Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our Last Weekend at Desert Valley

Time is really starting to move fast. I'm not going to get everything done here in the valley that I had planned, so we'll just have to come back next year! I have a list. We had a going away BBQ - Potluck last night. Started at 4 p.m. for Happy Hour and Appetizers outside around the fire pits and the Umbrellas. One of our Rangers Grilled Hamburgers and Brats. Everybody brought something, I brought Cherry Cheesecake. We moved inside to eat and Bunky- our one man band from Nebraska played his easy listening music for us through dinner. Little did he know, that there were some presentations to be made in his honor! After supper we all sat back and let the fun begin! The Stitch and Bitch girls made him a really neat quilt and Teddy Bear to match! He cried. They made that quilt right in front of him while he practiced and he thought it was for someone else! Another couple compiled a picture book of all the different couples and different events we've had. We all got to write a note and our addresses for him, and another gal here that sings, wrote him a song about his music and what he has meant to us here. She also framed a copy of the words for him. She sang that. We then adjourned back to the fire pits outside and sat around and reminisced and exchanged cards and addresses. This place is really quiet and more leaving every day. I'm glad we are getting to go too. I have the hitch itch and it's time to move. Am glad we came home at 9:30 because I got up at 6:00 and headed out to use the dri wash and guard on the coach from top to bottom and wanted to get the south side done before the sun came up....which I did and actually I got almost all the way around. Up and down off the ladder is usually not my job, but couldn't have DH doin it. Washed and bleached the rags so I'm ready for tomorrow. Finally quit this afternoon because the wind came up. I put all our chairs and equipment away and we're kinda rockin and rollin tonight watching Funniest Home Videos. DH took it easy today and watched movies. We will watch Celebrity Apprentice tonight. I've kinda got hooked on that show. The dogs have had their supper and walks. Kaycee is on the couch whining. I could go to bed I'm so tired! With the dust blowing again tonight, I'll have some more wiping tomorrow! I have some shopping to do yet...and I'm going to try to get a haircut before we leave. I got the name of someone that cuts a gals hair here that I really like, so I think I'll give her a try! We've made quite a few friends here, and it'll be good to see them all again next year! I have a route mapped out for going up to Boulder City Nevada. We will stop in the big town of Ehrenberg AZ for the night on Wednesday and then continue on the next day to Boulder City. I think we'll be hanging out in Nevada about a month and then on over to California and from there we will make our way across the country to Nebraska for the birth of our latest Grandbabies....I have a feeling that the summer is really gonna fly by. I don't know where the past 3 months have gone! Seems like we just got here!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Blowin' in the Wind!

Today was quite a day! We got up this morning to the forcast of possible 60 mile an hour wind gusts later today and we had been invited to some friends house for dinner tonight about 5:00. In Phoenix! That's about 65 miles north. I put all the awnings in last night because I didn't want to be doin that in the middle of the night in my nightgown. If ya have enough of a warning, it's better to put them in then get them ripped up. At the thought of 60 mph winds, we also decided to pull the slides in while we were gone, to save the slide toppers. Off we went and got about 20 miles up the road and traffic came to a complete halt! Come to find out, a trailer had totally burned down to the steel frame on the side of the road. We finally got to our first destination, Famous Dave's BBQ. We had a tasty lunch. I've been hungry for Daves. The brisket almost melts in your mouth. It just falls apart it's so tender. I also bought 4 bottles of sauce, since I haven't found it in any stores, like I can in Nebraska. After lunch we drove farther into Chandler and went to Whole Foods to get some specialty items that we have found there. I like that store. It has a ton of Organic Good for you food! We managed to fritter away most of the afternoon doing pretty much nothing...and made it up to the North End of Phoenix by 4:30! To miss out on the bulk of Rush Hour, that was pretty good timing and our friends had just got home from golfing, so it was Perfect. They have a really nice place, complete with a small, pleasant back yard and orange trees. They were nice enough to send us home with a big bag of very Sweet Oranges. I had one when we got home, and BOY....they are really good! One thing is for certain, when we leave here I will really miss the citrus...and the good friends. I will not miss the wind and blowing dirt! While we were there, they fed us a wonderful supper, of Lasagna Roll ups, Salad and French Bread. We had a little wine, Berringer White favorite! DH didn't partake. He's still on the muscle relaxers and I didn't want him loose as a rubber band or have to pour him back in the car! We had a nice visit and a dessert of strawberry Ice Cream and home made cookies. We shared some of our Adventure Stories with them and decided to head back south about 7:30. We had a very smooth trip home. Lots smoother than the way up! Really light traffic, and I was suprised. With March Madness and the Arizona basketball games goin on at the Stadium not far from there, we waited until the game started to leave. The blowing dust on I 10 wasn't even too bad. We got here and the wind had changed directions! It's coming right straight out of the north and hitting us square sideways! We put the slides back out, it's easier to get in bed that way! Hope we don't tip over! I feel like crawling in bed and pulling the covers over my head. I'll definitely have to turn the TV up tonight to drown out the howling! Stay tuned....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is It a Fire Breathing Dragon!

Since DH has been down in the back, my first item on the agenda is to get up and get some clothes on and take the fur kids out for their morning potty walk before breakfast. Well this morning was no different. 7:30 a.m. It was cooler, about 47 degrees, thanks to the latest storm front rolling through. I grabbed my trusty walking jacket and threw on some jeans and my sherpa lined sorel slippers, attached the dogs to collars and leashes and pushed the door open to a welcoming sunny morning! All of a sudden, I hear a great big "Whooosh!" right directly over my head. Sounded like a huge gas grill being lit! Still being about half asleep and not having very quick reflexes, it startled me and I thought, "Oh my! Is it a Fire breathing Dragon??" Upon looking up...I saw this huge baloon and basket with people in it, right directly over my head! I almost ducked! I did duck back inside and grabbed the camera, and by the time I got back out the door it had moved over a little and was landing just on the other side of the resorts boundary wall! One of our Rangers was watering, and he stood there and watched with me! Lots of times they are visable but usually they don't land this close. That area over there is natural desert and I couldn't believe they would put down there and have to deal with the cactus and stickers and such. They start out not far from here at the Eloy Airport...we have a brochure in the clubhouse that advertises the rides. It is $75.00 for a half hour! I am too height challenged for that! No desire to go up, but I think they are pretty amazing to watch and I'm content to stay on the ground, but I have to say...this one really startled me this morning!

The rest of the day was pretty normal. I had all kinds of bills to pay, a load of laundry to do and we had to leave to go to DH's Chiropractor Appt. at 2:00 p.m. We drove to another resort this afternoon to look up some folks that are from Ne. that we know, but they weren't home, so we took the fur kids to the dog park while we were in town, and then we went for supper at Mimi's Cafe. DH is getting up a little more every day and walking a little better. He has one more appointment on Friday morning and then we'll see how he is. I got the tickets for the Las Vegas NHRA Nationals in the mail yesterday, but if he's not lots better, we won't move. I have a route plotted that will miss Phoenix and most of the traffic.. but we still won't go if he's still real sore. I'm pretty happy to have gotten a copy of my youngest son (the Hellanova Drummer) new CD! We listened to it today and even though it's not my music of choice, I like it! Well, it's the end of the day, and I end the day in the same manner as the beginning. KayCee is staring at me and sitting in front of the door! She is ready for the last trip of the night. Then she will be insisting that I go to bed better sign off for now! Never know what tomorrow will bring! I have no plans...some times that's dangerous!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Desert Waking Up!!

It's been a beautiful Sunday morning. We've been waiting for 35 mile an hour winds and blowing dirt that is forcast for today, but so far we've just got a slight breeze. I have had the dogs out for most of the morning, walking and telling some new friends goodbye that are hitting the road today. We lost 6 units this morning. It's getting pretty quiet here, but is so nice. I look around on the weather sites, and have to remind myself that pretty much everywhere else it's still cold! 2 hours north of here this morning it was 28 degrees! It didn't even cool off to 65 last night here! It is forcast for 83 again today. The bushes and flowering plants and vines are all starting to bloom. The boganvillia at the swimming pool is awesome! I am posting the pictures of here in the park that I ran around and took this morning. The clubhouse was super quiet. We are really lucky to have such a nice clean facility. The coffee is always on in the kitchen, a 5000 piece puzzle is up for anyone to work on. There's dart boards for a dart league, A big screen tv and all the electronics you could ever want. They have a Wii game that anyone can play. I have played once. Down our main street there's lots of space now. I really like the fact that it's so open. Most of the resorts in town have narrow little streets and the units are stuffed in like sardines. You could hear your neighbors sneeze. Activities are winding down. Our last potluck get together for this year will be next Saturday night. A barbeque and dance with Bunky playing. The Stitch and Bitch girls have been feverishly working on a quilt to give him...and will suprise him with it then. DH is getting up a little more every day and we have an appointment for him with a Chiropractor Monday afternoon. It's been 9 days, so we may be pushin the process a little. I will get busy this week and start using Dri Wash n Guard on the Coach. We rub down every inch at least 2 or three times a year. It's awesome stuff and works great on the fiberglass. Kinda like a wax. This afternoon I'm going to the pool and if it's too windy I'm going to go work on the puzzle. It's playtime for me this afternoon! Have a great Sunday!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy St. Pat's Day Tuesday!

Can't wait to get up in the morning and put on my Green, go to the club and eat Corned Beef and Cabbage and drink green tea! 20 years ago it would have been green beer or anything else green, and still it's a good excuse to have a party. In another recent post I talked about our resident Musician Bunky and how he knows several big name Country entertainers. Waylon Jennings got his start around here....I said at the Grey Goose lounge I believe....correction! Sorry bout that. I drove by there's the Galloping Goose! I took off this morning all by myself..and drove down I 10 a few exits, down by the Ostrich Ranch and went to "The Nut House" They have all kinds of yummy stuff and they sell native plants and ice cream. I bought a baby Saguaro Cactus and some Roasted Almonds, and some mixed nuts for the injured person in the house. Drove to the town of Coolidge, they have a nice new WalMart and not nearly the traffic or crowd of the one in Casa Grande. It's nice and clean and new. Bought Groceries and paid a visit to the town Post Office. Mailed a package to Minden NE of some assorted stuff. I have ordered a new CD from Hellanova band and I provided an addressed mailer so can't wait to get that! Got home in time to put away all the groceries that I stocked up on. I figured that we won't be going out much for a while, so I might as well cook. The bad thing is, it's gonna be about 90 degrees every day this week and I'll have trouble getting in the mood! Anyway, we won't starve. Stopped at a Fruit and Vegetable Stand on the way home and got Oranges, Grapefruit, tomatoes, mushrooms and red peppers. Awesome's so fresh. We finally finished all the citrus that our friends up north gave us off their trees. I whipped up a Chicken, Broccoli and stuffing casserole for our usual Monday pot luck supper. Practically everyone else that brought a main dish, made something with rice! Brought a plate of stuff home for DH and he got up long enough to eat and right back to bed he went. I will follow before long. It's been a long day today and I will need my strength for tomorrow....! Party on!!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Recap on a busy week!

We have had a really full week. Having survived the ugly trip across Phoenix Friday afternoon, we had a pretty light day yesterday. DH went to the driving range in the morning and sat in the hot tub in the afternoon. I uploaded pictures and did some laundry. Our friends from Wyoming were leaving for home this morning so we all went to our Saturday evening gathering at the clubhouse, where it's BYOWhatever and our resident Musician, Bunky Christiansen played and entertained us. He is a very talented man....can play any kind of string or keyboard. He plays and sings country, and has a very good voice. He does a lot of Johnny Cash, and knows Waylon Jennings. We heard the story about Waylon getting his start right in this area, Coolidge AZ at the Grey Goose Lounge, when he wintered here for 3 winters after Buddy Holly died,(he was his lead guitarist) he then went on to Phoenix to play and the rest is history. Bunky is so talented, he plays banjo, guitar and a really mean fiddle. He hails from Nebraska, down around Nebraska City, so we are home state friends! He has a motorhome here and he plays all over the area. He has had a hard time in life, maybe self inflicted, but has health problems and has lost one lung, so it's pretty incredible that he can perform so well. We didn't get too wild. Were invited to a camp fire party after that, but came home to bed like good people as DH had a 7:45 tee time this morning. That brings me to the Grand Finale for the week! He left here in good shape, however didn't come home that way. Lifting the clubs out of the back of the pickup he rode in, he messed his back up! Bummer.....he is now in the recliner with the tens unit there goes any plans. I'm hoping beyond all hope that it will be mild, or we will sit.....and miss the races in Vegas.....period. Meanwhile, I will fix supper......sure glad he's retired!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wasting Away in Margaritaville...

Will take a few moments today to tell ya about our Friday here in the valley. DH went for one last golf outing with our friend that's heading back to Wyoming tomorrow. They got back about 12:30 and after a quick sandwich, we loaded up the fur ones and headed North on I 10... about 5 miles up the road, I had the revolution...."what in the .... are we doing? There's certain times that are worse than others to be on the roads around here, and Friday Afternoons are definitely bad news! Everybody's going somewhere to get away from something, and are in a hurry and short on patience! Well, by then we were committed and continued on in to the madness! Bumper to bumper for most of the way, and we had probably 75 miles to go! We were heading to Glendale, right by the Arizona Cardinals Football Stadium, to a Cabela's store. One of the few places that DH can Shop til he drops! It definitely took us a while to get there and I had decided that we were going to sit it out for a while and miss the rush hour. We remembered that Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville opened last year not far from there on the same street and decided we'd check that out after a lengthy bout of shopping and walking the dogs in Cabela's ample pet area. We found Margaritaville in the Complex that holds quite a few Restaraunt and Lounge combos, and a large Arena not far from the stadium, apparently to attract all the football and college attendees. We have been to one of Jimmy Buffet's restaurants in Las Vegas a few years back for my 50th so knew what to expect. I could stay in there for hours! I don't care for Tequilla, so opted instead for a frozen Strawberry Daquiri and DH tried a Pomegranite Margarita. We watched a Stilted entertainer making balloon parrots and hats for those having a birthday. The inside is decorated like a beach with wooden boats, a double winged plane suspended from the ceiling and big screen tvs playing Jimmy Buffet in Concert! The staff was great. It's a really fun atmosphere. We decided to have a bite of supper, since we weren't going anywhere soon, and that's a good alternative to more margaritas when you have to drive that far home! DH had Jumbalaya, and I had a Mushroom Cheeseburger in Paradise, topped with mushrooms, lettuce and tomato relish. It came with fries and a HUGE 1/2 dill pickle....yummy! We took a stroll around the inside of this complex after supper and watched the dancing fountain for a bit and decided to go, thinking that most of the traffic should be done......wrong answer! It was 6:45 and by the time I got about even with the downtown Phoenix area and the Sky Harbor Airport....OMG!!!!! It was bumper to bumper and solid red lights as far as I could see!!! I kept my patience at an even level and remained alert for the rest of the trip home, clear to our exit! DH said he just couldn't figure out where all those people were going ....away from Phoenix! This trip also made me re examine the route I was mapping for our move out of here. Now, we've done that route several times, both in the coach and just the Suburban, but was talking to a fellow this morning, who said he takes I 8 and misses Phoenix altogether, and I am thinking that may be a good idea.....also covering another route that we've never been before! I have DH gone with bedding washing at the laundry room, and I am washing a load or two here with my new Washer/Dryer that I haven't hardly used. The fur kids wanted to sit in their kennel in the car...I didn't have the heart to tell them we aren't going anywhere today. Bunky is playing tonight in the clubhouse. He is playing at several places around here about every day now....lounges and other Resorts, so we're pretty lucky to have him here at his home base..... We will go up and listen to him a little. Another really nice day today. Mid 70s and a little breeze to keep it nice. Just another day close to Paradise!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tombstone and the "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral"

Yet another day of getting up at the crack of dawn and driving about 150 miles to Tombstone Arizona for the day on Wednesday. This town is brimming with the real history of the old west, however, it is very very commercialized and nothing but a tourist trap! My husband loved every minute and I was very appreciative of the historical value and the thought that we walked where the Earp brothers and Geronimo lived and made the town famous. There's plenty to see and do to fill a whole day and more. I'm sure we just barely scratched the surface, but by sundown, DH was satisfied to make the trek back North to the present day world and move on. We took a narrated trolley ride around town, sat in a Historama show explaining the beginning of the town and the progression through the infamous gunfight. We shopped the various shops and looked in the saloons, had a lunch of buffalo burgers in the O.K. Cafe. I did talk him into getting a recommended book of the actual events and happenings backed up with documentation. It looks like a really easy to read adaptation and I may even read it! We bought the tickets to the recreation of the gunfight and toured the O.K. Corral Museum. The final deed was a stagecoach ride through the streets and another narrative. One thing that I did while there...I have been looking at Native American Flutes for quite some time and I invested in my first Flute! I didn't get the most can wrap up hundreds of dollars in them, some inlaid with turquoise and beads. I started out simple, but it is in the key of "C" and has a very nice sound. I said I wanted to learn to play, and I have since started to play it. It's nothing concert worthy, but everybody needs a hobby and I will attempt this. It's far. DH got a shirt that is from the Tombstone Social Club. Another thing that the town was famous for was the bordellos and working girls. While in Tucson we stopped for supper at Chipotle. It's a burrito favorite! Had Steak and Black Bean Burritos, which I had leftovers for lunch yesterday. I just heard someone say it's Friday the 13th! I could've gone all day without hearing that! I'm not that superstitious though, so will move on through the day as usual. We are taking a trip to Cabelas in Glendale when DH gets back from the driving range. Our friends from Wyoming are leaving on Sunday early so they had to go out for one last trip to the course. I am washing jeans in my washer/dryer and will have to get some lunch ready so we can hit the trail. I don't want to be going up there during rush hour, nor will I come home during rush hour. The traffic here is crazy! We must fit right in!!! The weather holds out in the 70s every day. No rain. It is supposed to be a beautiful weekend and then rise on up to 80s next week. St. Patricks Day is next tuesday and there's a dinner and dance that night. Lots of folks are leaving so don't know how much fun it will be. Our musician from Nebraska - Bunky - the one man band is still here. He plays a lot of country - easy to listen to. Was in the Clubhouse this morning, and there's lots more festivals and brochures of places to visit. Don't know how many more we will get to this year. There's a Stagecoach Stop in the Superstition mountains that I want to visit, but there's snow in them there hills! Also at the Grand Canyon, so that may have to wait until later. This weekend I will focus on finding a place in California for us after we leave Las Vegas. I will load some more pics into the Arizona '09 picasa album. Some are a real hoot!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sightseeing in Tucson

We started the week by dropping the furkids at day care and treking up a scenic mountain trail to the Sonoran Desert Museum. We spent several hours wandering about the desert floor. They have done an excellent job in presenting many species of cacti, desert plants and desert animals in their natural habitat. We attended several presentations of raptors, venomous reptiles and history of plants. It has been said that if you take off walking in the desert, you are most certainly going to either be scratched, stung or bitten by something! It's so true...almost all plants have some kind of spine or thorn and you can be bitten or stung by lots of creatures! After the reptile presentation of rattlesnakes and Gila Monsters, we left there and traveled over to the "Old Tucson Studios" where over 300 film and tv productions were hosted since 1939. Part of the buildings burned down in a late 1990s arson fire, but they have refurbished everything that remains and it is a great place to visit for old Western History. We lunched on Brisket and Beans a Big Jakes BBQ and attended Miss Kittys Can Can revue and a tribute to John Wayne in the Grand Palace Hotel. We walked the streets where many scenes were staged for film classics such as "Rio Bravo" and "The Outlaw and Josey Wales", shopped in the Mercantile and had Ice Cream at The Big Scoop Ice Cream Parlor. It was kinda cool to know that "The Duke" Elizabeth Taylor and Clint Eastwood once walked the streets in practicing their craft. DH enjoyed the sights immensely and will appreciate having seen this when he watches the old movies on the Western Channel. Their museum was full of clothing, posters and props from many films and tv series. We didn't get everything looked at, it would take a full day and we just spent part of the afternoon, but we finally gave up at sunset and made our way back down the mountain and picked up the fur kids to drive back down I10 to our home base.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rooster Cogburns Ostrich Farm

Never let it be said that it's boring here in the desert valley. There's always something to do or see! We took some time this afternoon and drove down 16 miles to exit 219 and visited Rooster Cogburns Ostrich Farm. Now these folks are originally from Oklahoma and they have Ostrich's, deer, burros and Lorikeets in an Aviary! It's a really fun time. You can pay extra and take Monster Truck Tour of the Ranch and learn some facts about the Ostrich business and the plant life of the Sonoran Desert....I got labelled a blonde right away...and a city one at that...they give you plastic cups full of alfalfa pellets to feed the animals and an Ostrich reached over the fence and grabbed my cup right off the bat! So he was nice enough to give me another one. They also gave you little cups of nectar to take into the aviary and feed the birds...they land all over you! It's kinda cool. We got some good pictures. DH got an Ostrich Leather Money Clip. It's supposed to be a real sturdy leather. On the Monster Truck ride, they talke you on quite a ride....and you jump some ramps. I didn't really care for that part!They back the truck up to a platform where there's some pens of Ostriches and rods with rope and eye screws on them, which you poke pieces of grapefruit and dangle over the railing and the Ostriches have a nice treat! It's fun to watch the pieces travel down there long necks! When we finished there, we drove up to a little store called "The Nut House" We had a taste of Prickly Pear Cactus Ice Cream, then settled for cones of other flavors. Browsed through the store. They have all kinds of canned and bagged treats, spices, nuts and candies native to this area. We got a couple of souveneers there...snacks of course and took a ride in the desert. Went up a highway on the backside of Picacho Peak and looked at a National Guard Helicopter training site and across the road from that is an Arizona State Prison. Back towards our home base...we stopped upon recommendation of some the La Zapata Rojo restaurante. Pretty good authentic Honest to Goodness Mexican food. It's a family restaurant that's been there for about 30 years. They all spoke both english and spanish, but mostly spanish, and there was a table full of women in there that owned it, and they were telling stories and having a ball. We couldn't understand much of it, but the laughter! Check out the pics of the Ranch. Right behind us here at Toltec, there's some houses and lots and one of the houses that was built in the 40s belonged to Bing Crosby. He used to winter here every year. We got a picture of that as well. It sure doesn't look like a star's dwelling, nor does any of the others around here. We'll be headed to bed fairly early and up and out to the Sonoran Desert Museum. The dogs go to daycare and we are off to poke around Tucson.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Hubby!

We woke up to the phone beeping this morning. At the Ruins yesterday we both turned our phones off to be courteous to the speaker, and forgot to turn them back on! When we were in Oxford and DH was working, one of our bankers had the same birthday and on March 6, he always opened the door of the bank and yelled in "Happy Birthday Sadie!" and she in turn would return the favor. Now she has been retired for some years and they still call back and forth and sure enough, she called real early this morning, being in a different time zone....she was first! They had a nice phone visit and then some of the kids have called. He had a tee time at a golf course today with 3 friends and one of these came over and shared some cake and ice cream at lunch time...(yes, even being sick I got up and made a birthday cake.) Traveling in the coach, we don't have room for a lot of stuff, and at this point we don't need much of anything else. He has started to read a lot since we've been on the road, so I bought him an LED Reading light and some books and a Gun Dog Magazine. We will go somewhere tonight for a bite of supper when he gets done golfing. An end to a nice day. They say the wind will start to blow tonight...It's still 72 degrees today and partly sunny. I have completed plans for Monday and Wednesday of next week. We will tour around Tucson and Tombstone. Purely fun days. I called around and found our Diamond brand of dog food in Casa Grande so will go in tomorrow and pick that up. Need to get the oil changed in the Suburban - we spotted a place to do that yesterday, and we'll do the weekly Wally World stuff. Today has been nice with some quiet time....I have been reading some....not leisure reading but the letter that Warren Buffett writes to his stockholders every year before his annual meeting in Omaha. He makes things not seem quite so depressing as far as the economy, and he has to have a clue, he didn't become that wealthy by being maybe I gain a little insight. He tries to explain things in Common Folk language. Don't think we'll make that meeting....someday it would be fun! Through some of the RV grapevine, we have heard this week that things are seriously stressed at yet another RV Company...the parent company that includes our Holiday Rambler. Monoco Corp. has let many of their staff go. I think we will be visiting Monoco dealership in Las Vegas while we're there to see what's up. Just another thing to do to stay out of the casinos!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

No two days are the same!!

We woke up this morning to clouds and haze and about 20 degrees cooler than yesterday. I have a scratchy throat to boot. Spent the greatest part of this morning researching Las Vegas RV resorts and making reservations for Pet Hotel next week so that we can cover some more territory and see some sights. Figuring out that we wouldn't be swimming today, I decided that we needed to see some more local things and the dogs could go along. We went to Coolidge AZ about 20 miles from here and visited the Casa Grande (The Big House) Ruins National Monument. It was built by the HoHoKam tribe at least 2000 years ago. The people turned out to be very self sufficient farmers who turned out to be very creative in the things they made and inventing tools to work and survive. They utilized every living thing in the area to survive and the water ways to irrigate their farms was the Gila River about a mile from the site. The Sanoran Desert is very harsh with an annual rainfall total of only 8 inches and the temps in the summer reach 120 degrees. The ripening of the Saguaro Cactus in late June and July mark the beginning of a new year for the tribe. There was a National Park Service volunteer that talked about the Ruins and the preservation of the park and it's native plants and animals was very interesting to listen to. We spent enough time there looking around and taking pictures that we ran out of time for the other planned event of the day. They had several species of Cacti and the yellow desert flowers - Schottacaci were in bloom. They manufacture sweet nectar and some preserves from the Agave plant. It is also used to make fiborous materials. Never mind that it is also distilled for Tequila! We found a Post Office in Coolidge and mailed a package and went on into Casa and stopped at the store before coming home. Now I'm feeling pretty rotten so I may turn in early. We're supposed to have a get together tomorrow for the birthday boy after they return from golf, but that may have to wait a day or two!We'll hope I'm better in the morning! Check out the rest of the pics on my!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gearing up to move

It's kinda hard to believe that in less than a month we will be moving on from our winter retreat, starting our wanderings that lead to the summer months. I hope the weather is going to cooperate. This weekend we journeyed up north into some of the suburbs east of Phoenix. I have been needing some things from the Camping World store. This picture is a hill on the way up there that is covered with Suguaro Cacti. Wouldn't want to roll down from the top of that one! It's hard to believe that they are protected. They're everywhere! If you want to see my pics in bigger detail, just click on them. I like that about this new blog! I have our new Good Sam campground book and the 2009 RV Atlas, so that's a first step to planning our routes. DH and a friend had an 8 oclock tee time at a Fancy Ranch Golf Course today. I went up to the Clubhouse for Coffee, Doughnuts and announcements at 9. It's starting to heat up already. We have lost even more rigs from this Resort, so is pretty quiet. This is probably the last day this week that the weather will support swimming, so will hit the pool this afternoon. We both went swimming yesterday. Everyday I get a little darker. In walking with the dogs this morning, I have been looking at the outside of the coach and have to get busy one of these days soon with the Dri Wash N Guard. Streaks running down the outside are not very attractive, and we have streaks in the back. DH has been using the California Duster on the car and cleaning the windows regularly, which should be cause for me to faint! I'm usually the car detailing freak. He started the diesel engine and our generator yesterday and it took off and ran like a top. He installed part of the components of our new Pressure Pro system. I'm excited to have that. It's a monitor that keeps the tire pressure monitored on all tires, (even the Toad) and it will alarm us of any pressure changes. No squating and checking pressures so should help with DH's back. We still will check tires and keep track of wear issues, but the alarm thing will be good incase we start getting a flat. The next safety addition is going to be auto extinguishers for the Engine Compartment. I will admit, I'm a safety and maintenance freak! The lemon trees in this park are full of fruit, and all the plants and bushes are blooming already. Looks pretty springy here, but other parts of the nation aren't having the same luck. Even Reno is getting FEET of snow. We have decided that Las Vegas will be our next stop. It's 10 - 20 degrees cooler there, so I hope that straightens up in the next month. We will probably stay there for a week or two. I talked to a man at our get together this morning that just went up there and bought a new 5th wheel and he brought his map and showed me an easy route through Phoenix and on up the highways. Besides attending the Drag Races when they are in Vegas, I am excited about driving around the area. Years ago we drove through and stopped at Hoover Dam, but I want to go back there. There's a lot of stuff to see besides the inside of a casino. I have decided that next month we definitely have to get the satellite dish and hook up the receiver. I'm good here, but missing most of the channels we are used to watching and I can't even watch the races if I can't be there in person. I also would like to record them and get the best of both worlds. After this digital conversion, we are going to either have to do that, or always stay at somewhere with cable. Just one more issue of the fact that I'm spoiled and want to be a little more self contained.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Racing and Running Around

Today is a down day. I need to stay home and rest!! The past few days have been so much fun. Even getting up at 5:30 a.m. and driving an hour both ways in mad I10 traffic. We would go a few miles past the race track and dump the fur kids at Petsmart Pet Hotel, then get back on 10 and go back down to the race track. We were lucky enough to get signed in as part of Christy Lamica's crew so we got wrist bands to hang with them and at race times we would go up and stand in the staging area at the starting line. She would come up by the entrance and pick us up on the 4 wheeler so we didn't have to walk all the way back to the trailer. We have learned a lot about racing in the last couple of weeks. DH helped detail her car and she gave him a 1/4 mph junkie T-Shirt. He got to sit in her car and experience being strapped in....NO....he didn't drive! Their label is Mallard Racing. It's awesome. Period. One would think that when you watch these drag races, that they line up, rev their engines, watch the light on the tree turn green and the first one over the finish line wins....wrong! There's so many more variables and conditions to watch and correct for. I had no idea!Those big tires go down the track with 4-6 lbs. of air....unbelievable, when these tires hold 100 lbs! Being there in person, you don't see every angle, but then TV doesn't do it justice. The ideal thing would be to attend in person and record the tv part to watch later! This past week was a Sportsman class Divisional race, and not on tv. We witnessed a rail car goin over on it's side and another minor accident. For the most part, the guys in the ambulance were pretty hot and bored. The next ones that we are looking forward to will be the Las Vegas Nationals. We are planning on leaving here and attending those also the first of April. We sat around the trailers a lot. Another racing family from Las Vegas invited us to share their lunch. We had Carne's a thin sliced marinated beef, grilled and sliced thin and made into soft tacos...they were soooooo good! I'm gonna look for a marinade recipe for doin that. Christy, Glen, Glen's mom and another driver, and us, went out for mexican food Saturday night, then they had a 6 hour drive Sunday to go home to Newport Beach. They didn't end up in the were going home. It's kinda like camping with a little bit of racing. I'm a wuss however and they rough it a lot more than we do! We got up yesterday and took yet another road trip north to Mesa to Camping World. I needed some tank chemicals and got my new Good Sam Book and 09 RV Atlas. We stopped at the Superstition Rodeo Market and got some more veggies and fruit. A lot of the folks here at the campground are leaving. We lost about 6 rigs in the last few days. These people have been here a lot longer though. Some since October. Some Canadians had to go north even with it being really cold still, as they were gonna run out of their visa time...165 days. It's Monday and we have a potluck tonight. I'm gonna make a Chicken Alfredo Casserole. Will chill out for a few days. It's gonna be 90 again today. Should be sittin by the pool, but probably tomorrow. Getting ready for DH's big five eight on friday. Just an itty bitty get together with another couple and a Cold Stone treat. I'm in the process of planning a trip to Tucson and Tombstone. DH wants to go down there. So that's the next thing. I could get tickets to Bill Engvall and I'm looking into a concert with Fleetwood Mac. Just don't know if we'll get all this in before we go to Vegas. Then I'll be looking at show tickets. Could care less about the gambling....but I sure like Jimmy Buffetts Margaritavile on the strip. Posted more pics on Picasa.....until the next bout of rambling...have a great week!