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Carlsbad, CA, United States
Here we go again! There is so much more of our great United States still to see that we have become full-timers again. In addition to seeing new sights, we will be volunteering our services at national and state parks and points of interest. Check out our diary style blog below to follow us on our travels. Also, look into our archive and check the exciting places we have seen.

Thursday - Sunday, December 7-10, 2017 Fire!

Thursday, we spent most of the day watching the news regarding the evacuations for the Lilac Fire that broke out this morning. By the afternoon we could see the smoke coming from the fire approaching our area. I kept in touch with Kristy and the girls as they were just north of the fire and the fire was headed southwest with the Santa Ana winds blowing over 50 mph at times.  By early evening, I was getting concerned for their safety but all the roads out of their area were at a dead stop.  Around 7pm the mobile park manager told them they had to evacuate.  The sheriff notified the park that they were in the mandatory evacuation area.  Kristy tried to go west toward Fallbrook but had to turn around when she saw the fire coming over the hill.  By this time I had checked the roads and gave them directions to get out of their area.  They arrived around 9:00pm, hungry and scared but safe.  Gary and I had set up the two rooms for them, the guest room and the office where we setup our  inflatable bed for the girls.  We had just finished when they arrived. Kristy didn't feel well and Jennifer was just getting over being sick and Gary is just getting over Bronchitis; this should be interesting.  I hope I don't get sick.

Late afternoon - smoke heading our way from Bonsall

Sun setting behind the smoke over taken from our neighborhood

Smoke as seen from our driveway

Friday, felt like marathon cooking day for me.  Amanda and I made an early morning trip to the market to get food for breakfast.  Everyone was hungry first thing in the morning and I was the short order cook, making each meal as they told me what they wanted.  Gary was a good sport and did all the dishes after each meal.  After making lunch for everyone, I made a batch of Spritz cookies so the kids could decorate them and mostly to keep them busy.  I know is must be boring for them here with all their stuff at home.  They barely had time to pack clothes before they had to leave.  Jennifer and Amanda seemed to enjoy the decorating and Jennifer proclaimed all the cookies she decorated as her cookies. By the time we finished it was time to make dinner.  It seems like all we did was eat. Kristy took a much needed nap while the girls and I made the cookies.

Amanda having fun putting cherries on the cookies

first cookies out of the oven

Jennifer coping Amanda

Saturday, okay the girls are starting to get really bored now and we can't go anywhere as not everyone was feeling well. We watched the news most of the day looking at all the devastation of this fire.  The Thoroughbred center had to evacuate 1000 horses and sadly not all of them survived.  Two of the horse trainers were severely burned trying to evacuate the horses.  They finally had to just tear down a section of fencing to let them run loose and fend for themselves.  A senior mobile home park lost about 70 homes in 12 minutes.  The area looks like a moonscape from the photos we saw on the news. Kristy really wants to go home but her home is still in the mandatory evacuation area.  Her Dad lives in Bonsall and was ordered to evacuate as well on Thursday.  Amanda heard that one of the principals from her middle school lost his home and she was feeling bad for him and his family.  I met him a few times and he was a very nice man. Around noon Amanda and I went to get haircuts.  I thought it would help to get her out of the house and perk her up with a shampoo, haircut and blow dry.  She really enjoyed it and her new hairstyle as she posted photos of herself on Facebook while I was getting my hair cut.  Kristy said she is finally feeling a little better this evening.

Amanda after her haircut
Amanda before her haircut

Sunday, okay everyone is tired of the evacuation.  Kristy has done laundry twice as they didn't pack very many clothes. We ate breakfast in shifts as each one of us woke up at different times.  Jennifer and Gary ate together, then me and Amanda, followed by Kristy.  The girls are getting feisty so I made a batch of peanut butter cookies.  Kristy helped me and everyone seemed to enjoy them.  After lunch, we watched a Christmas movie then Kristy packed up for their trip home.  We noticed that their address is now in the voluntary evacuation area and the wind warning is set to expire in a couple of hours.  She has to do some grocery shopping on the way home and then it's about an hours drive since some of the roads are still closed. As I write this I am waiting from a text from her saying they arrived safely.  Keeping my fingers crossed they will be safe.  Thanks to all our family and friends who have been concerned for our safety.

Monday - Wednesday, December 4 - 6, 2017

Monday, we send happy birthday wishes to Gary's daughter, Kristin and his sister-in-law, Deborah.
I went to Kristy's to deliver the boxes we picked up at the ranch for her. While there I asked the park manager if he could show us how to get the furnace started.  Kristy and the girls are freezing because they don't have any heat.

Tuesday, we just hung around the house as Gary wasn't feeling well.

Wednesday, Gary had a doctor's appointment.  After his appointment we went to lunch at the San Diego Chicken Pie Shop.  We haven't been there in a long time and the chicken pie was just as good as it alway has been.  They have been in business since 1938 and I have been eating there chicken pies since I was little, so mid '50's.  Always a good meal at a reasonable price.

Friday-Sunday, December 1 - 3, 2017

Nothing much happen here on Friday.  Gary wasn't feeling well so we just hung around the house catching up on paperwork. This evening I made the cream filling for the cannoli I'll be taking to the ranch tomorrow.

Saturday, Gary was feeling better so we drove to the ranch to see my mom, aka Great Grandma T.  I took the cannoli shells and fixings to the ranch to share with mom, Connie and Dennis. They were really good as was our visit with mom.  Honey was doing well too.  Late tonight Gary started feeling ill again.  He is wheezing and I can hear it just sitting near him.

Sunday, we decided to go to the urgent care to see why Gary has the wheezing before it turns into something more serious.  What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  At least they urgent care wasn't too busy. They gave him a breathing treatment followed by a chest x-ray then determined he has Bronchitis.  On the way home we picked up his prescriptions, one antibiotic, one steroid and one inhaler.  The good thing is that he already had an appointment with his doctor scheduled in a few days.

Wednesday - Thursday, November 29-30, 2017

Here is the 7th and last black and white photo in my photo challenge.

Wednesday was Christmas decorating day.  We discovered that our artificial tree's lights finally died. We are not having Christmas guests this year at our home as they will all be celebrating with others so we just won't have a tree this year.  It's just me and Gary so we only did enough decorating to give us some Christmas spirit and that's it for this year.  Gary really doesn't feel up to getting all the boxes down from the attic anyway.  I do have our Christmas stockings hanging from the fireplace mantel and my Santa and Mrs. Clause made by my mother is also on display.  We have a few of the animated figures out in case the kids come over.  Being deaf, the girls are really into things that light up and move.  Unfortunately, Jennifer's singing tree that shakes with the music finally bit the dust.  I still have it on display but it no longer lights up or moves.

Thursday, we had to drive out to Terry's to meet the tow truck driver.  He was scheduled to pick up the van between 11 and 2 today but the office called at 9am to say they could come earlier.  Gary and I had to scurry around and drive to Bonsall to be there when he arrived.  Kristy was there waiting with the necessary documents to sell her van for parts.  Terry, my ex-husband, was anxious to get rid of it so he would have more parking or his Christmas party on Saturday.  We certainly wouldn't want him inconvenienced would we.

Monday - Tuesday, November 27 - 28, 2017

Happy birthday wishes to my daughter, Kristy, born on November 27th and my brother-in-law, Dennis, born on November 28th.  I hope you both have a wonderful birthday.

Tuesday, Gary and I both had doctor appointments, mine in the morning and Gary's this afternoon. His doctor is in San Diego, a long drive for a 10 minute visit.

I posted two more black and white photos on Facebook for my 7 day challenge.  One more day to go!

Friday - Sunday, November 24 - 26, 2017

Friday, Joyce's family were going through all her things and moving some items out.  I stopped by to convey my condolences to her family.  Joyce and I had become good friends these past few years.  It was a depressing day for me.

Saturday, I invited Kristy and the girls over to celebrate Kristy's birthday.  Her birthday is on Monday but we usually celebrate on the nearest weekend.  Kristy didn't want to celebrate at all but I told her I would make dinner for them, her choice for dinner.  She wanted pasta so I put up a big batch of sauce this morning.  When they arrived she had brought with her dough for dinner rolls.  She made the rolls and let them rise while the sauce finished cooking.  She has my mother's baking gene, those rolls were delicious!  She didn't want a cake so I bought a pie from the Pie shop in Carlsbad. 

Sunday, Gary and I are fairly tired today so we just did some stuff around the house and took it easy.  It would help if I could sleep at night but it seems I am awake for several hours most nights.  I made a batch of chicken vegetable soup for dinner to have with our leftover rolls.  I took some soup and rolls over to our neighbor Dave.  He hasn't been feeling very well lately and I thought some homemade soup just might be what he needs.

I have been challenged on Facebook to post black and white photos for 7 days, no people and no explanation.  Today is day four and I have included the 4 photos posted below.

Thursday, November 23, 2017 Happy Thanksgiving

We are feeling a bit sad as we mourn the loss of our neighbor Joyce.  She passed away unexpectedly while we were on our trip.  Our other neighbor lost his wife nearly 3 years ago and now her mother passed away the same day as Joyce. We are thankful we had the opportunity to have some great neighbors.  We live on a small cul-de-sac of 10 homes and the 5 of us at the end are all original owners of 30 years. 

We are having a very low key holiday today, just me and Gary.  We finished unloading the Titanium and I did the laundry which took most of the day.  We hope you all had a more joyous holiday.

Sunday - Wednesday, November 19 - 22, 2017

Sunday, we started heading back home by leaving Fremont around 9 am and ending up at the Atascadero Elks Lodge just a few miles south of Paso Robles.  This Elks RV has full hookup at each site which makes Gary happy.  We elected to stay 2 nights so we could check out the area tomorrow. 

Monday was tried to see two different museums in Paso Robles only to find that they are closed.  We drove to the downtown area after fueling up and did some antique shopping.  It's a cute old downtown area so we spent a few hours walking around and having lunch.  It was a restful day and the weather was perfect.

Tuesday we were on the move again, this time we headed to Bakersfield to have lunch with our friends, Larry and Nancy.  After a very enjoyable visit and lunch we hopped back in the truck toward our destination of Palmdale.  We stopped for fuel in Tehachapi and our GPS led us on a back road through the windmill fields to Palmdale.  It was late when we arrived but we were able to get setup before dark.  This Elks Lodge has 80 RV sites, but most of them are for smaller RV's.  We picked an site at the end of the row and just fit so we didn't have to unhitch tonight.

Wednesday, we were up and backed and ready to go by 9 am but stopped to dump the tanks on our way out as we are putting the Titanium in storage after we get home.  It's a good thing we left early as the holiday traffic was getting heavier the closer we got to home.  We arrived around 12:30, unpacked and crashed afterwards.  We rested a bit then had to make a quick trip to grab a late lunch and get some food for tomorrow.  We had originally planned to drive home on Thanksgiving but now we will be home. 

Friday - Saturday, November 17 - 18, 2017

The rally is over, time to say our goodbye's and pack up for our drive to Fremont.  It should only take about 2-1/2 hours to get there.  We had an uneventful trip with the exception of heavy traffic as we neared the bay area.  I really don't like coming here just because of the traffic.  Little cars cut us off like they are invincible.  After setting up we walked over to Denny's for a late lunch.  Saturday we drove to Camping World, about 45 miles south of us to see if they had a replacement thermostat for the Titanium  We can't get the furnace to run and it has been cold at night.  It's a good thing we carry a portable electric heater and have an electric blanket on the bed.  On the way back we stopped to see some new 5th wheels but decided that the quality isn't anything near as good as our Titanium.  Guess it is time to put some money in fixing the few items that need repair. We had dinner at Gary's son's home with his daughter and his ex-wife and her husband.  We all seem to get a long well.

Wednesday - Thursday, November 15-16, 2017

Last two days of the rally and all it did was rain all day and night both days.  We still had a potluck dinner on Wednesday in the clubhouse and Thursday we all gathered at Strings Italian Restaurant followed by a visit to Baskin Robbins.  A good time was had by all.  We haven't had TV or WIFI any of the days we have been here which makes updating the blog difficult.

Monday - Tuesday, November 13-14, 2017

Monday and Tuesday we visited with our old RV friends.  It was certainly nice to see everyone again and meet some new friends as well.  Monday evening we had a International potluck dinner in the clubhouse and Tuesday evening we had a wine tasting at the local kitchen store in downtown Jackson followed by dinner at Rosebud's.  Norval reserved the entire (small) restaurant for our group and we filled every last table.  The food was good, the service was okay as the waitress we had was cranky and some of the tables had to wait for their food.  Luckily the table I chose was one of the first to be served.

Friday - Sunday, November 10-12, 2017

Friday was spent running errands in Lancaster.  We had to go to the bank, grocery store and fuel up for our trip tomorrow. We spent the afternoon relaxing. Sometimes you just need a low key day.

Saturday, here we go again.  We left around 9:00 am heading north on hwy 14 to Mohave where we turned onto hwy 58 toward Bakersfield.  After about 75 miles, we stopped at the Murray Family Farm just east of Bakersfield.  We continued on our trip to Tulare where we got the truck and Titanium washed.  It was still too early to stop so we continued onto Fresno where we parked for the night.  We stayed at the Fresno Elks RV park.  They were full so I was glad I called to reserve a site for the night. The site was long enough for us to remain hitched up for the night which made things easier for Gary.

Sunday, we unhitched the truck and trailer and drove to Costco about 2 miles away to fuel up with diesel at $3.15 a gallon.  We had to pay $3.69 in Carlsbad and $3.35 in Lancaster so $3.15 sounds good to us.  We stopped at McDonalds for a quick breakfast then back to the Elks to hitch up.  We were on our way a little before 9:00 am.  Our next stop was the rest stop in Turlock for a brief potty break.  When we pulled in I noticed a truck with a cabover camper that looked like our friends.  They also have a Titanium so I was unsure if it was them or not.  I sent a text to our friend Tom and asked if he know what they were driving.  I know they were about an hour and a half behind us yesterday so it could be them.  Tom called Pamela and asked if they had seen us and she said no.  He instructed her to look out the window and she saw our Titanium. Tom texted me back that it was them so we knocked on there door to say hi.  What a small world.  We left shortly thereafter and drove the balance of the trip to Jackson.  Gary did all the driving everyday and did very well.  We spent the afternoon visiting with friends and this evening we had a wine and appetizer get together in the clubhouse.

Tuesday - Thursday, November 7-9, 2017

Well, the time is getting closer to when we leave for our first long trip to the Blue Light Rally in Jackson, CA.  We are both excited and a little apprehensive about the trip.  This will be the first time towing for several days for Gary since last year at this time.  He did okay on the short trial run we made to Temecula but I know he was quite nervous about it.  After spending a couple of days with our friends he seemed to relax a bit.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent packing and loading the Titanium.  We couldn't find our old check list so I am sure we will forget something, but that's okay. There's a lot to do to prepare for our trip, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc.  By Wednesday evening, Gary had the truck hitched up to the Titanium ready to go in the morning.

Thursday, departure day! Well the morning started out okay, I dd the last load of laundry and loaded the refrigerator in the RV.  Gary had turned it on yesterday afternoon to get it cooled to the correct temperature.  I only loaded about half the food as to not increase the temperature too much, then let it to continue to cool while w loaded the last of our last minute items.  We planned on leaving around 9:30 to avoid the morning traffic. Gary disconnected the electric and put the refrigerator on propane for the last hour and when I went out to put the balance of the food in it, I noticed that the temperature increase.  I guess there was air in the propane line and it was not getting to the fridge.  Ugh. When it was finally time to go Gary backed the Ti off the leveling blocks and we were ready to go.  I climbed into the truck, Gary started the engine and the check engine light came one, really.  He just moved it two feet and the light was off.  We got our code reader out and the codes didn't make sense.  They just said it was an error not a problem.  So, Gary called the dealer, several times before we actually got to Don our service writer.  He couldn't explain the codes either and told us bring it in for him to scan.  Okay, not we have to unhitch and drive to the dealer.  We did notice that the clock reset itself but it seemed unimportant to the check engine light.  The dealer scanned it, and said it was an old glow plug error that apparently was uncleared so he cleared it and sent us on our way.  Boy that was lucky.  Once back home we hitched up again, looked at each other and said I hope nothing else happens.  Gary did really well driving and after about 50 miles we decided to turn the radio on oops I guess that clock problem was really a radio issue as it didn't work.  We decided we would check the fuses when we stop for lunch.  We continue onto Lake Elsinore to stop for lunch.  We like to stop at the outlet center parking lot as it is right off the freeway, has easy access and plenty of parking to maneuver the rig.  While I was making lunch he checked the radio fuses, they were fine so we had lunch and took off.  All of a sudden the radio started to work.  We must have gremlins in the truck, that is my explanation.   We made it to our destination without further incident, thank goodness. Gary was really tired so I'm glad I planned on a short day.  There are so many sites with low tree branches at the Elks in Lancaster that we had trouble selecting a site.  While Gary was trying to back in to the only site without low branches a woman came out and pointed out the pull through site near the parking lot.  I signaled Gary to stop and showed him the pull through site which we both agreed would be a better fit for our big rig.  After setting up, we couldn't get the TV to work on cable or antenna.  We haven't used the entertainment system in a long time and had trouble remembering how to set it up.  Ugh!.  We just gave up and went to the fish fry dinner at the Lodge.  We got the Wifi info and went back to use our computers but the Wifi didn't work either.  Finally, by accident, Gary found the righ set up button and we could get the TV to work.  Needless to say, by the time we got all this done, it was nearly bedtime.  We only get 3 stations so not much to choose from.  Gary went to bed early and I figured out how to use my I-Phone as a hotspot so I could use my laptop.  What a day!  I'm glad it is over and hope the rest of the trip is uneventful!

Saturday - Monday, November 4 - 6, 2017

Saturday Gary made some repairs to the Titanium.  He had to replace the broken antenna handle etc.  I did the laundry and started packing some items for our next trip to the rally in Jackson.  Gary also had to do some minor roof repairs.

Sunday, Kristy and the girls came over to make some homemade Sicilian Cannoli.  It was a big job but 5 hours later we all sampled one.  Kristy took most of the remaining cannoli and fixings home.  She wanted to make them so I showed her each step and she did the work, except I put them on the sticks and fried them.  It is really best to have a least 3 people but the two of us was better than just me having to do all of it.

Monday, Gary had a meeting with our tax guy in La Mesa so while he was gone I cleaned the house and made a batch of homemade hamburger buns.  Cleaning the house is so much easier when Gary is out of the house.

Monday - Friday, October 30 - November 3, 2017

Monday, we gathered items for the upcoming short RV trip to Temecula.  Tuesday, Gary had an appointment with his Neurologist for a follow up on his progress after having Bacterial Meningitis.  He doctor was pleased and left it up to Gary whether he wants to return in 6 month for a final assessment.

Wednesday, we packed the last few last minute items and headed out in the Titanium for the first time in a year.  As soon as we started the truck, we blew a fuse in the truck.  The same one that gives us trouble all the time and Chevy says is just fine.  Thank goodness it is only the cigarette lighter socket that is affected.  Gary had spare fuses and swapped it out and we were on our way.  We had light traffic most of the way to Temecula where we met up with our friends Tom & Lorraine.  The introduced us to their friends Steve and Carol from Oregon but originally from San Diego.  The six of us spent most of the day together and we all sat around the campfire in the evening.  It was cold and windy and we all had enough by 8:00pm.

Thursday, Gary and I made a trip to a RV parts store to get a new antenna handle for our Titanium.  Our handle fell out onto the top of the slide and when I attempted to put the slide out it crunched it. When we returned Lorraine and I made a quick trip to the market to get some ribs for dinner.  Tom said we would BBQ diner for all 6 of us tonight.  He is a great cook! Steve and Carol spent the day in San Diego with their Granddaughter.  Tom and Gary tried to trace the problem with the cigarette lighter socket and Tom thinks he may have figured it out.

Friday, time to leave Pechanga as they are full for the weekend. We made it home by 12:30 and spent the afternoon unpacking.