Sunday, October 26, 2014

Guess who just arrived?

We have a nice little group here at Leasburg - Jeanne (and Riley), Holly, Me and Katie, and guess who just arrived yesterday morning to make things even better?

Yup!  Denise and Benny, straight from Canada.   It's great to see them again - it's been a while, for sure.  But like all RVers, it's like we visited them just yesterday, well, actually we did, but you know what I mean.  We put Benny in the stroller, and he liked it! 

Denise got all set up, then Holly and I helped put down the three-piece ramp, and she backed her motorcycle out of the motor-home:

Later the four of us sat around and visited - it was a nice afternoon, especially sitting in the shade!

Holly left this morning, so we are three now.  We've had beautiful weather - warm during the day, and cool nights and mornings, perfect.  It's going to cool off a bit in the afternoons and that will be even better. 

We're taking it easy today, I hope you are too.

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

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tarantula Hawk encounter

Jeanne and I were walking our dogs the other day, just strolling down a dirt road and talking, when we noticed a different looking flying insect sitting in the middle of the road.  We stopped to look at it, and I noticed a little furry thing with legs a few inches from the insect.  A tarantula?  I've never seen one in person before.  I turned the fur ball over, and it's legs moved a little.  Then the insect, which Jeanne thought might be a Tarantula Wasp, walked right over to it and grabbed it in her mouth.  There was no way she was letting us get her tarantula!

She started walking backwards, pulling the spider in her mouth, and she walked backwards quite a ways, for such a little thing, across the rocky road, into the sandy edge.

Then she went down the edge for a little way until she made a right turn up a little hill to the bushes.  She knew exactly where she was going, back to her nest in the ground under a bush.  She dragged the spider up the little incline to the bushes and dragged it inside the bushes and out of sight.

As soon as we were done with our walk we went back to The Palms and Googled Tarantula Spider.  Sure enough, Jeanne was right, that's exactly what it was. After reading about this wasp on-line, I'm not sure I would have gotten so close had I known it was a wasp and has a vicious bite.

As we were sitting in The Palms visiting, Brenda and her dog Mickey came by for a visit, and we told her about our sighting of the wasp.  She said she has a friend who had been bitten by one, and when she saw her, three months later, the bite was still pretty bad looking.  Three months later!  I'm glad the wasp didn't get aggressive with us when we got so close to it and it's tarantula.

Here's what we found on-line about this "tarantula hawk:"

These huge wasps (the largest wasps in the United States - up to two inches long) feed on nectar, but procreate in a particularly morbid fashion (the basis for their name). When a female is ready to lay her eggs, she seeks out a tarantula and injects it with paralyzing venom. She drags the tarantula to a burrow and stuffs it down the hole, then lays her eggs on top of the paralyzed spider. Several days later the eggs hatch and the larvae feed on the still living tarantula.

Several species of wasps known as "tarantula hawks" inhabit the deserts of the southwest that build nests in the ground and provide their young with spiders for food. The majority of these wasps have metallic blue bodies with fiery red or orange wings, and long legs ending in hooked claws.

Only a few animals, such as roadrunners, eat tarantula hawk wasps. Tarantula hawk stings are considered to be one of the most painful insect stings in the world (the stinger of a female tarantula hawk can be up to 1/3 inch long). Copied from this website.

Credit for the photos goes to Jeanne, I didn't bring my camera along - DARN - I'm never forgetting it again!!!  You just never know what you'll see on a nice, quiet walk.  LOL  Thanks for sharing, Jeanne!

No other photos to share for today.  I've got to get out more.  LOL

Welcome to our newest Follower, Saunders Fine Arts!  Patrick Saunders does "Modern Photography and Realist Portraiture In Oils," per his website, and has some really nice portraits and other photographs on his site.  Thanks for following along with me and Katie, Patrick - Welcome Aboard!  :)

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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Fun Business Cards

My favorite: Garden shop, or for growing businesses:

Bike shop, tool that fits in your wallet:

Skateboard company:

Furniture company:

Problem solving business card:

Security company, lock pick card:

Jeweler - ring sizer card:

Personal trainer:

Lavender sachet business card:

Beef Jerky business card is good for a year:

Delivery box business card:

Musical business card comb:

Yoga instructor:

Lego employee business card:


Stand up for creativity:

Fabric shop:

Cheese grater for cheese shop:

Business card chocolates:

Jack of all trades:

From:  Twisted Sifter

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

Monday, October 20, 2014

The BEST thing ever! ...and Katie photos

First I'm going to show you one of the best, if not THE best (other than solar panels, of course) thing I've bought while full-timing.   The ALFA antenna!

This little gadget was highly recommended to me - well, not this particular antenna, but the ALFA brand antennas in general.  So I went on-line and found this one; they have many different models, but I figured two antennas were better than one and this model has two antennas, so I bought it on-line from   (Please see our right side-bar; I've added it there and also in our store, The Palms Shop.  The tab for The Palms Shop is at the beginning of the post on the left side, right above my profile.

So, anyway, I had this delivered to me at Elephant Butte State Park and when it arrived, I immediately took out the CD, installed the antenna program, and hooked it into the USB on my laptop.

It has a USB cord that plugs into the computer and the antenna can be free-standing, or you can take the USB cord off the antenna and plug the antenna directly into your computer.  I've tried both and like it right plugged into the computer better - no cords in the way.

We've moved to Leasburg Dam State Park, and I have it on right now, powering my Internet.  I'm working on this post, downloading podcasts and monitoring my e-mails as I write this, all on the park's free wi-fi.

Using my Verizon phone as a hotspot, I get 2 bars for the park's wi-fi, and it's spotty.  Using my new ALFA, I get 4 bars and it's a 100% link with 81% signal strength.  A steady signal.

Looking at the networks in my area with my Verizon alone, I see two networks.  The ALFA is shown as "WI-FI 2," and it shows 8 networks in the area.  Only the park's open network is free wi-fi, but I'm thinking when I'm in Quartzsite, or in a parking lot near a library, fast food restaurant, Starbucks, etc., I'll easily be able to pick up a free signal.  And when checking the Verizon only signal, my phone is in it's Wilson Sleek Amplifier cradle attached to an upgraded Wilson antenna on the roof.

I am so excited about this antenna.  It's so easy and works so well, and now I can download audio books and podcasts for free, as well as catch up on some of the TV shows I've missed without using my own data.  How cool is that???   YES!!!

By the way, I have unlimited Verizon data, I'm grandfathered in.  Lucky, for sure!  But I have a 3G phone that I use as a hotspot, so if I go over a certain amount of data I get throttled.  Sometimes I can't even get on-line. Frustrating, so I try to keep my data as low as I can.  Still, I always use a lot and hopefully with my new ALFA that won't be a problem anymore. 

I've been saving photos of Katie, and this seems like a good post to add them to, so here goes:

Katie really enjoyed our time at Elephant Butte - she got to visit with her doggie friends, and I also put out her fence and let her stay outside by herself.  I hooked her leash to our table a couple of times so she would be outside while I was checking things on the roof, etc.  She likes that.  Look at that big smile!

Here's Katie taking her chew toy from the fenced area into The Palms:

She likes to sleep with her nose tucked in:

Good morning, little Katie!

Katie liked the bone that Riley had, and she and Edna both took turns with it.  I decided to get Katie one of her very own.  Unfortunately the Wal-Mart in Elephant Butte didn't have any good bones in their meat department, so I checked out the pet department and found a nice ham bone (for dogs), and it was under $5, good deal!  

The first two pictures were taken yesterday, her first day with the bone.  I put down a little rug in the kitchen, it's her "ham bone rug" and the bone has to stay ON IT.  Katie does well keeping things where I want them to be, and so far this is working.  She's an avid chewer with rawhide toys, and apparently with ham bones, too.  She tore into this thing, and after about 10-15 minutes I took it away, wrapped it in wax paper and put it in the fridge.  I did the same thing today. 

Since she has a sensitive stomach, I don't want her getting sick from this.  When she gets a rawhide toy, she will chew it until it's gone - no way could she do this with a bone this size, but I'm afraid she won't stop in a reasonable time frame.  And this way, it will be a short treat every day, and last a long time.  And best of all, it won't make her sick.  She LOVES it.

I took this picture this morning from behind her, and the whole time she was working on the bone her tail was tucked under her.  I wonder what that means?

I never wanted to get her a "real" bone because of the greasy mess it might leave, but with the rug on the linoleum tiles, there is no mess.  And so far her stomach is doing okay.

Here is where we are in the overflow, dry camping area at Leasburg Dam State Park.  Holly on the left, me in the middle and Jeanne on the right.  I would rather back in so I can see the road into the area, but because of the solar panels it was better to have the engine forward so they would get more sunshine. And actually I have a nice view of all the desert bushes out the front windshield.

It's so quiet and dark here at night.  We had a big storm last night, which was pretty cool, and Katie and I slept like logs.  We get all the good over-the-air TV channels and good Verizon/Internet.  And free wi-fi.  Holly walked up to the Visitor's Center this morning to use their wi-fi and she said it was great, very fast.  (So, even if you don't have an extra antenna like my ALFA, you can still use theirs if you're parked close to the VC, or take a stroll there.  It's a small park and an easy walk.)

We woke up to warm sunshine, so nice.  Right now it's after 3:30 in the afternoon, the clouds have come in, and there is massive thunder outside - time to move the welcome mat under The Palms.

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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Final photos from Elephant Butte Lake State Park

Katie and I are leaving Elephant Butte Lake State Park this morning and heading toward Leasburg Dam SP.  Final destination:  Quartzsite - of course!  Here are some photos I've taken while here in a couple of different camping locations at Elephant Butte:

One of my favorite birds - Snowy Egret.  I love the bright yellow feet and fluffy feathers.

We finally met up with Chris and Edna again - Katie and I met them two years ago and we were both happy to see them again.  Katie and Edna get along really well.  Katie actually played with Edna on our first walk together.

Chris took this photo yesterday - Edna and Katie together:

Following are some photos Chris said I could snag from her FB page.  Thanks Chris!

Carol, Holly, Me, Roxi and Nancy:

Walking with Holly, Nancy, Me and Jeanne and of course the doggies, Edna, Katie and Riley:

Holly, Nancy, Me, Jeanne and Carol:

I finally saw some Sandhill Cranes.  There are a lot of them here at Elephant Butte, but I didn't see them up close.  This is as good as it got for now:

Blurry, but you can see them better in this closeup:

This is a pretty bug I had to snap.  No idea what it is:

Group sex.  Embarrassing, I know, but it is what it is:

I thought their mating was interesting - here's one pair up close.  Maybe I should have blacked out their faces:

A lizard- I love taking photos of lizards - look at his weird back feet/toes:

Here's our final campsite at South Montecello Campground - beautiful campground.  Big sites, level, many sites have views of the lake.  We can see the lake out the dinette window:

We've had some beautiful sunsets here.  It's raining right now, with thunder and lightning, and a little hail.  Dark and cloudy.  I love the different weather we get in New Mexico - keeps it interesting.

This morning under a rainbow:

I have a bunch of photos of Katie that I'll post next time.  She's happy as a clam here.  Lots of doggie friends.  She's seen Riley, Edna and Jake in the last few days and I love that she is so social now.

We've had a lot of fun visiting and walking with our friends here - Chris, Jeanne, Nancy, Roxie and a short visit with Annie, and meeting two new friends, Holly and Carol!  See you all down the road. 

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