Sunday, December 30, 2007

Music, Movies and Books

It seems I am missing some important gene, the one that drives others to have gadgets like iPods so they can listen to their favorite music. Back in the dark ages when I was a pre-teen and then teen, I can only remember owning 2 45s. One was Elvis' "Fools Rush In" (I don't even LIKE Elvis!) and the other was some child prodigy who even I can't remember. That was it, 2 records. My money was hard earned, I babysat, my parents could not afford to give any of us kids an allowance. Having that beautiful yellow angora sweater that shed all over was more important than records. Sure, I listened to music all the time, on that new invention called a transistor radio!

That mind set continues to this day. Our only CD players are in the vehicles but we don't have any CDs to put in them. We do have Sirius radio for all of them and also as part of our Dish satellite TV. With Sirius I can match the music to my mood: cleaning the house? a little old time rock and roll livens things right up; gloomy day? jazz or easy listening is called for; rolling down the road? country western is our choice. And weekends are NASCAR baby!!

I also like listening to local stations to find out what is going on in the area. Who knows, we might want to go to that rodeo or the grand opening of a new grocery store. Sometimes the weather reports are even close to being right!

If I only listened to music by my favorite artists that I had recorded, how would I know about new stars and songs?

The same holds true for movies. I would no more buy a DVD than hold my hand in the campfire. We don't go to movies and don't have Showtime or HBO on our Dish package. Why would we want to spend $$ on a movie that we may not like and would for sure never want to watch again? The movies will eventually come on TNT or TBS, we aren't in a hurry. And there is the option of PPV...we haven't tried it yet but "Wild Hogs" is available for $1.99 today. Maybe.......

Books. We also don't buy books even tho' Al and I are avid readers. We patronize the local library or the many places where you can "leave one, take one". I am very picky about my reading is too short to read poorly written books. If I can't find anything to my liking, there is always a world of blogs and information on any subject I am interested in on the internet!

I'm really glad I'm not spending time today trying to figure out how to put music on an iPod!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Games for RV bloggers

YIKES! I've been tagged by Froggi Donna!
Seems we have to list 5 things about ourselves and 5 places we want to see, then tag 5 to 10 bloggers. BIG PROBLEM! Donna tagged almost all the blogs I read!
  1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  2. Share 5 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
  3. Share the 5 top places on your "want to see or want to see again" list.
  4. Tag a minimum of 5, maximum of 10 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
  5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. In 1987 my youngest son (then 14 years old) and I rode horseback from PHX to Jackson Hole WY.
2. Al and I both lost our spouses in 1999.
3. Al used to be a uranium miner
4. My oldest son is a career Marine married to a career Air Force gal. They are in military intelligence (is that an oxymoron?) stationed in Okinawa.
5. I have had type I diabetes for 22 years

1. Marysvale UT to ride the Paiute ATV trails
2. Alaska
3. Baja Mexico
4. Grand Tetons
5. Black Hills of SD again, and again, and again........

1 George and Ms Tioga
2 Lucy Here's Lucy
3. Nick and Terry Gypsy Journal
4. CJ Wandering Quilters Life in a Box
5. Kirk and Pam Our Great Adventure

Now, what was really on my "to do list" for today?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

More Tour Guide, Winter Style

Yesterday there were only 4 adventurous souls so we loaded snacks, GPSs, binoculars, dogs, and anything else we thought we might need into Phil's Tundra. Our original destination was Deadhorse Point with some geocaching along the way. Unfortuately we didn't prepare for treasure hunting very well, the locations were programmed into our Garmins but not the descriptions or even names. Using the "Go To Nearest" feature is useless in Canyon Country unless you are a bird.

We made it out to Deadhorse Point ooohing and aawing at the spectacular scenery. Not much adventure there...Hwy 313 is paved and the snow was bladed off. Once again we had a world famous destination all to ourselves. We spent some time in the interpretive center learning about rock formations and other interesting stuff. Then out to the Point.

We stopped at the Center again on our way back because Phil's GPS was showing a geocache there. For once I was the one to find it! In celebration of their 50th year the Utah State Park system placed geocaches at all their parks with trackable geocoins. Of course the coins were all gone but it was filled with all sorts of state park freebies.

We headed back on that nice, safe, paved road. Have I mentioned that I am not a big fan of offroading? We used to have an old Jeep that Al rebuilt but we sold it because he got tired of listening to me scream "LET ME OUT!". I am 90% more comfortable on my ATV. So what does Phil do? Turns onto a gravel road the soon narrowed and started going down. Way down. Now I have lots of confidence in Phil's 4WD ability. After all, he was taught by the best...his Uncle Al and Grandpa Art. But things got beyond my "no fear" level very quickly
There is reason this part of Long Canyon is called "Pucker Point"!
We made it the rest of the way with no big mishaps and stopped ti look at dinosaur tracks and Indian writings before making it back to Moab.

Hope everyone has a great Chirstmas Day!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Canyon Country In The Winter

Al's nephew Phil and his girlfriend Patty are here for the holidays from San Diego. Yesterday we had them, Al's mom, and Al's sister out to the motor home for breakfast. Blueberry pancakes....YUM!
Then it was off to play tour guide since Patty had never been here before. We slipped and slid on some backroads that hadn't been plowed.....almost made me wish for our snowmobiles. I said almost! We finally made it out to Needles Overlook.

Chivalry is not dead, Al helped his mom, who is in her 80's, out to one of the overlooks.
Then we drove along the rim to Anticline Overlook

The views are just spectacular. And no one else for miles Big difference from tourist season.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Age Has Its Privileges

When you reach 50 you can join AARP, a very worthwhile organization. Then around 55 you are eligible for senior discounts on certain days at local stores. The problem here is that by this time you are getting forgetful and can't remember which day is Ross and which is Alco.

When you are 60 you can join the activities at the local Senior Center. A couple years ago I was looking forward to this event so much that when my 58th birthday rolled around I had myself convinced that I was 59! Only one more year and I could go to the center for lunch and good times with all the rest of the old folks! Al, who is 4 weeks younger than I am, burst my bubble by wanting to know how I could be 59 when he was only 58. Oh duh!!!

So I finally turned 60 for real a couple weeks ago. The seniors here in La Sal meet every other Thursday for lunch and socializing. Yesterday we had our Christmas dinner, would you look at all those deserts?No one went hungry and we even got presents! We each got a fleece blanket, kind of appropriate considering how cold it is today. Of course you realize that all these people are way older than I am! heehee....

Later in the afternoon the two little kids from across the street knocked on the door and gave us a Christmas basket filled with tangelos, homemade fudge, candy and puppy chow. I love this stuff! Good thing that I made arrangements with a couple other gals yesterday to get together at the school gym to walk a couple times a week. Walking outside here in the winter is not a fun thing !

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wasting Time

Yesterday I wasted 5 plus hours of my life that I will never recover, trying to figure out this game. It is called Funny Farm and let me tell you, that is where I almost ended was driving me crazy! Being new to this type of word game, I didn't realize that using Google, Wikipedia, etc. was considered cheating but I learned more about some topics than I will ever need to know. I wasn't doing too bad, had gained access to six squares but I was really stuck and frustrated. So. I really cheated....gasp! I Googled the game name and went to a couple gamers boards where some helpful soul had posted a semi-complete puzzle. Let me tell you, I am very glad I did, it saved me many hours of tearing my hair out and wasted time. The author of the game has a very weird word association that I suspect most of the population could never follow. Most of the answers were things or people I had never even heard of. Sometimes cheating can be a good thing. I'll just go back to Spider and some mindless free games on, popping balloon can be a great stress reliever...heehee....

It appears from the comments being added here that some of us should form a Mutual Admiration Society. It seems we read and enjoy each others blogs and we have many things in common. I'm talking about Froggi Donna, Lucy, CJ, Sandra, and I am sure there are others out there yet to be discovered. Someday down the road I hope we can all meet face to face!

It appears that today will be the last time we get above freezing for an unforeseeable future so I need to keep working at getting the darn black and gray tanks thawed and completely dumped. Made more progress yesterday (when I wasn't wasting time on that silly game) and I believe it now may just bee a case of gunk on the tank sensors but I'm not taking chances! In the process of running hot water down the bathroom sink I discovered a water leak. We aren't sure exactly where it was coming from but Al said the hot water line fittings were loose. He tightened them, my poor hands can hardly grip anything anymore, and I'll have to watch today to see if that fixed it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

So Much To Learn

This blog stuff can be confusing for an old lady who doesn't really understand most of this computer gobbledeegook. So far Google has taken most of the mystery out of it by doing everything for me but I am one of those creative people who hates to look like everybody else. There don't seem to be many options for personalization for those of us that don't know what they are doing.

I found out something kind of scarey yesterday...did you know that those sitemeter things that count visits also collect all kinds of other information? YIKES! There is a page I can look at for my sitemeter that tells me exactly what time someone looks at my blog, how long they looked at it, whether they clicked on any links, a bunch of computer info, and scariest of all......where they are from! I don't think I can tell WHO it is tho'. So, whoever is reading this over there in Gateway, CO, would you like to identify yourself???? You aren't that far away, maybe we have interests in common? I love the car museum over there, it's fun to go ogle the cars, have a picnic lunch, and come back home by way of John Brown road over the LaSal Mts.!

See what I mean by "scarey"???? Enough paranoia........

Yesterday I discovered that the gray and black tanks were not only full again but FROZEN! Double YIKES! Its a little bit warmer today, should get above 32 deg so I am trying to get them to thaw and drain. I'm heating water on the stove and pouring it down the potty and letting hot water run in the bathroom sink. Wish me luck.

I am also doing laundry. When we first came here we were boondocking which would normally mean trips to a laundromat,but luckily Al has his own building at work where electric stuff and other things I can't identify are housed. It is real clean and also has a washer and drier. Supposedly these were put in to launder cleaning rags but as far as Al can tell, has never been used for that. The boss told him he could do his laundry there. Ladies, how many of you has a husband who does the wash??? All I had to do was sort it and send it with him.......sometimes he even folded it! But now that we are in an RV park, there is a laundry room that is FREE and even gets the clothes clean! Imagine that! So now I am in charge of laundry again.
Excuse me for a minute while I run over there and check on the sheets, will you? Help yourself to another cup of coffee and a Christmas cookie.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Missing Walmart

I have been addicted to Walmart since they first opened their doors in the Phoenix area in the 1980's. Their original idea to locate their stores in small communities that needed jobs and affordable prices was commendable to say the least!

During the 3 years at our home in NM running to Walmart for everything from groceries to prescriptions (gotta love the $4.00 generics!) to dog food was at least a weekly occurance. I could spend hours just wandering around and getting some excersize at the same time. After all, sometimes it was too hot or too cold to do my walking outside! Sometimes I found things we "just had to have" that I didn't even know existed...heehee...

Now we are living out here in the middle of nowhere....nothing wrong with that, in fact we prefer it that way. BUT! the nearest Walmart is 2 hours away!!!! OMG! The closest grocery store of any size is City Market in Moab, 30 miles away. The first time I shopped there I stopped dead in the middle if the first aisle, blocking traffic, in total STICKER SHOCK. Oh dear.......the tomatoes are over $3.00 per pound, the Sara Lee Delightful multi grain bread that we like is almost $4.00. What am I going to do?

There has been talk recently of a Walmart coming to Moab but the planning commission is afraid it would "ruin the image" of Moab they want to preserve. HUH?!?! If you have ever been to Moab you know that it is an old ranch/uranium mining town that had almost dried up and blown away before it was "discovered" as a "must do" tourist town by Jeepers and bicyclists. The current image is a mix of lots of really old rundown single wide mobile homes and new high end condos and trophy homes. Which aspect do the city fathers (and mothers) want to preserve? They are also boohooing the lack of funds they need to build a new sewer treatment plant and aquatic center.......gee, do you suppose the sales tax from a new Walmart would help with that?

In the meantime we will just have to schedule an occasional trip to Grand Junction, CO to ease my withdrawal pains. That's where the newest grandbaby is, one more good reason to make the trip. I sure miss my walkin pantry and 2 upright freezers!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

You Know It's Cold When......

You know it is cold when the new sooper dooper atomic clock/weather station that always predicts rainstorms says it is 2 deg BELOW zero!
The pork roast you got out of the freezer yesterday is still frozen solid today

You can make a slushie from the stuff that comes out of your water faucet

Your dog's newest favorite place to sleep is curled around the oil heater. BTW it is turned on high!

One of the things we have done to keep the heat in is to make inserts for all the windows. A couple years ago I made Warm Window coverings for all the windows in our NM house. I had enough of the insulating material left over to make inserts for all the windows in the RV. They are hung on tension rods between the window and day/night shades.
At night or even snowy days the day/night shades are pulled down over them to provide extra insulation and hold them tighter.On sunny days they are folded up under the valances. Can you say "stuffed"?They make a BIG difference. Someday we will be able to spend our winters where these aren't needed.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Decorating For Christmas

The past few years at our house in NM I went all out with the decorating thing. Sometime around Thanksgiving I would start dragging all the boxes and super-size plastic totes into the house from the storage shed.. Then I would convince Al to get up on the roof and string colored chasing lights all the way around the edge. We wouldn't turn them on for another week or two. Meanwhile all the indoor decorations would start appearing; the wreathes, all the miniature snowmen,
the village with glass reindeer, baskets of pinecones that smell like cinnamon, the chairback covers that I made along with the matching table runner
, garlands and poinsettias everywhere.
Every room in the house would have some sort of decorations. Outside there would be miles of garland strung on the fence with big red bows and more wreaths. The Blue Spruce and Juniper would get netlights, each year they had grown so much that I had to make a trip to Walmart to try to find more nets that matched (what a great invention those are!)
The two ornamental plum trees would be draped with strings of clear lights, beneath them the herd of lighted moving deer grazed.

Then Al and I would go out to public land to find "the perfect tree". What an adventure!

Sometimes we did good, one year we ended up with a tree that was as big around as it was tall....heeheee!

The tree would get decorated
and the presents would start appearing. My mother always spent lots of time wrapping each gift and they were a work of art. I tried hard to do the same but seemed to fall short.

Christmas would bring my son and his family,

Al's mom and sister,

and anyone else who happened by.
We would deep fry a turkey

and if the weather was decent, take turns riding the ATVs.

Packing it all away was bittersweet.Come January I would always be shocked when the electric bill arrived and I was still finding decorations that hadn't been packed back into the boxes that were already in the storage shed.

Fast forward to this year. Not much room to decorate in an RV. Actually there is room, but no storage for afterward. We have a tree, a little live on I found at Walmart.

I suppose I can plant it someplace next spring, or maybe take the ornaments off and see how long I can keep it alive doesn't take up much room. As for the outside...see for yourself.

So is this better? Certainly easier. But somehow not so satisfying. I need to work on changing my mindset from the material aspects to the spiritual.

For now.......May The Spirit of Christmas Dwell In All ofYou!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cell Phones and Internet

How did we ever live before cell phones and internet? On several previous RV trips I went into severe computer withdrawal that could only be alleviated by trips to local libraries to check email. When contemplating fulltime RV living I stressed out just thinking about the available options like DataStorm, especially the $$$$. And how was I ever going to convince Al that this was something we needed?? Then along came aircards...YES! As long as you can get a signal you can go online and most of the time it is faster than the dial up I had at home. We have always used Alltel for our cell phone service, it works better than anything else out here in the wild west followed closely by Verizon. So it was a no-brainer to go with their aircard. And the best part was that it didn't cost thousands of dollars!!

Of course no signals can go through mountains or reach into canyons so sometimes we have to get creative.
This is Al and his sister, Sherryl, at the "phone booth" high above Paradox Valley in western Colorado. You had to stand was a loooonnnngggg way down!

This was one of the places where my laptop worked. It was a 4 mile drive up a narrow winding road from where we were boondocked in order to get a signal. It is a great mystery to me that places where I get a good cell phone signal the laptop sometimes doesn't work and vice-versa. Thank heavens they both work where we are now and I don't have to leave the warmth of the RV!

Thanks to the aircard I am able to do all our banking online, send and receive emails, surf the net to keep up with what George and Tioga and all the other blogs I follow are up to. And most important...I can SHOP ONLINE! Like last night when our Mr Buddy heater finally died. We figure he has been with us for at least 4 years and had seen a lot of use so it was probably time. I immediately logged into eBay and new one is on the way.

Replacing Mr Buddy heater is a must as it was 5 deg. this morning. At least the sun is shining today so it feels warmer. I'm thankful not to be in the places where ice took out all the power, I lived in Iowa long enough that it takes no imagination to know what they are eduring.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Good Day For A Shower

I decided this might be a good day for a shower so left the coach heat on, normally I turn it off after breakfast and switch to Mr Buddy propane or a small electric heater to conserve propane. Hard to know what to run when propane is over $3.00 per gallon and electric is .10 per kwh.

What's in your shower? Living fulltime in an RV means making use of every spare inch of room.
To take a shower I have to first remove the laundry basket, a 40# bag of dog food and the vacuum cleaner.

Much to my dismay, this morning I also found 1/2" of water in the bottom of the shower stall! Only one thing that could mean.......the gray water holding tank was full. Ordinarily when we boondock I check the system panel a couple times each day to see where the fresh water, battery power, black and gray holding tank levels are. But since we are in an RV park with hookups I haven't even been thinking about it much. Also I am not conserving water like I usually do. So now I have to go outside anf open the dump valve before I can take a shower.

Oops. We had another 12" of snow last night, guess I need to put my boots on. The guy across the street has been out plowing snow with a blade on the front of his ATV but can' keep up with it.

We have the water line heat taped but have to leave the holding tanks closed because that sewer line freezes solid and breaks. Already been through that once this winter when someone forgot to close the black water valve. There is a reason it is called a "stinky slinky". Got the tank drained and my shower taken. I am longing for the summer when it is warm enough to use the outside shower and not worry about running out of hot water before I can get the conditioner out of my hair.

I have spent most of the day reading blogs of other RVers and surfing the net. Seems there is always someplace else to explore. We have come a long way from encyclopedias and Sears catalogs! Zorro and Katie can't understand why we don't go outside and play frisbee or go for a is still snowing...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Getting Started

Whew! It was a lot of work getting this thing started! Especially for a tech challenged old lady. uh oh....where are the smiley faces?

I am hoping this will be a good way for relatives and friends to keep up with what we are doing and where we are. We really need to talk more than a couple times a year.

So with that thought in mind.....we are living in our RV in LaSal, UT.

Never mind that no one knows where LaSal is, it is beautiful here.

.......except for is cloudy, cold and trying to snow some more. After all those years in Silverton, CO I no longer appreciate snow. It is, after all, a four letter word. Our house in Bloomfield, NM is for sale but the market is so slow that we just lowered the price by $14,000. Picture me crying and tearing my hair out. Al is working in Bedrock, CO, home of Barney and Wilma. He is the electrician for a government project that is supposed to remove salt from the Dolores River and pumps it back down 3 miles into the earth. Why? The Delores empties into the Colorado River and heaven forbid that we send salt water to Las Vegas or California. In reality what they are doing causes earthquakes in the area. Don't believe me? Look for Bedrock on Google Earth (make sure you have all the features toggled) and check out all the seismographic icons! We decided on a job/location change for Al for several reasons: we are now closer to his mom and other relatives, the job does not involve 20-30 hours of overtime a week nor does it bounce him around so bad that he can't stand up straight like operating the Cat did. The downside is the pay is about 1/2 of what it was because of no overtime. But 4 day weeks leave lots of time for us to get out and do the things we enjoy.