Saturday 8 December 2007

A Nice Relaxing Day

I woke this morning to rain on the roof so I stayed snuggled in for a while longer waiting to hear what the radio had to say about the weather. They didn't say anything! Unlike at home where the weather is constantly being updated, here now and then they'll give you the forecasted temperature for the day and that's about it. Eventually I got up just as Gordon was going out for photos. He told me there was a partial rainbow so I went out on the step to take a photo.

After suiting up I did my walk/run around the loop and then into the desert. Clouds were quite heavy over the mountain and now and then a peak of sun would brighten up a part of them.

The partial rainbow stayed around for a long time so I got more photos of it. It was also a partial double rainbow.

I met Gordon on my way back but there was an area of sun approaching so he decided to stay out to see if the sun would light up the mountains again. Well, he stayed out too long and it started to rain so he came hustling back. You don't realize how far out in the desert you are until you start coming back especially under those kinds of conditions.

The remainder of the day was spent reading and napping. Just before sunset there were some beautiful sunrays so I took this photo from our front yard.

I didn't get out to take photos of our new chairs though - another day!

Friday 7 December 2007

4th Avenue Street Fair and Sentinel Peak Park AKA A Mountain

It was 60F (16C) this morning when I got up at 7:15 a.m. We had a high of 72F (22C) today under mostly sunny skies. Considering the forecast on Wednesday said heavy rain this afternoon, I figure we got off lucky!

This morning we had a conference call with our financial advisor in Ottawa. We hadn't gotten in to see him before we left Ottawa so he just wanted to let us know that things appear to be on the upswing and to enjoy ourselves.

With that under our belts, we headed off to the Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair which had been recommended to me by one of the chatrooms I hang around in called We spent nearly four hours there. They close the streets between 9th and University and put up tent type booths in the middle of the street. There was certainly lots of stuff but we only bought new chairs . They're called canopy chairs and I'll take a photo of them tomorrow as we got home late tonight and it was nearly dark. It was a bit of local color that we enjoyed and the crowd wasn't too bad today. I expect it will be terrible on the weekend. Lots of clowns making balloons and local music, a lot of it played by high school students and quite good at that.

We had lunch at Pancho Villa Grill and enjoyed some authentic Mexican music and food. It was quite good and we got to sit for a while.

After we left the Fair we were heading home, or so I thought, but instead while chasing a photo we ended up at the top of Sentinel Peak Park. You get a good panoramic view from all directions from here.

We returned through Saguaro National Park and Tucson Mountain Park taking lots of photos. I had hoped to see some critters since it was about that time of day but no such luck but we did see lots and lots of saguaro cactus!

You can just see the sun peeking out from the tops of the clouds on our way home along Bopp Road. We were just 'bopping along'. LOL.

Thursday 6 December 2007

More Shopping and More Cactus Photos

Late yesterday afternoon I was lying on the couch reading my book when I heard a tweet tweet that was really close. I slowly made my way to the door and there was a Gila Woodpecker (pronounced Hila) on the bottom step of the RV. As soon as he saw me he took off and landed on the electrical post for the next RV site and then on into a small bush. No chance for photos!

I went to bed last night not feeling all that well and this morning I didn't have much energy.

This morning was already 55F (13C) when I got up. I got up a little later than usual. It was so warm and cozy in bed listening to the radio tell me that today's temperature would be around 76F (24C). However we are having a change of weather for the weekend. Rain is forecast for Friday and Saturday with possible rain on Sunday and Monday. So much for the Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair! We had planned to attend tomorrow before the rush on the weekend but heavy rain is forecast for tomorrow afternoon so we'll have to see what happens. Maybe we'll go, maybe not!

This morning I set out to do grocery shopping but decided to go to Target first to see if they had anything interesting. As usual I didn't buy anything. I rarely find anything I want or need there. I then stopped at Food City which is right next to Target hoping to pick up some rutabaga. They didn't have any. Last week when I was in this mall I saw a set of sheets that I wanted to replace the navy ones we have now that you can see through so I thought since Christmas is coming up I'd better get them before they were gone. So I now own a pair of burgundy almost red striped sheets. Now I just hope they fit! After all this excitement I headed to Walmart to get groceries and other needed items.

While there I started feeling unwell but kept on till I was done, then stopped at another Food City as I knew they had rutabaga. This Walmart never has them either, then stopped to mail some things and went home, unloaded groceries and lay down for 1 1/2 hrs. I still don't feel up to par, hopefully it will pass by tomorrow. We're just having a light soup dinner.

We did have another beautiful sunset tonight. The photos I took are from just outside the RV.

Here are more cactus photos I took at the Desert Museum on Tuesday.

Long Spined Prickly Pear

Pincushion CactusPorcupine Prickly Pear (looks like Mickey Mouse)

Prickly Pear

Wednesday 5 December 2007

Tucson Mall and Other Shopping

Today was a beautiful sunny day with a high of 81F (27C). I had a nice walk this morning but didn't see anything interesting in the desert although at one point I thought I smelled javelina but didn't see any. They have a skunky odor.

The plan today was to go to the largest mall in the area, Tucson Mall. On the way we stopped at a local post office as I had some things to mail. You can sure tell it was Christmas. It was lined up forever! Tucson Mall was pretty much like any other mall in America except for Arizona Street which sold lots of local things. I didn't buy much and I think that will keep me away from malls for a bit. I did want to go to GNC as in the U.S. they only have their discount for the first seven days of the month unlike Canada where the discount is any time. While I was in the mall, Gordon went out and found a Taco Bell as there is one coming into the mall but isn't there yet. He also found a Trader Joe's and had a look at that but didn't find anything he wanted.

After that we stopped at Wild Oats as there were some things I needed then on to Food City where we picked up a few groceries and stocked up on water at 15 cents a gallon. Haven't found a better deal yet on water!

We had planned to go to Walmart as well as we had thought there was one next door to the mall however it turned out to be Sam's so Walmart will be my trip of the day tomorrow.

Since I didn't take any photos on our outing today here are some photos of some more of the local cactus.

Beaver Tail Cactus

Club Cholla
Devil's Club Cholla

Engleman Prickly PearFishhook Pincushion

Tuesday 4 December 2007

Back to the Desert Museum/November Expenses

We hadn't been at the Desert Museum for a few days so today we left home around 9:00 a.m. so we could be there and get a good spot for the Raptor Free Flight at 10:30 a.m. We also wanted to go through the Mineral cave so we made that our first stop. Here are some of the pretty rocks

We took our time getting up to the Raptor Free Flight area. There was no one there and it was after 10:00 a.m.! Shortly after we arrived the docent came out and said that their handler was sick today so there would be no free flight. Instead they brought out the barn owl and the docent did a little talk on him. We took a few photos of him but had seen him a couple of times before so instead we left and saw other parts of the park. We stopped at the cactus garden, the aviary and to see some of the other animals, some we had already seen but got better photos this time.

The Bighorn Sheep posed for us today.

This little prairie dog was munching on his breakfast.

This cactus wren was making a nest.

Here I am in my Safari hat that my sister gave to me.

I posted a photo of this cactus last week. It's called a Totem Pole Cactus.

I have no idea what these flowers are but they weren't there last week so must have come out with the rain.

By noon we were tired and hungry so came home for lunch and to rest. We had changed the bed this morning so I could get the laundry done this afternoon but first things first, a nap!

I also got the Expenses done for November:

Campgrounds - 449.34
Groceries/Wine/Spirits - 410.62
Laundry - 12.72
Entertainment/Parking/Rest. - 147.90 (includes $50 membership to Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum)
Truck Fuel - 696.54
Propane - 15.00
Repairs/Service RV/Truck - 61.56
Fixed Expenses - 357.10
Med/Dental - 0.00
Gifts & Misc - 227.82

Total - $2378.60

Our biggest expense this month was fuel for the truck. Other than that we've had no significant
expenses. We paid some high prices for campgrounds along the route west but also got a couple of pretty good deals and now are in a fairly reasonable campground. Our total for Campgrounds for the month will be plus electric from the 27th so that shouldn't amount to much and will probably just include it with December's total.

I just received communication from my sister that her mother-in-law passed away last evening. May she rest in peace.

Monday 3 December 2007

We Meet the Wishnies!

This morning was bright and sunny with clear blue skies and 50F (10C). I went for my usual walk, first around the park, then around the desert. The park has equipment here this morning working on new sites. I thought it might be noisy but it wasn't too bad. I guess they're gearing up for the after Christmas rush!

When I bought my new MacBook, I found out that I can't write to the new hard drive that I bought last year in Aransas Pass as it's in the wrong format. To reformat, I'd have to clean it off and we don't have anything large enough to do that. So, I started researching new hard drives and came across a 500GB Seagate at Comp USA for $119.99. It even said the store here in Tucson had one in stock.

This afternoon we went to Comp USA and bought the hard drive so for the foreseeable future we have no storage problems! After that we took a drive to the Saguaro National Park East and visited the Visitor Center. We didn't go into the park due to time limitations.

I have been reading Fred and Jo Wishnie's blog since they started on their RV journey and today we got to meet them in person. We arrived at their RV at Voyager RV Resort in East Tucson about 4:00 p.m. We were immediately met by their little shih tzu, Boo Boo. What a cute little ball of energy she is! We sat and chatted in their RV for about 1 1/2 hours with Boo Boo keeping us company for much of that time until she started using Gordon's hand as a chew toy, then she got put on her leash for a while but we did get a photo of me with Boo Boo for Jenny!

We went for dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Zivaz. It's called a Fast Casual Restaurant which I guess means you order at the counter and pay and they bring you your meal. I thought the food was pretty good. We had a good time and I hope the Wishnies did too. It was great to finally meet them!

This is Fred & Jo at Zivaz.

Sunday 2 December 2007

Just Relaxing Today

Today was another slow day. I did my usual morning walk. After vacuuming and dusting, I settled down on the couch to finish my book and then started another and had a couple of brief naps.

Early this afternoon we went on another desert walk, this time we found a new trail. I thought I had covered all the trails but obviously not. We saw this cute little jackrabbit. Those little devils are quick!

And then along came two ladies on their horses!

I didn't take many photos as the sky is now clear blue again and boring as Gordon would say.

So, the rest of the day was spent reading. The sunset was different tonight but not as pretty as usual so we didn't go out at all.