Thursday, October 23, 2014

NOT MUCH TO SAY……….

IMG_3710

This pretty much sums up our day, not much going on & not much to say………………..

GROANER’S CORNER:(( Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he will go out and buy expensive fishing equipment, stupid-looking clothes, a sports utility vehicle, travel 1000 miles to the "hottest" fishing spot and stand waist-deep in cold water so he can try to outsmart a fish.  Average cost per fish: $596.73

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

COULD THEY BE AMERICAN AVOCETS & NO MORE GARAGE SALES

DSC_0022

COULD THIS BE A SMALL FLOCK OF ‘AMERICAN AVOCETS

October’s Big Dipper stood large on it’s handle this morning along a horizon line made up of Arizona’s Weaver Mountains .  Saw 2 meteorites flash through Orion & spotted a slow moving satellite making it’s way from West to East in the Milky Way Tuesday night.  Standing beneath an endless blanket of shimmering jeweled stars is always a mighty fine way to start or end another Arizona day. 

DSC_0015

CIRCLING THE POND

DSC_0014 DSC_0020

FINAL APPROACH & THEN IT’S FULL FLAPS & LANDING GEAR DOWNDSC_0021

ONE LATE TOUCH-DOWN

DSC_0004

Haven’t been having much luck with the cage in catching Skunky so last night I was determined to outlast him.  My idea was to wait until he had left his den under the house in the night then seal up the hole.  Kept myself awake until 11:30 but didn’t see any tracks leading out from under the house.  Decided to forego my sleeping pill because I knew without it I would for sure wake up some time in the middle of the night & of course I did.  It was 2:15 when I was back outside looking for tracks.  Didn’t see any so I temporarily blocked the hole just in case he was out.  Didn’t want to make it permanent in case he wasn’t.  I have wire mesh set up that Skunky can easily push out if he is still in there & I have the Critter Cam monitoring the hole for any movement.  If that Critter Cam shows no movement tonight I will assume after he went out last night he did not get back in.  I didn’t see any signs this morning of anything moving the temporary blockage I set up about 2:30 this morning.DSC_0004-001

DSC_0008-001 DSC_0017 

PHEEBS & CLEM HEAD FOR HOME

DSC_0023

DSC_0009-001

We were out early while the air was still cool & took our usual walking route out into the desert.  We knew where there was a pond (they call them ‘Tanks’ here) & I was curious to see how much water remained after Arizona’s summer rains.  The ‘tank’ was fuller than the last couple years & we were surprised by a flock of what I am guessing might be AMERICAN AVOCETS lifting off the still waters.  That was the closest match I found in my National Audubon Society Field Guide To The Southwestern States.  Maybe JUDY can correct me if I’m wrong.

DSC_0009

DSC_0001 DSC_0010

DSC_0008

DSC_0005

DSC_0019

LOOK CLOSELY……. ARE THEY REALLY FLYING UPSIDE DOWN??  NOPE, JUST THEIR REFLECTION IN THE POND’S SMOOTH SURFACE AS THEY PASS LOW OVER THE WATER

We are staying inside & sticking pretty close to our 3 fans this week.  Talked briefly about an A/C window unit for our living room but decided against it.  We had not expected to arrive here as early as we did & besides the weather will be cooling off soon.  We have everything we need in the house now & have decided not to invest any more money in it.  Also agreed ‘no more garage sales’!!

DSC_0006

GROANER’S CORNER:((   The new bride went crying to her mother. "Momma, I can't get my husband to do anything. I want him to fix up the house, but he keeps putting it off."  "Honey," her mother replied, "after being married to your father for thirty-eight years, I've found the only way to get him to do anything is to tell him he's too old."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

FAIRIES ON MY KINDLE

DSC_0016
OUR MORNING WALK AREA
Each night when I turn out the light & climb into my bed I soon have little Fairies in my room.  They come through my screenless open window unseen & I’m not aware of them until I open my Kindle.  Only a few lines into my reading I may feel a slight bump on my forehead, a quiet flutter by my ear, or something softly alight on my hand.  And then there it is.  A little Ballerina figure on my Kindle’s cover. A couple more daintily touch down on my open screen.  I don’t shush them away, I just smilingly read around them.  They have tiny wings & dainty bodies.  To me they are wee Fairies but in true reality they are tiny Moths.  I read for 15 minutes as the Fairy Moths flit about my screen attracted by my Kindles brightness.  When I finally close the cover I am careful no tiny figurines are on the screen.   Again in the darkness my little friends quickly disappear once again into the night.  I’ve always liked Fairies ever since meeting Tinkerbell oh so many years ago.  I think we have all met Tinkerbell at some point in our childhood.  Maybe, just maybe one of these nights if I keep my window open Peter Pan himself may slip through into my room, gently arouse me from a deep sleep, take my hand & through the open window we will all merrily fly off to Never-Never Land……………..Pheebs too.
DSC_0001 DSC_0009
I WAITED & TRIED TO GET A PICTURE OF THE FAIRY MOTHS ON MY KINDLE BUT ALAS THEY DIDN’T COME…I DID GET A PICTURE EARLIER OF ONE ON MY BEDROOM WALL THOUGH
The Choice Auto Glass (917 Yaqui Dr Wickenburg, AZ 85390-3113 (928) 684-0994) fellas from Wickenburg showed up right on time this morning.  Didn’t say too much & went quickly to work on replacing Jeepers windshield.  These two fellas worked well together.  I helped by sitting on the porch & staying out of their way.  Half hour later job was done, new windshield in & they were off to their next job.  Turns out I did get talking to the older guy for a couple minutes after they finished & he told me he was originally from Toledo Ohio & was familiar with our neck of the Woods having been in London, Toronto, & Detroit.  New windshield looked a bit naked though.  Our bayfieldbunch.com logo was gone & I already miss our small Canadian flag.   $175 cash & we’re good for driving in the dark again.
DSC_0001
PREPPING THE NEW WINDSHIELD
DSC_0002 DSC_0003DSC_0005
WINDSHIELD DONE, NEW HEADLIGHTS DONE & JUST WAITING FOR A COUPLE FOG LIGHT COVERS
And a few numbers from our trip which I of course forgot to include in Monday’s post trip blog.  We traveled 3,618 miles & spent $2,062 of gas.  5 fuel stops in Canada & 5 fuel stops in the States..  $1,237 spent in Canada & $825 spent south of the border.  The heavy head winds heading West in Canada really beat up our gas mileage.  No idea how many miles we got to the gallon.  I have never been interested in that number because it is something I do not need or want to know.  RV’s that size average about 8 miles to the gallon.  See why I don’t track it…… 
 IMG_0967 IMG_0970
Can’t tell you much about the rest of the day because there didn’t seem to be too much to the rest of the day.  Nothing memorable anyway.
DSC_0007-003
GROANER’S CORNER:(( "Hello, is this the Sheriff's Office?" "Yes. What can I do for you?"
"I'm calling to report 'bout my neighbor Virgil Smith. He's hidin' marijuana inside his firewood! Don't quite know how he gets it inside them logs, but he's hidin' it there."
"Thank you very much for the call, sir."
The next day, the Sheriff's Deputies descend on Virgil's house. They search the shed where the firewood is kept. Using axes, they bust open every piece of wood, but find no marijuana. They sneer at Virgil and leave.
Shortly, the phone rings at Virgil's house.
"Hey, Virgil! This here's Floyd. Did the Sheriff come?"
"Yeah!"
"Did they chop your firewood?"
"Yep!"
"Happy Birthday, buddy!"

Monday, October 20, 2014

PRODUCTIVE MORNING & A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT OUR RECENT TRIP TO CONGRESS AZ.

DSC_0021-001

Awake early I sat quietly in my Ikea chair beside my bed.  Cool air gently fluffing my open bedroom window curtain.  Soft music on my Satellite radio.  Pheebs asleep on my bed.  It was mornings pre-dawn hours as I reflected back on our trip from Bayfield Ontario to Congress Arizona just a few weeks ago.  A long tedious journey & a route we are likely not to travel again.

DSC_0004

FIRST TIME WE’VE SEEN BURGUNDY MESQUITE BEANS

Thinking back there were definitely some good parts.  We did not have to go through or around any large cities & we traveled very few Interstates.  Our best day was our first day & that mainly had to do with the fine Autumn weather we had as we made the drive from Bayfield to Tobermory Ontario.  Enjoyed the CHI-CHEEMAUN experience despite the cold foggy morning.  Our long drive from rainy cold Manitoulin Island way up over the top of Lake Superior was marred by bad weather most of the way.  We found this very tiring & disappointing.  We had hopped for sunny weather highlighting Autumn’s beautiful array of colors in a drive second to none.  I did enjoy touching base with a few old memories in Oxdrift Ontario. 

DSC_0003 IMG_0919 

MY LITTLE GREEN FAN I CARRY AROUND TO KEEP COOL & THIS IS WHERE I HANG MY HATS & CAMERAS

Cold Manitoba winds made our week-end stay in Winkler Manitoba not memorable.  Highlight of our stay there was the Triple E plant tour & meeting a couple blog readers.  We were relieved to find out our water problem first encountered in Wawa Ontario was not serious & had nothing to do with the coach & everything to do with us over-filling it.  Leaving Winkler it was the constant & seemingly endless Prairie winds that wore us down over the next few days.  Nice meeting a couple more long time blog readers in Brandon Manitoba.  We pushed on West knowing the sooner we reached our second destination in Rouleau Saskatchewan the sooner we could point the rig’s nose South out of the battering North-Westerly winds.

DSC_0017

Corner Gas was of course a disappoint for me on a cold sullen & very flat southern Saskatchewan morning.  I had told myself not to expect anything but I sometimes have a hard time listening to myself.  And then we discovered the damage to the Jeep.  High point of the day was our no problem border crossing at Regway.  Low point of the trip was Williston North Dakota when we found out we had some kind of power problem in the coach.  Engine battery was dead & the water pump wouldn’t work meaning no hot water.  And then there was the nightmare drive in heavy predawn traffic through what seemed a never ending construction zone.

DSC_0002-001

AUTUMN COLORS IN CONGRESS

It was a another low point in our travels when an RV garage in Sturgis South Dakota told us our inverter was fried & it would cost $2600 plus labor to fix it.  High point of Sturgis was sunny weather combined with a quiet & picturesque RV Park for a couple days.  Mount Rushmore was a nice break for us.  Our second best day occurred on our drive from Sturgis South Dakota to Rawlins Wyoming.  Sunny skies, great scenery & lite winds all the way.  But our original plans were already in the dumpster as health problems had set in to change our main original destination for the whole trip which had been Capital Reef Utah.

DSC_0035

Kelly had picked up a cold which worsened.  Tiredness & fatigue had set in for both of us.  Stress over the coach problems brought on the decision back in Sturgis to simply head straight away for our house in Congress.  We needed time to recuperate & re-access our situation.  Hate to think we are not as young as we used to be.  We may return to the Custer area next Fall.

DSC_0020-003

With the exception of the inverter problem we are both pleased at how well the Big EEE performed.  Never once did our bottoms get tired in the comfy Captains chairs.  The rig is easy to handle & we were able to maneuver ourselves around OK in a few relatively small spots.  So nice to have ‘space’ to get up & walk around & how nice to have a dining room table & chairs again.  And a comfy couch bed for me & the Pheebs.  Two solid thumbs up for our 11 year old Triple E Commander coach.

DSC_0028-001

A check of the cage first thing this morning showed we had indeed caught ourselves a Critter.  But it wasn’t the Critter we had hoped to catch.  We had caught ourselves a cute little Pack Rat.  Our Critter Cam later showed us the Pack Rat had gone into the cage first & that prevented the Skunk from entering.  Below is Critter Cam pics of both.

WGI_0005 WGI_0006

SKUNKY POSES FOR A PHOTO & PACKY THE PACK RAT BEATS SKUNKY TO THE SNACKS IN THE CAGE

We avoided the yelping dogs this morning by Jeeping ourselves to a different gate down the road & driving out into the desert for about half a mile.  We had a passenger to drop off.  I don’t have the heart to kill anything so we drove little Packy the Pack Rat out to a spot where we saw a pile of brambly brush.  Pack Rat’s love these kind of habitats.  Carried the cage over, opened the door, & off he went with nary a look back.  I wished him well.

DSC_0002

A CUTE LITTLE FELLOW & YES I AM AWARE OF THE DAMAGE THEY CAN DO TO A CAR’S WIRING

Took ourselves for a wee walk & I said to Kelly, “this is the first morning I have felt like I almost have my Arizona head back on straight”.  Although we are both glad to be here it has taken us a full week to get over our journey this year.  First time that has ever happened.

DSC_0005 DSC_0008

THIS DESERT GROUND IS ALL HARD PACKED & MAKES FOR EASY WALKING, BICYCLING, OR DRIVING & HOW NICE TO HAVE SUCH A PRETTY GATE OPENER THIS MORNING

Sharp at 8 o’clock I had the Jeep at the B&B Congress garage.  Less than half an hour later I rolled out of there with 2 brand spanking new Jeep headlights.  Lights & installation were only $30.  Tuesday morning a fellow arrives to put a new windshield in the Jeep.

DSC_0009 IMG_1692

THE B&B CONGRESS GARAGE CAN BE SEEN RIGHT BESIDE THIS WELL KNOWN 4 STAR EATERY CALLED NICHOL’S WEST…DESPITE BEING ON A CELL PHONE IT DIDN’T TAKE DAVE LONG TO GET THE LIGHTS IN & WHILE TAKING THIS PHOTO IN FRONT OF NICHOLS ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE FEELING GOOD TUNES CAME ROLLING OUT OF AN OUTSIDE SPEAKER…JOE JACKSON’S ‘STEPPIN OUT’:))

After a totally lethargic Sunday I was on a roll this morning.  Soon as I got the Jeep home I took off the front protective bra for the first time in over 4 years.  Washed the Jeep’s front end plus the bra of all the accumulated dust, dirt, & gravel & put it back on again.  It was this black bra that protected the front end of our Jeep as well as the radiator a couple weeks ago when all our lights were smashed & windshield cracked.  Finishing that I scooted back up onto our house roof & painted a piece of roofing that was needing some paint.  Also finished trimming Palo Verde branches which were hanging down making contact with our roof.  Re-located our Wilson Sleek antennae as well.  Also finished cleaning & re-organizing our garden shed despite the sun heating it’s metal sides up like an oven.  Hey, maybe we’re finally becoming acclimatized.  All & all a productive morning all way round.  We’re gradually getting back on our feet as Kelly’s cold lessens & our overall tiredness lifts.  I like when that happens.

DSC_0011-005

Fulltime RV’ers Bev & Jim dropped in this afternoon.  They just made it down from Oregon via California & are currently at North Ranch.  Readers will remember them from our Jeep rumbles in the desert the past couple years.  Jim, a former Helicopter mechanic was interested in the electrical & inverter problems we have been having.  He did a lot of wire testing with his voltage meter & did find one loose nut on a ground fixture.  His suggestion to us is to first have a load test done on the 4 coach batteries which are all hooked up in unison.  He suspects one of the batteries could be causing a problem.  We will take it down to the B&B Congress garage & have those batteries load tested this week.

DSC_0010 IMG_1693

GOT THE FRONT END OF THE JEEP CLEANED UP & TRIMMING SOME BRANCHES AWAY FROM OUR ROOF

For 35 years now October 19th has marked a special day for me & for the last few years I have included this LINK to why that is. I wrote this post in 2011 so as you read it you will notice some of the numbers have changed.  Had meant to include this with Sunday’s post but you know how these aging memories work……………….

DSC_0001-004

GROANER’S CORNER:(( Old Sam Johnson goes to his doctor complaining of aches and pains all over his body. After a thorough examination, the doctor gives him a clean bill of health.  "Sam, you're in excellent shape for an 85 year old man. But I'm not a magician - I can't make you any younger," says the doctor.  "Who asked you to make me younger?" says Sam. "You just make sure I keep getting older!"

Sunday, October 19, 2014

MOST BEST THING ABOUT TODAY WAS SOME COOLER AIR LATER ON

DSC_0006

STORMY SKIES LATE THIS AFTERNOON

I did today just what I said I didn’t like doing just a few short posts ago.  I sat in the house all day watching television.  I have a little green fan I carry around with me & plug it in beside my recliner or my computer chair to keep cool.  No A/C in the house & no A/C in the Jeep so our activities for right now are limited.

DSC_0003

Skies darkened to the North as thunder rumbled down off the Date Creek Mountains tumbling out across the late afternoon desert floor.   Said to Kelly while eating supper I didn’t think it was going to rain.  Five minutes later as my Spaghetti sat cooling on my plate I was outside in the rain hastily closing windows & moving things back on our front porch.  The lite rain brought a welcoming cool breeze with it so being out in the rain for a few minutes was pleasurable.  By the time I had windows up & things covered the rain had stopped & the Sun was out.  But thankfully the air remained cooler for the rest of the day into evening & I actually did get out for a bit after supper to do a couple things.

DSC_0007

I THINK OUR BACK YARD MIGHT WELCOME A LITTLE RAIN

DSC_0004 DSC_0009

Our good neighbor Lou lent us a cage this morning to try & catch our Skunk.  Said if we could catch it he would take it away for us so we’ll give that a whirl tonight.  I just hope we do not have more than one Skunk.  Last year it was 3.

DSC_0012

<<< LOTS OF MESQUITE BEANS ON THE TREES THIS YEAR

I too always thought those big rear width wide mud flaps would be a good thing to have on an RV.  Just seemed to make sense they would stop a lot of stones flying up.  Never gave it a second thought.  After the damage to our Jeep I had to re-access my thoughts & it was a reader who gave me the clue to what actually happened & why.  As I sat under the Motorhome face to face with that big mud flap Saturday afternoon before taking it off it became crystal clear to me exactly what had happened & that is what I wrote about in Saturday’s post.  Not a shred of doubt in my mind.  Simon, an RV friend of ours from Ottawa sent us an email saying he had looked at some photos of our mud flap placement on the rig & said it was in the wrong place.  Ours was placed just behind the rear wheels.  Simon felt it should have been placed further back under the bumper.  I think he’s right & I will not be putting that road sweeping heavy duty rubber one piece wind dragging mud flap on the RV ever again.  Lesson learned!!  Simon & Sandy have a Class A Triple E as well.

 DSC_0001

ONE OF THE NOISY DOGGY GANGS ON OUR MORNING WALK

Happy to say by a lucky fluke our internet reception has improved.  We couldn’t even get on this morning so Kelly in desperation moved the Verizon/Millenicom Jet Pack to an Eastern facing window & Walla our internet signal substantially improved.  Has worked well all day so far & we are keeping our fingers crossed.

DSC_0001

AND PHEEBS IS LOVING HER DESERT RUNS AGAIN

GROANER’S CORNER:((  I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.