The Gypsy Rose

The Gypsy Rose

Monday, November 7, 2011

Regional Cell Phone Service vs Nat'l

Wow...we got slapped upside the head hard by US Cellular!  Seems they are only a regional carrier, and although they tout nationwide service, that only includes their voice.  Oh, you can get data nationwide, but it costs them for us to use another provider's towers.  We cost them $1000 last month!  We've been with US Cellular for over 13 years and we checked ahead of time to make sure that keeping them would be ok.  "No problem!"  That's what we heard from both their toll free customer service and also their in store people.  Never was it mentioned that we could not use data while roaming.  And since we are always going to be roaming, this isn't going to work.  To US Cellular's credit, they will NOT be charging us a cancellation's cheaper to dump us!

So, we're now with Verizon, a National company.  And actually, we got free phones and also we will be getting the same service for around $10 less per month than we were paying.  I'm sure that these economic times are hurting everyone, and before now, this was not an issue for US Cell.  I asked them why they are making this an issue for their customers, and she just kept saying we're costing THEM, too bad, figure it out.  WOW, and this is after we've been loyal to them for 13 YEARS!!  Verizon was amazed we'd been with any company for such a long time, as it's pretty much unheard of in the cell phone industry.  We were able to do everything over the phone, and our new phones will be Fed Ex'd to our site on Weds.

So, what does everyone else do out there for their phone/internet service?  Especially those who don't travel to the same spots each year.  Although we will be staying here at Leaf Verde through April, we probably won't be here next year, or if we do return, not for the seven months we're doing this first winter out.  So, dear RV Family, how do you handle this?  It sounds like Verizon will be our answer, but we're curious!  Thank you!

Miss Tracie is doing ok, as ok as one can be dealing with death for the first time.  I booked her plane tickets for Christmas, and we're anxious to get our hands on her and love and smooch her to bits.  We can't even begin to express how much we appreciate all of your prayers sent her way.  Poor sweet Tracer....I wish she never had to know this pain, yet we all know death is a part of life that must be dealt with.  Knowing so many 'strangers' are in her corner helps more than mere words can convey.  

We're getting rained on here in AZ!!  Hope everyone is dry and warm!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Love is alive at Cancer Treatment Centers of America Phoenix

Wow, has this been internet hell this week!  Not just heck, but true Hades.  We finally had to get access through the park, which wasn't too bad at $10/month.  I would just like to know why my phone is so messed up.  We're paying an extra $25/month to have our phones be mobile hot spots, and this last week they haven't worked for beans!!

Speaking of beans, Pirate and I went to Roman's Oasis in Goodyear, AZ on Saturday for a chili feed.  Wow, was it a hoot.  Roman's is one of the most eclectic spots ever!  There is even a tree growing out of the building and also an old power pole that they had to build around.  Everywhere you look, there is something else to see...license plates on the wall, signed dollar bills, Elvis in the corner...and the giant chicken out front goes nicely with the giant pirate on the roof!

This chili feed was to raise money for the local fire departments' Angel Network to make sure ALL the kids have presents under their Christmas tree.  It was a great time, and one contestant even brought music and a microphone.  We were standing around talking and having fun when we met Rosa.  Rosa is an Angel!!  We were talking about giving, chili feeds and toy runs...Rosa told us about another chili feed going on in Wickenburg on Dec 5th.  While she was telling us this, it came out that she works at Cancer Treatment Center.  Then we asked her about her job...and the flood gates of love opened.  I've never met someone so passionate about their work!

Rosa told us how CTCA works, how the patients are so truly loved and cared for...and that her only wish was that she could do MORE!!  Wow, I wish my words could truly capture her spirit.  Her husband Bo looked on with such love in his eyes, it melted us.  You can count on us being there on Dec 5th, if only for another chance to help kids and to be in the same room as an Angel again.  Rosa, you blessed us with your love so deeply.  Thank you!  I just wish I'd been able to get on line sooner to write about you, Dear!  Tell your dear husband we said to take good care of our Angel!

The park is really filling up, and the season has started!  I take Scooter for a walk in one direction, come back the other way to more rigs.  We still don't have any next door neighbors, and our loud Canadians boys across the road have calmed has the Pirate.  One ol Boy is about deaf, and I asked Pirate to have the compassion we would want if MY hearing continues to go.  I'm sure they were also just excited to see each other the first few days, as now they tend to stay inside their own rigs much more.  Susan, our activities director has many things planned each day for those wanting more contact with their neighbors.  So far, I've been feeling so punky that I haven't even got to met Susan yet!!  And, let me tell you about Leonard, one of the staff here.  He not only loves dogs, he helps you spoil them rotten!  He has our growly ol girl climbing in the cart with him, accepting pets along with the treats he doles out.  Scooter is now letting complete strangers, even MEN!! pet her!!  This is nothing short of a miracle.  And Leonard went around to each site that has a dog and 'trick-for-a-treated' them while the goblins were out and about!  We sure love how friendly everyone is here, but Leonard deserved special mention.

There are still several open spots here, and we are really enjoying the Valley Life. We're still tempted to buy a home here, but we're holding strong!  Wow, the deals are unbelievable...and we could rent it out for a few years...but thankfully cooler heads are prevailing.  I will mention that it's not all a bed of roses down here.  I'd use caution in the Mesa seems that every day there is an officer shooting, someone dies, is abducted or some other horrible crime happens to them.  We've seen so crazy drivers down here, too.  Pirate has promised me that no matter how hot it is, when he's on the Harley, he's wearing his leather.  Did you know it's A-OK to make a U-turn....oh, just wherever y'all wanna make one.  I'm sure that Arizona would like you to do so safely, and courteously, but all of the drivers I've seen do it don't even look behind them!! Crazy!

Okie, doke folks, don't know when I'll be online again, so stay safe and have some fun.  Our big goal now is to get the RV washed and the roof protected.  And for heaven't sake, get those wheels covered up!  The UV rays will damage them!!  I can't believe how many rigs I see without even the fairly inexpensive wheel covers.  Go grab a board if you can't afford anything's so important for safety's sake.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thunder in the Desert

Whoa...I have never seen anything more beautiful than the storm we had blow through around 6 pm tonight.  Since "The Valley" around Phoenix is very large...basically a big flat spot ringed by mountains in the could see it coming for miles.  Clouds heavy with their soggy burden, with jagged spikes of lightening leaking form their belly, lumbered across like curtains billowing in the wind.  AMAZING!!  The sky took on hues of red and orange like I've never seen.  Then...the wind and rain! I should say Wind and Rain.  The display tonight deserves capital letters.  It was all over within an hour, but what a show!  I really dig storms, and experiencing one in an RV was beyond my wildest dreams.  The sound, the feeling of exposure, the feeling of being within the storm, yet somehow safe...I'm trying to put it into words, but my mind is failing me... grandiose $10 words just cannot describe the beauty.

Thank you all for your prayers for Miss Tracie.  The service will be held on Friday, with a get together on Saturday.  Luckily, she has the greatest friends, and she will not be alone in her absolute grief.  Unfortunately, as it seems with almost all deaths, nastiness had taken root and there is now a burden of accusation  and betrayal invovled with her step mother, with harsh, hurtful, damaging words being purposely said to my grieving child.  This Momma Bear is not pleased, but Trace is handling things with more grace and courage than I've ever seen in a soon-to-be 27 yr old young woman.  If I could only heal her heart...or beat the living crud out of use getting my foot in it any farther.  I said my piece, and things that were dishonored on his facebook page were changed, but some of the other things that were said still make my blood boil.  My solace is Karma...the much bigger bitch than I could ever be.  What goes around comes around.

Do YOU have your will, insurance beneficiaries current?  Do you have a living will and have your final wishes spelled out?  PLEASE don't leave this burden for your family to sort out on the worst day of their lives.  This is especially true if you are in the middle of life changes, such as divorce, adopting a child, have step children or foster kids you consider your own.  Unfortunately, there was a pending divorce, and these items were not taken care of.  Don't we all think we're going to be in control of our final days?  Won't we all live forever, or at least to a 'ripe' old age.  We all think we're healthy and too young, don't we?  Who thinks at 25 that you've lived half of your entire life?!  What would you do differently right now if you knew that you'd be gone at age 50?

Time, we all think we're the boss of time.  Especially our own time.  One thing that I do know, is I'm thankful for each day that I'm spending living my own dream with my Soul Matey by my side.  I'm so fortunate that I've met my Dream Guy and get to spend each day wondering what he's gonna do next.  That's I'm loved unconditionally.  We laugh every day, and I have no regrets for asking for that first motorcycle ride.  Together, we're unstoppable.

On a much, much lighter note that actually does have a question regarding RV Park etiquette.  The park we're in is pretty large, with 377 spots.  Being this close to so many people is becoming a challenge.  Our 'neighbors' across the road from us are apparently hard of hearing. These ol' boys are brothers or extremely close friends and are parked adjacent to one another.  They spend most of their time outdoors on the patio sides of their rigs.  And they talk...A LOT!  Since one of the ol boys can't hear well, the other talks excessively loud...and excessively!  We joked the first night they pulled in that he must talk in his sleep!!   Pirate has been having quite a time sending love their way, to say the least.  What would you do?  My suggestion is to go speak to them and explain that we can not only hear their every word, but they are drowning out our television and stereo.

Thank you all, once again, for your continued prayers and love sent Tracie's way.  It means the world to us.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Daddies and Daughters

Rest in Peace Dale

I let those on Google + know that my daughter's father passed away Tuesday. This blog entry will have nothing to do with RVing, just so you know that up front.  I'm finally able to write it out, so to speak.  This one is just for me and my Daughter.

If you're still reading, I'd like for you to come away from this post feeling inspired to right any wrongs in your past, to forgive, make peace, step forward, go the extra mile...because this is a cautionary tale with a happy ending...sorta.  When Trace was 4, her father and I divorced.  He was very upset, and decided that to leave the area would be best for him.  He would come visit Tracie, or his parents would take Tracie to Oregon, but slowly the times became less and the time she was 7, she no longer had contact with him.  

There is no judgement...I get it.  You stay away for a bit because it's easier and hurts less to reinvent your life.  Then time passes.  Then more time passes, and you turn around and it's a year, it's two years, it's 17 years and you don't know HOW.  You're so afraid, you just keep doing the same thing, because that's what you know.  I am so glad that his new wife helped him seek Tracie out and supported him through reuniting with her.  Things didn't go so great with the rest of his family, but the most important relationship went beyond his wildest dreams.  

During the time he was gone from Tracie's life, I met and married that ol Pirate.  He became her Daddy, her friend, her man she can always count on.  Tracie is so blessed to have gotten not only a biological father, but a man who loves her unconditionally and will always be there for her in her step father.  (We don't use "step" 'round here...we're all just family.)  And the one person who can always make Tracer smile is her Dad Pirate.  Even through the tears on the phone Tuesday, Pirate was able to ease his youngest daughter's heart with lightness and love.  I love and respect that so much in my husband.  See why I'm over the moon about this man?!  He's just amazing....

Please take the time, right now, to comb through your mind and see if there are any regrets you can fix, any love still to give, any mistakes or choices to change....Dale died from an accident in the home...something that could happen to any of us tomorrow.  Just because your health may be fine, your age may be what is considered "too young to worry about dying," don't take tomorrow for granted. You NEVER know what the day is going to bring when you wake each morning.  LIVE it, do it, breathe it, accept it, make it happen, put it on the line, ask for love and forgiveness, and give it right back.

Please remember Miss Tracie in your prayers.  She has so many emotions to figure out.  Thank you, Friends!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Trying out a new template, so let me know what you think!

I am having a hard time with it as far as ease of use for me, but as a reader, you can choose how you read the blog.  My issue is the options at the top right are no longer there for me to quickly reach the dashboard.

We flirted with disaster this week...we almost bought a house down here in Buckeye.  The houses are just so cheap!  And we're talking luxury homes, with marble counter-tops, tiled floors, garden tubs in the master bathroom with walk in closets.  Ok, it was the garden tub that got me.  I miss having a bath!  But we would have to furnish it, as we gave away or sold all of our stuff.  Thankfully, we came to our senses before we went too far.  We just know in our hearts we are supposed to be mobile.  It's what fits for us.

Today is the one year anniversary of our Boone going to Rainbow Bridge.  I've gotten all of the snot from my nose and wiped my tears...well, Scooter came over and licked the tears dry, but you get the idea.  Boone was our 'once in a lifetime' dog.  I love that saying, which I heard from another resident here at Leaf Verde.  Her love was a boxer.  We cried with each other out at the dog park,  telling our stories and it felt so good to share Boone with someone who didn't know him.  I've decided that instead of cry because I lost him, I'm going to celebrate his one year anniversary of being able to see again at Rainbow Bridge...of no longer being in the pain he so stoically hid from me...of being able to run again, to FLY thru the air!  Miss you, Momma's!!

the zebra tat is the memorial

Thank you, to my Inkslinger, for helping to heal me with love when he painted the oil portrait of Boone and for going that extra mile when I requested a tattoo with B's ashes in the ink.  Boone walks with Mommy Forever!

Pirate spent the day running around the Greater Phoenix area with his pal Mikey today.  When we were looking towards the sky tonight to try and catch a glimpse of Sky Lab passing by, I asked Pirate if looking at the stars made him feel small.  He said, "Nope!  Driving in Phoenix traffic does, though!"  All I know is I'm thankful he didn't buy out the Bass Pro Shop even though they spent two hours in their store.  I love it when these two get together...they are so good for each other's attitude.

For my vaping friends...I'm trying out a new atty...a bridge-less atty!  It has a bit of wick instead of a bridge and so far, so good.  I got three, as they are often out of stock.  I need to get with the exploring around here.  Google swears there are three vape shops here in the Valley, but I bet they are just smoke shops that sell e cigs.  Hope not!

May you all take a minute and reflect on those you love and tell them so today.  Take the time, because you never know what tomorrow may bring...and tomorrow may be too late.  Love to you all, RV Family!  And Sandra and Ardean, please know how special you two are to us.  We'll be there in March if you're serious...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Loving RV Life

Leaf Verde and the staff continue to impress us beyond belief.  Check them out and come spend some AZ Winter with us!!!  We'll be here until the end of April, so any time you're passing thru, the daily rate is low, the monthly rate is around $10/day.  Not only are more and more rigs rolling in each day, but the activities director will be coming in this Saturday.  I've gotten to 'know' Susan via Facebook, and she seems like a tiny firecracker wrapped in fun.  I'm looking forward to exercising in the pool to low impact aerobics with her.  =)

I think we've found our groomer for Miss Scooter, too.  Doggy Spa/Boarding at Pete and Mac's.  Thank you, Sandy, for the recommendation.  Sandy is one of the owners of LV.  When you stay here, you WILL meet Winston, the owner's dog and of course, who Winston's Waggin' Ranch is named after.  Sandy regaled us with Winston stories the other night at the dog park and we were all in stitches at his adventures.  It seems folks wanting to gather, even those without dogs, end up at the dog park toward dusk.  The grounds here are really great, and the love and care put into the dog park really shows.  The grassy area is my Scooter's salvation.  She's had to learn that she IS going to have to relieve herself on sand sometimes, but Momma, take me to the grass, please!

On your travels, please look for this little five year old baby.  Glendale girl still missing  also, if you see a black Chevy Malibu with AZ plates, please please step out of your comfort zone and call it in.  The police have only this one tiny lead.  Thank you thank you thank you, RV Family.  Since we're on the road more than most folks, we can be the eyes and ears for these missing children.

We are planning to go the races this weekend.  Phoenix has so many things to do!  Not only does the Fair start this weekend, but the NHRA finals start Friday!  Take a look at their raceway:  Firebird Raceway  We have found some great spots to eat, too.  Grazie Winebar Anthony and Sean will take great care of you.  For a quick bite to go of fast mex that's to die for, check out this chain Filbertos.  We had tacos for Taco Tuesday, but I heard that their chili renos (sp) are the best.

No issues with the RV yet this week.  Pirate did get some anchor blocks and tied down the awning. Hoping to get some bike time in, too.  We're so boring this week! We'll have to go stir up some trouble this weekend!

Willie heading to his 'secret room' to attack his pink robe

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Internet hell...

OK, so not hell, but it sure feels like HECK!  I've had a heck of a time getting my feed reader to work, so I'm behind with everyone's adventures.  I did catch Michael's post that his house still hasn't sold.  Michael, the right buyer is out there...God's just working out the timing.  I can't wait for you to be free of the bonds and able to run around this beautiful country of ours.

We had dinner last night with our friends that moved down here, Mikey & RC.  These two just make our lives so much brighter and full of laughter.  It's amazing when your mate finds a good friend and then you discover you love their spouse just as much.  We just all four click and play together so well.  Pirate is a Scorpio and I'm a Taurus...Mikey is a Taurus and RC is a Scoprio!  How cool is that?

For all of the talk about "hitch itch" here we are sitting in one spot for seven months right out of the gate.  But we planned it this way to really get used to living in this space and figuring out all the in's and out's of the Gypsy Rose's workings.  I can't remember now if I shared our experience with our awning?  We didn't get it in fast enough one morning and it came off the rails.  It also blew a fuse, so we got to find out how to take care of fuses, too.  I've become the official tank dumper, although I doubt Pirate will let me actually do the  hooking up to the sewer, as hand strength would be involved.  I love and respect my husband so much for finding ways to make me feel 'useful.'

I'm watching my calendar leak  pages like leaves falling from an oak tree...our daughters will be visiting this Holiday Season.  Amy will be in Surprise for Thanksgiving, flying down with a dear friend whose parents are also down in the AZ.  Miss Tracie will be flying down around Christmas time as her schedule allows.  We may not get her on THE day, but she'll work it so she gets the maximum time off to spend with us.  We're not sure when Tony will be able to join us; he's still in the middle of work issues due to his back surgery.  He wants to go back to full duty, but is experiencing the ol run-around with L & I and all the legal issues.

We truly are enjoying our spot here at Leaf Verde.  This park was started by the same family that still runs it today.  You can sure tell it's a family operation, because the attention to details and how they accommodate you each and every way possible.  They are on first name basis with every camper and truly care about them.  I can see why so many people return year after year.  Customer Service like this is truly rare, and we feel especially blessed to have LV as our first winter spot.  We'll more than likely spend at least some time here each year, though not as long as this first time.

Pirate is out riding today with the boys, so I'm going to try my hand at exploring again today.  I loved the comments about appearance and judging.  We're all so human! God surely shakes his head at us sometimes.  We got a discussion going, and that's where it cannot change what you don't acknowledge.  When you recognize areas in your life that you can work on, it's very challenging, isn't it ?  It's up to each of us to take those steps...or not.  I admit that when I see teens or young folks being 'lazy' it does set me off.  Who am I to judge?!  I don't know if before they came to hang at the mall and make things uncomfortable for little ol biker chicks...did they help their Mom with the dishes?  Did they babysit their little sister?  Did they take food to a neighbor or clean up their elderly aunt's house for them?  Remember how we all tried to 'act tough' when in a group of our peers? have that time back, eh?  NO! You're right!  You couldn't pay me to go through those years again, lol!

I'll get this sorry excuse for a blog published before the computer gods frown upon me again.  I'm having a DNS problem.  Probably because of all the moving around we've done.  ??  I'm using my cell phone as my mifi spot, same  phone, same computer, same  passwords....  I find if I go in through a backdoor, I can get where I want to go, but my bookmarks are all messed up.  =(