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Friday, March 30, 2018

March in the Desert 2018

March is in full swing out here in the desert.
The amount of rain we have had since we got here in October could be put into a thimble and you would barely see it.
It is dry!!!!
But of course we are in the desert!

We have met some really nice people that are renting a lot across from us.
They are from our neck of the woods sort of!
They are from Missouri....close enough.
Heike and Pat are a wonderful addition to this group of hooligans!
In fact he calls our little row "The Outlaws"...LOL

We found out that Pat has been in charge of a lot of the mines out here in Arizona several years back, and he is the man with the knowledge to tell us all about them.
In fact, we take a little Jeep ride down Florence Kelvin Highway and make our way to Globe, AZ and we have lunch at one of their favorite spots, "Irene's Real Mexican Restaurant".
The food was great, and of course the company of our great friends was even better.
A trip to Globe always has to be followed by a visit to The Pickle Barrel, so we girls can get out shopping fix for the day!
Great day with Jerry, Konni, Ida, Steve, Heike and Pat.

Taco Tuesday has really become a "thing" to do on Tuesdays.
Our local LB's Cantina is just about the best place around.
We are so lucky to have such a great turn out of people.
Guess margaritas and tacos for two is just too good  to resist.

The corn hole games have been mainly just the usual group, until a few streets over wanted to have a get together and play a big ole game with our group.
March 7th, the vacant lot of Al's was turned into the Corn Hole Competition lot!
We all drew numbers which designated our partners and we played a round.

Jerry brought his "official" score board with him to keep score.
We really had a good turn out.

We knew that Pat and Heike would be leaving tomorrow, so we planned an evening at the local "Riverbottom Bar & Grill.
The live music even got a few up on the dance floor.
Another fun filled evening.

March 11th, our weather station showed we got some rain....LOL
I say that only because it registered .02"
Like I said earlier, not even enough to get the rigs dirty!

March 12th
Sitting on the patio this evening, we had a visitor to the area.
A coyote was standing out there just looking back at us.
Funny thing, Bronco didn't even know he was there.

Ida wants to make another trip to the quarry to get some rocks, so we head out on March 14th and do just that.
We got out fairly early as the sun is really beginning to heat up rather quickly during the day.
This is not a bad thing, as the evening still are dropping into the high 50's.
It is just about perfect!

March 17th we go to the activity center to partake in a bit of the Irish festivities.
We really didn't stay that long, but at least I got pics of a few of us wearing the green hats that were supplied on the tables.

March 19th, we decide to take a drive to Tubac, AZ.
Ida, Steve and Benji tag along in their Jeep.

We had a nice lunch and checked out all the Mexican pottery at Tubac.
It was a fun get away.

March 20th another Taco Tuesday has rolled around and we had a good group to share tacos with this evening.

March 21st.....Chuck's Birthday  :)
We had a little get together this evening to celebrate the boy getting a year older.

I had bought him his very own Corn Hole game.
The shop in Florence sells them.
They are kind of unique I think as the prisoners over in the prisons build them.
They paint them as well in all different themes.
I think the group that came for the party had a good time playing.

Heck we played until way after dark.....made for an interesting game for sure.

March 24th.
One of our newly planted cacti has decided to show off a bit and bloom.
It is an "Organ Pipe Cacti".
The bloom only last a day, but I sure did enjoy seeing it.
There are more to come as there are buds popping out all over it.

March 25-26-27
Ida decided to order blinds for her trailer from me.
They are due in any time and she has also decided to recover her cornices in the trailer.
We have set up an upholstery shop in her shed.
This was quite an undertaking, and with the help of Steve (he took off the old fabric) Ida and I were able to get the cornices done before the blinds show up.

The blinds are here and the fun begins.
Chuck and Steve have their work cut out for them installing the new blinds and cornices.
I am happy to report that they are all in and I think the finished product look wonderful.
I think Ida was very pleased with the outcome.

If you didn't know it, the guys have been playing Disc Golf.
They even come up with a name for their group...."The Cholla Chunkers"....since they are always flying the disc into the dreaded Cholla!
I contacted our son with Pro Line Designs and had some shirts made for the guys.
They showed up just in time for the guys to debut them on one of their recent games.
Pretty spiffy if I say so myself.

Our last Taco Tuesday for us was quite a big get together.
Our friends Lesa and Larry joined us as well.

It was a nice evening seeing them before we start packing up to head back to Oklahoma.

Hopefully we will see them next season.

March 30th.
It has come to our attention that our rig is in violation of a rule in the park.
This rule has not ever been discussed until someone decided they needed to stick their nose in other peoples business.
You see we have a toy hauler....and the back opens to make a patio.
We have designed our beautiful lot to accommodate our rig as it sits.
The powers that be have decided that our "patio" area is sticking over into the "common area" by 27" and we have to move it forward or close it.
Funny how this hasn't been an issue until this year.
It isn't a permanent structure and can be raised at any time.
When we purchased our lot we discussed with the developer this exact thing.
He assured us since it wasn't a permanent structure, there would be no problem.
Well, guess what!

I will not bore you with the details of this little ongoing argument, but it looks like we would have to move the rig forward and by doing this, all our patio pavers won't line up with our rig and our outdoor TV will no longer be able to be viewed from sitting on the patio.  Instead, one would be back in the unlevel driveway gravel.
This is just not how it was designed to be used.
It is at this point in the game just that....The point.
We have done nothing wrong.  It is actually a new rule that the newly elected board of directors have chosen to accept.
All our plans for our lot were given to the appropriate people and signed off on 2-3 years ago.
Now because someone has decided to worry about our 27" of air that we are intruding on the common ground instead of worrying about some of the real issues in our park we have decided that we will not be coming back to Desert Gardens for the next season.
In fact, we will be selling our lot.
It is not fair to have floating rules that are made and taken away in a whim.
I guess this is part of being in a Co-op, and not being one of the "big wigs" that make the rules.
I am totally sick over this whole mess.
We aren't the only ones they have picked on, but we are the ones that will not tolerate it and will do something about it.
You can't fight city hall and you know life is just too short to sweat the small stuff.
March has really ended up to be a very sad month for us.
Chuck and I have some things we have to decide on and let this part of our life go.
More to come on this in April.

March 31st.
We attended the "Pre Country Thunder" that is held on the main street of Florence, AZ.

This is a warm up to the Country Thunder that will be happening the first week in April.
I guess it is quite a big thing here in Arizona.

It was fun to get out and enjoy some local music with some of our friends from the park.
Pretty much our last hooray for the season.

April begins tomorrow and we start packing away everything and prepare to go head back to Oklahoma.
Bittersweet right now, but we do what we have to do!!! 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Fabulous February 2018

February has come and gone and life in the desert has been good.

Some things that we have done during the month is a weekly Taco Tuesday with some of our friends here in the park.
There are weeks we will have from 10 to 16 people, and then some weeks we have 4.

It doesn’t matter how many show up as we have a blast with whoever participates.

Our waitress Charli, which actually works at the park along with her husband, has a second job at LB’s Cantina and has become our "go to" waitress have decided to quit their job at the park and move on, so we will miss our Charli on our Tuesday taco runs.

We have purchased glass and replaced the lava rock in our fire pit.
Thanks for the great info Carol.
I love the way the fire dances in the reflections of the glass.

Back in Oklahoma, our son and grand daughter went to the Daddy Daughter Dance.
As I look back at the previous years of pics, our sweet Cooper is sure growing up.
Such a beautiful child..

We have had a couple of very windy days.
The wind gust have been to 45mph during one of the storms.
A much needed rain helped to give the desert an over due sip of water.
The weather center showed we got .72" after all was said and done.
It was the dirtiest rain I had ever seen.
Everything was covered with dirt!
We will take what we can get as it has really been a dry season.

We had another day that the winds got up to 25mph.
It came from a different direction than the earlier event, and the dust was really whipping up around us.
We did actually get a small amount of rain (.27") and it was clean this time, so it kinda washed the trailer a little.
By the way, we are enjoying the new Weather station that Chuck set up.

I bought a couple Easter Cactus while at Walmart.
They look so much like Christmas Cactus but they bloom in the Spring, hence Easter Cactus.
Love the red’s a nice addition to the interior.
Here is a link if you are interested to learn more.
Easter Cactus info

You know those adds that are always on Facebook....
Well, one got my eye and I purchased an area rug for the living area.
The reasoning behind it is to catch some of the dust that we track in on our shoes...
I know we could remove our shoes and help the situation a whole lot more, but we just aren’t those type people.
I love the added bit of color in the living area.

The latest change was having Chuck to remove the vent hood that is over the stove.
Gosh, I had no idea how that could open up a space.
It was just too close to work under.
We have a MaxxAir Fan in the kitchen that can pull out the heat and smells if needed when I cook.
I am not using the propane stove top or even the oven.
We generally cook outside or I use the induction cook top to fix our meals.
Between those choices and the crock pot, I can fix about anything.  :)

The guys have been busy with their Disc Golf.
Jerry has set up a Disc Golf Course in the park for any interested parties to play.

Behind our rig is a nice wide open area they are calling the "driving range".....LOL
Works out well until one of them gets their disc to fly correctly and it hits one of the neighbors trailers....oops!
Thank goodness we have some really nice neighbors that are very understanding!

The 4 guys, Jerry, Chuck, Ryyan, and Steve have been playing it quite a bit.
They have also gone to another course and played in the Mesa area.
I think they are hooked!

It’s been a bit cooler in February and has kept us inside after the sun goes down, so we are looking forward to warmer days and nights in March.
Amazing that in a little over a month we will packing up and head back to Oklahoma.

during the clean up

Jerrry & Konni went out Jeepin one morning and brought me back a great piece of Saguaro.
I cleaned it up and we have placed it in our "yard"....have even stuck a light down in it for a nice look in the evening.
You just don't understand this until you live and stay in the desert....LOL
Its an acquired taste of style.

Sunsets have been their usual beauties and we have even gotten a few rainbows along the way.

I close this February 28th with a pain in my back, but this to shall unusual for me to be down but it happens sometimes.
I think it is because I have been lifting the pot of snapdragons in and out of the shed to keep them from freezing during the cooler than usual nights.

The month of March is upon us and the weather is supposed to be’s to March...bring it on. :)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Quartzsite, Yuma and Los Algodones Here We Come

The subject of Quartzsite AZ has come up within a group of friends.
Jerry and Konni said they were going and they had family members that were going to save us some spots so we can boondock.

Our friends Diana & Chris are even coming to Arizona to meet up and make this trip.
We go to The Riverbottom the night before departure for dinner.
Little did we know that everyone in the world was going there tonight as well.
It was very busy and it took forever to get our food.

Diana & Chris spend the night at Desert Gardens and get ready for a fun adventure.

January 20th
We head out on Saturday morning 6 trailers, 11 people, 3 dogs and 2 cats strong.
Jerry and Konni are leading the group, and Chuck and I are taking the sweep position.
The day was a bit more cloudy, cool, and windier than we had wished for, but we are on the move and all is good in the world.

Our first stop is Gila Bend AZ for a lunch break.
One of the 6 trailers pulled by Konni's brother Steve, continues on to Quartzsite so we are now 5 strong.

Lunch is quick, and we are back on the road in record time.
Before you know it we are seeing the town of Quartzsite.
Jerry had given us all maps of the location that we would be boondocking just in case we got separated, but this group did very well.
I don't even think we ran any very yellow lights today!!!

We are going to camp on State Land for the next couple of days.
Guy and Suzanne show us the way to their rig, and we all circle around and begin to settle into our home away from home.
As far as you can see there are people out on the flat land staking their little bit of sand.
Solar panels are all over the place.
Chuck gets ours all set up and we are officially boondocking at Quartzsite.
The evening was spent sitting around and just enjoying the social time with everyone.

January 21st.
We have heard about the Big Tent that we need to go shop at, so Ida & Steve lead us in and we find parking spaces.
It is busy and those parking spaces were far and few between.
The Big Tent was very busy with people.
Reminds me of the fair in Oklahoma.
Interesting part of this tent is that we basically came out empty handed.
Chuck and I thought there would be more large vendors with stuff for the trailers, like steps and accessories.
Guess the big guys have decided to not participate in the event this year.
We proceed to shop the outside vendors and go up and down the many isles of stuff.
The rock and gem show is going on as well, so it was fun to see all the beautiful rocks from all over the world.

Later in the afternoon I get a text from Carol and Ryaan.
They are joining us today as well, to boondock but they didn't bring their trailer, they are going to tent camp.
Man, and I thought we were roughing it...LOL
These two are really cool people and we are so glad they are our neighbors at Desert Gardens.
They have been on very many wonderful adventures and love the outdoors.
Upon getting back to the rigs, sure enough, Ryaan and Carol have their tent all set up.
The winds are pretty high today, and they have secured it to a mesquite tree.

The weather has been very breezy today and it has only been in the 60's so the gas firepits are coming in quite handy as we sit around them and enjoy the Fireball Jello Shots that I had made earlier.

Everyone had their own ideas for dinner tonight, and we went with Jerry, Konni, Guy, Suzanne, Steve, Carol and Ryaan to eat at Silly Al's.
We order their Goliath Pizza and shared it amongst 6 people.
The pizza was delicious and we ended up having several pieces left over.
Suzanne had driven Carol, Ryaan and I to and from the restaurant, and we followed Jerry, Konni and Chuck back to the rigs.
This day has been fun, so no telling what tomorrow will bring.

January 22nd.
Today we wake to Ida and Steve having heat issues with their rig.
It was fairly cold last night and their propane isn't heating the rig during the night.
The day before Ida and Steve had the same issue and had hoped they had fixed it.
Bev and Ken had heating issues with their propane as well.
Jerry has a low tire, so he is taking it to the tire store and have them look at it tomorrow.
We hang around and watch the guys work on Ida and Steves new awning.
They were supposed to be getting two today, but it seems the company ordered the wrong size for one of them, so they will only get the one replaced today.
They are finished fairly quickly and the new awning looks really nice....too bad they didn't get them both!
The Discount Solar Store was a place the guys wanted to check out.
Doing some price comparison on batteries for the solar on the rigs.
Looks like the prices are a bit higher than what we can get at other places, so again no money was spent.
We went to a few of the other vendors that are scattered all over the area.
Found some beautiful Saguaro skeletons but just wasn't in the mood to buy one.
I am sure we may regret not getting one, but for now we are good!

Its time for lunch and Jerry suggested The Yacht Club.
We got there before the rush, and from the time we sat down Chuck told the waitress he wanted a piece of Mud Pie that was on their menu.
Actually 3 pieces of Mud Pie were requested.
She said she would see if they had gotten some in, and let them know.
Our food comes and we eat.
The place is getting busy, and as the waitress comes by and refreshes our drinks, we again ask about the Mud Pie.
She says she is really busy but will check.
We sit there another 30 seems like anyway, and she never comes back to bring our pie.
Long story short, we finally just get up and hunt her down and request our tab so we can pay up.
She acts a bit put out and says our pie was coming out.
I think we have given her every chance to get the stupid pie, and we are finished!
Unhappily she takes our money and we leave.

The evening was spent grilling some food and sitting around the camp fire.
It is still fairly cool and the fires were great.
We hope that Ida & Steve's heat works tonight as Ida has said she can't spend another night like last night.

January 23rd.
Well, the lack of heat issue is still with Ida and Steve.
I look out the window and see our faithful campers Carol & Ryaan sitting outside making coffee.
I suggested they come in the trailer and warm up but they assure us they are good!
Ida came over and warmed up though.
Steve is out working on propane tanks and running to get more propane.

Jerry and the guys have removed his low tire and he will take it to the tire store this morning.

We girls got around and went to a store that Konni had bought a few cute yard items from.
I am happy to say that we all came back with some goodies!
Back at the trailer Carol and Ryaan pack up and head back to Florence.
We are giving them "The Tough Peoples Award"......impressed with their tenting on the other hand....well, let's just say "no way"!!!!

Dinner tonight is at the Mountain Quail Restaurant.
We have a 40 minute wait so Chuck takes advantage of the wait and orders a piece of pie to go.
Today is "National Pie Day" why not eat your desert first.  :)
They had Chicken Fried Steak on the menu and 5 out of the 8 ordered it.
The waitress got a kick out of how easy we were to please.
Konni ordered a steak sandwich, medium rare.
The funny thing about this is the waitress asked her to initial the order for the medium rare steak.
Never have heard of anyone doing this, but Konni obliged her.
The food was really good, and I am happy to say Konni's steak was cooked to her liking.
Strange sandwich though, as they didn't even toast the bread....
In observance of "National Pie Day" several of us had a piece of pie.
Chuck even ate a little bit of my coconut cream.
Enjoyed spending the evening with all these fine people.

Oh by the way, something I learned today from Guy...he uses crutches from the Goodwill to hold his solar panels up....Jerry was the one that suggested it and by golly it works....LOL

Packing up tomorrow to head to Yuma.
Goodnight world.

January 24th.
I am happy to report that Ida and Steve had heat last night in their rig and they will be going on to Yuma with us.
Bev and Ken got up early and pulled out for California.
They left about 7:30am.
We are packed up and pull out at 9:30am.
We are now down to 4 trailers 8 people, 3 dogs and 1 cat.
Jerry is leading the pack to the Quechan Casino Resort in California where we will attempt to find spots to boondock another night or two.

Coming through Yuma I was amazed at all the produce that is grown here.
There are laborers out in the fields gathering the veggies.
Beautiful dark soil and lots of irrigation make for a bounty of produce.

We cross into California and not a couple of miles down the road we take the exit that says Mexico....sure hope Jerry knows where he is going...LOL
We pull into The Q and survey the area for a spot for the 4 rigs to park together.
The parking is a bit of a free for all and there really is no right or wrong way to park.
Jerry finds a place that we can all park and stay together.
We begin making our little area set up.
Strangest thing is we are on California time part of the time and then other times we are on Arizona time.
When we walked into the casino to grab some lunch with Ida & Steve my watch and phone changed back to Arizona time but Chucks stayed the same.
Chris decided to take his truck to Yuma and have the Dodge dealer look at his brake issue.
Diana had their shuttle take her to the Sams store in Yuma, and we all piled into Big Bertha and made our way back to the trailer.
Jerry & Konni ran over to Mexico to make a dentist appointment for tomorrow.
Chuck and I are planning on looking for some glasses while we are there.

Dinner tonight is spent in our rigs.
We have to get our rest so we can make our way over to Mexico in the morning.

January 25th

Jerry and Konni are driving over the border and we will be parking in the large parking lot.

Konni has a 10am dental appointment so we leave the trailers at 9am.
Big Bertha has all 6 of us again today.

I truly had no idea we were so close.
You could see the lights of Mexico last night, but I really didn't realize we were so close.
The border is only about 1-1/2 to 2 miles from where we have parked the rigs.

It was amazing to me that we didn't have any check in area or anything like that for passport violations on the US side.
The streets are narrow and full of people.
Los Algodones is known for their dental and optical services.
No more do we get into the business area and we are overwhelmed with people shoving business circulars and flyers at us for dental and optical services.
We walk the direction that Jerry told us to and we no more get a block and there he is.
He has left Konni at the dentist and found us.
Love it when a plan comes together!
We make our way back a couple of blocks to where Konni is at.
Chuck has already found him a pair of sunglasses that he wants to have his RX put in.
Seventy five dollars and two hours later he has his new glasses.
Me on the other hand, I am looking for just that special pair of glasses.

Konni has finished at the dentist and she suggest we find some food.
There is a little restaurant she suggest so we head there.
As we made our way to the restaurant I saw an optical store that looked like they might have the glasses that I am looking for.
I will check them out after we eat.

Lunch was great.
Only thing I didn't like was it was cold in there....LOL
The weather is a bit cool this morning, but with the sunshine it will warm up quickly.
Most of the wait staff had on sweat shirts.  :)

After we finish, I go down to the optical store and sure enough, I found the pair of glasses I was looking for.
Since I have requested the less heavy lenses and the broader spectrum of vision field on my glasses they are going to cost more, and take a little longer to make.
They tell me to come back at 2:40 to pick them up.
Looks like we are going to have to waste some time and shop....Oh no!!!

And shop we did.
Jerry and Konni had already found the location of the vendor that had the stain glass windows for the trailers.
We make our way there and Chuck and I find two for our trailer.
The little shop has a lot of cool stuff and we are all busy trying to make the best deal for what we are wanting.
The shopping was a blast.
Bargaining with the proprietor was a lot of fun.
Konni told us to be sure and bargain with them, so we did.
It proved to be a good thing and we got our stuff cheaper.

We even stopped and relaxed at a little outdoor restaurant and had a margarita.
It was a lot of fun.
So many places to shop and bargain with.
I think all of us were loaded with our purchases.
Thank goodness Jerry offered his vehicle for us to put our newly purchased items in.
You see, it gives us more room to shop for even more....

Jerry has offered to take everything back over the border that we have placed in his VW.
This was great.
There was a bit of time to waste before my glasses are ready and Chuck, Ida and Steve went back to Big Bertha, leaving Diana, Chris and I in Mexico.
I told Diana that Chris looked like our body guard....LOL

We make our way back to the optical store and it was 2:40 when we walked into their shop.
She tells me that my glasses had just come in.
Perfect timing!!!
The glasses fit well, and I am pleased with my purchase.
Now to get used to the new prescription!

Now it is time to get back to America, so we make our way to the border crossing.
Diana is in contact with Chuck and we meet up on the US side of the border just like clock work.
Chuck is making a u-turn as we come through the gated area.

Back at the trailer we fix some dinner.
After dinner I text and see if Diana and Chris want to go to the casino.
Chuck and I had an ice cream sundae, but Diana and Chris were nice and didn't.
Since we were in the casino I just had to try my luck.
I went to the machine that I had tried to win on yesterday and put some money in.
In no time I was up $90.
It was time to cash I wasn't going to sit and lose it.
This has been a fun day and the win just finished it off perfectly.
Thanks Quechan Casino.

January 26th.
Ida and Steve are packed up and ready to head back to Desert Gardens.
Their rig was a bit hemmed in and a exit route had to be figured out.
Chuck tells Steve to just drive forward and he would put some of our leveling blocks over the curb and get him out the easy way.
Love the mind of my guy.
He can come up with some of the best solutions.  :)

Diana and Chris truck is still in the shop so we want to stay with them and take them to it if and when it is ready.
The dealership calls around 10am and tells Chris it is ready to pick up.
They can't find anything wrong with it.
Diana and I had convinced ourselves that we may have missed something over in Mexico and decide to go back over there.
The guys drive us to the border and let us off.
They are going to pick up Chris's truck.
Diana & I spent about an hour and a half walking around and bargaining for more stuff.
It was just as much fun as yesterday.

With our arms full, we head back through customs.
The line this morning was nothing compared to yesterday.
It was a breeze walking back over.
Chris and Diana are in contact and he comes and picks us up just like Chuck did the day before.

Back at the trailer we start talking about going ahead and starting back home.
Diana & Chris have a sick worker and they are concerned that he won't be able to work Monday, so the extra windshield time today would  be beneficial to them.

We say our goodbyes to Konni and Jerry.
Can't say enough great things about these two folks.
They have shown us all the ropes about navagating thru Los Algodonas.
It is 2pm when we pull out from The Q.
We should be back at Desert Gardens by 6pm.
Diana & Chris are still having trailer brake issues and make a couple of stops to see if he can make the constant dinging stop in the truck cab.

Chuck finds a rest area to pull off and we say our goodbye's to our friends.
Sure wish they could stay longer.
We have so many things to show them here in Arizona.
Totally understand how it has to be though.
They end up driving until 9pm, and make their way to Flagstaff.

We pull in at 6pm...and hustle around to get the rig parked with what little bit of daylight that was left.
Stain glass purchase
Chuck pulls the Taj-Mah-Hauler in like a pro.
Electric is hooked up and we finally dump our tanks.
It has been a week of boondocking and have to say Taj did really good.

What a fun trip....
What great people....
Can't say it enough....
Epic week of making memories.
Other stain glass
Thanks to all who participated.  :)