Saturday, May 31, 2014

Good ole Storrie Lake State Park, NM

Storrie Lake is one of those state parks that feels like home when I drive in.  Bluewater Lake is the same way.  And also Quartzsite.  So far, my three favorite places to be.  I like all the places I've stayed, otherwise I would have rolled on to greener pastures (or sandier landscapes), but these three give me a special feeling when I arrive.

We've been here a week now, and are in our third site.  (You know how I am!)  When we arrived last Saturday at 11 am, Memorial Day Weekend, I couldn't believe we actually got a developed site overlooking the water.  It was almost level and had a shelter and bar-b-que ring. 

Unfortunately, a big group camped next to us kept using the areas around my campsite as football practice and behind The Palms as a baseball diamond.  I was afraid The Palms would get hit, and they didn't seem to want to move out further into the field behind us, so I moved on Monday morning to a site off my myself. Then in the middle of the week, I decided to move into the main loop, where there were a few non-reservable sites available.  Katie and I are happily settled here for the duration.

They have those beautiful, colorful Bullock's Orioles here:

We've been taking lots of walks with Jeanne and Riley, who got here right after we did.  She did a bit of campsite moving, too, and she's now settled in at the other end of this loop.  We've both got good sites.

Here are Jeannie and Riley on one of our walks.  I told her she could approve the photo I took before I post it, but this is so good, I hope she won't mind.   Two cutie-patooties!

The Canada Geese are usually in the field across from our campground in the morning, foraging for food.  The other day they crossed the road before we got there during our walk; they were in a field very close to us, so I was able to get some good close-up shots:

Here's a very rare two-headed goose  LOL:

 And away he goes:

Here's a darling little juvenile Western Bluebird:

And this Western Kingbird looks like he's just sinking into the branch:


Yesterday we went into town to get some propane for the tank, shop, visit the library and do laundry.  So nice to get that all done.

When I was getting ready for bed last night, the fridge started clicking.  I couldn't figure out what it was, but knew it was coming from the fridge.  Then I noticed the "check" light was on.  I fiddled a bit with the buttons, but the clicking kept on.  Finally I thought, I wonder if the attendant didn't turn the propane back ON as I had asked him to...   I tried to start a burner on the stove top and - no flame.  I've never messed with the propane tank, the attendants always fill it and turn it back on for me, as I'm watching.  I think the guy misunderstood me, because he was done when I asked if he would turn it on, and he bent over and turned the dial.  I think he had already turned it on, and thought I was asking him to turn it off.   So anyway, from about 1:00 until 10:00 pm, the propane was off and the freezer was slowly defrosting.  Thank goodness I heard the ignition clicking, trying to turn on.  All my food is okay.

The reason I didn't use any propane all afternoon/evening was that I bought some hot, home-made tamales that some people were selling to benefit their church.  They had a table outside Wal-Mart, and I decided to buy a couple.  I'm not tamale person, I think I've had one but really don't remember.  Jeanne and I were talking about home-made tamales the day before so I thought I'd take a chance. 

I took them back to The Palms which parked in the Wal-Mart parking lot, made some quick guacamole, threw on some sour cream and took a bite.  Wow - it was so good!  I bought two, but only ate one, packed up the other one in a baggie and went back and bought six more.  They are now sitting in my freezer waiting for an evening when I'm craving Mexican food and want an easy dinner.  Yummm.  I just finished the second one for dinner tonight and it was just as good as the first. Sorry, no photos - it's gone.  I'll try to remember to take a picture next time. 

But I digress...  So, anyway, I hadn't opened the fridge and noticed the light was out, or tried to start the stove or burners, and didn't know I had no propane coming through the lines.  I was full from my late lunch and didn't use the kitchen at all last night.

I went outside with a flashlight and checked the propane compartment to see what was what.  There was an OPEN/CLOSE knob, so obviously that is what I needed to turn.  I turned it to the left, per the OPEN arrow, but it turned more than I thought it should.  Even so, I kept turning until it stopped.  I have to tell you, I was really nervous messing with the propane.

Then I came back inside and tried a few propane powered appliances and everything was working again. 

For any RVing newbies or wannabes, this is how I've learned most things.  Now I know how to turn on the propane, and I'll make sure it's ON every time I refill my LPG tank.  One more piece of knowledge.  It couldn't be easier, or obvious, but I don't like messing with some things and the propane tank is one of those things.  I don't want to explode because I did something wrong.  I think the OPEN/CLOSE knob is too easy to fail, so don't be afraid to open or close it.

This morning I checked with Jeanne, since she also has a built-in LPG tank, and she said yes, that's all I needed to do.  She added that when you turn the knob, turn it all the way ON or all the way OFF.  Don't go halfway, it's not good for the system.

Good night from our beautiful site at Storrie Lake:

From me and Katie have a great Saturday night, everyone!  :)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Manzano Mountain State Park, NM

Katie and I spent a little more than a week at Manzano Mountain State Park in New Mexico.  This was our first visit to this park, which has been closed for a few years because of fire danger.  It's not near anything, so if you visit it, make sure you have enough food and supplies.  They do have a dump site and water and trash removal, and a very nice couple who are camp hosting.

It's a small park nestled in trees - the electric sites are on a loop.  Most of the reserved electric sites are nice and looked level, but the non-reserved sites were pretty small and not level.  I circled the loop three times when we arrived looking for a good non-reserved spot, but couldn't find one, and the overflow area was chained off.  A park employee told me it was closed because a group of 150 (boy scouts and their families) were expected for the weekend and they didn't want anyone parking in their spaces.  The camp hosts were in Albuquerque for the day, and so I took an open "one-night only reserved" dry site and talked to the camp host later that day.

He said he would have the Ranger take down the chain so I could get back into the overflow primitive area and choose a site at the end.  There were seven sites in an end loop that were available for campers not attending the group events.

This is our site for the first night.  Nice and level, nice shade structure with a table and a fire ring.

The next morning we went back into the overflow area - I liked that area better, but there were only two sites with enough sun to keep my solar panels in the sunshine all day, and this is the one I chose.  I actually had sun on the roof all day long - it was a very good site.  Kind of hard to back into, though, without hitting trees.  It was pretty level.  We were NOT in the desert any more!

We had some good critter activity here - first here are photos of Katie's favorites - look at the dirt on this guy - he has a hole in the soft dirt at the base of the tree right next to The Palms.  Katie could see him coming and going from her car seat:

Here he is climbing up the tree:

Below is the another lizard - he almost looked wet.  He looks pretty round around the middle, too, and I wondered if it was a she with baby lizards in her tummy. :

Below is Katie checking out the lizard hole, and of course, I made her get away from it. I didn't want her getting bit on the nose.

And so Katie just stood nearby, guarding it. (This is what she looks like when she guards me while I'm in the kitchen.)  Notice she's facing away from the lizard hole holding up her right paw.  Watching for enemies!  :)

And we had some good hummers, too:

The sun caught this guy just right in this shot:

Chirp, chirp, chirp:

This park has Ponderosa and pinyon pines, and alligator juniper trees.  Looking at the rough trunks on the alligator junipers, it's obvious how they got their name:

I was planning to stay here the full 14 days, but one morning I woke up and decided to leave, and 2 hours later, we were at Costco in Albuquerque.

It was really nice to camp in the forest with the great pine tree smell, but I think Manzano Mountains State Park, as nice as it is, was just too small for us, and the spaces, even the overflow spaces, were too close together.  With that many trees it's hard to find a spot that will work with the solar panels.  This park is pretty out-of-the way, too, and I don't think I'll use the gas to come back next year.  It's an about a two hour drive to Albuquerque.  I'm glad we visited this once, though. 

By the way, the 150 campers with the Boy Scout troups were so quiet, even though they were right  next to us I hardly knew they were there.  They were always working in small groups at different campsites, earning badges I think.  It was a pleasure to camp near them.  I honestly don't know how they kept those boys so quiet for the whole weekend. Some of the families had small children, too. Super well behaved! 

I took a photo of a camp stove one family had on their table, isn't this a good idea?  It has an oven and two burners on the top.  It's propane powered.  Very cool, so I looked it up on, and if you're interested here's a link:  Coleman Camp Stove.  Expensive...

I also saw a new bird while there - it's a Band-tailed Pigeon and it sure looked big flying from tree to tree:

At first I thought it was a dove, but my field guide shows that the Band-tailed Pigeon has that iridescence on it's neck, and yellow legs and feet.

Goodbye from:

From me and Katie, have a great Sunday, everyone!  :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Touched by Charms jewelry - my order is HERE

I ordered jewelry from my Granddaughter, Kennedy's business, Touched by Charms, which is a part of Origami Owl Custom Jewelry.  I had two orders, first from Kennedy's Launch Party and then from the Jewelry Bar party that my daughter, Kristy had.  Daughter-in-law Trish and Kennedy flew up to Northern California to Kristy's house to host the party.  I ordered two lockets and some charms and they are HERE.

There are really beautiful - and you can check out what is available and see good photos of all the lockets, charms, etc., HERE. Unfortunately my photos aren't that good, but you'll get an idea and see what I've ordered.  I have to say, I just LOVE the small locket.

I wanted a medium gold locket and a mini rose gold locket - which is my favorite.  I decided not to purchase a rose gold chain, thinking I could put either locket on the gold chain I wear every day.  After wearing the small rose gold locket for a week or so, I've decided to get a rose gold chain. I don't think it looks as good on the yellow gold chain.  I've put the dangling heart charm on my chain, too.  It looks really good!

This is what I ordered:

The round circle with the heart goes into the gold locket, and I think I want a yellow "plate" of some sort, too.

I can fit three charms into the mini rose gold locket, so I put in the saguaro palm (for living in the desert most of the time), the small heart - just because, and the dog paw charm (for Katie).  I can switch them out with the cross (for my faith) and the "blog" (that's obvious), and the palm tree (for The Palms, and also because I most recently lived in San Diego, where there are a lot of palm trees).

They will all fit inside the medium sized locket, or the large size, which I didn't get.  In the photo below, I just noticed I have the palm tree backwards, oops. 

I have a little shopping list that is growing - one rose gold chain and a few more charms and one gold plate.  They are offering new items all the time, so I'll check their website from time to time until I have enough to order.  The charms are only $5, so it's pretty easy to add to my collection.

Kennedy, I LOVE my new Touched by Charms Origami Owl Custom Jewelry - thank you!  :)

WELCOME to our two newest Follows: Rebekah Ketterman, and Jan.  Neither has any information to pass on to you, but if they let me know about blogs, etc., I'll do that. 

Welcome aboard to both Jan and Rebekah - thank you for following along with me and Katie!  And let me know if either of you has a blog, so I can check it out.  :)

From Me and Katie, have a great Sunday, everyone!  :)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Katie photos

I have a bunch of photos of Katie and I'm just going to publish them all here.  Sometimes she is pretty funny.  

Here she is resting on the padded box I have at the end of the bench seat across from me where I store my printer.  Just dozing off...

And then the camera clicks and her eyes open...

Here's Katie snuggling her "baby" while she rests.

I had a large rawhide chew toy and she worked on it for two days. She usually stays right on her blanket when she eats treats or plays with her toys, but she was pretty excited about this big chew toy and I had to move her back onto her blanket.

Here she is playing with her ball.

Little by little it went down until it fell on the floor and she forgot about it.  Sometimes she'll toss it around by herself.

Walking along the concrete berm.

Here's Katie sleeping.  She often sleeps on her toys, this time she's got her ball with her.  That can't be very comfortable!

Her ankle is still swelling up, and on this morning I taped it up before our walk to see what happened.  It didn't really do much good.  See her right rear ankle with the tape?

Waiting for a treat after our walk. She's pretty patient - I always hang up her leash and put the camera away, etc. while she waits.  A few times I've gotten busy and forgotten her treat, but she'll stare me down until I remember.  Look at that tail wagging!

And here's Katie during our walks.  You can see how much room she has in the stroller - enough to stretch out her tail.  She usually sits while we're walking, but if I visit with someone, she'll lay down and rest.  If she bugs me, I put the top down and she'll usually turn around and face the rear of the stroller.  Trying to tell me something?  :)  

Her license plate, because of course, Katie is a Princess!  (See her swollen ankle on the right?)

Here we are in shadow as the late afternoon sun goes down. 

Katie loves her walks - whether on foot or in the stroller.  We've been walking a lot more since we have the stroller - usually we'll take a walk on foot in the morning, and by the afternoon we're using the stroller.  I keep an eye on her ankle, but she seems okay.  I'm not going to take her to the vet until her regular appointment in July, then we'll have it checked out during her annual exam.

She's a happy girl!

I wanted to thank all our readers again for purchasing through our links.  It's such a nice thing for you to do, and Katie and I really appreciate it! Whether you click through to through the search box or a link on the side bars or through The Palms Shop, it all adds up for us.  Thank you!  :) 

From me and Katie, have a great Sunday, everyone!  :)