Saturday, March 31, 2012

Things Happen Fast!

More Pictures from the Eastern edge of Mesa!

My realtor lady doesn't really understand not to take pictures directly into the afternoon sun, but then any picture is a picture that I wouldn't have otherwise.  They give anyone heck about being on the site when workers are present, and tell you not to arrive before 3 PM.  And even then we had to sign legal releases if something should injure us while we are on the site.  But it would be hard to get injured from a picture emailed to Kansas......LOL

The red stuff on the roof is the ply board that was used today to sheet the roof.  Its in a big pile that was lifted up there with an end loader of some sort.  It is called Radiant Barrier Roof Sheathing, as it has one side that is layered with aluminum foil.  They put this side down facing the inside of the building.

I took this picture in one of the homes built earlier in February, over on the next street.  But standing under the roof inside, before any insulation was put in, you can clearly see the Radiant Barrier on the bottom of the sheathing.  This product was called LP Tech Shield, but I have no idea if it is the same as what they used on Friday on our project.

I was on the phone with the builder lady some of the morning while we worked on paper work that somehow needs correcting.  Otherwise I never started the engine on the car all day.

Oh, I know, I began to load the Turbo Tax product into the computer for that annual project.........Ugg...

Not too much to blog about when its paper work like that........

Retired Rod

Friday, March 30, 2012

Things Progress in Az

Received this picture from the building company Realtor today...  

We have progress on the new house, it is being framed this week!  When we left it was just sewer pipes sticking up thru the gravel that is under the concrete floor.

It usually only takes about three days or so to frame one of these small single story homes, so by Monday night or Tuesday this will be a completed structure as far as the wooden frame is concerned.

One thing about building in Arizona, you do not have to worry about rain on the building before you have a tar paper roof to protect it.  It may not rain now until the monsoon season in July.  Next comes the Air Conditioner folks, Plumbers, and Electricians to do their rough in work.

I did learn that they will load the concrete tiles up onto the roof once it is tar papered.  This is to load the weight of the roofing onto the building.  It will cause any settling that will take place and adjust the structure to this weight before they do any dry wall work inside the house.  I understand that if this is not done, the weight of the roofing would  break the dry wall if it is installed first.

So why not just go ahead and finish the roof?    No, you have to install all the soffit and trim boards before you finish tiling the roof.  Also they want to paint all around the soffit as well so that paint does not get on the roof tiling.  Everything has its specific order to be completed, and they have it down to a science because they have done it in the wrong order before and know the pitfalls.

I am back in KC tonight, and am relieved to report that the car ran nicely all the way back home this afternoon.  That is a relief, as I really didn't want to make an appointment here in KC to have that injector installed.  I'm sure it would take several days, just to get on their busy schedule.  They are the only game in town for repairs.

Biscuit is really slow today and still somewhat out of it.  The anesthesia seems to have knocked her for a loop.  She is just sitting her staring at me as if it is all my fault that she had this bad thing happen to her. She did eat and drink a bit today, so we are certain that it will only be a few days, and she will have forgotten all about it.  But for now she is moping, and must still be in pain..... poor puppy!

It was 84 this afternoon as I drove across Western Missouri.  I stopped in Sedalia for a Subway on my way home, and you might remember that they were one of the towns hit with a tornado last summer.  I was amazed that most of the damage was cleaned up.

Many new buildings have been built over the time since then, and the South end of the town seemed quite new and nice...  Thank goodness for insurance......

Retired Rod

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Still at the Lake!! ???

I was supposed to check the house out and flush all the toilets and clean out the mail box for a return trip home on Tuesday................  Uh, that didn't work out like I planned on....

I have an older BMW car that I had before we retired, and it sits in our garage most of the time as my collector car.  But on these trips on the highway, I like to take it out to stretch its legs and boil the moisture out of the oil.  I haven't done a lot of that in 2011 because of medical trips and other sidetracking events.

But anyway, it hadn't been started in about 4 months.  It ran quite rough when it did cough itself into life.    But that was the reason for the highway trip, to clear all of that up for a while.  And it did begin to run much better after about 30 miles.  Until I stopped at the Wal Mart in Versailles.  When I restarted it, the rough running was back and even rougher.....

What to do??  Only people that work on BMWs are the dealers and some assorted enthusiast mechanics sprinkled about in random towns..   A few over in St. Louis and only a dealer in KC.  But also a small dealer in Columbia, Missouri.  That is the college town where the University of Missouri is located about 80 miles North of here.

This morning I was up and on the road before 8 AM headed for the dealer.  The car was missing and kind of shuddering but I was able to keep about 60 in a 70 zone...  Folks flew by on their way to work..

It was about 9:30 when I arrived and explained my problem, but they took me in when I explained that I was just off the interstate with a broken car.  The dealers classify that as an emergency and try and work you in.

I had to sit there for three hours while they ran diagnostics.  I thought it was a coil pack or one of the spark plugs, but they checked out OK..  Then it needed deeper diagnostics..........  that means deeper into your checkbook.....  But eventually they found a bad fuel injector, which they didn't have....  So the guy soaked it in a cup of cleaner and banged it on the bench until it came free......  (his words)

They put the offending injector in cylinder number one, so I would know where it was and sent me on my way.  It seems to be running normally now, and I have since added more cleaner to the gas.  Diagnostic session..........$180.  Will it get me home?  Who knows?  Price of injector once I find one $335.  This is a pricey endeavor.................:(

Once I returned to the lake, I became engrossed with a grass clump that has been in our planting area in front of the house for several years...  I keep chopping it off every year in the spring, but we are really tired of it, as it has grown to about three feet around.  So this afternoons project was to dig it out, with a big heavy iron digging bar with a spade end on it.

The bar is taller than I am and weighs about 20 pounds.  You throw it into the ground until you get under the roots and then pry the ball up out of the ground.  It hurts the surgery some, so I have to go slow, and I was standing on the bar to pry with it over a brick.  It was 85 and on the sunny side of the house, the sweat just poured off of me........  The job still isn't complete as the sun fell over the hill.

So see, I am still trapped here for a while tomorrow, but Loyce wanted to know if I would be home by tomorrow night........  Better get things cleaned up and be back on the road before that injector decides to stick again..........  Life is fun!!

Retired Rod

PS: to Sam over in Darden Prairie, I promise we'll get together one of these times, but for now I need to get back to KC in order to stay out of trouble.....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fun at the Lake House

The temperature went right up this morning and heated the East facing front room of the lake cabin right up to over 80 during breakfast.  That was even though the sliding doors were open,  time for the A/C in March?  Well it is unseasonably warm temps this spring..........

But I spent most of the day doing some house work like the floors and stuff.  But that isn't too interesting.  At one point I was outside putting little wire ties on the rope light palm tree.  It was assembled with white wire ties that evidently were not UV tolerant.  Most of the little ties were laying on the deck.

It took quite a while to restring that dog gone thing, and in the end, I got it, but I didn't have the nerve to plug the tree in to see if the lights still worked.  That will be for another day.

Then in the middle of the afternoon, I had to call Loyce and find out how Biscuit did with the surgery, and she said the Vet called and said she did really well and that Loyce could go get her later today.  Since Loyce worked on many floors of the Hospital including surgery as a Nurse,  Biscuit will be in good hands tonight.

Then tonight, I was back in town buying more stuff at the local Wal Mart.  We really have nothing here, a fact that I realized when I was looking for mustard to put on a simple hot dog that was my lunch.  Absolutely nothing in the fridge or the cupboards.....

And I also purchased a little digital indoor outdoor thermometer.  A simple little device that runs on batteries.  Two in the outdoor sender and three in the little desk unit that is in the house.  All for only $10.

Oh, and one of the important things on the grocery list was humming bird powder to make the red stuff to go into the feeder.  And yes I know that 2 to 1 sugar and water will work almost as well, but they put some flowery smell into the commercial stuff that seems to attract our birds more quickly.  But I do think it is a little early for the hummers as they might not be here quite yet.

Then there was the wrestling match with the new toilet seat purchased at Wal Mart, and my still surgery sore front abdomen.  The front bathroom upstairs is super small, and I'm too big to fit............   But its on there......

Fun at the lake house............

Retired Rod

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cleaning at the Lake Cabin

Today Loyce had to clean up the house from the party, and I was more than worried about the lake cabin.  So I packed my bag and set out to see how the house in Lake Ozark has survived the winter.

It takes about three hours to drive down here, and I didn't leave until after the lunch hour, so I arrived way late in the afternoon.  I had stopped at a Wal Mart in Versailles, Mo to pick up some supplies for this house.

We packed out all the groceries from the house last fall, turning off the refrigerator and leaving the doors wide open.  Thus the stop at Wally World for some really basic stuff.  And that all seemed like the right thing to do, until I arrived here and realized that I was the one that turned off the fridge last fall, and like a non reliable male, I never bothered to clean it out much..............Like none.

So all those spills and drops of food in the freezer were right here waiting for me, screaming clean me!!! So after three hours of scrubbing and taking the shelves out and washing them in the sink, I finally got it turned back on.

Things aren't in too bad of shape here other than being overwhelmingly dirty.  Not inside so much, but out on the decks and down on the dock.  I worry that something major will go wrong when we are gone for several months at a time, but I had turned the water off before we left in November so we had no major problems.

That said, I haven't been down on the dock yet to inspect things there so I might be overly optimistic.

Loyce is back in KC tonight where she is prepping Biscuit for her surgery tomorrow where she will be Spayed.  This should have been done last summer, but it seemed that with all the trouble I was going thru at the hospital, we didn't get her over for a surgery of her own.

I am sorry not to be there for this procedure, but Loyce is an RN, and I am sure she can take care of a puppy....  So that's all from here tonight.......

Retired Rod

Monday, March 26, 2012

Birthday Party at Grandma's!

Today was the make up birthday party for two of our grandkids.  (Since we were gone on their real birthdays.)  I made the pulled pork recipe that I used last winter when I was recovering from the Christmas surgery.  It takes about 5 hours to do in the crock pot, and you have to tend it every so often, so I hung around the house most of the day.

The party was at 5 PM and we all enjoyed the get together.  Both families and all 5 grand kids were running around and Biscuit was in heaven with all the kids to play with.

Then there was the cake and ice cream.......  Chocolate two layer with cream cheese frosting filling in the middle.  Oh, and the crushed oreo cookies on top of the white frosting.......  And the chocolate frosting on the outside to hide the white layer in the middle.    Then the french vanilla ice cream on the side.......  Can we have another birthday tomorrow??

That shot the heck outa my diabetes diet.  Well the pulled pork sandwich and the coleslaw and baked beans probably didn't help much either...

Can someone roll me up to bed??  Anyway Happy Birthday to Caden and Clair!!

Retired Rod

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lawn Mower?? Whas that?

Now I know why we had to come back to KC this week!  All week it has rained and rained, which has really greened up the yards around here.  Which means that they have begun to grow.  Not evenly but in clumps and spurts like most spring grass does.

And today was Saturday which means that most of the men didn't have to go in to work, but their yards were waiting for them......  So mowers were buzzing all around me.  And tonight almost all of the yards on our street have now been mowed for the first time this year...

And,       yes,     I succumbed to the neighborly pressure and went out and purchased gas for the hand can and fired up the old lawn mower.  I had already started the tractor a couple of days ago because it had to be moved in order to get the generator out.  I loaned that to my son on the night we arrived back because his electricity was out in the storm.

So now our lawn has been mowed evenly and yard service also applied fertilizer as well, so spring is official.  The only other spring task is to turn back on the water sprinkler system, but that will have to wait for a while...

And in the middle of all this working in the garage, I put some of the new gas in the red motor scooter and started it up for the year as well.  It was kind of reluctant to start, but so far has not failed after a while cranking.  The battery had a tender on it all winter so it is doing well.

Loyce had two of the grand girls for most of the day today, and we are to have a birthday party here tomorrow, so we each had to go get supplies for the dishes we are making.  Since I was riding the much smaller motor scooter, I had to make two trips.... Yea, I could have taken the car, but where's the fun in that...?

It was in the 70s all day here and was a super day for all activities outside, so perhaps coming back here won't be as dismal as I had first feared.....

Retired Rod

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Looking at Bills and receiving packages

When you haven't been home for two and a half months, your mail becomes a little back logged......  An understatement to be sure.  But today Loyce and I started the arduous task of sorting thru and reading most of the piles and piles of mail.

Our younger son has stopped over and collected our mail out of the mail box pedestal on a regular basis and made a large pile in our kitchen.  And there it all was waiting for us.  I usually check the bills that I know about on the internet and keep them paid but there are those folks that only mail out billings.  So unless I knew that the bill was outstanding, they are weeks behind.

Of course during all of that, I had a watch that has a bad main spring in it, so it needs to go in for repair.  Its original invoice was here at the house, so that needed to be found and packaged.  After writing a short repair request note and boxing the package up, I took it to the Post Office.  Yes the US Postal Service.  Lately the packages that I have received from them have been in far better shape than packages received from UPS.

But with that said, we received our packages of clothing that we sent here from Arizona by UPS today.  The boxes were substantially unharmed as they went thru the system.  This worked quite well for us, so I will explain.

It was obvious that we couldn't pack all of our clothes and belongings into the CRV car for our return trip home, but we did want a bunch of it back here before we had a chance to return to Arizona in May. A bunch of years ago my parents had a park model in Mesa and would package fairly large shipping containers with clothes and other belongings.  They would send them thru the UPS system to the desert and then send them home as they were leaving.

This worked quite well, so we purchased some boxes at the Signal Butte Wal Mart and packed them up.  I shipped them on Monday making sure they were going ground.  I didn't want them to beat us home.  And they didn't as they arrived this afternoon just like they were promised.  And since it was all soft goods nothing inside was breakable.    Cost was about $55 plus the shipping containers and tape.  They weighed in at 45 pounds for both boxes together.

I would think that this is not the last time we will use this technique as we begin to outfit and supply a new home in the desert....

It was much warmer here again today as we reached the mid 60s, but the sun only briefly came out from under the cloud cover.  I am running around in a sweatshirt feeling cold.  Arizona has spoiled us for sure.

Retired Rod

Friday, March 23, 2012

Do we really live here?

Al from Bayfield brings up the trucks on the highway around Dalhart, Tx.  And this is a big concern, as Dalhart is cattle feeding country.  That fact is readily apparent when you come anywhere near the place.  That is if your nose works only rudimentary.

There are thousands and thousands of cattle in pens on booth sides of the road for miles mostly to the South of town.  While many of these operations have their own feed facilities, much of the raw materials are trucked into them.  When I worked for the grain company, this was one of our large destinations and we had an agent that lived and worked right in town.

Also US 54 seems to be a major cut thru for many over the road trucks, and it is so popular, that Oklahoma has improved the road to 4 lanes most of the way across the pan handle.  The problem is that none of the towns have done anything to improve their roads.  So towns equal bottlenecks...  Eventually there will be bypasses I am sure, and Dalhart would be the first place that could be skirted.  But it is out in the middle of no where, so we usually stop for provisions of some kind.

Loyce and I think that eventually there may be an interstate that will take over US 54.  Much of that road in Missouri is now being rebuilt as a four lane as well.  It is the same road that goes thru Lake Ozark and has been changed to a bypass system now that goes right thru town.

We have begun taking the bypass diagonal up to US 50, between Pratt, Kansas and Hutchinson as well.  This completely removes driving thru Wichita.  The road is freeway like thru the center of Wichita with limited access, but it still has nasty drive time delays.  That seems to be the exact time of day that we always arrive.....

Highway US 50 skirts Hutchinson and Newton on bypasses and travels at 65 mph without much delay.  And when you get to Emporia, it is I 35 from there on up to KC.  I get the idea that we will become very bored with this drive in the future..

But there are other alternatives, but they are much farther.  Remember that in the winter, we go to Oklahoma City, to miss the Western Kansas snow storms altogether.   Western Oklahoma interstates are the roughest roads we usually encounter however......

Our day here was mostly unloading and sorting all the stuff we had jammed into the little CRV.  It was soo packed that we barely had room to sit in it ourselves.  Stuffed clear to the roof with the top most layer being our pillows.

Also we had tossed almost all of our groceries, so I ended up going to Wal Mart twice today with varying lists.  Of course there was almost nothing in the way of groceries here with exception of frozen stuff.  And its old.....

Also every time I sat down in the big chair, I would nod off for a nap.......  Not up to those 600 mile days any more......

Retired Rod

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cool in Kansas

Overland Park, Kansas  Rainy and 45 degrees......

As you can see, we have arrived back at our home place tonight, and it is rather cool here.  Now why did we have to come back here??  Oh ya, the taxes need to be done and the Doctors are screaming that we need to give them another cash infusion....

Well at any rate, we left the town of Santa Rosa, Nm about 8:30 their time on Wednesday morning and promptly drove over to Tucumcari where we had a quick breakfast at the local fast food, and got some gas for the road North.

From there it is the two lane highway up thru Dalhart, Tx and Guymon, Ok.  The wind began to blow like crazy when we were in Tx, and motorhomes were stopped along the sides of the road.  I think RVs must have quit moving all together, as we never saw another one until we got to Kansas.

But by Liberal, Ks, the wind changed to rain and the temperature dropped to the high thirties.  Burrr....  But we just stopped for a Sub Way and pressed on into the afternoon.  Kansas is like West Texas, as the towns seem all the same and the fields are all the same....

Eventually we were in Greensburg where the Tornado had taken the whole town down a few years ago.  But now the entire place seems quite new and it is becoming a very revitalized community.    At least for those that suck it out and didn't move away.

We left highway 54 and slipped up to 50 at Pratt,Ks.  50 is at Hutchinson, and there is a diagonal in between that saves a few miles.  We were home by 9 PM Central time, so we were on the road for a little over 12 hours..  But the thought of another night in the Motel 6 somewhere kept us dedicated to the highway home....

There is even more to the story, but somehow I am too tired to write any more....ZZzzzzzzzz

Retired Rod

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Were outa there!

Santa Rosa, New Mexico....

Its always a big day on the day you have to leave, and this morning we were both awake at 6AM.  I made the comment that it was really 7AM over in New Mexico where we were headed, so we both got up.

Even then it was after 8 when we had all the inside organized and the hoses rolled up.  You have to have the engine running to retract the slides and bring up the jacks, so we kind of waited until the neighbors went to breakfast before we fired up the motor.

Then we just promptly left.  But the fellow did come back as I was walking the empty site as the coach was out in the street.  He wanted to know where the storage lot was that we had rented..... I didn't actually give him a good answer.  I just said up on University over in Mesa........  What does he need to know that for?

We finished packing up the car over in the storage lot and tossed out all the ice from the fridge.  The rig and trailer did fit on the 50 ft lot with about a foot to spare.... We were somewhat worried about that.

As I explained yesterday, we drove to Globe first and promptly got into the snow.  As we turned North toward Show Low, the big electronic sign over the road warned of Winter Driving and Dense Fog.....  Eww..  But the sun was shinning, and the road had been plowed and was mostly dry.

We climbed and the snow became much deeper along the side of the road, but the sun was melting it out of the trees.  No fog ever did present itself.  Our tires seldom went thru any snow but it was wet in a lot of places.

About half way to Show Low, you drive thru the Salt River Canyon.  This is another of Arizona's most beautiful places..  You come to the rim and have fantastic views of the entire gorge and then begin to descend on steep switchbacks.  The trees were green and the snow on their bows looked like Christmas.  The sun was blinding, but there were big billowy clouds over the far side of the canyon..

Once at the bottom, you drive along the river and finally cross it on a bridge.  But Arizona in its budget woes, has closed the rest area next to the river.   That caused folks to park along the road and climb the fences to get into the park part......

The drive up the opposite canyon wall is also several switchbacks.  Looking back to the South the snow was really neat against the red rock walls.  About 20 miles farther we were in Show Low and had lunch at a McDonalds.  Yuck........

The rest of the drive up to Holbrook was uneventful as we descended out of the snow country.  But Holbrook is still 5000 ft so the temperatures never warmed back up much..  On thru the petrified forest and next thing we knew it we were in New Mexico.  That was where the clock changed and suddenly it became late afternoon.

It was 6 PM when we arrived in Albuquerque, but of course now that it is daylight saving time, it wasn't even close to dark, so we made the decision to press on Eastward.  Two hours later it was dark, and we were hungry again, so that's when we stopped here in Santa Rosa.

The only motel that was  pet friendly we found was the Motel 6, but just like Tom Baudette says, they had the light on for us......

Biscuit is running all around the room as I type this....... it could be a long night!!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Packing and Biscuit Runs!

This was a day to pack up, and since we have been here in Mesa, Apache Junction since last December 1st, we have tons of stuff to go thru and decide what to do with it.  We will only have the car to take things back, so that has stressed the importance of the things we really need.

And in the middle of all this packing, Biscuit had a hair appointment.  So right after lunch, we headed out to the Paws and Claws coiffure.  We that is after we caught her again.............. she knew something was up and slipped away from Loyce.  She didn't get too very far as a neighbor up the street grabbed her, but still our hearts stopped for a couple of minutes.

She is all squirrelly tonight because they had to trim her quite close.  She had some mats that wouldn't untangle so they cut them out and then cut her all over to match.  I'd take a picture but the camera is already packed away out in the car.  But hey its summer and she needs a short doo......

Perhaps there will not be a blog tomorrow night, as we will be searching for a motel and all that goes with the experience.

We are going to attempt to leave the valley by heading East on US 60 or the Superstition Freeway.  It won't be any problem to get up to Globe, but from there over the mountain to Show Low is in question.  If we can make it up and over the switchbacks West of Show Low, we feel that it will be good to go from there on up to the Interstate.  Now I hope I didn't just jinx myself.  Once on I 40, we will see what the highway looks like from there.

The pass West of Show Low is only 6400 feet instead of 7600 East of Payson.  That 1200 feet will mean much less snow, and hopefully the plows will have cleared it today.  Monday.  If not, it isn't too far to just return here to AJ or Mesa for a night or two.

We also took one last turn over past the new house site this afternoon, and found that all of the sewer trenches had been filled in and several dump trucks of gravel had been spread inside the forms with a Ford tractor.  A lone worker with a shovel was shaping the deeper outside footings along the forms.  We both thought it would be too muddy to do dirt work today, but the desert dries out very quickly.

Once they get the tension cables stretched and the plastic sheeting down, there will be three foundations ready to pour on our street alone.  They seem to do several houses that are ready for the same thing at the same time.  So we will probably have a concrete floor by the end of the week....

Its gonna kill me to not know what's happening..............

Retired Rod

Monday, March 19, 2012

To a lost friend.

For Mary Ellen, yes Loyce is your friend from so many years ago in West Branch, Iowa.  She remembers her friends and is still broken hearted that she had to move away. You can eMail her at .  I'm sure she will respond......  Rod

Weather, the only thing that happened here today.

Today was all about the weather.  It started as I was posting last nights post.  Suddenly there was a great big whoop! A big blast of gusting wind flopped the awning slide top over the kitchen.  Bringing in the slides on this rig is almost impossible as everything needs to be up off of the floor.

Mostly we put this stuff on the bed when we travel, bringing in the slides when you intend to sleep on the bed is mostly impossible.  So we usually don't bring in the slides even in the wind.  But that doesn't keep the flopping from shaking the whole place on every gust.

It wasn't too bad until about 4 AM and then the front must have passed over us because we were shaking and rocking and rolling.  Of course this kept Biscuit up and she was whining.  I wasn't sure if she was scared or just annoyed by being kept awake.  But then perhaps that describes me as well.  Loyce usually can sleep thru a hurricane but even she was bothered.

The temperature just kept dropping and somewhere around 3 AM the rains began.  It has never completely stopped all day.  I was over at Wal Mart looking for some packing boxes and tape to ship some stuff and it actually became sunny.

On the way back home, for the brief time that the sun was out, I could see the top of superstition mountain which was covered in Snow!  But the fog or steamy cloud cover  shrouded  the top most peak which was quite striking in the sun.  But alas I had no camera with me.  Not even the phone.

I stopped over to the construction site to see how it was handling the water.  Around here there are not good storm sewers, but our new neighborhood does have several drains that run into water pits that are doubled as planter areas.  And there is one of these at the end of our block.  It wasn't even very full, but it was taking the water from the streets.  This is comforting as the last thing we would want is water  in the house.  Remember the floor of the house is a concrete slab that is about 6 inches above the outside ground.

Tonight the winds have gone, but the temps are in the mid 40s so we are running all of the heaters that we have.  Mostly just the electric heaters but every now and then the LP comes up to assist.  The snow is down to the 2500 foot level, and we are at about 1500 here in AJ, so we are not that far below the snowfall.

Another night in the RV experience......  It was over 80 up in the mid West today...... !

Retired Rod

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Scooter was packed away............

It was sunny this morning and the day began somewhat warm, but we knew it was slated to turn bad fairly quickly.  And since it is to be almost freezing at night and never much more than 60 during the days, a decision had to be made.

It just wouldn't be scooter riding time again until later in the week, and by then we would be on our way back to Kansas.  Scooter time was over for this winter...........

So I put a couple of ounces of Stabil in the gas tank and headed off to the gas station to fill it up.  It doesn't quite hold 4 gallons.  Once full I drove around a big four mile square block to mix the stabilizer into the gas and suck it up into the injection system.  That's when I noticed that the wind was really blowing.  It had begun.

Once back at the RV site, I hitched the utility trailer to the car and pulled it out away from the utility pole at the back of the lot and dropped the back ramp door.  Of course it was full of boxes of stuff, you know that junk you never know what to do with.....

But once that was set outside, I buzzed around the block and drove in over the back fence neighbor's drive and right up into the trailer.  That neighbor has a park model but does not have a back wall on the driveway so it was a straight shot.  And also she went home sometime last week so its all vacant.  But of course the neighbor on our drivers side came right out to make certain that I wasn't hurting anything over there.  As short term residents, we have never been invited into the fold so to speak here at this park.  And the long term click members really don't trust us much.....

But with the bike loaded, we packed up all the outside stuff and filled the rest of the trailer.  It is going to rain and dust storm according to the forecast, so outside isn't going to be too pleasant anyway.  I did wash the bike and the front windshield of the coach this morning, betting that the rains wouldn't be muddy.  Of course that doesn't matter for the bike because it is in the trailer now.

In the mid afternoon, we pulled the trailer over to the storage lot and parked it.  We are now that much closer to departure.  And its a good thing too as the wind blew strongly for the rest of the afternoon.

I headed out for a Subway lunch and went over to the new house.  We have completed plumbing in the ground now as it is ready for inspection on Monday.  We'll be gone Tuesday morning so that's the end of our daily inspection.  Now we just have to trust!!  But I guess if we never see anything bad, we will never know about it.  And that will be somewhat of a peace of mind.

If it really rains and the wind blows, the project out in the mud of the open sewer trenches will probably come to a complete stop for a while anyway......

Tonight we had numerous neighbors that were hosting St. Patrick's Day parties.  The park was alive with folks sitting out in the driveways of park models everywhere.  These old folks can still drink and party without regard to their age.  Laughter went on until about 11 PM, but then is seemed to abruptly stop.  Just like that everyone became a pumpkin and lights went off...

It was supposed to rain by now, but perhaps I shouldn't point that out too loudly, could be the calm before the storm........

Retired Rod

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What's that smell?

Every time we stay here in Mesa, Arizona past the middle of March, we stay long enough to enjoy that smell........

Its pungent and heavy musty sweet.  It blankets the North side of town with acidy sweet lemon citrus smell.............  Most of the fruit was picked from the trees in February, so now its Orange Blossom time!

I forget that it is going to happen, and mostly we can't smell it out here in the South East part of town, but tonight I went riding on the scooter and headed West on University. When I reached Power, I turned North and drove on East toward Falcon Air Field.  That's when it hit me!  That Sweeeeeet overpowering orange rind smell.

I rode on and eventually arrived back at the RV park, where you can't smell it.......... yet!   Anyway after telling Loyce that it was orange blossom time, we had to drive the car back over to the old Wal Mart that we went to when we stayed at Mesa Spirit.

Anyway there is a Carl's Jr in the Wal Mart parking lot so we had a burger while we sat out in the car so we could smell the flowers....  Burger wasn't half bad either.  They smoke char broil the meat, so it is different than the other joints we visit.

Today the temperatures topped out around 87 and I saw 89 on the bike's dash.  That's as warm as it has been this season and about 10 degrees above what is considered normal.  But it will be very short lived as it is being pushed by a storm coming off of the ocean up in North central California.

We are to loose the warmth entirely, first with wind and dust.  Then the mud rain will clear the air giving way to temperatures in the low 60s as Sunday's high.  They are talking a foot of snow up in the higher elevations, as the weather people describe it here in the Phoenix area.

We were hoping to leave from here on Tuesday, so we are the culprits that caused this.  Wouldn't be right unless we traveled in a storm.........

Retired Rod

Friday, March 16, 2012

Nope, no Poo spill!!

It was early morning, and I ducked out to open the black water tank , while the neighbors were away to breakfast.  I turned the tank washer on and stepped back to let it do its work.  That's when I noticed a little problem........

Now remember that the hose is stretched back under the coach toward the drain that is behind the curb side dual.  But as I watched the nasty stuff drain, I realized that the ground was becoming wet along side the hose about half way back under the coach.

And then there was another little wet spot further along the hose,   yep I had some pin holes in the stinky slinky.  Not big ones mind you as they were barely wetting the desert ground, but still they were holes.

I decided right away that we needed a new hose, and set off to Wal Mart on the scooter.  I went in the garage door back where the oil change lane is, knowing that RV stuff is in the auto parts department.  And guess what?  I found it on sale for $29.95.  The new Rhino Flex hose with all the fittings on it already.  I also grabbed some Stabil for the gas in the motor scooter when we park it next week.

Outside at the bike, I had a bit of a problem as the box for the sewer pipe was way larger than the bin under the bike's seat.  But I managed to get a bunge cord out and strap it onto the passenger space on the back of the seat.  Several folks were rubber necking to see what I had on the way home.  The box is bright orange.

When I got home, I saw that our neighbors were back from breakfast, so I just tabled the project for now.  I didn't want to start a meeting of the sewer hose committee out behind our rig.

Much later tonight, I went out and disconnected the old hose rolling it up and installing the new one under the rig.  The new hose is more rigid and snaps as is collapses or extends keeping its shape rather than being all wiggley.  It was quite easy to push it under the rig from the drain back over to the bottom  of the sewer locker.  So far the Rhino Flex hose seems to be an improvement over the regular style.  I only drained some grey water thru it, but nothing seemed to spill.

As I gathered the old hose, trying not to become too familiar with it, carrying it over to the big dumpster thru the rigs,  that attracted all that attention that I was trying to avoid.  After tossing it, everyone had to ask what was up, or what had gone wrong or if I was tossing it out.  I just said it was really sun baked and I was tossing it.

See how fast you can attract attention with an old sewer hose and a trip to the refuse bin!!  Everyone expects that there must be a big Poo spill somewhere...........Nope didn't happen.

Retired Rod

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reviewing the paper work........

I like to answer comments first, before I forget about the question, so for reader Rex, the ground that the sewer pipes are buried in on our lot is almost all sandy type of red clay.  It pulverizes into a fine dust with out a rock to be seen.  The sewer pipes are two or more feet under the concrete, in this red sandy dirt.  There is a layer of gravel on top of the ground that will be under the concrete, and the perimeter will have a plastic sheet of vapor barrier all around the concrete edge.  This is so the moisture doesn't wick up into the concrete from rain or plant watering around the foundation.  So hopefully the black sewer pipes will remain in one piece...

And that is some of what was explained to us during the day as we spent most of the afternoon with our builder.  We spent what seemed like forever going thru all the paper work that has been completed to date.  They seemed to want to review all of the selections we have made to reassure that we know what we have chosen and what it will look like.

Perhaps they have had folks that come back once a selection is installed saying "I didn't choose that!"  So to them a complete review and discussion of everything is a good safety precaution.  Then we went over to the actual construction site and walked the lot with its open sewer trenches.  He thinks the pipe will go in yet this week.

I do think he is privately pleased that we are going back to Kansas and won't be here to pester him on every little detail as the build goes along.  And you know we would do just that, but we can't stay here forever just to watch the construction.

Anyway we came back to the rig as the sun was setting, and knew it was too late to go back over to Skies for a burger and a visit with the Dixons.  The band would have been done with their matinee by the time we would be arriving, and the temperament of the crowd changes about then as well.

So we headed out to get a fast burger, but ended up over on Power Road and Southern for another Fuddruckers.....  We don't have one of these back in Kansas any more, so this will be our final Fudds for a while.  Or until we come back for the open wall inspection in May any way.

It could be late May now, as they are experiencing shortages of experienced workers at the sub contractor level.  Many folks that worked the building trades have moved on to other forms of jobs, in the past several years of slow housing starts here in Arizona.  But the sudden demand for housing this spring seems to have caught the workforce off guard.

Not much else to report here other than another banner day with a high of 82.  But it was 78 this afternoon in Kansas, so even that is becoming old hat.  Still the days here will be 100 percent sunny for almost the rest of the summer, and Kansas can't compete with that.  It will be 110 degrees before long here but perhaps we will be back in Kansas by then......

Retired Rod

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Biscuit Plays and Trailer wiring in the Honda

This day disappeared rather rapidly!  And I got up fairly early for me too.  Maybe I am getting ready to change that clock when we go over the New Mexico line.....

Biscuit and I got on the Scooter and rode down to the dog park in the end of the park.  We would walk down there, but she gets soooo black from the sealer on the blacktop that it just isn't worth it.  The stuff is some kind of powder that comes off on everything inside the RV.  And then we spend all the time cleaning up.

Biscuit rides over the hump in front of the seat where the engine is.  She really wants down, but as soon as we begin to move, she is smart enough to know that jumping off wouldn't be good.  Anyway we played in the grass and walked around the big fenced tennis court until she did her business, and then we were good to go inside the fence.

When no one is playing tennis, the court becomes an off leash play area for the dogs.  I found the tennis ball stuck in the fence wire near the gate and tossed it over the net.  Biscuit tore after it like her life depended on getting it.  But she isn't much of a retriever, because she thinks the ball is to be chewed upon.  Eventually she will bring it back to my end of the court, but still she may not give it to me.

After an hour of this chasing about, we rode back to the Rig.  Once home, momma declared that she was really dirty and would be getting a bath anyway.  Gee, if I had known that we could have just walked up there.

Loyce and I worked some on the paper work to lay out the bushes and trees for the front yard of the new house after lunch.  We need to have this ready for the big meeting tomorrow afternoon.  This meeting is with the construction foreman, as he has a spiel that he goes thru on what to expect and when.  We are not sure how long this will take, but they said to expect it to last until about 6 PM.  Good heavens,  I wonder what they have to talk about that lasts so long...

Mid afternoon, I went to an Auto Zone over by the new house and purchased a trailer wiring converter to change the tail lights on the Honda from the separate brake circuit to the standard shared turn signal brake light four wire plug.  Then I used the rest of the daylight installing this on the back of the Honda.

While we would not take off pulling the utility trailer with the Honda at highway speeds across country, we would buzz across town at city speeds.  That requires the trailer lights to work, at least for the brakes anyway.  So with the sun setting, the wiring was now in.

We will probably place the trailer on the storage lot a day ahead, so on the morning we depart, we can just park the coach over there and head out with the car.

Not much more has happened on the construction site, other than the plumbers have now marked the ground with orange paint where the trenches are to be dug for the sewer and water lines.  Next we will have a back hoe excavator moving dirt.  These folks have built so many of these houses they can do it in their sleep......  But perhaps that is good because there will be fewer errors that way...

High temperature today was 85 degrees with almost no breeze.  We had to run the air conditioner in the afternoon as the rig was about 95 inside without it.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Time is on the move

This is Arizona, and folks around here don’t do daylight saving time.  It is currently the only state that doesn’t play along with this game of switching the clocks.  So yesterday while everyone changed their time and had their heads screwed on backwards because the clock didn’t agree with their internal timer, we went merrily along like nothing was different.

That was all fine until this morning or Monday, as we are now working with folks back in Kansas on the phone.  And suddenly they have moved an hour later or away from what our clocks now say.  That becomes more of a pain in the patutee as things close up more quickly.

By 2PM here it is now 4PM in Kansas, and people are closing out their day and going on home.  So I guess we will have to start on things a bit earlier.  But when you are working with doctors and pharmacies, it narrows the window when folks are able to talk to each other…….  Fun!

Also this means that as we drive back to Kansas in the upcoming weeks, we will be changing our watch when we leave Arizona and cross to New Mexico, and then again when we leave New Mexico and cross into Texas.  Now if you are like me and have a bunch of watches because that is one of your hobbies…………

It is interesting that Windows 7 has a time zone in its listing that is simply “Arizona”, but since we are not like anywhere else, this is necessary.  Its not as bad as Indiana, where most of the state is on Eastern time, but several counties around Chicago are still Central.  Also the counties in the Evanston area use central as well.  Wow wouldn’t that be fun?

Once I got my head around the time change issue in the rest of the country and what it will mean for us here, I headed out on the scooter, and today I did go back to W….  Ya Wendy’s.  From there I needed a storage lot……

Maybe I need to back up, …  we’ve been talking about going home for several weeks, but then needing to be back here to do an open wall inspection of the new house before the wall board goes on.  You know its really hard to change anything once the wall board is on.  Even if you know exactly where something is, you have to tear off the wall board, but if you don’t know exactly where the item is that needs to be changed, then you tear off wall board until you find it.

It is much easier to do things right the first time…..  And so we need to be back here sometime in May.  Now, do we drive the motorhome to Kansas and then drive back here?  Or do we just come back with the car and stay in the motel?  Or do we drive the car home and then drive the car back leaving the motorhome here……???

So without too much discussion we decided to leave the coach here again.  That means that we have to leave the scooter here as well because the car can’t pull the trailer and scooter together..  Leave my baby behind in Mesa???  Ouch..

But it will take $650 in diesel fuel each way.  But this savings can be eaten up rather quickly if we leave the rig in a campground for those two months, so we need a storage lot.

Sandy Dixon suggested a lot up on Superstition Road, and I rode up there on the scoot.  Luckily the fellow was in the lot working on spreading new gravel in areas that needed repair.  It didn’t take long, and we now have a new storage lot.  We can park both the MH and the utility trailer in one spot.  He quoted $30 per month, I tried to quell my excitement……… 

I signed the papers and paid for the first partial month in cash…  Things are really loosey goosey, as things are mostly on a hand shake, but he is trying to fill the place up.  He can change the rules later on once he has more customers.

So anyway we now have a inexpensive storage location to leave the rig in while we go back to Kansas in the car.

This blog is becoming way long, so I need to bring it to an end, but today we had concrete forms installed on the vacant lot, so we must have moved on beyond the inspections and licenses.  The construction has officially begun.

Retired Rod

Monday, March 12, 2012

Can you hear the Music?

I found this comment on the blog about the fire this morning.  This sums up why folks do not know what to say about the fire post.  Since this is something that everyone needs to see, I will re post the comment here.

After reading Sunday's post I decided to make this Comment. On June 20th 2004 (Fathers Day) was a beautiful day. Our daughter Rose took us out for dinner and we had an enjoyable visit. Afterwards I laid down for a nap before heading in to work for Midnight Shift. After arriving at the plant and changing my clothes I headed out to the plant floor. Before the start of the shift I was racing back home to see flames well above the roofline of our house. My main concern was for Kathy who miraculously had escaped and was at the neighbors. Witness had stated seeing young teenaged looking kids running from our back yard before the fire was spotted. The fire marshall verified it was Arson the next day. That was the start of a two year battle to rebuilding our lives. Though I am grateful for not having lost the most precious person in my life, when I see stories of loss of life such as your story, I can not comment but just hang my head and pray for the victims. It's about time.By Rick and Kathy Rousseau 
So thanks Rick and Kathy for your comment and reminding us how serious this really is.

Omm Pa Pa, Omm Pa Pa.........  The tuba is shaking the windshield of the front of our RV and this is the third day that it has been that way.   One two three, one two three, one two three........  Its polka time!!

Seems that this park hosts the polka band from up in Minnesota and it is a tradition that has been in effect for many years.  Folks come from all the RV parks and park around our community center, which is much like a dance hall.  On Friday night and Saturday night, and again today for a matinee  cars were parked in all the parking places in the parking lot and all up and down the sides of the main entrance street.

We had our camp host folks out on their golf carts policing all of this parking.  They made sure that people were parking in actual parking spots and not just anywhere they wanted to.  At least that kept the streets open and somewhat passable.  But I was glad that I didn't need to leave with the motorhome today.  This park only has one exit, and there were so many cars lining the sides of the streets that a motorhome couldn't have made the corner to get out of here.

Most of the folks that attended this festival were not residents of this RV park.  Oh, there was a few folks that came walking thru the camp sites heading up to the dance hall, but mostly the folks that live here were swimming in the pool on the East side of the building.  As a resident it is free to swim, and the music was so loud that it could easily be enjoyed from the pool.  So unless you wanted to actually dance, the pool worked fine and didn't cost anything.  Actually, I could hear it easily outside under our awning.  We actually started our air conditioner so it wouldn't be so loud.

So finally tonight at 8 PM the parking lot was completely empty, and the Omm Pa Pa was silent for another year.  Whew!!!  I think there are more dances scheduled, but they will not be nearly the draw that the polka festival was.

Once the music started again this afternoon, I promptly headed out on the motor scooter for a late lunch.  So I headed for W.......  no not there, I decided it was time to change it up and headed for Subway.   A six inch cold cut combo and a bag of chips.  Well it was different anyway.....

I rode the bike over into the housing development and began looking at some of the other houses that our building company is building.  Mostly these are quite a bit more expensive than our house, so the options are much more prevalent and costly.  I do this to get ideas, and understand what could be done, but unfortunately my bank account can't keep up with this habit.

Since that was mostly disappointing, it was time to come back here and fight the polka crowd.  Loyce wanted Mexican for supper, so we decided to go authentic tonight and went to Filberto's, a drive thru place that is all over down here.  Its not US fake Mexican like Taco Bell, but rather right on dead authentic.

I had a large Soft Taco Carne Asada and Loyce had the two Enchilada special.  I asked for hot sauce, and got some small plastic cups of green sauce.  I just poured it on and didn't even taste it first.  It was quite good, but I am certain it will be back to haunt me before morning.

So just another Sunday in the RV park here in Apache Junction.......

Retired Rod

Sunday, March 11, 2012

House Pictures

When I posted the story about the fire, I knew that it wouldn't have many comments.  There just isn't much that can be commented on with a story like that.  And I wondered if I should even do the story, but it is in the mix of what has happened here.  Not everything in life is wonderful, but it still needs to be conveyed, so I did the story...  I hope it isn't too disturbing.

I promised to take and post pictures of the neighbor's house that will be much like our new home.  It is about three or four weeks ahead of where we are, as we only have paint lines in the dirt and plans on the sign post for the city to check out this week.  While the papers have been filed, an inspector must come out to the lot and sign off.

We took the first pictures when the sewer pipes were being put in under the floor. 


The white piping on the right comes up under the island in the center of the kitchen and has fresh water going thru it.


The orange pipe below is where the fresh water comes in from the street.


The blue cables are stretched across the concrete forms and put tension on the floor slab so it won’t break.


Here the forms are complete and the concrete truck will come tomorrow.


Ready for the carpenters….




Once the rough in carpenters were done and cleaned up three days later, I came back and took photos of the completed stick build.  Suddenly there is a house, but things will slow up a lot from here on out.



Above right, is the master bedroom on the back of the house.


The picture above is the great room and dining area looking out on the smallish patio that can be seen on the picture below.


The front elevation of this house is not the one we picked but does have the garage on the right like our house will have.

Around the corner on another street is a completed home that is the elevation that we picked and the same color scheme as well.  This is a lot like what we should look like when we are done but we will have the rounded tile roof.


Retired Rod

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tragedy in Apache Junction

Several nights ago we were sitting here in the motorhome when we heard sirens, lots of them and they were quite close to us here in our RV park.

I told Loyce that those sirens were going to a fire. She said that there was no way that I could know that. But I knew that it was older sirens from vehicles that were older than the current ambulances and police cars.  They weren't electronic sirens but rather older mechanical sirens found on older fire trucks that seem to never wear out, since they spend most of their time parked at the fire house.

The next day we learned of a fire at a manufactured home that was in a neighborhood a little over a mile away.  The TV news reported a trailer house in a park, but that was not true.  But what was deadly true was that four people perished in this fire and that two of them were children.

Seems that they were found very near the front entrance of the home, but could not find their way out of the raging inferno.  This is very sad..... Even sadder was what had been reported as a suspected cause.

Again this is not reported the same depending on which article you read on the internet, but it seems that this fellow had something to do with ammunition.  Or another article said historical weapons. Yet other new reports refused to speculate on the cause.

We slipped by the home today and snapped this photo.  There were numerous balloons and flowers on the far side of the barrier fence.  This is sobering..

Again we did not know these people or anyone that did, and can only speculate as to the cause.  But if any of the reports of ammunition or antique guns are anywhere near the truth, it is possible that we are looking at the results of a gun powder fire.

Perhaps this could be the results of a black powder fire in a factory built manufactured double wide home.  Would that be a fire that engulfed the premise so quickly that no one could make it only a few feet to the obvious door exits?

So if any of us are involved with reloading of rounds, and or black powder muzzle loaders, this would underline the absolute necessity of powder safes for the storage of our volatile supplies......

My heart pours out to these folks relatives......

Retired Rod 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lost looking for a garden center that was there all along.

This was one of those non existent days.  We just did chores.  Loyce was working on the sorting of all of our clothes to get ready to for the laundry.  Our neighbors on the lot behind us got ready and left the park so we wished them off.

Then mid morning I rode the cycle over to the the new lot to check on progress of the neighborhood.  Today is the third complete day of the rough in framing of the neighboring house two doors to our South.   This house is exactly like the one we are building.

I could tell that is was the same exact floor plan now as it was far enough along to see the interior wall layout.  The project foreman told me that he will be done tomorrow, and that he needed to be done because the schedule called for electricians and h v a c folks in the next several days.

We did have one little form of progress on our lot this morning, in that we had the official sign installed that starts off the build.  It states the address and the lot number and describes the build plan.  This signifies that the city permit has been acquired and that the build is authorized.  So we are now officially in progress.

I have been looking for a garden center that we went to several years ago when we were staying at Mesa Spirit.  We drove around with the car a few days ago, but couldn't find it.   So today I went out with the scooter looking again.  I drove around for about two hours while Loyce was in the laundry.  Again looking for the center, and again  I didn't find it....

So tonight I kept at it with the computer and the internet browser.  And eventually it came up.  I didn't know the name of the place, and thought I was going to have to call my friend Larry back in Iowa to see if he remembered, since he was with us that year.

But when I did determine that it was the A & P Garden Center, I then figured out that I was about 1 mile off on my East West street.  Its on Brown, and I kept looking on MeKelleps.  Should have used the computer in the first place............

But when I came back to the park, they were having a Karaoke singing party up in the community center.  You could hear the singing all over the center of the park here,   and some were better and others were........well............  embarrassing....

This is the first week that we have been in a park where there wasn't a weekly swap meet or country store as they call it.  But we didn't really miss it much, as no one suggested that we go over to one of the parks that do have this activity.  Maybe next week........

I'll go over and take a few pictures of the finished rough in carpentry on the neighbors house tomorrow, as we will not be here for that stage of our own build.

This is going to be hard............  I can tell already.

Retired Rod

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dreeeeeam, Dream Dream Dream

Tonight we went to see Brant and Kerrie......  This is two guys that are a duo on guitars.  They sang for three hours straight without any breaks..  This is quite the entertainment, if your an oldster like us.  The memories seemed to come with every new piece.

They were spot on when they did Elvis.  Then it was the Everly Brothers and Dream Dream Dream.... Wow I was in high school when that was a hit.  Marty Robbins,  we heard almost all of his hits, and then Johnny Cash.  Its hard to really imitate Cash, because his voice was so low, but we had to listen to Folsum Prison.

We found ourselves singing along with almost all of the songs, and there wasn't a single tune that we didn't recognize.....

Now we wouldn't even know who these two fellows were, if it wasn't for our friends Jim and Sandie that we met day before yesterday.  Of course we had met on the blogs for the last year or so but in person, that just seemed like a formality we needed to get done, in order to get on with things.

Jim and Sandie quite enjoy Superstition Skies Bar and Grill over in the foothills of the superstition mountain.  The place is older and was there during the 50s.  It has many recognizable patrons from the years and even Elvis himself used to dine in the back dining room when he was filming movies back in the day.

So we met at the Skies as the locals call it and grabbed a table for dinner and the music.  There was all you could eat Chicken Wings with a bunch of sauces and the fixins.  But I ordered a Big Burger with cheese and Bacon.   I'll take an extra Zocor in the morning!!

Of course I didn't take a camera, but Sandie did, and she took our picture, and I grabbed it and took theirs, but it didn't sound too promising that she would post her own.  But really, I thought it was good of them.

Other than the big evening our day was rather boring.  The winds were still somewhat blowing, and the weather almost made 60 today, but not quite.  I never uncovered the bike because riding when it is less than 60 is a tad cool.

Loyce went over to the home sales office and met with our sales lady.  They were going over some of the selections and stuff.  Also they have the address of the house as two different things in the documents, so they were fixing the paper work.

So that's about it for today, but I am still humming a bunch of Roy Orbison's songs as Brant and Kerrie knew them all, and sang most of them in the three hours we were there.  Heck, I can't wait to go back!!!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Biscuit is Clean!!!

I had to take another BATH  !!!!     

And we all know how much I don't like baths..........

It all started when we were outside this morning, and I was out back of the utility trailer with dad insisting that I go pottie........  Of course I wasn't listening at all, but rather was sitting on my behind in the dirt.  I finally went, but only when I was good and ready.

Then a little while later, some blogger friends of my dad and moms Jim and Sandie stopped by to say hi!  They hadn't actually met each other before, but have read each others blogs now for a while, so it was like they had known each other forever just the same.

And I was happy to see them too, so I jumped up and down and went out in the black street and rolled on the concrete while they were talking.  Hey, I was just being me...  But while I was at it I was getting dirtier along the way....

Mom got started cleaning the couch inside after their friends left and realized how dirty I really was....... Oppps   So the next thing you know, I was back in the shower with the spray nozzle and the scrub basin and all that soap and water.......  But Mom, I don't want to be clean.....!!

Dad had the brush out and brushed on me until I was almost dry and respectable.......  Then he took this picture, but the look on my face tells you what I thought about it all.........

OK, Biscuit, that's enough!! Give me that laptop back........  Be a good doggie!!

Ya she just had to have a bath,  and when Jim and Sandie were here she was almost embarrassing as she jumped all over them in her dirty self.  But Biscuit is everyone's friend and just doesn't understand if she isn't loved right back.....  So Loyce resolved that she was going to get clean for a little while anyway.  She'll be right back to her dirty ole self tomorrow, but at least it will be new dirt.

Later in the afternoon once it became 88 outside, the wind began to pick up just like the forecast.  Once the gusts reached about 29 mph the dirt from the desert began to blow.  It looked almost like fog as it rolled along in the wind.

I had ridden the scooter over into the new neighborhood to see if the houses had any progress and found that they had begun framing the new one two doors South of our lot.  There was also a second crew on the other new foundation around the corner to the Southeast.  I stopped and watched  for a while, and walls were going up in lightening speed.  Amazing what can be done with a bunch of men and nail guns.

The dust was just hanging in the air as I rode back home.  I had to close the eye shield on the front of the helmet.  And at one point I was peppered with gravel that was in the wind.  That was enough of that, as I parked when I arrived home and put the cover over the scooter.

We went over to Fuddruckers tonight after dusk and had their small burgers, and while we were in the restaurant, the wind went down enough to stop the dust from blowing.  But as we arrived back here, it was still flapping the dining canopy.

As the wind dies out tonight after midnight, it is to become much cooler with the over night lows in the early 40s.  Tomorrow will only be in the 60s and tomorrow night is to be in the 30s......  Surely that will be forecasted wrong.......  But still it will seem a lot colder since we have had the high 80s for the last several days...

The blog header picture was taken this morning before the wind began, and is our current park.  The sites are about 5 feet more narrow here......

Retired Rod

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Exploring on the scoot!

Good thing Loyce doesn't read the blog every day, because she probably wouldn't understand my sense of humor about sleeping under the table..............  do you think?

Our days here at Golden Sun have become somewhat of a carbon copy already.  Wander outside and do the chores for the day first thing......  Today it was drain the nasty tank and work on the broken bolt under the slide.  The bolt limits the travel of the slide when the motor returns the slide to its inward or folded up position.

My neighbor next door noticed the broken part laying on the top of the bins.  Our bins move with the slide when they are extended and he could see the broken bit and called it to my attention when we were parking the rig.  He watched the back wheels so I wouldn't run over the sewer connection.

This park has their sewers on the wrong side of the coach and your hose stretches underneath.  You could very easily run right over the thing.  But back to the broken bolt.

Yesterday for one of my errands, I went to the hardware store and purchased the correct sized replacement for this travel limiter.  So this morning I was out with wrenches and vise grips extracting the broken part from under the slide.  Of course in these tight quarters, it wasn't but a minute or two and the neighbor fellow was right out there to help me install the new piece.  Ya, we all need more to do that is constructive..........

And just like clock work, all the Harleys arrived in front of my neighbors park model ready to head out for the day's ride.  I just stood out by the front of the rig and watched as they all assembled and left for the ride....  Remember, my little scooter isn't worthy of going along, so they mostly just ignored me......

I hung around outside under the dining canopy for about an hour enjoying the cool but warm morning.  But eventually I went out on a ride over to the housing development to see what was being worked on today.  But the work wasn't on our lot yet, so I am beginning to wonder if anything will be done before we have to leave in a couple of weeks.

Later in the afternoon, I went on a second ride up in the North part of Apache Junction.  The streets go all the way into the foothills of the mountain to our North.  I rode on streets that I have never been on until the came to a dead end.

Eventually I found a Granite pit mine where all sizes of gravel were extracted.  Their office was rather striking so I cranked off a couple of unusual for me photos.

I wonder if these little rail cars mean that at one time this was an underground mine?  Perhaps that big wheel lifted the ore out of the ground way back when..  If you could move that cactus in front of the sign, you would read that this place is called Treasure Chest Granite Pit.

A little research on the internet yielded that the wheel and cars are from 1905 and were part of the copper mine industry over in Miami, Arizona.  The Treasure Chest folks have purchased them for their historical significance to decorate the front of the current day granite pit.  You never know what you will come across on one of these scooter rides!

We reached 84 degrees again this afternoon but it wasn't hot at all.  By mid afternoon the sun had become obscured by cloud cover as we are to have a big change in the weather tomorrow and Wednesday.  By Wednesday we are to only reach 64 and the wind is to come back and kick up another dust storm.  Perhaps even a little of that dusty rain.

And its all the fault of our neighbor across the back of our lot here.  He was up on his roof today scrubbing away on the white rubber membrane that is its covering.  If it rains dust tomorrow, I'm certain he won't be pleased...........

Retired Rod

Monday, March 5, 2012

Warm today!

Today was the warmest day we have had since we came to Arizona last fall.  I never checked the official record, but on the motorscooter dash this afternoon, we saw 88 degrees.  I was out and about on several errands during the afternoon, and this temperature lasted for several hours.

It seemed like summer around here.  Loyce started the front air conditioner on the motor home and we enjoyed the cool inside as we hung out for most of the afternoon.  It was a rather laid back day.

Biscuit and I rode the motorscooter over to the dog park in the south end of the camp about noon.  She likes to walk this walk, but the streets here in this park have recently been sealed with that black tar sealer stuff.  It makes her fur black like the street.  Then we have to spray her off with the shower sprayer.  She doesn't like that too much, but otherwise the black comes off inside the RV,  on everything.

So late in the afternoon, Loyce took her over to the new housing area where we will be living once the new home is constructed.  There are greenbelt areas that stretch the length of the development, or about 2 miles.  They walked this area for about an hour, and most of it is green grass.  That is somewhat rare here in this community.  It must have worked, as she was all tired out when they got back and slept under the table for the rest of the evening........  Biscuit.......not Loyce........ LOL

So me riding the scooter all over and Loyce and Biscuit going on their extended walk........That was our Sunday.

Retired Rod

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Noisy bikers depart, and a Shooooort haircut.

I'm grateful for the kind words about the blog and its contents, but really my sister in laws comment that it is like the morning news is a bit over rated!  Things are even slower in this laid back RV park out here in Apache Junction.  And we even had another person sign on and become 101!!!

I was out walking Biscuit the dog this morning when the park bikers all assembled out in front of my neighbor's rig across the street.  Seems that his rig is the kick off point for the park bike ride when it goes.  The bike ride is mostly word of mouth, mostly the folks that have park models and are fairly close friends.

I asked if strangers could join, and got kind of a half hearted sure.......  But then when he saw the fact that my bike was a scooter............  well lets just say the enthusiasm wasn't too high.  This is typical of the Harley folks.  And when I do go along and the bike can keep up with their noisy bangers, they get all amazed.  Of course they still don't like it!

But upon learning that they wanted to go up to Roosevelt Lake thru Globe and then on up to Payson. Only to return late in the afternoon after riding this 250 mile ride, I just bowed out and said have a good time.  I don't trust that my recent surgery can make that distance without becoming quite tender.  And there isn't any good reason to do that.

But with the wind gone from yesterday, and the temps in the 60s, I went on a ride of my own.  Riding over to the new neighborhood and exploring the country side South of the housing development.  Almost all of the roads are dead ends, and the area to the East about 3 miles away contains a land fill.  So there are no roads in or out of that area.  The big garbage trucks have to enter about 5 miles away, so it should be of no concern.  There are a lot of houses in this neighborhood that cost more than double what we are spending, so I trust that if the land fill was a problem, they wouldn't be there.

Then I came back home for a rest.  This is the beauty of riding solo, you can go rest up if you want.  Read blogs and talk to Loyce for a while.  I was out sitting under the dining canopy enjoying the afternoon.  

As I was relaxing, I noticed that I had become a shaggy dog.........  The last haircut was back in KC right after Christmas.  It was one of the test rides in the car after surgery.  Testing to see if I really could go back to Arizona......  Shaggy Dog needs a cut!

I had noticed a small shop up in the middle of old Apache Junction, and thought I'd go check it out.  So back on the bike and up town.  The place was quaint and had been there since 1959 the head barber explained......  There were three barbers and every chair was filled.  But it turned over fairly fast, and the next thing I knew it was my turn.

I asked for a taper up the back and some off the top.......... but after not too very long I was handed the mirror to see that I had a buzz cut!  Dang near a butch with only a little longer left on top.  Well........... I was looking for a new cooler do....!  And it will be really easy to wash......

After that I rode over to the VDO resort to see about their absolutely full up status. And yes the folks had arrived that took over our spot.  But our neighbor also left and no one was on his spot, and no one was on the spot that the folks from Missouri vacated before we left and there were several empty spots down on the row we were on last year...............  What the heck gives?????? 

I was perplexed to say the least.  The fellow at the camp office specifically told me that there wasn't a spot in the entire park for March 1st and beyond, even if I moved more than once.  Did they just want rid of us, or was this fellow too lazy to look for somewhere to put us?

I think Loyce likes the quiet of this older park we are in now anyway so perhaps all is well.  And no one has argued with her about walking the dog on their street......

Retired Rod