Thursday, January 29, 2015

More Quartzsite fun with friends and fire lanterns

I didn't want to post again until I finished replying to the comments from my last post about the BloggerFest.  I don't usually reply to comments, but these were so special I wanted to add my two cents to each one.   It didn't feel like the post was complete until I responded to everyone.

The BloggerFest kind of felt like a family reunion where you meet the aunts, uncles and cousins you've heard about but never met.  I'm hoping for a BloggerFest 2016 where conversations will be easier now that we've met a lot of the other bloggers we follow.  Maybe reading about all the fun will encourage some other RVers to start their own blogs, too. 

I've been camping over here in the La Posa West LTVA in Quartzsite, AZ with the LazyDaze group.  My friend Jeanne is here, and also Nancy, who are both LazyDaze'ers.   Kim is here, too, so we've had a few visits and walks and lunches.  Denise is down in another La Posa area, but we still manage to meet up from time to time.

Had a nice walk with Kim and Jeanne and Riley - I wish Katie could have come, too, but she just doesn't' walk far and the terrain is too rocky here for the stroller.  We did a big circle going to Kim's rig then across the desert to Old Yuma Road, down to our "exit" then back to the rigs.  Perfect weather for walking.  I took a bunch of shots; these were the best I thought:

Me and Kim:

Jeanne and Kim and Riley:

I didn't realize they were fuzzy until I put them in the blog - oh, well, you get the idea.  :)

As of lunch today all of the LazyDaze people have left, and we're down to Jeanne, Kim and Me.  The diehards - the holdouts.  The crazy three staying with rain in the forecast.   I love the rain, though, it's so warm and cozy in The Palms and I love the rain on the roof.

Denise, Jeanne, Kim and I had brunch today at the Mountain Quail Cafe in town.

We had such a good time - I hope we weren't too loud.  We were all talking a mile a minute and laughing and laughing.  Really fun group! 

Here's the view in front of the Palms out my windshield:

So pretty - I love the mountains around here.  That's not snow on the mountain, just the sun's reflection.

So far this has been a great winter.  The Big Tent is down and many of the smaller vendors have buttoned things up so it's much quieter in town, but there's still enough going on to make it interesting.

Jeanne took some photos the other night at the group campfire when they were getting the fire lantern ready to fly.  I wanted to see how they did it, so I walked over to watch.  I'd never seen these before this year.  It's a small hot air balloon made of paper with wire crossed over the bottom and some kind of fire started on the wire.  You light the fire starter, wait until the lantern is expanded from the heat, then you let it go and it floats up and up and up and the night air and breezes float it up and out of sight.  It was really neat to watch.  They call them Sky Lanterns, Chinese Lanterns or Fire Lanterns.

They are just ready to let it go:

Thanks for the photo, Jeanne!

The picture below shows the lantern in more detail - photo from Wikipedia.  There are lots and lots of them in the sky above:

The first night I was here at this site I took Katie out for her potty walk, and looked up into the dark sky and there were four of them floating in the distance.  I couldn't figure out what in the heck they were.  I guess they aren't new, and they sell them on Amazon, but I've never even heard of them until this year.  

That's about it for today - cloudy skies but no wind and not cold outside.  And beautiful desert all around us.

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

Sunday, January 25, 2015

BloggerFest 2015

First, a big Thank You to Jeri and Sandi, who organized this event.  (I don't know if anyone else was involved - if so, I apologize for not including you.) UPDATE - I just learned on Jeri's blog post that Marsha also helped put this event together, and George, along with Jeri, was one of the original schemers for this to happen, then he had to head out of town and wasn't able to attend.  We'll see you there next year, George, I'm sorry you missed it.  Thanks to you both, too!  :)

This was such a great idea, and a really fun event.  I heard there were 52 people in attendance, and some dogs, too.  I was so sorry I didn't bring Katie, she would have loved it and if there is a BloggerFest 2016, I'll bring her for sure.

I've spent the morning reading everyone else's post about this new "happening" and loved seeing all the photos.  I think we probably got everyone between us all.  I wish I had more photos - and discovered when I was going through the few I took that I didn't get pictures of Jeanne, Kim, Gayle and Jim and other people who are not only bloggers, but are friends - who also attended.  I guess I was trying to meet people through my camera.  I did get a chance to meet and chat with some super nice bloggers that I really enjoyed, but I missed some, too.  Next year?

Anyway, I'm just going to post the pictures in the order I took them, and hope you'll forgive me for not identifying ALL the people.  You'll recognize some of them, I'm sure.

(One of the suggestions at the beginning was that we all make sure to minimize the size of our photos before posting them.  I already do that, to the smallest web size my program offers, so when I post a lot of photos I hope they all pop up right away and don't use too much of your bandwidth.  I think most of us already do that.) 

Here are Jeri and Sandi, welcoming us all and asking if we would spend a minute giving our names and the name of our blog.  I have to say, being a bit of an introvert, I was thinking, "Rats, I hate it when they make us do that."  But it wasn't so bad, and if we hadn't identified ourselves and our blogs, I would never have known some of the people were there and probably wouldn't have met them.  So, for the 10 seconds of my discomfort, I was able to enjoy the introductions of everyone else.  :)

I wish I could remember what Jeri was saying - it must have been good!  Or at least Sandi thought so - LOL:

Listening to the opening statements from Jeri and Sandi:

Our Famous Judy!  She was telling us who she was (I think most of us identified her right away) and explaining that her glasses broke just as she was standing up.   Anyone have a tiny screwdriver?  I was happy to finally meet Judy.  She's pointing to where her glasses should have been:

Marianne - I have her Frugal Shunpiker's Guide ad on the side and bottom of my blog posts and was glad I was able to meet her and chat.  I've purchased some of the guides and they're worth having, for sure:

Sandi and Denise - I don't think I saw Sandi without a smile - and of course, Denise is a hoot.  (The only introduction that we had to "bleep" out a word.  You Go, Girl!)

Wider shot of Marianne's introduction:

Hazel and her two Greyhounds, Dawn and Jim, and the top of Doug's and Yuma's heads - sorry Doug, but nice hat!:

Al and Kelly - I never got a photo of Pheebes, she was moving too fast!  I enjoyed chatting with Kelly a couple of times - loved her jacket! - but didn't meet Al - have to make sure I do that next time.  I did get to pet Pheebes, though. :)

Diana - she was one of the first bloggers I followed and I got such great boondocking information from her when I started out:

And those are the only photos I took, wish there were more. 

I chatted with Sharon and John (Hey Duke), but didn't get photos - rats!  And Gaelyn who I hadn't met before.  And lots of others.  Hopefully I'll get more close-up photos next year to help me remember everyone.  :)

I hope anyone who blogs or read blogs will attend in 2016 if there is another BloggerFest.  Even those people who are real "solos" and introverts (and that describes me) will have a great time and be happy they stepped out of their comfort zone for a couple of hours.

Click on the links above to read more and see more photos from the BloggerFest.  There are lots of posts already published about the event and everyone has a different slant and different photos to enjoy! 

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

Saturday, January 24, 2015

THE BIG TENT... TPMS and... Lunch at Sweet Darlene's

We got our mail Thursday morning at the postal service and drove right on up to Quartzsite.  We are staying with the Lazy Daze group here at La Posa West.  When we got here, I saw Jeanne right away, she met us on the road to help guide me into a good site.  Then we walked over to Nancy's rig so I could say Hi to her.  We made plans to walk over to the Big Tent in a hour and  I went home and got settled.

So, Jeanne, Nancy and I walked over to the Tent, walked around for a while, then went outside and checked out some of the smaller vendors on that side of the street.  (We'll go back and check out the other side of the street another day.)  When we got back, my pedometer had logged in over 10,000 steps, and my feet were so sore!  I'm not used to walking that much, but Friday morning, all was well and I was raring to go again.  :)

You've all seen pictures of the crowds and tents along the street and the traffic and vendors - well,  here are a couple of vendors I thought were different and interesting:

Beer Belly's Adult Day Care...  food, drinks, and some great live entertainment.

Need a firearm?   Where, here you go...

I bought a Tire Pressure Monitoring System at the Big Tent - every year I try to make one big upgrade to The Palms - last year was the new generator, this year it's the TPMS.  This was my main reason for wanting to visit the Big Tent this year.

A TPMS is something I've been thinking about for a couple of years and finally this year I got one.  This is the same system Nina - Wheeling It - did all the research on (THANK YOU, NINA!) find that post here, and Denise purchased the same system last year, using Nina's great research and explanations as her guide.  I decided to do the same, why re-create the wheel?  :)

That's the one thing I'm not as good with as I should be - checking my tire pressure, and yes, I DO know how important it is.  I don't know why I don't check as often as I should, but now I have a monitoring system to keep me informed 24/7 on how the tires are doing.  So far my tires have always been good - maybe a little low, but not much.  This time, when Dion checked, they were lower than they should have been, and it was time to add some air.

Tire-SafeGuard Tire Pressure Monitoring System is the brand name, you can check out their website here: Tire-Safeguard.  They are out of Cerritos, California.

Dion was a great salesman, offers a pretty nice discount for cash, and will come out to where your RV is camped, even if it's not at the Big Tent area, to install the system for you.  It's really simple, take off the tire stem cap, screw the sensor cap on all the tires (its all wireless) and then set the monitoring system and put it on your dash.  Done.  But I'm glad he came out and did it for me.  One of my rear tire stem extenders was a little iffy letting air through, and might not have registered properly on it's sensor.  Luckily I had extra tire extenders, so he switched that one out for me.  One of my front tires had a short extender on the stem, and the other didn't.  The one without the extender was recessed too much to screw on the sensor so I need to purchase a few more of those, one for that tire and a couple to have in reserve just in case.

So now I'll have more confidence when driving down the road that my all my tires have the proper pressure and temperature - all right where they should be.  :)

Yesterday a group of us went to Sweet Darlene's Restaurant and Bakery in town - I love that place!  Jeanne, Denise, Nancy, Kim and I went, and boy were they busy!  We had quite a wait for our orders to be taken, and then for our food to come, but we were so busy chatting away that it didn't matter, and when the food came out it was delicious. (I'm sure ALL the restaurants in town are super busy and crowded this week.)  I had a Ruben sandwich - I've never had one before and it was so good!  I saved half for lunch today and I'm really looking forward to it.

At Sweet Darlene's:  Nancy, Jeanne, Denise and Kim.

Today is the BloggerFest - from what I hear, it's going to be very well attended - I'm looking forward to it - and hope to see you there.  If you're not a blogger but would like to meet some of the people who are, maybe people you read all the time, come on out and join the fun!

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pictureless Wednesday

I know, I know, it's supposed to be Wordless Wednesday, but I have some words and no pictures today.

Okay, finally - we're heading back to Quartzsite tomorrow.  :)  People to see, places to go, things to do.  Yeah!

My package was delivered yesterday afternoon to the post office service at the Christian Service Center down the road.  They are open from 9 to noon four days a week, closed Wednesday, so I can pick it up tomorrow morning and head north to Quartzsite.

I have a couple of things I want to check out at the Big Tent and the other vendors up and down the street, and wanted to arrive before the end of next weekend.  I'm hearing and reading in blog posts that it's starting to wind down - really?  It's only Wednesday, half-way through their SHOW TIME!  I guess a lot of people must have visited the tents early on and are done shopping, which would help the traffic, I'm sure.  Quartzsite people - is the traffic getting lighter?

Today is the third Wednesday of the month - the day my Social Security check dances happily into my checking account.  Man, it's so hard waiting for a check ONCE A MONTH.  When I worked for my son, we were paid weekly, my favorite timeline for paychecks.  Once a month takes FOREVER to come.

I always eagerly anticipate this third Wednesday, and wake up raring to go - turn on the computer, pay the few bills I have every month, and put the rest in the savings account.  It doesn't take long, but I've always loved paying bills and have an elaborate Exel spreadsheet to record everything on.  I'm trying my darnedest to build up the savings account to purchase a PARK MODEL.  I want one SOOOO BAD for a home base.  Each month gets me a little closer.

Every Social Security check day, I want to post - YEAAA, I got my check!  Dumb.  But I do. And now I have.  LOL  I'm betting everyone out there receiving a Social Security check each month feels the same way, right?  (Wish I was the first Wednesday.)

WELCOME to our newest followers, Michael & Imkelina!   They are on the verge of taking possession of a brand new Arctic Fox 25P.  You can read about it on their blog, BlaNicS Waypoints - and guess what?  They have a BATHTUB in the new rig.  I'm so jealous!  But happy jealous...   Welcome Aboard to you both!

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

Monday, January 19, 2015

Leaving tomorrow - maybe...

Katie and I are still here at Imperial Dam LTVA in the Quail Hill campground.  We like it here, but it's time to head back to Quartzsite and do some VISITING!  There are lots of people I want to connect or re-connect with who are already there.  The Big Tent is halfway done and before we know it, people will start leaving that area, so we need to get there soon. 

Jeanne and Riley left here last Tuesday and are now at Quartzsite.  We tried to visit Judy of Travels with Emma at the Imperial Nat'l Wildlife Refuge.  Jeanne actually stayed here one extra day so we could do that, but unfortunately it rained a lot on Monday night, and left the roads questionable on the way into where Judy is.  We drove along muddy roads wondering if we should keep going.  Finally there was a BIG hole in the road filled with water, and it continued around the bend, so we didn't know how far the water hole went on.  Just then a truck came by and Jeanne waved him on so we could see him drive through the water and see how deep it was. He was high off the ground, but still looked kind of deep in the water, so we decided to turn around.  That was too bad, we were almost there, but it would have been a real bummer to get stuck in a huge mud puddle and have to be towed out. 

When we got back, we saw that the muddy roads kicked up a ton of mud into the wheel wells and under the car.  Geez, poor Jeanne - she has a brand new car and in a week we pushed it to the limit, dusty, bumpy roads, washboard roads, rocky roads, holey roads, muddy roads.  It's a great little car, though, and got us back to camp each time.  Dusty and Dirty but safe and sound.  We put the dogs in our rigs and grabbed our laundry to stow in the car.  Then we got paper towels and scraped all the mud off that we could get.  Soon, we had visitors.

They came over and stood right next to the car and wouldn't leave.  I couldn't get into the car, LOL.  Finally Jeanne got behind the wheel and slooooowly drove forward.  As the car went past the Mom, she put her head on the back of the car like she didn't want it leaving.

And so we headed to Yuma.  After the laundry was done Jeanne found a DIY car wash, where we sent streams of water into the wheel wells, under the car, and over every visible surface.  When we left, it was sparkling in the sun.  :)  Sorry we missed you, Judy, maybe next time around. 

I think it was later in the day after we had gotten back to camp and relaxed in our rigs for a while that Jeanne and Riley came over on their way to the dumpsters.  I grabbed Katie and our garbage bag and started walking with them.  There were two other burros nearby standing near a bush and when they saw us, the started out after us. I was worried because of all the stories I've heard about the burros not liking dogs around their babies - but this time they were pursuing us.  We walked faster and faster, and so did the burros.  I said to Jeanne, this is a classic case of "watch out what you wish for."  I had been wishing so hard for wild burros to come visit.   We made it a quick walk and went right back to our rigs.  I felt bad, but as much as I LOVE these guys, I'm still afraid of them if they are too close.  Petting the baby the other day is about as much closeness as I want.   I'll admire them from afar, thank you.

Now I'm just waiting for mail to be delivered.  I've filled the water tank, dumped the grey and black, filled the gas tank, gone to Wal-Mart one last time, and hopefully tomorrow my package will arrive at the mail service here and I can top off the propane at the Christian Center and be on my way.  My package was supposed to be here Saturday, so I could have picked it up today or tomorrow, but right now it's still in San Bernardino, CA, so - I'm at the mercy of the Postal Gods.  I'm going to hang out with the Lazy Daze group at La Posa West for a couple of weeks before heading on to Ehrenberg. 

I've saved all the bird photos from Quail Hill to post all at once.  There are a lot of birds here; some are here every day, and others are infrequent visitors.  Here they are:


Common Goldeneye:

American Coots:

Double-crested Cormorant - love those webbed feet:

The one on the left was singing:


Ducks - there were large flocks flying along over the canal and bobbing in the water.  Lately I've heard gunfire in the area, and I learned it's duck hunting season, which will end soon.  Hopefully the ducks have moved to another area because I haven't seen many of them overhead lately.  I was happy to hear the duck hunters have to be a minimum number of yards from the campgrounds. 

Gambel's Quail:

Quail and Grackles - lots of Quail and Grackles:

Great-tailed Grackle:


Loggerhead Shrike:

Red-winged Blackbird - there were flocks of these on the ground from time to time:

And finally, before the bee invasion, Verdin - they put on quite a show at the hummer feeder:

We also had hummingbirds, but the bees came in droves and I had to take the feeders down. 

I noticed these foot prints this afternoon near our site - I have no idea what they are from.  It looks like a hoof print with toes? Look at the print above my shoe - it's round with four "toes."

Below are burro hoof prints and deep toe prints that are larger than the hoof:

This one is a little better angle of the round print with toes.  Weird....

Here's Katie with her new squeaky duck.  She had one of these when I first got her.  Do you think she remembers that one?

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