Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Imperial Dam LTVA, Dec 29-30, 2008

Well, this is what happened on our way here. I forgot to put away the utensil container, but when we had a sudden slow down [Bob was taking a curve too fast] everything moved forward...the paper towels, the wooden chicken and a bag of onions slid forward. This is what you see at the Imperial Dam LTVA turnoff on I-95, it is also the same road to the Yuma Proving Grounds. We are staying in the Florida Flats area of the linked map (upper left of the map).
When we arrived, we wanted to find just the right spot. So we found a place to leave the coach, and took the Explorer exploring. We drove around for quite awhile and finally found a spot that was somewhat isolated and had a ocotillo on it, that was one criteria I wanted.
The area here is much more rocky and more ravines or gullies than Quartzsite.
Here is a view to the side with the front of our coach.

And here is a view of a lake and the back of another coach, they have the best view!!

Here is our coach with the ocotillo, right now they even have their leaves out, which does not happen too often, depends on rain fall.
Did you notice Bob up on top of the coach, he is tilting the solar panels for our stay here.
I am hanging up the finch feeder next to the ocotillo. This morning we saw a flock of finches getting their morning snack here at the feeder.
Yesterday I also hung up my new hummingbird feeder, thanks Jenny, and within an hour had a hummingbird feeding at it. Usually it takes 2-3 days for them to find it.
Since we are going to be here for possibly two weeks, it was time to wash the windshield. Sure looks better now when we look out.
In this special moment in life...Be crazy

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Frost and Chickens, Dec 27-28, 2008

We woke up Sat. morning (Mesa AZ) to 'Frost on our Pumpkin', with the sun out it didn't long for the frost to melt off.
Now, you wonder why I have added this photo of Bob apparently talking to no one. Well, he is talking to the fellow next door who is seated in a chair at the back of the white SUV you see in the photo, he can actually hear what the other guy has to say from at least 25' away. This is a first--he continues to love his new hearing aids, and so do I!

On our way to Gila Bend, AZ we drove by several huge dairy's and some equally as large feed lots. We not only could see them but their aroma filled the air for miles.

For those of you who are wondering, this is an RV, believe it or not. Isn't it cute. It's parked just a few spots from where we are staying. Never did see anyone near it to ask any questions about it.
The reason we have stopped in Gila Bend is our grandson, Zach, sent us a Christmas package and used the general delivery address from here. We will pick up the package tomorrow morning before heading off to the LTVA Imperial Dam.
I want one!!! We could tie it on top or the back of the coach. :)
In this special moment in life...Forget trouble

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day and the Day After, Dec 25-26, 2008

Christmas morning I was awakened by the phone ringing, Bob was already up, so he answered the phone {now he doesn't mind talking on the phone as he can hear with his new hearing aids!!}, it was Zach wishing us a Merry Christmas! He was so excited it was finally Christmas, he was busy counting all his presents. He and Meg were going to go to Starbucks to get some hot chocolate-a treat for Zach.
You can see Santa did find us as well. He and his elfs brought a silicone muffin pan, a hand grater-slicer, a CB for the coach, candles, kitchen chicken towels, a 3 D puzzle of the Neuschwanstein Castle {the one that Disney got his inspiration from for the Magic Kingdom} we saw this castle in Germany last summer, a book called German Boy-this was also recommended as a great book by the local tour guide in Bacharach Germany, 2 chicken lights-one even crows and cackles!!, a hummingbird feeder that uses a suction cup to attach to the front mirror of the coach or the windshield, several CD's of Christian music + of Neil Diamond and GODIVA CHOCOLATE. Thanks one and all!!
After opening the gifts we talked to Jenny, and Yes, Santa found their house as well. They had gotten a new phone through www.majicjack.com. It goes through their computer and costs only $40/year for free calling in the US and Canada. They were all going over to Meg's new apartment for a get together in the afternoon.
We talked to Rich today, he has been fighting a sinus infection for some time now, so he was enjoying the holidays taking it easy and taking many naps.

Today, we went after Christmas shopping specifically looking for another strand of the LED clear lights, well, we did not find any. We did however enjoy shopping at a Ross, Staples, and a Bed Bath and Beyond and found some goodies for me for my birthday, since we will be in the desert on my birthday. We are heading out of the Phoenix area tomorrow (Sat) and heading for Gila Bend for a couple of days, then on into the Imperial Dam LTVA, north of Yuma in California.
Isn't this photo surreal, this was tonight's sunset view behind the coach.
In this special moment in life...Hope

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas, Dec 25, 2008

For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
As you can see the Amaryllis bloomed for Christmas! It is so beautiful and perfect.
Merry Christmas Greetings to each and every one of you.

Christmas Eve Eve Adventures, Dec 23, 2008

Today started out with a follow up appointment with Zounds. Bob is so pleased with these hearing aids, and all checked out OK.
Our plan for the rest of the day was to drive up to Roosevelt Dam on the Apache Trail. Well, I had programmed our GPS for Roosevelt Dam, but did not change the option of what we were driving. We use the "Truck" option when driving the coach, so instead of taking the shorter road we took the long cut. Also the weather was iffy as you can see, so we were a little concerned about snow.

We did finally make it to the Roosevelt Dam area, but before visiting the dam we went on to the Tonto National Monument. I sure was surprised when the sign said that this park had cliff dwellings--one of my favorite places to explore. We watched the park film, visited the displays. The people living here were the Salado's. They were known for their polychrome pottery-see the beautiful pot below.
This is the first time ever I have seen on display the agave sharp needle point with the stem fibers attached. This provided them needle and thread--all in one.

We started up the trail to the ruins, here is a view of the valley the Salado culture could see.
We finally arrived at the ruins. As we walked from room to room Bob read me the description from a phamplet the Ranger had given us.
The walls were covered with hundreds of finger prints made by the Saladas. You could see where they patted and smoothed a mud mixture on the walls.
Next we went back to the Apache Trail cut off where we could see the Roosevelt Dam. We sat on a park bench with this view and ate our picnic lunch.
It was now time to head to Apache Junction on the Apache Trail. It wasn't too long until this is what we saw-dirt road. So for the next 20 miles this was our path. I see now why our GPS with the truck setting did not take us this way. Basically the coach or a large truck could have navigated the curves--slowly, but it was the 10 ton limit on the bridges that would have been the kicker, since we are over 17 tons. Glad we were in the Explorer.

We came through this same place, and as you can see it is the entertainment of the visitors of Tortilla Flats to come and watch the cars come through the 4-5" of water.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cookies and Bread, Dec. 20-22, 2008

We went to church on Saturday afternoon, yes the Central Christian Church in Mesa has Sat. services. The message was about trust and the Merton Prayer was mentioned. I had not heard of it before, thought it was nice, here is a link to the prayer if you're interested.

I got hungry for spritz cookies, but I did not bring my cookie press with me in the coach. So I just rolled them out in small balls and flattened them with a fork. Worked great.

Our Christmas decorations are few and simple, but are nice. We have a tiny tree with my ribbon angels on it, the fabric bells with lights and garland. See the tree skirt, I found that at a thrift store in Quartzsite for .25; the light green holly ruffle matches the fabric in one of the bells above. We also have lights down both of the slides inside, one side is a set of the new LED lights, they are nice and bright, planning on hitting the after Christmas sales and picking up another set. Think they will be nice just to have up in the coach all the time.
See how tall the amaryllis is getting, the bloom is just starting to come out. Don't think it will be in full bloom for Christmas, maybe New Years.
Look at my loaf of homemade bread! Smells so good!! Yes, the recipe is from the South Beach diet cookbook (orange cover). I added some sage, thyme and poultry seasoning to the recipe so it will taste like stuffing all by itself. Hopefully the weather will be nice enough to grill another Cornish game hen, the one we did from Thanksgiving turned out so good.
In this special moment in life...Tell those you love that you do.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Linksys, Tucson and Zounds, Dec 15-18, 2008

Well, the time had come to do a wireless adapter transplant to my computer. That means that everything has to come out of the area where my CPU, printer and scanner are. I have now gone through 2 other wireless adapters-one I accidentally kicked while uncrossing my legs as it was in the front of the computer in a USB port. The other one, Belkin, just stopped working most of the time. So this time we wanted to make the wireless environment uniform, so we bought an internal Linksys Wireless G PCI Adapter with SpeedBooster, as the router was a Linksys. I can't kick that one!!!
Well you know what they say about best laid plans...it wasn't as easy as 1-2-3. You were to install the software first, then part way through install the adapter, then the CPU was to be restarted and the install would be finished. Well the CPU turned on OK, but then would not completely boot up, something was wrong big time. Bob got on his laptop and did some trouble shooting on the web and found that we were not alone, one suggestion was to remove and re seat all the connections within the CPU. He did that and IT WORKS, who knew! It did automatically connect to the router and all seemed OK. Well...there is more to the story.
Within a day or so, the original Linksys router decided to die. A few months ago, we thought it was dying then, so we bought a back up. It is now time to install the new one, the install went pretty smoothly. The instructions were very plain and we followed them to the letter, it even automatically transferred all the internal settings {the beginning of our problems}.
Over the next few days we tried several possible solutions to get my CPU connected, after all it was Linksys talking to Linksys, should be easy! Bob was able to get on OK and I could connect as long as I had a LAN wire connected-hardwired. We tried everything we could think of and finally Bob had read read online that doing a manual setup, redoing all the numbers, codes and sometimes that works, IT DID!!

Meet Mr. Harris Hawk, he was being held by a docent at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. We had a great morning there seeing the sights with Bob's 1st cousin, Steve and his wife Anna. They winter in Tucson as Minnesota is not the place to be in the winter months.

I just love this photo of Bob with all the lights, shadows, and colors. He is my zebra!
Loved the hummers in the hummingbird compound.

After leaving the museum, we drove a short distance to Saguaro National Park. I just love those stately giants. Bob and Steve are dwarfed by these stately soldiers. Did you know that the spines actually provide shade for the cactus?

Lunch was in order, so Mexican it is. Delicious. We had a great visit with Steve and Anna getting caught up on several lost years.
Well, finally after 40 years Bob did finally listen to me...he is now wearing hearing aids from a company called Zounds. He is wearing them in the above photo, you can barely see the clear plastic line going from the rechargeable battery behind the ear to the 'in the canal' microphone.
He loves them, he keeps asking me if I heard the Explorer clutch squeak, his footsteps inside the coach, the bass in a song, etc. He also has a remote control so he can adjust the volume, or change the aids for different modes--dining, music, party and quiet. He is very HAPPY and so am I. We are staying in the Phoenix area until after Christmas as he has a followup appointment next week just to make sure all is well.
In this special moment in life...Make new friends

Friday, December 19, 2008

Casa Grande Ruins, Coolidge, AZ Dec 14, 2008

We stopped for a visit at the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge, AZ. It was so much larger than I imagined, over four stories high and 60 feet long. Early Spanish explorers called it the Great House (Casa Grande). It is the largest structure to exist of the Hohokam culture. This structure has openings that align with the setting sun of the summer solstice, other openings align with the sun and moon at specific dates. It is built with caliche (sand, clay and limestone), a material found in the subsoil beneath their feet. It is similar to concrete. This structure took over 3,000 tons of this material to construct

You can see how thick the walls are behind Bob. They found out that the thicker the walls were the higher they could build the structure. This Great House was constructed before 1350, but by 1694 was an empty shell.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Visiting Family, Dec 13, 2008

We left Gold Canyon and drove all of about 40 miles to an RV park in Coolidge. In the afternoon we drove a short distance to visit my niece, Joellen, her husband Mike, and kids, Matt and Sam. The photo above is of one of their newer pets. Mike currently active duty Air Force, does exotic animal rescue in his spare time. This was one of his rescues that he adopted. It is a Sulcata http://www.reptilechannel.com/reptile-species/turtles-and-tortoises-profiles/african-spurred-tortoise-2.aspxTortoise, according to Jo he weighs about 65 pounds, and will get up to over 200 lbs. Pretty amazing!!

We spent the evening visiting getting caught up on the last two years of activities. Enjoyed hearing about Jo's new job of a year now, and to find out she has a promotion coming up in Feb. to a 'Corrections Officer' at a nearby prison. Great job Jo! For dinner Mike fixed his famous hamburgers--even some jalapeno ones for Bob. Thought the above family photo was unique, check out the mirror!

In this special moment in life...Rediscover old friends

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Visiting Friends & Tires, Dec 12, 2008

We had a great visit with Tressa and Bruce. It was great to get caught up on the past two years since we had seen them last. We also drained their brains on France canal boat travel, as that is what Bob and I and our friends John and Judy are going to do in April. {One hint-they used 'le-boat'} Tressa and Bruce had been on 3 other canal boat trips, so in our eyes they were experts.
The evening sky was 'on fire', not really, but sure looked like it. It was a little cloudy, so our view of the largest full moon was not as pristine as we had hoped. Thanks Rich for the email head's up.
Earlier in the day we were on a mission, after examining the Explorer tires more carefully, we noticed they were in need of being replaced. I believe that leaky rear tire was giving us a hint. So we ended up at a Big O tire store, and now the Explorer sports four new tires, ready for the next 50,000 miles.
We will be leaving Gold Canyon today and heading to Coolidge, all of 40 miles to visit with my niece and her family.
In this special moment in life...Live God's message.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

To Gold Canyon, Dec 11, 2008

Moving day after three weeks. It was cold this morning in Q, 39 degrees, burr, but it was sunny. Bob got me up at 7:30 as I had asked him so we could be on our way by 10 am. We each set about doing our own stuff getting things ready to travel. I generally do most of the inside and Bob deals with the outside. We have one rear tire on the Explorer that keeps going down, so he had to get out the air compressor and blow it up. Also he has to go up on the coach and untilt the solar panels. I am so glad he does the roof stuff and I don't go up there!
We actually left at 10:20, not too far off of our estimated time; had an uneventful drive on I-10 through Phoenix to an RV park in Gold Canyon. We have a list of stores we want to stop at while in a metro area, Home Depot for a round piece of wood to put on the steering wheel when we are parked, Bob needs jeans and the Explorer needs tires.
I-10 was not too busy when we came through, love this 5 level interchange.Evening view outside of our RV.
In this special moment in life...Smile often, savor special moments.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More Pecans and Baking, Dec 9, 2008

Any time any place, you can always pick out pecans, I have now over a pound picked out. I am going to be making some persimmon cookies soon, and I want to put these pecans in them.
The generator automatically started on this morning at 8:30, (we have it set to come on when the batteries reach a certain level and run for two hours.) Usually when it comes on, we try to put a load on the generator-make it work as suggested by using something in the coach that takes electrical power, like the hot water heater or convection/microwave or heat pump. This is when I usually bake something if I am planning on doing so. Well when the generator came on I had no idea I was going to be baking this loaf of zucchini bread, that thought occurred later in the day, so when I started to get out the ingredients to bake, Bob wondered why as the generator had already ran. Well, I just said I can start it again and you can see it is baked. It is for a gift when we head over to the Phoenix and Tucson areas.
We are leaving tomorrow (Thurs) and will be visiting friends and family. When we leave Tucson, we are heading to another LTVA (Long Term Visitor Area-BLM lands) near Yuma called Imperial Dam. The same camping sticker works there as well as here in Quartzsite.

Sometimes this Master Mind game gets the best of me, well almost. Bob was a little slow at first figuring it out, now the tide has turned. Bummer...but I still like to play it, hopefully some my dormant brain cells will rejuvenate!

This is a shot of the sunset reflected glow last night, beautiful pinks along with the blues--see the moon.
In this special moment in life...Think freely, Practice Patience.
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