Camping & Stuff

Well it’s been awhile since I blogged, and I’m sorry. It’s just become a huge pain in the butt! The new WordPress is so difficult to navigate, I just hate it. For instance, I can’t figure out how to change the font size. Shouldn’t that be pretty basic? Well I’m sure it’s there SOMEWHERE……

I finally got to go camping! My camping buddy from NC, Jeanne, and her sister Joanne, met me at McHood Park near Winslow. We had other plans but the weather got too warm, so that was a second choice. Not a bad one, as it turned out, though the last time I was there it was free. This year it’s $15 a night for bare-bones camping, no power but they did have fire rings, picnic tables and a shower in the restroom. There was hardly anyone there so we both got lakefront sites and had a good time watching the many ducks. Well not ducks, some kind of waterbird though. I’m hopeless at bird identification!

View from my campsite

It’s only 1.5 hour drive from home and on the way there, twice Roxie started making crazy thumping and crashing around in her crate. Then when we arrived, she was absolutely manic….running flat-out for about 20 minutes! I took her to the road and let her run in circles around me on the flexi-lead. I didn’t know what it was, but I didn’t like it….she’s NEVER behaved that way before. The truth emerged at around 4 a.m. when she started thrashing around in the camper with a huge grand mal seizure. Then I realized that’s what was going on in her crate the day before, too. And the running must have had something to do with it, she must have felt strange or something. I just held her til morning, then we took her to the local vet and had her euthanized. She was one month short of her 14th birthday. Up to this point she’d been completely healthy, though plainly losing her cognitive skills. She’d forgotten how to go up & down the two little steps to the house, and twice she wandered off and got a little lost! The vet noticed her pupils were different size, and thought she probably had a brain tumor. Farewell, Princess Roxie.

So….brain tumor! That strikes an ugly chord. My brain tumor has been causing speech problems for quite a long time but at no time did I ever think that it might cause more problems than that! My doc had asked me how long it’d been since the last brain MRI (18 months) and he asked me if I wanted to have another and I said no, not unless my speech got so bad that people couldn’t understand me. Hah. Never did I think that it might cause really bad stuff like blinding headaches, dizziness, balance problems or seizures!! I know, DUHHH!!

So we camped for a week there and I was glad to have people around to distract me. We went to Petrified Forest and Painted Desert Nat. Parks and hiked a couple of the trails, went to Homolovi Ruins State Park and hiked a trail (thought that place was really ho-hum), and of course visited the Standing on the Corner guy in downtown Winslow.

I was home for one day when my friends Mike and Raquel arrived from California.

Mike and Raquel

After 3 1/2 years here, I finally got rid of the ugly piles of junk along the driveway that came with the property!!! I’ve hated that stuff the whole time I’ve been here but didn’t have a way to get rid of it. This time I bit the bullet and rented a big U-Haul trailer ($53 for 6 hours!!) and we all helped load it with old pallets, tree stumps, plus the remains of an old 60’s travel trailer that the previous owner tore down. She PROMISED she would come back and clean it up, hahaha. “Trust me”, she said. So we hauled all that crap to the dump ($40 dump fee) and the yard now looks so good! But bare. I wish I could find some kind of flowers that the rodents don’t like! The only thing so far they avoid is a Russian Sage. I guess I should get more of those.

I’m growing some geraniums from seed but I’m not sure whether or not they’ll be tasty to the rodents or not. I had a nice geranium that a friend sent me that made it through the summer, but I also did a lot to protect it, just in case. I even took it with me camping so I could water it regularly, but it got too cold in the car. I ended up with a little tiny branch that broke off and didn’t freeze, which I accidentally left in Mesa when I was dogsitting. She sent me a photo of it a week or so later and it had burst into bloom, so I guess it likes it there a whole lot more than here. Or camping.

Mike built a nice work table for their campsite, using wood from the scrap pile.

The scrap pile is now gone and it’s going to be a really great place for the patio table & chairs, but first I have to level it out. It slopes about 5″. It’s nice and shady there all afternoon! While they were here we also went out and about to a couple reservoirs near Greer, and had a picnic in a gorgeous campsite in the national forest near there. I was shocked that it was at 9200′ elevation! It might be a good getaway place if it gets too hot here this summer, it’s less than 2 hours from home and only about 10 miles from the grocery stores in Springerville. We also went to Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, as I can get them in free with my Geezer Pass.

After they left was when the loss of Roxie really hit me. She was my last pet, as I just can’t afford veterinary care. It would be irresponsible of me to get another pet. I’ve had a dog, cats, or both ever since I moved away from my parents’ house when I was 20! It’s hard to accept that I’m going to be alone now for the rest of my life. I keep forgetting she’s gone… many times I say “I’ll be right back” when I go out the door, and worry when I’m in a store and it’s hot outside in the car. We were together pretty much 24/7. I just found out that it’s illegal to leave an animal in a car in AZ, no matter how cool it is! Oops. When it was really hot I’d leave her home, but she truly hated not being with me. So….the end of an era for sure.

I’ve started walking around the block most every morning. It’s just over a mile, and soooo boring!! But I really don’t do much for exercise, so I try to force myself to go. Luckily it’s usually pretty cool here overnight, even in summer. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to do so much to get ready, if only I could just walk out the door and go. But first I have to get properly dressed (bra) and strap on the knee braces, socks and shoes, etc.

I have been digging up rocks though, that’s my version of strangth training, LOL! About half of my property is chock-full of rocks, and they encroach into the driveway and yard. The darn things are like icebergs, only a little bit sticks up out of the ground so I think it’s going to be easy, but the farther down I dig, the bigger they get. I got two out yesterday that were so big I couldn’t pick them up, I had to flop/roll them away! I bought a little blackberry seedling and it took me five tries to be able to dig a hole big enough to plant it this morning, I kept running into big rocks 4″ down! But I finally got ‘er done.

I got the hummingbird feeder up and hope I can keep it going this summer. Last year the ants were so bad, I had to give up. Now I have little “moats” that hang above the feeders so the ants can’t get to them. Within a couple hours of putting it up I had hummingbirds, and a couple days later I had some kind of orioles and warblers, very pretty! I’m dismal at bird identification, sorry. The photos I took are awful too, because the phone’s zoom is crappy and they were taken through the screened window. I’m not even going to try and post them, they’re embarrassingly bad.


11 replies on “Camping & Stuff”

So nice to hear of your new adventures Jan. We think of you often. Hope you are feeling better. So sad about Roxie… we have our 2 16 yr old kitties, they are doing okay. Thought they might be out last for awhile, but we adopted a cat that liked us better than it’s owners in a trailer park behind us… they moved & left him, so here we go again. He’s indoors/outdoor ( lives in our Sunroom when indoors) as our other kitties are strictly indoors & we haven’t let them get together yet. We’ve had the new one for about a year permanently.

Stay safe!

Ron & Kathy


I’m so sorry Janis to hear of Roxie. She lived a great life and she was a great companion for you. My eyes just welled up with tears when you described what happened to her. Similar happened to our Maltese Missy, she was 18 years old when she had a couple of seizures, but we got them under control. Then she started losing her hearing and sight and got dementia, barking constantly. All we could think was that she was tormented inside. Broke our hearts as it did yours. My thoughts are with you.


Sounds like you’re having a lot of visitors and doing lots of camping. Look forward to adding my name to the list. Will leave GC tomorrow, will make next plans after leaving. I have a hard time thinking of next places while at a place like this. But probably take a few days on the way to Show Low.

Sent from my iPhone



I’m so sorry about the loss of your baby. I know what you mean about having them with you 24/7. My two are like that too. Have you ever thought of fostering a dog through the humane society/animal control in your county? They usually pay for vets and lots of times food and extras. Just a suggestion for when you might be ready have another dog. No reply necessary. Just a thought. Much love and sympathy from Virginia. MB (Human), Bella (Chihuahua) and Molly (Chi/Terrier)


So sorry to hear about Roxie, sad that it happened the way it did.
You are getting away and having visitors so that was good. All these campgrounds are raising prices now and some offer nothing at all. Must have been nice to have your friends help clear out the waste that was left behind.


I’m so sorry to hear about Roxie. The same thing happened to Skye Blue last year. One day she was fine and the next thrashing around and couldn’t walk anymore. It’s been just a year and sometimes I still can’t believe she’s gone. She was my copilot for 14 years, so it does take time. But even now I hold her in my thoughts and she brings me comfort. Much love to you.


What a heartache losing Roxie was!
You really know how to make the most of the resources that you have.
Friends that help are treasure.


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