Monday, March 02, 2015

SNOW BIRDS ARE ALREADY BEGINNING TO SCATTER

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Guess I had better start off Monday night’s post with a correction to my Sunday night post.  Kelly informed me this morning that ‘yes’ we did have permission from the realtor to move our motorhome onto the property.  I had no recollection of that.  So the realtor did know we were there but didn’t know we were in the house.  Good thing I have someone here to keep my memory on the straight & narrow.

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A RATHER SOGGY START TO OUR MORNING

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With heavy overnight & morning rains at times our backyard lake materialized once again in the southwest corner of our property.  Fortunately none of that pooled water comes anywhere near the house & soon drains away. Would be a great temporary place for ducks to paddle around if we had some.  Our rains finally did wrap it up about noon & I was able to slip out in late afternoon & snap a few photos during a brief sun splash.  And as I write this tonight sky’s are showing some promising signs of at least partially clearing for Tuesday.

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First time I ever heard of the JoJoba Hills SKP RV Resort was way back in 2008 when a friend we had met in the desert near Borrego Springs first talked about it.  ‘Butch’ a native Californian & long time winter boondocker said there was only one place he would ever consider settling down some day in his latter years & that was over on the other side of the nearby mountain ranges at one of the Escapee Club’s own RV Resorts.  He described how nice it was & how different it was from other Resorts.  Butch was/is not a resort type person by any means so we figured this resort must definitely be something special.  This morning I read a post by Marianne from frugal-rv-travel.com which explains very well why this resort is indeed so much different than many others.  Be sure to read her review of JoJoba Hills RV Resort.

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SO NICE TO SEE SOME OF OUR FRONT YARD CACTUS PLANTS COMING ALONG SO WELL

Well here we are at March 2nd already & Snow Birds are beginning to take flight.  Wandering Willy is already home back in Canada tilted back in his big comfy recliner watching his big screen TV.  I think Ivan may be rolling north shortly if he already hasn’t begun his trek & I think Jean & Skip will be packing up & headed out very soon as well.  Due to a family emergency a month or so ago George & Suzy are already back in Ontario toughing out the brutally cold temperatures.  Our Bayfield friends Dianne & Harry owners & operators of Stormrunner RV Sales & Service had to return a week or two ago to get things geared up for another busy season in the RV recreational field.  Yes many Snow Birds are definitely beginning to flex their wings & scatter off north to far distant destinations called home.  It’s always a tad sad in a way because one never knows if all the Birds will make it back for another season or not.  Always lots of changes going on with this type of RVing lifestyle & surprises are not uncommon………..

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And before I forget I would like to thank my book, my lap top computer, our Sirius satellite radio & our television for helping me through these past few rainy stuck inside days:))

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GROANER’S CORNER:(( A mother takes her 5 year old son with her to the bank on a busy Friday. They get into line behind a rather obese lady wearing a business outfit complete with a pager. As the mother waits patiently her son looks at the women in front of him and observes loudly, "Hey, Mom, she's fat." At which the lady looks at the boy, makes eye contact with the mother and gives an understanding smile. The mother quietly reprimands her son. After a minute or two the boy spreads his hands as far as they will go and loudly says, "I bet her butt is *that* wide." At this the lady glares at the little boy and his mother and the embarrassed mother severely scolds her son. Again after a couple of minutes the boy states loudly, "Look how the fat hangs over her belt." The lady turns and tells the mother to control her rude child and the mother threatens him with his very life and existence. Things in the bank are quiet. The lady gets to the front of the line when her pager begins to emit its distinctive beeping tone at which the little boy yells in panic at the top of his voice, "Run for your life Mom, she's backing up!!!!"

Sunday, March 01, 2015

3 YEARS AGO TODAY WE MET WITH A REAL ESTATE SALESMAN ABOUT A HOUSE FOR SALE ON GHOST TOWN ROAD……CONGRESS AZ.

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ON FEBRUARY 23RD 2012 WE LOOKED AT THIS HOUSE FOR SALE & SAID ‘NAW, IT DOESN’T HAVE THE ‘WOW’ FACTOR………….OR DOES IT

Rain began Saturday night around 9 & pretty well has stayed with us through most of today on & off.  Those rains coupled with cool temps kept us housebound all day.  Luckily the bulk of this large rain front is west of us moving north.  Monday could be the same as today with sunny days & much warmer temps beginning Tuesday.  Upside will be a further greening of our Sonoran Desert with it’s many blooming wildflowers.  No matter what the weather here it sure is a lot better than the terrible record breaking prolonged freezing cold temperatures & deep snows back home in Bayfield.

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A FEW FILE PHOTOS FROM PHEEBS COW SMOOCHING DAYS 3 YEARS AGO ABOUT NOW

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I THINK THEY’RE WHISPERING SWEET NUTHINS IN PHEEBS EARS

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ALL THESE COWS JUST LOVED THE PHEEBS

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BEING WATCHED & FOLLOWED BY ALL HER ADORING FANS

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<<< PHEEBS TOUCHED NOSES WITH ALL 3 OF THESE COWS

Kelly asked the question this morning, ‘where do you think we would be right now if we were still boondocking our way around the southwest like we did a few years ago’?  Didn’t have an answer for that question but did know that usually by March we were definitely turning our eyes homeward.  After living in our RV for 5 to 6 months each winter since late 06 we were always so glad to get home & stretch out in our spacious Bayfield digs.  Big TV, big recliners, big shower, big everything.  By the early Spring of 2012 we both found ourselves tiring a bit of traveling & boondocking around in the same places each winter .  We both felt we needed to somehow change things up a bit & that’s when we found a house in Congress for sale.  We weren’t actually seriously looking but the ‘good deal’ just fell into our laps & we just couldn’t turn it down.  It’s a decision for many reasons we have never regretted.

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IT WAS 3 YEARS AGO TODAY WE MET A REAL ESTATE AGENT AT THE HOUSE TO HAVE A LOOK AT IT & ‘TALK THINGS OVER’…WE COULD TELL THIS REALTOR FROM PRESCOTT WAS VERY ANXIOUS TO SELL THIS PROPERTY & JUST GET IT OFF HIS BOOKS

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THEN & NOW

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It was at the very beginning of a slow homeward trek 3 years ago that we stopped here in the Congress area near the end of February.  Plan was to boondock a few days south of Congress before deciding on where to head for next.  As was our habit while traveling Kelly happened to check out the real estate listings in the area & saw a couple interesting places for sale with one being at a very exceptionally low price.  We figured it would be quite a wreck at that price but we drove over to look at it anyway.  Not as bad a wreck as we thought but a bit of a wreck nonetheless.

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WE WERE SURPRISED TO FIND THE INTERIOR BETTER THAN WE HAD EXPECTED….IT HAD ISSUES BUT NOTHING WE COULDN’T LIVE WITH

A lot of folks would not have given this shabby looking house on an acre of weed infested property a second thought & others would have bought & flipped it for a profit when real estate prices headed back up again.  Kelly & I never really saw it either of those 2 ways.  This was a great opportunity for us to have a solid structure home base in the southwest, something we had previously discussed many times but never thought we would ever be able to afford it.  Well it’s true we couldn’t afford it but we could also not afford to pass up this deal.  The old house had everything our Bayfield house had & more. It just needed some major sprucing up & a whole lot TLC. (Tender Love & Care)  Kelly & I were used to that sprucing up stuff of course & didn’t hesitate taking on the challenge in front of us.  I of course saw what the property could look like with a bit of elbow grease & some enjoyable ground work on my part.  Living in a neighborhood certainly was not our first choice for a location but the deal was too good to pass up.  Aside from occasional normal neighbor noises we have been relatively fortunate so far.   

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THE HOUSE BUILT IN THE 50’S SURE HAD SEEN BETTER DAYS & WE KNEW RIGHT OFF THE ONLY WAY TO IMPROVE THE EXTERIOR WAS TO COMPLETELY STUCCO IT

We were so anxious to start work on this house & property that unbeknownst to the real estate agent up in Prescott we moved our motorhome onto the property without permission before we had even bought it.  We knew we were taking a big chance & what we were doing was probably illegal but our intentions were good.  Kelly cleverly figured out a way to get into the house & we immediately set to work cleaning things up.  There was a lot of garbage in the back yard & I got onto that right away doing a major clean up & burning much of the junk & litter.  In case the real estate agent showed up or the deal didn’t go through we were prepared to say ‘hey at least we got this place cleaned up for you.’  As I said ‘we had good intentions’.  Luckily our instincts about the real estate agent were right & he never did return.  All further negotiations were done by email, fax, & phone.  To this day he doesn’t know we were practically living in the house well before the final papers were signed in his office in Prescott.  He smilingly gave us the keys for a house we were already in.  We had even managed to get the water turned on & arrangements made for stuccoing the house finalized.  It was a big chance we took but we both felt confident the deal was going to go in our favor & in the end it did.  What a huge sigh of relief that was for us but what an invigorating sense of adventure we had going in those weeks we were busily working on the house worrying every time we heard a car slowing down that it might be the real estate agent or somebody asking who we were & what we were doing there.  Sometimes it just pays to step outside the box & take a few chances. 

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THIS WAS OUR FIRST DAY LOOKING AT OUR FUTURE HOUSE ON GHOST TOWN ROAD

I remember how excited we were with the house purchase & how relieved we were knowing we didn’t have to spend the whole winter living in our rig anymore if we didn’t have to.  After 6 winters in our Damon Motorhome we were so happy to have a new challenge & something totally different to do & look forward to.  And I was especially happy because I now had something constructive to occupy my time.  A creative challenge, a change of pace if you will.  An even more comfortable way to spend our winters.  We didn’t realize it at the time until a blog reader said ‘you guys got the best of both worlds’.  We still had our RV & we could still travel whenever we liked & now we had the advantage of a spacious home base to come back to after each short trip & that has worked out well for us.  I’m hoping next winter we can spend more time traveling to some new places like we did to the Mojave National Preserve last month & maybe extend our stays a bit longer.  Well them’s is the plans anyway………….:))

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KELLY TOOK PHEEBS FOR A WALK THIS MORNING IN THE RAIN & I DON’T THINK THE PHEEBERS WAS ANY TO HAPPY ABOUT THAT

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GROANER’S CORNER:(( A photographer for a national magazine was assigned to take pictures of a great forest fire. He was advised that a small plane would be waiting to fly him over the fire.  The photographer arrived at the airstrip just an hour before sundown. Sure enough, a small Cessna airplane was waiting. He jumped in with his equipment and shouted, "Let's go!" The tense man sitting in the pilot's seat swung the plane into the wind and soon they were in the air, though flying erratically.  "Fly over the north side of the fire," said the photographer, "and make several low-level passes." "Why?" asked the nervous pilot. "Because I'm going to take pictures!" yelled the photographer. "I'm a photographer, and photographers take pictures."  After a long pause, the "pilot" replied: "You mean, you're not my instructor?"

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- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

GOT ME A NEW SHOVEL BUDDY & I CALL HIM ‘BIG RED’

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THIS PRETTY MUCH SUMS UP OUR DAY

We had forgot to pick up a few grocery items in Wickenburg Friday so Kelly headed back in this morning.  She was wanting to hit a few of her favorite shops again & besides I needed some honey & a new shovel.  I just told Kelly to drop by Ace Hardware & get me the best round-mouth shovel they had so that’s what she did & I must say it is a fine shovel indeed she brought home.  It has a nice feel to it.  Shovel people will understand………….

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‘OLD BLUE’ TAKES HIS PLACE OF HONOR IN THE FLOWERBED WHILE ‘BIG RED’ STANDS TALL WAITING FOR HIS FIRST WORK ASSIGNMENT

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THOSE WIDER STEEL FLANGES WILL MAKE DIGGING EASIER ON MY RIGHT FOOT

Came across a blog this morning I found interesting & it’s called Goza's Wanderings and Wonderings.  Read a few posts back & liked this fellows travel thoughts & easy to read writing style.  A single traveler with his truck & fifth wheel he stays on the move not spending long periods of time in any one place.  If I was a single traveler that is probably how I would do it as well.  At the moment he is traveling here in the southwest. I like his clear photos which I understand are taken with a cell phone & each photo is captioned.  After hitting the road April 11th of 2014th Darrell has already seen a lot of country.

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<<< OUR PRICKLY PEAR CACTI ARE BEGINNING TO BUD

Whether towing a small vehicle with a large vehicle or towing a large trailer with a small vehicle the hooking up process is probably one of the most important procedures for any RV’er to pay attention too & yet things can still go bump in the night & turn out very wrong no matter how careful you are.  Case in point is what happened to Karen & Steve a few days ago.  Be sure to read Karen’s post at The Good News or The Bad News????  And read Karen’s follow-up post as well.

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IN ANOTHER MONTH WE WILL BE LOADING THE RIG FOR HER HOMEWARD JOURNEY

Aside from moving a few cactus plants around yet again my day held little interest for my imagination……………

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GROANER’S CORNER:(( One night at McChord Air Force Base, I was dispatched to check out the security fence where an alarm had gone off. The fence was at the end of the base runway. When I got to the scene, I found a raccoon was the culprit, so I ran around and flapped my arms to scare the animal away.  Suddenly an air-traffic controller came over the public-address system and announced loudly, "Attention to the airman at the end of the runway. You are cleared for takeoff."

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Ole died. So Lena went to the local paper to put a notice in the obituaries. The gentleman at the counter, after offering his condolences, asked Lena what she would like to say about Ole.  Lena replied, "You just put, 'Ole died.'" The gentleman, somewhat perplexed, said, "That's it? Just 'Ole died?' Surely, there must be something more you'd like to say about Ole. If it's money you're concerned about, the first five words are free. We really should say something more."  So Lena pondered for a few minutes and finally said, "O.K., then. You put 'Ole died. Boat for sale.'"

Friday, February 27, 2015

RE-PLANTING CACTUS FOR THE 3RD TIME & ‘AWWWWW NUTS’ I BUSTED MY SHOVEL’!!!!

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Kelly had a hair appointment in Wickenburg for 9 this morning so rather than end up sitting around the house for yet another long boring day Pheebs & hopped in the Jeep & tagged along.  Just needed to get away from the house for a much needed change of pace.

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TOOK A DRIVE OUT THROUGH THE HILLS & RITZY SIDE OF WICKENBURG THIS MORNING

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A patchy cloud cover moved in overnight in advance of a predicted 4 days of rain from Saturday till Tuesday dropping our temps into the low 50’s.  A week from today we should be under sunny skies once again & into mid 70 temps.  Luckily our early morning cloud cover dissipated & we had ourselves a nice sunny day.

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Dropped Kelly off at the beauty saloon & knowing it would be a couple hours Pheebs & I headed off for a coffee at McDonalds, cruised through a car lot & browsed around in the TSC store.  We then took ourselves for a drive out into the hills along Wickenburg’s west side.  Many beautiful homes out that way.  One of the things making Wickenburg such an appealingly attractive place is the fact it is built on a series of hills.  Wickenburg’s richer folks live along the tops of those hills on sprawling ranch like properties with gorgeous views for miles.

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FOLKS IN THESE NEIGHBORHOOD HILLS SURE HAVE A NICE VIEW OVERLOOKING WICKENBURG

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I have always loved southwestern architecture even long before I had ever even been to the southwest.   Love the pastel & vibrant colors used, the low style ranch houses with their flat roofs.  Oh how I would love a flat roof house where I could go up & sit at night under Arizona’s clear & crisp night skies.  Love the way houses & properties are landscaped with desert flowers, cactus, & trees.  No grass to mow however I think if we lived here full time I would definitely have a grassed in area somewhere just so I could go out & roll around on it & walk on the soft grass with bare feet.  Last time I walked on any kind of plush green grass was Christmas Circle in California’s Borrego Springs.

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I LOVE THESE TYPES OF ADOBE WALLS MOST PLACES HAVE AROUND THEM

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THESE FOLKS PAINTED THEIR HOUSE GREEN TO BLEND IN WITH THE LANDSCAPE…HAD THEY PAINTED IT A FEW SHADES DARKER I NEVER WOULD HAVE SEEN IT

I am sooooo much enjoying my latest book by Bill Bryson entitled, ONE SUMMER America, 1927.  What a great read this is for someone interested in history.  It has been like putting pieces of a puzzle together.  We’ve all heard bits & pieces over the years about people like Charles Lindbergh & Babe Ruth for example.  We’ve all been aware of a few of their accomplishments & that has been about it.  Bill Bryson has a way of tying history together in such a way it is hard to put the book down.  He has chosen the year & summer of 1927 with newsmakers like Babe Ruth & Charles Lindbergh headlining newspapers & sending America into a frenzy.  What a different world it was back then & to me it is fascinating to read just how really different things were.  Bryson covers all the bases & takes the reader behind the headlines & into the very fabric of a lifestyle, time, & era never to be repeated.  Great book & thanks to a couple readers for suggesting it:))

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PHEEBS & I JUST CRUISIN THROUGH THE NEIGHBORHOODS SNAPPIN PICTURES

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Here’s a quote about the book by reviewer Dianne: {"Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs. The Federal Reserve made the mistake that precipitated the stock market crash. Al Capone enjoyed his last summer of eminence. The Jazz Singer was filmed. Television was created. Radio came of age. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed. President Coolidge chose not to run. Work began on Mount Rushmore. The Mississippi flooded as it never had before. A madman in Michigan blew up a school and killed 44 people in the worst slaughter of children in American history. Henry Ford stopped making the Model T and promised to stop insulting Jews. And a kid from Minnesota flew across an ocean and captivated the planet in a way it had never been captivated before. Whatever else it was, it was one hell of a summer."}

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REALLY LIKED THAT BIG TREE IN FRONT OF THE WHITE HOUSE

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Noticed in the Shout Box someone commented, ‘Sounds to me like you are getting into coming home mode’.  Yes that commenter is correct.  Not going home right now of course but I am looking forward to getting on the road in another month.  I always look forward to arriving back in Bayfield in the Spring just as I always look forward to arriving in Congress in the Fall.  Whenever we make any kind of travel plans whether it be the 2 major trips each year or the shorter ones we do from here in Congress I am always anxious to get on the road & get going.  I’m very impatient that way.  Never mind talking about it…..let’s just do it!!!! 

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KELLY SNAPPED THIS PIC WITH HER BLACKBERRY TONIGHT…IT WAS BETTER THAN THE 3 I TOOK TODAY…HAIRDRESSER DID A NICE JOB >>>

I have an idea which route we will take home this year but nothing definite yet.  We had toyed with a similar route as last year going up through northern Arizona & this year eastern Utah but I’m now thinking we will take a more direct route.  Not the shortest route up through Oklahoma City, St, Louis, & Indianapolis though.  Too many big cities that way & who needs all that unnecessary aggravation anyway.  Interstates work great for anyone in a hurry to get from Point A to Point B like we were a couple years ago when my Uncle Harry died but we’re not in a big hurry this year so we will not be using Interstates all the way home.  And no ED I am not a person ‘who loves Interstates.’ (regarding your comment awhile back)  We simply use them sometimes if & when we are in a hurry to reach a destination for whatever reason such as weather etc.  I remember you telling me years ago you have read most if not all my posts over the years so you know I much prefer quieter secondary roads……………………:))

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WE EVEN CAME ACROSS WICKENBURG’S MUNICIPAL CEMETERY TODAY

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CEMETERIES SURE LOOK DIFFERENT HERE IN THE SOUTHWEST COMPARED TO BACK HOME

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I replanted some cactus plants this afternoon for the 3rd time in less than a week.  When Kelly brought half a dozen cactus pads home from a neighbors I was reluctant to plant them in the ground knowing our resident rabbits would probably start gnawing on them.  Instead I put them in pots.  A couple days later I figured I’d take a chance & put them in the ground anyway so out of the pots they came.  Three days after that I saw 2 pads with nibble marks.  Out of the ground they came & back into pots they went.  Today they came back out of the pots & back into the ground again.  But today I had a plan.

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Just last week I moved all our heavy bricks to a different spot & sure enough today I moved about half that pile again.  Only this time I used those bricks to build some small castle walls around each cactus I planted.  My hope is that my brick defense will be tall enough to thwart any wabbit attacks.  I will monitor my enclosed plants very closely now to see if my ‘light bulb moment’ will work.  Reason for my being in the TSC store this afternoon was to see if they had small wire mesh things to go around plants but they didn’t.  That’s when I thought of our bricks.  We shall see…………………….

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All & all it was a much better day than the last few days when I could not seem to get myself motivated to do too much of anything.  Only downside I had today was breaking my shovel.  This shovel & I have dug a fair few of hard earth holes these past 3 winter seasons.  Bought that shovel brand spanking new I did & up till today it had been a faithful companion.  We were a good team & worked well together.  Shovels just don’t have as long a life span as we people do & that was evident today.  Had some pangs of guilt thinking I may have worked my old Pal just a little too hard but well, I can’t blame myself & life goes on.  Next time in Wickenburg I’ll be looking for my next best shovel Pal & until I find him there’ll not be any more cactus plants going into the ground any time soon……………………….

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R.I.P. MY OLD FRIEND YOUR DAYS OF DIGGING IN THE ROCK HARD GROUND ARE OVER

GROANER’S CORNER:(( I did my nurse's training at a hospital in Liverpool, England. My fellow students and I had little money for meals, so we ate the awful food provided at the hospital complex.  We often took our breaks in the kitchen, and sometimes kindly visitors would give us some of the treats they had brought for patients who had not wanted to eat them.  One night a woman brought a pie to the kitchen and said to me, "Would you eat this up, love?"  Another student and I devoured every delicious crumb!  Soon our benefactor returned, however, and asked, "Is me 'usband's pie 'ot yet, dearie?"

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An older gentleman needed surgery. His son was a renowned surgeon. The man insisted that his son perform the operation.  As he was about to get the anesthesia he asked to speak to his son.  "Yes, Dad, what is it?"  "Don't be nervous, son, Do your best and just remember, if it doesn't go well, if something happens to me, your mother is going to come and live with you and your wife."