Friday, July 31, 2020

Beep Beep .... Beep!!

Spring has sprung in the desert with all the babies being born.  The number of quail and dove are through the roof.  By the time summer gets here, it's the teenage years where everyone grows up.  Here's the latest and greatest model of the beep beep beep roadrunner.  Look at that tail!!

I love to watch roadrunners scurry across the desert floor with their tails whipping up and down.  I'm NOT a fan of their diet however.  They can eat all the bugs they want, but leave the baby birds alone.
I caught him yesterday eyeing the dove nest in my palm tree.  When I looked up, what should I see but momma feeding a baby.  In all the years they have nested there, I have NEVER seen a baby.  Sadly she covered him up immediately and I didn't get any pictures!  RATS!!

In other news, the dash air on my rig was fixed, but parts to replace the hitch wiring did not come in.  Turns out, according to the radio, yesterday was almost a record setting day for heat.  No kidding ... it was 110 on my patio, 110 in my car and 115 in the rig.  How do I know that?  I couldn't get ahold of anyone, so I drove down to see what was happening.

I have become really good friends with the gal who runs the cashier/scheduling office.  I COULD have sent Zach a text message had I not accidentally erased his number.  I hate it when I do that!  Honestly, I thought it would magically appear like all those scam calls, but not this time!!

With parts not in and my rig sitting outside in the sun, completely closed up, he suggested I could take her home.  Even if the parts came in today, it wouldn't be fixed until Monday.  They brought her to the front and I went inside.   

OMG it was HOT!  I grabbed the fridge door handle to see if it was still on and I actually burned my hand from the heat, like grabbing a hot pot off the stove.  YIKES!!!  I hooked up quickly, turned on the overhead fans and headed off home.

The good news is the dash air blasted away the entire time ..... COLD.  YAY!!!  The other good news is at this point my bill is only $300 which I don't even have to pay until the work is complete.  In the meantime, I heard a very loud BEEP.
Really?  It's the CO2 monitor.  Good grief ... it must be because it's been completely closed up.  I hit the button.  BEEP!!  It beeped all the way home.  Once parked back in her cave and having cooled down a tad, I decided see why the monitor was continually irritating me with a beep so loud I could hear it INSIDE my house.

I grabbed a flashlight and laid down on the floor to read what it said.  Two green flashes followed by two red flashes and BEEP ..... means it has expired ... died from Covid 19 I'm sure.  Sadly, it continues to tell me it's dead with BEEP BEEP BEEP!!

I finally got Zach's number and sent him a message that it needed to be replaced.  No problem he said, he thought they kept those in stock.  Let's hope so.  Until then, I've got at last three days of BEEP left before it can be fixed.  I may just have to get out my screwdriver and side cutters!

In the meantime, I'll be locked in the house with my AC running 24/7.  This is the prediction for the week.  Someone forgot to tell Arizona that this is monsoon season ..... time for all that rain!!!  The radio predicted 111 today, so I should be happy it may only get to 108!!  
I think I'll park my patio chair INSIDE so I can look out at the water station all day.  The outside temp at 5 am was 81.  It's a good day to be socially distant!!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

I Spy With My Little Eye .....

Ever play that game when you were a kid on a long trip, squished down on the floorboards of that old Buick, trying not to get whacked for making too much noise?  That was me.  Those six hour trips to Grandma's house in Kernville were long and BORING!

When we were allowed to raise our heads, we played the I Spy game.  Last week, I spied with my little eye THIS amazing treat.  I think it must be the best 50 cents I ever spent.  Walmart finally has something tasty!!

When I spotted the girl putting them up, I rushed over and grabbed not one, not even two ... but SIX!!!!  They freeze exceptionally well.
As you can see on my special six inch dish ware, this three inch piece of lusciousness goes even better with four tablespoons of homemade ice cream.  What could be better?  Perfect portions too!  I'm not kidding, this is the best pecan pie and the flakiest crust.  The apple?  Meh ...  However, the pumpkin was pretty tasty too.  I'm going back today for more!!
Every morning before I let the puppies out, I try to spy with my little eye, anything in the back yard that might bite, spray or otherwise make them too stinky to come BACK in the house.  Yesterday I spotted this lovely creature.  

This is a giant mesquite bug.  The red markings on his legs are barely visible but very cool.  What a strange creature!!  I shooed him on his way with my trusty broom.
Back inside just as the sun came up, I happened to spy THIS little guy.  This is the concrete wall jumping bunny.  Who knew they were so athletic?  He jumped up on top of a three foot wall, then down into the yard to snack on grass.  I didn't mind one little bit.  
I've caught him in here several times, but this was the first time I was able to snag pictures.  He came clear up on the patio.  Another mystery solved about just WHAT my puppies are smelling when they start tracking something now invisible in my yard.
In no time, he jumped back over the fence and headed to the water station, that little empty space in the middle of this picture.  This shows about how far away it is from my back step.  
That makes it pretty easy to get shots like THIS!  I spy with my little eye something tall and spiky!  Isn't he just fabulous?  He looks like he's been in a tussle or two, having lost the fight for the ladies along with some of the hair on his neck.  Gosh, I'd pick him in a hot second!!
I'm hoping to hear from Lazydays today.  They got the parts in yesterday to completely rewire my tow vehicle light hookup.  I'm hoping that solves my no-brake-lights problem on the Jeep.

The good news is that finally, thanks to FOUR phone calls about my missed garbage pickup, those two huge bags of stinky trash stored in my back yard are now gone, or at least in the finally-emptied bin.  Those of course attracted many new little things for me to spy with my little eye and a shovel, forget the broom.

For breakfast this morning, I'm channeling Marie Antoinette ... let them eat cake ... or pecan pie as the case may be.  Maybe that will give me enough energy to get outside in the 104 degree weather.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

RV Repairs .... Whoopee!!!

Anyone who owns an RV knows it's pretty much the same as a boat.  A big hole you throw money into.  I have to admit however, that I haven't had it too bad.  When I bought my rig, I purchased an extended warranty (thanks to the advice from Mr. Chance) that covered that air conditioner that blew up and the pipe that came loose under the shower, as well also a few other minor things.

The only other major problem I had was a leak on my slide, mostly because the slide topper had basically melted so water was running THROUGH the fabric and down the side of the slide on the inside.  That was a lovely $800 repair.  All of those fixes were completed at La Mesa RV.

I called them about the dash air and they said no.  I called RWC, a freightliner repair shop and THEY said no.  I called Lazydays, who said bring her in!!  That's when I met Zack.  What a great service guy!!

Lucky for me, the person with the 9:00 appointment didn't show up, meaning I got in early.  The list is short ... fix the door handle, fix the water draining into the freezer on the household fridge, replace the wiring from the rig to the Jeep plug and feed the dash air some freon.

The outcome was predictable.  They do not work on household refrigerator/freezers.  No surprise.  The door handle just needed to be completely lubed ... no charge.  The dash air has already been fixed ... YAY ... and the wiring ordered for the plug will arrive today.
About that wiring ... way back in 2012 or 2013, I followed the Westerfields up a too steep incline, causing the hitch to cut the wiring harness in half.  Our repair has lasted at least seven years.  Not bad!!  But now all that tape we put on is coming off and exposing the wires.  Time for a complete redo.

So far, I have to say I wholeheartedly recommend this shop.  It's so easy to get in .. all their service guys are right in a line with the service desk easily accessible.  Not only that, but they agreed to keep it plugged in the entire time it was in the shop.  Possibly it was easy because it's hotter than you now what, with few customers this time of year.

Back home, even though I got several heat advisories, I headed out front to figure out why this pot and everything along the house was not getting water.  I really didn't want to dig up the entire drip system.  

Suddenly it hit me.  This entire station is not working.  I gingerly lifted up the big box that covers the valves ... no use getting stung by a scorpion for nothing!!

Well that was easy ... look ... the wiring isn't even attached.  I have a feeling SOMEONE has been in there chewing on things.  Of course I could find not one single wire nut in the house for a fix.  I DID find a box of thingies in the rig where you could splice two ends together.  Let's try it.

How shocked was I when I hit the manual valve and the water began to pour out!!  I can't believe I fixed that myself and it WORKS!!  I'm not really sure for how long, because none of those wires look very good.  So I carefully covered it up again, being sure to pile rocks around the edges to keep critters out.  Maybe this little purple wandering jew plant will survive after all.
In the afternoon, just because we deserved a treat, Miss Patty and I headed out to Screamers for some ice cream.  I didn't see this particular sign, I just pulled it from the internet.  Anyway, they have lots of choices like bacon and bourbon.  I was so tempted to try it, but they were not giving out samples, so I opted for the coffee toffee.  What could be better than big pieces of candy mixed in with ice cream?
It was a very nice stressless day thanks to Zack, ending up with another gorgeous sunset.  
I expect, or maybe HOPE, my rig will be ready late today or possibly tomorrow.  I've no idea what the cost will be ... like most shops, their repair rate is $149.00 an hour.  Don't you wish YOU made that much?

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

I'm LATE!!!!

I'm a planner.  If I have some place to go, I start getting ready the day before because I just CANNOT be late.  I wish I didn't care because it keeps me up at night.  THIS time however, I slept like a rock because I got my days mixed up.  Somehow Sunday and Monday just disappeared.  TODAY, and I'm not even a little bit ready, I take the rig in to get the dash air fixed.

I'm feeling rather bad because I'm being a traitor and going to Lazy Days instead of La Mesa.  It's not my choice ... they are the only ones who said they would fix it.

That means this will be a quicky ... a shortened version of what I had thought to write.  First off, I got Speedway mixed up with Broadway.  Speedway has my favorite Quilt Shop, so it's an easy mistake for me.  The Toro Loco taco shop is on Broadway and Pantano!!
I had only three things on my list.  Dog food ..... got it ..... a small pot to boil eggs in and tacos.  It's hard to shop when you leave your phone at home and can't find stores with kitchen supplies.  Nor can you take photos of the second set of tacos you purchased after waiting in the parking lot for 30 minutes.

They open at 11:00 in case you go there.  Upon arrival back home, the first thing I did was grab my camera!!  THIS is the grilled chicken corn taco.  It's about five inches across, small by most taco standards.  It's grilled chicken, grilled sweet corn, BACON and a spicy sauce to die for.  Just a little bit of heat.  You just have to try it.
Just to balance out the day, I picked up one carne asada and one barbacoa, each with different sauces. These will be lunch and dinner today!!
Besides the dog food, I grabbed one little package of Cooper's yellow Kong squeaky balls.  I couldn't figure out what he was barking about.  In no time, my purse was on the floor.
Surprise Cooper ... I snuck them out and into the bread box when he wasn't looking.  He was having none of it.  He was absolutely SURE there was a ball in my purse.  He literally dug everything out on the floor, then looked at me like WHERE DID YOU PUT THEM!!!
It was 105 in Tucson when I left and 101 when I arrived home.  Lucky for us, a small storm came through and cooled things off a tad.  We LOVE it when THAT happens.

So I'm off to get organized, cleaned up and close up the rig, getting ready to take off.  Of course I have to hook up the Jeep too because apparently it's an all day affair.  Wish me luck!!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Chased By A Lizard!!!

I do love the monsoons.  I call to them every day, but alas, it's doing no good.  I got a heat warning on my phone early this morning.  We're looking at over 100 degrees for the next five days.  YIKES!!  I was SO looking forward to rain!!

Rather than stay inside, Nurse Patty and I took a trip to deep in the heart of Tucson, meaning about a 45 minute drive, to friend Pat's house.  Her beautiful granddaughter Leilani was visiting, for which Nurse Patty had purchased some dress wear.

I hit the garage door opener to access the Jeep, and what should I see but a little creature sitting nearby.  I walked over to see what it was.  He ran into the corner.  Hey little guy ... you need to get back outside.  He was not the least bit obliging!!

I picked up my broom and tried to shoo him towards the door.  He instantly swelled up, lifted himself up really high on all four feet and waved his tail at me like a rattlesnake!  I kid you not, he became VERY aggressive!!  Suddenly he made a rush for my feet!

OMG!!!!  I ran backwards, almost tripping over myself!!  You little RAT!!  I swept him onto the concrete apron, which I think was a little hot from the sun.  He picked up two feet and kept his body very high off the ground.

I swept him again into the shade of the motorhome.  He stopped only long enough to flip his tail even more.   Once getting his bearings, he buried himself underneath the rocks at the edge of the concrete.  Good ... now I won't run over your tiny self.  Make note of his tail colors.
Patty and I had a great time watching Lailani sing and dance before heading even deeper into the heart of Tucson for a new Taco Shop called Toro Loco on Speedway and Pantano.  If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend it.  Those were absolutely beyond-a-doubt the best tacos I've ever had in my life.  

So much so that we just sucked them down SANS pictures.  How did that happen??  Awwww so sad .... now I have to go back (possibly today) to get some more, just to show you what they looked like.  Seriously good tacos with roasted corn!!

Next stop ... Ashley Furniture to see if they had a table I was looking for ... but that's a story for another day.

Back home and stuffed to the gills, I didn't even eat dinner.  I played with the puppies on the floor until bed time.  After having that little meet and greet with the rattlesnake the last time I was here, I now never let the dogs out without thoroughly checking the back yard first.

I grabbed my huge mag light that shines clear to the railroad tracks and went to check.  Look what I found?  ANOTHER gecko ... a western banded gecko to be exact.  Okay, I admit, I would never know what it was except I belong to a group of wildlife experts where I posted the picture.

If I don't look, you can't see me.  I never did get a picture of his face.  Notice the tail?  It's been regenerated with a different pattern.  That's why they wave their tail in the air.  A roadrunner or bird will grab the tail, which will immediately fall off and the gecko lives another day.  How weird is that??  I left this little guy, about 4 inches long, to eat the bugs falling down from my BUGLESS yellow back porch light bulb.
These beauties seem to be after the same bugs.  They congregate on my back patio to eat everything they can find.  That works just fine for me!!  I'm especially not fond of doing the crazy dance like last night ... you know, when you can FEEL that bug crawling in your hair but you can't get it out???
Yeah, that was me for about fifteen minutes while I picked out pieces of him.  YUCK!!

A spectacular sunset ensued, made all the better by my newest patio lights.  They do seem to keep at least some of the bugs away from the door!!
In the meantime, I'll be doing my very best RAIN dance while eating some more tacos!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Busy Day At The Watering Hole

You might think I spend my entire day staring out the window.  You would be pretty much right.  When you've got lots of critters in the desert coming for a drink, it's hard to get anything done.

The first visitor was this beauty.  From far away (and I was very far away), they look just plain drab brown.  They blend in with the desert sand nicely.
I really can't get close to these guys at all since they are so very wary.  Up close with my telephoto lens however, you can see the different colors, patches of white and even orange.  They keep my back yard bug free!
Then there is THIS view ... my summer favorite.  There are a few houses dotting the landscape, but they are probably 2 miles away, so not really visible.  This is where I park my chair.
There were even more orioles in the early morning cool, if 80 degrees is cool.  I actually watched them come up on my back steps and snag all the bugs that died trying to fly into my yellow bugless back porch light.
When I saw a bunny rabbit jump straight up and race off, I knew SOMETHING was coming.  I waited until I saw movement way back in the scrub brush.  Sure enough, here came another gorgeous deer.  A mule deer to be exact.  His beautiful rack of horns are still covered with velvet.
Boy that water tastes good!!!  He would drink, then lick his lips to get every drop.  Although not really scared of anything, he did keep a watchful eye.  He completely drained my water basin.
Next he moved up a few paces and drained the small container that also has water for the birds.  He was a thirsty guy!!  I watched and waited.  In a few minutes, he sauntered off into the desert, nibbling on trees as he went.  It's a good thing cameras went digital.  I think I took 50 pictures!!
AND THEN ... who should appear but Jack!!  I snuck out the back door and turned on the water to refill the tank.  Now THIS guy was VERY wary.  He would take one step and listen for literally two minutes before taking one more step ... and listening again.  It was a good fifteen minutes before he got down to the water.  That's probably why he's still alive!!
The rest of the day I did a little sewing in between looking out the windows.  I spent quite a bit of time looking for stuff in the rig where I was cool as a cucumber!!  Not overheated one little bit!!  I'll tell you what I found tomorrow because now, it's prime water-station-watching time!!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

I'm A Believer Now

They say there are lots of creatures that migrate to Arizona, but I don't usually get to see many of them.  Even though I love my little section of desert, it's apparently not suitable for most visitors.  Wasn't I surprised when I spotted this beauty.

This is a hooded oriole.  The color is magnificent.  I spotted him in the early morning being WAY too interested in the dove nest.  They eat primarily insects, so I'm not sure what he saw in the palm tree.  Maybe he was just being sociable.
There have been two or three around the last few days.  I guess birds really DO migrate to my little part of the world.
The day got even better!  I had an appointment to get my truck registered in Arizona.  You can't get in the door without your printed appointment paperwork.  Many tried and were turned away.  Once inside, my first stop was the picture department.  I'm also getting an Arizona ID card.  It helps with purchasing THINGS here.  

At any rate, it's the second worst picture in the history of Nancy pictures!!   I was then pointed to a short line of people, but all being six feet apart, it crossed the entire building.
My appointment was for 11:48.  This shouldn't take long ... there were four window open.  At exactly 12:00, three windows closed.  WAIT ..... I'm next in line!!!  Twenty minutes later I was called up.  The ID card was first .... at no charge, because I'm OLD.  I'm not sure how I feel about that, but YAHOO ... FREE is good!  They will mail it to me.

Here's the kicker that made me a believer!  My truck insurance in California was $1,000.  The license cost $407.  That's $1400 smackeroos!

Now that I have Arizona Insurance, it costs only $400 and .... WAIT FOR IT .... the license was $90.  I kid you not .... so $490 for the entire shebang.  Sadly, California Insurance companies stick it to you.  Since I took my truck OFF my house insurance policy, I will now be penalized by a $400 increase in THAT one!!!  BUT I still saved money.  Take THAT California!!!
The other two vehicles will be transferred next year.  They are already paid for and California definitely won't be giving me any refunds.  When they expire, I'll report on the cost of licensing those two.

I was so happy on the way home, I decided to spend some of that savings on lunch.  I've been wanting to try Popeyes, who have those wonderful advertisements about their chicken sandwich.  It just looks so amazing!!

Well ... I don't know if it was the BEST I've ever eaten, but it was pretty darn tasty!!  Honesty, there's nothing like a big chunk of fried chicken sitting on a soft mayo-covered bun.  I took the pickles out.  The cole slaw side was okay ... KFC's is better in my book ... but this certainly fit the bill.  I was stuffed for $8.00.  Oh, and it came with a VERY tasty lemonade!!
Okay, I've refrained from talking about the RV cover long enough.  I went inside yesterday afternoon just to test the temperature.  I'm not kidding you, I think it was much cooler inside than outside.  I just can't believe there's such a dramatic difference.  

The shades were up making it light and airy ... the windows were open and a slight breeze blew through ... it was heaven!!  I actually spent about ten minutes looking for some paperwork and didn't break out in a sweat!!  It's fabulous I tell you!!

I didn't have the side panels go to the ground because of the extra expense, but will at some time finish at least the sunny side.  It does make it a little better when it comes to the wind, to have a break at the bottom.  

Nancy is definitely a HAPPY CAMPER and a well fed one!!!

Friday, July 24, 2020

And Then The Rains Came!!

I peeked out the garage door yesterday morning.  Yup ... she's still there!!  I fed the puppies quickly and went to see just how she was doing.  The difference is just amazing.  It was SO cool inside.  You know what else?  I can open up the windows and let the cool air flow through .... maybe even get rid of that musty smell RV's seem to get.

I usually have to run both exhaust fans in the ceiling to keep some kind of air movement.  I turned both of them off.  I raised all the shades and opened a few windows.  It's just so nice inside I can't stand it!!  Yessiree ... I need another one in California ... or maybe just sell my house!!  Ha!!
Time to get to work however ... no dilly dallying when it's just under 80 degrees outside.  These three oleander bushes were completely to the ground.  They made great cover for the quail, but also might make great cover for a snake who happened to figure out how to get in.  In puppyville, that's not good.

My flat kitty?  She makes Cooper bark and growl almost every time he goes out!  It's hilarious ... and made of metal!!
Suddenly I got a flood warning ... not WATCH, but WARNING!  What?  The sun's out ... how can that be?  I checked the radar screen.  YIKES!!  
By the time I put away the rake and trimmers, big drops began to fall.  I'm not sure where it came from since there were still no clouds overhead.  The winds picked up something fierce.  It was a good test as I ran back to the motorhome to see just how much the cover would move.   These covers are a little bit flexible, moving about 1/2 inch at the top in this really heavy wind.  
I didn't make it back inside before the rains came!!  WOW ... monsoon rains here always surprise me with the amount of water they drop.  I kept a close eye on the new construction as I grabbed a towel.  I was soaking wet.  I expected to see the cover fly away like in the Wizard of Oz, but it never budged.  
All that rain lowered the temperature down to a lovely 72 degrees this morning.  Rain is predicted for the next eight days.  I'm loving it.  There should be lots of nice lightning pictures coming up!!
In the meantime, all those beautiful black clouds made for a magnificent sunset!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

You've Got To Love A Good Contractor!!

Anyone who has had work done at their place by a Contractor, or even work done on your RV, you just HAVE to love it when they show up on time and get the job done in such a professional manner.

I'm used to the sloppy job guys, so you're not going to believe THIS crew!!  They showed up two hours early.  Woohoo!!!  Maybe they will beat the huge storm that is supposed to land here!!

There was barely a hello before they were unloading pieces and screwing stuff together.  These guys weren't messing around.
Dan and I grabbed chairs from the back yard and sat down to watch.  Not only did they measure and chalk the lines down the sides to be sure it was straight, they even measured the angles to be sure it was square!!  I was impressed before they even laid out a single structural piece.
In no time the trusses were all stacked up and ready to assemble.  By the way, they said it would take them about 3 hours to finish.  In my head I said "right" ....... but they would soon prove me wrong.
Unlike Dan's project five or six years ago, these guys brought their own tools.  For Dan's building, they didn't have a ladder, so he lifted them up with his backhoe bucket to get the roof pieces on.  They didn't have a hammer drill either, and burned up THEIR drill trying to attached the metal to the concrete!!  

It worked out okay in the end because Dan finished up the building, only having to pay a very small fraction of the original price.  I was almost hoping that would happen here!  

As you can see, the sky changed considerably from start to finish!
See that guy up on top?  Scary!!  He was screwing down every single section while the whole thing was shaking.  That kid's got guts!!  In no time the roof was on, with the sides coming up.  The wind came up too ..... we held our breath and checked the radar pics to see if lightning was coming our way.
Luckily (I'm sure because of all your good thoughts) it passed us by as they finished up the sides.  They probably used up six or seven tubes of caulking.  Every single seam was overlapped a bunch and caulked.  The last work was done on the inside, putting in more metal screws to secure the stability.  We figured it would take two days to complete.  They finished in 3-1/2 hours.  These guys have their act together.  
I tipped them generously and wrote out the check.  If you are interested, the building is made by Interstate Steel from Riverside California.  It is 17' wide by 35' long by 12' high.  It's the biggest we could possibly squeeze into my space without blocking the garage and is the heavier steel model that can withstand 120 mph winds.  

The final cost for the building itself installed was $4,400.  Anyone remember the last bid I got from a local contractor of $14,000?  The concrete was extra, as was the survey I had to have done because the County's idea of where the property lines were was completely off.  I also had to pay extra to get plans signed by an Arizona Architect.  Of course that was a new rule this year.
And here she is!!!  My baby parked in her new garage out of the blazing sun!!  She's a happy camper, as am I.  I just can't believe it all went so well and so fast!!  There's even enough room to open my slides all the way AND all the bay doors without hitting anything.  I may cover the sides to the ground at a later date.  And yes, I DID back her in there with plenty of room to spare!
I cannot thank the Chance family enough, because without them, this would never have happened.  I would have been in the looney bin after the first conversation with the Building Department.  By the way, we DID get a permit and inspections were done.  

Special thanks also go out to Dan's son Mark, whose friend did all the concrete work at his request.  Mark also took care of all the building inspections by skyping with the building department.  How cool is that??

I've already gone outside and admired it eight times.  I just can't stop staring at it!!  I apologize in advance because you'll probably see a lot more pictures of it!!

I'll be outside in the rig with my thermometer to see just how much cooler it is .... with the biggest smile ever on my face!!