Thursday, August 7, 2014

Love and Respect

Just finished a life changing book "Love and Respect". Every couple should read this book! If you are not christian, you'll need to do some dancing with the language, but the informtion offered up is universal regardless of your religious beliefs.  It will take a strong positive reltionship and make it even better, and it will take a relationship on the brinks of ending and save it.  Read it!!!

Remember men are from mars and women from venus?  That's why our communications miss all the time. Women are looking out of pink glasses and hearing out of pink ears, and men are looking out of blue glasses and hearing out of blue ears. What women say is not what men hear and vice versa. This book has hit it on the nose explaining with tons of examples what we're all missing, and how to decipher the opposite sexes codes. It explains exactly what men need, and what women need, and they are not the same thing at all. I'm talking about our deepest needs. In some ways it's subtle, and in others not at all! It's something I've never heard before, and the understanding of it has lifted a huge load off of me that I didn't even know was there. It brought me a new sense of balance and freedom.

I don't want to say more, because you really need to read it yourselves to "get it!".  only $3.99 on kindle.

Love and Respect for a Lifetime: Women Absolutely Need Love. Men Absolutely Need Respect. Its as Simple and as... by Emerson Eggerichs (Oct 5, 2010)


Formats Price NewUsed
Kindle EditionAuto-delivered wirelessly $3.99  

The other book that complements this one is:

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary D Chapman (Dec 17, 2009) - Kindle eBook

this will also help couples in their communications. 

OK, I know what's coming next... are John and I having problems?  The answer is definitely NO! we're doing great, and with this new information, the magic between us just keeps growing stronger all the time! :)

Enjoy the reading, and keep on growing :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Season is winding down

And what a season it's been! Full of activities, friends, both old and new; beading, music, trips (King ranch; corpus Fish Hatchery; Alpaca farm outside sinton; broasted chicken dinner at A Wine of Mine in Aransas Pass with 18 friends; an 8 hour excursion Deep Sea fishing with Dolphin Dock out of Port Aransas with 9 friends, a trip to Goliad and the Presidio and mission with jerry and Joan; surf fishing on Mustang Island with our friends and old neighbors from Menomonie, Susan and Scott Springer; hiking with Krystal at Charlie's Pasture (Port A); fishing on the ship canal with Joan and Jerry and Krystal and Andrew; Oh can't forget the trips to the Candy store out on the island either. then there's been Mens lunch out, Ladies Lunch out (I made a couple of those), Couples Lunch out, Movie Night at the clubhouse, potlucks, the Christmas Eve Sing along program, Dulcimer Jams, Music Jams, Texas Holdem Monday and Friday nights for John, chi gong classes on tuesday and Thursday mornings, john's morning coffee Monday thru saturday, Ice cream social and card bingo on Sundays, happy hour with friends, dinner switchoff with jerry and joan has been a great time - they cook one night, us the next, has given us all great social time, and kept us out of the restaurants a bit!

Wow! All this and our duties as Activity Coordinators this season for our park, we've been pretty busy. I already knew this, but listing it out here makes me truly appreciate it all! Being the activity coordinators was a challenging and sometimes heart wrenching position, but it has helped me to grow, make new friends, and become better at communicating, and those are great things. Getting out and being with people has been wonderful for me. I have never had so many friends, and I finally understand how wonderful friendship really is. No more locking myself away from happy, openminded interesting people. I have to say thank you to all who've made this winter a great thing!
Something i've been wanting to do all my life is play music with others, and along with the jams, Claire  Troyer made that possible. we've been doing some wonderful classical music on cello and piano on monday evenings, and it's so much fun! Having a polished musician to play with is
extraordinary! i want more of this! Much more. I'm looking for someone to create with and do gigs... and I believe it will happen.

It's been good for John too. He's also made many new friends. The really biggie for him is that he found the ecigarette and has quit smoking - after 50 years and countless tries, he's done it! Pam and Gary Greenbush and Ellen and Denny are responsible for that, and I can't thank them enough for sharing their discovery with him. Sharing is the key to life! When we share our talents and gifts, discoveries and joys with each other, we all grow.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Back to the BEACH!

Just over a month we've been back here in Texas! Wow, it's been busy. I have a new blog to keep track of my music things.  Check it out at

I have just released two new dulcimer books. The first two in a series of Ensemble books for Mountain Dulcimer. The first of course is "Learning the Mountain Dulcimer,"82 pages of songs and information to help anyone learn to play this beautiful instrument. It answers the questions I'm most frequently asked and a whole lot more. I've taken my lifetime of music learning and placed it in there. The second, book is called "A Round of Dulcimers" and it has 50 pages of rounds and more information on playing technique. It includes 31 rounds from the 14th - 19th centuries, and they are so much fun to play.

This has consumed me this past month, but there was still time to get out to Port Aransas a couple times and watch the turtles and dolphins and just beach lounge and have a picnic with our friends Joan and Jerry Henderson. They got here 10 days after we did, and we're next door neighbors and pretty much inseparable. We've been having so much fun together. It's wonderful! John and I are also the Activity Coordinators here at the park this year, so as always, no grass growing under my feet! Simply loving it here, and loving life!  Next week I get to play music for a yoga class! Remember, the next cd is a meditation cd. 8 of the 12 songs are complete, and I'm so looking forward to releasing it. All in good time, right?

Joan and I had a booth at the Rockport Market this past Saturday. It was a slow day at the market, but we had fun and plan to do it again next month - the 21st. Christmas Market should be pretty good, and either way, we'll enjoy it. I'm back to card weaving and tatting and beading - mostly to teach others, but a bit for sale too. Demonstrating card weaving at the market helped sell a couple sets of tools, so that was good. It's so beautiful, and warm, and tropical. The hibiscus are blooming along with other flowers and bushes, and people are so friendly.

It's amazing what this RVing lifestyle has to offer. I've never looked back at home ownership except to say, Thank God it's gone!  We have made some changes though. We've now got a rig permanent up north, and this one will stay down here. A smaller, more economical vehicle is in our future. Gas is simply outrageous. Other news! Our youngest just got engaged! Congratulations Krystal and Kiff! So wedding plans are happening. Happy times.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Back Home Again

Monday July 10th we did our weekly trip to Flagstaff for groceries and an environment with trees and cooler air. I also was doing some work at the library looking at fire maps in preparation for our trip home the following week. All of a sudden, John wasn't feeling too good. Dizzy, light headed. Taos all over again. His blood pressure had shot up. We don't know how much, because his monitor was not functioning properly. Anyone with blood pressure that high would be dead, but we did know there was no waiting another week. We got back and I went into action. Got everything packed up, stowed, uniforms washed, radio gear together to return and early Tuesday morning up the road we went to the Crater. We both felt bad leaving even a week earlier than we had planned, but there was no getting around it. We had to go. Amidst hugs and goodbyes we turned in our stuff and headed out.

Hwy 40 from Flagstaff to Albuquerque is the busiest interstate highway in the country. The scenery in the area between Flagstaff and Holbrook is stark desert. Amazing in that there simply isn't anything there. The grasses and cactus only grow maybe 12" tall and they are widely dispersed with red toned Moenkopi sandstone being the main feature. Heading East from Holbrook the landscape becomes hills and canyons and the area at the state line is beautiful. We made it as far as Tucumcari, N.M. where we stayed at the worst Passport America park we've ever seen. I was actually afraid to get out of the camper! $17 dollars for the night with full hook up. We wasted no time Wednesday morning getting the heck out of there. Tucumcari itself was a very sorry site. So much of it abandoned and in bad shape. Wednesday had John feeling a bit better. In fact, the lower we got in elevation, the better he felt. We took Hwy 54 out of Tucumcari up through the pan handle of Texas and Oklahoma and on into Kansas where we hopped on 283 outside Dodge City (I didn't know that was in Kansas!) and found a campground in WaKeeney at the intersection of interstate 70. We'd never stayed at a KOA campground before. EEEEE GADS, expensive! OK, we spent the money, we're using the pool, and oh my, the bathroom is soooo pretty and clean. The pool was wonderful. A bit of a walk. Seems they looked at our 5th wheel and decided we needed to be parked away from the expensive Motor Homes in our own little Travel Trailer/5th Wheel less than new district. Ah well, I don't buy into that attitude at all. Love my 5th wheel, and wouldn't have a motor home - no offense to all of you who do. I'm just simply happy with what I have. It's all I need.

Thursday took us on up 283. I was driving and we were watching some incredible storms off to the north. WOW! Only, wait a minute, the road is curving! No. ... Yep, well, let's see if we can beat it crossing the freeway. Wow, look at the lightning, and, hey, there's a little white tornado in there - see it, ground to clouds! This is going to be fun.  John, "Deb, do you want to pull over and let it go through?", Deb, " No, It'll take too long, besides, it doesn't look that bad."  So on we went. The wind was something, and we got through just as the front was crossing the hwy.  YEeeee Haaaa! Big smiles. That was exhilarating!  Just past the storm we came to Klines Corners, Kansas and pulled off for a potty stop :) and lunch.  Our main destination for Thursday was Cabela's in Kearney, Nebraska which we made around 2pm. John needed clothes and we had a mess of Cabela's points to use up. That was a fun stop. John got everything he needed, 3 pr shorts, 2 pr pants & a belt and I got a pair of walking shoes and some really nice sunglasses! Onward.  We found a nice little park on a knoll outside of Lincoln surrounded by corn fields and GREEN! The birds were singing and it was simply relaxing and wonderful!

Friday was a long drive, and though we could have made Colfax, WI and our friends house, we were just too exhausted and ended up staying east of Rochester at...... yup, another KOA. Friday night, all the state parks were full and traffic was heavy. Better to pay the price than get into an accident driving while exhausted. We made it to Colfax mid morning to hugs and smiles. Welcome back!

Although we had planned to stay at our friends place, we needed 30 amp as the air conditioner was needed, so Sunday the 14th we came up to Chetek to a little park we had found out on the web, and it turns out it's just what we were looking for. Not too far away from family, close to a little lake, and boats and bikes are provided by the campground owners who, by the way, are very nice. The campground is clean and small and quiet and out in the country. And our neighbors are fantastic. We have so much in common.

The next 3 weeks had us crazy busy taking care of family stuff (which we knew was waiting for us). Wonderful time with family and friends, and lots of work, but we're all here to help each other, and all is well. I spent 4 days with my daughter helping her and her boyfriend get moved into their new apt., John spent 4 days in Green Bay helping get his mom's house painted and ready to go on the market. We had a wonderful day at the "Ren. in the Glen" Renaissance fair in Glenwood City seeing all our old friends - so heartwarming. Then a day at Patrick's outside Eau Claire removing the fingerboard from my bowed dulcimer and preparing it for a new one and 4 strings! Will take a trip to St. Paul now to finish that project. Time with mom. Deciding to get another rig which would be permanent here in Wisconsin (our summer home) and the Rig shopping and finding that followed, then sorting our belongings between two rigs and list making of what goes where and another list of what we still needed. Moving day (actually, that was anti-climactic as I had everything ready to go, just exhausting) and a few days of heavy duty arranging. One afternoon of fishing - they were all too small, but it was wonderful being out in the boat. We took the campground Mystery Tour last Saturday. Stopped at a haunted cemetery, Wood Carving Museum in Shell Lake, Go Carts in Spooner where we also had lunch and shopping time, and got to meet our fellow campground campers. Fun Day! There was more going on, cause I seem to be missing a week. Oh, well, all's well that ends well, and we're HAPPY! The new rig is a 31' Travel Trailer - we don't have to haul it, so this is the way to go permanent. It's bright and airy and so very comfortable. Anyone for a campfire?

Arizona 2013

We arrived at our new job the 2nd of May. What an incredible operation, and the people are so friendly and helpful. The campground (5 miles from the Crater) is an oasis in the middle of the desert. Very well kept. I'd like to say quiet, but when the country's busiest highway is only 1/2 mile or so away, the sounds of traffic - particularly semi's is always there. We had a full hook up and our propane expenses were reimbursed. Electric was included - thankfully as the air conditioning was running constantly. It wasn't supposed to be this hot at 5700' above sea level. We're still high, but lower than Taos, so we thought we'd be ok.

Training was thorough, but fun. We worked in Admit, and the Gift and Rock Shops as cashiers. Four 10 hour days to start until Memorial Day when we went to Five 8 hour days. Wow, we're not used to working like this. Between the heat and the elevation, we were pooped by the time we got home, and meals were quick and simple. The work wasn't hard, we just weren't used to it! We also got a good discount at the Subway (onsite), gift shops, and company gas station. So Subway was usually lunch! I can't say enough for our supervisors, Management and co-workers. They were all really wonderful and the way Meteor Crater is run is outstanding.

A week after arriving, we got a phone call and learned that John's mom had passed on. Oh, Ursula, you are missed, but you lived a long and wonderful life. 98 years old! John flew out of Phoenix. OMG! Phoenix! Horrible, horrible, horrible.  Congestion and traffic can't even come close to describing it. And not only did we have to go there once, but Twice! Flying out, and flying back in. The desert was beautiful - wonderful seeing the saguaro cactus again, but too many people, and living in such a harsh environment. What a stupid place to build a city. There is no water, and it is piped in from far far away. Nough said. We didn't like Phoenix. Fitting name though - blazing hot!

After John got back we'd travel on our days off; first to Camp Verde the first weekend (our weekends were Monday and Tuesday) to get down lower in elevation. Stayed in a hotel for the first time in several years! It was nice. While there we went to Sedona (wow has that grown - way to many people and too much congestion for such a powerful place.  Also went to Jerome, but as it is up on a mountain top, John wasn't feeling too good, so we didn't stay and shop. Besides, what did we need? We're not much into shopping.( It was just after getting back from this trip that we got that phone call about John's mom.)  We also took a day and went up to the Grand Canyon. Along the way we stopped at The Little Grand Canyon wayside on Hwy 64 - Navajo owned. We had stopped here 23 years ago and bought some jewelry directly from the Navajo people. I had been looking forward to returning there  many years, and I wasn't disappointed. The workmanship was wonderful and I picked up my turquoise.  Another road trip took us east to Hwy 87 out of Winslow (we didn't like Winslow at all) down to  Natural Bridge State Park (really cool), Strawberry, and Payson. One road in, one road out, and drier than tinder dry forest all around. Yikes! Beautiful, but the whole area is so stressed. Trees are dieing. It was a beautiful day, but I sure wouldn't want to live there!  We also took a day and went up to Sunset Crater and Wupotki ruins. Thoroughly enjoyed that. Wukoki ruin (around the bend from Wupotki) wasn't open when we were here 20+ years ago, and it was wonderful! Found a great little restaurant on the North end of Flagstaff - Silver Saddle - great place. Also really enjoyed China Star on Route 66 in Flagstaff. Best Chinese food buffet we've ever had. As for good restaurants in Winslow - Don't go to PJ's or Denny's at the travel center! Pizza Hut was good though. The restaurant at the old depot is supposed to be very good, but pricy.

Evenings were nice. Actually, the sunsets were incredible, and the night sky.... so much of it! Chilly. No one was really into music out there. Poker was the topic of conversation and get togethers. John had fun with that. We also got 2 new tires on the truck thanks to the new Navajo casino a few miles down the road towards Flagstaff.

All in all, Arizona was an experience. Like going to hell and back again with some refreshing things on the side (like Meteor Crater). I'd always thought I'd end up living out there, and this was the trip to find out about that. The answer was very clear - beyond a shadow of a doubt clear. NO WAY!  and that is a good thing to know.

We had planned to be there until mid-Sept. but John's body had other thoughts and mid-July was all he could take. We felt bad bailing on our job, but health comes first., and, we were needed back home.

Monday, May 6, 2013

elevation, elevation, elevation

After a wonderful week in Albuquerque, I picked John up at the airport. We spent the following day at Petroglyphs National Monument Visitor Center, 2 sites within the park, and Old Town where we had lunch at the Quesadilla Grill. Don't miss it if you're there. The flavors are subtle and wonderful!

Thursday morning we hitched up and on down I-40 we went. The buttes, mesas, and canyons from Albuquerque to the Arizona border are gorgeous, but about impossible to photograph. it's something you simply have to experience. We pulled into the RV Park at Meteor Crater in the early afternoon. Some people would say it's desolate and barren, but all we could say was - wow! Space, beautiful space. We were now at 5700 feet above sea level, which was much better than the 7800' in Taos. Of course John had just returned from Green Bay which is only 581' above sea level, so although I was pretty well adjusted to the mile high elevation, he wasn't. We went on up the road 5 miles to the crater and got out uniforms and stuff and found we were to start on Saturday. Looked around a bit then went back to the rig and crashed. Driving/traveling is exhausting.

Friday we drove the 20 miles back to Winslow for groceries - walmart; then went back up to the crater to see the movies and get a bit more familiar with our new summer home. The crater is a Natural Landmark, and is still owned by the Barringer family. It's 4/5th mile across and 560 feet deep. The meteroite (which was the size of a bus) came in from the east at 26,000 miles per hour and struck   the spot about 50,000 years ago, give or take 3000 years. Barringer secured mining rights from the federal goernment in the early 1900's and tried to prove this was the site of a meteor hit. 2 years after his death, this fact was finally confirmed and accepted by the scientific community. To get a little better idea of how big it is, think about 20 footballs games taking place simultaneously in the crater, or downtown San Francisco being totally swallowed by it. This is the first meteor crater to be proen. it is not the largest crater created by matter from space. Russia has that, and it is 61 miles across! The surrounding 260 acres is pastureland for the T-T cattle ranch. The first tours began in 1942 and cost $.50, and you had to drive 6 miles down a bumpy dirt road to get there. today the price for a regular adult tour is $16, seniors are $15, and juniors ages 6-17 are $8. there are also AAA, military and group rates (over 8 paying guests). Special tours can also be arranged in advance. There is currently a 20 million dollar improvement project underway, which should be completed this fall (2013). Until then, you get your exercise walking up the long ramp (a shuttle will pick you up at the bottom if you push the buzzer). The ticket gets you in the gate. There are 4 observation decks at different levels with telescopes in place; a hands on museum; 2 short informative movies; a 1/2 mile hike out onto the rim with a tour guide @ 5 times per day; a gift shop, rock shop, subway, restrooms of course, a space shuttle from NASA, and yes, the astronauts did train here before the lunar missions. All this and the RV Park (which is very clean and nice with pull through and back in sites and 2 doggie run areas) and a gas station, all owned by Meteor Crater Inc. which leases the land. I'm  really impressed with the whole operation. We are here for our guests, and they ome from all over the world to see this crater. In my firts 2 days of work, I've met people from all over the US and Canada and: England, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, France, Italy, Japan, Taiwan, Russia, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and I'm sure I'm missing some. So far I've only worked in Admit, and John in the gift shop and rock shop, but that will change this next week.

We're both enjoying the job, and our bank account will too! We have 3 days off now, and John needed to get down to a lower elevation. He's not been sleeping, and breathing is still a bit of a trick, as is appetite and intestine function, and his sinuses and mine have been rather messed up, so we took a trip down the mountains to Sedona via Oak Creek Canyon and down to Camp Verde where we're staying in a hotel for the first time in over 2 years. We're now at 3147' which is a bit lower than we were in Idaho last year.

It's interesting watching the terrain change from elevation to elevation, but if your body is real sensitive, it can be rather uncomfortable going up and down too!

Monday, April 29, 2013

There and Back Again, well, almost

After 2 months of delaying our departure from Rockport, we finally wound up the hose on the 17th of April and left for a day with our great friends Larry and Lea Chrestman in San Antonio. They just beat us to Hidden Valley RV park where we all used our Passport America cards for one night in door to door sites. Larry took us all in to "the Alamo" for a tour. The trees and flowers were all in bloom and it was so pretty. I'm not usually one to go to battle grounds. The energy in so many of those places feels awful, but the energy has cleared at the Alamo, and it was very enjoyable. The displays were very informative, and the building and grounds were in great shape after all this time. There is a donation box, but no formal admission fee, so that was nice.

A short 2 block walk took us to the River Walk, which we'd heard so much about, but mover seen. I had no idea! It was beautiful! Sculpted paths lined both sides of the river which flowed through a man made canal. Restaurants, shops and motels lined the shores along with beautiful landscaping - trees and flowers and shrubbery. A mama duck and her little ducklings swam along and birds flew through singing as they went. I would stop there again in a heartbeat. We had lunch at this silly cafe where the waitresses make fun with you and make you walk down to get your food from the other end of the table. What a riot. Everyone had a wonderful time.  Cheese n crackers and a shot glass of Krupnik (compliments of our daughter Krystal and her boyfriend Kiff) finished off the evening. (Krupnik is a homemade Polish liquor that resembles mead and is made from vodka, honey and lots of wonderful spices. It's potent stuff! And delicious.)

Next morning we caravanned to Brownsfield, Texas where we all stayed in a little city park. This is Larry's hometown, and it's a very nice place. We went out to a little Mexican restaurant for dinner, and another little place with fantastic food for lunch the next day. Sorry, don't remember the names, but Lea can fill them in I bet. John and I stayed an extra day just to relax. Put on over 400 miles the day before. We got to meet some of Larry's family too, and they're a great bunch of people,

O the 20th we pulled out and headed for Taos. Nothing but oil fields as far as the eye can see for a long way- almost all the way to Roswell. Some barren but beautiful country. Roswell had the cheapest gas we'd seen in a long time; $1.53 a gallon for diesel. We had a headwind all the way, almost as if someone was saying, wait, no, don't go that way! A little foreshadowing there. From Roswell, we went up through Vaughn and on up to Santa Fe. The road signs in Texas had been so fantastic, never a question about where to go. New Mexico is different. A sign will come up with an arrow, but that doesn't mean you take the next left (or right) it just means that somewhere up ahead you'll be turning. It's a very laid back sort of system, and not extremely helpful. Thanks to the great road signs we got to see quite a bit of Santa Fe, housing, schools.... Just the places to be pulling an RV through, but we did finally get through and on up the mountain. Gee, it's getting kinda hard to breathe, you noticing it too John? And there's still a headwind. The mountains are beautiful, and .... Snow capped! Wow was a very common word as we continued on. We finally got to Taos about an hour before sunset then 5 miles East of town to our campground. Ken met us at the entrance and helped us fill up our tank with water as the campground water wasn't turned on yet. Been too cold. Hmmm. You short of breath too? Yup. Headache too. The campground was cute - small. Are you going to be able to get our rig in there? Where do we park the truck? The stream is really pretty. "That will be drying up in not too long" we're told. Oh. We're in a canyon that is breathtaking, and very dry. Next day we get a tour of the campground, following day. Start work. I'm nauseous, light headed,sucking air, but this will pass...Johns sucking air. The computer- has an "A" drive. The one next to it has directions on how to start it in "safe mode".   Hmmm. We ordered open campground right away so we'd have some sort of registration system to work with.  It gets better, but I'm not going there. I will say that the promised cell phone signal didn't exist.

After 3 days, I was scrambling to find us another job for the summer, between sucked in breaths and a mind that just didn't want to work real well. John was having a hard time breathing too - worse than me I think. OK, don't panic. John, I said don't panic! This will all work out fine.  Did a quick update on our resume on and checked the hotlist - I think that's what it's called. We needed something at a lower elevation and not to far away. Gas will eat up your checkbook.  Hey, look at this, Meteor Crater Visitor Center. That's not too far from here, and it's paid! So made a quick phone call - oh, it's Sunday. Made up a site specific resume and got it sent out and low and behold, when I got done working the next day, I had an email waiting!  We went into town to make a phone call, and decided Pizza Hut would be a wonderful idea. Food is always so relaxing. And, then phone rang, and it was Lanah from Meteor Crater. Ahhhh, see, everything will be just fine. Seems she needed us as much as we needed her. 

So, John took the airport charter down to Albuquerque on Wednesday morning and flew into Green Bay for his mom's 98th birthday celebration. I went into the office and gave Ken the bad news. 6 days had passed, and I still was having problems breathing, light headed, massive headache and intestinal problems. I had told him from the start that I would do whatever I could to help, but that I wouldn't hurt myself in the process. I felt bad leaving like that, but really didn't have a choice. I worked that day and helped train Airen for a couple hours the next morning after hitching up the rig. Then I climbed in the truck, turned the key and all by my little lonesome with Sammy dog riding shotgun, I drove down the mountain.

As it turned out, we had quite a few offers. Many from our wonderful friends at Dworshak Dam in Idaho, but we just didn't want to go that far. We also got a note from Texas saying we could come back to our favorite park and work there for the summer, and we got an offer from Bryce Canyon (hmm, that might be interesting in the future) and one from a campground in Colorado. See, everything works out.
Pictures coming soon.