Texas Country Oaks Dance Hall, Edna, TX, New Years 2012

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

December 31, 2017

December 10, 2017

 On Tuesday the 5th we met Rick & Sandy Kastner and Ed & Cindy Kopic at the Elks Lodge for drinks and dinner.  We had a great time and the Mexican dinner was outstanding.  Rick gave me this copper coin:

 Thanks Rick!

 Yesterday we drove down to Green Valley,  about 25 miles south west of Tucson off of I-19 to look at some houses in the area.  Green Valley has been listed in several publications as one of the most desirable retirement communities in Arizona.  You can read more here:

While driving around the area we saw a sign for a realtor that was doing an open house.  Karen was real helpful in pointing us to some other locations and actually met us to show us a couple of places.  Although we aren’t ready to buy anything in the near future she gave us a lot of information about the housing market in Green Valley.

 One of the amenities in Green Valley is Green Valley Recreation that is offered with most homes in the area.  If you can think of activities for “active” retired folks you will find it here.  If your interested you can download their brochure here:  http://www.gvrec.org/Information/Brochures/GVR%20Realtor%20Brochure.pdf

 On the way home we stopped at Davis-Monthan AFB to make a base exchange run and get some gas.  Then I put the Rancho Sonora RV Park in the GPS that gave us the route on the back roads instead of sending us out to I-10.  Well, that didn’t work out so good.

 After getting through north Tucson and onto Hwy 79 we were cursing along at about 65 MPH when all of a sudden a coyote jumped out in front of us.  I swerved just a little but we caught the critter on the right side of the bumper.  We had to drive about 2 miles to find a safe place to pull over.  When I got out to look at the damage the wheel-well shroud was partially torn out of the well and the front bumper is cracked.  Joyce got on the phone to call our friends Ed and Cindy to give us a hand.

 While we were waiting for them a gentleman pulled up behind us and offered to help.  He had some tools so we were able to get the damaged piece unscrewed from the car.  I looked all around and didn’t see any more damage.  Just in case Tim offered to follow us back to our RV park.

December 14, 2017

 On Monday our insurance company’s claims department called to discuss the damage to the car and to schedule an adjuster to come look at damage.  Later in the day I got a call from the adjuster in Tucson who scheduled an appointment for the next day. 

 This claim resolution is moving along much faster than when we anticipated.  You may remember the issues we had when we were stuck so long in Montgomery, AL.  The claims adjuster arrived as scheduled and made his assessment.

December 16, 2017

 Yesterday we drove down to Green Valley again and got with Karen West of Long Reality to check out some homes in the area.  She took us to about fourteen houses in our price range and size.  We’ll keep Green Valley in mind when we get serious about buying.

 After having a nice lunch at The Olives Bistro we then headed over to the Titan Missile Museum.  If you are ever in the Tucson area you really need to take their tour.

 After getting checked in and seeing a short movie about the Titan II missile we headed down into the launch facility.  There were two tour guides, one who retired as an Air Force Master Sergeant who worked on the Titan missile.  The other docent was a retired Lieutenant Colonel navigator who flew B-52G’s and C-130’s in the AF Reserves at Peterson Field Colorado.

 As most of you know I was stationed at Loring AFB, ME from 1975 to 1978 in the 42nd Organizational Maintenance Squadron Alert Branch as an Alert Controller.  Come to find out, the Lt. Colonel tour guide was stationed at Loring at the same time with the 69th Bomb Squadron (now at Minot AFB, ND flying the B-52H.  Small world.
Launch Commander for the day.
There was some really classified stuff stored in the cabinet.

December 20, 2017

 On Saturday my brother John Mark and his wife Ronna drove down form their home in Laveen, AZ for a visit.  We had a really nice time catching up on all that has been going on in our lives and then a very nice dinner at A & M Pizza in Florence.

 On Monday Ed came over to give me a hand changing the our RV’s four coach batteries.  I got a good price on them at Napa Auto Supply here in Florence and hopefully those are the last we will have to buy.

December 31, 2017

 On the 22nd Joyce and I dropped our car off at Desert Body Restorations in Coolidge to have the damage fixed from our encounter with the coyote.  Enterprise Rental Cars picked us up and after doing all of the paperwork in Casa Grande we hit the road for Clovis, CA to visit my mother for Christmas.  We spent one night at the Morongo Hotel and Casino then made the drive on up to Clovis.  The traffic wasn’t too bad until we got into the Tulare area and then it got very heavy.

 On the 23rd Joyce drove up to St. Helena to surprise her mother.  She only stayed one night but was able to see her friend Chris Herdell and attend the Herdell Family Christmas Party.

 We had a very nice visit in Clovis enjoying the Christmas with my family.

 On the 27th we left Clovis to head back to Florence.  I had planned to cut over from Bakersfield on Hwy. 58 then down to Hwy 210 then on to Palm Desert to spend the night.  But traffic wasn’t too so we decided to just go down through Pasadena instead.  Wrong move Ke-Mo Sac-Bee.  We ran into several accidents causing backups and very heavy traffic.  It took us 7.5 hours to get to the Embassy Suites Hotel.  We won’t do that again.

More later.

Barry and Joyce

Monday, December 4, 2017

December 4, 2017

November 5, 2017

 This morning Ed and I drove up to the Rockler Woodworking and Hardware in Phoenix to get supplies for one of his projects.  Since Ed and Cindy own their lot they have put in a storage shed that is large enough so he can do his woodworking.

 Joyce has been down in the club house working on a sewing project she has started.  Me?  I’ve pretty much been vegging this afternoon.

November 7, 2017

 Today would have been my brother David’s 68th birthday.  Happy Birthday in heaven David.  I miss you.

 I have been having some problems with my back for several months so yesterday I went to Dr. Gary Hendrix, a chiropractor in Coolidge.  He spent about 45 minutes interviewing and examining me then started doing some corrections to my back.  I’ll be going back today and then on Thursday for more work and then we’ll see after that.

November 12, 2017

 On Friday we welcomed Rick and Patty Stills to Rancho Sonora RV Park for a few days.  While they were pulling in there was a guy standing in the road that at first I didn’t recognize.  Turned out to be Rick Kastner who Rick and I flew with in the 7th MAS/ALS many moons ago.  Stills went on to fly with Kastner for several years with Air Transport International.  He couldn’t stay long but he said he would come back over on Saturday.

 On the night of the 10th, Rick & Patty, Ed & Cindy and Joyce and I went to the Florence Elks Lodge for their annual Veterans Day Dinner and Dance.  The food was great and we all had a good time.

 Yesterday Rick and Patty hosted a barbecue party.  Rick and Sandy Kastner along with Steve and Kay Crowell who the Stills’ met some months ago showed up.  We all had a lot of fun.  Several names from the past came up during the course of our conversations.

 Rick and Patty were supposed to leave us today but have decided to hang around for another day.  Love it!

November 18, 2017

 Rick and Patty left here on the 13th to continue their journey to Florida.  We had a a good time during their time here and hope to see them in California in March.

 On the 17th Rd, Cindy, Joyce and I took a drive up to Mesa to look at park model RV’s.  Ed and Cindy are considering putting one of them on their lot instead up using their RV every winter.  If your not familiar with park models check some of them out here:  http://parkmodels.com/southwest/  Most folks add an Arizona room onto the home to give them more space.

26 November 2017

 It has been a very busy time for us lately so let me bring up to date.

 Last week Ed, Joyce and I met with Rick Kastner about joining the Elks Lodge.  We explained the benefits and the programs of the Elks.  Joyce and I met with Rick and Sandy on the 20th and they have decided to join.  I hope they can get this all done so I can be at Rick’s initiation.

 On the 20th Joyce and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary.  It’s hard to believe that twenty four years has gone buy so fast.  Rick and Sandy joined us at the River Bottom Bar and Grill for supper.

 We had Thanksgiving dinner here in the park with Ed and Cindy along with several of the guests.  There was enough food to feed an army and of course we all at too much.

 Also on Thanksgiving Day we celebrated Joyce’s birthday.  I won’t say how young she is but she is darned close to getting some really serious retirement money.

 On Friday we drove up Lowe’s in Gilbert, AZ to pick up a new air purifier.  The ones we have now just aren’t getting the job done so we decided on the Dyson Pure Hot+Coll Link.  Yeah, this guy cost a few bucks but it works really well and it also is a very nice cooling fan/heater as well.  This is our Christmas, Joyce’s birthday and my birthday gifts all rolled into one.

 So….yesterday Joyce was looking around on the Best Buy web site and saw that the purifier was on a Black Friday deal.  She decided to call Lowe’s to see if they would price-match the sale price and low and behold they did.  So, we’ll be getting about $110 bucks back from them.  Nice!

December 3, 2017

 We can’t believe that it’s December already.  November flew by and before long we will be in the new year.

 Yesterday Ed and I went over to Coolidge to attend the Coolidge Aviation monthly Fly-in.  There were a few more airplanes this month, some of them doing some showing off during landing and when they left the airport.

This guy doesn't have a rudder.

 Nuff said for now.

Barry & Joyce

Sunday, November 5, 2017

November 5, 2017

October 23, 2017

 This morning after Joyce did her walk we hooked up the car and headed up to the Davis-Monthan AFB FamCamp.  The drive up was really easy until we got into the Tucson traffic making maneuvering a tad challenging.  Sometimes you just have to be pushy to get the job done.

 This is probably the largest RV park in the military system and for sure one of the best managed.  When they built this park I’m sure they consulted an RV’er because all of the power, water and sewer connections are in the right place and all of the sites are very level.  The park’s WiFi is the best we have seen anywhere and at $22 a day this park is a bargain.  They get very busy here starting in November with folks staying the whole winter.  They don’t take reservations so some snowbirds are already arriving to get their pick of parking sites.

October 24, 2017

 After Joyce did her walk we finally left the base and drove over to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch.  Next stop was at Costco to pick up a few things and then it was back to the house for the rest of the day.  We did look at things we want to see while we are here and hope to get started on them in the next few days.

October 28, 2017

 Last Wednesday we went to see the movie Only The Brave that was about the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew that perished while fighting the Yarnell Hill fire near Yarnell, Arizona in June 2013.   This movie is very intense with some of the best cinematography we have ever seen.  Highly recommend you see this film.

 We saw the film at the Roadhouse Cinema a very upscale theater here in Tucson.  The theater isn’t just a place to enjoy a movie but you can have a drink at their full bar and order more food than just popcorn or a hot dog.  When you are seated in your huge recliner a waiter will come around and ask if you need anything.  Also, there is a button at your seat that you can use to summon your server at any time.  It’s a little more expensive (unless you go on a discount day)  to see a movie there but we can testify the experience is worth it.

 Yesterday we went back to see the new film Thank You For Your Service at the Roadhouse.  This film is about the Post-dramatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) suffered by five soldiers after their service in Iraq.  Joyce and I both thought the film was very “dark” and disturbing but hopefully it brings awareness to the plight of our military folks suffering from PTSD.

 After the movie and making a quick stop at Chick-Fill-A for some lunch we took the Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway drive.  The tour starts in north east Tucson and winds up the 8000 plus mountain for over twenty miles.  You begin the trip in the desert and at the top your in pines.  The rock formations are amazing.

October 31, 2017

 Last evening we had drinks and a quick supper with Ben and Caroline Reed along with Ben’s mother-in-law at the sports pub here on Davis-Monthan.  I flew with Ben on C-141’s back in the day with the 7th Military Airlift Squadron.  Ben went on to transfer to the Reserves at Travis flying the C-141 then the KC-10.  He has recently retired from United Airlines where he was a mechanic for thirty-two years.

 Ben and Caroline have recently bought a new home here in Tucson and are in the process of moving down here from San Ramon, CA where they just sold their home.  Joyce and I are going to go over and see their place today.

November 3, 2017

 On Monday morning we left Davis-Monthan and after a quick stop for some fuel we headed up to the Rancho Sonora Inn and RV Park in Florence, AZ.  After getting set up in our site we then went next door to the Desert Gardens RV Park where our friends Ed and Cindy Kopic have a RV lot.

 Ed and Cindy bought their lot last year and now are planning on putting a park model on it next year.  If you don’t know anything about park model RV read about them here:  https://www.parkmodelsdirect.com/ph/.  They plan to add an Arizona Room onto the one they buy which will give them more living space.

 Yesterday we loaded up in Ed and Cindy’s truck and headed out to Casa Grande for lunch and to do some shopping.  After getting a bite to eat at the Firehouse Subs we decided to go out to check out the RV park Joyce and I have planned to spend December.

 Well, that didn’t work out so well.  Last month Ed and Cindy had a new transmission put in their truck and have had it out of the shop for just two weeks.  After getting off I-8 and turning onto Highway 84 the truck started acting funny.  He pulled over and tried to shift the transmission and nothing happened.  We got out and found fluid all over the bottom of the truck.

 We did get to drive by the Wild West Ranch & RV Park where we were going to spend the month of December.  There are several dairy farms and feed lots in the area and the smell was pretty bad.  We decided to stay at here in Florence so I cancelled our reservation at Wild West.  To the park’s credit they did refund out $100 deposit.

 It just so happened that where we pulled over was in from to a home and the owners, Larry and Linda Venteichar were out working in their cactus garden.  Cindy walked over to tell them what happened and Linda invited Joyce and her up to the house to get something cold to drink and to use their bathroom.  Ed called his roadside assistance company to get a tow truck headed our way then Enterprise Rental Car to arrange a rental car.  Larry then said for us to come up to the house for a cold beer while we waited.  What a nice couple.

 When we left Tucson we had a issue coming the living room slide.  Three years ago we had the same problem and it turned out to be weak batteries and we’re now having the same problem.  So yesterday Ed and I did a little troubleshooting.  We hooked my battery power pack to the coaches battery bank and tried the slide which came in without a problem.  Time to replace the batteries.

November 5, 2017

 Yesterday morning Ed and I drove out to the Municipal Airport in Coolidge, AZ to check out their monthly Flyin.  This event happens the first Saturday of each month and is a pretty big deal around these parts.

 After getting a really good breakfast from the Lions Club we walked around checking out all of the airplanes and talking to a lot of the owners.  Ed and I will definitely go back next month.

Had a chance to the builder of this one.  He said that once the airplane is trimmed it's pretty much hands off flying.

Ed checking out the graphics. 

This guy has 1/2 of a VW motor.  The builder said he can do about 45 MPH and it's a blast to fly it.

 There were several nicely restored Bonanza's there.

 Later in the day Ed, Cindy, Joyce and I went into Florence for a car show that was being held in one of the mobile home communities.  There wasn’t a lot of cars or motorcycles there but we did see some good ones.

For Jim Glaspey.

 More next time.

Barry & Joyce