Monday, April 29, 2013

I Think It's Monday...

I got a little bit ambitious this morning and actually got our laundry done. Juni had an early PT appointment, but the rest of us enjoyed our morning coffee and breakfast out on the back patio. I did some tidying up, then it was time to think about lunch.

We ended up deciding to go to Two Fools, an Irish Pub over in the Nob Hill district. They're noted for their fish and chips as well as Reuben's (which Juni and Tom and Forry had respectively...), but they also had a portobello mushroom and pepper sandwich that sounded wonderful -- and was!

After returning from lunch, Juni and I went out onto the front yard (the sun gets too hot in the back in the afternoon) to read while the fellows made an excursion to Harbor Freight. They went to pick up a couple more "grabbers." (Great for picking up Izzy's balls which always seem to end up just out reach when you're playing catch with her.) They came back with them and also some neat solar-powered color-changing lights. The set of three has a butterfly, a dragonfly and a hummingbird. Juni set hers up in the front garden. They sure looked pretty tonight.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Juni and Tom had a birthday party to attend this afternoon, so Forry and I decided it was a good opportunity for us to go see "42," the movie about Jackie Robinson's rookie year in baseball.

It is a really GOOD movie! Of course, we're baseball fans, so we might be a bit prejudiced. Set in 1947, the movie has lots of vehicles from the era, cars, trains and buses as well.

The love story of Jackie and his wife underpins the strength of Robinson in not responding to the hatred and vitriol that was directed to him by those who opposed the integration of baseball.

I'm sure the film showed only a portion of the truly offensive language of the era. There is liberal usage of the "N" word, with one very sad scene in which a young boy learns to copy his father's racism.

I only vaguely remember encountering southern segregation as a five year old child when my mother, Sister Sherry and I traveled by train to spend the summer with our Dad at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I recall Mom being told by neighbors that she shouldn't allow her daughters to play with the Negro kids down the street. And of going to the pool one hot day only to be told we couldn't swim because it was the "colored day." I always wondered if they changed the pool water ever day between the white and colored swim days...?

If you have a chance, go see 42!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Playing in the Yard

It was another absolutely beautiful day in Albuquerque. Another morning where none of us got up very early, but all of us eventually ended up on the back patio with our coffee and the three dogs, enjoying the sunshine.

After brunch (steak strips, fried potatoes, tortillas, eggs, and green chili), Juni and I started trimming back the geraniums and other plants that had been nipped by frost last week. We spent a couple hours just enjoying piddling around in the yard. Tom got out his sprayer and gave the bushes a dose of anti-deer spray (the deer think this neighborhood is their private garden!) with Forry's supervision.

Tom read NYPD RED by James Patterson and Marshall Karp yesterday and then gave it to me to read today. If you like mysteries, it's a VERY good read.

Did I Acttually Miss a Day?!

It's late Friday night. Well, actually I think it's already Saturday morning. We were so busy watching a whole series of "CSI -Special Victims Unit" shows that Tom had recorded, that the night got away from us.

Last night Tom's ribs were great! Juni taught me how to make her really good coleslaw, then she made a batch of baked beans, so we had quite a feast. Tom made both kinds of ribs so that we could decide which ones we liked better. They were both good, but Forry and I still think we like the baby backs.

Juni's daughter and her boyfriend came over for ribs after work and later the neighbors came over to deliver the carton of Cervantes Salsa that they make. We had a good time just visiting with everyone.

Yesterday it was blustery and wind, but today the weather was beautiful. We went over to the Owl Inn for a very disappointing lunch. They do have great milkshakes, but my Indian Taco, which was their special today, was awful. The only one who was pleased with his meal was Tom who said his chicken fried steak was really good.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Another Beautiful Day in Albuquerque

Juni had a physical therapy appointment early this morning, so I sat outside with my coffee and a muffin and played with the dogs. Izzie, the older Yorkie, brought her ball outside and chased it as long as I would throw it. I'll bet she chased it for over an hour. Then Juni came home and Izzie conned her into throwing that ball for another half hour.

I had the house to myself as Forry and Tom were off visiting The National Museum of  Nuclear Science  and History. Forry said the history was quite interesting -- this museum was chartered by Congress to serve as the nation's repository and steward of nuclear-related historical items. I don't understand why I didn't send my camera with them! Forry said they had some neat missiles and airplanes...

Juni and I made another trip to Costco to pick up a couple more pairs of shorts -- I was surprised how few pair were left after just one day! When we all got back, Tom got out the ribs we bought yesterday  out and put his new dry rub on them. We got both baby back and Memphis style ribs, so we can do a comparison.

Tonight Tom put the ribs in his smoker tonight where they'll cook all night at 210 degrees. They are already beginning to smell wonderful!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

It's Tuesday...

This morning started out as a beautiful day. We sat out on the back veranda and drank our morning coffee and enjoyed the sun. Izzy, the older Yorkie, will bring her little ball to be thrown over and over as long as she can find someone to toss it for her.

Juni and I made at trip over to Costco. I mostly went along to keep her company, but ended up finding a nice pair of blue shorts. They fit so well, I think I'll go back for another pair...

We were going to eat lunch outside, but by then it had clouded over and while we were outside, we even got a few drops of rain. The weather forecast is talking about another freeze tonight. I hope not as Juni's wisteria is just starting to send out shoots again after the last one.

Juni and Tom went for haircuts this afternoon and when they got back, we barbecued steaks. Add baked potatoes, green salad, steamed pea pods and rolls a nod we had quite a feast. It's a good thing we've been doing some walking...!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday -- A Very Busy Day

It was a very busy day with lots of Juni and Tom's extended family here for barbecue. More tomorrow.

Santuario de Chimayo

Today we took a day trip to Santa Fe. It is one of my very favorite places in New Mexico. Here Tom is backing the car out of the garage -- our chariot awaits.

We took the back way (The Turquoise Trail) on Highway 14. This is Camel Rock --

There was some evidence that Spring is actually here! I think these are apple blossoms --

We went through several pretty much abandoned mining towns to the little village of Chimayo. Juni and Tom wanted to take us to see the church there, the Santuario de Chimayo.

This the sanctuary. Unfortunately, they ask that there be no photography in the church, so I have no pictures of the interior.

These are a couple of the mosaics on the outside walls --


Here's our crew in the courtyard --

From Chimaya we went on to Santa Fe (after a delicious Mexican lunch). Of course, that didn't prevent us from making an ice cream stop late in the afternoon.

It was a beautiful afternoon. Tom and Forry found a sunny spot in the Plaza to sit and talk while Juni and I checked out the shops in the blocks around. We saw lots of very pretty stuff, but only bought some hair clips.

 One of the things I really enjoy about Santa Fe is the architecture. We didn't visit here this time, but this is the museum building where there are many of Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings.

We returned to Albuquerque about 6:30, a tired, but happy crew.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Very Nice Day

We had a pretty quiet day today. After lunch Juni and I went to the Albuquerque Downtown Mall for a bit of shopping. We went to Sephora and replenished our stock of Clinique and a few other things. We wandered over to the Kohl's store after I told Juni I had never been in one. I ended up finding a baby shower present as well as a couple of new tops for me.

We were able to watch both the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) 15/15 Contest (top 15 riders against the top 15 bulls) as well as the Finals of the Des Moines competition this evening. It was fun to watch how the dogs responded to the bulls on TV. They seemed very interested in watching.

Juni and Tom had a birthday dinner to go to this evening, so I used the time while they were gone to get some laundry done.

We were watching the Weather Channel tonight and it sure looks like we don't want to be heading any further north quite yet. I'm wondering if winter is ever going to give up in the Denver and Salt Lake area?!

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Day of TV

I can only remember two days in my entire life before today that I spent the largest portion of the day glued to a TV set. The first was after the assassination of President Kennedy (seeing Jack Ruby get shot!) and the second twelve years ago when the Twin Towers were hit.

Today we followed with rapt attention the saga unfolding in Boston. Tom and Juni have an 84" TV in their living room. It's so big the people are life size, which makes quite an impact when you're watching police searches and press conferences.

I think we all breathed a little easier tonight after the second suspect was captured. I do hope he survives and gives information about what brought this horrible tragedy about.

Tonight we went over to Cervantes, the restaurant that Juni and Tom's good friends own. I was still pretty full from the wonderful breakfast that J made this morning, (eggs, bacon, biscuits, brown gravy, fried potatoes,OJ and coffee!) but managed to enjoy a chile relleno and a tostado. The owners of the restaurant are now packaging their salsas and quesos for commercial sale. I collected some different varieties to take back to Washington.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Albuquerque Hospitality

We had a bit of a slow start this morning -- it was COLD! It got down to 28 degrees last night! Forry had a rear tire to add air to again and we wanted to empty the tanks before we headed to Albuquerque.   It was sort of funny to see little icicles hanging from the under -carriage  of Auntie Violet where the fresh water tank is leaking again.

It was a lovely day for driving compared to the last couple of days -- at least until about the last thirty miles when the crosswinds hit. It's a good thing we didn't have much further to go.

We drove into Tom and Juni's place and parked along the street. I went in to give Juni and the dogs a hug. It was sure good to see Juni and Tom again! Tom went out to help Forry get the dinghy unhooked, then we all helped back Auntie Violet into the driveway.

Juni was fixing a pork loin to roast and Tom was trying a new recipe for Brussels sprouts that I really liked. It was made with toasted pine nuts and braised sprouts that were still crunchy. Juni made mashed potatoes and gravy to go with and we had a feast.

The weather forecast doesn't look like there is going to be very warm weather on our way north, so we may just hunker down here for a while. Juni and I are thinking there might be some shopping in our future...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Another Nasty, Snowy Day

It was quiet when we woke this morning and the sky was blue --

But by the time we were all ready to go, this is what the sky was looking like and we were getting skiffs of snow --

 My intrepid driver was heard muttering to himself --

I don't think he liked the patches of wet, white stuff appearing on the windshield --

We started seeing the beautiful rocks and color as we headed east on Interstate 40, but didn't think those patches of snow we started to see were very pretty.

It was getting downright nasty!

It seems like no matter when we come to New Mexico, we run into SNOW!

We stopped at the New Mexico Welcome Center to pick up a new state map and some brochures. Their flags were all at half-mast due to the Boston bombings...

We brought some of the snow with us, but by this time, we were out of the worst of it.

We had traveled through the Hopi Reservation and now were passing through the Navajo Reservation. This farmstead is typical of many we saw with a round hogan adjacent to one of the houses.

We actually made pretty good time and got into USA RV Park outside of Gallup a little after 2:30. Of course we are now on Mountain Daylight Time, so have essentially lost an hour. By the time we got the jack pads down and the power hooked up, I was chilled through. My body does not like going from the 90 degrees of Mesa to this cold! (As I write this at 9:30, it's already 33.5. It's gonna freeze tonight!)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Very Nasty Gusty Day

It was a good thing we had decided that today would be a rest day, because there was absolutely NO way we could have been out driving in this weather. The wind during the night just kept getting stronger and stronger with gusts that buffeted Auntie Violet. Neither of us slept well, as we kept getting woken up by the noise and the gusts.

I gave up about six and made a cup of coffee and tried unsuccessfully to download the newspaper. Forry got up a little while later and about then we realized that there was NO traffic on Interstate 40. We heard later that the State Patrol and the Arizona Department of Highways had closed the highway from near Flagstaff all the way to the other side of Winslow due to blowing dust.

Because of the gusts, we took down the TV satellite receiver on the roof. Phone and internet reception were intermittent all day -- I think the cell towers were being shaken too!

It was an absolutely miserable day. Sometimes the keys were even dancing on the wall hanger from all the shaking. The RV Park lost power around noon and we ended up running the generator for a few hours. The Weather Advisory for the area predicted that the wind would slow towards dark and it finally did.

The power came back on about 6 PM and about the same time they reopened the highway. It was quite interesting to watch the huge parade of trucks that had been waiting all day streaming down the road.

There was still a great deal of dust in the air, but at least they had deemed it was safe to travel once again.

We are hoping the weather holds and we can head for Gallup, New Mexico in the morning.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hooray! On the Road Again!

Well, we did it! It was a struggle, but we made it. Things actually were going pretty good until we went to raise the jacks -- and had no power. The batteries were dead! So had to move the car close to the back of the RV, close enough to use the jumper cables (Thank goodness, I was able to remember where I had put the bag with the jumper cables that I had stuck under my tricycle in the back of Toad II.) to start the RV.

Got the jacks up, the jack pads picked up and the water, electricity and sewer detached and put away and the propane turned off. Forry pulled out onto the street and parked so that we could hook up Toad II. But where were the pins for the tow bar? I known that I put them in a zip lock bag along with the padlocks, but where was the bag? (I had originally wanted to totally empty out the back of Toad II and repack when we put the trike and the chairs in, but someone else thought that was too much work...) Finally, after almost totally emptying everything but the trike, Forry found it under his seat.

By this time it was almost noon and over 90 degrees. I was dripping wet by the time we had everything hooked up and I had checked to make sure all the turn and brake lights, front and back worked. It was hard to believe we were finally back on the road! It was bright and sunny and hot when we left Mesa --

Many of the trees along the freeway were in bloom and everything is green --

But it wasn't long before we were out in the desert as we went along Highway 101 to Highway 17 --

Then we started to climb through the foothills and began to see juniper trees and not so much green --

Later in the afternoon, it started to get windy --  and dusty! The last thirty miles after we had turned onto Highway 40 towards Meteor Crater RV Park were pretty miserable.

This is the view from the front window of Auntie Violet. It was so beautiful to watch the changing

colors as the sun set.

The wind has finally dying down, but it is going to be cold tonight. The weather forecast is for near freezing at this altitude. And to think that last night we were trying to sleep with the windows open and the fans on...

As we traveled, we got sporadic reports of the bombings in Boston. I cannot understand the inhumanity of some of these psychos! Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and all of the first responders and medical personnel!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

We're Getting There...

We just kept plugging away at it today and we got a great deal of the packing done. Forry pulled the bags for the lounge chairs and his bicycle out of the basement bays. I folded the chairs up and got them put into the bags. Mine goes in easily, but Forry's is just enough bigger (taller) that it just barely fits -- you have to hold your mouth just right.

While I was working on the chairs, Forry was checking the water levels in the battery bank --

Dern! There's my hand mirror! (Of course, when I can't find it, no one will claim having used it...)

By the time we finished up these tasks, it was getting awfully warm outside, so we retreated back inside the coach. I went to work on the computer desk, getting a whole lot of neglected filing done. I got the paperwork filled out for the mail-in rebate on the new Verizon JetPack (which, by the way, seems to be working very well).

I even got some of the kitchen stuff taken care of, including rearranging a drawer so that my new larger toaster would fit. We managed to watch the Mariner's game (a very nice win!) and the last part of the bull riding.

When the sun set and it cooled off a bit, we went back outside and loaded the car. My trike folds up and goes in first, then the lounge chairs and the two folding chairs and the little table. Our iron road-runner fits in a corner along with the globe light. I'll wait until morning to load the "gossips" and their stand along with the front door step-stool, when I can see where I sticking them in.

We folded Forry's bike up and fit it into its storage bag. We'll put the carrier on the rear of Toad II in the morning and put the bike on and tie it down. The recycling bin was taken across the street for tomorrow's pickup. We've garbage to take out in the morning, tanks to drain and a tire to air. Looks like we are actually getting there.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Puttin' Stuff Away

I've said it before and I'll probably say it again many times. It's much harder to get ready to move when you've been sitting in one place for some time!

Today I tackled the mirrors (which are not as omnipresent in this RV as they are in many, but still there are a lot!) in the bedroom and bath. All of my microfiber clothes are getting old and seem to shed fibers... So I reverted to the old, old method and used sheets of newspaper (my paper did come today) to clean with. I must admit I am impressed -- the mirrors really sparkle. And there doesn't seem to be any residue...

Then I tackled the bathroom sink area. All of our toiletries that we use have been out on the counter plus some. I decided to be hardcore and actually threw away the things that have NOT been used. Much of it was old make-up. Even though I am not real tan, I don't need much in the way of cover-up, and we certainly don't go anywhere where eyeliner and mascara are needed. Much of it had not been used for so long, it was actually pretty dried out, so it wasn't quite as painful as it could have been. I probably picked up and put away several dozen hair bands though. I seem to leave them all over the place when I take my hair down at night. (I usually keep it tied up in a pony-tail or braid just to keep it out of my face...)

I was going to tackle my computer desk next, but by that time I had run out of steam. I fixed some wild mushroom ravioli with artichoke sauce for supper and settled in to watch the ball game.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Slowly Getting Organized

Since today is the last business day of the week, I've been trying to get a few things taken care of that count on offices being open. I called the Arizona Republic to stop our daily paper delivery. I told the lady to have our last delivery be this Sunday as we are planning to leave on Monday. I'll be curious to see if we get our Saturday and Sunday papers...

Then I went over to the Post Office here at Valle del Oro to return our mail box keys. It's changed a great deal here at the RV Resort since Easter. More people seem to be departing every day. There was only one other person in the Post Office instead of the usual crowd.

In a way it's a shame so many people have left as many of the flowers in the park are just beginning to bloom. There are lots of these yellow agave-type plants in bloom --

And this Beaver Tail Cactus is just loaded with blooms --

It's interesting how much they change color as they open...

This is one of the many little palm trees over by the office --

It, too, has clusters of yellow blossoms inside by its trunk --

Most of our neighbors across the street as well as the ones down our row have left. It's much quieter around the park, especially at night. There does seem to be a great deal of work being done on the Park Models. Two of the ones by us have had colorful coatings put down over their concrete driveways. They sure stunk when they put the resinous sealer coat on -- no wonder they waited to have it done after they left!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

One More Project...

Several months ago, we bought some twenty foot lengths of plastic gutter at the Home Depot. Valle del Oro, like many other RV parks, wants your sewer hose up off of the ground (I think it's actually statute in many states). We have some accordion splints we use, but they weren't quite long enough for here. So we got the lightweight gutters to use for this purpose.

But, 20 foot lengths do NOT fit in any of our storage bays. So today Forry was using his jig saw to cut them into lengths that could be nested together and stored.

My job was to hold the wobbly end steady while he sawed --

In between the sawing, I did several loads of laundry. During that time we got a call from a Verizon representative saying that we were eligible for a free upgrade of our 3G Hotspot to a 4G one. I alternately use my Verizon Hotspot and my AT&T wireless card to connect to the internet. Usually I can get pretty good reception from one or the other -- and it sure isn't always the same one. I've got more space on Verizon than I do on AT&T, so I tend to use it more.

Though, I have discovered that since I no longer am playing Farmville or Frontierville, I've got plenty of room!

Anyhow, we stopped at the Verizon store and picked up the new Jetpack, trading in my Hotspot. There is a $30 transfer charge, but they gave me a mail-in rebate for a $50 debit card, so it looks like I'll come out $20 ahead with a faster connections besides...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Forry's Project

The new toilet we bought at Camping World has been sitting in the back of Toad II for a couple of weeks now, as Forry's thought about how he is going to install it. We wanted one of the newer taller toilets to replace the one that originally came with Auntie Violet.

The old one sat in the corner and was beginning to be somewhat the worse for wear. In this picture Forry has the bottom skirt off and is getting ready to remove it...

The new one is now "out of the box" and sitting upside down in the living room...

Forry got the old one removed without too much hassle...

Due to the width of the rear portion, the new one is put in parallel to the wall instead of at an angle --

It does look nice! And it works very nicely, thank you.

A good days work!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

No Wind Today....

After yesterday's ugly winds, it was nice to be without them today. We got a pretty good rain last night -- enough that there was a puddle on the patio. But that didn't do anything to get rid of all the lovely dust  inside the RV. It was a lot cooler today after the storm had moved through. It didn't get much above the mid-seventies. Nice!

I had a note from a friend in Yuma about how much damage the wind had done at the RV park where they were staying. He had lost the roof off of his Arizona room and there were over fifteen Park Model who had roof damage.

Forry is doing a lot of thinking about how he is going to install the new toilet he bought at Camping World. He made another trip to Lowes this afternoon and thinks he now has everything he's going to need to get the job done. Tomorrow should tell the story.

I'm not sure what was going on in Seattle tonight, but that Mariners game was a disaster. Even though the Mariners came back with several home runs in the ninth inning, it was still a nasty loss.

Monday, April 8, 2013


The weather forecast has been predicting gusty winds for the last several days and today they arrived! It was relatively cool (74 degrees) but there were some pretty good gusts of wind most of the day --

The miniature rosebush Forry got me for Valentine's Day has been doing well. It's put on lots of new shoots and looked good. Yesterday when I watered it, it looked like something had nibbled on some of the new growth. This morning this is what it looked like!

I've not seen any rabbits in the RV park, but we've seen lots of them in the desert. I did not see any evidence they might have left behind, but something sure had a feast!

These delicate yellow flowers are in the cactus garden two neighbors down the street from us --

 I saw this lovely plant in the parking lot when we went over to the nearby Lowes store this afternoon.

It's not in my wild flower books. I guess maybe I need a guide to nursery plants as well?!