Monday, April 22, 2019

Taco School

It was a most glorious Easter Sunday here in Central California.  The sun was shining most all day, perfect for all those kids next door screaming about the eggs they found.  It was pretty funny sitting on the patio listening to the neighborhood.  It was also nice to just sit and let my sore muscles jell again.
Here's my problem that caused said soreness.  This is the stuff that drips off the roof and down the side of the rig.  It's so frustrating to wash it all off and have it appear again three days later.  I washed the roof this time, squeegeed it from one end to the other, then rinsed the sides to be sure it didn't stick, since my plan was to wash it the next day.  It stuck anyway.  
I started on one corner with my new handy dandy scrubber, purchased at the Indio Rally.  I have to say this thing works VERY well.  It's small enough to get into most all of the spaces and the head swivels up and down to get in even smaller spaces.  If you need bugs removed from the windshield, it has a side for that too.  
To make it even better, the handle extends with the push of a button to something like 16 feet, perfect for breaking off those pesky tree branches in RV parks.  About 30 minutes into washing, the sky clouded up.  My plan was to wash half while it was in the shade.  Now I had to wash ALL of it in one sitting. 

I was exhausted by the time I got done, but she looked beautiful through my rose colored glasses.  Two hours later I went back outside with my REAL glasses to discover I hadn't done such a great job after all.  Oh well ... I'm NOT doing it again!!
For lunch I decided I would try another stab at tacos.  Since the salmon didn't turn out so well, how about ground beef.  What I DIDN'T have was tomatoes, or salsa, or onions, or anything else that resembled tacos.  How about those Korean tacos I made in Tucson?

You should be exceedingly happy you are not one of my kids, required to sit at my table and eat this $%#@$#.  No salsa or tomatoes required, but it did call for sesame oil.  Hmmm what to substitute.  How about balsamic vinegar??  That should be a suitable substitute, right?  Ah that would be no.
Now I've cooked it, I have to eat it.  That's from my mother's table.  So ... another meal of not-so-tasty tacos.  The cabbage salad went well with the meat, but obviously the flavor palate wasn't quite there.  I choked it down, knowing I had to have this again for dinner.
At least it took my mind off being stiff and sore from washing the rig.  Wasn't I happy when I checked my phone to find that the cooking school in Sonora had a class on TACOS this weekend.  I signed up immediately.  Taco School is in my near future.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Happy EASTER!

Good morning!!  It's another gorgeous day in sunny California.  Really, the weather has been spectacular.  That makes it perfect for dressing up in your Sunday best and going to church.

When I was little, I got one new outfit a year.  It was an Easter dress my mom made, usually something too big.  I even made sure it had a matching purse so I could show off in Sunday school, along with my newly painted shoes.  New shoes were NOT in the budget.  A little paint worked wonders.
Sometime during the night, someone hid all the eggs we colored on Saturday.  With a broken crayon, we drew crosses on the eggs, then dunked them in the boiling water bath.  It was the best time ever since activities (other than Easter) were never a part of our growing up.
I don't remember eating many, since eggs were not on my list of approved edibles.  There was always one small bag of chocolate candy spread throughout our little baskets with fake green fluffy grass from five years prior that smelled like our musty attic.  Oh how I wanted a chocolate bunny.  One year my wish actually came true.  I ate the whole thing and got sick as a dog.  Oh the memories!
Back to the present day, this is our lovely little zoo.  Not much to look at.  In fact, if you didn't already know it was here, you would never guess.  One of these days I'll take some pictures for you.  After all, not everyone has seen the extremely rare billy goat.
Meet Josh.  He's the interim Zookeeper, since the last one broke her foot and hasn't been seen in ages.  I picked up a box of Costco ice cream bars for the volunteers, hoping he eats most of them.  He could use a little more padding.  I'm pretty sure he weighs less than me!!!

Such a nice kid, and VERY appreciative of the stuff I donated.  He especially liked the blender.  It no longer takes two people to hold it together while blending.  He was actually pretty shocked I was there.  That's my plan ... because maybe down the road he will remember and do the same for someone else.
Then he insisted he take MY picture.  I finally relented.  While shopping at Costco, it dawned on me that I needed to be careful what I bought.  If they don't show all their expenses for stuff like this, the City is likely to lower their budget even more.  We can't have that, so I asked him to write down things they could use that are not every day stuff.  Maybe a cat tree, or toys for the critters.  The monkeys love puzzle feeders .... figuring out how to get to the food inside.  
Later on today, I'll hit a couple of pet shops and see what I can find.  If anyone has ideas from things they've seen at other zoos, let me know.  Maybe we could use it here.  I'm not really sure what can enrich a goats life, but there must be something.  

The two bears love kids swimming pools, which someone just donated, and empty paper towel rolls for stuffing with tasty treats.   It's just all about giving them a good life because no one else wants them.

I actually spent all yesterday morning washing the rig.  I wish I had not done that.  I definitely need to do more exercise, since now I'm fairly stiff and sore from too much couch sitting.  Actually, I can hardly move, and I know tomorrow will be worse, because the second day is ALWAYS worse.  

I'll be on the couch ...... after I take a handful of Advil.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Sometimes You Have To Be Brave

I don't know what in the world I was thinking when I signed up for this shooting class.  It must have been sleep deprivation.  If you want adventure, sometimes you just have to be brave.

I've done some crazy things in my life, like jumping off a 60 foot tower in the jungles of Costa Rica to swing like Tarzan, but I don't think I've ever shook this bad or been this nervous before.  Obviously, that's not me in the picture.  I would NEVER wear all black in mid summer.  True, you'd never catch me in those short shorts either and there's no tattoos anywhere on this body.

We went through a four hour safety class first, with things like what would you do if you walked into a 7-11, and while standing in line, the guy ahead of you drew a weapon, pointed it at the cashier and said give me your money or you're dead!!  My response was to silently back up,  creep outside and call 911.

At any rate, it turned out to be rather exciting as we moved left and right, ducked here and there and fired at targets from as close as three feet to as far as thirty feet away.  There was a lot of thinking involved, about whether to shoot or not, not to mention listening to instructions.  I kept telling myself to be brave ... I could do this ..... and I did with pretty good results.  It was all luck!!

On the other hand, there were several others in the class who didn't fare so well.  The guy who wore sweatpants had a hard time keeping them up since his gun and holster were so heavy.  Yes, really.   One very old gentleman couldn't seem to follow instructions at all and pointed his gun at the Range Instructor.  Yikes!!  That was nothing compared to the lady who dropped her gun on the concrete, making all of us duck for cover!!  You had to be brave to be in THIS class.

It was fun, and I'm now positive there's no plaque sitting around in my arteries and veins.  My heart was pumping like crazy the entire time.  It was a fun night and rather past my bedtime when I got home at 11:00 pm.  I just might have to do that again!
You also have to be brave to eat my food.  Even "I" have to be brave in this respect, fairly often.  I had some leftover salmon, so decided to dig out the old bbq and grill up a little for salmon tacos.  I had a heck of a time getting the propane container attached.   It was a new variety with some kind of cap with a green dot I'd never seen before.  It just didn't want to come off the bottle.  

When I did finally get things going, I think I had it turned up a little too high.  The skin on the bottom was pretty dark, actually akin to black.  No problem, I'm only eating the top part.
My first piece of advice concerns the tortillas.  Flour torts and salmon do not mix well.  They should have been corn tortillas.  Since I had no salsa or taco sauce, I substituted apricot jam.  That was my second mistake.  Thirdly, olives don't exactly go with salmon.  So there you have it ... terrible tacos!!  I was lucky to get one down before cannibalizing the second for the salmon.  
Since I was on a roll, I climbed atop the rig to clean off the white gunk.  Seems there's always an adventure going on around here.  I'm now half an inch short of skin, but I'll relay that brave report tomorrow!!

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Zoo Kids

Happy Full Moon!!  

Except for that sick part, everything has been working itself out nicely.  Yesterday I received the most beautiful credit card in the world.  It even has see through sections, all silver and white.  I'd show you, but then I'd have to cancel it again.  Interestingly enough, those raised numbers are no longer raised.  At least now I can get back to charging, just in time to help the Zoo.

This is a rather small town, and having a zoo that is still in working order is pretty amazing.  When I was about 7 years old, we visited the critters that live there.  It was free way back when.  There was an old black bear, old as the hills, in a very tiny cage, that lived to be something like 30 or 40 years old.

Since then, somehow, the Zoo has survived and even allowed refurbishment and enlargement of the enclosures.  Over the years, there has never been anything really exciting living there ... goats, a few monkeys, a sheep or two and maybe some chickens.  

Lately however, they have grown in stature.  Two beautiful bobcats, rescued as babies from a fire get special treatment, along with two rescued bears.  All are critters no one else wanted, so I'm proud that this little zoo has stepped up to care for them.
The problem is of course money.  They don't have any.  The City, in their infinite wisdom, has not only cut their budget but laid off most of the paid employees.  Everything now has to be done by volunteers.  You all know how hard THEY are to find.  Maybe the city will take some of that money they are going to make off the marijuana stores they allowed to open, and do something GOOD with it.

I really can't spend much time, but I can spend a little money, helping them out with donations that the City won't find out about.  Don't tell!!  I picked up 100 pounds of dog food yesterday, along with a blender to prepare some of the food.  Their's was being held together with duck tape.  Pretty duck tape, but duck tape nonetheless.

Today I'll be off to Costco for big rolls of aluminum foil and the biggest bottles of bleach and laundry detergent I can find.  Then I'll look for critter toys ... anything for the animals that the City won't discover has been donated so they don't cut the budget even more.  I'll try to take some pictures while I'm dropping things off, since I could not find nothing acceptable on the internet.

Every once in awhile they show really cute short videos of the Zoo "kids" on Facebook if you "like" their page.  All of these critters get what they call enrichment.  They hide bits of food in paper tubes, boxes, wrapped up in paper .... anything they can think of so the animals have to spend some time looking for it.  It keeps them more active.  

My favorite one is the scent enrichment .... they put scents like lavender, vanilla and even catnip on things for the bobcats to roll around in.  You can tell they love it!!  Even something as simple as a cardboard box becomes a toy .... they are cats after all.

Costco will happen after I take a morning nap.  I did something rather crazy the other night ... a tactical shooting class that lasted until all hours.  I topped that off with a late night Elks lodge meeting, including installation of new members, that followed the best steak dinner I've had yet.  I'm feeling pretty beat up since I'm still not really over that cold.  

How in the world did I ever stay up till 3 and 4 in the morning when I was younger?  I'll tell you about the class at a later date.  I'm off to the Zoo!!

Thursday, April 18, 2019


It's the little things in life that make such a big difference.  Television is one of them!!  After much frustration and calling around, talking to people who knew less than I do about this subject, it's finally fixed.  My dish network setup in the rig is up and running.  Yahoo!!

There is one thing I like about Dish.  Everyone I spoke to was in the United States.  The last guy told me about their "Outdoor" tech section.  All this time I had to explain to THEM what setup I had and how they needed to just send me a signal.  Sometimes it was hard to convince them.

NOW however, you can ask for the Outdoor Tech (who happened to be in Ohio) who will have some clue of what you need, or at least he can give you the names of people in your area who can work on these things.  Here's the info from the one I called in Turlock.  He TOTALLY knows what he's doing and has worked on motorhomes for over 20 years.  If you ever have a problem in this area, give him a call.
Here's what I learned.  I have one of the older dishes ... 8 years old to be exact.  It has three transponders which means I have THREE cables coming into the rig.  He hooked each one up to his meter gizzy and discovered one was not working.

Up on the roof he went to test those same cables at the dish itself.  Sure enough, of A, B and C, the A cable was completely dead.  No problem.  Since I only have one receiver in the rig, I had two good ones left.  He just swapped out A for B cable, and now it all works perfectly.  He said he has never had all three cables go out, so I should be good to go for the next several years.

What a relief.  On a side note, I mentioned the other local channel television antenna didn't seem to be working either, so he disconnected everything, went back up on the roof, tightened some cables and VOILA!  Now that works again too.  I just love it when things come together.

All that came to $90 since he had to drive about 35 miles to get here.  Much cheaper than I expected and the entire process took less than 45 minutes.  He said he and his wife will retire soon, with plans of buying a motorhome and taking their business on the road.  I told him to please hang out in the Tucson area, just in case.

Feeling better but still coughing and hacking, I worked on this quilt a little.  It's always funny to me how different they look in pictures compared to in person.  I'll finish this one up in between packing the rig for the next trip to Utah.
This morning I have a dentist appointment for teeth cleaning.  Big sigh ... really I would just rather fall asleep on the couch.  

Next up on my big long list .... make ANOTHER list of all the food I have to buy for this three-rally trip.  It would be four, but I'm skipping one so I'll have at least one free day in Brigham City to do nothing but watch my wonderful television .... it's baseball season you know.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

No New News

I wish I could say something wonderful about yesterday.  I did NOT go to the Magic Kingdom and infect anyone ... I suppose that's good news for them.  I stayed home and sneezed more than I have up to this point.

In desperation, I snuggled up with that pink blanket you saw yesterday.  THAT was a big mistake.  After sneezing about fifteen times in a row, I discovered I'm allergic to llama, or alpaca or whatever it's made of.  When I threw it across the room, the sneezing subsided by 50%

While contemplating my fate, I happened to look at my RV schedule and realized I would have an eight hour drive on the second day.  I frantically searched for a place to spend one more night in the middle of nowhere on the road to nowhere.  Remind me to buy some CD's so Alice does not accompany me.

I found the Baptist Church RV Park.  What better place to stay and pray for an end to that long drive. OH NO!!  That means the other reservation I made will require a change to one day earlier.  Lucky for me, they still had a spot on that day.  I was even able to make reservations for the return trip when they are usually packed to the gills.

More coughing ensued as this lovely malady has moved down to my chest.  This is day 6.  I'm truly hoping it leaves before I have to.

Then I got the call.  ANOTHER fraud detection notice.  I have to say I like Chase Bank's approach to "let's stop these buggers before they ring our clock!"  A total of five charges went through with a zero dollar amount.  What's up with that?  Most people would ignore it.  My bank called me immediately.

If I let those charges go, the next ones will be for high dollar amounts.  They are just testing the waters.  All this is from ordering that product and getting scammed.  We completely shut the card down and I ordered a new one.  Thank you Chase Bank for making it easy.

By late afternoon I wasn't really hungry, but figured I better eat something nutritious and leave the ice cream alone.  There's no use eating the good stuff when you can't taste a thing.

I whipped up half a chicken breast in balsamic sauce and added asparagus because it's good for you.  It was pretty good, at least as much as I could taste.
My goal this afternoon is to stay away from the satellite system repair guy so as not to pass this crud along, then take a long leisurely afternoon nap.  Oh ... and pay the bills, vacuum the house, wash some clothes and whatever else pops up.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


Thank you all so much for the nice thoughts.  It helped me a lot!!  By 10:00 I turned in to an A F P ... an actual functioning person.  I think my puppies helped also.  That big bump on the left is Miss Jessie.
You know how it is when you start feeling a tad bit better ... you get on the phone to the local satellite repair guy and try to get your motorhome television functioning also.  Lucky for me, the migraine gave up after 14 hours, four Exedrin Migraine, three cups of coffee and all your good thoughts.  The relief was so great it probably made me think I was better than I really was.

By the way, in case you didn't know ... no one told ME before ... Dish Network has a separate tech department to handle all those motorhome problems.  Seven years and I never knew.  Even better, they actually know what they are talking about.  Ask for the Outdoor Tech.

At any rate, upon instructions from Donald, owner of a repair shop about 30 miles away, I unplugged the receiver (taking lots of pictures so I knew how it went back together) and plugged it in to my home satellite dish.  It worked just fine, meaning the problem is of course probably a loose connection in the wall of the motorhome.  
In turn, that means Donald will make a trip down here to check it out.  His wife says he can fix anything, so I have high hopes my television will be up and running tomorrow after  his visit.  That should give me time to get over all the H C A I've been having.  Horrible coughing attacks.  I thought I might be spared but alas, I'm doomed by the tickle in my throat.
I spent the last hours of the day sewing the binding on this lap quilt.  It has yet to find a home, but I'm thinking it might be nice for those couch-sitting-sicky days.  
I suppose this will give me time to make up at least ten sticky note lists of everything to take on my next trip.  

Oh ... and there's the Magic Kingdom!!!  I think I better pass tonight.  Yesterday I thought I would be fine, but today seems to be a  L O T C A C A  day.  That's short for lay on the couch and cough a lot!!!  It's also pretty much how I feel right now!!