Monday, February 28, 2011

New Caliphers

We were up early today and out of the park by 8:30 so we could get to La Mesa Rv for our 9:00 am appointment to have the caliphers replaced under warranty by Workhorse.  The old caliphers have been a problem since 2002 and it took the US Gov't to put pressure on them to fix the problem.  Today was the day.  I hope the new caliphers won't stick and ruin the brakes like the old ones did.

We sat in one place with the MH for three months and when we went to bring in the slides they almost didn't come in completely.  With a little coaching they finally came in and then it was time to raise the leveling jacks.  You got it, the front ones didn't want to raise all the way either.  A couple tries freed them up enough to make the trip down to the dealer.  Hang in there, Gerry noticed the electric steps hadn't come in all the way.  I applied some lubricant to them and they seem to be working once again.  Sitting still for that long takes it toll on the MH and us.  Time to hit the road before we freeze up all together.

We met a number of couples in the waiting area and listened to their MH woes.  Two of them had Tiffin high end coaches and were having a number of problems with them.  Tiffin has an excellent name and reputation in the MH industry and we were surprised to hear about their trouble.  They both said they loved their units and would buy again when it was time.

The dealer provides a free lunch and we went down and had some tacos and drinks.  Nice feature since there aren't any restaurants in the immediate area.  The  tacos were pretty good and we are thinking about going back on Tuesday for the BBQ chicken.  LOL

One quick stop for propane and we arrived back at the park in time to hook the unit back up and settle in.  That is, after they turned the water back on and we flushed our tanks.  They have been having a lot of water outages the last couple months due to unknown causes.  At least we have extra water in our fresh water tank so all is well.

We received some good news today from our grand daughter Stephanie.  She has passed all her course work and will graduate as a nurse this May.  Congratulations Stephanie.  You worked hard for this and deserve it.  She will be pinned the Thursday night before her brother Jared graduates from East Carolina University on Friday.  Then on Saturday there will be a wedding shower for Sean & Taylor, followed by graduation parties Saturday night.  Sunday will be Mothers Day celebration and Monday crash day for us old people.

Now to get to bed early and catch up on some much needed sleep. 

Oh, BTW, congratulation to Gloria and Doug on getting their rearend repaired.  I know it must be a relief for them. 

Buenas noches. bonne nuit, good night.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday at the Park

We will be taking the MH to La Mesa RV to have the brake caliphers replaced on Monday so we are storing all the "stuff" we have in the living area.  We usually only have to do this when we prepare to make the trip back to Maryland, but this time we get to do the job twice.  They say they can do all the work in one day and we will be back here i the afternoon.  I sure hope so as we don't want to spend the night there or in a motel.  Keep your fingers crossed for us.

The weather did another u-turn last night and the temps dropped but not like before.  It rained during the night and we woke to see all the surrounding mountains covered with snow.  It sure is pretty to look at when they are snow covered and I took a picture with my telephoto lens of the Santa Rita Mountains to the south of us.  They are about 10 miles away to give you an idea of how big they are.

The Rincon Mountains are east of us and I took a photo of them over the roof of our neighbors 5th wheel.  I should have went down to the back of the park and taken a better shot of the Rincons, but was too lazy to do so.

It's 3:30pm and the sun is shining brightly and the forecast for the upcoming week is temps in the high 70s.  Now that is more like it.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Trip to Phoenix

We got a phone call from Yvonne Cav this morning saying that her Gerry was feeling better and was up to company.  We finished breakfast and headed up to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale to visit with them.  Gerry Cav has been having a rough go of it and has been in the hospital for about a week receiving some needed treatment.  I won't go into details about his problem out of respect for his privacy.

We got there around 130pm and visited until 4pm and then headed back to Tucson.  We got caught in Phoenix rush hour but didn't have any real problems with it.  We managed to get in the 2+ HOV lane and cruised down the 101 at a pretty good clip.  It was surprising to see all those cars with only one person in them occupying the other 3 lanes and being backed up for miles.  

We took some back roads and made really good time once we got off the 101 and were surprised to see how quickly we were in the country.  The secondary roads were good and we made great time getting back home.  

The sun was setting over Picacho Peak as we drove by it and Gerry managed to get this great sunset photo.  I think she has taken over 50 sunset photos in the past 10 years, or is that 5000 sunset photos.

A stop at the Texas Roadhouse was on tap and when we pulled into the parking lot we were amazed to see how full it was.  I guess with the Rodeo being in town and lot of visitors they all headed out for steaks.  There must have been 50 people or more waiting to be seated and we didn't want to wait over an hour for our meal so we left.  There was a Chinese buffet dinner next door and we went there for an unremarkable meal.  Too bad, since we usually enjoy Chinese.  Live and learn.

The roundtrip was 302 miles and we made great time due to the 75 mph speed limits most of the way up there and back.  We managed to get 29.3 mpg on the Saturn driving at those speeds, so I guess it likes to run fast.

Oh, BTW, we managed to find an interesting cache on the way back.  It was interesting in that it explained how the ground has settled 15ft in places since they began to extract ground water to irrigate crops.  The well used to be around 60 ft deep and now they have to go down over 140 ft further to get to the water.  The valley in that area has over 2300 ft of fill from the surrounding mountains.  That is a lot of dirt.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Water Filter

Another exciting day out here in the Southwest.  The wind picked up a little, however it isn't that bad.  They are calling for more wind and cooler temperatures by this weekend.  Looks like another cold front is moving through here.  I keep thinking it will be the last one of the year.  We'll see how it goes this time.

I crawled under the sink today and finished the repair of the water filter.  Whew!  That is a job for a smaller, younger and more agile person.  I had to fit both arms and my shoulders into a small space so I could tighten the threads.  Now I see why they had quick disconnect tabs on the filter before.  It looks like I will have to keep my eye out for a replacement connection before it is time to replace the water filter.

Gerry found a bottle of Tin Roof Merlot the other day while we were shopping at Costco and bought a bottle.  We had it with our pasta this evening and it really hit the spot.  It looks like we may have found another good wine to drink and will have to look for some sales.

I don't discuss politics on this blog, but I wonder why the Wisconsin State representatives don't have one of their members switch over to become a Democrat and then take a vote on the Union issues.  They say that at least one Democrat has to vote to make it legal.  The Dems picked up a Representative from Vermont a few years ago after he was elected as a Republican and then switched his allegiance.  All of the Democrats have fled to Illinois so a vote can't be taken without them there.  I wonder how long it will take the Wisconsin Governor to figure this one out.   ***** Correction ---  It takes 20 Wisconsin Senators to make a Quorum and the Republicans only have 19.  *****

We have tentative plans to drive up to Phoenix on Thursday to see our very special friend Gerry who is in the Mayo Clinic up there.  He and I go way back to when we lived on Maple St. together.  He's had a bad run of luck with his health and we had planned on visiting him in Congress, AZ a couple weeks ago, but that was scratched when we had unexpected company.  ---- Trip put on hold for a while due to Gerry having a bad night.  Not my Gerry, but old buddy Gerry C.  ----

He and Gerry share the same nickname and we had a neighbor called Jerry who had a son Jerry.  It sounded like a comedy routine when we all got together.  Of course his brother was named Larry so that also added to the confusion.  Nicknames were the rule back there so it worked out in the end.  

Gloria & Doug, friends of ours, are sitting in Tampa, Florida waiting to have their beautiful motorhome repaired.  It looks like they may be there at least 10 more days and are staying in a motel while the work on the unit is being done.  Bummer.  We hope they get back on the road real soon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day for Running Around

We had a number of errands to run today and made an afternoon of it.  Dee K arrived today and we stopped by to tell her hello and welcome back.  Since she just got here and we were on our way out, we made it a short visit and look forward to seeing more of her in the days ahead.

On our way out of the park we ran across this little guy.  Last winter we had him or one like him near the motorhome for a long time.  He would spend time under the motorhome and then run across the road.  We thought he became a lunch for one of the resident coyotes, but it appears not. Great! 

Our water filter in the MH broke on Saturday and we had to find a replacement part.  We went to Camping World to find it and they didn't have any idea what I was talking about.  I had to walk around the store in order to find an employee and I was amazed at their lack on knowledge on the parts. 

We went to Home Depot today and found a replacement part that will fix the problem, however it doesn't have the quick disconnect piece that I need.  At least we can hook the water filter back up and have ice once again. 

There is a new Mexican restaurant called Guadalajara Grill and we like to stop there for Happy Hour and take advantage of $3.00 margaritas, $2.50 Dos XX in a 16 ounce glass and mini chimichangas as appetizers.  One round fills us up and satisfies our desire for Mexican food.  They have decorated the restaurant very well and it is a comfortable place to visit.  We took some pictures of the Grill today and have included them below. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Quiet Day

The weather has turned cooler with a little rain so we took advantage of being cooped up in the MH by rearranging some stuff that was in the unit.  It is easy to accumulate things but difficult to find room to store it all.  We have just about filled up all of our available space in the bins so it is time to get rid of stuff.  I just hope Gerry doesn't throw me out with the trash.

We took a ride through the Saguaro National Park on Saturday to see if anything was in bloom, but sadly there wasn't any color in the park at all.  It has been so dry around here that the Park Ranger said there won't be many blooms this year.  Last spring was wetter and there were a lot of flowers blooming.   The photo above was taken a couple years ago.

Gerry made some mince meat cookies today and I am about ready to finish up here and enjoy a late night snack of cookies.  Sorry to have closed so abruptly but I am sure you all understand.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Clouds & Taxes

We spent a lot of phone time with two of our IRA accounts today getting them setup for distribution.  It seems strange that the Fed Gov't requires you to begin spending the money when you reach 70 1/2, but that is what they do.  

While we were working on the above and enjoying the nice weather out here, I looked outside and it seems the heavens were wondering why we were working on finances rather than being out and about.  Look at the message they sent us.

Not to worry, there are many beautiful days out here in Tucson this time of the year.  

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Day

Happy Valentines Day to all.

Gerry and I celebrated Valentines Day by grilling a couple steaks, baked potato, salad and a nice wine.  We learned long ago to not try and go out for dinner on Valentines Day or Mothers Day.  The lines are long and I don't have the patience to wait a hour or so to be seated.

Today was clean the MH day and put stuff back into the outside bins.  We still have more to go and it doesn't look good for finding enough storage space.  Gerry says we need to buy a larger MH and I think we should get rid of stuff.  

We took a break and we spent some time outside enjoying the sun and warmth of a beautiful February day.  These are the days we look forward to out here in Tucson.

This is how I feel sometime:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lazy Sunday

We had plans to go back and get some more photos of the Budweiser Clydesdale horses today, however they weren't in the stables.  They had left for a racetrack somewhere but we don't know where.  Ok, change of plans.

We continued on to Tubac to check out the Festival down there.  When we arrived in the area it was a mess of cars, police cars, blocked roads and a lot of confusion.  High priced parking a long way from the festival and it turned both us off in stopping there.  

We drove right past the area and went south of there to check out a geocache.  This cache was placed there by an eighty year old lady who is an active geocacher.  Her placement of this cache was very interesting and showed some imagination.  If you look closely, you can see the cache above the huge bed outside of a gift shop.  We stopped to take a picture of the bed first and look for the cache second.  I should have checked the picture to help find the cache, but we found it anyway.  Hidden in plain sight.  Neat!

On our way back to the RV we drove through one of the many Border Patrol checkpoints a few miles from the border.  Since everyone knows where the checkpoints are, it seems it would be easy to avoid one.  We saw a lot of evidence of that when we were about 400 yards in the desert looking for a cache.  The area looked like a huge dumping area of backpacks, clothes, water bottles, dirty diapers and all kinds of trash that the illegals dump along the way.  What a mess and you have to see it to believe how bad the problem is in Arizona.

So, that was our lazy Sunday in Arizona.  Oh, BTW: we had the a/c on in the car due to the mid 80s temperature today.  Love it.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

RVs & Horses

La Mesa RV had a show at the Pima County Fairgrounds today and Gerry, Ron K and I went over to check out their wares.  They only had 7 or 8 diesel pushers, lots of trailers and 5th wheel units, gas MHs and lots of used stuff.  We checked  out the units that interested us and left after a hour or so of looking.

Cousin Sharon and Al are staying at the Fairgrounds in their 5th wheel unit and we dropped by and had a couple beers with them.  They were sitting outside enjoying the warmth, sun and just taking it easy.  We visited with them for a while and setup a dinner date with them for next week.

As we were leaving the Fairgrounds we noticed the Budweiser Clydesdale trailers by a horse barn.  We went into the barn and were up close and personal with those huge and beautiful animals.  Man, they are huge.  They were being fed at the time and pretty much ignored us and we just admired them.  The handler said to not pet them while they were eating.  Not sure why, but we refrained from petting them.  

The Dalmation dog who rides with them was in the area also running around loose.  He was courting a dog on a leash and the couple were trying to discourage him, but it wasn't working too well for them.   

The handler said they would be hooked up and out on display at 2pm on Sunday so we plan on going back again to get some more photos.  

We got home in time to grab a bite to eat and then go to the Rec Hall and listen to Betsy Rose play music and a little comedy routine.  As usual she did a great job.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Crafts & Caches

Gerry finished working on her craft project and she wrapped up the work today.  I will include some pictures next week on the project to let you see what she accomplished.  

Ron K stopped by for a visit this afternoon and we had a nice chat.  He was coming back from his longest walk in a long time.  He said he was tired but feeling better since he began walking again.  '

He inspired me to go for a walk today also.  Except in my case I convinced Gerry to go with me to search for some geocaches.  There have been a few new ones in the area and along with some older ones we went on our quest.  We found six of them in a couple hours and enjoyed some nice walks in the desert.  Most of the caches today were neat and some thought put into their placement.  Those are the fun kind to find.  We are up to 724 caches discovered and on our way to 800 by months end.  That is, if I can get Gerry out there helping me.  Stay tuned.

The nice weather has returned and we were in t-shirts today searching for the caches.  Not hot enough to bring out the creepy critters, so that is a good thing.  I don't really like to traipse around the desert when it gets hot out here.  If I do, I will have to wear my hearing aids in case one of the critters send me a warning.  When that happens, we will concentrate on caches in the city area.  Nice to have a plan.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Crafty Lady

We have been hanging around the MH while Gerry finishes up some craft work that is almost done.  The job should be finished early Friday morning and hopefully we can do something important like go geocaching.  There have been a number of new caches placed in the area and they are begging to be found.  We will see how it goes in the morning.

We sat outside and enjoyed happy hour with our neighbors Steve & Judy and then we were joined by their friends Dave & Jackie from Minnesota.  When the sun sets around here the temperature drops quite dramatically and this evening was no exception.  We all had to put on jackets and then continued with happy hour.  Jackie brought some shrimp out and they disappeared very fast.

Finally it was time for dinner and we broke up the party.  It was nice chatting with them and sampling some almond tequila, which was quite good.  It went down very smoothly.  

Gerry fixed some stuffed peppers and we had them for dinner.  They were great as usual and I wound up stuffed much like the peppers.  Super.  I wish I had more will power, but then I couldn't enjoy them as much.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Superbowl Sunday

Gerry and I stocked the motorhome with goodies and drinks for the Superbowl between the Green Bay Packers & Pittsburgh Steelers.  For a change it was a good game and wasn't decided until the final minute.  The Packers overcame a number of injuries in the game and still played well enough to win.  I always pull for the NFC in the superbowl so I was happy to see Green Bay win the game.  

NOTE:  If Dallas is playing in the superbowl I root for the other team.  The Cowboys are just below rooting for the Baltimore Ravens.  I don't know for sure who would be my favorite between these two teams.  I just hope and pray they never meet in the superbowl.  LOL

I read a number of blogs and find it amusing that those who didn't watch the game made it a point of saying so.  At least they were well aware the game was being played.

The pregame singers were terrible in my opinion and I can't figure out why they don't just sing the songs like they were meant to be sung.  The halftime group was beyond words in my estimation.  I couldn't understand them, the song or anything about them.  Thank God for the mute button.  I never have figured out why they don't get some good entertainment for halftime or just have a couple good marching bands play like they used to do at games.

I must be getting old, real old.  I still like football but all the showtime stuff during the game doesn't interest me.  Just play the game.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Who said anything about Gourds?

We went out to dinner last night with neighbors Judy & Steve along with their granddaughter Kayla.  Over the course of the dinner Steve mentioned they were going to the Wuertz Farm Gourd Festival at the Pinal County Fairgrounds.  We had talked about the festival earlier and they invited us to go with them.  Great.  We accepted the invitation and left early today for the 80 mile trip up there.

We went to the festival two years ago and had a great time and were looking forward to going again.  It looked like a lot of other people had the same idea since the parking lot was almost full at noon.  Steve parked the truck in the last row and we headed onto the fairgrounds.  Since we have been there before, we made a beeline for the main area where the stands were.  Some of the same vendors had the same spot as before, however they had mostly new gourds.  

I took 101 pictures and have narrowed them down to a collage to make it easier to see them.  We did get out there this year a lot cheaper than the last time when Gerry bought a number of gourds.  Whew!

We stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner on the way back and it was a madhouse there.  The Gem Show crowd must have had the same idea as we did and the place was packed.  We really lucked out and got in quickly, however those behind us had a wait.  As usual, the food was great and we walked out stuffed.  

I hope the collage turns out to be viewable.  Let me know.

The weather has turned around and we had a nice sunny day at the Fairgrounds.  It will be warming up and be in the 70s by Tuesday.  Hopefully the bitter cold weather is behind us and things will be back to normal.  We did fine through it all other than burning a lot of propane and I am afraid to see our electric bill for the month.  Cost of doing business.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Coming out of the Ice Age!

The weatherman was correct once again.  I am beginning to hate him for these cold forecasts.  It got down to 14 degrees last night and we came through it fine without any problems.  The outside faucet froze and thawed out around 10am and the MH pipes seem to be fine.

The forecast for tonight is a low of 27 which will seem like a heat wave and it gets warmer every day for the next week.  Maybe we can get back to our normal temp range and enjoy "Happy Hour" outside by Tuesday.  

I have been watching the events in Cairo the past few days with a lot of interest.  I was on a TDY there in 1979 and loved Cairo even with all of it's problems, poverty, etc.  Tahrir Square was on my route home every day and the Museum is there and was a popular place for me to visit.  The Egyptians were friendly and outgoing to Americans at this time.  I still remember them walking up to me and saying "Jeemmy  Carter" over and over.  Hopefully this will work out for the Egyptians and they can move forward positively.  Hope for, but not expected. 

Gerry joined me there for 3 weeks and we toured all over the place along with working a regular schedule.  Saw all the tourist places and loved the restaurants.  Introduced to Hummus and still love it.  The Step Pyramids at over 4500 years old were impressive.  Took around 500 35mm slides and watch them when I get a chance.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Brrrrrrrr. It's cold

Well, the weather man was correct on this forecast.  It looks like it will be down to 18 degrees or lower tonight.  It is 22 at 11pm and falling like a rock.  We have a 1/2 tank of propane and an electric heater so we should be fine.  Motor homes don't hold the heat very well and are drafty so we will be happy when it warms up.

I disconnected the outside water hose and drained the hoses so they wouldn't freeze tonight.  Plus there is a 100 watt light in the water pipe area to help keep it somewhat warm.  Hope that is enough or we will have a mess on our hands.  Other RVers have been down around 9 at night and not have a problem so hoping for the best.

Ah, the joys of full timing in a motor home.

We stayed in the Florida Keys for 11 years and those scenes are looking better every day.  This is what it looked like in the Keys in February 2005.   We were in Bahia Honda State Park and parked right on the Gulf of Mexico side of the key.  

We left behind this scene in our back yard in Maryland to enjoy the warmth of Florida.  What do you think, was it a good decision on our part. 

Our friends Carolyn & Mann are traveling from Conroe, TX to South Florida and made camp this evening at a Corp Of Engineers ( COE ) park in Chattahoochee, FL.  We camped there in late October 2010 on our way out to Tucson.  It was a great campground and we enjoyed our stay there.  He sent me a picture of his MH parked at the campground and asked if I knew where he was.  I did.  Hard to forget a beautiful campground.  I tried to get them to come out here and visit but they had another agenda.  Darn!