Friday, February 28, 2014

126 DEAD!!!

Yup ... that's the number.  I counted them as they met their fate!!!

Yesterday was "dryer repair" day.  I was up early, just missing the inch of rain that fell overnight, and headed off to Fresno RV in the sunshine.  It took a couple of weeks, but the dryer belt had arrived and it was D-Day.  I was greeted by Mel, the service manager, who promptly called the mechanic to start the work.  That's pretty fast service!!

It's a rather small facility, apparently from downsizing during the economic downturn.  It's good to see however, that they are again increasing their size and selling RV's.  Two couples came in and signed papers while I was there.  A short time later, Mel showed me the broken belt.  According to EVERYONE, it was because I put a rubber-backed rug in the dryer.  So here's my warning ... if you don't want a very expensive repair bill, DO NOT put rubber-backed rugs in your RV dryer ... even small ones like I did.

I asked him to check my battery box and batteries which really needed to be cleaned.  I tried cleaning the corrosion, but just succeeded in moving it from the batteries to the box that holds them.  They did an awesome job for $90, removing every battery, as well as putting goop on the connections and checking out my 12 volt system.  From there, he double checked the engine batteries and did the same.  THEN he asked if I wanted a free wash!!  Who could turn THAT down.  When all was said and done, the dryer part was $50 (including shipping) and repair was $200.  They literally had to dismantle the entire dryer to get the new belt installed, so I guess I can't complain.  They completed the repair INSIDE my rig, and didn't need a jack to put the belt on (as LaMesa RV thought), although he said it took two guys!!

In my now perfectly spotless shiny rig, I took off for home, only to be bombarded by honey bees.  After maybe the first 10, I started counting.  It certainly was easy ... they made a loud popping noise as they met the glass, leaving HUGE spots of #%$#&# on my pretty clean windshield.  Twenty two miles later, they finally disappeared.  It was late when I returned home, so today I will spend the first few hours washing the front AGAIN!!!

The Gods finally decided to drop a little wet on us in central California ... and we need it badly.  It's supposed to rain another inch today, making the free wash on my RV rather useless.  Maybe if it rains enough, I won't have to wash the bugs off!!!

Monday, February 24, 2014


I don't know how you full-time ladies do it!!  Your hair always looks so nice ... neatly cut and nicely styled.  Me ..... I have to go to the hairstylist about every six weeks and am the Queen of Hairspray.  It has taken me 20 years to find someone that could deal with my hair.  I just can't imagine stopping in at Great Cuts or Walmart for a quick cut and style.  I think the secret must be a short cut!

So a couple weeks ago when it was again time for a trim, I went to visit Maria, who also happens to be a "kind of close" neighbor ... and a sweetheart to boot!!  

HOWEVER ... when your hairstylist says "Let's try something F U N", even if she is a good friend, you should NEVER EVER say OKAY!!!  Not unless you want a heart attack right there in the shop.  Always ALWAYS ask WHAT first!!!  Actually it's a little lighter now, but I had the reddest red hair you can imagine!!!  It was a shock, to say the least!!!
I went to the Elks Lodge the next night to cashier their Bingo, and no one recognized me!!!  I told them I was Nancy's twin sister, Chrissy ... that Nancy was off on another trip in her RV.  We've gotten the biggest laugh ... and now everyone calls me by my new name.  Unfortunately, it probably won't stay this way, as I plan on being gone all summer, which would mean a stop at Great Cuts or Walmart ...  scary for me AND the hairdressers.  My hair has even made them CRY!!!!

Yesterday I drove to Sonora to meet up with the Costa Rica tour group for picture sharing.  They didn't recognize me either!!!  The only problem was, no one brought their pictures!!  I took my computer with a slideshow of the last four days Patty and I spent in the jungle, which they were all anxious to see.  As I moved through the images, I gave a commentary on the comedy of errors that occurred ... and kept everybody in stitches for two hours!!  They said they hadn't laughed that hard in ages.  At least our misfortunes were good for a great time with lots of laughter.  ALL were thankful they had not signed up for that last three days!!

It's going to be a busy week.  I need new glasses and it's tax time ... AND I'm taking the rig to Fresno to have my dryer repaired!!  Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!

Sunday, February 23, 2014


The Cat In The Hat came visiting yesterday, and although I DO know about green eggs and ham, I have no clue what the rest is about.  I was born before the Cat was ... in fact I think I was born before books were made, because there were no such things in my childhood.  I didn't learn any more yesterday either, as I was busy taking pictures of the birthday boy, Braden James!!  Here he is with Mom and his new Godmother!!
Gee ... I remember about birthdays ... there was homemade cake and one gift.  Braden had an entire cake to himself and got THREE ride-on cars and one ride-IN car!!!  Now that's a haul worthy of a king!!!  As you can tell, Mom has been planning this party the entire year.  Once a month, she put him on the couch with a white shirt and blue tie for a photo op!!  That's what you see strung over the table.
I seriously don't know where all this stuff came from ... I couldn't even find Cat-In-The-Hat wrapping paper ... but this sign was a winner.  It says he has three teeth, loves bananas and his first words were Dada and Nana.  Pretty cute!!
There were cardboard cutouts everywhere of characters from the books.  Guess I'll have to go buy a set if I want to know what was REALLY going on!!
The green eggs didn't go over so well but the ham and cheese disappeared pretty fast.  It's hilarious how our brain interprets the color of the food we eat.  They didn't taste like deviled eggs at all!!  I surprised my office one year on St Patricks Day with green potato salad, made with a few drops of food coloring in the mayo dressing.  Even I knew it was regular potato salad, but my brain kept getting in the way when I saw the green color.  Everyone tasted it, but most was left on the table!!  Try it some time!!
We played pin the hat on the cat ...
And THEN came the time to sing Happy Birthday.  They put a big candle on the cake, which he went for immediately, and when Shelby blew it out, we all cheered, sending him into a fit of crying that lasted five minutes!!!  I'm not sure where the custom came from of letting kids destroy the cake, smearing it all over the table and of course themselves, but they let him have at it for fifteen minutes or so.  What was left, went in the trash.  That's not MY kind of custom ... I wanted to EAT the cake!!!
I have to say of all the gifts he received, Mr. Braden played with mine the most!!  See that water bottle???  I wrapped up TWO for him with just enough water inside so it would roll on the floor.  When we were taking the Chef pictures of this little guy, all he wanted to do was crawl on the floor chasing after a water bottle.  I didn't have any toys to play with and figured my dogs liked it, so maybe Braden would too.  It was a big success!!!  The rest of the bag was filled with clothes!!!
It took an hour to clean up the mess and haul off all the presents he received before the stomach ache and tears hit again (from the gobs of frosting he ate).  Thankfully I don't have to change any of those diapers!!  Happy First Birthday Mr. Braden James!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014


No, not for Christmas, but for NEXT year's Indio/Quartzsite trip.  With not much else going on, I started my list of places to visit in 2015.  Nothing like getting an early start, but a couple will require early reservations.  Besides the usual Indio Rally, I plan on seeing the sparks fly in Lake Havasu City, Casa Grande just because I've never been there and Spring Training in Phoenix.  A short stop in Las Vegas should get me back in time for my annual trip to Maui.  After that, I'm leaning towards the Oregon coast again.  LOVED it there.  Any other suggestions???

With no snow and my expensive annual skiing pass down the drain, boredom quickly returned.  Maybe a little running will help!!  I was gasping around the first corner, about 50 yards into the run, but once that original horrible feeling is gone, you feel like you can run forever.  Well not exactly, but I made it two miles.  Running every other day, the miles will add up fast and hopefully a few more pounds will disappear!!
I KNOW I've complained about this knitting project ... but FINALLY ... on the 9th or 10th try with the FIVE double pointed needles shown at the bottom, I was able to get it going ... on the day I planned to drive to Fresno for instruction.  I was so excited!!!  I'm a self taught knitter and pretty slow, but with the help of an APP on my iPhone that Barbara Westerfield's daughter showed me, I'm able to figure out the how-to's.  I probably would have given up eons ago, but I purchased this yarn in Oregon last summer at a VERY high price ... and I'm NOT giving up until it's done!!
 Here's the finished product.  Looks like I have a LONG way to go!!!
This weekend is the First Birthday of my sort-of adopted grandson kinda like .... well really, he's the grandson of one of my good friends.  His mom stayed with me for a year or so before she got married, so I claim him as mine ... since I have none!!  I set out to find the perfect gift for the kid that literally has everything ... most boys have a car to drive ... he has a car AND an AIRPLANE!!!
He really likes the boxes and doesn't play with the toys much.  This is the Master Chef by the way, from my photo shoot for his Chef Dad.  What I learned on that day is that his favorite toy was a plastic water bottle ... so I'm wrapping up TWO for him to open!!!  At least I know he will LOVE it!!!  Then I went to the store for a few clothes ... LEVIS to be exact.  I'll have him on a horse by the time he's three!!  I've seen this little guy in sweats MUCH too often!!!  I have to admit I got a little carried away, and now understand the "Grandparent" thing a little better.  I wanted to buy everything in the store.  They were just so darn cute ... and of course all on sale.  I ended up with 7 shirts, 2 shorts, 1 khaki pant, 1 sweatshirt and 3 levis!!  An ENTIRE wardrobe!!!  And the best part ... I get to take my camera and catch the laughing Birthday Boy Braden!! 

It's time to hit the road running ....... so I can moan and groan on the couch all afternoon!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

BEEP BEEP BE........

FINALLY the beeping stopped.  I'm not sure that my solution is a good one, but it worked.  My friend the screwdriver and I removed the cranky detector, only to find that it is basically a plastic box, hard wired, that doesn't allow unplugging or access to the wires.  I replaced it with a big sigh.  On my way out the door, as it began screeching again, I remembered the 12 volt shutoff Dan had told me about.  It's worth a try ... I hit the button .... and mid beep .... there was QUIET!!!!  I'm plugged in so the fridge is still running, which is the only thing that needs to be in the ON mode.  I have no idea what effect if any this will have on the house batteries.  Do they still charge as long as I'm plugged in???  I doubt it will be turned off for long, as I'm already getting itchy feet!!  If the dryer belt ever comes in, I'll have Fresno RV check it out for me.

Saturday night I promised my friends a huge pizza from the best game in town ... Pizza Villa.  Although pricey, they have NO competition because they are so awesomely good.  I called to place my order ... no answer.  I called again.  Forty minutes of calling and no one answered the phone.  Apparently somewhere between Indio and Quartzsite, they retired and closed their doors.  It was a sad day ..... I went to Round Table Pizza and got a horrible All Meat Marvel.  It definitely wasn't a marvel!!!  I've never had bacon on a pizza that you couldn't chew!!   I hate it when the BEST closes!!!

It was such an exciting weekend ... the ladies will appreciate this.  Having purchased some of the best eyeliner I've ever tried from the Ulta store ... a Smashbox product ... I discovered as I used them that they would no longer advance in the pen as I turned the base.  ALL FOUR of them wouldn't work.  This is a MAJOR design flaw!!  I returned all of them to the store with the suggestion they remove the product from their shelves.  Surprisingly they took them back, even though they were all used, and refunded my money.  Ulta provides GREAT service should you need any cosmetics!!

The rest of the day was spent making a slideshow (without music) of the images from our Costa Rica trip.  The group that went is having a get together and requested pictures of the 3 day add-on trip Patty and I experienced.  As I looked at some of the images, I was again amazed that we rode in a huge bus on those crazy narrow dirt roads.  I'm not sure how to add it to my blog ... I promise it's only 10 minutes long ... but if I see you in the Los Angeles area in May, I'd be happy to show you that crazy, scary, WET trip!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014


The more I stay home, the more I think about full-timing.  I'm beginning to see the advantages, not only of seeing this beautiful country, but of a more maintenance-free existence.  Yes, there's maintenance on a motorhome, but nothing like the work required to keep up a huge house and two acres.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my house, but keeping things looking halfway nice requires a big hit to the pocketbook and a LOT of work!!

My back fence neighbor has some huge trees ... thank goodness they are on HIS side of the fence ... but they overhang MY side so far they almost touch the ground.  They also dump tons of limbs/leaves on MY side, that my horse rolls in, resulting in hours spent combing the trash from his tail. After he trimmed his side only, I went over and asked if I could trim MY side ... and he of course said fine (less work for him).  Little did he know that I planned on chopping the heck out of them!!!  The thought of accidentally spraying them with a little too much Roundup crossed my mind, but they do provide a lot of shade from the afternoon summer sun.  My gardner owes me a favor (over some horse business) so I asked him to trim them up.

And trim them he did!!!  Once the main cutting was done, he climbed on top of the fence and cut some more!!
I was a little worried the fence would fall, but he walked the entire length and trimmed up about six feet!!  Not only does it look GREAT, but I doubt I'll have to cut it again for three or four years!!
Now on to cleaning all the puppy prints off my hardwood floors ... on hands and knees ... before waxing.  I KNOW there is an elf that comes out every night and laughingly spreads dirt and dust bunnies all over my house.  I just can't figure out how else it could get dirty so fast.  After all, there's just ME ... and I leave my shoes by the door!!!  In the RV it takes about six minutes and there's no furniture to move!!  I'm definitely on a mission to reduce the STUFF in my house, making it easier to clean!!

In the meantime, my new Nikkor lens came in ... the replacement for the one I ruined in Costa Rica.  The good news is that this one was on sale and as a bonus, I got TWO free filters, worth over $100.  That kind of a deal usually means they have a newer "better" model coming to a store near you SOON.  In all, this lens cost me $500 LESS than it's predecessor, which suits me just fine.  The Golden Spike group has a rally coming up in Fullerton/Anaheim California where I plan on putting it to good use!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Or Valentine's Day, better known as February 14, wasn't all hearts and flowers in the beginning.  According to the internet (and there are MANY internet variations) it is the celebration of a Christian, Saint Valentinus.  He was a priest ministering to persecuted Christians in Rome, who healed the blind daughter of his jailer.  When he was later executed for his good work, he sent her a letter signed Your Valentine.  The Feast of St Valentine was a celebration of his Christian work.

Historical facts however, say he was a martyred priest in AD 496 whose head was preserved and venerated for years in the abby of New Minster Winchester.  St Valentines Day was celebrated by the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints until 1969 when they decided to remove him from the calendar, since no one seemed to really know anything about him.

It's interesting how all THAT turned into giving heart-shaped cards and candy to your friends and family.  It seems this is mostly a "female" holiday, since men don't seem to care too much for it ... it's just another day they have to go to the store and find a card.  But let me tell you guys, it's means a LOT to the women in your life that you actually took the time to GO to the store and spent at least 30 seconds finding a card ... or candy ... or something stuffed, cute and cuddly.  So GET OUT THERE and find something for your gal!!!

Not having anything resembling a husband or boyfriend, I'm making chocolate dipped strawberries for a nice family I know that helps me out from time to time.  They're about as easy as can be.  Even the GUYS can do this!!

Step One:  Buy a box of strawberries and a box of chocolate drops at the grocery store.
Step Two:  Follow the directions on the chocolate box and microwave for a couple minutes.
Step Three:  Grab a strawberry and roll it around in the chocolate, placing it on a plate when done.  I gave these an extra roll in mini chocolate chips.
Step Four:  Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens and VOILA!!!  A luscious treat for your wife/girlfriend AND you!!  Easy Peasy!!

The only reason "I" celebrate February 14th is because it's the birthday of my dearest friend Miss Patty!!  I know when we get older we don't celebrate birthdays much, let alone Valentine's Day, but I'm here to tell you it's a day to celebrate the birthday of an awesome lady .. Queen of Casseroles, Queen of Recycling and the best darn GRANDMA ever!!!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014


With the exception of the beeping coming from the RV, all's quiet here at Buzzards Roost.  I watched the young buzzards practice flying yesterday over the trees in my neighbor's back yard.  A slight breeze made it challenging for them, as they dipped and dodged.  No wrecks with each other that I saw, but one ran into a tree limb before he could pull up.  For being one of the "uglies", they sure are elegant as they float around.

I called Fresno RV and was shocked to have a real live person answer the phone.  The dryer belt has been ordered, but won't be in for another 5-6 days.  They must have put that box on the slow boat to China route.

My new windshield wipers came yesterday!!!  It took a little work and a lot of wiggling, but I was finally able to dislodge the old ones and install the new!  SUCCESS!!  Chalk one up for me!!  I also received a note from the credit card company saying they had removed the charges from the local RV store.

With nothing else to keep me busy, I baked some homemade chocolate chip cookies.  You know the ones ... the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip package.  It's been there forever, and I've baked them forever, but sorry Nestle ... they don't even come close to the bake-your-own ones you can buy pre-made in the grocery store (also made by Nestle).  Even though I under-baked them, they were hard crunchy hockey pucks ... and I like soft chewy!!  The good part is that they are now in the freezer and won't be eaten at one sitting!!  Nestle, PLEASE change the recipe, or at least tell us how to get soft and chewy!!

I paid the bills yesterday too ... how exciting, right???  Well that roof repair got my heart rate right up there pretty quickly.  The finally tally was $14,100, including some dry rot repairs.  OUCH!!!  It definitely got me back on the money-saving track!!  With taxes coming up soon, I'm in the "agitation" mode.  Luckily, from a lot of hard work and forethought, I will always have to pay taxes.  Isn't that an oxymoron??  Having to pay taxes is definitely NOT lucky ... but it means I won't be on the welfare rolls any time soon!!

Time for the screwdriver to hit the beeping machine.  I'll let you know how that works out!!  Worse case, Fresno RV can tackle the problem!!

Monday, February 10, 2014


Bet you can't guess what that is!!!  Nope, not the smoke alarm.  Yes, you got it ... it's that little alarm down by the floor for sensing exhaust fumes, propane gas and whatever else is on the list.  It goes off constantly in my rig when I'm parked ... never when I'm traveling. Usually turning on the fan overhead will quiet it in a few minutes.  It scares the heck out of my dogs, who run for the front door.

NOW however, it never seems to shut off.  The engine is off, the inverter is off, the propane is off, the fan is on and it still beeps incessantly!!  Every time I go out the back door, there it is ... beep beep beep.  The neighbors are probably ready to shoot the thing ... come to think of it, so am I!!!
I had tape over it for awhile.  I know ... that's not a good idea, because SOME day it may actually be sensing something.  But it's like crying wolf ... if it ever starts beeping for real, I'll never believe it.  I took the tape off because I thought maybe the TAPE was the problem ... but no, it's still beeping.  I can get it to go off for a minute or so, then it's back on.  I finally put a pillow over it ... at least the sound is muffled now.  Really, it's an ear splitter!!!  See those two little screws??  I'm thinking a screwdriver and some side cutters may just be the answer!!

The predicted one inch of rain never happened.  The Jeep is even worse now that the little drops of water that did fall have revived the mud and dirt nicely.  Lots of phone calls on the list today ... from RV Shade Cover to RV dryer repair (they haven't called back, AGAIN) to the Vet for more information on Cushings Disease which my horse has.  He seems to be confused a lot more than usual.  My very expensive camera lens that got dropped in Costa Rica cannot be fixed, so I'm looking for a new one.  I see $$$$$ in my future.  Typical CRAZY Monday!!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Unfortunately it has nothing to do with money ... well, actually it does in the end.

While the East Coast is buried in snow and rain, California is dry as a bone.  I don't ever remember it being THIS rain-free.  It's a real problem for us and will result in huge expenses if the weather systems don't keep coming our direction.

The reservoirs in California WERE used for irrigation until Los Angeles decided THEY should have the water instead for all the subdivisions they have built.  I'm know there is more involved than that, but I won't get into it here.  Some lakes have even been totally drained of water as it makes it's way south.  When that happened, there was even less water for irrigation.

In my particular area, water was almost always available, although at a high price, which helped the local cattle ranchers (including us) go bankrupt.  We couldn't irrigate the pastures enough to feed the cattle because the water was too expensive and the cost of buying and raising cattle ended up being MORE than the sale price for meat.  Eventually, as the snowpacks were lower each year, the water companies dug VERY deep wells around this area to provide irrigation water when the reservoirs went dry.  You can imagine how expensive THAT water became.  It was like GOLD!!!

Many years ago, I went skiing in the Sierras on top of 11-12 feet of snowpack in November!!  It's February ... and we have no snow at all ... maybe a little bit from yesterday.  The backlash of no water is that the price to irrigate the fields that produce the food we eat will skyrocket, resulting in MUCH higher prices for us at the grocery store!

There is another problem that will take even more money from our pockets.  When the water companies start pumping all the ground water for irrigation, water tables will drop like a shot!  You wouldn't think that would have much effect ... but many wells in this area are less than 100 feet deep. When you turn on the faucet and find a lot of sand in your drinking water, it's probably because the water table has dropped enough your well has nothing to pump.  It has already happened to a couple of my neighbors near the ranch.

I suppose everyone will blame it on "Global Warming" ... but I think it's just nature.  If you look back over millions of years, the water and ice tables ebb and flow like the tides.  As we get older (and live longer) we see more of the effects of Mother Nature.

Today it is supposed to rain almost an inch!!!  That means I have to get in gear, making sure all my gutters and downspouts are headed in the right direction!!  Not only do we really need the water, but I parked my Jeep outside because it is in dire need of a wash!!  An inch of rain should do it up nicely!!

Friday, February 7, 2014


It rained most of the day here in the Central Valley ... we definitely need it ... but it put a hitch in the gitalong of the tree job.  With that postponed, I was hoping it would rain enough to give the Phaeton a good wash, which didn't work out either!!

This would be a day to sit on the couch and knit my newest project.  How such a small scarf could have so much affect on me ... I've restarted it 9 times now (I think this is a record).  Once I actually got about 9 inches done, and in a flash, stitches disappeared.  No matter how hard I tried to concentrate, somewhere between finally finding the line of pattern to follow and looking back at the yarn between my fingers ... poof!!!  In the next row the pattern would be wrong!!  I need to find someone to give me a class in fixing mistakes ... although usually I can't even FIND them!!!

Not sure if the tree will be worked on today or not, so I'm in a holding pattern.  If I can muster up some gumption, I'll start on that RV shed project.  It's makes me cringe just thinking about it, but baby needs a roof over her head!!  Wish me luck!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Most people that read my blog, know I'm pretty adventurous ... horses, downhill skiing, rock climbing ... but even I have my limit.  If you are the least bit squeamish about heights, you may not want to go any further.

The ranch is covered with eucalyptus trees, most over 100 feet tall.  We call them widow-makers.  In the winter, they usually hang in there pretty good, even with the wind and rain.  In the summer, however, it is a completely different story.  In high heat, the trees push all their sap to the top to keep cool, resulting in overweight falling branches that kill people ... hence the name widow-makers.  There was one that was a little too close to the house for comfort, and should it fall, would probably take out most of the garage.  Time to call the tree trimmer, Anderson Tree Service.  Admittedly, I wasn't too happy in the beginning ... with a late call-back and two months to schedule, to say nothing of the price.  Today I changed my mind!!  THIS is something I wouldn't want to do ... at least not at the height Ken Anderson was today.  Although even he was a little nervous towards the top, he is a master at this kind of work.
After using the boom to clear most of the leafy branches to make climbing easier, up he went, free climbing.  His chain saw hangs below him on a rope.  If it should get knocked out of his hand, it won't land on someone below.
Geared up in basically rock climbing equipment and telephone pole climbing spikes, he headed to the top of this 110+ tree.  Pretty much waving in the breeze here from the very flexible limbs, he topped this branch first in order to make a top rope that he could tie to, providing safety and stability.  Yup that's him, W A Y up there about 20 feet from the top.  I could probably get half way before freezing up and calling the helicopter to come get me!!  Hmmm might be fun to try!!!
Wedged between the branches and his ropes, he topped this branch second.

As the branch fell, the release of pressure made the branch he is tied to swing back and forth about 4 feet.  I was shaking and I wasn't even in the tree!!
Here's a shot of almost the entire tree ... I couldn't get back far enough to show it all.  He just moved from the top of the branch on the right, to the left hand branch.  Pretty crazy!!  He says he's not an adrenaline junky, making it even tougher to hang from the top.
Tied off to the right branch, he's going to cut the one he's clinging to.
His crew is on the end of the white rope, pulling hard.  This limb would have fallen on top of Ken had they not pulled it their direction.  The branch he's on snapped like a rubber band!!
He hung in there though and breathed a big sigh of relief that two of three big branches were done.  From here, he cuts off four foot sections, dropping them to the ground with a slam!!
All the small branches were chewed up and spit out by his chipper, while the crew stacked the four foot sections of wood by the fence.  I can probably sell this good firewood for a couple hundred dollars, making the $1000 tree removal a little more palatable.

Today it's raining, so the rest of the tree will be taken down next week.  Slightly taller than what you see here, it too will be a nail-biter!!   You've got to have nerves of steel to be in this business!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


At a loss to find new wipers for my rig, I finally figured the easiest way was to call Tiffin Motorhomes.  Why didn't I think of this before???  It would have saved me a lot of trouble!

This morning I talked to Doug in the Parts Department ...  you know those guys have really nice accents back East in Alabama!!  He said as far as he knew, only 28" wipers were available in California ... mine are 32", which may or may not make a difference.  BUT ... the Tiffin Parts Department has the 32" in stock, for $22.47 each.  That's a far cry from the $45 each I was charged by the local RV ripoff center.  With additional shipping charges of maybe $12, they still only come to $35 each.

He said generally they only last two years, longer if you keep them covered, in his sweet Alabama accent .........

I ordered FOUR!!  The shipping won't be much different and I'll have a spare set just in case!!

Now I have to deal with the local guys ... I called the credit card company and explained my reason for wanted the charges reversed.  I don't know if they will work until I put them on, but once on, I can't return them if they DON'T work.  They agreed and said they would let me know in a couple weeks.  I don't even mind a restocking fee, although it was never offered.

In the meantime, I might just have to call Tiffin again to check on those wipers ... just to hear that Alabama accent!!

Monday, February 3, 2014


Not that the Broncos lost, but that the millions of dollars worth of commercials were two steps below par.

I started the day playing shuffle-the-cars so I could hook up the horse trailer and bring Showby boy home from boarding school.  He was so happy to see me, he took a flying leap and landed in the trailer before I had time to get ready for it.  Once here, he bucked and cavorted around like a two year old ... at least he tried.  His arthritis got the best of him, but a can full of what he thinks is grain, settled him right down.  It's just pelleted feed with glucosamine ... he thinks it's candy!!

Once all the vehicles were back in their places, I spent a little time on that quarter panel again.  Isn't it pretty?????  Well it was until some rain showers hit!!
It was freezing cold all day, so I cranked up the fireplace and sat on the couch ... bored to death ... for three hours, waiting for the Super Bowl.  I didn't really care who won the game, I was in it for the commercials.  Unfortunately, I was highly dissappointed!  Half of them, I couldn't even tell what they were advertising ... maybe it was just me.  You KNOW I loved the cowboy one, taking the bull home.  I can't tell you how many times I made that trip with my dad!!

The game was a bust ... I doubt that many people saw the second half commercials, as I'm sure they changed channels.  My condolences to the Bronco fans!!  I WAS happy to see the refs calling the Seahawks for some of the stuff they pull, but overall, someone must have had a talk with the entire team, because they didn't pull their shenanigans like usual.

The only other commercials worth mentioning were of course the Budweiser puppy ... now THAT'S a commercial.  If I drank beer, it would be Bud!!  I loved Volkswagon's angel wings almost as much.  As for everyone else, PLEASE hire a new Advertising Company!!

Happy Travels .........

Sunday, February 2, 2014


I'm not one to give up, but yesterday, I called UNCLE!!

I got out my tallest ladder and went to work on the RV.  First, I moved my FMCA egg from the front of the ladder to the back.  Easy peasy!!  Next, I crawled from MY ladder to the RIG ladder and up on the roof, dragging the water hose with me.  I scrubbed from one end to the other, getting the top squeaky clean, and crawled down.  Up again with towels, which I forgot the first time, I dried the top.  Up the THIRD time with wax, I applied a coat to all the vents, just because Mr. Chance does!!  I think I've pushed my luck here by not falling off, so I called the roof good!

That done, I commenced to wash ONE side.  I didn't get far!!  I can't remember if it was Mothers or Mommys who invented these expensive plastic washing gizzies that fit on the end of a handle, but they DO NOT work with a capital D N!!!  And why should they???  They are plastic!!  No matter how tight you think you have them screwed down, they come loose.  The good part is the rags stick to the velcro.  I gave up and went to my trusty windshield washer with washcloth and finished only one quarter.  From there, I got out the polish and managed to finish one quarter panel before I collapsed.  Now don't laugh ... I see you laughing!!!  Gee this is hard work!!!  Tomorrow I'll try to get at least get one half done before the Super Bowl ... because when the time comes, I'm going to be plopped on my couch with a pepsi and chips!!

The next couple of hours I spent figuring out the easiest, least expensive place to put my RV shelter.  Like Dan and Patty Chance, the wonderful County employees who think they are God, have made the requirements for my property almost impossible to deal with.  UNLIKE Dan, I don't have the patience or gumption to fight with them.  This is the view from my large front gate (at the side of the house), to the back fence.  My horse trailer on the left will need to be moved further left ... no problem there ... and the two panels of white fence removed, to be replaced by a wide gate.  From there, it will be a straight shot back to the far fence.  The 18' x 40' building will begin at the end of the horse barn and end at the back fence.  Why don't I place it on the already beautiful concrete you ask??  Because the setbacks on BOTH sides of the house are 15 feet (although 5 feet everywhere else in Merced County) and I can't make the turn through the gate.  With that decided, I'll make a call to both contractors and see what comes next.  Although I prefer concrete to park on, I think it will be more economical to lay down gravel.
By the way, I do SO much appreciate all the advice I receive from fellow RV'rs, so if anyone has any suggestions, I'm more than happy to hear them!!!  One other problem is the heavy cement trucks driving over my concrete, which is cracking badly in the front driveway.  Is that repairable???

P.S.    .....  GO BRONCOS!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014


After several hours of hard rain that disappeared into the dry ground in a flash, the clouds moved on and we are back to cold and dry.  I suppose that's a good thing for me, since I need to get to work on washing and waxing my RV.  UGH!!!  NOT a job I'm looking forward to.  I planned on having it done in Yuma, but I was so sick I just didn't get it taken care of.  I had lofty ideas of doing half of it at a time.  That has now been reduced to one quarter at a time.  By the end of the week, I figure it will be down to one eighth!!!!

For those readers not in the group, here is the Dream Ice Cream Team of wonderful folks, every one of which participated in the Ice Cream Social distribution in Indio.  The Golden Spike Group RULES!!
This is me hugging the Schwan's truck when it first arrived.  That's one happy lady standing there!!  These images are copyrighted by Bob Tucker, official photographer and slide show author!!
You've heard me talk of the wagon wheels we purchased, here's mine on the patio next to my milk-can table.  I don't know where the seller found it, but it is in excellent shape.
This is what was in the box of chicken ... my Rooster!!  Isn't he just gorgeous???  Well, only if you like roosters I guess.  We had lots of these guys when I was growing up on the ranch ... I was the egg hunter, gathering eggs after school every day, so he kind of has a place in my heart.  These are extremely hard to find this large with such good color and I've seen them go for many hundreds of dollars.  At Cracker Barrel, he was a steal!!
The cranky old lady in Quartzsite had a huge stack of reclaimed tin ceiling tiles that I went through one by one.  I really wish I could have found several more of this particular pattern, but had to settle for just one ... which she did NOT discount!!  
I spent four hours yesterday vacuuming both the Jeep and my truck, then washed the 3/4 ton extended cab monster!!  I'm NOT washing the Jeep ... at least not personally.  The dealership where I purchased it, gives me as many free washes as I want for the life of the vehicle.  Of course they don't do a spectacular job, but it's much easier to clean up the details than to wash the whole thing.

A day can't go by ... what am I saying ... an HOUR can't go by that I'm not REQUIRED to throw the ball for Cooper.  He holds it with his paws, then pushes it with his nose in your direction.  You throw it, he gets it and comes back to this spot ... he pushes it ... and you know the rest.   An hour later, I haven't accomplished anything!!
I did get some flute practice in ... you didn't know I played the Native American flute???   SOME people might say I DON'T play the flute, at least not very well ... but it's fun to try anyhow.  The largest one on top is my favorite High Spirits E with very low tones ... it came from a trading post East of the Grand Canyon.  The middle one is a G, sold to me by none other than Miss Patty Chance when she worked in the Grand Canyon.  The lowest one with turquoise beads is the newest F# from Quartzsite.
So the next time we are in the same general area and you hear lots of screeching along with a few beautiful notes, no worries, it's just me "playing" my flutes!!