Monday, July 27, 2009

Jim's four-wheel trip

Jim and Jay Carter (one of our Escapee RV Club friends) went together for a four-wheel trip to Ouray. This is an annual trip Jim makes with his two brothers - they've done it for some 30 years.

I don't think it is fun to get scared to death high up on a mountain with extremely cliffs a long way down!!! So I stayed and took care of the campground. Luckily my friend, Salai, came up and spent the weekend with me to help me out. It was a good call as we were very, very busy and Salai was a great help. Thanks, Salai.
Jay had a ball - he said it was an experience of a lifetime and one he will never forget. Jim said he could tell when the trek made Jay a little nervous as Jay would take a hold of the grab bar and say "oh, boy, oh boy" repeadily!!

The high mountain flowers were in full bloom and Jim took some great photos.

They had a great time and the sights were as pretty as ever. Salai and I had a great time also with knitting and enjoying iced coffees in the afternoon.

Weather is pretty perfect here in South Fork with days in 80's and nights in 50's. We're having nice short rain showers in the after which keeps down the dust - that's a good thing.

Off to take the laundry out of the dryers so I'll close for now. Remember - you are all loved!!!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ramblings of a birthday girl

Yes, it is my birthday and I'm 67 years old!!! Yes, I know, I have been saying I'm 67 for a year now, but that is a tradition with me. As soon as I have a birthday I figure I'm closer to the next year, so I tomorrow I'll start telling everyone that I am 68! Crazy Polish logic I know, but that's the way I've always done it.

Here are the earliest photos of me at about a 18-24 months old in Norwalk, Connecticut, where I was born, July 19, 1942. That's my sister, Evelyn, who is 4 years old than me; she now lives in Costa Rica.

I've always thought birthdays were very special. All other holidays we all celebrate together with joy and happiness. But some one's birthday is special for them alone. It's their day - it's special for you alone. You get to do whatever you want and usually you get your favorite meal made for you. As an adult, for me, it is a time of reflection of the past year and how you want the next year to be for you. I really believe we are all in this life for a reason. We are in this life to bring something to this world to serve others. We're here to serve others in our own unique way. So what have I done this past year that helped someone else? Did I make a difference in some one's life for the better? What did I learn to do that I was able to share with someone else for their benefit? For me it is a time to take stock and see "who" you are this year and who you want to become in the next year. What changes you want to make in your own personal makeup. I want to be more kind and more tolerant this coming more empathy for others. Those are my goals.

When I was a little girl I would get up on the morning of my birthday and run into my parents bedroom and wake them up early and tell them "thank you for loving each other so much that you created me". As a young adult I use to send my parents flowers on my birthday, again to say "thank you" for creating me.

One of the things I'm really proud of is instilling the specialness of a person's birthday in Jim's daughters. Christine was 12 and Beth was 7 when Jim and I married. Now they are 40 and 35. But we always made a big deal out of their birthdays when they were growing up. I always said that this was the day that God decided the world would not be complete without them in it and so He created them to complete the needs of the world. Now both of them put on birthday parties for themselves every year and really celebrate it up big. Both invite their friends to them respective homes and they cook up a storm to share food and drink with their friends. They make the day a big deal for themselves and thoroughly enjoy themselves going to art galleries, singing their favorite songs to themselves and generally just doing what makes them the happiest!

Today there are still pit toilets to clean, fee envelopes to account for and campsite reservations to be posted. But I'm take a long walk, sing opera softly to myself - I'm partial to Madam Butterfly - maybe get the Sunday Denver Post and sit outside under the awning and leisurely read.

As a young, single adult my birthday tradition was to buy a bottle of Harvey's Bristol Creme Sherry, a can of snails and a loaf of French bread and I'd make myself a plate of escargot, sopped up the garlic butter with the bread and savor a few glasses of sweet sherry. When I lived in Bermuda I actually raised snails in a gallon jar so I could still have my escargot overseas. As years went by the sherry turned to a Brandy Manhattan and the escargot changed to King Crab Legs as my favorites for celebrating my birthday. But today is the day we have all our camphosts over for our weekly potluck. So this birthday it will be spinach lasagna and chicken cacciatore and the Manhattan will become a gin and tonic because of the hot weather. But that's OK, I'll be with friends and a loving husband and that will be good.

When I was looking for an early photo of myself I ran across this photo. It was taken the summer of 1946 in Florida. So my love of camping and rving came at an early age.

The war was over and my dad wanted to take the family away for a while, so he got an old trailer and a Model T ford and drove us down to Florida to visit my Aunt Irene and Uncle Steve. Dad liked the weather better than Connecticut, and without my mother's knowledge, bought a restaurant. He had been a factory worker making component's for bombs during the war - knew nothing about the restaurant business, but my mother could cook - boy, could she cook; so Dad figured they could make it work. My dad was Czechoslovakian and our name was Petrocy. 1946 wasn't an era for ethnic restaurants except for Italian restaurants. So my dad legally changed our names to Stone, as Petrocy meant rock or stone in Czechoslovakian. So I went from Barbara Lee Petrocy to Barbara Lee Stone at age four.
I received a great birthday gift - got on the scale and I've lost three pounds!!! So today I bathed, I put a quarter turn curl in my quarter of an inch hair to look more feminine in my own eyes, put on full foundation makeup complete with rouge (old-fashioned word) and mascara, and my favorite earrings to go along with my American Land & Leisure uniform.

I'm healthy, happy, and loved. I feel useful to others. What more can you ask for? It's a GREAT birth day for me!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Barbeque Rib Party

We are really enjoying our time here in Big Meadows Campground in the Rio Grande National Forest. Several of our campers stay for one or two months. Two are retired firefighters from Oklahoma City. We met them three years ago and visited them in Oklahoma City last year. They are a great group and we have so much fun together. The "kidding" goes on for hours! All the men are good cooks and they have invited us to many of their fish fries and Tostado Parties. So we decided to reciprocate and had them over last Tuesday for barbeque ribs. Jim smoked and grilled five racks of baby back ribs and a couple of packages of country style ribs. Oh, mama, did they come out good. We used Sweet Baby Ray's barbeque sauce spiced up a little with Chalula hot sauce. Everyone brought the side dishes complete with black forest cake made in a dutch oven over coals.....what a treat. Our new camphosts, Rudene and Wales, are a blessing to have with us. They are competent, kind and very conscientious. And Rudene plays a mean harmonica!!

Jim did a bang up job with the ribs and everyone ate themselves silly!

Remember - - - you are loved!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July 4, 2009

We had a big weekend for the 4th of July at the campground. We actually filled up the 53 site campground! That doesn't happen too often so we were pretty proud. We had to do everything ourselves since we lost our camphost couple. But it went pretty smoothly without any hitches or unruly campers. Everything was quiet and without incidents.

Here is a photo of how I do all the paperwork here in the mountains. There isn't much room in the rig to spreadout when I do my week end paperwork, so I go outside under the awning and do it. Works out pretty well.

Bill and Lesle came over from Colorado City last Sunday and joined our Sunday potluck with our camphosts. Jim and I had challenged the camphosts to come in at 25% labor cost to income and if they did we'd buy them steaks for Sunday. Well they did and thankfully Jack's Market had T-Bones on sale, so Jim barbequed 12 steaks to serve.

Bill joined Jim in a ride up to Tucker Ponds to bring that host to the potluck and while driving this little head appeared outside the truck between the hood and the windshield. Jim stopped and picked up this little, baby ground squirrel. He figured he had crawled in the engine to keep warm. That baby squirrel had no fear of humans and let Jim handle him easily; he climbed from Jim's hand, up his arm and perched himself on Jim's shoulder. Jim walked around the campground for a good hour and that squirrel never left his shoulder!

Jim and Bill figured the squirrel's mother was waiting out there for him so he went back to where the truck had been parked and sure enough, mama was squeeling like crazy for her baby.

Jim put him down and off Chipper went to join mama.

Cute photos though!

We even took a "family portrait" :)

A few people asked for some additional photos of our campground so here you go.
The photo on the left is the view from our rig. Big Meadows is really pretty. It is at 9,300 feet in south-central Colorado, 11 miles west of the town of South Fork, and about 9 miles from the top of Wolf Creek Pass.

Well, that's it for now, dear friends, until next time I go do laundry, which is where I am right now. I can get one bar on the aircard up at the rig and here at the South Fork Campground laundramat I get five bars, so the photos upload real quick.
Since we have camphosts now maybe Jim and I can get a day off ----- first one since May 8th!!! I think we deserve it. We plan on driving to Mancos and visit Fay and Jay.
Good day and remember, you are loved!!!