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Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Wrap Up

Hello to all! Hope this finds each of you doing well and enjoying this winter and holiday season! I have been slowly putting together an update, particularly for those of you that we do not connect with regularly via Facebook... so the following is a catch-up post of the past few months.

The time has been flying by since we returned to Tucson in September!  Life is good here for us in the desert southwest, and we feel truly blessed!

We have mostly just enjoyed our home and worked on projects. First order of business was Tom's shop... since this small building at the end of our carport was  unfinished, Tom insulated and drywalled the interior, taped and painted, put in good lighting and installed the cabinets. Turned out to be a very nice workspace, and it's good to be organized and have places for tools, plus a handy place to work on projects. 

The desert southwest is quite special... we spend lots of time on our back patio enjoying the views, birds and wildlife!

The back of our house from across the arroyo
In October, Kathleen & Mike came to visit for a couple of days on their way back to their home at Jojoba Hills SKP Park near Temecula, CA ... great fun to have them in our neighborhood as they parked their new motorhome at Gilbert Ray Campground... a beautiful, new-to-them, smaller traveling rig! We had good visits and fun times together... took in a movie, did some shopping and ate Mexican food. Thank you, dear friends, for your visit! See you down the road!
Kathleen, Mike, Dianne, Tom

And, Sue & Paul made a quick stop on their way back to Lake Havasu City... it's just the best when friends come to visit!!! 

Great that many of our RV friends travel to and through the Tucson area... a bonus for us living here! Julie & Mike are at a nearby RV park for the month of December, and we have enjoyed time with them again! Others come and stay nearby for the winter... Lynn & Roger and Diane & Dave are in Casa Grande for three months, and they all drove down one day for a visit! We so enjoyed their company, and enjoyed seeing them all at their "winter home" for a day in December!
Lynn, Roger, Dave, Diane, Tom

Dianne, Don, Sherri
Beverly & Mac
Beverly, Sherri, Dianne
In mid-November I flew west to spend a few days with my parents in Fallbrook, CA. My sister Sherri and I met at the airport in Las Vegas and went on together. Lots of good visits with Sherri,  Mom & Dad, and our brother, Don. Had a nice brunch on the veranda of the Grand Tradition one day, Sherri and I took Mom for a day outing of lunch and beach walking to celebrate her "89-1/2 birthday," and Mom and Dad treated us to a lovely lunch in the wine country of Temecula. Also, was nice to have an afternoon visit with my nephew Drew and his beautiful family. And, fit in short visits with friends Patty, and Gloria & Steve. A very busy and special time with all!

November also took us to Lake Havasu City, AZ for a fun time at the home of RV friends, Sue & Paul... best accommodations and hospitality, and we enjoyed a wonderful week of Thanksgiving together! Thanks for everything! See you all again soon!!!
L-R... Tom, Dianne, Sue, Paul, Nancy, Dave, Brad, Marilyn
Good times!
As we headed back to Tucson, we detoured to Quartzsite to meet up with friends from New Brunswick, Canada. We first met Carol & Clinton nearly two years ago here in Tucson... Carol is the one that taught me Swedish Weaving. She does beautiful work, and I will be forever grateful for her patience in teaching me this art. We had a great catch-up visit, and look forward to more time together later this winter!
Tom, Carol, Clinton
Tom, Dianne, Sandy, Paul
Next up, long-time friends Sandy & Paul stopped for a couple days on their return trip to Houston following Thanksgiving in the desert with family. As always, it was great to spend time together... fun to see their new truck and 5th-wheel! We did a bit of shopping, ate BBQ, and chatted lots! Thanks for making time to visit us!

In between these visits, we have worked on projects at our house... I say "we," but it is mostly Tom that does the work, and I so appreciate his talents! I'm just the helper, when I'm not in the way :) He has replaced all the drawer pulls and cabinet handles/hinges throughout the house... a very big job that made a huge difference! He replaced the dining room chandelier... so pretty! He put up mini-blinds in our screen porch, and painted a couple of walls in the breakfast room and den. He is slowly repairing, replacing and painting window trim on the outside of the house and has planted a variety of trees and bushes. We do love our winter home!

We have also enjoyed activities and time with new friends here in our community... warm, friendly people! We have been made most welcome, had some fun invites and time to get to know each other a little more. Like us, many residents go away for the summer and it seems to be catching-up time in winter when everyone has returned to the desert southwest!  The following two photos were taken at our community's holiday dinner.

George, Tom, Jack

Joan, Dianne, Pat

A few more photos of friends :) 
Julie, Mike, Tom - wood for our Quartzsite Gathering :)

Celebrating the Winter Solstice!  Mike, Steve, Carol, Julie, Tom

Christmas Eve with George, Pat, Carol, Jeff
December ended with a very special visit with our son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons from near Durango, CO. We SO appreciated this time with them here! So fun!
Feeling blessed!
Kirsten & Kevin, Owen, Logan
Well, this about catches you all up on the past several months for us here in Tucson. A  rather long blog update, but the best I can do since not posting updates often anymore. 

We hope each of you enjoyed a Merry Christmas and very happy holiday season! May your joys be many!!! And, we send all good wishes for each of you as this year comes to a close, and wish peace and comfort for those in need. We  are determined to remain hopeful and optimistic for the future, especially in areas of concern and frustration where we have no control. There is so much good to celebrate daily, even as we hear of the negative... most people have kind hearts, and work to share and do good for others. We must all strive to always focus on that and count our many blessings!

Happy New Year!

Be well, everyone! Fondly, Dianne & Tom

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Back Home in Tucson

Greetings, all! Hoping this finds everyone doing well and enjoying fall weather! 

After a great summer in Colorado, plus a quick trip through Wyoming and Idaho, we are back at our "home without wheels" in Tucson! We are most grateful for times spent with special people throughout the summer, and for safe travels!

The month of September was chocked full of visits and adventures! To recap...

We began with Labor Day Weekend at the Four Corners Folk Festival in Pagosa Springs, CO... fun to be with friends Bill & Nancy, plus their daughter and son-in-law, Melissa & David... the music was great, and a good time was had by all! So enjoyed our time together!

Next stop was a much-too-brief lunch visit with our son, Ryan, his wife, Kate, and their three precious children. We were fortunate to have them fit in, as they were very busy packing up for their move to Nebraska. Best wishes to you all as you begin this next chapter!

Other special visits took place as we traveled through the San Luis Valley to see Marjie & Chuck, and on over to La Veta for a visit with Sylvia & Steve. Always good to catch up with cousins... we enjoyed this time with you all!

While in La Veta, we stopped for a couple of days to catch our breaths and spend a bit of time with old friends, Bunny & Ken. Your beautiful, relaxing setting was just what we needed, and we so enjoyed the time together and great parking spot!

An evening at Red Rocks to hear the fabulous music of Bonnie Raitt and Richard Thompson was even better than anticipated! Thanks to son, Loren, for being our guide... some great visits and meals together, and a truly magical experience at Red Rocks! The sound in this amphitheatre is so rich and full, and the views on a balmy night made for pure magic!!!

We then traveled on for a visit with our daughter and son-in-law, Kayla & Weston. We had just a brief visit with Weston, as he was away on Saturday, but the time with Kayla was very special as she and Tom worked on a leather project and we had lots of good visiting! Made the most of this short time together! 

Moved on to Warren Bridge Campground to visit with friends Becky & Dave... thank you both for the hospitality, and for taking the reins this year! Also snuck in a short visit with Nancy as we passed through Jackson... missed Dave, as he was working, but enjoyed the lunch visit with you, Nancy! Be seeing you both soon!

Our last stop before heading home was a special visit with my sister and brother-in-law, Sherri & Ed! They fixed us great meals in their beautiful home, we did some sight-seeing and touring around, and so enjoyed our time with them. Thank you both for the wonderful few days together!!!!!

Following a great summer, we were ready to head for home so drove hard... Tom did, that is. I provide moral support :) We arrived back in Tucson to find all well at our house! We have enjoyed spreading out a bit after summer in our motorhome, cooking in a spacious kitchen, and watching the birds from the breakfast room and patio. 

We got caught up, and welcomed longtime friends Patty & Budd for a couple of days as our houseguests! So wonderful of them to take the time and make the drive to visit us! Thank you, friends, for this special time together! It was great!

So, now we are settling in and are enjoying being in our home again... working on a few projects, and enjoying the weather and beautiful desert views!!! We look forward to more travel adventures down the road, and to seeing many of our RV friends at gatherings this winter, plus time with those that will be visiting us here! 

And, it seems I am ready to take a break from blogging... so no more updates (at least for now). Facebook works well, and we will continue to stay in touch with many via email, phone calls, etc. Time to settle in and slow down :)

We do love hearing from you so please stay connected! We send all good wishes! 

Fondly, Dianne & Tom 

Be well, everyone!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Busy August!

Wow! August has flown by with a busy schedule, good times with family and friends, and lots of fun activities! 

But first, an item we forgot to include in the July blog update... one day, Tom traveled with our son Kevin to take water measurements at a gauge that could be reached only by train... the Durango Silverton train!  What a treat for him, and a truly cool adventure! 
Thanks, Kevin... Tom says it was a highlight of the summer!

We began the month of August with a relaxing and quiet time at a favorite boondocking spot near Creede, Colorado... during that time we enjoyed this beautiful, private spot near the river, doing not much of anything! Such a special place! Also took some drives, did a bit of fishing, and took in the annual Creede Gem & Mineral Show. 

Returning to Bayfield, we took advantage of the availability of delicious Olathe sweet corn! We put a good supply in our freezer!

Other projects included a batch of dill pickles by Kirsten and Tom. And, even though we don't eat much bread and don't really need jelly... Tom made a batch of choke cherry jelly. When he finds choke cherries growing, he just has to pick them and make jelly! Must be in his DNA :)

We enjoyed a week at a casino rv park with full hookups and plenty of amenities, and our grandsons came each day while their mom returned to her teaching position prior to the students starting back to school. A treat to spend this time with Logan and Owen!! 

Also, good RV friends joined us there and helped entertain the boys... lucky kids to have so much attention and so many fun activities. And, we enjoyed plenty of adult time in the evenings and weekend :) Thanks, friends, for this time together!!!!

The Bowlers
Dave, Owen, Diane

Logan, Lynn, Roger

Nothing like a morning of miniature golf! 

Dave, Dianne, Logan and Lynn
Roger, Tom, Owen and Diane

Plus... a bonus for our grandsons! In the site next to us was a family with children close in age to the boys so, in addition to the activities with us and our adult friends, the kids had fun together... swimming every day, a trip to the park and to the local library for "Leggo Day," and lots of time playing in our yard and theirs.

We have said our goodbyes to our son, daughter-in-law and grandsons, and it's time to move on. Thanks to ALL for a great summer... special family times in "your neighborhood." 
We have SO enjoyed the hospitality and this time together!!!!

Next, we on to attend the Four Corners Folk Festival in Pagosa Springs over the Labor Day Weekend. It's been a few years since we were at this festival, and we are looking forward to three days of great music! Plus, friends from Roswell, NM will join us there...  looking forward to the music and this time with Nancy & Bill!

We send all good wishes to each of you out there... may you travel your paths with peaceful and happy hearts.

Be well, everyone!  Dianne & Tom

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Family, Friends & Beautiful Country - June & July in Colorado

Our summer in Southwest Colorado has been action packed! Lots of photos in this update as we recap the past two months... 

We began June celebrating grandson Logan's 10th birthday! Fishing! BBQ! CAKE!
Grampa and his fishing buddies
Kevin, Logan and Tom
Owen, Gramma, Grampa and Logan
A good boondocking location and time with the grandsons!
We enjoyed good times with RV friends passing through... Tina & Jeff near Bayfield, and again in Alamosa... so fun to be together!

Father's Day was spent with Ryan, Kate and our youngest three grandchildren... lunch together and a bit of gardening. 

Fun to give Obie and Lucy the afghans I stitched for them :)

While in Alamosa, Kirsten, Logan and Owen joined us to camp for a couple of days :)

Logan, Kirsten, Owen

And then we all went to the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve for a fun outing. The grandkids had a blast!

Grampa Tom and baby Ignatius

Tom W., Tom N., Tim, Bill and Doug

Late June was a gathering of some "old" school buddies from Ft. Lewis College in Durango. Tom and these dorm mates reminisced and told stories on each other for a couple of days... thanks, Tim, for making this happen! A good time was had by all!

Fun to meet a couple of the wives, also... Sharon & Marilyn

Mix Lake

Tim and Tom looking at old photos of the Platoro area

Dianne, Logan, Tom, Owen
 Nancy & Dave joined us for some boondocking near Bayfield and a couple of days at the Sky Ute Casino RV Park in Ignacio... always fun times with them!  

And, they helped us celebrate Tom's birthday at Kirsten & Kevin's... thanks for the gifts, guys, and to Kirsten for the fabulous Black Forest cake! You out did yourself on that, Kirsten!!!

One afternoon/evening was spent with Nancy's brother and sister-in-law that coincidently have a summer home near Kirsten & Kevin... small world! Thanks, Melissa & Bob for your hospitality and a great time together!
Melissa & Bob, Nancy & Dave

The end of July brought about more time with our kids and grandkids... much to be grateful for. Loren took time off from work to come join us for a few days... he stayed at Kevin & Kirsten's, and we had fun together... thanks to K & K for the great meals and hospitality! 
Loren at Vallecito Reservoir

Logan, Tom, Loren and Owen

Kirsten & Kevin
And, one final bonus visit while in the Valley... Loren and Ryan, our two youngest sons, met us for dinner in Del Norte! A great time to sit and visit! Kate was away at a job interview... keeping good thoughts for her and Ryan as they consider job and relocation possibilities. 
A big CONGRATULATIONS to Kate on her RN accreditation!!!

Loren & Ryan

So, this about catches up our summer activities, so far... for the next couple of weeks we will be "hiding out" in the high country near Creede :)

Thanks for following along with us! 
Be well, everyone! Dianne & Tom

"To find peace, you have to lose your connection with people, places, and things that create all the noise in your life." - author unknown