Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas–and a little RV mod present from me to me!

Many miles have been traveled since my last post.  Katie and I left Elephant Butte State Park in New Mexico and headed toward Arizona for the winter.  We stayed at Hot Springs LTVA near Holtville, CA for a couple of weeks.   I had lab tests and an annual doctor exam scheduled in San Diego, so stopping at Hot Springs is our usual route.  Hot Springs is usually really crowded.  There’s always room and it’s not hard to find a site, but the good sites are always taken when I’m there.  This year, both the on the way to and from San Diego, I got fantastic, large sites.
The first one was right off the main road, a “cul-de-sac” site, very private and large.  We were surrounded by bushes and had a nice area to put the camp chairs out in the shade of the bushes. 

On the way to San Diego, I usually stay at least one night at a casino in Alpine, it's about 1 1/2 hours from Hot Springs LTVA so it cuts drive time and makes for a really short drive into San Diego.  And this is the sunset I was treated to right before the turnoff to the casino.  

We arrived right before it was dark.  It was one of those trips where, the afternoon before we are to leave I get everything put away and ready to go, and I think, “We're ready - why not go NOW?”  That’s what we did and we were treated to a gorgeous sunset.

The next morning we finished the drive to SD.  I love the views I get driving into the San Diego area.  These are my “coming home” views:

I always breathe a sigh of relief, I’m home.

There were some nice waves coming in from the Pacific Ocean.  Can you see all the surfers in the pic below?

My mail service is in Encinitas, which is right on the ocean, so I usually come in this way to pick up the mail, then head over to Carlsbad where my kids live.  I stayed with them for a week or so and we had a nice visit.  

My annual doctor’s appointment with my new GP went really well.  When I was there in April, my doc wasn’t happy with my cholesterol levels – they've been a bit high for years, and I was finally talked into taking meds to bring them down.  He prescribed 20 mg of a cholesterol drug.  I REALLY hate taking prescription drugs.  I had a bad result from one in the past and stay away from them if I can, but this new doc was persuasive and I agreed to try one. 

While visiting in April, my son told me about the healthy eating plan he and my granddaughter had been on and the great things it did for them – they are in fabulous shape.  So I tossed out any food in my fridge/cupboards that wasn’t on the list and made up a shopping list for when I was heading back to the desert.  And while at their house, I ate the same foods they did.  The whole family eats a pretty good, clean diet.  I dug out my Vitamix (one of the few things that I didn't put in the estate sale when I started full-timing) and put it on the kitchen counter so it would be easy to make healthy drinks for myself with all the fruits and veggies I got and planned to use.

So, fast forward seven months to November, and I've stayed on that plan pretty well since then.  I've also been walking more than usual and have lost a few pounds.  When I went to the doctor this time, a week after having lab tests to see what my cholesterol levels were now, both he and his nurse were really surprised.  Eating good foods, walking more and talking the Rx he prescribed in April brought my cholesterol down from 240 to 116.  I asked him if he would cut my prescription from a 20 mg pill to 10 mg dose every day, and he did.  So we’ll see what happens next year.  If my levels stay low with a continued good diet and exercise, I just might stop taking them completely. Smile

When I left San Diego I headed back to Hot Springs LTVA, but stopped overnight in El Centro, CA, about 30 minutes before the campground.  I had to renew my California Driver License and I figured that was a good place to do it, since it was still in California and I thought it would be less busy than the San Diego offices.  I had made an appointment, thank goodness, because it was VERY busy!  

I was worried about passing the written test (no driving test required), because it’s been so long since I took it.  But now they have the manual on-line, as well as practice tests.  If you need to renew your license, trust me, that’s a great way to study up.  I don’t know if I would have passed it or not without taking those tests a few times and reading the manual twice.  I was only unsure of one question, and answered it wrong, but got the rest right, so I’m good for five more years.  YAAAAAY!

Then we headed back to Hot Springs again, where we got another perfect site.  The sites here are so varied – I’ve been right out in the open with no bushes or trees, and I’ve had sites like this year’s with lots of bushes and trees for complete privacy.  This one was alongside the canal which is behind those bushes, so we had lots of tall reeds. 

As you can see in the photo below, there are areas here that are VERY dusty.  Look at the tire tracks in that deep dust.  

One morning when Katie and I were out walking we ran across this trail the dust.  Must be a snake, right?  Luckily all we saw were the tracks!

We again stayed a couple of weeks, then one morning I woke up to rain, packed up and headed for Quartzsite.  Nice having tires on my house.  Winking smile

That’s where we are now.  We’re back in a site we’ve had twice before.  Isn't it funny that out of thousands of places to park a motor home, a couple just feel right - and I keep going back to them.  This is our site, below.  As soon as we arrived, we were visited by a Broad-tailed Hummingbird, so I got out the feeders and set up a little Hummingbird Garden with three feeders.

I’ve a few more photos to post with birds and some new Katie pics, but I'll post them next time.

I always seem to give myself gifts this time of year, and this year is no different.  I really needed a new printer, and my Keurig single cup coffee maker had been leaking for a while, so I went to Wal-Mart and got a new Canon printer ($39! – and it does a nice job) and a new Keurig.  Thank you, ME! 

But the best Christmas present I gave myself – I’ve been wanting a 12V outlet up in my bunk area to plug my Sirius radio into.  I had wires running under my mattress to the one cabin 12V outlet at the foot of the bed, and this particular wire was too short and always a pain to get in the right place for a good signal.  Remember Brian, who installed my solar panel lifts?  Last year we talked about him installing a 12V outlet for me, and when I arrived in Quartzsite this year, he came over and got the job done.  He installed one that has the 12V outlet for my Sirius, two plugs for USB cords and also has a voltage readout for my house batteries.  He wired it right into my electrical panel which is hooked into the batteries.  I have some photos to show you, and will post them next time.

Thanks Brian, great job!!!  I’ve literally wanted another 12V outlet for years, so now I can cross that off the list.

If you need solar installed, or pretty much anything done in or around or on top of your RV, you can contact Brian at his new e-mail address: 

And that about catches us up for the last month.  I’ll try to post more in 2016 – and maybe more will be going on then, too.  2016 should be a different kind of travel year for us, we’ve made plans with Jeanne and her dog Riley to travel to northward to some new places in Arizona.  I'm looking forward to doing something different, and while we’re at it, I'm going to check out towns and park model parks to see if I can find a place I like with a park model I can afford so I'll have a home base part of the year.

I’ll leave you with a sunset from our site here at Quartzsite, they have just been gorgeous:

Close-up of one section so you can see the beautiful colors:

Thank you for using our Links or Search Box to order your online purchases this year!  (Remember to BEGIN your search with our Links.)  Katie and I sure do appreciate it!  :)

Merry Christmas to you all, and thank you for following along with me and Katie and leaving comments! 

PS – I’ve heard so much about the new OpenLiveWriter lately, I decided to try it.  And I LIKE it!  I think I’ll use it from now on.  Rolling on the floor laughing  Thank for all your posts about it. (Hope they get Spellcheck working soon.)