Let’s get started!

OK — the kiddos have been hugged, I’ve caught up with my email and financials (well, mostly), and I don’t need to think about the SOWER newsletter for at least another week. AND – I have good internet and Verizon signal! And that seems like a perfect mix to finally get this blog back on track!
Way back, when I wasn’t so far behind in this blogging thing, I had every intention of doing a post about how different the drive from Idaho to California was from the Curvy, Curvier, Curviest drive we had from Montana to Idaho. I was going to post pictures about how Straight the roads were
even though there were a couple of these signs to get my attention –
(Donner Pass on I80 in California)
But mostly our two day drive from southern Idaho to central California was beautiful and peaceful and without incident.
Just the way we like them!
And then I was going to say that if you wanted to see more “Road Ahead” pictures of that beautiful drive, you can check them out HERE!
But it seemed so long ago that I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested.

But I knew I didn’t want to skip over our time at Sugar Pine Camp! We were officially there by ourselves,
but there was another SOWER couple who had been there all summer as “SOWERS on Assignment” – SOWERS who come for an extended time, usually with a specific job in mind. So while we weren’t necessarily working directly with them, it was great fun to hang out with them whenever we could!
Our work at Sugar Pine was pretty varied. I did some housekeeping, some office type chores, and lots and lots of laundry.
Gary did some electrical work, some A/C and refrigeration stuff, and then settled in (with lots of help from the other SOWER guy) with building a shed on the back of a staff house.
And if you were wondering how they were going to get into the shed….
Yeah, he’s smart like that!
Interestingly, except for the T-1-11 on the outside, all the lumber used in the shed was milled right on the property. That was pretty cool!
So it was a busy and beautiful month. There were retreats going on every weekend, and even during the week there were groups coming and going. (Hence, my housekeeping and on-going laundry duties!).
But for all the activities, it was a very peaceful spot.

Once again, it was a great month. We were in a beautiful part of the country (more on that later), serving at a dynamic ministry “Impacting Lives for Christ”, enlarging our SOWER family, and enjoying a nice quiet month after such a ‘social’ month back in Idaho (which is always welcomed by my sweet introvert hubby!).

Posted in On the Road, Pictures of the Adventure, RV Life, SOWER Projects, SOWER Projects 2016, The Adventure | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

First World Problems

I have to confess, I have been struggling with a classic First World Problem. For the last 3-4 weeks we have had little to no internet and no cell phone service. Pretty much we’ve muddled through with enough ‘juice’ to stay on top of our emails, a couple of trips to a local coffee shop ‘down the mountain’ to do a bit more heavy duty stuff and the availability of a land line (in the camp office) to make necessary calls.  Apparently, I am more addicted to internet access than I realized! We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Sugar Pine Christian Camp and have lots to share, not only about the camp and our time there, but also about our trips to Yosemite and Kings Canyon. So.Much.

So once you combine sketchy internet, a busy SOWER project, travel days filled with sight-seeing, and a SOWER newsletter deadline that is looming – well, that’s my big excuse for the deafening silence here at Rvthereyet.  (Totally First World, I know!) And, since the next four days will likewise be filled with travel and the next couple of days after that filled with GRANDKIDS – I think the best I can do is to promise that once life get back to a more normal rhythm (hopefully next week sometime), I’ll be bombarding you with photo-rich posts. Posts after posts after posts. Picture after picture after picture.  In the meantime, feel free to check out my photos page – my current Instagram photos and Flickr uploads will show up there to give you a glimpse of how we’ve been keeping ourselves busy!

Thanks for your patience – see you next week sometime!!


Posted in On the Road, RV Life | Tagged , | 3 Comments

So, Hope House

So, Hope House….

This is a bit late (trying to work out some internet issues), but before I get too involved in our Sugar Pines project and this beautiful area, I wanted to share a bit more about our time at Hope House in Marsing, ID. So here goes –

(I know you must get tired of hearing this, but) We had a great month! Oh, the internet was slow, the TV channels were slim and we were plagued by our least favorite weed in the country (‘goatheads’ which have tiny iron spikes that come in on your shoes and then attack your bare feet),
but being able to serve at this ministry was such a blessing.  We learned that there are many different faces to Hope House and came to appreciate each one.  The ‘under-18’ crowd are kids (10 and up) who are placed here largely due failed adoptions (many international ones), and who are struggling with severe attachment disorders. They can no longer stay at home, and this is a place to come where they can get intensive help in a group setting.  There is also a group of residents who have been there for many, many years (before HH became focused on the attachment disorder scenario) and live in a separate building where they have a kind of independent group living set-up. Most have some severe learning/mental disabilities (but are very loving and sociable) and have nowhere else to go.  These guys just light up when they see SOWERS – and I’m sure it’s a big reason why so many of the SOWER workers there come year after year. The final group are girls who have ‘aged out’ of the program, but again have nowhere to call home. The philosophy of Hope House is no one is ever made to leave (unless they just need more help and care than they (Hope) can provide).  So needless to say, there is a lot going on at Hope House, on many different levels!  What SOWERs do is try to keep the facilities safe and working so that the dedicated folks that interact with the residents can concentrate on that important work.  With a school, a gym, a dining hall building, residence halls, etc, there is always something that needs to be done. And with 8 SOWER couples (that’s 16 hard working (not so very old) senior citizens), a lot was accomplished.

We ladies painted bathrooms, got Christmas stockings organized for filling (they get sent out to different churches who fill them), labeled med cups (sounds simple, but my goodness what a big job!), sorted through donations, scanned and organized records, helped out in the kitchen and made curtains for the girls’ dorm.

Here are a couple of my favorites –

HopeHouseLadies-1 HopeHouseLadies-10
HopeHouseLadies-12 HopeHouseLadies-11

And there are a whole bunch more HERE!

I’ve lost track of what all the men did – but it was a very long list. Rooms were built, floors were tiled, siding was installed and painted, A/C’s were checked and repaired, stairs were built, bathrooms were added, plumbing was plumbed and electrical wire was strung (and connected, I believe!). When our group leader read off all that the different teams did – it was just plain astonishing!

And of course, I don’t have nearly as many pictures of the men working (although I did snag some from friends!) –

HopeHouseMen-2 HopeHouseMen-6
HopeHouseMen-11 Untitled

Aaannnd – there are more pictures of those handsome guys working HERE!

Although we didn’t interact a great deal with the kiddos/adults during our working hours, we did worship with them on Sundays (what a blessing!) and we also checked out a couple of their volleyball games.
Hope House VB
We had noticed that one of the residents (in the younger group) had some major physical handicaps.  M had been born with no legs from just above the knees and no fingers on her hands.  She had recently been fitted with prosthesis for her legs, and had just begun going to volleyball practice.  As we visited with the coach, she explained that at this point someone holds the ball for her when she practices her serves. Gary took a look at the situation, and thought that maybe, just maybe, he could figure out something that could help her hold the ball herself as she practiced (and then maybe even played!).  Here is his solution –

MarcellasGlove-1 MarcellasGlove-4
MarcellasGlove-3  MarcellasGlove-2
MarcellasGlove-5 IMG_1252

We did end up doing it a second time (it’s called the invention learning curve) to get the fit correct, and even then we weren’t sure that it would actually work. But she seemed game to try it out, and we hope that it is an encouragement to her in the days to come. (I told her that if it doesn’t work, then she could always just have it with her in case someone asks her if she can lend them a hand……:) )

So our time there was a delight! We were blessed with beautiful sunrises right out the window –
and driving through this area (called Treasure Valley because its rich agricultural heritage) was likewise lovely –

All in all – an outstanding month! It was easy to see why so many SOWERs who have come here over the years, come here again and again!

If you’d like to see the whole batch of the photo – work, play and scenery – you can check them out HERE!

[Real time update – 9/25 – I’m sitting in a Panera Bread, enjoying the internet and (relative) quiet. We had a great first week, and a GREAT weekend in Yosemite. My plan is to have posts already to go, and then just get them uploaded as I can, so there will always be a slight-to-major time delay! Thanks for your patience! There are a couple of pictures over on the Photos Page if you’d like a bit of a preview!]


Posted in Pictures of the Adventure, RV Life, SOWER Projects, SOWER Projects 2016, The Adventure | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Just checking in!

We’ve left Idaho, and we’re settled in Oakhurst, California (see the So Where are We Now page for more details), and I have lots and lots of stuff to write about. And lots of pictures to share.

Sadly though, I have very bad internet so it might be a bit before I get an official post done. So this is just to say –

We are alive.
We are well.
We are busy.

I’ll do my best to get some real ‘catch-up’ soon!

Thanks for your patience! Here’s a Windshield Shot to hold you over…..
On our way!! Yosemite here we come! #ontheroadagain
(Starting out in Idaho)

Posted in On the Road, Pictures of the Adventure, RV Life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A bit of randomness

1. Not so random, but certainly late – I wanted to thank you all for the sweet anniversary wishes! We had a fun day, driving to Boise with friends and checking out the downtown Farmers’ Market and doing a quick walk-through of the Capitol Building (that’s two down and 48 to go!). It was a lovely, lovely day!

IMG_1088_edited-1 IMG_1090

2. Although we didn’t have a huge celebration on our anniversary DAY (though we were delighted to Facetime with all the kiddos), we did just finalize plans to take our very first cruise!!! It’s not until early April, but we are pretty excited about it! We’ll be going with good SOWER friends, sailing from Galveston and checking out the Western Caribbean ports of Cozumel (MX), Belize City (Belize), and Roatan (Honduras). Now if I could just figure out what Gary will be wearing on those two ‘formal nights’. Thrift shops, here we come!

3. We said good-bye to an old friend yesterday.
This little piece of Pampered Chef stoneware has been with us since the beginning. It’s outlived three toaster ovens, and heated up countless pizza slices and hotdogs. It’s roasted vegetables, cooked many dinners-for-two (from fish to pork to chicken), and even baked a cookie or two in its day. As you can tell – it’s very well seasoned! (It’s supposed to look like that, right?). When I noticed that significant crack a couple of weeks ago I became quite concerned. I wasn’t sure we could continue without it. Thanks to eBay, I found a replacement and was delighted to start breaking it in.
But I wasn’t quite ready to give up on our old friend. Until last night.
It broke apart in my hand as I was lifting it out of the sink. And not even at the crack I was worried about! Thanks for all the (yummy) memories, my old friend.

4. We’re parked just a bit away from the RV parking area this month.
Main parking –
Our spot….
It’s nice a quiet here in the ‘backyard’ and we also have the bonus of beautiful sunrises,
and some equally beautiful end-of-day skies!
So even though we might not be parked in the ‘thick of things’, we are very content.

5. Both Gary and I are terrible lonesome for our kids and grands these days. Although I saw them all in early May, Gary hasn’t been able to hug any of them since Christmas. So when I realized that I had a Picaboo coupon that was about to expire, it only seemed proper that I make up a couple of posters of the Grands and the Cabin (another thing we’re missin’ these days.)


OK, it’s not quite a hug (or morning coffee in front of the fireplace), but it helps!

6. For reasons unknown to us, our window awning straps seem to have become the local hangout for the neighborhood yellow jackets.
When I noticed a similar (and a bit more intense) gathering on the bedroom strap
it seemed time to take action, and out came the hornet spray. Sorry guys, but we really didn’t want to take you with us when we left town next week.

7. There are some great sunflowers here!

Hope you’re having a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

Posted in Pictures of the Adventure, RV Life, The Adventure | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment