I’m a Teenager!!

Hello everyone, it’s your favorite dog blogger, Makena!  I thought it was time for an update on my blog, as quite a bit has been happening for me, both good and bad.  Let’s just get the bad stuff out of the way first…

OUR NEW HOME

What in the world were my parents thinking when they sold my house??  I was NOT consulted on this purchase of what amounts to a human sized dog house.  I have gone from 40 feet of floor space, to 11 feet.  I knew something was going on, because my parents kept packing up their stuff, and moving it out.  But then I noticed they were packing up all my toys, food and treats, and it was removed from the RV as well.  At that point, I became very nervous about what was happening.  That night, which turned out to be the last night in our home, I refused to sleep with my parents.  They would put me in bed, and I jumped off, and sat by the door.  They again put me in bed, and I jumped off and went by the door.  Finally they gave up, and put a blanket down by the door.  That’s where I spent the night.  There was no way I was going to let my parents leave, without taking me along.  So I slept all night in front of the door.

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Nobody leaves without me

The one thing I do like about the camper, is the booth dinette.  However, I have to stand on my paws to see the computer, as the table sits up higher than the dining table in our fifth wheel.  As you can see, it’s not as comfortable for blogging.  But I will still keep my peeps informed!

The nice part about the booth dinette is I can sit on top and look out the window.  I like that a lot.  I can get some sunshine, fresh air, and see what is going on outside.

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But there is barely enough room for my dog bed, blanket and food dish on the floor.  And when they need to get something out of the refrigerator, or cook on the stove, I get moved around.   And there’s not much space to run around indoors to play.  I’m slowly adapting to my new digs.  They promised me I would have a bigger house in a year or so.

MY BIRTHDAY PARTY!

So on to the good news.  I just turned 13 years old, so my parents decided to have a birthday party for me.  They tried to make sure that everyone practiced good social distancing during the party.  Here I am demonstrating how to keep an appropriate social distance, which is something I have spent my whole life doing.  P1060362 (1)

My friends Duffy and Finnegan attended my party, and they were busy trying to find the feral cats that hang out behind this park model.

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Si also attended, but he didn’t get the memo on proper social distancing!  I had to keep my tail down…it’s kinda like a face mask for my butt!

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Missing from my party was my Grandpa Stu.  We share the same date of birth, only 70 years apart.  Also missing was Buddy, my next door neighbor for the past two winters.  His parents had to leave early to get back to Canada.  I like Buddy, because he lets me share his recliner with him.  His mom gave us some treats before they left to celebrate my birthday.

CHRISTMAS

This past Christmas, I was again able to spend a few days with my dad’s family for Christmas.  Gary and Julia again rented a pet friendly house, in Tempe.  I was able to meet up with my cousin Simon, who just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  He just turned three years old.  We did our customary picture, but had a new addition this year.  Simon is now a “big brother” to Amira, born in September.

Currently, I have been spending a lot of time hanging out at Dave and Marilyn’s house in Yuma.  My parents have been helping them with some outdoor projects.  I like having a bigger house to hang out in, especially when I can just relax in the sunshine.

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Stay safe everyone!  Take care and thanks for following along.

Quote of the Day:  “The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” – M.K. Clinton

Honey, we shrunk the RV!

What a strange month this is turning out to be.  We hope everyone is staying safe, washing their hands often, and taking COVID-19 seriously.

Our goal this year was to lose weight.  On March 3, we accomplished that goal, shedding over 12,000 pounds!  We were up at 6 am to drive to Avondale, Arizona, to drop off our beloved 5th wheel, a 2014 Heartland Landmark, and then pick up our new home, a 2008 Host Everest camper, from Tom’s Camperland in Mesa, Arizona.  It was a very long day, and we did not arrive back in Yuma until 10 pm.  But everything went well, and we had a good experience with the staff at Tom’s Camperland.

We went from 40 feet of living space, to 11 feet!  It has been a bit of an adjustment.  Here’s the final view of our 5th wheel when we dropped it off at the dealership.

 

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Bye-bye

And the first photo of us with our “new home.”

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The next day, March 4, we began the process of moving our stuff back in!

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The above photo shows the stuff we are keeping.  We have a number of bins full of stuff that we are keeping, but not taking with us to Alaska (more on that later).  Thankfully, our friends Dave and Marilyn, who live here in Yuma, have offered us the use of their shed to store some of our stuff.  They figure this way we have to come back to Yuma someday to pick up our stuff!  Our friends Bob, Tom and Ellen let us temporarily store our food in their refrigerators.

We have made great progress, and this was our view yesterday, March 17.  The two big chairs will be going to Dave and Marilyn’s when we leave, as well as our grill.

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Here’s some interior and exterior photos of our new home, that we took at the dealership.  Once we get a little more settled in, I can take some more photos of how it looks with our stuff.

The camper has three slides.  This view shows the propane, batteries, and a slide-out tray for storage.  It also has a 2500 watt generator, and a 150 watt solar panel, to keep the batteries charged.

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Having three slides, very unusual for a 2008 model, makes the interior feel less cramped.  It has a side entry door and the couch and u-shaped dinette both fold into beds.

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It has a small kitchen, but the two drawers below the stove are very deep.

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I was pretty adamant about having a “dry bath” not a wet bath, which provides a separate shower.

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The bed is a full queen, but the way it’s oriented, means you have exactly 60 inches of width.  I’ve bumped into the wall on the right a few times.  Sometimes Dan keeps the closet door (the mirrored doors) open when he sleeps, so he has a little more elbow room.  There is an emergency escape hatch on the roof above the bed.  It’s pretty easy to open and get out if necessary.   Hopefully we will never need to use it!

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The only modification we have made so far is changing out the old 25 pound 19-inch television, to a 28 inch 7 pound LED-TV. We did this to not only get a better quality picture, but also so we could hook up our channel master DVR which needs to use a HDMI cable.

WORK UPDATES

COVID-19 has certainly created a lot of changes here at Westwind RV.  The majority of the residents here are from Canada, and they have made a rapid mass exodus over the past 10 days.  Normally people start departing around the third week of March, but with all the uncertainty, many have left early.  With Canada shutting it’s border down, and a mandatory 14 day quarantine for anyone returning to Canada, the park has rapidly emptied out.  We wish all of our Canadian friends very safe travels home.   There are a lot of folks from Washington and Oregon here.  They are in no hurry to leave!

Next week we are supposed to have a Westwind work camper appreciation dinner with the owner of the park, and new managers.  Who knows if they will still have this large gathering?  Although there have not yet been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Yuma County, Imperial County just to the West of us, in California, has had several confirmed cases.  And with testing finally ramping up, who knows what things will look like next week.

For the past several months, the golf course has been holding 50/50 raffles at the dances, as well as a raffle and golf outing, to raise money for Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.  This is an annual event, and this year, over $6,600 was raised, a record amount!  Here is a photo of our golf course pro shop staff with the local Shriner’s donating the check.  It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun as well.

Art, Terry, Jonell, Debbie, Henry, Dan and Yuma Shriner’s

ALASKA UPDATES

The reason we downsized to a camper was for our trip to Alaska.  As of now, we still plan on going.  Our plan was to cross into Canada on May 18.  Today, they closed the border in Canada to US Citizens.  A lot can happen in two months, and it is certainly going to get worse as the number of confirmed cases rapidly increases each day.  We have not made a plan B yet for the summer.  We feel fortunate to have our health, our families are safe, and if we can’t go this summer, so be it.  It’s better to stay safe.

Our friends Tom and Ellen were planning on going to work in Skagway Alaska for the summer, but that has been cancelled.  Skagway is a major port for the cruise ships.  And since the ships are not allowed to dock in Canada until July at the earliest, they stores would not have any customers until late in the summer.  They are currently looking for new summer jobs.  If you need two hardworking work campers, let me know.

Now go wash your hands!

Quote of the Day:  “Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.” – Doug Larson

 

A busy start to the new year

Happy belated New Year and New Decade!!

You would think with working just two days a week, we would be living the life of leisure, and having a lot of free time on our hands, but we have just been busy, busy, busy.  This is turning out to a year of change for us, and it has been both exciting and stressful.  So let’s get caught up…

On Christmas Eve, we picked Dan’s parents up at the Mesa Airport, about a three hour drive from Yuma.  Dan’s brother and sister-in-law, Gary and Julia, rented a house in Tempe, Arizona, for the week of Christmas.  Their three daughters were also able to fly in for Christmas.  It was nice to spend the holidays with family!  Thank you Gary and Julia for inviting us over for Christmas, as well as the matching “Minnesota Go Jump in the Lake” t-shirts that we all received!

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On New Year’s Eve, we drove Dan’s parents, Joan and Stu, back with us to Westwind RV and Golf Resort in Yuma, as they were able to rent a park model for the month of January.  We didn’t have to worry too much about them, as they had a busy month of activities, with golf, dances, block parties, and cards.  We enjoyed spending time with them, during their “free” time!

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Fridays and Saturdays have been busy with work, as well as volunteering at the Friday night dances, and attending the Saturday night concerts in the ballroom with Tom, Ellen and Bob.  Dan and I are both involved in several golf leagues on our off days.  I have played more golf in the last three months, then I have in ten years.  We sell tickets for the 50/50 raffle at the dances, to raise money for Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.  Last year they raised close to $5000 from the raffle, and this year we should exceed $5,000.00.  Here we are with Henry and Terry, the Golf Shop Managers (and former co-workers of ours at Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota).

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We have seen several excellent concerts, including a tribute to John Denver (which my sister LuAnn would have loved)…

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as well as an excellent tribute to Linda Ronstadt.

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We did manage a few trips up to Quartzsite, one for the annual RV show, and another to meet up with friends Wendy and Terry (met them work camping at Luton’s Teton Cabins).  And Wendy and I managed to find another “big chair” to sit in.

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Today we had a ‘Mardi Gras’ parade in the park.  We decorated one golf cart, to represent the golf course.  Since we were in the parade, I only have a few pictures from the staging area of some of the other decorated carts.  In addition to candy, we threw (gently) golf balls to crowd gathered in the park to watch all the decorated golf carts.  Here we are, ready to go!

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Some of the other floats…

CHANGE IS COMING!

As I have previously mentioned, we will not be working this summer (our first time in 6 years). We will spend the entire summer in Alaska traveling with friends Karen and Al, as well as two other couples (one of which we just met this week in Yuma).

We have spent the past month or two seriously looking at various RV’s, as we don’t plan on taking our 5th wheel to Alaska.  We have looked, and talked with dealers in Oregon, Michigan, Las Vegas and several in Arizona, regarding Class A’s, Class C/B’s and truck campers.  Ultimately, we decided to go with our original plan of getting a truck camper. It will make it easier for us to get into many of the smaller campgrounds, allow us to boondock (camping without hookups) more often, and make us much more mobile.

This year, Westwind RV enforced the rule of no truck campers allowed in the park.  So we spoke with management regarding our plans of picking up our camper in March.  They advised that we would not be allowed to stay in the park.  Our friends Dave and Marilyn, who have a house in Yuma with a 30 amp hook-up, were kind enough to allow us to park at their place, for the month of March, and then we would leave.  We told our managers in the golf shop that we would only work through the end of March, and skip the two weekends in April that we were scheduled to work.  We had also advised them that we would not return next year, as we would not be allowed to stay in this park with a truck camper.  And, we did not want to rush to purchase something else after our Alaska trip.  They were fine with all of this.

Well, three days after we got all the details squared away with everyone, the corporate owner of Westwind (he owns several RV and mobile home parks), fired the managers here.  And the next day, among many rule changes, they changed the rule regarding truck campers.  Any type of RV is now welcome at Westwind RV.

So now we can stay at the park and finish out our commitment for this season.  Our last day will be April 11.  We are still leaning towards not coming back next year, as we need to see what happens with all these management and rule changes.

We have been super busy going through our 5th wheel and making piles of “stuff going to Alaska” and “stuff to keep, but not going to Alaska.”  Downsizing from 400 square feet to 80 square feet has been challenging, and a bit overwhelming.  Sometimes I just have to sit down and stare at all of our crap…I mean stuff!  Fortunately, Dave and Marilyn will let us store some stuff at their house.  They are such wonderful friends!  (we promise that someday we will return and pick it up!).  Of course we still have stuff at my sister Margie’s, brother Brian’s, and Dan’s parents to sort through as well…someday!

Here’s a quick peak at what we have put an offer on, and will pick up next month.  A 2008 Host Truck Camper.  Once we pick it up, I will have a blog with more pictures, as well as an update on the downsizing!

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We hope all is well with everyone!  Until next time!

Quote of the Day:  “In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” – Abraham Maslow

 

 

 

An Electric Parade for Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our readers!  And safe travels for those who will be traveling during the holiday season.

We really enjoy working two days a week in the golf pro shop here at Westwind Golf and RV Resort.  It’s a very low stress job!  The weather has cooled down (lows in the 40’s, and high’s in the mid 60’s) making it much easier to tell the difference between a Canadian snowbird (still in shorts) and a year-round Yuma resident (pants, gloves, earmuffs, and a winter coat!)

Last Saturday was the Foothills Off-Road Vehicle Club’s annual Electric Light Parade.  Members decorate their jeeps and other off-road vehicles and go from RV park to RV park at night to show off their vehicles, and to collect donations for the Yuma food pantry.  This year there were a few hot rods added to the parade, which were a big hit with the crowd.  Enjoy!

Quote for the day:  “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple:  loving others.  Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” – Bob Hope

Back to work for the Winter

 

Life is pretty good in Yuma, Arizona, the sunniest place in the United States!  The park we are working at, Westwind RV and Golf Resort, is slowly filling up, as the Canadian and American snowbirds make their way south.  We are about half full, and should be close to capacity in January.  It has been a lot of fun catching up with the many friends and co-workers we met last year, that have returned again for another season.  In addition, our friends Tom, Ellen and Bob have joined us this year at Westwind to work.  They all seem to be enjoying their jobs, and the warm, but not humid, weather.

This year, we have new jobs, which we are both enjoying.  Last season I had a paid (minimum wage) job in the office, three days a week, and Dan worked three days on the golf course, which covered our site rent, and all utilities.  This year, we are working in the Golf Pro Shop, two 10-hour days a week.  We really enjoy working just two days, Friday and Saturday.  Here’s a few pictures the inside of the Pro Shop.

 

It’s small, but we have a great view of the first hole out the window that you see above on the right.

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Our view

We have seen many “interesting” shots off the first tee!!  Here are some views of the course, which is a nine-hole Par 3.

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This is the first hole straight ahead, with #3 on the left, and #9 fairway on the right.  One of Dan’s duties is to fish out all the balls in the pond (and there are many!).

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In exchange for our two 10-hour days, we receive our site for free, all utilities, and a $640 voucher each month which can be used at the onsite restaurant, golf shop, and concert tickets.  Our duties are taking tee times, selling merchandise (clothing, hats, gloves, golf balls), and keeping the patio area outside the Pro Shop clean.  It’s as easy as it sounds!  I don’t miss working in the office, but I do miss working with Lori and Roy.  We were able to get together for dinner, and talk about future work camping opportunities and places to explore.  We both have a lot more travel adventures in our future!

Another bonus of coming back to Yuma is getting together with friends Dave and Marilyn, that own a house here.  We have had several get togethers, and met up for the Howling at the Moon on November 12.  It was Tom, Ellen and Bob’s first experience, and they all seemed to enjoy the strange little gathering in the desert.

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Howling at the Moon

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Bob, Jim, Carol, Marilyn (Dave behind in blue shirt)

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Ellen, Tom and Dan as sun was setting behind

The sunsets in Arizona are always full of color

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And then it was time to start “howling!”  If you are ever in the Yuma area, and it’s a full-moon, you need to partake in this free festival!

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We hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving.  It looks like most of the country is going to be hit with some storms, so stay safe!

Quote for the Day:  “Of all possessions a friend is the most precious.” – Herodotus