Sunday, February 28, 2021


I was SO excited yesterday to get set up for that brisket babysitting.  I've only cooked one other in my life and it came out tough as the sole on my old boots.  That's a pretty hard defeat to take considering the COST of brisket is sky high.  

I plugged the smoker in at 4:30 am.  I was wondering if it would even come to temperature since it was 31 outside.  

How you cook these not-so-tender pieces of meat depends completely on what type of smoker you have.  This is a Masterbuilt.  I also have a Bradley, which I absolutely LOVE.  There's hardly even any tending when it comes to Bradley.

On the other hand, the Masterbuilt has to be looked after constantly, like a terrible two year old.  Walk away for ten minutes and you're in BIG trouble.  SO ... according to the Masterbuilt Guru on You-Tube, the only seasoning it gets is salt and pepper.  Big sigh!  I just whipped up two cups of special rub that will now sit in the cupboard.

Once to temperature and with foil in the bottom to catch all the mess ( you know I'm NOT about cleaning) I shut the door and plugged in the wood chips through the handy dandy hole bottom right.

Two hours later I had to open the door to retrieve the OLD wood chips in order to make room for the new.  My Bradley is automatic.  No opening the door, no checking the chips, no adding more water soaked chips, but THIS one has to be monitored hourly.  

I tested the temperature and the brisket was still cold in the middle.  It wasn't quite getting up to temperature, so I gave it a nice quilt to keep it warm.  Surprisingly, it worked like a charm!!  Yes I was a tad bit worried about the quilt catching fire, but for once, the barbecue Gods were smiling down on me.

The smoking guru said 10-12 hours.  Dinner should be ready by 5:00, at which time I was going to donate half of it to the Chance household.  Just in case though, there should be a backup dinner plan.  You just never know.

While waiting, I put on my plumber's hat in order to fix this drain.  This is the only picture you get because otherwise you would lose your lunch.  I took out the stopper to find hair completely clogging the entire pipe.  It wasn't even MY color!!  How disgusting!!  What I would have given for a Honey-Do MAN to complete THIS job!!!  I think I washed my hands six times when done.  At any rate, the drain works like a charm now.

Having opened and closed the door six more times, "I" now smelled like smoked brisket.  Every time I moved around the house, all I could smell was hickory smoke.  I'm considering bottling the smell.  Maybe THAT would attract a gentleman for those honey-do's I don't want to tackle!!  Smoked hair ... YUM!!

At any rate, by 4:00 I knew dinner wasn't going to be ready on time.  It never did hit the 175 degree perfect-time-to-foil-wrap temperature, so I wrapped it anyway.  At least now, after nine hours, I wouldn't have to fiddle with the wood chips any more.

SURELY by 5:00 (12 hours smoking) it would be done.  I was looking for the elusive 205 degrees.  By 6:30 I was taking it out no matter what.  This is no longer fun and I smell terrible.

It looks pretty burnt, right?  Nope ... that's what brisket is SUPPOSED to look like.  I let it rest another 30 minutes before taking a knife to it.  You know what??  It's pretty darn tasty and as tender as can be.  I have to admit it is a little dry ... probably because I actually forgot about it the last hour and left it in too long while I was on the phone.  No matter!!  IT'S BRISKET!!!!

I wolfed down a couple of pieces for dinner while cleaning up the mess it all created.  No one EVER said smoking was a neat and clean pastime.  

Here's what I learned.  I would much rather have the barbecue flavor from the spice rub, so next time I'll give it a sugar shower before putting it in the oven.  Secondly, in spite of what the Masterbuilt Guru said, I think it would be better to place the fat side UP like the Bradley guy suggested.  I'm thinking it might not have been quite so dry.

At any rate SUCCESS on my first ever brisket, enough though it wasn't perfect.  Brisket sandwich anyone???

Saturday, February 27, 2021

A Silent Visitor

Sometimes you get lucky as a photographer.  You stop on the side of the road, or maybe just look out the window and you find something fascinating to photograph.

Sometimes you are even at the grocery store.  I mean really, where can you photograph an entire chicken wrapped in beautiful blue plastic with a $13.84 price tag attached.  There was not ONE OTHER whole chicken in the store except these.  That pretty much put the kibosh on my smoking idea for the day.  Do people really BUY these??

I kept seeking out the perfect example of barbecue, when what to my wide open eyes should appear but a brisket.  Not just ANY brisket, but a PRIME BEEF brisket and only HALF SIZED.  In other words, I got an exceptional piece of beef that will only feed eight instead of eighteen.  

That adventure is ongoing, even at 4:30 in the morning, so I'll finish the story tomorrow when I know for sure WHO will actually get to eat it.  Me or these guys!!

It's pure luck when you look outside your window and see one of these silent visitors.  Although they do seem to wander through more often during the day THIS year, they are usually pretty elusive.  Isn't he a beauty?

At least he doesn't have glow-in-the-dark eyes from the night vision camera.  I'm loving his red hairdo.  I wish I could do the same!!  He was very calm and quiet until this look came upon him.  Something like I WILL EAT YOU!!!

I'm guessing he saw lunch, as intent as this look is.  He wandered off up the hill very slowly and very intently.  I live for views like this!!

That was interrupted by three phone calls about my iCloud account being hacked.  How devastating THAT news was!!  I played along for quite some time.  I don't even HAVE an iCloud account.  They hung up when I yelled into the phone "HURRY, CLEAN UP THAT BLOOD"!!!!  Oh well, it made my day.

The next call was from LazyDays about my RV loan.  Bank of the West has approved my credit and given me a 15 year loan at 5.25% interest with a payment of $297 a month.  That's a far cry from that $1,000 a month payment.  The interest seems kind of high but I'll double the payments for awhile and then try to pay it off.  No use giving them all that free money.

Dinner was less than expected.  The blackened chicken really was pretty good ... very tasty with a hint of heat.  The carrots ... meh.  Even the Pillsbury biscuits didn't thrill me.  Probably because I was thinking brisket.  

That pile of mushy something on the chicken is onions with gravy.  I scraped that part off and cancelled the Every Plate subscription.

Time to go check my brisket.  This is going to be an epic event since it's 36 degrees outside for the next two hours.  I need to find a blanket to keep the smoker warm.  It's going to take around 12 hours to cook this baby, and of course all babies need to be babysat.  Guess you know what I'll be doing today!!

Pictures tomorrow.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Squeaky Clean!!

How many of you wash your cars?  Do you go to a car wash?  I remember back in the days of hot rods and street racing ..... oh, did I tell you I was a race car driver? ....  we spent hours washing, cleaning and waxing our precious dragsters.  

It happens I bought a gorgeous blue 1965 Pontiac GTO with the money I made working at the theatre.  $25 a week didn't go far, but it paid for three deuces and four on the floor with a Hurst shifter, previously owned by Benny Two Can.  Benny didn't race much because after two cans of beer, he was wasted.  

This is going to resonate with my high school buddy Lynn because she had a Super Bee (remember those?) that she raced occasionally also!!

Later I drove back and forth to work in Yosemite National Park, a two hour drive.  I made it in 90 minutes.  There were always races in the park, and if you knew it well enough, you didn't get caught and arrested by the rangers.  But I digress .....

Yesterday, after looking at how filthy dirty my truck was, I decided to give her a bath.  I've become pretty good at procrastinating about washing vehicles over the years, mostly because of the dreaded motorhome wash.  My goodness ... what a difference.  It took me about two hours and she was squeaky clean.  She looks pretty good for 16 years old!!  

Although she does fit in the garage, it's a tight fit, so I set about moving some of my big steel shelving around.  That didn't work out so well.  There was this huge bag of dandelion explosive kill-it grass fertilizer that fell over before I could grab it.  

It looked like an entire box of cornmeal exploded in the garage.   No problem, I'll just vacuum it up.  That didn't work out so well either.  It kept spreading further around the garage the more I vacuumed.  Reluctantly I began surgery on the victim.  Sure enough, it was completely plugged up.  What a fun job THAT was cleaning it out.  At long last, the mess was clean and the truck parked in the garage.  That's when the phone rang.

It was LazyDays calling to say my pickup date had been extended.  Already?  When I explained to the lady I planned on camping out in the rig until I was comfortable with all the bells and whistles, which one to push or pull first etc, she wasn't any too happy or accommodating.  

I could hear my salesman in the background.  The date was changed to March 6, assuming of course they can get the satellite dish installed, and I hung up.  In about 30 minutes, I got a call from the salesman.  They had already approved the second air conditioner and an extra battery, but now agreed to add in the backup camera and keyless entry installation for the same price.  Yahoo!!

I say keyless installation because I'm buying the lock myself for $200 as compared to THEIR price for the exact same thing of $450.  Pretty crazy, right?  Definitely hoping I don't get locked out!!   Today they will run the credit check and get my loan set up.  I'm not worried in the least about that part.

So now it's a waiting game as I frantically photograph my desert neighbors coming for a little drink.  Rarely do they show up during the day.  They are just so darn cute until you get too close and smell them.  

This guy has come to drink at the hummingbird feeder every day, announcing himself with squeaks that sound like a rubber ducky in the bathtub.  It is interesting to note that I have not gotten any critter videos in the last two days.  I'm wondering if it's because there has been an almost full moon for two nights, lighting up the countryside like daylight.

Dinner was another fast food delight from Arby's this time.  It's not very often I would order a fish sandwich.  In fact NEVER, but when they send out a coupon that says 2 for $6, how could you resist.  I have to say this was a really good sandwich, quite tasty with a good tartar sauce.

What REALLY caught my eye on the ad was THIS!  A minty milkshake with chocolate sauce.  No I didn't eat four, nor did I even polish off ONE.  It was really good, but I was too full.  I'll have the rest for breakfast this morning.

Although I really don't want to take my truck out and get it dirty, I'm determined to get out of the house, even if it's just a trip to the grocery store.  Won't THAT be exciting!!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The VERDICT ..... Da Da Daaaaaaaa

Did you hear the music?  Not the SHARK circling around the parking lot, but the sweet sound of relaxed decision making instead of the what-the-heck-are-you-doing screams that usually fill my head.  Yes I know there will be problems and things to fix, but at least they will be smaller in proportion to a huge Class A.  I choose to see the glass half full ... for now, anyway. 

I went back to check out the floor space with the slide in.  Interestingly enough, they had already moved it around to the long row of those awaiting a nice shower and cleanup.  Not that it needed it since it looked just fine to me.  

Thank you Linda for pointing out the pet drawer.  That escaped me completely!!  At least the dog water bowl won't be tipping over every time I turn around and step in it.  It's in a pull-out drawer at the bottom of the fridge.

I did check out the used market and yes they would be cheaper.  The trouble is you may be getting someone else's troubles.  You never know if the owner is telling you the truth or not.  With a new one at least you EXPECT everything to work.  With a used one, I expect everything to go wrong.

I thought I could sit in it for a couple of hours making sure I had space for everything and how I would set things up.  However .... since they moved it to the back, it was about two feet away from the trailer next door and the stairs could not be opened for entry.  

It was definitely a good thing to see.  Be careful where you park in that Rest Area.  I have to say Nollan my sales guy is not the least bit hard sell, and a nice guy to boot.  He opened the stairs and held them so I could stick my head in and see exactly how much room the slide takes up when it's in.  

SURPRISE!!  I have access to everything.  The entire kitchen, fridge, stove, microwave and dinette are totally accessible.  I only lose one chair and the TV.  Boy is THAT a plus!!  

And so the verdict is IN!  It's a go!  But wait, why not try to get them to throw in a few more things.  I asked that the rear view camera setup and keyless entry be included for the same price.  I will pay separately for the Winegard Trav'ler satellite dish.  I'm hoping there is just enough wiggle room to save me another $700.  

Back home, I fixed the handle thingamabob on the toilet and discovered the culprit dripping oil under my truck on the garage floor.  SOMEONE left a bottle of Lucas diesel treatment in the bed.  It tipped over and leaked half a bottle, which worked it's way under the side of the truck to the garage floor.  What a mess THAT is.  Now I'll have to take it to the car wash for cleaning.  

In other good news ..... sort of ..... the verdict is also in for the fence repair.  The adjuster finally went out and came in with a repair cost.  $4,300.00.  NICE!!  I can probably get 3/4 of it fixed for that.  But WAIT!!  There's more.  He discounted it $800 for depreciation and another $1,000 for my deductible.  I'm getting a whopping $2,500 to repair my fence which will cost ME close to $5,000.  Why am I not surprised?

To celebrate my new windfall (hahahahaha) Patty and I went to Dairy Queen to check out their newest creation ... rotisserie style chicken bites.  Kentucky Fried Chicken they are not.  Forget the fries and get onion rings.  There was some confusion about the entire sheet of discount coupons we handed them, but in the end, it was an inexpensive dinner.  Next time we'll go to Arby's!!

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!!!