Monday, July 30, 2012

2012 Chapman Annual 4-Wheeling Trip

The last weekend in July is always the time when Jim and his brothers take their annual Jeep trip “over the mountains and through the woods” from Lake City to Ouray.  They always ask friends along and this year Jim took my former boss, Heinz.

I then take over Jim’s work “swishing toilets” in our campground and two other public restrooms in the area.  Luckily for the last six years my BFF, Salai, takes off work as Alamosa Library Manager and comes up to help me.  She gets right in there and sweeps and washes the restroom floors, etc. She also takes over walking and caring for the dogs so I can deal with campers.


Jim takes the camera so I don’t have a photo of Salai working with me, but I do have one at her work desk.




Here’s Jim and Heinz as they took off Friday morning.


Here is a collage of some of the EIGHT photos Jim took over the whole weekend……Heinz said he took over EIGHT HUNDRED photos.  Jim’s excuse…..”I was busy driving”.

2012 Ouray Trip

They did have a good time and Jim and Heinz came back Sunday with shirts marked up to prove where they had spent the weekend.  Heinz said he’d like to do it again next year.


Salai and I spent Saturday in Creede messing around and nearly bought out Creede Olive Oil Company.  Then we went to Kip’s for an early dinner to celebrate our birthdays both in July.  Saturday we cleaned and talked about knitting, balled some yarn hanks, talked about vegetarian eating lifestyle and went to The Shaft for a salad dinner.  We cherish this weekend we have together every year!!!!

That evening after Heinz and Salai left, Jim and I joined our camp buddies, Charlie and Dawna for a tostada dinner.


It was a grand weekend for all of us.  Now we are definitely on the “down side” of the summer season with about six weeks to go. 

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying here

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Things Are Going Along

Not much happening on our end this last week.  We have been full most nights, which is good, with most people staying 1-2 nights.  But we also have five or so spots where folks are staying the 14 day limit.

Here is my little mini herb garden that I have on our dining room table.  It gets afternoon sun and has been flourishing.  There is rosemary, basil and thyme.


Jim continues to feed the chipmunks most afternoons.  They sure know when to “come a callin” because if Jim isn’t outside by 3:30 they run up the steps and scratch on the screen door!!!  Jim has three followers: Buddy, who is getting so fat we now think he, no, she may be pregnant.  What’s the female equivalent of “Buddy” anyway??????  Then there is Squeaks because of the sound he makes all the time.  And then there is Bashful who hasn’t mustered up enough courage to sit and eat his peanuts on Jim’s lap yet.  Squeaks rushes up grabs a peanut and skedaddles back to his home.

Here is Jim with Buddy, calmly eating his peanut while Jim pets his back.

Buddy Day 2 (1) 

Buddy Day 2 (2)

We have had a rain shower most every day, but it hasn’t caused much of a fuss as it usually only lasts an hour or so and it cools things off and keeps the dust down on the road through the campground.

We are more than half way through the season with only six weeks to go and are beginning to get “hitch itch” once again.  We’ve bee sitting for basically since April and the wanderlust is setting in.

So, how is your summer going?  Are you making your winter plans yet? 

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying here

Monday, July 23, 2012

South Fork Logger Days

This last weekend we had Logger Days here in South Fork.  There are various logging competitions you can view and there is a small arts and crafts fair.

CIMG0447    CIMG0449


An interesting exhibit was a wood carver using a chain saw.  Here you can see him on the right side under the tent starting a new piece.


Here are some of his pieces …. quite extraordinary! Very talented artist.



I walked around and bought some earrings and a really good kitchen knife.  I was looking for kettle corn, but there wasn’t a vendor there.  I was tempted by the Navajo Bread Tacos, but I resisted as I’m not suppose to have carbs on this nutritional diet I’m on.

After being home for the afternoon, up pops Heinz and Angela who always go to Logger Days every year.  So we visited, had dinner and enjoyed a campfire together.


It was a nice day with a lot of enjoyment!

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying here

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wienie Roast Celebration

An early rainstorm threatened our celebration of the lifting of the fire ban, but it stopped about 2 o’clock and the skies became sunny.

We had a good turn-out for our wienie roast with about 25-30 campers coming over.  Introductions were made and sure enough strangers found commonality and soon “community” was formed.  We had a whole bunch of family members from Frinch, Texas, and another family who graduated from a nearby town.  Someone else someone in another town and pretty quick everyone was long lost friends.  I love when that happens.


Several folks new my birthday was the next day and they brought me a cake and a cute card about remember when (…we use to drink out of the water hose….we went out to play in the morning and didn’t come home till dusk….our mode of transportation was our bikes, etc.).


Then on Thursday Jim surprised me with really nice earrings and he was able to capture the moment on camera.  He did a great job at picking out perfect earrings for me.


So Thursday night we met my BFF Lory and her husband , Wayne, for dinner at Dos Rios in Monte Vista.  Wayne’s birthday was also Thursday and Lory’s is next week, so we were actually celebrating three birthdays that night.  The food was good and we had a great visit but soon it was time to get back to the campground and check on our charges.

I had a very nice birthday and appreciated all the well wishes.  Tomorrow it’s back to reality and all the bookwork, but for one day I just knitted and read and got pampered….I enjoyed it all.

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying here


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fire Ban Lifted

Finally, after three weeks we have had enough moisture for the counties and forest service to lift the fire ban completely.  Yippee....

We loaded up the back of the company pickup with bundles of firewood and drove around to each campsite and told them the good news...and then sold them a bundle of wood to celebrate!!!

Here are two groups of our campers enjoying their fire.

 Finally it was our time to have our own campfire and boy did we enjoy it.

To further celebrate the lifting of the fire ban, Jim and I decided we would throw a wienie roast for the whole campground.  So we invited everyone in the campground to our campsite tonight at 5 p.m. to enjoy a get-together.  We'll provide the hot dogs and condiments and everyone will bring their own drinks, chairs and a side dish.  We have about 20 people in the campground right now so we should have a good turnout.  Do you want to come over too????  You're invited....we got plenty.

Business has been pretty slow these last three weeks.  We are getting the one-nighters who pull off the highway to stay one night as they pass through our area.  But we haven't had folks from the local communities like we normally do, who come up for the weekend.  Without being able to have a fire and make s'mores they have been staying away.

The lifting of the fire ban has hit the local radio stations and newspapers and just this morning I had two Alamosans pull in to spend a couple of nights.  Now, maybe, we'll have some better business.

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying here

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hail Damage

Well, Jim went up on the roof and yes, we have damage.  There's a crack in the air conditioning top, a hole in one of our vents and the awning is toast with holes poking through.  Looks like stars shining through during the day.

So when Jim called the insurance company there wasn't any deductible because we have that vanishing deductible and we've had the policy for over five years; how the insurance company informed us the repairs on the awning would be pro-rated because the year of the rig (2005) and we'll only get 30% of the repair costs...go figure.  Soooooo, looks like my 70th birthday present will be a new awning and vent covers instead of the Wilson Signal Booster I wanted.

Yes, I ask for the most interesting gifts don't I?  For our 25th wedding anniversary I told Jim I wanted either a 2 carat diamond ring OR a Champion generator for $300 so we could go camping for more than overnight....guess which one I got??????? LOL.  That generator lasted two years, with one of those years being as a fulltimer.  It died outside of Buena Vista in "mosquitoville" back in 2008 during the Escapees RV Club Boomer Colorado-rang.  We left in the bushes and drove away after Jim went and bought our present Honda 2000. The Honda generator has really held up because we boondock about 8 months a year and it is now four years old.

Well, I best get home and make sure Jim remembered to close up the awning because we are expecting more hailstorms and high winds today.

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying here

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Big Hail Storm

Yesterday was a beautiful, sun shining day. Jim was feeding peanuts to Buddy and his friends while I was feeding them snap peas.  It began to sprinkle a little and we didn't think anything about it much because we've been having afternoon showers all July.  All of a sudden all the chipmunks got real still and took off fast.  Hummmm....what's that all about?  We soon found out.

The rain got stronger and then came the hail...HARD!!! More rain, wind ensued, but the hail just got bigger and  bigger.  Soon it went to dime size and eventually to almost quarter size.

One of the smaller hail stones
Hail covering the ground looked like snow

Hail stones battered our awning-may have to put in an insurance claim cause we now have some small holes in it now.

Even under the trees looked like snow. Hail stones pounded down a lot of small clumps of leaves and a lot of baby pine cones fell

The Jeep got a lot of debris on it as it is parked under a pine tree

Jim turned on our walkie-talkie to the weather channel and heard that a severer thunderstorm had hit 7.5 miles southwest of South Fork and 10 miles from Wolf Creek Pass, with winds of up to 60 MPH and quarter sized hail....ah, that was within a mile of our campground!!! We were hit with the full force of that thunderstorm!

Jim drove around to make sure all our campers were OK.  We had several tenters and we wanted to off them shelter in our RV if they wanted to.  Everyone was shaken up with the suddenness of the storm but were faring alright.

The storm lasted about 30-45 minutes and then just as quickly it quieted down into a soft and gentle rain.  I had two dogs cowering under the covers in our bed...they were very spooked.

Afterwards several campers mentioned that they noticed the chipmunks disappearing all of a sudden.  It is weird how animals are so attuned to nature that they know when something weather-wise is about to happen.

That was my was your?

Remember, you are loved.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Last Part of Two Lindas Visit

The Two Lindas fed us well during their time with us...well, Jim had to eat a few bologna and PBJ's to get by, but I loved all the veggie meals.  They even introduced me to vegetarian bacon by Morningstar that was very good. We had BLT's one night for dinner.

One of their last nights here we went to Cottonwood Cove for dinner. It's located about half way between South Fork and Creede. We'd never eaten there before and it was a nice treat.
When we arrived these boys were enjoying an before dinner treat...double dipped ice cream cones.
They have a nice gift store with lots of neat stuff.

 Inside the restaurant is situated in what was the sitting room of the original lodge.

Since I am allowing myself to continue to eat fish The Two Lindas and I had the catfish platter with cole slaw, beans and hush puppies, while Jim had their chicken fried steak with beans and mashed potatoes.  Both meals were very good.  We will return.

 After dinner we went across the street to Wagon Wheel Gap so Jim could take a "trip down memory lane".  Jim's parents rented a cabin here every summer.  His dad would work in Alamosa during the week and come up here on the weekends.  Jim and his brothers enjoyed their freedom fishing, hiking and this is where Jim learned how to drive, in his dad's old Jeep.  Jim has many fond memories of this place.

This is cabin #21 which is where he spent many a summer.  Now these cabins are personally owned.

The Two Lindas stayed till Friday so they could have one evening with the Abeytas before The Two Lindas go on up to Wyoming.  We are so happy they take vacation and come see us every summer.  We'll see them again in south Texas after they finish a job in Corpus Christie and we'll be gate guarding in Whitsett.  It is so nice to be able to visit our friends as we move across the country.

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Quiet 4th of July

We had a dismal 4th of July...very quiet...not  full in any of our campgrounds.  It sure doesn't help when there is a complete fire ban or that Brian Williams and Diane Sawyer reports on evening news that all of Colorado is on fire.

People didn't want to come up to camp or even picnic when there is a fire ban and they can't make s'mores or have a camp fire. BUT South Fork is fine, blue skies and the creek through the campground is at the perfect height for fly fishing.  

Happily it has rained a little every day since the first of July.  Hopefully they will lift the fire ban if the rain keeps up daily.

We enjoyed the rest of the time with The Two Lindas, sharing veggie meals and visiting their last day here with The Abeytas, who came in for a week's stay. So one set of friends left and another came in.  It is so wonderful when we can spend so much of our summer with friends who come to visit and camp with us.

I'll post photos next week when I have more time.  I'm not getting any internet service at the campground so I am coming up to Wolf Creek Ranch and use their wifi to publish my blog.

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind the saying.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Story Behind the Saying

Several of our blog readers have recently asked what is the story behind the closing saying on each of our are loved.  I wrote it up one  time but can't for the life of me find it in my previous posts.  So I am posting it again for our newer readers.

The Store Behind the Saying.....

In 1998 I worked at the library at Alamosa High School, Alamosa, Colorado, as an aide.  Nora, the Librarian, bought a big "hotel front desk" type bell for the check-out desk, so students could ring it for service if I wasn't at the desk.  Well, seems it didn't matter if I was at the desk or not, those kids enjoyed pounding that  bell every time they came into the library. Ding, ding, ding all day long I heard that bell being hit a hundred or more times a day. Of course they didn't hit is just once; oh, no, they had to ding it two or three times each.  It was very annoying, to say the least.

One weekend I prayed for guidance on how to keep the kids from pounding on that desk bell and irrating me so much.  I came up with several novel, but probably illegal ways to stop the kids from hitting that desk bell except when they needed me.  Finally the magic idea "came to me". I know what I will do.  Every time someone  rang that bell I'm going to say "I love you". Great idea! That's what I'll do.  No respectable 14 year old teenager wants some old grandma yelling "I love you" when they ring that bell.  I figured it would only take me a coule of days of yelling out "I love you"  and that would take care of the bell problem ..... oh, sure.  Didn't work out that way.

Monday morning I was all set to go.  First young man walked in the library and I was sitting right there at the desk, my head some 12 inches away from that desk bell.  He reaches over and hits the top of that desk bell and it goes ding-ding and I said quite loudly "I love you" with a big smile on my face.  Well, the young man was shocked and his mouth dropped open in surprise.  He quickly proceeded to sit down at one of the tables.  Next few kids came in and rang the bell and got my new greeting.  They seemed amused and even smiled.  As the day wore on, each bell ringer got told "I love you".

The next few days the word got around the school to go to the library, ring the bell and see what happened.  We had a large turnout at the library that day, with a lot of kids I'd never seen in the library before.  I'd be away from the desk putting away books in the stacks and the bell would ring and from the corner of the library I'd gleefully call out "I love you"....they had no idea where I was was like a voice from the ethers was calling to them....kind of erry. The kids would watch a newcomer ring the bell and laugh at their reaction when I yelled "I love you".  It all became a big game to the students....they continued to ring that bell and seemed to enjoy hearing my irratated "I love you".  Some guys would just step in the library to ring the bell and then just leave...smiles on their faces.

It all came to a head one Friday afternoon several months later.  The last bell had rung and the students were filing out of the school and onto the school busses.  One lone boy came into the one else was around...he rang the bell, I looked at him, smiled and said "I love you"; he continued to look at me with a sorrowful expression on his face and rang the bell again and I said "I love you" (with an inquisitive look on my face).  And then he rang it one more time and again I said "I love you" with more meaning.  The teenager then smiled, said "thank you" and began to leave.  I called to him and asked "son, why did you ring the bell three times? He said "Because it will be three days until I hear anyone say those words and those three "I love yous" you gave me will have to hold me over until I see you on Monday."

I smiled and told him goodbye and then tears came to my eyes and I cried. It broke my heart.  To think a kid wanted to hear that someone loved him so much he would ring that bell just to hear the one at home would be saying those words to him....sad....sad....sad!!!

From that day on it never again bothered me to hear that bell ring....I happily shouted out "I love you", now saying it with much heartfelt meaning.  I learned a valuable are never too young or goo old or in a stage in life when we DON'T need to hear we are loved....even pimpled face, shy or popular teenage boys or girls....everyone wants to know someone loves them.  For the next five years that I worked at that library "I love you" became my mantra.  I said it to students, the principal, teachers, a saleman, even to friends on the phone....everyone got told they were loved.  

Graduating students would return to visit and come to the library to say "hi".  They all commented that my saying "I love you" was one of the things they remember the most about high school.  That warmed my heart.  God knew what He was doing when he answered my prayer for guidance about that annoying desk bell.  His answer was perfect. Love was the answer.

When I changed jobs I continued to say "I love you" to customers, sales people, bosses, clerks. It was how I end every conversation.  It just became a part of me....I said it to everyone. So when I started our blog I wanted to include it somehow and it became "you are loved" as my closing line.

So that is the story behind the you remember, you are loved!!!