Monday, January 29, 2007

1:06 pm Monday January 29, 2007

You can file this post under “It doesn’t take much to keep some people entertained.”

When Phil and I went full time in our Penny, we needed to buy a new toaster. We went shopping and I fell in love with a bright red model made by Kitchen Aid. Of course, that brand was twice the price of any toaster I had ever bought in my life but it was RED! I had never seen a red toaster and fell in love with it so we bit the bullet and paid the price.

Since then, we have been on the lookout for a red coffee pot to match the toaster. It has taken two and a half years but we finally found one. Although the price was also double (red paint must be very expensive~~) the cost of the others on the shelf, we love this new appliance and are especially pleased because not only does it look beautiful, it brews really good coffee!

Made by Hamilton Beach ... Joy and Phil's new red coffee pot!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

10:04 am Sunday January 28, 2007

For the most part I am 100 % content with where I am and what I am doing. I try to live as completely in the “now” as I can without regrets about the past or yearnings about the future. Today is different!

With all my heart I wish I had been in Shelton, WA yesterday! My beautiful granddaughter, Megan married the love of her life, Joshua yesterday afternoon. Most of my family and our friends, Gloria and Les were there and they were on my mind all day. Knowing how much I was going to miss being there, I received two phone calls, one from my daughter, (and mother of the bride), Violet and a second from my niece, Tammy who had Megan by her side so I was able to talk to the bride for a minute. The connections were terrible but it was the thought that counted and they transported me to the celebration for a minute or two. Phil and I were missed and thought of … and that was a wonderful feeling!

Then, this morning, I received pictures! Tammy sent me pictures and my daughter, Bobbie (who is at last connected to the Internet after a two year absence) e-mailed me a detailed description of the celebration so after reading it, I felt like I was there after all.

Congratulations to Megan and Joshua!

The most beautiful couple!
Megan and Josh -- January 27, 2007

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Our roadrunner neighbor returns ... notice the shadows. Our sunshine has returned!

9:10 am Thursday January 25, 2007

We have a mail forwarding service in Olympia, Washington. About every two weeks we give them a call and they send our accumulated mail via “priority mail” to the address we give them over the telephone. We always have them repeat the address back to us before we hang up to make sure they wrote it down correctly.

The service was working perfectly then, six months into our going fulltime, they lost a package of mail. All because the zip code was one digit off. The package was eventually returned to our service and was resent to us, arriving without incident. However, not only did it cost us travel time, it cost us money as we sat in a pricey RV park (we had planned to stay one week) in Sacramento California for an extra two weeks while we waited—expecting it “any day now” and that day didn’t come.

Our service has been flawless now for two years but nobodies perfect and we have another package of mail floating around out in United State Postal Service land … somewhere … looking for Joy and Phil. If you see it, tell it to go home, okay?

Monday, January 22, 2007

12:18 pm Monday January 22, 2006

Would you believe we have lived in our coach for two and a half years and not until a week ago used the built-in catalytic heater? I remember the “sales pitch” of how well it worked given by the former owner, Tim. He said, “It keeps the coach so toasty, it’s like having a fireplace.” We didn’t give it much thought because WE were not going to be taking the coach anywhere that wasn’t warm! HA!

Rather than take the “trouble’ to learn how to use it we bought a small electric heater to take the chill off when we ran into cooler weather and of course, we used our big furnace once in awhile. All this time our backup has been curling up in afghans when the mercury dipped below comfort level (which thankfully wasn’t too often … until now).

When we arrived in Stanfield Arizona we went to visit our snowbird friends, J.D. and Taralea. Of course, the center of our conversation was the “unusual” cold we are experiencing in the desert. Everyone is complaining except the residents who live here year round. “It feels good for a change” is their usual response to our whining.

During our visit, J.D. told us a story about receiving his new portable catalytic heaters (one for the house and one for their toy-hauler trailer). We admitted we had never used ours and he said, “Try it, you will love it.” We came home and the next day Phil spent 30 seconds (duh!) figuring out how to use it and I am almost embarrassed to admit we’ve been singing it’s praises ever since. Tim and J. D.—you were right, we love it!

However, we would still much rather be worrying about how to stay cool!

Here are a couple pictures. I wanted to download a few more but I am experiencing some problems with my picture program, “Hello”. I used Blogger to insert these two and it took so long, I gave up in frustration. When I get this all figured out, I will share more pictures with you …

Road Runner and horses ... just a some of the critters we are watching out of Penny's windows.

Olympian 6100 Catalytic Propane Heater

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

10:40 am Wednesday, January 17, 2007

We continue to “live and learn” in this, our fulltime RVing lifestyle. In 2 ½ years of being “fulltimers” we have never run out of propane. Always seeking the sunshine, minimal boondocking (which means we are plugged into electricity almost always) eating out often and rarely running the furnace has kept our usage to a minimum.

This “cold snap” we are experiencing in Arizona is shaking up my cozy little habits! Our small electric heater is failing miserably in an attempt to keep us warm and we are using the big furnace every day. Always, in the past the heater has been more than adequate (except the time we were snowbound in Payson, AZ in March of 2006). One morning, a couple days ago our water was froze up but fortunately it thawed out within an hour of the sun coming up, so no damage was done (our hookups are facing east). Phil insulated the pipe that day to avoid a reoccurrence.
Another change we have made is in our food preparation routine. We are on a “cooking kick” and that means using the kitchen range a lot more often—upping our propane usage in that department as well. Of course, we use the crock pot or the electric skillet at times and Phil uses the outdoor grill. We even learned to use the convection oven (duh!) and of course, the microwave is our right hand—still the usage has increased.
Fortunately, our hot water tank is electric or gas so that is one usage that has remained the same. However, Phil told me this morning our propane tank is nearly empty! We have only been set up here in this park for a week and never dreamed we would need propane this soon or we would have filled it on the way in. The only saving grace is that this park has a fill-station so we don’t have to leave the property to get a refill.

Monday, January 15, 2007

12:58 pm Monday January 15, 2007

Enjoy your Martin Luther King Day holiday! Hopefully, you have the day off!
When you live in a stick-built house no one ever says to you … “What do you do all day?” But, just sell that house and move fulltime into a motorhome and all of a sudden, everyone thinks you have nothing but empty hours in long boring days! Maybe that is true for some people who make the change and most likely those are the same RVers who will not last long in this lifestyle.

I remember when I quit working outside the home. Every day I wondered how I ever had “time” to work. Phil still had a few years to go before he retired so I got out of bed at 4:45 am each morning to make the coffee and put his lunch together (he didn’t want his sandwich made the night before). I always kissed him goodbye when he left for work (you never know when it will be the last time you see someone ... you know?). He had a long commute on a very dangerous WA State Rt 3 (beautiful but 2-lanes of very curvy road) to Bremerton from Shelton so his day started early. I had major surgery a couple years before he retired and Phil granted me an exemption from my early morning tasks and started buying his lunch at work. Even so, once I healed I was "up and at-um" early every day. Old habits are hard to break (however I have at last been successful and can sleep late if given the opportunity.)

From the time he went out the door I was off and running. I had a TV in every room of my 2000 sq. ft. house (and even one in the garage where the washer and dryer were located). I would turn them all on so I could move around the house and not miss a word of my favorite shows (my TV addiction began when I quit my 9 to 5 job). Then after the housework and projects in the garage were done for the day I went to my computer and spent hours working on genealogy and one or more of my writing tasks. Some time during the day I would take time to shower and dress and think about dinner--but my point is that it seemed I would blink my eyes and Phil would be walking in the door after work.

Living in an RV has changed nothing for me except I get to sleep as late as I want in the morning. My days are even fuller as I continue to work on my genealogy in addition to researching and writing the story of my mother’s life. Add to the mix some sightseeing, some visiting with family and friends, doing the laundry, some cooking (Phil and I share the task and we often go out to eat), writing my blog and maybe a movie once in awhile and I often feel like I am strapped on the luge, heading down the track at 100 mph! Not once has there been a moment when I did not have something to do and if there ever is, I can always READ … what a concept!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

1:08 pm Saturday, January 13, 2007

Those of you that keep track of Rvers doing their "thing" around the country and read a forum or two along the way may be aware of the dance we satellite TV viewers have been doing in an attempt to get local channels or network broadcasting. One version for Dish was called “distant networks” but that option is in the middle of a radical shake-up and so Phil chose the alternative until all the kinks are worked out.

Without networks, our TV watching is varied but lacks the local news and weather, up to date movie critiques and the “gossip” I get by watching the Today Show, The View, Martha and my favorite of all, Sunday Morning on CBS. So, in order to satisfy my television addiction, more often than not, we have had to limit our park choices to ones that have cable TV available.

Well … all that is behind us … finally! After two and a half years of living fulltime in our wonderful Penny the Pace, we now have networks available on our satellite TV. Of course, we must pay an additional $5.00 a month—I am almost embarrassed to admit that part, LOL! However, the one drawback will be making a call to Dish when changing our location as we travel around the country. This is a small inconvenience in order to widen our choices of places to hunker down for a month or two.

Our Penny tucked in beside her own striking Agave americana garden. For more info go to:  Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 12, 2007

We have moved east of Yuma about 160 miles to a small RV park in tiny Stanfield, AZ. It is about 15 minutes from the city of Casa Grande which we have found has continued to grow like wildfire since we were here last. An aggressive wind storm followed us but blew itself out last night. For some reason our Datastorm dish couldn’t find the satellite so we were “internet-less” last night. We had decided to move to another sight this morning thinking it was because of where we were parked but with one last try, we connected without a problem. Go figure?

In am very happy we didn’t have to move because we are in a space on the end of a row with a beautiful cactus garden and no other RVs outside our slide windows. We have hung the hummingbird feeder and have seen two of the little rascals already today. I’m enjoying the view after being in our former park for a couple months where the only thing we could see out our windows was blacktop, the clubhouse and RVs in every direction. Not much to look at … that is for sure but it is so handy to our Aunt Elaine, cousin Nada and downtown Yuma, it is a trade off we are willing to make.

One happy discovery we made today was the new Golden Corral Restaurant is up and running! We had a lovely dinner there this afternoon before heading to Wal*Mart to do our shopping. We'll be eating at home tomorrow as Phil has volunteered to make his famous spaghetti. Yummm!

One little hummingbird comes to visit. He let us know he was around by trying to drink from our thermometer on the window. We quickly put out the feeder and he found it within five minutes. Another one came along and we had a bit of a hummer "duel" ... they are adorable to watch! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

2:33 pm January 10, 2007

We are heading for Stanfield, AZ tomorrow morning.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

11:52 am Saturday January 6, 2007

Lots of great suggestions about what to name our purrrfect pet. The votes are counted and the winner is: (drum roll please) "Precious"! She is that ... for sure!

I wanted to share a picture of Precious doing something really cute but she crawled back in her bed and went to sleep before I could get the camera out of the case! Maybe next time ...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

11:08 am Thursday January 4, 2007

We received an inquiry about where one might purchase the Purrrfect Pet. I still haven't decided on a name for mine ... but we all agree it is definately female (spayed of course). Anyway, I digress ...

My kitty was purchased at the Crackerbarrel Restaurant here in Yuma. I can't say if they are available at all Crackerbarrel's around the country but that would be the place to start looking.

Here are some pictures that Phil took on a recent fishing expedition northwest of Yuma.

Crew harvesting cabbages.  Posted by Picasa

Green and Red Leaf Lettuce field near Yuma, AZ. Posted by Picasa

Moonscape near Mitry Lake outside Yuma. Posted by Picasa

Phil's fishing hole ... Posted by Picasa

Lagoon on an irrigation canal near Yuma. Posted by Picasa