Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!



Yesterday was another full day. I got such a late start that I didn’t get a walk, so I vacuumed instead. It was noon time by the time I got that done and went in the house. I did the laundry, the new jacket on delicate, along with the stuff I forgot the day before, namely my jammies. Then I started to swap out the light fixture over the sink, but wasn’t sure which wire went to which, there were no instructions and the wire colors didn't match up, and went and got Howard. We got the fixture installed, and then I pulled the bulb from the stove light so I could get an LED replacement for that. We also tried to disassemble the old fixture to see if I could modify the fixture and put the new LED bulbs in, but you can’t get the thing apart without breaking it. :(  Which means, my bulbs are useless, $350 wasted, and I will have to just replace the fixtures. I can probably sell the new LED bulbs and the old fixtures at Q, so that is what the plan is. I can’t afford to replace all the light fixtures, so I am going to do one in each room. I just ordered two, one for the bunk area, and one for the dining/kitchen area. The bathroom light is different and can be modified, so I will use two of my bulbs in there, keep a couple as spares and sell the rest.

We did not get the TV antenna done. That is today’s goal. We decided since this week has been so busy, to put off Mexico until next week - Tuesday or Thursday. Might even have my new glasses by then. We did go grocery shopping. I was out of everything. Spent a small fortune. I got some swai, a white fish that is sold out here instead of haddock. I had some of that when I was in Hallsville. Sandra cooked it with veggies and stuff. I also got a package of pre cooked chicken strips, a chuck roast that I just cut up into mini steaks, and some burger. Plus lots of fruits and veggies. I have a baby watermelon and another melon of some sort that I need to cut up and bag. I just finished the meats, taking a little break. :)

I asked about a McDonalds within walking distance so I could get some free wifi. I hate to use my pay per gig for updates. There is one about a half mile or so away. I’m going to walk in that direction this morning to check it out. Today is bill paying day and I will need to power up the big computer. But when I do that, it does all it’s updates and uses lots of bandwidth, so I will have to make sure my wifi is off when I power it up. I don’t really need that one to go online to do what I need to do.

I popped a circuit breaker here last night. I had forgotten to turn off the water heater and the AC was on. Thankfully, it was a breaker and not a fuse. It made fixing it a whole lot easier.

Kali Cat is fine. Howard says she looks good. They have had a few quality moments together. She didn’t get to go out yesterday, but I plan on letting her out for a few today.

I can’t wait for my scooter to get here. I will need to buy a helmet and a lock for it. But I can get those locally. I feel I got a good deal on the scooter, I just hope it is everything I need it to be and not a total waste of money. A good starter bike.

I bought a self healing inner tube for the bicycle tire the other day, and should go and get a second one for the rear tire. If one goats head wrecked one tire, it will probably do the other as well. And I need a better hand pump. Howard has one he got at Harbor Freight for about ten bucks. Looking forward to going to Harbor Freight. 

I really need to start selling some jewelry and stuff to compensate for some of the money I have spent since being on the road. It makes me very nervous having all this money go out, and none coming in. Plus, I need to get back into jewelry making mode, Christmas is coming and I haven’t made anything in months. I need to promote my online shopping cart… https://squareup.com/market/critters-and-creations  and get some new stuff listed.  I just added the link to the top of the page. 

I also just added some of the blogs that I follow in case anyone might be interested in reading some other blogs. 

I'm off for a walk. Have fun!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Scooter search and order

Another busy day yesterday. I got in a 2.47 mile walk around a few blocks in the morning, then in the afternoon, we went looking for scooters, cat food and my eye appointment.

Barbara almost brought home another dog from Pet Smart, but there was another lady there before her, and she took him. He was really cute, soft and full of energy. I looked at the cats they had, but that is it. I wouldn’t bring in another cat with KC after seeing how she reacted to Gypsy. And as much as I like dogs, I don’t want one.

Anyway, we went to about five different places looking at scooters, only one had anything even close to what I need, and they were more expensive than I wanted to pay, and I guess even if they are under 50cc,  you still have to register them. I don’t want to deal with all that crap. So, this morning, I bit the bullet and made a decision, and ordered an electric one online. It has pedals, which eliminates the need to register and insure it. It is considered an electric bike. This is what I chose…


Gio Trooper 500w electric scooter. 

I still need to get a helmet, and I guess I will have to hang around until it arrives. About an extra week. But there are worse places to have to sit and wait. At least I have power and water. Maybe we will even get the TV situation taken care of by then. I hate buying big stuff sight unseen, and I hope I am happy with it. If not, I will sell it and look for something else. This one cost me $1300. Less than the gas powered ones, less than the one I considered on Amazon, but more than the bottom of the line scooters. No license and registration or insurance needed, and since it is electric, for now, it will have to ride inside with the rest of us. It will be a pain in the ass loading and unloading, but once I hit Q, I won’t have to do that for a while and will probably have a hitch rack of some sort figured out by then. I’m planning on lightening the load, so hopefully the tool box will be gone by spring.

My eyes are fine. The doctor did the dilation drops since I have the diabetes thing going on. And I am glad my appointment was late in the day, because that finished my day for me. As of the time I went to sleep, they were still dilated. I haven’t looked this morning, but have been outside already and I wasn’t squinting, so I guess I am good. :) I have new glasses coming, another $200, plus $68 for the exam, and they should be here next week. I will wear them a few days and see how they are, and if I am happy with them, will order a spare pair online, or maybe some sunglasses for driving. And yes, I now have bifocals. I ordered the transition lenses with the photo sensitive tint. An all in one kind of deal. Will definitely take some getting used to. 

Today I am going to try to get a walk in. I am getting a very late start due to the scooter search and ordering, and then I want to swap out the light over the kitchen sink. Howard is supposed to help with the antenna later. Might do some grocery shopping too. I am out of all of my perishables and freezer food. Although I do have ice. :) That takes up half the freezer. 

I have been having dinner with Howard and Barbara, but need to feed myself at lunch time. It has to be something quick and easy. It is very nice not having to cook for a change.

I even got a load of laundry done, but need to do another. The jacket I bought is hand wash, but I am going to toss it in the machine on delicate, and throw yesterday’s clothes in too along with my night clothes which I forgot to do yesterday. 

Supposedly, the place we are going in Mexico is completely safe. Lots of people go there for dental, medical, prescriptions, etc., because it is so much less expensive. I am hoping to do a little xmas shopping while I am there. But we’ll see. At least I will get lots of pictures. It will probably be my only trip across the border, and I can say that I have done that. I found out last night that the lunch we had at the casino was in California, so I can say I have been there too. But at some point, I will go to one of the BLM parks as my pass for Q is good in CA too. Maybe before I head north in the spring.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tour of Yuma and the prison

Was a full day yesterday. Barbara was ready to go at 10, and off we went. She gave me the grand tour of down town Yuma, and we stopped at a thrift shop, and then went and toured the old prison. That was kind of fun. I got lots of photos, but haven’t transferred them yet. I will try to get them processed today if I can.

We had lunch at the Paradise Casino, criss crossed the California border a couple of times, and did a fair amount of driving around. I took a little break when we got back before Howard and I went to the hardware store for the coax for the TV, and then Wal Mart for me to pick up a few other things I had on my list. 

Got the new coax cable hooked up, but it didn’t help much. I tried watching a little TV last night, but it started irritating me, so I turned it off. I am going to disconnect it today, and hopefully get the new TV antenna that arrived yesterday, installed. I am hoping that will make a huge difference. I also got the LED light fixture for over the sink and hope to get that installed too. Then I want to try and fix the one that smoked and use it to start replacing, one by one, the old fixtures with the new LED bulbs I got a while back. If I can’t fix it, at least I will have a new LED light over the sink. One is better than none. I will get the others modified at some point.

I went to the Verizon store to see about wifi. I didn’t buy anything. They want me to switch my phone, turn in my old phone that works just fine, and sign up for two years. Cost, $190 a month.  I can’t commit to that. Granted, I would have a lot more internet, maybe even enough, but it is just too much money and too long to commit without any income. I think I am going to stay with my prepaid for a while. Things are changing in the mobie wifi world, so I think if I am patient, it will be worth the wait. I will just have to be a little more thrifty with my usage.

I picked up a couple of sweatshirts and a pair of jeans at the thrift shop along with one dressy jacket thing. I need to wash everything, and I am due to do laundry anyway, so I need to squeak that in sometime. I have access to a washer and dryer here, so the only thing I will have to do by hand is the jacket thing.

Got my tire covers too. The little tent garage thing I ordered yesterday is on back order, so I am canceling that. Tomorrow Howard and I are going to look at scooters. I’m hoping I find something I like, and isn’t too heavy. I can’t carry it on the back right now because of the tool box, so it will have to come inside for the hour and a half ride to Q. Friday, we are all going to Mexico. That will be fun. I will make sure I have at least one camera and a spare battery for that outing. I didn’t have a camera yesterday and had to use my phone. 

Today is grocery shopping and eye appointment. And I need to walk. I haven’t walked since I have been here, and I ate way too much yesterday, and foods that I normally don’t eat. I have had french fries twice this week, so I can’t have any more for a while. Last night was spaghetti and sausage with garlic bread and a salad. I ate it all. It was very good, but not the best food for my diet and my health. Plus, I stuffed myself. 

Still need to figure out where to get my A1C checked before I leave, but don’t need to do everything the first few days. 

It hit the 90’s yesterday. But it has been cooling down to the lower 60’s at night, so I turn off the AC and open up the doors and windows. I even used a blanket part of the night last night. I am waking up a couple of times a night, still adjusting to the fourth time change since I started.

We talked about Jake some yesterday. It was nice to be able to talk about him, but I had another one of those Jake leaving me dreams this morning. Those leave me hurting and upset all over again, and it takes me hours to shed the emotions. I haven’t had one of those in a long time. And they make me miss him all over again. Every one of those dreams are different, yet they are all the same. And they all have the same effect. And I do miss him, every single day.

There is a feral chicken on Ody’s roof right now. Something scared them. Strange… :) Ody will definitely need a bath when we leave here, and she already needed one. 

I’m going to have to get rid of some more stuff when I get settled at Q. I’m thinking another yard sale. I have a bunch of stuff I am hauling around, that is just taking up space. Plus, I need to rearrange my cupboards and pull out stuff I am not using and put in stuff I do use. It is getting too crowded in here. I am in hopes of clearing one of the bunks and to be able to use it as a bunk, and get my dinette up and useable in the front. That will open things up quite a bit. I do spend as much time outside as I can, but there will be times I will be stuck inside, and it is hard to move around in here. I am constantly moving stuff around to be able to function.

Well, I need to get myself moving so I can get a walk in before we go grocery shopping. It is nice and cool right now. Not sure which direction I will head in, but will take my camera. 

Kali Cat is eating well. She is getting a can of food a day and asking for more. Not sure if I should give her more or not. Will have to do a little research on that. Maybe a hand full of dry kibble for between meals won't hurt too much. I hate to see her asking for food, and she is skinny and can afford to gain a little weight. Maybe there is a pet store here where I can buy some UTI specific dry food. I would feel better about giving her dry food then. I know when Char Lee had her UTI, she was put on Science Diet, and it worked. I will have to ask. Or maybe the grocery store has it. I know Wal Mart doesn't, I have looked.

The sun is up, time to get moving!

Here are yesterday's photos and this morning's walk...
https://plus.google.com/photos/118406578374225960662/albums/6075672820671027505

Workout: Walk
Date: Oct 29, 2014
Distance: 2.47 mi
Duration: 49:19
I lost about ten minutes because I didn't pause the app when I went into a store... To view 'Walked 2.47 mi on 10/29/14', follow the link below:
http://www.mapmywalk.com/view_workout?w=780231355

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ahhh..Yuma

Made it to Yuma in just about three hours. Being so tired, it is a good thing I drove the extra miles the day before, and am happy I didn’t have to yesterday.

After a little rearranging, we got Ody in and parked for the duration. Hooked up to water, electric and satellite TV. I only got four channels on my antenna, and they were all in spanish. Although I didn’t get to watch DWTS and Castle last night. I somehow got myself in to Sirius Radio and couldn’t figure out how to get back. The TV feed was full of static and was pushing all my buttons last night anyway, so I guess it is just as well. I will get a different coax cable today and see if that makes a difference.



I have a bunch of stuff I want to do while I am here. I already have an appointment for my eyes tomorrow and will most likely be getting new glasses. I want to get my A1C checked, and I want to look at towable cars. Howard can help with that. Today Barbara and I are going grocery shopping and maybe visit the prison.  I also want to go the Verizon store and see about getting a different wifi plan. This one is costing way too much. No free wifi here. 

It is still hot here in Yuma and is supposed to warm up as the week progresses. Thankfully, I can run the AC on the 15 amp service, as long as I don’t run anything else like the water heater or the microwave or coffee maker. If I need to run any of those, I will have to turn off the AC. I turned it off before I went to sleep last night and opened up the door and windows and turned on my fans. I slept quite well. Woke up a couple of times, but went back to sleep. I needed it. I am grateful to have the power to be able to run the AC.

Kali Cat went out for a little while yesterday. First time since Magnolia beach. The yard here is completely enclosed, so I don’t think she will go far, and it is quite a large yard. I won’t let her out unless I am out there with her, and she can’t go out when Peanut (the dog) is out because he doesn’t like cats. But she had that sniffing thing going on where the mouth is open. She looks so funny when she does that. 

She rode well yesterday, no accidents. Yay. The next ride will only be an hour and a half, and then we will be in for the winter other than going out to get water and propane. I have switched the fridge over to electric and will fill the propane before I head to Q. If I only use that for the fridge, I should get a couple months out of a tank.

Was really nice to be able to use my Keurig this morning. The french press is ok, but I don’t care for the grounds in my coffee, and it is a pain in the ass to clean out every day. And to try and keep the grounds from going down the drain.

Just tracked the rest of my packages, and they should be here today. My new TV antenna, the new light fixture for over the sink, and a couple other things. Oh, my tire covers too. Time to concentrate on some wheels. Either two or four. Haven’t decided which. If I go with two, I will need to get the scooter ordered today or tomorrow. I don’t really want to over stay my welcome here. Maybe there is some place I can just buy one here instead of ordering it. Two would be a lot less expensive and easier to haul, but it will also limit how far I can go and how much I can carry. Four would be a lot more expensive, but would open up the range and load considerably. I'm thinking for now tho, I should start with a scooter, then upgrade after the jeep sells.

I just ordered a tent style bike storage unit. I will need some outdoor storage at Q, and this will go up and down like a tent. Fully enclosed, unlike my screen house. I may use that too as an extra room, and maybe will get KC adjusted to being in it. She won’t be able to be loose there, coyotes everywhere that kill anything. Just read this morning about someones dog that got killed by a coyote last night.  I will figure it all out as I go.

Well, if I am going to be dressed and ready to go shopping, I need to get moving. The water is hot, time for a shower in my own shower. :) 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Rough night.

A bad night for sleeping. Too warm. I finally got my 12v fan out, but it drained the solar gen, and of course I woke up. Went to sleep early, was dark by 6, I think I was asleep by 8, and woke up at 1 AM, and pretty much have been up since then. Kali Cat was off and on the bed all night, I think she was too warm too.

I want to be on the road by 7:30, it is already getting light out. Will be nice to park and have power, will be able to run my electric fans. Even if I can’t use the AC, the fans make a huge difference. I will also be able to put the fridge on electric which will save the last of my propane. It is down to it’s last mark.

Nice dinner from the cracker Barrel last night. Did a little xmas shopping too. I love their stuff! I might go back in before I leave and pick up a couple more things.

Not much else to write about.  228 miles today, around three hours. Should be there and hooked up before noon if all goes well. Will start looking for a set of wheels while I am there. 


Time to wash up and get ready to hit the road.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bypassed Benson, straight to Tucson

Was a good day driving, not too much traffic, although the last hundred miles were pretty windy. So I decided to keep going, past Benson, and on to Tucson. I'm at the Cracker Barrel Country Store and Restaurant, but the lot is full. It is Sunday afternoon, and I think I gained an hour when I crossed the Arizona border, so it is lunch time here. I will get a spot for the night when a one opens up.

Planning on an early dinner, and hope to head out fairly early in the morning. 228 miles before I hit Yuma, where I will be for a week or so.

Headed towards Yuma

I'm getting a late start this morning. Have only been up a little while, but really want to get a shower before I hit the road. Kali Cat has had her dry kibble, her pre-ride breakfast. She finished the last of her meds last night. That should save me a few scratches on my leg, won't take as long to fix her dinner.

Considered trying to reach the Cracker Barrel in Tucson today, but it is about 50 miles further than I can comfortably drive. Checked out Benson, but the Wal Mart there is a no park, as is most of them along route 10. So with a little more searching, I found this site...
http://www.findfuelstops.com/truck-stop-on-I-10 I found a Love's Truck Stop that welcomes RV's, so that is my target for today. That will get me almost half way to Yuma. I should pull in to Barbara and Howard's drive way some time tomorrow afternoon, unless I get a really early start in the morning. This Love's also has propane, so I can get that filled while I am there. Get all gassed up and ready to leave early in the AM. They have a deli too so I won't have to worry about fixing dinner. I'm looking forward to having electricity for a few days.

Denise arrived yesterday. She has a huge class A, a toad and a Harley. She reminds me of a friend of mine, and I like her. She is a character. She is also the first Canadian I have met in this journey. She will be at Q in a couple of weeks, as will Barbara and  most everyone else I have met so far. I also met Doug, who has a 5'er and is parked on the other side of the primitive area. He showed us his rig, it is very nice, and his new solar setup. I really have to get serious about solar when I hit Q. I don't need a lot, just enough to keep the house batter topped off.

I got my bike ride in late yesterday. Was still a lot of work, but played with the gears and found one that was fairly comfortable. Got it hung back up on the back and all secured and ready to go. Will have to deal with the tire at some point. And get a better hand pump.

Took my first NORMAL BP reading yesterday. I don't know how accurate  my little machine is, but I usually get pre-hypertensive. So that was a bright spot in my day. Just did my Sunday blood sugar, and that is below 100 (96) for the first time in a very long time, and I feel OK. It is right where it is supposed to be.

Well, if I am going to get on the road before 10, I need to get moving. Shower, securing, walk around, etc. Then I get the fun job of dumping my tanks, haven't decided if I am going to fill my fresh water tank yet, that is an additional stop. Probably won't need it between now and Yuma...


Saturday, October 25, 2014

A flat tire.

My front tire on my bike was completely flat yesterday morning. I pulled a goats head thorn out of it. Has to be the culprit. I hauled out my 12v extension and started to pump it up, and the extension blew a fuse. Tried plugging it in to the 12v on the solar gen, and it didn’t work, although I may have forgotten to hit the on switch. Will have to try it again. Ended up using the cab plug again.
I got the tire inflated and went for a two mile ride. Made it there and back (the end of the road) before the tire went flat again. Will have to pump it up again this morning, and hope that I can do the two miles before it goes flat. If I did it yesterday, I should be able to do it again today unless I picked up some more goats heads. It still winded me, and was a lot of work. Different muscles, more effort. I have buss fuses on my shopping list for the 12v extension. Will get a little bit bigger one this time. 

Visited with Al and Sylvia briefly while out on my ride. And stopped pretty much in the same spot on the way back. I had thought I would take a walk later, but it got hot and I spent the afternoon reading. Visited with Barbara for a little while in the morning. Other than that, it was a very quiet day. Denise should be pulling in some time today. I am looking forward to meeting her. Have been following her blog for a while now.

Today I start gearing up to roll tomorrow. Will hang the bike and get it secured when I get back, and start lashing and securing.

I finally bit the bullet and ordered my tire covers this morning. I also ordered a new TV antenna to replace the one on the roof. I can get channels, but am having a hard time keeping them. They break up and freeze and it is really annoying. I’m hoping I will be able to sell the passive one I got while I was in Hallsville.

I wore my new camo cargo shorts again yesterday, the smaller size, and somewhere in the middle of the day, I got it in my head to check the sizes again. These shorts were much tighter than the kaki ones I wore the day before. Well, there is a good reason for that, they are a whole size smaller. That means the two pair in the next size down are actually two sizes down from what I had planned on buying. Duh. Not sure how I managed that, thought I had the right size fixed in my head, but I screwed up. But if I continue to loose weight, it might be a good screw up. This also means that the last two pair I bought are five sizes smaller than I was wearing in IP. So at the moment, I have one pair that fits perfectly, one pair that is tight, and one pair that is loose. Then the two I can’t fit into yet. I can live with that.

Kali Cat is eating very well the last few days. She had a half can of food in the morning, and was bugging me to be fed mid day, so I gave her a very small hand full of dry food. Then another half can with her meds at dinner. I’m happy to see her eating so well. Another day with the door open (and night this time too) with no accidents. I am grateful we seem to be past that stage, although I will close the door when we roll. Keep any accidents contained in a smaller area. I will also put the pee pad down again just in case.

We only have about three more days of travel. Two to Yuma, and then one from Yuma to Quartzsite. Once we hit Q, it will be weekly trips to dump tanks and refill water. Nothing that should upset her too much. Then we won’t be moving around much until March(ish).

Was reading about receiving mail in Q this morning. I may just rent a PO box for the season. That would be the easiest thing to do. 

Checked my blood pressure last night, it’s good. I think I am going to set up a reminder on my calendar to check my blood sugar once a week instead of random checks. Now that I don’t have to do it every day, I forget. 

Guess it is time I get myself moving. I don’t like getting this late of a start, but that seems to be what my pattern is. As long as I get out and get my exercise before it gets too hot, I’m good. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Biking is harder than walking! Who knew?

Quite a busy day yesterday and a darned good workout. Took a while to get the bike down, I had so many straps on it, it wasn’t going anywhere! Of course, the tires needed air, and the little hand pump is a piece of crap, so I had to dig out my 12v pump, and then find a place to plug it in. Tires got aired up and off I went. I rode up to the Family Dollar Store so I could get a couple more pair of shorts. It was pretty ambitious for a first ride, three miles round trip, and it just about killed me. I will ride again today, but only about two miles. I have to build up to it. I still think the bike is too small, I should have gone with the 26 inch instead of the 24 inch. But it will have to do. For now.



Anyway, I bought three pair of shorts, one, the same size as the smaller pair I bought the other day, and two pair one size smaller. Can’t wear them yet, but maybe in a month if this weight loss continues. I am already smaller than I have been in years!  I hope it continues now that I have become aware of it. I also got another package of the t-shirts. I should be good for a while now. I will put away all the shorts that are too big for me now. Somewhere, somehow. Although I should just get rid of them.

When I got back, I rested for a little while, it was a real work out and is much more difficult than walking. Then I went and got my shower. That felt really, really good. I deployed the awning and got that set up for shade and for clothes drying. Hauled a couple five gallon buckets of water, one wash and one rinse, and did my laundry. Doing laundry by hand is a work out too. I hadn’t kept up with it because I thought I was leaving sooner and would have a washer and dryer to use, but I needed some of the clothes and I hate having laundry pile up.



I managed yesterday’s ride without hurting my back. My shoulder twinged a little, but I think doing the laundry worked that out. It seems to be fine this morning. If I do end up buying a different bike, I will look for a lighter weight one. I have a really hard time lifting this one, it is very heavy. Steel frame instead of aluminum. I haven’t figured out all the gears yet either. I have no idea why I would need 16 of them. Maybe I will see if they still make three speeds.

I really don’t have much this morning. I’m fine, KC is fine. :) Gonna have to start thinking about rolling in the next day or so. I see on Denise’s blog that she hit Roswell yesterday, so she should pull in today. Maybe I will pull out tomorrow after having met her, and hit Yuma on Sunday. I’m ready for some company and some entertainment. (And hookups.)

I just ordered three more of the parasheets from LLB so I will be able to completely enclose the awning. I can also use them on the screen house, or whatever else I need to create shade with. I was using sarongs, but they are made of rayon, and won’t hold up to the sun and weather. The parasheet I currently have also works on the umbrella quite well. Which is what I have been using here. They are basically tarps made from parachute material. Should last a while and they pack up nice and small and are multipurpose. Not cheap tho.

I did not ride up to the little restaurant for dinner last night. I had an omelet (or what was supposed to be an omelet, it fell apart) instead. I didn’t want to push my luck and over do it. And I wasn’t motivated enough. I had already had my exercise for the day.

Jenn just posted some new DG photos. It is coming right along. Will be really strange if I ever go back there to not see my little building. I owned that place for 10 years and lived in it for a couple of years. I have been saving all the photos that people have been posting and will put together a collage or something when it is finished. I won’t miss all the water, and the heating bills and issues that an ancient building has. My current home is much nicer than the building, but considerably smaller. 



Tomorrow, the 25th, I will have been on the road two months. Wow. It has gone fast. Has been a real experience. :) Will be settling in for the winter shortly. Then it will be a whole new learning experience.

Well, if I am going to get my ride in before it warms up, I should probably get moving.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Another three miles and a ruined fort

I walked another three miles yesterday. I hadn’t planned on it, but when I hit the end of the road, there was a path going in the opposite direction than I went the day before, so I just kept walking. I discovered the Fort Selden Ruins and wandered around there for a while taking pictures. It was a nice find and I got in a little culture at the same time. Picked up some literature and took lots of pictures. It is always nice when a walk produces a surprise like that.





I am developing blisters on both feet from all the walking tho. So I am not going to walk much today. I may finally take the bike down and ride instead. I would like to go back to the dollar store and get a couple more pair of shorts, next size down. For the price, it would certainly be worth it. I wore the smaller new pair all day yesterday along with one of the new T-shirts. Tighter than what I am used to, but definitely not too tight. 

Barbara tells me that Denise, another blog I have been following for a while, is coming in in the next couple of days, so I have decided to wait until Sunday to head for Yuma. I want to meet Denise, and I am not on a fixed schedule.  Problem is, I hadn’t planned on staying that long and now need to deal with laundry and I am definitely low on food and water. I have enough food in the freezer and in canned goods to get thru, but the water was another story. Ran into Al and Sylvia while I was out walking, and they have a toad, so I asked them if they would pick up a couple gallons of drinking water for me if they went out. When I got back from walking, there was a case of bottled water sitting by the door I went over later to reimburse them and visited for a little while. Very nice people. I like them. I hope I will be able to find them in Q. Would like to visit with them some more.

I used up the last of my turnip greens and precooked frozen shrimp last night. I still have the raw shrimp I bought in Rockport, some of Anthony’s greens in the freezer, some cheese and eggs, mushrooms and peppers. I won’t starve. But the garlic shrimp with turnip greens stir fry is really good and easy to do. Top it with some feta (which I am now out of), and it is very good. The dollar store has some grocery items, but no fresh veggies. Maybe a frittata tonight. I will have to run the generator to run an oven. Either the convection oven or my little toaster oven. Both will require some rearranging.

I should probably look at a map and see how far away town is, and which direction. It might be close enough to bike to.

Laundry is going to be a bit more of a challenge here. Since I am in the primitive (free) area, there are no picnic enclosures and no place to hang a clothes line. So once I get them washed, not sure where I will hang them to dry. No trees big enough to hold a line. There is a water spigot over here so I can fill my wash buckets. I will figure out something. I guess I should invest in a clothes rack of some sort. I do have an indoor line I put up, but am not hanging dripping wet clothes indoors. I could crank out the awning for an afternoon and use that to hang the clothes on. I haven’t been using the awning because when the wind comes up, it is pretty heavy, and replacing a ten dollar umbrella is a lot less expensive than replacing an awning. I have been using the umbrella that I bought in Falmouth every day along with the LLB sail cloth thing I have as a sun block. Just clip it to the umbrella. Works pretty good.

I have built up my endurance for walking and can do about a mile and a half radius now. Maybe I can do the same thing for my bike. That will allow me to go further afield and see more and do more. 

Howard says it is still in the 90’s in Yuma, which means it is still quite warm in Q. So another few days here will be nice. Nights are in the lower 50’s, days have been in the upper 70’s. Although each day is getting a little warmer. Almost perfect weather. Cool for sleeping and warm for being outside. I am outside as much as I possibly can be. After years of being stuck indoors, it is really nice having sunshine and warm temps when it would normally be cold and nasty. 

I have spent a lot of money on gas, but my other expenses are definitely lower. And once I hit Q, the gas expense will be minimal since I will only be using it for the generator. My propane is holding up quite well, but will have to top it off before Q. I only use it for the fridge. Have been using my butane cooktop for cooking and heating coffee water. Although, I had to use the propane yesterday morning because the butane ran out just as I fired it up, and the full cans were in the outside compartment. This time I grabbed an extra to keep under the sink so I will have a replacement if that happens again. Not going out digging around in the dark at 4 AM.

Running the generator about once a day. Mainly to charge up the solar gen so I can watch TV and charge my phone. Have been using the solar panel during the day and topping it off with the big generator around dinner time. I ordered an extension cable for the solar panel because the cable is way too short. It doesn’t allow me to move the panel as the sun moves, but then again, I could move the whole thing…might try that today. See if I can get it to top off with sunshine only. That would be really nice.

I used my cast iron dutch oven on the cook top the other day to “bake” a piece of chicken. I didn’t get sick, so I guess it worked. :) It wasn’t crispy like I like it, but was edible. Maybe chicken isn’t the best thing to do that with. Will have to experiment. I also switched back to my cast iron frying pan for my stir frys. Was using the stainless camp set I got back in Augusta, but I can’t seem to cook without everything sticking. But this creates a logistics issue. To keep the cast iron pan handy and not a pain in the ass to get to every day, I will have to do a little rearranging. I do have to say, I am feeling a little cramped in here. I will work it out eventually tho.

Howard and Barbara have offered the use of a little car while I am there, so I will get some running around done. I should find a clinic and get my A1C, weight, and blood pressure checked, and I can buy my BLM pass at the office in Yuma too. They are going to show me around, which will be nice too. Will be nice to actually do something. The BLM pass is good in both Arizona and California, so I may head in that direction at some point. Thinking Wisconsin next summer, maybe. It is closer than Maine or VT. And will be much cooler than the southwest unless I go north into the mountains. Time will tell. Would be nice to spend some time with Mike and Judy.

The little mexican/american restaurant at the end of the road opens today. They are open Thursday thru Sunday. Sylvia says they have a great green chili burger. Maybe I will ride up there later for an early dinner. Would be a nice treat. I have been really good with my exercising and eating, and if I get there under my own steam, so much the better. I guess they have good breakfasts too. Maybe I will find out before I leave.

I do miss having the bank, restaurants and grocery stores within walking distance. Plus I miss all the familiar faces and pleasantries. But I don’t miss the nasty weather and the sense of being all alone. Just getting thru the days. Always something interesting here. Or wherever I am.

Another day with the door to the back open and no kitty accidents. Just about done with the antibiotics. I think we have that UTI licked. Hopefully. She is back to her old self, albeit a skinnier version. She has started nagging me for her dinner again. :) And breakfast now that she no longer has dry food down all the time. I did remove the block I created to keep her from going under the door and just close the door at night now. It is nice to be able to walk to the back without having to open the door and step over whatever is on the floor. 

Once I hit Quartzsite, I will need to do some rearranging and thinning out. I really want my dinette, and a bunk that is useable. That would open things up quite a bit. This means that I will have to repack some areas, and get rid of some more stuff. Maybe I will have another yard sale. :) I did keep one yard sale flag. I need to start refilling the coffers anyway. Plus, I need to start pushing my jewelry and crafts.

When I went to the visitors center to upload my photos yesterday I checked out the showers. Nice and clean. I will use them later today. Much easier washing my hair in the shower.

Well, I guess that is about it for today. It is just starting to get light out. Looks like I might get an early start today. It is going to be a full day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Photos

Desert Gardens
https://plus.google.com/photos/118406578374225960662/albums/6073105245050920129

Fort Selden Ruins
https://plus.google.com/photos/118406578374225960662/albums/6073101720737350721

3.2 miles

Got a decent start yesterday and did walk to the Family Dollar Store. It was 1.6 miles one way, so I did over three miles yesterday. I’m glad I brought my two cloth bags with me, as I needed them. I finally found some cheap flip flops to wear in the shower so I don’t have to wear my Teva’s and get them all wet any more. They were a buck a pair, so I got three pair. They should last if I only wear them to shower. I also got two pair of Bugle Boy shorts, clearance, $5.50 each. One pair was three sizes smaller than the last pair I bought and the other was four sizes smaller and they both fit! So I just went and tried on the LLB jeans that I have had three or four years and haven’t been able to wear, and they fit! Wooohooo! I really am loosing weight! :) I hope it continues. I really hate the way I look, even now when I have already lost a significant amount.

I also got a three pack of white v neck t shirts. Again, a smaller size than I normally buy. I may end up having to get a new wardrobe if this weight loss continues. I am walking more, eating less, and moving around a lot more than I would if I were in IP. It is a whole lot easier to get dressed in the morning if you know it is going to be sunny and nice out.

I took my computer, phone and iPad up to the visitor center where the wifi is, and did all the updates yesterday. My iPad doesn’t even see the wifi, and the laptop won’t stay connected. On the way back I took photos in the cactus garden. I haven’t processed them yet tho. On my way back, Al and Sylvia were just pulling in. I met them at Elephant Butte, they were the couple that I walked with the day I did the boat ramp. I want to exchange info with them before I leave.

Not sure where I will walk today. I have done the majority of the trails here. I did miss one or two of the shorter trails, so I may go find them. It won’t be three miles like yesterday, but it will be a walk and some amazing scenery.

Heard from Howard yesterday. They are ready and waiting for me to arrive in Yuma. They are even trying to get 30 amp installed before I get there so I will have a full hookup instead of a half. I didn’t expect that. And it isn’t necessary, but more of a luxury in this life style. But with 30 amp, I will be able to use the AC if I need to. They also have a car I can use while I am there. I’m thinking it is their toad, the one they use with their motor home. Will be very strange driving a little car after navigating Ody for two months. Haven’t decided if I am leaving Thursday or Friday, but I still get that twinge in my stomach when I think about driving. But I am fine once I hit the road. It isn’t nearly as bad as it was two months ago tho. 

The door to the back was open all day again yesterday and no Kali Cat accidents. :) I am so glad we seem to be past that. I wish I dared let her out, but I don’t. Thankfully she is a lot less active due to her age and doesn’t seem to mind all that much. She is more concerned about when I am going to feed her now that she doesn’t have dry food any more. 

Well, it is light out. Time to think about getting moving. Not much on the agenda for the day. A shower would be nice. And maybe a visit with Al and Sylvia.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Great trail hike

Went for my trail walk yesterday. I really enjoyed it. The weather was beautiful while I was walking, in the 70’s, and I didn’t get hot until near the end. I did about a mile and a half and covered most of the trails here. What a wide variety of trails. From paved, to crushed rock and groomed, to a foot path up the side of a hill. At one point I thought I had lost the trail, but I kept going. I got some great photos including several really good lizard pics. Finally.

The rest of the day was pretty quiet. Jeanne moved over to a developed site, so it is just Barbara and I here now. 

I used my solar panel to charge up my solar generator. It was fully charged before the sun went down and I didn’t have to fire up the gas generator at all last night. The solar gen was enough to run my TV to watch the news, DWTS and Castle. And enough juice leftover this morning to run my wifi, and possibly charge up my laptop when it needs it. I can’t fire up the gas generator until 7 AM. That is when quiet time is over.

I did get my shower, in rig, yesterday morning. What a treat that was. Got my hair washed and did a french braid, which I can only do when my hair is wet. I have tried to do it dry, but it just doesn’t work. Now that it is getting cooler, I will probably do it more often. It is too hot to have my hair on my neck when it is warmer.

There are some beautiful cactus gardens here. I want to go back with a smaller camera and get identification photos for future reference. A lot of the cactus have identification signs, but with my big camera, I couldn’t focus on both the plant and the sign, it was one or the other, not both. My smaller camera will get both. I think I am also going to walk to the Family Dollar Store out on the main road. It will be a two mile walk round trip, assuming the weather cooperates. We have been having thunder storms off and on. Not sure what today’s forecast is yet. 

Visited with Barbara for a while in her rig yesterday. She has a 22ft(?) Sunseeker. It is always nice to see how other rigs are laid out. She has the rear kitchen, and I like that setup. Gives her a lot more counter space and cabinets in the kitchen. She also has the over cab bed, which I don’t care for, but plenty of room. Even tho her rig is shorter, it is also wider than Ody. But I am still happy with my choice. She showed me her ALFA antenna that she was using to use the campground free wifi. I can’t stay connected to it, but with her antenna, she has a great connection.  I came back and did some research (on my pay per gig) and discovered her antenna will not work on this OS. Most of them won’t. I finally found a less expensive one that is supposed to work with Mavericks and got it ordered. It should be in Yuma when I get there. It is going to be like Christmas…mail and packages. :) 

I also discovered while doing my antenna research that this particular model of macbook has wifi issues. Apparently I am not the only one having trouble keeping a connection. I will have to haul out the big computer and see how that does. I hate using my pay per gig to upload photos, it eats it right up. I did walk up to the Visitor Center for a better connection, and got all 52 photos uploaded in a matter of minutes with a good solid connection.

I left the door to the back open yesterday. I only saw Kali Cat sniffing back there once, and I discouraged it. Not sure why she was sniffing, but didn’t want any accidents. No peeing in the shower, and there is still plenty of large clumps in the litter box. So I am hoping we are over the UTI issue. She only has a few more days of travel before we settle down for a while. Only one or two more doses of medicine too.

I am not sure when I will leave here. There are a lot of variables. I don’t want to hit Quartzsite before Nov 1, and I don’t want to over stay my welcome in Yuma. So I am thinking I will leave here Thursday or Friday, it will be two travel days to Yuma, so I will probably arrive there Friday or Saturday, depending upon when I leave here. But I also don’t want to get bored. As long as I have an interesting walk, I should be good.

Last night I did a garlic shrimp stir fry with turnip greens and feta. Was very good. I do miss having my little electric oven available tho. Before moving into Ody, that is the way I cooked 99% of my meals. I may dig out my dutch oven today and see if I can bake in it on the stove top. If I can figure that out, it would make things a lot easier. I could use my oven if I wanted to run the generator the whole time, but in my mind, that is not an option. The same with the convection oven in the microwave, have to be hooked up to power or running the generator. Experiment time! :) I still don’t have a grill, so I can’t use that, plus, the intermittent thunder storms also discourage grilling.

Well, my solar gen just ran out of power, and it is just about 7, so I need to go start the generator and get things charged up. It looks like the northeast will be getting some snow this week. I see they are predicting up to a foot in IP. I will not miss that, just the general excitement of the first snow. It is always so pretty. But then it doesn’t go away. For months...and months....

Monday, October 20, 2014

Trails and gardens

Hit the road at 9 AM yesterday in the middle of an electrical storm. Not a lot of rain, but we had some earlier with hail. Some pretty impressive lightening too. Was an easy drive, less than two hours. By the time I finally stopped to take a pee break, I was only about eight miles away. I guess I could have waited, but when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Kali Cat traveled well yesterday. Absolutely no accidents. I even put down a puppy pad just in case. Will save it for the next time. Good kitty. :)

There were only two developed sites available when I arrived, one with electric and water and one without. The primitive area (no hookups) was completely vacant. So that is where I parked. If I have to be without hookups, I would rather it not be in a crowded campground. Barbara and Jeanne pulled in an hour or two after me, so there are three of us here now. I think I will stay one more night, do a little trail exploring, then head either to Rockhound or directly to Yuma. I heard from Howard yesterday, and they are ready and waiting. 

Since I wake up so early in the morning and can’t fire up my generator until 7 AM, I am using my french press to make my coffee. It takes longer as I have to heat the water and then let it steep, but it beats waiting until 7AM for my first cup of coffee. It also beats instant coffee which I have as a last resort.

Quite the little thunderstorm as I was going to sleep last night. Rain, lightening, thunder…the usual, New Mexico style.

I am currently at Leasburg Dam State Park near Las Cruces, NM. Lots of little trails and desert gardens here. I want to go exploring this morning. Walked up to the office yesterday afternoon and got the map of the park and trails. Looks like I can do a loop that will be a couple of miles. I will be doing it with my camera. This park isn’t as nice as Elephant Butte, but every New Mexico State Park is different. Each has it’s own unique points. This one has three sided enclosures in the developed area. I bet those are really nice to be at. But since the park is full, I won’t be getting one of those this time around.

I just ordered an extension cable for my solar panel so I can move the panel further away from the yeti. I also ordered the 12v charger so I can charge it up while driving without the inverter. I will be ordering some other stuff as well that I have been waiting for a delivery address. I will have an address next week. I may even get my electric scooter ordered. I have looked at a bunch of them, and I’m still going to go with the one I chose months ago. Unless I find something better in person. It has mixed reviews. The people that are happy with it are very happy with it and the same with the people that are unhappy with it. I really don’t want a gas scooter, but will figure it out when the time comes. Honda has a gas scooter that is about 1k more, but is probably much more reliable. If Brighton Garage could get the car sold, I wouldn’t feel so guilty about buying a scooter. Still not sure how I am going to haul it, but will figure it out.

Well, it is light out and I really need a shower, so I guess I should get dressed so I can go get showered and dressed. I hate having to get dressed before I shower, but I am not running around in my night clothes. At least I am closer to the shower here than I was at Elephant Butte. I don't have as far to walk.

Tested my blood sugar this morning, it is still good. Yay.

Today's photos from the trails... https://plus.google.com/photos/105637523870533736044/albums/6072366516017491937

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Leasburg Dam, next stop

I did walk to the point yesterday and tracked it with my phone. It was 1.22 miles one way, so double that, about 2.5 miles total. Spent a little time with my maps to try and figure out where to next, had considered Caballo State Park, about 30 miles from here, but changed my mind later. A couple of the ladies are headed towards Leasburg Dam State Park, so that is where I am headed too.

We swapped cards last night, I added a couple more blogs to my news feed. Definitely interesting people. Everyone has different reasons for being out here and different takes on everything.

We had a little wine and cheese party last night because most of us are breaking camp today and headed out. Was fun, a few pics were taken and posted on FB. I contributed lobster pate (my last can) and some smoked oysters. There were lots of good cheese and crackers and fruit and I even had one oreo style cookie. A rare treat. That was dinner, supplemented by a few almonds later.

I packed up all the outside stuff and took down the screen house last night. It was breezy, so the skeets weren’t bad. They pretty much left me alone while I was doing that. 

This morning I need to shower, lash down what needs securing, dump my tanks and hit the road. Will be a short hop today, about 67 miles. A little over an hour. I am holding off feeding Kali Cat so I won’t have to clean up a canned food mess when she barfs. I will give her a little bit of dry kibble so she will have something in her stomach, and will give her some canned food when we get settled in.  I'm also going to put down a couple of pee pads that will hopefully make the inevitable cleanup easier. I gassed up before I came into the park, so I won’t have to do that today, and I will be using less than a quarter of a tank to get there, so I won’t need to gas up before parking either. It is pretty much a straight shot down 25 from here. `I should get some more bottled water, but I think I have enough perishables to get by for a few days, plus I have some canned goods still.

I need to check my engine for mice. Apparently that is very common out here. I haven’t seen any signs yet, or heard any, but you never know. And thankfully, I haven’t seen any other creepie crawlies, inside or out. 

The clouds are rumbling quite loudly this morning. Probably won’t see much sun today. And won’t see much rain either. Ody could use a nature’s bath, but I would rather not drive in the rain. So if it could hold off until I get there, that would be great. I’m hoping to find someone at some point that will be willing to give Ody a good wash and wax. I have the stuff to do it, but my shoulders can’t handle it. She is way too big for me to do.

Well, I guess I have run out of things to say this morning. Maybe I will be headed out earlier than I thought. That isn’t a bad thing.

I'm thinking this is my last campground, then I will head to Yuma and visit with Howard and Barbara for a few days, then finally, will head to Quartzsite for the rest of the season. At least now I know some people that will be there, and I hope to meet a lot more. Looking forward to some flea market shopping, classes and get togethers. And maybe even some groceries and stuff within walking or biking distance. I will take down my bike when I get to Quartzsite and re-learn how to ride a bike. I will finally get to use my LLB day pack. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Where to next?

Yesterday was chore day. Cleaning and vacuuming, and general organization. Then I walked. I limited my walk yesterday out to the road and back around the park. It was enough. My hips are hurting from all the walking, but I want to keep doing it. I got a really nice shower after I got back, additional walking as the showers are about half way up the park. I want to walk out to the point today, and just needed to give walking a little break. I would take my bike, but it is such a pain in the ass to get up and down off the back of Ody, it isn’t worth the trouble.

Once my walking and shower were done, I tried out my Mobile Washer and did my laundry. http://beprepared.com/mobile-washer-hand-operated-washing-machine.html   I had to get creative with the clothes line because I would normally stretch it between the enclosure posts, but my screen house was in the way. Got my clothes all washed and hung out to dry. They were dry by the end of the day. The mobile washer is going to take some practice. I put my clothes in first, and I think I should have put the washer in first. I kept packing them down in the bottom of the bucket. I guess there is a learning curve.

I had some web work to do for one of the snowmobile clubs, so I got out the big laptop and fired that up. I ran out of prepaid internet as it was updating everything, and had a hell of a time getting more added. I had bought a plan earlier in the morning, but since I had used all my allotment, I had to activate it with my phone, and it wouldn’t activate. I ended up buying a second allotment/plan and adding that one. The one I bought earlier is in my reserve and I should be able to add it next time as long as I don’t wait until I am completely out. What a pain that was, and I lost about an hour dealing with that. I really need to find a better internet service. This one works great, have been very happy with it except for the cost. Spending way too much on too little.

After I got everything done, I started a new book. Christine stopped by for a few minutes, and then I was invited along for a walk out to the payment drop box. That was actually further than I had done in the morning, but it was nice to be invited along.

Tomorrow we roll. Not sure where I am headed yet. Want to find out what the others are doing, see if anything sounds intriguing. If not, I will be headed for Yuma. Just checked google maps and it looks like a two day trip. About 550 miles. Today I will probably start prepping, take down the screen house, etc. Will decide later where I am headed. I could just find another state park for another week. It is certainly cheap enough. $20 for five nights with water and electricity. NM has lots and lots of state parks. I will have to look and see what is around here. Or, I could just stay here another week. There is a 14 day max and I have only used five. But after a few days and the initial exploring, I am ready to see something new. It is too late in the season to head north, but there must be something to the west within an hour or two drive. There are also other encampments within Elephant Butte Lake State Park that I could move to. But if I am going to move, it might as well be to someplace new. I really don’t want to hit Quartzsite until November. It will be cooler then.

We had a bit of a wind storm last night. I’m glad the screen house was pegged down. I did have to go out and grab the nylon tarp as it was pretending to be a sail. A few drops of warm rain, a little more wind, and then it was over. Ody was rocking even tho she seemed to be nose into the wind. Makes things kind of interesting. Not too cold this morning, close to 60 degrees.

I did have my catfish for dinner last night. I sauteed some turnip greens and onions and then pan fried the fish with buffalo seasoning. It was very good. I have enough leftover for lunch today. I am trying to eat smaller portions. Not only will it save on groceries, but will help in loosing more weight. I really can’t wear my shorts without a belt now. I keep trying, but they keep falling down. Maybe it is time I bought one smaller pair. I will have to try them on tho because I don’t know what size. I still haven’t weighed myself, and I don’t plan to until later.

I think I am going to toss the watermelon today. It is too mushy for me. I don’t enjoy it when it is like that. I guess watermelon season is over. This last one was very disappointing. Will have to find a winter fruit now. 

It is time to feed the furry one and think about getting myself moving. It was really too late in the morning when I walked the other day and was quite warm. I want to do it while it is cooler. I move faster that way. :)

Here are some photos from this morning's walk and the last day or two. https://plus.google.com/photos/105637523870533736044/albums/6071581328296738017

Friday, October 17, 2014

Quiet day

Not much new here. I did walk yesterday, about three miles. I wasn’t sure when I started out if I was going to be able to make it to the boat ramp and back, but I did. I even ran into another couple walking and we walked back together and chatted. Seem like nice people, full timers. Might see them in Quartzsite at some point. My hip joints hurt from all the walking. My back too. I might skip today and walk again tomorrow. There is one more spot I haven’t walked to that I would like to do, but again, it is about a three mile walk. Maybe I will just do the park loop this morning, keep it short and sweet, and do the point tomorrow.

After I got done walking, I set up the screen house. Put Kali Cat in it, and she wasn’t happy. She wanted to come back in. She kept looking at the door. So I brought her back in. I will bring her out again today, maybe for a few minutes longer. She might eventually get used to it. She is gaining some weight, and there have been sizable pee clumps in the litter box, so I think things are finally improving.

I was up very early yesterday, so I took a little time and relaxed in my zero gravity chair in the screen house in the afternoon. Spent some time online, just generally puttered. I also butchered my watermelon, but not before it jumped out of my arms and split open. I was trying to get a zipper bag out of the drawer when the watermelon lept to it’s death. It isn’t even the best that I have had, it is over ripe and mushy, and it’s impact didn’t help any.

Had the last of the rotisserie chicken and potato salad for lunch yesterday, discarded the carcass and the watermelon remains at the same time. And last night I had a BLT on a flour tortilla for dinner with watermelon for dessert. I still have that catfish in the freezer and will probably cook that up for dinner with some turnip greens. Outside of course if it isn’t too windy.

Roxanne, the admin of the solo women’s group pulled in yesterday. I went over and introduced myself. It’s funny how an online image is so very different from the actual person. He picture doesn’t do her justice. Was very nice to finally meet her. Looking forward to spending some more time chatting.

I have some actual web work to do today for one of the snowmobile clubs. It won’t generate a lot of money, but it will generate some. Plus, I need to update my quickbooks and my budget spreadsheet, so I will be hauling out the big work computer today. I also need to see if I can get my keepass working on this machine again. It stopped working after the last OS update.  I will be doing all of this at the picnic table in the screen house. 

It was a beautiful day yesterday. Got quite warm. I did end up turning on the AC for KC later in the day for an hour or so. The sun coming in the front heated it up quite a bit inside even tho I have the curtains hanging up blocking the sun. I did disconnect the water and hooked up the nozzle on the hose. I had to hose down the patio after I butchered the watermelon. No sense in inviting bugs. And with the screen house, I managed to stay outside until dark last night, mosquito free. 

I’m spending a fortune on internet. And I am not even streaming TV. There has to be a better solution. A lot of RV’ers use Mellenicom, which is the best deal so far, but they were just bought by Verizon, and their website is disabled. Can’t join. :(  I guess I will just have to wait and see what Verizon does. I really miss my unlimited DSL. :( There is a definite demand for affordable internet out here, and I am hoping someone will provide it, and soon. I keep looking, but nothing new so far. 

I have been waking up at 2:30 in the morning. I finally realized that there is the two hour time difference between here and the lifetime of eastern time. So, in VT time, it would be 4:30. Although, I have been having sleep issues for years. Now shouldn’t be any different.

I am going to be checking out the showers at some point today. No more in rig showers as I don’t have a sewer hook up here. I don’t want to have to dump my tanks before I leave here. I still need to figure out where I will be going next too. 

Well, time to get myself moving. I want to walk while it is still cool. Get some work done and get a shower. That is my big plan for the day. Plus, map out the route to Yuma, that might be my next stop. Do some driveway camping, order some stuff, get my mail, etc. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A lot of walking

Was a full day yesterday. I did about a three mile walk in the morning. Lots of desert pics, not much wild life. I did startle two rabbits and one lizard while walking and saw a big garter snake on my way back. It was about three feet long.

I got a nice shower in my own shower yesterday morning, a splurge. The next one will be in the bath house tho, I can’t fill up my tanks too soon, or I will have to break camp and go dump them. 

After lunch, Gail Warner, a lady on one of my FB groups stopped in for a meet and a visit. She stayed a while and then headed off to her next destination. Was a nice visit. We learned a lot about each other in our short visit, and we may see more of each other in the future. She is considering getting a motorhome. She has been doing her trip in a rental car, and staying at motels and hotels. She is from the outer banks on the Carolina coast. Might be a future stop in there somewhere. 

Later in the afternoon, the ladies all went to walk their dogs, and invite me along. That was fun. Although I didn’t really need the walk as I had already had a good one in the morning.

The ladies gave me some advice about my water hookup yesterday. They recommended that I just fill my fresh water tank and use that instead of hooking up and having constant water pressure. Some people have had issues with flooding as the pressure is too much for the system. I do have a regulator on my hookup, but I think I am going to take their advice anyway. I will do what I did last week, leave the hose hooked up with the nozzle on it so I can use it any time, just not hooked up to Ody.

My back is hurting. It could be all the walking, or it could be the bed. But I am going to keep walking and keep trying to loose some more weight. Christine took a picture of all of us yesterday, and I am still the biggest one, even tho I have lost some weight already. I still have a lot more to go. I hate the way I look in pictures, but I guess I should get used to it. I have not pulled out my smallest jeans to try them yet. But I did wear a belt and tucked in my shirt for the very first time in years yesterday. And, it was a belt I couldn’t wear a couple of months ago. I needed the belt for my water bottle. It is supposed to hang over your shoulder, but I hate having stuff on my neck, including my camera. I clipped the water bottle to my belt with a caribiner.

Today I am going to setup my screen house and get Kali Cat outside for a while. I’m hoping she doesn’t figure out how to go under it. Plus, it will be beneficial at sunset as that is when the mosquitos are the worst and they drive everyone inside. I might take the bike down today too. I know, I keep saying that, but it is such a pain in the ass to get back up there, it doesn’t seem worth the trouble. Thinking more and more about that scooter. If I do that, I will have to figure out how to haul it. I may have to give up my tool box in the back. I’d rather not tho, that is acting as my shed. Maybe I could put the scooter on top of it. At least for short distances. I wish there were some way to get my jeep out to me, but it would probably be cheaper to just buy something. And I hope they get it sold soon.

I’m thinking Yuma, Howard and Barbara, will be my next destination. I’m hoping they won’t mind if I hang around long enough to get some stuff delivered. It is time I start thinking about getting my composting toilet ordered so I can get that installed before I hit Quartzsite. I’m looking forward to seeing them, it has been over a year. Another of my online friends installed a C-Head in her Phoenix Cruiser, and I just messaged her to see how it is working out for her. Would be nice not to have to worry about the black tank, and the process I have to go thru currently.

Kali Cat went on the all canned food diet yesterday. She also got some rotisserie chicken at lunch. Supposedly, clean people food is ok for them according to my research. Plus, she likes it. :) Anything I can do to make her happy is good. 

Well, that is about all I have this morning. I have been up since 3 ish, so I am going to try to get another hour of sleep while it is still dark.

https://plus.google.com/u/1/photos/105637523870533736044/albums/6070878254565086833

I walked about three miles this morning. Went to the end of the boat ramp - which is closed right now. It was quite a climb going back up. I wasn't sure if I could walk that far today after yesterday, but I did it. I also met some new people. Sylvia and Al. Might see them in Q in December.

I aso setup the screen house under the picnic table enclosure and brought Kali Cat out. She was somewhat distressed, but we will keep trying.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Elephant Butte State Park, South Monticello Campground

Yesterday was an interesting day, and a long one. I woke at 4:30, prepped and got ready to roll. Got the tanks emptied and headed to Roswell to gas up. I lost about an hour in Roswell just looking around and finding a gas station with a working pump. The first one I was going to pull into was small and the big class A rig towing a car pulled in in front of me. I figured I wouldn’t fit. So I went to the next one. Well I got pulled up and ready to pump, and discovered the pump was out of order. The next one was across four lanes of traffic, so I negotiated that and got filled up, and then back in the direction I wanted to head. Kali Cat had already pooped on the rug by that time, so I also had to clean that up. (It is a traveling thing). 

And off I went. Drove thru some very interesting hills, up and down, and when I turned on to RT 380, just a few minutes into that, I had to brake hard, a mama deer and baby deer crossed the road in front of me. Ody is big and doesn’t brake fast, so that was a little nerve wracking. Very small road, no place to turn. Eventually, the road widened, but not before I went thru an interesting town that I would like to go back and visit at some point. Lincoln, NM. Looked very interesting and felt welcoming, in the middle of hill country. http://www.legendsofamerica.com/nm-lincoln.html

And before I made it off 380, I drove thru the Valley of Fires. I tried to take some pics while I was driving, and I had to look it up when I got where I could. Very interesting. http://www.geo.utep.edu/loca/Volcanos/VALLEY.HTML

I made it to Truth or Consequences by 1:30. Made really good time, especially considering the hour I lost in Roswell.  Did my shopping at Wal Mart, and then headed to Elephant Butte State Park. Of course, I went to the wrong place, had to turn around and head about 10 miles away. The town of Elephant Butte looks like it would be interesting to explore, but I don’t know if that will happen. We are about 10 miles out side of town. I met up with five other ladies from the FB group, and another came in later in the evening. Had hotdogs with them for dinner, and am starting to get to know them. As you know, I’m not the most social person. 

I paid for five nights, but can use those nights at any of the camping locations. But the spot I have here is pretty amazing. I can’t wait to get some pictures. I have to get a shower first tho, I did not get one last night.  I have electric and water hookups here and my tanks are empty, so I am planning on using my own shower this morning. I have already located one trail when I walked (a long way) to the gate to drop my payment envelope. I’m sure there are others. I may even take my bike down while I am here. Lot of flies and even more mosquitos. Am thinking of setting up my screen house for both me and KC.

This morning I finished putting away the groceries I bought yesterday, and have already rigged up a block for the bottom of the door going to the back. I was getting tired of stepping over a bunch of stuff that I had there to keep KC from going under the door. Now it is more like a large step instead of a pile of stuff. The door is about three or four inches from the floor, and KC can go right under it. Solved that problem. I looked for something to use there while I was at WM yesterday, but ended up using some stuff I already had. Even better.

She had a hard time with the drive yesterday and I had to clean up all three messes. Starting today, she is on canned food only unless it is a travel day, then she will get a small amount of dry food as it is much easier to clean up when she barfs. She likes canned food, and if it makes her better, so much the better. There was a large amount of urine clumps in the box this morning, so that is a very good sign. She has about another week of antibiotics and I am hoping this is all cleared up by then. If not, it is back to the vet. But we are headed in the right direction.

I picked up a clear vinyl shower curtain and a roll of white duck tape yesterday. At some point I am going to cover the screen door. That way I will be able to leave the outside door open in cooler weather and get the benefit of the sunlight, and it will help with the confined space. I will be headed into warmer temps again in a week or so, so I am going to wait to do it. It will also help keep the cool in when I am running the AC. 

There is no wifi here, so I won’t be uploading too many pics until I can get to a spot where there is. But I will be prepping them so all I will have to do is upload. 

Heard coyotes in the wee hours. Have already seen some Gambel’s Quail. There were several in the road on the way here. They have this funny little feather sticking out the center of their heads. Hoping to get some pics.

Well, it is already 9 AM. I’m finding with the later sunrise, that I am having a much harder time getting a decent start on the day. 

There are some TV channels, one of them ABC. Wish I had been here Monday so I could have watched Dancing With The Stars. Now I will have to use some expensive internet if I want to see it before next week’s show. And Castle too.

Today's pics... https://plus.google.com/photos/105637523870533736044/albums/6070500395533110977
My first snake sighting in the southwest. I believe it is a checkered garter snake. Harmless to humans.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time to roll

It is pretty nippy here this morning. 36 degrees outside and 47 inside. I dragged out my little electric heater and it is getting nice and toasty in here, especially with the back closed off. 

I had planned on taking a shower this morning before I left, but since it is so cold, I am thinking just a wash up here, and a shower in my own shower tonight after we arrive and hook up. It will be much warmer and my tanks will be empty, and it will be nice to use my own shower for a change. I haven’t been able to use it here because I don’t have a sewer hook up and my tanks are full. 

Headed off to Elephant Butte State Park today. Going to hit the Walmart in Truth or Consequences first as I am out of all my perishables. The state park is only about 20 minutes from there. 

I didn’t do a whole lot yesterday. Puttered, cleaned windows, finally got the dash clock set, lubed the step, put stuff away and just prepped for today’s travels. In the afternoon, I read. I stayed inside most of the day as it didn’t even hit 70, and with the wind, it felt cold. Pretty much a constant wind here. And flies. There are cows not too far away, the air smells like cow manure if the wind is blowing the right way, and lots and lots of flies. Hopefully there will be fewer at EB.

Kali Cat was having some difficulty last night, but seems to have dealt with it during the night. I had considered taking her to a vet in Roswell today. But since she peed ok during the night, and she is still on antibiotics, I am going to wait. There are two vets in Truth or Consequences. She is not acting sick. Is eating, pooping, purring, drinking water…Everything she is supposed to be doing. Lots and lots of purrs and seems to have put back on a little bit of weight. She looks a lot better than she did a week or so ago. I guess I am going to have to take her off dry food altogether and do canned food twice a day. That will be the best way to get her cleared up. I’m going to see if I can get a really good quality canned food for at least one of her twice a day feedings. Science Diet or Hills or something. Can’t hurt. The ash content in her current food is quite low, so I don’t need to remove that completely. I’m not giving her canned food this morning because we are traveling, and I don’t want to have to clean it up. If she handles the ride today like she did last week, I will continue on to EB. If not, I will locate one of the vets. 

I don’t know how long I will stay at EB. With these temps, it might be time to head a little west. But it is still quite warm in the desert. After all the heat the last three or four weeks, these temps feel really cold. But upper 90’s is still too hot.

I already have the outside packed up. Wasn’t much, my chair, clothes line and water hose. Most of the inside is taken care of. Just last minute things now. I have the heater turned off and the hot water heater on so I can have warm water to wash up with.  Will get myself dressed and roll. Dump tanks on the way out, gas up in Roswell, and I should be in T or C by early afternoon. There isn’t a direct route, so I have to head north west and then south. I will probably gas up again in T or C so I can go in with a full tank. Just in case I need to use the generator. I still haven’t filled my propane, but as long as I have electricity, I don’t need it. I didn’t fill my fresh water tank yesterday because there will be a water hookup at EB. No sense in carrying all that extra weight. I still have half a tank.

Well, it is starting to get light out. Time for me to get myself moving. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Improved attitude

Not much new and exciting here. I did the wetlands trail again yesterday, but did it in reverse for a change of pace. Got a few pics, nothing spectacular. Getting tired of the scenery here, time to move on. If I hadn’t already paid for tonight, I would head out today. Granted, it is only $4, but it is the principle of the thing.

Will head out tomorrow morning. Get my tanks emptied, will fill my fresh water tank today and get that done, and start lashing things so all I will have to do tomorrow morning is get my shower, empty the tanks and hit the road. Am heading for Elephant Butte State Park in Truth or Consequences. It is about a six hour drive, so it will be two days for me. I have to add at least an hour to whatever time google maps estimates, so it will probably be more like 8 hours. I can’t do more than four hours a day, so I will have to find a spot to spend the night.

I guess I won’t be spending any time in downtown Roswell. No UFO Museum. Maybe next year I will find someone to do it with me. That makes this Roswell experience a whole lot different than the one Jake and I had. It’s probably just as well that I don’t revisit anyway. I am already missing him way too much. This adventure should be about new experiences and new people.

There will be people I kind of know at Elephant Butte. Christine, who I met briefly while still in IP, and a few other friends in my Solo Women RV group on FB. Will be nice to have someone to talk to and possibly hang out with, and meet in person.

I have been living in Ody almost three months now. That is working out OK except for all the extra stuff I have in here and the fact that I can’t find anything. Am hoping at some point to have a place that I can unload all the extra unnecessary stuff and outfit her the way she is supposed to be outfitted instead of stuff crammed into every corner. Looking forward to having my table and benches and a real bunk at some point. And maybe even a work space. 

It is pretty cold here this morning. In the upper 40’s. I should warm up nicely once the sun comes up tho. We did hit at least 83 yesterday, but gained some gusty winds later in the day. More than usual. And it rained for a few again last night.

I did spend some time with my maps yesterday, but didn’t figure anything out. Today I have to plan out our route. I will need to gas up in Roswell, and I still need to find some propane somewhere. Since I have had electricity, I haven’t been using the propane and still have half a tank, so it isn’t as dire as I thought it would be a week ago. Howard tells me the Flying J gas station/truck stops have propane, dump stations and water. I will have to watch for that.

I haven’t needed to use the AC in several days, but almost did yesterday. It gets hot in Ody in the full sun. But there was enough of a breeze coming thru that I didn’t have to turn it on. At least I had the option.

I did ask about climbing up the tower, but it isn’t climbable. Apparently it is an old water tower with the tank removed and closed off to the public. Too bad. Probably would have been a nice view from up there. Not sure where I will walk today. Maybe just around the lake again. Just to get out and about for a little while. I have to walk in the morning when it is cooler. It was almost too warm by the time I got out there yesterday. Should have brought some water with me. But I hate carrying a bunch of gear just to go for a walk.

I’m feeling better this morning. I have at least part of a plan in place and a new location to head for. People to see. Maybe even something to do. If I had wanted to stay inside and read every day, I could have stayed in IP. Some days that is fine, but not every day. And there might even be some hot springs there. Someone mentioned them. I have never had that experience. Looking forward to it. Supposedly swimming is allowed here, there is even a little “beach”. But it is all that red clay soil, even in the water and just is not the least bit inviting. I had thought I might swim while here, but no way am I going in that water. Ugh. It is more like a large, red, mud puddle.

Someone suggested calling a taxi to go in town. I hadn’t considered that and it was a good idea. But I don’t know how much a round trip would cost, and I really don’t want to spend the money. I have to be very careful with my money. I think I have done quite well so far. Not much I can do about the cost of gas, but it is quite a bit less than it is in the northeast, so that helps.

Well, I guess that is about it for this morning. The sun is finally up and it should start warming up soon. I have something to do (prep for tomorrow) and it is going to be a sunny day. Kali Cat was feeling a little frisky this morning. I take that as a good sign. I feel bad limiting her space, but by doing that, she does use the box instead of the shower. I hope it isn’t something I am going to have to do all the time. I am still finding bits of cat food in places from my collapsed shelf the other day. Like I said, it went everywhere.  I’m hoping this week went a long way towards KC’s healing as well. Little to no stress for her. I need to make shorter jumps as I believe it is the actual traveling that has upset her. Although she has handled it quite well. I feel bad that I can’t let her out here. I probably won’t be able to until we hit Quartzsite and find a place to park for the winter.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bored and lonely.

I’m fine, KC is fine…doesn’t seem to be in any discomfort, purrs when I pet her or talk to her. I did some reading on UTI’s yesterday, and it is possible hers is stress induced as opposed to bacterial. This means I need to take her off dry food completely and change her canned food to something more expensive. I will do that when I get to civilization. This also means the antibiotics aren’t doing a thing for her. I’m cleaning her box several times a day, and she is peeing pretty much normal amounts, and I see her drinking water. Both good things.

I have to say that I am getting bored. And lonely. Not having wheels so I can go to town really sucks. This means I can only go as far as my feet will take me, and that isn’t far. Roswell is 12 miles away. I can see it at night, but can’t get there unless I break camp. I’m really going to have to seriously think about towing a vehicle.

Had some really strange dreams last night. Left me feeling out of sorts this morning.

There isn’t much for TV channels here. I watched an episode of Lawrence Welk after I finished my book last night, and it was still only 7:30, too early to go to bed. So I hauled out the movie that I bought in Falmouth and watched that.

Yesterday morning I went for my walk up the hill on the road. I brought my little canon camera, checked the battery before I left, and the battery crapped out just as I reached the top of the hill. It said it was full, so I hadn’t brought another with me. So my photos are all from my phone. After I did the hill, I walked up to the neglected building on the corner. Discovered it was the Fin & Feather Club property. A really nice little building left to deteriorate. Doesn’t look like it has been used in ages.

Got my shower after I got back, did what little laundry that needed to be done and hung those out to dry. The afternoon was spent reading, mostly indoors as the wind is cold. I think we hit 70 yesterday. Might be a little warmer today, but I have already had to come in because of the cold wind. I do have the windows and the outside door open tho, to keep it aired out.

All the airstreams are hooking up and heading out. Several have left already this morning. The rest will be gone by the end of the day. Had some new people come in late yesterday. One older couple in a pop up with not one, but five little yappers. Then later, a travel trailer came in and setup on the other side of me and they are coughers. Both of them, constantly coughing.

OK, the yappers have broken camp and left. The coughers have gone off to town. It is pretty quiet here right now.  Today I really do need to spend some time with my maps and figure out where to head next. I also need to go drain my tanks. I will try to put that off until Tuesday morning, but one of them is already full. I think it is the gray water tank, but I am not sure. They don’t say which is which. I’m hoping there is a little wiggle room and I won’t have to move Ody until it is time to leave.

I just tried to find the super glue so I could fix the foot on my crock pot, but I can’t find anything here. I’m not tearing apart the whole cargo area to find one little tube of glue. I will just buy one when I hit civilization. It would have been nice to fix that while it was out, but it isn’t worth all the trouble.

I will be fine, eventually. Just have to work thru the emotions. I have been missing Jake a lot more than usual this week. A lot of it is because I am lonely, and I am finding that people will say hi as they walk by, but that is about it. Not really friendly. No one to do anything with. It is like I never left IP. Add to that being out in the middle of nowhere and no wheels to get around. It is kind of depressing.

https://plus.google.com/photos/105637523870533736044/albums/6069386347659103073  Today's photos. I did the Wetland Trail again.