Writing Prompts

Bloganuary 1-26-23 Hablando Español

What language do you wish you could speak?

I have been working on my Spanish on the app Duolingo off and on since 2014. I’m on a 1026 day streak and passing tests with ease. So why can I not speak it yet??

I can read and write pretty well, I comprehend the stories, I can do the speed tests. What I’m lacking is practice. I have no one to converse with anymore. I used to practice with my waiter at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Now we live on the road and rarely go out to eat. My husband stopped his lessons on the other app-Babbel-so now I have no one to practice with.

So what is the solution? I need to find time to practice saying all my lessons aloud, read more stories aloud, and maybe find someone at one of the parks that speaks the language and ask them to work with me.

Why do I want to learn this language? English was always easy for me in school. Then when I was in the service, I went to Korea and picked up the language quickly, well enough to go to town and interact, shop, and club hop. Now we live in a melting pot of mixed cultures, and being from Texas, we have more and more Spanish-speaking workers and neighbors every day. I would love to be able to talk with anyone speaking Spanish to me any time I’m in that situation. Plus, my youngest son speaks fluently because he had to learn on the job. Kind of in self defense, so he wouldn’t be taken advantage of. Once they knew he understood what they were saying, they became an awesome team!

There’s also a great satisfaction that comes with conquering a new language. I feel pride when I pass the hard tests. I just keep moving up levels, but it’s not anything put together or practical for day-to-day living. It’s more like I’m beating levels in a game. First I’ll try the speaking aloud on all my lessons and see if that helps. Then I need to overcome my shyness to try it in public when I have the chance. Anyone with better or helpful suggestions, please speak up.

Buenos noches!

Writing Prompts

Bloganuary 10-23-23 Arriving at Rancho El Mirage

No photos to commemorate our arrival in the new park today, because they seem to be having a dust storm and visibility is bad. I might have a picture from the road to illustrate. Once we got parked, we got comfortable and decided to just hang out inside until it all passes. Tomorrow promises to be nice.

I’m sure the wide open night sky will burst alive with stars and sunsets will look like God’s paintbrush colored them magnificently. We are surrounded by mountain ranges, but none as close as Picacho was. The neatest looking town on the map of the surrounding area is called The Foothills. Stores, restaurants, and medical facilities can all be located here. Wellton,-where we are currently staying- is a small town outside the resort, and then Yuma is about 30 miles from here. About the same as Tucson from where we were in Picacho.

Mountain range is hardly visible due to dust and windy conditions.

I was advised by Julie and Wes (my friends in Ft Worth) to get a date shake in Dateland on our way here, so we stopped and I got a chocolate date shake. Super yummy and sweet, with chewy bits of dates. Muy delicioso! I don’t like dates alone, but in other things, they are sweet and delicious. When I followed a Paleo diet, I used to use them as sweetener in lots of dishes.

A nice lady preparing my shake.

The taste and mouth feel was more like a malt. Next time, I’ll try pineapple, I bet it’s really good with the dates.

Our site is very sandy, so add in the wild wind today and you’ll understand us wanting to keep the windows closed for now. Plus it’s chilly and when the sun goes down, it’s going to get downright cold! I’m looking forward to exploring as soon as it’s nice. The welcome was warm and helpful, Dave was escorted to his site after Gail, the manager, checked us in and told us about all the fun activities. She said it’s a very fun group here and invited me to join their Facebook group.

Bloganuary prompt.

Who is your favorite author and why?

My current read.

My favorite author is and always has been Stephen King, yet I have not read his books in a long time, until lately. About a month ago, I downloaded Billy Summers by Stephen King to my Libby app and I’ve had to recheck it out once already. They think you have all the time in the world to read! I only read at night before bed. I can’t finish a book in 2 weeks.

Anyway, I started reading King when I was young…in my teens, the first being the best; The Shining. I read everything I could get my hands on after that, but The Stand was by far the hardest one to get into and stick with, but it paid off. It was an epic novel, one of his best in my opinion. I love Stephen King because of his wit and humor, and his ability to scare the heck out of you and inject a heft dose of humor as well. I have my periods of reading his books for months and then I switch around and read other favorites. King just keeps cranking them out though, and I’ve been a loyal fan all these years. Currently, Fairytail is his top book -I think Billy Summers was written just prior to that. It isn’t scary, it’s just a good story. Like all good mysteries, he keeps you guessing til the very end.

Billy is a very likable character, even if he doubts it himself. His job as a hired killer and his haunted past as an infantry solder in the suck, as well as his sad childhood make his story compelling and fascinating. I cannot wait to find out how everything turns out!

Writing Prompts

Bloganuary 1-20-23

Today’s topic for Bloganuary is: What irritates you about the home you live in?

We now live in a 37ft motor home. So this is our house, per se. For the next 5-7 years, or however long we can financially afford it, and still love the lifestyle.

If I were to address what irritates me, I guess I’d have to say that the cabinets are so high. If I want to reach a particular cabinet, I have to use a step stool. So, I try to put the most often used items in the cabinets I can reach. Of course, the other thing is that space is limited. To move along the sides of our bed, we have to side step because we don’t fit walking one foot in front of the other, like normal. The stove is small, but adequate once you get used to cooking in it. Not fit to cook a three-course meal or anything, but with other tools, we make it work.

The shower is tiny and the pressure isn’t very hard. However, I’d rather shower in my own home than lug all my things to the showers provided by the resort where we’re staying. I have done it though. Once, or twice when we had water issues I went to the shower room. Dave figured out the temperature and pressure issues, and it’s all better now, such as it is.

You must decide what you can live with as far as stuff. We left a four bedroom house so we had to put a lot in storage, sell some, and give away some. We tried to be smart about what we brought, but of course we’ve had to buy a few things that we needed and didn’t bring. The reason we didn’t sell everything is because some day, we may go back to a sticks and bricks house. We wouldn’t want to have to buy all of that again. I also brought a few things we haven’t needed or used yet, but there will come a time.

So I would say the real answer to the question is the design of our motor home, but for the deal we got, I’m still happy with it and it works fine for us for the time being. Someday, we may want to upgrade or trade this one in for a better model, but not now. If we get innovative, we can diy a lot of things like changing out furniture, upgrading blinds and such. Right now though, we are making everything work just fine. Of course, the little irritations don’t discount the many reasons we love this lifestyle we’ve chosen.

The choice to change our location and views anytime we want, traveling to new places or favorite destinations and the other freedoms we enjoy totally make up for any small irritation we deal with. Of course, we haven’t had anything major break yet…that may cause us to rethink the whole ball of wax. Let’s pray that never happens!

Writing Prompts

Driving is the Best

Once upon a time, I decided to tackle three writing prompts today-Bloganuary and the JusJoJan/SoCS prompts for today.

What is your preferred mode of travel?

I thought about this for about ten minutes before coming up with driving as my answer. Why?

Sure, flying is fast and convenient, but all this rules and regulations make my teeth itch. Bus rides have way too many stops along the way, it feels like one is never going to get there. Trains might be cool, but with everything zipping by so fast, what do you really see?

For that reason, I say driving is the best mode of travel for me. I want to see the landscape change, and be able to stop if there’s something interesting to see. And, now that my wheels are also my house and all my belongings, I don’t have to pack a suitcase every time I want to move locations. Oh! I can move locations!

That is just what we will be doing come the 23rd of this month. We will travel to Wellton, Arizona, near Yuma, to stay in an RV Golf Resort for a month. It’s called El Rancho Mirage and we visited the site yesterday on our way back from San Diego. Dave will be able to golf and the sites themselves seem a bit more private. We did not go in the gates, so I didn’t see the entire resort, but they have everything this one does and more as far as amenities. It will be a nice change of pace and scenery, which is what it’s all about when you live the RV Life.

The view at El Rancho Mirage

After a month there, we will come back to Picacho -unless we like it better in Yuma- then go home to Ft Worth for a month or so before heading south to the Texas coast somewhere. It will be awesome to see my brother and the kids and catch up. Plus we have doctor appointments to take care of and probably other business to attend to by then.

So yes, driving is the best way to truly see and experience getting from one place to another and so far, we are enjoying the adventure!

Writing Prompts

A Packed House

Last night at Bingo.

I joined the crowd for the first time for Monday night bingo. It was different than any bingo game I’d been to before.

I found a seat in the back since the place was nearly full, near Diane and Ken who I know from Mexican Train nights. I bought my cards and my dauber, then asked them to show me the ropes. I wish they would have let me keep the sheet showing how each game was played, since all 10 games were done differently.

If you look at the person’s papers next to me, (her name was Vickie) you’ll see that the sheet to the left is the diagram showing how to mark the cards for each game, then the sheets on the right are the cards, which need to be marked before you start playing, so you’ll know which numbers can be played and which ones you ignore. I’ll remember to get there sooner if I go next Monday.

Oh wait, I won’t be here for that! I will be on my way to San Diego! We have an Airbnb for four days, I can’t wait to see something new and also grass! I’m hoping the dogs will love it there, we haven’t seen grass in a while! Plus, there’s the beach as well!

Normally, I’d be on my way to play Bunco tonight, but I’ve been bloated and uncomfortable all day, so I chose to skip it tonight. To me, it’s cold outside also, but I did take enough walks earlier to close my exercise ring (on my Apple Watch).
I guess I’ll continue to work on the beginner dog sweater I’m trying to make for Whiskey. We’re also watching Brandy close tonight, because she has not been acting right. I don’t think she feels well.

I really wanted to figure out a way to incorporate the Bloganuary prompt into tonight’s post, but I never know if what I remember is true or stories I heard my mother tell. As far as I can remember, my earliest memory was of me tying my shoes and as my dad came down the stairs, he was congratulating me for getting the job done. Was I four, five? I know we had to be living in South Carolina at the time, because that is the only two-story house we ever lived in.

Well, looky there, I guess I did it, in a way! Y’all have a great Tuesday night and we’ll see you tomorrow. ☺️