December desert days

Thursday, December  18 – Sunday, December 21

1-P1010940Roosevelt Lake, Tonto Recreation Area, Arizona

The first few days at our Roosevelt Lake camp are cold and damp with overcast skies.

In the brief episodes of afternoon sun, Bridget and I poke around the lake.

1-P1010933These days are pleasantly uneventful. 

Bridget and I go up to Cholla Campground’s shower house.  We take a ride into Tonto Basis for groceries and propane, as well as for more Tonto Passes in order to camp in the Tonto Recreation Area ($6 regular/$3 senior discount).

The proposed increase in fees, rumored to bring the camping fee up to $25, means this may be the last time we camp near Roosevelt Lake.

1-P1010932If the fee should go that high, I suspect that Bridget and I aren’t the only ones who might cross Roosevelt Lake off the list of winter campsites.

I ask a business lady in Tonto Basin how she feels about the fee increase and she replies bitterly, “It will really hurt our business!”

1-P1010920Wandering about the Roosevelt Lake area, one wouldn’t guess this is the week leading up to Christmas Day. 

People over the mountains in Mesa, Apache Junction, and Phoenix may be bustling about with last minute shopping and preparations for the big day.  Not here.  The campgrounds hold only a few occupants this week and the roads have very little traffic.

1-P1010905I admit that being excused from Christmas is a sweet pleasure for me. 

I’m not against the holiday, but Christmas hullabaloo comes around way too often!

1-P1010911Bridget and I walk around Frasier Campground.

This is a campground for people with horses.  No one is here.  Here’s a photo of a cactus with attitude!

1-P1010938The sites have beautiful views of the lake.

Several of the photos in this post were taken from Frasier Campground.

1-P1010917Bridget is dressed for the cool day.  She wears her new sweater with style.

1-P1010919That’s all for today’s post!

No mining/sacred land controversy in our back yard, no vehicle damage to be repaired, no cow stuck in the mud . . . .  Just a brief post to let you know Bridget and I are happy, healthy, and still hanging out at lovely Roosevelt Lake!

rvsue

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170 Responses to December desert days

  1. Thor 'n Drew says:

    Very cute sweater, Bridge. 😉

  2. judithcamper says:

    Overcast and rainy here too. Seems like late afternoon all day!

  3. mockturtle says:

    It’s been cool at night but warm & sunny here at Organ Pipe. 🙂

  4. Barb from Hoquiam says:

    Hi Sue!
    We just had our kids and grands head home… We are pooped out!

    Our Christmas was today. May head out on an adventure this week.
    Happy Christmas!
    Sitting back and keeping it simple!
    Hugs from Hoquiam
    Barb

  5. John says:

    “…Christmas hullabaloo comes around way too often!”

    I like how you put that; I’m thinking perhaps every year that ends in a 0 might be about right.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You know, John, that’s not a bad idea. Imagine how meaningful and truly exciting the holiday would become!

  6. Pat K says:

    I’m with you on your thoughts about Christmas. Over the years it has become more and more an unpleasant list of tasks that bring less and less pleasure. I hate how I feel and also feel guilty for feeling that way… Oh dear, did you hang out your “Psychiatrist, 5 cents” sign, Lucy? No? I’ll just stop here then.
    Enjoy your lovely camp site 🙂 Pat K.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I went through that guilt phase, too, mostly from the “Oh they gave me a gift, now I have to find them a gift” merry-go-round.

  7. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Bridget looks so cute in her new sweater, and purple is so appropriate given it is of course the color of royalty.

    Your last few days may have been cold and damp but we haven’t seen the sun here since Thanksgiving. Work has been insane of late and it was so nice to check in here and see a bit of sunshine and warmth. It makes December in Wisconsin so much easier to take.

    Also the cactus with an attitude made me laugh out loud. I may make it my new desktop at work and see if anyone notices. 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Ha! I thought that the cactus has attitude, too! 🙂

      Great (or twisted) minds think alike!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rick… I like the thought of you at work in Wisconsin looking at your computer monitor with a secret message. Know what that message is? It’s what you say as you walk away from your job on the day you retire. 🙂

  8. AZ Jim says:

    Hi Missy and sweater girl Bridget. Well, we’re without company again. It was fun and we had a nice visit with the Grandchildren and Great Grand-kids. No little ones, our youngest GGrandgirl is 12. Detta did a Turkey dinner that was wonderful. Neither Detta or I are much on Christmas anymore. To say we kinda tolerate it would be fair.
    I’m glad you and Bridget are staying where you want to be. As to that increase in fees, I hope the rumor has inflated any increase of that and the actual increase is much less.
    Take care and enjoy….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      Take a deep breath . . . Time to relax, right? Bless Detta for putting on a big turkey dinner for y’all.

      You know the only Christmas lights I’ve seen this season were in a photo online. Well, that’s if you don’t count the stars I see most every night…

  9. kgdan says:

    We ditto your feelings regarding the holidays. I so enjoyed my visit home sans commercial hype and celebration. Like you the holiday will be like everyday; celebrating the freedom to do anything we please. Enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathy and Gil,

      I like your description of every day… celebrating the freedom! What a gift!

  10. Cat Lady in Baton Rougea says:

    Sue, do you still feed Bridget a raw meat diet? If you are, maybe that’s why she’s looking so sleek and trim. I don’t remember what kind of diet/name it really was but I remember thinking she and Spike ate more meat than you.

    Hope you both have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

    Cat Lady

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cat Lady,

      Confession time… Bridget did not do well with raw. Often she refused to eat what I put out for her and I was throwing away a lot of meat.

      I’m breaking every rule in the Raw Meat and Bone diet.

      In the morning I cook for her a small plate of lean chicken or pork with fat cut away or beef or calf liver, or a combination plate. In the late afternoon she has a small bowl of Hill’s Prescription Diet l/d for Hepatic Health. I bought a bag of that for Spike ($64) upon the vet’s recommendation and had a lot left over after he passed.

      It’s not recommended that one mix meat and kibble. However, I tried giving all kibble and I tried giving all meat… neither suited Bridget as well as what I’m feeding her now. She has slimmed down, has lots of energy, sleeps well, her coat and eyes are bright, and she doesn’t act hungry all the time. Plus she’s a knock-out in a sweater.

      • Sondra-SC says:

        I give one cup of dry with 2 tablespoons of canned meat twice a day they are all healthy and doing good, I give one snack at 8:30 and they each get a real bone to chew on for teeth cleaning about once a month or so. I’ve been buying 4-Health at Tractor Supply, for about 3 yrs now, my dogs are doing good on that, I have thought of buying organic feed chicken for them and cooking it myself but it’s gotten no farther than a thought so far.

  11. Jim in AL says:

    Hi Sue,

    Read your blog everyday but seldom post. Really enjoy it. I see from your Amazon list that I am doing my part to keep you fulltiming. 🙂

    I don’t recall if you use WordPress to publish your blog but thought I would post a link to an article about malware. The link:

    http://gizmodo.com/mysterious-russian-malware-is-infecting-over-100-000-wo-1671419522

    Jim

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim in AL,

      Yes, I do use WordPress and I did follow the link you posted and read the artice, including the comments which were informative, too. The comments tamp down the “scare” of the article. Not sure that I need to do anything.

  12. Taranis17 says:

    Great to hear you’re tucked in safe and all set.

    You’re right, the Materialistic Mob is out in full force, especially this weekend before the big day. I stayed home and baked.

    Yes, I’m a guy. Defibrillators are under the seats. Just breathe… 🙂

    Learned how to make Kulich bread this past week. Delightful! Also some apple/cranberry bread, pumpkin spice cookies with brown sugar frosting and of course peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. I confess, I can’t keep my fingers out of that pan though…

    Also reading Walden by Hendry David Thoreau. Perfect to curl up while the rains come down.

    What? Oh alright fine – I played some video games on the Xbox too last night. Happy? :-).

    I hope you plan to treat yourself and Bridget to some yummy goodness this season as well! Love your posts, so tranquil and peaceful-sounding.

    Until next time, Ms. Sue!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Taranis17,

      Hallelujah! A guy in the kitchen… No defibrillator needed for me.

      One of my peeves is men who live their whole lives never learning to cook a meal (except steak which is THEIR favorite), pretending they can’t learn, always dependent upon a woman to buy their groceries and feed them. Then they retire and sit around complaining they have nothing to do. The wife gets sick — or needs a break from the kitchen — and they don’t go to the store for groceries and don’t cook her nourishing, comforting food that she likes because they don’t know how or they’re too damn lazy.

      Okay, I’m done.

      I imagine your house filled with delicious aromas. I love your baking choices! I’ve never been drawn to cooking and baking, but I can make some fabulous bread (rye being my favorite!) and a cranberry-nut bread that goes great with coffee. *sigh*

      A delightful comment… Thanks. 🙂

      • Timber n' me says:

        Wait a minute. My Dad, Rusty, knows how to cook, thats why i’m droolin all the time he lites the stove.,,,, Oh, Have a Merry Christmas Sue n’ sweet Bridget from us. ,,,,Timber

  13. How cool is Bridget’s coat….Wacko for sure….I think as we get older, we cant really be bothered with the Christmas hullabaloo and hoopla….For my part it is seeing all the grandkids get far tooooo much…rip open a pressie then look for the next. It seems to be all about Gimmie-Gimmie-Gimmie. But must keep silent do not upset anyone…..I should be like you and be only answerable to a great companion one that is appreciative of all you do for her. I hope you and Bridget have a peaceful and undisturbed Xmas…(Lucky you LOL) lesalp.blogspot.com.au

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Leslie,

      Your description “rip open a pressie then look for the next” is a perfect snapshot of what’s wrong with the Christmas holiday.

      Or how about this? The kids tear open their gifts, one right after the other, not stopping to appreciate what they’ve unwrapped, tossing a quick thank you over the shoulder (or nothing at all), grabbing the next gift, and then when they’ve unwrapped the last of many gifts that were carefully selected for them and many at great expense, when they’ve opened them all at the speed of light, then comes the coup de grace … they look around and whine, “Is that all?”

      You are wise to keep silent.

  14. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Love the pictures in this post! The dark skies provide such nice contrast! If I zoom in on #4, so the trailers in the foreground are removed, it looks like an abstract study of layers. Bridget looks cute and cozy in her new sweater.

    I hope the rumored increases have been overblown by speculation and gossip. That seems like a ridiculously steep increase! It will hurt campers and the local businesses who count on visitors for a big part of their livelihood.

    Hope you and Bridget have a cozy night! Hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right about photo #4! It looks like a collage! I love how readers see more in my posts and photos than I originally knew was there …..

      The fee increase may be seen as necessary in order to pay for maintenance and others costs. I wish another way could be found to handle the costs. Raising fees i.e. the price of admission is the way to handle a business in the private sector. When done by government, it’s another step toward a class system that excludes those whom the government is supposed to serve.

      In other words, once the rates are increased to the point that only the upper income levels can afford them, our public resources are no longer available to the general public. It’s a complex situation… Some people want tons of amenities, blacktop, and 50 amp full-hookups while others only want a place to set up a tent within walking distance of a rest room…

      • Sondra-SC says:

        ….that sounds like a house in the burbs to me…I’m tired of the wealthiest having the best view—it’s impossible to find Public Access on the lakes here its all covered up with McMansions ;0/—what’s a poor country gal to do?

  15. Kay says:

    Increased to $25 a night? That is INSANE. No one will want to use the park campgrounds, or at least FEW will only use them. I think our elected officials have just wayyyy too many other things they SHOULD be doing rather than jacking up park campground fees.

    You all have a Merry Christmas!

    • I won’t say the increase if enacted is a good idea. I will say that I understand the possible underlying frustration. Unfortunately, with state and federal budgets for parks being slashed, money has to come from somewhere for maintenance. (Not saying that’s the specific case here, but it does seem to be a fairly common problem. Here in Idaho, the parks budget was cut to $3 million a couple years back; park personnel were let go; park maintenance suffered.) The one alternative some of the “great” political minds have come up with is hiring concessionaires to run the campgrounds. The only thing I’ve seen come out of that is increased fees without any corresponding improvements.

  16. Ukulele Teri says:

    Enjoy the quiet and beauty of the desert. Really enjoy the southwest.

    I am with you on the Christmas nonsense. We are headed to Hawai’i where there is a sense of the holiday but much more low key. I was glad to get out of school and will be happy to be in the warm and sun of Hawai’i Island.

    Enjoy your peace. Best to you and Bridget in her dapper sweater.

    Teri

  17. Larry M from the Pacific NW says:

    Tonto Forest Planning To Boost Fees
    Article: http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/2014/sep/29/tonto-forest-planning-boost-fees/

    Whoever has engineered this fee increase program must be nuts. They are going to kill tourism and camping in the Lake Roosevelt area. Put a “Closed for lack of use!” sign on it! Crazy!

    • edlfrey says:

      If what Sue has been saying holds true during the winter months ie almost no campers with the fee at $6/night then they will close the campground during winter at $25/night.
      The day users may spring for the $8 vs $4 or buy the $80 annual day use pass so they can drag their power boats up to the lake from The Valley Of The Sun in the summer but I bet their will be few staying overnight. Close the campground and only keep the boat ramps and parking lots open after this summer is my prediction.

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        That may actually be their plan Ed. At $6.00/ night it probably costs more to pay someone to drive around and check for the passes than they collect in fees. They would be money ahead if they just closed for the winter.

        Not sayin’ it’s right, just sayin’ I can see how it makes sense if you are of the mind set that Government should run like a business.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Rick… That’s the crux of the issue… Running public facilities like a business or providing these facilities for the public like a government and, if the latter, where does the money come from.

          It’s a pretty sorry situation to close access to this beautiful lake for a couple of months each year when that’s the only time many non-residents are in the area.

        • Larry M from the Pacific NW says:

          My suspicion is that the ONLY reason this is being done is because of the greater money to be made by those installing these fee collection systems, and of course by the concessionaire overseeing the campgrounds. If there is presently a small shortfall running these Public Properties, I’m sure it could be taken care of by a SMALL increase in fees. But, there’s no big money to be made in that.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Ed,

        My post is somewhat misleading. I believe the lack of campers right now is due to it being Christmas week. Up until the end of November (and maybe into the first two weeks of December — We weren’t here to know that), there have been many more campers, although nowhere near the number here in other seasons.

        As for closing “the campground”… There are three campgrounds here and they have several “loops,” each one bigger than many campgrounds. These campgrounds have paved roads, shelters, and all the rest, except they don’t have hook-ups. I can’t imagine that kind of investment being closed, but maybe they will, at least part of the year. Plus there’s the “feather in Arizona’s cap” about the solar showers….

        My guess is the decision-makers are depending upon moneyed boaters from the Phoenix area filling in the sites abandoned by those with fewer resources. Whether that happens or not . . . .

  18. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Happy, healthy and hanging out! Enjoy!

    I too thought the cactus had a message!

  19. Don in Okla. says:

    I too have to vote with you on Christmas. No wife, no kids, no grandkids. Just my fur buddies and they don’t expect much. Just some food and attention which I am glad to give them for Christmas and every day.
    Best wishes to you and Bridget for a Peaceful Christmas day and every day, and I will be pondering the real reason for the season.
    And thank you for the gift of your blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Don. Thank you for the lovely wish. May the blessings of the first Christmas fill your holiday with warmth and light!

  20. Utah Bonnie says:

    I share your sentiments about the Christmas hullabaloo and I hope you and Bridget enjoy a quiet, peaceful holiday. I have to admit that one of the things that appeals to me about being on the road is no obligatory holiday nonsense. My fur buddy, Gage and I will do just fine without it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s our little secret, Utah Bonnie… (We vagabonds can skip the Christmas craziness! Shhhhh…. 🙂 )

  21. Cari in Plano Texas says:

    This last month has been really hectic and I’ve not had the time to read or comment. However, the last few days have been less busy and I’ve been able to at least read and catch up with your activities.

    Drum roll please – I am now officially a member of the RETIRED community. I did my last ATM cleaning visits on Thursday and finished up the reports on Friday. I am done (in more ways than one). I had met with my financial guy about 2 weeks ago and signed all the paperwork to start taking distributions from my IRA starting next year, and financially I’m in good shape. It hasn’t really sunk in yet, probably won’t till mid-January when I’m supposed to be working LOL

    I’m with you on the Christmas hullabaloo (I just love that word). I’m usually working till Dec. 21, then my mother expects me to visit her the week of Christmas. We go to my brother’s Christmas Day for lunch, and it’s usually a madhouse with kids, grandkids, greatgrands. Since I live alone, being around that many people, even though I do care for them, gets on my nerves after awhile. Sigh…maybe next year I can do a disappearing act and head for the desert?

    I’ll be away from the computer this week, so MERRY CHRISTMAS to you, Sue, and Bridget, and all my fellow blogorinos.

  22. Mert in Kentucky says:

    Oh how adorable Mz. Pretty in purple!!
    Sue, is she afraid of storms? Wandering if this sweater would also work as the thunder shirt does… I need to get a thunder shirt for Asia (again that’s if Columbus tent and awning carries it) she’s a big girl, and a big scaredy cat too. Storms, the vacuum sweeper, and loud noises scare ms. Asia to death!
    Love the photos. Hate the weathers not been so great… Luckily for you, you all are not here at the 3rd layer, it’s cold here. Snow flurries last night, they say white Christmas for us… We shall see, we are in what they call the horseshoe, snow goes all the way around us but rarely hits us. Maybe that has something to do with the 3rd later haha. Flames won’t let the snow touchdown.
    Merry Christmas… Again. Please forgive us if Asia and I tell you that everyday 😉
    Peace,joy,happiness and most of all …
    Falalalala.. Lalateedada 🙂
    Mert and Queen Asia

    • Mert in Kentucky says:

      Ps… First thing that crossed my mind was ” that cactus is flipping the bird”
      Love it!! Borrowed it!! Thanks for all you do sue!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mert,

      Fortunately Bridget has never acted afraid during thunderstorms. A snug-fitting sweater might work to calm a dog, I don’t know. The thunder shirt works for some dogs and not others. Poor Queen Asia is a sensitive lady!

      • Marilu from Northern California says:

        The thunder shirt worked well for my Rosie but only if I got it on her at the first hint of thunder far in the distance. It didn’t help if she was already in a panic.

      • Mert in Kentucky says:

        To be such a big girl. She’s very sensitive. I have spoiled her and sheltered her too. She gets her feelings hurt so easy. Goes off to the bedroom and pouts. And if I have company. She runs and jumps up in my lap. All 100 lbs of her. 🙂

  23. debsjourney says:

    hi Sue,
    This campground is absolutely beautiful thank you for sharing. Today was a lazy day since I am staying home making sure Rosie keeps herself mellow and doesn’t chew or lick her sutures. It rained all day which freaks her out.but she’s doing good.
    Isn’t retirement lovely !

  24. Deborah says:

    I, too, have opted out of Christmas and don’t miss it. I guess I prefer to revert back to the spiritual part of Christmas and excise the crazy consumer part.

    A few years ago the National Forest in Tucson decided they needed to raise the entry fees to the Coronado National Forest. There were lots of objections but it went through anyway. I believe it raised the entry fee something like four times what it was. Locals ended up buying more yearly passes as a result and traffic didn’t seem to change too much. However, raising camping fees at Tonto that much just makes it look like they really don’t want people camping there all that much anymore. Kind of sad.

    I hope you and Bridget have a lovely, peaceful Christmas! Picasso says “woof” and Feliz Navidad! Thank you so much for the work you put into your blog. Know that it is really appreciated!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Deborah, and thanks for expressing appreciation.

      One way to look at the increased fee situation — We bring it on ourselves. Many people don’t really want to camp, they want to bring the city with them when they come to a place like Roosevelt Lake.

      In researching this topic I came across people wanting electric service hook-ups to be put in at Roosevelt Lake campgrounds… Maybe the increase in fees is coming, in part, because of anticipation of this demand for an “upgrade.”

  25. Wayne Dyer says:

    Raising those camp fees will not cut traffic. Just like all the other raises nationwide, people buy into it thinking its just o.k. Someday, the public has to learn it isn’t o.k. to raise these fees. Time to put a halt to such activity. You already have paid your dues with certain taxes. Raising the fee is just another tax going nowhere.

    • Calvin R says:

      That logic works except on those of us who absolutely do not own the money. We have to go elsewhere.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I agree with Wayne and Calvin. The people who CAN will “buy into it” and the people who CAN’T will stay away.

  26. Jan Johnson says:

    Wow it is so beautiful there! But $25 is highway robbery! They will find themselves with no revenue coming in. There is such greed in the world – makes me nuts! You can get a hotel room in a cheap hotel for not much more than that!

    We don’t have a Christmas like most as my family lives close but is not close and no one does the big dinners anymore. I am kind of sad for my kids but secretly I am glad as I much prefer just us and the furry children be together on Christmas. It’s one time I ‘m glad we can’t afford gifts for others as there is so much stress involved and I hate the commercialism of it all. I was such a grinch I didn’t tell my kids Santa was real as I made a pact with myself not to lie to them and I have a more preferable reason to celebrate Christmas that is real as far as I am concerned.

    It drives me nuts – all the Christmas music that starts in early November now. It is all so fake and all about buying things. Even Thanksgiving is not sacred anymore and people have to work and be away from their families so people can get more deals on gifts. Right there where you are is so much more preferable and peaceful and REAL!

    Have a wonderful quiet peaceful Christmas with that pretty gal in the purple sweater!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I understand about the change in your way of celebrating Christmas. Times have changed, including families. Many families can no longer handle the big-dinner celebrations (for various reasons) that were part of the traditional family where the mother stayed at home, the father worked hard outside the home or on the farm to support the family, grandparents and the extended family were nearby to help, etc. Not many Norman Rockwell type families anymore…

      Add the materialism and you have the charade known as The Holidays. I’m glad you’ve found how to have a real Christmas.

  27. Karla in Ky. says:

    It has been a real treat to read your posts for a month now. I am also a retired teacher and now have a pet sitting business. Bought a small camping trailer this year and now camp on weekends. My parents used to camp at Apache Junction for 3 mths.each winter in their Airstream. We would go visit them from Ky and they took us all around the area you are in now. It is truly a beautiful and interesting place. Seeing your pictures is such a pleasure. I wish you much pleasure and peace in your travels. God bless you as you go down the road in 2015!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome, Karla in Ky! I’m thrilled you dropped in to say a few words. Thanks for the kind message. It’s my pleasure to revive sweet memories for you.

  28. Cheryl Ann says:

    Bridget looks so darn CUTE in her new outfit!

    I completely understand your attitude toward the holidays. I’m on a 3 week winter break and, as you know, I REALLY need a break!
    Take care, enjoy the beautiful scenery. We stopped at Roosevelt Lake a couple of years ago. Very nice area. We headed up to Payson after that, then up to the Mogollon Rim.
    ~~Cheryl Ann~~

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m going to do that sometime… Go up on the Rim… when it’s warmer up there! Enjoy your break, Cheryl Ann….

      • wildflower in prescott says:

        When you camp on the Rim take some Zane Grey novels with you. His historic cabin burned in a wild fire some years ago. I think the fire was called the Dude fire.

  29. weather says:

    Pleasantly uneventful days,both of you happy,healthy just hanging out,a lovely place to do nothing more than that in-sounds wonderful Sue,I’m glad you’re enjoying being excused from what most are putting themselves through this time of year.While I find charming the lights,cards,cookies,gift wrapping ,ribbons and traditional family gatherings with all that entails I’ve barely participated in any of that since my son’s had his own place.For the sake of his feeling that he had a normal home those things were part of our life.These recent two decades plus have been far more simple by choice.

    The original Rescuer chose to stay in an animal shelter that night,it doesn’t get much simpler than that-following that lead is a great choice in my book 🙂

    • Shirlene says:

      Sitting and relaxing this weekend, watching the weather channel, which I find more relaxing the CNN, my thoughts drifted to you and your home and for a brief moment I wished to send you a text, just to say I was thinking of you…so this will have to do….I was thinking of you, as I often do, slip away, to New York State somewhere.

      • weather says:

        Hi Shirlene,feeling winter’s first visit here I thought of you,too,having the year’s earliest sunset .Our beaches now really start to look different than each others,mine got it’s first bit of ice last night.Nice to know though warm,cold,t-bird or jeep as wheels alter- our connection doesn’t 🙂

        • Shirlene says:

          The winter solstice was on my mind also as I drove to work this morning, realizing that now my day light will be growing longer, and soon I will not travel in the dark to get to work…I appreciate, so much, the first break of the sun in the morning over Saddleback mountain…God’s work at hand, glorious…going to be 77 here today at the beach, that is wonderfully vacant at this time of year, and beautiful to behold, the Pacific Ocean at any time of day…last nights sunset over the ocean was pink-pink-pink and looking back towards the mountains with snow on them, painted with pink from the sunset…I wish you could have seen it, only you could have had words for it, mine were lacking, the beauty to awesome for (my) words.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      Christmas is much different when there are young people in the house. Every stage of life has its expectations and pleasures. I know you share my enjoyment of a simpler way of life. We are fortunate to be able to cast off the fooferall of commercial Christmas….

      I love the reminder you give us in your last paragraph!

  30. Dawn in MI says:

    Happy for you guys.

  31. Getting ready to enjoy our “last” Christmas with the kids minus one, and then looking forward to being “excused” from the holiday hoopla ourselves! I love all the trappings of Christmas and I’m still ready for something different 🙂 Bummer about the fee increase – especially such a significant one. Doesn’t seem very practical.
    Holiday hugs to you and Bridget!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I like how you’re ready to enjoy this Christmas with family and yet you’re “ready for something different.” Treasure what is good and move with life’s changes. 🙂

  32. POPS (John) says:

    just a quick note to wish you and bridge a very happy CHRISTMAS !! love reading your posts & hope to be doing the the same thing next year . (just bought a 13′ BOLER) take care , and be well . chow

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations on the Boler, John! You’ll be able to tuck that trailer into lots of wonderful boondocks… Only one more year to go! I’m glad you love reading my blog.

  33. Aw, Bridgie! You look so cute in your sweater! What an amazizng cactus–love your photos, Sue! Sheesh, so many states are trying to balance their budgets through fees. I just don’t get that. Awhile back, I saw a document online about the fee increase, It’s too bad it goes year-round. With a fee that high, fewer people will come in the summer & even fewer people will come the rest of the year. It could potentially cost the state (or whichever government agency runs the park) more money once they raise the fees. Sigh.

    Christmas…I’m conflicted. I love family gatherings during this time but hate the consumerism. It’s a very hard time for the children I see. They have many expectations about what they ‘want’ that is fueled by television & retail stores. Unfortunately, their families can ill afford most items. I recently read somewhere that children would do well to be given 3 gifts for Christmas–one thing they want, one thing they need & one experience. I like that but boy. Would it ever put a double whammy on retail.

    Have a good day, ladies.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Your comment awakened Christmas memories for me! The “3 gifts for Christmas” principle is pretty much what my parents followed, although they may not have thought of it that way. I remember the Christmas when I found a doll I wanted under the tree, along with new pajamas, and Santa came to our house one night in his red suit and beard. 🙂 Another year it was a bike, a sweater, and probably driving around looking at the lights…

  34. Susie A. says:

    Good Morning, Sue and Bridget:

    Wondering what the high temps are during your days there. Bridget is looking rather slim and fashionable these days, no longer a full figure woman.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The highs have been in the 65-69 degree range. Of course, I don’t own a thermometer so that’s a guess. Pull a lounger up to the side of the BLT on the sunny side and it feels warmer.

  35. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    Beautiful pictures, of course. And Bridget looks so cute in her sweater!!! I agree with you about all the chaos at Christmas. It drives me crazy…people don’t appreciate the gifts…they get what they want when they want it. The wonder and surprise is gone. Sort of sad to me. We try to focus on the real reason for Christmas ….the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pauline,

      And the gifts get bigger and more expensive every year! I don’t know how parents with children/teenagers in the house manage all the expectations…

      As always, thanks for the compliment on the photos. Love you!

  36. I’ve been wondering if there will be holiday crowds where I’m camped. It was a bit busy this weekend, mostly with day use anglers. And some RVs left this morning, I guess to be with family for Christmas. But it might get crowded again between Christmas and New Year. If so, I’ll have to leave my pleasant oasis and head for the desert.

  37. Shirlene says:

    Good Morning Sue, I am very happy to share my morning coffee with you this morning….Happy to see that you are happy and Bridget is happy as well, as well. Love the pictures and wish I could be there, not with you but beside you somewhere in the campground…many of us are jealous of the simplicity of your Christmas and the quiet way you and Bridget will observe the holiday… Bless you both and keep you safe the rest of the year and beyond.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Shirlene. I wish the same for you.

      I didn’t always have a simple Christmas. Now that I’m retired and alone with Bridget, it’s the way I get the most out of the holiday…. counting my blessings, being grateful for the gifts I receive every day, finding peace and joy in the little things.

  38. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Morning ya’ll

    Im sickened by the recent events in NYC involving NYPD. The media contributes to the anti sentiment….a job that already inherently dangerous has just escalated.

    An arrest of an individual is taking a person into custody using enough force to accomplish it! If you don’t follow instructions or do something stupid…then the aftermath is on you! People tend to forget we don’t make the laws we just enforce them!

    I used to tell folks…you ARE going to jail….for something YOU did….how you get there is YOUR choice! See I can go for zero to beeeeotch in nothing flat!

    Holidays are usually the time for nice family gatherings…I personally gave up 30 years of family gatherings to keep peace in the not so nice family gatherings.

    My thoughts are now with the families who are affected by this senseless act and those who have chosen this line of work. We don’t choose our day…our day chooses us!

    The goal everyday is to go home to your family like you arrived at work….in one piece.

    Where am I going with this??? Dunno…people nowadays are “off the chain”. Nothing really new….it just seems like bad behavior is glorified which tends to incite more!

    Thanks for listening to me vent…….now back to the the regularly scheduled blog!

    • Shirlene says:

      Amen! Thank you for your service, it is a heroic job and you are one of my heros.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Cinandjules,

      I hear you! As former law enforcement officers, the recent events must be extremely aggravating and painful for you both. The entire situation makes me sick.

      I remember when I lived in Georgia, there was outrage over aphoto in the local newspaper showing a man lying on the porch of a house that wasn’t his. The police officer who caught him trying to break into the home had his foot on the guy’s neck in order to subdue him. Oh, how people made a fuss and ripped into that officer with the usual excuses for the criminal!

      My reaction is: If you don’t want a shoe on your neck, don’t try to open the door of a house that doesn’t belong to you. Simple!

      Obey the law! Respect law enforcement officers! If they tell you to do something (or not), well, duh… follow their instructions! Don’t wave a gun around, fake or real. Don’t make any fast moves. Do what you’re told or suffer the consequences!

      Okay, sorry folks… I’m breaking my own rule about rants… but the killing needs to stop!

    • Timber n' me says:

      I for one agree with Cindy and Jules, If one gives respect , the other gets respect. I am deeply sorry at what our nation has come to as far as our law enforcements is treated by rebels who hold grudges on people who were not involved in the shootings of people who are doing wrong and I think those who cause harm or death to our law officers who are doing their jobs ARE COWARDS and has as much BRAINS as a BB in a BOXCAR, ,,,,,,,,

      • Timber n' me says:

        In God I Trust, All others are Checked out on NCIC, God Bless All Our Police Officers, they walk a Thin Blue Line

    • Applegirl NY says:

      Cinandjules,
      Thank you for your faithful service. Please remember that most of the people in this country are grateful for our law enforcement officials.

  39. Terri From Texas says:

    Cinandjules,
    My heart definitely goes out to the families of the police officers murdered. Being a police officer is a thankless job, I am sure, and they deserve more respect than they get! They need much more protection and support-especially from the media and the spineless politicians who want to placate those who have no respect for the law in this land. My prayers this season are for law enforcement officers!

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Heroes are the young women and men who are serving our country in someone else’s land and problem.

      LE like any other chosen profession was our job. Our beat was Oakland CA aka the kill zone as we were always the hunted. Respect is a two way street..we were always firm and fair…did our job to the best of our ability and lived with the decisions we made. It is IMHO the best job on earth!

      We were fortunate……both of us made it to retirement!

      • Mick'nTN says:

        Bet you remember the 1989 “Shake” I was in LA at the time. Thanks for your service and I’m so glad you reached retirement Ok. RvSueandCrew would not be the same without you.

    • Lolalo says:

      ….And you know what ticks me off? “Celebrities” and football players and ‘singers’ and golfers, etc. that make mega millions – for what??? Our ‘system’ is all messed up and turned around. Our military and (good) police officers that put their LIFE on the line for US should be making the money. Not celebrities and football players! Why do people continue to pay the excess prices of concert tickets and game tickets? Guess its called capitalism, but don’t you think we have it all backwards? People that provide service for the public should be well compensated. Unfortunately, I don’t see that ever happening.
      “They” continue to take away military benefits. The pay is so small that many military families qualify for food stamps. Not to mention the ones that are injured in the line of duty.
      Say it isn’t true…Joe Cocker?
      On the bright side – you are in a beautiful location and taking advantage of the area while you can. Bridge looks cute in purple.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Like you, I don’t understand why people allow themselves to be led like sheep into paying exorbitant ticket prices. If everyone would ignore the game/show for a couple of years, the prices would plummet. It would be such fun to see these self-important football players/celebrities having to appear in ads begging people to watch them chase a ball around a field or whatever they do.

        And military pay… Oh, don’t get me started!

  40. Timber n' me says:

    I agree, the Cacti is giving the camping commission the bird. ,,,,,Christmas is to celebrate Christ’s birth and the world has turned it into a money scheme, you see it coming in as early as September,,,, Some don’t Know the True Meaning of the Day. ,,,, ok ,,,, It’s 52 here near the Colorado River and clear, the sun is bright this Morn and Timber is sleeping in our bed, well he was, Big stretch and now at my pillow going back to sleep. ,,,,,,, I am thankful for Christmas and Christ’s Birth, for if he did not come to be born, we all would be lost, forever. ,,,May the Lord Jesus Christ Bless You All and Keep You All Safe. ,,,,,,,Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS, ,,,,,,, Timber n’ Rusty

    • Shirlene says:

      My thoughts are with you and timber also Rusty….have a blessed Holiday…kiss timber one or twice on his cute nose.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty,

      The sun is bright here, too, this morning. Sounds like your weather on the west side of Arizona is similar to ours here on the east side at low elevation.

      That Timber has a very good life!

    • Marilu from Northern California says:

      Hi Rusty and Timber,
      Merry Christmas! I hope you are snug and warm in your little home on wheels and that you enjoy this day and every day in peace and good health.

  41. rvsueandcrew says:

    MOMENT OF SILENCE PLEASE . . .

    Joe Cocker died.

    You are so beautiful to me
    You are so beautiful to me
    Can’t you see
    You’re everything I hoped for
    You’re everything I need
    You are so beautiful to me

    Such joy and happiness you bring
    Such joy and happiness you bring
    Like a dream
    A guiding light that shines in the night
    Heaven’s gift to me
    You are so beautiful to me

    • Shirlene says:

      OMG….he is my era…good thing I am not old! Lol.

    • AlanOutandAbout says:

      I saw Joe back in the day in Chicago at the Aragon Ballroom. He was with Leon Russell in the Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. One of the best concerts I ever attended and I was at Woodstock. Bird on a Wire is still one of the best ever songs.

    • DesertGinger says:

      I’m from ?Tulsa…home of Leon Russell, JJ Cale, Shelter Records. They used to all play at the Observatory Club, which my brother managed and I waitressed. So sad they are all dying. I loved Joe Cocker.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Ohhhhhhh….wondered who he was when I heard….now I remember. Lovely song. We will miss that kind of good music!!

  42. Nora says:

    Merry Christmas, Sue and Bridget! I envy you the peace. Hope to be doing the same thing next Christmas.

  43. Applegirl NY says:

    I absolutely love the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. Loads of cooking, eating, singing, church going and gatherings of friends and family.

    I’ve always said about the holidays… “I love to see them come, and I love to see them go.”

    If we focus on the reason for the season, we can all find our own way of celebrating, whether alone and in quiet, or with 4 generations of crazy in the house. God Bless us Everyone!

  44. Glenda in OZ! says:

    What a lovely place to spend Xmas Sue. I would change your Xmas for mine any day. Wishing you the happiest of days with Bridget looking resplendent in her new purple coat…..gorgeous! All the best for your travels in 2015……….love and hugs to you and the wonderful Bridget XX

  45. Lynn Brooks says:

    Fabulous photos, as always, Sue!!
    I feel as you do about the “Hullabaloo” at this time of year.
    My family is Jewish & we celebrate Chanuka. Even though we are rather “low key” it still brings its own set of pressures. Makes it difficult to enjoy the season. Makes it difficult to continue to teach my 5 year old granddaughter about giving to & helping those who are less fortunate than we are.
    A big part of me wishes I could be out there with you (separate camper & site!!!), but AWAY from all the craziness!!
    I’ve only been following your blog since July this year….you never speak of family. I know you’ve made friends out on the road – I did, too, when I was out there (friends I still love & cherish today). But I did miss my family.
    I hope you get to be with yours, if that is what makes you happy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lynn,

      Thank you for giving us a peek into your life and family. The most revealing thing you wrote — the part that tells me what sort of person you are — is found in the last line… “if that is what makes you happy.”

      I was skipping around the web and happened across the title of an article by Dr. Phil. It was something like “Invite someone alone to join you at the holidays.” Huh? What is this? An extrovert conspiracy? Maybe we WANT to be alone, Dr. Phil! Re-title your article… How about this? “Make a loner miserable for the holidays!” Haha!

      Anyway… I would love to be with my sisters at Christmas, but that’s not necessary for me to be happy. My happiness comes from knowing that they and their families are okay.

  46. Annie says:

    Love your attitude about Christmas! Very funny! It DOES come around too often for me as well!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I used to wonder about people who left their Christmas lights tacked onto their house all year long. tsk-tsk!

      Now I get it! You go to the trouble of putting up the lights, then you take them down, pack them away, and, first thing ya’ know, it’s time to put the dang lights on the house again. Those people aren’t slackers. They’re smart!

  47. John in NM says:

    Maybe it’s not too late to return Bridgets sweater.
    Merry Christmas, John

  48. kgdan says:

    Sad day in our family; so glad I made a visit home earlier this month. Today our son had to have our oldest cat put down & then had to bury him; a first for him. Kitty was a faithful but ornery friend. I’m glad I had the opportunity to spoil him when I was home.

    • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

      So sorry for your loss. Our critters are all treasured members of our families. Know my thoughts are with you, hoping you are comforted by your memories.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, no! I remember you showing me your dear cat. I’m sorry. How tough for all of you. I’m glad you have the memory of your last visit with him, Kathy.

    • Teri in SoCal says:

      I’m so very sorry for your loss, I understand it only too well. It sounds like Kitty was loved.

  49. weather says:

    Good morning Sue,
    Thunderstorms-that’s what they’re forecasting for Christmas eve here!I’m simply thrilled!Since thunder,lightening and wind are some of my all-time very favorite things and no one else is likely to be pleased by it I know it’s a personal gift.So I went out early to see if I could determine the real likelihood of that in the atmosphere and found that a warm rain had melted the ice.The lake’s full of waves,geese and seagulls,a cardinal and squirrel came to visit,the leaves left have turned into colors of cinnamon sticks and were twirling as if they were as happy as me.Whatever you and Bridget decide to do today,I hope treats are involved to attend this happy dance party with me 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      I can relate to your love of thunderstorms with wind. You have a balcony seat from which to experience it! I’m imagining those birds on the lake and the cardinal and squirrel who visited you, the cinnamon leaves…

      All is calm, all is bright at our camp in the desert. Sunrise lights up the mist on the mountains, a flock of black-throated sparrows twittering around our house, and we, too, had a cardinal visit briefly. Of course, my favorite visitor is the roadrunner. He gives me a laugh every afternoon when he comes by!

      Wishing you laughter and dancing . . .

      • Shirlene says:

        Loving you both this wonderful morning before my families gather for Christmas eve. I may be working tomorrow and Christmas, but my spirit is alive and well.

        • weather says:

          Love you.too,Shirlene,may gifts be felt attending you throughout.

          • Shirlene says:

            I would like to send you something…go to manateewoman.com….gift portal…pick an image and I will send one to you…this is our small business adventure I hope to keep us financed while on the road….I won’t be offended if you chose not to reach out to this site…

            • Shirlene says:

              And Sue, too.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Hi, Shirlene,

              What an accomplished photographer you are! Your site is very professional and unique.

              It’s sweet of you to want to send a gift. Thank you. It’s too restrictive, however, for me to receive items in the mail. Whenever I set that up, the first thing I know I’m not wanting to hang around the post office general delivery address I gave. I change my mind on a whim and can’t predict where I will be. Thanks again, Shirlene.

              I urge readers to browse Shirlene’s site for its information, beautiful pictures, and lovely gifts. manateewoman.com

            • weather says:

              Was out running errands,hope you find this !How sweet and kind of you to offer that,I’m so pleased and touched,Shirlene!
              It seems best to me not to exchange our home addresses on here,however.And for Sue to give our emails to each other,she’d be compromising her own.My hope in our meeting was to ,by then,feel freer to be on face book and reach you that way.Since I became the sole occupant of my home I’ve been cautious not to publicize whereabouts and such-hope you understand why-the whole single woman/isolated estate thing
              Anywho-o,thank you ever so!The eagle did capture my eye-we’ll have fun soon enough finding one’s together,friend,luv ya bunches,weather 🙂

            • Shirlene says:

              Yep, I get that from all sides…but I can be reached on the site address I gave you…the email address on the site…but by all means do what is comfortable, I completely understand…but I live there and will get your e-mail for sure without exposing either of us…just saying my friend..and Sue too…I am also cautious and will not answer e-mails I don’t recognize.

            • weather says:

              Oh good,I’ll use that to contact you!Thanks

            • Shirlene says:

              🙂

      • weather says:

        You’ve grasped amazingly well this place’s setting,Sue,wow,what an artistic perception your image of my having a balcony seat is,I love that!

        Seen on celebrity announcements- Once elusive roadrunner befriends famous boon-docker! This year’s winner in the home that gets to host Sue and Bridget for Christmas-the mysterious “Roadrunner’s Holiday Haven”-which according to legend can only be glimpsed through a mountain’s mists at sunrise…

        • Shirlene says:

          Oh Brother! between the two of you, your words make my heart sing.

        • weather says:

          Adding a P.S. much later.Since sunrise I tried a few times to greet you for coffee, yet each time found myself including divine language in my thoughts.Wanting to bring peace not uneasiness,I deleted without saying good morning Sue.I missed that and the chance to say hello-In case you did ,too-Hope you find this because I feel better already for doing it late rather than never 🙂

  50. Susan in Dallas says:

    Bridget, looking muy chic in your lovely purple sweater!

  51. cynthia jenkins says:

    Merry Christmas rvsue and Bridget!!!!
    Have safe holidays and a happy New Year!
    Thanks for your lovely posts.
    Cynthia 🙂

  52. Lee J in Northern California says:

    this morning I went out on the front porch..and there was a rolled up mat for the truck bed…wow, I say to my husband, that took a while..he informed me that he had just ordered it. So, I apparently misspoke a couple of weeks ago, not ordered when I thought…but there it is, finally! Hope it shows up on your list!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Lee J. and Lee J.’s husband! I’ve see a couple of truck bed items ordered over the past few months. I’m sure I’ll get credit for your purchase. As always I appreciate you shopping Amazon from here.

  53. Ron Sears says:

    Wishing you and Bridget a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Be safe girl..

  54. DesertGinger says:

    I’ve just been reading about FDR in Wikipedia. The Internet is so miraculous. We always used to have sets of encyclopedias in our house. Now you just go online to read anything you want. Really miraculous.

    I’m getting worried about my taxes. The attorney supposedly doing them is quite elderly and very forgetful. He has had the stuff since early October and still hasn’t done them. He told me to call this afternoon and check…he thought he would be done. Nope. He didn’t even remember he told me to call. Now the office is closed till January 5. I don’t know what to do. I gave the Feds and state breathing down my neck and this guy can’t remember anything. It’s free service…but I haven’t gotten anything yet! Don’t know if it’s worth it.

    Other than that, I have work tomorrow then Xmas day dinner with friends. Maybe a movie after. Low key.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ginger,

      That tax situation is a stone around your neck… Sorry to hear this latest snag. Let’s assume the tax collectors celebrate the holidays like normal people do (oh, that wasn’t nice) . . . Your attorney brought a picture to my mind of Scrooge bent over his desk, bony fingers, rimless glasses sliding down his beak of a nose . . . .

      I hope you can put the tax issue out of your mind in order to enjoy your holiday.

      • DesertGinger says:

        Hahaha! Your picture is pretty accurate!

        I’m fine. Went to Crackerbarrel and got a chocolate pecan pie to bring to dinner tomorrow. Will probably find a movie to see later.

        All is well.

  55. Marilu from Northern California says:

    Merry Christmas, Sue! Merry Christmas, Bridget!
    I’m wishing you happiness, peace and adventures this Christmas and in the coming year.. Thank you for the information and sense of community you give us all through this blog. How amazing that a group of people from all around this country and this world feel connected through an interest in you, your lifestyle and your travels. Travel on RV Sue and thank you so much for letting all of us ride with you!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re very welcome, Marilu! This blog and the people who visit it amaze me time and time again. I’m blessed in more ways than I can count! Thank you for the lovely message. Merry Christmas to you, too!

  56. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Today is Christmas Eve,
    I wish I could send you a card. You share so much with us each week–both the ups and the downs. What a treasure it is. I hope you know, that you bring JOY to my day.

    So here I am, sending a simple Christmas Wish to you and Bridget.

    May you be filled with joy this day. May your roving home on wheels be toasty, and the flowers bloom in the sun.

    Thank you for all you pass along Sue. The dreams you spur, the roads you share.

    Hugs from Hoquiam!
    Barb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Barb,

      No card needed! Seeing you here, many times throughout the year, is much better! Thank you for the precious Christmas Wish for me and Bridget. I just finished another post . . . . Off I go, see you later!

  57. Velda in Roseville Ca says:

    To everyone, a happy, safe, peaceful Merry Christmas. Having a quiet busy day here at home, expecting rain soon.

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