Thursday, July 28, 2016

Please Vote for my photo :-)

First the welcome page Then you go to "Vote" My photo is called "Legs" This photo is in a contest, I sure would appreciate you taking the time to vote for me. Thank you in advance :-) You have to register and the name of my photo is "Legs"

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Reflecting Back on 2005 part 8

Now here it is 2016 and by now all the dogs we had on the trip, Rocky, Candy and Sammy D have left this world and went on to the Rainbow Bridge. My Mom passed away July 2014. 2005 will always remind me to be grateful for every thing in life. 

Reflecting Back On 2005
part 8
by: JdyJdyJdy

Here we go back at Lake Minatare, camp is all set up. That is Granny in her spot! The one and only camp chair. By this time after being out on the road and camping here and there we were all pretty worn out. At least we knew we would be staying here at least two weeks. The limit for camping at a State Park is two here, however you can move for one nite then come back.
Day after day just seemed to pass by. Each day brought new memories, some best forgotten, some treasured. During this time I was really starting to like the freedom associated with just being out in nature. I had mixed feelings and if I had not had Jonathan and the dogs with me I am not so sure I would have wanted to come back to society at all. Then on the other hand the over whelming urge to go home ate at me. However, I longed to be inside, watch tv, flip a light switch, get water out of a running sink, wear clean clothes, shower daily, open up a refrigerator to get a glass of milk or cook on a real stove.

I figured I probably started at least 200 some odd campfires.

Let me just say I can cook pretty much anything outside! I cooked every meal. Did all the dishes in the little tub. We had to haul water, walk a about 4 city blocks to the outhouse and gather wood everyday. Granny did a lot of the wood gathering. She would take Jonathan with her and they would come back with the hood of her car full of wood. At this time I did not have batteries for my digital camera and only had cheap out of date film for my 35 mm camera. So I never did get a good picture of Granny's car full of wood.

A day in the life at camp, Granny looking exhausted, Milo in his kitty tent, Myatuk close by Granny and Me contemplating on what to do now. Thank God Jonathan cut my head off in this picture. lol About the only thing I had going was a good tan!  The orange bucket in this picture is what we used to do dishes, well lets not say we...ME...hehe Okay so Granny did do them once in a great while.

Jonathan was a little trooper. He is an outside boy anyway, but things where getting to him too. He likes to draw and he brought me a picture one day he had drawn of a house. The house had a circle around it with a slash through it. You know like the no smoking signs. He was ready to find a place too. He turned six years old that day.

He did manage to smile and kept occupied with looking for cool rocks, wading in the lake and trying to keep on Granny's good side.

Candy thought she could talk to the Morning Doves. It about drove us all crazy! Hoot hoo Hoot hoo from the bird, Woof woooo Woof woo from Candy...for hours it seemed. Granny said, "Candy girl do you think that bird is talking to you?" We would laugh cause Candy looked at Granny like, " You think I am just barking into the wind or what?" Then Candy would do here Woof wooo and every damn time that bird would answer with Hoot hooo! lol That bird conversation happened every evening about the same time. It made Candy really happy.

Myatuk and Sammy D were still mean towards each other so all the dogs had to be tied up. There were no other campers here, but we did get the occasional visit from near by town people. They would drive by and stare, some stopped to see how we were doing. Mostly we had visitors after a big storm. I guess they wanted to see if we had blown away or not!
One day the wind really started to pick up. I took a few pictures before it got bad.

To bad you can not see the white caps on the lake!

Shortly after these were taken we had to gather the bedding and head to the cars. What a long night that was. No way to stay in a tent with winds gusting upwards of 70 mph, rain, hail....Just one of many nights spent in the car. The tents did stay up, however they were wet inside. So when day came. tired or not we still had to get things done around camp.

During all of this we would have to go to town and try to find a place to live. The community center in town helped us. They provided a list of landlords and helped pay some rent. It was not easy to try and find a place with 4 dogs and one cat! Day after day we searched. Some days we were just exhausted and never left camp. Lack of sleep and lack of her proper medication was really getting to Granny.

We had been asking all over the near by town if anyone knew of places to rent. We got a lead one day and we went to look at some trailers in this trailer park. Oh my gawd!! NO WAY !! They were just terrible, and I mean NASTY!! EWWW! Granny was just not thinking, she said, " Judy we have to take these two trailers that is all there is to it" I said, " No if you want to go ahead, I will camp out and wait! Then the guy showing the trailers would not take a check, he wanted cash! THANK FULLY it turned out.

We went and got cash, well Granny got cash. I told her we should wait on the little house I had found. You see a few days prior I had met a landlord, filled out an application and he had a house to rent at the end of the month. Well Granny did not want to wait!! Come on!! This landlord was awesome, willing to work with us on the rent, would take housing assistance once that came in and AND take all the pets!! But nooooooo Granny was frantic, she really was exhausted, not thinking straight and wanted one of those nasty ass trailers. I tell you what, those trailers should have been condemned! Yes they were that bad. Well anyway Granny gets her cash right, then we go back and THANK the good Lord that guy was not there.

Come to find out a few months later that guy did not even own those trailers anymore and the law was looking for him! I knew something was fishy and I was not going to live in one of those trailers.

The next day we went into Walgreens. Granny had ordered some medication. Well first I had to beg her to let me go take a shower first. She was not happy about having to wait! Excuse me! We are going out in public here an I had not had a shower in days, slept in the car, gathered wood, cooked over a campfire..smelled worse than a dogs butt! lol  I WAS taking a shower. She said, "Well people know we are camping they expect us to stink!" *rolls eyes* Whatever, anyway I showered!

So off we go to Walgreens. Oh boy, they had over charged her or something.  They had to call in the assistant manger (who was a total hottie) to HANDLE Granny! She was yelling in between crying her eyes out. OH my,  I was sooooooooo embarrassed. I had to calm her down and make jokes with this man to make light of the situation. Finally it all worked out and she got her meds! To this day every time I walk into that store and see that man, Chris is his name, he always smiles and asks "Hows your Mom doing?" Then we both laugh.  I have to say he did so good not getting upset with her that day. Truly a professional. He told me has never met anyone like my Mom. I laughed and said "Yes she is an original for sure." lol

Days keep going on and on Wait!  I have to say someone please call the fashion police!

Go figure the only picture of me is in this outfit! By this time I was out of clean clothes and had to wear whatever was clean. Not sure why but I brought a ton of clothes, but they did come in handy. I even had brought clothes of Granny's she had left at my house.
We had more days to wait until the little house was ready. Finally Granny agreed it was a good choice and we got to rent the place on August 22, 2005. It was a small place but hey it was a place! Here I am a week after we got settled in.

Jonathan is hiding behind me. I got him signed up for first grade. Then the job search began. I put in 20 some odd resumes until finally finding a job! I started work the third week in Sept. It was great! I was going stir crazy in the  house with Granny. We had some good times, but we just don't see eye to eye well enough to co habitat for too long! Oh ya and the day after I got my job, my Jeep died! Yep totally died! I was once again stranded on the side of the highway.
Luckily a railroad guy was nearby and he came over to see if he could help. Well nothing was happening. The car motor was just locked up. He did have a cell phone and I called Granny to come get me. Great, I get a job then no car!! The old Jeep has done its job and now it was time for it to be towed off to the crusher. Jonathan cried. :( 

Well Granny was cool enough to let me borrow her car, for a time. Then all of sudden she decides she is moving back to IL and that I can no longer use her car to get to work. GREAT!! UGG! Oh well, I called the bus service and they took me to work and picked me up.  Thankfully I was on some work program that Nebraska has to help folks out. They ended up buying me a car so I could continue to work and become self sufficient once again.

Granny moved out at the end of October. She moved back to IL and once again peace reigned in our household. No more fighting dogs, or Jonathan and Granny having yelling matches, but also no more long conversations. Now I realize I have probably been rather hard on my Mother during this trip, but you just have to know her! I do have to give her much credit for always being a Mom that is full of adventure and memorable moments. Even if all the moments are not pretty at the time, later on in life you can look back and certainly laugh! 

She did help out a lot by watching Jonathan after school and letting me use her car. It was really good to see her drive up that first day she arrived in Nebraska too. I guess I knew the adventure would start when she got there. Also she did manage to get me to one of my dream locations. All in all my Mom is pretty cool, but would I live with her again??? Not a chance! I do miss her being around sometimes. She can really hold some great conversations.
Well this is an American story and it does have a happy ending. Christmas 2005 was just awesome. My older son Jasper got to come and spend it with Jonathan and I.

Jonathan loved having his brother here. Then we got a knock on the door and it was one of the guys I work with and some of his friends. They had got together at work and bought Jonathan and me some gifts for Christmas. :)

They even got Jon a bike! with all the accesories. :) Christmas day I fixed lasagna.

That is our traditional meal. It was yummy and we had the best time.

Jonathan tried out his new bike and skateboard.

The year really ended up well. Jonathan loves his school and it was fun to watch him in his Christmas program.

We are very happy and life is good. This is one year I will never forget!

It was quite a journey and I would not trade it for anything. It was very difficult at times, but we endured. A Wing and Prayer and a lot of faith. I know now I can handle anything life throws at me and I will just make the best of it. I had a lot of friends and family praying this whole trip and I have to say I know they sent out all the Angels to watch over us. I am truly blessed to have such great friends and family.

The first day of January 2006 I found MySpace! I thank all the great friends I have on MySpace for encouraging me with writing this story. I hold you all close to my heart and will forever cherish you all.

Reflecting Back on 2005 part 7

This part is hard to look back on, but thankfully I've totally moved on and learned from this phase. 

Reflecting Back on 2005
part 7
by JdyJdyJdy

Lake Ogallala, Nebraska was a regroup spot. Granny and I hardly talked there the first day. Jonathan was probably sick of both of us as well. He spent most of his time at the camp across the road.

He really liked those people and they did not mind him hanging out. He even ate with them! lol Jonathan was really good the whole trip. However when we got here he was being a bit ornery.

Notice Candy is right behind him. She rarely lets that boy out of her site. This picture was taken after a spat with Granny. Now she was picking on Jonathan. However Jonathan has a way to take the heat off himself.

The bathroom was a bit of hike from our campsite. I walked with Jon over to Granny's site. Then he said he was to tired to walk the rest of the way to the bathroom and wanted me to go get the car to drive him. Well he only had a little ways to go! Granny piped up and said just go its not that far and its farther for your Mom to walk back and get the car, Just go now! Jonathan turned and looked at her, thought about it for a minute and said, " Well I can't, I have a rock in my pocket." We all bust out laughing! He cracked me up with that comment, I ended up just walking the short distance with him to the bathroom. After laughing so hard at that "rock in the pocket" comment Heck I had to go to now.

I had to drive in town to the store everyday to get ice. We only had this small cooler and it did not hold much.

The store had cold cooked shrimp on sale with cocktail sauce. Yummy! I got a small one for each of us, yes Granny too! Jon decided he did not want his, so I said well go give it to your friend over there. Well they must not have wanted it either because they used it for bait! lol It was those peoples first time ever camping. It was fun to watch them try and start a fire with green wood! Also they were trying to fish for the first time. They let Jon fish with too. Then we all heard a big hoop and holler! WOOHOO Oh MAN ! WOW! ha those shrimp had came in handy. This is the fish they caught. A nice big Catfish!

We stayed here at Lake Ogallala about 3 or 4 days. It was just to hot(100+) to travel with dogs and kid in the car. Jon and the dogs cooled off in the water. I don't even remember what I did. I think I was pretty much in a daze about this time. Granny had decided we were going back to Rapid City. She was going to stay at her friend Janice's and sleep in a real bed! However Jon and I ended up at my sister-in-laws.

We got to Rapid City then Granny and I went our separate ways! What a relief. We had spent way to much time together anyway. My sister-in-law is actually one of my very best friends who just happened to marry the twin to Jonathan's dad, my ex! At first we thought it was really cool! Then things changed and not for the good.

Anyway we stayed there and I looked for work. It was nice to at least have a real bathroom and shower when ever I wanted. The tent was just for sleeping in at night. I was enjoying spending time with DeeDee (sister-in-law). It did make me sick to see her wait on her hubby hand and foot like some migrant slave, but hey that's her business not mine!

Jonathan loved playing with his cousin Amber. His Dad came over to visit for like 5 minutes. After he left Jon cried. He had not seen his son in over 3 months and it was more important for him to go see his girlfriend in jail! Not to mention he had been having sex with his best friends mother so he could get free rent. Egad! He promised to come back later that day but he never showed up. You know drink and drugs are way more important! *rolls eyes* What a waste of a human being. Very Sad actually. :(

He did stop by a few more times, but always had some druggie with him and Dee Dee didn't want them in her house. I did not want Jon around them anyway. However the time in Rapid City did confirm I had definitely made the correct choice in leaving this man in Sept 2003!

A few days passed and here she comes....Yes Granny returns! lol
She said, "well we need to go back to Lake Minatare. I can not stay at Janice's any longer. They are working me to death. I am just to old to do all that work! They are feeding me good, but I can't do it. When do you want to leave?" Oh boy! I told her I had to think about it, I had job applications in and might be able to rent DeeDee's house because they were moving.

Well Jonathan's dad made another appearance and I got to thinking it would probably be nothing but trouble if I stayed in Rapid City. The rent is high anyway and the jobs do not pay squat. Granny comes back over and we decide to head out and go back to Lake Minatare, NE.

We traveled well over 3000 and some odd miles to end up back where I was when Granny showed up the first time! lol

Well time to break again...heck part 8 next...part 7 was just a drag...lots of lessons learned though and confirmations made. I guess there is a reason for everything. Part 8 Granny is back full force! nuff

Reflecting Back on 2005 Part 6

I can still remember how good that shower felt! I still can't comprehend how rude my Mom was to that lady at the Motel in Clayton. What a journey this had become. Looking back now, I wonder how many wonderful things I missed, because of the circumstances and attitudes. One thing I did learn, was to be thankful for everything. 

Reflecting Back on 2005
part 6
by JdyJdyJdy

The night in the motel was really refreshing and much appreciated. We were in Clayton NM. Time for the long haul to Ogallala , NE.

As you can probably tell by the Map, we were on the secondary roads. First stop was Elkhart, KS. We pretty much breezed right through Oklahoma with no calamity. It was a nice pretty day, one made for road tripping.

From Elkhart we headed off toward Syracuse. This part of the trip was like the eye in the storm. Calm! :) We stopped for gas and potty breaks and not much was really said. 

Somewhere along the line from Syracuse, KS to Ogallala. Granny decided we should head to Rapid City, SD and not back to Lake Minatare.  I am thinking WHATEVER! These roads were getting smaller and smaller, it was getting darker and darker. I do not care much for driving at night anyway. There were no campsites in sight anywhere on the map or otherwise on this 2 lane road. Heck there were barely any cars! My thought was if we had car trouble it could be days to find help! At least if we were on Interstate there are plenty of people around. Anyway I was getting a bit pissed now.

Granny kept pulling over in nowhere land. She said I was driving to slow. Well hell, I cant see shit! I am used to following the white line on the right side of road at night. There was not a white line on these cow paths, she called roads! So I said." you lead then!"

 Ya right what was I thinking? She did not want to lead. Blind leading the blind anyway so who cares who leads.

We finally get back to driving and driving. Jonathan knew things were tense. I tend to cuss while driving when pissed. Ha! Anyway he hands me a pop and says, " Mommy can you open this?" Sure why not! Geez! Okay so I grab the can and open it.....SWISHWHISH SPLIRT! UGGGG! Pop everywhere!!!...."giggles from the back seat.

 It was so unexpected I had no choice but to laugh too! Pop on me, my glasses, the windshield, the dogs! I gave the can back to Jonathan. He said, "Sorry I forgot I shook it up first!" I just wanted to see what would happen." Kids! lol

More driving and driving. I was getting really really tired. Finally a campground sign. The atmosphere outside was quickly changing. I really could hardly see anything now...FOG! We made it to the campground to find out it was really an RV park. Granny said, "lets just pull over here and sleep." WHAT? Just sleep in the cars??? What?? I got out the map and said, "Look! Here is the campground you wanted to go to, its about 5 more miles."

 Okay so we went to try to find it in the FOG! This was truly a mistake. I turned the wrong direction first. The camp station was closed. Granny was pissed! She said, "You are just doing this to waste gas and it's my money!" I am broke now. You are going to have to do something." I bit my lip, wanted to just scream! Got back in the car we turned around and tried the other way. It was clear the hell back on some skinny ass one lane road and FULL! UGG! Besides we could not see anything to well.

Theme of the trip so far was go back where you started! lol So we drove back to the RV park and sat in the cars. No one was awake in the RV park. I felt really weird sitting there. I tried to sleep, but just could not. It was nearing dawn again by this time, So I told Granny I was going to call a friend to send me some cash. At this point I was wanting to just leave her ass in the RV park! Get the cash and head back to Lake Minatare and continue with the first plan I started.

I went to a nearby truck stop, called my friend Disa from South Dakota and told her Granny had wigged out on me yet again and I needed money to get back to Rapid City or Lake Minatare. Her boyfriend Larry was a truck driver so he knew the truck stop. They both thought they could Western Union. I thanked her and she said to call back in a hour or so. She would have to go to the bank and all that jazz.

Well I just stayed at the truck stop. I was on empty once again. It was getting extremely hot already and it was early in the morning. I found a place to park near some bushes. Got the dogs tied out and gave them water and just sat in the car. I called an hour later and there was a problem. The money had to be wired by credit card or something. Anyway it would take till 2:30 in the afternoon! So back to the hot car.

I decided to change clothes and try to clean up in the bathroom. I got Jonathan some clean clothes too. Made sure the dogs were securely tied. A trucker walked up. The dogs barked for a bit. He said they were beautiful dogs, so they pretty much shut up then. I decided to put Sammy in the Jeep and then I walked to the truck stop with clothes in hand and Jonathan close by. The trucker was already inside by now. He saw us come in and asked if we would like a shower. I said YES! He gave me a ticket for a free shower. Oh that was awesome! :) 

Jonathan and I got cleaned up and got back to the car to find no SAMMY D! He had gotten out of the car. I left him in because he chews ropes and I did not want him wandering around the truck stop. Well I had forgot to close the back window. Shoot where is he?

We called for him and nothing. Then here comes two cop cars! I am thinking what now?? They said, "Your Mother is worried about you, she thought you might have taken off" I just laughed! I was like WHAT? I said, " I am sorry she called you, I told her I was coming here to get some money. I am still waiting. I can not go anywhere because I am out of gas!" WOOF WOOF...out runs Sammy D! After the cops! Oh shit....I caught him just in time. Got him  hooked up on a lead.

The cops were good spirited thankfully. They totally understood about everything. One of them said," I told your Mom you were over here. I seen your car here earlier." Now mind you Granny was only about 1/4 mile away! She could actually see my friggin Jeep from where she was parked at the RV park!! Anyway one of the cops went to tell her to just come over to the truck stop.

Crimminie! There was more waiting to be done and then Granny makes it the whole 1/4 mile over and parked by us. Complained about how HOT it was etc. She said, " I thought you left me back there" LMAO! I was thinking Ya I sure wanted too!!

Finally it was time to make another call, then the money came for gas. During the time we were waiting we found the correct directions to camp at the nearby lake. Off we go...well I think Granny is right behind me. She was there when we got directions! There were quite a few twists and turns and by the time I got to the lake I had no clue where she was!

 I scouted around for a campsite and couldn't find a suitable one. Then here she comes! Eyes blazing to kill! She was friggin pissed! HOW COULD YOU LOSE ME ON PURPOSE LIKE THAT? I just rolled my eyes and said , "WELL YOU FOUND ME DIDN'T YOU? Needless to say we were pretty much sick to death of each other at this time!

I got out of the car and filled up the water bottles. I asked the park attendant about the sign for camping at the Lake that was right across the highway. He said its less crowded and there are more grassy spots there.  So I tell Granny lets go over there. Its less crowed and more grassy spots. She says, "Are you going to try and lose me again?" I said, " It's right across the fucking highway! How can I loose you!"

So off we go to camp at Lake Ogallala.

I set up camp and made sure there was not a good one close to me! So here is where Granny set up....LMAO!

It was a nice little break too! My dogs could play in the water, I did not have to worry about Sammy and Myatuk fighting. I fixed supper and walked it over to Granny. She did not want to come to my camp to eat, because she did not want to leave her dog that far away! Oh did I mention I cooked every meal? Washed all the camp dishes except for one or two times? Oh ya, well I did! lol

Part 6 is over,,,, next is a few days at Ogallala, Rapid City and a visit from the ex...the journey is almost over.....

Oh and here is the Cat...Milo this shot was from Jemez, NM

Side Note: I forgot that before we left the motel in Clayton, Granny was freaking out because she could not find the cat! He had somehow squeezed his fat cat bod out of the cracked window and was up in the car engine! :) He is fine! We found him before she started the car.:)

Reflecting Back on 2005 Part 5

We were all so tired at this point in the journey. It was like a whirlwind.

Reflecting Back on 2005
part 5
by JdyJdyJdy

I last left you as we were standing on the side of the road waiting on a tow truck. The traffic was swift on that two lane road. I guess everyone was pretending to be driving in Los Angeles! Off in the distance we see the tow truck.

The tow truck guy pulls over and looks at the Jeep. He proceeded to try and get it hooked up for the tow. Wow these drivers had no consideration! You think they would get in the other lane. Whooosh they would pass by without a care. The tow truck guy kept having to get up and move because of the traffic. Finally he got it all going. He looked at the dogs and said, " I don't have room for them in the cab of the truck, but I don't think there is a law about towing a car with dogs in it."

Jonathan and I got in the tow truck and he took off. Granny of course following close behind. He took us to a mechanics shop and thankfully they could get us right in. I got the dogs out of the Jeep and onto their leashes and we stood by watching the mechanics make quick of the situation. It was the alternator. Totally froze up! They came and told us it would be 165 dollars.

The owner of the shop came out and seen dogs, a kid, Me and a Granny standing in the shop. He became a tad unglued. (boy was he in for it) He said,"You need to wait outside!" He was not exactly peachy about it and boyyyyyyy Granny piped right up! First she starts in about how we are homeless, she starts crying and says no Man can talk to her like that!

OH SHIT! I thought, you do not and I repeat DO NOT argue and piss off someone that is working on your CAR! Those two had a colorful word exchange, Granny continued to be pissed and cried the guy was a bit overwhelmed and left her standing there. Then Granny had to ask where an ATM was. She had to borrow money against her next months Social Security check.

Meanwhile I am outside sitting on a curb with the dogs and Jon. The parts truck arrives finally! DOH! Wrong part! So about 20 minutes later another parts truck comes. Well come to find out that Jeep did not make their own alternators for that year. It was either a Ford or GM one and either way it had to be rigged. At least that is what they said. I went inside to go to the bathroom and over heard the guy that had words with Granny. He said, to his fellow worker," I hope that lady realizes what kind of day I have had. I feel bad about the situation, but she attacked me. I just got back from a fender bender, not to mention what the rest of the day was like."

I went back outside and told Mom about his day. She started feeling bad about attacking him. It wasn't long before the two of them apologized to each other and the tension was finally broken. The car was fixed now and it was time for the journey to continue.

Let me take this time to fill you in a bit about Granny. Her childhood was not pretty. She was shuffled about in foster homes, abused by step mothers & foster people. Her Dad was an alcoholic. She watched him get her bunny rabbit so drunk it died. One of her Step Mothers used to make her get a rose bush branch and she would proceed to slap her and her sister on the back of legs with it. 

 She is the type of person people either Love or Hate and there is not much grey space. I have been on both sides with her. There have been times in my life I did not even talk to her. When I was growing up she was many things, church lady, alcoholic, divorcee, gay, Indian, cab driver(who wore men's clothes), cross country bike rider, musician, song writer, always sick with something or other. However she is a well educated person with gypsy like tendencies. The woman does not stay put long. She has moved at least 10 times in the past 2 years alone! She is a breast cancer survivor, has fibromyalgia, arthritis, and who knows what other ailment. She was at one point on SSI for mental, ya she drew a crazy check! She loves an adventure, loves reading, hiking and camping. One thing she is not is boring, the woman loves an adventure and just going with her anyplace always turns into just that!

Okay, so now we are back on the road. Driving Driving its getting dark and I am almost out of gas once again. Oh there is a Stucky's! YAY maybe some hot food, get gas and drive on. Ya right! Its closed! Not opening until 6 am. 

We sit there and up drives a an old beat up pick up truck. It contains two men with barely a set of teeth between them and they have a cute puppy with them. They start talking to Granny, well flirting actually. They are both about 4 or 5 sheets to the wind, beer in hand and Granny proceeds to tell them about our story. Well these guys are drinking bottled beer in glass wine glasses, the truck is from Georgia and they say they live in New Mexico about 30 miles from the station. They ask Granny if we want to drink with them. OH MY GAWD! I can't believe the next words out of her mouth. "Hey Judy, these two want to know if we want a beer, you want one?" 

Hell NO! I can't believe she is serious, not to mention she is really considering going to their house! To camp in there yard! OMG...I am sitting on empty....looks up and thanks GOD! No I don't think I can make it that far...She looks a bit peeved, I guess its been awhile since anyone has flirted with her. Boy they were really grinning and chatting it up. I just sat in my car waiting for them to leave!

Then when I figured they were not going anywhere anytime soon I told Granny I was going to go to the truck lot get something to eat and try to sleep. HA! The winds were picking up and the truck lot was all dust! It was still hot so had to have the windows cracked open. Lots of dust and sand blowing in now. Finally Granny comes and parks by me and wants something to eat. Well not many choices here, so I got out a can of "Treat"...hell it looked like and smelled like dog food! lol 

Then here they come, the pickup truck guys. They had to give one more shot at Granny I guess. The older guy really had the hots for her. He asked again if we wanted to follow them, I said," No thanks, I do not have enough gas." They were nice enough yes, but I am not going to follow two drunk guys in a truck from out of state, out in the middle of nowhere with my boy and dogs in tow!

Anyway the pickup truck guy said,"what is that stuff? Dog Food?" I laughed and said "sure looks like it!" I made Granny a "Treat" sandwich and he took it and handed it to her in her car. The pickup truck guy got back in his truck and off they went. During this time Jonathan had been eating little weenies in a can. I did not realize he had fed most of them to Sammy D. Oh they were the barbecue kind. So we had a little nasty food and then proceeded to try and sleep.

Oh what the hell is that smell? Sammy D is trying to get out of the car. I get him on a leash and let him do his business. The smell is worse in the Jeep now. I asked Jon what happened back there. Oh he said, "I fed Sammy D my wieners and he got diarrhea all over back here!" It stinks Mommy! 
I know! 

Now I have to drive over to the dumpsters.  At least now it's daylight and almost time for the gas station to open back up. I take the blankets Sammy D soiled and threw them away! Screw it , need more room in here anyway!

It looks to be a really nice day for driving and plans were to drive out of New Mexico and back to Nebraska. We get to the fork in the road and stop to see how far we need to go. Granny says no way in hell she is going back over Raton Pass! GREAT! Its like 10 hour drive if we hit I-25 at this point, but NOOOOOOO! We have to go through the rest of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas to get back to Nebraska. I tried to suggest we just go through Raton Pass, it would be cheaper and not so much driving. However Granny wants to stay off the interstates. I have no choice, I do not have the money! So I followed her.

We came upon a cute little town outside of Raton. We went to the store and found a park to have a nice picnic in. We just kicked back a bit and then it was time for the 5 dollar campground hunt once again! They had a great campground about 10 miles outside that town. It was 10 dollars a night and there were no hosts or rangers to be found. Granny said, well she did not want to set up there. UGGG! Back to town we drive, she says she doesn't have enough money for a motel. At this time I am wondering if we have enough money for gas to even get back to Nebraska!

Then Granny decides, since she is Catholic(but doesn't go to church) that she will ask the town Priest if he knows a place we can stay. Of course Jonathan and I have to go with her, we bit the bullet and knocked on the door. Granny cracks me up, but dang she can be sooooo embarrassing at times! The Priest answers the door and gives us a once over, Granny starts in about the situation and how tired she is and that she is old etc. she starts to cry....*I think I rolled my eyes* Anyway the Priest said, just a minute, closed the door and left us standing there.

A couple minutes later he gave us a business card and said to go to this motel, that it was run by a woman in his parish. She would gladly give us each a room for the night. Oh yes! A bed, a shower, TV, air conditioning!!! YAY! 

So we drive the short distance to the Motel. The lady was just really really nice. Then she met Granny! Oh boy! Those two immediately hated each other, Granny did not want to leave her dog in the car. She stormed out of the office and went to sit in her car.

I looked at the woman and thanked her for offering us a room and told her I would go talk to my MOM. I begged Granny to keep the DOG in the car! I wanted to stay in the motel room, we needed the sleep! Especially after the night at Stuckys parking lot. So with crying eyes she agreed, she was actually to tired to argue. I went back in and smoothed things over with the woman. She was really nice to me, but by this time the two rooms had been downsized to one. I did not really care! I thanked her for the room. Granny was rather pissed still, she wanted her Dog and cat in the room. Hey its a free room! Take what you can get!

Oh it was soooo NICE! I got my necessary stuff out of the car, fed watered and walked the dogs. Parked the car under a tree and told the dogs they had to sleep in the car. Heck they were tired too and with Jonathan and me out of the car they had more room to stretch out. What troopers those dogs and Jonathan were this whole time.

I think that was the best shower I have ever had! It had been a few days and whew did I ever smell! Granny and Jonathan both got cleaned up too and we kicked back on the beds and watched some TV, ate some supper and passed out cold. Oh it was such a great nights rest. Even Granny was in a really good mood and she did not even mention anything about her dog. I went to get some free donuts and coffee after I had walked my dogs. They looked like they slept well too. Everyone was ready for another day.

Well part 5 has ended and part 6 will come around shortly...exploding pop and cops next!

Reflecting Back on 2005 part 4

The Jemez Mountains are a beautiful sight. I hope to go back there again someday. 

Reflecting Back on 2005
part 4
by JdyJdyJdy

Well here we are at Jemez Mountain campground. I am tired, pissed and thinking I could be in a comfy motel room! We spent so much money on gas today that would have paid for it!! 

Great RAIN ! I have about had it!

Sammy D and my tent and car door.

The ground was just mushy mud! I had to set the tent up under the pavilion. Granny set hers up on the drive in front of my car. Oh I forgot to mention that Sammy D does not like Myatuk! Myatuk is Granny's dog! We have to keep them separated. So every time we stop somewhere it is a big ass battle about who is going to be tied up where etc....Believe me there were days were I just wanted to let Sammy D loose and have his WAY! I was totally getting frustrated at this time. What the hell was I thinking?

Then I started to just realize there was not a lot I could do at this point and I started a fire fixed supper and then I finally looked around! It was soooo pretty here. Peaceful, too! No other campers close by and Candy wasn't barking her ass off! So just as I get back to close to normal, here it comes...Granny! She pipes up and says,"Well do I at least get credit that this is a beautiful place?" I turned around and thought to myself, she best be glad she has the money and she is my MOM cause, ewwwwwww she has a way of grating on my nerves like no other human on this planet!

Anyway I suck it up and say yes! This place is awesome and it truly was. Still didn't change the fact that I sooo wanted to be in a cozy bed and have a nice shower. Camping for fun and camping because you have no where to go are totally different things.

Things calm down and we watch the fire and have some pleasant conversation. Jonathan goes to the tent to sleep and shortly after so do I. Then Granny walks by with Myatuk before I get the zipper shut and Myatuk tries to get at Sammy D in my tent! Wakes up Jonathan....ewwwwwwww I just wanted to kick that dog of hers! uggg

Finally sleep comes.......

New day starts....Already Granny was on it! lol

Mind you she takes my son with her, to go and see if we can get another discount night! Jonathan comes back all proud...He said "she did it and this time she didn't cry. We can stay another night for ten bucks!" I just look out the corner of my eye and say "COOL". Heck I did not feel like driving all over going nowhere anyway! It was a beautiful day and it was really nice to just relax.

Jonathan and I took our dogs on the hiking path. It was really neat. Such a nice place to take a few pictures. I talked to the couple that was hosting there. They were really nice. They had been living there for five years. The lady said her husband was a cancer survivor and that they had many repeat campers that came for the view and to see them. Her husband made arrangements with the Indian tribe, for when he died. He got permission to have his ashes spread out on this mountain.

Of course they prayed that would be many years down the road! It was so cool to see this couple. They had a great relationship and truly cared for each other. They understood our plight too. When we left there I gave her the plant I had been carrying with me the whole trip. I had brought the plant I got from my Dads funeral in 1995. He died of cancer. I asked her to watch over it for me and she gladly took it. I sure hope they are still doing well there. Here are a few more pictures from Jemez Mountains.

By now I have adjusted to the fact that I am not going to be in a Motel anytime soon. At least I got some nice photos too! Day two is over here now and its time to hit the road. We got up early, packed up and headed back down the mountain.

We got to the town right outside of Albuquerque. It was time to get a spare tire. Luckily they had one to fit and put it on for 25 bucks. Oh I forgot that when I was sitting at a gas station in Las Vegas, NM a man walked up to my car and handed me 20 dollars. He said, "Many blessings to you on your journey. The Lord told me to give this to you." I took it and cried! Granny came over and asked what did he give you? I said , "20 bucks and then she started to cry!" Well it came in handy for that tire that's for sure.

So off we drive to Albuquerque. Holy moly! Traffic traffic and more traffic. We pulled over at a gas station and Granny says, "Hey lets get a Motel here, this traffic is bad and I am so tired...FINALLY I think a nice soft bed! Well guess what?? No motels would take the dogs! So off we go, now Granny says "I want to get out of New Mexico." Oh Man! Okay whatever! Been here all of what 3 , 4 days? I lost track of time completely somewhere along the road.

 Well we head out of Albuquerque. We are going through egad tons of traffic, 5 or 8 lanes...lost count! Then finally a two lane again through part of the mountains. Going down hill on the final descent out of Albuquerque my Jeep dies! Yes dies! Totally nothing. I had a heck of time guiding it off the road. I turned on my emergency blinkers and Granny pulls in behind Me!
Okay so now it looks like someone is already there to help. We have no cell phone. Looks like a healthy 3 mile walk at least to the nearest town. 

Thank God, a lady in a Van pulls over and she has a Cell phone and calls a tow truck. 

Awww time to end part 4...
Mechanics, Stuckys and Motel....part 5

Reflecting Back on 2005 part 3

I can still remember this time so vividly. I look back and wish I had not been so angry and frustrated. It is what it is though and through out this story you should be able to feel the real emotions we were going through at the time. 

Reflecting Back on 2005
part 3
by JdyJdyJdy

Well we spent a couple days at the lovely Sugarite Campground. The view was really pretty!

Jonathan and I went to get some water at the bottom campground. On the way back I noticed a hiker. He was looking at that hill like, Oh I don't think I can make it. I stopped the car and asked if he wanted a ride to top. He just smiled and said YES! He had been hiking all morning and by that time had pretty much over done it. His name was George from Trinadad, CO., for 70 yrs old he looked in good shape to be hiking all over the mountain! I drove him up to his campsite and he said "Wait here". So I waited and he came back with 10 dollars. I said, " Oh I don't need money for giving you a ride up here!" He said, "Well you are on a Wing and Prayer, please take this it will pay for a night of camping somewhere." So I kindly thanked him and took the money.

The next morning we were getting ready to head out and George drove by. He stopped and called Granny over to his truck and handed her a ten dollars! He said,"I just found this on the road!"

We got all our stuff together and proceeded to head farther into New Mexico. Granny said, "This isn't the place!" So we looked at the map and noticed there were several campgrounds around Las Vegas, NM. Off we went.
Uggg! The campground for tents had no trees! It was hot as all get out and to boot Granny only wanted to pay 10 dollars so we would have had to leave one car out in the parking lot! Here we go again!

This time we drove to Sapello. There was a gas station and that was about it. Oh I forgot to mention that my Jeep only got 10 mpg! Money was running out fast with all this driving. Well there was a campground at Maur Lake. So off we go to try and find that. OMG, the road sign said, "Not recommended for RV traffic" Okay well we are not RV's...later we found out it should have read, " NOT REALLY PASSABLE AT ALL!" Anyway the lake was suppose to be just 10 miles. About an half hour later or so I found the road to the lake...Now I had a four wheel drive and I tell you I have driven on some bad ass roads, steep roads, curvy roads etc....This one took the cake! It was so steep I was going backwards in drive! I was getting a bit spooked at this point and put the car in reverse and somehow managed to get turned around. I got back to where Granny was and told her NO FUCKIN WAY! She had taken longer to get there, because her car was low to the ground and she had to keep getting out and moving big ass rocks so she could continue to follow me. I did not realize that! So many curves that I lost track of her. lol

Well by now I am out of gas and its like 20 miles or so back to the gas station. So back down the gravel,bumpy, rocky, curvy, holey road. I sat and waited 15 min. for Granny to catch up. The whole time looking at that damn sign that said, "Not recommended for RV traffic" If I would have had some paint I would have changed it right then and there! lol

We get back to the gas station and of course its nearing dark once again. I get desperate and call a friend who happens to work at my dream ranch "Surprise Valley Ranch" This ranch I had seen in a magazine like 4 yrs prior and I always kept a picture of it on my refrigerator. I had also talked to the manager at the ranch a few times. He said he had a bunk house with a couple beds in it and to come on up. He gave me directions. My Mom was pissed! She said do you know what those roads are like? I said, NO! but they are paved except the last mile! lol And besides its a place to shower and stay the night for free so you don't have to spend your 10 bucks!

Ummm ya at this time things are getting a bit testy! lol So we drive the 10 miles(took 30 min) to get to Surprise Valley Ranch. It was so beautiful and I was soooo tired! Finally I had actually got to a place I dreamed of going to and I am homeless, with my son , 3 dogs and following me is my Mom , her dog and CAT!

I get out of the car and probably stunk like a skunk! lol First thing Hal said, "Do you all wanna shower?" He showed us the bunk house and it was just that. Two beds, no bathroom just and outhouse, but hey he wasn't charging us! There was a little stream out front of it and the dogs of course went right for the water!

We first went to shower and get cleaned up. We had to drive down to the shower house. Boy that shower felt great! Granny was still pissed, so she didn't even shower! She was mad because Hal didn't want any pets in the bunk house.

 Well when he first opened the door Candy, muddy feet and all proceed to run past him and me and jumped on every bed! HOW embarrassing! That's when he said no pets in the bunkhouse. Well we had to get out our blankets and pillows. Ate some supper and when it got dark Mom sneaks out and get her Cat and Dog and brings them in!! OMG...My dogs started barking, so I end up sleeping in the friggin Jeep with the stinky wet dogs! It was just a disaster.

The next day I get a lecture from Hal about how I didn't plan anything and I come there to try and find work and bring my MOM! lol He gave me some leads on some possible work and some advice. Then it was time to leave. Jonathan cried. He always wanted to live at Surprise Valley Ranch.

We head out of the ranch and its a beautiful day! We got to Las Vegas, NM and looked around and now Granny's car has a flat! So we stopped and she got a used tire for 20 dollars. Thanks George! He gave us just the amount we needed to get the tire. Well after browsing around Las Vegas we decide to head to Santa Fe. Granny said she did not really like Las Vegas, NM. So off we go. We headed out on the interstate and I was leading this time. I got tired of Granny always pulling over right after I would get the car up fast enough to pop it into to third gear. Well there she goes! Passes me! Dang it! I was cussing she pulled me over!

 Okay so I will give her some credit here...ummm I had a flat and did not even know it! lol So now the problem comes, my spare tire is under neath the car! I have no clue how to get that thing off of there.

Two really nice guys stopped and were heroes for a day. They got the tire changed and guess what? Its low! The closest town is Pecos now. So we thank them and ask if we can give them some money for helping and they said , " No way you're on a Wing and Prayer" best of luck the rest of your journey! "

We made it Pecos and aired up the tire. Since we had more mountain country to drive through I stopped at Sam's to see if he could fix a tire. Well they had closed a few minutes before and were already in party mode! However he checked the tire and said it was way to fix it and he didn't have one to replace it with. He tried hitting on my Mom too! He asked me if Granny could be his girlfriend. They asked around to see if any place was for rent. Nothing really but a two bedroom trailer and no pets! So off we drive to Santa Fe.

We arrive in Santa Fe in time for the sunset. It was beautiful. We stopped at a gas station and Granny gets out and says, "This is it! This is where I want to live." I told her its really expensive to live here. I tried to call a landlord I had talked to but no answer. So we drove around and of course no campgrounds in Santa Fe! lol We got some food at Kentucky Fried Chicken and Granny said, "Well lets get a motel." Yay

Save that Yay! I went in and found a room, but she decided while I was in there that she didn't want to spend the money! Sooo off we go to the rest area outside Santa Fe. A sleepless night in the car! It sucked.

The next day Granny decides she wants to go to Albuquerque. I just rolled my eyes and said whatever! We get outside of there and she finally says okay we are both tired we should get a room! Well I get out again and the lady at the motel, says yes we can have all the pets and two rooms and check in now! With a discount! Only 70 bucks for two rooms and not check out till 1 pm the next day! It was 7 am...I was so loving that...dreams of a soft bed, a nice shower! I came out smiling, only to be pissed about a half a second later! Guess why she did not want to stay there! Nope not the money this time. There were no doors to the outside, there were hallways! to the doors!(I was so friggin MAD!)

Granny said,"Well there is a campground right over there" It will be cheaper. Yes, but we need rest and I need to get cleaned up if I am going to look for work. Ugggggg she had the money off we go to the campground. Its already HOT as hell and no shady spots at that campground! So we drive and drive and got lost! OMG blind leading the blind. I swear we drove 200 friggin miles, because Granny is now looking for 5 dollar a night campgrounds. HELLO its 2005 not 1965! lol

We drove and drove and ended back up at the first campground. We went to a different section and I was getting ready to set up. BUT oh noooooo....Granny said, "Hey I got the right directions for that cheaper campground, lets go there." If looks could kill, she would have been laying flat on the ground! Anyway I went to the grocery store and got some supplies. We headed off to the "CHEAP" campground. Well hell its clear up in the mountains! Its not 5 dollars but 10 dollars a car! If you have been following along you probably know what happens now! lol Yep Granny in action again. She talks them into 10 dollars a night.

Wow this is way way more than I thought , this is going to be at least 5 parts maybe 6! I am leaving you now with us at Jemez Campgrounds.
I made this graphic from one of the many pictures I took there.

Stay tuned for part 4! Jemez, Rain, Albuquerque ....and this is only half way through! :)