Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The Jury Is Still Out

Do you find there are always honey-dos that need doing?  My list has grown in the last few weeks, so it was finally time to get to it.  This toilet handle has been a pain.  The chain keeps falling off and it hangs up all the time.  Next on the list, fix the dryer vent under the house.  That's one that's been hanging around for quite some time and finally, locate some hickory chips for smoking flavor extraordinaire!!  Ace Hardware became the morning destination.

With all my work related chatchkeys in hand, I might as well take a look at Lazy Days RV.  WOW!!!  What a destination THAT was!  I've only been to the service department, the easiest to navigate I've ever seen.  Their sales area is like a vacation to Acapulco!!  I think I'll take a lunch, sit on the huge indoor fountain and pretend I'm in Mexico.

I located a very nice easy going gentlemen to show me their current stock. We talked more about everything than we did RV's.  Yes he's married ... I checked!!  Like most RV places, they are sold out of just about everything.  Apparently there are fields full of RV's to be delivered, just no one to deliver them through the snow.  Maybe I can get a job hauling trailers!!

 I try hard not to be a bother taking pictures right and left, so I grabbed these from the internet.  Here is the Grand Design Reflection.  They are a relatively new company as RV's go, but it appears to me they have their act together.  Those lightweight aluminum steps lift up, fold inside and lock.  

Who better to talk to than Mr. Chance of course, who is an inside connection and driver for La Mesa RV, and my winter Arizona RV friends Patsy and Bill Richards.  Bill works for CanAm, an RV center in Canada and they sell Grand Design rigs.  It took a bit, but I was able to talk to Bill yesterday.  He may be sorry I now have his phone number for emergency calls when I'm trying to get something to turn on!!

Although there are always exceptions to the rule, this rig seems to have less problems overall.  Of course I expect fixes to be required, after all, it's a house going through an earthquake every time you move it.

Here's the floor plan of the one I looked at yesterday.

You can see pictures here.  These I swiped from the internet.  It's only a 24 footer,  27 total.  This picture makes it look narrower than it is.  The difference in quality is striking.  They actually have wood in the cabinetry.  Storage cabinets are everywhere, including a 30" wide floor to ceiling pantry behind the words "storage galore".  

There wasn't a single 1/8" thick particle board backing piece on the floor, nor any contact paper that I could tell.  

There's so much light inside that I couldn't even get a good picture of the kitchen.  That far counter top is the perfect place for Jonathan.  It has the latest and greatest Furrion stove top, along with a full sized microwave ... perfect for the Queen of Lean Cuisine.  It also has a 50 amp hookup.

If anyone wants to spend the night, they can bring a sleeping bag for the floor.  Of course the dinette makes into a bed, but a very uncomfortable looking one.  It also has heated tanks for cold weather.  The dinette is the only slide (less to contend with when they refuse to go in) and I do have access to the bathroom and bedroom when the slide is in.  

I'm not sure about access to the fridge, but it has a SECOND small fridge accessible from outside ... for all those beers I don't drink.  It will be a little adjustment ... the smaller space ... but there's just me and the puppies and I won't be spending 9 months a year in it like I used to.

The interesting part ... and that which makes this accountant's brain work harder ... is that there is so much MORE quality for $11,000 LESS than the other one I was looking at.  Yes it's two feet shorter, but they are also throwing in a second AC unit for those hot Quartzsite days.  It is also pre-wired for solar if I decided to have it installed.  I'm hoping for a few more add-ons like a rear view camera setup and keyless entry.  I can definitely say Camping World tries to rip people off.

At this point the jury is still out, but the evidence is overwhelming.  This may be the new home of two dogs, a parrot and me!!  In the meantime, I have one more place to look.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Never Put Off Til Tomorrow .....

..... what you can do today, right?  I try to live by that theory, but yesterday I failed miserably!!  I seem to have acquired a case of sitathome, that dreaded disease where you just don't feel like doing much of anything.  

Here's a good way to get around that.  Drag out your smoker and toss in some beef!  Now I CAN'T go anywhere because you have to watch them ever so closely.  That's my story anyway!!

Actually I was still digesting the RV choices ... get one, don't get one ... when I pulled the wood chips out of the cupboard.  This is what happens when you really aren't paying attention!  I picked the one on the right.  When I dumped them in the bowl to soak for awhile, they just didn't seem quite right.

DUH .... that's orchid potting material, NOT smoking chips.  No telling what THAT would have tasted like.  I switched them out for the cherry wood, even though that's not my favorite for beef.  It's all I could scrounge up.  I should go to the store but I'm putting it off til tomorrow!!

This STILL didn't go quite as planned since I couldn't find any paprika, a very important ingredient.  This seems to be one of those days I should have stayed in bed.  Guess I'll add paprika to tomorrow's list.

While they were cooking, I grabbed Cooper's harness.  He goes bananas when he sees it.  Going for a walk to smell every single tree and bush is his favorite thing to do.  I thought I would never get him down the driveway after he smelled that coyote deposit.  We walked over to the Chance Ranch just for a little exercise.

You cannot believe what occurs in their back yard.  They have two big planter boxes perfect for growing veggies.  I never thought you could grow anything in the desert, but here's a huge head of broccoli to prove it can be done.  I do miss the days of gardens.  Patty and I grew everything from long beans to purple potatoes to peanuts.  

On the walk back, Cooper gave out completely.  I didn't fair much better going back UP the hill to the road.  I had to carry Coop the last 200 yards.  Yeah, he knows how to work that really well.

Five hours later the ribs were done .... a tad overdone in fact.  It's sometimes hard to adjust the temperature when it's cold and windy, then jumps up to 76 degrees,

They were a little too much fall-off-the-bone, but pretty tasty.  At least that was one thing I didn't procrastinate about .... eating.

I spent a little bit of time sewing, although I seem to be putting that off too.  I'm determined to get out of the house today and continue the hunt for the ever allusive perfect home on wheels.

In the meantime, here's something that was sent to me that's pretty interesting.  It's about the virus, so you can pass if you wish.  It's coming from the Center for Disease Control.  Now they are admitting that their numbers have been wrong all along.  I'll leave it at that.

The best news of the day is that the big RV loan that hung over my head has been officially closed.  WAHOO!!!!  I'm doing a little happy dance!!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Oh Sooooo Sweet!!!

Just like children, the kids are just SOOOO sweet ..... when they are asleep!!  In the mornings after breakfast, they snuggle up on the couch, after at least one fight over who gets to CLAIM me.  I've discovered it's best to sit at the table until they crash on the couch, then take my seat for a little channel surfing. 

Yesterday SOMEONE who shall remain nameless, actually bit me pretty hard.  It's my fault since I have to stick my hand in between them as any good referee would.  Sadly, the older they get, the worse they are.  

You see Jessie came from a puppy mill where she had to fight for every morsel of food.  It was also her form of play.  You can imagine how long it took me to figure THAT out.  Much of the growling and fighting is actually her trying to PLAY.  Weirdest dog I've ever owned.

After a quick trip to the grocery store for essentials like ice cream and English muffins, mostly because they had not restocked their shelves by 7:30 in the morning and there were NO vegetables, I worked on my quilt for awhile.  This is the most sewing intensive quilt I've ever made, but I absolutely LOVE the pattern and the colors.  SWEET!!!   I'm thinking this may be my all time favorite.  It's not sewn together yet, which is why it looks a little wonky.  It will make your eyes a little wonky too if you look at it too long.

I cruised through a website or two looking for the perfect fifth wheel, which honestly doesn't exist, although this one comes pretty close.  I'm not sure if it's a step above or a step below the Cougar.  More investigation is in order,  

This is a Reflection series by Grand Design, although this exact model is no longer available.  I will have to check in to the quality on these.  It appears the company is family owned.  So many to choose from, it's hard to know what's good and what's not.

THIS one is NOT so sweet!!  I'm just showing you this picture as a warning!!  I had some ground pork that needed to be used up.  I probably should have just cooked it for the puppies.  But no ...... let's make tacos and use some of that 1/2 pound package of chipotle powder I bought.

I barely used 1/2 teaspoon, dumping it into a small bag of taco seasoning.  Stir stir stir.  Then it went into the now cooked pork.  At least it LOOKED delicious!!  WOW!!  That first bite and my mouth was on FIRE!!!  My eyes started to water and my nose ran like a fire hose.  WOOHOO!!!  

Having sat at my mother's table all day being forced to eat everything I put on my plate, I've become accustomed to NOT throwing anything away.  I forced myself to eat the entire thing, along with two bottles of cold water.  BEWARE the chipotle powder!!

This clip is for Miss Patty.  I rarely see this baby and am so surprised that he/she does not drink at my water station.  I wonder if all that coyote squatting has anything to do with it?  They have definitely marked this water as their own.  Watch as he wanders off and then just waits.  Pretty cool and pretty BIG.

So today I'm going to be lazy again, but will do more internet searching and maybe check out Lazy Days fifth wheel collection.  I'm interested to see if their MSRP has also risen to epic proportions.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Buyer BEWARE!!

As with anything like this ... shopping for a new RV ... you better be at your best.  Buyer BEWARE is the name of the game.  Let's face it ... RV companies and their salesmen do NOT have your best interests at heart.  

Oh there are a few manufacturers that do, take Tiffin for example.  You can tell right when you walk in the door that they are well made with things like real WOOD instead of the cheap plastic stuff covered in wood contact paper.  

Anyway, the first order of the day was to see if my truck would fit in the garage.  Yahoo!!  Made it by a few inches.  Next, I was off to the RV world to see what I could find.  I've already done a lot of homework and know pretty much that I want a Keystone Cougar.

Small is the name of the game for me.  I really don't need a lot of room since I'm not living in it nine months a year any more.  These pictures are from the Keystone website.  Wasn't I lucky that Camping World actually had this one in stock.  

Let it be known I am NOT a fan of Camping World.  You drive it off the lot and they practically chain the gate shut behind you.  The horror stories are numerous.  Want to buy a folding chair?  The doors are wide open.

Here's the interior kitchen.  It's got plenty of room with fake hardwood floors (not a problem, I have dogs) and really nice white cabinets made of something akin to paper mâché,  but with glass doors, or maybe that was plastic.  It's very pretty and I love the white.  It also has a fireplace!!  Woohoo!!  I actually liked this rig a lot until I discovered when the slide is closed, you cannot access the bathroom.

Next one up, actually a 31 foot rig, has everything you could ask for, including comfy theatre seating.  It also has one solar panel installed to keep your two batteries going, with plenty of room (and pre-wired) for more.  A satellite dish is also pre-wired, a MUST in my book.  

It also has heated holding tanks if you're going to Texas.  Lots of bells and whistles here which I appreciate.  There's even plenty of room to strap Jonathan to the table, although during travel, he will have to be in the truck with the two dogs.  Won't THAT be fun!!  Cage fighting with a parrot referee!!

This one has a couch that makes in to a bed and a standard bench seat dinette area.  It has three slides, including the closet in the bedroom and does NOT close off the bathroom when they are closed.  That's a BIG plus.  You can even access the fridge ... I think.  

Outside, they all look alike.  It appears you have easy access to the dump handles without crawling under anything, as well as a 50 amp hookup.  That's a big plus for when it's hot and you're running the AC unit 24-7.  

The last time I was in Laughlin Nevada in the summer at 115 degrees, I blew the first hookup pedestal.  When hooked up to the second one, I never could get the temperature below 110.  I packed up and left because it was cooler inside the truck going down the highway.

So ... overall I'm not at all impressed with the cheapness of the build.  Flimsy panels, cheap materials, but it is what it is.  Time to get a price.  After all, Camping World was having a HUGE sale just for me!!

I have to admit, she was a very nice gal, not hard sell at all.  Here we go:

MSRP        $58,000

Discount      14,500   WOW, right?

Blah Blah Blah      Bottom line   $49,100

Interestingly enough, I had looked this rig up on Keystone's site.  After showing the paperwork to Dan, we discovered KEYSTONE'S MSRP was only $47,800.  How in the world did the MSRP climb the ladder of success by almost $9,000??  I even TOLD them I was an accountant!!  They should have known better.

Not that it matters, because I won't buy from them, but I hate it when they lie to you right off the bat.  They make people THINK they are getting a $14,000 discount.  WHAT A DEAL!!!  I'll be looking elsewhere.

Today I'm hanging with the puppies.  They are so happy I'm not that mean old grinch who yelled at them for two days.  I'm hoping they have short memories, helped along with a few new treats.

The hunt continues for a new RV.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

RV Friends ... Truly the BEST!!

There's always more to the story and that was no exception.  Most RV people are absolutely the BEST!  Of course there is the occasional grump you might run into who thinks they own the world.  I try hard not to be that person and stay in my lane when it comes to RV Parks.

There's always that one though, as evidenced by the nice guy who thought the rest of us were just getting to our destination a little too fast.  Although I know he had the power in that one ton truck pulling a small-ish trailer, he insisted on staying right beside that big truck and keeping everyone else behind him.

On the other hand, you have people like Jan and Bill Mains who invite RV everyone into their home.  They finally sold their rig and are exploring the WORLD now, rather than just the back yard U.S.A.   She said any time I was in the area to stop by ... and so I did!!

SCORE!!!  I left the puppies in the truck and Jan made a nice pot of fresh coffee, followed up with chocolate cookies.  Best breakfast EVER!!  Add to that THIS!!  Homemade fudge from Bill's private stash.  It's delicious!!  The perfect breakfast dessert!!  He even sent me home with my own stash!!  RV friends are the BEST!

Not sure my truck would fit in the garage, I parked her under the RV cover when I got home.  Those ropes around the front are actually flashing lights that encircle the entire truck.  Around here we have lots of packrats that just love the taste of wiring as much as I love that fudge.  If you don't have lights or rope lights, you WILL have a big bill repairing the damage.

This shows just how packed full that back seat was.  It was hard to even shut the door.  Time to head over to the fairgrounds where LaMesa was having their big sale and where my rig was "supposed" to be parked.  After taking my temperature and attaching a bracelet, I was allowed in to try and find my contact.

No luck there but a nice gentleman made a few phone calls and said they were waiting for me at the LaMesa store instead.  Apparently my rig is being "reconditioned"?  Or something like that.

No problem ... I love driving my truck ... so off I went down the freeway.  They couldn't believe I got all that stuff in the back.  It was a jigsaw puzzle for sure.  It's finally a done deal.   To be honest, I'm glad to be out from under that huge debt and not worry about what may go wrong next.  As time goes on, those big rigs begin to cost more and more.  In light of today's political climate and the fact there's no Honey for those Honey-do's, I'd rather have my money in the bank, or maybe buried in one of my two cemeteries!!

In the meantime, Camping World (I know, pretty much a bad word in the RV business) happens to have several of these Keystone Cougars for sale.  Patty thought the name was appropriate for me, although I've NO idea why!!!  I'll head on over and check them out.

In the meantime, these guys scared me half to death yesterday morning as I was out checking the truck.  Truly, I thought it was a half crazed bear about to attack me from behind.  Sadly I had to crop this clip quite a bit in order to get it to load.

I made a mad rush for the garage before actually seeing what was afoot.  They look all sweet and cute, but look out Charley!!!

Today I'm off to Camping World to see what I can find.  Then I'm sleeping the rest of the day to catch up after the doggie cage fighting I've had to witness for the LAST two days.

Friday, February 19, 2021


Well that was fun!!  I've never been a fighter.  Even in high school when that girl I didn't even know shouldered me on purpose just to start a fight, I kept right on walking.  Of course the next time she tried it I shouldered her to the ground, but that's another story.

I took off under cloudy skies feeling on top of the world.  Baby's got new tires and I'm driving her all the way to Arizona.  I do love my pickup truck, even if she does have 111,000 miles under her belt.  What I DON'T love is not enough room for all of us.

It wasn't a bad drive, although a little rough around Madera.   The entire highway is divided up making it a driving nightmare.  The truck was vibrating so much the poor puppies were getting sick.  It doesn't help that they don't get along.  Never have in fact, and with Jessie's advancing age, it's a battle.

This was an interesting move just off of Highway 15.  It looks like it might have come up Cajon Pass.  I've never seen a move this big and still don't know what it was.  Believe it or not, on the back are two of the biggest trucks I've ever seen, loaded down with weights as big as the truck beds and ATTACHED to the red white and blue hauling frame.  They must have been to help push it up hill and keep it from being a runaway DOWN hill.  I was fascinated because we were in the heavy haul business as well as construction.  I would have loved to stop and chit chat, but by then I was into ROUND 2.

As I said, Jessie and Cooper do NOT get along.  Jessie gets too close, Cooper growls and Jessie jumps in with teeth bared, biting everything in sight.  I'm included in that foray and have the holes in my hand to prove it, while trying to keep them apart before any damage occurs.  It was constant the entire trip.

I stopped in at the Elks Lodge in Indio, thinking I might be able to stay in the parking lot, but they said no.  Off I went in search of the Best Western Hotel.  Although not the nicest neighborhood, there were lots of cars parked there, so I pulled in.  Before I even got out of the truck it was Round 3!!  Growling, biting, snarling and screaming.

Though I thought I got a really good deal on this hotel ... $99 for the room ... it ended up being $139 by the time they added on puppies and hotel taxes.  I took the bare minimum inside and it STILL took me three trips.  Cooper really isn't throwing up, he's sitting because he just got yelled at for growling at Jessie ..... AGAIN!

Round 4 and 5 happened at about midnight with me trying desperately to keep the dog fight to a low roar.  I again slept on TOP of the four sets of sheets in order to keep the puppies separated.  It didn't work because when I moved, Cooper growled and the fight was on!!!

Round 6 came at 2:30 am.  PLEASE JUST LET ME GET SOME SLEEP!!!  I gave Jessie a big shove since she was the aggressor and it was a TKO!!  She slid right off the bed onto the floor!  I felt SO BAD!!!!  An hour later I gave up, took them both out to the truck and loaded up.  Three hours later, the sun began to come over the mountains.

It was a gorgeous pink in the rear view mirror as I continued to push, shove and yell at the dogs to QUIT FIGHTING!!!  LAY DOWN!!!!

That's mostly because I couldn't even SEE out the front window.  I don't know what that stuff is on the inside of the glass, but it's the pits when you are driving into the sun.  

I stopped for fuel in Quartzsite, pretty much a ghost town.  Diesel prices are up about 70 cents a gallon already.  The good news is I had a 50 gallon tank put on this truck right after I got it.  I think I could have made the entire trip without getting fuel at all.

Here's the problem.  There's just no room for anyone to stretch out, causing argument after argument.  There's no way I'm driving back and forth without a trailer big enough to keep these two apart.  At long last they were so tired after hour five, they finally went to sleep.  Part of the problem is Miss Jessie's age and her ailments.  I'm beginning to know just how she feels!!

Here's what I have in mind.  Come to find out the fifth wheel I had previously was a Keystone Laredo, very similar to this one, although a tad bit smaller.  The hunt is on!!  

This morning once I've had at least three cups of coffee, I'll head out to the fairgrounds to unload the truck.  Then it's COUCH POTATO for me as I try to recoup a little of the lost energy.  Woman cannot survive on cookies and crackers alone!!!  I need MEAT!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

I'm Still ALIVE!!! Yay!!!

I suppose that requires a little explanation.  I say a little thank you every morning that I wake up.  In THIS case however, I say it because I ate something I probably should NOT have.  

You see, I have a relative way up North in Montana.  One I never see or EVER talk to.  One day in December, I got an email that I would receive a package in the mail.   It was a little too late to tell them I was leaving for Tucson.

In the meantime, nothing showed up at my door until after I was gone.  My neighbor called to say she found a box on my doorstep.  Knowing what it was, I asked her to leave it on my back steps.  I should have told her to keep it for her family, but I really did not know what was inside.

Almost two months later, I found the box when I arrived and opened it.  There were lots of goodies in plastic wrapped packages.  Hmmmm I wonder if these are any good.  I took a bite of the chocolate covered pretzels.  It came out as fast as it went in.  Yucky and stale.

Then I found two bags of the biggest English muffins I've ever seen.  Gosh, it's been really cold outside, maybe they have survived their two month hibernation and will taste as fresh as just baked.  Let's try one!!

Not too bad, although the entire time I was eating it I was wondering if it had some unforeseen moldy thing going on that would kill me.

You're not going to believe this, but it was one of the best muffins I've ever eaten, although a tad bit stale.  Who in the world would have thought after that long they would be any good?  I did get a little scared of the possible results, so I didn't eat any more, but I'm for sure getting on the internet to see if I can find these.

In the meantime, the Insurance Adjuster hasn't shown up, nor do I expect him to before I leave this morning.  I enlarged the two pictures I have of the fence down, placed them in a zip lok bag and duck-taped them to the door he has to pass going into my back yard.  

The last I heard, he will return in between some of his other assignments.  I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to meet up with me, for obvious reasons.  I did find the two boards missing from the OTHER fence that he said I could repair for $35.00.  From the tracks around the corral, he didn't even get CLOSE to the correct fenceline.  I may be fighting this one for awhile.

My truck is now packed and ready to go.  You couldn't get another dog toy in there if you tried.  I'm just hoping there's enough room for my computer, me and the kids.

This time I found a hotel (assuming of course it's not a dump) in Indio where I will try to be more organized when it comes to the kids.  I talked the nice girl down to $99 for this one.  Woohoo!!

Now I remember EXACTLY why I had an RV to travel back and forth.  Hopefully this trip goes better than the last one.  Then, the hunt is ON for a small fifth wheel.

My guess is you will not hear from me tomorrow morning.  I'll be back Friday!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Baby's Got New Shoes

It's been a quick couple of days waiting around for the adjuster who appears to be a no-show.  Just for kicks, I checked the back fence on the OTHER side to discover yet another hole ... a SKUNK hole to be sure.  

The grass is as high as an elephant's eye, so today's list begins with weed spray.  Too bad they don't make skunk spray!!!

I did spend some time fantasizing about a new Big A$$ Truck.  Every time I get to ride in Dan's version, I get goose bumps.  What the heck ... lets look it up just for fun!!  This must be the price of a 3/4 ton Ford Truck with all the bells and whistles if you buy it back East.  Out West, the total should be around $70,000.  Hey, I can dream, right?


I even thought about trading in my Jeep (complete with tow bar if anyone is interested in a great toad) along with my existing pickup, for this beauty.  Yes, I did the math.  I would probably not be able to afford the fifth wheel and it would make my Baby very sad to be traded in.  After all, she only has 110,000 miles under her belt.

Sooooo, after taking a good look at her feet, I decided to buy her new tires instead.  Although the old ones had good tread, they were purchased in 2013.  Fine for running around town, but not so much for holding the weight of a fifth wheel.

Baby's now got new shoes!!!  The California cost (due to high taxes) was $1200.00.  Yikes!!

Next up, retrieve the fifth wheel hitch.  When I bought the Class A, I gave this setup to a good friend, although he said he really didn't need it.  Not long after, some lady ran into his new truck and HUGE fifth wheel, destroying everything.  Instead of getting a new hitch, he just used this one.  I didn't know that.  I thought maybe he had it just sitting in his garage, so I called to inquire.

Being the good friend he is, his first words were "you can have it back and I'll buy another one".  You can't beat THAT!!!  So yesterday I went and picked it up.  I think we are back in business!!

Well ... closer anyway.  Now the REAL test begins .. trying to find a small fifth wheel when practically everything is sold out!!

In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out how to pack everything I need into my back seat, now crammed to the ceiling.  I'll be leaving first thing tomorrow morning for the return trip to Tucson.  This time I'll be taking it a little slower!!

Monday, February 15, 2021

Death and Taxes

There's two things that are a certainly in this world ... death and taxes.  There's also Friday traffic jams and just when you think you have it together, you don't.  

I've always considered myself strong ... as in "as a horse" ... but it appears I've been wrong about a lot of things.  First and foremost is just how much FOOD does for you when you are old!!  Not having an ice chest, I tried not to pack much more than puppy food, figuring I could stop along the way.  Lucky for me, I did receive one of those dinner packages, which I repacked including those huge ice thingies, to bring for my enjoyment.

Wasn't I surprised when I opened the box and discovered I left all the MEAT for those meals in my freezer in Arizona.  RATS!!  That means a trip to the store.  But first ... here's the sunset from the hotel room door in Tehachapi in 40 degree weather.  It was windy and VERY chilly!!

Not wanting to take the truck full of furniture, I took the Jeep, completely forgetting about no license plate.  Luckily that Police car was coming TOWARDS me!!  When I got home I hid the keys so I wouldn't do THAT again!!

LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!!  Peanut butter Oreo's!!!   Don't bother.  Yes I did purchase them and they do taste like something resembling peanut butter ... but notice it says FLAVOR creme.  That's code for fake awful imitation peanut butter taste.

I spent the rest of the day working on the third reason I came to California.  All of my tax paperwork goes to a post office box as a result of porch pirates and mailbox thieves.  I was hoping to pick up everything I needed and send it off to my accountant.  

You know how that goes .... the car mechanic never works on his own car?  Well the accountant never does her own filing, keeping everything in a big cardboard box.  What a job it is to dig through and find the necessary papers.  The worst part?  I left a big chunk of paperwork in Arizona.  DOUBLE RATS!!

The best news of the day was I got to EAT!!  I picked up ground pork at the little Mexican grocery store near me.  Sometimes I think there was someone in the woodpile, if you know what I mean, because I certainly do LOVE Mexican food.  It's tacos again ... pork, onions, loads of garlic, spicy powdered something or other seasoning and pineapple.  At least I won't starve!!

I haven't heard a word from the adjuster, nor do I expect to.  I found the "fence" he looked at.  One board fell down into the neighbor's yard.  I guess that was the $35.00.  I'm guessing he doesn't want to come back while I'm here to listen to my rant.  Tomorrow I'll ask the neighbor to remove his supports and let the fence fall over until I call and let him know the coast in clear.  Then he can put it back up.

One last major realization from that long drive to California.  Who knew a car would even START when you were not wearing a bit of makeup and your hair is a mess, let alone drive all the way to Cali.  I was born into big hair and lots of makeup ... for my entire life.  My high school girlfriend Lynn, the Avon Representative, will attest to that fact!

Never did we EVER go out without makeup.  I really didn't want to be bothered on this trip, so I put on my biggest pair of sunglasses and went au natural!  Who knew?  My Jeep started up and ran the entire time.  It's a good thing I didn't get stopped for no license plate, because I'm sure I would have scared that poor policeman to death!!

No this isn't me .... but it's a pretty good representation of the cheerleaders, letter carriers and "in" crowd I went to school with.  Unfortunately I never fit in, in spite of my attempt at makeup and big hair.  I think on the way back I'll not only wear big sunglasses, but my biggest cowboy hat!!  No comb required.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

I Could Have Planned That Better

This gorgeous sunrise was the last vestige of sanity I saw as I headed out on an epic journey to California. I mean really, who tries to drive 790 miles in 13 hours?  Yes, that would be me.  Here's the secret reason why.  I sold my rig.  Wait ..... that doesn't mean I'm out of the RV business.  Quite the contrary, I'm getting a new one, but more on that later.

It was mostly for financial reasons.  It was almost 10 years old, meaning there were a lot of HUGE and EXPENSIVE maintenance items coming up, not to mention all the "little" things (meaning under $2,000) that needed replacement (and possibly one BIG thing).  In about six months I would have been completely upside down on the mortgage, only to continue that big payment until I died.  

Being the accountant I am, it was time to say goodbye.  I expected a long drawn out process, but after contacting La Mesa RV, they bought it outright in less than one hour.  The inspection took less than ten minutes.  Yikes ... that was FAST!  The problem that brought up was a required trip to California for the four dining chairs, the European recliner, the parts and pieces to the vacuum system and all the original bedding.

Add to that meeting up with the fence adjuster!!  All good reasons to make a mad dash to Cali with the ever increasing prices of everything!!

And so I was OFF!!!  Into the cloudy rainy skies of Arizona.  First off, Friday is the worst day of the week to travel ANYWHERE!  Oh my goodness the traffic!  I kept saying ... self?  Aren't you glad most of it is going the other direction?  Little did I know.  By the way, it rained for mile after mile! 

I fueled up in Quartzite.  The price has already escalated from $2.29 to $2.50, and by the time I hit California, it was $3.95 for regular!!  I guess that pipeline will cost people much more than they expected.

By now I've made a couple of puppy stops, an exercise in craziness itself.  You haven't lived until you are trying to lift two dogs out of a small back door while hanging on to their leashes for dear life.  

Out of nowhere, I ran into THIS.  Think about this for a second, those of you who know the roads well.  The 20 mph snail race pace started at the turnoff of Hwy 215 from Hwy 10 and ran all the way over Cajon Pass to my Hwy 395 turnoff.  Big sigh!!

Here's where I learned a big lesson about eating.  The body cannot survive on Cheetos and peanut butter cookies, even though I tried.   At the next stop in Victorville for gas, I could barely hit the keycard numbers I was shaking so badly.  Hmmm maybe I should eat.  Taco Bell it is!!

At long last I arrived in Tehachapi where I learned my lesson in planning had gone all wrong.  I drove to the expected location of the dog friendly hotel.  Nope ... not here.  You must go BACK 3 miles to the Baymont.  After driving around it twice, I finally found the registration desk.  This place cost me $129.00 for just one night.  $10 of that was for the puppies.  Ca-Ching!!!

Add to that OH NO!!!!  Nooooooooooo!  That beautiful piece of plastic that was my Arizona license plate (until the real one arrives by mail) had broken off and disappeared.  Oh great ... now I'm going to get a ticket for no license plate!!  

So here we are, with one of my quilts on the bed to make sure Jessie doesn't have an accident.  Let me just say you should always bring everything ELSE in first and the dogs last.  Lesson learned.  Time to feed Jessie, except there was no knife packed, nor spoon in the hotel, to get the dog food out of the can.  Cooper refused to eat all together.  

After multiple trips outside with puppies going six different directions and me trying to figure out how to unlock the darn door, we settled in for some TV.  This is it ... all I could get the $129 hotel room to put out.  At least there was sound.  

We finally crashed on the bed.  I didn't even bother to change clothes.  I might have gotten a little sleep except we were right next to the soda machine.  Ka-bonk ka-bonk happened about once an hour, followed up by the barking dog in the room next door whose owner appeared to have flown the coop.  I'm guessing I got maybe three hours sleep.

When the clock hit 4, I was up.  No use waiting around for daylight.  That's when I discovered I had no toothbrush, no hairbrush and no food for me ... again.  All of my good planning was for naught!!  This time I did it right .... I put the dogs in the Jeep first, then loaded up all the other crap ... er overnight stuff.  We were OFF again after saying a prayer the police didn't stop me!!  Yes, I drove Tehachapi in the DARK!!!  White knuckles and all!!

Three hours later we pulled in to the garage at home #2.  I was so exhausted I couldn't sleep a wink.  I spent a couple of hours gathering up all the RV stuff and figured out the jigsaw puzzle of how to fit five pieces of furniture, a big box and four bags of pillows into the back seat of my truck.  I'll have to spend the night somewhere on the return trip and didn't want anything stolen out of the back.  

Why am I taking my truck?  Because it actually has a license plate!!  YAY!!!

It's a new day ... and VALENTINE'S DAY ... so give your sweetie a hug and tell them how much they mean to you.  Otherwise you would be single, like me!!

Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ... you know who you are!!!  Be sure and hit the quilt store for your discount.

Now to find that insurance adjuster for the fence and plan the return trip.  Oh ... and I have a whole new respect for the term "MY" bed!!!