Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve

What a change in attitude! Where once we would have been full of plans for going to or hosting a party, we find ourselves VERY content to stay at home. As I was fixing dinner (pork chops, fried potatoes and corn), Forry, sort of half-heartedly, asked if I wanted to go over to the casino for dinner? We could have gone to the crab buffet or to Cafe 87, but neither of us seemed to be at all interested. What a difference a few years makes!

We had a semi-busy day. The tanks needed emptying, so I went out to take care of that. It was actually the warmest, nicest day we've had in a while. I was very comfortable sitting outside in a lawn chair while I took care of the tanks. The warm weather brought out all the walkers and strollers. When it's cold, all we see are the dog walkers, hustling their charges along.

We once again have new neighbors. The site next to ours has had almost a constant turnover, with no one staying more than a week. I'm wondering whether someone has it reserved for after New Years and it's being used as a transient site until then?

We watched the Gonzaga game this afternoon - another hard-fought victory - and the Orange Bowl this evening. Guess we'll watch the ball come down in New York - and be thankful that we can watch it without having to be part of that mob of a million-plus people!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Another Quiet Day

Our hibernation status continues. Sleeping in late, staying up late. Curled up with the afghan, reading, doing sudoku. Toasted cheese sandwiches for supper.  Total laziness prevails.

Sunday, December 27, 2015


It's been cold and nasty weather. Nothing like the storms that are hitting the rest of the country, but still not at all nice. We have stuck close to home and have been living very quietly - or lazily!

It's taken me two days to fold and put away a load of underwear. I just don't seem to have a lot of ambition or energy. I've been doing a lot of reading. We watched WSU win the Sun Bowl yesterday, but once again we ouldn't watch the Seahawks today as it was blacked out...

At least it wasn't windy today as it was yesterday. It blew hard enough that we thought the icicle lights on the front of the RV were going to come off. It's supposed to remain chilly for all of next week. Enough, already!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Back Home

Another short note tonight. We left Williams a little before noon and headed back to Fort McDowell.the first third of the trip featured dense fog and snow flurries. The road was clear though and we made good time to Rock Springs where we stopped for lunch and more of their fabulous pie. There was a long line when we arrived, but it rapidly disapated when they announced they had no more whole pies for sale.

Even so, they had some single slices left and we all got our pie fix, except that Grandson Varick had to settle for apple instead of cherry.

Dinner tonight was crab as tonight was snow crab buffet at the Casino. Sounds like tomorrow may be the Star Wars movie.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Snow Storm!

it was snowing when I woke up this morning. Grandson Varick and his Dad went out to see the sunrise, but it was snowing so hard they couldn't even see the first bench of the Canyon.

It snowed all day with absolutely no view. The wind was blowing hard enough that the snow stung your cheeks. Needless to say, we didn't wander around much!

We took the train back in the fog and snow, getting in after 6 pm. MM & Scott made a run to Dairy Queen (that ended up being Micky D's instead...) for ice cream and nuggets for supper. It's late and I'm very tired, so will try to share more tomorrow.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Grand Canyon Railway

We were up early, loaded our luggage, ate breakfast (The hotel had an automatic pancake machine! We've seen the waffle makers, but this one cranked out two perfect pancakes.), and headed over to the train depot to pick up our tickets. Last night's snow was only a skiff and the roads were clear.

MM checked our baggage in tagged with the name of the Warwick Lodge and that was the last we saw of it until we checked into the our rooms this afternoon - and found it waiting for us. Our tickets were for the Observation Car, Kokopelli. MM had arranged for early boarding and we climbed the steps up and into the dome.

With the snow on the ground and today's blue skies, it was an awesome day for a train ride. We left Williams about 9 and pulled into the depot at the North Rim just about noon. They served a light buffet on the way: coffee and juices, fruit and pastries. There was also bar service as well, which made for great coffee.

The guide talked about the flora and fauna we might see (we saw lots of ravens, one hawk, and a few cattle, but that was about it.); the Marshal stopped by to visit with the kids; and an accordion player entertained us. We went through Juniper trees, Ponderosa and Pinyon Pines, grassland and scrub ground.

Upon our arrival at the Rim, we hopped on buses and were promptly taken to a buffet lunch. Once back on the bus, we toured the Rim, stopping a couple of times to get out and take a closer look. It was interesting to see how much different the Canyon looked with winter snow than when we were here in the summer time.

I took many pictures that I'll be able to share when we are back home and I can use Auntie Violet's computer.

Happy Winter Solstice to all! I'll be so glad to see the days getting longer.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Fort McDowell to Williams

By about ten-thirty this morning, we had all of our stuff in the car and we were ready to go. We locked up the RV and unplugged the Christmas lights and turned off the water. (We left the luminaria lights plugged in as they are plugged in to the outside pedestal and aren't touching the RV.)

We took I-17 north, heading for Williams and a rendezvous with Daughter Mary Mae, Scott and the Gkids. We did make a stop at Rock Creek as we remembered the incredible pie we had on one of our day trips last year. I had an exquisite piece of lemon meringue pie that would have earned a blue ribbon anywhere. Forry tried a new one - bourbon pecan pie - and said he thinks he has a new favorite.

Back on the road, we started the long climb towards Flagstaff which is at 7000 feet. There was a great deal of snow, but the roads were clear. There were some wet spots where the snow piled alongside was melting onto the road, but that was about it.

Turning west at Flagstaff we drove the thirty miles to Williams. Our room was ready at the Best Western, so we were able to get a nap while we waited for MM's family to arrive from Las Vegas. We will be up early tomorrow as we need to be at the train station by 8:00 for our excursion on the Grand Canyon Railway.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

ManiPedi Day

I went into Fountain Hills this afternoon for a pedicure and manicure as well as a facial. I had decided  it should be a day to pamper myself. Forry offered to go into town with me, but he doesn't like pedicures (he did try it once). I knew I wouldn't be able to relax if I knew he was sitting out in the car waiting.

Forry had suggested I either get purple or blue toes, so I picked out a lovely turquoise. I thought about putting the same color on my fingernails, but just am not quite that brave. I ended up with a neutral gloss. I had to chuckle at the fellow who did my toes - he said that it was nice to do a color other than Christmas Red. Sounds like that's pretty much what was being done the last week or so.

It was overcast most of the day, but not cold. We seem to be alternating one day of blue skies with one of grey. I just hope it will be nice the next few days when Daughter MM and Scott and the Gkids are here.

Friday, December 18, 2015

A Lovely Day

What a lovely day it was today! We finally had a nice warm day. I hope it lasts for a while. We finally went outside and shook the large rug outside by the patio. It was full of little leaves from the mesquite tree that been driven off by the wind and rain of the last couple of weeks.

Forry drove over to get the mail and came back with two big boxes. The Lehman family had sent us a Christmas gift from Omaha Steak. The boxes were packed with dry ice and were full of steak, chicken breasts, pork chops, sausages, meat balls, hamburger patties and sausages. There was still dry ice in the bottom of the styrofoam boxes. The meat was frozen so solid it actually hurt my fingers when I was putting it away. My little freezer is stuffed!

Daughter Dawn called just as I was putting the meat away. Then Grandaughter Havela called as well. I was able to remember how to add a caller and we had a three way call. Great granddaughter Kahlyn was babbling away as well, so Havela said we were having a four generation call...

I made spaghetti for supper using some of the meatballs - it was really good! Forry likes meatballs which are something I never make.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Lazy Day

Today was one of those days. One where I did not want to do anything! I think the most ambitious thing I did was put away the clothes I washed yesterday. Forry went out to get the newspaper this morning and later went over to the office to get the mail. He picked up the first Christmas cards of the season.

It was COLD last night - it got down to 30 degrees. The newspaper had stories this morning about people shopping for ice scrapers for their car windshields. It was a sunny day however, and it got up to to 58. If we were back in the Northwest, we'd be talking about how warm it was...

Had a nice visit with Granddaughter Havela this evening. It was fun to lister to our little great granddaughter babbling in the background. Kahlyn is getting quite vocal. Havela is getting organized for the trip the three of them are making from Illinois to Oregon and Idaho for Christmas. (I must admit that I am extremely jealous that we won't get to see them...)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Luncheon

Eagle View RV Resort hosted a Christmas luncheon for park residents today. They had two settings - one at 12:30 and a second at 1:15. We went to the second one. Last year's meal was a turkey dinner. This year they went with a Mexican theme. They had tossed salad and another salad the I think may have been shredded jicama. Then they had a "make your own" fajita bar with all the makings plus salsa, guacamole, and sour cream along with rice and black beans. Another dish was chicken quesadillas, then flan for dessert. Catered by the hotel, it was delicious.

This evening we drove around the park to see the Christmas lights. But, this year there don't seem to be very many. I think we only saw half a dozen or so. I guess we may have to run into Fountain Hills or Scottsdale if we want to see some spectacular ones.

Our youngest daughter Dawn celebrated her 49th birthday today. It's hard to believe that "my baby" could possibly be this old! Happy Birthday DT!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Stuff

We are just about done with our "getting ready for Christmas" stuff. This afternoon I finished up our 2015 Christmas Cards. I had seriously debated whether I was going to send any this year - mainly because I didn't have a picture I liked. Then I took a picture the other afternoon of the luminaria alongside Auntie Violet that I liked. I liked it enough to decide to use it.

When we walked over to the office this afternoon to check for mail, we bundled up in sweaters. This cold snap is getting old. The high temperature in Phoenix today was only 53 degrees. There are freeze warnings up for the entire valley for the next week. Forry is getting nervous about the possibility of driving in snow when we go up to Williams to meet Daughter MM and her family.

This is the little tree that we have on the dashboard - it's not as cute as my old one, but it's perfect for the spot.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Rain, Rain, Rain

After the beautiful sunny day we had yesterday, it was a bit of a shock to wake up this morning to dark clouds and pouring rain. It rained hard most of the morning. We had large puddles all around, but by late afternoon they were all gone. Forry's weather app said there was six plus inches of snow in Flagstaff. We could see snow on the far mountains... Brr!

Can't say we accomplished much today. I browned some beef stew meat and put it in the crock pot along with a couple of carrots, a turnip and an onion. Added some onion soup mix and left it cook all afternoon. Sure made for a good smelling house on a gloomy afternoon.

Sunday, December 13, 2015


This morning was a bit on the frustrating side as we were unable to watch the Seahawks/Ravens game due to it being blacked out. It was nice to hear that the Seahawks won handily.

We have been enjoying seeing pictures of yesterday's WSU graduation of my Nephew Nick on Facebook. Congratulations are definitely in order!

After the last two days of overcast skies and hard rain, it was great to wake up to sunny skies this morning. We were able to sit outside this afternoon and put the luminaria bags together. Forry filled the weights with water while I was setting the bags up and inserting the lights.  It takes both of us to set them out as they are linked together with the electrical wiring.

With the icicle lights on the front of the coach, our little Christmas tree on the dashboard and now the luminaria, we are pretty much done with our decorating.

Friday, December 11, 2015


It was cloudy and dark this morning and only 68 degrees. It looked - and felt - for while like we were going to get rain, but it only threatened.

We went into the Fountain Hills Posr Office this afternoon to mail off cards for Son Sean and the Lehman family. When we got there, the line to the office was out the door, but no one was using the automatic machine. I had just gotten started with the priority mail for my stuff when a rather impatient lady came in and started querying me about how long I was going to be? Then she wanted know if I had change for a twenty as she only wanted to send ten dollars in her card. When she found out I only had twenties as well and that the automatic machine did not give change or take cash, she huffed and stomped off to get in the office line.The line must have been moving fast as I was just finishing my last package when she came back out. I think it cheered her up when she realized she would have still been waiting if she'd been able to use the automatic machine.

I had the postage on everything when I realized that I hadn't brought a pen in with me to address them. I was going back out to the car when a young postal employee who was restocking the envelopes and boxes, asked me what I needed. She promptly fished a pen out of her pocket for me, apologizing that the pen on the center table had "disappeared" again.

From the Post Office we headed over to Safeway to get groceries. Got that done and then went up a block to Papa John's and got a Bacon Bacon pizza to take home to bake for supper..

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Busy Day at Home

The tanks were both full, so the first task I had this morning was to get them drained. By the time I got that done, had my first cup of coffee and got the paper read, Forry was up as well. We got a call from Gene's RV Mobile Service saying he had the parts to connect the dishwasher and would be out in the afternoon. The new kitchen faucet we got last summer didn't have the right kind of spout to attach the water and discharge lines to. Gene was able to figure out a way to cut into the hot water line and put a shutoff valve in. It took a couple of hours of work, but I now have a working dishwasher again.

Before all this was going on, I was talking with Lois at Schmidt Insurance trying to get the ranch liability insurance taken care of. Because she also writes health insurance, she's been very busy with the Medicare deadline and hadn't yet gotten it taken care of. We spent quite a bit of time on the phone getting that done

The next task was getting the Christmas cards and checks for the kids and gkids taken care of. We'll go into the post office in Fountain Hills and send them off in a Priority Mail envelope for each family. There's less chance of having them stolen that way (We've had that happen, unfortunately.).

Next on my "To Do List" was to get our 4th Quarter Estimated Tax payment off to the IRS. I also stuck a tip in the self-addressed Christmas card the newspaper delivery guy had left for us. I wrote a note in it once more asking him to "please, please, please leave the newspaper outside our front door instead on the back side!" Since we are parked with our front window facing the river valley instead of backed in like most of the rigs, I don't think he realizes where he's tossing it...

The final task was to call Bobby at Kustom Coachworks in Oregon to have him tell me how to get the TV back on the right input again. (This time I wrote it down!) He said it had been raining hard in Junction City, almost coming down sideways. At least we got the TV working again so that we could continue watching the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas tonight.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Shopping Trip

We made our annual visit to Barnes and Noble in Scottsdale today. Several years ago Leslie and Bill gave Forry a One Page a Day Suduko calendar. He liked it so much, he has gotten a new one for himself every year. It's the one by Will Shortz of NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" that he likes  because instead of having tear-off and throw away pages, it is in a plastic case. It has individual pages that you can take out each page and move it to the back as you finish it. Unfortunately, they didn't have one at the bookstore this year! But I went on-line when we got home and found it on Amazon.

From the bookstore we went back to the ACE Hardware store in Fountain Hills to get a couple more extension cords and some batteries. Right next door to the hardware store is Cheryl's, a delightful store that carries darling small children's clothes. I found a darling dress and tights for our great grand baby. I actually found a cute one without ruffles or bows!

By the time we were done, it was after five, so we decided to eat while we were in town. We went over to the Saddle Bronc Grill where we had eaten last year with Colleen and Dennis. It's a noisy place (there's absolutely nothing to absorb sound!), but the food is good.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Today was the nicest day we've had in a long time. It was sunny with the temperature in the low eighties. We had gone over to the office to pick up the mail. As we walked back, I noticed that our next door neighbors were home. We've chatted with Mike  a couple of times, but Patty has been at work (she's a traveling nurse) and I haven't had a chance to visit with her. The neighbor from two more RVs down was there as well. We ended talking the afternoon away - so much for working on the luminaria.

It was a good day to stop by. Patty was making brownies and discovered she was out of vegetable oil. I was able to be a good neighbor and save her a trip to town. Mike had purchased a new electric pellet smoker a couple of days ago. He was smoking a beef brisket that sure smelled good.

Had a chance to visit with Granddaughter Havela this evening. She was pretty excited about finding a stroller that the baby car seat we had gotten for them fit into. It should make their trip home to Oregon for Christmas a bit easier. Great Granddaughter Kahlyn was already fifteen pounds at her last checkup. That's pretty heavy to be carrying very far.

Monday, December 7, 2015


It's looking a bit more festive around here. We went out this afternoon and got the Christmas box out of the basement bay. I got out the icicle lights and hung them on the front of the RV along with the JOY centerpiece. Forry got out the extension cords and the timer. I'll have to go out tomorrow just before sunset and get a picture.

We got out the luminaria bags, but they'll have to wait another day. They need to be put together (they   were put away flat); the weights have to be filled with water and the.lights inserted. It's an all day job.

It was another gorgeous day. There were a few bands of clouds along the eastern horizon early this morning. Colored pink and bright orange, they made for a beautiful sunrise.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

That Lonesome Cow...

For the fourth morning in a row, I've seen that one lonesome cow make her way along the fence and then down into the draw. She occasionally lows sort of sadly, but nothing responds to her. We're thinking that the Apaches rounded up the cattle that were here when we first arrived and somehow this cow got left behind. It's very unusual to see a lone cow as they are very much herd animals. The only time we used to see one of our cows go off by herself is when she was calving.

It was quite breezy this morning, though fairly warm. As the day went by it started to cloud over. I even thought I felt a drop or two of rain when we went out for our walk. I think we're getting a bit of the storm that has swept from the Pacific Ocean into the Pacific Northwest and is coming down south. Washington State is supposed to get over a foot of snow in the Cascade Mountains tonight and tomorrow. I'm sure glad we are not there!

I got busy this afternoon and thinned out some files. A few of them had gotten so fat, I couldn't hardly fir anything more in that long drawer.i cleared out some paperwork from 2009! Stuck some sweet potatoes in the oven tonight along with a pork roast. It was just a chilly enough evening to make it a good choice for dinner.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Saturday All Day

It's finally getting warmer. We didn't have the little electric heater on at all today. We actually had the windows open this afternoon. After our walk this afternoon, we were even able to sit outside for a while, even moving the chairs into the shade. It's been a while since we were too warm sitting in the sun.

We spent the early afternoon watching the Gonzaga/Arizona basketball game and weren't too happy to see Gonzaga lose it in the last few seconds...

I spent part of the afternoon using the little robot vacuum. He does a pretty good job, but in our small space, he really needs to be supervised. I need to get some ambition and start cleaning the woodwork, especially in the kitchen and by the bathroom sink. It needs a good dose of Liquid Gold as well.

I had a good telephone visit with Sister Sherry. She's been busy making caramels - and giving me a bad time about not being there to wrap them! She had four inches of snow a few days ago, but it's already all gone.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Chilly, Sleepy Day

I woke up early enough this morning to watch the sun rise over the mountains across the Verde River valley. I was too restless to sleep, so got busy on the computer paying bills. I took care of our personal ones, then got busy on the ranch ones. When I finished, I called the insurance company in Odessa to get a quote. When the phone rang and rang, I had to laugh as I realized it wasn't even nine o'clock PST in Odessa yet and they weren't open!

So I took the garbage out to the road and waited a while, then tried it again. I talked with a very nice lady, then scanned the documents she needed and emailed them off. Hopefully, we will have a decent quote in the next couple of days.

It was chilly again today. This cold front was supposed to be gone by now, but it's stubbornly hanging around. About two o'clock my early morning caught up with me and I fell asleep in my chair. I haven't napped in the daytime for a while - I just hope I'll be able to sleep tonight!

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Some days just fly by and others seem to drag. Yesterday was one of those draggy days. We had trouble staying away from the ongoing tragedy on TV over the shootings in San Bernadino. It was hard to break away from the horror.

In contrast, today just flew by. We went into Fountain Hills this afternoon to get groceries. Forry and I usually separate - I go ahead and start my shopping while he gets one of the electric carts and then catches up with me. I was starting down the second aisle when he called me and said he couldn't lock the car as he didn't have his key. He said he had looked all over for it as he knew he had put it in the pocket. He ended up staying in the car as I didn't want to leave the cart and go back out. Of course, when we got home, his key was still hanging on the key rack...

After we got the groceries in the house and put away, we found our Fortune Club cards and went over to the Fort McDowell Casino for the weekly crab buffet. Last year, they put at the tubs of crab and you served yourself. This year they have a table where the ladies serve your crab and hand you the plate. We each got a plate with four or five Queen Crab halves. Unfortunately, it ended up being more than we could eat! Since it's a buffet, they don't allow take-out or doggie bags. Our waiter said they would throw the three halves the two of us couldn't eat in the trash! Such a waste!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's Beginning To Look a Bit ....

I was talking last week about looking for a little Christmas tree to go on Auntie Violet's dashboard. It was to be a replacement for the thirty plus year old one that Danny had got for my office back when I was the Administrator at the Ritzville Memorial Hospital. After looking at a whole bunch of them on Amazon I finally ordered one.

It's a little smaller than the one I originally had, but it's got a nice heavy burlap wrapped base which is much steadier than the plastic stand the original one had. I looked at so many little trees and thought I had finally ordered one that was battery powered. But, this one has a cord that needs to be plugged in. Oh well, I dug out my short extension cord and Forry gave me his and we are in business.

Maybe tomorrow or maybe the next day, I'll have Forry get out the Christmas box from the bay and we'll get the icicles hung on the front of Auntie Violet. The luminarias will probably have to wait until next week sometime as they have to be put together and have the weights put in the bottoms and the lights inserted.

It was a bit warmer today. I think it almost got up to 76 degrees.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Costco Trip

'Twas time for a trip to Costco. We decided to go to a different one this time as the one on Hayden Road is very crowded and the parking is limited. I only wanted/needed a couple of things, but as usual we ended up with a boxful.

Christmas goodies and decorations were all over the store. Costco has some really nice things before the holidays. I bought some Danish cookies and a couple of other confections.  Forry was looking for a new red shirt, one with a pocket, to replace his favorite. His red shirt has gotten pretty sad looking, but he doesn't want to be without. I didn't see any red shirts,but I did find a nice aqua one for him.

The Costco we went to on Oak Street is at the edge of another large shopping area that is a couple of blocks long. As we drove through (wanting to exit on a street with a traffic light), I spotted an Office Max. Knowing that I would soon be needing a new file box for the 2015 ranch papers, I ran in and picked one up. We've not had a great deal of luck in the past finding office supply stores. Our GPS has taken us to several empty store fronts in the past, so we were glad to get that chore done.

It was not quite as chilly today as there was no wind, but it still didn't get into the 70s.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Last Day of November

it's hard to believe that another month is already gone. At the rate they are flying by, we'll be writing 2016 before we know it. It was another chilly day - clear and crisp. There wasn't the breeze today, so it felt warmer when we went for our walk.

I got the sheets washed this afternoon, but I can't say I accomplished a whole lot more than that. I did some browsing for Cyber Monday, but didn't find anything that struck my fancy. There are some incredible deals out there if you're in the market for anything electronic.

We did watch the special program tonight celebrating Charlie Brown's 50th Christmas Story Special on TV. It was interesting to learn how it had all come together. Then to watch the show afterwards was pretty special.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


It was not quite sixty degrees in the living room when I got up this morning. The AquaHot was just not keeping up! I turned on the little electric heater and it was a bit better by the time Forry got up.
I took out the garbage for pickup and brought in the Sunday paper and shivered! There was just enough of a breeze to make it very chilly. I could see people out walking their dogs with coats and gloves on.

We did go out for a fairly long walk this afternoon before we settled in to watch the Seahawks game. Forry has been walking much better the last couple of days. Improvement has been slow, but there is improvement.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Busy Day

What a difference a good night's sleep makes! I was up early enough to get the trash from Thanksgiving Day prep and from yesterday's mail delivery out for pickup. I also took a garbage bag and batches of paper towels out and cleaned out the grease tray on the BBQ. There was as much fat from the duck as there had been from before. I felt a bit guilty - I know that my Grandma Kubik would most definitely saved that duck fat for her baking.

Then I started on the laundry. I got all of the laundry basket emptied and done. I still need to wash sheets, but I'll save that for another day...

We have new neighbors. It's a young couple with a little girl - she looks about three or four - and a three month old baby boy. They have a little trailer that reminds me of the first one we had. Except when MM and Sean were that small, we were still tent camping. I have vivid memories of a jar of baby food beets I was warming on our little tent heater, "burping" all over the inside of the tent! Sean must have been just a bit over two and MM about five when we got our Aristocrat trailer that we pulled with our Travelall.

It was chilly here again today. We finally broke down and got out one of our little electric heaters. I think the high today was only in the mid- sixties...

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Day After

i was cranky this morning. Mainly because I didn't sleep well. When Forry's CPAP mask doesn't fit well - which means when his beard needs trimming - it tends to squeal. I had just dropped off to sleep last night when a loud squeal came from his side of the bed. Followed by a squeal with every breath he took. By the time I woke him up enough to get him to readjust his mask, I was wide awake again!

I don't easily fall asleep, unlike he who shares a bed with me who drops off the minute his head hits the pillow. So I used my breathing exercises and had almost put myself back to sleep when there was a series of snorts from the other side of the bed. They started low and escalated to the sounds an angry bull might make. This time it was harder to rouse him enough to adjust the mask.

And so it went off and on the rest of the night. Normally, once I have fallen asleep, I don't hear the squeals and snorts. Actually,most of the time, he sleeps very quietly with the CPAP. Nothing at all like the snoring used to be!

It was a very chilly day today. The sky was clear and blue, but I don't think it got above 70 degrees all day. We had a big box of mail from Daughter MM, with lots to read and sort. I spent an hour or so stripping the meat from what was left of the duck so that I could make a pot pie for supper. All of the meat on a duck is dark meat, which is why it's a favorite of ours. We had half the pie tonight, so I know what's for supper tomorrow!

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving blessings to everyone!

We had a pretty relaxed day. I made my Mom's candied sweet potatoes, a pan of dressing, and some jellied cranberries. We put the duck on the little barbecue to cook. When I went to turn it over, the BBQ was cold, so Forry made a quick trip down to the gas station to refill the propane tank and we were back in business. The duck actually turned out quite well.

We watched Texas A&M beat Gonzaga by one basket; we saw part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and managed to sort through and discard most of the fattest newspaper I have ever seen. Some of the ads for Black Friday were almost like catalogs.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


I had been fussing at Forry to get the little barbecue out of the bay for me as I wanted to check it out before I had to use it to barbecue the duck I bought for tomorrow. I also wanted to make sure that the aluminum pan I bought yesterday was big enough for it to sit on and protect our little table.

In his usual style, Forry had not bothered to clean it before he put it away (probably hadn't ever cleaned it...), so it was a greasy mess. I pulled out the little drain pan from the bottom which was full of gross dusty semi-solid grease. I ended up getting the roll of paper towels and a plastic bag (to contain it all) and went to work. Forry took the wire brush and started working on the rack and frame. After we got it as clean as possible, he connected the gas and we ran it for a while to burn off what was left.

I'm not sure how long it's been since we used it - I stopped coaxing Forry to barbecue after I got my George Foreman grill. I know it's been a while as I've nearly worn the grill out...

I saw in the Spokane paper today that one of our neighbors from the Carico Hills had passed away. Donnie and Betty lived on the next farm over when I was a teenager. Forry and I used to make nightly calls on the shared party line - Donnie would give us a bad time if we talked too long. I am so glad that we had a chance to visit them at Monroe House in Moses Lake before we came south this fall. Donnie was 92 years old.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Another Gorgeous Day

It was another beautiful day today. The temp made it up to 80 degrees with lovely sunshine. It clouded over a bit in the afternoon, but we had a gorgeous sunset.

We went into Fountain Hills this afternoon and made some stops looking for a small (12-18 inches) Christmas tree. I had a perfect one for several years that my friend Danny gave me many years ago when I was the administrator at the Ritzville hospital. It was about fourteen inches tall with lights and ornaments. I re-wired and repaired it for years, but it finally just disintegrated. It was the perfect size to put in the front windshield of Auntie Violet.

The smallest ones they had at Ace Hardware were four feet high and the lady at the florist shop said that none of the ones she had coming in were all at least five feet...

We went on to Safeway and picked up groceries. I had to chuckle at the ladies I heard discussing whether or not they should buy fresh cranberries or buy canned sauce. They concluded that they had this same discussion every year and ended up buying canned sauce since neither one knew how to make fresh cranberries look like the ones in the can...

When we got home and finally got all the groceries put away (my most favorite task - NOT!), I went on line and looked for small trees on Amazon. Had to expand my search to include artificial and lit, but I found all kinds of trees I could order. None of them were as cute as the one Danny got me so long ago, but I think I've found one that will work.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sad Monday

We watched our friends Colleen and Dennis turn the corner towing their trailer, heading up the road and away. They were on their way to Cave Creek and a show they will be vending at this coming weekend. We wish them Godspeed and great shows! After holiday visits to their kids and gkids, they will be back in this area in February.

After they left, we walked over to the office, taking our aluminum cans over to be recycled and to pick up the mail. We not only had prescriptions in the mail, but we received a copy of The Beacon at our winter address as well.

It was a beautiful day today. It got up to 80 degrees with only a bit of a breeze. One of the roadrunners ran down the sidewalk from the office in front of me, then perched on a post and posed for a picture. We've seen more of them this year already than we have seen in all the years we've been down here.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pow Wow!

When I asked Colleen and Dennis if they would be interested in going to the Pow Wow with us on Sunday, I was surprised to hear that Colleen had never been to one. We picked them up a little after ten this morning and went across the Verde River bridge to the fairgrounds. The Fort McDowell  Yavapai Nation celebrates the Orme Dam Victory Days with a Pow Wow and a Rodeo. The event celebrates the Yavapai Nation's victory in a ten year fight with the Interior Department that wanted to build the Orme Dam at the confluence of the Salt and Verde Rivers which would have created a reservoir flooding more than half of their reservation.

We were plenty early and after scouting out the situation under the big tent where the dancing was going to be held, we decided to drive the three miles back to the RV Park and get our lawn chairs. There were metal bleachers set up at each end, but the rest of the seating was all private lawn chairs. We just couldn't see any of us sitting in the backless bleachers for very long.

We set our chairs up, then went out to explore the vender area - and get some fry bread! There were four or five booths selling fry bread and various versions of mutton stew and Indian tacos. The one we got our fry bread at was also barbecuing strips of lamb for their dinner plate that also included corn on the cob, salad and a roasted poblano pepper. It smelled so good, but was way more food than we wanted so early in the morning.

We ate our fry bread - with powdered sugar and honey - then wandered back over to the tent where the drums were starting. This Pow Wow was a bit different then some of the others we have seen. In addition to the usual Grand Entry and the Honors for Veterans, they had a hand drum competition where the groups of three to five drummers each sang two songs. It was fun to see the groups borrowing hand drums from each other. The other novel competition was a team dance competition. Several teams of again three to five dancers, of all different styles and both genders competed. The winner was a group of lovely female Jingle Dancers. We chatted a bit later with one of the male group dancers (his car was parked next to ours). He said the groups were put together last night and had never actually danced together until the first dance of the contest! He laughed and said they did a lot better during the second dance of the set when they had a better idea of what they were doing.

After the colors were retired, we headed back to the Casino and ate dinner at their Cafe 87. It was an enjoyable way to spend our last day with Dennis and Colleen as they are leaving tomorrow morning for their next vending show in Cave Creek.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Toes and Fingers

This morning Colleen and I left the fellows at home and went into Fountain Hills to get mani-pedis. We didn't have appointments, but figured most of the places took walk-ins. We checked first with the place near Safeway that I had gone to last spring, but they didn't have any openings until two and would have to do us one after the other.

So we went and got the car gassed while Colleen checked her phone to find another place. She found one that was close called Fountain Hills Nails that could take us both at noon. As we had a couple of hours to kill, we went to the post office where Colleen had a bunch of bracelets and other orders to get in the mail. Then, of course, we needed to eat lunch. We were close to Phil's Service Station Cafe, so went there. I had forgotten what huge servings they fix. My chicken salad sandwich had over an inch of filling. Colleen's Club sandwich was so thick she had to take some of the meat out in order to even bite into it! Neither one of us was able to eat more than a half.

The nail place was just a block or so away. What a nice place it turned out to be! A very friendly Viernamese family ran it. They were both efficient and friendly. I now have nice bright red toenails!

It was a lovely way to spend a day.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Mesa Marketplace

Our friends Colleen and Dennis didn't have a show this weekend, so we decided to go with them to visit some of their vendor friends that have booths at the Mesa Marketplace. We have gone by there often in previous years in Arizona, but have never stopped by.

I was a little concerned when I heard how large a venue it was. Forry had brought his cane, but it looked like it might be a lot of walking. The first thing we saw when we turned into the parking lot was a sign that said "Scooter Rentals - This Aisle." Having rented scooters before, we immediately headed that way. This concession was a little different. Instead of a flat fee like the places where we've gotten them before, these guys had an hourly rate. You signed them out, then paid when you returned. They actually turned out to be cheaper than others we've used.

The Marketplace is HUGE! I think it is as large as the big tent at Quartzite, but without the crowds (though we were told that in another month the crowds will be wall-to-wall.). There are four long corridors with vender booths on either side along with venders along the connecting corridors.

Many of the vendors are selling the same kind of "Imported from China" stuff that you see at every flea market; others are more on the order of the hand-crafted jewelry you see at the art fairs. It sounds like you rent a booth, then basically staff it at least four days a week. The friends of Colleen and Dennis kept talking about how much they enjoyed not having to continually have to take down and set up their booths and wares.

I ended up buying a couple of new tunics and a t-shirt while Forry bought a new cane (now maybe he'll give my purple one back!).

Since we were in Mesa already, we decided to go to Waldo's Barbecue for dinner. We all ended up ordering our usual delicious half racks of baby back ribs - and we all ended taking home leftovers! I kept looking around as this BBQ joint that we've gone to for many years seemed "different." When Forry finally said something about the signs, which are posted all over, being different, we finally realized that the place had been repainted! The signs and pictures were now in artful arrangements instead of just stuck up haphazardly. Our waiter told us that the entire staff had come in one morning to paint.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Day of Accomplishments

Tonight is the end of one of those days when I feel like we have really accomplished quite a lot. Some of it was pretty mundane - now that we no longer have a leak, I did three loads of laundry.

Another was pretty nice. Forry walked with me half way across the RV park to Colleen and Dennis's trailer. It's the longest walk he's taken and he actually felt pretty good once we got there. Their rig is set up so that they have Dennis's shop in the front toy-hauler portion. We sat and visited for a while.

While we were visiting, I got a call from Chris Yust, the insurance broker I had contacted about a quote on insurance for the RV and the Toad. She had emailed me quotes from a couple of companies last night that I wanted to chat with her about. I scurried back (Colleen gave Forry a ride home later.) over to our place so that I could call her back where I had access to the documents on my computer. We talked for almost an hour comparing policies and finding out what she could do.

I did discover one of the reasons why we were quoted such a large increase with our existing policy. Seems there is a big jump in rates for males at age 70 and another at age 75. Forry turns 76 this year...

We were able to get a policy rate for next year that was about four hundred dollars less then the rate we were originally offered. It intrigues me that I was able to pay for the policy with a direct bank check and sign the policy electronically. Chris was at her home office in Texas and I am in Arizona and the policy is based on our Washington State domicile - isn't it amazing?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Shrimp and Chocolate Cake

Colleen had some incredible large raw shrimp she got when they were in Loa Algodonas from a street vender. She thawed and peeled them and brought them over tonight and made sciampi for dinner. I made a green salad and some rolls, we had a feast. We ate over at our place so that we could watch the Gonzaga basketball game. Colleen had bought a chocolate cake with a luscious mousse topping that we enjoyed at half-time.

It was a good day today - I have water without turning on the pump! Gene showed up after lunch with the new back flow valve in hand. It didn't take him more than an hour to get it installed. He also took a look at the setup under the sink and thinks he was able to figure out how to put a valve in the hot water line for the dishwasher. Of course, that means he has to order a part and make another trip out here. I have not been able to use the dishwasher since we had a new kitchen faucet installed in Oregon. The attachment for the dishwasher does not snap unto the new faucet.

It's been a good basketball game. Gonzaga pulled out ahead of Northern Arizona early in the first half and haven't given up the lead since.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


It was nice to wake to blue skies this morning after three cloudy rainy days. It was still chilly however, I don't think it got above 70 today. I won't complain though. We've been following the nasty winds and rains in Washington - I saw tonight that there were so many downed trees and power lines in Spokane that they were telling people to "shelter in place" and to stay away from windows. Interstate 90 was closed in the western portion of the Columbia Basin due to blowing dust. Glad we are not there!

Gene's RV called today and said Gene would be out tomorrow morning after he picked up the part. I hope it's the right one and we finally get this leak business taken care of. It's a real pain to have to keep shutting the water pump off and on when I'm trying to cook. There is a switch in the bathroom and one in the front of the coach, but none in the kitchen where I need it.

I spent a bit of time this afternoon looking for alternative RV insurance. Ours has gone up $880 this year. The agent assured me last summer that the blow-out damage the tire did to our car was a "no-fault" incidence and shouldn't affect our rates, so I don't know what the increase reflects. C and C RV Insurance has been recommended to us, but the web-site seems to be down...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Here a Leak

Auntie Violet has been fighting with a fresh water leak for a long time now. We thought we had it taken care of when we had a new water pump put in when we were in Chehalis. They had to special order it and we spent an extra day there waiting for it.

But, only a few days later, we once more noticed a drip. As we progressed on our trip, it seemed to come and go. After we got settled in at Eagle View RV Resort, we noticed it pretty much every day. The water pressure here is quite high and pretty soon we were noticing a puddle...

We got to the point where we were concerned enough to shut the water off at night and when we were gone. Unfortunately, neither of us is agile enough anymore to crawl underneath the coach to tighten whatever was loose. So last week Forry called Gene's Mobile Service, the fellow we had called last year to fix our electrical cord. He said he would be able to come out on Monday between ten and two.

After waiting, Forry called the office about 2:15 and was told he was running behind. Gene called about three and said he would be here in about half an hour. When he arrived, he crawled under and said he found a leaking back pressure valve. Of course, that's not a part he carries in his truck. So when he goes back into town, he'll order one. I guess he'll call tomorrow to let us know how long it will take to get it...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Rainy Sunday

It was almost midnight last night by the time the WSU Cougars beat UCLA in their football game and probably closer to 1 AM when we got to bed. Therefore there wasn't much activity at our house until fairly late this morning.

I had read all of the Sunday papers by the time Forry showed his face out in the living room. It had rained during the night and kept it all day long and into this evening. It's great weather for curling up with a book and an afghan. I wish Forry would put out his rain gauge - I'm curious how much rain we've actually gotten as it's rained quite hard several times.

I found a can of chicken and put together a pot of noodle soup for supper. Carrots, onions, celery, noodles and chicken stock made for an okay meal.

Once again we are watching football, this time the NFL game with the Seahawks versus the Arizona Cardinals. The first half was not so good, but the second half seems to be going better.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Fountain Hills Festival

After a day of showers - and having to add water to the fresh tank in the middle of mine - we got organized and went into Fountain Hills to see a portion of their November Festival. Since it was Saturday afternoon, the Post Office was closed, so we were able to park in their parking lot. This is the end of town where the Recycled Spoon ended up having their booth this year.

It's a huge art festival - I heard there were more than 500 artists represented. There were booths on both sides of the streets with some down the middles as well. The Recycled Spoon was about five sites into their row. Forry stayed and visited at the booth while I took a look at a few of the booths. There are some impressive works of art - some with several thousand dollar price tags!

The Festival shuts down at 5, so we went from there to dinner. We decided to try a new place that we found on YELP, called Desert Dave's Ol' Digs. It was NOT what we expected. I expected more of a saloon type atmosphere with that name. Instead it was a rather elegant nice place with a pianist playing dinner music. The food was pretty good. Colleen and I had rib steaks while the fellows enjoyed huge bison burgers.

We got home in time to watch Oregon win their football game against Stanford; now we watch the WSU vs UCLA game and hope that Washington wins their game as well!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday the 13th

Don't know why it is that Friday the 13th has such a bad rap, but it was interesting to read all the articles in the paper this morning. It's fascinating how different superstitions rank in different countries around the world.

For Colleen and Dennis, today was a bit lucky. They went over to the Fountain Hills Festival this morning and actually ended up getting a spot! They met another lady while waiting that said she had been at the show for five years in a row, and was also not on the list this year.

After we heard they were going to be vending, I told them I would have supper ready when they got back. I put a pork roast and some Yukon Gold potatoes in the oven to roast, then steamed some butternut squash.

I cannot imagine coming home and cooking dinner after being on my feet all day. I think that normally they go out to eat, but that's got to get old as well.

Tomorrow we'll go in and see some of the show and then we'll go out to eat...

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Windy, chilly day today! The cold front from California has settled in solidly. It was only supposed to last a day, but now they are predicting it'll be here all week. It's nice during the day when the sun is shining, but the minute the sun goes down, it's cold!

The new floor robot, Bob, was fully charged this morning, so we turned him loose on the floor. It's amazing how much dust and fuzz it picks up. We finally blocked off the bedroom as we couldn't seem to teach him not to go down the side of the bed and get stuck there. It's breath-holding to watch him approach right to the edge of the front steps and back off.

I was going to put a pork roast in the oven for us tonight when Forry remembered tonight was a Crab Feed night over at the casino. We picked Dennis and Colleen up a little after five and headed over to the Red Rock Buffet over at the Fort McDowell Casino. Colleen and Dennis had to stop and get a Fortune Club cards, which gave them $5 each off on the crab dinner.

They changed things around at the buffet from last year. There are now servers at a station that give out the crab halves. Last year, they were at a serve yourself table and people would load their own plates, rummaging through the pans looking for the largest legs and sometimes piling their plates almost a foot high. This change seemed to work much more smoothly. You got your three to four halves, then they gave you a cup of melted butter from a large urn.

The Queen Crabs were delicious! We all ate until we were full. I ended up cracking crab for both Forry and Dennis, Forry said I was cracking it faster than he could eat it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Queen Creek

We took a day trip over to the town of Queen Creek with our friends Dennis and Colleen today. I was totally out of olive oil. Thanks to my friend Leslie, I still had some lime flavored olive oil, and I have half of a bottle of Blood Orange flavored oil, but that's it. I could have gone on the Internet and ordered some from them, but it is much more fun to go over to where they actually press the olives.

We left here a little after ten am after I rearranged the stuff in the back of Toad II so that we could set the back seats up. (I really do have to spend some time sorting through the stuff that is back there!) Now that Loop 202 around Phoenis is finished, it took us less than an hour compared to the couple of hours it used to take.

When we got to the Olive Mill, the lunch line was almost out the door! It cleared out fairly fast and I found out later that much of their lunch business is called-in take-out orders which moved fairly fast. I got a couple of large bottles of EVOO, one a "delicate" one and the other a "robust," along with another bottle of lime. I had to pick up a couple of jars of olives - one with lemon slices and the other with Mesquite Smoked Marcona almonds. I also picked up a jar of tamponade, a green olive pate'. Colleen also did some shopping. I took it all out to the car, then we joined the boys for lunch.

The food at the Olive Mill is fantastic! I had a BLT panini that had thick sliced bacon dashed with Balsamic vinegar - delicious! Colleen had a three cheese toasted panini while the fellows both enjoyed roast beef. Add some gelato for dessert and we were definitely happy. I ended up buying a mixed box of cupcakes, lemon, lime and blood orange, that we split and enjoyed later in the afternoon.

We returned home in time for some short naps before Colleen came over to work on removing and smoothing the screw backs on some conchos that they are preparing for bracelets (since we are in an outside row, she can work outside at our place without disturbing any neighbors.).

After our great lunch and our cupcake break, we were full enough to just settle for cheese and crackers for supper. It was a good day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A New Great Niece

Today was a very special day for my Brother Pat and his family. My Sister-in-law Cindy's birthday was today. Their oldest daughter Becky's little baby girl was born today. What a neat birthday present for Grandma! We are delighted for their whole family. Brother Pat now has three little granddaughters to go with the four grandsons!

While awaiting the announcement of the baby's arrival, I made a quick trip into Fountain Hills to take her second set of keys in to my friend Colleen who was stranded at Safeway after she'd accidentally locked her keys in her van. Sometimes it's nice to be able to help - and it even got me out of the house for a while.

On the way home, I got a glimpse of a couple of the wild horses that roam the Yavapai Apache reservation. A mare was eating alongside the road ahead of me while her colt, which looked to be about a yearling, was still on the other side. Fortunately, the car ahead of me had slowed way down and we were both able to pass without spooking the colt into running ahead of us.

At the corner, turning onto McDowell Road, I saw a roadrunner going across the clearing on the other side. That's the third one I've seen this week. I think I've seen more roadrunners so far this year then I saw all of last year.

Monday, November 9, 2015


Our friends Colleen and Dennis arrived at Eagle View today! We knew they were on their way from Tubac, but they arrived much sooner than we had expected. We made a quick run into Safeway in Fountain Hills to pick up some carrots for the pot roast I was planning to make for dinner tonight and some root beer for Dennis. They were here before we got back.

It was so good to see them, it is a touch of home! We sat and visited for a long time this afternoon. We are going to take a couple of day trips this week. I am really looking forward to it.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday Afternoon

After a rather lazy day, we went out for an afternoon walk. The gully in front of us is the one the cows occasionally use as they come up out of the river valley and wander along the fence and back down again. Not sure what the attraction is, there's nothing to eat along here -

This is looking towards the west along the fence line. As you can see, all of the RVs are facing away from the river valley. I don't quite understand why the people who designed the park set it up so that the electric, water and sewer hookups are set up that way. I think most people would rather look out at the greenery than across a paved road to other RVs.

Our site is one of the few where we can park the other way without infringing on our neighbor's privacy. And at that, we couldn't do it unless we had the long cables and hoses.

It was VERY nice today, in the 80s again. But, I'm wishing we would have a couple of very frosty nights - I'm getting tired of those blanket-blank flies!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Saturday Football

It seems that Saturday's have turned into a college football watching day. For the second week in a row, we have been able to watch Wasington State University football. WSU is part of the Pac12 Football TV Network which we normally are unable to receive (Direct TV doesn't carry the Pac12 Network!). But last week ESPN carried the game and today they were on FoxSports1. We've tried to see if we could spot Brother Pat and Nephew Jared, but haven't had much luck.

We had a nice long telephone chat with Daughter Dawn today and got caught up on Grandson Micah and Granddaughter Kyra and their activities. Cant't believe Micah is getting to school by 6:30 for Jazz Band practice with his trombone - not sure I could do it. Micah and his Dad were off doing Boy Scout stuff, Ky was working, so Dawn was getting ready to paint the bathroom. It makes for a busy household when you've got teenagers.

It was another gorgeous day today in Arizona. It was a bit warmer, I think it got up to 80 degrees.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Another chilly sunny day. This cold snap is setting records throughout Arizona. It got down to 43 degrees in Phoenix last night. Makes one very glad for electric heating pads.

It was another relatively quiet day. I did three loads of laundry this afternoon. Dried some in the machine and hung up the rest to dry - that way I don't have to iron.

I had an early morning chat with Sister Sherry who was excited about finding a recipe on the Internet to replicate the licorice caramels I sent her for her birthday! She can share them with Forry if she likes, but keep them away from me! I do NOT like the taste - or smell - of black licorice!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Grocery Day

We woke up this morning to clear blue skies after almost three days of intermittent rain showers. While the sun was out, there was a breeze and it was cool. I shivered when I read notes and posts from several of my Washington friends on Facebook showing the snow they got last night and this morning.

Our Keurig coffeemaker has bit the dust and is resisting all efforts to revive it. I've been on line looking for a new one. I had read somewhere that there is now a new one designed for small offices that has a larger water reservoir as well as a better pump. The one we saw at Costco is the same as the one we have, so I guess I'll look into ordering one. In the meantime, Forry has been going over to the clubhouse with our mugs in hand in the morning for coffee to ward off the dreaded caffeine withdrawal headaches. (I had a nurse working for me in the ER once who was convinced he had a brain tumor when, unbeknownst to him, his wife substituted decaf for his regular coffee in his thermos...!)

Early this afternoon, we went in to Fountain Hills to the Safeway store there. We didn't leave grocery shopping for so long this time, so it was an easier load and unload and haul stuff into the house than usual. I suppose it's a trade-off between disliking grocery shopping so much that I put it off and waiting so long it's a pain for both of us to get stuff in and put away.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


It was a rainy night, with off and on showers all night. It rained again a couple times during the morning, then we saw a little blue sky. But by late afternoon, the dark clouds had moved back in and we are once again getting hard rain showers.

We did a lot of the routine household stuff today. We took showers; I drained the black and the grey tanks; Forry put new washers in the water intake connector. I put the washer/dryer combo through the monthly cleaning cycle, then washed and dried a load of towels and rags. I'd been cleaning the inside of the windows since the outsides had all gotten washed yesterday, so I had quite a pile.

We restarted our winter subscription to the Arizona Republic yesterday, so got the first paper copy today. I read most of the newspapers on-line: the Spokane and Seattle papers and the news editions of the New York Times and the Washington Post, but Forry likes doing the paper Sudoku puzzles and reading the local area trip reports.

We had an extra treat today when Granddaughter Havelita called and chatted while she was waiting at the pizza shop for dinner to take home for the company she and Ben were having tonight. We enjoy our chats with her, but sure wish they were closer!

One thing about all the nice rains we've been having is that we should have a greened up desert and maybe even flowers when Daughter Mary Mae and her family are here for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Water, Water & More Water

We got going early this morning. I thought Andrew and his crew from ANS Detailing were going to be here at 8:30, but they were here at 8! I had been out to set the garbage out by the road for the collection and turn on the water (we've been shutting it off at night as the pressure is so high.) and had the door open. I assume the crew saw the open door and thought they might as well get busy.

We have had these same fellows wash and wax the RV and the car the last three years when we have arrived in Arizona.They go back home to South Dakota during the summer and work up there, then return to Arizona and wash rigs here. Andrew sounds like me, he says he just doesn't like cold.

It was amazing how muddy the water coming off the roof was. We knew the rig was dirty - all you had to do was look at the car! The windshield was really buggy. We had tried cleaning it a few times when we made diesel stops, but neither of us can do a very good job of lifting that long-handled squeegee. It is really clean now - Andrew even came in and cleaned the inside!

Of course, since everything was all clean and shiny, we started having rain showers. Tonight we've been having thunderstorms. We get more rain showers as each cloud comes over. I guess as long as we don't have dust storms mixed in, it won't undo all of the fellows work.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Costco Trip

We had been putting off a trip to Costco until we got settled in a bit, but today was the day. Besides a vitamin resupply, I needed to buy meat. I ended up with some good-looking ribeye steaks and a nice pork loin. I repackaged the steaks individually to freeze. I cut the loin up into half a dozen small roasts, some smaller cuts to use for stir fry, and some chops. I'd also bought some peeled shrimp, some tempura shrimp and some frozen French onion soup. My little freezer is stuffed.

Forry restocked some of his liquor supply (a lot less tax in Arizona!) as well as bought a case of the "Ice", the flavored fizzy water that he likes. By the time we got everything packed into the house and put away, we were pooped.

We had a nice break soon after we got home with a "Skype" call with Granddaughter Havela. Great-granddaughter Kahlyn is three months old now and fun to interact with. We got to watch her roll over and listen to her chatter with us. I sure wish we were close enough to snuggle in person.

Today is Sister Sherry's birthday.nafter several attempts during the day, I finally got to talk to her this evening and wish her "Happy Birthday!"

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Football and Baseball...

It's been one of those days. Forry started out the day watching football and it's ending with us watching Kansas City tie their game against the Mets in the 9th inning of the fifth game of the World Series.

Because the Seahawks game was so close and so tense we couldn't leave while it was on. Then it was time for the baseball game, so we never even got out the door to take a walk today!

I fixed orange rolls and pork sausage for breakfast, then fried up bacon chunks to mix with scrambled eggs for supper. Some biscuits and blackberry jam to go with made a pretty good meal.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

More Desert Plants

We walked in the other direction along the fence this afternoon. This staghorn cactus is in the midst of the mesquite bushes -

This very old saguaro is amazing. If you look closely, you can see, in spite of its center top being broken off many years ago, it has little "arms" trying to grow from the middle. It's hard to tell how old it might be. We've been told they are at least a hundred years old before they start sending out arms...

This is a view of Auntie Violet looking back at her from the fence. This is the other side from the picture I posted yesterday. As you can see, we are parked facing out towards the Verde River Valley, instead of into the park. On the far left of the coach is a mesquite tree with the Palo Verde tree closest to the coach. The rig on our right is the same neighbor we had last year.

Friday, October 30, 2015


Our walk this afternoon took us over to the office to check for mail, plus a chance to chat a bit with Sandy, who manages the office at Eagle View RV Park. According to Sandy, the Park has more reservations than it had last year at this time, though we had been thinking it wasn't as full.

These bright orange flowers with the feathery leaves is over next to the swimming pool fence -

We had a couple of packages waiting at the office for us. Daughter MM had sent a box. It was not as packed as usual as she sent it off early so that we could get our ballots in the mail by next week. We also had a large box with a several prescriptions from Group Health. They send a 90 day supply at a time, so we should be in good shape for a while.

This is a shot of Auntie Violet looking from the office. As you can see, we have a nice little area with a Palo Verde tree that gives shade to our chairs in the morning and early afternoon.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Little Visitors

It was raining lightly when I first woke up about 6 AM. It cleared off a bit, then later about ten AM we had a brief thunderstorm: some lightening, thunder and a bit more rain. It cleared off again and we had a very pleasant afternoon. We went for a short walk along the fence. These prickly pear cacti on the other side are thriving -

As we were sitting outside afterwards, we noticed a pair of cute little birds -

A bit bigger than a sparrow with a long slightly curved beak -

With their buff bellies, we're pretty sure they are little rock wrens -

They played on and around the RV for over an hour while we were watching and trying to decide what they were.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

More Settling In

We got a few more things unloaded from Toad II today. We're gradually getting settled in. I found the slide supports (that Forry just could NOT see!) in the back of the rig. We put them under the big slide on the passenger side as extra support when we are parked for a long time in one place. I also go the big rug out of the passenger side bay, but it's still sitting on the concrete pad. Maybe we'll get it spread out under the Palo Verde tree tomorrow.

The "Gang of Three" showed up again this afternoon. They had come by yesterday just after sunset.

The three of them come up the bank, walk along the fence for a ways, then go back down. You have to look hard to see the other two hiding in the bushes.

It was overcast when we got up this morning, but gradually cleared off as the day went by. The Four Peaks appeared to be shrouded in shadow as we looked across the Verde River Valley this afternoon.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Grocery Day

Having a bare refrigerator and cupboards dictated a trip to Fountain Hills to the grocery store today.
We got our showers out of the way, then headed into town.

The GPS needed to be reminded about taking the shortcut over the hill through the reservation over to Fountain Hills rather than going around on Highway 87. I had sat down added up the parcels and written a check to the Adams County Treasurer for the second half of the property taxes. The envelope needed to be postmarked by October 31, so our first stop was at the Post Office in Fountain Hills.

The street renovations that were started when we left last spring are finishing up, but there are still narrowed lanes and diversions as they finish striping etc. It didn't take us long to get re-oriented.
The Safeway store here is laid out just backwards of the last one we shopped at in Oregon, I ended up walking to the other end of the store to start my shopping. It's so much easier when I follow my usual routine.

When I went to pay for my groceries, my credit card was rejected. I used my debit card without difficulty. By the time I got the groceries out to the car I got an automated call from the Credit Union inquiring about a possible unauthorized credit card use!

When we got home I called the credit union and reminded them about our traveling status. Evidently, our original notifications of our mobility had run out. I really can't get upset with them - I'm actually glad they pay attention!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Setting Up

When we arrived at Eagle View RV Park, we hooked up the water and electric. It was a larger than the regular task as we parked  backwards to normal setup as we wanted to be able to look out the coach window at the view out across the Verde River Valley. We had to run both the electric cord and the water hose underneath the coach from the driver's side to the passenger side. Once we got that done, we put down the jack pads and then the jacks and left it go at that.

We started to put out the sewer hose the same way yesterday running under the coach, but quickly realized that we needed to replace our hoses. We had been talking about it and rather than having to do it twice, we decided to wait to do it until today after we got new ones. So a trip to Camping World in Mesa was in order. We bought new sewer hose (with the transparent corner I wanted); two new guest chairs; blue tabs for the tanks; and laundry soap for my washer/dryer.

When we got home, it didn't take us too long to run the new hose under the coach and get it hooked up. I was glad to get the tanks drained as I've been wanting to wash the sheets.

Sunset this evening:

Later -

And looking the other way -

I saw a comment on Facebook today warning teachers and nurses both: There will be both a full moon and Halloween this weekend. Be prepared!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Quiet Day at Eagle View

We slept in this morning - at least Forry did. I was up early enough to take a bag of garbage out to the road for the daily garbage pick up. I fixed orange rolls for breakfast, but that's bout as ambitious as I got.

We watched the last day of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) National Finals this afternoon. JB Mauney had clinched the 2015 Championship last night. That turned out to be a good thing as Bruiser did a number on his collarbone and badly injured the connection to his xiphoid process, so he couldn't ride today.

We spent a bit of time working on our sewer hookup this afternoon, but decided we needed to buy new hoses. That will tomorrow's task.

While we were working on it, our neighbor (he was our neighbor last year as well) came over and we spent an hour or so visiting and watching the sun go down. A few cows came wandering by on the other side of the fence, but I don't think they were watching the sunset...

Saturday, October 24, 2015

We're Here!

We left Blake Ranch RV Park and Horse Motel in good time this morning. Both of us were well rested and ready to go.

Instead of taking the freeway all the way, we took the shortcut, Hwy 93, south and east. A good share of it is actually four lane highway already. It is a beautiful drive, known as the Joshua Tree Forest Byway. The nicest part to me is beginning to see saguaros again.

It was a good and fairly easy drive until we got into the new construction of the 303 Loop. Our GPS just did not recognize the new construction. We finally ended up using Google Maps on my iPad to get us through greater Phoenix.
Finally we got far enough east to connect with Highway 87 which took us into Apache country and to Fort McDowell Road. Soon we were at Eagle View RV Resort! We are back in WARM country - we were nice and sweaty by the time we were hooked up with water and electric. We are glad to finally arrive!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Jello Day

I had a suspicion last night when we went to bed that we would NOT be traveling today. I could tell Forry was really tired - even though he insisted he wasn't. It was a different story this morning however, he was very willing to say he wanted to go back to sleep when I woke him.

I called the office as soon as they opened at 8 AM to see if we could stay another night. It's a good thing I did as when I went down later to pay, the lady told me the phone had been ringing all morning and they had only one more site left. And only three left for the weekend! She had a whole stack of site reservations on the counter. Sites weren't get a chance to cool off. Folks pulled out by the eleven o'clock check-out time and others seemed to pull right in.

It was a gorgeous day today. The skies were blue, it was nice and warm with a slight breeze. We are now definitely in the land of cacti -

Auntie Violet is parked at the very end of a row, almost tucked over the bank -

Across the "street" are several rigs that belong to work campers. The lady who checked us in this morning lives in the Hitchhiker across from us. She got off of her shift at noon and she and her hubby took off on his motorcycle for the rest of the day,

I took advantage of the quiet day and caught up on the laundry. We had our first acorn squash of the season for dinner tonight. So good!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

We Make It To Arizona!

We left Sierra Trails this morning and headed east towards I-40 across the Mojave Desert. It wasn't long before we started seeing our first yuccas.

And not much later, we began to see the groups of cholla cacti -

After a long day of driving, we finally came to the Colorado River, the border between California and Arizona.

It's always good to see the first Arizona sign -

Our next sightings were the Ocotillos. Note how green they are after last week's rains! They normally look just like brown sticks during the dry season.

And then the Palo Verde trees. Literally translated as "green branches", they are seen all over the state.

As we neared Kingston, we began to see the red rock and bluffs that say "southwest" to me.

We stopped for the night at Blake Ranch RV Park and Horse Stable, about twenty miles east of Kingston. We'll continue on tomorrow - unless we jiggle the jello and decide we need a rest day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sierra Trails RV Park

Sierra Trails RV Park outside of Mojave, California, is another sort of funky place we usually stop at. The park itself is nice with a wall around it and lots of trees and greenery. The area for transients, however, is a clear area in the back of the park. It has several 30 amp hookups with water spigots and barbeques. Last night and most of the day today, we were the only ones here.

Looking down the other way. You can see a portion of the block wall around the main park.

A peek through the entrance into the main park. It's pretty nice and there are many permanent residents.

Looking out the back, you can see some of the ruts of the run-off from last week's big rain -

Earlier this morning, the maintenance crew spent some time filling some of the ruts in -

This is one of the big juniper trees alongside this side of the park fence -

It has some of the biggest bunches of juniper berries I've every seen -

The berries are huge, as big as the end of my thumb -

Later this evening, three rigs have pulled in and plugged in for the night. We're no longer out here alone...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Shaking the Jello

We left the Merced area this morning with plans to take our usual route - on down 99S to Hwy 58, then east on Hwy 40 to Mojave.

The Merced River at the edge of the RV Park was pretty placid this morning. Forry said he saw a couple of people out there fishing this morning when he got up.

The RV sites here are pretty treed, so no satellite reception. I'm standing by the river bank. The RV in the site in front of me left extremely early this morning.

Today's run was more of the same of yesterday's most of the day. Lots and lots of orchards and lots and lots of vineyards. We did notice one large orchard where the trees were being cut down, but more that had new little trees started in them. There are also many new vineyards started.

As we drove along, we noticed ONE sign that said Highway 58 was closed due to the mud slides of last week. There was no other information about detours or alternative routes. I checked on the internet and found an article in this morning's Los Angeles Times saying it would be closed at least until next week. I tried calling the California DOT and only got a recording. The man at AAA knew it was closed, but wasn't sure where they were re-routing traffic.

Finally, I called the fellow at Sierra Trails RV Park in Mojave where we had planned to spend the night. He said that traffic was being sent down I-5 to Highway 138 and across to Highway 14. So that's the way we went. As we went south, the country changed from vineyards and orchards to pastures and hilly country.

I hadn't asked if Hwy 138 was okay to take an RV on, so I was pleased to see lots of trucks heading up that way into the Tehachapi Mountains. I wished I had counted them, we met several hundred.

We caught a glimpse of Lake Quail off to the north and saw several fishermen.

We even began to see some Joshua trees. I had read somewhere recently that the drought has been very hard on them and these looked a bit tough. Some of the ones we saw later in the Antelope Valley were quite a bit greener looking.

When you go our usual route over Tehachapi Pass, you see many, many big wind turbines. When we went today's way over Tejon Pass, we saw lots of solar panel "farms." The area is a hot bed for California's Clean Energy programs.

It was almost dark when we arrived at Sierra Trails. I was sure glad I still had some kraut ranzas from the MCA sale left to heat up for supper.

Monday, October 19, 2015

We Just Keep Driving Along

We continued south on I-5 today through the heart of California's farm country.  In spite of the drought conditions, there are many crops being raised. The first part of the trip took us through recently harvested rice fields. From the looks of the stubble, it looks to have been a very good crop.

And we saw orchards, lots and lots of orchards! I still say California should follow the example of many Washington and Oregon farmers and put signs on the fields telling us what they are raising! (Please forgive the dirty windows of the coach!)


Flying J/Pilot fuel stations are few and far between on this stretch of I-5. We finally came on one near Dunnigan. It was really busy! The trucks were three and four deep waiting to fuel. Diesel was $2.679 a gallon.

A ways south of the truck stop and Sacramento, we turned off onto Hwy 99S. Now we started to see more and more vineyards along with the orchards. We also went by the Blue Diamond plant - I know that many of those trees we saw must be their almonds!

Just past Merced, we pulled into the Merced River RV Park. This is another park we often stop at right along the river. The woman who checked me in said they had had a very good summer and were still having busy weekends, but today there were many pull-through sites available.