Saturday, January 30, 2016

Making Something Happen! -- Jan 30, 2016

Well, we're already through one month of 2016!  How did that happen??

Before we make something happen around here, I'll show a few random shots of the "here and there"....

We had another beautiful full moon this month...the "Wolf Moon" on the 23rd.  Ironically, that was the first anniversary of the day I rescued Nikko from the Phoenix shelter.....where....his name was Lobo -- which is Spanish for "wolf".  I find those coincidences fascinating since I'm not one who totally believes in "coincidences".  

As the moon is rising over the reservoir, it is truly bright orange...then it fades to white, but still beautiful...

I got up early enough the next morning to catch it going down behind the mountains out past one of the main camping areas....the opposite direction of the sunrise that was forming over the reservoir.

The weather has been IDEAL!  70s -- today 82*!  Really least for me!  BUT, there's a twist coming.  Strong winds tomorrow and Monday....up to 50mph gusts predicted.  No fun!  It's already getting a little breezier than it was this morning playing golf.  THEN, the temps drop into the 60s for 3-4 days.  I know...that doesn't sound very cold compared to lots of areas of the country, but when you're used to warmer, it feels pretty chilly!  But, by the end of the week, back into the 70's. Soon enough we will be complaining about the heat!  

It's been so nice, there has been some sailing on the reservoir.....can't beat that for January!

I was sitting here the other day thinking, "I've met a lot of people here over the past two winter seasons....but how many?"  So, I wrote them all down.  Without being, or even trying to be "Miss Campground Socialite", I know 70 people here by name!  Most of them are repeat campers here. And there's probably another 5-6 I know by sight...waving as we pass each other.  I attribute this to everyone being so friendly and the fact that we all have RVing and boondocking in common.  It's easy to strike up conversations!  

One nice fellow, Gerry, let me borrow his car on Tuesday to go into town for all the dreaded errands. What a luxury!  So much easier to drive a car than to navigate a 30' RV around town!  I was very grateful!

I would say there probably won't be a lot more RVers coming here to the Imperial Dam LTVA this season.  Here's the view from my house, looking west (east is the reservoir).  It may look a little crowded, but there's actually a lot of room between campers...except for those who choose to be near others.  As you can see, no one is near me.....but Nikko and I like it that way!  :-)

Several campers display flags of various themes...

OK -----  now for making something happen!

Thursday started off with a beautiful sunrise....

Five of us gals decided to make something happen and take a little trip down to Los Algodones, Mexico...about 50 minutes away. Myself, Dotti (from NW Arizona), Sue (from Rochester, NY), Phyllis (from Alaska), and Irena (originally from Czechoslovakia, now from Canada)....see how easy it is to meet folks from everywhere? :-)  My third time down there this season but I hadn't taken too many photographs.  

As typical of Mexican wares, everything is very bright and colorful!  Most items are made in Guadalajara and Mexico City, but some are handmade by locals.  

There's a lot of USA football "everything"!  But I didn't see too many Broncos and Panthers items....probably sold out already for the upcoming Super Bowl!

The gals were trying on some really nice capes....and ultimately two were purchased....started bargaining at $35...ended at $20, I think.  The vendor (in the purple parka in 75* weather) said they were acrylic, but I was really thinking "wool" as they had that wool feel and some had a moth ball aroma....

This fellow is order.  I can't tell you what is is weaving because I 
am giving the item as a gift to someone who just might be reading this blog!
It was amazing how quickly he could custom make this little item!
I'll show it to you in an upcoming blog!

Of course, there is a lot of jewelry to be had!  Irena purchased pretty earrings, two necklaces and a bracelet.  Dotti scored a very nice bracelet with inlaid stones.  
You have to watch what you're buying, tho'.  
Make sure they are stamped ".925" somewhere...that indicates sterling silver.  

These fun signs are pretty clever -- made from old license plates!
I'm partial to the third one....

One very pleasing surprise was this Native American musician.
He was very talented and his music was wonderful.
I wish, now, that I had gotten a CD.  Hopefully he will be there when I visit again.

There's one walkway at the edge of the shopping area that seems a bit more "refined"...
Plenty of pottery and metal sculptures...
I am presuming these items are the more pricey of wares.

Oddly, when we were in the customs line re-entering the U.S., ceramic turtles, of all sizes seemed to be the purchase of the day for many!  We all thought that was pretty funny!

Last but not least, hunger set in and we went to the fish taco stand.
Two fish tacos for $3.00! And they were good!
We took them to the "square" where we could sit and order a....

What better way to end a day in Mexico?  Ole!  
All in all, it was a fun day with the girls! 
We made something happen! 

Time to think about Valentine's Day gifts.  
If you can't shop in Mexico, Amazon surely has the perfect gift!
Thank you for shopping via my Amazon link!  

Adios for now!  Everyone have a great week!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Mumbo Jumbo! -- Jan 19, 2016

Mumbo jumbo!  That's what I could have been posting for the past few weeks, but I decided to NOT clutter up your inbox with a lot of "talk just for the sake of talking"!  

Not a lot has been going on around here.  If you think of your own lives, especially now that the holidays are over, routine sets back in from day to day.  Get up, have some coffee, get organized for the day, go off to work or errands or appointments, maybe do some cleaning and laundry, pay bills, check emails and Facebook for all the exciting things happening in other people's lives, prepare some meals, relax a little with a crossword or book or hobby, then it's off to bed to get ready for another day. I've mentioned several times before, full time RV living is not so much a vacation as it is just "normal" living, like everyone else.  All of the above fun filled activities (or NOT!) are exactly what I've been doing since the first of the year.  

I think it's important to remind everyone who may be considering this lifestyle that once the "vacation mode" wears off and you really feel that your RV is your home, like any other abode, and you settle into a spot for a week, two weeks, a month, or several months (like "snowbirds" do), life is pretty much routine a lot of the time.  But, that's not to say it's not a good thing!  It is!  :-)

So, now for some RV mumbo jumbo!  LOL!  First, the weather....always a fill-in-the-awkward-there's-nothing-to-talk-about-moments!  It was pretty chill in December and the first part of January, but it's definitely changing now into the reason I stay here!  Perfect!

I've been living without air conditioning since just after I started this adventure in June 2014.  It was working when I started, then it just "went out".  A few people suggested it may be the compressor as it was getting power, but nothing happened when I turned it on.  Ok.  I'll live without it.  New units are not inexpensive.  The problem with that has been 1)  it can easily get too hot for Nikko and 2) it limits where we can travel during the warm, summer months.  Trying to stay in higher elevations has been the objective.  Soon after arriving here at the Imperial Dam BLM for the winter, my generator stopped working all together.  Not good!  I try not to use it very often, but it is still a necessity.  So, into the shop I went and spent $600 on a new voltage regulator.  Not money I wanted to spend!  But a new generator is $4000-$5000.  

Where is this discussion going??  I was talking to neighbor the other day and mentioned my A/C hadn't been working since [almost] Day 1.  Because I knew (from a test) that it was getting electrical power, he said, "Well, maybe your generator isn't surging enough power for it to actually turn on the A/C."  A LIGHT BULB BURST ON IN MY HEAD!  (Which doesn't happen all that often!)

Of course!  With having had a faulty voltage regulator on the generator, he could be right!  I hadn't tried turning on the A/C since I had it replaced. And right he was!  I raced back to the RV, turned on the generator with the new voltage regulator....then turned on the A/C......VOILA!  COLD AIR!  So, until the generator went totally out, for 18 months I had been able to run low voltage things through the generator (which didn't tell me there was a generator problem), just not high voltage, like the A/C. Now our summer can take a whole new direction if we choose!   AND that $600 was well spent!  

Speaking of summer, I've been running things through my head about where we might spend our time.....maybe Utah, maybe California, maybe get up to Oregon....  it's all still up in the air, but I'm doing some research.  It really depends on gas prices and budget!  This is a relatively low-cost lifestyle, but it still costs money!  Still have a few months to make a plan.

Ok -- what else can I WOW you with?  LOL!  How about burrow sightings?  There haven't been many at all this year.  This momma and her baby were at the bottom of the steep embankment where I park (live!),

And there are the pretty views, which really isn't "mumbo jumbo"!  When the sun is setting in the west, this can be seen in the east. Always look behind you when you are viewing a sunset!

Then there are my new Nokero solar light bulbs!  These things are great!  You just set them in the sun for the day and you can  have hours and hours of very bright light at night (bright enough to read in total darkness).  There are variations of this style on Amazon, but they don't have the base...they are strictly for hanging.  These can hang or sit on a flat surface.  I ordered them directly from the Nokero website. I've also used them as a flash light when walking outdoors at night.  Love these!  I've been reading a lot of John Grisham lately....just finished Sycamore Row and The Painted House. Excellent! 

And maybe the biggest happening in January for me and Nikko's our Anniversary!  In just a few days, it will be our One Year Anniversary together!  He's been great and he so easily adapted to this lifestyle.  He's gained a few pounds over the past year...primarily due to the all meat/protein food (Bil-Jac and Taste of the Wild) he's been eating.  He doesn't get a ton of exercise here because he has to be "on leash" all the time which keeps him from running all around and burning calories.  But, once we leave here and are at more secluded sites, I can let him run around on his own.  

Let's see....what else.....Well, there's the GIGANTIC RV Show going on up in Quartzsite right now. There are hoards and hoards of RVers in a very small town right now!  You get to see all the latest and greatest of the RV motorhomes, campers and all the "extras" solar and other creature comforts.  The big Rock and Gem Show will also be coming up soon.  There are lots of vendors of other types there, too.

I think that's about all the mumbo jumbo I can come up with in this post!  Just enjoying the nice weather, good books, some golf, creating zen art, walks with Nikko, and of course, all the things that come with just living life --- bills, taxes, repairs, etc!

As always, thank you to all of you who have been ordering via my Amazon link!
It all helps keep this blog going!

Let's end with a great sunset photo!
What a spectacular flight this pilot had!
Have a great week!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Here We Go! -- Jan 3, 2016

Into a brand new year!  Happy first Monday of 2016 and the first day of rain since I've been here!  No solar help today...and maybe tomorrow :-(((  That means the generator will be running a lot.  Good thing I have a full tank of gas!

Nikko is not a happy camper today! Do you see "bored" here?  Poor guy! 

Hard to believe we've turned another page in Father Time's yearly almanac --- where does the time go?  Thank you all for welcoming in 2016 with me and Nikko!  We're looking forward to lots of new adventures this year!  
It was pretty quiet around the ol' campground over the holidays.  Some people leave to visit family but most have returned now.  About 50 of us went to Lin's Chinese Buffet in Yuma for our Christmas Day luncheon.  It's quite a large buffet....several rows of food!  We all stuffed ourselves for $10.95!

There was a beautiful full moon on Christmas night....first on December 25th since 1977!

The new year, with El Nino's help, is starting off with cool temps and LOTS OF WIND around here! One day we had gusts of 61 mph.  It lasted about 18 hours.  After just a few hours, I was feeling a bit seasick in the RV!  LOL! But at least it's not in the 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s!  It's been in the 30s at night -- BRRRRRR -- but that seems to have passed for now.  Here's the upcoming forecast - lotsa sun! :-)

We've had some decent golf days, tho.  Here's a photo of my golfing buddies.... Tommy, Bill, Steve, Peter, TJ and Ray.  Missing on this day was Walt, Tom and Daniel.  They don't give me any slack just because I'm of the opposite gender!  One day....and one day only....I beat them all with five birdies!  My one day of golf fame!  LOL!  Of course that didn't surpass the days that Tommy and TJ each had two holes in one - in one round!  We have fun -- that's all that matters :-)

And there have been plenty of nice days for folks to go boating and fishing out on the reservoir waters...pretty nice for December!

Not much has been going on here except a lot of great sunsets and sunrises!  Always something to look forward to....almost every day.  So, for your viewing pleasure, that's what will take up most of the rest of this post!  Here we go....I hope you like orange and pink!

In between the sunrises and sunsets, I've gone back to reading mysteries and such on the colder, windier days...Kindle books and books from the campground library...... and I've been playing around with more zen art.  A fellow traveler that I met on FB ordered two of these little art pieces.  I made five from which to choose her favorite two.  She did....but I sent her all five as a little Christmas present :-) She was surprised!  This was one of the surprise pieces....

Since my birthday in October, I'm officially "old" now - LOL! - and I'm living on a fixed income. I've always been good with budgets so it's nothing new for me to plan with numbers.  For example, from this "pay check", $105 in groceries has to last me five weeks (normally four, but the calendar put it at five this time).  That's a $3/day meal budget. But no problem! I got plenty of practice stretching the food budget when I was a Personal Chef.  Just hoping gas prices give me a good break this summer! At 7.4 mpg, I need all the help I can get!  I mention this "fixed income" scenario primarily to let everyone know you CAN live this lifestyle on a limited budget!

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for sticking with me for the past 18+ months on this adventure!  AND for remembering to use the Amazon links in this blog for your purchases. You pay the same and I earn a small commission. December was a good earnings month due to holiday shopping.  Let’s just say, it paid ¾ of my Verizon bill, which is, obviously, very detrimental to publishing the blog!  So, THANK YOU to each and every one of you!  I hope you were pleased with your purchases and will continue to use the links here.  Gift cards are useful all year long for birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day…and “just because” days!

Not only does Amazon have its own gift cards, but they offer gift cards for specific restaurants, department stores, clothing/shoes, kids/toys, home/garden, food and health!

I’ll leave you now with some beautiful sunrise photos….. this is the way days can start out here in the desert!

Have a great first week of 2016!