Part 3: Quilting, Relaxing, Reading, and Storage

6th Trip – Day 18-27. Oct 16-25, 2020

Monday Kevin woke up at 6:45 am, you know, he has a long commute! HAHA But as he was ready to log on to work and discovered he had left the charging cable at home. Off to Walmart he goes. Back quickly with a new one. He was kind and set up my sewing machine for me. I on one end of the table and he on the other. I love it!

Kevin working on one end and me sewing on the other.

Soon he was outside for the day working in his comfy camping chair. I had a lot of fun sewing in the trailer. I set up the cutting board on the end of the counter; plenty of room. It even has a plug right above for the iron.

My big kitchen allows for great space for quilting.

For lunch I made Steak Bites with Garlic Butter (recipe below). I came to realize that on Kevin’s work days, we should have our big meal at lunch because as soon as he is done with work, we want to be off exploring and not taking the time to cook and not come back starving. In the afternoon I sewed some more and read.

Working while at Southern Utah RV Resort, Camping St George, UT Oct 16-25, 2020

As soon as Kevin was done with work at 4:00 pm, we were in the truck. We went to Traveler’s Quilt Book stop Quilted Works. It was a small shop and I was surprised not a lot of xmas fabric. But I did find a darling one with snowmen and bought it.

Shopping for fabric. Can never have enough, right?

Then we went to what showed online as a used bookstore. It is called Book Bungalow. As the name says, it is in an old house, cute, but all new books. Kevin is interested in old books. Interesting, online we don’t find any used bookstores in this area.

We drove to Red Hills Desert Garden. This is a neat place where you can walk on and around red rocks that have been shaped from wind and water. Really fun place. We took out our walking sticks and did a bit of walking around. Kevin offered Costa Vida for supper and of course I couldn’t resist! (Otherwise, it was sandwiches.) We ate on our picnic table and enjoyed watching the sun go down and the moon come out.

Beauty from wind and water,Camping St George, UT Oct 16-25, 2020

Tuesday was incredibly relaxing. I did some quilting, reading and catching up on this diary. Kevin worked from outside. Lunch was French Dip. After work, we drove to a place in Hurricane called “Winder Towing.” They have a YouTube channel called Matt’s off -road Recovery. It is something that Kevin and his brother, Gary, have seen on YouTube and they laugh their heads off! As I understand it, if you need a tow, you get a free T-shirt with their logo. We went there because they have a little shop online and we thought he could buy some things from there. Every though we were there during the open hours and cars were in front, the door was locked.

Kevin and Gary watch YouTube videos of this place. He wanted to see it. Camping St George, UT Oct 16-25, 2020

Then we drove to Sand Hollow. I hear people talk about that place. It didn’t seem like much to us. Continued to drive along the east side of St George and around the south near the hotel we usually stay at. It is fun to drive around and just see life and houses. We went to Harmons Grocery for treats and bread and then back to camp. We were full from crackers and cheese I had taken with us. I read and Kevin watched some videos. We did a late night (9:30 PM!) walk-about and then went to bed.

Wednesday continued to be a relaxing and perfect weather day. For lunch I heated up the Chili Verde I made at home and we had it over tortilla chips. Yummy. That evening, I had to do a Zoom video conference meeting over the internet with the Department of Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Council. Kevin got me all set up on his computer and I had my iPad for CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation). It worked well since I am deaf. Kevin went off to check out the storage place for our trailer that we rented. Afterwards, Kevin and I went on a walk-about and then came back and had sandwiches for supper at 7:00 PM. Enjoyed a lovely evening reading outside.

Thursday I was busy with emails with the Advisory Council and other things. I didn’t sew today but organized and edited a lot of pictures. I also read. Kevin is enjoying his work from his chair outside. 🙂 At 5:00 PM, we met our friend who goes to college here. We went to Angelica’s Mexican Restaurant. It was good food and fun to catch up with her. After dinner, Kevin and I drove around and looked at some campgrounds around here for ideas for next time. We found we really like Southern Utah RV Resort! Hey, look at the cool way the guy cleans the campground road:

This made us laugh. Riding that thingy and using the leave blower to clean the road.

We picked a name for our travel trailer. Since it is our Home On Wheels, we named it HOWE (pronounced How-ee). We even have the camping dates in our calendar listed under HOWE. HAHAHA

If you remember a few posts ago, we had decided to get a storage spot for HOWE in Southern Utah. This area is warmer and a place that Snowbirds (people who go south for the winter) like to be. Where we live, it is way too cold, too snowy, and most places in the mountains are closed because you can’t get there in the winter. So by having HOWE in the warmer area, we can drive there in a few hours and take it out and camp on long weekends, holidays, etc. Don’t worry, we will be camping in just a short time.

HOWE parked at storage. We can easily pull it out for camping soon.

*Steak Pieces in Garlic Butter Yumminess

(We made this on the Blackstone Griddle but this recipe shows cooking on a stove)

 1 1/4 lbs. steak, cut up into small pieces

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp butter

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbsp parsley, minced

Salt and Pepper


Over high heat, using a large pan, heat the olive oil. Season the steak with salt and pepper.

Place the meat in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir often so that each piece gets brown.

To the pan, add butter and garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir so the sauce coats the meat.

Sprinkle the parsley over the meat and serve.

I can’t believe I said that! I am deaf!

I became 100% deaf a year ago, March 2020. So how do Kevin and I communicate when he is driving? How do I help him back up the trailer into a campsite when I can’t hear what he wants me to do? How do I help set up the trailer when I am on the other side of the trailer and can’t hear when someone asked for something? These are just a few of the questions that come up for someone who is deaf. I ask you, if you are a hearing person, please read on so that you can understand what is going on for deaf people. If you are hard of hearing or deaf, I hope you find a helpful hint or two here.

Kevin and I have an amazing relationship: married over 32 years, best friends, and truly part of each other. We get along incredible well and are each other’s favorite person to be with. So with all that, suddenly I am deaf and we can’t communicate while he is driving, or when I am driving, for that matter. I can’t look away from the road to see what he is signing (American Sign Language) and he can’t let go of the wheel to sign while driving. What is a couple to do? It wasn’t until October last year when we finally figured out something that would work. I have an app on my iPad called “AVA” that we have used before. It needed internet connection and that doesn’t work when you are camping and driving around the middle of Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, for example. Around October, AVA company made it to work without internet connectivity. This opened up a whole new way for us. When Kevin is driving, I set the iPad on my lap and as he talks, AVA uses voice-to-text to type out his words. Now, believe me, it isn’t great and makes many mistakes including thinking we are swearing! 🙂 But it is better than no communication at all. While we have to start and stop the app often, it is fine because at least we can work on getting it right and thus having hours and hours of communication.

What about backing up the trailer? I call Kevin on FaceTime. He has the phone on the console in the truck but if he needs to communicate something with me, he can stop, pick it up and sign to me. I talk him through backing up. Instead of using “left/right” (which I think could be terribly confusing.) I say “driver’s side” or “passenger side” depending on which side I want the back of the trailer turned towards. It works out great for us. Well, except for one time! I was talking to him as he was backing up. I keep saying into FaceTime, “driver’s side” pause “driver’s side” pause “driver’s side (a little louder)! Then I start pointing because he isn’t putting the back of the trailer where it needs to go. Stop! I walk up to Kevin and he says he is so confused…did the mirrors get turned upside down because I am pointing in the opposite way I am talking. For goodness sake, I realize I had been saying the wrong side! So then I said, “Well….backseat DRIVER’s side?!” We were laughing so hard we were crying!!! Now don’t worry, this was backing up into a large storage space (we will tell you more about that when we get to October camping).

As for setting up or tearing down our campsite, I have found things that are helpful but don’t need to be talked about. I can set the chocks and stabilizers. Did you read the blog post about our first campground? My job then was just to stay out of the way. HAHA But now we have it down where I can help with a few things.

Now, here is the part where I can’t believe I said that!!!!! We will tell you more about this camping trip when we post about November but I will let you know this part now. 🙂 We were camping in Mesquite, NV and in November, it was a perfect warm place to be. We don’t eat out much because of Covid but in looking for a fabric store (squeal with excitement) we passed a Mexican restaurant with outdoor dining. We looked at each other, our eyes wide with excitement, as we both said we wanted to eat there that evening. Later that day, we went to this restaurant. The nice young man led us to our seats out on the patio. As he handed us the menus, I asked, “What do you recommend?” I kid you not! Sometimes I completely forget I am 100% deaf. This nice young man starts to rattle off what he recommends. I am trying to suppress a huge giggle and Kevin is about losing it, trying not to laugh. I nod politely as I assume he told me his recommendations. I was so glad Kevin was there to be able to answer follow up questions. We STILL laugh about this when we think about it.

Of course, losing one’s hearing isn’t all fun and games. It is life changing. I have jotted down little thoughts as I started down this journey of being deaf. Maybe I will share it sometime.

Sometime down the road, I will write about traveling on an airplane and tell you about being deaf and getting a wheelchair handed to me. 🙂

I would like to read any comments you have. Please comment below. Do you have questions about being deaf or hard of hearing? Are you deaf or hard of hearing and having ideas to share to help others who are traveling? Comment below. Thank you.

Fabric Store and a Bridge

I started a new hobby in Feb. 2020. It is quilting. My friend told me fabric stores in different parts of the country will often have a section of fabric MATCHING their surrounding area. (For example, a fabric store in the Southwest of the USA might have more fabric that shows a southwestern theme.) She showed me a book she used when they traveled around the country. The book has a new updated edition often. It is called Quilters Travel Companion and shows fabric stores from every state. Kevin bought me the latest edition and we decided that we “must” look up a fabric store in the places we travel. 🙂 This book is how we came upon the idea to stop at Rupert, Idaho. I had looked up the store on the map a few days before and saw there is only parallel parking in front of the store so we knew we would need to park a few blocks away since we were pulling our travel trailer. It being a Saturday, it wasn’t a problem to park farther away in an industrial area. The Gathering Place boasts 10,000 sq feet of fabric. Of course I found a cute Autumn fabric to buy. 🙂 Kevin liked this store a lot…he could relax while I looked around!

Kevin is happy The Gathering Place fabric store has a comfy chair!
Continue reading “Fabric Store and a Bridge”

We almost sold it!

1st – Day 1-4, Sept 4-7, 2020 On the way to Craters of the Moon. Idaho

It was so hard to wait for Kevin to get off work because we were both so excited for our first camping trip in our new trailer. The second he was done, we were out of here. As Kevin was driving, the truck would seem to float and at some times seemed like it was picked up and when the front came down, it might almost be in a different lane. It was really bad when the road was rough. The ride was so bumpy. He had to slow down quite a bit. I thought we would just have to camp very close to home because it was so hard for Kevin to drive and almost made me motion sick. We were both disappointed. Maybe we just need to sell the trailer?!

Charla, staying out of the way!

We stayed at Aspen Grove Campground in Tremonton, UT. We pulled into the campground and was shown to our site. It is fairly new so the trees weren’t grown. No campfires allowed. I guess because it is in the middle of the town and maybe people would not like the smoke? I don’t know. But that was fine with us. Kevin got electricity and water all set up and I did my job…stay out of the way!

Why do I need to stay out of the way? Well, how do you ask someone on the other side of the trailer to do something when she is deaf and can’t hear? HAHA It is easier for him to do the set up then run around, find me, sign (American Sign Language) to me, and then go about what he was doing. 🙂 Once Kevin had the hoses, cords, chocks, and stabilizers all set up I was able to set up inside. This being our first night out in our trailer I had made a pasta salad at home and put in the fridge. We ate outside in our camp chairs. After supper, we decided to go for a walk and look for geocaches. Downtown Tremonton has some neat old buildings. Because of Covid, we weren’t able to go into them but hope to at some point down the road. I was able to take a picture of a very old building. The center park was pretty. We only found one of a chain of geocaches but that was fine with us. We enjoyed the walk. Went back to the trailer and sat outside as it got dark. Our trailer bed is a queen and so so so comfortable! I couldn’t believe it. We both slept great.

The next morning, after bagels and coffee/hot chocolate, Kevin emptied the black tank (holds stuff from the toilet) and gray tank (holds the water from the sinks). He noticed they were very full for how little we used them. Then we were on our way. Immediately we could tell a difference in how the truck felt. It turns out…the gray and black tanks were full! The RV place had filled them to check for leaks but didn’t empty them and didn’t tell us. THAT is why it was such an uncomfortable ride!! HAHAH Whew, we were so relieved we were giddy. We don’t have to sell it!! The rest of the drive was smooth and we could go faster.

Next stop…Idaho.

I wonder what this building used to be used for. Tremonton, UT

1st camping spot. Tremonton, UT.

What? I can’t hear you!

Covid 19 in 2020 was and continues to be a big deal to everyone. I don’t need to tell you about it because everyone in the entire world experienced the “shutting down” of life as we knew it. On March 19, 2020, I experienced something different. I became 100% deaf. I was Hard of Hearing (HoH) for several years. I was deaf without my hearing aids but with lipreading and the aids, if I could hear the cadence of the voice, I did pretty well. But all that changed on that day. Thankfully, we knew this would happen at some point but were a bit shocked it came earlier than we had hoped. Over the past few years we have been learning American Sign Language. What a blessing! Kevin and I are still able to communicate by using this beautiful language.

Below is a picture of me watching a movie on my iPad. I have to have the closed captions on. Sometimes they help but sometimes they are a mess!

The fun logs is the balcony of Daniel’s Summit Lodge. We spent a great weekend here including lots of walks in the mountains, relaxation, and even our first time on Razors. Whoa, what a blast!

Be sure to follow along because I will be sharing tips, tricks, and my experiences as I navigate this world and traveling while being deaf.