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.๐Ÿคฃ

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 ๐Ÿคฃ

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.

Thank you for shopping my affiliate links.  โคAs an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

98 thoughts on “Being Too Busy

  1. Hi Ingrid, hope youโ€™re all doing well and done with all those appointments! Pictures are stunning. Wishing you a merry Christmas and many happy trails and tales.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Weโ€™re on the home stretch. Provided we get things done before Rickโ€™s knee surgery, we should be in by end of March. Im sure you understand, life happens…delays happen. Fortunately we werenโ€™t in a hurry and we committed to keeping this a fun project rather than a deadline.

        Like

        1. Oh yeah … I certainly hear ya on the ‘life happens’ subject. Glad to hear you were able to keep the project fun. Makes all the work more enjoyable. Fingers crossed for a March completion.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. I had VF back in 2015. My son and I contracted it at the same time. Both of us had “mild” cases which is still brutal. It took both of us about 10 months to feel recovered and I’m still partial to coughing from time to time.
      It’s a slow process, but you will feel better. BTW, I stopped by your blog and was going to comment, but couldn’t find the comment box ๐Ÿฅด

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Ahhh we have just had car problems ourselves on our road trip here in Mexico so I can relate. The car is second or probably more likely third or fourth hand and some particularly bad roads and pot holes got things out of whack.

    Love the photos especially the one of Northern Wisconsin with the wooden walkway going out over the water and the sunset in Arizona. Seems like two wonderful options to go between.

    it is interesting how owning homes lead to such responsibilities whereas renting makes things a lot easier to just come and go.

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You sure don’t want to have an issue in those parts of I17, and yes it does seem more of a 6% grade but I know that’s what the Mountain Directory says too. Glad the truck is feeling better, too bad the RV needs attention not decorating. Hope you get to relax soon, but being home responsibilities take precedent. Thinking about contrast, we’re a far cry from our summer home. Summer, even in IL, sure beats staying on the frontage road at a major intersection, but it’s all about the $$$s here. We’ll see if the trees last another 2 weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, so glad we avoided a breakdown along I-17. Been there, done that with a flat tire years ago. Not fun! Hope you guys get all those trees sold soon so you can move on. I’m sure living near a major intersection isn’t ideal. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

      Like

  4. When my husband and I were young and busy raising our family, we always heard older folks talk about how busy they were. We could not understand back then, but boy we do now! Hopefully you can have a respite from it real soon after Christmas. I feel so slow in learning, Ingrid, but I’m not sure I understand how the Sunday Stills work. I am following her blog. Perhaps I will gain an understanding as the next few weeks go by! Thanks! Blue Rock Horses Frederick County, Virginia

    bluerockhorses.wordpress.com Find us on Facebook

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My dad used to say, “Being retired is a full-time job”. ๐Ÿคฃ Although, we’re partially retired, it seems we have a full plate every day. Fortunately, things have slowed down a tad and I’m able to breathe again. When you visit Terri’s blog, specifically her “Sunday Stills” page, she lists upcoming themes.
      https://secondwindleisure.com/photography/sunday-stills-photo-challenge/
      So this Sunday, it’s City Sidewalks. Write a blog post with images either new or from your archives of YOUR representation of the subject. Then add a link to her site somewhere in your verbiage and then that will show up in her comments as a PingBack and folks might visit your site. It’s a great way of more blog engagement.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You have two lovely places to call home. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We also feel lucky to be able to socialize outdoors over the winter. We survived the hellacious Florida summer, so I guess we deserve a good long stretch of beautiful weather, lol. Enjoy your beautiful Arizona winter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we are very fortunate to have two places to travel between that we really enjoy. We feel our wanderlust has wained somewhat, thus for the next year or two, we’ll just journey between the two locations. Enjoy your winter in your newly remodeled home along with the beautiful FL winter weather.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So glad to hear the truck made it to Phoenix. Pats on its tailgate for hanging in through those hills. Amazing all the maintenance necessary on aging bodies and aging vehicles. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving however you were able to celebrate. This week we moved to a restriction where it is illegal to have anyone in your home, other than those who live in it. Looks like it is going to be a quiet holiday season with outdoor activities. Take care and stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We too are very glad we made it safely back to Phoenix. Hmm, that’s some serious restrictions. We have some states implementing the same rules. We did have a small get together for Thanksgiving … no hugs and hung outside most of the time (the beauty of Phoenix at this time of year). We’re undecided about Christmas but leaning toward a Zoom visit. We’d all rather keep each other safe. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Although there are times I miss our CO winter vacations, I’ve become too spoiled with the AZ weather and will enjoy those winter excursions via my computer. So pls share away!

          Like

  7. 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.

    Like

    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.๐Ÿฆƒ

      Like

  8. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I think the map can be helpful to a lot of people but especially those living outside of the US. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Like

  9. 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

    Liked by 1 person

    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!

      Like

    1. Yeah, thank goodness we managed to pull that hill even though it was at a snail’s pace. We knew something was wrong but didn’t know what. All fixed and ready for another road trip!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. 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.

    Like

    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 ๐Ÿ˜

      Like

  11. 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

    Liked by 1 person

    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 ๐Ÿ˜

      Like

  12. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Like

  13. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

    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 ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I know how you feel!! Each time Iโ€™m at our โ€œhome away from homeโ€ 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), Iโ€™d run from doctor to dentist to other appointments, sprinkled in with family and friend visits. Those two – three weeks would fly by and Iโ€™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 havenโ€™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 didnโ€™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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Like

  15. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

    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 ๐Ÿ˜
      Hope you have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy your time in CA (if that’s where you are).

      Like

  16. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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!

      Like

  18. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

    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 ๐Ÿ˜‘ 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 ๐Ÿ˜†

      Like

  19. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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!

      Like

  22. 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!

    Liked by 2 people

    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!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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!

      Like

  24. 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!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. 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!

    Liked by 2 people

    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 ๐Ÿ˜ etc. There’s a certain level of stress or concern that ads to the time requirements. At least the trucks are running good.๐Ÿ˜†
      Happy Thanksgiving!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. 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.

    Liked by 2 people

    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.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. 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!

    Liked by 3 people

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is exactly my thought, Ingrid! I get chilly below 70 degrees these days! Y furnace has been running. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

        Like

  28. 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!

    Liked by 3 people

    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 ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.