Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Playing Catch Up! -- Dec 31, 2014

I definitely need to catch up with everyone.  And here it is the last day of 2014 already!  I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas!

Here at the BLM, some people participate in the Lights Parade.  They decorate their cars/trucks with lights and parade through the BLM several nights so everyone can enjoy them.  I wasn't prepared with my tripod, etc. for clear/focused night photography (plus it was windy), but you get the idea. Everyone had fun with it!

Five of us went to Lin's Chinese Buffet in Yuma on Christmas day.  The decor is not your typical red and black with paper lanterns and plastic dragons.  Lin's is a bit more "richly" appointed, I would say. There were about 6-7 double lanes of buffet items....including an all American row for those who shy away from Asian cuisine.  They also have a separate sushi station and a Mongolian Grill area...steaks, etc cooked to order.  The food was quite good....with tons of selections within the buffet.  Oh...and also a dessert lane!

Everything from fried rice to octopus!

The BLM is getting more and more snowbirds now, but it's such a large area, it doesn't seem crowded at all.  People can choose to be near others...or not.  A big WELCOME to all the Canadians that have arrived!  From Quebec to British Columbia....

As I've mentioned previously, staying in one place like I am now, the hub-bub of great travel exploration is quite diminished vs. my summer travels.  But, just like many of you with gardens, everything winters over while we take a rest.  Scouring the seed catalogs becomes a fireside activity to get us through the cold, grey winter in anticipation of spring. (At least that's what I used to do in the winter when I had gardens!)  But, now, instead of plotting my garden, I'll be plotting my route for the summer months.  I won't be pushed this year to get to any particular destination, i.e., across the entire U.S. like I was this past summer, so I'm thinking I might focus on a couple of states - definitely "out west" - and explore them to the max.

I'm still in the "thinking" stage of planning - it's all up for grabs right this minute!  

About a week ago, there was disturbing activity relatively near by....brush fires.  They started in the evening and continued on into the next day.  I thought perhaps they were controlled/planned burns, but from the reports, it was arson.  Not good! What are people thinking????  We weren't in danger here at the BLM, but the fires did run along the main road from the Yuma Proving Grounds towards the turn off road to this area...but still relatively far away....but, due to the topography, not so far that we couldn't see them. This is just one area that I shot in the morning from the RV.  Luckily, the smoke was drifting away from our area except for a short time in the afternoon when the fires were pretty much extinguished.  

Okay, on a lighter note, I had a couple of visitors wander near the RV one afternoon.  It's amazing they find enough to eat.  One particularly windy day out on the golf course we saw eight down in a huge pit by the course....we surmised they were trying to get out of the wind...which was pretty chilly.

Speaking of the weather...... BRRRRRRRRRRRRR is all I can say lately!  It has been very unseasonably cool (actually COLD in some parts of the day/night).  Down in the 30s at night.  But the windy conditions have, of course, made it seem colder.  The day temps have been low, also.  I hate to complain because it is much colder in most parts of the country, but I'll complain anyway! LOL! 

Many days it has been in the 50s which doesn't sound too bad, but that's almost 20* colder than normal plus it was overcast for many days - no warming solar effect - and very windy, so it feels more like the 40s.  We've managed somehow to play golf most days - out of sheer determination! This morning, while I didn't make any birdies, I gave myself a lot of points for just being out there! It was windy and freezing!  These are the average temps for Yuma -- MUCH higher than we have been experiencing! But I'm sure desert warmth is on the horizon!  Let's hope!  (It's supposed to SNOW in Las Vegas tonight!)


HIGH *F    LOW *F      MONTH

69               47                 December

70               47                 January

74               49                 February

81               51                 March

88               59                 April

Even with the cooler temps, we have had more beautiful sunrises and sunsets since my last post.

Love these striated sunrises!

The cool temps did bring a foggy morning over the reservoir, which was nice....

Just can't get tired of the brilliant Arizona sunsets!

 One day we had big fluffy clouds as far as one could pretty!

During this time off from posting, I also celebrated my SIX month anniversary of full time RVing on the 23rd.  Hard to believe!  What's really hard to believe is how natural this way of living has become!  No regrets is the best part!  

So, with that, I will bid everyone a very safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR!  
2015 will be a great year for us all!  
I have no "bubbly", so have an extra sip for me!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ramblings and Rock Stars - Dec 7, 2014

Hello out there!  Can you believe it's December??  Every day that passes I realize it's one more day I haven't created a new post.  With that said, there are two reason I've been MIA.  For the past week or so, my internet was a little touch and go, but I think it's fine now.  And I've also been quite under the weather for the past week...enough that I went to Urgent Care in Yuma.  As I'm writing this, I'm probably about 70%.  But I'm going to take a stab at it anyway!  The show must go on!  

What a lot of people tend to not realize is the RV lifestyle is a LIFESTYLE...just like living in a big city, a small town, on a farm, in an apartment/condo, a subdivision, etc.  It's really NOT an un-ending vacation or camping trip.  Sure, for the first part of this adventure, it seemed as if it was because I was hopping across the country, relatively quickly, showing you (and myself) a lot of sights. However, when you settle down in one spot for any length of time, IT'S WHERE YOU LIVE....and stuff happens just like living anywhere. You make friends in your "neighborhood", people get sick, your neighbors help you out (and they really do here!), people decorate their "yards", pets go over the Rainbow Bridge, you burn your hand on the stove. You cook, clean, do errands, take care of house maintenance items, rearrange closets and all that other good stuff.  It's not all fun and games!  Nothing tells you all this quicker than not feeling well.  But, once you embrace it, which takes a little while if you're just starting out full time, it is a very unique, enjoyable lifestyle!  You can live anywhere, anytime!

I trust everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We had a pot luck here at the BLM.  About 80 fellow RVers were in attendance.  There was a lot of  mighty good food!  I made Orange Streusel Sweet Potatoes.  I should have taken a photo, but I took them out of the oven at the very last second so they would stay hot.  But, I did get a photo of the "after"!  They were gone in a jiffy!  I think the streusel topping was something different for everyone.  (I had two helpings, myself!  LOL!)   I cooked my potatoes with a little orange juice in the pressure cooker, drained and added some brown sugar and a little cream cheese and a pinch of salt (a little bit of salt always enhances the flavors in something sweet like this.)  Mashed them up by hand and added the streusel topping. Find any streusel topping recipe (I substituted the water with OJ and added a drop or two of orange extract) and cover the entire top of your sweet potatoes.  Bake until the streusel gets slightly browned and crunchy.  Try them for Christmas -- or anytime!  Really yummy!

The gathering was at the "Gravel Pit Ramada". It is huge and below grade.  I could have walked over there if I hadn't been carrying a piping hot casserole, a chair, and my camera.  My friends, Karen and Brad, were kind enough to pick me up.  The ramada is also host to aerobics and yoga classes during the week and a music jam on Sunday afternoons.  Must get to that!  It was on the "something fun list" for today, but I don't think I'm feeling well enough.  Hopefully, next Sunday!

The "Rock Star" of the holiday was Mena... Karen and Brad's sweet little pooch....  she LOVES rocks! She totes pretty good size rocks around like stuffed animals.  So funny!  She had quite an audience.  She stares them down.......then.......moves in for the capture!  She rarely kills one, tho'!  LOL! what else has been happening out here at this great BLM site???

Every single day isn't "perfect" here as far as the weather.  We've had a couple of very high wind days with blowing sand and dust.  Nothing to do but stay indoors.  Although, one morning it didn't start out windy but by the time my golfing buddies and I were about half way through the course.....WOW!  It was hard to stand up.  Had dust grit in our mouths and eyes and our golf balls were carried every which way.  But, do you think that stopped us?? NO!  LOL!  But we all commented the next day on how exhausted we were from fighting the wind when we finished up that round!  

Here are a few shots of the worst day....starting first with a "normal" day overlooking the reservoir....yes, it really looks like this!

How quickly it all can change!

Really glad those days don't pop up often.....  plus, anything you have stored outside your RV is, as you can well imagine, covered in dirt and sand.  UGH!

That was outside.  Let's move indoors!  I don't think I've ever gotten around to posting photos of the INSIDE of my house.  What better time than now?  It's fairly self-explanatory!  C'mon in!  

(Yes, it looks a slight bit 'tilted' is.  When I took these I was parked along a curbside where the street wasn't flat to aid water run off.)

I feel like I took this from a relatively no-character "camper" to a home by adding drapes (I, personally, much prefer them over shades or blinds), decorator pillows, oriental rugs, "chandelier", the convenient peg boards, etc. 

Being almost 25 years old, nothing at all fancy here, but it is quite efficient.  Once you pare down to the essentials (which are WAY less than you would first think!),  there's really plenty of space for just about everything. I have extras that a lot of people may not have -- painting canvases, art supplies/paints, a boxes of some of my framed photos and the ceramic Aura Tiles I make,..stuff like that and still enough space.  

There are three things I would change if  I could.  1) the bed in the corner - IMPOSSIBLE to make up!  Looks ok here, but it took over 30 minutes to get it that way!  2) a little more kitchen counter space somehow; and 3) get rid of all the carpeting and replace with Allure wood plank flooring.  Lots of RVers have done this. It's relatively easy and inexpensive to install yourself.  It's on my bucket list! But, overall, this house is very workable.  Even with no slides (which I think are just another thing that can have problems..... but if I won the lottery, I'd probably upgrade with them!  LOL! but you don't miss what you have never experienced!), I never feel claustrophobic with so many large windows. Ultimately, it sleeps six, but I can't imagine I will never have five people staying with me!  

Finally  ----

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has been ordering through my Amazon link! Lots of holiday shopping going on!  Still plenty of time if you have Amazon Prime... or subscribe now to start this great shipping benefit.  It's well worth it if you order fairly regularly from Amazon.  Free AND very fast shipping!  Oh....and don't forget about gift cards. No worries about what anyone needs or wants....they can choose for themselves from millions of products.  What better gift??  

I will leave you with some early morning light better way to wake up than seeing nature's effortless artwork!  

Love these striated, sunrise clouds!

A foggy, desert morning....

I will check in before the's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

Have a good week, everyone!