Monday, January 31, 2011

Bird Watching

We've not done a lot of bird-watching this winter. I thought we might see more birds here at Reflection Lake, but I guess it's still winter time... There was a little Yellow Rumped Warbler hunting bugs in the tree bark along the shore this morning and a couple of white crowned sparrows, but that's about it. This is a not very good picture of the juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron that has been hanging around along with an adult one. We did see a Snowy Egret flying over this morning.

We had to make a Costco run this afternoon, so went to the one in Temecula, going south to see some different country. We saw a lot of farmland -- looked like it was planted into winter grain crops. The countryside down that way is actually greener looking. It must be out of the desert area.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Quiet Sunday Afternoon

It's a drippy, overcast day at Reflection Lake. The weather forecast last night predicted a small amount of precipitation today and for a change, I think they were right on. We've had a few raindrips, enough to bead on Auntie Violet's windshield. It was enough to chase most of the fishermen away. The couple that are left are inside their tents and I don't see any poles or bobbers out along the shore. The temperature has dropped as well. It is 53 degrees today in contrast to the high seventies it has been the last couple of days.

We have been watching a cute little Black Pheobe diligently catching insects along the shore by our campsite. We've been watching for the Black Crowned Night Herons we saw yesterday, but haven't seen them today (though Forry thinks he may have seen one fly through earlier). There are four Double-crested Cormorants perched on some branches sticking up out of the water on the other side of the lake. There have been a couple of ravens methodically working their way from campsite to campsite checking for any left behind edible garbage.

It's a good day to stay inside watching bullriding and ice skating on TV; doing suduko (Forry, not me!); or reading a good book on my Kindle.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Am I Getting Old and Crabby?

I am beginning to wonder about how much tolerance I have any more for destructive children -- and their parents!

This is a nice little RV park with the sites situated around Reflection Lake. It also offers fishing to the public. I think it costs five dollars per pole per day and you can catch up to five fish. There have been a few tents pitched overnight as well as several vehicles who are day visitors at the various sites.

This morning we were enjoying watching both an adult Black-crowned Night Heron as well as an immature, mostly brown young one perched in the trees around the lake. It was also fun to watch the various fishing styles of the anglers.

There was a tent pitched down towards the end of the bay along with a van at the next site. There seemed to be half a dozen children scattered between the two sites. We noticed one of the children who looked to be 4-6 years old swinging a hatchet at one of the trees along the bank, hitting it over and over again. Another youngster, who looked a bit older, say 10-12, came along, took the hatchet away and started doing the same thing! Only he was big enough to take big chips out of the bark of the tree. When he got bored and dropped the hatchet, another, even smaller child, picked it up and started swinging it around!

The adults who were with them didn't do a darn thing about it! They just sat in their chairs and ignored the kids! I guess I just don't understand how you can allow your kids to be wantonly destructive and not do anything about it! (I did call the office to report the vandalism, but no one ever came to investigate.)

Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Busy Day --

We had a busy day today. We took an hour's trip into Riverside to get some stuff done; picked up the first of the season's strawberries at a stand; came home; watched some of the anglers fishing around the lake; took a nap; fixed some calamari for Forry for dinner; caught up with Frontierville and Farmville; and watched some TV.

A busy day, no?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Day at Reflection Lake

We are staying at Reflection Lake RV Park and Fishing Camp. It's basically built around the shores of a small lake that is well populated with ducks, geese and coots. Instead of parking head in or back in, the RV sites are actually horizontal to the lake edge.

Today a large truck pulled into the park -- it looked somewhat like a tanker, but with several compartments. They were here to deliver fish!

The driver climbed up on top of the truck, opened one of the compartments and stuck a big net into the compartment and came out with it full of fish!

He handed it down to the fellows waiting alongside the truck --

Who carried it to the shore of the lake and dumped it in --

Forry talked with one of the guys later who told him that they had delivered five hundred pounds of live trout! Some of them were about six inches long, but there were some that were over a foot!

We went into Riverside after lunch. When we came back, there were fishermen every twenty-thirty feet around the lake. The park charges $5 per pole and you are allowed to catch five fish,,,

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

On The Road Again --

Today was moving day again. We left the desert by Quartzsite this morning along with most of the other Alpiners. We stopped at the last gas station on Interstate 10 (Exit 1) in Arizona for diesel, a Flying J. Evidently we were not the only ones who didn't want to pay California diesel taxes! Traffic was backed up all the way up the off ramp of the freeway. There was a double set of pumps for RVs; when we got there, we were third in line on our side; by the time we filled and pulled out of the way, there were six rigs behind us and seven rigs in the other line!

We drove about 165 miles today to Reflection Lake RV Park & Fishing Campground. The RV sites are next to a man-made pond. We are parked next to the little bay area. We'll stay here for the next week.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Trip Back to the Big Tent

We didn't get much when we went to the Big Tent RV show last Sunday. I picked up some replacement nail files and a couple of other little things, but that was about it. Today we went back with a bit of a purpose. I had seen some t-shirts that were decorated with a rhinestone motor home with "Home Sweet Home" above it. I didn't really want another t-shirt, but after we got home I got to thinking about the blue knit jacket I had picked up at Costco a couple of weeks ago.

I took the jacket with me today to see if the lady could put that motorcoach design on it for me. She was a bit hesitant at first, but then looked to see what the fabric was. It turns out to be 98% cotton and only 2% spandex, so she thought it would work well.
And so it did!

We also picked up another water hose -- a thirty foot one this time. Forry really likes the hoses he bought last year and wanted one longer one. These have brass fittings and actually withstand high pressure. We looked at some colored LED light ropes, but decided that they were a bit too pricey. Forry did get the motion detector LED outside door light that he has been looking for.
Many Alpine coaches have headed out the last two days. There are only about a dozen of us left here. We've done well. We still have more than a half a tank of fresh water and both our gray and black water tanks are less than half full. But, we too, will head back to civilization tomorrow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mac, The Fire Guy

We have been taking classes from Mac McCoy about fire safety since before we ever bought our first motorhome. Mac taught classes at the Life on Wheels seminars for many years and teaches for FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association). I've been to at least five of his classes (and Forry's probably been to seven) and while much of it is reminders of stuff we've heard before, we always manage to learn something new. Mac is VERY safety conscious -- and probably partly because of him, so are we.

Mac travels around the country to various RV rallies, giving seminars and selling foam fire extinguishers. His classes are always very hands on with demonstrations of fires and how to put them out. He's the guy who first convinced us to use foam fire extinguishers instead of dry chemical ones. Not only do they smother, cool and put out fires without any toxic powders or residue, they don't become outdated!

Mac was here at the Desert Rat Rally X today giving one of his seminars and demonstrations. There was the usual large crowd on hand with a lot of discussion about getting out of the motorhome exit windows. Fortunately, the ones on our coach are quite large. But we still need to practice doing it a time or two -- especially the one in the bedroom.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Little Tent Show

Today we stayed out in the desert -- we decided that going into Quartzsite again for the big tent show might be more people than we could deal with. Besides, it was windy and cold this morning -- not a day to be wandering around.

We went to a very nice service this morning in the tent set up here in the midst of all of the Alpine coaches (it's where we have been having all of the joint activities). There were only about fifty people there.

Part of tonight's crowd --

Then this evening we went back again for the Tweed Show. The tent was packed. John Tweed and his daughter Sarah are performers from Branson, Missouri. He had a show of his own for years and has recently been joined by his daughter. He has a voice range of four octaves and sang and played a variety of music -- country and western, fifties, broadway tunes, etc. They are a very entertaining duo that had been heard by some of the Alpine Coach Association folks who arranged for them to fly out here yesterday. They said they left snow and 21 degree temperatures behind in Branson.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The BIG Tent Show

That's the big tent in the distance as seen from the freeway. The other tents are for mostly rock and gem shows that are also going on --
And here it is stretching away from where we had to park --

After this morning's Alpine Coach Association membership meeting, we went in to the opening day of the BIG TENT RV show in Quartzsite. Us and several thousand other people! The tent itself is huge -- it's over an eighth of a mile long. There are three aisles down the long way of the tent with vendors on each side of the aisle. So that means there are six rows of vendors -- something like a mile and a quarter of stalls! While a good share of the merchandise is stuff for use in RVs, there are the usual "fair" vendors of pots and pans, salad shredders and cosmetics.
We didn't buy much. I got a couple more microplush towels for the kitchen (from a vendor I had purchased them from before) and some replacement glass nail files. (I love the fact that these glass files don't have to just file in one direction, but I do seem to have a knack for breaking them...). We looked at several booths that sold LED lights, but didn't find any that were priced as low as you can get them on the internet. It's only the first day of the show, so maybe the prices will come down.
After we had walked through the tent three times, we had had it. Besides which it had really gotten hot today! We took a quick run over into California, to the Albertson's in Blyth, so that Forry could pick up some more coffee for his Koenig, then back to Auntie Violet for a nap!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Desert Rat Rally X

The coach count at this afternoon's Gearhead Session was announced as 125 coaches. Western Recreational Vehicles didn't make that many coaches in its life span (1400 total) and it is unusual to see more than one or two -- if any -- in an RV park. So it is quite something to see several rows of them in this small section of the desert!

Since the Alpines are now an "Orphan" brand, without factory support, it is amazing to see how the owners have rallied around to provide support for each other. There is a forum on the internet (at that discusses all kinds of solutions for issues that owners may have (that's where I found out where to find the windshield wiper mountings earlier this fall.). In addition the Alpine Coach Association has a web-site with lots of technical information -- including copies of most of the owners manuals and wiring diagrams.

This afternoon Guaranty RV sponsored a Margarita Party with, of course margaritas, sangria and soft drinks. The attendees brought southwestern themed hors d'ourves (I brought some guacamole with some little tacos, empanadas, and toquitos -- a Costco special...).

We've had another perfect warm sunny day. The Northwest ACA chapter made "in-the-bag" omelets for everyone to start the day off this morning. You started with a freezer zip-lock bag on which you wrote your name with a permanent marker. The next person in line added a small cupful of beaten egg mixture to your bag; then you had choices of cheese, bacon, roasted sweet peppers, mushroom slices and/or sauteed onions. After your choices were dropped in the bag, you went over to the stockpots, made sure your bag was sealed and it was dropped into boiling water for five minutes or so. Then they fished it out and dried it off. You put it on your plate, added salsa and/or sour cream and enjoyed. The chapter had been a bit nervous about doing this for so many people, but it worked well. You were given a choice of three breakfast times, so they at least didn't have the whole group to deal with at one time!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Back in the Desert Again!

This morning we got everything organized and headed out Interstate 10 from Mesa to Quartzite, Arizona. I remember the first time we came here three years ago. We were very uncertain about how it all might work to be out in the desert with several hundred other RVers. The Alpine Coach Association had been meeting in the same general area for several years (in fact, this year is their 10th "Desert Rat" gathering). There were directions in the newsletter, but they were a little bit vague -- "head out Plomosa Road for a couple of miles and you'll see our signs."

But, we did find them and had a good time. Except that it rained. Then we came again last year, and it rained. Actually it did more than that, it poured, and the wind blew and the roads flooded. There was actually a small tornado in the area. This year, it looks like we are going to have very nice weather. It was in the high 70s when we got here, but it's dropped down to 51 already at 7 PM. That's one thing about the desert. You might have a nice warm day, but when the sun goes down it gets cold!

Since this is the 10th Annual Desert Rat, there are a lot more people here and there are a lot more scheduled activities. The last I heard, they were expecting 125+ Alpine Coaches plus a few SOBs (some other brand). Tonight there was a "stew in a bowl" dinner provided with attendees asked to bring salads or desserts. Which meant, of course, that there was way too much food!

Since there are no current -- or currant ones either -- bushes out here in the desert, we (and everyone else) are running the generator this evening for lights. The usual rule is that you run them between 7 and 11 PM and then can turn them on again at 7 AM. That way everyone gets to enjoy the coyotes howling...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Our Last Day Here

Today was the last day of our almost three week stay here at Valle del Oro, so had one last gorgeous sunset --

We walked up the road to the office today to mail letters and cards -- it was a much longer walk then I thought (we usually drive it!)! Forry really liked this wind toy -- we've seen lots of tractors, but this is the first RV. Unfortunately, no one was at home to ask where they found it.

Juni and Tom brought Izzie and Tica over this morning before they left so that they could say good-bye. While Tica has come by with Tom on her walks a couple of times, this is the first time Izzie had been inside Auntie Violet. She was so funny and so excited -- her little tail just about wagged itself off!
It really got nice and warm today -- the thermometer out our window read 81 degrees. And it was in the shade! I hope it stays nice when we get to Quartzite -- we've had VERY rainy days both years before that we've been there.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Busy Day!

These are a couple of the interesting critters we've seen around the RV park:

I've learned a long time ago that when I get in the mood to clean, I'd better clean! 'Cause there is no telling when I'll get the urge again...

For some reason I woke up early this morning and wasn't able to get back to sleep. I've been wanting to clean up the cherry wood in Auntie Violet before we get to the Alpine Coach Association (ACA) Desert Rat Rally in Quartzite this week. The fellows who did the work on our desk and cabinets will be there and we will want to let other Alpiners see the work that they did. So I spent most of the day sorting stuff, putting it away and cleaning the mirrors and using Liquid Gold the wood. I've got one more set of drawers in the kitchen and the ones in the front of the coach left to go -- hopefully I'll still be in the mood tomorrow!

Juni and Tom are leaving tomorrow to move over to their son Tommy's house. They want to see if they can park in his driveway and plug into his garage. They've decided that they don't want to try boon-docking at Quartzite with their all-electric coach. (Though they may drive over for the day on Saturday to go to the RV Tent Show.) We're going to head in that direction on Thursday.

Tonight we went back to Tia Rosa's for dinner. Tom and Forry had crab enchiladas while I tried the spinach ones. Juni had a chicken burrito with both green and red sauce. It was all so good! We even got brave and shared the deep-fried ice cream for dessert.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Another Warm Sunny Day

It's been another beautiful day here in Mesa. I sat out in the sun and basked this afternoon while I watched a masterful backing job by a large motorhome that became our new neighbor. The RV Park has certainly filled up in the three weeks we've been here. When we went for a walk after it had cooled off a bit, we only saw a few empty spaces.

Our internet connection is still lousy and I have been unable to upload any pictures... I took some more today of various decorations around the RV Park as well as the blimp that has been floating around the area.

We were quite surprised this morning to actually find the UPS office open on this MLK Holiday. When we drove in, there was not a car around anywhere. The door was unlocked, but we couldn't see anyone anywhere around. Very soon, a woman came in from the back and we soon had our package. Uhlmann's RV had sent the "fix" for the passenger-side shade. Now, it just needs Forry to get it installed...!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Teaching Me Patience?

I guess I need to wait until it's fairly late to try to write my blog -- maybe there's too much load on the wi-fi here at the RV Park until almost eleven? I can't seem to load any pictures, but at least I can write something...

Today was another day of football and more football. The Seahawks were just plain out-played this morning, so Forry was not a very happy camper. I had had enough by the games this afternoon, so took my Kindle outside and enjoyed the lovely warm sunshine. I've discovered a new author, Caitlin Brennan, who I am thoroughly enjoying. I found her first in a collection of short stories edited by Mercedes Lackey.

This evening -- after the football game -- we went with Juni and Tom to the Texas Roadhouse. I had a wonderful rib steak (half of which will be my lunch tomorrow) while Forry enjoyed their ribs. Juni and Tom also split a rib steak -- though Juni took some bits home for Izzie and Tica. I swear, those dogs are almost as spoiled as Sister Sherry's!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

After All My Fussing...

After all my fussing earlier this evening, I seem to have a reasonable connection to the internet now....

We haven't done much today. We went to the post office here at the park and picked up a lovely box forwarded from Daughter Mary Mae. There was also a postcard from UPS about a package they had not delivered with an address where we could pick it up. It's the stuff from Uhlmann's RV to fix the shade on the passenger side of the coach. We drove over there, but they are not open on Saturdays! I did call the number on the card and they assured me that they would be open on Monday -- even though it is a holiday.

We ran a few more errands, picking up some orange juice and coffee and paper for the printer. It's going to be one of those weekends again -- football, football, football! Forry watched at least two games after we got home from running errands.
Once again, we have terrible Internet - I can't blog...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Queen Creek Olive Mill

This noon we went to The Queen Creek Olive Oil Mill with Juni and Tom. It was a BUSY place! Many, many people come here for breakfast and lunch. I had a cup of butternut squash soup with a caprise salad of fresh mozarella cheese balls and little tomatoes, while Forry had a Bengian olive oil waffle with fresh blueberries and whipped cream. We shared a pistachio cannoloni for dessert. Juni had a sweet Italian sausage while Tom had a chicken-cranberry salad sandwich. The food was excellent!

After lunch we went on a tour of the property. We met outside first under some olive trees while the guide told us about the 2000 trees they presently have with 16 varieties of olives under a drip irrigation system. (They plant 200 new trees every year.) There is no need for the use of pesticides as the only known pest, the olive fly, cannot survive the hot summers.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Brie and Raspberry Jam and Pecans...

Juni and Tom made some wonderful brie for supper tonight. Tom had found a recipe for brie that cut a wagon of brie in half through the middle (like making a layer cake); then put a layer of raspberry jam and pecans on top of the bottome layer; put the top layer back on; wrapped the whole thing in refrigerator crescent roll dough; then put it in the oven to bake until the brie was soft and melted and the dough was brown. Served with apple slices or crackers -- absolutely delicious!

The little dogs, Tica and Izzie, get terribly excited when we come over to visit and play with them. Their little tails wag so hard, they are almost vibrating. If Forry and I sit on opposite sides of their coach, they dash from side to side, trying to decide which one of us to play with. Izzie brings her ball to play catch until Juni says "enough!" and puts it away. They are back and forth to get pets and rubs until they finally settle down for belly scratches.

I spent most of the day today working on accounts trying to get things ready for taxes. I had thought I just had December left to do, but when I opened Quicken, I realized I had not yet done November either. I'm almost done, an hour or so in the morning should do it. Then I will have to start fussing at Forry to get the ranch books done so that they can all go together to our accountant.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Estun-Bah (Apache "for the Woman")

This afternoon we went to a program at the Ballroom of the Valle del Oro RV Resort to hear a lecture from a Native American flutist. Tony Duncan has an Apache father and a mother from a North Dakota tribe. He played both a traditional cedar flute as well as an Apache cane flute -- and a facsimile eagle bone whistle. Tony is also the four time national Hoop Dancer and did a Hoop Dance at the end of the program. He could make you see the eagle, the butterfly and the the world in his dancing.

With Tony was his cousin Jeremy Dancing Bull, a drummer and grass dancer, and guitarist Darrin Yazzie of the Navajo tribe. Their music, Estun-Bah, blends the music of Native traditions with a contemporary acoustic sound. The name comes from the tradition of playing the flute outside of the lodging of a female that was being courted. Along with their music, Tony told Apache stories of coyote (the trickster).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fighting With the Internet...

I have been fighting with the Internet all evening. It hasn't been real good here at Velle del Oro, but at least I have been able to get on line. Tonight it has been really flakey -- I get things partially loaded and then they disappear! There's no way I can even manage to deal with Farmville or Frontierville.

This noon we met Juni and Tom at TC Eggington's for brunch. Juni had been down with a bad cold the first time we went there, so they had been unable to be there. I once again had the pear omelet -- it was just as good as the first time.

Bill and Leslie called from somewhere in Texas this evening. They are making good time and will be in San Antonio by tomorrow sometime. Juni and Tom are moving back to this RV Park in the morning, so we will be seeing more of them and the dogs.
Internet access tonight is LOUSY! I cannot get on-line to blog!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Alas, the Ducks Didn't Make It

It looked for a while like the Oregon Ducks might end up as the national champions, but alas it was not to be. It said in the paper that the coverage on ESPN started at 3 PM, but who knew that meant that there would be hours and hours of pre-game show. By the time it was finally over, it was after ten o'clock!

There was a press release today, so now I can actually say the the Executive Board affirmed their original plan to have the 2013 convention in Phoenix. It was a complex, complicated decision that is bound to leave many people unhappy, but we truly feel it was the best decision for the whole denomination. As a compromise, there are plans to set up a satellite site so that delegates who do not feel safe in going to Phoenix can participate.

We made a trip to Costco today for blueberries and a few other things, then went to a Fresh & Easy grocery to pick up milk and orange juice. Other than that and the football game, we have not done much today. I did wash three loads of laundry and got my suitcase emptied out, but that's about it. I did get a chance to talk with Sister Sherry which made my morning!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Back to Auntie Violet

Aha, home again! After a very quiet peaceful flight (I slept through the first half..), I am back in Mesa with Forry and Auntie Violet. It was a bit nervous making, not having a cell phone and not able to let Forry know where I was. I was able to call him from a pay phone after the plane landed and then again after I picked up my suitcase to let him know I was at the NORTH side of the terminal.

It had been an eventful couple of days of meetings. We pretty much threw out the planned agenda and spent most of our time processing the issue of whether or not to go ahead with having the 2013 convention in Phoenix. Lots of angst and emotion; listening and sharing.

Anyway, I am very glad to be home again!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ah, Some Quiet Time!

I am enjoying some much needed quiet time by myself. My roommate went off to a nearby Mall with some of the other Board members for dinner. I choose to stay at the hotel; order from room service; and have some time alone. And I am very content!

Have you ever taken any of those personality tests that decide what kind of personality you have? I've always come out on those tests as an introvert. This often surprises people who only know my in my public or professional persona. I couldn't quite figure it out either as I have little difficulty in standing up in front of a crowd and telling stories.

Finally, one year when I was in Washington DC (doing a fellowship with Health and Human Services)) we did a more complex test where I came out as being an "expressive introvert." What the consultant said it meant was that I could function as an extrovert in a group of people and take a leadership role, but that I needed solitary time (hopefully with a book!) to preserve my sanity!

So that's what I am doing this evening. Spending time alone in recovery from a VERY intense day of meetings, both with the Board and with a committee. As soon as I finish writing this, I shall check out how my Frontierville and Farmville accounts are doing on Facebook, then I shall crawl into bed with my Kindle -- and hope that my roommate stays out late!

Friday, January 7, 2011

An Afternoon of Meetings

I did get to sleep in this morning as I didn't have a meeting until our noon gathering for lunch. One of the perks? of coming to meetings in the east from the west is that I must almost always come a day early in order to get there in time. This afternoon's meetings went well -- mostly I think it's because I so enjoy the rest of the people on the Board (it's the best board I've ever been on!) and I hadn't seen any of them for three months.

Tonight we were transported to College Hill Mennonite Church for a chicken and rice dinner and some fellowship with members of the Southeast Mennonite Conference. We had some lovely singing after dinner and before their sharing time with us. Tomorrow's meetings start at 8 AM (which is actually 6 AM by Phoenix time which my body is used to...), so I'd best be off to bed!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's My Own Darn Fault!

I am suffering withdrawals! I am frustrated! I keep reaching for the thing to take a picture or send a note and it isn't in my pocket!

It's my own darn fault -- I sent a status update to Facebook this morning that we were on our way to the Phoenix airport. Then I stuck the phone in the little cubbyhole on the door like I usually do (you know, the little space they have for your fingers so that you can pull the door shut...). But, then I didn't pick it up again and put it in my pocket when I got out of the car to get my luggage! I didn't realize it was missing until I was getting ready to go through security and was putting everything from my pockets into my carry-on bag.

It took me FOUR quarters to call Forry from a pay phone (what happened to the dime it used to take to make a phone call?) to let him know. He had just gotten back to Auntie Violet when I called. He walked back out to the car and sure enough, it was right where I left it. (It's a good thing it was there instead of maybe having dropped out to the road when I got out. I would NEVER have lived down losing another phone! Forry would be giving me a bad time FOREVER about losing it just so I could upgrade my iPhone to a 4G one. He insists that's what I did the last time...!)

I am now in Tampa, Florida where it was overcast and a bit chilly (the pilot said 52 degrees) when we landed. I am here for three days of Executive Board meetings for Mennonite Church USA. I'll get back to Phoenix about 8 PM Sunday night.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


A couple of years ago when we were in Phoenix, someone at the office of one of the RV Parks told us about Waldo's BBQ. It was just a few blocks from the park. If someone hadn't told us about how good it was, I doubt that we would have gone there. It really is pretty much a "hole-in-the-wall" place. (Leslie says that it's the kind of place that they look for....)

Since Bill had been fighting his bronchitis when the rest of us went last week, we had to go back tonight so that he could have some ribs too. As luck would have it, Juni has caught a cold and didn't feel up to going out tonight, so it was just the four of us.
Bill and Leslie went back to the bookstore today as Bill wanted a sudoku-a-day calendar like the one Leslie got Forry yesterday. They just happened to go by a Sprinkles Cupcakes of Beverly Hills -- the ORIGINAL cupcake shop. So we had dessert when we got back to Auntie Violet tonight (too bad I didn't think to take a picture before we ate half of them...)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Another Great Place to Eat!

If one were to go by my "check-ins" on Facebook, you would think we do nothing but eat! Our friend Leslie has a knack for finding new good places to eat. This morning, she picked a doozie! We went for brunch to a place called TC Eggington's. It is only open in the morning and until 2 in the afternoon for breakfast and lunch. It was located on the end of one of the ubiquitous strip malls throughout the Phoenix/Mesa area. The menus actually had chicken wire covers!

The food was very different and extremely delicious. I had an omelet that had Bosch pears, Havarti cheese, sliced almonds and chunks of bacon -- it was wonderful! Forry had a "piglet" omelet that had sausage, bacon and ham! Bill had an omelet with all kinds of olives, while Leslie had strawberry pancakes so big that she could barely manage to eat half of them.

After we returned to the RV Park, Bill went to take a nap (he is still recovering from his bout of bronchitis and tires easily). We left Forry watching TV while Leslie and I went to Barnes and Noble. I have been getting frustrated trying to identify all of the different kinds of palms we kept seeing all over, so I went looking for a tree identification book. I ended up also getting Forry a new bird book from Stokes as well as a map called the Baseball Travel Map that shows the locations of all of the major and minor ballparks in the US.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Another Beautiful Day

It is so nice to wake up in the morning and see gorgeous clear blue sky! It started to warm back up during the night last night. Forry got up about four o'clock and turned the portable heater off as it was no longer needed. I was doing the laundry this afternoon and it got to be hot enough in Auntie Violet to leave the door and windows open.

Now that the holidays are over, the movement to Arizona by snowbirds is in full force. We had rigs pulling into the park all day today. Juni and Tom checked out various parks in the area that they might move to next and found that the first couple they checked were full! The 50% discount from Passport America and Camp Club are no longer available at many of them -- we've hit their "black-out" dates.

I love this picture of Auntie Violet with the palm trees reflected in her windows --

The whole row that we are parked in is lined with very tall palm trees --

This evening we had an impromptu potluck over at Juni and Tom's. Leslie had said she was going to marinate and barbecue some flank steaks. I made a shrimp macaroni salad and Juni baked potatoes to go with it all. Juni had also picked up some cheesecake while she was in town today, so we had quite a feast. The best thing about it was that Bill is recovering from his bronchitis and felt good enough to join us to eat tonight!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

More Around the RV Park

Like the last Phoenix area RV Park we were in, Velle del Oro RV Park is a small city. Along with the motorhomes and 5th wheels, there are many Park Models in the park. As we walk around, it is fun to see all of the different decorations people put in or on their spaces to personalize them.
This one has a darling little lady bug --
There are various versions of this Native American woman to be seen --

These folks have patiently added flowers onto the spiny tips of their agave plant --

I really like this roadrunner in the sunburst --

And then there is this park model with the almost life-size Kokopellis --

There are over 1700 units in the park. We have only walked by a very few of them. I look forward to seeing what else people have done to decorate their units.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


At my age, it's fun to take a long view and wonder about the coming year. While I enjoy a bit of reflection about what I can remember of the last almost 70 years, I think I enjoy more thinking about what may be to come. I have never been real good about predicting, nor about making too many long-range plans. Forry and I are both more likely to do something on the spur of the moment, rather than spend inordinate amounts of time planning.

I've been talking quite a bit on my blog about our friends Tom and Juni and Bill and Leslie who are all here at Valle del Oro RV Resort. What I haven't mentioned are our other fellow travelers, Tica and Izzie. While Forry and I do not travel with any pets -- other then stuffed ones -- we do enjoy playing with Juni and Tom's dogs.

This gorgeous young lady being snuggled by Leslie, is Tica. I took this the day she had been to the beauty parlor --

And this little hunk of mischievous energy is her little "sister" Izzie --

The two of them are not only fun to play with, they are a riot to watch. Whenever Juni and Tom leave the RV to go somewhere -- like to dinner -- without them, they will perch in the window, just waiting for them to come back home. Tica loves to sit on whatever lap might be available, just as long as she gets her back or belly rubbed. Izzie is more likely to keep bringing her ball until she can entice someone, anyone, to tug-of-war or catch with her.