Sunday, May 31, 2015

Heat wave's coming... heading north. Good bye, Elephant Butte!

We have been staying at Cedar Cove RV Park in Elephant Butte, New Mexico.  It's right outside the town of Elephant Butte.  I paid for a month to see how we did staying in one place for four weeks.  Actually, if the weather cooperated it would have been fine, but 90+ degree weather is predicted starting today and lasting for a while, so it's time to move north.

This is a very affordable RV park.  It's on four levels, most of the come-and-go people are on the first level where I am, close to the office, dog park, laundry, picnic area, and other amenities.  There are many year-round residents, a few on this level, but most on the lower levels. There are different size sites, some are back-ins, just plain full-hook-up sites like mine, some have a concrete pad, some are drive through, others have a shade structure.  On the lower levels the sites are wider and longer and some have storage sheds.  They are priced differently by the type of site.

Below is the office which includes a really nice patio on the side and to the rear of the building.  One evening when Katie had tons of energy and wanted to run, I took her there and let her off leash (which is allowed - it's a fenced in area) and she ran like crazy down the lawn, along the patio and back.  She was so excited to be running on lawn - actually running at all.  She was so happy.

The building has a laundry on the right side, outside the laundry door is a small room with a couch where I waited while my wash/dry cycles were going.  It has a bookcase full of audiobooks, books and magazines.  The building has bathrooms with large showers, a very large kitchen/meeting room, a smaller room housing the library, where there are books and videos, and also where the mail is delivered.  Everything is decorated nicely and very well kept and the staff here are all very friendly and helpful.  By the way, in the office they sell all kinds of things - RV accessories, some food treats, and they even have a freezer with Schwan's frozen foods you can buy.  They've thought of everything.

One of the old rusty items here in the park - this is on the patio:

After her run, I put Katie back in the stroller and we walked home.

There is a little picnic area across from the office.  It has a bar-b-que and water spigot.  Over Memorial Day the park put on a dinner of bar-b-qued hamburgers and hot dogs.  Since I'm on my new eating plan, we went over and chatted for a bit, then went home for our poached chicken dinner.

In addition to the RV sites, there are three park models for rent at a three day minimum.  One is 1-bedroom, and two are 2-bedrooms.  It's nice for the full time residents here, or even people like me moving around, to have these on-site where friends or relatives can come and visit for a few days or longer and be right here where we are.
Below is the fenced dog corral.  It's right behind our site on a little hill and one morning Katie was barking and looking toward the kitchen window.  There was a woman there with two dogs that were just having the best time.  They ran and ran, one jumped all over the other and then they ran and ran again. 

There's an area with a lot of old, rusty farm equipment, and also others around the park.

Here's our site - nothing fancy, but nice.  There was no one on one side for most of the time, and the other side has a 5th wheel that has been unoccupied the whole time we've been here.  Big rocks, trees and bushes and cactus separate the sites and actually provide quite a bit of privacy.

We had these blooming cactus plants on each side of our site:

Lizards would spend time in the heat of the day lounging on the rocks.  Katie was after this one, and he went under one of flat rocks.   Can you see him?  This isn't such a great hiding place, buddy!  Katie always went right to the rocks each time she went out the door for a walk to see if any lizards were there.

One day I noticed something moving out the window, and there was a Roadrunner walking along on the side of The Palms.  I was taking his photo when he took off:

Then he stopped by the tree:

See how different he looks when he raises his top feathers and tail?

Then he got back down into traveling mode:

And away he went.

I wasn't expecting to see Roadrunners here, so that was a really nice bonus.  Lots of other birds here, too, doves, quail, etc., but you don't need to see them again. 

As Katie and I were taking our afternoon walk one day, we saw a snake on the path.  I wasn't sure about him - he wasn't moving, but looked like he was alive.  So I took a small rock and tossed it his way and he didn't move.  I'm not up on snakes, his tail didn't look like rattles, but...  I still didn't want to step over him.
We walked off the path onto the road to get around him.  He was pretty long and showed no signs of being run over or smashed in any way.  I don't like snakes, but seeing them is always exciting and I have to get a photo.  Anyone know what kind of snake this is?

I saw this large flowering cactus along the road, too.   

Very pretty blooms.

There are some rock cairns at the entrance of the RV park.  I always enjoy seeing them, and have made a few myself over the years.

Here are more cairns, and five stars in red rock - A Five Star RV Park?

WELCOME to our latest follower, Charlie Downunder in OZ! This is his blogger profile, "G'day ... my name is Charlie and I come from the land downunder. I live in Noosa, Queensland, Australia. I'm a whippet and a VERY GOOD looking whippet at that! Even if I do say so myself. I'm VERY enthusiastic about life. I LOVE everything and everybody. I also love to run .... I think that's a whippet thing! My favourite place to run is the beach. I used to be on dogster but when I heard it was closing down all my mates said I had to come here ... so here I am. It's not closing now but I like it here so here I'm going to stay. Crikey ... I hope you'll all follow me. I love to make new friends!!"  His favorite movie: I was named after Charlie Allnut in the African Queen with Humphrey Bogart so I guess I have to like that film.  I'm not much into films though.   His favorite music:  Phill Collins ... Dad plays it all the time so I HAVE to like it!    Charlie's favorite book:  All books ... I love ripping them to pieces.

I remember driving around the campground with my friend, Hazel, exercising her Greyhounds.  She would talk about her blog, her followers and the people she followed.  She communicated with many of them, and one that I specifically remember is Charlie.  Hazel thought it was so interesting that the DOG wrote the blog posts, and she thought he was so funny.  If there was a recent post from Charlie, she always related to me what he said. And Charlie: she felt bad that she thought you were a Greyhound.  And embarrassed!  She said you set her straight - so funny.   :)

Thanks for following along with us, Charlie.  Katie is so happy to have another dog along on our adventures!  :)

So...  tomorrow morning we are heading north to Storrie Lake State Park.  It's cooler there and we will be more comfortable.  I wanted to stop overnight at Albuquerque, but it's going to be blazing hot there, so we might just push on through to Storrie Lake. We'll see how it goes.

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

PS:  I couldn't resist, it's so uncanny...

Friday, May 22, 2015

Poor little Katie - it's taken her so long to train me

A while ago, Judy (Travels with Emma) posted about Emma not liking her metal food bowl.  She wondered why - maybe her tags clicking against the metal, etc.?   Well, Katie has never been a big eater.  She gets a big "Good Girl!" whenever she eats any of her food.  (She loves treats, just didn't seem interested in her dinner until she was starving.)  I know that sounds dumb, but there are days she doesn't eat much at all from her food bowl, and I only give her 1/2 cup of Royal Canin Adult Chihuahua dry food every day.

So, after reading Judy's blog post and then reading all the comments, I changed out Katie's metal bowl with a plastic one.  She still wasn't interested.  I reduced the size of the treats she gets so she would be hungrier, but she still didn't eat much from her bowl.  Usually by the end of the day she finished the 1/2 cup of food, nibbling all day long, but not always, and when we travel, she often didn't eat anything.  When we were in San Diego, she went three days without eating any of her food.  She got some treats, but didn't eat her food.

Well...   when Katie gets a treat or a cookie or a rawhide chew toy, she always jumps up on the couch and puts it on her blanket and eats it from there.  So a couple of weeks ago, I decided to put her new plastic bowl on her blanket.  She ate a little....

Then looked at me...  "Mom, you STILL don't get it!"  Jeez, look at that face!

So I dumped out the food onto the blanket.  

I couldn't believe it!  She ate all the food!  I don't remember her ever eating a full bowl of food since I've had her.  Seven and a half years.

Since then I put the half of her food on her blanket in the morning, and she finishes it all, and the other half in her bowl on the kitchen floor.  She won't touch anything in the bowl all day.  When I have my dinner, I pour her food out of her bowl onto her blanket, she jumps up and eats it all. 

My work is done.

We've been doing this for weeks now, and she eats every bit, every time.  I have to say, Katie is very patient with me.  LOL

I thought I'd post this just in case any of you are having the same issue with your pet.  I know most dogs scarf up everything in their bowls as soon as it is served and then want more, but there are those dainty eaters out here that are different.  I'm so glad I finally figured this out - and now I compliment myself every time she finishes her breakfast and dinner.   LOL  Really.

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

PS - Katie has a sensitive tummy and this is the only food I can give her that doesn't upset her stomach.  I never know what's going to happen with other brands/kinds of food.  Sometimes she vomits, sometimes she has diarrhea - other times not.  I just never know, so this food was recommended by a co-worker who had the same issues with his Chihuahuas, and it's never caused her a problem, so that's all I give her.  It's expensive, but worth it.  And she DOES like it.  Just not from a bowl on the floor, I guess.

NOTE:  5/24/15 - You guys are cracking me up with your comments - some of you have pups who are even more picky than Katie.  What a hoot!  It's nice that I'm not alone.  LOL

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

We've lost an old friend. Rest in Peace, Hazel

Sadly, I just learned Hazel Bluhm, my old friend, died today.  I know she had many RVing friends, but she also had lots of Greyhound dog owner friends, too.  I tried to leave a comment on her blog to let people know who might not be reading our RV blogs, but Hazel has her blog set to approve comments, so my comment won't post.  I had forgotten about that until I hit publish.  So, I thought I'd post my comment here, and refer you to the blog were I read about Hazel leaving us.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015.

I just learned on another blog post that Hazel Bluhm died today. 

Hazel was my friend; I met her when I was a newbie to this RVing world, and she couldn't have been more helpful, from climbing up on my roof to help me seal cracks in the sealant to crawling under my Class C to help plug holes with steel wool where the mice were coming in. 

When Katie stepped into the nest of red ants, Hazel is the first person I went to for advice.  When I had stomach pains (and later emergency surgery), Hazel is the person who told me to drive to the ER.

She loved being helpful and was a good friend.  Also one of the best birders and brightest people I knew.  She will be missed by many.

To read about what happened, please go to this post:   RVing:  The USA is our Big Backyard

Rest in peace, Hazel. 

I remember when she was talking about started her own blog, and we worked together on it.

I helped her as much as I could.  I came up with the blog name and header, and then she did the rest.  Not only did she love the RVing part of her blog, she was also amazed at all the friends she made because of her Greyhounds, who she dearly loved, through her posts.

She had some health issues, mainly her back and knees, and had difficulty giving her dogs all the exercise they needed, so she'd get their leashes, hop in the car, unroll the window, and drive along, giving them all the exercise they wanted.  I went on many of these drives, as did a lot of her other friends.

In the photo below, Katie is photo-bombing Hazel and her dogs:

She LOVED to take day-trips, and did tons of research on whatever area she was in to see what would be a good bet for her time there.

Hazel did a lot of volunteering, and for the last few years gave her time in the office at Bluewater Lake State park in New Mexico.  She did a great job there!

I could go on and on, her photography skills, her love of genealogy, her knowledge of the medical field - she was a retired nurse, she has been repairing an old family quilt.  When she went to town in her car, she always offered a ride, she loved visiting and being around people.  Hazel was a member of the Dingbats - I've written about them.  She was camping with them at Quartzsite the first time she knocked on my door, and became a fast friend.  Again, I could go on and on...

Hazel lost her parents and her brother, and never married or had children.  Her dogs and cat and all of her RV friends were her family.

This is her blog address:   Class A Greyhounds.... Traveling with the Big Dogs.

Good bye, Hazel, you will be missed by many.  I hope there are lots of Greyhounds, cats and birds in Heaven.  And have fun meeting all your ancestors, who you've been spending so much time researching.   :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Here's the teensy Pantry change...

When Tom cut the wood for my new pantry, my Roadrunner imperfection on the wood was cut into a shelf.  The way it was cut and finished, I knew it was there, but it was covered up by the food on the shelf and not visible.

We planned the number of shelves with an extra, figuring I would probably need one shelf that was taller, and I could keep the extra.  After filling the pantry, I saw I needed a taller shelf on the bottom of the pantry.  I took out the shelf above it, and that was the extra.  I did a swap with that extra one and my Roadrunner shelf.  Now that was the extra.  Then I put it behind the small spice bottles, and Waaaa-Laaaa:

Where there's a will, there's a way, and I wanted to see my Roadrunner.  I'm glad we decided to have that extra shelf.  Now I see my Roadrunner every time I open the door to my fab pantry.  Isn't he beautiful?   :)

Then I alphabetized the spices.  LOL

WELCOME to our newest Follower, JeepinGeos!   As the blog name shows, at this point jeeping and geo caching are favorite activities, but RVing, maybe full-time, could be in their future.  Many of us have been where you are right now, JeepinGeos, and reading lots of RVing blogs is giving you LOTS of good information.  Good luck - I hope your dreams come true!  :)

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

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Changes coming?

I've gotten into the habit of reading YOUR posts before writing mine.  Honestly, I follow so many people and it's easy to get right into your activities.  Then I'm done.  Of course, if anything interesting was going on in or around The Palms, I'd write mine first.  But...   

I have moved.  I'm still in Elephant Butte, but I've been wanting to do more RV Park living with full hook-ups this year and this is the first time I've made a conscious decision to stay a month in an RV Park.  I've spent three different months in parks in the last four years, but those times I had to for various reasons. 

This time I plunked down the credit card for a month's stay because I wanted to.  Because I have a plan.

A blogging buddy, John Hedges, left me a comment that he's here in Elephant Butte and to come by for a visit if I'm in his area.  So I did.  I wanted to meet John, and also check out where he was staying.  We had a wonderful visit; John has been on the road full-timing for eight years now, and he has a lot of information to share.  (Lately when I visit with other full-timers, I feel like I should bring a notebook with me, you know?  After four years I'm doing very well, but there's so much more stuff I don't know - there is always something old I haven't heard yet, or some new tip that's really helpful.)
John gave me a tour of the park - and it's large, clean, and fits the budget.  It has a kitchen, laundry, super clean restrooms with showers, library, very good free wi-fi, beautiful back patio with a bar-b-que, etc., all the usual RV Park amenities.  And a very nice, helpful staff.  No pool.  No spa.  No pickleball.  That keeps the prices down, and I wouldn't use those facilities so I don't miss them. 

After our visit I went back to my free (with annual pass) dry-camping site at Elephant Butte State Park, packed up and drove over to EB South Monticello Campground where Annie and The Furballs and her sister, Connie, were staying.  I stayed there two days and caught up with Annie, met Connie and took some nice walks with them and Jake.  Then I packed up again and drove to the RV Park.

I've been here almost a week now.  The first few days I wasn't sure about this.  Our sites are fairly large, but still, there are lots of RVs around me, out each window, and I'm not used to that.  There are other sites I could move to that don't have as many neighbors, but I'm going to try to tough it out and see how I do.  It's kind of like going from living in a house on a large lot to a condo, and I've done that before.

You all know I love dry-camping and it fits my frugal lifestyle.  But I've been thinking for a long time about having a home base, even if it's just paying an annual fee at an RV park that I can live in and travel from.  I'm just not sure that would suit my gypsy genes, so this is a baby step in that direction.  Plus, if I decide to do that, I want to try out some different areas to see if I can find a location and an RV Park that would work for me. 

I'll let you know how it's going.   :)

Some Elephant Butte State Park critters - I love this first one:

There was a nest in the bush right in front of The Palms and the Curve-billed Thrashers would come and go all day long, first peeking out, then flying away.

Views of and from our EBSP campsite:

The weather is so changeable here.  It will be sunny and calm, then the clouds come in and the wind whips up.  If we're lucky we get some rain.  Then it all blows away.

There was a beautiful full moon over the lake:

On Thursday night we had the worst (best?) thunderstorm we've been in so far.  We were here in the RV Park, and it went on for a bit, then it was right overhead.  When the thunder rolled, it just kept going.  Then the lightening CRACKED! right overhead.  WOW.   If it wasn't raining so hard, and so windy outside, I would have gone out and unplugged the rig.  I turned off everything electrical and unplugged the computer and TV from their outlets.  I love storms, but jeez, this was a STORM!

When we've been here a bit longer I'll get some photos of the RV park and show you where we are. 

That's about it for now - from me and Katie, have a great Saturday, everybody!  :)