Saturday 15 March 2008

Desert Hikes and Desert Flowers

Today was much cooler with a breeze and not a lot of sun. I guess it's getting us prepared for our two day stint of cold weather.

I had another nice walk this morning and since it was cooler, I had another hike this afternoon. I took lots of photos of desert flowers and the sky. On my way back this afternoon I met Ellie and Jim with Jasmine and Mr Bo Jangles.

Desert trails

One of the 'intersections'
A little ground squirrel

I wonder if this staghorn cholla is starting to bloom?

Desert Flowers - the little white ones are called 'desert dandelions'.

All those little white dots are flowers.

And here are white, yellow and purple ones.

In between times, I sat outside and read, finished one book and went to the office and got another one. I talked to my sister in Toronto and the weather was warmer today and snow was melting. We discussed the Conde Nast Where Are You contest that we try to solve every month. If anyone knows the answer, let me know!

And late this afternoon, a long nap.

I talked to a few people to see what they're bringing tomorrow for the potluck.

That's about it for today except for another pretty sunset tonight!

Friday 14 March 2008

Potluck Stuff, Groceries, Chiropractor, Desert Museum

The evenings and mornings are getting warmer. Last night I was wearing shorts till I went to bed, then opened my window in the bedroom. The last two mornings I've only worn a hoodie and a T-shirt for my morning walks and ended up removing the hoodie both mornings.

I walked a different trail this morning. I took the middle trail through Pima County Park to Tucson Mountain Park then took the Prospector Trail through Tucson Mountain Park and back through the West Loop Trail in Pima County Park. Click here to see a map of the trails in both parks. Unfortunately the names of the trails aren't marked on the map and some of them don't seem to have names. Oh well, I know where I'm going!

This morning I went down to the office to see how Christine is coming with plans for the potluck and to pay them for another week. The ice tea machine she has is broken so she's going to make sun tea. I guess you put the water with tea bags in it outside and the sun makes the tea. She asked me to go and talk to the man that she had suggested would sing. It turns out he's sick with some kind of chest congestion so it's doubtful if he'll be able to sing on Sunday. So back I went to the office and asked Christine if she could provide some background music with a tape deck of some sort so she will look into that.

I went out to get groceries to make my Baked Spaghetti and picked up some lemons for the lemon tea.

Gordon has been having problems with his mid back the last couple of days so I had suggested maybe he should go to a chiropractor. When I got back he had decided that he would go. There is a chiropractor's office near us over on Kinney so he phoned the office and they said they would take him if we were able to come right away. Over we went and after filling out pages of forms he got his back adjustment. This chiropractor does adjustments like I've never seen ours do and he did get some relief from the adjustments.

When we finished there Gordon wanted to do something fun so we came back to the RV to get his camera and away we went to the Desert Museum for an hour or so. We saw lots of birds at the aviary and quite a few hummers and lots of pretty flowers. Above is a photo of a candle cactus that I saw at the museum.

Black Bellied Whistling Duck

Gilded Flicker
Hooded Oriole

I'm ready to relax! I thought I was going to spend the afternoon in my lawnchair. The afternoon temperature hovered around 80F (27C) but the wind came up and the gusts were quite strong at times so it wouldn't have been a nice afternoon for the lawnchair anyway.

Thursday 13 March 2008

Walking in the Desert and Finding a Geocache

This morning I took my walk in the desert and again wound up on the west loop that leads to the north trail within Tucson Mountain Park. I walked quite a ways into the park. I saw a lot of flowers and one jackrabbit but he was too far away for me to get any photos. I was gone 50 minutes again as it takes at least 15 minutes to get to the gate to Tucson Mountain Park.

A dead saguaro against an interesting sky.

A bed of purple flowers.

And a bed of yellow flowers.

Pretty sky.

After breakfast I sat outside and read again. Ellie came over about 11 a.m. She had downloaded another geocache but this one required driving so she, Jim and I took off. This time I was manning the GPS. A first for me! It's quite an interesting little device. We drove to the Ironwood Picnic area and from there I guided (with Ellie's help) us to the cache. Ellie found the cache this time. It wasn't far from the parking lot and we could even see the car from where the geocache was located. The geocache was located under a palo verde tree and covered by rocks and sticks so we took all our precautions, opened the little box and Ellie signed my geocache name in the book. Jim recorded the event with photos.

Ellie finds the geocache.

This is the geocache (for my sisters who don't know what a geocache is).

We got much closer to Golden Gate Mountain on our geocache trip.

When we got home, I spent quite a bit of time trying to find out how to log the find at but I think I got it done finally.

After that I logged our expenses for March. I've been negligent in keeping them updated as I hadn't even started logging for March yet so now that's done.

The rest of the afternoon was spent having a nap and reading.

We had a beautiful sunset tonight.

Another exciting day in the life of a fulltimer! On to the rv-dreams chatroom tonight.

Wednesday 12 March 2008

A Recipe and Plans for a Potluck

Since we can't add any more recipes to the rv-dreams cookbook, I decided to post this one here. It's a quick and easy recipe and it's something Gordon can eat as long as I make it with butterscotch chips.

Rocky Road Bars

6 oz chocolate or butterscotch chips
1/2 c. butter
1 c. icing sugar
3 c. miniature marshmallows
1 egg
graham wafers

Over low head combine, chips, egg, butter and icing sugar. Cool slightly then add marshmallows. Line an 8" square pan with graham wafers (I don't use the graham wafers). Pour mixture over wafers and sprinkle with coconut.

This recipe was taken from recipe book that our church (St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Williamsburg, ON) put out when I was a kid and has lots of good recipes in it. I'm very glad I have a copy.

If anyone wants an rv-dreams cookbook, please follow this link and send an email to Howard and Linda. The cost is $10/cookbook plus shipping.

I was lethargic again today. It seems I feel this way when I get into a really deep sleep. It's almost as if I don't come out of the sleep. I did sit outside for a while and read and after lunch fell asleep again on the couch.

Gordon asked me if I wanted to go to the Desert Museum but I told him I was too tired so away he went. Sure wish I had felt up to going along. However around 4:00 p.m. I went over to the office to see what the status was on the potluck. Christine had gone home but Doc said to go for it if I didn't mind doing the advertising. So Ellie offered to print out the flyers and I walked around our circle and told people. Ellie brought me the flyers and I biked around the front and gave out flyers and talked to the people and put some up around the office area. So Sunday's potluck is a go!

I didn't take any photos today so I'm posting one that my sister took of my friend, Sue and I when we were in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario in October. It's a photo of a photo so the quality isn't great. The other photo is Mexican Golden Poppies that I took in Tubac on Sunday.

Another beautiful 84F (29C) day!

Tuesday 11 March 2008

More Shopping and Pot Luck Plans

I had another nice walk this morning. I had to take my jacket off about half way through the walk as it was getting warm. I saw three little rabbits along the trail and other than a few birds that was it although there were quite a few people out this morning.

Purple wildflowers in the desert.

My husband bought me another walking stick so I can keep one in the truck. Often we're out thinking we're just going for a drive and end up going for a hike so this one was purchased from a neighboring RVer.

I left at 10:00 a.m. to go into Tucson to do some shopping. Gordon had designed some new personal cards (like a business card) for me so I got those printed. I had broken the clip on my cell phone so got that replaced, got some cane tips for my walking stick at Home Depot, picked up a few other items then over to Walmart for groceries and got home about 2:30 p.m.
Here's my personal card. I've taken out my phone number for obvious reasons.

Someone had poured a lot of ice around this palm. Is that air conditioning for a palm tree?

Some pretty flowers near the Verizon store in Tucson.

We still had Doug and JoAnn's little tree that they left with us when they went to Mexico so I took it over to them and stayed and chatted with them for a bit and got to play with Fillmore.

JoAnn said that Ellie had mentioned having a potluck before we all leave. I said why not have a park potluck so I talked to Christine (owner's wife) about it and she'll talk to Doc and see me tomorrow.

I got some photos and a letter from my sister in Toronto in the mail.

Other than that it was 83F (28C) today with bright sunny skies.

Monday 10 March 2008

I Found It!

Ellie and I had decided on the rv-dreams chat last night that we were going to find the geocache that is in Tucson Mountain Park today. She had to go into town first thing to do some errands so I did a shorter version of my usual walk this morning.

Shortly after 10:00 a.m. we headed out into the desert and with the assistance of Ellie's trusty GPS, I located the geocache. This is to go on record that today is the day I found my first geocache! Ellie had said it was in some rocks though but I spotted the rocks and after tapping them with my walking stick to be sure that any snakes that might be there had moved on, started moving them the rocks and found the ammo box. Glad I brought my gardening gloves! There were all kinds of neat things in it. Ellie took the red mardi gras beads. We walked almost 4 miles again and were gone 1 hour and 18 minutes so it was a good hike.

Curve Billed Thrasher on a cholla

While we were gone Gordon went to the Desert Museum and finally got his photo of a woodpecker sticking his head out of a saguaro.

After lunch I did a quick vacuum job. Wasn't much in the mood for cleaning but then I never am!

This afternoon was spent reading both inside and outside in the 80F (27C) beautiful sunny day and doing internet jigsaw puzzles at .

And here are some photos that I borrowed of the snow in Ottawa.

The one on the left is my sister's house and on the right, my niece walking their dog, Jasper. There's a lot of white in these photos!

This is one I borrowed off Facebook from someone I used to work with - again Ottawa area

Sunday 9 March 2008

I was up this morning before 7:00 a.m. Although Daylight Saving Time came into effect last night Arizona doesn't do DST so now I'm confused as to what time it is where!

Our plan for today was to take I-10 East to east of Tucson and pick up SR83 south to Sonoita, then SR82 through Patagonia to Nogales. It's a scenic route along the Santa Rita Mountains. We stopped often to take photos.

When we reached Patagonia we were getting hungry so we stopped at a restaurant called Home Plate for breakfast. It was a really good breakfast but pretty expensive too - a cup of coffee was $3.00 and our breakfasts were $6.75 each. I also took a few photos around the town. I thought the name of their local pizza joint was funny (see photo below).

The Home Plate

From there we continued south to Nogales then took I-19 to the artsy little town of Tubac. It's an interesting little town full of art galleries and shops of all kinds. If I still had a stick house...... Lots of very pretty things.

The very pretty Mexican poppies.

These hand painted sinks were selling for $120 each!

Then we just headed home. We were both tired so I lay down on the couch and read and had a nap.

I'm really tired this week. I think we're just trying to pack all the things we've missed into this week before we leave.

The end of another beautiful day in the life of a retired fulltime RVer!