Saturday, January 29, 2011

What a Day!

Oh, my…. do I ever feel like a princess.  Well, maybe not quite a princess,  but today has certainly been an extra-special birthday for me.  No, not because I am now eligible for Social Security AND the “America the Beautiful” Senior Pass to National Parks, but because of all of the wonderful, special friends and family who have sent me greetings through Facebook, phone, E-mail, text, and in person here at our desert hide-a-way.  Thank you all, for making this a very beautiful, special day.

I started out this morning by defrosting the freezer.  Yeah, what a fun thing to do on a birthday, but hey, I put if off as long as I could, and today was definitely the day it had to be done!  The last time I defrosted, I put up plastic wrap on the back wall of the freezer.  It definitely made the job faster and easier this time!

I sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine and my book for much of the day, before we headed over to Gina and Rollie’s for happy hour/dinner.  Gina told me a few days ago that she wanted to prepare my birthday dinner, but wanted to know what I would like.  What else – her very special Gumbo of course!

Gina prepared the most delicious pot of her Gumbo and rice, Pat made my favorite 7-layer salad, Brenda and Sylvia both contributed their own special corn bread recipes, Janna made a wonderful frozen margarita pie, and Deb baked red velvet cupcakes.  Each one of these very special dishes was outstanding, thank you all again!

Deb served me a cupcake with a candle (thanks for just putting one candle on there!) while Mike McFall looked on:

jim 022

Janna, Gina and Glenn:

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Brenda and John:

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We even had some neighbors stop by and join the festivities, fellow boondockers, Frank from “over the hill” and Dave, whom we met last year at our first boondocking location, joined us.

Dave, Mike and Frank:

jim 019

So, we’ve been out here several days now, and some of our readers are probably more interested in knowing how this “50-amp-pavement-princess” is doing with the second year of desert boondocking than what I did for my birthday, especially now that we have solar panels to help provide power.

We’re quite a bit more relaxed about things so far this year.  I’m not quite as obsessive about conserving water as I was, knowing we can dump and fill quite easily just a few miles away.  We are still conservative, though!  We wash dishes once a day, use paper plates as much as possible and separate the trash so we can burn paper waste in our portable fire-pit.  Jim has already added more water to the fresh water tank using the pump set-up he fixed up last year.  It looks like it will probably be at least Friday before we need to think about going to dump the gray or black tanks.

As far as the solar system, we’re definitely still in a learning curve!  The panels are working great, especially since we’ve had beautiful weather every day, plenty of sun to keep those panels charging the batteries all day, and we’re turning the inverter off at night to conserve power as well.  Learning the details of how much power we use vs. how much we’re making is going to take a little time and some self-education.  The bottom line for us, though, is that we are having a good time and we are not lacking any comfort.

We are enjoying the quiet and solitude, as well as the company of friends!  I’ve been getting some great walks in and look forward to making it up to the top of the local mountain one of these days.

It just doesn’t get much better than this.


Sue and Doug said...

happy birthday, Ellie..sounds like you had a great day,( even though you started it with defrosting the fridge), surrounded good friends and yummy food!..Cheers to you and to many more birthdays as good as this one!!!

JB said...

Make sure to sign the logbook in the cairn up on the mountain.

Donna K said...

♫ ♪ Happy Birthday to you....♪♫ Sounds like you had a wonderful day and a fantastic meal.

Erin said...

Happy Birthday! Sounds like you had a very nice celebration.

Pat and Mike said...

If you hurry up and climb that mountain over there, you can sign the log right after Mike and I.:)
I'm glad you enjoyed your birthday party and hope you have many more Happy Birthdays. Growing older is not for "sissies" but it does have a few benefits.
Love U and hugs....Pat

Mark and Dortha said...

Sounds and looks like you had a great birthday.

Wishing you a great year.

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday! Looks like everyone is having a great time!

Phyllis said...

Glad you had a great BD. Yea, Leonard turned 62 last week. That same day we drove up to Saguaro National Park and he got his pass. (Hate it admit - I've had mine over 5 years). Also looking forward to his first SS check come March.

We have thought about boondocking but not equipped for long stays. We are at weight limit with our fiver until we can another truck, so no solar panels.

See you are with the McFalls. We have one PP Sensor that keeps going off in the morning. We wonder it is common for one to go off every morning until the tire warms up.

KarenInTheWoods said...

What a wonderful way to spend a birthday! So nice to see all those people enjoying your special day with you in the desert.

We turn our inverter off at night too. Steve put a big dial hot-tub style timer hooked to ours, so we can crank it for an hour or so, crawl into bed and watch late night tv. Then we don't have to get back out of bed again to turn off the inverter.

He's so brainy!

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

Tumbleweed Dee said...

I'm glad you had a great BD with friends in the middle of the desert. You're quite an inspiration. I hope we meet again someday and you can teach us how to survive without 50amp. Enjoy!

Debbie Goode said...

Well, happy birthday! Sorry I"m a little late! Sounds like you are having a great time!