HEY!   We are from Seabrook!  Leonard was Asst Chief of Seabrook Fire Co. and I retired from Seabrook Bros and Sons which was founded by the grandsons of CF Seabrook who owned Seabrook Farms back in the day.  Unbelievable!!!!   She now lives in Wisconsin.

We left Tucson this morning at 8 for our 45 mile drive, arriving at the Escapees SKP park at 9.   As this is a very popular time for RVers in the southern Arizona area, we wanted to make sure we got a site at this membership park.   This park is a co-op with the sites owned by members.  The only available sites for transients are those where the owners are away.

We were put in site 1, way in the back of the park.  We are so pleased with this location.

The sites are really large.  There is a small building on our door side with a patio.  We do not have access to the building but have set up our table, grill and lawn chairs on the patio.  We have no neighbors on one side of us.  We look out over the mountains.  They tell us the sunsets are not to miss.

Once we got settled, I called my cousin Muriel who lives in nearby Hereford.   We had our new steps sent to her and they arrived yesterday.  She is bringing them to us tomorrow.  I am so looking forward to getting reacquainted with her.

We then did the WalMart thing.   Judy, who we met at the Escapees Park in Tennessee, was due to arrive here today.   I called her on the way back from WalMart and she was about 3 miles away.  We waited at check-in to give her a hug and hello.   She is traveling with her son and DIL but in her own rig.  They were a few miles behind her.  

There is a chicken dinner tonight at the Club House.  We bought the last two tickets.   We are glad to now have this time site see and relax.  Oh, and for our friends and family in the northeast, it is low 70's and sunny today.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm down for the count

Tucson,  AZ

Welcome to TrailerCamper from Seattle!  Glad to see you both here.

This has not been the healthiest crew at this NOMADS project.   Betsy has an ongoing breathing issue which makes it impossible for her to work.   Cheryl was not feeling well and had a constant cough.  She finally went to the Urgent Care Center and found she has bronchitis.   She is feeling better this week but is not completely healed.   Paul started feeling bad on Saturday.   Mary Lou took him to Urgent Care this morning.  He has pneumonia.   No more working on this project for him.

I was feeling great!   BUT - coming out of the fiver after lunch today, one leg of the platform (yes the one we needed to get because of the screw up with our steps) collapsed when I stepped down on to it.   I fell twisting my right ankle and scraping the front of my left leg on the platform.

So to Urgent Care I went also.   I am now on crutches.   My left leg has a large gash and is taped with bandages.  My right leg is wrapped in an Ace bandage and is swollen and sprained.   In addition my left wrist is swollen and bruised where I came down on it.    I ache, but not a lot.   But - no more work for me this week either.

Who is left to work?    Leonard, Janet, Jim, Del and Bill who was sick yesterday and still not really up to par.    The ceiling will get done - provided no more accidents, sickness, etc.   

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dropped a Twenty

Tucson, AZ

We are winding down our three weeks here in the Tucson area.   We will head out on Friday.

We had received a coupon for one free admission with one paid admission to The Mini-Time Machine - Museum of Miniatures.  One senior admission is $6.00.   Having nothing else scheduled for Saturday, we went on over.  This museum is a 15,560 sq. ft. building housing a display of antique and contemporary miniatures.   We were told it is the collection of one woman.  Most of the displays were dollhouses.   Lots and lots of dollhouses.   Lots and Lots and Lots of dollhouses.   Our granddaughter Charlotte would have loved it.  I wanted to take pictures but no flash photography allowed.  Oops - I took one thinking I knew how to turn to flash off .  I don't.

We visited this museum for about one hour - but how interesting is a bunch of dollhouses?   Not that much to us I guess.

After church this morning we got the group together for our group picture.  Missing from the picture is Betsy Losey who is having breathing difficulties and confined to their Motorhome.

Bill Losey, Delmar and Cheryl Smith, Paul and Mary Lou Stark,
Pastor Jimmy Nelson, Phyllis and Leonard, Janet and Jim Fagerland

After church the Fagerlands and Smiths and Len and I had lunch at the Grand Buffet, a Chinese buffet that really has a little bit of everything.

Len and I went for a short ride down I19 to Desert Diamond Casino.  Hence the title of this blog.  This casino is on an Indian Reservation.

We entered through the front saying hello to two security personnel.  We got about 50 feet onto the casino floor when another security officer came up to Leonard.  She asked him if that was a knife in the sheath on his belt.   It was.   The man carries that knife most of the time.  He had to take it out and leave it in the truck.  Understandable. We wondered how many men had penknives in their pockets.   Seems to us lots of men carry them unseen.

It took all of about 15 minutes to walk the perimeter on the casino floor twice and give them a $20 donation at the quarter slots.  

I counted 14 RV's "camped" in their parking lot.   I went online and saw such camping is allowed for a 7 day period.    Don't want to do that!   I am still grieving the loss of that $20.00

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Nature calls.....

Tucson,  AZ

Friday was a beautiful day - high 60's.    Leonard and I, along with two other NOMADS couples, decided this would be a good day to see the Tucson Botanical Gardens.   

The garden sits on 5 1/2 acres in the heart of Tucson.  It was originally the home of Bernice and Rutger Porter, dating to the 1920's.  They built their home from adobe bricks made on the property.

Paul and Mary Lou Stark from NY
Jim and Janet Fagerland from ND
and Leonard and Phyllis

An attraction of the garden is the Tropical Greenhouse.  From October to April it is filled with tropical butterflies.   When you enter you go through two doors separated by a small room so that none can escape.  When you exit you are checked over by an attendant and also exit through two doors.

One butterfly, a Blue Morpho from Central America, landed on Janet's neck.  We were afraid to touch it so called an attendant.  The poor thing had it's foot caught in her jacket.

We all went to Chilli's for lunch.    Len and I then drove back up into the mountains to the west Saguaro National Park. 

It was Len's 62nd birthday so he was eligible to get his National Golden Age Park Pass.  To get that pass you must shown identification and pay the $10 fee.  This pass gives you admittance to Federal Recreation Lands that include U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Reclamation.   The pass is a lifetime pass.   All persons in your car are included in the free admittance.   Quite a deal!  We got his pass at the Visitor Center. (I've had mine for years, won't say how many).

Still up in the mountains and not far from the National Park is the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.  We wish we had gotten there earlier as we got there a  little after 3 and it closes at 5.  It is well worth the $14.50 per person admission.

Most of the museum is outside.  Can not imagine walking it when the temps hit 90's and above.  There are also inside displays of reptiles, fish, gems, hummingbirds.

The deer, wolf and javalina were in the park roaming freely in large fenced areas.  This woodpecker was busy trying to pull something from the ground.  I got up really close to him before he flew off.

Outside is a Desert Loop Trail a 1/2 mile walk with views of the surrounding valleys. a cactus garden, a Riparian corridor, a desert garden, pollination garden and various other interesting attractions.

What a great day except for the scary moments for me.   We took a route up into the mountains that cautioned narrow, winding road.   EEK!   It was not only narrow and winding but steep and sometimes close to the sides which were REALLY steep down.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Getting new steps.

Tucson, AZ

Just a real quick update right now.   

I have written about how the RV dealer changed out our steps in the fiver when we had work done last summer.   There was no reason to change the steps as the damage was to the back end.   At first they said they made a mistake and changed steps on wrong rig.   The new steps are up to 20" from the ground.

Last time we talked to the service rep, she said they will not give us new steps and that we have the right ones.   

So - I would not let it rest.   I went on Montana Owners club site and told them about Scott Motorcoach and their treatment of us.  I went on several others site and told my story.  Then I wrote to Good Sam Action Line and sent pictures.

Well, well.  Yesterday the NEW service rep at Scott called us.  Seems he thinks there is a problem!   He told us to call him with an address to ship out new steps and don't bother sending back the old olds as that would cost us money.    I have a cousin living near Benson, AZ where we will be headed next Friday.  She's agreed to accept the steps for us.

The Power of the Internet and making a complaint in the right direction.

Time to get to work.   Ceiling in the church about 2/5 done.  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Them is sure some big cactus

Tucson,  AZ

On Saturday we spent the day at the Saguaro National Park.   I was all set to feel smug by flashing my Golden Age Passport and getting in free.   No need.  It was a FREE day for everybody.   This park is actually in two locations - one on the east side of Tucson and one on the west.

The two parks preserve 91,000 acres in the Saguaro Desert, including the park's namesake, the saguaro cactus.

These cactus can live to be 200 years old.  It takes about 50 years to grow 7 feet and many grow much taller.   They start to sprout "arms" around 75 of age.  The huge ones can weigh as much as 16,000 pounds. 

Until recently the Saguaro population has been decreasing.  However, in the last two years there has been an increase in the survival rate of the plants.

At the park, we took one small walk on a paved path.   I found this cactus in bloom along the trail.

In the west park
Looking out from the west park to what appears to be several reservoirs.


To my blogging friends - once again I am having a problem keeping an internet connection.  Signal goes in and out.  In fact, I have worked two days on this post, keep shutting down.  Therefore, having difficult time keeping up with you!   I am trying to be patient, not working.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Warm weather and all

Tucson,  AZ

As I talk to friends and family around the country, we are in the right place weather wise.  It is expected to be in the 70's all this coming week.   Sounds good to us!

Today we welcome Erik of Erik's RV Journey and Beth of Wylie Wanderings to our blog.  Glad to see ya'll.

Our NOMADS project here at Hope United Methodist Church is 1/3 completed.   As it was timely taking down the tiles in the church sanctuary,  almost everyone pitched in on Thursday.   Instead of 3 of us pulling down tiles and pulling out the nails and staples from the ceiling, there were 6 of us.   We should be done this part of the job on Monday and start installing the new tiles.

On Friday Leonard and I did some sightseeing.   We drove about 15 miles south of here to visit the ICBM Titan Missile Museum.   During the cold war from 1963 to 1989 there were 54 Titan Missile sites installed.  They were in Arkansas, Kansas and Arizona.   This is the last remaining site and it was turned into a museum.  The costs to tour is $9.50/$8.50 seniors and takes about an hour.   

After watching an 8 minute movie and walking around the grounds, you walk down 55 steps to the secure area.   This area was staffed by 4 military personnel who worked 24 hour shifts.  This door leading into the command center weights over 6 tons but is hung such that even I can easily pull it open or shut.  The walls down there are from 4 feet to 8 feet thick.

This is the control center.   We were shown the various steps that would be taken should there ever have been an order from the President to employ a missile.  

We saw an actual missile that is secured behind partitions.  I did not get a full picture of it.  Close enough for me, I say.

Scary stuff, indeed.

After our tour we found a Mexican restaurant and came away full.

We then went to the San Xavier Del Bac Mission.  This mission was founded in the 1600's.  I believe this actual building was built in the mid 1700's.

Front of the Mission
Taken from the back

The courtyard overlooking Tucson

The main sanctuary

Hope church has a "game night" one Friday a month.   We got back yesterday in time to attend.   People bring various snacks and their game of choice.  We learned a new game called Five Down.  Len and I played against another NOMAD and the Pastors' brother.   I am proud to announce this is the first time we played this game and out of three games, we won twice.

In a little while we are heading out to Saguaro National Park which in just a little east of Tucson.   Hoping for a nice day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Arrived in Tucson on a sad day.

Tucson, AZ

We arrived in Tucson about 12 noon on Saturday.   We got the rig set up, including the TV.   How sad we were to hear what happened only miles from here just a short time earlier.   Impossible to make sense about something like this.   A beautiful day with folks going about their business and because of one person's derangement, so many lives are changed forever.   

This is the first time we have actually been in the residential area of a town while doing a NOMADS project.  We are parked right next to Hope United Methodist Church only about 1 block from I19 in the southeast section of town.

Directly behind us is an Olive Tree.   I had never seen an olive tree before.  I am wondering at what point are those olives okay to eat.  I was told by the maintenance man here they first have to be cured in lye.....could that be possible?

Len worked organizing the work shop and then installed a railing they found laying around.  

Oops!   It seems the part of the building they found these railings is being rented by the Pastor's brother for his landscaping business.   He uses railings on his truck when taking away debris.  He graciously told the guys -" That's okay keep them, I'll get something else.''

As for me, I helped rake up the playground and then walked the perimeter of the property picking up trash.

Today I finished trash detail while Leonard dug trenches for electrical wiring.   After my trashing was done, I worked in the church.   We are taking down old ceiling tiles and will be installing a new, dropped ceiling.  Phew, this was hard work.

One of the missions this church has is the Sidewalk Sunday School, even though they have it on Tuesday.  Each Tuesday Pastor Jimmy has this on the corner in front of the church.  Neighborhood children are invited to attend. 

When we were through working for today, we had to go to WalMart to pick up prescriptions.  I could not even think about coming back to the rig and cooking dinner.  So Denny's it was.  

Oh yes, we saw lots of trains as we drove from Deming to Tucson.   Long, long trains.  Long, long, long trains out in the desert.  Sam, this ones for you!