Thursday, March 31, 2022

Going To The Dogs!!

 It's been rather interesting over the years to see how the prices of things come about.  At the Elks Lodge, officers are required to wear these purple shirts.  I ordered a women's X-lg since I'm not the 30 year old I once was.  I was told they could not get any that size, so instead of waiting, they just sent a large shirt.  What a waste ... it doesn't fit at all.  Maybe if I lost 20 pounds, but you know that isn't going to happen with the cookies in my life.

Being the stubborn one I am, I got on the internet and found the exact same shirt in Florida, for $10 cheaper.  I dropped them off at the sports shop for embroidery.  They were pretty shocked to see them since THEY were the ones who said that size was no longer available.  They will be ready in a week or so.

Next it was on to C & S Auto to get an appointment for work on my truck ... changing all the fluids.  My baby has 120,000 miles on her, so it's time for some TLC.  Of course I can't wait at the shop for the all day truck spa treatment and have no one to pick me up, so I'll walk to the Elks Lodge a few blocks away and sleep in the back room.

Then I was off to get glasses since I have insurance for that.  All my life I've been going to the same place and it's cost me a minimum of $500 for those varilux lenses I love so much.  Wasn't I shocked to see them out of business.  

There's one other place I've been to before, so off I went to get an estimate.  I opted for new frames this time and the total ..... with the exact same kind of glass ...... came to only $200.  How is that possible??  These are even Kate Spade frames!!  Why the big discrepancy?  I ordered them on the spot.

One more stop on the way home found me at Sound Encounters.  I'm looking for a miracle.  I would like a stereo for my truck, one that has an actual WORKING CD player, along with GPS.  I would be sadly out of luck.  They won't be getting any in until October.  As it is, I've got four things plugged in to two outlets.  I'm afraid my cigarette lighters are going to explode, not to mention I get everything tangled up in all those cords!!

I'm definitely getting things done, however slowly.  I spent two hours on the computer trying to get a DMV appointment to register the Jeep.  You would think they might make this easier.  It's ridiculous how much digging I had to do.  Everything said to go to their "partners", but when I called them, none would register an out-of-state vehicle.  

Here's another interesting observation.  In Arizona, the State does smog checks for $12.00.  In California, you have to go to a smog station, who does it for $60.00.  So when I found one who wasn't busy, I jumped in the Jeep and drove to town again.  It took less and five minutes to get a certificate ..... for $60.00.  I know this state is going to the dogs, but this is ridiculous.  I can't wait to see just how much it cost to register it.  

Since everything else is going to the dogs, I thought I might as well too.  I picked up a package of hot dogs ... all beef of course ... mostly because it's a super cheap meal.  I can eat for $2.25 a day (that's two meals), which includes the chips.

I BECAME a dog for the rest of the day, playing with Cooper on the floor.  He's such a sweetheart that when he comes up and gives you that-tail-wag-ears-up-tongue-out look, you can't turn him down.

Plus, he's such a good watch pup.  Seems the delivery guys no longer ring the door bell and I wouldn't have known this was there if he wasn't barking.  My new screen door handle.  This will make it much easier to open and close the door.  

Too bad it won't be that easy to install.  Seems it requires at least five holes be drilled.  Boy do I hate that part.  I'm not so good at drilling holes.

Today won't be quite as exciting.  The big thing left on my list is cleaning the rig out and vacuuming my house floors.  Oh the fun!!!!!

Friday is the BIG day .... my DMV appointment!!!  I think I'll film it!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2022


It's that time again ladies and gentlemen!!  It's BINGO at the Elks Lodge.  I know you've been waiting with bated breath!  Or not ......... 

But first, I had to get up and get going.  I was pretty surprised to be met with fog instead of that bright shiny sun.  Right off the bat I noticed my lawn out front looks SO much better since hiring The Weed Man to keep it shipshape.  I can't afford that for long, so I hope it lasts for a few years.  Even the gardeners have done a good job out front ... a very big surprise!!  I'm thinking they have new employees.

I ordered a few more things like the screen door handle for the rig.  Practically everyone gets one so they can easily close the screen door, so I don't know why they don't just put one on at the factory.  I'm hoping I don't have any problems installing it.  

I lugged a few more boxes of fabric from the trailer, blew the sawdust off the table from the wall socket replacements for the tenth time and threw out another six rocks I found on the floor.  It's amazing how many of those appear out of nowhere.

Then it was time for one of my favorite activities.  Baking peanut butter cookies.  I was going into withdrawal when the first batch came out hot and yummy!!!  This little piggy ate TWO before packing them away in the freezer.  Surprisingly I'm pretty good at digging out only one when the sweet tooth talks to me.

At long last it was time ..... time to head out to BINGO!!  On the way I stopped at the State Farm Insurance office and gave them the refund check I had received.  They credited it to my account.  I've no doubt they already sent a bill to my mortgage company, who will pay it, creating an even GREATER mess for me to clean up.  I'm hoping that doesn't happen, but I'm not holding my breath.

Finally ... there they were ... the purple BINGO flags flapping in the breeze.  Our usual crew wasn't upstairs in the Sky Lounge, so I immediately went to work setting up.  You know how there's always that one lovely person who wants to work but she's not really good at it?  Slows you down, talks too much, doesn't concentrate ..... a very nice person, but ...........
Thank goodness my good friend showed up, having also been gone for about five weeks.  Even though we were rather short handed, we told not one, but two people they could just go play Bingo.  Here's why ... the King actually came over and told me they had been so crowded the last few weeks, they set up a SECOND infernal machine for cash only payments so they could have TWO lines in order to get people seated before they started.

Not if I'm on the cash register I told him.  If you work fast, don't talk and just get it done, there's no long line.  He came back two hours later and said I was right!!  It took us one minute per person to completely clear out the line.  These other gals chit chat, can't count fast (no surprise with those two inch fingernails trying to count 30 pieces of paper) and just don't care about getting everyone through the line quickly.  

Surprisingly, there has been almost a complete turnover of people.  Less than 25% were recognizable.  That usually means lots of complaints, but I only had one.  She's a regular, so she came back when I wasn't busy and we figured out the infernal machine charged her $5 instead of $2.  An easy fix.  

There were no fights or hair pulling, but I did spot a guy casing out the joint from across the room.  I seem to pick up on that stuff, probably because I have all the cash.  I called in the Knights to check him out.  You just can't be too careful.  Thankfully this guy was just looking for his wife, who he had walked right by when entering.  She was wondering what he was looking for too!!

It was 10:30 by the time I got home, pretty late for this early morning chicken.  I've got several errands to run today.  I'm checking out two different mechanics to get a Teconsha P3 brake controller installed, along with finding out where I can go to get my Jeep registered.  I know, it's sad ... and it kills me ... to register it back in California, but I get a big house insurance discount if I do.  So there's that!!

Time to start the day!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

New Post Office Friend??

Wow ... the rain did fall, making it even MORE obvious that the gutters need to be cleaned.   This round turned out to be half an inch in fifteen minutes, even with the blue sky.  It hasn't rained in California like that in ages!!  At least this time it was short and sweet, meaning I actually got some sleep last night.  Even Cooper didn't want to get up this morning!!

My handy dandy spice racks showed up yesterday.  As much as I hate Amazon's big business attitude and ridiculous fees to be a prime member, they are fast on the draw when it comes to delivery.  I hate them but I love them!  

There are two of these, one being plenty big enough for the door hanging spice rack, so I will find a spot for the other one ... maybe in the bathroom for towels.  I do need to take more than one bath towel since mine ended up on the floor for Cooper.  It's hard to dry off with washcloths.

I spent more time than I wanted trying to get ahold of the insurance lady about the check they sent back.  No one could figure it out, so I'm delivering it to her today so she can credit my account.  I'm just shaking my head over that one.  I paid it, they sent me a refund check and billed my loan company???

Next up, the dreaded Post Office.  They definitely are not my favorite since having all the boxes broken into and not notifying anyone, or at least not me.  I've finally learned, after all these many years, that I have to get my attitude in ship shape before I go there.  It's going to take forever, there will be a really long line and I will have to explain things to them like talking to a wall.  Just relax ... you've got all day.

Luckily I pulled in just as the ambulance pulled out, so I got a parking spot.  Probably someone who had a heart attack from dealing with the government office.  Hallelujah the guy who gave me the 4 month extension on holding my mail, was at the counter, complete with 1" holes in his ears and tattoos from one end to the other.  It doesn't bother me, it just makes me wonder.

Remember me?  I gave him my spiel.  Yes he did and he was nice as could be.  He put all my mail in my bag, WITHOUT all that sale crap.  If they can do that when they are holding your mail, why can't they do that with your P. O. Box??  I throw away 80% of the contents of my large box.

I went outside and sorted through it in the truck.  I was throwing letters and junk everywhere!!  At last I found the four pieces of paper required to get my tax documents off to the CPA.  Yes I'm an accountant and should do my own, but it's WAY too complicated.

Back in I went with my big box to be mailed.  When he saw me coming, he said "deja vu"!!!  We carried on a conversation while he waited on three people.  I laughed because this was the first time I've been in here and not been furiously mad!!!  It was actually a good experience.  I have a new friend at the Post Office!!

Back to the RV ... this is my latest want/need thing I'm going to try and make for the rig.  I have a huge hole in the same place where I want to carry my bbq, but getting it in and out is a pain.  This would be perfect!!  Not sure I can install a drawer, but I'm going to try.

Dinner was basically from a can.  Here's my tip of the day.  Since beef is so expensive at the moment, I fried up half hamburger and half ground chicken.  You cannot tell the difference at all, and the chicken is cheaper.  I dumped in cans of rotel tomatoes, black beans, corn, enchilada sauce and olives and layered it in this springform pan with tortillas and cheese.

Be sure to wrap the bottom in foil so it doesn't drip all over your oven.  I baked it at 350 for 45 minutes, then let it set up a bit before removing the sides.  Instant enchilada casserole.

It was quite tasty as I celebrated a good day at the Post Office ..... a first!  Today will be another special day worth celebrating ....... BINGO!!!!!

Monday, March 28, 2022

Marie Can Cook

 It's a lovely rainy day this morning, so loud that I was up at 3:00, having laid there, eyes wide open for an hour.  Once I'm awake, there's no going back, so I just got up and had a nice cup of joe.  Just for good measure, I even threw in a load of laundry.

Yesterday I hit the ground running, ordering "stuff" right and left from the internet.  This water meter was one of them.  There's no way to tell just how much water I have in the rig.  The inside push-button thingy doesn't seem to be accurate.  At least this way I'll know how much I put in.  There's no use carrying a full heavy tank of water when traveling.

Other things included a power strip to plug in the heated vibrating chair.  Not that I need it, but the arm controls seem to be turned on by someone with little paws.  There's a roll of reflectix coming since it's hotter than necessary inside, along with a couple of big spice racks for the pantry.

I have a list a mile long of honey-dos (no honey required), but sadly, it was Sunday and nothing was open.  I did reattach the Jeep battery and it started right up.  I wish I knew how to attach one of those disconnect contraptions and could just flip a switch.  

Next I trotted (you know, for exercise) out to the back forty fence to replace a board that had fallen off.  I just can't believe anything with ten nails and two screws could just fall off the fence.  That's when I discovered my Mikita hand drill battery had died an awful death.  I tried to order a new one, but it's too old.  Anyone know if the replacement that doesn't look quite the same will work?  Otherwise, I'm buying another drill.  

Next up I drug out my old truck GPS to see if it would work.  I imagine most of the maps are old, but it came to life instantly.  I do have a minor problem however ... with the rear view camera, tire minder and phone plugged in, I'm running out of cigarette lighter holes, not to mention cords running everywhere!!

I tried getting some stuff unloaded, but just wasn't feeling it.  I opened up the sewing room and got ready to rock in that department.  Out of the blue, Cooper started barking his "something's not right" bark.  Then he began to growl.  See that cute little reindeer in the corner?  The one with roller skates on?  I think Cooper didn't like his tenny-sneaks.  

He finally got brave enough to get close, silly boy.  He was having none of that other critter in HIS house. I pushed the button that makes his nose light up and Cooper was off like a shot!!!

Since being locked up for a time, my house has that "old" smell, in spite of everything I do.  So after a quick trip to the store, where yet again my debit card was declined for no reason whatsoever, I came home with this beauty.  Marie can cook!!  It's an apple pie that you bake first, then layer on the crumb topping and bake again.

It took some time since my little oven, when parked at 350 degrees, would only get to 250.  I turned it up to 500 in order to get it baked, which even then took 90 minutes.  OH BOY was it good!!!  I threw in some Cool Whip for good measure.

Today will be spent on the phone because State Farm has taken it upon themselves to mess with my mortgage company.  I paid them IN FULL for my house insurance.  Yesterday as I waded through a 12" high pile of mail, I found a refund check from them for the full amount with a note saying it was to be paid by the mortgagee.  WHAT?  YOU HAVE THE MONEY IN HAND AND YOU RETURN IT????  That truly doesn't sound like a company I want to do business with.

Then it's appointment making time.  Truck oil change, register Jeep back in California to get house discount, get scratched glasses replaced, call the bank about my debit card and get a new brake controller for the truck.  Any suggestions on what kind to get?  My controller is an older (probably cheap) model that grabs the brakes even when set at zero.  I definitely need a new one.

Oh ... and clean the gutters that runneth over!!

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Slow and Go

 I'm a little late on the uptake this morning.  It's hard for me to get motivated when there is just SO much to do.  I spent yesterday morning going through all the paperwork for taxes.  As you can imagine, that's my least favorite thing to do.  Like the mechanic who never works on his own car, I'm bad about organizing all that paperwork and creating the worksheets required by my tax guy.  Making it worse, most all of my official paperwork is in a big cardboard box at the Post Office ... remember my P.O. Box got broken in to just before I left.

I didn't have much time to waste ... I was supposed to be at the Elks Lodge at 12:30 for official portraits by Cris.  He's my photography buddy from way back and I'm so happy the lodge took my recommendation to have him do the work.  

If you've ever met photographers, they are very closed mouthed about how to do things.  Not Cris, he'll show you everything, equipment to buy and how to use it.  He'll tell you all the secrets we learned years ago.  I'm also SO VERY proud that he has now lost 140 pounds.  When we had photo shoots in San Francisco, he was our body guard ... and a VERY good one!!  This is a good guy.  Too bad he's married.

Amazingly, all six people showed up for the portraits.  It actually takes longer to set the whole thing up than it does to take the photos.  Pretty snazzy table settings we had to squeeze in between.

Once the photos were done, we had 90 minutes to wait for the "official" arrival of the officers.  Truly, I'm not about all the pomp and circumstance.  It's just not my thing.  I hid upstairs in the bar waiting for the appetizers.  That's not my plate either .... full to the brim .... nor my fingers trying to steal a bite.  

At long last we went into the Lodge Room for the official swearing in of the new officers.  It's fascinating to see how people react to this sort of thing.  The new regime wants to return to the days of old with long drawn out ceremonies.  I may not be long for this, since this cowgirl really doesn't fit in with the mucky muck crowd, made all the more difficult since I'm single.  I think I should just stick to Bingo!!

As soon as the festivities were over, they all headed down to the prime rib dinner.  I snuck out the back door as fast as I could, so relieved to get that bow tie off my neck!!!

This morning I return to unloading with a trip to the grocery store as soon as possible.  I have one avocado, a few tortillas and a bag of potatoes chips for dinner.  Somehow that isn't very appetizing.  To make it worse, I'm out of peanut butter cookies!!  Time for some baking.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Home Again, Home Again

 I'm a driver from way back.  I love to drive.  I'm not sure where that came from, maybe just getting away from it all to blasting loud music.  I've pulled horse trailers with horses from Oregon and Idaho all the way to the southern border in California, throwing in Nevada just for the fun of it.  Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's frustrating.

We didn't waste time with breakfast or even TV.  Shocker, I know!!  The kids and I were off at 7:00 am.  An even bigger shock ... Pilot Flying J (which is supposed to be cheaper fuel for truckers) had a price tag of $6.76 on their station.  Better start saving our pennies for groceries because all those costs are going to be passed on to us.

I was so happy the highways in California were finally done, but was I ever wrong.  It was so bad somewhere between Bakersfield and Madera, that I can't even tell you exactly where it was!!  They did the traffic split dance, pushing us RV and big rigs into a right lane bordered on both sides by concrete t-rails.

It was barely wide enough for my trailer, making my heart rate go up considerably.  This picture is not it because my hands were frozen to the steering wheel.  It went on for about three miles.  Again, my apologies to the truckers as I got down to 40 mph on a road so rough it was bouncing the trailer all around.

When that was finally over, I ran into it again from one end of Merced to the other.  Split traffic with so many huge bumps the trailer was swinging back and forth.  I slowed down ... we all slowed down ... to a crawling 25 mph.  If you're coming this way, be prepared for this picture.  I imagine this will continue for the next two years.  Nothing is done fast around here.  I'll be driving around this whole mess to another city next time, even if it takes longer.

At last, I pulled on to my street and contemplated parking.  It's a much sharper dogleg into this driveway and truly, I didn't do so well, but she's finally parked in the back.  Cooper was pretty funny.  I let him out and he made a beeline for the grass, then went right back to the truck.  

No sweet pea, we're staying in this nice big house.  He was having none of it.  He didn't want to go inside at all.  He just stood by the pickup.  Maybe he thought I would leave again without him.  Sadly, he was right as I had an appointment to get to in two hours.  It was haircut time for the Big Deal Elks thing today.

Meet Bella.  She gets to come in wearing a new outfit every week.  What a sweet little girl who loves to have her neck rubbed.  She parked by my feet for about 15 minutes. 

So as much as I would like to just veg out today, I have an all day photography session for the new leaders of the Elks Lodge, followed by a swearing in of officers, dinner and a dance.  I'm sneaking out after the swearing part.  I am SO looking forward to zoning out on the couch in front of the TV for at least one whole day before the unpacking begins.

In the meantime, I'm in an ordering frenzy, getting all those little gadgets for the rig that will make life easier.  AND ... I actually have to read the booklet to find out how to turn the inverter off on my rig.  New toys require new knowledge.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Aliens and Angst

You have to look very closely to see the aliens in my rig.  This is the weirdest thing I've ever seen.  Those fluffs of lint are stuck to the top of those threads which are pointing straight up in the air.  Move your hand close and they move from six inches away and cling to your fingers.  There are probably ten sticking up from Cooper's bed at all times.

 Not to be outdone, Jonathan took the time to scratch his cheek ... in slow motion.  Apparently this feels REALLY good!!!

And so we said our goodbyes at the RV Park as Bill came down to be sure I did things correctly.  I'm very thankful for his help!!!  After hugs all around, I was off down the highway ... except I didn't want to GO the highway, I wanted highway 95.  Those little aliens seem to have an affect.  Just a minor detour.  

About halfway to Needles, I thought a snack would be appropriate, except Cooper had pushed them off the seat to the console.  I grabbed the wrong corner of the bag and dumped every single one out on the floor.  Aliens again.  It was okay, I didn't want that snack anyway.

After computing the mileage, I finally decided to stop in Barstow for fuel.  I know it's bad ... expensive ... out of sight, but I know the station, and know the way in and out.  Lucky for me, after a once-around, there was no one on the outside lane.  Fuel has not been this high in 73 years because I'm 73 years old and I've never paid this much.  

Cute little sticker ... I wonder who put that there???  I settled for 20 gallons at $125.00.  At least I have a much cheaper Jeep to drive when I get home.

Then everything went to pieces.  There was an accident on Tehachapi Pass. Aliens yet again.   There's no other way to go where I was going at this point.  Traffic came to a screeching halt in Tehachapi proper.  Every time I looked at the map and got closer to the end of the red line, the red line extended another half inch.  I was exhausted and my butt had been talking to me the last hundred miles.

I did get one nice train picture coming out of the tunnel.  I mean really, we were going 0 miles per hour.

One full hour later, I finally crawled up to the accident. 

No way to tell what actually happened.  This guy ran up the hill to keep from hitting the steel bars laying on his left side, which came from the truck up ahead.  They were trying to hold the truck up enough to get the bars out of the way, then let the truck down.  It didn't appear to be in too bad of shape.

On the other hand, the guy who was hauling the steel must have rear ended someone already towed away. His front end is smashed into the back of the seat.  

Finally back up to speed ... only 55 ... I hit the downhill portion.  Anyone pulling big trailers want to give me some pointers?  I let it roll up to 60, then braked a little to slow back down.  The engine downshifted into whatever gear and the RPM's hit 3,000 in one second.  YIKES!!!!!  I speeded up to make it shift up, but it did it again the next time I tried to slow down.  I finally just barely touched the brakes, enough to engage the trailer and not downshift the truck.  Is this normal????  Maybe I should have slowed down way earlier.  

Oh ... and did I mention I had to stare at the check engine light all the way from Barstow to Bakersfield?  I did it again ... forgot tow haul and when I kicked it in, the light came on again.  Big sigh!  I'm duck taping a note to my steering wheel that says TOW HAUL.

At long last we pulled in to Orange Grove RV Park to the wonderful perfumey smell of orange blossoms.  

Cooper and I went for a quick walk before crashing in the rig with both AC's running!!  It's rather toasty!

I'll be on the road this morning by 7:00.  I'm anxious to get home, and I have an appointment at 1:15.  I'm taking my entire bottle of aspirin with me.

P.S.  I am reminded daily that my problems are miniscule.  My thoughts go out to Doug and his White Lion and to the Bayfield Bunch.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

A Dog Day Afternoon

 It was a wonderful day in the neighborhood.  Cooper and I were up early as usual, and out for our morning walk just as the sun came up.  There were no mysterious upcomings on this day, thank goodness.  Nothing worse than one of your kids being sick.  

Here's one of the interesting rigs in the park.   Don't you just want to knock on the door and say can I look inside?  If I remember right, they do have quite a bit of storage underneath.

The big winds gave up the ghost ... for the most part ... and I put the awning out for some shade.  What a difference it makes keeping the sun off the side.  I think I'm going to look into some outside window shades to keep it a bit cooler inside.  We had to run the air most of the afternoon.

Patsy and I finished the second puzzle, laughing at how hard this was.  Easy peasy she said ... we'll have this done in no time.  Turned out to be MUCH more difficult, but one that sure made us smile.

Bill stopped by to go over a few more things about my rig.  I actually read the manual and crawled under the side to see how to retract my jacks should that ever become necessary.  Definitely something good to know.  Next ... how to manually move the slide in or out.  You never know when that information might come in handy, especially in light of Roland and Lori's troubles when everything electrical goes awry.

When he asked if I had fueled up yet, the answer was UHHHHH ..... I'm going now!  Too bad I didn't go yesterday when fuel was $4.99 a gallon because it's now $5.059.  I think in four days it's changed twice.

A few minutes later Deb and Tom stopped for a goodbye visit before their haircut appointments in town.  They gave me tips about my oven (getting a pizza stone or tile) and I told them about using the plastic cutting mats at the back of the freezer to prevent icing up.  I love these little hacks that make things easier. One more thing Bill mentioned, check your condensation drain tube.  Is it plugged up?  So many things you have to know!!!

By late afternoon, Cooper was way past his play time, so I crawled around on the floor playing take the squeaky sheep away.  It's seriously a good way to stay in shape, but holes seem to be appearing in the knees of my jeans.  How could you not play with that face??

Sadly, I'm hooking up this morning and heading out.  I've truly enjoyed my eight days here, even if it did cost me a small fortune.  I'm really going to miss Patsy, Bill, Gibbs, Tom and Deb.  There's always next year however, when I'll be a little quieter when boondocking.  I can't wait!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

I'm a Solar Convert!

It was a gorgeous morning of cool sunshine.  The terrible winds finally quit, at least for a few hours.  Cooper and I headed out for a nice long walk through the desert.  It is rather unusual that we saw absolutely no wildlife.  Not a lizard or even a dove to be found.

Once back at the rig, I decided to take care of that wonderful fun job ... emptying the tanks.  It's always a toss of the dice about which valve to pull first, but luckily on this day I did it just right.  In spite of what the sensors say, I suspect the tanks are empty.  Just for good measure, I'll put a little more fresh water in the tank for the trip home.

Then I did the unthinkable ... I turned off the electric breaker.  I wanted to see just how well this solar stuff worked.  Honestly, I didn't think it would last two hours worth of TV before I had to flip the switch back on.  I was ecstatic to find the two solar panels kept the battery on float all day long as I watched TV, charged my computer and phone, and even turned on the fan for several hours.  The fridge was on gas, so no drawdown there.  On a cloudy day, I'll have to be more careful.

Not only that, but there's no trying to remember which I turn on or off first.  It just does it for me automatically.  I turned the electric back on after eight hours.  YAHOO!!  I'm a solar convert.

Patsy and I worked on a new puzzle before coming back to fix lunch.   After that, Patsy stopped by so Gibbs could ask Cooper for a play date at the dog park.  Of course we said yes!

Not ever having played with dogs before, Cooper is a little shy.  He would rather go smell the territory and water the grass.  As you can tell, he does a good job of making the grass green.

Unfortunately, all that heat and wind brought up his noon snack.  Poor baby just isn't feeling good.  I finally flipped the switch and turned on the AC, hoping he would cool off and recuperate.

Finally, a chance to relax and try out my gas oven cooking skills.  Truly, they are non-existent since I've never even STARTED the gas oven in this rig.  It took some doing, but I finally figured it out.  I chopped and hacked up a pan of scalloped potatoes and stuck them in the heat.  

Yeah this looks a little weird.  Wrong potatoes (Yukon gold instead of Russet), and I didn't peel them.  Still, they tasted pretty good even if they did need another 20 minutes in the oven.

One thing I did discover, apparently there's no LOW here, it's 350 degrees or higher.  Woohoo this thing goes up to 500 degrees.  You could cook a prime rib in this little oven!!

I forgot to post Monday's beautiful sunset, so here it is.  Maybe I'll get in one more before I leave tomorrow morning.

My time in the desert has come to an end and I'm heading back to the "other" home.  On THIS morning, the coyotes are giving me a howling sendoff.  I love hearing those guys!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2022


I packed well.  In fact, I packed so well I had clothes, toiletries and snacks to last three days, all in one tiny purse/backpack.  All of Coopers stuff was in one small lunchbox and water in an even smaller one.  As you can tell from this picture, he wasn't impressed.

So off we went to the big City of Havasu, about 90 minutes North.  I'm always impressed by the RV parks along the river, packed in like sardines, but with beautiful views.  I could do that, but I'm sure I would never outlast the waiting list.  

This wasn't the easiest place to find.  My phone kept giving me WALKING directions, which didn't compute when I drove.  After several passes around the block, I finally found the back door with little to no directions on where to go.  I caught a uniformed guy in the parking lot who pointed down the hill.  What a weird setup.  Inside the closed garage doors, it was so loud with echos I could hardly hear.

In spite of being early, Bradley Chevrolet took me right in.  I explained the problem, whereupon they agreed with the diagnosis and directed me to the waiting room.  I tried to impress the "I'm really homeless here" part, but got no sympathy.  At least I passed a car rental place on the way if it became necessary.

Neither Cooper nor I relished sitting in the waiting room in too-small chairs, but he's so cute, he got lots of attention from the employees.  And we waited ..... and waited.  Not able to watch my stuff and Cooper and leave to check on their progress, I called to talk to the lady on the other side of that door.  I laughed about it, she did not.

Two hours had passed and she had nothing.  Patience Nancy .... patience!

Twenty minutes later she came in the door to explain what they had done.  I expected major repairs.  Here's what she said:  The bearings are fine and the brakes are fine, as is the transfer case.  Really?  Quite by accident when it was up on the lift, the mechanic noticed one of the heat shields over the air bags was loose.  He fixed it and adjusted both shields so the air bag wouldn't melt and cost me a chunk.  

Then he drove the truck to find no noise.  Yup ... that was it ... the shields on the air bags.  $141.00 to save me $500 down the road.  That was a good deal I guess.

On the way home, in spite of seeing diesel at $5.69 in Havasu, I stopped at Running Man on the reservation.  Half of their pumps were covered, meaning not available.  I got a few gallons just to be sure I made it back home to Quartzsite where it's $4.99 a gallon.  Running Man was $5.07.

Back in Q with 25-30 mph winds and crazy gusts that shook the trailer all afternoon, I turned off the power and tried out the solar.  Lookie lookie ... I have TV!!!

For 2 hours, the TV, dish controller and satellite control were on, even if I was snoozing a moment or two. After another 30 minutes, it was at 12.4 because I completely forgot and used the microwave for coffee.  I was pretty shocked when I actually realized the microwave WORKED!!

So all in all, a great day.  I can't thank Patsy and Bill enough for their offer to go get me if I had to spend the night in Havasu.  AND for keeping an eye on Jonathan.  

I'll be hanging out here for another two days to see what other trouble I can get in to.  There are more smells for Cooper to find and more puzzles for me to ponder over with Patsy.  

Big sigh ... it really was a good day, in spite of Cooper getting sick all over my bed last night.  He seems to be better this morning.  Oh the joys of "children"!