Saturday 1 March 2008

End of Month Expenses, Road Trip & Meeting Another Fulltimer

February Expenses

Campground - $439.34
Groceries/Wine/Spirits - $466.66
Laundry - $26.00
Entertainment/Parking/Restaurants - $81.94
Truck Fuel - $428.23
Propane - $47.82
Repairs RV/Truck - $956.14
Internet/TV/Cell/Insurance (Fixed Exp) - $359.86
Medical/Dental - $0.00
Software, Hardware, Electronics, Cameras - $0.00
Misc & Gifts - $189.89
Totals $2,995.88

The biggie for this month was the truck service. Without that we would have had a pretty good month so I'm happy with our total.

Nothing much was happening today. I was kind of lethargic. I did my usual desert walk then just read for most of the morning.

This afternoon Gordon announced that he wanted to go for a drive so we went to the Sierrita Mountains. They weren't too photogenic so we drove through the city over to Mission, south on Mission to the Pima Mines through Green Valley and back home via I-19 stopping for fuel at our favorite filling station on Kinney - Tucson Mountain Motors - they have full serve and they even wash your windshield!

One of our people from chat arrived today so I hopped on the bike over to go and meet her and her husband, Joyce and Jim and their little dog, Daisy. It was nearly dinner time so didn't stay long. They'll be here for a week.

The Gambel's Quail on the left was sitting on top of the transformer that's right beside our rig yesterday so I was able to get a pretty good close up of him.

A few desert flowers are starting to come out.

We saw this little dust devil as we were traveling west on the Ajo Highway this afternoon. It's kind of like a dust tornado.

We saw this RV when we were coming into the RV park tonight. I've never seen one with windows at the top. Looks like it has a second storey. It's an Outlaw by Damon.

Nothing exciting tonight. I'll probably spend some time in the rv-dreams chatroom as usual.

Friday 29 February 2008

Four for Dinner

This morning after my beautiful walk and breakfast I put some chicken breasts in the crockpot with a BBQ sauce that I found on the internet. I made a fruit salad and cut up some broccoli. Jim and Ellie came over to rescue their plants that I had plant sat for them while they were in Mexico.

All this was being done as we were having company tonight. Jim and Ellie were coming over for dinner. This will be only the second time that we've had four people for dinner in our RV. The first time it was for my sister, Margie and her husband, John a couple of years ago.

Since our dining area is so small we moved the table into the living room so we would have some breathing room. It's been a long time since I cooked for more than just the two of us with the exception of a picnic and a meal that we had outside with Betty and Garth at our RV park in Fort Myers last winter.

Dinner turned out great, good people, good conversation. All in all a very nice time!

Thursday 28 February 2008

Hot! Hot! Hot - Finally!

It was a little cooler this morning - about 48F (9C) for my morning walk. I walked the same route that I walked another morning this week. It's the one that I thought ended at a large wash but today I found it continues on the other side so I ended up at the fence that separates the desert behind us from Tucson Mountain Park. There are gates along the fence so you can continue walking in the park. Instead I walked on the road that runs along the fence till I got to the wash I crossed then walked back through the wash to the trail that leads home. Washes are sort of like walking in sand except it's more like pea gravel and not that easy or fun to walk in. I saw quite a few of these little wildflowers (phot on right) along the trail.

This is the wash that I walked in this morning.

Did you know that barrel cactus always lean to the south?

After breakfast, Gordon took our bathroom fan apart as it quit working yesterday and got it running again so I took this opportunity to clean out the screen and the vent hood. That looks better! Other than that, I updated the monthly expenses up until yesterday. I'll have to wait for yesterday's receipts to go through Visa so hopefully I'll be able to post February month end expenses at the beginning of next week.

Time is going by rapidly here. It's now less than two months before we have to be back in Ontario. Sure hope the snow is gone by then! I'm wondering if we won't be sorry that we didn't get one of the Blue Flame Heaters like The Bayfield Bunch had installed in Quartzsite. You can buy them online but it would take someone who knows what they're doing to get it hooked up as it has to hook up to your propane tanks.

The ice cream truck has been coming around daily since it's been hot.

After lunch I vacuumed and got that out of the way for another few days. Then outside to my lawn chair where a couple of ground squirrels kept me entertained for quite a while. I was sitting outside when I saw Jim & Ellie arrive (photo below) so I went over to welcome them back to the USA. Then back to my ground squirrels, lawn chair and book.

Ground squirrels having a little skirmish.

I bought some new Corelle luncheon plates yesterday so I took my old ones that weren't microwave safe down to the office. Christine (owner's wife) was happy to get them and she gave me cake and a muffin! Just what I need!

The rest of the day went uneventfully. Our high was about 83F (28C) with little or no breeze at one point this afternoon so it was hot!

So tonight, it's a new program of Lost and rv-dreams chatroom!

Wednesday 27 February 2008

Spring Flowers

Wow! It was 56F (13C)when I got up this morning and our high today was 86F (30C) with a light breeze. I had a beautiful walk in the desert this morning. I didn't see anyone else until I was almost back at the RV park which lately is different as there have been so many people at both RV parks that back on the desert.

I got ready and went into town this morning for groceries mainly but I also needed a haircut. I stopped at SuperCuts across from Walmart and a nice lady named Kathy cut my hair for me. She even gave me the senior rate without asking which is for people over 60. I'm not 60 until September so that was rather depressing!

After that I stopped at Lowe's to get some Ortho Home Defense for the bugs that I've noticed on and off crawling around. I didn't think Arizona had bugs but I guess I was wrong - it does happen! While there I took some photos of the pretty spring flowers that they had out on display and these tulips that were inside. There was also a black butterfly flitting around the flowers but he wouldn't hold still long enough for a photo.

I love looking at spring flowers.

When I came back after unpacking the groceries, I went outside to sit in my chair and read my book when I realized that Grant & Kathy were home so I walked across the 'golf course' and visited with them for an hour or more and met their dog, Raider. We had a nice chat. They're heading to Sierra Vista in the morning.

Raider is smiling at me.

Well, it's off to the rv-dreams chatroom!

Tuesday 26 February 2008

Kitt Peak, Buenos Aires NWR & Grant & Kathy!

Today again dawned bright and sunny. I had a lovely desert walk. I even found a trail that I don't think I've been on before.

We hung around the RV until just before lunch Gordon said he was going to Kitt Peak National Observatory and did I want to come? Alright then, I got ready and away we went. I'm not much interested in the observatory itself but I thought the drive and the views from the top of Kitt Peak would be great. As soon as I got out of the truck I saw some large beautiful birds that were hanging around the picnic area but on we went to the Visitor Center. I took some photos of the telescopes then while Gordon was walking around I told him I would go back to the truck area and try to take some photos of the birds. I did get pretty close to them and got some good shots even with my little camera. Kitt Peak is at 7000 ft. Here in Tucson, I think, we're at about 2400 ft. There was a 20 degree difference between the desert floor and the top of the mountain. It's about 10 miles up the mountain at about an 8% grade. Quite the views! Sure glad I wasn't driving though! We can see Kitt Peak and Baboquivari Peak from our RV Park.

The road up the mountain.

Mexican Jay

Two Mexican Jays

Leftovers from our recent rainstorm. Obviously at that height it was snow!

Views from the mountain.

From there I thought we were on our way home - NOT!

As we were coming up to S.R. 286, Gordon asked if I minded if he drove south on 286 for a bit. I said no so away we went ending up about 40 miles later at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge which is about 9 miles from the Mexican border.

Baboquivari Peak
from our campground looks like (sorry, Laura) a nipple however when you get close to it it looks more like the top of the Matterhorn (from one view) and apparently is the only mountain in Arizona that requires 'technical climbing' to get to the top. It is also considered a 'sacred place' to the Tohono O'odham nation.

As we were traveling on 286 we got lots of photos of this mountain. When we reached the Visitor Center for the Buenos Aires NWR, we got more photos. We stopped at the Visitor Center and were told of a lake that had some birds about a mile away so we went there and took more photos of it, this time with Grebe Pond in the foreground. There was a hiking trail there but as we were getting out of the truck a couple from the NWR was just coming back and said that rattlesnakes had been spotted in various places along the trail. This dampened our enthusiasm for trail walking so we took a few photos and fled to safety in the truck.

From there we started back home arriving just before 6:00 p.m. Just as we got in the RV I heard someone calling 'Hello' so I went to the door and there was Grant and Kathy from Birding RVers, another blog that I read. We chatted for only a few minutes as we had just gotten home and were hungry! Grant and Kathy are right across from us but they've been sick so have been keeping a low profile. They were to have attended the dinner Ellie & Jim put on a couple of weeks ago but declined due to being sick so I'm glad we finally got to meet them.

Monday 25 February 2008

Our Morning Was Spent at the Desert Museum

AI woke up to another beautiful, sunny day. The plan in the back of my head was to go to the Desert Museum today consequently I didn't do my morning desert walk.

We arrived at the Museum around 9:30 a.m. along with about five school buses and a tour bus. Inside we asked what would be in the raptor free flight today. We had seen them all so decided to do the loop. Boy did we pick the right day. There were two coyotes in the coyote area and they stood up on rocks and posed. Then on to the javelina area. There were five or six of them rooting around and eating brittle bush. We took lots of pictures.

These two deer were licking each other affectionately.

On our way back two docents were standing under a ramada with a male and female Kestrel so more photos. On to the aviary, lots of birds there too. The only place we didn't have a lot of luck was at the hummingbird aviary. One flew right in front of Gordon's face and hovered there. I got a photo of it but it wasn't very good. The flowers are also coming out. They have a new part of the museum called 'Life on the Rocks' opening at the end of the week so we'll have to go back and check that out.

I think this is a Black-Headed Grosbeak

This huge pigeon type bird was trying to take a nap.

The Parrot below was giving the Long-Legged Stilt what for!

This is the hummingbird that was hovering in front of Gordon. He's moving so he's kind of blurry!

The male and female Kestrels. These birds are small falcons.

It was a very good day at the Desert Museum! There were lots of kids around, some of them louder than I would like but it is a great place for kids to learn.

We arrived home in time for lunch. Then I retired to my lawnchair for a while, came inside and had a nap and that's the extent of my day.

Now it's on to the rv-dreams chatroom!

Sunday 24 February 2008

Taking It Easy!

To clarify, yesterday I mentioned that the temperature in the morning when I got up was 51F (11C) however the daytime temperature was near 70F (21C). Today was only 50F (10C) when I got up this morning but by mid-afternoon had reached a beautiful 83F (28C) with a light breeze. It was 85F (29C) inside the RV but we didn't need the air on with the breeze coming in the windows and the Fantastik Fan on it was beautiful inside. This is what we came to Arizona for! Too bad we've had to wait four months for it to arrive. I'm also hoping that the balmy temperatures together with the rain this winter will soon cause the desert flowers to bloom. Gordon saw one this morning on his outing.

I took a photo of this 5er this morning coming back from my walk. Interesting design - it's an Alfa.

Speaking of this morning, I had just gotten back from my walk and fixed my cereal and was standing with Gordon when he looked out the rear window and there crossing right behind our RV in the vicinity of where I put my lawn chair was this coyote (photo on the right)! So this photo is compliments of Gordon as I just stood there dumbfounded when I should have been getting my camera!

Knowing that this was going to be the most beautiful day we've had this winter and also knowing that we needed a few groceries, I got ready early and went out to the local Safeway to pick up what I needed. There was no way I was going to brave Walmart on a Sunday. While I was there of course I had to check out the Family Dollar Store as well as the 99 cent store and after I got groceries I went across the street to Walgreens where I got my wonderful husband some Necco wafers which he loves and a box of peanut brittle since I don't make it any more.

Safeway is like Bashas in that they have some really good specials. Today I got an $18 package of 7 huge pork chops for less than $6 with my Safeway card (sure glad I applied for it last time I was in the store). They don't automatically give you the discount without a card the way Bashas does.

On returning to the RV I sat outside in my lawnchair and finished my book taking some photos of the area behind our RV since the sky was interesting. Then I went down to the office and was able to get another Sandra Brown book called "Chill Factor", so I've started it. This one has a more interesting start than Ricochet did.

Pretty sky this afternoon

Hmmmm - the mark of Zorro (but backwards)!

Other than the weather, again, not a very interesting day to blog about!