Winter Solstice, Valances and Good Tidings to All!

While fighting the cold, a bitter winter day five or six years ago, I made a vow to escape winter once retirement happened.  And we have, fleeing successfully for the past two years!
The pictures below are from our last winter at home in 2011.  This snow was much heavier than normal but it does happen occasionally.  I do not like snow; can tolerate maybe two hours of it!
Yesterday was the winter solstice…the shortest day of the year.  I always look forward to the day that signifies the increasing daylight.  Suffering in the past from seasonal affective disorder….I hate the long, cold and dark nights.  Our annual trip to the sun has eliminated the depressive symptoms.  Looking at pictures of the desert sunrise is great medicine!
Dome Rock
Sunrise at Dome Rock
We’re getting excited as our exit day approaches but also a bit worried that winter will follow us into Texas where we will be visiting Larry and Debbie Gamble.  Another mod, BAL stabilizers are on the schedule.
The long awaited valances are finally complete!  Pleased to say they are up and there are no complaints.  Enjoyed taking the sewing machine out of storage and dusting it off.  The last time it was used was when curtains were made for the old 13' foot Casita.
The material is leftover upholstery from a chair…(see previous post).  The café rods are from the Dollar Store and they were secured by zip ties.  The blue in the window is not the ocean but a tarp that’s covering the trailer!
Just mentioning the old trailer makes me nostalgic.  We sold it  after two years in order to get a bathroom.
This was our first love……a 1990 13’ Casita.  Sure hope it’s somewhere still on the road!
Just had to share the pictures from our first Casita!  We never, ever realized how that purchase was going to change our lives. Changes including travel all over the states and a new family of friends….our fiberglass trailer friends!
Wishing everyone out there a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year! Please stay safe on the road for another year of travel and good times!


Random Ramblings


Struggling to write because there are no pictures to share!   So much of what I write is wrapped around photography.

Before we left on the Big Trip (Alaska 2013), I felt that it would change me.  We’ve been home for almost 3 months and I’m still trying to put my finger on what’s different?  But there are subtle changes …. more confidence has found a home somewhere inside me.  We did something big, something that was almost incomprehensible (to us) before the trip!  This time last year I did not know where Fairbanks and Anchorage were…except in Alaska!

The other change seems to be one of roots or belonging.  My world has gotten larger, more aware of what’s happening in other places, noticing there’s an ice storm in Anchorage, a flood in the Rockies and a whole city in San Francisco volunteering to make a little boy’s dream come true!

Whatever the changes, they are welcome!  Hoping to continue to grow as a person as I approach my 65th year.

Frequently find myself thinking of the birthday that’s still 4 1/2 months away.  Must apply for Medicare soon…am I beginning to feel old?

Switching subjects….did I mention how sick I’ve been?  Three days after getting home I was down with sinus issues, itchy eyes, chest congestion which led to asthma.  These problems continued off and on for two months with me finally going for allergy testing.  Learned that I am allergic to cats!!!  And dogs, dust mites, mold, ragweed and roach debris and miscellaneous weeds, grasses and trees.  This shocks me as cats have been in my house for the past 34 years!


Discussing this as a warning to others.  Our house was extremely dusty after being closed up for over 3 months.  And it was not exactly clean when we left!  We had lots of rain during July which caused mold outside and inside.  We’ve been cleaning for weeks and now I’m symptom free (for the present)  and have lots of prescriptions and inhalers if needed.

One of the things that I’m grateful for during this season of thanksgivings is my lack of depression.  Years past I have always gotten down as the cold days and long dark nights descend.  Thoughts of the Arizona sun are keeping me in a great mood.  Heading west just after the new year arrives!  We have a wedding to attend in January in Scottsdale and a rally in Quartzsite in February.  Looking forward to seeing some old friends!

The Casita has a new propane regulator, new gas hoses and the bearings have been greased.  Now ready to tackle the long postponed project of valences over the blinds.


 Wonder if this will work?  Found the remnants from this upholstered chair and it seems to match a blue in the cushions.  Will let you know how they turn out.

Other than trying to get the house clean, we have been walking frequently and hiking with a group of seniors.  Also joined a gym but hurt myself the second visit….still waiting for my body to heal!

Enjoying our fur babies….even though the black and whites fight constantly.  I pray for the day they peacefully co-exist!





Been hanging out on a new (to me) Facebook group, Dutch Oven Cooking.  Strange to be looking at groups other than Casita Owners but the cast iron group is quite addicting.  Lots of information there and I got inspired to rehab an old piece from my granny’s house.


This was after 3 hours in a self cleaning oven before scraping the rust and re-seasoning it.  Wish I had a before picture.  There’s a line on the back that indicates it was made between 1750 and 1875.  Warning….this group is habit forming!  Already gone through Mom’s cabinets looking for more cast iron.

Looking forward to being on the road!  For those of you out there, be careful!  Hope to see some of you soon.