Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Coyote and The Crystal

Today has been busy!  We were up early – in time to see the sunrise:

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We heard the racers in the Parker 425 and saw the clouds of dust they raised most of the day, thankfully they were distant and really didn’t bother us much.

Jim gathered everyone’s trash to go to the dump, and while he was out he got more fresh water for us.

Rollie and Mike had the same idea about water and filled Rollie’s 40 gallon bladder.  They had a little left over, so we got our tank topped off too:

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A couple of little desert dogs who love being able to run around out here:

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While Jim was out working on the trash and water runs, I took the dogs (on leash) for our morning walk.  I went off the main road a ways, and off in the distance, I spotted a coyote.  He was coming out of a wash, noticed us (the dogs especially) and started our way, obviously curious about us.  I kept an eye on him while I started backing up, deciding to put more distance between us.  He was not threatening us, as a matter of fact, he just sat down and watched us.  I turned and headed back towards the road, up a small hill.  When we got to the top of the little hill, I stopped to check on the coyote again.  He hadn’t moved and by now we were so far away I could barely see him.  I turned back to continue on toward the road when a flash of what I thought was glass at my feet caught my eye.  I reached down to pick it up – not a piece of glass, but a nice size crystal:


I turned back toward the coyote and thanked him for crossing my path today, if he hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been at that spot on that hill to find this beautiful crystal!

This afternoon, Janna & Mike, Gina & Rollie and Jim and I gathered in a nearby wash with steep walls where we could safely practice shooting.  Janna described the action and posted pictures in her blog.

While we were busy with our shooting, Deb & Rod went to get propane & water and dump their tanks.  When they returned, they moved to a new spot.  After they got all set up, the four of us went into Quartzsite for dinner.  We picked the wrong restaurant this time though, it was very busy and the staff was way less than efficient!  Oh well, it was an interesting outing anyway!

Tomorrow, we’re hosting our annual Super Bowl party here at our place.  The weather forecast says it will be warm, but a little breezy.  Should be another fun day!

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Pump/Awesome Dinner

It was still very chilly this morning.  Jim was making a grocery run, he went to get Rod around 9 this morning and together they gathered everyone’s grocery lists and headed off to Parker.  I have to admire them – this is the weekend of the big “Parker 425” off-road races and the place is mobbed.

While they were gone, I practiced some line dancing inside until it warmed up to a little over 30 degrees and then took the dogs for a walk.  I met Gina & Rollie out for their walk and also saw Frank, one of the other campers in the area.  I came back home thinking I would take my shower, but there was no water!  I thought maybe things were frozen up, so I opened the outside water compartment, thinking maybe that would help thaw everything out.

When Jim got home, he asked about the compartment door being open, well to make a long story short, our water pump died!  He went back to Parker to buy a new one because he didn’t want to disassemble our water adding “extra” pump.  Once the new pump was installed, all was well again. I got my shower just in time to sit outside and enjoy the warm sunshine for a few minutes before going across the way to Gina & Rollie’s for an awesome happy hour and dinner.

From left to right – Janna, Mike, Deb, me and Rod, great conversation!

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Rod and Gina listened intently:

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Rollie had something important to say (like, “Dinner’s Ready”):

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Rollie is trying to clean out his freezer.  Tonight he made a  big pot of jambalaya and grilled pork steaks.  Along with that, Jim made a big pot of “Clayton’s beans” in his Dutch oven, Deb made the most delicious Caesar Salad, and Gina fixed some fresh picked frozen corn.  Oh my, and if that wasn’t enough, Janna made an apple-something in her cast-iron skillet that was to die for, served with ice cream.  By dessert time, the sun had dropped behind the hill, which meant enjoying our goodies inside Gina and Rollie’s beautiful 5th wheel.  We visited and played with the dogs for awhile before coming home to settle in for the evening.

I gave our solar panels a workout today while Jim was out – I had the TV on most of the day.  I also ran the hair dryer and the coffee grinder while the sun was high this afternoon.  I hope we can get through the night without our furnace running as much as it has the past few nights!  One of our biggest draws on both electric and propane systems is that darn furnace.  It really eats power and gas, but that's what keeps the “basement” heated, so it’s kind of a necessity.  We keep the thermostat set at around 58 or 59, but when it’s below 20 outside, it runs a lot more than it does when it’s in the high 30’s or low 40’s at night.

Thankfully, the weather forecasts are calling for warmer temperatures at night as well as during the day for the next several days, so we should be able to conserve some energy.

Here we sit, our beautiful spot in the desert:

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What a great day it’s been!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Two Moves

Our little community has decreased from 7 rigs down to 4.  I know Brenda and John had already planned to go visit some friends in the Phoenix area.  But I think the impending cold weather might have accelerated the plans for Pat & Mike and Sylvia & Glenn a bit, because they also packed up and left Tuesday morning.

We decided to go into town to fill up on propane and dump our tanks Tuesday.  We still had plenty of room in our black & gray tanks, but decided to go ahead and dump while we were out.  When we got back, we moved back to the same location we were in last year.  That spot didn’t work out as well for us this time, and today we moved again, just across the way.

Our new spot:

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One of our views:

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Another view:

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Janna & Mike are neighbors:

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Deb & Rod are neighbors:

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Gina & Rollie are neighbors:

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Janna & I had planned to go to the Weight Watchers meeting in Lake Havasu City on Wednesday, with Gina & Deb going along for a girls day.  But Mike wanted to go to Phoenix to look at a trailer instead, so Janna & Mike took Gina & Rollie with them in the motorhome in case Mike bought the trailer.  Jim & I went with Deb & Rod to Lake Havasu City and waited for Rod while he was at the dentist.

One of the errands I wanted to accomplish while we were there was to obtain my America The Beautiful Senior Pass.  Thanks, Deb, for letting me “borrow” the picture you took of the moment:


Now I’m ready for all those expensive National Parks!

The cold weather arrived on schedule with lots of wind and very cold temperatures.  We’ve been running the generator more in the last couple of days, but still not as much as we did routinely last year.  Rollie came over today and gave us some good pointers about getting a type of monitor that will allow us to track our batteries more accurately than we can with our standard built-ins.  I told him all I really need to know is whether I can run my electric stuff when I need to!

Everyone came over to our place this afternoon for a short happy hour, and we’re settled in for another cold night.  The weather forecast promises warmer temperatures over the next few days.  Good!