Saturday, December 21, 2013

Mesa Regal

Gift Shop
Wow, can't believe we have been here for 2 months already! Our job here is working in the gift shop which is located on the patio right by the pools. We work on Friday & Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm in exchange for free rent & electricity. Plus we can take advantage of all the amenities which are too numerous to mention all. I take exercise classes, there's a fitness gym, we joined the computer club which offers classes & I 'm taking a Spanish class. They have a billiards room, poker room, bingo, card games, dominoes, tennis, pickle ball, bocce ball & various crafts! It would be hard to get bored. Guess that's why it's taken me so long to blog....well time management too.
We are only 9 miles from Mike's house so we get to see Abbey at least once a week. We just started taking her out on Sunday afternoons for a little while. First time was to a local airport because she loves airplanes (where does she get that from?). Last week we took her to see a collection of Nativity scenes from around the world. She's only 2 so she doesn't understand yet but she liked the animals! We really enjoy being close by.
She just had surgery to remove her adenoids & put tubes in her ears. She's had a lot of upper respiratory issues so hoping this helps. Mike, Michelle & Abbey just left to go to Memphis area to have Christmas with her family. We will miss them but the Workampers here at the resort are getting together for a potluck dinner. There are over 100 Workampers doing all kinds of jobs. There are 2000 sites of which about half are park models.
Mesa is a Mecca for snowbirds, many from Canada as well as the northwestern states, but also from the east & some from England! So we've met many new people and developing new friendships.
It's also a thriving metropolis, so many stores & restaurants. We have also found a church we really like and attend on Saturday eve when we get off work.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Zane Grey continued....

Just a few more days here in Camp Verde before heading to Mesa for the winter!  It really started to feel like Fall here yesterday.  The Cottonwood trees are really shedding their leave.  It was only 46 degrees as we headed for the rec center at 9am.  It eventually warmed up to the high 60's.  So that was our last visit to the rec center for this year.  I really loved being able to to take the classes and we were faithful to go 2 times a week for the month we were here.  We had lunch at Panda time remind us just to order one meal & share.  Oh well, it served as our dinner, too!.  On the way back I had scheduled a massage appt. here in Camp Verde.  Every time we came through this area over the summer, I had seen a banner advertising 1hour massages for $19!  Oh, why didn't I schedule sooner!?!? (well partly because it was so far from Happy Jack!)  Anyway it was a full fledged massage & after the $19 one you can get 2 a month for $25 each, if only one a month it's $40..still a good deal.  The massage therapist also works in Sedona & they charge $120 an hour!   Well everything is more expensive in Sedona!  Speaking of which on Monday after the gym we rode the Goldwng to Sedona and hiked a little at one of the trails.  I had wanted to do that since we came.  Originally I thought we were going to be closer to Sedona while in Happy Jack.  Pics follow!

We still haven't decided if we want to come back to this park to work next summer.  Another option is Dead Horse State Park in Cottonwood.  The big draw for me is that it's closer to the rec center, besides being a beautiful park, and our friends Carol & Steve just loved working there this summer.  They are headed to a state park in California for the winter..Cuyamucha in Julian, close to San Diego.  However, I'm thinking we should probably work at a park that we get paid again for the summer.  Last night I researched a place in Colorado, Mesa Verde National Park (closed now of course due to the gov shut down), but they have facilities run by a company called Aramark.  It's not that far out of AZ, in fact its called the 4 corners area, CO, UT, NM & AZ.  Anyway something to think about & getting to see new territory.  Time will tell!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Zane Grey RV Park

Well, we've been here a little over a week and a half and been busy getting the lay of the land, so to speak.  We e-mailed Terrence at Happy Jack to say we are passing on his offer to work there again next summer.  We've been kind of playing cat & mouse about working here next year.  The owners were on vacation when we got here, but they have now returned and we've kind of gotten the conversation started.  Jaque & Gary are their names.  I've indicated to Jacque that we are definitely interested, and she suggested that we are free to shadow the current hosts at any time.  Bill has talked to Gary & he seems concerned about the correct way to use the blower as well as their costs.  So guess we need to get into the working mode and see how it goes. 

As for the area, we really like it.  The traffic noise is somewhat heavy at times, but the back of the park offers lots of trees and a path down to the creek.  There's a little bench right by the creek that a I would be a good place to do my devotions.  The other day I did some yoga poses there, of course, can't do lying down ones, too rocky!  The weather is cool at night & morning, but hot in the afternoon.  Today it's super windy.

We went to the Community Methodist Church on certainly was a lively congregation and definitely felt the love of the Lord.  This Sunday we'll try Parkview...just trying to see where we will fit so if we return next spring we'll have a preview. 

Monday and today we rode the Goldwing over to Cottonwood to go to the Recreation Center which is fairly new and has a multitude of classes including in the beautiful pool.  It's about 18 or so miles, but it is so worth the drive.   Today I took a bone & balance class as well as water aerobics.  Wow, that was quite a workout...I took a couple Aleve when I go home to hopefully ward off the soreness I may feel tomorrow.
Our friends, Carol & Steve Fairbanks, that work at Dead Horse State Park told us about it.  With our Silver Sneakers membership it's free.  May have to pay $2 for some of the water classes.  Cottonwood has many more stores than here including Walmart, Home Depot, etc.  We also visited Montezuma Well and Tuzigoot National Monuments.  So many places that the Indians dwelled so many years ago.

I'm currently reading a book by Zane Grey about a woman that came west at the request of her childhood sweetheart to be his wife and partner in building a cattle ranch.  It is so interesting because of the area they are in...between Flagstaff and Payson, is  the area around Happy Jack!  It was a tough life back then.

Tuesday we drove down to Phoenix to begin the process of getting Bill's VA records transferred from Florida to Arizona.  What a huge facility.  There was a sign that said that Price of Freedom was definitely visible there or something like that, and so true!  We feel so blessed to be walking around on 2 feet and feeling healthy.

Saturday morning they have coffee and donuts/fruit here at the pavilion.  Last Saturday we met several of our neighbors and we'll meet more this Saturday.  Saturday is River Day at the state park, so we may go over there after the coffee!  Oh by the way, we bought a Nutri-Bullet right after moving here so we've been having a veggie/fruit drink for breakfast every morning.  We had started over a  month ago drinking Garden of Eden's Raw Meal drink, but I think that actually drinking the real thing will be healthier and beneficial in our quest to remain healthy as we continue into our senior years, speaking of which I have a birthday coming up next week!  More later!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Happy Jack Memories

It seems I'm always in arrears as I post, but before I start posting about our current location, I wanted to add to the few posts I've already done about our summer at Happy Jack Lodge & RV Resort.  When we arrived in late April, we found out that both Bill & I were to be working at the reservation desk/store counter.  I was fine with that, but Bill was somewhat dismayed since he thought he'd be working outside as he's done in the past.  First, learning the computer system was somewhat daunting for me, but Bill was really out of his element.  We had to take reservations for the over 100 site campground but also the 350+/- site storage lot.  End of the day we had to balance the receipts, etc.  The first few weeks got us pretty well oriented and were supposed to be gearing up for the first holiday weekend...Memorial Day.   And what a weekend it was!  Honestly, we were ready to quit.  Oh yeah, there's also a restaurant open on weekends, & we had to ring up their tabs, too.  That was the weekend that the first cook & his wife got fired!  Joe & Erica were so excited and had high hopes for the restaurant....but after working the first 3 days of the weekend, on Monday Joe passed out in the kitchen...well no sympathy from the boss...they were asked to leave!  Fortunately for them they got a gig in a Pub/restaurant in a nearby town. Speaking of towns, the closest was Strawberry (18 mi), Pine (21) both with small shops & restaurants.  Payson was 40 mi & it had a Walmart which we frequented at least every pusher week.  Flagstaff was 50 mi north, with a better selection if shopping but apr├Ęs boring ride. 
Well, then came the 4th of July weekend...this time we really were going to quit!! We even looked around for other campgrounds to move to (without a job).  Well, we figured we might as well stick it out...only one more holiday weekend to go.  We ended up giving a months notice to have our last day be 9/15/13.  Looking back, we're glad we did.  The biggest issues were the number of hours worked (which leveled out after asking for less hours) the tricky computer programs & the system going down on a regular basis,
boss yelling at the workers (fortunately not us).  Stress that caused me some GI issues. Cleaning that when you finished didn't look any cleaner!    Well now that it's over I guess it wasn't so bad  after all. At least we got paid an hourly wage & even got a $1 raise midway through the season.
We have new friends that we hope to keep in contact with.  We had a visit from a "lost pelican" that we fed until wildlife rescue came to get him!  We got to visit the kids a couple of times, including Abbey's birthday party.  The kids came up on the Sunday evening of Labor Day weekend and we got to have a cookout, as well as show off little Abbey.   The cool mountain weather...which now we are appreciating since we are now spending a month in the high desert.   So long Happy Jack!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Last Day at Happy Jack Lodge & RV Resort

I was reminded by a friend yesterday that I haven't been blogging much and that sure is true!  Here it is our last day at Happy Jack.  We gave a 30 day notice that we would be leaving early (was supposed to be mid to end of October).  There were other times early on that we wanted to leave,espeially after the first holiday weekend..Memorial Day!  The store was so busy as well as the phone that we didn't know if we would make it...but guess what, we did.  Then came the 4th of July & same thing.  We even went looking around for other RV parks where we could just chill out the rest of the summer but ended up without a decision so with that we just ended up sticking it out.  Only one more holiday weekend, Labor Day so we figured we were "seasoned" enough that we could do it!!!   We invited Mike, Michelle & Abbey to come up on that Sunday & they did!  Arrived around 7PM.  Mercy, the Mgrs' wife covered the front desk for us and we all had dinner at the restaurant.  On top of that she didn't even charge us for the food.  We weren't scheduled for Monday, so we had pancakes & bacon on the grill for breakfast and grilled burgers for a late lunch. It was so much fun to have Abbey here and you bet we showed her off! 

Today we were scheduled to work from 1-5PM, but Terrence texted us that we didn't need to work.  They are having a party for us at 5PM....well it's for all the employees, but since we are leaving & others will be leaving soon it was decided to have it tonight. 

So instead of working, we took the opportunity to borrow Kenny's quad & go for a ride.  It was our first time to ATV and that's the big thing up here, just about everyone has at least one or two or more!  And what a ride it was.  I don't think I've ever held on to Bill so tightly!  We went on one of the forest roads that are all muddy due to all the rain we've had lately!  And speaking of rain, as we were trying to find our way out of the woods it started thundering and then raining and raining.  A few time we thought we were lost, and more than once I thought we were going to tip over but that Honda was amazing taking over the hills, rocks, puddles and all and praise the Lord we finally found the main road back to the RV park.  I can see why they are so popular but I can also see why people are going for the bigger ones that have seatbelts and roll bars!  The forest roads are so much easier to plow through....we have tried it in the truck before and that was scary! (probably a little stupid too!) 

Well all for now, have to dry my hair & get ready for the party.  Going to try to attach pics later from my phone.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Party Time

Last night we hosted a dinner for our fellow work campers at Happy Jack.  We had everything set up to have it outside with our 10x10 canopy even with the screen sides.  Bill was set up to grill the was sort of an  Octoberfrst theme even though it's August.  I was inspired by the fact that I still had 2 packages of Cincinnati chili left.  I also made wsome German potato salad complete with bacon & it's grease.  Oh I just remembered I totally forgot the sauerkraut!  Oh we'll, just after everyone got here a big storm came up 
and we had to move indoors.  Now this is the first time we have had 8 people in here at one time!  But as it turned out it was much more fun & intimate of a gathering than we've had previously.  The fun began when lighting struck something nearby & it set off our smoke alarm.  I handed Kenny a bag of  shredded cheese that I forgot was opened to fan the alarm & cheese landed all over Andy as we as the carpet!  That brought apt of laughs as well as quick action from everyone to start picking up the cheese shreds..I brought out my Shark hand vac which was losing its charge, but we got most of it picked up.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the chili & Bill did grill the brats out in the rain. He and a couple of the guys had to take down the canopy.  We also discovered today that our awning got ripped in the corner.  But the good news was the conversation started after I noted that we all happened to be believers in The Lord Jesus.  Several shared stories about their faith and it almost felt like a small group Bible study.... Proving that we could possibly host a small group in the future if God wills that for us.  Unfortunately I did 't get any pics!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Birthday Party

Saturday was Abbey's birthday party...she turned 2 today!  She had friends from California there, Freya (almost 2 but bigger than Abbey & her 6 yr old sister Skyler @ their parents.  Michelle's employers & former co-worker, later came Mike's co-worker & family with 2 year old twin boys & their 6 yr old sister .., & us plus Mike & Michelle

Monday, June 24, 2013

Next Job in Ohio!

Shortly after posting our resume on the Workampers website, we got a reply from the managers of Timber Ridge Campground in Amherst, OH.  We found out that they were wintering in northwestern Florida less than 100 miles from where we were in Alabama, so we arranged to meet them for lunch about half way.  They told us about the job & campground & we decided to commit for the summer of 2012.  Discovering that Glenda & Stan were Christians made our decision even easier.  They wanted us there before May 1 so that enabled us to be able to take our time on the way to Ohio.  Our first stop was in Columbus, GA so we could spend Easter with Mike, Michelle & little Abbey, who by that time was about 8 months old.  Before that, I had gone up for a week to help when she had tubes put in her ears.  But it was sure good to see them again for another week.
 Our next stop was Cincinnati where we stayed at a Hamilton County campground.  We visited with Jan & Dave  and they also came over to see us at the campground.  Next stop was Athens County to see Carole.
We stayed at Happy Hills Campground outside of Nelsonville.  What a hill we had to climb to get there!  But we had a good time visiting Carole as well as cousin Esther.  We brought Carole out to the campground for dinner one Sunday just so she could get an idea of what our "home on wheels" looked like as well as see how we could live in so many different areas or states!  We also visited cousin Anita's family in Heath, OH.
Soon we were on our way to Timber Ridge.   It was a little disappointing as we drove in.  Let's just say it was a work in progress.  Behind to office building was an old metal open air building.  Turns out this used to be a big dairy farm and that was where they did the milking.  Now they use it for bingo and potluck dinners, etc.
There was also a good size pond as well as an indoor swimming pool!  This turned out to be one of my favorite features, as I was able to do my water aerobics 2 or 3 days a week 
We also went into Amherst 1 or 2 times a week to attend SilverSneakers classes.  We also found the Amherst Library to be one of our hotpots. 
We only worked 10 hours each to make up our 20 hours for workamping.  We usually worked all day Saturday and half day on Sunday.  They served a sandwich dinner on Friday eve for $2!   It was nice for the campers coming in on Fri night for the weekend.  It was a seasonal campground....mostly families from the area.  They also served breakfast on Sat & Sun AM's for $2!!!!  We collected the $$ on Sat.  Also Bill was the ice cream man for Sat. afternoons.  Looking back it was probably the easiest job we've had.  They used
a Campground Manager software, so that was good to be able to put on our resume. 
The other great thing is that one of the couples there offered to teach a "clown school", so I said why not...
And so my clown character was born!   Glenda aka "Joy"  and one of the other workampers Bob as well as a few other adults and about 4 youngsters took classes for 9 weeks.  At the end of our class we put on a show for the campground. It was a lot of fun and we all got official certificates!  
One couple that we met there became friends and we still communicate occasionally by email.  We also found a great church...Church of the Open Door and joined a small group that met at the pastor's home.  We also helped out with their Vacation Bible School while there.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Beginning to Blog: Arizona Life!

We've been in AZ almost 2 months! We stopped in Tuscon to met Pam and her family for lunch at Cracker Barrel. We hadn't seen Daun for over 15 years and got to meet her 2 younger kids, as well as Samantha her oldest who we saw the last time she visited Pam in Florida. Pam & Samantha have recently rented an apartment together. Pam is working for a temp agency & Sammy is working & going to college.
We got into Mesa late afternoon and headed for the Mesa Regal Resort. We hadn't made reservations, but luckily we were able to get a site there. Mike, Michelle & Abbey came to greet us as well as Mike helping getting the Goldwing off the trailer. We discovered in Tuscon that the bike had tipped and broke several of the straps, so the 1-1/2 ride from there to Mesa was made a little more stressful. But somehow (angels?) had righted it up along the way.
Since we were to babysit for Abbey on Good Friday, we went over to there house a few times that week to get reacquainted with her. She was shy at first but it didn't take too long to warm up to us....especially with Bill pushing her around in her Little Tykes car that we had gotten her for Christmas. She is such a cutie, she loves to "dance" whenever she hears music! That Friday we took her to the park. It was just fun to be grandparents enjoying the day! We also had Easter dinner at their house and realized it had been Easter time last year when we had seen them last!
We were also called into duty the following week when Abbey developed an ear infection & fever & couldn't go to nursery school for a couple of days. It'll be nice when we are back down there (in the "valley") in the fall so we can be the support system for Mike & Michelle.
The Mesa Regal Resort was so appealing that we put our resume in and secured a workamping job there for the fall. We'll work in the gift shop for 2 six hour days a week. That will pay for our site as well as our electric. No pay, but we have all the amenities to enjoy...3 pools, 2 hot tubs, sauna, exercise classes, computer lab, hobby classes, tennis, pickleball, bocce ball as well as entertainment. It's like a little town and you hardly ever have to go off the property as there is a grocery store within walking distance!
Now we are up at our summer job at Happy Jack Lodge & Resort. I'll write about that on my next post!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Goodbyes continued....

Saying goodbye to Carole was fairly quick & easy as her therapists were still working with her helping her get a shower & get dressed. She had just put on one of the new outfits I had purchased at Walmart (with her money). She looked good in the turquoise color top & pants. Sorry I didn't take the time to take a picture. A quick hug & then hugs to both Cheryl & Mark and I was on my way. No time for tears as I knew she was in good hands.

After stopping at the Havar office to turn in the apartment key & talking briefly to Carla, then gassing up the the Fiat I was on my way to Dayton Airport. Roads were good all the way but Columbus definitely had more snow. When I stopped at a rest stop I almost got run over by a snow plow! Had to park with the big boy trucks and trudge through the snow and slush to the restroom! Proud of myself for getting to the airport in plenty of time. Treated myself to a matcha latte. Discovered the benefit of match a tea at the tea room in Cinti as well as an Internet post saying how many anti oxidants it has. Definitely plan upon buying some soon & adding it to my stash. It did give me a bit of the jitters but could have been the sugar or the trip anxiety.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saying goodbyes

Hard to believe I've been back from Ohio over a week and haven't written since then. When I woke up the last day there was about 2 inches of snow. Been a long time since I've had to clean the snow off my car! Luckily it was just a little Fiat. I loved that little thing. So fun to drive...had the option of shifting gears without a clutch or just using automatic..after I figured out why I couldn't go faster! Good thing I didn't ruin the transmission. Anyway, got to meet Carole's OT & PT therapists and made me feel so much more confident about her progress and care. They assured me she was doing well and should be home in the allotted timeframe. They do a home inspection first and make sure of all safety features needed. Since Carole won't be going back to her job is another plus. She called McDonalds from the rehab & told them she quit...good for her! There are no steps in the apt bldg and her neighbors will look out for her. She'll still have Havar services and home health visits too. So praying that all will go well there. I was able to stop at Havar and talk to Carla the program Manager before heading to Dayton airport.