Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last day of 2011 - and what a year it's been!

It has been just beautiful here!  Thursday I re-organized my camp, put things in order and actually sat outside and read my book.  I don't do that often, the weather has to be just right, and it was!
Denise is back in town, and came by for a visit. At the same time my neighbor, Don, walked his dog over to our site and the three of us sat down and chatted for a while as our dogs played, and played and played.  Don's dog, Duffy, is a real cutie with lots of energy - he LOVES to run!  Katie and Duffy get along well, and Bennie fit right in.  The two boys had a contest, marking everything in site.  They were so funny!   Here are some photos of that visit:

 Benny, Duffy and Denise.  Bennie is checking out the hole Duffy dug in the dusty dirt while Duffy looks on with concern.  :)

 Katie watching Duffy dig.  Katie pretty much stayed out of the way. (Good girl!)

Duffy resting after digging the hole.  He's a pretty happy pup.

 I do NOT need a bath, DAD!

 Getting to know each other.

 NO, you can't sit in the dust bath!

 Checking out Duffy's good work.

The dogs had such fun, and it was really fun watching their shenanigans.

Yesterday late morning I headed off to La Posa South to dump my tanks.  While I was there, I stopped by the encampment of Denise, Sandi & Jim and Jeri & Terry.  They are the first of their group to arrive at Quartzsite, and they are expecting 18 to 20 other rigs from their group to arrive soon.  I had met Denise before, but just met the others yesterday.  What a nice visit we had. 

Denise and Bennie, Jeri, and Sandi and Skittlez

They parked right next to a wash that has a large open area in front of it with no rigs immediately near them.  They will have a great area for all the friends they are expecting to arrive soon.  I'm sure I'll be visiting again.  Thank you for the warm welcome, Sandie and Jeri, I'm so glad I finally met you!!!

While I was there, Denise gave me a tour of her large Class A toy hauler, in which she carries her Harley.  What a beautiful rig!  The bike's area is pretty large, and could also be used for an office if Denise needed one, and everything was new and perfect, with a really large living area.  It was so comfortable, and I have to admit, my favorite room was the bedroom, which is actually a separate room, very pretty and cozy and comfortable.  If I ever have a Class A, I want a bedroom like that.  Thanks for the tour, Denise!  Love your home!

Katie is getting much more socialized, she likes Duffy and Bennie, and did well with Sandi and Jim's two pups, Scooter and Skittlez, too.  But she was pretty leery of Jeri and Terry's Roxie, who is a large older female Doberman, a very sweet dog, who seemed kind of hurt that Katie didn't want anything to do with her.  So far she seems to do okay with the smaller dogs, but the larger ones, like Roxie, Dumbledorf and the two Greyhounds, Val and Fleur - she definitely has some fear when they get close to her, and she growls and barks at them.  I'm hoping that in time she will become friendlier with the big dogs.

Our gorgeous sunset Thursday evening:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A day for errands

WELCOME to our new Follower, Debra!   Debra says in her profile that she wants to "one day make a mobile living as a Writer, Photo Artist and Public Speaker," the mobile part would be in a motor home.  She's got some work to do first, but if successful, will be on the road on a couple of years.  Good luck, Debra, believe me, it's well worth the hard work to be able to live like this, whether you're working on the road or not.

Today was the day I needed to get some things done.  We were good with our tanks and fresh water, so didn't need to take care of that chore, but I needed to get other things out of the way, especially returning a library book that was due today.  So, after getting dressed this morning, Katie and I went into town to get a few things done.

First the library, I returned the book that was due today, and checked out three new ones:  James Patterson - Don't Blink, Danielle Steel - Happy Birthday, and Fern Michaels - Home Free.

Then, armed with new books, we stopped at the Laundromat/ Showers/Cafe.  I had all my laundry ready to go and my bedding stripped, so I loaded up three washing machines, and then went next door and ordered a cheese burger, coffee and coleslaw.  They have great burgers at this place; they grill the buns, so they're a little crispy inside.  I started on Home Free while I ate.

Then through the connecting back door into the laundromat to put the wet things into two dryers, and wait.  I love doing laundry with The Palms in the parking lot.  I went into the rig and got hangers, and went back and waited for the loads to dry while I continued reading.  When they were done, I folded some things, hung the rest, and carried it all back to The Palms where I hung the things on hangers, put away the folded clothes and towels, put the clean duvet on the down comforter and put the sheet and pillow cases on the bed.  Threw on the comforter, tucked it in and laid the quilt over it all.  Done!

Then we stopped at the Dollar Store for a few things, and headed down the highway to top off our propane tank.

Next we drove down one of the main streets where all the vendors are.  Katie and I walked around looking at things, asking questions, and ended up in a pet shop.  I bought a front carrier, like a backpack but the pack is in front, to carry Katie in.  We tried it on and the seller adjusted the straps across my back, and I walked around in their tent for a while to see if Katie would stay and if I could carry her weight.  It was pretty comfortable, and although Katie never SAT DOWN, she seemed okay with it.  I wanted something I could use to bring her with me if I had to carry her, and this works great. 

I was looking for one of those visor hats that has the fake hair on the crown, but couldn't find anyone on that side of the highway that has them.  Some sellers are coming in January that have them, but they are not here now.  Finally one woman told me to go across the highway, and directed me to a certain vendor.  I drove over there, and I think I found the only person selling these visors so far.  My neighbor, Hazel, has one, and I love it on her (she looks good in hats, though).  The one I bought is a visor with Velcro around the inside, and it comes with three colors of hair, a blond/white (a little too blond for my hair, but I can still use it), one that's grey/white (better for me) and a brown - who knows, I might wear that one, too!  I was pretty happy to have found one, finally.

Then we drove back over the freeway to the Post Office, which has fresh fruits and vegetables across the road, and I got some apples and oranges.  I just finished one of the oranges, and it was perfect, juicy and sweet.  I only bought two, I may go back and get a few more.

When we got home I was really tired, and Katie, too.  I'll tell you, it doesn't take much to tire us out these days!  So, after a walk in the campground, we were done for the day.

Today was warm and calm all day long - just another day in Paradise.

Did you notice the difference in my header?  I made that one up when I transferred my blog posts to WordPress.  I needed a different size for the WordPress header, and I think it looks better in Blogger, too.  I just backed up the blog into WordPress again today to keep it current, just in case... 

In fact, Blogger wouldn't let me change the header, said I had already used up all my photo space and I'd have to join Google+ to get more space.  ????   So I joined Google+.  Then I was able to switch out the header photo.  Talk about bribing you to get their membership up!!!  I guess I shouldn't complain since it's free, but that's why I like a backup in place, I just don't completely trust Google.

I didn't get any photos today, and don't have any good ones left over from the last few days.  I'll try to get a photo of Katie in the frontpack, and another of my new hairy visor and post them next time.

From Me and My Dog, have a great Tuesday evening, everyone!  :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

And a Merry Christmas to all!

Katie and I had a great Christmas, starting with Skyping our families in Vacaville and San Diego.  We were able to see Lauren and Drew and Kristy and Matt, all in their new Christmas jammies, and all the special toys that Santa brought everyone.  Then we Skyped with Kennedy, Gavin and Graydin and Tom and Trish, and saw all the special gifts Santa brought them.  I love this Skype thing!  After hanging up, I had this wonderful feeling that I was there participating, and hadn't missed too much by spending my Christmas in the middle of the Arizona desert.  You can say what you want about technology - I love it.

 Merry Christmas from Katie to all the other furkids!

Then I  met up with my fellow Quartzsite Dingbats and we loaded into a Jeep, a truck and an SUV and headed over to Sweet Darlene's for a full Christmas dinner.  There was a buffet of special breads and salads to start, the main course with ham or turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, yams, gravy, and fresh carrots topped off with a slice of apple pie with whipped cream, and a drink of your choice.  It was a great dinner, and the cost was $9.95, 50 cents extra for my coffee.  I have enough food left over for a few more meals, and it was all really good.  I wish I brought my camera to dinner, but I didn't even think about it.

When I got back to The Palms, I actually took a nap for about two hours!  I've never done that before on a holiday, but I was so sleepy after that nice meal, and a nap felt good.

Then Katie and I woke up and walked around the campground with the camera trying to get some good Christmas sunset shots.  The sky was beautiful, but not really any clouds to make it interesting.   Still, a very pretty, peaceful, calm Christmas evening.

Our Christmas evening walk at sunset

 Merry First Christmas!

When we got back from our walk my neighbor, Hazel, came over for a visit.  She has been sick for a while with the flu or bronchitis or something that has really had her down.  Hazel is the one with the Great Danes, and they haven't been out and about much, but she did come to the Christmas dinner this afternoon.  Anyway, we had a nice chat, and hopefully she is on the mend and will be back to normal soon.

After getting The Palms all buttoned up for the night and Katie settled, I went over to the campfire to get some Christmas Campfire shots.  Three of the men were there, Bob, Don and Ron.   Ron had his laptop there, and was showing a slide show of past years at Quartzsite with the Dingbats.  The group changes from year to year, and he had photos of people who are here this year, who are coming after Christmas, and some who aren't going to make it in 2011. 

 Our Christmas sunset

There was a sliver of a moon setting and I tried to get a photo of it.  After lots of tries, I got one that was pretty good, and one I liked that wasn't steady, but interesting.

 Christmas Moon in Quartzsite

This is what happens when you don't have a tripod, but I kind of liked it:

And that was our Christmas for 2011, our first one full timing in The Palms.  Katie and I are both tired, and ready to call it a night, but I wanted to have a post for today to mark our First Quartzsite Christmas.

Bob, Don and Ron around the campfire

 Good night, Palms

From Me and Katie, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my Blogging friends and followers.  I hope you will all be with the people you love tomorrow.  Or, if not, that you are happy spending the day as you wish.

I have my Christmas songs playing on my computer as I type this.  Elvis, Johnny Mathis, Neil Diamond, The Beach Boys, all the good oldies, and a few newer artists.

What would we do without our computers?  I use mine to listen to my music, I listen to Sirius XM on-line, play some of my audio books, watch TV shows and movies, surf the web to look things up, stay current with the news, play games.  About the only thing I don't use it for is to read books, although I could.  I find my Kindle easier to read.  I have a library card from the Quartzsite library, and have checked out a few books.  They allow visitors to have free library cards with just a photo ID, which I think is very good public relations on their part.

The group here is going into Quartzsite for Christmas dinner.   It's nice to be with people who are social - seeing people sitting outside in the afternoon, or around a campfire in the evening, is nice.  I don't always join them, but it 's nice to know they are there.  And it's nice that I can join them if I want.

All my Christmas things were sold in the estate sale, but I saved this Christmas Angel that my son's family gave me one year.  She is so cute, and so small I can store her easily.  She is hanging over my couch.

I love her long legs and big feet!

When I've been in town I looked for a small tree to put on my dinette table.  I want something around a foot high, and different looking.  Something pretty and colorful, but I couldn't find anything I liked.  I want something I can save from year to year.  I think I'll keep looking, and check out the occasional Christmas Store that is open all year that I see from time to time.

Things have been very quiet around the campground lately.  I went for a ride with Delores the other day.  She was heading out to get some ice cream at an old fashioned ice cream place in Vicksburg (I think), and  we ended up having lunch and then hot fudge sundaes for dessert. Wow, they were great! We then drove on to Bouse where there are boondocking areas then back to Quartzsite.

My generator is still not working right.  I took The Palms back to Bob's Generator Thursday and he tested it again.  My microwave started clicking again Wednesday night.  He tested everything, and occasionally the volts would show higher than they should.  He's convinced it's a generator issue, but for the most part it works perfectly when I'm there.

He had me go up to the hardware store and get a simple plug-in volt meter to keep plugged into one of my electrical plugs.  He said to monitor it when the generator is on.  I've tripped the breaker for the microwave and only turn the breaker on when I want to use it.  The volt meter did spike once, and I turned the generator off.

Bob spent some time on and off on Thursday morning checking it with his meters, adjusting the generator settings.  It was windy and cold out, and his wife, Colleen, came by to see if he wanted a hot chocolate, and she brought me a big one, too, with whipped cream on top.  That was so sweet of her.  It really hit the spot on a day like that.  They are gone for Christmas and he will only have one day in the shop next week, then will be gone again until after New Years, so I'm hoping everything will be good until he gets back.

  Katie this morning, "I'm not ready to get up yet."

There is definitely something wrong, but I can live with it for now, since I have solar for power and heat that doesn't need power.  I can start the engine to charge the batteries if I need to.  The weather outlook is pretty much full sun for the next week.  I'm hoping Bob can get to the bottom of the problem.  He is the expert here, and I don't think I'll find anyone more knowledgeable about generators.

I was telling a couple of volunteers here about my generator issues, and asked them about the place I originally had an appointment with - the place I had a bad feeling about.  They said they have heard nothing but horror stories about that place, and they would NEVER recommend them.  Thank goodness I listened to my gut feelings.  They bring their rigs to the shop that Bob works out of, and feel they are the best in town, so I lucked out going there.

 Our pretty Quartzsite sunsets.

Although I don't want clouds because they impact my solar efficiency, they sure do give us beautiful colors in our sunsets.  The last couple of evenings have been completely clear, so we've had pretty pink skies, but nothing dramatic.

I don't want to jinx myself, but we have a good buyer for my condo.  If you were reading my blog last June, you'll remember I'm doing a short sale, and the mortgage company has to accept the offer and terms for the sale to go through. We've had two offers that were rejected.  This one was a full price offer, with the seller to pay some of the fees, and the mortgage company refuses to pay the fees, so the buyer came back with a lower offer and no fees paid by the seller.  It works out the same for the buyer, and the mortgage company will actually net more than they require, so I'm hoping to hear soon that it's a go.  If not, we also have a back-up all cash offer standing by with the cash-out net required, so it looks like the condo sale will be happening.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  That will be a great Christmas present!   :)))))))

Have a wonderful Christmas tomorrow - I hope Santa brings you everything you asked for!

From Me and Katie, happy Saturday, everyone!  :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We're back in business again

WELCOME to our new follower, Carrie!  She doesn't show a blog, but she is interested in camping and critters.  Carrie and her husband have a Sportsmobile campervan, and she loves vintage trailers, Class Cs and small bus conversions.  Carrie is also a foster mom to rescued critters, and has four small dogs and three cats.  Welcome aboard, Carrie!  Katie and I are happy to have you along on our adventures. :)

I've had some questions about my camera, and I thought rather than listing the info, I'd just put a link to a previous blog post that has the kind of camera, a photo of it, and some pictures that I took that first day I got it.  Remember the pics with the black and white and only the red color showed?  Those were fun, I haven't done that for a while.  So, for the followers who have asked about my camera, please click on this link, and it will take you to that post.

Me and My Dog's fabulous new camera

There is a "search" option along the right side of my blog, it's the last gadget.  If you are ever looking for something in Me and My Dog, just type in what you're looking for, and it will bring up any posts that contain that word.  I've used it many times to find things.  Blogging is really fun, and the interaction with all of you is a large part of what I like about blogging.  But another important part for me, and I'm sure for most of you, too, is that Me and My Dog is a travel journal for me.  I post about where I've been, where we've stayed the night, parks we've paid for, things I've bought and where, services and repairs for The Palms and usually the price, stuff like that.  I keep a spreadsheet of all my monthly bills and living expenses, gas mileage, stuff like that in Excel, but this blog has more information and photos.  I have the blog backed up, and also backed up on Word Press, so hopefully it will never be accidentally deleted.

When it's cold in The Palms in the morning, Katie isn't inclined to get out of bed.  We have a down comforter and a small quilt that just covers the bed:

Staying warm

I noticed this dove in the yard yesterday - it has what looks like a growth just above it's beak.  I wonder if that is something normal, or if it is a growth that shouldn't be there.  It looks kind of odd, poor thing.

Yesterday Katie and I went for a walk, and she walked with her ball in her mouth for a while, on and off.  Here she is, waiting for me to open the door to The Palms - she always gets a treat after her walk.

Katie often lifts her right leg when she is sitting or standing.  Her right leg goes up, and her left ear is down.  Maybe it keeps her balanced?

We walked by the fire pit during our walk, and took some photos of the area, and then a bunch of sunset shots.

 Don and Ken at the campfire site

Don at the campfire a bit later with sunset

We had a gorgeous sunset last night, it was hard to pick which photo to put on the blog.  The full sunset is shown behind Don, but a closeup of the gorgeous colors is below.

Quartzsite sunset

I had a call around 3:00 from Bob (Bob's Generator) this afternoon that my voltage regulator came in from Phoenix, and if I wanted to come down he'd install it and test the electric in The Palms.  So I secured the rig and went down, and it seems that was the problem.  Everything is working great now, and the total charge for his labor was very fair.  I was expecting it to be more, and it's always nice when you're charged less than you expect.  :)   So now we're back in business, and all systems are GO!

From Me and My Dog, have a great Tuesday evening, everyone!  :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

More repairs for The Palms? :(

WELCOME to our new Follower, morningmuse!  Kathi's blog is about miniatures, and she loves the beach.  As she says in her blog, "I began my adventure in miniatures in 2009 when I found my first dollhouse at a garage sale."   I think most women can relate to that.  Some of those doll houses are fascinating.  Welcome, Kathi - Katie and I are happy you are following along with us!

New followers, Elaine and Rick, whom I welcomed in the last post, do have a blog, Elaine left the link in a comment.  Just click on their names for the link to their blog.  Thanks Elaine - I hope you make your departure date of the 27th.  Sounds like things are pretty busy at your house; I hope everyone is well by then.

I haven't posted for a few days, just wanted to check in and let you know all is well with me and Katie.  Not so much for The Palms.

Last night we blew a GFI switch in the bathroom, and on another circuit the microwave was clicking like a car engine who's battery needs a charge.  So we're going back to Bob's Generator at 9:30 this morning to have him check it out and see if he can find the problem and fix it.  My son, Tom, thought it might all be connected, the auto transfer switch, the GFI and the microwave - maybe there's an electrical problem down the line that's affecting them all.  We'll see.

I'll post later with the results and other recent happenings and photos.

From Me and Katie - see you soon. :)


Sorry, I was writing this update when I looked out the window and saw the Dingbats around the bonfire and I decided to join them.  Now it's after 9:00 pm and I'd better get this proofed and published!   

Okay, after spending all morning and a bit more at Bob's Generator, I think he isolated the problem.  He checked out the GFI and replaced it with a new one.  Here's the back of the old one - there was a loud pop last night, and I think this was the result of that popping:

This is the back of the GFI that finally burned out. See the bubble - it was HOT to do that.

Bob checked all the electrical lines in the kitchen/bath side of the coach, and they all seemed to be working fine.  He said he wanted me to stay there for an hour with the generator running to see if everything was still working after an hour.  Almost as soon as he left the rig, the new GFI started clicking, and he came back in and re-checked the plugs, and there was too much voltage showing on his meter, where before it was fine, and Bob said that told him the problem was the voltage regulator.

He went to the generator and pulled the generator apart a little, taking out the voltage regulator, which was dripping oil.  There was oil on the left side of the generator, where he said there shouldn't be oil. He cleaned that area up, and took off the faceplate of the big metal thing with the pistons that's above the spark plug, and it looked all right.  I went back in the rig, and a bit later he came in as asked if I had recently had a carburetor put in, and I had not. Well, he said, someone recently put a new one in, and connected it wrong.  So he cleaned up the carburetor and re-connected it correctly.  This is a bit rambling, but a lot of what he said was over my head, and I was trying to understand it and remember it without writing it down.

So, now I need a new voltage regulator.  The part is $330, I think he said, plus the new GFI and the labor charges - this is going to be an expensive repair.  Bob will order the part from Phoenix Monday morning, and it should be here on Tuesday. He'll call me when the part comes in, and hopefully it will be fixed Tuesday afternoon.

Wow, I hope this is the end of the repairs for a while.  My emergency fund needs some time to get replenished.

Note to Newbies:  When the experienced full-timers say to make sure you start out with an emergency fund of at least a couple thousand dollars, HEED THE WARNING!  They aren't kidding.  Really.  I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have a repair fund.  I guess it could have gone on credit cards, but I'm trying to get them paid off, not built up.  And there are some things you HAVE to fix.

Change of subject:

I heard a lot of wood chopping Thursday afternoon, and then again Friday morning.  There was a man chopping wood by our big fire pit, so Katie and I walked over to see what was going on.  His name is Brian, and he got here Thursday.  He's a Dingbat, but is staying in a local motel.  He said it was just easier to do that than haul his trailer all the way here from Oregon and back for a week's stay.  He has been saving wood all year, some from construction site extras and some from trees that had fallen.  He had the trees all cut up into rounds, and now he's splitting it.  What a job!

We have  a lot of wood now for our bonfires!  Can you see the dining room chair there?  I asked him what that was for, and he said every year they had someone, I think he said King or Queen, I forget, but anyway, they get to sit in the chair at the bonfires, and the last night, the chair goes into the fire.  

Brian, our woodsman

For any of my readers who are Dingbats, or knew them in past years, here's who is camped here so far:
Delores, Carol, Hazel, Carrie, Ron, Don, Mike, Brian who just left, and me.  I think that's everyone so far.  I don't know if more are coming, but they have talked about some past Dingbats who are no longer with us, or aren't coming this year.  It sounds like there used to be quite a crowd.

This was the moon yesterday, setting finally in the late morning in the western sky.

I'm hoping for a lot of sun the next couple of days, at least until I get my generator working.  Thank goodness for solar panels and catalytic heaters!  It appears I had those installed just in the nick of time!  I'll be much more comfortable without my generator for the next few days with those aboard, that's for sure!

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Generator finally works! Boondocking rainbow photo :)

WELCOME to our new Follower, Mello Mike!  First of all, Mike, thank you for your service to our Country, we appreciate your 24 years of service in the U.S. Navy. It's because of people like you that we are all safe and free and able to enjoy our travels in our RVs.  Mike is very involved in RV activities, restores Airstream travel trailers, and he has many other interests. Check out his blog which has links to his other two blogs.  He also has a lot of information about boondocking in the tabs at the top of his posts.  Thanks for joining Me and My Dog, Mike, we are very happy to have you along on our adventures!  :)

Some other new Followers just showed up at the end of the list, again. Welcome to scott brawner, gerry47_, Woofs n Paws, and Elaine and Rick Cochrane.  I'm sorry if you've been a follower for a while and I missed you - that just happens sometimes. These four followers don't show any photos or information, so I can't add anything else, but Katie and I appreciate you all following along with us - Welcome aboard!

It never seems like much is happening until I wait a few days to post and see all the photos I've saved to my "blog" folder.  Then I have to write a longer post around all the photos. Sorry about that - I just can't seem to write a short post.

I have to show you this photo first - it exemplifies what boondocking means to me.

The Palms and The Rainbow
Boondocking - this photo just about says it all - beautiful.

(I have to admit I did a really poor job of cutting and pasting out the rigs nearby - don't click on this photo unless you want to see the bad editing.  I don't usually do this, but I wanted to be alone in the desert.)

Next some Katie photos.  The first one is poor Katie, not getting enough attention from me (how in the world does that happen when we're together all day?), so she jumped up next to me, and laid her head down on my sweatshirt hood and fell asleep.  Talk about making me feel bad! :(

 Poor unloved Katie.

Katie likes to play ball with a small tennis ball, but she doesn't usually play with her toys.  Yesterday she was acting playful so I took out her squeaky toy, and she played with it for a while, tossing it in the air, chewing on it, etc.

 Katie and her squeaky toy.

This is a pose I see a lot - when I'm talking to her she cocks her head and looks right at me like she's trying to understand.

What?  Oh, okay, I get it.

My generator has been giving me problems, and finally I went in to have it repaired.  It was turning on right away and sounded fine, but it wasn't doing anything - no battery charging, no electrical outlet function.  I had an appointment with an RV place here in Quartzsite, but they didn't want to talk to me, just make an appointment, so I did.

Then yesterday I went in to make sure I had the breaker on the generator facing the right way. Honestly, it was hard to get anyone to just look at it and answer that one question.  Finally the guy behind the service counter went out and looked.  He knew I had an appointment this morning for "service," but no one asked me what I needed to have done.  He quoted me around $200, I'm not sure exactly what that covered, and when he saw the generator, he said, Oh Yea, this is going to cost you at least $300.  We'll have to take the generator out to work on it. I didn't like that, especially when they didn't know what was wrong with it.  He couldn't tell me what they would charge me to change the oil and filter in the generator, either, which I thought was strange.  All I wanted was a ballpark number.

My generator

So I cancelled that appointment and called another place that was recommended, and went in this morning to Bob's Generators.  He works out of this business, Quality RV which is right in town.

Qualilty RV, Quartzsite, AZ

Here's Bob, diagnosing the problem

Here's Bob, fixing the problem.

Bob's Generator
Bob Dummer
(888) 426-2743

Bob looked at it, diagnosed a bad automatic transfer switch, changed it out (without taking out the generator!), changed my oil and filter, and I was on my way, everything working just fine. Thank goodness! And thank you, Bob!

My new Switch

This is the same switch that Ron at the solar place installed for the solar transfer switch, and I know he uses good materials, so I was happy to see that Bob used the same one.

I shouldn't have needed a new filter, but I kept adding oil, and it was draining over into the filter, which was dripping. I was totally overfilling it.  Not good.  So he changed that out, too, and explained to me exactly when and how and how much oil to add.

I asked him about all the maintenance targets that are in my Owner's Manual, and he had good answers for all of the hours/dates listed.  He said changing the oil and spark plugs on schedule are the only ones I need to worry about. With  my generator, some of the scheduled maintenance issues in the manual aren't necessary or applicable, so I should be good for a while.  I highly recommend Bob - he knew right away what was needed, had the new part available, knew all about my generator and how it worked, understood how the transfer switch worked and changed it out with no problem.  He was very nice to work with.

He also said 95 percent of RV owners never read their maintenance schedules in the Owners Manual, so I was an unusual customer asking his opinion and double checking on when I should have maintenance done.  I'll bet all of you read your manuals, right?  My son used to say I was a "nightmare customer," because I read everything, ask questions, want to see how things are done, etc.

Yesterday and today I also went to a local LED light business, which I also highly recommend.

RV Special Things
Len & Chris Bunts
(800) 524-8892
Cell:  (480) 220-3688 

His prices were lower than the on-line lights I ordered (and unfortunately couldn't cancel in time to stop the shipment). Nice man, knows his business, and now I have pretty much all LEDs in The Palms.  The 4 that I ordered on line will complete my "warm white" lighting, which is FAR nicer and brighter than the cooler, smaller LEDs I got at first. I was glad I only got four of those, I'll keep them as spares.

When we got back to our site, after having our door open while Bob was doing his work for a couple of hours, The Palms was so cold, Katie must have been feeling the chill.  As soon as I got everything set up, I turned on the catalytic heater, and this is the first time she sat in front of it to get warm.  She has her little sweater on, too.

Mom, this is wonderful!

And finally, some nature shots:

It rained yesterday (and today). I drove into Blythe yesterday to check K-Mart for a printer cable, and when I got back it was raining and I saw smoke coming from the fire pit. I walked over to see if the Dingbats had been enjoying a fire in the rain (which is how they got the name "Dingbats") and there were chairs overturned and no people.  The fire was still smoking.  

 Smoking fire - I think they ran when the rain started pouring down!  :)

Last night's moon was beautiful  when it first came up.
Those are the ends of branches along the bottom.

The moon as it was rising  higher, with a few small clouds.

And that's it for today.  It's always such a relief when everything is working well in The Palms, and now my generator is supplying all the power I need to my batteries and outlets, my printer is finally working again with the new USB cord, and The Palms is nice and bright with LED lights, the warm white ones that make everything feel warmer and brighter.  Life is good again!

It's pouring outside right now - from Me and My Dog, have a great Tuesday evening, everyone!  :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Gavin! ...Eclipse of the moon

WELCOME to our new Follower caterina serra!  There is no information shown, so I can't plug your blog, but if you have a blog, Caterina, please let me know so I can check it out.  Thank you for following along with me and Katie on our full-time adventures!

It looks like we have other new followers because the number is higher, but the follower grid isn't showing me the new people, it seems kind of out of order, too. If you're a new follower and I've missed you, please leave me a comment and let me know.  Thanks!

Yesterday was my grandson, Gavin's, 7th birthday.  The family went to dinner at Fish House Vera Cruz last night, my favorite restaurant, and today he is having a big party at their house.

 Gavin - playing Catcher in baseball game

I called him yesterday afternoon to wish him a Happy Birthday, and he said there will be 13 kids at his party, games, cake and ice cream, and of course, lots of presents.

Gavin at the Padres' baseball game

Have a wonderful time at your party, Gavin!  Seven is a big milestone - the age of reason.  You're definitely a big boy now and Grammy is very proud of you!

It's been quiet around here the last few days.  Hazel and I have gone into town, and into Parker to the Wal-Mart, Carol took me with her to the library and I checked out a couple of mysteries, and I've meet up with the Dingbats (that's what this group has been called for many years) for the social hour, and that's about it.

We had a total lunar eclipse last night, or I guess it was this morning.  I tried to get some photos of it, but it's so hard to hold the camera completely still, and I don't have a tripod.  I got a couple of pretty good photos, though.  I seem to be able to get very clear photos of the moon early in the evening, but not later as it rises.

Full moon last night as it was rising - I've never noticed the bright spots before.
I wonder if they are solar flares. Click on the photo and you'll see the bright spots.

Beginning of the lunar eclipse

I took 57 photos of the moon, and these two are the clearest I could get. I just couldn't get the camera completely still so almost all the pictures were blurry.  It was pretty cold outside (it was 43 degrees in The Palms, so outside it must have been in the 30s), so I went back in and turned on all my heaters and made a hot cup of coffee.  When I went back out, the moon was gone, it must have disappeared behind the mountains.  It was pretty cool to see the moon slowly changing from the beginning to the full eclipse.

Lunar eclipse almost complete.

The photo below is Carol and her Basset Hound, Dumbledore, who wants to get into Delores' rig.  Katie wanted to go in the other day, too.  I think Delores must have good stuff simmering on the stove, because the dogs sure smell something good.
Don't you love the look on Dumbledore's face?  You HAVE to click on the picture to really see it.  He's clearly begging his mom - Please, can't I go in??? Carol is explaining that, No, he can't go in.  We've got some great dogs here.

Dumbledore and Carol

Here's another tree the birds love -
I counted 24 birds, but there might be more.

These two are sunrises yesterday - the colors were beautiful:

Sunrise Friday

We have the most beautiful sunsets here!

The weather the last couple of days has been beautiful, very warm and calm.  No wind!  Still really cold at night, but the days have been great.  More and more rigs are coming in. Most of the spaces along the wash where I'm parked are taken, and more rigs are coming in every day. Still lots of room, though.

And that's about it.  Nice and quiet and relaxing - just like retirement should be!

From Me and My Dog, have a great weekend, everyone!  :)