Sunday, April 29, 2012


Our private lesson with Mike at  was everything I had hoped. I accomplished the feat of squiggling down into the “hatch”, but also the even bigger challenge, removing myself from the tiny opening. In the bay I paddled to and fro, avoiding ramming million dollar yachts when I couldn’t remember right forward or left backward strokes. I now have an understanding and hands on paddling experience of kayaking. We all shivered and declined the session on self-rescue after testing the water temperature. I’ll leave that lesson for a warmer day and warmer waters.

Tika loves the ghost and she loves kayaking.

The ghost is washed up after kayaking all day.
Sportster wishes he had gone along.

We returned to our campground at  after restoring all the calories we had burned by enjoying a meal of fish and chips, a must when you visit the beach. Mission Bay RV Resort is very nice and I will certainly come again. Sportster loved the picnic table and spot of grass at each site and Tika wore down her endless Min Pin energy on the walking path that circled the perimeter of the campground and followed along the bay.
I returned from Mission Bay last Monday refreshed and energized about kayaking. My friend Vicki and I enjoyed our visit as did our pets, Tika and Sportster. Tika especially enjoyed kayaking with the ghost, but Sportster was not so impressed. I turned 66 years old on Saturday the 21st and couldn’t have had a nicer time. Life is good.
I made the jaunt home easily with no traffic to speak of, in light drizzle, the only problem on my mind an elusive water leak in my motor home that I have been unable to fix. My mattress edge under the rear window keeps getting wet and I always thought it was a due to rain, but am beginning to believe it may be the plumbing under the bed.
At home after unloading, I took up the task of bookwork for my grooming business and writing my blog, when my computer, only a year old tells me it is seriously ill and needs to be backed up immediately  due to a hard drive problem. Now I have two problems. But no problem.  I have two great computer techs: Kate Wolman  who is excellent with software problems and I’ll call them in the morning.
Tuesday morning. I rose bright and early ready to tackle my two problems before going to work at my shop at 1pm. No hot water. Now I have three problems. But no problem. I have a great plumber, Chris at Sun City Plumbing. With no shower I call Chris who can be at my house by eleven. I have time to buy a hard drive at Staples and deliver it and my laptop to Sun City computers as Kate had advised.
The computer will be ready in a day and Chris repairs the water heater and gives me a referral on a guy to check out the problem with my motor home.  As the repairs wheels are turning smoothly and it is only noon.
When my cell phone rings it is my manager at the shop informing me an employee has been bitten by a cat and needs to go to emergency. This problem is a long story but the short version is I accompany the nineteen year old girl to the emergency room because she’s scared and after seven hours, we each headed home at 11pm.
With a supply of antibiotics, a must for an animal bite, she was fine and returned to work in two days. I picked up my computer Wednesday and was successful in re- installing the programs. I got my hot shower and my motor home repair guy is scheduled for tomorrow.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Sportster is giving a "High Four" to his buddy , The ghost. "Way to go!"
The ghost is getting ready to go kayaking at Mission Bay, San Diego.
He's going to be taking his first lesson in kayaking from
He is nervous but quite buff, don't you think?  Should be a strong paddler.

All suited up. Ready to go. Where's the kayak?

Saturday, April 7, 2012


The month of March: Four seminars: Two in Yuma and two in Pahrump.
The Elks Lodge in Pahrump, Nevada
The Road from Yuma, Az. to Parker, Az.
The Yuma fairgrounds were the venue for the Good Sam Rally and The Gypsy Journal Rally.  My first impression of the Fairgrounds was what everyone later learned to call “The sound of Freedom.” The Marine Air Base, only a few miles away, is the training ground, well the training airspace, for fighter pilots all over the world. My heart skipped a beat as these impressive jets passed over, almost close enough to touch. They stirred a fear that just as quickly was replaced by a feeling of safety and power knowing the Marines were doing their jobs. It really was a great feeling. By the time the second rally began, either the flights had decreased or we all became accustomed to “The Sound of Freedom.”

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Nick Russel, author of BIG LAKE, whose self-published e-book hit the New York Best Seller List that week of the rally. Nick is the editor of The Gypsy Journal Newspaper,, and IS the Gypsy Journal Rally. He and his wife along with a hundred or more volunteers put on a wonderful, educational, friendly rally. And of course my interest was Nick’s seminar,” The Birth of a Best Seller.”
Because of Nick’s advice and knowledge, my book sales increased tenfold during the month of March.  It didn’t make the New York Best Seller List, but it boosted my faith in the magic of blogging and twittering. 

Sportster relaxes at the Nevada Treasure RV Resort, in Pahrump, Nevada
After saying good bye twice, first to my new friends at the Arizona Good Sam Samboree, and then again  to my friends at the Gypsy Journal Rally, I headed for the KOFA SKP Park in Yuma for a couple of days of down time before I headed north to Parker and on to Pahrump. In Pahrump Nevada, at the Nevada Treasure RV Resort,,  I conducted two more seminars for  the Nevada Good Sam Samboree and the Regional WIT Rally ( Winnebago). During both rallies I met many more interesting people. Ollie Hill, from Laramie, Wyoming, attended my seminar. Visit his website, He has developed a kid’s game called, KID’S ARENA HORSE PLAY, as well as authoring many books on back packing and outfitting. Through the sales of his publications he raises money for 4-H projects.
Daniel Holstein of the Las Vegas Police Department And the son of one of the WIT attendees, spoke to us about his experience consulting for the CSI of Las Vegas television series. Not only did I have the privilege to meet Daniel, but also obtain his permission to e-mail him parts of my manuscript for his review.
Between these two rallies I enjoyed ten days of down time at the Elks Lodge in Pahrump. The lodge was active and hospitable and cooked a great Lasagna dinner. I spent my days writing with the spectacular view of the desert’s landscape filling every window of my RV. I walked in the desert when I needed a break from writing. I could have stayed for months in the solitude but had to spend a couple nights at the Pair-A-Dice SKP Park in order to catch up on my laundry.
I regretted my last day in Pahrump but I was also anxious to go home. Pahrump is a wonderful town with wonderful people. If you ever come through here go to Mom’s Diner, less than a mile from the Elks Lodge. The small restaurant has great food and friendly patrons who will invite you to share their table when it’s crowded, which is most of the time.
My next adventure will be reconnecting with my friends, neighbors and employees and my customers back in Sun City, Ca. at The Canine Beauty Salon…..and finishing my book, GOING HOME WITH A CAT AND A GHOST that I hope to have available late summer or early fall.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


April 1st! Do you believe it? The first quarter of the year has come to pass. Three months spun into  a whirlwind of events and new friends and new places.
Indio was my first stop for the FMCA Western Area Rally. What a great experience. The people at FMCA know how to put on a rally. The events and vendors were varied, educational and friendly. I ran into my favorite and most trusted RV Service man from Temecula Valley RV,, Erik Kitley. He claims to be the “Best in the Southwest” and in my humble opinion he fits the bill.
I also met Mark Sickman, a member of the Roadtrek RV group. Mark attended my seminar along with over thirty others. The comment cards returned to me after the seminar were 99% raving reviews. But Mark Sickman, an author himself, flowered me with an encore that humbled and ingratiated me. Mark, a distinctive and precise man of words, wrote a book review for COAST TO COAST WITH A CAT AND A GHOST and submitted it to the Roadtrek magazine, which published it last month. I am discovering, along this Road of Writing that authors are much more than professional colleagues, they are of a group consciousness that will change your tire or give you a push when you need one. I only hope I can return the kindness.

The Indio rally was the jump start to my three month long book tour. The Authors’ Meet And Greet at the Sun City Library in Menifee, Ca. hosted seventeen authors due to the efforts of Shirley Wible, the program director. Shirley, another lover of authors and books, put together a successful book signing event, giving me the opportunity to become acquainted with even more respected authors such as Kay Murphy  author of  THE TAINTED LEGACY,, Martin Lastrapes, author of INSIDE THE OUTSIDE,, and  Nickolae Gerstner author of LONGBOURN, The many more talented authors that I have not mentioned is in no way intended to  minimize their talents, but I hope, an encouragement to discover them by attending the next Meet and Greet  event.
Martin Lastrapes, author of INSIDE THE OUTSIDE
Niclolae Gerstner ,author of LONGBOURN, at the Sun City Library Meet and Greet 
After these events, I slipped out of town to experience the annual phenomenon of Quartzsite, Arizona. For those of you who have been following me, you know what the experience entails: shopping until you drop, only to start all over again the next day to do it all over again. It also means RV friends meeting with RV friends, not only roughing the desert’s accommodations of sand and wind but also marveling at its vastness, solitude and starry nights. While in Quartzsite I attended the Readers Oasis Book Fair and met not only more fascinating and talented authors, but the naked book store owner who is a legend in his own right. 
Darlene Miller, who wrote RV CHUCKLES AND CHUCKHOLES,  is another author I was fortunate to meet. And although time was limited in Quartzsite, we were able to meet up again at Parker, Arizona when she gave me a tour of the area and Parker Dam that endeared me to the area. When her husband repaired a leak on the roof of my rig, I was reminded why I love RVers: I may travel alone but I am never alone.

Darlene Miller,  author of RV CHUCKLES AND CHUCKHOLES, at The Readers' Oasis Book Fair, Quartzsite, Az.

Coming back from Quartzite I contributed my time to The Chino Book Festival, a fund raiser for the children of Chino, Ca. I as well as other members of the California Inland Empire Writers’ Club,  participated in manning a booth and promoting public awareness of the club’s attributes and  scholarships.
I did another book signing at The Menifee Arts council, which hosted a wonderful event at the Kay Cisneros Senior “Center to bring awareness to the artists of the Menifee Valley area. What a great job the volunteers did, and the attendance was fantastic.
After hob-nobing with community members, neighbors and friends I hit the road in my Wizard of Winnebago, along with Sportster and “the Ghost.” My goal: to perform four seminars at four different rallies, two in Yuma, Arizona, and two in Pahrump. Nevada. Stay tuned for the next blog as my quarterly report continues with more gratitude and heart-warming examples of the goodness of people.
 Judy Howard