Saturday 12 January 2008

An 'At Home' Day

It was another lovely bright sunny day here in the desert again reaching 70F (21C). After breakfast we went for quite a nice little walk, ended up on the 1/2 mile trail then walked back through the trail that goes within the campground and down to the birding station taking photos along the way.

Here I am beside yesterday's funny looking saguaro. You can see it's tall but not nearly as tall as some

Yesterday I showed an ocotillo flower on the ground. Today's is on the plant.

I filled up the hummingbird feeder this morning, still no hummingbirds but the gila woodpeckers were back. Gordon put more birdseed out on the ground too but I didn't see any takers and Gordon said he only saw a squirrel.

I made a few bracelets when we returned from our walk and did some reading while having my lunch. Had a nap and Gordon went out for sunset but I stayed behind viewing it from our rear window.

Tonight was another very pretty sunset.

Friday 11 January 2008

Back to the Fleamarket

The plan for today was to go to the Mesa Fleamarket again. We were both going to go but Gordon got an order for five photos so he had to stay home and wo$k. So I took off by myself and spent the morning there. It was cold there this morning and I only had on a short sleeved T-shirt and my jean jacket (and my jeans, of course). I had planned to buy a new sweatshirt anyway but as soon as I bought it, I put it on.

It was already 55F (13C) when I left at about 9:30 a.m. so don't know why it was so cold there, it didn't seem cold last time. I picked up a few other things. I'd been looking for those single hangers that have a clothespin attached to them. I like them for hanging stuff up in the shower. Walmart used to have them but no longer do so I got three of them, also some sunglasses and some Watkins beef mix for making soup.

After I left the fleamarket I noticed just east of there a very large outdoor shopping mall on the corner of Signal Butte so I drove through but didn't stop. That just may warrant a return.

I had written down the address for JoAnn Fabrics the other day as I wanted to see if they had any beads that were reasonably priced. The closest one was on East Main so away I went to find that. I found it without a problem but their assortment of beads was uninspiring and expensive. From there I stopped at Bashas and picked up some gluten free cookies for my husband as he hasn't had cookies for ages and they're often hard to find.

I got back and had Gordon fire up the barbecue to cook some pork chops I had purchased the other day to add to a stew I decided to make. So I got the veggies peeled and the stew on, then sat outside for a while listening to the woodpecker. I think he was asking where the bird food was as we hadn't put any out today. Next thing I knew he was hanging from the hummingbird feeder again. Gordon got a good photo of one hanging on the hummingbird feeder yesterday.

Since the stew didn't have enough time to cook in the crockpot, I made baked chicken with crumb coating (gluten-free) with baked potatoes and creamed corn for dinner.

The sunset was bright going down but after the sun was down it fizzled entirely.

Thursday 10 January 2008

Up Too Early!


Gordon woke me this morning at 6:50 a.m. "Regis and Kelly is on at 7:00 a.m.", he said. Since we're moving today, I had told him yesterday that I wanted to see Live With Regis and Kelly (or in today's case Howie and Kelly before we packed up. My sister, Betty and her husband, Garth are in New York City this week and had tickets for the show so I wanted to see them in the audience. I didn't see them but that's the way it goes.

Betty and Garth are in New York City every year at this time. Garth is a Sherlockian and they gather in New York City to celebrate the birthday of Sherlock Holmes. What, you might ask. Was Sherlock Holmes not a fictional character? To some, apparently, he's not. The Sherlock Holmes Society was founded in 1951. I haven't been able to find out how many members they have but there are chapters all over the world, the most famous, of course, in London, England.

Gordon had already gone over to the entrance booth and signed us up for another two weeks so we're just moving to the site behind us which is another pull thru.

We hauled a lot of stuff over to our new site and hooked up and Gordon went to the dump station - 2 weeks without dumping and the tanks still weren't full! I must say we were really careful though as I wasn't too interested in having to go to the dump station! Even though you're not going far you still have to pack everything up as if you were going cross country. Let's see if we do as well this time. I stayed at our new site with the "stuff". So now we're here at Usery Mountain until January 24th.

Our new site.

This ocotillo flower was laying on the ground.

After we were set up I decided to do some updating to my blog so have added some side bar photos. I started out with important dates to us, then meeting new friends, then old friends and relatives. When I started putting this plan into action it made me realize that I don't take the 'right' photos sometimes. I'll have to make a note to myself to do better this year.

This afternoon I managed to find the hummingbird feeder in the storage compartment so got that outside with some nectar in it. We had a Gila Woodpecker and an Anna's hummingbird at the feeder this afternoon. Gordon also put out more birdfeed on the ground but spread it over a wider area so we didn't have the feeding frenzy we've had before.

I managed to do the little 1/2 mile trail within the park, so walking over there and back was probably close to a mile. Other than shopping, that's the most trail walking I've done in four weeks. My foot did quite well, it was sore after but not unreasonably sore. The view of the Superstition Mountains from the trail was very pretty today. The only different bird I saw was this phainopepla.

Funny looking saguaro.

I also joined today and registered one book. Now I just have to find an RV library to release it. I also need to print up some labels to put in the books. I just handwrote in the one I have ready.

Wednesday 9 January 2008

Housework and Lots of Birds!

Today was another glorious sunny day. I did go for my walk this morning but was only out about 15 minutes as I knew I would be on my feet a lot today. Here's Pass Mountain just after sunrise (well, a while after sunrise).

And the desert in the morning light.

Note this morning I also updated my blogspot site under Sites to See. This is most of the ones I'm now reading on a daily basis.

The plan for today was to get the laundry done. I had looked on the internet last night for laundromats and found three all of which I've seen on various outings around the area. There is one called the Lost Dutchman that's out in a basically residential area off the Superstition Highway which is the continuation of University Avenue so that's where I went. It was clean with lots of new machines, had a washroom and a person on site to give change if needed. It wasn't particularly cheap but I haven't found laundry to be all that cheap this winter unlike previous winters.

When I finished the laundry I headed over to the Walmart on Apache Trail to get the rest of the items I hadn't purchased yesterday. I never seem to get out of there for less than $100! I did notice that they have a spa there and do pedicures for $20. I've never in my whole life had a pedicure so I'm thinking about it.

On my arrival back at the RV, Gordon had put out some bird seed so I scared them all off getting out of the truck. I put the groceries away with my husband's help (he's responsible for bringing them from the truck to the RV), put the clean sheets on the bed (again with Gordon's help) and then decided to sit outside since it was so beautiful and deal with putting the laundry away later.

Gordon put out more bird seed closer to where I was sitting and there were flurries of little birds everywhere, photo examples below. It was quite entertaining watching all the birds and one little Harris's antelope squirrel (a type of ground squirrel) which is about the size of our chipmunk at home only much darker in color.

House finches in the ocotillo

Gilded flicker

Doves, house finches & other little brown birds

More pretty little house finches

I came in around 4:00 p.m., put the laundry away and went and had a nice long hot shower at the shower house.

I've been coming across quite a few blogs of people with celiac disease. One good one is Fab Grandma. She has lots of others under 'Blogs I Read'. There are also quite a few gluten-free recipes. It's always interesting to come across more information on celiac disease and helpful to me for finding something different to cook. Now I just have to read the recipes!

Tomorrow we have to move, hopefully just within the park.

For Gordon's synopsis of the past couple of days, click here.

Tuesday 8 January 2008

Sunshine! Road Trip!

I woke to a beautiful sunny day, finally! I did a short walk this morning.

Today we decided to go to Cave Creek and Lake Pleasant Regional Parks, round trip somewhere around 140 miles so I packed a picnic lunch. We arrived at Cave Creek which is northwest of where we are at Usery Mountain around noon and looked around the park. They don't have as many RV sites at Cave Creek but they are paved sites with the same sort of yard that we have here. Our sites here are pea gravel. Here's a view that I took of the area.

They also have horses for rent here. We saw these horses going on a tour of the trails. Look closely, they're there!

The scenery isn't as nice as it is here at Usery Mountain but it is close to a pretty little artsy town called Carefree which we passed through. All of the town is southwest style architecture. I forgot to take any photos of the town. Overall, we weren't impressed with Cave Creek Regional Park itself but we did have our picnic lunch in one of their picnic areas. Here's Gordon at the picnic table.

Then on to Lake Pleasant. This looks like an older park. Although it does have a lake and the lake with the mountains in the background is fairly scenic, the RV sites are small, not level and a lot of them you have to back up a hill. So I think we'll be happy to stay where we are as long as there are sites available. I'm glad we went though, it was a nice outing!

This is the new dam that they built at Lake Pleasant.

An interesting saguaro cactus ( a really skinny elephant?).

There's a lot of green on the ground around Lake Pleasant. It looks like grass but I'm not sure it's not a groundcover of some kind. Strange for the desert.

This is a design in the wall along State Hwy 101. They have such pretty designs along their highways here. Even their overpasses are pretty. They also use gravel in different colors and patterns to decorate the banks along the sides of the highways.

On our way home we stopped at Basha's, a local grocery store to pick up a few grocery items.

We had quite a nice sunset tonight. It was pretty with the setting sun shining on the desert plants.

Our high today under sunshiny skies was 63F (17C). A pretty nice day but I would like a bit higher temperatures.

Monday 7 January 2008

Rain Rain and More Rain

It rained so hard this morning that we lost the internet for a bit. What’s with all the rain that we’ve been having in the desert? Really weird!

Needless to way, no walk again this morning and our plans to go and visit a couple of the other Regional parks in the area got quashed.

I got ambitious after lunch and since we've been doing really well on our gray tank conservation I decided that I'd better get the refrigerator defrosted. It badly needed it. I think the last time I defrosted it we were still in Ontario. It took quite a while this time as the frost was pretty heavily layered. I also took out the shelves in the fridge and washed them. So another tedious job done!

We had a brief period when it wasn't raining so I went out and took some photos of the fog over the mountains and water drops on the cactus. Other than that I read and made bracelets.

We had another period of no rain around 4 p.m. so this time I managed to get my sneakers on over my wrapped foot, it was a bit of a tug but I made it. I was able to walk much better with the wrap on inside the sneaker. I walked around the park a bit to look at the sky and the birds. There were a few other people out walking too glad that the rain had stopped at least for a while.

Dark sky with no mountains in sight.

Here's the rain in one of the little washes just behind out site.

Note the fog partially masking the Phoenix sign on the mountain.

Here's a little bird on a saguaro. Couldn't get close enough to identify him.

This is one of our neighbor's dog. He's a very large dog. They have a tent but the dog is always outside. I wonder why?

Our high today was only about 53F (12C). Just as a matter of record it was 52F (11C) in Toronto today and 45F (7C) in Ottawa.

We had a decent sunset tonight but I already had the card out of my camera so didn't bother with any photos of it. So another night in the rv-dreams chatroom.