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Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Evolution of June 2018

June has been a fairly warm month here in Oklahoma.
We have been lucky enough to get some good soaking rains and even a couple of days that were quite cool to help offset the heat.

June is our granddaughter Cooper's birthday.
We got to celebrate it in style with her.
She wanted to go to Cheesecake Factory for her big day, so we had a nice big table of family to celebrate her day.
In true fashion they sang "Happy Birthday" to her.
There really are no words to describe this young lady.
She is 10 yrs. old now, and acts like an adult.
What a beautiful sole she has.
We are so very proud of our Cooper.

Celebrating Father's Day this month also, we had the guys in our lives over to have a cook out.
So very blessed to have a great "second" dad.
Louie is a wonderful guy and sports the age of 92 quite well.
My husband is also a great guy in my life.
Appreciate his taking on my son Anthony at a young age and being such a positive influence in his growing up.
Then of course I have to mention my one and only Anthony.
What a great dad and family man you are.
So extremely proud of what you have become.
Happy Father's day guys.....I love you all very much.

Chuck, Bronco and I packed up and headed to Missouri for a couple of days.
We didn't take the Taj-Mah-Hauler as we had friends to stay with at their home.
Pat and Heika graciously invited us to come to Table Rock Lake and visit.
This was a short 5 hour drive to their place.
The drive there was really nice....and even Bronco seemed to calm down and ride well.

We got to see how Bronco acted in a boat.
She did quite well....until she saw a bridge.
Thought Pat was going to jump out of his skin when Bronco let out one of her piercing barks to let us all know that there was a bridge coming up....LOL
You have to stay alert with this dog..

We enjoyed the hospitality of Pat and Heiki.....and now they are going to have to come and visit us in Oklahoma.

We got home to the news that Jimmy and Terri Manhart were going to be in the area so we were going to have them out to the house and do some catching up on their travels.
It was a nice but short visit.
So short that I forgot to get a pic of them here....OOPS!
We had a great dinner at Swadley's and once again our friends seemed to like our choice of BBQ restaurants.
Wish we would have been able to spend more time with them, but they have family in Moore to keep them quite occupied.
Terri tells me they are camping in their new trailer at Thunderbird Lake and their son and his family would be joining them for the 4th of July holiday.
So glad they took time out to come and see us....and hope they do it again soon.

Other than that little trip we have been a bit dull and boring.
It has been very humid here and it just really seems to zap me quickly.
The grass is growing like crazy due to the that is keeping us on our toes mowing.
Ahhh, life in Oklahoma.

By the end of the month we had sold our lot in Arizona.
This is a bitter sweet sell.
I am so happy that someone else thinks our lot there in Florence is a nice second home.
Sad because we are leaving some very nice friends there.
I know we will stay in touch with them, but it just never is quite the same.
With the selling of the lot, we will be making a trip back to Florence to clean out our shed.
As of the end of June we have not figured out when, but I am sure knowing us, it will be fairly quickly.
The down payment for the lot has already been sent to us, and according to the park manager we will more than likely close on the property in September when they get back to open the park up.
Congrats to the new owners....hope they enjoy that little slice of heaven.
The Taj-Mah-Hauler will be in Arizona in the winter somewhere, we just aren't sure where yet!!!
Stay tuned in for more updates.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May in Oklahoma 2018

Hope that the April Showers are bringing May flowers to your garden.
Here in Oklahoma, we have had a few small rain least that is what is happening where we live.
The rain is very spotty and if you are fortunate to live where it has rained, you are getting quite a bit in a very short time.
Out at Chukadi Acre we are not getting much of the gully washers.

We had our regular Friday Night Dinner Ride on May what better place to have a Mexican food restaurant so we could celebrate Cinco de Mayo!!!!

Nice turn out of some of our favorite peeps and of course the food and waitstaff were great as usual.

May 11th we attended the high school graduation of Brandon.
My how time has flown.....and this guy has grown as well.
It was a really nice graduation see there were only 2 in the to say it was short and sweet was an understatement.
Brandon even got up and gave a "thank you" speech that had us all in tears.
Way to go Brandon....mess up my makeup...LOL
Brandon even entertained us with a piano solo of "Amazing Grace".
This was a very nice evening celebrating the accomplishments of the Darling family.
Great job Allen, Doreen and Brandon.

Mother Day 2018 was celebrated at Fuzzy's Taco's.
I feel so lucky to be able to still celebrate a great day with my mom.
I can't say enough about our daughter in law Heather....she is a wonderful mother to our two grandkids for sure.
Love these two "mothers" so very much.

May 15th we were excited to have a couple of our friends from Arizona come and spend the night.
Bev and Ken were on their way to Arkansas, and we are a good stopping point for the evening.
We took them to our local Swadley's BBQ in Bethany, OK.
I think the reviews were in and I they enjoyed their meal.

 Don't let it be said that Cactus don't grow and bloom in Oklahoma.
This little guy has been with me for about 15 yrs now, and every May almost like clock work, I get these beautiful blooms.
Yes, it stays outside every year.
It has yet to freeze.
I just love this little guy so much.
Not sure of the species, but it winters well here in Oklahoma.
Cooper had her yearly Dance recital this month.
It was wonderful as usual.
The girl danced in three numbers this year.
She is becoming quite the dancer.
Love watching how graceful she is while up there on stage smiling with every step or pirouette.
This season comes to an end, but she will be back on the dance floor soon learning more dance moves for the next season.

 Chuck has been working hard on the outside of the Taj-Mah-Hauler.
The sun has been hard on the body of the trailer, and since we didn't have it waxed in Arizona this season, he came home and decided to tackle it himself.
This was quite an undertaking for sure.
Chuck used a product called "Wade Maid" to buff and restore the rig to its new to us luster.
This little undertaking took over a week to do.
It just takes a bit of time to crawly up and down ladders to get the 43' monster waxed to perfection.
I think we are both very pleased with the results.
Of course we have yet to pull her out of the shed to actually see what it looks like in sunlight, but we are hoping for great results.

You can see by the one picture where he has and hasn't waxed it yet.
Man, she was really dry and oxidized.....but looks like she is coming back to life..thank goodness!
We have hopes that the next cleaning will go a lot quicker and easier with this product on her.

While Chuck was busy working on the trailer, I decided to tackle the windows in the house.
It was time to get them all shiny and clean.
It took me a few days to get all 27 windows done, but I can truly say I was so happy with the outcome.
They look so good!
The vinegar and water solution I used worked flawlessly and made an easy job of cleaning the great tilt in windows we have.
I even cleaned the blinds in the garage....they were sooooo bad!  (I can't believe I am even putting a pic on here of them)
I know I always tell people to just buy new blinds when the ones in the garage get that dirty, but I was bound and determined to clean them.
A little swishing around in the bath tub that had vinegar water and a bit of soap took care of the nasty mess.
The mud dobbers have been terrible out there.
All 4 blinds wouldn't even lift due to the mud dobbers nest inside the headrail of the blinds.
This girl is quite proud of her cleaning accomplishment.

I had wanted one of the decorative farmhouse ladders I kept seeing in all the I finally found a guy that would make me one.
He was quite fast with the order and within two days he was texting me to pick it up.
I have to say it is just exactly what the spare bedroom needed.
It really is great for storage of the throws, and it looks cute as well.
Glad I finally decided to go ahead and get one.  :)

I got the windows done just in time for some more visitors from Arizona.
Mark and Martha were on their way back west and asked about stopping by and seeing us.
Chukadi Acre is always open to visitors.
We had time to take them to downtown OKC and have some BBQ at Blu's BBQ and walk over to the Bombing Memorial.
They seemed to enjoy the history that sadly we in Oklahoma know way too much about.

The next morning, Mark and Martha set sails westerly to get back to Desert Gardens in Florence, AZ.
So glad they stopped by for a short visit.

I have been seeing the "Casa Beads" on several sites, so I decided to attempt to make some.
Well, they aren't hard at all.
The hardest thing was to find the larger unfinished beads to make them.
It was fun, and I made a few of them and also gave a few away.
Just a little project to make sure I could still "craft" with the best of them....LOL

As May comes to an end, I am pretty pleased with the yard at this point.
Sure I would love to have more lush green grass, but I think I have come to the realization it just isn't going to happen.
Takes too much water to keep the fescue happy and I just hate to use all the water for grass when we might need it to it is just too time consuming watering this acre of land.

Hope everyone has had a great May and enjoyed a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Making our way back to Oklahoma April, 2018

April is here and it is time to pack up Arizona and make our way back to Oklahoma.
With all the turmoil in the park, I am really ready to get back there.

We have decided to sell the lot and just move on with our lives.
Amazing how rules can change in an instant and your once happy place is now a place you can't wait to leave.
Don't get me wrong, we love the people we have met there, but the newly elected higher ups are just making life too hard to deal with.

Chuck and I went to Benson, AZ for a couple of nights along the way home.
There is an RV Park there that has lots for sale and our friends Heike and Pat had been researching it, so we decided we would check it out.
Benson Arizona is more of the high desert, and as we find out after talking with some of the people that are living in the park, is that is gets a bit COLD in the winter.
Little too cold for our liking.
The park was very nice and there were things we liked about it, but after staying there a couple of nights we realize it probably isn't where we would want to stay in the winter.

We took out one morning and made our way to Tombstone, AZ.
Have always heard a lot about it so we had to check it out.
OK, for me it was just a glorified Frontier City that we have in Oklahoma.
Gunfights and all.
We have Bronco with us and it was looking like there was going to be a gunfight fairly soon, so we made a quick lookie lookie and made our way back to the truck.
You see, if Bronco had heard the gunshots, we know she would have gotten all excited and barked, and  barked.
One of the drawbacks to having a dog with you, but that is OK.

Next we drove to Bisby, AZ.
Quaint little town.
Reminded me of Eureka Springs, AR. and also Criple Creek, CO.
Very artsy...and oh so much history.
The mines were really a very big influence on the state of Arizona.
We had lunch at a little cafe and we sat outside and watched people.
Again, with Bronco this just works out better for us.

Back in the vehicle, we ride basically parallel to the US Mexican border.
That is pretty interesting...when you look as far as you can see, and you know that is, is all I can say.

We get back to the trailer and speak with a gentlemen that has lived in the park for quite a few years.
He tells us that this is the windy season for them.
This is an understatement....and since he mentioned it, yes it was quite windy that we decided to spend another night there and let the winds calm down a bit.
So glad we decided to do this, as the next day was pretty breezy.
Waiting out the storm in a since worked well for us.

The following day we set our sails east and make our way back towards home.
I called the place we like to stay at in Tucumcari, NM and she informs me she is booked solid.
This kinda alarms me as you just don't pull a 43' trailer over just anywhere and stay the night.
I then call the RV Park in Santa Rosa, NM....he says he is swamped checking people in right now, but to come on as he will make sure he has a spot for us.

It was about 5pm when we got there, and there were a few trailers in front of us checking in, but sure to his word, he had a spot for us.

I was glad to have this day behind us.
It is just a dull drive across a lot of empty open land.

We get set up and order dinner from the restaurant that is in the RV park.
The lady delivers it to us about 6:30pm.
Now that is service.
This is our last night on the road as we will get home tomorrow.

April 11th we are officially back at Chukadi Acre.
It is so nice to see the green green grass of home.
I am so glad to not have to come home to all the 100's of bags of leaves this season.
The people that did the yard did a wonderful job.

One big task we took on when we got back was to coat the roof of the Taj-mah-hauler with a new roof.
The Arizona sun has done a number on the body as well as the roof.
It is time to get busy doing some much needed maintenance.

Now, I have to tell you it is pretty hard to find a few days that are worthy of us working on the roof.
Chuck washed the top a couple of  times with anticipation of starting the roof, but every time we had rain in the forecast and we have to have a couple of days to get the roof done.

Finally our break came at the end of the month, and I even got up on the trailer and helped.
The product we used was Gaco Roof Coating System for those of you that are interested.
It is a two part process.
Chuck has taped off the sides of the trailer and instead of taking all the air conditions and other stuff off the rig, we opted to trim around them.
The company suggest you use two different colors when applying the roof.
This insures that you can tell where you have been.
First day we started around 8am, and by noon we were finished.
Perfect day to roll this stuff it is very thick and stringy.

Next morning we are at it again at 8am.
The day is not as good as the previous.
We are supposed to have winds coming up during the day, so the sooner we finish the better we will be.
The winds did make it a little more messy.
But again, by noon, we have finished the roof and can let it dry.

I think we are both pretty proud of the roof.
It turned out great, and we know that we are protected for quite a few years to come.

This concludes the month of April for us.
On to May!!!! 

Friday, March 30, 2018

March in the Desert 2018

March is in full swing out here in the desert.
The amount of rain we have had since we got here in October could be put into a thimble and you would barely see it.
It is dry!!!!
But of course we are in the desert!

We have met some really nice people that are renting a lot across from us.
They are from our neck of the woods sort of!
They are from Missouri....close enough.
Heike and Pat are a wonderful addition to this group of hooligans!
In fact he calls our little row "The Outlaws"...LOL

We found out that Pat has been in charge of a lot of the mines out here in Arizona several years back, and he is the man with the knowledge to tell us all about them.
In fact, we take a little Jeep ride down Florence Kelvin Highway and make our way to Globe, AZ and we have lunch at one of their favorite spots, "Irene's Real Mexican Restaurant".
The food was great, and of course the company of our great friends was even better.
A trip to Globe always has to be followed by a visit to The Pickle Barrel, so we girls can get out shopping fix for the day!
Great day with Jerry, Konni, Ida, Steve, Heike and Pat.

Taco Tuesday has really become a "thing" to do on Tuesdays.
Our local LB's Cantina is just about the best place around.
We are so lucky to have such a great turn out of people.
Guess margaritas and tacos for two is just too good  to resist.

The corn hole games have been mainly just the usual group, until a few streets over wanted to have a get together and play a big ole game with our group.
March 7th, the vacant lot of Al's was turned into the Corn Hole Competition lot!
We all drew numbers which designated our partners and we played a round.

Jerry brought his "official" score board with him to keep score.
We really had a good turn out.

We knew that Pat and Heike would be leaving tomorrow, so we planned an evening at the local "Riverbottom Bar & Grill.
The live music even got a few up on the dance floor.
Another fun filled evening.

March 11th, our weather station showed we got some rain....LOL
I say that only because it registered .02"
Like I said earlier, not even enough to get the rigs dirty!

March 12th
Sitting on the patio this evening, we had a visitor to the area.
A coyote was standing out there just looking back at us.
Funny thing, Bronco didn't even know he was there.

Ida wants to make another trip to the quarry to get some rocks, so we head out on March 14th and do just that.
We got out fairly early as the sun is really beginning to heat up rather quickly during the day.
This is not a bad thing, as the evening still are dropping into the high 50's.
It is just about perfect!

March 17th we go to the activity center to partake in a bit of the Irish festivities.
We really didn't stay that long, but at least I got pics of a few of us wearing the green hats that were supplied on the tables.

March 19th, we decide to take a drive to Tubac, AZ.
Ida, Steve and Benji tag along in their Jeep.

We had a nice lunch and checked out all the Mexican pottery at Tubac.
It was a fun get away.

March 20th another Taco Tuesday has rolled around and we had a good group to share tacos with this evening.

March 21st.....Chuck's Birthday  :)
We had a little get together this evening to celebrate the boy getting a year older.

I had bought him his very own Corn Hole game.
The shop in Florence sells them.
They are kind of unique I think as the prisoners over in the prisons build them.
They paint them as well in all different themes.
I think the group that came for the party had a good time playing.

Heck we played until way after dark.....made for an interesting game for sure.

March 24th.
One of our newly planted cacti has decided to show off a bit and bloom.
It is an "Organ Pipe Cacti".
The bloom only last a day, but I sure did enjoy seeing it.
There are more to come as there are buds popping out all over it.

March 25-26-27
Ida decided to order blinds for her trailer from me.
They are due in any time and she has also decided to recover her cornices in the trailer.
We have set up an upholstery shop in her shed.
This was quite an undertaking, and with the help of Steve (he took off the old fabric) Ida and I were able to get the cornices done before the blinds show up.

The blinds are here and the fun begins.
Chuck and Steve have their work cut out for them installing the new blinds and cornices.
I am happy to report that they are all in and I think the finished product look wonderful.
I think Ida was very pleased with the outcome.

If you didn't know it, the guys have been playing Disc Golf.
They even come up with a name for their group...."The Cholla Chunkers"....since they are always flying the disc into the dreaded Cholla!
I contacted our son with Pro Line Designs and had some shirts made for the guys.
They showed up just in time for the guys to debut them on one of their recent games.
Pretty spiffy if I say so myself.

Our last Taco Tuesday for us was quite a big get together.
Our friends Lesa and Larry joined us as well.

It was a nice evening seeing them before we start packing up to head back to Oklahoma.

Hopefully we will see them next season.

March 30th.
It has come to our attention that our rig is in violation of a rule in the park.
This rule has not ever been discussed until someone decided they needed to stick their nose in other peoples business.
You see we have a toy hauler....and the back opens to make a patio.
We have designed our beautiful lot to accommodate our rig as it sits.
The powers that be have decided that our "patio" area is sticking over into the "common area" by 27" and we have to move it forward or close it.
Funny how this hasn't been an issue until this year.
It isn't a permanent structure and can be raised at any time.
When we purchased our lot we discussed with the developer this exact thing.
He assured us since it wasn't a permanent structure, there would be no problem.
Well, guess what!

I will not bore you with the details of this little ongoing argument, but it looks like we would have to move the rig forward and by doing this, all our patio pavers won't line up with our rig and our outdoor TV will no longer be able to be viewed from sitting on the patio.  Instead, one would be back in the unlevel driveway gravel.
This is just not how it was designed to be used.
It is at this point in the game just that....The point.
We have done nothing wrong.  It is actually a new rule that the newly elected board of directors have chosen to accept.
All our plans for our lot were given to the appropriate people and signed off on 2-3 years ago.
Now because someone has decided to worry about our 27" of air that we are intruding on the common ground instead of worrying about some of the real issues in our park we have decided that we will not be coming back to Desert Gardens for the next season.
In fact, we will be selling our lot.
It is not fair to have floating rules that are made and taken away in a whim.
I guess this is part of being in a Co-op, and not being one of the "big wigs" that make the rules.
I am totally sick over this whole mess.
We aren't the only ones they have picked on, but we are the ones that will not tolerate it and will do something about it.
You can't fight city hall and you know life is just too short to sweat the small stuff.
March has really ended up to be a very sad month for us.
Chuck and I have some things we have to decide on and let this part of our life go.
More to come on this in April.

March 31st.
We attended the "Pre Country Thunder" that is held on the main street of Florence, AZ.

This is a warm up to the Country Thunder that will be happening the first week in April.
I guess it is quite a big thing here in Arizona.

It was fun to get out and enjoy some local music with some of our friends from the park.
Pretty much our last hooray for the season.

April begins tomorrow and we start packing away everything and prepare to go head back to Oklahoma.
Bittersweet right now, but we do what we have to do!!!