Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kansas Froggy!

My mommy didn't like my little brother, because she said he was too red!!  And I was a lot taller, and fatter, with a lot more colors.  She liked blues and greens.  So my brother got left at the store, and I got to come home to the motor home.  I'm sitting right out side of the door.

My daddy paid the nice man for me and carried me out to the car, about a million miles away from the booth where I was living.  I guess I am kind of heavy considering all the griping he was doing.  On the way out to the car, I was causing quite the attraction, as all the ladies would come over and ask what my name was and where I was going.  Of course I have no idea where Kansas is, so I couldn't explain that.  Is that where Toto lives?

Daddy cleaned out the back seat of the car to make room for me to sit.  I am tall enough to look out the window, and need the seat belt around me to keep me from flying forward against the front seat.  You can see my big eyes from outside the car!

They left me there all by myself, while they went out and walked all over the flea market.  They were gone for a very long time, and brought back a bunch more sacks of stuff that they put on the seat with me. 

I have already traveled a long way from Southern Mexico, in the store man's big truck along with a lot of other stuff that he bought for the flea market store.  How far away is Kansas?

Anyway, I think I have a lot of personality, and can't wait to hang out on the front porch to attract as much attention as possible.  Do you think there are any other frogs from Mexico in Kansas?

Well for now I get to sit here in front of the motor home and look important, and see if I can get some of the gals to come over and pat me on the head.  Will you come see me?

I understand that my mommy and daddy are going over to Lake Havasu City for an overnight in the hotel, to look around and see if they might want to move the motor home up there for a while.  I've never been there before, so I hope they like it.  But while they are gone, they say I have to stay inside the motor home, so someone won't decide they like me more than they do.


Is that Kansas over there???
Retired Rod

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I spent the afternoon at the Mesa Swap Meet walking from stall to stall looking for the frog.  The ceramic fellow above.  He’s made down in Old Mexico somewhere way too far to drive from here.

But let me start over, Loyce likes our neighbors frog, that is out on her patio behind their park model.  I warned her that she had better watch the frog carefully for fear that Loyce would take it and put it in her trunk.

Now I really don’t think Loyce would do that but that’s how much she likes it.  It is a planter, and is open in the back to put a flower in.  So I rode out to the swap meet on the motor scooter looking for the frog.

This is a medium sized planter, but the one next door is a large one.  I didn’t want to steal over and take a picture of it, since we really don’t spend much time with them, and it might be a little pretentious to like the frog too much.

So anyway, I finally found this guy in a booth on the South end of the meet.  By then, I had walked about 2 miles, and I couldn’t just bring it home since I was on the bike.  Ceramic falling from a motorcycle seat doesn’t make for a good picture.

The vendor says he has a large one, which cost twice as much, but we will have to go back tomorrow and see what it looks like.  The neighbors’ is more blue and green, and not so much orange and red as this guy.  Seems that all the frogs are unique, and have their own personality.  And individual colors.
This story is just beginning, stay tuned….


Retired Rod

Friday, January 29, 2010

Phoenix Quilt Show.

Overcast today with rain in the beginning of the day.  It began to clear about 10 AM, leaving foggy misty stacked clouds.  This didn't stop Loyce, as she wanted to go to the Quilt Show that was at the Arizona Fairgrounds here in Phoenix.

I had no idea where the address was, but I was conscripted to be the designated driver.  After a moment with Google maps, I knew I was headed to the near North side of downtown Phoenix.  It turned out to be right on the North side of I 10,  and had  a sign on the end of the grandstand.  I wasn't able to make it out from the interstate, so I had to drive around for a while.

For a moment, I thought I was going to have to pay for parking ($10), just to drop her off at the door.  I was blustery for a while, since I didn't want to stay.  So we drove up to the parking booth, and I asked as nicely as I could muster, if I couldn't take her to the door and drop her off.  "Go right ahead," the attendant said.  All that bluster for nothing!

So for about 2 hours, I was free with the car!  Ham Radio Store!!!!  Yes there is an Amateur Radio store over on the other side of the Black Canyon Freeway.  Note that big antenna!

It had moved since we were there with my friend Larry last year.  So with the outside chance that he might come back again this year, I felt I had better know where the store had moved to.  Yes I actually went to the store and shopped for radios for an hour.  It takes many visits to decide on a radio purchase, as this is not an impulse type of thing.

When I returned to the Fairgrounds, I again got right in, and at a different entrance booth.  They've heard that line before.  They give you a ticket to display in your window if you park, so of course I didn't have one, and had to keep moving.  After a while, Loyce came out with more little bags of goodies.  The building is twice as long as the part in this picture.

Now you would think we were done, but no, she needed to go up in the very North end of the city to another place called "Quiltz."  They evidently do not go, or support the show, so Loyce needed something from them as well.

We were glad to get back home, after about an hours drive on the freeways. I am beginning to know Phoenix much better than I ever have before.

The weather man thinks our rains are over for now, and perhaps we may get back into the 70's again this weekend.  That would be good, as the bike is really screaming to be let out of the utility trailer.  He doesn't like being all cooped up lake that.

Retired Rod

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shopping again and a stop at a Nice RV Park

I had to come up for some air!   I have been reading a novel about a nuclear submarine that was on an attack run, and I lost all sense of reality.  But since I can't finish the book tonight, I need to put it down.  It's good enough that I was having trouble....

Today was an overcast and rainy day.  Well, desert rainy, mostly kind of heavy sprinkles, which later cleared about mid afternoon.  We never reached higher that the upper 60's for temperature. 

Loyce and I headed out on a shopping trip after noon.  We were looking for items for her crafts, but most of the stores were out, so we went from store to store.  I had the book with me.

In that process, we went by another RV park.  It seemed as big as any we had seen, and we were enticed in.  It seemed newer, but not really uppity like the one out in Gold Canyon.  I'm certain, that it is more appealing to us than our current park.  We spent a bunch of time wandering around the common areas and even went to the ladies sewing club room.

To the letter, every person we met tried to entice us to pull up stakes and move over to their park.  The camp site was actually no different than the site we have here in Mesa Spirit, but  the park's activities are overwhelming!  Boy I wonder what we may have stumbled into...  The park is called Valle del Oro...   Valley of Gold.

I'm not sure that we would ever move this year, but it surely gives us alternatives to coming back here.

If anyone has any further knowledge about the park, I would enjoy a note about it.

Tonight has been novel reading, and I even skipped the State of the Union Speech.  Guess I'm not too political today!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fountain Hills yet again!

Fountain Hills, is a Rodeo Drive kind of a town that is East of Scottsdale.  It is on a hillside that has many expensive homes on terraced streets that overlooks a man made lake in the center of downtown.  The Fountain is in the middle of the lake, and sprays water about 300 feet in the air.


We have been here last year as well as once before this year, but it was on a Monday, and the quilt store is closed on Monday, so.... we were back again today when the store was open.

The money is apparent in this community, as a young gal parked next to me as I was reading my book in the car, while Loyce was inside.  She was driving an older full sized Jaguar.  Parked in the stall next to her was a E class Mercedes.  And I quit paying attention after that.  The Camry was about like dog meat, Lol.

The day was overcast during the morning, and finally cleared to sunny in the afternoon.  We made 68  degrees by about 4PM.  Still somewhat cool, but encouraging.  Tonight we are to get rain before midnight, and it has become more cloudy since we came back from Fuddruckers, but it still doesn't look anything like the big rain storms from last week.  If it rains at all it will surely be only sprinkles.

The scooter is hiding inside his utility trailer, not ever looking out the skylight.  But he has a new cover that I bought him over at the Wal Mart  we discovered yesterday.  He got the more expensive model, since we were at Wal Mart anyway, and cheap can have a really bad meaning at the mart.

This afternoon as we were purchasing the new cover, the Camry had another oil change.  He has more miles on him than I think we have ever put on a car in one year.  He will be one on the 6th of February.

Tonight we are just hanging out!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Scootering Ham Radio and Rain

Warmer today as it was up to 64 during the middle of the afternoon.   That is not warm like we were having before the big rain storm, but as compared to the snow storm that a friend explained on the ham radio from Des Moines,  it seemed like we are in heaven.  Keep your chin up Mike, and good talking to you.

We use the DStar system, where I talk to the Dstar repeater, here in Mesa, and it is connected to the internet.  By putting in the call sign of the person I want to talk to, the computers look up where the call sign was last heard, and then route the conversation out of the Des Moines repeater, for that fellow's radio to hear.

It is a lot like cell phone, but with a two way radio instead.  We talked for a while, but then gave way, as we are using a party line, and someone else my like to use it.  I have had it on all night, and haven't heard another person on the air since.

With the bright and sunny day, I got the motorscooter out of the trailer this morning, and rode it for a lot of the day.  It gets about 80 mpg, and I used 8 tenths of a gallon, so I went about 60 miles.  In the process, I found another Wal Mart store, that I didn't know was there.  This is a big community, and you never really know what is on every corner.

The scooter is great for scoping out all the businesses in the various strip malls.  You can drive right thru these places quickly.  Much faster than waiting in a car.  Still it takes a while to get thru the traffic lights.  Buzzing around on the scooter is really quite fun, but never gives you much to blog about.

Tonight is the renewal of the air card subscription, so after midnight, I start on a new 5 gig allocation for the next month.  We never really maxed out this month, since I am the only one that really uses the computer.  Loyce doesn't care much to use the computers.

She seldom even reads the emails, unless I check in and read it to her.  But yet she will spend all day running her sewing machine.  From sun up to midnight!  I guess you like what you like.LOL

We are to have some rain after midnight, so I put the scooter back in the trailer for the night, but with rain is to come warmer nights.  That's alright with me!

Retired Rod

Monday, January 25, 2010

A NFL kind of day!

Our day started very cool, as I headed out on a walk at 7:30 AM.  Frost was all over the car and the roadways.  The morning temperature was 36, but this was a while after the sun had arrived, so I think it was actually cooler before I was outside.

I read the beginning of another novel, that I had selected at the campground library, and read some blogs, as at was finally time to begin the activity for the day!  FOOTBALL!!!!!

I have been glued to the TV ever since it began.  Nothing else was accomplished, other than the dumping of the black tank during the half time of the first game.  Since both teams were eastern, I really didn't have a favorite, but was surprised that the Jets began to win during the first half of their game.  Manning and the Colts seem so invincible.  As you know, they proved to be just that in the end.

The second game started, just as the first game ended, and I was mesmerized for another three hours.  This time I was rooting for Favre and the Minnesota folks, since I am from Iowa.  Of course I could never root for the University of Minnesota, when they play against any of the Iowa teams, but pro is much different.

As you again know, it was New Orleans in overtime, and I thought it was a shame to see the refs make controversial calls, that allowed the Saints to continue their winning drive.  That is football, and why being a sports fan is often a non fulfilling activity.  You can't take it too seriously, or you would drive yourself nuts.

At one point, I heard from one of the guys in Des Moines, that I go to the Dayton Hamfest with via a skype call.  He was quite surprised that he was able to use his camera even though we were both on telephone connections.  He uses dial up, and I an air card.  I honestly thought his connection was faster than my air card.  We seem to be really slow here in the park in Mesa.

So nothing else took place here except it became quite cold again as the sun set tonight.  We are forecast to see a low of 38 again tonight, We were up in the high 40's at night, and the heaters weren't running much, but now were back where they are operating full time.  Even here it is not spring yet.

Retired Rod

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cooler and a Haircut

Clearing and colder was the order of our day.  Significantly colder than we have had here for some time.  I think we saw 57 on our dash thermometer in the car today.  We had some billowy clouds, and breezy winds to go with the cool as well.

I decided that it was a haircut day!  I had chosen a barbershop last year, and as I arrived, it was exactly the same as I remembered.  Walk in and take a number.  A masonite square tile, from the nail on the wall.  Your sequence of order as your turn gradually comes up.

So as Loyce waited at the MH, working on here crafts, I lost two months of growth.  I'm not sure I look any better, but at least I feel better, and not so shaggy.

For the rest of the afternoon, we shopped, well Loyce shopped, and I sat out in the car reading the internet on the blackberry phone.  It's slow and small, but its better than nothing.

Tonight we have plummeted into to high 30's for an overnight temperature.  I was really hoping for a warm up, but we remain cool all next week.  How am I going to go scootering with that forecast?

Retired Rod

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Tucson Quilt Show

Today was the Quilt Show in Tucson.  The quilter's guild.  We headed out in the mid morning for Tucson.  The weather was unsettled and rain was off and on all the way to Picacho Peak.

The desert was filled with standing water everywhere.  Flooded on both sides of the road, and Gila River had running water in it.  I have never seen water in the river before or a flooded desert.  The weather folks say we haven't seen this much rain since 1962.

I delivered Loyce to the Quilt show before lunch, and went to a fast food restaurant to hang out and read my latest book.  It is a navel novel, but is quite old and dated. Still it is good and I was happy during my 2 hour wait.  An endless soda was purchased from the restaurant, and the refill machine was right in the front.

Picking Loyce back up after we used the cell phones to arrange our rendezvous, we headed back North.  But she was hungry so we decided on a Subway at one of the interchanges North of Tucson.  It was just the ticket. 

Back on the highway, the rain again began to come out of the sky.  So much so that we had to slow well below the speed limit.  We hit the Phoenix area just in time for the rush hour.  But we had a good day and Loyce had some new treasures in the back seat.

Tonight was fairly boring, as I finished the book I had been reading.  The rain continues here off and on, but we hope for some clearing soon.  The forecast calls for more, during the weekend.  Maybe by Monday it will warm back up...........

Retired Rod

Friday, January 22, 2010

Raining for more than 24 hours straight!

It continues to rain and rain.  It started about 1 AM and continued thru out the night.  The wind blew but not hard enough to whip the slid awning hard.  So we left them out.

I remember a couple of times, that I thought I should get up and close up the biggest slide, but went back to sleep when the wind seemed to die again.

The slide awnings do their job of keeping junk from the top of the slides, and keeping the rain from running backward into the slide and leaking into the coach.  You wouldn't really want to be without them, except!!!!    They are very susceptible  to the wind!  They flop in even the mildest wind, but as the wind picks up, they begin to flop harder, until they begin to snap.

When they snap hard enough, they shake the MH on its jacks.  When they begin to shake the whole rig, its time to bring in the slides.  Of course this means stowing furniture, and picking up all the stuff like you are going to travel. 

So far tonight, (Thursday), we have not brought in the slides, but we are right on the edge of the amount of wind we can stand.  If it should pick up just a little more, we will be forced to close up.  At least the big 4 foot wide slide with the table and couch in it.

The smaller 18 inch slides seem to be behaving themselves better.  We are very tight against the car port on the big slide side, so we hope that will give us enough cover to get by, but every now and then the wind is rocking us.

Today was Loyce's class at the Jo-Ann's fabric store, so I got to sit it out here at the MH, as she had the car.  It rained all morning long, but I spent the time on the phone to the Wal Greens prescription mail order facility.  We were changed to this service at the first of the year, but I have yet to get any prescriptions from them.

First they lost all my scripts.  Then they claimed they found them, but had to wait to fill some of them.  Then they claim they filled the one I was out of but it has been days since I ran out and they say just wait it out.  I explained that I had waited 4 days without medication already, and couldn't go on.  With threats of calls to the doctor, and the provider, they finally agreed to get me a few days worth of pills to get me by.

So this afternoon, I went to the local Wal Greens to get the pills, and they had never heard of me!  So after talking to the pharmacist, seems he did have a voice mail about me.  But he didn't know how to proceed.  Needed to make some calls.  I left and came back in and hour, and he had 5 pills in a little bottle to tie me over.  We'll see what happens next!!!

So I spent the rainy day on the phone, and driving back and forth to the drug store.  That was fun!

Retired Rod

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The weather is returning to Arizona winter.

Today like all days after a big travel and tourist activity day was complete rest and relaxation.  The day dawned sunny, but coolish.  In the 50's but eventually reaching 63.  Big billowing clouds hung around all afternoon, after the rain soaked ground began to dry.

In Kansas in the winter, a 60 degree day with big clouds and sun would have been a god send.  But here it was seen as a cold winter day.  Folks were busy, going about their business, but gone were the shorts and the swim suits.

On the TV the weather man was predicting the next round of storms that is to begin here after midnight, which is just about now.  We are to get up to 2 inches of rain in each of the next two days, and the mountains could have 40 inches of snow at higher elevations.  Wow, winter is here with its vengeance.  Perhaps this is the turning point of the season.  One could hope.

We did a bunch of cleaning here at the MH, which was long over due, but I am not much help.  I lack the ability and the concern to wipe down everything even though it doesn't seem dirty.  But with proper guidance, I can be instructed carefully.

It is now way late at night, and the rain should arrive directly, so we will batten down and wait with sleepy heads.  If the wind starts like they are forecasting, it may be a long and sleepless experience  as the  MH tends to rock on its jacks in the wind.

I'll report what we have for winter furry in the next few days, until then try not to worry much, as our low for the next several days is to be in the high 40's with only a high of 57 on Sunday.  I'm sure that will be a lot warmer than most of the rest of the country.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We went to Q!

It rained and rained.  All day, once it started.  We went to the big tent, and milled around inside looking at all the wares offered for sale.  I must have been in the scrooge attitude, since I didn't buy a thing.

The look in this guy's face kind of told about the rainy day.  I took the picture to show the inside of the big tent with all the booths, but instead he became the standout.  Must have had water on the lens too.

The one thing that really interested us, was the folks that were selling a caravan down into old Mexico.  They put together the wagon train concept of RVing where you head from prearranged campsite to campsite.  Most of them speak Spanish fairly well, so that is the bridge to getting along in Mexico. They call it a wagon master and a tail gunner, following along behind to make sure no one is left behind in some sort of trouble. It was really pricey though, and the thought of dropping $3,600 is something this tight wad was struggling with.

We got into the discussion about Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel, as compared to Mexico's plain Low Sulfur Diesel, and what that would do to my late model engine.  They, of course, wanting to sell their trips, said aw heck it don't make no difference!  So if it doesn't make any difference, why do we go thru the exercise anyway?

The one thing that it would do is cause the engine to go into regeneration more often.  If I left the USA with my 80 gallon tank full, it would take us about 700 miles, so if the trip was 1,200 miles, you wouldn't need too much of the higher sulfur fuel anyway.  I wouldn't want to void any Cummins warranties though.  That could get really expensive really fast.

Rain or no rain, the food tents were the big hit outside.  Since most sell things that are concentrated sugar, such as Ice Cream, or mini sugar donuts, its all off limits for me.  Can you tell its raining from looking at all these folks?

As always, my back and neuropathy got the better of me and I had to go back to the car.  It was parked on the outskirts of the parking lots, and quite a hike for me.  That is always a limiting factor for us when we go to see these activities.  The able bodied folks take all the close in parking, and those of us with problems, can't even go.  I shouldn't start a rant, but that is part of the reason for the motor scooter, since you can usually park up by the bicycle racks near the front door.

We drove over into California, just to look around, and that is when the clouds began to open up.  There is a range of mountains to the West of Q, and they must have been holding back the rain.  Blythe didn't seem overly inviting, as we didn't find any shopping.  We didn't have any way of searching the internet, other than my cell phone, which is really slow and too small to read.

The rain followed us back to Q and by then was coming down hard.  The West interchange was jammed with folks at a stand still.  As we headed East, we could see the backup of vehicles all the way to the parking lot at the big tent.   We must have got out just in time.

Back here in Mesa, we went to Garcia's Mexican restaurant, finding it to be almost empty.  The cold rain had chased all the Arizonans inside for the night.  Remember they don't see stuff like this too often, where for us Midwesterners it is more common place.  50 and heavy rain describes most of the fall in Kansas, LOL!

About midnight, the rain stopped and the sky cleared.  It was gone as quickly as it came!

Retired Rod

Headed out to Q!

We were up early today and headed over to Quartzsite.  It was sunny all morning, but mid afternoon, the heavy ominous clouds rolled in from the North and removed the sun from view.

It has rained heavily all the way back to Mesa, and I am bushed.  It continues to rain as I write this, with accumulations of about an inch.  That is a lot of water for the desert, and is the most they have received since last February.  Unfortunately, we were here for that event as well.

My camera is out in the console of the car, but only contains a couple of pictures, as we didn't take anymore.  But I will attempt to write the day up in the morning.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rain and a drive up North of Mesa

We were house bound today, since it began to rain before it became light outside.  And rain and rain it did all day long.  Seemed to never quit, but mostly rain here in the desert is a sprinkle type of rain.  At least in the winter, anyway.  I've been told that rain in the hot part of the summer can be a thunderstorm deluge, but of course we have never been here for that.

After lunch, I had had it with being inside the coach, so we went for a drive.  Seems like we have been everywhere, last year, but we retraced the path out to the North up what is called the Bush highway.  This is thru the rural desert North of the Salt River.  We went up to a country campground by the Sheriff's office.  It is mostly just a parking lot, but folks are allowed to boondock out there. They have to have a Tonto Forest pass, and I think they are about $6 a day.  They do have a camp host there to keep an eye on things.  Or perhaps to call in problems.

From there, we headed to Saguaro Lake, to see what activity was going on there.  The fishermen were fishing in the rain.  Again we didn't have the day pass, so we had to keep on moving.  Again the sheriff has an office at that boat ramp.

Finally we headed over to Fountain Hills, where there is a quilt store.  But that was closed on Monday.  We waited in the Lake park for the Fountain to go off at 3 PM, since we know it goes for 15 minutes at the top of each hour.  It was still overcast, and raining off and on so we went East from there into the North End of Scottsdale.

We buzzed around in Scottsdale, but my knowledge of the streets there isn't as good, so I ended up going the wrong way once when I was looking for a specific road.  Of course the GPS had my back, and pointed out the errors of my ways.     Instantly!!

We went to the historic Old Downtown area, but it began to rain in earnest.  The traffic began to be rush hour like, so we headed out of town to the East.  Just get East of the 101 Freeway.  That puts you into the country right away.  So we picked our way back to the Salt River, and crossed on Highway 87 into Mesa.

I was never lost, but was on streets, roads, and such that I have never driven on before.  I never resorted to asking the GPS to take me home, but it was on with the map moving, so I didn't do it all by myself.  But then that's why I bought it, right?

Tonight, we went out to Village Inn for some supper, and it began to rain more seriously.  The temperature is 52 degrees, and the wind has picked up to about 6 or 8 mph.   That would be a cake walk if we were in Kansas, but we are not, and we are used to highs in the 70's, so needless to say, the heater is on!

Retired Rod

Monday, January 18, 2010

Football and an Upcoming Storm

Another football kind of day.  It will all be over soon, and wives can have their husbands back after that. The super bowl is on the 7th of February, and no one cares about the pro bowl.  So hang in there, and it will all be over soon!

Of course it was all over for Arizona Saturday afternoon, as they failed to bring their A game to the Superdome in New Orleans.  The only talk on the sports shows here locally is whether Curt Warner will retire, and if that closes the "Window of Opportunity"  for the defenseless Cardinals.  Many are crying no Warner, no Championship.

So in that less than stellar light, we watched some of the games here today.  Dallas forgot to bring their A game as well, and got blown away by Brett Favre and his army.  And I'm not sure that it matters who won the Jets Chargers game  (Jets) as they will have to meet the Colts.  So tonight, it looks a lot the big game will be Favre vs Manning, not bad for a guy out of retirement.

Now I didn't just sit around all afternoon watching the games, as I headed out on the Motorscooter, and bought some groceries at the Wal Mart 4 miles distant.  This makes for a nice ride, on a sunny Sunday afternoon.   We reached only 66 degrees where we have been in the 70's for the last week, so it seemed cool.  Storms are on the horizon for the next week, and I rode the bike out and about most of the afternoon.  Tonight it went into hiding in the utility trailer, since it is washed up and doesn't want to get its hair wet.

Rain, and snow in the higher elevations, as the weatherman reminds us will dominate the next week.  And that is the week of Quarzsite.  We have made preliminary plans to drive over on Tuesday, but that is the day of the big rain.

We hope, that we can drive thru the storm and out the West side during the morning on Tuesday.  We need to be a little closer in time to see if the hourly forecast can be trusted.  So maybe we will go and then again maybe not.

In the mean time, Loyce keeps on working on her fabric pieces, and I keep reading the internet.  Interspersed with scooter rides, and local activities here at the park.  It is too cool to swim, so that is on hold for about a week.

Still looks to be much warmer than Kansas!  LOL

Retired Rod

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Park Models on Open House


Gypsy from On the Road Again suggested that she would like to see some of the park models that are for sale here at Mesa Spirit.  So here is a 2010 backed in and set up as a model.


This has the extra width in the eating area and the bathroom.  Also the bedroom is expanded as well.  This is $48 K set up.

The living room area with fancy front windows.


The sun washed out my photo, but the extra width bay window to the left with nice cabinets.


Did you note the wood flooring, vaulted ceilings, built in wall for the flat screen TV with cabinet below.


Kitchen is a bit narrow, but complete.


The bathroom is to the left of the fridge across from the kitchen.


Even cabinets in the bedroom.  Again a bay window on the back end


This is more of a price model, and is $43 K set up.


Its fairly plain, so I didn’t take too many pics.


Back end is flat and all the cabinets are gone!


This is one next door, all set up and ready for sale.   They do rent these from time to time, and I think this is a couple of years old and is available for around $40 K.  It is the plain model without the expanded sides, but does have a small bay window for the kitchen table.


I was doing this on the stealth, since I really didn’t want a salesman dog tailing me for the next few weeks hoping I wanted to make the purchase decision.  I’m sure they don’t take “no” for an answer.

Retired Rod

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another slow Friday

When you come back to the same park at the same time of year as last year, you can look back and see what you did last year here.  And what is amazing is that the weather often duplicates itself during the same week as last year.

This is the weekend that we went to Quartzite last year, and it was quite hot while we were there.  And this weekend is to be hot too.  I'm not sure we will go to Q again this year, but then maybe not on the weekend, since there were so many folks there, that it was too crowded in the big tent.  Perhaps during the week next week.  That will make parking easier.

But just like last year, it is supposed to really cool off next week, and that happened last year too.   We had our friends from Iowa, Larry and Jean come during that week last year, and we were disappointed to have the weather cool to the early 60's while they were here.  You really want warm to happen when your friends drive all the way out here. 

But if cool is to happen, that might be a good time to do Q.

We had our calm and collected day today, where I sat outside and absorbed some sun.  I did a little wax polishing on part of the utility trailer to see if that seals in some of the clean, without so much aluminum staining from the rain.  Time will tell,

Loyce worked on a quilt all day, but since it is to be a gift, I can't tell anything about it.

Again late in the afternoon, I rode the scooter around to some of the neighboring RV Parks, but they are mostly just like this one with different neighbors. 

Tonight we watched some TV, but what made the show was it starred our niece Amanda, who does acting in California where she lives.  It was an "I shouldn't be alive" episode where she acted out the horror that the person experienced in real life fall in Moab, Utah.  She was very convincing portraying the pain and fright experienced by the lady that had the accident originally.  Nice job Amanda!

Our days are warm and slow and relaxing, just the way we like them.

Retired Rod

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pressure washing and another RV park.

We had rain last night, and it rained dust drops like usual.  Seems that the desert creates these dusty rain drops, that water spot everything. 

So this morning I started with the power washer to wash the motorcycle and the white utility trailer.  I will drive the car thru the car wash later because it water spots so badly.  The motor cycle was actually in the trailer when the rain came, but it was dirty from the last rain and the desert dust that collects on everything here.

For a while today the stuff looked fresh and clean, but tonight I could see the dust on the red bike already. 

But not to complain, we had another above 70 degree day, but I didn't look to see how high it actually got all day.  It was again drop dead warm and beautiful without a cloud in the sky.  They do say that next week will be cooler with temps in the mid 60's, which will be a shock, but still not like the rest of the country.

I do have to report that the new computer has operated favorably with Norton off of it.  One of my appreciated readers suggested that Norton would not completely remove itself without using their web site, but using the control panel to see what programs are installed does not report an incidence of Norton.  So I hope I got it all.

When I removed it, it offered  me the opportunity to Remove Norton, or Completely Remove Norton.  I chose to completely remove Norton where by it contacted its web site and promptly asked me why I wanted to remove it.  I typed a ? in the space and hit continue and it removed it from the machine.

I have had no downloads that were not requested today.  Yesterday was almost 300 meg of stuff in one day.  That's 9 gig a month, so we can't continue that.

This afternoon, I went out to Wendy's again for the little burger meal, and toured another RV park again.  This time it was almost all park models.  I wondered how they could call themselves a RV park.

They had a section of the parking lot around the real estate office that was marked off for RV's.  It was just a parking lot like Wal Mart only with about 4 foot dividers between rigs.  I saw slides that were nearly touching each other.  They were actually interlaced where the slides overlapped each other over the 4 foot divider.

I stopped and talked to some guys out in the street chewing the fat.  This was fairly easy since I was riding the bike.  They indicated that the park was condominium ownership, where each lot is deeded, and that the RV lots are the only park rented area.  They are considered overflow, but have become mainstream as folks have become accustomed to staying there.  What?

I was told that they intended to remodel the spots to allow more room for each camper, but that has to mean they intend to remove at least half the sites.   I think I knew these datails from last year, but had forgotten them.  The reason I am interested in this park, is that they have a ham radio station as a club activity.  Again, you have to be a owner of a lot to qualify for the radio club.  Oh well!

Now I know why I came back to this park.  (Cause the wife said so!)  LOL  We both think we will find something new next year, because we have wheels after all.

Retired Rod    

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Messin with Windows 7

I broke down today and took the new computer out of its case and plugged it in.  It came to life and immediately headed off into na na land downloading and updating.

I had expected this, since it had not been turned on since before we left KC, but it was never ending.  Now remember we are on that 5 GB thing with the Air Card, and I do not like the idea of paying for overages, so I had to try and figure out what it was doing.

I had set the update on manual, meaning check and inform me of the need for an update but do not actually do it.  But there are updates from HP as well as Microsoft.  It was doing the HP stuff.  After a while I got it canceled.   I may allow some of it later.

But then as I was actually using the machine to read some blogs, it started again on the never ending update.  This time I had to start control panel and try to see what was running.  Now remember I do not know all the ins and outs of windows 7, so trial and error was in full force.

After doing the control alt delete bit, I was able to see the list of processes that were running, and which ones were using the network.  Looking up the program names on the internet, informed me that it was Norton Utilities that was endlessly downloading.

Now I don't like Norton too well anyway, and I never intend to pay for the software once the 60 free stuff expires.  So since I usually use AVG free, I uninstalled Norton.  It actually asked me why I was uninstalling it.  I declined to answer.

The download continued!  I never did decide what was downloading.  It wanted to be rebooted after a while, and rebooted itself.  Didn't even ask me, just did it while I was getting a shower.  AVG had errored out of its download, but I think the reboot killed the download.

I started the download again and babysat as it pulled about 50 meg.  But AVG loaded and replaced Norton.  Yea!  I know that microsoft has a new free program that does this process, but I am familiar with AVG so I opted for the familiar.

By the time all this was complete, it was late in the afternoon.  Computer wasted my entire day!  But we were overcast most of the day, and it threatened rain.  Loyce had gone out on a fabric run, so I was by myself.

The sun finally came out, and I headed out riding the scooter, over to a local scooter shop.  Again I was looking at larger bikes.  Shouldn't do that!  Everyone seems to favor the Suzuki Burgman.   Boy is that expensive for a scooter.

Tonight, it did get all thunder stormy and actually rained for about a half an hour.  Of course that is enough to mess up all the wash jobs of the vehicles, but I put the scooter inside the trailer to keep it dry.  Ther desert really needs the rain.

Reitred Rod

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Senior Pass and a day trip.

Today was all about me getting my very own

Yes my very own senior pass.  Now we have had a senior pass in the family for over a year, as my wife qualified last year.  But I'm not going to go into all the implications of that, except to say I qualified last fall.

We drive separate cars since I tow a trailer behind the motorhome, and our Toyota is an automatic and cannot be towed four wheels down.  They don't even make an oil pump for it.  Tow it?  Don't do it!  I ran upon a fellow that was towing one, but upon going over and investigating, found that it was a stick shift Camry.

So sometimes when we want to go to a Federal Park, we need to drive both the motorhome and the car in.  Or like last summer, we just wanted to drive thru the Tetons and that would have cost a fee, since we were in separate cars and only had one pass.

So today, we drove down to Casa Grande Ruins in Coolidge, Az and popped into the office and with $10 and a cursory inspection of my driver license I owned one.  Yea!

It was a beautiful afternoon for the drive, and we drove to Coolidge first and then over to Florence, Az next as this is the county seat of Pinal county. Florence has the really old court house in the center of town.  Other than county services, there is not much else to do there.  The main street is really old, but we didn't find much other than some gift shops.  (No quilt shops)  LOL.

So we drove back into Apache Junction.  We did go to a Wal Mart while we were in Coolidge, to see if they had sizes of clothes that we hadn't found available in the bigger towns.  And we did find some of what we were looking for.

This afternoon, it reached 75 degrees on the dash of the car, but I never looked at the official temperature.  It was warm enough that I had to get rid of my sweat shirt about 2PM as I was actually too hot in the sun.  We ran the AC on the way back to Mesa.

So now we are a 2 senior pass family.  Now we can each take a vehicle into a federal facility without a fee.  We have been camping at the COE parks the last year for half price, but I always have to get Loyce to go register us, so now I can do it myself.  All for the little old fee of $10.

A good day!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fighting the drug company

Today was my day to straighten out my prescriptions at my healthcare company.  Seems that at year end my insurance company fired the old drug provider, and hired a different one.

I found out in January as the web site no longer recognized me as a signon.  Drat!  So a lot of calls later, they claimed to have lost all my prescriptions.   Double Drat!

Today, I spent much of the morning and into the afternoon on the phone making calls getting all the numbers that are on the med cards, that I do not have.  Perhaps they are at home, so I have dispatched a runner to secure them.

After may phone calls, and most of the day, I think I have a new account with the new company.  I think they will have a cheaper drug cost, but I will have no cheaper premiums.  If all the scripts didn't transfer, I will end up going to the Dr to get new ones which will cost the insurance company.  But they are saving money or so they think.  Not.

This is a dilemma that many seniors face, but it is especially bad as an RVer when you are 1200 miles away from your Dr's office and home mail box.  And we are not even full timers, we can get it straightened out once we get home.  Fulltimers are never home or are always home however you look at it.

Once I got as far as I could on the phone for today, I headed out on the motorscooter to get some lunch and buzz around the town.  Same old places, but I went thru another RV/Park Model park West of our park.  Tower Point. It is just like this park used to be, as it has all the park models from twenty years ago, with very few vacant spots for RV's.

I do know that there is a minimum number of spots that must be saved for transient folks in order for a park to be classified as an RV park and not a mobile home park.  The property tax structure must be different, but I am not aware how it varies.  RV park must be cheaper.  I have signed papers stating that I am transient, especially at the Escapee parks.

Since we are not nearly as full as this other park, it is much more open here.  I was glad to ride out the back gate into the freedom of the open street.   That many folks packed into such a tight area really bugs me.

This evening we had a phone call from our son Ben, and used the speaker phone to hear the kids as they terrorized their home.  Nothing has changed in our absence, and that is good.  It is a little warmer in the Midwest now.

Retired Rod

Monday, January 11, 2010

Driving around during the football game.

What the heck did we do today?  Well, it was a laid back Sunday, where we slept in late had a late Breakfast, and enjoyed the sunshine outside. It warmed into the 60's by mid morning, and made 70 in the afternoon.

Clouds covered most of the valley during the day, which held down the temperatures or we would have done much better in the afternoon.  We ended up taking a ride around the city, during the start of the NFL football game between Greenbay and Arizona.  Evidently many folks were glued to the TV as the streets were almost empty.

We rode over into Tempe, downtown in the college town area, and the streets were bare.  Not a soul at the ASU stadium as we drove by.  We went over by Sky Harbor airport, and it was surprisingly slow.  We drove right thru the terminal area and never stopped once from traffic. 

If you don't know, Arizona defeated Greenbay, in the beginning of overtime after ending the regulation game tied at 45.  Wow, what a high scoring event.  Since Arizona had lost to Greenbay twice this year already, this is a really big deal to the folks around here.   We're in now and they are out.  Such is football.  Watching local sports, the area is pumped!

Tonight we hung around the motorhome, and watched some TV.  I of course read blogs while the TV was on.  I think I am mostly caught up! 

So not much excitement here.

Retired Rod

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Yesterday I asked Loyce, wasn't it about now last year when I went to that Hamfest over in Glendale?  She agreed, and when we arrived back home, I looked it up.  And as I surmised, the hamfest was this morning.  At 7AM!  An hour away from Mesa.

So, this morning I went to Westfest in Glendale.  I left at about 6:30, deciding that I really had no reason to be there exactly at 7.  And after stopping at an incredibly slow McDonalds for a egg McMuffin, I arrived about 8:45.

The parking lot had filled to over capacity, so I had to park out in the desert overflow lot.  This made for an additional hike back to the commons on the college campus.   This is a private school, and is a business school of some kind, but I have never spent too much time deciding about their specialty.

So I spent the morning looking over tables of older, nicely used radios and radio parts.  There were some new accessories vendors there as well, and I made purchases of assorted cables and pieces.  I found a new end for the GPS power cord, that was broken in the car crash last February.  I was really pleased about that.

Once back here in Mesa, Loyce took the car and headed out on one of her shopping journey's.  Again I hung back and read for a while until studying the back of my eyelids ensued.

I snapped out of that and spent a couple of hours on the motorscooter.  Over to Wendy's for a little burger, and off to Wal Mart.  In Wal Mart, I purchased some soap and toiletries, before heading into a new neighborhood that I had never been thru before. You see so much more from a bike than you do from a car, so almost every trip is like you have never been there before.

The neighborhood had a golf course, and driving range, suddenly I remember coming here with my father, hitting a bucket of balls back in the 80's.  I rode thru the parking lot, and folks were there in droves.  Saturday afternoon at 70 degrees!  And some nice memories for me of my dad.

I wonder if we come here to Mesa because they did, but it is really hard to beat the nice weather in January, without regard that they liked it too.

Tonight, we went to Fuddruckers, and had our usual meal with the sweet potato fries.  This is the first for them since we had them at Ben and Danielle's back in KC.  They are really good, but again hard on the old diet. Loyce opts for the chicken salad, so she isn't nearly as guilty as me.

Retired Rod

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Swap Meet and a Bar B Que!

As Al (Bayfield Bunch) found, some folks have blog search engines that check out what has been said about them, and this was the case for the company I blogged about in the middle of yesterday's blog.  Seems they picked right up on my experience and put a note on yesterday's comments.

They also sent me a nice eMail apologizing for my experience.  I really wasn't looking for this, but perhaps it is OK for them to do this.  I had really decided against the item before the price tag was changed, but was really surprised that the tag had to be changed as I looked on.  So anyway, I emailed them back and thanked them for their concern.

Today was Country Store here in the park, but we never went anywhere near the place.  Loyce wanted to go out to the big flea market South of Apache Junction.  We spent the morning and early afternoon walking the C and D aisles of the market.  The place is so huge, we lost each other almost immediately.  We really don't worry much about this since we both know where the car is parked and we have our cell phones to re coordinate when we leave.

Usually I run out of shopping patients long before she does, so she knows she will find me in the car waiting.  Today was more of the same, as my back and legs gave out fairly early.

When we left, I kind of drove aimlessly back to the West, passing thru Greenfield, and then into Gilbert.  Once in old downtown Gilbert, we spotted a bar b que that is on the main street, and decided to give it a try.  Joe's Real BBQ!  Now I'm not sure I have been to a BBQ that wasn't real, but Joe's was in an old building on the main street and served a dynamite pulled pork sandwich.  The sauce was quite sweet, but was more on the runny side which appeals to me.  More vinegar bite and less ketchup (catsup) like.  Aren't words fun when there are more than one way to spell them that are correct?

Anyway that turned out to be a treat.  And added a new restaurant experience to our growing list of places we have been here.  Interestingly they had a John Deere model A tractor inside on the main floor of the restaurant, but me without a camera other than the cell phone with weak flash, didn't even try for a picture.

We then went to another quilt shop, "Zoe's Trunk" in Chandler, and then to a motorcycle shop as well.  Not many clothes that a fat scooter rider could wear in there, LOL.

Tonight, we have spent time watching the tube and Loyce went over and did a load of washing.  I did finish the passenger side of the utility trailer as it was getting dark, so now all I have to do is the back ramp door.  There is no hurry!

Retired Rod

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cleaning and Shopping on the motorbike!

This morning I started back in on the cleaning of the utility trailer.  This is a very slow procedure with lots of rubbing and scrubbing.   I finished the remainder of the drivers side, and half of the passenger side, when my arms began to feel like jello.  Enough!

About that time Loyce came out and announced that she was headed out on a fabric store shopping trip.  I quietly passed on going along.  I made some noise about needing to clean up the rags I was using to polish the trailer.

So since I was suddenly free, I headed out for a day with the motor scooter.  I wanted some groceries that I use for breakfast, so I headed to the Wal Mart Neighborhood Market.  This is about two miles away, and the shopping was quick and easy.  I stashed the stuff in the back top case on the bike and returned home. 

As I entered the park, I got into a conversation with two of the Canadians inside the back gate.  Both ride fairly large motorcycles, and they are kind enough to be interested in the scooter.  Well not really but they at least stop and talk to me.

Next I headed out to Wendy's for some lunch and then over to the local Camping World.  Where the next story unfolded.

I went into the store and found the computer table that they had advertised in one of the recent emails on line.  I sat in a compact recliner next to the table and tried to decide if it was worth the $89 the sale tag was asking.  It wasn't made all that well.

When out of nowhere, came a gal with a camping world name badge, taking the price tag out of my hands and removing the sale tag.  She replaced the tag with one for $109.  I looked at her and said, "funny, I was just trying to decide if that was worth $89.  But it definitely isn't worth $109."  With that I got up and walked toward the front door.  She offered that she might be able to sell it to me for the $89 if she checked with the manager.

I'm not sure I have ever had a price tag yanked from my hand, and replaced with a higher one before. Needless to say I kept on going out the door.  The worst part of it was that she had no idea that she had done anything wrong!   So my computer is still on my lap tonight.

I feel really sympathetic for the folks from the University of Texas tonight, as they lost their star quarterback in the national championship game.  College football is over for another year. Wah Wah Wah!

Retired Rod

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cleaner !

LA's Totally Awsome All Purpose Cleaner

Life takes some interesting turns as you travel thru it.  Yesterday, I was hungry and jumped on the Motor Scooter, to head to Wendy's for a little burger meal.  They have a Jr burger and small fry with a drink for $2.99.  I'm hooked.

Once I finished, I went over to the .99 cent store to look around. This is a different chain than we have in the Midwest, so it was curiosity as much as anything.  In the process of shopping the store, I bought a bottle of LA's Totally Awsome All purpose Cleaner.  A one pint bottle with a sprayer.  I didn't know what I had.

Our utility trailer was purchased when we moved from Des Moines to Kansas City, when we were renting trailers to take stuff to KC.  We use this trailer for so many things, it is hard to list any one single activity it is good for.

As you know it is here with us in Mesa.  We used it for our outside stuff, and the motor scooter.  It makes the perfect garage.  But it is a dirty garage, and has been since we arrived in KC.  It is stored on a gravel lot in old downtown Olathe, and the rain and snow has bled the aluminum roof down over the white painted sides of the trailer.

This stain is impossible to remove.  I have tried everything I could think of to get it off.  Nothing seemed to be able to act as a solvent.  Perhaps rubbing compound would have removed part of the paint along with the stain, but that seemed too drastic, as we know the stain will return from the outside storage.

So after WD 40, Mr Clean, Black Streak Remover, Bleach, Goo Gone, and many more, imagine my surprise, as I sprayed this stuff called "Totally Awsome" on the white sides of the trailer, and it dissolved the stain.  It took some rubbing to get it out of the paint, as it was removing the oxidation from the surface like a wax, but it worked!

So this afternoon, I rode back over to the 99 cent store and bought 4 more bottles of this stuff at a buck each, and started in cleaning the white siding on the trailer.  Spending the rest of the afternoon with rags and wiping clean.  Slowly I have cleaned the front and about half or more of the drivers side of the trailer.

It attacks your hands, and I should more than likely be using gloves.  It is made to dilute up to 10 times in water, but full strength seems to be what I need on the aluminum stain.  Oh and I had spilled some black Rustoleum paint on our green plastic outdoor table.  It was painted, and did not wipe off, even with paint solvent, thinner.

While pouring the Totally Awsome from a capped bottle into the sprayer bottle, I spilled some on the stain on the table.  It sat there for a while as I was cleaning the trailer.  Noticing the spill, I came over and wiped it up with a rag.  And as you have guessed, the paint stain came right off the table into the rag.

So I'm not trying to sell this stuff, and really only plan to use it to clean the trailer, but perhaps need to have it on hand to be used as other stuff fails to work.  They claim it gets out ball point pen ink as well.  Your mileage may vary!  Try it on an inside corner first, as I'm sure it could take the color out of concrete....

No Football tonight-----ugh!  What are we going to do after the super bowl is over?

Retired Rod

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Iowa Wins!!!!!!!

I think I have expressed that I attended the University of Iowa many years ago, and that I still remain an avid fan.  We used to purchase season football tickets back in the day when I was in the accounting profession.

A Saturday outing to the Iowa City Kinnick stadium was on the agenda for every home game.  We never traveled to the other stadiums, as I couldn't get enough time away from the office for that.  But still, every game calls for it to be watched or listened to if possible.  Even now!

So it should come as no surprise that our entire day surrounded the 5:30 Mountain time Fox Sports coverage of the Orange bowl.  And believe me I was sitting here with Hawkeye hat on waiting for it to begin.  If you didn't get to see it, we won, much in the same way we won all year, with the game in doubt until the very end when we got a last touchdown with less than two minutes remaining.

Pinch me I think I just had heart failure.  But tonight our season is officially over as a BCS Bowl winner.  This is the highest the school has ever finished in Football,,,, ever!  We did win the Rose bowl back in 1957 and again in 1959 but we didn't have near this many season wins.

So I haven't read any blogs, or done anything constructive other than call all over the place trying to regain some prescription coverage, since my plan has changed Rx companies, and of course my scripts didn't transfer.

I'll get to try and fix that from 1300 miles away, but with the big game, I am still distracted.  Perhaps tomorrow.

So if your not into football, I apologize for writing about it, but it was really my entire day preparing for the big game.  I am estatic with the victory!  Sorry Georgia.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Checking out other RV Resorts.

We had another banner day here in Arizona today!  We reached 74 degrees, which the weather folks say is unusually high for this time of year.  It should be somewhere around 66 as a daytime high.  But as  all things go, it is to change on Thursday.

Cooler temperatures and some overcast are headed our way, so we should have temperatures closer to the yearly averages.  Of course this will be subject to change, as the forecast is adjusted every day.

We decided to head out and check out another RV park today, as we have never been to the Gold Canyon RV Resort!  I read about it on Ed and Marilyn's blog several days ago, as they were contemplating the possibility of Arizona in the up coming year.  (They have made other plans now.)

But I wanted to see this more upscale resort, so we headed out.  The property is located East of Apache Junction on Highway 60.  The area is called Gold Canyon, and is quite new.  And as such, the resort is new as well.  It has a large clubhouse building in the center of the camp, with a 9 hole golf course surrounding the building.   This gives the property its character, since it is grass.  We have no grass here, unless it is watered about 10 times a day.  Grass is a flower!

But with the grass in the center, and a divided entryway that leads to the clubhouse, It seems quite nice.  The resort has many more landscape features than the usual park here in the valley.  But once you leave the common area, it is park model after park model.  They are mostly newer, which makes for a less dated park.

But what about the lots with motorhomes on them?  Now remember that 80 percent were park models, so the RV's were sprinkled in every now and then.  There were no bumper pulls anywhere, just bigger fifth wheels and newer motorhomes.  They must have a rule about how old your rig can be to stay there.

Looking at the actual lot you would rent, it was gravel with a small concrete patio.  Your rig is on the gravel, and your car or truck is on gravel on the opposite side of the patio.  The only other thing on the lot is the hookup tower.  Bare gravel.  This is for about $800 a month plus electricity.

The nearest Wal Mart is about 10 miles back in Apache Junction by the swap meet.   That is a shopping center with all the necessary stores.

So for about $30 a night after you pay the electric, you get a gravel lot, with nice neighbors in park models.  And yes they have nice landscaping.  The center of the park is nice, with the golf course, and that would be a draw, but there were several foursomes waiting to tee off as we drove by number one.  So could you get a tee time as an RVer?

We both quickly decided that our older park with concrete slabs to park our car and trailer as well as a patio the full side of our rig and a palm tree in the back corner, in the center of town for half the price seemed like a really good deal.  Even if we had some vintage park models sprinkled here and there.

I still think Ratama Village in McAllen, Texas is as close to the perfect park layout as I have ever seen.  And of course you have to buy those lots for about $45 K!

Retired Rod

Monday, January 4, 2010

A really nice day

I went right outside and ran the power washer first thing this morning.  Before I got tied up doing other stuff.  The neighbors had left for the morning, so while they were gone, I started the Motorhome and the generator.

The engine in the MH hadn't been started since I parked here in mid November.  It fired right up without a hitch.  The generator took a lot more time to warm up before the starter engaged, but it too ran for most of an hour.

I think it is good and necessary to warm these engines up to their full operating temperature to cook out the moisture from the oil and crankcase.  The problem with diesel engines is that they do not ever reach full operational temperature unless you use them to do work.  As in drive.  I did switch off the electric post, so that the generator was carrying the load of the heater and water heater and the fridge.  But the only thing I could do with the truck engine was to rev it every now and then.

So with the washing complete and the engines warmed up as much as possible, we will be good for another month of sitting still.  We are slated to check out in the middle of February, but time will need to pass before we make that decision.

The day here was quite warm, as we reached about 74 on the thermometer on the side of the coach.  Even late in the afternoon, as I went over to Wal Mart, the car dash said 70.  Our neighbors were out in their shorts and T shirts sunning themselves.  I rode the motorcycle around in the park.  We have 9 miles of interior roads without leaving the complex.

I'm not sure what else we did other than read and read the blogs.  But sitting outside and reading in the sun or shade on a nice winters day was great fun.

Retired Rod

Sunday, January 3, 2010

No football today!

I promised I was going to do something constructive today!  Well only half of a constructive job.  LoL!

I went outside and began to putter around in the trailer, and put away the church roaster that we keep in the lockers underneath the coach.  Once in there, I noticed the chamois that I use on the windows when I wash the MH.

Well that caused me to think I should wash the front window so we could see out better, which led to hooking up the power washer, which led to washing off the muddy rain spots all over the rig.  But that's where the half a job came in.

In order to wash the driver's side which is up against the carport on our neighbors park model to the South, it was necessary to put in the big slide.  Loyce was using the inside table (in the slide) for her sewing, and it is a big pain in the back side. So I washed around to the slide on the front and the back, but never finished the job.  Rather I began to use that chamois to clean the water spots from the windows.

Chamoising a motorhome is a big undertaking, so I gave up and sat in the lawn chair about mid afternoon.  You know we don't want to get all carried away with work now!  Perhaps tomorrow I will put the slide in and wash the driver's side.  And then again maybe not.

It was 72 for a little while this afternoon, but fell back into the 60's as the sun faded away.  Tonight we are back down in the 50's, but we are only using the electric heaters.  We have never started the propane burners, as it hasn't been that cold.  We will be around 44 or so by morning.  But then as soon as the sun pops out we start all over again.

My neighbors claim it got down to 30 for a couple of hours while we were gone, but I have never seen it below freezing here in Phoenix.  We have been here three out of the last four years during the winter, missing 07/08 which we spent in the RGV in Texas.

It got really damp, rainy and cold down in South Texas for about 2 weeks in late January that year.  Mid 30's with overcast rainy foggy days.  We burned a bunch of propane and had the electric heaters going too.  We were trapped inside for about two weeks.  So that's how we started coming back here.

When its warm in Texas, it is warmer than here, but we do not have humidity or no see ums here and the sun always shines.  Well almost everyday anyway!

Retired Rod

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Years day!

Happy New Year!

I have sat here and watched the Football games all day.  Starting with the Rose Parade, until the end.  Did the sun shine?  Well I kind of snoozed thru the Florida Cincinnati game.   We had a high temperature in the early 70's and the door was open all afternoon.

Perhaps I'll do something constructive tomorrow!

Retired Rod

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Happenings!

The only place I went today was Fry's Electronics.  Wow!  I knew this was a big place, but I wasn't really prepared to find all the electronic parts and tools and hobby equipment.  Robotic stuff and in general almost anything electronic.  Except Ham Radio stuff.  Bummer!  Oh well.

I was in need of a cable to replace the one on my digital voice outboard decoder.  They call it a dv dongle.  The cable that came with the box had given up completely.  I had wiggled it just so, for it to make connection, for the last time.  They had several cables that would work, but I purchased a retractable that was on a window shade roll up spool.  It will most likely break right at the connectors, but at least I now have a new start on breaking this one.

As I was driving back from the far West side of Tempe, on the superstition highway, it was about 4 PM on New Years Eve.  Everyone was off work and heading home for the holiday.  Traffic was heavy.  Not completely bumper to bumper, but about as bad as it gets here in the valley.  I have read several blogs about how folks hate the traffic here in Phoenix.  But I was amazed that we were moving right along at the speed limit without ever slowing down much.  I drove right back to the park without incident.  Perhaps it is because I know where we are going, that it doesn't bother us much.

We made a pork roast in our small church roaster tonight.  Complete with mashed and broccoli cheese casserole.  It was really good, and comfort type food.  Again it wasn't the most diet type of meal, but then again it is New Years Eve.

I'm sure 2009 had several firsts for us, but concentrating on the really positive stuff, we became grandparents for the fifth time this summer.  Nothing can top an addition to the family.  And then turning a negative into a positive, we were so blessed to not have been injured when we had the car accident here in the desert last February.

We were lucky enough to find a Motor Home that we felt we could afford, and sell the travel trailer on the first day it was listed.  So, 2009 was not a bad year.  I realize that many folks are out of work, and the economy is not the best, which effected us in the same fashion that it did everyone else.  But perhaps all of our financial futures will look up in the next few years.

So Happy New Year!!!!  I hope this year will be much better for all of us!  And thank you for taking your precious time to stop by this blog and check out how we are getting along.  I appreciate each and every one of you!

Retired Rod