Thursday, May 30, 2013

Still here at windy Storrie Lake State Park

But I'm not complaining about the wind.  Seeing the high winds and hurricanes in other states, I'll take what I have.  My only problem is that I'm still a little jittery about noises from above, even though I'm convinced the mice are either gone or dead.  High winds tend to make things on the roof move around a bit, and at night I start hearing things.  Gayle and Jim said their old antenna used to make noise on the roof, and they replaced it with one of those dome antennas.  Completely quiet, they said.  I told them I never hear my antenna - well, NOW I DO! I guess I never noticed the noise it makes in the wind before having a nest near where the antenna comes through the roof.

I have another noise issue that has been ongoing since I started full-timing.  When the wind is blowing, what do you do about the little fabric strap/hook on your awning?  I guess it has to hang down loose so it can be hooked to pull the awning down, but when it's windy, mine slaps against the outside wall and makes a constant noise.  I can't seem to get it to go under the awning, tucked away and out of the wind, to quiet it.  Is there a tip I don't know about?

The first campsite I chose when we got here was at the top of the hill overlooking Storrie Lake.  I had a great view of the water, fishermen and Canada Geese that flew in each day.  This is the site:

And these are the Canada Geese swimming in the lake.  Katie and I walked down a few times to get a closer look at the water and the geese.  It was easy exercise.  This photo was taken from our site, so it's not as sharp as if we were at the water.

Then we moved to this site.  It's by itself, across from the Visitor's Center/Office and the restrooms/showers.  We have no neighbors and a clear view of the surrounding hills and the area that was once filled with water, but is now completely dry.

If you look closely to the right of the post on the right side of the photo, you'll see Andy Baird's rig sitting in the middle of the dry lake bed. One of these years there will be water again, and maybe my campsite will have a view of boats.

To the far left, in the picture below, you can see the Visitor's Center/Office behind us, and on the right you can see the restrooms/showers across the street behind the shelter.  Even though we are close to things here and very safe, they way we're parked it feels like we're in the middle of nowhere.  Just hills, fields, and birds flying overhead. 

Instead of seeing the geese in the lake, from this site I am enjoying watching them feeding and resting in the field near my campsite.

There are Mountain Bluebirds nesting in this area, too, of course, but these guys have a nesting box nailed to one of the trees behind us by the road.  When Katie and I walk by, the birds are always in the area, usually one in the nest and one in the tree watching us.  I saw one of the birds moving around inside the nest and snapped a picture - if you look closely at the second photo, you'll see it's eye on the right watching us from inside the nest. (I think it's an eye.)

Things are pretty quiet around here.  This morning I tried to tuck in the awning fabric strap from above on the roof, but it didn't work.  Then we went over and  dumped the grey water and filled up with fresh.  By the time we got back it was still before 10 a.m. and the winds were starting to come up pretty strong. I was glad I got those tasks out of the way early while the air was still pretty calm.

Katie and I are taking it easy and being very lazy this week.  I'm listening to Inferno by Dan Brown on my current library book on tape, and it's really good so far.  It's a much longer than usual book, 17 hours and 13 minutes, so it's going to take a number of days before I'm at the end.  When I'm listening to a good book, I appreciate the lazy days.

WELCOME to our newest Follower, Jo - her blog, Jo's World, can be found here.   Jo and her dog and cat are from Minnesota, and she has been blogging since 2008.  WAY before I started!  Jo, thanks for signing on as a Follower - Katie and I are happy to have you aboard!  :)

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

Monday, May 27, 2013

"coffee with a canine," mice in the attic, and the seam repair

I was asked to participate in a Q & A by Marshal Zeringue at coffee with a canine, and decided it might be fun.   He asked questions and I supplied the answers and photos, and our Q & A posted today.

I don't usually take or post photos of myself, but his site is set up to start the Q & A with a photo of the dog and owner, so this is the one I sent.  I had taken it last week, so it was fortunate I had a current shot.  The post has a little information about Katie and me that I haven't shared here - please check it out at Barbara Dewell & Katie!  Thanks Marshal for including me and Katie on your site!  :)

Our latest ISSUE is mice in the attic.  Remember when I posted that the Mountain Bluebirds have been waking me up at 5:30 a.m. every morning by running around on the roof?  Well... turns out it wasn't the birds running around outside.

"You blaming ME for all that racket?"

Beautiful male Mountain Bluebird

As beautiful as he is, his family is not the problem.

Yesterday morning I was again awakened around 5:30 a.m. by the sound of feet running around over the ceiling and PEEPING SOUNDS.  It was obvious a nest was there, and the babies had been born.  I didn't know if it was the birds nesting there, since they were around so much, or if we had mice.  I did some on-line research and emailed Andy Baird and Hazel.

I went outside at around 6 a.m. and walked away from the rig a bit and watched.  No birds at all.  I saw a couple of neighboring RVers taking a walk and they stopped and we talked for a while, and I continued to keep watch on the roof.  No birds at all in the area of the rig, but I did see the bluebirds flying in another area away from The Palms.

When I went back inside, the running around was still going on intermittently, and there were still "peeps" coming from the ceiling near where the antenna is located.  That's when I knew it had to be a nest of mice up there between my ceiling and roof.  I've had mice before, and found a nest once, but never overhead and never babies.  NOT A GOOD THING, for sure!

I checked my e-mail and Hazel had sent a message back that it was unlikely the birds were up there, since they already had an established nest.  Andy had also e-mailed back, offering his help and a tip that I might want to get some Fresh Cab.  He had a couple of packets I could use, or if I wanted to go into town, he sent me the location of a store that carried it.  He uses it in his storage compartments, and it would fit in my ceiling space.

This is what it looks like - it's all natural, and it's the odor that keeps the rodents away.  The smell is a cedar/mint combo that is not at all offensive to people.   There are 4 packets to a box and it cost me $17.99 here in town at Big R.  I looked it up on-line, and it's available at for $14.99 if you are interested in checking it out.  I've included a link to the right under "The Blogs I Follow" that you can click to get to the page with the $14.99 price.  I have a bag of traps and sticky pads and poisons, but I'd rather repel them than kill the little critters.

I decided to move to another site, and hopefully, as happened at Rockhound State Park, I would leave the mice behind.  I first went into town and got some Fresh Cab and when I got back to the park, I chose a campsite in another area.  I took off the little round A/C vent on the ceiling nearest to the peeping noises, which were now quiet, and put the Fresh Cab over the ceiling panel, and screwed the vent back on.

I haven't heard any noises at all since then, and this morning was able to sleep in until 8 a.m., as usual.  Either I left the Mom mouse at the old campsite and the newborn mice died from heat and no water above the ceiling, or the odor of the Fresh Cab drove the whole family out of The Palms.  Either way, I think the problem is solved.  I put another packet of Fresh Cab behind the drawer under the stove, which has been a popular place for mice in the past, so hopefully I won't be having any other infestations.  This is the fourth time in two years I've had mice inside The Palms, much more than I've read other people having.

Last, but certainly not least, The Seam Repair.

So...  :)    The other day Andy came over after I had cleaned off all the silicone from the seam split I had fixed last year.

The area was clean, and he took out the screw holding the corner piece in place and replaced it with a wider, longer screw, adding Gorilla Glue to the sides of the screw so it would expand when in place.  Screwing in the longer screw brought the split together part way.

He then brought it as far as it would come using a clamp to pull both sides together.  With the glue he had placed on the screw and in that area, we hoped when the clamp was removed it would stay.

We let it set, and that evening he came back and removed the clamp, and it stayed in place.

Per Andy's instructions, I had cut down the EternaBond to the correct size, and when he came back, he again cleaned the area and placed the EternaBond over the entire corner area.  Waaaa Laaaa!

It worked, looks great, and should be a much better fix than the Silicone that only lasted a year.

Thanks, Andy!  Not only did you DO the fix for me, I learned how to properly repair an outside split and next time I'll be able to do a proper job myself.  :)

A couple of House Finches in the yard this morning:

I hope everyone is having a nice Memorial Day.  I've watched a few shows that brought tears to my eyes this weekend, and want to remember all our fallen heroes for sacrificing their lives for our protection and safety here in The United States of America.

From Me and Katie, have a wonderful Memorial Day, everyone!  :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Angry Birds, storms and visiting with a fellow full-timer

I experienced my first hail storm Thursday night.  What a racket on the roof.  We had rain, hail, thunder and lightening.  Pretty exciting.  I got out of bed and lowered the TV antenna and unplugged my TV and computer, just in case.  Katie was sleeping in her car seat, and I peeked at her through the scarf I had hung between the cab and the "house," and she was doing fine.  She stayed there throughout the storm and I finally fell asleep.  In the morning, as usual, she was in her regular bed on the couch, so she climbed over the seat during the night.  She really feels safe and comfortable in that car seat.  One of the best things I've bought since being on the road. 

So...  have you noticed everyone is starting their sentences with the word, "So..."  I listen to a lot of talk radio and TV, and when people are being interviewed, that's what they do now.

So...  The Mountain Bluebirds are still harassing me and Katie, but not as bad.  They are still hanging out on the mirrors, hood, roof, and TV antenna and doing bird acrobatics on and off during the day.  I thought about them during the storm and hoped they were dry and safe in their nest during the storm. Apparently they did fine, because they are still around.  Here are more of the photos I took the other day:



Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting Andy Baird.  He is also camped here at Storrie Lake and I sent him a quick e-mail and asked if he would like to come over for a visit.  He dropped over, and we had a wonderful conversation.  After about an hour it was lunch time, and he invited me back to his rig for a tour and lunch.  Of course, I said yes.  He has made so many modifications to his rig, it was nice to see them in person.  I especially like his office space.  Really nice.

I'm sure a lot of you know who Andy is and have read his blog - if not check it out here.  Andy Baird's Websites  He does all kinds of projects and documents them with instructions and photos and then posts them to pass along the information.  He also has a nice file of all the New Mexico State Parks with information and his impressions of each.  I use that all the time.  His was one of the first blogs I read and I did lots of bookmarking and copy/pasting so I wouldn't lose the info.  He does rig renovations, sews, cooks - he doesn't seem to be afraid to tackle any kind of job.

He came over today to help me do a re-repair of the outside seam split that I had fixed last year. The Silicone I used finally split apart and I needed to cover the split again.  My repair lasted a year - I did it in May of 2012.  Andy suggested using Eternabond to cover the split area.  I happened to have some on hand, so we (he) did that repair today.  He did a more extensive repair than I would have done; he has all the tools and knowledge, and I'll show you some photos in a future post.

Windy as heck here today, again, and also pretty warm.  It must just be the time of year for wind in New Mexico.  The park looks almost full.  I can smell bar-b-que and hear kids yelling and playing - somehow everyone found out about the Memorial Weekend, I guess.  :)

I've got some stuff to do, so that's it for today.  But first, here are a couple of sunsets from Storrie Lake the last few days.  These are what I see out the front windshield:

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I have the most annoying neighbors!!!

By far - my most annoying neighbors.  They are noisy, they keep looking in my windows - they even bang on my windows. They woke me up at 5:30 this morning.  They are pooping on The Palms.  I think they want us to leave - I may have to move.

I've think I've heard their babies but I'm not sure and I haven't actually seen them yet; here are the Peeping Tom culprits.

They are a nesting pair of Mountain Bluebirds and were flying by the window looking in all day long.  I had a feeling they didn't want us in the neighborhood.  They were banging into the window and making such a fuss in The Palms' side mirrors (I'll post those photos tomorrow), I started feeling really bad and decided to move.

Katie kept a close eye on them.  At first she barked, but when I explained to her that they were here first and probably had babies close by, I was happy that she listened carefully,  minded me and left them alone.  And, yeah, I did do a little yelling.  LOL.  She still watched them very closely, though.

They were making such a fuss fighting with themselves in the driver side mirror, I had to cover it with a towel. This morning when I made my coffee, I went outside and checked the mirror and front of The Palms for bird poop.  I noticed my generator was right under the nest, and the noise and fumes wouldn't be good for the Mom and Dad or the Babies.  So, when the coffee was done, I moved to the other side of the shelter.  Since I have this site, no one should be parked on the other side next to the nest, and they will have more privacy for their little family.

I have tons more photos of the Mountain Bluebirds, and will post some of them in a future post.

Can you see the bluebird right below the driver's side mirror?

By the way, we are at Storrie Lake State Park in New Mexico.  We decided to turn left instead of right at the fork to Santa Rosa Lake or Sumner Lake.  When we arrived at Santa Rosa Lake, I didn't drive to the electric sites, which I'm told are nice, but after driving around the dry camping areas, it was a little too primitive for me, so we drove back to the little town of Santa Rosa and stopped along the street to make lunch and re-group.  I took out the laptop and checked MapQuest.  I was surprised to see that Storrie Lake was only a little further north than Sumner Lake was south, and if I didn't like Sumner, then I'd have that hour drive south and another hour's drive north to get to right where were were at that point.  I was getting tired of driving, so I headed north to Storrie Lake, and am glad I did.  This lake is also very low, but since a holiday weekend is coming up, I wanted to snag a camping site just in case they get crowded over the weekend.

The drive up here was so interesting, I took tons of photos along the way which I'll post another day.

We have a nice site here overlooking the lake.  The temps are very comfortable, and the wind, although we do have some, isn't as bad or continuous as it was at Elephant Butte.  It is pretty windy today, though. Maybe I'm bringing it with me.  :(

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

Monday, May 20, 2013

Onward and upward

Upward to the north, that is. 

Katie and I are both getting very tired of the heat and wind at Elephant Butte.  Honestly, I was really looking forward to being here, I've heard so much about this area.  I thought it would be the high point of our State Park travels going from New Mexico's southern parks to the northern parks.  But try as I might, and I can be pretty darn optimistic, I haven't really found it to be that great. I thought about moving to another campground area, or down on the beach right next to the water, but the heat and wind will be anywhere we move. 

The mornings have been really nice, then all too soon it's too hot to even take a decent walk, then in the afternoon the winds come up and blow us down the street.  My eyes have been so dry.  Katie doesn't even want to go potty outside.  Yesterday I thought she was sick, but I think she's just tired of the heat, too, and nervous with all the wind.  Maybe if the weather was more cooperative it would be better, but after trying for eight days, I give up.

Tomorrow morning we're heading out.

I've been reduced to taking photos of dead snakes in the road - there isn't much around here to snap photos of.   Do you think this might be why:

I guess it could be that I'm not looking in the right direction. :)   Someone sent me the above photo in an e-mail, and I've been saving it for a place that doesn't have much to offer up photo-wise.  I thought it was so funny. 

Anyway, obviously I'm not finding much to take pictures of at this park.  Following are the few photos I've taken since my last post.  A couple from Canada was traveling with this Tadpole.  I asked if I could get a photo, and they were more than happy to oblige:

He said there is a queen size bed inside.  Reminded me of the homemade trailer the man at Riverside Campground made.

And... the aforementioned snake in the road.   He was dead, but with his mouth open, at first I thought he was alive.

And that's it.  There just isn't anything else to blog about or take pictures of. 

We're heading toward Sumner Lake and then Santa Rosa Lake.  If we like them, we'll stay 14 days at each park, if not, we'll keep heading north. 

Tomorrow - onward and upward.  From me and Katie, good night, everyone.  :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Update from Elephant Butte

We've just pretty much been taking it easy the last few days, enjoying our campsite overlooking the lake.  The temps have been climbing and it should peak today at 91 degrees.  I'm looking forward to mid 80s starting tomorrow. 

As pretty as it is looking out at the lake all day, there isn't much to take pictures of, so my camera has been off most of the time.  I've gotten a few photos to share:

Pretty cactus flower with a bee inside collecting pollen.

This bush just starting blooming with little flowers that look like small orchids.  Very pretty.

I haven't taken a photo of a Gambel's Quail for a while, and couldn't resist snapping this guy perching so nicely.

Katie trying to fit on her folded quilt for a little nap.

This next photo is a comical one of Katie.  At night I tuck this large scarf under my mattress and it hangs down blocking off the truck cab and windshield, giving us some privacy; it's an easy curtain-type thing that I've recently been doing.  (It's very colorful, but the biggest scarf I have. It sure does give us some COLOR.)  The other night Katie was in her car seat when I put the curtain up.  A little later I could see her nose poking at the curtain trying to figure out how she was going to get back into the living area.  She finally figured it out, her head came through and she hopped up on the dinette seat back.  She sat like this looking at me for the longest time. I think she was trying to tell me something.  She looked so funny, all I could do was laugh and grab the camera. Maybe she was waiting for an apology?  She didn't get one, just laughing and camera flashes.  :)

Ya gotta love a dog that can make you laugh. :)

This is a Western Mockingbird.  I've posted one before from another park, but I like his simple colors.

We had a visitor wander over to our campsite yesterday.  Lloyd arrived Thursday morning at Elephant Butte for a one-night stay, and we arranged to meet up.  We endured the heat inside, then the wind outside while we had a nice visit.  Katie loves him - she became a bit of a pest, which is unusual for her.  Lloyd got back on the road this morning heading north, just in time to miss today's 90+ temps.  Thanks for the visit, Lloyd, it was good to see you again.  We didn't take photos, so you're just going to have to believe me that he had on one of his very nice 30+ Hawaiian shirts!  :)

WELCOME to our newest Follower, John!   Or should I say, Shoeless Joe?  Under either name - Katie and I welcome you as an official Follower.  I've been following your blog for a long time, and always enjoy it, so it's nice to have you aboard and following along with us!  :) 

And that's about it for today.  From me and Katie, have a great Friday, everyone!  :)