Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Gorgeous Osprey

Here's another large bird sitting on top of one of the light poles.  He's a Hawk, I think, but I'm not even sure about that an OSPREY (Thanks Sharon, of The Odd Essay!).  There are two different kinds that I found in my birder book, and I'm not sure which he is.  Look at those big eyes.  After reading Sharon's comment that I should check my book for "Osprey," I could see he's exactly like the photos in my book.  I'm even more excited about seeing this beautiful Osprey up close!

OMG I love getting good clear photos of these powerful birds!  If you're a birder and know what this bird is, please leave a comment.  Maybe it's not even a hawk.  He looks like a great hunter.

On a more delicate note, there are also a lot of beautiful flowering bushes here - the flowers below are pretty subtle and I walked past this bush many times without noticing it.  Then I was looking through it the other day when I was following the Roadrunner around, and noticed the tiny flowers on this delicate bush:

There are so many good bird sightings here. I can see this Great Blue Heron right down from my site - he's usually there in the morning,and then later in the afternoon if there are no people in that area.  He's very intent on the water, looking for his next meal, I'm sure.

One of our newest Followers, Motorhomes N Muttskeys, let me know through a comment that she has a brand new blog - the first post shows her trip home after picking up her new motorhome - a 2000 24' Gulf Stream Conquest with a rear kitchen (sounds like The Palms).   I enjoyed your first post!  Check out her new blog - it's so nice to start following a blogger right from the beginning.

From me and Katie, have a great Monday, everybody!  :)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

More cool bird photos

Isn't he beautiful?

I just happened to look out my window and saw this Turkey Buzzard sitting atop a light pole with his wings spread - you might remember that I love these guys.  So beautiful, except their really ugly heads - well none of us is perfect, right?  He sat there for a while, looking back and forth:

He turned a little and brought in his wings:

Then opened his wings again, even wider.  He must have been cooling off with the nice breezes:

This pose is not his most beautiful, but it's how I usually see Turkey Buzzards perched:

Then a little bird landed on the wire behind him.  He sat there looking at the bird until it flew away.  Probably a good move, little bird, but I don't think he was in any danger.  Buzzards don't eat live animals, do they?

And here he is, soaring away overhead:

Here's another big guy - a Chihuahuan Raven sitting on top of a pole.  These large birds seem to like perching up high and watching what's going on - looking for dinner, maybe.  The Raven and Buzzard are such powerful looking birds.

And here's our current campsite - it's not really a site, just a flat area over the lake.  We have good views, nice breezes, a dumpster close by, and a short walk to the showers. It's my "go-to" spot when the few dry camping sites are all occupied.

I've set up a little fenced area for Katie where she can watch all the little lizards running in the bushes.  She's really in her element here - lots of the little critters:

Not a lot going on - and that makes me very happy right now.  Katie and I are just enjoying our stay here.  The weather has been good and we're in a pretty quiet spot.  I'm starting to take my camera everywhere again.  For a while I stopped taking it on walks because there just wasn't much to snap, but I'm enjoying all the birds here.

WELCOME to our newest Follower, Connie!  Hi, Connie - Katie and I are happy to have you following along with us.  I don't see any information about you or a blog, please let me know if you have one so I can pass along the link.  :)

Also, I just noticed that I missed one of our new Followers - Cheeseheads4theRoad.  They have been married for 43 years and have a beautiful family of  kids, grand kids, and two dogs.  They also have two motor homes - a 35-foot Class A and they just bought a 22-foot Winnebago Class C, which she calls the Granny Mobile.  I like it!  She says, "I love to travel and see new places. My husband just goes along with my dreams because he likes to see me happy (I think)."  They have a Blogger profile, but there isn't a blog listed, so let me know if you do have one and I'll post the link.  Welcome aboard!

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

Friday, September 26, 2014

Alive and Well - at LAST! ...and more Roadrunners!

We are back to normal.  As far as I know everything related to my death has been corrected, reversed, re-instated and re-deposited.  What a mess that was!  Hopefully nothing else will pop up from now on.

Our part finally came in from Forrest River, and Camping World told me to be in their parking lot at 8:00 am Tuesday morning and they would take me first thing, and that's just what they did.  An hour later we were on the road.  They greatly reduced my labor charge and didn't charge me for any shipping, so they were very generous as far as my bill went.  Really, really nice people there in the service department.  I wouldn't hesitate to go back for service in the future. 

Katie and I are back at Elephant Butte Lake State Park - it's been really nice for the last few days, just unloading the chairs and stroller and dog fence gives us more room in The Palms, and makes things seem homier.  And knowing we can stay here for two whole weeks, that's really nice.  We've had three solid weeks of moving around from parking lot to parking lot, and it was getting a little tiring.  So, it feels like we're home!

And the great bird photos I've gotten since we've been here!  In the last few days I've gotten some nice photos without really even trying, except for the Roadrunner.  I did kind of follow him around for a while and talked to him.  Whenever I made little clicking sounds, he talked to me. 

And Mellow Mike?  I finally have a contender for the next Roadrunner Photo Contest.  I love this first photo - it looks like he's saying, "Dear God, please make her stop following me around?"

This little guy was really talking back to me!  I have some other good photos of other birds that I'll post over the next few days.  It's so nice to get back to normal, that's for sure.

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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Still hanging in there...

Just a brief update.  Things are slowly moving along with my various issues.  Nothing is solved yet, repaired yet, healed yet, or well yet, but we're getting there.

My California bank has taken the flag off my accounts, but I can't get into them on-line, should be up and running again soon.

I opened a B of A checking account and debit card so I have access to those.  The B of A here at Coors Blvd has wonderful people who were so helpful.  They also have two notaries and one of them notarized six copies of a letter I wrote that explained what happened and that I'm not deceased in case I need them.

Social Security has my account back in order now, but my monthly check was pulled and sent back to the Treasury.  It had to be re-issued and I'm told it will be in my account on Friday, only two days late.  If it's there, then that issue is solved. 

American Express wanted a letter from the Social Security Administration to re-open my account, and I told them two different reps from SSA said they just don't do that.  So I faxed them multiple documents and we'll see what happens with that.  If they won't re-open it, I'll just tell them to keep it closed.  I'm not going to fight with them, there are too many other credit card companies out there that I can access.

I'm still hanging around Albuquerque waiting for Camping World to get my part.  I guess Forrest River doesn't have these parts in stock.  I thought I needed a small part, but I need the entire Convenience Center (the Systems Monitor is a part of it).  The unit has all the switches that turn on the generator, lights, hot water, water for the faucets, heater, and Arctic Pac.  And everything is working except for the systems monitoring part, but the whole unit has to be replaced. I would think Forrest River would keep a few on hand, but they have to have them fabricated, so we are waiting for that, then Camping World is having it overnighted here.  They are not charging me for the shipping and have reduced the labor charge a bit because of the inconvenience for me.  They have been really great, very good customer service.  I think they feel worse than I do about me having to wait.  We're hoping the part will arrive on Monday and they will install it when it gets here. I can't complain - everything is being done that can be done.

Either Katie is still not feeling well or she's getting used to pooping on the kitchen floor overnight.  (Sorry if that's TMI.)  We had a good stern talk this morning, ;)  and I'm thinking it won't happen again.  Eternal optimist. Other than that she is acting normally.

Yesterday she fell asleep in her little bed with her head hanging down.  I was worried she wouldn't be able to breathe, so I stuck her elephant under her chin to prop it up.  She didn't move, just opened her eyes...

 and went right back to sleep:

So, things are moving along slowly.  I'm hoping that by Monday my SS check will be in my account, my new Convenience Center will be installed, Katie will be pooping outside, and we'll be in Elephant Butte. The toe is going to take a while to heal - been through this before and it took time, so I'm just keeping it taped and being careful.

I have to show you what I do when my toe/foot hurts at night, which has happened a couple of times.  I put on an ice pack then wrap it up to hold it in place, and put my foot up.  Quite an arrangement for a little sore toe, huh?

But it works.  The next day that poor toe always feels better for a while.  :)

And that's life as we know it right now.   Really nothing at all going on, but I didn't want anyone to worry since I haven't posted in a while.  I'll be back when there is any news, or anything new to post about - next week, probably.

Welcome to our new Followers:

Ellen Shingleton who has a blog,  WhereRVat.  She and her husband have recently been traveling in Nova Scotia and have some gorgeous photos of their travels.  I especially like the Prince Edward Island pictures.  Glad to have you with us, Ellen!

Donna E. Ehlbeck, and also Marian.  Neither shows any information, but if you have a blogs, let me know and I'll share the blog addresses.  Katie and I are happy to have you both following along with us!

And also Hong Long, who has blogs and other media links shown, but they are in another language and since I can't read them I can't really share them with you. Sorry about that, but thanks for following Me and My Dog!

Welcome aboard to you all...  :)

And from me and Katie, have a great Thursday, everybody.  :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Accounts closed :( , stuck in Albuquerque :( , and SORE toe :(


ONE:  Well, the Social Security Administration has resurrected me, but most of the accounts I use haven't.  My checking account is inaccessible on-line (and it's a California bank - I'm in New Mexico), my bank debit card has been closed, I've sent them copies of many documents through the mail and their e-mail, and so far, still no access. After a long conversation with a very nice lady on Wednesday, she received all my docs, sent them to her "Proof Department" and promised to keep me in loop yesterday - Thursday.  When I didn't receive a call, I e-mailed her.  I just got a response that she has not heard from the Proof Department and will let me know as soon as she does.  (I love my bank, but I'm opening a BofA checking account tomorow - they are in each state and this would have been solved the first day if I didn't have a California only bank account.) 

All three credit bureau agencies are inaccessible on-line - they all still have me as deceased.

American Express sent me an e-mail, "To the Family of Barbara Dewell"  It was really a nice e-mail and would have been very much appreciated, except...  of course, I'm still alive.

I have the minimum amount of minutes on my Verizon phone plan - and you can imagine how much time I've spent on the phone.  I'm not going to raise the minutes to a new plan for a month, which Verizon is very nice about doing so people don't get charged for overages - then the next month you just call and change the plan back.  I'm grandfathered in for unlimited data on my plan, if I change it, I lose that, so I'm not changing my plan, of course, even for a month.  I'm trying to stay under my minute limit, but it's been hard.

One thing I can say, this has been really interesting.  I remember when I had open-heart surgery to sew up a hole in my heart.  I found all the tests and the whole experience so interesting.  My Mom thought I was crazy.  I'm finding this experience - of having the Social Security Administration report my death to all my accounts when they do their normal credit checking - interesting in a similar way.  Our institutions really are trying very hard to protect us.  But hopefully they will all remove that "deceased" flag from my accounts soon.  All they have to do is check with the SSA again, but unfortunately they don't do re-checks on dead people's accounts.  You have to send them all kinds of things first to prove you're alive, then (hopefully) as requested in the accompanying letter, they will again contact Social Security and find out I'm no longer deceased.  And re-activate my accounts.

I have no idea when this will end, my son offered to wire me some money and/or offered the use of any of his credit cards if I needed them.  Luckily I pay my motor home payment ahead, and pay off the two credit cards I use every month.  I can still use one card, my only source of cash right now, so I called them to make sure I could get a cash advance, and immediately went to a local bank and took some money out, just in case.  I have a full fridge/freezer and cupboards  so I'll be fine until this kerfuffle has been reversed and I can again access any of my accounts.  I'm assuming my SS deposit next week will not be available to me, and wanted to make sure I had some money,  just in case.

TWO:  Since I'm in Albuquerque - on my way from Storrie Lake to Elephant Butte State Park - I decided to head to Camping World, where the maker of my RV, Forrest River, suggested I go to have the broken Systems Monitor repaired or replaced.  They are the place to go for Forrest River  warranty work, so they have the diagnostic equipment and know how to take care of these rigs.

I called for an appointment last week, and couldn't get in until yesterday.  I went to Camping World Wednesday afternoon, just checking to see where they were, if they could take me early, and to verify my appointment.  They are easy to get to, right off the freeway, couldn't take me a day early, and said I could park outside their gates overnight.  I decided to do that and scoot in first in the morning.

Of course, as I'm waiting outside the door with Katie in her stroller at 7:45, two couples joined me.  When they opened the doors at 8:00, one of the men tried to scoot in front of me to be first.  OH, NO YOU DON'T.  I intercepted him with the stroller, "Sorry, I've been waiting here since yesterday afternoon."

They checked me in and immediately went out to check it out.  Katie and I went back to the "rear" waiting room, the one with all the tables and chairs, TV, free coffee, tea, hot chocolate, dog cookies, and breakfast pastries.  Super nice and comfortable waiting room, FOR SURE.

Katie is smelling the free FOOD - I did give her a piece of the large dog cookies they had on the counter.

Look at that little face peering over the table.  :)

Everyone was really nice.  A little while later the woman who checked me in came back and told me the unit was inoperable, and had to be replaced.  I had already been waiting seven days, at casino and Wal-Mart parking lots, and now it would be another 7 or 8 days for the part to arrive from Forrest River.  For the first time ever, I had them "expedite" the part, which would take around 3 days, and she said she would call me as soon as it was "walking in the door."

So Katie and I are hanging out in the Wal-Marts nearby - I tell you, there are a ton of them in Albuquerque, three in this area, which we will rotate through until we're called. 

and finally...

THREE:  I caught my toe on the edge of the table leg and OUCH, OUCH, OUCH.  Then I DID IT AGAIN!  OUCH FOUR TIMES @#!*!(!  

This time I was ready:  I wrapped my little toe and the next two toes together with my cloth wrapping stuff, then taped it around to keep it on.  The top of my foot over the toes was black and blue for a week, and is still swollen and really sore.  I wrapped my toes for a few days, and now I'm trying to wear shoes all the time inside The Palms so I don't hit it again.  Because, you know what?  You can still hit a swollen toe on something, even if it's wrapped.  Don't ask me how I know.  :(

So if you see a little old white haired lady limping along, walking her dog, in a Wal-Mart parking lot, come on over and say HI.  It'll be me, for sure.  :)

OH, YEAH. THE PLUS ONE:    Katie's been sick.   I won't go into detail, but she's not sleeping in MY bed for now.  She seems fine most of the time, then ...  well, I won't go into detail.

I'm keeping her on water and a little food and I just remembered I should make up some rice for her.  How do I not give Katie a treat when I see this face - such a big smile:

Other than the above, Katie and I are great.  Really.  All these things will be reversed, repaired and healed.  And all the good stuff continues, as usual.

What's new with you?  LOL

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

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Not Wordless Wednesday

Canadian artist and mother Ruth Oosterman started collaborating with her 2-year-old daughter Eve earlier this year. Ruth takes Eve’s doodles and adds watercolors to them, turning the collaborative works of art into beautiful paintings. She posts the results on her blog, The Mischievous Mommy and also posts timelapses on YouTube. Ruth is adamant that this is a collaborative effort and that Eve has full say if she doesn’t want her mother to paint over her sketches.  (From TwistedSifter.)

I especially love this first one:

The Lady and The Fox

The Great Owl

The Elephant King

A Bookworm's Dream

Evetime Lapse

These kinds of things, making beautiful art from a kid's sketchy artwork, fascinate me.  What talent! I'm a frustrated artist- some day I'm going to be a painter.  When I'm old, maybe...

From me and Katie, have great Wordless Wednesday, everyone!