Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happy Birthday at Silly Al's

Jeri and Terry came through town on their way to visit Terry's mom in - Phoenix? -  and invited Denise and me to dinner at Silly Al's to celebrate Jeri's BIRTHDAY on Friday.

That place is LOUD and dark, hard to talk and hard to get good photos, but we managed to almost hear each other and almost get clear shots, and we did have a great time.  And Silly Al's has the best pizza.

Here's the group (minus me):

Jeri the Birthday Girl and husband, Terry and their pizza:

And here's my pizza:

I got the one near the top of the menu, only $9, it's the one with the spinach, and I added olives and mushrooms.  Tons of cheese.  It was hot and perfect.  The thing about Silly Al's (for me, at least) is that the pizza is definitely part of the party.

And here we are all together - photo taken by our server:

Thanks for inviting me, I had a great time!  

I had to post this photo I found on my DIL's Face Book page - they visited my daughter and SIL, Kristy and Matt, for Thanksgiving in Fairfield, CA and toured some wineries - I got a kick out of this one of Trish and Tom:

Trish probably bought that bottle she's holding, but I didn't know Tom was such a BIG wine drinker!  :)

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

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Our Thanksgiving visitor

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 

This morning I was on the phone with my Dad, and I looked out the window and here's what I saw:

A Loggerhead Shrike in my tree.

I grabbed the camera and snapped away as I talked to my Dad, and when we said good-bye I had quite a few great photos.  He was moving around, looking up and down, right and left, hopping from place to place.  I was quite entertained.

It was a treat!

When I checked my Field Guide to be sure I had the correct bird and spelling, I read the notes, and this is what it says:

I checked the notes because of another post I read this morning, and it also talks about Loggerhead Shrikes and how they catch and "skewer" their prey.  That post is pretty graphic with the photos they posted of various little creatures hanging on barbed wire they found, and I found it very interesting.  If you want to see Stan's Notes from my Field Guide in photos, check here:  Where the Wind goes  "A Fascination with the Loggerhead Shrike.  I don't find it at all gruesome - come on, folks!  We all have to eat, and it's fascinating how these little birds act like much larger birds of prey.

Here's Katie the other night when it was COLD in The Palms.  If it's too late to turn on the heat and the temps inside start going down, I either put her in bed or put her coat on.  On this night, she wanted to lay on her blanket, so on went her "bomber jacket."   I think I'm going to have to get her something a bit longer - this really is a jacket and not a long-enough coat for really cold weather.

Such a little cutie.  It's just like when my two children were babies - as soon as they fell asleep I always wanted to pick them up again, they looked so cute and peaceful.  Of course, I didn't do that!  But poor Katie, whenever she is especially cute while sleeping, I always grab the camera, and she wakes up. :)

I watched a bit of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this morning - I dont' know why, but it always makes me emotional.  Geez.   Here's a photo of Santa coming down the street in his beautiful float:

We have a new Follower:  Lori Kelly.  Lori, you don't show any information, but we are so glad you are following along with us on our adventures.  Welcome aboard!  :)

From me and Katie, have a fabulous, warm, wonderful Thanksgiving, everybody!  :)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tough weather for a hungry hummingbird... and a new site

It's pretty windy again today - this poor Black-Chinned hummer keeps trying to get something to drink, but the feeders are swinging wildly in the wind.  He must be getting something, because he's going from one to the other feeder.  Bigger gusts drive him back to his perch.

He finally got enough to eat and flew away.  I don't remember if there are any other kinds of hummers here. Black-Chinned Hummingbirds are all I've seen so far this season.

We've moved to a new campsite.  The FIRST one, although a GREAT site, was right next to a dirt road that is used by ATVers, which I didn't realize until they started up one day, spewing a fine dust all over everything.  So we got settled in another site - this is one we had another year - last year I think, and I liked it then, so we're trying it out again.  So far, so good.

It's more open and sunny and I have a much better view of the desert around me and all the surrounding mountains.  That's one of the neat things about Quartzsite - no matter where I've camped, there has always been something that made it a special site.

Brian is right behind us on the next wash.  Remember Brian, the man who installed the tilts for my solar panels?  He said to call him when I get here each year so he could tilt the panels for me and then again when I leave, so he can put them down.  All part of the the initial service.

I hadn't called him yet, but he saw The Palms and drove into our camp.  We talked for a while, and the next morning he was back to tilt up the solar panels.    

I asked him what he's going to do when he has a million customers who all come into town needing their panels tilted - he said again that it's part of the service and won't be a problem.  I told him he's the "gift that keeps on giving!"

Anyway, he's got his business cards and gave me one.  I asked for more, just in case I meet someone who has solar needs so I can give it to them.  I love to pass on contact information for people who give me excellent service.

Here it is, in case you want to call him.  He does lots more than solar installation and service - he's going to install a couple of 12V outlets for me in the Palms and a couple of other minor maintenance things.

It looks like we have some new Followers - our numbers are up - but they don't have photos so aren't showing in the recent Follower photos.  I checked backed and found them, though.

So, welcome to new Followers,  shilts, and Wayne Scott, and Scott.  That's all the info I have on these three new Followers.  We are happy to have you - Welcome Aboard!  :)

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

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Checking out home bases... and on to Quartzsite

I've been busy checking out little places to use as a home base.  I'm feeling like I need one, or will in a while, and the Escapee parks and other park models have been on my mind. 

When I left New Mexico, I headed for southern Arizona to check out the Benson Escapee park, Saguaro Co-Op.

They show you to your site - I appreciated that! 

It is really nice, super clean and friendly, and I took advantage of their special - $50 for a full week of hook-ups.  The members of the co-op can put their site in the rental pool when they are going to be gone, which leaves some nice sites to rent - short term or long term.  I chose one on the edge with fields on one side. 

Nice, huh?  When you rent another Escapee's lot while they are gone, you can't use the "casita" that's on the site.  But you could put your chairs on the patio and enjoy sitting in the shade.

The weather was perfect, taking Katie for walks up and down the paved streets was nice, and I met quite a few people.  I could definitely be happy there, but they have a long waiting list and I wanted to check out some other places, so after our week there, we moved west.

Next we visited Lloyd of Wanderin, and he joined me on a tour of  Far Horizons Tucson Village, where he lives.  He has a very nice, newer park model.

Above is a drawing of a park model that I "borrowed" from Far Horizons' brochure.  I didn't want to use any real photos of homes.

I toured quite a few that were for sale, and there were some I would have purchased right then if I was ready.  So far, I'm just doing research, but park models are just the right size and I loved the community feeling there.  Thanks for the visit Lloyd, it was great seeing you again. 

Then we headed toward Quartzsite, and after a night of rest at a truck stop along the way, we arrived here on Tuesday. 

I found a great campsite in a new area (for us), got set up, then drove down the road to the dump area in La Posa South.  Took care of that chore, filled up with fresh water, drove back to town for propane and a few supplies, and here we are.  The weather has been great, one cloudy day and the rest have been sunny, warm and breezy.

Notice the rock-lined driveway?  I finished the site today and now have a road into the site and out of the site.  A circular driveway.  And I put together my first rock burning pit - I decided this year I'm going to burn all my paper instead of hauling it to the dumpsters.  I've always needed to "take out the trash" every day, but now it's every other day.  I don't know why I didn't think of this before  :)

See our nice living room, above and below?  I put our chairs and table there, as well as a runner carpet with Katie's fence around it.  So we both have a nice place to relax in the shade.

Katie and I have been taking lots of walks, and have been sitting outside enjoying our "living room." 

We were sitting in the living room the other day - it is lower than the area The Palms is parked on.  I usually check all around and under The Palms before we leave anywhere, but hadn't noticed this - it must be something new:

I got a little rug to lay on and went under to see what was going on.  This hose, that is attached to the generator and should be tied up to the frame, had been tied with a zip tie which had broken.

Luckily I have a package of different lengths of zip ties, and used a bunch of them to re-tie the hose.  Now it's secure, and I'll keep checking to make sure it stays that way.  :)

View of the "fixed" hose from my chair in the living room - well, you can't see the fixed hose, that's the point.  :)

Another year.  This is our fourth season at Quartzsite, and it's nice to feel like I know where things are and what to expect.  The only unknown is weather.  Our first year here it wasn't great - cold and windy a lot of the time.  The second year was nice.  Last year, our third year, was absolutely perfect the whole time we were here.  This year, we'll see.  I'm hoping it will be as nice as last year. 

Our view of the Q on the mountain out the dinette window:

It looks like it's snowing here, but that white stuff is sand.  I took this shot during our cloudy afternoon and you can see the colors are different than when it's sunny. 

We will be staying here in the area the whole season this year, heading for San Diego the last week of March to visit my kids for Easter.  Hopefully the weeks before and after Easter I'll be able to complete the doctor, dentist and vision appointments I schedule every year in San Diego.

Here's the first sunset from Quartzsite this year - we've had some pretty ones already.

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

Monday, November 3, 2014

A little RV screen door mod and Goodbye to Leasburg Dam SP

We're settled in for the week at a new campground - more about that next time.  For now, I wanted to show you a little mode I did while at Leasburg Dam State Park - or I should say, Denise and I did. 

It's a knob in the middle of the slider on the screen door - for those of you who don't have an RV screen door, you have to slide the door to the left to access the locks and handle on the actual motor home door, so every time I go in or out the door, I need to slide this piece.  If The Palms isn't completely level, it takes two hands to open the slider, and with this knob I can open it with one hand when needed.  It's a lot easier.

First Denise charged up her drill and drilled a hole in the center of the slider.

Then she hacksawed off the end of the screw that came with the knob - it was made to fit through a wood kitchen cabinet and this is a thin piece of plastic.  She actually had to do this twice because the first time I had the wrong length.  :(

Then we screwed it in and I have a nice knob on the door - I'm going to look as I travel for a really cute decorative knob, though.  This was the nicest one I could get at Wal-Mart that wasn't metal or plain round white.  I want a fancy knob.  Pretty nice, huh?  I love it.  :)

Thanks, Denise, for the idea and also for drilling the hole and trimming the screw.  I love my new screen door knob!  :)

Below is Katie on one of our walks.  This is what she looks like when she gets a goathead sticker in her paw.  She just stands there with her foot raised until I take it out.  Poor baby!

With her own bed and Benny's bed to choose from, which do you think Katie will choose?  

Benny's, of course! 

Katie tried to get into Denise's rig every time the door opened.  Last year we sat inside visiting and Katie saw all Benny's toys and chew toys - and Denise gave her one.  These little guys have memories like elephants!

Where's all the toys?

I can't help trying to get photos of butterflies when they come by.  This year it seems like there are lots more butterflies.  This was a pretty one.

And of course, the same with lizards.  I always grab my camera when one is sitting still outside the window.  This little guy had a really long tail.

Not a lot of birds to be seen in our overflow dry camping area, but there were some mockingbirds in the bushes a few times.  I was able to get one good shot.

View of the mountains from our camping area.

I wanted to show you the difference my new ALFA antenna made while I was at Leasburg.  The bars on top show the free wi-fi with my old antenna system - two bars and I couldn't get it to "hold."  It kept dropping me and I wasn't able to get onto the park's free wi-fi:

The lower reading on Wi-Fi 2 with the ALFA Antenna was five bars, and continually 4 to 5 bars while I was there.  I got a ton of downloading done, and hardly used my own Verizon data at all.  Denise tried my system, and even though she got the same readings, she wasn't able to connect.  I don't know why not, it was frustrating.  But I couldn't have been happier, and I'm having the same experience here at our new location.

We left Leasburg on Saturday, late morning and spent the night in Lordsburg at the Flying J/Denny's along I-10.  It's always nice to be on the road again.   

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