Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas–and a little RV mod present from me to me!

Many miles have been traveled since my last post.  Katie and I left Elephant Butte State Park in New Mexico and headed toward Arizona for the winter.  We stayed at Hot Springs LTVA near Holtville, CA for a couple of weeks.   I had lab tests and an annual doctor exam scheduled in San Diego, so stopping at Hot Springs is our usual route.  Hot Springs is usually really crowded.  There’s always room and it’s not hard to find a site, but the good sites are always taken when I’m there.  This year, both the on the way to and from San Diego, I got fantastic, large sites.
 
The first one was right off the main road, a “cul-de-sac” site, very private and large.  We were surrounded by bushes and had a nice area to put the camp chairs out in the shade of the bushes. 



On the way to San Diego, I usually stay at least one night at a casino in Alpine, it's about 1 1/2 hours from Hot Springs LTVA so it cuts drive time and makes for a really short drive into San Diego.  And this is the sunset I was treated to right before the turnoff to the casino.  



We arrived right before it was dark.  It was one of those trips where, the afternoon before we are to leave I get everything put away and ready to go, and I think, “We're ready - why not go NOW?”  That’s what we did and we were treated to a gorgeous sunset.

The next morning we finished the drive to SD.  I love the views I get driving into the San Diego area.  These are my “coming home” views:



I always breathe a sigh of relief, I’m home.
 


There were some nice waves coming in from the Pacific Ocean.  Can you see all the surfers in the pic below?



My mail service is in Encinitas, which is right on the ocean, so I usually come in this way to pick up the mail, then head over to Carlsbad where my kids live.  I stayed with them for a week or so and we had a nice visit.  

My annual doctor’s appointment with my new GP went really well.  When I was there in April, my doc wasn’t happy with my cholesterol levels – they've been a bit high for years, and I was finally talked into taking meds to bring them down.  He prescribed 20 mg of a cholesterol drug.  I REALLY hate taking prescription drugs.  I had a bad result from one in the past and stay away from them if I can, but this new doc was persuasive and I agreed to try one. 

While visiting in April, my son told me about the healthy eating plan he and my granddaughter had been on and the great things it did for them – they are in fabulous shape.  So I tossed out any food in my fridge/cupboards that wasn’t on the list and made up a shopping list for when I was heading back to the desert.  And while at their house, I ate the same foods they did.  The whole family eats a pretty good, clean diet.  I dug out my Vitamix (one of the few things that I didn't put in the estate sale when I started full-timing) and put it on the kitchen counter so it would be easy to make healthy drinks for myself with all the fruits and veggies I got and planned to use.



So, fast forward seven months to November, and I've stayed on that plan pretty well since then.  I've also been walking more than usual and have lost a few pounds.  When I went to the doctor this time, a week after having lab tests to see what my cholesterol levels were now, both he and his nurse were really surprised.  Eating good foods, walking more and talking the Rx he prescribed in April brought my cholesterol down from 240 to 116.  I asked him if he would cut my prescription from a 20 mg pill to 10 mg dose every day, and he did.  So we’ll see what happens next year.  If my levels stay low with a continued good diet and exercise, I just might stop taking them completely. Smile

When I left San Diego I headed back to Hot Springs LTVA, but stopped overnight in El Centro, CA, about 30 minutes before the campground.  I had to renew my California Driver License and I figured that was a good place to do it, since it was still in California and I thought it would be less busy than the San Diego offices.  I had made an appointment, thank goodness, because it was VERY busy!  

I was worried about passing the written test (no driving test required), because it’s been so long since I took it.  But now they have the manual on-line, as well as practice tests.  If you need to renew your license, trust me, that’s a great way to study up.  I don’t know if I would have passed it or not without taking those tests a few times and reading the manual twice.  I was only unsure of one question, and answered it wrong, but got the rest right, so I’m good for five more years.  YAAAAAY!

Then we headed back to Hot Springs again, where we got another perfect site.  The sites here are so varied – I’ve been right out in the open with no bushes or trees, and I’ve had sites like this year’s with lots of bushes and trees for complete privacy.  This one was alongside the canal which is behind those bushes, so we had lots of tall reeds. 



As you can see in the photo below, there are areas here that are VERY dusty.  Look at the tire tracks in that deep dust.  
 


One morning when Katie and I were out walking we ran across this trail the dust.  Must be a snake, right?  Luckily all we saw were the tracks!



We again stayed a couple of weeks, then one morning I woke up to rain, packed up and headed for Quartzsite.  Nice having tires on my house.  Winking smile

That’s where we are now.  We’re back in a site we’ve had twice before.  Isn't it funny that out of thousands of places to park a motor home, a couple just feel right - and I keep going back to them.  This is our site, below.  As soon as we arrived, we were visited by a Broad-tailed Hummingbird, so I got out the feeders and set up a little Hummingbird Garden with three feeders.




I’ve a few more photos to post with birds and some new Katie pics, but I'll post them next time.

I always seem to give myself gifts this time of year, and this year is no different.  I really needed a new printer, and my Keurig single cup coffee maker had been leaking for a while, so I went to Wal-Mart and got a new Canon printer ($39! – and it does a nice job) and a new Keurig.  Thank you, ME! 

But the best Christmas present I gave myself – I’ve been wanting a 12V outlet up in my bunk area to plug my Sirius radio into.  I had wires running under my mattress to the one cabin 12V outlet at the foot of the bed, and this particular wire was too short and always a pain to get in the right place for a good signal.  Remember Brian, who installed my solar panel lifts?  Last year we talked about him installing a 12V outlet for me, and when I arrived in Quartzsite this year, he came over and got the job done.  He installed one that has the 12V outlet for my Sirius, two plugs for USB cords and also has a voltage readout for my house batteries.  He wired it right into my electrical panel which is hooked into the batteries.  I have some photos to show you, and will post them next time.

Thanks Brian, great job!!!  I’ve literally wanted another 12V outlet for years, so now I can cross that off the list.

If you need solar installed, or pretty much anything done in or around or on top of your RV, you can contact Brian at his new e-mail address:  gotsolarinstalled@gmail.com 

And that about catches us up for the last month.  I’ll try to post more in 2016 – and maybe more will be going on then, too.  2016 should be a different kind of travel year for us, we’ve made plans with Jeanne and her dog Riley to travel to northward to some new places in Arizona.  I'm looking forward to doing something different, and while we’re at it, I'm going to check out towns and park model parks to see if I can find a place I like with a park model I can afford so I'll have a home base part of the year.

I’ll leave you with a sunset from our site here at Quartzsite, they have just been gorgeous:


Close-up of one section so you can see the beautiful colors:



Thank you for using our Links or Amazon.com Search Box to order your online purchases this year!  (Remember to BEGIN your search with our Links.)  Katie and I sure do appreciate it!  :)

Merry Christmas to you all, and thank you for following along with me and Katie and leaving comments! 

PS – I’ve heard so much about the new OpenLiveWriter lately, I decided to try it.  And I LIKE it!  I think I’ll use it from now on.  Rolling on the floor laughing  Thank for all your posts about it. (Hope they get Spellcheck working soon.)

29 comments:

  1. Hi Barbara. We met at City of Rocks 3 yrs ago. My husband died in Oct, & I'm spending the winter in Quartzsite. Wud love to meet up again while we're both here.

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    1. Hi Glenda - I "followed" your blog - tried to send you an e-mail from your e-mail link, but it doesn't work. :( Sure, would love to meet up - where are you?

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    2. ... Yes, I remember you guys and your pets! So sorry to hear about your husband. I hope you are doing okay - we'll talk when we meet.

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  2. I just copy my blog from OLW into word for spell check and then copy it back into OLW, at least until they get spell checker to work in OLW

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    1. I sent this post from OLW as a draft to Blogger and spell checked it there. Then published. I'll try your way next post. That sounds easy and I like Word. Thanks! :)

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  3. Nice to hear from you again,
    The healthy eating and walking works for us too lost 50 lbs, in a year. Cholesterol way down, and feel so much better. Bet you do too.
    Just left Quartzsite ltva after 2 weeks, 2 weeks at Pilot Knob resort, Hot Springs the back to Q again.
    Enjoy your travels.

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  4. Merry Christmas Barbara and Katie. I love hearing about good doctor reports. Will you be at blogger fest this year? That is the only time we'll be at Q this year and I'd love to see you.

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  5. Merry Christmas Barbara and Katie. I love hearing about good doctor reports. Will you be at blogger fest this year? That is the only time we'll be at Q this year and I'd love to see you.

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    1. Hi Sandie - not sure if I will be there or not. I responded "Maybe." But I'll try. I would love to see everyone again, especially you and Jim! :)

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  6. Your photos of the coast always remind me of the years I lived in Carlsbad. I have bicycled many miles up and down that coast highway. Great job on the cholesterol decrease. Care to say what diet changes you made? Merry Christmas

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    1. I used to commute down the 5, but on the way home from work, if the traffic was bad, I'd drive over to the coast and head home that way. Talk about a stress buster! I loved that route, especially when the pelicans were flying overhead. I'll do a post about how I changed my diet. Thanks for asking. :)

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  7. Merry Christmas to you and little Katie! Glad to hear from you and what you've been up to this last month or so.

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  8. How nice to find a post from you this morning! Congratulations on your great cholesterol levels--were you on a specific plan or did you "just" change your eating habits? Your new outlets sound so convenient--sometimes it's the little things that mean a lot.

    We can relate to your return to a campsite from the past--we did the same thing when we arrived here in Q. Went to LaPosa South, dumped & took on water then went across the road to Tyson Wash & happily found our site from last year unoccupied! We're all settled in & just about to put out the hummingbird feeder--one came to the door yesterday. Don't know if they'll be able to fly in this wind though!

    There are very few people here compared to last year. But we're almost 3 weeks earlier too.

    Merry Christmas to you & Katie. Have a wonderful day!

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  9. Good to hear from you! Also good to hear all is going well at The Palms. (Tell Brian I want him to do the same work for me next year). I just downloaded Live Writer the other day and will give it a go next time I post.

    Merry Xmas to you and sweet Katie!

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  10. My three pups want me to tell you that they want to wish Katy a very merry Christmas. And of course that includes you, too.

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  11. Merry Christmas to you and Katie.... I sure do miss your post so glad to see this one I have some news my cell I'm going to try and make a blog post I haven't done one for a long time and now the live writer going on maybe I will try the new one and see how I do

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  12. Barbara, you have a 12v Sirius radio? How did you do that? Mine is 110. oOr are you talking about the type that hooks into your truck radio?

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    1. Hi Evie, I have both a 110 (which I plugged into a 200W inverter that plugs into my house 12V - it's in a cupboard by the foot of my bed. But my newer Sirius radio is a car dash radio. I put the antenna on the roof of the motor home truck, as instructed, which gives me better reception than the little indoor antenna that came with the other one. And it plugs right into my 12V outlet. Also, it will stand alone and has the push buttons, so easier to change stations when I'm listening in bed. I just cancelled the older plan I had (Sirius) and kept my newer plan (XM) that has more stations. :)

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  13. Merry Christmas and thank you for sharing your blog.

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  14. It's good to catch up with you and Katie. Glad things have been going well. I am looking forward to hearing and seeing more in 2016.

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  15. Hi, I've been reading your blog for quite a while but haven't commented before. I went back and read your story from the beginning. I like your writing style a lot!! Your blog has been very entertaining and helpful to me as I am preparing for my own retirement in a couple of months. I'll be hitting the road with my little dog in my 27' Minnie. I hope to run into you down the road someday. Happy holidays. Wishing you all the best in 2016.

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  16. Hope you and Katie had a good Christmas! Plan to catch up with you in Quartzsite.

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  17. Thank you for the update Barbara. I really enjoyed reading about the Hot Springs, our favorite spot down south. Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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  18. Happy New Year from one of your silent readers. Love reading about your travels. Thank you so much for sharing. -- Anne P

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  19. Merry Christmas to you and Katie!!
    My plan is to get off meds ,hopefully, this year by eating healthier. Fingers crossed. Everyone here at the campground bakes cookies...they jump up right into my mouth. awful!!! lol

    Here's to an adventurous and Happy New Year!!! Sheila and the kids. xx

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    Click here and discover if you're eligble now!

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