Sunday, April 29, 2012

Free Kindle book - How NOT to RV

Just a quick post today.

I mentioned in a previous post that I get a daily e-mail from Amazon for free Kindle books.  I have almost the limit on my Kindle again, so I'm very careful now which books I download. Until I delete more, I don't have much room for new books.  But when I saw this book this morning, I had to get it.  I haven't read it yet, and don't know how long it will be free, so I thought I'd let you know, if you have a Kindle, it's available free at  The reviews are good, it sounds like a good, fun read, and the price is right.

By: Jennifer Flower (Bumpity Bump Publishing)
4.6 Out of 5 Stars(24)

It's a beautiful Sunday morning - I don't know what it is about this RV park, but I'm waking early, ready to get up and make that coffee.  I must be getting a better sleep?  Even Katie is getting up early most mornings. 

I have a long list and will be driving to the closest Walmart this morning to replenish food and paper products.  It's only about 14 miles away - I overheard some people in the office talking about going to the Walmart, and asked the volunteer. I was surprised there's a Walmart in this area.  Nice!

The scab finally fell off Katie's nose.  I'm taking her to the Vet next week for her Rabies and annual shots, and will see if there's something I can put on her nose when it's hot and dry to stop that from happening again.

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

Friday, April 27, 2012

Good News! and a visit with another full-timer

The good news is, my condo recorded today!   It kept being put off for one reason or another, and was set to record on Monday, but they funded the buyers' loan today and had a special recording, so it's done.  I used to work (in  one of my many jobs) as a loan coordinator, and also as a real estate agent, and I don't remember ever hearing that phrase, special recording.  But I have to say, it sure was a special recording to me!!  :)

I had a meet-up with one of our fellow full-timers, Lloyd, this morning.  What an interesting man!  He's really easy to have a conversation with, which seems to be the norm for RVers.  We drove to a local Starbucks and talked for a while, then back to The Palms where we sat outside in the sun and continued our conversation.  Thanks, Lloyd, for coming over and visiting.  I really enjoyed meeting you!

That's about all the news or information for today.  My son, Tom, sent me an e-mail with the latest two cars he's restored, and if you are interested in cars, here are the photos.  I always enjoy seeing his restored cars and houses, they are usually junkers when he buys them, and jewels when he sells them.  He is not selling these cars, at least not now.  He likes to keep them for a while and drive them.  Might as well enjoy them after all the work to get them so pretty!

The first one is a1968 Rally Sport Camaro.  He has much of the original paperwork as well as ownership history back to the original owner.  Tom found some 8 track tapes to play in the restored 8 track AM/FM radio. The tires are original bias ply (non radials) from the 1960's. He found a guy who had a small inventory of these original Red Line Firestones. 

Here's the other one.   Tom said it's the rarest and most valuable car he's restored. It has all of the original factory paperwork as well as all of the original CA registrations since 1970 when it was first sold (it has the blue CA license plates). It has been seen recently driving down the Coast Highway with two small boys in the back seat enjoying the view from their car seats!  (My two grandsons, Graydin and Gavin.  Gavin is a real car guy at 7 years old, and knows all Dad's cars.) 

Today was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the breeze very light, and it was warm, not hot!   It would be nice if every day was like this, except for an occasional storm.  Plus my condo sale is done and I had some good company.  What more could I want?

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

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Backing up your blog and FREE Word Press Guide Kindle book

Thank you for your comments - thinking my blog was gone was pretty stressful.  Not only is this a blog that I enjoy writing and hopefully you enjoy reading, it's my travel journal with all the facts and photos of my RVing experience. I often use the blog to find things by using the "search" gadget on the right sidebar, so it's a good resource for information I need, too.

It would have been nice to get a message from Blogger when I logged in stating they were transferring accounts over to the new format, "Please come back later when the transfers are complete.  Your blog will be up and running in a few hours."  Or something like that. (I had already moved my blog back to the new format.)  Instead of:

My first thought was, "My Blog has been REMOVED!!!  OMG - what did I do?"

I do back-up my blog from time to time on Blogger, and I have also opened a Word Press account and transferred all my posts, comments and followers to that blog so if I ever do want to switch, some of the work will be done. It doesn't take long to set up a Word Press account.

I've had comments and e-mails asking me about backing up the blog.  Rather than re-create the wheel, please check Rick's blog post, Back To Normal And How To Backup Your Blog, from June 5, 2010.  Quoting Rick, "If you are a Live Writer user, then your blog posts are saved automatically on your HD."  That's  nice - I don't use Live Writer, except for a few times when Blogger was giving me fits, but that's actually a good reason to use Live Writer.

As much as I, and some of you, complain about Blogger, I have to admit I like using their program. I find it easy to use for the most part, and the fact that it's free - well, what can I say, IT'S FREE. We all use it every day, either posting or reading others' posts, or both, and seldom is there a problem.  So, although I'm sure I'll complain and rant about Blogger again, I do appreciate having a blogging program that doesn't cost me anything. (Except for the info they are gathering about me, I guess.) I just have to remember to back up on a regular basis.  That way, if it DOES get removed for real, I won't lose much.

If you are thinking about moving your blog over to Word Press, I've done some research.  The best information I've found is at Beautifully Invisible.  This is the information I used.  I opened the Word Press account and moved all my Blogger posts over, but didn't make it "public."  It's my back-up, JIC.  I'm keeping my Blogger account because I like it.  I only opened the Word Press account and moved my posts over as a "ready-to-go" backup just in case.  As I've said before, I don't completely trust Blogger.  Sorry.  But I don't.  I also use Blogger's back-up which is stored on my hard drive, so I feel double insured.

Another resource is Grit and Glamor.  If you scroll down a bit to Moving from Blogger to Word Press, she has a lot of links concerning moving your blog.

UPDATE:  Free Kindle Book 

By: Eric Allyn

I subscribe to Free Kindle Books [] and this one came up today.  I don't know how long it will be free, but if you have a Kindle and are interested in getting a copy, check it out at

My TV came in the mail yesterday, and it's all set up.  I've been listening to the radio a lot since my TV burned up, and now I don't know which to use.  My mom and dad listened to the radio all the time, my mom had her radio soap operas on when she was doing her housework and my dad listened to all the baseball games when he was out working in the yard, so it's kind of like "comfort food" to have the radio on in the background.

There has been a  Montana RV Group here since I arrived, and they are all pulling out now.  That's one row of sites that will be empty.  It was kind of neat walking past them on our walks, all lined up, looking the same.  People were sitting outside, socializing in the late afternoons. Hope they all had a good time.

Here's last night's sunset:

The clouds were coming in!

Today we're covered with clouds and it's raining and the wind is blowing - it's 69 degrees in The Palms.  It hasn't been this cool for a loooong time.  Looks like we might have the storm that was predicted - it's coming from Los Angeles where they had a big storm yesterday with power outages.  Isn't it nice not having to worry about power outages?  If the power goes out, we just carry on.  With our propane, solar panels, batteries and DC power we're little power houses.   :) 

WOW!  Thunder and lightning!!!

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Blog Disappeared.

Ouch!  This is kind of scarey, you know?  I logged on to read blogs, and these are the messages I got.

Blog has been removed

I was able to access my dashboard by using, but when I tried I got the message that my blog has been removed.  I think it's an error and will see if I can get it fixed, but after being booted out of the Adsense program, I've never quite trusted Google and Blogger again. If I can get this posted, at least you will all know we're okay, it's just Me and My Dog that is kaput.  :(

Here goes...

It worked, and now we seem to be up and running again.  I'm going to leave this post here, just in case. (Time to copy the blog over to Word Press again so I won't lose it. :)

Site photos, etc.

WELCOME to our newest follower, Gary!  Gary and his wife and dog have a new 1997 Fleetwood Storm  Model 34S that they purchased in February and named the Sand Castle.   I think they are beach people, which is where they went on their first excursion.  They've made a few mods and seem to be enjoying their new motor home.  Gary is also a pilot, so he's very familiar and comfortable with checklists, which we all use, too.  Check out his blog, it's easy reading, and I enjoyed going back to the beginning.  Thanks for following along with me and Katie, and Welcome Aboard, Gary!  :)

Not really much to report today.   Katie and I are enjoying our stay here at Distant Drums RV Park.  I've taken a few photos of some of the wildlife.  I don't think I'm going to be snapping pics of burros or coyotes here.  Katie and I have been walking a lot more because it's so easy and safe for us to be anywhere in the park.  Of course, there's a lot of interest and entertainment when we have the bigger guys in the area, but for now I'm relaxing and not looking for snakes, burros or coyotes on our walks, and that's nice, too. 

This is our site - each site has either a double patio, a longer one for the rig and a shorter one for the car and patio area, or like mine, a small rock area for the rig to park on and the concrete pad is for the car/patio.  Not having a car, the patio I have is a nice size.

When I came in on Sunday, the park was pretty full, but Monday morning some rigs pulled out, leaving a much more spacious feeling.

 The Palms and an empty site next to us - Monday at dusk.

That large L-shaped concrete pad is the site across from us.  There was a big rig there that pulled out early Monday morning.  As of this morning the three sites across from us were vacant, and we had a very open feeling with no one across from us or on our passenger side.

Each time I've walked down the little road to the laundry/shower/dog park area, this little guy has run from under a rock, across the street, and waited till we passed before moving on.  He's tiny, and very pretty, I think.

 Oriole, Kingbird, or Kingfinch?  I'll try for a closer, clear photo.

Katie with her ball.  I'm re-training her to fetch and return the ball.
She used to love that, but being on the leash for the last year, 
she seems to have forgotten or lost interest in the ball game.

Sunset on Sunday, warm, calm and clear.

Sun in the Western sky with clouds Monday.
The clouds were nice, and we had a nice breeze.  Still pretty warm, though.

The weather is a bit cooler today, but still warm.   The weather forecast is predicting some rain later in the week - that will be a nice change.

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

Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm not going to win the Frugal Boondocker award this month!

Well, once we arrived at this RV park, Distant Drums RV Park in Camp Verde, AZ,  and I looked around and checked out the facilities, I decided I was going to stay longer.  This park gets an A++and I'd highly recommend it if you are in the area.

The Good Sam rate for one night is $30, and a month is $561. That's for a smaller back-in site, I'll post a photo tomorrow of my site.  It's not really small, just smaller than some of the others, and there are some REALLY nice, big RVs here.  The $561 seemed like a bargain - especially in this heat, when the A/C will be going all day.  I felt a little guilty making this decision after just spending a month at Santee Lakes in Jan/Feb, and I have to admit I'm going through boondocking withdrawal, but I'm glad we're here for a month.

 Check-in, office

 Small store with ice, drinks, some RV needs and pet needs.
Also free coffee all day.

It’s a really “posh” place – I think.  They have full hook-ups, free wi-fi and cable TV (I just ordered a 19" TV on-line from Costco which should be here by the end of the week), a library with used books you can take, 

a meeting room and  kitchen I can use if I don’t want to use my RV oven in this heat

a pool and spa,

a small work-out room, 

 a little fenced dog park where I can play ball with Katie, 

and propane on site that I’ll get when I leave.

They even have a community computer for guests, free of charge.  And they pick up any trash bags left out before 8:00 am so you don’t have to walk to the dumpsters!  

After you check in, a volunteer comes by in his golf cart and leads you to your site, then stands there and guides you in until you’re perfectly positioned.  I’ve never had that service before.

They have five private showers.  They are full bathrooms, you go to the office to get the key, and when you’re done you bring the key back and they go clean the bathroom - after each use.  That’s really nice!

 Notice the fancy paper towel?
That's what happens when you forget your towel. :)

They also have a laundry with six washers and dryers.  They are $1.50 each, and don’t accept coins, you pay at the office and they give you a card that goes into the machine when you use it.  I did my laundry this morning, and while the wash was going,  I walked down the hall to the shower, and when I was done the washing machines were just finishing and I put the wet clothes into the dryer.  It worked out nicely.  Everything here is spotless.

Notice the TV, iron and ironing board.

This park doesn't charge extra for electricity or pets; my A/C has been on for two days now, and it hasn't cost me extra.  The Palms is finally cool.

I spent this morning cleaning and vacuuming The Palms, then did the laundry and took my looong shower, and this evening I put out my rugs, chairs, American flag and solar lights, so I'm all set up and ready to relax.  I think the weather forecast says the temps are going to be going down, but if we have some hot days in the next month, I might even try out the pool.   I've heard the hot tub is really nice on cool evenings, too.

The RVers here seem to be upper middle aged to older (like me).  I haven't seen any kids yet, and the whole park is very neat, quiet, and friendly.

I’m really going to enjoy this month, then I'll drive to Indio for my f/u blood tests and then head to New Mexico for the rest of the summer.  I’ll be back in boondocking mode by then, and I'm sure I'll be raring to go.


Saturday was my youngest grandson, Graydin's, birthday.  He is now 3!  I called to wish him a Happy Birthday.  They were having a busy day with his older brother's Little League game, then the family was going out to a place that has pizza and games.  I was there for Kennedy's 9th birthday, and Graydin loved playing the games where you sit in the "car seat" or "motorcycle seat" and drive.  The road is on the screen in front of you and he loved that.  He was turning the steering wheel like a pro.  I'm sure he had a great time on Saturday.

Sunday was my middle grandson, Drew's, birthday.  I called to wish Drew a Happy Birthday and he told me what he got for his birthday presents.   We talked for a bit, then as we were hanging up, he said, “Thanks for calling.”  So cute - he's 7 now.  Such good manners!  

I haven't gotten any photos yet so couldn't put any in this post, but I'm sure they both had great Birthdays!

That's it for now - I hope you all had a nice Monday.  :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wickenburg BLM and Cliff Castle Casino, AZ

WELCOME to our newest follower, Jeannie.  Jeannie and Eldy are traveling full time in a 40 ft. Tiffin Phaeton motor home. She has two blogs, one is her RV blog, Were's Eldo?  (Judy, if you don't follow that blog, you've got to check it out. She has photos of Sand Hill Crane babies, just beautiful.).  Her other blog is Millie's Girls. I only follow RV blogs, but I like crafty things and Millie's Girls will be interesting to follow - for me - because I like digital scrapbooking and it looks like she might cover that.  I haven't checked either blog out much yet but I will.  Jeannie, we're happy to have you traveling along with us as we go down the road - Welcome Aboard!  :)

We stayed in a beautiful site Friday. This Wickenburg BLM is a year-round campground with the usual 14-day limit.  I missed the road the first time I passed it, not sure exactly where the campground was, and when I turned around, I totally didn't see the parking lot from the road going back and had to turn around again.  Once you find it, you won't miss it again.  Here are the directions, in case you're in the area and want a nice place to stay with great hiking and beautiful desert plants all around you. I've added a couple of landmarks to the directions I had.

The road is immediately before the Safeway store (1999 W. Wickenburg Way) traveling north.  Turn right at Vulture Road, right before the Safeway.  Good paved road all the way. Go six (6) miles on Vulture Road.  You'll pass Syndicate Wash and Mile Marker 20.  After the memorial sign for the Fire Chief  on the left, there is a 25 MPH sign.  The road will curve right, and right there on the left (the road is hard to spot) there will be a parking lot for a trail. Turn left into the parking lot, drive through the lot to dirt roads on right and left.  Take either, campsites are along the road, most are pull-through with rock fire rings.  There was a vault toilet, but I didn't see it up close.  I saw some hikers park their vehicles by the toilet when they took off for their hike.

The area is beautiful, probably the prettiest I've seen yet, with lots of cactus and trees.  These are the views out the windows of The Palms:


We were in a very large site, you could fit a long RV with a boat or toad easily in this site, or 3 or 4 smaller RVs.  There was a nice rock fire ring to our right, and behind The Palms was this large campfire pit made from rocks and ashes that looked like they had been wet and formed to make it larger.

Beautiful sunset

The campsites are pretty private - I was a little worried that we were alone except for an RV I could barely see, but when we drove out, there were others there, they were just blocked from view by the gorgeous trees and cactus.   It's a small camping area, I think around 20 sites.  I definitely would have stayed the 14 days, but it was still really hot there, and I wanted to keep driving north.

As were were driving north along the freeway yesterday, there was a large load coming toward us with police cars before and aft with their lights flashing.  I moved over to the right, but the police apparently didn't think I was over enough and made a swerve almost in front of me, forcing me to quickly move further into the shoulder.  Kind of scared me, I was over enough already.  As you can see, the large load wasn't into our lane very much, and I couldn't completely drive in the shoulder, it wasn't wide enough.  But it was an exciting group to see coming at us.

So, we continued on and stopped yesterday afternoon at Camp Verde, AZ.  Cliff Castle Casino has a large parking lot on the street below the casino that is okay to use for one night.  The sign says if you want to stay longer, call the casino, and the number is on the sign.

They have a courtesy van that comes through the parking lot frequently in case you want to go to the casino up the hill.  I thought I might do that and have a meal as a thank you for the overnight parking, but it was too hot to leave Katie. 

There is an RV park across the freeway (recommended on the casino parking lot signs) that looked nice on-line, so I have a reservation for tonight ($30 with Good Sam discount - ouch!), but they have showers and a laundry, and I need both right now, and I need to dump the tanks and get more fresh water and all of that will also be accomplished.  I can see why boondockers occasionally stay at an RV park.  There are things we need to do, and if I can stay every couple of weeks at a park and get them all done, I think that will be a good plan.  Two weeks at BLM, one night at RV park.

When I was at the Quartzsite LTVA area, I didn't understand why boondockers would spend the money at an RV park every week or two, but the LTVA has dumpsters, a dump site and free fresh water, so you have everything you need.  It wasn't until I moved to the BLM 14-day areas with no services that I realized it's a problem getting rid of the garbage bags and taking showers. 

Today is supposed to be the end of the heat spell Arizona has been having, and with the electrical hookup at the RV park, Katie and I will be cooler with the A/C running as long as I want.  I've found if I turn the large vent in the ceiling off, the cool air is disbursed throughout the ceiling vents, and I don't get blasted with cold air.  (Can you tell I haven't used the A/C much until now?)

I'm looking forward to getting the laundry done and taking a long shower.  All you boondockers know what I mean! :)

The plan is to continue driving north tomorrow toward cooler weather.

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

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Goodbye Quartzsite, and miscellaneous photos

We've left Quartzsite.  Thank you all for your concern about us in this heat.  Yesterday late morning I decided we'd better move - it was right after I posted yesterday's blog.  What finally made up my mind was that I was going to take Katie to the local vet, who only takes walk-ins.  She's about due for her shots, and needs a Rabies shot so I can renew her license.  I wanted to ask the vet about her nose, and the way it dries out and turns brown in little spots in this heat, and if there is something I can put on it to protect her nose.  Unfortunately the vet is only open from Monday through Thursday, four hours a day.  After thinking about the temps over the weekend I decided to get to a cooler location and drive north a ways.

By the way, I DO have A/C and I did run it a few times during the day, but unless it was running continuously it didn't do much good.  It cooled the air temps down to the point that I almost needed my sweatshirt, then went right back up when I turned it off.  The breezes coming through the windows did a better job overall.

There are still many RVs there in the different BLM lots, not a LOT, there were maybe a dozen or so where I was, with others coming for a day or two then moving on.  Most people didn't have their generators running much during the day.   I assume the other BLM areas were the same.

So we drove north, and when we got to Wickenburg it seemed cooler here and I knew there were a couple of good places, one BLM in particular,  to park.  I hoped we could stay longer, we have a fantastic site!!, but it's still a bit too hot for us, so we're going to drive north a little more until we find cooler weather.

Here are the extra photos that I liked, but didn't get into the previous blogs in Quail Hill and Hi Jolly.

This is the beautiful water in the canal near Imperial Dam.  When you are camping in the desert, it sure is nice to have something like this nearby.

 Katie liked it, too.

When we were in Yuma to get our escrow docs notarized, I stopped at Cracker Barrel for a late lunch.  It's the first time I've eaten at that restaurant, although I've read a lot of raves by bloggers.  I ordered a fish dish with tarter sauce and cornbread muffins and three sides, coleslaw, baked apples and sweet potato casserole:

I didn't bring my camera into the restaurant, but it took TWO to-go packages to bring back what I didn't eat, and it was enough for two more full lunches.  REALLY A LOT OF FOOD, AND GOOD!!!  And my lunch was less than $10.  :)

Katie was very interested in the burros when they came by.  I said to her, "Do you hear burros?," and this was her response.  So cute!

Shortly after we got to Quail Hill, there was a fire over the ridge - it worried me a little, but the smoke was gone in the morning.

I always sit in the dinette bench seat facing front, but the way The Palms was positioned,  I wanted to see the water across the road, and had to change sides to get that view.  Katie was NOT happy with the change.  Her bed is always in the corner of the other seat, where these storage books are in the photo below, and I was sitting next to them.  I put her bed on the other bench seat and she wouldn't get in it.  She was kind of at loose ends, didn't seem to know where she wanted to be be, and finally found the edge of the seat back and slept with her nose in the corner, behind me.  Poor baby, don't you feel sorry for her?

I have to admit I wasn't as comfortable in my new seat, either, and when I moved to Quartzsite, I went back to my usual seat.  Here's Katie, happily back in her usual spot, too.  :)

These are some of the quail here in Hi Jolly BLM.  They were under my window eating the seed, but two of the males were pretty protective of the same spot and had a little tussle:

This is a quail in the tree next to our site.  They were flying into the tree and eating the tiny yellow flowers.  These are the same flowers the burros were eating at Quail Hill.  This guy did a little flight thing to get this flower and I caught him just right with it in his beak.

I liked this photo of the squirrel.  It was late afternoon and he was searching for food when we went outside and Katie made a short (leashed) dash in his direction.  He ran like lightning across the wash and screeched really loud for along time.  He was MAD!  I sat in my chair and read for a while, then he slowly, carefully came back over the wash and climbed a dead tree stump and looked around to see if he was safe. 

I put out some seed in a plastic bowl I found by the wash.  The squirrels were having a seed fest, but the quail seem to like the seed thrown on the ground better.

And finally, when I switched back to the "new" blogger, I got this message at the top of my screen.  I switched before and liked the new format, but this message worried me and I switched back.  I guess I'm stuck with the new format now, but I have this message each time I go into my "Design" area.  The suggestion that I switch to Chrome doesn't work, as I get the same message in Chrome. 

You'll probably have to click on the message to read it.  Are any of you getting this message?  I don't see that I'm missing any parts of Blogger, and so far am having no problems.  It seems to work the same as the old format.

That's it for today.  Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!  :)