Thursday, March 31, 2011

And It's Getting Earlier...

It may be a surprise to some folks, but occasionally I do get up early enough to see a sunrise (my bladder makes sure of that!). Except that these days, it's getting earlier and earlier when it starts to get light.

One nice thing about it in this part of the country is that while it is cool in the morning, it's not cold. And you can be outside early without a jacket.

And actually it was the nicest it was all day. By ten o'clock it was ninety degrees and by noon it was ninety-eight degrees! We got by with just the fans on in Auntie Violet, but probably should have broke down and turned on the AC. We went over to Albertson's to pick up some orange juice and mile about 4:30 and I know the air conditioning in the car and the store sure felt good!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's Getting Later...

Sunset is getting later and later!

I took these pictures at almost seven pm. It is so nice to have it stay light longer and longer.

It was another extremely warm and nice day today. Our thermometer read 88 degrees! The only problem with it getting this hot is it is just too hot to go walk until after dark. I was doing laundry today. We've set the little clothes rack up outside. Every time I took a load out to dry, I would find the previous load already dry enough to bring inside.

I can tell that we have been here in one place for more then our usual week. The living room is getting more and more cluttered and we drag stuff out to use and leave it out. When we move frequently things get put away pretty promptly so that everything is shipshape to travel.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gotta Be Quicker...

I was thinking this morning that I'd get a picture of the garbage truck as it came down our street and picked up our garbage can at the edge of the site, but I was just not quick enough. I barely got a picture of it as it left here! Everyone on a street takes their can to one side of the street. The truck just zips down the street, picking up each can with its big claw and dumping it into the back.

The garbage gets picked up every Tuesday at this park while the recyclable stuff is picked up twice per month. I really like the way the City of Mesa recycles. They have only one can for all recyclables. And they recycle almost everything -- even milk and juice cartons.

We are going to have a very nice warm week. It Check Spellinggot up to 87 degrees today and it's predicted to be up to 90 degrees by Friday. Every day we saw another rig leaving the park -- the snowbirds are definitely moving north.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Just Walking Around the Park

You'd think we've seen most of what there is to see in our walks around the park. But, it seems like we are always spotting something we hadn't seen before. This one is a succulent that the people around here call Indian Poker -- But when I asked her, the lady at this house also called this Indian Poker, but, she said her neighbor called it a "Mother-In-Law's Tongue" --

Now, this one I saw yesterday when I was looking for barrel cacti. I've not been able to find it in any of my books. The closest thing I can find to it are the cacti in the pincushion family. (My book says that family has over 170 species!)

One of the neat things about being a full-time RVer, is having both the East Coast feed and the West Coast feed on our Direct TV satellite. On nights like tonight when there are a couple of TV shows that we wanted to see on at the same time -- like Dancing With the Stars and All Together Now: A Celebration of Service -- we could watch one early from the East Coast and the other on Pacific time. Nothing like being just a little bit spoiled!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Checking Out the Barrels...

I'm not sure which kind of cacti is the most common here in the park, but it it's not the barrel cactus, it's got to be awfully close to the most common. This one has just birthed a baby one --
This one sits in solitary splendor --

This one was just planted a couple of days ago --

I think these are probably last year's babies --

These look like they are about all the same age --

This set has a pretty close relationship with the organ pipe cactus behind it --

This one sort of reminds me of the old woman in the shoe who "had so many children..."

One thing about them, they are beautiful plants, but you sure wouldn't want to get very close to one!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Getting Our Taxes Ready

We've spent the last week or so getting all of the paperwork around and the books finalized for 2010 both for our personal taxes and for the ranch. I usually take care of our personal stuff and Forry does the stuff for the ranch. This year we did the ranch books together and it went a lot faster. Because we are still in Arizona -- and will be for another month or so -- and our CPA is in Washington State, we've been getting everything packaged up to mail to him. I finished it all up today and it's ready to stick in the mail on Monday. Trying to think what else I've gotten accomplished today. Well, we did make a trip to the Safeway store to pick up milk and orange juice. Somehow I got distracted while I was getting Kleenex and blueberries and was finishing up in the check-out line when I realized I had not gotten the OJ or the milk! So sent Forry out to the car with the groceries I had gotten while I went back to buy the milk and OJ... Talk about a senior moment!

Friday, March 25, 2011

One More Spring Training Baseball Game

The regular baseball season starts next week, so today was probably the last Spring Training game we will be able to see. We went to Mesa Hohokams Dwight Patterson Field to watch the Mariners play the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs started doing their spring training in Arizona 59 years ago. Hohokams is the oldest field we have been at, but it is still one of the nicest (the voters of Mesa voted this spring to build a new complex for them).

These life-size statues of children playing baseball greet you as you come up to the ticket windows --

It was a beautiful day for a baseball game, sunny and warm -- too bad the Mariners lost it 6-3!

While I was in Los Angeles for meetings a couple of months ago, Forry went with our friends Bill and Leslie to Alice's Cooperstown in downtown Phoenix. (Randy Johnson is a part-owner.) He's been wanting to take me there ever since --

Their claim-to-fame is the "Big Unit" hot-dog. It's a full 22 inches long! I didn't get a picture of it before Forry cut off a chunk of it share with me, but here it is:

My share was the plate on the left - and I could NOT eat it all! A loud bell sounds every time one of these creations leaves the kitchen -- and it rang many times while we were there!
(These photos were all taken with my iPhone...)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just Walking Around...

How's this for a neat license plate for an RV? These folks from Alberta have the right idea~

One of the things we've been wondering about is how good (or bad) it is for a motorhome to be jacked up so high its front wheels are up off the ground? One side of the park along the wall seems to have a pretty good slope towards the front of the sites. Some of the rigs have blocks under the wheels --

While others are just jacked up off the ground (and for this one, the jacks are even on blocks) --

We've always heard that this is NOT a good thing, but there sure are a lot of rigs here with their front wheels off the ground.

The neighbors on either side of us are getting ready to head north. The fellow on the left of our rig spent all day today washing and waxing his fifth wheel getting ready to leave it here for the summer. The two families are friends; bought their rigs new six years ago and parked them here. They come down from Minnesota every year to live in them during the winter.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Baseball at Salt River

This evening we drove over to Scottsdale to the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. These baseball fields are part of a complex built by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community that is home to the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training. It is another beautiful baseball park.

We watched the Mariners play the Rockies tonight. The Mariners had only a couple of their first string players. We watched several players we had not seen before. The Rockies ended up winning the game 6-5.

Usually ballpark hot dogs are really good, but not the ones we had tonight! Tasteless things! we did end up having some Indian Fry Bread with cinnamon and sugar that wasn't too bad.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Discovery of a New Neighbor

Auntie Violet is parked in Site A 40 which is back along the fence at Sun Life RV Resort which borders on University Avenue. Between the fence and the road is a row of pine trees.

I was sitting outside this afternoon reading my Kindle when I heard a funny sort of "whirring" noise and looked up to see a little green hummingbird flit by. I watched it fly over to one of the pine trees and thought I saw it light on a pine cone. I looked a little closer and then hollered at Forry to come and bring his binos.

Sure enough the little hummingbird has a nest tucked between the pine cone and the branch --

The nest isn't much bigger than a golf ball. As we watched, we saw her fly in and out several times. We'll have to be sure and put out our hummingbird feeder in the morning!

Monday, March 21, 2011


This morning early we went over to the Sun Life RV Resort office and extended our stay here for another month. While we were there we checked the mail. And sure enough, we had a nice fat box of forwarded mail from Daughter Mary Mae. It always surprises me how much "stuff" still comes in the mail. We never send back any of those cards that "justify" subscriptions to "free" magazines (they always say in big letters that "this is your last issue unless you promptly return this card saying that you still qualify..."). But, it never seems to stop them from coming -- and coming!

I sent notices to the couple of credit card companies that we have that I do NOT want them sending me checks (which is how they tell you to stop them); so now instead of sending me three "free" checks every time, they only send me two! With a nice note about how they are "honoring my request and also saving paper...!"

There's always a bunch of paper that needs to be shredded and even more that needs to be perused and then put into the re-cycling bin. (One of the nice things about staying in Mesa is that they have recycling bins at every RV site.)

In spite of all my gritching, we really enjoy the days the mail comes. And it's nice to eye the lovely stack of reading material that awaits our pleasure!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The First Day of Spring!

Even in the desert where many things stay green all winter -- and some things bloom all winter -- there is evidence of new growth in the spring. This prickly pear cactus is in a sheltered corner of an RV and is definitely an early bloomer --

And the blooms are gorgeous --

In the same family, this beaver tail prickly pear has blooms of a little different shape --

If you look closely, you can see the bee busy enjoying this bloom --

This organ pipe cacti is nestled in a warm corner of this park model --

Aren't these pretty?

I'm not sure what these will look like when they are open. They seem to be fatter -- and paler pink -- than buds on the other prickly pears.

What is absolutely fascinating to me is how quickly the buds have popped out and bloomed. I didn't see any evidence of them during my walks last week.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Super Moon

Tonight's moon is supposed to be a very special full moon. Seems it is the closest to earth it will be for another twenty years. Due somewhat to optical illusion it appears quite immense above the horizon --
There's a very light layer of clouds, but the moon is still terribly bright --

It was a bit cooler today and it was actually a bit breezy for a while this afternoon. We walked down along the big drainage ditch along the edge of the RV Resort. We saw lots of sparrows and doves and one small hummingbird high in a tree that flew away before Forry could get the glasses on it. We heard a Northern Mockingbird, but didn't see it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Training

Today we went to Peoria, Arizona to the Peoria Sports Complex which is the Spring Training home of the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres. This afternoon the Mariners were playing the Arizona Diamondbacks while the Padres were off playing Anaheim in Tempe.

These are the crowds that brought blankets and towels and were sitting on the grass in the outfield --

Members of the Diamondback team warming up before the game on the first base side --

While the grounds crew water down the infield --

Since the Mariners are the Home Team, they take the field first --

And our favorite player, Ichiro Suzuki at his post in right field --

And at the bottom of the inning, he's the lead-off batter --

It was a good game. The Mariners led most of the game, but by the time the of ninth inning, they had switched out most of the starting players. The Diamondbacks had a four-run inning and ended up winning the game 8-5. We had only decided to go to the game yesterday, so when I went on-line to get tickets, all that was available were seats in the bleachers. Oy, that is hard on the back! We all started standing up between innings which really helped. It's also a very good thing there was a thin cloud cover much of the afternoon! It was really hot again today. Every once and a while there was a wonderful slight breeze.

Thursday, March 17, 2011



Today the Sun Life RV Resort celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a parade. It turned a corner right alongside Auntie Violet, so we had a ringside seat. There were people in costumes who walked and people who rode decorated bicycles --

There were lots of decorated motorcycles --

And more golf carts than you could shake a stick at --

A few clowns --

Shriners on little motor-bikes --

A beautiful 1960 Chevy Impala --

And Shriners driving little cars --

It took a good half an hour for all of the parade to pass by (though some of it was spread out a long ways apart with lots of stragglers). It was a fun way to start the day!