March 24, 2014

Oil Baron's Return

        It sure has been awhile since I have posted to the blog.  Kathleen has done a few but also ran out of steam. Since we are sitting for a spell and have time on my hands I thought I would at least put up something to let those who still check in that we are A-OK.

     We have spent this winter at our place in Zapata Texas, (Baron's Gate) and thoroughly enjoyed our time there.  Fishing wasn't all I had hoped for as the weather played a large factor in turning the fish off.


  We are doing the security gate guarding for a few weeks on our way back North to pick up a few bucks to help toward the fuel costs we have running this big rig from Texas to Iowa/Wisconsin, and then on to our boys in Seattle.  We sure have enjoyed this gig as it has been busy.  We have just finished a 10 day frac.  Now, they will start with the coiling, and then to the flow back and finalization of the two wells we are working the gate for.  We should be here about another 12 days or so. 

     Kathleen, has been making banana bread and selling the mini loafs for $4.00 each to the workers who come and go.  She has done pretty well and promises to buy me a new fish pole with her loot, Ha.

     We are out in the boonies so to speak and have to use our Wilson booster to get internet and phone service.  Without it, we would really be bored if unable to get on line.

     We had two catered meals a day furnished while the frac was going on.  Every one was excellent.


     I hope the pictures will speak for themselves.







































































































































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November 17, 2013

Winter Texans


Kathleen here,

November 17, 2013


We are at our Zapata site. The weather has been beautiful. As I write, I am aware of some very bad weather up north. I pray that none of our loved ones are in its path.

We've been out on our pontoon boat a few times. George more than I. I took a couple of photos of our little fishing trip and of the chores back here at our winter home. It's a warm day today. We are waiting for NASCAR to begin. Final race of the season.

We have been invited to a Thanksgiving dinner at the rec hall here in the park. We accepted. It's more fun to be with a crowd on that day.

We are well. We don't do much traveling around. Every few weeks we drive north to Laredo for supplies at Walmart. Other than that we stick close to home. We love our breezy "Veranda" so really don't care to go on road trips. Texas is pretty much all the same around here. The lake is slowly rising; that is good.

Following are some photos. Stay safe, warm, and out of trouble.



George mowing our lawn



















 George doin' what he loves



















Winter Texan



































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October 16, 2013

Baron's Gate



Our Own Site




We have been working at a busy oil rig gate, actually two different sites since we've arrived in Texas.

Now for a couple of weeks or so we will relax and enjoy our beautiful site here in Zapata. The awning covers the coach and the wide patio area. Nice views from the direction we are facing. We love it here. The warm  evenings and the nice breeze that comes in from Falcon Lake is very pleasant. The awning is high enough, one almost believes it isn't really there.

Today, Wednesday, October 16, a cool front has come through, with low clouds and drizzle. George took the pontoon out fishing earlier but came in before noon. The next couple of days, it will be this kind of weather. That is okay for a while. The hot hot temperatures were starting to get to us.

Attached are a few photos of our place and one of the lake, which is rapidly rising. Lots of rain north of here has made the river (Rio Grande) level come up. You'd think it was the Mississippi River. Looking out over it last evening, debris that has washed off the river banks and islands and is now rushing southward.

Enjoy the photos



Our Place







Falcon Lake

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September 29, 2013

We're in San Diego

Katheen here,

It looks like we’ll be leaving these parts this coming week. The drilling is all finished and the crew has moved on. Oil was found; everyone is happy. In the morning big trucks are coming to haul out the drilling rig. We’ve been told to wait here for our next assignment. (Somewhere close to Tilden.)

The first week here it stormed and rained hard. We hear that Falcon Lake is rising. That is great news. While at this site, we’ve come across several critters that are on my bad list. Not quite spiders and snakes but creepy for sure. I’ve tried to photograph some but they are fast little critters; they keep sneaking into our coach…one by one. The beetles are big, about 1.5 inches long, come out by the hundreds as soon as we turn on the outside lights. They are funny though: they can fly but when they want to stop they just fold their wings and fall straight down. They sit for a few seconds to get their bearings and then off they go. They have fallen on my head a couple of times. George spotted a long snake crossing the road about 200 feet from us. He didn’t get a picture. The brush must be full of evil varmints. What am I doing here? We’re in San Diego, TX by the way.

A few days ago a truck stopped to get logged out. I thought that he had a cougar caged in back. A yeowling varmint was angry and wanted loose. The driver jumped out wondering what it was. We looked beneath the truck and out sprang a little black and white kitty. He took off for the brush. Later he came out and meowed and meowed. I brought out some chicken and water and he gobbled it all down. Then he wanted to snuggle in my shoulder and hair. George said no! Don’t even think it! I looked after him all day and later in the night, one of the ranch hands came through. Sure enough, they were missing a kitten. He put up a fuss but we caught him and away they all went.

George has a bird friend…again: a genuine roadrunner. He’ll be writing a piece and adding some photos of the happy little guy. Wile E. Coyote should be somewhere out there.

Last evening we sat in the middle of our lonely road in our comfortable loungers and watched lightning flash in big old clouds just west of us. A lovely breeze was blowing so the flying bugs weren’t out. We watched the stars come out. I envisioned the cowboys of old bedding down by their loyal horses and trusty rifles. We spent a very pleasant hour under the stars in the middle of Texas.




Storms a comin' 





Storm Clouds




Dung Beetle




Beetles and Crickets living together




Almost as big as the cinder block

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September 18, 2013

Working The Oil Fields In Texas

Home Sweet Home     Wow, it has been a while since I did a blog post.  I got a little burned out so Kathleen has posted a few.  I may now get back to adding some posts.

     A lot has happened since I was posting on a regular basis.  All Good.  We purchased an RV site and RV Cover on a nice corner lot in Amigo's RV Park at Zapata, Texas.  The fishing on Falcon Lake for Bass is fantastic and that kind of drove our decision.  Not to mention, but we like and enjoy the area.  On one of my future posts I will get some pictures up of our new digs.

      You may also remember from a previous mention that we got ourselves set up and licensed as Texas Security Guards last year and have been working as Gate Guards in the Texas Oil Field Area when work is available and we desire to give up the fishing and R & R for awhile.

      We are currently on a site at a Ranch near San Diego, Texas working entry and exit to a drilling rig.  Pretty light duty compared to the very busy site we were on last winter.  Between assignments we may even be able to return to our place in Zapata (to see if the fish are biting) which is only about a 2 to 3 hour drive from the oil area.

     This is a site that is somewhat ideal.  About two miles from town, not to dusty, decent road in and out, great people coming and going, and excellent support equipment set up for us.  We could stay right here long term if needed.  Did I mention, the internet signal is strong.

     The following are some pictures I took early this morning in between rain showers.

 Our set up




another angle




Toward the Well




Toward Town





generator fresh water and above ground septic




self explanitory





drilling rig off in distance


 Guard On Duty









































































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February 03, 2013

Comin' Clean ---- Say What?

Time to Come Clean

Clean -----  I wish?  More on that later.


It’s 4:30 in the morning and as I look out the windows of the ‘Tininthewind’ it is as bright as mid-day with light towers surrounding us and the scene off in the dark is as spooky as the scenes from “Middle Earth” from the movie                       .


Got your interest, do I??


This past year Kathleen and I got to discussing the heavy hit we are giving our 401K with our nomadic lifestyle as we enjoy our retirement travels and decided to take a break occasionally from the life of leisure and go back to work ---- but only when we wanted to.  Now --- that is a tall order to fill when both of us are up a ways on the senior rung of the ladder.


In mid- December we met with “Gate Guard Services” out of Corpis Cristy, Texas.  Through their desire to bring us on board we were schooled, tested, finger printed, subjected to background checks, and are now Texas State Licensed Level II Security Guards.


The oil field business is booming, especially in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, and of course the Dakota’s.  Security to entry and exit of the various oil facilities is paramount and who better to provide that service than retired folks, with their house on wheels, and the desire to provide that security 24/7.


We are currently providing as independent contractors through “Gate Guard Services” security access and egress to the DL Ranch and Murphy Oil a little North and East of Tilden, Texas.  The Tininthewind is parked on a gravel pad and hooked up to electric, water, and sewer service.  We are surrounded by huge, high in the air light towers and as I stated earlier we are “lit up”. 


We log everyone and everything thing through the gate.  Murphy Oil has drilled four wells on the ranch and will now begin the process of bringing those wells in to production through various techniques, one of which is fracking.  We are about to get very busy with many trucks of equipment, water, sand, chemicals, support personnel, etc, etc, coming and going.  We can expect to be on site here for the next 6 to 8 weeks and more if they have any trouble.


We are paid pretty well we feel for what we do considering that everything is provided for us at no charge.  All of the essential services that I mentioned earlier plus all the bottled water we want, catered meals as we are included with the crew when they bring in a caterer---one could maybe get tired of rib-eye steaks I suppose.  The pay stub goes ca-ching every day for us at the minimum of $125.00 and can progress on up at an added $75.00/day depending on increased activity.


We have met both the day and night bosses, called simply the “Company Man”.  Leo the day boss, said on shaking my hand, “anything you need just let me know”.  I asked for a 5 gal jug of drinking water and about 2 hours later a “roust about hand” stopped with two jugs.  I mentioned that the entry through the gate was a little dark at night.  Shortly a huge light tower showed up, was erected, and we have daylight 24/7.  Everyone we have let through the gate has been extremely friendly, jovial, and fun to be around.  We of course are overwhelmed by the huge equipment coming on site from portable housing units for all the men to portable shower buildings, to porta potties, to you name it.  They have it. 


The wells are about 1.5 miles back on the ranch from the gate.  We have neumatic lines strung across the road on both directions that “ding” a bell if someone is coming or going so we get plenty of warning to step out the door to log them in or out.  Never fails though ---- go to the bathroom, drop your pants and the bell will ding! The drivers are patient though---been there, done that, I suppose.


We will stay on with this crew and rig for the duration 6 to 8 weeks or so and will then hang up our Texas Spurs till some time next fall.  When we come back as Winter Texans if the fish aren’t biting we will pull in to the “Gate Guard Services” yard in Whitsett, Texas and let them know we are ready to do it all over again.  Hopefully we get another gate as nice as this one seems to be.


In coming posts either Kathleen or I will try to give a little more detail to our daily activities and routines.


Oh, and as to Clean ---- The dust at times can get a little heavy but all will wash off.  Just dust off the windshield of the car occasionally to run to the store (nearest is 35 miles N) for supplies


Stay busy and well friends ----We are!



Our Gate













Inspecting Surroundings


















Texas Security Agent Kathleen




































number 2 Texas Security Agent


















Dang It's Early









































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January 30, 2013

Choke Canyon State Park, Texas

Texas State Flag


















Hello, Kathleen here


We spent several days at Choke Canyon State Park in Mid-Texas. Nice spacious sites next to a beautiful lake full of fish and crocodiles (we saw none). I followed a path to the waters' edge until it began to get weedy and swampy. I feared a "creature" from the depths of the lake might be lurking so I returned to safer ground.

We did see lots of deer. They casually walked through the campground and never showed any fear. One evening we eyed a fairly large spotted deer. He was almost too big to be called a fawn. We couldn't get a photograph of him; he was following several other deer and they disappeared quickly. The next two pictures are of a lone deer right next to our coach. The next picture shows the sunset over the lake. Look closely at the lakeshore. To the left, an egret is fishing. To the right a deer is getting a drink.






















Wildlife in the park



















One evening we took a drive and spotted a flock of vultures or buzzards just settling in for the night. There were dozens and dozens of them roosting on trees just off the road. They reminded me of cartoons of old, when they sat all hunched over just waiting for some creature to fall. Maybe in Wile e Coyote vs the Road Runner or maybe it was Bugs Bunny. Those were the days when kids got a thrill out of the enemy being an ugly old red headed buzzard following the heros of the story. I got a few photographs of them. I wondered if I walked over close and plopped myself down in the ditch, would they cruise on down and, well I of course didn't do that.




Vultures settling in for the night


















We have left the park and now are right next to a very small town called Whitsett. Still windy. We have gone to a few restaurants in this area. Barb-b-que is all that they offer. George loves it. I am tired of it already. The menu consists of BBQ ribs, sausage, briskitt and chicken. A choice of potato salad, coleslaw, hashbrowns, or beans and more beans. doesn't look too bad really but I'm hungry for a hamburger or maybe just a big dinner salad. We'll be in this area a little while longer. Not too much going on.

Be sure to always put the curser on the picture and it will identify what it is.

Love you all. Until next time, God bless and stay well.















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January 16, 2013



Hi George & Kathleen,

I hope this message finds you well. I came across your website during
my research for a new TV show that I'm working on, and I had to
contact you immediately.

My name is Kiran Malhotra, and I'm a producer currently casting for a
new TLC show about the RV lifestyle. In our show, we will document 3
or 4 different people who are involved in RV lifestyle and celebrate
their nomadic living situations. I would love to hear more about your
story: your lifestyle, your goals, and what brought you to where you
are now. If this is something that interests you, please email me
asap, as our deadline for casting is next week.

Would you also be willing to post our casting call on your site to get
the word out to others in the RV community? I've included the text at
the end of the this email.

Thanks so much for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon!


Kiran Malhotra
Coordinating Producer
Sharp Entertainment


RV Owners: Major TV Network Wants to Hear Your Story!

Major cable TV network is currently seeking RV owners for an upcoming
pilot. If you live in any type of home-on-wheels and love the open
road, we want to hear from you! Seeking all personalities and
lifestyles. Whether you have a unique story to tell, or have an RV
like no other, please tell us a bit about yourself by emailing:



Ms. Malhotra,

I can imagine with your reach out marketing such as this you get many
reply's that are lengthy and filled with detail and find many that hold
interest. From us you will not get such. Our life story, or at least most
of it, has already been written in our web site or
better yet told in the day to day, week to week, month to month blog
archives of and thus it is there for you to read
in whatever great length your heart desires.

We can tell you up front we have no interest in becoming part of anything
that would be a reality thing portrayed as somewhere between Jerry Springer
and the Kardashians.

We are currently doing what any full-time retired RV'er should be doing and
that is enjoying our "geritol gypsy" life style.

If you still have interest in us after following the leads above please feel
free to jump on a plane bound for San Antonio, TX, when on your way to your
departure airport, e-mail us (we check our e-mail often). Plan to rent a
car on arrival in San Antonio and we will tell you where to find us about an
hour from there.

I assure you, upon arrival, you will meet two of the most interesting people
to cross your casting couch.


George and Kathleen Brosius

PS: The next update to our blog we may include your casting call request.

-----Original Message-----
From: RV Casting
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 1:24 PM
To: ;
Subject: Seeking RVers for TLC Show

Hi George & Kathleen,

No Kathleen, my love, I will not ride in the limo with three yipping mutts and two cats!

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January 01, 2013

Happy New Year--2013

 Good Friends

















Here it is January 1, 2013. I wish all of you a healthy prosperous year.

George and I are in Zapata, but plan on leaving in a few days. We hope to travel north toward San Antonio. When we get settled in, we'll let you know. George hates to leave Falcon Lake but right now the old lake just isn't giving up any fish to speak of. The water level is still quite low and the bass are difficult to locate. We need a change in scenery.

We have met a lot of great folks here in Zapata. Our closest friends are Teri and Corinne Reynolds from Urbana, Ill. George and Teri have caught many really big bass-mostly last year. Corinne and I have traveled to Laredo quite a few times to Walmart and other shopping sites and to a movie now and then. They had us over the other night for some of Corinne's fantastic spaghetti.We had a great time, as always, with them.

This morning George and I drove around the area looking at the various RV parks that overlook the lake. We are always looking for a spot where we can come and set up houskeeping on a more permanent level. George knows that I am not interested unless I can see water. Of course right now, there is no water. Not much anyway.

We watched New York City bring in the new year last night, but after that we both fell asleep. All seems OK on this first day of the new year. I pray that your world is Ok too. I've posted a couple of photos to amuse you.

Until next time. God bless and keep all of you well.




Teri and Corrine


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December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas to All

     Hello to everyone. We have had a busy few months; we hope to get our blog all caught up on our life as nomads. We are in Texas parked on Falcon Lake in Zapata. About 50 miles south of Laredo. George has been fishing, and catching lots of fish. He hauls home crappie for the freezer and catches and releases the bass.

     I keep busy here in our little home. Lots of projects are on the shelf waiting for my attention. My first love has become writing and I spend a lot of time at the computer, sometimes staring at it, a lot of time researching stuff. I spent a whole day trying to figure out if there was a highway through the Cascade Mountains back in 1910 for a story I am writing. You know, ya gotta get the facts right.

     We are parked on the shore of Falcon Lake. Although the water is low, it is still a beautiful place. I love to look at it. Not the old Mississippi but almost as beautiful.

     Following is a poem that I recently wrote for an on-line writing club. As Christmas is upon us, I decided to share it with you. I hope that you enjoy it. We wish all of you a blessed Christmas and a grand 2013. We promise to stay in touch, as we have a new adventure on the horizon to talk about.

Baby Jesus and Lamb








Papa, a Star


Papa, Papa, is that a star?

Papa, Papa, is this the night?

I'm ready to go. Will Mama go too?

May I take my pet lamb? She's very light


You have told me the story

You have taught me well

A Savior is coming

Old Prophets doth tell


The star is so big

And it hovers so low

I hear voices singing

Papa, Papa I think we should go


Please take me Papa

I wish to go see

Does He know who we are?

Papa, will He really know me?


I know it's not far

We must follow the star's ray

We're not lost Papa

The star's showing the way


Papa, please lift me up high

I want to see what you see

Oh Papa! Oh Papa!

It's a tiny baby


The great star, Papa

Look at it now

They are angels, oh look

Before Him, they bow


Papa kneel with me now

Please kneel, all of us

For there is our Savior

Baby Jesus


I want to give Him a gift

Papa what shall it be?

Something pure and soft

My baby lamb, with love, from me 

by Kathleen M. Brosius




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June 05, 2012


The Trip Route



















Our Ship The ms Zuiderdam


















         One of the first things we wanted to do with our new retired life back in 2006 was make the "Inside Passage Cruise" to Alaska but due to other things or just plain procrastination we just never got it accomplished.  Well, that is about to change.  We have our trip scheduled and are about as excited as two newlyweds who just headed for the motel room.

     The decision to go this summer was enhanced when our pilot son Scott reminded us that we could take advantage of his 'Interline' privileges and book a trip at nicely reduced rates as parents of a pilot.  We began to explore the possibility and found that our budget could indeed handle the cost.  The rest is history, our boarding passes are in hand.

     Expect in future posts to this blog to be treated to a lot of stories and pictures of the trip.  We will try to take you along vicariously with us as we make this beautiful passage aboard the Holland American ship ms Zuiderdam.

     Here is a little tease that I hope will get you to come back and see our photo's and video's that we will put together on return from our trip.  Click on happy face below.


                                                 Cool            Alaska Adventure


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May 20, 2012

North West for the Summer

Zak and Mason Brosius




Maddie Brosius


















Ellie Brosius


















              Above are pictured just four of the reasons that we hussle ourselves out to the North West for the summer.  Place your curser over the picture and each will be identified.   I know I am biased but these four are the best grandkids, ever!  We love having them around and look forward to a lot of visits from them throughout the summer.

             After leaving Texas our stop in the Mid West for family visits and our medical check-ups went well.  We got to see all Jim and Alyce's family and especially the little ones.  We look forward to that every trip.  My mom is still doing well with her stay in assisted living and we sure enjoyed our visits with her. Seeing and spending a little time with long time friends is always a treat.  We had an uneventful trip out here after our visits and medical stuff in the Mid West. 

            The weather here has been the typical spring NW weather, one day nice then 4 or 5 straight days of drizzle or rain.  That will soon change for the summer and when that happens there is not a better place on the planet to spend the summer.

           We have some interesting things going with us looking at some property out here for our future when we slow down a little from our travel on wheels.  Not to worry, those of you who travel along with us on our travel blog as we are not looking to settle in one area just yet, just thinking about our possible future needs.  If we come to any decisions or secure a spot I will be sure to let you all know.

           I hope to do a better job of keeping up with entries to the blog now that we have landed in an area for awhile.  More pictures coming soon.

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March 24, 2012

Wow !!!

Last Cast  6 lb



















same fish



















     The two pictures above are two views of the fish caught today, literally on my last cast, before calling it a day.  Now we begin the packing up of the coach and getting ready to head North in two days.  This was my last day to fish Falcon Lake until we return next fall.  (The good lord willing and the creek don't rise, we will return).

      Teri and I headed to a cove on the Mexican side of the lake that we have fished before and for my last day, the fish did not disappoint.  We fished a little over 5 hours and boated 43 nice bass.  We didn't have any monsters, but we did have 3 that went 6 lbs each.  We usually don't photograph anything under 8 lbs but since the one above was my last cast I just had to have a picture to remember it by.

     I could write a book about how fantastic this winter in Texas has been.  The fishing for me has been the highlight, and of course for Kathleen the highlight has been her book and becoming a published writer.

     Not having a big high powered Ranger Bass Boat anymore has not really been a negative situation for me as I have fished with four different guys who do have nice boats.  Jerry from Dubuque Iowa, Joe from Urbana Illinois, Larry from Kansas, and of course my primary partner and new friend Teri Reynolds from Urbana Illinois.  When one of the above didn't ask me to go I would go out in my little Sea Eagle pontoon bass boat and have a blast.

     My challenge for this winter was to get a personal best double digit fish.  I had a couple slightly over 9 lbs that I actually caught off my own little boat early in the winter stay here but getting the double digit didn't occur until a few days ago when I finally landed one that tipped the scales at 10.1 lbs.  Pictured below.




personal best 10.1





































smaller one is 7 lbs



















      We leave with heavy hearts as we have made so many wonderful friends but we are anxious to see family and look forward to getting the wheels rolling on the 'Tininthewind'.  Next stop will be Wisconsin/Iowa for the month of April and then in early May we will head for our summer stay with the boys and their families in Washington State.

     Have I told you yet how much we love our retirement and the life style we have chosen.  We will continue to be thankful for every future day that we are blessed to have and will be just as excited about what is around the next corner as we are for what we did today.

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March 03, 2012

A Fishy Story-----Not!!!!

Our Classy Bass Boat Ride


















              March 2nd 2012 Teri (pictured by his boat) and I departed the boat landing here on Falcon Lake, Zapata Texas at 6:30 a.m. The morning already was calling for only shirt sleeves as the temp was near 70 and expected to get in to the 90's. The big 'Merc' roared to life and we were up on plane headed North up the Lake to a small arm/cove and creek channel on the Mexican side.  At 6:40 we had reached our destination and we came down off pad to begin fishing a rocky shore line with a few flooded bushes thrown in for good measure.

     We slowly fished along this shore and by 10:00 we had boated 40 quality Bass. We continued just working along this shore line and when we reached 55 Bass boated we decided that when we hit 60 we would quit.   At 1:00 we were back at the landing and loading the boat.  Sixty Bass Boated, many 6's, 5's, & 4's.  We estimate that approx. ten more jumped after being hooked, tail walked across the water and came off before being boated, and probably 10 more that came off without us getting to see them.  Thats 80 quality Bass in a relatively short period of time.

     It may be a long time before we break that total.  But, then again----maybe not.  We will probably go give it a try tomorrow.

P.S.  I am still working on boating that DD (double digit).  You will be the first to know when it happens.




Just an example 

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February 12, 2012

A Cool Rainy Day

seven lbs ten ounces

















     It is cool (43) this morning and raining.  The one shown is 7 lbs 10 oz and was one of many caught yesterday.  We have been having some cool wet weather lately but the fish have continued to be active.  The females are full of eggs and have been or will spawn very soon.  Days like this with the cool and rain are good for regrouping and working on tackle, rods, and reels to get ready for the next trip out.  Looking ahead at the weather we are to be back in the 80's in a few days.

     This area of Texas has been having an extreme drought so any rain is welcome.  The desert cactus are about to bloom and this rainy period happens just in time to support that event.

     The Falcon Lake Resort here in Zapata is a commune of those who like to fish.  The boats range from fancy bass boats to aluminum walleye boats, flat bottoms with small engines, and then of course mine---a two seat inflatable pontoon with only a trolling motor.  There are approximately 300 sites here in the Resort.  The sites vary from just a grass pull through site with enough room for the RV and a place to park the car and boat, to a more permanent structure such as a 5th wheel next to a cement patio, or even a mobile home either single or double wide.  The winter residents come from all corners of the country but for sure there are more Minnesotans than anyone else.  I suspect that the bass fishing is the biggest draw but there are those who fish exclusively for catfish or crappie, both of which are abundant.  One fellow from Iowa, one street over, has his smoker going full of catfish almost every day.  People walk or ride bikes for exercise throughout the park and clusters of folks visiting or exchanging fishing stories can be seen everywhere.  Most people seem to know me, I suspect because of my unique boat, and will always stop to talk if I am outside working around the 'tininthewind'.

      We have approximately six weeks left here and look forward to every day. 




This is What Its All About
















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January 24, 2012

Soon Moving On

     Our stay here at Fun-n-Sun RV park in San Benito will come to an end one week from tomorrow.  We will be heading back to Zapata, Texas and the lake for fishing.  It has been a very pleasant stay here in the lower Rio Grand Valley as we have been able to leave the windows open and just let the nice breeze blow through the 'tininthewind'.  Zapata is located in a more desert sand type of landscape and the blowing sand and dust will force us to run the A/C and keep the windows closed.  The lot we have with the view and the fishing are huge draws but the blowing dust really sucks. 

     This has been our third winter here at Fun-n-Sun and we will leave behind many friends that we have become acquainted with.  As long as we don't commit to anything too permanent in Zapata I guess we can always work in a stay in this area during coming winter seasons.

     My fishing buddy, Teri and his wife Corinne have alerted us that a water front site has just come available and we may well end up passing on the one we have now and seeing if we can swing a deal to acquire that one.  The couple who has it for sale has a 5th wheel on it and wants to include that in the sale.  That is something that we would not be interested in.

     Our nomadic life style has grown on us and neither of us are sure we are ready to settle for just one place to return to year after year even if the fishing is the best to be found.  We have many RV friends who have secured semi-permanent lots to return to each year but then say that they envy us being able to go where we please on a moments notice.

     I think the best thing for us is to wait till the kids are threatening to take the keys away before we put down too permanent of roots.

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December 28, 2011

"Thats Life"

 Happy New Year   



      It is that time of year that I like to reflect on the wonderful life style that Kathleen and I have.  The beautiful places we have been and those that are yet to come.  We are truly thankful that we are able to do what we do, as we explore this beautiful USA.  I further am grateful to live in an age when the technologies available to us can challenge the mind and encourage us to do things we never dreamed possible.  The following is a slide show with sound that I experimented with the other day.  I thought I would share.  If the sound is too much for ya, you can always mute it.  Ha.


                                                                     Click Here


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December 13, 2011

Photo Shoot

The Author Being Photographed


















     The photographers showed up right on time.  The publishers of the book wanted photographs of the Authors showing them at work at their computers or typewriters to use as the promotion of the book continues over the next couple of months.  Maybe I should back up a little and give some background explanation!

     Kathleen belongs to a writers group here in San Benito.  Over the course of last year they put together an anthology of stories that they have written.  The publisher has selected 78 stories and poems from 20 some writers into a book that will be titled "Tuesdays Pieces".  Kathleen's contributions to the book include 3 stories and 2 poems.

     Here is just one of the professional reviewers comments on the book:


"The authors have given me gifts that are priceless by asking me to review their book.
> They swept me to places Ive never been and left me with a yearning to go there.
> Through their stories and expertise in writing, I felt all kinds of emotion: joy, sadness, happiness, excitement, love, romance, as well as pleasurable childhood memories filled with adventure, kindness, family unity, work, and an appreciation for that which money can't buy: faith in a Higher Being and love of family and friends.
> Above all, the authors have inspired me to write about my wonderful family including my extended family and the many wonderful people that have come into my life throughout the years.
> As I write this I can hardly wait to get a cup of hot chocolate, curl up in my favorite chair with SugarPlum(our cat) on my lap and once again enjoy my journey thru so many places and feel the experiences all over again!!"

County Commissioner Edna Tobaya
      As I mentioned in an earlier posting on the blog, we came to San Benito for December and January so Kathleen could participate in the festivities leading up to the publishing and release of "Tuesdays Pieces". There have been some book promotions already and more to come. As far as Kathleen is aware the book is scheduled for release and available for purchase in mid January.
     Folks this is a big deal!!!!  Kathleen is now a published Author and I couldn't be more proud.
Published Author Kathleen Brosius

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December 03, 2011

We Have Moved

     We pulled out of Zapata, TX. and headed for San Benito, TX in the lower Valley.  This will be the third winter we have spent time at the Fun-n-Sun RV Resort.  It was difficult to leave Zapata and for me the fishing on Falcon Lake.  I spent my last day out on the lake with my new Bass Buddy, Teri Reynolds, and what a day it was.  We boated 26 Bass in half a day of fishing and they were all quality fish.  Following are just a couple of the pictures we took.





















Teri Reynolds Urbana, ILL



















     We are already enjoying out familiarity with the San Benito area, and of course the Resort.  The pool and hot tub are second to none and we have always enjoyed spending time there.  The traffic is a little heavy at times but knowing how to get around now makes getting from here to there easy.  The restaurant choices here verses Zapata are huge.

     We will be here through the holidays but plan to return to Zapata and more fishing Feb. 1st.

     Kathleen is busy with her writers group already and I have been busy trying to polish and clean the 'tininthewind'.  The dust in the Zapata area from the constant wind and sandy nature of the landscape are one of the only negative features surrounding the Falcon Lake.  Fortunately the fishing far exceeds the negativity.    

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November 13, 2011

Bass Fishing Buddy

6 lb Fish


















     I have met a bass fishing buddy here in Zapata and we have been out in his sleek Gambler rig several times now.  Teri Reynolds and his wife Corinne hail from Southern Illinois around the Urbana area.  Terry and I bounced around the same Bass Fishing circuits in our prime days but I don't think our paths ever crossed in a tournament.  We have had fun discussing and reliving those days by telling each other story's as we are fishing.  Teri is highly talented with pitching and flipping a jig and that is how we have been catching most of our fish.  My elbows and "tennis elbow" have taken a toll on me so I am taking a few days off from fishing, although I must admit I went crappie fishing this morning and came in with 18 beauties.

     Teri took the above picture of me and a nice 6 lb fish.  It is nice to finally have someone capable of taking a picture and sharing his boat as my fishing alone in my little boat meant no pictures.  I hope in future trips out on the lake with Teri that I can get some video of his rig and some pictures of him fighting a fish or two. 

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November 03, 2011

November 2011 Update

     Where did October go?  We have been busy, busy.  We spent a very hot month of October at Four Seasons Resort here in Zapata and because we like the area so much and the fishing is fantastic we probably came down a little too early, as it was extremely hot.  In the 90's every day and the nights did not cool down much.  I caught a lot of nice fish but my biggest so far is still 9.1 lbs.

     It is now Nov. 3rd and we have moved to Lake Front Lodge Resort just a couple miles from Four Seasons Resort and an explanation is in order.  As mentioned above we like the area very much and have been looking around for something a little more permanent.  One of Katleen's requirements was to have a water view and be as close as possible to the water.  We lucked on to a site that had just become available do to the previous lease holder having health issues and not being able to return.  The site is now ours on a permanent basis.  We can do what we want with the lot as far as improvements go or structure but for now we like our life style with the Motor Home and will leave putting a park model or something like that for a future date.  We may do a storage shed and expand the cement patio next season but for now we like it just as it is.  Our neighbors, both sides and behind are very pleasant so that is a plus.  I am just minutes from launching my boat as the Resort has multiple boat landings.

     We will be leaving here and going down to the Valley (San Benito, TX) for Dec. and January but will return to our site here in Zapata for Feb. and March before returning to Wisconsin/Iowa and family visits.  Kathleen and her Writers group have some functions taking place in Dec. and January and she wants to be part of the celebrations.  I am sure she will be writing and explaining more about that as it occurs.  I am all for taking a couple months off from the fishing as my elbows are taking a beating from all the casting and hook setting.  Not that I am complaining, mind you!

     Following are some pictures and some links that are worth looking at to give you a sense of why we like it here so much.



Lake as seen through our front window


















Our Site A-22 


















Me fishing out front of our place


















My Little Sea Eagle Pontoon Boat


















How I trailer my little Boat


















Looking up at our Site from the water below


















Remember you can place your cursor on picture for a caption.


     Here are some Links that you may find interesting.


Web-site of a guide I know here on the Lake: 


Web-site of Local Tackle shop and their fishing reports: 


Short Video of biggest fish I caught yesterday:


Little longer Video taken around our pad in Zapata, TX:


     It is difficult to take a photo of the fish I catch when I am alone on my boat but I have mounted a movie camera on a "lazy susan" and hope to get some pictures of fish during the fight and netting.  The one little video you saw above is my first try at giving you a look at the fish.  This fish hit so close to the boat I had no chance to turn the camera on but hopefully my video taking skills will improve.

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October 17, 2011

Crappie for Dinner Tonight

     Yesterday I showed you my little boat, the "ss tininthewind" loaded on the loaner trailer and told you of my plans to trailer to the bridge and fish some crappie.  The plan of course was to take a breather from bass fishing.  The crappie cooperated and I came home with a nice mess----all about 1.75lbs each.  Kathleen layed out the fillets for supper and declared that one crappie each (two fillets) would about do it.

     While crappie fishing using my ultra light spinning rod with 6 lb line I hooked a good fish.  Thinking it was probably a carp I played it out, netted him and weighed him------it was a 8.1 lb bass.  There was a couple fishing near by and they got a kick out of seeing me boat that bad boy.  The mouth was so huge I could have stuck both my fists in it

     Tomorrow the wind is supposed to be stiff----30mph.  I will stay off the main lake but fishing for crappie under the bridge is somewhat sheltered.  Guess where I will be?




Fun on Ultra light Rod 1.75 lbs each

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October 16, 2011

Boat on Trailer

     I have been Bass Fishing almost everyday since we arrived here in Zapata and the fishing has been unbelievable.  I still have not caught the DD (double digit) that I am looking for as a personal best but I sure have caught a bunch of big bass by anybodies standards.  9.1 is still holding as my personal best.  I have caught a bunch of 14, 15, 16 inchers which make some real nice fillets and we have enjoyed many a meal of fish to date.

     I have been keeping my boat in the water and just fishing the bay and a couple of main lake points just outside the bay but my travels are limited to just my trolling motor.  When the indicator says I only have 50 percent of a charge left in the battery I turn and fish my way back to "home".

     A friend that I made here in Zapata last year when we first visited here has loaned me his golf cart trailer and as you will see in the following pictures my boat fits nicely.  The lights are working and I am anxious to go explore other coves and corners of this lake-----on the American side of course.

     There is a bridge that crosses one of the fingers of water just as you enter Zapata from the South and my friend Dale took me crappie fishing there last year.  The crappie are huge (2 lbs each are common).  The boat is loaded on the trailer and tomorrow morning the "ss tininthewind" and I will go see if we can catch some of those big crappie. 

     It will be good to fish with lighter tackle for the crappie as my arms and upper body muscles are sore from all the bass fishing I have been doing------It is a "good" sore though and I promise you I am not complaining.




hooked to car and ready to go


















ss tininthewind

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October 08, 2011

The "Tininthewind" Has Landed (Zapata, TX)

Tininthewind  Right of Center (nose)


















     We are on site at Shady Haven RV Resort, in Zapata Texas.  My how things change in one year.  We arrived to find the Lake 20 feet lower than last year.  This Texas drought is having a profound effect on reservoir levels throughout the State.  The picture above is me standing down near the (sitting on dry land) boat docks locking back up toward the top of the boat ramp and just left of center in the picture you can see the nose of the "Tininthewind" sticking out from site 128.  Last year I had my little blow up boat parked in the water just in front of the "Tininthewind".

     We knew when we left the old home area of Wisconsin/Iowa that we would be heading in to some hot dry weather but "hot" is an understatement.  It has been in the high 90's since our arrival with somewhat high humidity.  We did arrive in a thunderstorm with heavy rain so setting up while getting a warm water shower was quite interesting.

     I didn't quite have everything arranged with out site and coach but priorities are priorities and I just had to get my "Sea Eagle Foldcat Boat" inflated and on the water.  Within the first day of fishing and in fact still in site of the dock I caught the nice 7.2 lb bass you see in the following picture.  This is a new personal best for me as far as size goes and I expect to break that mark easily in the coming days.




7.2 lb Largmouth Bass


















     With the Lake 20' low the landscape sure looks different and I will post a group of pictures here to give you some perspective of what it looks like.  At the end of the docks there is about one slip still in the water (1 foot deep) and my little boat is able to handle that.  You will note I am the only one there as everyone else is having to trailer their boats.  I am not sure what I will do should the water drop even further as I do not have the ability to trailer my little rig.  Time will tell.





My little Craft






































































































































































































      If anyone has more rain than they need please send it this way.



























































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September 05, 2011

A Fantastic Summer

The Fabulous Four


















     We have had a beautiful summer with our Washington Brosius Families and Friends this Summer in Washington.  Our two month Volunteer Hosting of Anderson State Park was OK but we were bummed by not having decent cell phone coverage or internet access.  I suppose it was good for us not to be on the computer much but it meant not being able to keep up with our blog and we know one or two of you missed not hearing from us on a regular basis. 

     We have ended our stay out in the North West with a great Labor Day Week-end of camping, surrounded with all the fun that goes with a nice long get together.  We all enjoyed the evening chats around the fire as the weather was made to order.

     We will be leaving in the morning with the "Tininthewind" pointed East and even though we do not prefer traveling the interstate system, we will, in the interest of taking the shortest route and in saving on the fuel budget.

     We are looking forward to seeing friends and family back in the Wisconsin/Iowa area and spending a few weeks before heading to our Winter digs in Texas.






















































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August 05, 2011

We Are Not Lost

     Wow-- it seems like we have not made an entry in a long time and it has been awhile.  We have missed not being able to update our blog on a regular basis but we are and have been Volunteer Hosting at Andersen State Park just outside Port Hadlock/Port Townsend Washington and our internet speed has been terrible.  We have been barely able to get e-mail and even our phone service has been questionable with many dropped calls.  Last year when we were here we had very good internet and phone service.  Go figure.  Someone sure changed something at the local Verizon tower and we have been bummed about it.  Starting August 30th we will once again be where we will have good service and we will get back to posting our blog on a more regular basis.  I do want to post one picture before I sign off.

     Our two grandkids, Mason and Maddie have been with us most of July and will join us in a few weeks to finish out August.  They have been a delight to have around and sure have made the time pass quickly.




Mason and Maddie working with clay
















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June 09, 2011

Loop de Loop

A Welcome to Spring















     Looking at the map I see there is a "mountain loop road" that starts about 8 miles from the camp ground and makes a loop through what looks to be some pretty rouged mountains and eventually comes out again near the RV Park.  Figuring the best I can it looks like it will be roughly 100 miles from start to finish.  Looks like the road is paved all the way around with a few small mountain towns thrown in so we can maybe find a stop for lunch.  Sun is supposed to be shining today so lets load the jeep and head out.  Three cameras, several Hershey bars, pop, water, banana, and a couple apples and we're off.  Estimate is at an average of 40 mph, stopping for pictures, and lunch we should be back in about 4 to 5 hours.

     The trip did not start out well as we missed a couple turns early on and had to back track several times.  Once we got further along there were no turns to screw up on and all we had to do was follow the road we were on.  In other words the Loop de Loop. 

     The map showed a lot of National Forrest Camp Grounds along our way and upon reaching the first one along a river we decided to drive in to it and check it out, plus nature was callin'.  We were stopped just short of the privy by some forest tree trimmers and their chain saws as they were felling tree's and told us the park was closed.  They paused long enough for Kathleen to use the privy and I had a chance to ask them some questions.  I wanted to know if they knew anything about the route we planned to continue on and they commented we had come about as far as we could go as just up ahead the pass was still closed from snow and there would be a gate across the road.  If we intended to ever come back there was a visitor center just up the road a bit and if they were open we should stop and get a better map.  The road was paved at this point but they indicated that very shortly it was going to turn to gravel/dirt and would stay that way for better than half way around the loop.  Dang, we were so looking forward to this drive.

     The visitor center was open and a very pleasant gal informed us that the gate had been opened, the forest service had plowed about a quarter mile of heavy snow just over the pass and the route was declared safe to travel as of yesterday.  She commented that even the locals didn't know it yet and seemed quite pleased that she could be the bearer of such good news.

     As noted above with the first picture of the flower, at the lower elevations with the snow having just melted a few flowers, proud of their ability to survive, are poking their heads from the ground.

     The higher we climbed the less flowers we saw but the cascading water flows coming down the sides of the mountains became ever more present.  The river we were following was running quite full.

     We were soon to leave the paved road and continue on with most of the road becoming one lane with pull offs should you meet someone (we never did).




nice road---huh?















Road Change















Wait for Me















     The drive was awesome.  The fact that we were making the trip and in approximately 50 miles of narrow gravel/dirt road we saw only one other vehicle and he probably was a forest service person, made for a fun day.  That four to five hour drive turned out to be more like seven.  One hundred miles, seven hours------not bad.

     We never did see the sun and it felt like we were in a rain forest most of the time but it also didn't rain.


One of hundreds of water falls















small stream---river was huge















how much further 














     A great way to spend the day.  The week-end is coming and we will reserve that for family time, but next week if we can find another adventure we will go for it.








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June 05, 2011

Just a Drive in to Town

Skykomish River















     This evening we drove in to town (Sultan, WA), to mail a few items and to have a pizza at one of the local parlors there.  Just before reaching Sultan one goes over a bridge that crosses the Skykomish River and as you can see above the Sun was shining on the snow cap in the area of Stevens Pass.  It was a beautiful day with the temps in the low 70's and no rain

     It really doesn't matter if you turn left or right going out of the RV park the drive and scenery is always spectacular.  

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Spada Lake Washington

Spada Lake Washington















     In 2008 Kathleen and I did one of those fun things that we do from time to time.  We look at the map, try to find a road that looks like it would make a fun drive, and then we just take off to see where it will go.  If it seems to dead end on the map and has a unique feature (like a lake), at the end of the road, even better.  Such was our 28 mile ride from the Thousand Trails RV Park in Washington.  At the end of this little blog I will repost a link to the pictures and our blog of 2008, but for now lets talk about our return trip to Spada Lake a couple days ago.

     Back in 2008 when we reached Spada Lake we were surprised to see the lake nearly empty with stumps showing everywhere (as you will see if you check out the link), but the drive to the lake and the area itself was very pretty.  (The lake had been drawn down to repair the dam.)

     Now here we are in 2011, with an opportunity to again make the drive to Spada Lake to hopefully see what the lake might look like when full.  There has been a tremendous amount of snow in this part of the Cascades over the winter and we knew that the lake would be near the snow line but figured with the jeep we could make it.

     Staying near us here in the RV Park are CoCo and Bob Giacolino also full-time RV'ers and close friends.  We asked them to join us on the trip and away we went.  Now, 28 miles is not a long ways but when it is virtually a steady climb up in to the mountains from the altitude we are camped at it makes for a fun and strikingly beautiful drive.  We followed the Olney River at times, crossing several bridges and witnessed numerous water falls as the melting snow above us flowed toward the lake.  Stopping for pictures was the plan and we did plenty of that.

     The following is a little slide show I have put together as all the pictures tell the story and I hated to tease you with only a few.  Click on the link and enjoy.

                                            Slide Show 2011

     I hope you have returned to the blog and will take a look at what Spada Lake looked like when just Kathleen and I visited it in 2008.  Click on the following link to check it out.  To get the pictures from 2008 you may have to click another link found there.

                                           Blog and Pictures 2008

     We had a great trip with CoCo and Bob.  On our return to the RV Park Kathleen and I were treated to a fabulous dinner at their motor home. 


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May 18, 2011

Afternoon Drive

Thousand Trails Monroe Washington















     Above is a picture of our site at the Thousand Trails Monroe, Washington which is outside the big city of Seattle but tucked against the western slope of the Cascade Mountains.  We have been in this area a couple of weeks now and for the most part we have had a lot of rain which has kept us pretty much cooped up.

     With cabin fever and itchy feet getting the best of us we took off to do something we always enjoy.  We simply jump in the car with no real destination in mind but rather just pick a direction, and then drive till we decide we are good and lost.  Once we decide we probably should return to the 'tininthewind' we ask 'Charlotte' (our GPS) to guide us to home.  We hope at this time that we have made so many turns that 'she' (Charlotte) will take us home using different roads. 

     The scenery one is privileged to behold sometimes takes your breath away and today was no exception.  When we can we try to stop and take a photo.  Sometimes we simply have to shoot through the windshield and sometimes traffic is such that we can't get a photo----but, oh well, it is for sure etched in our memory.

     Below is just a sample of todays outing.  Place your cursor over the photo for a description.




Heading West out of Marysville Washington















Lake Stevens Washington















Looking East toward Stevens Pass
















     Washington is referred to as the "Emerald Green State" and if you can put up with all the rain you will be rewarded eventually with the most beautiful scenery imaginable.  This is truly a gorgeous part of our country-----"you just have to wait for it to quit raining to see it".

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May 09, 2011

Mothers Day Week-end 2011

Leavenworth WA Cascade Mts















     We arrived at Leavenworth Washington Thousand Trails RV Park deep in the woods of the Cascade Mountains on Wednesday May 4th and with much anticipation awaited the week-end (Mothers Day) and the arrival of Both our Washington Brosius Families.

     Bill, Heidi, Mason and Maddie have a new camping trailer and arrived Friday evening to camp in a nice site right across from us.  Scott, Angela, Zak, and Ellie arrived early Saturday morning and we all went in to Leavenworth for breakfast.

     The moms wanted to do a little shopping in Leavenworth.  Scott and Bill were off to the Safe Way store to get some last minute supplies, so Grandpa and the four kids took off for the RV park and some fun.

     It is so good to back in close proximity to our Boys and their families and I don't need to go in to detail about our camping week-end.  I think the pictures will speak for themselves.  Place your pointer over a picture for a description.




Begging a ride to the Playground















Scott and Bill jammin'















Fathom and Saddie enjoying camping















Played Hard All Day















Snacks were Abundant















Hanging by the Fire, more snacks















Grandpa and Grandma's little Clowns













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April 10, 2011

Sunshine Acres

Tininthewind just after stormed rolled through















     Of all our travels our all time favorite RV stop is Sunshine Acres.  This is a beautiful plot of land owned by my Brother-in Law Jim and his wife Alyce between Waukon, IA and Decorah, IA.  As you will see from the following pictures the view is spectacular with the fields of corn (now picked), and farms off in the distance.

     We have almost everything we could want here.  50 amp elect. hook up a few feet from the tininthewind.  We do have to go in to town (6 mi.) to dump our tanks but doing that is not much of a hastle at all.  We do have water hook up so that is good too.

     It is the hugs, endless conversations, reminiscing, drives through the country side, and quiet times that make us long for our stops here each spring and fall.  It is a short drive from here to visit my mom in an assisted living center.  Kathleen has many relatives in the area including an aunt (Goldie), who will be 101 in a few months.

     The grass is turning green, spring is showing signs of appearing (It was 80 degree's today), farmers are working their fields getting ready to plant, and the Mississippi River is on the rise.




Sunshine Acres















Sunshine Acres















 Looking South














Sunshine Acres at its finest















     While we are here Jim and Alyce's three Sons, our nephews, will stop in with their wives and little ones.  There will be more hugs, stories to catch up on, rides around the yard on the scooter for the little ones who can, and new babies to get to know.  Life is good.

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March 11, 2011

Incredible Zapata, Texas

Point where I have caught many Bass















     We still have a few more days of our stay here in Zapata, Texas at the Four Seasons RV Park and it will be sad to see our short stay coming to an end.  This has been an incredible stop in our wandering RV life style.  I have mentioned the fishing which is and has been spectacular and hopefully in the next couple of days I get a chance to set the hook on a few more nice Bass, Crappie, or Catfish.

     What I haven't had a chance to mention is the friendliness of the people we have met and the help we have had with a few minor problems we encountered.  Our first friends made was our immediate neighbors, Jerry and Carole who have already left to return to their home in North Texas.  Coming over next to introduce themselves were Jim and Nancy from behind us.  To the left side of us was an elderly gentlemen named Bob who came out as I was backing in and expressed much gratitude that I would be supplying much needed shade for his patio.  He was only here for a couple days and has since left.  Just beyond Bob is a delightful young retired couple traveling almost full-time in a pick-up camper type unit who are here to fish.  We compare notes every day about the fishing and the technique for catching them.  They are fun to visit with.  Jerry, before he left told a friend of his, Dale, that if he was going out fishing alone he could ask me to go with, as I would be good company.  Guess what----minutes later I was gathering my gear as Dale came by to ask me if I would like to join him.  I did, and we had a great day on the water fishing for Crappie.  Kathleen and I have since had a chance to get to know Dale better and his charming wife Lynn as well.  We are joining them for breakfast in the morning and then Dale and I will be going out fishing----this time I think for Bass.  Oh, and did I mention that Dale has one of the nicest Bass Boats on the Lake with a 200 HP motor.  Dale and his wife have been coming here for several years and have a permanent mobile home site for their 6 month stay before returning to their home in Colorado.  Dale has already offered me the use of his golf cart trailer so I can haul my little boat to different parts of this lake when we return for our stay next winter.  I will for sure take him up on that.

     Yesterday on return from fishing in my little boat for some reason one of the aluminum brackets that hold my trolling motor mount in place broke.  Without this repaired I would be done with the fishing.  I set out this morning to find someone who could weld/repair aluminum and even though this town is about 4,000 in size, I had a devil of a time.  On one of my final stops at what appeared to be a back yard mechanics little shop I met Trejo, a retired mechanic who fixes things in his back yard for friends.  He assured me that the last two people in town who could weld and repair aluminum had died, however, he and his wife were going shopping in Laredo (50 miles to the North) and he knew of a fellow there who could repair it.  He offered to take it with, get it fixed and call me on his return.  He did just that, and I am now back in business.  Cost $10.00.  In the course of our conversation he asked about my boat and expressed concern that I would venture out in such a small craft and before I departed he was offering me the use of his boat any time I wanted it.  I thanked him and said next winter when I come back here I would take him up on that but only if he would go fishing with me.  That brought a huge smile to a deeply tanned face and a few Spanish words I did not understand.  His firm handshake said, 'we are friends for whatever is left of our lives'.  Several other couples have stopped by to welcome us as they are out and about on their evening walks. Jim and Barb who have a permanent winter site some blocks away stopped by and brought me a sample of the baits he has been using to catch huge crappie.  We have an invite to stop up and visit them if time permits before we leave. I wish I could remember all the names of others but will just look forward to getting to know them better next winter.

     Our stay here so far has been incredible and I see no reason for that to change in the few days we have left.  Much to soon we will be heading North, but the minute we are rolling in that direction we will have a lot to look forward to. 

     Gosh, this retired lifestyle of ours is fantastic!

P.S.  put your cursor over the pictures to read the caption.




looking back toward town















Another great point to fish















Just about to return to our harbor













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March 05, 2011

Falcon Lake at Zapata Texas

     We pulled out of Fun-n-Sun at San Benito Texas on March 1st and headed 90 some miles NW along the Rio Grand River to Zapata Texas to try some fishing for a week or two on Falcon Lake.  Yes---that Falcon Lake--- where the guy from Colorado was shot and killed on the Mexican side of the Lake while he and his wife were on jet skis some months ago.

     I do not have any intention of going over to the Mexican side of the lake even though most of the big time Bass Tournament Fishermen have once again started fishing the Mexican side.  My little boat powered by only a trolling motor would never make it, unless the wind blows so strong that it blows me in that direction

     I have been researching the fishing reports from this lake for some time now and with us being so close I could not resist giving it a try.  The reports are unbelievable with it taking somewhere from 45 to 50 lbs (five fish limit) to win a tournament on this lake.  It has been a well kept secret how good this lake is for Bass Fishing but word is starting to get out and a drive through town shows many Bass Boats parked here and there.

     Now those of you who know me, know that my Tournament Days and Prime for fishing Bass are well behind me.  I like to say----I had my day, but no matter the age factor, or physical condition, I still have the desire.  I now carry in the 'basement' of the motor home a Sea eagle Fold cat Two Seat Pontoon boat powered by a 55 thrust trolling motor.  I can't go far and its size and stability place some limitations on what I can and can not do, but I have to tell you.  It has made for a lot of fun.

     Pictured below are a few pictures of me and my little boat.  The first picture Kathleen took through the windows of our Motor Home as I launched off the bank in the cove near where we are parked at the Four Seasons RV Park in Zapata, Texas.



Taken From Motor Coach















Fishing the Mesquite Bushes















Fishing a Point with Brush















     I fished for about 4 hours my first day here and the following are some pictures of my the catch I kept.  There is one a little over 5 lbs, two around 4 lbs, and two around 3 lbs.  Yes, I kept these for a few meals.  I did catch a few others but released them as the daily limit is 5, and must be 15" or over.  Mine were well over 15".



Nice 5 lb Plus











































     My second day out I fished a point where I had caught a couple of nice fish the first day out.  I boated 20 plus fish off this point in a little over 5 hours.  Most were 3 to 5 lbs.  Yes, I also lost some and of course the big ones get away.  I had a blast.  My problem, it is difficult to take pictures of the fish when I am alone on my boat.  I tried hanging them but my boat is just small enough that as I move around on it, stability becomes an issue and I really don't want to go for a swim.  Also the true size of these fish are hard to capture but I am working on it.



Attempt at self photo--missed















maybe this will work















hung, photo, then release 5 lb.















     The quality and quantity of the fish that one can catch with little effort here on Falcon Lake is unreal.  While I did keep the initial 5 that I caught on the first day I have been releases all that I have caught since.  While cleaning those 5 fish I had a chance to talk to a couple of guys cleaning approximately 42 lbs of Crappies----all in the 2 lb range.  Hard for me to give up Bass fishing to catch crappie but with fish like that I may have to give it a try.

     We will be returning to Falcon Lake next winter, "The good Lord willing and the creek don't rise."  I feel like I have died and gone to heaven!  If Saint Peter will let me near a computer in the coming days I will post more results and pictures.

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February 23, 2011

Girls are from Venus, Boys are from Mars

Solar System with Venus and Mars















Kathleen here,


Each week our Writers' Group picks out of a hat a subject for the week. This particular subject was: "Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars." The following is what I wrote. This was an observation of my grandnephew Jake and grandniece Jaylin, as they played together.


Girls are from Venus, Boys are from Mars


Only one year old, my grand nephew is

His innate soul guides what he knows is his


He gathers toy blocks with his plump little hand

And heads for the toy box where inside the blocks land


Three or four of them fly into the deep toy box

Landing here and there as if outside with some rocks


His little cousin, a girl, by the way

Gathers blocks in her apron making sure that they stay


She walks over to Jake’s toy box with lady like poise

Daintily one by one places the blocks inside with no noise


So young and so innocent these toddlers play

Jake throws and Jaylin places the blocks each their own way


We wonder why she is like Venus and he is like Mars

Smart folks with great learning look toward all the stars


But really now folks I will look too, and then nod

The answer is simple the odds favor-it was God



Copyright Kathleen M. Brosius


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February 03, 2011

The House that Nancy and I Built

A Sketch of our House





















When one begins to go to school, one begins to meet people from outside one’s home. I began first grade in 1951 and became friends with Nancy. She lived in a big white house on the next block. Back then kids could roam around the neighborhood without too much worry. Either Nancy would knock on my door or I on hers. We spent most of our spare time together playing in each other’s rooms envying each other’s toys. As we grew older we climbed the hills behind town and on Saturday nights we walked all of the sidewalks of our little town. We had a big old work boat and Nancy went with us to the sloughs of the Mississippi River. Nancy’s family had a fast pleasure boat and I went with them to the main channel of that same river.


One summer we must have been eleven or twelve years old, I don’t remember what got into us but we decided to build a house. Across the street from where I lived there was an empty lot. Two blocks from the empty lot there was a lumber yard. We often walked along the road that went right by the lumber yard so we knew what the layout was. There was always scrap boards lying on the ground. As long as they were not on the neatly piled stacks of lumber it seemed to Nancy and me they were rejects and they were there for the taking. We dragged as many boards as we needed the two blocks to the empty lot across the street from me. My dad had tools and tons of nails. We borrowed hammers and saws and other hardware as we needed it. We ran out of nails, pooled our money and bought hands full of nails from the lumber yard. The same lumber yard that we gleaned the wood planks from.


My Dad had a section of an old floor piled up a few blocks away. He donated the pile to our project and they were dragged over to our building site. We had a beginning. A handsome floor it was. We measured and sawed and then we pounded and pounded. The walls grew tall and the corners sort of square. Soon we had one room built. A doorway led to the street. A window looked out over the wetlands east of town.


The neighborhood kids were intrigued. Nancy and I discussed adding a second room. We were running low on boards when my brother John and a pal of his showed up dragging part of an old pig shelter. A father of one of our friends was glad to be rid of it so we took ownership. We fastened the remains of the shelter to our one room dwelling and after a few days of measuring and pounding, we had a second smaller room with a doorway. We had enough planks left to attach a lean-to roof. One of the kids donated an old mattress, another an ancient table. We tacked news papers on the walls for wall paper.


Autumn and cooler weather was approaching so we built a door and attached it with some hinges found in Daddy’s tool shed. Some old tar paper cut to the right size was nailed to the inside top of the window. When we wanted light, we fastened the tar paper to the side. When we wanted darkness or protection from the elements, we let the tar paper hang down. We were very proud of our house. Both of our dads were proud as well, but behind our backs, I am sure, they shook their heads and rolled their eyes. Nancy’s dad later told us that he made several trips to the lumber yard to pay for the lumber that we dragged away.


As the temperature dropped, we hauled an old kerosene heater to our house. I cannot imagine how we did that or who owned the stove but we knew how to work it and we had heat. Everyday after school, we huddled inside our house, close to the heater. Our brothers visited, as did a few girl friends. We never knew this but our dad’s kept an eye on us at all times. A guardian angel must have been hovering, as well.


We did have a couple of mishaps. One day my brother Jim came over to check things out. We were lifting a long board to nail it in place; it slipped and hit Jim. We ran screaming for help, as in an instant Jim’s forehead was covered in blood. He wasn’t hurt bad but he had a bump beneath a band-aide for a few days. Another day I was running to the shed to get something and I stepped on a big black stick; it moved. I shrieked and brought everyone dashing to their doorways. I had stepped on a big bull snake. He hurried on his way. I wasn’t too frightened for I continued on with our building.


I don’t remember ever dismantling our house. No one ever took a picture of it but everyone on the block remembers it.


Nancy and I have kept in touch. We have always sent birthday and Christmas cards and on occasion have been in our old home town at the same time. Since we have retired and I live in a house on wheels, we have visited Nancy and her husband. A few months ago, I received an exciting e-mail from Nancy. She and her husband Phil have purchased a 1986 Pace Arrow motor home. They have been working on it, improving and replacing and cleaning their new home on wheels. They are on their way to Texas, providing the old Pace Arrow gets them here. We are so anxious to see them and their motor home. If, in fact, they make it down here without any breakdowns and if they can manage to adjust from a big house full of rooms and closets to a house about the size of the one that Nancy and I built so many years ago, they may just decide to travel around in a motor home one day. Nancy tells me the plan is to sell the Pace Arrow and maybe purchase a newer model and travel, at least during the winter months, to warmer places.


I would love that.


Footnote: Nancy and Phil made it to San Benito. Their Pace Arrow stalled at the end of their driveway. They were actually relieved that it quit on them. Phil was a little worried about the trip. They stuffed all that they needed into their car and headed south. We enjoyed their company so much. They visited all the sights in the area and after three weeks in the Valley they decided it was time to move on. This morning we said our good byes. I hated to see them go but hopefully they will return next winter for a few weeks.



Copyright by Kathleen M. Brosius



Kathleen and Nancy Today













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January 23, 2011

Kathleen here...

I was inspired to write this poem after an experience I had when a colleague and I found a human bone fragment while working as archaeologists. The remains were reburied without examination or study.



I Met a Friend This Morning



I met a friend this morning.

And already we said good-bye.


He walked this land a long time ago.

And I have just walked by.


I found him as he slumbered.

He uttered not a word.


I spoke to him, as he lay at rest.

My voice, he never heard.


His name? I will never know it.

Nor will he whisper mine.


I’ll not understand his life on earth.

A spark that ceased to shine.


He has silently waited for my touch.

He has yearned for me to care.


I long to reach within his soul.

A deed I shall not dare.


So I will let him rest.

I will walk on until that day comes for me.


I will join him then in the cool dark earth.

Where we will speak and laugh and be….


Copyright by Kathleen M. Brosius


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January 16, 2011

Winter Projects

     Kathleen has been participating in her writers group and other activities here at Fun-n-Sun RV park, our home for the Winter.  You have read some of her stories and hopefully will be reading more of her work in the future.

     I too, have been enjoying our stay here as this RV park has a wood working shop second to none.  There is every conceivable tool, saw, sander, drill press, lath, etc. etc.  More importantly my fellow wood shop companions are retired wood workers with talent and expertise that they are more than willing to share----just ask!  I have had a couple of projects that I have now completed and will share through pictures what they were.

     As some of you may remember from past postings I have an interest in working with "Diamond Willow" and have been making quite a few walking sticks.  Some of them I have even carved "Wood Spirits" on the shaft.  Some of the pieces of Diamond Willow do not lend themselves to making very good walking sticks as they may be too large in diameter or have an ugly bend or angle where they should be straight, etc.  If cut correctly some of those pieces do make nice "lamp shafts".

     In the following pictures you will see the very first lamp I made and now have completed.  I have several more in the works and will be enjoying the rest of winter here working on them.



Lamp Project 1

























































     In addition to the above project I wanted to do something with the TV situation in our bed room.  Above the washer dryer was one of those 200 lb huge TV's that take up a ton of space and space in our "Tininthewind RV" is at a premium.  That old TV occupied a huge area, residing on a lazy Susan type stand that pulled out of its cubby hole and then swiveled slightly so as to be visible from one lying in bed.

     I knew If I could remove all that bulk and simply mount a new "modern" slimline LCD TV on a "pocket door" overhead channel I could gain a heck of a lot of space for a new cupboard.

     The following pictures should give you some idea of the space gained and what the finished project looks like.  You can see on the left the pocket that the TV slides in too for storage as we travel and how it slides out when we want to watch it.  To the right of it is now a huge cabinet/cupboard with the Oak facing and door that I made.  You may also note that I trimmed the overhead track that the TV travels on in Oak.  Amazingly the Oak stain and finish matched pretty well with the surrounding original factory Oak trim and lower lattice doors which close off the washer dryer area.



TV hiding in its pocket















TV pulled out for viewing 














Looks and works Great















     Lets see-----other than some more lamps to finish, what other projects can I come up with?


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January 07, 2011

A Simple Costume

Kathleen as Little Red Riding Hood



















 Kathleen here,


I have joined the Writer’s Group again this year. The first assignment: Write about a costume that you wore. I thought maybe you would enjoy reading it. Here it is…


A Simple Costume


I could hear the soft hum of the crowd’s whispering in the now dimmed gymnasium. Shadows moved behind the flowing crimson curtain that concealed the sprawling stage and the set, it held. I stood alone at the entrance to the newly built High School Gymnasium, built with pride for the school’s flourishing basketball teams. The floor, polished and gleaming, softly reflected the only light that came in from the lobby. My small shadow lay before me, eager to lead my march to the front of the auditorium.


A few weeks earlier, in Second Grade, I was chosen to be in the Christmas pageant. I was so excited and upon telling my mother, she immediately began planning my costume. She had recently purchased a beautiful white satin half slip. She retrieved it from her lingerie drawer and held it up for my approval. A wide trim of lace cascaded from the knee. When trying it on, the elastic waist band had to be pulled up to my chest; the lace at the hem just touched the floor. Perfect. Half of the costume was complete. Mama tucked her slip safely away.


We then planned a shopping trip to our nearest big city. Sears Roebuck would have what we needed. Although the weather threatened, we made the trip and found the perfect blouse. After studying several racks, we settled on a crisp white cotton blouse trimmed in lace. Lace bordered tiny pearl buttons that fell from collar to hem. The same delicate tatting peaked out from the hem of the collar, as well as the cuffs at the wrists. A tiny breast pocket, again trimmed in lace, was stitched onto the bodice. I was thrilled and loved my new blouse.


The costume was not complete. My hair would need to be styled just right. A pair of soft white gloves and white Patten leather shoes would accent the ensemble. Now for the remaining objects to illustrate who I was portraying: for this, we found some cardboard, an old white shear curtain, some wire, a long stick (Daddy whittled a twig into a manageable pole), string and tin foil.


Soon a perfect cardboard star covered in tin foil lay on the table. The twig pole was also covered in foil. Daddy figured out a way to attach the star to the end of the pole, then we commandeered him again into bending the wire into to two wing shapes. By bedtime, Mama and I had covered the wire wings with the material from the white shear curtains.


My costume was taking shape. By the evening of the Christmas pageant, I was ready. Mama had dressed me at home. The white blouse hung down to my waist covering the elastic band that circled my chest. I wore a tiny gold cross that I had been given as a thank you gift when I was a flower girl at my cousin June’s wedding. In the lobby of the auditorium, my wings were hung on my back with strings and an old cinch belt. My new white shoes peeked out from beneath the lace of my gown. My hair was drawn back and held in place by a rhinestone clasp. My bangs were freshly trimmed and Mama even let me wear a little pink lipstick.


There I stood waiting for my cue to begin my walk. I knew where my parents and my two brothers were sitting. I could not see them but they were there. As the curtain began to open, the lovely melody of “Silent Night” began. A choir on the stage was singing this most beloved Christmas Carol. My cue. I held high the cardboard star and proceeded. I proudly walked to the front and climbed the steps to the stage. Waiting for me were Joseph and Mary played by fellow classmates. Baby Jesus was played by a life size baby doll. As “Silent Night,” ended, I took my place behind the manger.


I have enjoyed dressing up for various roles throughout my life: fairies, witches and even Little Red Riding Hood on Halloween. My cousins Janice and Junie used to let me try on their prom dresses (the crinkly netting was so uncomfortable), but I felt beautiful in them. I was a flower girl, a bridesmaid, and a bride (My wedding dress was the most beautiful dress). But the first time I was ever dressed in costume was as the Angel, the Star of Bethlehem, who guided the shepherds to the Baby Jesus. A role I shall ne’re forget.

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December 22, 2010

A Week in December, 2010

Is This the Bird of Paradise










Kathleen here, December 22, 2010



From the Sands of Iwo Jima to a sunset on the Gulf, then the blush of The Old Man in the Moon. Yes really, this is what we saw this past week.


Over by the Harlingen, Texas Airport there is a Memorial to fallen Marines from all the wars fought since November 1776. The statue stands in a small park across the street from a WWII museum. This statue is the sculpture that was used in casting the famous “Raising of the Flag at Iwo Jima“ Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, VA. One can study each face of the five Marines and one Navy Corpsman. The intricate work of the uniforms and facial expressions were carefully crafted using the three survivors of Iwo Jima as models and photographs of the three who were lost in battle. We watched a video about Iwo Jima and walked through the museum dedicated to the United States Marine Corp. We left with heavy hearts but hearts also bursting with pride and gratitude for the soldiers who fought that battle and all battles.


The following day we drove over to South Padre Island and watched the sun set with our friends Bill and Margaret. We never seem to get enough of seeing that old orange ball sink into the sea. We were not  the only ones enjoying the sight. A pelican was also mesmerized.


On the night of the Winter Solstice, the early morning hours of December 21, I beheld a beautiful sight. The total lunar eclipse - so far away, so straight up in the sky. I pulled out our binoculars and camera and watched and watched. I couldn't leave until the moon was completely in the Earth’s shadow. The moon darkened and as the Earth moved along its orbital path casting its shadow on the surface of the moon, the dazzling white orb took on an orange hue as if it had been dipped in a cup of dye. The night was darker for a while. To the east of this fantastic display, I saw the constellation Orion. We are too far south to see the Big Dipper which points to the North Star. I miss that. On crisp cold dark nights back in Wisconsin, I could easily pick out this constellation as I looked toward La Crosse. The North Star was always where it should be.


We will soon be in Seattle where one cannot easily enjoy viewing celestial bodies, but the joy of spending Christmas with those we love best will far out weigh our week of site seeing. 




Famous Statue at Harlingen, TX















Close up of Statue















Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico
















Total Eclipse of the Moon















We wish all of our readers a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. God Bless all of you.

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December 04, 2010

Winter Home 2010 / 2011

Our Pad at Fun-n-Sun Resort















     Fun-n-Sun Winter Texan Senior Resort or whatever you want to call it is where we will call home for the next three months.  This is a RV mini-city with approximately 1500 sites which will mostly be full some time between Christmas and New Years, but for now there are a lot of empty sites.  Our little community is gated, streets have have appropriate names such as ours, (Restful), and others like, (Quiet), etc.  All the streets are paved.  The sites are grass with cement pad, walkway and reasonable room between rigs.  There are literally hundreds of huge palm tree's waving in the breeze.

     Last year was a cool/wet winter and in spite of it we enjoyed many days at the huge outdoor pool/hot tub area.  This year the weather has been fantastic so far and the long range outlook is for a more normal Rio Grand Valley Winter and we are excited to experience it.

     There are so many things going on in this park that one has to study the Activity Book daily so as to be sure not to miss something desired.  I have signed up to use the wood-working shop this year and spent some time there today.  I have many projects in mind and hope I find time to accomplish just a few of them.  There is every tool imaginable which will make my projects very enjoyable.

     We are hearing of the snow and cold back in the old home area of the mid-west and are ever more grateful to just be where we are. 

     We will be flying to the Seattle area to spend Christmas with our Boys and Families.  We look forward to being with them but will be anxious to return to our 'Tininthewind'.

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November 22, 2010

Fish for Dinner Tonight

Bill with 36" Bull Redfish















Bill and George Sharing the Moment















     Bill McNew, my fellow full-time RV traveling friend has been fishing the intra-coastal waterway here in Rockport.  Bill is one who rises early in the morning and spends many mornings fishing.  Sometimes when I get up at the crack of 9 or so I drive out to join him.  This morning, I didn't and Bill finally caught what we have been fishing for.  The fish is a 'Bull Red', about 36" and 25 lbs.

     We are planning to have Fish for dinner tonight as Margaret (Bills wife)  and Kathleen will do the honors. 

     While driving back from the cleaning station and having the fillets on ice Bill and I joked with each other-----figuring with the licenses, tackle bought, and bait for each day this one fish is probably worth about $40.00 a serving for tonight.

     It better be good.

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November 13, 2010

A Month Along the Intracoastal Waterway
















*Please keep scrolling down, as a glitch has caused large gaps between pictures. Sorry.


Kathleen here…

 Ah, Texas. The soft breeze, the blue sky and white clouds above, the Great Blue Herons and Egrets, the blue, blue ocean with its white waves rolling in, and so much more to describe what we see each day. My windows are open and I am enjoying the evening breeze. We are happy here in our RV Park. The Lagoons is what it is called. A very nice, well kept park. It isn’t full yet but December will bring many many “snow birds” south for the winter.

Rockport is on the Intracoastal Waterway. Way out on the far horizon one can almost see land which is part of the long long Padre Island National Seashore which runs from South Padre Island at the Mexican border way up to Galveston. A beautiful strip where there is a wildlife refuge, waterways great for fishing, and beautiful areas for picnics and beach combing and just looking at the view.

George has been fishing everyday. He runs to Walmart every evening for something he either lost or needs: fishing poles and baits. Two good friends, whom we met while work camping in Washington State, spend winters down here as well. They are parked in the same park right now and Bill and George are lovin’ the fishin.’ None on the table yet.

Margaret and I have joined the boys for the afternoon/evening fishing trip. We have packed picnic lunches and hauled lawn chairs along. The sunsets are beautiful. Dophins chase after their supper right in front of us. A big old turtle has surfaced a few times and lots of little fish jump around. We have seen other fishermen try to bring in big red fish. They always get away.

We drove into the woods to view a 1000+ year old Life Oak. You will see its picture.

Come on down!




Egret and Friends enjoying Texas











George and a hungry Pelican waiting for a bite

















Great Blue Heron















Beautiful Coast of Rockport


















1000 Year Old Live Oak
















 Margaret and Bill McNew














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November 01, 2010

Lagoons RV Resort--Rockport, Texas

Our Site for November--Rockport,TX















Very Nice RV Park for Extended Stay















I think we are going to like it here.















     We have landed for the month of November at the Lagoons RV Resort in Rockport, Texas and are very happy with our site and what we see of the park so far.  We are about 100 yards from the indoor swimming pool and activities center.  We have met two of our closest neighbors, both of whom have been coming to this park for the last 5 years and speak highly of it.

     We have visited this coastal town approx. four times in the last two years and really like the area.  This month long stay in the RV park is to see if we would like it long term for the winter months rather than continuing on with the Rio Grand Valley and San Benito.  This area is much more laid back from a busy traffic situation and much easier to get around in.  The park lacks some of the frills that we have become accustomed too at the Fun-n-Sun Resort in San Benito, Texas so we will have to see.

     One of the big pluses to Rockport area is that the winds are generally lighter than they are in the Valley and most everyone says they put their awnings out and have no concerns.  That is something that was difficult to do in San Benito.

     Kathleen just came in from sitting outside and reading on her new Kindle.  She reports it is a little 'close'.  I take that to mean a little warm and humid as we don't have any immediate neighbors as yet.  It is currently 89 degrees and a bit humid but a big thunderstorm is rolling in for tonight and tomorrow so we will see how well our awning handles it all.  Temps for the next five days are to be in the mid 70's, more to my liking.

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August 22, 2010

Back Yards

Andersen Lake State Park Host Site















     Starting our 5th year of full-timing in our home (tininthewind), we have had many back yards.  Sometimes we head for a place based on the fact that it will be a beautiful setting and the park is part of our membership groups.  Sometimes we simply stop at a given park because we are in transit heading from point A to B.  Sometimes our back yard may simply be a spot of convenience such as a Wal-mart parking lot or perhaps a welcoming spot in a Casino parking lot.  No matter the stop (back yard), we make the best of it.

     There may be neighbors to meet and greet.  There may be a beautiful mountain in the distance to go explore.  There may simply be an interesting looking side road, so why not go see where it leads.  It also may just be a place to rest from the drive, get a good nights sleep, and then the next day, travel on.

     Neither of us can think of one instance in the past 4 years that we have felt uncomfortable or fearful and wished we hadn't stopped, and that includes our two winter travels of Mexico. 

     We do not always photograph our nightly site, and now in preparing this blog, I wish we had as it would show a better composite of this lifestyle of ours. 

     I believe having the camping memberships that we do have has allowed us to keep our nightly costs to a minimum while enjoying some of the more pristine settings as we travel.  We have Thousand Trails, Coast to Coast, Resort Park International (RPI), Passport America, Escapee's, Good Sam, and of course there is always a discount for AARP if all else fails.

     We have been deep in the forest with wildlife all around us.  We have been exposed to the blazing sun in the middle of a concrete jungle, with the generator running to keep the A/C cooling.  We have been in the middle of huge fields  with staked off roads while attending rallies with hundreds of others just like us.  We have been hunkered down because the storm approaching was a doozie. 

     There has not been one time that we have looked at each other and said, "Why are we doing this".  We would not change one minute of what has become, Our Lifestyle.

     We have truly enjoyed the journey so far and look forward to many more years of seeing what is around the next corner.

     Check out the following slide show to view some of the 'Back Yards' we have had.  I regret that we did not take a picture of every one of them.


                                                             Slide Show

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July 20, 2010

Time Marches On

Volunteer Camp Host Site at Andersen Lake















     It won't be long and we will have completed our commitment to Volunteer Host at Andersen Lake State Park for the month of July.  We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay and duties here at the Park.  In addition to Andersen Lake we have been privileged to have met all the Volunteers and Paid Staff at Fort Flagler State Park just outside of Port Townsend.  Our (boss) friend Ranger Mike Zimmerman, the Park Manager have made us feel an intricate part of the whole system.

     Every Saturday night a group called, "Friends of Fort Flagler", host a Music in the Park Venue which is a two hour show featuring various music groups, most with Folk Music/Jazz style.  We have attended them all so far and find the presentations to be outstanding.  The program is held outdoors in between underground bunkers and could probably be considered the most unique stage presentation you could find anywhere.  The acoustics are awesome.

     Tuesday evening is steak night at one of the local pubs in Port Hadlock and some of the Volunteer couples gather to socialize with each other and we have enjoyed this outing as well.  We gather at about 5:30, and at 6:00 the owner of the pub blows a bugle to indicate it is time to step outside where the grills are located to place your order for steak and the trimmings that go with.  The Fort Flagler group is known to get a bit loud but I suppose that goes with the pub atmosphere.  I'm just sayin'!

     This Thursday is a pot-luck that will be held in one of the shelters at the Fort Flagler Camp Ground.  Most of the Volunteers and Paid Staff will be attending.  Ranger Mike has indicated that he plans to put out the crab pots in the bay and will be providing as much crab as he can.  Just outside the entrance to Fort Flagler is a commercial operation offering fresh caught crab, oysters, clams, and fish so I would expect some will arrive with plenty of sea food to go with the other offerings.  Pot-lucks are always awesome and I expect this one will be no exception.

     Last week two of our fellow full-time RV friends stopped to visit us as they toured the Peninsula, Bill and Margaret Mcnew.  We have known Bill and Margaret for several years now and always enjoy each others company when our paths cross in our travels.  We introduced Bill and Margaret to Ranger Mike at Fort Flagler and long story short----they are now on site at Fort Flagler and the newest Volunteer couple under Ranger Mike's leadership.  We stopped over at the Fort yesterday and Bill was busy mowing grass, a task that he enjoys.  Margaret will be assisting in the office doing some archiving.

     Bill and I have been fishing off the Fort Flagler point as much as we can.  We haven't hooked and landed any salmon yet but we will continue to give it our best efforts.  Fishing on this point is very enjoyable as the beauty of the area is awesome.  Many cruise ships headed for the inside passage to Alaska from Seattle pass close by as we are fishing.

     In our free time, we have enjoyed touring the area and one of our recent trips, with Bill and Margaret, was to Hurricane Ridge.  We enjoyed the drive up the mountain and the scenery looking out over the Strait and the San Juan's was spectacular.

     We will be returning to the mainland of Washington and more visits with our Brosius Families before ultimately returning to the Wisconsin area for our Fall Visits, but until we do, we will continue to enjoy our time at Andersen Lake State Park and our association with all the folks at Fort Flagler.

The pictures that follow are random but pertinent to the comments above.  Place your pointer on the picture for a description and or comment.




"Deadwood Revival" at Fort Flagler Music Night















Part of the Crowd for the Music















Kathleen on one of our Hikes to the Look Out















Fort Flagler Point where Bill and I have been Fishing















Fort Flagler Gun Placement Bunkers















Bill and Margaret Mcnew at Fort Flagler















Kathleen and I at Fort Flagler















Bill enjoying the view from Huricane Ridge













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July 01, 2010

Where are We This July 2010

     It all starts with a phone call:  We hadn't planned on this as we sort of pre-planned our summer to center around our Sons and their families since we missed out on a lot of grandkid hugs last summer----but----when Ranger Mike called to see if we would be available to Host at Andersen Lake State Park-------------




The Host Pad






























Andersen Lake State Park--Host Site















Boat Landing is Below















How Could We Refuse















The Host is In















     How Could We Refuse.


     Several years ago Kathleen and I drove in to Andersen Lake State Park and encountered yellow police tape strung across the road prohibiting vehicular entry.  The park had been closed due to a recent discovery of a toxic algae Bloom that had apparently sickened several dogs who had drunk from the lake after hiking with their masters.  All had been treated by the same Vet, and the link to the lake water was suspected.  EPA testing confirmed the high level of toxicity.

     We left the car and hiked to the Lake and discovered one of the most pristine spots we have ever visited in all our travels.  There was an unoccupied Host Site with full hook-ups and our curiosity caused us to do some research to find out who to contact and see if we could perhaps apply for the Volunteer Host Position.

     Ranger Mike Zimmerman took our call and in spite of having all the people he needed invited us to submit an application.  He stopped by the RV park we were staying in at the time to drop off the application and in so doing conducted an interview of sorts with the both of us.  That was three years ago!

     Some time around the end of April Mike sent us an e-mail wanting to know if we were available for the summer to Host at Andersen Lake.  We responded to let him know that our plans for most of the summer were committed, however, if for some reason he could use us for just one month we would consider it.  He responded and said he could use us for the month of July and would pencil us in.  We responded back and told him to put it in ink as we would be there.  I guess you can tell by the pictures above we are on site and ready to assume our Volunteer Duties.  Mike has been away on some family matters and we won't hear from him or anyone until after the holiday so in the meantime we will just enjoy the beautiful view.

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June 21, 2010

Fathers Day 2010 is Special

Bill and Scott Making FD Special















     There isn't a father anywhere who could be more proud than I of my Son's.  There lives are well established, there contributions to society are all positive, and they, as fathers themselves, are having great success at raising (my) four wonderful grandkids.  We were fortunate that we could all get together on this Fathers Day 2010 and enjoy each others company. 

     We were planning our little gathering to be at the Thousand Trails Thunderbird Resort in Monroe, Washington where we currently are but the weather would not cooperate so we shifted our plans and headed for Bill, Heidi, Mason and Maddies house in Renton.  That was a good call as it rained steady most of the day.

     Not every father gets a pair of underwear for Fathers Day and can laugh about it but as you will see in one of the pictures they did have a little fun with me.  The big question was---"will they fit grandpa?"

     We all had a great time and look forward to the rest of the summer and each others company.  Oh, did I mention how proud I am of my two Washinton Families.




That should cover my "Bass"















Grandpa holding Court















Grandpa's girls, Maddie and Ellie















Grandpa's Grandson's Mason and Zak















Hugs All Day---Gotta Love Em'















Adults getting food ready













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June 08, 2010

Summer May Be Here

Kathleen here,




Beautiful Flowering Bush















Summer May Be Here



Beautiful blossoms are covering lots of huge bushes. On every street, in front of every home. Too bad all the rain that we have been having is forcing the delicate petals to the ground. Kind of like the peonies back in Iowa and Wisconsin. Everything else is lush green and growing. We are enjoying our summer in Washington State.


Being close to our kids keeps us busy. We want to see them as much as we can. We were happy to be able to see Mason and his school mates play at sports. Heidi asked if we would like to join her and go to a track meet. Mason and his pals ran their hardest all afternoon. Their school colors won some matches. Mason was a team player in the relay races. We were so happy to be able to watch and cheer his team on and we could tell that he was pleased to see his family sitting in the stands.


The following week, we moved to another RV Park. Maddie celebrated her 7th birthday on June 4th and was promised a party at our park the following day. We had a grand time. First thing on the list was to check out the swimming pool. The 64 degrees temperature didn’t stop anyone from jumping in. Well, it stopped a couple of us. Look at the following photographs and you will see who the brave ones were. After days and days of steady down pours, the sun came out on our party day. The 3rd time we saw the sun since the 1st of May. This is the Northwest and it rains until, well about now.


After the pool party we all came back to the coach and enjoyed our fill of barbeques and birthday cake. We played games on the computer, drew pictures on tablets and played with Maddie’s new stuffed birthday animal pals. We loved having them all day long. We were missing a few family members though. Being there is very few sunny days this time of year, Scott and Angela had to stay back at the boat and get caught up on some sailboat maintenance. We will be seeing them real soon.


Oh, I can’t forget to mention the two fellows in the hot tub. We had to coax them out to join us.




Mason at Track Meet















Maddie, Grandpa and Mason















Maddie's Birthday















Geroge and Billy in Jacuzzi













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May 31, 2010

Memorial Day------Remembering

Painting of P-38 Fighter















     As Kathleen mentioned we are in NW Washington within easy driving distance of our Boys and their families.  We have been enjoying getting together with them and especially the hugs from the little ones.  We had a picnic of sorts this Memorial Week-end in between the rain drops at our Motor Coach (tininthewind), and after everyone left it is time to reflect how fortunate we are and remember for a moment those who "Gave All" and are giving their all even as we speak!

     I reminded of course of the ultimate sacrifice that so many have given, including my Dad.  They gave all and never returned.

     The above painting was of a P-38 fighter plane such as the one my dad lost his life in during WWII.  I had a painter from Ohio paint the above image and for many years I had it mounted on the side of my semi-trailer for all to ask questions about as I criss-crossed the USA.  He actually painted a mirror image so that I had one on both sides of the trailer.  I received many questions and comments as I traveled along via the CB radio.




Lieutenant George E Brosius 1923-1945


























      Lieutenant George E Brosius, 1923-1945




My Mom and Guess Who




















     My Mom and Guess Who?




     Today is a day to remember all those who are serving, have served, and especially those who
"Gave All."  I especially want to remember my Dad, Lieutenant George E Brosius, 1923-1945,
WWII, Lost somewhere in the Philipinnes, June of 1945.  We never got to know each other
accept for a few pictures, as I was only 3 mo. old when he went missing.  The following song is a
tribute to him.  I took the liberty to change a few words from the song by Billy Ray Cyrus 

"Some Gave All"  Click on the following link to listen to that Song!

                                         Tribute Song

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May 18, 2010

What? Am I Bored?

George and Kathleen

















Those of you who are worried that retirement will bring days of boredom, and nights laying awake, planning on how to re-arrange your furniture -- sell everything and move into a motor home. This, of course, is what George and I did.

We spent two winters in Mexico, and this past winter, we enjoyed the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. In our travels, we not only were introduced to new friends and different foods, we were awed by the beautiful and diverse landscapes of North America. But this you already know.

This year is almost ½ over and yesterday I finally had some time to do some deep cleaning. Let me lead you through the past three months:

The end of February we packed up and left Texas. Branson, MO was our first big stop. For ten days we were out and about every day seeing the sights. There are lots of great things to see and do in Branson.

On to Iowa. Finally, we pulled into Sunshine Acres outside of Waukon. Thanks Jim and Alyce for holding that perfect site for us. Everyday there, we drove to La Crosse, WI for doctors’ and other appointments, and to Garnavillo to visit George’s mom. We spent a few nights at Goose Island County Park by La Crosse, for quick access to further appointments, and back and forth to Iowa to see Mom-in-law, Betty.

Finally on April 20, we were on our way again, this time Seattle was in our sites. An excited traveling companion accompanied us. We invited Betty to travel with us. We enjoyed showing her the beautiful sites along the way. Although she is slowing down a bit- she’ll be 87 years old on May 31, she was an easy one to travel with and was always prepared to help with chores.

Our boys and their families were waiting to greet us on our arrival in the Seattle area. Having not seen their grandma in some time, they were delighted in delighting her during her visit. She loved spending time with her great grandchildren. Picnics and lots of show-and-tell filled our days. Sadly, the time came to say our good-byes. Grandma Betty flew back to the Mid-west on May 10. George and I were glad to have our limited space fully returned to us, but we were happy to have had the opportunity to provide Betty with a little wish come true vacation.

We continued to drive back and forth to visit our kids. Being close to them for the summer will keep us busy and entertained. Our four grandchildren: Zak and Ellie; and Mason and Maddie will be with us quite a bit. Their parents, Scott and Angela, and Billy and Heidi, will follow us around with their tents whenever they find the time.

When I do sneak a few minutes of leisure time, I like to write a bit, or read a good book. Television is usually on, to catch news and weather. We both have a couple of favorite programs. We seem to never get bored. A ride in the car on an unfamiliar road, or a visit with a new neighbor can occupy lots of time. Our humble home on wheels gets cluttered quite easily. I spend the mornings tidying up. It doesn’t take a lot of work. Before one knows it, its time to button things up and say good-night. Or it might be time hit the road again.

I better make good use of my few days off here at Lake Sawyer. The kids may show up anytime. Bring it on.

By Kathleen M. Brosius

May 17, 2010




George's Mom-Betty
















Snoqualmie Falls, WA















Fort Casey Ferry, WA















Fish Lake in Cascade Mts, WA















 Pine Squirrel Buddy full of Peanuts














Fish Lake















Scott and Billy with Grandma Betty 
















Brosius Family
















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February 09, 2010

Karaoke Krazy

     After receiving a comment from at least one of my grandchildren it was enough to encourage me to add a couple more "story songs" to my attempts at internet Karaoke.  I may be running out of steam and material but at least I have had fun with this new hobbie.  Click on the link below if you are able to stand finger nails scraping on the blackboard----just kidding----enjoy!


                                                          Click Here

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January 24, 2010

Giant Hamburger of the Rio Grand Valley

Rio Grand Valley Giant Burger















     Located way off in a residential neighborhood in Donna, Texas is an unmarked restaurants of sorts.  I put it that way because there are no visible signs that the building is a restaurant, no sign, no anything, except long lines of customers leading in to the building and lots of cars parked on the street.

     If you do a little research on what to do and see in the Rio Grand Valley for us winter Texans you will for sure locate a visit to the Gonzalez's Burgers as being one of the highlights.

     The story goes, that the Gonzalez family owns a large ranch just outside the valley.  They butcher their own beef, bring it to this out of the way place, grind the meat as it is needed, prepare it and serve it throughout the day. 

     It is a fact that they try to accommodate everyone in line but if they run out of meat they simply turn the sign to closed and those still in line will have to come back another day.  The menu is burgers of the usual style, such as cheese burger, bacon burger, etc.  It is the size and price that apparently is the draw.  I had a plain burger with, onion, pickle, mustard, catchup and the price was $3.70.  Our neighbor Carole had a Bacon Burger which included 7 slices of bacon on top of the patty you see in the above picture.  Add a family size serving of Fry's and onion rings to split between and you won't eat for the rest of the day.

     Seating is at long tables which makes for a great way to meet people and carry on a conversation while waiting for your order.

     Pictured below are our neighbors Jean-Louis and Carole Gobeil who are also full-time motor-homers but have their roots in Montreal, Canada, and also a look at the line waiting to order.

     For lack of a better word, the restaurant, is talked about constantly through the forums on the computer and the business just keeps coming six days a week, usually closing about 2:00 when they run out of meat for the day.



















Jean-Louis and Carole














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January 04, 2010

Palms Waving in the Breeze

Palms Waving in RGV Breeze















     Another day without the sun here in the RGV but the slight breeze has the palms waving.  This picture is from the front of our coach to our nearest neighbors to our North.  There is about a block equivalent empty space between us.  I am tempted to go out and fly a kite cause that is what Kathleen told me to do, but guess I would have to go buy one first.

     The weather here continues to be quite cool and a lot of drizzle from time to time.  Everyone says this is a very unusual weather even for this area so we continue to have patients.  Patients is wearing thin though and the 'tininthewind' does have wheels.

     Kathleen is off to participate in some ladies day activities and I think I will find the largest beach towel we have and head for the jacuzzi and pool. 

     Hope wherever you are, you are contending with the weather, and knowing what most of you are contending with cold, I promise to quit complaining.

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December 31, 2009

Where has this year Gone


 First off:  Happy New Year to all our friends and family. 


     We have had a busy couple of weeks over the holidays.  I had ordered a 25" monitor for Kathleen's Desk Top Computer several months ago with plans to replace the CPU (computer itself) when a good deal came along.  About a month ago just what we were looking for popped up on: .

     The new CPU is a great addition to that huge monitor.  It shipped with Microsoft Vista as the operating system but also included a free offer to ask for the Windows 7 upgrade disks.  We sent for them and I spent a couple days this past week installing Windows 7.  I am happy to report that it went fairly smooth and the system is fantastic.

     Kathleen's passion and hobby has been, since going full time four years ago, to digitize all our family photo's and all the photo's she has collected over the years of her family and mine.  She had been doing a great job and was enjoying her work but was running out of hard drive space on our older computer.  This new one has a 'Terabyte' of hard drive so I don't think she will run out of room for even more pictures.

     As if the above wasn't enough to do, we decided to upgrade our TV at the front of the 'tininthewind'.  We replaced the 27" Sony with a 42" Philips.  The new one fit like a glove where the old one resided.  It took about two days to get it in place, mounted and anchored securely in place.  I had to turn myself into a pretzel to get it accomplished and could only work a couple hours before having to give the 'ol body a rest.  Its done and we love it.

     We RV'ers being the spoiled retired lot that we are, also like to have a TV outside for watching Nascar on Sunday afternoons so I built a special shelf to store the 27" Sony in the basement and special hanging brackets for it when we desire to use it.

     With all of my projects done, at least for awhile, I think I will just kick back with a cold pop and enjoy the outside patio.  The weather here in Texas is starting to improve.  The 'snowbirds' who waited till after Christmas to leave family up North are arriving in droves.  With the weather improving and everyone feeling a bit more like being outside we may yet get a chance to meet some of the 1500 who are in this Park.


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December 25, 2009

Christmas Day 2009 San Benito, Texas

     We have been enjoying all the festivities here in the Fun N Sun RV Park in spite of some very windy cool weather.  We are missing all our Family and Friends, especially on this day.  We had an OK Christmas dinner with about 500 other gray haired folks but sure had memories of those fantastic Christmas Dinners past.

     We have a little special message for you all:



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December 09, 2009

Fun N Sun Resort

Our Site for two Months R-169















     In the picture above the 'tininthewind' is sitting pretty just after our arrival at the "Fun N Sun Resort".  We were given the choice of six or seven sites and we chose R-169.  Our street name is 'Restful'.  Just behind us are several streets of permanent sites with different styles of park models and all attractively landscaped with fruit tree's heavily laden with ripening grapefruit and oranges, and of course many varieties of flowers or flowering bushes.



















Restfull Street















Grapefruit tree's right behind us















     This park offers more activities than either of us care to get involved in but from time to time it will be fun to attend some of the entertainment venues and some of the pot luck gatherings but for the most part we prefer to just relax.

     Several things do peak my interest and I plan to take advantage of them.  The first is a beautiful pool/jacuzzi area that is open 24/7.  The second is a huge exercise center that has the latest equipment and is also open 24/7.  We have been here three days and I have used the pool and jacuzzi every day.  I got acquainted with the exercise center this evening before going to the pool and I can't wait to get back there tomorrow.

     There are wood working shops, carving gatherings, indoor shuffleboard, billiards, RC-electric care race tracks used for practice and competition.  There are huge mowed fields near-by for kite flying and a measured driving range.  There are other activities and dedicated buildings for those activities but I haven't had time to check them all out.

     We have been out and about in the surrounding area and are learning our way around.  There is anything and everything one could want within just a few miles of us.

     A lady standing near her pick-up loaded with fresh fruit caught my eye this morning so I stopped.  Apparently she comes to the Resort every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.  She and her husband have their own orchards.  I bought 1 bag of Texas Select Pink Grapefruit (picked this morning). There were 16 in the bag and I paid $3.00.  I also bought a huge bag of fresh picked oranges for $3.00.  There were other produce items but since I was out for a walk I figured one bag under each arm was enough to get us started.

     Everywhere you go in the park people are friendly.  If they don't verbally great you they at least wave in passing.  I have met and had conversations with several people at the pool/jacuzzi area.  My favorite question is: "Is this your first year to this park"?  I have yet to find anyone who is a newcomer.  All have been coming multiple years.

     Kathleen and I are going to a "Welcome Newcomers" meeting tomorrow where we will be given a talk on the park and can get any questions we may have answered.  There are 1500 "Winter Texan" sites here and it is virtually a city unto itself.

     I think we are going to like it here!































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September 18, 2009

One Week and Counting

Only at the end of the rainbow














     One week from today there will be a new hip living under the 'tininthewind' roof and we are sure it is going to like the ride. 

     We are at Goose Island and enjoying our stay.  The weather has been spectacular and even though the days pass slowly it won't be long and we will be getting ready to head south.

     The season of Fall in the Midwest is very colorful with the leaves changing colors and the temperatures are usually to my liking.  We have our fingers crossed for an extended Fall season and truly hope our time of physical therapy is successful and finished before those white flakes start falling and signaling a change of season.

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September 13, 2009

Four Years Full-Time

     We are now one month in to our fourth year full-time in the 'tininthewind' and excited to see what the next four years will bring.  We have had some health problems to deal with such as Kathleen's hip replacement at the moment but our little home has served us well during the recovery process and we expect this time to be no different.

     I like to reflect on the many miles that we have covered, and the multitude of new back yards we have awakened in but the most important aspect of this lifestyle to me has been the many friends we have made in our travels.  Friendships that develop in a hurry because tomorrow one or the other may be moving on.  Friendships that grow stronger through the marvels of the day such as contact through e-mail and/or skype.  There will be many more Friendships made and we look forward to that.

     We have learned to look ahead and plan accordingly.  We have also learned to keep our plans fluid just in case we want to go left instead of right.  The beauty of having wheels on our 'wheel-estate' I can't begin to describe.  We are always in awe of the opportunities we had yesterday, and wonder what they will bring tomorrow.  Most importantly with family scattered all over the place we can point the nose to the Midwest for that hug from mom (yes my mom at 87 is still doing well), or point the nose to the northwest for that grandkid fix which is so important at this stage in life. 

     I am looking out the window now at our beautiful Mississippi River flowing by like we did from our stick home of 37 years and yet my feet are feeling itchy.  We will move tomorrow a little ways up the road as we continue to await Kathleen's hip surgery day on the 25th of September.

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August 23, 2009

Another Road Trip in NW Minnesota

Flowers Always say "I Love You"   












     A little to windy today for my little boat on the lake so another road trip was our choice.  We took off in a new direction to explore and on one stop back in the woods Kathleen picked wild raspberries while I picked a bunch of wild flowers to present to her.  The berries will be good with cereal in the morning and the flowers, after the kiss I got, will be fine decoration at that breakfast table.

     We stopped to photo a creek that we crossed, a road covered with water spilling over from a week of very rainy weather, an unoccupied forest observation tower and continue to marvel at the beauty of this part of Minnesota.  Enjoy the photo's.



Kathleen Picking Rasberries
















Wish I could climb it.
















No Name Creek
















To much Rain
















More Berries












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August 22, 2009

Northern Minnesota Road Trip

     No matter where we are in this beautiful country we alway try to do a little research about the area and then take off on a road trip with the jeep.  Northern Minnesota does not lack for points of interest and when we see a beautiful picture we park the car----get out----and get the best picture we can.

 getting that picture















A beautiful Valley















     Our focus for the road trip was to visit a small rv park on the U.S. side of Crane Lake.  The park is located in a very unique spot and what interested us was it reportedly had 50amp, water and sewer hook-ups and we wanted to explore it for a possible future stop.  On our stop we got out to photo our beautiful U.S. flag and look across the water to Canada. 


















     Once we had checked out the park it was time to use the jeep for what it is made and take off on some of the Forrest roads in the area in search of the Vermillion River Falls.  We knew it would probably really be boiling the water as there had been so much rain this past week.  We also knew it would require a little hiking to view it but my partner with the sore hip was game to give it a try.  That hip hurts like "H" but Kathleen is a real trooper and saluted me by holding that walking stick high above her head.




Vermillion River Falls






























     The beauty all along our hike was worth the pain, we both agreed.  Some of the rapids and pools between them reminded us of the many canoe and portaging trips we made when we were first married and made numerous trips to camp in this part of the country.




A Pool between Rapids















     The hikers!











































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August 20, 2009

Fishing Vermillion Lake

     Fishing Vermillion Lake from my pee-wee sea eagle pontoon boat is a hoot.  I keep branching out and fishing different bays as I keep testing the reliability of making it back without running out of trolling motor power.  Generally it is a good idea to head out in to the wind just in case you misjudge the point to turn around and head for the battery charger and harbor, at least the wind might help while rowing.  So far I have had plenty of fishing and still plenty of power from the battery when I have returned.

     I am catching a few fish, large mouth, small mouth and a few northern pike but not the "hogs" that were mentioned to me last week.

     The weather has been all over the map.  Very hot when we first arrived in the area and now quite cool and rainy.  It is beautiful out on the lake.  The loons have not disappointed as quite often I am greeted by their call when I come around a corner and surprise them.

     Tomorrow, Friday evening, like most places in the country several suggested restaurants in the area are having "Friday night Fish specials" and we have been told of one at the "Landing" that we will be giving a try.  Most that we have been familiar with serve cod or white fish but apparently the Landing will feature "Canadian Walleye". 

     We are planning on remaining in this area until we need to return to La Crosse for Kathleen's first orthopedic appointments.

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August 18, 2009

Windy-Blustery Day--Not all Lost

     Wanted to fish in the worst way today but it was a little to windy for my pee-wee boat so ended up laying low and working around the 'tininthewind'.  We did surface long enough on the end of the day to head out to about the only spot we know so far for good food, "The Landing".

     Seated next to us, the only other couple in the dining area, were Denny and Sue Vande Linde, permanent residents since retirement to the Lake Vermillion area.  They moved from the Twin Cities area after they sold their business.  Denny now keeps busy with guiding, and a pest control business.  I started a conversation between us mostly asking questions about the fishing and Denny helped me with advise even though he doesn't fish bass much, preferring musky and walleye.  Denny and Sue ended up joining us at our table and we had a most pleasant exchange covering many subjects.  We probably won't ever see them again but we are so fortunate in this life style of ours to have encounters like this with folks and it only takes moments to feel like long time friends.

     We left the restaurant and made our way to the marina to check on my boat.  It was fine.  Right were I left it, and beckoning to go fishing, but that will wait until tomorrow, weather permitting..  If not there is always another day!

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August 17, 2009

Finally Settled in Northern Minnesota

     We settled on the new RV Park built behind the 'Timbuktu' marine and along the Forrest edge.  Wild life is abundant and we just discovered they have a pretty speedy WiFi being projected from their large building off in the distance.  Maybe Skype will work here after all.  There still is nothing for a cell phone signal on our Verizon and I must say in all our travels this is the first time we have not had use of our phones.



twin yearling bucks roaming around















     My little pee-wee sea eagle pontoon is set up and in its slip at the 'Timbuktu' marina about 11 miles down the road to a beautiful secluded bay on Lake Vermillion.



pee-wee pontoon
















two weeks of good fishing--I Hope!















     This RV Park is very remote and there seems to be plenty of wild life passing through from time to time.  This evening as I was working around outside two yearling twin bucks ambled along eating the clover that makes up most of the ground cover here.  This should be a nice two week stay.



yearling twin bucks












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August 11, 2009

To The Boonies

     The weather has warmed enough to prompt me to want to head a bit North and along the North Shore of Lake Superior.  I have been watching the weather there all week and it has been 8 to 10 degree's cooler there on any given day than what we have been experiencing at Goose Island.  That would be my kind of weather.  We will head in that direction Thursday.

     Once in the Lake Superior area we will explore some of the back roads west in to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area to see if we can find a couple of good 'boondocking' spots for the 'tininthewind'.  We have not spent a lot of time in that area since I was in college so I suspect there have been many changes.  I don't think we will be disappointed as it is still pretty remote.  The only negative aspect to this move is that if I find a good place to fish it will mean another states fishing license.  Dang, it gets expensive to move from state to state and want to fish.  We need a national fishing license good in all states for those of us retired folk who like to fish.  Either that, or someone needs to become a martyr and just go fishing without.  Hmmm.  Problem is, I don't think I would like jails, or having my personal stuff confiscated.

     It is not likely that we will have access to the web so it may seem like we have dropped off the face of the earth but not to worry, we will surface somewhere.

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August 08, 2009

County Fair Time

I get sick just looking at it















     The County Fair was in full swing in the Iowa County that I grew up in and being in the area it was only natural that we would pick up my mom and all head out to an afternoon at the fair.

     Looking back to when I was pre-teen the County fair was a big deal.  We saved our dimes and nickles for months just to be able to go on the rides and might even entice one of the girls to go on the tilt-a-whirl with us.  I remember the fair grounds as being huge, and the animal barns to be overwhelming. 

     Nothing has changed today, except the grounds are still the same size and the barns all where they were then, but as an adult it seems no bigger than a postage stamp.  The only thing that was high on our list of 'to do', was to make a stop at our church fair booth for some of that good old home town cooking and especially a piece of pie with ice cream.  Running in to former high school friends was a plus as we crossed paths with several.

     Oh, one thing did change.  The charge to get through the gate and enter the grounds was $10.00 each.  That really seems steep to visit a postage stamp affair.  I couldn't tell you what it cost to get in when I was young as I would always get let out on the road by my buddies and weave my way through the cornfield till I could simply enter the grounds.  No way was I parting with my dimes and nickles just to get in.




The Church Fair Food Booth
















Kathleen and Kathy Helle
















chairs set up for stage show













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August 05, 2009


     The Weather has been great so we have not found the need to migrate North for cooler weather.  That is the plan if and when things get uncomfortably hot.

     We have been down to visit my mom at her senior center in Iowa a few times but the last two times we went to visit she was either busy getting her hair done or gone shopping with an elderly aunt who lives in the area.  One of these days we will learn to call and let her know we are coming.  Getting her on the phone is difficult as she is usually out playing cards with other residents of the home.  This is the same 'lady' who gave us such a hard time about moving to a senior center.  She now tells us she is very happy there.  We are happy for her!

     Tomorrow is moving day for us.  We have reached the allowable stay at this Corp of Engineers Park near Desoto, Wisconsin.  One is allowed to stay 14 days and then must be out of the park 14 days before returning for another 14 day stay.  We like this park because we can use our "America the Beautiful Senior Pass and can stay for half price.  A real savings when you are full-time.  We are not sure where we will move to tomorrow as we have several options that we like and will just make the decision as we depart this park.

     We have had an electric driver side window failure in the jeep and will be getting that fixed Friday.  Our water pump in the 'tininthewind' is also cutting in and out so I have arranged to pick up a new one Friday and will have it on hand when the old one dies completely.

     The boat is dismantled and tucked away in the basement.  Most outside chores are done for getting ready to roll tomorrow.  Kathleen is out sitting in the sun enjoying the day, and I am about to take a mid afternoon power nap.  Life doesn't get any better than that.

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August 01, 2009

Hanging Out

     We continue with our 'Hanging Out' here in the Mid-West as we wait for this surgery date for Kathleen's hip.  We are camping as much as we can along our beloved Mississippi River and I have my little two seat pontoon boat in the water and ready to go at a moments notice.  I have been giving the fishing a go most every day but the fish have really not cooperated.  It is the doldrums of the summer and the fish can be very lazy.

     We have quite a few weeks before Kathleen's preparatory appointments begin so we will watch the weather and if it looks like a heat wave is about to start we will head North to see if we can find the cooler weather.  The North shore of Lake Superior will be appealing if it gets hot.

     I need to find more things to occupy my time each day as I can't polish the 'tininthewind' too much more or I will break through the paint layer pretty soon.  The weather has been perfect for being outside and I tend to hang there as much as I can.

     We are aware that the Temperature in the North West has been unusually hot and if it weren't for the hip thing we would probably be as uncomfortable as all the friends and family we left there. 

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July 20, 2009

Wow---An exciting day!!!!

Good News---Roll the Presses---Good News




     What a crew at the Viroqua Center for Orthopedic Surgery.  Following an early morning call by Kathleen to the center to explore if there would be any other options for her than waiting till next spring April/May timeframe to have her hip replaced she was told by ‘Connie’ that there had just been a surgery cancellation and it may be possible to allow her to fill it if all the players agreed.  Connie assured Kathleen that she would go to work on it and call her back, but cautioned her not to get her hopes up just yet.  It was becoming increasingly obvious that even with good pain control it would have been difficult for her to have made it till next spring.  Because of that we are so grateful to be able to get this replacement accomplished earlier rather than later.


     In less than an hour she called back to say all had been cleared.  Kathleen has her first appointment tomorrow morning.  She will then meet with Dr. Lawrence (the surgeon) Sept. 3rd, then will have preparatory appointments with others through mid-September and is scheduled for hip replacement surgery September 25th.


     With an expected normal recovery and physical therapy we can probably expect to depart from this cold part of the country well before it gets too nasty.  At this point we can not say for certain exactly what that date will be, but for most of the winter we should be able to seek the warmth of the Rio Grand Valley.


     This change complicates a few things for us and we will begin to work through the logistics of that in the coming days, but as is usually the case, it will all work out.

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July 18, 2009

Go Milk a Goat

     We are now camped near West Salem Wisconsin, close to where the La Crosse County Fair is in progress. A close family friend Jean Krause and nine other celebrity contestants will compete in a goat milking competition for a deserving Charity.  Our grandchildren Mason and Maddie visiting from Renton Washington, their great grandma Betty, their other grandparents Dewey and Mary Crocker, Kathleen and Me jointed Jeans husband Norm in a standing room only animal barn for the competition and the awarding of the coveted trophy.  The contestants including Jean are all celebrity dignitaries from the area, and include hospital administrative types, TV weather meteorologists, disc jockeys, and various business dignitaries.   The challenge was for each contestant to have 4 minutes to milk a goat and following the 4 minutes to have the quantity measured.  Mason and Maddie did not miss a thing and in addition to cheering Jean on, monitored carefully the measuring of her effort.  Go Jean!!!




Jean Krause, Hospital Administration
















Jeans got the technique
















Making sure the measurment is correct















     Maddie and Mason made sure the measurement was correct.  Jeans total in the measured 4 minutes was 5 cups.   The nearest celebrity competitor to Jean had 3 and 3/4 cups.  And the Winner is?  Note the trophy in her left hand.




Congratulations Jean















Congratulations Jean.

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July 06, 2009

More Fishing at the Cowlitz River

     Grandkids, Grandpa, and fishing just seem to go hand in hand.  I was so fortunate to enjoy both of my little Brosius Families and fishing in the Cowlitz River this summer.  We didn't catch a lot on most of our outings but the snuggles and lazy leisurely days with the opportunities to bond with the young ones is priceless.

     The pictures that follow show an afternoon I got to spend with Maddie and Mason.



Maddie and Grandpa
















Mason and Grandpa
















Snuggles are Precious
















Not all Fishing is with a Pole













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June 19, 2009

May Be the Worlds Largest Croquet Set

Open area for Croquet or Kite Flying or Whatever















     Look closely in the distance of the above photo and you will see the 'colored stations' of the 'Croquet'  set that has been created for the Toutle River RV ResortThere is a large open field area near the entry to the RV Resort and early on it was the inspiration of "the Charlie" (developer) to build a Croquet set and while they were at it to build one that may well be the largest set in the World.  The two Park Carpenters, Ron and Dennis created the set while Ray and a helper handled the painting.

     Since arriving here in the park last April we have seen a number of people enjoying the game.  You will see in the following pictures the mallets which in and of themselves are a work of art and very colorful.  The balls that are used are actually soccer balls.

     The large building undergoing remodeling that you see in the background of the pictures will become a very large open air pavilion for rent and use by quests and perhaps large RV Rallies that are sure to frequent this beautiful area of Washington.

     Anyone for a game of 'Croquet' ?  I will spot you two swings!





























































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June 11, 2009

We Started Smoking.....

     There are a lot of things that could cause one to start smoking and the 'Toutle River RV Resort' is one of them. 

     Now before you think we went off the deep end.  Have a look below!


















A first class Smokehouse















     I have blogged recently how 'Charlie' the owner/developer of the resort is cutting no corners in seeing that the guests of the Toutle River RV Resort find a first class experience when they come to stay.  The Smokehouse you see in the picture above is just another fine example. 

     Today most of us Workampers got together and each decided to contribute something to the Smokehouse experience.  I made a brine and prepared the Sturgeon Fillets that I cut in to four to five inch chunks.  An overnight soak in the brine had them ready to go when Marvin had the smoker heating up.  Marvin and Ethel did a Salmon that they purchased for a bargain at a market in Longview, WA.  Jim did oysters on the half shell.  Don did turkey breasts.  Howard and Leah did a chicken.  Linda and Ron did a batch of jerky and Dan did some Sea Bass Fillets.

     After several hours of "Smokin" the door was opened at 4:30.  Several of the hired park workers stopped to see the results as they were just getting off work.  Mouths were watering and lips were smakin as all I can tell you is everything looked delicious.  We all made a pact to try and gather at the smokehouse every Thursday and again take advantage of it being available.  The hired staff has also been invited to bring anything they would like to contribute.

     Every Monday night we workampers gather for a theme night for dinner with a dish to pass and it now looks like we may also gather Thursday evenings for the sampling of that days Smokehouse fare. 

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June 10, 2009

Exploring the Area

Covered Bridge















     A fun thing to do in this retired life style of ours is to get out the Gazetteer Map, in this case for the State of Washington.  Find a road and direction that looks interesting and just drive and follow any road along your way that looks even more interesting.  One can even find some neat things to photo.  Now, when doing this one can get pretty lost.  Never fear, just simply ask "Charlott" (the womans voice inside our GPS) to take us home. (Home is where the RV is Parked).

     We are only about 75 miles from the Pacific Coast here at the 'Toutle River RV Resort'.  On this particular Exploration we traveled Hi way 4 out of Longview, WA to Ilwaco, WA and then on up the Coast to Long Beach.  A lot of this area on the Coast we are familiar with as we have spent time there in both 2007 and 2008.  One can never tire of this area as it is beautiful and the entire drive is spectacular.  A great deal of the route follows the Columbia River.  Remember Lewis and Clark?  They completed their journey in this area.

     We took our time and visited everything of interest.  One does not need a 'hot toddy' before hitting the hay for the night as an Exploratory trip like this tires you out but it is worth it for sure. 


































a ship that didn't make it
















Bridge Across the Columbia River to Astoria


















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Mystery Trip

     This last winter at the RV Park in Lo De Marcos our neighbors, Gille and Diane (French Canadians) introduced us to the term and fun of Mystery Tours, organized for anyone who wanted to tag along.  They would come up with a destination that usually required four wheel drive vehicles and off they would go for the day.  Some of the trips were exciting to say the least and not something you would do alone with just one vehicle.  I blogged about the ones Kathleen and I participated in.

     Not wanting to steal Gille and Diane's term I will call our state side adventures, Mystery Trips.  Last evening six of us got together and went on a trip organized by Bill and Margaret.  Marvin, Ethel, Kathleen and I piled in the van and off we went.  The vehicle is Charlie's personal transportation and will eventually be used to take campers staying at the 'Toutle River RV Resort' on organized tours. 

     The initial purpose of this trip was for Bill to show me where friends of his from the area are catching Salmon.  We followed the Cowlitz River for quite a distance pulled up at the first dam that slowed down any Salmon headed for their spawning grounds.  There were several fisherman trying their luck and we got to visit with a young handicapped fellow who was fishing from a wheel chair and had access right to the waters edge.  He had caught a couple of fish this season from this spot, but had no luck today.

     From our visit to the Cowlitz River we continued on to the town of Morton which is where Bill and Margaret lived and raised a family.  Morton is located on Hi way 12 just West of the uphill climb in to the Cascade Mountains.  We left Morton in a driving rain storm and all of us hoped that our RV Park was getting some of the moisture, (It didn't).  We stopped on the way back to see a piece of property that Bill and Margaret are developing a short distance inland from exit 59 off Interstate 5 and then returned to the exit and a mom and pop drive-in for burgers and strawberry shakes.

     It was a fun trip with new friends and we hope to plan more as time will allow.




Park Van   















Bill, Marvin, and Me talking with Fishermen
















Looking North to the Dam



























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June 06, 2009

"Grandpa Please---Pretty Please---Grandpa Wakeup---Lets go Fishing

     My grandson Zak came to spend a couple days.  Zak is a "fishing nut", (wonder where he gets that)?  We loaded the Scooter, and with Zak hanging on to the tackle/bait bag off we went for the Cowlitz River.  I had been fishing the river on numerous occasions and hadn't caught a thing so I was concerned that young Zak's attention span and enthusiasm might be short lived, but I was mistaken. 

     We caught three fish on our first outing, a couple of squaw fish (a sucker type) and a nice River Sturgeon.  Not knowing what the squaw fish were had us calling them trout and to both of us that sounded pretty good.

     It became obvious that the lad was pretty well wore out from the days activities as he was willing to hit the hay a little early.  Made me happy as for sure I was exhausted.  Just before he fell asleep he asked if we could go in the morning.  I responded positively letting him know that we could if he was able to wake up early enough cause we wouldn't have much time before having to leave for a birthday party for Maddie.  I would have bet my next pay check that he would sleep late.  If I had a pay check I would have lost as at 5:30 a.m., with only one eye open, and it wanting to close, I was being shaken and it was "Grandpa Please---Pretty Please---Grandpa Wakeup---Lets go Fishing!




Grandpa and Zak ready to go
















Zak and Squaw Fish
















Zak holding Sturgeon I caught
















Deer walking on shore across from us
















Zak happy to be fishing












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May 17, 2009

Awesome Is An Understatement

Approaching Mount St. Helens
















The Day She Blew
















David Johnston USGS Scientist died in the blast May 18, 1980














     At 8:32 a.m. on May 18, 1980, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake shook Mount St. Helen's, triggering a massive explosion.  The release of gases trapped inside the volcano sent 1,300 vertical feet of mountaintop rocketing upward and outward to the north.  Super-heated ash roared 60,000 feet into the cloudless blue sky.  The cataclysmic blast--- carrying winds that reached 670 miles per hour and temperatures of 800 degrees Fahrenheit flattened 230 square miles of forest.  Elk, deer and other wildlife were obliterated.  Fifty-seven People were killed including USGS scientist David Johnston, namesake of the Johnston Ridge Observatory, and pictured above.  The largest landslide in recorded history swept through the Toutle River Valley, (where we are now camped), choking pristine rivers and lakes with mud, ash and shattered timber, eradicating trout and salmon.

     After the eruption, only a moonscape remained.

     It is somewhat ironic that almost to the day, 29 years previous on May 18, 1980 that I am visiting an area and reflecting on what happened that day and yet at my young age at that time, and busy life, I hardly gave it a passing thought.  I remember its day in history of course.  News coverage tends to embed in ones mind events such as Mount St. Helen's blowing her top, but Oh, how easy it was to not give it a second thought.  That all changes for me following the visit today, and the mental picture I now have of what happened on May 18, 1980.  I can't get out of my head the image as seen above of David Johnston sitting and watching the escape of steam just before she blew, and tethered only to the outside world with a two way radio to communicate his observations to the home USGS office in Vancouver, Washington.

     The following picture is what Johnston Ridge looks like today.  Somewhere under all the re birth of current beauty lies the remains of David Johnston and his humble observatory (never found).  His last radio transmission was: "Vancouver---Vancouver, this is it!" 




Rest in Peace, David
















Near Castle Rock is where we are Camped















     On our return back down Highway 504 from visiting the mountain and getting as close as the road would allow us, we stopped at the Eco Park Resort and not only enjoyed some good ol' ranch house cooking but had a great conversation with Mark Smith the owner/operator.




Great Food and Conversation
















      We had the place to ourselves, save for the "cowboy" who waited on us and Mark the owner until Jim and Robin (pictured below) from Castle Rock, Washington walked in.  They seemed to know there way around from the conversation they were having with Mark and when given the chance I asked them if they were in the area when the mountain blew?  Jim began to recount the day it happened and the impact it had on his life and from time to time Robin would chime in with her recollections.  There would not have been enough time in the day to have witnessed all the stories they could have told but the few they did share will have a lasting impact with me.




Jim and Robin















     Jim told of how on the day she blew he and some of his family were to join friends already up the valley camping near the mountain.  His job of loading shipping containers on freighters in Astoria, Washington had kept him several hours longer on his shift than usual and upon arriving back in Castle Rock with his family members ready to go camping, he suggested that they should enjoy breakfast at home while he caught a couple hours of sleep and they would then depart.  The rest is history.  He was awaken by the blast.  Among the 57 lives lost that day were several of his friends.  He talked about the many trips in ensuing days to try and help locate the missing, and witnessing first hand the destruction.  Robin told of the helplessness that people felt and the sadness at seeing what once was the beauty of tree's, lakes, rivers, and animal life, vanish.  The torrents of mud, twisted trees, and huge boulders blocking river ways were more than some in the area could handle and many of there friends who survived the day ultimately could not handle the loss of beauty and reluctant to wait and see what mother nature would have in store, moved on.  Some of their friends who escaped from near the "blast zone" but were caught in the ensuing ash fallout lived only in to their 50's before loosing their life to serious lung problems. 

     What brought Jim and Robin to the mountain this day was a drive in their open air jeep to reflect on the past but more so to feast there eye's on what "mother nature" is doing to recover from the destruction.  There eyes see it perhaps a little different than we do but they too are in awe of the beauty that has returned.

     Kathleen and I find the North West of our country (Washington and Oregon) to be breathtakingly beautiful at most every turn and at the moment are completely captivated by the shear beauty of the Mount St. Helen's re-birth.  I am including a slide show of the pictures that represent what our eyes saw on this afternoon's adventure.  Click on slide show below to enjoy.  We will be returning to the mountain again and again while in the area.


                                                     Slide Show 











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May 12, 2009

Another Great Weekend

Future Gymnast















     Bill, Heidi, Mason and Maddie came to visit us for the weekend and gave a huge thumbs up to the Toutle River RV Resort and the area in general.  We had a great day cooking out and exploring the entire park.




Mason at the Fort
















Miss Madelyn Grace Brosius
















Grandpa's happy when Bicycle is around































      As an added note.  I have found a couple great places to fish and have been getting in some great outings.  No fish to report as of yet, but I continue to try.























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May 07, 2009

1st Workamper Meeting

Linda and Don meeting with workamper crew















     Linda (standing with the red sweater), and Don (seated with the blue jacket) held the first official workamper meeting with those of us who are already on site.  There are a few who are still to be joining us in the coming weeks.

     Linda presented us all with a very well done "Workampers Newsletter" that included a Welcoming message from "the Charlie" (owner), of the Toutle River RV Resort.  Some of us have previously met each other through our paths crossing, but there were a few new introductions to be had.  As one would expect with this large of a workamper crew there is quite a cross section of talent present.  As the summer season progresses everyone will have an opportunity to showcase those talents and without a doubt each of us will leave in the fall, better for having had the experience.

     Don described somewhat his plan for scheduling some of the workamper tasks that need to be accomplished and will try to do so with the work desires of the individual workamper taken in to consideration. 

     These scheduled gatherings for the workamper crew are planned for at least once a month.  A barbecue will generally follow the meeting as was the case today.  You can tell by this months pictures that the temperature was a bit cool, but the new found friends warmed our first gathering.




visiting after the meeting 















small talk
















Don----our fearless leader















Kathleen helping with the food setup
















Don, are the burgers done yet.
















mmmmmmmmm good
















Back for Seconds













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Workamper Task

New Picnic Table just Completed
















     One of the workamper tasks, especially when it is raining, has been to put together picnic tables.  I put in 10 hours and change this week putting together these tables and Kathleen did two hours of watering trees for our 12 hour commitment.

     Pictured below are two of our fellow workampers, Marvin and Marlin, getting in their workamper commitments.




getting started
















coming right along
















Almost Done















     The Sun is out----I think I will go Fishing!!!!!!!!

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The Resort's Special Friends

The Pooch is Special Here















     Here at Toutle River RV Resort the "pooch" is special!  As I have mentioned before Charlie (the resident owner) has many unique features that he is incorporating in to the complex and from time to time I will blog about them with pictures.  Today I am featuring a deck, with a doggy shower, that is specifically reserved for the RV guests dogs.  It is here that the furry friends can mingle with others and get a shower to boot. 

     Need a doggy bed for your pooch to lay on outside your rig?  Call the office and one will cheerfully be delivered to your site.

     Charlie has two beautiful well mannered Black Labs and one of them is usually accompanying him when he rides throughout the complex in his golf cart.



















The Shower Area

















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May 04, 2009

Settled In

Zak and Ellie find lots to do















Kathleen here


We are all settled in and beginning to enjoy the Castle Rock area and the beautiful Toutle River RV Resort. Green is the word to describe what we see when we look about. Towering green pines, thick green grass, young green saplings reaching upward to catch the rain drops. As I sit and write I am loving the sound of the rain as it hits the roof of our Tininthewind.


Our first guests at our new address were our son Scott, his wife, Angela, and Zak and Ellie, our grandchildren. They explored the whole park and gave us a thumbs up of approval. While I prepared lunch, George took them on a tour ending at the river’s edge, almost a mile south of our site. The Toutle River flows towards the Pacific Ocean via the Cowlitz River and finally the Columbia River. Fishing is fantastic. George is excited about that, as is Scott and Zak. A fun walk it is, as along the path to the river, one will find things to swing on, things to climb, and lots of things to observe.


We had a nice time with the kids and are looking forward to their return. When they left, George and I went for a drive up into the hills and through the valleys. What a spectacular drive it was. This little part of Washington State offers so much. Every road, it seems led us along either a creek, or a river. Happy cows and horses grazed in green meadows. We saw a deer nibbling twigs along a fence. Many of the trees were showing off their spring blossoms of purple, pink, and white. We were reminded of our homeland of Iowa and Wisconsin and the Mississippi River.


Today, George helped make and deliver picnic tables to the many sites in the park. I dragged a big hose behind me and watered the trees along my street. The exercise was invigorating for both of us. We will sleep good tonight.  This workamping thing is going to be OK.


Following are a few photos of yesterday.  Remember to put your cursor over a photo for a description.




Scott, Angela, Zak and Ellie Brosius















What Fun--Who will win Immunity
















Balance Beam Challenge
































Zak and Grandpa will be fishing soon
















Resting from the Hike to Rivers Edge
















Exploring the River Bank
















The Cowlitz and Toutle Rivers come Together
















Angela and Ellie Walking the Mount Saint Helens Ash Beach
















Castle Rock Park
















Castle Rock Street
















Cowlitz River
















Greener Pastures?  I don't think so!
















One of many intriguing little roads
















Ancient Barn
















One Little Family---One Big Family













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April 29, 2009

Day One Observations of Toutle River RV Park

     If you have read and followed the previous blog you probably already know but I will mention some things anyway.  This deluxe RV park is 360 sites, and if seen from the air would look much like a large piece of pie.  On entry to the park one is at the wide end of the triangle and as one travels the mile long length of the park one eventually comes to the point of the triangle.  It is in this area that there is not enough room for RV sites and the owner has chosen to develop a walking trail that leads to the point where two rivers, the Toutle and the Cowlitz converge.  Strategically located along this trail are exercise stations that one could stop at and work a different muscle group at each station.  At the point of trails end there is a very large stone fire pit (stocked with firewood), sitting benches, and picnic tables. 

     The owner has not spared a nickle in developing this park.  The landscaping with rock and a large variety of young trees is impressive to say the least.  All of the grass areas between sites and throughout the park are watered from underground by a saturation method rather than a sprinkler method.  The trees will require individual watering during the non rainy summer season and supposedly that will be our job (at least for a portion of the park).

     We have met several of the workampers who are already on site and some that are not new to the park as they have also workamped here last year.  In private conversations they all have had very positive things to say about the experience and indicate that they are sure we will like it here.

     Don, one of the Co-hosts of the park came to check on us today to see if we were making out OK with getting set up on our site and ended up just sitting and visiting for a couple of hours.  He told us that when all arrived there would be about 20 people workamping in the park.  Not all are couples as we have already met some singles.  We, "workampers" are strategically being located throughout the park so as to act as ambassadors and eye's and ear's for security purposes.

     All of the roads and sites are groomed with black gravel and then compressed as with a steam roller of some type.  This being done in preparation for blacktopping which is to begin in the next couple of weeks.  Ground has been broken for the pool, spa, and park store.  Supposedly to be completed by July...

     I walked to a very large building this evening and upon entry discovered it to be a very well stocked carpentry shop with hundreds of bird houses, newly made, and stacked along one wall, picnic tables in various stages of completion, and other wood projects underway.  There were numerous golf carts, gators, quads, and pick-ups parked in this building as well.  There are other maintenance buildings on the grounds as I have seen some fancy lawn mowing equipment coming and going.  There are two strategically located laundry facilities with showers and bathrooms located in adjacent parts of the building.

     On a "walk about" this afternoon Kathleen and I explored a great deal of the park and I took a few pictures which I will include for your enjoyment.  We continue to be impressed.

     Place your cursor over the picture for a description.



Pool, Spa, and Store location on Knoll 














Some sites still under development















Roads and Sites ready for blacktopping















Walking trail leading up to Pool, Spa, and Store Area















Same trail















deluxe site with private fire pit and landscaping















Movie and Storytelling Pavillion















another example of deluxe site















Can you find the Tininthewind















There she is















Park Model on display and for sale













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Living in the Shadow of Two Mountains---Temporarily

     Yes!  It's true!  We have temporarily suspended our complete retirement and life of travel and total leisure for a new adventure of "Workamping"!



The Resort 























     We began talking well before our last winter trip to Mexico that even though we both enjoy the life of leisure our bodies and minds could use a little more challenge and perhaps some "Workamping" might be to our liking.

     There are so many things about this full-time RV lifestyle that many around us are unaware of and the "Workamping" aspect is one of them.  Rather than go in to an explanation of what I mean click on the following link to learn a little about it: .

     We subscribe to the workamping web-site and throughout the past year have followed up by making application to several workamping situations that fit with our desires and desired locations both for the Summer and the coming Winter.

     Here is an explanation of what we have chosen to do for the summer of 2009.  We are going to be part of a workamping crew assisting with getting what will be, a 5 star Resort when finished and operational.  A link to the resort web-site: .

     After phone contact and interviews we told Linda and Don, managing host and co-host respectively that we would accept the challenge and would arrive May 1st.  We arrived in the area a week or so early and decided to pay the resort a visit to hopefully see what we would be getting ourselves in to and quite frankly if it had not been to our liking we would have graciously declined.  On a drive through the resort we had an opportunity to visit with one of the workampers already on site and that gave a tremendous amount of insight in to what this workamping experience would most likely entail.  The workamper we talked with had been on site for a couple of weeks and liked what he was doing and the people he was responsible to.  We arrived at the resort and were greeted by both Linda and Don late yesterday afternoon.  Don drove us through the resort and gave us the choice of several sites as there plan is to locate the workampers strategically throughout the resort so as to also act as ambassadors to the paying RVers.  We have been given several days to settle in before being assigned our duties and we are anxious to find out what will be required.

     The resort as I mentioned earlier is beautifully layed out and is in various stages of being completed.  As an example the pool and spa will not be completed until some time in July.  All roads throughout the complex are completed and prepared for blacktopping which is slated to begin next week.  There are hired crews working throughout the resort still finishing sites in the back forty and planting trees. 

     What we understood from the interviews is that we will be required to workamp for 12 hours per week in exchange for our site including water, sewer, and electric.  It will be at our discretion to work beyond the 12 hours and anything over 12 hours will be payed at $8.55 per hour.  Kathleen and I have agreed that we both will try to do 6 hours per week and then decide individually if we want to earn a little extra.  To accomplish those 12 hours we have been told we can do 2 hours per day for three days each if we wish and then have 4 days to play, or add to those 2 hours each on those three days for pay and still have 4 days to play.  They seem very accommodating and we are hoping that will remain the case.  If not, we do have wheels on our "Tininthewind".

     I am cautiously sensitive to some interesting twists to this resort.  The resort is not open to the public yet, even though it was slated to open in 2006 and total completion by 2007.  I am told that the owner has "bumped heads" with the permit process and those who approve them and thus all aspects of the park have been held up.  We haven't met the owner but I am interested to do so.

     I am sure I will be writing quite often in future blogs about what we are doing and how we are coping with the new challenges but in the mean time here are a few pictures of our surroundings.  I mentioned earlier that we also have an interest in doing something similar for the coming winter of 2009/2010 and am happy to announce that we have made a commitment in the Rio Grand Valley of Texas and very shortly I will blog about those future plans.



We like our site and yard















Another View















Fellow Workamper's Site















Soon to be Paved




























     We like it so far!!! 

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April 05, 2009

Thoma Dairy Bar-- Garnavillo, Iowa















‘Thoma’ is the last name of a family that has been pillars in the community of Garnavillo, Iowa.  ‘Dairy Bar’ coupled with ‘Thoma’ is the one and only restaurant in the aforementioned community.  The community ‘Garnavillo, Iowa’ is where both Kathleen and I grew up, dated through high school, and graduated from in 1963.


     The “Thoma Dairy Bar” was the ‘hang out’, ‘meet after’, ‘burger with fries’, and ‘malt’ stop for us after (me) from Basketball practice, and (Kathleen) after Cheerleader practice and of course all the other couples that had interest in each other and of course the singles too…


     There were four booths along the south wall, and a row of about 10 stools along a low counter (the kind where you could lean forward, rest your elbows on the top, and still be hunched over) from which behind, all those malts mixed and ice cream was scooped.  There was a small kitchen that turned out all the other goodies.


     We have been gone for many years now but when we do visit Garnavillo it would not be complete if we did not stop in to “Thoma’s Dairy Bar” for at least a malt if not for some of the other goodies as well.


     Guess what?  There are very few changes to the restaurant since those early years.  There are still the same four booths along the south side.  The counter and stools have also not changed (perhaps recovered) and the kitchen appears to be the same.


     On this visit covering a few weeks Kathleen and I have frequented “Thoma’s” a little more than usual.  Hoping to see people we might have known, but if we were to admit it, just to take a little trip down memory lane.  The trip down memory lane has been a wonderful experience for us both but we also have been lucky to catch a few sitting in the booths, or leaning on the counter, who factored in to our lives at some point in the past.


     Pictured below is me talking with Paul Peltz (Hobie) who was a couple years older than I was but who was probably responsible for me still having a pretty face as it was Paul who came to my aid when some guys from a neighboring town threatened to beat the crap out of me for chasing their women (girls).  No I wasn’t dating Kathleen at the time (she was only 14).  Paul was a masculine hunk of a guy who commanded a lot of respect and after putting out the word that anyone who messed with me would have to do so through him----I was cleared to, shall we say, look over the hill.  I had to ask the waitress (Beth) on duty today if that was “Paul Peltz” sitting at the counter, reading the paper, as I have not seen Paul in many years.  It was great to be able to visit with Paul and reminisce about those fading memories.


     How can it be that so little has changed but yet so much water has flowed under the bridge?  You want a good malt, or burger and fries?  Give Thoma’s a try.


 Paul and George






















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March 29, 2009

No Comment--Sunshine Acres?--Iowa

No Where to Hide















Whats This










































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February 19, 2009

They come and they go

Bill and Heidi















Mason and Maddie















     I know I haven't blogged for some time but we have been experiencing a visit from both our sons and their families here in Mexico and I just did not want to take even one minute from their visit.  To spend quality time with our grandkids and their moms and dads was our focus and from my assesment, quality time we had.  Pictured above are Bill and Heidi, Mason and Maddie.

     As I looked through our picture file from their visit I saw literally hundreds of quality pictures that will make one heck of an album but for the moment I wanted to deal more with the arrival and departure aspect of the visit because for so long we waited patiently for their arrival and all too soon it was departure time.  Four photo's jumped out at me and they are shown to start this piece and end this piece.

     There is one other photo that I think is important to include here.  In showing it I don't want to imply that my grandsons are not important to me because for sure they are.  Kathleen and I had two boys, and I knew I would not have girls until daughter-in-laws came along.  Two of those I now have and I couldn't be happier.  The two little granddaughters that you see in my lap in the following pictures----well their pretty special too.



Ellie and Maddie with grandpa















     Bill, Heidi, Mason and Maddie stayed a week.  Scott, Angela, Ellie and Zak were here for about 3 weeks and we all had a great time.  I will be sorting through some great photo's for some time to come.  The memories from these visits will linger with all for years and years.  Having the memories does not make the parting and departure any easier though.  It is quiet and lonely around our pad here in Lo De Marcos Mexico at the moment.  Pictured below are Scott and Angela, Zak and Ellie just hours before their leaving for the states.




Scott and Angela















Zak and Ellie















     We too will soon be saying good-by to Lo De Marcos, the fabulous weather, and those terific sunsets.

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January 28, 2009

Mom/Grandma and Dad/Grandpa getting ready

Boogie Boards ready















     We have been busy getting ready for the arrival of our boys, Scott and Bill, and their families.  Just a couple more days and our eye's will be skyward as we will be exclaiming:  de plane, de plane!

     We are as excited as any mom, dad, grandma, grandpa can be and look forward to their visit so far from "home". 

     Last year we purchased boggie boards for everyone's enjoyment, especially the little ones and when the vacation was over we donated them to a couple Mexican families who very much appreciated them.  They are too large to be taken back in the plane by our kids and our rolling house is already stuffed to the brim.  We will do the same when this years visit is over.




The Patio Bar















     Anyone who knows us is well aware that even though we are not tea-total-ers we are not know to overdue partying either.  It just wouldn't be a South of the Boarder vacation without a "Margarita" or two and if that is what my hard working Son's and Daughter-in-laws want---I am ready.  I have been getting lessons in the art of making a good one and am anxious to show off my new learned skills.

     Now if I can just find where I put those little umbrella thingies!

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January 21, 2009

Moving About

     There are short-cuts here as there are everywhere, you just have to know how to find them.  For example one can take the short-cut/back-way out to the highway. Just drive the River bed.  See below.


River Drive















     The view from most everywhere you go in this part of Mexico is enjoyable.  When you walk to the beach for a day in the sun watching the aquatic action, and glance occasionally at what is walking the beach life is good.  When it comes time to return to the RV Park you are greeted with this view as you make your way "home".  See below.


Beautiful Mountains















     There are beautiful flowers everywhere.  The one below happens to be right out side my friend Allan's Casa.
















     It seems that on nearly any street and town in Mexico there are little sidewalk type restaurants that feature barbecue chicken done as only the Mexicans can do it.  Since one of my favorites anywhere in the world is chicken I have sampled quite a few and my hands down favorite is "Karina's" little spot in La Penita.  We frequented it often last year and have been back several times this year.  There is just something about the rub she uses before the chicken is placed on the "barbie".  If your in the area, give it a try.  See below.


Karina's Roadside Restaurant















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January 13, 2009

Traditional Mexican New Year's Eve - Feliz Ano Nuevo - 2009

This is a guest blog by Judy Lambe, a neighbour of George and Kathleen in Lo de Marcos, Mexico.  My husband Bob and I along with 3 other couples from our RV Park had the privelege of spending New Year's with my hair dresser Yanette, and her family at her "papa's mountain rancho" which is 25 minutes south of Lo de Marcos.  See picture below - Yanette & Alonso



Yanette & Alonso















Yanette's parent's live in Lo de Marcos and the rancho is run by hired hands.  The casa is a big brick and cement open sided building with running water - cold only.  No electricity, but a generater to light up everything .  There were decorations, flowers, and balloons everywhere and a whole raft of boom box type speakers.....they do like their musica loud!.



The Rancho Casa















Yanette is 1 of 9 children and all of her family was there including her mom and dad.  So I believe there were about 25 kids, a few teenagers and about 30 adults, not counting us. There were hugh pots simmering with stuff everywhere.  Fruit with sugar cane in one and 2 kinds of milky drinks.  A mammoth vat of corn soup called pazole which you add lime juice, onion, chili, radishes and lettuce to yourself.  Another hugh pot of tamales.  Our group brought salads, pork roast and smokies but was not a big hit....just not their kind of food.



















Soups On















The kids had lots of pinatas which were fun to watch and they also had a gift exchange. The all stood in line until their name was called and open their gift, each one individually.  After each opening the child then hugs the one whose name is called next.  They are very patient children!!


































There was one game we played where the husband's stood on chairs and the wives had to pass a lemon up one pant leg and down the other.  It was hilarious!



Pass the Lemon (Risky Business)














 At 11:45 the generator was turned off so we were in the pitch dark!  The sky and the mountains all around us were beautiful and everything was peaceful and serene.  Then a couple of children quietly lit candles and stuck them in the ground.  At midnight the fireworks started and they were fabulous. When they were finished the hugs and kisses started and they were genuinely pleased we were there.



Enjoying Fireworks















Once again, we have had the warm experience of a Mexican tradition and how family comes first.  Their hospitality is impecable!

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January 09, 2009

Mexican Families Work Together

     Kathleen and I sitting with friends at a beach side restaurant when I had yet another chance to witness a young Mexican family working together to generate a little more household income.  I state it that way because perhaps mom and dad have jobs and what was about to unfold was a little side line business on the beach because indeed this day was a Sunday.

     I had noticed the crude palapa on the beach when we had arrived at the restaurant and at that moment it was not occupied but on close inspection one could tell it had just recently been erected because the leafy covering was still green and the foliage not wilted.  See below.

looking lonely














     It wasn't long before a well used pick-up appeared near the restaurant.  Mom, dad and three girls close in age piled out and began setting up what would become their little beach sales booth for the day.  This was the start of a long two weeks of Christmas/New year vacation time for the affluent Mexican families to flock to the beach for some R & R.  Not much different I would say from what we would do North of the Border, but what was different was how without any prodding what-so-ever all of the children assisted in making this venture a reality and made trip after trip back to the truck to get what they could carry.  Note the pictures below.



even the littlest pitch in










































     As the items began to take shape the three little girls finished their immediate task and mom and dad set about getting their little enterprise organized.  It appeared to me that dad had his piles of coconuts set up near his chopping block and the machete was at the ready.  Mom was organizing the various fruits and it looked like she was going to make some sort of drink.  The work continued diligently as little by little the beach took on a much busier atmosphere as people began to arrive and enjoy the day.  The girls were now allowed to play.  See below.



Dad getting set up
















mom getting ready














     Once ready, mom gets an order and she sets to work.  Notice in the pictures how the oldest daughter stops playing with her little sisters and all attention is on what and how mom does her thing.  To learn and perhaps be able to apply what is learned is very important within the Mexican family, as who knows, one day it may be there only way to survive.  See below.



daughter watching















daughter watching














     The first two customers.  See below.



happy customers














     It is amazing what families do to help with the household income.  There are vendor carts everywhere, everyday, selling various home made offerings and when the Mexican folks come to the beach communities from the inland cities it is time to sell, sell, sell. 

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January 07, 2009

"It Took a Year"--Huichol Indian Village Visit

     Hard to believe that a circle drawn around a body of water on my Mexico Map has lead to what I will try to describe to you in the following paragraphs.



A Possible Bass Lake















     One doesn't just travel to Mexico without giving it serious thought and high on my priority list when planning our first winter travel to Mexico was to get a map and circle all of the potential bass fishing lakes.  Hoping that one day we might be near just such a spot.  All of this thinking and circling on the map took place several years prior to the reality of our traveling for our first winter to Mexico but in the winter of 2007/2008 (one year ago) we found ourselves spending four months in La Penita Mexico and wanting to fish bass the closest circle on my map was the Agua Milpa Reservoir just North and a bit East of Tepic, Mexico.  It was in November of 2007 that Kathleen and I made an exploratory trip to the Reservoir and I blogged about it at that time.  See the following link.

                                                           Nov. 2007


     What we discovered on the above trip but did not mention in the blog was that the Colorful Indigenous Indian tribe known as the Huichol (pronounced 'Wheatsill') Indians lived in a very remote village accessible only by boat. 

     Many times when our discussion and plans were in progress for our Winter of 2008/2009 Kathleen would mention that she would like to give by way of donation to the Huichol Indian people school supplies such as pencils, writing paper, erasures, etc. that she would acquire while dragging me from dollar store to dollar store when the opportunity presented itself.  Also joining in with humanitarian thinking of donating, were are two son's, daughter in-laws, and especially our four grandchildren who began gathering clothing that was in excellent condition and no longer fit them.  It was there efforts and our hauling in the basement of our motor home eight large bags of clothing for boys aged about 7 and girls aged about 5 that resulted in our wondering, "how are we going to get these in the hands of the people we want to receive them, the "Huichol Indians"?  We in Lo de Marcos were beginning to think about our options, not for a minute, thinking that what I am about to describe would happen.  But first, a few pictures.



Male colorful dress for special occasions






























Children greeting our Visit















     A short time ago it was my mentioning the Reservoir, bass fishing, and the remote Indian Village to my RV neighbor Lloyd, that the fantastic trip just completed began to take shape.  You see, Lloyd and Gille another neighbor like to put together "mystery trips" and with as little fan fare as possible off they go with those who want to tag along.  They have led several and all who go have a great time.  This trip started with small scale thinking and within the span of just a few days grew from a few car loads of folks, to a couple of 'collectivos' (van type taxi), to a full fledged bus with plush seating, A/C that worked, and a 'Banio' (bathroom) on board.  The bus was as big as they get with seating for 45 and on this venture there were 43 who signed up to go.  I must tell you how with the help of Stephane,  our local RV park go to person, these enterprising chaps put together a full day bus trip to the boat landing, then a 45 minute boat ride to the remote village, a dinner served at the village by the locals, a cash donation to the village, tips to the 4 boat operators and our bus driver, and a stop in the down town central square area of Tepic on our return for dinner on our own, all for the cost of three hundred pesos each, or about $22.30 U.S. 




Picture worth a thousand words















     I could go on and on describing in detail of the bus ride, the scenery, the boat ride, the dinner and tour of the remote village, the walk around with dinner on our own in Centro Tepic but in the end it might be best to let the pictures do the talking.  You are going to see through the pictures and expression how 43 of us from North of the Mexican border come together as a diverse group, enjoying each others company on an outing of such magnitude.  You are also going to see through pictures of the Indigenous people and their surroundings the most primitive, but yet, to them, adequate needs to sustain their daily lives.  You may suspect that you see in some faces of the 'natives' a longing for better, but if the laughter coming from the school as we passed on our 'walk about' of the village is any indication there is much happiness in there simple way of life.  We thank the 'Huichol' people of the 'El Potrero de la Palmita'  village for their hospitality and sharing of their privacy.  Kathleen and I especially want to thank those in our group who helped with getting the clothing and school supplies from bus, to boat, to village, and it goes without saying, that all 43 of us want to thank Lloyd, Gille, and Stephane for making it happen. 

     The Huichol are known for their beautiful bead work and in the following picture you will see Kathleen's treasures from the visit.



beautiful bead work   














     As promised I am going to let the pictures do the talking through the following three slide shows. 


                                                  Slide Show 1    (the group of 43)


                                                 Slide Show 2    (the scenery)


                                                Slide Show 3   (huichol village walk about)

     One of our group fell exiting the boat on our return from the village and sustained multiple fractures to her left arm.  Two of the gals in our traveling group came to her aid in a most professional manner.  It is now reported that her arm has been set and casted.  I am sure that in some manner more information will be coming as to her well being. We all hurt for her and wish a speedy recovery. 

     The following two photo's have been sent to me by Stephane.  Enjoy.



The group descending














The group ascending   










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January 04, 2009


      On Sundays It has become somewhat of a routine to gather a few friends and head out to breakfast.  We try to pick somewhere new that most of us have not been to but someone has heard is a good place to eat.  We usually plan to leave around the crack of nine and caravan to where ever we are going.  Today it was to a restaurant close to the Mission in Rincon and I am embarrassed to say I did not catch the name.  There were ten of us today and everyone said what they ordered was very good.  I know that what Kathleen and I had was excellent.  Kathleen had a fresh fruit cup with yogurt and granola and I had a omelett mega with shrimp and hash browns.  We were all served fresh buttered warm rolls and jam with our meals.  Most had coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice as well.  What you see in the picture cost Kathleen and I 95 pesos ($8.95) total.



Excellent Breakfast















     We arrived back at the Park at about 10:15, just in time to make a meeting of friends at the Park Restaurant getting together to discuss and plan a "mystery tour" that about 30 of us are going on Tuesday.  Should be fun and I will write about it after its conclusion.

     About mid-afternoon Brian, Olga, Kathleen and I jumped in the jeep and headed out on an exploratory drive to find a beach that we had heard of in a neighboring town.  We stopped to ask the boys who had their truck pulled off the road and in to a creek if we were headed in the right way to find the "playa" (beach).  We were, so off we went.



Washing their truck















     The road wasn't bad considering it was gravel and in places large stones or just plain dust and dirt and the scenery was intriguing as we wound our way up in to the mountains before cresting and then descending to access a very remote beach area.  The picture below is looking back at the village we first passed through before beginning our mountain/jungle climb.



Town in valley below















     When we did finally crest the mountain and descend to the beach we discovered a hotel of sorts with a no vacancy sign posted.  Apparently there are about 10 rooms that can be rented.  Interestingly there is no electricity at this hotel and the rest of the amenities are equally lacking.  It was primitive to say the least.  On our return from having a look at the beach we noticed a lake off in the distance further back in the valley and all of us agreed that we would save finding access to it a trip for another day.



Lake in the distance













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January 03, 2009

Baby Grows Up

     In February 2008 eleven months ago we were in the La Penita RV Park and the pregnant Mexican gal who tirelessly opened her little restaurant near the pool each day so many of us could walk over for a great breakfast or a pretty good sandwich mid day delivered a little nina, bebe Karen. 

      Mom to be "Ceci" as she was affectionately known became a friend to us all as her big smile, dedication to her task, and daily presence could be counted on as she progressed through her pregnancy.




New Mom Ceci 2008

















     Cesi worked up to near the day she delivered and when she did deliver news spread quickly throughout the park and those who were closest to her planned a baby shower much as would be held in the U.S. or Canada.  It seems that many of Cesi's family came to the event including grandma's, sisters, cousins, and etc.  For those of us in the park it was a wonderful moment to be able to share the joy of this new little person and for a moment we felt like family.  Below is a picture of Kathleen on that day holding little 'bebe Karen'. 




Kathleen with bebe Karen  
















     Today at eleven months of age little Bebe Karen appears to be happy, healthy, and the apple of her mamma's eye.  Her surrogate auntie and uncle are pretty pleased as well!




11 mo. old bebe Karen













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January 02, 2009

Vendors are Active

Sugar Cane Vendor















     This is a major holiday week in Mexico for both Christmas and New Years and the streets and beaches are very busy.  All this activity causes anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit to take up their spot on the street or on the beach to ply their trade.  In the picture above this hard working gentleman was stripping sugar cane, cutting it in 2 inch lengths, bagging it and from his table seen in the background, selling it.  I had seen the kids riding around town on their bikes sucking/chewing on the stuff and decided to give it a try.  I have chewed on a few plain 'ol sticks in my life time and the only thing I detected different today was a little sweeter taste perhaps.  I wasn't too impressed and I don't think those who I passed out samples to in the park were either.  Maybe I need to be more like a kid, to truly enjoy it.  That could be arranged.

     In the picture below this lady vendor is selling pop-overs filled with a pudding substance that is pretty good.  I was just finishing lunch of a Hamburgesa Irene, pappa fritos, and a pacifico beer so I bought two to go so Kathleen could have a treat when I got back from my daily venture.




















     Looking North up the beach from the little restaurant shows that there is a little more activity on the beach because of the holiday. 




Lo de Marcos Beach













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January 01, 2009

New Years Day 2009

New Years Eve On the Beach















     It's New Years Day 2009 now as I sit outside on our Patio here in the Tlaquepaque RV Park here in Lo de Marcos.  Click on the link if you want to explore it.

                                         Tlaquepaque RV Park

     The picture of the bonfire above was taken on the beach just outside the Park last night as many of us gathered to sit around the fire (in shorts at 75 degree's) to usher in the New Year and watch the fire works display put on for us by the complex.  It has to rank as one of the best New Years Eve parties I have attended.  Earlier before walking out to the beach six of us went out to dinner by walking only a short distance outside the complex to a restaurant and all had meals that we all would order again in a heart beat.  We toasted the coming of the New Year there.  Two of the owners sons came to our table to practice taking our order even though their sister Rosa had already done so.  See the pictures below.




Our table for Dinner
















Future Waiters















     The Park inhabitants are a bit subdued today as there were groups going to various functions of celebration and many no doubt did not return till the wee hours of the morning.  Our French Canadian friends and neighbors, Gilles and Diane Beland, kept with a New Years tradition of theirs, making French Toast and delivering to everyone in their coaches, a plate for each.  It was a great touch to add to the waking of the morning and delicious to boot.  See below.




French Toast in the Making















     As I sit here typing this blog the hummingbirds at our three feeders are being very vocal as there are a few dominate males wanting to claim it all for themselves.  They zip around chattering and dive bombing each other constantly.  There must be 10 to 15 at any given moment.  Very entertaining.




Rare Moment
















Quick the bully is Gone















     As you enter our complex through the Hotel/Bugalow lobby here at Tlaquepaque the staff have created a Christmas Nativity Scene that is a bit unique.  Here in Mexico in addition to Jesus and the Manger Scene the Devil plays an integral part.  Note what happens when you take the wrong road.  See below.




Nativity Scene
















Don't take the wrong Road















     We want to take this opportunity to wish all of our friends and blog fans a very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year.  We know that many of you are shoveling snow and vacationing vicariously through our blog and pictures and we appreciate all the kind words sent our way.  I will leave you with a few pictures of the last few days via the following slide show.


                                                       Slide Show

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December 26, 2008

Half Done

Bob and Judy















     Its a tough life but someone has to do it.  When we get up in the morning we start the day with nothing to do and when we go to bed we hope we only have it half done.

     Today was beach day.  Someone makes the general announcement to anyone in hearing distance that at 1:30 we are going to the beach and before you know it more than a hand full of friends are ready to head that way.

     Pictured above are our immediate neighbors here in Lo de Marcos Bob and Judy from Penetang Ontario.  When we all gather we still have nothing to do and that makes solving the worlds problems a great part of the conversation.

     Today we were all treated to a jumping, and chasing fish display by a few dolphins and shortly thereafter a large hump back whale cruised by fairly close to the beach breaching and blowing as he went.

     Several locals riding their horses came by on their way to the river outlet to give them a bath.  The beach is a little more active for at least the next week as a few bus loads of inland residents have come to vacation over the holidays.

     Pictured below are two of our newest friends from Canada, Ken and Gayle.



Ken and Gayle
















     The slide show for today is just a montage of our friends on the beach.


                                                    Slide Show

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December 25, 2008

Entrepreneurs in Mexico

Oysters on the half shell Anyone















     First let me say I have never been a fan of raw oysters.  My mom used to make once a year or so oyster soup and I found that to be delicious but that slimy raw thing sliding down my throat just never excited me.

     The other day I was having a Hamburgasaa Irene (hamburger with cheese, bacon, lettuce, and tomato) and fries on the side when this entrepreneurial fellow showed up next to the restaurant with a knapsack on his back, carrying a five gallon pail full of oysters that he had just picked off the rocks south of town.  He also had a couple smaller pails in his other hand.  He approached someone of authority at the restaurant to secure a table for his use and also filled one of his small pails with water from the spigot near the building.  He looked around and found a large rock and that was to be his anvil.

     It wasn't long and local patrons from the restaurant and those who were just showing up were stopping by his table to order oysters.  One young girl in her twenties joined by her (most likely) grandma and grandpa ordered twenty.  The young man reached in to his knapsack, got out a platter, and with one hand splashed a little water from the bucket on it, rubbed it with his other hand making a washing motion, and then dried it with his tee shirt.  He proceeded to put the oyster on the rock and with a large pliers he would whack and crack an edge off the oyster.  Now he was able to insert a knife like tool and open the shell.  Throwing the top part of the shell away, he washed the oyster and half shell in the same bucket of water and placed the oyster half shell on the plate.  It didn't take him long to have the 20 completed and reaching again in to his knapsack he pulled out a couple of limes, cut them in half and served them in the center of the plate.  Grandma, Grandpa, and the young lady devoured the 20 in no time at all, while I am a few feet away now having trouble just swallowing what was a darn good hamburger

     The same scenario was repeated several times, same plate with a quick splash and wash as previously mentioned. 

     Those of us from North of the Border know enough to be cautious about the use of tap water and although getting fresh oysters like this within just a few hours of them being pulled from the rocks and water and then served by the same fellow for a price, that would be unheard of anywhere but here, is probably not a good idea.  The South of the Border revenge, if you know what I mean can be wicked.

     It sure was interesting watching this chap ply his trade.


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Whats Christmas Like South of the Border?

Front Door of the Tininthewind


















     Christmas in Lo de Marcos Mexico is like Christmas anywhere the only difference for us who hail from North of the Border is that it is hard to get in the spirit when the temp is 80 degrees F when you get up and 80 degrees F when you go to bed but at some point during the day we tune in the weather from home and we are reminded of just how lucky we are to be here.

     The photo you see above is what greets us as we step out the front door of our coach.  In everyones space there are flowers blooming, some with bananas growing, strange birds flitting about, and the occasional cloud that passes overhead.  Yes, we are in the tropics.

     Kathleen has been participating in Choir practice with a group from the RV park in preparation of singing Christmas Carols for the 10:00 p.m. Mass at the local Church.  Most of the Choir participants are our French Canadian friends from the park and most of the songs were to be done in French with a few English versions thrown in for good measure.  Many of us attended the Christmas Eve Mass not only to hear them sing but also to have the complete experience while guests here in Mexico.  The people of Lo de Marcos have been wonderful to us and this was no exception.  I managed to get a picture of the Choir and one of the inside of the church before moving outside to give my seat up to a local lady who arrived late and the church was packed.  When I moved outside I discovered that there was standing room only and many were outside the main door looking in but were still able to participate in the Mass and of course the Lords Supper that followed the Mass.  The Choir from North of the Border sounded very good and it was obvious that the locals appreciated the gesture.  It was near mid-night when we turned in for the night as Christmas day was going to be special for us as well.

     On Christmas day about 20 of us who also had Christmas together in Mexico in 2007 got together again to celebrate.  Ken and Debbie hosted us all at there pad just two sites over from ours.  Ken and Debbie prepared two turkeys and each couple was assigned a dish to prepare and bring to share.  As is always the case there was more than enough very good food.  I continue to be in awe of the number of superb cooks in our little circle of friends.  The following slide show is just a glimpse of what our afternoon was like as we all did our best to get in the spirit and try to convince ourselves it really was Christmas day.


                                                      Slide Show

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December 22, 2008

Join me for Dinner?

Joined for Dinner















     Kathleen and I went out for Dinner this evening and as can be the case here in Mexico you don't always get to dine alone.  Lets see, just in the last week or so I have been joined by a chicken pecking on my leg, and now a little kitten that both wanted to play and in the end was just looking for a comfortable spot to take a siesta.  Look closely at my feet under the table.  Our dinners of Pollo Asada were excellent and we will try this little restaurant again.  Check out the slide show that follows.


                                                        Slide Show

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December 21, 2008

You could be a Liar



5:30pm, Sunday Dec 21st, at the Palapa


  Bring your cocktails, and maybe a snack, to an hour of fun and laughter at the Palapa this Sunday. 

We've brought together four of the best liars in Lo de Marcos to entertain you with their explanations of the meanings of some very strange English words. Will the team at your table be able to identify which one of the panelists is telling the truth? 


Don't miss this chance to broaden your vocabulary and meet the El Refugio Liars Club. Please try to be seated by 5:15pm - the fun starts at 5:30pm

The Four Potential Liars










Let me set the stage for the evening.  The Four distinguished that you see above were to present their definition and description of a word and then those of us sitting at numbered tables were to work as a team and vote for whom we thought was telling the truth.


     One knew that it was going to get very interesting as the four were composed of three retired members of various law enforcement groups in Canada and one retired Canadian Politician.


     The event was held in the beautiful central palapa that has become the gathering place for some of the smaller functions.  Some of the descriptions given by the four did drag on a bit long but all in all it was very entertaining and humorous.


     There was a 50/50 raffle held with 50% of the proceeds going to a 12 year old girl from the Lo de Marcos Village who was just this past week injured severely in a bazaar collapse of a basketball pole and hoop near the church.


     The winning table would be announced at the end of the evening based on how many times they correctly identified the person who was actually telling the truth.  The winning table would then not only win 50% of the raffle but also a nice bottle of tequila.


And the winners Are

Don, Louise, Kathleen and George











It was only right that we agreed that the injured 12 year old should receive the entire amount of the raffle and she will therefore be getting 920 pesos and a lot of prayers for a full recovery.


     A good many of the RV park residents participated in this fun evening and perhaps you will recognize some of them when you run the following slide show.


                                                Slide Show

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Circle the Wagons

Let the Party Begin















     The Wagons (coaches/5th wheels) are circled.  Now its time to put out a few tables, circle the chairs, proclaim there is a block party scheduled, put on some music, make your favorite finger food to share, and everyone in section "B" is invited. 

     Throw in any other excuse you can come up with such as a birthday to celebrate, its too nice a day to waste, nothing else is planned, or I don't want my 'baileys' to get stale, and you have the makings for a great reason to get to know your neighbors better.

     A couple of days ago with the organizational skills of a few we did just what I have described.  A real down home block party for our area of the RV park.  The only difference with a block party way down here in Mexico verses the one some may have had at home is when you look around virtually everyone is showing a little leg (temperature does that to you) and a little grey on the top floor (not sure what caused that).

     You can not believe the quality of the cooks and the number of outstanding dishes that appear.  Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time and many new friendships were formed.  I need to wrap up this blog as I believe there is another party about to begin.  Enjoy the Slide show.

                                                            Slide Show

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December 18, 2008

My sadness for Chacala



     Following our recent visit to Chacala I can’t seem to stop thinking about the little village by the ocean.  Eight to ten years ago when I first started reading a lady's blog that was being published from this little Mexican village called Chacala I was captivated by her day to day description of life in this far away place.  She wrote with such a style that it was years before I was able to determine this was a woman writing.  It was even years after that when I finally was able to learn her name and that was only days before I learned of her death.  In all of this time I had but one desire and that was to one day visit this place.  I did that during the winter of 2007/2008 when we drove the “tininthewind” some 1,200 miles south of the U.S./Mexico border.

     It was as Andy had described it.  Immediately on stepping foot in the community and walking the beach I felt that I had indeed arrived in the heart of Mexico and could experience the laid back existence of sitting under a palm tree, listening to the waves crash the shore, with my sombrero tipped down over my face while I contemplated what I wasn’t going to do for the rest of the day.

     Now, on this visit, watching the trucks, bulldozers, and workers through the huge chain link fence I felt sadness for those who lost their homes and laid back livelihood because they were probably forced  to accept this new progress with the promise that with progress will come a better life style for them.

     I am immediately reminded of when Miguel met Michael.................Click Here


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A full day

     Thursday is market day in La Penita and though we don't go every Thursday it is always fun when we do.  The plan is to always leave early, find a place to park, hit a street side restaurant for breakfast and then walk the market.  Since it stretches for near a mile I guess I should say, we walk some of it.

     Today following the Market we decided to continue heading North and make a return visit to the little beach side village of Chacala.  I wrote extensively about this little community during last years visit to the area as it was where my blogging friend 'Andy' resided.

     We had heard from a friend that Chacala has been grossly changed because a high dollar developer has purchased much of the town, fenced off the area, bulldozed the beach side huts and restaurants, and is planning to build a huge high rise hotel complex.  The rumors are true.  What we witnessed today took a moment of pause.  They call this progress?  I'm not so sure?

     On our return trip toward home to Lo de Marcos we again passed through La Penita and we noticed that the little highway side restaurant of Karina and her fire grilled chicken was open for business.  Last year though we spoke hardly a word of Spanish and she, even less English we counted her a friend as we stopped often to enjoy what still is the best grilled chicken we have found.  Below is a picture I took last year on one of our first visits.



Karina at work















     Last year Karina had a broken wrist for much of the time we were in La Penita and yet most every day she tended to her little restaurant.  We fussed over her 'ouch' a lot and perhaps that helped to cement our friendship and bond.  Today when we stopped the smile and hugs told us that she hadn't forgotten us and once again we enjoyed one of her special dinners.

     This time she had more to share with us as she introduced three of her grandchildren to us and a grandma's pride is truly universal.  Both Kathleen and I got to hold the newest little Nina (female) also named Karina.  What a bundle of joy.



Grandma Karina's Pride















Baby Karina













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December 14, 2008

Its a beach of a day

Lo de Marcos Beach















     I had just returned on my scooter from ordering our Sunday afternoon meal of rotisserie chicken and vegetables from the street vendor who only fixes them on Sundays when several of our friends started talking about going out to the beach and enjoy the day.  Four of our very good friends decided to join us but they were going to do dinner at the beach restaurant first.  Since I had about 3 hours before I would return to get the chicken dinners that I had ordered we all set off for the beach.  The above picture shows our chairs set up and the little restaurant on the sand that our buddies went for dinner.  All this is a very short distance from our Rv's.

     It is Sunday and you can get a sense of how uncrowded the Lo de Marcos beach is.  When we do this on week days it is really quiet.

     There were several shrimp boats anchored off shore and on the horizon a sail boat was visible as it headed south along the coast.  The pelicans were extremely active as they dove for fish.  It is quite a spectacle to watch the pelicans fold their wings and dive straight in to the water as they go after the fish.  It is another matter to catch them on camera as they plunge in to the water.

     Looking both North and South from our spot on the beach shows just how few folks were enjoying the beach.  We wish all of our Northern friends could come and visit us as we would love to show this area off.



  Im taking a photo














Looking North















Looking South















Common Scene















Common Scene













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December 12, 2008

Shopping Day

Produce Truck about 10:00 a.m.















Fresh Bread and Pastries















     A couple times each week there is produce available right in the park.  The fellow with the produce truck usually shows up rather early in the a.m. and then drives through the park honking his horn to signal his arrival.  The bread truck usually slowly drives through the park with one of the ladies kids driving as both ladies walk along side the truck singing out "fresh bread" with a very heavy Spanish accent.  Those who have needs eventually surface from their individual units and the shopping commences.  The produce is as fresh as can be, especially that grown locally. The bread and pastries were made during the night and are incredibly fresh.  Shopping day is always fun.

     I include a picture of tonight's dinner as it is one of my favorites to do here in Mexico because everything is so fresh.  On the skewers to the right are shrimp, pineapple, peppers, and onions.  On the skewers to the left are ribbons of chicken breast.  A very fast meal, and healthy to boot.




Tonights dinner













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December 11, 2008

Our RV Park Welcome Party

The Party is about to begin















     I took the above picture while sitting at our table waiting for the RV Park Welcome Party to begin.  As you can see from the  picture not only was a near full moon as it rose from behind the mountains adding to the beauty of our surrounding area, but also contributing were the table settings, decorations, balloons, tiki lights, and overall just the central area of this complex.  Surrounding us as we sat on this freshly painted basketball court are some of the bungalows, restaurant, bar, pool, soccer field, and the huge palm tree's.  All of the above we see every day, but tonight we were privileged to be the guests of the owners and staff as they wanted to thank us for coming to spend our winter in there complex.

     Yes, there were a few speeches, all delivered in Spanish, English and French. Following those we were treated to an excellent meal of baked chicken, mashed potatoes, pasta, and a dinner roll.  Mexican dancers doing their traditional dances and dressed in their finest costumes entertained us throughout the evening.  There was DJ type music for dancing and some entertaining games that filled the evening.

     Check out the slide show that follows to see if you recognize anyone...


                                                            Slide Show

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December 10, 2008

Lookin' in --- Lookin' out

Our Pad















     We are very comfortable with the lay-out of our pad and tend to spend most of the day just hanging out (literally).  Neighbors feel comfortable to just drop in to sit and visit.  One of our near by neighbors stopped in with her beautiful Cat this evening and we were able to get our Kittie fix. 

     Our Christmas lights are up and we have them on a dusk sensing timer so they come on at dark and then turn themselves off automatically two hours later.  The entire park is taking on a Christmas festive atmosphere but I must admit it is difficult to get in the Ho-Ho-Ho spirit when the temp is in the 80's and beads of sweat come easily with any exertion.

     Today I sat out side and took completely apart a digital camera that is not working correctly.  I cleaned what I could and used canned compressed air to blow any dust out of it.  I put it back together and it still doesn't work.  At least it is giving me the same fault code that it had before I took it apart so I feel good at least to have re-assembled it properly.  The next thing will be to use a hammer on it.  When all else fails sometimes that will fix it.

     Many flowers are in bloom now and we have a lot of different colors just around our pad.  We haven't been able to attract the hummingbirds like we did last year but we will continue to try.  Four couples came from La Penita to visit us today and we all walked out to the beach side restaurant for burgers and fries.  We gave everyone a good tour of our park before they left. 

Life is good!




Our Pad 














Our Pad












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December 08, 2008

Perez Brothers -- "A night to Remember"

Perez Brothers Band















     The Perez Brothers came to our Tlaquepaque RV Park to provide three hours of "50's -- 60's Rock and Roll as only 4 brothers from here in the local area can do.  When the instruments play Johnny Cash "Folsom Prison" or Chubby Checkers "the twist" there is no language issue.  When the boys sing it in that beautiful Spanish language, and then kick over to English with a hint of a Spanish accent, you listen in awe.

     It was an enjoyable evening to again have the opportunity of partying on with our fellow Park Residents and it was heart warming to see the Park and Hotel staff also enjoying themselves.  For some it was also an opportunity to renew friendships with acquaintances from last years visit to the area, as the park made all welcome who wanted to come.

     It is difficult at best to get good pictures in the dark and my sore foot tells me that I should have danced a little less, but if you do not see your self in the following slide show, it might just be because you were 'movin and grovin' way to fast for the camera to catch you.

                                                         Slide Show

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December 04, 2008

Punta Mita Mexico for Lunch

Punta Mita Luxury Hotel















    It was such a nice day (heck, all days are nice here) that we decided to just go for a drive and so we set out for Punta Mita via a coastal road that lead out the back side of Syulita.  The drive was interesting in that the road was black top and in pretty good repair.  The jungle growth was right up to the edge of the road and driving the 'tininthewind' on this road would be a no-no, but the jeep could maneuver around the overgrowth.

     Punta Mita is one of the first beach side communities just North of Puerto Vallarta and the building of high rise hotels is taking place on a grand scale.  The one pictured above is the one we chose to try for lunch and we were not disappointed.  The food was excellent, and the prices were a bit more than we are used to in Lo de Marcos but then this is one of those areas that caters to the tourists who fly in to Puerto Vallarta and want up scale surroundings.  There were a number of surfers of all ages hanging out at the bar and they parked their surf boards outside much as one would rack a bicycle.

     There are so many up scale hotels in this area that moving people between locations and restaurants is done by water taxis like the one pictured below.  It struck me that these pelicans decided not to fly but to take the water taxi instead.  Problem was, the driver decided to take a siesta.




Taxi Please















     We decided to return to Lo de Marcos via the main road from Punta Mita and just before joining that highway we stopped to photograph Puerto Vallarta off in the distance.




Puerto Vallarta Skyline in distance













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December 01, 2008

Monday's Lunch

Beach Restuarant Scene















     There is nothing unique about the beach restaurant in Lo de Marcos or is there?  Kathleen and I decided to give it a try for lunch today as we skimped a bit on breakfast.  The scene is typical of all small communities in Mexico.  Sand in your feet, the sound of waves crashing on shore and a gentle breeze to make everything very comfortable.  Today we also were treated to a bunch of dolphins jumping and chasing fish near the shore.  Sorry I wasn't able to capture them at the top of their leap.  Next time.

     One thing I can tell you.  The last thing I expected was a peck on my leg.  For a moment, startled and quickly withdrawing my leg from under the table, I thought I had got a new religion.  On further inspection, I must admit, things are kept very clean and neat around the area.  I don't think I will order any thing exotic from the menu.  It just might taste like chicken.




Chicken Little













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November 30, 2008

Sunday Morning Breakfast

     Nine of us headed out for Breakfast this morning, most in separate vehicles, as there were different plans following breakfast.  Now, normally going in a group like that to a Mexican Restaurant is not a good idea because they have a one meal at a time preparation and serving mentality but this was to be a Mexican style Buffet at one of the better hotels in Rincon.

     The setting in an open outdoor area fronting the beach.  The view of the ocean and the waves rolling in on the sand is spectacular. 

     We had cooked to order omelette's with ingredients of your choosing.  Fruit plates with thinned yogurt ladled on top, your choice of flavors.  Pancakes with butter and syrup.  Some traditional Mexican breakfast dishes that I can't begin to pronounce.  Coffee, and or orange/mango juice.  It was all excellent, there was not a complaint by anyone except there was no Tocino (bacon).  Brian asked if we could get some bacon.  Shortly a full plate of bacon arrived, done perfectly, and when it was emptied, another plate full would appear.  I don't know how many plates of bacon we went through but most of us will be taking two lipators tonight!

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November 26, 2008

Our Current Back Yard

     I know, I know, here we are in beautiful Lo de Marcos with the emphasis on the beach, ocean, temperature, fellow RV'ers, and our el Refugio RV park and I am going to show you pictures of our back yard but, hey, the whole surrounding area is wonderful.

     I was preparing skewers of local shrimp and vegetables (including pineapple chunks) on our grill outside when our neighbors Ken and Debbie told me to grab my camera as there were a couple of pink spoon bill type swans in the estuary just behind us.

     We have a chain link fence laced with vines and beautiful flowers behind our units and just on the other side of that is an attractive estuary that changes daily with the raising and lowering of the tide and the life that wanders there.  There is even cattle that frequents the area from a near by farm.  I took the following pictures standing in one spot, not more than 50 feet behind the 'tininthewind'.
















































just like Wisc. Happy Cows













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November 23, 2008

Pot Luck Lo de Marcos Style

     The beautiful RV park here in Lo de Marcos is beginning to fill for the season as each day there are more and more units arriving.  The park is perhaps half full and by December 1st most if not all will have arrived.

     For those of us who are already here friendships are beginning to form as new neighbors are greeted as they pull in or introductions are made in passing.  Word was sent out through e-mail by Stephan that a "Pot Luck" was being organized and would be held at the two story palapa in section 'C'.

     I would guess you could count on one hand those who did not participate.  As is usually the case when a pot luck is held there was more than enough food, the dishes were as varied as the nationalities that were in attendance, and the quality was outstanding.  We are truly blessed in this park to have many superb cooks and I for one hope this has been only one of many "Pot Lucks" that will take place in the future.

     I was impressed that people did not just squirrel away in their own little groups but tended to mingle and want to meet and greet new faces.  I for one hope that as we go through the next 4 or 5 months everyone continues to want to make new friend ships, even though they may be only for the evening event.

     The fellow in control of the microphone and making announcements etc. introduced me and gave out the link to our blog and invited all to let their "back home" significant others know where they could access stories and pictures from Lo de Marcos.  Last year many family members sent me an e-mail letting me know that it was a treat to see pictures of "mom and dad", "brothers and sisters", relaxing and enjoying themselves.  I suspect that this year will be no different.  To those who do see the pictures and perhaps roll their eye's because "mom" or "dad" has a mike in their hands and is belting out a song at Karaoke night, remember one thing.  There is a smile on their face, they are in R & R mode, and have worked hard all their life so as to now be able to let their hair down a bit.  I can assure you that no one here is embarrassed by their actions, only grateful to be on this side of the sod and able to participate.  Rock on my fellow Lo de Marco park guests! 


                                            Slide Show

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Revolution Day Lo de Marcos Celebration

Pride in Country















     We attended the Revolution Day Celebration in La Penita last year and enjoyed the festivities but were especially warmed by the open acceptance of us "gringos" and our cameras and this year in Lo de Marcos was no exception.

     As I moved through the crowd of locals with my camera children were anxious to pose and moms standing near by gave an encouraging nod with a smile as I pointed to my camera and then to the child.  No language barrier as they knew what I was asking.

     I noticed in Lo de Marcos more than I did in La Penita last year a greater significance given to the elders.  There was a queen and her court and a large contingent of elderly that I took to being grandparents all dressed alike and grouped together as the festivities progressed.

     There were fewer street vendors in Lo de Marcos but the lady with the grilled chicken caught our eye and I returned later in the day to purchase two (dose), medium (media), chicken (pollo), dinners to go.  Not knowing the words for "dinners to go" I pointed to the carry out bags hanging near by and then to my scooter which I had arrived on.  Along with a half chicken each we received grilled potatoes, grilled chillies, and grilled onions.  I must have miscommunicated as we had enough vegetables to feed half the park.  All for the grand total of $102.00 pesos or $7.84 U.S.  The meal by the way was excellent but not quite as good as "Kristina's" in La Penita.




Poncho Via Wannabee















looking their best















honored queen of Lo de Marcos
















pollo street vendor















     To read the account of Last years Celebration and more pictures in La Penita click on the link below.  Then scroll down to "Mexico Revolution Day Celebration".


                                                             Click Here

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May 20, 2008

Perpetual Camping

Fresh Morel Mushrooms












     What is it like being full-time motor homers and living the life of “perpetual campers”?  I can tell you in just two words, but first let me describe the past couple of weeks.

     We headed back to the familiar territory of the mid-west to take care of business (medical appointments and check ups) from having spent an absolute fabulous winter and spring with new found friends in Mexico and the south-west.   First was a visit in the Des Moines Iowa area with friends and family members.  Then a bee-line to Sunshine Acres RV Park, Jim and Alyce’s country estate near Waukon Iowa (Kathleen’s brother).  Our parking pad overlooking the lush farm fields and the hours spent dining and visiting with Jim and Alyce are and will become an annual highlight.  Attending the 1st birthday party of our grand nephew Jake, seeing how our grand niece Jaylin has grown, and visiting all three May Boy’s homes, scattered across Iowa was awesome.  Visiting Kathleen’s two Aunts, Goldie and Emerald in the Care Center in Waukon is always an important stop for me.  These are two of the classiest ladies you could ever have the privilege to meet.

     The most important person next to Kathleen of course is my mom and we have spent many days traveling the short distance from wherever we are to visit with her in the Garnavillo Assisted Living Center and take her for rides through the country side.

     We have moved now from the Sun Shine Acres RV Park and are “camped” within feet of our beloved Mississippi River at Blackhawk Park.  We go to sleep with the sounds of a tow with its barges making its way up or down the channel, a freight train passing in the distance, or the splash of a fish chasing whatever as it feeds.  We get up to a hearty breakfast and once it warms a bit we can each pursue something we enjoy.  Lets see, yesterday I grabbed my favorite rod, walked to the bank 50 feet behind the coach and caught two small mouth bass 14 to 15 inches in length.  A short time later I joined my brother near his small horse farm and went morel mushroom hunting.  Then last night Kathleen and I sat down to bass fillets and mushrooms before settling in for the evening of computing or reading.  Today I went fishing again from the bank, caught and released several nice bass, but kept a nice 16” walleye for a future supper.

     We are busy trying to make contact with as many of our friends in this area as we can because all too soon our visit here will end and we will be off on other adventures.

     Now, what is it like living the life of “perpetual campers”??  In just two words---- It’s Wonderful.





Blackhawk Park Site
















Wide open Spaces at Blackhawk Park
















Another View
























































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May 01, 2008

Buck Creek

Buck Creek















     We had an opportunity to take a step back in time today and it was amazing to discover, not a lot has changed.

     Just south of the town, (Garnavillo, Iowa) approximately two miles down a gravel road is a meandering creek, (Buck Creek).  The access to this pristine hidden gem at the end of a dead end road was a pleasant surprise to us both as we discovered very little change from what we experienced years and years ago.

     I was a young lad in the 1950’s when I would leave the house, many times alone, on my bike with my fish pole early in the morning to fish for trout.  When the sun climbed high in the sky and it warmed, I took every chance to head for the deepest hole and cool off by swimming.  I recall many hours spent just laying on my back letting my mind wander as I contemplated the future.

     When Kathleen and I started dating in high school I introduced her to the solitude and beauty of this little valley and the creek meandering through it.  We dreamed and discussed back then a desire to buy this little corner of Iowa one day and perhaps settle there, but that never came to pass.

     Our return there to walk the banks of the creek and to see that the two building (the old mill) and an old brick house still exist and in fact have been somewhat restored and are now some lucky family’s week-end retreat.  We also learned that the private land that runs throughout the valley is still in the care of the same family descendants that owned it years ago.  Cattle still graze the grass, trout fisherman still climb the stile to access the creek and if for just a moment you let your mind wander you can almost feel yourself going back to a less complicated time.

The Old Mill















Happy Cows
















Kathleen at the Stile
















Me and many Memories













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April 25, 2008


Deer Run RV Park Elkader Iowa















Water Rising
















Road Under Water
















Water Everywhere















     In the previous blog Kathleen placed us where we are and what we are up to but she failed to mention the weather.

     Like those that could, we hung back in the Southwest because the weather north seemed rather unsettled and cold.  In watching the weather it appeared that it was warming and so off we went.  I admit, I did make the trip North a little faster than would have been necessary but so much of the area we needed to cross is known as tornado alley and I really didn’t want to park under one.

     Our weather problems started with our second night in Des Moines when throughout the night (5 times) our NOAA weather alert radio went off to warn us of approaching severe thunder storms and hail.  It did get nasty but the hail stayed small enough not to do any damage to us.

     We got lucky to have a sunny day to continue on to the Northeast area of Iowa and the small community of Elkader.  The Deer Run RV Park would be our home for a few days while we then drove a few miles to visit my mom who is now in an assisted living facility in Garnavillo, Iowa (the town that Kathleen and I both graduated high school from).

     That was the last sun shine we would see as the last couple of days have been constant rain, thunder, lightening, and anything else you can imagine.  We are camped along the Turkey River here in Elkader and it is at the top of its banks and continuing to rise.  During the night the towns siren went off for about 10 minutes and we were concerned enough to try and find out what was going on.  There were vehicles running around shining lights here and there.  I put my robe on and went out to flag one down to inquire and was told that the local fire fighters had been called out to sand bag just below us as the river had breached the dyke.  He assured us we were on high enough ground that we should be OK for the time being.  This morning the road leading in to the town and this camp ground is closed as the water had been over the road during the night.  Apparently the sand bags did their thing as the water is no longer over the road, but the road remains closed to all but local traffic.

     We were going to move today but will remain put as the pending weather is looking even more ominous.  The temperatures are scheduled to drop some 20 degree’s in the next couple of hours as the rain/snow will intensify when the front passes.  The forecast for all of next week look to be wet and cold.

     Wonder how long it would take this retired truck driver to make it back to at least Yuma, Arizona?



                                                   Slide Show



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April 09, 2008

Where have You Been

The Plane Scott Fly's
















Our Four Little Honey's















     We are still in Casa Grande Arizona going on our third week.  We continue to watch the weather north of here and will begin our trek in that direction when it looks like we can dodge all the snow flakes, floods, tornadoes, and what ever else will appear in our path.  It’s pretty hard to find fault with 80’s, and sun shine every day, here in the southwest.


     We left our “tininthewind” motor coach here at the Rovers Roost Escapee’s RV Park and flew from Phoenix to Seattle and a much needed visit with our Son’s and their families.  The grandkids at this young age are still excited to see grandma and grandpa.  The hugs, kisses, and snuggles are worth their weight in gold.


     Visiting and vacationing in the Phoenix area are our former neighbors and good friends, Norm and Jean Krause, and Melvin and Lorraine Miller.  We all met for an afternoon baseball game between the Arizona Diamond Backs playing the LA Dodgers.  The Diamond Backs won 5 to 4.  Throwing out the first pitch was JJ Yelie the driver of the #96 Nascar Racecar.  He entered the stadium with one of the cars to the applause of the baseball crowd.  Kathleen is and always has been a huge Dodgers fan so going to the game was a real treat.


     Most of you know that we both are die hard Nascar fans and Dale Earnhardt Jr. who now drives the #88 is our favorite driver.  Since Nascar is running at the Phoenix International Raceway this week-end it is only fitting that we attend.  We are going to both of the major races.  Friday night will be the running of the Nation Wide Series and will be televised on ESPN.  Saturday night will be the running of the Sprint Cup Series and will be televised on Fox.  We will be in the Pettie Grandstand, turn 4, right across from the entrance to the pits, row 27, seats 7 & 8.  We also have pit passes and will be taking in everything we can in and around the teams as they prepare for the races.  We are extremely excited.  Can you tell!




Norm, Jean, Mel, Lorraine, Kathleen
















Yellie Throws Out the First Pitch
















#96 back to the Race Track














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March 12, 2008

Foot Prints

One step at a time















     On our morning walk today we decided to go outside the RV Park in to the Desert which is virtually all around us.  Our purpose was to photograph the Flowers and Cacti that are prevalent and some in bloom.  After all it is well in to the Spring Season here.  Around the entire RV Park is a beautiful brick wall approximately 4 feet in height and a stunning display of Cacti from the region front it.  Wish you could have heard the birds as they are so vocal here.  Everything and everyone seem so happy, especially us!  Go ahead and click on the slide show below to see what we enjoyed this morning.

Enjoying the Walk

                                                   Slide Show

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To "Go" or To "Be"

Glen & Brenda Leaving















We “Be” still in Yuma Arizona at the Escapee RV Park till March 18th and then I am not sure where we will “be”.  We will just check the temperature and find what suits us and then head there.

     Our good friends Glen and Brenda pulled out this morning as they have to “Go” home to Campbell River, BC.  Jean and Al left a few days ago, Brian, Olga, Gerry, Margaret, Barry, & Marion all will have to “Go” before the month is out, to park their rigs, open up the house and settle in until it is time to head south again next October/November.

     You see, with this full-time life style of ours we don’t have to “go” home, we “be” home.  It is true that we do still refer to the area of the U.S. that we used to have our stick house as home, and we always will, but it sure is nice to just “be” home no matter where we are.


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March 06, 2008

Yuma Arizona Escapees RV Park

Our Pad















     When we first arrived in Yuma Arizona we booked in to the Fortuna Del Oro RV Park.  A moderately priced park with some 800 spaces.  We decided we would give this park a limited try as one of the couples we had made friends with in Mexico was already there and what the heck, a little extravagance we deserved.  We have now moved. We try when we can in our full time life style of RVing to use our membership parks and therefore home for the next one or two weeks will be the Yuma Arizona Escapee Park.

     Yuma as you would expect is a popular destination for the “snowbirds” and there are RV Parks of all shapes, sizes, and pricing plans.  In addition there seems to be RV dealers on every corner.  There is also a huge outdoor market that is geared to the snowbird and their RV needs.  We will no doubt spend several days just checking out the merchandise as there are a few items we would like to add to our RV life.  This is the time of year to be buying as vendors are closing out for the season since most snowbirds will be headed back north in a week or two.

     This Escapee Park is small by most standards in this area, with 154 sites.  It is a warm and friendly atmosphere which is exactly what Escapee’s are noted for.  There is an excellent heated pool (86 degrees), and a hot tub that is very nice, a clubhouse, laundry, and planned activities throughout the week.  We have 50 amp electric, and water with sewer hook up.  There is also cable TV for those who desire it. 

     While we continue to enjoy getting re acclimated to good ole’ American food we will have a great place to hang out here at the Yuma SKP Park.

Our Pad

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February 13, 2008

From Beach to Dinner

Friends on Beach















Friends on the Beach


     It has become common to arrive at the beach and find friends gathering, or if you are first to arrive, it usually isn’t long and your friends will begin to gather.  Pictured here is just an example of today.  Tomorrow is a new day we will probably do it all over again.



Dinner Out


     It is not uncommon to have several couples get together to go out to dinner.  Sometimes it is to pay tribute to a guest of a friend who traveled miles to visit and sometimes it is just to enjoy the company of friends.  Pictured here is just an example of today.  Tomorrow is a new day and we will probably do it all over again.





Friends at Dinner













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February 03, 2008

What Time Is It?

     For months now when questioning the time we have all been saying, “who cares?”  Just in the last couple of days, time seems to be taking on a little more importance.  Friends ask us, “When are you leaving back for the states?”  We in turn are asking our friends the same question, as to when are they planning to leave.  These questions floating around sure put reality to the fact that it won’t be long and we all will be heading for either the U.S. or Canada.  It will be exciting to finally be on the move again, but it will also be with mixed emotion, as we part company with many special friends.  There are quite a bunch of us who plan to return to Mexico next November and we will have a big reunion then.  Some we may even have the opportunity to visit as we travel throughout the summer.


     Starting tomorrow Kathleen and I are leaving our coach in the protective custody of our neighbors here at La Penita RV Park and we are going on an exploratory trip down the West Coast of Mexico by car.  We really don’t have any firm plans for where we will go, or how far, as we want to be totally free to do as we please.  We plan to return on Friday or Saturday, just in time for us to get ready for a little finger food party we are planning to host for Sunday evening.  One of my RV park neighbors has hired the Perez Brothers to play at a little private party he is hosting and it just makes good sense to host our friends at our place and take advantage of listening to a couple of hours of excellent music.  I have commented about the Perez Brothers in a previous blog.


     Once all of the aforementioned is behind us it will be time to get serious about working on the last of the tanning opportunities and time to start thinking about getting things ready to travel.  The nice part of this life style is nothing is cut in stone but for the sake of planning we will begin our trek north some time near the end of this month.  We were discussing what we are looking forward to when we cross the border back in to the states.  Kathleen is anxious to buy and sample some cottage cheese, and for me I am looking forward to a big North American Breakfast. 


     Will we miss anything about Mexico?  There would not be room enough or time at the moment to write all that we will miss.  This has been a fantastic 1st winter of our new retired RV lifestyle and will be extremely hard to top in the future, but rest assured we will try!


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January 21, 2008

Typical Winter Day (La Penita Style)



     Everyone is allowed their time at which they tend to roll out in the morning.  Of course that can vary depending on what activities you choose to get involved in.  So far I have managed to not get involved in those that would require me to have to roll out too early.  I do best when I can sleep in.

     As an example this morning I got up at about 8:15.  Kathleen had left for an organized exercise group that she has been participating in around 7:30.  At about 9:00 we both went over to the pool and had breakfast.  I ordered the “Kitchen Sink Omelet” and Kathleen had the “Media Fruita Platter” and we each had a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice.  At least one of us orders healthily.

     We came back to the coach and I started a clean and polish project on the rear of the coach that I have been putting off.  Kathleen did some inside cleaning and then continued with an ongoing task she has been doing of scanning pictures and getting them in to folders on the hard drive of our desk top computer.

     At about 12:30 the sand, sun, and ocean waves were calling and we packed up with a few snacks and cokes and headed for the beach.  Several sightings of whales had been reported and we took the binoculars just in case.  From 12:30 to about 3:30 we basked in the sun watching some local Mexican boys from town trying to catch waves on their surf boards, this of course in between checking the inside of my eye lids for damage.  Several of our friends from the park came to join us and several topics were covered in conversation. 

     One can only lay and absorb the rays so long so a stroll up the beach at the breakers edge to gather shells that are being exposed adds to the afternoon enjoyment.  The boys are doing their best to surf, pelicans are in constant movement trying to catch fish off shore, and occasionally a sail boat is spotted far off shore as they are making their way South.

     Thoughts do occasionally pop in to the head wondering about our Northern Friends and what kind of weather is greeting them at the moment, but we try to keep those thoughts to a minimum.  We probably would stay longer at the beach today but the Packers are playing the Giants in the play offs.

     I think we will stop by the pool and order a pizza from our Mexican Friend Ruben, delivered to our coach at about 6:00 p.m. that should fit about right with half time of the game.

     No whales spotted today so that just means we had better do it all over again tomorrow.  One of these days we will get lucky and catch them blowing and jumping as they pass on their way north toward the Sea of Cortez and their annual migration to have their calves.

     Life is good!


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January 20, 2008

La Penita RV Park Activities



     It never ceases to amaze me that interest in the park activities remains at record levels.  Last night was a chili cook-off.  We heard almost from the beginning of our arrival in the park that there would be a chili cook-off.  In order to have a worthy competition there would need to be at least 8 contestants, each making 10 quarts of chili.  Last nights event had 13 contestants preparing their secret chili recipe.  There were approximately 175 of us who showed up to sample the 130 quarts of chili and then cast our ballot for the people’s choice of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.  There were also 3 judges who had been secretly selected days in advance so they would have a chance to prepare their palate for taste and their lower gut with the pink pepto for what could follow their assigned task of sampling and voting for the overall best chili.  With 175 plus of us each sampling 13 pots of chili and enjoying the hot dog and free beer that was part of our 50 pesos ($5.00), you can imagine the potential cloud that was to hang over the La Penita RV Park for the next 24 hours or so.  It was announced that one should probably refrain from smoking or the use of lighters of any kind.

     Two of our closest friends here in the park were entered in the competition.  One of them, Marion Schryer from Sooke British Columbia Canada won the overall pick for number 1 by the panel of judges.  Our friend Ken did not place with his entry but as I remember from the tasting it was pretty good.  Marion’s chili was in pot #4 and Kens was in pot #8.  No one knew prior to it being announced at the end whose chili was in what pot so it was very secretive.   I voted for the chili in pot #10 so I guess that goes to show what little I know about good chili.  Actually all thirteen were very tasty.

     Following the chili cook-off event the evening entertainment was a Mexican band called the Perez Brothers.  Four young clean cut young Mexican boys playing lead guitar, base guitar, key board, and all capable of singing put on one heck of a show.  Here we are in a small ocean side community, small by Mexican standards, and we are being entertained by four local lads who only perform in this town, and then only on a limited basis.  This was a group that I and probably all of us would have paid good money to travel a lot of miles to hear.  They were outstanding.  When they stepped to the mike and spoke it was with a very heavy Spanish accent of the English word, but when they sang the English words were as clear as day, and with out any hint of an accent.  Kind of reminded me of Mel Tillis who stuttered terribly when he spoke but could sing through a whole song with out any hint of a stutter.  This band entertained from 7:00 to 10:00 but was overwhelmingly encouraged to play on for another half hour.  To close my eyes and hear the Everly Brothers, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, the Big Bopper, Richie Valance, Willie Nelson, Freddy Fender and a host of others who I can’t name.  To hear the first part of every song done in Spanish and then have them finish the last half in perfect English was just amazing, but even more amazing was the range of their combined voices and their ability to sound as near to the original entertainers as could be possible, and all that well south of the U.S. border.  Who would have ‘thunk’ it?

Just another special event added to an already incredible winter in paradise.

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January 08, 2008

Chacala Revisited

Chacala's Beach















     Give us an invite, a reason, launch time, and we would never turn down a trip to Chacala to walk the beach and have lunch with friends.  Today January 8th, 2008 Ken’s sister Carol and her husband Chuck were visiting and Ken and Debbie asked some of us to join them to Chacala.  Brian and Olga, Kathleen and I made it a group of eight and away we went.

     Chacala is about a half hours drive north of La Penita but is well worth the drive.  It is a sleepy little beach village where the primary focus is fishing and the little harbor is home to the local fishing fleet.  Depending on the time of your visit they may all be out fishing or returning to load their catch in trucks ready to haul the fresh fish to the various markets.  Today we seemed to catch them returning and some were already repairing their nets getting ready for the next trip out. 

     Chacala is not a tourist town per say, and spotting gringos is not a common thing but the entire beach is lined with palapa restaurants and other than walking the beach our prime purpose in coming to Chacala is the excellent meals we have had there in the past.  This trip did not disappoint.  Once again Kathleen and I enjoyed a half kilo fillet each of Mahi-Mahi grilled over an open hearth wood fire in the center of the facility.  The chips, salsa, guacamole and cerveza were a great appetizer preceding the main meal.  Conversation and getting to know Carol and Chuck made the day complete.  This was our third trip to Chacala since arriving in Mexico and no doubt we will return several times more before our visit south of the border comes to an end. 



                                                    Slide Show

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January 03, 2008

A Walk in the Park

     The week of Christmas and the week after, the La Penita RV Park took on a character all its own.  We had been told by the RV’ers who have been at the park in previous years that many Mexican families would be coming to camp and that every available space would be filled with tents.  Many of these families, now with families of their own, camped here with their parents when they were just children.  The Mexican personalities that came to occupy the park were as diverse as us foreigners who were already here.  We had many mixed functions in the evenings such as Karaoke where someone with a heavy Spanish accent would try a Johnny Cash tune and someone with a Texas accent would try Solomente.  There was lots of laughter and it was fun to watch the cultures come together.  The pool was filled from morning to night with a large contingent of Mexican kids, but as if on cue they would give way to regularly scheduled events such as 10:00 volley ball or adult water aerobics class.

     The beach took on a totally different look.  There were simple shade shelters constructed between wood poles using a plastic tarp as a roof.  There were elaborate shelters that had circus tent like structures to hold the tarps and the kids running in and out of the water kept their parents busy.

     A Walk through the Park as you will see in the slide show that follows shows a sample of what the park was like.  There were both elaborate and plain Christmas decorations.  One could find a friend working on his wood lathe.  As crowded as it was some streets were quiet.  Tent city in the overflow area was jam packed.  The beach was crowded and much more active with some surfers having a go at the waves.  Those participating in Line Dancing Class ignored the cameras presence.  Flowers were in bloom everywhere and with all of this it was difficult to remember that this was Christmas.

                                                          Slide Show

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January 01, 2008

Christmas Week Special Friends

Our Cozy Location















     Just concluded is a very special Christmas Week south of the border.  This blog is intended to talk a bit about our new made Mexican friends that we were privileged to have camp next to us on both sides and the impact that was felt throughout the La Penita RV Park by all of us foreigners who have chosen to vacation here.


     To be fair, not all was wonderful in paradise.  There were those who rightfully so, felt a bit overrun with their Mexican camping neighbors, perhaps being a little over zealous as to how they fashioned their structures and utilized the space they had been assigned.  Even I at first was a bit overwhelmed by how crowded it was becoming, but all in all it was a pleasant week.


     As you will note from some of the pictures below the RV Park took on a whole new atmosphere as virtually every space available was occupied with tents and canopies to protect from the morning dew.


     Camped to the driver’s side of us as you look at the above picture were the Ramirez Family, Raul, Grandmother Susie, Mom Susie, and other members of the family, but especially Diego, the little bebe shown in one of the pictures below.


     Camped to the passenger side of us and utilizing two camp sites with a very nicely constructed dining canopy were the Lopez and Padilla Families.  Their focus for coming from Guadalajara was obviously to enjoy the warm weather, but mainly to fish as they brought two boats with them and all the equipment needed to troll for Dorado and Sailfish.  During their stay they did manage to catch many Dorado and did also get a very nice Sailfish.  Upon leaving at the end of the week they offered us a Dorado fillet and we will be enjoying fresh fish soon.  Many in the Lopez and Padilla Families spoke very good English and we enjoyed visiting with them.  Julio Padilla and his wife have suggested that when we visit Guadalajara they would like to show us the city and there favorite restaurants.  Ramon Lopez also extended his offer of assistance.  We hope we can take them up on a very kind offer.


    I truly feel privileged that we have been given the opportunity to meet these camping families and I hope that our paths can cross again in the future.

Baby Diego
















Diego, Mom, Grandma,


















Packed Tent Area
















Our Park Beach
















Nice Dorado
















proud fisherman
















Padilla Family

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December 29, 2007

Humming Birds La Penita Mexico

Rob and Lori Nason















     We have made so many friends here at the La Penita RV Park.  Sometimes it is just fun to go for a walk and see if anyone is sitting out and if they are you will usually get an invite to come sit a spell.  Two people that we enjoy visiting are Rob and Lori Nason from Saskatchewan.  Rob retired from the Canadian Mounted Police.  Rob and Lori are full time in their fifth wheel and look forward to many years of travel.  When paying Rob and Lori a visit you might have to duck when approaching their pad as they have a couple humming bird feeders that are very active.  Rob says he has to refill them a couple times a day.  They have counted up to 15 humming birds on their two feeders at one time.  Lori is an expert photographer and has captured some excellent photos of the little critters as they use the feeders.  The slide show below is offered with the permission of Lori as these are her pictures.

                                                                Slide Show

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December 27, 2007

Volley Ball Tournament

U.S. Winning Team















     There are always many different ethnic cultures within and staying at the RV Park.  Of course the majority one is Canadian, but there are some U.S. citizens, some from New Zealand,  a couple from Holland and on this week of Christmas and New Years celebration time there are lots of Mexicans camping wherever there is a small space available.  The Park is jumping!


     It is traditional during this week to hold a volley ball tournament.  Each Country, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. field a team of 20 players and it is a double elimination tournament.  Cheering sections quickly form with flags on prominent display.  Kids and Pets also enjoy the action.  One has to come down to earth a little because with all the cheering and chanting, if you close your eye’s and fantasize a bit, you could think an Olympic event is about to take place.


     There are T-shirts with the 1st place logo for the winners and a victory cake to be shared by all.  Of course the bragging rights go along with the win.


     A pat on the back for the U.S. team who came away victorious. 

     Click on Slide Show below to see pictures taken throughout the tournament.

                                                         Slide Show 



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December 25, 2007

Christmas La Penita Mexico 2007

     This time of year and celebration we miss our families and friends and perhaps a little of the comfort zone of our previous lives in and around Stoddard Wisconsin but there is a whole other world out there and we are doing our best to discover some of it.


     As those who have been following our adventures know we are living our dream and doing our best to see “just what is around the next corner”.


     Christmas in a foreign land, with temperatures that border on “perfect”, sand beaches, and the soothing sound of surf coming ashore, and most importantly to be surrounded by new found friends don’t completely make up for the missing of our family and friends but being here sure doesn’t hurt a whole lot.


     I know one thing for sure, I have never in my life sat down to a Christmas dinner, outside by a pool, in the evening, dressed in a short sleeve shirt and wishing that I had selected to wear my shorts rather than long pants.


     Christmas eve we participated in a celebration of sorts for the kids that are around the park.  Carols were sung by first the gringos and then were followed by the Mexicans.  Then it was time for the little ones to “bash the piñatas”, till all the candy spilled out.  It was a joyous celebration by all.


     This Christmas of 2007 is one that Kathleen and I will remember for a long time to come.  We started the day off by joining many of our new found friends for a Christmas Day Breakfast Brunch at 10:00 a.m.  Since we had volunteered to do one of the turkeys for the evening Christmas Celebration we got that going in the oven as we were to have it to the turkey carvers at 2:00 p.m.  We were doing one of about 11 turkeys.  Others in the park were recruited to do various crock pot vegetable dishes, etc.  The whole event came together in grand fashion as about 170 of us gathered to feast and celebrate Christmas.


     I am trying a new little slide show program and have included here a group of pictures that represent Christmas eve, the Christmas day morning brunch, and the grand finale, Christmas Dinner by the pool.  Click on Slide Show below to see the pictures.


                                                Slide Show


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December 19, 2007

Kathleen and Iguana Close Up

Recovering Iguana















     One of the smaller resident Iguana near the pool either got chased by a bigger one until he fell, or perhaps he just fell on his own.  Whatever did happen, once he hit the ground he ended up in the pool?  Some of the Mexican children who are here in the park with their parents for Christmas were swimming in the pool at the time.  Something I didn’t know, is Iguanas can not swim so the little guy was struggling on the bottom of the pool when one of the Mexican workers in the Park came to his rescue and brought him to the surface with a net on the end of a long pole.  The lady you see in the picture with Kathleen is the mom to one of the young couple who does the breakfast daily at the pool.  She assisted in the rescue by grabbing the Iguana by the tail and laying him out on the concrete.  Even though the little guy was under water for over 5 minutes and very groggy from the ordeal, I believe that he later made his way back up the tree from which he had fallen.  Our pad and coach is so close to the pool that we were able to respond to the commotion and Kathleen got to touch the little guy and I was able to get a few photos.

Up Close












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December 16, 2007

Iguanas Getting Restless

Medium Size Iguana















     There are Iguanas every where around the park and from time to time we see them as they move through the trees.  Apparently next month will be the height of mating season for the Iguana.  They are known then to be so engrossed in the act of reproduction that they can momentarily loose focus and fall out of the tree.  For now they are staying in the trees and that is OK with us.  I did catch a few of them with my camera as they were moving around chasing each other the other day.  There were four in one tree by the pool and I managed to photo three of them.  Two of them are about 4feet in length from nose to tip of tail and the other two are a little smaller.  They are very colorful and the two big ones have huge colorful loose skin below their lower jaw and they take to shaking their head vigorously for display.













































Big Fella













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December 12, 2007

Ascend from the Beach

La Penita RV Park Beach















     Webster’s Dictionary says the word ‘Ascend’ is to climb, to succeed to (a throne).  To ascend from the La Penita RV Park beach to the park itself using the stairs could be fantasized in many ways.  The bottom line for which one can not argue, it for sure is a beautiful climb.  Weather you are king or queen or just plain winded when you get to the top makes no difference, all you have to do is look at all the beautiful flowers in bloom, and with just a little imagination you can be whatever you desire.


     When you do get to the top, turn and savor the view as this is why you came to La Penita in the first place.

Stairs to Beach

















Beach Stairs
















Flowers along Stairs
















Flowers along Stairs














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December 11, 2007

Cemetery Beach



La Penita Beach Cemetery
















Bigger Boys Spearing Fish
















Big Wave Coming---Scramble















     Just below the RV Park and toward town is one of the Cemetery’s that service La Penita residents.  At the end of Cemetery road it dead ends right at the beach. (Poor choice of words, I know.)  There is just enough room to park one car, and if you get the spot, that little section of beach will be yours for the afternoon. 


     Kathleen and I were there today.  There were two young boys in their teens spearing fish and gathering clams near the rocks to our right.  At one point a group of four younger boys came by as they were playing along the beach.  No doubt their homes were not to far away.  Even though it was about 3:00 in the afternoon, one of the young boys had to try his English on us and said “good morning”.  That got Kathleen going with an English lesson and the young boys in turn gave us a Spanish lesson.  We had fun with them as they practiced their English and we our Spanish.  They also enjoyed posing for pictures and even took one of us.  The scene reminded us that boys are boys, fun is fun, and it doesn’t matter if it is the U.S., Canada, or Mexico.

posing for the camera
















Young boys gathering around
















class in session
















no boredom here













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December 10, 2007

Cave Beach Outing

Cave Beach
















Ken and George















 There has been talk of a small beach called “Cave Beach” that was not the easiest place to reach.  It was said that a four wheel drive vehicle was advised.  Apparently the land owner who owns the land that you need to ultimately cross to reach this beach does not charge “Gringos” to go to this secluded beach, but it is said that he does charge any Mexicans that wish to visit it.


     It was approximately a 5 minute ride to the road that turned off the main hiway but it was a very bumpy 30 minute ride from the hiway to the beach, and yes, I am glad we had our four wheel drive jeep.  In a few words, it was a goat trail with big rocks here and there.  The jeep did great.


     As has become customary here in the park a group is usually assembled by who ever is organizing the outing and everyone piles in to the vehicles and away we go.  On this outing there were five vehicles and a great group of people interested in an adventure.


     What a beautiful secluded beach we were privileged to visit.  The beach itself was about the length of a footfall field and was formed at the back of a small cove.  Along the walls of the cove leading toward the beach were a series of caves that one could reach by swimming if the waves entering the cove were not to big.  Several in our party had snorkel equipment and those of us who didn’t got an opportunity to try our hand at it.  I borrowed Ken’s equipment and must say I will be going in to town soon to get my own.  There were not a lot of fish but there were enough to hold your interest and the color of them as they scooted about was incredible.


     We all enjoyed a great afternoon exploring a new beach, the conversation that went with relaxing in the sun, and the chance to meet a few new people from different areas of our La Penita RV Park.

Heading toward the caves















Cave Beach Relaxation
















The sum of the whole Beach















     Click on the word Photo's below to be taken to an album of the Cave Beach Outing.



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December 08, 2007

La Penita RV Park Hells Angels

La Penita RV Park Hells Angels--George, Debbie, & Ken















     Ken, Debbie, and I get together and ride in to town.  The scooters are easy for getting around.  Debbie is an early morning walker.  She and her group have been on some interesting hikes and today she wanted to show Ken and me the route that they sometimes take.


     As we were leaving the RV Park the park manager, Grant, walked by and said, “Well, if it isn’t the La Penita RV Park Hells Angels”.  Were ok with that, but somehow with Deb on her pink scooter, dressed in pink, and those pink sunglasses I don’t think we are as threatening as Hells Angels should be.


     We did ride to the backside, inland foothill of La Penita and the below photo is looking out over the town as it sits in somewhat of a bowl.  The Island in the background is a good mile off shore from the town’s beach and provides shelter from the waves for some Shrimp Boats as they rest during the day and do their shrimping at night.




La Penita Looking West

















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December 06, 2007

Market Day La Penita

Fish Vendor
















Colorful Bowls
















     Thursdays are Market Day in La Penita and it is hard to fathom anything more important to the community and surrounding area than the market.  It becomes the focus for everyone who lives and works here, but also for those of us, who are guests in this foreign land. 


     A small space in the market might be a family from some surrounding area with fresh vegetables from their small garden plot laid out for your purchase or a spice vendor with large bags of various spices and his postal type scale to weigh out the amount you would desire.  There are the craft type goodies that are not only practical, beautiful, and colorful but one can not possibly examine them without wondering about the hours of work that went in to making each one.  It is difficult to barter a price at times because you know a lot of work went in to making the piece you are interested in but it is virtually expected of you to do so.  Most of the vendors know just enough English to try and gain your interest in their wares, for as you are passing by their space, some will call out to you, “come look, almost free”.  There appear to be ethnic groups who must come some distance to hawk their wares as some pieces of pottery, or bead work, are only done by certain indigenous people from other states in Mexico.


     As I look around for interesting sites for my camera I am held captive by an elderly gentleman balancing an old five gallon plastic pail on his shoulder and in a voice that has many miles on it, he is calling out “honey” to the gringos who are nearby.  This is not the States or Canada where freshly sealed mason jars would probably appear from the pail, filled with honey, this is Mexico, and without doubt this bee keeper has worked just as hard to package his wares as those North of his land have, but instead of mason jars he has re-filled plastic Pepsi and Coke bottles.  I have been told by those who have bought his honey that it is the best in the area and that he takes great care to sterilize the containers before re-use.  If each week he sells a five gallon pail full of plastic pop bottles filled with fresh honey, he will be contributing greatly to the family economy.


     There are so many little stands that the whole area, stretching for block after block, seems to take on a county fair/flea market type atmosphere, but for sure this is different, in the sense that those who came to sell their wares will recycle some of the money they have collected for their goods into goods that they will need to carry them through the coming week.  Then come Thursday next week, they will do it all over again.


     Right in the middle of the market and town square as we walked along the doors to the church were open and it was obvious from the praying and singing that church was in session.  Seemed strange that at 11:00 a.m. in the middle of market day, church would be taking place.  On closer examination it turned out to be a funeral with the family members all gathered around the coffin as the priest conducted the service.  Now tonight as I sit on top of this hill in the La Penita RV Park just up from the cemetery I am hearing an occasional pop from a large firecracker and I am reminded that this is customary to ward off the evil spirits that may have accompanied someone to their resting place.  These explosions will go on through the night.  Perhaps next Thursday there will be an empty space at the market.




Hand Made
















Mom Shops














     Click on more photo's below.


                                                     More Photo's

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December 05, 2007

Chacala Dinner

At Dinner with Friends
















     Last week I had the thought of asking our original “Hookers”, several honorary hookers, and who ever else wanted to join us, to go to Chacala for an afternoon at the beach and dinner under the beach palapa at Chico’s bar and resturaunt. 


     We ended up with twenty plus who wanted to go and today we piled in to as many vehicles as were needed and away we went. 


     Some went walking the beach, some went swimming, some sat in the shade of the palapa and enjoyed a brew, and some headed in to the town, such as it is, to do some shopping.  We all later got together and enjoyed a great meal ordering what we pleased from the menu and then returned home to our La Penita RV Park just before dark.


     This little outing again is testament to the great friendships that are forming as we enjoy our stay here in Mexico.  I believe everyone had a great time and perhaps we will do it again before our stay ends.  It is becoming more difficult to organize such outings as everyone’s social calendar is nearly full with all the organized activities that go on every day in the park.  Click on the word Photo’s below to be taken to an album containing photo’s of the Chacala Dinner outing




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December 03, 2007

Location, Location, Location

Kathleen Holding Metate















Location, location, location. That is what one hears when searching for THE place to live. In fact, when folks are deciding whether to take the step and live full time in a motor home, this phrase helps to make that very important decision. Where ever you park your motor home, it can be in that perfect location.


We are in one of those places. On a small hill over looking the Pacific Ocean. In fact the site of the RV Park was, in fact, a perfect location for occupancy for thousands of years. Our park is growing continuously. An area beside our site recently has been excavated. When we arrived, there were piles of rock debris beside us. The other day a back hoe rumbled in and began moving the rocks and dirt. I raced outside to watch him as his monstrous machine picked boulders and big clumps of dirt up and dropped them in deep holes. He was filling and leveling this area in preparation of completing another parking site for a motor home.


I had heard of Pre-Columbian artifacts being found in the area. I was very curious of what might be uncovered here. As the wide bucket pushed soil and rocks out of the way, I spotted a curious looking rock. About a foot long, it appeared to have feet on its bottom with a smooth upper surface slightly bowl shaped. The machine operator spotted it, as well. He turned his back hoe around and with the smaller bucket, gently picked the metate up and set it just outside of the area being cleared. He finished his job and steered his big machine toward the road and lumbered down the hill.


I walked toward the artifact, very carefully watching each step I took. I figured the noise and vibration of the back hoe would have startled any critters, sending them scurrying. The ground was covered with fallen palm branches and other foliage. I certainly did not wish to disturb anything so I was cautious with my steps. Upon reaching my treasure, I could see that, yes in fact, it was a metate. I picked it up and carried it back to our site. We have a hose connected and ready for use. I washed the artifact, as I called to George.


I knew that I would be unable to take it with. I talked to Grant, the manager of the park, wondering what to do with it. Is there a museum in La Penita that would want it? Grant told me that many of these things have been found. Lots of them much bigger and complete. This one was broken. He suggested just leaving it on the corner of the site or setting in by the office? For now I am enjoying having it on the corner of our site. We photographed it, see below.


I took some time and tried to learn about the people who lived here 500 hundred years ago and earlier. I have come up with nothing from the internet. The artifacts found tell me that the people made colorful pottery. They grew corn, as the metate is a grinding stone for maze. One would place the corn on the stone and with a mano, a roundish stone (hand tool) the corn would be ground and processed into meal. The same process is done today, in many parts of Mexico, to make tortillas. Last year, I was told, a site was excavated, and another stone artifact was uncovered. I can only describe it as an effigy having to do with fertility and probably blood letting. The few artifacts that I have heard about give clues of a civilization that depended on a God who gave them sunshine and water in return for a bit of a sacrifice.


Ah, the curious archaeologist in me. How fun it would be to conduct a full blown excavation here at the La Penita RV Park. Alas, I am retired now and have not even a shovel in the basement of our motor home. All I have is a big window in front and a spectacular view of the roaring waves that come crashing in. What a wonderful location to be in.

backhoe working















backhoe working
















site workers
































metate with mano
















Mexican Indian Village 1995 Metate in use
















making tortillas


















making supper

























The above three photographs were taken in 1995 at an Indian Village in the mountains of Mexico. I had the the wonderful opportunity to visit a family and to dine with them. I witnessed the lady of the house making tortillas and cooking supper. She graciously allowed me to photograph her as she worked. Notice the metate that she used to make her tortillas.  

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November 27, 2007

Party On and Road Trip

Kens Chili Party
































     Seems like eons ago that we had our Thanksgiving celebration but it has been only a few days and in that time it sure has been anything but boring. 

     Ken and Debbie announced that we were invited to their place to sample Ken’s chili that he will be entering in this year’s chili cook-off.  The impromptu party was well attended and the chili, well it was excellent.  All the other competitors need to crank it up a little if they intend to stand a chance against Ken.  Ken and Debbie’s dog “Buck” has gotten to know us all and when we pay a visit to Ken and Debbie, Buck is sure to request his share of attention.  He is a very gentle giant and a delight to have around the party.

     Of course there has been the Sunday night hamburger night at the pool and several visits by friends to our pad and us to their’s, but the focus for us was to get ready for a road trip.

     There is a “bass lake” that has been getting some press in the states.  The lake, Agua Milpa, was established approximately 9 years ago by building a huge dam and then allowing the reservoir to fill.  The dam doesn’t come close to the humongous Hoover Dam in the states but by Mexican standards it was a very big accomplishment.  Shortly after the reservoir filled it was stocked by an American bass enthusiast with Florida strain bass.  I will let the link I am providing here to tell the story of what has happened since.


     Lake, Agua Milpa, is located well into the mountain range that is very prevalent when you go anywhere inland of the Pacific Coast.  Kathleen and I planned a two day adventure, packing an overnight bag, and letting our RV Park neighbors know where we were going and when to expect us back.  Even though by miles this trip should be a relatively one day adventure, but going anywhere in Mexico if not on a four lane road can be a real challenge.  One big truck loaded with steel rebar or the like in the mountains can make an expected short trip a very long day.


     The drive North to Tepic was uneventful and to our surprise we were able to make good time.  Finding the road that was shown on all our maps that would lead us to Agua Milpa turned out to be a bit difficult.  After looking around for awhile trying to find it on narrow streets and unfamiliar territory I decided to stop at an Auto Parts store and see if anyone could speak English.  There were four guys present counting the customers at the counter and none of them spoke any English at all.  No worries, as by pointing to a map and a few gestures and I had help from everyone.  Some contradicting the other and it was getting a little confusing.  Finally one of them pointed to his motorcycle and indicated that he would lead me to where I had to go.  Everyone patted me on the back and in there way wished me luck!  My new motorcycle friend indicated that he did not expect anything in return for leading me but I insisted and gave him the equivalent of $5.00 U.S.  Down the road we went and some five or 6 blocks later he pulled over and pointed with big gestures that all I had to do was continue straight ahead.  A big hand shake and “Gracia Amigo”, and we were on our way.

     The drive from Tepic in to the mountains really got interesting.  Not wanting to bore you with too much detail I will let the pictures tell some of the story.  The drive was beautiful but not a road I would want to take the motor home on as overhanging tree limbs would do a number on the top and sides.  We encountered two military check points, the first of which I apparently ran without stopping on our way in and the second one was on the way back when they were set up fully expecting me to return.  They were relatively pleasant about it all and soon we were on our way.  I wish I could have got a picture of these dapper chaps with their M-16’s slung over their shoulder but somehow I don’t think they would have appreciated my attempt.  There were donkeys on the road and on occasion you would come upon one laying in the shade right in the center of your lane.  Several Mexican Caballero’s on their horses were herding a bunch of Brahma type cattle down the center of the road but motioned for us to pass.  Surprisingly the cattle just moved over and let us by, paying us very little attention.  It was obvious they had done this before.

     After reaching Agua Milpa I got the opportunity I was looking for to visit the lodge and even visit with a couple of American fishermen who were there and had flown in from Oklahoma.  They had been boating from 40 to 50 bass per outing per boat and both the quantity and quality were pleasing them.  I on the other hand was not very impressed with the layout of the lake and the look of the water.  The water appeared to be extremely dirty and looked like the Mississippi does after a gully washer of a rain.  Really my sole purpose in checking this lake out was to see if I could get the motor home to it and perhaps find a facility with an electrical hook-up.  Neither are going to happen, and because of the distance in to the mountains it will not be a lake that I can fish by making day trips from La Penita.  I haven’t totally given up on the possibility of doing a two day trip and will wait for an e-mail from the owner of the lodge as to the charges for accommodating about four of us from the Park.  We will see. 





Our Lunch Stop  















Area Around Lake















River Below Dam
















herding cows
















herding cows 2
















little guy
















mom and junior
















Milpa from the Lodge
















Water Taxis















     Water Taxis are a way of life here.  Somehow one feels as though you are deep in the Amazon somewhere as these Taxis leave regularly with goods and people being returned to the villages that are miles away along the reservoir and not accessible by road. 

     Our next adventure awaits!


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November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007 Style

A "Royal" feed















A Special Thanksgiving 2007


     What do you do when you are far from family, friends, and home and it is an important traditional holiday time?  You will miss family of course, but you surround yourself with new friends, talk about home and family, and then try to celebrate the holiday best that you can.

     Today, November 22, 2007 we did just that.  We celebrated with two other American couples and six very special Canadian couples.  Basically, this was our “hooker” group with three added couples who now have unofficially become honorary “hookers”.

     Several days ago the three American couples, us included put out the invite to our Canadian friends to come to our pad for a traditional thanksgiving celebration.  All accepted, and each couple offered to bring a dish to share.  Of the tree American couples, Kathleen and I, and Ken and Debbie offered to each cook a 10 lb turkey.  The other American couple Jim and Debbie would come up with some pumpkin pies.  Neither turkeys nor pumpkin pies were going to be an easy find in this foreign land.  Jim and Debbie were planning a run to Puerto Vallarta to take care of some business and would stop at Wal-Mart.  Kathleen and I were also headed for Wal-Mart and would try to find the turkeys.  Jim and Debbie stopped at Wal-Mart early in the a.m. and found that they didn’t have pumpkin pies but they had some fresh made excellent looking apple pies and with satisfaction that they would do they left to go conduct their business and would stop to pick them up on their return toward La Penita later in the day.  To make a long story short they returned to Wal-Mart in the afternoon only to find that all those good looking apple pies were sold out.

     Now the story about the Turkeys!  Kathleen and I found the section of Wal-Mart where the frozen turkeys were located and they were pretty well picked over but a few remained.  They were very different looking and even though they were packaged much like the traditional butter ball from the states something was just not right.  The price for one was confusing because as near as we could figure the exchange rate from pesos to dollars, these birds were going to cost us about $26.00 to $27.00 each.  The packaging was in a dark rapping rather than the traditional see through that we were accustomed too, and of course everything about the bird was in Spanish. 

     Ken being a pretty good chef and myself wanting to show my abilities at roasting a bird were going to have a little friendly competition with us each doing our thing and we were going to make fun of it.  Kathleen and I selected two equal weight birds, finished the rest of our shopping, and headed back for La Penita and the RV Park.  We dropped off Kens bird apologizing for the price we had to pay, but what else could we do, after all they had probably been trucked a long way to get them this far into the tropics, where for sure not a lot of people were in to doing a traditional thanksgiving thing anyway.  Kathleen and I proceeded to our RV.  A few minutes later Ken showed up at our door to let us know that he had just figured out why they were so darn expensive.  The turkeys were precooked and mesquite smoked.  News of our mistake spread quickly in the RV park and for the next 24 hours we took some good natured ribbing as our guests would stop by with tongue in cheek to wish us well with the turkey preparation and to let us know that they hoped we didn’t get wore out with all we had to do to bake that bird!

     The turkeys did require a finishing treatment of about 40 minutes at 300 degree’s and both Ken and I made the best of it. 

     Our guests arrived and like always no matter the country of origin or place of celebration the food quantity was more than enough and the quality of dishes to share were outstanding, and get this, many agreed that for future celebrations when a turkey was called for they might just go looking for a precooked, mesquite smoked bird, as it was very juicy, tender, and tasty.

     The afternoon was filled with good eats, pleasant conversation, more than enough good beverages, and the fostering of friendships that will only become stronger as our time here in La Penita continues to play out.

     Thanks to our Canadian Friends, and the other two American couples for making this a very special day.

     Click below on the word Photo to be taken to an album of photo’s depicting the day.  Enjoy!



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November 20, 2007

Mexican Revolution Day Celebration

     For some two weeks now at about 1:00 in the afternoon while outside on the patio or working around the motor home we could hear in the distance the beating of drums and the blowing of bugles.  We learned early on that it was the local school practicing for a special celebration.  Today was that celebration.

     The parade was to start at 9:00 and we made plans to meet some of our RV park friends at the Avenida Restaurant and from there we could have breakfast and then stay sitting to watch the parade as it passed by.

     The parade got under way on Mexican time (around 10:00) and one could tell by the hustle and bustle leading up to its start that this was going to be a big deal.  Moms and Dads rushing about helping their little ones get in position.  Police cars and police on motorcycles with lights flashing and sirens blaring led the way.

     The whole parade was led by the littlest of tykes first all dressed in their finest and prompted by mom or dad as they marched along and then the rest of the parade which strung out for some 3 hours as each group to come by was represented by next in age it seemed.  The costumes were representative of the defenders of the revolution or participants.  If you ever want to see color used in all its splendor just attend a Mexican celebration.

     There were a few of us gringos on the street to witness what was obviously an important day for our friends the local La Penito residents, and we were welcomed and allowed freedom of movement and the taking of photos as the parents and grandparents all beamed with pride as their family members paraded by.  If mom or dad saw us struggling to get a good picture of their little ones they would encourage them to pose for us and then grin from ear to ear happy that these strangers in their land wanted to photo them.

     We returned to the RV Park happy that we had taken the time to attend the parade and are comforted in knowing that perhaps tomorrow at 1:00 there will not be a need to have drum and bugle practice.  We then can practice more easily that new custom we have learned, called siesta.

     It is hoped that the pictures that follow will give you a flavor for what we were privileged to witness.



Beginning of Parade































A little older




































































































































































































     If you are still with us, some history can be had by reading the following.




November 20, 1910 was the beginning of the Revolution in Mexico to overthrow Porfirio Diaz. General Diaz had successfully led Mexico during the wars with foreign invaders. His popularity gained him many followers. He and his supporters tried unsuccessfully to overthrow President Benito Juarez in 1872. He did succeed in his rebellion against President Lerdo de Tejada in 1876. Under his rule, Diaz did great things for Mexico creating industry, better railroads, as well as an increase in foreign capital. He had good intentions for Mexico but this prosperity did not help the citizens, especially the peasants and blue collar workers.


Political unrest resulted and the outcome was the creation of the Mexican Liberal Party by Ricardo Flores Magon. Magon was persecuted by the Porfireist regime and died in prison.


Francisco Madero created the “Anti-reeleccionista” Party, being a strong supporter of democracy. President Diaz saw him as a threat. Madero fled to the United States. While in exile he declared himself President Pro-Temp after uncovering information that proved the elections to be a fraud. In this declaration, Madero promised to return all the land that had been taken from them and he called for universal voting rights. His call for an uprising was on November 20th, 1910, marking the beginning of the Mexican Revolution.


This led to a northern uprising led by the famous Francisco Pancho Villa who fought for rights for peasants in that area. In the south, Emilaino Zapata led an uprising to claim their rights over local land and water. Revolts began in other parts of the country. President Diaz was finally defeated and resigned, fleeing to exile in France where he died in 1915.




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November 19, 2007

Ah, La Penita

Its Me















Kathleen, here.


Ah, La Penita.


We waited so long to get here and the road was long and winding. We are now settled in. We have become familiar with our surroundings, the sounds, the sites. As one studies our pictures, the thick growth of the jungle is quickly noticed. The small towns that line the beaches continually fight the rapid growth of the lush green palm, banana and mango trees. These small towns exist between the jungle and the Pacific Ocean with its waves relentlessly pounding the white sandy beaches.


We have our cameras close by at all times waiting for a shot of one of the many exotic animals that live here. Geckos can be spotted quite often as I walk to my clothes line behind the coach. These little guys are fast and can feel you coming so they are gone in a flash. A small black snake lives in a pile of dirt and rock not too far from us. A much bigger serpent lives in the thick jungle behind us. He has been spotted by George; I haven’t seen it. I don’t want to see it. Spiders of various sizes keep their distance. Iguanas are often spotted sunning themselves on the wide heavy branches that hang out over the park. A story is told that one morning an iguana was sleeping on a branch. He lost his balance and he fell into the swimming pool startling volley ball players. Exotic birds sing outside our windows and tiny aunts continue to find ways to enter our coach. We are constantly fighting the aunts but welcome the beautiful song of the birds.


We have caught a few photos of these locals. The one that everyone tries to get a shot of is a family of crocodiles that live in a swamp near by. Their tracks can be seen on the sandy beach. A few lucky photographers have gotten pretty good shots. We will post the first pictures that we get of them.


The RV Park is on the Northern edge of La Penita.  A short walk will take you to the down town area where shops line the narrow streets. Pretty much everything you need can be found in these tiny shops. The town has many restaurants, as well. (Mexican food, of course, along with other quisines). There is nothing like the fresh produce that is reasonably priced. There are several wonderful bakeries with their fresh loaves of bread and pan dulce which means sweet bread. So Good. A perk for staying at our RV Park is that twice a week, a vegetable/fruit truck and a bread truck visits us.


There is no time to be bored here at the park. Volley ball every morning at the pool. Several types of exercise classes are offered. Twice a week there is a social gathering for any one who is hungry for tacos or hamburgers and hot dogs. The holidays are approaching and a social gathering to celebrate Thanksgiving, (no matter where you are from) is planned. Christmas will be a day of celebrating and good eating as well I hear. 


We have gotten to know a lot of the folks who traveled with us from Tucson. Most are staying the whole season. We are looking forward to spending time with them as we get more acclimated to Mexican life. So far it seems to agree with all of us.





The caravan that brought us down here was broken up into several groups. Our group of six RVs consisted of three from the USA and three from Canada. We have stayed close  and are enjoying each other’s company. We call our little group the “Hookers,” as we all enjoy fishing and one cannot fish without a hook.


Below are more photos from our album. Enjoy them and keep posted for more stories and more great pictures.







Back Yard Jungle

















More Jungle
















South Rincon de Guayabitos
















Ready for Safari



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November 16, 2007

Around our Pad

La Penita Brosius Pad













     Today is one of those lazy kind of days where you feel just enough ambition to clean up a little around the place and then just kick back with a cold beverage.

     Kathleen started the day by getting up early and going to exercise class.  Came home and showered while I puttered around outside sweeping the patio and putting a few things in their place.

     I dropped what I was doing when the “bread lady” as we call her came through the park singing “rodillo.”  Apparently that is the word for rolls/breads or something to that effect.  She walks along side of the pick-up as her husband drives and the back is filled with fresh baked goodies.  Her fresh baked goods are second to none and she does a brisk business a couple days of the week here in the park.

     Marg and Olga came calling to let us know that the “hookers” were getting together at Jerry and Marg’s place about four to have supper. The main course to be the fish we caught on our charter yesterday.  We are to bring a salad. 

     Kathleen has been at the pool for awhile now.  It is much cooler today than it has been and for the first time ever we have a little cloud cover.

     I will be including some pictures from around our “pad.”  We like our site as it is handy to go to the pool.  A place that we frequent often.




Relax Time on Patio















Snak Time
















Laundry Day















Home for Now

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November 15, 2007

Fishing La Penita Style Charter

Our Charter Boat















     La Penita Charter Fishing is not a high ticket item, nor are the boats available to take a charter out anything fancy.  Jerry, Ken, Brian and I booked our trip for this morning a few days ago by giving the Charter service a down payment of 400 pesos and were told that the boat would pick the four of us up at our RV  park beach Thursday a.m. at 6:30 give or take.  Right at 6:30 our boat showed up and we got on board.

     We had booked a 4 hour charter which would cost total 1600 pesos or $160 U.S. so $40.00 U.S. each.  Our two Mexican guides spoke very little English but that was not a problem as fishing is fishing no matter what language.

     We hooked and boated three fish.  The Dorado that you see in the picture and two small Tuna which we threw back.  We had one other hit but the fish got off before Ken got the rod in his hands.

     I would guess that we were at most approximately 3 to 5 miles off shore most of the morning.  I did get one picture looking at the RV park up on the hill as we were coming back in to be let off at the beach.

     The Dorado has been cleaned by Jerry and Brian and I believe we will all be getting together for a fish dinner in the near future.

     It was very pleasant out on the water if not a bit cool, but we jumped back in the oven the minute we landed on shore.  It has been a very warm humid day today.


     As an added note:  We have had a battery failure in the Jeep and buying a battery here in La Penita was an expensive proposition.  I now have a Mexican battery in the Jeep and I do believe they are communicating OK.  I passed on the first one I found as the price was $105.50 at the first auto parts store I stopped at.  At the second auto parts store I did purchase one for $105.00 U.S.  It has a little more cold cranking capability than the one at the first store plus I saved .50 cents.  Ha.  The dash fan motor for using the a/c has also failed in the Jeep and we have an appointment at the Chrysler Dealership in Puerto Vallarta Monday morning so will get that taken care of while we do some shopping in the big town.  The warm/hot humid tropical air is hard on things, we are finding.




Dorado Supper Tonight
















RV Park on Hill

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November 13, 2007

Turtle Release

     A few evenings ago we had the opportunity to participate in the release of baby turtles belonging to an endangered species of the Sea Turtle family.  The local University has an ongoing program of rescuing eggs from nests along the beaches in this area that would otherwise be disturbed or robbed by the local people who haven’t quite got with the protection of endangered species programs.  The eggs are highly prized by some of the indigenous people of the area.  The University students then incubate the eggs for 45 days and the little ones hatch.  At one day old they are then released to begin their journey back in to the sea and the possibility of one day becoming an adult who then would return to lay eggs, and the cycle would be repeated.

    The odds of having 100 eggs hatched in a protected environment, and then 100 baby turtles released, only one will survive to adult status to return to the beach one day to lay eggs.  If there were not programs to protect, hatch, and release, it would take 1000 eggs in the natural environment to allow 1 baby turtle to make it to become an adult.

     As part of the fund raising efforts of the local program we were asked if we would sponsor a baby with a thirty peso donation ($3.00).  We chose to sponsor four on behalf of our four grandchildren and promptly named our four, Mason, Maddie, Zak, and Ellie.

     A line was drawn in the sand well up from the ocean surf as the little ones need to experience the struggle of reaching the waters edge on their own power.  Kathleen released two and I released two.  It was emotional moments for us both to know that the struggle for survival was very slim but yet we know that our little name sakes are tough and they should have a good chance to make it.

Tub Full of Babies















Little Guy

















Two of Our Kids
















Two of our Kids

















Two Set Free
















Turtle Freedom Good Luck Little Ones















Good Luck Little Ones!




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LaPenita Better and Better

     Our stay at La Penita RV Park just gets better and better.  We are doing a lot of exploring and having a great time with every thing we find.  This park was billed as the friendliest park in all of Mexico and I can believe it.  Not only did we make life long friends with the group of 5 couples that traveled together and were affectionately named the “Happy Hookers”, but those that continue to show up and claim their spots are all extremely pleasant to be around. 

     There are so many structured events that take place within the park that for sure one can not get bored.  Every morning from 7:00 to 12:00 breakfast is served pool side.  At 10:00 pool volley ball starts.  Thursday is market day in down town La Penita.  Sunday afternoon starting at 5:00 is burger night at the pool.  Tuesday evening starting at 5:00 is “Taco Tuesday”, taco’s are six peso’s each (.60), and the margaritas are free.  There are water aerobic classes, stretching and yoga classes, line dancing classes, and several others that I can not remember.  The local beautician comes to the park two days a week for hair cuts, and manicure sessions for the ladies.  There is a chiropractor who comes once a week (he gets lots of business).  The purified water truck comes through the park every day and you set your empty 5 gallon jug outside with $1.70 taped to it and he leaves a fresh one.  The fresh fish/shrimp truck comes a couple times a week.  The lady who runs the bakery delivers to the park twice a week.  At any given moment someone can knock on your door and announce that they are hosting a patio party, just bring a dish and come on over. 

     This is going to be a tough ticket to leave if we decide to move on at the end of our month that we initially committed too.  The park managers have given us the green light to stay till March if we like but we have this itch under our saddle and may want to go further down the coast and check out a few more parks.  We will see.

     The jungle surroundings are all around you and the critters can be very interesting.  We have yet to see our first iguana but others have seen a lot of them.  Some up to several feet in length.  We did have a big snake come by our site a couple days ago but he was going “hell bent for leather” and I just caught a glimpse of him.  Last evening Kathleen went to move the little wooden portable cloths drying rack we have set up outside and a “walking stick” about 8” long had taken up hanging from one of the spokes.  There are little geckoes (lizards), everywhere.  Some of the guys who have managed to catch them place them on their shoulder and the little things become quite a pet, the problem surfaces, when they want to go in to the motor home and the wife says---“no way with that thing on your shoulder.”





Beach Bums















Beach Scene
















Kathleen Says Wow
















Beach Bum for Sure



















Hooker Party














     Remember if new entries do not appear below as you scroll down just check to the Right to see if there are any that you may have missed.  I have uploaded a bunch of them today to try and get caught up from when the WiFi was not hooked up.  Also remember to put your pointer over a picture for a description.



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Breakfast at the Pool

Breakfast at La Penita RV Park Pool


     Breakfast is and always has been my favorite meal of the day.  How lucky could I be that a Mexican Family from the little nearby town of La Penita has set up a very basic open air restaurant next to the pool for the express purpose of serving from 7:00 to noon.

     The menu is pretty complete with one being able to order pretty much as you would in any good restaurant in the states, but this Mexican lady makes and omelet that is to die for.  There are eggs any way you would like them, hashbrowns with a traditional Mexican twist of green and red pepper chunks mixed in, ham or bacon, sausage links and I believe even sausage patties if you like.

     With every plate comes a generous portion of cut up fruit, picked fresh in the local tropical area.  It is almost more than a little guy like me can handle at one sitting, and the price, well it seems that no matter what you order it is going to cost $4.50 U.S. or forty five pesos.

     Many of our fellow park residents, show up early for a swim in the pool, then while still dripping wet, sit down at the tables under the palms that surround the pool, and have breakfast.  Kathleen and I on the other hand tend to wander over and sit for breakfast before swimming cause the pool is only about 35 yards from the front of our Motor Home.  We can swim anytime since we are so close and usually do several times a day, and then again at about 10:00 p.m. when all are turned in for the night----well, that’s another story!






Breakfast Anyone
















My Breakfast















Kathleens Breakfast





































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Chacala Andy

     I am sure there is some disappointment that I have not been updating the web-site but we are still waiting for the WiFi to get up and running throughout the whole park.  The wires have now been strung and the repeaters have been positioned on the various levels of the Park.  I can get a fairly strong signal but apparently there are things to finish up because I can not connect.  I have looked for the guy who is doing the work as has everyone else and he seems no where to be found.  Bummer.  Until it is up and running it is difficult to sit outside at the office even though one can access the web that way, cause you can’t get anything done.  Many are on line and or mingling and you can’t concentrate as everyone is talking or asking questions.  I will wait and then bombard you with many updates.


     We have been taking exploratory trips in the jeep almost daily and have had some neat experiences.


     One of our first trips was to Chacala.  A small sea side village, mostly inhabited by and frequented by native Mexicans.  There is however an American lady who came to Chacala some five years ago, decided she liked the people and location, settled in, and has been living there.  She writes an almost daily blog and I have been reading her off and on for about 3 years now.  She also has always done a great job with adding local pictures to her blog.  She is a bit private about talking about herself and one never sees a photo that she would be in, also over the three years I have been reading her, the best I could come up with was her name was probably Ann.  She appears to be living on a very meager SS check, but then her needs are kept quite basic.  I have had other observations about her and was anxious to see if I could find her.


     While having a fantastic meal at one of the beach side restaurants I tried with my very broken Spanish to ask if anyone knew of her.  No one did.  On walking back to the car there was a few 5th wheels parked along the beach with Canadian plates and some of the people were sitting in the shade under the coconut trees.  After visiting a bit and finding out they had been coming here for several years I asked if they knew of an American lady who lived in or around the area.  “You mean Andy”, one of them said.


     It appears that she is around throughout the day and can be found hanging out in various places.  The gentleman who knew of her offered to help me find her and even to take me to where she lived if I would like.  I declined, for the moment, but promised to take him up on his offer later on.  After all we are to be in the area for a good deal of time.



Chacala Coconut Grove RV Park

















Chacala Beach
















Chacala Dinner With Friends



















Chacala Dinner Intertainment
















At Anchor Chacala Bay
























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RV Park Gator and Other Travels

     It is a beautiful day today.  Actually we haven’t seen anything but beautiful days since we got here.  I loaded the lap top on the scooter, went down to the office area to access our e-mail.  One of the guys from our “hooker” bunch, Jerry was walking buy with his camera and was making a good pace headed for his 5th wheel.  He said he had been down by the swamp/pond and managed to get good photos of one of the local “gators”.  Jerry said the gator was sunning himself on the sand.  His description places the ole’ boy to be about 10’ long and “huge” across the middle.  The pond is about 100 yards from the ocean and beach that we all swim on and early in the morning we have all seen the foot tracks and the mark he makes with his tail as he travels between the two.  I will plan to go down myself in a couple of days and see if I can get some pictures.  Apparently there are three “gators” but Jerry only saw the one.
     Four of us, Jerry, Ken, Brian and myself went fishing off the rock point near our beach yesterday.  Jerry caught a puffer fish.  We all had fish following our lures but couldn’t get them to hit.  We decided that we should all take a charter with a local and see what bait we need and what we can catch.  Our trip is scheduled for Thursday morning.  Our captain from Rincon will pick us up on our beach at 6:30.  Cost is $40.00 each for half a day and we will apparently be fishing for Blue Marlin, Red Snapper, and Dorado.  The Tuna are still too far out to Sea but later in the season we will go for those.
     Kathleen and I drove to Syulita, San Francisco, Lo De Marcos, and a couple other little sea side villages yesterday.  We had lunch on the beach as we watched about 50 surfers ride the waves out in front of Syulita.  There were several surfing schools being advertised and the beach seemed to be occupied by a lot of European vacationers.  One could tell by the skimpy bikinis.  Didn’t hurt my feelings a bit!
     We checked out a delightful little RV park in Lo De Marcos that was extremely secluded, shaded, and stunningly beautiful with all the tropical flowers.  It had its own private access to the beach and had several bungalow rentals surrounding the property.  At the moment, as it is early in the season, it was near empty.  We were assured that it was booked for the season beginning in December.  We did put ourselves on a waiting list for next year just to see how that would play out.

     As I sit here writing this piece, Kathleen is at the pool playing water volley ball with the gang.  There is a lot of clapping and laughing going on so I assume they are having a good time.

Syulita Beach
















RV Park Iguana on Ledge
















Jerrys Puffer Fish
















Jerrys Puffer Fish
















Syulita Lunch on Beach Site
















Lo De Marcos Hidden RV Park
















Syulita Main Street
















Surfing Anyone
















Kathleen and Jean Visiting















Don't forget to always check to the Right to see if their are blog titles you haven't read.  Then just click on them and they will open.



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WiFi finally at the Coach

     WiFi came on line and it is so good to have access to the internet from the comfort of "home" rather than having to go sit outside, usually in the dark, near the front office, where there was far to much activity and chatter going on the concentrate for very long on anything.  It worked for getting ones e-mail but that was about all.

     Speaking of outside, I am sitting on our patio outside the coach enjoying a nice breeze while I start to bring this blog up to date and get some pictures posted for you.  If Kathleen comes back from pool volley ball in a few minutes I will get her to take a picture of my little corner of this world and post it for you.  There are exotic birds in the palms making their unique sounds and in spite of my sleeping in till 10:00 this morning it isn't getting to tropical in temperature just yet.  When it does this will be put on hold and the pool will be very inviting.

     I will be updating much more frequently now that I have easy access.  I will always try to include a few pictures relevant to what I am writing about.  Thanks for being along and interested in what we are doing.



blogging outside on Patio
















Out to Dinner Hooker Group
















View From the Dinner Spot
















Kathleen Serving















     In the above at the pool you can see Kathleen is at Serve.  In the background you can see the area where breakfast is served by the Mexican family every day except Thursday.  It also is the area where Sunday hamburger night is held. 

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July 30, 2007

Arrival in Seattle or is it Sleepin Good in Seattle

     July 28, 29, & 30th  We arrived at our son Bill's late morning on the 28th.  Everyone was waiting our arrival including all four grand kids.  Scott was flying the line Saturday and Sunday and we would not see him till Monday the 30th.

     We had been wondering for months if our motor coach would be able to make it up the hill to Bill's house and then in to his driveway.  The angle where the two streets converge is rather acute (sharp).  The long and the short of it is, we could not make it.  Either the front or the back of the coach would scrape if we persisted so we reluctantly gave it up.  For one of those rare times in my life, I did not have a plan "B", so a scramble was on to decide what to do.

     Our daughter-in-law Angela suggested a couple possibilities and to this date they have both worked out very well.  Within hours of arriving at Bill's house we decided to park in the RV area at Mukkelshoot Casino, a short 20 minute drive from Bill's.  We spent Saturday and Sunday night in the Casino RV parking area and moved this morning to the beautiful Saltwater State Park on Puget Sound.  It is a relatively short commute for the Boy's and their families to come visit us and the same for us to go visit them.  We are enjoying having most of the park to ourselves as there was apparently a bridge closure that prevented this park from opening until the previous Wednesday so not a lot of people are aware that it is now open.  How lucky is that?

     The Saltwater State Park, as does all Washington State Parks, has an eleven day limit on one's stay.  The rule is in place I assume to keep rif-raf from setting up long term squatting.  That fits for us as we will be leaving within that time frame to head for the Rallies that we are signed up for in Oregon starting August 7th.

     I don't want to make anyone in the Mid-West feel bad but the temperatures since we arrived here on the Western slope of the Cascades have been ideal.  Perfect mid 70's during the day and low to mid 50's at night.  We have put an extra blanket on for tonight as it seems like it will be quite cool.

     I am going to throw a few pictures up here and a description will not be necessary.  They will all tell their own story if you put your pointer over the picture!


Clearwater River

















Lewis and Clark Trail

















Precious Hug

















Precious Hug

















How Lucky Can I Be ?

















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July 22, 2007

Up to Date: June 12th to July 19th '07

     Pool!!!  Kathleen is off to the pool but I promised myself that I would get with bringing our adventures & blog up to date so here I sit. Don't feel too bad for me as it is currently 105 degrees here in Rapid City, SD and climbing and of note, it is only 10:30 a.m. !  Rapid City is to be our new Domicile (home). Tomorrow we will begin all the changes to make that happen and all that will be the topic for the next blog, but for now let's go back and get brought up to date with a little time line.

     April 5th, Kathleen completed Chemo and although her immune system was extremely low, she was feeling pretty good and anxious to get on with the next phase of treatment. At this point the doctors were having a hard time finding the lump on palpation and were very encouraged by the results of the Chemo. We are missing our Seattle families, especially the little ones.

     April 30th, Kathleen has her surgery.  Scheduled to be a lumpectomy, with lymph node sampling. A critical time for us to await the results and especially for me who would get the visit from the surgeon following the surgery. Special to me was being surprised by my sister Barb who drove from their home in Cary, Ill. to be by my side. The surgeon's visit to me in the waiting room was one I will never forget. He was extremely upbeat and one could detect in his voice a very positive slant to what he was about to tell me. "The Chemo had indeed done its job. 95% of the tumor had been destroyed. A very minimally invasive lumpectomy was performed and more importantly all of the lymph node samplings taken were negative for any cancer cells."  These are the kind of results one hopes and prays for!

     May 10th - 17th, Kathleen's immune system finally recovers enough that our medical care givers decide it is safe for us to travel and as long as Kathleen is feeling OK from the surgery, we are allowed to take off for a visit to Seattle. I wrote about "They Didn't Forget", in a previous blog and if you missed it, you might want to click on it on the right of this page. Our boys and their wives always make us feel so special when we visit their homes and this trip was no exception. It was good to just get away from what we had been experiencing and have the opportunity to get hugged and laugh when we wanted to.

     May 23rd, Radiation treatments begin.  A total of 33 "zaps" are to be given, one each work day, with week-ends and holidays excluded. That would take us to July 10th. During this time we moved our home from Goose Island, to Black hawk Park, and back to Goose Island again. We had a fair amount of free time on our hands now and continued to prepare for our departure and eventual beginning of our adventures. During this time we are anxiously awaiting the arrival and visit of our special full timing Internet friends, Norm and Linda Payne. I have written many times of our relationship with them so won't go in to a lot of detail here, but suffice it to say, Kathleen and Norm established a special bond during her ordeal, as Norm is a cancer survivor, and he offered numerous e-mails with advise and encouragement. Norm and Linda kept us in their prayers as we did them years back when Norm was going through his encounter with the "enemy."  Norm and Linda are expected to arrive at Black hawk Park on or about July 7th as they are making the great Mississippi River Journey from where the River empties into the Gulf to it's beginning in Minnesota.  See their web-site:

     July 6th, Norm and Linda need to arrive in Black hawk Park a day earlier than expected as the park they were in had no room for them as reservations had the park full for the July 4th week-end.  Norm, Linda, and their traveling companions, Don & Gloria Martin, arrived right on cue and the hugs were so welcomed. We were planning to have about 5 days camped together, with fishing for Norm, Don, and I to take center stage and the girls to enjoy R&R, crafting, and conversation, not in any specific order.  Prior to their arrival I had been Bass Fishing from my little Sea Eagle boat and just knocking the "snot." (excuse my french),out of the big Bass. I was hoping like heck that the fishing would continue to remain good for their arrival but as is so often the case, the weather changed and so did the fish. Not catching as many fish didn't seem to bother the three of us as we were able to fish together out of one boat and it was a great time for conversation. (Long time friend, Brian Lee, loaned us his "beater boat"). Evenings for the most part were spent going out to dinner and one evening in particular will be memorable for us all. On July 10th, Kathleen had her last Radiation treatment, which signaled the end to the whole ordeal and the true beginnings to the next faze of our adventures. I had gone in to LaCrosse earlier in the day and got a couple of bottles of champagne and the 10 of us having dinner together toasted the end to our 8 months or so of dealing with the "enemy." (There were 10 of us as we were joined by Jerry and Sharon, camp hosts, at Black hawk Park). One evening we all gathered at our coach and had a fish fry, (yes we caught enough). Being together for those 5 days with Norm and Linda and getting to meet Don and Gloria is and will always be very special to us. We thank Norm and Linda for the beautiful "T" shirts, and Don and Gloria for the neck lanyards. We parted company on July 11th as it was time for them to continue their North bound River trip and for us to move to Goose Island and begin the visits and goodbys with friends and family as our departure was drawing near.

     Memorial Day Weekend and July 4th Weekend,  We are new at this motor home living and soon learned that RV parks quickly fill up on holiday weekends. We had to "get out of town" for these two weekends but chose the best place in the Midwest to stay. Kathleen's brother, Jim, and Alyce his bride  as Jim calls her, have a great home between Waukon and Decorah, Iowa. Our coach fit perfectly in thier back yard and looked out over the green fields of Iowa. Jim and Alyce have three strappin' boys who have brides of thier own, plus a couple of the cutest grandbabies you'd ever see. We had two of the best weekends just hanging out with them. Big old bon fires, picnics, just plain visiting. Thanks Jim and Alyce. We'll be back.

     July 11 -20,  We had very little time to relax at Goose Island as we were in preparation mode for a planned trip to Door County Wisconsin with my mom for a few days. We departed for Door County on the 13th. Spent the first night in a Coast to Coast Park in Gresham Wisconsin. After getting set up in the park it was off to a local casino for some fun and to give their buffet a try. Mom won a small amount at a slot machine and we walked as winners from the black jack tables. Not enough to buy dinner but enough to cover the dessert! The next two nights were spent at a C to C park in Door County. We returned to the LaCrosse area on the 16th having had a very enjoyable trip with my mom to a special part of the country that we always look forward to visiting. The 16th, 17th, and 18th were spent bidding farewell (till spring), to many of our friends, neighbors, and family. Although we will be returning in October for Kathleen's follow up medical appointments, we probably won't have time to touch base with everyone we would like to see, as our trip back will be a short one. 

     Having a farewell dinner with my mom on the evening of July 18th was especially tough and emotional. Mom had been such a center of focus for us for so many years, especially after her moving to the LaCrosse area, from Iowa. That time of her being so close to us allowed us to always include her in whatever we were doing and unfortunately it allowed for her to become very dependant on our presence. It is with much bitter sweet emotion that we begin this new faze of our lives. Leaving mom to have to contemplate changes in her life, and us to be excited about our upcoming adventures makes for a strange mix. We will miss her a great deal but we will look forward to the phone calls and return visits for many years to come. 

     Now the Adventure has truly begun!!!!  We are in Rapid City, SD.  It is Sunday July 22nd 2007.  We begin our domicile change in the morning.  Kathleen just returned from the pool and you should see the sunburn!


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June 12, 2007

Who needs a Trailer?

     I know in previous blog entries I have talked about and shown pictures of my toys, the bass boat and the Honda Ruckus scooter.  I looked for a picture of the carrier I had built/modified that resides on the back of the jeep but could not find one with the Ruckus scooter in position and ready to travel and with it being about 90 degree's out in the shade at the moment I will be darned if I am going to go load it for a picture, so just use your imagination.  It was primarily built to haul the scooter when we travel.

     In the past weeks my mind has been on the question of how can I transport my boat a short distance from the coach to the water when we are camped in such places as Goose Island and Blackhawk Park?  So often in our travels we will seek out RV Parks that have water but not always will we have the ability to have the little boat pulled up on the bank right behind the coach as we do most often at Blackhawk Park.


 boat at Blackhawk park












 When the scooter is in position on its carrier behind the jeep it is held in place with four straps that when tight really keep it very secure.  Remember we are using our imagination here.

     In the following photo you will see the carrier when not in use can be in an up position.  The next photo will show it in its down position ready for that imaginary scooter or whatever.  It is the whatever that is most intriguing.  It hauls the boat easily using the same straps that are used for the scooter.  I can load and handle it very easily in the configuration shown.

     Granted I would not take off to head for a boat ramp if it involved hi way travel and a lot of traffic, because of its width but if it is to get about within the RV park or a light traffic area what you see in the pictures works very nicely.  Once at the waters edge the trolling motor, seats, pole holders, battery, and other attachments are unloaded from the back of the jeep and within minutes one is ready for a few hours on the water.




carrier up















carrier down position







































































     I have been out numerous times myself and yesterday Kathleen joined me for a very enjoyable afternoon on the water.  Just as we were unloading it at the waters edge one of the cell phones rang and it was our son Scott calling to congratulate us on reaching that milestone of 42 years married.  Forty two years ago June 11th, 1965 was a special day in our lives and yesterday June 11th, 2007 was also very special.


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May 24, 2007

Travlin' Man's Bass Boat

     You can go to the web-site and see pictures of my former very powerful bass boats and read all about the guy who chased those illusive Bass from every corner of the U.S.  In the late 80's I won my first Ranger Bass boat in Clarendon, Texas.  In 1992 I won my second Ranger Bass boat in Muskogee, Oklahoma and those memories are as vivid as any memory could be.  That first Ranger boat was 16' and was powered by a 110 HP Yamaha Engine.  The second one was 18.9' and was powered by a 175 HP Evinrude.  In between and after those years I was on the Ranger Bass Boat team and had several boats furnished to me that I used from year to year.  All had fuel tanks that today would take close to $100.00 to fill and yes during some weeks, either getting ready for a tournament or competing in one, it was nothing to go through several tanks a day.  In spite of the costs those boats were a huge part of my life and I loved every minute.  I may have given up the competition angle of Bass fishing but it would be hard for me to give up fishing altogether, and there in lies the need for the "Travlin' Man's Bass Boat".



getting it together



     If one lives in a motor home and basement space is at a premium then one's boat needs to be pretty compact.  The inflatable Sea Eagle 375 is just the ticket.  In the above picture I am shown blowing up the pontoons.  The whole process of assembling the boat and being ready to fish takes approximately 30 minutes and is very easy to accomplish but needs to be done at the water's edge as there is no way to trailer it. 



ready to go















     The boat, when assembled, is a beautiful work of art.  I have chosen to power it with a 55 lb thrust reversible Minn Kota trolling motor.  A good quality marine rechargeable battery gives about 4 hours of run time.  As you can see from the picture there are two swivel seats and I am looking forward to having a partner out there with me in the future.  As of this date I have taken it out several times alone and am gradually getting used to a hand control trolling motor.  My previous boats always had foot control electric motors.  There are rod holders, and I have managed to find room for a small tackle box.  There are no live wells on this boat so those fish caught and kept will have to go in the frying pan.  In fact several have met that fate already and boy were they good!




look out fish















     This boat really cruises along at a pretty good clip.  In fact right after this picture was taken I headed out of the protected bay and proceeded about a mile up river.  Just before I got to the spot I wanted to fish I noticed that I was being observed from a short distance away and that darn blue light on the bow was a dead giveaway for Wardens.  You guessed it.  I was about to get checked out.  After commenting how neat my little boat was it was on to business.  Could they see my registration please?  Well the long and short of it was I didn't have it registered.  I did manage to get away with a warning and the encouragement to get it registered.  After finding out it would only cost me $16.50 to register it I filled out the paper work and sent it off.  Now at least if I get checked again while still in Wisconsin for the months of June and July I can show the little paper that says license applied for.  I will be officially registering it along with the scooter when we do finally get to South Dakota.


     I am amazed by how little room this boat and its accessories take up in the basement of the motor home.  I have a picture in my mind of how I may be able to trailer this little boat for short distances so don't be surprised if you see pictures and a new blog entry at some time in the near future.  I am impressed with how stable this little boat really is.  I would not be so foolish as to take it out on a windy day but give me the perfect day for fishing and you can bet I will be out there giving it everything I have left in my tank.  Speaking of "tank", it doesn't have one and at today's prices that makes for a very reasonable cost for a day of fishing.

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Honda Ruckus Scooter














     The Honda Ruckus is just what I was looking for.  I wanted a scooter that was relatively light (187 lbs).  It is extremely quiet.  110 miles to the gallon. Maximum speed is about 40 mph.  Street legal and I will be licensing it as soon as we can get to our Domicile of South Dakota.  Loads easily on its carrier behind the Jeep.  Has wide tires which I feel will be essential for riding the long stretches of beach in Mexico and the many trails and back roads of the Pacific Northwest forests.  I believe that the potential for its use will present itself as we travel throughout this wonderful continent.

     I have put my fish pole across the handle bars and bank fished a two mile stretch and caught some darn nice fish.  I could not have covered that stretch without the scooter.  I have climbed on and taken a slow ride through the various RV parks we have frequented and thoroughly enjoyed the rides.  I can't wait to take pictures from some of the locations that this scooter will allow me to access.  I now have about 60 miles on it and have enjoyed every one of them. 

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A lot to catch up on !

     Wow!  The last entry I made to the blog was on April 20th.  Shame on me.  Now I have a lot of catching up to do.

     We got back from our Indiana/Michigan Warranty trip and settled in to what would be the last two phases required for Kathleens battle with "the enemy" as she likes to call it.  She has completed chemo with the last gig of that on April 5th.  Surgery was scheduled for and completed on April 30th.  The report is very good!!!  Ninety five percent of the tumor had been destroyed by the chemo, the area of the tumor was explored, and the remaining five percent removed.  The best news of all came when they let us know that after sampling all the lymph nodes in the immediate areano additional "C" cells were detected.  The early part of May to the present have been spent recovering from the surgery.  With recovery having gone so well the final phase, radiation treatments, have begun on May 23rd.  We will now count them down, 33 treatments to be done every working day that the clinic is open.  Discounting week-ends and holidays we expect to be completed July 12th.  The Dr's would like us to stick around the area for a couple of weeks following her completion of radiation and after a final exam we will be free to "hit the road".

     During the early part of May to present the recovery from surgery period did not require many visits to the Dr's so we moved around some, from Goose Island Camp Ground to Black Hawk Park Camp Ground and now back to Goose Island.  With the radiation treatments now taking all of June and some of July we have booked a solid month in to Goose Island so as to be guaranteed a spot and will once again bounce around between parks after our month here.

     It is so great to have the flexibility to just up and move our "tininthewind". It is also great to be self sufficient from a electrical, water, etc. because of our on board systems.  It is that flexibility and freedom from connections that allow us to take our house with us when we go on an extended visit.  This Memorial Day Week-end we will be spending it "boondocked" in my brother-in-laws driveway out in the country from Waukon Iowa.  Jim and Alyce's boys, their wives, and babies will all be present and a more enjoyable time will be hard to find.

     Early in May I started thinking about how nice it would be to have a street legal scooter.  I wanted it to be street legal but in reality have no desire to take it out on the highway.  Street legal means that one can ride it around a campground.  I wanted it to be quiet, efficient, stable, and most of all light enough to be man handled alone.  I am going to do a separate blog comment about it with pictures so will save any further comment for later but just let me say---I love it!

     Another separate blog entry I would like to do is to tell you a little about my inflatable bass boat.  You remember the picture of it from our web-site when I posted it last winter.  The boat was a Christmas present from Kathleen.  We were at Blackhawk park, parked next to the water, a couple weeks ago and I got ambitious.  Spent the afternoon putting the boat together, took it out for its maiden voyage and got busted by the DNR wardens for operating an unregistered craft.  I will save the rest of the story for its own blog entry with pictures and all. Watch for it.  Coming soon.

     We have thoroughly enjoyed our motor homing life style and wouldn't trade it for anything.  At least not in the foreseeable future.  We continue to make plans for future travels and look forward to those we already have scheduled.

     We finally had enough of a break in our Medical Appointment schedules to allow us to fly out to Seattle and visit with our Son's and their families.  We did that between May 11th and 17th.  This trip and getting reacquainted with our grand kids was long overdo.  The trip was fantastic and it too deserves its own blog entry with pictures.  Again, stay tuned, more to follow.

     There you see!  I told you I got a little behind.  I will get the entries I mentioned above completed soon and then do a better job of posting on a more regular basis.


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March 18, 2007


     Getting close to Nature is always a thrill.  We were returning from an afternoon visit with Kathleens Brother Jim and his wife Alyce.  We decided to swing by a favorite summer spot of ours and see what it looked like in the winter.  There are acre's and acre's of public area here and many spots that we will be able to "boondock" with our motorhome and we are anxious to be able to do that this spring.  It is within a stones throw of many of my favorite bass fishing spots and I am anxious to try out that new bass boat this spring.  I could almost bet you right now that come June you will be seeing pictures of us parked in this area and pictures of the bass boat getting a work out.

Eagle Fishing



Pool Slough









     It wasn't but a blocks distance when we came upon an eagle fishing.  He was obviously in his favorite spot as we stopped the car within 50 feet of him and he just ignored our picture taking as he continued to scan the water for fish. It helps that this is an area that does not get much traffic and is pretty remote.  I can't wait to spend a few weeks back here!



eagle fishing




Eagle Fishing











Deer Twins



Deer Twins












     We have made several drives this winter when Kathleen was feeling up to it but this one was especially memorable as a lot of it was through the area that she grew up in.  The pictures from above were taken where she roamed and played as a little girl, growing up in the river bottoms with her brothers as her dad commercial fished the area.  They had a summer shanty in this area and she and her family had it mostly to themselves.  It will be very nostalgic to return with our motorhome.

     We have taken many pictures this winter and if your computer speed will handle it you may want to check them out.  Click on this and you can enjoy them all. 

     Spring is just around the corner.  I can feel it!!!!!   















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February 25, 2007


     I should have known that I was getting a little overly excited about the warm weather of last week.  Heck, it is after all, only the end of February.  We all know what some of the snow storms in March can be like.  When I opened the door this morning, this was my first look at what had occured overnight.


where is the shovel

 This was after having dug out from 12" the day before.









Down the Street

 So much for Global Warming, huh Al ?











Looking Good


 Kathleen giving some perspective to just how deep the snow really is.










Finally Dug Out 

We now have skirting on the coach.  The natural kind.










     There were neighbors who came over to help us dig out and or just talk about the weather.  Later this afternoon I decided I would bake some chocolate chip cookies and a couple of loaves of bread.  I took a plate of warm cookies over to each of the two families who helped us dig out.  I did keep a few for us.  They are long gone, and yes they were pretty good if I don't say so myself.

Georges Baking Skills


 While Kathleen did what she deserves to do.. (napped)..I kept busy in the kitchen.











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February 20, 2007


     Can Spring be far behind?  Even the Valentine Flowers that we gave each other this February '07 have a special glow about them.  Isn't it funny how in the Fall when the temperatures dip in to the forty's we grab for the big coat, bundle up, and exclaim brrrrrrrrr!  Now when the temperatures finally make it from the negative numbers we leave our coat off, step outside, into the forty's and exclaim, heatwave!

Valentines Day Feb. 07









     What helps to pass the time and make our forced winter stay a little more tolerable is the  almost daily trip down "memory lane".  I have always been one to lean back, close my eye's, and take that trip back in time.  Lean back, close your eye's, and follow along with me for a moment.

New Tininthewind



Very first time we laid our eye's on our new home in Missoula, Montana.  What a thrill it was after many months of planning, dealing, etc.  At the moment of this picture we had not seen the inside yet!





1st day and night camp



View from our front window on our first day and night in our new coach, camped at a KOA in Polson, Montana.






7 % grade



Road leading up to one of the most incredible boondocking spots we will probably ever experience.  To the top of a rock quarry.  Leading to what will be our very first camping (boondocking) experience after returning to Wisconsin with our new home.





1st boondock ever


Here we are at the top!  This setting and the week-end we spent here were pure magic.  The temperatures were in the upper 90's.  There wasn't a sole around for miles.  This was our first real try with all the systems of our new home and it was a week-end I will never forget.  On a scale of 1 to 10, it was a 12.





Gays Mills, WI


 Robb Park, Gays Mills, Wisconsin.  We spent many weeks this past summer and fall of '06.  Most often we had the park entirely to ourselves.  We had 20 amp electric on site, with water and sewer nearby.  Just to the right out of the picture was an old Dam and the gate house that controlled the flow of the water over the Dam.  The sound of the cascading water over the Dam and the surrounding scenery were beyond description.  We got to know many of the people in the community and are very anxious to return for future visits.


     Already there are so many memories, and it is wonderful to be able to just close my eye's and travel memory lane.  I have a hard time speculating what the future travels and experiences have in store for us but I can't help but think that we will seek out memories that will add page after page, picture after picture to this new chapter in our lives. 

     We have every intention of sharing it all with you!  Thanks for coming along.




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February 07, 2007


     Wintering in Wisconsin in a motor home is an interesting proposition but when it becomes a requirement things do get interesting.  We knew we bought right when we selected a Newmar product, especially the Dutch Star.  We had no idea that very shortly it was going to be put to the extreme test.

snug as a bug

     We have seen many days like this but we couldn't have been more comfortable had we been staying at the Ritz.  It is amazing to me that the temperature throughout is very consistent.  You can go from room to room, upstairs, downstairs, and the temp is equal everywhere.  Just kidding about the upstairs, downstairs. 

     We have faced each day knowing that the next day would look a little brighter and the one after that even brighter still.  I am confident that before long we will be taking pictures of a whole different surrounding and looking forward to what is around the corner.  For now we will just have to settle for what the next day looks like.

A brighter day

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Meet Quickfoot 


     This little knome (Quickfoot) had welcomed friends and other visitors to our home in Stoddard.  When we made the decision to sell our home and 99.9% of our belongings to start our new adventure of living Full-Time in our new home (Tininthewind), we knew that Quickfoot had to come with us. Each night he would be posted outside our door to welcome new friends and new visitors to our new home.  He has done a steller job since we moved in to the Tininthewind in July of '06, but I have to tell ya, he is not a happy camper. (no pun intended)

     He heard us talking many times back in the early summer '06 about our new life plan of chasing that perpetual perfect temperature.  He heard us time and again refer to that margarita on the beach while chomping on fresh shrimp just brought in on the boat.  I know he watched as we hauled all of our cold weather clothes to the Salvation Army shelter.  He saw all of those lounge chairs and beach umbrellas that we stuffed in the basement of the Tininthewind.  I swear during all of this time that we were getting the motor home ready to go, Quickfoot was watching and had a perpetual smile on his face.  I know he was thinking that no more would he have to stand watch during that cold, harsh, Wisconsin winter.

     Is it any wonder then that as the temperatures of the last week or so plunged to the sub-zero range and stayed there, Quickfoot would quit working by turning out the light in his lantern.  I removed him from the snow bank to bring him inside so I could replace his batteries, and after warming up a little he started to work again.  He is now inside, sitting on the dash, facing out the big front window of Tininthewind and I think that is where he will stay 'till all those beaches, shrimp, and perfect temperatures are in sight! 

     Oh, I did set a margarita down next to him, and swear I saw a smile just before it disappeared. Smile


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