Sunday, December 6, 2015


There is nothing like calling the service repair place to see how they are coming along on your rig to find out they just discovered that your coach had been broken into and completely trashed and you were robbed. UGH! Can I say a swear word here? S#!T

There is a deep feeling of utter dispare in the the pit of my stomach because I have no idea as to how bad it is.  On top of that I am recovering from eye surgery and am suppose to be taking it easy. DOUBLE SWEAR! 

This was on Friday, December 4 at about 11:00 a.m. The owner of the repair shop tried to call the police but they said I had to call them and be there when they arrived. I hopped into my car and headed out to Oklahoma City thinking "I didn't need this right now, I just need my rig to be fixed and to be on the road heading south." Needless to say I was not a happy camper. 

I pulled into the lot, got the keys to the rig and found a ladder to get up into the rig as there's no power to the steps. I was hesitant to open the door not
knowing what I would find. What greeted me for the moment was a nightmare as I had to be very careful not to disturb a crime scene.  

I called the police and reported the break-in. While waiting for them I did a quick look about to see what if anything had been taken. Whoever had been in my coach had taken most everything in the overhead bins out and dumped it on the floor.  They ripped up a Dooney and Bourke wallet looking for money.  They maybe got all of $3.00, the wallet was worth more than what they took.

Looking at the destruction was overwhelming, however it could have been so much worse. They could have taken the syrup, mustard and ketchup and emptied the bottles all over the place. They could have taken all of my Tastefully Simple stock that I had in the rig and stole it or dumped it all over the place which they didn't. So for
that I am blessed and very thankful that they didn't.

Officer Moon came out and took a report and pictures. She was very nice and had a calming effect, I liked her. She kind of reminded me of "Officer Janko on Blue Bloods." She did the Oklahoma City Police Department South-side proud as far as I am concerned. 

Once the report was made and pictures taken, I had to lock up and head back to Norman for a Doctor's appointment.  The second shot of a two stage Pneumonia vaccine that takes a year to administer but I will never have to have it again. I went to bed totally exhausted and my arm was in pain as the shot hurt like a son of a gun. I could barely lift my arm to get my jammies on. I woke up in the middle of the night suddenly thinking that I did not remember seeing the hood of my coach.  Did they take that too? Needless to say I didn't get much sleep.

I called shop first thing Saturday morning to check on the hood and they had it stored in the shop. Whew!!! One less thing to worry about. Later that morning I went to a Winnebago Club Christmas luncheon at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.  It was very nice and the food was very good. Anything to take my mind off the present situation.  Anyone can go and have a nice lunch there. Afterwards I headed back over to the shop where the coach was and started cleaning up and getting things put back where they belong. 

It was then when I realized the vandals had stolen my new fireplace heater.  I had just purchased it at the beginning of October and was looking forward to using it this winter to warm my coach. Looks like I will have to add it to the police report. 

One of the things that I thought they had made off with was the Christmas presents for the boys but low and behold I found them.  They had been pulled out and dumped on the far side of the bed, but not broken, small wonder since some of the gifts had been made from fragile balsa wood. 

I spent the rest of the afternoon getting the coach put back together and looking like normal.  It was close to 5:00 p.m. when I started to shut things down as I was running out of daylight.  I did a double check on the windows and discovered the vandals had unlocked a large side window in the coach so I got that relocked. I guess they thought they would come back and get more...wrong! 

I went back into the shop to give the owner my keys for the evening. He looked at me and remarked that he couldn't see how I could be smiling to which I remarked, "I can either let this get me down or I can see good things come from it and I choose the latter!" He came over and gave me a big hug then turned to a customer and said " She always has a smile on her face!" 

A lot of people will ask if I have any recourse. No, not really. There was no damage to the coach. The item taken does not meet the minimum deduction for insurance. It will be easier for me to just replace it. It is just time out of my day...sweat labor if you will that I will pay. In 19 years the owner has only been hit 3 times, not enough to install razor wire and fencing or guard dogs. He does have cameras but the police do nothing unless it is a violent crime. So as they say S.O.L. 

I have many blessings in my life.  This little incident turned out to be a blessing.  There is so much that could have been so bad. I figure it was kids who really didn't know what they had in front of them. There was so much for them to take or destroy, they had no idea.  If all they took was a fireplace heater, then they needed it more than I did. I can replace it. I can forgive them, for it is in my heart to do so. Isn't that what Christmas is about? Love and forgiveness? 

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Day to Celebrate, A Day to Reflect, A Day to Rejoice...

When Christie and I started out on our trip it was with purpose. One year previous her daddy suddenly passed away on her 31st birthday.  The day had started out in celebration, filled with fun texts back and forth and pictures on Facebook, then at 3:30p.m. I had to call my darling daughter to tell her that her daddy had died. I had to call both of my girls.  It was a call that I dreaded. I was not left alone from the time that he died until family arrived.  Everything was a blur after that and it is a blessing that I had wonderful people around me to help. The outpouring of love from my neighbors I can never repay, only pay it forward. 
Dave and his infectious smile

Dave and I had a plan. That plan was for me to retire in December and we were to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC in April.  I vowed that I would keep that promise. I bought my motorhome in November and haven't looked back. 
Isabella "Izzy" my motorhome

This year when late March arrived Christie and I loaded up the dogs and headed east to be in Washington for her Birthday which happened to fall on Easter this year.

Think about it.  Easter, the most holy day of the year. You are celebrating the Risen Lord, your dad's first year in heaven and your birthday all in one day. WOW! Who can say that?
Tulips blooming in the Bishops Garden

We got up and dressed and made our way to the Cathedral only to find that we had to have tickets to get in.  No where on the website did I see where I had to order tickets for Easter Services. Well bummer.  Christie and I took time to walk around the Cathedral. It is strikingly beautiful and built in the old masters ways.  Part of it was under repair due to the damage done to it by the earthquake several years before.  The gardens were beautiful and a delight to walk through.

We then found a wonderful place for an Easter brunch at Chad's Friendship Heights. The table covering was butcher paper and I drew a birthday
Happy street art
cake for Christie.  We started with an appetizer of fresh pita and hummus with a birthday celebratory drink of Samoans. She had smoked salmon, capers, cream cheese with bagels and I had corned beef hash and poached eggs.

Fresh made pita and hummus
Smoked Salmon with Cream
 cheese capers and bagels
After our meal our waiter brought Christie a beautiful blueberry cobbler with hand churned vanilla ice cream bought by him for her birthday treat.  How sweet of him! I guess he was paying attention while I drew her cake on the table. We even saw the Easter Bunny. He gave me a hug when I went back in to get my cane which I was constantly leaving behind.  
Poached eggs with hash
 and potatoes

We went to the Tidal Basin to see if the Cherry Blossoms had started to open.  After searching high and low, we only found one.
No Cherry Blossoms were open

The only Cherry Blossom that was open

We then visited the         Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial which is quite large and the Martin Luther King Memorial which was very impressive. 

 President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Waiting in the soup line during the
Great Depression

The look of despair on the faces of men
who once had everything

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

One of many of King's quotes
at the memorial
After seeing more sites of Washington we went to Franklin's for dinner.  The old general store is over 100 years old, the restaurant is much newer. We started with an appetizer of wings, Christie had pulled pork and I had bacon wrapped meatloaf. 

Pulled Pork, slaw and fries

Bacon wrapped meat loaf,
sweet potatoes,
 Italian green beans

I picked up several gifts for the boys for Christmas which is a good thing.  The only person I have to shop for is my son-in-law this year. 

I wanted my daughter's birthday to be filled with special memories of a beautiful day meant just for her.  I think I succeeded.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Checking Out DC...Ahoy There, Who Goes..

I've been a little remiss in posting my stories, as so much has been going on. Behind I am on photo editing and it is getting the best of me. However, I will persevere and get it done. 

Saturday arrived 4/4/2015, Christie and I had decided to go explore DC. After our morning chores, walking the dogs, picking up poop and knocking off five ticks that had started to crawl up onto Christie's legs...yes, I said the dreaded T word, we secured the dogs, buttoned up Izzy and departed for downtown DC.  

The find the Washington National Cathedral.
One of the gargoyles is the head of Darth Vader.  
Darth Vader Gargoyle
The rest of DC was built over a swamp. Hetty our Garmin decided to take us the longest way through the most interesting neighborhoods which Christie and I found to be well, interesting...a conglomeration of humanity.  
The architecture was fascinating. We even passed by Embassy Row and saw the Canadian Embassy. The Saudi Ambassadors Residence
Saudi Arabian Ambassador Residence
was a little ostentatious in my estimation. 

On the way to the Cathedral we went by the Navy Ship Yard, there were several destroyers in dry dock being worked on. Boy those are some big ships. My dad was a Navy man and always had a
In for service
healthy respect for those ships after almost being washed overboard during a storm one time. He said that is why you always wore your storm equipment and snapped your safety lines to the railings when you went outside. 

After finding the Cathedral we decided to go to Annapolis where the Navy teaches young men and women to be future leaders in our military. It is an amazing complex situated on the Chesapeake Bay 123 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Annapolis has one of the oldest State houses in the country, left over
The oldest State House in America
from the American Revolution
One of the many boat moorings
                                                            and still being used.  

We wandered about taking in the sights and sounds of Annapolis and discovered there was a tour boat about to leave so we scurried...ha! More like a fast as
Ah, a good cup of Joe!

 I can mosey, to the boat, paid our fee and boarded and found a seat. It was quite a history lesson and a nice but brisk ride. Going out the wind was in our favor but coming 
Sea Gull looking for a handout
back...I had to head below or be blown away. We managed to get some nice pictures as we toured the inlet and even saw the channel marker where George
Washington's ship got stuck on a sand bar and he had to spend the night aboard until high tide the next morning before the ship could float off before making it into the harbor. It now is home to an Osprey nest. We saw some cadets out on the water in their sailboat doing maneuvers. 
Future leaders honing their sailing skills!

Amazing the history in these places...if the boardwalks could only talk and the taverns as well. One of the taverns was over 200 years old.  Oh the
265 year old tavern, oh the stories...
stories those walls were the secret keepers of. 

We spied Alex Haley, author of "Roots" reading to some children.  Haley was a favorite son of Annapolis.
Area dedicated to Alex Haley
As the sun faded into the west,
Time to head back to DC
we headed back into DC to find a place for dinner. Christie searched one of her apps and found a place called Duke's Grocery which is a British Restaurant which is inspired on an East London hangout offering farm fresh cuisine and craft cocktails.  Actually it is a small hole in the wall yuppie bar, but
The awesome burger, double decker!
the food was outstanding. I would defiantly give it a 5 star rating for food and atmosphere. 

After Dukes we walked back to the car where Christie managed to snag a handicap spot and we left to view DC at night.  We went over to the WWII memorial where she went and got some pictures of the memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, Korean Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. I was done for so she parked me and did the sight seeing. I would have loved to have seen it, but it will have to wait until the next trip.
Oklahoma Representation at WWII Memorial

Pacific Theatre Representation at WWII Memorial

Dusk at the WWII Memorial

Center Fountain at WWII Memorial

Vietnam Memorial and Washington Monument
Soldiers carefully walking the rice paddies at
the Korean Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial

We made our way back home to Izzy, did our nightly routine and hit the hay. It was almost celebration time...the countdown was on...sweet dreams, sweet 
baby girl... 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Izzy's Dilemma...and Shopping...

About 4:00 a.m. in the morning as predicted the thunderstorms rolled in.  I was glad I had pulled in the awning as there was a pretty good wind blowing outside. Poor Bear...he is terrified of storms, but as long as he could squeeze himself into a corner he was okay.  

We didn't roll out of bed until later as we decided that we needed to get the coach looked at. The day before I had contacted a service station that said they would look at the coach and to bring it it. So around 10:00 a.m. we secured everything, raised the jacks and very carefully drove through the park. Along the way we spotted some wildlife. Christie
A young female deer walking amongst the trees.
drove behind me so if I had to signal and get over she could get over first creating a space for me, then I could go and be safe in doing so. Thankfully the service station was not far way.  

The station owner tried to help me.  He spent over an hour trying to hook up his computer to reset my ABS warning light (little did I know that a wire for my cigarette lighter plug in was loose and there was no way anything was going to work). At the moment my brakes were working, thank goodness.  The poor man was getting drenched as he was having to work in the rain.  After no success he sent me to another Shell station down the street who couldn't be bothered with me and my dilemma and on top of that, bad mouthed the poor man who was black and foriegn and had just spent all this time trying to help me and had recommended this other station. Then they sent me to a place that didn't even exist. I wanted to scream.  

I told Christie I needed to get gas as I was running low and she suggested we head the opposite direction from the park.  We did and found a gas station with pumps facing the correct way (yea!). I got out and started to fill up when I noticed a big rig gas tanker.  I told Christie to finish filling Izzy and Libby as I wanted to talk to the driver of the tanker. I told the man my dilemma and he immediately recommended R & S Spring Shop.  I thanked him, told him he was an angel and wished him a Blessed Easter to which he beamed. We hightailed it back to the Park and got Izzy re-parked and made our call to R & S Spring Shop. We were told to bring it in on Tuesday as it was too late on Friday plus it was Easter Weekend.

We decided to stick close to home so to speak and did some grocery shopping, ate lunch at the Silver Diner which prepares all their food fresh from local farmers, it was very, very good! Went to Dick's Sporting Goods and bought a rain jacket and some neat hiking pants and a new sleeping bag for me, then went to DSW Shoes and bought some rain boots and a new wallet, again for me.
Rain Boots
Wallet to match

Friday turned out to be a fun shopping day.  We finished the day off by going to Chevy's Fresh Mex Food Restaurant, which was not far from the campground.  It was awesome.  Our waitress was Ida, a beautiful woman who lost her young grandson

I had to get a picture of this most lovely and gracious lady
who brought joy to our meal amidst her own sorrow.
six months earlier, was trying to help her daughter get through her loss, we could empathize with her, having to get through our own loss.   We ended our meal in prayer with Ida. We brought home some fabulous jalapeno jelly, cheese queso, chips and part of our dinner to snack on later.  
My dinner at Chevy's Fresh Mex

It was a great day...which ended with taking the dogs out one more time and heading to the shower house in the next loop over as the hot water heater in our shower house was on the fritz. If there is one thing I hate, it's a cold shower. We watched the weather to see how the cherry blossoms were doing and if they were near blooming, they weren't,  then we called it a night.