Being Too Busy

Although I’m still dreaming about vibrant fall colors, Al and I have been back in the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix, Arizona) for a little over a month now. I can’t figure out where the time has gone. Well actually, I do know … our days have been filled with predominantly obligations sprinkled in with a little fun here and there. I wish it were the other way around. You know, more fun and fewer obligations. Ah, such is life!

Both trucks have been in the shop for routine maintenance and then some. My little red Toyota Tacoma was in storage all summer. So basically, all she needed was an oil change and tire rotation along with a good cleaning. The Ford, on the other hand, needed a little more attention, especially after a 6,000-mile workout. (1,900 miles each direction and then all my exploring in Wisconsin and Minnesota.)

Truck trouble!

We are so grateful and lucky that our F-250 held up on our 1,900-mile journey back to Phoenix, Arizona. After a wonderful summer and fall spent in northern Wisconsin, we made it all the way to Arizona before encountering a problem. Once in Arizona, during the ever-changing terrain on Interstate 17 between Flagstaff and Phoenix, the truck came very close to overheating and not making it at the steepest grade just south of Camp Verde. According to our Mountain Directory (a must-have), the grade is about 6%, but anyone who drives this stretch of road regularly will tell you it feels much greater.

Turns out, the F-250 water pump was leaking and probably had this slow leak all summer long. Thus, the engine had trouble cooling, especially pulling the hills with the RV. Considering we were in mostly flat country all summer long with moderate temperatures and not pulling the RV regularly, we never noticed a problem with the truck until we hit Arizona and the ever-changing elevation. Whew! We dodged a close call of getting stuck on the side of the road.

All he needs now is a little exterior TLC, aka wash, wax, and vacuum. The Ford is almost ready for his next trip and is running like a champ and easily passed the Maricopa County (Phoenix) emission test … keeping the air clean – our truck is registered here since this is our legal domicile.

Our overnight stop just north of Des Moines, Iowa
Spent the night in a Cabela’s parking lot. Almost ready to hit the road as the sun was rising.

More appointments!

Along with tending to vehicle appointments, there have been Doctor, Dentist, and Vision appointments. Drilling, poking, prodding, x-rays, tests, scans, and follow-up visits have ensued. Al’s mouth and body are good to go for another year and I’m getting closer. Geez … this getting old stuff ain’t for sissies.🤣

Oh and I can’t forget to add in the water leak and a few other attention grabbing tidbits on the RV. So much for me and my remodeling ideas. That will be taking a backseat for a while, much to Al’s delight and my disappointment.

Family fun!

At least we’ve been able to add in a few fun family visits on a small scale. A Thanksgiving get together this Thursday is still up in the air. The eight of us are all trying to be Covid cautious. Thus, we’ll all check with one another at the last minute, and then if we do get together, we’ll probably eat outside. Fortunately, the weather in Phoenix, Arizona has been beautiful. Perhaps even a tad too warm with record highs being broken. It has been a hot year around here, and I’m glad Al and I were in northern Wisconsin for the worst of the heat.

wild turkey crossing the road
Why did the turkey cross the road? To get to the other side! Wild turkeys in Wisconsin. I found myself needing to stop regularly so I wouldn’t hit one.
turkey's crossing the road
Wild turkeys crossing the road. Dinner, anyone? Run, turkey, run!

Along with getting together with family back here in Arizona, we’re enjoying reconnecting with our RV Park friends (on a limited and socially distanced scenario, of course). We’ve chosen not to engage in any of the park’s social functions even though they are trying to do their best with Covid guidelines. I’ve dealt with my fair share of illnesses the past several years (including flu, Valley Fever, and mononucleosis), so I’d really prefer to avoid this nasty virus.

My to-do list seems to be growing instead of dwindling. I won’t bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say, I’d really prefer being less busy. I guess you could say, I’ve been a little too busy lately and am looking forward to life slowing down soon. Ah, but with the holiday season in full swing, I don’t think that’ll happen anytime soon. On that note, excuse me if I’m a little less active here in the blogosphere. Life!

What a change from my relaxing summer. Calgon, take me away!

Photo Challenges:

As I was putting this post together, I couldn’t help but think about the differences between our summer home and winter home and it’s not just the drastic contrast between the two landscapes. It’s about our mindset. When we visit family property in northern Wisconsin, we’re more in vacation mode and tend to think less of life’s responsibilities, unless we’re talking about an RV tank leak, then it’s all business, in more ways than one 🤣

When we return to AZ, it’s like returning home after being on vacation. It’s time to think about responsibilities and get back to being an adult. Phoenix is our home base where we have an annual RV site. It’s our place of residence and the place we spend the most amount of time. So I guess it’s safe to say, Phoenix, Arizona is our main home, and Hayward, Wisconsin is our second home.

I’m so incredibly thankful to still be able to travel via our RV and enjoy two such beautiful worlds while spending time with people we love in both places. With that said, enjoy a few images showcasing how different our two homes are.

Sunday Stills: Terri’s theme this week is Thankful. Amy’s theme: Lens-Artist photo challenge #124: Now and Then.

Then: northern Wisconsin.

Early summer morning at the lake in WI
A crisp fall morning at the lake .
Lush vegetation abounds in the northern Midwest.

Now: Phoenix, Arizona

Lake Pleasant
Sunset over Lake Pleasant, Phoenix Arizona
Hiking in the desert
Golf anyone? Quintaro Golf Course.

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69 thoughts on “Being Too Busy

  1. You live in two beautiful places, Ingrid. How wonderful! I know exactly what you mean about the never-ending list of doctor appointments! We still have a few more. But, it’s necessary. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m glad you’re being cautious! Take care.

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    1. Thank you Patti. We are grateful we have these two places to travel between. Hopefully, this summer, we’ll be able to explore a little during our route to and from. And a happy Thanksgiving to you.🦃

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  2. Photos are mesmerizing. I like that you laid out a map of your trip, it was very interesting to study your path, for me a person who lives very far from the United States. It’s great that you are constantly on the move, good luck!

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  3. Nice write-up, Thanks.
    I keep trying to find you sitting outside so we can actually meet face to face but it hasn’t happened yet. I’ll keep trying – this season for sure. And we too are shunning the activities in the interest of staying healthy.
    Curious about the photo of Quintaro Golf Course – I would like to hear about that trip. We’ve been by it but I thought it was totally private and Obscenely pricey. Can anyone just visit it?
    Meet up soon!
    John

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    1. Hi John, it has been a tad crazy for us and I could use a little boredom. I haven’t even been out walking … much to my chagrin. A few years ago, we had friends rent one of the townhomes at Quintaro for the winter. They ended up having a get together with the RV group of people that we all befriended while staying at Lake Pleasant. We’ve all moved on (majority to a sticks n bricks) but still keep in touch. I thought they did allow the public to golf there although pricey as you mentioned. Hope to meet soon!

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  4. Beautiful photos! My husband is from Wisconsin and I hail from South Dakota. I sure miss the lush greenery but not the wind and cold blustery winters! Glad your truck issues are fixed and it wasn’t terribly serious and that your back in action. Have fun and be safe with the family this holiday season.

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    1. Thank you Angela. I really enjoyed my summer immersed in the lush vegetation in northern Wisconsin, but as you mentioned, I do not miss the cold blustery winters. Brrr, just thinking about it. My SIL has been sending me pics of the snow sitting where our RV once sat. I’m happy settling for pics of the snow 😁

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  5. Ingrid,
    There really is a difference between travel, vacation, and home, and certainly a different activity level. Glad you made it back. Thanks to a tip from you, we always turn off the AC when climbing grades. I’ve witnessed overheated vehicles, and it would not be fun. Man, they grow turkeys big in Wisconsin! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Joe

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    1. I’m sure when you and Helen return from one of your lengthy excursions, those first few weeks home are filled with a long list of ‘to-do’s’. We’ve had almost thirty years of experience driving some serious elevation grades and it’s just a good habit to turn off everything in the cab.
      Yes, those turkey’s are big. They startled me more than once on an early morning photo outing. Yet the only images I snapped were from the truck with my iPhone 😏

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  6. So glad you dodged the bullet of truck trouble on the road, Ingrid. And good to know you’re safely back in Arizona and all is well. Your Cabela’s photo brought back many a fond memory of our own sunrises at Cabela’s. There’s something about waking up with the sun in that quiet and empty lot that promises another magical day on the road. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Al – stay safe and well!

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    1. Thank you so much Mary. Yeah, we’re glad we made it back to AZ and ‘our’ mechanic. Nothing worth than breaking down in unfamiliar territory while pulling an RV. Wishing you and the family a lovely Thanksgiving as well.

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  7. Sure know how you feel about hauling up that particular hill! It is a breeze with either of our cars, but always reminds us of the trip when we had Jeep troubles at Brigham City. The Dodge dealership couldn’t fix the problem quickly, but said we would likely make it back to Alberta but it wouldn’t be in record time. We had enough power on the flats, but only low and slow on the mountain passes. So slow that a semi could almost, but not quite, pass us!

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    1. Oh, I hear ya on the slow. We were chugging up that hill slowly along with the semi’s. Under normal circumstances, our F-250 can pull those grades with the RV in tow just fine. Therefore, we knew something was wrong. Alas, all is well 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I know how you feel!! Each time I’m at our “home away from home” in Massachusetts, I work from morning until evening, because we have the resources. Each time I visited Belgium before (which now has been two years), I’d run from doctor to dentist to other appointments, sprinkled in with family and friend visits. Those two – three weeks would fly by and I’d be back in the US wondering what just happened.

    And now, this last month, between the driving, running errands, getting our life on the road in order, dog walks, my normal jobs, and publishing my memoir, I haven’t had a moment to breathe and I need and utilize those 16 awake hours to the last minute!

    Yikes about the truck, but luckily, the problem was discovered in time. When we do steep grades or drive in the mountains, Mark is always adamant to not turn the AC on, no matter how hot it is. Luckily, we didn’t have this problem crossing the country this time of the year.

    By the way, we are back in Arizona, baby! Tomorrow, we will base ourselves in Tucson for a bit.

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    1. Whether we’re pulling the RV or not, we tend to turn off everything in the cab driving mountain grades. It’s just easier on any vehicle, but especially when pulling extra weight like the RV.

      I think things will slow down soon for us… I hope. We still have some vision appts. and a test follow-up. Today I get a new windshield on the Toyota. At least the weather is gorgeous. Welcome back to AZ … enjoy the sunshine!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, you guys certainly understand truck issues. We know all about those big ticket items, but I think you got us beat. Not a competition one wants to win.

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  9. We have seen many overheated motorhomes and trucks on the side of the road over the years. It’s actually somewhat surprising it doesn’t happen more often given how hard we are on these engines and how much we ask them to do. I’m so glad you guys didn’t get stranded and were pretty close to home.

    We, too, feel lucky that we can enjoy thanksgiving dinner outside. The weather here in the southwest makes things so much easier on all of us than our friends and family up north. At least there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. I read today that the folks running the vaccination project expect life may get back to normal by May. Fingers crossed….

    Stay well and Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. That’s hopeful news on the vaccine. I’d love to see life to return to something a little more normal. Fingers crossed, indeed!

      One of our worst breakdowns was on that two-lane road leading to and from the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Our truck literally just stalled and there was no place for us to pull over. Talk about a stressful situation. Alas, all is well … for now 😏
      Hope you have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy your time in CA (if that’s where you are).

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  10. Wow that was a lucky break with the truck on the way home! We know that road from Flagstaff down to Phoenix and it has some good climbs.

    I absolutely love the photo of the wharf … it is so stunning!

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    1. Thanks S. Yeah, that up and down between Flag and Phoenix can be stressful under normal circumstances let allow vehicle issues. At least we figured out the problem and hope the 250 will be back to pulling like a champ.

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  11. Wow Ingrid, you do get around, Covid notwithstanding! Glad your trip back wasn’t a maintenance nightmare – you DID dodge a bullet! Your two different lives look equally beautiful, and your RV adds a third. No WONDER you’re busy!! Stay safe and enjoy the holiday season.

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    1. Thank you Tina. We do love our life and are fortunate to have two beautiful places to call home. Although, I would’ve loved a little more exploration to and from our destinations, under the circumstances, it was best to isolate ourselves as we drove from one place to the other. Hopefully next summer will be different. Fingers crossed!

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  12. So sorry about the truck troubles, but it’s great that it didn’t happen sooner. We will be pulling into your home place on January 2nd. Hopefully, we can get together for a distanced hike during the month we will be there! I always enjoy your posts, and photos!

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    1. We got lucky making it back to the valley and are grateful. Since being back, I have not hiked once nor even picked up my camera 😑 Hopefully, all my medical stuff is done by January and we can get in a couple of photo outings. These questionable test results requiring further testing are teeing me off 😆

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  13. Sorry to hear about your truck problems… ugh! Being busy is a bit exhausting at times and can get me into a tizzy.
    Love your photos. That first capture is gorgeous! And I always love seeing our desert paradise!
    Happy day to you!

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  14. I hear ya about obligations. After Den’s aunt died last November, he has been busy with her stuff, a sale, selling her house, etc. Now that is all done, and we are both doing medical stuff, and haven’t been anywhere in 3 years…Actually, we are thinking seriously of leaving Illinois permanently and moving South…Time will tell.Yes, getting old stinks.

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    1. Trust me, when I wrote that line about getting old, I was thinking of you and how it has been non-stop BS for you guys the last few years. Hope Dennis’ eye is better. The only family I have left in IL is my sister and she and I aren’t close. So Al and I don’t intend to ever set foot back in that state. Darla now lives in Sun City and loving it. She’ll be hosting Thanksgiving.

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  15. Both places are pretty but very different – I’m more of a lush green kinda of guy myself. While staying in Camp Verde, I tackled that hill a few times but only down in the RV.

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    1. We’ve lived in a arid climate now for the past thirty years and there are times I miss the lush vegetation found back east. I think that’s partly why I had such a fabulous summer. It felt great to immerse myself in the lushness of the landscape. I don’t miss those winters though!

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  16. Gorgeous photos, as always, Ingrid. So happy to hear the Ford got through the trip. Pulling an RV seems to always tax the pulling vehicle. And boy, time sure did fly, since you say you’ve been home for a month! It is wise to keep social distance this year, and you are blessed to be able to eat outside for the holidays, I know I would. We might be able to for Thanksgiving with my daughters since we have low 60s and sun predicted. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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    1. Thank you Terri. As busy as I’ve been, I’m sure you will be even busier with the upcoming move. I know you will cherish this Thanksgiving with your daughters in your home before the big move. Take care!

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  17. Ingrid – I figured you were busy. I was looking at your last post on 11/1 and thinking you were traveling. I am glad to read you are doing well and getting g back in the groove of winter in Arizona. Thanksgiving is going to be different here, too. Yay safe and have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.

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    1. It has been a crazy year for most of us and I’m looking forward to life settling down. I really wanted to visit the UP this past summer but due to Covid we decided to stay isolated on family property. Fingers crossed for next summer.
      Hope you and the family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  18. Beautiful photos of now and then. The sunset scene over the lake, wow!
    So glad you are back home and had a great trip. Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous photos and stories with us. See you soon.
    I have some of my shares of allergy, etc. So, I am doing my best to avoid this nasty virus.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Ingrid!

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  19. Ingrid, I hate to hear about your truck problems but I’m glad you made it to your destination safely. I can relate to having obligations – it seems like there is always something that gets in the way of fun! I love your then and now photos! Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving and a great winter!

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    1. Hi Beth. Normally, we aren’t quite this busy, but I guess as we get older, our yearly physicals get more involved … more tests, with more tests to follow up the questionable test results 😏 etc. There’s a certain level of stress or concern that ads to the time requirements. At least the trucks are running good.😆
      Happy Thanksgiving!

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  20. Beautiful photos. Juliette Kings had wild turkeys in her post. Both of your posts reminded me I haven’t seen the feral turkeys that use to stop by our property in a long time. Beautiful photos. You have the luxury of changing locals between winter and summer that gives you nice cross sections of the beauty in the different environments.

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    1. Thank you Timothy … I feel very fortunate that we’ve been able to spend time in a variety of landscapes. It’s interesting how seeing wild turkeys or bald eagles becomes a part of normal everyday life after awhile.

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  21. It’s a very different life in the desert versus up north Wisconsin or Michigan for me. I’m glad the truck didn’t strand you two, blessed! I think wild turkey would be tough eating!

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    1. It’s interesting, after living in the west for almost thirty years (and loving it), this past summer felt like a ‘home coming’ for me. I guess, once a Midwesterner, always a Midwesterner. I really enjoyed the lush landscape and pristine lakes, but boy am I glad I’m not there for the winter.

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  22. Wow, Your initial photo is gorgeous, Ingrid! I get it on obligations versus fun. It is a scary feeling when vehicles overheat. Funny how you list off vehicle maintenance and then the human maintenance. 🙂 Seeing family at all this year is a precious treasure. And, yes, avoiding a nasty virus is a priority. Ahhh, Calgon………..Stunning photos! Take care!

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    1. Thank you Erica. I remember taking that photo … before snapping that shot, I just stood there in awe taking in the vision of stunning colors, reflections, and overall beauty. It felt even more vibrant in person.

      Agree – this holiday season is even more precious when we can spend time with family. Hopefully, we all stay healthy 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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